Clear Essence Blog

We all need a break from time to time to get away from our busy urban lifestyles. Vacations are a chance to pamper yourself, relax, and discover new places. With summer just around the corner, it’s an excellent time to start planning the perfect getaway!

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If you’re planning a destination vacation take a look at the Clear Essence California Spa & Wellness Resort, located in the heart of Ikoyi, on Lagos Island in Nigeria. It is surrounded by beautiful waters,  lush greenery, and a welcoming ambiance. Perfect for refreshing, renewing and restoring the mind and body. They offer an array of amenities to ensure that your stay is magical.

 

 

The Clear Essence Spa specializes in 14 different spa rituals; we’ve listed 3 of our favorite!

 

Monterey Marina Mist

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Inspired by the deep blue revitalizing waves of the sea that renews and balances your energy. The fresh bouquet of geranium and cypress combined with lavender oil blend to create the Malibu Marina Mist experience, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

 

Malibu Deep Blue Sea-Mint

This treatment provides the body with a deep cleanse and purge of toxins.  Their specialist have created a unique combination of the sea’s healing minerals enhanced with the relaxing yet powerful astringent of mint. This ritual will leave you feeling fresh, renewed and restored.

 

 

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Wrap your body in the bounty of mother nature with this rich and creamy treatment that is fit for a queen. Inspired by Cleopatra’s anti-aging secret, we combined milk, avocado and cocoa butter for an intense moisturizing treatment. The ingredients are packed with vitamin A & C and are rich in antioxidants that rejuvenate the skin for a beautiful glow fit for a Queen!

 

 

 

You can also enjoy 17 different spa treatments including:

Facials & Skincare

A facial is a multi-step skin treatment that provides a healthy boost for your skin. A facial cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion and can help your skin look younger.

Body Glow Scrubs & Wraps

Body glow scrubs exfoliate and hydrate your skin by using a mixture of either salt or sugar and a moisturizing oil, leaving your skin smooth and soft. It is a great pre-treatment before getting a body wrap or mud treatment as it opens up the pores allowing your skin to soak up all of the oils and nutrients.

Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage consists of a mixture of smooth heated stones and a classic Swedish massage. Warmed stones are placed along the back and any other places where muscles are tense. The heat from the stones relaxes tense muscles making it easier to unwind during the massage.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissues massages are great for those suffering from extremely tense muscles.  Deep finger pressure is used in slow, firm strokes, to get into those knots. Deep-tissue massages also help ease stress and tension, which can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. You’ll leave relaxed and tension free!

We have complied a list of the top 10 super foods for healthy glowing skin!

We all know that when we aren’t eating the healthiest options we first tend to see the effects of it on our skin. When our skin is deprived of healthy nutrients and only fed foods that are high in artificial ingredients and sugar; we risk our glowing complexion with acne and dull skin.

According to Paula Simpson, nutritionist and cofounder of ZSS, “A diet focused on high-quality lean proteins, fiber, healthy oils, raw fruits and vegetables, and spices is best for supporting healthy skin,” she continues with, “These foods tend to contain high-quality amino acids—the building blocks for firm skin—plus anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredients that promote optimal skin metabolism and defense against environmental stressors.”

One of those stressors is free-radical damage, “which can weaken your skin’s immunity and break down its metabolic functions,” says Simpson.  “It can also trigger inflammatory reactions that destroy collagen, resulting in thin, wrinkled, and blotchy skin.”

The following list contains free-radical fighting super foods that will keep your complexion glowing and clear while also helping improve your dietary health.

 

1 . Blueberries

These little berries pack a punch with 13,427 total antioxidants in just one cup! That’s approximately 10 times more than the USDA’S recommendation. Cultivated or farmed blueberries have 9,019 antioxidants per cup and are equally rich in vitamins A & C, and flavonoids like querticin and anthocyanidin.

*Buying tip: Peak season starts around next week, so blueberries are less expensive during the summer

 

2.  Carrots

Did you know that carrots come in rainbow of different colors like purple, red, and white? No matter if they are orange or purple carrots have great health benefits due to their abundance of Vitamin A and C. Vitamin C increases the collagen production in the body. This protein is vital for the upkeep of the skin elasticity to prevent future sagging or wrinkles.  Vitamin A, being an antioxidant, also attacks the *free radicals to prevent the signs of aging like wrinkles, pigmentation and an uneven skin tone.

*Free radicals are molecules produced when you digest food and through environmental toxins, such as air pollution. They destroy your cells and accelerate the aging process of your skin.

 

3.  Spinach

Women’s skin naturally loses its elasticity and thins as they get older. The vitamin A in spinach has antioxidant activity which helps keep your skin cells healthy and even repairs wounds! One cup of spinach contains 943mg of Vitamin A, which is more than the recommended daily value for adults. Vitamin C is another antioxidant in spinach that works to repair skin cells and keep your skin looking beautiful. Without adequate vitamin C, most people experience dry, itchy skin. One cup of spinach contains 18 milligrams of vitamin C, or about 24% of the daily recommend value.

