Our Kanvas Beauty Team has poured our blood, sweat and tears into this ‘Skin Bible’ for you.
The Kanvas Kult lives and breathes skincare everyday. We make it our goal to educate ourselves in all things skin-related. We've absorbed books by Caroline Hirons, Abigail James, Joanna Vargas, Lisa-Potter Dixon, Lilian Yang, Sophie Beresiner, Leah Ganse, Adina Grigore. Sara Jimenez, Dr. Anjali Matho - the list goes on! We're also inspired by beauty influencers Hyram, Farah Dhukai, Liah Yoo, Susan Yara, Nabela Noor, James Welsh (our favourite) and endless others that have amazing skincare routines (#goals).
Like you, we’ve read too many skincare articles to count, stalked the occasional IG account and have all added “just one more item” to our shopping carts (*wink*). We’ve been distracted, overwhelmed and even shed a tear (or two) on our own skin journeys, but it's all sweet— it's a living and learning curve! The fruit of our labour is this Skin Bible: we’ve gathered as much knowledge as we could in the one place to help you make an informed decision on your skin. We've tried to make it informative but not overcomplicated. So read on to find out what your ideal skincare routine should look like!
Of course! Your skin is important to the protective barrier and acts like a shield to protect your body from exterior attack or threats. Your ultimate objective is to keep your skin healthy and beautiful - which means to care for your skin with the right beauty routine, in the end the result of this is radiant healthy skin.
Our research suggests that sunscreen needs to go on the top layers of the skin to be most effective. Moisturisers are designed to penetrate deeper into the skin and should therefore, be applied first. We suggest waiting up to 20 minutes for your moisturiser to absorb before applying sunscreen. This is also so the moisturiser will not interfere with the SPF. Always apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before leaving the house. We suggest 1/2 teaspoon and if you're going to be in the sun all day, apply another thin layer.
So moisturise first and then apply sunscreen on top! Hopefully that settles that debate!
Hey chicka, we've got you. What we recommend for absolute fresh faces can be found below (this is a very *basic* routine and everyone's routine may differ slightly).
Day Routine:1. Cleanser (splash face with warm water first)
2. Toner / Essence*
3. Antioxidant Serum* (most effective in the morning / optional: add eye cream)*
5. Sunscreen (broad spectrum / SPF30+)
1. Cleanser (remove all that makeup / SPF, it's important at night to double cleanse)
The "Lazy Linda" is a phrase we coined (with permission) inspired by our girl, Linda, who does not want a convoluted skincare regime. So to all you Lazy Lindas out there—this is the most *basic* of all skincare routines. You're pretty sweet if you can manage the following steps...
3. SPF (sunscreen / sun block)
That's it. Keep it simple and your skin should be content.
Sometimes, there is no way in telling unless you try a product yourself. However, you can still make an educated guess by reading a product's list of ingredients. To lower your chances of a skin reaction, look for products that are fragrance-free with very little to no alcohol. A better way is to seek out products that clearly state 'suitable for sensitive skin'.
Skincare can be super confusing! It's hard to know what should stay on and what should be washed off. The only (real) steps you need to wash off are cleansers or cleansing water (if your skin is sensitive or if the directions tell you to), most exfoliators and of course, your clay masks. If you wash off any other steps such as toner, serums and moisturisers, you are basically washing away your expensive products! So, don't do that. Again, always follow the product directions on the packaging if you're unsure.
Yes, you should hydrate your neck. The general rule is that what you do on your face you should do on your neck. Move upwards so you are not dragging your skin down and contributing to the inevitable sag (cry). Get the good stuff on there! The skin on your neck has fewer glands and this is bad news for aging as there isn't much collagen on the neck. Signs of aging will also show on your neck so it is really important you use moisturiser and sunscreen. This is an often neglected area, we know. If you start doing it now you'll thank yourself later on! Remember it's about damage control now and the best wrinkles are the ones you don't get!
*Kanvas Beauty sending you a virtual hug* Don't let it get to you. Take a break from all the blogs / the gurus / advice etc... you'll always hear some gurus bombard you with products but remember: it is all about *you*!
See how your skin is reacting—there is no right or wrong when choosing. What works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you! Look at your skin and pay attention to it. Do not listen to everything you see on social media!
Remember it is the guru's job to sell products to you and they cannot see your skin first hand to give advice to you. Basically, be careful of what you read. Do your research, pay attention to your skin's reaction to certain products and just have fun doing it!
Sometimes, it's better to toss it away, move on and be happy...
You can find results in about a month after you start using your new product or have a new skin care system - this is beacuse the skin cell turnover cycle is around 21 days or more/less depenfing on your age.
You'll have to wait and be patient but it will ultimately give you more information about what works for you and what doesnt.
No, you're not meant to wash your serums off. They are meant to be soaked into your skin and left there.
This is a *must* if you want to avoid your skin from reacting. Don’t use a product without testing it on your hand first. Wait for 24 hours and if your skin doesn’t react to it, go ahead and apply it to your face.
Your skin's need can change with age, temperature (e.g. have you noticed when travelling your skin reacts differently?), humidity and with the products you use.
We cannot assume that your routine can stay the same forever so we suggest updating it as you go. You should allow up to 3 months before deciding whether or not a routine works for you. However, some people may notifce results even sooner.
Cleansing oil should be your first step in your routine, the oil cleansers removes impurities like sebum and make-up. This leaves the skin as a fresh as fresh can be!
Using an oil cleanser as it works better at removing dirt and grime, use a cotton wool pad and dampen it with cleansing oil. Smooth it over the eyelashes to dissolve the most stubborn mascara and eyeliner!
Other than the fact that its much more fun to use - you get results straight away! It is perfect for all skin types, especially oily skin. It leaves the skin soft and ready for the next step of your routine.
If your sparkly clean face feels dry, itchy and uncomfortable—you may be overdoing it. Typically, people don’t skip the morning facial cleanse, even a splash of water is enough. The evening is when faces need a thorough *but gentle* cleanse to remove dirt, oil, sweat and makeup.
