10 Sunburn Solutions

THE PURPLE CARROT

Sunburn can be a side effect of an active day at school, a day at the beach, or time on the sporting field. When they come home all pink and red, well, that’s good ol’ sunburn. If you just rub some lip balm or moisturiser on it, then read on, ’cause this blog will help you with the easy ways to soothe it. Or, if you want more technical soothers, then read on, too, because I’ll tell you which ones are best to use!

1. Dark Chocolate- Eating dark chocolate or adding raw cacao powder to a smoothie will provide valuable antioxidants and phenol compounds, which are very good for reducing the risk of cancer. Antioxidants help protect the cells from pollution, smoking.

2. Garlic– Detoxes the body and reduces bloating from the UV. Also contains natural compound called allicin. Allicin has anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-microbial effects. Use…

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Winter Skin Care

shutterstock_95549644Our skin can take a battering in colder months. Lower humidity, drying winds and heating are surefire factors to make our skin (and hair) lose moisture. Our skin becomes drier causing inflammation, redness and sensitivity to appear quickly, often with scaliness and itchiness. Here’s some tips to help defend your skin and save your glow this winter.

Drink up A simple, yet very beneficial tip for maintaining healthy skin is to keep hydrated from the inside. As the air cools getting our daily dose of water is easy to forget. We can easily get dehydrated in winter and drinking less caffeine-based drinks and more water, green juices and herbal teas will help maintain your skin’s moisture levels.

Exfoliate Avoid dull skin with regular, gentle exfoliation. Winter skin will benefit from more regular exfoliation by ridding skin of dry, dead skin cells to help your products penetrate and to help give a fresh, healthy look to skin.

Rev up your products Your skin ‘type’ can easily change in winter. When air gets cold and dry, reconsider the products you currently use. Summer generally sees us with lighter, less moisturising products but as winter sets in and skin becomes drier, look at a more nourishing skincare routine. Use a thicker moisturiser and a milder, gentler cleanser. Balms and oil cleansers make a nice change from lighter weight gels and milky cleansers used in summer. Nourishing ingredients to look for in winter skin products are olive oil, coconut oil, borage oil, cocoa butter and shea butter. Choose a petroleum free product to avoid skin showing signs of clogging. We wrap ourselves in heavy clothing during winter to protect from the elements, and we should the same for our facial skin. A heavier cream is like a protective layer for our skin.

Serum Restore

Absolute Skin Tonics Serum Restore. Ideal for during and post flight travel. A nourishing blend of plant oils to hydrate and restore skin, and Co-Enzyme Q10 for anti-ageing and antioxidant benefits

Care when traveling Flying (anytime) can cause dehydration and drier skin. The lack of moisture on an airplane can easily make your skin feel dehydrated and itchy. Prior to your flight use an intense moisture mask. During flight spritz your face with a hydrating face mist and gently pat skin dry. Follow with a small application of a hydrating serum or face oil.

Protect your lips Lips can become very dry in winter. Use a protective nourishing balm to lock in moisture. Red raspberry seed oil and mango butter are two ingredients which will nourish and protect lips.

Cool Your Showers Well there’s no denying a long hot shower feels amazing on a cold morning. But, sadly,  it can actually make dry skin worse. Hot water strips your skin of its natural moisture. Instead, keep bath and shower water warm  to protect skin and hair. After shower or bath apply a thick moisturising body lotion, cream or oil while your skin is still damp. This will help lock in moisture and ease dry skin.

Protect against sun damage You might be shivering with cold but it doesn’t mean the sun’s rays have lost their power to damage skin. Damaging UV rays will find their way through clouds to your skin. Sunscreen and sun protection is important all year round.

Nourish hands Hands in particular require some TLC in winter. The skin on hands is thin and prone to dryness. If you’re in a very cold climate wear gloves outdoors for protection. Apply a nourishing hand cream regularly, especially prior to going to bed.

