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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
It might be thought of as an ‘extra’ step in your skincare routine, but exfoliation can make or break the condition of your skin.
Reckon you’re a dab hand at exfoliating? Got the product, worn the t-shirt and all that? Well, as great as you might be, there’s always room for improvement. Whether it’s getting your frequency absolutely correct, knowing when is the best time to exfoliate or learning how to exfoliate your face and neck without damaging your skin there are many ways to do better.
So if you hate resting on your laurels when it comes to the health of your skin, read on for five important exfoliating lessons you need to know…
1. It’s Better To Under-Exfoliate Than To Over-Exfoliate
The first, and undoubtedly the most important rule when it comes to exfoliating your skin is to never, ever, overdo it.
Here’s the thing, exfoliation is your way of stimulating your skin to turn over at a faster rate, removing dead, hardened cells from the skin’s surface while encouraging the fresher, younger ones to reveal themselves. All this helps remove toxins, unclog pores, control breakouts, fade surface level dark spots, smooth lines, balance oil production, allow the rest of your skincare routine to work better and, well, you get the picture.
Of course, your skin has its own pre-programmed way of shedding millions of dead skin cells every day – a process called desquamation – but things like aging and environmental damage slow this process down from around 28 days to as long as 80 days. And this is not good news. Slow, sluggish cell turnover means that instead of naturally sloughing away, dry, old skin cells get stuck at the surface causing your skin to look dull, patchy, congested and dehydrated.
So you get the picture that exfoliation is pretty important. Well, here’s the catch. Exfoliating your skin too hard or with high concentrations of super-potent ingredients will speed up cell turnover way too much. And this can totally upset your skin’s barrier function, stripping away important proteins and oils, leaving it open to irritation, breakouts, redness and stinging.
This is why it’s key to be gentle. If you like to use physical exfoliants like scrubs, cleansing brushes or facial mitts you should only ever use very light pressure, and avoid harsh tools and products that make your skin sting or hurt. On the other hand, if you prefer chemical exfoliants that harness the powers of hydroxy acids such as glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids, try to avoid super high concentrations and don’t attempt any kind of DIY mixology. Mixing and matching such potent ingredients is best left to the skincare professionals. Otherwise it inevitably does not end well.
2. Yes, You CAN Alternative Between Physical & Chemical Exfoliants
While we’re on the subject of physical and chemical exfoliation, the good news is you don’t have to choose between the two. Of course, you should never scrub your skin and then immediately apply a chemical exfoliant afterwards. Or even on the same day for that matter. This is completely over-egging the pudding, plus you know all that irritation we just spoke of? Well, double exfoliation is opening up the door for sore, sensitive skin.
However, you can certainly alternate between the two if you tread carefully and don’t overdo it. Just remember to stick to two or three times a week with your face scrub, then on alternate days, apply a gentle-on-the-skin chemical exfoliant.
And boy, have we got just the product for that!
Say hello to our new 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant which is formulated with an incredible blend of glycolic acid (an AHA), salicylic acid (BHA) and gluconolactone (PHA). Together with vitamin C this fragrance-free, pH-balancing treatment has been specifically formulated to offer an effective way to increase skin turnover, with less of the irritation often associated with acid exfoliants. The key is the 6 percent sweet spot which we believe is just the right amount to care for all skin types – yes, even sensitive.
3. Cleansing Can Be Effective Before OR After Using Face Scrub
Exfoliating your skin with a physical scrub, washcloth or mitt should never replace your cleansing routine. In fact, you should still cleanse your skin whenever you exfoliate.
But should you do it beforehand or after exfoliating? Well, surprisingly you can do either.
Most skincare experts recommend cleansing before exfoliating because this helps remove surface debris like makeup, oils, sunscreen and sweat, allowing your exfoliator to really get to business straight from the off. However, doing the opposite lifts away those dead skin cells first which gives your cleanser a better chance to wash all that debris away.
In short, cleansing first allows for a deeper, more effective exfoliation, while exfoliating first gives you a better cleanse.
