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What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Advice for all of your skin care needs
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Realistic skincare goals are the bomb. Because there’s always room for improvement when it comes to the look and feel of your skin.
Let’s get one thing clear. Striving for skin perfection is not something we subscribe to here at TruSkin. Better skin? Sure. But perfect skin? Hell no. In fact, does that even exist outside Hollywood movies and retouched glossy magazine covers? Probably not.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve what you’ve been blessed with. That’s just human nature. Whether you’re done with your dull, lackluster skin or totally over your monthly breakouts, these are the kind of skin issues we can get on board with. Because wanting better things for your skin is realistic. It’s also attainable – especially when you’re armed with the right tools and a side of skincare knowhow.
On that note, read on for five of the most common skin goals – plus how to flip them into reality…
Skincare Goal #1: Glowing Skin
Dull skin that lacks radiance hits us all at some point. And whether it’s a temporary, day-after-the-night-before blip or a more long-term grievance, dull skin is usually related to one big issue: dehydration.
Dehydration can be a problem for any skin type – dry or oily – and it happens when your skin isn’t retaining enough moisture. Not to be confused with dry skin, which lacks sebum, dehydration occurs thanks to things like cold weather, stress, a lack of sleep, poor skincare choices and surprise, surprise, sun damage. Basically anything that screws up your barrier function and compromises your skin's ability to hold onto water.
But dehydration isn’t the only reason your skin might look kind of sad. Poor cellular turnover can also be an issue. Healthy, adult skin has a turnover rate of around 28 days (give or take) but as you age, this gets longer as your skin cells become sluggish and dead ones hang around longer than necessary.
To help get your glow back, we recommend two important things. First, increase your skin’s moisture levels by applying a hydrating serum twice daily. Try one that contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid or aloe vera. We love Hyaluronic Acid Serum when our skin is feeling thirsty.
Second up, add a little gentle exfoliation into your skincare routine. Our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser is a great choice because it contains citric acid, a chemical exfoliator that helps dissolve the bonds that bind dead skin cells together.
Skincare Goal #2: Smaller-Looking Pores
Pores are kind of annoying, we agree. But they’re actually super important for your skin to function so don’t give them too much of a hard time, OK?
Your body has two types of pores: those that produce sebum (oil) and others than produce sweat. Oil-producing pores are tiny little openings found at the top of your hair follicles where they release sebum to moisturize and soften the skin.
This may sound innocent, but the problem starts when your sebaceous glands produce too much sebum than your skin really needs, causing your pores to stretch and become blocked. This is very common for oily and combination skin types, but here’s the thing – your pore size is determined by genetics which means that, no matter what you do, you can’t physically shrink them. However, there are many things you CAN do to help strengthen and firm your skin, and simultaneously help keep your pores in decent shape.
Keeping your skin clean and your pores clear of excess oils, makeup, sunscreen and the like is your most important play, but don't go too nuts. Gentle is the key. Try our new Tea Tree Super Cleanser+, followed by Ocean Minerals Super Toner for a pore-kicking cleansing routine that won’t strip your skin completely dry.
Skincare Goal #3: Less Visible Wrinkles
As the most common signs of aging, fine lines and wrinkles are a bugbear we all have to face at some point. And while it’s easy to say, ‘don’t worry about them,’ it’s much harder to actually put that into practice.
Lines and wrinkles usually appear on and around areas of the face that experience repeated muscle movement. This is because repetitive motions like laughing, frowning and smiling cause weaknesses and dips in the skin which, as your skin matures and it loses valuable proteins, don’t bounce back like they used to.
Once wrinkles start to set-in, they’re pretty tricky to eradicate with skincare products alone, but the best way to keep them at a minimum is to look after your collagen levels. And this is where the mighty retinol steps in.
Retinol is the gold-standard of skincare because it actually ‘communicates’ with your skin at a cellular level, encouraging it to rev up collagen and elastin production, accelerate cell turnover and neutralize skin-damaging free radicals. Pretty good stuff.
Skincare Goal #4: Fewer Breakouts
Pimples, spots, zits, breakouts, whatever you call them, welcome they are not. So annoying, then, that acne is the most common skin condition in the US and affects around 50 million of us every darn year!
