To Prime or Not to Prime Pinterest graphic

To Prime or Not to Prime?

What is a primer?

A primer is a cream or lotion that is applied under makeup to help prepare it for makeup and/or to smooth out the skin. Primers are often water-based or silicone-based, and are usually fragrance-free. They can help makeup last, but many also improve the skin’s hydration, texture and more. Some even include sun protection.

There are primers for the face, eyelids and lips, and they are everywhere. The big question is whether or not you should use a primer on a regular basis.

When Should I Use a Primer?

No doubt, many consumers swear by primers for their ability to smooth out the skin, hydrate, reflect, and protect skin before applying makeup. Ingredients like dimethicone are designed to sit on the uppermost layer of skin and make applying makeup easier. Some people experience an allergic reaction, however. If you have sensitive skin, there are water-based primers. Primers with antioxidants like Vitamins A and C, green tea extract, and other ingredients can help banish things like redness and hyperpigmentation, improving skin over time. Others choose to use a primer by itself, for its skin-improving benefits. Our Age-Defying Vitamin C Face Creme uses an alternative to silicones and Ascorbic acid, which can be irritating at high doses. It is also loaded with antioxidant rich botanical extracts like green tea, rose and geranium, and Niacinamide.

When Should I Not Use a Primer?

With so many formulations on the market, it’s easier than ever to find a primer formulation that your skin will like. However, if you have skin conditions like cystic acne or are extremely sensitive to ingredients, you should not use a primer without reading the label carefully. Make sure you understand which ingredients are in a formula and what they do. The same would apply to any product, of course.

Another reason to avoid primer might be that your current regimen contains sufficient skin-nurturing ingredients so as to render a primer redundant. For example, many BB, CC creams and regular foundations contain the same ingredients. If so, then why pay more for ingredients that you’re already using?

In conclusion, the decision to prime or not to prime is entirely dependent on your skin’s needs, your lifestyle and your personal preferences. Primers may serve an important purpose. If so, they deserve a place in your cosmetics arsenal.

Acids and Skincare Blog Post

Acids and Skincare

A variety of acids are commonly used as part of a customer’s skincare routine. Science has demonstrated that alpha and beta-hydroxy acids, for example, confer a number of benefits to the skin when used regularly and appropriately. Here, I will dive into what makes these acids so beneficial and why it’s important to tailor products containing acids to your skin’s particular needs.

What Are Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids?

Alpha Hydroxy acids are water-soluble compounds that have two functioning groups separated by one carbon atom. They can be either naturally occurring or synthetic; they are very popular in skincare products. Well-known examples include citric, lactic, mandelic and glycolic acid. Citric and mandelic acid are known as fruit acids. There are many other fruit acids that have been used (tartaric, benzoic, etc.)

Alpha Hydroxy acids primarily work by loosening the “glue” that holds cells together, which enhances exfoliation. They can also help thicken underlying layers of skin, which promotes smoothness. Some are more penetrating than others, impacting their effectiveness. For example, glycolic acid molecules are very small; its enhanced penetrating ability means that it is highly effective at exfoliating and hydrating. However, susceptible individuals my have a reaction to it.

They are also found at varying concentrations of anywhere from 2-15% or more. The best products will tell you what concentrations they are using. They are used in over-the-counter and commercial peels, which can also cause irritation. If in doubt about the strength of a product, always consult with a dermatologist, especially if you have sensitive or problem skin. In addition, AHAs like citric acid can be unstable when exposed to the air, so which type is used and how the product is formulated is key to its effectiveness.

Beta Hydroxy Acids are oil-soluble organic compounds with two functional groups separated by two carbon atoms. The most well-known is salicylic acid, derived from white willow bark. These acids penetrate well and are more suited to individuals with problem skin due to their anti-inflammatory properties. They can also be found in varying concentrations, so always check labels before using.

Both Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy acids can increase the skin’s sensitivity to light, so it’s always a good idea to use a sunscreen during the day or to apply them only at night. And always discontinue use if redness, itching and other forms of irritation develop, as you may need to adjust the concentration or you may be developing an allergic reaction to an ingredient.

These organic acids can be very effective skincare tools, providing many benefits that maintain healthy skin and enhance appearance. What you use is dependent on your skincare goals and your skin type. Feel free to experiment with different products and formulations, or consult a dermatologist for a custom-tailored regimen that will leave your skin healthy and glowing.