I was up late last night thinking about everything I have learned over these past few months and how a lot of the things I thought before about skincare were TOTALLY wrong. As I was thinking, I realized that it would be so great if I could share all the information that I learn as I learn it! I told you guys that I wanted this brand to be very focused on building a community and education and I still stand by that! With that being said, I want to start posting a blog post every month updating you all on the new things that I learn about our skin, skincare ingredients, and how to formulate. Again, this is a learning process for me and I am so glad you guys have decided to come on this crazy journey with me. Thank you all SO much. Without further ado, here is what I have learned so far in August 2020.
Your body can become allergic to anything at any time. This sounds crazy, but anything from what you eat, to what you put on your face can cause a new allergy even if you have used it before! Therefore, it can often be difficult to pinpoint what you are allergic to! This is why I recommend keeping a simple routine and adding in new products slowly in order to ensure that there is not an allergic reaction!
Niacinamide is good for every skin type. When I tell you guys I LOVE niacinamide. Known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is known to heal the skin barrier shrink pore size, unclog pores, balance oil production and it can even help reduce the appearance of scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Every single esthetician I have watched, every article I have read, and every research paper I have looked over raves about this product, and rightfully so! I CANNOT wait to show you guys some products that I plan to formulate with this ingredient!!! Favorite ingredient to use on my skin hands down.
Witch hazel is a spawn of the devil. Just kidding! However, the infamous Golden RX esthetician known as LaBeautyologist, has said time and time again that witch hazel is horrible for your skin and at first, I was like no, there's no way! But oh she was so right (to be honest she's always right). Witch hazel is actually an astringent meaning that it can strip your skin of its natural oils. Now I know all of my oily skin people are probably like yes, take away all of my oil, however, in reality, stripping your skin of its oil only makes it produce MORE oil. The best way to tone is with a hydrating toner that adds moisture back into the skin!
You HAVE to stay consistent with your skincare routine, especially if you are acne-prone. This summer my skin has looked the BEST it has ever looked. I'm talking all kinds of natural glow, light-reflecting, clear as day. But then, I got lazy. Well, I won't say I necessarily got lazy, but I stopped being consistent with my routine because I was so busy trying to work on and test new products that at the end of the day I kind of only half did my skincare routine. Let me tell you first hand, an inconsistent routine, face masks, heat, and stress DO NOT mix. I haven't broken out in YEARS, but about a month down the road into my inconsistency my skin decided it was time for payback. I'm talking cystic pimples on one of my cheeks! Do you guys know how upset I was? All because I fell off of my routine. Keep a routine you guys, if there is one thing that you take from this post please let it be that. There is nothing wrong with enhancing your routine or changing it, however, don't implement too many new products at one time, and overall just remember to practice your skincare routine both morning and night.
Ice works wonders. You remember how I said, I had a breakout on one of my cheeks from being inconsistent with my routine? Well, one thing I learned during that time is that icing your skin is super effective when it comes to preventing and getting rid of new breakouts especially if they are inflamed much like cystic acne is. I started icing my face both in the morning and at night after I wash my face and overall my face looks much brighter and the ice even helped me keep one of my cystic pimples from coming to a head and leaving a huge scar as they normally would. To learn more about face icing and its benefits, give this video by skin enthusiast, James Welsh, a watch: https://youtu.be/ChNMZi-F-dA
It is important to use products that have the correct pH balance for your skin. The skin's natural pH is usually around 5.5 if a person has normal healthy skin with a good intact moisture barrier. This means that the products you use should shoot to keep your skin at or around this pH. Now, some products will have different pHs than others so that they may remain effective, so I'm just going to list ranges that should be applicable to most products. Cleansers: 4.5-7, Toners: 4.5-7, Sunscreen: 5-7.5, AHAs and BHAs (these are your exfoliants like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc): 3-4, Moisturizer: 5-7, Serums (this includes things like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid): 4-6.
Many actives such as AHAs can be derived from natural sources. This whole time I had been thinking that things such as glycolic acid and lactic acid were bad because they were super chemical-based. BIG WRONG. If you go read my "Is Natural Always Better" post in it you will see that I talked a little about basically everything being a chemical including water, so it's better to focus on specific ingredients and their benefits in a product instead of just buying something because it's labeled as natural. By the way, while I'm talking about that, I have seen a lot of natural brands include lemon oil and stuff like that in their formulations. PLEASE do not put anything such as lemon on your face! It can be extremely sensitizing and actually make hyperpigmentation worse in the long run. Anyways, I digress. AHAs are usually derived from different natural sources. For example, glycolic acid comes from sugar cane, lactic acid comes from milk, and malic acid comes from fruits such as apricots, blackberries, and peaches.
Big exfoliating particles are HORRIBLE for your facial skin. I don't know if you know, but Saint Ives is canceled. Using large particles such as caster sugar (this is the raw large particles of sugar), salt, walnut shells, coffee grounds, and apricot shells can create microtears in your skin. This means that your skin's barrier will ultimately be more compromised and increasingly susceptible to bacteria which could ultimately lead to more breakouts and hyperpigmentation. After discovering this and doing more research on it, I adjusted the formula in my glow facial scrub to include only soft brown sugar, due to its small particle size (I am thinking about making further adjustments in the future to provide a better exfoliating experience, we'll see) and jojoba wax beads which are rounded and will not cause microtears.
Mask Acne (maskne) is real. Due to the friction that is caused by wearing our masks from prolonged periods of time, many people are struggling with something known as acne mechanica which really just means mechanical acne. This usually occurs on the chin, around the mouth, on the nose, or on the inner cheek area. Now, it is important that we all continue to wear our masks in order to protect not only ourselves but one another so not wearing a mask isn't really the solution, but I am going to tell you all about some of the things that helped me. First, get a hydrating toner. I kid you not, ever since I started using the Refresh toner I have seen a significant difference in my skin and the way it reacts to mask-wearing, especially on my chin area. Secondly, make sure you are either washing your reusable mask every day or wearing a new disposable mask every day. For some reason reusable masks made me break out really bad even when continuously washing them, so now I change my disposable masks every day. Third, wear an occlusive under your mask. Now I personally haven't tried this one but I have heard really good things about it from estheticians and people I personally know that have tried it. An occlusive would be something like petroleum jelly and the use of this would help create a barrier between your skin and your mask and ultimately prevent the mask from rubbing directly against your skin and causing irritation,. Fourth, if you already have a few breakouts or feel one coming on, try pimple patches under your mask! Now I am super excited to try this one. I recently watched a video by board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Dray, where she talked about maskne and how a great way to keep breakouts at bay or to prevent new ones was by wearing pimple patches (also known as hydrocolloid bandages) underneath your mask!
I already knew this so this is not a new thing I have learned, but patience is key. Often times we want a product or a treatment to work right away when it just doesn't work that way. I know I get super impatient about hyperpigmentation and want it to fade immediately when in reality it can take one dark mark at least 6 months to fade naturally on its own. Now, there are products and treatments to help this, but they take time too. For example, niacinamide can take up to 12 weeks to work enough to the point where a person can see visible results. That's 3 months!!! That takes a lot of consistency and patience!
Now that I have spilled a 7 minute read worth of information on this page, I just want to say that I am NOT a dermatologist or an esthetician, at least not yet! I am just a girl that likes to research skincare and has watched countless videos and read countless articles from licensed professionals and skin care specialists. This is simply me recycling everything I have learned from them and giving it to you.
As I have said before, thank you guys so much for coming on this journey with me! As I learn more I vow to continue to make better products and continue to share new information with all of you. Again, thank you all SO much for your support. It truly means the world to me.