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What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Advice for all of your skin care needs
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Realistic skincare goals are the bomb. Because there’s always room for improvement when it comes to the look and feel of your skin.
Let’s get one thing clear. Striving for skin perfection is not something we subscribe to here at TruSkin. Better skin? Sure. But perfect skin? Hell no. In fact, does that even exist outside Hollywood movies and retouched glossy magazine covers? Probably not.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve what you’ve been blessed with. That’s just human nature. Whether you’re done with your dull, lackluster skin or totally over your monthly breakouts, these are the kind of skin issues we can get on board with. Because wanting better things for your skin is realistic. It’s also attainable – especially when you’re armed with the right tools and a side of skincare knowhow.
On that note, read on for five of the most common skin goals – plus how to flip them into reality…
Skincare Goal #1: Glowing Skin
Dull skin that lacks radiance hits us all at some point. And whether it’s a temporary, day-after-the-night-before blip or a more long-term grievance, dull skin is usually related to one big issue: dehydration.
Dehydration can be a problem for any skin type – dry or oily – and it happens when your skin isn’t retaining enough moisture. Not to be confused with dry skin, which lacks sebum, dehydration occurs thanks to things like cold weather, stress, a lack of sleep, poor skincare choices and surprise, surprise, sun damage. Basically anything that screws up your barrier function and compromises your skin's ability to hold onto water.
But dehydration isn’t the only reason your skin might look kind of sad. Poor cellular turnover can also be an issue. Healthy, adult skin has a turnover rate of around 28 days (give or take) but as you age, this gets longer as your skin cells become sluggish and dead ones hang around longer than necessary.
To help get your glow back, we recommend two important things. First, increase your skin’s moisture levels by applying a hydrating serum twice daily. Try one that contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid or aloe vera. We love Hyaluronic Acid Serum when our skin is feeling thirsty.
Second up, add a little gentle exfoliation into your skincare routine. Our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser is a great choice because it contains citric acid, a chemical exfoliator that helps dissolve the bonds that bind dead skin cells together.
Skincare Goal #2: Smaller-Looking Pores
Pores are kind of annoying, we agree. But they’re actually super important for your skin to function so don’t give them too much of a hard time, OK?
Your body has two types of pores: those that produce sebum (oil) and others than produce sweat. Oil-producing pores are tiny little openings found at the top of your hair follicles where they release sebum to moisturize and soften the skin.
This may sound innocent, but the problem starts when your sebaceous glands produce too much sebum than your skin really needs, causing your pores to stretch and become blocked. This is very common for oily and combination skin types, but here’s the thing – your pore size is determined by genetics which means that, no matter what you do, you can’t physically shrink them. However, there are many things you CAN do to help strengthen and firm your skin, and simultaneously help keep your pores in decent shape.
Keeping your skin clean and your pores clear of excess oils, makeup, sunscreen and the like is your most important play, but don't go too nuts. Gentle is the key. Try our new Tea Tree Super Cleanser+, followed by Ocean Minerals Super Toner for a pore-kicking cleansing routine that won’t strip your skin completely dry.
Skincare Goal #3: Less Visible Wrinkles
As the most common signs of aging, fine lines and wrinkles are a bugbear we all have to face at some point. And while it’s easy to say, ‘don’t worry about them,’ it’s much harder to actually put that into practice.
Lines and wrinkles usually appear on and around areas of the face that experience repeated muscle movement. This is because repetitive motions like laughing, frowning and smiling cause weaknesses and dips in the skin which, as your skin matures and it loses valuable proteins, don’t bounce back like they used to.
Once wrinkles start to set-in, they’re pretty tricky to eradicate with skincare products alone, but the best way to keep them at a minimum is to look after your collagen levels. And this is where the mighty retinol steps in.
Retinol is the gold-standard of skincare because it actually ‘communicates’ with your skin at a cellular level, encouraging it to rev up collagen and elastin production, accelerate cell turnover and neutralize skin-damaging free radicals. Pretty good stuff.
Skincare Goal #4: Fewer Breakouts
Pimples, spots, zits, breakouts, whatever you call them, welcome they are not. So annoying, then, that acne is the most common skin condition in the US and affects around 50 million of us every darn year!
Acne rears its ugly head (pun absolutely intended) when your pores get blocked up with an excess of sebum that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria. Thanks to genetics, you’re either susceptible to acne, or you’re not. But plenty of other triggers can contribute to the frequency and severity of your breakouts. Hormones – yeah those again – are a major trigger, as is stress.
