AHAs – Alpha Hydroxyl Acids, Find Your Favorite

Beauty and Skincare

Skincare ingredients can often be very confusing and hard to understand and because of that, it’s always a good idea to start with the basics.

Let’s answer this question – what is an alpha hydroxyl acid?

AHAs are water-soluble acids made from sugary fruits. They help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evently pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place. If you want younger-looking, smoother, more even-toned skin, you probably need AHAs in your skincare routine.

AHAs are primarily used to exfoliate. They can also help:

  • promote collagen and blood flow
  • correct discoloration from scars and age spots
  • improve appearance of surface lines and wrinkles
  • prevent acne breakouts
  • brighten your complexion
  • increase product absorption

There are six acids in the AHA family, so let’s learn more about them.

What’s your favorite AHA?

Maskne – What Are They, How To Prevent Them And How To Get Rid Of Them Once And For All?

Beauty and Skincare

Even if you don’t suffer from them, you’ve probably heard of them. Maskne! Often referred as acne appearing under the area where the mask is worn. It mostly occurs when sweat, oil, bacteria and other debris is trapped under the mask mixed up with mask fabric friction, increased trapped heat and humidity creating a perfect breeding ground for breakouts and skin sensitivity issues. Those who are generally more blemish prone and suffer clogged pores are usually affected the most.

HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT MASKNE?

Mask Fabric

– Choose natural breathable fibres (for example cotton) over synthetic fibres (polyester or rayon) as they are generally more comfortable and cause less irritation.

– Choose lighter smoother materials for masks in general.

– Look out for antimicrobial masks.

Mask Fitting

Make sure your mask is fitted properly and not too tight across the cheeks, as tight strings may cause friction and congestion around the cheek area.

Mask Replacement

– Apply a clean mask every day to prevent the build up of bacteria, oil, and makeup on the mask.

– Ensure you are washing your masks regulary with gentle cleansing agents instead of harsh detergents.

– Have 7 masks on rotation for the week to save time and effort washing midweek.

Facial Hair

Those with facial hair might want to trim it or if they are shaving to help the mask fit better they may notice some extra irritation. Keep the skin and hair clean and moisturised underneath the mask to help prevent dryness and ingrown hairs.

Clean Skin

Make sure you are cleansing your skin gently and effectively both AM and PM. I would recommend double cleansing in the evening just to make sure you are removing all traces of dirt, products, sunscreen, etc.

Keep It Simple

Avoid layering too many products especially around the mouth area as this increases the chances of moisture, debris and products clogging your skin. Stick to essentials around this area but don’t forget your SPF as most masks don’t have UPF protection.

Take A Break

Removing your mask after a few hours when it is ok to do so (at home, in your car, during your lunch break, etc) can give your skin some respite.

Hydrate And Build Your Skin Barrier

Don’t forget to replenish your skin with hydrators, ceramides, fatty acids to prevent skin peeling, dryness, and dehydration underneath the mask. Using the right replenishing moisturiser daily can prevent issues of dryness, especially if you are using more blemish control ingredients.

Use Salicylic Acid (BHA) to prevent breakouts as it is an oil-soluble ingredient that is able to penetrate deep into the pores to unclog. For specific acne prone areas, you can use spot treatments with sulfur/benzoyl peroxide/BHA/tea tree oil to prevent and treat breakouts. A face wash with some active blemish ingredients might be a gentle option for more easily irritated skin.

If you are already undertaking some treatments for your skin, keep up with it as this will help keep flare ups under control but definitely speak to your doctor for more personal advice.

Keep Your Makeup Light

It is better to avoid wearing thick and heavy coverage foundation or long wear foundations under this area. Opt for light tinted coverage, sheer, tinted moisturisers, and/or tinted SPF for some coverage instead. Avoid setting powder if you can as again, the more layers will increase the chance of congestion. If you can, avoid wearing makeup under your mask.

If you use lip products, it might rub onto your mask and back onto your skin and can cause some congestion, especially if your lip product or lip balm have comedogenic ingredients in them.

Anyone else experiencing more than the usual breakouts with masks?

13 skincare mistakes you should avoid at all cost

Beauty and Skincare

Hey don’t worry! Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. To make thing worse, we rarely learn from those mistakes and often we have to repeat them a few more times until we learn. Am I right?

Skincare mistakes are nothing new, nothing strange or unusual, and are commited by us all. Most of the time, you don’t even know that some of your habits are damaging your skin. Proper skincare is extremely important in the summer thanks to sunshine, humidity, and heat but in the winter too.

We all want nice, beautiful, and healthy skin. Sometimes we’ll do many crazy and extreme things to achieve it. We’ll spend insane amount of money on serums and creams. We’ll get botox, fillers and facials. We’ll buy expensive makeup and follow 30 step skincare regimen.

The skincare industry can be a little (a lot) overwhelming but, you know what? Getting nice skin is not as complicated as you may think. One place to start is by evaluating which skincare mistakes you’re doing and then learn from those mistakes.

