Category Archives for "Natural Skin Care Tips"
Did you know that your diet makes quite an impact on your skin? Oh yes!
In fact, they are closely linked. And we are not talking about a diet where you starve day in and day out and barely have any energy to get through the day. It is all about a balanced diet: what you eat, when you eat it and how much you eat it.
You should focus on giving your body as many powerful antioxidants and nutrients as possible, so it can reflect, not only on your skin, but also on your overall health. A healthy diet will help you stay strong, hormonally balanced and prevent various diseases and stress. A balanced diet will help your skin and its cells to absorb the necessary nutrients, regenerate and prosper. When your skin is under stress, the need is even greater. And that is when good nutrition kicks in and acts as a fresh reserve that repeatedly provides healing and support.
We are constantly attacked with all kinds of nutritional advice and claims about the latest dietary craze. The wise advice is to avoid the fads and build a solid balanced diet that is designed to fit you and your specific needs. Everyone is unique, and we all face unique challenges when it comes to our skin and overall living environment.
So, let’s cover the basic building blocks of a balanced diet:
1. Must be nutritious! Diet that is made up mostly of whole (unprocessed) foods that is high in nutritional value.
2. Each day divided into 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks (3 hours apart).
3. The quantity of food you consume per meal and per snack (calculated from, and based upon, your body mass index).
4. Each meal and snack must be balanced (protein + complex carbohydrates + fiber + high-quality unsaturated fats).
6. Vegetables and fruit must be antioxidant, mineral and vitamin rich (leaning toward low glycemic index).
The goal here is to primarily focus on nutrients in the foods you eat. When you are under stress or pregnant, or going through menopause, or fighting a serious illness, your body continuously releases nutrients to protect, repair and replenish your skin. Therefore, consistently nutritious diet is the key. Give your body the power it needs to keep you healthy or speed up your healing if, or when, fighting flu, or other diseases.
We go over the points discussed in the video below as well…
So, we established the fact that nutrients have a vital role in the foods that form the entire foundation of a healthy balanced diet. Now you might be thinking that you can go and replace all the nutrients by taking dietary supplements. It’s important to keep in mind that supplements will never make up for a poor diet.
You’ll never achieve the mental sharpness, experience high energy and have a glowing skin just by gulping down a lot of supplements.
Our bodies are designed to receive nutrients we need from the foods we consume, so focus on what you put in your system.
However, to add a supplement here or there as an addition to your healthy diet is absolutely fine. This is especially so when you are dealing with a specific skin challenge and you need an extra boost. In this case, it is good to know your nutrients. Let’s take the following situation as an example.
Let’s say you suddenly witness your skin doing things it has never done before or find yourself having acne breakouts while you are in your forties or fifties, which can all be caused by a recent onset of menopause. In this situation, to help reduce acne, you would consume more food with isoflavonoids and polyphenols, which come from berries. Especially, the red berry family, like pomegranates and grape seeds. These ingredients will help you to extract the toxins, clarifying and controlling oil production on your skin.
Your body will also need to be infused with more vitamin E, that you can get from such food as broccoli and nuts. Anti-inflammatory agents play an important role in this situation, as well. Ginger, mushrooms, soy products, goji berries, walnuts and flaxseed will assist in reducing inflammation in your skin. Also, you’ll want to choose foods that are high in vitamin A, like collard greens and spinach, which are good skin detoxifiers and hydrators.
Now, if you are looking to test only one or two things because of your sudden hormonal breakouts at your age, try adding hormone regulators into your diet, such as soy and black cohosh (capsule or gel form). They will help to keep your hormone levels balanced. Obviously, to help your skin glow throughout this transition, it would be best if you could consult with your esthetician or nutritionist and see if it makes sense for you to add any of these (black cohosh, dong quai, iron, red clover and other isoflavonoids, and phytoestrogens) supplements to your diet.
Remember, everyone is unique (depending upon circumstances, skin types, reactions, etc.). On top of it, always nourish your skin with natural and good quality products. Keep in mind, it is better to use fewer, but better quality products. Visit this page for more natural skin care tips.
Keep it simple! There is no reason to overwhelm yourself. Simply pay attention to everything that you ingest. Make sure that every meal and snack is nutritionally loaded and balanced (protein + fiber + complex carb + healthy fat). Control your portions. If you need to address a specific skin challenge, then introduce a new supplement into your diet that can address the issue, but make sure to track your results. Keep a journal or a notepad where you can write down how your body responds (positive or negative reactions) to a particular supplement during the first few weeks.
Here are a few additional must-know skin care tips for men, since they have slightly different skin challenges.
Feel free to share with us what works or doesn’t work for your body.
As a man, should you pay more attention to your skin? Absolutely, especially when it comes to your face. When your face is properly cleaned and has a certain glow to it, it will boost your inner confidence and make your outer presence more pleasant and memorable. Because of facial hair, men usually have more breakouts than the ladies; the more hair follicles your skin has, the more sebum (an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands) it creates. On the other hand, facial hair acts as a support structure and helps to prevent wrinkles.
In general, men have an advantage over women, because they have more collagen and elastin fibers and a tighter structure of fatty tissue in the subcutaneous layer, which is the lower or third layer of the skin.
When it comes to your daily skin care routine, keep it simple: 1) wash 2) shave 3) moisturize. The products that you should always have in your bathroom are a facial wash or cleaners, shaving cream and moisturizer.
