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 […]
Clear Essence Blog
Acne and Acne Scars
We sometimes forget that our skin composition is considered the largest organ of the human body. Its primary job is to protect our internal organs, muscles, and bones from infection and the elements. It also regulates our body temperature, and produces the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.
Your skin weighs approximately between six to nine pounds. The density of your skin also varies across the body; it is thinnest on your eyelids and thickest on the soles of your feet.
Your hair and nails are also considered part of the skin, they are just made a little differently in order to serve other protective purposes. Body hair provides protection to the skin’s outer layer, for example it acts as a filter for the nose and ears. Nails serve to protect and support the tips of your fingers and toes.
Skin Composition: Breaking it down
The skin is made up of 4 main layers: the stratum corneum, the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue.
The stratum corneum.
It is the outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of dead cells (corneocytes). This layer is composed of 15–20 layers of flattened cells with no nuclei and cell organelles. The Stratum Disjunctum is the layer that we wash away during our skin care routine, it is about 3-4 layers thick. Unfortunately, as we age, it becomes difficult for our skin to get rid of dead skin cells which leaves our skin looking dull and dry. In order to help we can manually exfoliate or utilize Hydroxy Acid products like our Complexion Soap Bar to help slough off dead skin cells. However, if you over exfoliate you risk taking off too many layers of the stratum corneum which serves to protect the epidermis layers of the skin. This will leave you with very raw and sensitive skin that will be more prone to breakouts.
This is the outermost layer of your skin composition. There are three sub-layers within the epidermis: the outer stratum corneum, the middle squamous cell layer, and the bottom basal cell layer.
These layers are made up of the following types of skin cells.
- Melanocytes make melanin, the pigment that provides color to the skin. People with darker skin have melanocytes that produce more melanin. Exposure to sunlight also increases melanin production, causing freckles or a suntan. Melanocytes also cause hyper pigmentation which affects darker skin toned people much more due to the fact that their cells produce more melanin naturally. Our Medicated Fade Creme targets those areas that are uneven or darker than natural to revert them back to their original shade. In order to maintain an even skin tone it is extremely important to use SPF, sun protection, every single day rain or shine to prevent excess melanin production in the skin.
- Langerhans cells are part of the body’s immune system and help fight off infection.
- Basal cells are at the bottom of the epidermis and continually reproduce to form new keratinocytes.
- Keratinocytes or squamous cells are in the middle layer of the epidermis and produce keratin, the protein that forms the protective outer layer. Keratin is also used in the production of hair and nails.
The larger two lower levels of the epidermis, the squamous and basal layers, are responsible for regenerating new skin cells at a rate of about four weeks. As older cells are moved up to the top by the new cells they create the stratum corneum. The cycle continues as the dead cells flake off or are manually removed and new cells take their place. Healthy skin care habits help keep this cycle moving efficiently. Taking care of your skin composition translates to a beautiful outer complexion!
It lives directly underneath the epidermis, the dermis is held together by a protein called collagen. Collagen is what helps give our skin composition structure and keeps it firm. The dermis contains many structures that help keep the outer layers healthy.
- Nerve endings transmit sensory input to the brain. These nerves allow you to sense texture, pressure, heat, and pain through the skin, all part of your overall sense of touch.
- Blood vessels deliver nutrients and oxygen to the epidermis and dermis and get rid of waste products.
- Oil glands keep the skin lubricated and prevent hair follicles from becoming brittle. This is why we shouldn’t wash our hair with harsh shampoos as they get rid of this natural oil and make our hair brittle.
- Sweat glands keep the body’s temperature regulated.
The subcutaneous tissue.
This is a layer of collagen and fat cells at the base of your skin.
Your Hair and Nails
Human hair grows from the root, a bulb that rests in the follicle. Cells multiply and produce the hardened keratin protein, which forms a hair shaft.
Nails grow in a very similar way as hair does, but they begin in deep folds in the skin of the fingers and toes. Just like hair, your fingernails consist of dead cells held together by hardened keratin. As the nail cells at the root accumulate, they push the nail outward. Your hair and nails can tell you a lot about your health and diet! This is why you’ll see small ridges on your nails, they are signs of lacking nutrients.
