External skin care is important. However, there are times when you fail to observe a change in your skin, even when you’ve adopted a new skincare routine. Or tried out a new line of skincare products. If you feel like you’ve been doing everything right but still experiencing problems with your skin, it may boil down to your lifestyle. It’s perhaps time to review your lifestyle habits as these greatly impact your skin.

Here are a few common lifestyle factors that can affect our skin:

1. Nutrition Affects Your Lifestyle

“Der Mensch ist, was er ißt.”

– Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach

“Man is what he/she eats.” This usually refers to the correlation between our physical fitness and diet, but can apply to our physical appearance as well. If you have been keeping up with our previous posts (props to you), you should know that what goes on inside shows up on the outside. Skin health is not only dependent on your skincare routine but also what you eat.

The secret to healthy, glowing skin is simple. Since the skin is the largest organ and also the last to receive nutrients, eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients will ensure that it receives the nutrients it deserves!

Don’t forget to hydrate too! Not drinking enough every day may lead to dehydration which aggravates any current skin condition and also cause dry and flaky skin.

2. Stress Does, Too.

Ever noticed how whatever we experience in our life seems to show on our face? When we’re constantly stressed out, we can expect acne and dark eye circles. These dreaded symptoms are caused by the release of stress-related hormones. One of these that really wreaks havoc on our skin? Cortisol.

Cortisol is a natural hormone that helps the body deal with stress and is harmless in small amounts. It serves as a short-term coping mechanism. In excess, though? It exacerbates many skin issues such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. Stress can also compromise the skin’s barrier function, resulting in water loss. If our skin loses its ability to retain water, it becomes dehydrated, ultimately resulting in aging skin.

While stress is inevitable, there are some simple and effective ways to help our body and skin better deal with it.

Some ways include:

– Getting adequate, or plenty of sleep daily
– Try exercises such as yoga or meditation
– Exercise regularly
– Eat plenty of healthy foods and drink lots of water

3. Exercise… or Lack Thereof

The next time you’re working out (#fitspo #fitfam anyone?), remember that the benefits of exercise go beyond keeping you in shape or adding muscle tone. It also keeps your skin younger looking!

Increased blood flow during exercise helps flush cellular debris out of your skin. During exercise, the tiny arteries in your skin open up, allowing more blood to reach the skin’s surface and deliver nutrients. These repair damage from the sun and environmental pollutants, and rev up collagen production and plump up wrinkles.

Don’t let your efforts go to waste! If you prefer working out outdoors, ensure that you apply sunscreen as prolonged sun exposure can actually take away the benefits of the exercise.

4. Sleep

Not catching up them ZZZ’s can do a surprising number on your skin. When you deprive yourself of sleep, you’re actually depriving your brain, body and skin, of nourishment, as sleep can be seen as food for the body. With enough rest, your brain gets rid of 60% more toxins when you get the proper amount of sleep, and with proper rest, not only do you feel more refreshed when you get up, your skin also gets more #glowing in the morning.

The results of not getting enough rest include your skin getting dehydrated due to an imbalance of PH levels, dark circles and under eye-bags. Not getting enough sleep decreases the moisture levels of your skin and lowers your complexion’s pH levels, which why you maybe have noticed that your skin looks less glowy and youthful.


5. Habits

We all love a good cocktail now and then. However, most drinkers fail to realize how much alcohol can affect our health and skin.

Alcohol induces inflammation throughout your body (and skin, of course) and dehydration is just one booboo it causes. Dullness, enlarged pores, sagging, fine lines and lacklustre skin are some other symptoms that can result in the skin.

When taken excessively, it also alters blood flow to the skin and leaves an unhealthy appearance for days. This is caused by the widening of small blood vessels in the skin which allows more blood to flow close to the surface. This is why you usually find your face flushed and warm.

Another vice: Cigarettes. Cigarettes contain nicotine which causes thinning of the blood vessels. Chronic smokers more often than not look older than their actual age as nicotine causes a reduction in oxygen supply. This accelerates the ageing process, thus causing the skin to look duller.

If you’re looking to have glowing and flawless skin, make sure you follow a good skincare routine and remember: Moderation is key. Adopting a healthy lifestyle goes a long way in maintaining not just a healthier body, but also healthier skin!




#NewYearNewYou – Understanding the 5 Dimensions of Self-Care for a Better 2018


#SkinHacks for the Time-Starved Traveller

Credit: Jonas Dücker (@jonasduecker)


Products containing coconut (or coconut oil, in particular), as an ingredient are a common sight these days, and for good reason. Coconuts have been proven by 1,500 studies to be one of the healthiest foods with diverse health benefits. The best part that makes it so popular? It doesn’t become rancid! Combined with its exceptional healing properties compared to other dietary oils, this makes it an important ingredient in health and skincare products.

