A-Z SKIN CARE GLOSSARY

THE A-Z SKIN CARE GLOSSARY

In this new skin care glossary, we break down some of the most common terms in today’s beauty world into easy bite size nuggets of information, designed to keep you in the knowhow. A is for…ANTIBACTERIAL Ingredients such as propolis, cinnamon or eucalyptus oil, including essential oils such as thyme, lemon and rosemary have antibacterial properties. Although many are in fact classed as antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, they do not have a wide spectrum, meaning they’re effective against certain species of microorganisms only. They should not be used instead of other more effective disinfectants such as alcohol, but they can provide an...

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How to read your skincare product labels

How to read your skincare product labels

Safe and sound at home but with little to do? Then maybe it’s time to learn once and for all just how to read your skincare product labels. The format in which ingredients are listed is called the ‘INCI’, which stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. ‘Nomenclature’? That word in itself can leave us scratching our heads before we even start on the ingredients! Let’s see if together, we can decipher this ‘common’ format of listing what our skincare products contain: Different Language Where plant extracts are concerned, these are normally listed by their Latin name, such as rosehip oil "Rosa...

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Simple DIY Face Masks

Simple DIY Face Masks

As you know I am not a big fan of home remedies because some of the most commonly used ingredients can cause irritation, pH changes in the skin or even hyperpigmentation. (Check out our blog article ‘The Dangers of DIY Beauty’ for the lowdown.) However, there are some household ingredients that do work and are safe to use at the recommended dosage. Let’s have a look at what they are and how we can make simple DIY face masks using them... * REMEMEBER to only prepare enough for a SINGLE use so as to avoid the problems associated with storing and...

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Easy home remedies for dry hands

Easy home remedies for dry hands

Those of you who have been following us for a while will know that I personally prefer not to overcomplicate formulas by adding lots of different ingredients, so as to avoid potential preparation errors or problems with contamination. However, I do sometimes opt to use an easy home remedy (which should never replace commercial preparations, of course!) that contains just a single household ingredient – Something that can be quite useful now that we’re spending so much time at home! Let’s have a look at some easy home remedies for dry hands using ingredients commonly found in your kitchen cupboards... For chapped...

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Effects of Blue Light on Skin

Digital Ageing: The effects of Blue Light on your skin

Did you know that screen time can have a detrimental effect on your skin’s health? Yes, that’s right, that screen you sit in front of all day at work and that much-loved smartphone which NEVER leaves your side (even more so now we’re on lockdown!), are both not just bad for your eyes but also for your skin as well. If you’re serious about preventing premature ageing, read on to find out why you need to protect yourself from the potential long-term effects of blue light on your skin and just how to go about it. Joined at the hip Since lockdown...

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Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil

Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil (Roll On)

Let’s have a look at why the Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil is so versatile and why you should always keep it to hand… Also known as ‘the ultimate skin problem solver’, our complexion boosting Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil is capable of treating a variety of skin problems. Suitable for all skin types and proven to provide visible results in just 7 days, this unique lightweight facial oil based on nature’s best-kept secret: Unsaponifiable oils. This special fraction of the purest and most expensive plant oils is naturally brimming with active ingredients, which have been hand-blended to preserve their potency and integrity....

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The London Mask

The London Mask

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this ultimate wonder mask... How should I use it? Apply a thin layer on face and leave for 20 minutes (or if you are in a rush, 15 minutes), then rinse off with lukewarm water. You can use a damp soft muslin cloth to gently remove it as well, but avoid rubbing your skin. It’s a clay (Kaolin) based mask. Does it exfoliate?  Yes, it gently exfoliates your skin. Clays stick to dead cells on the surface of the skin which are then removed as you rinse the mask off. I use pink clay which is...

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Rapid Eye Treatment

Rapid Eye Treatment

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this powerhouse of antioxidant-rich botanicals & plant peptides. Why is it called ‘rapid’? Is it like a ‘flash’ balm? Apart from the ingredients you would expect to find in an eye care product, I use a mixture of sugars derived from locust bean gum, which creates a nice film that tightens the skin without the effects of crumbling or pilling, typical of some other mechanical tighteners. So after you apply the Rapid Eye Treatment, you’ll notice how the fine lines around your eyes appear suddenly less evident, and the entire eye area is more refreshed. It...

