Tag Archives: Skin Care Tips

Prevent Wrinkles On Your Chest and Neck

In “Gravity,” a video installation Michael Haussman, the artist, asked his subjects were to jump on a trampoline while he shot a video. He edited in post-production, steadying the subjects in the frame so that they appeared to stay still while their fat and muscles remained in motion, The result suggests a time-lapse aging, in which the subject’s body seems to age about thirty years in 15 seconds. It shows us how the aging process alters perception, changing the flawless to the flawed sometimes in a matter of very little time.

Woman smiling

Gravity: it’s skin’s biggest downfall, and causes even the most taught bodies to sag and wrinkle. However, while we can’t fight the gravity, we can fight the effects. Here are some ways to prevent wrinkles on the neck and chest.

Types of Wrinkles
With the aging process, you may begin to notice loose crepey skin and wrinkles on your chest and neck areas. Although some of this can be attributed to loss of collagen, environmental factors are largely to blame. According to AgingSkin.Net, 90-95% of all lines, wrinkles and discolorations are due to sun exposure.

While chest and neck wrinkles usually appear with age, “necklace lines,” characterized by horizontal lines on your neck can start in your twenties, or even as early as childhood. Loose and saggy skin is more often associated with age.

Reasons
There are several hypotheses as to the cause of aging on the neck and chest. One theory, suggested by Skintour.com, is that chest wrinkles are a result of sleeping position. Impression lines caused by sheets and blankets that faded quickly when you were young, may become a little less temporary as you age, due to loss of elasticity.

Treatment
Laser treatments, chemical peels and botox injections are all options for treating skin on the chest and neck. A study conducted by the Brazilian Center for Studies in Dermatology found that injecting Poly-L-Lactic acid or PLLA into the neck and chest could also improve the appearance of wrinkles. Adjusting your sleep position from your side to your back may be another option, as are breast pads and pillows.

Product
It is important to realize that most skin products are not just for your face. When you cleanse your face, be sure to include your neck, as should be the case with toners, moisturizers, masks, and scrubs. Look especially for skin care products containing antioxidants to fight damaging free radicals.

Moisturize
Never underestimate the power of a good moisturizer. Note that your neck and chest have fewer oil glands than your face, and are more prone to dryness and irritation. Moisturizers help maintain elasticity and plumpness for ease of mobility and a smoother appearance.

Sun Exposure
Protecting exposed skin from the sun is important to everyone, regardless of skin condition, Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, with 5 to 10 % titanium and zinc on law exposed skin, neck and chest included.

What do you do to prevent wrinkles on your neck and chest? Let us know!

Vitamin A Derivatives That Improve Skin Texture, Tone, and Color

As is the case with many of the best discoveries, the use of vitamin A as a wrinkle control agent happened largely by accident. It all began in the laboratories of Dr. Albert Kligman in the 1960’s when the controversial dermatologist began to experiment on prisoners with a vitamin A derivative called tretinoin as an acne treatment. Imagine the delight of the incarcerated men to discover not only the disappearance of their acne, but a noticeable decrease in wrinkles and smoother skin tones!

Woman applying vitamin A on her skin

Vitamin A and its derivatives have often been referred to as the “gold standard of skin care,” a paragon of excellence against which all other skin care products can be measured. If you are thinking of incorporating some vitamin A into your routine, here are some things you may want to know.

Retinoids
Retinoids are also known as the generic term for tretinoin, retin-A, or differin, and are available only by prescription. They are absorbed directly into the skin cells which makes them highly effective against hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and acne.

The downside of this miracle cream is its likelihood to cause skin irritation. Retinoids are often associated with redness and peeling and require adjustment to the dosage to combat these side effects. The key with these products is keeping the applied amount to a minimum. A pea-sized amount should be enough for the whole face, and a larger quantity is unnecessary.

