Do I Really Need an Eye-Cream?

Eye Cream GraphicDo I Really Need an Eye Cream?

Unless you don’t mind the delicate skin around your eyes to prematurely droop and wrinkle, I suggest an eye cream for everyone over the age of 20. Prevention is key with your skin and your eyes are the first part of the face to show signs of aging. So why do you need a cream specific to your eye area? Like your lips, the skin around the eye is significantly different than any other part of the face and requires a few considerations. Aside from the fact that eye creams are ophthalmologist tested (safe for the eye area), the skin around the eyes is more fragile, therefore it is more apt to having sensitivities or allergic reactions.

It also does not have oil glands to hydrate the tissue, therefore the formulations for eye creams will generally be more emollient that your regular moisturizer. Unfortunately, many of the claims that eye creams make to actually reverse aging are just wishful thinking. But, it has been my experience and observation that eye creams will help slow the onset of premature aging around the eye area. And in my opinion, that is worth it’s weight in gold!

Eye Cream Tips:

*Avoid eye creams with heavy oils as they can weigh down the delicate skin tissue, weakening the elastin fibers which can cause premature aging. These oils can also seep into the eyes when you are sleeping causing puffiness and irritation.

*Apply underneath the eye during the daytime and all around the orbital bone at night (the bone that circles around the top of your cheekbone and below your eyebrow) . Be sure avoid apply too closely to the lash line as the product might get deposited into your eyes causing irritation.

*Use your ring finger when applying your eye cream as it is your weakest finger. Any repeated or excessive pulling/tugging on the eye area will eventually lead to premature wrinkles…so be gentle!

*Start early! As mentioned above, it is best to start using an eye cream as early as 20 years old. Again, prevention is key when dealing with the skin…especially the eye area.

Do You Love to Travel?

Travel graphic with photo of airplane wing

Do you LOVE to travel but you don’t love what it does to your skin?

If you are anything like me, flying on an airplane can make my skin crazy rebellious! Excessive dryness/dehydration, spontaneous breakouts, extra oilines: it’s certainly not what I bargained for.

So, what causes the skin to act out? The cabins of airplanes have extremely low humidity which will cause the skin to become quite dehydrated (water dry). This is because dry air naturally attracts water, and it will literally rob it right from your skin! So dry skin becomes much drier but on the flip side, oily skin becomes oilier! This is due to oil glands jumping into overdrive to compensate for the lack of water moisture. But this added oil only makes matters worse. It ups the ante for breakouts. In either case, it can be a recipe for skin disaster!

Here are my best tips to mitigate a skin crisis while traveling:

First, before your flight, apply a hydrating serum, such as Skin Quencher Gel,  Dew Drops Hydrating Serum or Antioxidant Serum. These contain the super hydrating humectant, hyaluronic acid, which is a like a big drink of water for the skin. Then you will want to seal in the water moisture from your serum with a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type. Such as Pure Light Lotion, Hydra-Luxe Cream or Rich Replenishing Cream.

Apply your sunscreen liberally and opt for a aisle seat (as opposed to a window seat) and keep the window shade down. The higher you are in altitude; the stronger the damaging sun’s UV rays are. The windows do not filter out the harmful rays so be sure to do your best to protect your precious skin from the harmful rays while flying. My best suggestion for effective, non-pore-clogging sunscreen is Mineral Tinted SPF 40 or Sensitive Skin SPF 40 (both are water resistant so great for beach/pool vacations!)

Drink lots of water while flying. It probably doesn’t surprise you that, just like flying dehydrates your skin, it also dehydrates your body. Be sure to drink a bit more than you usually do to keep yourself and your skin as hydrated as possible.

Do NOT mist the face while flying with a hydrating mist. As much as it seems like this would help, it actually will do the opposite. Again, because the dry air attracts water, the mist on your face will just attract the dry air to rob that water moisture and the water moisture deeper in your skin. After your flight, mist as much as you’d like to bring back that water moisture balance! My best pick for a hydrating mist/toner for dry skin is Calm Down Toner.

After your flight, you might be feeling a little dry/flakey. If this is the case, you can gently buff off those dry, dead skin cells with a gentle scrub, such as our Skin Smoothing Polish. Be sure to follow with your hydrating serum, appropriate moisturizer and sunscreen and you will be glowing for your getaway!

Dry vs. Dehydrated: What is your skin thirsty for?

Photo of water droplets with text in front

Did you know your skin could be water dry, oil dry or both?

If you have ever experienced the phenomenon of slathering on layer after layer of cream and STILL feeling dry and tight OR if your skin is super, duper oily and you still get flakey, dry skin- you need to read this! There is a HUGE difference in how we quench the thirst of the skin. And it’s all dependent on what skin type you are!

