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skincare

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Having sensitive skin to various chemicals and/or ingredients, it often limits you on the types of products or treatments you can use. Thankfully, you can keep your sensitive skin calm and avoid flair ups by following the sensitive skin do’s and don’ts listed below:

Don’t Use

According to an article on Byrdie, Renee Rouleau, who is a skin care expert, the following is true about sensitive skin:

“The majority of the time, it’s the person’s use of harsh products that causes irritation. Simply put, avoid using irritating ingredients and your skin will be less irritated!”

Avoid The Following Ingredients to Reduce Skin Sensitivity

  • Alcohol: Creams and toners often include alcohol as it helps deliver a quick-dry finish. Unfortunately, it will also sap the moisture level of your skin, thus causing uncomfortable, irritated skin.
  • Fragrance: A pleasant fragrance smells wonderful, obviously. However, fragrance can cause skin inflammation, so it’s best avoided when you have sensitive skin.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate: These ingredients are mainly responsible for the lathering process in countless products. In addition, though, they are also responsible for causing skin irritation.
Photo: Yastremska

Do Try

Thankfully, there are some treatments you can use and ingredients to look for that will help calm your sensitive skin. Like the following:

  • Green Tea: You have likely heard about the many health benefits provided by green tea. What you might not know is that it’s also great for topical use. Look for treatments like Boscia’ Green Tea Oil Control Mask for an example of using green tea in your skin care regimen.
  • Sunflower Oil: If your skin is dry and easily irritated, you should be using sunflower oil. This natural substance contains large amounts of vitamin E, which means it will help repair your skin and restore your skin’s moisture barrier. Phytolipid Comfort Crème is a great example of a skin treatment that contains sunflower oil.
  • Bisabolol: This plant extract has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, making it ideal for sensitive skin. You can look for it as an ingredient in many types of moisturizers or serums. One example of a product that contains bisabolol is Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm.
Photo: Barcelona_dreams

Having sensitive skin causes all kinds of problems when it comes to finding the right beauty products. Obviously, you can’t simply pick something off the store shelf like other people. Instead, you have to be careful about everything you use on our skin. Thankfully, by following the sensitive skin do’s and don’ts listed above, you can find some amazing products, treatments, and ingredients that will work for you and help your sensitive skin.

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Until very recently, an online search for “snails” would yield plenty of tips for removing the slimy suckers from your garden and a few escargot recipes, but not much else. Recently, though, these garden critters are making waves in a whole new industry – skincare.

Why are beauty brands from the US and around the world suddenly touting snail essence and snail based products to customers? A look at the goop that snails leave behind – and the way it interacts with human skin – reveals why the gastropods are suddenly so popular.

Gastropods Making a Mark on the Beauty Industry

Snail essence is not a particularly new trend, according to ABC news, snails were used for skin treatments by ancient Greeks. The new wave of snail based products began today in Korea and France; with big brands shelling out lots of cash for the tiny critters.  High end salons are also offering “Escarglow” facials that offer all of the benefits of snail mucin in a spa environment.

Is it Really from Snails?

It is. When snails get upset and defensive, they emit a thick, gooey fluid to protect themselves; this mucin can help benefit human skin in a variety of ways, according to dermatologist Tabasum Mir, speaking to the Huffington Post. This snail goo, or mucin contains hydrolauric acid and can hydrate skin, prevent the signs of again and even improve the appearance of scars or wrinkles. In one study, 25 participants tried snail mucin cream and found that they had improved texture and fewer wrinkles after 12 weeks.

Are Snail Products Worth Buying?

Possibly. For home use, the mucin in products may not be as concentrated as it needs to be to gain the advertised effects. Salon use is likely better, since products for professional application are more concentrated and likely contain higher amounts of beneficial mucin. The bottom line? Snail products could be beneficial for home use over time, but due to differences in concentration and even snail types, your best bet is a visit to your local spa or salon for a facial or for products designed for professional use.

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Body scrubs are great at exfoliating your skin. Most often, people use them in the shower, but you can use them anytime you feel like you need to slough away dead skin cells or to renew your skin’s glow. With the popularity of body scrubs, there are lots of formulations to try. Here’s a breakdown of what’s in body scrubs, how they work and how best to use them.

How Are Body Scrubs Formulated?

