Clear Essence Blog


Natural Skin Care

Natural Skincare products for African AmericansWe all know that a daily dose of vitamins helps keep our bodies feeling fit, healthy, and ready for whatever life sends our way. However, many of us aren’t aware just how beneficial these same vitamins, particularly vitamin C, can be for our skin. Whether your skin is dehydrated, mature, aging, hyperpigmented, or lacking vibrancy, vitamin C can be a key ingredient to help protect, repair and enhance the natural beauty of your skin.

Vitamin C is found in several forms, notably, ascorbic acid, the unaltered and exfoliating form of vitamin C, and L-ascorbyl palmitate, a derivative of vitamin C with similar benefits in skin care. When used in topical treatments, vitamin C can actually transform the overall look and feel of your skin. Importantly, the vitamin promotes the synthesis of collagen, actually strengthening the structural proteins within your skin. Topical use of vitamin C helps neutralize free radicals, defend against environmental damage, and prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles. A vitamin C product can be used during the day to protect the skin from free radicals and prevent further damage. Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Skin Smoothing Cream is a recommended vitamin C-based lotion that absorbs quickly and can easily be used under sunscreen and makeup.

Vitamin C-based skin care products are used specifically to lighten darker skin cells, tone lackluster and distressed skin, and tighten aging skin. For those searching for a pure, concentrated, and powerful formula of vitamin C, products like Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Multi-Active Toner will whip your skin into shape with a hydrating, protecting, and preventive vitamin C formula.

For maximum effectiveness, use the Lemon Plus Vitamin C Body Soap Scrub as a tool to help penetrate a vitamin C properties even deeper into the skin through cleansing. Using all three products in our Lemon Plus Vitamin C Line will tone and lift the skin for a more youthful look.

Who doesn’t want a more glowing, radiant and vibrant complexion? Vitamin C can hold the key to transforming your skin.

Taking care of the skin is something that everyone wants to follow religiously and whilst some women maintain it pretty well, others still make mistakes. Expert say avoid skincare mistakes like using too much moisturiser and the wrong face mask.


– Too Much Moisturiser: If a moisturiser is correctly suited to your skin type, it should feel comfortable on the skin and not leave skin feeling greasy or oily. A day moisturiser should always contain an SPF. Night creams should only be used at night as they tend to be richer and don’t contain any sun protection. Never put moisturiser around your eyes as the thinner skin can easily become overloaded with product and cause blockages that appear as little white spots.

– Over Exfoliating: Go easy on exfoliation. Over-exfoliating can lead to redness and irritation and constantly stripping your skin can actually make the skin greasy. Physical exfoliating scrubs that have sharp, uneven grains can tear or damage the skin. Normal to oily skin only needs exfoliating twice a week.

– The wrong face mask: As with moisturisers, select your face mask according to your skin type. For instance clay-based masks, or those with ingredients for oily, spotty skin, such as salicylic acid will cause normal-dry skin to flake off. If your skin is in need of moisture, select one for dry skin with skin nourishing and replenishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or vitamin E.

– Forgetting SPF: Come rain or shine, we should all wear SPF during the day as the sun is the biggest cause of wrinkles. The trick is to find a sunscreen that slips elegantly under foundation and moisturiser and becomes a seamless part of your morning routine. Better still, wear a daily moisturiser or moisturising tint that contains an SPF.

– Using face wipes: Some face wipes contain harsh chemicals and high levels of alcohol that can dry the skin out. When rubbed vigorously on the skin, particularly around the delicate eye area, they can cause irritation and even stinging or redness.

– Sleeping in make-up: Sleeping with dirt, oil and makeup on can cause acne and enlarged pores. Think of make up removal as washing away the day’s grime!

– Frequently changing products: A very common mistake is changing products too often. It’s really important to try a new product for at least three months to see the true effect it has on the skin. If a product doesn’t agree with your skin, stop using it immediately.

If you never think about how long that powder, foundation, eyeliner, and especially mascara, have been in your medicine cabinet or purse, perhaps you should. Those cosmetic products could be bacterial breeding grounds.

Never Touch or Share Your Cosmetic Products

“My estheticians are very careful when applying makeup,” says Helga Surratt, president of About Faces Day Spa & Salon in Towson, MD. “The simplest and easiest way to handle makeup and not contaminate it is just don’t touch it” with your bare hands.

To keep your makeup bacteria-free, try this advice:

  • Take foundation out of the container before applying.Remove stick or pressed foundation with a small, clean makeup spatula or pour a small amount of liquid foundations on to a little pallet or small plate. That way you avoid contaminating the container with your fingers. Use brushes to apply makeup for better results.
  • Clean your beauty care applicators. When you’re finished with your spatula or pallet and brushes, clean them thoroughly with soap and hot water — every time you use them. A brush cleaner is a great way to get rid of any bacteria on the brush and remove excess makeup as well. You can do the same thing with blush and lipstick applicators.

And, no matter how much your sister or best friend pleads, do not share your cosmetic products with them. Their bacteria can contaminate you, too.

