Taking care of your skin – what do dermatologists recommend?
Your skin is a superhero. It goes out to fight for you every day, battling bacteria, breathing and hydrating, and controlling your temperature. Skin care is the foundation – pun intended – of looking beautiful. But when you smear on those creams and powders, what are you doing to your skin?
Anything that gets this close to you needs to be chosen with care. So what do dermatologists recommend?
Well there is no single answer – but most agree that skin care is simpler than the beauty industry would like to make it! The American Academy of Dermatology suggests focusing on three things – cleansing, moisturising and sunscreen. It also suggests that fragrance-free products are less likely to cause irritation.
CeraVe is one of many brands that state they are fragrance-free. Their products are developed by dermatologists too. They keep their range simple and direct – cleansers, moisturisers and serums. And their not so secret ingredient is ceramides, waxy lipids that are naturally found in skin.
The range includes body and face cleansers and moisturisers, with special products for psoriasis, eczema and bumpy skin. In simple blue and white packaging with a reassuringly clinical look.
CeraVe may have been the first to incorporate ceramides into its original product launch in 2005, but many brands now boast of their replenishing and anti-ageing properties.
Sulfates or sulphates are common lathering and degreasing ingredients used in shampoos, body washes and skin cleansers. But they can cause irritation to sensitive skin and eyes. Some dermatologists warn that their degreasing effect can be too harsh, removing essential oils and leaving your skin dry and unprotected. If this sounds like you, you can find shampoos, face cleansers and body washes that don't use sulfates, also labelled SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate).
The purifying facial cleanser, make-up remover cleansing towelettes and purifying pore scrub products in the Nitrogena Naturals range are all sulfate-free. Other Nitrogena products, such as the Hydro Boost Cleansing Gel, do contain SLS so you need to check the labelling carefully.
NeutrogenaHydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel
Shampoos without sulfates are easier to find, because of fears – promoted by some dermatologists and denied by others - that the degreaser can fade hair colour. Here Neutrogena offer their T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo Scalp Build-Up Control, but again other Neutrogena shampoos such as T/Gel Therapeutic shampoo or the Triple Moisture Cream Lather shampoo do contain sulfates.
Greek scholars out there might think that comedogenic is something to do with making you laugh. Quite the opposite – it is making you bumpy, or spotty. One of the issues we all face with make-up is the risk that it can clog the pores, leading to poor skin tone or blemishes. Some substances are known to do this. So dermatologists coined a word for it.
Non-comedogenic then, is what you want to look for if you are prone to acne or blackheads. Mineral make-up is a good choice here, as it tends to sit on top of the skin rather than be drawn into the pores. Mineral formulas also need less of the colours, additives and chemicals that hold a more liquid product together.
A good brand here is Mineral Hygienics – they offer foundation, finishing powder and concealer as well as a good range of eyeshadows and mascara. Inorganic minerals don't attract mould or fungus, so they last longer and don't require added preservatives.
Mineral HYGIENICSFairest Mineral Foundation
Parabens are preservatives included to protect against bacteria and fungi growing on all those tasty fruit extracts and coconut oils in your make-up. They are used in almost half of all cosmetics.
Although they are probably harmless on your skin, all those cleansers and toners may affect the environment when washed down the drain. So they have joined the list of problem ingredients for many, and Paraben-free has become another go-to.
Drunk Elephant is more than just a super name. This brand does not use parabens, sulphates or mineral oils in any of its products. They are also 100% fragrance and essential oil free. In fact they name six groups of substances that they avoid, including alcohols and silicones. So what do they put in their in their moisturisers, masks and cleansers? They use lots of natural oils from passionfruit, apricot, and marula amongst others. Marula, if you did not know, is the fruit of a tree native to southern Africa, rich in Vitamin C and protein. And elephants, it is said, eat the fruit as it lies on the ground fermenting. That's the story behind the name!
But all that goodness comes at a price - upwards of $70 for 30 ml of C-Firma Day Serum, or 30 ml of A-Passioni Retinol cream. So don't spread it on too thickly.