Retinol
Retinol is vitamin A in its pure form and is an over the counter alternative to harsher retinoids. While the conversion to retinoic acid will decrease the potency of the retinol, it should still be effective enough to bring noticeable results. Although retinol may trigger minor irritation, side effects should generally subside over time as the skin grows more accustomed to the treatment.

Retinyl Palmitate
This combination of retinol and palmitic acid is one of the less effective vitamin A derivatives. While it does convert to retinoic acid, the process often takes so long that by the time it is completed, the product has lost most of its ability to affect the DNA of the cell. As a result, you would need a very high concentration of retinal palmitate to have significant effect, and most cosmetic companies who use it as a source of vitamin A usually do not put enough of it in their serums and creams to make a difference.
The bottom line: If retinyl palmitate is not combined with other vitamin A derivatives, it is almost useless.

Retinaldehyde
Retinaldehyde is a potent over the counter form of vitamin A which is commonly perceived to be the closest to retinoic acid without the irritating side effects. However, it is important to take note of content in your product. In order to be effective, a retinaldehyde concentration of 0.05% to 0.1% needs to be present. This is the equivalent of a 0.025 tretinoin. The biggest side effect of retinaldehyde will be the lightening of your purse. Most skin care products containing substantial amounts of the ingredient will be on the high-end side in price, so be prepared to pay for quality.

Other Advice
Be aware that vitamin A is not stable and tends to lose potency when it interacts with sunlight. Creams and serums are therefore best applied at night. Do not use a cleanser with retinoids, as the retinoids depend on contact with skin to achieve full benefit and should not be washed away. When purchasing retinoids, look for packaging that minimizes exposure to air and light which can affect the stability of the vitamin.

Let us know your choice when it comes to choosing Vitamin A derivatives. Which ones work best for you?

Spinach for Healthy Skin

It’s not easy being green. So how is it that spinach carries it off with such aplomb? Sure, spinach has had its defenders over the years, Popeye topping the list, not to mention culinary greats who used the green leafy vegetable to create such dishes as spinach soufflé, spinach lasagna, and countless versions of spinach salad. But, considering its unappetizing appearance, you could say spinach has done very well for itself. Besides being hailed for its high antioxidant and nutrient content, spinach is also receiving props for its ability to help maintain healthy skin. Here’s how you can use spinach to keep your skin smooth and radiant.

Bowl of green spinach

Nutritional Value
Spinach contains the antioxidant beta-carotene, which aids skin repair and slows cancer cells.

  • Vitamin A: One cup of cooked spinach contains 943 mcg of this vitamin, which is 105% of the daily recommended allowance, RDA, for men and 135% of the RDA for adult females.
  • Vitamin C: This antioxidant is crucial for skin cell repair and growth. Because vitamin C is not stored in the body, it must be provided by your daily diet. A cup of cooled spinach will give adult men 17.6 mg or 20% of the RDA of vitamin C, while it will give women 23%.
  • Iron: Iron is a component of hemoglobin, which is a protein found in red blood cells responsible for supplying oxygen to the tissues. You can find 6.5 mg of iron in a cup of cooked spinach which is equivalent to 81% of the RDA for men, and 36% of the RDA for women.
  • Magnesium: One cup of cooked spinach will provide you with 157mg magnesium, approximately 49% of the RDA for adult females and 37% for adult males. Magnesium is known for its ability to heal wounds and infections on the skin.

For Acne
Spinach can be used as a face mask or in juice from to help acne-prone skin. To make the mask, blend spinach and mix with water. Apply it to your face and let sit for about twenty minutes before rinsing. While making the juice requires a bit more effort, it is often the preferred method of obtaining the full benefits of the vegetable. Mix a half tomato with one carrot, one celery, a quarter of a cucumber, held a cup of cabbage, one green onion, half a red pepper, and a handful of spinach. Blend a drink daily.