Acne rears its ugly head (pun absolutely intended) when your pores get blocked up with an excess of sebum that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria. Thanks to genetics, you’re either susceptible to acne, or you’re not. But plenty of other triggers can contribute to the frequency and severity of your breakouts. Hormones – yeah those again – are a major trigger, as is stress.
Obviously you can’t miraculously change your genetic makeup but there are plenty of skincare ingredients and helpful tricks for treating and controlling your breakouts. Our absolute go-to is Tea Tree Super Serum+ which combines tea tree oil with salicylic acid and niacinamide to create a powerful, yet gentle way to balance your skin and deal with unwanted pimples. Tea tree is one of the best ingredients for acne as its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial AND way less irritating than things like benzoyl peroxide. What’s more you only need to apply it two or three times a week to see experience visible results.
Skincare Goal #5: A More Even Skin Tone
Fed up with dark spots that are totally killing your skin’s mojo? Dark spots, aka hyperpigmentation, appear when your skin produces too much melanin which is the pigment that gives it its color. The three main triggers are your hormones; skin trauma like a bite, burn or pimple; or the sun.
We like to blame the sun for all manner of things where the skin is concerned. But this is totally legit for it really does have a lot to answer for. Dark spots included. Even if the sun wasn’t the original trigger, the sun makes any dark spot so much worse in the long run.
This is why protecting your skin from the sun’s evil rays is the single most important thing you can do for dark spots and patchy skin. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must (hi there SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C) but don’t dismiss antioxidants, either, which have a very clever way of neutralizing free radical damage and shielding your skin from cumulative photodamage. Our go-to is always vitamin C which not only protects your skin from damage but also helps to fade the appearance of uneven skin that’s already come and bitten you on the butt! Try our classic Vitamin C Facial Serum twice daily, swapping it out for Vitamin C Super Serum+ two or three times a week, to really hit dark spots where it hurts.
Good News! Your Skincare Goals Just Got Closerread more
From brightening serums and powerful moisturizers to the obligatory sunscreen, here’s everything your skincare routine needs to deal with hyperpigmentation, aka pesky dark spots.
Dark spots get all of us eventually. And whether yours are thanks to teenage acne, more recent hormonal changes, years of sun damage or even skin trauma, one thing’s for sure, dark spots get right under your skin.
While they’re rarely harmful to your health, dark spots, aka hyperpigmentation, appear when your skin produces too much melanin – the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes their color. Many factors can trigger an erratic overproduction of melanin but the three main causes are: hormonal changes such as those during pregnancy or the menopause; some kind of skin trauma (bites, burns, acne spots etc.) that didn't heal properly, or the thing we like to quite rightly blame for almost everything, the sun. Certain medications can also create dark, patchy areas on your skin, as can existing conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
So, what can you do to, first off, prevent dark spots for forming in the first place, and secondly help fade the ones you’ve already been lumbered with?
Keep scrolling for the most important products to have up your skincare sleeve.
The Absolute Must: Sunscreen
Of course, like most things in life, prevention is better (read: easier!) than cure. Granted, not all dark spots are caused by the sun, but here’s the thing. Whatever the cause of your dark spots, the sun will make them ten times worse because your skin can’t help but naturally produce melanin when it’s exposed to UV rays. Sometimes, melanin production is smooth and even and you tan, but other times it becomes erratic, uneven and melanin clumps together forming dark, patchy areas on your skin.
It makes sense, therefore, that all skincare experts, including the American Academy of Dermatology agree that your first line of defense against dark spots should be to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays in the first place. Stay out of the midday sun, and wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and protective, long-sleeved clothing. And, of course, wear sunscreen. Every day. Not only is a broad-spectrum sunscreen the number one way to prevent dark spots, but it can also help to clear or minimize existing ones as an added bonus.
The Skin Reviver: Exfoliator
Products that exfoliate your skin are the cat’s whiskers for helping to treat dark spots as they help remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin while improving cellular turnover. But exfoliation isn’t a one-fits-all. In fact, there are two very different ways to exfoliate your skin: chemical and physical exfoliation.
Physical exfoliation is the obvious type that requires a little bit of physical force to work. Think scrubs, loofahs, facial mitts and cleansing brushes. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, requires no physical action but instead uses certain ingredients like glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid to dissolve the bonds between the dead skin cells so they shed quicker and more efficiently.
