Know your AHAs and BHAs

Know your AHAs and BHAs

AHAs and BHAs are types of hydroxy acids. You can find both acids in a variety of:

  • cleansers
  • toners
  • moisturizers
  • scrubs
  • peels
  • masks

The purpose of both AHAs and BHAs is to exfoliate the skin. Depending on the concentration, a related product may remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, or it may remove the whole outermost layer.

Still, neither type of hydroxy acid is “better” than the other. Both are highly effective methods of deep exfoliation. The differences lie in their uses.

AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid. BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid.

AHAs are water -soluble acids made from sugary fruits. They help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place. After use, you’ll likely notice that your skin is smoother to the touch.

On the other hand, BHAs are oil-soluble. Unlike AHAs, BHAs can get deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum.

Although AHAs are often marketed as safe for all skin types, you’ll want to take care if you have extremely dry and sensitive skin.  You may need to gradually work up to daily use to avoid irritating your skin.

 

BHAs, on the other hand, are primarily used for acne and sun damage. These products go deep into your hair follicles to dry out excess oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores. Because of these effects, BHAs are most suitable for combination to oily skin. Lower concentrations may be used to help calm sensitive skin. You may also have more success with BHAs if you wanted to reduce rosacea-related redness.

 

All AHAs yield significant exfoliation. Still, the effects and uses can slightly vary between types of acids. Your selected AHA should have a maximum concentration between 10 and 15 percent. Apply new products every other day until your skin gets used to them. This will also reduce the risk of side effects, such as irritation.

No matter which AHA you choose, the strong exfoliating effects make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Wear sunscreen every morning to prevent burns, age spots, and increased skin cancer risks.

 

Lactic acid is another common AHA. Unlike other AHAs made from fruits, lactic acid is made from lactose in milk. It’s also known for its significant exfoliation and anti-aging effects.

 

Tartaric is another type of AHA. It’s made from grape extracts, and may help alleviate signs of sun damage and acne.

 

Citric acid is made from citrus fruit extracts. Its main purpose is to neutralize the skin’s pH levels and to even out rough patches of skin. Citric acid makes a good serum or toner used before applying a moisturizer. It may even help work with sunscreen to provide maximum UV protection.

 

Malic acid is a type of AHA-BHA crossover. It’s made from apple acids.

 

Mandelic acid contains larger molecules derived from almond extracts. It can be combined with other AHAs to increase exfoliation. Used alone, the acid may improve texture and pore size.

 

Using BHAs

 

Salicylic acid is the most common BHA. Concentrations can range between 0.5 and 5 percent, depending on the product at hand. It’s a well known as an acne treatment, but it can also help calm down general redness and inflammation.

 

Citric acid while primarily classified as an AHA, some formulations of citric acid are BHAs, too. Rather than even out your skin’s pH levels, this type of citric acid is primarily used to dry out excess sebum and clean out dead skin cells deep in your pores.

 

Don’t mix face acids

  • Don’t use salicylic acid with any other acid at the same time. Extreme skin irritation may occur when mixed.
  • Avoid salicylic acid with products that contain niacinamide.
  • Don’t use glycolic acid or lactic acid in combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This will cause the ascorbic acid’s benefit to disappear even before it begins to work.
  • Avoid using AHAs with retinol.

 

AHAs and BHAs, if these actives are used at too high of a concentration or too frequently, they can irritate your skin and compromise the skin barrier.

Some Ugly Truths About Retinoids: They Can Weaken Your Skin's Barrier Function

Some Ugly Truths About Retinoids: They Can Weaken Your Skin's Barrier Function

Dermatologists don't — and can't — argue there. In my opinion, [retinoids'] benefits are more about the skin's appearance," says Dr. Katta. "The compounds in retinoids can help boost collagen, but they're not necessary for healthy skin. The most important factor in maintaining healthy skin is about protection and promotion." Research shows that although retinoids thicken the skin overall, they thin the skin barrier, the built-in protective layer that guards against invading pathogens and environmental aggressors and locks in moisture.

 

How Does Retinyl Palmitate Form Vitamin A?

