Audronė Wippich

Author Archives: Audronė Wippich

Skin Care Routine for 30s And Beyond

skin care routine

Initially, many of us believe that a skin care routine is primarily for old folks or people with skin issues. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is never too early to start a basic skin care routine. No one’s skin is completely issue-free all the time.

Your skin is constantly changing. It all depends on the environment / climate (especially dry or cold), stress levels and foods you consume. And that is not even including hormonal changes within the body or other illnesses that we encounter along the way.

It is even more vital to Cleanse, Nourish and Protect your skin if you have adult acne or going through menopause, or undergoing other treatments. In fact, if you have acne, the last thing you want to do is scrub irritated skin or apply any kind of acid (AHA, citric or salicylic) on top of it. In this case scenario, it is better to leave your skin alone and let it heal itself. If you have darker or black skin, you can find some more tips here.

Your regimen does not have to take more than a few minutes. If this is new to you, keep it simple! Otherwise, you’ll never keep up a complex discipline for long. Once it becomes a habit, like brushing your teeth (assuming that you brush your teeth - hahaha), only then, you can start introducing some other products to pamper your skin.

Also, you have to be willing to change your routine as necessary. As mentioned earlier, skin tends to change and shift between skin types. Therefore, be a little detective and do a quick analysis of your skin every day. Ask yourself: does my skin feel unusually oily or dry today? Is it irritated in any way? Do I have different skin issues going on at the same time? It is called combination skin type, where your skin feels oily in the T-zone (which is your forehead, nose and chin), but the rest of your face feels normal or dry).

If you wish to see the entire routine in the video format, then feel free to press play below.

Let’s start with the basic natural skin routine for both - men and women. There are only three products that you need to use on your skin every day… for either - your morning or evening routine.

Morning Skin Care Routine

Your morning routine will include the following steps:
1. Cleanse
2. Moisturize
3. Protect

1. Cleanse
The reason you want to cleanse your face is because you want to wash off any excess oil and dirt that accumulated over a period of time. Make sure to wash your face with a dedicated cleanser. In other words, never use regular soap. We recommend using a natural face cleanser. Natural Vibrancy will be releasing one shortly, so make sure to visit our online store for more details. Our face cleanser is gentle for every day use and will NOT strip away your skin’s natural moisture.

2. Moisturize
After you cleanse your face, you should follow up with a natural moisturizer. Your skin needs help to maintain its natural moisture content during the day. Moisturizing also gives you an opportunity to nourish your skin with antioxidants, minerals and peptides, as well as other ingredients. In other words, you are helping your skin to stay healthy, which will extend its life span.

natural moisturizer

We suggest you try a natural body lotion made by Natural Vibrancy. It is a well balanced lotion that is rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, as well as better in quality than most face creams out in the market. You can find more information and product reviews on our site or on Amazon.com

3. Protect
And your last step in this process is to protect your skin from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun harms our skin, not only on the surface, but also, by affecting and disturbing the skin’s underlying structure. Sun damage causes wrinkles, sagging skin, brown spots and destroys skin tissue. As much as 60% of the sun’s damaging radiation penetrates the clouds on even the grayest days.

Sunscreen is especially vital when your skin is particularly vulnerable to UV damage and that is during pregnancy or menopause; or when undergoing acne or cancer treatments. So, if you decide to use only one product, make it a sunscreen and use it every day!

We recommend using a broad-spectrum UVA - UVB sunscreen. Make sure to use a higher SPF number if you are planning to spend more time outside (a longer hike or play at the beach). Once again, everyone at every age needs to use sun protection!

Evening Skincare Routine

If you wish to simplify things even further, you can keep your evening routine exactly the same as your morning routine.

However, if you would like to kick it up a notch, you can do the following:
1. Cleanse
2. Treat
3. Moisturize

1. Cleanse your face.
* Please note that if you wear makeup, make sure to remove it before cleansing. You can use makeup removing pads; or you can use our facial cleanser with a wash cloth first, after which you would follow up with a final cleanse. 

facial cleanser

2. Treat
You can treat your face by applying a serum with active ingredients such as peptides, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory ingredients that can even address some of your specific skin issues. Let those ingredients do the work and repair your skin while you sleep. A serum should always be applied before a moisturizer for best penetration. We highly recommend a serum made by Natural Vibrancy, but it’s not available to the public yet. We invite you to check our online store for availability.

3. Moisturize
And your last step is to moisturize. You can use the same moisturizer as you do in the morning (as long as it is of a superb quality lotion that feeds and restores your skin overnight). Or your moisturizer can be a little richer and creamier (such as night cream) than the daytime one, that you wear under makeup or sunscreen.

night cream

Also, make sure to moisturize your hands and feet at night, too, especially in the winter.

So here it is - your simple and healthy skin routine.

Once you will identify your skin type and get the right skin care products, the rest will be a piece of cake: 3 easy steps in the morning and 3 at night. And when choosing products, make sure to go with natural skincare products. Your skin plays multiple roles in defending your body from outside forces, so power it up… in the most natural way possible. More on this topic can be found at http://naturalvibrancy.com

If you share this article with your friends and family - they might surprise you with a vibrant skin next time. Also, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

Anti Aging Skin Care Products And How To Select Them

anti-aging skincare

Many anti aging products fill our heads with promises… like “diminish wrinkles” or “ reverse the signs of aging” but not that many tend to deliver. So many of us (primarily women) are confused by our anti aging options.

So, how can we choose between all of those options? How do we identify ingredients that actually work?

We suggest to use the following two-step process:
1. Prevent
2. Investigate

If you follow the two steps you’ll get to your desired outcome faster. Let’s look at each step individually.

1. Prevention!

Let’s prevent aging skin from happening in the first place. If we’ll work on prevention, we’ll have less skin issues to deal with in the future. This step is quite easy, only of course, if we listen to our own advice… use sunscreen!

Do you already own sunscreen? Most likely. Good news! You have one less product to buy. On a more serious note, sun protection is the best anti aging product you have and the best investment you can make. Did you know that 90% of cosmetic skin problems that occur with age - like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and sagging - are caused by sun exposure (according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology)? Unbelievable, right?