Of course, if you prefer chemical exfoliants like our new 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant, this whole point is null and void. You must always apply chemical exfoliants to clean skin for the best results. End of discussion.
4. For Excellent Results, Exfoliate In The Morning
Never quite sure whether to exfoliate before bed or after you wake up? To be honest, any time of the day is good and it really depends on your skin type, needs and routine. However, if you really want to get the most out of your exfoliant, it can be better to use it in the morning.
During the night, your skin repairs and renews itself from the daily grind, leaving you with more dead skin cells to slough away come the morning. Also, most people apply their retinol treatment at night so over-stimulating your skin before using such a powerful product can increase the potential for irritation.
All this combines to, in our opinion, give morning exfoliation the win. And when you add in the fact that our 6% AHA, BHA + PHA Liquid Exfoliant contains skin brightening, free radical-fighting vitamin C to shield your skin from daily damage, it really is a no brainer.
5. Treat Your Exfoliant Like A Retinol Treatment
As previously mentioned, exfoliation isn't like cleansing, moisturizing and applying sunscreen, which should all be carried out on a strict, daily basis. In fact, one of the worst things you can do is to dive in head first, going from no exfoliation at all, to a vigorous scrub every morning.
As with retinol, proceed your exfoliation routine with caution. Start with a gentle product just once or twice a week (having patch tested any new product first, of course), then slowly build up to more frequent use as your skin acclimates. Depending on your skin type, you may be able to work up to daily exfoliation, alternating between scrubs and acids, or you may find your skin prefers a less frequent approach. Everyone’s skin is different so you’ll need to be the judge of that. Just remember, exfoliating shouldn’t sting, cause peeling, or make your skin look red.
And this applies to your body, just as much as your face and neck.
5 Of The Best Exfoliation Tips You Never Knew You Neededread more
When it comes to skincare heroes, ceramides have to be up there with the very best. Here’s why…
It goes without saying that skincare ingredients are everything to us. From the classic stalwarts like retinol and vitamin C to some of the most exciting discoveries in decades (bakuchiol for the win!), they make up the absolute foundation of every one of our TruSkin formulations.
The truth is, ingredients can make or break a skincare product. Apply a moisturizer that’s packed with synthetic fragrance, for example, and it could cause your skin to feel even more dry than it did beforehand. Similarly, if you wash your face with a super-strong formulation that’s packed to the brim with kick-ass sulfates, your skin could end up feeling dehydrated, irritated or inflamed. Not cool.
Now, we know you’re well versed in some of the best ingredients out there, but what do you know about ceramides? They might be less hyped than retinol and less glamorous than hyaluronic acid, but ceramides are an integral part of any healthy skincare regime, helping to improve the quality of your complexion – no matter your skin type. In fact ceramides are pretty much all pros, zero cons.
Read on for the lowdown on these unassuming but very important skincare powerhouses.
What Are Ceramides?
Contrary to popular belief, ceramides are not just fancy-sounding ingredients that you hear about in skincare commercials. In fact, they’re important lipids found naturally in your skin’s structure. And they’re not just there to make up the numbers either. They take up somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of your skin’s composition. That’s kind of a big deal.
Your skin contains many different types of ceramide and each one plays a major role in the efficiency of your barrier function. Not only do they bind the cells together – kind of like the mortar to your skin’s brick wall – but they maintain strength and stability to its whole structure. They also help prevent water loss and protect your skin from environmental pollution, offering vital support to your skin’s entire functionality. As we said, big deal.
In a perfect world, your level and quality of ceramides would remain at their optimum best for your entire life. Ha, if only. Unfortunately the aging process, as well as things like stress and environmental damage, completely screw with your skin’s ceramides, causing them to progressively drop after you hit your mid-20s. Just like your collagen! This compromises the integrity of your important barrier function (bad news) and can result in all manner of issues including dryness, redness, irritation, rough skin and dehydration (more bad news).
