Learn about natural ingredients that promote skin renewal and can help you finally get rid of those troublesome dark spots!
Clear Essence Blog
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
One 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.
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.
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!
What is Lactic Acid?
Fermented or sour milk contains a special chemical compound called Lactic Acid (LA). It is the gentler cousin to the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) exfoliant. Both help improve our skin’s texture for soft and blemish free skin.
The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was one of the first to use this skin care holy grail ingredient. She would bathe in fermented milk to keep her beautiful skin looking and feeling rejuvenated.
According to WebMD.com, LA is mainly produced by red blood cells and muscles inside of the human body. Our bodies generate this chemical compound when we are exercising for long periods of time. It serves as the fuel reserve to help prolong the work out and delay muscle fatigue.
How does it work?
Apart from its internal function, lactic acid works as an exfoliant when used externally on the skin. It gently strips off the dead cells on our skin, revealing the soft new skin beneath. It promotes collagen growth to help slow down the skin’s aging process and properly moisturizes for soft hydrated skin.
Of course, the application of any lactic acid treatment should be in moderation according to one’s skin sensitivity because too much of it can cause irritation. Your skin should see minimal sun exposure during a lactic acid regimen as fresh new skin is more vulnerable to UV rays.
When looking for dark skin care products that exfoliate, moisturize and help cell and collagen regrowth for younger looking skin, it is important to choose products with AHA because AHA contains lactic acid properties that do just that.
Where can I get it?
By using products that contain lactic acid properties African American skin care can be complete and highly effective. It just takes some knowledge on the specific properties to help achieve what your skin needs to be at its full potential.
What is Lactic Acid? Fermented or sour milk contains a special chemical compound called Lactic Acid (LA). It is the gentler cousin to the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) exfoliant. Both help improve our skin’s texture for soft and blemish free skin. The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was one of the first to use this skin care […]
Vitamin C and Lemon Extract are actually some of the most powerful ingredients for dark spots and discolorations – and they come straight from nature! Among the many ingredients available in creams out on the store shelves, one of the most popular is Vitamin C. But what is Vitamin C and what can it do? Let us break it down plain and simple and see exactly what this key ingredient can do for African American skin.
What exactly is it?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. There really isn’t much more to it than that. Vitamin C can be found anywhere from the foods we eat, supplements we take, or (Yup! You guessed it!) face creams. Because this well known vitamin can be found in just about anywhere, it can be easily overlooked.
What can it do?
Do not underestimate the power of this mini molecule! Vitamin C can bring many benefits to the skin. For starters, Vitamin C can prevent and even reverse sun damage on the skin. Its antioxidant factor can actually work in your skin’s favor. How? Antioxidants fight against ultraviolet rays that touch the surface of our skin. They prevent them from forming free radicals in our skin that speed up the appearance of aging. This factor, along with a dab of sunscreen for extra sun protection can really make a difference on your appearance.
Vitamin C also helps in producing collagen for the skin. In simple terms, collagen is a type of protein that helps hold the skin together, giving its youthful look. So a topical Vitamin C cream can actually promote the production of collagen to give your skin its natural hold and fight against the appearance of wrinkles.
So there you have it ladies & gentlemen…The power of Vitamin C. Natural products, specifically lemon based products, would most likely contain Vitamin C. So next time you’re out shopping for a new product, be on the lookout for this key ingredient. Your skin will thank you in the long run!
Try any of the black skin care products from Clear Essence’s Lemon Plus Vitamin C Line which is made with a natural blend of Vitamin C, fruit acids, emollients, and extracts of lemon, licorice, ginseng, gentian, aloe, green tea and sea kelp.
Vitamin C and Lemon Extract are actually some of the most powerful ingredients for dark spots and discolorations – and they come straight from nature! Among the many ingredients available in creams out on the store shelves, one of the most popular is Vitamin C. But what is Vitamin C and what can it do? […]
Causes of Acne on Darker Skin Tones
In Black skin care, acne is a nuisance that we contribute to the food we eat and hormones. There may however, be another factor that you have never considered before. The soft pillow that you lay your head on every night may be causing some of your breakouts.
Your pillowcases, like your clothing, hold dirt and oil from your skin. However, many of us do not wash our pillowcases as often as our clothing. This allows for a build up of oil and dirt that distributes back onto your skin as you sleep at night.
Preventing Bacteria Transfer to Your Face
To prevent the build up of dirt and oil, pillowcases should be washed about once a week. If washing your pillowcase this often is not possible, placing a clean towel on top of your pillowcase may be a better option. When washing your pillowcases, try to avoid liquid detergent and dryer sheets as they cause a waxy build up that may clog pores further.