Now that we have gone over the way your skin functions we can further understand how to take care of it!
Stay tuned for more beauty and skin care tips to help you achieve healthy radiant skin!
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use both the Soap Bar and Body Crème together! They are the perfect combo to fight dryness and anti-aging signs!
This “Liquid Gold” dates back to ancient Greece where it was the Holy Grail products because of its versatility. Olive oil is very rich in vitamins, minerals and natural fatty acids which great for both your diet and your skin.
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.
Did you know that having a great skin care routine is the foundation for smooth makeup application and clear and healthy skin?
We’ve all had those days when our makeup won’t settle right, leaving our face looking dull and tired. This is usually due to a missing link in our skin care routine.
We’ve compiled 5 of our favorite ways to achieve and maintain clear and healthy skin.
#1. Choosing the right cleanser for your skin
We have all suffered through the pain of choosing a new skin cleanser especially while standing in the middle of the skin care aisle surrounded by tons of different types claiming to make your skin look flawless. Unfortunately, not all cleansers are created equal. Sometimes they leave your skin dry and irritated or can even make the problem worse! This is usually due to an imbalance in your skins Ph levels. If the cleanser increases your pH levels, making it alkaline, it can create a optimal living conditions for bacteria, causing major breakouts on your skin. Here is a mini crash course of the effects of unbalanced pH levels provided by Audrey Kunin MD:
According to Audrey Kunin MD via Dr. Oz:
“The epidermis is protected by an external layer of tightly knit cells arranged like shingles on a roof. Any disruption to the acid mantle, elevating overall skin pH, interferes with this protective barrier, wrenching cells away from each other and results in dehydration, roughness, irritation and noticeable flaking. Skin is left defenseless and susceptible to further environmental damage.
As cells pull apart, minute breaks become exposed, leaving skin more vulnerable to bacterial invasion. Under normal circumstances, bacteria not only have a difficult time penetrating through the shield-like structure of the skin and the acid mantle also creates a hostile environment for bacteria which prefer an alkaline environment to flourish. A rise in pH plays mayhem with our natural infection prevention, further increasing the risk of infection. Once the pH exceeds 6.5, bacterial invasion increases dramatically, a loss of normal skin integrity results and a variety of skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and irritant contact dermatitis flare.”
Clear Essence offers two great cleansers from our Platinum skin care line; our Extra Strength Medicated Cleansing Bar, and our Blemish Control Wash. Both cleanse the skin of dirt and bacteria without upsetting the skins pH levels, successfully fighting away bacteria causing acne.
#2. Exfoliate for clean and healthy skin!
An overabundance of dead skin cells is a huge culprit in why our makeup doesn’t sit properly on our skin. Exfoliating gets rid of all the buildup of dead skin cells sitting on top of your live healthy skin. You’ll notice that after having exfoliated, you’re skin will look much brighter and feel 10x smoother. We recommend any of our face and body soap bars. Each is tailored to specific skin problems; such as acne, sensitivity, dry and oily skin. Our best seller, the Medicated Cleansing Bar is great for people who suffer from acne and oily skin.
#3 Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!
We cannot stress this step enough! Moisturizing is an extremely important part of healthy glowing skin. Our skin dehydrates throughout the day leaving it looking dull and lusterless. Dehydrated skin can also lead to premature signs of aging, clogged pores, cell damage, and loss of beneficial nutrients. Even if you suffer from oily skin you shouldn’t skip this step. Your skin cells still need fluid between each other; this is what creates an even skin tone and improves elasticity. There are tons of different types of products that will properly hydrate your skin; crèmes, oils, and serums are the most popular. We carry all three in two of our most popular skin care lines, the Platinum Series and Vitamin C Series. Oils penetrate much deeper than crèmes allowing it to help balance out natural oil production of the skin. So even if you have oily skin, don’t be afraid to try it out! Crèmes should be made of natural ingredients since this will be sitting closer to the top of the skin and it is what your skin feeds off when it is feeling thirsty. This especially happens at night while the skin is repairing itself from the days activities. Serums are great for sensitive skin and help with specific skin problems such as pimples, wrinkles, dark spots or to prevent the signs of aging. Serums are extremely effective because they also penetrate deep into the skin but light enough so that you are still able to (and should) apply a crème moisturizer over it.
