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True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • How A Healthy Gut = Healthier Skin
    Been hearing a bit about the gut-skin axis recently and not sure what it’s all about? Then allow us to elaborate…

    When searching for the solution to monthly acne breakouts, eczema flare-ups or bouts of rosacea few people think about what’s going on inside their bodies. But rather than stock up on months of prescription medication to deal with your skin issues, word is that taking a look at your gut health could be far more beneficial.

    It’s all about the gut-skin axis, you see. The gut-skin, erm, what? Ha, don’t worry, the gut-skin axis is a relatively simple concept to grasp.

    Your gut is home to a complex microbiome in which gazillions of microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses live. We know this doesn’t sound pleasant, but your microbiome plays an extremely important role in keeping bad bacteria at bay and therefore keeping your immune system in check. And all this is vital for helping to maintain balance and harmony throughout the entire body.

    If this microbiome becomes unbalanced due to things like a poor diet, emotional stress, or food sensitivities, however, this can cause major disruptions in your body. And we’re not just talking about digestive issues like bloating or gastrointestinal diseases, because wherever there is gut inflammation, skin inflammation often follows.

    Why is your skin affected by your gut, you might be wondering? Well, just like your gut, your skin has its own microbiome and the two are in constant communication with each other via a clever little pathway called the gut-skin axis. This means that when your gut is off kilter, your skin will, more often than not, reflect this, becoming inflamed, irritated or congested. Eating dairy, for example, is often linked to chronic skin issues like eczema. Wheat is another one that’s known to cause sensitivities and congestion, thereby triggering acne.

    Reckon your gut could do with a little self-refinement right now? Here’s how to help improve the health of your gut… and consequently, your skin.

    1. Get An Allergy Test

    The most effective way to figure out what’s upsetting your gut and skin is to get an allergy test. Sure, you can do this at home by keeping a food diary while eliminating some of the main offenders (here’s looking at you dairy, wheat, gluten and spicy foods), but, jeez, do you really have the time, energy and patience? Thought not.

    A better option is to visit a specialist to get a food allergy test. There are many ways to go about this but the most common are skin prick tests and blood tests. Both of these are very useful ways to pinpoint what’s causing you grief. Then you can avoid the culprits. Simple.

    2. Cut Down On Sugar

    While we would never suggest you remove things like dairy and wheat from your diet without consulting a doctor or allergist first, one thing you should be extremely wary of is sugar. With zero nutritional value, sugar is dastardly for your gut and even worse for your skin, triggering everything from acne and eczema to rosacea and psoriasis. In fact, sugar is probably the most inflammatory thing you could put into your body. Eek.

    Furthermore, studies show that overloading your body with sugar produces advanced glycation end products (AGEs) – harmful compounds that break down collagen and elastin and ruin your radiant, youthful complexion.

    Sugar is officially bad news, whichever way you look at it.

    3. Eat Plenty Of The Good Stuff

    A healthy diet is everything, so once you’ve eliminated anything that’s causing your gut grief, it’s time to indulge in all the good stuff. Fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, beans, healthy fats and lean protein are all awesome ways to support the wall of your gut.

    And then there are those extra special foods that help promote good bacteria in your gut, and of course your skin as a consequence. These are called biotics – namely prebiotics and probiotics.

    Biotics help balance your microbiome by literally flooding it with good bacteria. Prebiotics help encourage the growth of healthy bacteria that’s already present in your gut and can be found in things like asparagus, artichokes, garlic, leeks, bananas and oats. Meanwhile, probiotics are microorganisms in their own right and are found in cultured and fermented food like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, miso and live yogurt.

    Green vegetables including leeks, asparagus and artichokes

    4. Minimize Stress

    When you’re stressed out your brain goes into fight or flight mode and triggers your nervous system to release a whole bunch of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream. This causes your heart to pump faster, your breath to quicken and your muscles to tense and get ready for action.

    Of course, this is pretty useful when your body needs to react quickly to something, but the problems arise when stress hormones go into constant overdrive and your body gets no time to relax or go back to normal. This plays havoc with your gut (among other things!), compromising the balance of its microbiome, ‘feeding’ the bad bacteria and causing major problems with your digestion and immune system.

