Clear Essence Blog

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Acne and Acne Scars

Lemon: A Natural Skincare Ingredient

When it comes to skincare, one of the toughest problems many people face are dark spots and correcting them. It seems like there are an endless amount of tips and tricks on how to lighten dark spots on the skin that range from simple to almost questionable. Which ones really work? And, which natural solution is effective and won’t damage your skin? Learn about natural ingredients that promote skin renewal and can help you finally get rid of those troublesome dark spots!

Struggling with Hyperpigmentation

Fresh LemonOne natural skin solution for skin discolorations that has been used for decades is lemon. Packed with healthy vitamin C, lemons act as a natural exfoliant known for aiding in skin cell renewal. The citric acid within lemons gives this miracle fruit brightening properties. It’s powerful enough to fade hyperpigmentation but also gentle enough on you skin to use daily. Commonly used as an antibacterial as well as an organic astringent, lemon juice helps control oily skin.  It acts as a natural acne treatment which can prevent breakouts that might lead to acne scars.

Lemon Line

Another tried and true remedy for dark spots is lactic acid. Lactic acid acts as a gentle acid perfect for sensitive skin, commonly found naturally in sour milk products and fruit. It is a gentle exfoliant that assists in shedding dead skin cells and improves collagen formation. It also suppresses melanin formation to prevent more hyperpigmented spots from forming. Try using yogurt, which is rich in lactic acid, as a base for a homemade mask to help treat hyperpigmentation and soften your skin.

 

liquorice rootSweet Skincare

And lastly, when we hear licorice we think about our favorite candy. However, did you know that it is also a great skin care treatment? Licorice in skin care is typically in the form of licorice root extract which is commonly used as an organic alternative to hydroquinone. It reduces the production of melanin by blocking the stimulant that causes skin to darken when exposed to the sun.

These holistic ingredients and many more can be found in our Clear Essence Vitamin C Series which uses these and other natural ingredients for effective treatment of excessive pigmentation due to medication, pregnancy cosmetics and hormone imbalance due to sun exposure. These simple solutions will help you towards a brighter even skin tone and a happier, beautiful you!

Last week, we mentioned how lifestyles affect your skin such as your sleep cycle, make up, and diet. This week we’re focusing on other lifestyles which may leave you wanting to make a couple of changes to the way you live, starting with your cellphone:

Cellphones

unsplash_525f012329589_1Technology has come a long way. Every two years, we’re told to upgrade to the latest phone, but did you know that even if your phone is waterproof, or has good camera, or whatever good feature may contain, doesn’t stop bacteria from reaching on to your face and potentially causing acne. So now, not only do we have to worry about our “T-zone” (Forehead, nose, chin), but anyone who uses a cellphone (which is practically everyone you can possibly think of), now has to worry about their “Y-zone”, which is cheeks and neck. There are some major skin concerns to be worried about for those who are constantly on their phone:

  1. Wrinkles

According to Allure, “Constantly staring down at your cell keyboard for long periods of time can cause ‘techneck’, oCEC_AHA_CSr wrinkles underneath the chin and around the neck, squinting at the too-small text can also cause crow’s feet around the eyes.” So using your phone all the time, whether on break during work, at home, or before going to bed can lead to wrinkles because of the position we put our head when it comes to checking your phone. Of course you can always try putting your phone in the air, but careful, slippery hands may lead to a phone slap to the head. Although you may not see it happen at a fast pace but staring down at your phone can lead to early signs of wrinkles, which can be prevented! Try using our Clear Essence Anti-Aging Complexion Soap with Alpha Hydroxy Acid. The soap helps regenerate your skin a lot faster by removing dead skin cells and still giving you soft and radiant skin. The soap contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which helps mature normal, oily, or dry skin. Use this to stop “techneck” from creating premature wrinkles!

  1. Acne

Have you ever seen your phone after you get off a phone call, and it’s all shiny from your hair and face? Keep in mind that’s only what you’re seeing, fact is, there’s so much more on your phone that you can’t even see. According to Mic, “Our phones are actually dirtier than the bottom of our shoes or a toilet seat. One study found an 80% match between the germs on our fingers and our phones, meaning everything we touch ends up on our screens… and then on our faces when we make a call.” Our phones are as dirty as our shoes and feet…if that doesn’t gross you out then pay no attention to this message—a clean cell, means cleaner skin cells! In order to prevent acne, keep your phone clean—use a sanitary wipe, with little to noMedicatedCleansingBar alcohol to clean your phone case. POPSUGAR has some helpful and tech-friendly tips on how to clean your actual phone, without damaging any sensitive parts. Now, just because you cleaned your phone, should not give you an excuse to not wash your face, in fact, washing your face should be a daily routine! Use the Clear Essence Platinum Line Medicated Cleansing Bar, which helps remove bacteria and oils from your face and body. Use the soap not only to prevent cellphone bacteria from staying on your face, but also by removing dead skin cells for a blemish free complexion. Lastly, HealthCentral recommends using your speaker button, but if you are not into having everyone listen in on your conversation, then use head phones, or a Bluetooth headset—anything that will keep contact from your phone to your face. But, if you are going to put your phone to your face, then try not to apply so much pressure, then you’ll have all those oils and bacteria stuck on your face!

  1. Undereye Circles

Allure states, “The blue glow emanating from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens can throw offSkinLightenSerum your internal sleep rhythms, meaning it’s harder to fall asleep and you spend less time in REM sleep. Not to mention the incessant notification chimes from social media, emails, and texts.” In other words, everytime you’re on Twitter checking to see what’s trending at 3 A.M. (you’d be surprised) your skin is reacting by creating dark circles near your eyes! So when you go to bed, turn your phone on silent, your beauty sleep is more important then what your friend might have to say—might. Try to put your phone away from your bed or if possible in another room and invest in an old fashioned alarm clock from Amazon. If you are incapable of putting your phone down at night, we recommend using the Clear Essence Platinum Line Skin Lightening Serum, which helps reduce dark circles in areas such as your eyes. It also helps areas such as hyperpigmentation and dark spots, which again, may be caused by cellphones because of the heat your phone emits and when you talk on the phone for large amounts of time!

