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What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Advice for all of your skin care needs
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Feel like your skincare routine isn’t quite cutting it? Here’s how to make it work harder… and better.
Skincare is a fine art and, while it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to moisturize your face, knowing the finer details that help maximize a product’s potential can result in some major differences to the look, feel and health of your skin.
Here’s how to kick-start your routine into doing the best job it can for your skin.
Rule #1: Always Read Your Labels
Are you guilty of buying a new product and using it right away without so much as glancing at the label? Big mistake. Sure, you might have spent the last 30 years cleansing your face with zero issues because, come on, how difficult can it be? But it’s worth bearing in mind that not all products are created equal. Some cleansers are formulated to be used without water, others are meant to be applied to damp skin and massaged into your skin for few minutes. And how do you know which is which if you've not read the fine print?
Reading the instructions is super important and will help you get the most from each and every product in your routine. It’ll help guide you in terms of how often to apply as well as how much to apply. So do it. No arguments.
Rule #2: Use Your Products In The Correct Order
This is another one that might sound obvious, but gone are the days when skincare routines were basically cleanse, tone, moisturize… and you’re done. Now there are tinctures, oils, essences, serums, gels, lotions, and all sorts to get your head around. And if you apply them in the wrong order, then they might not work correctly. Money. Down. The. Drain.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to layering skincare formulations is to cleanse and tone first (obvs) then work from your thinnest to your thickest product. The simple fact is that thinner products aren’t able to penetrate through the thicker stuff so you need to build up to the big guys. This means that after toning, you should apply your serum first, then your eye treatment, moisturizer, face oil and finally – in the mornings anyway – sunscreen. Of course, your specific regimen doesn’t need to include each and every one of these steps, but if it does, then this should be your order if you want to get the best results.
Rule #3: Apply Your Treatments To Damp Skin
To turn up the efficacy of your products, full throttle, always apply your first treatment product to moistened skin. This could be an exfoliating toner such as Ocean Minerals Super Toner or an antioxidant serum like our new Peptide Facial Serum. But whatever it is, try to apply it within the first minute of cleansing. The reason for this is that damp skin is more permeable than dry skin which makes it far more receptive to active ingredients like vitamin C, glycolic acid, MSM and peptides.
Gently pat your skin with a clean towel after cleansing so just a small amount of water is left on the surface, then, using fingertips, apply your treatment product all over your face and neck. Simple, but super effective.
This being said, there is one exception to the rule, and that’s to avoid doing this if you have skin that’s particularly sensitive to certain ingredients like retinol. Retinol is a potent (but awesome) little beast that can easily irritate sensitive skin. So if you apply it to damp skin you could exacerbate these irritations. Instead, apply it to dry skin, after patch testing first, and you'll likely get along with it way better.
Rule #4: Know That A Serum Is The Absolute Key For Targeting Skin Concerns
Facial serums might not be absolutely essential for clean, moisturized skin but if you really care about your complexion and the rate at which it ages, facial serums are everything. The bare minimum skincare routine is, of course, cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. But if you have concerns like acne, blocked pores, fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, sagging skin and the like, and you want to really target them with your skincare, you simply HAVE to include a serum (or two) in your daily routine.
Serums are formulated differently to moisturizers and have a smaller molecular structure. This means they’re able to penetrate the surface of your skin quicker and deeper to hone in on your particular skin gripes. Getting really peeved by dull, patchy skin? Then a moisturizer is essential, for sure, but it will never give you the same results as an antioxidant treatment serum like our best-selling Vitamin C Facial Serum.
Not sure where to start with choosing the right serum for your needs? Not a problem. Check out our helpful guide right here. And remember that important order: serum comes after cleansing and toning, and before moisturizing. Always.
Rule #5: Understand The Importance Of An Awesome Nighttime Routine
Your morning routine is great for waking up your skin, replacing lost moisture and preparing yourself for the day ahead, but overnight is when the real business happens so it’s vital to prepare your skin for eight hours’ worth of healing, regenerating and repairing time before you hit the sack.
