How To Layer Your Skincare

Have you ever purchased products from a salon and been left feeling completely overwhelmed, and totally unsure on how to use them and in what order? This is where the beauty of layering comes in handy. Layering skincare products and knowing when to apply them is crucial in achieving healthy, glowing skin.


What is skincare layering?

Skincare layering is the process of applying products in a specific sequence to get maximum benefit from the active ingredients, as well as having it work in synergy with the other products applied afterwards.

The correct order of skincare products

Here’s a guide to help you identify the correct order in which to layer your skincare products:

  1. Cleanser: a cleanser is used to clean the face of makeup or dirt. Its second purpose is to prepare the skin for absorption of other active ingredients later in the routine.
  2. Toner: a toner is used to remove any leftover makeup or oil that a cleanser may not have been able to remove entirely. It also balances the skins pH level so that it works optimally.
  3. Serum: serums are concentrated ingredients that often contain “actives”. Serums are used to target skin concerns, such as pigmentation, aging, or acne.
  4. Eye cream: the under-eye area on the face is an extremely delicate area, due to the skin being thin. Eye serums are great, as they help with signs of ageing, puffiness, or dark circles.
  5. Moisturizers: a moisturizer is done to ‘close the pot on the cooking’ – and in this sense, it encloses the active products that were applied to the skin, ensuring hydration and lack of premature product evaporation.
  6. Sunscreen: if you’re a regular here, you would’ve read in almost every blog now, my obsession with SPF. At the end of your skincare routine (but before applying makeup) always make sure you finish things off with a SPF. This is non-negotiable and helps prevent aging and skin cancer.

Common mistakes to avoid

While layering is very important, there are a few common mistakes to watch out for:

  • Over-layering: over layering can mean that too many products are working on the skin at one time, leaving it susceptible to irritation or damage. Only ever use the essentials, and if you want to introduce a new product, make sure its done slowly without bombarding the skin.
  • Incorrect order: using products in the wrong order can mean that their efficacy is reduced. Don’t put in all that hard work for nothing!
  • Skipping SPF: skipping SPF means that the skin has been left wide open for damage. Apply your SPF every single morning as your last step in your skincare routine.

Conclusion


By following a structured approach, you can enhance the effectiveness of your products, address multiple skin concerns at once, and maintain a healthy, radiant complexion. Remember, the key to successful skincare is not just the products you use, but how and when you use them!



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Why Oily Skins Still Need To Moisturize

In the world of skincare, there are five main skin types: dry, oily, combination, normal and mature. One of the easiest skin types to identify is an oily skin. Why? Well, that’s because an oily skin is one that supplies an excess amount of oil (or sebum) This can be presented as a ‘wet’ or shiny appearance on the face. Typically, this oiliness is localized to the T-Zone, which is the forehead, nose, and chin area. Typically, a skin type is developed from birth- so a genetic pass down from a family member. However, there are certain contributing factors that may also cause this, such as: hormones, stress, or mechanical damage (for example, over exfoliating and stripping the skins barrier)


Oil Vs Moisture

Now this is important – oil and hydration is different. Oil is, well oil. Whereas hydration is the water content in the skin. It is very possible to have an oily skin but be lacking water at the same time. I.e. An oily skin does not mean a hydrated skin.

Why Oily Skins Need To Moisturize

Our skin is clever. Without moisturizer, the skin becomes used to that lack of hydration, and ends up overcompensating by applying more oil as a defense mechanism to protect the skins barrier. But that over production of oil just means an increase in congestion in the pores, and potentially acne formation. With that said, the ultimate key is to ensure you are hydrating the skin, but without adding extra oil.

Moisturizers For Oily Skin

Instead of skipping moisturizer all together, oily skins need to opt for moisturizers that are non-comedogenic, lightweight, and that won’t clog the pores. Below is my favorite moisturizer as someone who suffers with oily, acne prone skin:


Conclusion

So, to conclude, just because a skin type is oily, it by no means excludes them from moisturizer. Remember, moisturizing is the basic foundation to ensuring our skin is healthy and functioning in synergy with the rest of our active products. Just make sure that you are using moisturizers that are oil free, and lightweight – your skin will thank you in the long run!

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Stretch Marks – Can We Fade Them?


