Exfoliation; it's a crucial component of any skincare regimen since it allows active ingredients to penetrate the skin, removes dead skin cells, lessens fine lines and wrinkles, and promotes overall healthier, more radiant skin. And because it's considered an "additional" step that most people don't really make time for on a daily basis, it's frequently disregarded. However, excessive exfoliation has its own risks. What are some of the signs of over exfoliation, and how can you heal the skin? Stick around to find out.
The primary purpose of exfoliation is to assist in removing an outer layer so that fresher, healthier cells can emerge. And if you do it properly, there are lots of advantages. For starters, exfoliation can clear clogged pores. Doing so also removes acne-inducing bacteria and helps you achieve that clean, healthy look inside-out. Moreover, exfoliating helps you get rid of dark spots, dry patches, and other unusual textures by improving your skin tone.
Finally, The quantity of collagen you naturally produce starts to decrease as you get older. On the other hand, exfoliation induces moderate stress in the skin, causing it to restart, ultimately aiding in plumping, tightening, and reducing fine lines.
How frequently should your skin be exfoliated? There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Still, you should start once or twice per week. Make it a part of your weekly routine, especially in the summer.
For beginners, chemical exfoliation is often a little kinder on the skin than manual exfoliation. Also, manual exfoliation can sometimes produce micro-tearing that can have terrible consequences over time. So, start slowly and observe how your skin responds. Look out for the signs of over exfoliation, then make adjustments. However, even if your skin looks good, don't exfoliate your skin more than three times a week. Some believe that exfoliating every day will make their skin healthier but will actually, in turn, make it worse.
Some typical signs of over-exfoliation include redness, itchiness, and even peeling in some cases. Furthermore, you might experience breakouts with smaller pimples than hormonal ones and increased sensitivity to your usual products.
One sign of excessive use is trickier to identify: the skin may take on a tight, waxy texture that can be mistaken for a healthy glow. It's anything but that in reality.
The first thing you need to do to heal the skin from over exfoliation is to stop exfoliating. Don't use scrubs or chemical exfoliators until your skin has recovered and is at its baseline texture. Depending on the individual, 'baseline texture' simply refers to the skin's texture before overexposure. Your default texture will be that if you've always been prone to acne. All you're doing is waiting for the over-exfoliation symptoms to go away. However, keep in mind all the other lifestyle changes you made recently. Your skin might have trouble returning to its baseline texture if other things are affecting it in the meantime. For example, in some cases, moving to a new place or a warmer climate can have consequences you didn't expect. Although it sounds strange, changes like this can affect your skin in numerous ways that seem similar to over exfoliation.
You can use a cold compress to soothe burning right away after an episode of excessive exfoliation. Moreover, hydrocortisone cream may also aid in reducing inflammation and redness. Aloe gel is well recognized as healing capabilities if you have one on hand. However, depending on how exposed and raw the regions are, it can occasionally be irritating. In the instance of severe damage, applying a natural aloe plant might be the best option.
After you've stopped exfoliating, you should switch from foaming to mild cleansers and eliminate all highly scented products in your routine. However, you should also keep your routine as close to your regular routine as possible. Moisturize regularly using quality products, and don't forget to put on sunscreen every day.
Instead of a regular moisturizer, consider using hyaluronic acid since it's a highly effective moisturizer that can hydrate the skin and relieve any tightness, flaking, or irritation that may have resulted from over-exfoliation.
Additionally, you'll require occlusives, which create a barrier on the skin to protect it, keep moisture within, and assist your natural barrier recovery. Using face oils with jojoba, marula, and squalane is a good idea since they are less prone to irritate or produce acne.
When picking out sunscreen, make sure you know what ingredients to avoid since they can bring more damage to your sensitive skin. Nevertheless, SPF is generally essential after exfoliating since it breaks down the skin barrier that usually protects you from UV rays.
