50% OFF SALE GOING ON NOW WITH PROMO CODE MAYTHEREBEPEACE

humanistbeauty-logo

How To Turn Skincare Into a Sacred Self-Care Ritual

We’ve all heard of skincare as self-care, but in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, where time slips through our fingers like sand, it can be challenging to find moments of solace and self-nurturing. That’s where mindfulness steps in. Amidst the chaos, our skincare routine can emerge as a sanctuary—a sacred ritual that extends beyond surface-level beauty. In this exploration, we delve into the profound connection between skincare and self-care, weaving in mindfulness practices and ancient-inspired rituals that elevate the essence of our well-being.

The Ritual of Cleansing

As the sun gently kisses the dawn or bids adieu to the day, the ritual of cleansing becomes a mindful journey. In the morning, it’s more than washing away the night; it’s a symbolic act of shedding yesterday’s burdens. Embrace the sensation of water, the touch of cleanser on your skin – each motion a gesture of renewal. Drawing inspiration from ancient cleansing rituals, consider infusing your routine with intention. Perhaps envision the water carrying away any negativity, leaving behind a canvas ready for the day’s artistry.

A Sacred Unveiling

In the realm of skincare, the cleansing ritual stands as a cornerstone—an intimate dance between you and your skin, a moment to shed the layers that accumulate through the day or night. Let’s delve deeper into this sacred act, exploring the tools, products, and the transformative benefits it bestows upon the skin.

Tools of Purification

Consider your choice of cleansing tools as instruments of care. From the simplicity of your hands, a vessel of touch and connection, to the luxurious softness of facial cleansing brushes, each tool imparts a unique sensation. Ancient traditions often employed natural materials like muslin or bamboo for their cleansing rituals. Modern adaptations include konjac sponges, a nod to the Japanese tradition of using konjac root for its gentle exfoliating properties.

Products as Elixirs of Renewal

The products you choose for cleansing become elixirs, infusing the ritual with therapeutic properties. From creamy cleansers reminiscent of ancient milk and honey baths to oil cleansers inspired by the wisdom of double cleansing from Korean skincare, each product tells a story. Aromatherapy joins the journey with botanical-infused cleansers, awakening the senses and turning the act of cleansing into a sensorial experience.

The Alchemy of Cleansing

As the water cascades over your face, carrying away impurities, it is not just a physical cleansing but a symbolic act of purification. The gentle massage of the cleanser invigorates the skin, promoting blood circulation and oxygenation. Ancient cultures often associated water with renewal and rebirth—consider the Japanese Misogi ritual, a waterfall purification practice symbolizing a spiritual cleanse.

Benefits Unveiled

The benefits of a mindful cleansing ritual are manifold. Firstly, it sets the stage for subsequent skincare steps, preparing the skin to absorb the goodness of serums and moisturizers more effectively. Cleansing removes excess oil, sweat, and environmental pollutants, preventing congestion and supporting the skin’s natural regeneration process.

Moreover, the act of cleansing is an act of self-respect. It communicates to your skin that you honor and care for it, fostering a positive relationship with your body. Beyond the physical, the ritual holds the potential to be a moment of mindfulness, a pause in the chaos of life.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Nourishing the Temple

Our skin is a reflection of our internal well-being, and the importance of hydration and nutrition cannot be overstated. Beyond topical treatments, the foundation of radiant skin lies in nourishing from within. As you sip your morning herbal tea or relish a nutrient-packed smoothie, consider it a mindful act of self-love. In ancient traditions, the concept of beauty elixirs was revered—infusions of nature’s bounty believed to enhance vitality and radiance. Today, we echo this wisdom through superfood-rich diets and skin-loving nutrients.

Feeding Your Skin’s Soul

Once the canvas is cleansed, the sacred ritual of nourishing begins—a journey where skincare becomes a feast for the skin, a banquet of hydration and nutrients. Let’s explore the customs and practices of infusing nourishment into your skincare routine, drawing inspiration from ancient wisdom and modern revelations.

