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True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • The Do’s & Don’ts Of Summer Skincare – Whatever Your Skin Type
    Did you know, your skincare routine needs to work extra hard during the summer months to ensure your complexion stays clear, moisturized and protected all season long?

    One of the most important ways to keep your skin healthy is to employ a solid, consistent skincare routine. All year round. And what this means is finding your perfect product matches to help you build a basic routine that includes a gentle cleanser, facial serum, eye cream, moisturizer and sunscreen.

    Once you find your sweet spots, however, this doesn’t mean you have to stick to them to the letter. Because things change. And so does your skin.

    During the summertime, days get longer and warmer – which means more time outdoors and more environmental stressors for your skin to contend with. The weather also becomes more humid (depending on where you live, of course) which offers up more water in the air. And that’s great for your skin (free moisture, yay!), but super annoying for your hair (one word: frizz).

    So, what are the best ways to ensure your routine stays fairly consistent while allowing your skin to smoothly transition from winter to summer? Below, are some of the most important dos and don’ts we believe are crucial for this time of year.

    DO Try A Double Cleanse In The Evening

    As a rule, we believe that cleansing your skin with just one gentle, but effective formulation should be enough. However, in the summertime you’re potentially sweating more and (definitely) piling on more sunscreen, so an evening double cleanse can be a really good trick to have up your sleeves to ensure your pores are clean and clear before bed.

    Double cleansing is pretty simple. It requires cleansing your skin twice – first with an oil-based formulation to cut through makeup, sebum and sunscreen, then again with a water-based product to get rid of sweat and other surface debris. It’s a great way to thoroughly cleanse your skin before bed when it needs just that little bit more after a day in the heat. Try taking off your makeup with an oil-based remover or balm first, then wash your skin with your regular, gentle face wash. We’re big fans of using Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser in the summertime but we have plenty of awesome ones to choose from, right here.

    DON’T Overdo The Actives

    It’s tempting to go wild with active ingredients in the summer when your skin feels stronger and more resilient. Don’t do that. Topical actives like retinol, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and vitamin C are fabulous ways to target and treat your skin. However, you need to tread carefully with them – especially when it comes to retinol which is a potent ingredient that encourages your skin to turn over more efficiently. It’s an incredible way to boost the tone, texture and condition of your skin, for sure, but too much of a good thing can cause sensitivities and will make you more susceptible to the slings and arrows of UV radiation.

    Our advice is to stick with retinol at night only, and maybe apply it just two or three times a week depending on your skin. You could also switch it out for bakuchiol which is a milder alternative and a real winner during the summer months. Try our Longevity Regimen Bundle which includes all three of our bakuchiol formulations – Rejuvenating Longevity Serum, Renewing Longevity Moisturizing Cream and Depuffing Longevity Eye Cream.

    DO Apply Sunscreen Daily

    The single most important way to look after your skin and preserve its integrity is to apply sunscreen every freakin’ day. It’s the most effective way to protect your skin from premature aging and will decrease your risk of skin cancer dramatically. Of course, the sun is around all year long, but in the summertime the intensity of UVB radiation is going to burn your skin lightning fast unless you shield it with a high quality sunscreen.

    Your sunscreen should be the final step in your routine every morning, and it should check BOTH of these boxes.

    ✅ It must be SPF 30 or above. This blocks about 97 percent of UVB radiation.

    ✅ It must be broad-spectrum. This ensure it offers equal protection from UVA as well as UVB radiation. And that’s the stuff that’s around all year long, even on cloudy days.

    We also prefer mineral sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide over chemical ones like oxybenzone and octisalate. Mineral sunscreens are a more natural choice. They’re also environmentally-friendly and provide instant protection as soon as they’re applied.

    Get your fill of all of the above check points with our SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C.

    DON’T Forget To Reapply It, Regularly

    Applying sunscreen to your face once a day in the winter is OK since you’re probably not spending that much time outdoors. However, in the summertime, when you’re likely to be outside and exposing your skin to longer periods of sunshine, it’s crucial to reapply generously, every couple of hours.

    DO Up Your Topical Vitamin C

    Vitamin C and summer are like gin and tonic – perfect together. Vitamin C is one of the most die-hard antioxidants, working like crazy to combat the free radical damage that amps up big time in the summertime (thanks to UV radiation). It also contains properties that help inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme that generates melanin synthesis.

    As you know, melanin is responsible for the color of your skin, hair and eyes, and when you expose your skin to sunlight, melanin production goes into overdrive, making your skin tan. Melanin production can also become erratic if you keep on battering it with UV radiation, resulting in patches of dark skin otherwise known as sun spots. And this is where topical C comes to the rescue. By inhibiting tyrosinase and thus regulating melanin production, vitamin C helps to gradually fade patchy, dark areas and limit your risk of developing new ones.