Therefore, sunscreen is the most powerful anti aging cream you may already have hidden in your cabinet. There is no point in purchasing lots of anti aging products to repair damage if you don’t prevent it in the first place. Protect what you already have naturally and maintain your healthy skin with daily sun protection.

Sunscreen and a good quality natural moisturizer are the two skin care products that you should always have in your house. An ideal scenario would be to have a sunscreen for every ‘occasion.’ Meaning, your sun protection needs to be compatible with the amount of sun exposure you receive.

For example, for a daily use you may have a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) SPF15 sunscreen and SPF 30 for the days when you go for a longer hike or play at the beach. For the beach, you may also want to have a stronger broad-spectrum spray, to quickly and easily cover your body. Also, there will be days when your skin will change and you’ll want to switch to an oil-free sunscreen. Having several formulations of sunscreen handy also reduces the excuses not to wear it.

I hope we made the first step loud and clear, so we can move on to the next.​​

Choose Anti Aging Beauty Products Wisely

Now, we are ready to move to the second step, which is…

2. Investigate!​

It’s time to be a little detective. Your initial investigation process will save you lots of time and money. Let’s dive into it and you’ll know what I mean.

When choosing anti aging products you should investigate 3 things:
a) Identify your problem
b) Research products
c) Pick a product and stick to it.​

Let’s zoom in and look at each area from up close. By the way, you don’t need to spend too much time on this. Keep ti simple.

​Identifying Your Problem

​Identify what are you trying to achieve with your anti aging product. Are you in your forties and trying to get rid of brown spots? Or are you in your twenties and looking for a preventive product? Then, all you would need is an antioxidant-rich skin care product. In this case, we recommend to stay away from chemical-based and go with natural skincare products. Now, if you want to improve brown spots, wrinkles or uneven skin, then you should look into retinoic acid or try a product with niacinamide.

In other words, narrow down your options by asking yourself - what is it about my complexion that I desire to improve? This way, you’ll know if you need to look at product with antioxidants or at products with peptides in them?​

Research Products​

Do your investigation on ingredients. Very often what is proclaimed to be a new chemical innovation turns out to be a derivative of something that already exists. A short search online can tell you what a hot new ingredient actuality is and if the clinical studies behind it are for real.

Look at product labels! The label must list ingredients from the highest concentration to the lowest. If the anti aging ingredient you are looking for is listed all the way at the bottom or has a very low percentage, the product may not make much difference to your skin. Keep in mind, a higher concentration of the chemical is one way to get it into the skin. On the other hand, too high a concentration of some ingredients, such as vitamin C, can be toxic to the skin. Also, ingredients, like antioxidants need to be stable in the mix as well.

Most anti aging products include silicone to provide a smooth texture to the product and in a way make a skin tone look smoother too. However, don’t be fooled! These results are superficial and temporary, since they do nothing for the skin. Some of these products may also contain a little glycol acid or lactic acid to exfoliate the skin and provide instant gratification. All of these ingredients don’t change anything below the surface of your skin. Knowing all this will help you make better choices and in products you select.​

Pick a Product that will Naturally Restore your skin and Stick to it!

natural face cream

​There are quite a few of us walking around with red and irritated skin. What’s the reason? - you may ask. Using too many different products.

Switching from one ingredient to another within a span of a couple of weeks can create a cocktail of chemicals on your face that can be super irritating. Different products have varying ingredients in them and you probably don’t know how do all these ingredients react with one another? Are they overlapping the same kinds of chemicals, such as acids, over and over again?

Taking care of your skin is like caring for a garden, which needs a certain amount of nutrients, soil, water and sunshine to grow and flourish. If you overfeed or overwater it, the garden is ruined. Therefore, try to pick one or two active ingredients, like an antioxidant and a retinoid for example, and stick with them for at least three months. Give it some time to see if you get any results and then, if you can’t detect any progress, explore other options.

One Anti Aging Ingredient That Works​

It has been proven that this miracle ingredient does what it suppose to do… It was created as an acne treatment, but at the same time, it repairs DNA damage in skin cells and stimulates collagen production. If you want to hear all about this wonderful anti aging ingredient - watch the video. You’ll learn all the necessary details in five minutes or so.

You can pretty much ask any dermatologist and they’ll confirm, that so far, only three things have been proven to work as anti-agers: sunscreen, a quality moisturizer (that helps to maintain the health of the skin’s barrier) and an advanced anti-aging formula. So with that in mind, prevent, restore and maintain. Find products that work with your skin and keep using them. Let your skin be your guide. A quality product will continuously keep improving an overall health of your skin (cumulative effect) and its appearance. 

Also, if you would like to know what professional products and ingredients to stay away from (like toxic and irritating ingredients), please visit this page.

Feel free to share this article with your friends or if you have any questions, or some great tips, please leave them below.

Later!​

Natural Skin Care Recipes For Acne

skincare recipes for acne

Acne can be caused by a combination of factors. The three main factors are:
1. bacteria on the skin
2. the amount of oil the skin produces and... 
3. how easily the pores are clogged.

It doesn’t mean that you jump up and run to scrub your skin because it is dirty. Keep in mind to always treat your troubled skin gently. And it applies to both teen and adult acne. Teen acne is usually caused by genetics and diet; while adult acne is caused by changes in our diet and exercise patterns, as well as stress.

By trading (sometimes unconsciously) fresh food for easy to prepare processed foods, we ingest low quality nutrients that don’t provide the support that our skin needs. Now that we try to juggle so many responsibilities all at once, our stress levels sky-rocket. Stress can aggravate acne. So, please take all of these factors into consideration.

Some Useful Skin Care Tips for Acne

Tip #1: use a mild soap-free cleanser to cleanse your skin (never soap).
True soap can strip your skin and may contain acne-triggering ingredients like sodium tallowate. So pick a natural soap-free face wash that comes in liquid or bar formulations.