 

Exercise

Brooklyn BridgeThroughout the course of our life, we will always be told to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. But we never really think about how exercising affects our skin positively and negative. We get sidetracked by our muscles and whether we’re meeting our body goals, but do you ever think how our skin reacts to exercise? According to The New York Times, “After age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier stratum corneums and thicker dermis layers in their skin. Their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age, even if they were past age 65.” What researchers found was that rather than aging at a normal pace, people who exercise routinely were more likely to reduce wrinkling, and even have skin similar to younger age groups. Therefore, if you wish to stay wrinkle free, exercise should be incorporated in your lifestyle, not only because it makes you look younger, but it’s also a healthy habit that we can all use. Exercising can also help reduce acne as WebMD states, “Physical activity also helps your skin by increasing your blood circulation, which sends more oxygen to your skin cells and carries cell waste away.” Therefore, exercising can be beneficial to your skin, but it also requires more supervision of your skin. According to SHAPE, there are a couple of consequences if you’re not properly prepared when it comes to exercising such as:

  • Runner’s Face

Just like how more oxygen may help your skin cells, it can also damage it. Too much oxygen may lead to elasticity damage which may ultimately cause wrinkles, or as SHAPE calls it “Runner’s face”

  • Premature Sagging Breasts

Although a good workout may just be a quick jog, jogging without proper support may lead to sagging breasts much quicker. Although there are a plethora of sport bra styles to choose from now a days, it can be tricky to find one that actually supports your breasts, so remember comfort comes first!

  • Sun Damage

Not wearing sufficient sunblock can lead to dry and damage skin cells which we Plat_SBMFCSPF15_JarCtnshould all know by now is bad, not just because it creates dryness and redness, but because sun damaged skin may lead to skin cancer! Always apply sunblock before and after a workout, and if you know you’re going to be exercising in the sun for a long period of time, try to wear a hat. Sun damage may also lead to dark spots which again, may occur if you don’t apply sunscreen, but we’re here to help you with that! Try our Clear Essence Platinum Line Medicated Fade Crème with Sunscreen! The crème works to help reduce dark spots and also prevent them by having a base of SPF 15. While protecting your skin, it also helps even out skin tone by fading discolorations.

  • Chafing

Chafing occurs when your skin rubs against each other causing a painful irritation, and even redness. By staying dry with body deodorants or dressing so that your inner thighs or your arms don’t rub against each other, you can prevent chafing.

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You can find out more about ways to keep your skin clean while working out and tips at our blog entry under “Skin Care and Sports.”

Travel

photo-1450887169825-67cbce827da4For those who seek adventure through travel, your skin takes a couple of setbacks when it comes to sitting in an airplane ride with recycled air. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Dr. Bruce E. Katz states, “the pressurized environment of a plane is totally unnatural and completely sucks moisture out of the skin, leaving it looking dehydrated and dull.” Now just imagine—athletes from around the world are competing to Rio, and a flight to Rio from the U.S. is about 16 hours from Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro. Can you imagine how your skin must feel after all that traveling? Of course you’re going to want to take some selfies wherever it is you travel so here are a couple of tips in helping your skin survive traveling:Plat_SBMMaxi_BtlCtn

  1. Moisturize—night before, day of, in route, after—moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

The night before you’re going to basically prevent dehydration by applying a mask that will nourish and moisturize, so that when you get on the plane, your skin will be prepped for the plane environment. We recommend the Clear Essence Platinum Line Skin Beautifying Milk which helps even out skin tones from skin discolorations, as well as moisturize dry and cracked skin.

  1. Minimize Makeup—focus more on your skin routine

We all want to look like Kim Kardashian when she walks out of an airport, but make up should be the least of your concerns when you’re heading out on your flight. Focus more on bringing essentials such as a travel size misting spray, and oil blotting papers. Also remember to pack in your suitcase your basic necessities for cleaning your face when you get to your destination—cleansers, toners, treatments, and moisturizer.

  1. SPF

According to Carmina from Huffington Post, “UV rays are stronger at high altitudes and pass through airplane windows. So I apply loads of sunscreen, or SPF moisturizer.” So next time you want to look out the airplane window, remember to apply not only sunscreen, but a stylish pair of shades wouldn’t hurt anyone! SPF is not only important for on flight, but if you know your destination is known for its hot weather, then packing sunscreen is essential, because your skin has higher possibilities of sun damage because of the flights as well.

  1. Water

Lastly, drinking water from the night before the flight, all the way to the end of the trip is going to help your skin not only stay hydrated, but it’s also going to help you stay energized and have tons of more fun while out exploring the world!

We all live our lives differently, which means that depending on our schedules, some of us may have more time for our skin care than others. Depending the way we live affects the way our skin reacts to certain situations, such as sleep deprivation, or too much junk food, and so on. Knowing what causes your skin to get blemishes or dark spots is important to not only prevent further blemishes, but it helps knowing how it affects your skin, but your body as well. By knowing the consequences of certain lifestyles or daily routines, you’ll be able to speed up the process in achieving clearer skin.