What is toning? Toner is a product that helps close your pores after having opened them in the last steps. After having applied your products we don’t want to leave our pores open, this allows for dirt and bacteria to enter freshly opened pores and causing breakouts. Our Lemon Plus Vitamin C Multi-Active Toner is perfect for closing them up after cleaning them out! It also balances out the pH levels of your skin while taking off the last of the impurities on your face. The Vitamin C also helps even out your skin tone leaving fresh clean and healthy skin!
Protecting our skin is a step most of us tend to forget. Sunscreen is extremely important even if the sun isn’t out shinning bright. Harmful UV rays are always hitting our skin, just some days they are more or less prominent than others. Sun damage can lead to dark spots, premature signs of aging, and even skin cancer. By providing your skin with protection against harmful UV rays you prevent all of these things, plus it helps reduce the appearance of facial red veins and blotchiness, giving you an all around even skin tone. We know that adding a whole other step to our skin care and makeup routine is the last thing we want to do, so that is why we offer SPF in a few of our products! One of our best sellers is the Medicated Fade Crème which offers SPF 15 protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This works wonders on treating previous sun damage while also protecting it against future dark spots, all while providing your skin with the moisture and hydration it needs to look its very best.
If you follow these five simple steps you will be on your way to radiant, clean and healthy skin in no time!
We’ve all had those days when our makeup won’t settle right, leaving our face looking dull and tired. This is usually due to a missing link in our skin care routine.
We’ve compiled 5 of our favorite ways to achieve and maintain healthy clear looking skin.
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.
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!
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, […]
When it comes to Summer, not only do we get extreme temperatures, but we also get smog. Ever looked at a nice view and noticed a grayish fog or haze? That is 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. According to the organization, Cleaner and Greener, the major air pollution sources are derived from transportation, electricity, other home fuel uses, and goods and services we buy. 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.
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:
- Ethylene glycol
- Hydrochloric acid
- Hydrogen fluoride
- Methyl ethyl ketone
- Nicotine and nicotine salts
- Nitric acid
- Phosphoric acid
- Sulphuric acid
- 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!
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 beauty 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:
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!
If 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.
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.
When it comes to Summer, not only do we get extreme temperatures, but we also get smog. Ever looked at a nice view and noticed a grayish fog or haze? That is smog. Smog occurs because of pollutants in the atmosphere that may be caused by fuels such as nitrogen oxides (that are found in […]
Having a baby means having to bring life and love into the world. However, as wonderful and beautiful babies are, having a baby means caring for someone else—changing the baby’s diaper, feeding the baby, but also taking care of the baby’s health—including your baby’s skin. The minute they’re born, babies require special attention in regards to their health. Babies require special skin care attention in order to ensure it not only builds up to protect from sun damage, but to also fight off any possible infections.
Unlike adults, newborn babies don’t have to worry about going to work, cleaning, or working up a sweat for that matter. Because of the small amount of activity babies conduct, they hardly need to shower every day. In fact, WebMD states that the less baths the better. Try to give them a bath less than three times a week.
Baby Products and Labels
You may be well aware now that because of the baby’s delicate skin, it requires certain procedures or ingredients to keep an eye on. According to Baby Center, there are a couple basics to ensuring your baby and their skin is out of harm’s way from chemical reactions or rashes. Ingredients are always listed in descending order according to concentration, so those listed first will be present in the largest amounts.” So if you ever wonder how much of olive oil or shea butter skin care companies use, just remember that the higher the amount, the higher up on the ingredient list. This also goes for using the right kind of laundry detergent when it comes to baby’s clothes. According to WebMD, “Use only baby laundry detergents that are fragrance- and dye-free. Wash baby clothes, bedding, and blankets separately from the family’s laundry.” Doing so is going to add extra protection for your baby’s delicate skin from ever getting a rash from any sort of chemical that your normal detergent may have, but also washing them before they wear it is going to prevent any possible irritations. Let’s also not forget that our clothes are more likely to be dirtier than an infant’s, so mixing in our clothes with a baby’s is not a good idea.