As we already said, many things can affect your skin, not just your beauty products and regimens. So, if you want to help you heal your skin after over exfoliating, you should try to avoid stress as much as possible. If you're going through life-changing events, such as relocation, you should still find ways to de-stressand consider relaxing after the move. You can do this by taking some time for yourself, meditating, journaling, etc. Believe it or not, this can make a massive change for both your skin and your mental health.
While it's easy to get carried away and over exfoliate, you must know the signs of over exfoliation and what you need to do to heal the skin afterward. When you notice your skin is itchy, red, or waxy, it's time to stop exfoliating and focus on healing your skin back to its baseline texture. You can do this by cutting out harmful beauty products and focusing on hydrating your skin and protecting it from UV rays while it's still sensitive. After it's returned to normal, you can continue exfoliating, but not more than once or twice a week.
Redness, itchiness, flakiness – look out for the signs of over exfoliation and learn how to heal your skin after it happens.
The secret to beautiful skin is in your kitchen.
That's right—you don’t need Kardashian money to have great skin. The right nutrients can help your skin repair itself, fight free radicals, and look younger for longer.
So, if you want an easy way to boost your beauty while you eat, check out our list below!
We’re going to kick off this list with vitamin D - or as we like to call it: the sunshine vitamin.
Before we jump into the benefits of this vitamin for healthy skin, we’re going to have a (very brief!) crash course.
Vitamin D 101
There are 2 sources of vitamin D: the sun and your diet.
The sun is your biggest source of vitamin D production. When UV rays hit your skin, they convert the cholesterol in your body into vitamin D.
You can also get vitamin D in your diet through foods like salmon, chestnut, mushrooms, egg yolk, or fortified milk.
However, since there are so few foods with vitamin D, you may need to take supplements if the sun isn’t shining where you are.
Our BIGGEST piece of advice for vitamin D supplements: take them with a meal containing healthy fats. This is because vitamin D is absorbed in fat and not water. Therefore, taking vitamin D with fat can significantly increase the benefits of this vitamin for healthy skin.
Benefits Of This Vitamin For Healthy Skin
If you're trying to achieve that perfect, healthy glow, there's nothing like vitamin D.
The benefits of this vitamin for healthy skin are numerous so let's dive in.
Benefit #1: vitamin D helps increase blood flow to the surface of the skin. This promotes cell turnover and keeps your complexion looking smooth and glowing.
Benefit #2: it reduces inflammation and redness. In fact, it’s used clinically to alleviate symptoms of psoriasis and eczema.
Benefit #3: topical vitamin D protects your skin from premature aging. This is due to vitamin D’s antioxidant properties which protect your skin from environmental toxins.
Vitamin C is one of the most popular vitamins for healthy skin. Once you see the benefits, we’re sure you’ll become a fan as well.
Let’s start with a (brief) crash course.
Vitamin C 101
There are three important facts you need to know when using this vitamin for healthy skin.
First, vitamin C must be taken through your diet or supplements. Unlike vitamin D, our bodies don’t naturally produce it.
Secondly, because vitamin C is water-soluble, your body tissues don’t store it as well as vitamins D and E. Therefore, make sure you're meeting your daily vitamin C requirements.
Lastly, vitamin C breaks down when exposed to air or light. So, make sure the vitamin C you use is stored in a dark container.
Benefits of this vitamin for healthy skin
Vitamin C is the ultimate beauty vitamin. It's a potent antioxidant, it helps reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and it helps keep your skin looking young and fresh.
Let’s discuss the benefits of this vitamin for healthy skin:
Benefit #1: vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off free radicals. Free radicals are toxins that can either come from outside your body (like air pollution) or inside your body (during metabolism). Vitamin C combats these free radicals so they don’t damage your skin. This helps prevent the signs of aging on the skin.
Benefit #2: it helps reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. When applied topically, vitamin C blocks the production of a pigment in our skin (melanin).
Benefit #3: vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness and swelling of acne.
If you’re itching to get your hands on this vitamin for healthy skin, we have you covered!
You can get all this goodness from our E-sensual moisturizer.
Our proprietary blend of hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and plant extracts work together to give your skin all the benefits you need to look young and radiant.
