Posts Tagged ‘Natural Skincare’

Why Should I Look Out For Parabens and Sulfates? (Pt 1 of 2)

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Many consumers today have spent vast amounts of money to improve their appearance. Cosmetic surgery  and the topical skincare industry are multi-billion dollar businesses.  It’s a simple law of economics that the higher the demand, the more skincare manufacturers will flood onto the marketplace. When demand for cheap, readily available products is high, quality ingredients tend to take a backseat over inferior, more accessible ones.

Revitalize your Skin through Natural Skin Care

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One of the best ways to ensure wholesome skin care is through natural treatments and products as these tend to be mild and gentle on your skin. Various beauty and cosmetic products contain harsh constituents or elements which may lead to redness of the skin, allergies, burns or skin reactions. In order to avert these circumstances, it is appropriate to switch to various homemade and natural skin care treatments.

Natural Facial Skin Care and Tips for Dry Skin

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3311533919_55b471b395A contributing factor to dry, flaky, skin in winter is a drop in temperature. Although winter sometimes feels damp, there is usually less water in the air than on your skin and that creates a moisture vapour loss from the skin. As skin becomes drier, its surface layer stops producing the natural lipids which prevent moisture loss, and water cannot be retained so easily. Dry skin will also show wrinkles more easlit and contribute to an aging appearance.

Herbalist Greta Breedlove came up with this natural homemade skin care recipes face utilizing the seed of the avocado. It makes a moisturizing face scrub, especially for dry skin.


Let an avocado dry a few days until you can remove the skin easily. Chop, then pulverize in a blender or food mill. Moisten with a little milk and smooth over your face, throat.


One egg yolk, beaten until light and frothy
1/2 cup milk
1/2 avacado, peeled and mashed

Beat the mixture with a fork until you have a thin cream or lotion consistency. Apply with cotton balls as you would a cleanser.

As a result of all these factors, sometimes skin on the face and body tends to be in worse condition in the winter months than at other times of the year. In extreme cases, a constant drying effect can even lead to cracking, flaking and redness.

These four tips for helping to keep dry skin at bay during the colder months come from Dr. Kucy Pon, Olay dermatologist.

1. A moisturizer is essential – A moisturizer performs several important functions, including replacing lost water. Water-binding ingredients, such as glycerin, help keep it in the skin.

2. Create an oasis – Put some moisture back into the air by using a humidifier in your home or office. It will counteract the drying effects of indoor heat.

3. Drink lots of water – Increase your body’s natural moisture level by staying hydrated throughout the day.

4. Keep wrapped up – Dress for the season and try to limit your skin’s exposure to harsh temperatures and damaging winds.

If you have dry skin, then you probably already know it can be really difficult to care for. When you don’t look after it properly, it can become flaky, and if it gets really bad, may even become irritated and red. Although it’s possible to find plenty of products that claim to be able to solve dry skin problems, unfortunately most of their claims are sales hype.

Although most over the counter products don’t do much to combat dry skin, there are a number of things you can do to improve the condition of your skin. It’s mostly a question of making some basic changes to your daily skincare routine. It won’t take long for your skin to appear more healthy and vibrant.

With dry skin, you have completely the opposite problem to someone with oily skin. Basically, your skin is suffering from a lack of sebum, the oil that helps to keep the skin moist and supple. People with oily skin produce far too much sebum. Sebum is actually made from skin cells, and is an essential ingredient in healthy, supple skin. Because dry skin has insufficient oil, you need to replace it from both inside and outside.

5.  Moisturize

One of the best things you can do for your skin is to use a good quality moisturizer. Choose a cream that is rich, but not heavy. Consider choosing a natural cream with aloe vera and chamomile. Both these ingredients are very soothing, as well as helping to reduce dryness and improve the skin’s healing abilities.

6. Choose Healthy Foods

You also need to look at the type of foods you eat. It’s important to choose healthy foods, because the healthier your body, the healthier your skin will be. You may not realize this, but your skin is actually the largest organ of your body. So it needs to be nourished just like all the other organs in your body.

