Acne

Discover more about acne and how to fight it!

Causes of acne are multiple. Your trusty cellphone, for example, keeps you close to your friends, but also to your enemies as it’s a propagator of nasty bacteria and dirt. Learn more with us on what causes acne, and pick up quick tips and solutions to help keep it at bay for clear, radiant skin from within.

If you find that your skin is thin, turns red, gets irritated, swells, flakes, and suffers from blemishes easily, you likely have sensitive skin. By understanding your skin better, you will know what ingredients and treatments to go for and avoid. Read on to find out how to care for sensitive skin in humid climates!

Types & Causes of Sensitive Skin

Sensitive Skin in Humid Climates: A Guide

Most sensitive skin types fall under four categories: Rosacea, Acne, Burning & Stinging and Contact Dermatitis which includes Allergies and Irritants. Our recommendations below are meant for general skin irritations. More severe conditions like Rosacea and Eczema usually require oral prescriptions.

Common Causes of Sensitive Skin

Acne can be caused by hormones and/or genetics. Usually, they form because of a combination of excessive sebum production and high levels of P.acnes bacteria. Apart from hormonal fluctuations and genetics, using the wrong skincare products and/or lack of proper cleansing can increase breakouts. These congest pores, leading to whiteheads and blackheads. When P.acnes bacteria infect them, pimples and acne form, causing inflamed, painful and sensitive skin.

Rosacea is a chronic sensitive condition and may be caused by genetics, vascular instability and sun exposure. People with this condition experience pimples, flushing, broken vessels on the face and uneven skin.

Burning & Stinging can be caused by a myriad of irritants, the most common of which being AHAs, Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Azaelic Acid and Benzoic Acid. Its actual cause has not yet been determined and triggers differ from person to person. E.g. Person A may react to Glycolic Acid but not to Lactic Acid and Person B may react to both.

Contact Dermatitis can be caused by either irritants or allergies. The latter may be caused by environmental or dietary factors, and/or topical ingredients. Allergens can cause increased redness, swelling, burning and itching, amongst others. Irritants may include chemicals, body fluids, environmental factors and mechanical factors, e.g. friction and pressure.

Active Ingredients & Their Concentrations

Credit: Chuttersnap

Government regulations dictate that product ingredients must be listed in descending order of concentration. For ingredients with less than 1% concentration, they can be listed in any order. Hence, we can see that most products have Aqua or Water listed as their first ingredient.

Active ingredients account for products’ benefits. For example, a proper sunscreen should contain an appropriate amount of Zinc or Titanium Dioxide. We don’t need active ingredients to be listed as the first or second on the list as they aren’t usually needed in high concentrations to be effective. But also ensure it’s not listed as the last few ingredients! A product claiming to be an antioxidant, for example, should not have L-ascorbic Acid at the end of the list.

Parabens Or Not

There has been debate over the past decade on whether parabens are bad. Parabens, in the forms of Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben and Butylparaben, are widely used in all cosmetic products as preservatives. They prevent the growth of microbes and/or bacteria to extend our cosmetic products’ shelf lives beyond 2 months. They also keep products safe for use, without having to worry about potential infections.

Alternatives like DMDM Hydantoin have been offered, but in some formulations, parabens remain more effective alternatives. Hence, they’re probably still here to stay for a while.

“All Natural” Claims

Credit: Took A Pic

There is no firm regulation that dictates what “natural” means. Neither are there rules on the percentage of ingredients that has to come from natural sources for it be labelled as such. Many products claim to be natural although it contains only one or two such ingredients. Some “natural” ingredients constitute only a small percentage of the actual product makeup.

Did you know? Natural products may contain chemical substances too. Although they aren’t necessarily all bad, read the ingredient list carefully to ensure they do not use any chemical additives. These products tend to have a much shorter shelf life too.

Organic Claims

Likewise, there is no firm regulation for products claiming to be “organic”. Even if the product has a minute percentage of an organic ingredient, it can claim to be an “organic” product.

Marketing Terms & Techniques You Should Know

Terms such as Hypo-Allergenic, Dermatologically Tested, Allergy Screened and Fragrance-Free are commonly found on many products’ labels. In reality, these terms are vague and unspecific. There are no known industry standards of measurement and no legal definition to them.

