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What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
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Here’s what we know about the wonderful world of peptides. Heads up: fine lines and rough texture be afraid, be very afraid.
Just when you thought you’d gotten your head around the retinols and hyaluronic acids of the skincare world, another ingredient starts to make headlines and the confusion hits all over again. Take peptides, for example, which is not just one single entity but a whole bunch of ingredients with crazy long names to figure out. Mind-blowing stuff, right? Weeeeell, not so much. Sure, there are tons of peptides used in skincare and yes, they all have pretty science-heavy names like Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, but you really only need to know a few basic things in order to get great results.
First, what they are. And second, what they do.
So, here we go…
What Exactly Are Peptides?
OK, time to get your science caps on. Peptides are chemical compounds made up of short chains of amino acids. Amino acids are also the building blocks of protein in your skin. However, the difference is that proteins like collagen, elastin and keratin are large molecules, made up of many, many amino acids, whereas peptides are shorter chains of between two and around 50 amino acids. What does all this mean? Well, studies show that because of their similar yet smaller molecular makeup, peptides are able to penetrate the skin more easily where they signal your cells to produce more of all those fabulous proteins.
How Do Peptides Benefit Your Skin?
Collagen, elastin and keratin are the absolute foundation of healthy skin, giving it valuable support, structure and strength. With age (as well as environmental bad boys like pollution and the sun), your skin produces less and less of these essential proteins which is when all those so-called imperfections you can’t bear start to rear their heads. Pesky lines around your mouth… annoying crow’s feet… a bit of sagging skin here and there… you know the drill. Frankly, other people barely notice these 'flaws' you can't stand, so they're not THAT big of a deal, but that being said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to care for your skin in order to hold onto your best complexion for as long as possible. And we get that.
It figures, then, that anything you can do to boost collagen, elastin and keratin production (aka apply peptides!) is a major plus for the look and feel of your skin. Think less pronounced lines; firmer, lifted skin and tighter-looking pores. Some peptdies even have anti-inflammatory benefits which is great if you suffer with irritation, redness and sensitivities every now and again.
The fact is there's very little to disprove the amazing anti-aging benefits of applying peptides to your skin.
The TruSkin Golden Rules For Peptides In Skincare
1. Peptides Work Best As A Team
Most skincare brands combine a carefully curated cocktail of two or more peptides to offer the best, most complete anti-aging deal for your skincare routine. So, look for multiple ingredients that end with 'peptide' and/or begin with 'palmitoyl’ for a great, all-round product. Also, stick with formulations that are packaged in dark, airtight containers. Light and air can degrade certain peptides which makes them less effective.
Our new Peptide Facial Serum checks all these boxes by combining palmitoyl tripeptide-1, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 and palmitoyl tripeptide-5 which are well-known in the biz for their collagen and elastin-boosting skills. Together with a blend of ten silk-derived amino acids this skin-loving serum is the ideal way to help your complexion snap back to life.
2. Leave-On Peptides Are What It’s All About
Experts agree that to gain the best results from peptides you should go for products that get left on your skin, so they have time to penetrate the surface and go about their age-busting business. This means serums, toners and moisturizers are your best bet rather than cleansers or face masks.
As well as our awesome new Peptide Facial Serum, Ocean Minerals Daily Face Super Toner is a great shout here. It contains palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 to support collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production and help kickstart more youthful-looking skin.
3. Peptides Are Awesome for the Skin Around Your Eyes
Certain active ingredients like retinoids can be a little too powerful for the delicate skin around your eyes. Not so with peptides. Much safer and kinder to your skin, peptides are the ideal choice for dealing with aging eye concerns like crow’s feet, crinkling and crepey skin. This is why we packed a whole bunch of peptides into both of our eye treatments. Peptide Eye Gel, for example, is chock-full of them (the clue is in the name, after all!) and contains palmitoyl tripeptides-1 and -5, plus the mighty matrixyl 3000.
Matrixyl 3000 is a combination of several peptides and has been proven to boost collagen synthesis and help repair damaged, aging skin. In fact, one study showed that Matrixyl can almost double the amount of collagen your skin. We’re so on board with that.
4. Peptides Are Safe For Most Skin Types, But…
Patch testing is still important. Your body makes amino acids and proteins naturally, making peptides very well tolerated by most skin types. However, skin irritation can still occur if you’re super sensitive or if there are other active ingredients in the same product.
