True Radical Honesty From Our Community
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Advice for all of your skin care needs
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
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.
Our Best Cleansing Advice For Your Skin Typeread more
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so make sure you treat your favorite mom (or mother figure) to something she’ll REALLY love this year. Hint: it begins with ‘skin’ and ends with ‘care'.
Do you love your mom more than anything in the world? Or maybe you feel like showing your appreciation for another fine and fabulous woman in your life – perhaps a friend who just had a baby, or a dog-mom BFF? Well, good news, people: you’ve come to the right place because this Mother’s Day it’s all about giving the gift of great skin.
Of course, you can’t wave a magic wand and transform even your own skin, let alone someone else’s. But what you can do is gift them with kind, gentle and effective skincare that helps care for and look after their complexion. Now, we’re not sure about you, but we think that’s the best gift ever. Biased? Us? Not even.
Whatever floats your favorite woman’s boat, we have just the product for them…
For the woman who craves the 'latest thing’: Tea Tree Super Cleanser +
Who doesn’t love new stuff? Well, have we got the ideal gift for the woman who goes wild for the hottest new products. Our Tea Tree Super Cleanser+ launched just last month and has already become a fan favorite. Super refreshing and ultralight, this awesome cleansing gel targets all the nasty stuff that gets left on the skin but will never leave it feeling depleted, tight or dry.
What’s more, get in there quick and you’ll also receive a free gift with purchase in the shape of our skin-balancing Tea Tree Super Serum+. Bonus!
For the woman who loves her sleep: Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream
Frankly, every human we know loves their bed, but there are some women who count bedtime as the best time and simply can’t get enough of their beauty sleep. You know the ones, they love their fancy silk PJs and spend a good amount of time treating their skin with loving care before they even think about turning in for the night. We believe the best gift for them is our luxurious Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream, which is bursting with nourishing, soothing and brightening ingredients to help skin rejuvenate itself overnight. You could even couple it with a soft-as-a-cloud eye mask for the greatest Mother's Day gift ever.
For the woman with sensitive skin: Rose Water Refreshing Facial Toner
Giving skincare to someone with sensitive skin is not something to be taken lightly. But it’s not impossible, you just need to be extra careful about the products you buy them. Overly fragranced formulations are a major no-no, as are harsh, unnecessary ingredients like sulfates, parabens and phthalates. You’ll be pleased to hear we don’t use any of that nonsense in our products, but still you can never be sure what’s going to cause a reaction in super sensitive skin types. So the answer? Buy them something pure and simple like our Rose Water Refreshing Facial Toner. Made with just one ingredient – Moroccan rose water – it gently hydrates, tones and refreshes skin with minimal irritation. We love that journey for sensitive souls.
For the fitness fanatic who loves to work out: Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser
Sure you could buy her some Lycra or a new water flask, but why bother with those when you can lavish her post-workout skin with this deep cleansing facial cleanser? Perfect for balancing skin while removing oil, sweat, dirt and makeup, our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser contains activated coconut charcoal to detox the skin, plus antioxidant-rich reishi and propolis to help repel the visible signs of aging. We call this a true gym-bag essential.
For the woman you adore more than anyone in the world: Age Defying 3-Pack Bundle
Show how much you appreciate her with not just one, but three of our bestselling facial serums. Now that’s love, right there! This age-defying trio contains our Retinol, Vitamin C and Hylauronic Acid Facial Serums, which all come loaded with active ingredients and natural botanicals to target signs of aging and help hydrate, refine, brighten and smooth skin. A real goodie for any discerning skincare fan.
For the woman who can’t get enough of the great outdoors: Vitamin C Super Serum+
Little beats the great outdoors for boosting the spirits and lifting the soul. However, there’s one major problem with the outside world: the sun. Research proves that the sun is responsible for between 80 and 90 percent of all external skin aging so it’s simply unacceptable to be outdoors without protecting your skin from those damaging UV rays. Of course, SPF is always a must but no one wants to unwrap a bottle of sunscreen on Mother’s Day – where’s the fun in that? This gorgeous, pumped-up facial serum that’s chock-full of free radical-fighting antioxidants, however? Bring it.
