Developing a routine for your healthiest skin is important for both physical and mental well-being. Our brand mission is to help strengthen skin health and support the vitality of the person within. Healthy skin not only looks great but also helps us to feel more confident and comfortable in our own bodies. However, achieving and maintaining optimal skin health is a journey, not a destination, that requires daily effort and attention.
Let’s explore our top skin care tips for healthy skin based on our journey with product development, scientific research, and insights from skincare expertise.
NUMBER ONE: Protect your skin from the sun (+ other environmental stressors)
Protecting your skin from the sun is our absolute, no-compromise, science-backed method to slow the appearance of aging and prevent the skin from further environmentally-induced damage. We highly recommend becoming sun smart!
Sun exposure is the leading cause of premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and skin cancer. Doing all you can on a daily basis to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays is one of the most critical steps in maintaining healthy skin. Always wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, even on cloudy days, and reapply every two hours or according to product instructions. Wearing protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, and sunglasses can also help to protect your skin from the sun's harmful effects.
NUMBER TWO: Gently + Effectively Exfoliate
If you’ve read any of our other blogs (here and here) or taken a look at our product awards, you’ll know that we are big fans of safe, gentle, and effective exfoliation. We also don’t play favorites: we love both chemical and physical exfoliants, along with the synergistic effects of product intermixing.
Gently exfoliating the skin with physical and/or chemical ingredients can help to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and promote cellular turnover, which can lead to a smoother and brighter complexion. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that exfoliating with a combination of physical and chemical exfoliants was more effective than using either method alone. The study also found that the use of exfoliants improved skin texture and reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It is important to note that over-exfoliation can damage the skin barrier and cause irritation - manual pressure for physical exfoliation matters, so go lightly! Equally, the concentration and type of chemical exfoliant also impact skin sensitivity (one of the reasons we decided to launch the Daily Acid Toner is to make sure there is a gentle and highly effective chemical option).
We recommend exfoliating no more than twice a week physically, with a chemical exfoliant every day or other day depending on how your skin tolerates Alpha Hydroxy Acid’s (AHA’s). Lastly, do not forget about tip number 1: Always wear sunscreen - using AHA’s help to speed skin renewal which can increase your sensitivity to UV rays.
NUMBER THREE: Remove Your Makeup
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but let’s be honest, we’ve all been tempted. A long day at work or a night out, and all you want to do is get into bed ASAP. Set a reminder on your phone or stick a post-it on your mirror. No exceptions, this step is crucial. That makeup has to come off before your face hits the pillow.
Leaving makeup on overnight can lead to clogged pores, which can lead to breakouts and irritation. Moreover, it can compromise the integrity of the skin barrier, which plays an important role in protecting the skin from external stressors. So how do we effectively remove makeup? This leads us to cleansers (another favorite topic of ours)!
Like exfoliation, we want gentle and effective cleansing solutions. A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that frequent use of harsh cleansing agents can lead to skin barrier damage and increased transepidermal water loss. Basically: move aside suds! By using gentle cleansers to remove makeup, the skin barrier has a higher chance of remaining intact, helping to keep the skin healthy and hydrated.
If your makeup is oil or silicone-based, the first step is an oil-based cleanser like our Essential Balm Cleanse to quickly remove any trace of makeup without stripping or compromising the skin barrier. Follow up with a water-based cleanser such as the Complete Moisture Cleanse to wash away any secondary pollutants.
Prioritize cleansing before going to sleep. Make it a habit. Period.
NUMBER FOUR: Address the Appearance of Redness
Redness in the skin can be a sign of irritation, which could be caused by various factors such as sun damage, oxidative stress, environmental pollution, underlying skin conditions, and harsh skincare products. Redness is important to address by first identifying the source - sadly, chronic low-grade inflammation can accelerate skin aging and decline.
The good news is that our entire line is geared towards helping to manage the manifestation of redness in the skin and reducing the appearance of redness. The base of all our formulas is aloe vera for good reason - it is a simple and effective way to help calm and soothe the skin. Aloe is also the main conduit for our calming, soothing herbal infusions, which carry a potent bouquet of redness-fighting constituents and antioxidants such as green tea extract, turmeric, calendula, milk thistle, and lavender. Niacinamide is another ingredient particularly adept at combating redness across the body.
Products: Any skin or body product in our entire line. :)
NUMBER FIVE: Focus on Microcirculation
Just as the movement from exercise has benefits for our entire body, encouraging microcirculation is one direct way to influence the health of the skin. Microcirculation refers to the circulation of blood in the smallest vessels, many of which we have under our facial tissue. One of our favorite outcomes of healthy circulation is a certain “je ne sais quoi” glow to our complexion. Here are two of our preferred ways to encourage the stimulation of microcirculation:
One technique that has gained major popularity for promoting microcirculation in the skin is gua sha, an ancient Chinese practice that involves gently sweeping a tool across the skin to stimulate blood flow. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that facial gua sha improved microcirculation in the skin, leading to improved skin elasticity and reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We’ve learned an incredible amount about gua sha from our dear friend and collaborator, Sandra Lanshin Chiu, L.Ac. of LANSHIN . To learn more about gua sha, check out her incredible site full of valuable resources, tutorials, and techniques.
