6 Common Skin Care Myths

The ancient Egyptian Queen Cleopatra soaked in luxurious baths of milk and honey in her quest for beautiful skin. Like her, women throughout time used all sorts of extraordinary skin care regimens to achieve their ideas of “perfect skin.” In Medieval times, people avoided bathing with soap and water even after the Black Plague because they considered it dangerous. Victorian women drank their perfumes thinking that their bodies would sweat out the smelly potions. As you can see by history, what seems like good sense today may in fact prove to be a skin care myth.

Skin Care Myth #1:“To be really clean, I must have squeaky-clean skin.”

Getting squeaky-clean skin may feel good for a moment but you aren’t really doing yourself any favors. Skin care products that dry out your skin strip away the body’s natural oils. Those oils are necessary for giving you a natural glow and for keeping skin soft and lubricated. This is especially true for facial skin that tends to show its age faster than your body. Avoid using products that leave you super dry or at least use an oil-free moisturizer on your face and body.

Myth #2: “If you start shaving your legs, your hair will grow back thicker.”

Mom’s sage advice is in fact a myth. Scientists say that shaving does not cause thickening leg hairs or arm pit hairs. Actually before a person shaves, the hair shafts have slanted tips that lay naturally on the skin. When you shave the tipped hair away, the hair shafts grow back with no slanted tips. Also during puberty, when hormones begin to shift, the color of the hair may darken and appear thicker. These factors contribute to the idea that shaving your hair thickens it. If that were the case, women with thin hair should shave their heads. This is not a beauty tip we recommend!

Myth #3: “The higher the SPF the better protection I will get.”

You’d think so, but not really. For total sun protection, the SPF level isn’t as important as the type of sunscreen you are using. After SPF 15, you should be good to go. However, verify that your favorite product is a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen. There are two main types of UV rays that you need protection from. The UVA type changes the pigmentation of your skin, causing sun tanning. The UVB rays are primarily responsible for sunburns and can alter the DNA of your skin. This DNA alteration is responsible for diseases like cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Look for products that contain ingredients like mexorye, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium and zinc oxide. Here’s an extra tidbit. A base tan will not necessary prevent sunburn.

Myth #4: “You must use a toner to get clean skin.”

Forget toner. It’s overrated and will contribute to drying out your skin. Unless your skin is chronically oily, you don’t need to use toner. Many skin cleansers contain toner in their formulas so applying toner again may be redundant.

Myth #5: “Expensive skin care is the best.”

Wrong! The main difference between expensive skin care and the moderately priced? Patented fragrance formulas! Large cosmetic companies refine their fragrance formulas and trademark them. Often the science behind your product is common knowledge – it is the fragrance component that costs you. Get to know the science behind the products you love then go label shopping for cheaper versions.

Myth #6: “Anti-aging products reverse the signs of aging.”

I’d like to say this is true, but largely it isn’t. With the exception of topical retinoids, science has not proven that anti-aging products permanently reverse the signs of aging. Most products in the anti-aging category simply plump your skin causing the wrinkled area to appear puffier, younger-looking. The temporary effect will fade with the strength of the cream. However, topical retinoids have passed some tests. Retinoids do penetrate the skin at deep levels and can boost the regeneration of skin cells.

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What to Look for in an All Natural Skin Care Line

The word ‘natural’ is freely bandied about by cosmetic companies. What is a ‘natural’ skin care product? You cannot be faulted for assuming the product – a lotion, cream or cleansing milk … whatever, has as its ingredients all natural organic inputs. But it might just come as a nasty surprise to you that in the US there is absolutely no legal definition of what constitutes ‘natural’… at least when applied to cosmetic products. This little chink opens a floodgate to cosmetic manufacturers. And some of them exploit it to the full.

As a user of cosmetics you might certainly want to know what goes into the manufacture. You’re obviously concerned of the detrimental effects of any harmful ingredients. Newspapers and magazines are filled with scary articles of users who have had long-lasting, sometimes permanent adverse affects. Some of the unfortunate incidents have led to cancer and some users scarred and blemished for life.

Recent reports have suggested that many anti-aging creams contain estradiol, an estrogen of sorts. Inherent in this substance is an increased risk to certain forms of breast and uterine cancer. Other reports have spoken of lead contamination and a plethora of health risks.

Well you certainly don’t want to be unwittingly exposed to these risks. Hence you have to be ultra careful in your selection of cosmetic products to protect yourself, your skin and your overall health.

A truly natural cosmetic product line must be free of artificial or synthetic preservatives, fragrances, colors or additives. The ingredients that go into the manufacture of these products should originate from plants and other organic matter and, in addition, should be thoroughly tested for contaminants like lead, bug spray and weed killer. Elements of these contaminants are often absorbed by the plant from the soil and found in their extracts. In the process of manufacture they can form byproducts that can prove to be carcinogenic.

