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November 14, 2019
We are all looking for it, the proverbial “holy grail” that will magically fix everything that we perceive to be wrong with our skin. There is so much hype and so much advertising and influencing happening in the world of beauty, it can be hard to decipher the real from the marketing. We see photos of beautiful models with zero pores and an ethereal glow that cause us to fall for outlandish claims. We hope to shed some light and truth on the much-debated topic: what can skincare actually do?
MYTH: Skincare can shrink your pores.
TRUTH: Nobody wants to hear it, but pore size is determined by genes and there is nothing you can do or use to permanently shrink your pores. It’s all good though because using the right skincare can help make your pores appear smaller. How? By keeping them clean and clear of excess sebum and debris, by gently exfoliating to improve the skin's texture, and by visually blurring your skin's surface.
Let’s talk about how to remove excess sebum buildup from your pores. Your skin's natural oils are great, they serve their biological function of protecting your skin. Because sebum is meant to be protective, it doesn’t absorb into your skin, it sits on top and can sometimes create a plug in your pores, or oxidize in the pore and appear dark. One of the best ways to remove this excess sebum is with a gentle oil cleanser. Oil cleansing works on a like-attracts-like principle. The oils and waxes in the cleanser attach on to the excess oil in your pores and when you wipe it away, it takes excess sebum with it. Oil cleansing is extra great because it doesn’t strip your skin the way foaming cleansers can. Sometimes, foaming cleansers can create a “bounce back” effect on the skin, causing it to ramp up sebum production, worsening the issue that you are trying to combat.
Gentle exfoliation is your next defense in the fight against clogged pores. Your skin in constantly renewing itself and sloughing off dead skin cells. If you don’t remove the dead cells, they can wiggle their way into your open pores creating congestion and enlarging the look of your pores. There are many methods of exfoliation (manual, chemical, and enzymatic) whichever you choose, the key here is GENTLE. One of the simplest and most effective ways to remove dead skin is to use a soft, gentle washcloth or cleansing pads to remove your cleanser or face masks. Using small circular motions to massage your face will remove the dead skin while increasing circulation to your skin. It is important to use a cloth with soft fibers meant for facial skin like our 100% Organic Cotton Face Cloth. Enzymes extracted from fruit break down and lift away dead skin cells on the surface. This leaves your skin smooth, reduces congestion and reduces the appearance of pores. Manual exfoliants gently buff your skin with particles to remove build up of dead cells and sebum. We use jojoba beads, rice powder, gentle botanical powders and clays as manual exfoliants. We suggest staying away from seed and nut shells which can be found in many products, as they can have sharp edges and be too harsh for your facial skin. Follow these exfoliating tips and your skin will thank you!
Another effective way to minimize the appearance of large pores is with a primer or serum with a blurring effect. Our Face Potions have our unique “Satin Finish” that makes your skin appear smoother and your pores appear reduced (all while caring for your skin.) If you like a more made-up look, then be sure to choose a foundation with gentle ingredients and remove it fully at the end of each day (sleeping in your makeup is a major no-no.)
If you follow these steps, your pores will remain clearer and may appear smaller (even if you actually do have pores, you know, like a human). It's also important to remember that skin texture is completely normal and beautiful. Real skin will never look completely smooth, the overuse of filters and photoshop has us striving for an ideal that doesn't exist. You are beautiful, pores and all!
Our top Potion picks for large pores: Radiance Alchemy Mask, Purification Alchemy Mask, Nourishment Alchemy Mask, Clarity Face Potion, Freedom Face Potion, Bibbidi Spotibi Boo Pore Clearing Serum.
MYTH: Skincare cures acne.
TRUTH: It really depends what type of breakouts you are experiencing and the cause. Acne often requires medical attention.
The right skincare can absolutely minimize, prevent, and even stop surface breakouts. You know the ones, small bumps, blackheads, clogged pores, or pores that have become inflamed by bacteria spread from another blemish. By using a skincare product that offers you the correct amount of hydration and lipids for your skin, you can balance your sebum production which helps tremendously with surface breakouts and blackheads. By using ingredients that gently minimize excess bacteria on the skins surface (Rosemary, Tea Tree, Thyme) you can prevent current breakouts from spreading. Ingredients that reduce inflammation (Frankincense, White Willow Bark, Tea Seed) and encourage cell turnover (Rosehip, Sea Buckthorn, Enzymes) can greatly reduce the time it takes for a blemish to resolve. Ingredients that strengthen your moisture barrier (Ceramides, Cholesterol, Glycerine) can help guard against bacteria and toxins entering your skin.
