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True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • 5 Awesome Ways To Give Stressed Skin A Break
    Skin in total freak-out mode right now? Then it’s time to de-stress and give your poor complexion a break.

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

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

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

    1. First, Try To De-Stress Your Mind

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

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

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

    2. Practice Some True Self-Care

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

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

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

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

    3. Give Your Barrier Function A Break

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

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

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

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

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

    4. Think About Everything You Put On Your Skin

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

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

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

    5. Optimize Bedtime

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

    What Is Skin Inflammation?

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

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

    No. Fun.

    What Causes Skin Inflammation?

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

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

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

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

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

    6 Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients Your Skin Will Love

    1. Aloe

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

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

    Try: Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer

    2. Green Tea

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

    Try: Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum

    3. MSM

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

    Try: Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser

    4. Niacinamide

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

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

    Try: Niacinamide Facial Serum

    5. Vitamin E

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

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

    Try: Vitamin C Facial Serum

    6. Witch Hazel

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

    Try: Ocean Minerals Daily Face Super Toner





    How To Nail An Effective Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Routine
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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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  • What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your Lips
    Staying ahead (or at least on top) of lines and wrinkles around your mouth isn't so out of reach when you’ve got the right skincare up your sleeve…

    Wrinkles and lines are all part of getting older and, in our opinion, aging is a privilege rather than something to shy away from. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t work to minimize the visible signs of skin aging, right? After all, that’s what skincare is here for.

    So, let’s talk about what to do with those pesky fine lines above your mouth. Not to be confused with laugh lines (which run from the sides of your nose down to your mouth), these are the fine vertical lines that most often creep up between your nose and top lip, but can also been found underneath your mouth. You know the ones: they're the tiny lines you see when you pucker up that used to disappear. But now? Not so much. What's that all about?

    The skin on and around your lips is extremely delicate and subject to a lot of movement from talking, laughing and other facial expressions. All this coupled with the natural loss of collagen and elastin as you age, plus the onslaught of environmental damage (here’s looking at you, Miss Sunshine) means the skin around your lips really does get the rough end of the aging deal.

    Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent lines around your mouth. And if it’s too late for that? Not a problem. There are also plenty of things you can do to prevent them from getting worse. Herein, our top five…

    5 Ways To Improve Wrinkles Around The Mouth

    1. Protect, Protect, Protect

    As with most signs of skin aging, preventative care is everything. And this is just as important on and around your mouth as anywhere else on your face – and neck…and hands…and in fact, all areas of skin exposed to the sun on a regular basis.

    When we talk about prevention, one thing is clear – protecting your skin from the sun is the single most important thing you can do. And no, this isn’t just a sneaky ploy from skincare and sunscreen manufacturers to sell more SPF, because the facts are clear: the sun is the number one cause of lines, wrinkles and dark spots. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that around 90 percent of all skin aging is caused by sun damage. Another stat for you: people who apply daily sunscreen with an SPF 15 or above show 24 percent visibly less skin aging than those who don’t. Need we say any more?

    Thankfully, the rules are simple. Apply sunscreen every day and make sure you don’t miss the area around your mouth. Stick to broad-spectrum formulations that have an SPF value of 30 or more and choose ones that contain mineral sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Also, invest in a sun protective lip balm or gloss to apply throughout the day so your lips don’t miss out on all the good stuff.

    2. Use A Targeted Antioxidant Serum

    Prevention and protection aren't solely about flipping the bird to that big ball of fire in the sky; there are plenty of other environmental and lifestyle factors that can cause collagen breakdown and consequent damage to your skin.

    Pollution, for one, is everywhere and it’s one of the biggest causes of free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that form in your skin when it’s been exposed to stuff it doesn’t like (UV radiation, pollution, a sugar-laden diet, even a lack of sleep). Why are they the enemy? Because free radicals steal electrons from the good stuff in your skin (collagen, elastin and DNA), damaging them and causing what’s known in the skin business as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress = seriously bad news for the look, feel and health of your skin, accelerating the natural aging process and laying the groundwork for premature lines and wrinkles.