    All this will reflect very poorly on the look, feel and health of your skin so try to cut down on stress wherever you can. This may be easier said than done, but there are many ways to reduce or manage your levels of stress. Some people find that yoga or exercise works. Others keep a stress journal to figure out what’s causing their stress in order to avoid their triggers and help them work on controlling their reactions. The most important thing, according to HelpGuide, is to experiment with different stress management tips to find what works for you.

    Once your gut is in a more healthy working order, trust us, your skin will start to follow suit.

    And in the meantime, ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep it clean, strong, protected and moisturized with your TruSkin favorites! Here’s how to build a successful skincare regime, right here.



    How A Healthy Gut = Healthier Skin
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  • How To Avoid Winter Skin Flare-Ups
    If winter makes your skin quiver with the thought of dry air, cold temps, hot baths and central heating, you’re going to need to know how to nurture your skin through the next few months. Good news: you’re in the right place for that.

    Whether you suffer with eczema, psoriasis, or simply have super-dry skin that goes into panic mode as soon as December comes around, winter can be tough on your complexion. From itchy cheeks and sensitivities through to cracked lips and an irritated neck (thanks knitted scarf!) winter skin struggles can be very real.

    So, why is winter so tough on your skin? Well, it’s all about the cold, dry air which literally saps all the moisture from the top, protective layers of your skin, leaving it open to dryness, dehydration and irritation. Cold air outside also means you’re more likely to experience warmer air inside due to cranked up heating, log burners and open fires. And warmth does not equal moisture. In fact, these extreme changes in temperature do nothing but dry out your skin even more. Then, you go and throw hot baths into the equation. Frankly, your skin stands no chance.

    Don’t fancy battling your way through the next four months with unhappy skin? We don’t blame you. So, here are the best ways to find a little skin comfort this winter season.

    Take Shorter, Cooler Showers & Baths

    It’s hard to resist the temptation of a long soak in a hot bath – especially if you’ve been skiing or out in the grueling cold all day. However, this quick change in temperature is super irritating for your skin, stripping away important lipids, depleting moisture from your skin’s barrier function, and leaving you dehydrated and open to irritation. It can even cause inflammation and really nasty flare-ups. The same goes for hot tubs (noooooo!), scorching showers and even using steamy water to wash your hands. Basically, hot water is the enemy for dry skin. Not. Worth. It.

    Our advice? Wait 10-15 minutes after coming in from the cold before dunking any part of your body in hot water. Then, when you do, turn down the heat so the water is a more neutral, comfortable temperature. When it comes to showers and baths, stick to five minutes in the shower and 10 in the bath to save your skin from become dry and itchy.

    Finally, remember that your ideal home temperature should be no more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Moisturize Straight After Cleansing

    No matter how careful and gentle your cleansing routine is, exposing your skin to water and cleansing ingredients is always going to leave your skin susceptible to dryness.

    Unless you moisturize all over like an absolute demon, of course.

    A good moisturizer helps seal water into your skin and stops further moisture from escaping from the surface. This is why it’s such an important part of any good skincare routine. According to the National Eczema Association it’s vital to apply moisturizer within three minutes of bathing, showering, cleansing your face or washing your hands. We have tons of awesome moisturizers to choose from but our winter picks have to be Renewing Longevity Moisturizing Cream in the daytime, followed by Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream before bed. To up the ante even further, apply a hydrating, soothing serum first. We love Niacinamide Facial Serum which is one of the best.

    Know That Layers Are Your Besties

    Exposing your skin to extreme temperatures is the biggest no-no for dry, sensitive skin – especially if you suffer with eczema. So try not to do that. This sounds easier said than done, we know, but there is one simple way to keep your skin warm when you’re outside and simultaneously avoid it overheating when you’re inside. Layers.

    Wearing lots of layers allows you to respond to abrupt changes in temperatures really easily. Just make sure you choose cotton, natural fabrics that are easy to take off while you’re inside. And when outside, bundle up with scarves, gloves and hats which are all great for protecting your hands and as much of your face as possible, helping you to retain a warm, even temperature all day... and night.

    Embrace Occlusive Skincare Ingredients

    Sticking with the same moisturizer all year long might work for some people, but lightweight summer lotions often don’t pack the right punch when arctic weather sets in.

    If this sounds familiar, step it up with a heavier cream rather than a gel or lotion, and check your labels for rich occlusive ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and squalane. These are awesome for helping to create a barrier on the surface of your skin, protecting it from bracing winds and environmental nasties while locking in moisture.