Obviously you can’t miraculously change your genetic makeup but there are plenty of skincare ingredients and helpful tricks for treating and controlling your breakouts. Our absolute go-to is Tea Tree Super Serum+ which combines tea tree oil with salicylic acid and niacinamide to create a powerful, yet gentle way to balance your skin and deal with unwanted pimples. Tea tree is one of the best ingredients for acne as its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial AND way less irritating than things like benzoyl peroxide. What’s more you only need to apply it two or three times a week to see experience visible results.
Skincare Goal #5: A More Even Skin Tone
Fed up with dark spots that are totally killing your skin’s mojo? Dark spots, aka hyperpigmentation, appear when your skin produces too much melanin which is the pigment that gives it its color. The three main triggers are your hormones; skin trauma like a bite, burn or pimple; or the sun.
We like to blame the sun for all manner of things where the skin is concerned. But this is totally legit for it really does have a lot to answer for. Dark spots included. Even if the sun wasn’t the original trigger, the sun makes any dark spot so much worse in the long run.
This is why protecting your skin from the sun’s evil rays is the single most important thing you can do for dark spots and patchy skin. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must (hi there SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C) but don’t dismiss antioxidants, either, which have a very clever way of neutralizing free radical damage and shielding your skin from cumulative photodamage. Our go-to is always vitamin C which not only protects your skin from damage but also helps to fade the appearance of uneven skin that’s already come and bitten you on the butt! Try our classic Vitamin C Facial Serum twice daily, swapping it out for Vitamin C Super Serum+ two or three times a week, to really hit dark spots where it hurts.
Good News! Your Skincare Goals Just Got Closerread more
Stress = irritation, which is one of the worst things for your skin. Let’s see what we can do to help turn stressed skin into your best skin ever.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so it’s no wonder what you see on the outside reflects exactly what’s going on inside. When you’re rested and bursting with energy, for example, your skin often reflects that. And, ps, can we have a group hug for those rare but joyous days, please?!
Similarly, when you’re super tired, anxious and emotionally drained, your skin is likely to react in the same way, looking dull, feeling rough and, frankly, being a bit of a stressed mess.
But why does stress and emotional anxiety affect the skin in such a major way? Well, when you feel stressed about something, your brain prepares your body to go into fight or flight mode. In doing so, your nervous system releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream which nudges your heart to beat faster, your breath to speed up and your muscles to tense up. All this is great in short-lived stressful situations like job interviews or when dealing with a threat or emergency. But when stress becomes more the norm than a rarity, these hormones go into constant overdrive and things start to go awry. Headaches and nausea can kick in, your digestive system becomes compromised and, in extremely chronic cases, you may even increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
And then there’s your skin.
Various studies show that both acute (temporary) and chronic (consistent) stress create negative effects on the health of your skin. For starters, spikes in cortisol increase inflammation and cause your sebaceous glands to go wild, encouraging them to produce way too much oil than your skin really needs (cue breakouts!). An overload of cortisol also breaks down vital collagen supplies, decreases hydrating hyaluronic acid, upsets the balance of your skin’s barrier function and messes up its pH levels. All of these things equal bad news for the health of your skin, resulting in any number of skin annoyances such as blocked pores, acne, dehydration, irritation and flare-ups in existing conditions like rosacea, psoriasis or eczema.
And the worst thing of all? Cruddy, stress-induced skin is, well, stressful in itself. Which doesn’t help your emotional well-being one tiny bit. Sigh.
The good news is there are many ways to improve our skin when stress is hitting you hard. To follow, seven of our tried and tested favorites…
1. De-Stress With A Journal
Before you start working on your skin, you need to concentrate on your entire health and well-being. And the best way to do this? Make a note of any habits or experiences that make you stressed or uneasy. Write down how they made you feel, how you reacted to them and what, if anything, you did to make yourself feel better. This allows you to notice themes or patterns in your stress levels, as well as ways to improve your mood and help you relax.
2. Sleep like A Queen
Like all skin experts, we’re big believers in the power of a great night’s sleep. In terms of stress, this is because cortisol levels dramatically drop when you’re asleep. So, if you deprive yourself of valuable zzzs your skin misses out on this important time of repair and rejuvenation during which collagen production accelerates, cell turnover speeds up, blood flow increases, muscles relax and antioxidants kick in to repair damage caused during the day.