    The good news is that for every free radical out there, there’s an equally powerful antioxidant to help neutralize them before they get a chance to do their worst. Vitamins C, E and B3 (niacinamide) are absolute winners, as are retinol, botanical hyaluronic acid and plant oils, which are naturally rich in antioxidants.

    So, what are we getting at? Simple. Invest in a topical antioxidant serum like Vitamin C Serum and apply it not only to your face and neck, but specifically to the skin around your mouth.

    3. Try A Smoothing Mouth Massage

    We’re big fans of a two-minute cleansing massage in the shower every morning to wake up and lift the skin but we must admit, our lips don’t get much of a look-in. Big mistake.

    You should never underestimate the impact a facial massage can have on your complexion. It not only promotes blood flow and oxygen to the surface of the skin, but it also activates collagen production to improve strength and firmness.

    There are tons of different videos on YouTube demonstrating how to perform a mouth massage to help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and even laugh lines. But a really simple way to nail this is to apply a small drop of facial oil to clean hands, then use the pads of your fingers to massage the skin around your mouth in circular motions. Start from the cupid’s bow and work out toward the corners of your mouth. Repeat this a few times then do the same under your mouth.

    Not a fan of face oil? Then our fabulously rich Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream works just as well and contains ingredients famed for helping to restore skin while you sleep.

    4. Avoid Smoking… And Straws!

    Smoking is terrible for your health and hell on your skin. Tobacco contains a gazillion harmful substances that can negatively impact your skin, ruining its texture, tone, elasticity, firmness and even affecting the color of your complexion. In fact, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, it’s pretty common for the skin of a 40-year-old heavy smoker to look similar to that of a 70-year-old nonsmoker. Ouch!

    Not only does smoking increase free radical formation, accelerate inflammation, break down collagen and decrease blood flow to the skin, but it also delivers an extra sucker punch to the skin around your lips in the form of smokers’ lines. Smokers’ lines are caused by frequent puckering of the lips which uses very specific muscles around the mouth and causes a crinkling of the skin. These lines deepen and become more etched-in over time. Their redeeming factors? They have none. Don't smoke. End of discussion.

    Of course, smokers' lines aren’t only saved for smokers because there’s another unsuspecting culprit that can cause similar lines around your mouth. And that’s constantly drinking from a straw. Think about it, it's basically the same puckering action as smoking a cigarette. So, if you do it too often it could end up leaving a similar wrinkled effect around your lips. Instead, just drink from a regular glass or cup. 

    5. Enjoy The Benefit Of A Chemical Peel

    If your mouth wrinkles seem to be deepening by the day and are seriously getting you down, you might want to consider an in-office procedure like a chemical peel. Chemical peels are resurfacing treatments that work by removing the top layers of your skin to promote healing and reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and dark spots. They can be light, medium or deep depending on your concerns, requirements and the type of ingredients used, but they don’t come without their downsides, which include irritation, redness and swelling. These side effects are often short-term, however, and usually worth it for the benefits.

    Other options at the doctor’s office include things like microdermabrasion and microneedling. And, of course, dermal fillers are also prime for plumping up the mouth area, lending it more structure and softening the look of folds and wrinkles.

    Just remember, these procedures must always be administered by board-certified professionals, so do your research and only offer up your face to the very best in the business.





    What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your Lips
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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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  • Are Your Hands Aging You Up?
    If you care about aging, leaving your hands to deal with Mother Nature and Father Time with zero help is a massive mistake. Here’s why…

    Do you, like us, remember your mom saying how one day she looked down at her hands and suddenly saw her mom’s hands staring back at her? Oh, how true that statement is. And like all things in life, it happens generation after generation as time catches up with you and years of hard work (damn those dishes!) and fun in the sun start to take their toll on the skin on the back of your hands.

    Fun fact: the back of the hand is called the opisthenar. But we digress…

    The problem with skin aging is that hands aren’t particularly ‘up there’ on most people’s priority list. Crow’s feet? Sure. But fine lines on your hands? Not really bothered. That is, until one day, you are. All of a sudden, tiny lines start turning into wrinkles, sun spots quadruple and, wait, what’s going on with those prominent veins? Eek.

