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When it comes to fighting off wrinkles and limiting the damaging effects of pollution and the sun, antioxidants are everything. But are they all they’re cracked up to be? Funnily enough, yes, they are.
If you’re reading this, you probably know a little about what your skin wants from its daily routine. First up, you have the foundation for great skin: a fabulous cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin of life, but cleanses thoroughly while caring for your skin’s super-important barrier function. Simple enough, right?
Then, you have toner which adds that little extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your regimen, treating dark spots, adding a little hydration, maybe even helping to exfoliate your skin – as long as you choose the right one, of course (cough, Ocean Minerals Super Toner, cough).
And somewhere in the middle of all this come antioxidants. You’ll have read about antioxidants countless times (especially if you’re a TruSkin fan!) and maybe you understand just a smidge about their overall benefits for your skin. But did you know they’re the absolute key to fighting off environmental damage? Not only that but they can perform any number of skin-enhancing feats, helping to transform a ‘decent’ skincare routine into a truly fabulous one.
Here’s everything you need to know about these skincare powerhouses…
First, Let’s Talk About Free Radicals
Free radicals might sound innocent enough, but don’t be fooled. They can be seriously bad news when it comes to your skin. Simply put, free radicals are unstable, highly reactive atoms or molecules that form in your skin when it’s been subjected to things like sun damage, pollution, alcohol, stress or a poor diet.
Due to their unstable nature, free radicals seek out electrons from other, unsuspecting molecules in your skin to try and stabilize themselves, thus creating more free radicals in their wake. This blatant thievery is called oxidation and, if it gets left to its own devices, it leads to what's known as oxidative stress which causes serious damage to all the good stuff within your skin – think DNA, collagen and elastin.
Got It. So, How Do Antioxidants Fit Into The Equation?
Antioxidants are Batman to free radicals’ evil The Joker. Unlike other molecules which turn into free radicals when an electron gets snatched away, antioxidants are able to donate electrons to neutralize free radicals, while simultaneously maintaining their own stability. This practically laughs in the face of free radicals’ destruction and stops the chain reaction of skin damage as a result.
Your body naturally has a pretty decent antioxidant defense system that works hard to fight damage and keep you healthy, but this weakens with age (no surprises there!). This is why you need to help it out by including not only antioxidant-rich fruit and veggies in your diet, but also by applying topical antioxidants to your skin to fight off those pesky free radicals, reduce damage and help keep your complexion strong, supple, radiant and youthful-looking.
Topical antioxidants can be found in anything from cleansers and toners through to moisturizers and face masks, but to maximize their benefits, you should always include an antioxidant serum in your routine. Why? Because serums have a small molecular structure which allows them to deliver powerful, active ingredients deep into your skin.
Here are six of our absolute faves…
The 6 Best Antioxidant Serums For Your Skin Concerns
The Skin Brightener: Vitamin C Facial Serum
With more than 93,000 ratings on Amazon, this number one bestseller is packed with antioxidants including arguably the queen of them all, vitamin C. Vitamin C not only reduces the breakdown of collagen and elastin to support your skin and reduce premature lines and wrinkles, but it also contains properties that help regulate melanin production to help fade dark spots and even out your skin tone. Hello, brighter skin days!
The Ultimate Hydrating Hero: Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is well-known for its hydrating powers due to its clever way of drawing water to the surface of your skin (up to 1,000 times its own weight, no less). But did you know that botanical HA is also a powerful antioxidant? If you’re looking to up your skin’s moisture content while neutralizing potential free radical damage at the same time, this multitasking HA Serum is right up your alley.
The Balancing Act: Tea Tree Super Serum+
Unhappy skin often leads to excess oil and, worse still, pesky breakouts, which is where our Tea Tree Super Serum+ comes in. Packed with tea tree essential oil and salicylic acid to balance your skin and improve cell turnover, it also contains vitamin C to brighten, hyaluronic acid to hydrate AND retinol to strengthen and support your skin. A veritable master-of-all-trades. Just remember, this is a potent one, so it needs to be applied just two or three times a week.