Sleep

photo-1429117237875-aa29229d99f0There’s nothing like having a good night’s rest that will not only make you feel more relaxed the next day, but also having your skin rejuvenate. According to EverydayHealth, “A good night’s sleep can mean good skin health because when you’re sleep-deprived, your body makes more of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to increased stress and inflammation in the body, hurting your skin’s quality.” In other words, staying up and doing “all nighters” or simply not sleeping comfortably may produce more cortisol which causes more stress, and what does stress lead to? Acne. While you’re dreaming, your body is basically rehydrating itself, SkinLightenSerumfrom your skin all the way down to your internal organs, so if you don’t get enough sleep, then your body becomes inmbalance. You could possibly lose that radiant glow on your face and giving you puffy eye bags, paleness, dark circles, and even wrinkles. And even if you use our Clear Essence Platinum Line Skin Lightening Serum for your dark circles, you won’t be able to see results unless you make changes to your sleep schedule! Cosmopolitan even emphasizes the need for sleep as not only a nourishment for your face and body, but for your brain as well. Cardellino states, “Sleep is food for your brain, body, and skin, and if you don’t get enough, you deprive each of its nourishment. ‘During a good night’s rest, your body works to remove dead blood cells and dead brain cells, and clears the pathways for new synapses to take place so that new blood and brain cells can replace old ones,’ says sleep expert Rebecca S. Robbins, M.D., Ph.D., researcher at Cornell University, and author of Sleep for Success!. ‘Your brain also gets rid of 60 percent more toxins when you get the proper amount of sleep,’ she adds. Overall, this helps you feel more refreshed when you get up, able to think more clearly, and gives your skin that I-woke-up-like-this #glowing look.” Cardellino continues to go down the list and even mentions that your cellphone also is not only a distraction for getting your proper beauty sleep, but even on low light, your cellphone is damaging your skin, stating that the light that gives off, reenergizes your skin and eyes, because it’s the same light that comes from the sun and EverydayHealth also offers these tips in helping you get the proper sleep you deserve:

  • photo-1414509613498-f53000d3d2c1Don’t eat a big meal too late in the day.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but not late at night.
  • Sleep under a warm blanket in a cool, dark, quiet room.
  • Keep electronics out of the bedroom.
  • Use breathable cotton sheets and wash them regularly, so they don’t collect dust mites and bacteria.
  • Use laundry detergents that don’t have strong fragrances, which can be irritating to skin.

Make Up

Let’s face it, after coming home from a fun night, or from work we’re sometimes too tired to do anything, even removing our make up before bed. But, if you’re able to brush your teeth, then you’re able to remove your make up. According to ELLE, “One of the biggest mistakes women make is not properly cleansing and removing makeup at night. This clogs oil glands and impacts your makeup into your pores, which makes them appear larger. When your collagen levels decline as you get older, your pores will not snap back after becoming enlarged. Additionally, leftover makeup can lead to inflammation, which can generate free radicals and lead to breakouts.” It’s also recommended to invest in makeup remover wMedicatedCleansingBaripes, not just to use before you cleanse, but if you don’t have time to wash your face, then at least use a wipe so you won’t sleep with loads of make up on. Try using the Clear Essence Platinum Line Medicated Cleansing Bar, which not only helps clean your face from bacteria and oils from clogging up, but it’s a simple routine to use daily and is good for all skin types. It’s so simple to use, that you’ll never go to bed with makeup again! Another note to add is that the application of makeup may also affect your skin’s pores and blemish control. For starters, you want to make sure that you are applying the thinnest products first and then work your way to the thicker products. By doing so, you’re letting your make up set right and this tip also goes for your beauty regime, so that pores won’t stay clogged. In order to prevent dryness and uneven skin tone, you must apply sunscreen before your make up—always. In fact, even if you don’t wear makeup, you should still be wearing sunscreen regardless. You also want to make sure that using beauty products that are old should be thrown out. This can be tricky since makeup industries never seem to have clear expiration dates on their products, but here’s a guide by MAKEUP.com which perfectly sums up how long we should be using certain products:

  • Mascara—3 Monthsphoto-1453761816053-ed5ba727b5b7
  • Liquid liners—6 Months
  • Foundation—6 Months
  • Lipgloss—1 Year
  • Concealer—1 Year
  • Nail Polish—2 Years
  • Lipstick—2 Years
  • Powders—2 Years
  •  Eye Shadow/ Bronzer/ Blush—2 years

Diet

If you wish to seek clearer and healthier skin then
step away from the junk food! Like sleep deprivation and makeup, excessive junk foo
d may lead to acne prone skin to react to the toxins by breaking out even more! Mayo Clinic statesPlat_SBMMaxi_BtlCtn, “A diet high in processed or refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats promotes skin aging.” Try adding more foods that are healthy for your skin which not only will give you a nice glow, but it also helps support your skin in protecting and fighting off bacteria from entering into your body when you get cuts or blemishes. Eating healthy can also help support your skin during the summer where not only is sunscreen even more required, but high temperatures, means dry skin, so eat food that will reduce dryness and prevent aging. If you already have dry skin, then not only will changing your diet help, but using our Clear Essence Platinum Line Beautifying Milk will help not only with dryness, but even out your skin tone, leaving you with an even toned glow! But clear skin starts from the inside out, so knowing what your skin relies heavily on should help you get started on how to protect your skin—with water. Our skin is mostly made up of water, so the more water you drink, the more hydrated your skin stays, plus it helps flush away any toxins, so drink up! Another basic necessity that should be in your diet is fruit and vegetables. Though there may be a lot to choose from, certain fruits and veggies help your skin differently. Healthy Ambition offers a list on the specifics of what certain foods help your skin such as:

  • photo-1450150205175-1e2ee46bb78bGet Glowing Skin with Chocolate

Cocoa not only gives you a nice glow, but eating dark chocolate has a high level of antioxidants, where if you were to apply it on your face, it temporarily reduces puffiness.

  • Yogurt Prevents Wrinkles

To be specific, Greek yogurt helps skin stay firm which helps prevent lines on the face.

  • Protect Your Face with Pomegranate

Pomegranate has polyphenol antioxidants which help regulate blood flow in the skin giving it that natural blush. You can also use this fruit as a moisturizer and helps focus on reducing wrinkles.

  • Get Soft Skin with Walnuts

Walnuts help even out skin texture and helps produce more collagen production.

  • photo-1437750635120-f98648c0fe03Use Peppers for Crow’s Feet

Not only can you use bell peppers, but specifically green and yellow veggies help prevent wrinkles, especially around the eyes. Eating these types of veggies also help sensitive skin with sun exposure.

  • Eat Sunflower Seeds for a Brighter Complexion

Sunflower seed help you protect your skin from the sun because of the Vitamin E the seeds contain.

  • Eat Kidney Beans to Fade Blemishes

Kidney beans have a high amount of zinc, which helps prevent blemishes. Zinc contain sources that help heal skin.