Not removing makeup before sleep (and exercize)

This is a very common mistake, but also one of the worst mistakes you can do to your skin. While we sleep our skin is renewing, repairing and producing skin cells so we can look radiant, fresh and beautiful. Imagine this – if you have a layer of makeup on your skin you are making it nearly impossible for those cells to repair and renew.

The makeup also attracts free radicals, and they break down the collagen production in our skin, speed up the ageing process, and our skin becomes dull and dehydrated.

To prevent damage, remove all your makeup before going to bed, but also before your workout because sweat and makeup don’t mix well.

Using filthy bedding

Just because your pillowcase doesn’t look dirty, doesn’t mean it isn’t dirty. Sweat, oil from skin and hair, and other residues from products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair oils and face creams, linger around on your bedding. Are you even aware of what this could do to your skin? Awful things and damage.

Solution? Wash your bedding once a week. Change your pillowcase. You could also consider giving up cotton for silk.

Using dirty beauty tools

Dirt attracts bacteria. Bacteria is very dangerous for your skin. Using dirty tools, sponges and brushes not only leads to to clogged pores, but also to skin infections. If you never (or rarely) clean your beauty tools, don’t worry, you are normal but you should also change that unhealthy habit and your skin will be grateful.

Invest in new brushes and tools from time to time. Also, clean your tools regulary. Water and gentle soap and you are done!

Touching your face

Do you know what’s the biggest mistake you could make? Touching your face too often. Just think about all the things you touch and your hands are exposed to over the course of a regular day. Now, imagine all of that transferred to your face.

Every day our hands come in contact with millions of bacteria and germs. If you touch your face, everything will stuck there. And trust me, it’s much worse than it sounds. As difficult as it might be, keep your hands off your face. Also, keep your hands as clean as possible. But even when you have the cleanest hands, still don’t douch your face. It’s the biggest skincare mistake you could make.

Overexfoliating

Exfoliation is still important (in moderation). But instead of a harsh scrub, you can try a chemical exfoliant made with acids like AHA and/or BHA. It’s easy to go crazy with exfoliating scrubs, especially when your skin is feeling off or dry. But it could be doing more harm than good. Exfoliating can cause tiny tears in the skin and can impair the skin’s normal skin barrier.

Skipping daily sunscreen

You really need sunscreen every day — yes, even when it’s cloudy, raining or snowing. Sun exposure causes sunspots, skin damage and can lead to skin cancer — and you don’t have to be at the beach to get too much exposure. Use at least SPF 30.

Picking your skin

You may not even realize that you do it, but constantly picking at the skin can cause irritation, inflamed skin and spread bacteria. Going overboard with this can lead to scarring, and may even make you break out since your hands usually have a good amount of bacteria on them. If this is a nervous habit, try and break it by keeping your hands busy with something else. 

You’re mostly using face wipes

Using face wipes causes you to pull and tug at your skin to remove your eye makeup. Not good folks. Cleansing cloths should only be used for emergency. If you’re so exhausted that you can barely stand in front of a sink, then face wipes will come handy. Heck, it’s definitely better than not washing at all. But don’t use them too often and definitely not every day.

You’re not layering your products right

If you’re putting your serum on after moisturiser, you may as well be pouring it down the drain. Serums contain targeted ingredients that need as much contact as possible with your skin to work their magic. Moisturiser, on the other hand, acts like a protective blanket over the skin – which prevents the active ingredients in your serum from penetrating through.

If ever in doubt, simply apply your products from thinnest to thickest formula. This should look something like toner-serum-moisturiser-oil. “But my moisturiser is thicker than my face oil!”, I hear you cry. Well ask yourself – would you down a bottle of olive oil on a sunny day to quench your thirst? No, you wouldn’t. So you shouldn’t quench thirsty skin with a face oil.  Moisturisers contain humectants to draw water into uppermost layers of the skin, but they can’t do that if you put your face oil on first. Always pat in your face oil last, on top of your moisturiser.

Regardless of how simple or complicated your skincare routine is, the order in which you apply your products really matters. If you get your order wrong, some products won’t be able to reach your skin. This way, you will not only be wasting product, but you won’t benefit from it either.

Skipping moisturiser

There’s a huge misconception in the skincare community that the last thing oily skin types need is moisturiser. 

No matter what your skin type is, everyone needs moisturiser. In fact, using a moisturiser can actually help your skin regulate its own natural oil production – resulting in less spots overall. The trick is making sure you’ve got the right ingredients to help keep your skin hydrated, without triggering a break-out.

You are Changing Your Products to Often

I know a lot of women make this skincare mistake. It happens all too easily when someone goes out and purchases a whole new line of skincare products. They’ve likely heard all kinds of good things about it and feel amazing buying them. Then just a few days after swapping out everything their skin looks and feels worse than ever! The problem is if you change too much at once you’ll never know what is working and what’s not.