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Hyaluroil Lip Treatment

Hyaluroil Lip Treatment

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this intensive therapy for dehydrated lips. I am a big fan of lip oils and lip serums but this one feels completely different. Yes, this one is not runny! The viscosity is obtained by the unique blending technique – This is why I do not use any mechanical blenders and prepare every single batch by hand. You need to stir softly to mix the ingredients but if you stir it too much, you lose the grade of viscosity which makes this product so effective. Hyaluronic acid is soluble in water; how do you mix it...

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Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum

Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this skin tone brightening serum... Despite only being in my mid forties, my dermatologist has classified my skin as ‘mature’. Will this serum improve my large dark patches? With age, melanin deposits caused by sun damage in your teens and twenties become can become larger and more apparent in your thirties and early forties. This serum will help you to minimize the intensity of those darker areas and improve your skin tone overall. Can I use it during the day too? Yes, it is a non-photosensitive, organic solution which naturally brightens your complexion. Furthermore, clinical studies...

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Nutritive Repair Emulsion

Nutritive Repair Emulsion

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this barrier repairing wonder cream... I love this moisturiser so much! Can I use it during the day too? Yes, you can if you have very dry skin or if your skin is highly sensitive or reactive. It is very soothing. Did you add Mallow because of its soothing properties? When design my products, I always have stressed, reactive and sensitive skin in mind. Mallow is one of the best ingredients for this skin type. There is a very old Spanish proverb that says “A kitchen garden and mallow, sufficient medicines for a home” and...

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Essential Bio Technological Moisturiser

Essential Bio Technological Moisturiser

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this antioxidant rich moisturising cream... Is it vegan? Yes, like the entire TWELVE beauty range. What is the difference between the Ideal Moisture Level Serum and the Essential Bio-technological Moisturiser? The serum is a water based formula consisting of hyaluronic acid, hydrating molecules and a mixture of antioxidants. On the other hand, the Essential Bio-technological Moisturiser is a moisturising cream containing both water and valuable oils. It offers incredible moisture and daily protection. What is the purpose of the sunflower unsaponifiable oil in this product? Dry skin is characterised by a lack of key lipids...

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Ideal Rebalancing Level Serum

Ideal Rebalancing Level Serum

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this ground breaking sebum balancing formula... As it is designed to help balance excessive production of sebum, will it dry my skin out? No, the formula helps to balance the production of sebum by providing deep hydration to the skin. What is Epilobium? The star ingredient of this serum is Epilobium extract, a plant rich in an antioxidant called Oenothein B which inhibits the activity of 5 Alfa-Reductase, the enzyme responsible for sebum production. It also contains a high amount of flavonoids which are very soothing for skin. My skin is oily, will this serum make...

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Ideal Moisture Level Serum

Ideal Moisture Level Serum

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this hydro-regulative wonder... The serum has an oil-like consistency, will clog my pores? Despite its fabulous texture it is actually an oil free product and completely non-comedogenic. Which type of hyaluronic acid do you use? I use the largest molecule version on the market so that it does not penetrate the skin, but instead creates a wonderful permeable film that keeps skin protected, supple and moisturised. This viscoelastic film reduces the prematurely ageing effects of TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss). Think of it like a super-hydrating skin shield! Is Saccharide Isomerate a synthetic ingredient? No, the...

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Ultra Revitalising Elixir

Ultra Revitalising Elixir

We answer your most frequently asked questions about this lipid enhancing mist... Is the Elixir the same as a toner?  Not really – The elixir is more concentrated than an average toner, but you can happily use it instead of a toner if you are thinking of stepping up your skincare routine. What does it do? I always formulate my products with sensitive, reactive and stressed skin in mind so created this extremely soothing and calming elixir as a godsend for skin that’s in a bit if a panic! Over 90% of the formulation is made from an unusually high concentration of mallow flower extract. I...

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Purifying Cleansing Beauty Cream

Purifying Cleansing Beauty Cream

We answer your most frequently asked questions... It doesn’t foam, so how does it clean? The combination of plant-based oils I use in this cleanser work together to dissolve sebum, dirt, pollution and make up, breaking them up into small droplets. The addition of a coconut oil-derived emulsifier means these oil droplets are removed from the skin when we rinse the product off with lukewarm water. Skin is left thoroughly, but gently, clean. How many times can I use it during the day? I recommend using it twice a day. In the morning apply with a quick massage onto damp skin before rinsing off...

