Tag Archives: skincare

How to Transition Your Skin from Summer to Fall

With the Fall in full swing, it’s time to talk skin. The Autumn season brings cooler temperatures (Yay, sweater weather!) and a drop in humidity. All these changes make for dry, stale air and even direr skin. Mix this with heaters kicking on, and it is your skins worst nightmare. Think eczema and dry, itchy, cracked skin. We’ve got some quick tips to add to your routine to help you avoid the itch fest this fall.

Think Thick

Thick moisturizers that is. Say goodbye to the lightweight, oil-free moisturizers of summer. It’s time to bulk up with a heftier hydrator. We recommend heavy creams made with essential oils that help the skin replenish during the colder months. Our top pick is Nourish Organic’s Ultra Hydrating Face Cream, which is also packed with pomegranate to firm and protect the skin from environmental damage and acai to fight fine lines and reduce signs of stress and fatigue.

A Must Add to the Mix

Body lotion is a must. When summer humidity ends, the skin may start to feel dry, stretched, and itchy. Like the moisture is being leached from your skin and the air around you. The best way to stop the itch? Load up on hydration – from head to toe. Moisturizers provide both a protective barrier over the skin, allowing it to retain hydration and draw in hydration to the outer skin layer. We like Jason’s Cocoa Butter Body Lotion. This is a daily go-to lotion. Your skin will stay silky soft all winter long and you’ll smell amazing. Too late and already got the itch? Nourish and relief your skin with the Seaweed Bath Co.’s Eucalyptus and Peppermint Body Cream.

End the Daily Grind

It’s time to cut back on exfoliating. As the weather gets colder, it’s best to slow down the exfoliating routine. We recommend using glycolic treatments or a mask once a week to help remove discoloration and skin brought on by the summer sun. We love Anadolu’s Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask packed with AHA, fruit stem cells, vitamin C, plus it is packed with beta-carotene-rich organic pumpkin and manuka honey which help sweep away and dissolve dry, dull surface cells. As for masks we seek hydrating masks like Derma-E’s Hydrating Clay Mask that deeply moisturizes and replenishes dry skin. It contains hyaluronic acid, ‘nature’s moisture magnet’ an ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

A Humidifier Makes a Happy Home

Boost the hydration in your home by adding your own moisturizer to the mix with the help of a humidifier. Turn it on as soon as you put the heat on for the best results.

Are you Dehydrated or Dry?

Perfect skin balance requires both, but how do you tell the difference? To keep it simple, think water for hydration and oil for moisture. When you are dehydrated, your cells lack water. You will notice a dull tone, mixed with a tight texture in the skin and a slight pucker to the touch, even when you are moisturized. When dry, your skin lacks oil or a healthy lipid layer, which can result in rough, thickened texture and dry, flaky skin.

How to Hydrate

Your skin is made of almost 64% water. Keeping water and fluidity in the skin will not stop fine lines and wrinkles but it does indeed lessen their appearance. A common analogy in the skincare world is to visualize a grape vs. a raisin. A grape is loaded with water, keeping it plump, rounded and smooth. Dehydrate the grape and it becomes a dull, flat and textured raisin. Most of us love raisins but we definitely don’t want to look like one!

It’s much the same for human skin cells. Your skin needs fluidity and water to maintain a plump and youthful appearance. Also, many structures in the skin that support healthy collagen require adequate water to work effectively. Without it, the skin appears duller and wrinkles, fine lines, and pores appear more prominently. It’s also more likely to become less elastic and crack, potentially allowing in external particles that can irritate and increase blemish activity.

Water is key for almost every function of the body, so the perfect start to hydration is to drink plenty of pure fluids every day. By pure fluids, I don’t mean coffee, soda or even extra juice…those things can actually deplete you of water content and potentially add way too much sugar and preservatives into your system. Instead, drink about half your body weight, daily, in filtered water, decaffeinated herbal teas, and yummy organic broth. I dig a good bone broth for not only hydration but extra electrolytes, minerals, and collagen.

However, here’s the rub…the very last organ to receive the benefits of all your water intake, is the skin. For that reason, external application of hydrating ingredients, in a serum or light-weight delivery, are key in your skin care regimen. These types of ingredients are called humectants, which have the ability to pull moisture from the air, back into the skin. So cool! Ingredients like hyaluronic acid (HA), aloe vera, honey and even alpha-hydroxy acids like Glycolic and Lactic, are fantastic humectant superheroes. HA can actually carry up to 1000x its own weight in water. If that doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure what will!

Making Moisture

As mentioned earlier, good moisture in the skin comes from active oil production, otherwise known as sebum. Our hair follicles contain sebaceous glands that produce this lovely, oily substance that helps to lubricate, protect and nourish our skin. The water in our cells can rapidly evaporate through a process called trans-epidermal water loss, so sebum designs a natural barrier to help slow the depletion of water and prevent our skin from drying out. It also helps protect us from environmental assault and free radicals that lead to premature aging.