Your Morning Skin Care Routine is Non Existent

If the first thing you put on your face in the morning is makeup your skin is really missing out!! Your skin deserves more than only taking care of it before bed. While a nightly skin care routine is crucial to removing buildup, excess oil, and the like before you sleep – a morning routine is important too. 

Rubbing Products onto Your Face

When you apply a product such as a serum or cream on your skin, do you rub it in to get it absorbed? If yes, this habit has simply got to go! The skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body and needs to be treated gently. Rubbing your skin can cause a bunch of problems such as early wrinkles, and skin damage. What’s more, rubbing your product in does not help it get absorbed better at all!

The best way to apply your products is by gently tapping it in. By pressing it into your skin with a light touch, your product will absorb a lot better while the tapping motion will help improve your blood circulation, leading to healthier, glowing skin.

So are you guys guilty of some of these mistakes too? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to keep an eye out for my next post!

5 Ingredients For A Brighter Skin

Beauty and Skincare

Now that fall is upon us, we start implementing heavier products into our skincare routines. This is the season that skin starts to take on a more dull tone. We are not exfoliating as much as we were in summer, the heating gets switched, the air is colder and things generally aren’t in our favour for bright skin.

Skincare isn’t about finding a quick fix because it simply doesn’t exist. No, it’s about living a lifestyle that allows confidence, control and healthy skin. In order to maintain blemish free skin (and that is totally possible to achieve) clear skin is a daily commitment.

Healthy skin requires consistent use of the right products, along with conscious lifestyle choices, the right diet, supporting supplements, and good sleep that lead you to achieving your skin goals. In order to get clear, healthy and brighter skin, patience and consistency is key.

Now tell me, is dull skin getting you down? Look no further because the next 5 ingredients all have one thing in common – making your skin brighter! They trigger the epidermis to head into full remodel mode, reducing the appearance of fine lines, smoothing, undulling, and hydrating for renewed radiance.

They brighten the skin by clearing away dull, dry skin to reveeal a fresher appearance, but some earn extra points for the ways they take on excess pigment.

Here is the list of the best 5 ingredients for a brighter skin:

Mandelic Acid

Mandelic acid enhances brightness in two ways. It inhibits the melanin producing enzyme tyrosinase to block pigment from forming. It helps lift existing pigment by exfoliating dead cells from the surface. Mandelic acid has a larger molecular structure than other AHAs, so it is absorbed by the skin more slowly and doesn’t cause irritation that can trigger hyperpigmentation.

It also has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Mandelic acid is a particulary good choice for skin of color or sensitive types because of its gentle action.

The best products that contain mandelic acid 

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA $7
PCA Skin Pore Refining Treatment $60
Susanne Kaufmann Glow Mask $90

Kojic Acid

Kojic acid is a natural skin lightening compound derived from mushrooms. It works by blocking the production of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin synthesis. It also helps exfoliate skin and stimulate cell renewal, which is beneficial for removing existing pigmentation, plus it has photoprotective qualities.

Kojic acid fades dark spots and prevents new pigment formation making it ideal for combatting melasma, hyperpigmentation and age spots.

The best products that contain kojic acid 

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense $98
iS Clinical Super Serum Advanced Plus $155
La Roche-Posay Mela-D Pigment Control Serum $53

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid disperses pigment on skin’s surface through the sloughing off of dead cells. It also works to directly reduce melanin formation by inhibiting melanin production. In addition to accelerating cell turnover, glycolic acid stimulates collagen production and promotes a smoother texture and more consistent tone.

Because of its small molecular size, glycolic acid penetrates more quickly than other AHAs, so it can be quick to produce results (but don’t expect the overnight results). It can also be more irritating.

The best products that contain glycolic acid 

Mario Badescu Glycolic Skin Renewal Complex $35
Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon $64
Herbivore Botanicals Prism Natural Fruit Acids 5% Exfoliating Glow Potion $62

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

This antioxidant powerhouse interacts with copper to inhibit the melanin-stimulating enzyme tyrosinase, reducing the formation of pigment and encouraging a brighter, more even tone. It also has a potent photoprotective effect to reduce melanin triggers.

Vitamin C is essential to collagen synthesis, so it supports a firmer skin structure.

The best products that contain vitamin C

Lumene Nordic-C Arctic Berry Oil-Cocktail $25
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream $64
Sunday Riley C.E.O Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream $65

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is converted into retinoic acid in the body where its potent antioxidant properties get to work. It disrupts the oxidative process induced by enviromental stressors to prevent and repair cellular damage. Vitamin A also brightens skin by accelerating cell turnover, which removes surface-level pigmentation.

As a bonus, vitamin A boosts collagen production, thickens, and firms the skin. Vitamin A is often used in combination with other AHA brighteners to maximize results.