    We use an awesome derivative of pure vitamin C called sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) across all of our vitamin C formulations. Why SAP? Well, it’s way more stable than the pure stuff. It's also gentler on your skin which makes it officially the perfect way to treat your skin without causing irritation. Try our Vitamin C Facial Serum underneath your moisturizer every morning.

    DON’T Be Tempted To Over-Exfoliate

    Over-exfoliating is one of the most common skin faux-pas out there and it’s hella bad for your barrier function, making your skin dehydrated and itchy if you’re not careful. Most derms agree, however, that it can be a great idea to up the exfoliating ante in the summertime to help keep your pores clean and clear while balancing excess sebum and controlling breakouts.

    This doesn’t give you free rein, however, to exfoliate too much. And by ‘too much’ we mean every day. Instead, slowly increase the number of days you exfoliate per week to get a more sensible feel of what your skin can handle.

    We have two awesome exfoliators to suit all tastes. Our new Vitamin C Gentle Face Scrub is an incredible physical scrub while 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant harness the powers of exfoliating acids to unclog pores and reveal brighter, stronger skin. Take your pick!

    DO Lighten Up Your Moisturizing Routine

    Moisturizing your skin (whatever your skin type) is vital all year but you can definitely afford to lighten it up in the summertime if you feel like your regular moisturizer becomes too much. Just don’t forego moisturizer altogether. That’s a huge mistake.

    Thanks to all that extra humidity in the air during the summer months, your skin is treated to way more hydration than in the winter when the air is colder and drier. So, make the most of this by introducing a lightweight hyaluronic acid serum into your routine. Hyaluronic acid draws in all that water from the air and soaks it into the surface of the skin.

    Apply Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum after cleansing and toning, but before your light lotion or gel moisturizer.

    And that's what we call the perfect moisturization routine – all without any pore-clogging ingredients ruining your skin’s mojo.

     

     

     

    Sun Protection
    The Do’s & Don’ts Of Summer Skincare – Whatever Your Skin Type
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  • The Truth About Refrigerating Your Skincare Products
    Useful or useless? We weigh in whether the products in your skincare routine can benefit from chilling out in a fridge… or not.

    When it comes to making the most of our skincare routines there are many tricks and beauty habits we like to abide by. Using the right amount of product, rather than slathering handfuls on at a time, for example. We’re all over that. Keeping our towels, bed linen and makeup brushes clean. For sure. Not using face wipes every night to cleanse our skin. Never.

    However, there’s one ‘trend’ that continues to do the rounds on Instagram and TikTok that we’re just not that into. Skincare fridges. Call us old-fashioned, but we just don’t see the need for buying an extra contraption for keeping our moisturizers cold. We’ve coped pretty well without one up until now, so is it really necessary? We figured, not.

    But we’re nothing if not open-minded, so we decided to research this mini phenomenon a little deeper to find out if we’re missing something. Here’s what we found out…

    What Is A Skincare Fridge?

    Like tiny, shrunken versions of real fridges, skincare fridges are made specifically for storing your beauty swag, and they’re designed to allegedly help preserve the integrity of your products.

    Usually around 12-15 inches tall, they come in all colors and prices (some will set you back a good few hundred bucks!), and many of them even have mirrors attached and LED lights inside.

    Temperature-wise they usually sit around the 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit mark. And yes, that’s not quite as cold as regular refrigerators that are used for chilling and preserving your food. These run around the mid-30s.

    Hands Up, Do They Work?

    You’ve all read skincare labels that advise you to keep your products away from heat, humidity and direct sunlight, right? Well, there’s a good reason for this piece of important advice. These elements can cause certain ingredients in your products to separate or melt, ruining your products and giving them the shelf-life of an already-ripe peach.

    To help preserve the longevity and efficacy of your skincare products, however, the general advice, is not to keep them in a fridge, but to store them at room temperature, away from windows where sunlight has the potential to screw them up. And if your bathroom or bedroom gets pretty steamy in the summer? Not a biggie. Most skincare brands put their formulations through endless numbers of shelf-life tests to ensure they remain at their very best, even with a few fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

    OK, so does that mean skincare fridges are completely pointless if all of your products are perfectly fine stored at room temperature?

    Yes… and no.

    There are definitely a few benefits of keeping ‘some’ of your skincare products and tools in the fridge. How nice is it to apply a cool helping of after sun on your skin after a day at the beach, for example? And what about a soothing face mask that’s been kept in the fridge? Heaven.

