How often does your holy grail skincare product finds its place in a stash even though you were vouching by it just weeks ago?
This happens even with skincare products formulated with effective ingredients present in clinically proven concentrations- you start feeling the results have reached a stagnant point.
Furthermore, the results with your skincare product seem temporary.
Much worse scenario – the skincare product you once vouched for and never got tired of writing reviews over it seems no longer for your skin type and concerns.
Earlier even I used to be highly impatient with skincare products and pretty quick to switch to new ones displayed in beauty counters.
Ever since the science of skincare became my passion, my approach towards skincare products giving temporary results changed.
To understand why skincare products give temporary results let’s first delve into science of skincare.
Before you use any skincare product, you need to equip yourself with an understanding of your skin and correlate the product’s role in your skincare.
Therefore, here’s something very important you should know about your skin:
Solid form of our skin lipids is what protects skin from losing its moisture content. Serums and even moisturizers we use have liquids (solvents) that cause fluidity in solid oily layer of skin. (lipid layer)
This temporarily induced fluidity helps the actives present in serums and, moisturizers to enter the skin to show their activity rather than staying on the top of skin.
Skin Actives are ingredients that show activity on skin: Exfoliating acids(lactic acid, salicyclic acid, glycolic acid, madelic acid), Niacinamide, Retinols and, Extracts
As much as I love actives showing their action on the skin, I am wary of the cons. The biggest con that’s likely to happen is that our favorite serum or moisturizer stops working with time.
The skincare product for which you have spend thousands of bucks makes you feel that you have wasted your money.
The reason why even thoughtfully formulated skincare products stop showing results: The loss of Ceramides.
The loss of Ceramides increases moisture loss. And a dehydrated skin either turns very sensitive to actives or stops responding to them.
Sensitivity to actives triggers inflammatory responses such as acne, pesky spots or red blotches
Why specifically ceramides?
Making of ceramides by skin needs proper balanced skin pH. When skin pH falters the recovery of ceramides is also stalled. Furthermore, the skin is able to recover Ceramides only after gaining back its lost cholesterol and other fatty acids.
In simple words, you need to support and assist skin in gaining back its lost Ceramides.
How to gain back lost Ceramides from Skin:
Applying skincare products that have ingredients that resemble skin lipids help in replenishing the skin.
The google’s top picks for getting the goodness of ceramides and skin lipds are:
CERAVE’s PM Face Moisturizer for Nighttime Use
Cerave’s Ultra-Light Face Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
FIRST AID BEAUTY Ultra Repair Cream
The downside of using moisturizers having ceramides and cholesterol:
But, the problem with ceramide and cholesterol containing moisturizers is that they are aimed at dry skin people with little or no-breakout issues.
Therefore, you tend to find more than 1 pore clogging ingredient within the list.
For instances, the Glyceryl Stearate SE found 3rd in ingredients list of Cerave’s Ultra-Light Face Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 is a potential comedogenic ingredient. (Pore clogging)
You can check the number of comedogenic ingredients in each of the above three moisturizers on this site: http://www.cosdna.com
Not just pore clogging but they also feel heavy on the skin making them highly unsuitable for people living in hot&humid areas and also to those with normal-oily skintype.
How to meet the needs of skin for Cermides during Acne treatments:
Your skin needs ceramides if you are using acne treatments that dry out your skin. In such cases, you can opt for one of the above three ceramide containing light weight moisturizers provided you make sure the ingredients’ list suits your skin type.
In case you fear increased greasiness or breakouts with moisturizers having cholesterol and ceramides then below mentioned are two ways which works for even oily skin beauties.
Not just oily but basically any skin type that uses serums and other skincare products.
- Home Remedy
- Make your skin replenish its Ceramide stores by applying this magic essence (scroll down to read)
1)Home Remedy: Although this simple DIY was written for winter acne remedy, it helps in making your skincare products work again for your skin.