A second way to prevent the build up of dirt and oil on your pillowcases, is to wash your face before you go to sleep. Washing your face before you go to sleep removes the dirt and oil that has accumulated during the day. Less oil and dirt on your face before you go to sleep means that there will be less dirt and oil deposited onto your pillowcase.
A dirty pillowcase is not the only cause of acne on black skin but it can definitely contribute. Having a clean pillowcase ensures that dirt and oil will not be redistributed onto your skin causing further breakouts.
For some of us acne, is already affecting our skin. Our Blemish Control Wash Formula is a powerful salicylic acid treatment for oily and acne prone skin types. The antiseptic wash clears bacteria and oil build up while reducing inflammation and irritation. This helps control acne on the face and along the hairline and dries up oil to reduce future acne formation. Also contains peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and menthol for revitalization and pH balance which leaves the skin fresh and awakened.
For back and chest, we recommend our Medicated Cleansing Bar made with sulfur and exfoliating oatmeal extracts. This black soap is a blemish and acne treatment soap for the face and body that is suitable for all skin types and skin tones. The soap deep cleanses to remove dirt, bacteria and oil. This medicated cleansing bar also exfoliates dead skin cells for a radiant blemish free complexion. Natural ingredients like sulfur and wheat germ are used to heal problematic skin and reduce breakouts.
If you’re often left with dark spots and left over acne scars, try the Skin Lightening Serum to target individual dark marks on oily and acne prone skin types. It treats hyper-pigmentation, fades skin discolorations, and lightens dark spots on all skin types and skin tones. This skin lightening serum contains Hydroquinone and botanical extracts which go to work to fade problem areas.
Causes of Acne on Darker Skin Tones In Black skin care, acne is a nuisance that we contribute to the food we eat and hormones. There may however, be another factor that you have never considered before. The soft pillow that you lay your head on every night may be causing some of your breakouts. […]
The Importance of a Nightly Skincare Routine: We last talked about the importance of having a daily morning skincare routine here but it is also super important to remember your nightly skincare routine. “Why should I have two different routines?” you may ask. Well, each routine is catered to the different needs of your skin […]
While most of us have heard that everyone should at the very least apply sunscreen before heading out, some may not know there is more to a morning skincare routine due to the environmental damages caused by smog, pollutants, smoke and so much more.
Skin Care is probably one of the last things on your mind as you’re rushing to get out the door. However, we should be giving as much thought to our morning skin care routine as we do our first cup of coffee.
Environmental pollution is largely made up of PAH’s or (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon), these increase in areas in which public smoking is not prohibited and in homes that use coal and biofuels for cooking. Sitting in traffic not only exposes you to the sun but also to the smog produced by the cars. According to research, PAH’s”cling to airborne nanoparticles” and are then “converted to quinones” that age the skin just as chronic exposure to UV light does.
In order to protect your skin from these harmful pollutants, we have to create a barrier between the two. Arming your skin with antioxidants and UV protection will go a long way, ensuring the decreased signs of aging. This where your morning skin care routine comes into play.
Morning Skincare Routine Tips
We offer a variety of products that can be mixed and matched together as a morning skincare routine. Our different skin care lines each address specific skin care issues. One of our favorite regimens begins with either our Medicated Cleansing Bar or our Anti-Aging Complexion Soap, depending if you suffer from breakouts or dry skin.
Next, we recommend using a toner such as our Anti Aging Toner with AHA or our Lemon Plus Vitamin C Multi-Active Toner to ensure that there is no leftover dirt or makeup residue left on the skin. If there are dirt particles or bacteria left over it may lead to breakouts and dull skin. We follow this step with a skin serum, available in our Platinum and Lemon skin care lines. These serums are great for dark spot treatment and diminishing dark undereye circles.
Next up is the application of a face cream or lotion. We have a large variety of body and face creams to choose from! Our three most popular are our Medicated Fade Cream, the Platinum Skin Beautifying Milk and our Olive Oil Body Cream. It is important to apply sunscreen before applying a face cream unless of course it already has SPF like our Extra Strength Medicated Fade Creme and our Extra Strength Beautifying Skin Milk.
That’s it! You can always pick and choose which items you like most from all lines to create the perfect regimen for your skin. Remember we are always available to recommend routines based on your skin care needs and even the time you have available in the mornings!
