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Advice for all of your skin care needs
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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.
We have two equally awesome eye treatments: Peptide Eye Gel and Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream, so take your pick. You can't go wrong with either!
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.
The Importance Of A Consistent Skincare Routineread more
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
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.
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 Routineread more
Skin barrier protection is on everyone's lips right now. Why? Because this uppermost layer of your skin is a real workhorse – and it needs looking after if you want it to function properly. Here’s how…
Like many skincare brands, beauty blogs and glossy magazines, we often talk about the skin barrier. It's super important for the health of your skin. Which means it’s also super important for how your skin looks and feels on a daily basis.
But what is this elusive skin barrier? And why does it play such a vital role? Well, your skin’s barrier is basically its uppermost layer – the very top of your epidermis that’s made up of around 20 layers of cells and known in the beauty biz as the stratum corneum. This top brick wall-like layer arguably works harder than the rest of your skin put together because it acts like a security guard to protect your skin and your body from the outside world, preventing moisture from getting out and external irritants from getting in.
Of course, the aging process weakens your skin’s barrier as it naturally loses vital moisture, ceramides and cholesterol over time. Which is a bummer. And if you suffer with sensitive skin? Well, that's got a lot to do with having a thin or compromised barrier that’s unable to effectively keep pesky irritants like pollution, toxins, UV radiation and harsh chemicals at bay. These environmental stressors not only cause things like irritation, dryness, dehydration and redness for your skin, but they simultaneously keep chipping away at your skin’s barrier function, weakening it and making it even more prone to damage.
The basic premise is this: you must keep your skin barrier thick and resilient if you're serious about achieving and maintaining healthy, strong skin. An efficient, hardworking barrier will make your skin look far better than one that's not doing so well – think radiant, smooth, even... you know the drill.
So, want more intel on how to protect your skin’s all-important barrier? Read on for our five golden rules…
Rule #1: Pare Back Your Skincare Routine
Gosh, it’s tempting to lavish your skin with every vitamin, acid and goodness knows what other skin-loving ingredients you can get your hands on. And while complicated skincare routines might sound awesome in theory, too much of a good thing can reap disastrous results – especially where your skin’s barrier is concerned.
The key to a solid barrier-strengthening regimen is to keep it simple, yet effective. Easier said than done? Actually, no. Just avoid overloading your skin with tons of serums, essences, oils and potions containing active ingredients that could work against each other and irritate your skin. It’s as simple as that, really. Stick to a basic cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine, and add in just one treatment product, two at the absolute max – one for use in the morning and one for nighttime.
Our favorite serum for nourishing barrier function is Niacinamide Serum. Niacinamide has been shown to help boost ceramide production and is one of the best antioxidants for sensitive skin. Apply it before moisturizer for fabulous results.
Rule #2: Up Your Moisturizing Game
Moisturizers are key for hydrating the top layers of your skin and preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). And as you know, moisturizing is an important step in any skincare routine – whether your skin is oily and prone to breakouts, dry and itchy, or somewhere in between.
When it comes to skin barrier protection, the key is to find an effective moisturizer that’s packed with reparative ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and botanical oils rich in essential fatty acids. We love Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer.
Extreme dryness can seriously damage your skin’s barrier, leaving it vulnerable to external aggressors like pollution, UV radiation and the like, so if your barrier function has gotten out of whack and you’re experiencing a lot of dryness and abnormal sensitivities, moisturizer alone might not be enough. This is where a barrier cream may be needed. Barrier creams not only hydrate the skin and prevent dryness, but they also provide a kind of protective seal over your skin to repair damage, allowing your barrier to heal itself and therefore do its job better.
Rule #3: Press ‘Go’ On The Ultimate Protection Plan
Supercharged moisturizing is all well and good for building up your barrier function and healing your skin, but you also want to prevent further damage, right? Right. Well, on top of applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, another great way to do this is to incorporate a topical antioxidant into your daily routine.
Antioxidants are the bee’s knees at neutralizing cellular damage caused by environmentally-induced free radicals. This means they’re a must if you want to look after your valuable collagen and elastin supplies. And, btw, you absolutely do want to look after collagen and elastin because they’re crucial for the integrity of your skin’s barrier – and your skin’s health, in general.