A good facial cleanser should leave skin feeling soft and clean without stripping it of its essential oils. We suggest trying a facial cleansing oil or a gentle milky cleanser.
Toner is a thin, watery liquid which offers hydration, restores balance to the skin and is typically alcohol-free.
Toners have a thin, watery texture and penetrate the skin quickly to deliver hydration while helping to remove any impurities from the surface of your skin. Fortunately, most of the toners today contain little (if any) alcohol and beneficial ingredients that can help prepare your skin for the rest of the products in your skincare routine.
When you’re ready to apply your toner, you can either dispense the toner onto a cotton pad or straight into the palm of your hand. Press your hands or the cotton pad onto your face and work your way outwards until your entire face, neck, and chest are covered. Always follow with a serum or moisturizer.
While a toner can hydrate and prime your face for the rest of the products in your skin care routine, it is not meant to replace your serum.
Serums have many advantages over toners. For instance, serums are formulated with a higher concentration of active ingredients that are designed to target specific skin concerns. The concentrated dose of actives in serums, such as peptides, antioxidants, and herbal extracts, are usually intended to target concerns like hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. Toners prep the skin while serums deliver these active ingredients to produce noticeable results.
No—a common misconception is that a toner will help 'tone' or 'tighten' pores. Unfortunately, pores are not muscles that can open or close at will. Therefore, it is not possible for pores to 'shrink' despite how much we want to believe otherwise. Further, healthy skin should not feel 'tight' or dry—this is a sign that a product may contain too much alcohol or other drying ingredients that are not good for your skin. However, Toners are important because they balance the pH level and hyrdate your skin.
You can use a toner in the morning and at night after cleansing. After cleansing your face a toner holds beneficial ingredients that can more easily penetrate the skin.
It’s also important to apply your toner no later than one minute after cleansing because most ingredients penetrate the skin better when it is wet. Thus, applying your toner immediately after cleansing delivers better results.
The right cleanser should give your skin a deep clean without stripping it of its natural oils (moisture). In other words, your face will be thoroughly cleansed without feeling tight and dry.
If you have heavy makeup on, we suggest double-cleansing before bed. Firstly, use an oil based cleanser to effectively break down sebum, makeup, or other impurities on the skin (think about your makeup / sunscreen - they're oils and the best way to break down oil is you guessed it—it's with another oil!)
The second step involves using a water-based cleanser (a cream or a gel) to clean deeper into the pores. This process is so important because it ensures a thorough cleanse and smoother skin.
To sum it up, double cleansing is necessary for a more thorough clean to remove any dirt, makeup or sunscreen.
We get this all the time! To be honest, we even forget sometimes. AHA exfoliants love water and BHA exfoliants love oil! Therefore, AHAs are best for normal / dry skin and BHA for oily / combination skin types.
AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acid, which are ingredients like lactix acid and glyxolix acid. AHA helps speed the skin's natural exfoliation rate so it is effective on dry skin.
BHA is short for beta-hydroxy acid and if you see this in the world of skincare it is referring to the chemical exfoliant salicylic acid. BHA is good for acne-prone skin as it penetrates deeper and loves oil.
A physical exfoliator is either an abrasive scrub or paste. These scrubsgoes deep to remove dirt, makeup, and oil and make your skin instantly look better. The most abrasive ones are made from crushed apricot or walnut shells. However, be warned that the texture can be too harsh, especially for sensitives skin, resulting in "micro tears". Using a walnut or apricot scrub as an exfoliator can, therefore, cause dry skin, or even lead to unwanted peeling. A chemical exfoliation may sound scary but it is anything but harsh. Some of the most gentle exfoliators are acids such as an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or a BHA (a beta hydroxy acid). To softly whisk away dead skin cells, opt for a gentle daily exfoliator. The trick is to find something super fine, naturally derived, or created from a skin-loving substance like oil.
A safe rule of thumb is to start off exfoliating once a week and gradually build it up to two to three times a week. If you have normal skin, you can take your pick from products but it’s a good idea to start slow with something gentle like glycolic or lactic acid and see how your skin reacts.
Anyone with dry or sensitive skin should seek a gentle exfoliant such as something formulated with a rice enzyme paste or a very mild amount of glycolic or lactic acid.
Sometimes, we can get carried away with exfoliating—especially when you're starting out so you don't want to overdo this step! A good sign that you've gone too far is if you notice enflamed, tight, red, dry or flakey skin. This can be a sign of overuse and over exfoliating.
You should exfoliate 2-3 times a week (more for people with oily skin), whether its physical or chemical exfoliators. If the damage is done, it's good to just go back to basics and give the exfoliation step a bit of a break for now. Start again slowly but switch to a light exfoliator or one that is specially targeted to repairing your skin barrier.
FUN FACT: skin cells turnover every 28 days. As we age, this rate decreases, therefore, exfoliation becomes a beneficial part of your skincare routine to rejuvenate the skin.
Wrong! increasing the time of your mask won't increase the effects. Mask take about 10-30 minutes to work.
A single-use sheet mask are like a second skin that covers your face and improves it! Usually packed with radiant producing ingredideitns giving you results in minutes! Think of it as an intensive hydration treatment and that perfect self-love 'me-time' bonus!
Masks are a use one time and throw away!
No, you do not do this as you will cancel our the effects of the mask. Allow your mask to be fully absrobed into the skin before moving onto the next step of your routine.
The general rule is to apply the sheet mask to a clean face, so you should apply your mask after cleansing, toner and essence/serum. Note: it also depends on the steps in your routine.
Well, this is a tricky one! theres so many around! But basically you can try as many as you like! You can take them anywhere (hello self-love flight trip! yay) you can also use it on different parts of your body eg: arms, neck, legs, cleavage etc...
This is a neat trick - if you have left over remaining essence/serum use them to hydrate the other parts of your body eg. your neck, chest, arms or legs.