Have a healthy lifestyle Diet and lifestyle play a large role in determining your skin type. Diet and stress can play a large role in triggering skin sensitivities. Skin is the largest organ of our body so it makes sense that our overall health can be seen in our skin. Eating a diet full of nutrients and vitamins is the best way to keep your hair and skin looking and feeling healthy. Eating well by including plenty of fresh vegetables, particularly leafy greens, also makes you feel great!

Delicious smoothie naturally packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals

Delicious smoothie naturally packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

A healthy diet, keeping up exercise routines and following the tips here will give you the best opportunity for nourished, comforted skin throughout winter…. Ready to greet spring with a healthy glow!

 

 

Articles on green juicing and staying healthy throughout winter: Body & Soul Nutrition

Shop and browse Absolute Skin Tonics skincare at: Absolute Skin Tonics

 

Reducing Under Eye Puffiness and De-ageing Skin with Coffee Oil

Coffee is normally thought of as our morning pick me up.  While being able to brighten our day coffee can also help brighten our skin! The health benefits of drinking coffee are strongly debated and not everyone can tolerate coffee as a drink. Howeve,r using coffee seed oil from unroasted coffee beans in skincare is gaining a lot of attention. Coffee seed oil is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help maintain skin in optimum condition. Coffee plants are native to the tropical regions of South America, Asia and Africa.  The seeds of the coffee plant are commonly referred to as beans. Roasting coffee beans changes the chemical and aromatic composition of the beans. To be effective in skincare, green and unroasted coffee beans are used.

coffee

Coffee Beans. Image source: Shuttertsock

Green coffee beans have a very strong antioxidant effect. Green coffee bean extract has a stronger antioxidant action than traditional antioxidants like green tea and grape seed extracts.

Coffee seed oil and extracts are rich in phytosterols that promote excellent moisture retention and quickly penetrate the skin. It is also exceptionally high in essential fatty acids. The oil is rich in caffeine and energises and stimulates skin.  When used in body care products it aids weight loss and reduces the appearance of cellulite. In facial care products it helps mature and ageing skin, dry, cracked skin, eczema and psoriasis. Coffee extracts and oil are anti-inflammatory and are fabulous for dealing with eye puffiness and dark under eye circles.

In the Absolute Skin Tonics skincare range coffee oil and extracts are currently used in these products:

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Chamomile Eye Cream. Delivers moisture and de-ageing benefits to eyes and helps to reduce puffiness

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Coconut and Shea Eczema Balm. Comfort for dry, irritated skin conditions.

Skincare Benefits of Honey

1024x768_bestfit (3)Honey (in it’s purest, unrefined form), is an amazing ingredient for use in caring for our skin. Honey protects against damage caused by bacteria and can be helpful in wound healing.  Some honey also stimulates production of specific cells that aid in repairing tissue damaged by infection. Honey also has an anti-inflammatory action when applied.  Honey contains significant natural antioxidant benefits that aid in rejuvenating the skin and protecting it to some degree from the damaging effects of UV rays. Honey also acts as a humectant (meaning it is a water-binding agent.) There are 3 types of honey, not all being beneficial to maintaining healthy skin. How honey is processed and it’s point of origin all impact greatly on the quality and benefits received from honey. Honey that has been heated will loose all benefits.

Table Honey

Generally purchased at the supermarket, table honey has been heated and filtered and during this process all the goodness has been destroyed. It is virtually nothing more than a natural form of sugar.

Raw Honey

Raw honey (preferably organic) is full of vital nutrients and antioxidants. In skincare it makes an excellent cleanser and moisturiser. Each batch of raw honey can  look different in colour, depending which flowers the bees visited to make the honey. It is a little more expensive than table honey, but the benefits are well worth it.honey

Manuka Honey

All types of honey have a hydrogen peroxide activity which is due to an enzyme that bees add to nectar, but Manuka honey also has other components with antibacterial qualities. The major antibacterial component in manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a compound found in most types of honey, but usually only in small quantities. In manuka honey, MG comes from the conversion of another compound — dihydroxyacetone — that is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers. MG gives manuka honey its antibacterial power. The higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect.