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Understanding your skin microbiome

You could be forgiven for thinking that looking after your skin microbiome - your skin’s living protective layer – is just another beauty fad. But what if we told you it’s just as important as other valid skincare movements (peptides, stem cells, organic/natural/wild/aeroponic ingredients to name but a few…)? In fact, recent studies show just how crucial our cutaneous microbiome’s role is in skin health and why it shouldn’t be overlooked if we want a healthy, glowing complexion. What do these new studies have to say? After some quite exhaustive investigation, results show that many acne sufferers have an elevated level of...

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Micellar Water: The Truth

Hailed as a the ultimate one-stop practical cleanser that’s readily available everywhere, micellar water is seemingly a god-send for many…But if we press pause for a minute and actually think about it, do we really know what it’s made from and how it works? And more importantly, the effect it’s prolonged use can have on our skin (if any)? So you can make up your own mind, here I am to help you understand the science behind this apparent ‘must-have’ beauty product… This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the wonderful Cristina Mitre for her podcast where I...

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Firming Antioxidant Dry Body Oil

NEW: Firming Antioxidant Body Oil

Do you long for smooth, supple, beautifully toned skin all year round? Then you’ll love the latest addition to the Twelve Beauty collection, a firming antioxidant body oil. This figure sculpting wonder is guaranteed to become your new beauty BFF! If there’s one thing we pride ourselves on here at Twelve Beauty HQ it’s listening to customer feedback and demands. We adore hearing about your hopes for the brand together with which products you’d like to see in the collection, and after careful consideration (Read: A lot of love and prep), I would like to introduce you to the newest Twelve...

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retinol

Spotlight on: Retinol

In recent years, we have increasingly turned to online investigation to better understand the ingredients in our facial skincare products, with statistics showing February as the month where we do the most research. So, what is at the very top of that list of key ingredients that we want to google? Retinol, and the almost overwhelming number of questions we have about it. How to use it, when to start, is it suitable for everyone…The answers can seem elusive at times, with the Internet divided in its opinion and recommendations. Here I take a look at the reasons behind the...

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water in skincare

Water in skincare, how relevant is it?

Water is undoubtedly essential for good health if not for life itself, just ask your complexion! Recent studies have shown that even a 10% drop in our skin’s water content can leave it vulnerable to environmental aggressors, making water in skincare products vital for optimal skin health and beauty. But did you know that not all waters are the same? Think back to the last time you double and triple checked all the ingredients on that new beauty product you were about to buy…Did you think to check both its water content and more importantly, where it came from? If the...

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Facial serums, choose the best for your skin

Why your skin needs a good serum? Back in the days when I was still formulating the Twelve Beauty range, I knew that facial serums would play a pivotal part in the line-up. Why? Because I believe that they are an essential step in our daily skincare routine. Aiming for rapidly absorbing serum formulas packed with high concentrations of active ingredients, I wanted not only immediate visible results but long-lasting ones too. The philosophy behind the Twelve Beauty collection was after all to keep skin healthier for longer. I always say that we must listen to our skin and by that...

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DIY Beauty Products

The truth about DIY beauty products

Do you know how safe DIY beauty products really are? The ever-popular trend among beauty addicts to make their own skincare concoctions shows no sign of slowing down. Social media and the internet are brimming with recipes for all kinds of remedies mostly made with ingredients found in the kitchen. Afterall, a homemade product is going to be way better, healthier and cheaper than anything you can buy, right? Wrong! The fact is this misconception among DIY beauty product fans not only could damage their skin but also leave it vulnerable to a whole host of nasties. Read on to...

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Rosacea Skincare Guide

The Ultimate Rosacea Skincare Guide

Struggling with sensitive skin that's prone to extreme redness and inflammation? Plagued by the constant feeling of burning or stinging skin that is likened to having sun or wind burn all the time? If your highly reactive complexion has left you desperate for relief yet you don’t know where to start, read on to discover our top skincare hacks for this super sensitive skin type… Affecting over 400 million people world-wide according to the most recent studies (you’re not alone), rosacea is a skin condition caused by excessive inflammation and vascular dysfunction. This means that the capillaries on the face become...

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Keeping your skin glowing in winter

Winter Proof Your Skin

Keeping your skin glowing and feeling healthy during these cold months can be a challenge. If you live in a part of the world that experiences cold weather, you’ll know that falling temperatures combined with indoor heating and strong winds can all wreak havoc on your skin. A compromised barrier function, loss of moisture and a heightened sensitivity all leaves us with a dull and lifeless complexion which longs for a supportive skin care routine. After many years of investigation and research into the gentle botanical power Nature provides, we believe we have identified the most nutritive and potent ingredients needed...