Hydration as Elixir

In many ancient traditions, water is revered as a source of life and pureness. The concept extends to skincare, where hydration is the elixir that quenches the skin’s thirst. Begin this nourishing journey with a hydrating toner, echoing the rituals of floral water spritzing in ancient cultures. Incorporate practices from Ayurveda, where the cooling properties of rose water or the rejuvenating touch of sandalwood water are celebrated.

The Art of Treatment

Treating skin with topicals and touch is not just a physical act but a symbolic embrace of self-love. Caress your skin with your hands, using salves or tools like you would anoint a sacred vessel. Consider the practices of facial gua sha—a Chinese technique that involves gentle scraping motions with a thin smooth stone, promoting lymphatic drainage and enhancing product absorption. Picture each stroke as a gesture of care, sculpting your skin with intention.

Ancient Beauty Elixirs

Explore the world of ancient beauty elixirs, where oils and potions were treasured as gifts from nature. In Ayurveda, sesame oil has been revered for its nourishing properties. Embrace the wisdom of the Egyptians, anointing your skin with the liquid gold of argan oil. Anoint your skin with the supernutrients contained in a precious bottle of Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil from Humanist Beauty. These elixirs are more than skincare; they are invitations to connect with the wisdom of the ancients, infusing your routine with timeless beauty.

Mindful Eating for Radiance

Extend the concept of nourishment beyond topical applications. What you consume reflects on your skin. In Ayurveda, the belief is that radiant skin comes from a balanced diet. Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods like berries, leafy greens, and nuts into your meals. In the spirit of mindful eating, savor each bite, recognizing that what you ingest contributes to the radiance you seek.

Cultural Nourishing Traditions

Across cultures, there are unique nourishing traditions that go beyond skincare. In Korea, the practice of “hannamubi” involves applying the essence of boiled rice water to the skin for a luminous complexion. In Japan, the consumption of collagen-rich foods like fish and seaweed is celebrated for its skin-plumping effects. Integrate these customs into your routine, weaving a tapestry of global beauty wisdom.

As you nourish your skin, consider it an act of reciprocity. Your skin, like a sacred temple, deserves offerings of love, kindness, and nutrients. Let the practices of hydrating, moisturizing, and embracing ancient elixirs be more than skincare steps; let them be rituals of nourishment, feeding not just your skin but your soul.

Herban Wisdom Facial Oil

The Art of Mindful Moisturizing

After the canvas is cleansed and the skin is nourished, the journey of self-care continues with the art of mindful moisturizing—a deliberate and intentional act that transcends mere hydration. Moisturizing is more than just a step in the routine; it’s a gesture of self-preservation. In this section, we’ll delve into the intricacies of this ritual, exploring techniques, products, and the profound benefits it imparts to your skin and soul.

Rituals of Moisture

Imagine moisturizing not as a routine task but as a sacred dance, a symphony of touch and intention. Begin with a moment of mindfulness. Pause and appreciate the vessel that is your body. Acknowledge the journey your skin has undertaken from cleansing to nourishment. Let this awareness infuse the act of moisturizing with a sense of gratitude and connection. Consider incorporating specific gestures into your ritual. Picture a gentle pressing motion, like the petals of a flower unfolding, as you apply your moisturizer. Alternatively, indulge in a self-massage, taking the time to knead tension away from your face, neck, and décolletage. These deliberate movements elevate the moisturizing ritual from a mundane task to a transformative experience.

Techniques of Tranquility

Mindful moisturizing is about more than just slathering on a product—it’s about engaging with your skin in a way that fosters relaxation and tranquility. Begin with deep, intentional breaths. As you apply the moisturizer, synchronize your breath with your movements, creating a rhythmic flow that calms the mind. Explore the technique of acupressure, pressing specific points on the face associated with relaxation and rejuvenation. As your fingers trace these points, envision stress melting away, leaving room for a serene glow to emerge. Combine this with the use of jade rollers or gua sha tools, encouraging lymphatic drainage and promoting a sense of well-being.