Are All Chemical Ingredients Bad?

Most compounds in their natural states cannot be formulated into skin care products. They have to be chemically altered before they can be used. By enhancing these natural ingredients, they become more stable and safer for the skin. Moreover, advances of technology in cosmetic formulations have enabled formulators to create exciting new ingredients to benefit consumers.

Have you learnt more about how to care for your sensitive skin in humid climates yet?

Women are more active and confident than ever before and in each decade of our lives, care and attention will bring out the best in our overall look. Keep these basic hair and skin care strategies in mind, celebrate your features and enhance the natural beauty of your hair and skin and you’ll be radiant for decades to come.

What Do You Do with Grey Hair?

Why not embrace it! We will all go grey in time; and now we have head-turning examples of gorgeous greys like Stacy London, Jamie Lee Curtis and Sharon Stone, all beautiful proof that grey can be completely charming!

Five Tips to Help You Go Grey in Style:

•    Get a flattering short salon cut and let your old dye grow out, consider having your stylist add highlights and lowlights to make the transition less obvious. Highlights or a mix of colors appear less harsh than one solid color and will soften your facial features.

•    Keeping your hair styled is a positive statement about you; your greys will become your look.

•    If you are naturally blonde and your greys have a yellow hue, use a blue-base shampoo to minimize yellow tones.

•    Use a conditioning mask to keep your hair moisturized and shiny.  A flat-iron will give your hair a sleek look and reduce the frizzy appearance of greys.

•    A salon cut will volumize thinning hair but don’t go short just because you’re over 50, long hair can be beautiful at any age, you know what suits you best.

If you are a member of a senior home you’ll have the benefit of excellent advice; talk with your salon stylist; she (or he) will be able to suggest the most flattering styles for you.

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Naturally Radiant Skin for Women Over 30

If you’re 30 plus, your skin care routine shouldn’t have to change all that much but if you don’t have a routine, it’s not too late to start one. Skin cells don’t regenerate as quickly as they used to so practicing good habits and being kind to your skin will help you fight the effects of aging and keep your skin looking radiant.

Six Common Sense Strategies for Radiant Skin:

•    Don’t smoke: Smoking will prematurely age the skin. As we age, skin’s elasticity is reduced and skin cells aren’t rejuvenating at the rate they once were. Protect not just your skin but also your whole body from the damaging effects of smoke.

•    Sunblock and no more tanning beds: Try to avoid the sun between 10am and 4pm when the rays are the strongest. Freckles, age spots and blotchiness can be the result of too much sun exposure. If you love a bronze summery glow, invest in a good quality bronzing lotion applying the thinnest layer after a shower and exfoliating treatment, allowing color to appear gradually.

•    Check for skin abnormalities: Fair skinned people are at higher risk for skin cancer and if you notice worrisome changes in your skin consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

•    Hydrate your skin regularly: Drink lots of water to rehydrate and repair the damage that our skin suffers daily. Water is essential to good health and the best place to start is with what we take in.

•    Good nutrition will show: On the topic of health from the inside out, our nutritional choices are critical to the health of our skin. Eat foods as close to their natural unprocessed state as possible for example; include fruit, vegetables, grains and follow the recommendations on the food pyramid. Your skin will reflect the way you feel.

•    Anti-aging products: Investigate anti-aging products with your doctor or skin care specialist, there are many products both prescription and non-prescription that will help you protect your skin and maintain the best possible skin health.

Remember that beauty is not found in the color of your hair or the number of lines in your skin, but rather it radiates from inner joy; care for your skin from the inside out, set your own hair trend to suit your unique personality and smile about it!

Do you know that blackberries contain a wonderful source of folic acid and vitamin C? Both of which are vital in aiding your body’s ability to rejuvenate and repair cells!

Credits: Kristina Paukshtite

Tip of the day:

Do you know that blackberries contain a wonderful source of folic acid and vitamin C? Both of which are vital in aiding your body’s ability to rejuvenate and repair cells!