First, let’s break down the different types of dry skin:

Water Dry (Dehydrated) Skin

This skin condition lacks water moisture. It is not necessarily indicative of how much water you drink, although if your body is dehydrated, your skin will typically follow suit. This condition can be experienced by anyone, which means your skin type can be oily, dry or combination and still be dehydrated. This condition can come and go depending on your environment/climate/season, using products that are drying on the skin, airplane travel, etc. This skin condition is usually recognized as feeling/looking tight, crepey, flakey and possibly itchy.

The best way to combat water dry (dehydrated skin) is by using products that contain humectants, such as sodium hyaluronate (a.k.a. hyaluronic acid) which is like a big drink of water for the skin. Then, be sure you seal in the water moisture with the appropriate moisturizer for your skin type.

My favorite humectants?

Dew Drops: a hyalurionic acid serum

Antioxidant Serum: a stable Vitamin C (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) in a hyaluronic acid base

Skin Quencher Gel: an aloe based gel with other moisture loving humectants.

Oil Dry Skin

This skin type is lacking it’s own oil production. This is an actual skin type that you have had from birth. You will usually feel dry all over (hands, scalp, body). Unfortunately, this skin type is more susceptible to premature aging as oil moisture keeps the skin lubricated, protected and the skin cell working most efficiently. This skin type is usually recognized as feeling/looking dull and lack-luster.

The best way to combat dry skin is by using emollient-rich moisturizers on top of a humectant. By sealing in the water moisture with an emollient rich moisturizer will not only combat the dehydration in the skin but replace the much needed oil moisture to soften and lubricate the skin.

My favorite emollient rich moisturizer?

Hydraluxe Cream and Rich Replenishing Creme, which are both ultra-hydrating creams that are perfect for even the driest skin types.

Acne Safe Protein Powder and Recipe!

Image with back of women and text

 Acne Safe Protein Powder and Recipe!

A few good options for protein powders that are acne safe are:
Vega One Sport
Orgain Organic Protein Powder
Perfect Fit Protein
Sunwarrior Classic Protein
Paleo Egg White Protein
Bone Broth Protein Powder
For acne safe protein bars, you can either make your own at home with my recipe below, or a good option is Vega Sport Protein Bars in Mint Chocolate or Chocolate Coconut.

Emme Diane™ No-Bake Acne Safe Protein Bars

Ingredients:
-1 cup of almond or coconut milk (original; unsweetened…make sure it doesn’t contain carrageenan)
-3 scoops of your acne safe protein powder (chocolate, vanilla or any flavor you choose!)
-3 cups of rolled oats
-1/2 cup of natural almond butter
-1/2 cup of dark-chocolate chips or dried cranberries or coconut chips or any other topping you can think of (no peanuts/peanut butter).
Instructions:
Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Then add your almond butter…at this point I knead the mixture with my hands to combine to a crumbly consistency. Then add the liquid and knead/mix until combined (it will be sticky!). Next, spread evenly into bottom of greased casserole dish and place in the fridge for about an hour. When you’re ready to eat, cut into bar-sized pieces.
Warning: they are a little gooey!
You can make many variations with this recipe. The sky’s the limit!

Hormones and the Premature Aging of Skin

Did you know that aside from hormonal breakouts, did you know our hormones affect the premature aging of our skin?

Here’s what you need to know and what you can do about it:

It’s common knowledge that hormones can really wreak havoc on the skin triggering acne breakouts. Unlike boys/men (who generally have one hormone fluctuation in life during puberty), women have multiple hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives. From puberty, starting or stopping birth control, pregnancy and breastfeeding and then simply because as women, our hormones shift every 7-10 years. So this means, if you are acne prone, you can expect these hormonal fluctuations to trigger acne breakouts.

So what can we do about it?

Be proactive! Making sure you are using a skin care regimen that address the root cause of acne (which is an inherited condition that results in genetically defective pores that malfunction) and controlling the acne bacteria colonization. For example, I may not look like I have acne prone skin (I do!) but this is because I use the Acne Skin Set religiously to keep my skin clear and radiant. (It is also very anti-aging and brightening, because at 37, I definitely do not want to sacrifice those elements just to be clear!).

Also, make sure you are avoiding all the known triggers. This includes foods, pore clogging products/makeup, lifestyle habits, etc. All this info is found in our Acne Bible! You can email me to request your copy!
What might not be understood is how our hormones can begin to cause accelerated aging on the skin. When a woman goes through menopause (or has a hysterectomy), our hormones change dramatically decreasing the amount of estrogen in our bodies. This lack of estrogen effects the skin in various way; a decrease in collagen, elasticity, oil production and the ability to hold onto water moisture.