Speaking of facial wash, never use soap! If you have dry skin, pick a gentle and non-foaming cleanser. An application is simple: wet your face first and gently rub the cleanser all over your skin; then remove it with a wet washcloth or, better yet, rinse it off with warm water.
If you have oily skin, you can try a mild face wash, but we would still recommend a gentle and non-foaming product that doesn’t contain sodium lauroyl sarcosinate or sodium laurel sulfate (SLS or SLES), synthetic foaming detergents that can dry out and irritate your skin. Keep in mind that your skin takes a beating after every shaving procedure, so your goal is to not strip it of its natural skin regeneration resources completely. If need be, wash your face with a gentle cleanser more than twice a day to eliminate extra oils. A face cleanser made by Natural Vibrancy fits all of the above criteria (coming to stores soon).
Speaking of shaving foams, once again, stay away from the ones that contain SLS or SLES synthetic detergents because they are very drying. If your skin tends to be dry or sensitive, try using a nonfoaming cream or try a gentle face cleanser discussed above.
Speaking of the aftershave moisturizer, go with a natural lightweight lotion rather than a rich cream. Choose formulas that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients, that can hydrate and rejuvenate your skin. If you wish to shortcut your research, we recommend Pure Body Lotion that is natural and rich in all essential vitamins and minerals, plus, it is made to be used on the face.
In fact, when it comes to quality, it is better than most face creams and exceptional when it come to moisture retention. If you have sensitive skin, it will calm, soothe and hydrate it. If you have oily skin, it will help you to balance it.
Now, when it comes to overall appearance and grooming, you should keep your other hair in control, as well. I think you would agree that when we meet men with nose and ear hair sticking out and curling in different directions…well… let’s just say… it is not pleasant. So, it would not hurt to have the following tools in your bathroom handy, like a pair of slant-ended tweezers to pluck out stray and wiry brow or ear hairs. Nasal hair trimmers are excellent for bushy nose hair and inner ears, too.
This video summarizes the 3 must implement tips perfectly.
A large majority of men who shave report multiple skin problems as a result. The core issues usually are razor burns, razor bumps, ingrown hairs, rashes and irritations. Ingrown hairs can develop if the hair is cut too short, below the skin surface and then never makes it out of the skin.
Razor bumps, called pseudofolliculitis barbae, form because the body treats an ingrown hair as an infection and swells up. It primarily occurs in up to 60% of Black men and people with curly hair. If the hair follicles become infected with a bacterium (called staphylococcus aureus) that lives in the respiratory tract (like nose) and gets into follicles during shaving, it can result in red, painful and itchy pus-filled pimples.
If you find yourself with a mild case of this problem, treat it with a warm compress of diluted witch hazel or white vinegar. The only 100% effective treatment is to let the beard grow. After growing it to a certain length, the hair will not grow back into the skin, so avoid shaving for 3-4 weeks. On top of it, to decrease the inflammation, you can apply a mild cortisone cream. If you wish to avoid it in the long run, then improve your shaving method. Most irritations and razor burns are caused by using a blunt razor or poor shaving technique.
So, let’s cover the entire shaving procedure step-by-step. Best results can be achieved when your facial muscles are warmed up, which causes your beard hairs to lift up. Therefore, it would be best if you shave during or right after the shower, when your skin is all warmed up.
1. If possible, use a triple-blade razor with a swivel head to make sure it has a sharp edge to minimize razor burn. Change the blade every two weeks.
2. For a quick shave, splash your face with several handfuls of warm-to-hot water. If you have an extra minute, soak a washcloth in a close to hot water, wring it out and lay it over your face (beard area) for about 1-2 minutes, pressing it into all the contours. This method makes it much easier to cut, because it expands the hair.
3. Spread a thin layer of shaving cream over your beard.
4. Shave in the direction your hair grows, using light and slow strokes.
5. Feel free to use your other hand to pull and stretch the skin, so you flatten the surface for your blade.
6. During your shaving, regularly rinse and tap the razor on the basin to remove hair and built-up shaving cream.
7. Run your hands over your face to check for any stray hairs. If you find any, repeat the above action.
8. Rinse your face well with warm water.
9. Pat your skin with a clean and soft towel, leaving it slightly damp. Don’t rub it.
10. Apply a natural moisturizer to sooth your skin and lock in moisture to keep it smooth and hydrated.
Here is a step-by-step skin care routine, if you wish to learn more.
If you want to improve the looks of your skin even further… besides your daily facial cleanser, exfoliant, shaving cream and moisturizer, you should consider taking some supplements. Why? Well international research over the last two decades shows that almost everyone is deficient in one or more key nutrients.
Most men are on the constant go, and they rarely get to eat a well-balanced and nutrient-rich meal. It is important, not only for improving the appearance of your skin, but also for improving your overall health. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take a good multi-nutrient supplement. You can start with an organic New Chapter multivitamin called “Every Man” and “Every Man II” if you are over 40 years old.
If you will take a supplement a day and keep an eye on your diet (eating well-balanced and nutrient rich meals) you will be well off, even if you sip a little bit of Scotch every evening.
Read more on natural skin care techniques here.
Let us know if you have come across some useful tips that we left out here. Or, if you turned your skin around, what was the cause and how did you do it?!
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.
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.
Your morning routine will include the following steps:
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.
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.
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
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Watch this informative video for more details.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.