Tip #2: wash your skin twice a day (not more).
You might think repeated cleansing will prevent breakouts, but that’s not the case. Too much washing can dry and irritate your skin. Or compulsive cleansing can annoy your oil glands and trigger a new breakout.​

Tip #3: limit astringent.
Using astringent more than once or twice a day can dry out and irritate your skin. You might try a product labeled for sensitive skin, which contains less alcohol than regular astringents.​

Tip #4: avoid the grainy scrubs.
These grainy exfoliants may feel like they are helping your skin because they dry up oil and temporarily tighten your pores. Usually, however, they tend to be too rough and abrasive. These products can make your skin parched, flaky and can even result in tiny broken capillaries.​

Tip #5: don’t ever squeeze a pimple.
…Don’t matter how tempted you are. You may push the infection deeper into the skin. The same rule applies to blackheads as well. They can be deceptively deep and trying to extract them may break your skin, causing inflammation. This no-squeeze rule is even more important for people with dark skin, because of a possible pigment or permanent dark spot development.​

Tip #6: if fighting mild blemishes with benzoyl peroxide, use the lowest concentration available.
Treat mild acne with the 2.5% benzoyl peroxide product. It will be just as effective without overdrying your skin. Use it once or twice a day. Overusing the product, same thing; it can leave the skin surrounding the blemish red and flaky. For mild acne, at night is enough (until your pimple stops being itchy or painful). From that point on, it’s hands off, since a pimple takes around two weeks to heal and it will fade faster if it’s left alone.​

Tip #7: hide blemishes with oil-free foundations.
Camouflage blemishes with tinted, medicated concealers that go with oil-free or water-based foundations. Blemish concealers can be tinted or clear, and you can use them on bare skin or under makeup. As for foundations, stick with products that are noncomedogenic (it is a term applied to makeup and skin care products that do not block pores).​

Tip #8: wash away sweat and oils after your workouts.
Workouts are great, but perspiration and oil are a deadly pair for acne-prone skin. No worries, you can still keep your skin in good shape… if… (a) you don’t wear makeup or moisturizer to the gym, (b) you soak up or dry sweat midway through your workout, (c) you cleanse immediately after your workout and don’t give oil a chance to block your pores (soap-free cleanser and warm water), (d) you slip out of your sweaty exerciseware, especially if it’s made of spandex (doesn’t allow the skin to breathe and can clog pores).​

Tip #9: if your acne is severe - see a dermatologist.
If over-the-counter products (including benzoyl peroxide) don’t clear your skin in four to six weeks, consider consulting a dermatologist.​

Natural Homemade Skin Care

When Preparing Skincare Recipes At Home You Must Remember…

1. Always sterilize! Always use glass bowls and jars to mix and store homemade products. Glass will not react with the naturally occurring acids present in many of the mentioned ingredients.
2. Always store any remaining home-made skincare products in a sealed glass jar.
3. All ingredients from vegetables to fruits must be fresh. Otherwise… what’s the point…?

All recipes that we’ll share with you are great for acne. However, some will be better for oily, and others for dry or combination, skin types (it will be mentioned under each recipe). If you would like to test some other recipes (not acne dedicated), click here to hop over to another page. While, on this page, we’ll cover recipes in the following categories: cleansers, mists or toners, gentle scrubs and masks.

homemade skin care for acne

Natural Skin Cleanser Recipes

Milky Way Cleanser

  • INGREDients
  • Steps
  • Who is it for?

2 tablespoons of milk or cream
2 teaspoons almond meal
1 tablespoon of almond oil
1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Lemon-Papaya Cleanser

  • INGREDients
  • Steps
  • Who is it for?

Targeted for skin problem and type:
- Acne [oily skin and combination skin]

Homemade Skin Care For Oily Skin

In this video you’ll find two quick and easy recipes for acne prone and oily skin types. You can use these recipes even if you are going through menopause.

Acne Recipes For Various Skin Types

Chamomile-Rosemary Toner-Mist

  • INGREDients
  • Steps
  • Who is it for?

Targeted for skin problem and type:
- Acne [dry skin and combination skin]

Outmeal-Honey Scrub

  • INGREDients
  • Steps
  • Who is it for?

1 tablespoon of oats
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of yogurt
1 teaspoon of honey

Strawberry-Honey Mask

  • INGREDients
  • Steps
  • Who is it for?

Targeted for skin problem and type:
- Acne [oily skin]

Milk-Honey Mask

  • INGREDients
  • Steps
  • Who is it for?

Targeted for skin problem and type:
- Acne [dry skin]

Wow, this list will keep you busy for about 6 months. But just to make sure, here is another group of homemade skin care recipes for you. Enjoy!

It would be great if you could test some of these recipes out and let us know how they worked on your skin.

Natural Anti Aging Skin Care Remedies For Women And Men

natural anti aging skin care

As you might agree, life happens (with or without your help), but does it have to show on your skin?! Your skin can be vibrant and even help you disguise your real age for many years, but only with one rule, as long as you treat it and protect it.

Treating it with care means that you wash, feed and moisturize it with nonabrasive products that work best with your skin type. And protect it from certain external and internal environments like free radicals that continuously attack and damage your skin. Let’s have a closer look at all of the key anti-aging prevention factors.

Your First Signs Of Aging

What’s important to remember is that the root of all aging begins with damage to a single cell. Therefore, let us identify and cover the most damaging factors first. The reason we want to point them out to you is that knowledge is power. Once you’ll know what these triggers are, you can take immediate action to prevent them to the best of your ability.

So, the major enemies of the skin are:
1. Free radicals
2. Inflammation
3. Sun or ultraviolet rays
4. Glycation

Reverse Skin Aging Naturally

1. What's free radicals?

Free radicals are very reactive molecules within our bodies that can damage lipids, proteins, membranes and DNA. You are attacked by them consistently. It might surprise you, but free radicals are created even by breathing (when oxygen is used to produce energy in your body) and by eating (when your cells metabolize food for energy). Now, you might be puzzled, why are they called ‘free’? The reason each of them is free is because they are unpaired and searching for a partner molecule in the process.