To perform a patch test, apply a small dot of product to a discreet patch of your skin. Maybe behind your eyes, inside your elbow or on your wrist. Then leave it for 48 hours to check for irritation. The chances are, you’ll be totally fine but any unlikely reaction that’s painful, uncomfortable, stinging or itchy is a major red flag and a sign that you should discontinue use.
Can Peptides Help Your Skin Deal With The Visible Signs Of Aging?read 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
Don’t be fooled by that gorgeous ball of fire in the sky. Sure, it makes you feel instantly happier and healthier. But word up, it’s hell on your skin.
The sun and your skin have a real love-hate relationship. On the surface, the sun makes your skin feel warm and glowing. But there’s a much darker side of the sun – if you’ll pardon the paradox.
The center of our entire solar system and the closest star to the Earth, the sun is a veritable fire ball of hot, glowing gases. Without it, we would not survive. However, as important as the sun’s rays are for fueling life as we know it, they’re also responsible for a massive amount of damage to your skin (as well as your eyes, health and immune system but that’s whole different story for another day).
Of course you know you need to protect your skin from the sun. But do you really understand why and, be honest, do you actually do it on the reg? Well, here are ten important facts about sun protection that will hopefully nudge you to get ahead of the sun damage game. Because, frankly, it’s no game at all…
1. Sun damage is all about UV radiation.
Sunlight is split into various forms of energy. It’s called the electromagnetic spectrum if you want to get technical, and it includes ultraviolet (UV) radiation, among others. UV is not the stuff you see (that’s called visible light), nor does it create heat (that’s infrared), however, it’s extremely powerful and the absolute devil when it comes to the health of your skin. It generates premature aging (think dark spots, wrinkles, sagging and leathery skin) and is believed to be one of the biggest causes of skin cancer.
2. Then there are your ABCs.
UV radiation is split into three different types: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC rays are the shortest and, thanks to the ozone, don’t reach the Earth’s surface or your skin. So, you really just need to be concerned about the As and the Bs.
UVA rays have the longest wavelength and account for around 95 percent of all UV radiation that gets through the ozone. Because of their longer length, UVA rays are able to penetrate through clouds and even glass, which means that a) they hit your skin all year round and b) they can even get you if you’re inside, sat next to a window. UVA rays go deep into your skin where they produce free radicals, break down collagen and elastin and age you up in no time.
UVB rays, on the other hand, are slightly shorter in wavelength and penetrate only the uppermost layers of your skin. They’re still bad news, though, damaging the cells at a surface level, and causing redness and sunburn.
Confused as to how to possibly remember all this? Simple: think UVA for aging and UVB for burning. Both, consequently, play their part in damaging DNA and causing skin cancer.
3. UVA is present ALL YEAR ROUND.
While UVB rays are more prevalent in summer, and especially during the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak, UVA rays stay pretty constant all year long. Experts agree that even on gloomy days, around 80 percent of the sun’s UVA rays still pass right through those clouds. This means that your risk of UVA skin damage never really goes away.
4. Newsflash: SPF only protects you from UVB radiation.
The SPF rating you see on your sunscreen is a great idea of how much protection it offers you from sun damage. But it really only concerns UVB radiation and burning, not UVA and its consequent effects on premature aging. So, how can you ensure you get the full monty? Well, the most important phrase you need to know and look out for is ‘broad spectrum'.
Broad spectrum means that a formulation has been tested to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays – aka, a broad spectrum of radiation. This was historically a very gray area but in 2011, the FDA issued a new ruling for sunscreen labels which meant that in order for a product to be labeled ‘broad spectrum’ it had to offer UVA protection that was proportional to its UVB protection. This means a higher SPF equates to higher UVA protection as well as higher UVB protection, which makes it much easier for you to know what you're buying into.
5. Group hugs for mineral sunscreens which block both UVA & UVB radiation.
Ingredients in sunscreens can be split into two categories: chemical and mineral. Chemical ingredients like oxybenone and octinoxate have been under great scrutiny recently and are continually being studied for their potential negative effects on the environment and your health. In fact, no chemical sunscreens are currently proposed to be safe and effective by the FDA. The only two are mineral ingredients: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide form a physical, protective barrier on your skin which reflects the sun’s rays away from the surface. They provide instant protection from the sun and not only that, but they protect your skin from both UVA and UVB radiation. Chemical sunscreen ingredients can’t always boast such abilities, which is why our SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen has been formulated with non-nano zinc oxide – in our opinion, it’s the ultimate defense against sun damage.