    Keeping gel-based products chilled offers a deliciously cooling effect on the skin which can help to soothe redness, calm inflammation and even revitalize tired eyes if you don't do on a daily basis. Now that, we can get on board with, for sure.

    So, Which Products Are OK To Be Kept In A Skincare Fridge?

    1. Skincare Tools

    Things like gua sha stones, ice globes (for obvious reasons!) or jade rollers can feel incredible on the skin when they’ve been stored in a fridge.

    2. Eye Gel

    Try keeping your Peptide Eye Gel in the fridge to help reduce puffy eyes and calm irritation. Cold temps help reduce blood flow which reduces inflammation and swelling.

    3. Facial Toner

    Another good one to keep chilled, a cooling mist of toner is great if you live in a hot climate.

    4. Vitamin C Serum (well, maybe!)

    Some experts believe that because vitamin C is so unstable, it can be very beneficial to keep your vitamin C serum refrigerated – extending its shelf-life and helping it to remain effective for longer. Our Vitamin C Facial Serum, however, uses Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate which is a vitamin C derivative that’s way more stable than the pure stuff. This means that, sorry skincare fridge manufacturers, but we don't need you. 

    And Those That Should Never Go Anywhere Near A Fridge?

    More importantly than those that can be refrigerated are those that must never be stored at anything colder than room temperature. Warning: it can do more harm than good…

    1. Moisturizer

    Just like Goldilocks, moisturizer hates being too hot or too cold. It needs to be just right so that any oils or butters don’t separate from the other ingredients.

    2. Face & Body Oils

    Cold temperatures can cause oils to separate and/or harden which is bad news either way. They’re way better off stored at room temperature and usually come in dark or opaque bottles to protect them from sunlight, anyway.

    3. Clay-Based Products

    Any cleansers or face masks containing clay will harden and solidify if chilled which makes them an absolute nightmare to apply. Don’t go there. Our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser loves room temperature. Room temperature all the way, baby!

    4. And Your Makeup…

    …especially liquid foundations and concealers which often contain oils to give them a smooth texture and feel. You’ll ruin all of that if you keep them in a fridge. End of discussion.

    Our Final Takeaway

    So, should you invest in a skincare fridge or not? Honestly, we’re not going to rush out to waste our money (we’d rather spend it on SPF and new summer sandals, tbh!). However, if you like to use beauty tools to reduce puffiness and redness, or love to keep your eye gel cool to calm down under eye bags, go nuts.

    Skincare
    The Truth About Refrigerating Your Skincare Products
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  • Why Sunscreen AND Antioxidants Are A Summertime No-Brainer
    Want to ensure your skin is doubly protected from the slings and arrows of the sun? Then the winning combination of sunscreen and antioxidants is everything.

    We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: sunlight is the number one cause of skin aging. OK, in truth, your genetics are the actual number one, but you can’t change your genes, so go figure.

    So, why is the sun so damaging? After all, it's deliciously lovely, warm and instantly makes us feel and look ten times better. So why, oh why do we have to be careful in its presence?

    How The Sun Affects Your Skin

    Sunlight is split into various forms of energy called the electromagnetic spectrum. This intricate spectrum includes visible light (the stuff you can see), infrared radiation (heat) and ultraviolet radiation among others. And it’s the UV radiation that’s to blame for over 80 percent of your fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and sagging skin. UV is extremely powerful and not only accelerates premature aging, but is also believed to be one of the biggest causes of skin cancer.

    But UV isn’t simply a one-and-done type of radiation. Ha, if only it were that easy. In fact, UV is split into three different wavelengths: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC rays are the shortest and, thanks to the ozone, don’t reach the Earth’s surface or, consequently your skin, so you can forget about the Cs. But the Bs and As? They’re a big deal.

    UVA rays have the longest wavelength and make up about 95 percent of the UV radiation that hits your skin. UVA rays are able to penetrate through clouds and even glass, which means that they’re present all year round – summer, spring, fall and yes, even winter – AND they can get to your skin even if you’re inside, near a window. UVA radiation penetrates deep into your skin, screwing up your collagen, depleting elastin, ruining your barrier function and basically aging you up like it was its one true mission in life.

    UVB rays, meanwhile, have a slightly shorter wavelength and aren’t so prevalent in the winter months. Nor do they penetrate your skin on such a deep level. However, don’t underestimate the Bs because they’re just as bad for your skin and they’re the ones most responsible for sunburn.