The Mayo Clinic recommends at least seven hours of quality sleep every night but the most important thing is to go to bed and get up at roughly the same time to get into a good routine. Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, not too warm and limit caffeine, food and your smartphone for at least two hours before you hit the sack.
3. Dial Down Your Actives
Active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and glycolic acid are all well and good when your skin’s barrier function is working like clockwork. But when stress upsets its delicate nature, your skin’s ability to heal and repair itself becomes compromised. This is when an overload of actives can be too much for your skin to deal with. Cut back for a while and allow your barrier function to rebuild itself. If you usually exfoliate every other day, for example, switch to once or twice a week. Love to apply your Retinol Facial Serum every night? Reduce this to every other night for a short period of time, or try alternating it with our soothing Niacinamide Facial Serum which is perfect for sensitized skin.
Trust us, giving your skin a break is super important during times of stress.
4. Avoid ‘Triggering’ Skincare Ingredients
We recommend avoiding the most common skincare nasties ALL of the time, but it’s even more important during times of emotional and mental stress when your barrier function might not be working to the best of its abilities.
Keep your routine straightforward, simple and steer clear of sulfates, in particular, which are excellent at cleansing, but can exacerbate dryness, itching, redness and breakouts – especially if your skin is feeling stressed out.
Gentle cleansers that contain non-drying surfactants like disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate and disodium 2-sulfolaurate are a far better choice and ideal for sensitized skin. Try our Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser which also contains nourishing rose hip oil to help reduce inflammation and redness.
5. Save New Skincare Products For Another Time
Sure, we all love to try out a brand new product every now and again but now’s not the time to introduce a newbie to your daily routine. Stressed skin is more reactive which means ingredients that usually feel great may bother you more than normal.
Stick to what you know for now and save the new stuff for later.
6. Enjoy A Cup Of Tea
Research shows that drinking black tea helps lower the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream, making you feel more relaxed and positive. It’s even been suggested that the simple act of making tea alone is enough to help soothe stress and anxiety.
The reason black (as well as green) tea is thought to be such a mood booster is mainly down to l-theanine, an amino acid that helps promotes relaxation, counteracts anxiety, reduces fatigue and supports thinking.
7. Finally, Give Yourself A Break
Everyone goes through stressful periods in their lives and it’s perfectly normal for things to get on top of you every now and again. But try not to allow your stress to get the better of you as this will result in a vicious circle for both your health and your skin – and that can be hard to shake off. Practice deep breathing throughout the day to center yourself, go for a quick walk to clear your head, or read a book for ten minutes in the afternoon to take your mind off things.
These healthy habits are awesome for lifting your emotional health and maintaining stronger, radiant skin. Period.
How To Turn Stressed Skin Into Your Best Skinread more
Today, we're celebrating Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day in honor of all the professionals who help us make better choices regarding our diets. After all, what you put INTO your body is just as important as what goes onto your skin.
Want to step up your skincare regimen from the inside out? Then take control of your diet and ensure your skin reflects what you eat by making these 10 skin-nourishing foods your new BFFs…
1. Oily Fish
Certain fats are super important for the health of your skin because they help balance your skin’s barrier function which helps keep your skin hydrated, plump, strong and moisturized. Studies also show they may have anti-inflammatory properties which is great news if you suffer from facial redness or monthly breakouts.
The key, however, is to make sure you choose the right kinds of fats – and no, chips, burgers, fried chicken and butter are not on that list. One of the best is omega-3 fatty acid, an essential fatty acid (EFA) that’s found mostly in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring.
More good news… These skin-loving types of fish not only contain omega-3s by the bucketload, but they’re high in protein, zinc and vitamin E which are all vital for the look and feel of your skin.
Fruit and veggies, as a rule, are winners when it comes to glowing, healthy skin. One word: antioxidants. Not sure why antioxidants are the basis of great skin? Well, in a nutshell, they counteract the damaging effects of free radicals which are produced by the skin when it’s exposed to things like the sun, pollution, stress and a lack of sleep. Free radicals are seriously bad news for your skin because they break down collagen, accelerating the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and sagging skin.
One of our favorite fruits is watermelon – and no, it’s not because it’s so Insta worthy (although it really is a pretty slice!). Watermelon is literally chock full of antioxidants like vitamins A, B, C and E. Furthermore, it’s packed with water which helps keep you hydrated without the hassle of having to down glasses upon glasses of water on the reg.
