Having dry lips in this blazing hot weather? Here’s 3 easy peasy steps to keep your lips looking well-hydrated for a pretty, kissable pout!

1. Exfoliate the skin on your lips – With a pinch of sugar in the palm of your hand, drop a few droplets of water on the sugar and mix. Next, use your index finger to scoop the mixture and gently exfoliate your lips in small circular motions. Use warm water to rinse off after. Alternatively, you may dip a clean face towel or wash cloth into a cup of warm water and place it over your lips for 30 seconds to soften the skin, before using the bristles of your toothbrush in small circular motions to remove the dead skin.

2. Apply lipbalm or Vaseline – Now that your lips look and feel  much smoother, it is time to protect your lips by applying a moisturing lip balm or with Vaseline. These helps to moisturise your lips, prolonging the effects of having dry, chapped lips. Additionally, for those with SPF protection, the lip balm helps to prevent sun damage.

3. Apply lip gloss – Apply a lip gloss shade that looks good on your face. The shiny appearance of the lip gloss helps to enhance the appearance of your lips, while giving you the perfect look with kissable lips!

fingers-touching-lips

However, do remember that if you want to have nice, pretty lips, you should abstain from doing the following:

1. Never touch your lips, or peel the dry skin on your lips with your dirty fingers – bacteria is easily transferable and can enter the tiny cracks on the lips.

2. Never lick your lips – while it may feel good on your lips to sooth the dry, cracked skin, this act supposedly makes your problem much worse as enzymes that help to clean your mouth and digest food are too harsh for your lips. Furthermore, saliva evaporates quickly, and this actually makes your lips drier than before.

What you can do to help yourself, is to drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated as the reason why dry lips are cracked or scaly is due to dehydration.

Now pucker up and have a great weekend ahead everybody!

 

 

You’re right, we, at Porcelain, can’t stop raving about fruits and vegetables. With so much goodness, what’s not to love about them? In this second part of the vitamin C series, find out more about what exactly is in your vitamin C product!

Do You C The Derivatives?

As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, vitamin C is an unstable ingredient. It is easily oxidised, causing the product to lose its efficiency. Fortunately, there are many vitamin C derivatives available in the market that skin care companies use in their products. An ideal vitamin C derivative should be able to penetrate into skin cells and boost collagen synthesis. It should also be more stable and less irritating than vitamin C.

L-ascorbic Acid

This ‘natural’ form of vitamin C is probably just another fancy name. Fresh and properly stored, L-ascorbic acid works well for people without sensitive skin. Again, as with all things, there are down sides. L-ascorbic acid can become a skin irritant as it is a very powerful antioxidant. As it is the most natural form of vitamin C, it destabilises the easiest. So, if you are using a product with L-ascorbic acid, it should be well stored to keep its ‘freshness’. Some companies attempt to do that by selling L-ascorbic acid as a serum in individual dime-sized sealed pouches that look like little fishes. To get to the serums, users simply twist off the end of the pouch. These one-time use pouches seem to be effective in preventing the oxidation of the vitamin C. However, as a rule of thumb, don’t use anything that you are unsure of.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) is fast becoming the popular ingredient in skin-care lines. As a water-soluble derivative of vitamin C, it is non-irritating and more stable than L-ascorbic acid. Here’s the best part of MAP: It seems to have the same potential as L-ascorbic acid to boost skin collagen synthesis and is effective in significantly lower concentrations. It also appears to be a better choice for those with sensitive skin. Like L- ascorbic acid, MAP still destabilises over time. Hence, proper storage is still very important to maintain its freshness and effectiveness.

Ascorbyl Palmitate

Ascorbyl palmitate is the most widely used fat-soluble derivative of vitamin C in skin care. Like MAP, it is also less irritating and more stable than L-ascorbic acid. However, it takes larger quantities of ascorbyl palmitate to get the collagen-producing effects of Vitamin C and there are doubts as to whether the concentrations in skin-care products currently are enough to support collagen synthesis. It should also be noted that ascorbyl palmitate degrades with time as well.