 

The different retinoids have slightly different functions and benefits.  All the retinoids are converted into retinoic acid in the body. Retinoic acid is the main ingredient that has a direct biological effect on the skin. Retinoic acid is a metabolite of vitamin A and is responsible for most of the benefits to the body and skin. 

Retinoic acid is available as a prescription treatment known as tretinoin or Retin – A. Tretinoin can cause skin irritation including excessive peeling, redness, and photosensitivity which limits its use.

 

EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which rates ingredients based on toxicity. Retinol can rank anywhere from six to nine out of 10, making it a "high concern" ingredient. For reference, lead and formaldehyde — two undisputed toxicants — earn 10s.

 

 

The overall product or ingredient score in Skin Deep is calculated from information drawn from the nearly 60 integrated toxicity, regulatory and study availability databases," Leiba explains. "Retinols get a high score in Skin Deep because government testing has shown that, on sun-exposed skin, these chemicals can increase the risk of skin lesions and other skin damage."

 

Again, there is no definitive evidence that topical retinoids lead to cancer or reproductive toxicity, but the evidence we do have is pretty much on par with that of  parabens. (Read: Not agreed upon by professionals, requires more research.) So what's the difference between potentially-toxic parabens — largely shunned by both indie brands and drugstore giants as a precaution — and potentially-toxic retinoids?

 

The Best Alternatives to Retinol for Your Skin

-Bakuchiol

-Niacinamide

-Vitamin C

-Peptides.

 

The Truth About Natural Sunscreen Ingredients

The Truth About Natural Sunscreen Ingredients

Sunscreen is essential for protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. However, the claims made from some of these natural ingredients are proved to not be as effective as we thought.

UVA and UVB Rays

UVA and UVB are the two types of ultraviolet radiation that come from the sun. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing long-term damage such as wrinkles and age spots. UVB rays affect the surface of the skin, causing short-term damage such as sunburns. Both types of rays can lead to skin cancer.

 

The efficacy of natural ingredients- Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is one of the most common ingredients used in sunscreens. Even though zinc oxide is a chemical, sunscreens that contain zinc oxide are often referred to as natural, or physical. This means that the ingredient does not penetrate the skin but rather block the sun by sitting on top of skin.

Surprisingly, not all sunscreen ingredients protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide, however, does. “It’s a photostable, broad-spectrum sunscreen, so it has one of the broadest UVA coverages of all the sunscreen ingredients.

“Zinc oxide can be ‘micronized,’ meaning it’s processed into very small particles, so small that the preparation appears clear when applied on the skin.” Non-micronized formulations, she explains, are often less cosmetically elegant and are more opaque or white. So, if you’ve ever applied a sunscreen that left a white, powdery cast on your body, it most likely contained zinc oxide as a key ingredient.

Carrot seed oil

Carrot seed oil does have health benefits, but protection from the sun is not one of them. Carrot seed oil has an SPF of 38 but it does block the harmful UVA and UVB rays, and should not be used on it's own as a sunscreen.

Red raspberry seed oil

Red raspberry seed oil is a natural sunscreen with an SPF of around 28 to 50. However, it has not been proven to be effective against UVA rays. Because raspberry seed oil doesn’t offer UVA protection — which is responsible for 95 percent of UV rays — raspberry seed oil alone isn’t recommended as a sunscreen. Given its other beneficial characteristics, however, it can be used as a healing agent for other skin conditions.

Almond oil

Almond oil does have SPF, but it’s not very high. The SPF of almond oil is only 2 to 6. This means that you would need to apply a lot of almond oil to your skin to get the desired level of protection. Almond oil is also not water-resistant, so it’s not a good choice for activities like swimming or sweating.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has an SPF of around 4 to 6. The Mayo Clinic also mentions that coconut oil only blocks 20 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays compared to sunscreen’s 97 percent.

It’s imperative that a sunscreen provides either UV-absorbing or UV-blocking protection to be effective. There is not one scientific study proving coconut oil, or any other natural oil for that matter, provided any adequate UV-absorbing or UV-blocking protection. But as far as zinc oxide (the main ingredient for sun protection in these DIY recipes), mixing active cosmetics isn’t as simple as adding the recommended amount.