For the woman who works around the clock: Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream
A busy schedule often means a lack of sleep and tired, puffy or dark-circled eyes. Why do the eyes suffer so much? Because the skin here is thinner, drier and more fragile than the rest of the face, so it ages much quicker. Thankfully, we have just the product for helping her look more sprightly – even if she is existing on just a few hours of zzzs each night. Say hello to our Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream, which is formulated to work on the delicate, hardworking skin around the eyes, morning and night.
For the woman who’s serious about anti-aging: Day & Night Duo
Forget dogs; serums are a girl’s best friend. Actually, don’t forget dogs because we love our four-legged friends almost as much as we love our skincare. But we digress…
If you’re looking for a complete anti-aging serum package that deals with the daytime issues of environmental pollution and UV radiation while also helping to revive and rejuvenate skin through the night, this Day & Night Duo is the gift you’ve been waiting for. Containing our bestselling Vitamin C Facial Serum along with the mighty Retinol Facial Serum, it’s the complete morning and nighttime skincare package. No arguments.
Now, don’t mind us while we add a few (read: 'all') of these to our carts right now. One for mom, one for us...
8 Of The Best Mother’s Day Gifts For Every Woman In Your Liferead more
What are holistic skincare ingredients and what can they honestly do for your skin?
Don't get us wrong, we love safe and effective synthetically-created skincare ingredients here at TruSkin. After all, without them our lives would be devoid of some true powerhouses like retinol and vitamin C. And frankly, we’re not willing to give those up.
At our core, however, we’re all about combining science-bred substances with natural, holistic ingredients sourced directly from our planet. Why? Because not only does this avoid overloading skin with unnecessary additives and irritants, but it’s better for the world AND, we wholeheartedly believe, better for your skin.
But first, what does holistic mean? According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘holistic’ is ‘relating to or concerned with whole or complete systems rather than the treatment of parts.’ You’ve heard the phrase, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,’ right? This is the essence of holism (or ‘wholism’ as it’s also known… *penny drops).
In terms of skincare, holism is all about using natural and/or organic ingredients to improve your mind, body and spirit and help create a feeling of total wellness across the entire body. It’s not simply about treating the surface of your skin for a quick, but often short-term, fix. It’s deeper than that and looks at the bigger picture in a bid to understand and address the root cause of your skin concerns to yield better, longer-term improvements.
As you know, your skin is a major reflection on your mental and physical health as a whole. Stress, for one, can wreak havoc on your complexion, causing inflammation, dryness and breakouts, to name just a few. Ditto when it comes to things like wayward hormones and food allergies. Holistic skincare aims to work in harmony with better lifestyle habits to counteract any internal and external forces that may be affecting your skin. By tackling your concerns from both the inside and the outside, holistic therapy aims to create a better balance, which not only improves your health… but also your skin.
Hopefully that all makes sense, but if it’s still a tad confusing, just remember this: holistic skincare ingredients are centered around improving your entire being and they’re always defined by nature. Essential oils, plant extracts, herbs and phytonutrients, all of these are holistic ingredients.
So, what are some of the best? Good question. Here are our current top five.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the Australian melaleuca alternifolia tree. Native Aborigines have used it for centuries to heal their skin, and over the years it’s become a trusted favorite among holistic therapists. Why is it so revered? Because as acne-clearing, skin-purifying ingredients go, tea tree oil is pretty hard to beat. It’s naturally chock-full of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which means it not only fights off acne-causing bacteria at skin's surface, but also helps reduce the oiliness, facial redness and irritation that always come as part of the acne deal.
Try our truly unique new Tea Tree Super Cleanser + to see and feel the benefits of this awesome essential oil.
