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True Radical Honesty From Our Community

  • A Focus On Vitamin E In Skincare
    Vitamin E is one of those skincare ingredients that’s been loved forever. A potent antioxidant and moisturizing master, here’s everything you need to know.

    Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for trying out new ingredients in our skincare routines. But oftentimes, the oldies are the best. Take, vitamin E, for example. Used for over 50 years in cosmetics, vitamin E offers a whole bunch of benefits to the skin and for us, it’s up there with vitamin C, hyaluronic acidretinol and, well, we could go on. But we won’t.

    We’re sure you already have a little vitamin E in your daily regime, but how well do you know this unassuming but revered skincare ingredient? Not well at all? Then allow us to introduce you to everything vitamin E has to offer.

    First Things First, What Is Vitamin E?

    Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that’s found naturally in your skin where it supports cell function and helps maintain the overall health of your skin. But guess what happens as you age? You’ll never gue… OK, you totally will because we know you’ve heard this one before. Yes, just like your natural levels of collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and all the other good stuff found in your skin, vitamin E depletes with time. Age is, for sure, a vicious, vicious beast.

    In better news, vitamin E can be found in various food sources including nuts, leafy green veggies, avocado, pumpkin, olive oil and sunflower oil, so try adding more of these into your diet to help keep your levels up.

    It’s also produced synthetically and formulated very successfully in skincare products such as serums, oils and creams which is music to the ears of dry or aging skin. There are around eight difference forms of vitamin E, but the most common ones you’ll see on the labels of your products are tocopherol, tocopheryl acetate and alpha-tocopheryl acetate.

    The Benefits Of Vitamin E In Skincare 

    1. Vitamin E Is A Highly Researched Antioxidant

    Its powerful antioxidant properties make vitamin E one of the best ingredients for fighting those bad guys known as free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms produced by the skin when you subject it to too much heat, light, pollution or other nasties such as alcohol and a poor diet. In order to stabilize themselves, free radicals snatch electrons from vital skin components such as DNA, connective tissue, collagen and elastin, which damages them and accelerates premature skin aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, discoloration, the works. This is why we hate free radicals.

    Antioxidants, on the other hand, are clever little cookies which offer up electrons to free radicals while maintaining their own stability. This means all the good stuff in your skin gets left alone to care, support, protect and heal your skin while the antioxidants do the hard graft in fighting those pesky free radicals. As we said, clever.

    2. Vitamin E Helps Fight Sun Damage

    When it comes to fighting the damaging effects of that great big ball of fire in the sky, its antioxidant powers aren’t the only thing going in vitamin E’s favor. Studies also suggest that vitamin E has photoprotective properties. What does that mean, we hear you ask? Simple, photoprotection = sun protection.

    Anything that offers some kind of defense from UV damage comes under the photoprotection umbrella – think broad-rimmed hats, clothing and sunscreen. Oh, and vitamin E. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are partly to thank for its photoprotective qualities, but research shows that vitamin E can also absorb some of the energy from UV light, further preventing UV damage and helping reduce the likes of sun-induced dark spots (aka solar lentigines if you’re feeling fancy).

    One small problem: some forms of vitamin E lose their stability on the skin when exposed to UV light which means they become way less effective. Vitamin C, however helps it maintain its efficacy (and vice versa), so look for serums containing both vitamins C and E, and apply this underneath your broad-spectrum sunscreen for seriously potent protection. Sidenote: these two antioxidant powerhouses are also a great combination for brightening and strengthening the skin and can be found in our hugely popular Vitamin C Serum.

    TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

    3. It’s One Helluva Moisturizer

    Vitamin E has awesome emollient properties, meaning that when you apply it topically it helps fill in, repair and smooth the tiny cracks in your skin that are so often produced by dryness and dehydration. Sealing these cracks helps strengthen your skin’s natural protective barrier to reduce trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) – the process in which water evaporates from the surface of your skin. TEWL is so not what your skin wants in life, btw, so keeping it at an all-time low by protecting your skin’s barrier function is vital for retaining moisture and keeping your skin soft, supple and healthy.

    But that’s not all: vitamin E boasts humectant as well as emollient properties which means it not only seals in moisture, but draws more water into the surface of your skin – either from humidity in the air, or from deeper levels below the skin’s surface. We combine vitamin E with hyaluronic acid in our Hyaluronic Acid Serum for a real hit of moisture that’s perfect for most skin types.

