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Advice for all of your skin care needs
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
We’ve always known our flagship Vitamin C Serum was a real champion, but with over 50,000 reviews on Amazon and counting, the nation is clearly in agreement. So, while we pat ourselves on the backs for creating such a well-loved skincare treatment, let’s take a look at what makes Vitamin C Serum such a key player in the quest for glowing, healthy skin…
Launched in the fall of 2013 and produced right here in the US, Vitamin C Serum was the first product to join the TruSkin Naturals family. Like all of our formulations, we wanted it to offer quality and results without unnecessary additives such as fragrance and stabilizers. And all of this without the super-luxe price tag.
Some might say we crushed it.
But why vitamin C? Well, it was simple, really. Vitamin C is one of the most well-researched ingredients in skincare, boldly going where few others dare to go. A powerful antioxidant, it’s known to help ward off free radicals that attack the skin from environmental and lifestyle aggressors such as pollution, UV, cigarette smoke, stress and a poor diet. By neutralizing these nasty free radicals, vitamin C is often harnessed in skincare to help prevent fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and poor texture.
And that’s just the beginning. Vitamin C, when used in the right form and concentration, also works hard to promote collagen production (that’s the stuff that gives your skin its plumpness, ICYMI), prevent sun damage, heck, it may even help fade acne scars.
There are many forms of topical vitamin C, including pure ascorbic acid, l-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. We plumped for sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) for our Vitamin C Serum, because it's a more stable and less irritating compound of pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid). This means SAP doesn’t degrade as quickly when exposed to light and air and we think you’ll agree, a stable, less irritating ingredient that is super-effective is much better than something vulnerable but so powerful it has the potential to make your skin flare up.
Another factor working in SAP’s favor is that it contains a salt molecule which helps preserve the vitamin, meaning we don’t have to combine it with other actives (cough, ferulic, cough, acid) to maintain its efficacy and stability. Ever wondered why your ferulic and vitamin C serum smells so bad? That’s all down to the ferulic acid. It’s gross. And we're not into that.
Instead of overpowering your sense of smell with unsavory ingredients, our Vitamin C Serum harnesses the powers of botanical hyaluronic acid, plus vitamin E and aloe vera to infuse your skin with essential nutrients and hydration. The result is a certified cruelty-free skincare treatment that consumers love for offering brighter, stronger, more healthy-looking skin with fewer breakouts, lines and dark spots as a bonus.
Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t…
“This product saved my skin,” explains one recent Amazon reviewer who used Vitamin C Serum to help her acne-prone skin.
“Omg. Guys, literally my face stopped flaring up within three days,” she adds.
Another 40 year-old reviewer agrees:
“My search for an amazing serum is finally over. My skin looks flawless and I have been getting so many compliments about how great I look… as if I just walked out of a spa treatment.”
We can’t thank you enough for loving our vitamin C treatment and making it the number one serum on Amazon. That's some accolade, right?
Just remember, this treatment is concentrated and very powerful, so as with any active product, always do a patch test before using it regularly to make sure your skin is up to the challenge. Simply apply a drop to a small area of clean skin either behind your ear or on the inside of your elbow and leave it for a minimum of 24 hours, preferably 48. Why this long? Because it takes time for your skin to react, that’s all. If, after this time, you see or feel no major reaction, then you should be good to go.
To use, apply between three and five drops to clean, dry skin, smoothing it over your face and neck in upwards motions. If your skin absorbs the serum in a flash, then add an extra drop; whereas if it feels sticky after applying, try to remember to use less next time. After applying, wait a few minutes, then follow with moisturizer. And don’t forget to finish with a broad-spectrum SPF30+ every morning, because vitamin C will help boost the overall effectiveness of your sunscreen.
Gosh, is there anything this stuff can’t do? Well, it won’t do the dishes or walk the dog, but still…
Lastly, if you decide our Vitamin C Serum isn’t a good fit, we offer a 90-day money-back refund, no questions asked.
Because service is just as important to us as skincare.
Now, where's the Moët...
