Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to Find the Right Cleanser and Moisturizer

Keeping your dry, oily, combination, sensitive or acne prone skin clean and hydrated should be the most important part of your daily skincare routine. However, finding and choosing the right cleanser and moisturizer for your skin type can be the most difficult and overwhelming part of the process.  As you look on the internet or store shelves, you may find hundreds from cheap to high-end luxury brands to choose from.  But it doesn't have to make your head spin, and with a few simple guidelines, you can find and choose the prefect cleanser and moisturizer for your skin type.

What Does Your Skin Need?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself.  Always remember two facts:

  • The skin is the largest organ in the body and absorbs what is applied to it.
  • Although it acts as the barrier to your body, it is fragile and need TLC.

With that in mind, it's important to use skincare products that are gentle and non-irritating.  In fact, whether you have sensitive skin or not, use a brand that focuses on sensitive skin.

It's important to use moisturizers that are labeled "non-comedogenic", which means they won't clog your pores.  If you have any skin type, particularly sensitive skin, there are some ingredients you need to avoid:

- Petrolatum
- Lanolin
- Mineral oil
- Urea
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

Although some recommend these ingredients for their emollient properties, they actually can clog pores and cause sensitivities.

Your skin has natural oils, the point of cleaning and moisturizing is to enhance the skin's ability to keep your face supple and hydrated with these natural oils.  Use the wrong products, and you strip away these natural oils, ending up with dry, flaky, irritated skin.

Match Your Skin Type
No matter your skin type, always use a cleanser that is gentle and free of soap or harsh ingredients such as SLS.

If you have oily or oily acne prone skin, choose a light, oil-free moisturizer.  For dry skin, opt for a richer moisturizer that penetrates deep and helps prevent fine lines.

For all skin types, anti-oxidants in moisturizers are a sure bet for healthy skin and to help prevent wrinkles.  Anti-oxidants fight harmful free radicals that cause damage to you skin and premature aging.

How Often to Clean Your Face
Now that you found the prefect cleanser and moisturizer, the guidelines for when to use them depend on your skin type.

Dermatologists agree that most people are obsessed with the "squeaky clean" result of cleaning, which means they over-cleanse.

Night face washing is the most important time to cleanse.  During the day grime, pollutants and dirt have accumulated on your skin, as well as makeup.  Some doctors recommend that you only wash at night, and only rinse with water in the morning.

At evening, follow with a alcohol-free toner that contains AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) which acts as an exfoliant.  Dermatologists feel it's acceptable to just rinse in the morning with water, but clean with a gentle cleanser at evening.

For oily and combination skin, clean your face twice a day, but for dry skin, once a day at night time should be enough.  Unfortunately, many with acne prone skin think using harsh cleansers or rough scrubbing is what's needed to scrub away pimples.  Many of these harsh ingredients can leave the skin irritated and may not be helpful at all.  If the cause of the acne is bacteria, prescription medication may be needed temporarily.

Many cleansers contain harsh soap ingredients called "surfactants" which are meant to cause foaming and to help remove dirt and oil.  The negative is the surfactant (most often SLS) also interacts with the skin's out layer, which is the protective barrier.  The problem is that it strips your skin of natural oils which may leave you with a feeling of stinging or burning after cleansing.

How Often to Moisturize Your Face
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you apply your moisturizer within three minutes of taking a shower or immediately after washing your face in the sink.

Don't rub hard, but gently apply the moisturizer with upward strokes from your neck up to your forehead (skincancer.org).  Be very careful with the area under the eyes, since it is even more fragile.

Once in the morning and evening, after you cleanse is sufficient, unless you have very dry skin.  
If you have acne prone skin, you still need to moisturize.  Make sure it's non-comedogenic and oil-free.

Sensitive Skin moisturizer

Friday, November 28, 2014

Best 10 Skincare Tips to Prevent Aging

Skincare to help prevent aging
We all want to prevent aging.  Women''s magazines and the Internet bombard us with how-to and DIY articles or ads and infomercials to brainwash us towards choosing their brand.  It's difficult weighing all the facts and determining which can really make a difference.  To help you swift all the information presented by the various sources, below are the top and most agreed on best tips for sensitive skincare to help prevent aging.

