True Radical Honesty From Our Community
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
The truth is, glowing skin will always be in.
Oh, the heady heights of glowing, healthy skin. Whether you prefer to use the term ‘bright,’ ‘glowy,’ ‘dewy’ or ‘radiant’: we can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t want their skin to be described by one (or all!) of these words. Why is it such an elusive and lusted-after skin condition? Because no matter your skin type or how many wrinkles you do or don’t have, nail that radiant glow and everything else pales into insignificance.
But, how to get glowing skin? Now there’s a question that has as many answers as we’ve had hot dinners.
You can start with what goes in your body, of course, taking a look at your diet and ensuring you chow down on plenty of antioxidant-rich fruit and veggies and cut back on things like booze, sugar, salt and processed carbs. This helps nix skin-damaging free radicals to ensure your skin turns over efficiently and remains healthy from the inside out, making it a great place to start.
There are also things like exercising outdoors to get your blood flowing, massaging your skin as you cleanse, getting plenty of shut-eye and faking it with highlighting makeup and shimmering face powders.
But skincare is our thing, so today we’re going to focus on that.
There are many awesome ingredients and products out there that claim to rejuvenate your skin and freshen up your complexion, but what are the true tried and tested contenders? Keep scrolling for, what we believe, are five of the best products for glowing skin.
1. The Definitive Glow-Giving Facial Serum
Let’s get one thing straight, there’s no better skincare ingredient for boosting a radiant glow than vitamin C. Vitamin C (otherwise known as l-ascorbic acid) has been researched to death over the years and it’s been proven to offer all manner of skin-boosting benefits – glowier skin being just one of them.
So how does this powerhouse work? Well, further to its antioxidant powers, which in themselves are great for strengthening your collagen supplies and improving cell turnover, it also helps slow down melanin production. Melanin, as you know, is what gives your skin its individual color and, when you expose your skin to UV radiation, it’s also what makes you tan. However, melanin production isn’t always smooth sailing. In fact, many triggers such as unbalanced hormones and too much sun can make your melanin go all over the place, resulting in patchy skin, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. No fun. No fun at all.
We believe vitamin C should be a staple in anyone’s skincare regime, but we also understand that it’s a potent ingredient that can cause sensitivities in certain skin types. This is why we infuse all of our vitamin C products with a milder version called sodium ascorbyl phosphate.
When it comes to looking for your perfect match for brightening your skin, you could literally take your pick of our entire vitamin C range, but for a classic favorite, you can’t go wrong with Vitamin C Facial Serum. We believe it’s a winner. Over 140,000 people on Amazon agree with us. We rest our case.
2. The Moisturizer With The Most
If you’re yet to try our new Renewing Longevity Moisturizing Cream you are missing out. It doesn’t contain vitamin C – because choices – but it is powered up by another ingredient that’s already making headlines for all the right reasons: bakuchiol.
Bakuchiol is nature’s alternative to the mighty retinol. Extracted from the seeds and leaves of the babchi plant, it’s fast becoming hot property in the skincare world due to its extraordinary skin benefits (just like retinol) and lack of irritating side-effects (unlike retinol!). We mean no offense to retinol, of course, because it’s still one of, if not THE gold standard of skincare. However, it’s not for everyone and bakuchiol has undergone plenty of studies that show it’s right up there, stimulating collagen synthesis and accelerating cellular turnover in a very similar way to rid your skin of unwanted dead skin cells and help improve your radiance factor.
We have a whole collection of products that harness the powers of bakuchiol but for a great introduction to the range, try this deliciously smooth moisturizer that’s ideal for all skin persuasions, including sensitive skin.
3. The One That’s In It For The Long Game
Admittedly this one might not make your skin look immediately radiant but c’mon now, patience is everything. And in all honesty, this is unarguably the single most important product you could use for glowing skin, healthy skin, smooth skin, strong skin, the works.
So what is this too-good-to-be-true product we speak so highly off? Simple. Sunscreen. Now don’t roll your eyes at us in a ‘not that old chestnut’ fashion because we don’t bang on about sunscreen just to pee you off. We do it because we care about your skin.
The simple truth is that if you don’t protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays, your collagen supplies will dwindle, elastin will get destroyed, dark spots will appear and cell turnover will decrease. This all leads to dull, lackluster, sad-looking skin. And that’s just touching the surface.