DYK, TruSkin Vitamin C Serum Is Knocking It Out Of The Park?read more
If your skin is feeling a bit ‘meh’ but you’ve neither the time nor the energy to hit up your go-to skincare guru, it’s time to amp up your at-home facial skills.
Nothing beats the feeling of indulging your skin for an hour at the hands of a true professional. Whether you’re a chemical peel lover, a microdermabrasion fan or a lymphatic drainage facial kinda girl, having someone else dedicate their time to improving the quality and health of your skin? That’s priceless.
But if only things were that simple. Life, work, finances, even the world (here’s looking at you, Covid-19) can often get in the way of your monthly me-time. And that’s kind of annoying. The good news is there is something you can do about it… and all in the comfort of your own home. We’re not saying you can take the place of a truly qualified facialist, dermatologist or esthetician – far from it – but once a week, set aside some quality time out, then arm yourself with the right intel and some clinically-proven skincare products and it’s possible to recreate a spa-level facial in no time.
Step 1: Set The Mood
Slapping a sheet mask on your face while rushing around doing the laundry does not make for the most ideal moment of zen. And we know you know that, so why don’t you put it into practice? Ever been to see a beauty therapist only for her to stop half-way through your HydraFacial to check her Insta feed? Thought not.
So, to create the perfect setting for your at-home pampering sesh, make sure you treat it as if it were a true professional job. First up, put your phone away, set aside an hour and tell anyone you live with – roommates, S.O.s, family, whoever – to leave you alone. End of.
Next, choose some relaxing beats, light a candle or two, pop on a clean fluffy bathrobe, wash your hands (important) and get ready for the real deal. Better still, have a pre-facial soak in a warm, lavender oil-infused bath. Now, we’re talking.
And if this all sounds too much like frivolous nonsense, remember, it’s not. Setting the perfect scene is vital for helping you to relax, de-stress and give you the right frame of mind to concentrate on what matters: your complexion, not your chores.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
Step 2: Deep Cleanse
Clean, perfectly prepped skin is the only way to start, so choose a gentle cleanser that has your skin type written all over it. Not sure of your skin type? Then think about how it feels after you’ve cleansed and left your skin free of product or makeup for a few hours. If it feels greasy and looks shiny, it’s most probably oily, whereas if it feels tight, it’s dry. If it’s a bit of both, then it’s combination and if it’s neither one nor the other, then lucky you, you probably have normal skin.
Great cleansing takes a little time, so don’t just slap water and cleanser on your face then hope for the best. Instead, take a minute or two to massage your skin with the pads of your fingers as you work the cleanser into your face and neck. Focus on areas of excess oil or congestion, but be extra gentle around your eyes to avoid tugging the skin in this thin, delicate area.
All this takes a matter of minutes but will help boost circulation, remove toxins and give you the perfect canvas to continue to the next step.
Step 3: Let Off Steam
Back in grandma’s day, steaming was everything and while we love exciting new beauty tools and modern techniques, sometimes the old tricks are the best ones. Even better news? Steaming is something everybody can do, for literally zero dollars.
Steaming is one of the most beneficial skincare tricks for boosting circulation, softening the skin, opening your pores and loosening trapped oil and debris. The heat also makes you sweat, which further promotes a good clear-out of unwanted toxins. Just remember to leave the extractions to the pros to prevent damaging your skin. It’s honestly not worth it, people.
For the perfect steam, simply fill a sink or bowl with hot water, then cover your head with a towel and hover your face about 12 inches above the water for 10 minutes to trap the steam in. You could even add some fresh herbs, essential oils or tea to the water to help detoxify or soothe your skin. To finish, gently pat your face dry with a clean towel, then tone your skin to cool and whisk away all those impurities the steam has loosened from your pores.
Important note: super-hot temperatures cause the blood vessels in your skin to dilate which leads to redness and flushing. Therefore, if you suffer with dryness or sensitivities like eczema or rosacea you might want to give this step a miss.
