Clear Essence Blog

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Anti-Aging

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 care. 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. Mother’s Day 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: 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.

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.

The epidermis.

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!

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 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!

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

History of Olive Oil

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.

Olive Oil Tips

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 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 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.

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 skin care, and how can you implement it into your own routine? Luckily, you came to the right place.

How carrot oil skin care is 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 skin care 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!

Before I begin I urge you all to remember that stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of, however if you do want to find ways to diminish stretch marks on your skin, please continue to read.
Stretch marks are completely natural effects on the skin, mostly caused  by an increase in cortisone in the skin, or skin tearing often caused by  rapid changes in the body, such as by hormones, pregnancy, body  building, hormone replacement treatments, weight gain and so on.  They often make their appearance on the skin as off-hue stripes, and  can vary in size and color, as well as time spent on the skin. While  stretch marks are not permanent, if not treated well, they may leave  scarring, so it’s important that while you not only try to treat stretch  marks while they are present on your skin, it’s also very important that you try to prevent them from appearing on the skin in the first place. Doing this mainly entails that you keep your skin moisturized, and hydrated as much as possible, especially during pregnancy where 90% of women experience stretch marks especially during their last trimesters. There are many ways for you to accomplish preventing stretch marks, as well as many ways for treating them, check out our three favorite ways to do this below:

capsule-1079838_960_720 Vitamins:

While many of us may take a daily vitamin, there are also a large  number of us who do not. Vitamins are an excellent way to prevent  health issues, anywhere from defeating the common cold to helping  with acne. This is because vitamins are typically encased with a melody  of necessary oils, minerals and other resources that we can’t always get  from our daily meals, drinks and so on. So think of them as diet fillers;  they fill in what you don’t! Vitamins function this way for stretch  marks as well, especially supplemental vitamins covering the oil categories of health such as biotin, vitamin e, fish oil, etc. This is because in the same way that oil on the outside of our skin keeps our skin feeling moisturized, oil INSIDE of our skin does the same, making it more thoroughly moisturized than with just simple lotions and butters. This is because it helps to improve skin elasticity from the inside of your body. Vitamins work as an excellent preventative measure for stretch marks, but they are also an excellent option in treating stretch marks. Luckily most vitamins are fairly affordable, and you can find them virtually anywhere! So no excuses, start taking your vitamins!

Water: fountain-197334_960_720

I know I know, you hear this a lot and it’s almost like a broken record, but water is the most essential element in preventing skin dryness and maintaining skin elasticity. Like vitamins, the consumption of water works from the inside of your body to keep your skin hydrated and healthy, and not only that, it benefits with a number of other regulatory systems in your body as well. It’s literally the most vital natural resource we can get, and many of us don’t even take much advantage of it, and as a result many of us suffer from dehydration without even realizing it! So fun fact, when you feel thirsty, that’s an indication that your body is already low on water, and when you feel dryness on your lips, a.k.a when you have to search high and low to locate your favorite chap-stick, it also means that your body is low on water. These are 2 daily sensations we experience every day, but we shouldn’t. It’s simple, carry a water bottle with you at all times, and make sure that you drink it all, and refill it at least once every day. While you might have to get up to use the restroom every 15 minutes, it’s well worth it, and not only your skin, but your entire body will thank you!

 L.O.C. help diminish stretch marks

My personal favorite thing to ignore, but also my favorite thing to  apply. I always tend to skip the lotion segment after my showers, just  because it takes an additional 5 minutes that I never want to give up  just to put it on. But as the weather becomes colder, I can see the  effects this has on my skin more and more, and I have quickly  readjusted to a lotion-oil-cream regimen to prevent my skin from  getting any worse. This being said, while lotions can be ignored in the  warmer months (specifically late June to mid-October) because the air  carries moisture during these months, thus making it least likely for us  to experience dryness, it’s extremely non-recommended to skip the  moisture process in the colder months (specifically November-May),  this is because the air is frigid, thus carrying no moisture and often times irritating your skin with bouts of dryness. So it’s important to keep lotions, creams, and oils on deck, especially after taking hot showers in these cold months, because as we do this, we also allow whatever moisture we have in our skin to leave by opening our pores in the steam. This isn’t wrong to do, but in order to replace the moisture that is lost, we must apply the nourishment our skin needs to its surface. Not doing so, can in effect cause tearing in the dermis, and then more stretch marks. So I employ the process of moisturizing called the L.O.C method, and if you haven’t already guessed, it stands for lotions, oils, and creams. This is a method I use because my skin is extremely prone to dryness. So to prevent this, I mix an essential oil (read this post below) with my daily lotion for application after I take my nightly showers, and when I wake up I apply a heavy cream to wear throughout my day. This prevents my skin from feeling flaky or irritated in the cold-windy air throughout my day, and as also keeps my skin extremely soft. In addition, it also helps me to prevent any stretch marks.

