Skin Aging Process With so many anti-aging products out on the market today, it becomes quite confusing as to which one to choose, how much to spend, and when it is the right time to use them. Many African American women however, try to think of simple ways to reduce the skin aging process without […]
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Skin Aging Process
With so many anti-aging products out on the market today, it becomes quite confusing as to which one to choose, how much to spend, and when it is the right time to use them. Many African American women however, try to think of simple ways to reduce the skin aging process without the use of “magic potions” that are so popular nowadays. It turns out that there can be a solution to slow down that aging process. You can begin your own African American anti-aging regimen in the comfort of your own home at no cost whatsoever!
What is this secret? Exercise. That’s right! Exercise! It turns out that exercising at least once or twice a week may reverse the process of skin aging. Two studies have been composed to support this hypothesis for black skin care routines.
The first study was focused only on the effects of exercise on mice. Researchers divided two groups of
mice into two groups: one with access to exercise wheels, and the other without. In time, these closely monitored mice showed distinctive characteristics within their respective groups. The mice that did not have access to their exercise wheel became weak, bald, and ill. The mice with access to their exercise wheel however showed the exact opposite: healthy hearts, muscles, and kept their fur longer. These results concluded with the hypothesis that exercise does play a role in mice aging. But the researchers began to wonder if this same argument can be applied to humans and help prevent skin aging.
A second study was conducted to see how exercise may affect humans. This study was conducted and presented at The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. It consisted of 29 male and female volunteers between the ages 20 and 84. Like the mice, the individuals were divided into groups where one group would be sedentary while the other was more active. The results? For individuals above 40 years of age who have been active had younger looking skin, comparable to an individual who is between 20 and 30 years of age.
This of course does not guarantee younger, healthy looking African American skin but it is definitely a good start. So lace up those running shoes, buy some comfy clothes, and start running! Your health (and now your skin) will thank you in the end.
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!
When it comes to Summer, not only do we get extreme temperatures, but we also get smog. Smog occurs because of pollutants in the atmosphere that may be caused by fuels such as nitrogen oxides (that are found in burning gas, natural gas, coal, and oil), carbon monoxide, and many more. Major air pollution sources are derived from transportation, electricity, other home fuel uses, and goods and services we buy. Unfortunately anti-pollution skin care is a reality for most everyone in the world due to these toxics affecting our air quality. Not only does our planet get affected by these fuels, but every living person is also affected, both internally and externally. These pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxides damage crops (that we eat), which may cause internal consumption of these chemical. For example, smog and nitrogen oxides creates an effect known as acid rain, so when it rains, the water falling is already polluted, and when it hits the crops, the crops get contaminated, and we eat those contaminated crops. Other internal effects may include lung damage from smog and blood having a more difficult time providing oxygen to cells.
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!
Anti-Pollution Skin Care: Shield Your Skin
It takes a large amount of people, corporations, and politicians to come together and find a solution to defeat air pollution, in the meanwhile, you can learn how to shield your skin from air pollutants!
Wash Your Face
Washing your face should not only be a part of your anti-pollution skin care routine, but learning to wash your face every single day, and if possible, day and night, is going to help you keep your face clean from chemicals and pollutants. By washing your face, you’re preventing your skin from irritation and dryness from pollutants. Here’s a list of possible products to use to not only keep your face clean after washing, but also to help with dryness from pollutants!
The milk not only prevents and heals dryness, but it also helps with hyperpigmentation from dryness in areas such as elbows, knees, knuckles and feet. Use it after cleansing and treating to moisturize the skin.
The crème helps reduce skin discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and helps brighten and even out your skin. It’s formulated with sunscreen so you won’t have to worry about UV rays!
This soap works to not only help dry skin, but it also helps with aging skin, because of the anti-oxidants such as Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, and pure Olive Oil. Say goodbye to rough skin and hello to smooth and soft!
This crème has a specially blended formula with antioxidants that help maintain your skin looking young and stay moisturized. Use it with the My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Olive Oil Soap for added hydration and clean looking skin!
Antioxidants to the Rescue!