6. 30 is the magic number.
When it comes to the best SPF, most experts agree that 15 is as low as you should go. SPF 15 blocks out roughly 93 percent of the sun’s UV rays when applied thoroughly and generously – we’ll come to that in a bit.
As you get higher than SPF 15, your levels of protection increase minimally, but significantly. We believe SPF 30 is the sweet spot (especially when it comes to the fragile skin on your face), because this blocks around 97 percent of UV radiation.
7. In the case of sunscreen application, more is always more.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, which means the level of protection promised on your bottle isn’t what you’ll get. Big mistake. To protect your skin the way it deserves, apply about a nickel-sized amount to your face and a good two tablespoons for the rest of your body – if it’s not hidden underneath clothes, of course.
8. Sunscreen should be the final step in your routine.
It can be confusing to know when to apply all the products in your skincare routine, but sunscreen must always be last. This way, it won’t interfere with or block out the ingredients in your moisturizer, but will sit nicely on top to block out the stuff it’s supposed to – in other words, the sun.
9. The longer you’re in the sun, the more often you need to reapply.
Most sunscreen labels tell you to reapply at least every two hours; more often if you’re swimming, sweating, sunbathing etc. This is super important because the harder your sunscreen has to work, the quicker it will lose its powers.
But what about for everyday use when you’re either sitting at your desk, or just going about your normal life? Do you really need to cleanse your face and reapply your facial SPF every two hours in these instances? In all honesty, this is up to you and a little bit of common sense. If you’re picnicking in the park all day long, then yes, you should definitely reapply regularly. But if you’re working inside, away from a window and only going outside to grab some lunch or a coffee then your sun exposure will be limited, so a generous morning application should do the job.
10. Sunscreen is awesome… but it’s not the be-all and end-all.
The best way to protect your skin from sun damage, aging and skin cancer is to go for a multi-pronged approach that shields you from all angles. Our top sun safety rules are:
- Stay out of the midday sun and search out the shade as much as possible – especially on scorching hot days.
- Wear sun-protective, long-sleeved clothing as well as cute sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Invest in some UV protective film to fix to the windows around your house. This is especially important if you sit at a desk all day and your desk happens to face a window.
- Apply an SPF 30 sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin every morning. Our new SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen is ideal because it’s light enough for everyday use, yet packs a real punch to protect your skin from UVA and UVB radiation.
- Double up your sun-battling skincare regimen by including antioxidants like vitamin C in your morning routine. Vitamin C not only helps mop up skin-damaging free radicals, but it’s also been proven to help maximize the powers of your sunscreen, giving you added protection. Our sunscreen includes its own shot of vitamin C but you can up the ante by applying Vitamin C Serum every morning after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Sun Protection 101: How To Keep Your Skin Safe In The Sunread more
You know sunscreen is important. You know you need to apply it on the reg. But do you know that there are two very distinct types of sunscreen formulations? Allow us to explain…
As beauty products go, sunscreens can be a lot to wrap your head around. You know where you are with cleansers, right? Even moisturizers, for the most part, are fairly simple guys. But sunscreens are far more complicated. Not only do you have things like SPF, UVA and UVB to get to grips with, but terms like ‘broad-spectrum,’ ‘photostability’ and ‘noncomedogenic’ also get thrown into the pot and, well, mind… officially… blown.
The good news is you don’t need to be a complete sun protection know-it-all – that’s what sunscreen manufacturers, skincare experts and dermatologists are for. But it is useful to understand a few things in order to avoid sun damage, do the absolute best for your skin, and make fair judgements when choosing the right products for your needs and concerns.
On that note, today’s lesson is all about the two main types of sunscreen available to you: chemical and mineral. What’s the difference and which is best? Let’s have a look, shall we?
What Are Chemical Sunscreens?
Chemical sunscreens use active chemical ingredients (although you probably guessed that much) to protect your skin from the sun. They do so by absorbing UV radiation like a sponge just below the surface of your skin. These UV rays are then broken down into heat and released through your skin. Typical chemical sunscreens include ingredients like oxybenzone, octisalate, avobenzone, octocrylene and octinoxate.
