With all the information all over the internet about cosmetic chemicals to avoid it can get a bit confusing…
Are parabens really harmful? what is a cosmetic chemical? are preservatives needed? these are common questions that may come to mind.
Although there are a number of synthetics that should be avoided I’ve come up with a list of some of the key ingredients to stay away from when shopping for skin care/cosmetics. The best approach when trying to make the right decisions, is to ask questions and make sure you know what you’re buying.
Stay away from these commonly used cosmetic chemicals in your products:
-Sulfates and derivatives of – these are synthetic detergents
-Synthetic Dyes, Colors, Fragrances
-Lead – commonly found in lipstick
-Formaldehyde found in certain preservatives
-Chemical Sunscreens – such as Oxybenzone
-Ethyl acetate – used as a solvent in many skin care products & can be found in paint thinner too !
-Triclosan – anti-bacterial agent ‘ – used as a preservative
-Synthetic oils such as mineral oil(derived from petrochemicals)
-Ammonia compounds – such as DEA
-Stearalkonium chloride – anti-static agent found in hair conditioners
-Synthetic Silicones - used in creams, lotions, serums to give a silky feel
Do you have a question about cosmetic chemical? post it here or send me a message.
We all want to have healthy youthful skin and in order to achieve this it’s important to have the right skin care regime and products that will provide you the benefits you desire. In today’s blog I’m sharing with you some of the common skin care mistakes people make to help provide some guidance on how you can avoid these and make better choices.
Top Common Skin Care Mistakes:
1. You pick your skin care line based on media hype. Did you select the line you are using based on how popular it is in the media? This is a common mistake. Remember the quality of a skin care line and it’s benefits is not a reflection of how many TV ad’s or magazines it has been featured in.
TIP: Pick a product based on it’s authentic ingredients and track record of working to offer benefits to the skin vs how many times you have seen the advertisement on TV.
2. You are skipping key steps in your skin care regime:
i. Cleansing. Soap is a big no no! If you want to care for your skin naturally, you should opt for using a proper skin care cleanser. The cleanser you use should be free of sulfates and other synthetic detergents, mineral oil, fragrance, alcohol, and ingredients derived from petrochemicals. These are all very drying to the skin and can cause irritation as well as loss of moisture. As we transition from one season to another (example; summer to fall/winter) it’s important to consider changing your cleanser. For example if you tend to get dry and irritated skin during the colder months opt for a cleanser to use during this time that contains natural oil such as olive, apricot kernel, or jojoba. A natural creamy based cleanser that is free of synthetic detergents is a good choice.
If your skin is oily/acne prone try to avoid a cleanser that contains sulfates and alcohol as these will cause areas of dryness on the skin.
ii. You Don’t Exfoliate. The surface of the skin accumulates dry, dead skin cells and impurities. Not removing these can lead to a dull complexion, dehydration of the skin, skin irritations and uneven skin tone/texture. Exfoliation should be done an average 2 to 3 times per week depending on skin type.
For the body exfoliation especially for those with dry skin is an important step to incorporate at least twice a week. For body care steer aware from sugar and salt scrubs that are very course as these can cause skin irritations.
For facial care choose exfoliation products created with gentle natural grains such as apricot seed powder(vs ground shells), mineral clays, fruit enzymes, jojoba beads. These will gently remove the accumulated cells without aggravating the skin.
For those with sensitive or acne prone skin that cannot use any scrub on their skin, choosing a product that contains a natural fruit enzyme (pineapple or papaya for example) will gently dissolve dry/dead skin cells that have accumulated without you having to use a product containing exfoliation grains
3. You chose a product just because it’s Organic. The word organic is used quite often as a marketing gimmick and in some cases doesn’t really have much to do with benefits to the skin. In some cases it’s not as important if a ingredient used in the skin care product is organic or not vs how the ingredient is processed.
Make your product selections based on proven benefits. Trying it for 1 to 2 weeks should give you a clear idea if the product actually works for you.
4. For those with acne prone skin – You chose products that get rid of the acne by drying it out vs healing it which is a common mistake. Many products made for acne prone skin contain ingredients such as Salicylic acid and Benzoyl peroxide. While these can help to reduce acne they also create areas of dryness as well.
It’s best for those with acne prone skin to select products that are free of these ingredients as well as alcohol. Opt for products needed daily that heal the skin by acting as a natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Ingredients such as; vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, floral waters, fresh seaweed, witch hazel, toning plant extracts such as green tea, and gentle mineral clays are some examples of ingredients that can gently heal the acne without drying the skin.