According to SELF, “When pollution gets into your skin, it creates free radicals, highly unstable molecules that have unpaired electrons. These molecules [try] to steal an electron from a healthy cell, thereby injuring it.” These electrons therefore damage your collagen, which is essential for firm skin, and creates holes in your cells. This can lead to possible hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and acne from increased inflammation. Apply serums with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, in order to ensure your skin cells have the proper nutrients to prevent free radicals damage. Here are a couple of ways to pack in those antioxidants:
- Eat Foods That Have Antioxidants—eating foods such as wild berries, dark chocolate, pecans, kidney beans, cranberries, blackberries, cilantro, and even green tea, is going to help
- Try the Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Skin Care Line—The Lemon Vitamin C skin care series is made with a natural blend of vitamin c, fruit acids, emollients, and extracts of lemon, licorice, ginseng, gentian, aloe, green tea and sea kelp. Our Lemon Vitamin C line is natural skin care from nature, as it is a non-hydroquinone based treatment for excessive pigmentation in people of color. Lemon Plus Vitamin C from Clear Essence has fruit extracts for the gentle treatment of: Hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, excessive dryness, and environmental damage. Check out some of our favorites:
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. Smog occurs because of pollutants in the atmosphere that may be caused by fuels such as nitrogen oxides (that are found in burning gas, natural gas, coal, and oil), carbon monoxide, and many more. Major air pollution sources […]
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 […]
Last week, we mentioned how lifestyles affect your skin such as your sleep cycle, make up, and diet. This week we’re focusing on other lifestyles which may leave you wanting to make a couple of changes to the way you live, starting with your cellphone:
Technology has come a long way. Every two years, we’re told to upgrade to the latest phone, but did you know that even if your phone is waterproof, or has good camera, or whatever good feature may contain, doesn’t stop bacteria from reaching on to your face and potentially causing acne. So now, not only do we have to worry about our “T-zone” (Forehead, nose, chin), but anyone who uses a cellphone (which is practically everyone you can possibly think of), now has to worry about their “Y-zone”, which is cheeks and neck. There are some major skin concerns to be worried about for those who are constantly on their phone:
According to Allure, “Constantly staring down at your cell keyboard for long periods of time can cause ‘techneck’, or wrinkles underneath the chin and around the neck, squinting at the too-small text can also cause crow’s feet around the eyes.” So using your phone all the time, whether on break during work, at home, or before going to bed can lead to wrinkles because of the position we put our head when it comes to checking your phone. Of course you can always try putting your phone in the air, but careful, slippery hands may lead to a phone slap to the head. Although you may not see it happen at a fast pace but staring down at your phone can lead to early signs of wrinkles, which can be prevented! Try using our Clear Essence Anti-Aging Complexion Soap with Alpha Hydroxy Acid. The soap helps regenerate your skin a lot faster by removing dead skin cells and still giving you soft and radiant skin. The soap contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which helps mature normal, oily, or dry skin. Use this to stop “techneck” from creating premature wrinkles!
Have you ever seen your phone after you get off a phone call, and it’s all shiny from your hair and face? Keep in mind that’s only what you’re seeing, fact is, there’s so much more on your phone that you can’t even see. According to Mic, “Our phones are actually dirtier than the bottom of our shoes or a toilet seat. One study found an 80% match between the germs on our fingers and our phones, meaning everything we touch ends up on our screens… and then on our faces when we make a call.” Our phones are as dirty as our shoes and feet…if that doesn’t gross you out then pay no attention to this message—a clean cell, means cleaner skin cells! In order to prevent acne, keep your phone clean—use a sanitary wipe, with little to no alcohol to clean your phone case. POPSUGAR has some helpful and tech-friendly tips on how to clean your actual phone, without damaging any sensitive parts. Now, just because you cleaned your phone, should not give you an excuse to not wash your face, in fact, washing your face should be a daily routine! Use the Clear Essence Platinum Line Medicated Cleansing Bar, which helps remove bacteria and oils from your face and body. Use the soap not only to prevent cellphone bacteria from staying on your face, but also by removing dead skin cells for a blemish free complexion. Lastly, HealthCentral recommends using your speaker button, but if you are not into having everyone listen in on your conversation, then use head phones, or a Bluetooth headset—anything that will keep contact from your phone to your face. But, if you are going to put your phone to your face, then try not to apply so much pressure, then you’ll have all those oils and bacteria stuck on your face!