Special Care to Prevent Eye Infections

These cosmetic products need special attention.

  • Eyeliner. Wipe off your eyeliner pencil with alcohol on a fuzz-free cotton pad (found near the cotton balls at your drugstore); with alcohol, it will dry quickly and stay sterile. Don’t use the eyeliner on the moist, pink part of your eyelids. Most eyeliners are not designed to be used there nor close to your tear ducts (the inner corner of your eye).
  • Mascara. To avoid conjunctivitis and other eye infections, replace your mascara every three to four months. Mark the month you purchased the mascara on the side of the tube with a permanent marker to help you remember to buy a new one. Also, don’t shove the brush back and forth in the tube to get more mascara on it — when you do that, you’re also pushing air and bacteria inside the product. Instead, spin the brush around in the tube before you pull it out and use it. And be careful when using mascara not to touch or scratch your eye – apply only to the tips of your lashes. Otherwise, you risk scratching your cornea and raising your risk of eye infections or vision loss.
  • Cream or powder eye shadow. These cosmetic products should be treated the same way as foundation and lipstick: Use a brush or spatula and pallet. Don’t touch eye shadow with your fingers.

Remember to replace all of your beauty care products every year, and your mascara every three months. Make sure you don’t touch your makeup with your fingers, and keep all of your makeup applicators clean and sterile. This kind of careful treatment will keep germs and bacteria at bay.

As your body’s largest organ and its first line of defense, your skin can sometimes reveal a medical condition that’s affecting you. Whether you have red skin that’s hot to the touch, skin bumps that itch, or a skin rash that just looks unusual, changes in your skin are nothing to ignore. What is your skin trying to tell you about your health? When are over the counter products suitable and when should you seek medical attention?

Here are some of the most common skin symptoms and why they might occur.

Skin Symptom No. 1: Red Skin

Here are possible causes of red skin:

  • Rosacea. This skin condition is characterized by redness of the face. It tends to get worse with stress, extreme weather conditions, and physical activity, and after using certain skin products. Rosacea should be treated according to a prescription from your dermatologist.
  • Flushing. Your face can flush from taking certain medications, having a fever, drinking alcohol, or simply eating a really spicy meal or steaming beverage. Strong emotions can also cause you to flush, as can going through menopause or experiencing extreme temperature changes.
  • Dry skin. Skin that is extremely dry can become reddened and may result in dermatitis. Red skin from dryness may also look like a skin rash. To combat dry skin this winter try Clear Essence My Natural Beauty Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15. This all natural lotion will hydrate skin before it becomes cracked and flaky.

Skin Symptom No. 2: Skin Rash

Here are possible causes of a skin rash:

  • Dermatitis. This umbrella term includes many types of skin conditions, including contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis stems from an allergy to something that you’ve touched, including anything from poison ivy to laundry detergent to a furry pet. Eczema, another type of dermatitis, looks like a dry red rash and can appear anywhere on the body. Serve conditions such as eczema and dermatitis should not be treated with over the counter products but rather medicated formulas prescribed by a dermatologist.
  • Hives. Also called urticaria, hives are allergic reactions to something you’ve touched or ingested, such as a food or a medication. They appear as raised red areas that are itchy. Allergies can be dangerous and should seek medical attention immediately.
  • An illness or infection. Viral infections such as measles and chickenpox can result in a red skin rash across the body. The rash can blister or just appear as flat red spots that break out throughout the body. Fungal infections, such as jock itch and ringworm, can also cause skin rashes, as can some sexually transmitted infections.

Skin Symptom No. 3: Skin Bumps

Here are possible causes of skin bumps:

  • Keratosis pilaris. This sometimes-itchy skin condition is defined by tiny bumps that give the skin a sandpaper-like texture. The bumps may be red in color or flesh-toned, and they most often occur on the thighs and upper arms.
  • Acne. Excess oil and blocked sebaceous glands in the skin result in these bumps that are often red in color, but may also be white when filled with pus, or the color of your skin. Acne can occur on the face, shoulders, chest, or back. To treat acne and rid the skin of excess dirt, oil and bacteria, use Clear Essence Blemish Control Wash Formula. This minty formula will dry out excess oil and leave the skin clean and ready for treatment.
  • A skin allergy. Many skin allergies can result in skin bumps, including contact dermatitis, eczema, and hives. These bumps can be red, patchy, scaly, swollen, blistering, or itchy, and can appear anywhere on the body.

Skin Symptom No. 4: Discolored Skin

Here are possible causes of skin discoloration:

  • Psoriasis. This inflammatory skin condition results in patches of discolored skin anywhere on the body. These patches can be red, silver, white, or pink in color. Psoriasis flare-ups appear as thickened areas of skin that are covered in scales.
  • Vitiligo. This condition causes cells to stop producing pigment, the substance that provides skin with color. As a result, white patches of skin can appear anywhere on the body, but most often are first seen on the face, arms, hands, or feet.
  • Melasma. This condition causes areas of skin to become darker than normal — generally a brown color that spreads across the face, usually on both sides in the same pattern. It often occurs in women who are pregnant or taking medications containing hormones, such as birth control pills or hormone replacement drugs. To fade this discoloration use Clear Essence Medicated Fade Cream which lightens dark patches on the skin. Melasma eventually goes away with Clear Essence’s Fade Cream, the results can be seen in only 4 to 6 weeks!
  • Lentigines. These are small, flat, irregular, darkened areas, often on the face and hands, and are related to sun exposure.