Another method to encourage the stimulation of microcirculation is through skincare treatments and masks. Our very first product, Cacao Antioxidant Mask, helps to influence circulation through the use of cacao to assist with nutrient delivery. The skin may look a little pink (but radiant) after using the mask, but that’s a positive sign that circulation was stimulated!
NUMBER SIX: Load up on Antioxidants
We can’t emphasize the use of antioxidants enough. They play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin function by addressing and preventing skin damage that can lead to redness, discoloration, and many other expressions of oxidative stress. Antioxidants are our daily skin heroes that come to the rescue to fight against the arch-enemy free radicals in the epic dermatological battle of oxidation. Starring vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, glutathione, and polyphenols. If you want to dive deeper into antioxidants, we highly recommend taking a look at our dedicated blog here.
When we formulate with antioxidants (included in all of our products), we utilize the fact that antioxidants work best when paired together. A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that using a combination of antioxidants can have a synergistic effect, providing greater protection against free radicals than using a single antioxidant alone. The study also found that combining antioxidants in a network can enhance their stability and efficacy. So load up on these skincare heroes with the dedicated antioxidant networks in our C Complex Serum and Active Infusion Oil, or enjoy the benefits of polyphenols in every formula we’ve produced.
NUMBER SEVEN: Nourish your Skin Barrier
Strengthening your skin barrier is all about nourishing your skin with the right lipids: micro-lipids that can penetrate (like ceramides) and macro-lipids that can protect your skin (like plant oils and butters). To further support your skin barrier, align your skin with ingredients that can offer structural support (like peptides). Together, macro-lipids, peptides, and ceramides can help the skin maintain its integrity and prevent moisture loss, along with improving skin texture and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Better yet, combine all of these ingredient groups into one product for maximum barrier nourishment. Cue: Ulta Peptide Cream.
Beyond Ultra Peptide Cream, it’s important to calibrate the level of moisturization to your skin's needs. Depending on the climate, your lifestyle, and your skin type, you might need a stronger concentration of lipids, in which case, Vital Balm Cream, Herbal Infusion Oil and Active Infusion Oil would all be excellent choices.
You can read more about the benefits of peptides here in our dedicated blog.
NUMBER EIGHT: Treat Your Neck + Body Like Your Face
Skincare doesn’t stop at the neck - it should be a full-body affair! The skin on the neck and body is just as important as the face and often exposed to similar environmental stressors. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that skin sagging and wrinkling were more prominent in the neck area compared to other parts of the body. As we age, the skin on the neck can rapidly lose elasticity and firmness if it’s not cared for with the same intensity as the face. So don’t forget about your neck when going through the steps in your skincare routine! Gua sha (from tip number five) is also an excellent practice for the skin on the neck.
The same skincare advice goes for the body - another reason we launched a body collection with face-worthy ingredients. We advocate choosing gentle and nourishing products that contain hard-working ingredients to work with the thicker skin across the body. You can read more about the benefits of our body care here in our dedicated blog.
NUMBER NINE: One word: Hydrate
Optimal hydration might be common sense when it comes to the overall health of the human body, but it’s worth stating that drinking enough water is also crucial for maintaining healthy, radiant skin. One study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that increasing water intake directly improved overall skin hydration and elasticity. However, when we talk about hydration, we mean both internal and external sources of water, aka: how are your products helping to hydrate your skin?
Any skincare product claiming to “hydrate” should address both the permeability of certain ingredients, along with increasing the skin’s ability to hold water (or decreasing what’s called Trans Epidermal Water Loss or TEWL). This is why tip #7 is so important - the health of the skin barrier can heavily impact the skin’s ability to hold water.
We believe that skin hydration is so important which is why so many of our products are geared towards delivering both hydrating ingredients to the skin and helping to improve barrier health. It’s important to note that increasing hydration within the skin is never going to come from one product alone - it’s the synergy between products that tackle hydration using different mechanisms. Hydrating products always work best when paired together - for example, our Hydrating Accelerator introduces nutrient-infused structured water to the skin, followed by Hydration Boost Concentrate, which contains replenishing biomimetic polysaccharides and glycosaminoglycans, along with moisture-binding humectants.
NUMBER TEN: Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is critical for healthy skin. During sleep, the body releases hormones like melatonin that play a key role in skin health. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from UV-induced damage and premature aging. In addition, melatonin has been shown to have calming effects, which can help to reduce redness, irritation, and other signs of skin inflammation. Interestingly, research has also shown that melatonin is produced in the skin itself, in addition to being released by the pineal gland in the brain. This suggests that the skin has its own internal clock and that sleep quality may have a direct impact on skin health through the production of melatonin. Every person needs a different amount of sleep every night, but experts say to aim for between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
NUMBER ELEVEN: Regularly Check your Skin For Changes
We are big advocates of getting to know your skin. Beyond understanding your skin type and conditions, it’s really important to monitor and record any changes through self-examination. Conducting regular skin self-examinations can help to detect skin abnormalities early. Always consult a dermatologist for specific skin concerns.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions presented here represent those of the brand and author and should not be considered to represent medical advice or guidance.
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