Cleansers, toners and moisturisers, although very important, simply do not provide the same concentration of active ingredients necessary to truly protect against environmental damage and moisture loss that contribute to aging, dryness and rough texture. On the other hand, essences boast a high concentration of active ingredients that can help skin become more resilient and stronger while protecting the skin from environmental stressors.
All in all, a lot of skincare lovers swear by using essence to hydrate your face and help better absorb other products into your skin. Adding an essence into your skincare routine will also help you build a strong skin barrier that is less likely to be compromised throughout your busy day.
Like serums, essences are applied AFTER you cleanse your face and apply toner, but BEFORE serums. They are meant to deliver highly hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and natural plant extracts, to deeply nourish and moisturise your skin. Essences will help the serums and moisturiser you use afterwards to absorb into the skin better.
Some essences help to balance pH. This is important because a lot of times some harsher soap-based cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils. Even though we often want to reduce these oils, stripping too much of them can be detrimental to skin and cause even more sebum (oil) to be produced to compensate for the loss of oils.
Apply essence AFTER you have cleansed your face and applied toner. Use dry, clean hands and gently press it into your skin with your fingertips. After this, you can apply your serum and moisturiser as normal.
A true essence should not be confused with a serum. Essences tend to be far more watery, and thus cannot hold the same concentration of active ingredients as serums can. However, it is a common confusion—as both essences and serums evolve, they are becoming interchangeable...
In some cases, essences are getting thicker and more heavyweight while serums are doing the opposite and becoming lighter and more watery. Still, as mentioned, a true essence will be most distinguishable characteristic is its more "watery" consistency. It might even feel like a highly diluted moisturiser that is nonetheless full of nourishing and anti-aging ingredients that help plump up skin, neutralize free radicals and provide much needed hydration, among other benefits.
All in all, the benefits are what make the products similar, while the texture of the essence vs. serum is what makes the difference.
You should moisturise your face daily after cleansing. Apply it in the morning after cleansing it and then before retiring to bed at night. People usually feel the need to moisturise the skin only during the winter season, but your skin needs moisture throughout the year.
SPF + SUN SMART
This is a resounding "YAAAAS!". Of course you need to wear sunscreen! If you care about your skin, wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ or higher is one of the most important things you can do to protect it.
Sunscreen helps decrease the risk of skin cancer and other negative effects including wrinkles, fine lines, freckles, and sallowness. So SPF is your BFF.
The key to making your tan last longer is: moisturising. Look for rich body butters, silky oils and hyaluronic-acid infused lotions that will *really* feed your skin. Because the sun dries out your skin, aftercare lotions are great at giving sun-tanned skin a dose of healthy hydration and extend your tan and protects the skin against premature aging. Keep applying these products daily once you’re home.
A solarium (sunbed) tan is not a safe tan. Do not fall for the marketing ploy used by some salons who suggest solariums can give you a 'healthy' tan. Tanning beds pump out huge amounts of UVA and no UVB (which stimulates vitamin D). People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for skin cancer by 75 percent.
There is no sunscreen that can protect skin 100 per cent from UV rays. However, sunscreen acts as a barrier so that only a certain amount of UV gets through to your skin. Look for sunscreen that is high in SPF (we recommend 30 or higher) and look for the label 'broad spectrum' which means it filters both UVA and UVB rays. UVB is responsible for sunburn, but both UVA and UVB contribute to the risk of skin cancer.
Your skin reaches a tanning cut-off point when it physically can't produce any more melanin (the tanning pigment) so it's ineffecive to lay by the pool all day. Each individual has their own melanin cut-off, typically 2-3 hours or much less if you have fair skin, after this you're just subjecting your skin to the risk of UV damage so we strongly suggest re-applying your sunscreen every two hours.
To achieve a more 'even' tan throughout, take preventive measures and wear your sunglasses and a hat. The skin around your eyes, including your eyes, are sensitive to UV rays. Neglecting these areas can result in eye diseases like cataract, age-related macular degeneration and eye cancers according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
A wide brim hat should cover your ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp all at once while you look stylish getting your #tan on. If wide brim hats do not suit you, opt for a shade cap as these caps have seven inches of fabric that drape down the sides and back and can provide protection for your neck too, suggests the ACS. Although a baseball cap looks ideal, it only offers protection in the front and the top of the head, leaving the neck and ears vulnerable to sun damage and does not protect the skin.
Before heading out to get your tan on, we suggest exfoliating your skin first. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin. This allows for fresh skin to appear. The act of removing these dead skin cells evens out your skin tone, removes dirt and oil that clog your pores and also prevents acne.
The less buildup of dead skin cells, the shallower your layer of skin. This makes your natural tan last longer. Removing dead skin cells also allows you to tan more easily as the tan will appear and fade evenly.
You can make your own exfoliating scrub at home using the following simple ingredients: - ¼ cup olive oil- ½ cup brown sugar- ½ cup ground oatmeal or coffee ground
You can apply this mixture by wetting your skin first and apply gently with a loofah pad or an exfoliating glove.
If you got the base colour already, why not give your skin some sun-free and totally safe downtime? Fake tans looks even *better* on naturally tanned skin, warming up the top layers and extending the life of your beach babe glow and best of all, no UV rays! Yay! # f a k e i t t i l y o u m a k e i t
Pores are tiny openings in a person's skin—it is not possible to get rid of pores as they simply do not just “disappear”. The only thing you can do is reduce them.
There are two kinds of pores: one releases our body’s natural oils (sebum) and the other is sweat. The oil releasing pores will usually appear larger.
OK babe, chill. First, how close are you to the damn mirror? Take a step back, breathe—your pores should be the *least* of your problems. Real talk: if someone has commented on how huge your pores are, get rid of them! You don’t need that negativity in your life. And if it's your partner, Kellie will bring down her fury and chant: “get rid of that trash, dump him!”
On a more serious note, cleanse your face and exfoliate. Use good products and your face will look and feel clean. You’ll find that pores are a very small part of your skin concerns. They are pores, afterall—everyone's got them! Having "huge pores" isn't really a health concern—it’s purely aesthetic. If you're smoking, eating junk food, drinking heaps of wine (heh!) and making bad lifestyle choices then don’t you think you should divert your attention onto those issues? Remember, the size of your pores is affected by your skin condition, genetics and lifestyle.