Alright, let’s talk stretch marks! They’re those streaks on your skin that can pop up when things like puberty, pregnancy, or weight changes happen. No biggie, they’re totally normal, but we get it—they can mess with your confidence. So, can we really do anything to make them less noticeable? Let’s chat about it!

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks happen when your skin stretches too quickly, messing with the collagen production in the middle layer of your skin. This collagen breakdown leads to those lines we know as stretch marks. They start off as reddish or purplish lines and might fade over time to a lighter shade.

Treatments For Stretch Marks

So, how do you reduce them? Lots of products and treatments claim to work wonders, but it’s good to be skeptical and manage expectations. Here’s the breakdown on some common approaches:

  1. Topical Treatments: You’ve probably seen creams and oils with ingredients like retinoids and vitamin E promising to zap stretch marks. While they can help with skin hydration and elasticity, they might not work miracles for everyone.
  2. Medical Procedures: Dermatological procedures like laser therapy and microneedling aim to boost collagen and improve skin texture. They can be effective but might take multiple sessions and a chunk out of your wallet.
  3. Home Remedies: Natural remedies like aloe vera gel, or dry body brushing are popular DIY options. They can moisturize your skin and make it feel smoother, but don’t expect them to erase stretch marks completely.
  4. Healthy Habits: Eating right, staying hydrated, exercising, and taking care of your skin are always good ideas, regardless of having stretch marks. While they won’t magically make your stretch marks vanish, they can help prevent new ones and improve your overall skin health.

Managing Expectations

While treatments and lifestyle changes might help fade stretch marks, they probably won’t make them disappear entirely. Your skin type, genetics, and how old your stretch marks are all play a role. So, it’s a good idea to be realistic and chat with a dermatologist before diving into any treatment plan.

Conclusion

While there’s no magic fix for stretch marks, there are ways to make them less noticeable and boost your skin’s overall health. Whether you’re into creams, treatments, or just living your best life, remember to take it slow, be patient, and show your skin some love. After all, those stretch marks are just reminders of how amazing your body is!

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Caring For The Skin During Menopause

Menopause is a natural process that occurs in a woman’s body, typically in her 40s to early 50s, marking the end of menstruation and her reproductive years. During this transition, there is a significant decrease in estrogen levels, which can trigger various concerns on the skin. Lets delve deeper into this topic!


Common Skin Changes During Menopause

During Menopause a woman can experiences changes on their skin such as dryness, sensitivity, acne breakouts, loss of elasticity, skin thinning, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. These changes can be unsettling, but with the right skincare regimen and advice, their symptoms can be managed more effectively.

Ingredients for Menopausal Skin

Knowing what ingredients to use, and when to use them can be overwhelming for the skin during menopause. The most important thing to remember is to use products that are nourishing, and that aren’t going to strip your skin. Consider using ingredients such as:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Restores moisture and improves elasticity.
  • Azelaic Acid: Helps soothe the skin and reduce redness.
  • Vitamin B5 (Panthenol): Restores the skins barrier, improves hydration, and soothes sensitive, menopausal skin.

Acne-Fighting Ingredients

For menopausal skin prone to acne or congestion, products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help clean out pores and regulate oil secretion.

Pigmentation-Fighting Ingredients

Ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and arbutin are effective in combating pigmentation by inhibiting the production of pigment-producing cells. Start with lower strengths and gradually increase as needed.

Nutrition and Stress Management

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants supports skin health during menopause. Additionally, managing stress is essential, as it can worsen skin conditions. Incorporate calming activities such as yoga or light exercise to release “feel-good” hormones like endorphins, which positively impact menopausal skin.

Consulting a Dermatologist or Doctor

If you’ve tried the above tips and are still experiencing persistent or severe concerns, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a professional. They may recommend prescription-strength medication that cannot be purchased over the counter.


As you enter Menopausal territory, remember that you are not alone. With the right knowledge, tools, and support, you can embrace this new chapter in your life with confidence and understanding.

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PORES: Can They Be Made Smaller?

