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True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • 10 Skincare Habits Guaranteed To Help Treat Acne
    Eating chocolate and greasy fries won’t necessarily give you pimples, and a week in the sun won’t make them vanish, either. But there are certain things that really can help prevent and treat acne breakouts. Here, we’ve rounded up ten of the best…

    Acne is the most common skin woe in the whole of the United States. Not dark under eye circles, not sun spots, not even wrinkles, but acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it affects up to 50 million Americans every year, and around 15 percent of women are plagued by some form of acne during their adult lives.

    Sigh.

    If you’ve had acne on and off for most of your teenage and adult life, you’ll have heard every last trick about how to avoid breakouts. Most of which were probably complete BS. So, we’re here to set the record straight once for all with our guide to the most tried and trusted ways to keep acne under control. 

    1. Don’t Pick

    The world’s fascination with popping pimples shows no signs of going away (thanks mainly to dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper!), but attempting this at home is rarely a good idea. Sure, squeezing that white top might be hard to resist, but it can trigger inflammatory responses in your skin which can delay healing and potentially make your pimples worse.

    Picking and prodding zits also introduces a bunch of new bacteria to your skin and quite frankly, it has enough to deal with already. Finally, if all that wasn’t enough, popping pimples creates trauma to your skin which can lead to scabbing, infections, pigmentation and scarring. Don’t do it. Just don’t.  

    2. Keep Your Skin Clean

    A primary cause of acne is blocked pores that get clogged up with oil, dirt and dead skin cells, and then become inflamed or infected with bacteria. This makes cleansing your skin twice daily extremely important – especially at night after sweat, sebum, makeup and sunscreen have built up on the surface of your skin.

    Try our new Tea Tree Super Cleanser + which is ultralight, super refreshing and mega calming. It also douses your skin with a powerful blend of nature’s blemish-controlling superstar, tea tree oil, and our ultimate secret weapon for breakouts, MSM.

    3. Wash Your Hands

    While we’re on the subject of cleanliness, don’t underestimate the power of clean hands. Of course, you’re far too disciplined to pick at your pimples (see above), but even touching your face or leaning on your hands spreads unnecessary dirt, oil and bacteria all over your skin. It’s a tricky habit to kick because it’s usually an unconscious move, but the least you can do is wash your hands regularly to minimize the after-effects.

    4. Keep Everything Clean

    Not to keep banging on about cleanliness, but there’s more… Towels and pillowcases can also harbor bacteria if they’re not laundered regularly, so make sure you change these out on a weekly basis. And perhaps consider using a fragrance-free detergent if your skin tends to be reactive.

    Also, wash your makeup brushes twice a week (especially if you wear makeup daily); shampoo your hair often to avoid oils from your hair transferring to your face, and wipe down your smartphone with a hand sanitizing wipe as often as you remember.

    5. Use Retinol

    Retinol is an anti-aging given, but it’s also a powerful tool for acne-prone skin. How so? Well, retinol helps unclog your pores by stimulating collagen production and encouraging cell turnover. It also promotes healing and, by keeping your pores clear, can help other skincare or topical acne medication penetrate more effectively.

    Introduce Retinol Serum into your evening routine a few times a week and apply it to cleansed skin before moisturizing – you won’t regret it.

    6. Wear Sunscreen

    This might not be one of the most well-known anti-acne tricks, but it’s important, so hear us out.

    In addition to the obvious protection from UV damage, sunscreen reduces redness and can help skin avert post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (those dark spots that pimples often leave behind). It also reduces the likelihood of your skin becoming dry in the sun which keeps sebum balanced and under control.

    So there you go, sunscreen for acne – surprisingly important. Just remember to avoid heavy, pore-clogging sunscreens that can cause breakouts or make the pimples you have even worse. Instead, try our new SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen which is sheer, lightweight and oil-free.

    7. Moisturize… But Do It With Care

    Acne often goes hand-in-hand with oily skin which can get forgotten about when it comes to moisturizing. It’s a huge mistake to skip this vital step, however, no matter how oily or pimply your skin may be. If you fail to moisturize your skin, the surface will become dry and your sebaceous glands will overproduce oil to compensate. Cue excess oil which can block your pores and make acne worse.

    Your best bet is to hydrate with a light serum like Hyaluronic Acid Serum, then follow with a non-comedogenic moisturizer that’s less likely to block your pores. Oh, and make sure you do this day AND night, especially if you use harsh acne treatments that dry out your skin.

