Skincare Fiction- All Natural Means Better

The organic and vegan community are very passionate about using natural and organic ingredients in their skincare and beauty products. I think they’re coming from a good place but the information they’ve been given by skincare bloggers and youtubers is often based on false information. So let’s seperate fact from fiction.

Some natural ingredients are GREAT for skin but that doesn’t mean that all of the are good.

Many natural and organic ingredients in skincare products can cause irritation and sensitivity to our skin and build up over time.

Some natural and organic ingredients can actually breakdown our skin’s ability to defend itself against environmental damage. The main culprits are fragrance (natural & synthetic) and essential oils, which are lovely aromatherapy treatments but never ingredients that should be used on our skin.

Many of us believe if we don’t see signs of irritation on our skin, then we are the exception. However, our skin is very tricky and can hide signs of irritation in the deeper layers of the skin.

Natural and organic ingredients to avoid lie the plague are:

  • Some Alcohol
  • Allspice
  • Almond extract
  • Angelica
  • Arnica
  • Balm mint oil
  • Balsam
  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus juices or oils
  • Clove
  • Clover blossom
  • Coriander oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Cypress
  • Fennel
  • Fir needle
  • Geranium oil
  • Grapefruit
  • Ground up nuts
  • Horsetail
  • Lavender oil
  • Lemon
  • Lemon balm
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Marjoram
  • Oak bark
  • Papaya
  • Peppermint
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Witch hazel
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang

Natural products to embrace:

  • Clays
  • Chamomile
  • Bisabolol
  • Seaweed
  • Kaolin
  • Amino acids
  • Ceramides
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Grapes
  • Green tea
  • Chocolate
  • Licorice
  • Oats
  • Soy
  • Willow Herb
  • Coconut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Shea butter
  • Honey
  • Mica
  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Argan oil
  • Carnauba wax
  • Meadowfoam
  • Rice Bran oil
  • Turmeric
  • Rosa canina Fruit oil
  • Palm oil
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Corn oil
  • Glycerin
  • Lecithin
  • Aloe vera
  • Jojoba oil
  • Pomegranate
  • Algae extracts
  • Sea whip extract
  • Feverfew extract
  • Bearberry
  • Mulberry
  • White tea
  • Cocoa butter
  • Sesame oil
  • Borage oil
  • Ubiquinone
  • Acai oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B3
  • Goji Berry
  • Coffeeberry extract
  • Evening Primrose oil
  • Tamanu Oil
  • Curcumins
  • Silybum marianum extract

(Full list derived from Paula’s Choice website)

Now that you know the difference between fact and fiction, get out there and take the first steps towards healthier and stronger skin. Much love, xx

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Peptides- Overblown hype or a worthy skincare addition?

The research on peptides has exploded in the last few years and while some peptides are falsely marketed as the next coming of Jesus in the skincare community, there are a lot of remarkable peptides that are worth adding to your routine.

So, what the heck are peptides? Basically, they are fragments of protein found in your skin and are made up of amino acids (water-binding agents). Proteins are the building blocks of skin. So, think of peptides as the bricks that help your skin stay intact. No peptides = loss of firmness, appearance of wrinkles, texture changes, and skin that doesn’t bounce back the way it used to when you were younger. Peptides are the teachers of skin and you definitely want those bricks in the wall!!

I recently found out not to buy peptides that come in a water-based formula because the peptides become unstable. Another surprise is that peptides are vulnerable to attack by enzymes present in our skin and they can break the peptides down to the point where they become ineffective. The horror! But science is a wonder and chemists have been able to produce synthetic peptides in a lab, which are engineered to be more stable on and within skin. Therefore, lab engineered peptides are able to survive and thrive on the skin and help target aging skin concerns. Hooray!!

There are a plethora of amazing peptides on the market right now, and more and more are being made in labs. While they are definitely something that will help your skin keep its bounce long-term, they are not miracle workers; your skin still needs other ingredients to operate at optimal levels and it’s never going to replace cosmetic procedures (Debbie Downer over here) no matter how much we wish they could.