    TruSkin Hyaluronic Acid Serum

    Is Vitamin E The Right Choice For Your Skin Type?

    The good news is vitamin E is tolerated by most people, but it’s a particularly great shout for normal, dry or aging skin. Pure vitamin E may cause reactions and/or breakouts if you have very sensitive, super-oily or acne-prone skin but the more diluted forms – which are what you’ll find in most skincare products – are generally very well tolerated.

    That being said, if you’re a vitamin E newbie, always start with a moisturizer rather than a serum to help reduce irritation. Moisturizers are made up of larger molecules than serums which means they absorb into the skin slightly more slowly. They’re also likely to contain a lower concentration of active ingredients making them less likely to cause flare-ups.

    Whatever product you choose, however, always perform a patch test on your skin before slathering it all over your face. Not sure how a patch test works? We can help with that, right here.




    A Focus On Vitamin E In Skincare
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  • 10 Reasons Why Niacinamide In Skincare Is Everything
    Niacinamide is one of the most effective skincare ingredients for improving the overall health of your skin. Retinol, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and friends all love to steal the limelight, but niacinamide is right up there and also deserves its fair share of attention. So, we're here to do just that...

    Otherwise known as nicotinamide, niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that’s found in many foods including meat, fish, poultry, beans, whole grains and green veggies. It’s an essential nutrient for your health and well-being, and plays a vital role in your diet by converting fats and sugars into energy. 

    As a topical treatment, niacinamide can also be used to treat a whole bunch of skin types and concerns, making it a total powerhouse in our minds. Here’s what we know about the water-soluble vitamin that’s having a big moment in skincare right now...

    1. One of our favorite things about niacinamide is that, along with vitamins C and E, it’s an effective antioxidant that works hard to help your skin neutralize free radicals. Not sure what free radicals are? In short, they’re highly reactive molecules that have unpaired electrons in their outer shells. Free radicals are produced in the skin when you over-expose it to things like light, heat and pollution, and in order to stabilize themselves they snatch electrons from other molecules such as DNA, collagen and elastin. This results in major damage to the skin through a process called oxidative stress.

    The good news, however, is that antioxidants are able to donate the odd electron to free radicals without losing stability. This means that skin damage is dramatically reduced and free radicals lose both the battle and the war.

    This is why antioxidants such as niacinamide are such an important part of your skincare routine.

    2. Niacinamide also has the power to increase the production of ceramides in the uppermost layers of the skin which helps maintain a strong, protective barrier and improves the overall resiliency of your skin.

    Ceramides make up over 50 percent of the skin’s composition making them pretty darn important. They're waxy lipids that work like glue to hold your skin together to help retain moisture and protect it from external factors like pollution and dry air. The problem is that ceramides become depleted with age – no surprise there, right? They also feel the hit from things like harsh skincare products and a poor diet.

    And this is where niacinamide comes to the rescue. Studies show that niacinamide can increase the biosynthesis of ceramides and various other lipids which makes it a super-effective ingredient for improving the moisture levels in your skin. By maintaining top notch hydration, it also helps reduce the visible signs of aging such as dryness, dehydration, fine lines and wrinkles. Win win.

    3. Great news for anyone concerned with aging around the eyes: niacinamide is a perfectly safe (and effective) treatment for the delicate skin around the eye area. It may even help improve crow’s feet, dark circles, dryness and sagging. That’ll be due to its clever way of boosting ceramide production.

    4. Acne-prone skin loves niacinamide and various research seen in the International Journal of Dermatology and The Dermatology Times proves it. How so? Because niacinamide has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it helps reduce unwanted redness, inflammation and swelling. Something acne-sufferers know a lot about.

    Patients with mild rosacea may also find relief from skincare containing niacinamide, but it’s always wise to speak to a derm beforehand if you’re concerned.

    5. Topical niacinamide is an effective ingredient for improving texture, regulating oil production and helping to reduce enlarged pores. This makes it perfect for oily or combination skin types because it works hard to balance the skin without stripping it of essential moisture and protection.

    6. Anyone with sensitive skin knows how tough it can be to find effective skincare that doesn’t cause your skin to breakout. Well, niacinamide could be just the ingredient you’re looking for...