2) Replenish your skin’s Ceramides by applying this magic essence:
I formulated this magic essence in a way that each and every ingredient present in it caters to the skin’s needs. Here, I present to you the magic essence – Beauty Spring’s Skin luminous Gel Essence– that’s going to naturally boost your skin’s Ceramides content.
My best selling Handcrafted Gel Essence devoid of silicones and oils. Customized for reviving dull skin
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide): Beauty Spring’s Skin luminous Gel Essence has clinically proven effective concentration of Vitamin B3- 4%. It works
- supports and assists the skin to naturally produce ceramides (loss of ceramides in skin makes it dry and also acne prone)
- by enhancing the skin’s radiance
- reverses sun damage and tan
- reduces excess oil production by oil factories of skin
- calms active acne
- reduces the frequency of acne breakouts
Amino Sugars: This fabulous group of molecules derived from nature stimulates skin to produce its own moisturizing molecules- Hyaluronic acid. In our essence, we have combined amino sugars with Vitamin B3 to enhance the brightening and luminosity of the skin.
Beta-Glucan: It is a polysaccharide that protects the skin barrier, prevents water loss, increases moisture level of skin, protects and repair damaged skin, and increases collagen (skin protein) production for healing acne scars.
Sodium Hyaluronate: Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in our skin, joints and eyes. This molecule can absorb water and hydrate your skin. It helps in having a plump look. Also acts as anti oxidant. So using our essence infused with hyaluronic acid provides the skin the needed moisture boost.
Sea-Buckthorn Extract: Countless studies have proven the efficacy of sea buckthorn in balancing the skin’s oiliness. It also counteracts inflammation due to acne. Most importantly, it even aids in reducing pigmentation.
Royal Jelly: Royal Jelly is a honey bee secretion fed by worker bees to honey larvae and queen bees for nourishment. In skincare industry ,this royal jelly is considered as fountain of youth for skin.
Directions for Use: Cleanse your face with a pH balanced cleanser and apply the gel on slightly damp face if your skin is of dry skin type. For oily skin, apply on clean and dry face. Use twice or thrice a day.
Remember to cleanse and exfoliate your oily areas of your face before using the Gel Essence. This avoids any film forming due to the beta glucans present in the Gel Essence.
For consultation on skincare reach me out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Irregular periods, Irregular or lack of ovulation, Adult acne, thinning hairline, and excess facial hair- facing one or more of these problems rings a bell. The frequent campaigns on PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) awareness start making sense.
As the name suggests PCOS refers one or more number of cyst (liquid filled cavity) in ovaries which obstructs maturation of ovarian follicles to ovulate.
It could be either – hormonal imbalance trigger cyst formation or cysts inherently present in ovaries cause hormonal imbalance.
In either case if we regulate the hormones involved in PCOS then we can bring back the ovaries to normal functioning.
Before we try knowing the ways to regulate the hormones involved in PCOS, we need to understand the main hormones involved – Insulin and testosterone.
Most people assume it’s all about female hormones going kaput and so the hormonal imbalances. But, the main culprits are the freely roaming male hormones (androgens) produced by ovaries and adrenal glands.
Yes, even we women have androgens synthesized within our body. However, in normal cases, 80% of these male hormones are not available for tissues.
In simple words very little amount of testosterone is free to exhibit its action. But, in PCOS the amount of freely wandering testosterone increases.
That results in one or more of these problems- lack of ovulation, menstrual irregularities, excessive facial and body hair, cystic acne on jaw line and thinning of hair.
The Love of male hormones for sugar:
When you have carbohydrates your blood glucose level increases.
To make this glucose available to the body tissues insulin is released by the pancreas.
However, due to excess weight, high body mass index, low physical activity, and other inherent factors the body turns insensitive towards insulin.
When your body starts being less responsive to the insulin hormone, its release into the blood increases; consequently, testosterone tends to wander freely with rising insulin levels in blood.
Insulin resistance- The risk factor for PCOD:
Insulin resistance ⇔ Abdominal fat and larger waist circumference. This equation more or less sums up the relationship between physical factors and insulin resistance.