Not every baby will have the same reaction to a diaper rash, just as most babies don’t like the cold weather, while others prefer warmer temperatures. Whatever season your baby enjoys, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind for Summer and Winter that Parents goes by.
Baby’s Skin in the Summer
- Use a sunscreen higher that SPF 15 and reapply every 40 minutes if out in the pool. Research which sunscreen product will not only protect your baby’s skin from the sun, but also a product that will not cause irritation to your baby’s skin. You want to avoid ingredients such as para-aminobenzoic (PABA) cinnamates, benzophenones, and anthranilates.
- Minor sunburns can cause a lot of damage to baby’s skin because of their delicateness. Keep an eye out for redness, and protect your baby with sun essentials such as a hat or umbrella.
Baby’s Skin in the Winter
- Sunscreen even on cloudy days is necessary because UV rays never stop from emitting onto the skin
- Don’t overdo it with the jackets and coats. Although your child may be cold, just remember—babies can also get heat rashes because of clogged sweat glands.
- Chapped lips are common in babies because they’re always licking or drooling, so make sure to have lip balm at hand!
- After a long day out in the cold, your baby may experience redness in the face or areas of chafing. Keep their skin moisturized before and after out in the cold weather in order to prevent redness.
Clear Essence Baby Products
Clear Essence offers skin care products for your little bundles of joy! Our Clear Essence Baby Skin Care Line which focuses on organic baby skin care products for babies of color! Our baby’s skin care product line-up features baby soaps, oils, and lotions that cleanse, soothe & calm, and moisturize & protect to make your baby’s skin even more touchable, huggable, and healthy. The blends soft scents offer a more complete regimen for your baby from the top of their curls to the tiniest little toe! We currently offer a couple of products with ingredients such as shea butter, milk & honey, and a vaporizing soap, which helps your baby during colds!
The Clear Essence Baby Massage Lotion with Shea & Cocoa Butter soothes, moisturizes and softens baby’s delicate skin. This creamy lotion blends natural shea and cocoa butter to hydrate baby’s skin and leave a glowing, soft texture.
The Clear Essence Baby Lotion with Milk and Honey gives your baby cuddly and soft skin. This sweet smelling baby lotion is enriched with a blend of vitamins, skin softening milk nutrients and soothing honey for smooth and huggable skin. Supply your baby with all the nourishment their skin needs to look and feel angelic by using this rich and creamy lotion daily.
The Clear Essence Baby Oil with Lavender is specially made to hydrate dry skin and leave your baby’s skin with a soft and supple texture. The fast absorbing formula with the natural scent of lavender helps soothe and relax your baby. It helps seal-in vital moisture, keeping your baby’s skin feeling soft, smooth, and silky all day long.
Having a baby means having to bring life and love into the world. However, as wonderful and beautiful babies are, having a baby means caring for someone else—changing the baby’s diaper, feeding the baby, but also taking care of the baby’s health—including your baby’s skin. The minute they’re born, babies require special attention in regards […]
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.
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:
- 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.
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!
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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!
- Oily Skin
Your pores appear larger with oily skin, causing shiny or dull complexions. Oily skin is also more prone to blackheads and pimples.
Oily skin can also change depending on the weather, such as dry skin. Some other factors to consider may be stress, heat.
In 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.
- Sensitive Skin
Signs of sensitive skin may occur with redness or irritation, or even a burning sensation.
Most of the time, such symptoms are caused by chemical reactions, or ingredients in home care products or skin care products.
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!
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:
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
Above 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!
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!
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!
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 2016 Summer Olympics are quickly approaching and while athletes prepare to compete against other athletes from across the world, now is the time where the athlete must not only be physically prepared, but mentally as well. The athlete should have a focused mind, prepping for their matches. The athlete may train more so than usual, which means that certain changes to the body not only affect bones and muscle, but the skin as well. When it comes to skin care, athletes not only have to look out for their body more so than an average person, but the athlete also experiences, more so often than others, sweating almost every day, infections, blisters, and chafing. This does not necessarily have to happen to an athlete but for those who like to participate in outdoor events, the sun still continues to shine, and the longer out there, the more damage athlete’s skin is at risk, if not properly protected.