    As antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients go, niacinamide is a bit of a dark horse. Unlike retinoids and vitamin C (which we love, btw, they’re just not for everyone), niacinamide is very well tolerated by almost all skin types. It can even help soothe and calm irritation caused by other ingredients or skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema. Just remember not to overuse it or it could have the reverse effect and exacerbate redness. So not what anyone wants.

    7. Speaking of other skincare ingredients, niacinamide is a great way to help reduce the drying effects of active ingredients like retinol and salicylic acid due to its innate ability to strengthen the skin and help prevent moisture loss. Our advice, however? Either stick with a retinol/AHA/BHA at night and apply your niacinamide formulation in the morning, or let the professionals do the ingredient cocktailing for you. This will help prevent any amateur mishaps from causing your skin to flare-up. 

    8. Niacinamide can be a good alternative for reducing hyperpigmentation if your skin is sensitive to stronger actives such as tretinoin. And similar to the cocktailing tricks mentioned above, it can also be combined with various brightening or lightening ingredients such as arbutin or kojic acid to help reduce sensitivities while targeting unwanted pigmentation. Neat, huh? 

    9. The New England Journal of Medicine has produced some interesting research on the effects of niacinamide on skin cancer. Namely that niacinamide, when taken orally, can potentially help prevent new non-melanoma skin cancers from developing on previous skin cancer patients.

    According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM), skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US and the annual cost of treating it is estimated to be in the tens of billions. Non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal-cell and squamous-cell carcinomas are primarily caused by over-exposure to UV radiation which is why wearing a daily, broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or above is so important. Because of the studies as mentioned above, many top derms also recommend a daily dose of oral niacinamide to patients with a high risk for non-melanoma skin cancers.

    10. There’s a lot going for niacinamide and very little reason to doubt it as an effective anti-aging, anti-inflammatory ingredient… with benefits. Obviously, it’s no miracle-worker, but then again, no skincare ingredient can completely turn back time and give you the baby-soft skin you were born with.

    And it’s always worth remembering that.




    10 Reasons Why Niacinamide In Skincare Is Everything
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  • Maskne: What It Is And How To Deal With It
    Are you suffering with flare-ups around your chin and cheeks? Chances are they’re all down to wearing a face mask for prolonged periods of time. The good news is we can help with that.

    The world in which we currently live has created so many challenges to our health it’s hard to keep up. But it doesn’t look like Covid-19 is going away any time soon and the impacts of this extremely complicated virus are very real. We’re not qualified to go too deep into this horrible disease, but what we can do is help with one issue that’s become a real struggle for many people: acne on the cheeks, chin and jawline that's caused by the constant mask-wearing we're faced with for the foreseeable future, otherwise known as maskne.

    What Is Maskne?

    Maskne is not a new phenomenon. Any healthcare worker can tell you that wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) 24/7 can cause nasty reactions on the skin. It’s just that you and we are not used to it and so, with the help of Instagram and Twitter, we’ve given it a new name;)
    The real medical term for maskne, however, is acne mechanica.
    Acne mechanica is a term given to localized acne spots caused by pressure, friction and/or continued rubbing against the skin. This stress irritates the hair follicles and results in a build-up of oil, dirt, sweat and bacteria. And there are no prizes for guessing what all those nasties end up doing to the skin. Breakouts galore.

    As well as healthcare workers, footballers often feel the brunt of acne mechanica across the tops of their backs and shoulders thanks to constantly wearing shoulder pads. Truck drivers may also suffer with it where their backs rub against their seats. And now, the nation is feeling their pain thanks to the necessity of wearing a face mask in public to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

    But friction isn’t the only cause of maskne. All that warm, moist breath creates a delicious environment for bacteria to breed on your skin. And when you couple this with the synthetic materials most masks are made of (yes, we’re talking to you nylon, rayon, polyester and acrylic)? Well, your skin stands literally no chance of fighting maskne.

    Actually, we take that back, because with a little know-how and some top notch skincare swag, you can totally win the maskne war. Here’s how…

    5 Ways To Prevent & Treat Maskne

    1. Keep Your Skin Clean And Moisturized

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the number one way to prevent mask-related skin irritations is to cleanse and moisturize your skin well and often.