Choosing Sacred Elixirs

Selecting the right moisturizer is akin to choosing a sacred elixir for your skin. Consider products with natural, botanical ingredients that resonate with your senses. Infusions of chamomile, lavender, or rose not only nourish the skin but also engage your olfactory senses in a sensory journey. Incorporate traditional beauty oils like jojoba, squalane, or rosehip seed oil. These oils, reminiscent of ancient beauty elixirs, provide deep hydration and lend a touch of luxury to your routine. The act of anointing your skin with these precious oils becomes a ceremony, a communion between you and the timeless wisdom of natural ingredients.

Benefits of Mindful Moisturizing

Beyond the surface-level benefits of hydration, mindful moisturizing offers a cascade of advantages. The intentional touch and massage can improve blood circulation, promoting a healthy complexion. The act of mindful breathing during this ritual reduces stress, contributing to a calmer mind and, consequently, a relaxed visage.

Emotionally, this practice nurtures a positive relationship with your body. It becomes a self-affirming act—a moment where you acknowledge the beauty of your skin and express gratitude for the vessel that carries you through life. Mindful moisturizing becomes an anchor, grounding you in the present and fostering a deeper connection with your inner self.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Serenity in Skincare: Face Masks and Meditation

Enter the realm of serenity by intertwining skincare with meditation. Applying a face mask becomes a meditative practice, a pause button for the mind. Picture the mask as a shield, guarding not only your skin but also your peace. Drawing inspiration from ancient mask rituals, where beauty and spirituality intertwined, let this modern adaptation be a bridge to inner tranquility. This section explores the profound connection between these two practices, each enhancing the other to weave a tapestry of tranquility for your skin and soul.

The Ritual of Masking: A Gateway to Stillness

Face masks are not mere skincare products; they are gateways to stillness—a pause in the daily hustle to indulge in self-care. Choosing a face mask becomes a mindful act, an intentional selection based on your skin’s needs and your desire for serenity. For the most conscious mask choice, opt for a rinse-off or leave-on formula—avoid ever using single-use sachets or disposable non-woven cloth masks.

Customizing the Experience

Consider customizing your masking experience to align with your emotional state. Opt for a calming lavender-infused rinse-off mask for moments of stress, or choose a brightening citrus overnight leave-on mask when you seek an invigorating lift. The selection process becomes a conscious decision to address both your skin’s requirements and your emotional well-being.

Application as a Ritual

Applying a face mask becomes a ritual of self-love. As you paint the mask onto your skin, visualize it as a protective shield, guarding not just your physical complexion but also your mental and emotional well-being. Let each stroke be deliberate, a gesture of care and devotion to yourself.

Meditation in the Mask: Finding Stillness Amidst the Clay

The application of a face mask is not merely a waiting period; it’s an opportunity for meditation. Picture the mask as a cocoon, a space of transformation and rejuvenation. As the mask dries or settles into your skin, enter a state of mindfulness.

Guided Meditation

Consider incorporating guided meditation into your masking ritual. Apps or online platforms offer short meditation sessions tailored to the time it takes for your mask to work its magic. Focus on your breath, the sensation of the mask on your skin, and visualize each inhale bringing in positivity and each exhale releasing tension.

Body Scan Meditation

Engage in a body scan meditation, directing your attention to each part of your body. As you move your awareness from head to toe, imagine the mask drawing out not just impurities from your skin but also stress and fatigue from your entire being.

Ancient Mask Rituals and Modern Adaptations

The practice of using masks for beauty and well-being dates back centuries across various cultures. From the renowned clay masks of ancient Egypt to the soothing yogurt masks of Ayurveda, these rituals have stood the test of time.

Modern Adaptations with Natural Clays

Incorporate ancient inspirations into your modern routine using different types of masks. Embrace the purifying properties of Bentonite clay, revered for its detoxifying abilities in rinse-off masks. Kaolin clay, a gentle option, mirrors the softness of ancient masks used in rituals of self-purification. Rhassoul clay, inspired by traditional Moroccan practices, provides deep cleansing while preserving the skin’s natural moisture in overnight leave-on masks.

Honey Masks and Beyond

Honey masks, while not a vegan option, have been used since ancient times for their soothing, antibacterial properties.  Aloe masks offer skin-soothing hydration that helps to calm and quench dry, sensitive skin. The choice of mask becomes a bridge connecting you to the timeless wisdom of beauty rituals, where each natural ingredient carries the essence of ancient traditions.