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ferulic acid

Spotlight on: Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid is one of the main ingredients popping up in skincare products these days. In fact this plant-based ingredient is touted as a ‘powerhouse’ due to its antioxidant benefits. You may have heard of it and even tried a product that contains it, but how much do you truly know about this skincare ingredient? And more importantly, does it live up to the hype? Through our ever popular hashtag #AskPedro, I have recently received several enquiries about Ferulic Acid and why products containing this ingredient tend to smell so bad (a “metallic smell” was noted by many of you). As a natural skincare...

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Sun Powered Skincare

Sun powered skincare, making the most of the energy that the sun gives us every day

As most of our clients and followers know, two of our key themes here at Twelve Beauty are innovation and sustainability. Last year saw us undertake many important changes in both these areas, so much so that for 2020 we wanted to do something even bigger and better. With the effort to combat climate change increasingly urgent, it was only natural for us want to take our environmentally friendly philosophy one step further and install solar energy, making our laboratory totally self-sufficient! Twelve Beauty is now greener than ever and we couldn’t be prouder to add renewable energy to our other eco-friendly...

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A Postcard From San Francisco

It is no secret that I have a soft spot for San Francisco, one of the most iconic cities in the US. Back in the mid 90’s, when I was introduced to the Armistead Maupin books, I became increasingly eager to visit the city. I always had a great imagination, so his books were the best way of escapism when I felt a bit overwhelmed at university. Fast forward two decades, when I received an email — not from 28 Barbary Lane, but from 1825 Bush Street — and I was over the moon. Dara, the founder of Ayla, my first...

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Niacinamide properties

Spotlight On Niacinamide

Niacinamide is an old time favourite ingredient in the green beauty industry. The niacinamide properties and the high tolerability even on sensitive skin, made it a star vitamin, widely used in skincare. It is naturally derived from nicotinic acid found in many cereals and brewer’s yeast. Once isolated, it undergoes a chemical reaction to become Niacinamide, otherwise known as vitamin B3 or vitamin PP. It is one of the traditional ingredients that natural beauty formulators have studied for decades. I always opposed to including it in my range because of the high amounts of nicotinic acid, this residue can cause skin...

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The Importance of Reformulating

The Importance of Reformulating

When you marry botanical extracts and technology you are in for a rewarding skincare treat, this combination undeniably feeds the skin with functional ingredients that are both, effective and safe. Right now, some innovative raw material companies are shaking up the industry by launching new ingredients, which are the epitome of soft power, gentle to the skin yet highly performing. Earlier last year, I came across to a new mallow concentrate which caught my eye for numerous reasons, scientific studies, purity, amount of active compounds, amongst other grounds. I have not been that excited for a long time so I started...

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natural beauty

How to switch to natural beauty in just three steps?

If you’ve been considering going green with your beauty routine, the first question you need to ask yourself is what you are hoping to achieve? To make the switch to natural beauty, I believe you need to have a clear purpose to enable you to stick with it successfully. Perhaps your motivation is to get rid of controversial ingredients such as parabens and eliminate potential allergens such as Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone (commonly known as Kathon)? Or, maybe your focus is to become more environmentally friendly by banishing silicones and ethylene oxide derivates (which is basically everything starting with PEG, PPG or...

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Is the skincare “mini-fridge” worth it?

It’s not a totally straightforward answer, but I’m inclined to say no. Skincare products are designed to be stored at room temperature. However, before they launch new products, reputable manufacturers undertake several tests in skincare fridges to assess the stability of the new product. One of the tests is to leave a sample in a fridge (4C) and observe the behaviour, changes of colour, precipitation of ingredients and a range of other variations over 3 to 6 months. These tests are not compulsory. So, some brands (who will remain nameless!) rush to launch new products in this skincare fridges; most likely...

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Properties of the buddleja

Spotlight on buddleja

Buddleja leaves are one of the most soft powerful ingredients in nature, no wonder I made them into one of the twelve ingredients I use accross the range. The origin: Buddleja davidii is a shrub or small-tree that comes originally from China and was introduced as an ornamental plant in other parts of the world in the late 1800’s. The genus Buddleja was named by Linné (1737) to honor the English amateur botanist Reverend Adam Buddle. The species was named after French Jesuit missionary, Pére Armand David who collected and brought to Paris specimens from China. The growth: One of the most amazing abilities of the buddleja is to adapt...