The best products that contain Vitamin A

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Retinol Capsules £39.31


A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum £70.00
Retinol 0.3% + Vitamin B3 Serum £38.00

Are there any you’re a fan of?

Skin Types – What is My Skin Type?

Beauty and Skincare

Hello all my skin-care addicts and beauty lovers. Today we are going to talk about skin types, how to determine your skin type and the end goal when it comes to healthy skin.

There are four main and basic skin types. They are determined by genetics. You may have heard about other skin types before such as sensitive skin, mature skin, dehydrated skin but these are more skin conditions rather than genetically determined types of skin.

Normal Skin

The luckiest skin type. Also known as “no problem skin”, “you can put anything on me skin”, “I always look perfect and don’t need any filters skin”. Normal skin is usually blemish free, has good oil and water balance and the ultimate goal is to maintain everything and take preventive measures to keep it healthy.

The T-zone (forehead, chin and nose) may be a bit oily, but overall sebum and moisture is balanced and the skin is neither too oily nor too dry.

Normal skin has: fine pores, good blood circulation, a velvety, soft and smooth texture, a fresh, rosy colour uniform transparencyno blemishes  and is not prone to sensitivity.

Combination (Combo) Skin

This skin type can be either oily-normal or oily-dry. The T-zone usually has increased oil production, visible pores, whereas the outer portions are either normal or dry and flakey. In case you are wondering, this is the most common skin type in the world.

The oilier parts of combination skin are caused by an over production of sebum. The drier parts of combination skin are caused by a lack of sebum and a corresponding lipid deficiency.

The goal is to balance the oil and water in the skin. Make sure you are not using too harsh products which can ruin and dry out your skin, leading to increased oil production, dehydration and more dryness as a result.

Dry Skin

Dry is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. Skin moisture depends on supply of water in the deeper skin layers and on perspiration.

Dry skin is usually sensitive, and may become irritated when in contact with harsh detergents, soaps or unsuitable cosmetic products. When the skin’s barrier function is disturbed, allergens, irritants, pollutants and microorganism can penetrate the skin more easily.

It is important to avoid skincare products that contain irritating ingredients such as perfumes and colourants. Always check that the product has been dermatologically tested on sensitive skin.

Oily Skin

This skin type produces excess oil. Pores are large and visible. Skin is prone to acne due to buildup of oil and dead skin cells that clogs the pores. Fun fact: oily skin can be a sign of severely dehydrated skin. Avoid harsh cleansers because they can dry out your skin leading to more oil production.

A number of issues trigger the over production of sebum: genetics, hormonal changes and imbalances, medication, stress, comedogenic cosmetics (make-up products that cause irritation).

What skin type do you have?

Marula Oil – Powerful Benefits of the Elixir of Youth

Beauty and Skincare

Jojoba oil. Coconut oil. Argan oil. Olive oil. Sounds familiar? Thought so. But what about marula oil? Ever heard of that? Marula oil is a wonderful oil extracted from the marula tree found in sub-Saharan tropical Africa. Marula oil is also known as the “Elixir of Youth” and it has been used as a natural remedy for centuries to treat a wide range of health conditions.

Marula oil can come from either the nuts, seeds, or the fruit of said tree; the nut can be be boiled, the seeds pressed, or the fruit processed to extract it. It might be something new in our beauty world but it’s been used for centuries in Africa.

Marula oil is a lightweight and antioxidant-rich oil, light yellow, has a faint nutty scent, fast-absorbing, and contains fatty acids that have moisturizing and emollient properties. The amino acids found in marula oil (L-arginine and glutamic acid) help restore hydration and have anti-aging properties.

Marula oil is a real multitasker. It will hydrate your skin, minimize dark spots, protect against UV rays, but it also works great on dry ends and flyaways. Marula oil is absorbed so quickly, you don’t need to worry it will weigh down your hair or leave greasy residue on your skin. Believe it or not, marula oil contains 60 percent more antioxidants than other oils. Amazing, right?

Benefits of Marula Oil for Skin

Marula oil balances moisture levels. Whether it’s used on its own or added to a skin product, a few drops on the face, neck, and décolleté will lock in moisture without leaving a thick residue. It will also fight off free radicals that threaten your complexion. (You can also add a few drops to your foundations so they won’t be as drying to the skin.)

Marula oil will leave your skin super-smooth to the touch in an instant, but just as importantly, it will help maintain that silky texture by hydrating and reversing the damage that left skin rough in the first place.

Marula oil is full of fatty acids and omega oils, as well as Vitamins E and C, which work together to repair free radical damage, like that from the sun exposure or pollution, which accelerate aging. It’s been shown to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and deep-set wrinkles.

Thanks to its hydrating and antimicrobial properties, applying it to your problem areas can help reduce the size and appearance of all kinds of blemishes. It can also reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

Marula oil won’t clog pores, it is non-comedogenic, so you don’t have to worry about it clogging pores, as is the case with some other oils.