At night, blood flow to your skin increases, collagen production speeds up, cell turnover accelerates, free radicals get nixed by your body’s natural defense system and your skin’s barrier function works hard to restore itself. All good stuff, we think you’ll agree. But how can all this happen if your skin is covered in crud that’s built up on the surface during the day? Well, it can’t. Not properly, anyway. So you simply have to cleanse properly with a gentle but effective face wash before bed. We have three awesome cleansers to choose from depending on your skin type and needs – check them out here. Then, after cleansing, apply a collagen-boosting treatment serum like Retinol Facial Serum followed by Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream to help seal in moisture.
How To Make Your Skincare Go That Extra Mileread more
Because, sure, it's extremely important, but summer is not only about SPF, SPF and more SPF…
When we talk of summer skincare, the first thing that always springs to mind is sunscreen. And rightly so. Protecting your skin from that fire ball in the great big sky is one of the most important things you can do for the health of not only your skin, but your entire body. The hard truth is that the sun is accountable for between 80 and 90 percent of external skin aging (ouch!). And not only does it break down important proteins in your skin (hello collagen and elastin), accelerating wrinkles and dark spots but, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV radiation is the number one cause of skin cancers. In fact, around 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun.
Scary stuff, right?
Knowing how to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun is an important skincare lesson. Feel like you’re not quite on the ball? Well, we’re not going to go into it today because all you need to know is right here. Instead, we're here to talk about everything else involved in summer skincare because warm weather brings a whole slew of other challenges for your skin.
Thankfully, there are many ways to up your summer skincare game to ensure your complexion stays looking fabulous all the way through fall…
1. Level Up Your Cleansing Routine
Why: Hot, steamy days mean one thing: sweat. You have between two and four million sweat glands all over your body, a large number of which are found on your forehead on cheeks. This means your cleansing game needs to be on point to ensure your pores are kept clean and clear.
How: Gel or foam face washes that contain deep cleaning ingredients like activated charcoal, tea tree oil or salicylic acid are great for the summer months. We’re currently in love with our new Tea Tree Super Cleanser which is refreshing and leaves your skin super clean. Cleanse your face every morning and more importantly, every night (when you’ll be at your sweatiest!) using lukewarm, never hot water. And make sure you get right into your hairline as this area is particularly prone to breakouts in the summer.
PS: Cleansing your body every evening is also super important if you’ve been slathered in sunscreen all day.
2. Avoid Pore-Clogging Ingredients
Why: While we’re on the topic of clogged pores, it’s not just sweat you need to worry about in the summer. Excess oils, dirt, debris, sunscreen and makeup can also get jammed in your pores, leading to breakouts on your face and body.
How: Again, regular cleansing is key, but to help keep your pores clear in the first place, try to also use non-comedogenic products across your entire skincare routine.
'Non-comedogenic’ is the term used for ingredients that are unlikely to block your pores. Rich butters and heavy oils, for example, are awesome for locking moisture into your skin and protecting your barrier function. But, they are not non-comedogenic. Far from it. Instead, look for lighter moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter, as well as hydrating gems such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid. You’ll find all of these in our awesome Retinol Moisturizer. And yes, contrary to popular belief you CAN use retinol in the summer.
3. Exfoliate (In Moderation)
Why: Another way to keep summer breakouts at bay is to exfoliate more often than normal. Exfoliation increases cellular turnover and rids your skin of dead skin cells which are not something your pores want to deal with on top of everything else.
How: Over-exfoliating your skin is never wise and it’s one of the biggest issues derms have to deal with. However, if you’re going to up your game, now’s the time to do it. Just tread carefully. Think two or three times a week rather than every day and switch out harsh scrubs containing skin-damaging fruit shells or nut pieces for a gentler product like Ocean Minerals Super Toner which contains naturally exfoliating glycolic acid.
4. Make Friends With Antioxidants
Why: The sun is one of the leading causes of free radicals in the skin. And as innocent as they sound, free radicals have zero redeeming qualities. They’re basically unstable molecules that damage your skin by trying to bind themselves to important proteins and DNA. This causes a process called oxidative stress which weakens collagen and elastin and ages you up in no time. The good news? Antioxidants to the rescue! These little skincare geniuses bind themselves to free radicals, preventing them from damaging all the good stuff in your skin.
How: Antioxidants are awesome all year, but they’re especially important in the summer when you spend more time in the great outdoors. If you’re looking for the cream of the crop we recommend bringing out the big guns, namely vitamins C and E. This antioxidant double act not only reduces oxidative stress, but helps prevent dark spots, reduces the appearance of fine lines and works hard to boost collagen production. Apply just a few drops of Vitamin C Facial Serum every morning after cleansing and before moisturizing to get your daily quota.