Obviously, those with dry skin have a lack of oil production. Inversely, those with oily skin tend towards overproduction of sebum. Interestingly enough, an overproduction of oil is often associated with a dehydration in the skin. If the skin is stripped and dehydrated, it tends to panic and overproduces more oil to compensate. This is why drying out a blemish-prone, congested, oily skin type is rarely the answer!

To get your moisture on, eat your moisture-makers! Each skin cell is wrapped in a protective fatty membrane that helps to seal in moisture and ward off irritation from chemicals and toxins in our environment. If you don’t have enough fatty acids nutritionally supporting your body, you cannot effectively replenish this protection in the skin. Loads of beneficial Omega-3s, otherwise known as Alpha-linoleic acids (ALAs) can be found in delicious fatty fish like wild-caught salmon and sardines. Eggs have the perfect balance of omegas (yolk and all) and the perfect touch of useful protein. Grass-fed butter and ghee are fabulous sources of healthy fat without all the antibiotics and toxins. Coconut oil is one of my very favorite cooking oils and sources for healthy fat because of its natural anti-fungal properties, healthy omega ratios and high heat capabilities during cooking. Avocado, hemp, flax and sprouted walnuts are also fat-fabulous!

Additionally, good fats applied topically will really ramp up your skin’s moisture value. In this case, heavier isn’t always better. Most heavy moisturizers tend to have a very fat molecular structure. The crazy thing is, those fat molecules are often too big to actually penetrate the pore. This is where a good facial oil helps save the day! Oils that are a high molecular weight protein (loads of essential fatty acids, amino acids and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E) in a low molecular weight oil (lightweight and very absorbable) have great success penetrating that outermost skin cell layer and the nutrients being utilized effectively. Some of my favorites for all skin types (including oily, acne-prone) are Grapeseed, Argan, Marula Blue Tansy, and Rosehip oils.

Here are some fave Soap Hope dynamic duos for balanced hydration + moisture after cleansing!

For skin battling stress, morning or night:

  1. ACURE Seriously Soothing Biocellulose Gel Mask – Provides a closed contour of the face to evenly distribute the hydrating powers of Hyaluronic Acid, Argan, Geranium, and Plant Peptides to soothe and saturate the skin cells.
  2. Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy Night Oil – antioxidant-rich blue tansy oil is a concentrated blend to soothe sensitivity and refresh thirsty skin. Excellent used in place of a night cream for those seeking deep hydration and balance.

For skin on the verge of cracking, go to bed with plumping and boosting:

  1. Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Night Serum – Vitamin A encourages cellular renewal, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a fresher, healthier looking appearance while Vitamin E helps to soften, smooth.
  2. EO Ageless Skin Care Transformative Night Serum – the Powerful elixir of antioxidant-rich Argan, Meadowfoam, Pumpkin, Rose, Tsubaki, Avocado, Macadamia, Hemp, Sunflower, and Carrot Seed Oils for intense moisturizing.

For skin working towards a brighter day, upon waking:

  1. ACURE Radically Rejuvenating Oil-Free Serum – Chlorella & apple fruit extract provide an ideal cocktail for rejuvenating hydration and supportive regeneration while Poet’s Daffodil Cell Culture Extract helps to improve overall tone and pigmentation. 
  2. Derma E Radiant Glow Face Oil By Sunkissalba – Nutrient-dense Pumpkin Seed, Seabuckthorn Fruit, and Argan Oils, help combat dehydration and improve moisture concentration, while protective minerals accentuate glow and protection.

Amy Halman is an award-winning skin therapist, speaker and product development specialist. As the owner of EcoBlend Therapies, she connects each client’s diet, lifestyle, body wellness and stress levels to imbalances reflecting on the skin. Utilizing this information, she designs topical, nutrition-packed treatments to feed the skin’s ability to re-engage and optimize. Learn more about her services at ecoblendtherapies.com

Men’s Skin Care: Why It Matters

With Father’s Day coming up, we thought it would be a good exercise to review some skin care tips that are specific to men.

While most of our recommendations about skin care are relevant to anyone, there are a few notable differences when it comes to caring for guy’s skin.

Men have thicker skin

First off, men’s skin is made up of thicker layers — they have more collagen, elastin fibers, and fatty tissue directly under their skin.

“As a result, men’s skin is on average 20% to 30% thicker than women’s skin,” according to WebMD.

Which is also why people claim guys “age better” — more oil production, thicker skin, AND lots of hair follicles mean that their skin is held up by a more supportive skin system, so they’re less prone to wrinkles.

