Vitamin E is a very common ingredient in our skincare products. It is a powerhouse of a vitamin but probably doesn't get near enough credit or recognition in comparison to its counterparts, vit A & C (ahem, ahem, equality infringement). It is an oil soluble vitamin meaning it is dissolved in oil or lipids, and can also be stored in our cells for use throughout the day, kind of like a little packed lunch!
Vitamin E has so many benefits for the skin and body and is plentiful in a healthy balanced diet. On food labels, look out for d-alpha-tocopherol, naturally derived vit E or dl-alpha-tocopherol, it's synthetic form.
The skin is best looked after from the inside as well as the outside, so keep foods such as; kale, avacodo, almonds, sunflower seeds, in your diet. Foods like broccoli, bell peppers and citrus fruits carry both vitamins E & C, which are basically like the Jay & Bey couple of the vitamin world.
Topically, vitamin E will be listed in your skincare ingredients as tocopherols or tocotrienols. For added benefit use vitamin E with vitamin C. Vitamin C greatly improves the efficiecy of vitamin E by helping it to absorb better, giving it backup and protection. Think of vitamin C as vitamin E's bodyguard - the Frank Farmer to his Rachel Marron - if you will!
Ok, I know, I've done it twice now but these two are good together ok!!
So, let's talk about what makes this underrated vitamin so amazeballs.
First off, it's an anti oxidant, it fights off and stabilizes free radicals, those "pesky varmints" (to quote Yosemite Sam from the looney tunes remeber him?) that wreak havoc on our cells depleting our collagen levels. But, after it's done fighting, it actually goes around trying to fix the damage that's been done - sound!
It supports ourvoverall immune system and is a natural anti inflammatory making it essential for acne sufferers.
As mentioned above, vitamin E is oil soluble so it goes to work in the sebum and lipids of our skin.
Ok so heres a little bit of science...
Each cell in our body is coated with a membrane that is made of fats or lipids. We need this membrane to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. It also helos to keep our skin plump. Vitamin E helps to strengthen the lipid membrane around our cells, stopping water loss and keeping our hydration levels up. This also helps to strengthen our acid mantle, the skin's natural barrier that keeps out bacteria, virus and other harmful entities that may want to cause disturbance.
By performing these amazing functions, it's worth nothing that vitamin E is known to reduce the appearance of scars and bring relief to and soothe eczema.
If all that wasn't enough to bring up your rating of vitamin E, then this definitely will.
Vitamin is the ultimate partner to SPF. It has the ability to absorb UVB (the one that burns, not UVA) and so has it's own natural SPF however, it should NOT be used as an SPF or substitute SPF. Use it under your SPF for a greater defense against the suns rays - the ultimate collagen killer!!!
I hope you enjoyed this blogpost, feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading x
Breakouts, we all get them, all skin types, genders, races and ages (well over the age 12). Breakouts do not discriminate.
They vary from blemishes, to milia, congestion to pustules, papules to big swollen boils. Oh the joys!
So lets talk causes shall we??
Now there's alot of info about to come at you, so bear with me.
First of all, water... You need to drink it, aim for 2 litres a day then up it to 3. Approx. 60% of your is body is made of water and approx. 64% of you skin is made of water. Every cell in your body needs it to function, your skin is made of cells, soooo it's apparent then that we need to drink water.
Stress. When we get stressed our body releases a hormone called cortisol. In high doses for pro longed periods, cortisol wreaks havoc on our skin. It raises blood sugar levels which causes, inflammation in the skin and hardening of collagen in a process called glycation. When the skin cells are struggling to function correctly, due to this process, joined with inflammation, it can result in breakouts, sore ones - when you know, you know!
You pretty much get the same result when you binge on sweets and crap filled with Refined Sugar - another culprit.
Not sleeping well or at all?? Good Sleep is crucial for our skin (and bodies) to repair itself. This is where we slap on our night creams and snuggle down for a 9 hour, unbroken beauty sleep - pah, yea right!