Basically, the skin begins to become drier, thinner, less buoyant and supple and fine lines/wrinkles become more apparent.

So what can we do?

Some suggest hormone replacement therapy by supplementing with estrogen. However, I DO NOT advise this without the approval of your doctor as my mother had estrogen receptive metastatic breast cancer and this method could have been detrimental to her. Other alternatives would be to give the skin what it needs topically to support our graceful aging process.

This would include hydrating cleansers, toners and moisturizers to restore the balance of water and oil moisture in the skin. Topical Vitamin C (like in our Antioxidant Serum) to support, nourish and fight off free-radical damage. Retinols and Peptides to help stimulate new collagen growth in the skin. And, of course sunscreen to prevent the harmful UV rays from un-doing all your hard work!

Our Anti-Aging Skin Care Set includes all of these key elements to make sure your skin looks as youthful as you feel!

Click here for the Acne Skin Set!

Click here for the Anti-Aging Skin Care Set!

Exercise and Your Skin!

Girl stretching in field wearing gym clothes

How Does Exercise Affect My Skin?

Exercise increases blood flow and stimulate the lymphatic system helping to nourish skin cells and carry away waste products.  If you’re in poor health (or don’t exercise regularly), you have fewer blood vessels in your skin, and it shows. The skin begins to look sallow, dull and even grey. Throughout the day, your skin also accumulates toxins from a number of sources. This includes polluted air, dirty surfaces you touch or come in contact with and especially some hygiene/beauty products such as deodorant or moisturizer. Exercise helps to flush these toxins out of your skin giving you that much sought after rosy, healthy glow.

Believe it or not, working up a good sweat is similar to getting a mini-facial! Because circulation is increased when sweating due to physical activity, many of the toxins and impurities are expelled from the skin by way of the sweat through open skin pores. (Just be sure to thoroughly wash your face afterward!  This prevents debris from getting sucked back into the pores and causing breakouts.)

Exercise and Stress:

Exercise also eases stress that can wreck havoc on your skin. When your body detects stress, it prompts the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol, from your adrenal glands. Cortisol triggers glands in your hair follicles to crank up production of sebum. Sebum is a useful oil that normally makes its way up and out of the hair follicle taking dead skin cells. However producing too much of the oil can block up the follicle, leading to a pile-up of dead skin cells behind it. This is followed by inflammation and acne. Lower cortisol levels — and thus lower stress — means less chance of your skin overloading on immune cells and less chance of acne flare-ups and more normal levels of oil production.

Exercise for Weight/Body Fat Loss:

Exercising for weight/body fat loss, by means of weight training and building muscle, can definitely make your skin appear tighter. Crash or extreme diets where large amounts of weight are lost in a short amount of time can cause potentially irreversible loose, sagging skin. Whereas losing body fat slow and steady while incorporating strength-building exercises that increase the lean muscle mass that sits just under the surface of the skin can create a lifted, taut looking skin. Essentially you are replacing fat volume with muscle volume. Building toned, lean muscle under your skin is one of the best ways smooth the appearance of cellulite. However, the more muscular support your skin has the more firm and elastic it will appear.

Major Triggers for Melasma

Photo of woman receiving a skincare treatment

Melasma, the pigmentation ruled by hormones, is the most stubborn of all pigmentation to fade. Along with proper home care (like our Lighten Up Skin Set), there are some rules that need to be followed.

 

The major triggers for melasma are:

Genetics: Those with melasma are genetically predisposed. (We obviously can’t change that.)

Hormones: Pregnancy, birth control, hormone replacement therapy, and natural hormone fluctuations can darken pigmentation. It is important to pay special attention to what active ingredients you are using on your skin when you are pregnant. Some may be contraindicated.

Sun exposure: So crucial to avoid sun exposure as much as possible (make sure to wear a hat, sunglasses) and always wear a physical sunscreen (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide) everyday. And re-apply every 2-3 hours (I suggest having baby wipes on hand to wipe the skin down then re-apply so that the skin doesn’t get too “gunky” during the day.)

Heat: You will want to avoid saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, hot yoga, and no steam during a facial treatment. Also, just know that any laser or light treatment that gives off heat will be triggering. It might not appear that way at first, but it is going to bring the pigmentation back with a vengeance and make it 10 times hard to fade.

Friction: You will want to avoid scrubs, polishes, microdermabrasion facials, Clarisonic brushes or other skin brushes.
Make sure you do your best to eliminate any of the melasma triggers above. Starting a lightening skin care system can help make sure you are successful at fading it!

