Clear Essence Blog

Mineral Oil Myths

1. MYTH: Mineral oil is comedogenic, meaning it causes breakouts, blackheads clogged pores and acne.

Truth: According to multiple studies conducted and published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, cosmetic grade mineral oil was found to not be comedogenic. The oil’s molecules are just too big to actually penetrate the skin. This means that mineral oil sits on top of the skin creating a barrier between it and the outside elements. It also adds an extra layer of protection to the stratum corneum, which we learned in our previous post Skin 101, that this layer is responsible for smoother looking skin.

2MYTH: Mineral oil is contaminated with carcinogens.

   TRUTH: While it’s true that some petroleum derived products and perhaps in lower refined versions of mineral oil contain carcinogenic materials,  the mineral oil that is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry is highly refined and purified in order to meet United States FDA criteria and other international agencies.  There is absolutely no evidence that cosmetic grade mineral oil causes cancer. Its effect is largely confined to the epidermal layers, and as a result of its limited penetration, it is considered to be a very safe ingredient for cosmetic use.

3. Mineral oil dries the skin and causes premature aging.

TRUTH: Mineral oil works as a barrier between the skin and the air. Mineral oil is an efficacious skin moisturizer providing occlusivity, which means to work as a barrier, and emolliency, which means to moisturize and make soft. Its occlusive effects lead to increases in stratum corneum water content by reducing trans epidermal water loss. Your skin produces its own moisture and mineral oil just helps to retain that moisture longer so you don’t have to rely on creams and lotions that need to be continually reapplied.  It will not dry out your skin or cause premature aging because it actually adds another layer of protection between your skin and outside elements.

 

 

 

Skin 101: Understanding the body’s largest organ

We sometimes forget that our skin is considered the largest organ of the human body. Its primary job is to protect our internal organs, muscles, and bones from infection and the elements. It also regulates our body temperature, and produces the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.

Your skin weighs approximately between six to nine pounds. The density of your skin also varies across the body; it is thinnest on your eyelids and thickest on the soles of your feet.

Your hair and nails are also considered part of the skin, they are just made a little differently in order to serve other protective purposes. Body hair provides protection to the skin’s outer layer, for example it acts as a filter for the nose and ears. Nails serve to protect and support the tips of your fingers and toes.

Anatomy & Physiology 5.1

Skin Layers: Breaking it down

The skin is made up of 4 main layers: the stratum corneum, the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue.

The stratum corneum. It is the outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of dead cells (corneocytes). This layer is composed of 15–20 layers of flattened cells with no nuclei and cell organelles. The Stratum Disjunctum is the layer that we wash away during our skin care routine, it is about 3-4 layers thick. Unfortunately, as we age, it becomes difficult for our skin to get rid of dead skin cells which leaves our skin looking dull and dry. In order to help we can manually exfoliate or utilize Hydroxy Acid products like our Complexion Soap Bar to help slough off dead skin cells. However, if you over exfoliate you risk taking off too many layers of the stratum corneum which serves to protect the epidermis layers of the skin. This will leave you with very raw and sensitive skin that will be more prone to breakouts.

The epidermis. This is the outermost layer of your skin. There are three sub-layers within the epidermis: the outer stratum corneum, the middle squamous cell layer, and the bottom basal cell layer.

These layers are made up of the following types of skin cells.

  • Melanocytes make melanin, the pigment that provides color to the skin. People with darker skin have melanocytes that produce more melanin. Exposure to sunlight also increases melanin production, causing freckles or a suntan. Melanocytes also cause hyper pigmentation which affects darker skin toned people much more due to the fact that their cells produce more melanin naturally. Our Medicated Fade Creme targets those areas that are uneven or darker than natural to revert them back to their original shade. In order to maintain an even skin tone it is extremely important to use SPF, sun protection, every single day rain or shine to prevent excess melanin production in the skin.
  • Langerhans cells are part of the body’s immune system and help fight off infection.
  • Basal cells are at the bottom of the epidermis and continually reproduce to form new keratinocytes.
  • Keratinocytes or squamous cells are in the middle layer of the epidermis and produce keratin, the protein that forms the protective outer layer. Keratin is also used in the production of hair and nails.

The larger two lower levels of the epidermis, the squamous and basal layers, are responsible for regenerating new skin cells at a rate of about four weeks. As older cells are moved up to the top by the new cells they create the stratum corneum. The cycle continues as the dead cells flake off or are manually removed and new cells take their place. Healthy skin care habits help keep this cycle moving efficiently.

The dermis. It lives directly underneath the epidermis, the dermis is held together by a protein called collagen. Collagen is what helps give our skin structure and keeps it firm. The dermis contains many structures that help keep the outer layers healthy.