Ensure you apply a quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen every morning without fail to make sure your skin doesn’t get caught up in all that damaging nonsense.
Try our SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen which also comes packed with sodium ascorbyl phosphate (that supercool vitamin C derivative we spoke of earlier) on top of hydrating ingredients like squalane and cucumber, plus vegan marine collagen to help target fine lines and sagging skin.
4. The All-Important Skin Exfoliator
If your pores are filled to the brim with sebum, sunscreen, makeup and dead skin cells, your skin stands no chance of being smooth and radiant. Dead skin cells, in particular, create the perfect storm for dull skin.
One of the simplest ways to keep your skin clear from complexion-killing pore plugs is to use a chemical exfoliator like 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant two or three times a week. Chemical exfoliation works by using certain ingredients –commonly fruit acids – to break down the glue that holds dead skin cells together. By doing so, they’re an incredible way of forcing these unwanted cells to sling their hook so that the fresher, brighter ones can make their way to the surface. And unlike physical exfoliation which uses pressure and movement (like scrubs and cleansing brushes), chemical exfoliation, when done correctly, is far less damaging and irritating.
Our fabulous 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant combines a carefully crafted blend of three exfoliating acids along with organic reishi mushroom and hyaluronic acid to combat dehydration and help soothe and nourish the skin. Because, btw, dehydration will also kill your glowy skin vibes.
5. The Dewy Skin Spritz
Convenient and effective, our Ocean Minerals Super Toner is often glossed over in our line-up of skincare greats, but it’s a real goodie in the quest for a revamped complexion. Not only is it formulated with two key skin-brightening players – vitamin C and glycolic acid – but it also contains power-packed peptides, collagen-boosting MSM and over 90 revitalizing marine minerals. All this adds up to some serious love which helps to remove dull, dead skin cells, detox your pores and smooth the surface for a more balanced, even skin tone.
It's an awesome addition to your skincare routine and takes just seconds of your time to apply. So, why not?
Why not indeed.
The Products We Swear By For Bright, Dewy Skinread more
Free radicals might sound like a good thing. Newsflash, they’re not.
There are tons of ingredients and so much jargon in the skincare world, it’s often hard to keep up. And, do you know what? You really don’t have to be able to reel off every detail about every single alpha hydroxy acid. Similarly, we’ll never test you on the spelling of methylsulfonylmethane. Because even we have to constantly look that one up… and it's basically why we call it MSM ;)
However, in order to make informed decisions about what you do and do not put on your skin, there are certain skincare words, ingredients and terms that are important to know about.
And free radicals make that list.
So, What Are Free Radicals?
Do you want the long or the short answer to that question? Well, the short answer is that they’re extremely bad news when it comes to the health of the skin because they’re nasty components that break down collagen, elastin and even your DNA.
The (slightly) longer answer is that they’re highly reactive, unstable atoms that form in your skin when it’s been exposed to things it doesn’t like. Think UV radiation, pollution, cigarette smoke, a sugar-rich diet and you’ll be on the right page.
Atoms have electrons orbiting them which usually come in pairs so they can work together to stabilize and balance themselves. When they’re exposed to internal or external aggressors, however, these atoms split and get left with unpaired electrons which makes them lose their stability. And this is when they become free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable and they don't like that about themselves, so they go on a scavenger hunt, stealing electrons from wherever they can find them – often from healthy cells in your skin (and body). This leads to oxidative stress and no end of damage.
How Do Free Radicals Affect The Skin?
Not in a good way, that’s for sure. You’ve seen what happens to an apple when you take a bite out of it and leave it unfinished? It turns brown, right? Well this is caused by free radicals and is also a result of oxidation.
Of course, your skin doesn’t feel the damage quite so quickly as a poor old apple, but it’s the same process. Cell membranes, proteins and DNA all start to wither as they become starved of valuable electrons; ones they really can’t afford to lose. The result is that collagen and elastin production becomes compromised and your natural moisturization levels dwindle. Continue to allow this to happen and your skin will prematurely age as a result. Fine lines and wrinkles will appear quicker than expected, your skin may start to sag before its time and your complexion will generally look sad and dull.
The word is, free radicals are bad news and you really don’t want them to get the better of you.
The Best Way To Win The War Against Free Radicals
One word: antioxidants. Antioxidants are to free radicals what Batman is to the Joker. They’re the good guys that stop free radicals causing damage to your precious skin and, like most skincare companies, we talk about antioxidants A LOT. It's because they work.