    Sunscreen: Your Best Defense Against UV

    Everyone knows that sunscreen should be a crucial part of your daily skincare regime. But while you might know it, do you actually put it into practice? The big picture is that if you don’t apply sunscreen to safeguard your skin from damaging UV radiation you’re putting your skin at risk. And not only of premature aging, but also of skin cancer. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation regular use of daily sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing skin cancers by between 40 and 50 percent. That’s major, if you ask us.

    The uptake is that you should apply sunscreen every morning without fail, even if you’re going to be sat at your desk all day – windows, remember? Not sure what to look out for in your sunscreen? We can help with that here but, in short, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends the following.

    1. Always choose broad-spectrum protection to ensure your skin is shielded from both UVA and UVB radiation.

    2. Never go below SPF 30 to truly safeguard your skin.

    3. Choose water-resistant formulations.

    Our SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C is an incredible choice for daily use because it blocks around 90 percent of UVB radiation (that’s the SPF30 working hard, right there), plus it keeps you equally safe from UVA radiation (thanks to its broad-spectrum formulation).

    Not only that, but our sunscreen contains vitamin C – one of the most effective antioxidants available in skincare.

    The Wonder Of Antioxidants

    Without doubt, sunscreen is our number one recommendation for sun protection. That, and staying away from direct sun as much as possible. Living your life, of course, just doing it safely.

    But there’s another skincare essential for helping to prevent photoaging from hitting you in the face too soon: topical antioxidants. Why are they so crucial? Because they fight tooth and nail to neutralize free radicals. And if you don’t know what free radicals are, allow us to explain.

    Free radicals are compounds that form in your skin when it’s been subjected to things like smoking, pollution and the biggest offender of them all, the sun. Free radicals are no good for your skin, destroying important proteins and causing what’s known as oxidative stress which leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, and results in lines, wrinkles and premature sagging.

    Unfortunately, there’s no escaping free radicals – that’s the joy of modern living – however, antioxidants are their absolute nemesis, limiting their negative effects by neutralizing them before they get a chance to cause too much damage. Your body has its very own natural antioxidant system but the onslaughts of everyday life are often too much for it to keep up with. So you have to give it a helping hand with an antioxidant-rich diet (here’s looking at you fresh fruit and veggies) and by applying topical antioxidants.

    Studies have shown that two of the best topical antioxidants for protecting your skin from the sun and all the free radicals that come with it are vitamins C and E. Of course, it’s worth remembering that antioxidants won’t shield your skin from sunburn (that’s what your SPF is for) but they’re a great addition to the party and, when combined with SPF are the real deal.

    Our SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen contains a hefty sum of vitamin C but to really hit those free radicals hard, we like to apply an antioxidant serum underneath. We have plenty of awesome formulations to choose from but here are our summertime favorites.

    1. Vitamin C Facial Serum

    Our very own TruSkin OG and still the best-seller on Amazon, Vitamin C Facial Serum combines gentle vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate) along with vitamin E, hydrating hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and jojoba oil.

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    2. Multi-Vitamin Facial Serum

    If you never know which vitamin to choose from in your skincare routine (they all sound SO good), we say, don’t. Instead, go for our Multi-Vitamin Facial Serum which fuses a holistic blend of antioxidant-rich vits with skin-hydrating minerals.

    3. Niacinamide (B3) Facial Serum

    One of our gentlest serums, Niacinamide (B3) Facial Serum is an everyday essential that harnesses the antioxidant powers of niacinamide to strengthen, soothe and illuminate your skin tone. Light and silky, it’s a shoo-in for those hot, summer months. And, in fact, for all the months!

     

     

     

    Sun Protection
    Why Sunscreen AND Antioxidants Are A Summertime No-Brainer
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  • The Ultimate Skincare Routine For Adult Acne
    Adult acne might feel and look the same as teenage acne but when it comes to nailing an effective, breakout-busting skincare routine, it’s a whole different beast.

    As if fine lines, wrinkles and all the other signs of skin aging weren’t enough to contend with, there’s also that crazy little thing called adult acne. Acne ‘should’ be something that you say farewell to as you come to the end of your adolescent years and your hormones settle into adulthood. But that’s not always the case. In fact, adult acne is on the increase and it’s estimated to affect more and more adults as they hit their 50s and older.

    What Is Adult Acne?

    Acne vlugaris, the proper name for the type of acne we’re dealing with here, is exactly the same at any age. It rears its head when your hair follicles and pores become blocked with excess oil and dead skin cells. Unlike regular teenage acne, however, the adult kind can be split into two different types: persistent acne and late- or adult-onset acne. Persistent acne continues from adolescence, never really giving you a break, whereas late-onset acne is the stuff that appears for the first time later on in life. Just when you thought you’d gotten away with it. Dang!