Benefits Beyond the Surface

Beyond the visible benefits of clearer, brighter skin, the combination of face masks and meditation offers holistic advantages. The stillness cultivated during the masking process extends beyond the ritual itself, fostering a sense of calm that lingers in your daily life.

As you remove the mask, envision shedding not just impurities but also the burdens of the day. This practice becomes a reminder that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity—a moment to find serenity in the sanctuary of your skincare routine.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Timeless Beauty Practices from Ancient Wisdom

Ancient beauty practices are the threads that weave through time, connecting us to the wisdom of civilizations long past. This section delves into the beauty rituals of ancient cultures—Ayurveda, Chinese traditions, and Egyptian regimens—and how these timeless practices continue to inspire modern skincare routines.

Ayurvedic Wisdom: Honoring the Elements

Ayurveda, the ancient healing system from India, views beauty as an expression of inner balance. Central to Ayurveda is the concept of doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—representing the fundamental energies of the body. Embrace Ayurvedic skincare by identifying your dosha and tailoring your routine accordingly.

Balancing Act with Oils

Ayurvedic beauty rituals often involve the use of oils, such as sesame or coconut oil, to balance the doshas. First, take a test to determine your dosha, then incorporate suggested oils that align with your dosha into your routine. The Ayurvedic practice of oil cleansing or Abhyanga—a self-massage with warm oil—is a lovely way to infuse self-care into your skin care regimen. Picture each drop of oil as a nourishing potion, bringing harmony to your skin and spirit.

Ubtan: Nature’s Beauty Elixir

Ubtan, a traditional Ayurvedic mask made from herbs, spices, and grains, is a potent elixir for radiant skin. Customize your Ubtan based on your skin’s needs, embracing the therapeutic properties of ingredients like turmeric, sandalwood, and chickpea flour.

Chinese Elegance: The Harmony of Yin and Yang

Chinese beauty traditions are rooted in achieving harmony—both within the body and with the surrounding environment. Embrace the principles of Yin and Yang to cultivate balance and radiance in your skin.

Gua Sha: Sculpting Beauty from Within

Gua Sha, a Chinese facial massage technique, promotes lymphatic drainage and stimulates blood circulation. Incorporate a Gua Sha tool, often made of jade or rose quartz, into your routine. Envision it as a sculptor’s tool, shaping your facial contours and fostering a sense of inner balance.

Green Tea Elixirs

Green tea, celebrated in Chinese culture for its antioxidant properties, can be a powerful addition to your skincare routine. Use green tea-infused products or create your own green tea mask. Let the natural elixir revive your skin, mirroring the ancient reverence for this soothing beverage.

Egyptian Royalty Rituals: Gold and Essential Oils

Egyptian beauty rituals were extravagant affairs, especially among royalty. Cleopatra, the epitome of ancient Egyptian beauty, left a legacy of indulgence and opulence.

Gold-infused Elixirs

Channel the spirit of Cleopatra by incorporating gold-infused skincare. Gold is believed to promote collagen production and impart a radiant glow. Consider gold-infused serums or masks, envisioning each application as a nod to the regal beauty rituals of ancient Egypt.

Sacred Essential Oils

Essential oils, such as frankincense and myrrh, were treasured by ancient Egyptians for their aromatic and skincare benefits. Use these oils in your routine, perhaps during a calming facial massage. Picture yourself in the luxurious chambers of an ancient Egyptian queen, indulging in the scents that once graced the royal court.

Japanese Serenity: Embracing Simplicity

Japanese beauty philosophy is grounded in simplicity and respect for nature. The pursuit of “Kanso,” simplicity, guides skincare practices to enhance the skin’s natural radiance.

Double Cleansing

Double cleansing, a Japanese skincare staple, involves using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based one. This ritual ensures thorough cleansing without stripping the skin. Picture the oils lifting away impurities, leaving your skin pristine and in harmony with nature.