Spinach juice

Anti-Aging
Spinach is a goldmine of antioxidants. Antioxidants are crucial for destroying damaging free radicals which cause premature aging. The regular consumption of this leafy green will help to slow down skin degeneration and make skin radiant.

Additionally, spinach has a high water content. One cup of cooked spinach provides 5 ounces of water to keep skin cells hydrated and is crucial to cell function. Spinach also contains iron and vitamin C to boost collagen synthesis. Collagen is a protein required for muscle and skin elasticity.

Skin Repair
The vitamin A in spinach helps to keep skin toned and smooth, while the vitamin C helps to rejuvenate skin cells. These vitamins, along with iron, also support collagen levels essential for skin repair.

Improves Complexion
Folate and vitamin K are both found in spinach and can reduce the prevalence of dry skin, acne, and stretch marks, minimizing bruising and dark circles. The high vitamin content in the leafy green can also relieve itchy, dry skin, leaving you a radiant complexion.

Mixed spinach

Experts recommend eating cooked spinach as opposed to raw for better nutrition digestion. Cooking spinach also eliminates the effects of oxalic acid, which interferes with the body’s absorption of calcium. Liquid forms of spinach are especially effective when combined with other vegetables.

Spinach Face Mask
To get the benefits of spinach for your skin, try this natural recipe:

Mix five or six fresh spinach leaves with 1 tablespoon of raw honey ( manuka honey is recommended.) Add two tablespoons of lemon juice. Dilute with water is your skin is sensitive to lemon. The mixture will be sticky. Apply mask to clean face. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Repeat for smooth skin tone.

Do you eat your spinach right down to the finish? If so, let us know how your skin is doing! We love to hear from you!

Transform Dull Pasty Skin

If you’re looking a little more zombie-like than you would prefer, here are some ways you can transform your dull and pasty skin into something a bit more life affirming.

Smiling woman 1. Exfoliate
When you exfoliate, your skin reflects more light. If you’re younger than 20, your skin cells rejuvenate ever 28 days, but by the time you hit for 20’s, turnover slows to between 30 and 40 days. According to Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, “Dead skin cells pile up, diffusing the light and making skin dull. ” Exfoliate at night rather than in the morning for best results and to remove all the dirt and grime buildup from the day.

2. Use a Highlighter
Makeup artist Mally Roncal says a champagne highlighter, “looks good on anyone.” For normal to dry skin, Roncal advises using your fingers for application. “Tap up and down your cheekbones and dab whatever’s leftover on your brow bones, the center of your chin, and the tip of your nose.” If your complexion is on the oily side, you may want to dust some powder formula over those areas with a fluffy brush.

3. Allover Body Glow
To get an all over body radiance, try botanical oils instead of lotion. The lipids found in botanical oils are the same ones that are in your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson recommends coconut oil. “It’s rich in fatty acids, so it gets absorbed really quickly and leaves behind a glow instead of a shine-it looks more like your skin is lit up than lotioned up.”
Roncal weighs in on the importance of an full body shine, saying, “if your face is radiant and your body is ashy, it can look jarring. Your glow will be much more believable if you highlight your body too. However, when it comes to your body, a tinted highlighter is preferable to an untinted, which is easier to blend, while still providing a healthy glow.

Woman exfoliating skin
4. Optimal Skin Care Tips
In addition to exfoliation, there are certain ingredients you should look for to give your skin that extra brilliance.

Ceramides
Although your skin has natural enzymes to slough off dead skin cells, they don’t work as well when your skin is dry. Moisturizers with ceramides can reinforce the natural barrier of your skin and help it to rejuvenate.

Retinoids
Frederic Brandt, dermatologist says, “Your skin reflects light even better when its firm.” He suggests an over the counter or prescription strength retinoid to boost production of collagen.

Vitamin C
Use this antioxidant to brighten skin and help fade dulling sun spots.