A real superstar in the holistic skincare world, chamomile (anthemis nobilis) contains powerful antioxidants, making it a beauty for fighting off damaging free radicals and helping keep your skin strong, soft, youthful and radiant. Just like the calming benefits of a nighttime cup of chamomile tea, topical chamomile is also super-soothing on your skin. Oh, and it’s an anti-inflammatory thanks to its abundance of flavonoids, meaning it doesn’t merely offer immediate comfort for irritated or sensitized skin, it also helps fight inflammation in the long run.
We heart aloe and formulate it into all of our skincare products except one (more on that particular product later). Aloe’s piece de resistance is the juicy, water-rich gel found in its leaves, which is brimming with skin-loving enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids, plus anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial compounds.
Similar to tea tree, aloe has been used for eons, in this case to help hydrate and soothe skin. But it’s not just a healing champ primarily used for sunburn and chaffing (although it’s pretty darn great at that). Aloe also contains phytosterols which are cholesterol-like molecules that help strengthen skin’s barrier function. And your barrier function lays the foundation for healthy, strong skin, so it’s super important, especially in holistic skincare. Check out the ingredients list of your favorite TruSkin product – chances are it’ll be somewhere near the top. Because yes, it’s that good.
4. Dead Sea Salt
Another healing superpower that’s incredible for countering inflammation, redness and dry skin, there are no prizes for guessing where Dead Sea salt comes from. Yes, it’s extracted from the Dead Sea in Israel which is known as one of the saltiest bodies of water on Earth.
Unlike most sea salt which consists primarily of sodium chloride, Dead Sea salt contains a higher concentration of more beneficial minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and sulfur. Magnesium, for example, is great for hydrating your skin, boosting cellular turnover and strengthening that all-important barrier function. Meanwhile, sulfur works a little like salicylic acid to reduce excess sebum and fight acne breakouts. Along with many other fabulous holistic ingredients, you’ll find Dead Sea salt in Tea Tree Super Cleanser +.
5. Rose Water
Remember that one single product we mentioned earlier that doesn’t contain aloe? Well, Rose Water Refreshing Facial Toner is it. And the reason it doesn’t harness the skin-soothing powers of aloe? Because it contains just one, pure, unadulterated ingredient: rose water.
Rose water is created by steaming rose petals in water and it’s frequently used in skincare because of its antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Of course, this makes it a shoo-in for red, itchy or sensitive skin, but it’s not just a one-trick pony. Rose water is also super-hydrating, making it ideal for parched skin. It’s also great at balancing skin’s pH levels and controlling wayward sebum production, which is excellent news for anyone looking to improve the appearance of enlarged pores.
Of course, a truly holistic skincare regime also encompasses other positive lifestyle habits to further balance your skin and body while improving your emotional wellbeing. This means stress, cruddy sleep, an unhealthy diet and smoking are all major no-nos. Try to work on these if any of them ring true.
What Are The Best Holistic Ingredients In Skincare?read more
Skin barrier protection is on everyone's lips right now. Why? Because this uppermost layer of your skin is a real workhorse – and it needs looking after if you want it to function properly. Here’s how…
Like many skincare brands, beauty blogs and glossy magazines, we often talk about the skin barrier. It's super important for the health of your skin. Which means it’s also super important for how your skin looks and feels on a daily basis.
But what is this elusive skin barrier? And why does it play such a vital role? Well, your skin’s barrier is basically its uppermost layer – the very top of your epidermis that’s made up of around 20 layers of cells and known in the beauty biz as the stratum corneum. This top brick wall-like layer arguably works harder than the rest of your skin put together because it acts like a security guard to protect your skin and your body from the outside world, preventing moisture from getting out and external irritants from getting in.