  • Get Even Skin Tone with Soy

Soy contains protein that helps reduce hyperpigmentation, so substitute your cup of milk with soy milk or eat edamame!

  • photo-1431536037963-5c282b753c25Stay Young with Oatmeal

Oatmeal requires less processing which means most of the vitamins stay in the oatmeal and go into your body, which helps keep blood sugar stable. Keeping your blood sugar stable helps prevent the creation of excess hormones which can lead to wrinkles.

  • Use Green Tea to Reduce Redness

Green tea has antioxidants that not only help reduce redness, but you can also apply it to your face to calm eye puffiness.

Although this list is quite extensive, there’s tons more of foods that not only help your skin stay energized but they help your mind stay sharp too! Cosmopolitan compiled another list of foods that help benefit your skin which you can check out, but you get the idea—the options are endless and the benefits are not only beneficial for your skin but your body and mind as well!

When it comes to taking care of your skin, your skin reacts to certain lifestyle choices. Of course there will be days where you fall asleep late because of studying exams, sometimes it has to be done. But know that not only doing “all nighters” on a daily basis harmful to your skin, but it can also throw off your body physically and mentally. Moderation is the key to not only perfect skin but a lifestyle that will help stay glowing physically and internally. If you do stay up late, don’t forget to wash your face! Remember, leaving make up overnight will instantly be regretted later when your pores clog up and blemishes appear! Just like how you brush your teeth at night, you should be washing your face. Lastly, you are in control of what you eat, so if you want to stop seeing blemishes, start with what you eat! Your body is a temple and should be taken care of, start with the inside and work your way out! These lifestyles not only affect your energy, but your energy also affects your confidence within your own temple. Take charge of your body and let the real you shine through! The difference will be clear.

When it comes to acne, we tend to focus on getting the blemish to disappear and how it only happens in adolescents. Some of us are guilty of popping their own pimples, or get pimples still in their late 20s-30s. After popping the pimple, then you realize that it’s taking even longer, and now, you’ll have a darkspot there for a long time to remind you of the consequences for being impatient over a pimple. Dark spots occur when the area that they appear has been damaged, which causes those areas to create melanin. According to News Medical, “Melanin is responsible for determining skin and hair color and is present in the skin to varying degrees, depending on how much a population has been exposed to the sun historically.” So the more melanin you have, the darker your skin tone, which means that if your skin already has high melanin levels, dark spots on dark skin tones create even more excessive melanin levels, which may cause hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation however is different, in which rather than spots, the excess melanin levels create patches of darker skin, which again is caused by skin damage. There are three basic types of hyperpigmentation, which is essential in knowing so that not only can you treat them properly, but you can learn what causes them, and how to prevent it. According to wikiHow these are the three most common forms of hyperpigmentation:

  • Lentigines.

These are dark spots caused by exposure to UV rays from the sun. 90 percent of people over the age of 60 have them, but many much younger men and women have sun-related dark spots as well. The spots appear scattered in no particular pattern.

  • Melasma.

This type of dark spots are caused by hormonal fluctuations. Women might see darker splotches appear on their cheeks during times when their hormones are in flux, like during pregnancy or menopause. It’s also a side effect of birth control pills and hormone therapy treatments. Melasma can also occur as a result of thyroid dysfunction .

  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

These are dark spots that occur as a result of trauma to the skin, which can be caused by psoriasis, burns, acne, and certain skin care treatments that are hard on the skin.

There are many known causes of dark spots, such as picking at your face, or the ones slightly mentioned above by wikiHow such as sun exposure, hormones, skin trauma. Knowing what causes dark spots is important in order to not only help you stop them, but it also helps prevent them by making changes to your lifestyle. Some of the causes provided by Cosmopolitan may shock you because they involve our daily routines:

photo-1453928582365-b6ad33cbcf64

  • Your Computer

That’s right, your computer, laptop, TV screen, or even your cellphone can cause dark spots to occur. Sitting in front of these types of screens for a long amount of time may cause dark spots because of the uncovered fluorescent lights.

  • Birth Control

Hormone changes can cause issues such as acne and melanin levels to up and down. The higher the hormone levels in your birth control, the higher the chance of dark spots to occur.

  • Not Wearing Enough Sunscreen—Even in the Winterphoto-1445970389378-eb24802687f7

Even if it’s 60 degrees outside, we should all be wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen is required even on cloudy days because UVA/UVB rays continue to shine down on us. So if you don’t wear sunscreen, sunburns and sun damage ultimately affects our skin which again may lead to skin damage, such as hyperpigmentation, or worse, skin cancer.

  • Your Diet

Your diet should include a dose of folic acid, which are supplements which not only help our skin out, but according to the University of Maryland Medical System “folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health.” So not only can lack of folic acid in our diet can cause hyperpigmentation and dark spots, but it can also affect the body’s functions.

  • Facial Hair Removal

Certain hair removal creams or waxing can cause skin discoloration and dark spots because of the chemicals included in the process.photo-1432457990754-c8b5f21448de

  • Citrus Products

When using facial washes or products such as our Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Perfecting Fade Serum it’s very important to not only apply sunscreen after use, but to wait at least 15 minutes after applying sunscreen to go outside. The reason being is that citrus fruits have high toxic levels, so if you go outside while the sun is out, there is a possibility of your skin having a toxic reaction which may lead to severe hyperpigmentation.

Now before you close your computer screen shut, know that there are ways to prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation. And yes limiting computer screen time is one of them, though we all know that’s a tough one. Preventing dark spots is not only necessary, but it also helps keep melanin levels balanced so that there is less possibilities of your skin having dark spots. Another way to prevent dark spots is to help lower possibilities of break outs and acne in the first place. Here are a good couple of tips:

  • Eat Healthy

photo-1466637574441-749b8f19452fCosmopolitan mentioned earlier that in order to have clear skin, you have to eat properly. That being said, Clear Essence’s article on Summer Skin Care: Dos and Don’ts includes a list of some key ingredients that not only would go great with any salad but with most dishes as well such as broccoli, asparagus, avocado, strawberries, and many more. BBCgoodfood also includes of some of the main vitamins your skin needs and more specifically what foods to avoid that can cause acne. Eating healthy is not only said to help the body internally, but externally as well. Eating the right amount of vitamins can help benefit your skin from dark spots occurring, but it also helps strengthen your skin from sun damage and any other possible dangers such as infections.