Skin Symptom No. 5: Dry or Scaly Patches

Here are possible reasons for dry patches:

  • Inflammatory skin conditions. These include psoriasis and the various forms of dermatitis mentioned above. These skin conditions often result in patches of skin that appear very dry, cracked, scaly, and red.
  • Dry skin. You may experience dry patches on the skin simply from a lack of moisture. Dry skin patches may start to flake or peel, itch, or crack. For dry skin try Clear Essence Skin Beautifying Milk which is a hydrating lotion with a silky smooth texture. Also our My Natural Beauty Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 is the perfect thick body cream for drying skin that lacks moisture.
  • Skin cancer. Patches of skin that are dry, red, scaly, and rough — or in any way unusual in color or texture — could actually be skin cancer.

If you spot a suspicious or unusual skin symptom, consult a dermatologist. Whether a minor inconvenience or a condition that needs medical attention, it’s better to be in the know than to risk the health of your skin.

Acne breakouts are commonly associated with teenagers — but those troublesome pimples don’t always go away when we enter our 20s. The reality is that many adults continue to have acne on occasion throughout their 20s and 30s, and may even live with the skin condition well into middle age.

Thankfully, there are several ways to treat an existing breakout and prevent new pimples from developing. “The medications one uses for acne depend on type and severity,” says Adelaide A. Hebert, MD, a professor in the dermatology department at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School.

Some treatments are directed toward removing the dead skin and oils that clog pores and create acne, while others target the cystic formation typical of severe acne. Additional acne treatment options work by attacking overgrowths of Propionibacterium acnes, a type of bacteria that occurs naturally on the skin but can cause acne when its growth is uncontrolled.

Acne Treatment Options

Salicylic Acid. “Salicylic acid works as an antibacterial,” Woolery-Lloyd says. That means that this acne treatment fights germs that could be contributing to your acne. You can find this powerful ingredient within Clear Essence’s Blemish Control Wash Formula. The minty facial wash rids the skin of dirt, oil and bacteria after a long day.

Antibiotics. Occasionally, your dermatologist might prescribe an antibiotic to be taken by mouth. In this case, remember that they often increase sensitivity to sun, Woolery-Lloyd says.

Oral antibiotics you might be prescribed include:

  • Tetracycline, doxycycline, or minocycline
  • Erythromycin

Topical antibiotics include:

  • Azelaic acid
  • Clindamycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Sodium sulfacetamide

Topical sulfur products. Many over-the-counter soaps and anti-acne creams contain sulfur, which has been in use as an acne treatment for half a century. Although the exact mechanism by which sulfur fights acne is not known, these products are recommended by dermatologists, says Hebert. Try the Clear Essence Medicated Cleansing Bar which has tiny exfoliating beads that remove dirt and dead skin cells that often clog pores.

Another medication that may be useful in women is an oral contraceptive (birth control pill), which can help regulate hormones that may be contributing to acne breakouts.

No matter what acne treatment is used, if it is not working and you continue to suffer from bouts of acne, talk to your doctor. You may need to step up your program, or change it around a little, for best results.

By Robert Preidt
Birthmarks, scars and other facial blemishes may make it harder for people to land a job, new research suggests. This is because interviewers can be distracted by unusual facial features and recall less information about job candidates, according to the investigators at Rice University and the University of Houston. “When evaluating applicants in an interview setting, it’s important to remember what they are saying,” Mikki Hebl, a psychology professor at Rice University, said in a university news release. “Our research shows if you recall less information about competent candidates because you are distracted by characteristics on their face, it decreases your overall evaluations of them.” One experiment involved about 170 undergraduate students who conducted mock interviews via a computer while their eye activity was tracked. The more the interviewers’ attention was distracted by facial blemishes, the less they remembered about the job candidate and the lower they rated them. In a second experiment, 38 full-time managers conducted face-to-face interviews with job candidates who had a facial birthmark. All the managers had experience interviewing people for jobs but were still distracted by the birthmarks. “The bottom line is that how your face looks can significantly influence the success of an interview,” Hebl said. “There have been many studies showing that specific groups of people are discriminated against in the workplace, but this study takes it a step further, showing why it happens. The allocation of attention away from memory for the interview content explains this.” Clear Essence Skincare products effectively work to lighten and fade dark spots, hyperpigmentation and even out skin tones. Use Clear Essence Medicated Fade Cream or Skin Beautifying Milk to make sure you’re seen for your beauty and not your flaws. The findings were recently published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology. The investigators said they hoped their research would help raise awareness about this type of workplace discrimination.