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.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Breast Cancer and the Chemicals in Your Skin Care

Know what's skin deep
As in any disease, understanding the science and causes behind it, can help us learn how to prevent and reduce the risk of that condition.  Although scientists are still unclear as to all the causes of breast cancer, we have come a long way towards understanding how it may develop.

Certain chemicals that have the most impact towards increasing the risk of breast cancer, are called "endocrine-disrupting"ingredients.  These chemicals are found in many skin care, cosmetics and personal care products used daily, and can mimic natural hormones, and therefore increase the normal impact these hormones should have on our bodies.

Breast Cancer Risk Chemicals In Every Day Products

Most people don't realize that what you put on your body gets absorbed into your body.  This can include cosmetics like nail polish, shampoo for your hair, to the sunscreen you slather on your body. Some of these chemicals are also used for industrial manufacturing, such as cleaning equipment gears of grease, while being present in your cleanser.

Unfortunately, in the U.S. there are no regulations as to what chemicals are added to personal care, cosmetics and skin care.  The companies and well known brands are left o themselves to formulate with little testing standardized by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or other governing bodies. Some of these chemicals you should be aware of  include:

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is an industrial detergent that studies show can cause allergies, canker sores, and dry skin.  It can be found in your shampoo, soaps, cleansers and toothpaste.  It's best to use SLS free toothpaste, shampoo and other personal care products that are free of this ingredient.  This chemical does not disrupt hormones, but allergies can lead to weakened immune system, and the body's ability to fight disease.

Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient used in toothpaste, soaps and deodorants.  This chemical has been classified as a pesticide and shown to affect the hormone system in your body, specifically the thyroid.  Thyroid hormone is important for regulating metabolism and may affect normal breast development.

Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals.  They can often be found in perfumes, fragrance and nail polish.  Early puberty in girls has been linked to this chemical, which increases the risk of breast cancer in later life.  It's best to use fragrance free products.

Parabens are a common preservative found in many products.  They are readily absorbed into the body via the skin.  Biopsy samples from breast tumors showed evidence of parabens.

Sunscreen containing any chemical except zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, may contain ingredients that mimic estrogen.  This has been shown in human breast cancer in vitro cells. It's best to only use a safe sunscreen.

1,3-butadiene is a carcinogen preservative often found in spray sunscreens, foundations and anti-fungal treatments.  It has been reported to increase mammary tumors in rats.

1,4-dioxame is a petroleum-derived chemical that does not have to be listed on ingredient labels.  It's often added to shampoos, body wash, children's bath products and for foaming.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed it as a known carcinogen.

Key to Prevention and Lowering the Risk of Breast Cancer

As wise consumers, it's important not to depend on captivating marketing by beautiful models showing us how we dream of looking.  All cosmetics, skin care and personal care are skin deep with ingredients absorbed into the body.

Cleure offers cosmetics, skin care and personal care products formulated with only the safest ingredients, as rated by EWG's Skin Deep and other reputable data bases.  All Cleure sensitive skin care products are effective and safe.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Top 3 Beauty Power Supplements for Hair, Skin & Nails

Hair, Skin & Nails difference
In our age of wanting everything easy, you've probably wondered if there are pills to make your hair, skin and nails strong and healthy.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology and doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital, there are indeed supplements to help your hair, skin and nails healthier.

Biotin for Strong Nails and Healthy Hair
Biotin ((by-o-tin) is a B vitamin that gives your body energy and keeps your nails strong. It helps prevent thinning hair and brittle nails. It also stimulates hair growth and protects your scalp from dryness and flaking.

Dietary sources of biotin include brewer's yeast; cooked eggs, sardines; nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts) and nut butters; soybeans; whole grains; cauliflower; bananas; and mushrooms.

Try Cleure Hair, Skin, & Nails Supplement ($25)

Vitamin B2, and B12 for Skin Health
Antioxidant rich Vitamin B is excellent for skin problems.  Dr. Marina Peredo of Mount Sinai Hospital recommends this vitamins for patients with acne.  This remarkable vitamin also helps reduce stress and is therefore, beneficial during break outs when you're under pressure and stress.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) dietary sources include whole grains and brewer's yeast.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), along with the other B vitamins is needed for healthy skin, hair eyes, and liver, but also to help the nervous system function properly.  You can find vitamin B12 in organ meats, shellfish, dairy products, eggs, beef and pork.

Vitamin A
This antioxidant is excellent for healthy skin, and as all antioxidants, they fight off those harmful free radicals in the body.  These harmful chemicals will damage your skin cells and cause premature aging.
Vitamin A renews skin cells and boosts production of sebum, the oily substance found in hair follicles.  Sebum also acts as a natural moisturizer for the scalp to generate healthy hair.

