There are some great video blogs and Youtube videos being created that highlight all that is silly, funny or downright rotten in the beauty industry. These are 2 that I came across this week and thought were worth a watch:
Fotoshop by Adobe looks at the use of image manipulation in the beauty industry. It makes one wonder if there are any “untouched” images in the mainstream media.
Try to Look Pretty without Poisoning Yourself is an amusing look at the alarming ingredients in conventional make up. Eeeek!
If you come across any videos that take a look at the beauty industry, good, bad or ugly leave a link. Thanks!Twitter It!
The world is connected in ways that we never imagined even a decade ago and one of the most exciting aspects of this expansion is the discovery of new and exciting ingredients. Once considered exotic, ingredients from Morocco, Polynesia and Africa now feature in our everyday skin and hair care. This article takes a look at the benefits of some of the exotic oils now available to us, the benefits of which far surpass the traditional oils we have relied upon up until recently.
Argan oil – this oil is the darling of hair care. Produced from the kernels of the Argan tree fruit, which grows in Morocco, it is higher priced than many oils due to its limited availability. Consisting of a blend of fatty acids, it is also rich in vitamin E, phenols (antioxidants) and carotenes, which give carrots their orange colour. Preliminary research is showing promise in the areas of sebum control and the management of psoriasis. However, the use it is currently most known for is hair care and indeed it works very effectively to reduce frizz and create a high shine on dry or dull hair. It can also help with oil control for both oily and overly dry hair.
Due to its high content of oleic acid, it tends to be a slightly heavier oil and so may not be ideal for skin that becomes congested easily or that is prone to acne. It is however, ideal for dry, dehydrated and mature skin types. View products that contain Argan Oil
Baobab oil – is extracted from the nuts of an indigenous African tree. Its primary benefit for skin is that it is fast absorbing, non-comedogenic and has great moisturising qualities. It can also help with dermal protection, skin regeneration and the improvement of elasticity. This oil is great as a serum base oil. View products that contain Baobab oil
Olive Squalene – is actually a fraction of Olive Oil and is similar in form and function to Jojoba oil. It helps to balance sebum production and restore the natural moisturising factor (NMF) of the skin. Like Jojoba, it can be used for dry, dehydrated skins as well as oily skin types as it very light and doesn’t clog pores. Olive squalene is particularly useful for dry acne. View products that contain Olive Squalene
Tamanu Oil – Tamanu oil has powerful healing properties in its unique ability to promote the formation of new skin tissue. Traditionally used by the Polynesians as first aid for the skin and mucous membranes, the oil can assist with scars, burns, skin cracks, cuts, dry skin and wounds. Used cosmetically, Tamanu has healing, mild antibiotic and anti-inflammatory activity. For these reasons it is used in both protective and regenerative products aimed at restoring skin appearance. View products that contain Tamanu oil
Marula Oil – sourced from the nuts of the Marula tree in Mozambique and South Africa this oil is fast absorbing, helps to reduce trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) and supports tissue healing. Another interesting quality noted about Marula oil is its ability to reduce skin redness and vascular pigmentation commonly found with broken blood vessels. View products that contain Marula oil
Fortunately all of these oils are available either singularly or as base oils in serums and moisturizers so you can choose the unique qualities of one, or benefit from a combination.
I love summer, but not because of the heat and humidity rather because I get to go to the beach and swim. With skin like mine, I have to be careful and so a protective swimming shirt, hat and 30+ micronized zinc sunscreen are absolute essentials for me. Even then I don’t go to the beach between 10am and 2pm. Despite the preparation, I still manage to develop a new crop of freckles each year. Now freckles I don’t mind but sun damage and more permanent skin pigmentation I do so there are strategies I incorporate in my daily skin care regimen and ingredients I look for in my skin care and sunscreen that help to manage and prevent the likelihood of both.
Firstly and most importantly, the regular use of SPF products is critical. Research completed in September 2011 (Diffey BL, J Cosmet Dermatol) evaluated the effect of daily application of topical photo-protective products and its effect on facial photo-aging (skin aging due to sun damage). The results show that regular use of topical photo-protective agents (SPF sunscreens) significantly reduces the lifetime exposure to UV. While this may seem logical interestingly, the SPF rating was of lesser importance that beginning regular use early in life. IN addition many only use an SPF product in the summer months and this study identified that year-round use was preferable. To sum up this research, start early and use an SPF product daily.
Some plant ingredients have shown a good protective effect against UV damage and erythema, which is skin reddening, coupled with inflammation. Human studies suggest that green tea polyphenols in particular are photo-protective in nature, and can be used as topical agents for the prevention of solar UVB light-induced skin disorders including photo-aging and potentially non-melanoma skin cancers. Use as a preventative for non-melanoma skin cancers requires more clinical trials in humans to confirm ongoing efficacy.
In addition to its skin protective effects, green tea also has good antioxidant activity as well as and ability to slow skin matrix degradation which leads to wrinkles and loss of firmness. White tea shows similar protective and skin rejuvenation effects. The fern polypdium leucotomos has also shown a photo-aging protective effect however this is less widely used in skincare than green tea.
When it comes to skin lightening and reduction of pigmentation, there are good ingredients and some that are not so good. The use of hydroquinone, which was the standard prescription for skin lightening, has become controversial due to its potential long-term consequences including a potential cancer causing effect when consumed orally. This has lead researchers to look at new skin lightening ingredients particularly for those with mild to moderate skin pigmentation. One study completed in 2010 (Draelos ZD, Yatskayer M, Bhushan P, et al, Cutis) compared a 4% hydroquinone cream with a topical formulation containing the herbal ingredients kojic acid, emblica extract and glycolic acid from sugar cane. Eight participants used either the herbal formulation or the hydroquinone cream twice daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, results showed that the herbal preparation was just as effective as the hydroquinone cream. Other studies have showed similar results with either one or a number of herbal skin lightening ingredients.
It is important to note that the clinical trials are conducted over a 12-week period as skin cell turnover takes approximately 90-120 days, which means the new non-pigmented skin cells take this long to emerge. If you choose to try a skin lightening cream or serum to manage pigmentation, be aware that it will take time so don’t expect overnight results.
So apart from the “slip, slop, slap” routine (for non-Australians this is translated as “slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat”), these measures mean that despite living in Queensland I can be sure I am doing the best to prevent progressive sun damage and minimize sun cancer risk.
My product recommendations:
Daily Sun Protection
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