Category Archives: Skin Care Tips

Carol Alt’s Top Five Worst Skin Care Ingredients

Source: flickr.com user Christian Guthier

Source: flickr.com user Christian Guthier

When Carol Alt and Phil Masiello first designed Raw Essentials, their goal was to create skin care products that were truly and genuinely natural. In this A Healthy You & Carol Alt segment, Carol and Phil explain how many “natural” skin care lines may be tricking consumers by formulating their products with harmful chemicals in addition to more natural ingredients. In addition, some certified organic skin care lines may simply be paying for their certification, all the while using harsh chemicals ingredients!

In the clip, Phil and Carol list five of the worst skin care ingredients. These ingredients should be avoided whenever possible, and if you think they’re necessary evils, take note of the natural skin care ingredients that can easily replace the chemicals!

Without further ado, here are Carol Alt’s Top Five Worst Skin Care Ingredients:

Urea – used as a preservative, urea is extremely toxic and has been shown to cause skin irritation and rashes. These side effects can range of mild to extreme depending on the amount used and a person’s sensitivity level. Urea can be easily replaced with a blend of tea tree oil, honeysuckle, salt, and other naturally sourced ingredients.

Parabens – also used as preservatives, skin care parabens are very cheap for skin care manufacturers, and are therefore widely used. However, like urea, parabens are toxic and have been linked to various diseases and ailments, including cancer. Parabens are also easily replaced with the same blend of natural preservatives mentioned above, but are still used due to cost effectiveness.

 

Propylene glycol – derived from petroleum, propylene glycol is a humectant that is known for drying out the skin. It does so by attracting water, both from the air and from the deeper layers of the skin. This results in a complexion that is very dehydrated by the very thing (skin care cream) that is supposed to be hydrating it!

Copolymers – popular in anti-aging skin care, copolymers are whiteners that are supposed to lighten and brighten the skin, including age and sun spots. However, they are very drying and work similarly to propylene glycol, resulting in dehydrated skin. This is especially troublesome for those using anti-aging products, as dehydrated skin is much more likely to show defined lines and wrinkles.

 

Sulfates – sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate. No matter how you spell it, these ingredients are some of the worst in skin care. Originally used as an antifreeze, sulfates are excessively stripping to the skin and are known skin and eye irritants. In studies, sulfates were even shown to cause the sort of damage that could lead to partial or full blindness. Sulfates are used only for sudsing action, a superfluous norm in the skin care industry that could be easily achieved with a blend of sugars and coconut fat.

If you’re confused about how some skin care lines can get away with using these products and still advertise as being natural or organic, be sure to watch the skin care ingredient segment featuring Phil and Carol! Phil thoroughly explains the processes of the skin care industry, and what you can do to protect yourself from false advertising.

How to Treat Chapped Skin

Source: flickr.com user Doug Wheller

Source: flickr.com user Doug Wheller

Chapped skin is a skin condition caused by excessive dryness. Symptoms of chapped skin are stinging, a constant dry feeling, topical fissures, and cracks which may be minor or may even bleed. Chapped skin is an extremely uncomfortable condition, but it is very easy to comfort and treat chapped skin.

Skin is most likely to become chapped during winter when frequent hand washings, dry air, central heating, and harsh weather conditions are prevalent. If you feel that your skin is becoming chapped, your regular hand lotion may not cut it. Here’s a few skin care tips and tricks for how to treat chapped skin.

  • Layer your skin care moisturizers. As soon as you get out of the shower, apply our Body Oil from the neck down, paying close attention to problem areas like the hands and feet. After the oil sinks in, apply a body moisturizer to the entire body, or apply a heavy cream just to the hands and feet.
  • Always carry hand lotion. Re-apply your lotion after every hand washing, whether it feels like you need it or not! Your dry skin will come back unless you reapply faithfully.
  • Wash in tepid water. When it’s chilly out, it’s very tempting to bathe or wash hands in very hot water. This is the worst thing you can do for chapped skin! Use tepid water only, and always follow with moisturizer.
  • Until skin begins to heal and go back to normal, use soaps and cleansers only once per day, even on your face. Wash in the morning with water only, and end your day with a tepid shower to remove makeup and purify skin.
  • Use a night cream, and extend application to include your lips. For example, if you’re using our Night Time Firming and Nourishing Face Moisturizer, apply it to the entire face and neck area, saving only the eye area. (You should always use a dedicated eye cream for the eye area.) If lips are especially chapped, “seal” in the moisturizer with your lip balm of choice.

By following these simple tips for chapped skin, your skin will be back to normal in no time. Be sure to maintain your newly repaired skin by continuing an extra moisturizing regimen until winter weather begins to defrost!