Pores cannot open, close, shrink or tighten because they don’t have muscles around their opening in order to "pull and contract".
There are a few reasons why your pores are large: excessive sebum (oil) is one and two, your skin is just being a b*tch. This is why some people have oily skin. Another reason is not enough elasticity around the pores. This is because the skin around the pore areas become supple and the pores appear large and there is the good ol’ increase in hair follicle volume, this is when hair follicles becomes clogged (ugh, why can’t our skin, oil, and hair follicles just all get along?).
Your face is covered in tiny hairs, each hair follicle has a pore on the top of it. Each hair follicle has a gland (sebaceous gland) that produces oil. The oil releases to the top of the skin and hangs out there in the pore (I know—unwanted guest much?).
Our pores may appear more visible if hot water is used to wash the face, this is due to the fact that our skin swells slightly with the warmth of water, not because pores have opened up - pores don't open or close due to temperature.
Okay, so we know you can’t get rid of pores forever and unfortunately they cannot be 'minimised" but what we can do is keep them clean, nice and tidy. In return, they will be good to you by being very incognito on your face. There are a few ways we can try and minimise them including cleansing two times a day, moisturising daily, applying a clay mask, always removing makeup before bed and wearing SPF / sunscreen.
BHA exfoliants are best for clogged pores. Clogged pores with dead skin and oil become bigger and more obvious. BHA exfoliants dissolve very well in oil and can easily penetrate the pore in order to unclog them for a smoother complexion.
WRINKLES + ANTI AGING
Wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but you can delay or minimize their appearance. To do so, limit sun exposure, wear sunscreen every day, and use skin products that contain antioxidants and retinoids, which can reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Take care of your skin, protect from the harsh UV rays by using a broad spectrum sunscreen and by using topical products that have retinoid and antioxidants.
As your skin loses elasticity and collagen, it naturally begins to appear wrinkly and saggy. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, and consider using eye creams and other topical products that contain retinoids and antioxidants, which can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.
There's heaps! But the most important one is: always use sunscreen. When you use anti-aging products without sunscreen you can actually make your skin age faster! Fun Fact: Did you know 90% of the skin aging is caused by UV radiation from the sun. We can't repeat it enough: always use sunscreen!
Retinol and vitamin C are two of the best ingredients for fading dark spots and is often used as a dual acne and wrinkle treatment. It has a high affnity towards your skin making it the best choice for eliminating sun-induced wrinkles, acne and dark spots.
To avoid brown spots, you need to start using a sunscreen. But if you already have spots due to the exposure to harsh sunlight, you can use an exfoliating agent or a natural skin-lightening/brightening product to lighten the brown sun spots. By limiting the exposure to heat and sun, and protecting the skin with sunscreen will help in reducing the brown sun spots.
The general skin types are normal, oily, dry and sensitive. If you have combination skin, it means you have two or more different skin types on the face (e.g. oily around your T-zone but dry everywhere else, for instance). Your skin type can change over time and can also be affected by factors such as hormones, diet and lifestyle. Lifestyle changes that will help with uneven skin tone include staying hydrated, using sunscreen, exfoliating your face and avoid foods high in refined sugars and grease. Determine your skin type by first washing your face and leave it bare (product free) for several hours before studying it closely.
The skin barrier is the outer surface of the skin including the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis. The stratum corneum is composed of skin cells, lipids, and natural moisturising factors like amino and fatty acids. The skin is the body’s largest organ and has three main layers: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.
A tell-tale sign of a damaged skin barrier includes redness or inflammation, dehydration, itchiness, flakiness or acne break outs. Anyone who feels these sensations after applying certain products may have a compromised skin barrier. Stinging skin feels dry and uncomfortable and could be mistaken for “sensitive skin"; however, it is most likely a pH issue meaning that the product is not compatible with your skin.
Hydration is key and even important after tanning. We suggest applying an Aloe Vera based moisturiser, which not only moisturises but also has soothing benefits. If the tanned skin is not sufficiently hydrated, the colour will become uneven and the skin will start to pee or turn flakeyl. Moreover, since hydration is extremely important, it is better to have it done all over the body. Do not forget the rule of drinking two litres of water per day, especially during the hotter seasons as fluids get lost faster from the body. Also rememver lotions for tan maintenance, which can be applied even if the tanning process is not over yet. The aftercare products usually contain Panthenol, Aloe Vera, and vitamin E. These supplements give flexibility to your skin and helps the tan settle better. Remember: the ideal tan requires good preparation and even better maintenance!
The recovery time for the barrier lipid varies according to your age. For younger individuals, 50-60% of the barrier lipids are restored within 12 hours with full recovery taking about three days. However, in older adults, complete recovery can take over a week.
Depending on the condition of the skin, this can lead to dehydration and additional skin sensitivity.
There are many ways to faciliate a healthy skin barrier. The best way is to make sure your skin is well hydrated throught the day and night. Look for products with hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in moisture as well as humectants, which has water-attracting properties. A few common humectants include lactic acid and glycerin.
You should also take a break from exfoliating and allow your skin time to heal. Also, protect your skin from the sun. Try to avoid very hot showers and baths, including steam rooms and saunas. Always wash your face with lukewarm water. If you live in a colder climate, the wind and bitterly cold temperatures can rob your skin of moisture. We suggest protecting your face with a good moisturiser when you have to expose it to the cold harsh weather. Another challenge may be to not scratch itchy skin as it just inflames it further.
Hydration is key so don’t over-wash your face, you may also want to try adding omega rich, oily fish like salmon and mackerel into your diet, which may have an anti-inflammatory effect. The goal is to protect the skin barrier from breaking down due to extreme temperature changes.
LESS IS MORE. If your skin barrier is compromised, it also means that your skin's permeability has increased. In other words, irritants that your barrier would otherwise block out are coming in to the skin MUCH EASIER, which can eventually cause or worsen inflammation.