Step 4: Time To Exfoliate
Ever had a facial that didn’t involve some kind of exfoliation? Us neither because little beats it for sloughing away dead skin cells and accelerating cell turnover – the key to a glowing, healthy complexion.
Don't get us wrong, physical exfoliators can be super-effective if they're gentle and avoid using nasty things like ground nutshells to scrub and often damage the skin. But here at TruSkin, we believe chemical exfoliators are superior.
Chemical exfoliators harness the power of active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) to ditch dead skin and encourage the fresh new stuff to take its place. Spend a couple of minutes after steaming to massage a gentle chemical exfoliant all over your face and this will really help leave it polished and clean.
Rushed for time? Then our Daily Super Toner, which contains glycolic acid (an AHA) will take care of business in seconds.
Step 5: Master A Mask
Now for the best bit when you can apply a face mask and become horizontal for 10 minutes (ssh, don’t tell your kids/roomie/lover).
Masks come in many different guises, so the only piece of advice we have here is to choose yours wisely, depending on your skin type or concerns, and avoid anything that’s brimming with alcohol or other skin irritants.
Clay and charcoal are awesome ingredients to look out for if you have oily or acne-prone skin as these are super-effective at detoxifying and cleaning out your pores. If you feel like your skin needs a serious hydration boost, however, try masks that contain vitamin E, B5 or aloe vera. And if you want to help reduce the signs of aging such as fine lines or pigmentation? Then go for mask that’s been formulated with antioxidants like vitamin C. It’s literally the best.
Step 6: Treat And Moisturize
The best way to finish any type of facial is with a carefully curated serum and moisturizer combo to lock in all that good work you’ve just done. You’ve got this, we’re confident of that, but to remind you, look for formulations that contain hyaluronic acid which is one of the most effective moisturizing ingredients out there and ideal for all skin types.
Your serum should be applied first, then leave it a minute or so (time to pour a glass of wine, maybe?) before applying moisturizer. Again, spend a few moments massaging your face and neck as you moisturize to help de-puff the skin while boosting circulation and collagen production. You could even invest in a jade facial roller if you’re feeling really fancy;)
And you're done.
The Spa-Level Facial You Can Crush At Homeread more
Testing a new beauty product before applying it all over your skin or hair can seem like a real chore. But tell us this: would you ever jump straight into a hot bath without dipping your toe in the water first? No chance. So, why are you on board with patch testing hair color, but not skincare? It’s definitely time to changed that…
We recently read a sad story about a young woman who used an at-home peeling solution for the first time and ended up with terrible blisters all over her chin. She performed what she thought was an adequate test by applying a little of the formulation to her cheek for five minutes. Then, because she felt no adverse reaction, she went for it.
Big mistake. Huge. She paid the price the next day with burning skin that turned into nasty red bumps. The following day, these bumps turned into blisters. The next day they continued to worsen. And for many weeks following.
This made us think, just how important proper patch testing is. And that most consumers know little about it, let alone the reasons why they should be doing it after purchasing any new skincare product.
So, here’s everything you need to know about how and why your skin can react to certain ingredients in skincare – and what you can do to avoid it.
The Truth About What Goes In Your Skincare
When it comes to skincare ingredients, manufacturers like us are very strict about testing everything that goes into our product formulas. We are, after all, responsible for ensuring every product is safe for consumer use when used correctly and according to its directions.
However, the worrying truth is that, other than color additives, cosmetic ingredients do not have to be tested or approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) before going to market. They’re regulated, yes, and there’s plenty of research and data online about how effective and safe most ingredients are, but the FDA has no authority over any cosmetic product you put on your face and body.
Due to the strength, power and concentration of our active, plant-based formulations, we take this very seriously and thoroughly test everything before including it in our products. But still, you can’t be sure every brand has the same high standards.
Red flag number one.
How Your Own Skin Comes Into Play
Another important thing to remember is that your skin is totally unique to you. So, while the latest influencer, glossy magazine beauty editor or Love Island star might get all the feels from a much-hyped skincare product, who’s to say that your skin will behave in the exact same way?