Unlike other molecules which become damaged and turn into free radicals themselves when an electron is snatched away, antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals by donating electrons without losing stability. They’re uber cool and totally stop the skin-damaging chain reaction that free radicals so desperately want to achieve. Take that, free rads!
So where do antioxidants come from? Well, your body has a natural antioxidant defense system that works hard to keep you healthy, and, er, free radical-free, but this weakens as you get older which is why it requires help from external sources. Including plenty of antioxidant-rich fruit and veggies in your diet is a great start, but topical antioxidants are the best way to really target your skin and help keep your complexion strong, supple, radiant and youthful-looking.
Topical antioxidants can be found in all manner of skincare products but we believe, to really maximize their powers, you have to include an antioxidant serum in your routine. Serums have a small molecular structure than other products (this is why they’re deliciously thin and silky to apply). This allows them to really penetrate the skin and deliver powerful, active ingredients deep beneath the surface. Exactly where those free radicals are trying to do their worst.
Want in? Then say hello to three of the best antioxidant serums for neutralizing free radicals...
This baby has clocked up over 140,000 reviews on Amazon and, in our opinion, can do no wrong. The ultimate facial serum for brightening your skin, it harnesses the clinically-proven prowess of vitamin C to fight free radicals and keep your skin looking its absolute best. And if you’re a little scared of the strength of pure vitamin C, the good news is we use sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP). SAP is a much gentler version and offers all the same benefits, but with fewer side effects. This award-winning serum also contains vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and soothe your skin. A legit favorite.
Niacinamide might not be as well-known as vitamin C, but it should never be dismissed because, boy, is it good. A great treatment for most skin types, niacinamide is known as the soothing, calming antioxidant because it’s extremely well tolerated by the skin. That makes it an excellent choice for sensitive skin or acne-prone skin. It also improves the natural production of ceramides in your skin to fortify the surface and strengthen your barrier function. Like our Vitamin C Facial Serum, this incredible serum is also powered by vitamin E and HA to deliver everything your skin needs in just one application.
Retinol is commonly known for rebuilding the skin by improving cellular turnover and accelerating quality collagen production. But it’s also a darn fine antioxidant which makes it an great all-rounder for halting the visible signs of aging and nixing those pesky free radicals before they get a chance to do some serious damage. It’s hard to resist the all-round geniusness of retinol but remember, it’s pretty potent stuff so needs to be treated with respect. Click here for the lowdown on how best to make retinol a successful part of your skincare regime.
We Really Need To Talk About Free Radicalsread 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
No matter your skin type or concerns a consistent routine is the only way to maintain the fabulous skin you deserve.
We may live in a world of filtered, unrealistic Instagram photos but, here at TruSkin, we’re all about enhancing your REAL skin. Sure you might hate your greasy t-zone, dark spots, crow’s feet or frown lines but the truth is, these small (and we stress ‘small’) imperfections do not define you and don’t need to be hidden behind. You are so much more than the odd wrinkle or chin pimple. You are awesome, and that’s something to be celebrated.
Now don’t start rolling your eyes in a ‘that’s easier said than done’ fashion – hear us out because we have our own skin woes to bear, too. The thing is, we’ve learned over the years that you may not have the skin you had 10 years ago and this understanding is the first and most important step to being happy in your skin. Instead of reminiscing about your plump teenage skin, it’s all about working with what you have right now.
But how do you successfully do that? Well, we truly believe that looking after your skin with a consistent skincare routine is the absolute foundation for an awesome complexion. What does a consistent routine mean? Thankfully it doesn’t mean standing over your vanity for hours on end applying an infinite cocktail of products day and night.
In fact, a solid, effective skincare routine requires just six products...
Cleansing your skin is often thought of as kind of a must, but not really that important in the grand scheme of things. Big mistake. If you don’t get rid of all that debris, you might as well throw the rest of your products away because they won’t work to the best of their abilities if they have all those surface nasties to get through.
We believe there are three important things to remember when cleansing your skin. 1. Choose formulations that aren’t loaded with chemicals and are free of irritating ingredients like sulfates, parabens, silicones and PEGs because these can upset your skin’s important barrier function and exacerbate dryness, dehydration, redness and breakouts. No matter your skin type, gentle is always the way to go. Try Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser which is perfect for daily cleansing.