 

4. Olive Oil

This“Liquid Gold” dates back to ancient Greece where it was considered the Holy Grail of products due to 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.

 

5. Ginger

Ginger makes delicious and healthy tea but it is also known to have great benefits for your skin! It contains around 40 antioxidant compounds that prevent damage from free radicals, thus keeping your skin looking young and refreshed. It also improves skin elasticity. Ginger keeps your skin healthy by removing toxins and stimulating circulation, resulting in the delivery of more nutrients to the skin. Being a powerful antiseptic and cleansing agent it works great as a natural acne-fighting weapon as it minimizes the rate of acne break outs by killing acne-causing bacteria.

 

6. Lemons

Lemons are rich in vitamin C and citric acid, naturally helping brighten your skin when used over time. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals and boosting collagen production, says Marina Peredo, M.D., a dermatologist. Luckily Clear Essence has harvested the power of lemon extract into this concentrated cream for scars and discolorations due to hyper pigmentation on the body and face. 🍋 Treat your skin with our Lemon Plus Vitamin C Vanishing Cream twice a day and watch your skin tone clear in only 6-10 weeks!

 

7. Chia Seeds

Soothe inflammation and calm acne blemishes with a chia face mask. The Omega-3 fatty acids in chia can help aid the healing process of irritated blemish wounds, as well as protect the outer layer of skin from bacteria. Chia Seed oil is particularly effective against trans-epidermal water loss and can help your skin fight irritation, dehydration, and even banish blemishes.

 

8. Papaya

Papaya is packed with an enzyme called papain. This special enzyme is known for brightening the skin, reducing unwanted hair, exfoliating dead skin cells, and age prevention. Papaya is also a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, folate, magnesium and potassium. Our Maxi-Tone Papaya Soap Bar is formulated with these powerful papaya enzymes and tropical herbs. It promotes skin cell rejuvenation, reduces acne inflammation, exfoliates dead skin cells, and unclogs skin pores.

 

9. Avocados

It’s nearly that time of year again- Avocado season! Avocados are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, omegas and olic acid. As we’ve learned Vitamin C is crucial for collagen reproduction and elasticity of the skin. Vitamin E is another skin antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage from oxidizing fats in your skin cells that lead to aging skin. Research studies have also demonstrated that vitamin E can reduce the effects of UVA and UVB radiation from excessive sun exposure on your skin. An omega-9 fat, oleic acid is also involved in regenerating damaged skin cells and reducing facial redness and irritation. People who suffer from skin irritation and dryness regularly should try eating more avocado for skin health and hydration. Avocados also make great DIY face masks!

 

10. Oatmeal

Oatmeal has tons of health benefits that come from both consumption and topical applications. Uncooked oatmeal can be used to gently exfoliate the skin to help remove dead skin cells and soak up oil. This helps prevent acne and dryness. Oatmeal can also be used cooked! Just cook some up and let it cool down before applying directly to the affected areas. You can even add a few more ingredients to get a more intense treatment. We recommend adding honey, lemon juice, and plain yogurt for a refreshing face mask.

 

Ever wonder why there are different skin care products for men and women? Most people don’t think that there are any major differences between our skin. Interestingly enough, there are multiple differences between male and female skin including thickness, oiliness, aging, and texture. It isn’t just an industry ploy to try and get people to buy specific products based on their gender. Keep on reading to find out what exactly makes male and female skin so different and what this means for our skin care routines!

 

Tough and calloused is what we think of when we imagine male skin. It’s nearly the polar opposite from female’s soft and more delicate skin. According to Dr. Brian Zelickson, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Founder of MD Complete,

“Men’s skin is about 25% thicker with more collagen, more and larger hair follicles and more sebum production, all of which is mostly due to increased testosterone production. These structural differences make men’s skin less sensitive and able to handle stronger ingredients. However, it also makes them a bit more acne-prone, so they don’t need as heavy cream-based products.”

The ability to grow a beard is just one obvious distinction among many others that are not so evident. From a structural point of view, some of the differences include skin thickness, collagen density, loss of collagen as we age, texture and hydration. These differences in the skin may in fact create differences in the treatment room. Let’s look at each of these aspects in more detail.

 

Skin Thickness

We know that the thickness of the skin varies with the location, age and sex of the individual. Additionally, androgens like testosterone, cause an increase in skin thickness. Since men produce more testosterone than females it accounts for why a man’s skin is about 25 percent thicker than that of a woman’s. A man’s skin also thins gradually with age, where as the thickness of a woman’s skin remains constant until about the age of fifty. After menopause, her skin will thin significantly and will continue as she ages. This is why men need thicker face cremes to reach the lower layers of the skin and help retain skin elasticity. Women on the other hand can choose between either a light moisturizer or a heavy night creme for a more intense treatment.