The Age-Defying Genius: Retinol Facial Serum
Retinol, oh how we love thee. An active form of vitamin A, retinol stimulates the skin to turn over more efficiently. This helps soften, thicken and plump up the skin while offering no end of benefits for enlarged pores, acne, pigmentation and aging skin. Retinol is also an awesome antioxidant, making it one of the most important ingredients for your skincare regimen. Try this nighttime serum that’s gentle enough for almost all skin types – as long as you patch test it first, of course. But that’s a given with any new skincare formulation…
The Sensitive Skin Savior: Niacinamide Facial Serum
The newest addition to our serum line-up contains one of the gentlest, but no less effective antioxidants, niacinamide. Very well tolerated by the skin, niacinamide helps soothe and calm irritation. It also has the power to increase the natural production of ceramides in your skin to help strengthen and protect your barrier function. A real must-try for antioxidant newbies or for anyone whose skin doesn't tolerate the potency of vitamin C or retinol.
The ‘I Want It All’ Serum: Vitamin C Super Serum+
Both of our Super Serums contain a carefully curated blend of some of the most effective ingredients in skincare. But for the absolute ultimate in antioxidant prowess our Vitamin C Super Serum+ is, for sure, the one for you. It contains not two… not three… but four of the very best: vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid AND retinol. Not to mention a whole plethora of botanical oils plus aloe vera to keep irritation to a minimum. Word is, this one’s so good, you only need to apply it two or three times a week.
Why Antioxidants And Your Skin Are The Ultimate BFFsread more
Ramp up your skincare tools by knowing exactly which skincare products to use with them… and when.
These last few years have seen a massive rise in sales of at-home skincare tools and treatments that give you all the benefits of a spa-like facial without leaving the comfort of your own home. Figures, right? For the most part of 2020 and 2021 your home became your office, your school, your gym, even your hair salon (come on, fess up if you attempted a bad trim/root touch-up last year?). All this meant that popping to your favorite dermatologist or beauty therapist for an hour-long facial simply wasn’t an option. So, you started buying stuff to use at home that could help recreate the treatments you’d become accustomed to. And it turned out, most of you quite liked being your own beauty boss. Some of you also became pretty good at using your new skin tool BFF.
However, it’s not easy to transform yourself into a whizz at professional-style home treatments. So, if you’re yet to figure out how to use your gua sha or derma roller alongside your favorite skincare products, here’s our guide to getting it right.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: Cleansing Brush
What It Does: Sonic cleansing brushes and tools use powered bristles that vibrate and pulsate over the surface of your skin. Some use circular motions while others move back and forth, but whatever the technology, this repetitive, time-controlled movement offers similar results: to deeply cleanse your skin, break down dirt and oil, and keep your pores clean and clear. The massaging action has also been shown to help promote a toned, lifted and firmer-looking complexion.
How To Use: Cleansing brushes are extremely simple to use. Moisten your face with lukewarm water and apply cleanser all over your skin – you might need a little more than normal so don’t be shy. Next, grab your brush and work it over your face for around a minute. Anything more than light pressure will prevent the bristles from moving properly, however, so go easy. Rinse, dry and you’re done. Oh, and we don’t recommend using them more than once a day. Too much, people. Way too much.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: Of course, a great face wash is your go-to here and we think our Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser is the absolute bomb because it’s gentle enough for most skin types and formulated with vitamin C and other potent antioxidants for bright, radiant skin. Exfoliating scrubs should be avoided as these could over-stimulate your skin and cause irritation, dryness and sensitivities.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: Derma Roller
What It Does: Derma rollers are used in microneedling treatments. Microneedling works by using tiny, high-speed needles to produce tiny puncture wounds in your skin. This creates a controlled injury which triggers collagen and elastin production, nudging your skin to renew itself. By doing this, microneedling is said to help reduce acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles and even dark spots. But remember, at-home derma rollers are generally manufactured using shorter needles than the medical-grade ones used by the pros, so be patient with results.