In all, when purchasing vitamin C products, try to keep the “freshness” of the product. Check that it is stored in opaque packaging that is well sealed. Always remember that as a powerful anti-oxidant, vitamin C oxidises very easily. So, on your part, keep it away from sunlight as UV light tends to destabilise the vitamin C in your product, rendering less effective, if not harmful to your skin. Try to purchase colourless products as vitamin C oxidised at advanced levels tends to have a yellowish tint. A simple way to protect your skin is to always look out for the expiry date of the product!

For more information on vitamin C and its derivative, you can check out Smartskincare.com.

 I can already hear you groaning, “Oh no! Not another post about fruits and vegetables!”

Don’t worry; I’m not going to tell you about what to eat and what not to eat. In this two-part special, I’ll be giving you more details on a very popular skin care ingredient: Vitamin C. It’s time to expand your knowledge of this vitamin that almost synonymous with citrus fruits!

The Vitamin C Goodness

In a nutshell, vitamin C is essential in the production of collagen, a key structural protein of the skin. Adding vitamin C to a culture of skin cell (fibroblast) dramatically increases the synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant so it can help to reduce skin damage caused by free radicals. This means that, if properly administered into skin cells, there is a good chance that vitamin C can reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture. Consider that the signs of aging skin are similar to those associated with the loss of collagen production and damaged collagen. Vitamin C will then be a good weapon to use against the effects of time. It will also be a good ingredient to use in the treatment of aging skin.

Another benefit of vitamin C is that it can lessen hyperpigmentation (at levels 3% or greater) as vitamin C can block tyrosinase, an enzyme that catalyses the production of melanin. This means that topically, vitamin C provides a small amount of UV protection and using a vitamin C serum in the day can give your sunscreen an extra boost. However, it takes about six months to see results.

So Much Goodness!

Hold your horses dears! Before you run off to buy all the vitamin C products off the racks, remember that there are always two sides to a coin. There are some important points you have to take note of when you’re using your vitamin C product. First, vitamin C is relatively unstable as it is easily converted to its oxidised forms in the presence of air or other oxidising agents. Once oxidised, it will not only lose its efficiency, but it might also harm your skin by promoting free radical formation, causing damage to vital molecules such as proteins and DNA. Secondly, only highly concentrated preparations (10% or more) deliver enough vitamin C to the cells to be topically effective.

Can You C It?

There are many vitamin C products out there on the market.  A lot of them have high concentrations of stabilised vitamin C. However, even stabilised vitamin C products might be somewhat oxidised by the time you use them. Your best bet is to purchase vitamin C products that are either white or colourless and stored in a dark bottle. Oxidised at advanced levels, vitamin C will acquire a yellowish tint. This may be the reason why some manufacturers add colouring to their vitamin C products. Unfortunately, this is not a tell-tale indication of oxidised vitamin C as it is colourless at its initial stages. Vitamin C products stored in dark coloured containers can help to prevent oxidation.

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Stay tuned for the next part of this series! I’ll be talking about the different derivatives of vitamin C often found in skin care products! Whatever is it, just always remember that there is no single miracle ingredient in skin care. Like other products, always use them with caution. Always pick products from a trustworthy source and watch out for the expiration date. More importantly, always store your products properly (in cool dry places) to stretch the shelf life of your product!(:

Fruits and vegetables are vital to our health but many of us are guilty of the lack of these included in our diet. Instead, the processed food that we so commonly eat outweighs the intake of fruits and vegetables which are rich sources of nutrients, vitamins and fibre, essential to our overall well-being.

Following up on our previous blog post on fruits, we now share with you which kinds of vegetables can benefit your skin (and of course your health too)!

Carrots

Carrots are high in beta carotene, which are absorbed into the body to aid in the production of Vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy, glowing skin. Large amounts of vitamins (K, C and B6) and carotenoids (anti-oxidants) found in Carrots can help combat free radicals that causes damage to skin cells. Consuming Carrot juice can also keep your skin hydrated. However, do eat Carrots in moderation as excessive consumption may cause the skin to have a slight yellow/orange tinge.

Broccoli

High concentrations of Vitamin A and Vitamin C can be found in this cruciferous vegetable. Vitamin A helps in the production of healthy cells in the skin, while Vitamin C helps the skin with collagen repair and production, while protecting the skin from free radical damage. Broccoli also contains a great source of folate, which is essential in healthy cell regeneration, and sulforaphane, which studies have shown that it helps in reducing incidences of cancer.