Shea butter

Shea butter has an SPF of around 6, also not enough protection against harmful UVA rays. However, shea butter is known for its high concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins, an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin. Shea butter also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

Bottom Line

There are many natural ingredients that can be effective for sunscreen. Some of the most popular include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and avobenzone. Each of these ingredients has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the one that is best suited for your needs. Zinc oxide is a physical barrier against the sun's rays, making it a good option for those with sensitive skin. It is also effective at blocking both UVA and UVB radiation. Titanium dioxide is another physical blocker that is less likely to cause irritation. It is not as effective as zinc oxide at blocking UVA radiation, but it is better at blocking UVB radiation. Avobenzone is a chemical blocker that protects against UVA and UVB radiation. However, it can be unstable in sunlight and can cause skin irritation. Ultimately, the best natural sunscreen ingredient will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

 

Aiona Alive Wins First Place in the Clean Beauty Awards!

Aiona Alive Wins First Place in the Clean Beauty Awards!

On behalf of everyone at Aiona Alive, I am thrilled to announce that our E-Citrus Exfoliating Cleanser has won first place in this year’s Cert Clean Beauty Awards in the Face Wash category!  Every year, Cert searches across the globe to find the best products in green and sustainable cosmetics and beauty, so we are beyond grateful for this honor. The judging process for the Clean Beauty Awards is both rigorous and lengthy, and I thank all of the judges, who come from Europe, North America, and Australia, for their time and consideration.
DIY Masks for the Perfect Summer Glow

DIY Masks for the Perfect Summer Glow

Winter tends to leave our skin awfully dry and dull. A great way to retain healthy, glowing skin is by making DIY masks. There are three masks listed below that will help you get the perfect summer glow.

Masks are a simple, effortless technique to nourish our skin. One of the main benefits of DIY masks is the assurance that the ingredients are natural and non-toxic. These masks contain less than 5 ingredients all of which can be found in your kitchen or at your local grocery store. Knowing all the ingredients that go on your skin is always best!

MASK #1

You need:

  • Pumpkin Puree: 1 cup
  • Unripe Papaya (no seeds): 1 cup
  • 1 Egg

Blend ingredients until the texture is smooth and creamy. Apply to your face with a brush or hands. Avoid lips and eyes. Leave your mask on for 10- 20 mins. Wipe this mask off with a damp cloth.

Tip: Do this mask before bed and wake up with glowing skin!

MASK #2

You need:

  • Turmeric: 1 tsp
  • Honey: 1 tsp
  • Plain Yogurt: 1 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice: 1 tsp (optional)

Mix ingredients until the texture is smooth and creamy. Apply to your face with a brush or hands. Leave your mask on for 15- 20 mins. Rinse this mask off with warm water and apply your daily moisturizer afterward.

MASK #3

You need:

  • Chickpea Flour: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric: ¼ tsp
  • Almond Oil: ¼ tsp
  • Plain Yogurt: 2 tbsp

Blend ingredients until the texture is smooth and creamy. Apply to cleansed face with a brush or hands. Leave your mask on for 30 mins. Rinse this mask off with warm water.

Show us your summer glow by using the #aionaaliveglow  

We would love to see how the masks worked on you

 

3 Ways You Can Detoxify Your Home

3 Ways You Can Detoxify Your Home

Declutter your home and replace your toxic personal care products with one’s you’ll feel good about using. Starting with one category at a time, today, we’re sharing you some of our favourite home and personal care products that yourself and your home will love. 

Did you know...organic laundry detergent does not contain chlorine, phosphates, and other artificial additive that are harmful to human health. It’s time to make the switch!

 

  1. Buckaroo Organics Soeaberry Suds Organic Laundry Deterent

This 100% Certified Organic Soapberries, are known to clean and soften your clothes, while targeting tough dirt and hard to treat stains, with it’s saponin contained in the husk of the natural berry. Gentle enough on delicate fabrics. It is hypoallergenic and perfect for those with sensitive skin. Designed for high efficiency machines. The soapberries are low sudsing by nature.

 

You can’t have a laundry detergent without wool dryer balls! 

  1. Buckaroo Organics Wool Dryer Balls

Replace your dry sheets, with this handmade Organic Wool Dryer Balls.100% New Zealand Wool to naturally soften your laundry without the use of harsh chemicals. Lasts about 1000 loads.