How To Use: Shoving needles into your skin at home might sound like a crazy notion, but derma rollers can be extremely safe to use if you’re super careful and follow the instructions to the absolute letter. The first thing to remember is to make sure both your skin and derma roller are totally clean before your treatment, then mentally divide your face into four sections and gently work the roller over small areas within that section two or three times. Rinse your skin afterwards and gently pat it dry.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: Microneedling is a great way to help moisturizer and serum penetrate deeper into your skin. Which is good and bad news. First, the bad: microneedling can make your skin sensitive to potent, active ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid – especially if you’ve not used them before – so tread carefully with anything that could cause a reaction. The great news, however, is that microneedling will really ramp up the effects of some of your less sensitizing, more hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, MSM and vitamin C. We recommend following a derma roller sesh with Niacinamide Facial Serum.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: Ice Globes
What They Do: Ice globes are a bit like jade rollers but, as their name suggests, they’re glass or metal wands that have balls on the ends which are designed to be kept in the fridge or freezer. Kind of like rubbing ice cubes all over your skin without the watery mess, ice globes are awesome for the eye area as their globe-like shape makes them easy to negotiate around the orbital bone. However, they’re great for soothing redness, minimizing inflammation, boosting circulation and reducing puffiness all over your face. Experts also believe they may help boost collagen to tighten and firm your skin. So, there’s that.
How To Use: These are best used in the morning to really wake up your skin and help reduce tired, puffy eyes and skin. Simply grab yours from the fridge or freezer and work it over cleansed, dry skin for 10 minutes or so. Use upwards movements to lift your skin and add radiance, or downwards strokes to encourage lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling, making sure you don’t press too hard as this could drag and damage your skin.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: Apply your favorite serum or eye cream before massaging to really super charge all those delicious, skin-loving ingredients. Try Vitamin C Facial Serum to help protect your skin throughout the day.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: LED Facial Mask
What It Does: Loved by the likes of Julia Roberts, Victoria Beckham and Olivia Munn, LED face masks might not be cheap, but, depending on the type of light involved, they’ve been proven to work on all manner of skin woes including fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and even acne. They work by using waves of light (usually blue or red) to penetrate your skin and kick-start it to function more efficiently. Red light, for example, promotes collagen production so is great for anti-aging the skin, whereas blue light targets excess sebum to work on reducing acne breakouts.
How To Use: Again, they’re all different, but you basically cleanse, tone and moisturize as normal, then power up your mask, select the light you prefer (if there are options), pop the mask over your face and relax. What’s more, most masks switch off automatically after 15-20 minutes. What could be easier? Two or three times a week should be about right to give you decent results in just a few weeks.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: LED can cause your skin to feel a little dry to begin with so make sure you look after your skin’s barrier to prevent unnecessary water loss and help your skin stay hydrated and healthy. Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream is a great shout to apply before bed as this will really enrich your skin with moisture. Perfect the night before (and after) using your mask.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: Facial Gua Sha
What It Does: Pronounced ‘gwah shah’, this East Asian therapy has been around for hundreds of years and uses a flat, smooth crystal like jade or rose quartz to scrape the skin and move energy (or chi) around the face or body. This form of massage is known to help remove a build-up of lymphatic fluids from the face and around your eyes. It also boosts circulation and relieves muscle tension.
How To Use: Unlike body gua sha therapy which is firm and can cause bruising, using it on your face requires a more gentle approach. Simply place the tool flat against your skin and use the different angles and curves of the tool to fit the contours of your face. Apply gentle pressure and use a combination of long and short strokes across the surface to stimulate lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness. Start once a week and then build up to more frequent use as you get more into a routine.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: To get the most from gua sha, cleanse and tone your skin first, then apply a small amount of facial oil to reduce drag and maintain a smooth surface as you massage your skin. If you want to concentrate on puffy eyes, firstly: great idea. And secondly: apply Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream first for awesome, eye-rejuvenating benefits.
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Glowing skin is a sure sign your complexion is happy. But what about when things don’t look or feel as good as you’d like? Chances are your routine could be the very reason your skin is having a mini meltdown…
Happy skin is something everybody strives for. And if only we were all blessed with the type of complexion that permanently behaved itself and looked downright perfect. But life’s not like that – no matter how famous you are or how much money you throw at your skin. Call it Murphy’s law if you like, but as soon as you accept that flawless skin is rarely achieved, the happy we know you (and your skin) will be.
That being said, while you can’t change your genes or suddenly transform your skin type from oily to normal overnight, what you can do is give your skin its best shot at happiness by ensuring your skincare routine is on the right path.