Both types of exfoliation work pretty darn well, so it's really a matter of personal choice. Just remember, go gently and stick to maybe two or three times a week depending on your skin type.
The Brightening Superhero: Vitamin C
Antioxidants are an awesome way to ward off the damaging effects of the sun (dark spots, wrinkles, the whole shebang!) because they help neutralize free radicals which form in your skin when it’s exposed to UV radiation.
One of the best and most clinically-proven of the antioxidant powerhouses is vitamin C – specifically when it comes to preventing and fading dark spots. Vitamin C not only gets to work on those aforementioned free radical villains to help reduce oxidative stress and keep your skin healthy, but it’s also been shown to inhibit the production of melanin by decreasing an enzyme in your skin called tyrosinase. And as an extra side? Vitamin C also has impressive anti-inflammatory properties which is key in the fight against dark spots. How so? Because dark spots are often the result of… yes, you guessed it… inflammation.
Triple-action brightening effects right there? You’d better believe it.
If you’re not sure how to include vitamin C in your skincare routine, we believe the best type is sodium ascorbyl phosphate, or SAP to its buddies. SAP is the less potent, but more stable version of pure l-ascorbic acid. This makes it a) way more tolerable for all skin types and b) more longer-lasting since it doesn’t break down and lose efficacy when exposed to light and air. Winner!
The Gold-Star Of Skin Renewal: Retinol
Short of doing the washing up and taking the kids to school, there’s very little retinol can’t do. OK, so we exaggerate, but you get the idea of just what an awesome skincare ingredient retinol is, right?
A type of vitamin A, retinol is well-known for its anti-aging and acne-fighting skills, but it’s also a strong contender in the battle against unwanted dark spots. For one thing, retinol stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which improves everything from elasticity and strength to tone, texture and radiance. It also has similar effects to exfoliation in that it accelerates cell renewal, forcing all those dead surface skin cells to beat it.
Retinol is a powerful beast, however, so there are a few important things to remember when introducing it into your regime for the first time.
1. Always do a patch test. No arguments.
2. Introduce retinol slowly, starting with two or three times a week max.
3. Give it a few weeks, then if your skin is behaving OK, up your frequency to four or five times a week.
4. Repeat until you’re applying it nightly.
5. Skin feeling unnecessarily dry, red, itchy or irritated? Then reduce your usage again until your skin acclimates.
6. Be patient. The effects of retinol take time, so don’t expect miracles overnight. You’ll likely need to wait a few months for the best results. But it'll be worth it, promise.
Try: Retinol Facial Serum
The Best Skincare Routine For Dealing With Dark Spotsread more
It’s time to take the guesswork out of protecting your skin from the sun.
Admit it, you love the sun, right? Well, you and us both. But as much as we adore scorching beach days, backyard barbecues and picnics in the park, the sun is a damaging beast. And your skin is not a fan.
In fact, other than time itself, sunshine is your skin’s biggest enemy, accounting for somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of external aging and causing so many beauty bugbears it’s hard to keep count. Those extra freckles on your forearms? All thanks to the sun. Dark spots on your cheekbones? Probably the sun. Crinkles on your décolletage? Premature lines? Issues with cruddy skin texture? Again, you wouldn’t be wrong to point the finger at the sun.
Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to protect your skin from damaging UV radiation. Sure, sun protection can be mind-blowingly tricky, but it’s super important to know your way around a bottle of sunscreen.
This is why, today, we’re here to help you wise up to the sun and its mischievous ways with 10 important dos and don’ts of sun protection. Come on people, the look, feel and health of your skin are relying on you.
DO Apply Sunscreen To Exposed Skin Every Day
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation – and, in fact, anyone who knows anything about how the sun affects your skin! – everyone over the age of six months should use sunscreen on a daily basis. This means that no matter your skin type, color, age, location, or time of the year, it’s super important to protect any skin that’s not covered up by clothing.
The thing is, UV radiation is present all year long – whether it’s warm, cold, cloudy or raining. That might not immediately make sense but when you realize that UV rays are about light not heat, the penny will hopefully drop. When it’s gray and super cloudy outside, for example, around 80 percent of the sun’s damaging UV rays are still able to penetrate through those clouds to reach your skin. Seriously bad news if you’re not protecting yourself.