While most of us have heard that everyone should at the very least apply sunscreen before heading out, some may not know there is more to a morning skincare routine due to the environmental damages caused by smog, pollutants, smoke and so much more. Skin Care is probably one of the last things on your […]
With summer just around the corner, it’s an excellent time to start planning the perfect summer getaway! We all need a break from time to time to get away from our busy urban lifestyles. Vacations are a chance to pamper yourself, relax, and discover new places.
Visit Clear Essence Spa For Your Summer Getaway!!
If you’re planning a destination vacation for your summer getaway escape take a look at the Clear Essence California Spa & Wellness Resort, located in the heart of Ikoyi, on Lagos Island in Nigeria. It is surrounded by beautiful waters, lush greenery, and a welcoming ambiance. Perfect for refreshing, renewing and restoring the mind and body. They offer an array of amenities to ensure that your stay is magical.
The Clear Essence Spa specializes in 14 different spa rituals; we’ve listed 3 of our favorite!
Monterey Marina Mist
Inspired by the deep blue revitalizing waves of the sea that renews and balances your energy. The fresh bouquet of geranium and cypress combined with lavender oil blend to create the Malibu Marina Mist experience, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
Malibu Deep Blue Sea-Mint
This treatment provides the body with a deep cleanse and purge of toxins. Their specialist have created a unique combination of the sea’s healing minerals enhanced with the relaxing yet powerful astringent of mint. This ritual will leave you feeling fresh, renewed and restored.
Fit For a Queen!
Wrap your body in the bounty of mother nature with this rich and creamy treatment that is fit for a queen. Inspired by Cleopatra’s anti-aging secret, we combined milk, avocado and cocoa butter for an intense moisturizing treatment. The ingredients are packed with vitamin A & C and are rich in antioxidants that rejuvenate the skin for a beautiful glow fit for a Queen!
You can also enjoy 17 different spa treatments including:
Facials & Skincare
A facial is a multi-step skin treatment that provides a healthy boost for your skin. A facial cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion and can help your skin look younger.
Body Glow Scrubs & Wraps
Body glow scrubs exfoliate and hydrate your skin by using a mixture of either salt or sugar and a moisturizing oil, leaving your skin smooth and soft. It is a great pre-treatment before getting a body wrap or mud treatment as it opens up the pores allowing your skin to soak up all of the oils and nutrients.
Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage consists of a mixture of smooth heated stones and a classic Swedish massage. Warmed stones are placed along the back and any other places where muscles are tense. The heat from the stones relaxes tense muscles making it easier to unwind during the massage.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissues massages are great for those suffering from extremely tense muscles. Deep finger pressure is used in slow, firm strokes, to get into those knots. Deep-tissue massages also help ease stress and tension, which can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. You’ll leave relaxed and tension free!
We all need a break from time to time to get away from our busy urban lifestyles. Vacations are a chance to pamper yourself, relax, and discover new places. With summer just around the corner, it’s an excellent time to start planning the perfect getaway!
There are multiple differences between male and female skin including thickness, oiliness, aging, and texture. It isn’t just an industry ploy to try and get people to buy specific products based on their gender. Keep on reading to find out what exactly makes male and female skin so different and what this means for our skin care routines!
Tough and calloused is what we think of when we imagine male skin. It’s nearly the polar opposite from female’s soft and more delicate skin. According to Dr. Brian Zelickson, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Founder of MD Complete,
“Men’s skin is about 25% thicker with more collagen, more and larger hair follicles and more sebum production, all of which is mostly due to increased testosterone production. These structural differences make men’s skin less sensitive and able to handle stronger ingredients. However, it also makes them a bit more acne-prone, so they don’t need as heavy cream-based products.”
The ability to grow a beard is just one obvious distinction among many others that are not so evident. From a structural point of view, some of the differences include skin thickness, collagen density, loss of collagen as we age, texture and hydration. These differences in the skin may in fact create differences in the treatment room. Let’s look at each of these aspects in more detail.
We know that the thickness of the skin varies with the location, age and sex of the individual. Additionally, androgens like testosterone, cause an increase in skin thickness. Since men produce more testosterone than females it accounts for why a man’s skin is about 25 percent thicker than that of a woman’s. A man’s skin also thins gradually with age, where as the thickness of a woman’s skin remains constant until about the age of fifty. After menopause, her skin will thin significantly and will continue as she ages. This is why men need thicker face cremes to reach the lower layers of the skin and help retain skin elasticity. Women on the other hand can choose between either a light moisturizer or a heavy night creme for a more intense treatment.
