Friday, July 26, 2013

4 Sensitive Skin Problems Solved

 Sensitive Skin Problems Solved

You may have sensitive skin if your skin gets flushed, itchy or breaks out with blemishes easily with cosmetics, skin care or changes in weather, sun or pollution.  Or you may only have an allergy to harsh, irritating ingredients in cosmetics and skin care you often use.  What are the main sensitive skin problems and the best treatments for them?

Sensitive Skin Problems and Solutions

1.  Rosacea
  • This sensitive skin condition affects 3% of the population, is chronic and may vary from mild to severe.  The solution is to manage it to minimize the symptoms such as flushing, and small pus-filled bumps on the face.
  • Dermatologists agree certain medications may actually make rosacea worse (Medicinenet).
  • Since inflammation is a main cause of rosacea, it's best to avoid ingredients that contribute to inflammation. (American Academy of Dermatology).  These can include foods such as refined sugars, refined grains (white flour), oils such as sunflower, peanut or corn oil, trans fats, regular consumption of alcohol, products with high fructose corn syrup. 
  • Skin care or cosmetic products that promote inflammation include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), fragrances and many botanicals.  It's important to only use SLS free products such as SLS free shampoo and toothpaste.  Many botanical and plant extracts can also cause inflammation.  It's best to use sensitive skin care products that are plant free.
2.  Adult Acne
  • Adult acne affects 30% of women and 20% of men ages 20 to 60.  It's reported that the cause of adult acne starts with clogged pores that attract bacteria, become inflamed and cause breakouts (WebMD).  The trigger for adult acne includes overproduction of hormones, sensitive skin, and ingredients in skin care or cosmetics clogging pores.
  • To treat adult acne it's important to determine your skin type.  Avoid strong cleansers and soaps with SLS.  
  • Keeping your skin clean with a gentle cleanser is important.  Wash your face twice daily with warm water and a non-soap face wash or cleanser.
  • Acne products are typically harsh and may include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinoids.  These may help temporarily, but may also cause irritation to sensitive skin.
  • Remove dead cells regularly with a gentle exfoliating scrub.
  • Antibiotics may help temporarily, but without a proper daily skin care routine and the right products, breakouts will continue. 
  • Focus on vegetables rich meals, free of refined sugars and carbohydrates.  Fish and chicken are the best choice for healthy skin.
3.  Burning and Stinging
  • Most common cause of burning and itching is dry skin, and inflammation causing a rash.  The rash could be caused by an allergy or contact with an irritating ingredient.
  • Allergens can be gluten or salicylates found in food, skin creams or cosmetics containing botanicals or harsh chemicals. 
  • Other causes include medical conditions such as kidney failure (American Family Physician) or and infection.  Certain medications, even aspirin, food additives or B vitamins can contribute to burning and stinging of the skin.
  • Determining the cause is the important step towards relief.  
  • Read ingredients and use effective sensitive skin care products. 
4.  Allergies
  • According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you may be truly allergic to an ingredient or you may only be irritated by it.  For example, you may get a rash when you use a certain brand of mascara.  When you stop using it, your skin problem clears up.  
  • Always read ingredient lists on labels.  Botanicals, parabens, formaldehyde agents, and fragrances in your skin care products are the enemy of sensitive skin. 
  • Always do a patch test by applying a small amount of a new product on the inside of your arm.  Wait for 24 hours and see if you react negatively.  To test a new product, try one at a time at least a week apart.  
Cleure offers a complete line of sensitive skin care products for all skin types.  With the proper gentle cleansers and moisturizers, your skin can heal and strengthen to a radiant, beautiful, confident you.

Sensitive Skin Cleanser
Sensitive Skin Cleanser

Monday, July 22, 2013

How to Choose the Best Non-Comedogenic Makeup

Non-Comedogenic Makeup
Non-Comedogenic Makeup
Non-comedogenic makeup has been shown to reduce skin breakouts because they don't contain ingredients that can clog skin pores.  The wrong makeup can cause acne and blemishes, specially foundation and powders that clog pores and irritate skin.  This is why non-comedogenic makeup is important.  Understanding which ingredients should be avoided to prevent oily, irritated skin and clogged pores is vital.