It also tastes awesome, so there’s that ;)
Speaking of fruit and veggies, one of the most skin-loving vegetables you can include in your diet plan is broccoli. Of course, it’s high in vitamins like A, C and K, but it also contains a beta carotene called lutein which skin loves. How so? Well, lutein is well known for protecting the eyes from light damage and macular degeneration, but it also has similar photo-protective benefits for the skin, helping to shield it from damaging UV radiation.
Broccoli also contains something called sulforaphane which works alongside lutein and other antioxidants to further support your skin’s natural protection from sun damage, spurring the skin’s natural healing process and helping to calm inflammation. Take that, sun.
Like oily fish, nuts are an awesome source of essential fatty acids which help maintain strong, supple and well-moisturized skin. They’re also packed with vitamins and minerals like zinc, copper and vitamins A, C and E, and just a handful of almonds, cashews, walnuts and/or pistachios every day will work wonders for dry, dull or lackluster skin.
Walnuts, in particular, are high in protein, omega-3, omega-6 and selenium. Selenium is an important mineral which puts up a great fight against those dastardly free radicals. It also works hard to reduce inflammation and has been proven to help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
If you ever needed a reason to eat avo toast every morning, here’s one for you. Just half an avocado a day provides 14 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin E, as well as 11 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C. Vitamins C and E are proven antioxidants that, while great on their own, work much more effectively as a team. This makes avos pretty darn unbeatable in the fight against environment damage and oxidative stress.
But that’s not all. Avocados also contain various other vitamins, minerals, essential fats and skin-loving nutrients including plant sterols which contain UV protection and help prevent the breakdown of important proteins in your skin such as collagen and elastin.
While tomatoes are a fabulous source of vitamin C (great stuff) and potassium (ditto), their main draw is all the incredible lycopene and lutein they're packed with. Lycopene and lutein are carotenoids which work as powerful anti-aging antioxidants, offering your skin natural sun protection and free radical fighting powers.
Some studies show that higher amounts of lycopene are found in cooked tomato products than the raw stuff, so if you love to make stews, soups and sauces with tomatoes, go nuts!
7. Natural Yogurt
It’s a well-known fact that yogurt (not the sugar-laden, fruity stuff, of course) contains lots of calcium for strong bones and healthy skin. But that’s not the only thing yogurt has up its sleeve. Let’s talk about probiotics, shall we?
Probiotics are extremely important for keeping your skin’s microbiome in check. What’s that, you say? Well, the microbiome is an ecosystem of trillions of microorganisms that live on your skin. Sure, this sounds pretty gross but it’s actually a very smart system that’s evolved over centuries to help keep bad bacteria away. Your microbiome can go a bit squiffy, however, thanks to your environment, age, diet and skincare habits, so it’s important to conserve and support it through gentle skincare and a healthy diet that includes plenty of biotics. Probiotics, for example, are living microorganisms that help increase the population of good bacteria in your body. How to up your probiotics? Look no further than plain, live yogurt. Simple. Don’t worry if you’re lactose intolerant, though – miso, kombucha and kimchi are great alternatives.
8. Chia Seeds
Most seeds are bursting with awesome skin-boosting love thanks to vitamin E, selenium, essential fatty acids and protein, so sprinkling them on salads, cereals, smoothies and soups is never a bad idea. However, if you’re looking for the absolute queen of seeds, look no further than the mighty chia.
After oily fish, chia seeds are known to be one of the richest sources of collagen-boosting omega-3 fatty acids which makes them a great choice for vegans. They’re also full of manganese, magnesium, selenium and protein which work together to soothe, protect, hydrate and strengthen your skin.
9. Bell Peppers
When you think of fruit and veggies that are high in vitamin C you probably go straight to oranges and carrots, right? Well, little known fact: red and yellow bell peppers are also extremely rich in vit C. In fact, one cup of bell pepper provides a whopping 211 percent of your daily recommended dosage of vitamin C. This makes them a fabulous choice for significantly reducing oxidative stress and helping your skin get its glow on.
Bell peppers are also a great source of beta carotene which gets converted into vitamin A by your body. Vitamin A is mega important for boosting your skin’s natural healing process, boosting your immune system and increasing moisturization.
10. Leafy Greens
Leafy green veggies like kale, spinach and collard greens are brimming with zinc for helping to reduce inflammation and breakouts, plus vitamin K which has been proven to improve blood flow. Great circulation is important for ‘feeding’ your skin with nutrient-rich oxygen to help reduce dark spots and give you the radiant complexion you so rightly deserve.
