What is Lactic Acid? Fermented or sour milk contains a special chemical compound called Lactic Acid (LA). It is the gentler cousin to the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) exfoliant. Both help improve our skin’s texture for soft and blemish free skin. The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was one of the first to use this skin care […]
Clear Essence Blog
Acne and Acne Scars
What is Lactic Acid?
Fermented or sour milk contains a special chemical compound called Lactic Acid (LA). It is the gentler cousin to the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) exfoliant. Both help improve our skin’s texture for soft and blemish free skin.
The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was one of the first to use this skin care holy grail ingredient. She would bathe in fermented milk to keep her beautiful skin looking and feeling rejuvenated.
According to WebMD.com, LA is mainly produced by red blood cells and muscles inside of the human body. Our bodies generate this chemical compound when we are exercising for long periods of time. It serves as the fuel reserve to help prolong the work out and delay muscle fatigue.
How does it work?
Apart from its internal function, lactic acid works as an exfoliant when used externally on the skin. It gently strips off the dead cells on our skin, revealing the soft new skin beneath. It promotes collagen growth to help slow down the skin’s aging process and properly moisturizes for soft hydrated skin.
Of course, the application of any lactic acid treatment should be in moderation according to one’s skin sensitivity because too much of it can cause irritation. Your skin should see minimal sun exposure during a lactic acid regimen as fresh new skin is more vulnerable to UV rays.
When looking for dark skin care products that exfoliate, moisturize and help cell and collagen regrowth for younger looking skin, it is important to choose products with AHA because AHA contains lactic acid properties that do just that.
Where can I get it?
By using products that contain lactic acid properties African American skin care can be complete and highly effective. It just takes some knowledge on the specific properties to help achieve what your skin needs to be at its full potential.
Vitamin C and Lemon Extract are actually some of the most powerful ingredients for dark spots and discolorations – and they come straight from nature! Among the many ingredients available in creams out on the store shelves, one of the most popular is Vitamin C. But what is Vitamin C and what can it do? Let us break it down plain and simple and see exactly what this key ingredient can do for African American skin.
What exactly is it?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. There really isn’t much more to it than that. Vitamin C can be found anywhere from the foods we eat, supplements we take, or (Yup! You guessed it!) face creams. Because this well known vitamin can be found in just about anywhere, it can be easily overlooked.
What can it do?
Do not underestimate the power of this mini molecule! Vitamin C can bring many benefits to the skin. For starters, Vitamin C can prevent and even reverse sun damage on the skin. Its antioxidant factor can actually work in your skin’s favor. How? Antioxidants fight against ultraviolet rays that touch the surface of our skin. They prevent them from forming free radicals in our skin that speed up the appearance of aging. This factor, along with a dab of sunscreen for extra sun protection can really make a difference on your appearance.
Vitamin C also helps in producing collagen for the skin. In simple terms, collagen is a type of protein that helps hold the skin together, giving its youthful look. So a topical Vitamin C cream can actually promote the production of collagen to give your skin its natural hold and fight against the appearance of wrinkles.
So there you have it ladies & gentlemen…The power of Vitamin C. Natural products, specifically lemon based products, would most likely contain Vitamin C. So next time you’re out shopping for a new product, be on the lookout for this key ingredient. Your skin will thank you in the long run!
Try any of the black skin care products from Clear Essence’s Lemon Plus Vitamin C Line which is made with a natural blend of Vitamin C, fruit acids, emollients, and extracts of lemon, licorice, ginseng, gentian, aloe, green tea and sea kelp.
Vitamin C and Lemon Extract are actually some of the most powerful ingredients for dark spots and discolorations – and they come straight from nature! Among the many ingredients available in creams out on the store shelves, one of the most popular is Vitamin C. But what is Vitamin C and what can it do? […]
Causes of Acne on Darker Skin Tones
In Black skin care, acne is a nuisance that we contribute to the food we eat and hormones. There may however, be another factor that you have never considered before. The soft pillow that you lay your head on every night may be causing some of your breakouts.
Your pillowcases, like your clothing, hold dirt and oil from your skin. However, many of us do not wash our pillowcases as often as our clothing. This allows for a build up of oil and dirt that distributes back onto your skin as you sleep at night.
Preventing Bacteria Transfer to Your Face
To prevent the build up of dirt and oil, pillowcases should be washed about once a week. If washing your pillowcase this often is not possible, placing a clean towel on top of your pillowcase may be a better option. When washing your pillowcases, try to avoid liquid detergent and dryer sheets as they cause a waxy build up that may clog pores further.
A second way to prevent the build up of dirt and oil on your pillowcases, is to wash your face before you go to sleep. Washing your face before you go to sleep removes the dirt and oil that has accumulated during the day. Less oil and dirt on your face before you go to sleep means that there will be less dirt and oil deposited onto your pillowcase.
A dirty pillowcase is not the only cause of acne on black skin but it can definitely contribute. Having a clean pillowcase ensures that dirt and oil will not be redistributed onto your skin causing further breakouts.