Similarly, you may think your skin is as strong as steel and can take anything you throw at it: retinol, vitamin C, glycolic acid, the works. Well, this might be true, but whether you have sensitive skin or not, there’s always the possibility of reacting to a certain active ingredient in skincare. And here’s the kicker. People can develop allergies at any time in their lives, so even if you’ve used an ingredient before, it may still cause your skin to flare-up at a later date.
Red flag number two.
So, What Can You Do To Prevent Skin Irritation?
First up it’s vital, we repeat vital to only ever buy products from brands you trust. Once you’ve got this in your head, you can then think in more detail about what your put on your face.
One of the biggest mistakes you could make is to overload your skin with countless products containing strong actives. Word of warning: unless these actives have been carefully combined into one treatment by a reputable manufacturer, or you’ve been prescribed a curated regimen by a board-certified skin expert, this is a bad idea. Instead, introduce active ingredients one at a time, giving yourself a few weeks to acclimate before starting another. You could also try an antioxidant such as vitamin E in the morning, then an AHA or retinol treatment at night to get the benefits of both while keeping them separate and reducing your chances of irritation.
Another trick is to check the labels before you buy a new product and try to avoid some of the most common irritants in skincare such as parabens, formaldehyde and sulfates.
The best way to avoid unwanted flare-ups, however, is to carry out a patch test first.
How To Perform A Patch Test At Home
Patch tests are a piece of cake. All you need to do is apply a small dot of your new product to a discreet patch of clean skin such as behind your ears, inside your elbow, on the side of your neck or on your wrist.
Skin can take up to 48 hours to react to a product or ingredient it doesn’t like, so you should ideally leave the product for at least 24 hours (preferably 48) before checking for a negative reaction. If you see or feel anything that doesn’t look right after this time such as redness, burning, swelling or itching, discontinue use and return it because something’s not right. And should symptoms continue or worsen, seek advice from a board-certified skincare expert.
Any mild reaction such as slight redness or tingling that occurs within the first hour of applying your product is fine – it’s the intention of most active ingredients, especially AHAs and BHAs, to work out the skin. This should settle down within 30-60 minutes, but if it continues or gets worse, rinse your skin immediately.
If you experience no adverse reactions over the 24-48 hour time period, you should be good to apply the product to your skin as instructed. But remember, those directions are there for a reason, so stick with them. To the letter.
What To Do If You Discover A Skin Allergy
If you’re concerned about a serious reaction and think you might have some kind of allergy such as contact dermatitis, make sure to book an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist or allergist. Chances are, you’re allergic to a certain ingredient which can be diagnosed through a more detailed type of patch testing.
Patch testing at the doctor’s office is a whole different ball game and involves having a number of small patches of allergens applied to the skin and observed for adverse reactions. During this test, your skin may be exposed to up to 30 different substances at once, so it’s a great way to eliminate certain chemicals and ingredients from both your skincare and household products.
Remember, knowledge is a powerful thing and can be a lifesaver for your skin.
Why Patch Testing Skincare Is Everythingread more
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Retinol opens up a whole world of confusion for some people. But when it comes to proven anti-aging skincare ingredients it gives us all the feels.
That’s why knowing what it is and, more importantly how to make it work for you, well, that knowledge is priceless. Not sure of the difference between retinol and retinoic acid? Wondering whether a topical retinoid is OK for your super-sensitive skin? Then get comfy, because we have all the answers to your most pressing questions, right here.
Q: First things first, what are retinoids?
A: Retinoids are active, topical forms of vitamin A that can be split into two camps: retinol and tretinoin.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found naturally in eggs, yellow and orange fruit and veggies, liver, fish, cheese and butter. It’s an essential part of a well-balanced diet and helps maintain healthy cell growth while boosting your vision and reproductive and immune systems.
The active form (the one that does all the good stuff) of vitamin A is called retinoic acid and its topical counterpart is called tretinoin. Tretinoin is a clever little prescription-only ingredient that delivers retinoic acid to the skin to stimulate healthy cell turnover for a glowing, more youthful complexion.