    Keep some fragrance-free, biodegradable cleansing wipes in your purse for quick, on-the-go cleansing, and thoroughly wash your skin both morning and night with a gentle, non-pore clogging cleanser. We love our Charcoal Face Wash which contains activated coconut charcoal to absorb oil and balance your complexion, plus soothing aloe and antibacterial lavender.

    And word on the street is that you folks love it, too…

    “I noticed a big difference after using this for three days,” explains TruSkin customer, Liz Brown.
    “I had started breaking out in my mask area around my chin and jaw line. I’m 41 and was breaking out like a teenager. <But this> works great! I plan on keeping using this and even made a Facebook post telling all my family and friends,” she adds.

    Thanks Liz, we're so glad you love it as much as we do.

    TruSkin Charcoal Face Wash 

    For an effective clean, always wash your hands first, then massage the cleanser over your damp face and neck using the pads of your fingers to gently work it all over. Rinse thoroughly and gently pat dry with a clean towel.

    After cleansing, whatever other skincare serums and treatments you like to use and however oily your skin is, never forget to moisturize as this will not only strengthen your natural protective barrier, but will help reduce friction and irritation from your mask. Go for light, but effective moisturizers that contain humectants and emollients rather than heavy occlusive ingredients like butters and oils.

    2. Be Mask Savvy

    Having the right kind of mask to best protect yourself from Covid-19 is obviously the most important thing here and experts agree that those with at least two tightly woven layers of fabric are the most effective.

    To help reduce maskne, swap out masks made from synthetic fabric for 100 percent cotton. Cotton is lightweight, washable, breathable and allows moisture and heat to escape way more easily than its synthetic counterparts, so make sure you stock up on a few so you’re never without. Also, ensure your mask fits snugly, but comfortably, as this will offer further protection while reducing irritation at the same time.

    Another important piece of mask advice is to clean yours after each use and especially after exercising. This will help get rid of saliva, nasal secretions, dead skin cells and microbes from hanging around in your mask and doing their dirty deeds. Pop yours in the laundry regularly – using a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent – or hand wash it after every use using mild soap or shampoo.

    3. Skip The Heavy Makeup

    In an ideal sitch, we’d say go makeup-free whenever you need to wear your mask. But we know many of you would rather eat your own toenail clippings than venture into the outside world with no makeup on. Caking your skin in heavy foundation, however, will just exacerbate flare-ups, so try to go light and oil-free all the way.

    Tinted moisturizers are great if you like wearing a light dose of color to even out your skin tone, but if your skin craves more coverage, try mineral foundations. These are generally non-pore clogging so are perfect for oily or problematic skin types. They also protect your skin from the sun as an added bonus. Woot.

    4. Go Easy With Active Skincare Ingredients

    When your skin is irritated and sensitized its barrier function has been compromised. This means strong, active ingredients such as retinol, antioxidants, AHAs and BHAs could cause even further problems to the surface of your skin including redness, itching, dryness and peeling.

    To keep irritations to a minimum, curb your actives for a short while by applying them on a less frequent basis (perhaps every two or three days, rather than daily) or choosing gentler formulations that contain lower concentrations of active ingredients.

    Also, if your skin is really suffering, the AAD recommends sticking with what you know rather than introducing new, potentially irritating products into your daily routine.

    “To reduce skin problems, avoid trying harsh products such as chemical peels, exfoliants or retinoids for the first time,” recommends board-certified dermatologist Daniela Kroshinsky, MD, MPH, FAAD.

    5. Remember, No Touching

    Avoid transferring even more bacteria, dirt and oil to your skin by keeping your hands well away from your face. Yeah, yeah, we know your hands have probably never been so clean, but still, they have no place touching your skin. End of.

    Finally, if you’ve tried everything but your skin is still suffering, please don’t hesitate to contact a skincare professional for advice. It may be that your breakouts are being caused by something other than your face mask, but an expert will be able to diagnose this far better than you.

    Maskne: What It Is And How To Deal With It
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  • 5 Things You Need To Know About Vegan Skincare
    As we celebrate World Vegan Day on November 1, we thought you might like to know a bit more about what makes a beauty product truly vegan. 

    Skincare and cosmetics can be a confusing game sometimes. The words ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ often get thrown around without any true meaning, and phrases like ‘against animal testing’ can be super misleading. But if you live a vegan life (and record numbers of you are making that switch) we know you’ve got no time for such BS. That's why we’re here to take the guesswork out of the equation.