What is Non-comedogenic Makeup 
You may find many brands claiming on their labels that they are non-comedogenic or safe for acne prone skin.  The FDA does not require strict regulations from the cosmetic industry.  It's therefore, important as a consumer, that you understand which particular ingredients can clog your pores and which are truly non-comedogenic.  Read labels for ingredients and not claims.

Most non-comedogenic cosmetics are oil-free, however some oils are ok and will not clog pores.  If you have dry skin, you may do well with a non-comedogenic foundation or powder that does contain oils. Shea butter is one such oil ingredient that is soothing, moisturizing and non-comedogenic.

Kaolin clay is excellent for the skin and is non-comedogenic.  Emu oil is another good oil with anti-aging properties that is non-comedogenic.

Ingredients that clog pores do not only promote acne and blemishes, but can also contribute to aging skin.  When your skin is clean and pores are clear, new cells can surface.  Clogged pores accumulate debris, dead cells, harsh ingredients and environmental pollutants.  Cleaning your skin properly is important, and using non-comedogenic products.

Ingredients That Clog Pores
When choosing non-comedogenic makeup, it's important to avoid substances that may clog pores. The following is a list of some of such ingredients:

  • Bismuth oxychloride
  • Salicylic acid 
  • Synthetic fragrance 
  • Essential oils
  • Lanolin
  • Parabens
  • Shimmery makeup containing mica
Cleure Total Cover Concealer
Cleure Total Cover Concealer

Friday, July 19, 2013

6 Secrets for Whiter Teeth

Secrets for Whiter Teeth
Best Teeth Whitening
Whiter, brighter teeth can dazzle any smile and boost confidence.  Knowing how to whiten your teeth and keep them bright and white can be expensive and even painful, unless you know the secrets and steps to all the choices available.

Types of Teeth Whitening
Before whitening your teeth, check with a dentist.  You may not be a good candidate for teeth whitening if you have sensitive teeth, have tooth decay or old faulty fillings, are allergic to peroxide, are pregnant, under the age of 16, have gray teeth, or have high expectations that whitening will result in a movie star smile.

If none of the above applies to you, then one of the following types of teeth whitening will help brighten your smile.

  1. Whitening Strips
    - Strips are thin and coated with a peroxide-based gel.  You apply the strip two times a day for approximately 30 minutes for two weeks.  Within a few days you should see results.
  2. Whitening Gels
    - These are also peroxide-based but are applied with a brush directly to the surface of the teeth.  To see results, you apply the gel two times a day for two weeks. 
  3. Whitening Toothpaste
    - There really is no “whitening toothpaste”.  Just about all toothpaste help remove surface stains, because they contain some form of abrasive.  Depending on how mild or strong the abrasive, some may even cause sensitivity but they will not bleach your teeth.
  4. Whitening Rinses
    -  By swishing these products in your mouth for 60 seconds twice a day before brushing your teeth, you can see results of whiter teeth within 12 weeks.  The whitening rinse contains hydrogen peroxide as the agent to bleach your teeth.  However, swallowing any of the hydrogen peroxide or using it more frequently, may cause damage to your gums.  Studies report long-term use of hydrogen peroxide may cause damage to the delicate gum tissues.
  5. Teeth Whiteners with Pre-made Trays (OTC)
    - The very thin trays are available with the hydrogen peroxide gel already in them.  You fit the tray to your teeth and wear them from 15 minutes to 2 hours a day.  You should see some results within 3-4 days.
  6. Teeth Whiteners with Custom Trays
    -  Dentists can make you custom trays and supply you with a kit of whitening gel (usually in syringes) that you apply to the tray and place over your teeth.  The whitening material is made of the active ingredient carbomide peroxide ranging between 10-15% in strength.  Within a few days of wearing the trays for 2 hours – 4 hours a day, you should see results. This type may range from $150 - $1500.
  7. In-office Whitening
    - With the in-office whitening, your dentist will apply the gel to each tooth.  This type of whitening uses       the strongest form of carbamide peroxide, usually between 12 – 44% content.  A high intensity light may   be used to help with the setting process.  Reports have not proven that the light actually makes your       teeth whiter, but it does accelerate the process.  Nevertheless, the in-office whitening does save time in   the results can be seen immediately.  The in-office whitening typically is a 60 – 90 minute procedure.  Your dentist may ask you to return for an additional appointment for touch ups.  This is the most expensive type of whitening.  Prices may range between $500 - $2500 or more.