Unfortunately, not all types of acne are this simple. The rule of thumb is that anything “closed” ie: anything that comes up from under the skin, often has an internal cause (and may need to be treated internally). Some of the most common triggers are stress and hormonal imbalances, cell turnover dysfunction, food sensitivities, a weak skin micro-biome and fungal or bacterial infections beneath the skin's surface. While the right skincare can absolutely help speed the resolution of these types of breakouts, the best and most permanent methods of treatment are internal. An internal medicine professional can help you discover the underlying cause of your skin troubles and create a treatment plan that will address the root cause. If it seems like your acne is coming from under the skin, if it is persistent and resistant to topical treatments, or if you have been struggling with it for a long time, a trip to the doctor, naturopath or nutritionist may be your best bet.
Our top Potion picks for troubled complexions: Freedom Face Potion, Clarity Face Potion, Bibbidi Spotibi Boo Pore Clearing Serum, Purification Alchemy Mask, Nourishment Alchemy Mask.
MYTH: Skincare erases wrinkles.
TRUTH: Skincare can help reduce the look of fine lines. Deep expression lines may require clinical treatments.
Wrinkles are a result of making facial expressions, how beautiful is it that your life’s experiences leave their mark on you and increase your individuality? Our lines are something to be proud of, they are the result of years of laughs and smiles and can even remind us of challenges that we’ve overcome.
We believe that growing older is a beautiful thing and we are fully opposed to beauty standards pressuring us to look younger. That being said, maintaining healthy skin at any age can help us feel more confident in our skin. Fine lines can be softened in several ways:
· Using ingredients that help encourage cell renewal (Rosehip Oil, Fruit Enzymes, Sea Buckthorn) refresh surface cells and encourage your skin to create collagen. This collagen synthesis will give your skin more elasticity allowing it to bounce back when stretched and appear plump and firm. Skin renewing ingredients are a great way to prevent future wrinkles and encourage soft healthy looking skin.
· Using ingredients that plump your skin (Ceramides, Glycerine, Tremella Mushroom, Squalane) can greatly reduce the appearance of fine lines. Utilizing these ingredients on any areas with fine lines can have a temporary plumping effect as well as a long-term moisture retention benefit.
· Replacing your skins lipids to smooth your skin, aid in reducing water loss, and help skin function optimally. When we are young our skin is better at creating and holding onto fats in the surface layers. After the age of 35 we see a drastic reduction in skin's lipids and we need to replace them to maintain youthful looking skin. Luckily there are beautiful plant derived lipids. They range from light and deeply absorbing (Grapeseed, Rosehip, Argan, Meadowfoam, Camelia, Squalane) to rich and occlusive, helping your skin retain water and protecting it from the elements (Avocado, Pumpkinseed, Flax, Vitamin E, Evening Primrose, Ceramides). Finding the right balance of these ingredients for your needs is one of the best ways to care for your skin.
For deep set wrinkles and expression lines (think brow furrows and smile lines) you may need to consider injectables. We all want to feel great in our skin and there is nothing wrong with seeing your doctor about clinical treatments. It's all about what makes YOU happy. Here’s to aging however the heck you want!
Our top Potion picks for mature skin: Fairy Fountain Antioxidant Hydration Serum, Youth Face Potion, Comfort Face Potion, Freedom Face Potion, Balance Face Potion, Vitality Eye Potion, Resilience Alchemy Mask, Nourishment Alchemy Mask, Radiance Alchemy Mask.
MYTH: Skincare can change your skin type.
TRUTH: Skin type is another factor that is determined mostly by genetics, though your skin type can alter sometimes through environmental and hormone changes. Rather than "Skin Types" we like to think of them as "Skin Seasons" and "Skin Situations" as they are ever-changing. Skincare helps to balance and compliment what you have going on naturally but it won’t permanently change your skin type. Skin “types” are really the basis that tells you what you need out of your skincare products so that ideally, you can have clear, balanced skin that is neither too oily nor too dry. Your skin may be one of, or a combination of the following; Dry, Dehydrated, Oily, Sensitive, Combination, Normal.
Dry - This skin type produces less oil than it needs for its environment. Dry skin performs best when enhanced with fatty acids, omegas, and occlusive oils (Avocado, Ceramides, Flaxseed, Vitamin E, Pumpkin Seed, Oat.) Occlusive means that a barrier is created between your skin and the environment, helping to protect your dry skin.