DRUNK ELEPHANTC-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum
DRUNK ELEPHANTA-Passioni Retinol Cream
All the beauty brands look to differentiate themselves, whether by what they contain or what they avoid. If your skin is sensitive it pays to listen to the dermatologists, and check your product labelling for irritants like these.
Debunking Skincare Myths in 2020 – Fact Vs. Fiction!
We all fall victim to skin myths. Whether they’re passed on by our family, peers, or unproven beauty claims, it’s hard to know what is fact and what is fiction. In an e-commerce landscape where anyone and their mother can make a new skincare line, you have to be especially careful about where these products are being sourced from. Sadly, not everyone has your best interest at heart. This is partly why the Millennial and Generation Zers are notorious for being ‘brand loyal.’ The younger generations (under the age of 40), tend to trust major brand names like Google, Apple, and Starbucks, as compared to smaller brands they’ve never heard of. The same goes for their cosmetology products. Once you find an established brand that is reputable, affordable, and works for your skin – you are hooked! Right? This is all wonderful, and when you find an effective product, you should use what works for you. But! With so much false information being spread across the internet like wildfire, someone needs to debunk these myths from sources that we can trust! Let’s break down a couple of them by fact vs. fiction, shall we lovelies? Facts · Plastic Packaging Should Be Avoided Exposure to extreme temperatures can ruin your product. This is true, regardless of how high-quality the product is. You must be careful about originating countries that are shipping a product contained in plastic, especially during the hot summer months. Your skin is like a sponge. It is the largest organ on your body. So the plastic from those containers will seep into the product, therefore seeping into your skin. You can read more about this from The National Library of Medicine’s Recent Study regarding Parabens in plastic products that lead to skin toxicity through absorption. The Fix: Go for product packaging that is - - In glass jars - Reusable/Recyclable/Sustainable - Without any packaging, such as Lush’s Shampoo Bars · You Can’t Use Just Any Cleanser Everyone’s skin is unique. If you suffer from oily skin, acne, or sensitive skin, be careful about selecting a product that is too intense. If the products burn or feel painful, they’re likely stripping your skin of all of its healthy oils too. The skin is a high-functioning machine that naturally knows the pH it should possess. The Fix: This does not mean you ought to stop washing your face. No! Please wash your face! But avoid products that strip your face of its natural glow, as this often leads to increased breakouts. This may take some experimentation, but you will want a product that isn’t too harsh, painful, or intense. Fiction · You Do Not Need Sunscreen if It’s Not Sunny Outside False! Clouds are not sufficient protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays - which are the leading cause of premature aging. The Skin Cancer Foundation writes that clouds only protect against roughly, “25%” of harmful UV rays. That’s simply not enough. The Fix: Make sunscreen a daily part of your morning ritual. Some tips for finding your perfect fit are to select a sunscreen that contains/is: - Oil-free, especially if your skin is blemish-prone or you easily experience clogged pores. - Broad Spectrum, which simply means that it defends against both UVA and UVB rays. - Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, both of which naturally reflect sun rays. · A Good Product Will Remove Wrinkles Yes and no. Many anti-aging products can significantly reduce wrinkles, diminish the appearance of fine lines, and moisturize while offering the look of ‘plumper skin.’ This is all true. However, many deep-set wrinkles cannot be removed by a topical treatment alone. Due to this, leading experts in skincare and dermatology believe that: The best treatment against wrinkles – Is prevention! The Fix: Avoid practices that are expediting the rate at which wrinkles appear on your face. Simultaneously, you should work to prevent wrinkles before they establish a permanent home on the residence of your face. Factors that increase the rate at which wrinkles set are: - Smoking tobacco - Sun exposure (UVA and UVB rays) - Alcohol and substance abuse (allow your liver to detoxify) - Air pollution and free radicals - Poor nutrition - Not enough sleep Of course, many of the influences upon your skin will be genetic. But our main takeaways for this piece are: - Avoid plastic packaging - Don’t fight your skins natural pH (leading to more breakouts and excess recalibration) - Wear sunscreen daily (even on the parts that are covered by clothes. Clothes and clouds are not enough protection!) - Prevent wrinkles through proper health, sleep, and nutrition There’s no quick-fix. Only a daily dedication to care for your body and skin from the inside out!