    Here’s the thing. When it comes to the visible signs of aging, your hands are just as susceptible as your face. Maybe even more so. How so? The skin on the back of your hands is much thinner than that on your face and neck. It also contains very little fat and is exposed to the slings and arrows of environmental damage day after day – usually without any kind of protection. Couple this with the natural aging process, which sees your skin lose collagen and elastin (read: strength and elasticity), then add all the sanitizing and hand washing you’re doing and, heck, the skin on your opisthenar (sorry, not sorry!) stands no chance.

    That is, unless you partake in a few smart skincare choices, of course. Herein, five ways to help your hands stay looking younger for longer…

    Sanitize With Care

    Three years ago, hand sanitizer wasn’t really on our radar, but now that it’s an essential, we feel it's worth talking about. Why? Because these days, there’s no escaping the need to practice hand hygiene 24/7, and unfortunately, all that alcohol is terribly drying for your skin.

    According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand sanitizer must contain at least 60 percent alcohol in order to effectively kill germs. That might sound like a lot of alcohol for your poor skin to contend with but… well, actually, you’re right, it is. And there’s no getting around this. Choose something with less alcohol in it and it simply won’t work.

    So, what’s the answer? Well, look out for sanitizers that contain hydrating and moisturizing ingredients to help combat the alcohol. Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera and skin-nurturing oils are all great. And whenever you can, wash your hands with gentle soap and lukewarm water rather than always relying on your sanitizer.

    Go Big With Moisturizer

    Moisturizing twice a day is usually enough for your face, but hands get submerged in water way more frequently, meaning extra moisturization is vital. You see, water and cleansing ingredients break down the skin’s natural barrier function, which increases transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and allows bacteria and germs to penetrate skin more easily. It doesn’t help that the skin on your hands contains fewer sebaceous glands than your face, which also makes it more prone to dryness. Dang.

    Basically, you need to apply hand cream after every time you cleanse or sanitize. No arguments. After washing your hands, dry them gently and apply hand cream while your skin is still damp to help lock in water. However, after sanitizing, do not apply moisturizer until your skin is thoroughly dry or this could affect its germ-busting efficacy.

    At night, show your hands what true moisturizing love is by smothering them in our super luxe Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream. This will blanket your skin with free radical-fighting antioxidants, as well as hydrating aloe vera, soothing panthenol and nourishing emollients. It makes for an awesome overnight treat. Trust us, we've tried it.

    Protect Your Hands From The Sun

    The sun plays a massive role in the aging process and can lead to thinning, wrinkles, dark spots, the works. And just like the skin on your face, your hands are constantly exposed to the elements, so they need some savvy shielding from UV radiation to keep all those skin annoyances at bay.

    Thankfully, the solution is simple: protect your hands as you would your face. When you apply your antioxidant facial serum, smooth a few extra drops over the back of your hands – our Vitamin C Serum is ideal for this, as it’s super lightweight, fast-absorbing, and glides over skin like a dream.

    Do the same with your sunscreen to ensure your hands get their fair share of the sun protective love. Look out for broad-spectrum formulations, as these not only protect skin from UVB rays, but also sneaky UVAs, which penetrate glass and hit you every day of the year.

    Don’t Forget To Exfoliate

    A little mild exfoliation once or twice a week is a fantastic way to remove dead skin cells and allow your skin’s protective barrier to do its job properly. It’ll also help your SPF and moisturizer to penetrate your skin better, which your hands (and wallet) will totally thank you for.

    The best part is you don't even have to buy a special hand scrub. Simply mix together a teaspoon each of salt, sugar and olive or coconut oil, then rub this mixture all over your hands for two minutes before rinsing and gently towel-drying. Easy. 

    Take Cover

    Gloves are a great way to protect the skin on your hands from the elements. Dish gloves shield from oil-stripping water and abrasive household cleansers while winter mittens guard against skin-drying winter winds. Heck, even driving, cycling and gardening gloves are awesome for keeping your hands out of harm’s reach – and by harm, we mean those pesky sun rays again.
    Another reason to invest in more pairs of gloves? Two words: retail therapy...






    Are Your Hands Aging You Up?
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