While pore sizes vary among individuals and can fluctuate depending on circumstances, it’s an undeniable fact that pore size cannot be altered indefinitely. Pores naturally exist within our skin, facilitating the passage of oil for hydration and allowing hair to protrude for aesthetic purposes—think of eyelashes enhancing our eyes. However, certain reasons and contributing factors underpin why some pores appear larger than others. Lets take a look below:


Factors Affecting Pore Size

  1. Genetics: Genetics largely determine pore size, with some individuals inheriting larger pores from family members.
  2. Age: As we age, the skin loses elasticity, causing pores to appear larger. Additionally, hormonal changes during adolescence can lead to increased oil production and larger pores.
  3. Sun Exposure: UV rays can cause a breakdown in collagen in our skin, making our skin ‘sag’- giving rise to larger looking pores.
  4. Lifestyle Habits: Poor skincare habits such as infrequent skin cleansing or not cleansing at all, can contribute to the accumulation of oil, dirt, and debris in the pores, making them appear larger.
  5. Skin Type: Individuals with oily or combination skin tend to have larger pores, as excess oil production can stretch the pores and make them more visible.

Ingredients To Reduce Pore Size

Several ingredients actively reduce pore size:

  1. Niacinamide: Found in serums, niacinamide helps reduce oil production, which can lead to a decrease in pore size.
  2. Retinoids: These vitamin A derivatives promote cell turnover and collagen production, leading to smoother, tighter skin and potentially reducing pore size.
  3. AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids): Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids found in toners can exfoliate the skin, remove dead skin cells, and temporarily reduce the appearance of pores.
  4. BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids): Salicylic acid, a common BHA, penetrates deep into the pores, unclogging them and reducing their size.

Professional Treatments For Pore Reduction

While the ingredients listed above can definitely help reduce the size of the pores, unfortunately, they are not a cure, and the pores will eventually go back to their original size once oil and dirt fill the pores again. For individuals wanting a more intensive approach, there are in-salon treatments available to help minimize the pore size:

  1. Chemical Peels: Deep or medium-level chemical peels exfoliate the skin, remove dead skin cells, and promote collagen production, leading to tighter, smoother skin and reduced pore size.
  2. Microneedling: This treatment involves using fine needles to create micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production and improving skin texture, which can reduce the appearance of pores.
  3. Laser Treatments: Various laser therapies, such as fractional laser therapy or intense pulsed light (IPL), can target the deeper layers of the skin, stimulating collagen production and tightening the skin, thereby reducing pore size.
  4. Microdermabrasion: This exfoliating treatment removes dead skin cells and debris, leading to a smoother complexion and a temporarily reduced pore size.

While pore size remains unalterable in the long term, actively embracing a diligent skincare routine and exploring professional treatments can effectively minimize their appearance. By understanding the factors influencing pore size and using effective skincare ingredients and treatments, individuals can achieve smoother, more refined-looking skin. Remember, consistency is key to maintaining results and promoting overall skin health.

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Top 5 habits for people with great skin

Having radiant, healthy-looking skin isn’t just about genetics; it’s about the repetitive habits that we cultivate in our lives and whether we choose to stick to them. Every task and every challenge is overcome by taking that first, initial step. And the same can be said for you – whether your concern is acne, pigmentation, or wrinkles, a lot can be achieved through habits. If you’ve ever wondered how some people effortlessly maintain healthy skin, it’s likely because they incorporated these 5 steps into their routine. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to achieve and maintain great skin:


1. Prioritize sun protection

This is, and forever will be, my number one tip. One of the most crucial habits for maintaining healthy skin is to protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sun exposure can lead to premature aging, dark spots, and skin cancer. Make sunscreen a non-negotiable part of your daily skincare routine, regardless of the weather or time of year. Opt for an SPF of 30 or higher and remember to reapply it every two hours.

2. Stay hydrated

Hydration is crucial for maintaining skin health and elasticity. Think of a sponge left on the side of the sink – the longer it’s left, the drier and more cracked it becomes. Once the sponge is wet, it regains its shape, elasticity, and plumpness. Well, the same happens to the skin. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and consider incorporating hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables into your diet. Additionally, using a moisturizer that suits your skin type can help lock in moisture and keep your skin soft and supple throughout the day.

3. Follow a consistent skincare routine

Follow a consistent skincare routine: Consistency is key when it comes to skin care. This means creating a routine that incorporates cleansing, toning, and moisturizing regularly. The products you use should be tailored to your skin type, and exfoliation should be done gently to resurface and renew the outer layer of the skin.

4. Get adequate sleep

Get adequate sleep: During sleep, our body repairs and regenerates its cells, including the skin cells. Not getting enough sleep (7-9 hours each night) can mean that the skin is not able to repair, leaving the skin dull, pale, and with dark undereye circles. If you struggle to sleep, practice breathing or meditation exercises before bed.