Granted, these chemicals are pretty clever and due to their molecular structure, they allow for sunscreen formulas to be lightweight, sheer and ideal for everyday use. However, there are some potential downsides. Many experts believe that some of these chemicals are being absorbed by the body way too much, possibly causing hormonal disruption and cell damage. Other studies have shown that certain chemicals sunscreens like oxybenzone may have an environmental impact, negatively affecting our planet’s waterways and marine life.
In 2019, the FDA proposed some regulation changes to chemical sunscreen ingredients and, while this proposal did not categorically deem these ingredients to be unsafe, it did state that more information and research was needed before they were proposed safe and effective.
Because of all this, many companies have completely stopped using certain chemical sunscreen ingredients in their formulations. Hawaii has even banned some of them. Oxybenzone is one of the main offenders, even though much work is still to be done to prove hands-down that chemical sunscreens are harmful to humans and the environment.
The Pros Of Chemical Sunscreen
- Lightweight & easy to apply
- Great for all skin tones
The Cons Of Chemical Sunscreen
- Must be applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure
- Not ideal for acne-prone or sensitive skin
- Potentially harmful to your health & the environment
What Are Mineral Sunscreens?
Also known as physical sunscreens, mineral sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients that sit on the surface of your skin to form a physical, reflective barrier against the sun’s rays. (Although some research suggests absorption may also be at play.) One thing's for certain, they're super effective at stopping those rays from penetrating and potentially damaging your skin. Typical mineral sun blockers are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which both offer natural, broad spectrum protection and are consequently the only two sunscreen ingredients currently proposed safe and effective by the FDA.
Mineral sunscreens naturally protect your skin against both UVA and UVB radiation (not all chemical sunscreens do that), are less irritating than chemical sunscreens and they also provide instant protection – you need to apply chemical ones a good 20 minutes before exposure.
So, what’s the catch? Well, mineral sunscreens have historically been thick, sticky and harder to apply and, because they sit on the surface of your skin, they tend to rub off more easily. However, thanks to technology moving on in leaps and bounds over the last few decades, those gloopy white, impossible-to-spread sunscreens you remember as a child are no longer the norm.
The Pros Of Mineral Sunscreen
- Works immediately
- Effective for all skin types
- Safe for your health & the environment
The Cons Of Mineral Sunscreen
- Needs to be reapplied frequently
- Thicker formulation
- May leave a slight white cast
So, Which Sunscreen Is Better: Chemical Or Mineral?
The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Someone with very dark skin might have a tough time with mineral sunscreens because, although many formulations today are tinted or sheer, there’s still a slight chance of some formulas leaving a whitish cast on skin. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens can block your pores and cause breakouts or irritation, so people with sensitive or acne-prone skin are often better off with mineral sunscreens.
And then, of course, there are the health and environmental debates which are constantly ongoing. Studies still need to be made to clarify any negative issues caused by chemical sunscreens, but we care about our oceans, reefs and marine life just as much as we care about your skin and health, so just to be sure, we personally sit firmly in the mineral sunscreen camp. This is why (drumroll, please) we just launched our very own Mineral Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 30, which has been formulated with non-nano zinc oxide and comes jam-packed with other skin-loving ingredients like vitamin C and vegan marine collagen.
To finish, the most important thing to remember is that whichever type of sunscreen you choose, make sure you apply it regularly and generously. The sun is responsible for between 80 and 90 percent of external skin aging, so protecting your skin and shielding it from those damaging UV rays should be one of the most important parts of your daily routine. And when we say daily we mean every day of the year. Not just spring, not just summer. Every day. No arguments.
The Difference Between Chemical & Mineral Sunscreenread more
Because without proper cleansing, your skin will never (we repeat, never) live its best life.
Cleansing: not really that important in the grand scheme of things, right? Wrong. Very wrong. In fact, cleansing is just as important as moisturizing, treating and protecting your skin. Maybe even more so. Not convinced? Then ask yourself this: how is your skin supposed to function properly if it’s being ‘suffocated’ by layers of oil, dirt, makeup, sunscreen, sweat and bacteria? Answer: It can’t. Not only that, but how’s the rest of your skincare routine supposed to go about its business if it has all that nasty, pore-clogging stuff to get through? Again, it can’t.
So, if you feel like your cleansing routine isn't up to scratch, now’s the time to change that. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you get it spot-on.