Undoubtedly, inherent factors play a role in predisposing insulin resistance and PCOS. However, making efforts to change the tangible factors such as weight and body mass index can bring a huge deal of difference in dealing with PCOS.
Know your type of PCOS:
Knowing the type of PCOS saves you from choosing the wrong treatments.
You can tackle the PCOS symptoms with simple measures provided you get acquainted with your type of PCOS.
Women with classic PCOS have irregular or no ovulation with higher testosterone levels. Obese women are most likely to have classic PCOS.
Women with Ovulatory PCOS have regular menstrual cycles. But they have higher testosterone levels and cysts in ovaries. Higher levels of testosterone in women causes cystic acne, hair thinning and excessive facial/body hair.
Two Simple ways that help in regulating the hormones involved in PCOS:
1) Exercise induced weight loss:
Change in lifestyle remains the first line of therapy in treating PCOS. A sedentary lifestyle worsens the symptoms and an active lifestyle improves them.
For women with Classic PCOS, losing weight lowers the level of bad cholesterol, triglycerides as well as reduces the chances of diabetes.
For women with Ovulatory PCOS losing even few pounds of weight can bring about a greater deal of improvement in symptoms.
In fact you may most likely start having regular periods. This improvement even reflects with healthy glowing skin and reduced skin and hair problems.
But, here’s the thing, the weight loss should be attained not just by dieting but by exercise and physical activity.
Your diet plan should focus on cutting down high glycemic index foods and increase the intake of healthy fats and proteins.
High Glycemic Index Foods – Potatoes, white rice, white bread.
Sugary foods – candy, cookies, cakes, and sweet drinks.
2) Having right amounts of omega-3 fatty acids containing foods:
First step regarding weight loss is often suggested but this second measure is less commonly known.
Of course, you must have read about health benefits of Omega fatty acids. Nonetheless, I would like to bring your attention to what research says about its role in PCOD.
Omega fatty acids are the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).
Man evolved on a diet that had a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids (ω6: ω 3) of approximately 1. But in present times the ratio has reached to 25:1 with obvious consequences of higher metabolic diseases.
We eat lots more of omega 6 fats than required and have very little space for omega 3 in our diets.
Intake of omega-3 rich foods or supplements regulates menstrual cycles, reduces the free testosterone levels which correlates to increase in body’s sensitivity to insulin.
In a clinical trial, participants with PCOS were administered 2 capsules of omega 3 supplements for a period of 6 months.
At the end of six months, the long intervals between 2 menstrual cycles were greatly reduced.
Moreover, their lipid profile improved a great deal with increase in HDL, the good cholesterol and decrease in bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
The trials also reported that although omega-3 fatty acids did not reduce weight, there was a significant reduction in waist circumference.
Furthermore, there was another trial conducted on 78 overweight and obese women with PCOS.
Even in overweight and obese women with PCOD, omega-3 fatty acids were found to reduce the free testosterone levels and also regulate the irregular menstrual cycles.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: Flaxseed oil, fish oil, chia seeds, walnuts, fish roe (eggs), fatty fish, seafood and spinach.
Walnuts among all nuts have high PUFA content that increases the protein that prevents availability of free testosterone. They also decrease LDL cholesterol thereby improving lipid profile. Best quality walnuts : Borges California Walnuts
Fitness routine with omega-3 rich diets are so-far the best and safe natural therapies for PCOS.
Please consult your doctor before opting over the counter omega-3 supplements.
Foods to avoid: Foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids such as peanut butters, other nut butters, margarine, vegetable oils such as safflower, soya bean and corn oil.
Most importantly, if you are of reproductive age and plan on embracing motherhood sooner or later, it is prudent to start making small changes that can help you manage stress. Stress activates a whole lot of hormones in our body so read on to know:
Here’s a little gift for you- A Skin Quiz🙆 Your skin concerns are toddlers screaming for your attention. Take a Quiz to listen to your skin
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I’m very much excited to write this post as today I’m going to share findings on a very much raved about oil.
This oil has taken over the Cosmetic industry in recent years.