Manuka honey is from New Zealand and has the strongest anti-bacterial properties of any honey varieties. Manuka honey is rated on it’s antibacterial properties with a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating. Only honey collected from specific Leptospermum plants contain this UMF property.

Honey producers have developed a scale for rating the potency of manuka honey. The rating is called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. The UMF rating corresponds with the concentration of MG. Not all honey labeled as Manuka honey contains significant levels of MG. To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic, manuka honey needs a minimum rating of 10 UMF. To deliver strong skin care benefits a rating of Manuka UMF 16 or 20 is satisfactory.

Manuka honey is by far the most beneficial honey in leave-on skincare products, like moisturisers and skin treatments. It is also the most expensive. However with Manuka honey this is one time where paying more will deliver far superior quality.

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The use of honey in Absolute Skin Tonics product range:-

Honey is an ingredient in the following Absolute Skin Tonics products:

Walnut & Cherry Kernel Body Scrub (Raw honey used)

Honey & Rose Cleansing Lotion (Raw honey used)

Bergamot & Clay Cleanser (Raw honey used)

Bamboo & Lemongrass Radiance Polish (Raw honey used)

Honey & Vanilla Body Butter (Manuka honey UMF 16 used)

Antioxidant Cream Mask (Manuka honey UMF 16 used)

Honey is added in our cool-down phase of blending products. As it is not being heated it retains all its antioxidant, antibacterial  and cleansing benefits. We use raw, organic honey in wash-off products like scrubs and cleansers. The main reason we don’t use Manuka honey in all products is costing. Using Manuka honey would increase the price dramatically and there is no need when all the benefits needed to make a great cleansing product can be sourced from raw honey. However in leave-on skin care products, like masks and moisturisers we use Manuka honey UMF 16 or above so you get the maximum antioxidant and healing benefits Manuka honey offers.

The Absolute Skin Tonics Guide to Helping Reduce Blemishes

Absolute Skin Tonics Blemished Skin Care Guide

Blemished skin can be hard to care for. Sometimes it seems the more you do, the harder you try to ‘dry’ out the skin, or scrub away those spots it just stays the same…. or gets worse. Actually, drying skin out and vigorously scrubbing will definitely worsen the condition. This guide will give you pointers on what may cause the condition, the best way to care for your skin when you have blemishes, helpful ingredients and great products to help in blemish control.

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What are the characteristics of blemished skin?

  • excess sebum (oil) secretion, which gives skin an overly shiny look

and the presence of one or all of the following:

  • large pores
  • presence of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples
  • breakout which can be inflamed, red and sensitive

Blackheads- occur most often on nose, chin and forehead centre. They form when oil is trapped by dead skin cells as oil makes it way to the opening of the skin’s pore. If the oil is exposed to air, it oxidizes, creating the black appearance.

Whiteheads- they can occur anywhere but are mostly seen on forehead, cheeks and under eyes. They are small, hard, white lumps.

Pimples- There are different types of pimples, papules, pustules and cysts. Papules are red bumps which have a soft surface filled with oil and fluid. They can feel sore when touched. They occur when clogged pores rupture and bacteria grows, which causes inflammation and white fluid. Pustules are larger, and much more swollen than papules. Cysts are the largest and most painful of all pimples. Sometimes they don’t look like a pimple, they may be a red, swollen, hard lump. They occur within the deepest layers of the skin and if left untreated may lead to scarring.  They are hard to treat and you should consult a dermatologist.

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Possible causes of blemished skin

  • excess sebum production trapped under dead skin cells
  • bacteria causing infection within the blocked skin cells
  • hormonal imbalance (consult a medical professional for advice in treating underlying cause)
  • stress (consult a medical professional to treat underlying cause)

Care of blemished skin

The right skincare routine and cosmetic preparations can be very useful in the control of breakout and achieving a smoother, more refined complexion. As I mentioned previously if you have cysts, and also severe pustules, consultation with a dermatologist is highly recommended.