The benefits of vitamin E for skin care are endless and we can’t wait to talk about them!
But first, our last crash course.
Vitamin E 101
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that acts as both an anti-inflammatory and an anti-aging ingredient. It's also hydrating, so it helps keep your skin moisturized.
Similar to vitamin C, you’ll find this vitamin in a dark container since it breaks down when exposed to light or air.
It’s easy to add vitamin E to your diet since it’s found in so many foods: plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits.
Benefits of this vitamin for healthy skin
Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin and can help you maintain a vibrant complexion.
In fact, many people consider vitamin E to be one of the best vitamins for healthy skin. But don't just take our word for it—look at these amazing benefits:
Benefit #1: similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant and prevents the negative effects of free radicals. In other words: it has anti-aging properties.
Benefit #2: since it’s fat-soluble, this vitamin is extremely moisturizing. Vitamin E penetrates deep into your skin and provides up to 16 hours of hydration!
Benefit #3: vitamin E is a photo-protectant. So, if you use it with sunscreen, you can increase protection against sun damage. This means preventing dark spots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and all the other negative effects of sun damage.
We’re Here To Help!
If you're like most people, you've probably spent more time than you'd like to admit obsessing over your skin.
And it's no wonder—with so many products and services out there promising to give you the perfect complexion, it's hard to make a decision.
We’re here to help. Aiona Alive skin care was made without any of the harsh chemicals and with all of the intense nutritional and hydrational benefits. If you have any questions about our products or any skin concerns, please contact us!
We all like to believe that all our skin concerns and issues can be whisked away by fancy bottles and a few of our favorite beauty magazine’s promises. That would explain why we’re so quick to write a blank check and happily walk out of the beauty store, hoping it’s worth the splurge. Deep down, however, we all know that it’s never that easy. Sure, skincare routines are important – but approaching our skin maintenance from the outside alone cannot deliver the results we’re looking for. How our skin looks and feels today and in the future can also be traced back to what we eat and drink, how we handle stress, how much we sleep, exercise, et cetera. Therefore, the next time you step into the skin care aisle, remember that beauty begins from within. Aiona Alive gives you eight tips for healthy skin from the inside out.
Topical skincare products are essential today for healthy-looking skin. But that’s not the be-all-and-end-all of skin maintenance.
Alt-tag: A woman at a spa using cream.
Best tips for healthy skin from the inside out
1. Eat your way to glowing skin
Our waistlines aren't the only reason we must be more conscious about our food intake. Making healthier food choices is a massive part of achieving that gorgeous, healthy, glowing skin. So, whether you want to address particular skincare concerns or issues, slow down your skin’s aging process, or revitalize your dull-looking, lackluster complexion, it matters what you put on your plate.
Your skin craves fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein-rich foods, foods with healthy oils, and omega-3 fatty acids. This will boost your skin's collagen production, making it smoother and suppler while preventing premature wrinkles and skin sagging.
2. Mega omegas
Case in point: the importance of fatty acids in omega-3s for skin can't be ignored. Research suggests these essential nutrients play a hugely significant role in determining how your skin behaves. For instance, they regulate your skin's oil production, boost hydration, minimize signs of aging, soothe breakouts, and even improve the skin's immunity to damaging environmental factors like UV damage.
Where can you find omega-3s? Plant-based sources include flax seeds, chia seeds, and soybean oil. There is also fish oil and other seafood. Avocados, olives, cashews, and macadamia nuts have omega-9s, which are just as crucial if you want to look and feel good.
Omega-3 is proven to have undeniable benefits for overall skin health.
Alt-tag: Fish and lemon on a white ceramic plate
3. Vital vits
Once you've found the best diet for you, one of the best tips for healthy skin is to fortify it with essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, D, & E. Serums, skin treatments, and moisturizers can do a lot for your skin. Still, you need these nutrients to work their magic throughout the body rather than just on your face. Your primary source of vitamins and minerals should be your diet and food. To achieve maximum benefits, you can rely on vitamin supplements as your secondary source, and finally, there’s topical application.