The Benefits Of Ceramides In Skincare
Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom because ceramides can also be found in your skincare products – synthetically produced to mimic the natural stuff that works hard within your skin’s structure. Even better, topical ceramides are extremely well tolerated by all skin types (dry, oily, sensitive, the works) and they offer some extremely important benefits as your skin matures…
1. Ceramides Boost Moisture In Your Skin
The main job of ceramides is to lock moisture into your skin by sealing and preserving your skin’s barrier function – its natural protective, top layer. By keeping this barrier function in shape, ceramides work hard to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which is all the moisture that evaporates from your skin’s surface on a daily basis. Research shows that the average amount of water lost is around 300-400 ml per day but if your barrier function starts to fail then this can increase like nobody’s business. And that’s when dehydration and dryness can kick in.
Upping the number of ceramides through your skincare routine helps replace those lost by aging and environmental issues like sun damage. And this, in turn, helps keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.
2. Ceramides Help Strengthen Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is thanks, in part, to a weakened barrier function that's failing at its job of keeping moisture in and irritants out. Your barrier function is the uppermost layer of your skin, AKA the stratum corneum, and its integrity is vital when it comes to how your skin reacts to external stressors like harsh skincare products, sunlight, pollution and so on. It makes sense, therefore, that anything you can do to fortify this barrier function is going to help manage sensitivities and improve irritation.
Various studies show that many people who suffer with chronic skin conditions like eczema have fewer ceramides in their skin, yet they show a marked improvement when topical ceramides are added to their skincare routine. This drives us to put ceramides up there at the very top of the list of must-haves for sensitive skin types.
3. Ceramides Are Great For Aging Skin
Dry and/or dehydrated skin highlight any fine lines and wrinkles you may have much more than normal or oily skin. It makes sense, therefore, that in order to keep those tell-tale signs of aging on a back burner you need to keep your skin well hydrated and moisturized. Moisturized skin = plumper, firmer, smoother skin. It’s simple science.
By fortifying your barrier function ceramides also hit aging from another angle. How so? Well, all that extra protection helps to minimize free radical damage which often results from things like smoking, UV radiation and a poor diet. As you know, free radicals are the main cause of external skin aging, killing your skin’s collagen and elastin supplies. Seriously, they're not something your skin wants to have to deal with. However, the stronger your barrier function, the better protected your skin will be as a result. And that, coupled with topical antioxidants and daily sunscreen is the key to gorgeous, healthy-looking skin.
How To Include Ceramides In Your Skincare Routine
Ceramides can be formulated into all sorts of skincare products, from eye treatments and cleansers to lotions and night creams. The fact that they’re super gentle on your skin and work well with other active ingredients also gives them major kudos.
We believe the most effective way to incorporate ceramides into your skincare routine is through leave-on products like facial serums and moisturizers. That’s why we’ve packed three essential ceramides (NP, AP and EOP in case it comes up at your next trivia night!) into our NEW Firming Collagen Day Lotion and Smoothing Collagen Serum. The ideal combination for protecting, repairing and hydrating your skin, this duo helps encourage healthy aging by not only caring for your vital collagen and elastin supplies but by boosting ceramides at a surface level.
That’s what we call a win-win situation right there.
Why Your Skin Needs Ceramides In Its Liferead more
Want to feel more confident to go makeup-free? Then here’s what you need to know…
We love makeup as much as the next person. Red lipstick and winged eyeliner for a Saturday night out with your besties? Count us in. However, there’s a lot to be said for minimizing the amount of makeup you wear on a daily basis. And there’s even more to be said for feeling comfortable enough in your skin to go bare-faced and makeup-free.
Of course, we’re not saying that makeup is bad for your skin. Sure, there are certain formulations that can overwhelm your skin with pore-blocking oils or irritate it with synthetic fragrances and weird preservatives. But if you choose wisely there are plenty of incredible makeup products out there that help protect your skin from damaging UV radiation, boost your fill of antioxidants or even hydrate your complexion at a surface level.