- Undereye Circles
Allure states, “The blue glow emanating from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens can throw off your internal sleep rhythms, meaning it’s harder to fall asleep and you spend less time in REM sleep. Not to mention the incessant notification chimes from social media, emails, and texts.” In other words, everytime you’re on Twitter checking to see what’s trending at 3 A.M. (you’d be surprised) your skin is reacting by creating dark circles near your eyes! So when you go to bed, turn your phone on silent, your beauty sleep is more important then what your friend might have to say—might. Try to put your phone away from your bed or if possible in another room and invest in an old fashioned alarm clock from Amazon. If you are incapable of putting your phone down at night, we recommend using the Clear Essence Platinum Line Skin Lightening Serum, which helps reduce dark circles in areas such as your eyes. It also helps areas such as hyperpigmentation and dark spots, which again, may be caused by cellphones because of the heat your phone emits and when you talk on the phone for large amounts of time!
Throughout the course of our life, we will always be told to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. But we never really think about how exercising affects our skin positively and negative. We get sidetracked by our muscles and whether we’re meeting our body goals, but do you ever think how our skin reacts to exercise? According to The New York Times, “After age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier stratum corneums and thicker dermis layers in their skin. Their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age, even if they were past age 65.” What researchers found was that rather than aging at a normal pace, people who exercise routinely were more likely to reduce wrinkling, and even have skin similar to younger age groups. Therefore, if you wish to stay wrinkle free, exercise should be incorporated in your lifestyle, not only because it makes you look younger, but it’s also a healthy habit that we can all use. Exercising can also help reduce acne as WebMD states, “Physical activity also helps your skin by increasing your blood circulation, which sends more oxygen to your skin cells and carries cell waste away.” Therefore, exercising can be beneficial to your skin, but it also requires more supervision of your skin. According to SHAPE, there are a couple of consequences if you’re not properly prepared when it comes to exercising such as:
- Runner’s Face
Just like how more oxygen may help your skin cells, it can also damage it. Too much oxygen may lead to elasticity damage which may ultimately cause wrinkles, or as SHAPE calls it “Runner’s face”
- Premature Sagging Breasts
Although a good workout may just be a quick jog, jogging without proper support may lead to sagging breasts much quicker. Although there are a plethora of sport bra styles to choose from now a days, it can be tricky to find one that actually supports your breasts, so remember comfort comes first!
- Sun Damage
Not wearing sufficient sunblock can lead to dry and damage skin cells which we should all know by now is bad, not just because it creates dryness and redness, but because sun damaged skin may lead to skin cancer! Always apply sunblock before and after a workout, and if you know you’re going to be exercising in the sun for a long period of time, try to wear a hat. Sun damage may also lead to dark spots which again, may occur if you don’t apply sunscreen, but we’re here to help you with that! Try our Clear Essence Platinum Line Medicated Fade Crème with Sunscreen! The crème works to help reduce dark spots and also prevent them by having a base of SPF 15. While protecting your skin, it also helps even out skin tone by fading discolorations.
Chafing occurs when your skin rubs against each other causing a painful irritation, and even redness. By staying dry with body deodorants or dressing so that your inner thighs or your arms don’t rub against each other, you can prevent chafing.
You can find out more about ways to keep your skin clean while working out and tips at our blog entry under “Skin Care and Sports.”
For those who seek adventure through travel, your skin takes a couple of setbacks when it comes to sitting in an airplane ride with recycled air. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Dr. Bruce E. Katz states, “the pressurized environment of a plane is totally unnatural and completely sucks moisture out of the skin, leaving it looking dehydrated and dull.” Now just imagine—athletes from around the world are competing to Rio, and a flight to Rio from the U.S. is about 16 hours from Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro. Can you imagine how your skin must feel after all that traveling? Of course you’re going to want to take some selfies wherever it is you travel so here are a couple of tips in helping your skin survive traveling:
- Moisturize—night before, day of, in route, after—moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
The night before you’re going to basically prevent dehydration by applying a mask that will nourish and moisturize, so that when you get on the plane, your skin will be prepped for the plane environment. We recommend the Clear Essence Platinum Line Skin Beautifying Milk which helps even out skin tones from skin discolorations, as well as moisturize dry and cracked skin.
- Minimize Makeup—focus more on your skin routine
We all want to look like Kim Kardashian when she walks out of an airport, but make up should be the least of your concerns when you’re heading out on your flight. Focus more on bringing essentials such as a travel size misting spray, and oil blotting papers. Also remember to pack in your suitcase your basic necessities for cleaning your face when you get to your destination—cleansers, toners, treatments, and moisturizer.
