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Why Do A Nighttime Routine?

You may love a good night-time skincare routine, but do you know what its benefits are? Read below to learn why a night-time routine can really benefit your skin.

What happens to your skin while you sleep

Your skin is the second-largest organ in your body, and as such it performs many functions. So what is happening to your skin while you sleep?

  • Your skin loses water – or “sweats” – while you sleep due to less oil production, which means that it’s important to counteract this moisture loss with a moisturizer. Oils like jojoba imitate the skin’s natural sebum, while oils like hemp and olive supply much-needed fatty acids to maintain elasticity.
  • Skin becomes drier due to this moisture loss, which makes an extra-emollient moisturizer all the more important. If your skin is normally dry, then slather it on!
  • Your skin needs the right amount of sleep in order to replenish itself. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, you’ll notice that your skin is more sallow and your eyes are puffier. Lack of sleep also raises cortisol levels, which contributes to inflammation. Higher stress hormones can contribute to breakouts and other skin problems, as well. Hormones like Melatonin and Human Growth Hormone increase during sleep, making a good night’s sleep all the more important.
  • Skin is warmer at night, which can make it easier for skincare products to be absorbed. So why not take advantage of this and apply products like AHAs or BHAs to speed cell turnover while you sleep? Turnover tends to occur between about 11pm and 4 am, before body temperature drops to its lowest level during sleep. Skin is also more permeable, so products can be absorbed more easily.

What should your skincare routine look like?

We already know that a good moisturizer can counteract moisture loss while we sleep, but what else can we do to enhance our nighttime skincare routine?

  • Be sure to remove all traces of makeup and accumulated dirt gently before bed. A light oil-based makeup remover like Whole Earth Body Actives Facial Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover is rich in Vitamin E and contains geranium oil to help balance sebum production. A gentle exfoliator will remove any dead skin cells.
  • Use products with ingredients like AHAs, BHAs, retinol and Vitamin C to help “detox” your skin, increase collagen production and reduce inflammation while you sleep. We like our Whole Earth Body Actives Age Defying Vitamin C Creme with Niacinamide. It’s gentle enough to use day and night for botanical-based antioxidant protection.
  • Get the best quality sleep that you can. Avoid electronic devices, caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals before bed. If you’re a side sleeper, a silk pillowcase can help prevent wrinkles while you sleep. Products like melatonin (which decreases as you age), or valerian extract (which can help you fall asleep) are non-habit forming and effective for some. Use a humidifier in winter and a dehumidifier/air purifier in the summer if needed to maintain a humidity level of about 45 percent and keep mucus membranes from drying out.

By spending just a little extra time at night, you can go a long way towards helping your skin to be its very best. And isn’t waking up to healthy skin worth it?

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.

Should You Use A Toner?

If you find yourself wondering if you should add a toner to your skincare routine, know that the answer to your question is not a direct “yes” or “no”. Although toners have been typically for oily skin types that need an extra cleansing boost, many of them are now packed with extra skincare benefits, like hydrating and soothing properties. Different toners have different benefits and these benefits depends on your skin type and the type of toner that you use.

Dr. Alicia Zalka, a Yale-affiliated dermatologists states that “toners are not necessary, but they can be a great adjunct to a skincare regimen for those that need help with oily skin or markedly plugged pores.Toner is something I consider a second step of the cleansing process. The benefit is that, when used correctly, it can help remove excess oils and dead skin cells that may lurk on the face after washing. To some extent a toner can help other skin applications penetrate more rapidly.”  

What do toners do?

A toner’s purpose is to do a complete cleanse of the skin and refine pores. Toners remove dust, pollution and impurities that can still linger on the skin after washing with a cleanser. Toners were originally designed to help restore skin’s pH balance, which is slightly acidic (5.5-6.5). Old styles of cleansing (cleansers like soap bars) disrupted that balance, leaving skin more vulnerable to bacteria and other microorganisms. The disruption to skin pH can lead to inflammation, dryness and over time, accelerated aging. If you wash your face with a balanced, organic cleanser, your skin might not need the pH-balancing properties of toners.

Should I forget about toner?

If you have oily skin, a toner might be a beneficial addition to your skincare routine. Many toners targeted at reducing oil and clogged pores. If you have normal, dry or combination skin, the right toner will have ingredients that create a number of benefits, giving you a quick and refreshing lift that helps repair, restore, and renew your skin. For all these reasons and more, it is recommended you make toning the second step in your skincare routine after cleansing.

Natural DIY Toners

The good news is you can make your own natural toner at home. The following are ingredients on how to make your own toner best suited for your skin type and concerns.

A green-tea toner is a great option if you have normal skin. First make one cup of green tea. Then add half a teaspoon of honey and mix well. Let the mixture cool. Once cool, add three drops of jasmine essential oil to the mixture. Pour into an airtight bottle and store in a cool place.

If you have normal to oily skin the following toners are more efficient. To make an apple-cider vinegar toner add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to an airtight container and mix in 200 milliliters of mineral water. Store in a cool place.

For a Mint Toner, boil 6 cups of water and add a couple of mint leaves to the water while it is still hot. Allow the solution to cool and then saturate the pad with the solution and wipe your face with it after cleansing.

An Aloe Vera Toner can be made by slicing an aloe vera. Scoop out the gel and dilute 2 tablespoons of the gel with 1 cup of cool water. Apply the solution onto your face using a cotton pad after cleansing. This solution can also be used to sooth sunburns and rashes.

Make a Cucumber Toner by taking 2/3rds of a fresh cucumber and chopping it up into small piece. Pour a cup of water into a pan and add the chopped piece of cucumber. Heat the pan for about 8 minutes or until the water starts to boil. Blend the cucumber and the water. Let cool and then filter the solution out using a sieve. Apply to clean face using a cotton pad.

Ingredients To Avoid

When it comes to choosing a toner that’s right for you, there are some ingredients you want to avoid. Do not use a toner that has alcohol, menthol, witch hazel or fragrance in it. These four ingredients are not good for your skin. If you do choose to add a toner to your skincare routine and you choose your toner carefully, you’ll have a product that will do the following: complete cleansing, minimize the appearance of large pores, hydrate, help with oily skin and protect.