Of course, the aging process weakens your skin’s barrier as it naturally loses vital moisture, ceramides and cholesterol over time. Which is a bummer. And if you suffer with sensitive skin? Well, that's got a lot to do with having a thin or compromised barrier that’s unable to effectively keep pesky irritants like pollution, toxins, UV radiation and harsh chemicals at bay. These environmental stressors not only cause things like irritation, dryness, dehydration and redness for your skin, but they simultaneously keep chipping away at your skin’s barrier function, weakening it and making it even more prone to damage.
The basic premise is this: you must keep your skin barrier thick and resilient if you're serious about achieving and maintaining healthy, strong skin. An efficient, hardworking barrier will make your skin look far better than one that's not doing so well – think radiant, smooth, even... you know the drill.
So, want more intel on how to protect your skin’s all-important barrier? Read on for our five golden rules…
Rule #1: Pare Back Your Skincare Routine
Gosh, it’s tempting to lavish your skin with every vitamin, acid and goodness knows what other skin-loving ingredients you can get your hands on. And while complicated skincare routines might sound awesome in theory, too much of a good thing can reap disastrous results – especially where your skin’s barrier is concerned.
The key to a solid barrier-strengthening regimen is to keep it simple, yet effective. Easier said than done? Actually, no. Just avoid overloading your skin with tons of serums, essences, oils and potions containing active ingredients that could work against each other and irritate your skin. It’s as simple as that, really. Stick to a basic cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine, and add in just one treatment product, two at the absolute max – one for use in the morning and one for nighttime.
Our favorite serum for nourishing barrier function is Niacinamide Serum. Niacinamide has been shown to help boost ceramide production and is one of the best antioxidants for sensitive skin. Apply it before moisturizer for fabulous results.
Rule #2: Up Your Moisturizing Game
Moisturizers are key for hydrating the top layers of your skin and preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). And as you know, moisturizing is an important step in any skincare routine – whether your skin is oily and prone to breakouts, dry and itchy, or somewhere in between.
When it comes to skin barrier protection, the key is to find an effective moisturizer that’s packed with reparative ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and botanical oils rich in essential fatty acids. We love Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer.
Extreme dryness can seriously damage your skin’s barrier, leaving it vulnerable to external aggressors like pollution, UV radiation and the like, so if your barrier function has gotten out of whack and you’re experiencing a lot of dryness and abnormal sensitivities, moisturizer alone might not be enough. This is where a barrier cream may be needed. Barrier creams not only hydrate the skin and prevent dryness, but they also provide a kind of protective seal over your skin to repair damage, allowing your barrier to heal itself and therefore do its job better.
Rule #3: Press ‘Go’ On The Ultimate Protection Plan
Supercharged moisturizing is all well and good for building up your barrier function and healing your skin, but you also want to prevent further damage, right? Right. Well, on top of applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, another great way to do this is to incorporate a topical antioxidant into your daily routine.
Antioxidants are the bee’s knees at neutralizing cellular damage caused by environmentally-induced free radicals. This means they’re a must if you want to look after your valuable collagen and elastin supplies. And, btw, you absolutely do want to look after collagen and elastin because they’re crucial for the integrity of your skin’s barrier – and your skin’s health, in general.
But as we mentioned, don’t overcomplicate your routine by bombarding your skin with too many antioxidant treatments. Find one you love for the morning (vitamin C is awesome!) and apply another before bed. Our Retinol Serum is a fantastic overnight treatment boasting antioxidants known to boost cellular turnover for stronger, brighter skin. Retinol can be potent, however, so always patch test it first and introduce it slowly into your routine to make sure you don’t compromise your skin’s protective barrier.
Rule #4: Try Not To Stress The Small Stuff
Stress is an ugly beast when it comes to your skin’s barrier. Not only has it been proven to deplete your skin’s production of healthy oils and valuable moisture, but stress also alters your skin’s pH level, produces unnecessary free radicals and triggers various hormones (hi there, cortisol), which can result in inflammatory reactions and all sorts of consequences like itching, redness and flaking skin. Stress has also been directly linked to chronic skin conditions including rosacea, psoriasis, acne and eczema. All of which are barrier issues. Sigh.