The athlete literally sweats for a living, as in, these people are professionally trained in a sport where it is required to work hard and therefore sweat. But why do our bodies sweat? It is more likely for people to sweat in the summer because of the heat, but why does our body do that? Our doctors always tell us that our body temperature must stay at or around 98.6. So when we get hot from working out or we have a cold, the body is trying to control its temperature at a healthy state—hence sweat occurs. Not every person sweats the same amount, in fact, there is multiple factors to consider such as gender, emotions, substances, and genetics. According to POPSUGAR, “You’re born with between two and four million sweat glands. Women have more sweat glands than men, but men’s glands are more active. How much you sweat depends on your gender, the number of sweat glands you have (more glands equal more sweat), how hot it is, how intensely you’re exercising, or how anxious you feel.” So not only does everyone have roughly about the same amount of sweat glands, but it is more likely for a man to sweat because men’s glands are more “active” even if a women’s body is fit, strong, and beautiful like tennis player Serena Williams. It is just scientifically not proven why it is that men’s sweat glands are more likely to release sweat.
Not only does gender determine how much a body sweats, but genetics based off of heredity may affect the amount of sweat exposed to the body. There are conditions of excessive sweating such as hyperhidrosis where whether cold or hot out, the body is more prone to sweat. There are treatments that are available for hyperhidrosis. Lastly, just like how our skin is more prone to acne with sweets, substances such as cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol may cause the body to sweat profusely. POPSUGAR explains, “If you’re a coffee drinker, caffeine can increase perspiration. Drinking alcohol can have the same effect, so limit the cocktails. Smokers may also sweat more since nicotine can affect your hormones, skin, and brain.” All these substances are controllable however, so if perspiration is a concern, than cut the cord on these substances. If you are all about the “gym life” however, Huffington Post has shared skin secrets from sweaty professionals:
- DIY Cleansing Wipes
Before and after a workout, try cleansing the face with a cleansing wipe in order to prevent any bacteria or sweat to clog pores up. You can make your own using ingredients such as witch hazel, or aloe vera!
- Freshen Up with Facial Mist
Use teas such as Chamomile, Green, or Peppermint as a refreshing toner for your face as boost after a long workout!
- Boost the Power of Your SPF
If you’re an outdoors lover, than boost your SPF with carrot juice or coconut oil!
- Don’t Forget to Exfoliate
The athlete is more likely to create dead skin cells, so it’s important to cleanse and exfoliate more often than others, which means to look for products that have mild exfoliants.
- Keep Hair Off Your Face
Let’s not forget that hair contains oils, and oils mixed with sweat creates more clogged pores on the face!
- Change your Clothes ASAP
As soon as you finish working out, try to change into a different outfit. Leaving sweaty clothes on can cause bacteria to keep close to your skin, leading to break outs!
- Make Up Free During Workouts
More and more often, some gym-goers prefer to go work out with makeup—big mistake! Wearing makeup while working out can not only cause sweaty and runny make up, but mixing sweat with those products may lead to break outs and clogged pores!
- Don’t Touch
Do not touch your face after working out! After working out, your pores are open from the heat on your face, so they are more exposed to bacteria, such as the ones on your hands after using the dumbbells or other equipment other people touch. So avoid touching your face!
Lastly, don’t forget to moisturize! The more you work out, the more you shower, and the more you shower, the higher possibility of your skin drying out so moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
INFECTIONS AND BLISTERS
When it comes to sports or working out, athletes are more likely to have skin infections caused by the environment itself, such as sharing equipment, certain competitions that require direct contact, and much more. Such infections can fall into three basic categories:
- Fungal infections
Caused by fungal organisms living in soil, animals, or on people. A common sport fungal infection, located in the groin area, is commonly known as “jock itch”
- Viral infections
Viral infections in sports can be caused by the herpes simplex virus, which causes rashes or red sores
- Bacterial infections
Athletes are more probable of bacterial infections, not because of poor hygiene, but as an athlete, your skin requires higher maintenance, because of the higher production of sweat, and higher chances of bacteria getting clogged in the skin.