Retinol, meanwhile, is an over-the-counter, gentler version of tretinoin that biochemically does the same thing, but must be converted into retinoic acid by the skin before it can get to work. Studies have shown that retinol is 20 times less potent that tretinoin, but it’s considerably kinder on the complexion which why it’s every beauty editor’s/derm’s/celebrity’s favorite anti-aging ingredient.
Still confused? Then just remember this, retinol is the tortoise to tretinoin’s hare.
Q: What are the benefits of using a topical retinoid?
A: When absorbed by the skin, retinoic acid molecules attach themselves to the center of cells where genetic information is stored. Here, they trigger and activate certain genes to increase collagen production and stimulate the skin to turnover more efficiently. This not only helps soften, thicken and plump up the skin but offers no end of benefits for enlarged pores, acne, pigmentation and aging skin.
Research also shows that retinoids have powerful antioxidant properties, which is why many people call them the ultimate miracle-workers. We, on the other hand prefer not to subscribe to such bold promises. Let’s just say they’re up there with the most proven and effective skincare ingredients, shall we?
Q: So, does that mean tretinoin is better than retinol?
A: Yes and no. Tretinoin is only available on prescription and is often advised to patients who are serious about treating fine lines, wrinkles and discolorations. Derms and doctors see tretinoin as the gold standard of retinoids because it’s so pure, but it packs such a retinoic acid punch that it can be hard to tolerate – especially if you have sensitive skin.
This is why we truly believe that over-the-counter products are the cat’s whiskers. Retinol can be just as effective as tretinoin, as long as you shop wisely and are happy to play the long game. Derivatives of retinol such as retinyl palmitate, retinyl propionate, retinyl acetate and retinyl linoleate are super weak and, in our opinion, not worth it. But choose formulas that contain pure retinol and while visible results may take a little longer, you’ll see just as many benefits as you would from a tretinoin product.
Q: If I start using a retinoid regularly, how long will it be before I see improvements in my skin?
A: Tretinoin usually offers visible results at around the three month mark. Retinol, due to its gentler nature, however, may take up to six. The good thing is that retinoids are among the most highly researched ingredients in skincare and show proven, visible results. Unlike other headline-grabbing ingredients that promise the world but fail to deliver, retinoids have been tried and tested for decades. And they work. They just do. But patience is a virtue.
Q: What’s the best way to use topical retinoid?
A: Great question. Retinoids are best used at night because sunlight can deactivate vitamin A. Nighttime use is also advised to reduce any dryness and redness you may experience from the sun. Contrary to popular belief, retinoids themselves are not sun sensitizing, but they do thin the very top layer of your skin to help rid your complexion of pore-clogging dead skin cells. This is a good thing, but it also disrupts the natural protective barrier which is why you should apply it at night, then in the morning wear a daily, broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or above.
Another tip is to start slowly. Most derms agree you should begin with a low concentration of retinol such as 0.5-1.0 percent. Apply it to clean skin every other night to begin with, then as your skin acclimates you can up your application to every night. After a few months, you could also move up to a higher concentration as tolerated. And if your skin feels dry? Then feel free to layer your favorite moisturizer on top.
Q: Is it true you should never apply retinol to damp skin?
A: In a word, no. There’s no real evidence to suggest that applying retinol to damp or wet skin will intensify skin irritation. Nor will it render the ingredient more or less effective. More importantly, you should ensure your skin is clean and well prepped before applying your retinol product. Cleanse thoroughly and gently exfoliate any dry, flaky patches to make way for the fresh skin underneath. This helps the active ingredient penetrate your skin which actually reduces irritation.
Q: Speaking of which, my skin became really dry and irritated after introducing retinol into my skincare routine, should I stop?
A: Dryness, flaking and slight redness are part of what’s called the purging process, so don’t worry, this is very normal. Skin purging is just your skin reacting to the active retinol which accelerates the exfoliation process and promotes skin cells to turnover quicker than normal. This is great for the health, look and feel of your skin in the long run, but can temporarily exacerbate redness, irritation and scaling.