But seriously, when we sleep our skin repairs & renews itself, without good sleep it's not getting this chance therefore leaving us more prone to skin issues such as breakouts. Lack of sleep can also lead to stress and we all know what happens there. (see above)
And on the subject of sleep - are you changing your Bed Clothes regularly? We sleep on pillows that (and I'm very sorry about this) are full of dust mites, dead skin cells and bacteria, and we're just rubbing our faces in it all night. So frequent changes of the bed clothes might be worth giving a go.
Next is Facial Care. Do you wash your face in the morning? Note the reasons why you should above... Do you cleanse at night? Twice?? Double cleansing is not just a way of getting you to use up your product quicker. The first cleanse will remove the makeup, dirt, excess oils, pollution etc. The second cleanse will clean the pores, helping prevent congestion and breakouts. Also, letting your moisturisers and serums absorb more efficiently.
Moisturising twice a day is just as important here and provides a progtective barrier. Just saying!
Your Face Cloth is also a convention centre for bacteria. If it's looking mank then it's probably mank. Wash frequently.
Another hive can be your Makeup Brushes. Warm, dark, damp, perfect for gowing baby bacteria and then you put the brushes on your face. I'm not trying to freak you out here, bacteria is everywhere, we can't escape it and most is harmless but being aware of places you may not often clean can help you figure out why you might be breaking out even though you follow a good skincare routine.
Lifestyle Change can have a major effect on your skin. Changing to a clean and healthy diet can cause a detox effect which will show through your skin. Give it about 6 - 8 weeks for your body and skin to settle into changes.
If you're a Gym goer or you work out in anyway, always make sure to wash your face afterwards, your pores are open, sweat and oils have built up on the skin, pH balance is off. All these minerals dry into your skin if they're not washed away. Cleanse your skin and always have a mist in your gym bag.
On a side note, Touching Your Face with your hands, constantly (guilty), can lead to breakouts. Think of where your hands have been!
Last but by far not least, is Hormones. Puberty, periods, pregnancy all send our hormones out of whack. You might one of the lucky ones who's skin doesn't get effected and break out into what can only be described as the Alps, vast, uneven surface with snowy, white peaks! But if you're not so lucky then just follow the rules; cleanse, moisturise and hydrate - vitamin C & omegas are game changers here too. This too shall pass!
So there you go, ok it sounds from this that nearly everything you do can cause a breakout but it's really about creating and keeping healthy habits and having common sense when it comes to hygiene. In our ultra busy lives, we have to accept that we will need some maintenance now and then. So getting into good habits is key. Going back over all these points most, if not all, can be related to the body too.
Strive for health and it will reap it's rewards in many areas.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) seems to have been the buzz word of 2018 when it came to skincare and I don't reckon you'll stop hearing anytime soon.
So What Is It??
Hyaluroic acid, or HA, is a carbohydrate. It is gooey and clear in colour, and is formed naturally in the body. It is used for many different ailments, in many different forms. For example, it can be taken orally for various joint problems, due to its ability to hold moisture.
What Does it Do?
. Our skin holds 50% of the body's HA. It increases elasticity, helps to maintain healthy connective tissue, plumps out the skin, helps inflammation, is healing and is super moisturising. Hyaluronic Acid is in a league of it's own because of it's unique cpability to hold 1000 times it's own weight in moisture! Yes, you read that correctly, 1000 times its weight!!
It attracts moisture to itself like a magnet and holds it there, which is why it's such a staple in the skin.
Here's a tip ->
HA, or sodium hyaluronate, is the purest form of hyaluronic acid and what you're looking for on the ingredient list. Many products advertise HA as an ingredient included, but if you check the ingredient list you can see how much of it is actually used. The ingredients at the top of the list are used in a higher percentage and the ones near the end of the list are of a lower percentage.
Ok So, How Does It Work And Why Do I Need It??