  • Nerve endings transmit sensory input to the brain. These nerves allow you to sense texture, pressure, heat, and pain through the skin, all part of your overall sense of touch.
  • Blood vessels deliver nutrients and oxygen to the epidermis and dermis and get rid of waste products.
  • Oil glands keep the skin lubricated and prevent hair follicles from becoming brittle. This is why we shouldn’t wash our hair with harsh shampoos as they get rid of this natural oil and make our hair brittle.
  • Sweat glands keep the body’s temperature regulated.

The subcutaneous tissue. This is a layer of collagen and fat cells at the base of your skin.

 

Your Hair and Nails

Human hair grows from the root, a bulb that rests in the follicle. Cells multiply and produce the hardened keratin protein, which forms a hair shaft.

Nails grow in a very similar way as hair does, but they begin in deep folds in the skin of the fingers and toes. Just like hair, your fingernails consist of dead cells held together by hardened keratin. As the nail cells at the root accumulate, they push the nail outward. Your hair and nails can tell you a lot about your health and diet! This is why you’ll see small ridges on your nails, they are signs of lacking nutrients.

Now that we have gone over the way your skin functions we can further understand how to take care of it!

Stay tuned for more beauty and skin care tips to help you achieve healthy radiant skin!

Olive Oil isn’t just a great healthy cooking ingredient but also a healthy skin care ingredient.

This “Liquid Gold” dates back to ancient Greece where it was the Holy Grail of products because of its versatility. Olive oil is very rich in vitamins, minerals and natural fatty acids which are great for both your diet and your skin. Because it’s an all natural ingredient it is perfect for sensitive skin. Our Olive Oil Body Crème and our My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Soap are both made with Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is a powerful anti-aging ingredient used in skin care products. It is extremely rich in antioxidants preventing skin aging and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines all while nourishing the skin to protect it from further damage.

The Clear Essence Olive Oil Body Crème offers a variety of skin care solutions for all skin types. The special formula is blended with unique lipid structures (oil molecules) that seep into the skin for instant hydration. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is packed with antioxidants that keep your skin looking beautiful and extremely soft. It’s anti-aging properties help increase skin’s firmness and elasticity. And lastly olive oil is a natural antibacterial that helps form a protective shield against bacteria and viruses.

Soaps tend to strip skin of natural oils when they are cleansing away dirt and “bad” oils. This leaves your skin feeling tight and dry after a shower. It is important that your body soap not only cleanses the skin but also hydrates. Our My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Soap is enriched with natural antioxidants, Aloe Vera, Shea Butter and pure Olive Extra Virgin Oil, transforming dry and dehydrated skin into soft radiant skin. It has been clinically shown to improve and be effective against dry and aging skin, as well as hyper pigmentation (acne scars, sun spots). In combination with any of our Platinum Line skin lightening products, the My Natural Beauty Olive Oil soap works to exfoliate to let our creams, gels or lotions better penetrate the skin and fade dark spots and areas affected by hyper pigmentation.

The best thing about both of our Olive Oil products is that it will never leave your skin feeling greasy or oily, just soft and supple as your skin soaks up the olive oil deep into your skin.

Here are a few extra tips on how to utilize our products!

  1. Add some sea salt to the body crème and use it on damp skin to exfoliate your legs before hair removal. It scrubs off all the dead skin while leaving behind moisturized healthy skin. You’ll notice a huge difference in how soft your skin feels even after hair removal.
  2. Use a small amount of the body crème underneath your eyes right before bed. It will act as a heavy duty eye crème to help rejuvenate the sensitive skin throughout the night.
  3. You can also use the crème as a light cuticle treatment! The extra virgin olive oil alleviates dry nails and cuticles. Simply rub a small amount around the cuticle area and around the nail. Cuticles stay plump and moist, and nails respond with a natural shine.
  4. Use both the Olive Oil Soap Bar and Body Crème together! They are the perfect combo to fight dryness and anti-aging signs!

 

Let’s talk makeup removal. We know it’s probably the least looked forward to part of the day for all of us. All we want to do is slip into something comfortable and relax. Who cares if we wake up looking like a raccoon, right?! -Wrong!

Makeup removal is an extremely important aspect of maintaining healthy, glowing skin. While you sleep your skin renews itself, drawing on what is sitting on the surface in order to replenish itself. However, if all your skin has is the day old makeup you forgot to wash off then you’ll be waking up to clogged pores and dehydrated skin. Here’s a tip to prevent that from happening!

 

Skin Care Oil– Sounds a little weird, we know. But the beauty industry has been obsessed with face and body oils lately. The objective is to break down makeup without stripping your skin of its moisture. This is particularly great for people with acne prone and sensitive skin. Acne prone people are told to stay away from anything with “Oil” in its name because it’s thought to cause breakouts. However, skin care oils don’t clog our pores because it doesn’t sit on our skin. We wash it away along with the day’s makeup, dirt, and grime. This is also great for people with sensitive skin because it removes makeup and dirt from the skin without introducing harsh cleansers.