But as we mentioned, don’t overcomplicate your routine by bombarding your skin with too many antioxidant treatments. Find one you love for the morning (vitamin C is awesome!) and apply another before bed. Our Retinol Serum is a fantastic overnight treatment boasting antioxidants known to boost cellular turnover for stronger, brighter skin. Retinol can be potent, however, so always patch test it first and introduce it slowly into your routine to make sure you don’t compromise your skin’s protective barrier.
Rule #4: Try Not To Stress The Small Stuff
Stress is an ugly beast when it comes to your skin’s barrier. Not only has it been proven to deplete your skin’s production of healthy oils and valuable moisture, but stress also alters your skin’s pH level, produces unnecessary free radicals and triggers various hormones (hi there, cortisol), which can result in inflammatory reactions and all sorts of consequences like itching, redness and flaking skin. Stress has also been directly linked to chronic skin conditions including rosacea, psoriasis, acne and eczema. All of which are barrier issues. Sigh.
Managing stress isn't simple and unfortunately, there’s no solution that fits all. You could be totally into meditation or you might hate the thought of it. But try to think of something that relaxes you and do this for a good amount of time, every day. Perhaps it's reading a book, deep breathing, or going out for a walk. Even just watching your favorite show. Whatever your jam, find time to regularly do it. Honestly, this is the best place to start. And your skin will thank you for it.
Rule #5: Say A Big NO To Harsh Skincare Ingredients
We believe some ingredients have no place on your skin. Cleansing detergents like sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), for example, alter your skin’s pH and strip your barrier of essential oils. Yes, they’re fabulous at getting rid of built-up dirt and debris, but tbh, they’re almost TOO good, so they end up leaving your skin’s barrier fragile and weak. The good news is we don’t include such nasties in our face washes, so you know you're getting good and clean with Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser or Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser.
While we’re on the subject of too much of a good thing, you might want to avoid synthetic fragrance in your skincare (which can seriously irritate sensitive skin) and try cutting back on physical exfoliation with things like cleansing brushes, mitts and abrasive scrubs. These can also upset your skin’s barrier if not used with care.
Of course, we can’t leave before finally mentioning a few other lifestyle habits that can do a real number on your skin’s barrier. Smoking, cruddy sleep and a poor diet are just a few and we’re sure you can think of many others – one of which starts with an ‘a’ and ends with an ‘l’.
The simple answer to this whole skin barrier protection game? Be nice to both your body and your skin. That is all.
Why Everyone’s Talking About Skin Barrier Protectionread more
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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Who’s in the market for fresh, revitalized skin for spring? The real question is who isn’t?
If your skin is screaming ‘tired, worn-out and kinda lackluster', the good news is (hold on, there’s some good news?) you’re not alone. Google searches for ‘how to get naturally glowing skin’ and ‘how to keep skin younger and glowing’ continue to trend, proving that when it comes to covetable skin, freshness and radiance are everything.
Which figures. After all, fine lines, wrinkles, pimples and dark spots immediately appear less obvious if your overall complexion looks good. Refreshed, clean, glowy skin also knocks years off you, and don’t even get us started on how simply looking more wide-awake makes you immediately feel better and more raring to go. Oh, the power of being happy in your own skin…
So, how can you up your radiance game? Well, exfoliating your skin with a gentle scrub or rinsing your face with cold water are decent places to start. But to really get ‘under your skin’, if you will, and reap lasting benefits, you should think about incorporating some kind of active ingredient into your daily routine. Specifically, one that’s known for accelerating cell turnover and loaded with skin-renewing powers.
So, just what are these masterful ingredients? Let’s see, shall we?
We could go on for weeks about the benefits of retinol on both aging and acne-prone skin (don’t worry, we won’t), but when it comes to skin renewal, we do have a few things to say. First, retinol is the best. And second? Well, do you need a second?
A derivative of vitamin A, retinol gets converted into retinoic acid when absorbed by your skin. And it’s this retinoic acid that works hard at a cellular level, kickstarting collagen and elastin production, boosting cell turnover and stimulating blood circulation to help make your skin thicker, firmer, stronger and brighter.