 

Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal

Graphic not all sunscreens are created equal

It is important to know that there are basically 2 types of sunscreen: Chemical and Physical

Chemical sunscreens (e.g. avobenzone, helioplex, and other’s with unpronounceable names) undergo a chemical reaction with the UV rays, absorbing them and then release the extra energy as heat. The sunscreen’s chemical reaction is only for a limited amount of time, hence you will have to reapply after 2-3 hours to ensure you are still protected.

Physical sunscreens (e.g. zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) create a barrier of protection that reflect and scatter the UV rays. What’s great about these sunscreens is that as long as the barrier is intact (meaning you haven’t sweated or wiped it off), you will not need to reapply as frequently. (And in case you were wondering, Emme Diane Sunscreens are ALL physical sunscreens to ensure the best protection!)

What does Broad Spectrum mean?

Broad spectrum means that the sunscreen protects against both UVA (the “aging” rays that cause damage and cancer) and UVB (the “burning” rays that cause a sunburn). It is important to know that the physical block, titanium dioxide only protects against UVB rays so you will want to make sure that it is mixed with a UVA blocker (such as zinc oxide, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays).

What’s up with the SPF 100??? No…you do not need to get a SPF 1,000,000 to make sure you have the best protection. In fact, the higher rating in chemical sunscreens means that you are only exposing yourself to excessive amounts of chemicals (which won’t protect you any better than an SPF 30.) However, I would rather you use a 100 SPF sunscreen than no sunscreen…so slather up!

Are you using enough sunscreen to actually achieve the SPF rating?…most people use only 1/4 of the proper amount! The best rule of thumb is approximately one shot glass full of sunscreen for the body and a nickel-sized dollop for the face. Do not forget to reapply after swimming or sweating!

Does Sunscreen break you out?

I totally understand. Most do. Emme Diane Sunscreens are formulated without any pore-clogging ingredients, so this is a non-issue!

 

So, in short, the key elements to look for on a bottle of sunscreen are:

Minimum 30 SPF (but don’t go crazy and get the 100 SPF)

Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

Make sure you use enough! Shot glass for the body, Nickel-size for the face

Reapply, reapply, reapply!

Bonus: Active Ingredients are Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide

 

Need Sunscreen? Emme Diane Sunscreens will be available for purchase online soon. But in the meantime, you can place an order by sending an email to emme@emmediane.com. Practice Safe Sun! <3

Freckles, Sun Spots, and Melasma oh my!

Freckles and Melasma

A common concern for many is hyperpigmentation on the skin, but sometimes discerning what type you have can be tricky (and the way that we treat it can be quite different too!)

~ Freckles are a form of pigmentation that you are born with. They appear as a scattering of spots, sometimes connected. The sun can darken or make this type of pigmentation more visible, and lightening serum can also fade freckles. Freckles are a beautiful trait, and have become very buzzworthy lately with “stick-on freckles” for those of us who aren’t blessed with this trait! #loveyourfreckles

~ Sun Spots/Sun Damage generally appears as pigmentation that shows up in the late 20’s-early 30’s. This type of pigmentation is caused by exposure to the sun and is an accumulation of UV damage from childhood. This is why it is important to start protecting the skin from the sun at a young age. Continue with daily SPF protect to prevent more from forming.

~ Melasma is a hormonally induced form of pigmentation that some women are genetically predisposed to. Melasma appears as “cloudy” areas on the skin and is commonly referred to as “pregnancy mask”. Although pregnancy can be a contributing factor, this type of pigmentation is ruled by hormones. So even a natural hormone change or hormonal birth control can exacerbate this type of pigmentation.

Acne Triggers: Skin Care and Makeup

 

skincare and makeup

Skincare and Makeup

“Non-comedogenic” is a marketing term used in the beauty industry to indicate that a product does not contain pore clogging ingredients. Therefore it will not cause breakouts. So does this mean that if a company states that their product is noncomedogenic, it’s safe for acne prone skin? Absolutely not! This might be a major reason you’ve tried “everything” and your skin still won’t clear!

Unfortunately for acne suffers, there is no governing agency that regulates this claim. Companies can put this marketing term on any bottle, even if it DOES have pore clogging ingredients in it. In fact, many common prescriptions and over the counter acne products have many pore clogging ingredients in them. Hence,  why they work for a while then stop working as the pore clogging ingredients overpower the acne fighting ingredients.

Unfortunately, the same is true for natural, organic products on the market. These products have some of the worst offenders. This is why it is essential that you become a pore clogging ingredient detective to make sure that all of your skin care products are free from pore-cloggers

If you want to achieve clear, blemish-free skin, you can email us to receive our list of pore clogging ingredients at support@emmediane.com. Make sure to check any product, wipe, powder, foundation, etc. that you put on your skin for pore clogging ingredients as one pore clogger can cause breakouts.