5. Don’t Stop Believin'... In Moisturizer
Why: Moisturizing may feel counter-intuitive in the warmer months when your skin feels sweatier and oilier than normal. But here’s the thing, natural oils and sweat do not keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. In fact, the summer heat can dehydrate your skin which will make your skin produce even more oil than normal. And that’s what we call a vicious beauty circle. Thankfully, the solution is simple: continue to moisturize to hydrate your skin, promote cellular turnover and protect your skin's important barrier function.
How: Choose lighter products that won’t clog your pores or make your skin feel heavy and sticky, and look out for moisturizers that are high on humectants. Humectants are ingredients like aloe, hyaluronic acid and glycerin which draw water to the surface of your skin to help keep it hydrated. Try Hyaluronic Facial Serum each night before bed, followed by Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream to moisturize and recharge your skin while you sleep.
Finally, of course, you should continue to apply a daily broad spectrum SPF30 to any exposed skin.
But we hope that goes without saying by now...
Your Summer Skincare Bucket Listread more
Eating chocolate and greasy fries won’t necessarily give you pimples, and a week in the sun won’t make them vanish, either. But there are certain things that really can help prevent and treat acne breakouts. Here, we’ve rounded up ten of the best…
Acne is the most common skin woe in the whole of the United States. Not dark under eye circles, not sun spots, not even wrinkles, but acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it affects up to 50 million Americans every year, and around 15 percent of women are plagued by some form of acne during their adult lives.
If you’ve had acne on and off for most of your teenage and adult life, you’ll have heard every last trick about how to avoid breakouts. Most of which were probably complete BS. So, we’re here to set the record straight once for all with our guide to the most tried and trusted ways to keep acne under control.
1. Don’t Pick
The world’s fascination with popping pimples shows no signs of going away (thanks mainly to dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper!), but attempting this at home is rarely a good idea. Sure, squeezing that white top might be hard to resist, but it can trigger inflammatory responses in your skin which can delay healing and potentially make your pimples worse.
Picking and prodding zits also introduces a bunch of new bacteria to your skin and quite frankly, it has enough to deal with already. Finally, if all that wasn’t enough, popping pimples creates trauma to your skin which can lead to scabbing, infections, pigmentation and scarring. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
2. Keep Your Skin Clean
A primary cause of acne is blocked pores that get clogged up with oil, dirt and dead skin cells, and then become inflamed or infected with bacteria. This makes cleansing your skin twice daily extremely important – especially at night after sweat, sebum, makeup and sunscreen have built up on the surface of your skin.
Try our new Tea Tree Super Cleanser + which is ultralight, super refreshing and mega calming. It also douses your skin with a powerful blend of nature’s blemish-controlling superstar, tea tree oil, and our ultimate secret weapon for breakouts, MSM.
3. Wash Your Hands
While we’re on the subject of cleanliness, don’t underestimate the power of clean hands. Of course, you’re far too disciplined to pick at your pimples (see above), but even touching your face or leaning on your hands spreads unnecessary dirt, oil and bacteria all over your skin. It’s a tricky habit to kick because it’s usually an unconscious move, but the least you can do is wash your hands regularly to minimize the after-effects.
4. Keep Everything Clean
Not to keep banging on about cleanliness, but there’s more… Towels and pillowcases can also harbor bacteria if they’re not laundered regularly, so make sure you change these out on a weekly basis. And perhaps consider using a fragrance-free detergent if your skin tends to be reactive.
Also, wash your makeup brushes twice a week (especially if you wear makeup daily); shampoo your hair often to avoid oils from your hair transferring to your face, and wipe down your smartphone with a hand sanitizing wipe as often as you remember.
5. Use Retinol
Retinol is an anti-aging given, but it’s also a powerful tool for acne-prone skin. How so? Well, retinol helps unclog your pores by stimulating collagen production and encouraging cell turnover. It also promotes healing and, by keeping your pores clear, can help other skincare or topical acne medication penetrate more effectively.
Introduce Retinol Serum into your evening routine a few times a week and apply it to cleansed skin before moisturizing – you won’t regret it.
6. Wear Sunscreen
This might not be one of the most well-known anti-acne tricks, but it’s important, so hear us out.