1.  No wonder they say to "get your beauty sleep".  If you shortcut or minimize the importance of sleep, your skin will look dull.  When you're tired, blood doesn't flow efficiently. With enough rest sufficient human growth hormone is produced, which helps maintain healthy collagen levels to keep your skin healthy and luminous.  Sleep gives your body time to renew itself. (Fitness Magazine)

2.  Eat foods rich in anti-oxidants.  Free radicals are your skin's enemy.  Anti-oxidants in food fight these bad free radicals that produce toxins which damage your skin. Many foods are rich in anti-oxidants, including fruits, vegetables and even wine and chocolate.  Anti-oxidants rescue cells in distress. So eat up and store these good guys and get rid of thee villainous free radicals. (Women's Health Magazine)

3.  Massage your moisturizer on your face, instead of dabbing it on. (Glamour magazine)

4.  Use natural sunscreen and apply makeup with SPF 15 - 30. (National Institute of Health)

5.  Give yourself an at home facial with an exfoliating scrub and facial mask. Your skin and you will feel calm and happy.   (Allure Magazine)

6. Have a routine skincare that works for you.
  • Wash your face twice a day with warm water and soap-free gentle cleanser for sensitive skin. 
  • Apply moisturizer daily.  
  • Stop smoking.   (American Academy of Dermatology)

7.  Keep hydrated by drinking enough water.

8.   If your skin feels dull, use a sensitive skin exfoliant weekly.

9.  Use alcohol-free toner nightly after cleansing.

10.  Feeling stressed? Find a variety of ways to relax, such as:

  • Take a 5 minute warm water shower.
  • Take a nature walk and think about all the things you should be thankful about.
  • Watch a funny movie and laugh out loud.
  • Volunteer your time to help someone you know or for a homeless shelter.
  • Get circulation going through your body by either exercising, such as swimming.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Budget-Wise Sensitive Skincare Remedies

Sensitive skin requires TLC, which usually means high maintenance care that's usually expensive.  Healthy and damage-free sensitive skincare does not have to be expensive.  The right sensitive skin products based on your skin type, and simple techniques can help your skin become smooth, healthy and protected, free and clear of breakouts.

Most dermatologists agree you should not put any ingredient such as natural, organic, essential oils and such, on your skin, thinking it must be good for you.  Based on research at National Institute of Health (NIH) there are certain natural ingredients that can be very beneficial for specific skin problems.

Soy oil in research supports the benefits of reducing skin dark spots, enhancing skin elasticity and moisturizing the skin.   Aging skin tends to become thinner with decreased collagen.  Soy contains essential amino acids and potent antioxidants that promote collagen production and increase skin thickness. Soy oil is one of the few oils that is salicylate free and therefore, can safely be used even on skin of people who are sensitive to salicylic acid.
DIRECTIONS:  Use as moisturizer by applying to clean, dry skin.  You don't need much, just massage a small amount all over for smooth skin.

Green Tea
Inflammation and free radicals have been shown to bring about premature aging.  Green tea decreases inflammation and acts as a scavenger against free radicals.  Green tea has been shown to also be rich in antioxidants and tends to provide protection by reducing the DNA damage that is formed after UV radiation.
DIRECTIONS: Steep tea bags in cold water.  Place over your eye area for 15-20 minutes to reduce under-eye puffiness.  You can also use it as a toner, by blotting cool steeped tea on your skin with a cotton ball.

The chemical stimulant in your morning java, tea or energy soft drinks is caffeine.  Caffeine has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. According to research results, applying caffeine to your skin helps inhibit cancer cells in mice.  The studies also reported caffeine has a sunscreen affect.
DIRECTIONS: While in the shower, massage coffee grounds into moist skin for 2 minutes, and rinse off.