The damage done by free radicals results in abnormal skin cells that are no longer consistent and that are now structurally uneven. All of which eventually leads to wrinkles and lines, because the skin cells are weakened. Also, this can lead to brown spots, since it changes pigment formation and decreases collagen production.

anti aging remedies

Now, there is no reason to panic and stop breathing or eating in order to avoid aging. Even though some free radicals are formed internally through normal human metabolism, the majority of them are created by the external “dark forces.” Such outside factors include air pollution, smoking, sun exposure, stress, unreasonable alcohol consumption and exposure to toxic chemicals.​

​What to do?

Your body has the ability to neutralize these radicals. It naturally produces antioxidants to control them. As you age (or fall ill), free radicals tend to form a bit more aggressively, and during that process, your naturally produced antioxidants decline. So your goal is to recharge and increase antioxidant levels within your body by eating antioxidant-rich foods and applying natural antioxidant-rich skincare products.

By taking this inner and outer treatment (antioxidant replenishment) approach, you will maximize the synergy in your system and reap greater benefits for your skin. You can find more on anti-aging remedies like anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods in our future skincare diet articles.

2. Let's talk about the second major skin enemy - inflammation.

It is linked to free radicals because, when they attack a cell, a group of biochemical reactions take place that create inflammation. Don’t look at it lightly. You might think this is a minor thing, but it plays a huge role in your body and can cause serious internal problems.

Even low-level inflammation is harmful, because it produces chemicals that accelerate the destruction of cells and obstruct their function. At first, inflammation may seem mysterious, because it is not visible to the naked eye. The only thing we can see is sunburn, which makes the skin red and swollen. However, in this case, we are talking about something way more threatening to our overall health, not only skin.

When inflammation is ignored (simply because most of us are not aware of it), it can build up overtime and lead to various health issues that are visible and / or invisible. For instance, the visible problem would be endless acne and invisible one would be a heart disease. It can vary from individual to individual, but in any case, it will worsen the situation and slow down healing even when you have a physical injury.

What to do?

In order to help your body stay healthy and fight aging, you should eat foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients, and on top of it, use natural anti-inflammatory skin care products. Once again, you maximize your results when you work on minimizing your inflammation internally and externally.​

3. Ultraviolet rays... fun to be around!

The sun is the primary cause of extrinsic aging. It damages not only your complexion, but the deepest layers of your skin, called the dermis. With a lot of sun exposure, the outer layer of your skin thickens to protect itself from the sun while creating this shell of dead surface skin. The sun also hurts the dermis by destroying its collagen and elastin (the materials that give skin its youthful tautness and elasticity).

Actually, let’s clarify, that it is the combination of ultraviolet (UV) waves, UVA and UVB, that does the damage. The depth of penetration into the skin depends on the wavelength of the UV ray in the light spectrum. UVB (mid-waves) = 280-320 nanometers and UVA (long-waves) = 320-400 nanometers.​

UVB rays soak into the outer layer of the skin (epidermis), and they cause visible changes in the skin, like freckling, tanning and burning. These type of skin changes are not sexy or cool as many of us might think, but in fact, they are direct signs that the skin cells have sustained an injury, which can be photoaging or DNA damage. What’s important to remember is that every exposure to UVB rays causes damage, even when it does not show up right away. The naturally created melanin in skin cells supplies some protection from UVB rays, but without a solid sun protection, the damage will still collect over time.​

UVA rays, on the other hand, are responsible for photoaging in the long run. They absorb more deeply into the skin than UVB rays; therefore, the damage is not immediately noticeable. UVA rays hit the dermis layer and damage collagen and the collagen-producing cells, gradually weakening and destroying the skin’s infrastructure. With more exposure over time, this invisible injury becomes visible and shows up in the form of deep wrinkles and the risk for skin cancer.​

What to do?

Since it is the ultraviolet (UV) part of sunlight that does the damage - use sunscreen when stepping outside and stay away from tanning beds because UV rays are present there, as well. Protect your skin from the sun. It is never too late! Use sunscreen daily… even on a cloudy day, since the sun’s rays can penetrate cloud cover. Use it wherever you are… whether you’re at the beach or taking an afternoon jog, or walking to work and/or even eating lunch outdoors. Put on sunscreen with the same diligence you now apply moisturizer or makeup.​

4. Glycation, eh?

It’s time to cover our last skin enemy - glycation. Do you have a sweet tooth? As pleasurable as sugar may be to your tongue, it can actually be just as equally destructive to your skin. Simply put, the glycation process happens when a spike in your blood sugar levels can leave too much sugar circulating in your body. What can cause such a spike in your sugar levels?

Well, it usually comes from eating processed foods or foods with too much refined sugar. Glycation damages collagen by making it stiff. When this happens, the skin doesn’t rebuild in the same way as before, prematurely aging the tissue. In other words, when this process occurs, the skin appears prematurely aged.​

What to do?

Choose to consume less refined sugar. Replace it with natural sources, like fresh fruit. Certain foods (including refined sugar) can also cause breakouts. In this case, identify the zone, make adjustments and closely monitor it. To read more about the facial zones visit naturalvibrancy.com​

Here is a quick summary of earlier mentioned anti aging home remedies in the video format:​

Additional Natural Anti-Aging Remedies

Other sneaky enemies of the skin besides the ‘core four’ are:

A. Stress.
Find ways that work for you to manage your stress. Excess levels of cortisol (a hormone that is released when you are tense, worried or anxious) affects, not only your skin, but your entire body. When stress goes out of control, cortisol causes inflammation that tends to linger around.​

B. Lack of sleep.
A great deal of studies have shown the importance of getting between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. It gives your body and skin time to repair themselves, improving the function of your immune system, as well as your mental sharpness.​

C. Lack of fitness.
No reason to look for excuses. No matter what physical injuries or challenges you face, there are ways to maintain a certain level of fitness. Working out increases the oxygenation of your blood, which delivers nutrients to your skin and increase its vibrancy. Also, it is a great stress remover.​

​D. Smoking.
As we all know, smoking damages your skin and speeds up the aging process. The toxic chemicals in cigarettes restrict circulation and create free radicals that ruin collagen. Speaking of toxins, either drugs or alcohol of any kind will increase inflammation, which impacts and harms skin cells, collagen and other internal organs.