Tomatoes

Studies have shown that properties in tomatoes help function as an internal sunscreen that blocks harmful UV rays. High concentrations of Lycopene found in tomatoes also help in skin renewal, and has anti-ageing properties for the skin. Moreover, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium in Tomatoes are effective in tightening your pores, and also work as an astringent to deep-clean. For a quick home DIY facial, try mashing up tomatoes and apply to a clean face.

Garlic

Garlic is widely known for its strong medicinal value, despite its pungent smell and taste. Holding anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, Garlic helps to relieve skin bacterial infections thereby helping the skin to stay clear and free from impurities! The large number of antioxidants present will also make your skin healthy and looking young.

Potato

Potatoes are high in starch and thus are a good source of carbohydrates, but it also means that they are culprits to your weight gain. However, do you know that Potatoes can be included into your skincare regime as well? Potatoes have properties that make it an anti-aging agent. Washing your face daily with potato juice may help improve the skin’s clarity, and even reduce appearances of wrinkles! Additionally, you may wish to cut a few slices of raw potatoes and place them over your eyes to reduce dark eye circles.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are often used in skincare products as it is really an effective vegetable that helps one to achieve glowing skin, treat various skin problems and even reducing dark eye circles. Containing antioxidants and large amounts of water, Cucumbers help to moisturize and hydrate tired skin. Cucumbers can also help to reduce redness of the skin. Also, Vitamin C in Cucumbers aids in collagen production, which helps to promote elasticity in our skin.

Avocado

Avocado is rich in nutrients and vitamins A, C and E which helps to soothe and soften the skin. Also present is Niacin (Vitamin B3) which helps to soothe dry, irritated, or red blotchy skin. Avocadoes are also great for making facial masks at home as their buttery texture allows easy application, and what’s more is that the various nutrients and vitamins can be easily absorbed into the skin, leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft after application.

As the saying goes, “you are, what you eat”. Don’t forget the importance of including both fruits and vegetables into your diet for a healthier you, and a healthier skin. Fruits and vegetables have abundant nutrients and vitamins that act as our skin food whether they are being consumed, or applied as a mask! 🙂

Have you heard of Witch Hazel? If your facial care routine has yet to incorporate it, it’s definitely not too late to add it in! Read on to find out the marvels it can do for your skin.

Hamamelis Virginiana Linné, more commonly known as Witch Hazel, is a popular botanical ingredient found in skincare products. It’s also recognised by medical professionals for its medicinal properties. Applied topically, it can be used to treat wounds, abrasions, and even dry skin or skin irritations. Lately, Witch Hazel has found its way into being one of the ingredients added to other personal hygiene products, as well as hair care products.

Witch Hazel is best known to be an astringent that’s anti-inflammatory and rich in anti-oxidants. The high levels of tannins found in Witch Hazel’s bark and leaves (in pure form) give rise to its astringent properties. While commercial products contain no tannins, they come in the form of hydrosols (herbal distillates from the plant). These are strong antioxidants and astringents still, thus making them very effective in cleansers and toners. They’re also useful for fighting acne problems. Furthermore, Witch Hazel can also be used as an anti-inflammatory to tighten skin pores. The humble shrub has garnered great success as a key active ingredient in toners over the years and is especially suited for oily and various skin types. Other benefits of using toners with Witch Hazel include the ability to gently cleanse the skin by removing oil, dirt and impurities while locking in moisture.

With all these benefits of Witch Hazel, why not try Porcelain’s Revive – Glycolic Toner? This lightweight toner is absolutely perfect for humid weather to tone and hydrate. In addition, it’s also enriched with a unique blend of alpha-hydroxy acids and Vitamins C & E, clarifying sluggish complexions and protecting it against free radicals that cause signs of ageing. Infused with sea salt, aloe vera and Sodium Hyaluronate, this toner also helps soothe inflammation, hydrates, and accelerate collagen and elastin production.

Infused with sea salt, witch-hazel, aloe vera and Sodium Hyaluronate, Porcelain's Glycolic Toner also helps soothe inflammation, hydrates, and accelerate collagen and elastin production.

Stay True,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Managing Acne | #SkinHacks

#JargonBreakdown: What Are Free Radicals?

Our Beauty Guru On “Skin” | #DearPauline