How to Keep Skin Care Products Fresh

Source: flickr.com user JEM

Source: flickr.com user JEM

Most skin care products are formulated with ingredients designed to keep them pure and fresh. However, even with these precautions, there are times when one’s products begin to have issues, from harmful bacteria to texture separation. If you’re looking to prolong the life and purity of your products, follow these simple steps for how to keep skin care products fresh.

 

1) Use a cosmetic spatula. It may seem weird to use a cosmetic spatula or cotton swab to apply your own skin care products, but it will hugely reduce the amount of bacteria in your bottles and jars. Removing product with a small plastic spatula, or even a small spoon, will ensure that your products stay fresh.

If it’s unrealistic for you to have the extra step of a scooping implement, at least wash your hands before dipping into your creams and lotions! This will reduce the risk of transferring harmful bacteria to your product, helping to prolong its life.

2) Store your products properly. Most beauty products will recommend a cool, dry storage space, though very few require refrigeration or other special accommodations. This is not for the manufacturer’s entertainment! Your products will last much longer – and maintain their textures better – when stored properly.

3) Don’t share! Beauty products are one area in which sharing is not caring. Especially eye products! Swapping everything from face cream to eye cosmetics is one of the main ways you can “infect” your product and lead to its demise. If you care about the health of your skin, eyes, and products, tell your friend to bring her own products!

4) Use your products within a respectable timeframe. This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes people assume that skin care products don’t expire. That’s not the case! Even if your products don’t have an expiration date (most don’t), that doesn’t mean they can sit on a shelf for a year and have the same texture and efficacy as a new product. They may even irritate the skin after sitting for so long. So, don’t get precious about savoring your products; use them as they’re intended to achieve the results you bought them for!

These four little steps will go a long way toward keeping skin care products fresh and pure.

Raw Essentials: Your One Stop Regimen Stop

Source: flickr.com user marzk

Source: flickr.com user marzk

If you’re like most women, your skin care regimen consists of a buffet of products from different lines. You may even have products designed for all different skin types — a cleanser for oily skin, a moisturizer for normal skin, a spot treatment for acne skin. 

While picking and choosing your favorite products from all different brands may seem like the best way to achieve great skin, you may actually be harming your skin or interfering with each product’s beneficial ingredients.

First off, you should always use skin care products formulated for your skin type. It’s not just the active ingredients that matter; the entire formulation matters. That’s why using an acne spot treatment on dry skin breakouts may cause an issue. While the ingredients may dry the blemish, they’ll also suck the moisture out of already dry skin, leaving it red, flaky, and irritated.

Similarly, a cleanser for oily skin won’t balance out just the t-zone of normal skin; it will upset the balance of the skin, leading to overactive oil production and breakouts, thereby ruining your normal skin type!

There are some brands, including Raw Essentials, which are formulated to be used by all skin types. This means that the brand’s focus is on nourishing and supporting healthy skin functions, which is why it’s beneficial no matter what your skin type. Think of it like eating produce; regardless of your dietary restrictions, everybody needs fresh fruits and veggies!

Aside from using skin care designed for your specific skin type, there are other dangers to mixing and matching different skin care brands and products. Active ingredients may compete with each other or interact in an unknown way, causing damage that may or may not be seen on the surface. Similarly, ingredients may compete for absorbency, canceling each other out and making your regimen moot.

By using a complete skin care regimen from one skin care line, you’re ensuring that each product will work synergistically without causing potentially dangerous ingredient interactions. When you use only one skin care line, every product blends effortlessly and supports one another, leading to maximized benefits with reduced risk of irritation.

Lastly, building a regimen from one line is much easier than mixing and matching, as it’s simple to see what’s missing from your collection. You may even find that you need fewer products, as an entire line is designed to provide everything your skin needs, whereas products from separate brands may have gaps that you’re unaware of.

Do you have a favorite skin care line that you stick to, or do you mix and match your products? Tell us your regimen in the comments below!

Vitamin C and Your Skin

Source: flickr.com user slipah

Source: flickr.com user slipah

Vitamin C plays an essential role on the overall health of your body. From boosting the immune system to promoting iron absorption and even lowering one’s risk of certain heart disease, vitamin C is a powerful nutrient for the body. But, did you know it’s just as important for skin health and integrity?

In addition to the great benefits mentioned above, vitamin C is also essential to the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein which acts as a glue that binds cells together. It is the most abundant fiber in the body’s connective tissue, and plays a huge role in maintaining the form and strength of the teeth, bones, skin, organs, and cartilage.