Here’s a recipe for a stunning blackberries dessert.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Combine 3 1/2 cups berries with the sugar and flour. Spoon the mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup berries on top of the sweetened berries, and cover with the top crust. Seal and crimp the edges.  Cut vents in the top crust for steam to escape.
  3. Brush the top crust with milk, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
Do you know that blackberries contain a wonderful source of folic acid and vitamin C? Both of which are vital in aiding your body’s ability to rejuvenate and repair cells!

Credits: The Bricks Kitchen

 


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Avocado

Avocados are not just for eating! A good source of biotin, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. When applied topically, they can hydrate parched skin.

A tip from 1,801 Home Remedies:
Create a moisturizing mask. Pit the fruit, puree the pulp, and pat it on your face. The oil acts as an emollient. It also contains beneficial vitamin E.

Green Tea

Sip your way to healthy skin. Green tea’s high on the list of skin-friendly beverages thanks to its impressive storehouse of polyphenols. Aim for four cups throughout your day.

Read more about green tea benefits here.

Tomatoes

Reach for tomatoes. A German study found that lycopene-rich tomato paste helped participants prevent sunburn when they combined it with olive oil, daily for ten weeks. Besides being a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are considered a high-carotenoid fruit. These nutrients may help slow down cellular damage from free radicals.

Salmon

Slow down aging with salmon. Salmon contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity, so you’ll have fewer fine lines.

Eggs

Crack open some eggs. Protein helps repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. Eggs, a complete source of protein, also contain biotin, an essential vitamin that protects against dry skin.

Pomegranate

Put pomegranate on your list. When applied topically, this antioxidant-rich fruit may help skin create more collagen, while speeding healing.

Walnuts

Try walnuts. Looking to add Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet but not a fan of fish? Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3s, which help put shine in your hair and aid in making skin smoother and younger looking.

Beans

Build better skin with beans.Another protein source, legumes help repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. During digestion, protein breaks down into amino acids, the building blocks of cells. Amino acids help to speed the repair and regeneration of skin cells and collagen.

Blackheads are a common skin problem among both men and women. Most of the teenagers get affected by blackheads. If you are hit by blackheads, it is very difficult to get rid of them permanently. Blackheads are a type of acne which is also known as comedones. You can try different scrubs but homemade peel off face masks are natural and effective too. It is best to opt for something natural than harming your skin with harsh chemicals. Peel off face masks take out blackheads, dead skin, oil and open skin pores. You can try some peel off face masks to remove blackheads at home. So, take a change from the scrubbing method.

Homemade Mask 

Egg Mask 

Egg is one of the beauty ingredients that can reduce blackheads and also helps get a shiny skin naturally. Mix egg yolk with 1tbsp gelatin and 2tbsp milk. Heat on low flame for 1 minute. Keep stirring to make a smooth paste. Let it cool. Apply on the face and let it dry; it will take around 5-10 minutes to dry. After drying, peel off gently with the fingertips. Wash with cold water. This peel off face mask helps get rid of blackheads, opens clogged pores and tightens loose skin.

Lemon & Egg Mask

Lemon juice has Alpha Hydroxy acid that eliminates bacteria, kills germs, tightens skin pores, scrubs out blackheads and dead skin. Mix lemon juice with egg white. Make a paste and apply on the clean face. Leave for 10 minutes. Peel off gently and wash the face with a mild face wash. This takes out left out dirt and oil. Few people hate the smell of egg so, use a mild face wash.

Orange Peel-Off Face Mask

This is one of the most commonly used face masks for blackheads. Dry the peels of an orange for 3-4 days under the sun. Grind the dry peels into a fine powder. Take 1tbsp peel powder and mix with milk. You can also add few drops of lemon juice to the mix. Whisk into a fine paste. Apply the face mask on your face and let it dry; leave for 10-15 minutes. Peel off and rinse with warm water. This face mask opens the clogged pores and removes blackheads, sun tan and dead skin cells.

These are few homemade peel off face masks that can help get rid of blackheads. Always apply a peel off mask after washing the face. Cleanse the face with a face wash to avoid getting rashes. This also makes the ingredients reach inside the skin and show its effect.