The FDA advises a study of the ingredients label. However this reveals nothing of the manufacturing processes of the company or what tests – if any – are conducted for purity.

So what is the answer to this dilemma?

You obviously need to find a company you can trust implicitly to provide a truly natural skin care line.

Fortunately I have found one that uses the highest quality, natural skin care ingredients. Their products – creams, gels, lotions and masks are clinically proven effective for moisturizing, firming and wrinkle reduction. Their masks have deep cleansing and moisturizing properties and also reduce inflammation. Consequently their usage is beneficial in treatment of rosacea and redness due to solar exposure, irritation, wind and other weather factors. The inclusion of antioxidants like vitamin E and coenzyme Q 10 prevents free radical damage and delays aging.

Other ingredients include wakame kelp, avocado oil and Shea butter, macadamia oil, olive oil, grape seed, jojoba and manuka honey. Manuka honey is proven as one of the finest known antioxidant and antibacterial agents.

So which company is it?

You can find out by reading The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel. In this great book you will learn a lot about natural, safe substances for a healthy glowing skin.

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Face Spring with a Fresh Face

Spring is around the corner and some makeup trends continue, especially smoky eyes. If you have not jumped on the smoky eye band wagon now is the time, but with lighter shades to go with the lighter season of spring. To make your spring fever eyes pop use a dark liner on the top and bottom of your lash line. Use a color approximated for spring like a light gold or lilac on the upper lid. Then just lightly blend the colors together and your eyes will sizzle with a warm spring smoky look.

Now is the time to replace makeup that you used all winter and fall. Throw out the old mascara and go for some new mascara. Consider trying colored mascara if you did not do it last fall. You can buy mascara that compliments your skin tone. Not sure what color to buy. Take you complexion to the nearest department store cosmetics counter and consult the sales clerk. Splurge a little more on your eye makeup by getting the advice of a professional and you can save money on lipstick and blush at the drug store. Having eyes that say it all means you will be downplaying the rest of your makeup.

Organic mineral makeup or makeup with anti aging properties is all the rage this spring. Be careful not to swallow all the hype. Just because your makeup has retinal, does not mean you should sleep in it. Also use common sense , if your organic mineral makeup is full of anti aging products how organic can it really be? Alpha hydroxyl acid is not a ingredient grown in your grandmothers herb garden.

Pick a good solid foundation you know does not break out your skin. You may want to buy a shade darker than your winter foundation if you are likely to get more sun. Otherwise, you can get that sun kissed look with any number of mineral bronzers. If you want to, put aside the fear or looking too orange or red in harsh indoor light try using a light dusting of bronzer and skip the blush all together.

All skin looks best when it is healthy. You may want to get some new facial products like a good scrub to exfoliate your winter skin and bring back a spring glow. Also if you live in a humid climate you might want to invest in a toner for the hotter months and a lighter moisturizer than you use during the dry winter months. If you are not sure of what products to use for the warmer season, you can’t go wrong by trying some natural lightening ingredients or better yet, make an appointment at your local beauty college for a facial. They are inexpensive and the student can share with you all they have learned about keeping your skin type healthy.

Lighter shades of lipstick, that appear natural on well defined lips is in. You will have to find the balance between lip liner and natural looking lipstick. In nature most of us do not have lips that appear to have well defined boundaries from the rest of our face. You can play up your lips with evening makeup and go lighter on the eye color to give yourself a more balanced appearance.

Spring is the time to indulge in new cosmetics and skin care products. You can face the new season with a fresh face.

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Natural Bleaching Agents – Be Kind to Your Skin

The color of the skin will be affected by a number of factors and in most cases, a dark skin is not always natural. Some of the things that can affect the color of the skin include the excess exposure to the sun. Other than the sun, there are also other factors that can affect the color of the skin. Regardless of the cause of a darker skin, you can ensure that you have a lighter skin.

When it comes to the beauty industry, of course there is plenty of products that you can choose from, most will claim to be completely natural, although in most cases they only have some natural ingredients in combination with some chemicals. Have a look at these products reviewed by organic beauty expert to see that in fact only some ingredients are truly natural.

However, there are some natural bleaching agents you can find at your home that help to make the skin tone lighter. Here are some of them:

1. Tomatoes

This is an organic bleaching agent, which will work naturally on the skin, without any possible side effects. The tomatoes contain an astringent and cooling property, in addition, they have a higher content of Vitamin C, which is a vital component. This makes the tomato a great remedy for lightening the skin, especially for those who have skins that are extra oily and are prone to acne. Tomatoes have organic acidic composition, which helps to level the pH of the skin and also they help to remove all the excess oil in the skin. It also contains some antioxidants, which fights the free radicals in the skin, so you will be having a lighter and a younger skin.

