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True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • 5 Centuries-Old Skincare Tricks That Are Just As Good Today
    We love skincare technology and exciting new ingredients but sometimes, even we have to admit, the old beauty tricks are the best.

    As you get older you soon realize that mom/grandma/your Auntie May was right about a lot of things. Their stingy toilet paper rationing might have been questionable (what was that all all about?) and their ‘fun meter’ was often way out of whack (according to you, of course!), but when it came to looking after their skin, they may have been on to something.

    Back in the day, skincare was much more straightforward. There were no Botox or laser facials to be had and the closest they got to a treatment serum was some kind of cooking oil found in their kitchen cupboards. However, there’s a lot to be said for the simpler things in life. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about innovative ingredients and ground breaking skincare technology, but certain, old-school skincare tricks have been passed down through generations for a reason. They work.

    Read on for five of our favorite vintage beauty hacks you’d be wise to add to your skincare routine.

    1. Sleeping On Silk

    Ten years ago we bet you didn’t give a damn what kind of pillowcase you slept on. Surely it made zero difference to your skin, right? Well, actually, it kinda does. And if the onslaught of satin and silk pillowcases currently available are anything to go by, (not to mention the number of TikTok videos there are about them) it seems this trusted beauty trick has made a welcome return.

    So what’s the deal here? Well, according to The Sleep Foundation regular cotton, linen or flannel pillowcases have a slightly rough surface which causes friction against your skin. This means that if you tend to toss and turn throughout the night you’re likely to crush and fold your skin into your pillowcase, causing creases which could eventually become permanently etched in. Go for a silk pillowcase, however, and the smooth, slippery surface allows your skin to glide over it with much less friction and, fingers crossed, fewer lines and wrinkles as a result. Silk is also believed to absorb less moisture from your skin than cotton which helps to keep your skin and hair better hydrated while you sleep. So there's that.

    A few problems, however: silk pillowcases a) are pricey, b) often require hand-washing (yawn!) and c) are not vegan-friendly since silk comes from silkworm cocoons. The good news is that satin pillowcases can offer just-as-good benefits for your skin (and hair) and are budget-, vegan- and washing machine-friendly.

    2. The Magic Of Olive Oil

    Olive oil has long been used to benefit the skin and hair thanks to its high antioxidant and fatty acid content. As you know, antioxidants are super important for neutralizing the collagen-crushing effects of environmental aggressors like the sun and pollution. And fatty acids? Well, they’re excellent for fortifying your skin’s barrier function and helping to moisturize at a surface level. So put them together in one kitchen cupboard ingredient and it’s no wonder your mother couldn’t get enough of this stuff, often slapping it on before bed to reduce dryness and ‘feed’ the skin through the night.

    Olive oil isn’t for everyone, however. Because it sits on top of your skin it can be fabulous for dealing with dryness and dehydration. It’s also great for removing makeup and can be an incredible treatment for people with eczema. But if you have oily or acne-prone skin this layer of oil can clog your pores and exacerbate breakouts.

    If you sit in the latter camp and don’t fancy slapping pure olive oil all over your face, we get that. And boy do we have the ideal solution. Say hello to Vitamin C Super Serum+ which contains olive oil squalane. Nice.

    3. Witch Hazel To Tone

    Ask any older relative who’s been consistently into looking after their skin and most will tell you that, in days gone by, they’d often reach for witch hazel as a post-cleansing toning treatment.

    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. It’s a natural astringent and full of anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant compounds which is why many households ensure they always have a bottle at hand to topically treat a variety of ailments from hemorrhoids and dandruff to bug bites and acne. As a sidenote, it also makes for a pretty effective house cleaner! But we digress…

    Although it’s wonderfully healing and great for balancing oily skin, witch hazel can be pretty potent in its purest form. Instead, enjoy its benefits while taking care of your complexion with our Ocean Minerals Daily Face Super Toner which combines this awesome tonic with other powerhouses like vitamin C and glycolic acid.

    4. Nice, Ice Baby

    We hate to break it to all you Tiktokers out there, but skin icing is not new! Hollywood makeup artists have long raved about the benefits of running ice cubes over the face to reduce puffiness and get skin glowing. It’s a trick that’s been passed down for decades.

    When you think about it, the concept of applying cold water or ice to brighten, tone, smooth and depuff your complexion makes sense. After all, cold temperatures constrict your capillaries which stimulates blood circulation, encouraging oxygen and nutrients to flood to the surface. However, you need to know how to do this properly because freezing cold temperatures can also cause redness, irritation and dehydration if not dealt with carefully.