The good news, however, is these side-effects are temporary so try to push through them. There are also a few tricks to help you avoid them in the first place. First, slowly introduce retinol into your routine to allow your skin to adjust – and yes, once a week is OK. Then you can up the frequency by one day per week as your skin becomes more tolerant. If the irritation continues or gets worse, take your usage back down again and/or try a super-low concentration – we’re talking 0.5 or even 0.3 percent.
Still struggling? Then speak to a skincare expert because retinol might not be for you. There are plenty of other effective skincare ingredients that are more tolerable for sensitive skin like niacinamide, aloe vera or hyaluronic acid.
Q: Can I use retinol with other active skincare ingredients like vitamin C?
A: Combining active skincare ingredients can sometimes have disastrous effects if left in the wrong hands. But that is the key because if you know what you’re doing or better still, leave it to the experts, the results from ingredient cocktailing can be glorious.
Take retinol and vitamin C, for example. Studies have shown that, together, this little power couple offers visible benefits to aging skin such as an improvement in texture and tone, plus a notable reduction in photodamage – aka hyperpigmentation. Retinol and vitamin C are both proven antioxidants and work well to defend the skin against the damaging effects of the sun. We actually combine them with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide in our Vitamin C-Plus Super Serum for a potent, but surprisingly gentle fix of skin-loving actives.
As a side-note, retinol also combines well with AHAs and BHAs like glycolic and salicylic acids. In fact, like John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, they bring out the best in each other to increase turnover and leave you with healthy, glowing skin.
Q: At what age should I start regularly using a retinol product?
A: This depends on each individual because everyone’s skin ages at different rates based on their genes, lifestyle, diet and overall health. Someone living the high-life in the full California sun may find their skin ages at a much faster rate than someone of the same age living in less sunnier climes, for example. That being said, most experts agree that somewhere in your mid to late 20s is ideal, but you know your skin and it’s never too early (nor too late)…
Let’s Talk Retinol: Your Questions Answeredread more
Skincare can be full of potential allergens, but fragrance, dyes and preservatives aren’t the only culprits. Turns out, plant and food allergies can also be triggered by related ingredients in your beauty products. The answer? Knowledge. Knowledge about your allergies and even more knowledge about what goes in every single one of your skincare formulations. Ready to take that on? Good, then let’s do this.
Anyone with sensitive skin appreciates how hard it is to find beauty products that don’t exacerbate redness, itching, irritation, break-outs or a combination of all the above. Even those of you with relatively normal skin have been there at some point, right? Applied that new ‘miracle’ cream only to discover that your skin is very much against something lurking in its ingredients list?
People with more serious skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea also know that diet is just as important (sometimes even more so) as what is applied to your skin. Anything from peanuts and tree nuts (think almonds, walnuts and macadamias), through to dairy and yeast can all cause unwanted flare-ups.
But the relationship between food, allergies and the skin doesn’t stop there. The truth is, if you have an allergy to a certain type of food, it may be mindful to not only avoid eating it, but to stay well away from it in your beauty products.
To understand more, let’s go back to basics for a minute…
What Is An Allergy?
According to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), more than 50 million Americans experience some kind of allergy each year and they can affect any person, at any age.
Allergies are caused by the immune system reacting to a foreign substance it doesn’t like. This foreign substance can be a certain pollen in the air, something you’ve eaten or even a particular metal, rubber or chemical you’ve touched. While this substance may be totally harmless to most people, if it creates a negative reaction in your body, it’s known as an allergen. Your immune system attacks allergens by releasing chemicals into the body called histamines which result in various symptoms from a mild skin rash through to more serious conditions like breathing difficulties and in severe cases, even death.
Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3
“Regarding possible allergens in cosmetics, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to know what you are sensitive to and how to avoid it,” recommends the FDA (US Food And Drug Administration). Sounds simple enough, right? Well, yes, it is – as long as you’re smart and get the professionals to do it for you, of course. Self-diagnosing allergies can be semi-successful, but it requires a process of elimination and that can take time and patience. So, your best bet is to get someone else to do the hard work for you.