The primary role of a body scrub is to rid the skin of dead surface cells. After use, your skin will be instantly softer, smoother, and feel great to touch. Since body scrubs have to slough away dead cells, they all contain some kind of granular ingredient. For this purpose, most body scrubs contain either salt, sugar, or a combination of both. Since salt and sugar both dissolve in water, they are equally good as a body scrub ingredient. Other granular substances commonly used in body scrubs include seeds and even ground fruit pits.

Body scrubs also contain an emollient, because the secondary purpose of a body scrub is to leave skin softer, and the granular ingredient won’t do that alone. So body scrubs also contain an oil such as almond oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, shea nut oil, or jojoba oil. Many body scrubs contain not one, but a combination of oils to soften and moisturize skin. Finally, if your body scrub brand claims to have cleansing properties, it most likely will contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a gentle foaming ingredient.

How Body Scrubs Work

Body scrubs work by acting like a natural loofah on your skin. The granular ingredients slough away dead skin cells, while the emollients provide a barrier to keep moisture in your skin, and smooth the surface. This is why regular use of a body scrub not only softens skin right after your shower, but for the long term, too.

How to Use Body Scrubs

Body scrubs are perfect for use in the shower, but for best results, wait until the end of your shower to apply. That’s when dead skin cells are more easily removed. You can also use a body scrub effectively after a sauna, when pores are open.

To apply a body scrub, use only your hands. Using a loofah or scrubby might be too rough on skin. Firm but gentle pressure in a circular motion with your bare hands is sufficient to get good results from any body scrub.

Choosing a body scrub that’s right for you really has to do with the ingredients, the scent and the consistency. Opt for on you’ll enjoy using, and that gives you the results you’re hoping for.

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While wrinkles are bothersome, dealing with scars on the face is frequently even more difficult because the scar may remind an individual of a traumatic event. Although a scar is permanent, there are a variety of treatments available to reduce their size and diminish their appearance. The type of scar typically determines which treatment will provide you with the best results.

What Causes a Scar to Form?

Following an injury, fibrin and collagen bind together to begin the healing process. If the deep layer of skin (dermis) is damaged, a scar will most likely form. However, a scar may not form if only the top layer of skin (epidermis) sustained damage.

Other factors that determine whether a scar will form include:  

  • The size, depth and location of the wound.
  • Age plays a significant role in the formation of scars: The younger you are, the more resilient your skin and the less likely you are to develop a scar.
  • The color, type and thickness of your skin.

Types of Scars

Keloid Scars

Keloid scars occur due to overly aggressive healing. These scars are typically raised with a smooth top. They form beyond the boundary of the wound and appear purple or pink in color. People who have dark skin are more likely to develop this type of scarring.

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Hypertrophic Scars

These scars are like keloid scars; however, they do not form beyond the wound’s boundary.

Atrophic Scars (Acne Scars)

Atrophic scars may appear angular, wavelike or look like deep pits in the skin: These are the most common type of facial scar. Although frequently referred to as ‘acne scars,’ atrophic scars also form after scratching the itchy, blister-like rash that appears when an individual contracts the varicella virus (chicken pox).

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Contracture Scars

This type of scarring is common when an individual is burned. This scar causes the damaged skin to become tight. Since the muscles and nerves are frequently affected when these scars form, an individual may lose flexibility and have difficulty moving the damaged area(s).

Treating Scars

Although some scars do require assistance from a dermatologist, estheticians can perform a variety of treatments to reduce the appearance of facial scarring.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are similar to microdermabrasion treatments in that they remove the uppermost layer of skin to reveal the new skin beneath. Just as with microdermabrasion, the top layers of a scar will be removed with this treatment. However, to achieve the best results possible, a series of chemical peels must be performed. When compared to the microdermabrasion technique, chemical peels tend to provide faster results.

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Microdermabrasion

This treatment involves exfoliating the epidermis (top layer of skin). If a facial scar is raised, the raised portion is also removed. Microdermabrasion treatments must be performed multiple times.

 

Carbon Dioxide Laser Treatment

Carbon dioxide laser treatments can smooth scars and lighten discolorations on the face. This treatment works quickly; however, when compared to the other treatments listed here, it does require the most downtime.

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If you have facial scars that you would like to diminish, an esthetician in your area may be able to help.

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From mayonnaise hair masks to fish pedicures and even leech facials, odd beauty products and hacks are nothing new. One high ticket skincare line is making waves with a “special’ ingredient, though – super-pricey beauty brand Hermetise includes cat feces as a key ingredient in their skin care lineup.