    For starters, you should never apply actual ice cubes straight to your skin because they can strip the skin of natural oils, killing your skin’s barrier function and even causing ices burns which is no fun. Instead, wrap ice cubes in a soft handkerchief or cloth and gently work them in circular motions over your skin for five minutes max. Oh, and always work on clean skin – we love to cleanse first with our Soothing Cleansing Milk.

    Even better? Invest in some ice globes which are glass or metal wands with balls on the ends that are kept in the fridge or freezer and awesome for massaging the skin. These give you all the benefits of the frigid temps, without all that melty mess.

    5. The Classic Eye Depuffer

    While we’re on the subject of cold things, hands up if you remember your mom or older sister lying on their bed with either cold teabags, potatoes or slices of cucumbers on their eyes? Classic. But this age-old beauty tricks is not to be knocked.

    The concept of popping a couple of cold things over your eyes for 10 minutes is similar to placing ice cubes on your skin – cold temperatures make your blood vessels contract which reduces puffiness, tiredness and dark circles. The light pressure also helps drain excess fluid. Plus who can knock the stress-relieving benefits of lying down and enjoying a bit of me-time once in a while?

    What you use is totally up to you but slices of cucumber are great because they have a high water content which helps to boosts moisture under the eyes. Potatoes, on the other hand contain skin-brightening enzymes. And cold tea bags? Well, depending on the type of tea used, you can help tackle all manner of eye issues. Chamomile is soothing and great for calming redness while lavender tea may help relieve dryness. Green and black teas contain caffeine so they should be your go-tos for tightening the skin and reducing under eye bags.

    We also like to finish this kind of treatment with a little eye cream just to really drive the eye-loving point home! Try Peptide Eye Gel if you’re looking for a good all-rounder.

    Anti-Aging
    5 Centuries-Old Skincare Tricks That Are Just As Good Today
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  • Weird Things That Can (Surprisingly!) Give You Wrinkles
    Fine lines and wrinkles are totally natural, but if you want to lessen their impact, you might want to take a look at some of these seemingly innocent lifestyle habits.

    We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve warned you about the perils of the sun and its effect on the number and intensity of your wrinkles. Ditto for stress, smoking and a lack of sleep. But while these things are up there as the most common culprits of aging skin – the sun being the number one offender, of course – there are plenty of other everyday lifestyle habits you probably didn’t realize were affecting the rate at which your skin aged.

    Obsessed with your Stanley water bottle right now? Well, for one thing, who isn’t? But for another, you might want to rethink that whole drinking-from-a-straw situation once you’ve read the rest of this article. You have been warned…

    Drinking From A Straw

    One of the main reasons smoking is so bad for your skin (toxic chemicals aside) is the repetitive motion of puckering up your lips. How so? Well, this repeated action contracts a ring of muscle around the mouth area called the orbicularis oris muscle. Over time, this causes your skin to lose elasticity. And you know those lines you see when you purse your lips? Instead of going away after you relax your mouth, they start to become permanently etched in.

    Same thing happens if you drink through a straw all day long.

    What To Do: As much as we know you love your Stanley Quencher try not to drink out of it 24/7. At home, switch it out for a regular glass and when you’re out and about go for a water bottle that doesn’t have a straw. Oh, and if you get offered a straw when you next order a gin and tonic in a bar, say no. Those fine lines around your lips – as well as the environment – will be forever grateful.

    Your Smartphone

    What would we do without our digital devices? They are pretty much everything in today’s modern world. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. However, your smartphone, in particular, plays a huge part in the health of your skin. For one thing, constantly looking down while texting, gaming, emailing and browsing can accelerate the formation of creases or bands around the circumference of your neck, aka ‘tech neck.’ Similarly, squinting and frowning at your phone can add even more lines and wrinkles both on your forehead and around your eyes.

    Your digital devices also emit something called high-energy visible (HEV) or blue light which studies suggest are just as damaging to your skin as UV light. Blue light not only has the potential to disrupt your skin’s natural barrier function but it can promote inflammation, encourage discoloration and accelerate collagen damage which is a one-way ticket to fine lines and wrinkles.

    What To Do: Use your phone less (ha, if only it were that easy!) and always hold it upright so your head isn’t looking down all the time.

    You must also try our awesome Longevity skincare range. This collection of three healthy aging products contains lingonberry stems cells which have been shown to help protect your skin from blue light damage.