Zeaxanthin is another asset leafy greens can lay claims to. It might be trickier to spell but, like lutein, zeaxanthin is a carotenoid which has powerful antioxidant properties and may help your skin stay more protected from the perils of UV radiation. Kale, in particular, is known to be a total powerhouse for your skin and health in general.
Bottom line is a balanced, healthy diet that’s high on fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, live yogurt and oily fish are exactly what the skin doctor ordered. Couple all this good stuff with a great skincare routine that mimics your eating habits with plenty of antioxidants (hi there Vitamin C Facial Serum) and moisture-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid and you’re well on the way to healthier-looking skin.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day is celebrated by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on Wednesday March 8, 2023.
10 Things To Eat For Fabulous, Healthy Skinread more
Because one small change to your skincare routine = a giant step for the look and feel of your skin…
It’s easy to get into a rut with your skincare routine. We get that. After all, when things are ticking along nicely and your skin seems to be behaving well enough, why put a cat amongst the pigeons?
Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about consistency here at TruSkin. Finding your routine mojo – and sticking with it – is worth its weight in gold. But, unless you’re some kind of inch-perfect superhero who never puts a foot wrong (does that person even exist?), improvements to your skincare routine can always be made. This could be adding an extra treatment serum to your bedtime regimen to help resist the signs of aging now you’ve hit 30, or it might be something as simple as washing your bedsheets more often (*note to self, right there!). Whatever your routine looks like, we know that you (and us included) can always do better.
Read on for some simple tweaks to help upgrade your skincare jam. And excellent news: not only are they super speedy and completely effortless, but they won’t cost you a dime.
First, Detox Your Beauty Cabinet
When was the last time you looked at your product arsenal to figure out which products you actually use and see visibly results from? If the answer is anywhere between six months ago and never, then now’s the time to change that.
Products have a shelf-life and, unless otherwise stated on the packaging, should generally be used within a year of opening. And if you're not sure how long that dusty serum has been hanging around at the back of your cabinet? Then apply a little to the back of your hand. If it smells funny, has changed color or looks separated – toss it. Using ‘off’ products on your face can cause all manner of unwanted issues so avoid even the slimmest chance of that happening by ditching anything old and unused.
Not only can you do without all those 'passed their best' products, but neither do you need 20+ skincare products that overload your skin and cause potential irritation. Instead, basic is best. Of course, by basic we don’t mean sticking with a cruddy soap and bog-standard moisturizer. But cleanser, eye treatment, serum (or two), moisturizer, night cream and sunscreen are perfectly adequate. In fact, this combination is the perfect sweet spot in our humble opinion.
Read Your Labels
You might think you know how to cleanse and moisturize your skin because you’ve been doing it for years. So why read the labels? What could possibly go wrong? Similarly, your skin is super strong and has never reacted to a product in the past, so why should you bother familiarizing yourself with a new product’s ingredients and instructions? Well, the most important thing to remember is that every skincare formulation is different. Sure, washing your face is essentially washing your face, but maybe your new cleanser contains super-strong active ingredients that might irritate your skin if you go in all guns blazing. Or perhaps it's best applied to dry skin first, then rinsed off with water. Who knows if you don’t check first?
Take a minute or so (because honestly, that’s all it will take) to read any new skincare labels before using products for the first time. And while you’re at it, go back and read your existing ones to check you’re applying those correctly, too. You never know, you may just learn something new. And your skin will thank you for it.
Cleanse For An Extra Minute
Rushing through your skincare regimen is a real shame. Not only because applying products should be enjoyable, rather than a chore, but also because taking your time will reap countless rewards.
Cleansing, for example, is often looked over as something to be swiftly checked off your list before getting to the main event of applying treatment serums and moisturizers. Huge mistake. Cleansing is the absolute foundation of great skin, removing potentially pore-clogging debris from the surface while preparing your skin to absorb and maximize the benefits of the rest of your routine. Do it badly, or too quickly and you won’t do a great job. That’s the truth.
So word to the wise: Take. Your. Time. Just a couple of minutes is all it takes to get rid of all that built-up grime, oil, sweat and makeup. Grab your favorite formulation – we have three awesome ones to choose from – and apply it to damp skin, then use your hands and pads of your fingers to gently work it all over your face and neck. Sweep it all over using stroking, lifting motions then massage it in circular motions to help boost blood flow and lymphatic drainage. Honestly, there is no easier way to improve the radiance of your skin.
