Welcome to your first lesson.
Ok, so first of all, we're super sick of skincare advice being broken down into such simplistic categories, when its just not reality. Does your Sunday morning hung over skin look and feel the same as when you're eating healthy and drinking water? Of course not! No shame in this game though, we're here to tell you what to use and when... to revive, refresh, and properly care for each individual situation. We all have various "skin types" at different intervals, depending on weather, stress, medicines, our schedules, and so much more. We've decided to create a space, with every day scenarios, where we break down which ingredients and products to reach for and when, because it's just not as simple as oily, combo or dry. We're gonna start with a few common situations and "in between" skin types. As we move forward, we want all your questions or scenarios that need some light shed! (Send them our way here)
The struggle is real, you wake up with parched skin, oily shine fest 2 hours after putting make up on, or washing your face...you're dry one day, oily the next, or maybe a chronically parched forehead and oily chin. Combo skin is usually described as an oily t-zone, and dry everywhere else. However, we believe the majority of us, have more complex combos than that. I know most of you are pretty skin savvy, and understand that by stripping oily skin of its moisture, we start to overcompensate with double the oil production. This is why I believe these situations call for some moisture balance. There are a lot of ingredients used for oily skin that are way too astringent, and solve the issue for about 5 minutes, and wreck the drier parts of our faces. We want to avoid these, and instead reach for ingredients that balance oil in terms of overproduction or underproduction to reach a happy medium. Lightweight moisture is also key. Here's some suggestions.
- Hyaluronic acid is your friend. Hyaluronic acid, will bind moisture to the skin throughout the day, and is actually not soluble in oil, so fairly easy to find in lightweight formulas. This is a key way to stack moisture without layers of heavy oil that are going to only selectively work.
- Pampering and rebuilding the moisture barrier with some TLC is also going to be key here. If you find your skin rapidly swinging back and forth between oily and dry, the culprit is probably a wiped out or weak moisture barrier, preventing your skin from holding on to moisture and vacillating between overproduction of oil, and not being able to retain whatever moisture is topically added. Let's get into how to rebuild that baby:
- Ceramides: ceramides work to strengthen that barrier to keep your skin from losing hydration. Products that contain ceramides will help the overall consistency and balance.
- sulfate free washes: Using gentle washes without sulfates will stop the cycle of dryness and overproduction of oil by minimizing the breakdown of our natural lipid layer/moisture barrier
- vitamin c and zinc supplements are an overall great way to boost skin strength and health for overall more balance
- Moisturize at the beginning of the day and under make up. No matter what. No exceptions. Not even in 90% humidity.
- Selectively mask. Not only is it pretty fun to get creative with the assortment of masks now available to us these days, but we can get down and dirty with what our faces actually need. When using a clay mask, make sure it's only applied to the parts of your skin that get oily. Oily skin is literally thicker because dried skin cells begin to gel with our oils (nasty, right?), and dry skin is thinner and more delicate because it's physically more exposed to life and the elements. Don't stress the already irregularly dry patches with any kind of clay/detox/peel off/pore reducing masks, you will only stress it and further polarize the confusing combo skin problems. If you're skin is just wildly swinging back and forth day to day, stick to lightweight, rinse off hydro gel mask.
- Oil really is your friend, as long as its the right kind. Oil free items are great for adding extra moisture, but really not enough on their own. The lipid layer of your skin is lipophilic, which means it's only going to truly absorb oil, and not water based products alone. These are great for adding hydration but at the end of the day will need to be sealed in with an item containing oil, for any of it to penetrate. Oils like squalane are ideal, whether in a moisturizer or alone, because they are so similar to skins natural sebum, it's quick to absorb, won't clog, and can get in through that lipid layer for real hydration. The reason the water in moisturizers are able to actually penetrate skin at all, is because they've been emulsified with oils. If you're only adding water based products, without anything on top to seal it in, or a carrier system, it's just not going to do what you need.
Here's our Beladoce Recipe to deal with utterly confusing combo skin and why:
Doce Toner: hyaluronic acid adds weightless moisture, antioxidant cherry protects, rose water balances pH.
Dragao da Terra Serum: An oil free serum with skin cell strengthening bioavailable liquid silica, vitamin c rich hibiscus, hyaluronic acid, and dragon's blood, a pretty miraculous sap from a tree in the amazon that literally forms a protective bubble around your skin when applied topically, (read more here!)
Dragao de Agua Moisturizer: A ceramide loaded, water rich moisturizer that contains a plethora of ingredients from dragons blood, bioavailable silica, ultra balancing and nourishing Manuka honey, hibiscus, and prickly pear fruit enzymes that can help to dissolve what's dry and dead, or grime, while being significantly more gentle than most fruit acids on the market.