5. Manage stress

Chronic stress can lead to concerns such as dullness and oiliness, which can result in breakouts on the skin. Prioritizing stress-reducing activities such as yoga, walking, and socializing can help maintain a healthy complexion and reduce any skincare concerns from developing.


In conclusion, achieving great skin is within reach for anyone willing to adopt healthy habits and prioritize skincare. Remember, consistency is key, so stick to your skincare regimen and be patient; your skin will thank you in the long run.

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Vitamin C: Why The Skin Needs It

Welcome readers, to Vitamin C (and no, I’m not talking about that delicious smoothie from your local juicer) I’m talking about the powerhouse topical skincare ingredient, professionally known as L-ascorbic Acid.

As an acne sufferer my whole life, you can image the amount of ingredients I’ve gone through to help reduce the scarring, redness, and oiliness on my skin. Without a doubt, vitamin C is a constant, and one of my favorites in my routine. So, what exactly makes Vitamin C as great as I say? Let’s get straight into it!


BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C

Protection Against Free Radicals

“Free rad-What does that even mean?” Unfortunately, environmental stressors, such as UV radiation (sunlight) and pollution can damage our skin. These stressors generate little troublemakers, called Free Radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage our perfectly healthy cells, contributing to premature ageing, hyperpigmentation, and dullness. So then, how do we stop this? – enter Vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that fights off these free radicals and stops them from damaging the skin.

Brightens The Skin’s Complexion

Melanin, the pigment responsible for giving our skin its color, can sometimes work overtime and create too much pigment, resulting in hyperpigmentation on the skin. Believe it or not, Vitamin C works directly with the cells that produce melanin and aim to put a stop to this process. By reducing melanin production, the skins complexion is improved, revealing a more radiant, healthier looking skin.

Stimulates Collagen Production

Collagen is what keeps our skin looking young. But as we get older, our bodies make less of it, resulting in skin that looks saggy or wrinkled. Luckily, with regular use, vitamin c actually tells the skin to make more collagen, helping maintain the skins elasticity and firmness.

Protects Against UV Damage

While sunscreen will always be the main defense against sunlight, vitamin C acts as a supportive buddy. When used in conjunction with a sunscreen, Vitamin C enhances the protection against UVB Rays, which causing burning to the skin. So, incorporating Vitamin C into your morning routine will maximize the protection against the sun, keeping the skin healthy and strong.

Reduces Inflammation & Redness.

Regular use of Vitamin C can help calm redness, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Whether you’re like myself and battle with post-acne flare ups, or you have sensitivity from the sun, Vitamin C will work with your skin to promote healing and repair.

HOW TO USE IT IN YOUR ROUTINE

  1. Serums: apply a few drops in the morning, onto clean, dry skin. Don’t forget to use SPF after.
  2. Moisturizers: look for moisturizers with a Vitamin C infusion, or ones with an “added brightening boost”. This can be used morning and night.
  3. Masks: treat yourself weekly to a Vitamin C mask, whereby you leave it on for 10-15 minutes before washing it off.

In conclusion, not only does Vitamin C taste great, but it has a powerful effect on our skin. It fights off free radicals, improves the youthfulness of the skin and keeps our skin looking even, healthy and glowing!

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The Skin Barrier: Why It’s Essential For Healthy Skin

What, do you think, is the largest organ in the body? The heart, the lungs…

Wrong. The skin is the largest organ in the body! Just as we prioritize caring for vital internal organs, we should also give the utmost care and respect to our biggest organ – the skin.


What is the skin barrier?

Well, to start with, the skin is made up of three main layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, houses the skin barrier. This barrier acts as the first line of defense against external stimuli such as pollution, UV rays, and harsh weather. It also works to prevent unnecessary water loss from the skin. External stimuli can include harsh chemicals, strong ingredients, infections, and bacteria. The skin barrier functions like a knight in shining armor, ready to defend and protect the underlying layers of the skin

How do you know if your skin barrier is damaged?

Physically, a damaged skin barrier can present itself as flaking, redness, stinging, sensitivity, or acne breakouts. The causes of damage can vary. For instance, I have acne-prone skin, and it wasn’t until three years ago that I learned the importance of the skin barrier. Previously, I would aggressively treat my acne flare-ups with topical acids and retinols, which would excessively dry out my skin, leaving my skin barrier impaired and ruined for the following week.