You already know that antioxidants are a must-have ingredient in your quest for complexion perfection, and marula oil is a good source of these. It’s packed with vitamins C and E,. Marula oil also contains the phytochemical epicatechin, which has strong antioxidant properties.

Marula oil is loved for good wound healing properties, and this can largely be attributed to its anti-inflammatory effects. Those same fatty acids that make it so hydrating also help combat inflammation and redness.

Marula oil keeps hair and scalp healthy. Not every all-natural oils out there penetrate deep into the scalp but Marula oil is an exception. Not only does it sinks in, but effectively coats the strands to protect against external damage, retains the moisture, nourishes from within, and seals the cuticles.

Marula oil is also great for nail care. With loads of Vitamin E and fortifying nutrients, Marula oil is great for treating weak, splitting or brittle nails. The skin-enriching compounds nourish and moisturizes the nails, promotes re-growth, and help to remove dead nails. Thus it ensures you have healthy cuticle and stronger nails. Massaging the oil into cuticles can make them soft, and supple. Add it to nail products to get strong, pretty nails.

Side Effects of Marula Oil

There are no specific and scientifically proven risks associated with marula oil yet. But, people who are already allergic to nuts may be allergic to marula oil.
A patch test is recommended before using marula oil.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Apply 3 or 4 drops of marula oil on your inner forearm.
  • Wait for 24 hours.
  • If there is no sign of hives, redness, or irritation, you can use marula oil on other parts of your body.
  • Avoid contact with eyes and stop using it in case of irritation.

How to Use Marula Oil

As with most oils, you can either use it straight up or look for it mixed with other ingredients in a serum or moisturizer. For the former, seek out pure or virgin marula oil, which will have a higher concentration of those good-for-your skin antioxidants than a refined version.

Face oil should be the very last step in your skincare routine, since moisturizers and serums can’t actually penetrate your skin if it’s covered in oil. So after you cleanse, tone, spot-treat, and moisturize, plop two or three drops of marula oil on your fingers and gently dab the oil on your face. The key word here is “gently”—no rubbing, just tapping, which’ll help the oil sink into your skin nice and quickly.

Marula oil is rich in essential nutrients with numerous potential benefits. It is a widely used ingredient in several cosmetic products. It helps in delaying the signs of aging and protects your skin from getting damaged.
Use marula oil in recommended quantities to reap its benefits and consult a doctor in case of any side effects.

Not only does marula absorb into the skin easily, but it can also help beat environmental stressors like pollution, sun damage, and harsh weather. Marula oil is the real secret to the glowy, young looking, healthy skin and shiny hair of your dreams.

Have you ever tried marula oil? Did you like it?

Skincare Routine – Correct Steps And Everything You Need To Know

Beauty and Skincare

Healthy skin is not only a matter of DNA and “good genes”. Your daily habits and lifestyle have a huge impact on your skin health. If you don’t have a skincare routine but want to start one, you probably don’t even know where to start.

What is a skincare routine anyway? How many products to use? Which ones? In what order? What do those products do?

One thing is certain – there is no such thing as a correct skincare routine, although there is a way to apply your products and choose good ones for your skin type and needs. Why should you start skincare routine, you might ask.

Well cared for skin means you’ll have less problems and breakouts, less redness and irritation, and less signs of aging. Sounds nice enough? I thought so. Skincare routine is not complicated but not simple as many think. It’s not enough to rinse your face and apply any random moisturizer and call it a day.

To get the most benefit out of your skincare routine, you need to follow three steps: cleanse, treat, moisturize. Maybe you already clean your face, morning and evening. Maybe you even use good moisturizer. But what does “treating” your skin mean?

Treating means using serums and other products full of skincare super-stuff like vitamin C, acids, retinol and more. If you add that middle step in your routine, it can make huge difference over time and improve general health of your skin.

Today I’ll show you a basic step-by-step skincare routine you can use as a blueprint for your own regimen.

Recommended Daytime Skincare Routine

1. Cleanser

Cleaning your face is the first important step of your skincare routine. A cleanser gets rid of oils, dead skin, bacteria, dirt, and pollutants. The cleanser depends of your skin type so it’s important to pay attention what is in your cleanser, and what’s not in it.

If you have normal or dry skin, use a hydrating cleanser with peptides. If you are acne-prone or oily, use a very mild cleanser with salicylic acid. Avoid sulfates in general, because they can have a harsh effect on your face. If you cleanse too much or too often with a harsh cleanser, it will break down your skin barrier.

2. Toner/Essence

Toner is an optional step, but if you love a toner you should definitely keep using it. Toner can be a great way to balance your skin’s pH. If you have dry or sensitive skin, make sure you use a hydrating toner. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use a toner with glycolic or salicylic acid to calm your skin and breakouts.

Essences are more hydrating than toners. Essences like hyaluronic acid floods your skin with moisture. To apply, soak a cotton pad in liquid and gently pat it over your face. You can also use your clean hands to do the same thing.