DON’T Ever Scrimp On Sunscreen
Unlike most other skincare products that sit in the ‘less is more’ camp, you can never apply too much sunscreen. In fact, most of us do the exact opposite and rarely use enough.
The general rule of thumb is that for sunscreen to give you the correct amount of protection it claims, you must use at least two tablespoons (one shot glass) for your entire face and body. From this, around a nickel-sized dollop should be applied liberally to your face and neck alone.
DO Reapply More Often Than You Think
Experts at the American Academy of Dermatology explain that the sun breaks down sunscreen, making it less and less effective as time goes by. This is why all dermatologists recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours if you’re going to be outside for a prolonged period of time. That’s pretty often, so bear that in mind if you’re planning on a long hike or day at the beach.
Reapplying is also more important than ever if you’re swimming or sweating because no sunscreen (whatever it may claim) can ever be fully waterproof. Water-resistant? Sure, but only for 40-80 minutes which it must state clearly on the label. Waterproof, however? Physically impossible.
DON’T Use Out-Of-Date Sunscreen
Like all skincare formulations, sunscreens expire – especially if you keep them in an overly warm room. That being said, they have a pretty long shelf-life and, according to the FDA’s guidelines, must remain stable for at least three years so don’t worry about finishing up a bottle that’s been hanging around for a few summers.
Any product you’ve had for longer than three years, however, should be thrown in the trash as the active ingredients will be rendered much less effective and could put your skin and health at risk. A good trick is to write the month and year on the bottle when you buy it. That way you’ll know when it’s had its day.
DO Choose Broad-Spectrum Formulations
Remember, sunscreen isn’t just about SPF. Sun protection factors are important for protecting your skin from UVB rays which are the ones that cause redness, sunburn, DNA damage and many skin cancers.
However, SPF has nothing to do with UVA rays which are the ones present all year long and those most responsible for photoaging. The only way of knowing whether a product protects your skin from UVA radiation is to use ‘broad-spectrum’ formulations like our SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen With Vitamin C. This ensures you have sufficient protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
PS: While SPF 15 blocks around 93 percent of UVB radiation, it’s generally agreed that SPF 30 is your best bet.
DON’T Rely On Makeup
Don't get us wrong, mineral makeup and tinted moisturizers that have an SPF are great. But they’re rarely water resistant or offer broad-spectrum protection and, because you don’t apply them in a thick enough layer, they might not offer the level of coverage your skin really needs. Always apply sunscreen first.
DO Choose Mineral Sunscreens
Sunscreens fall into two camps: chemical and mineral (or physical).
Chemical sunscreens use chemical ingredients like oxybenzone, octisalate, avobenzone and octinoxate which absorb UV radiation, break it down and release it through your skin. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, sit on the surface of your skin, forming a reflective barrier against the sun. The most common mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
We strongly believe that mineral sunscreens trump chemicals every time. And here’s why:
1. Mineral sunscreens are natural and offer both UVA and UVB protection. Chemicals don’t always do that.
2. Minerals are way kinder to the skin. Chemicals can be pretty irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin.
3. Mineral sunscreens offer immediate protection whereas chemical ones need to be applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.
4. Minerals are safe for your health and the environment. Chemicals are potentially harmful – especially to marine life.
Our SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen With Vitamin C utilizes the fabulous powers of zinc oxide and is completely reef-friendly. Just saying!
DON’T Forget Hidden Areas Of Your Skin
Behind your ears is a very high-risk area for skin cancer so if you have short or tied-back hair, ensure you apply sunscreen to this super delicate area. Also, if you’re on the beach and lounging in the sun, certain areas like your eyelids and soles of your feet can easily be forgotten. Don’t do that.
DO Wear Sunscreen Inside As Well As Out
It’s easy to think that if you’re tucked away inside you’re safe from the sun’s evil ways. However, studies show than 50 percent of UVA radiation is able to penetrate right through glass. This means that if you’re sitting at your desk next to a window, it’s getting you. When you’re driving, it’s also getting you. Even sat at a window seat when flying, it’s getting you.
DON’T Dismiss The Importance Of Vitamin C
Other than holing up in a darkened room for your entire life, sunscreen is the most effective way to protect your skin from the sun. However, it’s not the ONLY way. Wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, protective clothing and staying in the shade are also powerful moves for anyone who cares about their skin.