    Here’s what you need to know about going vegan with your beauty routine. And good news: it’s actually much simpler than you might think.

    1. What Does ‘Vegan Beauty’ Really Mean?

    Unlike other misleading terms used in cosmetics labelling, vegan beauty is relatively straight forward. It simply means that the formulation does not contain any kind of animal by-product or ingredient. Do you eat and live a vegan lifestyle? Then it makes sense to also avoid animal products in your beauty regime.

    2. But Hold On, Because Vegan Beauty Products Are Not Always Cruelty-Free

    One of the most common concerns about the beauty industry is animal testing. In China, animal testing is required by law, but we know that most of you agree it’s a horrific industry we must try to eradicate. Well, you may think that buying vegan skincare means you’re also buying cruelty-free – and this is exactly what it should mean – but sadly, this isn’t always the case. The truth is, unless it’s stated on the packaging, it’s possible a vegan product (or some of its ingredients) might have undergone animal testing at one point in its creation. We know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s the way it is.
    Thankfully, there’s an easy way to know what you’re letting yourselves in for. Simply look for the Leaping Bunny logo on your product label – the only internationally recognized symbol that guarantees no animal tests were used to formulate a product bearing its logo. We’re proud to say all TruSkin products are Leaping Bunny approved (*pats selves on backs).

    3. Vegan Skincare Is Not Necessarily Free Of Chemicals

    Again, you may be under the assumption that vegan products are completely natural and free of synthetic chemicals. Wrong. Yes, some vegan products use only plant-based formulations, but others are often combined with synthetically-produced ingredients. Of course, these ingredients won’t be derived from animal sources and the thing is, not all chemicals are bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. We source most of our ingredients from nature, but sometimes blend them with safe, synthetic substances such as carbomers to produce the best formulations, textures and results for your skin.

    4. What Are The Benefits Of Going Vegan With Your Beauty Routine?

    As well as the obvious benefits of being kinder to animals – especially if you go vegan and cruelty-free – a vegan beauty regime is much more caring for the world.
    According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), animal products are the key cause of environmental issues such as climate change and water depletion. Farmed animals must be fed substantial amounts of grain and water before being killed, processed, stored and transported. All of which accounts for a substantial amount of global water consumption, land use and greenhouse emissions.
    The production of plant-based ingredients, on the other hand, requires much less energy, land and water. Simple math.

    5. Common, Animal-Derived Ingredients To Look Out For

    OK, so what animal ingredients should you look out for in your beauty products? Well, that list is dang long so for a full run down, check out PETA’s comprehensive checklist. The most common ones to avoid, however, are carmine, collagen, gelatin, lanolin, squalene and stearic acid.
    Here are some of the facts:

    Carmine is a red pigment produced from crushing female cochineal beetles. According to PETA, 70,000 beetles are killed for just 1lb of carmine. It’s often used in cosmetics and shampoo.

    Collagen is a protein that’s produced naturally in the skin and hair. In skincare, it comes mostly from cows or fish, so look for plant-based collagen instead.

    Gelatin can be obtained from plants but is usually the result of boiling skin and bones from either cows or pigs. It sounds gross, but is often used as a thickening agent in skincare.

    Lanolin is almost always derived from sheep’s wool. It very softening and moisturizing so is commonly found in lip balm and hair products. Plant-based lanolin is worth looking out for, but it’s rare.

    Squalene is most often derived from shark liver oil, but good news: it’s becoming more and more rare as a skincare ingredient in the US. Instead, look for its plant-derived alternative, squalane (with an ‘a’ not an ‘e’) which is just as great for moisturizing dry skin.

    Stearic Acid is found in animal fats and often used in soaps, cleansers, creams and lotions to improve their texture and help moisturize your skin. Instead, look for vegan-alternatives such as those derived from palm oil, soy oil, cocoa butter and shea butter.
    Finally, let's talk a bit about bee by-products – the subject of much debate in the world of vegans. Bee by-products (including honey) are a complicated business which we’re not going to get into right now, but the truth is they’re never likely to be considered ‘officially’ vegan. Why do we mention them? Because all of our products are vegan-friendly apart from four that contain bee by-products: Retinol Serum, Retinol Moisturizer and Charcoal Face Wash which are formulated with propolis extract, and Eye Cream which contains beeswax.