The point we’re trying to make, though, is that you shouldn’t have to wear makeup everyday just to feel confident. Your skin might not be perfect and you might have certain areas that drive you nuts, but if you take care of what you’ve got with great skincare habits and a consistent routine, you’ll be well on the way to feeling brave enough to show the world your makeup-free skin.
Here are a few important beauty habits to ensure you’re starting off right…
Look Out For Number One: Your Skin’s Barrier Function
When it comes to healthy, comfortable skin that’s hydrated, moisturized, supple and strong, your barrier function is everything. The barrier function is basically your skin’s security blanket, holding onto vital moisture, stopping potential irritants from passing through and providing protection for everything that lies within. When this protective layer gets compromised or damaged, your skin can become dehydrated, weak and easily irritated. And it won’t look good either – furnishing you with all manner of issues from redness and flaky skin through to breakouts and dullness.
The good news is that, while your barrier function naturally weakens with age, there are plenty of ways to keep it as strong and healthy as possible. First up, you must avoid overdoing ingredients that can unbalance your skin’s pH. This includes harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (a big no-no from us!) and strong exfoliating acids. Of course, exfoliation is great – just don’t overdo it. Remember, gentle skincare is key.
Sun protection is also paramount. UV radiation is a killer on your barrier function, not to mention all those damaging free radicals the sun produces deeper down in your skin’s dermis. Get ahead of the game by applying SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C to your face and neck every day without fail. Because damage limitation and all that.
Be More Hands On
Bright, radiant skin – minus the help of illuminating primers or dewy foundation – is no mean feat. But it’s not impossible. And one of our favorite ways to get more glowy is to embrace a bit of facial massage. Whether you use your hands or a facial tool like a jade roller, a few minutes of gentle kneading is a great way to boost blood flow to the surface of the skin, simultaneously bringing essential nutrients to the table while draining away toxins and excess fluids.
We like to massage our skin first thing, during our morning cleansing routine, but if mornings are a bit of a rush for you, you can also practice it in the evenings, after applying facial oil or your favorite serum (we’re all over Peptide Facial Serum right now). Just remember to use upward motions to help lift your skin, working from the center of your face out towards the hairline. It may sound simple, but it’s amazing what this small and relatively quick habit can do for the brightness of your skin.
Don't Underestimate The Power Of Vitamin C
While we’re on the subject of skin brightening, let’s talk about vitamin C. One of the most powerful ingredients for improving radiance, vitamin C is an absolute must for anyone wanting to enhance their skin and prepare it for a makeup-free future.
Topical vitamin C is a clinically-proven ingredient that works hard to protect, brighten, strengthen and rejuvenate dull skin. It sometimes gets bad press by skincare cynics because pure vitamin C can be irritating, is highly acidic and easily breaks down on contact with your skin. So hold on, why’s it so great, then? Well, there are many different variations of vitamin C and some derivatives hold all the power. Our favorite is sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) which, in our humble opinion, is far superior to the pure stuff (l-ascorbic acid).
SAP is a salt version of pure vitamin C and, although it’s more gentle, is no less effective when you used consistently and with a little patience. It’s also more stable when it comes into contact with light, air and water which means it maintains its potency for way longer. Win-win.
Not only does vitamin C rev up your glow and inhibit melanin production, but it’s also a potent antioxidant, fighting off free radical damage and minimizing the visible signs of premature aging such as dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. Try our fan-favorite Vitamin C Facial Serum coupled with Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser for a boost of vitamin C your skin will love.
Make Cooler Temperatures Your Friend
One thing skin hates (pesky sun aside), is hot water. Cleansing your skin with scorching water can irritate your barrier function, damage keratin and strip the surface of valuable oils and moisture, causing dryness and dehydration. At best, it’ll make your skin temporarily flushed. At worst, it'll feel super itchy, downright inflamed and could even cause tiny blood capillaries to burst leaving you with red spots under the surface of your skin.
Word is, never cleanse your skin in water that’s anything hotter than room temperature. Similarly, don’t stick your head under the shower if you like your showers on the side of boiling, either. Not sure what ‘room temperature’ really feels like? No problem, just run your water over the back of your hand and apply the Goldilocks principle – aiming for water that’s neither too hot nor too cold.
