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?

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?