  • choose products to help balance skin’s sebum production and control breakout without stripping the skin of it’s natural moisture. Trying to dry the oil from skin will only cause the skin to fight back by producing more oil, leading to an even oilier complexion.
  • regular, gentle exfoliation is necessary. There are different types of exfoliation- manual (scrubs), which buff away the dead skin cells, and chemical (acid type products), which break down the bonds that hold the dead skin cells together. Using manual scrubs on inflamed, irritated pimples and pustules is not recommended. It can rupture the pimple, causing more inflammation, spread the bacteria and may cause scarring. It is better to use a less non-abrasive form of exfoliation, like clays and fruit or lactic acids, AHA’s or BHA’s.
  • be consistent with your skincare routine. Cleanse morning and night and exfoliate regularly according to your condition.

Cosmetic Ingredients which may help

  • Vegetable oils. Yes I am telling you to fight oil with oil. Some oils derived from natural sources are excellent to aid in controlling sebum production without stripping the skin of natural moisture. They also help deliver vital nutrients and healing properties to your skin. Hazelnut oil is lightweight and penetrates the skin easily to deliver soothing, astringent and firming benefits. Argan oil restores, rejuvenates and provides vital nutrients. Jojoba oil- is actually a wax- helps soothe skin and restore skin’s PH levels. It’s structure is similar to your skin’s own sebum. Castor oil- remains on the skin’s surface to protect, help heal blemish marks and soothe.
  • Botanicals- Nettle and Witchazel- provide astringent benefits. Honey is a natural antibacterial cleanser and has antioxidant properties. Green tea, chamomile and calendula is soothing and great for antioxidant protection. Totara- high level anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. A great feature of Totara is that it is a naturally occurring active that can be extracted from the dead wood of the Totara tree which eliminates the need to cut down live trees.
    Clay- I love using pure healing clays. They are brimming with nutrients and minerals. They gently but efficiently detoxify, heal and rejuvenate. And essential oils like May Chang, Bisabolol, Rosewood, Tea tree, Grapefruit and Bergamot all help blemished, oily skins.

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Best products to control blemishes from the Absolute Skin Tonics product range

Cleanse- Bergamot & Clay Cleanse. Gentle, deep cleanse to help oil control, purify and remove dirt, pollution and make-up. Use morning and night.

Tone- Chamomile Balancing Tonic. Antioxidant face mist to help oil control and deliver antioxidant benefits. Chamomile and vitamin B5 soothes the skin. Green tea delivers antioxidant benefits. Nettle root, witch hazel, may chang and rose geranium essential oil helps control oil.

Moisturise- Chamomile Face Lotion. Lightweight lotion to help control oil and blemishes. Chamomile and aloe vera help in soothing blemishes. DMAE helps de-age.

– Rosewater Eye Gel. Lightweight, moisturising and de-ageing gel which helps diminish lines, puffiness and dark circles. Extracts of gotu kolu and calendula refreshes and revitalises even the most tired eyes.

Treat- Serum Purify (nightly treatment). Helps oil and blemish control. Extract from the Totara tree, witchazel extract, lactic acid & essential oils of rosewood and tea tree help refine pores and control oil. Calendula, chamomile, and vitamin B5 help soothe the irritation sometimes associated with blemishes. Used nightly by itself or under regular moisturiser when additional moisture is required.

– Clay Face Mask. A multi action deep cleansing, pore refining and exfoliating mask. Helps draws out impurities, gently removes dead skin cells and brightens the complexion. Grapefruit and lemon help refresh and brighten the skin. Honey, zeolite and ghassoul clay deliver nutrient and cleansing benefits and give nourishing, exfoliating and rejuvenating properties.