    Our classic Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer is always a winner because it contains tons of heavy-hitting moisturizing ingredients which are ideal for dull, parched, winter skin.

    Take Stock Of Your Household Cleaning Products

    Any product that comes into contact with your skin needs careful scrutiny – not just those in your skincare routine. Granted, this is a valid point all year round, but it’s even more important if a) you have dry, sensitive skin and b) you suffer x20 during the winter months.

    Hand sanitizers, dish soap, powerful cleaners and laundry detergents, for example, often contain harsh chemicals like alcohols, preservatives and synthetic fragrances which can be super irritating on delicate skin, causing redness, itching, swelling and severe dryness. Of course, who’s to know which specific ingredients are causing you issues unless you have your skin professionally analyzed and tested? But even without that you can be more mindful by looking into natural, fragrance-free options whenever possible. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are huge offenders, too, so our advice is simply to avoid those as much as possible.

    You could also protect your hands by wearing latex-free gloves when doing the dishes or cleansing with a gentle hand wash after exposing your hands to any cleaning product. And, of course, always follow with moisturizer.

    Basically, when it doubt, reach for the moisturizer! It will never fail you.

    Sensitive Skin
    How To Avoid Winter Skin Flare-Ups
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  • 5 Active Ingredients Sensitive Skin Should Try
    Under the impression that sensitive skin and active skincare ingredients were mortal enemies? Actually there are some awesome power-players that work wonders on delicate skin…

    It’s a well-known fact that sensitive skin types go gaga for gentle ingredients that care for their fragile barrier function and are moisturizing, hydrating, calming and soothing. But sensitive skin matures just like every other skin type, and oftentimes things like aloe vera and chamomile (as awesome as they are!) don’t cut the mustard when trying to soften the visible blows of aging.

    Most skin types can turn to potent, active anti-aging ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid and vitamin C without a care in the world. Of course, it’s always smart to patch test such powerful ingredients first… just in case. But once this is out of the way, most find they can introduce them into their daily routines with zero problems.

    Not everyone has such luck with their skincare, however, and sensitive skin can be a tricky type to master. But all is not lost because we’ve rounded up some of the best active ingredients that are effective, for sure, but are way kinder to the skin, making them a fabulous choice for sensitive souls.

    Keep scrolling for the five active ingredients we rate best for sensitive skin.

    1. Bakuchiol

    Retinol is awesome. We know that. You know that. But if you have sensitive skin that flares up if you so much as say the word ‘retinol’ out loud, gentler alternatives are more your style. And this is where bakuchiol shines.

    Bakuchiol (pronounced bah-koo-chee-awl) is basically nature’s answer to retinol. Says it all, right? Extracted from the seeds and leaves of the babchi plant, bakuchiol has been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, both internally and topically to treat the skin. A bunch of recent clinical studies have also shown that, as well as offering the previously well-known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, bakuchiol offers similar benefits to retinol, stimulating collagen synthesis and accelerating cellular turnover. Because of these skin-changing abilities, bakuchiol can dramatically improve the surface of the skin, encouraging a brighter, clearer, smoother and more even complexion. What’s more, all of this comes with very few, if any, of the irritating side effects that are so often attributed to more potent retinoids.

    Bakuchiol is the backbone of our new healthy aging Longevity range which includes Rejuvenating Longevity SerumDepuffing Longevity Eye Cream and Renewing Longevity Moisturizing Cream. Give them a go, sensitive skin folks. We don’t think you’ll regret it.

    2. Hyaluronic Acid

    You’ll probably know a fair bit about hyaluronic acid (HA) as it’s always in the skincare spotlight. But here’s a quick recap. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricating polymer that’s found naturally in your skin (as well as in your eyes and joints, ps). It’s what’s known as a humectant which means it has the ability to draw in moisture, kind of like a sponge. In fact, studies have shown that HA can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Don’t ask as how, it just does. Call it magic.

    Sensitive skin is often notoriously dry and dehydrated thanks to a slightly sub-standard barrier function. And this is why HA is such a good choice for hydrating, moisturizing and plumping sensitive skin, simultaneously helping to improve fine lines and wrinkles. The fact that it’s a naturally-occurring substance already found in the body also makes it very well tolerated. Love that. Try Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum for your daily hit.