4. Beef up on your protein
As one of the skin tissue’s fundamental building blocks, protein plays a significant role in keeping your skin healthy, plump, and glowing. Thebest source of this macronutrient will depend on your personal dietary preferences, ethics, tastes, intolerances, and allergies. For instance, animal protein sources are known as “complete proteins” because they contain a complete amino acid profile. Plant proteins, on the other hand, do not. For this reason, vegans and vegetarians tend to boost their protein intake by combining various plant protein sources.
5. Water, water, water
Dry skin? Just drink more water! That makes sense, right? Unfortunately,there isn't enough research to support that idea. Experts agree that increasing your water intake is no magic bullet, despite what we’re led to believe by our darling celebrities. As we age, our skin undergoes gradual changes; it’s natural, and one more glass of water won’t change that. The only caveat is that only severe dehydration will translate to your skin, which then becomes dry and flaky, and loses its elasticity, making it more prone to wrinkles, irritations, and blemishes.
But there’s more to the story. Research shows that water consumption can positively affect your overall health. So, it may not fix your crow’s feet, but it is certainly necessary for your body to run optimally, flushing the system and helping the essential nutrients reach the skin through proper blood flow.
If you're unsure how much water you should drink, divide your weight in half. Then, drink the amount you get in ounces. Averse to drinking water? Luckily, you can also hydrate through water-filled fruits and vegetables, fresh juices, smoothies, green tea, and coconut water.
6. Manage stress levels
If you’re under a lot of stress all the time, your skin is likely to show it. According to research, acute and chronic stress can negatively impact overall skin wellness and even make skin problems flare up or cause new issues to develop. And although stress is a normal part of life, and we cannot avoid it altogether, it matters that we learn how to cope.
Of course, not all coping techniques are created equal. For instance, knocking back a drink or lighting up a cigarette may seem to help at the moment. But in reality, these are some of the unhealthiest ways of handling stress and can alter our skin in the worst ways. On the other hand, maintaining good lifestyle habits, scheduling time for relaxing activities, learning stress management techniques, talking to someone, etc., can do wonders for your health.
Expensive creams and lotions can only do so much. That’s why maintaining certain healthy lifestyle habits, such as staying active and getting regular exercise, is one of the best pieces of advice for healthy skin we can give. Keeping up a regular fitness routine helps you lower stress hormone levels and replaces them with so-called feel-good hormones that boost your energy, mood, and outlook. That doesn't directly affect the skin, but it can improve its overall appearance.
Treat your body right, and it will show immense gratitude.
Alt-tag: A woman holding red dumbbells showing that working out is a way to have healthy skin from the inside out
Note that it’s essential to have pre-and post-workout skincare. This is because exercise can also put your skin under a lot of stress: sweat, dirt, bacteria, sun, etc. So, if you have a set routine, all the better. Prepare your skin before every workout by removing makeup and cleaning up your face. Then, it's time to hit the shower as soon as you finish working out.
8. Get some shut-eye
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. During a solid eight-hour sleep sesh, your body and mind recharge, restore, and heal themselves. For one thing, your skin cells switch into full recovery mode, regenerating three times faster than during the day. Next, your body starts producing growth hormones. These guys ensure that your skin generates enough collagen, which is crucial for smoother, more elastic skin. Finally, your skin can de-stress and take that much-needed environmental break from elements such as sun exposure, pollution, and blue light. Therefore, our suggestion for healthy skin? Tuck yourself in and get ready to REM – your skin deserves some downtime!
That was the last of our tips for healthy skin from the inside out. Hope we they are helpful!
Meta Description: We often forget how important it is to care for ourselves properly. Here are eight tips for healthy skin from the inside out.
In recent years, ACV has been gaining popularity with skincare enthusiasts for its all-natural skin benefits and is often hailed as a wonder product. What’s all the hype about?
What is ACV?