As you know, a great routine consists of gentle cleansing, an antioxidant treatment, regular moisturization and broad-spectrum sun protection. Then there are all the added extras like toner, exfoliation, extra hydration and eye treatments. Reckon you’ve got these down to a tee? Well, we hope that’s true. However, your skin might think otherwise and if it’s showing signs of grief – redness, itching, dry patches, breakouts etc. – chances are, you’re somehow upsetting your skin’s important barrier function. Let’s have a look into that a bit more…
Skin Barrier 101
Your skin has three main layers. The lowest is the hypodermis, followed by the dermis and on the very top, the epidermis. Each of these layers is split into even more layers which are super complex and all play a very important part in the health of your skin and body.
Right at the top of your epidermis is the uppermost layer, the stratum corneum, otherwise known as your skin's barrier. The stratum corneum is kind of like a brick wall of around 20 layers of cells, held together by essential lipids such as ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids. This brick wall is your body’s first line of defense against the outside world and works hard to protect you from the slings and arrows of everyday life like pollution, toxins and chemicals. It also stops TEWL (transepidermal water loss) to retain the right balance of moisture in your skin and help keep it soft, supple and healthy.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Yes, in theory. it is. However, your skin’s barrier naturally weakens with age, a cruddy skincare routine and poor lifestyle choices. And if your barrier is not functioning to the best of its abilities, moisture can escape from the surface of your skin far too easily – bad news for things like lines, wrinkles, dehydration, sensitivities and irritation. It also means your skin becomes more sensitive to things like active skincare ingredients and other environmental irritants.
So, how can you ensure your skincare is barrier-friendly and your complexion is in a much happier place?
5 Simple Ways To Avoid Upsetting Your Skin
1. Always Perform A Skincare Patch Test
One of the most vital, and often overlooked ways to ensure everything you put on your skin is a-okay is to patch test it first. We can see you rolling your eyes, but hold on there because your skin is a very delicate organ and there’s always the possibility of it not liking a certain ingredient in your skincare.
The worrying truth is that other than color additives, cosmetic ingredients don’t have to be tested or approved by the FDA to be allowed into a beauty product. Scary huh? Of course, most reputable manufacturers (us included) ensure that everything is safe when used correctly, but still, that’s a worrying thought…
Your only option, therefore, is to test a product on a discreet area of skin and leave it for at least 48 hours before using it properly for the first time. Not sure how to patch test? We can help with that right here.
2. Go Slow With Your Active Ingredients
Piling on vitamin C, retinol, glycolic acid and anything else you can put your hands on is a recipe for skin barrier disaster. So, go steady. Check all of your skincare labels and write down any active ingredients you come across. Actives include any ingredient that has been proven to change the skin in some way – whether it be to improve acne, discolorations, dryness, fine lines or wrinkles. Think AHAs, BHAs, antioxidants, retinol, urea, hyaluronic acid and so on.
Once you’ve made your list, have a look at it and make a note of any major repetitions and how your skin is feeling right now. If your skin feels red and dry, for example, and you notice every single product in your regime contains some kind of exfoliating acid, think about ditching one or two of these products for more calming, moisturizing options.
Similarly, you shouldn't need to apply more than one serum, so if you're doubling up, well, stop that. All of our serums have been formulated with at least one active ingredient, but they’ve been carefully blended to cause as little irritation to your skin barrier as possible. Niacinamide Facial Serum, for example, contains vitamin E and hyaluronic acid as well as strengthening niacinamide, so it’s the perfect choice for a healthy barrier function.
3. Don’t Double Cleanse
Double cleansing is fine if you wear tons of makeup or have oily skin that rarely feels clean after a single cleanse, but for most of you, we think it’s kind of pointless. Worse than that, it can strip away all of your essential oils and fatty acids which disrupts your barrier function and can cause long-term dryness, dehydration and irritation.
Instead, gently cleanse your skin morning and night with Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser to wash away impurities without sucking your skin dry. Massage it gently over moist skin and rinse with lukewarm, but never hot water.