According to Carmina from Huffington Post, “UV rays are stronger at high altitudes and pass through airplane windows. So I apply loads of sunscreen, or SPF moisturizer.” So next time you want to look out the airplane window, remember to apply not only sunscreen, but a stylish pair of shades wouldn’t hurt anyone! SPF is not only important for on flight, but if you know your destination is known for its hot weather, then packing sunscreen is essential, because your skin has higher possibilities of sun damage because of the flights as well.
Lastly, drinking water from the night before the flight, all the way to the end of the trip is going to help your skin not only stay hydrated, but it’s also going to help you stay energized and have tons of more fun while out exploring the world!
Last week, we mentioned how lifestyles affect your skin such as your sleep cycle, make up, and diet. This week we’re focusing on other lifestyles which may leave you wanting to make a couple of changes to the way you live, starting with your cellphone: Cellphones Technology has come a long way. Every two years, […]
When it comes to acne, we tend to focus on getting the blemish to disappear and how it only happens in adolescents. Some of us are guilty of popping their own pimples, or get pimples still in their late 20s-30s. After popping the pimple, then you realize that it’s taking even longer, and now, you’ll have a darkspot there for a long time to remind you of the consequences for being impatient over a pimple. Dark spots occur when the area that they appear has been damaged, which causes those areas to create melanin. According to News Medical, “Melanin is responsible for determining skin and hair color and is present in the skin to varying degrees, depending on how much a population has been exposed to the sun historically.” So the more melanin you have, the darker your skin tone, which means that if your skin already has high melanin levels, dark spots on dark skin tones create even more excessive melanin levels, which may cause hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation however is different, in which rather than spots, the excess melanin levels create patches of darker skin, which again is caused by skin damage. There are three basic types of hyperpigmentation, which is essential in knowing so that not only can you treat them properly, but you can learn what causes them, and how to prevent it. According to wikiHow these are the three most common forms of hyperpigmentation:
These are dark spots caused by exposure to UV rays from the sun. 90 percent of people over the age of 60 have them, but many much younger men and women have sun-related dark spots as well. The spots appear scattered in no particular pattern.
This type of dark spots are caused by hormonal fluctuations. Women might see darker splotches appear on their cheeks during times when their hormones are in flux, like during pregnancy or menopause. It’s also a side effect of birth control pills and hormone therapy treatments. Melasma can also occur as a result of thyroid dysfunction .
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
These are dark spots that occur as a result of trauma to the skin, which can be caused by psoriasis, burns, acne, and certain skin care treatments that are hard on the skin.
There are many known causes of dark spots, such as picking at your face, or the ones slightly mentioned above by wikiHow such as sun exposure, hormones, skin trauma. Knowing what causes dark spots is important in order to not only help you stop them, but it also helps prevent them by making changes to your lifestyle. Some of the causes provided by Cosmopolitan may shock you because they involve our daily routines:
- Your Computer
That’s right, your computer, laptop, TV screen, or even your cellphone can cause dark spots to occur. Sitting in front of these types of screens for a long amount of time may cause dark spots because of the uncovered fluorescent lights.
- Birth Control
Hormone changes can cause issues such as acne and melanin levels to up and down. The higher the hormone levels in your birth control, the higher the chance of dark spots to occur.
- Not Wearing Enough Sunscreen—Even in the Winter
Even if it’s 60 degrees outside, we should all be wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen is required even on cloudy days because UVA/UVB rays continue to shine down on us. So if you don’t wear sunscreen, sunburns and sun damage ultimately affects our skin which again may lead to skin damage, such as hyperpigmentation, or worse, skin cancer.
- Your Diet
Your diet should include a dose of folic acid, which are supplements which not only help our skin out, but according to the University of Maryland Medical System “folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health.” So not only can lack of folic acid in our diet can cause hyperpigmentation and dark spots, but it can also affect the body’s functions.
- Facial Hair Removal
Certain hair removal creams or waxing can cause skin discoloration and dark spots because of the chemicals included in the process.
- Citrus Products
When using facial washes or products such as our Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Perfecting Fade Serum it’s very important to not only apply sunscreen after use, but to wait at least 15 minutes after applying sunscreen to go outside. The reason being is that citrus fruits have high toxic levels, so if you go outside while the sun is out, there is a possibility of your skin having a toxic reaction which may lead to severe hyperpigmentation.