Yogurt has been a nutritious food staple in Mediterranean countries for centuries.  It aids in digestion and is rich in calcium and zinc for strong bones.  Yogurt can also work as a mask leaving your skin soft, healthy and smooth.  The lactic acid is a form of AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that helps prevent aging and to reduce fine lines and age spots. It also helps to remove surface dead skin cells, clearing up your pores.
DIRECTIONS FOR YOGURT MASK: apply a thick layer of whole milk yogurt to your face, avoiding the eyes.  Leave on for 20 minutes.  The yogurt will dry on your skin.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry.  Follow with moisturizer.

There are many benefits of honey for your skin.
DIRECTIONS TO CLEAN PORES: One tablespoon of honey mixed with 2 tablespoons of soy oil. Massage into clean, dry skin in circular motion.  Avoid the area around your eye.  Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat dry.  Follow with moisturizer.

Honey can also reduce the redness and irritation due to acne.
DIRECTIONS FOR ACNE REMEDY: Apply a small amount with cotton applicator to affected areas. Let set for about 15 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry.  Follow with moisturizer.

Lemon for Acne
Lemon has a drying affect and can help reduce acne. Due to citric acid, it also has natural lightening and exfoliating properties.
DIRECTIONS: Apply a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice to your clean, dry skin and let it set for 15 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Safe Alternative to DIY Skincare
If you don't have the time or desire to make your own skincare at home, Cleure sensitive skincare products are formulated to help your skin glow with health.   Committed to providing high-quality, gluten-free and hypoallergenic products, Cleure is formulated with non-irritating, gentle yet effective ingredients to help the body maintain health and youthfulness. 


Saturday, November 15, 2014

How to Determine Your Skin Tone

All ethnic groups tend to include a variety of skin "tones" of light, medium and dark.  Most makeup brands help you choose the right shades based on your "tone".  Before you can choose the right shades, you have to find out what your skin tone is and if you're a cool or warm tone, to choose the right shade for you.  If you have sensitive skin, natural mineral makeup works best.  Just find the right shade and your healthy face will glow with natural beauty.

It can be hit and miss if you try to choose just based on what you see in the mirror. Even more confusing is learning the difference between hue, tint, shade, and tone.  Below is an easy way makeup artists break it down for you.

Determining Your Skin Tone
Your skin's "undertone" or tone refers the the true color or hue of your skin.  Most people can then be divided into warm or cool skintone. There is also the neutral tone, however, this can also fall into neutral warm (yellow based) and neutral cool (pink based).

To determine your skin tone, try either method below:

1.  Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water.  Make sure you remove all makeup as well.  Gently pat dry with a soft towel without rubbing your skin.  Wait approximately 15 minutes. Take a white piece of paper and hold it next to your face with natural day light only.  Looking in the mirror, if your skin looks yellow or golden, you have a warm color tone.  If it looks pinkish, you have a cool tone.

2.  If you are cool based, blues, greens, pink, purple and red-violet look better on you.

Warm based skin tone prefers or looks better with yellow, orange, red and warm browns.

Put on one of the colors in the cool color wheel and then a warm color. Which ever one doesn't look right, that is the opposite of your tone.

3.  If the veins on your wrist appear blue, you are cool tone.  If they appear green, you're warm.

Determining the Right Shade of Foundation
Now that you know if you have a warm or cool undertone, it should be easier to find the right shade of
foundation, eyeshadow, etc.

For foundation, typically the following is a general rule:

Fair skin - pale, warm skin tones
Light skin - light, cool skin tones
Olive skin - medium warm tones
Dark skin - brown warm tones

But remember, within each light to dark complexions, there can be cool or warm tones. Pick based on your determined skin tone.  Next dip a cotton-tipped applicator into the foundation and apply it to the center of your cheek.  If the shade disappears and looks invisible, that is your correct shade.

Natural Mineral Foundation Makeup

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sensitive Skin Care Tips from Dermatologists

It can be totally overwhelming trying to learn how to take care of sensitive skin.  Do you listen to blogs, online brands, or experts such as dermatologists?  The following are facts, myths that are cleared up, and recommendations by dermatologists to help with sensitive skin care.

