As consumers become more concerned about minimising the use of chemicals in their lives, skincare and make-up ingredients are coming under the spotlight. Nowadays informed customers are not ready to take unnecessary health risks and are increasingly questioning if what they are putting on their skin poses any long-term risks. As a result, several niche cosmetic brands that have opted to go natural or organic are booming. Not only do they promise better overall health, but they also mean you are doing your bit for the environment because of their eco-friendly production practices. So if you’re thinking of going green here’s our definitive guide to becoming a natural beauty.

Why Go Green?

The growing consensus among experts is that what you put on your skin doesn’t merely go skin deep but enters your entire system too. Some ingredients soaked up by our skin from our cosmetics are carcinogenic. Although the body has a mechanism to flush out toxins from its system, traces of some tough-to-dislodge chemicals can accumulate over the years and gradually affect our overall health. Experts agree that top of the list to avoid are: parabens, mercury, lead, phthalates, petroleum-based products, xanthene and zinc chloride (a skin and eye irritant mainly found in shampoos, conditioners and cleansers). Natural skincare and make-up products are made with few, if any, synthetic chemicals and use a wide range of plant or fruit extracts, minerals and vitamins as their ingredients.

Organic cosmetics are more evolved and guarantee (through certification) that all the natural ingredients used haven’t been treated with chemicals. But if you’re looking for something 100 per cent organic, make sure that it says so specifically on the label. If the label says it is ‘100% Organic’ then you know these products are made entirely from certified organic ingredients. If it states that it’s ‘organic’ the products contain at least 95% organic ingredients, a figure that reduces to 75% if the label says ‘made with organic ingredients’.

Eat Up!

It isn’t just what jars you open that determine your skin and hair health. What you throw in your shopping trolley at the supermarket every week can also dramatically affect how you look. Here are the top skin and hair foods that you should stock up on:

Water

Beauty Benefit: Water is rightly referred to as a beauty tonic on tap. After all, one of the signs of a youthful complexion is supple, well-hydrated skin. Not having enough water in the day shows instantly in the form of dry and shrivelled skin.

Green Tip: Have a minimum of two to three litres of water a day and you’re guaranteed supple skin.

Green Tea

Beauty Benefit: For the same reason that you love water, you should love green tea too. It’s great for hydration when you’re looking for something other than water, plus it contains antioxidants that offer great anti-aging benefits.

Green Tip: Replace your cups of regular tea or coffee with green tea. This cuts down on caffeine and helps you stock up on antioxidants instead.

Blueberries

Beauty Benefit: Blueberries may be small in size but they are one of the richest natural sources of powerful antioxidants, and protect our skin from premature aging, especially if you have concerns about blotchy, dull or sun-damaged skin.

Green Tip: A good way to include it in your daily diet is to add half a cup of blueberries to your morning cereal or yogurt.

Spinach

Beauty Benefit: Dark leafy vegetables like spinach are loaded with Vitamin A and minerals. The Vitamin A in spinach boosts new cell production and reduces skin dryness.

Green Tip: Trade your lettuce for raw spinach in salads or sauté it with nuts for a healthy veggie dish.

Lemons

Beauty Benefit: A prime skincare ingredient in tons of anti-ageing creams, Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and helps flush out toxins from the skin. So go for that glass of fresh lemonade as often as you can. It’s a great way to raise your daily water intake.

Green Tip: Having lemonade with a teaspoon of honey early in the morning works as a great skin detox.

Nuts & Seeds

Beauty Benefit: When it comes to nuts and seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and flaxseeds pack a punch. The high selenium content of Brazil nuts is good for getting shiny hair and walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E, which are great for skin health. Among seeds, flaxseeds (also called linseeds) win hands down as their high fibre and healthy fat content is great for skin.

Green Tip: You can include nuts and seeds in your diet by tossing a few into your salad, pasta, or dessert.

Tomatoes

Beauty Benefit: The lycopene in tomatoes is great to boost your skin’s defences against environmental damage, especially against the ageing effects of the sun’s rays.

Green Tip: It’s easier for the body to absorb lycopene when the tomatoes are cooked, so load up on the tomato sauce with your pasta.

Salmon

Beauty Benefit: A fish with one of the richest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats in salmon nourish the skin by reducing the body’s production of inflammatory substances, decreasing clogged pores, and preventing fine lines and wrinkles.

Green Tip: Have at least two servings of fish a week to reap its skincare benefits.

As much as we hate it, pimples are part of our lives. Although we see more of it during our teenage years, keep in mind that they continue to pay a visit at any age, anytime and without any notice. It’s all good, okay, at least tolerable, if they come and go quickly. The problem occurs when they leave a mark on our face after they’re gone. And of course with time, as more acne appears, the chances of more scarring increases. What’s worse? If you don’t treat acne scars swiftly, they’re likely to stay with you forever. For those of you are thinking time will do the trick, you may be right, only if you are in your younger years when the body is quick to recover. As an adult, it’s best to procrastinate no more, and get a scarring treatment system right away, before chaos ensues.

When Do Pimples Leave Scars Behind?