    Propolis is an incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance that’s made from a combination of beeswax and tree sap. It has many healing and moisturizing benefits and is known to help reduce the unwanted bacteria that often leads to breakouts. Meanwhile, pure beeswax does all this while offering extra emollient qualities to help form a protective barrier over the skin to retain moisture and promote soft skin.

    According to The Vegan Society bee by-products are not strictly vegan-friendly, but many vegans eat honey and have no qualms using products containing beeswax and propolis. The debate continues...

    5 Things You Need To Know About Vegan Skincare
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  • Three Wicked Witches: A Halloween Tale of Witchcraft and Skincare

    It is the spookiest time of the year, which means it’s also time to tell scary stories. Gather around, and listen to this harrowing tale of witchcraft.

    Near a small town in the countryside, there lived in a forest cave a coven of witches. They were the three Wicked Witches of the Woods, and they were known throughout the land for their hideous appearances.

    There was the Wrinkly Witch, whose skin was marred all around with deep, terrible wrinkles and lines; the Withered Witch who had a complexion so dry she looked like she was covered with old worn leather; and the Waxy Witch, with skin so oily that people ran screaming at the mere sight of her.

    It was the night of Halloween, and the witches wanted to go and wreak mischief on the small town. There was just one problem - although they were wickedly proud of their terrible looks, it was clear already from afar that they were witches.

    What could they do to sneak into the town without alarming the unsuspecting townsfolk, they pondered. Then, the Waxy Witch came up with a dastardly plan!

    “Let’s brew a magical ointment in our cauldron that will give us the fairest skin in the land! Then we can waltz into the town without anyone stopping us,” she suggested. What a wicked, witchy scheme it was. And so, with an eerie cackle, the witches got to work.

    They conjured hellfire under their cauldron, and began to consider the ingredients they should add to their brew. But a spell of such power required more than the usual newt’s eye and bat’s bladder.


    A Dark Wash And Deep Black Seas

    Charcoal Cleanser

    For the first ingredient, the Withered Witch pulled out an ominous, black bottle of TruSkin Charcoal Face Wash.

    “This cleanser, black as the darkest night, contains reishi mushrooms, coconut charcoal, and astragalus root extract,” the Withered Witch explained to her sisters as she emptied the bottle into the cauldron. “It will absorb all impurities and clear the gunk from our pores. Our skin will be as fresh as a spring rain!”

    Ocean Mineral Daily Facial Super Toner

    All three shuddered at the thought of anything so clean, but these were the sacrifices they needed to make for their wicked plots.

    The Waxy Witch, determined to not be outdone by her friend, went to dig through her chests and bags. She rummaged through troll nail clippings and snake tongues until she triumphantly held up an old, dusty container of TruSkin Ocean ineral Daily Face Super Toner.

    “Yes, yes!” she cackled. “The minerals from the deepest, darkest ocean in this concoction will help all the other potions we’ll use absorb into our skins. It’s packed with other natural, herbal ingredients too that will give us a… Ugh, bright, healthy complexion, like marshmallow and witch hazel extract.”

    “That’s my favorite kind of hazel!” said the Withered Witch, clapping with excitement as the Super Toner was added to the cauldron.

    A Serum to Beat the Rest

    TruSkin Tea Tree Super Serum

    Watching her sisters work, the Wrinkly Witch tapped her foot in deep thought. She wondered what she could add to their brew that could help them bring about the most terrifying Halloween the townspeople had ever known.

    Then it hit her! Another witch had ages ago gifted her some TruSkin Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum. She rushed to her cabinet of magical implements and returned with the eerily blue bottle that seemed to almost glow in the dark cave.

    “Oh, this is the most powerful, concentrated serum we’ve ever used,” she hissed with malicious glee.

    “Even better than toad’s venom serum?” the Waxy Witch asked.

    “Much better! Its anti-aging tea tree extracts and salicylic acid will smooth out even my hideously lovely wrinkles and lines,” the Wrinkly Witch said with a sinister laugh. She poured the serum into the cauldron and turned to the Withered Witch.

    “Now we’ll need something to moisten our skin. Your face is so dry that anyone with eyes would know you’re a witch from miles away!”


    Perfecting the Spell

    TruSkin Retinol MoisturizerPeptide Eye GelThe Withered Witch flashed all of her three teeth in a mischievous grin and pulled out a tube of TruSkin Retinol Moisturizer.