So here are my three cardinal rules to taking care of your skin and treating or preventing stretch marks. While many sources reveal that stretch marks are genetic, and if you feel that as a result of this you are more prone to them, I challenge you to try the above methods to at least take preventative measures for your skins appearance. While no one should feel ashamed of having stretch marks; they are something all of us have (whether people care to admit it or not), many of us experience a higher level of confidence when we feel we are able to keep them to a minimum. So it’s important to take care of our skin the best ways we can! Here at Clear Essence we offer body oils, as well as lotions and creams that can help with your skins moisture-retainment. Our personal favorites are the Olive Oil Body Creme and the Specialist Skincare Body Oil. Our cream is extra thick and lush, and it penetrates the skin immediately, leaving it feeling ten times more soothed and softened than before its application. Our body oil is amazing for helping add shine and moisture to the skin. Its lightweight and non-messy, making it one of our top favorite oils to use daily, plus its mixed with 3 different essential oils helping to keep our skins soft and supple to the touch!  Please feel free to explore our website, and find the moisturizing products that you feel are right for you.

When it comes to Summer, not only do we get extreme temperatures, but we also get smog. Smog occurs because of pollutants in the atmosphere that may be caused by fuels such as nitrogen oxides (that are found in burning gas, natural gas, coal, and oil), carbon monoxide, and many more. Major air pollution sources are derived from transportation, electricity, other home fuel uses, and goods and services we buy. Unfortunately anti-pollution skin care is a reality for most everyone in the world due to these toxics affecting our air quality. Not only does our planet get affected by these fuels, but every living person is also affected, both internally and externally. These pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxides damage crops (that we eat), which may cause internal consumption of these chemical. For example, smog and nitrogen oxides creates an effect known as acid rain, so when it rains, the water falling is already polluted, and when it hits the crops, the crops get contaminated, and we eat those contaminated crops. Other internal effects may include lung damage from smog and blood having a more difficult time providing oxygen to cells.

 industry-611668_1920

Outdoor Pollution

So how does skin care play into air pollution you ask? Well, many of you might be shocked that air pollution externally affects you, by damaging your skin. According to the New York Times, “Ozone, the toxic gas formed when UV light hits mono-nitrogen oxides (basically, combustion exhaust), is suspected by some to be one of the primary causes of pollution-related skin damage.” The Ozone layer located in the stratosphere (one of five atmosphere layers) is our essential protection against skin cancer because it absorbs UV rays. Although the Ozone works as a shield against UV rays above in the sky, down below on the ground level, the Ozone layer may actual cause lung damage. So how exactly does our skin age faster? Our skin contains certain lipids that help keep our skin firm, however the Ozone layer damages those lipids causing skin damage and speeding up aging. The skin gets damaged due to the loss of oxygen your skin cells are receiving. Although this is normal when it comes to aging, air pollutants and UV radiation speed up the process.

Smog and Smoking

Smog is not the only type of fog, and neither is the smoke from other pollutants the only kind—smoking is a pollutant that damages your skin. According to LIVESTRONG, the process of growing tobacco, as well as consuming it, creates so much pollutants, it’s a hazard to the environment. First, the plant itself requires so many pesticides and herbicides, due to its fragility, thus causing the Ozone layer to deplete because of the chemicals these pesticides and herbicides contain. Such chemicals may even end up in ground water, killing wildlife and even poison people because of contaminated water. Now, these are just the chemicals that are used for growing tobacco, but more chemicals are released into the environment during manufacturing cigarettes. Chemicals such as:

  • Ammoniacigarette-110849_1280
  • Ethylene glycol
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Hydrogen fluoride
  • Methyl ethyl ketone
  • Nicotine and nicotine salts
  • Nitric acid
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Sulphuric acid
  • Toluene
  • Let’s also not forget the Carbon Dioxide that gets released while transporting (and consuming) the product, using fossil fuels that damage the atmosphere—just to name a few.