Regardless of age, men have a higher collagen density than women; this is the ratio of collagen to the thickness of the skin. Researchers believe that the higher collagen density accounts for why women appear to age faster than men of the same age. When considering intrinsic (genetically-programmed) aging of the skin, it has been said that women are about 15 years older than men of the same age. Of course, the role of daylight exposure in skin aging, combined with the fact that men do not use sunscreen as often as women, may account for why we do not readily notice. Extrinsic aging from UV radiation can add years to a man’s skin and negate the benefit of slower intrinsic aging. SPF protection is extremely important regardless of the type of skin you have!
Loss of Collagen
The physical signs of aging in adults, such as wrinkles and laxity to the tissue, are closely related to the collagen content of the skin. Both men and women lose about one percent of their collagen per year after their 30th birthday. For women, however, this escalates significantly in the first five years after menopause then slows down again. Using products geared towards more mature skin can make a huge difference in the way the skin reacts to certain ingredients in the product. Our Anti-Aging Complexion Soap is perfect for delicate skin and improves elasticity!
From a superficial perspective, the texture of a man’s skin is very different than a woman’s. The texture (on a man) is rougher, and the Stratum Corneum is thicker. There is also a difference in the composition of sebum and its production. After puberty, sebum production is greater in males than in females, which is attributed to androgen production and accounts for why men have longer lasting acne. Interestingly, redness, rapid production of the sebaceous glands, and swelling of the skin on the nose, is only seen in males. It is unknown if this condition is controlled by androgens in a similar capacity as sebum production.
Puberty also stimulates the appearance of facial hair in men and gives rise to sweat production. Males have more Lactic Acid in their sweat, which accounts for a lower pH (.05 lower) when compared to female sweat. We discussed the importance of the skins pH levels in our Skin 101 post.
Men also sweat more than twice as much as women and are more prone to sweating, which is stimulated by an increase in body temperature. However, male skin appears to be better hydrated than women’s, which is fortunate, as men are less likely to apply a hydrating moisturizer to their body or face. Perhaps the excess sweating and production of Lactic Acid, a known natural humectant for the skin, is responsible for the level of tissue hydration.
So what have we learned? In short summary, a man’s skin is thicker thus providing them with different skin issues which need specially formulated products, like our Men’s Chimere Skin Care Line, to penetrate past the thicker skin to really make a difference in male’s skin care. Remember to use sunscreen and keep your skin moisturized!
Here is a list of our top 5 Mother’s Day beauty inspired gifts, guaranteed to make her feel loved and pampered on her special day.
1. Spa Day
Treat your mother to a relaxing and rejuvenating spa day. If you happen to reside in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigera make a reservation at our Clear Essence California Spa and Wellness Resort! They have all the amenities to make your mother’s special day unforgettable!
P.S. You can also do a DIY spa day at home! Plenty of our products such as the Sensitive Line Moisturizing Body Oil and our Skin Beautifying Milk are great for an at home spa treatment that will leave her feeling relaxed and revitalized.
2. Mother’s Day Beauty Basket!
Surprise her by gathering some of her favorite products as well as some new products you think she’ll love. Wrap them up in a cute basket and you’re all done! Some of our favorite beauty products are our Skin Lightening Serum which works wonders on uneven skin tones, dark spots, and hyper pigmentation. Our Anti Aging Complexion Soap rejuvenates the skin, exfoliates, and improves elasticity of the skin. Lastly our Specialist Body Oil is amazing at diminishing scars and stretch marks! As a little extra, you can even include a wonderful bottle of wine or a few of her favorite treats.
3. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Our mothers have always made sure that we had something to eat before sending us off to school in the mornings. Now it can be your turn to take care of her! Surprise her by making her breakfast in bed filled with all of her favorite foods.
4. Classic Flowers and Chocolates
Not all gifts have to be extravagant or expensive. A simple bouquet of her favorite flowers paired with her favorite sweets can show her some much deserved appreciation and that you have been thinking of her.
5. Easy Gift Sets
Gift Sets are a great way to take out the stress of finding the perfect gift for our mothers. They usually feature a variety of different types of products ensuring that she’ll find a use for each one of them. We put together a Skin Essentials Combo Gift Set to make this Mother’s Day shopping a breeze. It features 3 of our best selling Natural Beauty Skin Tone products: The Specialist Skincare Oil, the Olive Oil Bar Soap, and our Moisturizing Body Lotion. A complete set for perfectly soft and healthy skin.