Swerve The Hand Towel
Being aware of the quality and cleanliness of your face towel is a great way to level up your skincare. How so? Because old or dirty towels can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. And this is far from ideal for your skin – especially if you’re prone to breakouts.
This means it’s super important to set aside a specific towel for drying your face. Communal bath or hand towels? Unacceptable. Choose cotton or cotton blend towels as these combine the ideal blend of softness and absorbency alongside a little gentle exfoliation. Wash yours after every other use (yes, that means every day!) and replace them every few years.
Skincare layering is an incredible way to supercharge your routine by injecting (not literally, of course!) extra hydration, antioxidant protection, strengthening or acne-fighting ingredients into your skin without too much hassle.
But if you’re going to do it, you need to get your order right.
The general rule is that your thinnest products should be applied first, with the thickest, most dense-feeling products going last. This means the order goes as follows: cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, facial oil and sunscreen.
Another important thing to remember is not to bombard your skin with every AHA, BHA, retinol and vitamin C product you can get your hands on. These are all potent ingredients that can quickly overload your skin, resulting in redness, dryness, excess oils and/or irritation. Take it easy and apply just one serum at a time. Of course, you might want to invest in two or three to tackle different concerns and that’s fine. In fact we love the combination of Vitamin C Facial Serum and Retinol Facial Serum. But we never use them both at once. Instead, apply them on alternate days, or try one in the morning and one at night.
Wear Sunglasses Every Day
OK, so this isn't strictly a skincare tweak, but sunglasses are an awesome way to protect the skin around your eyes from aging up lightning fast, so we’re going with it. Plus it’s easy, stylish and chances are you have a few pairs of sunnies anyway – so why not make the most of them by wearing them even on cloudy days?
The skin around your eyes is thinner and more fragile than the rest of your face which means it’s less able to protect itself from the damaging rays from the sun. And the sun is always there – rain or shine – so protection shouldn't be kept aside for sunny days only.
Shield your eyes every time you go outside with sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection. Go for plastic instead of metal frames to avoid reflecting damaging sunlight onto your cheeks, and choose mirrored over tinted lenses as these are more effective at blocking out those nasty rays.
Trust us, this is an awesome way to help ward off the visible signs of aging around your eyes. Plus, if you combine it with a daily eye treatment like Peptide Eye Gel you’ll be laughing.
Tiny Skincare Tweaks For Insanely Better Skinread more
If not, we can help with that...
Healthy skin might sound like the stuff of pipe dreams, but if you forget about striving for perfection, it’s not so out of reach. It’s really more about looking after your skin as best you can – making good lifestyle choices, nailing an awesome skincare routine and cutting down on the things that might upset your skin both in the short- and long-term.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body and it’s super important for, well, life. It might not help you breathe or pump blood around your body, but it provides essential protection for your entire body and, just like your lungs and heart, it’s darn important. Not only does the skin regulate body temperature and protect your internal organs, but it also prevents potentially toxic germs, viruses and infection from entering the body as well as vital fluids from escaping.
As we said, important stuff.
So, what can you do to look after this essential organ and ensure it’s a) doing its job properly and b) looking its absolute best?
Here, we share our five top tips for healthy skin…
5 Ways To Improve The Health Of Your Skin
1. Keep Your Skin Clean
Dirty skin can’t function properly, so it’s vital to maintain a consistent cleansing routine that removes oil, dirt, sweat and environmental pollutants from the surface.
Whether you prefer a water-based cleanser, oil, cream, lotion or micellar water it’s important to choose a gentle formulation that’s free of parabens and sulfates so that it does a great job without stripping your skin of essential oils. All of our cleansers are dermatologist tested and formulated without the most common nasties. What's more, there’s something for everyone in our range. We’re currently in love with NEW Tea Tree Super Cleanser which is crisp, fresh and perfect for removing impurities without leaving the skin tight or dry.
Cleanse your skin morning and night to remove surface debris, and avoid using scorching hot water (this is just as drying as chemical-laded cleansing products). Use a gentle touch to massage your skin all over – neck included – then gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel. That hand towel everyone uses in the bathroom? Unacceptable.
Finally, while we’re on the subject of cleanliness, it’s just as important to keep anything that touches your face clean. This means laundering your bed linens weekly (more often for pillowcases), cleaning your makeup brushes and smartphone frequently and washing your hands more regularly than you’re already doing. All of these things will keep bacteria away from your skin, helping to reduce breakouts and other skin woes.