    8. Avoid Over Exfoliation

    Scrubbing your face feels great, but it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make, particularly if you’re prone to breakouts.

    Exfoliation is great for boosting cell turnover and keeping your pores clean and clear, but too much can cause redness and inflammation – something you definitely don’t want to encourage if acne is already making your skin both of these things. Stick to once a week max, or better yet, allow chemical exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid to gradually do the job for you.

    9. Manage Your Stress 

    As with seemingly everything, when it comes to acne, stress only makes matters worse. Research has pointed to a direct link between stress and acne, thanks to stress-related hormones like cortisol encouraging your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Cortisol also reduces your skin’s natural levels of hyaluronic acid which makes your skin more dehydrated and further triggers sebum production. All this excess oil is a veritable playground for bacteria to breed and acne to worsen.

    Of course, keeping stress under control is no mean feat, but breathing exercises, yoga, or taking a short walk each day may help clear your mind. Go for whatever form of relaxation suits you and helps take the pressure off, even if only for a few minutes. And remember to get your seven or eight hours of quality sleep while you’re at it. Sleep is SO important.

    10. Strike Down Inflammation, Inside and Out

    As helpful as skincare tips may be, acne is often an inside job rooted in internal factors influenced by diet and hormones. While addressing these triggers is an important part of getting chronic acne under control, it’s also key to hit back at topical inflammation. This beauty baddie not only exacerbates breakouts, it can increase the likelihood of hyperpigmentation and scarring, so it’s especially critical to diminish it as much as possible.

    To help do this on the daily, look for skin saviors with anti-inflammatory clout like vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbyl phosphate, as well as MSM and aloe, all of which have a reputation for mitigating inflammation and blemishes alike. You can find them teamed up in our Vitamin C Serum, as well as across several other TruSkin formulas—because we know how invaluable these good guys can be for all skin types.

     

     

    Acne
    10 Skincare Habits Guaranteed To Help Treat Acne
    read more
  • 5 Awesome Ways To Give Stressed Skin A Break
    Skin in total freak-out mode right now? Then it’s time to de-stress and give your poor complexion a break.

    Stressed skin is one of life’s vicious circles. First, emotional stress sends your hormones out of whack, making your skin dry, oily, itchy or break out. Sad times, indeed. Then, to add insult to injury, you get the 'pleasure' of having to deal with cruddy skin and, heck, that just ruins your self-esteem and makes you feel even more stressed. As we said, a vicious circle.

    It’s true, emotional anxiety has a massive impact on the look, feel and health of your skin. This is because when you feel stressed, your brain stimulates the release of various hormones (cortisol, to name just one) which upset the equilibrium of your body, disrupting your immune system, wreaking havoc on your skin’s barrier function, interfering with the healing process and triggering all sorts of problems, mainly irritation and inflammation.

    If this is ringing too many bells in your head right now, chances are your skin and, more importantly, your emotional wellbeing are crying out for some much-needed TLC. Not sure where to start? No problem, we’re on it…

    1. First, Try To De-Stress Your Mind

    Chilling the heck out is easier said than done, but reducing (or at least attempting to reduce) your levels of emotional stress is a major step to mirroring the same effects for your skin. If things are all too much at work, for example, speak out, delegate tasks or learn how to say no. According to the Mayo Clinic, asserting yourself in the workplace – or, in fact, any situation – is one of the best ways to de-stress because it reduces internal conflict and helps you more successfully manage everyday life.

    You could also keep a journal. It’s amazing how much of a relief it is to write stuff down and get things off your chest. And if you’re worried someone might get hold of your pent-up thoughts? Easy, write them down on a scrap of paper instead of a proper journal, then when you’re done, you can toss it in the trash.

    Of course, these are just a couple of the many ways to help manage stress. There are many tricks for calming your mind and improving your emotional wellness, so if life is kind of overwhelming right now, please make sure you seek professional advice to identify its causes and help you learn to cope.

    2. Practice Some True Self-Care

    Can you honestly say you’ve been looking after yourself recently? Maaaybe… but probably not. The thing is, exercise and a healthy, balanced diet are awesome stress relievers.

    Exercise stimulates endorphins which are known as ‘feel-good’ chemicals for good reason. Hint: they make you feel good! Try to up your levels of daily physical activity as much as possible. You might not be up for a 10-mile run at 6 a.m. every morning, but small things like a brisk walk, gardening, swimming, cycling or even doing some household chores will get those endorphins pumping and help lift your mood.