2. Use only room temperature water. Anything too hot will also compromise your barrier function and have the same disastrous results. And 3. Take your time as you cleanse. Splashing your face, throwing a bit of cleanser at your skin and immediately rinsing it away is not going to do a great job. Instead, use your fingers and hands to massage your skin for a good couple of minutes to stimulate blood flow (hello radiant skin) and encourage lymphatic drainage (ditto!).
Hate the thought of drying out your skin with toner? Well, get that entire idea out of your head right now, because these days facial toners are so much more than alcohol-fueled lotions designed to suck all the life out of your skin. They’re actually an important step in your routine and, depending on your skin type, the benefits of a facial toner are endless. They can be saviors if you’re looking to balance, hydrate, calm or soothe your skin. And then some…
Our Ocean Mineral Super Toner, for example, floods your skin with skin-boosting treats like glycolic acid, vitamin C, MSM and botanical extracts. Even better news: simply spritz it on your skin after cleansing and this entire step is done and dusted in a matter of seconds.
Straight after toning comes your treatment serum. Serum should always be applied before eye cream and moisturizer because it’s lighter in consistency so needs cleaner, bare skin in order to do its job properly. Apply moisturizer first and it literally stands no chance of penetrating your skin.
Another fact for you: serum is a vital part of anyone’s skincare routine. How so? Because its small, molecular structure means it can deliver active ingredients to your skin way quicker and deeper than regular moisturizer.
If you’re not sure where to start with serum, don’t sweat it: we have an incredible collections of facial serums to suit every skin type. Looking for a gentle, antioxidant serum that won’t irritate your sensitive skin? Then our Niacinamide Facial Serum is right up your alley. Searching for an awesome all-round anti-ager to boost your flailing collagen supplies? Then look no further than our new Peptide Facial Serum. Whatever your needs, we’ve totally got your back. Just remember to only apply a couple of drops to your face and neck, and gently smooth or press it into your skin for the best results. Oh, and don’t forget to patch test first – serums are pretty potent so you should always make sure any new one is compatible with your skin before using it on the reg.
4. Eye Treatment
After allowing your serum to settle for a minute or so, apply an eye treatment. The skin around your eyes is notoriously dry and fragile making it very susceptible to the slings and arrows of everyday life – ie: sun damage, environmental pollution, stress and lack of sleep. Face moisturizer, however, can be a little heavy for this area, so stick with an eye treatment that’s been specifically created to treat the delicate skin around your eyes.
The golden rule when applying eye cream is that less is more – just a pea-sized amount will take care of both eyes easily. And don’t be too heavy-handed as you apply it. A great trick is to use your ring fingers to dab it around your eyes. This automatically forces you to use a lighter touch.
Water makes up around 64 percent of healthy skin so it’s vital you help your skin stay hydrated 24/7. And moisturizer is the best/only way to do this. Serums are fabulous, for sure, but they don’t contain the slightly richer emollient ingredients that seal hydration into your skin and help reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
Look for kind-to-skin formulations that contain a combination of ingredients to both hydrate your skin (aloe vera, glycerin and hyaluronic acid) and lock in moisture (shea butter, jojoba oil and friends). Try Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer for the morning and Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream before bed.
At night, moisturizer should be the final step in your routine, but in the morning there’s one final step to come. And it’s a VERY IMPORTANT one…
6. Sun Protection
Last, but by no means least, is sunscreen. Yes, applying SPF can seem like a chore but rain, shine, blue skies or gray, sunscreen is non-negotiable every day of the year. The facts are, it’s the most important (and effective) anti-aging product you could ever use and it can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by up to 50 percent.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should choose a broad-spectrum formulation that offers a protection of at least SPF 15 (preferably 30), and you must apply around a nickel-sized amount to your face every morning. Sounds like a bore? Then try our brand new SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen which is lightweight, easy to apply and bursting with skin goodies like vitamin C, aloe vera, vegan marine collagen and the king of sun protection, zinc oxide.
Now For The Hard Bit…
Once you’ve got all this down, the important thing is to stick with your chosen routine – morning AND night. Too tired to wash your face before bed? Tough. Can't be bothered to apply sunscreen in the morning? Unlucky. The bottom line is that if you want to enjoy your best skin for as long as possible, you have to keep at it.
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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 Breakread more