In addition to the obvious protection from UV damage, sunscreen reduces redness and can help skin avert post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (those dark spots that pimples often leave behind). It also reduces the likelihood of your skin becoming dry in the sun which keeps sebum balanced and under control.
So there you go, sunscreen for acne – surprisingly important. Just remember to avoid heavy, pore-clogging sunscreens that can cause breakouts or make the pimples you have even worse. Instead, try our new SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen which is sheer, lightweight and oil-free.
7. Moisturize… But Do It With Care
Acne often goes hand-in-hand with oily skin which can get forgotten about when it comes to moisturizing. It’s a huge mistake to skip this vital step, however, no matter how oily or pimply your skin may be. If you fail to moisturize your skin, the surface will become dry and your sebaceous glands will overproduce oil to compensate. Cue excess oil which can block your pores and make acne worse.
Your best bet is to hydrate with a light serum like Hyaluronic Acid Serum, then follow with a non-comedogenic moisturizer that’s less likely to block your pores. Oh, and make sure you do this day AND night, especially if you use harsh acne treatments that dry out your skin.
8. Avoid Over Exfoliation
Scrubbing your face feels great, but it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make, particularly if you’re prone to breakouts.
Exfoliation is great for boosting cell turnover and keeping your pores clean and clear, but too much can cause redness and inflammation – something you definitely don’t want to encourage if acne is already making your skin both of these things. Stick to once a week max, or better yet, allow chemical exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid to gradually do the job for you.
9. Manage Your Stress
As with seemingly everything, when it comes to acne, stress only makes matters worse. Research has pointed to a direct link between stress and acne, thanks to stress-related hormones like cortisol encouraging your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Cortisol also reduces your skin’s natural levels of hyaluronic acid which makes your skin more dehydrated and further triggers sebum production. All this excess oil is a veritable playground for bacteria to breed and acne to worsen.
Of course, keeping stress under control is no mean feat, but breathing exercises, yoga, or taking a short walk each day may help clear your mind. Go for whatever form of relaxation suits you and helps take the pressure off, even if only for a few minutes. And remember to get your seven or eight hours of quality sleep while you’re at it. Sleep is SO important.
10. Strike Down Inflammation, Inside and Out
As helpful as skincare tips may be, acne is often an inside job rooted in internal factors influenced by diet and hormones. While addressing these triggers is an important part of getting chronic acne under control, it’s also key to hit back at topical inflammation. This beauty baddie not only exacerbates breakouts, it can increase the likelihood of hyperpigmentation and scarring, so it’s especially critical to diminish it as much as possible.
To help do this on the daily, look for skin saviors with anti-inflammatory clout like vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbyl phosphate, as well as MSM and aloe, all of which have a reputation for mitigating inflammation and blemishes alike. You can find them teamed up in our Vitamin C Serum, as well as across several other TruSkin formulas—because we know how invaluable these good guys can be for all skin types.
10 Skincare Habits Guaranteed To Help Treat Acneread more
Fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and dry, dehydrated skin: three of the most common signs of aging skin, right there. So, let’s see what we can do to keep them to a minimum, shall we?
Skin aging happens to us all. Literally, every one of us. And while you can’t press a button and stop time (if so, we’d take age 32, please!), you can, for sure, take control of the rate at which you age – to a certain degree, of course. Looking after yourself with a healthy diet and regular exercise is a given. But what else can you do to specifically target your most niggling skin bugbears? Here, we take a look at three of the most common signs of aging skin…
1. Fine Lines & Wrinkles
What They Are: Fine Lines and wrinkles can crop up on your skin pretty early on in life. They happen when your skin’s support network (collagen and elastin) breaks down as you age, causing your skin to become thinner, weaker and less resilient. Kind of like deflating a balloon, your skin loses its plumpness, feels less taut and starts to wrinkle. Lines and wrinkles are usually most prevalent around your eyes, mouth and forehead where your face is the most expressive.
What Causes Them: Father Time is obviously a major factor here, but it’s not just getting old that breaks down collagen and elastin fibers. Exposure to the sun also speeds up this process like lightning. As does smoking; a poor diet that’s laden with salt, sugar, processed carbs and bad fats; environmental pollution, and repetitive facial movements such as smiling, laughing, frowning or squinting.
