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True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • 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.




    The Wonders Of Tea Tree Oil For Acne-Prone Skin
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  • 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.

    How To Deal With Your Most Niggling Beauty Bugbears
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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.






    The Rights & Wrongs Of Retinol
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  • How To Nourish Your Skin From The Inside Out
    Can you really eat your way to healthier, glowy skin? We truly believe that if you combine a great diet with spot-on skincare, then yes, you totally can.

    As a skincare company, awesome products that deliver quality, value and results are everything. But we also know that a great complexion doesn’t solely come from a fabulous skincare routine. Yes, gentle cleansing is vital. And of course, daily moisturizing and protecting your skin from that great big ball of fire in the sky are just as important. Duh! However, to truly max out your complexion and make sure you enjoy your best skin 24/7, you must also think about the food that goes into your body.

    Now we would never (not even for one minute) suggest you cut out all the fun things from your diet – just try to take away our cupcakes and pinot, we dare you! – but moderation is key. And as long as you balance the slightly less nutritious stuff with plenty of skin-loving food and drink, your skin won't punish you for treating yourself every now and again.

    Read on for ten essential nutrients to help your skin get its glow on…

    1. Beta Carotene

    Beta-carotene belongs to the carotenoid family and once ingested, gets converted by your body into vitamin A. So why's this good for your skin? Well, vitamin A is a fabulous antioxidant that protects your skin from environmental damage, thus helping push back the signs of premature aging for as long as possible. It also accelerates cellular turnover, boosts your skin’s natural protection from UV damage and helps give you a gorgeous glow.

    Find It In: Any yellow-orange fruits and veggies, plus leafy greens.

    Skincare Partner: Retinol Serum. Because retinol is the topical form of vitamin A, after all.

    2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Unlike saturated and trans fats, omega-3s are the good guys because they help regulate sebum production, improve the fatty acid composition in your skin and strengthen your barrier function to reduce irritation, dryness and dehydration. Omega-3s have also been shown to help reduce breakouts and soothe skin concerns like eczema and psoriasis. It’s a must for your daily diet, no matter your skin type.

    Find Them In: Fish oils, oily fish such as wild salmon and mackerel, flax seeds and chia.

    Skincare Partner: Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream, our richest moisturizer and the perfect way to relieve dryness and dehydration.

    3. Flavonoids

    Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Just like carotenoids, flavonoids are responsible for their bright color – but they’re so much more than a pretty face. With powerful antioxidant properties, flavonoids are a great way to help protect your skin from oxidative stress and improve its strength and suppleness by reducing DNA and collagen destruction.

    Find Them In: Green tea, red wine (hallelujah!), kale, strawberries and citrus fruits.

    Skincare Partner: Retinol Moisturizer, which contains organic green tea.

    4. Vitamin C

    This antioxidant essential not only deals with the pesky free radicals that form in your skin after exposure to things like UV radiation and pollution, but vitamin C also encourages collagen and elastin production for stronger, younger-looking skin. Furthermore, studies show that vitamin C boosts the efficacy of your sunscreen AND balances melanin production for a brighter, healthier glow. Everything but the kitchen sink springs to mind, right?

    Find It In: Kiwis, berries, citrus fruits, broccoli and red peppers.

    Skincare Partner: Vitamin C Serum – our award-winning bestseller that's packed with vitamin C. Enough said.

    5. Vitamin E

    Often known as the moisturizing, healing vitamin in the world of skincare, vitamin E is equally as important in your diet as it is in your face cream. Just like our friend vitamin C, vitamin E comes packed with antioxidants to boost your immune system, fight inflammation and reduce collagen damage caused by environmental pollution and UV radiation.

    Find It In: Avocados, spinach, seafood, almonds, seeds, wheat germ and sunflower oil.

    Skincare Partner: Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream. Because looking after the skin around your eyes with HA plus vitamins C and E is a shoo-in.

    6. Selenium

    Selenium is an essential mineral that protects your cell membranes and maintains the firmness of your skin by safeguarding it from free radical damage. When paired with vitamin E, selenium has also been shown to reduce inflammation, curb acne breakouts and help your skin heal quicker and better. *Immediately adds to Instacart

    Find It In: Brazil nuts, poultry, seafood and lentils.