  • Safe to add 5-10 drops of essential oils to a wool ball before drying for your choice of a natural way to scent your laundry. Learn more here

It’s that simple! You went from using regular laundry detergent that contains toxic chemicals to learning 3 alternative organic laundry products, that’s good for you, your family and home.

 

What’s next? Are you ready to detoxify your skin care with our must-have clean beauty?

 

  1.  Aiona Alive 4 Step All Skin Set

All you need in one - it's a step by step routine, including a cleanser, serum, mask, moisturizer and best of all it’s 100% natural and completely chemical free. Learn more here.

Time to switch some of your hair care products out for some natural ingredient base, we know you’ll love.

 

 

  1. Primally Pure Dry Shampoo

This will be your new best friend. This dry shampoo for dark hair and all shades of brunette, contains arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, and organic essential oils of grapefruit lavender and peppermint, known for its benefits for hair growth and natural cleansing properties. Say no to chemicals in your dry shampoo today.

 

  1. The Original Cleaning Essentials Bottle

Make your own cleaner with this home essential, non-toxic and all-natural homemade cleaning recipes printed right on the side! Work smarter, not harder.  

Thank you for reading until the end, I hope you found this useful in getting started in detoxifying your home. Never too late to make the switch.

 

The Power of Aromatherapy

The Power of Aromatherapy

Smell. It is one of our five senses and one that should not be ignored. Scents have a strong effect on our emotions in very varied ways. A holistic approach to balancing our body and mind is through aromatherapy. By using natural essential oils, we are able to improve our psychological and psychical well-being. It is important to note that aromatherapy oils are very different from fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are synthetic compounds that are artificially created which is why it is considered toxic on the Think Dirty app.  

 

Furthermore, the aroma from diverse sources have various effects on our body. In addition, every person experiences essential oils differently, especially if there is a memory associated with the scent. Next, there are a few ways to disperse aromatherapy either through inhalation or absorption into the skin. Make sure to not place undiluted oil directly on the skin.

 

Essential oils can be blended together to create a new aroma and to combat multiple concerns.  The following below is a basic guide to help determine the best aroma for your emotional well-being.

 

Scents to Alleviate Anger: Chamomile, Jasmine, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Palo Santo, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Vetiver, and Ylang-ylang.

Scents to Relieve Anxiety: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Orange, Peach, Rose, Rose Geranium and Violet Leaf.

Scents to Increase Confidence: Bay Laurel, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Patchouli and Sandalwood.

Scents to Ease Depression: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Neroli, Orange, Petitgrain, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, Tangerine and Ylang-ylang.

Scents to Promote Happiness and Peace: Bergamot, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lemon, Neroil, Orange, Palo Santo, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang-ylang

 

Scents to Invigorate and Overcome Fatigue: Angelica, Benzoin, Camphor, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove Basil, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lemon, Peppermint, Pine, Sage and Spiced Apple.

Scents to Deal with Stress: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Nutmeg, Orange, Petitgrain, Rose, Sandalwood, Sweet Melissa, Valerian, Vanilla, Violet, and Ylang-ylang.

Essential Oils

November 30, 2017 — LISA STRONG
Ways to Repurpose Pumpkins

Ways to Repurpose Pumpkins

Pumpkin field

We all know that there are several recipes out there for eating our pumpkins after October 31st. These include classics such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, and roasted pumpkin seeds. However, did you know you can also incorporate pumpkins into your beauty routines? Today I will be teaching you how to make your own face mask and sugar body scrub. Raw pumpkins are full of zinc, vitamins A, C, and E, and contain natural enzymes that eat away dead skin. Not only will you smell nice but it will also rejuvenate your skin. Since both of these recipes have no preservatives, it will only last around a week, so make small batches. 

 

Pumpkin Face Mask

Ingredients:

5 teaspoons pumpkin puree
3 teaspoons brown sugar
splash of milk

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and apply to the face in circular motions, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for 20 minutes then rinse off.
 

Pumpkin-Sugar Body Scrub 

Ingredients:

1 cup coarse raw sugar or salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon sweet almond oil

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. You can add more or less sugar and oil based on personal preferences. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

November 15, 2017 — LISA STRONG