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What To Do With Oily Skin

This week I wanted to talk to you about oily skin, which seems a subject that we tend to avoid or to shelter under the phrase “combination skin” as it does not sound as bad as “oily”. First of all it is important to determine if we have oily skin. To the touch, oily skin appears oily and rough: the irregularity in the texture is given by the presence of dilated pores, often accompanied by acne and / or old scars left by acne. How to recognize Oily Skin? We can take a simple test at home by using a clean make-up...

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Jojoba Oil

Twelve facts about Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is widely used in skincare but despite being so well known,  there are some interesting facts about it that I would like to share with you. Simmondsia Chinensis Oil is extracted from the seeds of Jojoba, a shrub belonging to the Buxaceae family that grows wild in the desert areas of Arizona, Mexico, California and Egypt. I know  the origin can be misleading with the name “chinensis” which usually refers to “originally from China” but the reality is that some botanists back in the XIX century named it wrongly and it took decades to spot the mistake. Considering...

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formulation of natural cosmetics

A Natural Formulation Issue

I know today’s post sounds a bit more science geek than usual but I wanted to share with you, a common issue we natural formulators face with plant based ingredients. Rancidity is a process of chemical decomposition naturally occuring in oils and butters. In natural skincare formulation is a phenomenon, that we must prevent because it poses a threat to the skin’s health. Also rancid oils loose most of their properties (significant loss of fat-soluble vitamins amongst others). This degradation can happen in three different ways: Hydrolysis: The triglycerides are separated into fatty acids and glycerin. It usually happens in high humidity environments. Polymerisation:...

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Squalene, ingredient spotlight

Ingredient Spotlight: Squalene

Squalene, to me, represents the perfect natural alternative to the most common ingredient in skincare, “paraffinun liquidum”which is from a chemical point of view a hydrocarbon, same as the squalene, which comes in liquid form due to its unique structure. I use the stable version which is called squalane. I made it one of the twelve key ingredients because it protects the skin, thanks to the ability to regenerate the lipid film which prevents aggression by external agents. It is also moisturising because it reduces the evaporation of water from the deeper epidermal layers (Trans Epidermal Water Loss) which I mentioned in previous posts....

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And which ones to avoid when pregnant…

After last week’s post, it is the time to focus on what not to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some of the studies on ingredients I have found are not complete enough to establish a proper negative list. In my opinion, while some conclusive data arrives, it is better to avoid them completely. With this in mind, I created a general list, which is not exhaustive but I guess it represents a good starting point, of the ingredients, you need to remove from your beauty regime during pregnancy and throughout lactation. These ingredients can interfere in many ways with your pregnancy and...

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Which ingredients to look out for during pregnancy

I have received many emails lately regarding which products are suitable to treat some skin issues during pregnancy, especially, which ingredients to look out for. For this reason, I decided to dedicate today’s post to share all the information I know about this subject. How to deal with stretch marks: To prevent them I recommend the following oils, wheat germ, avocado, St John Wort and sweet almond. These oils, increase the softness and elasticity of the skin. They are also very soothing and are able to stimulate the production of fibroblasts (connective tissue cells). Other key ingredients include, ginseng, ivy, horsetail, horse...

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Let’s talk about TEWL

Today I do not want to talk about the threat to the skin of heated indoor enviroments while it’s cold outside (at least in most of the north hemisphere), instead, I want to highlight the importance of the skin’s main function, which we tend to forget. The skin’s main function is to protect the body from external substances and excessive loss of water. Water is an essential element for the wellbeing of the skin, therefore cleansing and hydration are essential steps to keep it in good condition. The water follows a well-defined path within the different skin layers: from the bloodstream reaches the...

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The art of misting

Toners were originally created for cleansing and the general care of the skin. They were also marketed as a “skin refresher” due to the cooling abilities of these formulations. Toners have come a long way from the first preparations mainly alcohol based mixtures with rose water, borax, glycerine, zinc and aluminium salts, menthol and camphor amongst other ingredients. I even read in a 1970’s pseudoscientific article, that “turtle oil” was the star ingredient in so many toners, I mean seriously?? The new generation of toners, deliver antioxidants, hydration and elasticity. A well formulated natural toner, is a great option to save on...

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Do you really need to exfoliate?