​Visit our herbal skin care remedies page to learn about some of the ingredients that can effectively heal wounds (with no scaring), as well as assist with anti-aging process.

So, how serious are you about anti-aging?
Are you ready to start making a difference by taking control of the ‘core four’ enemies of the skin that we discussed above? Would you add anything else to this list? Share your thoughts!

Give Your Skin Vibrancy It Deserves

This natural lotion will deeply hydrate, moisturize and heal your skin from any environmental stress.

It will balance your skin independent of your skin type.

natural body lotion

Black Skin Care Tips

african american skin care

Do white versus black skin tones need to be separated into two different topics or discussions?

Basic skin care necessities are the same for everybody (for more info click here). However, there are some problems that people with darker complexions are most likely to experience. For instance, black skin could be a lot more susceptible to skin issues like keloidal scarring (a red, raised formation of fibrous scar tissue caused by excessive tissue repair in response to trauma or surgical incision); also, ingrown hairs and noticeable hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin.

Here are some big advantages of higher melanin - it acts as a great sunscreen, protecting the person from burning UV rays, as well as from skin cancer and premature aging. People with darker skin tones have larger melanosomes that are full of melanin, which absorbs more ultraviolet light than the smaller melanosomes in fair-skinned individuals of northern European descent.

Studies have shown that very darkly pigmented skin has a natural sun protection factor (SPF) of 13; while, in comparison, white skin’s natural SPF is only 3.

This doesn’t mean that darker skin tones will not burn when exposed to sun for a long time. During darker seasons and cooler temperatures, people of color will have a much lower production of vitamin D; therefore, they often need to take supplements. If you are concerned, your doctor can check for vitamin D deficiency with a simple blood test.

In this article, I would like to bring to your attention to the two most common skin issues that many people with darker skin tones run into: dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPNs) and acne.

Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPNs) are brown growths that appear on the surface of the skin and keep multiplying every year. They occur mostly on the face and neck and are not contagious, which means that you can’t spread them by touching them. In some cases, they are called “flesh moles,” which often can be inherited.

No worries - these lesions are not cancerous. They usually show up very small and, with time, can increase to the size of a dime. There is no natural way to get rid of them. If you don’t like the way they look, you can sign up for a cosmetic treatment to remove them. Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon can easily perform this procedure.

There are three common ways of removing DPNs:
1. Freezing with liquid nitrogen
2. Burning, not with fire, but with the electric needle
3. Snipping with scalpel or surgical scissors.

Freezing DPNs with liquid nitrogen is recommended more for lighter skin tones. This is not appropriate for darker skin because it can lead to discolorations. All three methods of removal cause some discomfort, but a topical numbing medication can be used to make the procedure painless. Keep in mind that most likely new DPNs will develop; so be prepared to visit your dermatologist every year or two for a touch-up removal. Now, let’s talk about another common skin problem - acne.

2 African American Skin Care Treatments To Be Cautious About

Watch this informative video for more details.

How To Treat Acne If You Have Black Skin

Obviously, every case is unique and you should see a specialist. However, it never hurts to learn about some treatments and educate yourself ahead of time. At least you will know how to talk to your dermatologist or even pick a credible one. This is important, because acne treatment doesn’t end with just controlling outbreaks.

It requires professional help and intervention. You need to have a real game plan to address the entire spectrum, because acne can cause discoloration, scarring or both. And because dark skin contains a high melanin content, it is extremely susceptible to scarring and developing light -to-dark spots, as well as reacting to a wider range of topical treatments.

I am sure you don’t want to get stuck with discoloration and/or scarring at the end of your treatment. In fact, both, acne and even some laser acne treatments can cause persistent post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Since dark skin tones have an increased tendency to react to acne inflammation with discoloration, your doctor may use some topical medications and peels that contain the following:
- Hydroquinone
- Azelaic acid
- Kojic acid
- Glycolic acid
- Salicylic acid

Your doctor may also choose to use retinoids, either by itself or in combination with the agents listed above. These effective ingredients reduce patchy pigmentation and restore natural skin cell turnover. If your skin gets irritated or dried out using these ingredients, try using them with a natural lotion with anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Unfortunately, any kind of laser therapy or deep dermabrasion can have unpredictable effects on darker skin - either bleaching the skin or darkening it. To reduce the risk of your post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, seek treatment at the first sign of breakouts.

The faster you seek treatment, the less chance your skin will have of developing PIH in response to acne inflammation. Another very important tip to remember is to stay out of the direct sun or use protection during all stages of acne treatment! Sun damage can trigger or worsen hyperpigmentation.

Besides discoloration, acne can cause scarring. It develops scarring when inflamed lesions penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, creating damage to the collagen and elastin fibers that act as the skin’s support structure. Not all scars can be removed - only the minimal and very superficial ones can be eliminated.

black man skin scars

However, your doctor can work on altering the size and appearance of bigger scars, and dramatically improving them. Here is a tip or two when attempting scar improvement: a) be realistic with your expectations and b) search for an expert in this area - meaning - find a specialist who has experience working with dark skin tones.

When you see a dark skin specialist about adult acne, ask the following:
1. What does he/she think about glycolic peel (that can initially help with some generic discoloration)? 2. What does he/she think about Isolaz procedure (which uses photopneumatics to clear acne and reduce the dark spots)?
3. Would it make sense to add a retinoid cream with hydroquinone afterwords to your regular skin care regime? (it can work well together with a moisturizer, that has anti-inflammatory ingredients.)

On top of all that, it is highly recommended to adjust your diet and include more anti-inflammatory foods, such as dark green vegetables and fruits. Also, consider taking supplements, such as vitamin A and E, magnesium and selenium. All of them will help to boost your cell turnover and decrease inflammation in your body.

And if you would like to learn more about your skin type and its common challenges, please visit our skin care tips for women section.

Why Professional Skin Care Products Might Be a Wiser Choice

professional skincare products

As more of us continue to focus on healthier lifestyle choices and analyze what we put into our bodies, we are developing an increasing interest in what we use on the outer layer of our bodies, as well. You might be thinking right now - should I go with a professional skin care product or gather some natural or organic ingredients and make one at home?