    This all sounds pretty simple, but things get a little more complicated from here on in. How so? Because acne can take on many forms. If the plug bulges out above the surface of your skin it creates a whitehead, for example. If the plug opens up, it oxidizes with the air, turns dark and creates a blackhead. And if bacteria gets involved and infects the blockage? Then it becomes a full blown zit – a papule, pustule, nodule or cyst, if you will.

    So, Why Do Some People Get Adult Acne While Others Don’t?

    As a rule, acne is genetic, so if you’re predisposed, thanks to your parents, there’s not much you can do about that. What you can do, however, is to understand what’s triggering these breakouts later in life – hint: more often than not, it’s your hormones. During menopause, for example, your hormones are all over the place and if you’re sensitive to these triggers, this creates an imbalance that causes sebum production to go wild and your your skin to completely freak out.

    Emotional stress and certain medications can also overstimulate your sebaceous glands, as can pore-blocking or harsh ingredients in your skincare regime.

    On that note, here’s how to create a kick-ass skincare routine that cares for your adult skin (aka doesn’t dry it out!) and helps to balance oil production to keep breakouts to a minimum.

    The Best Morning Skincare Routine For Adult Acne

    1. Gently Cleanse Your Face

    For some, a morning cleanse can seem a little OTT when all you’ve done is sleep since your last cleanse. Not so for you. Because your skin is oilier than most you’re going to want to gently remove any sebum that may have built up overnight. Also, your night cream might feel kind of heavy for daywear, so it’s good to start with a clean slate in the AM.

    One word of warning: don’t fall into the trap of grabbing the most skin-stripping cleanser you can find. You can just about get away with that when you’re 13 – although it’s never ideal – but when your skin is more mature it’s going to need way more care. Choose something that will help replenish your barrier function, soothe and calm inflammation and cut out any risk of over-cleansing your skin. A product like our Soothing Cleansing Milk is great for morning use.

    2. Balance Your Skin With Tea Tree Oil

    As you know, we’re massive fans of face serums for targeting skin issues exactly where they’re needed, and when it comes to adult acne, our favorite topical ingredient is tea tree oil.

    Unlike other acne-busting favorites like benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil is less drying and irritating on the skin which makes it a great choice for mature skin. But don’t think that means it’s any less effective because its antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties combine to give it true superpowers in the fight against bacteria and acne breakouts.

    Try applying our Tea Tree Super Serum+  two or three times a week after cleansing and before moisturizing to help balance and calm your skin. We like to alternate it with Niacinamide (B3) Facial Serum which is another winner for regulating oil and reducing inflammation.

    3. Lightly Moisturize

    Moisturizing oily, acne-prone skin might seem counterintuitive but it’s actually crucial for keeping your barrier function healthy and keeping sebum under control. If you miss this step, your sebaceous glands will think your skin is dry and thus overcompensate with more oil.

    Avoid thick creams that are jam-packed with heavy occlusives like cocoa butter, however – these will block your pores and cause no end of problems. Instead, stick with light gel or lotion formulas that incorporate hydrating ingredients like glycerin, aloe and hyaluronic acid. Our Firming Collagen Day Lotion is great for oily skin, plus it helps tackle the visible signs of aging at the same time. Result.

    4. Apply Sunscreen

    UV radiation will make acne (and any potential scarring) worse. Not to mention all the other dastardly deeds it gets up to as the sun beats down on your skin on a daily basis.

    Wear sunscreen every day, without fail, and always choose a broad-spectrum formula with SPF 30 or above. And if you really can’t bear the thought of applying moisturizer AND sunscreen? Try our SPF 20 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C. It’s packed with hydrating and moisturizing ingredients which are probably just right for your oily skin.

    The Best Nighttime Skincare Routine For Adult Acne

    1. Remove Makeup & Cleanse Your Face

    Before bed is when a more thorough (but still not too full-on) cleanse comes into play. Your evening cleanse is way more important than the morning one because this is when your skin has been subjected to at least 15 hours worth of makeup, sunscreen, dirt, oil and pollution. And if you don’t whisk that away it can, and will, build up on your skin where it will combine with dead skin cells and sit in your pores waiting for the worst to happen.

    We recommend our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser or Tea Tree Super Cleanser+ which both work hard to whisk away debris from the surface of your skin while balancing, detoxifying and refreshing your complexion.

    You should also exfoliate once or twice a week to gently boost cellular turnover and minimize any risk of dead skin cells hanging around for too long. Try our Vitamin C Gentle Face Scrub after cleansing.