These infections may be prevented, according to New York State Department of Health, “Hand washing (hand hygiene) is the most important way to prevent the spread of skin infections in any setting.” They also have tips for athletes on preventing skin infections such as:
- “Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (if approved by your school or club) in the absence of soap and clean water.
- Wash your hands after using shared equipment (such as barbells and free weights).
- Use a clean towel as a barrier between your bare skin and shared surfaces (for example, exercise equipment, sauna benches, or physical therapy tables and equipment).
- Avoid contact with others’ lesions and possibly contaminated items (for example, bandages, towels, or gear).
- Wash your hands after contact with others’ potentially infectious wounds, skin, or soiled bandages.
- Use your own container of liquid soap (do not share!) and shower before and as soon as possible after EVERY practice, game, or tournament.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands to help prevent the spread of infections.
- Do not pick or squeeze skin sores, which can worsen an infection and possibly spread it to others.
- Completely and securely cover skin infections that are not contagious (such as eczema) before practice, meets, or games.”
Blisters are hardly ever trouble as long as you don’t pick at them. Health Central states that “you have to make sure to keep the area from continually rubbing against whatever caused the blister. If you need to cover it, use a loose bandage or a donut-shaped pad to help protect it. If you must drain the blister because of its location, use a sterilized needle and poke a small hole at one edge, then push the liquid toward the hole to drain it. Clean the area and cover with gauze to help prevent infection.” Blisters may look nasty to some people, but like a pimple, it’s better to leave it alone than to create an infection.
Chafing is a rash caused by skin to skin friction, and can occur most commonly in areas such as inner thighs or underarm from running, bicycling, or even walking for a long amount of time. Chafing can be painful because of the fact that your skin is rubbing against each other which leads to painful irritation. Chafing can be preventable, however if left untreated and continue to work out then the area may get crusted or even bleed. WebMD has a couple of tips for preventing chafing such as:
- Stay Dry
Use powders such as talcum powder on areas that are likely to sweat in order to prevent chafing from happening, there are also body deodorants that may be used specifically to absorb any moisture from the skin.
Try using jelly lubricants that help avoid friction in the chafing area. These can easily be purchased over-the-counter.
- Dress Right
When working out, the athlete must feel comfortable in order to not only prevent muscle strains, but infections as well. Try using clothes that absorb moisture so that the chafing area will be properly dry and prevented from chafing.
Whatever you do, do not leave the area alone. Chafing can be treated, so if you leave it alone, not only will it get worse, but working out while chafing will not only make you feel uncomfortable, but it’ll distract you from your workout. So, when chafing, try to limit exercises that may make the area more severe. Although chafing may be caused by working out, chafing can happen to anyone, so these tips can also work for you! By preventing chafing, not only will you be able to wear what you want, but you won’t have to worry about whether chafing will occur, as long as you at least follow one of these steps, and therefore looking confident and beautiful as you strut down the street!
Exercising is a daily routine for the athlete—it’s their job to sweat in order to achieve. Their mind has to be focused on finishing in first place, so the last thing they want to worry about is have skin problems. By taking care of your skin properly, not only are you ready for your daily work out, but you’ll be ready to power through with a set mind and achieve your goals for either the perfect body, trophy, or just have fun playing the sports you love doing. Don’t let your skin keep you from exercising, or from letting the real you shine through! Our skin requires higher maintenance when we work out, but that’s okay, because not only will you be achieving your goals while working out, but you’ll also have radiant skin while doing so.