7.  Supplement

Depending on the types of food you already eat, you might need to consider taking a supplement, such as Vitamin E, Omega-3 oils and B-Complex vitamins. Making sure you get enough of these important nutrients is a great way to improve the condition of your skin.

By nourishing your skin in all these ways, you should soon a marked reduction in the level of dryness. Helping your skin to be more supple and moist also helps to slow down the process of aging, so you’re the winner in two ways.

By Tom Turner

Skin Care Advice for Your Big Event

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Get Your Skin Ready for Your Wedding, Graduation or Other Major Event

By Kevin C. Smith MD FACP FRCPC

Everyone – guests and those who will be in the public eye — wants their skin to look its best on their big day. Here are some simple tips you can follow to help avoid skin problems on your special day:

  • Acne or Rosacea Skin:
    Plan ahead: if you have a skin condition like acne or rosacea, see a dermatologist at least 3-4 months ahead of the big day (and sooner, if possible), so that your condition can be brought under control and so that your skin can heal up in time for the occasion. Check out or for treatment information.
  • Wrinkles, Unwanted Hair or Sweating:
    Are you thinking of having treatments like Botox® (for frown lines, or to control excessive sweating), fillers like Restylane™, Juvederm™ and Artecoll™ for wrinkles, creases and scars, or laser treatments for unwanted hair or to remove broken blood vessels from the face? You should aim to have these treatments completed about 3 weeks before the event, so that the benefits of treatment will have fully developed, and so that any side effects of treatment like redness or small bruises will have resolved. Discuss the plans and timing with your dermatologist so that these things can be taken into account when scheduling your treatments. (Read more about Botox®)
  • New Cosmetics:
    If you want to experiment with cosmetics, you should do so well in advance, to reduce the risk that an allergic or irritant reaction will interfere with your enjoyment of the event.
  • Sun Tanning:
    Sun protection is important in the weeks leading up to an important event, to reduce the risk that you will have sunburn or peeling on the big day. It is also important to avoid experimenting with tanning beds in the weeks leading up to a major event, in case you have an undesired reaction to the UV light.
  • Self-Tanning:
    Self-tanning creams and spray-on tans should not be used for the first time within three weeks of a major event, in case there is an allergic reaction or an unusual or uneven color is created. If you want to use such products, start to experiment with them several months ahead so that you can learn how to obtain safe, reliable results. Remember that the pigment created by many self-tanning products can discolor fine clothing, so it might be best not to apply them within a week of a public event.

What if there is a dermatological emergency like a flare-up of acne or an allergic reaction on the face in the days before a wedding, graduation or other important day? Fortunately, many of these problems can be helped by modern medical treatments. Your doctor may be able to arrange a high priority appointment with a dermatologist if they explain that there is an important event coming up – most of us, and most of our staff have been through these things ourselves and we are very sympathetic.

About the author:
Dr. Kevin Smith is a dermatologist in Niagara Falls, Ontario with a particular interest in protecting the skin and in correcting skin problems resulting from aging, rosacea and sun damage. He is an expert in the use of Botox®, fillers, lasers and intense pulsed light to maintain and enhance the appearance of the skin, and have lectured on those subjects across North America, and in Europe, Asia and Mexico. Read more at

Comnbination Skin Health

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Combination skin is characterized by a mixture of oiliness and dryness. Typically, the oily areas tend to be the T-zone, consisting of the forehead, nose and chin. The cheeks are normal to dry. The degrees of oiliness and dryness can vary. Pores may be larger in the oily areas – with pimples, blackheads and breakouts sometimes occurring – and dry areas may feel rough and irritated.

The “tissue test” can help you determine if you have combination skin. Take a tissue and hold/press it against your face. If there’s oil on the tissue where it touched your T-zone, but no oil where the tissue touched your cheeks, you most likely have combination skin.