4. Be Mindful Of How Much You Exfoliate
Hands down, one of the most common skincare sins is to over exfoliate. And this is a big mistake for your skin’s moisture barrier. Sure, exfoliation is great for boosting cell turnover and ensuring a radiant glow, but too much strips your protective barrier and is a one-way ticket to red, inflamed, excessively dry skin. Which is probably not what you were hoping for when you embarked on your kick-ass exfoliation regime, right?
If your skin is particularly unhappy right now, pare back on any kind of exfoliation – and yes, that means everything from scrubs and cleansing brushes to glycolic and lactic acid treatments. Stay away from these for at least 10 days then slowly introduce one form of exfoliation into your routine just once or twice a week. Cleansing using a soft facecloth is a great way to reintroduce light exfoliation into your life. We’re also big fans of glycolic acid so try our Ocean Minerals Super Toner which contains peptides and MSM to strengthen and rebuild your skin.
5. Moisturize Every Morning & Night
Never, we repeat, NEVER forget to moisturize your skin twice a day. Hydration is the absolute key for rebuilding and strengthening your skin’s barrier, so, even if your skin is oily, you need to apply a hydrating moisturizer after cleansing, toning and treating your skin to lock in moisture and stop water from evaporating from the surface.
When choosing a great moisturizer to support your barrier function it’s all about the right ingredients, and a truly balanced and effective moisturizer has to include at least two of three types of ingredient. 1. A humectant. 2. An emollient. And 3. An occlusive.
Humectants such as glycerin, aloe and hyaluronic acid draw water into the skin like a sponge; emollients like jojoba oil and squalane soften the skin and smooth over cracks, while occlusives like shea and cocoa butters form a physical barrier on the surface of your skin. Our awesome trio of moisturizers (Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer, Deep Hydration Night Cream and Retinol Moisturizer) all contain a fabulous combination of humectants, emollients and occlusives. Win. Win. Win.
Finally, Don’t Expect Your Skin To Cheer Up Overnight
Healing your skin barrier isn’t something that can be achieved with the click of your fingers. Far from it. It’ll more likely take somewhere between two and four weeks to truly see stronger, happier skin.
Patience is a virtue, people.
Is Your Skin In Its Happy Place?read more
Summer’s officially over, folks. So, there’s no better time to add a hard-working face serum into your skincare routine. Frankly, it would be rude not to.
Face serums are mysterious little characters. Often moisturizing, but not really moisturizers; sometimes oily, but definitely not face oils. Mind. Officially. Blown.
But the thing is, a face serum is probably the most important and hard-working product you could have in your skincare arsenal. Sure, it’s not 100 percent vital in terms of keeping your skin clean, moisturized and protected from the sun (they’re the absolute basics for healthy skin, btw). However, if you want to do more than just the bare minimum for your skin and want to keep it looking its best for as long as possible, you simply must include at least one serum in your daily regime.
Not sure where to start? Then allow us to fill you in on all the essential deets. Because summer’s gone, fall’s here and now’s the perfect time to up your skincare game.
What Are Face Serums?
A face serum is a light, water- or gel-based skincare product that’s been formulated to help treat specific concerns or skin conditions like dullness, dehydration or aging. Due to their small, molecular makeup, serums are extremely fast-absorbing and can penetrate deep into your skin. This is why they’re such a great tool for delivering active ingredients exactly where your skin needs them.
How Do Serums Differ To Moisturizers?
Unlike serum, a moisturizer’s main job is to, well, moisturize. Sure, it might contain antioxidants, exfoliating acids and all manner of other skin-loving ingredients as added extras but at the end of the day, a moisturizer’s ability to moisturize your skin is everything. A moisturizer, therefore, is richer than serum and usually contains some kind of emollient or occlusive ingredient (think shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil etc.) to create a barrier and stop moisture from escaping from the surface of your skin.
Serums, on the other hand, are lighter and contain much smaller molecules than their moisturizing cousins. Of course, serums can contain hydrating ingredients to help your skin retain moisture, but they don’t often contain occlusive or emollient ingredients (think shea butter, coconut oil etc) which form a seal on the surface of your skin. If they did, they wouldn’t retain such a lightweight composition and they wouldn’t absorb into your skin in such a timely, effective manner.
Is A Face Serum Right For Me?
Probably… but who knows? There are so many different formulations around, there’s bound to be one to suit your needs. However, the most important thing is to always patch test any new serum before applying it all over your face and neck for the first time.