3. Eye cream

You should gently pat eye cream with your ring finger all around your eyes, and not just underneath them. If your eye cream is causing your makeup to smear, choose a lightweight option, like a hydrating gel cream that sinks in quickly.

When it comes to eye cream, you should look for ingredients like peptides, which help tighten your skin and depuff, and antioxidants. You should also use formulas that contain hyaluronic acid (hydrating), caffeine (brightening), and ceramides (they lock in moisture and help strenghten your skin barrier).

4. Serum

When it comes to serum, I always recommend vitamin C serums during the day. No matter what your age, you need vitamin C in your life. It helps reverse a lot of the damage we get from the sun and pollution. You should always look for vitamin C serum that contains a stable form of vitamin C, so that the molecule will be able to soak into your skin.

At night, look for a serum with peptides to repair skin. For both daytime and nightime, look for ingredients like Niacinamide to reduce redness, hyaluronic acid to pull moisture into your skin, and AHAs and BHAs which help boost collagen and even out skin pigmentation.

If you have acne-prone skin you should always look for retinol, stem cells, and green tea. For dehydrated skin look for hyaluronic acid, lipids, and peptides. For hyperpigmentated skin look for vitamin C.

5. Moisturizer

You’ve treated your skin and now it’s time to moisturize. Moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated and helps strengthen your skin barrier. Moisturizers prevent water loss through the outer layers of skin. For daytime use, opt for a lighter moisturizer that will soak in quickly and won’t cause pilling under makeup.

What is the difference between a day and night cream? Day creams typically have a lightweight consistency. They are also equipped to protect your skin from the pollution, enviromental aggressors, and many contain antioxidants to minimize pollution based free radicals and sunscreen.

Night creams focus on repairing any skin damage and often have a rich, thick texture.

6. Sunscreen

You might not like it but you should apply sunscreen every single day, summer or winter, whether or not you go outside, to prevent UV damage. Sunscreen needs to be your last skincare step in order to be most effective. Daily and consistent sunscreen use helps to prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles, textural imperfections, and changes in the appearance of pores over time. 

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply at least every two hours.

This skincare routine works for day and for night but keep in mind that you don’t have to apply sunscreen before going to bed and that nighttime routine comes with some additional steps.

Nighttime Skincare Routine – additional steps

Makeup Remover

If you wear makeup, it is essential to remove it before going to bed. Removing all your makeup should be your first step at the end of the day. Don’t skip it!

Retinol

Retinol reduces fine lines, reduces pore size, increases collagen and elastin production, takes off dead skin, reduces oil production, unclogs pores, and evens out skin tone.  This is a strong ingredient, and beginners should proceed with caution when adding to their routines. Potential side effects can include flaking, dryness, retinol burn, and increased sensitivity to the sun, which is why you should stick to applying it at night.

Face Oil

Although you can use face oils as a part of your daytime skincare routine, oils are a great way to lock in moisture while you sleep. Don’t forget, oil comes as a last step of your nighttime skincare routine. If you use face oil in the morning, they should come before your sunscreen and makeup.

When it comes to skincare, there are some rules to remember – cleansing comes first, serum sits beneath moisturizer, and sunscreen goes on last. Understanding this order will ensure your skincare products work effectively because no one wants to buy expensive product and render it useless because of misapplication.

Do you have a skincare routine?

Shea Butter And Its Amazing Benefits For Skin

Beauty and Skincare

Shea butter is derived from the kernels of the shea tree’s fruits, and the shea tree has been nicknamed “Tree of Life”, thanks to its ability to heal many skin and hair problems, issues and conditions. Because of its great moisturizing and softening benefits, shea butter is also called “Mother’s Nature Conditioner”.

Shea butter is actually skin superfood that nourishes skin and deal with problems such as dryness, dark spots, blemishes, wrinkles, stretch marks, and discoloration. Shea butter also boosts collagen producttion, and promotes skin cell regeneration, without clogging pores.

Shea butter creates barrier on skin that protects it from harsh enviromental elements. Shea buuter supports skin elasticity and suppleness, and inceases circulation. It can be also used in hair care because it nourishes from root to the tip, repairs damage, protects against brittleness and dryness, without leaving a sticky residue.

Rich in Vitamins A, E and F, Shea Butter is a natural emollient that nourishes skin to promote its clarity and health. Whether skin is dry or oily, Shea Butter balances its oil production without clogging pores. It melts at body temperature and is known to soothe and hydrate mature skin as well as skin that has been damaged by the harsh effects of the elements. Its Cinnamic Acid content provides skin with a degree of protection against the sun, acting as a natural sun screen. Individuals with acne, eczema, rashes, or psoriasis can use Shea Butter for relief from their skin conditions without experiencing the side effects commonly associated with traditional treatments, which can have abrasive effects on skin. Gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, Shea Butter has even been used traditionally for baby care.