Colder temperatures can also be your skin’s best friend if you suffer with blotchy skin or bags under your eyes that you’re always trying to cover up with makeup. A couple of teaspoons kept in the fridge, for example, are genius for placing over tired eyes to help depuff and brighten. You could also keep your eye cream, face masks and jade roller in the fridge to help constrict the blood capillaries and calm redness on application.
Get Breakouts Under Control
Covering pimples and blackheads with makeup can often make things worse – especially if your foundation and concealer contain pore-clogging oils.
Instead of trying to solve acne with makeup, tackle them at their source by cleansing twice daily (as well as after exercising) with a gentle, balancing cleanser that clarifies your pores without stripping your skin of essential sebum. We love Tea Tree Super Cleanser+. After cleansing, apply a pore-refreshing toner that also helps exfoliate and regulate your skin (oh hi there Ocean Mineral Super Toner), then follow with Tea Tree Super Serum+ two or three times a week. Trust us, you’ll soon notice a big difference in the frequency and severity of your breakouts.
Now, just think how much money you're going to save on makeup going forward. Not to mention the extra time in bed you'll get back every morning...
Important Beauty Habits For Makeup-Free Skinread 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
Say hello to better skin… minus the hard work.
Hands up if you want to be furnished with 10 tips for better skin. Goes without saying, right? And what about if we tell you that every single one of the following skincare tips requires almost no effort on your behalf? Then we’ll just stop talking and get on with it, shall we?
1. Listen To Your Skin
Paying attention to your skin is super important. Sure, you might have oily skin, but as you age, sebum production slows down so the products you used five years ago won’t be the best idea for your current needs. Similarly, things like dehydration, dark spots, fine lines and hormonal breakouts can become more of a thing during certain times of the month or as your skin matures. Watch out for signs that your skin is asking for help. It’s much easier – and way more effective – to act sooner rather than later.
2. Use Fewer Products
This might sound kinda weird coming from a skincare company, but don’t buy every single product you can get your hands on and throw them at your skin all at once. Your skin does not need five treatment serums. It just doesn’t. Overloading your skin with tons of active ingredients is too much for most skin types and can make it irritated, red and downright sad. Instead, stick with a simple routine that includes the most important stuff – aka cleanser, toner (optional), an eye treatment, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen.
Also, if you're looking for a genius-like serum that feeds your skin with 11 plant-derived vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and almost everything else your skin needs, look no further than our new Multi-Vitamin Facial Serum.
3. Always Patch Test New Skincare
Buying a new product and diving in head first without a second thought for potential skin repercussions is never a good idea. In fact it’s a bad one. You should always patch test new formulations because you never know if there’s an ingredient in there that might react with your skin. This is especially important for products that contain potent, active ingredients like retinoids or exfoliating acids. Never has the phrase ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’ rung more true. And dealing with skin reactions after the event will cause you much more heartache in the long-term.
4. Layer Your Skincare Correctly
While we don’t recommend layering hundreds of products on top of each other (see #2, above!), the few you do use should always be applied in the correct order.
Of course, cleanser goes first, followed by toner but what’s next? We get that it can seem confusing, but the main rule is that your thinnest, more liquid-like products should always be applied first, before the more heavy-hitters. Otherwise, the thicker, heavier products will get in the way. This means that after toning comes serum, your eye treatment, moisturizer and then sunscreen. No matter how lightweight your sunscreen is, this always comes last.
5. Wear Sunscreen Inside, Outside & All Year Long
We say this a lot. And we will continue to do so. Because it’s the single, most important product you can use to protect your skin from the sun’s nasty UV rays.
The fact is simple: UV radiation is a beast and it causes premature aging, sunburn, and worst of all, skin cancer. It’s also present all year long, and can penetrate through clouds, windows, the lot. So while sunscreen might seem like an ‘extra’ step in your skincare routine, it’s not. It’s basic and it’s needed.