ACV is a common abbreviation for apple cider vinegar, a common liquid household ingredient that’s been used in cooking and cleaning for centuries. It’s often incorporated into things like salad dressings, sparkling drinks, marinades, homemade disinfectants and cleaning solutions, but this everyday ingredient has several little-known alternative uses in the realm of natural skincare.
Apple cider vinegar is typically made with three incredibly rudimentary, all-natural ingredients: apples, yeast, and water. To make it, apples are chopped and combined with yeast and then covered with water to ferment. The fermentation process is where the magic happens—the yeast breaks down the natural sugars found in the apples to create ethanol, and then bacteria converts the ethanol into an acidic solution.
You will often notice the “mother”, a byproduct of fermentation, hanging out near the bottom of a container of apple cider vinegar. This is completely natural and doesn’t need to be discarded, as it’s part of the live culture of your vinegar. However, if it does bother you, you can strain it out with a fine mesh strainer or a coffee filter.
You can easily find ACV in its simplest form in your local grocery store, and it’s often kept near the salad dressings with other vinegars and oils. Many natural skincare brands also use it as an ingredient in cleansers, toners, masks, and other products.
Is ACV Good For Skin?
Natural skincare junkies, holistic estheticians and dermatologists alike will attest that yes, ACV is good for your skin — in the right amounts and used at the right frequency. Just like many other skincare ingredients, there are appropriate times to use ACV and it’s possible to overuse the ingredient in your routine. As long as you watch for reactions and monitor your skin for unwanted results, ACV is perfectly safe to use on almost all skin types, oily and acne-prone skin included!
Apple cider vinegar offers a range of skin benefits, is fairly inexpensive and easy to source, and can be incorporated into your skincare routine in a whole host of ways. Plus, the vinegar in its simplest form is 100% natural and contains no fillers or preservatives, so you don’t have to worry about questionable extras sneaking their way onto your skin.
Benefits of ACV
Apple cider vinegar offers a range of benefits and can be an asset to almost every skin type. When used correctly, ACV can fight acne-causing bacteria, balance the skin’s surface PH levels, prevent skin infections and other conditions, and exfoliate the skin to reveal a smooth, bright, even complexion free of blemishes.
Balancing your skin’s PH is crucial to maintaining proper skin functions like regulating oil production and promoting a healthy microbiome. Apple cider vinegar is acidic, and when diluted can help balance the surface PH of your skin.
A natural byproduct of the fermentation process is the acetic acid found in ACV, which gives the vinegar antibacterial properties and can help prevent infections and treat certain skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. Because it helps to clear bacteria from the skin, it can also help with acne.
Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid (also known as an AHA) that gently dissolves dead skin and debris when applied topically. Using ACV as an exfoliant 2-3 times a week can help even skin pigmentation, unclog pores, and brighten your overall complexion.
The combination of the vinegar’s natural antibacterial properties, exfoliating properties, and PH balancing effects work together to unclog pores and eliminate acne-causing bacteria. The result? Dissolved blackheads, potentially reduced pore size, regulated oil production, and fewer breakouts.
How to Use ACV for Your Skin
Apple cider vinegar is unbelievably easy to incorporate into your skincare routine in a number of ways, but there are a few things to keep in mind no matter which route you take.
First, know your skin type and any special skin conditions you have that may be irritated by vinegar. If you have especially sensitive skin, very dry skin or skin that is easily irritated, consult your dermatologist before using ACV to ensure it doesn’t make your condition worse or cause a reaction.
Secondly, no matter what type of skin you have, you should always do a patch test to make sure you don’t react poorly before diving into regular use. Apply diluted ACV to an inconspicuous area and wait an hour to monitor your skin for signs of irritation.
Lastly, always, always, always dilute your ACV! Apple cider vinegar is very acidic when fully concentrated, so follow the specific instructions for whatever application you are using it for and dilute accordingly with water, cleanser, oil, etc. It’s safe to use 2-4 times per week, but you may have to adjust accordingly to your skin’s needs.
Here are 5 different ideas on how to use ACV in your skincare routine:
Swipe on diluted ACV with a cotton pad as a toner after cleansing.