6 Steps to Whiter Teeth and How to Keep Your Teeth Brighter LongerTypically your teeth will stay white for up to 6 months following teeth whitening. The following are tips that will help you keep them whiter for a longer period versus getting stains quickly.
1. Red wine, tea, coffee, and colas will stain teeth. 
2. Types of foods such as balsamic vinegar, beets, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, red grapes and pomegranates tend to stain teeth.
3.  Sauces containing deeply colored foods such as soy sauce, curry, turmeric, saffron, and tomato sauce or paste have staining potential.

4. Use baking soda toothpaste.  Baking soda tends to gently remove stains without being too abrasive.
3. Tobacco products are the enemy of whiter teeth.  Avoid all types.
4.  Foods that clean your teeth and keep stains away include: apples, broccoli, celery, spinach.
5.  Chew xylitol gum after eating or drinking to help remove stains.
6.  Certain sweets tend to stain teeth, including those with coloring agents, such as popsicles.

Best Teeth Whitening Kits
For over-the-counter types of whitening kits, the easiest ones contain the gel right in the tray.  Tres White
is a popular kit that comes with pre-filled trays. The gel is also sold to dentists under a different brand name as a professional teeth whitening system in syringe form for custom trays.

Natural Toothpaste
Natural Toothpaste

Friday, July 12, 2013

The 5 Minute Guide to Healthy Sensitive Skin

Sensitive Skin Care for healthy skin
Sensitive Skin Care for healthy skin
Healthy skin gives you confidence and helps you look your best.  Some are born with healthy, beautiful skin, while others have to work for it.  Nevertheless, everyone (even those fortunate who are born with silky smooth, challenge-free skin), should take proper care of their skin, or problems will result.  Specially if you have sensitive skin, it's important to take special care of your skin.  With busy schedules, it's difficult to maintain discipline.  The information below will give you a five minute guide to follow in order to reach healthy skin.  We all can spare 5 minutes.

This means every day, come rain or shine, make the decision and committment to do the things that will help you have radiant healthy skin.

Sensitive skin is likely to result in irritating types of problems, such as rosacea, rashes, itching and burning.  To prevent these types of reactions home care is important.  Consulting with a dermatologist may be necessary to ensure you don't have any infections that require temporary use of antibiotics.

1.  Establish proper daily routine for skin care
  •  Skin needs to be clean.  Morning and night clean with a gentle sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) free cleanser.  Rinse with warm water, follow with cool water. Dry with a soft towel. (2 minutes)
  • Use an alcohol free toner to help close pores. (1 minute)
  • Moisturize  to keep your skin hydrated and soft.  Avoid any moisturizer with harsh ingredients such as salicylic acid or those full of different botanicals.  Plant ingredients (marketed as "natural" skin care) can often cause more irritation than chemical non-irritating ones.  Essential oils, fragrance, plant extracts are in the irritating category for sensitive skin.  (2 minutes)

Use a gentle exfoliating scrub and facial mask to help remove dead cells.  This can be as often as once a week to once a month, depending on your skin type and needs.
Always use hypoallergenic products made specially for sensitive skin:
- Avoid certain ingredients, such as salicylic acid, SLS, botanicals.
- Do use products with anti-oxidants.  These help bring about healthy, youthful skin by fighting free radicals.  These are molecules that form in cells which damage skin and cause multiple problems.