Get into the habit of making SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C the final step in your morning regime and sooner or later it will become the norm. And your skin will thank you for it. Majorly.
6. Find What Works… & Stick With It
Consistency is one of the most important words when it comes to your skincare routine. Of course, adapting the products you use to suit the seasons and your skin’s needs is essential, but once you find a regime that’s effective, try to stick to it. This not only helps prevent potential irritation but also allows your products to do the best job they can. Retinol, for example, is a very complex ingredient that needs to be applied regularly for a good few months before you’ll start to see results. Be patient, persistent and it’ll be well worth it.
7. Keep Your Hands Off Your Face
Touching your face is something we all do without really thinking about it. And this subconscious act might seem completely harmless but, no matter how often you wash your hands, there’ll always be bacteria, oils and other debris lurking on them. Now ask us this: do you really want to transfer all that nasty stuff to the delicate skin on your face? Especially knowing that it can trigger breakouts?
8. Go To Bed Earlier
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason: getting your zzzs every night is up there with sun protection and good cleansing as one of the most important ways to boost the health of your skin.
When you’re asleep blood flow to the skin increases which nourishes it with valuable nutrients; cell turnover accelerates to bring fresh, healthy skin cells to the surface, and collagen production revs up big time. All good stuff, we think you’ll agree. Not only that but when you DON’T get enough sleep, stress hormones kick in which wreck the skin’s ability to heal and regenerate. Disaster.
Try to go to bed at a decent hour every night to get your eight hours in and ensure you start the night off right by cleansing and treating your skin before turning in. We love Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream.
9. Moisturize While Your Skin Is Damp
We know you'll have heard this one before. But do you actually put it into practice?… Probably not. Well, let’s start from hereon in shall we? After all, dampness on the surface of your skin is free moisture – and your skin can never have enough of that.
10. Clean Your Makeup Brushes More Often
Just a couple of minutes is all it takes to gently shampoo your makeup brushes. But this swift habit can be vital for reducing breakouts as it keeps bacteria, sweat, oil and ‘old’ makeup out of your pores.
Really can’t be bothered to clean your entire brush collection every week? Fair enough, then at least do your foundation, blusher, bronzer or concealer brushes as they're the ones that are most likely to touch your skin.
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You can have all the will (and fancy products!) in the world, but without a consistent skincare routine, you might as well kiss healthy skin goodbye.
‘Routine.’ Granted, it’s not the most glamorous word in the world, but it’s probably one of the most important ones when it comes to the health of your skin. It’s all well and good arming yourself with bazillions of skincare products and all the beauty knowhow you can lay your hands on, but if you’re not consistently nailing the important basics through a carefully thought-out daily routine, then the rest is basically pointless.
Great skin is something we all dream of. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but if we can help it to be, look and feel its absolute best then we’re happy. Great skin doesn’t just happen, however. It requires work and care. It needs to be protected from the grinds of everyday life (yes, we’re talking to you sunshine, pollution, stress and so on), and it needs to be kept clean, hydrated, balanced and moisturized. After all, if you neglect your skin and the damage is already done, it’s almost impossible to reverse it.
According to the Oxford English dictionary, the definition of routine is ‘a sequence of actions regularly followed.’ Sound pretty simple, right? Then let’s have a look at how to build an awesome skincare routine that a) you can stick to and b) is effective…
The Importance Of WHAT You Put On Your Skin… And HOW!
While we believe the best daily routine includes cleanser, toner, eye cream, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen, ultimately, there are only three steps your skin genuinely ‘needs.’ One is cleanser; two is moisturizer and three is sun protection. Of course, the old skool routine was to cleanse, tone and moisturize but we’ve since realized that skin can probably survive without toner… but it’s much more damaging to go without sunscreen.
Don’t get us wrong, we would never dismiss all those other products that work super hard to amp up your routine and target specific concerns like dark spots, fine lines and dark under eye circles. However, when it comes down to the fundamental basics, cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen are everything.