Making a body lotion or a face cream at home might sound interesting, but have you ever thought of the following implications:

1. Lack of knowledge when it comes to organic ingredients, as well as their quantities used can lead to various safety issues.
2. Not knowing how different ingredients interact with each other (since some of them don't belong together) can cause harmful irritations. 
3. Using untested preservatives or natural concoctions to preserve your homemade lotion or cream can result in your formulation going bad quickly and you are getting Salmonella or other harmful reaction.

Following a homemade skin care recipe might not be rocket science, but it still requires some basic knowledge. So, knowing your ingredients, their nutritional value and their reactions with each other is the key, because many organic extracts have irritating properties that deplete collagen or cause free-radical damage, or clog pores. Research has established that some natural ingredients act as irritants like peppermint, menthol, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, sandalwood, essential oils, etc.

On the other hand, most professional skin care products are a much safer choice, because they've been tested. However, speaking of professional products, we run into another common issue… it is always a question as to whether or not these products actually are made according to the claims about their formulations. In other words, many formulas often are not as natural and organic as they claim to be.

As shocking as it may seem, many so called "natural" products include toxic ingredients; even those who advertise to the contrary. On the other hand, let's highlight the fact that not all man-made materials (used as preservatives that destroy bacteria) are harmful if used in small quantities and formulated properly.

With that in mind, when shopping for professional skin care products simply watch out for the below-mentioned toxic ingredients and you will do fine. And if you wish to shortcut the process, you can always try lotions and creams made by Natural Vibrancy, as we discuss in the video below or by clicking here.

10 Toxic and Possibly Carcinogenic Ingredients Used in Professional Beauty Products

1. Parabens are used as preservatives. Butylpraben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, and propylparaben are chemical and not friendly preservatives. They are quickly absorbed into the skin and are often the cause for eye and skin irritation, allergies and can affect the respiratory tract. Mythelparaben is the worst since it combines benzoic acid with the chemicals of the methyl group leaving it very toxic.

2. Acrylates are acrylic-based thickeners.

3. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is used as a preservative in cosmetics, specifically for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is very harmful. This ingredient can cause corrosion and burns to the eyes and skin. The damage done to the eyes could be irreversible. Also known for causing brain tumors.

4. PEGS: polyethylene glycol - a petrochemical that can act as an emulsifier, a surfactant, or an emollient.

5. Mineral Oils (Paraffin Oil and Wax, Liquid Paraffinum, Petrolatum) are also are being used to 'seal' in moisture. However, it completely seals the skin like a plastic coating and will clog and suffocate the pores, which will prevent the skin from breathing, eliminating toxins and will result in acne, and/or other problems. There was a trend where women who were not satisfied with La Mer and La Prairie products began slathering their faces with mineral oils. Using it will result in premature aging.

6. Phthalates are synthetic polymers found in hair spray, fragrances, and nail polish.

7. Cocoamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is a multi-use ingredient aiding in foaming, conditioning, thickening and anti-static. This can cause stinging, redness and even burning of skin if sensitive. Since cocoamidopropyl hydroxysultaine is very effective in helping deliver the other ingredients deep into the skin it can be even more harmful if the other ingredients it is combined with are toxic.

8. Formaldehyde that is found in nail polish. Also, diazolidinyl and imidazolidinyl urea (a formaldehyde preservative).

9. Ethanolamines like diethanolamine, or DEA. Also, Triethanolamine which is used to balance pH in cosmetic preparations. Triethanolamine can severely irritate the body's tissues, as well as effect the immune and respiratory systems. It turns into a carcinogen after reacting with nitrosating agents.

10. FD&C Yellow No. 6 is used only to give products their color. It can cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma. It has a potential to cause cancer and banned in some countries. There are different kinds of them out there. Stay away from products with D&C and FD&C followed by a number.

7 Irritating or Harmful Skin Care Ingredients To Stay Away From

1. Glycols (propylene, butylene, caprylyl and hexylene) and potentially irritating and harmful ingredients. Propylene Glycol and Butylene Glycol are rancid oils that form free radicals and damage the skin. They will penetrate the skin and the protein and cellular structure will weaken. PG is considered so toxic that workers in contact with it are required to wear protective gloves, clothing and eye protection. The EPA has concluded that the brain, kidneys and liver can be affected through skin absorption.

2. Silicones (dimethicone and cyclomethicone) are used as emollients to give products a smooth and silky texture. The problem is that they are not easily absorbed by the skin which will lead to results such as clogged pores and blackheads. Some may end up having severe side effects such as irritation to the eyes and skin (rash, hives, itching, swelling of the face, mouth, lips or tongue) to name a few. The FDA and Cosmetic Ingredient Review have considered it safe for cosmetic uses under 15% but if you have any reactions such as these it could be one of the causes.

3. Alcohols: benzyl, ethyl, isopropyl.

4. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (coconut) is a cheap detergent and foaming agent (anionic surfactant) composed of 4 known carcinogens; formaldehyde, dioxane, ethylene oxide and Acetaldehyde. They dry out the skin and cause irritation.

5. Sulfites: sodium, potassium, ammonium.

6. Fragrance is something to pay attention to… it in itself can contain up to 4,000 separate ingredients. It can create allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, violent coughing and even vomiting.

7. Tetrasodium and disodium EDTA

If you are looking for sensitive skin care products or any beauty products, then just keep an eye out for the above-mentioned ingredients, and you will make a wise choice.

Give Your Skin Vibrancy It Deserves

This natural lotion will deeply hydrate, moisturize and heal your skin from any environmental stress.

It will balance your skin independent of your skin type.

natural body lotion

10 Homemade Skin Care Recipes That Are Easy And Fun

homemade skincare recipes

Homemade skin care products can be a fun and simple way to nourish your skin. Who said it has to be difficult? We’ll share with you some easy-to-make recipes in this post and more in the future ones. The beauty of making your own natural skin care recipes is that you know what each contains and can select the ones with the ingredients that are right for your individual skin needs. Everyone’s skin is different with some unique challenges.