    Yoga and pilates are also awesome stress relievers because they help dial back your sympathetic nervous system. This is your body’s ‘quick response’ system which produces that pesky stress hormone, cortisol. If you can, try to combine a mixture of heart-pumping exercise with more relaxing, muscle-strengthening activities for a complete, all-round regimen.

    When it comes to your diet, too much sugar, salt, processed carbs and fried foods are absolute devils on your skin, causing harmful free radicals that break down collagen and accelerate inflammation. Instead, feed your skin with stuff it loves – namely antioxidant-rich fruit and veggies, oily fish, nuts and lean protein. Oh, and as tempting as it may be to deal with stressful situations with coffee and doughnuts, try not to make this a habit.

    3. Give Your Barrier Function A Break

    Your skin’s barrier function is its uppermost layer – the very top of your epidermis, which acts like a security guard to protect you from the outside world. It works super hard to stop moisture from getting out and nasty irritants from getting in.

    When your skin is suffering, this is a sure-fire indication that your barrier function has been compromised. Many things contribute to this, not least of all stress itself, which depletes your skin’s natural production of healthy oils and alters its pH level.

    Your skincare routine also has a vital role to play here.

    Harsh cleansing with chemical-fueled products can completely strip your protective barrier of important proteins and lipids, so this is a massive no-no, for starters. Cleanse gently with mild, sulfate-free formulations like our Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser and only ever use lukewarm, never hot, water to wash your face.

    Another thing: don't forget to moisturize after cleansing, which is VITAL for healthy, stress-free barrier function. Dryness is seriously damaging to your skin’s barrier, leaving it vulnerable to transepidermal water loss (TEWL) as well as external aggressors like pollution, UV radiation and the like. Choose smart, all-round moisturizers that combine ingredients to not only help draw water into your skin (eg. aloe, glycerin and hyaluronic acid) but also lock moisture in (eg. shea butter and stearic acid). Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer is always a great shout.

    4. Think About Everything You Put On Your Skin

    Bombarding your skin with active ingredients like retinoids and glycolic acid can be way too much for some skin types to cope with. Sure, these ingredients are awesome for tackling lines, wrinkles, dark spots and acne, but you can most definitely have too much of a good thing.

    If your complexion is feeling totally out of whack, it’s worth looking at your routine to see if it contains too many active ingredients that are potentially fighting against each other or are simply proving too potent for your complexion. Pare back on treatment serums (you really only need one in the morning and one at night, anyway) and consider dropping down your usage to two or three times a week. You never know, this could easily de-stress your skin with very little effort.

    On the flipside, ingredients to include in your routine are those crammed with calming, hydrating or soothing benefits. Aloe, vitamin E and niacinamide are three that immediately come to mind and – bonus – you’ll find all of these ingredients in our Niacinamide Facial Serum. Just saying.

    5. Optimize Bedtime

    Getting your beauty sleep is essential for the health of your skin because overnight is when it repairs and heals itself from the slings and arrows of the day. Skip too many zzzs and your skin misses out on all that vital time in which collagen production ramps up to boost regeneration and antioxidants kick in to reduce damage and revitalize your skin.

    As you know, eight hours of sleep is the recommended amount (or somewhere between seven and nine hours, according to the National Sleep Foundation) but it’s not all about quantity. In fact, the quality of your sleep is just as important.

    To totally boss your best night’s sleep, ensure you nail this checklist:

    • Go to bed at roughly the same time each night.
    • Don’t go to bed hungry, full or having just drank a ton of caffeine or alcohol.
    • Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet and at a comfortable, slightly cool temperature.
    • Avoid using your phone, laptop or tablet for at least an hour before bedtime.
    • Take a few deep breaths as soon as you get into bed to lower your heart rate and make you feel relaxed.
    • Gently cleanse, tone, treat and then moisturize your skin with Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream to give your skin the best chance to rejuvenate itself.

    Finally, remind yourself how well you’re doing at life – every single day. And when you look in the mirror, try to see the good stuff. A positive outlook on life is absolutely priceless for stress-free skin.

     

     

    Acne
    5 Awesome Ways To Give Stressed Skin A Break
    read more
  • How To Nail An Effective Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Routine
    Inflammation and facial redness? Good. Bye. 

    Whether your inflamed skin is self-inflicted (here’s looking at you, sunshine) or down to more underlying concerns such as rosacea, eczema or acne, there’s no denying the frustration of having to deal with red, angry skin. We’re talking mild annoyance at best, true discomfort at worst.