- Add 1-2 cups to a bath and soak for softer skin.
- Use diluted ACV as a mixing medium for clay masks or other powdered treatments and apply to your whole face (avoiding your eyes and mouth as you usually would when masking) or stick to problem areas for a spot treatment.
- Clean your makeup brushes! Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to one cup of warm water and let brushes soak bristle-side down for a few minutes before gently scrubbing to remove build up and debris.
- Use diluted apple cider vinegar post-shave to soften skin and prevent ingrown hairs!
ACV is also beneficial for your health! When ingested, ACV has been shown in studies to be effective in helping manage blood sugar, assisting in weight loss, and can also help improve cardiovascular health. Consult your physician to discuss managing your health with apple cider vinegar.
Possible Side Effects
Just like with other skin care ingredients, no matter how natural they are, it’s possible your skin could disagree with using apple cider vinegar in your routine. Be vigilant for redness, irritation, dryness, flaking, or other signs that your skin is reacting poorly to the acidic properties of ACV. You may try diluting it further to lessen harsh effects or discontinue use altogether to give your skin some time to recuperate.
Environmental toxins come in many forms: liquid, gas, solid, or a combination, and have a sneaky habit of making their way into things you use or are exposed to every day. Environmental toxins are substances that exist in or are introduced (usually as a result of human activity) into the environment that have a harmful effect on your health in both short and long term capacities.
Any of the vital natural resources we rely on as humans can become polluted, like water, soil, and air. Without realizing it, we are using and consuming these resources and the toxins they contain, which cause negative effects in our health over time. In cases of severe pollution, negative effects may become more noticeable faster than in cases where pollution is absorbed or ingested in smaller amounts over time.
Regardless, environmental toxins pose a threat to your health, but not just internally. Air pollution poses one of the largest risks to the health of your skin and can cause visible issues through exposure, whether it’s infrequent or repeated.
Keep reading to learn more about how air pollution harms your skin and what you can do about it.
Where Does Air Pollution Come From?
Air pollution originates almost entirely from man-made sources, though there are a few natural origins of air pollution. Natural sources are specific to certain parts of the world (though things like wildfires and natural gas releases can technically occur anywhere in the world) and you’re much more likely to be be exposed to air pollution through man-made sources.
Pollution naturally occurs as a result of wildfires, volcanic eruptions, natural gas pockets, and dust carried by wind. These occurrences are far more infrequent than synthetic pollutants, and are less of a risk or concern depending on what part of the world you live in. Of course, they are a big threat to those that are near and are at risk of being exposed to them, but they are less likely than the sure threats of certain synthetic human-produced pollutants.
Sources of man-made pollutants include, but are not limited to:
You can be exposed to air pollutants both indoors and outdoors. The severity of the pollution depends on your location and daily activities. People in rural areas are more likely to be exposed to a high volume of wood burning pollution and agricultural byproducts, whereas people living in cities and other urban environments are more likely to be exposed to a higher concentration of industrial and fossil fuel pollutants.
How Air Pollution Harms Your Skin
Air pollutants can cause varying degrees of damage to your skin depending on the specific toxins and compounds you’re exposed to, how often you’re exposed to them, and the effectiveness of any protective or regenerative measures you take to combat them.
Damage can range from premature aging, acne, inflammation, and irritation to chronic skin conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. In severe cases, long-term exposure to pollutants can cause serious forms of skin cancer.
This is why it’s so important to take preventative measures and try to limit exposure. There is no avoiding it entirely, so doing what you can to counteract the effects of pollution and protect yourself are vital in maintaining your skin’s health in the long-term.
How to Protect Your Skin From Environmental Toxins
Making sure you’re getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet is a great way to help combat air pollution damage to skin. A diet high in vitamins C & E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids can help fight free radicals that are harmful to your skin. Consider adding supplements to fill any gaps in your diet, and consult with your physician to get recommendations and learn the potential side effects of any
You can (and should) also apply antioxidants topically to aid in the fight. Vitamin C serums are perfect to help fight the oxidative properties of toxins in the air.