Best Exfoliators for Your Skin

For Fair, Dry, and Sensitive Skin
If your skin comes under one of these categories, you should probably go easy on the exfoliation. Your skin type is the type most likely to become irritated and prone to dryness and age spots. Dr. Brandt recommends a lactic peel once a week. Lactic acid is made of fairly large molecules, which doesn’t penetrate as deeply as harsher acids.

For Oily and Combination Skin
If you’ve got combination or oily skin, you require deeper exfoliation than other skin types. Brandt says a cleanser with salicylic acid used daily and a scrub with microbeads used once a weel are the ways to go. “The scrub sweeps aways dead cells so the salicylic acid can clean clogged pores,” he says.

For Normal Skin
Brandt says you should use a glycolic acid peel one a week if you’ve got normal skin. Says he, “it’s one of the most effective exfoliators because it penetrates deeply.”

What do you do when your glow is low? We want to know!

Helping Beauty Products Penetrate Your Skin

woman looking at herself in mirror
Last night, you tried out a new skin product. It seemed to go well; it felt nice going on, didn’t leave weird residue and even smelled kind of nice. Is it a keeper? To decide that, you need to know the answer to the nagging query, “Did penetration occur?” Skin products are often advertised as having active ingredients that penetrate your skin, but how can you tell for sure? Here are some of the things you need to know about penetration that your mother never told you.

Skin Penetration
In the cosmetic world, penetration refers to the ability of cosmetic ingredients to sink into the lower skin cells layers. However, with skin supplies, as in other cases (ahem), there are certain times in which penetration is desirable and others when it is not. On the cosmetic end, if a beauty supplier wants to improve the feel of the formula on the skin or product’s water resistance, he or she will want the product to penetrate.

However, other suppliers may claim that their products penetrate skin to make the “active ingredient’ more effective. In such instances, they may declare their products contain ingredients that interact with the metabolism of the skin cells, working skin wonders such as collagen production or even wrinkle removal. The truth of the matter is that, in the United States, any product affecting skin metabolism is considered a drug. If products existed that could actually accomplish these great feats, they would thus be considered drugs and subject to more extensive testing than they were given before they were marketed in the US.

woman applying skin care product

Enhancing Penetration
Despite the fact that legitimate claims of product penetration are for usually non -cosmetic reasons, there are certain times in which you do want the product to penetrate. If this is the case, you may want to consider following your application with an emulsifier or solvent.

Emulsifiers form “micelles” in a solution which can surround “active ingredients.” When applied to the skin, emulsifiers penetrate into the skin and bring whatever is inside the micelle within it. The ability of emulsifiers to penetrate increases when the emulsion’s particle size decreases, so micro-emulsions and nano-emulsions work best. Phosphatideylacholine is a good example of an excellent penetration ingredient.

Solvents, such as propylene glycol can also enhance penetration by shuttling soluble ingredients from the top layers of the skin into the deeper layers.

Keeping Safe
In practicing safe penetration, certain products are a no no. Cleanser penetration can lead to irritation of skin because cleansers are designed to be removed. In addition, cosmetics which are only designed to make superficial differences should not be allowed to penetrate to living skin cells where it can interfere with skin metabolism.

If you are considering trying out a new skin product in the next few days, we hope you know the ins and outs of penetration. Let us know how your experience went. We would love to hear from you.

Benefits of Adding Rosewater to Your Skincare Routine

woman using rose water
Every year in the second part of May, the Rose Water festival is held in the city of Kashan, the hub of the great Mohammadi Rose. At this time, about 80,000 tourists gather to watch the people of Iran participate in the picking and preparing of rosewater, an Iranian tradition dating back some 2,500 years. Is there anything this stuff doesn’t do?

Benefits of Rosewater
Here are just some of the amazing things rosewater can do for you.