    3. PHAs

    PHAs are poly hydroxy acids that work by gentle exfoliating those pesky dead skin cells that can outstay their welcome at the surface of your skin, blocking your pores and giving your skin a dull, gray palor that nobody wants. Unlike scrubs and cleansing brushes, PHAs exfoliate your skin without the need for any rough scrubbing – because sensitive skin hates that. You’ll probably be acquainted with their cousins, AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) which include the likes of glycolic acid and salicylic acid. And don’t get us wrong, we’re big fans of the As and Bs, but when it comes to sensitive skin, the mighty Ps are everything.

    So how do they differ? Well, PHAs have a larger molecular size than AHAs and BHAs. This makes them way gentler on the skin because they only work at the surface, rather than penetrating the deeper, more fragile layers. Ideal for those who can’t quite bear the strength of other exfoliating acids, PHAs are awesome alternatives. They also help hydrate and moisturize the skin as an added bonus. Keen to try them out? We get that, so look out for the most common PHAs on your ingredients list: gluconolactone, lactobionic acid and galactosen.

    4. Niacinamide

    It’s a fact: niacinamide (vitamin B3) is one of our favorite antioxidants for sensitive skin. Versatile, easily tolerated and wonderfully caring for a compromised barrier function, what’s not to love?

    As well as its fighting ability to ward off the damaging effects of free radicals – which your skin forms on a daily basis thanks to pollution and UV radiation –  niacinamide has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties, helping to regulate oil production while calming the skin and reducing unwanted redness.

    It also has a clever way of aiding the production of ceramides in the uppermost layers of your skin. Ceramides are waxy lipids that make up somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of your skin’s composition, helping to retain moisture and protect your skin from external factors. With age, ceramides start to dwindle, so anything you do to keep them at an all-time high is going to be awesome for the strength and resilience of your skin. Try applying our Niacinamide Facial Serum twice daily for incredible results. It also contains vitamin E and HA for some extra love.

    5. Ceramides

    While we’re on the subject of ceramides, these are another great bunch of ingredients to keep an eye on if you want to improve the resilience of your skin and ensure it stays looking and feeling its best for longer.

    Synthetically produced to mimic the natural stuff that works hard within your skin’s structure, topical ceramides are kind of a big deal. They’re well tolerated by all skin types (even the most sensitive), plus they offer some extremely important benefits – especially as your skin ages. We’re talking moisturization, hydration, strengthening, repairing, protection and all sorts.

    The most commonly used ceramides in skincare are NP, AP and EOP which we’ve packed into our new Firming Collagen Day Lotion and Smoothing Collagen Serum. What’s more, the ones we use are vegan ceramides which means they’re plant-derived and totally cruelty-free. High-fives.

    Sensitive Skin
    5 Active Ingredients Sensitive Skin Should Try
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  • Are YOU The Cause Of Your Sensitive Skin?
    There are tons of things you could be doing to cause irritation, redness, itching and dry skin. Not sure what they are? Then you’re in the right place…

    While many sensitive skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are thanks, in part, to a genetic predisposition, many are self-inflicted. In fact, we are regularly our skin's worst enemies, causing flare-ups and upsets because of silly actions that upset the skin’s barrier function, disrupt sebum production or over-stimulate cellular turnover.

    Behold, eight common ways you might be aggravating your skin, triggering existing conditions and generally screwing up the look and feel of your complexion…

    Mistake #1. Cleansing Your Face With Hot Water

    Oh, how tempting it is to run your water as hot as possible – especially as fall turns to winter and life turns somewhat chilly. But using scorching water temps to wash your face (and, in fact, your whole body) strips the skin of natural lipids and proteins, damaging your epidermis and opening your skin up to irritation, inflammation, itchy skin and dryness. It can also lead to your sebaceous glands going into overdrive to try to combat the dryness, resulting in all of the above, plus excess shininess and possible breakouts to add insult to injury.

    If you notice any of the above and know that you're guilty of languishing in super hot showers, turn down the temperature and stick with lukewarm water instead. Also, try to limit your time in the shower to five minutes. This’ll not only help save your skin, but our water supplies, too.