2. Eat More Nutritional Food
It’s all well and good looking after your skin from the outside, but aging develops underneath the surface, so truly healthy skin must start from within. And this means you need to think about what you eat.
A well-rounded, balanced diet is the key so make sure you include tons of fresh fruit and veggies to get your daily intake of skin-loving antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Other skin-loving goodies? Omega-3 fatty acids which are fabulous for regulating sebum production while improving the fatty acid composition in your skin. All this is awesome for helping to reduce irritation, dryness and dehydration.
But that’s not all. Things like selenium, zinc and lutein are also great additions to your diet, helping to protect your skin, reduce inflammation and aid healing.
The over-riding rule is thus: avoid things like processed meats, sugar, fried food, carbs and too much salt. And swap them out for fruit, veggies, oily fish, olive oil, nuts, poultry and pulses.
Research has also shown that reducing your calories may be another way to help slow down the rate at which your skin ages. So there's that...
3. Drink Less Wine
While there’s nothing wrong with the odd glass of wine/hard seltzer, too much booze can totally kill your skin’s mojo.
Alcohol expands your blood vessels and inflames the tissue which can make your skin look way redder than normal. Sure, this is temporary to begin with, but keep drinking the hard stuff and after a few years this will turn into facial redness that just won’t go away.
Booze also sucks moisture from your skin causing dehydration and the inevitable fine lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, it causes your sebaceous glands to go into overdrive, which makes your skin look super greasy. Not to mention the added woe of more frequent breakouts.
Our advice? Drink less units of alcohol… and less often. And remember, clearer alcohol is better, so if you’re going to sip on anything go for spirits like vodka, gin or tequila, mixed with soda water (zero sugar, yay!) and a squeeze of lime.
4. Be Kind To Your Skin’s Barrier Function
Your skin is split into three main layers: the subcutaneous layer (the fatty section deep down at the very bottom); the dermis in the middle (where the blood vessels, nerves, sweat and oil glands live) and the epidermis which is the top layer you can see.
Right at the top of the epidermis is what’s called the stratum corneum. Built from around 20 layers of cells this uppermost layer is kind of like a brick wall, made from keratin and held in place by ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids. Together with your skin’s NMF (natural moisturizing factor) it’s your body’s first line of defense against the environment. And this is what’s known as your barrier function.
The reason your barrier function is so important for healthy skin is because it works super hard to keep all the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. If it’s in great shape, it helps your skin stay soft, supple, moisturized and free from irritation, dryness and sensitivities.
Everyone’s barrier function is different and it’s one of the main causes of sensitive skin so if this is you, take it as a sign that yours is compromised. But don’t freak out, because there are plenty of ways to look after and strengthen your barrier function to help improve the health of your skin.
Harsh cleansers are a no-no (see above), as is over-exfoliating your skin and showering or bathing in scorching hot water.
Then there’s moisturizer. Moisturizers are extremely important for the skin as they seal in hydration, balance sebum production and keep your barrier function in tip-top shape. Use one after every cleanse (and this includes your body as well as your face) and try applying yours to slightly damp skin to further increase hydration in your skin. We love Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer every morning and Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream before bed.
5. Say A Big NO To The Three ‘S’s – Stress, Smoking & The Sun
Three of the worst things for the health of your skin? Stress, smoking and the sun.
Stress triggers all manner of skin issues as it unbalances your hormones, increases inflammation and impairs your barrier function, reducing its ability to retain moisture and fight off potentially damaging irritants. Of course, stress can be hard to manage but breathing exercises, me-time, good sleep and a well-rounded, balanced diet are all great for your mental wellness.
Smoking, on the other hand, contains a whole barrage of chemicals (more than 4,000!) that destroy collagen and elastin and cause the blood vessels in your skin to narrow, therefore restricting its access to nutrient-rich oxygen. Cue sagging skin, uneven tone, poor texture, dullness and dehydration. The answer? Quit. Need help with that? Check out these tips from former smokers.
And finally, the sun. Ask any skin expert to recommend the single most important thing you could do for the health of your skin and they will all say wear sunscreen. Sunlight causes skin aging and, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, regular use of sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by up to 50 percent. This means it’s not only vital for the health of your skin, but the health of your entire being.
Wear SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen every morning without fail. We’ll end it there.
Is Your Skin As Healthy As It Can Be?read more
Feel like your skincare routine isn’t quite cutting it? Here’s how to make it work harder… and better.
Skincare is a fine art and, while it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to moisturize your face, knowing the finer details that help maximize a product’s potential can result in some major differences to the look, feel and health of your skin.