To perform a patch test, apply a small amount to a discreet area of clean skin either behind your ears, inside your elbow, on your wrist or on the side of your neck. Then leave it for a good 48 hours to check for any negative reactions. If everything’s a-okay after this time, you’re good to go. Even mild reactions such as redness or a little tingling that settles down after an hour is fine – this is just those awesome ingredients getting to work. However, anything that’s continually uncomfortable or painful is a major red flag. If you experience a bad reaction like this, immediately cleanse your skin and don’t use it again. And if symptoms continue to get worse, always seek advice from a skincare expert.
How Do I Choose A Serum To Suit My Skin Concerns?
Most formulations will feel similarly lightweight and watery or gel-like, so that’s not really a factor. Instead, it’s all about those active ingredients inside.
Here are five awesome ingredients to look out for in a face serum, depending on your skin’s concerns:
1. Hyaluronic Acid
Great For: All skin types.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the best ingredients for hydrating your skin. It’s known as a humectant which means it works like a sponge to draw water to the surface of your skin.
Great For: Aging or acne-prone skin.
Retinol is seen as the best of the best when it comes to boosting cell turnover and therefore working on everything from fine lines and wrinkles through to dark spots and pimples.
3. Vitamin C
Great For: Dull skin.
One of the most studied antioxidant in skincare, vitamin C protects your skin from free radical damage and inhibits melanin production to boost your skin’s glow factor and improve hyperpigmentation.4. Niacinamide
Great For: All skin types, particularly sensitive.
Otherwise known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a gentle, but effective antioxidant. It works really well with the natural substances in your skin to improve tone, texture and the visible signs of aging.
5. Salicylic Acid
Great For: Oily or combination skin.
Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble chemical exfoliator that gets deep into your pores to reduce excess sebum, reduce acne breakouts and boost cell turnover.
How & When Should I Apply My Face Serum?
The general rule with skincare is that lighter products should always be applied first so they don’t have to fight with the heavies to reach the surface of your skin. This means, therefore, that serum should always be applied before moisturizer, to cleansed, toned skin. Then you can follow with a face oil and finally, that all-important, never-to-be-forgotten sunscreen (in the morning, of course!).
When it comes to your application technique, NEVER place the serum dropper directly onto your face as this can transfer oil and bacteria from your skin straight back into the bottle. Instead, apply one or two drops of serum onto clean hands, then apply it over your face and neck. Pat it gently all over cleansed skin and don’t worry about massaging it in. This is totally unnecessary. Serums are light enough to absorb into your skin without your help.
All serums are different, but most can be applied every day. Oftentimes, however, two or three times a week is enough – especially with the super potent serums that really pack a potent punch. Just make sure you read your labels for full instructions so you don’t overload your skin and end up causing irritation.
Up Your Fall Skincare Game With An Awesome New Face Serumread more
Here, we take a look at four of the greatest skincare ingredient double acts dermatologists agree bring out the best in each other.
Netflix and red wine… PB and J… some things work really well together. Like harmonious machines that are simply meant to be. When it comes to skincare, however, you can’t just buy into different formulations, whack them all over your skin and hope for the best. For a start, this is a complete waste of your hard-earned cash and precious time because certain ingredients render others useless. And for another thing, piling potent actives on your face can upset your skin’s natural pH level and compromise your barrier function, giving your complexion no end of problems like itching, redness and breakouts.
Word to the wise: skincare match-making? Bad idea. However, some ingredients complement each other so perfectly they're too good to miss. You just need to know what you’re dealing with in order to benefit from what they have to offer. Better yet, let us do the cocktailing for you.
Herein, four of the most popular skincare ingredient duos we’re totally on board with.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E
As antioxidants go, vitamin C is top of the class. It’s been studied for decades and proven to neutralize damaging free radicals which form in the skin when it’s exposed to environmental nasties such as pollution and UV radiation. If left to their own devices, free radicals cause oxidative stress which breaks down important cells, proteins (namely collagen) and DNA in your skin, leading to lines, wrinkles, dark spots and, well, you know the drill.