5. Moisturizing Myths - It’s important to moisturizer daily but many people pick moisturizers that contain ingredients which can actually be drying to the skin. Ingredients such as beeswax, mineral oil, propylene glycol, fragrance, and many others are commonly used in moisturizer which should be avoided.
If you have dry skin, select a moisturizer that has been created with natural cold pressed oils such as; olive, jojoba, sweet almond. To target signs of age a moisturizer contain quality anti-oxidants in the right forms such as vitamin c(l-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) , vitamin e(d-alpha tocopherol), green tea, acai, retinol to name a few.
6. Professional Facials: Another common skin care mistake is to avoid getting a professional facial. Everyone is watching their spending these days so getting a spa facial may not be a top priority depending on your budget. It is recommended that you try and incorporate a professional spa facial at least once at the beginning on a new season. If possible try to get a professional facial once every 2 to 3months.
For those with dry and mature skin types a professional facial can help to remove additional accumulated dry/dead skin cells and use products/technique which allows certain ingredients in the products to penetrate further into the skin where repair and renewal can take place. For this skin type including a procedure called microdermabrasion into the spa facial is recommended.
For those with oily or acne prone skin that contain large pores, blackheads and frequent breakouts a professional facial is important to remove the blockages and black or white heads and to provide healing for the acne.
Another benefit in having a spa facial is the person conducting the facial would be a qualified and certified esthetician(make sure of this before you book the treatment). Someone with this background can provide you guidance on what type of products would be best suited for your skin type.
7. Body Care – A big mistake people make when caring for their skin is to address just the skin on the face and not treat the skin on the body. The skin on the body is prone to signs of age, uneven texture, cellulite, dryness, and other skin concerns. It’s important to properly cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize the body daily using the tips above. Another great step to add to your weekly body care regime is dry brushing as this helps to stimulate circulation and improve skin’s tone/texture.
I should add that one of the top common mistakes many make is to not wear sunscreen and to also not using the right SPF. Remember that even during the colder months when it’s sunny out sunscreen should still be worn. There are more natural sunscreen’s available often at your local health food/vitamin stores.
Well I could go on and on but I will leave you with these above tips and do hope that you have found them helpful. Remember if you have any questions, comments please feel free to post them here and I will respond. Thank you. Sherina.
In this blog post I’m going to share with you some of my favorite raw natural ingredients which when used topically on the skin can help protect, heal, and repair your skin from the damaging effects of the sun!
To prevent pre-mature aging on the skin we all know that sunscreen is a must but now more than ever many of us are searching for more natural alternatives to the common synthetic based sun protection products.
So are there really natural ways to protect the skin from sun damage? I believe Mother Nature has gifted us with all we need to keep our skin and body healthy and youthful from the inside out!
You may be surprised at some of the ingredients listed below which have the natural ability to provide protection, repair and renewal of the skin during and after long term sun exposure.
Raw Ingredients with naturally occurring sun protection:
While these may not replace a sunscreen they do offer a level of sun protection along with a range of other benefits to the skin and are a great addition to your daily summer skin care regime.
i. Exotic Raw Butters:
There are some exotic butters while not well known for their ability to protect the sun from UVA/UVB have the ability to do so naturally. These butter include; Mango Butter, Shea, and Capuacu to name a few. Butters also have the ability to repair, nourish, heal and deeply moisturize and are ideal to use on dry, sun damaged skin.
*Some products on the market that contain butters also contain synthetic ingredients such as mineral oils which tend to dry out the skin even more. Opt for more natural based products which contain some of these butters in their pure form or you can use them in their raw concentrated form.
ii. Natural oils:
Certain oils can provide a natural SPF to the skin ranging from 2 up till 6. In addition, oils can offer other benefits such as moisturizing, skin healing/repair, and providing needed nutrients. Some oils I recommend to use for this added protection and other benefits are: Coconut, Raspberry Seed, Safflower, Wheat Germ & Jojoba. These are also great to use as an after sun care treatment to replenish and revitalize dry, sun burned skin.
iii. Natural Beeswax:
Yes this ingredient actually contains naturally occurring sun protection!
This superfood is known for its high levels of anti-oxidant which help to prevent premature aging and reduce signs of age by repairing free radical damage. Acai Berries are also rich in omega fatty acids and have the natural ability to offer sun protection!
Natural Sunscreens: Is it possible to get full sun protection from both UVA/UVB rays from a natural sun screen? YES!