Sensitive Skin Care FAQs From Dermatologists

1.  Should you use makeup remover, or just a cleanser to clean your face?
Dermatologists agree the wax and other ingredients in waterproof makeup can be irritating to sensitive skin, and need something stronger than cleanser to remove. Therefore, with waterproof makeup, you should use makeup remover.  Make sure to use a gentle cleanser.  Often cleansers for acne treatment or antiaging, for example, may also contain irritating ingredients. Better yet, use mineral makeup that is good for your skin, and can be cleaned off with a gentle cleanser.

2.  Is there such a thing as "healthy tan" to clear acne prone adult skin?
Any mention of the sun's rays on your skin screams trouble for you. Dermatologists don't think it's worth the temporary drying of acne with sun exposure, versus the risk of premature aging and skin cancer.

3.  Should you wash your face often, since clean skin prevents acne?
Cleaning your face often can over-dry your skin, causing problems.  In fact, if you have oily skin, washing your face often, can send a message to oil-producing cells to generate more oil.  Some dermatologists recommend cleaning your face with a cleanser containing salicylic acid to help exfoliate skin.  However, salicylic acid can be irritating on sensitive skin.  It's best to find a gentle cleanser and exfoliating scrub along with an alcohol free toner for thorough cleaning.

Clean your face twice daily, morning and night time.  Adding an gentle exfoliating scrub to your routine once a week helps remove skin dead cells, allowing healthy ones to surface.  If your skin loves it and you see results, increase exfoliating to two times a week.

4.  If you have acne prone or oily skin, should you use a moisturizer?
Skin hydration is extremely important for all skin types.  It's important to use a moisturizer formulated for your skin type.  Choose a moisturizer that will not clog pores (non-comedogenic).

5.  Should you only use high-end, expensive sensitive skin care products?
Sensitive skin care requires a lot of TLC.  The drugstore brands and expensive brands may all use similar ingredients.  It's the packaging and labels that sets them apart.  Don't be fooled by labels that read "all natural". Plants can cause allergies and problems for sensitive skin.

Top Sensitive Skin Tips from Dermatologists
  • Protect your skin with SPF 15 - SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen.  Any higher SPF is a waste of money.  The safest and gentlest are sunscreens with active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
  • For a natural looking tan skin, opt for natural mineral bronzer. It's safe on your skin and free of irritation.
  • Moisturize your skin before applying makeup.  Use a moisturizer based on your skin type: dry, oily, combination skin.  Shea butter and antioxidants are two of the most recommended ingredients by dermatologists.
  • Avoid skin care products with plant extracts and essential oils.  These types of ingredients may help for ill health conditions when prescribed by an herbalists or physicians, but may also result in problem skin and irritation.
  • Manage stress to keep your skin calm.  At home facial spa for your face can help.  Get enough sleep and eat foods that are skin healthy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How to Hide, Cover and Conceal Dark Circles Under Eyes Like a Pro

Dark under eye circles can age your appearance and make your skin look dull, worried and tired.  Learning how to hide these dark under eye circles and other unwanted pigmentations, can leave your skin even-toned and smooth. Just follow the simple steps below, and watch the transformation.  If you want to prevent sensitive skin, it's important to use the right brand of makeup for your skin type.

1.  Moisturize your skin before applying concealer.  This step is important for a number of reasons:

  • Properly primes the skin.
  • Allows for concealer to be applied easily.
  • Diminishes risk of accentuating wrinkles and fine lines as concealer is applied to hide under eye circles.
2.  Use the right shade of concealer for your complexion. Some makeup artists claim you should use a concealer one or two shades lighter than your foundation or your skin.  Others say to use a shade that is 1-2 shades darker than your own.  The best recommendation is to test a lighter and darker shade to see which hides best the dark circles and imperfections for you. In general:

  • If you see blue/gray color under your eyes, opt for an orange based concealer.
  • For fair skin, light to medium peach color works best.
  • Concealer to hide dark circles under eyes
  • Dark or medium skin should use a dark peach or cocoa-orange color.
Cleure sensitive skin Total Cover Concealer is a cream makeup concealer that works wonders to hide dark under eye circles, as well as age spots.  It has a creamy formula that will go on easily and appear smooth on the skin, instead of caked on.  It is also comedogenic, which means it will not clog pores.  It's also excellent for sensitive skin, as are all Cleure skin care and makeup products.