    2. Treat Your Skin With Retinol

    Retinol might be the gold standard of aging treatments, but it’s also right up there in the fight against adult acne. A derivative of vitamin A, retinol helps to increase cell turnover. It’s a little bit like exfoliation, although it works in a very different way. Instead of removing dead skin cells at a surface level, retinol goes deeper into the skin and activates certain genes to accelerate cell turnover down below. It’s very clever and a great way to keep dead skin cells moving along so they don’t clog up your pores. This is music to the ears of mature, acne-prone skin – especially when you add in all the other age-defying benefits retinol brings to the table.

    Just remember, retinol is very powerful, so start slowly by applying Retinol Facial Serum just once or twice a week to clean, dry skin. Then, as you build tolerance, you can build up to every night.

    3. Hydrate & Moisturize

    Allow your serum to sink in for a minute or two, then finish with moisturizer. Of course, you can double up with the same product you used in the morning, but you might find your skin needs a little more moisturization at night.

    /Size-2 Fl Oz

    Our fabulous Retinol Moisturizer is a great product to apply before bed as it combines retinol with hydrating hyaluronic acid, soothing vitamin E and plumping panthenol. If the combination of this and the retinol serum is too much for your skin, however, try our Longevity duo: Rejuvenating Longevity Serum followed by Renewing Longevity Moisturizing Cream. Both of these formulations are incredible for aging skin that gets a little, shall we say, problematic. They harness the powers of bakuchiol, which is nature’s kinder alternative to retinol.

    Acne
    The Ultimate Skincare Routine For Adult Acne
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  • DYK, Not All Dark Spots Are Created The Same?
    We love to blame the sun for most of our skin woes, but is it entirely at fault when it comes to pesky dark spots? Actually, no. The sun is a major factor, for sure, but there are many other reasons your skin becomes patchy or discolored…

    No matter how hard you try to keep the tone of your skin free of patchy dark spots as you get older, this seems to be one skincare battle you just can’t seem to win. But what are dark spots and why, oh why, do they creep up on the skin when we have enough skin issues to contend with (yes, we’re talking to you fine lines and wrinkles)?

    What Causes Dark Spots?

    Dark spots, aka hyperpigmentation, is extremely common and occurs when your skin overproduces melanin, the pigment the gives your skin its natural color. This makes certain areas of your skin appear darker and patchy, while others remain as they were. And it really is as simple as that.

    The tricky part, however, comes when you try to pinpoint exactly why melanin has gotten out of control in the first place. And there are three main causes of hyperpigmentation to know about.

    The Sun

    According to countless studies, exposure to the sun is the most common cause of hyperpigmentation. No surprises there, right? This is because melanin acts like a kind of natural sunscreen to help protect your skin from damaging UV radiation. The more you subject your skin to sunlight, therefore, the more melanin your melanocytes will produce as they work super hard to keep your skin safe.

    Tan skin is basically the result of melanin going into overdrive. And when you continue to subject your skin to excessive sun exposure, this whole process can (and often will!) go completely wayward. This leads to an uneven production of melanin which gets clumpy and, of course, leads to the inevitable patchy, sun-damaged skin.

    These types of dark spots are called solar lentigines and they usually appear on areas that are most frequently exposed to the sun. Your face, hands, arms and shoulders are those most affected, so keep an eye on these areas for small, flat spots that are either brown, black or a kind of grayish color.

    Your Hormones

    Dark spots that are the result of unbalanced hormones are called melasma and they’re way more common in women than men thanks to the many hormonal changes women go through during their lives. Menstruation, pregnancy, birth control, hormone replacement therapy and the menopause all cause extreme changes in the female sex hormones and, just like exposure to the sun, this stimulates melanin production which, unfortunately gets a little out of control.

    Melasma is usually lighter in color than sun spots and it looks more patchy. It’s also commonly seen on the forehead, over the cheeks or around the lips – but almost always on the face, for sure. The good news is that, more often than not, melasma goes away after you pass through this stage in your life and come out the other end, or if you stop taking the medication that’s the primary cause.

    Skin Trauma

    Last, but certainly not least comes post-inflammatory hyperpigmention (PIH) which looks most severe in dark skin types but is pretty common in all genders and can happen at any time in your life.

    PIH happens when your skin becomes inflamed after its been subjected to some kind of injury or trauma. It’s most commonly caused by acne and in fact one out of every two acne sufferers will experience some form of PIH – or post-acne marks as they’re also called.