    What’s more, inflammation can occur at any time, often with zero warning. So, if you’re noticing unusual changes in your skin right now, including things like redness, itching, chapping and/or stinging, your skin is clearly crying out for help.

    Thankfully, we’ve got your back because here’s a deep dive into skin inflammation, including what to look out for, plus how to treat upset skin with some simple lifestyle choices and anti-inflammatory skincare.

    What Is Skin Inflammation?

    Inflammation (of any type) is your body’s way of reacting to some kind of unwanted disruption. It’s basically an immune response that occurs when your body is subjected to an injury, infection, allergen or existing disease or internal condition.

    When it comes to your skin, inflammation causes blood vessels beneath the surface to dilate. This allows your immune system to be able to reach, and therefore deal with, the affected area quicker and more easily. Pretty smart, granted, but not a nice experience because skin inflammation often manifests itself as some kind of rash that goes hand in hand with redness, itching, flaking or burning.

    No. Fun.

    What Causes Skin Inflammation?

    Skin inflammation comes in two guises: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the quick-fire (no pun intended) version that develops quickly and is your body’s response to a certain trigger. These triggers can be anything from overexposure to the sun to an ill-advised skincare ingredient. And good news: this kind of inflammation is usually short-term.

    Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is a more long-term kind of inflammation that builds up over time and hangs around longer than it really should. It often occurs as an autoimmune response to stress or something in your diet but can also be genetic, manifesting as chronic skin conditions like rosacea, eczema or psoriasis.

    Chronic inflammation can last months or even years, so if your skin inflammation isn’t going away, see your doctor or a dermatologist to try to get to the root of the problem. Diagnosing chronic inflammation? Priceless.

    Acute inflammation, on the other hand, typically goes away after a few days or weeks. You just need to make a few smart tweaks to your lifestyle like avoiding overexposure to the sun, sleeping well, simplifying your skincare routine and eating an antioxidant-rich diet. And it’s imperative to include some gentle, anti-inflammatory ingredients in your skincare routine.

    Let’s look at some of the best, shall we?

    6 Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients Your Skin Will Love

    1. Aloe

    Used for centuries to soothe and calm the skin, aloe is one of our all-time favorites – in fact we love it so much, we pack it into almost all of our products. The good stuff comes from its leaves, which contain a water-rich, medicinal gel that’s packed with skin-loving enzymes, minerals, amino acids, vitamins and a whole bunch of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds. Together, these are known for helping to reduce swelling, minimize itching, accelerate healing and even fight breakouts.

    Aloe also contains phytosterols – cholesterol-like molecules that reinforce the structure of cell membranes by increasing collagen and hyaluronic acid production. This strengthens the skin’s barrier function and helps reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), making it an ideal way to hydrate and moisturize your skin.

    Try: Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer

    2. Green Tea

    Not only is it great as your morning brew, but green tea (aka camellia sinensis) also makes for an awesome skincare ingredient thanks to its high concentration of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that work to protect plants from UV damage. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which make them a shoo-in when it comes to soothing and protecting your skin from unwanted redness and irritation.

    Try: Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum

    3. MSM

    Otherwise known as dimethyl sulfone or methylsulfonylmethane which, granted, are both a bit of a mouthful, MSM is a naturally-occurring sulfur compound. Sulfur is often called ‘nature’s beauty mineral’ because it’s somewhat of an overachiever when applied to your skin. How so? Well, it’s been shown to boost circulation, fight inflammation and accelerate collagen and keratin production. Its anti-inflammatory qualities, in particular, are great for reducing puffiness and swelling and it’s often used to help conditions like acne, eczema and rosacea.

    Try: Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser

    4. Niacinamide

    Here we have another fabulous anti-inflammatory vitamin (B3, to be exact). Studies show that niacinamide is super effective for treating inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and acne. It happens to be very well tolerated by most skin types and works hard to reduce redness, dryness and itching.

    Research also shows that applying topical niacinamide may help increase the production of ceramides in the top layers of your skin. What are ceramides? Well, they’re waxy lipids that are an essential part of your skin’s barrier function, holding it together to help retain moisture, reduce irritation and protect your skin from external nasties. Of course, like all good things in your skin, ceramides deplete with age, so anything you can do to improve levels is a win-win. Hello niacinamide!

    Try: Niacinamide Facial Serum

    5. Vitamin E

    Every anti-inflammatory skincare routine must contain antioxidants to help skin fight inflammation caused by free radicals. And vitamin E is up there as one of the best. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that supports cellular function and improves the health of your skin. Thanks to its awesome emollient and humectant properties, it’s also naturally moisturizing and super healing. Very important qualities in any skincare ingredient, we think you’ll agree.