Some key ingredients to look for in a natural sun screen are:
i. Active SPF: Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide
**There are some companies that claim to have an “all natural” sunblock but use chemical sunscreens such as; Avobenzone and Octinoxate. Avobenzone is often not very stable and can break down easily when exposed to light. Octinoxate may not be enough of a sunblock on its own and is often combined with Zinc Oxide to offer a wider spectrum of coverage.
ii. Inactive Ingredients:
In addition to the butters, Acai and natural oils, other ingredients which can be beneficial when used in a natural sunscreen formula are: Aloe Vera Pure, Seaweed, Rose Hip Seed, Carrot oil, Vitamin C, Green Tea, Vitamin E, Olivate(from pure olive oil), essential oils such as Chamomile and Lavender.
As mentioned, some of these inactive ingredients are beneficial when used on the skin directly in raw form or when added to a sunscreen formula as they offer added protecting, moisturizing benefits, free radical damage repair, and also can help to calm, soothe and re-hydrate. Many of these inactive ingredients are also highly beneficial when used for after care and can be found in products such as face/body masks, moisturizers, and serums.
The key to healthy skin care this summer is to incorporate a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 to 30 and to try and select a formula that is as natural as possible containing some of the key ingredients above. Do try to include in your daily summer skin care regime a few of the above ingredients in their raw form or in a finished product to enhance sun protection and for their many additional benefits. Oh and don’t forget to exfoliate to slough off that dry/dead skin 2 to 3 times per week!
If you have any specific questions about your skin care concerns please contact me directly
(see the Ask Sherina link)
Products from my Beauty Through Balance spa line which can provide protection, repair & renewal from sun exposure include: All products The organic Acai Berry Series, Bio-Complex Face & Neck Serum(new), Green Tea Indian Spice Body Serum(new), Seaweed Body Butter, Pacific Seaweed Concentrate Soak, Hydra Skin Renewal Gel to name a few. Click here for further details www.beautythroughbalance.ca
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We have all heard about the benefits of using skin care products that contain Vitamin C but did you know that some forms of Vitamin C are not as stable in a cosmetic formula and therefore end up oxidizing very quickly leaving you with reduced benefits? With summer upon us this ingredient can be one of your best tools to prevent sun damage and related signs of age but the key is to pick a product that uses the right form and concentration for maximum results.
Why all the hype about Vitamin C for anti-aging?
First I’d like to briefly mention why Vitamin C(ascorbic acid) is beneficial when used in cosmetic skin care formulas. As we age our levels of free radical damage increase due to long term exposure to factors such as pollutants, the sun, chemicals, prescription drugs and a poor lifestyle. In a nut shell these free radicals (unpaired and unstable electrons) lead to cell damage causing loss of collagen, elasticity and causing wrinkling of the skin. To counter act some of the damage caused from the environmental exposure we turn to anti-oxidants which have been scientifically proven to bring results.
Vitamin C is one of the most commonly used in cosmetics formulas in the form of L-Ascorbic acid however as mentioned overtime from exposure to the air and other factors the level of Vitamin C in the product can oxidize leaving you with a much lower percentage concentration. Formulators/Cosmetic Chemists have been working on developing and utilizing different forms of Vitamin C that appear to be more stable. Despite this L-Ascorbic acid is still beneficial however in order for the product to be effective it should contain a higher percentage of this ingredient( effective formulas using L-Ascorbic add in between 5 to 20% depending on the product and formula)
Here are some forms of Vitamin C you can look for in a natural skin care/anti-aging product which will oxidize much slower in turn providing you the anti-oxidant benefits your skin needs:
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate:
Since this form of Vitamin C is water soluble is tends to be more stable in an aqueous or water based environment. As many creams and lotion products contain water this form of Vitamin C is ideal, however as with all vitamin C’s , it will still oxidize overtime from exposure to air and light. This form is also less of a skin irritant so can often be used even with those that have more sensitive skin. In addition, unlike L-Ascorbic acid a smaller percentage of this form of C is needed in a formula to bring results such as increased collagen.
Other’s to look for in a quality anti-aging product are: ascorbyl palmitate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate
The bottom line? if you want to keep your skin healthy, reduce inflammation and reverse signs of age Vitamin C is one of the best to address these specific issues. Just always be aware of the form of C used in your skin care and the concentration. Store your Vitamin C based products away from direct heat and sunlight for a longer shelf life.
My Beauty Through Balance spa line incorporates quality stable Vitamin C in several formulas including; Glacial Revitalizing Mist, Hydra Skin Renwal Gel Mask, Seaweed Body Butter, and Acai Facial Care products!
Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions about this or any other skin care related issues.