June 20, 2014
June 17, 2014
by Kimberly Yang
Hyperpigmentation is a condition characterized by the darkening of the skin. It is caused by the overproduction of melanin.
Three types of hyperpigmentation exist:
a. Freckles. Sun (age) spots appear as we get older; freckles appear in youth from overexposure.
b. Solar Lentigenes. Better known as sun spots (but also as age or liver spots), these small, darkened spots of skin are the result of sun damage over time. Sun spots are commonly found on the face, hands, and chest.
2. Melasma. Also commonly known as the “pregnancy mask,” melasma is caused by a combination of hormonal changes – from pregnancy, use of birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or thyroid dysfunction – coupled with sun exposure. These dark patches, found on the face and sometimes the abdomen, typically fade away once hormonal balance has been restored (for example, after pregnancy).
3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). As its name suggest, PIH is the result of minor skin injuries from acne lesions, burns, cuts, or psoriasis. PIH naturally fades as the skin heals and regenerates itself – it’s a gradual process that last can anywhere from a few months to a year. The good news is that it’s the easiest type of hyperpigmentation to treat.
Why It Happens:
- Genetics. Hyperpigmentation can affect anyone, but there are some individuals who are predisposed to this condition. Those of Asian, African, Latin, and Mediterranean descent are more likely to experience some form of hyperpigmentation.
- Age. It’s important to understand that hyperpigmentation is not an inevitable outcome of intrinsic aging (the natural aging process). It’s the result of extrinsic aging (aging of the skin caused by external factors) – meaning it’s definitely preventable. Prolonged exposure to sun will trigger excess melanin production and cause hyperpigmentation to become incredibly common in middle-aged (and older) individuals. Melanin distribution becomes less controlled and more irregular, leading to uneven skin tone.
- Overexposure to sun. UV rays actually trigger melanin production. Sun damage is the number one cause of hyperpigmentation.
- Hormonal changes. This factor makes it more prevalent in women than men, as hormonally-triggered hyperpigmentation results from pregnancy and birth control side effects.
- Minor skin injuries. Burns, cuts, post-acne lesions, scratches, etc. may lead to discoloration as the skin begins its healing process.
- Medication. Be sure to consult your doctor about possible side effects; antibiotics, anti-seizure drugs, and hormone treatments are among some of the factors known to cause hyperpigmentation.
What to Do:
- Consider Glycolic (or other chemical) peels. Think of these AHA peels as a step up from your AHA-based cleanser. These are highly concentrated and therefore incredibly effective at chemical exfoliation, and are said to be one of the best treatments for stubborn hyperpigmentation. Be sure to consult an aesthetician or dermatologist to see if you are an ideal candidate for these powerful peels.
- Know your ingredients. Look for skincare products highlighting AHAs (Glycolic Acid, fresh fruit extracts or enzymes), Kojic Acid, Mulberry Extract, and Licorice, all of which have been shown to help brighten and lighten the complexion to promote better skin tone.
How to Prevent:
- Limit sun exposure. And if you can’t avoid it, be sure you’re armed with a brimmed hat and broad spectrum sunscreen, to be reapplied as often as needed.
- Wear daily SPF protection. Not just on your face – but your neck, chest, and hands too. Two-thirds of all sun damage – which inevitably leads to the formation of age spots – is all incidental, so be sure to protect your skin whenever your step out the door (regardless of weather!).
June 16, 2014
by Kimberly Yang
WHO: Makeup Remover Soap, a gentle cleanser for all skin types.
WHAT IT IS: A mild, creamy cleanser that helps gently remove makeup and surface debris and leaves skin soft and smooth. The Makeup Remover Soap is perfect for all skin types, but is designed with an oil-free, non-drying, and non-soap formula gentle enough for mature or sensitive skin types, too.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It breaks down any buildup for a thorough clean, but does so without irritating or over-drying even the most sensitive of skin types. The skin’s lipid barrier is left intact – and thus is able to retain natural moisture levels, making it ideal for combination dry, sensitive, and mature skin.
HOW TO USE: For use twice daily. Massage in circular motions on wet skin, taking care to avoid the eye area. Rinse with warm water until face is completely clean before gently patting dry with a clean towel. Follow with your favorite toner.
June 14, 2014
Are you stuck in a skin care rut? It happens to the best of us. The truth is, our skin changes with age and with the seasons; we need to alter our skin care regimens accordingly. If you’ve been using the same products for years, but your skin isn’t looking as great as you’d like, it may be time for a change.Check out these 5 signs you’re stuck in a skin care rut:1. Has it been years since you re-evaluated your skin care routine?
What worked for your skin just a few years ago may not be right for your skin today. For example, aging causes the skin to become drier. Pregnancy also causes serious upheaval in your skin.
2. Does your skin seem very dry in the summer, and then turns oily during the warmer months? If so, are you switching up your products with seasonal changes?
Using the same products throughout the year is only recommended in climates that remain stable 365 days a year. For places with major temperature and weather changes due to the seasons, it’s necessary to make adjustments as the weather becomes colder or hotter.
3. Do you think you could be doing more to prevent premature aging, but you’re not sure where to start?
When it comes to anti-aging, using an eye cream should be your first step. The eyes are generally the first area of the face to age because the skin around the eyes has the fewest oil glands. Another excellent way to help prevent premature aging is by incorporating a serum with powerful anti-aging properties into your skin care routine.
4. Is your skin breaking out regularly? Are you using a regimen of products designed to keep it clear?
It’s important to address all changes in your skin, including acne. If your skin starts breaking out, it is definitely the time to switch things up; your skin is not likely to clear up on its own without a little help!
5. You’re using a cleanser/toner/moisturizer/etc. because they worked so well for your sister/friend/mother/dental hygienist.
We love our Enzyme Cleansing Gel. It’s our most popular cleanser and works beautifully for most combination skin types. However, there are people for whom this is the absolute wrong cleanser. Make sure that what you’re using is the best thing for your skin.
June 13, 2014
It looks like we’re getting another beautiful weekend here on the East Coast! Unfortunately, last Saturday one of us fell asleep on the beach and didn’t reapply sun protection. This required a little help from our After Sun Cooling Gel!
If you’d like to win a bottle of the After Sun Cooling Gel (with Aloe and Rose Extract), please go ahead and comment on today’s blog to enter the giveaway. We’ll announce the winner Monday morning, June 16th, 2014! This contest is open to all of the U.S. and Canada; the winner will be contacted privately via email and will be announced on our Facebook page!
First, check out this week’s Blog Highlights:
How to get ‘perfect’ skin
Which acne spot treatments are best for your skin?
What we learned from Dad about beauty (in honor of Father’s Day!)