Ever wondered why I do not have a face scrub or peeling in the collection?. Here are few reasons why I believe exfoliation is not necessary. The "cemetery" of cells is necessary. The dead cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin act as a barrier and offer protection. By exfoliating the skin, it is unprotected and is more vulnerable to external factors, such as weather or even possible infections.   It is irritating. The burning sensation, redness and irritation disappears easily, but it can not be denied that the most aggressive peels are uncomfortable for the skin.   Don’t be fooled by the quick...

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The origin of your ingredients

At Twelve Beauty, we live and breathe healthy skin. The idea is to make products that have a noticeable and positive impact from the first day of application. To achieve that, is essential to understand not only plant science, but also anatomy and physiology skin. My vision of modern skincare is something easy to use, efficacious but above all safe. Safety comes from research and starts from tracing the origin of ingredients. I personally work very close with the suppliers. Working on my own formulas allows me to understand better every ingredient I selected, it is not so easy for other...

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¿Why skin cleansing is the most important step in our routine?

In my opinion, skin cleansing is the most important step of the beauty routine. The cleanser has to be highly compatible with the skin composition to avoid the harsh effect of the process but at the same time it has to be effective. I have tried so many other products from different brands, and I must say that some formulas out there are outstanding. However I have never found a cleanser as effective and mild to the skin like mine, it is more of a treatment than a face wash, leaving the skin, soft and soothed. The mechanical action of cleansing can...

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Why less is more has become an important approach in skincare?

Green beauty has become such a cool subject and currently there are thousands of self-proclaimed beauty experts together with new green hand blended skincare brands launching everyday. There are even books with lots of beauty recipes and DIY youth elixirs, which I defend as long as they are a one-off application and are not included in your daily routine. Understanding better how powerful some natural ingredients are, the industry is moving to products with less ingredients but with better quality. For those who know me, my mantra is "Natural Product Formulation is a Science. Not an Experiment" Let's take for example how adding too many...

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Tips on rosacea, how to achieve radiant skin

Acne rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterised  by  facial flushing and abnormal dilation of the capillaries. Symptoms range from a tendency to blush easily and persistent redness of the cheeks to severe lessions on the face. Factors that can trigger the redness are hot food, sun exposure and temperature changes. Using sunscreen all year round has been shown to help but choose a natural one, as chemical screens can irritate the skin. Azelaic acid is a  natural antibiotic found in rye, wheat and barley. It is a great alternative to conventional medicated preparations such metronidazole gels, frequently prescribed by dermatologists. You...

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How pollution affects skin

According to the World Health Organisation the urban population in 2016 accounts for almost 58% of the total global population, up from 34% in 1960.  Little wonder that pollution seems to be the word that appears in every beauty chat across the globe. Despite the hype, it is not a new marketing strategy; pollution, unfortunately, affects the skin. Are there any anti-pollutant ingredients as such? Not really however there are anti-pollutant beauty products which are rich in antioxidants and moisturising agents to fight free radicals due to pollution and to strengthen the epidermis barrier. Also, ingredients like mallow and hyaluronic acid...

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The Ultimate Clean Beauty Dictionary

Here is my ultimate clean dictionary, each letter is a reminder to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. A is for ANTIOXIDANTS Antioxidants protect skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells and the real reason for skin ageing. Antioxidants are essential in our beauty routine as they are powerful age-delaying tools. They have other properties such soothing, toning and giving a healthy glow to our skin. B is for BEESWAX It has been the first emulsifier used in history. Back in ancient Greece, a physician called Galen blended together rose water, olive oil and beeswax. The original formula is...

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The new natural enemies

Most of us are switching to natural beauty but  we must be aware that not everything natural is beneficial. Over the past few months I have seen many natural and organic beauty lovers developing allergies, or complaining of tingle/irritation on their skin after they apply their new favourite products. Consumers can react to essential oils and other components but I am surprised the surge of four well documented irritants currently used in skincare: Sodium phytate: it captures impurities from ingredients so it avoids residues, discoloration or impair the foaming properties of shampoos and other cleansing products. Sodium phytate is the natural equivalent of the...

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Palm oil´s big issue

Palm oil continues to be one of the most popular ingredients used in the beauty industry. It has formed the basis of soaps for years, with the first brands to use it being Lever Brothers (now known as Unilever), Sunlight Soap and Palmolive. It appears on the label as Elaeis guineensis Oil and it is obtained from the pulp of the fruit of the palm. Its material state at room temperature is a red solid mass due to natural occurring carotenoids (pro Vitamin A) and in this form it is sometimes used as a natural colourant. With great emollient properties, it can...