Allergies to skincare ingredients like parabens, fragrance and formaldehyde are usually diagnosed through patch tests, but the most common way to diagnose a food or plant allergy, is with a skin test at the doctor’s office.
During a skin test, your doctor can test many different foodstuffs at the same time by placing small drops of liquid food extracts on the skin. Your skin is gently pricked or scratched to allow these potential allergens to penetrate the top layers, then you wait for a reaction – or not.
“Within 15 to 20 minutes, a raised bump with redness around it, similar to a mosquito bite, may appear. This test shows that you are sensitized to the food and are probably allergic to it,” explain experts at the ACAAI (American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology).
While you could be allergic to almost any food or plant, some of the most common allergens include:
- Milk and dairy products
- Tree nuts
Not sure who to turn to for help with your allergy diagnoses? No problem. The ACAAI can you help you find a board-certified allergist in your local area through its quick online search tool – check it out here.
Know Your Skincare – Inside Out
Once any food or plant allergies have been diagnosed, you can then work to eliminate the offending irritants from your diet. You may also need to avoid certain indoor houseplants and/or start taking allergy medications before and during pollen season.
But what about your beauty routine? Well, here is where things can get a tad tricky.
First, it’s important to know your level of sensitivity and whether you have an actual allergy to something… or are simply intolerant.
To remind you, an allergy is when your body’s immune system attacks a foreign substance in your body, affecting any number of organs and resulting in various levels of severity. A food intolerance, on the other hand, usually only affects the digestive system, and in these cases, applying such food ingredients topically should cause you no harm. For example, it makes sense that if you’re severely allergic to milk, you should strictly avoid beauty products that contain milk in its various forms. But if you have a minor milk sensitivity or are lactose intolerant, you should be fine with topical, milk-based beauty products. That being said, we would always recommend seeing a skin specialist or allergist if you’re concerned.
If you do have a food or plant allergy, your next step is to know what’s inside your beauty products. The bad news is that unlike food companies, beauty manufacturers are not required by the FDA to highlight potential allergens on their labels. This is why reading the list of ingredients before buying or trying any new cosmetic product is imperative. As we said before, knowledge is key. And we’re not simply talking about looking for the word ‘corn’ if you have a corn allergy, because many byproducts of corn such as glycerin and starch are commonly found in cosmetics. The trick is to make sure you know your allergen inside out, including all of its potential byproducts, as well as their chemical and common names. Then you can be sure to avoid them hook, line and sinker. Granted, this is no mean feat, but it’s worth it for the sake of your skin – and your sanity ;)
Another important note: certain food and plants have similarities in their organic makeup. For example, if you’re allergic to ragweed, you may need to be wary of related ingredients like sage, dandelion and sunflowers in your skincare. Similarly if you can’t eat a certain berry, you might find you need to avoid all berries in your beauty products.
Again, this is not easy to figure out by yourself, so if you have a reaction to something and you're not sure why, stop using it immediately and seek advice from your allergist or skin expert.
Better safe than sorry, right?
Food Allergies And Skincare: Everything You Need To Knowread more
Start off your skincare routine with mediocre cleansing and you may as well haul the rest of your serums, moisturizers and sunscreen off to the trash. Dramatic? Maybe. But when it comes to cleansing your skin, we truly believe that only the best techniques and products will do.
The problem, however, is that while most of you know how important clean skin is to its look, feel and overall health, you’re not that bothered about how you get it clean. Right?
Take those devils called facial wipes, for example. As the third most wasteful product in the world, wipes are terrible for the environment – most are non-biodegradable and take up to 100 years to break down in landfill – and they’re not much better for your skin. While handy for camping, at festivals or when you need a quick freshen up before or after the gym, they often come brimming with chemicals, fragrance and preservatives. These nasties get smeared all over your face and neck, which alters the skin’s pH balance and goes on to cause various unwanted problems including excessive dryness, clogged pores, redness and irritation. Bad news all round, especially if you have sensitive skin.