    But it’s not just acne that can trigger this type of hyperpigmentation: anything that causes inflammation has the ability to leave you with red, pink, brown or black PIH spots. A mild cut, bug bite or burn, for example, can go down that road, as can bouts of psoriasis, eczema or even surgery. As your skin regenerates and heals itself, excess melanin is produced which can leaves the area darkened and discolored long after the wound has gone.

    What Can You Do About Your Dark Spots?

    While not all dark spots are caused by the sun, UV radiation will make every single one of them worse. So, you gotta protect your skin every day to a) help prevent sun spots and b) lessen your chances of any type of dark spot becoming bigger and/or darker.

    Sun avoidance is, of course, the most effective way to keep your skin safe from the sun’s wicked ways, but, well, you have to live, so instead of being quite so drastic, simply up your skin protection game with these two simple must-dos.

    1. Apply Topical Antioxidants

    Apply an antioxidant serum every morning after cleansing and before moisturizing to kick things off. Antioxidants are the bomb for adding that little extra je ne sais quoi to your regime. How so? Well, they’re almost unbeatable at fighting off free radicals that, if left alone, will have a party when you expose your skin to the elements, damaging collagen, screwing up elastin and doing a number on your DNA. This is not only bad news for dark spots but it’s also asking for wrinkles to come and join in on the (not so) fun.

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    There are plenty of awesome antioxidants out there but our favorite for sun protection is vitamin C because it also helps to keep dark spots to a minimum by keeping melanin under control. Win. And win. Try our classic Vitamin C Facial Serum daily. No arguments.

    2. Wear Sunscreen ALL YEAR LONG

    It goes without saying that sunscreen is essential for preventing dark spots AND for helping to minimize existing ones. Not to mention all the other anti-aging benefits a sunscreen like our fabulous SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C brings to the table.

    To get the best protection from both UVA and UVB radiation, make sure you always choose a broad-spectrum formulation and never go below SPF 30 which blocks around 97 percent of UVB. Choose a mineral sunscreen that contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or both (we believe these are the best!) and apply it generously to all areas of exposed skin every morning. Reckon you can get away without it on cold, gray days? Think again. Sun damage is caused by UV radiation, not heat, which means that chilly, overcast days still have plenty of UV ready and willing to screw up your skin if you let it. The truth is, around 80 percent of UV radiation penetrates right through those clouds. Remember that.

    Should You Be Worried About Dark Spots & Skin Cancer?

    Hyperpigmentation is not related to skin cancer, but if you notice any kind of new dark spot developing or changing in size or color you should always consult a board-certified dermatologist to get it checked out.

    Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US and around one in five of us will develop it by the time we’re 70. Don’t like those stats? Good, you shouldn’t, so make sure you get any mole, freckle or unusually dark patch of skin looked at by a professional.

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  • 7 Of The Most Effective Skincare Hacks For Oily Skin
    Excellent news, people of the oily skin persuasion: you might not be able to change the structure of your skin but you can definitely help balance oil production with smart skincare choices. Step this way…

    If slick skin and sweaty bangs are the story of your life you’ve probably asked yourself time and again, when are the benefits of an oily complexion going to come to light? Hark back to your teenage years when puberty, and all the things that came with it, seemed like a never ending battle. Difficult times. Now you’re well into adulthood, and your skin is still as oily as ever. Granted, the wrinkles aren’t too bad, but your makeup rarely stays put and, tbh, monthly breakouts are still a struggle.

    Not. Fair.

    Oily skin can be tricky, we get that. But it’s who you are and, when you think about it, sebum – the oil of which we speak of – is absolutely crucial for the health of your skin. All manner of components like triglycerides, fatty acids, wax ester, cholesterol and squalene come together in sebum to seal moisture into your skin, repel environmental stressors and help transport antioxidants to the surface so your skin can heal and regenerate efficiently.

    Sebum also plays an important role in helping your skin maintain its slightly acidic pH level which prevents bacteria and viruses from penetrating the top layers. Without sebum, therefore, your skin would be a shadow of its former self. Try not to forget that the next time you look in the mirror and will it to go away.

    The amount of sebum your skin produces can’t be drastically altered – because, genetics – but there are many tweaks you can make to your skincare routine that can improve the balance and therefore the shininess of your complexion. Keep scrolling for seven of our favorites…

    1. Never Go To Bed Without Cleansing

    Taking your makeup off before turning in for the night is important whatever your skin type, but if you have oily skin, it’s absolutely non-negotiable. The reason for this? For one thing, oily skin attracts dirt and bacteria more than dry skin. And for another, when oil and bacteria combine with dead skin cells at the surface of your skin, you’re basically inviting acne breakouts to come and do a number on your complexion.