The 2016 Summer Olympics are quickly approaching and while athletes prepare to compete against other athletes from across the world, now is the time where the athlete must not only be physically prepared, but mentally as well. The athlete should have a focused mind, prepping for their matches. The athlete may train more so than […]
When we identify ourselves through our body, we look at our skin type, skin tone, hair type etc. But we never really think about categorizing the spots we have on our bodies—moles, freckles, birthmarks, you name it. We always refer to those brown or black dots on our body as moles, but do we really know why we have them, or more importantly, how do we know that they’re not a sign of cancer? According to WebMD “Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are called melanocytes, and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural color. Moles may darken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years, and during pregnancy.” Although moles may all appear to look the same, their individual makeup can be differentiated by how long the mole has been there, and the size of the mole. EverydayHealth explains the types of moles listed below:
- Congenital moles. When a mole is present at birth, it is called a congenital mole, or congenital nevus. About 1 percent of people have congenital moles, and these moles may be at increased risk of turning into skin cancer.
- Acquired moles. Acquired moles account for most moles and usually develop during childhood or early adulthood. These moles are usually smaller than a quarter inch, and are thought to be due to excessive sun exposure. Most acquired moles will not develop into skin cancer.
- Atypical moles. Atypical moles (also known as dysplastic nevi) are larger than a pencil eraser and shaped irregularly. These moles are usually uneven in color, with a dark brown center. The borders of atypical moles may be irregular, with a lighter or reddish color, and unevenness or black dots around the edge. Atypical moles tend to run in families and they may be at increased risk of developing into skin cancer.
The most common mole that we find on our bodies is the congenital mole, which are moles that we basically seen for most of our lives. We’re born with those moles and most of the time they stay with us as we age. The acquired moles however are moles that develop as we age due to exposure of sun or chemicals that may harm our skin. Both congenital and acquired moles are not considered harmful, however, depending on skin care or exposure to the sun, they can be at risk of skin cancer. Lastly, we have atypical moles, which are known as irregular moles because they are larger than a pencil eraser, with an irregular shape and uneven color. These moles are the moles that we have to keep an eye out for because they have a higher chance of developing into skin cancer.
Types of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancers that anyone is at risk of. According to www.cancer.gov there are 76,380 cases of Melanoma expected for this year. Our skin is comprised of three layers: epidermis, dermis, and fat. The epidermis layer contains melanocytes, which are cells that produce melanin. So, the more melanin produced, the darker the skin pigmentation. Melanin is used to protect our body from too much sun exposure, so you can imagine, the darker the skin tone, the stronger your skin is from being sun damaged or premature aging. Skin cancer occurs when melanin levels are low, so it’s more likely for people with white skin to develop skin cancer, however, dark skin tones are just as likely to get skin cancer because their high melanin levels are not enough to protect the skin from sun damage. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “in African American skin, melanin provides a sun protection factor (SPF) approximately equivalent to 13.4, compared to 3.4 in white skin.” So, even if dark skin has natural UV protection built into the skin, it’s still not enough to support skin from damage. There are four types of skin cancer that everyone is at risk of:
- Actinic Keratoses
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Of these four types of skin cancer, BCC, SCC, and Melanoma are the most common. BCC can be found in any skin tone, especially skin tones that have been damaged from UV rays from tanning beds. It’s important to seek treatment for BCC because if left untreated, then the damage will deepen to each layer of the skin and even bones. SCC is similar however as we age, SCC develops in any part of the body, so it does not necessarily have to be the area where the skin has been exposed to UV ray damage. Lastly, the deadliest of all cancers, Melanoma can quickly spread all over the body. Again, skin cancer does not discriminate, anyone can get it, though lighter skin has a higher chance of having skin cancer, dark skin is still at risk if we don’t take the necessary precautions. Learn to identify signs of skin cancer, SELF has provided some signs of BCC and SCC:
Signs of Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
- A red scaly patch: A red, itchy spot of skin that doesn’t resolve in a few weeks with moisturization is most likely SCC. These might itch, but oftentimes do not, and can be easily confused for eczema.
- A bump that won’t stop bleeding: This can look like a little bump or pimple that begins to ulcerate. A sore that continually bleeds, heals, and splits open again, is a common sign of BCC but could also be SCC.
- A shiny bump: This nodule is usually pink, red, or white, but can also be tan, black, or brown and look like a regular mole.
- A pink growth: T he border will likely be slightly elevated and the center indented and maybe even crusty.
- A scar-like spot: This can be a sign of an aggressive form of BCC, so if you notice a white or yellow scar-like spot that appears shiny, see your derm ASAP.