It’s also important to cleanse your skin at the end of each night to erase the pollution your body has encountered throughout the day. An almost-invisible layer of grime is present even if you haven’t worn makeup or other products in the last 24 hours. Regular exfoliation can also help gently remove layers of skin that have been exposed to physical and chemical pollutants.
You should also aim to replenish collagen in your skin, as toxins can break down your natural collagen and decrease elasticity and firmness over time. This happens as you age anyway, but toxins can contribute to premature aging. Preventing significant rapid loss of collagen due to repeated, unprotected exposure is the best countermeasure against air pollution’s damaging effects.
Lasers are one of many modern technologies that can be used to our benefit–but did you know they’re very effective when used for skin care? More and more people are seeking laser treatments to reveal youthful-looking, healthy skin and to erase the flaws right off their face. For laser newbies, it might sound scary or dangerous, but these procedures are perfectly safe and produce great results for those that want to slow or reverse signs of aging.
What is laser treatment?
Laser treatments use focused light to penetrate the skin, removing or repairing skin irregularities both on and under the surface. It varies in intensity based on the exact type of laser being used. Laser treatments are performed by trained professionals in medical spas, dermatology clinics, and plastic surgery clinics and should not be attempted by amateurs. While the lasers are perfectly safe if used in the correct application with safety measures, they can cause serious harm if not handled appropriately.
What kind of skin concerns do laser treatments address?
Laser treatments can help a whole host of skin issues! This goes way beyond anti-aging: because there are so many different kinds of laser treatments, there is an equally diverse number of skin concerns that they can be used to fight or repair.
Here’s a quick list of some of the things that laser treatments can help with:
- Uneven pigmentation or hyperpigmentation
- Spider veins
- Enlarged pores
- Acne scars
- Treatment-resistant melasma
- Surgical or injury scars
- Sun damage
- Hair removal
- Tattoo removal
- Fine lines
- Skin texture
- Loose skin
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should give you a good idea of the types of skin issues that could benefit from laser treatment. If you have a skin concern that isn’t on this list, talk to your dermatologist to see what type, if any, could be helpful in treating your specific condition.
Types of Laser Treatment
There are two main categories of laser treatments: ablative and non-ablative.
Ablative lasers work on the top layer of skin, using an intense light to remove a very thin layer and stimulate the skin underneath. This works well to remove flaws on the surface, like sun damage, texture issues, and deep scarring, as well as reduces moderate fine lines and wrinkles. This is a more aggressive, invasive type of lasering and is often used in resurfacing procedures.
A slightly more mild option is a non-ablative laser treatment. Non-ablative lasers work by heating up the skin at a deeper level than ablative lasers and therefore don’t harm the surface, making this a much less invasive option for certain skin issues. Heating up the subsurface skin tissue stimulates collagen production and can help with acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, and mild wrinkles or fine lines.
Either of these treatments can also be fractionated. Fractionated ablative or non-ablative laser treats only an evenly distributed percentage of an area of skin instead of the whole area all at once. It quite literally only uses a fraction of the laser’s area. Fractionated lasers create targeted, precise, self-healing micro-holes in the skin to treat the area at the most effective level.
There are also other types of non-invasive lightwave treatments that will help your skin look better from the inside out. BroadBand light therapy can reverse visible signs of aging and acne by stimulating skin at a deep level, much like non-ablative laser treatment. Intense Pulsed Light therapy (abbreviated as IPL or colloquially known as photofacial) pulses intense light waves into the skin to reduce discoloration and repair sun damage.
Side effects of laser treatment
Before you schedule your first appointment for laser treatment, you should be aware of potential side effects. Laser treatments can induce some uncomfortable and unappealing side effects before you see the final results and may be shocking if you aren’t fully prepared before undergoing treatment.
Potential side effects include (but are not limited to):
- Itchy skin
- Eye injury
- Change in skin color
- Peeling or flaking
Some of these symptoms–like peeling and flaking–are perfectly normal and to be expected as part of the healing process after receiving laser skin treatment.