    But that’s not all. Studies suggest that vitamin E helps shield your skin from UV damage. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are partly to thank for this, but experts agree that vitamin E has the innate ability to physically absorb some of the energy from UV radiation itself. This means there’s less of it available to do its dirty work on your skin. You've got to love that.

    Try: Vitamin C Facial Serum

    6. Witch Hazel

    A natural astringent, witch hazel is harvested from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant, a small tree that grows wild in Asia and the east coast of North America. Witch hazel extract is full of anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant compounds, including tannins (a type of polyphenol). It can be used topically to treat anything from hemorrhoids and dandruff to bug bites and acne. It’s also wonderfully healing and great for oily skin, as its astringent properties have been shown to reduce sebum and minimize enlarged pores.

    Try: Ocean Minerals Daily Face Super Toner

     

     

     

     

    Acne
    How To Nail An Effective Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Routine
    read more
  • The Wonders Of Tea Tree Oil For Acne-Prone Skin
    Derms swear by it and we love it. So, what’s the deal with tea tree oil, and should you be incorporating it into your acne-fighting skincare routine? Easy answer: yes.

    Breakouts are annoying beasts. Whether your chin flares up on a monthly basis (thanks, hormones) or you simply cannot control your oily T-zone (enough already, overactive sebaceous glands), zits are the worst. And even though you know pimples don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, given the choice between having acne-prone skin or not is a total no-brainer.

    One of the most frustrating parts, however, is finding topical skincare that works; something that helps reduce sebum without drying out your skin, accelerates healing and, heck, even minimizes the darn breakouts in the first place. Well, your go-tos might be salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide (BPO), but there’s actually another ingredient that’s just as effective: tea tree oil. And here’s the kicker, it’s not only as natural as they come, but it also comes with fewer side effects than BPO.

    Here's everything you need to know about tea tree oil…

    What Is Tea Tree Oil?

    Also known as melaleuca oil (who knew?), tea tree oil is an essential oil that's steam-distilled from the leaves of the tea (melaleuca alternifolia) tree. Tea trees are native to the southeast coast of Australia and their oil has been used for centuries for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only did native Aborigines apply it topically to heal the skin, but it’s said they also inhaled it to treat sore throats and coughs.

    How Does Tea Tree Oil Work?

    As an acne-fighting ingredient, tea tree oil works in two ways. Firstly, it contains awesome antimicrobial properties which help kill certain unwanted acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin. This is super important when trying to control breakouts of all types – blackheads, whiteheads, angry zits, the lot. Sound familiar? That’s because benzoyl peroxide works in a very similar way, albeit slightly quicker but often with more irritating side effects.

    Secondly, tea tree oil is anti-inflammatory, so it's a real winner for reducing facial redness and calming your skin while it simultaneously works on killing bacteria. Take that, BPO!

    An important sidenote to remember, however, is that tea tree oil should never, ever be swallowed. It can cause all manner of nasty and often serious symptoms including confusion, breathing problems and worse. Just because it’s natural and comes from a plant, this doesn’t mean it’s safe for consumption. Save it for your skin, OK?

    How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne-Prone Skin

    1. Don't Underestimate Its Strength

    The most important thing to remember is that tea tree oil is pretty darn potent. This is kinda obvious when you give it a sniff (wow!) but you can still buy it in its straight-up form, so if that's your jam, take care, dilute accordingly, and use it very sparingly.

    Always patch test your skin first because, like any active ingredient, tea tree oil can cause sensitivities, itching, swelling and other irritations. If you’re good to go after patch testing, we still recommend diluting it slightly, then using it to spot treat your pimples rather than applying it all over your skin as part of your daily routine.

    Simply dampen a Q-tip with water, then swab the inside of your oil’s lid to pick up a small amount. Dab this on clean, moisturized pimples before bed to help zap them overnight.

    2. Choose The Right Formulation

    Most topical essential oils work better (and safer) when mixed with other ingredients. Carrier oils, for example, are perfect for diluting the strength of an essential oil, allowing it to be better tolerated by the skin. However, some oils can clog your pores, so you really need to know what you’re doing.

    Not down with cocktailing your skincare ingredients? Then lower your chances of getting it wrong by sticking with a carefully curated tea tree oil product that’s a.) been specially formulated not to cause excessive dryness or irritation and b.) not packed with occlusive oils that’ll make your acne worse.