Now imagine all of those chemicals going into your mouth as you inhale and exhale a cigarette. The chemicals listed above are not only released into the atmosphere, create liter (cigarette butts are the number one littered item in the U.S.) but they stay in your body, and may lead to skin cancer. Smoking also causes your skin to wrinkle because it narrows your blood vessels due to lack of oxygen. According to HowStuffWorks, “Smoking also damages elastin and collagen, fibers that give skin its elasticity, which cause skin to wrinkle prematurely.” So next time you pick up a cigarette, ask yourself this—is it really worth it? If smoking is a stress reliever, here are other options to deal with stress, check out this collection of Cat-Stress-Relievers that Buzzfeed has compiled!

Anti-Pollution Skin Care: Shield Your Skin

It takes a large amount of people, corporations, and politicians to come together and find a solution to defeat air pollution, in the meanwhile, you can learn how to shield your skin from air pollutants!

Wash Your Face

Washing your face should not only be a part of your anti-pollution skin care routine, but learning to wash your face every single day, and if possible, day and night, is going to help you keep your face clean from chemicals and pollutants. By washing your face, you’re preventing your skin from irritation and dryness from pollutants. Here’s a list of possible products to use to not only keep your face clean after washing, but also to help with dryness from pollutants!

The milk not only prevents and heals dryness, but it also helps with hyperpigmentation from dryness in areas such as elbows, knees, knuckles and feet. Use it after cleansing and treating to moisturize the skin.

The crème helps reduce skin discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and helps brighten and even out your skin. It’s formulated with sunscreen so you won’t have to worry about UV rays!

This soap works to not only help dry skin, but it also helps with aging skin, because of the anti-oxidants such as Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, and pure Olive Oil. Say goodbye to rough skin and hello to smooth and soft!

This crème has a specially blended formula with antioxidants that help maintain your skin looking young and stay moisturized. Use it with the My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Soap for added hydration and clean looking skin!

Antioxidants to the Rescue!

According to SELF, “When pollution gets into your skin, it creates free radicals, highly unstable molecules that have unpaired electrons. These molecules [try] to steal an electron from a healthy cell, thereby injuring it.” These electrons therefore damage your collagen, which is essential for firm skin, and creates holes in your cells. This can lead to possible hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and acne from increased inflammation. Apply serums with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, in order to ensure your skin cells have the proper nutrients to prevent free radicals damage. Here are a couple of ways to pack in those antioxidants:

  • Eat Foods That Have Antioxidants—eating foods such as wild berries, dark chocolate, pecans, kidney beans, cranberries, blackberries, cilantro, and even green tea, is going to help
  • Try the Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Skin Care Line—The Lemon Vitamin C skin care series 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. Our Lemon Vitamin C line is natural skin care from nature, as it is a non-hydroquinone based treatment for excessive pigmentation in people of color. Lemon Plus Vitamin C from Clear Essence has fruit extracts for the gentle treatment of: Hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, excessive dryness, and environmental damage. Check out some of our favorites:

For All Skin Typeslemon-body-scrub-soap

The Lemon Plus Vitamin C Body Soap Scrub is a deep cleansing body scrub for all skin types; a unique blend of botanical ingredients that uses Vitamin C, lemon, and other antioxidants to restore balance and tone to the skin. The soap is formulated with natural exfoliates, which scrub away dead skin cells, causing the skin to feel smoother and cleaner, not to mention, the light lemon sent leaves skin smelling GREAT!

 

     

Clothing

weather-1611702_1920If you have a job that requires to be out in the sun all day, or you know you’ll be out all day, try covering up your skin with long sleeves and a hat in order to protect your skin from being in contact with air pollutants! You can also find out whether your clothes are properly UPF. According to the Skin Cancer Organization, “UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It indicates what fraction of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can penetrate the fabric. A shirt with a UPF of 50, for example, allows just 1/50th of the sun’s UV radiation to reach the skin.” It’s important to know your clothing is protecting sufficiently against air pollutants and UV rays, otherwise you are at a higher chance of skin damage. The Skin Cancer Organization also provides examples of what fabrics to look for depending on the UPF you seek.

