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True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • 5 Ways To Take Your Bedtime Skincare To The Next Level
    Are you looking to give your skin more than the basic (but vital) nighttime cleanse and moisturize? Goody, then you’ve come to the right place.

    Picture the scene: you’re getting ready to turn in for the night and going through your pre-bedtime motions. PJs are on, teeth are cleaned, hair is brushed (just us then?) and your face and neck have been cleansed and moisturized. All good stuff. But is a basic cleanse and moisturize really enough to encourage great skin? Or can you do more?

    Nighttime is actually a super important time for your skin because while the rest of your body is at rest your skin gets crazy busy trying to heal itself from the pressures of daily life. Day after day things like pollution, stress, a less-than-ideal diet and UV radiation produce damaging free radicals in your skin which, if left to their own devices, attack collagen and elastin and ruin your skin’s youthful mojo. Of course, topical antioxidants like vitamin C plus that all-important sunscreen are great ways to ward off free radicals but still, some of them are going to get through, and your skin needs time to recuperate.

    The good news is that all of this rejuvenation and reparation happens overnight when you’re sleeping. When your body rests, blood flow to your skin increases, collagen production accelerates, your natural antioxidant system kicks in and your skin’s barrier function restores itself ready to fight another day. If you miss out on your valuable sleep, therefore, your skin is starved of enough time to get all of this important work done. And your skin will suffer because of it. Studies show that people who get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night generally have way healthier skin than those who sleep for five hours or less.

    There is no one perfect nighttime skincare routine that suits all, but you can definitely do more for your skin than wash your face and slap moisturizer on before you hit the sack. Don’t get us wrong, cleansing and moisturizing morning and night is great – and extremely important – but why stop there when just a couple of extra minutes could result in so much more for your skin?

    Read on for five ways to up the ante in your nighttime skincare routine… and enjoy way better skin as a result.

    1. Give Double Cleansing A Go

    Let’s get one thing straight: double cleansing isn’t always necessary and can actually be too stimulating if you use harsh, overly drying products. However, if you choose your products wisely and like to wear a good amount of makeup during the day or are prone to particularly oily skin that feels pretty grimy by the evening, double cleansing can be a very effective way to give your skin the clean slate it deserves before bed.

    What is double cleansing? Well, it simply means cleansing your skin twice. First, you use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and sunscreen, then you followed this with a water-based formulation to wash away other surface debris and help target your skin type or concerns.

    Being gentle is always the preferred way to cleanse and it’s even more important when you’re doing the job twice. So avoid harsh ingredients like sulfates and parabens because these can really over-do it, leading to excessive dryness, irritation and even breakouts. All of our cleansers are free of such nasties, so don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

    Also, don’t forget your neck. It’s just as important as the rest of your face and often goes unloved. That’s a mistake you don’t want to make.

    2. Try An Exfoliating Treatment

    Most people exfoliate in the morning in a bid to freshen up and brighten their skin ready for the day. And this is great. However, exfoliating in the evening is also a fabulous way to help lift away any impurities from your skin to allow the rest of your nighttime skincare routine to penetrate your skin more effectively. It’ll also kick-start the regeneration process which happens overnight, encouraging cell turnover and boosting collagen production. Nice touch.

    After cleansing, try our new 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant which is totally non-abrasive and specifically formulated with sensitive skin types in mind. It combines three of the best exfoliating acids for brightening skin tone, unclogging your pores and creating a more even, smoother texture. What’s not to love?

    Apply it two or three times a week, but remember not to use it on evenings when you’re applying a retinol product – that combo can be way too stimulating for your delicate skin!

    3. Target Your Biggest Skin Concerns

    OK, now it's over to you to think about what your skin really needs. And this is where targeted facial serums come into their own. Do you want to nix pesky breakouts? There’s a serum for that. Maybe you have some pigmentation you’d like to get to grips with? Yeah, there’s a serum for that, too. Basically, whatever your needs, a facial serum has you covered.

    Serums are an incredible way to incorporate potent, active ingredients into your skincare routine because they’re thinner and more lightweight than regular moisturizers. This means they’re able to deliver ingredients way more effectively, targeting your specific issues by getting underneath the surface where all the good stuff happens.

    We have plant-powered, science-backed serums to cater for all tastes, skin types and concerns. From our awesome Peptide Facial Serum which is perfect for hydrating the skin and targeting premature aging through to our Tea Tree Super Serum+ for brightening and clearing out your pores, rest assured, we’re here for you.