Many factors can cause combination skin, including hormones, age, genetics, the way in which lipids are organized in our skin and even the weather. Hormonal changes can lead to changes in skin’s oiliness or dryness. Teens and young adults tend to have oilier skin, especially in the T-zone, but with age, hormones change and the oil production may decrease (but unfortunately, acne is still an issue for many adults). Also, hormones change due to menstruation and the birth control pill, which can make skin oilier in certain areas. Lipids also play a role in combination skin: These proteins affect skin’s softness and feel. When lipids aren’t evenly spread throughout the skin, certain areas will feel drier and rougher, while other areas may feel soft but oily or greasy. The organization of lipids in skin is due to genetics and hormones. Finally, weather can exacerbate combination skin. Dry cold weather can cause skin to dry out and become irritated. Conversely, hot humid weather can increase oil production. This can affect your T-zone as well as your cheeks.

Care Plan
Combination skin requires special care to balance the oily and dry areas of the face. Proper cleansing, treatment, moisturizing and sun protection are all necessary.

• Cleansing: People with combination skin often have difficulty finding a cleanser that works for their unique skin needs. Formulas designed for oily skin may leave combination skin too dry, especially in the cheeks, while formulas designed for dry skin may leave combination skin greasy, especially in the T-zone. It’s best to avoid products that are either too drying or too rich. Instead, use a foaming or gel cleanser to get rid of dirt and oil without causing irritation or dryness. A cleanser to try is one that removes excess oil and impurities while still being gentle and not drying out skin.
You should also exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dry, dead, rough skin cells. These cells may be particularly prominent on your cheeks. They can flake off and block pores, causing blemishes and blackheads. Try a product that might include papaya and pineapple juice, olive derivatives and Ginkgo Biloba

Treatments: Treatment products are another important skincare component, helping to balance your skin. One treatment to try is one which moisturizes dry areas but prevents excess oil, especially in the T-zone. This product also contains antioxidants to prevent aging. Another type of treatment is a mask, and you’ll find an array of products for every skin type. Some experts advise using a hydrating/moisturizing mask on dry areas (cheeks) and a deep-cleaning clay mask on oily areas (T-zone). While using two different masks is certainly an option, you can also use a mask specifically designed for combination skin. If you suffer from breakouts, which may occur around the T-zone, use acne treatment products with salicylic acid. For problem skin, try a blemish serum or a spot treatment.

Moisturize: Combination skin needs balance, and part of that balance means moisturizing your skin. Moisturizing is especially important for drier areas of the face, but your entire face needs moisture. Some experts suggest using separate moisturizers – a lightweight one for the T-zone and a deeper one for cheeks. You may choose to use separate moisturizers, but you can also use a single moisturizer designed for combination skin. Try a lotion which balances skin with witch hazel and aloe extract to help skin stay soft. Pay careful attention to dry areas, as they may require more frequent moisturizing than oily areas. Generally, experts recommend moisturizing dry areas twice a day and moisturizing oily areas once a day. Keep in mind that your individual skin has unique needs, so you might want to adjust your moisturizer – how often you use it, where you need it and how much you need.

Sun Protection: Like all other skin types, combination skin needs protection from the sun. UVA and UVB rays can damage skin, so use oil-free sunblock all over your face daily (and on any other exposed areas). Try an oil-free sunlotion or sunblock because it protects your skin from UV rays and won’t make skin greasy.

Natural Treatments
Natural treatments such as aromatherapy oils, home-made exfoliants and masks may help treat your combination skin. For example, try mixing essential oils like chamomile, lavender and ylang ylang (just a few drops) together with your oil-free moisturizer. These ingredients have antibacterial properties and may help to rid skin of dirt or bacteria. However, if your skin is sensitive or easily irritated, or if you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t use these essential oils.