 

Sunscreen

Because the Ozone layer is depleting, we are now more than ever exposed to UV rays. It’s important to apply sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy outside! Try our Clear Essence Platinum Skin Beautifying Milk with SPF 15, which helps keep your body moisturized and protected from any harmful UVA/UVB rays and still help fade discoloration from previous harsh sun exposure. Protecting yourself from UV rays is not only going to help you keep your skin healthy, but it’s also going to prevent your skin from hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone.

In order to truly create radiant and beautiful skin, you have to know certain aspects of your skin, such as your skin type and your skin tone. It’s important to know these aspects about your skin, not only to find the perfect skin care products, but your skin type and skin tone may react differently to the sun, make up products, and also what hair colors, or jewelry, compliments your skin tone.

 

Skin Types

So the first thing you want to know is what kind of skin type you have. Your skin type does not stay the same as you age, in fact the younger you are the more “normal your skin type is. There are about 5 major skin types, and may be caused by certain bad habits:

  1. Normal Skin

Normal skin has little to no blemishes or imperfections, and tends to be glowing. Pores are not as visible, and is rarely sensitive.

Causes:

Although age may have something to do with normal skin, using the right products may lead to a balanced skin complexion, unless you have really perfect genetics!

Prevention:

Although you may like the way your skin looks, you want to maintain your skin looking flawless. So knowing what kind of products your skin is comfortable with is a plus. Try using the Clear Essence My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Soap, followed by the My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Body Crème to keep maintaining a radiant and even toned complexion. We also offer other products for Normal skin, which you may check out here. If you have Normal skin but are worried about preventing wrinkles, you may also want to try the Clear Essence Anti-Aging Complexion Soap with Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). The AHA works to clear dead skin cells and moisturizes skin as it cleanses.

  1. Combination Skin

For combination skin, your T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin) is more likely to be oily, whereas the rest of your face may be dry or normal. Your pores are more than likely to appear larger because they’re more open, and are also more prone to having shiny skin. Combination skin tends to be the most common type of skin.

Tzone

Causes:

According to Paula’s Choice, genetics may be the most common reason for combination skin, but you might also want to take a look at the products you’re applying.  You want to make sure that the ingredients in the products help balance your skin out.

Prevention:20160801_110402

For Combination skin, you want to look for products that are either good for all skin types or use oily or dry skin products only for those specific areas. We recommend focusing on oily dark spots with the Clear Essence Platinum Line Skin Lightening Serum, while using the Clear Essence Platinum Line Medicated Fade Crème for dry areas. You may also notice that some of our products such as the Clear Essence Platinum Line Skin Beautifying Milk can be used for all skin types in order to help create a radiant complexion by fading dark spots and skin discolorations.

  1. Dry Skin

Though your pores may not be visible, you might havered patches, and a dull skin complexion. Your skin’s elasticity is very low which can create more visible lines.

Causes:

According to WebMD, certain factors to consider on why you have dry skin may have to do with aging, heredity, weather such as too much sun exposure, wind, or cold temperatures. Too much tanning may also lead to dry skin damage and certain ingredients in skin care products may lead to such skin conditions.

Prevention:

Using a moisturizer will help bring elasticity back into your skin, and may want to be applied more than twice a day, or whenever you feel your skin dry. Use the Clear Essence Skin Beautifying Milk in order to prevent and heal cracked and dry skin. Another product to consider is a misting spray with ingredients such as rosewater in order to refresh your skin. For more of our Dry Skin products, check this page out!

  1. Oily Skin

Your pores appear larger with oily skin, causing shiny or dull complexions. Oily skin is also more prone to blackheads and pimples.

Causes:

Oily skin can also change depending on the weather, such as dry skin. Some other factors to consider may be stress, heat.

Prevention

MedicatedCleansingBarIn order to prevent Oily skin, a major factor to consider is tightening up your pores. The more open your pores are, the more bacteria and oils can clogged your pores which may lead to acne. Also, popping a pimple or touching your face may lead to more acne, so don’t touch your face! Try cleansing with the Clear Essence Platinum Line Medicated Cleansing Bar which is effective in removing excess bacteria, dirt and oils. Follow up with the Clear Essence Platinum Line Skin Lightening Serum to tighten up pores to prevent future clogged pores, and follow up with a moisturizer. For more oily skin products check our oily skin page.

  1. Sensitive Skin

Signs of sensitive skin may occur with redness or irritation, or even a burning sensation.

Causes:

Most of the time, such symptoms are caused by chemical reactions, or ingredients in home care products or skin care products.