You literally can't go wrong if you apply a daily vitamin C treatment to your skin, but when you combine it with other trusted antioxidants, it goes into overdrive, offering your skin double the protection. The combination of vitamins C and E, for example, is one of the most popular in skincare. And for very good reasons. Vitamin E not only amps up vitamin C's ability to protect your skin from free radical damage, but it helps preserve its stability and therefore its efficacy and results. Good stuff.
Find This Dynamic Duo In: Vitamin C Facial Serum
Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid
While retinol is one of the most cherished anti-aging ingredients in skincare, its powers can be a little, shall we say, intense for some skin types? A topical form of vitamin A, retinol works by communicating with your skin cells to make them turn over more efficiently. Of course, there’s much more to it than that, but this is the basic premise of how it helps boost collagen and elastin to work on fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and even acne breakouts.
To counterbalance the potential side-effects some of you may experience from using retinol (here’s looking at you redness, dryness and peeling), look out for formulations that blend it with hyaluronic acid. Retinol and HA is one of our favorite combos because it offers the amazing age-defying benefits of retinol, minus irritation thanks to the hydrating powers of HA.
Find This Dynamic Duo In: Retinol Facial Serum
Tea Tree Oil and Salicylic Acid
If you’re prone to breakouts, you’ll know what a wonder ingredient tea tree oil is. Extracted from the leaves of, yes you’ve guessed it, the tea tree which is native to Australia, this botanical oil has been proven to have awesome anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits. Studies show that it’s a very effective treatment for acne and, double bonus, is well tolerated by most skin types.
But if you really want to fight acne from both angles, try a tea tree serum that blends this wonder ingredient with salicylic acid. How so? Because while tea tree oil works on inflammation and redness at a surface level, salicylic acid goes a little deeper to improve cell turnover and help remove excess oil and dirt that can block your pores in the first place. Prevention and treatment? That has to be one of the best combos out there, right?
Find This Dynamic Duo In: Tea Tree Super Serum+
Niacinamide and Vitamin E
Niacinamide is somewhat of a dark horse. But it offers so much for your skin including radiance, hydration, strength and protection, so we’re aiming to change that!
Otherwise known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a powerful antioxidant and one of the best choices for sensitive skin types as it’s non-irritating and very well tolerated. In fact, it can even work well for those of you with rosacea or eczema – and that’s not an easy accomplishment for any active skincare ingredient…
Because niacinamide is so easy on your complexion (but no less effective, of course), it works well with most other ingredients. However, one of our favorite pairings, especially for restoring and repairing damaged skin, is niacinamide and vitamin E. Vitamin E has awesome emollient and humectant properties which means it can draw water into the skin and keep it there. Twice the antioxidant love as well as the ultimate in moisturization? Count us in.
Find This Dynamic Duo In: Niacinamide Facial Serum
Of course, you must always tread carefully with potent actives – even if they’ve been carefully formulated into one bottle. Always patch test a new product before using it for the first time and remember, less is more.
Oh, and one final side note. If you're looking for TWO fabulous power couples that have your skin covered first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, allow us to introduce you to our Day & Night Duo skincare kit. This perfect pairing includes fan-favorite Vitamin C Facial Serum and the equally effective Retinol Facial Serum. Plus it saves you $$$s as an added bonus.
Say Hello To Skincare’s Ultimate Power Couplesread more
Summer picnics, fancy cocktails and new swimwear are three things we love about summer. Three things we hate? Sticky skin, breakouts and sun-scorched noses. Time to fight back...
The sun is shining, but seriously, do you want your t-zone to be doing the same thing? Thought not. Sadly, warm weather brings a whole bunch of skincare challenges to even the most flawless of complexions. So, here’s 10 ways to make sure your skin is glowing and gorgeous this summer, NOT annoying the hell out of you.
1. Spot Treat Breakouts With Tea Tree Oil
Every one of you knows the perils of sun, sweat, sunscreen and oily skin. One word: zits. Summer breakouts are common because heat and humidity = more sweating and an accumulation of oil, dirt and bacteria on the surface of your skin. Everything in life that zits just love.