    Skincare Partner: Tea Tree Super Serum+. It's packed with antioxidants and brimming with clarifying goodies like salicylic acid and tea tree essential oil to unclog pores and reduce breakouts.

    7. Lutein

    Lutein is well-known for the vital role it plays in keeping your eyes healthy. But it also looks after your skin by providing protection from high-energy sources like the sun and your various digital devices. Improving elasticity and skin tone are an added string to its bow. Oh, and one other thing, lutein cannot be produced by your body so you have to get your fix from your diet.

    Find It In: Spinach, kale, bell peppers, parsley, corn and egg yolk.

    Skincare Partner: Vitamin C Super Serum+ which is chock-full of skin-protecting antioxidants to protect your skin from HEV (blue) light.

    8. Zinc

    Did you know your skin holds about 20 percent of your body’s entire supply of zinc? This makes it one of the most important trace minerals when it comes to the health of your skin. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and oil-regulating, zinc plays a critical role for oily skin types and for those who suffer from clogged pores and pesky breakouts. It also aids healing, boosts collagen synthesis and helps build protein in the skin to keep it younger-looking longer.

    Find It In: Breakfast cereals, red meat, poultry, legumes, asparagus and milk.

    Skincare Partner: Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser, a go-to for clarifying, regulating sebum and detoxifying acne-prone skin.

    9. Probiotics

    Probiotics help promote good bacteria in your gut, which is thought to be directly related to your skin and its delicate microbiome. The skin’s microbiome is an intricate system of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi which live within the various layers of your skin. Yes, that sounds kinda icky, but these microorganisms work hard to keep bad bacteria at bay, so they’re super important. What's equally important is supporting this microbiome with dietary probiotics. Why? Because things like eczema and inflammation, plus hot showers and chemical-laden skincare, can throw your microbiome totally out of whack.

    Find Them In: Yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut and sourdough bread.

    Skincare Partner: Rose Water Facial Toner. This is our kindest, purest formulation and packed with healing benefits highly unlikely to upset your skin’s delicate microbiome.

    10. Water

    Staying hydrated is so, so important for your overall health. And while water is yet to be proven to directly hydrate your skin (because your other vital organs need it way more), you’ve all seen what your skin looks like when it’s dehydrated, right? We're talking dull, dull and a little bit duller.

    No matter what your thoughts are on the skin benefits of chugging three liters of water a day, maintaining a proper level of hydration is vital for skin health. It won't transform your skin overnight, but it will help increase circulation and flush out toxins to minimize puffiness and enhance your glow.

    Find It In: Other than the obvious? Watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, apples and celery.

    Skincare Partner: Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which combines the hydrating powers of botanical hyaluronic acid with vitamins C and E.






    How To Nourish Your Skin From The Inside Out
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  • 5 Of The Most Skin-Friendly Food Swaps
    Little known fact: what you eat can seriously impact your skin.

    There will always be a place for chocolate lava cake and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in our lives, but if you’re worried that your sweet tooth/savory snack addiction is ruining your skin, it might be time to make some changes to your diet. And the best way to get the job done without feeling like you’re completely torturing your tastebuds? Simply employ a few smart food swaps. And luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work right here…

    Smart Swap #1: Sugar For Agave

    As a nation, we consume about 17 teaspoons of sugar every day which is about five more than the maximum recommended amount. And sugar doesn’t just pile on the pounds. Studies show that a sugar-heavy diet produces what are known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the skin. This happens through a process called glycation, which occurs when excessive amounts of sugar become too much for your natural insulin levels to handle. These sugars then end up attacking your vulnerable skin cells, latching onto collagen and elastin and causing them to become stiff and weak. The result? Harmful compounds called AGEs that cause dryness, exacerbate fine lines, deepen wrinkles and age you up lightning fast – as the name suggests!