    “Way ahead of you, sister,” she said as she squeezed the tube that was as green as her face. “This lotion holds vitamins, botanical acids, and shea butter that will moisturize even my withered skin!”

    The three wicked witches stared at their brew as it bubbled in the cauldron. It looked nice and evil, but they couldn’t help thinking that something was missing from the perfect witchy skincare recipe.

    Suddenly, the Waxy Witch got an idea. She went back to a chest and produced from it another black container.

    “Our eyes are all puffy and there are dark bags hanging under them. This TruSkin Eye Gel should take care of that,” she declared.

    “Yes, I’ve heard of it,” said the Wrinkly Witch, nodding as the gel was added to the cauldron. “Anyone using it will get smooth, bright eyes with no dark circles around them. It must be the botanical amino acids and cucumber hydrosol contained in the gel. It’s awfully un-witchy!”

    witches cauldron

    What Wicked Witchcraft!

    Finally, the witches’ terrible concoction was complete! All they needed to do was to speak the magical words to activate the brew. Evil laughter echoed in the cave as they recited the spell:

    “Cauldron bubble and bring trouble
    Upon the town and make it double!
    Licorice root and horsetail plant,
    Will our witchy skins enchant!
    Oils of herbs and flowers too,
    All have been added in our brew.
    Give us smooth skin and eyes so bright,
    Make us pretty this Halloween night!”

    With the spell cast upon the brew, they grabbed handfuls of the bewitched lotion and smeared it onto their faces. Like magic, the witches’ dry and terrible faces transformed into flawless visages!

    “Look at me!” exclaimed the Waxy Witch, gazing at herself in a smudged mirror. “Not a drop of oil on my face. I’m hideous!”

    “And my skin feels so fine and smooth,” the Withered Witch moaned, running her fingers down her cheeks. “What have we done? This is awful! Will we stay like this forever? We’ll be laughing stocks with all our fellow witches!”

    Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser

    “Worry not, sisters. I still have an ace up my sleeve!” the Wrinkly Witch, now without a line on her skin, said confidently. And indeed, from her sleeve she pulled out a bottle of TruSkin Vitamin C Face Cleanser.

    “This gently foaming cleanser will remove even the thickest make-up lickety-split! Once we’re done scaring the townspeople senseless, we’ll have our old witchy faces back.”

    And so, as shadows of bats flapped across the full moon leering in the black sky, the witches stole off into the night. What terrible tricks they played on that small town near the woods on that Halloween! But that, my friends, is a whole other story.

    DISCLAIMER: Unless you’re a wicked witch casting ominous spells, don’t pile on skincare products like you’re throwing them in a cauldron. TruSkin highly recommends always using our products according to label instructions.


    TruSkin Witches Cauldron Products
    Three Wicked Witches: A Halloween Tale of Witchcraft and Skincare
    read more
  • An Inside Scoop On Emollients, Humectants & Occlusives
    Flawlessly moisturized skin comes from so much more than a daily dose of hyaluronic acid (although we would never knock HA, of course). Here, we show you how to get your moisturizing routine just right with the perfect blend of emollients, humectants and occlusives.

    Skincare terms can be so darn mind-boggling, sometimes. And we get it. It’s enough to know your UVAs from your UVBs, let alone your GAGs from your NMFs. And don’t worry, we’re not going to bore you with too many acronyms today – let’s save those for another time. Instead, we’re here to talk about emollients, humectants and occlusives: the moisturizing masters of the skincare world, if you will.

    No idea what the heck these even are? Then you’ve come to the right place. 


    What Are Emollients?

    Emollients are lipids, butters or oils that help repair cracks in the skin caused by aging and environmental or lifestyle stressors such as UV radiation, pollution, a poor cleansing routine or even a bad diet. These all work together like a fine-tuned wrecking ball to destroy the levels of natural lipids in your skin, resulting in cracks, flakes and dryness. By sealing these cracks and smoothing the surface of your skin, emollients work to strengthen the skin’s natural protective layer, which in turn helps prevent trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) – the process in which water evaporates from the skin’s surface into the air. Keeping your levels of TEWL at an all-time low is what skin lives for.
    Emollients can be synthetic, plant-based or derived from sources such as alcohol, sheep’s wool or mineral oils. Plant-based emollients get our vote, every time.