    The Way You Sleep

    Getting lots of quality sleep is majorly important for the state of your skin, but skincare experts also agree that the way in which you sleep carries just as much weight on your skin’s aging process. Sleeping on one side, for example, causes creasing on that same side of your face which can increase your chances of developing fine lines on one side more than the other. Similarly, sleeping on your front and smushing your face into your pillow every night creates repeated pressure on your entire face – a sure-fire way to invite fine lines and wrinkles to do their worst.

    What To Do: A silk pillowcase can help reduce friction, but your best bet is to change your sleep position so you sleep on your back with your head slightly raised. This avoids repetitive face-to-pillow contact and stops excess fluids from pooling under your eyes which helps stop dark circles and puffiness. Extra bonus right there.

    Forgetting To Wear Sunglasses

    Squinting is another one-way ticket to fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes as it causes your periocular muscles to repeatedly contract. And if you continue to do this day after day you will soon see exactly what we mean when those cute lines around your eyes turn into deep crevices that just won’t go away. Squinting also contributes to those annoying vertical lines between your eyebrows – glabellar lines or 11s – making it a real no-no if you care about aging skin.  

    What To Do: Wear shades whenever you go outside – even if it’s bright but not particularly sunny. This’ll immediately stop you squinting and will also protect the skin around your eyes from those damaging UV rays. And if you find yourself squinting at your computer or the TV? Well, it might be time for an eye test. Just saying.

    Finally, to help keep the skin around your eyes moisturized and youthful-looking, apply an eye cream morning and night. Try our Peptide Eye Gel which helps support collagen production to minimize premature aging.

    Allergies

    Do you find yourself continually rubbing the skin around your eyes during the allergy season? This happens when your body’s defense system reacts to an allergen it feels threatened by. Mast cells in your eyes then release chemicals like histamine to try and get rid of these allergens which causes your eyes to become red, watery and itchy.

    Allergy triggers can come from many things, including airborne pollen and pet hair, but the worst thing you can do for your skin is to vigorously scrub away at your eyes. This seriously upsets your collagen supplies, thinning your skin, wearing it down and inviting lines around your eyes to do their worst.

    What To Do: If your eyes are constantly itching, the most important plan of action is to find out why, so talk to your doctor if symptoms persist. In the meantime, try eye drops and if you can't help but rub your eyes, reduce damage by using just the pads of your ring fingers rather than your whole hand. This will help reduce pressure and friction.

    Swimming

    We hate to knock any form of exercise but swimming in chlorinated water can be pretty harsh on your skin (and your hair for that matter!). Chlorine is great for sanitizing water and eliminating any contaminants that may otherwise cause infection and illness. But it’s not ideal for your delicate skin. In fact it’s a natural irritant that strips natural oils and moisture from your skin’s protective barrier. This is OK in small doses but if you swim every day and don’t protect your skin, this can potentially cause dryness and dehydration. And two things wrinkles love in order to thrive are dryness and dehydration.

    What To Do: A pre-swim shower is a great way to reduce chlorine damage because if your skin is already wet, it will absorb less chlorinated water. Smart huh? Of course, you should also shower immediately after swimming and moisturize all over to replace lost sebum and hydration.

    When it comes to your face, apply Vitamin C Facial Serum to fully cleansed skin after swimming. Vitamin C helps neutralize the damaging effects of chlorine. Follow with moisturizer and you should be good.

    3 Of Our Favorite Wrinkle-Busting Skincare Products

    Because a little help goes a very long way...

    1. Collagen Boosting Skin Supplement

    Want to keep your skin looking its best for as long as possible? Then you simply have to look after your collagen. And what better way than with this daily supplement that’s literally brimming with clinically-proven, collagen-promoting ingredients like vitamin C, acai and biotin.

    2. SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C

    Did we mention that the sun is the biggest culprit when it comes to premature skin aging? We did? Yeah, well, we will continue to do so. We will also continue to laud the benefits of daily, broad-spectrum sunscreen for warding off the sun’s damaging UV rays. And this is an absolute must. No arguments.

    3. Retinol Facial Serum

    One of the most effective anti-aging ingredients in skincare, retinol helps stimulate cell turnover and up your skin’s content of quality collagen. This awesome facial serum also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid (take that wrinkles) and vitamin E (same). We love that for you.

    Anti-Aging
    Weird Things That Can (Surprisingly!) Give You Wrinkles
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  • Does Your Skin Type Determine How You Age?
    Does dry skin age differently to oily skin? Actually, it kinda does. Read on for everything we know about how your skin type affects the aging process.

