Each person's skin is unique, with real concerns that deserve real, effective solutions. From reactive, sensitive skin to the battle against blemishes and dark spots, and the desire to age gracefully, here's a comprehensive guide to addressing four common skincare concerns using the power of well-documented, natural active ingredients.
1. SENSITIVE SKIN: NURTURING DELICATE COMPLEXIONS
Sensitive skin is not always easy to diagnose, because it can affect people with dry, combination or even oily skin types. Sensitive skin is usually very reactive to environmental triggers such as temperature or humidity changes, pollution or just new skincare products. Some of the telltale signs of sensitive skin are redness, itchiness, burning, stinging, tightness, warmness and even swelling. The key in managing sensitive skin lies in adopting a gentle, simple and natural approach:
- Patch Test New Products: Before incorporating a new product into your routine, patch-test it on a small area of skin to check for adverse reactions.
- Focus on Barrier Protection: The skin's natural barrier plays a pivotal role in your skin’s well-being. For those with sensitive skin, this barrier can be compromised, leading to heightened reactivity, discomfort, moisture loss, and even inflammation. Natural ingredients such as lipids derived from shea butter, jojoba oil and botanical squalane, as well niacinamide (vitamin B3) all help to reinforce the skin’s barrier.
- Simplify Your Routine: Avoid overloading your skin with numerous products and stick to a simple routine with a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser, soothing hydrating serum, and a protective day cream that offers long-lasting comfort. When using a sunscreen, stay away from chemical sun filters, which can irritate the skin, and rather opt for a mineral sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Look for Calming Ingredients: Make sure your skincare products contain natural extracts like chamomile, aloe vera, and oat kernel extract, or new bioactives, like the skin identical carbohydrate complex Pentavitin®, to soothe and calm skin.
Discover our Essential Trio for Sensitive Skin here.
2. Blemishes: Win in the Battle Against Breakouts
Blemishes are the most common skin concern that people experience globally. According to Yale Medicine, acne affects around 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24, and over 25% of women in their 40s report still having acne. Blemishes, inflammation, and uneven skin texture can all take a toll on one's confidence. The key to clearing up your complexion is consistent care and a light touch:
- Deep Yet Gentle Cleansing: Incorporate an effective cleanser into you morning and evening skincare routine to ensure removal of makeup, dirt, dead skin cells, and excess oil. This will help pores stay unclogged. Make sure to steer clear of harsh cleansers and alcohol-based toners. Stripping skin of all its natural oils will only lead to excessive oil production, weakened barrier protection, and potentially even additional inflammation.
- Natural Acid SOS: Apply a gel containing natural AHAs such as glycolic and/or lactic acid to treat emerging blemishes. The acids will help dry out the spot and speed up cell turnover, thus promoting a faster healing and less scarring.
- Hydration is Key: Contrary to popular belief, hydrating your skin is crucial even if you have blemishes. Choose a lightweight, easily absorbing day cream to balance and soothe skin. Just make sure to steer away from moisturizers that contain mineral oils or petrolatum, as these can clog pores.
- Don't Pick or Pop: As tempting as it may be, picking or popping blemishes can lead to scarring and prolonged healing. Instead, opt for blemish plasters that promote healing and keep bacteria away from the inflamed spots.
Shop our Essential Trio for Blemishes here.
3. Aging Skin: A Natural and Graceful Approach
The natural process of aging affects skin in multiple ways. The epidermis thins and cellular turnover rate slows down. Collagen production also slows down while collagen breakdown accelerates. This is compounded by the cumulative effects of environmental stressors like UV exposure. The first signs of skin aging are usually dullness and dehydration followed by fine lines and wrinkles and then loss of firmness. Taking steps to support and strengthen your skin as it matures can make a significant difference on reducing visible signs of aging:
- Cleansing Can Make a Difference: When your skin starts showing visible signs of aging, it is often time to reconsider your whole skincare routine instead of just adding an antiaging product to the mix. Are you using the same cleanser you did in your 20’s and 30’s? Now is the time to opt for a richer cleansing milk that gently cleanses and regenerates the skin while helping alleviate dullness and dehydration.
- A Natural Alternative to Retinol: Topical vitamin A-based drugs called retinoids, and their over-the-counter version retinol, are still the products most recommended by dermatologists to treat fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. The truth is vitamin A derivatives can cause severe local irritation in the skin, which manifests as redness, inflammation, and peeling. This in turn can lead to weakening of the skin’s protective barrier and thinner, more fragile skin. Consider incorporating a gentler, natural alternative to retinol to your skincare routine to help stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines, and improve skin texture. Sytenol® A, derived from plant-based bakuchiol, is the first true natural alternative to retinol. Several studies have proven this ingredient to be highly effective and, in some areas, even more than retinol, but without the negative side effects of redness, irritation, and photosensitivity.
- Oil and Water: As skin ages, its natural oil production slows down, which in turn leads to higher water loss from the skin. Layering on a hydrating serum followed by a cream with a high lipid content will help maintain skin plumpness, elasticity, and firmness.
- Sun Protection: Sun exposure is the #1 cause of premature skin aging. The best way to protect your skin against photoaging is to use sunscreen every. single. day. To protect skin against both UVA and UVB rays choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher.
Discover our Essential Trio for Aging Skin here.
4. Dark Spots: Fading Away the Unevenness
Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation, can be a result of sun damage, acne scars, or hormonal fluctuations. Patience and consistent care are key:
- Exfoliation: Choose a daily cleanser that contains gentle exfoliating ingredients to encourage cell turnover and fade dark spots over time. Fermented fruit extracts, like pomegranate enzymes, have a high content of naturally occurring AHAs that gently exfoliate and help even out skin tone over time.
- Vitamin C – The Natural Brightener: A potent antioxidant, vitamin C can help brighten skin and fade hyperpigmentation. Look for a vitamin C serum that contains ascorbic acid, the natural and most effective form of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid improves skin texture and tone by neutralizing damaging free radicals and prevents collagen breakdown caused by oxidative stress. It also inhibits the production of melanin pigments that can cause skin discoloration, and contributes to collagen synthesis, thereby maintaining skin firmness.
- Additional Antioxidant Protection: In addition to vitamin C, make sure your day cream contains a potent does of natural nourishing ingredients with antioxidative properties such as vitamin E, shea butter, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil.
- Sun Protection (Again!): Prevent further darkening of existing spots by diligently using sunscreen. Sun exposure can worsen hyperpigmentation.
Shop our Essential Trio for Dark Spots here.
Whether you're battling blemishes, tending to sensitive skin, addressing signs of aging, or tackling dark spots, dedication to a good skincare routine will ultimately lead to healthier, more thriving skin. For real results, choose natural, well-documented active ingredients over harsh synthetics and remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to skincare.