    Our Tea Tree Super Serum + contains an awesome blend of skin-friendly ingredients to help hydrate and balance your skin while allowing the tea tree oil to go about its skin-clearing business. It’s packed with aloe, hyaluronic acid and glycerin to help skin keep calm and draw in moisture, plus niacinamide to fight post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots). It also contains two other proven acne-fighting ingredients: salicylic acid and retinol to hit breakouts where they really hurt.

    Even though it’s well tolerated by the skin, you should always patch test it before use, and just two or three applications a week may be enough to yield visible results within weeks.

    3. Know Whether Tea Tree Oil Is Right For You

    When diluted with other skincare ingredients in products like serums, cleansers, toners or moisturizers, tea tree oil is pretty safe for most skin types. If you have eczema or extremely sensitive skin, this means your barrier function isn't working at its best, so you should probably give tea tree oil a wide berth, but other than that, you should be OK.

    Of course, there’s always the risk of irritation, redness, dryness and peeling for any skin type, but thankfully this is where that all-important patch test comes into its own. Not sure how to patch test your skincare? No problem, we can help with that right here.

     

     

     

    Acne
    The Wonders Of Tea Tree Oil For Acne-Prone Skin
    read more
  • How To Deal With Your Most Niggling Beauty Bugbears
    It’s time to take control of your least favorite skin concerns with these simple skincare updates.

    Let’s get one thing straight: perfect skin is the stuff of fantasies. What you see on the red carpet, for example, requires hours of preening and painting, not to mention the years’ worth of treatments and tweakments undertaken at the doctor’s office. 

    However, in-office treatments aren’t for everyone and constantly striving for perfection can be an exhausting game to play. That's why we prefer to work with what nature gave us by looking after our skin through smart skincare and lifestyle choices. Sure, these kinds of habits will never eradicate wrinkles, plump up thin lips or make sunspots miraculously disappear overnight, but taking positive action will absolutely help your skin in the long-term. At the same time, it does wonders for your mental wellbeing.

    Whatever your skin bugbear, our advice is simple. 1. Try not to sweat it too much. It’s really not the big deal you make it out to be, plus other people probably don’t even notice it. And 2. Ensure you’re choosing and applying the right skincare so as not to make matters worse. Because you know what? Great skincare and good lifestyle habits are an awesome way to prevent AND treat your concerns.

    Here’s how to tackle some of your most common skin worries…

    An Oily T-Zone

    Dealing with a greasy nose, chin and forehead is bad enough at high school, but when oily skin continues to irritate the hell out of you in your adult years? Enough already.

    First, the good news: overactive sebaceous glands mean your skin is less likely to prematurely wrinkle. So, at least there’s that. However, oily skin is still irritating, especially in the summer months when it gets doubly worse.

    What to do, then? Well, don’t think moisturizing is pointless, because if you fail to moisturize your skin after cleansing, it will just produce even more oil to counteract the dryness. Not cool. Choose light, moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and glycerin rather than heavy oil-based formulations, and invest in a cleanser that contains activated charcoal to draw out toxins and mop up excess oil. Try Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser.

    Sagging Jowls

    Aging skin isn’t solely about wrinkles. A lack of firmness (thanks to the natural loss of collagen) can be another frustrating bugbear that causes your skin to seriously slacken and head south, especially around the jaw area.

    Facial exercises are a good way to strengthen the muscles in your face and neck to help keep jowls under control. One of our favorites is called "Kiss the Ceiling". To try this one, tilt your head back, pucker up your lips and really push them forward as if you’re trying to kiss someone extremely tall. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat five times every day.

    You should also include a hardworking antioxidant serum in your daily routine to help stay on top of free radical damage – one of the biggest offenders for collagen breakdown and skin aging. Vitamin C Super Serum+ is a great choice for lax skin, as it contains MSM, retinol, botanical hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to build strength and firmness. A no-brainer, if you will.

    Stubborn Blackheads

    Blackheads strike when overactive sebaceous glands block up your pores with sebum. This sebum then combines with dead skin cells, breaks through the pore and oxidizes (turns black) as it hits the air. They most commonly strike on and around your nose but can appear anywhere, especially if you have naturally oily skin.

    Just like a shiny T-zone, blackheads are best kept in check through sebum control, so ensure you cleanse thoroughly (but gently) morning and night, and always after exercising. Never squeeze blackheads, as it can cause inflammation and/or scarring. Instead, embrace skincare that contains salicylic acid, which not only cuts through excess oil but also dissolves the bonds between dead skin cells, encouraging them to slough away more efficiently.

