How To Easily Restore Your Acid Mantle

Have you ever heard of the acid mantle? If you have, well done, most people haven’t. The acid mantle while not well known, is the reason for a lot of skin issues. Things such as dryness, oiliness, acne, premature aging and much more can be attributed to an acid mantle that isn’t working at its highest capacity.

Skin has a PH, a balance that keeps everything normal and healthy. The acid mantle is a barrier that is made mostly from sebum. Your skin’s PH is naturally a little more on the acidic side and that’s where it likes to stay. Unfortunately most of what we do and interact with on a daily basis plays with that PH. Skincare products, (especially acne products and exfoliants) the environment, toxins, and lifestyle break down that protective barrier. Once this happens you’re likely to encounter some indicators that things are going wrong. Your skin could feel too dry or too oily, breakouts could follow as well as redness and irritation. Since it really is your skin’s first line of defense, it’s not unpredictable that once damaged, things like viruses and bacteria can get in quicker. A classic indicator that your skin’s PH is off is a feeling of tightness or if it is suddenly producing more oil than what is normal for your skin.

The good news is , as delicate as the acid mantle is, it can be restored. It’s safe to say a few years ago my acid mantle was quite off. When I was around 15 and getting breakouts on my forehead I decided I would do the old toothpaste trick. Instead though, I decided to do the nuclear option and put a thin coat of toothpaste on my ENTIRE forehead. As redness and more breakouts showed up I continued to do this along with sulfur spot treatments. My skin was not happy as it shouldn’t have been. About two years later after many more prescription acne products I started doing some research and realized there was a possibility part of the acne could be contributed to my skin’s PH being out of balance.

After reading that there was a fine balance of oil and moisture going on I decided to use plain grapeseed oil to give back what had been lost. Feeding oil back into something that needs oil allows your skin to relax. It’s the reason a lot of times cleansing oils will be recommended to people with oily skin. I immediately noticed a difference. It was like hitting a reset button on my skin. Technically the acid mantle can restore itself in anywhere to 15 minutes to around 15 days, however I felt that everything came back to life in about a month, but after the abuse it had endured it’s not surprising it took a little longer.

Using the oil and completely removing stripping acne products was pretty much all I had to do to get my skin back to a place I could work with it again. It can be scary to go off the acne topical medications and things of that nature, but they could be the very thing causing the acne to be there in the first place. I would recommend using a plain grapeseed, jojoba or olive oil at night after cleansing with a cleansing milk. Use a toner if you wish, just make sure that it does not contain alcohol or witch hazel. Also, you don’t have to douse your face in oil, your skin knows what to do with even a little bit. You can dab off excess with a paper towel to ensure that what goes on your skin goes in your skin. It’s that simple. Once you notice a difference in your skin and it is in a place where you feel healing has taken place you can introduce other products again, but this time around go a lot gentler.

*One more word to the wise, wear something you don’t care about to sleep in just in case it does get oil on it.*

 

Advertisements

Biossance 100% Squalane/ Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil Review

When I first heard about squalane it was in aesthetics school. It stood out in my mind as one of the stranger ingredients we learned about because most squalane is derived from shark, more specifically the shark liver. Pretty gross, but then a lot of strange stuff is marketed all in the name of beauty. Previously I would have never considered trying squalane, but then I was doing some research and I found the brand Biossance which uses squalane formulated from sugarcane and it definitely peaked my interest. Thankfully they had free samples of both their 100% Squalane Oil & their Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. I had to try it.

The 100% Squalane can be used on hair, skin and nails. The first thing I noticed was the consistency was unlike any oil I had used before. It was extremely light and pretty much scentless. I liked the weightlessness of the oil. When I applied it to my skin it blended beautifully and gave my skin a healthy shimmer rather than an oily appearance. I put it all over my hands including my nails. I noticed a definite difference in my nails, they were moisturized and smooth even after taking nail polish off which usually leaves them dry. I generally wait a few days in between doing my nails to let them breathe, but after using the oil on them I feel like I could do them back to back without a problem.

20180227_143413.jpg

The Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil had a lovely pure rose smell. Initially I couldn’t put my finger on what happened when I applied the oil to my face, but it made my face almost “bouncy?” What I was experiencing was the firming/smoothing effect it has on the skin. I hadn’t come across a product that worked that effectively and quickly. As mentioned with the 100% Squalane it was extremely lightweight and my skin ate it up, it was really unique to use an oil that didn’t have an oily feel to it.

Overall I loved both products, I’m partial to the oil with the Vitamin C and rose oil, but it could be because of the smell. I love that Biossance uses sugarcane as a nice alternative and gives everyone a chance to try before buying, especially those who have never used squalane before. I definitely plan on getting the full sized oils next time.

Screenshot_20180227-192832.jpg

Why Do I Need A Toner?

 

If you’ve been recommended a skincare routine that is more than a few steps long it can be uncomfortable and confusing. How did you suddenly go from a wash and moisturizer to a middle step and steps after that? Today we’ll focus on the toners.