Managing stress isn't simple and unfortunately, there’s no solution that fits all. You could be totally into meditation or you might hate the thought of it. But try to think of something that relaxes you and do this for a good amount of time, every day. Perhaps it's reading a book, deep breathing, or going out for a walk. Even just watching your favorite show. Whatever your jam, find time to regularly do it. Honestly, this is the best place to start. And your skin will thank you for it.
Rule #5: Say A Big NO To Harsh Skincare Ingredients
We believe some ingredients have no place on your skin. Cleansing detergents like sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), for example, alter your skin’s pH and strip your barrier of essential oils. Yes, they’re fabulous at getting rid of built-up dirt and debris, but tbh, they’re almost TOO good, so they end up leaving your skin’s barrier fragile and weak. The good news is we don’t include such nasties in our face washes, so you know you're getting good and clean with Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser or Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser.
While we’re on the subject of too much of a good thing, you might want to avoid synthetic fragrance in your skincare (which can seriously irritate sensitive skin) and try cutting back on physical exfoliation with things like cleansing brushes, mitts and abrasive scrubs. These can also upset your skin’s barrier if not used with care.
Of course, we can’t leave before finally mentioning a few other lifestyle habits that can do a real number on your skin’s barrier. Smoking, cruddy sleep and a poor diet are just a few and we’re sure you can think of many others – one of which starts with an ‘a’ and ends with an ‘l’.
The simple answer to this whole skin barrier protection game? Be nice to both your body and your skin. That is all.
Why Everyone’s Talking About Skin Barrier Protectionread more
Staying ahead (or at least on top) of lines and wrinkles around your mouth isn't so out of reach when you’ve got the right skincare up your sleeve…
Wrinkles and lines are all part of getting older and, in our opinion, aging is a privilege rather than something to shy away from. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t work to minimize the visible signs of skin aging, right? After all, that’s what skincare is here for.
So, let’s talk about what to do with those pesky fine lines above your mouth. Not to be confused with laugh lines (which run from the sides of your nose down to your mouth), these are the fine vertical lines that most often creep up between your nose and top lip, but can also been found underneath your mouth. You know the ones: they're the tiny lines you see when you pucker up that used to disappear. But now? Not so much. What's that all about?
The skin on and around your lips is extremely delicate and subject to a lot of movement from talking, laughing and other facial expressions. All this coupled with the natural loss of collagen and elastin as you age, plus the onslaught of environmental damage (here’s looking at you, Miss Sunshine) means the skin around your lips really does get the rough end of the aging deal.
Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent lines around your mouth. And if it’s too late for that? Not a problem. There are also plenty of things you can do to prevent them from getting worse. Herein, our top five…
5 Ways To Improve Wrinkles Around The Mouth
1. Protect, Protect, Protect
As with most signs of skin aging, preventative care is everything. And this is just as important on and around your mouth as anywhere else on your face – and neck…and hands…and in fact, all areas of skin exposed to the sun on a regular basis.
When we talk about prevention, one thing is clear – protecting your skin from the sun is the single most important thing you can do. And no, this isn’t just a sneaky ploy from skincare and sunscreen manufacturers to sell more SPF, because the facts are clear: the sun is the number one cause of lines, wrinkles and dark spots. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that around 90 percent of all skin aging is caused by sun damage. Another stat for you: people who apply daily sunscreen with an SPF 15 or above show 24 percent visibly less skin aging than those who don’t. Need we say any more?
Thankfully, the rules are simple. Apply sunscreen every day and make sure you don’t miss the area around your mouth. Stick to broad-spectrum formulations that have an SPF value of 30 or more and choose ones that contain mineral sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Also, invest in a sun protective lip balm or gloss to apply throughout the day so your lips don’t miss out on all the good stuff.