    Aging skin is something that affects us all. Yes, you can care, nurture, protect and nourish your skin like your life depended on it, and this will most certainly slow down the visible signs of aging. But you can’t stop aging from happening to some degree. Because that’s life.

    The reason aging is inevitable? Time, for one thing. But, there are many other factors that affect the speed at which your skin matures. Firstly, there are the external factors. These are the ones you can control and include everything from your levels of stress, your skincare routine and how much sleep you get, through to your diet and of course how prudent you are at shielding your skin from the damaging rays from the sun. (As a sidenote, the sun is the single biggest external cause of skin aging  – * immediately reaches for SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C.)

    Then, on top of all these external factors, there’s all the genetic stuff going on in your body; your internal clock that you can’t change. Your genetic makeup is what determines your skin type and, with a little help (or, more to the point, hindrance) from external factors, it also controls how much collagen and elastin you produce… as well as how quickly this process slacks off as you age.

    The point is that both external AND internal factors are the combined force which determines how you age. And, while there are a gazillion ways to improve the rate of your external skin aging (more on that later), it's the internal factors that determine you skin type. And this can also have a major effect on how your skin matures.

    Firstly, What’s Your Skin Type?

    While there are many skin concerns like dehydration, acne, sensitivities and aging, there are only really four main skin types. And these are dry, oily, normal and combination. If you’re not entirely sure what yours is, here’s a quick trick to help you find out.

    First, cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser like Soothing Cleansing Milk then pat it dry and leave it for anything up to an hour – with no moisturizer, no serum, nothing. After this time stand in front of a well-lit mirror and examine your face while touching it with clean hands. How does it feel and what does it look like? If it feels tight and itchy and looks dull and maybe even a little flaky, it’s dry. If it looks super shiny and feels greasy to the touch, it’s oily. If it’s a bit of both it’s combination, and if it looks totally a-okay then you’re one of the very lucky few with normal skin.

    OK, So How Does Your Skin Type Affect Aging?

    The first thing to know is that sebum isn’t directly related to wrinkles. Yeah, we know, and we’re sorry, but just because you have oily skin that produces more sebum than your dry skin friends, you’re not going to get fewer wrinkles as a result. You may have been told otherwise when you were suffering with excess oil and breakouts as a hormonal teenager, but it’s simply not true. Wrinkles are caused by a loss of strength and stability in your skin when collagen and elastin production slow down. Not by a lack of sebum.

    However, there is some good news if you’re of the oily persuasion because sebum contains skin-loving components like squalene and fatty molecules which help lock in hydration to keep your skin more moisturized and better protected from the outside world (check!). Oily skin is also inherently thicker and more plump than dry skin which provides extra padding (again, check!) and makes fine lines and wrinkles far less pronounced (ditto!). You’ll probably notice fewer visible lines and crinkling over your forehead and cheeks, for example, where sebum is often at its most prolific.

    Dry skin, on the other hand, is usually thinner and lacks the same level of natural moisturization. This makes it less voluminous and can highlight the appearance of lines and wrinkles. But while dry skin types might notice fine lines and wrinkling more than oily skin types, your skin is usually less likely to suffer with enlarged pores and poor skin texture as it ages. So there’s that.

    What about normal and combination skin types? Well, you’re going to slot in somewhere between the two.

    But, wait, because aging isn’t only about lines and wrinkles. In fact, it encompasses a much larger range of changes in the skin like more prominent pores, a lack of firmness, thinning skin and dark spots.

    So, does your skin type affect these changes, too? Actually not so much. Your genes play their part, for sure, determining how quickly your skin’s fat content decreases, sebum production slows down and blood vessels become thin and fragile, but external factors are often the defining factor here. Problems with uneven pigmentation, for example, are more commonly due to fluctuating hormones, skin damage and, surprise surprise, sun damage.

    Your Best Line Of Defense Against Aging Skin

    All this is good to know, but you can’t do much about your genes and your skin type so we believe it’s better to concentrate on the things you can change. Therefore, here’s our essential checklist for healthy aging, whatever your skin type.

    1. Use The Gentlest Skincare For Your Skin Type

    It can be tempting to throw tons of active ingredients and harsh products at your face when there are so many to choose from (and this is especially the case if you have oily skin), but don’t do that. Gentle ingredients are the best, combined with carefully curated formulations that have been specifically created with fragile, aging skin in mind. Our new Collagen collection, for example, is an incredible way to strengthen your skin’s barrier function for healthy, maturing skin. It even includes a brand new Collagen Boosting Skin Supplement to help promote natural collagen production. Winner.