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The alcohol debate

Alcohol, is a commonly used ingredient in the cosmetic industry. It's mainly used in fragrances for its ability to blend and disperse the scent and evaporates quickly once it contacts the skin. Alcohol also has preserving qualities and is used in particular in natural and organic skincare formulations, where you might expect to find a higher concentration up to 10%. It can be derived synthetically or naturally, through the fermentation of sugar- whereby it is obtained by chemical reaction of starch in the presence of yeast, at the temperature below 37 ° C. Alcohol is commonly found in men's grooming products...

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Creams vs oils: How to hidrate your skin

Skincare expert Pedro Catalá opens up the debate on creams and oils and examines how we can hidrate our skin in the best possible way. So much has been said on what to use to moisturise the skin, that even the scientific community seems to be divided between those who swear by using paraffin or barrier products only, and those who have more moderate views claiming that a combination of water and oil is essential to act on every layer of the skin. So which is better – creams or oils? First, let’s look at the four ways in which we can...

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Natural SPF: The top 10 ingredients to boost sun protection

With temperatures soaring an UV levels at an all time high, Pedro Catalá of Twelve Beauty counts down the 10 natural ingredients with SPF benefits you need to stock up on. For those who have a greener approach to beauty it can be very daunting to choose the right suncare product. The choice is limited, with only two sunscreens considered to be ‘natural'; titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These two minerals can provide the right protection, however they might leave an unpleasant white residue on our skin (though new formulations are improving). Are there any other choices? Luckily, we can find in...

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Ingredient spotlight: Naturally derived hyaluronic acid

Discovered in the 70’s, Hyaluronic Acid was initially found in chicken’s crests and until recently, was still extracted from animal sources. Luckily, in the last few years scientists have developed several methods to obtain Hyaluronic Acid from some species of friendly bacteria. Via fermentation, bacteria is able to produce Hyaluronic Acid in established conditions of temperature and pH, often referred to as ‘Bio-technology’, due to its natural origin and extraction with the help of technology. The Molecule – Composed of two vital sugars;  glycuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine – this unique combination has incredible properties. It is highly soluble in water and provides hydration and elasticity to skin tissue. Produced naturally...

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Ingredient spotlight: Aloe Vera for healthy skin

“As a formulator, I always get excited when I find out about new and exotic ingredients. However, I always keep in mind how great and beneficial some of the more traditional ingredients are. Today, we will focus on Aloe Vera, known as the prodigy of nature”. The Origins Originally from Africa, the Aloe Vera plant is also found widely throughout Central America and Southern Europe. It doesn’t like much water nor temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius which is why it grows most prevalently within these warmer climates. The Extraction Both the juice and gel can be extracted from any part of the plant. It is...

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Top ten vital natural skincare ingredients to look for this summer

Our skin changes season to season and so too should our skincare. Long winters, fluctuating temperatures in the Spring and overexposure to Sun in the Summer can play havoc on our skin if we don’t take the right measures to ensure it remains as healthy as possible. While the sun has lots of benefits for our health and wellbeing and is necessary to ensure adequate vitamin D production, it can also be dangerous to the health of our skin always ensure the skin is protected from the sun between the hours where it is at its most potent; from 11am and 4pm, especially when...

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Christmas countdown: how to achieve radiant glowing in time for Christmas

The run up to the festive season can be chaotic with braving the crowds for shopping, Christmas parties and work deadlines. The lack of sleep, increased tension and fluctuations of temperature (normal during the cold season) can lead to a dull complexion. This is the time of the year when we need to step up our beauty routine. It is all about keeping moisturised and being consistent. No matter how tired or busy we are, we must find those five minutes in the morning and evening to reward our skin with our favourite all natural and organic products. Keeping faithful to this...

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Summer skin tips

Reflective in Twelve Beauty, and his philosophy towards health and beauty. Below, Pedro shares his favourite tips on Summer care, both inside and out… Changing seasons inevitably means a wardrobe change – weather permitting.  However, do we stop to think about changing up our skincare and make-up routine? Well we should. Our skin reacts differently to distinct temperatures and environments, and it is a delicate balancing act to ensure our complexion is kept nourished and cell regeneration is stimulated, as it is zapped by the sun’s rays.  Ideally we should switch to lighter textures so during daytime it is more effective to use a serum than...

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