 

Using oil also eliminates having to scrub and tug at your skin in order to get your makeup off.  Our Specialist Skincare Body Oil would be a great alternative for people with more mature skin. The lightweight oil melts away your makeup with little to no effort. Just soft circular motions and rinse! Followed by a quick cleanse using our Complexion Soap and you’re done!

 

We offer an entire line of different skin regimens catered to all types of skin tones and skin types so head over to ClearEssence.com or find us at your local Wal-Mart! Use our store locator to find the one nearest you.

Did you know that having a great skin care routine is the foundation for smooth makeup application?

We’ve all had those days when our makeup won’t settle right, leaving our face looking dull and tired. This is usually due to a missing link in our skin care routine.

We’ve compiled 5 of our favorite ways to achieve and maintain healthy clear looking skin.

#1. Choosing the right cleanser for your skin

We have all suffered through the pain of choosing a new skin cleanser especially while standing in the middle of the skin care aisle surrounded by tons of different types claiming to make your skin look flawless. Unfortunately, not all cleansers are created equal. Sometimes they leave your skin dry and irritated or can even make the problem worse! This is usually due to an imbalance in your skins Ph levels. If the cleanser increases your pH levels, making it alkaline, it can create a optimal living conditions for bacteria, causing major breakouts on your skin. Here is a mini crash course of the effects of unbalanced pH levels provided by Audrey Kunin MD:

According to Audrey Kunin MD via Dr. Oz:

“The epidermis is protected by an external layer of tightly knit cells arranged like shingles on a roof. Any disruption to the acid mantle, elevating overall skin pH, interferes with this protective barrier, wrenching cells away from each other and results in dehydration, roughness, irritation and noticeable flaking. Skin is left defenseless and susceptible to further environmental damage.

As cells pull apart, minute breaks become exposed, leaving skin more vulnerable to bacterial invasion. Under normal circumstances, bacteria not only have a difficult time penetrating through the shield-like structure of the skin and the acid mantle also creates a hostile environment for bacteria which prefer an alkaline environment to flourish. A rise in pH plays mayhem with our natural infection prevention, further increasing the risk of infection. Once the pH exceeds 6.5, bacterial invasion increases dramatically, a loss of normal skin integrity results and a variety of skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and irritant contact dermatitis flare.”

Clear Essence offers two great cleansers from our Platinum skin care line; our Extra Strength Medicated Cleansing Bar, and our Blemish Control Wash. Both cleanse the skin of dirt and bacteria without upsetting the skins pH levels, successfully fighting away bacteria causing acne.

#2. Exfoliate!

An overabundance of dead skin cells is a huge culprit in why our makeup doesn’t sit properly on our skin. Exfoliating gets rid of all the buildup of dead skin cells sitting on top of your live healthy skin. You’ll notice that after having exfoliated, you’re skin will look much brighter and feel 10x smoother. We recommend any of our face and body soap bars. Each is tailored to specific skin problems; such as acne, sensitivity, dry and oily skin. Our best seller, the Medicated Cleansing Bar is great for people who suffer from acne and oily skin.

#3 Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!

We cannot stress this step enough! Moisturizing is an extremely important part of healthy glowing skin. Our skin dehydrates throughout the day leaving it looking dull and lusterless. Dehydrated skin can also lead to premature signs of aging, clogged pores, cell damage, and loss of beneficial nutrients. Even if you suffer from oily skin you shouldn’t skip this step. Your skin cells still need fluid between each other; this is what creates an even skin tone and improves elasticity. There are tons of different types of products that will properly hydrate your skin; crèmes, oils, and serums are the most popular. We carry all three in two of our most popular skin care lines, the Platinum Series and Vitamin C Series. Oils penetrate much deeper than crèmes allowing it to help balance out natural oil production of the skin. So even if you have oily skin, don’t be afraid to try it out! Crèmes should be made of natural ingredients since this will be sitting closer to the top of the skin and it is what your skin feeds off when it is feeling thirsty. This especially happens at night while the skin is repairing itself from the days activities. Serums are great for sensitive skin and help with specific skin problems such as pimples, wrinkles, dark spots or to prevent the signs of aging. Serums are extremely effective because they also penetrate deep into the skin but light enough so that you are still able to (and should) apply a crème moisturizer over it.

#4 Tone!

What is toning? Toner is a product that helps close your pores after having opened them in the last steps. After having applied your products we don’t want to leave our pores open, this allows for dirt and bacteria to enter freshly opened pores and causing breakouts. Our Lemon Plus Vitamin C Multi-Active Toner is perfect for closing them up after cleaning them out! It also balances out the pH levels of your skin while taking off the last of the impurities on your face. The Vitamin C also helps even out your skin tone!