Prevention:20160627_121523

Knowing what products are causing irritation is a must. After knowing what works for your skin, use products that have more natural extracts, such as the Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Skin Care Line, or using the My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Soap and the My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Body Crème in order to help out with dryness that occurs from sensitive skin. You can check out more of our recommended products for sensitive skin here!

Skin Tones

Our skin type helps identify how certain products may affect us, but knowing your skin tone also helps protect and prevent your skin from future damage and of course let’s not forget about fashion and beauty and how certain colors help your natural beauty. According to wikiHow, “Your skin tone is determined by the amount of melanin, or pigment, in your skin and does not change from sun exposure or skin conditions like rosacea or acne.” In other words, your skin tone isn’t based off of your actual skin color, but more about, what’s going on inside of your skin that produces its tone. The darker the skin tone, the higher amount of melanin, which helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays. MAKEUP.com provides 5 of the most common skin tone categories which are:photo-1447624799968-c704f86dc931

  • Fair
  • Light
  • Medium/Neutral
  • Olive
  • Dark

Skin tone may easily be confused with undertone, which is determined by three aspects: cool, neutral, or warm. Undertone is helpful in finding the right beauty products such as foundation, nail polish, colors of clothing that make you stand out more, and even hair. Not sure what your undertone is? POPSUGAR has an easy quiz that’ll help you find out!

 Protecting Your Skin

sunscreen-1461335_1920Above all, no matter what your skin type or skin tone is, a basic necessity for your skin to be protected is SPF. By using sunscreen, not only are you preventing excess dryness, and skin damage, but you’re also helping prevent sunspots and discolorations from occurring. Knowing what kind of SPF based off of your skin tones, is going to help you not only determine how strong the SPF should be but how often you should be reapplying. Use the Fitzpatrick skin quiz, provided by the Skin Cancer Organization to help identify how much SPF you need. Now, depending the SPF, you may have to apply sunscreen more than once throughout the day. The smaller the SPF the more often you have to reapply, so if you have a lotion or make up with SPF 15, then you’ll need to reapply every two hours. However, if you have SPF 30 or higher, you can get away with a couple of more hours, but always remember to reapply! Even after getting in the water with “waterproof” sunblock, it never hurts to reapply! According to the Skin Cancer Organization, “To ensure that you get the full SPF of a sunscreen, you need to apply 1 oz – about a shot glass full. Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than advertised. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 oz. bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin.”  Therefore, knowing the proper amount of sunscreen to use is not only going to help your natural beauty, but it’s going to keep it from aging faster!

Determining Your SPF for Every Skin Type

Now that you know what kind of SPF to use, knowing which sunscreen products to look for based off your skin type, is going to help you from preventing blemishes caused by sunscreen products. Sunscreen may cause oily skin to get even more excessive oils, so knowing what ingredients to look for is going to help your skin inside and out!

Normal Skin/All types:

Any sunscreen can be used for normal skin, but if you’re looking for one that will improve your skin’s elasticity, then check for a sunscreen that contains niacinamide, which helps uneven skin tones! Sunscreens that also contain zinc and titanium oxide will help cover you from any UV ray!

Dry Skin/Sensitive Skin:

Since dry skin can be prone to sensitivity, opt for a sunscreen that helps hydrate, and moisture, so the creamier/thicker, the better!

Oily Skin:

Since dry skin needs creamier then, oily skin means the opposite. Opt for gel based sunblocks which tend to be oil-free!

Clear Essence SPF Products

Sunscreen is always a major component to ensure the erasure of dark spots and getting a radiant and even toned-complexion, so we offer some products with an SPF 15 based formula! Here is a list for you to check out!
20160627_12094520160627_150856beautifying milk spf (2)

 

 

 

Although sunscreens create an “ashy look” on darker skin tones, that shouldn’t stop you from applying! According to Glamour, Dr. Zeichner states, “The right formula should be light, easy to spread, and should absorb fully into the skin so you don’t see it.” Another note to add on sunscreens is spray on sunscreens. Though they are effective, the trick is finding out whether you put on the right amount. If you wish to apply spray sunscreen, just remember: be aware of the dangers of accidental inhalation, and make sure to rub in the sunscreen once you spray it on! If you’re not sure about what sunscreen to use because you have sensitive skin, Positive Health Wellness has some great tips for not only using the proper products for sensitive skin, but also ways to create your own sunscreen!

 

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