Cleansing is the start of your routine, and choosing the right formulation is worth its weight in gold. Dermatologists recommend cleansing your skin twice daily (plus after exercising), using gentle formulations that are free of harsh, potent chemicals that can upset your barrier function. Certain alcohols like alcohol denat are best avoided as are sulfates and parabens that can irritate your skin and suck all the important oils from the surface. Instead, stick with gentle, non-abrasive products for daily use – whatever your skin type.
When you cleanse, take a few minutes to massage the product into your skin with your hands. This will help blood flow and lymphatic drainage to really up your glow factor. Oh, and don’t forget that hot water is the enemy. Use lukewarm water only, rinsing well and then gently patting with a clean, cotton towel.
No matter what comes between your cleanser and moisturizer, this important step can make or break your routine. And consequently the state of your skin. Go too bold with thick, heavy ingredients that are too rich and you could break out lightning fast. Similarly, if your moisturizer is too light your skin can end up feeling super dry and dehydrated.
The key is to find a moisturizer that works in complete harmony with your skin type. Moisturizers need to have two main components: humectants which draw in water to hydrate the skin, and emollients or occlusives that lock in hydration and leave a certain smoothness to the skin. Oily or combination skin types should avoid occlusives like cocoa butter and coconut oil as these create a protective layer on the skin’s surface which blocks the pores. But other than that, it’s fair game. Humectants like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and glycerin? Incredible… and very important for all skin types. Emollients like jojoba oil and vitamin E? Ditto.
To get the most from your moisturizer, smooth it all over your skin in upwards strokes to lift and firm your complexion. You could also apply it when your skin is still a little damp to lock in hydration.
We get bored of hearing ourselves bang on about sunscreen, but until it becomes the norm for everyone to apply it on the reg, we will continue. Why is sunscreen so important? Because it not only protects your skin from the perils of premature aging, but it also reduces your chances of developing skin cancer.
The sun is present all year long, and its harmful UV rays are also around every day, doing the best they can to damage your collagen, ruin your elastin and screw up your DNA. This is why sunscreen is mega important every day (not just on the beach!), and on every area of exposed skin. To ensure you get good protection from both UVA and UVB radiation, look for broad-spectrum formulations that have an SPF of at least 30 – that’s the sweet spot most derms recommend. Apply around a nickel-sized amount to ensure you get the right amount of protection.
The Importance Of WHEN You Apply Your Skincare
A good skincare routine isn’t just about knowing which products to use, you also need to know how and when to apply them.
Sunscreen obviously isn’t required before bed. Because that would be pointless. And certain retinol products, strong actives or exfoliants might only be necessary a couple of times a week. But the rest of your routine should be carried out morning and night, unless otherwise stated on the label.
Then, it’s all about getting your order right. Obviously you should cleanse first, before toning, but then what? Well, if you’re using some kind of treatment serum for acne or pigmentation this should follow your toner. Next, would be an antioxidant serum like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or niacinamide, followed by your eye cream, moisturizer and face oil.
Sunscreen is vital every morning and, without question, always comes last because most formulations (and especially mineral sunscreens) are designed to sit on the surface of your skin. If you apply sunscreen before your serum, for example, it’ll block all those delicious ingredients from penetrating your skin and doing their job. Money. Down. The. Drain.
If this skincare layering order doesn’t stick in your head just remember that your thinnest product should be applied first, with the thickest, most dense product going last.
Finally, The Importance Of Being Patient… & Consistent
Expecting miracles from your skincare routine right from the off is setting yourself up for failure. Most products take time before they’re able to offer you the positive results you’re after. Retinol, for example, can take weeks, if not months before you really start to see the benefits, so be patient and stick with it.
Go to bed ten minutes earlier to give yourself the time to cleanse, treat and moisturize your skin before you turn in. Similarly, set your morning alarm five minutes earlier to ensure you have enough time (and therefore no excuses not!) to apply sunscreen.
Ensuring your routine becomes a habit is such an easy thing to do. And it's so worth it in the end.
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