  1. Using rosewater helps skin maintain a healthy pH balance, decreasing the effects of aging and controlling excessive oil.
  2. Rosewater’s anti ‘inflammatory properties can help reduce redness caused skin irritation and help to clear dermatitis, acne and eczema. Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, skincare expert, recommends rose water as a cleanser that aids in “removing oil and dirt accumulated in clogged pores.”
  3. Rose water can be used as a moisturizer, helping to hydrate and revitalize skin.
  4. Because of its antioxidant properties, rose water can strengthen skin cells and help to regenerate skin tissue.
  5. The antibacterial properties of rose water can be used to promote the healing of cuts, wounds, and scars.
  6. Rosewater can be a powerful astringent, helping to clean pores and tone skin. Apply after steaming for reduced redness and tightened capillaries.

Uses

  1. The spritz. Dehli based makeup artist Mrignaina Kumar ensures, “A great way to use rosewater is by spritzing it on your face. Rosewater can also be sprayed over makeup to work as a makeup setting product. Fill and empty spray bottle for a refreshing application. (This is what Behati Prinsloo was seen doing on the airplane trip on her way to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London!)
  2. The Cleanse. To make a cleanser suitable for all skin types, mix a few drops of glycerine to one tablespoon of rosewater and apply it to your face after washing.
  3. To Wake Up Tired Eyes and as a facial toner… To get instant puffy eye shrinkage, soak a cotton ball with chilled rose water and apply to affected area. Do the same to another cotton ball and apply to your skin to tighten pores and tone.
  4. To banish acne. Dr. Rahul Nagar, dermatologist, recommends this recipe for pimple banishment. “Mix 1 tbsp of rose water, apply it on skin and let it stay for 30 minutes. Wash with water and reap the benefits.”
  5. Makeup Remover. Hailed as “the best makeup remover ever,” try adding a few drops of coconut oil to rosewater for facial cleansing, It will do wonders to nourish your skin while getting rid of excess cosmetic residue.
  6. Untan. If you are looking to undo the effects of your last adventure in the sun, simply combine rosewater with lemon juice and two tbsp of gram flour to make a paste. Leave on skin for 15 minutes and watch your burn fade.
  7. For relaxation. Rosewater! Take me away! Mix almond oil with rose water for some extra bath time indulgence and stress relief.

Let us know how your rosewater experience went! We love to hear it!

How Dropping Temps Effect Eczema

Woman with skin issues

Late comedienne Gilda Radner was once quoted as saying, “I base my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch.” What may appear as a beautiful wool sweater to some, may take on a very different connotation when seem through the eyes of an eczema sufferer. With the cooler weather approaching, the potential for eczema flare-ups increases, and the wearing of warmer clothes in greater amounts is only part of the problem. Change in humidity, temperature, dry air, and central heating are other eczema symptoms can cause this season to turn into a eczema sufferer’s nightmare.

Margaret Cox, CEO of the National Eczema Society says, ” Eczema is individual and we all have different triggers and a change of temperature up and down is very common. Most of us find summer rather than winter worse, but there are others who are completely the opposite.”

What is Eczema?
Eczema is a condition affecting the barrier of the skin and causing abnormalities in the skin’s usual allergy and inflammatory responses. Itchiness is the main symptom, along with dry, itchy, red skin that tends to ooze or become crusty, thick and scaly. Because the skin of eczema patients produces fewer oils and fats, it can’t provide effective protection from irritants and bacteria, which makes everyday substances like detergents and soaps potential triggers for breakouts.

HOW TO PREVENT FLARE UPS 

Stay Cool
Dr. Cox says, “With eczema, the skin barrier isn’t working as it should. As well as protecting from allergens and irritations, the skin barrier is an important part of controlling the body temperature. People with eczema suffer from being too hot and when you get too hot, you itch and you scratch.” The best advice? Comfy clothes made of gentle fabric like cotton.

Keep Temperatures Constant
When the cooler weather comes, we face constant temperature change as we move from warm houses to the cold outdoors. “As the temperature drops, so does the humidity and, obviously for those of us with eczema, our skin is already lacking in natural moisturizing factors, so you’ve got a double whammy there.” Cox advises avoiding the “double whammy” by wearing layers that can be removed or added to keep your temperature level.