Of course, every silver lining has its cloud and retinol is a potent little beast that needs to be used with caution and care. The number one rule is that any new retinol product should be patch tested first to check for adverse reactions. Then, and only then, should you introduce it slowly into your skincare routine, starting with once a week and building to daily as your skin acclimates. This helps avoid irritation and gives your skin time to adjust to turning over at a faster rate.
Looking to refresh and revive your skin long-term? Then retinol has to be top of the list. It just has to.
Try: Retinol Facial Serum
Exfoliating acids are another must for fresh, renewed skin and if you’re looking for the absolute queen, look no further than glycolic acid.
Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and belongs to a group of acids called alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs. When applied to the skin, AHAs work by softening the bonds between dead skin cells, which encourages them to slough away more easily and make way for the newer, healthier cells underneath. Kind of like physically exfoliating your skin with a scrub... but minus the effort!
By improving desquamation (the fancy term for the shedding of dead skin cells), glycolic acid also stimulates cell regeneration, making your skin look and feel way better over time.
Glycolic acid has the smallest molecular size of all AHAs, making it one of the most effective and potent exfoliating acids out there. It’s trusted by pros and often used in chemical peels, but you can also find it in lower concentrations in loads of skincare serums and treatments. But remember, just like retinol, glycolic acid packs a punch, so it should always be applied with caution.
Try: Ocean Mineral Super Toner
Peptides are a bit trickier to get your head around, but bear with us because they’re an absolute must for skin renewal.
Made up of short chains of amino acids, peptides help your skin produce proteins like collagen and elastin. How so? Proteins are similarly comprised of amino acids, which allows peptides to act like little messengers, searching out depleted proteins and ‘telling’ your skin to produce more collagen and elastin where it needs them most. Think of peptides as building blocks for the structure, firmness and elasticity of your skin.
There are hundreds of peptides out there – some of which are awesome and some which, frankly, aren't even close. Good ones to look out for are Matrixyl 3000 and palmitoyl tripeptides, which have been proven to boost collagen production in aging skin. Studies have even suggested that Matrixyl 3000 has the potential to almost double the amount of collagen your skin produces. Impressive stuff, don’t you agree?
Try: Peptide Anti-Aging Eye Gel
You’re probably aware of how much we love vitamin C here at TruSkin HQ. After all, our entire skincare range stemmed from our award-winning Vitamin C Serum, which continues to be a fan favorite. And rightly so.
Vitamin C is one of the most researched and trusted antioxidants in skincare, but it’s so much more than a free radical neutralizer and fighter of environmental (cough, sun) damage. Of course, all this is super important for the feel, look and health of your skin because nixing free radicals helps keep your collagen and elastin levels at their peak, which simultaneously maintains efficient cellular turnover. But vitamin C has another trick up its sleeve for giving your skin that extra glow factor. And this is its ability to inhibit melanin production.
As we’re sure you know, melanin is the pigment that gives your skin (as well as your hair and eyes) its unique color. Sun exposure ramps up melanin production, which is why you tan. However, melanin can get a little out of whack sometimes, producing dark, uneven spots known as hyperpigmentation: bad news if fresh-looking skin is your mojo. Vitamin C helps keep melanin under control by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme which catalyzes melanin production. Clever vitamin C.
Try: Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer
Otherwise known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is one of the gentlest active ingredients in skincare. But don’t let its gentle nature fool you because it more than holds its own when it comes to strengthening, renewing and energizing your skin.
Like vitamin C, topical niacinamide is another hardworking antioxidant that keeps skin-damaging free radicals in check. It also increases ceramide production in the uppermost layers of your skin to help strengthen your barrier function (very important, btw) and improve your skin’s resiliency. Ceramides are waxy lipids that work like glue to hold your skin together, keeping toxins out and moisture in. Like most of the good stuff in your skin, your natural levels of ceramides deplete as you get older, which is why boosting production is so important. In a nutshell, more ceramides = better hydration and fewer issues like dryness and itchy skin.
Niacinamide has also been proven to help brighten skin, although exactly how it does this is still not entirely known. Ooh, a mysterious one, we like that.
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