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.

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.
  • Dark or medium skin should use a dark peach or cocoa-orange color.
Cleure 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.

Concealer to hide dark circles under eyes

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

Natural Remedies for Adult Acne Prone Skin

Adult acne prone skin is common and becomes difficult to manage. Understanding the cause and your treatment options can make it easier to control pimples and blackheads.

Dermatologists maintain that build up of oil and bacteria are the main cause of acne.  There are certain triggers that exacerbate appearance of acne.  These include:

  • Hormones - Fluctuations of hormones during pregnancy and menopause increase the risk of acne and breakouts.
  • Skin care and cosmetics - Certain skin care and makeup include ingredients that clog pores. This can lead to build up of dead cells on the skin, not allowing new cells to replace them.  Unhealthy skin leads to blemishes and problem skin.
  • Poor daily skin care - Leaving makeup on the skin at night and not cleaning and moisturizing properly also leads to clogged pores and breakouts.
Adult Acne Treatment Options
Most often medications, oral or in creams, are prescribed.  These medications often include harsh and potent ingredients and chemicals that may irritate your skin as well as strip the skin of natural oils. This is why dry flaky skin is not uncommon with adult acne prone skin.  These harsh ingredients may also result in sensitive skin and other skin conditions, if used long term.

Medications may be necessary for short period of time when bacteria is the cause.  But dependance on antibiotics may result in other problems, including resistance to them when needed for other infections.

Over-the-counter treatments are often seen on infomercials all hours of the day.  Most include harsh chemicals as well, and may result in redness and flaky, sensitive skin.

Natural Remedies for Adult Acne Prone Skin
The most important natural remedy for managing and controlling adult acne is developing good skincare habits.  It's really not that difficult or time consuming.
  • Use a gentle cleanser that fits your skin type.  Stay away from cleansers with soap or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).  Use a soap free facial cleanser or bar. Clean your face morning and night time.
  • Use an alcohol free toner as the final step of cleaning and balancing the pH of your skin.
  • Moisturize with a light cream or lotion.
  • Use a facial exfoliator as needed for your skin.  Some do best exfoliating weekly or once a month, while others prefer more regular exfoliating.
  • Stay away from products with salicylic acid, specially if you have sensitive skin.  This common aspirin ingredient if often recommended for acne or aging skin, but can overly dry your skin and even lead to allergies.
  • Do not touch your face with cell phones or headphones.  Be aware and conscious of what comes in contact with your face.
  • Always use a light sunscreen during the day when exposed to sun. A gentle and safe sunscreen includes zinc oxide as the wide spectrum sunblock.
  • Not eating a balanced diet and scarfing on refined carbs does not help.  Studies show a low glycemic index diet does decrease acne breakouts by 22%.
  • Stress hormones have been shown to increase inflammation in the body, stimulating glands that lead to blemishes.  Learn what works best for you to manage stress: exercise, retreats, trips, etc.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why is Salicylic Acid in Your Skin Care and is it Safe?

Salicylate free products
You may have noticed the ingredient "salicylic acid" in creams, cleansers, acne treatment pads, lotions and toners. Even anti-aging skin care often contain salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is also the main anti-inflammatory chemical in aspirin type of products.  So why, you wonder is it in skin care products and is it safe to use?

What is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that acts as an exfoliant, and has a drying effect, which is why it's recommended for acne.  The topical form of salicylic acid is used to treat such skin disorders as acne, dandruff, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and other conditions. Some of these products are available over-the-counter, while others require a doctor's prescription.

How to Tell if You're Allergic to Salicylates
Typical allergic reactions to salicylates include:

  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itching, rashes, hives
  • Swelling of hands, feet and face
  • Stomach pain
With severe salicylate allergy, anaphylactic shock may occur, where the blood pressure drops severely leading to unconsciousness which may be life-threatening.

What You Need to Know About Salicylic Acid
If you're allergic to salicylates (same as found in aspirin) avoid using any products with beta-hydroxy acid or other forms of salicylic acid.  Salicylic acid is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and may cause an allergic reaction.

Stinging, burning, and skin irritation is common with salicylic acid.  Flaking, dryness and peeling may also be a side effect.  Pregnant or nursing women should not use products with salicylic acid without discussing it with their doctor.

The following is a guide from Fibromyalgia Treatment Center about hidden sources of salicylic acid.  If you are sensitive to salicylates, avoid any product with the following ingredients:

  • Chemicals with the syllable SAL, CAMPH, OR MENTH
  • Oils, gels or extracts with plant names, except corn, rice, oats, wheat or soy
  • Balsam or bisabol
  • Sunscreens with octisalate, homosalate, mexoryl or meradimate
  • Bioflavinoids, quercetin, hesperiden or rutin
  • Menthol, camphor, mint of any kind, such as wintergreen or spearmint.
  • Fragrance
  • Acetylsalicylic acid
  • Beta hydroxy acid
  • Magnesium salicylates
Foods that contain salicylates include:

  • Any fruit
  • Any vegetable such as alfalfa, cauliflower, eggplant
  • Beverages such as fruit juice and herbal tea
Salicylate Free Products

If you have any degree of intolerance to salicylates, it can be difficult to find skin care or personal care products that are salicylate free.  You would need to read every label and know your chemistry to determine if a product is salicylate free.  There are few brands that offer only salicylate free products. Cleure formulates only salicylate free products that are safe and effective.