If this sounds familiar, make sure you steer clear of oil-based sunscreens which can block your pores, and cleanse your skin thoroughly, but gently, twice daily. You could also spot-treat problem areas with Tea Tree Super Serum+ which contains two of the best ingredients for keeping your pores clean and clear: salicylic acid and, of course, tea tree oil. Dab it on cleansed, problem areas before bed for a dramatic improvement in just a few days.
2. Freshen Up With Face Spritz
When the mercury rises, nothing beats a cool-down like a spritz of refreshing facial toner. And yes, water spray will do the job temporarily, but it‘ll also evaporate from the surface of your skin immediately, causing unnecessary dryness in the long term. Not cool (pun totally intended!).
Try keeping Ocean Minerals Super Toner in your purse or beach bag, instead. Of course, this is a great step in your regular morning and evening routine, but it’s also awesome for cooling down your skin on-the-go, smothering it with aloe, antioxidants, ocean minerals and skin-loving botanicals.
3. Make Vitamin C Your New BFF
If you don’t already have a vitamin C product in your regime, summer is THE best time to rectify that. Not only does this free radical scavenging superhero help reduce fine lines and wrinkles caused by the sun, but it also works hard to fade existing dark spots AND prevent new ones from forming.
Studies show that vitamin C also helps strengthen the power of your sunscreen giving you extra protection from those damaging UV rays. So, there’s that. For the ultimate daily protection, apply Vitamin C Facial Serum to cleansed skin in the morning before moisturizer and sunscreen.
4. Embrace Hats, Sunglasses & Of Course, Shade!
Even the most potent sunscreen can’t protect your skin 100 percent of the time, so other precautions are always gratefully received. Embrace large sun hats (they’re very on trend right now); wear sunglasses to protect the delicate skin around your eyes and when in doubt, seek that all-important shade.
5. Avoid Facial Blotting Papers
Don’t get us wrong, some beauty tools are fabulous, but we have to admit, we hate facial blotting papers – those tiny little pieces of what is essentially just parchment paper. Yes, they’re handy for your purse and yes, they temporarily mop up excess oil but that’s all they are – temporary. Not only that, but by blotting away oils, they can actually prompt your skin to produce even more of the stuff.
Instead of this silly ‘fix,’ keep your skin balanced with a gentle cleansing routine (Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser is awesome for oily skin) and switch out rich, oil-laden moisturizers for light, gel-based formulas. And if you're still a little oily? Try a mattifying primer underneath your makeup.
6. Don’t Shower More Than Once A Day
As tempting as it is to jump in the shower whenever you feel hot, too many showers will compromise your skin’s protective barrier, stripping it of essential oils and drying it out, big time.
Stick to one lukewarm shower a day and keep it to four or five minutes max.
7. Increase Your Exfoliation Game
Over-exfoliating your skin is a terrible idea, but in the summer you can definitely afford to up the ante just a tad – especially if you have oily skin. Instead of once or twice a week, try exfoliating with a gentle scrub or treatment serum like Vitamin C Super Serum+ three times a week. This will ensure your pores remain clear of oil, dirt, makeup and sunscreen.
8. Never Scrimp On Facial Sunscreen
Hopefully by now you know the importance of wearing sunscreen every day of the year – not just in summer. But are you down with exactly how much you should apply?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) you should use a full shot glass for your entire body and around half a teaspoon for your face.
Also, when it comes to SPF for your face, 30 is the sweet spot.
9. Remember, Sun Protection Doesn’t Begin & End With Your Face
For the rest of the year, facial sunscreen is often enough, but now the sun’s out and your body’s getting an airing, don’t forget other exposed areas when slapping on your sun protection.
Research shows that skin cancers are extremely common on the shoulders, chest, arms, legs and backs of the hands, so always protect these areas and indeed any body part that’s not covered by clothing when you’re out in the sun.
10. Use Humidity To Your Advantage
Humectants are hydrating skincare ingredients that work by drawing water into your skin and holding it there like a sponge. In drier climates, humectants have to resort to drawing water up to the surface from deeper levels of your skin, but when it’s humid they’re able to suck it out of the air. Hells yeah!
To keep your skin super hydrated this summer, make sure you include plenty of water-loving humectants in your skincare routine. Our fave is Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum which combines three hard-working humectants: hyaluronic acid, aloe and glycerin.
Skincare Rules To Live By This Summerread more