You can also follow the ABCDE guide for Melanoma, which helps identify signs of Melanoma. You don’t necessarily have to have all of these signs, but if you do have one, then it’s recommended to consult with a doctor.
Causes of Skin Cancer
- Ultraviolet radiation found in sunlight and lights used in devices such as tanning beds
- Being exposed to toxic substances
- Conditions that weaken your immune system
We should all have a basic idea that skin cancer is caused because we hardly ever apply sunblock, but what about those who like to tan? Although some people like to have “bronzed” skin during summer, tanning can be dangerous, to the extent that too much tanning leads to skin cancer because of UV rays. Now one can argue that tanning in a bed is just as safe as tanning out in the daylight, but did you know that there is more than one type of UV ray that we’re exposed to?
What are UVA and UVB rays?
UVB rays: age skin cells and can damage their DNA. These rays are linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but they are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers. Most tanning beds give off large amounts of UVB, which has been found to increase skin cancer risk.
UVA rays: have slightly more energy than UVB rays. They can damage skin cells’ DNA directly, and are the main rays that cause sunburns. They are also thought to cause most skin cancers.
The strength of the UV rays reaching the ground depends on a number of factors, such as:
- Time of day: UV rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Season of the year: UV rays are stronger during spring and summer months. This is less of a factor near the equator.
- Distance from the equator (latitude): UV exposure goes down as you get further from the equator.
- Altitude: More UV rays reach the ground at higher elevations.
- Cloud cover: The effect of clouds can vary. Sometimes cloud coverage blocks some UV from the sun and lowers UV exposure, while some types of clouds can reflect UV and can increase UV exposure. What is important to know is that UV rays can get through, even on a cloudy day.
- Reflection off surfaces: UV rays can bounce off surfaces like water, sand, snow, pavement, or grass, leading to an increase in UV exposure.
Preventing Skin Cancer
Skin cancer can be easily prevented if we learn to take time to take care of our skin. Apart from wearing sunblock every day, if possible, try to cover up using a hat or an umbrella. Although covering up with long sleeves would be the best option, it’s not the best advice for 102 degree weather, so try to stay cool and fresh and drink lots and lots of water. You can also eat foods that can boost your immune system, so by eating the right nutrients, your skin is ready to defend your body from sun exposure and hyperpigmentation of the skin. Bustle recommends:
Orange, yellowish foods such as melon, mangos, carrots
Fruits high in vitamin c
Foods high omega
Just as smoking can lead to lung cancer, too much sun leads to skin cancer. With just one session in the tanning booth, you could potentially be harming your skin, so although you wish to go “bronze” for the summer, remember that your skin is your guard from letting bacteria into your body; without healthy skin what else is there to protect you? Whether you tan in a booth or out on the beach, tanning is dangerous—the reason your skin gets tanned is because it’s a form of protection from the overexposure of the sun, so next time you think about getting a tan ask yourself this: is a tan worth damaging my skin?
Moles have often been seen as an individual sign of beauty or originality. Just look at Marilyn Monroe’s famous mole that set her apart from others. Her look has even transformed and been imitated by others, such as Amy Winehouse, creating new looks such as the “modern mole” which replaces the iconic beauty mark with a piercing. POPSUGAR discusses more on the history of the mole and the unique look it brings out. You can also prevent sun damage and hyperpigmentation with some of our products, which you can check out here. Clear Essence SPF products reduce the possibility of developing new discolorations or moles caused by over exposure to the sun. Using these products daily also helps ensure an even skin tone and reduces the signs of
past damage. Apply sunscreen everyday, wear a hat, sunglasses, but what ever you do, help your skin fight against skin cancer. Your skin tone is beautiful just the way you are despite what may feel like an imperfection. As long as you keep your skin protected from developing skin cancer, you can let the real you shine through and be proud of any moles on your body!
When we identify ourselves through our body, we look at our skin type, skin tone, hair type etc. But we never really think about categorizing the spots we have on our bodies—moles, freckles, birthmarks, you name it. We always refer to those brown or black dots on our body as moles, but do we really […]