#5 Protect!

Protecting our skin is a step most of us tend to forget. Sunscreen is extremely important even if the sun isn’t out shinning bright. Harmful UV rays are always hitting our skin, just some days they are more or less prominent than others. Sun damage can lead to dark spots, premature signs of aging, and even skin cancer. By providing your skin with protection against harmful UV rays you prevent all of these things, plus it helps reduce the appearance of facial red veins and blotchiness, giving you an all around even skin tone. We know that adding a whole other step to our skin care and makeup routine is the last thing we want to do, so that is why we offer SPF in a few of our products! One of our best sellers is the Medicated Fade Crème which offers SPF 15 protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This works wonders on treating previous sun damage while also protecting it against future dark spots, all while providing your skin with the moisture and hydration it needs to look its very best.

 

If you follow these five simple steps you will be on your way to healthy and radiant skin in no time!

While obsessing over some of our more common staple oils such as Coconut, Almond or Olive oil, often times many of us tend to gloss over some of the more underrated essential oils in the group. Of the most highly rated and beneficial oils, Carrot Oil ranks high on my list of go-to’s. This golden-yellow, and subtly earthy oil has immense health benefits, and is particularly popular in beauty products aimed at anti-aging. Its healing antiseptic properties also make it an excellent source for curing skin irritations, such as eczema, rashes, and in some cases acne. So, you may be wondering then, what exactly is carrot oil, and how can you implement it into your own skincare routine? Luckily, you came to the right place.

How it’s made:
Both carrot oil and carrot seed oil are derived from wild carrots, otherwise known as Daucus Carota, which are rich in nutrients and vitamins, specifically vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene, and a multitude of other antioxidants. The oil is commonly extracted from the vegetable through steam distillation of the seeds, although the entire vegetable is viable for yielding oil.
Benefits:
Like the benefits of a physical carrot, carrot oil carries a virtually endless amount of benefits for the body both inside and out, which again, puts the oil high on our list of must haves. For starters, carrot oil is an antioxidant. This means, that it helps to keep your skin looking refreshingly young by retaining your youth thanks to its ability to repair the damages done to your tissues from oxidants, or what are more commonly known as, free radicals. The antioxidants function to protect your skin from wrinkles, and can keep your joints from stiffening, your muscles from weakening, and can keep your eyesight from declining, sounds amazing right? Antioxidants can work other miracles too; they can protect you from weak digestion, improve blood circulation, and prevent some forms of cancer particularly those in the mouth, throat, stomach, prostrate, and kidney.
Carrot oil also functions as a healing detoxifier; helping to clean our body’s tissues, muscles and internal organs from toxins which can hinder our health. As a detoxifier, carrot oil works to neutralize excess bile, which in turn helps to cure common infections just as jaundice, and its elimination of toxins helps to cure conditions such as arthritis, edema, gout and rheumatism. It’s also been proven to have a beneficial effect on ailments such as bronchitis and influenza.

Finally, this magnificent oil has been known to bring immense benefits to hair and skin health. Due to its beta-carotene and Vitamin E properties, carrot oil has been used for many years in many products to promote hair health by strengthening the hair shaft, as well as to encourage new hair growth. In addition to this, its been known to be highly effective in nourishing the scalp and maintaining shiny and soft locks, as well as preventing dandruff. These same nourishing properties are also present when applied to the skin, as carrot oil is a common treatment for dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and cracked or chapped skin. These skin repairing abilities make it a common oil for application before sun exposure (in combination with your sun screen of course), or after sun exposure to repair damage done by ultraviolet rays on the skin surface.

The benefits of carrot oil do not end here, but seeing as there are so many of these benefits, how can we make sure we are receiving all of them? This Is simple. Anytime you want to receive the benefits of carrot oil, simply incorporate it into your life by adding it to your most used products! Carrot oil is extremely versatile and can be added to any of your favorite moisturizers, creams, body washes, conditioners, shampoos and more. As for inner benefits, feel free to shop for carrot oil in your local food markets and use it as an alternative to canola or vegetable oils in your meals! We at Clear Essence also highly value the benefits of carrot oil, and to make it easier on our customers have developed two special soaps just for this purpose! Our My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Carrot Oil Soap and Maxi-Tone Carrot Soap have formative effects in stimulating skin cell growth aimed at rejuvenating wrinkled, aged, and dehydrated skin. Their anti-oxidant features help to improve skin complexion by removing toxic build-up, while protecting and repairing sun-damaged skin, and theirs antiseptic properties help to cure infections on the skin and protect from new infections! You can find both of these products online at clearessence.com or in stores. Thanks for stopping by!

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