What this also means: it’s recommended that men exfoliate more often.

This can be accomplished during the shaving process, but if you’re a fan of the beard (and who isn’t these days?), you might consider using a scrub to slough away dead skin cells.

Speaking of beards

Yeah, beards require extra care, too. Shockingly, they don’t just manage themselves.

To ensure the healthiest skin and beard, as always, a wholesome and vitamin-rich diet will do the most good for you.  “If you optimize your health, then you’ll grow great beard hair,” explains beard champion Jack Passion in a recent interview.

You can also supplement the natural oils from your skin with a beard oil to ensure that the hair is protected. This is especially important if you’re going to be outdoors or going swimming.

Sun protection

And if you’re going to be outdoors, bearded or not, making sure your skin is protected is still important. Men are just as susceptible to skin cancer as women, and should also use a sunscreen, especially during the summer.

We recommend using nonabsorbent sunscreens containing zinc oxide for maximum protection.

“Nonabsorbent sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide for scientifically-proven sun protection. They are not absorbed into the skin or bloodstream. These are minerals that are found abundantly in nature and are very safe for use in body care products.”

The art of shaving

If you’re not growing a beard and if shaving is part of your regular routine, there are a few important steps worth taking.

shavingExfoliate:
Scrubbing away those dead skin cells before you put a razor to your face will help prevent ingrown hairs, making for a cleaner and better shave.

No scraping:
Using a good-quality razor and a lighter touch will save your skin.  “One of the biggest mistakes that men make while shaving is to press the razor into their skin and pull hard,” explains Randy Murray on Sharpologist. “They use their other hand to pull and stretch the skin and bear down with the razor. Stop that. You are literally scraping the skin off with your beard, slicing into your face.”

Let your skin rest: 
Don’t shave every day! Do keep up with a daily wash/moisturizing regimen, but give your face a day off for shaving.

Moisturize:
Hydrating the skin and nourishing it with a vitamin-rich moisturizer will improve not only the condition of your skin, but provides lasting results and prevents wrinkling.  Totally worth it.

It’s a lot to remember, especially if you’re a guy who’s just getting into a regular skin care regimen.  Overall, you’ll just want to find products that work for you, so that you’ll stick to it.

What skin care tips or products do you swear by? Check out a few of our favorite men’s skin care products in our store!

 

The Basics Behind Your Baby’s Skin

We’ve all heard the phrase,  “smooth as a baby’s bottom.”

There’s a lot of truth behind that idiom — newborns and infants have especially soft skin. It’s why we love snuggling them so much!

But that smooth skin also needs to be cared for and protected, especially while our little ones are growing and developing.  Why?

Infant skin is several times more sensitive than yours.

Babies grow and develop at such a fast rate — parents are especially aware of this, especially when little ones start crawling and putting everything in their mouths.

baby feet

Their skin is also developing, and this includes adapting to their new environment.

“Unlike adult skin, newborn skin is thinner and may not fully mature for up to 12 months,” explains Jo Bridgman, Midwife for the Johnson’s baby Professional Team. “It absorbs and loses water faster, leaving it vulnerable to dryness and irritation. Infant skin can be up to ten times more sensitive than adult skin, making it prone to conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema.”

Take extra care when cleaning your baby’s skin.

Anyone who’s changed a diaper knows the importance of keeping an infant’s skin clean and protected.

From taking care of diaper disasters to battling irritating rashes, keeping your kiddo’s skin clean might feel like a lost cause.

A baby’s epidermis is not as fully developed as an adult’s, so it’s thinner and has smaller cells.  This means your child’s skin has an increased risk of bacterial growth and may be more prone to irritation.”

babyProtective barriers over baby’s skin can be especially helpful here, ensuring that moisture stays in and bad bacteria stay out. Using ointments with zinc oxide are great for healing diaper rash and provide that layer of protection.

Breakouts, cradle cap, and eczema are common, but preventable.

Because a baby’s skin absorbs everything so much more easily, things like acne and cradle cap are going to happen.

Many of these conditions, while they might seem alarming, are totally normal. Something like cradle cap, for instance, is mostly harmless: “Possibly it has to do with overactive sebaceous glands in the skin of newborn babies, due to the mother’s hormones still in the baby’s circulation.”

And if you remember last week’s post about dry shampoo, you’ll recall that sebaceous glands will overproduce oil when skin gets dry — so using natural, nutrient-rich moisturizers and oils on your little one’s skin can help to prevent that overproduction.

Shop Baby Skincare Products at Soap HopeIt’s a lot to digest, and there’s certainly no shortage of advice out there when it comes to parenting and caring for your child’s health.

But never fear!

Skin conditions like sunburn, eczema, and diaper rash are no match for our baby skincare products at Soap Hope — so you and your kiddos can feel clean and safe.