We sometimes forget that our skin composition is considered the largest organ of the human body. Its primary job is to protect our internal organs, muscles, and bones from infection and the elements. It also regulates our body temperature, and produces the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.
Your skin weighs approximately between six to nine pounds. The density of your skin also varies across the body; it is thinnest on your eyelids and thickest on the soles of your feet.
Your hair and nails are also considered part of the skin, they are just made a little differently in order to serve other protective purposes. Body hair provides protection to the skin’s outer layer, for example it acts as a filter for the nose and ears. Nails serve to protect and support the tips of your fingers and toes.
Skin Composition: Breaking it down
The skin is made up of 4 main layers: the stratum corneum, the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue.
The stratum corneum.
It is the outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of dead cells (corneocytes). This layer is composed of 15–20 layers of flattened cells with no nuclei and cell organelles. The Stratum Disjunctum is the layer that we wash away during our skin care routine, it is about 3-4 layers thick. Unfortunately, as we age, it becomes difficult for our skin to get rid of dead skin cells which leaves our skin looking dull and dry. In order to help we can manually exfoliate or utilize Hydroxy Acid products like our Complexion Soap Bar to help slough off dead skin cells. However, if you over exfoliate you risk taking off too many layers of the stratum corneum which serves to protect the epidermis layers of the skin. This will leave you with very raw and sensitive skin that will be more prone to breakouts.
This is the outermost layer of your skin composition. There are three sub-layers within the epidermis: the outer stratum corneum, the middle squamous cell layer, and the bottom basal cell layer.
These layers are made up of the following types of skin cells.
- Melanocytes make melanin, the pigment that provides color to the skin. People with darker skin have melanocytes that produce more melanin. Exposure to sunlight also increases melanin production, causing freckles or a suntan. Melanocytes also cause hyper pigmentation which affects darker skin toned people much more due to the fact that their cells produce more melanin naturally. Our Medicated Fade Creme targets those areas that are uneven or darker than natural to revert them back to their original shade. In order to maintain an even skin tone it is extremely important to use SPF, sun protection, every single day rain or shine to prevent excess melanin production in the skin.
- Langerhans cells are part of the body’s immune system and help fight off infection.
- Basal cells are at the bottom of the epidermis and continually reproduce to form new keratinocytes.
- Keratinocytes or squamous cells are in the middle layer of the epidermis and produce keratin, the protein that forms the protective outer layer. Keratin is also used in the production of hair and nails.
The larger two lower levels of the epidermis, the squamous and basal layers, are responsible for regenerating new skin cells at a rate of about four weeks. As older cells are moved up to the top by the new cells they create the stratum corneum. The cycle continues as the dead cells flake off or are manually removed and new cells take their place. Healthy skin care habits help keep this cycle moving efficiently. Taking care of your skin composition translates to a beautiful outer complexion!
It lives directly underneath the epidermis, the dermis is held together by a protein called collagen. Collagen is what helps give our skin composition structure and keeps it firm. The dermis contains many structures that help keep the outer layers healthy.
- Nerve endings transmit sensory input to the brain. These nerves allow you to sense texture, pressure, heat, and pain through the skin, all part of your overall sense of touch.
- Blood vessels deliver nutrients and oxygen to the epidermis and dermis and get rid of waste products.
- Oil glands keep the skin lubricated and prevent hair follicles from becoming brittle. This is why we shouldn’t wash our hair with harsh shampoos as they get rid of this natural oil and make our hair brittle.
- Sweat glands keep the body’s temperature regulated.
The subcutaneous tissue.
This is a layer of collagen and fat cells at the base of your skin.
Your Hair and Nails
Human hair grows from the root, a bulb that rests in the follicle. Cells multiply and produce the hardened keratin protein, which forms a hair shaft.
Nails grow in a very similar way as hair does, but they begin in deep folds in the skin of the fingers and toes. Just like hair, your fingernails consist of dead cells held together by hardened keratin. As the nail cells at the root accumulate, they push the nail outward. Your hair and nails can tell you a lot about your health and diet! This is why you’ll see small ridges on your nails, they are signs of lacking nutrients.
Now that we have gone over the way your skin functions we can further understand how to take care of it!
Stay tuned for more beauty and skin care tips to help you achieve healthy radiant skin!
We sometimes forget that our skin composition is considered the largest organ of the human body. Its primary job is to protect our internal organs, muscles, and bones from infection and the elements. It also regulates our body temperature, and produces the sensations of touch, heat, and cold. Your skin weighs approximately between six to […]