The word Shea is derived from the word S’í, the Bambara name given to the tree in Mali. Throughout Africa, the continent of its origin, it goes by many other names, including Kade or Kadanya in the Hausa language, Ori in some parts of West Africa, and Karité in the Wolof language of Senegal. 

In some of Africa’s poorest regions, the Shea tree has become important to the economy and to the livelihood. In these places, Shea Butter is most commonly known as ‘Women’s Gold,’ due to the fact that Shea Butter production is the source of income for many women in Africa. The women use Shea Butter to purchase food, clothing, personal items, and to afford an education, among other purposes.

According to historical sources, the use of Shea Butter has even been traced back to Egypt as far back as the first century at the time of Queen Cleopatra, when it was used largely in skin care products. Ancient accounts tell the story of Cleopatra demanding that large jars full of Shea Butter accompany her on all her travels so that she could apply the smooth, hydrating, soothing, and rejuvenating butter to her skin daily.

The uses of Shea Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils and balms, cleansing oils, lotions, creams, facial serums, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, shampoos and other hair care products, and ointments or salves.

Side effects and risks

Shea butter is an incredibly low-risk topical ingredient. Allergic reactions to shea butter are rare. Even people who are allergic to tree nuts, the family that shea nuts belong to, have a low risk of reaction to shea butter on their face.

Reasons to use shea butter in your skincare routine

It’s moisturizing

If you have dry, dull skin, shea butter may become your new best friend. It helps retain moisture by forming a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, which reduces the loss of water and keeps your skin hydrated. Shea butter moisturizes hair, too. By conditioning the scalp, it can also reduce dandruff, and it can make hair stronger and prevent breakage.

It’s safe for all skin types

Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies. There’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter. It also doesn’t contain chemical irritants.

It’s soothing

Thanks to the fact that it contains both vitamins E and A, shea butter is also beneficial in treating irritated skin, sensitive or not. You can use it to soothe dry patches, windburn, sunburn, abrasions, even diaper rashes on babies.

It eases inflammation

Shea butter slows the production of inflammatory cells that contribute to irritation and skin conditions, so if you struggle with chronic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, the fatty acids in shea butter will help ease inflammation. Because shea butter penetrates the skin quickly, you’ll feel relief sooner rather than later.

It makes you look younger

The vitamin A and E in shea butter can do more than soothe skin. They can also make you appear more youthful. Shea butter also helps promote cell regeneration, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also boosts collagen production, and gives you the plump look. We all love plump look, don’t we?

It won’t make your skin oily

Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application.

How to use shea butter?

Shea butter can be used on its own, but it’s just as commonly used as an ingredient in cosmetics. It is best incorporated into a moisturiser with other ingredients so it’s easier to spread, since it’s usually a thick solid at room temperature.

You can apply shea butter directly to your skin and hair, as a conditioner or on the ends of your hair. For the face, it may be best to use at night as it can be tricky to apply makeup over it. Wherever you’re applying it though, remember a little goes a long way. 

Shea butter is full of essential nutrients that can enhance your natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out. Although it’s considered safe every skin type, many products containing shea butter have other ingredients mixed in.

If you experience any side effects that you suspect are connected to a shea butter product, discontinue use and see a doctor or other healthcare provider. 

If you would like to make your own products with shea butter, start with this easy and simple, but powerful and moisturizing shea butter balm.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax (or soy wax)

Combine the ingredients in a microwave-safe glass container. Microwave to gently heat up the shea butter and beeswax. Pour into a 4 to 5-ounce glass jar and let cool. Stir again. Use on dry areas. It’s great for the knees, elbows, and can even be used to treat and prevent chapped lips.

Best face oils for all skin types

Beauty and Skincare

Do you ever feel that taking care of your skin is a full time job? If so, you are not alone. We all feel that way especially as we get older. As we age, our skin loses moisture and elasticity, and that causes wrinkles, fine lines and dryness. To fight wrinkles we use serums, creams, moisturizers, anti-wrinkle treatments, sunscreen, eye cream…what not!?

One thing is certain – when it comes to wrinkle treatments, the options are endless. There are many products available to reduce wrinkles and fine lines but if you want to add just one extra thing to your skincare routine, make it a quality oil.

Not so long ago “oil” was a dirty and forbidden word in skincare. Everything was “oil free”. Remember? Oil was considered the main culprit when it comes to skin problems, clogged pores, pimples and acne. Well, not anymore. Oils are our skin friends.

Oils can penetrate deep into the skin, trapping water and moisture in, but keeping toxins out. Oils can still clog your pores but not all oils. Mineral oils are dangerous for sensitive and acne prone skin, and olive and coconut oil can easily clog pores.

Unfortunately, trial and error is your safest bet at determining what oils will work for you. There are oils that are less likely to iritate like marula and argan but your skin type and genetic makeup will determine what will work for you.