We say avoid wipes at all costs. Instead, spend a little more time over your cleansing routine (don’t worry, a couple of minutes is all it takes) and your skin will really thank you for it. As will the world we live in. Win-win.
First, Choose The Best Cleanser For Your Skin Type
Our number one rule for choosing the best cleanser – no matter what your skin type or concerns are – is to go as gentle as possible. Contrary to popular belief, gentle doesn’t mean ineffective, just that it won’t damage the skin’s natural protective layer, suck up every last inch of sebum or upset your skin's pH balance. And even if your skin is super-oily, this is a good thing.
Here are a few other pointers, according to your skin type.Dry Skin
Look for soothing cleansers that contain humectants like panthenol, glycerin or hyaluronic acid. These all work to pull moisture from the air into the surface of the skin which helps reduce dryness and irritation.
Normal Or Combination Skin
Gentle formulations that help balance as you cleanse are perfect for normal or combination skin types as they help promote a healthy, all-over glow. You could also try upping your free radical fighting powers with a cleanser that contains antioxidants such as vitamins C and E.
Steer well clear of sulfates, parabens and alcohol as these will do nothing but exacerbate sensitivities and irritation. One of our favorite ingredients for sensitive skin is rose water, a great cleanser that helps heal, soothe and hydrate.Oily Or Acne-Prone Skin
If you suffer with excess oil, glycolic acid is an excellent ingredient as it works as a mild, follicular cleansing aid to stimulate collagen, boost cell renewal and tighten pores. We also love coconut charcoal for its unique ability to draw out impurities and balance the skin.
Next, Learn How To Cleanse Like A Pro
Spend time massaging your skin for a couple of minutes as you wash your face and you'll instantly boost circulation and help lymphatic drainage.
It’s really quite simple. Apply cleanser all over your face and neck, then use the pads of your fingers to work it into your skin. First, press your fingers into the brow area and slide them up to your forehead a few times. Next, concentrate on your cheeks, working from each side of your nose, out towards the hairline. Do this a few times, then continue with the same motion at around chin level. To finish, smooth your fingertips up your neck. Oh, and if you have specific areas of congestion around your nose, chin or forehead, don’t forget to give these a little extra attention, using light circular motions to massage as you cleanse.
One last thing: the skin around your eyes is thin and very delicate so don’t get too handsy with your massaging technique when it comes to the eye area. Instead, use soft rolling movements with your ring finger around the orbital bones and if you like to wear eye makeup on a daily basis, invest in a good eye makeup remover to avoid tugging and pulling the skin as you cleanse.
Finally, Try A Night-Time Double Cleanse
Like to sneak off to bed every now and again, without cleansing your skin? Well, you can stop that, right now. Just think about what your skin is subjected to throughout the day... Environmental pollutants, grime, oil and sweat all sit on your skin for the 15 hours or so while you’re awake. Then, when you throw makeup into the mix, which is often full of man-made chemicals, you’ve created a whole cocktail of ‘stuff’ lurking on your complexion, just waiting to cause problems.
This is why a thorough, pre-bedtime cleanse to remove all the dirt and debris that’s built up throughout the day is so important. As you sleep, your skin goes into full recharge mode, regenerating new skin cells and repairing environmental damage, but how can it do this efficiently when it’s dirty? Answer: it can’t. Instead, it’ll punish you with poor, rough texture; dull, dry skin; bags under your eyes, the works.
So, for a super-effective, but gentle night-time clean up job, try double cleansing.
Double cleansing can take on many forms but basically means cleaning your skin twice, using two different methods. Start with an oil-based cleanser, gentle exfoliator or cloth to remove makeup, sunscreen and other surface debris. Then go for a cream, gel or lotion to finish cleansing and treating your skin according to your skin type or concerns.
And now you’re ready for the next phases of your skincare routine: namely toning, treating, moisturizing and protecting.
Now, that wasn't too painful, was it?
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