    2. Eat Well

    Overloading your body with sugar, salt, processed foods and refined carbs leads to harmful compounds in your skin that break down collagen, screw up elastin and age you up lightning fast. A better plan? Stick with a balanced diet that’s high in omega fatty acids and antioxidants to feed your skin from the inside out.

    3. Do Not Smoke

    Tobacco contains so many harmful substances we can’t even begin to list them here. Just know that smoking seriously impacts your skin, ruining its texture, tone, elasticity, firmness and even affecting its color. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, the skin of a 40-year-old heavy smoker can look similar to that of a 70-year-old nonsmoker. We’ll just leave it at that.

    4. Protect Your Skin From The Sun

    Did we mention that the sun is the biggest cause of external aging in ALL skin types? Thought so. Then protect your skin every day with topical antioxidants found in our fan-favorite Vitamin C Facial Serum and follow this with a good slathering of broad-spectrum sunscreen. This should be standard practice. No arguments.

    5. Sleep Well

    Sleep is super important for your skin because while the rest of your body gets some valuable rest-time, your skin gets busy repairing and regenerating itself for another day. Blood flow increases to nourish it with valuable oxygen and nutrients; cell turnover and collagen production accelerate to bring fresh, healthy skin cells to the surface, and antioxidants kick in to help defend your skin from damaging free radicals. Without this vital period of rejuvenation your skin stands no chance in the war against aging, so try to get between seven and nine hours every night.

    The moral of the story? While you can't change your genes or your inherent skin type, there are plenty of lifestyle habits you can rethink to help your skin age beautifully.

    Now, where's that sunscreen again?...

    Anti-Aging
    Does Your Skin Type Determine How You Age?
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  • How A Healthy Gut = Healthier Skin
    Been hearing a bit about the gut-skin axis recently and not sure what it’s all about? Then allow us to elaborate…

    When searching for the solution to monthly acne breakouts, eczema flare-ups or bouts of rosacea few people think about what’s going on inside their bodies. But rather than stock up on months of prescription medication to deal with your skin issues, word is that taking a look at your gut health could be far more beneficial.

    It’s all about the gut-skin axis, you see. The gut-skin, erm, what? Ha, don’t worry, the gut-skin axis is a relatively simple concept to grasp.

    Your gut is home to a complex microbiome in which gazillions of microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses live. We know this doesn’t sound pleasant, but your microbiome plays an extremely important role in keeping bad bacteria at bay and therefore keeping your immune system in check. And all this is vital for helping to maintain balance and harmony throughout the entire body.

    If this microbiome becomes unbalanced due to things like a poor diet, emotional stress, or food sensitivities, however, this can cause major disruptions in your body. And we’re not just talking about digestive issues like bloating or gastrointestinal diseases, because wherever there is gut inflammation, skin inflammation often follows.

    Why is your skin affected by your gut, you might be wondering? Well, just like your gut, your skin has its own microbiome and the two are in constant communication with each other via a clever little pathway called the gut-skin axis. This means that when your gut is off kilter, your skin will, more often than not, reflect this, becoming inflamed, irritated or congested. Eating dairy, for example, is often linked to chronic skin issues like eczema. Wheat is another one that’s known to cause sensitivities and congestion, thereby triggering acne.

    Reckon your gut could do with a little self-refinement right now? Here’s how to help improve the health of your gut… and consequently, your skin.

    1. Get An Allergy Test

    The most effective way to figure out what’s upsetting your gut and skin is to get an allergy test. Sure, you can do this at home by keeping a food diary while eliminating some of the main offenders (here’s looking at you dairy, wheat, gluten and spicy foods), but, jeez, do you really have the time, energy and patience? Thought not.

    A better option is to visit a specialist to get a food allergy test. There are many ways to go about this but the most common are skin prick tests and blood tests. Both of these are very useful ways to pinpoint what’s causing you grief. Then you can avoid the culprits. Simple.

    2. Cut Down On Sugar

    While we would never suggest you remove things like dairy and wheat from your diet without consulting a doctor or allergist first, one thing you should be extremely wary of is sugar. With zero nutritional value, sugar is dastardly for your gut and even worse for your skin, triggering everything from acne and eczema to rosacea and psoriasis. In fact, sugar is probably the most inflammatory thing you could put into your body. Eek.

    Furthermore, studies show that overloading your body with sugar produces advanced glycation end products (AGEs) – harmful compounds that break down collagen and elastin and ruin your radiant, youthful complexion.