As a matter of fact this oil not just substitutes but is also way beyond the available Cosmetic skin care products.
Introducing to you my new personal favorite tamanu oil also famously known as dilo oil or Kamani oil. If you check any top brand face serums the must have ingredient is tamanu Oil
Tamanu oil is pressed from nuts of Calophyllum inophyllum.
The oil originates in Polynesia, where it continues to play an important cultural role.
It is employed by local Polynesian women for promoting healthy, clear, blemish-free skin, and is also used on babies to prevent diaper rash and skin eruptions.
Fatty acid Composition Of oil:
Linoleic acid – 38%
Oleic acid – 34%
Stearic acid – 13%
Palmitic acid – 12%
Linoleic acid (LA) and Oleic are omega series fatty acids.
They have sebum restitution properties.
These compounds play a significant role in the skin.
In dry skin it strengthens the lipid barrier of epidermis, protects against loss of water from skin’s epidermis and normalizes the skin metabolism.
In acne prone skin, a decrease in LA content in sebum is observed, which leads to blocked pores and formation of comedones and eczemas. Linoleic acid present in Tamanu Oil invigorates the deprived skin.
Stearic and Palmitic acids are the saturated fatty acids that act as emollients. Apart from fatty acids Frediline and callophylloide present in tamanu oil has anti-inflammatory properties.
What research says about this oil?
Studies were conducted to assess effectiveness of naturally derived facial oil containing sunflower seed, tamanu and ginger root oils to treat signs of skin fatigue surfacing by the end of the day.
This treatment has shown ability to provide anti oxidation benefits and to improve signs of fatigue immediately, over the course of a day and overtime
In another studies tamanu oil, exhibited significant UV absorption properties and was associated with an important sun protection factor (SPF 18–22) and it appeared to act as a cytoprotective agent against free radicals and DNA damage due to UV rays.
Tamanu oil consists of delta–tocotrienol, a type of vitamin E. So this oil naturally helps in treating blemishes, scars and acts as anti- aging.
The key to the effectiveness of Tamanu Oil is its extraordinary ability to promote the regeneration of new skin tissue, encouraging rapid repair and the development of healthy skin. The scientific name for this process is “cicatrisation”.
My take on tamanu oil:
Calophyllum inophyllum tree is found in coastal areas. It is even grown in India so I thought I could easily purchase authentic 100% pure oil from Indian markets.
But to my disappointment the reviews I read of tamanu oil produced in India were mostly negative and customers were complaining that they didn’t find the oil to be pure or authentic.
Authentic Tamanu oil has nutty smell and is of green color and absorbs well into the skin.
So I choose Aura Cacia brand of Tamanu oil The price shown in http://in.iherb.com/ was 792 INR. So I placed my order from this site but realized it was not inclusive of shipping and customs. So total cost I incurred was 2,426 INR. For my next bottle of tamanu oil I will be placing my order with amazon as the cost displayed 1500 INR is inclusive of all taxes. Yes, it is expensive but not when you consider that it takes 4 mature trees to produce enough nuts to yield just 20 liters of oil. Once you start using it you realize it’s worth it.
Aura Cacia Organic Skincare Oil Tamanu – (check this link)
The packaging is not travel friendly. The spray bottle tends to leak. Nevertheless it is good as you get a regulated amount of oil for every pump of spray.
The oil is emerald green in color. It easily blends into the skin leaving no traces of oiliness.
Provided make sure you use moderate amounts depending on your skin type.
I have started using it as night serum from past 2 months. I take minimal amounts and blend into the areas free from acne.
And for acne prone areas of my skin I usually dab this oil and follow up with sandalwood paste.
Results: Well, my skin is the most unpredictable. Just when I think I am at the brink of achieving a flawless acne free skin, a pimple pops up and later on few more.
So, when I started using this oil I was having a minor breakout on my temples and acne scars on my cheeks.
Tamanu oil helped me lighten my acne scars and it was not overnight but it took around a fortnight period of time. Whereas to treat my cystic acne it took much longer for tamanu oil to work. However I follow up with sandalwood paste after dabbing oil to acne areas of face and body.