    Mistake #2. Exfoliating Like It’s Going Out Of Fashion

    Skin exfoliation is a fabulous way to accelerate turnover and slough away dead skin cells. And we love a bit of gentle exfoliation as much as the next person. But ‘gentle’ is the operative word. For starters, exfoliating your skin with harsh, scratchy scrubs can cause tiny micro tears in the skin. And that’s just asking for trouble. Similarly, exfoliating too often – whether through physical scrubs or exfoliating acids – can compromise your barrier function and trigger sensitivities.

    Our advice? Listen to your skin. If you’re exfoliating once or twice a week and your skin is still looking dull, with no sensitivities, you can probably afford to up the ante. But if it’s looking red and feeling uncomfortable, slow it down. You should also try our NEW 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant which is formulated with glycolic acid, salicylic acid and glucolactone for fantastic exfoliation with fewer of the troubles.

    Mistake #3. Not Washing Your Pillowcases Regularly

    Sure you might cleanse your face before bed but how often do you wash your hair before turning in? The dirty truth is that pillowcases are full of sweat, oil, dead skin cells, hair products and dirt. And if you leave them to their own devices for too long, all that grime can lead to bacteria and/or microscopic dust mites. And that’s a one-way ticket to skin irritation and acne breakouts.

    Change your pillowcases every two to three days. No arguments. Similarly, wash your face towels and makeup brushes as regularly as possible.

    Mistake #4. Using Overly Fragranced Skincare Products

    Contact dermatitis is when a certain substance comes into contact with your skin and triggers an allergic reaction. This usually takes the form of a red, itchy rash. Of course, these symptoms will go away as long as you remove whatever’s causing the reaction. But therein lies the problem. Exactly what is the cause?

    When it comes to ingredients in your skincare routine, fragrance is the number one cause of contact dermatitis in the US. So, if you’re experiencing itchy-type symptoms or weird facial redness, it might be worth checking the labels on all your skincare (as well as your haircare and laundry detergent) labels to make sure you're steering clear of the scented stuff.

    The frustrating part of all this is that under US regulations, fragrances can be listed simple as ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum,’ rather than the raw ingredient used. Specifics are rarely revealed because they’re thought of as ‘trade secrets’ by the FDA. Go figure.

    Stick with ‘fragrance-free’ products, however, and you should be OK.

    Mistake #5. OD-ing On Active Skincare Ingredients

    Retinol... vitamin C... glycolic acid... all of these skincare powerhouses are incredible for tackling wrinkles, reducing the appearance of dark spots and generally improving your skin. But you have to be careful and use them only in moderation. Overloading your skin with such potent active ingredients can irritate even the strongest of skin types. And if you’re already predisposed to sensitivities, they can spell disaster.

    There are a few golden rules to remember when dealing with active skincare ingredients. First, don’t layer more than one active treatment product at a time. Many serums are formulated with more than one active, for sure, but skincare manufacturers know what they’re doing. Piling on serum after serum can seriously traumatize your skin. Secondly, go slowly – after patch testing first. This is so much better than applying a new product day after day only to have a reaction a week later when it's too late.

    Finally, search out the more sensitive sides of active ingredients. Try bakuchiol rather than retinol, lactic acid instead of glycolic acid and sodium ascorbyl phosphate instead of l-ascorbic acid. These will have similar effects to their powerful cousins, but with far fewer side effects. We’re currently head-over-heels for our new Rejuvenating Longevity Serum which packs a punch against skin aging thanks to nature’s gentler answer to retinol, bakuchiol.

    Mistake #6. Skipping Sun Protection

    It goes without saying that the sun has to make an appearance here. Because, sorry sun, but you’re bad news for the skin. And even worse news for sensitive skin.

    Sensitive skin can be very reactive to weather temperatures and conditions, becoming flushed, prickly, tingly or itchy when exposed to things like wind, cold, heat, and especially sunlight. Sun skin allergies are also real. So much so that it’s a medical condition with a fancy name: polymorphous light eruption (PLME).

    This is why sunscreen has to be a non-negotiable step in your skincare routine. Just remember to stick with mineral formulations that use gentle ingredients like zinc oxide to protect your skin. Our SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C is a winner.

    Mistake #7. Smothering Your Face In Sulfates

    Synthetic fragrance isn’t the only irritant in skincare. Sulfates can also be a complete pain for certain skin types.

    Sulfates are used a great deal in skincare formulations because they’re damn good at cleansing the skin, removing oils, dirt and product residue very effectively. However, they’re kind of too good if that makes sense, drying out your skin and often causing problems like dryness, itching, redness and breakouts. Especially around the sensitive eye area.