    Sugar is officially bad news, whichever way you look at it.

    3. Eat Plenty Of The Good Stuff

    A healthy diet is everything, so once you’ve eliminated anything that’s causing your gut grief, it’s time to indulge in all the good stuff. Fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, beans, healthy fats and lean protein are all awesome ways to support the wall of your gut.

    And then there are those extra special foods that help promote good bacteria in your gut, and of course your skin as a consequence. These are called biotics – namely prebiotics and probiotics.

    Biotics help balance your microbiome by literally flooding it with good bacteria. Prebiotics help encourage the growth of healthy bacteria that’s already present in your gut and can be found in things like asparagus, artichokes, garlic, leeks, bananas and oats. Meanwhile, probiotics are microorganisms in their own right and are found in cultured and fermented food like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, miso and live yogurt.

    Green vegetables including leeks, asparagus and artichokes

    4. Minimize Stress

    When you’re stressed out your brain goes into fight or flight mode and triggers your nervous system to release a whole bunch of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream. This causes your heart to pump faster, your breath to quicken and your muscles to tense and get ready for action.

    Of course, this is pretty useful when your body needs to react quickly to something, but the problems arise when stress hormones go into constant overdrive and your body gets no time to relax or go back to normal. This plays havoc with your gut (among other things!), compromising the balance of its microbiome, ‘feeding’ the bad bacteria and causing major problems with your digestion and immune system.

    All this will reflect very poorly on the look, feel and health of your skin so try to cut down on stress wherever you can. This may be easier said than done, but there are many ways to reduce or manage your levels of stress. Some people find that yoga or exercise works. Others keep a stress journal to figure out what’s causing their stress in order to avoid their triggers and help them work on controlling their reactions. The most important thing, according to HelpGuide, is to experiment with different stress management tips to find what works for you.

    Once your gut is in a more healthy working order, trust us, your skin will start to follow suit.

    And in the meantime, ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep it clean, strong, protected and moisturized with your TruSkin favorites! Here’s how to build a successful skincare regime, right here.

     

     

    Acne
    How A Healthy Gut = Healthier Skin
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  • Can You Slow Down The Visible Signs Of Aging?
    Aging skin is a given thing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to help slow things down a little.

    The rate at which your skin ages is determined by two important factors: your genes and your lifestyle. These are otherwise known as intrinsic and extrinsic aging.

    Without getting too bogged down by science, intrinsic aging is the one that’s determined by your genetic makeup and is going to happen whatever you do and however much you look after your skin. Things like collagen and elastin naturally break down as you age, while your skin’s levels of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, fatty acids and sebum also decrease. And all this contributes to the formation of lines, wrinkles and the like. It’s like getting gray hairs. C’est la vie!

    On the flipside, extrinsic aging is totally in your hands and includes all the other stuff you throw at your skin which increases the speed and intensity at which the signs of visible aging appear. The sun is the most obvious offender, but anything that causes oxidative stress on your skin (pollution, stress, a poor diet etc.) will play its part in throwing off your skin’s natural defense mechanism, thus allowing damaging free radicals to run amok and age you up at a super-speedy rate.

    So, in answer to the question: ‘can you slow down the visible signs of aging?’  Yes… but there's a 'no' caveat. Yes, of course you can protect your skin from environmental assault and make better lifestyle choices. But no, you can’t change your genes. So let’s see how best to tackle the things you CAN control, shall we?

    5 Ways To Reduce Premature Aging

    1. Keep The Sun Off Your Skin

    Bored of hearing how the sun is the enemy when it comes to your skin? Tough. Because it’s true and the more it gets drummed into you, the more vigilant we hope you’ll be at protecting your skin from the sun’s evil UV rays.

    The stats are simple. Scary, but simple. The sun is responsible for somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of all extrinsic aging. This means that you can moisturize, treat, and preen your skin ‘till the cows come home. But if you don’t protect it with sunscreen every day, you might as well throw the rest of your skincare regime in the trash.

    Don’t do that. Instead, sneak some broad-spectrum protection into the final stage of your morning routine. Try our awesome SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C. It's way less wasteful than throwing away all your precious skincare products. 

    2. Protect Your Skin’s Barrier Function

    Your skin’s barrier is the uppermost layer that sits at the top of your epidermis and is known in the beauty biz as the stratum corneum. This brick wall-like section is made up of around 20 layers of cells and arguably works harder than the rest of your skin put together. Bold words, we know. But valid words because the function of this important layer is to act like a security guard, protecting your skin (and your entire body) from the outside world by preventing moisture from getting out and external irritants, allergens and other nasties from getting in. A strong barrier function is vital for keeping your skin strong, moisturized and healthy, whereas if it becomes weak, thin and compromised this is when issues like dryness, dehydration, irritation and the inevitable signs of aging start to creep up on you.