  • Choose the Right Routine for Your SkinPublication1

We all have different skin types and skin tones, so knowing what your skin type falls under, may help you find the right the product for breakouts and overall help your skin stay fresh and clean. Not sure what your skin type is? Check out Renee Rouleau’s skin type quiz which gives you details of not only what your main skin care is, but details on what occurs to your skin and ways to prevent it. It’s important to adopt a skin routine because our face can be at risk of bacteria and infections, so having a daily beauty routine both day and night not only achieves fresh and clean skin, but it helps prevent bacteria from building up and leading to acne or infections.

  • Sunscreen, Sunblock, Sun Protection

Sunscreen should be included in everyone’s beauty regime—period. Although darker skin tones have SPF built in their skin, it’s not enough to protect your skin from the sun. Look at it this way—our body is protected by our skin which is like a “bodysb guard” but sunscreen guards our skin from damage. So, protected skin means stronger skin cells, and stronger skin cells means stronger protection for our body. So if you know you’re going to be out and it’s partly cloudy or a nice sunny day, wear sunscreen and if possible a hat, or an umbrella. You can never have too much protection for your skin! Hawaiian Tropic helps explain what is the minimal SPF someone should use based off their skin type, and the effects of too much sun exposure, and how often you should reapply sunscreen. If you’re worried about sunscreen making your skin oily or dry, The Times of India has some helpful tips on what kind of product to look for based off your skin type. It’s important to use sunscreen, not only because of potential dark spots, but sun damage can lead to skin cancer, so use sunscreen daily!

Confidence should be a part of anyone’s beauty regime, so whether you’re comfortable with your dark spots or not, strive for comfort. If you’re not comfortable with your dark spots, know that there are affordable products that help fade away dark spots. Clear Essence strives to let the real you shine through, which means having confidence by achieving radiant and beautiful skin. Clear Essence offers products that not only help fade away dark spots, but also help protect skin from the sun, and help with acne.

MedicatedCleansingBar

This cleansing bar is used for not only for the face but areas of the body that are affected by acne and blemishes. The soap cleanses out bacteria, dirt, and oils and is good for all skin types and skin tones. The bar has natural ingredients such as sulfur and wheat germ that works to clean out dead skin cells and help create radiant skin. Use this to cleansing bar to cleanse and clean the face, and then apply treatment, and of course don’t forget to moisturize! Prevent dark spots from ever happening by keeping your face clean!

 Plat_SBMFCSPF15_JarCtn

This is a medicated treatment which helps hyperpigmentation, skin discoloration and acne scars for normal to dry skin. The crème helps even out skin tone and fade dark spots with the formula that contains hydroquinone. Oh yeah, did we mention that it contains UVA/UVB SPF 15? So not only will you be fighting against your dark spots, but the formula also helps prevent future dark spots! Use this product after cleansing your face and then use a moisturizer.

Plat_SBMMaxi_BtlCtn

This moisturizing lotion not only helps dry spots, but it also helps even out skin tone by preventing dry spots by creating an even toned glow. This best seller focuses on locking in moisture so that not only can dark spots be prevented, but it helps out with dryness and discoloration using hydroquinone and botanical extracts. Use this product after cleansing and applying your treatment.

It is important to love the skin you’re in, and have your confidence show every time you walk into a room. Not only should we be concerned about our skin, but most importantly, how our skin reacts helps identify how our health overall is. As mentioned earlier, having a good diet not only helps skin, but it helps our bodies prevent from eating foods that affect us not only physically but mentally as well. You don’t want to worry about a dark spot happening right? So limit computer time, eat your fruits and veggies, wear sunscreen, and find the right beauty regime for your skin type and skin tone. Most importantly, don’t let a pimple or dark spot stress you out and affect your vibes. Stay positive, and you too can achieve confidence and glow like a firework.

Summer is finally here which means time to have fun in the sun! Although this is the time of the year where we can lay out pool side, it also means that our skin is more susceptible to sun damage which may lead to sunspots, dry, and uneven skin tones. We may have certain skin routines in place, but like the changing of the seasons, we have to make sure that our routines and habits adapt to the weather. For example, you wouldn’t wear shorts when it’s raining or snowing as you would be too cold. Similarly, our skin needs to adapt to weather as well, and sometimes our skin needs extra care in order to fully maintain its healthy glow. In winter, we need to protect our skin from being dry, while in the summer, we need to keep our skin hydrated. What’s the difference? Well, during winter, our skin is protected by clothing in order to prevent dry, irritated, and chapping. In the summer, our skin is more exposed due to the heat and humidity, for some people this can lead to oily skin. Whereas in winter skin can become dry and chapped. When it comes to the season of summer, we begin to experience certain symptoms of too much sun, such as dehydrated skin, sun burns, red patches. Although our skin is our defense against the sun, when our skin is not properly ready to defend against sun exposure, our skin’s melanin (the component in skin that gives UV protection and pigment) comes in to protect our skin, hence we get a tan.  Therefore, if we do not protect our skin, not only do we damage our skin but also, lack of protection can lead to hyperpigmentation of the skin, and in worse cases, skin cancer. In order to prevent sun damaged skin, here are some tips in order to keep your summer skin looking healthy and glowing:

  1. DON’T take hot showers

Opt for a cold shower, which accordinshower-653671_1280g to InStyle, helps lower body temperature and closes pores, which prevents dirt and oil getting into pores which prevents acne break outs. Our skin is an important part of the body which helps fight bacteria from the outside, and sometimes that bacteria can get clogged in your pores, due to dry skin. Those that wear make up might also want to control their pores with cold showers in order to prevent runny make up. Thus, taking a cold shower helps close pores and makes it harder for bacteria to get caught in the skin. However, moderation should be kept in mind, because we want to ensure our pores are clean before rinsing with cold water. Try Clear Essence Platinum Line Extra Strength Medicated Cleansing Bar Plus Exfoliants which helps remove dirt, bacteria, and oil.