 

Collagen Density

Regardless of age, men have a higher collagen density than women; this is the ratio of collagen to the thickness of the skin. Researchers believe that the higher collagen density accounts for why women appear to age faster than men of the same age. When considering intrinsic (genetically-programmed) aging of the skin, it has been said that women are about 15 years older than men of the same age. Of course, the role of daylight exposure in skin aging, combined with the fact that men do not use sunscreen as often as women, may account for why we do not readily notice. Extrinsic aging from UV radiation can add years to a man’s skin and negate the benefit of slower intrinsic aging. SPF protection is extremely important regardless of the type of skin you have!

 

Loss of Collagen

The physical signs of aging in adults, such as wrinkles and laxity to the tissue, are closely related to the collagen content of the skin. Both men and women lose about one percent of their collagen per year after their 30th birthday. For women, however, this escalates significantly in the first five years after menopause then slows down again. Using products geared towards more mature skin can make a huge difference in the way the skin reacts to certain ingredients in the product. Our Anti-Aging Complexion Soap is perfect for delicate skin and improves elasticity!

 

Texture

From a superficial perspective, the texture of a man’s skin is very different than a woman’s. The texture (on a man) is rougher, and the Stratum Corneum is thicker. There is also a difference in the composition of sebum and its production. After puberty, sebum production is greater in males than in females, which is attributed to androgen production and accounts for why men have longer lasting acne. Interestingly, redness, rapid production of the sebaceous glands, and swelling of the skin on the nose, is only seen in males. It is unknown if this condition is controlled by androgens in a similar capacity as sebum production.

 

Hydration

Puberty also stimulates the appearance of facial hair in men and gives rise to sweat production. Males have more Lactic Acid in their sweat, which accounts for a lower pH (.05 lower) when compared to female sweat. We discussed the importance of the skins pH levels in our Skin 101 post.

Men also sweat more than twice as much as women and are more prone to sweating, which is stimulated by an increase in body temperature. However, male skin appears to be better hydrated than women’s, which is fortunate, as men are less likely to apply a hydrating moisturizer to their body or face. Perhaps the excess sweating and production of Lactic Acid, a known natural humectant for the skin, is responsible for the level of tissue hydration.

So what have we learned? In short summary, a man’s skin is thicker thus providing them with different skin issues which need specially formulated products, like our Men’s Chimere Skin Care Line, to penetrate past the thicker skin to really make a difference in male’s skin. Remember to use sunscreen and keep your skin moisturized!

 

Here is a list of our top 5 Mother’s Day beauty inspired gifts, guaranteed to make her feel loved and pampered on her special day.

 

1. Spa Day

Treat your mother to a relaxing and rejuvenating spa day. If you happen to reside in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigera make a reservation at our Clear Essence California Spa and Wellness Resort! They have all the amenities to make your mother’s special day unforgettable!

P.S. You can also do a DIY spa day at home! Plenty of our products such as the Sensitive Line Moisturizing Body Oil and our Skin Beautifying Milk are great for an at home spa treatment that will leave her feeling relaxed and revitalized.

 

 

2. Beauty Basket!

Surprise her by gathering some of her favorite products as well as some new products you think she’ll love. Wrap them up in a cute basket and you’re all done! Some of our favorite beauty products are our Skin Lightening Serum which works wonders on uneven skin tones, dark spots, and hyper pigmentation. Our Anti Aging Complexion Soap rejuvenates the skin, exfoliates, and improves elasticity of the skin. Lastly our Specialist Body Oil is amazing at diminishing scars and stretch marks! As a little extra, you can even include a wonderful bottle of wine or a few of her favorite treats.

 

3. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Our mothers have always made sure that we had something to eat before sending us off to school in the mornings. Now it can be your turn to take care of her! Surprise her by making her breakfast in bed filled with all of her favorite foods.

 

 

4. Classic Flowers and Chocolates

Not all gifts have to be extravagant or expensive. A simple bouquet of her favorite flowers paired with her favorite sweets can show her some much deserved appreciation and that you have been thinking of her.

 

 

 

5. Easy Gift Sets

Gift Sets are a great way to take out the stress of finding the perfect gift for our mothers. They usually feature a variety of different types of products ensuring that she’ll find a use for each one of them. We put together a Skin Essentials Combo Gift Set to make this Mother’s Day shopping a breeze. It features 3 of our best selling Natural Beauty Skin Tone products: The Specialist Skincare Oil, the Olive Oil Bar Soap, and our Moisturizing Body Lotion. A complete set for perfectly soft and healthy skin.

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!

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