And then there’s the mighty vitamin C. Topical vitamin C is one of the most proven antioxidants in skincare and works like a dog to fight against photoaging. How so? Well, exposure to the sun is one of the biggest causes of free radicals – nasty guys that love to do a number on your skin, destroying collagen and other important components like elastin and DNA. Antioxidants like vitamin C help nix free radicals to limit their damage and help prevent things like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and sagging skin.
We’re huge – like massive – fans of vitamin C and use it across a whole bunch of TruSkin favorites. Keep your skin looking awesome for as long as possible by cleansing with Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser and applying Vitamin C Facial Serum underneath your moisturizer and sunscreen. This will noticeably amp up your protection game. But remember, antioxidants do NOT protect your skin from sunburn so don’t think applying a vitamin C serum makes you invincible.
Sunscreen remains number one.
The 10 Important Dos & Don’ts Of Sun Protectionread more
Sweatier skin and oilier pores are inevitable as climbing temperatures and higher humidity hits. So get ahead of the game with our tips for preparing your skin for summer…
Summer officially started on June 21. So it’s time to take a close look at your skin to ensure it’s ready for everything that gets thrown at it when warm, sunny weather arrives.
Hotter temperatures and higher levels of humidity have various effects on your skin – some good, some not so good. And when you couple new weather conditions and more time in the great outdoors with the realization that more of your body is about to be on show, it’s easy to let summer skin issues come up and bite you on the butt.
Let’s not that happen, shall we? Here’s what to do over the next few weeks to get your skin summer-ready.
Invest In Some Chemical Exfoliation
Exfoliation is a tricky game. Do it too much and you chance irritation, redness and sensitivities taking over your skin. But avoid it altogether and you can end up with dull skin, clogged pores and worse yet, pesky breakouts. During the winter months it’s prudent to tone down how often you exfoliate your skin to avoid dryness and dehydration adding to your winter woes. However, as summer approaches, you can definitely up the ante – especially if you have normal, oily or combination skin.
We’re big believers in chemical, rather than physical exfoliation as a much more gentle approach to accelerating cell turnover and encouraging dead skin cells to hop it. Try our awesome Ocean Mineral Super Toner every day before moisturizing which contains glycolic acid to exfoliate as well as minerals and vitamins to nourish and protect your skin.
Go For Light, Hydrating Layers
Rich creams and heavy moisturizer might be your go-tos when it’s cold outside, but come summer you’d be wise to lighten up your moisturizing load. Now, this does NOT mean avoiding moisturizer altogether – that’s crazy talk – but you can definitely trade in the big guns for lighter textures that concentrate on drawing all that extra moisture from the air into your skin.
Great ingredients for hydrating your skin are hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe vera so try the powerhouse combo of Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum followed by Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer which is loaded with aloe and glycerin.
Shorten Your Shower Time
Long, hot showers may feel incredible when it’s freezing outside, but they’re terrible for your skin, sucking out all the moisture and compromising your super important barrier function. Also, it should be much warmer outside now, so… really?
Turn the temperature of your water down to lukewarm to limit your skin’s chances of becoming inflamed or irritated, and give yourself five minutes max to shower. Studies show the average shower takes around eight minutes so by reducing this by three minutes will also save more than six gallons of water. Per day. Added bonus for our precious planet right there.
Up Your Cleansing Regimen
We always err towards the gentle side of cleansing, but scorching temps make your skin sweat more and this, coupled with sunscreen and what can often seem like a never ending supply of excess oils, needs to be dealt with – especially before bed.
Invest in a cleanser that means business, but don’t be fooled by oil-stripping formulations that are packed with drying alcohols, synthetic fragrance and harsh sulfates. They’re seriously bad news and will just make your skin even more oily in the long-term. Instead, try our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser which is the cat’s whiskers at gently mopping away sebum to balance and detoxify your skin. We call it the perfect summer skin prep in one handy little tube.
Give Your Body Some TLC
For most of us, our legs, tums, arms and chests have been hidden away for the past nine months or so. But there’s a chance at least one of these body parts is about to see the warm light of day. So it’s probably time to up your bodycare routine, pronto.
Treat yourself to a body loofah, mitt or scrub and gently buff your skin while in your (five minute!) shower. Concentrate on your arms, elbows, legs and butt but go carefully over your chest area as the skin here is thin and very fragile.