Sun damage and hormonal changes are two causes of dark spots. Avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen can prevent new dark spots from forming, while exfoliating regularly or using prescription medications may help treat the spots you already have. Certain dark spot correctors or moisturisers may also help.
Remember to choose products that are specfically formulated for your skin type. UV rays trigger new pigment production, which means more dark spots. So don't hold back on moisturiser with a high SPF and use sunscreen every day. Try a sunscreen which contains niacinamide, which is an anti-inflammatory that is proven to reduce redness.
Implementing a facial oil can help restore the barrier function imensely. Also, look for products that use ceramides, cholesterol (or phytosterol for a vegan option), and free fatty acids in the right ratio.
Also, replenishing the skin with natural moisturizing factors can help, as well. Panthenol (Vitamin B5) and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) also help improve the barrier function.
Once your skin is healthy, you’d be able to tolerate numerous products without an irritation. Your skin barrier functions to keep irritants out and let the nutrients in to your skin. But it depends on the individual when it comes to seeing a difference with the same product.
The skin barrier weakens due to the natural aging process. As we age, skin gets thinner due to the loss of collagen and elastin. Further, environmental factors such as the sun, polution and extreme weather (cold and heat) can also play a role. Another key factor can include over exfoliation and the use of harsh products that do not have the proper pH balance. Too much cleansing and scrubbing can also strip the layer of protective lipids from the skin. Since moisture is key to a healthy skin barrier, other causes can be lack of hydration (both external and internal) as well as too much alcohol and caffeine, which can compromise the skin's barrier with its drying effects.
We know when your skin is freaking out, you just want to slather on anything and everything in hopes it will bring it back to normal. However, doing just that is probably making it worse. The best thing to do is letting it chill out and nourish it with gentle basics, just cleanse and moisturise, and give your skin barrier time to heal.
In chemistry, pH stands for ‘potential hydrogen’ and it refers to the levels of acidic or alkaline (basic) in a given solution. The scale runs from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, a pH less than 7 is acidic, and a pH greater than 7 is basic (alkaline).
The skin’s ideal pH is slightly acidic, usually about 5.5. This is when your skin is working to it's optimum level—when its balanced.
The pH of a product refers to its acidity or alkalinity. The optimal range for pH-balanced skincare products is between 4.5 and 7.
One of the main causes is the use of alkaline cleansers. You can tell that the pH of your cleanser is too high if you experience that tight and "squeaky-clean" (moisture loss) feeling after washing your face.
If the skin pH is too alkaline (greater than 5.5), it can become dry, sensitive, and you may even develop eczema.
There are both internal and outside influencers that affect the skin's 'acid mantle', causing it to be 'too acidic'. For example, the skin becomes more acidic as we age because the internal natural buffering pH capacity goes down, and the body becomes progressively acidic. Environmental stressors may also contribute to acidic skin including air pollution, smoking, water, sun, and more... The acid mantle needs to strike the right balance between acidity and alkaline and these external influencers can contribute to its breakdown, disrupting the skin’s ability to protect itself. Last but not least, some skincare products can cause acidic skin.
You will want to look for skin care products with a pH around 5.5 since this is the skin’s ideal pH. But it’s okay if the pH is not exactly 5.5. Most skin care experts agree that the ideal pH range for products is between 4.5 and 7 and the general rule is that slightly acidic products are preferred.
It is important to note that some ingredients, like vitamin C, retinol, AHAs, and BHAs, need to be formulated at a lower pH for them to work effectively.
If the skin pH is too acidic (less than 5.5) it can become irritated, red, inflamed, and even painful to touch. Acidic skin can also lead to acne breakouts.
If your skin pH is thrown 'off balance' (by using the wrong products or living an unhealthy lifestyle), your skin will suffer resulting in sensitivity, wrinkles, inflammation or acne. In other words, if your skin is too alkaline, you don't need to be using acidic products. Conversely, if your skin is too acidic, you don't need to be increasing its alkalinity.
High sugar foods can increase sebum production! Sugar causes release of insulin and insulin like growth factor (IGF-1). It has been proven to be linked to sebum production, which leads to acne. Yikes!
It's simple, really—there is no quick fix here. It’s basically eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise. Use good quality products and clean your face at least two times a day. That’s it! Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have enough on our plates everyday. We don’t need to stress and cry about having too much wine or enjoying some French fries once in a while...
Moisturisers can sometimes cause dead skin to stay on your face, making your skin look dull and tired. Exfoliation is the best as it triggers skin cells to wake up and stop being lazy! It is also super refreshing and gives your skin a dewy, lasting glow. Therefore, we highly recommend using a good exfoliator to achieve a radiant glow that even the skin gods would envy!
It means exactly that—you often have acne breakouts. Usually this skin type is a combination to oily skin type and products may cause you to flare up and break out more often than normal. You may need to get checked out by a doctor or get a blood test to find out what you may be allergic to or whether you have certain sensitivities to products or hormonal imbalances.
Acne is caused by a variety of things including increased sebum (oil) production, hyperkeratinisation (inability to exfoliate) and overgrowth of P. acnes (most common) bacteria.Acne is most common in young adults (damn hormonal skin) and about 80 percent of people will have at least one acne break out before age 30. It is less common in older adults who tend to have regulated hormone levels. Since stress can affect hormones, it may also play a role in the development of acne, but so far, there is no concrete evidence that can link stress, diet, or light makeup with acne. If you have acne, wash your face gently with a mild cleanser (no more than twice a day) and avoid hard scrubbing, exfoliating and touching of the affected areas.
One way to tackle hyperpigmentation that results from acne is by lightening them. Look for a lightening / brightening cream with natural skin lighteners such as kojic acid (a chemical produced from fungi), licorice root, mulberry extract, green tea and Vitamin C. They work by inhibiting an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is necessary for melanin production within the skin. Without the enzyme, melanin cannot be produced.