Night Owl must have: eye patches 🦉
One thing everyone in real life knows about me is I don’t get sleep. Whether it’s staying up all night (once upon a time my bed time was 5 am - 12 pm. Oof) or just physically not being able to fall asleep it can still take a toll on your skin. When asleep our skin takes the time to properly repair itself. When you don’t get enough sleep it can have negative effects like depleting the moisture levels in your skin giving it a dull look. One thing I like to do to help combat that is eye patches. Eye patches have long been a favorite spa night product for me but recently I realize how much they can help in the morning while I was getting ready. For me they add a cooling effect to the skin which can help depuff the under eyes before make up application. I also really like them because most have glycerin which will help add that hydration back into the delicate under eye area that wasn’t replenished throughout the night. The ones pictured above all include caffeine which helps the look of puffy eyes, soothes, and has antioxidant properties. Also, I love using them as shadow shields for make up fall out. It’s so easy to pop them on while I’m doing my eyeshadow. It multitasks by saving me time in the morning while depuffing and protecting my skin from eyeshadow fallout. (For reference I usually do my eyeshadow before I do my base. I wouldn’t recommend doing this on top of foundation). My absolute favorite are the PETER THOMAS ROTH - Cucumber Hydra-Gel Eye Masks 60 Masks . Between the cucumber and caffeine these do the best at hydrating and depuffing my under eyes in morning. Though retailing at $52 for 30 pairs it is a bit pricy. My next runner up is the pixi - Detoxifeye which retails for $24 for 30 pairs. I do want to give a special shout out/wanting to the GOOD MOLECULES - Caffeine Energizing Hydrogel Eye Patches retailing at $18 for 30 pairs. While I do really like the depuffing effects I get from these I noticed every time I wore these and did my concealer it would pill up. I would recommend these to people who don’t wear make up but if you do I would be cautious. If you wanted to try these I would make sure you do a good job at making sure no excess serum is left over before make up application. I always end up using these at night for that reason which defeats the purpose of using them to depuff the eyes in the morning.
Skincare for Time-Savers – My Lazy Day Skincare Routine for Acne!
As someone that is beauty product OBSESSED – I sometimes end up with a twelve-step routine before bed. Although this is fun, sometimes I have to step back and ask myself: · Do I really need this many products? · Could too many products be actually harming my skin instead of helping? · Could I achieve the same healthy skin with less product application and significantly less money spent? A few details about my type of skin include: · European heritage · Oily-skin that is dry with the wrong products · Acne-prone skin since I was fifteen/ subsequent scarring · Fighting anti-aging and fine lines, especially around my smile and forehead. (Curse my expressive face that cannot hide any emotions!) So I asked myself – Can I get this down to three products? And voila! I selected my favorite three that I could NOT live without. When I do not feel like bringing out the entire skincare brigade – I opt for these main trusted three: 1. Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask – A bit about this product includes: a. Great for a once-per-week mask b. Sometimes I use it twice per week if I’m suffering from bad acne c. The ingredients clarify using aloe (soothing) blue tansy (redness calmer), white willow bark (anti-inflammatory), all combining for a resurfacing-effect that fights bacteria. d. Contains BHAs and Salicin (an anti-microbial that kills bacteria) e. The scent is fruity and smells like herbs/aloe f. Blue tansy has a mildly-medicinal fragrance g. The texture is thick, almost like maple syrup h. A little goes a long way! i. One bottle can last me about 6-months if I use it properly j. Price: $48.00 k.Ratings: 4.5-stars out of 200+ reviews 2. Terre Mere’s Aloe and Tea Tree Toner – A bit about this product includes: a. I only recently discovered this in my Fab Fit Fun box, a subscription service that sends new beauty products to your door once per season. b. On days that I do not mask with the Blue Tansy – I only use this toner and the oil listed in #3. (If only using these bottom two products, I would use the toner first, and then follow-up with the oil on step #3, for an even more simplified routine). You should also cleanse/wash your face between toning and moisturizing, but we’re going for basics here! c. I tend to lean towards products with aloe, very calming for my skin’s redness d. The tea tree oil offers an anti-fungal property to fight harmful bacteria that clog pores e. Infused with a sulfur