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ACNE CARE

 

Hydroxy Acids (alpha –AHA and beta-BHA) are commonly used to treat acne. Salicylic Acid, the only BHA, has the ability to penetrate to the deeper skin layers, with minimal irritation, and is best used for blackhead, whiteheads and oil control. The AHA’s are used to exfoliate the skin, rid the pores of debris, bacteria and dead skin, but can unfortunately cause dryness and irritation. For sensitive or rosacea skin Mandelic Acid would be the best skin care choice. For a more aggressive treatment Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid can be used. Other top acne treatments include the antibacterial strength of Benzoyl Peroxide, so powerful, it helps blemishes go down quickly. Just make sure to use a non comedo-genic moisturizer with treatment to minimize dryness and provide the protection you need.

 

HYDRATORS
and MOISTURIZERS

 

When the skin is healthy and balanced, the top layer of skin should measure 20-30% in water content. This is what young skin has to keep it plump and firm – and this is what we lose rapidly as we age. By applying Hydrators (Humectants) topically they will draw water from the atmosphere and bind it within the skin. Hydrating means the actual replenishment of moisture or water to skin cells. Topical Hyaluronic Acid is an extremely effective humectant for rehydrating, smoothing and firming the skin. The catch is that the product MUST contain a minimum of 60% Hyaluronic Acid for the benefit of reversing aging topically. Many moisturizers these days are designed to be water-based, containing mostly water-binding ingredients. While oily, dry and sensitive skin types can and do benefit from topical hydrators, if your skin is very dry, it would be better to use two products, such as a hydrating toner or hydrating serum followed by a richer moisturizer. Generally, the drier your skin, the thicker the moisturizer you need as they can help banish dry patches, flakiness, fine lines and make your skin feel nice and smooth. Moisturizing is about creating an occlusive barrier to preserve the water we have in our skin and preventing water loss. Therefore, you should hydrate your skin first before you apply your moisturizing skincare products.

 CLEANSING & TONING

Skin Cleansing: Cleansing is perhaps one of the most important things we can do as it removes dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Without cleansing, your face will develop a build-up of materials that will make it dirty, oily and dull. Cleansing is particularly important for people with oily skin, as the oils will attract dirt and debris and can increase the risk of bacterial infections, leading to skin problems like acne. For sensitive skin, a non-abrasive, ultra-mild and fragrance free cleanser can effectively cleanse and remove makeup and debris without chemical irritants.

Skin Toning: Don't be tempted to skip this step -- toners remove residue, such as chlorine and minerals in tap water, restore your skin's natural pH levels which may have been altered during cleansing and helps skin retain moisture. There are many different types of toners; some restore hydration, others reduce bacteria and inflammation, and some leave a skin correcting-ingredient behind to restore it to a healthier state.

EXFOLIATING

Does your foundation make your skin look rough, dry or cakey? Few people realize that the top layer of your skin is entirely made up of dead skin cells that enhance imperfections or cakey looking makeup.  Exfoliation removes these dry dead skin cells and without regular exfoliation you can accumulate clogged pores, discoloration and aging – creating dull, lifeless looking skin.  Once or twice a week, you should exfoliate with an exfoliating facial wash which helps reveal the more luminous, younger looking skin beneath. If you have delicate or sensitive skin, twice a week might be too much and could cause some irritation. On the other hand, if you live in a warmer climate or your skin is naturally oily, you might have to exfoliate more than twice a week to remove a higher buildup of dead skin cells.

AGE DEFENSE

Retinoids have many published studies which shown the skin-saving effects of topical vitamin A derivatives (retinoid family) and its ability to increase collagen production (plumping your skin), speed up cell turnover (smoothing your complexion) and unclog pores (reducing breakouts). A prescription strength of Vitamin A from your doctor can provide the best benefits. However it can be extremely irritating to your skin and an over-the-counter Retinol may be a better choice.

AntiOxidants disable free radicals, the molecules generated by sun, pollution and other sources, which damage the DNA of healthy skin cells, leading to wrinkles, discoloration and possibly cancer. Studies have shown that topical Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C and E, and Green Tea offer great anti-aging benefits and a “mix of antioxidants” creates the best result!

Hyaluronic Acid is a terrific topical skin-plumping ingredient that draws a tremendous amount of water to the skin—about 1,000 times its weight! Rehydrating the skin counteracts the aging process as well as increases cell renewal. It is not irritating, won’t aggravate acne and is light enough to blend seamlessly with makeup. 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids are topical acids, often derived from fruit or milk sugars, which dissolve the "glue" between the complexion-dulling dead skin cells that accumulate with age, allowing them to be sloughed off, revealing fresh skin. Discoloration is minimized, skin feels smoother, and pores can look smaller. Overall, skin is more luminous and youthful!

SUN PROTECTION

 

More than 90 percent of these wrinkles, dark spots and crepiness attributed to aging, is caused by sun exposure. The UV filters in sunscreen absorb or scatter UV light before it can damage your skin; in effect, they stop aging. What to look for on the label: Broad-spectrum (meaning the product blocks both UVA and UVB rays)is important for everyday use. For days spent outdoors, also look for water-resistant (either for 40 or 80 minutes). You may prefer the silky texture of a chemical sunscreen, but a physical sunscreen (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) is less potentially irritating and now a good choice for every skin tone because micronized formulas don't look chalky. As well, physical sunscreens also absorb excess oil—helpful if you have shiny skin. Look for those high in zinc for the additional skin healing benefits for acne, rosacea and sensitive skin.

FOOD FOR YOUR FACE

 

While the effects of aging may appear unavoidable, a number of topical nutrients have been scientifically proven to slow down the damage and maintain a youthful appearance.

Blueberry Extract is both an anti-oxidant and anti-glycation ingredient that can delay the aging process. In one study, this aromatic supercharged fruit revealed that when 63 women, aged 45-61 years, applied a topical mixture daily for three months, 100% of the participants noted a significant improvement in their skin.

Pomegranate also provides enormous antioxidant support. Research has shown that when applied topically it can protect against the threats of UVA/UVB induced skin damage exposure, hyperpigmentation and collagen breakdown.

The next time you find yourself sipping a cup of tea, or drinking a glass of wine - it is helpful to know that the leaves of both aid to provide powerful antioxidants in the fruit and tea. Resveratrol found in grapes and flavonoids found in tea can provide significant benefit when both ingested or applied directly onto your skin. These high quality antioxidants can help counteract free radical damage and aging.