2. Citrus Fruits

The membrane and the peels of the citrus fruits have Hesperidin, a bioflavonoid. It was studied that the Hesperidin is able to reduce the production of melanin in the skin. The melanin produced in the skin is what causes the skin to appear darker. Some bioflavonoids, including Hesperidin, are normally considered as Vitamin P. This is not an original vitamin. The bioflavonoid in the citrus helps to ease the synthesis of Vitamin C. This will help to lighten the skin tone and make it healthier.

3. Milk

Another organic agent for bleaching the skin is milk, which has high levels of calcium. Other than calcium helping to strengthen the bones and teeth, it also helps to lighten the skin color. Calcium helps in arousing the melanocytes. The melanocytes are cells of the skin that yield the melanin pigment. When calcium gets to the top part of the skin epidermis, the skin will be able to block the loss of moisture. For that, the skin won’t be dry. A dry skin can also gradually turn color, so this will be helpful. Also, there is lactic acid in the milk, so when you use the milk on your skin, you will be limiting the pigmentation of the skin.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a common compound that is known to help to beautify the skin. One of the ways that it does this is by lightening the skin. Aloe Vera contains a compound called Aloesin, which limits the activity of tyrosinase, in turn, it will regulate the production of melanin. As less melanin will be produced, the skin will be lighter. The Aloe Vera Gel can help greatly in making the skin look lighter as you use it daily.

5. Yogurt

Yogurt is another natural skin lightening agent that is also readily available. It also contains lactic acid, which is an eminent compound that lightens the skin. Lactic is also well known to be a gentle alpha hydroxy acid, AHA. The AHA plays the role of an exfoliant, which contributes in the fast shedding of the dead skin cells. The dead skin cells not only makes the skin look aged, but also, it helps to lighten the skin. As the dead skin shades off, new cells will be created and the dullness of the skin will be removed. As the lactic acid inhibits the production of melanin, the skin will look lighter in time.

6. Lemon Juice

This is another natural remedy for a lighter skin and it is also readily available. The juice contains a natural astringent as well as other organic bleaching properties that work naturally on the skin. The properties also help to get rid of excess oil on the skin. The astringent helps to tighten the pores, which limits the secretion of sebum. It also contains vitamin C, a compound that is vital to the skin and in the body.

These are the most common natural remedies for bleaching a darker skin. They can be found at home and they are not associated with any side effects.

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The Beauty Industry – Unregulated, Unstoppable?

Would you be surprised to learn that the FDA requires absolutely no testing, health studies of any kind in relation to the creams, toners, and cosmetics that you rub into your skin?

About 10,500 different cosmetic ingredients and a similar number of fragrance ingredients are being used by the cosmetic industry.

In a systematic comparison of ingredients in 7,500 personal care products against government lists of cancer-causing chemicals, the Environmental Working Group has found that one of every 100 products on the market lists on the label a known or probable human carcinogen, and an astonishing one-third of all products contain one or more ingredients with at least some evidence of carcinogencity in laboratory studies or investigations of human populations.

beauty products at storesOne out of every 100 products

Take a walk through the department store. How many products do they stock promising the fountain of youth and happiness ever after? Hundreds.

Now get this, the average woman probably uses between 9 and 15 products a day, comprising of over 126 chemicals on average, that we rub, wash, and dab onto our skin. So what is the probability that you might have a carcinogenic (cancer causing) ingredient in one of your products? I don’t know, but if I am like many women, I happen to try on a ton of different products as I am browsing through the store.

Recently I learned two things:

  1. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate cosmetic products or how they are advertised
  2. Manufacturers and companies do not have to prove claims of scientific testing.

Now doesn’t this concern you even just a little bit? It really concerns me. Commonly used marketing terms such as “natural,” “revolutionary,” “dermatologist tested,” “clinically tested” and “hypo-allergenic” are all suspect. If you don’t know your ingredients, you just don’t really know what you are putting on your hair, around your eyes, on your face.

And we wonder why women are suffering from breast cancer and skin cancer at an all time high.

“Most of the chemical ingredients in cosmetics have never been assessed for safety. Despite industry claims that the products are fully tested, that’s just not the case,” says Stacy Malkan, a spokeswoman for The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. According to the campaign, 89 percent of the 10,500 ingredients the FDA has determined is used in personal-care products “have never been evaluated for safety by the FDA, the industry-funded Cosmetics Industry Review panel or any other publicly accountable institution.”

An interesting statistic, and you can look at additional research conducted by the EWG (you can view their Skin Deep report, including an ingredient database that will tell you what ingredients have actually not been tested).

In this day and age, I am surprised to learn that such an industry could go on for so many years self-regulated, and completely unchecked. It’s time to stop this industry from ravaging our bodies, destroying our self esteem, killing our self image, and it’s time to stand up and take action.

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