For some of us acne, is already affecting our skin. Our Blemish Control Wash Formula is a powerful salicylic acid treatment for oily and acne prone skin types. The antiseptic wash clears bacteria and oil build up while reducing inflammation and irritation. This helps control acne on the face and along the hairline and dries up oil to reduce future acne formation. Also contains peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and menthol for revitalization and pH balance which leaves the skin fresh and awakened.
For back and chest, we recommend our Medicated Cleansing Bar made with sulfur and exfoliating oatmeal extracts. This black soap is a blemish and acne treatment soap for the face and body that is suitable for all skin types and skin tones. The soap deep cleanses to remove dirt, bacteria and oil. This medicated cleansing bar also exfoliates dead skin cells for a radiant blemish free complexion. Natural ingredients like sulfur and wheat germ are used to heal problematic skin and reduce breakouts.
If you’re often left with dark spots and left over acne scars, try the Skin Lightening Serum to target individual dark marks on oily and acne prone skin types. It treats hyper-pigmentation, fades skin discolorations, and lightens dark spots on all skin types and skin tones. This skin lightening serum contains Hydroquinone and botanical extracts which go to work to fade problem areas.
Causes of Acne on Darker Skin Tones In Black skin care, acne is a nuisance that we contribute to the food we eat and hormones. There may however, be another factor that you have never considered before. The soft pillow that you lay your head on every night may be causing some of your breakouts. […]
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Medical Disclaimer Content on our website is provided for general informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice. Product information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never […]
The Importance of a Nightly Skincare Routine: We last talked about the importance of having a daily morning skincare routine here but it is also super important to remember your nightly skincare routine. “Why should I have two different routines?” you may ask. Well, each routine is catered to the different needs of your skin […]
While most of us have heard that everyone should at the very least apply sunscreen before heading out, some may not know there is more to a morning skincare routine due to the environmental damages caused by smog, pollutants, smoke and so much more.
Skin Care is probably one of the last things on your mind as you’re rushing to get out the door. However, we should be giving as much thought to our morning skin care routine as we do our first cup of coffee.
Environmental pollution is largely made up of PAH’s or (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon), these increase in areas in which public smoking is not prohibited and in homes that use coal and biofuels for cooking. Sitting in traffic not only exposes you to the sun but also to the smog produced by the cars. According to research, PAH’s”cling to airborne nanoparticles” and are then “converted to quinones” that age the skin just as chronic exposure to UV light does.
In order to protect your skin from these harmful pollutants, we have to create a barrier between the two. Arming your skin with antioxidants and UV protection will go a long way, ensuring the decreased signs of aging. This where your morning skin care routine comes into play.
Morning Skincare Routine Tips
We offer a variety of products that can be mixed and matched together as a morning skincare routine. Our different skin care lines each address specific skin care issues. One of our favorite regimens begins with either our Medicated Cleansing Bar or our Anti-Aging Complexion Soap, depending if you suffer from breakouts or dry skin.
Next, we recommend using a toner such as our Anti Aging Toner with AHA or our Lemon Plus Vitamin C Multi-Active Toner to ensure that there is no leftover dirt or makeup residue left on the skin. If there are dirt particles or bacteria left over it may lead to breakouts and dull skin. We follow this step with a skin serum, available in our Platinum and Lemon skin care lines. These serums are great for dark spot treatment and diminishing dark undereye circles.
Next up is the application of a face cream or lotion. We have a large variety of body and face creams to choose from! Our three most popular are our Medicated Fade Cream, the Platinum Skin Beautifying Milk and our Olive Oil Body Cream. It is important to apply sunscreen before applying a face cream unless of course it already has SPF like our Extra Strength Medicated Fade Creme and our Extra Strength Beautifying Skin Milk.
That’s it! You can always pick and choose which items you like most from all lines to create the perfect regimen for your skin. Remember we are always available to recommend routines based on your skin care needs and even the time you have available in the mornings!
While most of us have heard that everyone should at the very least apply sunscreen before heading out, some may not know there is more to a morning skincare routine due to the environmental damages caused by smog, pollutants, smoke and so much more. Skin Care is probably one of the last things on your […]
With summer just around the corner, it’s an excellent time to start planning the perfect summer getaway! 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.
Visit Clear Essence Spa For Your Summer Getaway!!
If you’re planning a destination vacation for your summer getaway escape 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
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.
Fit For a Queen!
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 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!
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.
2. MYTH: It 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 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. It dries the skin and causes premature aging.
TRUTH: Mineral oil works as a barrier between the skin and the air. It 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.
Try it for yourself!
Now that we’ve debunked the rumors against mineral oil, we’re sure you’re ready to get back to perfecting your skin with the affordable and rich benefits of this ingredient found in many cosmetic and skin care products! Dry skin? Clear Essence Specialist Oil is a rich blend of vitamins A &E, rosemary, chamomile, lavender and yes cosmetically refined mineral oil. It has been clinically shown to combat dry skin by moisturizing, lubricating and smoothing chapped or cracked 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 […]
We sometimes forget that our skin composition 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.
Skin Composition: 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.
This is the outermost layer of your skin composition. 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. Taking care of your skin composition translates to a beautiful outer complexion!
It lives directly underneath the epidermis, the dermis is held together by a protein called collagen. Collagen is what helps give our skin composition 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!
We sometimes forget that our skin composition 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 […]
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.