Many lightening products contain hydroquinone, which essentially bleaches the skin. It is effective but it has been banned in some countries as some studies indicate it could be a carcinogen (i.e. they are cancer-causing). However, many dermatologists prescribe it and believe that using a small amount for a short time period is safe. Keep in mind that the amount of hydroquinone used in over-the-counter products is much lower than prescription levels.
One effective way to improve minor scarring is with dermabrasion performed by a professioanl using a high-speed brush or other instrument to resurface the skin. Removing the outer layer of skin helps to eliminate or reduce the appearance of a scar. The healing process can take several days. A less invasive procedure is micro-dermabrasion, where a spray of small crystals (usually aluminum oxide) buffs the outer layer of the skin. There is no downtime but it doesn’t penetrate as deeply.
Do not pop, prod or poke your pimps! Frankly, don't go near it. Touching a pimple can transfer even more bacteria from your finger to your face, making it even worse in most cases. The other reason to not attempt to pop a pimple or extract a blackhead is that you can cause scarring. In the case of blackheads, you can also turn it into an angry and inflamed pimple when it was simply a comedone.
Exfoliating works well to get rid of the blackheads from your skin.You can always use home remedies to discourage the formation of blackheads on your skin.
For deeper acne scars, consider a chemical peel. Chemical peels can be done at home or at a dermatology clinic for a stronger formula. At home formulas contain glycolic acid and sometimes salicylic acid to help promote skin cell renewal resulting in brighter, fresher and more even skin tone. A deeper chemical peel can be performed by a dermatologist. It involves applying chemicals to the face to remove its outer layer and reveal renewed skin. Mild-strength chemical peels use alpha hydroxy or other acids but medium and deep peels can also be done. The depth of the peel will be determined by the professional but patients can expect redness and flaking, which will eventually subside after a week.
Face masks for acne is awesome because they can treat and prevent breakouts. Typically, you can use them 2-3 times a week and combine them with other treatments such as an acne cleanser or gel spot treatments. Think of a face mask as an 'extra boost' in your arsenal of acne-fighting weapons. Furthermore, masks help feed potent ingredients straight into your pores, locking them in and staying there until your acne lesions are healed. The ingredients in face masks also tend to be more concentrated, which will help you get the strongest dose of the “medicine”—if you will.
Keep in mind that it’s best to wash your acne face mask 10 to 15 minutes following application. If you leave these masks on for too long, they can cause irritation. This will be hard to reverse and your skin can turn red, get too dry and start to peel / turn flakey.
Many acne face masks will contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid and some plant botanicals to fight bacteria and unclog pores. Once these pores are cleaned out thanks to these powerful yet gentle acids, you better your chances of reducing "acne agony" in all forms.
Types of acne range from blackheads to angry red bumps full of pus, some may hurt. On a scale of bad to worse, blackheads would be in the bad section with nodular acne and cystic acne being the worst. Of course, blackheads are still super annoying, because they are often very stubborn. They can get lodged deep inside a pore and be almost impossible to extract. Even worse, they can become infected and turn into a pimple, and leave behind a post-inflammatory scar or dark spot.
On the other spectrum of acne, nodular and cystic acne is the type that can leave behind very significant scars. These types of scars can look like raised bumps (keloids) or deep grooves (ice-picks) that damage the skin's smooth complexion. It can take a lot of exfoliating and sometimes, even laser to treat these types of scars.
Which all leads up to the fact that acne is best treated ASAP to prevent as much scarring as possible. Even small dark spots can take up to six months to fade if you don’t act on it immediately. These dark spots form as a result of inflammation that causes cells in your skin to produce more melanin. Though these types of scars are flat and often small, they can still cause dullness and uneven skin tone that will need to be covered with makeup.
The antioxidant vitamin E is a *hero* ingredient that can be found in most of your moisturiser or serum! It’s a naturally occurring antioxidan that allows for long lasting moisture and with its many benefits, many people swear by applying a vitamin E cream or oil to scars to help the healing process (whether that’s an acne scar or one caused post-surgery).
Here's a list of things we suggest to help improve your acne:
If your skin type is oily, wash it in the morning and night with an oil-free, acne cleanser.
Avoid makeup and products that is oil-based like the plague. Many new products will label themselves oil-free to help you.
Always cleanse and remove your makeup before bed to prevent clogged pores.
Make sure you also cleanse and wash your face before and after working out to help keep the pores clean and open.
Stress can play a key role in acne breakouts, particularly in adult females. If you find yourself feeling stressed lately, it may be helpful to practice breathing exercises, go for a walk or meditate to help facilitate better looking skin.
Vitamin C should be included into just about every skincare routine as it helps skin on so many levels! It fights free radical damage and leaves skin looking brighter and clearer. It also helps tackle discoloration. The easiest way to get your dose of Vitamin C is to apply a serum.
Microneedling is one way to help acne scars—the process promotes the growth of new collagen in your skin, encouraging your skin to heal itself and in turn, minimizes its appearance. A dermaroller is a facial instrument with a wheel containing hundreds of tiny needles to gently prick the face. As the body heals itself, it increases collagen and elastin production. This leads to reduced pigmentation and improved appearance of fine lines and scars. However, you must avoid using it directly on blemishes or acne areas because you could run the risk of bacterial and other types of infections.
Retinol is the "holy grail" ingredient and is amazing for acne. Retinol works by increasing cell turnover, which helps prevent dead skin cells from clogging pores and causing breakouts. Dark spots and scars will fade as the cells are renewed and skin texture will be improved. Start *slowly* with a pea-sized drop over your entire face once a week and work your way up as your skin becomes adjusted. Your skin can also be sensitive while using retinol so make sure to also apply sunscreen daily.
Severe, permanent acne scars may need to be treated by a laser, especially when deep indentations are caused by the breakdown of collagen. The type of laser used depends on whether the acne scar is raised or flat, the colour of the scar, and the severity of the acne. Downtime between treatments and recovery time will also vary. It is also important to know that laser doesn’t completely remove acne scars, but it will reduce their appearance and also minimise pain caused by them.