    We avoid using the worst sulfate bad boys – sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) – in favor of kinder-to-skin surfactants that care for your barrier function instead of stripping its life away. Our Soothing Cleansing Milk is the best bet for sensitive skin.

    Mistake #8. Ignoring Food Sensitivities

    Don't forget, what you put into your body can be just as relevant as what goes onto your skin.

    Most people with serious skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis or rosacea are well aware how important diet and food allergies are. Anything from tree nuts (think almonds, walnuts and macadamias), to dairy and yeast can all cause unwanted flare-ups. And the relationship between food, allergies and the skin doesn’t stop there. If you have an allergy to a certain type of food, it may also be mindful to not only avoid eating it, but to stay well away from it in your beauty products. 

    Food and skin allergies are tricky to self-diagnose but they’re important to nail down so if you think you might have an allergy or intolerance to something, it’s wise to get help from an allergist or dermatologist straight away.

    Sensitive Skin
    Are YOU The Cause Of Your Sensitive Skin?
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  • The Most Effective Ways To Improve Uneven Skin Texture
    Want to better the texture of your skin and help transform the rough into the smooth? Done.

    Skin concerns can vary greatly. Whether it’s hormonal breakouts that just won’t let up, puffy morning eyes after too much of a good time, or pesky dark spots that crop up on your cheeks every year – no matter how prudent you are with the sunscreen – there’s always something.

    Take rough, uneven skin, for example. Poor texture might not be life threatening or even that noticeable to the untrained eye. But we get it, touching your skin and feeling bumps, flakes and rough patches instead of baby-smooth skin is as frustrating as hell. 

    So, why is uneven skin texture such a royal pain in the butt? Well, bumpy skin can be super persistent for starters. It's also impossible to cover up with makeup. In fact, makeup often makes it look ten times worse. And then there are the gazillion reasons why it’s there in the first place. OK, maybe there aren’t that many, but you get the picture.

    If you’re fed up with bumpy skin simply not letting up, read on for some important intel that might just help you say ciao to the rough stuff…

    First Up, What’s Causing Your Uneven Skin Texture?

    Oh, if only we had a straight answer to this question. But alas, when it comes to the health of your skin, things are never quite that black and white.

    Poor skin texture can be caused by any number of things which is pretty unhelpful, we know. Thankfully they can, at the very least, be put into four main camps: chronic skin disorders; sluggish cell turnover; an overly complicated skincare routine and surprise, surprise, the sun.

    First up we have skin disorders like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and acne. All of these can make your skin feel bumpy and rough to the touch – especially during flare-ups. And if you’re not careful, scarring from severe acne can also leave you with textural issues in the long-term. So, if you think you might be dealing with some kind of chronic skin complaint like the aforementioned, the only real way to get a handle on what’s going on is to get a professional diagnosis from a dermatologist. Trying to solve these on your own (particularly when you don’t know what you’re dealing with) can be a long, hard struggle and even then you might never achieve the best results.

    Other textural issues are most commonly caused by sluggish cell turnover which allows dead skin cells to persistently stick around at the surface of your skin. This results in dullness, dehydration and rough, clogged pores. And then there’s an overly complicated skincare routine that’s packed to the brim with active ingredients. Active ingredients are great in moderation, but too much of a good thing can totally over-stimulate your skin, leaving it feeling bumpy and irritated.

    Finally, the sun. This is the one thing you can blame for almost all of your skin woes. And it’s valid. UV radiation disrupts your collagen supplies and causes your cells to prematurely break down and die, leaving you with seriously uneven skin texture (and tone, for that matter!).

    How To Boss Smoother Skin

    As mentioned, for slightly complicated issues like rosacea and eczema, get thee to a derm. However, if you think your textural issues are more a case of poor cellular turnover, cruddy skincare and/or too much time in the sun, here are five fantastic ways to help smooth things over…

    1. Exfoliate On The Reg

    The best way to accelerate cell turnover and reduce build-up on the surface of your skin is to exfoliate more often. Don’t get us wrong, most people don’t need to exfoliate daily – that can exacerbate the problem – but two or three times a week with a physical scrub, or three to four times a week with a chemical exfoliant can do wonders for bumpy skin.