Maybe you are afraid of oils on your skin. Maybe you have oily skin and the idea of putting more oil on your face seems insane. Maybe you have super sensitive skin and think you can’t use an oil. Or maybe you just don’t like oils in general and don’t trust them.

Whatever the reason, you should know one thing – face oil is great product that can actually treat your skin problems, issues and give you bright, glowy, clear and healthy skin. Every skin type can use face oil, you just have to find right one for yourself and your skin type.

Let’s find you your perfect oil.

Dry Skin

When your skin is dry you might think that any kind of face oil will work for you. Because why not, right? Skin is dry anyway and will drink anything you put on it. But, it’s not that simple. Some oils are naturally more lightweight (jojoba, pomegranate and grape seed) so if you are dryer type you want to use richer oil that is high in oleic acid – a fatty acid that lock in moisture, helps condition skin, and reduce irritation from dryness.

What oils to use?

Almond Oil

Almond oil is gentle, incredibly hydrating, and simple enough with everyone with dry skin, dermatitis or eczema. It’s very high in vitamin A so it’s great for line smoothing and zit-fighting when used over time.

Marula Oil

Marula oil manages to absorb into skin within a few minutes, but it’s still rich enough to calm and moisturize your skin during the day or night.

You can put those oils directly on your face or mix 3-5 drops with your moisturizer, and apply to your face and neck. You can also apply oil over your moisturizer to provide a protective barrier to prevent dry air from pulling moisture out of your skin.

Oily Skin

Oily skin and oils..you’d think that is impossible combination but it’s not actually. There is a common misconception that oily skin and face oil shouldn’t mix. But the truth is, if you produce excess amounts of oil, it’s actually your skin’s way of letting you know that you need it.

If your body senses a lack of oil, it will produce more to compensate. By adding it yourself, you’ll be slowing down the body’s natural oil production, and balancing out your skin.

What oils to use?

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is incredibly lighweight and breathable oil so it’s great for any skin type, especially for oily skin. Jojoba oil breaks down and dissolves sebum, so it help control your shine.

Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is a bit more drying than jojoba oil. It is also natural astringent, so it will help mattify your skin. If your skin is so oily that you never felt a dry patch on your skin, opt for grape seed oil.

Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin you have to find a formula with zero mineral oils (like rose, lavander and peppermint) because mineral oils tend to irritate sensitive skin.

What you need is calming, gentle, soothing, and nourishing oil. Just make sure to patch test it first (apply it below your ear near jaw) and wait for 24 hours for a reaction. If your skin seems okay and normal, you can use oil in the morning, at night, as the last step of your skincare routine.

What oils to use?

Aloe Vera Oil

Aloe vera oil is filled with anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, but it’s also naturally antibacterial and astringent, so it’s great for sensitive skin that’s also oily and/or acne prone.

Moringa Oil

This oil is packed with antioxidants (protecting your skin from free radicals), fatty acids (repairing skin barrier), and anti-inflammatories (calming irritated skin). Moringa oil is very lightweight, moisturizing, and you can even layer it under makeup.

Acne-Prone Skin

Most acne treatments are filled with ingredients that strip your skin of natural oils. When your skin is dry, it produces extra sebum, leading to blackheads and pimples. Acne safe face oils work to protect and nourish your skin, and your body can heal acne (or zits) without causing you more.

Before you use any oil on acne-prone skin, try patch-testing one on the most acne-prone area of your face because it will be the most reactive and most accurate spot. Try it for a week and if nothing bad happens, add oil as a last step of your skincare routine.

What oils to use?

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is amazing oil that deeply hydrates skin but without clogging your pores. It is also full of fatty acids that fade acne scars and reduce redness.

Pomegranate Oil

Pomegranate oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, but it’s also lightweight. It will help fight bacteria in your pores, calm the rest of your (inflamed) skin but won’t feel like a greasy and heavy mask on your face.

Normal Skin

I don’t like the word “normal” but if you don’t break out, if you are not sensitive, dry or oily then you have perfectly normal skin and you should be thankful for that. That also means you can use basic face oil without having to worry about irritation or clogged pores.

Because normal skin is less dry, you don’t have to apply oils directly on your skin. Try mixing 2-3 drops of oil into your nighttime moisturizer.

What oils to use?

Argan Oil

Argan oil is soothing and rich. It sinks in quickly and it’s high in vitamin E – an antioxidant that helps prevent skin damage, fine lines and dark spots. You can massage it on in the morning or night (or both) as the final step of your skincare routine.

Squalane Oil

Squalane oil is like a drink of water for your skin. It is super hydrating and is full of anti-aging benefits. Squalane oil is a great moisturizer, it’s easily absorbed and prevents water loss from skin. It helps to repair the barrier of your skin. Squalane can also increase the luminosity of skin, lessen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and help reduce redness.

Bonus tip:

Never mix face oils with a sunscreen. If you alter its original formula by mixing in an oil, you probably won’t be getting real sun protection or benefit to prevent wrinkles and brown spots.