compound that they claim offers a collagen-boosting effect f. Vegan g. Willow bark (now that I’m researching, quite similar to the blue tansy mask indeed!) There is a reason these ingredients are used for fighting acne – they work! h. Fragrance-free - important unless the fragrances are naturally-occurring. You don’t want to clog your skin with dyes and perfumes. i. Price: $54.00 j. Ratings: None available 3. Herbivore’s Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil – A bit about this product includes: a. I love the brand Herbivore Botanicals! It is one of my all-time favorites. Not only do I trust them for clean, vegan, and highly-moisturizing products, but they also fight my breakouts like no other topical treatment ever has. b. The prices are slightly high – however, the formulas are so concentrated. I have been able to make a bottle of this last for 6-months. That is less than $8 per month. So there is no need to see your skincare as a major luxury! c. Fights redness and dullness d. Absorbs quickly e. Great for any skin type– even oily skin. That is what it’s for! If you have oily skin, stripping it of natural oils will only reinforce oil production, resulting in more breakouts. Do not fight your skin’s natural proclivity to produce oil! Okay, queens!? f. Even if you have dry or combination skin, this product will leave you feeling exceptionally moisturized without a greasy effect. g. Utilizes a blend of cannabis oil, hemp seed oil, omegas, and adaptogens h. $1 for each bottle sold is donated to help legalize cannabis for therapeutic-use and medicinal research i. The color is as the name suggests – emerald to light green j. I use about 2-3 drops per morning and night k. I gently massage it into the places that become the most inflamed (around mouth mostly) l. Price: $48.00 m. Rating: 4.5-stars out of 100+ reviews I have a few other favorites, but honestly, nothing compares to these OG three! These main three products are heavily responsible for my skin having: · Reduced redness · Less inflammation and acne · A smoother texture · A brightened glow See the before and after pictures for proof of my glow-up!
Face Sunscreen that Hydrates & Protects! ☀️
It can be hard finding the right face sunscreen. There are SO many out there! Well let me tell you about PURITO - Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ What is it? - A water-based sunscreen formulated with Centella extracts that help protect your skin from UV rays and harmful environments without stickiness or white residue left on the skin. It does not contain any essential oils or artificial fragrance, making it suitable for sensitive skin types. It uses SPF50+ PA++++ and photo-stable UV filter to provide soft yet powerful protection from ultraviolet rays. Is it safe for sensitive skin? - Purito excludes all the components of most common chemical UV screens that aggravate acne and irritate sensitive skin, such as Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, 2-methylbenzylidene camphor, Oxybenzone, and Abobenzone. Instead, they exclusively use EWG Green Level Grades 1 and 2 ingredients, making sure the product is suitable for all skin types. How does it work? - Unlike other sunscreens that form a physical layer to ensure UV protection, this product is absorbed into the skin where it transforms UV rays into harmless heat, so you don’t feel it on your face. Moreover, with its 70% moisture base and 4 different types of essences, it works like a moisturizing cream, making it even easier to apply natural makeup. What’s in it? - This product contains Hyaluronic acid that helps retain over 1,000 times its weight in water within the skin cells, as well as Centella asiatica extract that restores the oil/moisture balance of the skin and helps the formation of collagen which gives the skin its elasticity. In other words, it has all the necessary ingredients to keep your skin healthy and well moisturized. My review- - I purchased this product after seeing Skincare by Hyram and Whatsonvisface recommend it! I had been using Rodan and Field’s Soothe Sunscreen, but wanted something that did not sit on the skin, yet still provided hydration. I am treating my acne with clindamycin and tretinoin so I needed a sunscreen that hydrates and soothes my skin, while not clogging my pores. This sunscreen does exactly that! It rubs onto my skin so easily. It’s the perfect consistency, not too thin but not too thick. It provides hydration and protection, without being sticky or sitting on the skin. The lack of essential oils/fragrances, plus the addition of centella, means it’s non-irritating. It also contains niacinamide, which is perfect for acne-prone skin! Since I have dry skin, I use it in addition to my moisturizer, but I think if you have oily skin you could just use the sunscreen since it’s so hydrating!
Free Samples in 2020 – Which Ones I’ll Be Purchasing!