Now before you close your computer screen shut, know that there are ways to prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation. And yes limiting computer screen time is one of them, though we all know that’s a tough one. Preventing dark spots is not only necessary, but it also helps keep melanin levels balanced so that there is less possibilities of your skin having dark spots. Another way to prevent dark spots is to help lower possibilities of break outs and acne in the first place. Here are a good couple of tips:
- Eat Healthy
Cosmopolitan mentioned earlier that in order to have clear skin, you have to eat properly. That being said, Clear Essence’s article on Summer Skin Care: Dos and Don’ts includes a list of some key ingredients that not only would go great with any salad but with most dishes as well such as broccoli, asparagus, avocado, strawberries, and many more. BBCgoodfood also includes of some of the main vitamins your skin needs and more specifically what foods to avoid that can cause acne. Eating healthy is not only said to help the body internally, but externally as well. Eating the right amount of vitamins can help benefit your skin from dark spots occurring, but it also helps strengthen your skin from sun damage and any other possible dangers such as infections.
- Choose the Right Routine for Your Skin
We all have different skin types and skin tones, so knowing what your skin type falls under, may help you find the right the product for breakouts and overall help your skin stay fresh and clean. Not sure what your skin type is? Check out Renee Rouleau’s skin type quiz which gives you details of not only what your main skin care is, but details on what occurs to your skin and ways to prevent it. It’s important to adopt a skin routine because our face can be at risk of bacteria and infections, so having a daily beauty routine both day and night not only achieves fresh and clean skin, but it helps prevent bacteria from building up and leading to acne or infections.
- Sunscreen, Sunblock, Sun Protection
Sunscreen should be included in everyone’s beauty regime—period. Although darker skin tones have SPF built in their skin, it’s not enough to protect your skin from the sun. Look at it this way—our body is protected by our skin which is like a “body guard” but sunscreen guards our skin from damage. So, protected skin means stronger skin cells, and stronger skin cells means stronger protection for our body. So if you know you’re going to be out and it’s partly cloudy or a nice sunny day, wear sunscreen and if possible a hat, or an umbrella. You can never have too much protection for your skin! Hawaiian Tropic helps explain what is the minimal SPF someone should use based off their skin type, and the effects of too much sun exposure, and how often you should reapply sunscreen. If you’re worried about sunscreen making your skin oily or dry, The Times of India has some helpful tips on what kind of product to look for based off your skin type. It’s important to use sunscreen, not only because of potential dark spots, but sun damage can lead to skin cancer, so use sunscreen daily!
Confidence should be a part of anyone’s beauty regime, so whether you’re comfortable with your dark spots or not, strive for comfort. If you’re not comfortable with your dark spots, know that there are affordable products that help fade away dark spots. Clear Essence strives to let the real you shine through, which means having confidence by achieving radiant and beautiful skin. Clear Essence offers products that not only help fade away dark spots, but also help protect skin from the sun, and help with acne.
This cleansing bar is used for not only for the face but areas of the body that are affected by acne and blemishes. The soap cleanses out bacteria, dirt, and oils and is good for all skin types and skin tones. The bar has natural ingredients such as sulfur and wheat germ that works to clean out dead skin cells and help create radiant skin. Use this to cleansing bar to cleanse and clean the face, and then apply treatment, and of course don’t forget to moisturize! Prevent dark spots from ever happening by keeping your face clean!
This is a medicated treatment which helps hyperpigmentation, skin discoloration and acne scars for normal to dry skin. The crème helps even out skin tone and fade dark spots with the formula that contains hydroquinone. Oh yeah, did we mention that it contains UVA/UVB SPF 15? So not only will you be fighting against your dark spots, but the formula also helps prevent future dark spots! Use this product after cleansing your face and then use a moisturizer.
This moisturizing lotion not only helps dry spots, but it also helps even out skin tone by preventing dry spots by creating an even toned glow. This best seller focuses on locking in moisture so that not only can dark spots be prevented, but it helps out with dryness and discoloration using hydroquinone and botanical extracts. Use this product after cleansing and applying your treatment.
It is important to love the skin you’re in, and have your confidence show every time you walk into a room. Not only should we be concerned about our skin, but most importantly, how our skin reacts helps identify how our health overall is. As mentioned earlier, having a good diet not only helps skin, but it helps our bodies prevent from eating foods that affect us not only physically but mentally as well. You don’t want to worry about a dark spot happening right? So limit computer time, eat your fruits and veggies, wear sunscreen, and find the right beauty regime for your skin type and skin tone. Most importantly, don’t let a pimple or dark spot stress you out and affect your vibes. Stay positive, and you too can achieve confidence and glow like a firework.