    Of course, it goes without saying that your barrier function naturally weakens with age, losing ceramides, cholesterol and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. But the more you look after it, the stronger it will remain and the better your skin will be. How do you do this? Simple, with gentle skincare products (harsh ingredients are killers on your barrier function), plenty of sunscreen (yes, that again!), quality sleep and lots of hydration. Our favorite serum for nourishing your barrier function is Niacinamide (B3) Facial Serum which helps boost ceramide production and fights like a dog to destroy free radicals before they get a chance to do their worst.

    3. Do. Not. Smoke

    Smoking is obviously terrible for your health. Plus it gives you smokers’ lines around your lips. But it doesn’t stop there. In fact, after UV damage, smoking is one of the worst offenders for accelerating the visible signs of skin aging.

    Tobacco contains a ton of harmful substances that screw up your skin, ruining its texture, tone, elasticity, firmness, smoothness and even altering the color of your complexion. In fact, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, it’s common for the skin of a 40-year-old heavy smoker to look similar to that of a 70-year-old nonsmoker. Eesh!

    The facts are simple: smoking increases free radical formation in your skin, breaks down collagen, accelerates inflammation, decreases blood flow and starves your skin of essential oxygen and nutrients. Just don’t.

    4. Use Proven, Age-Fighting Skincare Ingredients

    Revving up your skincare routine with hard-working, active ingredients is a great way to bite premature aging on its butt. Granted, there are so many out there, claiming to rid your skin of wrinkles in weeks, it’s hard to keep up. But don’t be fooled that they’re all going to be miracle-workers. Instead, stick with those that have the research to back them up. Ingredients like retinol; vitamin C; peptides and exfoliating acids like glycolic, lactic and salicylic have all been studied for years and been proven to offer real benefits for your skin. Also, NKOTB bakuchiol is fast making a big name for itself by giving retinol a run for its money in the anti-aging skincare stakes. Look out for these if you’re serious about getting ahead of the aging game.

    One word of warning, however. You know that barrier function we spoke of earlier? Well, overload this with too many skincare actives and it will repay you with inflammation, dryness, irritation and potential breakouts. This means you must tread carefully. Avoid piling on too many potent serums and treatments all at once and choose curated products that combine a few actives that are known to work together. All of our serums have been carefully formulated not to cause sensitivities, but it’s still wise to patch test first and avoid using more than one at the same time.

    Looking for a great all-rounder that’s packed with age-repelling goodies and gentle on your skin? Then try Multi-Vitamin Facial Serum or our fabulous new Smoothing Collagen Serum.

    5. Moisturize Like Clockwork

    Serums are great. Obviously. But you need to seal all that goodness in with moisturizer, otherwise all those active ingredients are likely to escape from the surface of your skin. Which kinda defeats the purpose, don’t you think?

    Moisturizer not only traps in moisture and ingredients like antioxidants and humectants (think hyaluronic acid and aloe vera), but it also leaves a smoothing topcoat on the surface of your skin, reducing the appearance (and premature formation) of fine lines and wrinkles.

    The truth is you must never forget to apply moisturizer after every cleanse – no matter how oily your skin. We have lots to choose from, depending on your concerns and needs, but our current favorite is Renewing Longevity Moisturizing Cream which is the ideal addition to any healthy aging skincare regime.

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  • Why Your Skin Needs Ceramides In Its Life
    When it comes to skincare heroes, ceramides have to be up there with the very best. Here’s why…

    It goes without saying that skincare ingredients are everything to us. From the classic stalwarts like retinol and vitamin C to some of the most exciting discoveries in decades (bakuchiol for the win!), they make up the absolute foundation of every one of our TruSkin formulations.

    The truth is, ingredients can make or break a skincare product. Apply a moisturizer that’s packed with synthetic fragrance, for example, and it could cause your skin to feel even more dry than it did beforehand. Similarly, if you wash your face with a super-strong formulation that’s packed to the brim with kick-ass sulfates, your skin could end up feeling dehydrated, irritated or inflamed. Not cool.

    Now, we know you’re well versed in some of the best ingredients out there, but what do you know about ceramides? They might be less hyped than retinol and  less glamorous than hyaluronic acid, but ceramides are an integral part of any healthy skincare regime, helping to improve the quality of your complexion – no matter your skin type. In fact ceramides are pretty much all pros, zero cons.