Woman holding moisturizer

Moisturize
Dr. Cox advises reevaluating your moisturizing routine. She says, “Consider how you’re using your medical moisturizers and emollients. It may be that during the winter months if your skin is drying more you need to use something heavy duty or moisturize more frequently. The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) suggest washing with moisturizer instead of soap and avoiding bubble baths, detergents and shower gels. The association recommends moisturizing three times daily applying a non-perfumed greasy moisturizer. To prevent contamination, you should not place your finger back in the jar of moisturizer after smoothing it on. Rather, remove the amount you will need with a spoon and set it aside.

Avoid Germs
The British Association of Dermatologists also warns that illness, viral, and bacterial infections are common eczema symptoms as well. Try to avoid coming into contact with germs or people who are infected.

Humidify
Central air systems can dry out the air in your home. Humidifiers can help compensate by bringing lost moisture back in the air. Keep the humidity level in your home to between 45 and 55 % to prevent skin from drying out. Clean the humidifier regularly to stop the grower of mold. Humidity above 55% may cause dust mites to grow.

If you are suffering from eczema, we hope this helps. Let us know how you handle your eczema when the temperature drops.

Healing Your Skin With Soybean Oil

soybeans with a bottle of soybean oil

With all the strange chemicals that can be found in skin care products, it’s nice to know that there are some natural components that can also be beneficial. Within the past 10 years, soybean oil has become more and more popular in its use in skin care products and its abilities to keep skin looking beautiful. Find out how to use soybean oil to your advantage and see what it can do for your skin.

Soybean oil is made up of small molecular structures that allow it to penetrate the top most layer of skin, the epidermis. From there, it nestles into your skin’s cellular structure, stimulating the synthesis of elastin, collagen and other proteins. This is key in cell growth, regeneration and the reversal of abnormal cell functions.

Soy is rich in essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, lecithin and antioxidants all of which can nourish your skin when applied topically.

  • Through its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E promotes regeneration and healing. It is useful for moisturizing skin, keeping it smooth and healthy.
  • Essential fatty acids help moisturize the collagen below the skin surface while lecithin maintains the elasticity of the skin, smoothing fine lines and preventing premature aging.
  • Soybean oil has an overall effect of correcting pigmentation brought about by hormonal changes and the damage caused by sun exposure. It can be effective at removing skin blemishes caused by acne.
  • The antioxidant properties in soy oil are great for improving skin as they protect skin cells from free radical damage, reducing aging effects and wrinkling.

Studies have proven the effectiveness of soybean oil on skin. A placebo controlled trial studied 65 women with moderate facial photodamage. At the end of a 12 week period, the results showed these women to have reduced blotchiness, dullness, and fine lines, and an improvement in overall skin tone, texture and appearance.

The oral administration of soybean oil may also be beneficial to the skin. A study was conducted involving 80 postmenopausal women who were given a placebo or two tablets containing soy extract as well as other beneficial extracts including those from grape seed, tomato, white tea, vitamins C and E, chamomile and zinc. The active group had significantly greater facial improvement, including a reduction of wrinkles, sagging, under eye circles, and mottled pigmentation, after a 3 and 6 months of treatment. Of course, the setback here is the inability to be able to single out soy as the specific contributor to these benefits as opposed to the other extracts.

The overall conclusion of the studies is that use of soy and soy extracts when applied topically seem to have scientific support. Preliminary studies on the impact of dietary soy and skin health show that there is justification for continued research in this area.

Soy should be used as a facial moisturizer only in its pure or organic form. It is mild and does not cause skin irritations. Although it contains estrogens, these are not the type that will go into your blood stream, it will simply help cells rejuvenate.

Have you used soybean oil for skin health? Are you happy with the results you’re getting? Please let us know in the comments section below.