  1. DO wear extra wide brim hats

Apart from looking stylish, wearing extra wide brim hats will help prevent your skin from being exposed to the sun, however that does not mean that you shouldn’t put sunscreen on. Sunscreen is mandatory—always. By wearing a wide brim hat, not only are you protecting your skin from sun damage, but you’re also protecting your hair from being sunburnt as well. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Although those with thick hair have less to worry about — the hair acts as a barrier to the sun and protects the scalp — those with balding or thinning hair are more susceptible to developing skin cancer.” Therefore, using a hat can come in handy, because not only is your beautiful skin being protected, but also your hair which acts as a bodyguard for your scalp, will also be protected under an accessory which makes a strong fashion statement: sun don’t ruin my fun!

  1. DON’T let the heat control what you eat

Let’s face it, when it’s hot out, it becomes harder to cook home meals so we opt for fast food or store bought. We should focus more on eating SPF(Sun Protection Factor??) salads—that’s right SPF salads. SPF salads include ingredients, which have a high amount of vitamin C and vitamin E which is a good source for dry skin and skin wrinkling and is also used in sunscreen, hence we have SPF salads. Our skin is our bodyguard against outside source of infections, so in order to keep it strong, we have to eat SPF salads to protect the body from damage. We recommends salads such as the perfect summer fruit salad, spinach avocado salad, glowing skin salad, or you can make your own, using some of the ingredients listed below, which have a high source of vitamin E and C:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Swiss Chard
  • Mustard Greens
  • Almonds
  • Hazel Nuts
  • Papaya
  • Avocados
  • Olive Oil
  • Strawberries
  • Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes

 

  1. DO wear mosquito repellant

If you live in an area where mosquitos are prone to be drawn to, apply mosquito repellant. Mosquitos tend to bite bodies that have warm temperatures, according to Wikihow. In some cases, however, mosquito bites can lead to hyperpigmentation of the skin which leaves you not only upset about a mosquito bite, but now having to deal with a dark spot that the little sucker left behind. Under no circumstances should you scratch it, or else it’ll lead to more skin trauma, which leads to hyperpigmentation. We also have to keep in mind that there may be bacteria in our hands or fingernails, which may lead to infection. If you do have the urge to scratch, scratch something else instead, like a stuffed animal or a lottery ticket, in order to keep your mind off the irritation! If hyperpigmentation does occur, especially on dark skin, our Clear Essence Platinum Line Extra Strength Medicated Fade Crème with SPF 15 helps reduce dark spots and can brighten areas from hyperpigmentation.

  1. DON’T leave without sunscreen

Always, always, always, apply sunscreen before and after being exposed to the sun. By applying sunscreen, we are prevented from having sun-damaged dark skin which may include sunspots or dry skin. In order to ensure full protection, a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 is recommended, as the skin cancer organization states. Lip balms containing sunscreen are also a great way to protect your lips from being damaged as well. There are also hair products available that help protect your scalp from damage, or as stated earlier, nothing beats a nice large hat. In the case that your skin is already damaged from having fun in the sun all day, our Clear Essence My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Carrot Oil Soap helps dehydrated skin from sun damage or irritation.

  1. DO drink plenty of water

Water is important for many reasons, but in order to keep the elasticity in your skin, you must drink water daily. According to Women’s Health, our skin is made of 64% water, so imagine your skin without water? It would be less protected from the sun, which leads to damaged skin. Yikes!  Our skin’s natural protein relies heavily on water, so drink up that H2glass-1206584_1920O! Heading out to the beach? Although you may not be able to drink water from the ocean, salt water has beneficial nutrients, such as magnesium, for the skin, which can reduce swelling, protect the body and even balance out skin tones. Although seawater helps strengthen our skin, it can damage our hair due to the magnesium in the water. So not only should we avoid too much seawater in our hair, but also limit the amount of seawater our body is exposed to, otherwise it can lead to dry skin conditions.

  1. DON’T let sun damage heal on its own

When it comes to sun burns, we tend to tell each other to let it heal on its own, but then our skin starts doing weird things like peeling. In order to prevent skin cancer, our body attempts to lose its damaged cells, which is why we see our skin crack and shed. There are ways to also help with the process of getting rid of your sunburn, such as getting out of the sun and into shade immediately. It’s important to make sure your skin is away from further damage, so by getting out of the sun, not only is your skin beginning to heal, but also you’re protecting yourself from increasing the severity of your sunburn. Also, taking that cold shower and drinking plenty of water helps put hydration back into the body, which helps since sunburns cause the body to lose water. If your skin does suffer from hyperpigmentation from being out in the sun too much, our Clear Essence Platinum Line Extra Strength Medicated Fade Crème with SPF 15 may be used in order to help even out dark spots from sun exposure.

  1. DO try going make up free

Although Alicia Keys started a movement on this style, going make up free in the summer can benefit not only your skin but also let you be free of having to worry about runny mascara; because let’s face it, no one wants to be a hot mess! Aside from runny mascara, you won’t have to worry about a “cakey” look, which not only includes foundation that slides right off, but also creates oily skin which may lead to acne! Not only are you saving time, but you’re also letting your skin breathe by eliminating all the products that you’re putting on your face. Let your skin breathe and also feel liberated from all the morning routines that you have to take the time out of the day to do! Apart from letting your skin breathe, you’re also more prone to protect your beautiful face, since you won’t be hiding underneath makeup. Because you’re not wearing make up, you will be able to protect with a better SPF sunscreen rather than rely on the SPF found in make up. Leslie Baumann, MD states, “Makeup does not provide enough coverage. You need seven times the normal amount of foundation and 14 times the normal amount of powder to get the sun protection factor on the label. No one does this.”  So you see, not only does Baumann imply that you would need excessive amounts of foundation, but too much can lead to “cakey” make up and possibly running out of makeup a lot faster! So go ahead, try being make up free! But if you decide that make up free is not for you, then opt for waterproof mascara, and keep make up to a minimal.