If we’re honest a lot of times toner appears to be an overpriced bottle of liquid. If you’ve never used it you may wonder if it’s really necessary or just an extra thing to buy. It’s a little bit of both. Can you get away without it? Yes, however if you have any goals for your skin you may want to reconsider. If there is any condition with your skin it can likely be further addressed through a toner. A toner’s speciality is balance. Things such as makeup, the environment and the act of washing your face can disrupt your skin’s PH. If your skin is too oily or too dry, there is most likely an imbalance in your skin’s PH. While it is pretty much impossible to avoid all factors that could negatively impact your skin’s health, you can counteract them by using a toner.

One of the main reasons I love to use toners is to remove any excess makeup that is left over after washing my face. Even in the case of cleansing twice, using an oil based cleanser, you name it,¬† you will still be able to find more makeup residue when using a toner. You’ll also find that days that you don’t wear any makeup at all you’ll still find after sliding a cotton ball with toner across your face it will not come up clean.

Skincare Skin Care Cleaning Skin Cotton Pads

Generally for everyone starting off just to give a feel of how toners work and can make a difference in your skin I would recommend using something neutral and calming. Something that is a pretty safe choice for anyone any age or skin type would be a rosewater, chamomile or aloe toner. The nice thing about using something like those options would be that you could use them throughout the day to refresh your skin.

Your options for toners also include astringents. Astringents are good for oily and acne prone skin.While most toners contain alcohol, astringents contain the most amount of alcohol, so it’s best to see how your skin reacts. If extreme dryness occurs it’s likely it’s doing more harm than good, keeping in mind that these products are meant to balance and not strip. In this case look for something that has a lower or no alcohol content.

The feelings your skin should experience after using a toner should be refreshed, clean and slightly tight (a tightening sensation is normal for toners.) If you’re ready to find your skin smoother, tighter, and more balanced it might be time to try a toner.

 

New Favorite Drugstore Everyday Foundation

Foundation is more of what I’m calling it. Technically this product is considered a “tint”, so something more like a tinted moisturizer. However I think the applicator indicates it is to be used more like a foundation. I wouldn’t personally use this the same as I’d use a BB Cream.

The product I’m talking about is Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint. Long ago I used to use Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup. I liked that for a while, but eventually moved on to try other foundations. As far as drugstore goes I’d say Neutrogena overall is one of the best.

20170418_141306

 

I found samples of the Hydro Boost Tint in a magazine about a month ago and I couldn’t get over how smooth my face felt when I had it on; what’s better than that is when I washed it off I could still feel the same smoothness. It improves your skin’s texture through you wearing the makeup. I thought that was pretty amazing. I’m assuming that’s what they are talking about when they claim “moisturizes and plumps skin for 24 hours”. Supposedly there’s Hyaluronic acid in it, however it seems like Hyaluronic acid is in a lot of things these days and I wouldn’t buy something for that. A lot of companies know that that’s a buzzword and while it may include a small amount of Hyaluronic Acid it may be just enough so they can label it. That being said, whatever mix of ingredients with whatever percentage of Hyaluronic acid is in this product I do like it. It really moisturizes your skin and it definitely looks smoother and healthier.

Let’s talk coverage. This is where it starts to show that it’s a tint. It’s light to medium I’d say. You can apply a few coats, but definitely let it dry a bit between coats. I don’t mind it being on the lighter side, if it’s for everyday you won’t want something heavy, especially with the warmer months approaching.

20170418_141417

My number one complaint with this foundation/tint is the packaging. Once I opened it in the store I considered not buying it. It’s got a wand, something similar to a concealer wand except thicker. For concealer that’s great. You’ll be doing smaller, more precise areas, however I’d venture to say the majority of people will be wearing this product on their entire face. It’s not practical. I didn’t want to put the wand directly on my skin because even if your face is clean it’s not the most sanitary to stick the wand back in. However, painting my foundation brush with a wand just felt awkward and silly, not to mention that it took time to get enough product. The way this bottle is designed there’s a narrow tube that leads to the rest of the bottle so there’s no way of bending the wand to get additional foundation. 20170418_141347.jpgI should also mention this product is not runny or very liquidy, it’s closer to a whipped consistency, so you can’t shake or turn the bottle to get the product to come to you. What this boils down to is that you don’t have full access to the product which you’ve purchased. This isn’t a $40 bottle of foundation, it was $14.99, however if you pay for it I believe you should be able to use it to its entirety or at least as close to its entirety as possible. I think it was cheap of Neutrogena and unnecessary. For that reason I may not repurchase this, but I do love the formula.

 

 

Review: Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash

You know that feeling when you washed your face with bar soap? (Hopefully you don’t) That tight, almost tacky feeling that leaves your skin not feeling like skin. That is what this product left my face feeling like.

It lathers well, it smells nice, but it really stripped my skin. After I wash my face with this it just has that feeling that there’s no oil or any sign of moisture. I’m reaching for the toner before I even finish washing. I do find that the stripping does cause breakouts for me because it just is too strong. Supposedly there is a cooling sensation this face wash is supposed to give off which I haven’t felt yet, but for me that’s not a huge drawback.