Top Picks: Comfort Face Potion, Balance Face Potion, Calm Eye Potion, Vitality Eye Potion, Magic Balm, Alchemists Elixir.
Oily - Oily skin produces too much oil for its environment. Oily skin is often mistreated with harsh cleansers that can actually worsen the problem. Your skin's biological function is to protect itself and your insides and part of how it does this is with occlusive sebum (skin's natural oils). When you strip your skin of lipids without replacing them, your skin can respond by creating more sebum, thus the vicious cycle. One of the best ways to reduce sebum production is to give oily skin light, absorbable oils (Grapeseed, Argan, Squalene, Camelia, Jojoba.) These oils will tell your skin that it already has enough protection, so it won’t keep producing sebum to compensate. Using a clay mask every few days helps to clear pores and clear excess sebum, always be sure to moisturize after using a mask to maintain a healthy balance of oils.
Top Picks: Freedom Face Potion, Clarity Face Potion, Luminosity Eye Potion, Purification Alchemy Mask, Radiance Alchemy Mask.
Dehydrated - This skin type needs more hydration in the form of water. Both Dry and Oily skin can be dehydrated. Skin that is tight feeling or flaky may be dehydrated and it is very common if you live in a dryer climate. Humectant ingredients, like Glycerine, Tremella Mushroom, Propanediol and Honey act as “water magnets” to draw moisture into your skin. Ceramides and Cholesterol work in synergy with fatty acids to strengthen your moisture barrier and hold on to that moisture more effectively. In our opinion this is the best and most permanent solution for dehydrated skin. When your moisture barrier is strong it can keep water from evaporating into the environment, giving you plump and soft skin without extra effort.
Top Picks: Fairy Fountain Antioxidant Hydration Serum, Freedom Face Potion, Comfort Face Potion, Magic Balm, Alchemist's Elixir, Tranquility Alchemy Mask, Resilience Alchemy Mask.
Sensitive - If your skin is sensitive it is often beneficial to stay away from alcohols, fragrances, surfactants, astringent ingredients, citrus, acids and enzymes. Even all natural fragrances can cause sensitivity for some people. Avoiding your personal sensitivity triggers is key to keeping sensitive skin happy. Unfortunately, these triggers can be different for every individual and it can take some trial an error to find out what will and won't work for you. Using soothing ingredients (Oat, Tea Seed, Pumpkin Seed, Rose, Chamomile, Jojoba) can be very helpful in making your skin more comfortable. Paying close attention to what ingredients are in your products and monitoring your skin reactions closely will help you build your perfect regimen. If you are sensitive to fragrances, sticking to unscented products will be best for you.
Top Picks: Comfort Face Potion, Freedom Face Potion, Balance Face Potion, Calm Eye Potion, Magic Balm, Tranquility Alchemy Mask, Nourishment Alchemy Mask.
Combination- Combination skin means that different areas of your face have different needs. You have the option of treating different areas of your face with different products (ex: a light product for your t-zone and a richer serum for cheeks.) We enjoy simplicity in our routines and firmly believe that using ingredients that help balance oil production (Plant Oils, Lavender, Glycerine) and that help maintain your moisture barrier (Ceramides, Cholesterol, Fatty Acids) will help balance your skin and make it possible for only one product to meet all of your needs. Practicing oil cleansing can also go a long way when it comes to keeping your skin balanced, healthy looking, and glowing.
Another great way to respond to your skin's changing moods is by Multi-Masking. This means using a different Face Mask on different areas of your skin (ex: a soothing mask on cheeks and deep cleansing mask on your t-zone).
Top Picks: Fairy Fountain Antioxidant Hydration Serum, Balance Face Potion, Freedom Face Potion, Youth Face Potion, The Mask Alchemist Minis Collection.
Normal - If you don’t seem to notice your skin being dry, tight, oily or shiny, then you are one of the lucky few with truly normal skin. You may not need to use a lot of skincare products to keep your skin happy. If you choose to indulge in some luxury skincare, you can choose based on the ingredients, scents and textures that appeal most to you. Lucky duck!
Top Picks: Whatever you like!
We hope this blog has helped you to understand what to expect from a skincare regimen. We believe that you are truly radiant and that skincare should serve to enhance what is already there. The goal should always be achieving the best version of YOUR skin, and we can help you do that while honoring your natural beauty.
*Information contained in our blogs is designated for education purposes only. The opinions are of us, our families, friends, customers and human testers. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.*
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