When it comes to acne, we tend to focus on getting the blemish to disappear and how it only happens in adolescents. Some of us are guilty of popping their own pimples, or get pimples still in their late 20s-30s. After popping the pimple, then you realize that it’s taking even longer, and now, you’ll […]
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 […]
When it comes to summer, sales of sunblock dramatically increase due to the presence of the sun; it’s the time of the year that sunblock should be worn. But, did it ever occur to you that maybe sunblock should be applied every day of the year? Although summer is supposed to be the hottest time of the year and Earth is closer to the sun, the sun still shines every day, so why not wear sunblock every day? And even when the sun doesn’t shine, there are other factors that cause damage to our skin. Therefore, it is important to use sunscreen, not just in in the summer, but every single day of the year, even when it’s cold out, because beautiful, radiant, and healthy skin depends upon it.
Why wear sunblock?
The obvious reason to wear sunblock is to prevent damaging our skin, however, there are certain myths that prevent people from applying sunblock. According to Huffington Post Dr. Wendy Roberts, a board certified dermatopathologist, states the benefits of sunblock such as:
“1. The ozone layer is depleting and your body needs shielding from harmful rays.
- Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer.
- It helps to prevent facial brown spots and skin discolorations.
- It slows down the development of wrinkled, premature aging skin.”
Although global warming is a separate issue at hand, it individually affects us because of our skin’s reaction to the extent of the ozone layer letting in more rays that may potentially cause more damage to our skin now more than ever. Therefore, wearing sunblock is essential and should be worn everyday because every season fluctuates as the ozone layer continues to diminish. Everyone should also be well aware of the permanent damage to your skin—skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.” It is more likely for someone to get skin cancer, than any other form of skin cancer, meaning the protection of our skin needs to be a priority for every single person. By being aware of the risks of skin cancer, such awareness can help save someone’s life, from possible skin cancers such as melanoma; so start applying! Another benefit from skin cancer, as mentioned from Dr. Roberts is the prevention from dark spots and discolorations. Although discolorations do not exactly harm your skin, it does take a long time for the discolorations to go away, therefore by using sunscreen, there is no need to even worry about such spots. However, according to www.newbeauty.com:
“Hyperpigmentation can affect all skin tones—but it runs rampant in those with darker skin. The reason: the darker the skin, the more active the melanocytes are because of naturally high melanin levels. ‘The cause of it doesn’t influence the severity of your discoloration but the severity of your hyperpigmentation is shaped by your skin tone,’ says Washington, D.C., dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, MD.”
Although every skin tone and skin type is likely to get discoloration and hyperpigmentation on the skin, dark skin is more likely to get hyperpigmentation on the skin, compared to other skin tones because of the melanin levels that dark skin tones contain. So the myth that “the darker the skin, the less you need to wear sunscreen” is false! Everyone, especially dark skin tones should be wearing sunblock. Women’s Health states, “Black skin has the equivalent of about an SPF 13.4 (compared with 3.4 for white skin).” So although the minimum SPF worn should be SPF 15, it is better safe than sorry to wear sunblock because our skin needs to be protected, and sometimes, our skin may not be enough to get the job done. Lastly, let’s not forget that sun damage creates premature aging, and although aging skin is beautiful, many would love to prolong visible signs of aging. CNN explains that “regular sunscreen use protects against photoaging: the wrinkling, spotting and loss of elasticity caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.” So again, the amount of sunscreen worn and wearing it earlier in life benefits skin from aging at a faster rate. So now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the types of sunscreen that are provided to us.
What kind of sunscreen and other sun protection should I use?
Although the face and body tends to be the number one priority for sunblock, it’s not the only part of the body that gets sun damage. Apart from applying sunblock, on the body, there should be protection from the very roots of your hair, all the way down to the toes on your feet. Although a hat would be best recommended, in the instance where a hat is not the best accessory for the outfit of the day, Essence has provided tips for protecting your hair for preventing sun damage such as:
“1. Use SPF! Use hair products with SPF in them, they will coat the cuticle in order to shield from harsh rays. Be sure to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of any build up.