    4. Show Your Eyes Some Love

    The skin around your eyes is thinner and far more fragile than the rest of your face. It also contains fewer sebaceous glands so it can feel and look pretty dry without due care. This is why eye creams are such a great choice for helping to nourish and hydrate the skin while warding off fine lines in this delicate area. And applying one at night is very wise.

    Tapping eye cream around your eyes before bed gives your skin something to help kickstart the regeneration and rejuvenation process. Big thumbs up for that. Not only that, but if you apply it in the morning, it can interfere with your under eye concealer and makeup, whereas there’s no chance of that at bedtime.

    Sure, you’re welcome to apply an eye cream both morning and night – as long as you give it a good few minutes in the morning to sink in before applying makeup – but if you prefer one or the other, nighttime is your best bet.

    Try our new Depuffing Longevity Eye Cream to target aging and help reduce dark circles and pesky under eye baggage.

    5. Moisturize Your Lips & Hands

    Taking care of the skin on your face and neck is obviously vital before bed. But it doesn’t stop there. In fact, nighttime is an incredible time to give your hands, lips and even your feet a little extra attention. They’re going to be still (for the most part) as you sleep, plus they're totally surplus to requirement for at least the next seven hours, so what better time to lavish them with moisture?

    Apply a rich, buttery cream or lotion to cleansed hands and feet just before you jump into bed, and smear your favorite lip balm over your lips. Make sure to apply it just over the edges of your lips as this area can often feel the driest.

    And we're done here.

    Skincare Routine
    5 Ways To Take Your Bedtime Skincare To The Next Level
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  • What Happens To Your Skin When You’re Asleep?
    It's easy to forget about your skin before bed – after all, you’re just going to sleep, right? Nothing to see here!
    Wrong. So very wrong.

    We like to think that taking good care your skin as part of your morning routine is a done deal. Cleansing, moisturizing, using a treatment serum, applying a dab of eye cream here and a good slathering of sunscreen there? All standard practice. But when it comes to sticking to a regular nighttime skincare routine, things often go a little awry.

    Of course, we’ve all encountered the odd occasion when we’ve been too tired/lazy/tipsy to fully cleanse, tone and moisturize before bed. And that's just about OK when it doesn’t happen too often. But neglecting a nighttime skincare routine on the reg can have serious repercussions on the health of your skin.

    Read on to find out exactly what goes on with your skin while you’re sleeping

    1. Cell Regeneration Hits Its Busiest Time

    Day and night, your skin is constantly turning over as part of a natural shedding process called desquamation. During this process, skin cells are created at the base of your epidermis where they mature, get pushed up to the surface and finally slough away. This system allows your skin to remain strong and healthy, and works pretty efficiently.

    Until it doesn’t.

    Many things upset the rate at which your skin turns over. For one thing, it naturally slows down as you age (surprise, surprise) and there’s nothing you can do about that. However, there are SO many other things you can control to help cell regeneration go about its business in the most efficient way possible.

    Sleep is one of the biggest factors. During this important time of rest skin turnover speeds up – potentially working up to three times faster than during the day. This is, in part due to a hormone called the human growth hormone (HGH) which is stimulated by sleep. As its name cunningly reveals, HGH stimulates growth in both the tissues and organs in your body. And when it comes to your skin, it helps accelerate cell regeneration, thus promoting repair and increasing turnover.

    How To Aid Cell Regeneration

    The obvious way to boost cell turnover? Get more quality sleep! On top of that, give it an extra helping hand by applying a gentle exfoliating formulation to clean skin before you hit the sack. Try AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant.

    2. Collagen Production Accelerates

    Various studies show that if you consistently skimp on beauty sleep, your collagen will suffer as a result. This is because your skin is constantly producing fresh collagen (although this process seriously slows down as you age), but it really amps up when you’re in the land of nods.

    When you don’t get enough sleep, however, the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol kicks in, which puts unwanted stress on your skin, playing havoc with collagen production and wrecking its ability to heal and regenerate. This often results in weaker, thinner, less springy skin that highlights fine lines, accelerates the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin, and starts to look generally a bit ‘meh.’

    Too much cortisol in your system can also cause flare-ups in chronic skin conditions like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. So there’s that.

    How To Enhance Collagen Production

    You’ll soon get bored of this… but go to bed earlier! Also, apply an overnight treatment that contains retinol. Retinol has been proven time and again to accelerate collagen synthesis and help you achieve the heady heights of stronger, healthier skin. We love Retinol Facial Serum or you could switch it up with Rejuvenating Longevity Serum which contains bakuchiol – nature’s gentle alternative to retinol.