    Our awesome NEW 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant is a great choice for textural issues because it’s formulated with a sweet blend of glycolic acid, salicylic acid and glucolactone which provide the ideal amount of deep exfoliation and oil control, without upsetting the balance of your skin.

    2. Don’t Skip Your SPF

    UV radiation is a devil on the skin, screwing up your pores and totally messing with collagen production. Both of which are bad news if you want to get anywhere near the heady heights of smooth skin.

    Protect your skin every day with a mineral sunscreen that has a minimum of SPF 30 and is also broad-spectrum. The latter is super important because it means it protects your skin not only from UVB radiation (which is what the SPF denotes) but UVA radiation as well. And that’s the stuff that gets right through those clouds on cold, wintry days, damaging your skin, rain or shine. Try our fabulous SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C as the last step in your morning routine.

    3. Make Retinol A Bedtime Favorite

    Of course, one of the best ingredients for uneven skin texture is retinol. As per! Although totally different to exfoliants, retinol also has a clever way of boosting turnover and accelerating collagen production to help improve texture, tone, acne, the works. Retinol is not always advisable for rosacea or eczema-prone skin because it’s a potent little beast, but as long as you introduce it slowly and carefully into your routine, it can have skin-transforming results for most skin types.

    Give our Retinol Facial Serum a go in the evenings, two or three times a week, after cleansing and before moisturizing.

    4. Dose Up On Vitamin C

    When it comes to waging war on skin-roughening free radicals, vitamin C gets our vote every time. A major player in the world of antioxidants, vitamin C helps neutralize the many free radicals caused by sun damage, environmental pollution and the like. But that’s not enough for our vitamin C because it also works like a dog to inhibit melanin production, therefore keeping a beady eye on your skin tone as well as its texture.

    Like retinol, however, vitamin C can be a pretty powerful addition to your skincare routine so we believe sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) should be your ultimate go-to. SAP is a salt form of pure vitamin C which makes it a) more stable and b) less irritating. It’s the only kind we use across all of our vitamin C products.

    5. Never Underestimate The Power Of A Good Moisturizer

    Dry and/or dehydrated skin is seriously bad news for the smoothness of your skin so moisturizing is totally non-negotiable. You should moisturize your skin after every cleanse, ideally following a treatment serum that addresses any other concerns you may have.

    Look out for moisturizers that contain a good blend of humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin or aloe (these draw water to the surface of your skin) as well as ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil or cocoa butter that help lock all that moisture in. And for an extra boost of free moisture? Apply your product while your skin is still slightly damp. Our current fave is our new Renewing Longevity Moisturizing Cream but we have a whole bunch of moisturizing whizz kids right here.

    The Most Effective Ways To Improve Uneven Skin Texture
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  • 5 Of The Best Exfoliation Tips You Never Knew You Needed
    It might be thought of as an ‘extra’ step in your skincare routine, but exfoliation can make or break the condition of your skin.

    Reckon you’re a dab hand at exfoliating? Got the product, worn the t-shirt and all that? Well, as great as you might be, there’s always room for improvement. Whether it’s getting your frequency absolutely correct, knowing when is the best time to exfoliate or learning how to exfoliate your face and neck without damaging your skin there are many ways to do better.

    So if you hate resting on your laurels when it comes to the health of your skin, read on for five important exfoliating lessons you need to know…

    1. It’s Better To Under-Exfoliate Than To Over-Exfoliate

    The first, and undoubtedly the most important rule when it comes to exfoliating your skin is to never, ever, overdo it.

    Here’s the thing, exfoliation is your way of stimulating your skin to turn over at a faster rate, removing dead, hardened cells from the skin’s surface while encouraging the fresher, younger ones to reveal themselves. All this helps remove toxins, unclog pores, control breakouts, fade surface level dark spots, smooth lines, balance oil production, allow the rest of your skincare routine to work better and, well, you get the picture.

    Of course, your skin has its own pre-programmed way of shedding millions of dead skin cells every day – a process called desquamation – but things like aging and environmental damage slow this process down from around 28 days to as long as 80 days. And this is not good news. Slow, sluggish cell turnover means that instead of naturally sloughing away, dry, old skin cells get stuck at the surface causing your skin to look dull, patchy, congested and dehydrated.