Sacred Camellia Oil

Camellia oil, revered in Japan for centuries, is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Use camellia oil as a moisturizer, appreciating its lightweight yet deeply nourishing nature. Let it be a reminder of the simplicity and elegance celebrated in Japanese skincare.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

In the symphony of our daily lives, our skincare routine emerges as a harmonious melody—an intricate composition of self-care, mindfulness, and ancient wisdom. Let every drop of serum, every stroke of the jade roller, be a note in this symphony. As you unveil your radiant skin, remember that it’s not just about beauty; it’s about embracing the profound connection between caring for your skin and nurturing your soul. May your skincare ritual be a sacred journey, an ode to the beauty within, and a timeless affirmation of self-love.

Hormones And Your Skin

In the intricate tapestry of human biology, hormones play an astonishingly vital role. These chemical messengers are instrumental in regulating numerous bodily functions, from mood and metabolism to growth and reproduction. Yet, perhaps nowhere is their influence more apparent than in the health and appearance of our skin. This delicate balance between hormones and skin health is a subject that continues to fascinate scientists, dermatologists, and skincare enthusiasts alike.

The Hormonal Symphony Within

Picture this: your skin is like a canvas, a reflection of your inner health and well-being. And the brushstrokes on this canvas are intricately guided by hormones. These biochemical compounds wield considerable power over your skin’s oil production, hydration, pigmentation, and even its propensity for inflammation.

The connection between hormones and skin health is particularly noticeable during periods of hormonal fluctuations, such as adolescence, pregnancy, and menopause. Let’s take a closer look at specific hormones and their impact on the skin.

Androgen and Acne

Androgens, a group of hormones often associated with testosterone and male characteristics, wield a significant influence over the health and appearance of the skin. These powerful chemical messengers are present in both males and females, orchestrating a complex symphony of biological processes within the body.

In the context of the skin, androgens hold a pivotal role in regulating sebum production. Sebaceous glands, scattered across the skin’s surface, produce this oily substance, which is essential for maintaining skin hydration. However, an excess of sebum can lead to clogged pores and acne formation.

During puberty, androgen levels surge, triggering the sebaceous glands to kick into high gear. This surge is why acne is a common companion during adolescence. As androgen levels rise, so does sebum production, leading to a heightened likelihood of clogged pores and subsequent breakouts.

It’s not just adolescence that sees the influence of androgens on the skin. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal imbalances can result in increased androgen production, contributing to persistent acne in adults.

Estrogen and Collagen Synthesis

Estrogen, renowned for its multifaceted influence on the female body, extends its reach to the skin, where it plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis. Collagen, often dubbed the structural scaffolding of the skin, is responsible for its firmness, elasticity, and youthful appearance.

As estrogen levels ebb and flow throughout a woman’s life, their impact on collagen becomes palpable. During periods of hormonal abundance, such as adolescence and early adulthood, estrogen’s presence encourages robust collagen production. This contributes to the suppleness and radiant glow of youthful skin.

However, as the natural aging process unfolds and estrogen levels decline, a noticeable shift occurs. Reduced estrogen availability translates to decreased collagen synthesis, resulting in skin thinning, sagging, and the formation of wrinkles. Postmenopausal women, who experience a significant drop in estrogen levels, often bear witness to these changes more acutely.

Scientific studies, such as those published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, underscore the intricate dance between estrogen and collagen. These insights encourage the exploration of estrogen-based therapies in the realm of skincare, aiming to restore and maintain collagen’s resilience and vitality, effectively prolonging the skin’s youthful appearance.

Cortisol and Skin Inflammation

Cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, conducts a complex interplay between the mind and body, with profound implications for skin health. Known as the “fight or flight” hormone, cortisol’s role extends beyond stress response to impact various physiological processes, including the skin’s condition.

In the context of skin health, chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to a cascade of effects. Stress-induced cortisol spikes disrupt the skin’s delicate equilibrium, triggering inflammation, impairing its barrier function, and exacerbating conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. This inflammatory response can also accelerate skin aging, leading to the premature appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.

Scientific studies, such as those published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, highlight cortisol’s intricate connection with skin health. Stress management techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga have shown potential in mitigating the negative impact of cortisol on the skin.

