How Does pH Affect Your Skin?

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A lot of the questions our Skin Coaches receive can be answered with an explanation including pH. Although you may not remember exactly what pH is from your high school chemistry days, it plays a huge role in the health of your skin and just how well your products are actually working. What is it? The pH of a substance is the “potential of Hydrogen” and describes the acid to alkaline ratio of the substance. It is represented on a scale of 0-14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline, with water at a neutral 7. Why is skin pH important? Your skin’s natural pH is between 4.5 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic. It is rare for someone’s skin to be too acidic, but if it is, the skin becomes super sensitive and irritation-prone. It is much more common for skin to become too … Continue reading

Stress, Cortisol, and Your Skin

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Let’s talk about stress. It can be difficult to get through a day without the feeling of being overwhelmed or anxious about some aspect of our very busy lives. Stress can affect you in many different ways, both mind and body, and particularly in the appearance of your skin. When you are stressed, your body releases a set of hormones, including cortisol. Chronically high cortisol levels have a number of known health effects (including lower immune function, increased weight gain, risk for depression, interfering with memory, etc.), but it also has additional effects on the skin, including dryness, aging, overactive oil production, and redness.  Dryness The release of cortisol causes skin dryness by diminishing the skin’s ability to retain water, so your skin can become dull and dehydrated when under constant stress. This lack of moisture is why your psoriasis and eczema may worsen during periods of heavy stress. Aging High … Continue reading

Sweat It Out: Exercise and Your Skin

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Summer hikes, trips to the beach, morning and evening runs, days spent at the pool…summer is full of opportunities to stay active! As beneficial as it is to shake up your fitness routine year-round, it probably happens much more during the summer- there’s nothing like the idea of being in a bikini tomorrow to get you to the gym today! Many take advantage of the warmer months to head outdoors for more workouts, which can be a great way to get fresh air and switch it up, but can also lead to a multitude of skin problems. We’re addressing common fitness and skin concerns that are particularly important during the summer. Skin Hygiene and Fitness Before and immediately after participating in a sweaty activity, wash your face with a gentle, pH balancing cleanser. This goes for men and women! You skin may be feeling oilier or more hydrated than usual because exercise promotes … Continue reading

SUGAR: How You are Unknowingly Aging Your Skin

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Have you ever noticed that people who eat a lot of sugar and processed foods tend to look older? Or how people with antioxidant depleting habits (like smoking and tanning) seem to age faster? Lifestyle habits have a huge effect on your skin and it goes much further than how consistently you wash your face or how often you do a mask. How does sugar make our skin older? If there is an excess of sugar in the body, protein molecules and sugar molecules cross-link and create aging by-products. Your body produces antibodies in reaction to the by-products, causing inflammation. Free radicals are produced, causing further damage to your cells. There are three types of collagen in your skin. When glucose cross-links with type 3 (strongest) collagen, it transforms it into type I (weakest) and becomes rigid and inflexible. This makes it more likely your skin will develop wrinkles at … Continue reading

Say Goodbye to Summer Skin Issues

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Everywhere you look, you see short shorts, swimwear, and sunshine, which must mean that summer is finally here! Summer should be a time of carefree spontaneity, so don’t let any skin issues get in your way. From sun damage to razor burn, we are going to combat common summer skin issues for your best summer yet. Sun There is something alluring about the summer sun: long days, warm nights, and the feeling of those hot rays on your skin. Unfortunately, the comfort of being out in the warm sun comes with a hefty price: UV damage. UVA and UVB rays damage your skin in multiple ways: immediate tanning and burning, long-term aging, and increasing your chances for skin cancer. Avoid short- and long-term damage by using a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher (remember, higher SPFs aren’t necessarily better!) to guard against both types of rays. Give your SPF a … Continue reading

What is in your SPF?

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Now that summer is officially here, you will constantly hear from skin care experts that you should be covering yourself in SPF everyday. The only problem is not all SPFs are created equal. We have been receiving a lot of calls to our Skin Coaches with confusion about how to know what kind of sun protection to use. Does a higher number SPF mean better protection? What are UVA and UVB rays? What does it mean to be broad spectrum? We’re going to set the record straight on sunscreens. What is SPF? SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It refers to the amount of time that the product can block UVB rays. These are the burning rays. Unless the product is labeled broad spectrum, it most likely does not have any protection against UVA rays. These are the aging and cancer rays. What are UVA and UVB? UVA: stands for Ultraviolet … Continue reading

5 Steps to Your Best Shave

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As far as skin care goes, women are often jealous of men. Men’s skin is built differently than women’s: it is about 25% thicker and has a higher collagen density, so you look younger longer…lucky! But let’s not forget that men typically do not have the benefit of covering imperfections with makeup. You have to solely rely on skin care to have the best complexion possible, and when this involves shaving, you risk some serious harm to the skin. Since shaving is an extremely important part of male grooming, we’re here to help you get the best shave for healthy skin in five easy steps. 1: Prep Always shave in the shower or directly after. The shower heat will soften your facial hair, making it easier to get your closest shave. Whether you are shaving in the shower or at your sink, the first step is to cleanse your skin. … Continue reading

The Dangers of Tanning Beds

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Can you believe it’s already mid-June? Summer officially starts next weekend, but don’t let that send you running to get your “base tan” before the pool parties, barbeques, and summer get-togethers begin. A tan is bad news, whether it is “real” from laying out at the beach or from “fake baking” in a tanning bed. The FDA recently mandated label changes on tanning beds, now requiring a black box label, their strongest warning. In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) raised tanning devices that emit UV rays into the highest cancer risk category “carcinogenic to humans.” The more research that is done, the more dangerous we are realizing that these tanning beds are. So why are millions of people, particularly teenagers and young adults, still using them every day? What They Say With all of the information out there about the dangers … Continue reading

Men’s Health Awareness Month

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June is Men’s Health Awareness Month. Skin is the largest organ in the body, but men’s skin health in particular needs more attention. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men. Within melanoma cases, young men account for 40 percent of cases, but more than 60 percent of deaths. In fact, from ages 15-39, men are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group. According to a study done by the Skin Cancer Foundation, nearly 1 in 2 men surveyed said they had not applied sunscreen in the past 12 months, and only 32 percent considered themselves very knowledgeable on how to properly use it. Skin health isn’t just about protecting against skin cancers, it is also about getting your skin as fit as you can. Give your skin a workout with … Continue reading

Myth: Using Collagen Creams Will Firm the Skin

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Today, we are going to address a very common myth: collagen creams that claim to firm the skin. Unfortunately, the collagen molecule is too large to penetrate the skin, and even if it could, applying collagen does not produce more collagen. Collagens creams can be good moisturizers, but to get any collagen benefits, the skin needs to produce it itself. Collagen is the infrastructure of the skin that gives it fullness and form. As we age, the skin’s ability to produce collagen on its own diminishes as a result of slowed cell production and sun exposure. Stimulating the skin to increase new cell production can result in increased collagen and firmer denser skin. Glycolic AHA in concentrations of 15% or higher, when applied to the skin, creates pathways from the epidermis to the dermis (where collagen is formed). When the dermis is stimulated it causes the functional activation of fibroblasts … Continue reading