Azelaic acid is obtained from natural materials and is produced by a yeast that lives on normal skin. It can also be created in a lab and works as a skin lightener. Azelaic acid can help diminish red and brown acne scars and also brighten skin. It works to treat acne by killing the bacteria that infect pores and by decreasing production of keratin, a natural substance that can lead to the development of acne. Prescription only products contain 15-20% azelaic acid and it comes in a foam, cleanser and cream. Lower concentrations can be found in off the shelf products such as The Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% serum.
Dark circles under the eyes is due to very thin, dehydrated skin plus blood pooling most obvious when blood is deoxygenated. It is usually caused by fatigue but can also be caused by other factors including genetics, aging, sun exposure etc...
If your dark circles are caused by increased pigmentation, use a lightening / brightening cream around the eyes to gently fade the area. Look for Vitamin C, kojic acid and licorice extract, which all help to lighten skin pigmentation over time.
If your dark circles stem from having thin skin, apply a retinoid. You can check this by gently stretching the skin under your eyes. If the area becomes darker, it is probably due to thin skin and diminished collagen. Retinoids are the group of Vitamin A derivatives that have been proven to stimulate collagen production, which thickens the skin and helps to improve the appearance of dark circles. Apply the cream gently with a tapping motion. Retinols are powerful so start slowly with a tiny amount, and make sure to moisturise the eye area to avoid any dryness or irritation.
Concealer is your best friend and can hide your dark circles provided you don't go too light (hello panda eyes!). Choose a light-weight concealer that closely matches your skin tone. Start by dotting on concealer with your preferred tool and work it towards the outer corner of the eye. Don't forget to finish off with a setting powder so your concealer can last as long as possible!
Caffeinated tea can help reduce dark circles under the eyes. Green and black teas have some of the highest concentrations of caffeine. They contain tannins and are natural diuretics, which help shrink blood vessels and minimise the appearance of dark circles. Try this DIY at home:Steep two tea bags in hot water for a couple minutes, remove and let chill in fridge. Once chilled, squeeze out the excess water from the tea bags and let them sit on your eyes for about 15-20 minutes. The cold compress can reduce swelling and help eliminate dark circles. Alternatively, you can freeze an ice cube tray of green tea and apply them when necessary! Use a clean cloth and wrap the ice cube and never press on your eye.
Oily skin is attributed to the sebaceous glands, where oil is produced to lubricate and hydrate the skin. Sometimes, though, those glands can become overactive and produce too much oil. This causes the skin to have a shiny, but dull complexion. Overproduction by the sebaceous glands can arise from many conditions, such as puberty, the hormonal change in teenagers and hormonal changes in women. Other factors that come in to play for overactive sebaceous glands are diet, climate, such as hot and humid weather, dehydration, medication, stress and genetics. Even improper skin care products and skin regimens can strip the skin and create even more oil production.
Look for cleansers that contain Sulfur, Salicylic Acid or Tea Tree Oil – all of which dissolve excess sebum (oil). Glycolic Acid is also a good active ingredient, as it improves the skin’s overall tone and texture. After cleansing, use a mild, alcohol-free toner to remove impurities that your cleanser may have missed.
Oily skin can handle a bit more exfoliation, so anyone with oily and acne-prone skin should try a product with a combination of glycolic and salicylic acid products.
Exfoliating is good for preventing pores from clogging – something that happens often if you are prone to oily skin. Many people choose to use an oil-free scrub designed for oily skin types, but be gentle when applying it on your face so as not to irritate your skin. Once or three times a week works well for oily skin types.
When applying makeup in the morning, first use a mattifying or oil-control primer or base. This will absorb oil throughout the day, keeping skin looking fresh and shine-free. You can also powder your T-zone to soak up additional sebum on your face’s oiliest areas: the forehead and nose.
If your face often starts looking greasy later on in the day, then oil-control paper is your friend. These are great for a quick fix to blot away shine. These papers also tend not to dry out the skin and can be used over makeup. A dusting of a translucent powder can be applied two or three times during the day after blotting the face to cover up extra shine.
People with oily skin types can have thicker skin with large pores. In some cases, a condition called sebaceous hyperplasia takes place, producing small white bumps that form in the pores of more mature skin types. The most common area of the face affected by excess oil is the T-Zone -- the forehead, nose and chin area. These areas are also more prone to acne and clogged pores, or blackheads, because of the overproduction of sebum, or oil. Two benefits of oily skin, however, are it keeps the skin plump and tends to slow the aging process, primarily preventing wrinkles from forming at an earlier age.
About once a week. A deep-cleansing clay facial mask can soak up excess sebum (oil), reducing shine for several days. Look for masks that also contain ingredients like honey or shea butter to help soothe your skin and prevent it from drying out. However, these masks can still over dry your face, so consider applying them only to the oiliest areas.
An astringent (sometimes called adstringent) is a chemical that shrinks or constricts body tissues. The word derives from the Latin adstringere, which means "to bind fast". Calamine lotion, witch hazel, and yerba mansa, a Californian plant, are astringents.
If your skin is excessively oily, you can use an astringent to tighten pores and further remove oil, but because astringents contain high levels of alcohol, many find them over-drying and harsh – these should, at most, be used every other day, and never use them after you’ve exfoliated your face.
When you have oily skin, dead cells don't flake off as quickly. This is because your skin is adding more mortar—in the form of sebum—into your skin cell wall. This is the reason oily skin can be prone to breakouts: when dead skin cells hang around too long, they end up blocking pores and feeding acne-causing bacteria. However, over-exfoliation can be just as bad. Excessive exfoliation accelerates skin-cell turnover way past a healthy rate. This leaves skin feeling tight and sensitive while also leaving it vulnerable to dehydration and, worst-case scenario, infection.