Right, so in regards to skincare, which is why we're here, the HA molecule is too big to be absorbed into the skin, and so it stays at the surface pulling moisture to it. This is how it moisturises, hydrates and protects. Some products claim to have 'low molecular weight hyaluronic acid' or LMWHA, which does absorb deeper into the skin. However, this HA's molecular structure has been changed using enzymes, so basically it's zapped to make it smaller, so it's no longer in it's purest form. There's also no proof that to say there is any more benefit to the skin, if any, and normally comes with a higher price tag.
If our bodies make this stuff itself, why do we need to apply it in cosmetic form, I hear you ask! Well, like everything in our bodies, as we age these things are not as plentiful or productive. We also put our bodies through an awful lot more than we did 1000s of years ago when the likes of makeup and central heating were a, rare commodity, also they had the added bonus of a thicker ozone layer back then!! So, we need to give our skin all the help it needs and when 99.9% of grown ups these days have dehydrated skin, this stuff is like a drink of water from the fountain of youth. Ok, that's dramatic but it's almost just as effective.
There is ways to get hyaluronic acid, in it's purest and natural form, deeper into the skin and that is through; HA fillers which are injected into the skin by a trained doctor, and microneedling/collagen induction therapy, which is a minimal invasive facial.
My Opinion ->
I loooove HA. I use it everyday in 100% pure serum form and in my mist too. HA only lasts a day on the skin, so it needs to be applied everyday, morning and night.
My advice? Lash this bad boy onto to your face, you will thank me later!!
Omegas, what are they?
Ok, so this is a bit of a science-y blog but it's an important part of skin health. Omegas are fatty acids. There's omega 3, 6 & 9. Omega 3 & 6 are essantial fatty acids (EFAs), as they cannot be made in the body when it's needed.
Types of Omega 3 Fatty Acids ->
- Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)
- Eiscosapentaenoic (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic (DHA)
Types of Omega 6 Fatty Acids ->
- Linoleic Acid (LA)
- Gamma linoleic (GLA)
- Arachidonic Acid (AA) (Pic: Google)
Essential Fatty Acids
Omega 3 aka ALA, can converted in the body to produce EPA and DHA. Omega 6 aka LA, can be converted into GLA and AA. Omegas have a multitude of benefits to the body, skin and brain, but I'm going to focus on the benefits to the skin.
The breakdown of LA and ALA in the skin can be limited and many EFAs can be oxidised by the liver before reaching the skin tissues. This is why it is important to apply EFAs topically in our skincare as well as interanally through our diet. Omega supplements are also widely available but this must be discussed with your healthcare professional.
Omega Fatty Acids Benefits To The Skin;
- controls the anti inflammatory response in the skin
- help build the structure of the skin
- essential for repair and healing
- critical for normal skin function and oil production
- helps prevent dryness and locks in moisture
- lessens the signs of sun damage and provides anti ageing properties
Topical Benefits Omega Fatty Acids;
Omega 3 (ALA)
- regulates oil production
- increase elasticity
- helps retain moisture
- improves appearance of sun damage
- protects the skin by restoring and maintaining a healthy barrier
- essential for healthy function of the skin
Omega 9 (Oleic Acid)
- seals in moisture
- softens the skin
- anti inflammatory
Its important to make sure that we are applying the right products to our skin and getting the most out of them. Everyone should make sure they are getting enough EFAs, no matter the skin type.
- dry skin
- mature skin
- oily skin
- acne prone
- eczema & dermatitis
They help maintain the strength and shine in your hair and can also help with the absorbtion of antioxidants because of their ability to permeate the skin's barrier.
So, by choosing skincare products that include omegas and incorporating them in your diet, gives your skin the best chance at being healthy and looking healthy. If you're experiencing minor breakouts, patches of dry skin or signs of premature ageing maybe you should look at whether this might be something you're lacking.
The Vitality Super Vitamin range from the brand Nía Natural Beauty, is packed with fatty acids and anti oxidants among other natural ingredients. This is an example of products you can get that provide almost everything you might need to feed your skin from the outside. Knowing what is in your skincare products helps you to better understand what is happening with your skin. Your skincare routine is an investment in your skin, so don't be afraid to ask about ingredients or ask about certain ingredients you want to include in your routine.