- Try Shower Filters!Some of our showers have chlorine in them, try adding a shower filter for when you are washing your hair. The chlorine will strip hair of the moisture it needs to stay healthy.
- Rinse With Cold Water“After you condition or co-wash, rinse with cold water to close the cuticle, that way nothing can penetrate the cuticle to damage the hair,” says Redway.”
Although it hardly ever gets mentioned, there are actual hair products that contain SPF! However, like makeup products, the lighter the SPF the higher the amount of application is needed, so if necessary, one can never go wrong with hat. If hats are still not convincing, look into cold showers and shower filters. When it comes to the water used for showering, in most cases it contains chlorine that damage hair, therefore reducing nutrients needed to protect hair follicles fro
m the sun. A filter would then strip chlorine from the water, so just try using cold water when conditioning, and everything else will be good to go! In regards to feet, dermatologist Leslie Baumann also explains on www.youbeauty.com that “’The skin on the tops of the feet is thinner than the skin on legs,’ she explains. ’Sun damage here can range from rough texture and fine lines to pigment changes.’ If you spent most of your youth running around outside while barefoot, you can start to see premature aging as early as your 20s” Apart from other weird places to get sun damage, Baumann explains that feet can also get premature aging characteristics, which is why sunscreen is essential when wearing revealing shoes. It’s also easier to get sunburnt feet because of the skin is much thinner there, causing feet to be a lot more sensitive to the sun. Any kind of sunscreen can be used for feet, however, since it is a lot thinner skin, the higher the better! The world is seen through beautiful eyes, so protect them with sunglasses! Eyes are also at risk of eyelid cancer when not protected accordingly. Of course, many know that sunglasses are the best accessory to add to any outfit! Still not sure about what kind of sunscreen to use on your body? Check out Michelle Phan’s Guide to Sunscreen, which explains what to look for depending skin tone and skin type. However, the Skin Cancer Organization emphasizes that though darker skins tend to have that “chalky” characteristic when applying sunblock, the organization explains
“Darker-skinned people may also be wary of using physical sunscreens, especially titanium-based products, because they can look chalky and white on the skin. Newer preparations, however, tend to be micronized, which means the particles are small enough to allow them to blend in and disappear into the skin. Chemical sunscreens are also an option; look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15+.”
Therefore, when it comes down to shopping for a sunscreen, choose a product that’s uniquely crafted based off the skin tone and skin type that best fits. If still unsure, feel free to consult with a physician, or dermatologist.
When should I use it?
Again, there’s a myth that summer is the only time to use sunscreen, but in reality, it should be used 365 days a year. Every season though, winter can be cold and snowy, should have sunblock included in a beauty regime. Why? According to Vogue, dermatologist Dendy Engelman, found that “pigment cells can be stimul ated not only by the sun’s bright UV rays, but even by lower doses of ambient and infrared light, emitted by your computer screen or overhead lamp.” Construction or office job, sunscreen should be applied daily. Not only can computer rays, affect the skin, but society today relies heavily on cellphones, so people who use cellphones with a high brightness, beware—this can damage skin cells. Now it does sound silly and possibly a little extreme, but the evidence is there, being in an office environment can potentially lead to skin damage if sunscreen is not applied. Let’s not also forget the drive home, where the sun may give just the right lighting for a nice selfie, but that lighting is strong enough to create skin damage. Therefore, it is recommended to try to reduce exposure from the sun mid-afternoon, the time when it is more likely for high sun exposure.
Does Clear Essence carry SPF products?
Clear Essence works hard to help people with dark skin find products that not only have SPF 15 but also help with hyperpigmentation from sun damage. Below is a list of products that contain SPF 15 and help reduce scars from sun damage:
The inclusion of sunscreen protects and shields skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays that tends to cause problems with pigmentation and uneven darkening of dark skin tones. The Skin Beautifying Milk effectively smoothes and fades away skin discoloration.
After using Clear Essence Skin Beautifying Milk, use this all over body lotion to protect and maintain your skin tone. This specially formulated blend has added SPF 15 to prevent future discolorations and damage from harsh elements and the sun’s UV rays. This is the perfect daily moisturizer to keep your skin silky, smooth, and even-toned.
When it comes to summer, sales of sunblock dramatically increase due to the presence of the sun; it’s the time of the year that sunblock should be worn. But, did it ever occur to you that maybe sunblock should be applied every day of the year? Although summer is supposed to be the hottest time […]