Also, don’t forget to moisturize with a light lotion after showering – preferably while your skin is still damp. Unless you have super dry skin, we recommend avoiding rich butters or heavy oils as these can block your pores and cause breakouts.
Don’t Forget Your C-Vitamins
Pre-summer is literally the best time to introduce our good pal vitamin C into your skincare routine. Packed with antioxidant properties to nip those nasty free radicals in the bud, it’s one of our favorite ways to counteract the damaging effects of the sun. It also helps inhibit melanin production to reduce your risk of annoying summertime dark spots. Finally, research shows it can also help strengthen the power of your sunscreen, giving you a double dose of UV protection.
Try our G.O.A.T. Vitamin C Facial Serum which is a kind of must all year long. But especially now and through the summer months.
Keep Some Tea Tree Oil Up Your Sleeve
Summer pimples and blackheads are downright annoying, but for anyone with oily or hormonal skin, they’re also a given because sweat and oil just can’t help but build-up on the surface of your skin. Regular cleansing is a must, of course, but to really get ahead of face and body breakouts, arm yourself with some tea tree oil.
Our Tea Tree Super Serum+ is ideal to keep in your vanity as it contains not one zit-fighting ingredient, but two: tea tree oil AND salicylic acid. Dab it on cleansed, problem areas before bed or apply it all over two or three times a week after cleansing with Tea Tree Super Cleanser+.
Ensure SPF Is Second Nature
We know you apply facial sunscreen all year round – you do, DON’T YOU? – but if there’s ever a time to ensure you’re doing it, it’s now. UVA rays are present all year long, even on cloudy days, but UVB is much more prevalent in the summertime so this is non-negotiable for the next few months. Then it’ll be part of your routine anyway so you can continue forever more. See what we did there?
Apply SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C every morning without fail to your face, neck and chest, and invest in a broad-spectrum body sunscreen for any other exposed areas of your skin. Reapply regularly if you’re in the sun all day and try to stay in the shade as much as possible to reduce your risks of short- and long-term sun damage. Neither of those are good.
Is Your Skin Prepared For Summer?read more
Stress = irritation, which is one of the worst things for your skin. Let’s see what we can do to help turn stressed skin into your best skin ever.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so it’s no wonder what you see on the outside reflects exactly what’s going on inside. When you’re rested and bursting with energy, for example, your skin often reflects that. And, ps, can we have a group hug for those rare but joyous days, please?!
Similarly, when you’re super tired, anxious and emotionally drained, your skin is likely to react in the same way, looking dull, feeling rough and, frankly, being a bit of a stressed mess.
But why does stress and emotional anxiety affect the skin in such a major way? Well, when you feel stressed about something, your brain prepares your body to go into fight or flight mode. In doing so, your nervous system releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream which nudges your heart to beat faster, your breath to speed up and your muscles to tense up. All this is great in short-lived stressful situations like job interviews or when dealing with a threat or emergency. But when stress becomes more the norm than a rarity, these hormones go into constant overdrive and things start to go awry. Headaches and nausea can kick in, your digestive system becomes compromised and, in extremely chronic cases, you may even increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
And then there’s your skin.
Various studies show that both acute (temporary) and chronic (consistent) stress create negative effects on the health of your skin. For starters, spikes in cortisol increase inflammation and cause your sebaceous glands to go wild, encouraging them to produce way too much oil than your skin really needs (cue breakouts!). An overload of cortisol also breaks down vital collagen supplies, decreases hydrating hyaluronic acid, upsets the balance of your skin’s barrier function and messes up its pH levels. All of these things equal bad news for the health of your skin, resulting in any number of skin annoyances such as blocked pores, acne, dehydration, irritation and flare-ups in existing conditions like rosacea, psoriasis or eczema.
And the worst thing of all? Cruddy, stress-induced skin is, well, stressful in itself. Which doesn’t help your emotional well-being one tiny bit. Sigh.
The good news is there are many ways to improve our skin when stress is hitting you hard. To follow, seven of our tried and tested favorites…
1. De-Stress With A Journal
Before you start working on your skin, you need to concentrate on your entire health and well-being. And the best way to do this? Make a note of any habits or experiences that make you stressed or uneasy. Write down how they made you feel, how you reacted to them and what, if anything, you did to make yourself feel better. This allows you to notice themes or patterns in your stress levels, as well as ways to improve your mood and help you relax.
