The Beautiful Skin Blog

9 awesome skincare tips in one easy place

Hello! We've had such a blast sharing great tips for taking care of your skin.

So much fun, in fact, we decided to round them all up in one place. Easy to find, easy to read, great for making your skin healthier and happier.

So here it is:

Facial care made simple: 9 great skincare tips

Healthy skin isn't magic! A little common sense (eat right, sleep well), a little information (hot showers dry you out), and maybe a few ideas that you didn't think of before (your cell phone is dirty! Clean it!) - mix it up and take care to put your best face forward.

All your skincare questions in one place!

How does my diet affect my skin?

How often should I wash my face?

What *really* causes acne?

What cosmetic ingredients are good or bad?

So many questions. You'll be happy to know we've answered these and many more in our awesome (if we do say so ourselves) Frequently-Asked-Questions article:

The clean and healthy face: Your ultimate skincare FAQ.

It's fun and easy to read – plus we've organized it so you can quickly find the answers to your most pressing skincare issues!

Healthy skin tip #7: Throw out your old makeup!

Want healthier skin? (Of course – why else would you be reading this blog?!) Take a look through your cosmetics and ruthlessly chuck out anything that's past its prime.

Old makeup runs the risk of contamination.

To clear up a misconception: Bacteria aren't the problem. The real enemy is mold and fungus, according to Dr. Louise Hidinger.

Dr. Hidinger has a PhD in biological chemistry and also holds a post-graduate certificate in cosmetic science. (If you haven't already discovered her awesome blog Ingredients of Style, go! Now!)

Via email, she explains for us what happens as cosmetic products age:

Bacteria gets into cosmetics and skincare products as soon as the container is opened and the product comes in contact with skin (e.g. when using fingers to scoop cream out of a jar). This is because all people have bacteria residing on their skin. The more important concern is actually fungal contamination, not bacterial contamination. Certain funguses and molds can infect the skin, which presents a risk to people with compromised skin or a weakened immune system. If a cosmetic product gets moldy, it’s time to throw it away.

 

Packaging can make a big difference here. Dr. Hidinger also says:

Contamination can be reduced by having the product in a pump container that excludes air and water. However, this type of packaging is not always possible, as it depends on the type of formulation, as well as the cost of the packaging itself.

 

In our view, getting rid of older products may have a sneaky side benefit. Nobody likes to waste, and so you may find you want to simplify your beauty routine, buying and using fewer products overall – as we pointed out in our last skincare tip, that can have a positive impact all by itself.

Healthy skin tip #5: Use fewer products

Between skincare and makeup, women report using quite a few products – for many people it's 20 or more.

Though it seems like each product zeros in on a specific function, doctors and dermatologists agree that less is actually more.

For one thing, lots of very specific products don't deliver huge benefits. And for another, using more and more products just raises your chances of allergic reactions and mystery ingredients.

So here's the tip: Cut back on product overload. Keep it simple! Professionals in this New York Times article and this more recent one from More magazine  all recommend no more than two or three products for the morning and three before bedtime.

The two they all agree on are a gentle cleansing product [AHEM!] and – ready? – sunscreen!

The Style List has an even more radical approach to try: Taking a week off from makeup. Completely. We'll dig into that idea in a future post!

We're also very proud that our customers say Cor Silver Soap can serve many functions, replacing a lot of products with just one. In addition to cleaning and moisturizing your face, it's a gentle and effective makeup remover, and it's all we use for exfoliation. And check out Cor users' comments about complexion!

 

See earlier skincare tips on getting more sleep, managing stress

 

A great resource: the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

You know the drill – you're standing at the makeup counter, buying online, considering a purchase wherever – and you find some really mysterious gibberish on the label.

"What the heck is Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate?" you ask yourself. "Is that something I really want to put on my skin?"

Great question. And here's a wonderful resource for finding your answer: The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database.

Search by ingredient and you'll find what it is, products that use it, and how safe it is on a scale of 1 to 10, based on published scientific studies. The database offers good details about any concerns or use restrictions, and indicated when its conclusions are based on limited data.

For example: Propylparaben is used in some acne-fighting products. It rates a full 10 on the hazard scale.

Search for a product and you'll find a list of all the ingredients, each rated individually for safety, yielding an overall safety profile for the product.

The EWG also offers a mobile app so you can have the database handy at any time!

 

Speaking of labels, we've already told you that the terms "noncomedogenic" and "hypoallergenic" are great ideas, but don't really promise you anything…

What does "noncomedogenic" mean, and is it important?

You'll see the word noncomedogenic on lots of makeup and skincare product labels these days. What does it mean?

Noncomedogenic refers to products that don't tend to block the pores of your skin.

A 'comedo' is a type of blemish resulting from a blocked pore – according to the American Academy of Dermatologists, a comedo is a very mild form of acne.

So that's how we get to the word 'noncomedogenic'.

So far, so simple, right? What's not so simple is that the use of this term is not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) or anyone else in the U.S. There are no specific requirements that a product has to meet in order to be labeled as noncomedogenic.

For most cosmetics and skincare products, the word indicates that the product does not include oil. Your skin already produces oil on its own – sebum is the name of an oil naturally produced by our sebaceous glands – and excessive oil is one of the main contributors to blemishes and acne.

Is it important and valuable for a skin product to not block up your pores? Yes, of course.

But is the term noncomedogenic any sort of guarantee? No, unfortunately it is not. Especially if your skin is prone to acne or other breakouts, it's worth checking the ingredients list of any product you're going to use on your face.

In addition to oils, WebMD.com has a list of other ingredients that DO have a tendency to block skin pores – so these are ingredients to avoid:

- isopropyl palmitate

- isopropyl myristate

- butyl stearate

- isopropyl isostearate

- decyl oleate

- isostearyl neopentanoate

- isocetyl stearate

- myristle myristate

- cocoa butter

- acetylated lanolin

- and D & C red dyes

We guess those ingredients are "comedogenic"!

(WebMD articles are formally reviewed by doctors for accuracy.)