The Three Golden Rules Of Cleansing
Before we get into the best cleansing tricks for your skin type, there are a few important rules to have up your sleeves…
Rule 1. Cleanse Twice A Day
Always cleanse your face and neck every morning and every evening – stat. Your morning cleanse is important to prep your skin for what’s to come from the rest of your daily skincare routine, while the nighttime one is essential for whisking away the woes of the day. If you go to the gym during the day, it’s also a wise move to cleanse after exercising, so all that sweat doesn’t sit on your skin and clog up your pores.
And where do we stand on double cleansing? Truthfully? We don’t believe it’s necessary unless you have super oily skin or wear a lot of heavy makeup. We said it!
Rule 2. Make Good Product Choices
Whether you choose a lotion, micellar water, foam or face wash is up to you and your skin type (more on that in a minute), but to get the best results, choose a gentle formulation that isn’t jammed with unnecessary chemicals and synthetic fragrance.
Sulfates, for example, are often found in cleansing formulations because they do a great job of cleaning your skin. But they can also strip away skin's natural oils, which ends up drying out your skin and causing irritation. We don’t like sulfates. Neither should you.
Rule 3. Perfect Your Cleansing Technique
When washing your face with water, never go too hot. Just like nasty chemicals, hot water sucks away natural oils and upsets your skin’s barrier function. It’s one of the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) biggest cleansing no-nos and we totally agree.
Finally, take your time when you cleanse. Apply your product all over your face (not forgetting your neck) and work it all over for at least two minutes. Use gentle, circular motions and think of it as a mini-massage – your skin will love you for that.
How To Choose The Best Cleanser For Your Skin Type
Now that you have a basic understanding of the best cleansing practices for ALL skin types, here's how to tailor-make them for your own personal needs...
As we just mentioned, our number one rule for all skin types is to choose the gentlest cleanser you can. And this is never more important than if you have dry skin. Dry skin has little to do with water (that’s dehydration rather than dryness), but rather it lacks the natural oils needed to lock in said moisture to keep your skin soft and supple.
When choosing the right cleansing formula for dry skin, look for soothing products that contain humectants to draw moisture to the surface, and emollients to hold it there. Ingredients like aloe vera, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and fatty acid-rich oils are perfect for helping to reduce dryness, dehydration and irritation.
Good on you if you have balanced skin. (Jealous, much? Us?)
But seriously, very few people have perfectly balanced skin, so if you count yourself in this elite group, you’re very lucky. This skin type can get away with using foams, lotions, micellar waters or gels (whatever floats your boat). Just remember to look for antioxidant-enriched cleansers to help protect your skin from environmental damage, and continue to avoid harsh ingredients. Otherwise, you might find your balanced skin pays you back – and not in kind.
Try: Any one of our awesome cleansers!
Oily skin is due to overactive sebaceous glands that produce more sebum than your skin really needs. Sebum is super important because it contains several types of complex oils and lipids such as triglycerides, fatty acids, cholesterol and squalene, which work together to lubricate and support the health of your skin. It also plays an essential role in maintaining a slightly acidic pH level to prevent bacteria and viruses from penetrating the skin. But that being said, overly oily skin can be a real pain in the butt to deal with.
Good news and bad. Oily skin is usually genetic (sorry about that), but while you can’t change what you were born with, you can manage and control it. And cleansers are probably one of, if not the most important ways to do that. The biggest mistake is to strip your skin of oil which, contrary to popular belief, will exacerbate oil production. So, don’t do that. Instead, look for ingredients that whisk away dirt, oil and impurities without sucking every last drop of life from your complexion. We love tea tree oil, which does all that while purifying and nurturing skin to reduce inflammation and minimize pesky breakouts.
Combination skin is oily in certain areas and dry in others due to unbalanced sebum production. Again, it’s hereditary and never the same for everyone, but the excess oil is often concentrated around your t-zone where the sebaceous glands are usually more active. Dry patches, meanwhile, tend to be found on the cheeks or around the eyes.
Depending on your ratio of oiliness to dryness, you’ll probably have a tendency to concentrate on oily areas while you cleanse, and dry areas when you moisturize. Try to avoid this. Instead, use pH-balanced cleansers and light, non-comedogenic moisturizers all over to help stabilize your skin.
Also, make sure to steer clear of drying alcohols and unnecessary fragrances which will do nothing but dry out your skin further and exacerbate oil production around your t-zone.
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