As always feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think or if there's anything you'd like to ask me you can contact me on any of my social media platforms or by email. Enjoy xx
Your skin on your wedding day is very important. It determines how your makeup will look and last for the day. You're going to have your pictures for the rest of your life and we want them to be as perfect as possible, much to the detriment of our patience!!
Makeup is one of the main priorities to
most brides but you cannot beat a
good canvas. Having healthy skin
improves the texture, warrants
less and increases longevity, plus
you'll have healthy glowing skin - Winning!
I always advice my brides to start their skincare regime at least 6 months in advance of the big day. Professional facials is a great bonus and an at home skincare routine is a must. Of course, earlier than 6 months is great you can't start too soon, but 6 months will give us a chance to sort out any skin issues, let your skin adapt to it's new regime and allow it to be settled for D day.
Stress, changes in; diet, exercise, sleep pattern and many other factors can cause changes in our body and hormones causing reactions in the skin. Stress causes breakouts - breakouts cause stress and the cycle continues!
So, my first bit of advice is to book a consultation with a beauty therapist. They can personally advice you of your next step and device a plan specifically for you.
But here's some tips;
- drink lots of water, at least 2 litres a day, add fruit if it helps
- eat all the colours in fruits and veggies, fresh & bright colours will feed your skin so much vitamins and antioxidants from within
- avoid caffeine or decrease, it can dehydrate the skin & body leaving you feeling lethargic, prone to snacking on sugary foods & not getting a restful sleep
- avoid processed sugars, wedding planning is a busy time and you might find yourself snacking on sugary snacks that will cause congestion & breakouts. Try organising & planning ahead to avoid this
- hyloronic acid, get it and plaster it into your face, this is life for your skin!
- get some 'me time', chilling & having downtime is important for so many reason. Stress causes hormone changes in the body which has an effect on the skin so make time for yourself a priority. Facial maybe?
- Sleep, all the repairs in our body happen when we are in a proper sleep. A full night of restful sleep is irreplaceable to your skin and body
- Omegas, getting enough omega 3 & 6 is a necessity. They control the anti inflammatory response in your skin and helps prevent dryness.
- Suncream, all times of the year and especially in the summer. You cannot perfectly cover burn or tan lines so just be safe, plus getting burnt is really bad for your skin anyways!
- At home skincare routine, this is most important, without this you won't have healthy skin, there is no substitute. In order for you to have your best skin you must look after it daily
Ok, so it seems like alot but in the most part it's common sense and you're probably doing some of it already. I see so many stressed out brides. This is your day, well you and your husband's, sometimes you need to put yourself first despite other people. I've done this myself and I know there is no avoiding stress but you can do things to ease it. Remind yourself why you are doing this, stop if it's getting to much and take a break, for an hour or week whatever it takes. Vent to your friends, your beauty therapist or hairdresser, trust me there is nothing we haven't heard before! This will be one of the best days of your life, the one day it's all about you. Lavish in it and enjoy it.
Disclaimer; always consult your doctor or dietitian if you are unsure or worried about allergies.
Your basic daily skincare routine should be; cleanse & moisturise, morning & night and SPF everyday.
I have so many clients tell me "they don't have time for all that" but the truth is if you want good skin you need to make time! Like brushing your teeth and washing your hair, make it a necessity.
I am a great one for having lazy times, where I just couldn't be arsed so I understand there are times when you want to use a baby wipe, you left your moisturiser downstairs and you're in the bed or you're rushing to get out the door in the morning! However, if you have an issue with your skin be it breakouts, acne, dryness, ageing or whatever it might be then you have to be consistent. You won't get the results you want without it. It's like when you're sick, and the doctor gives you medicine, you only take it now and again when you find the time but then wonder why you're not getting better!!