Obviously, you can test all of these recipes, but we would recommend that you have a closer look at your skin and decide what areas need the most attention and what changes you want to make to them. In other words, proceed with a goal and a final result in mind. Make a list of all your issues and then decide which change would yield the biggest benefit. Then start moving in that direction by picking the recipe that might help with that particular problem.

CAUTION! Homemade Skincare Recipe Mixers 

RULES TO REMEMBER:

1. Must sterilize! Always use glass bowls and jars to mix and store homemade products. Glass is safe to sterilize, and it will not react with the naturally occurring acids present in many of these ingredients. What’s the proper way to sterilize? Simply soak your glassware in very hot water mixed with soap and one tablespoon of bleach for around 15 minutes. Then rinse under boiling hot water to remove the soap and bleach; after which, just wipe dry.

2. Storage: always store any remaining homemade skincare products in a sealed glass jar.

3. Fresh ingredients! All ingredients from vegetables to fruits must be fresh. Otherwise, your efforts will turn into a big waste of time (unless time is not a concern).

So here we go…

Skin Care Recipes For Combination Skin

Three Skin Cleanser Recipes

Strawberry-Honey Cleanser

  • ingredients
  • steps
  • who is it for?

4 very ripe strawberries  

1/2 teaspoon of honey

​2 drops lavender oil

Oats-Calendula Cleanser

  • ingredients
  • steps
  • who is it for?

Targeted for skin problem and type:

- Acne [dry skin & combination skin]
- Pregnancy [dry skin & combination skin]
- Menopause [all skin types]
- Chemotherapy and Post-Chemotherapy [all skin types]

Dark Grape Cleanser

  • ingredients
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15 dark grapes with seeds

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of very fine cornmeal

Three Face Mask Recipes

Avocado-Yogurt Mask

  • ingredients
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  • who is it for?

1. Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl.
2. Apply to damp skin and leave on for 15 minutes.
3. Rinse off with warm water.
4. Gently dry it and follow with non-comedogenic moisturizer (listed below, under Skin Moisturizer).

Oatmeal-Apple Mask

  • ingredients
  • steps
  • who is it for?

Targeted for skin problem and type:

- Acne [all skin types]
- Pregnancy [all skin types]
- Chemotherapy and Post-Chemotherapy [all skin types]

Blueberry-Yogurt Mask

  • ingredients
  • steps
  • who is it for?

1/3 cup of blueberries

2 tablespoons of yogurt (whole and plain)

1 tablespoon of rice flour

One Homemade Skin Moisturizer Recipe

Avocado-Face Moisturizer

  • ingredients
  • steps
  • who is it for?

1/2 avocado

1 tablespoon of yogurt (whole and plain)

1/2 teaspoon of honey

1/2 teaspoon olive oil, almond oil or coconut oil​

One Body Bath Recipe

Oatmeal-Tea Bath

homemade body scrub recipe
  • ingredients
  • steps
  • who is it for?

2 cups of oats

1/3 cup dry green tea leaves

1 (10” x 10”) piece of cheesecloth

A string

As you can see, these are easy to prepare recipes right from your own home. Is it time to play in the sandbox? Yes, except, instead of shovels and sand, you’ll simply need glass bowls and fresh ingredients.

Have fun and let us know your experience after testing some of these skin recipes out.

Natural Ingredients And Herbal Skin Care Remedies

herbal skincare

Let’s face it, despite scientific advances in treatment for skin problems, many people prefer to rely on both natural ingredients and home remedies. These remedies are preferred because they are easily available, gentle on the skin, easy to put together and easy to use.

Most natural ingredients are botanicals, which means derived from plants. Many of these remedies have survived the test of time, as they have been passed down from one generation to the next. Let’s have a closer look at some of the most popular herbal skin care remedies right now.

Green Tea and Its Natural Remedies

Green tea is known for being a very potent antioxidant. As you may know, antioxidants calm inflammation in the skin and protect from sunburn and skin cancer.

The protective effects of green tea can be achieved by drinking the tea, as well as by applying it topically to the skin. When we made the Natural Vibrancy body lotion, it was our goal from the very start to include premium antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as green tea and seaweed. In fact, seaweed is also loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Tea Tree Oil and Its Herbal Powers

Tea tree oil, derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, is useful for a variety of purposes. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used as a treatment for facial acne.

In fact, one study showed that a tea tree oil gel is as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide, even though tea tree oil takes longer to kick in and work (like many natural remedies). Tea tree oil is also used to treat fungal infections of the feet, nails and groin.

Witch Hazel is not only for Witches

Witch hazel, derives from the shrub Hamamelis virginiana, has been used to treat itchy and inflamed skin. The shrub’s leaves and bark have been used as a local anesthetic and astringent (causing body tissue / skin to tighten and bind).

That is why it is commonly used as a cosmetic toner, because the large quantities of tannins contained in witch hazel make skin tighten, while it removes excess surface oil and decreases bacteria, especially on acne-prone skin.

Aloe Vera Is a Pure Herbal Ingredient At Your Fingertips

Aloe vera plant is recognized globally and used extensively to treat a range of skin problems. It is rich in amino acids, enzymes, mucopolysaccarides and various minerals. Shown to reduce inflammation in the skin, it is used in a similar way to cortisone-containing creams, and for the same reason - to reduce inflammation, redness and itching.

natural skincare remedies

That is why the aloe plant is used for conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, as well as surface burns and mild poison ivy. Aloe vera can also be used to treat minor skin infections, since it possesses antibiotic and antiviral properties. Therefore, it is a popular ingredient in lotions, shampoos, conditioners, sunscreens, soaps, and a wide variety of cosmetic products.

Aloe vera is easy to get, since it grows across the globe. And what’s great about it is that you can use the aloe plant straight from the garden. Just snap open the leaf and squeeze the gel directly on the skin.

Vitamin E is great for Wounded

Vitamin E (known as tocopherol) is found naturally in vegetable oils, sunflower seeds, whole grains, brown rice and nuts. It is often applied directly to heal wounds, as well as to heal and prevent scars. It is also known to improve skin tone and texture.