What You Can Do: One of the most important ways to prevent lines and wrinkles is to look after your skin’s barrier function through gentle cleansing and regular moisturizing. Your skin’s barrier is its outermost layer that protects it from external nasties, while reducing moisture loss and transporting essential nutrients and hydration to the underlying layers of your skin. This barrier is super important for the look, feel and health of your skin, so ensure you moisturize regularly, never over-exfoliate and cleanse gently twice a day, avoiding skin-drying chemicals and scorching hot water.
What To Use To Target Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Topical antioxidants are a joy for dealing with the signs of aging, and when it comes to those pesky lines and wrinkles, you can’t go wrong with Retinol Serum. Proven time and again for being one of the most effective ingredients for improving collagen synthesis and cell turnover, retinol is the boss when it comes to softening crinkly skin. And we don’t say that lightly.
2. Dark Spots
What They Are: Possibly even more frustrating than lines and wrinkles are those dark spots that seem to come from nowhere as you hit your 30s and beyond. Otherwise known as hyperpigmentation, dark spots occur when your skin’s production of melanin (that’s the pigment that gives your skin its natural color) goes awry, creating patchy areas of dark skin in all the wrong places. Dark spots can appear anywhere on your body but are commonly seen on your face, shoulders, chest and hands.
What Causes Them: Three things: the sun, hormonal fluctuations or some kind of skin trauma/injury like a bug bite, acne spot or eczema. These all interfere with the melanin-synthesizing cells in your skin (melanocytes), causing them to over-produce melanin which then gets unevenly distributed in the epidermis. The result? Blotchy, speckled skin.
What You Can Do: Exfoliation is a great way to remove dulling dead skin cells at a surface level, allowing for all the fresh, untarnished stuff to make its way to the surface. Chemical peels are great for this if you want something hardcore, but don’t dismiss at-home exfoliation which can also reap great results with patience and dedication. Just don’t overdo it or you could cause irritation, redness and an unnecessary thinning of the skin.
What To Use To Target Dark Spots: As well as being mildly exfoliating and a go-to for fighting off damaging free radicals that form in the skin thanks to sun exposure and pollution, studies have shown that vitamin C can help inhibit melanin production at a cellular level. This is great news for anyone looking to improve dark spots. Try our fan favorite Vitamin C Serum.
3. Dryness & Dehydration
What They Are: Similar… but very different, dryness refers to a lack of oil in your skin, whereas dehydration indicates a lack of water. Also, dry skin is a skin type that you’re born with, whereas dehydration is a condition anyone can experience.
What Causes Them: As you get older, the dermis and underlying layers of your skin get thinner and more fragile which makes it harder for your skin to retain moisture. Couple this with the natural loss of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, fats and lipids and it’s no wonder your skin becomes drier and more dehydrated. Your sebaceous glands also slow down through age which might be music to the ears of oily skin types, but for everyone else this is a one-way ticket to unwanted dryness.
What You Can Do: Fight back and make moisturizers, facial oils and hydrating serums your BFFs. Moisturize your skin after every cleanse, and choose products that contain both humectants (to help boost moisture content) as well as emollients and/or occlusives (to create a seal over your skin and help lock all that moisture in). Also, try to avoid using hot water on your skin which can strip all the healthy fats and oils away, causing further dryness and dehydration.
What To Use To Target Dryness & Dehydration: You can't beat a well-rounded formula like our Hyaluronic Acid Serum for boosting much-needed moisture in dehydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in your skin, but as you hit age 20 it tends to beat it faster than you can say 'pass the moisturizer'. Our awesome serum helps counteract natural HA loss and also lavishes your skin with aloe, glycerin and botanical oils to help dryness as well as dehydration. Just remember to apply moisturizer on top to make sure all that skin-loving moisture stays there.
Finally, there’s one other small but seriously important skincare trick for helping to prevent ALL of the above. You probably know where we’re going here, right? Yes, sun protection.
Excluding the natural aging process, the sun is responsible for between 80 and 90 percent of all visible signs of skin aging. Lines, wrinkles, dark spots, dryness, dehydration, the works. So, as well as using an awesome facial treatment that’s targeted to your specific concerns, you must always apply SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen every morning. No excuses, no arguments.
3 Of Your Most Pressing Skin Aging Concerns – Sorted!read 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.
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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