Exfoliating treatments can be made at home by mixing and grinding nuts, seeds or oatmeal along with water. These will slough off dead, dry skin cells – especially common around the cheeks. You can add citrus peels from fruit – like orange or grapefruit – to the mix and apply it to the oily T-zone.
To make a mask for dry areas, use ingredients like yogurt, mashed bananas or avocados to moisturize. On oilier areas, try pureed strawberries and apples.

Skin Care for Men

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When men start buying skin care products, they may not pay much attention to the ingredients of the product in front of them. Men have been known to glance over the shelves and read general features, such as “anti-aging,” “no more wrinkles”, “bye bye greasy skin” and think that is all they need to know. While these “advertising tags” are beneficial to help pick a skincare product, in recent years another more prominent skin care feature is gaining attention, “organic product.”

Organic skin care or natural skin care refers to the use of all-natural ingredients to take care of our skin. These products are generally made of more than one type of herbs and seeds, that combined are able to bring the same results as a chemical based products. Organic lifestyles and the rediscovery of ancient herbs are making organic skin care increasingly popular in men skin care products, and have put chemical based products under the spotlight.

Chemical skin care became popular thanks to its sometimes incredible results in correcting skin problems. In addition, that was the reason they had a higher price too. However, as years had passed, medical investigations had shown that some of these components are not safe. Components such as Aluminum, Propulene Glycol and Imidazolidinyl urea, have been proved to be harmful to people. Their effects include links with breast cancer, contact dermatitis, ototoxicity, kidney damage and more. Most of the products with these components have been banned, but there are some that not, even with all the research to back that up. There may be also other components not YET found harmful.

Unfortunately, men are in contact with many of these chemicals on a more regular basis than women, due to higher instances of exposure at work or industrial areas. An average woman uses 12 beauty products a day, this adds up 168 chemicals!However, with all that, consumers shouldn’t rely so blindly in organic skin care without more personal experience.

Organic products are notoriously under-regulated and some of these so-called “all-natural” products can contain manufactured chemicals, and chemical processes to blend the components. The best advice here is to know what you are using. Be well informed, once your skin is damaged it is much more difficult to repair it than prevent the damage in the first place. You may think if you are a man, your skin is tougher, but that is not true. Facial skin is more sensitive in men due to constant bad shaving habits. Do a search on Internet
for the ingredients on the product you are about to buy and if possible ask a doctor for advice.

Organic Skincare

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Your Organic Skin

Skin is the armor of the body. It is the outside waterproofing, element-fighting surface that protects our internal organs and skeletal structure from the harsh outside elements. Yet skin, overall is ignored most of the time. Healthy skin is important for a glowing completion of course, but if your body is unhealthy – your skin will be also.

The toxic world of industrialization has finally caught up with us. Producing toxic waste disasters, disease and tons of garbage buried so deep it can never breakdown. All these “modern advancements” have left our food supply as little more than a chemical compound in itself. If you can do ONE thing to give your skin and your body a fighting chance, you would be wise to choose as organic a diet as possible. To maintain a healthy skin, organically grown food is must.

In light of recent organic trends in our food, organic skin care products are also gaining popularity. For healthy lifestyle and healthy skin, limiting the amount of toxins and chemicals you put in your body is a must. If the environment or living “green” is important to you, you should also be aware of companies that produce the products you buy and their manufacturing practices.

Organic Skin Care is the most rapidly developing field in the beauty industry. Now what does Organic mean? Organic refers to anything grown or raised naturally. But more specifically, it means plants are grown on certified natural land without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetic modification or irradiation. In many cases, these organic farms are highly regulated by the Federal Food Safety Commission. Organic skin care means protecting your skin from harmful chemicals and using organic products whenever possible.

There are many organic products available on the market today. Most can be found at a local organic specialty stores, food suppliers or a national health food chain like Whole Foods. As organic products become more and more popular, many standard food stores, Like Safeway or Albertsons’ are also providing these products on their shelves. There are also plenty of websites offering organic skin or beauty care products online.