– Bamboo & Lemongrass Radiance Polish. Removes dead skin cells. Purifies, unclogs pores and helps restore skin to give a radiant complexion. Helps give skin a more refined look and aids treatment products to work more effectively. Ingredient benefits: Perfectly round, fine bamboo powder and clays provide gentle exfoliation. Lemongrass and orange essential oils cleanse and balance skin. Oatmeal, lavender and cucumber extract soothe. Honey cleanses and gives natural antioxidants. Goats milk is a natural moisturiser that helps soothe and moisturize the skin and also helps balance the skin’s natural PH levels.

Browse and shop products at: http://www.absoluteskintonics.aradium.com

Contact Absolute Skin Tonics for advice on the best products for your skin at info@absoluteskintonics.com

Absolute Skin Tonics

NAIL COLOUR. In Search Of The Perfect Red

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Wow there are some gorgeous nail colours available. Trying to decide is so hard! Today I went in search of the perfect red, just to narrow it down a little. Here are some of my favourites:

If you have pale skin with pink undertones a cool, blue-based red will look fabulous. Try:

OPI got the blues for redOPI I’ve Got The Blues For Red.

 

come_to_bed_redButter London Come To Bed

For skin that has very pink undertones a lighter orange-red will look great-

YSL 1-rouge-pop-artYSL Nail Lacquer 1 Rouge Pop Art

OPI Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do ItOPI Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It

Darker reds will add warmth to sallow skin. Try:

essie honey bunEssie Honey Bun

True red cherry shade like this will work on almost anyone:

opi i'm not really a waitressOPI I’m Not Really a Waitress

Dark skin with golden undertones will look great in classic reds:

pillar_box_red

Butter London Pillar Box Red

Try these deep reds for an on-trend look:

la_moss

Butter London La Moss

chanel lotus rouge

Chanel Le Vernis Lotus Rose

It’s always important to apply a good quality base coat prior to applying nail colour. This will help protect the nail enamel from staining and helps give a longer wear to your colour. If you do find your lacquer never lasts and is prone to splitting and chipping, try a gel manicure, available from professional salons. It’s not an artificial nail, it is a gel polish applied like a regular colour that is ‘baked’ onto your nail. OPI do a fantastic version of gel manicures so you can still get the fabulous OPI colours but your nail colour will last weeks without splitting. I usually have to renew my colour only because it has grown out at the base, not because it chipped off. It also gives some added strength that I need. Love it! Grace xo

Links: click the product image featured to be taken to suggestions on where to purchase and additional product information. For information on OPI gel manicures, click here.

 

The Cellulite Curse

celluliteFor most women cellulite is not something they want or like. Each year millions of dollars are spent on all kinds of lotions, pills and treatments in the hope of eliminating the dreaded orange-peel look of cellulite. While there are some very successful treatments and procedures available to treat cellulite, the most effective treatment will be the one to target what actually caused the cellulite.

WHAT IS CELLULITE 

According to Wikipedia, “Cellulite (also known as adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis, gynoid lipodystrophy, orange peel syndrome and cottage cheese skin) is the herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue that manifests topographically as skin dimpling and nodularity, often on the pelvic region, lower limbs, and abdomen”.

Whoa! Sounds like a very serious situation indeed! Don’t be alarmed. It’s not life threatening.  Put in more simple, unalarming terms, it is fat and toxins that have become trapped underneath the skin pushing against connective tissue, and giving skin a lumpy (cottage cheese), dimpled (orange peel) appearance. More of a self esteem, body image, beauty crisis rather than a medical condition.

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Right: undimpled skin, smooth fat layers.

Left: fat laden with toxins & water pushing into connective tissues, causing uneven bulges.

(Source: Shutterstock photos)

There are two types of cellulite and three grades. The first type of cellulite is known as soft cellulite. This is easier to treat as it is closer to the skin’s surface. It is noticeable because it doesn’t attach to the muscle, is soft, saggy  and affects larger areas of the body. The second type is hard cellulite. Hard cellulite will occur more often in athletic body types, is harder to see, and lives close to, or on the muscle. Sometimes, it can be sensitive to touch.