    Effective Emollients To Look Out For

    Argan oil, coconut oil, colloidal oatmeal, isopropyl palmitate, jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, shea butter, squalane and sweet almond oil.

    TruSkin Vitamin C Daily Facial Moisturizer

    A Side-Note On Emollients

    Just to confuse matters, emollients can also refer to the types of products (lotions, creams and ointments) that contain emollient ingredients. Lotions contain mostly water with fewer emollients, while creams contain similar amounts of water and emollients, and ointments consist of mostly emollients in very little water. This makes ointments awesome for super-dry skin, but a poor choice for oily, combination or acne-prone complexions. Think about it ­– massive amounts of pore-clogging oil and congested skin? Not the best combo, right?


    What Are Humectants?

    While their raison d’être is very much the same as emollients – to keep the skin hydrated if you hadn’t cottoned on to that already – humectants work very differently. Rather than repairing the skin to seal in moisture, humectants attract water from their surroundings and draw it into the epidermis. If the air has enough humidity, humectants will pull water vapor from here, but they may draw it up from the underlying levels of your skin. They do this to moisturize the upper levels of your skin and reduce dryness, flakiness and cracking at the surface.

    Humectants also work to promote cell turnover by breaking down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. This process is called desquamation and it makes the dead stuff fall off to make way for fresher, healthier skin. Woot.

    Skin naturally contains humectants, but these levels drop as you age which is why skin becomes drier as you get older, and why including more humectants in your skincare becomes more important over time.

    Effective Humectants Look Out For

    Aloe, glycerin, glycolic acid, honey, hyaluronic acid (HA), lactic acid, panthenol, propylene glycol and urea.

    A Side-Note On Humectants

    Humectants are smart little cookies, but they can have the reverse effect on your skin if you don’t use them wisely. How so? Well, if you slather your skin only in humectants and expect the world you’ll be sorely disappointed, because in order to work to their best ability, humectants need to be sealed into your skin with emollient or occlusive ingredients. Otherwise all that moisture will just evaporate into thin air. Check out the label of your HA serum and if it doesn’t contain an emollient like aloe vera or jojoba oil in the ingredients list (ours does, BTW) make sure to always apply moisturizer over the top.

    TruSkin Hyaluronic Acid Serum



    What Are Occlusives?

    Just like emollients, occlusives don’t actually increase moisture levels, but rather work to create a physical barrier on the surface of your skin to protect it from external aggressors and help prevent moisture loss (there's that all-important TEWL, again). Some emollients, like cocoa and shea butters, have occlusive properties and may be referred to as occlusive emollients (just to confuse matters), but an emollient’s main function is to soften, whereas occlusives are all about sealing water in the skin. In short, most emollients have occlusive properties, but not all occlusives are emollients.

    Still with us? Good.

    Occlusives are generally a bad idea for oily or congested skin as they’re usually thick, waxy and heavy in texture meaning they're suckers for blocking your pores. They’re awesome at reducing irritation and restoring the skin barrier, however, so are extremely effective when applied to severely dry skin or to help concerns like eczema and psoriasis.

    Effective Occlusives Look Out For

    Allantoin, beeswax, carnauba wax, cocoa butter, dimethicone, lanolin, mineral oils, petrolatum, shea butter and silicone.

    A Side-Note On Occlusives

    When it comes to oily skin types avoiding occlusives, silicones are the exception to the rule. Unlike waxes and butters, silicones have large spaces between their molecules, which means oxygen and nutrients are still able to pass through them, but water can’t. This gives silicones great occlusive qualities, without clogging your pores and/or causing acne. Clever stuff.


    So, What’s Best For You?

    If we were to host a three-way moisturizing battle between humectants, emollients and occlusives, it would result in a dead heat. Sorry to be boring, but it really would because the truth is, not one of them is better than the rest.

    It figures, therefore, that the best moisturizing regime should include a combination of humectants to draw in moisture, emollients to smooth, and occlusives to seal all that goodness in. Those of you with normal, combination or oily skin types may find that emollients are enough to hold moisture into your skin, whereas dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin types often benefit from a thicker, heavier occlusive.
    But the thing is, as with all skincare, it’s a totally personal choice.

    An Inside Scoop On Emollients, Humectants & Occlusives
    read more

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