The best part of using this oil as night face serum is every morning I wake up with a healthy and fresh glow.
Start using this oil and you could pose a no-makeup look #IDidWakeupLikeThis.
This oil brings the freshness to the skin by alleviating signs of fatigue. So, you can include tamanu oil in your mid-day touch-ups.
Weekend care: Exfoliate your skin- take 1 tea spoon of tamanu oil + 1 tea spoon coconut oil (click to read about coconut oil) and mix them well. After cleaning your face with mild soap or cleanser apply this oil mixture to your face and body.
Massage well and then take sugar and scrub it gently for 2 mins then rinse it off with water. By far this has been the best natural exfoliation i have ever tried.
Makeup Routine: Irrespective of your skin type Tamanu oil is one of the best natural primers available.
Pump a little oil and prime your face well before applying foundation.
If you have dry skin you can mix this oil in your CC or BB creams or foundation and then apply.
And also after removing makeup moisturize your skin with this oil.
When you opt oils for your skin care the key to get results is patience. And also make sure you buy authentic products. Please drop in your comments mentioning your skin type and your review if you have used or been using tamanu oil.
Also, would like to mention that there’s something you need to take care of prior to using any skincare product. Click the below image to read:
Earlier the name coconut oil would make me scrunch my nose and bring back the not-so-good memories of using Parachute coconut oil when I was in school. As it was presumed to make your hair strong and healthy, Parachute coconut oil was/is common household name in India.
In my mid teens I stopped using it all thanks to the greasy and frizzy effect of it on hair. Furthermore I felt it was because of using this oil, dandruff started.
My assumptions were right as my dandruff considerably reduced after I stopped using it.
According to hearsay, Parachute coconut oil available then was admixed with mineral oil, paraffin wax and other chemicals.
No wonder, the greasy effect and smell, by which one can guess from a distance if someone had used this oil or not. And on top of that we get to see Deepika Padukone endorsing it where they show her going to photo shoots after applying this grease fest.
Because of this experience I never bothered to do add coconut oil to the list of natural oils I was experimenting.
But every time I surf about natural oils, Coconut oil is always the most raved about.
So, this made me embark on the goodness of coconuts and made me realize problem lies in the brand we choose. For testing of any natural oil’s suitability for your skin or hair the foremost prerequisite is to get 100% pure oil.
So go for Cold pressed oils or Virgin oils.
Before I present my review I would like to mention few findings on Coconut oil-
Coconut oil is mainly composed of Lauric acid, Myristic acid, Palmitic acid, Capric acid and Caprylic acid which are saturated fatty acids. These constitute around 91% of oil.
Lauric acid has antimicrobial activity stronger than benzoyl peroxide ( Benzoyl peroxide ointment is commonly prescribed for acne).
Myristic and Palmitic acid are natural emollients and enhance absorption into the skin and therefore Coconut oil can be used as carrier oil for Essential oils.
Clinically Coconut oil has shown remarkable improvement in people having extremely dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin (Xerosis) and also patients suffering from Atopic dermatitis which is more common is younger children.
Though many people claim its use as natural sunscreen it is still not yet proven if it can be used as standalone against harmful UV A/B rays of sun.
Nevertheless it is used as tanning oil for spending a day at beach.
Coconut Oil For Hair When Compared to Mineral oil and Sunflower Oil:
We come across different Hair oils, shampoos, leave in conditioners and serums claiming to stop hair fall. Invariably most of these products have mineral oil.
Therefore, when Coconut oil was tested along with Mineral oil and Sunflower oil, it was found that only Coconut oil reduced the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.
The reason for Coconut oil’s superiority over other hair products is due to its high lauric acid content.
Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has high affinity for hair proteins and therefore, easily enters inside the hair shaft.
So this research finding confirms what our ancestors have been saying on using coconut oil for getting stronger and healthy hair provided, we use 100%pure oil.