2. Sleep like A Queen
Like all skin experts, we’re big believers in the power of a great night’s sleep. In terms of stress, this is because cortisol levels dramatically drop when you’re asleep. So, if you deprive yourself of valuable zzzs your skin misses out on this important time of repair and rejuvenation during which collagen production accelerates, cell turnover speeds up, blood flow increases, muscles relax and antioxidants kick in to repair damage caused during the day.
The Mayo Clinic recommends at least seven hours of quality sleep every night but the most important thing is to go to bed and get up at roughly the same time to get into a good routine. Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, not too warm and limit caffeine, food and your smartphone for at least two hours before you hit the sack.
3. Dial Down Your Actives
Active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and glycolic acid are all well and good when your skin’s barrier function is working like clockwork. But when stress upsets its delicate nature, your skin’s ability to heal and repair itself becomes compromised. This is when an overload of actives can be too much for your skin to deal with. Cut back for a while and allow your barrier function to rebuild itself. If you usually exfoliate every other day, for example, switch to once or twice a week. Love to apply your Retinol Facial Serum every night? Reduce this to every other night for a short period of time, or try alternating it with our soothing Niacinamide Facial Serum which is perfect for sensitized skin.
Trust us, giving your skin a break is super important during times of stress.
4. Avoid ‘Triggering’ Skincare Ingredients
We recommend avoiding the most common skincare nasties ALL of the time, but it’s even more important during times of emotional and mental stress when your barrier function might not be working to the best of its abilities.
Keep your routine straightforward, simple and steer clear of sulfates, in particular, which are excellent at cleansing, but can exacerbate dryness, itching, redness and breakouts – especially if your skin is feeling stressed out.
Gentle cleansers that contain non-drying surfactants like disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate and disodium 2-sulfolaurate are a far better choice and ideal for sensitized skin. Try our Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser which also contains nourishing rose hip oil to help reduce inflammation and redness.
5. Save New Skincare Products For Another Time
Sure, we all love to try out a brand new product every now and again but now’s not the time to introduce a newbie to your daily routine. Stressed skin is more reactive which means ingredients that usually feel great may bother you more than normal.
Stick to what you know for now and save the new stuff for later.
6. Enjoy A Cup Of Tea
Research shows that drinking black tea helps lower the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream, making you feel more relaxed and positive. It’s even been suggested that the simple act of making tea alone is enough to help soothe stress and anxiety.
The reason black (as well as green) tea is thought to be such a mood booster is mainly down to l-theanine, an amino acid that helps promotes relaxation, counteracts anxiety, reduces fatigue and supports thinking.
7. Finally, Give Yourself A Break
Everyone goes through stressful periods in their lives and it’s perfectly normal for things to get on top of you every now and again. But try not to allow your stress to get the better of you as this will result in a vicious circle for both your health and your skin – and that can be hard to shake off. Practice deep breathing throughout the day to center yourself, go for a quick walk to clear your head, or read a book for ten minutes in the afternoon to take your mind off things.
These healthy habits are awesome for lifting your emotional health and maintaining stronger, radiant skin. Period.
How To Turn Stressed Skin Into Your Best Skinread more
Skin feeling a bit blah from winter? Let’s nip that in the bud right away…
We don’t know about you but we are over winter. It’s been a long one for us and… enough already. Thankfully, spring is approaching and warmer weather is right around the corner. Now that might be awesome news if, like us, you’ve been bombarded with atmospheric rivers and frigid temperatures for the last few months. On the other hand, if you live in hotter climes, soaring mercury can all get, well, a big much.
Wherever you live, one thing’s for sure, spring is a great time to make a few alterations to your skincare routine. Of course, we never recommend totally overhauling what you do or do not slap on your skin – especially if you’ve got your regime down to a fine art – but a small upgrade here or a little tweak there can reap incredible results for the look and feel of your skin.
Below, some of our favorite spring updates for taking your skin to its good place…
Give Your Pores Some Thought
Winter skin often requires richer moisturizers and heavier makeup. Which is fine. Until it’s not. If you’re prone to enlarged pores and/or breakouts, thick formulations that have a high oil content can play nasty tricks on your complexion, getting right under your skin and blocking up your pores in no time.