The grades of cellulite are:

Grade 1: There are no obvious symptoms, although anatomical changes can be seen under a microscope.

Grade 2: Skin appears dimpled when standing but disappears when lying down. It usually starts to appear when there is reduction in the skin’s elasticity.

Grade 3: All the previous signs, however now there is roughness and dimpling in the skin, standing, or laying down.

WHY WE GET IT

There’s many reasons why cellulite begins to form. The reasons can vary between individuals.  Below is a list of the most common causes which can help you identify why and perhaps how to lessen it.

  • Genetics & Gender– cellulite can affect men and women, however it is much more common in females, because they are more likely to have particular type of fat, thinner skin and different structure of connective tissue. Genetically it seems that if your mum had cellulite, you are more likely to develop it as well.
  • Hormones– Estrogen, insulin, progesterone, noradrenaline and thyroid hormones, are thought to be part of the cellulite production process. Cellulite may become worse during pregnancy when there is an increase in some hormone levels.
  • Lifestyle. Smoking, poor diet, yo-yo dieting, lack of exercise and sitting or standing for long periods are the main causes here. Participate in regular exercise, have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, antioxidants and unprocessed foods. Try to eliminate alcohol, salt and caffeine. Whilst caffeine contained in an anti-cellulite cream and applied topically to the skin may benefit the appearance of cellulite, ingesting caffeine will contribute to dehydration.
  • Dehydration– You need to keep well hydrated in order to flush out excess water and toxins from cells. The more water you drink the less water your body will hold onto… so drink up to flush out those toxins.
  • Poor blood circulation. Poor lymph circulation– generally due to lifestyle factors.  “Rebounding” (jumping on a mini trampoline), is fantastic for circulation of blood and lymph. If you sit or stand for long periods, take regular breaks and move around. Tight clothing which restricts blood flow should be avoided. And… Stop smoking!
  • Age– As you age your skin becomes thinner and the collagen supporting the skin becomes less. This results in less structural support making it easier for the cell walls to collapse. Practicing the lifestyle tips here and preventing sun damage to your skin will help the anti-aging process.

beauty celluliteTREATMENT

There are many products and treatments that may help rid of cellulite. However, most of them will stop working after the treatment is discontinued. Here are some of the options to minimize the symptoms of cellulite:

  • Creams- Topically applied they generally work by helping to push water and toxins from the cells. Sometimes these can be dangerous for people with circulatory or other medical conditions. Caffeine and retinol are two commonly used ingredients in cellulite reducing creams. Body wraps are intensive cellulite treatments done by beauty salons using heat to make a super strength cellulite cream penetrate deeply into the skin.
  • Massage A great way to get blood and lymph flowing. Also try body brushing to aid in circulation.
  • Lasers and radio frequency treatments– Many beauty salons and clinics offer treatment through diode laser energy and infrared light to treat cellulite. These treatments offer improvements to cellulite after a series of treatments and results generally last longer than topically applied creams.
  • Surgery– A qualified, registered plastic surgeon can advise on the different types of surgery available to help cellulite. A lot of the treatments are non-invasive (like lasers mentioned above), deliver great results, but can be very expensive.

Certainly a lot of options available to combat the signs of cellulite. Most research into cellulite will show that a healthy diet, regular exercise and proper circulation are the most long-term, inexpensive and effective ways to reduce cellulite. End result will be a healthier lifestyle, which is a win-win all round. When it comes down to it, take heart in knowing that 95% of women are suffering from cellulite. Go out and celebrate your body… whether you have bumps, lumps or smooth bits! Be the best you can be and let your smile and enthusiasm for life be your best beauty accessory. Grace xo

Sources: http://www.dermalinstitute.com/us/library/58_article_Cellulite.html

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/cellulite-causes-and-treatments

http://health.learninginfo.org/weight-loss/cellulite.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulite

http://www.cellulite.com.au