    3. Water Loss Becomes A Thing

    Skin becomes warmer and more permeable when you’re asleep as blood flow increases to the surface. This is great news for your skincare routine because it allows your products to go about their business super efficiently and way more effectively.

    But it’s not so good for your skin’s hydration levels. A more permeable barrier function, you see, loses water at a quicker rate than normal, leaving it feeling dryer and more dehydrated than you’d like.

    How To Reduce Overnight Water Loss

    Do NOT stay awake longer, thinking this will keep your skin hydrated. Big mistake. Instead, treat your skin to plenty of moisture before bedtime. Cleanse gently to remove debris, then apply a hydrating serum followed by a nourishing moisturizer. We’re currently all over Smoothing Collagen Serum and Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream.

    4. Your Body’s Defense System Kicks In

    Free radicals are constantly trying to attack your skin’s valuable proteins throughout the day thanks to things like pollution, UV radiation, smoking and stress. So, what happens to all these free radicals at night, when you’re asleep? Well, let’s talk about melatonin for a minute.

    Not just a sleeping aid you might take before a long-haul flight, melatonin is a hormone produced by your body on a daily (well, evening!) basis. Your body makes melatonin when it’s dark to make you feel sleepy and ready to turn in for the night. It's also vital in helping to counteract environmental skin damage. It’s kind of like your body’s own natural antioxidant system, boosting repair, nixing all those pesky free rads and rebooting your skin ready for the next day of inevitable pollution and the like…  

    How To Boost Free Radical Protection  

    Two words: topical antioxidants. Our favorite antioxidant is vitamin C which is one of the hardest-working and clinically proven antioxidants in skincare. It figures, therefore that a vitamin C boost before bedtime is just what the beauty doctor ordered. Try Vitamin C Super Serum + which also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and collagen-boosting retinol.

    Skincare Routine
    What Happens To Your Skin When You’re Asleep?
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  • Why Dull Weather Shouldn’t Mean Dull Skin
    Summer may be history (for now), but dull weather doesn’t mean your skin has to look equally as cruddy.

    It’s only November and we’re already missing those long, sunny days when our skin automatically glowed with health. Dang. But here’s the thing: just because the weather has become duller, colder and a little gray around the edges, your skin can still be as radiant as a balmy, July day. You just need to know how to boost your circulation, encourage healthy skin turnover and maintain clean, clear, hydrated skin.

    Sounds too much like hard work? On the contrary. Below, ten quick and easy tips for glowing skin ­– all year long.

    1. Exfoliate, Baby!

    Exfoliation is definitely ‘the one’ when it comes to quick fixes for brighter, happier-looking skin. And the reasons are simple. Exfoliating your skin – whether you use a scrub, mitt, cleansing brush or chemical treatment – encourages your cells to turn over more efficiently, ridding the surface of dulling dead skin cells and allowing all of the fresh stuff to take their place.

    Over-exfoliating can have the opposite effect, however, breaking down your skin’s important barrier function and causing your skin to become angry, red, irritated, dry, pimply or any number of other things that aren’t top of your skin’s wish list. The key, therefore, is to go gently – we recommend using a kind-to-skin chemical treatment like our new AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant – and start out just once or twice a week until your skin acclimates. Sure, you can slowly build up to daily use but listen to your skin and don’t push it. Less is best.

    2. Embrace The Upside Down

    Want to immediately get blood flowing to your skin with absolutely zero effort? Simple: hang your head upside down for a couple of minutes each day. This immediately rushes circulation to your face and neck, flooding your skin with radiance-boosting oxygen and nutrients. And don’t worry if you can no longer contort your body into a headstand. Just lie back on your bed, face up, and tip your head back over the edge. Everyone can do that. Stick with two or three minutes, max, however. Any longer might make you feel funny. And yes, ‘funny’ is the scientific word for it!

    3. Go Big On Hydration

    Dehydrated skin is a major cause of dullness because thirsty skin is unable to reflect light as well as soft, hydrated skin.

    So word of warning: never let your skin get too parched, people. Drink plenty of water and layer a hydrating serum under your moisturizer to ensure you draw lots of moisture to your skin’s uppermost layers. We’re all over the epic combo of Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum, followed by Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer.