So, are peptides worth the hype? In short, yes. There are lots of peptides that are definitely worth incorporating into our skincare routine but there are some peptides, like copper peptides that are over-hyped and over-priced. So keep that in mind when you’re on the hunt for a peptide product. Great peptide serums are out there, like The Ordinary Buffet serum, their Matrixyl 10% serum, and Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster. The Ordinary Buffet + Copper 1% Serum won’t be one I purchase because from everything I’ve read, it’s a good skin-restoring peptide but not worth all the buzz it receives.

Peptides are worth the skincare investment and I’m loving the effects they’re having on my skin. Want to discuss more with me? Head on over to my instagram, talk to me and the rest of the mod squad in The Ordinary and Deciem chatroom, or leave a comment on this post. Love hearing from you.

Much love XX

Top Four Acne Busting Myths

This post is not in any way a shaming post.  I’ve done most, if not all of the mistakes listed below.  My goal is only to help you not make the same mistakes I made early on in my quest to calm and treat my acne.  I hope it helps.

Nope.  Just. No.  I’ve been down this road and it caused havoc on my skin and made my acne so much worse in the long term.  Deliberately drying up your skin by stripping moisture-binding substances on the skin’s surface hurts your skin’s ability to fight acne causing bacteria and encourages more breakouts, and unfortunately, causes post acne marks to stick around longer.  Be gentle with your skin.  Acne prone skin is sensitive skin and you need to treat it with kid gloves.  The best thing I ever did was to start using skin care products that are specifically formulated to calm, control acne bacteria, and speed up healing.  Check out the products and skin care routine that have worked best for me here.

Not true!  Dirt doesn’t cause acne. There are several factors that could be causing your acne, but dirt isn’t one of them.  Acne can be caused by hormonal fluctuations, internal inflamation, stress, hair care products, and defintely using harsh products to cleanse or harsh scrubs to exfoliate.  Using harsh scrubs, soaps, foaming face washes, and over-cleaning your face will inevitably create tight, dry, flaky, and aggravated skin.  Your skin is now in chaos mode and will over compensate by producing more oil and sebum, which will clog your pores and lead to painful breakouts.  Start embracing gentle cleansing.  Use a gentle cleanser in the morning, or don’t cleanse in the morning at all.  I no longer cleanse in the morning and have found it to be one of the most effective ways to balance my skin.  I only use a soft wash cloth and lukewarm water to cleanse in the morning. Use an oil cleanser at night to wash away make up and your sunscreen.  Make sure the oil cleanser doesn’t contain oils that are potentially pore-clogging.  I made this mistake with coconut oil.  Do your research.  Another great way to gently exfoliate your skin on a daily basis is to use a BHA product with one or two percent salysilic acid.  Salysic acid is derived from aspirin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It penetrates the oily layer of the skin and helps dislodge blackheads along with dead skin cells.  Beta hydroxy acids help unclog your pores, prevent pimples from forming, and keeps the skin smooth and clear.

I wish this was true but again, nope.  Spot treating can definitely reduce the redness and swelling but it won’t work with the breakouts that are just starting to develop underneath the skin.  Spot treating is ok only if you get a pimple once in a while but if you’re dealing with mild to moderate acne consistently, spot treating isn’t an effective option.  So, use acne-fighting products on a daliy basis where you breakout.

If something feels uncomfortable or straight-up like liquid fire on your skin, don’t use it.  Ever.  Stay away from products like alcohol and essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oil.  Witch hazel is not good for your skin.  Menthol and citruses like lemon are no good either. These ingredients can actually sensitize your skin and lead to irritation.  Either immidiately or over time.  Some of these ingredients are great to smell and can have calming or energizing effects when you smell them but they don’t belong on your skin.  They can make acne worse, so just stay away from them.

Have a I missed any acne myths?  What ingredients and/or products were big fails for your acne-prone skin? Leave a comment ( I love reading them) or drop by The Deciem and Ordinary Chatroom to further discuss.

Much love XX