    Our Tea Tree Super Serum+ works as a fabulous spot treatment for stubborn blackheads. Simply apply it 2-3 times a week to targeted areas or all over.

    Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles

    The skin around your eyes is super fragile and also lacks fat and muscle support. This is why it’s often one of the first places to scream ‘aging’!

    Unfortunately, aging concerns around the eyes are often hereditary and if you have pale skin, you’re more likely to notice dark under eye circles than if you have darker skin. Sun damage is also a major player here, so always wear UV protective sunglasses when you’re outside, sleep with your head elevated to reduce water retention under the eyes and apply a daily eye treatment containing antioxidants to further fight the damaging effects of the sun.

    We love Peptide Eye Gel as it contains peptides (obvs!), plant stem cells, botanical hyaluronic acid, licorice extract and a bunch of other ingredients that have a rep for gradually improving the look of fine lines, dryness, morning puffiness and dark circles.

    Red Cheeks

    Facial redness can be caused by many things. It arises when your blood vessels become dilated, accelerating blood flow to the surface of your skin. The big question, however, is why your blood vessels dilate more than others. And the answer? Well, how long have you got? Genetics is a major factor in things like eczema, acne, rosacea and psoriasis, all of which result in facial redness. But then there are other issues like over-exfoliation, allergies, hormonal fluctuations and stress.

    The best ways to deal with facial redness is to check in with a skincare expert so you can diagnose the issue, understand what’s causing it and then treat it. Of course, a gentle skincare routine is also key to reducing redness and irritation, so go steady with potent ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid, and make sure you moisturize your skin twice daily.

    Niacinamide Facial Serum could be a good option for you because it has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. But always check with your dermatologist and do a patch test first.

    Hormonal Breakouts

    Hormonal acne, which makes you break out during your periods or menopause, affects around 25 percent of women in their forties and a whopping 50 percent of women in their twenties. That’s a lot of women having to put up with zits and pimples at a time when there’s so much else to deal with. Sigh.

    Menopausal acne is believed to arise because estrogen levels drop as your periods slow down and eventually stop. At the same time, androgen hormones like testosterone increase – cue breakouts.

    There are many options for dealing with hormonal acne, including prescription meds, but retinol is a great shout if you’re looking for an effective way to up your skincare game. Retinol activates certain genes underneath the surface of your skin to boost cellular turnover and stop dead skin cells from lurking around way past their sell-by-date. The result? Clearer pores and fewer breakouts. It’s a very powerful ingredient, however, so slowly introduce Retinol Facial Serum into your routine after patch testing first.
     
     
     
     

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  • The Rights & Wrongs Of Retinol
    Retinol can make or break your skincare game. Which is why you need to seriously know your way around this active and very potent ingredient. BTW, we’re here to help with that…

    Love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that when it comes to kicking serious ass in the battle against skin aging, retinol is everything. OK, OK, we hear you, vitamin C, glycolic acid and friends, it’s not everything, but it’s definitely one of the most talked-about and recommended of all anti-aging ingredients. No question.

    Here’s the thing. Retinoids (the group of topical vitamin A ingredients in which retinol, along with its prescription-only cousin, tretinoin, belongs) have been studied for decades. And the results are always the same: they work. By communicating with your skin at a cellular level, retinoids have been proven to boost healing and rev up the production of collagen and elastin, which in turn accelerates cell turnover and helps strengthen your skin, increase elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pimples and dark spots.

    If this all sounds too good to be true, you're right, it’s not all moonlight and roses. While retinoids are awesome, they require thought, patience and careful planning to make them work for your routine. And you know what? Sometimes they might not work out at all if your skin's super sensitive to such active ingredients. And that’s OK — skincare's got something for everyone.

    However, we like to believe there’s a retinoid out there for almost anyone. For starters, retinol and its derivatives are way kinder to your skin than full-throttle tretinoin, so it's a good place to begin if you err on the side of sensitive skin. And second, if you’re clued-up on how and when to use a retinol serum or cream, you’re already halfway there.

    Not feeling particularly clued-up just yet? Then give us five minutes to change that with our list of useful dos and don'ts...

    DO Patch Test Your Retinol Treatment

    Patch testing skincare is super important, especially when it comes to potent ingredients like retinol. Why? Because there’s always the possibility that your skin might react negatively, causing irritation, stinging or itching.