    Instead of using sugar to sweeten your food and drinks, try agave or monk fruit sweetener which both have lower glycemic index values, so they get absorbed more slowly into your bloodstream, causing less damage as they go. And don’t forget those devilish sodas, also. Soda is packed with sugar, often more than the entire daily recommendation, so switch them out for water wherever possible.

    Smart Swap #2: Red Meat For Fish

    Most red meats are high in saturated fats and cholesterol which can lead to inflammation in your body. And you all know what inflammation does to your skin. Cue irritation, redness, acne flare-ups and damage to your valuable collagen levels which can lead to premature aging in the form of lines, wrinkles, dark spots and dull skin.

    Rather than pack your diet with red meat, choose wild fish like salmon which is low in cholesterol but high in good fats – namely omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are great for the complexion as they help regulate sebum production, soothe irritation, improve healing and increase hydration. A major plus for your skin.

    Smart Swap #3: Chips For Nuts

    Anything fried is bad for your skin, and there’s a very simple reason for that. Just like sugar, fried food increases free radicals and AGEs in your skin. Fried potato chips, for example contain almost 900 AGEs per serving compared to baked chips which only contain around 150. Now, correct us if we’re wrong, but that feels like a pretty major difference to us. Frying foods also kills essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients which your skin need to remain healthy, glowing and youthful-looking.

    Regular, store-bought chips are not only fried, but they’re covered in salt which is vital for your health, but when consumed in large amounts, is a devil on your skin’s barrier function, sucking all the moisture out of it and making your skin feel dry, dehydrated and sensitized. Salt also causes inflammation, weakens your collagen and exacerbates conditions like eczema and acne.

    Word to the wise? Ditch the bumper bags of Kettle Chips and Nacho Cheese Doritos in favor of unsalted nuts like walnuts, almonds and cashews. These are not only salt-free but packed with antioxidants. Win-win.

    Smart Swap #4: Refined Carbs For Low GI Carbs

    Thought you were done with AGEs? Think again. Refined carbs like white bread, pasta and rice are high-glycemic foods which means that, just like sugar, they get turned into glucose by your body, causing a spike in your blood sugar levels and a serious amount of skin-wrecking AGEs. Dang.

    Breads and grains are also high in gluten which can aggravate your skin and cause inflammation and breakouts if you have a gluten intolerance. So, there’s that.

    Ditching bread and pizzas may sound like absolute hell but try to at least cut down on the white ones if you can bear it. Friendlier alternatives are wholemeal breads, brown rice and when it comes to pasta, try zoodles (zucchini noodles), spiralized carrots or eggplant lasagne. Delicious and way better for your skin.

    Smart Swap #5: Cow’s Milk for Nut Milks

    Dairy products are essential for the health of your entire body, but for lactose intolerant people, it can wreak skin havoc. When your body can’t digest a certain food group, you see, it starts to ferment and breed bacteria – terrible for your gut, just as bad for your skin. Dairy cows are also frequently treated with hormones which can throw yours off balance and trigger acne breakouts.

    If you’re lactose intolerant and are having trouble with dairy, replace cow’s milk with organic milks made from nuts or seeds such as coconut, flaxseed, hazelnut or cashew.



    5 Of The Most Skin-Friendly Food Swaps
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  • Our Best Advice For Dealing With Acne Scars
    Getting to grips with acne scars is not as hard as you think. You just need to know where to turn.

    Whether you have scars from teenage acne or are worried your adult acne could be causing your skin long-term harm, here’s everything you need to know in order to stay ahead of the acne scarring game.

    Firstly, what causes acne scars? Well, they’re the result of inflammation in the skin due to pimples and blemishes. Breakouts occur when a build-up of excess oils, dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria clogs up your pores making them swell and cause damage to the follicles, tissues and skin around them. When pimples heal, your skin goes into serious repair mode, producing collagen in various quantities in an attempt to get it structurally, functionally and aesthetically back to ‘normal’. Sadly, this doesn’t always work out as well as you’d like and often your skin produces either too much or too little collagen, resulting in bumpy or pitted skin – otherwise known as acne scars.