    Lesson learnt: don’t go to bed without cleansing your face. Like, ever. It’s just not worth it. And, heck, cleansing takes, what, three minutes of your time so it’s not like it’s a real chore.

    One of our favorite cleansers for oily skin is our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser which contains activated coconut charcoal to mop up unwanted debris and detoxify the skin without complete drying it out.

    2. But, Don’t Be Tempted To Over-Cleanse

    While we’re on the subject of cleansing, it’s easy to overdo it as you try to rid your skin of every last drop of pesky sebum. But that’s a very bad idea. Over-stimulating your skin fools your sebaceous glands into thinking they’re not doing their job properly. So then they ramp it up big time, producing more and more sebum to compensate for all the stuff you’ve stripped away.

    Keep your cleansing routine gentle, but effective, and regular but not too often. Twice daily and always after exercising is the rule of thumb here.

    3. Remember That All Skin Needs Moisturization

    Oily skin has its own built-in and very hard-working moisturizing system, so it has no need for more, right? Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

    Just like every other skin type, oily skin needs to be moisturized after cleansing. Contrary to popular belief, the right moisturizer won’t block up your pores or make your skin even more oily and pimply. Instead it will help to balance sebum, keeping your skin hydrated, healthy and less open to irritation and redness.

    You really must choose the correct moisturizer, however. And that means avoiding anything that contains rich, occlusive ingredients like cocoa butter and heavy oils which form a layer over the top of your skin and clog your pores. Instead, look for lighter gels or lotions that contain humectants like hyaluronic acid. We love Retinol Moisturizer which has the added benefits of retinol to help boost regeneration for clearer, more balanced skin.

    /Size-2 Fl Oz

    4. Underestimate Exfoliation At Your Risk

    One of the best tools for oily skin? An awesome exfoliant that’s effective but super gentle on your skin. Whether you go for a chemical, leave-on formulation that contains things like glycolic acid or salicylic acid to break down dead skin cells, or prefer a face scrub that manually sloughs away those darn dead cells, exfoliating oily skin is imperative.

    Excess sebum is like a magnet for bacteria, you see, and when this mixes with dead skin cells it can block your pores, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and any other kind of acne spots you might think of.

    The simple way to avoid all this? Keep your skin regularly exfoliated to accelerate cell turnover and make sure all that dead stuff doesn’t overstay its welcome. Try our Vitamin C Gentle Face Scrub two or three times a week after cleansing.

    5. Make Tea Tree Oil Your Friend

    Tea tree oil has been known and revered for centuries for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. And this makes it a shoo-in for balancing and soothing oily skin – specifically those that suffer problems with breakouts.

    Not only does tea tree oil help kill acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin, but it also works hard to calm and reduce facial redness. Be afraid, inflammation, be very afraid.

    The one thing to remember about tea tree oil, however, is that it’s potent – like, really potent – so, it’s much safer when thoughtfully blended with other skincare ingredients. Our Tea Tree Super Serum +, for example, contains a whole bunch of ingredients that work in harmony with tea tree oil to hydrate and balance the skin. It’s packed with aloehyaluronic acid and glycerin to draw in moisture, niacinamide to aid healing, plus two other awesome acne-fighters: salicylic acid and retinol. Try it a couple of times a week before bed for visible results within just a month or so.

    6. Tone, But Do It Wisely

    Toning your skin can be a fabulous way to balance excess oil – but don’t fall into the trap of choosing a super astringent formula that will soak up too much oil as this will cause your skin to produce even more sebum as it tries to overcompensate for all the stuff you’ve stripped away. Instead, tone, for sure, but choose a more balanced, refreshing product that helps finish off your cleanse while preparing the skin for the rest of your regime. We love Ocean Minerals Super Toner which also contains glycolic acid for a little extra boost of exfoliation.

    7. Keep Your Hydration Topped Up

    OK, here’s the thing about dehydrated skin: ANY skin type can be dehydrated. This is because unlike dry skin which is genetic and thanks to insufficient oil, dehydration is a skin condition that can occur at any time and is all thanks to a lack of moisture. Oily skin, in particular, can get dehydrated very easily because you’re more likely to use more powerful skincare products on the reg while applying less intense moisturization.

    To avoid your skin becoming unnecessarily dehydrated, make sure your routine contains plenty of humectant ingredients which draw moisture to the surface of your skin. Good ones include aloe vera, glycerin and the most popular of all, hyaluronic acid which you’ll find aplenty in our Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum. We like to apply this daily, after cleansing and toning, but BEFORE moisturizing.

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