    Read on for the lowdown on these unassuming but very important skincare powerhouses.

    What Are Ceramides?

    Contrary to popular belief, ceramides are not just fancy-sounding ingredients that you hear about in skincare commercials. In fact, they’re important lipids found naturally in your skin’s structure. And they’re not just there to make up the numbers either. They take up somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of your skin’s composition. That’s kind of a big deal.

    Your skin contains many different types of ceramide and each one plays a major role in the efficiency of your barrier function. Not only do they bind the cells together – kind of like the mortar to your skin’s brick wall – but they maintain strength and stability to its whole structure. They also help prevent water loss and protect your skin from environmental pollution, offering vital support to your skin’s entire functionality. As we said, big deal.

    In a perfect world, your level and quality of ceramides would remain at their optimum best for your entire life. Ha, if only. Unfortunately the aging process, as well as things like stress and environmental damage, completely screw with your skin’s ceramides, causing them to progressively drop after you hit your mid-20s. Just like your collagen! This compromises the integrity of your important barrier function (bad news) and can result in all manner of issues including dryness, redness, irritation, rough skin and dehydration (more bad news).

    The Benefits Of Ceramides In Skincare

    Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom because ceramides can also be found in your skincare products – synthetically produced to mimic the natural stuff that works hard within your skin’s structure. Even better, topical ceramides are extremely well tolerated by all skin types (dry, oily, sensitive, the works) and they offer some extremely important benefits as your skin matures…

    1. Ceramides Boost Moisture In Your Skin

    The main job of ceramides is to lock moisture into your skin by sealing and preserving your skin’s barrier function ­­– its natural protective, top layer. By keeping this barrier function in shape, ceramides work hard to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which is all the moisture that evaporates from your skin’s surface on a daily basis. Research shows that the average amount of water lost is around 300-400 ml per day but if your barrier function starts to fail then this can increase like nobody’s business. And that’s when dehydration and dryness can kick in.

    Upping the number of ceramides through your skincare routine helps replace those lost by aging and environmental issues like sun damage. And this, in turn, helps keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.

    2. Ceramides Help Strengthen Sensitive Skin

    Sensitive skin is thanks, in part, to a weakened barrier function that's failing at its job of keeping moisture in and irritants out. Your barrier function is the uppermost layer of your skin, AKA the stratum corneum, and its integrity is vital when it comes to how your skin reacts to external stressors like harsh skincare products, sunlight, pollution and so on. It makes sense, therefore, that anything you can do to fortify this barrier function is going to help manage sensitivities and improve irritation.

    Various studies show that many people who suffer with chronic skin conditions like eczema have fewer ceramides in their skin, yet they show a marked improvement when topical ceramides are added to their skincare routine. This drives us to put ceramides up there at the very top of the list of must-haves for sensitive skin types.

    3. Ceramides Are Great For Aging Skin

    Dry and/or dehydrated skin highlight any fine lines and wrinkles you may have much more than normal or oily skin. It makes sense, therefore, that in order to keep those tell-tale signs of aging on a back burner you need to keep your skin well hydrated and moisturized. Moisturized skin = plumper, firmer, smoother skin. It’s simple science.

    By fortifying your barrier function ceramides also hit aging from another angle. How so? Well, all that extra protection helps to minimize free radical damage which often results from things like smoking, UV radiation and a poor diet. As you know, free radicals are the main cause of external skin aging, killing your skin’s collagen and elastin supplies. Seriously, they're not something your skin wants to have to deal with. However, the stronger your barrier function, the better protected your skin will be as a result. And that, coupled with topical antioxidants and daily sunscreen is the key to gorgeous, healthy-looking skin. 

    How To Include Ceramides In Your Skincare Routine

    Ceramides can be formulated into all sorts of skincare products, from eye treatments and cleansers to lotions and night creams. The fact that they’re super gentle on your skin and work well with other active ingredients also gives them major kudos.

    We believe the most effective way to incorporate ceramides into your skincare routine is through leave-on products like facial serums and moisturizers. That’s why we’ve packed three essential ceramides (NP, AP and EOP in case it comes up at your next trivia night!) into our NEW Firming Collagen Day Lotion and Smoothing Collagen Serum. The ideal combination for protecting, repairing and hydrating your skin, this duo helps encourage healthy aging by not only caring for your vital collagen and elastin supplies but by boosting ceramides at a surface level.

    That’s what we call a win-win situation right there.

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