Thyroid Hormones and Skin’s Barrier Function

Beyond their pivotal role in regulating metabolism, thyroid hormones, like thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), extend their reach to impact the skin’s health and appearance. In fact, the skin can show noticeable changes when thyroid function is disrupted.

Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in maintaining the skin’s moisture balance and barrier function. When thyroid function is compromised, as in cases of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, these roles come into sharp focus. Hypothyroidism, characterized by low thyroid hormone levels, often results in dry, rough, and scaly skin. The impairment of the skin’s barrier function can lead to increased susceptibility to irritants and infections.

On the other hand, hyperthyroidism, marked by excessive thyroid hormone production, presents a different set of challenges. Skin may become thin and fragile, with increased susceptibility to bruising. Excessive sweating and warmth may also accompany hyperthyroidism, adding to the complexity of its impact on the skin.

Scientific investigations, as documented in the European Journal of Dermatology, emphasize the intricate connection between thyroid hormones and skin health. The skin’s responsiveness to thyroid function highlights the integral relationship between internal hormonal balance and external appearance.

Addressing Hormonal Skincare Challenges

The link between diet and hormonal balance is an intricate one, as the food we consume exerts a profound influence on the delicate balance of hormones within our bodies. Nutritional choices play a pivotal role in supporting or disrupting hormonal equilibrium.

Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids act as building blocks for hormone production and regulation. A diet rich in antioxidants, found in colorful fruits and vegetables, can combat oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting hormonal harmony. Omega-3 fatty acids, prevalent in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, contribute to balanced hormone production.

Conversely, excessive consumption of refined sugars and highly processed foods can lead to insulin resistance, a condition that disrupts hormone regulation and may contribute to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Furthermore, the gut, often referred to as the “second brain,” plays a crucial role in hormonal balance. A diet that supports gut health through fiber-rich foods, fermented products, and prebiotics can positively influence hormones like insulin and cortisol.

Scientific research, as highlighted in journals like the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, underscores the intricate interplay between diet and hormonal balance. By choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods and maintaining a balanced diet, we can empower our bodies to maintain optimal hormonal equilibrium and support overall well-being.

Science-Backed Supplements for Radiant Complexion

In the pursuit of vibrant skin, science sheds light on a spectrum of supplements that hold promise for enhancing skin health. These bioactive compounds, when taken wisely, can complement a wholesome diet and skincare routine.

  1. Vitamin C: Renowned for its antioxidant prowess, vitamin C is a stalwart defender against oxidative stress, promoting collagen synthesis and skin radiance. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology highlights its potential to counteract photodamage.
  2. Vitamin E: Another potent antioxidant, vitamin E, works in harmony with vitamin C to shield the skin from free radicals. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests its efficacy in minimizing the detrimental effects of UV exposure.
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Derived from sources like fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin and enhance its barrier function. Research in the Journal of Lipid Research demonstrates their potential in mitigating inflammatory skin conditions.
  4. Zinc: This essential mineral plays a vital role in skin health, supporting wound healing and regulating oil production. A study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology explores zinc’s efficacy in treating acne, underscoring its potential as a skin-enhancing supplement.
  5. Collagen Peptides: As a building block of skin structure, collagen peptides have garnered attention for their potential in promoting skin elasticity and hydration. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology outlines their positive impact on skin aging.
  6. Probiotics: Gut health and skin health share an intricate connection. Probiotic supplements, as detailed in the Journal of Dermatological Science, hold promise in managing skin conditions through their potential to modulate gut flora and inflammation.

These science-backed supplements, when integrated thoughtfully into a holistic approach, have the potential to elevate skin health. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional before introducing supplements into your regimen to ensure personalized suitability and dosing.

Herbal Remedies for Hormonal Skin Issues

While the domain of hormonal skin health often leads us toward pharmacological interventions, the realm of herbal remedies offers a natural approach. These remedies, grounded in centuries-old wisdom, have gained renewed attention for their potential to complement modern skincare practices.