2. Choose the right products for your sensitive skin type

- Determine your skin type:
  • Normal skin is not too dry or oily, but just right with smooth, clear, even toned skin.
  • Dry skin develops wrinkles and fine lines easily, skin is fragile, responds to extremes of temperature or pollution, can have flaky appearance,  and skin can feel tight.
  • Combination skin is characterized by oily and dry areas, mostly oily in the "T-zone" (forehead, nose, chin); dry patches on cheeks and around the eyes.
  • Oily skin forms large pores, appears greasy and shiny, tends to produce blemishes, pimples and blackheads.
- Protect your skin with a natural SPF sunscreen with zinc oxide.  Zinc oxide is non-irritating and rated by the FDA as the safest and most effective broad spectrum sun block.  Cleure offers natural sunscreen  SPF 30 with zinc oxide, that is free of nano-particles.
3.  Pay attention to what you eat
- Foods good for your skin:
  • Plenty of vegetables: carrots, spinach, green leafy ones
  • Moderate amounts of fruits, preferably more of the low glycemic types, such as blueberries
  • Low or non fat plain yogurt
  • Moderate amounts of nuts, seeds and beans
  • Whole grain bread and pasta
  • Limit sweets
  • Limit red meat, opt for salmon, or other fatty fish or chicken breast
  • Drink plenty of water
- Foods that are bad for your skin can cause premature aging and problem skin:
  • High processed foods
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Unhealthy fats
4.  Manage stress by balancing work and fun
- Your lifestyle can impact your skin from inside out.  When you're depressed or stressed you may have noticed your eating habit changes.  You may have also have noticed your skin reacts with acne, eczema, hives, rosacea, psoriasis, and rashes.  

Psychodermatology is a new field that connects your skin with your behavior and lifestyle.  If you don't take control and balance your life with fun and relaxation, stressful situation can irritate you to a point that it will cause an autoimmune reaction, that may become chronic.

Relaxation training and learning solutions to reverse harmful habits are available and should be explored to find what works for you.

Talk to a professional if you need help, whether it's a life long situation that needs managing or certain episodes that require attention, such as students during finals or holidays that bring on pressure.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Home Recipes for Salicylate Free, Household Cleaners

Home Recipes for Salicylate Free, Household Cleaners
Salicylate Free Products
Salicylate free products for household cleaners are difficult to find. To say the least it can be time consuming and daunting to find any in your store shelves. Below you can find some easy to make recipes for general cleaning purposes in your home.

Basic ingredients for any general cleaning include:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Cleure Hand & Body Soap (AKA Face & Body Wash)
- Rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide

With a few variations, you can use these to clean your bathtub, floor cleaner, microwave, windows, or other surfaces.  By adding either rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, you can have an anti-microbial mixture.

Dish Soap
Fill a 8 oz plastic or glass bottle that has a dispensing cap or regular cap with the following:

Option 1 recipe:
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
  • 1-2 tablespoons (TBS) Cleure Hand & Body Soap (AKA Face & Body Wash) 
  • 1 TBS Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (in your laundry detergent grocery shelves)
Mix all ingredients.  Pour in squeeze bottle, and fill with hot water.
Keep by the sink, and use as needed.

Option 2 recipe:
  • 1 - 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 bar Cleure Glycerin Face & Body Bar (any of the 4 varieties), grated or shred in food processor
  • 2 TBS Cleure Liquid Hand & Body Soap (AKA Face & Body Wash) 
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • 1 TBS Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (used as thickener)
Mix all ingredients with boiling water to dissolve soap. Once it's cooled, place in reusable squeeze bottle.