  1. DO have fun!

Most importantly, don’t let the heat of the summer take away from having fun outside! If you don’t have any important tasks to do, then try avoiding being outside from 10am to 4pm, which is the time that the sun tends to be at its peak. If you do go out during these times, again remember to wear sunscreen, since it is more probable for you to get sunburnt during these hours. Catch a movie, go to a museum, a mall, but whatever you do, protect yourself, protect your skin, and don’t let the sun ruin your day!

“So, what exactly is this?” It is a question we can all relate to when we’re shopping for skin care products. Sometimes it seems as if there are so many complicated names on the back of our products that it gets confusing to figure out which name does what for your skin. And, especially when considering skin care products that deal with improving your skin’s complexion, we want to make sure all of the active ingredients in our products won’t damage our skin. Alpha Hydroxy Acid is a name that is common in anti-aging skin care, but does it really do? Where does it come from? And, most importantly, is it right for you? Get the real truth about Alpha Hydroxy Acid and anti-aging so you can make the right choice for you and your skin the next time you head down the beauty isle.

 

Chemical Free Skin care is the best…right?

Our skin is our body’s biggest organ. It protects us from harsh things in the atmosphere and it’s our job to take special care with our skin so it can continue to keep our bodies healthy and safe. So naturally, when it comes to researching what skin care products are safe to use on your skin, it’s understandable to look for the most natural and safest skin care systems possible. For a lot of people this means skipping anything that seems like it’s packed with chemicals in search of a more natural approach to handling skin care issues, but there seems to be a misconception about chemicals, skin care and what is ultimately safe for use on your skin.

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A chemical is a substance composed of molecules or ions that cannot be separated by any physical means. From salt to sugar to water, chemicals are naturally occurring and are all around us every single day. Because of this, it is physically impossible to encounter anything (especially in skin care) that’s truly “chemical-free”. And, while there can be valid conversations about the benefits of natural versus synthetic chemicals in products and foods we consume, it is important to note that there are just as many natural chemicals that can do our bodies harm as there are synthetic chemicals that work well with our bodies. The true concern is to research each chemical that you’re unfamiliar with to gauge if it’s effective and safe for human use, and, always make sure that the products that you’re using are tested, safe and approved for use!

 

What is AHA?

AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are one of those naturally occurring, organic chemicals that we see is commonly featured in skin care. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are found in many of our natural food sources and when applied on the skin, they work efficiently as an exfoliant to assist in the shedding of dead skin cells and work deep within our skin to improve collagen formation to promote skin firmness. These qualities make AHAs a natural godsend for its anti-aging benefits.

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There are multiple acids that are considered to be Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and they are separated by where they’re derived from. Lactic acid is found in fermented foods and sour milk, like yogurt, cheese and pickled foods. It is extremely effective in fighting off premature wrinkling, hyperpigmentation and restoring youthful skin. Glycolic acid is found in natural sources that are high in sugar like fruits and sugar cane. When used for skin care, glycolic acid is most commonly seen in facial peels and skin creams for its effective ability to penetrate deep within your skin to boost your skin’s ability to shed old skin cells and bring, younger, fresher skin cells to the surface. It is great for encouraging smoother skin and fights against acne and wrinkles. There’s also citric acid that comes from citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, limes, etc.) that are full of natural antioxidants that fight against the effects of free-radicals in your skin which are known to cause signs of premature aging in your skin.

 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids are powerful a component of anti-aging skin care that is natural and effective in helping you achieve youthful, radiant skin. They work well to reverse hyperpigmentation damage caused by the sun and from minor physical trauma to the skin as well. For the best possible anti-aging regimen for you, make sure to incorporate more products containing AHAs or look into making renewing, home made recipes!

 

Anti-Aging Skin Care Line with AHA

If you’re looking for safe and effective skin care products that both contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids and is formulated especially with your specific skin care needs in mind, try our Clear Essence Anti-Aging Skin Care Line with AHA. This line has been uniquely formatted for maturing people of color and individuals with a special concern for fighting off visible signs of premature aging. The combination of unique plant proteins and fruit extracts create a powerful complex of ingredients that targets and treats specific skin care concerns while giving you the comfort of knowing you’re using healthy, organic skin products.

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The Anti-Aging line products even out skin tone, fade discoloration, and add necessary moisture to the skin to help your skin maintain a healthy, supple texture. Aging skin is beautiful skin, and it needs to be taken care of properly and with care to preserve your natural beauty. Let Clear Essence Cosmetics help you and your skin stay rejuvenated, fresh and youthful for years to come!

Having a good skin care routine, such as washing daily and moisturizing consistently, is important all year round. But it is also crucial to feed your skin. How you look on the outside is highly reflective of what you put on the inside. Consuming the right foods and drinks will give you that youthful, fresh skin that you are seeking.

Although there is not much research as to whether or not the consumption of water improves the skin, there are clear benefits to staying hydrated. According Women’s Health Magazine, Rachel Nazarian, M.D., states that “water makes a big difference in skin health. Without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores more prominent.” Hydration leaves the skin supple. Make sure to drink plenty of water after drinking caffeine, which further dehydrates the body. If you would rather not sip on water consistently, you can even hydrate yourself with fruits and vegetables that are packed with water.

Fruits and vegetables not only hydrate the skin, but contain nutrients that benefit the skin by keeping it youthful and radiant. Vitamin A is a nutrient that not only protects the health of your eyes, but the health of your skin, as well. According to Elle Magazine, it “regulates cell turnover in much the same way that a topical retinol-A does, albeit gentler.” Vitamin A is found in papaya, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, collard greens, and much more. Some fruits and vegetables also contain a nutrient called anthocyanins, which controls the formation of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. This is found in blueberries and red cabbages.

There are many more of benefits of fruits and vegetables for your overall health and appearance. It is important to take care of your skin from the inside as well as on the outside. Make it a goal to incorporate at least one fruit or vegetable with a meal daily. Your habits today will shape how you will look and feel in the future!