Vitamin A has been helpful for clearing up acne, psoriasis and treating other skin conditions.  Best sources for vitamin A include beef, calf, eggs, fish liver oils, and dairy products.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, you may be experiencing dry scalp and dull hair.  As they act with anti-inflammatory effects, swelling and redness of the skin will be minimized.  This is specially evident in dermatitis and eczema.  According to studies, omega-3 is essential for healthy hair.

Fish, plant, and nut oils are the main omega-3 fatty acids source.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How Serious is the Care of Sensitive Skin

Sensitive Skincare
You have sensitive skin if you're finding you can no longer use your favorite mascara, moisturizer or other skin care or cosmetic products you've used for years. Your skin may burn, sting or break out in a rash when using these same products. 

Burning, stinging, redness, and acne are just some of the symptoms common to sensitive skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that approximately 50 percent of patients seen by dermatologists complain of sensitive skin. 

Your sensitive skin may be caused by an allergic reaction or merely an irritation to an ingredient.  For example, if you are truly allergic to a product or ingredient, your immune system quickly or over time reacts by making antibodies against what you are allergic to, with results of particular skin reactions.  However, your skin may react to an irritating chemical, like coming into contact with a product such as a household product containing bleach.  You may not be allergic to an irritating ingredient, even though your skin may react with symptoms.  Whether an allergy or irritation the common result on your skin is inflammation with a variety of accompanying signs and skin conditions.

Fragrance Stinks
Most people don't realize what ever we put on our skin is absorbed.  According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the non-profit consumer advocacy group, most people use over 100 ingredients daily through skin care, makeup and personal care products.  Most skincare, personal care and cosmetics ingredients have not been tested for safety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For example, fragrance is added to just about all skin care, personal care and makeup.  

In July 2014, a committee convened by the National Academy of Sciences confirmed that styrene, a chemical used to produce a wide variety of products including fragrance, can cause cancer. 
According to EWG, due to a “fragrance loophole” in federal labeling law, ingredients added to provide a pleasant scent, or to mask bad ones, need only be listed under the generic term “fragrance”.  In other words, the individual ingredients need not be disclosed on the label.
The only way to stay away from styrene, is to avoid skin care, makeup or personal care products that contain fragrance.  Fragrance is also added to laundry soaps and fabric softeners and other household cleaners. 

Too Much of a Good Thing
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published studies that overuse of antibiotics or antimicrobial agents may cause resistance to common antibiotics when needed to fight infection.  In recent years, manufacturers have marketed antibacterial toothpaste, soaps and detergents aggressively.  Most common antimicrobial ingredient used in these products is triclosan.  According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, 75 percent of Americans have triclosan in their bodies.  Studies conducted over the past decade show triclosan can be absorbed by the skin and remain in the body within seconds of use of it in soaps or toothpaste. Research has shown this endocrine-disrupter has effects on the thyroid, estrogen, and testosterone hormones in laboratory animals, including mammals (chen 2008; Koeppe 2013; Stoker 2010; Zorrilla 2010).

As the FDA and CDC have already acknowledged, long-term use of antibacterial soaps or toothpaste could have adverse effects on health.  With bleeding gums, ingredients in toothpaste can easily be absorbed into the blood stream.

Common Ingredients to Avoid
Since there are many types of sensitive skin reactions, it’s difficult to purchase a generic sensitive skin care brand that is a fit for all skin problems.  However, there are certain ingredients that may be irritating and can bring about certain reactions.
  • Products that clog pores, can lead to whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Coconut oil may cause acne breakouts.
  • Ingredients that are acidic may cause redness and stinging, such as vitamin C and alpha hydroxyl acids (AHSs).
  • Retinal for anti-aging may be irritating on sensitive skin.
  • Essential oil can cause allergies.  These are common in organic products.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a harsh detergent found in many products.
  • Salicylic acid is often found in anti-aging or acne skin care.
An Ounce of Prevention
Exposing your skin to the use of irritating and harsh products will lead to sensitive skin an the variety of symptoms associated with it.  

  • To avoid sensitive skin reactions, be gentle with your skin and follow your daily routine with products that are free of harsh and irritating ingredients. 
  • Protect your skin during sun exposure with a safe sunscreen, hat and sun glasses.
  • Keep your skin clean to avoid build up of dead skin cells.
  • Eat healthy, nutritious, balanced diet.
  • Get enough rest and manage stress with balancing fun and work.