When it comes to skin, collagen is responsible for keeping skin firm, resilient, and supple. It is abundant in youthful skin, but deteriorates as we age. This is what causes older skin to wrinkle! A lack of vitamin C can cause premature skin aging, including fine lines and wrinkles, as well as bruising of the skin.

Another way vitamin C works to prevent skin aging is by protecting it with antioxidants. Beneficial for the entire body, antioxidants help prevent cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals can cause a wide range of damage, including the skin damage which leads to more signs of skin aging, as well as skin dullness and overall lack of health.

If you’re concerned about aging skin, vitamin C is the perfect place to start. It is found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, and may also be taken as a supplement. Lastly, vitamin C is found in many skin care products, including anti-aging skin care. By incorporating vitamin C into your diet, daily supplements, and daily skin care routine, you’ll be sure to slow visible signs of aging, and even restore a more youthful tone and texture to skin that has already started exhibiting fine lines and wrinkles.

Body Skin Care

Source: flickr.com user danivenn

Source: flickr.com user danivenn

You pamper your face with rich skin care moisturizers and anti-aging products, but do you properly care for the skin on your body? Your body needs more than the occasional dousing of lotion — if you want the skin on your body to be as soft, radiant, and healthy as the skin on your face, follow these tips…

Protect against sun damage. Too often, we apply an SPF to our face, neck, and chest, but leave the rest of our body exposed to UV damage! This is what leads to premature skin aging, wrinkles, fine lines, leathery texture, hyperpigmentation and more. If you’d like to keep your body looking youthful and healthy, be sure to protect it by wearing weather-appropriate clothing and applying an SPF to exposed skin.

Cleanse right. A lot of mainstream soaps and body wash products are very stripping on the skin. Most of them contain sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate, an extreme irritant that is also used in floor cleaners and grease removal products! Instead, be sure to use a gentle body cleanser that will benefit your skin while it cleanse. Our Balancing Body Wash, for example, protects the skin with antioxidants while nourishing and moisturizing with a blend of natural oils. The skin is left soft, pure, and gorgeous.

Moisturize every day! When you use your daily face moisturizer, use your body moisturizer, too. Whether you use a body lotion, body cream, or body oil, the skin on your body needs to be properly hydrated and protected against moisture loss. This will keep skin supple, soft, and radiant, while also reinforcing the skin’s natural defenses against aggressors.

If you follow these three simple steps, your skin will look healthier than ever, and premature signs of aging won’t even be on your radar!

Why Skin Needs Antioxidants

Source: public domain. Used with permission granted by image owner Ben Mills.

Source: public domain. Used with permission granted by image owner Ben Mills.

The skin care industry is filled with a slew of ingredients from which to choose, from harsh manmade chemicals, to ultra pure and natural skin care ingredients. In the mix of all these ingredients stand skin care antioxidants, one of the simplest, yet most effective, skin care ingredients.

Why are skin antioxidants so important? Here’s a look at why skin needs antioxidants, and how your skin will change for the better when you start using them. First, let’s have a refresher on free radicals.

Any cell in the body can produce a free radical. A free radical is an atom or molecule that is missing an electron in its outer shell. This causes the atom or molecule to attack healthy cells in order to steal an electron to heal itself.

While a skin free radical is rocketing around, it is able to cause oxidative damage to the skin, which then causes biological aging. For example, a free radical will cause our skin’s natural oils to become rancid, which breaks down collagen, a protein responsible for the youthful tone and texture of young and healthy skin.

Free radicals have actually been linked to everything from premature signs of skin aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, as well as more sinister things like skin cancer. Free radicals are caused by a multitude of what we call aggressors — anything in one’s environment capable of damaging the body’s atoms or molecules, including cigarette smoke, sun damage, pollution, and more.

So, how do we stop this awful damage? The answer is simple and beautiful: skin care antioxidants! Antioxidants include vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Antioxidants are able to slow and even prevent the oxidation of other molecules by neutralizing free radicals. In this way, antioxidants can actually heal and prevent visible signs of aging and damage!

Antioxidants applied topically will directly treat free radicals within the skin. Within days or weeks of using an antioxidant-rich skin care product, you’ll notice increased firmness and radiance, and minimized fine lines, wrinkles, and even skin discoloration!

Another way you can treat skin free radicals is by eating a diet rich in dietary antioxidants. Many foods and supplements contain antioxidants; the best way to get your daily dose of antioxidants is by eating a diet rich in colorful veggies. The more colors, the more unique antioxidants to use within your body to stop all free radicals, in the skin and elsewhere.

As you can see, antioxidants are one of the most versatile fighters available to our skin as well as the rest of your body. So, be sure to consume your antioxidants and use an antioxidant-rich skin care program like Raw Essentials!