Others should be addressed with your dermatologist and/or primary physician right away. Things like infection or eye injury should always be taken seriously as soon as you notice symptoms, as delaying treatment can sometimes result in long-term complications.
Severity of symptoms will differ depending on which type of laser treatment you receive because of the varying levels of intensity of treatment. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours in mild cases to several weeks for more extreme treatments.
What’s the best laser treatment for anti-aging?
That depends! Everyone’s skin is different and what works well to tackle your aging concerns doesn’t necessarily work for someone else’s, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Both ablative and non-ablative lasers can treat common signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, and texture at different levels of progression.
Ablative lasers treat more acute conditions and produce more dramatic change with fewer treatments. Non-ablative treatment may require more sessions to achieve the desired result but will cause less discomfort and milder, more temporary symptoms than ablative lasers.
A big factor to consider when determining which laser treatment is right for you is the recovery process. Treatments using ablative lasers may require more intense recovery measures and may be more disruptive to your everyday life than treatment with non-ablative lasers.
Potential recovery measures for laser treatment include making sure skin stays hydrated, using cold compresses to alleviate swelling, avoiding sun exposure, and diligently using sunscreen.
In the case of more intense ablative laser procedures, many patients opt to take a few days (or weeks) off of work. This is due in part to the dramatic appearance of the skin while undergoing the healing process and can also be beneficial to focus on following post-procedure orders to protect your investment in your skin and ensure best results.
There are two main types of sunscreen: chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation and converting it into heat, while physical sunscreens work by reflecting or blocking UV radiation. Both types are effective at protecting against UV damage, but chemical sunscreens have come under scrutiny in recent years for their potential health risks.
These active ingredients in chemical sunscreen can be problematic for a number of reasons. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are both endocrine disruptors, meaning they can interfere with the body's hormone production. Octisalate, octocrylene and avobenzone are all photo-sensitizers, meaning they can increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight. And finally, homosalate has been shown to disrupt the body's natural production of vitamin D.
Oxybenzone is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with the body's hormone production. It's been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen in the body and can also act as The UV radiation before it can damage the skin.
Homosalate is a UV filter that absorbs UV radiation. It has been shown to disrupt the body's natural production of vitamin D and may also act as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with the body's hormone production.
The proposed concentration limit of 2.2 percent for oxybenzone and 1.4 percent for homosalate is based on the fact that these ingredients are not safe in the current amounts used.
U.S. sunscreen manufacturers are legally allowed to use these two chemicals at concentrations up to 6 and 15 percent, respectively, and hundreds of sunscreens manufactured in the U.S. use them at concentrations that far exceed the European Commission's recommendations. These ingredients are all systemically absorbed into the body after one use according to studies published by the FDA, (Matta 2019, Matta 2020), according to studies published by the FDA, which also found that they could be detected on the skin and in the blood weeks after no longer being used (Matta 2020). Previous studies detected many sunscreen ingredients in breast milk and urine samples (Schlumpf 2008, Schlumpf 2010). In addition, it's possible for sunscreen users to inhale ingredients in sunscreen sprays and ingest some of the ingredients they apply to their lips, so the ingredients must not be harmful to the lungs or internal organs.
Safe Alternatives- Physical sunscreen
Physical sunscreens work by reflecting or blocking UV radiation. They are typically made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are both effective at protecting against UV damage. However, physical sunscreens can be difficult to apply evenly and can leave a whitish cast on the skin. They also need to be reapplied more frequently than chemical sunscreens. But overall, physical sunscreens are considered to be more safe and effective than chemical sunscreens. So, if you're looking for a sunscreen that will protect you from UV damage without any potential health risks, a physical sunscreen is your best bet.
So, what's the bottom line? When it comes to sunscreen, be choosy about the ingredients and don't overdo it. Your health—and the health of the planet—will thank you.
AHAs and BHAs are types of hydroxy acids. You can find both acids in a variety of:
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.
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.
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
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 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 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 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.
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.