 

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Below The Surface

We thought our teen years were going to be the end of our acne days, and for some of us they were. However, for others it was just the beginning. Acne is a natural process that everyone will have to go through. Granted, some people have it worse than others but that is ok. Before I go on no matter what your age is and how bad your acne is – its ok, keep your head held high and smile. The great side to acne is there are ways to cure it. There are medicines that you can use to help clear up this situation. There are facial cleansers that you can use to remove current blemishes and prevent more acne from appearing.

According to American Academy of Dermatology, women in their 30’s and beyond still have acne. It may not be visible on the face, but it can be found in other places around the body. Some of the most common places are the back, shoulders, butt, and your upper arms. There also is not just one type of acne, there is the common blackheads and whiteheads but, that’s not all. The first type of acne is called Papules which feels hard and makes your skin feel like sandpaper. There are Cysts which is when pores fill up with dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria. This type can hurt a lot if the bacteria travels deeper into the skin. Last, there are Nodules which are large hard bumps that are under the surface of your skin. This type will leave scars.

 

According to U.S. National Library of Medicine (Medline Plus) no one knows exactly what causes acne. However, there have been studies done showing a link with acne and hormone changes, which can explain why teenagers and women are prone to it. There are other studies that shows that stress does not cause acne but it can make matters worse. Also, there is little evidence that food causes acne. So go ahead and eat that greasy food and sweets, just not a lot of it because it can cause other issues in your health.

 

Acne can cause more than just physical issues. It can make people have low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. It can even create social withdrawals. People that have acne may feel like they never look good because of their acne. Losing your self-esteem can cause depression. Depression is actually very common for those who have acne. One might separate themselves from other and feel that they are ugly. Since acne begins at a young age it can become a trait well into adult years. The interesting thing that scientist have found was no matter the severity of acne, depression is still a common thread. Meaning someone with very little acne could still become depressed because of it.

 

Well stop worrying because your problems have been heard and have been taking into consideration when making Clear Essence’s Blemish Control Wash Formula for Acne and Medicated Cleansing Bar Extra Strength from the Platinum Line. The Blemish Control wash is a refreshing, non-foaming cleanser that is designed toblackbar control acne on the face and along the hairline, as well dry up oil in order to prevent new acne from forming and should be used twice a day (morning and evening). The Medicated Cleansing Bar exfoliates the face and body while it cleans and removes bacteria and germs that cause acne and blemishes. This product can also be used twice a day and is great for acne on the face, back or body. Clear Essence just wants the real you to shine through. If you have any questions and/or concerns please visit our website at clearessence.com/. And remember that the difference is clear.

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There are many tips on what to drink to live a healthy lifestyle. This can include orange juice, carrot juice and the like. But did you know that there is something extremely beneficial, and vital for our body that we definitely need to consider drinking every day? You guessed it! Water. It is well known that water helps in maintaining our hydration and keeping our organs in tip-top shape. In fact, it is recommended that men need roughly 13 cups (3 liters) of water a day while for women, it is recommended to drink about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of water a day. This of course depends on the temperature of the climate, how active the individual is, and so forth. Well that’s all nice and dandy, but what’s in it for your skin care for African American skin?

First off, let’s look at the negative effects if the recommended amount of water is not consumed daily. Since your body is constantly renewing itself, it needs the energy to continue on. Water, is one of those sources of energy. Also, water is constantly flushing out of your body from sweat, breathing, urine, and bowel movements. Because of this, you definitely need to constantly be replenishing your body. Some risks that you may have if your water intake does not equal your output are higher health risks, a slower metabolism, and constipation. Lastly, and this is the one consequence that may hurt us the most, our skin appears more wrinkled. How is this possible? Your skin is made up of plenty of water, and works as a protective barrier to prevent further water loss. If there is not enough water to help the skin do its job, the skin will appear drier, making it susceptible to wrinkles.

With all the negative consequences in mind, there is no surprise that water does in fact bring many benefits to our health (and our skin of course). But focusing on just our skin (since we are all trying very hard to prevent wrinkles from forming), drinking more water will improve our hydration. Being hydrated means having the appearance of plumped skin, with the fine lines and wrinkles filled, and having a brightened complexion.

It is clear now, that staying hydrated can bring benefits to a black skin care regimen. So next time you’re out and about, try to squeeze in a couple more glasses a day. Stay refreshed, and you will stay beautiful.

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Many people keep track of their eating habits for weight management purposes. But are there other ways in which our eating habits can affect skin care for African American women? Many dermatologists claim that the foods we eat do in fact contribute to the development of acne on our skin. Although it may not cause acne directly, it does play an important role in our skin renewal. Since the skin on our body is constantly under construction, it needs vitamins and nutrients from the foods we eat to repair and rebuild. If the foods we are intaking are not beneficial to our body, the skin will not renew properly. This can cause blockage of glands and pores resulting in acne development. According to professor of dermatology Marmur, eating healthy will go a long way in preventing skin problems.

What foods are recommended to obtain healthier looking skin? For starters, avoid junk foods such as french fries and potato chips. Keep in mind that skin renewal requires vitamins and nutrients from the foods we eat… and let’s face it… junk food will not be providing that for us. Not surprisingly, a healthy diet is good for us and our skin because it seems to reduce inflammation and lower the chances of developing acne.

Foods with Vitamin A

Take in consideration salmon, carrots, spinach, and broccoli when planning your next meal. These options contain vitamin A which helps regulate the skin cycle and prevent the glands and pores from getting clogged.

Foods with Selenium

The selenium mineral is an antioxidant that can help protect the skin from sun damage. Foods that contain selenium include tuna, salmon, eggs, and brown rice.

Drink Lots of Water!

Water helps hydrate your body which in turn leads to healthier, plump skin. Water also helps with flushing out any toxins that we have in our system. In general, it is recommended to drink five to eight glasses of water each day to obtain the benefits that water brings to our system.

So now we know that foods can, although not directly, contribute to the development of acne on dark skin. Try to plan out your meals, make them healthy, and say goodbye to those signs of acne that you’ve been working so hard to get rid of!

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