An organic product is preferable for natural skin care balance as it will generally contain far fewer chemical properties then it’s drugstore counterparts and thus have less possibility to cause inflammation or irritation. Of course, even an herbal product can have side effects as they are “chemicals” in their own right, so always be aware of the list if ingredients in the products you buy and the reactions your skin personally has to allergens.

Organic Skincare for Babies

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Your baby’s skin is highly sensitive. Before using any skin care product, be sure it is formulated for babies with as few chemical ingredients as possible. Natural and organic baby products are preferable, as they use little to no man-made chemicals that your baby can have a harsh reaction to.
Organic baby skin care products are made from things that come from the earth, such as herbal plants and natural oils. Because there are no chemicals in organic skin care products there is less chance of your baby having a skin reaction when using the products

The best way to avoid chemicals is to choose pure and natural toiletries for babies and question which products you actually need at all. Yet when you read the list of ingredients listed on baby products they look much the same as those listed on standard family toiletries. Look at the chemicals listed in your child’s toiletry products; commonly SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate is used in baby wipes and shampoo’s it has been linked to skin irritations, diarrhea, breathing problems and eye damage particularly in small children. In higher concentrations, this same chemical is used in household cleaning products. Another item to consider when you purchase baby clothes or baby linens for the very first time, make sure to wash the baby items in a hypoallergenic soap formulated for babies.

Avoid products containing potentially irritating or harmful ingredients. Unscented, all-natural products are the safest things to use on our children. Making your own all-natural powders, salves, and bath products is a wonderful way to care for your children. Research organic baby skin care and learn what is best for your baby’s soft and delicate skin. As a caring parent, you want your baby to have the best health possible – that includes their skin care as their tiny body can absorb every chemical of a lotion or skin care product you apply.

Organic baby skin care products today include a full range of baby lotions, baby creams, balms, baby oils, salves and baby powders to soothe, moisturize and protect. Refrain from using products designed for adults as they are usually too harsh and contain irritants and allergens.

Speak to your pediatrician for organic products he/she may recommend. If you live in a small town and don’t have access to specialty stores, check online. There are now many sites linking you to stores across the country that can ship products for little to no additional cost of driving to a nearby store.

Quality Skincare

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Many consumers are frustrated by skin care products that don’t do what they claim to. Worse still is investing in an expensive yet ineffective cream or treatment only to discover the cheapest drug-store brand would work just as well. In a world of hyper-consumerism, false advertising and a plethora of products from which to choose, how do you choose the good from the bad?

There are some great products on the market that can genuinely improve your skin’s appearance and help your skin look smoother, more radiant, and youthful. But, there are literally thousands of products to choose from and unless you spend hours a day researching beauty products, it’s difficult to find the one of the few that actually produces real results and eliminates years of aging from your face and body.

Not only should a quality skin product help reduce bags under, and fine lines around, the eyes, but it should even out coloration inconsistencies caused by age spots and other unwanted pigment concentrations.

In a marketing-rich world of super models and glamorous actors, many will understandably spend any amount of money to make themselves look better or younger. Cosmetic surgery and skin care is a multi-billion dollar industry.

As the law of supply and demand proves, the higher the demand for youth and beauty, the more manufacturers will rush to provide the solution. Many times this rush results in the creation of an inferior product with little to no research and development to back it.

All of the money goes into the marketing of the product. On the surface everything looks great. The bottles and jars that the creams come in look appealing. The magazine advertisements are glossy, complete with a youthful looking model or a well known celebrity who doesn’t even really use the products.

You can’t really blame these companies. When you are spending a fortune paying for marketing, whether it be on the product containers, magazine, radio, and TV ads, royalties paid to celebrities and models, you have to charge a lot of money for your products or you’re going to lose money.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean you and I have to fall for these types of marketing schemes. After all, these companies aren’t going to encounter any shortage of people who will open their wallets and purses to purchase their products anytime soon. The reality is most people simply won’t take any time to research products and understand what ingredients work and what ingredients are actually bad for your skin!