    More on the mighty vitamin C in a sec…

    4. Try A Quick-Fix, DIY Face Mask

    Blending your own, DIY face mask may remind you way too much of your teenage years, but get the right formula and you’ll be on to a real winner. We’re big fans of mixing together plain yogurt, avocado and a teaspoon of honey and slathering this all over our face and neck for around 10 minutes. Yogurt is great for soothing inflammation and gently exfoliating the skin while honey and avocado add that vital hydration and moisturization. 

    Needless to say, remember to rinse thoroughly. Well, dur.

    5. Moisturize Before Bed

    Of course you’re not going to skip moisturizer in the morning (ARE YOU NOW!?) but before bed, certain skincare practices often go out of the window. Because tiredness, laziness, a few too many wines… things get in the way.

    However, if you really want your skin to be happy, healthy and glowing, neglecting your night time routine is a big mistake. And no, swooshing a cleansing wipe over your skin does not count.

    Every night – without fail – cleanse your face and neck, apply your favorite serum and never forget to moisturize with a gentle but high-powered night cream. Our Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream is awesome for refueling your skin as you sleep – literally wrapping your skin in nutrients, antioxidants and rich botanical extracts. It’s a must if you want to wake up with radiant skin before you even look in the mirror.

    6. Eat Your Way To Radiant Skin

    Antioxidants are a super important part of your diet, whatever your health and skincare goals. But for a brighter, more radiant complexion, they are everything. Of course, we’re never going to deprive you of your favorite treats every now and again, but as a rule, try to include more nuts, seeds and colorful fresh fruit and veggies in your diet. Specifically, reach for things like strawberries, broccoli, grapes, walnuts and almonds.

    7. Get Up Close & Personal With Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is non-negotiable in the search for glowy skin. It just is. With decades of research under its belt, it’s been proven time and again for protecting your skin from the nasty effects of environmental free radical damage. And if you weren’t aware of just how damaging free radicals can be, know this. They’re seriously bad news for your collagen, breaking it down and killing your skin’s plump, radiant mojo.

    But that’s not all, vitamin C also helps inhibit melanin production to help keep dark spots and patchy skin in check. Honestly, it’s a skin brightening shoo-in.

    If you’re worried about the potential irritating effects of vitamin C on your sensitive skin, you're right to. But it's not out of the question for any skin type, as long as you look out for gentler derivatives like sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP). We only ever use SAP in our vitamin C products because it’s effective, for one, and way less irritating, for another. What’s not to love?

    8. Kickstart Circulation With Gua Sha

    Massaging your skin with your hands and fingers is a great way to give circulation a kick up the booty. But if you fancy going the extra mile, try a little facial gua sha.

    Fast becoming a given in many a proficient skincare routine, gua sha is an East Asian massage technique that involves working a flat, rounded gua sha tool over the skin to relax your facial muscles, encourage microcirculation and help reduce puffiness while boosting radiance and firming the skin. You simply hold the tool (usually made from jade or rose quartz) flat against your skin and then stroke the curved side in one direction over your face and neck. We like to apply a facial oil first to help it glide over your skin more smoothly. You could also do it while your skin is wet, after cleansing.

    9. Don’t Skip Toner

    Many people can give or take toner but if you’re looking to really amp up your glow, a great toning product can prove an awesome tool to have in your skincare arsenal. Of course, it’s all about choosing the right one but go for deeply hydrating formulations or anything with gentle, skin-nourishing ingredients and you’ll find your skin instantly looks perkier. Added bonus is that toners can help the rest of your regime penetrate your skin more effectively.

    10. Fake It, Till You Make It

    Of course, makeup can be a true friend when your skin is not playing fair. Illuminating lotions or ‘glotions’ that combine moisturizing benefits with subtle color and highlighting shimmer are great for faking lit-from-within skin. But they can be little too shimmery for some – especially if you have oily skin. A great trick? Mix a drop with your regular foundation or moisturizer to dilute the shimmer.

    You could also try dusting a mineral highlighting powder over the high plains of your face to draw attention and reflect light. Just don’t go too ‘bronze’ with the shade as warm, dark tones can age you up lightning fast.

    Why Dull Weather Shouldn’t Mean Dull Skin
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  • PSA: Here’s How To Look After Your Skin During Movember
    Committed to growing out your facial hair for Movember? Then a) good on you. And b) this is the perfect time to get on top of your skincare and grooming routine.

    Movember (and it’s cousin, No-Shave November) are here and if you’re keen to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues such as colon cancer, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental health and suicide prevention, chances are you’re ditching your razor and forgoing your usual shaving routine for a little extra facial hair right now.