Here’s how to kick-start your routine into doing the best job it can for your skin.
Rule #1: Always Read Your Labels
Are you guilty of buying a new product and using it right away without so much as glancing at the label? Big mistake. Sure, you might have spent the last 30 years cleansing your face with zero issues because, come on, how difficult can it be? But it’s worth bearing in mind that not all products are created equal. Some cleansers are formulated to be used without water, others are meant to be applied to damp skin and massaged into your skin for few minutes. And how do you know which is which if you've not read the fine print?
Reading the instructions is super important and will help you get the most from each and every product in your routine. It’ll help guide you in terms of how often to apply as well as how much to apply. So do it. No arguments.
Rule #2: Use Your Products In The Correct Order
This is another one that might sound obvious, but gone are the days when skincare routines were basically cleanse, tone, moisturize… and you’re done. Now there are tinctures, oils, essences, serums, gels, lotions, and all sorts to get your head around. And if you apply them in the wrong order, then they might not work correctly. Money. Down. The. Drain.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to layering skincare formulations is to cleanse and tone first (obvs) then work from your thinnest to your thickest product. The simple fact is that thinner products aren’t able to penetrate through the thicker stuff so you need to build up to the big guys. This means that after toning, you should apply your serum first, then your eye treatment, moisturizer, face oil and finally – in the mornings anyway – sunscreen. Of course, your specific regimen doesn’t need to include each and every one of these steps, but if it does, then this should be your order if you want to get the best results.
Rule #3: Apply Your Treatments To Damp Skin
To turn up the efficacy of your products, full throttle, always apply your first treatment product to moistened skin. This could be an exfoliating toner such as Ocean Minerals Super Toner or an antioxidant serum like our new Peptide Facial Serum. But whatever it is, try to apply it within the first minute of cleansing. The reason for this is that damp skin is more permeable than dry skin which makes it far more receptive to active ingredients like vitamin C, glycolic acid, MSM and peptides.
Gently pat your skin with a clean towel after cleansing so just a small amount of water is left on the surface, then, using fingertips, apply your treatment product all over your face and neck. Simple, but super effective.
This being said, there is one exception to the rule, and that’s to avoid doing this if you have skin that’s particularly sensitive to certain ingredients like retinol. Retinol is a potent (but awesome) little beast that can easily irritate sensitive skin. So if you apply it to damp skin you could exacerbate these irritations. Instead, apply it to dry skin, after patch testing first, and you'll likely get along with it way better.
Rule #4: Know That A Serum Is The Absolute Key For Targeting Skin Concerns
Facial serums might not be absolutely essential for clean, moisturized skin but if you really care about your complexion and the rate at which it ages, facial serums are everything. The bare minimum skincare routine is, of course, cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. But if you have concerns like acne, blocked pores, fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, sagging skin and the like, and you want to really target them with your skincare, you simply HAVE to include a serum (or two) in your daily routine.
Serums are formulated differently to moisturizers and have a smaller molecular structure. This means they’re able to penetrate the surface of your skin quicker and deeper to hone in on your particular skin gripes. Getting really peeved by dull, patchy skin? Then a moisturizer is essential, for sure, but it will never give you the same results as an antioxidant treatment serum like our best-selling Vitamin C Facial Serum.
Not sure where to start with choosing the right serum for your needs? Not a problem. Check out our helpful guide right here. And remember that important order: serum comes after cleansing and toning, and before moisturizing. Always.
Rule #5: Understand The Importance Of An Awesome Nighttime Routine
Your morning routine is great for waking up your skin, replacing lost moisture and preparing yourself for the day ahead, but overnight is when the real business happens so it’s vital to prepare your skin for eight hours’ worth of healing, regenerating and repairing time before you hit the sack.
At night, blood flow to your skin increases, collagen production speeds up, cell turnover accelerates, free radicals get nixed by your body’s natural defense system and your skin’s barrier function works hard to restore itself. All good stuff, we think you’ll agree. But how can all this happen if your skin is covered in crud that’s built up on the surface during the day? Well, it can’t. Not properly, anyway. So you simply have to cleanse properly with a gentle but effective face wash before bed. We have three awesome cleansers to choose from depending on your skin type and needs – check them out here. Then, after cleansing, apply a collagen-boosting treatment serum like Retinol Facial Serum followed by Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream to help seal in moisture.
How To Make Your Skincare Go That Extra Mileread more