There are multiple grades of pimples. The mildest and common ones are small and tiny bumps of comedones such as blackheads and whiteheads. Another form of mild acne are small papules or red, inflamed, tender bumps with no head. More severe ones are pimples or cyst, which are pus-filled. While a mild pimple or clusters of pimples may just be temporary guests, cystic acne can be far more severe and highly prone to permanent scarring unless you take care, and avoid scratching or squeezing. Finally the severe type of acne that is almost definitely going to leave a scar is the big boils you get on your face.

What Are The Causes Of Acne?

Cystic acne strikes males more than females, but it can occur in either gender. If there is a family tendency to have the condition, parents of those entering their teens should be on the lookout for symptoms such a reddening of the skin or visible skin lesions.

Other factors causing severe acne are the same as those for other forms of acne. All types of acne often occur due to overactive oil glands, which means your sebaceous or fat glands are very active in producing oil on the skin. This excess oil can clog the pores, blocking bacteria inside. Hormonal imbalance and stress often stimulate the sebaceous gland activity. Acne also comes from excess dead skin cells within the hair follicle or pores. Externally acne can be caused by clogging pores with too much cream or cosmetics.

How Can You Treat Acne Scars?

First, you’ll have to know that whichever treatment you go for, skincare is a long-term commitment. Having good complexion is like hitting the gym and getting that six-pack abs. It requires effort and maintenance. And because skincare is long term, at Porcelain, we work hard to educate our clients and develop a trusted relationship to better cater to your needs.

If you want real improvement for severe scars, then you have the choice of skin resurfacing treatments. This is primarily used to get rid of nasty wrinkles and scars that appear on the surface of the skin. The laser emits a power beam of light that burns affected skin away. An even more efficient technology would be Sublative Rejuvenation which uses can go deeper than traditional laser heat your subcutaneous dermal tissue, breaking the sebum cycle that causes active acne to form. It also works to contracts and restructures collagen, resulting in skin tightening and improved skin quality. It’s also great for the reason that it doesn’t really have downtime, pigmentation or scarring and very little side effects.

How Effective Is Treating Scarring With Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion was more common in the past, but not so much anymore. The procedure needs to be performed by a highly skilled doctor and hygiene vice, there’s lots of blood splattering. With laser you know exactly how deep you want to go and can adjust the energy to be as deep as you want to fix, as for dermabrasion although you can do this, it’s not as precise. I’d would just say, for red scars it’s good to get a laser done, for severe scars usually fractional radio frequency works best, for indented scars, fillers do the magic and for ice pick scars nothing really helps. But this is just a general statement. Depending on each individual case, it may differ and sometimes you’ll need a combination of treatments.

How Can I Avoid The Recurrence Of Acne?

If all of these techniques and treatment options have your head spinning, do your best to prevent adult acne, before it gets to an uncontrollable point. If the cause is hyperactive of sebaceous gland then you may have to may have to consider medication that reduces its activity. If your lifestyle induces acne, such as too much sun exposure, cream or make up, then try and go low on it.

Porcelain, The Face Spa

We at Porcelain, The Face Spa provides premium skin care solutions to make porcelain complexion a reality for our customers.

Our Quintessential Facial is fully customized to cater to all skin problems starting from dull/uneven skin tone, severe acne/pimple problems, acne scars, age spots all the way to pigmentation and even sensitive skin! There is no ‘one size fits all’ in skincare, that’s why all our treatments are customized.

The Porcelain Team is equipped to educate our clients on what is best for them. We live and breathe skincare; you can treat your skin is in good hands at Porcelain.

Click here to find out more!

 

No two skins are the same. Are you Asian? Are you in Asia? It all matters and will affect how you care for it. Here are 6 differences that Asian skin has compared to other skins.

1. Prone To Sensitivity

Our skin is said to be prone to irritation as we have a thinner stratum corneum or the outermost layer of skin, compared to other ethnic groups. As a result, Asian skin becomes extremely sensitive to environmental factors and chemicals, which can disrupt the skin’s pH level.

We need to be more careful with what products and treatments we use on our skin as most of us may not react well to harsh treatments such as peeling or acidic chemical solutions.

Asian skin is more prone to sensitivity

Credit: Aiony Haust

2. Scars More Easily

Because of our thinner stratum corneum, it is also said that Asian skin is genetically predisposed to scar more easily than others. Hence, greater care must be given when one has acne breakout and when one is trying to heal from some skin scarring.

Do not go squeezing that pimple and poking at that acne. Use gentle products like emu oil or Vitamin E to heal the scars.

3. More Issues With Hyper-Pigmentation

All skin contains about the same number of melanocytes but the amount of melanin they produce varies. Melanin is a natural skin pigment that protects the skin from UV damage. Obviously, dark-skinned people produce more melanin and light skin people produce less. While research has indicated that Asians have more photo-protective pigment melanin.

Use sunscreen religiously and use a product containing gentle skin brightening properties from your early twenties. Avoid hydroquinone!

Asian skin is more prone to hyper-pigmentation

Credit: Brock Elbank

4. Loses Moisture Easily

Asian skin showed the highest levels of Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), as well as increased levels of permeability. TEWL is the amount of water vapour lost through the skin under non-sweating conditions.