Hormonal skin tantrums are the worst, and happen to most of us at least once a month, when we reach our late twenties to mid thirties, again over 40, every time we are stressed, with menopause, or with hormonal treatments such as estrogen, testosterone, or anything similar. Hormonal break outs are usually not just a run of the mill breakout either, they are usually paired with extra sensitivity, redness, all around angry skin, and sometimes even an almost rashy type break out. Usually clusters of small irritated pimples without heads, and nothing like the all over pubescent break outs of yore. Skin can feel unusually dry while still breaking out among other baffling and frustrating skin issues. Its important to understand that hormonal skin issues, while influenced from the outside, are primarily a symptom of something happening inside, and not due to external factors like a new make up, moisturizer, etc etc. Dealing with inflammation is key in these situations, and don't usually respond well to being blasted with OTC acne targeted products. The issue is that, when our pores swell shut from being irritated, even more acne bacteria is trapped under the skin, causing even more break outs. When skin is in the middle of an active hormonal freak out, it's already irritated... and acne products that are too harsh, will only serve to irritate skin further, causing more pores to swell shut, perpetuating the cycle. There are some really great ingredients that can calm and clear at the same time, some things to save for a last line of defense, helpful supplements, and other useful tips that can make it more bearable. Let's begin.
- Oral zinc and magnesium supplements. These can strengthen skin, lessen the amount that hormones affect skin, and ease stress.
- Sulfur masks, serums, and spot treatments. Sulfur is highly clearing and anti inflammatory, much better for hormonally struggling skin than things like benzyl peroxide which should be used as an absolute last line of defense
- Green tea is also naturally clearing, and anti inflammatory
- Willow Bark, willow bark is a natural, less concentrated version of salicylic acid.
- In worst case scenarios, pimples that won't clear, won't come to a head, and are cystic in nature, can be quickly treated with a crushed aspirin made into a paste with water, but only aspirin will be effective and isn't interchangeable with other NSAIDS. This is because aspirin is a salicylate as well.
- Blue Tansy. Blue tansy has been said to balance oil, instantly calm, clear redness, calm break outs, and have over-all soothing, calming affect on skin. (We wrote an entire blog post about it's wonders, read here)
- Carrot Root. Carrot root is high in natural plant retinol. This means it can boost cellular turn over, to help keep skin clear, texture less rough, while being significantly less irritating than concentrated synthetic retinols
- As tempting as it is to reach for the acne washes, this will only serve to further irritate and anger skin that's already freaking out. Look for sulfate free washes with ingredients like tea, Manuka honey, blue tansy, sulfur, or allantoin.
- Tea tree is another common suggestion for break outs, but in reality is pretty harsh and better to avoid in situations where the break out is almost rashy in nature
- Manuka Honey. Manuka honey is special because of the pollen the bees eat who make it. Real Manuka honey has shown in studies to be antibacterial, nutrient rich, and excellent for soothing skin
Beladoce Recipe For Hormonal Freak outs:
Blue Velvet Wash: a blue tansy based, sulfate free cleanser, that will clean and melt away extra grime without stripping skin, naturally blue from blue tansy
Dragao Toner: Soothing protective dragons blood, balancing rose water, manuka honey, and hibiscus
Blue Velvet Serum: a face oil that can be used by itself or in conjunction with a moisturizer rich with blue tansy, green tea, carrot root, weightless squalane and more. In the case of hormonal break outs and associated weirdness, we recommend using it by itself without an extra moisturizer.
This is pretty cut and dry, whether we are dehydrated, sleep deprived, hung over, overworked, or all of the above, its normal for skin to look a little lackluster. A little bit of selective reflective pigment, and anti inflammatory hydration can usually get us looking more back to life pretty quickly.
- First of all, please get some electrolytes into your system. Water is not always enough, we need electrolytes to keep that hydration inside and keep it from going right back out.
- Products with caffeine are your friend, they're said to help keep that blood flowing, which encourages rosy and healthy color
- Arnica. Said to be one of the most anti inflammatory herbs around, and used for centuries.
- Hyaluronic acid, for all the same reasons already listed
- Any eye cream is better than no eye cream, our skin around our eyes is super thin and delicate, and those dark circles are gonna need some TLC!
- Ceramides, as mentioned earlier are super beneficial for strengthening the moisture barrier that keeps our skin hydrated. When we're hungover, ultra stress, sleep deprived, etc etc, all our defenses are weakened.
- More hydration is better than less right now, all of the above afflictions can lead to significant moisture less (did I say it enough times yet?)
- Rose, for its pH balancing, hydrating, and softening capabilities. Whether a rose water mist, in a moisturizer, or in any form. Reach for the rose.
- Also - like, get some sleep when you can ok? Obviously the most important, second to electrolytes.. just saying.
- A hydrating gel mask with lycopene from watermelon, vitamin c, or b will be really great for putting a little oomph back into your skin, and looking a little more refreshed
- Vitamin D is massively important for skin health, and can help us look significantly more revived
Here's our Beladoce Recipe to deal:
Star Bright Eye Cream: hyaluronic acid, rose, lotus, green tea, and more. Give your eyes that extra moisturizing nutrition boost to banish dark circles, and look less dry and exhausted.
The Doce Toner: hyaluronic acid, rose water, and soothing antioxidant cherry. Bam.
The Doce Moisturizer: ceramides, peptides, soothing cherry and rose, think of it as a hydration rich, nourishing, cold pack for your face.
The Break of Dawn Illuminating Balm: Arnica, vitamin d, caffeine, and so much more, paired with light reflecting pearly powder to add right on top of that eye cream to drive it home. It can be used over or under make up.
Well we hope this cleared up some answers for you! Check back soon and we'll delve into chronically fussy and sensitive, dry with large pores, and and over 40 skin changes! Anything you want to see? Don't forget to send those questions our way!