Being a beauty-obsessed shopper in 2020 is hard. But free samples make it easier! With brands adding in more samples of their products than ever, shoppers can try snippets before purchasing the entire product. This psychologically-brilliant tactic is working for beauty brands, landing them more sales than ever. I think the reason free samples work so well is because: · Try before you buy, (the obvious) · Shoppers can purchase the full-size with confidence, resulting in fewer returns for the company · The risk-averse shoppers feel taken care of · Something about a gift triggers the human response of reciprocity (wanting to do something for them, like purchase more, once they have given you a gift) It’s truly a win-win. For context - My skin is oily, acne-prone, and also fighting anti-aging. A glorious trio. Here are some of my recent freebies from 2020 so far (going from left to right): ·The Curology Cleanser - o Very gentle o Lightweight o Made for all skin-types o Produced by leading dermatologists o You can purchase with a $40 bottle of customized formula for your skin-concerns, $40 covering a 2-month supply. The cleanser and moisturizer are the same for everyone, very gentle and neutral. Curology - The Cleanser · The Purlisse Matcha Green Tea Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask – o This mask is magical o Your face feels so clean after o Smells delicious o I use 2-3 times per week for a nice, gentle exfoliation o The charcoal cleanses and visibly tightens pores o The tea calms your skin o The lemon brightens with vitamin C o The full-sized product is $35.00 with a 5-star rating presently pūrlisse - Matcha Green Tea + Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask · 24K Gold Mineral Mud Mask from Ahava/Ulta – o Dead sea mud mask o LITERALLY GOLD (see picture for sample on my hand, didn’t want to waste much!) o It is very soft, and my face feels smoother after use o Some report breakouts afterward and there are mixed reviews o It leaves a glitter residue behind, unsure if some mistake that for the glow but I have experienced no breakouts o Full-sized product is $68.00 with a 3.2-star rating on Ulta AHAVA - 24K Gold Mineral Mud Mask · Herbivore Botanical’s Phoenix Oil – o I use this in the mornings, 2-3 drops o It is for dry skin but I have oily skin, feels great and very moisturizing o Works for sensitive skin, anti-aging, dryness o Very lightweight o Made using rosehip, omega oils, vitamin A, and sea buckthorn o Herbivore is probably my favorite skincare line (vegan, product is concentrated and goes a long way, lasts for 6 months+ if used slowly, their products WORK!) o Uses Alpha Lipoic Acid to add a natural glow to skin o Large bottle is $88.00, again, will last you 6-months to a year if you take your time o You could use one drop a day if you wanted o Color will vary (I have noticed with their Lapis Blue Tansy oil that it got greener over time. You can see from my Phoenix sample in the picture that it is more yellow, whereas on the website it is more orange. This is likely due to oxidation and the potency of the product may be decreasing slightly as it is exposed to air).HERBIVORE - Phoenix Facial Oil · Sunday Riley’s UFO Acne Treatment Oil – o 1.5% salicylic acid, to fight acne and breakouts o Clears pore congestion o Quite lightweight for an oil o Tea tree oil works great on my skin, with anti-fungal properties to fight bad bacteria o Vegan/fragrance/paraben-free o Emerald green in color o Full-sized product is $40.00 with 4.5-star ratings out of 34-reviews presently SUNDAY RILEY - U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil · Eight Saint’s Bright Side – o A cleanser that utilizes antioxidants o Crème-based but not too heavy o Made using fruit and seed oils o The smell is citrusy and fruity o Intended for dry skin but I’ve experienced no issues with it (even though I have oily and acne-prone skin) o Full-sized product is $46.00 with 5-star ratings out of 17-reviews presently So!EIGHT SAINTS - Bright Side Out of these six, the four I would purchase the full-sized product of and recommend include: · The Purlisse Matcha Green Tea Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask · 24K Gold Mineral Mud Mask from Ahava/Ulta · Herbivore Botanical’s Phoenix Oil · Sunday Riley’s UFO Acne Treatment Oil My all-time favorite out of that would have to be the phoenix oil by Herbivore. My second favorite is the matcha green tea. And honestly, I could live without the other four. That’s my hot take! I hope it helps you, beautiful queens!
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