Every morning when we wake up bacteria, dead skin cells, mites, dirt etc from your pillow and hair, is now all on your face... sorry, it's gross but true! So, you should wash it. Simples! Is it absolutely vital that you use cleanser?? Ok, a face cloth and water will do for the morning but you will get a better clean with cleanser and depending on the cleanser it can be better for your skin.
So here I would use a mist. Most of us have heard about mists and spritzes (is that a word?!) Anyway, it's important to replenish your skins natural moisture, pH and barriers after washing so it doesn't dry out on us. A mist will give you a cooling shot of nutrients immediately absorbed into the skin. I use mine throughout the day even over makeup and in warmer times (if there'll ever be any) it can be left in the fridge - Deadly!
Then we apply our serum. This is optional, when clients ask me what products i'd recommend they start off with I tell them, cleanser and moisturiser, then collect the rest as you go. Spending a fortune on products and then not using them will make you less likely to ever get into a routine.
Serum is packed with with more concentrated ingredients, in tiny molecules and are absorbed super quick. I 100% believe in this product and think it's a massive part of my routine, it will get you results much quicker. This does not substitute moisturiser. You have to apply moisturiser afterwards to lock in all the goodness from your products and give your skin a barrier for the day. Plus, your serum will pull the moisturiser down deeper into the skin you get the best benefit when you use the both of these.
Your moisturiser contains specific ingredients aimed at particular issues. These help the skin to normalise itself and fix the issues happening beneath the surface. These are all important steps at looking after the largest organ in the body.
Cleansing before bed is a must! Makeup or no makeup, you've been touching your face after handling, money, door handles, eating food and so on. Pollution in the air, smoke, fumes, bacteria, air conditioning, it's sitting on your skin, having a field day and giving you grief. So, cleansing is a necessity. If you wear makeup then give yourself a double cleanse (cleansing twice!)
Some products contain chemicals that our skin reacts to. Sometimes these reactions are temporary and will pass. Sometimes it's a warning to stop using the product. This is why it's important to get advice from a qualified beauty therapist or skin health professional.
In My Opinion;
We all have days where we forget to do something or things might happen to knock us off course. If you get into a good routine and make your skin a priority, the odd time that you might have to use a baby wipe for example, won't have that much of a negative effect on your skin. So do stick with it your skin and your future self will be delighted with ya!!
*Good skincare and diet are both essential to have healthy skin ALWAYS consult a professional to get on the right path.
This post is a little off topic in a way, but with many new small cosmetic brands popping up and the recent drama on social media over blogging/influencing I thought it would be a good subject to touch on.
So, in the beauty/cosmetic industry, as in many industries, there's a branding option called private labeling or white labeling. These are sometimes confused as the same but they're not, an here's an explanation...
Private Labeling is basically where I, if I were to start my own makeup brand for example, I would approach a company designed for this purpose. This company either imports the product or develops it themselves. I would choose what product I would like to release and, in the most part, I'd be able to choose extra ingredients that I want included. I'd have choices over packaging, labelling, colours etc. depending on the product, the brand and my budget. I can keep in touch with this company while they develop this product from the start until I launch my brand. I would own this brand, its exclusive to me/my company but not the initial product, that belongs to the company. This can also be called 'bespoke branding'.
White Labeling is when I order a bulk of a product from a catalogue or online, fit my brand to it and retail it. There are companies that provide this service but it only deals with branding not product developing. So, I still develop the packaging, labeling and still have my brand I just don't have anything to do with the product development.
So, to try summarise, (if you're still with me fair play!) a private labeled brand is designed exclusively for that particular brand/retailer whereas a white label brand is made in bulk and can be distributed to many different retailers to be branded themselves.
This practice is not limited to the beauty industry and is used by companies in technology, hardware, fashion, accessories and has been done for many years.