General Household Cleaning
For counter tops, floors, sinks and tub or shower use a spray bottle and fill with the following:
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 TBS baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons Cleure Hand & Body Soap (AKA Face & Body Wash)
Mix and pour in 16 oz. squeeze or spray bottle. Fill bottle with hot water. Re-use as needed.

Fruit and Vegetable Cleaning Solution
Wash fruits and vegetables separately. Place fruits and/or vegetables in salad cleaner spinner. Add 1 cup white vinegar and fill the rest with water. Soak for approximately 10 - 15 minutes. Rinse well and spin to dry.

Spot Carpet Cleaning
Soak the spots that have been set in for some time, with a mixture of the following for approximately 10-15 minutes.  Test a small area first:
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 TBS baking soda
  • 2 TBS Cleure Hand & Body Soap (AKA Face & Body Wash)
  • For extra hard to clean stains, add 1 TBS OxyClean
Mix all ingredients. Pour in container and add hot water to fill.  Use clean brush to work into the carpet. Repeat until spot is removed.  Allow to dry, and vacuum area.  For new spots, no soaking is needed.   For portable or steam carpet cleaners, mix equal amounts of vinegar and water, clean according to manufacturer's instructions.

Laundry Detergent
This recipe is easy to make and you can use Cleure Glycerin Vanilla or Gardenia, to make your cloths smell fresh.  This recipe should be good for quite a few loads.  Keep it in a large glass jar with a measuring scooper in it, ready for your laundry time.  All the ingredients are available at your local grocery store.  Cleure Glycerine Face & Body Bar is sold through  If you want to experiment with the recipe to see if it really works for you, decrease the portions.
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/4 cup OxyClean
  • 1 Bars of Cleure Face & Body Bar (Unscented, or Vanilla or Gardenia)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2 TBS hydrogen peroxide
1.  Grate Cleure Face & Body Bar (Unscented, or Vanilla or Gardenia) with cheese grater or in food processor.
2.  Mix all ingredients in large bowel.  
3.  Add boiling water to dissolve soap.
4.  Use 1/4 cup per laundry load.

Window Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 2 cups warm water
Combine all ingredients in a 16 oz spray bottle and shake well.  Before each use, shake well.

Cleure Liquid Hand & Body Soap
Cleure Liquid Hand & Body Soap

Glycerin Soap

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Smart Guide to the Best Sensitive Skin Care Products

How to choose sensitive skin products
How to choose sensitive skin products
If you suffer with frequent bouts of itching, redness, flaky or scaling skin, you have sensitive skin.  You may have spent hours at store shelves determining which product to choose for sensitive skin.  Not surprisingly, over 50% of the women in the US report that they have sensitive skin.  The main cause of sensitive skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), is irritation to an ingredient.

Most people report they choose their sensitive skin care based on what's printed on the label.  In general, many consumers assume "natural" products are better.  According to AAD it's false to assume organic or natural products are healthier.  They warn consumers to be very cautious when choosing organic or "natural" skin care or cosmetics, since contact dermatitis may be a side effect.  For example, if you get a rash from an allergy to ragweed, you could also develop a rash from products containing chamomile, calendula, marigold, or feverfew.   The reason being that plants may cross react with each other, without you being aware of it.  Most plants may have been sprayed with pesticides, which is not a good thing either.  Plants also have side effects, which is why many drugs are first discovered from botanicals.