Here are five reasons why you should start including coconuts in your daily routine:

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It’s no secret that berries are important for good health. They reduce cholesterol, help prevent diabetes and cancer, and are great sources of immunity-boosting vitamin C. Berries are also inherently full of nutrient-rich building blocks such as antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavanoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Berries are thus really good for the skin, and most often used for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Plus, we can’t deny that they smell delicious!

Here’s a list of our Top 5 Berries for this week!


 1. Strawberries

Strawberries contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which help eliminate dead skin cells with every cleanse.

Strawberries also contain salicylic acid and ellagic acid, which are known for reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Salicylic acid is also known for removing dead cells from the skin and tightening the skin pores to prevent further acne breakouts. An excellent source of vitamin C, they also keep skin bright and healthy.


blueberries 2. Blueberries

The key to healthier skin lies in overall good health. It has been proven that consumption of blueberries helps with several skin conditions. Topical application has also been touted as a cure for damaged or acne-prone skin. Using a blueberries mask with once a week can significantly reduce skin damage.

As A Mask: Crush steamed blueberries and combine with 3 tablespoons of yoghurt in a blender. Apply the mask and keep on for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.


raspberry-05 3. Raspberries

Red raspberries contain anthocyanins, the nutrients which are essential for maintaining a youthful and beautiful complexion. Raspberries’ leaves are known for their skin-tightening properties. It also has astringent properties for toning the skin, and work like magic on wrinkles too! The antioxidant powers of vitamin C effectively reduce the age spots and discoloration.

As A Mask: Mix 1 cup of plain yoghurt and 2 cups of fresh raspberries, then blend the mixture until completely smooth. Apply the mixture to your face and keep on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.



Cranberries in a bowl 4. Cranberries

Being acidic in nature, cranberry juice is perfect for the treatment of oily skin, thus preventing the formation of sebum.

As An Exfoliator and Mask: Create a mixture of cranberry juice, grounded oatmeal, a quarter cup of sugar and olive oil. Apply this natural exfoliator on oily skin, rinse with warm water and gently pat dry. You can also mix the juice with honey to create a mask. Leave on for 20 minutes, then wash with lukewarm water. This acts as an excellent toner on the skin.



Blackberry with leaf5. Blackberries

Anthocyanocides and polyphenols are two antioxidants found in abundance in blackberries. These help stimulate collagen production and protects the skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays while aiding in skin cell renewal.

Blackberries are comprised of more than 85% water with an abundant dose of fibre. Eating blackberries helps with detoxification and maintains the the skin’s elasticity.

As A Mask: Crush and mix juice with a teaspoon of honey. Apply onto face and neck. Wash off once dry.

Our skin plays a vital role in our outer appearance. Most of us fail to realise that our skin eventually reflects what we eat. A good daily supply of vital nutrients is required for a glowing and perfect skin. Blackberries are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They also offer the highest levels of some antioxidants – higher than blueberries and strawberries too. The very dark color of the fruit is proof of its high antioxidant level. As a result, it is beneficial for the skin.

1. Fights Free Radicals:

Anthocyanocides and polyphenols are two antioxidants found in abundance in blackberries. These help in fighting free radicals. The collagen-forming Vitamin C and Vitamin A make it only more appropriate for skin. These vitamins also act as antioxidants. The regular consumption of blackberries protects the skin against the damaging UVA and UVB rays and aids in skin cell renewal.

2. Hydrates Skin:

Blackberries are comprised of more than 85% water with an abundant dose of fiber. Both of these are essential for a healthy-looking skin. The consumption of blackberries detoxifies the body and maintains the elasticity of the skin.

A good way to enjoy the goodness of blackberries for your skin is through a face mask. Here’s how:

  • Take a bunch of blackberries.
  • Crush and mix the juice with a teaspoon of honey.
  • Apply this to your face and neck.
  • Let it dry well before washing it off thoroughly.

This face mask is ideal for hydrating the skin while supplying essential nutrients to it.

3. Rejuvenates The Skin:

Vitamins A, C and K in blackberries are excellent for skin rejuvenation. Their omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids-rich seeds are vital for healthy skin.

Here’s an effective face mask recipe for skin rejuvenation.

  • Grind a bunch of blackberries.
  • Blend these with some fresh yoghurt.
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg powder and ¼ cup of lemon juice.
  • Apply this mask evenly on your face and neck.
  • Wash off after 25 to 30 minutes with lukewarm water.

The regular application of this face mask will help rejuvenate your skin. It will also ensure smooth, moisturized and hydrated skin.

4. Skin Cleanser For Oily Skin:

Blackberries are great for cleansing and detoxification of oily skin too.

Prepare a natural skin cleanser for oily skin with this recipe:

  • Mix 2 tbsp of fuller’s earth with 1 ½ tbsp of blackberry juice.
  • Mix well to form a thick paste.
  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil (only if you suffer from acne).
  • Dampen your face and apply this mixture evenly over your face.
  • Wash off after 2 minutes.