My opinion; I don't mind it to be honest. As long as the company/trader stands by the product, good and bad, I don't see the harm in it. It's great to be able to purchase a good quality item or product that doesn't break the bank but I do think it's important for us, as consumers, to be wise to the goings on so we can make the right choices. If I had one complaint it would be that I think maybe companies should declare it but until then we'll just have to keep an ear to the ground. If you want to ask me anything feel free to leave a comment xx
The key to a good tan is in the preparation and the maintenance aswell as the actual application.
Before applying self tan or spray always do a patch test, at least 24 hrs beforehand, on the inside of your elbow!
False tan works by a chemical called 'dihydroxy acetone' or DHA, reacting with amino acids in the surface of the skin. It doesn't cause any damage to the skin as its only on the outer layers which is why it only lasts about 5 days.
The higher the DHA percentage = the darker the tan.
Always make sure all hair removal is done at least 24 hours beforehand, this gives the skin time to repair and settle. I would advice exfoliating at least twice in the days before your tan and moisturise everyday.
FYI; exfoliation is a scrubbing of the skin, using exfoliation gloves and/or a scrub to remove dead skin cells.
On the day of applicatipn, shower but don't exfoliate or moisturise. If you're having a spray tan you can follow your therapist's instruction. For self tan, apply moisturiser to your knees, elbows and hands, palms & backs. If you have any very dry patches you can apply some there too!
Unless otherwise stated, apply a decent amount of tan to your mitt. Then rub onto your skin in circular motions. I like to start on the thigh area (bigger area!), then to the lower leg (you might need to apply more tan) and with whats left on the mitt then go over the ankle, fot and knee. I follow the same technique for the arms but I use a buffer brush for my hands, (any large soft bristle makeup brush). Then I finish the rest of the body still in circular motions.
Leave for a few minutes before dressing, pj's are best!
I would always advice my clients to leave a day in between the application and the event, so you can fix or reapply if you need to.
Some tans allow for quicker drying than others eg. Bperfect's 10 second tan literally feels dry in seconds but TanOrganic, due to it's high aloe vera and moisture content takes a little longer (but still only a couple of minutes!).
Shower as normal, don't exfoliate and then moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!! Keeping your skin moisturised will allow the tan to fade evenly and stop dryness or irritation. I always recommend my clients to apply a tanning moisturiser every couple of days to prolong the tan and keep moisturised all in one. My favourite for this is TanOrganic's self tan oil. You apply it with your hands like a moisturiser and it gives a gorgeous glow while being super moisturising.
Some tans allow for layered application. This means that you can apply a layer everyday for 2-3 days until you reach your desired darkness!
Remember, not all tans suit all skins or people the same, so have fun trying out different brands and shades to find your fave! We should all be happy in our own skin, but if having a tan makes you feel more positive in yourself then go for it, and this is the safest way to go!!
My favourite tans at the moment are TanOrganic & Bperfect ultra dark, probably the mousse in both!
* Last year in Ireland, 10,000 cases of skin cancer were diagnosed.
Using SPF ->
You need protection from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays damage the deep layers of the skin affecting it's elasticity causing wrinkles, premature ageingvand can lead to skin cancer. UVB rays damage the outer layers of the skin causing sunburn and skin cancers.
UVB protection is measured by numbers eg. SPF 30 and UVA protection is measured in stars. For optimal protection you should use an SPF of at least 30 with at least 4 out 5 stars, and look for words such as; 'broad spectrum' which indicates both levels of protection, 'waterproof' so you know protection is maintained after swimming and sweating and 'photostable' which means it won't break down in the sun.
** Eating more tomatoes and red veggies will boost your body's ability to protect itself from the sun. Cooked tomatoes are better because they contain more lypocene.
Also, even if your SPF says for example "protection for 8hrs", you should still apply it liberally and frequently.
I love being tanned, it makes you feel so great and look so healthy and glowing. However, in this case, faking it is definitely the better option!
* Taken from the HSE website
** Disclaimer; always follow your dietitian's dietary advice.
My blog is a place where I can share my knowledge and opinions of all aspects of the beauty industry. Feel free to have a gander and let me know if there is something you'd like me to cover.