I found this kind of unusual considering the brand is for people that have really overtaxed skin that needs help. I also own the Pure Cloud Cream from Skyn which I can say is terrific.

20170116_152741

When you lather this face wash into the lovely lather I mentioned earlier it feels very smooth, a little thick, there’s a sheen to the product resembles a heavy duty hand soap.

20170116_152854

I’m already halfway through the tube so I’ll use the product up for the heck of it, but I don’t see my opinion of it changing.

 

 

How To Control A Breakout

First, don’t panic and stay calm. After that you can create a strategy to prevent it from happening again.¬†

This post was inspired by the pimple on my forehead. I didn’t realize it, but there is an actual process that goes through my head when I break out.

Like many, I ¬†start out wondering why this happened. However, I don’t wonder in a “why me?” way. I’ll take a moment and play back the tape. Why did I get this? Did I exfoliate and this was bought to the surface? Did I use something that didn’t agree with my skin? Was my skin too oily? Too dry? If you can narrow down why you got it can help prevent another breakout, as well as helping you to understand your skin better and see its patterns.

I believe you really can minimize a breakout. Once you see it forming or the slightest sign, nip it in the bud.

Use spot treatments.¬†There’s nothing like applying just what you need to the specific area that needs it. I’d recommend something with a slightly stronger amount of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or even sulfur.

Wash your face with something stronger.¬†Go with something slightly stronger than you’d normally use. Most days I use a milky cleanser, but during the time I breakout I will use something that will help me out a little more.

Tone your face. This will rebalance the skin’s pH.

Keep your schedule the same.¬†Don’t feel the need to scrub your face every hour to get rid of the breakout. If you wash your face twice a day, keep it like that. Going too harsh too fast will just give your face more to deal with.

Lighten up on cosmetics.¬†You might feel like you want to cover up every square inch of your face, but it’s better if you hold back a bit. Usually I don’t skip wearing foundation when I breakout, but when I get home I make sure to take off my makeup. This gives everything time to breathe.

Pop it. Before you get the wrong idea, this isn’t an excuse to go popping all your pimples. There are some¬†prerequisites to take into account. The pimple(s) must be ready. They must be at the point where just the slightest pressure will cause them to pop. You must sterilize your tools and hands. No picking or using dirty utensils.

*This gets a little graphic, but it’s the only way to describe that you’ve done it right. If you decide that your pimple is ready to go you’ll want to squeeze to the point of seeing blood or an oily substance, that’s when you know you’ve gotten everything out. Be gentle, you may need to take breaks in between. Afterwards put something to disinfect the area to prevent infection.

Some people say never to pop a pimple, that it extends the life of it, but I’ve found on a few occasions it shortens it. If I’m thorough, if can relieve the pain by popping it, if it was ready and I make sure it’s done in a way that’s sanitary, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

20160620_230307.jpg

What I’ve been using to keep breakouts under control.

*La Roche-Posay Effaclear Duo (Spot treatment)

*Skin Ceuticals Purifying Cleanser (stronger cleanser)

*Skin Ceuticals LHA Solution Toner &Blemish+ Age Solution Toner (I alternate between the two toners)

*Skin Ceuticals Blemish+Age Defense Serum (can be used as a spot treatment as well as its main use as a serum)

 

 

image from Shutterstock

Flaky Skin Rescue

If you’re like me there’s a parts of your skin that get dull, dry and flaky. There has always been a dry patch covering almost my entire forehead. Unless I just had a facial or really intensely exfoliated my face, but even then it’s soon to return in a few days.¬†

To help flaky skin you have to exfoliate it in order to get to the skin underneath. So there I’d be, exfoliating away. Afterwards when all the dead skin is off the surface it’s time to moisturize and moisturize well. So at this point I’d go with a serum which, don’t get me wrong works better than not using one, but serums sometimes can give you that oily feeling and they never have the feeling of being sunken in all the way. From there I’d finish with a moisturizer and that would be that.

It was frustrating because my forehead was always dull, always had some sort of a buildup of dead skin from the dryness. I was doing the right steps and I had tried different products. Finally I came across a duo that works. Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture and Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence by Murad.

BL15_644-IntroHDQE
image from http://www.murad.com/blog/introducing-hydro-dynamic-quenching-essence/

 

Both products go on so silky and they leave your skin feeling the same way. The Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence is the equivalent of your serum, only it’s a little heavier and sinks in quickly and easily without leaving your skin feeling greasy. It contains Glycolic acid which gives your skin a light, but essential exfoliation. Since it is light,¬†I would not recommend using the Glycolic acid in this to replace other forms of exfoliation you are currently using, it’s sort of an added extra. It has a combination of lentil, watermelon and apple encourages skin to hold moisture in. The Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture has avocado and sunflower oil and makes for the perfect moisturizer. It’s hydrates without clogging your pores. Both products work great on their own, but I’ve seen the most results by using both together. Generally I only apply the Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence in at night and just where I need it.

Maybe the flakes and dehydration of your skin are just in the wintertime or maybe they are all year round, but if you are looking for something to give your skin some plumpness as well as giving back your glow of well hydrated skin, the combination of these two products definitely deliver.