    It’s important, however, to know that not all acne scars are created equal…

    What Are The Different Types Of Acne Scars?

    Many pimples come and go without leaving you scars to prove they’ve ever been there. But this is not always the case. Even if you’ve left well alone and not so much as touched a pimple, let alone squeezed, picked or prodded it, it can still cause long-term scarring. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) whether or not your acne leaves a scar is down to a number of things. Inflammatory acne, for example, which is deep, red and painful is way more likely to scar than a less serious-looking pimple – especially if left untreated. And then there are your genes. Say no more…

    Acne scars also come in two different guises.

    1. Atrophic Acne Scars

    Atrophic scars include any kind of acne scar that’s depressed below the surface of your skin. They occur when the healing process produces too little collagen, causing a pit, dent or ‘hole’ in your skin. Atrophic scars come in all different shapes in sizes but usually fall into one of three categories: ice pick scars (narrow, almost pin-like looking scars); boxcar scars (slightly wider and rounded); or rolling scars (which create wave-like depressions across the surface of your skin).

    2. Hypertrophic Acne Scars

    While less common than atropic acne scars, hypertrophic acne scars are thickened areas of skin that are raised and often itchy. They occur when too much collagen is produced during the healing process and scar tissue consequently builds up above the surface. This type of acne scar is more likely to appear on your chest, back or shoulders than on your face. Which is something, at least.

    Then there’s post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) which isn’t actually scarring at all, but a whole other business. PIH is a type of discoloration that appears when some kind of trauma – in this case, acne – causes your skin to overproduce melanin and leaves you with a dark or uneven patch of skin. Unlike acne scars, PIH isn’t pitted or raised and often heals with good sun protection and the use of topical antioxidant treatments like Vitamin C Facial Serum. Let’s put a pin in PIH for now…

    Why Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure

    The sad news is that acne scars are notoriously hard to get rid of. Which is why avoiding acne in the first place with a gentle cleansing, balancing and moisturizing routine is super important. Our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser is a great choice for keeping your skin clean and clear of pore-clogging debris, and try Retinol Moisturizer to improve cell turnover and keep your skin healthy and moisturized.

    Of course, you can never tell if a pimple will scar or not, but if you do get one, avoid picking at it because this really won’t help. Instead, stop it from getting worse by spot treating with Tea Tree Super Serum+. This smart treatment contains salicylic acid and tea tree oil to keep your pores clean, plus healing aloe and hydrating hyaluronic acid to stop your skin from drying out. Also, look out for anti-inflammatory ingredients across your whole regime – think ceramides, green tea, chamomile and niacinamide (oh, hi there Niacinamide Serum).

    How To Help Treat Acne Scars

    Too late to employ the ‘prevention is better than cure’ rule? Don’t sweat it, there are still plenty of options for helping to treat, fade or smooth out existing acne scars.

    At Home

    Unfortunately, skincare alone can’t totally heal acne scars. However, some things will certainly help fade discoloration and give your skin a smoother appearance. Gentle exfoliation, for one, is a great way to improve your skin’s texture by sloughing away dead skin cells and improving cellular turnover. Facial scrubs are the obvious choice, but chemical exfoliation is also very effective. Again, our salicylic acid-enriched Tea Tree Super Serum+ is a great shout, but if you’re applying it all over, use it just two or three times a week – it’s potent stuff.

    Make sure your routine also contains retinol in some form. As well as helping to speed up collagen production and cell regeneration for healthier, smoother skin, retinol is fabulous for fading uneven skin tone. Try our Retinol Facial Serum in the evenings when you’re not using your tea tree serum.

    At The Derm’s Office

    Serious acne scars are going to need more than great skincare, so if yours are getting you down and won’t go away, pay a visit to your dermatologist for advice on how best to treat your particular concerns. Dermabrasion, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are awesome for resurfacing your skin and encouraging fresh, new skin cells to grow, whereas dermal fillers can significantly help reduce the appearance of pitted, atrophic scars. You could also try laser resurfacing, microneedling or even surgery.

    The options as they say, are endless.





    Our Best Advice For Dealing With Acne Scars
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