It’s a Big Investment

Yes, really. Hermetise’s Kopi Luwak Anti-Pollution Oxygen Brightening Treatment uses several key ingredients, including cat poop, in their formula. This product has a pretty steep price tag for something born in a litter box—if you want to try this treatment, you’ll need to fork over about $1,600 for a single container. In addition to some feline byproducts, the Brightening Treatment contains gold and some of the most expensive coffee in the world.

The Asian Civet’s Poop includes Luxurious Coffee Beans

The cats producing the thousand-dollar poo are not your ordinary house cat. The cat responsible for the pricey poop is the Asian Civet, whose natural diet includes high end coffee beans. Civet cats hang out around coffee plantations and gobble up the raw beams. They digest the beans, pass them out and the farmer gathers up the pricey poop for the beauty industry.

Civet poop is found to tighten the skin, brighten and even skin tone and provide a more stable pH balance and is a key ingredient in one step of Hermetise’s three-part skin care regimen. You’re not going to save much money if you skip that cat poop step though, each component costs about $1,600 – or you can save and buy all three parts for a bargain price – just $4995.

Not sure about this process? Your local salon or spa might have some skin care suggestions that rival the benefits of the cat-poop cream, minus the poop and the hefty price tag.

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With a seemingly unending supply of skin care products available, choosing the product that will provide you with the ideal combination of ingredients can be challenging. However, choosing skin care products based on your skin type is the perfect way to determine which products will work best for you.

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Skin Type Characteristics

Normal Skin

Normal skin is typically clear, blemish-free and has good elasticity.

Dry Skin

Dry skin appears flaky and rough. In addition, it lacks elasticity and frequently becomes irritated.

Oily Skin

Oily skin will often have a shiny appearance. Due to natural oil production, irritations occur regularly.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin usually looks dry and red. It is common for sensitive skin to feel tight and itchy. Additionally, this skin type is very delicate and may react negatively to many skin care products, especially those that are not labeled as ‘hypoallergenic.’

Combination Skin

Just like oily skin, combination skin has a shiny appearance. However, impurities typically develop in what is referred to as the ‘T-zone.’ The areas within this zone generally include the forehead and the bridge of the nose, and sometimes the chin. The skin in the cheek area usually has characteristics commonly seen in dry or normal skin types.

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Choose Your Skin Care Products Based on Your Skin Type

Regardless of your skin type, you should wash your face twice a day and choose a moisturizer that contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30.

Normal Skin
  • Moisturize your skin daily.
  • Choose a light, non-greasy moisturizer that contains silicone-based ingredients like Cyclomethicone.
Dry Skin
  • Do not use harsh cleansers.
  • Moisturize daily. Choose a moisturizer that contains skin-replenishing ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, petrolatum and glycerol as well as emollients like cocoa butter, Shea butter, coconut oil and sunflower oil.
  • The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that individuals who have extremely dry skin choose a moisturizer that contains urea, hyaluronic acid, lanolin, Dimethicone and/or lactic acid.
  • Avoid products that contain ingredients known to dry the skin, such as sodium or ammonium lauryl sulfate and certain alcohols.
Oily Skin
  • To reduce the formation of acne and pimples, wash your face using a gentle anti-bacterial cleansing gel.
  • After cleansing, always use a ‘noncomedogenic’ moisturizer.
  • Dr. Cynthia Bailey is a board-certified dermatologist in Sebastopol, California. She recommends that individuals with oily skin choose an oil-free moisturizer that contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid.
Sensitive Skin
  • You need to moisturize daily with a hypoallergenic moisturizer.
  • Choose an unscented moisturizer that is made for sensitive skin. Dr. Bailey states that individuals with sensitive skin should avoid moisturizers that contain retinoids, beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA).
Combination Skin
  • Controlling outbreaks in the T-zone is essential: To accomplish this, use a gentle anti-bacterial cleansing gel on this area.
  • Avoid using moisturizer on the T-zone.
  • Dr. Bailey recommends that you do use a moisturizer on your chin, cheeks and the sides of your jaw.
  • Choose a moisturizer similar to those recommended for individuals with normal to dry skin.

Now that you know your skin type and which ingredients you should look for, it may be easier to find products specifically designed to meet your skin care needs.

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