2. Use A Targeted Antioxidant Serum
Prevention and protection aren't solely about flipping the bird to that big ball of fire in the sky; there are plenty of other environmental and lifestyle factors that can cause collagen breakdown and consequent damage to your skin.
Pollution, for one, is everywhere and it’s one of the biggest causes of free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that form in your skin when it’s been exposed to stuff it doesn’t like (UV radiation, pollution, a sugar-laden diet, even a lack of sleep). Why are they the enemy? Because free radicals steal electrons from the good stuff in your skin (collagen, elastin and DNA), damaging them and causing what’s known in the skin business as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress = seriously bad news for the look, feel and health of your skin, accelerating the natural aging process and laying the groundwork for premature lines and wrinkles.
The good news is that for every free radical out there, there’s an equally powerful antioxidant to help neutralize them before they get a chance to do their worst. Vitamins C, E and B3 (niacinamide) are absolute winners, as are retinol, botanical hyaluronic acid and plant oils, which are naturally rich in antioxidants.
So, what are we getting at? Simple. Invest in a topical antioxidant serum like Vitamin C Serum and apply it not only to your face and neck, but specifically to the skin around your mouth.
3. Try A Smoothing Mouth Massage
We’re big fans of a two-minute cleansing massage in the shower every morning to wake up and lift the skin but we must admit, our lips don’t get much of a look-in. Big mistake.
You should never underestimate the impact a facial massage can have on your complexion. It not only promotes blood flow and oxygen to the surface of the skin, but it also activates collagen production to improve strength and firmness.
There are tons of different videos on YouTube demonstrating how to perform a mouth massage to help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and even laugh lines. But a really simple way to nail this is to apply a small drop of facial oil to clean hands, then use the pads of your fingers to massage the skin around your mouth in circular motions. Start from the cupid’s bow and work out toward the corners of your mouth. Repeat this a few times then do the same under your mouth.
4. Avoid Smoking… And Straws!
Smoking is terrible for your health and hell on your skin. Tobacco contains a gazillion harmful substances that can negatively impact your skin, ruining its texture, tone, elasticity, firmness and even affecting the color of your complexion. In fact, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, it’s pretty common for the skin of a 40-year-old heavy smoker to look similar to that of a 70-year-old nonsmoker. Ouch!
Not only does smoking increase free radical formation, accelerate inflammation, break down collagen and decrease blood flow to the skin, but it also delivers an extra sucker punch to the skin around your lips in the form of smokers’ lines. Smokers’ lines are caused by frequent puckering of the lips which uses very specific muscles around the mouth and causes a crinkling of the skin. These lines deepen and become more etched-in over time. Their redeeming factors? They have none. Don't smoke. End of discussion.
Of course, smokers' lines aren’t only saved for smokers because there’s another unsuspecting culprit that can cause similar lines around your mouth. And that’s constantly drinking from a straw. Think about it, it's basically the same puckering action as smoking a cigarette. So, if you do it too often it could end up leaving a similar wrinkled effect around your lips. Instead, just drink from a regular glass or cup.
5. Enjoy The Benefit Of A Chemical Peel
If your mouth wrinkles seem to be deepening by the day and are seriously getting you down, you might want to consider an in-office procedure like a chemical peel. Chemical peels are resurfacing treatments that work by removing the top layers of your skin to promote healing and reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and dark spots. They can be light, medium or deep depending on your concerns, requirements and the type of ingredients used, but they don’t come without their downsides, which include irritation, redness and swelling. These side effects are often short-term, however, and usually worth it for the benefits.
Other options at the doctor’s office include things like microdermabrasion and microneedling. And, of course, dermal fillers are also prime for plumping up the mouth area, lending it more structure and softening the look of folds and wrinkles.
Just remember, these procedures must always be administered by board-certified professionals, so do your research and only offer up your face to the very best in the business.
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your Lipsread more