Be forewarned: some people can have an allergic reaction to topical vitamin E when applied directly to their skin.

Oatmeal for Dirty Skin

Oatmeal is derived from the Avena sativa plant, and its skin benefits are known and put to use for hundreds of years. Oatmeal is a grain that is rich in lipid, proteins, minerals and sugars. It is frequently used as a soap-free cleanser and is wonderful for dry, sensitive, irritated or inflamed skin.

If you are affected by eczema or dermatitis, make sure to use it, because it will soothe, repair and protect your skin. You will be able to find oatmeal in various formulations, such as lotions, creams, soaps and powders. Oh, and if you are feeling “dirty,” oatmeal body scrub [we share a great recipe in our skincare recipe section] or a face mask will come in handy, because oatmeal has the ability to absorb skin oils and dirt.

Vinegar for your Skin Care?

Not a mistake…! Vinegar is used as an ingredient to treat various fungal, bacterial and yeast infections. Its high acid content stimulates these powerful anti-infective properties.

Did you know that vinegar can be used as ear drops for swimmers to prevent and to treat swimmer’s ear? Vinegar produces an acidic environment that holds back bacterial growth. Fascinating. Also, vinegar soaks can be used in the body folds and in the nails to prevent and decrease the growth of fungi and yeast.

Even though we just covered some powerful herbal remedies here, we have so many natural herbs for skin care to choose from, just by reaching into our pantry or closet. Knowing the basics will help you find the perfect combination of treatments or products that will appeal to your personal style and skin type.

Please let us know your favorite remedies that you would like us to add to the list. We invite you to share your experience with some of them and the results (positive or negative) that you have had.

Give Your Skin Vibrancy It Deserves

This natural lotion will deeply hydrate, moisturize and heal your skin from any environmental stress.

It will balance your skin independent of your skin type.

natural body lotion

Skin Care Tips for Women Series: How To Read Your Skin

skin care tips women

What part of the world do you come from?  What is your skin type? 

In this 'skin care tips for women' series, we'll talk about existing skin types and a simple process of how to identify them. Paying close attention to your skin type is a good first step in understanding how to treat your skin, but it is only the sweet beginning.

Are You Attached To Your Skin Type?

Each of us tends to have a certain type of skin whether it be oily, dry or sensitive, and we think that it all ends there. However, we fail to understand that our skin is dynamic and changing in some way almost every day (like our mood swings). If you will lock yourself into a specific skin 'type' (like "oily type") you will fail to notice changes. You will not be flexible enough to adjust your skin care regimen accordingly. Most of the time this critical point is left out.

Our complexions are very much like our personalities that are influenced by our unpredictable environments. One day we can be happy and the other day irritated, and upset. In the same way, a variety of factors can alter your skin's appearance each day. Don't be too restrictive and attach yourself to one skin type. Become conscious of what is happening in your world (inside of your body, as well as outside), so you can adjust your skin products and/or your environment.

Skin Care Tip #1:

Tune into your body: learn how to read your skin using common sense, so you can adjust your daily regimen, if necessary.

For example, if your skin feels dry, apply a lotion or moisturizer. If your nose tends to get oily then use a degreaser, (like salicylic acid or a gentle face cleanser) on that specific area. If you are having a stressful week, squeeze in a liberating meditation or two.

Skin Types By Fitzpatrick

Terms such as "oily," "dry," "sensitive" or "combination" are used more in the marketing world. In the medical field, the only real 'skin type' classifications are Fitzpatrick Skin Types that go from Type 1 to 6. Categorized by skin color, they assess how a skin type responds to the sun.

Type 1 is super fair and susceptible to sunburns, while Type 6 is very dark skin that seldom burns. Despite the fact that most of us do not fit perfectly into any physical description, this type of system provides a general scale from lightest to darkest and represents vital problems that often appear for each category.

For instance, Type 1 is usually Caucasian, someone with pale skin, light eyes, blond or red hair that can have redness and freckling. Now, most Asian women would be classified as a Type 2. I believe you get the gist by looking at the chart below.

skin types by Fitzpatrick

In other words, these skin types serve as clues and can point you (or a doctor) in the right direction: how your skin reacts to external influences (the environment) and internal factors (medication you are taking).

There are so many people with chronically dry skin who believe they have some skin disorder, when they simply need a body lotion to moisturize their skin on a daily basis. Tune into your body, and it will give you hints.

If your skin gets red and irritated or stings when you put on a moisturizer, it tells you that it is sensitive. In response, you can use products with soothing anti-inflammatory ingredients such as algae (seaweed) extract, aloe vera or soy. On the other hand, it would be recommended to stay away from chemical sunscreens, glycolic acid, some preservatives and detergents. We expand more on it in our 'skin care tips for women' series when we discuss skin routines.

Beauty Tip #2:

Become a little detective: in order to evaluate the condition of your skin and get to the core problem (if any), ask yourself the following questions:

- Does my skin tend to be dry most of the time?
- How does my skin usually behave? Does it lean more towards oily or dry?
- Does your skin get irritated or hyperpigment easily (… a sign of sensitivity)?
- Do I usually have an oily T-zone? Or do I have a specific area on my face that is regularly a problem?
- Do I touch my face a lot or pick at it nervously?
- What kind of products do I use and how often?
- How many different products do I use on my skin and hair?
- Am I under stress?
- Is it a special time of the month?
- Did anything change in my diet lately? Did I eat something strange? Did I start drinking more milk?
- What climate do I live in? Or have I traveled recently?
- What kind of makeup do I wear?
- How many showers do I take?
- How often do I wear sunscreen?
- Do I take any medications regularly (including aspirin)?
- Have I had a surgery or any health problems in the last year?

To sum it up, simply keep in mind that your skin is directly tied to everything in your life - externally and internally!  Tune in, ask the right questions, like a detective would, and you will have your answers.

Would you add anything to this list of questions? Or any other tip you'd like to share?

Give Your Skin Vibrancy It Deserves 

This natural lotion will deeply hydrate, moisturize and heal your skin from any environmental stress. 

It will balance your skin independent of your skin type.

natural body lotion