We need more skin hydration and it’ll be good to choose a moisturizer high in water-binding ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

Asian skin loses moisture more easily

5. Gets Oily More Easily

It is often said that Asian skin has more sebaceous glands and is oilier than Caucasian skin type. This might have to do with the weather as well but it is generally true that most of us are constantly fighting to keep shine away from our skin.

Our skin may get clogged easily and it’ll be good to exfoliate once or twice a week. In addition, do not use harsh products that will strip away our natural skin lipids and make the skin oilier.

6. More Resistant To Aging

While we have a thinner stratum corneum, we also have a thicker dermis that contains greater collagen. This means that our skin shows fewer signs of premature ageing.

What type of skin do you have? Not sure? Well, me too! So today, we shall take a look at the different types of skin, how do we differentiate them and what can be done to improve our skin.

Basically, there are 5 different types of skin: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry and Sun-Damaged. Out skin type is determined by how much, or how little, oil our skin produces. Genes, diet, stress level, medication and even your skin care regimen indirectly determines how much oil your skin produces.

Here’s a skin test suggested by Berg, so we can slightly know which category of skin we belongs to.

1. Wash your face.

2. Pat it dry.

3. Take a few pieces of rice paper or lens-cleaning tissue paper.

4. Press on different spots on your face.

RESULTS!

– If your skin is oily, the paper will stick, pick up oily spots and become translucent.

– If the paper doesn’t stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is dry.

– If it sticks in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) then you have combination (or normal) skin.

 

About 70% of women have combination skin. This skin type has medium pores, a smooth and even texture, good circulation, healthy color, may tend toward dryness on the cheeks while being oily in the t-zone. People who have oily skin during their adolescence usually ends up having combination skin with increasing age. Combination skin is mainly caused by hormonal changes which your sebaceous glands produces more oil on the skin. Of course there are other factors too which causes change in extent of oil in skin could also be the change of seasons, age, environmental, and the food we eat.

combinationskin

Mine belongs to the sensitive skin type which is the more “troublesome” skin. Eg. For people who have sensitive skin, when they use a product or cosmetic that does not suit their skins, their faces will start to itch, burning sensation, tingling, swelling, spots, acne and many more! Some skin sensitivity is caused by genetics. (I guess mine is genetic as most of my family members have sensitive skin!) Parents who suffer may pass the condition on to their children. Some other causes are like dyes and fragrances, cosmetics, heavy pollution, weather, bad dietary habits and stress. Yes, Never underestimate the effects of stress on your body, in recent research two-thirds of all visits to a doctor were found to be involving stress related conditions.

sensitive-skin

Oily skin! Many people have an oily skin making their face look so shiny! There are a number of factors contributing towards oily skin and it is usually more apparent in teenagers as their hormones changes. However, as well as hormones, it can also sometimes be hereditary, down to the cosmetics which you use, or it could even be down to the contraceptive pill. Generally it can occur at any age, but usually skin tends to become dryer the older that you are. Diet, humidity are also the main factors in causing oily skin.

oily-skin

Dry skin is caused by the dysfunction of sebaceous glands, which secretes the oil to the skin but heredity disorder is also the main cause of dry skin. Changes of seasons causes dry skin too. People tends to get dry skin during the winter season. And surprisingly, vitamins and nutrition that we take in and bathing too frequently with harsh soaps contributes to dry skin too! Dry skin is a little “troublesome” too. The advised do’s and don’ts: Moisturize while your skin is still damp from cleansing. To moisture your skin, try to use lanolin base cream. Keri-Lotion, Nivea Cream, and Eucerine cream all contain lanolin and moisturize the skin well. The don’ts: The ultraviolet rays of the sun during the winter are still strong. So, don’t forget the sunscreen lotion on your dry skin, don’t take long hot showers and lastly, don’t “air dry” after bathing or swimming.

dry-skin-2

I’ve never heard of sun-damaged skin. But well, this is what I’ve collated. Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers breakdown, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily—taking longer to heal. There are several possible symptoms of sun damage spanning from cosmetic blemishes to more serious conditions like skin cancer. Treatment for sun damaged skin depends on which symptoms are present. Most patients are able to treat mild sunburns with over-the-counter products like aloe or creams. Cosmetic symptoms like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, etc. may require laser resurfacing / photo-rejuvenation, intense pulsed light therapies, chemical peels and other cosmetic treatments.

sun-damage-face-120604The sun-damaged skin of a trucker after 28 years on the road
Click here to read more about what sun damage can do to your skin

Now that we know the different types of skin, their characteristics and our skin types. Next, lets see what has the professionals have to advised on skin care.

By , content reviewed by Medical Review Board:

Tip 1: Give yourself a dry brush exfoliation

Tip 2: Rev up your digestions

Tip 3: Invigorate Sluggish Circulation

Tip 4: Avoid excess sugar

Tip 5: Eat some good fats

For more info on the above mentioned tips, click here.

By Beauty Mesh:

Tip 1: Eat healthier

Tip 2: Hydrate and exercise

Tip 3: Monitor sun exposure

Tip 4: Practice a regular cleansing routine

For more info on the above mentioned tip, click here.