Treatment for oily skin varies, especially because a majority of oily skin types tend to suffer acne through the pore-clogging buildup of sebum and bacteria. One important rule to know when treating oily skin is to use the appropriate cleanser. A good pH-balanced foaming gel or foaming cream cleanser, with neither containing harsh sulfates, is highly recommended for oily skin. Both should be rinsed with lukewarm water. Lightweight serums with antioxidants and nutrients are also suggested for oily skin, as this approach helps balance hydration levels to keep the skin from producing too much sebum. These serums also infuse the skin with healthy ingredients to combat bacteria and acne.
Yes, you need to moisturise your skin even if you have oily skin. Moisturiser is used to improve your skin’s texture and to hydrate your skin. If you have oily skin, you can use oil-free moisturiser to avoid greasy and shiny looking skin.
The best type of exfoliant for your oily skin type is salicylic acid. Although this ingredient is called an acid, it's not the kind that's going to burn your skin. Salicylic acid is a mild acid that gently speeds up your skin-cell turnover by dissolving the mortar that holds those bricks together.
This is actually much better than using a facial scrub, as exfoliating acids don't encourage you to over-scrub the skin. In fact, no scrubbing is required at all.
Many types of skincare acids are available, but salicylic acid (which is a beta-hydroxy acid) is oil-soluble, which makes it ideal for oily skin. Salicylic acid can penetrate oil-filled pores and scout out areas of dead skin that have the potential to cause a breakout.
Steer clear from using any harsh products to get rid of the oily skin. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle skin cleanser, use oil-free moisturizer and other skin products. Using home remedies can also help you to reduce the oil production. Also, pay attention to your diet, as increase in amount of sugar, salt and fried food can wreck your skin and lead to more oil production.
This means your skin is dry and may have rough or flakey spots and can also produce excessive sebum (oil). It can be often mistaken for oily skin due to the oil production and you can make it worse by using drying products on your skin when it actually needs moisture. You should treat this as a dry skin type even though it may look oily in appearance.
Dry skin isn't usually serious. In most cases it's caused by factors like hot or cold weather, low moisture in the air, and soaking in hot water. You can do a lot on your own to improve your skin, including using moisturizers and avoiding harsh, drying soaps. These are the signs you should see a doctor who specialises in skin (dermatologist); if you skin doesn't improve in spite of your best efforts Your Dry skin is accompanied by redness, if it affects your sleeping, if you have open sores or infections from scratching and if you have large areas of scaling or peeling.
Dry skin is likely to cause one or more of the following, A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing or swimming, skin that feels and looks roughItching (pruritus) slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling fine lines or cracks gray, ashy skin redness or Depp cracks that may bleed.
We know that cold weather, harsh winds, and artificial heating are common culprits, and Dr. Marchbein explains why: “The moisture in our skin tends to evaporate more quickly in the winter,” she says. “The lack of humidity causes the air to suck the moisture from our skin. It’s not just the dry air, though. The low temperatures and wind can cause chapped skin, which can be especially uncomfortable if it’s dry as well. Oftentimes, how we choose to warm up during the winter can also lead to dry skin, like long, steamy showers and cranking up the heat! That’s why while a proper skin-care routine is a year-round necessity, it’s especially important during the winter.”
The best skincare ingredients designed to attract and retain water in the skin are called 'humectants' and they're usually lactiv acid, urea and glycerin.
Winter skin definitely a known issue, there is not much you can do about the weather (sorry that's something we can't change) unless you move, the good news is that getting relief from dry, itchy winter skin is possible and easy.
When it’s cold outside, many of us enjoy warming up in a steamy shower. While scalding hot water may feel relaxing on your skin, it could be causing additional dryness you most certainly don’t need. If your skin is red after a shower, that means the temperature is too hot, stick to lukewarm showers that are on the shorter side.
Because low humidity levels can contribute to drier conditions, We recommend using a humidifier in the bedroom during the winter to help restore lost moisture to the air while you sleep.
Yes! Using a good moisturizer can help prevent and treat dry skin, it can also protect sensitive skin and improve the texture of your skin. Using a moisturiser daily can improve the skin’s hydrating and make your skin healthy and glowing.
Moisturize Often! One of the easiest ways to keep dry skin in check this winter is to be diligent with your moisturizing habits. That includes moisturizing often, but also using a powerful formula. moisturisers that contain ceramides,help keep moisture in while also maintaining the skin’s protective barrier.
Absolutely! swapping your lightweight summer moisturiser for one rich in moisturizing ingredients like ceramides, which absorbs into the skin to hydrate and nourish, providing long-lasting moisturizing benefits your skin needs.
This skin type reacts negatively to many products and you can break out or become very dry. It could be hot when touched and there may be itchiness, visible blotchiness and red areas that may cause discomfort. This means you need to check your ingredients list and make sure you're not using products with many ingredients, which can confuse you in narrowing down the right products for your skin.
Allergies are more severe and can sometimes cause difficulty in breathing and nausea. If you are allergic to dust, it doesn’t necessarily mean your skin is sensitive. In skin care, you may be allergic to a particular ingredient but your skin may not be sensitive. It may be able to adapt to other products that don’t contain that ingredient. However, if you have sensitive skin, your skin will most likely react to harsh chemicals and skin products.
Be gentle with it. Always wash sensitive skin with care and never use harsh cleansers. Avoid products that contain irritating substances such as fragrance, essential oils and alcohol. Instead, seek products that are specifically made for sensitive skin.
This is a tricky one. So you would usually be dry on the cheeks but oily in the t-zone, your pores around the nose will be englarged (because of the sebum activity) and you may be dry and flakey on the cheeks. you could be an oily-combination, which means you are oily on the t-zone and dry / normal on the cheeks (so not too bad on the cheeks).
This is a *must* if you want to avoid your skin from reacting. Don’t use a product without testing it on your hand first. Wait for 24 hours and if your skin doesn’t react to it, go ahead and apply it to your face.
This is the skin type dream—it means none of the above applies to you (dry, flakey, oily, excess sebum or oil etc...). Your appearance is quite dewy and you have no major skin issues.
Only you know your skin best!
Paying attention to your skin every day—how it looks and feels—as well as how it reacts to different ingredients is how you will find your ideal skincare routine that will help you put your *best* face forward.