Now that I understand the importance of the skin barrier, I have adopted a different approach to skincare. Instead of immediately resorting to acids and exfoliators, I now treat my acne with mild cleansers, hydrating and repairing moisturizers, and protect my skin from additional external irritants by applying SPF regularly. While my acne may not heal as quickly, I have noticed significant improvements in scarring, redness, and stinging…which in effect, makes the whole healing process shorter.

How do you keep your skin barrier healthy?

* Maintain moisture levels in the skin: Drink enough water and always apply a hydrating moisturizer.

* Don’t overuse active ingredients: Listen to your skin and only use what is necessary. Follow instructions regarding usage frequency and amount.

* Use barrier repairing ingredients: Incorporate ingredients such as Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Vitamin B5 (Panthenol), ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid, and squalene into your skincare routine.

* Choose mild cleansers: Alternate between foaming/exfoliating cleansers with gentler, milky/creamy cleansers.

* Apply SPF: Always apply sunscreen before leaving the house, regardless of the weather.


The takeaway from this blog is that without the skin barrier, our skin would be extremely vulnerable and susceptible to many serious concerns and disorders. Understanding its importance and adopting a routine that maximizes its duties, will ensure a healthy functioning skin barrier.

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Demystifying the Skin Cell Cycle: Understanding the Journey of Renewal

In the realm of skincare, the term “cell turnover” is frequently thrown around, but what exactly does it entail? At the core of healthy, radiant skin lies the fascinating process known as the skin cell cycle. This intricate journey of renewal is orchestrated by our body’s own biological mechanisms, continuously replenishing and rejuvenating the outermost layer of our skin. Join us as we delve into the depths of the skin cell cycle, demystifying its phases and uncovering the secrets to maintaining a vibrant complexion.

The Basics of Skin Cell Renewal:

Before we embark on our exploration of the skin cell cycle, let’s first grasp the fundamentals. Our skin is comprised of several layers, with the outermost layer, known as the epidermis, serving as our body’s frontline defense against external aggressors. Within the epidermis reside various types of cells, each playing a unique role in the skin’s function and renewal.

Phase 1: Birth and Differentiation (Basal Layer):

The journey of a skin cell begins in the basal layer of the epidermis, where stem cells reside. These remarkable cells possess the remarkable ability to divide and differentiate, giving rise to the diverse array of cells that populate the epidermis. As new cells are born, they undergo a process of specialization, transforming into keratinocytes, melanocytes, and other specialized cells essential for skin health.

Phase 2: Migration (Spinous Layer):

Once born, newly formed keratinocytes embark on a journey towards the skin’s surface. This migration occurs as cells move upwards through the layers of the epidermis, facilitated by intricate cellular signaling mechanisms. Along the way, keratinocytes undergo structural changes, acquiring the necessary components to fulfill their role in maintaining skin integrity and barrier function.

Phase 3: Maturation and Transformation (Granular Layer):

As keratinocytes continue their ascent, they enter the granular layer of the epidermis, where they undergo further maturation. During this phase, cells accumulate keratin proteins and lipids, essential for strengthening the skin barrier and preventing moisture loss. Additionally, specialized structures called lamellar bodies form within keratinocytes, aiding in the secretion of lipid-rich substances that contribute to skin hydration and protection.

Phase 4: Exfoliation and Shedding (Stratum Corneum):

At the culmination of their journey, keratinocytes reach the outermost layer of the epidermis, known as the stratum corneum. Here, they undergo a remarkable transformation, flattening and losing their nuclei to form a cohesive barrier of dead skin cells. Over time, these cells are shed from the skin’s surface in a process known as desquamation, making way for newly generated cells to take their place.

Maintaining Skin Cell Vitality:

While the skin cell cycle is a natural and continuous process, several factors can influence its efficiency and efficacy. Environmental stressors, hormonal fluctuations, and aging can all impact the rate of cell turnover, leading to concerns such as dullness, uneven texture, and signs of aging. Fortunately, a variety of skincare ingredients and practices can help support and optimize the skin cell cycle, promoting a healthy and vibrant complexion.

Conclusion:

In the intricate tapestry of skincare, the skin cell cycle stands as a cornerstone of cellular renewal and rejuvenation. By understanding the phases of this remarkable journey, we gain insight into the mechanisms that underpin skin health and vitality.


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