    Skin can take up to 48 hours to react to something it doesn’t like, so apply a small amount of retinol to a discreet patch of skin (such as behind your ears or on the side of your neck), then monitor it for a couple of days before incorporating it into your routine. Mild reactions like slight redness or tingling are OK, but anything that feels super uncomfortable, burning or painful is a definite red flag and means you should not continue use. And if the feeling gets worse? Seek advice from a board-certified skincare expert, pronto.

    DON’T Overdo It

    One of the biggest mistakes people make when using a retinol serum or moisturizer for the first time is to apply it every day – or worse yet, twice a day. Bombarding your skin with such a powerful ingredient on the reg is simply asking for trouble (aka irritation).

    Instead, take it steady. When you first start to use retinol, apply your treatment to clean, dry skin just once or twice a week so your skin has time to acclimate. Then, after a few weeks, you can – and should – slowly increase to daily use, as long as your skin can tolerate it, of course. This may take up to two or three months, but going slow will totally be worth it for the state of your skin and your sanity.

    Also, with most retinol treatments, the smallest amount will go a long way, so always read and follow the instructions before use. They’ve been included for a reason.

    DON’T Be Put Off By Mild Side Effects

    Despite patch testing (nice job!) and introducing retinol slowly into your regimen, you could still experience some short-term side effects like mild redness, dryness and peeling. Sure, we know this is a real Debbie Downer, but don’t be put off, because slight irritation (with an emphasis on the word 'slight') is actually a good thing – so much so that the whole process has been given a name. Hear us out for a minute...

    When you start using retinol, your skin goes through a kind of ‘learning’ period in which the cells adjust to turning over at a much more efficient rate. Retinization is its name and skin purging is its game. During this time, your skin may look and feel worse than it did pre-retinol. Think zits, patches of red skin and dry areas. Don’t worry, though, all this should get better in a few weeks. The rule here is not to give up too soon.

    DO Regularly Moisturize

    Due to the drying effects of some retinol treatments, it’s super important to keep your skin thoroughly moisturized, day and night. If you’re using a retinol serum, allow it to settle for a minute, then apply moisturizer over the top – just make sure it’s not packed with loads of other active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid as this could cause major upset to your skin’s barrier function. Keep it simple, OK?

    You could also incorporate a retinol moisturizer into your routine instead of the obvious retinol serum. Due to their larger molecular structure, moisturizers don’t penetrate the skin quite as much as serums, which means a retinol-based moisturizer will be much gentler on your skin in both the short and long-term.

    Our Retinol Moisturizer is perfect here and contains aloe, glycerin and botanical hyaluronic acid to hydrate, as well as shea butter and jojoba oil to seal in moisture. Did you catch that, sensitive skin types?

    DO Be Patient

    For the best results, retinol requires consistency and dedication. This means that whatever your frequency jam is, stick with it until your skin allows you to increase usage. Stop using it and you’ll sacrifice all the time and benefits you previously put in. 

    Another thing: you probably won’t see visible improvements in the texture and tone of your skin for, gulp, a good three months of continued use. Sure, your pores may start to look a little more refined before that and breakouts might improve a tad, but an overnight miracle-worker, retinol is not. Time and patience are key.

    DON’T Stop At Your Face

    A retinol cream will reap just as awesome rewards for your neck and décolletage as it will for your face, so when you apply your treatment, don’t finish at your jawline. Smooth it down your neck and over your chest area – always applying it to clean, dry skin, of course.

    And if you find your décolletage is a little too sensitive for your regular retinol cream? Reduce your frequency or try applying some basic moisturizer first. Yes, you read that correctly, by applying moisturizer before a retinol treatment, you help reduce its potency and therefore minimize irritation.

    DO Apply Sunscreen Every Morning

    Finally, one of the most important rules with retinol: ALWAYS apply sunscreen as the final step in your morning routine.

    Skin often becomes more sun sensitive as it adapts to retinol and the surface layer of dead cells becomes thinner. But here’s the kicker, contrary to popular belief, retinol does NOT increase sun damage. It can also absolutely be applied in the morning. The reason retinol is typically used as an overnight treatment isn't because it makes skin more sensitive to UV destruction, but because sunlight deactivates retinol and makes it less effective. So now you know.

    Having said that, you must apply a high factor, broad spectrum sunscreen containing FDA-approved sun protective ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide every morning. Even if you only apply retinol before bed, you have to protect your skin each day from the damaging effects of the sun. No arguments.

     

     

     

     

     

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