    So you get the picture that exfoliation is pretty important. Well, here’s the catch. Exfoliating your skin too hard or with high concentrations of super-potent ingredients will speed up cell turnover way too much. And this can totally upset your skin’s barrier function, stripping away important proteins and oils, leaving it open to irritation, breakouts, redness and stinging.

    This is why it’s key to be gentle. If you like to use physical exfoliants like scrubs, cleansing brushes or facial mitts you should only ever use very light pressure, and avoid harsh tools and products that make your skin sting or hurt. On the other hand, if you prefer chemical exfoliants that harness the powers of hydroxy acids such as glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids, try to avoid super high concentrations and don’t attempt any kind of DIY mixology. Mixing and matching such potent ingredients is best left to the skincare professionals. Otherwise it inevitably does not end well.

    2. Yes, You CAN Alternative Between Physical & Chemical Exfoliants

    While we’re on the subject of physical and chemical exfoliation, the good news is you don’t have to choose between the two. Of course, you should never scrub your skin and then immediately apply a chemical exfoliant afterwards. Or even on the same day for that matter. This is completely over-egging the pudding, plus you know all that irritation we just spoke of? Well, double exfoliation is opening up the door for sore, sensitive skin.

    However, you can certainly alternate between the two if you tread carefully and don’t overdo it. Just remember to stick to two or three times a week with your face scrub, then on alternate days, apply a gentle-on-the-skin chemical exfoliant.

    And boy, have we got just the product for that!

    Say hello to our new 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant which is formulated with an incredible blend of glycolic acid (an AHA), salicylic acid (BHA) and gluconolactone (PHA). Together with vitamin C this fragrance-free, pH-balancing treatment has been specifically formulated to offer an effective way to increase skin turnover, with less of the irritation often associated with acid exfoliants. The key is the 6 percent sweet spot which we believe is just the right amount to care for all skin types – yes, even sensitive.

    3. Cleansing Can Be Effective Before OR After Using Face Scrub

    Exfoliating your skin with a physical scrub, washcloth or mitt should never replace your cleansing routine. In fact, you should still cleanse your skin whenever you exfoliate.

    But should you do it beforehand or after exfoliating? Well, surprisingly you can do either.

    Most skincare experts recommend cleansing before exfoliating because this helps remove surface debris like makeup, oils, sunscreen and sweat, allowing your exfoliator to really get to business straight from the off. However, doing the opposite lifts away those dead skin cells first which gives your cleanser a better chance to wash all that debris away.

    In short, cleansing first allows for a deeper, more effective exfoliation, while exfoliating first gives you a better cleanse.

    Of course, if you prefer chemical exfoliants like our new 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant, this whole point is null and void. You must always apply chemical exfoliants to clean skin for the best results. End of discussion.

    4. For Excellent Results, Exfoliate In The Morning

    Never quite sure whether to exfoliate before bed or after you wake up? To be honest, any time of the day is good and it really depends on your skin type, needs and routine. However, if you really want to get the most out of your exfoliant, it can be better to use it in the morning.

    During the night, your skin repairs and renews itself from the daily grind, leaving you with more dead skin cells to slough away come the morning. Also, most people apply their retinol treatment at night so over-stimulating your skin before using such a powerful product can increase the potential for irritation.

    All this combines to, in our opinion, give morning exfoliation the win. And when you add in the fact that our 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant contains skin brightening, free radical-fighting vitamin C to shield your skin from daily damage, it really is a no brainer.

    5. Treat Your Exfoliant Like A Retinol Treatment

    As previously mentioned, exfoliation isn't like cleansing, moisturizing and applying sunscreen, which should all be carried out on a strict, daily basis. In fact, one of the worst things you can do is to dive in head first, going from no exfoliation at all, to a vigorous scrub every morning.

    As with retinol, proceed your exfoliation routine with caution. Start with a gentle product just once or twice a week (having patch tested any new product first, of course), then slowly build up to more frequent use as your skin acclimates. Depending on your skin type, you may be able to work up to daily exfoliation, alternating between scrubs and acids, or you may find your skin prefers a less frequent approach. Everyone’s skin is different so you’ll need to be the judge of that. Just remember, exfoliating shouldn’t sting, cause peeling, or make your skin look red.

    And this applies to your body, just as much as your face and neck.

    Sensitive Skin
    5 Of The Best Exfoliation Tips You Never Knew You Needed
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