If you feel like this is literally you right now, treat your pores to a proper spring clean. And this starts with a deep cleanser to detoxify your skin and suck out any impurities from your pores that may have built up over the last few months. Our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser is awesome for this as it contains coconut-derived activated charcoal which helps draw out excess oil, sweat and debris from your pores. And if all that sounds like it’s going to make your skin feel dry and tight, think again, because it’s cleverly blended with hydrating and moisturizing goodies like aloe, reishi mushrooms, glycerin and ylang ylang essential oil. Use it twice daily to put a pep back in your complexion’s step.
Try A Night Time Double Cleanse
When the temperature heats up, skin starts to sweat more. Which is no bad thing, because sweating is how your body regulates its internal temperature. Warmer climes also stimulate your sebaceous (oil-producing) glands to product more sebum (oil) which can be a good thing for the integrity of your barrier function. However, the combination of too much sweat and excess oils hanging around on the surface of your skin not only makes your face look kinda icky, but it can also get lodged right there in your pores.
As well as cleansing your skin thoroughly twice daily – and always after exercising – you could also try a nightly double cleanse. Double cleansing is exactly what it sounds; you simply cleanse your skin twice. First, it’s wise to use an oil-based makeup remover to tackle, yes, you’ve guessed it oil-based impurities like sebum and sunscreen. Then you use a water-based cleanser to get rid of water-based impurities like sweat and dirt.
Double cleansing is not entirely necessary on a daily basis unless you like wearing heavy makeup, but do it a couple of times a week for a thorough, deep clean and your skin will appear fresher and brighter.
Lighten Your Moisture Load
Does your skin feels completely weighed down by the remains of winter? Then it might also be time to check the oil content of your skincare and makeup formulations. Essential oils are awesome for locking in moisture and strengthening your barrier function, but some of them are simply too good which means that they can also clog up your pores. Sunflower, argan, jojoba, tea tree and ylang ylang are lightweight and great for most skin types, but heavier oils like evening primrose, avocado, coconut, olive and almond should be avoided if you have skin that’s prone to breakouts.
Our spring moisturizing go-to is always Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer which is super effective, but beautifully lightweight. And if you feel like you need a little extra hydration? Then layer up with Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum which also feels feather-light on your skin but contains a massive hit of potent hyaluronic acid which is one of nature’s most effective moisture magnets.
For SPF’s Sake, Protect That Skin!
Have you let your SPF game slip a little over the winter months? Well, if there was an almost acceptable time to allow this to happen, winter is it. The fact is, sunscreen is important all year round because UV radiation is all about light, rather than heat, so it’s there during the daytime, no matter the weather. But that being said, you spend way more time indoors in the winter so while yes, SPF is vital whenever you’re outside or anywhere near a window, if you’re holed up on the couch for the day, you should be OK.
However, that was winter… and now it’s spring, so there are no longer any excuses for not slapping on your SPF every morning. If you’re yet to try it, get your hands on our awesome SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C which optimizes zinc oxide to send both UVA and UVB rays on their merry way. It also boasts fabulous moisturizing qualities so it can be used to replace your daily face cream if you’re more of a ‘less skincare steps, extra time in bed’ kind of person.
Amp Up Those Antioxidants
All that time in the great outdoors means extra protection for your delicate skin is essential. Sure, you’re already armed with SPF but what else can you do to shield your skin from those damaging UV rays? Simple, ensure your skincare routine includes some hard-hitting antioxidants.
Antioxidants are molecules that help neutralize free radicals. Free radicals form in your skin when it’s been subjected to things it doesn’t like – eg. UV radiation and pollution. And they might sound innocent enough, but free radicals are hella bad on your skin, damaging collagen, elastin and DNA and leading to all sorts of visible signs of premature aging.
Loading up on antioxidants (think fresh fruit and veggies) in your diet is awesome for revving up your body’s defence system, but topical antioxidants are even better because they concentrate solely on looking after your skin.
Some of the best antioxidants in skincare are vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, retinol and niacinamide. And of course, natural plant extracts and botanical oils are literally overflowing with antioxidant qualities. Make sure your skin gets its daily fix by smoothing our award-winning Vitamin C Facial Serum onto your skin every morning before moisturizing.
Sunshine? Bring it!
PSA: These Spring Updates Can Seriously Improve Your Skinread more