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 email@example.com
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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After several trials I finally discovered a herbal mix best suitable as spot treatment for painful Cystic acne. Here are the ingredients.
Firstly you need is Curry leaves. Take few curry leaves, dry them under sunlight for 3-4 days. Then grind the dried leaves into fine powder. Curry leaves are infused with terpenes that have anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. If you have no free time to dry the leaves or if there is no easy availability of curry leaves in your country then you can purchase here – Curry leaves
Secondly you need is turmeric powder. Curcumin present in turmeric properties is essential for healing and tissue regeneration.
Jojoba Oil Jojoba Oil Cold pressed : The third ingredient is Jojoba Oil. This oil resembles sebum produced in the skin by the sebum glands. Eicosenoic acid present in Jojoba Oil is non-comedogenic (does not block the skin’s pores), it can be readily absorbed by the skin, and it balances the oil in the skin, making it less oily. However, there are other options that can be used in place of jojoba oil and I have mentioned them in my post Oils for skin.
Procedure to make the herbal mix:
Take 1 table spoon ground Curry leaves powder and 1 tea spoon turmeric powder. Mix them. Add Jojoba oil to this mixture. By adding oil to the powder mix, oil soluble constituents’ dissolves into the oil. Now add water to this wet powder mix and mix well so that a thick paste is formed.
Use: Use this paste all over the acne prone areas as often as possible. Don’t forget to apply aloe –vera gel after rinsing the paste off.
Alternative: Himalaya Herbals Acne-n-Pimple Cream
If you don’t have free time to spend in making this herbal mix, then you can try using Himalaya acne and Pimple cream. Ingredients’ list is pretty intriguing. Of all the 5 ingredients present I am aware of only Aloe-vera (kumari). Rest of the list comprises of Shalamli, Nirgundi, Masura and Saurashtri. I surfed literature to gather information on these herbs. And I found each and every herb having wide range of benefits to the skin.
Review: I have very sensitive nose and thus refrains me from using readily available OTC acne creams. But surprisingly, this acne cream by Himalaya has pleasant odour. The texture of cream is very smooth but it doesn’t easily blends into the skin and so it is better to use it at night times. I have been applying on painful cystic acne on my forehead. Within 2 days my acne dried up and after 4-5 days I realized they were no more any cystic acne on my forehead. For acne scars it doesn’t really work immediately but it does lighten up the dark spots.
Would like to mention that either the paste or the cream offers only a temporary solution. More so, suitable for spot treatment.
Have you ever heard of Fab bag? It is a site where you can subscribe for 1 month or more to get a “fab bag” full of surprises. Well, who doesn’t love surprises? As for me the moment I got to know of this I placed a subscription of 3 months.
Every month I would eagerly wait to get my fab bag. The bag had several cosmetic and skin care products of various brands. The brands are usually the ones unknown to me or say those that have been recently launched and are giving out sample gifts.
I was not really happy with the shades of lip color or nail paint though. Of all the skin care sample products I received what caught my interest was this brand “Skin Yoga”. The sample product I received from this brand was Almond-Orange face scrub.
This Scrub had Almond meal, Orange peel, Chickpea flour and turmeric as its ingredients. This scrub acted not only as cleanser but also imparted instant skin glow. If you have an important event to attend and no time to get a salon clean-up then I suggest you use this scrub. If you have oily skin follow up with Aloe Vera gel.
Green tea face mask:
Ever since I got to try this Almond-Orange face scrub I started exploring other products sold by Skin Yoga.
To treat my skin acne I opted for green tea face mask by this brand. Before using any masks, I suggest you to gently exfoliate your skin. I used to avoid exfoliation of my skin because I have acne prone skin. But after thorough studies of scientific papers related to skin, I finally started skin exfoliation. Before deciding on any skin care regime, I request you to read my insight on Importance of exfoliation of skin irrespective of skin type
Even before I started using skin yoga products the packaging won brownie points. The scrubs, masks and powders are so aesthetically packed giving you a complete feel of a luxury product.
I opted for Skin Yoga’s set so that I could try my hands on its different products. And so the quantity is of 5.67gms. Whereas the full size pack is of 50gms. So far this brand lives up to its claims. Though the pricing is on high end it indeed offers luxury skin care and once you start using the products, you realize it is worth it.
As mentioned on the leaf let the composition of this mask is inspired from Japanese skin care routine.
It is said that Japanese Beauties traditionally not only drink cups and cups of green tea but also use the extract to apply on acne. Other than green tea this mask also has Rice flour which again is vouched by Japanese women for its anti- wrinkle and flawless skin properties.
At this point, I would like to mention to my readers, solely depending on green teas and external applications won’t revive our skin instead healthy eating and avoiding mindless snacking is as well very important.
Green tea from skin yoga mask has Oat meal, Green tea powder, Rice powder, Neem powder (in decreasing order). You can try making your own green tea Japanese mask at home.
Saponins present in Oat meal serves as natural cleansing agent and has anti-inflammatory properties.
And coming to neem words fall short to describe its benefits for skin and health. Here in this mask Neem serves to treat acne, blackheads, scars and pigmentation. All in all I am pretty impressed with the formula of this green tea face mask.
As per instructions after taking required amount, lukewarm water is to be added to activate the ingredients and make a paste.
Results: As I have combination skin. This mask gave results based on the skin area. It instantly worked for my acne prone areas on my face. And in dry areas of my face it made the skin drier. No, there was no instant glow but this mask offered a proper clean-up action. I have been using this for my forehead region where currently I am having a minor breakout. If you have oily skin then this mask is custom made for you. If you have dry skin with acne problem then apply the paste only on areas where you breakout more often.
Final Review: Oily skin beauties this mask is a must-have for you. Combination skin beauties use this mask as and when required. As for dry skin beauties with acne troubles make sure you follow up with Aloe-Vera gel after using this mask.
I would like to emphasize again external application alone of skin care products won’t give you long term beneficial effects. Have the right balance of using natural products as well as eating right to feed it what skin needs to prevent premature aging.
If you are looking for a natural traditional skin care regime then please check this post- Sandalwood face mask