How natural are our beauty products?

How natural are our beauty products?

Skin care products and cosmetics are not a modern-day invention. In fact, we humans have used various substances to cleanse, protect and change the appearance of our bodies for thousands of years. Nature has always been the best source of inspiration, after all many ancient civilizations are known to have used mixtures such as exfoliants made with alabaster powder, honey and salt, and antiwrinkle creams made with cypress extracts for example. However, although the ingredients used can either be natural or synthetic, almost all of them have to go through some sort of ‘process’ before we are able to use them. So, with consumers nowadays leaning more towards products labelled as “natural”, one can’t help but ask just how natural are our beauty products?

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The Exposome, and how it affects your skin health

The Exposome and how it affects your skin health

The term “exposome” relates to all the exposures, either environmental or lifestyle, an individual is subjected to from birth to death. In other words, it’s the analysis of non-genetic risk factors (synthetic chemicals, dietary constituents, psychosocial stressors, and physical factors) and our corresponding biological responses. Therefore, unfortunately, even if you live on a paradise island in the middle of a (clean) ocean, this means that your environment could still be affecting you! So, are you ready to discover more about the exposome and how it affects your skin health? Let’s take a peek…

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Night time summer facial routine

Night time summer facial routine

Taking proper care of your skin is a must if you want to maintain a healthy, glowing complexion all year around. Last week we discussed how to adapt our beauty regimes to the warmer months and the importance of minimalizing daytime trans epidermal water loss. (See here) Today, however, we are going to delve into your night time summer facial routine and see how you can up your skin care game even while you sleep …

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moisturise in summer

Why you should moisturise in summer

The heat is on! And somehow our will power to stick to a balanced skincare routine goes straight out the window, am I right? How many of you have already started to skip your regular moisturising cream because in high temperatures and high humidity, you feel it’s too much for your skin? Or maybe you read somewhere that hydrating combination or oily skin is a no-no in summer? Well, I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but you’re really not doing your skin any favours. Let’s have a look at the reasons behind why you should moisturise in summer to keep your skin in tip-top condition.

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Effects of Stress On Skin

Effects of Stress On Skin

Most of us know that stress plays a big part in our overall health, both physical and mental. However, as common as it is, most of us don’t really consider the effects of stress on our skin. Unfortunately, stress in all its forms can cause detrimental physiological and functional consequences to your looks that you really won’t like…

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The Beauty Benefits of Oils

The Beauty Benefits of Oils

By including oils in your beauty routine you’re not only nourishing your skin with much needed hydration and antioxidant protection, but you’re also providing it with other key properties such as deep cleansing or germ busting, depending on your oil of choice. In this article we explore some little-known facts about a few of the most common ones available and why the beauty benefits of oils should not be overlooked. Ever!

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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 intriguing love / hate relationship we have with this tempting ingredient.

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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 answer is ‘No’, then read on …

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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.

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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 find out why…

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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…

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 chestnut, centella and echinacea. Also the massage is as important as the actual product or the oil we use.

Once the stretch marks are formed are more difficult to get rid off, but not impossible.

How to deal with hyperpigmentation:

The most common hyperpigmentation case is called melasma, known also as “pregnancy mask” due to the aspect of the dark patches across the face or “moustache” if it appears above the upper lip. It usually fades away, right after giving birth.  To prevent, but also to treat, the following ingredients work wonders: mallow, YarrowPeppermintHeath speedwell, Lemon balm, Cucumber, Primula, Buddleja, Lady’s mantle, niacinamide (at least 5%)

Sometimes a vertical line across your abdomen, called “linia nigra” appears, however it fades post-partum.

How to deal with acne:

In an ideal world, it would help to keep your acne under control before pregnancy as it could get worse later on. So if you are thinking of getting pregnant the following ingredients should be part of your routine: panthenol (decreases sebum), vitamin E (avoids the oils secreted from the sebaceous glands to go rancid, linoleic acid (keeps a healthy balanced skin). Also, I always recommend to use a toner, which have usually lowers the pH of the skin, by using this, it avoids bacteria proliferation as they prefer to live in more alkaline (higher pH) environments.

Once you are pregnant and acne appears, I personally like a combination of clay masks together with soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile and sebum-like jojoba oil. The use of exfoliating acids is strictly discouraged.

How to deal with itchy skin:

It is a very common symptom linked to high levels of oestrogens. It usually appears without a rash.

Incorporating ingredients such as bisabolol, allantoin, calendula oil, squalane, oat, chamazulene, rice oil or ruscus aculeatus extract will bring temporary relief.

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.

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