3.  You can use your finger to tap or press on (never rub or smear) with a thin coat around the areas you want to hide.

4.  Blend with a loose mineral foundation that matches your skin.  Apply the foundation with a Kabuki brush.  Make sure you only have a small amount of loose mineral foundation on the brush.  Otherwise, it will make wrinkles look more visible.

5.  Finish with a sheer translucent loose finishing powder to set it all in place and to help your makeup stay on longer.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Healthy Comfort Foods to Sooth Sensitive Skin

We all crave comfort foods, and specially so during those cold winter days as our body feels the chill outside in more than just physically. Energy released from what we eat can give a boost to our body as well as our soul.  What better way to give your face a healthy glow than with great comfort foods. Besides a cup of hot chocolate, balance your diet with the following healthy comfort foods to sooth your sensitive skin during winter months.

Boost Your Skin to Radiance with these Healthy Foods
1.  Sweeten up any vegetable dish or add as a side dish with beetroot.  Clean, cut up and boil.  For more pazzaz, sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.  You can store it in your fridge and use as needed.  It's a delicious and simple way to get comfort food and have great looking skin. Beetroot has many benefits for skin and hair:

  • It is rich in ant-oxidants, which dermatologists proclaim are extremely beneficial against aging by fighting harmful free radicals.  
  • Contain lycopene, which helps maintain elasticity of skin.
  • Carotenoids in beetroot help promote hair growth and helps improve the quality and thickness of hair.
  • Beneficial against radiation due to lignin content in beetroot.
  • It acts as a natural detoxifier by helping to purify the blood.
2.  Earth's spices have many benefits besides adding flavor to your food:
  • Garlic and ginger have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help control acne and breakouts.
  • Spice up soups, curries, stews, etc. with spices such as cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and turmeric.
  • Fennel has a slight licorice flavor and is said to decrease redness.
  • Turmeric has the active ingredient curcumin, which has been shown to have anti-oxidant properties.  It can help repair and reduce blemishes.
  • Add a cinnamon stick to warm apple cider to help increase circulation and bring a glow to your skin.
  • Cumin is rich in vitamin C and E, which are essential for healthy skin and to help prevent premature aging.  Enhances flavor in any dish with just a dash.
3.  Vegetables for skin conditions:
  • For eczema, steam broccoli and add some almond slivers on it.  Delicious and your skin will love it.
  • Saute zucchini and add a few dried cranberries to it for zest. Zucchini nourishes your skin with vitamin C, helping to keep your skin hydrated and youthful.
  • Add lots of tomatoes to your salad to help protect skin from free radicals and harmful UV-rays.  It also acts as a natural moisturizer by keeping your skin hydrated.  Tomatoes can help prevent acne and pimples and help reduce skin pigmentation. They are rich in vitamin C, E and B complex.
  • Sweet potatoes are rich in anti-oxidants which protect your skin from free radicals.  Free radicals are harmful towards premature aging and wrinkles.  Sweet potatoes are also rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A.
  • To sooth your skin, make avocados a regular part of your diet.  They contain powerful anti-oxidant vitamin E to help deactivate free radicals and quicken healing of sunburns, and decrease inflammation of skin.
4.  Go nuts with dry fruits and seeds like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews and flaxseeds.  Nuts contain natural oils and omega 3 fats, and are rich in vitamin E to help you look younger.  However, limit how much you eat, since they are high in calories.

5.  Fruits your skin loves include:
- Grapes, which are loaded with phytochemicals that contain anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.  They are also rich in vitamin C that helps with:

  • Anti-aging
  • Sunburn 
  • Skin softening 
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Encourages hair growth
- Blueberries added to cereals, yogurt or eaten raw can help protect your skin from premature aging.  They are low glycemic and are full of anti-oxidants.

5.  Besides what you eat, how you take care of your skin is very important.  Cleure sensitive skin care products are formulated free of parabens, fragrance and harsh irritating ingredients to bring about the healthy, beautiful skin you deserve.
Sensitive Skin Care Products