    Growing a beard, moustache or goatee from scratch, however, comes with its challenges. For starters, growing and maintaining facial hair can be a bit of a chore – especially if you’re used to a more clean shaven look. And then there are the issues your skin must contend with: beard itch, blocked pores, breakouts, the struggles are all too real.

    If you’re on board with Movember or No-Shave November and want to, not only do your bit, but make sure your skin doesn’t feel the hit for the next 30 days, here are four important grooming tips to help you maintain healthier skin.

    1. Keep Your Skin Clean

    When it comes to cleansing your skin, this is not the time to be slap-dash. Sure, you can just about get away with a speedy ‘splash of water and done’ philosophy when you’re tired or feeling lazy, but it won’t do your skin any favors. And when you’re growing out your facial hair? Frankly, it’s asking for trouble.

    Skin secretes sebum all day and, to a lesser extent, throughout the night, helping to keep it healthy and moisturized. All good stuff. However, if your skin is not cleansed regularly, this sebum builds on the surface of your skin, combining with dirt, sweat, pollution and dead skin cells. Leave all this debris to continue building up and it will eventually block up your pores like there’s no tomorrow. Best case scenario? You might end up with slightly irritated skin and a few blackheads. Worse case? Serious acne.

    Breakouts around and under facial hair are very common because, even if you think you’re pretty strict with your cleansing routine, the skin under your beard or moustache often gets looked over. Don’t let that happen, people! Cleanse your face, chin and neck thoroughly, morning and night, using balancing products that help to control sebum and detoxify your skin, without sucking all the life out of it.

    Our recommendations? Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser or Tea Tree Super Cleanser+. Both of these work hard to deeply cleanse the skin and decongest your pores. Just remember to soften the skin and hairs first with a little warm (but not too hot!) water, then work the cleanser over your skin in circular motions, use a little extra manpower over any hairy, harder-to-reach areas.

    2. Exfoliate While You’re At It

    Facial scrubs can be a bit of a pain when dealing with facial hair as all those pesky ‘bits’ can get stuck in your hairs. But exfoliation is still as important (maybe even more so) when you’re growing a beard or ‘stache as it helps to regulate cell turnover and get rid of unwanted dead skin cells. This will reduce your chances of irritation and help to keep your pores clear from unwanted blockages.

    The good news is we have just the product to keep your skin turning over nicely during this tricky time: AHA/BHA/PHA Liquid Exfoliant. Perfect for all skin types, but particularly awesome for oilier complexions, this non-abrasive, leave-on exfoliant contains three of the best ingredients for breaking down dead skin cells and getting rid of excess sebum: glycolic acid, salicylic acid and gluconolactone. Apply it all over your skin – beard and ‘stache included – after cleansing and before moisturizing, using your fingers or a cotton pad.

    3. Keep Your Hands Off

    Scratching your beard or touching your facial hair may feel good at the time, but this will transfer even more dirt, sweat and oils from your hands to your face. No matter how often you wash your hands. This might seem innocent enough, but overloading your skin with excess debris will just add to the likelihood of your skin breaking out. It could also aggravate your skin and exacerbate irritation. Nobody wants that.

    4. Moisturize Twice Daily

    Just as important as keeping your face and neck clean during Movember and No-Shave November is to keep your skin moisturized. Dry, dehydrated skin, coupled with new facial hair can be a killer combination for itchy, irritated skin. And with it also being winter – when the air lacks humidity and is naturally very drying on your skin – your face and neck are going to need that hydration more than ever.

    Rich, heavy moisturizers can get ‘stuck’ in facial hair (especially if your beard and ‘stache are dense or thick). This means they’re unable to fully penetrate down to the surface of your skin. Instead of butters or thick creams, therefore, we recommend sticking with lighter lotions or gel formulations whose smaller molecules are able to work between those hairs much more effectively. Our new Firming Collagen Day Lotion is a great choice, or you could try a classic favorite, Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer. Both will keep your skin (and your hairs!) in great condition.

    For even deeper hydration, you could even layer your moisturizer on top of a nourishing facial serum. Try Multi-Vitamin Facial Serum, one of our newest all-singing, all-dancing treatments that’s perfect for delivering everything your skin needs to remain strong and healthy. Apply just a couple of drops after cleansing and exfoliating, and before moisturizing, morning and night.

    PSA: Here’s How To Look After Your Skin During Movember
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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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