Types of Sensitive Skin
There are various types of sensitive skin, and understanding them helps you get closer to the products you should use.  However, since there are many varieties even within the general types, it's difficult to determine the cause.
  • Rosacea
    - Facial redness, pimples and broken blood vessels are common characteristics of rosacea.  Genetics, too much sun exposure, irritating ingredients and bacteria may be some of the contributing factors.
    - Gentle skin care that calms and comforts your skin without causing inflammation, are what your skin loves.
  • Allergies (contact dermatitis)
    - Your skin can react if you are allergic to an ingredient.
    - An ingredient may be irritating your skin, but you may not have a true allergy to it.
    - Fragrance, certain preservatives, dyes, formaldehyde and harsh ingredients are some of the culprits.
    - To determine if you have a true allergy, dermatologists recommend performing a patch test (see below).  
    - If a product causes stinging, it may be irritating your skin.
    - Organic or "natural" products often contain essential oils and fragrances, that can cause allergy.
  • Acne
    - Oily skin and bacteria are the main cause of acne and skin breakout.
    - Other causes or contributing factors include clogged pores and poor skin care routine.
    - Certain oils, such as coconut and avocado, can make you more susceptible to acne.
    - Products meant for treatment that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids may further irritate your skin, although providing temporary improvement.
  • Burning and Stinging
    - If a particular product causes burning and stinging, you may be sensitive to an ingredient.
    - Common ingredients that may cause burning and stinging include benzoic acid and lactic acid.
    - The cause is unknown, and there is no treatment for burning and stinging.  Dermatologists think the mechanism may involve nerves and other components of the skin.
How to Perform a Patch Test  
  1. Clean a small area on the inside of your arm.
  2. Apply the product you would like to test on the area.
  3. Wait 24-48 hours for any reaction, such as a rash.
  4. If no reaction appears, then the product should be safe for your sensitive skin.
How to Choose the Best Sensitive Skin Care Products
Unfortunately, most brands of cosmetics or skin care for sensitive skin, also contain botanicals.  As stated by AAD, these may be the cause of your sensitive skin problems.  The following are guidelines in how to pick the best sensitive skin products.
  • Decide what type of sensitive skin you have: rosacea, acne, dermatitis, burning or stinging.
  • Determine if you have oily, dry, or combination skin.
  • Choose one brand to test that is free of botanicals but made for sensitive skin, free of fragrance, salicylates (found in most plants), parabens, and other harsh ingredients.
  • Perform a patch test as described above with the product.
Cleure sensitive skin care products are formulated for all sensitive skin types and are free of salicylic acid, gluten,  and harsh, irritating ingredients.  You deserve to have skin that is healthy, youthful, radiante and beautiful, free of irritation.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Surprising Benefits of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free Shampoo

Surprising Benefits of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free Shampoo
Benefits of SLS Free Shampoo
For healthier scalp and hair, sodium lauryl sulfate free shampoo is the better choice.  Sodium lauryl sulfate is in many products, including toothpaste, shampoo, soaps, bubble bath, skin cleansers, cosmetics and many others.  The chemical referred to as SLS, is meant to help make foam but it's also a detergent.  The side affects can bring about an irritating reaction to your skin, hair, eyes and even mouth.

SLS is a surfactant and is derived from coconut and palm oils and is also found in most cleaning products as an industrial detergent. It's one of the most researched ingredients and has been established to cause eye and skin irritation.  When used in toothpaste, it may cause outbreaks of canker sores.  It also has been reported to remove oils from the skin, therefore causing dryness.

The positive affects of using sodium lauryl sulfate free shampoo or other products that are free of SLS, are numerous.
  • If you use toothpaste with fluoride, SLS has been reported to decrease the effectiveness of fluoride.  It may be due to how it interferes with fluoride depositing on tooth enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth.  Therefore, using a SLS free toothpaste is the better choice if you want fluoride in your toothpaste.
  • Hydration is important for skin health.  If you use skin care that contain SLS, no matter how much moisturizer you apply, your skin may not be hydrated on a cellurar level.  SLS free skin care will help keep your skin hydrated and healthier.
  • Dry scalp can be prevented by avoiding shampoo with SLS.
  • Children can benefit from SLS free shampoo, as it will not irritate their eyes.
  • Using SLS free shampoo and SLS free skin care, can help prevent irritated skin and scalp.
  • If you have sensitive skin, sodium lauryl sulfate shampoo and SLS free skin care are the best choice for you.

Fragrance Free Shampoos
Sulfate free shampoo