This natural skin cleanser will help remove excess oil and shrink the pores, purifying your skin from deep within.

5. Treatment Of Wounds:

Blackberry leaves contain tannins with brilliant astringent qualities. These prevent the formation of blood clots. Traditionally, the fruit leaves are used to heal wounds, open sores and scratches. Blackberries also assist in soothing skin ailments like psoriasis. The antioxidants aid in clearing acne. The brew made from blackberry leaves is applied topically to cure eczema.

6. Healthy Hair:

Vitamin C, found in blackberries, is largely responsible for collagen production and contributes to strong hair. The antioxidants help combat the harmful and damaging effects of the environment on the hair. The topical application of the fruit extract is known to add instant volume, shine and bounce to the hair.

7. Gum Care:

The leaves and bark of the blackberry plant are consumed traditionally. They are used to treat mild gum inflammation and bleeding gums too.

8. Menstrual Bleeding:

Consuming blackberry leaves helps get relief from excessive bleeding during menses. The fruit is also used to regulate menses and considered a uterine tonic.

9. Dysentery:

Blackberry leaves and fruit can help treat diarrhea. To use, simply boil the leaves or the fruit. Strain and drink the water to get relief.

10. Diabetes:

The high potassium content of blackberries helps reduce insulin. The daily consumption of blackberries with one teaspoon of honey helps control diabetes. For best results, it is best advised to have this for at least a week. Not only the fruit, blackberry leaves also can be consumed for their anti-diabetic properties.

11. Healthy Bones:

The decent content of calcium found in blackberries contributes to strengthening the bones.

12. Red Blood Cells:

Blackberries contain minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Together, these help a great deal in producing white and red blood cells.

13. Hemorrhoids:

The pulp made from blackberry fruits is widely used to heal haemorrhoids and even conjunctivitis.

14. Cancer:

Blackberries have an antioxidant called Ellagic acid. This can help in the prevention of the growth of certain cancer cells.

How To Select And Store?

Tips For Selection:

When buying blackberries always keep the following points in mind:

  • Choose the ones that are moderately firm, plump, dry and uniformly dark purple in color.
  • The bunch should be fragrant and without the stem caps attached.
  • When the hulls are attached, it means that the berries were picked too early, before they could mature.
  • Avoid berries with odd spots, colors or shades.
  • Signs of bruising or staining on the container indicate bruising and injury.
  • Try and buy locally grown berries. These are likely to be sweeter and juicier than the ones that are bred for shipment.
  • Watch out for molds. These are common in berries and they spread quickly. Hence, a moldy berry should never be placed next to a good one.

Glycolic Acid TonerGlycolic Acid

What It Is: An alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and natural anti-aging compound derived from sugar cane

How It Works: AHA breaks the bonds between weakened skin cells, making it much easier to exfoliate them and encourage the production of new cells. Glycolic acid gently peels the top layer of the skin, helping dislodge buildup from clogged pores, and with regular use improves the skin’s overall appearance and clarity.

Best For Treating: Blackheads, whiteheads, large pores, and dark spots

Product Pick: Revive, Glycolic Acid Toner




Flawless, Skin Perfecting Cream

Salicylic Acid

What It Is: A beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) originally derived from willow tree bark, it’s now usually manmade and used in anti-acne products for faster, more potent results.

How It Works: BHA is similar to AHA, in that it too helps to slough away dead skin cells. Unlike glycolic acid, however, salicylic acid is lipid or oil soluble, which allows it to penetrate into the pores where the oil glands reside. Because of this, it can be a powerful ally in unclogging (or exfoliating) sebum-clogged pores.

Best For Treating: Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and large pores

Product Pick: Flawless, Skin Perfecting Cream


Flawless, Skin Perfecting Cream


What It Is: Not as powerful as its pricey prescription-only alternative, this vitamin A derivative is now widely used in most products.

How It Works: Primarily used for anti-aging, retinol rejuvenates skin by stimulating the production of collagen, reducing fine lines, spots, and discoloration, and exfoliating away dead skin cells to improve and prevent blemishes.

Best For Treating: Acne scars and clogged pores; also helps fight signs of aging

Product Pick: Flawless, Skin Perfecting Cream



Tea Tree Oil

What It Is: A popular additive in organic, vegan, and other natural beauty lines, tea tree oil, sometimes labeled melaleuca alternifolia leaf oil, is an essential oil extracted from the tea tree.

How It Works: Similar to the effects of benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil appears to contain natural antiseptic properties that work to destroy the bacteria which lead to acne. Although several studies prove it can be an effective treatment with fewer side effects, be aware that tea tree oil works at a slower rate than its manmade counterparts.

Best for Treating: All types of mild to moderate acne; works well on sensitive skin

Product Pick: Balance, Sebum Control Essence