Coconut Oil- La Flora Organics:
I was looking for cold pressed or extra virgin coconut oil. After checking all available brands I choose Coconut oil from La Flora Organics.
As you could see in the below images, label mentions that it is Organic, Certified, Cold pressed coconut oil. With No mineral oil, Hexane, Preservatives and perfume.
The packaging and labeling seems pretty impressive. Bottle seems travel friendly with no leakage issues. I bought this from www.firstcry.com
The oil has faint odor of coconuts and with absolutely no greasy feel.
I started using it as my after shower moisturizer for body.
I suggest you apply it on moist or damp skin immediately after shower by this it absorbs pretty fast into the skin.
You won’t even feel like you have applied any oil as it absorbs well into the skin.
You can replace your body lotions with Coconut oil.
As I have acne prone skin I was very cautious with regard to its usage.
But now after using it for a while I am confident enough that coconut oil doesn’t exacerbate your acne or cause any breakouts.
Instead if you use it in moderation it helps restore skin’s vitality.
On daily use it imparts a natural shine to your skin.
As I have combination skin I avoid using it on face directly.Instead I prepare a mask:
1 tbspoon grounded coffee powder (do not use instant coffee) + Coconut oil 2 tbspoon. This mixture you can apply it on your face and body and leave it for around 15-20mins. And then rinse it off. No matter what your skin type is, this mask helps in exfoliating and nourishing your skin. So far, I am loving it. There is no overnight miracle but I could sense a change in my skin texture.
For hair: I have been using it as pre-bath massage oil. And also as after shower leave-on serum on scalp and hair.
When compared to skin this seems to work wonders on my hair and scalp.
Even in peak winter my dandruff seems to be in control. And this has never happened earlier.
My frizzy hair seems to be more tamed. In fact it is so light and non-greasy that you can use it and go to work or college without having to worry about how your hair looks.
Apply moderate to minimal amounts on your wet, dripping hair and then you can blow-dry or air dry your hair and then you are good to go. If you blow-dry your hair opt for cool settings. Ever since I have been using Coconut oil I have less hair whirling down the shower drain .
So my final verdict is thumbs up. If you have dry skin or dry scalp condition then this oil is a must have in your toiletries. Even though you have no skin or hair issues go for Coconut oil massage as often as possible or else you are surely missing out on a great deal of nature’s Well springs!! If you are searching for a face oil that can be used as makeup primer as well as imparts skin care then include tamanu oil.
Falling in love all over again with Coconut oil after I changed the brand – August 2018 Update:
Ever since, I started using Coconut oil in 2016, I have been trying various brands of Coconut oil.
Recently while touring folsom, CA markets, I finally got my hands on other brands of Coconut oil.
This time I bought Coconut oil exported from Thailand. You can find Coconut Oil from Thailand at Walmart or any other retail stores. Just what you need to check on label – Unrefined, Virgin, Cold pressed or Expeller pressed oil.
Hands down when it comes to Coconut water and Coconut oils, Thailand takes the winning trophy.
The best part of coming across this high quality Coconut oil – I have started using this oil for my oil cleansing skin care regime.
Oil Cleansing Regime: My way
I’d prefer coconut oil any day to cleansing balms. Most people say it breaks them out. If you have faced the same with coconut oil then try fractionated coconut oil. Not-so-surprisingly, most of the cleansing balms are formulated with fractionated coconut oil. A little something on cleansing balms:
Paula begoun, the founder of Paula’s Choice recommends mixing 2 or 3 oils for cleansing than using a single oil.
You can use a mix of Coconut oil (Use fractionated), Rose hip oil and Argan oil. You can play around with the ratios to determine the best suited for your skin type. If you prefer Almond oil, then keep its amount low compared to other oils. This because Almond oil is high in oleic acid. If you have sensitive skin then go for oils high in linoelic fatty acid such as Rosehip oil. On other hand, Argan oil has near equal amounts of both oleic and linoelic fatty acids with additional vitamin E.
Take the mix of your oils and then add little amount of your cleanser to the mix. Then massage this mix to your face and then rinse it with water and voila!