  1. Tea Tree Oil: With its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil has emerged as a promising agent in acne management. A study in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology highlights its efficacy in reducing acne lesions.
  2. Saw Palmetto: Derived from the berries of the saw palmetto plant, this herbal remedy has demonstrated anti-androgenic effects. A randomized trial published in the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery suggests its potential in addressing androgen-related skin issues.
  3. Licorice Root: Renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, licorice root extract has shown promise in reducing skin redness and inflammation. Research in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology explores its potential in treating various skin conditions.

Lifestyle Approaches for Addressing Hormonal Skin

Adopting a holistic approach of recognizing that your skin’s condition often reflects the underlying imbalances within underscores the importance of addressing overall well-being. Each individual’s hormonal profile is unique, necessitating a personalized approach to skincare. A personalized skincare routine can do wonders in maintaining skin health. Products containing salicylic acid can be beneficial for acne-prone skin. For mature skin, products containing retinoids have been extensively studied for their collagen-boosting effects. Chronic stress can lead to hormonal imbalances, which may manifest on the skin. Incorporating stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can indirectly promote skin health. Hormonal changes influence skin over time and addressing skin concerns requires consistent efforts and patience. A consistent skincare routine coupled with lifestyle adjustments can yield gradual but lasting improvements.

Final Thoughts

The intricate interplay between hormones and skin health is a reminder of our body’s remarkable complexity. As we journey through life, our skin reflects the stories written by our hormones. By nurturing our skin with a balanced diet, supplements, and a mindful skincare regimen, we can empower ourselves to navigate the twists and turns of hormonal changes while maintaining a radiant complexion. While scientific research sheds light on the hormonal impact on skin, each individual’s experience is unique. Listening to your body and seeking professional guidance when needed will undoubtedly pave the way for healthier, happier skin—imbued with the wisdom of hormones and the care it deserves.

Why Skin Needs Moisture

No matter your skin type, moisturizer is an excellent product to incorporate into your daily skincare routine as it can keep your skin hydrated and refreshed. As we age, the oil glands that keep our skin healthy lose their power, which causes them to create less oil. Moisturizing daily helps the glands to not have to work as hard to keep your skin feeling and looking its best. In this blog, we’ll discuss the skin’s lipid barrier, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), the difference between hydration and moisture, dry vs. dehydrated skin, and the reasons why your skin needs moisture.

What’s Your Skin’s Lipid Barrier?

Your skin is made up of layers with each one performing important functions in protecting your body. The outermost layer, known as the stratum corneum, is often described as a brick wall.1 It consists of tough skin cells called corneocytes that are bound together by mortar-like lipids. This is your skin barrier.2 Inside the skin cells, or “bricks,” you’ll find keratin and natural moisturizers. 

The lipid layer contains:

  • Cholesterol
  • Fatty Acids
  • Ceramides

Without your skin’s lipid barrier, various harmful environmental toxins and pathogens could penetrate your skin and cause adverse effects inside your body.3 Additionally, if you didn’t have a skin barrier, the water inside your body would escape and evaporate, leaving you completely dehydrated.4

Layers of the Skin

Pictured: Layers of the Skin     Source: Dermascope

A  Brief Dive Into Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL)

To understand TEWL, let’s revisit the layers of your skin. Your skin is comprised of three primary layers. The outermost layer is known as the epidermis, which is what you see in the mirror. The dermis is the middle layer, while the hypodermis is the innermost layer. TEWL occurs when water passes from the dermis through the epidermis and evaporates through the skin barrier.5

Dermatologist Anna Guanche mentions, “The skin barrier consists of the epidermis and, most specifically, the hard, outermost layer of the stratum corneum. The epidermis is what we typically think of as the outer layer of the skin, but it’s made up of five layers. The outermost layer of the epidermis is the stratum corneum.”

When the stratum corneum is compromised, moisture evaporates through the ineffective skin barrier, and you may see very dry, dull or dehydrated skin. Your skin is typically wise enough to regulate water loss and retain hydration on its own, but sometimes certain factors damage your skin barrier’s function, exacerbating dryness.6

Pictured: Skin with barrier still intact vs. Skin with barrier integrity damaged      Source: Eminence

Here are four signs that you may be experiencing TEWL:

  • Irritation
  • Flaking
  • Itchiness
  • Tightness

The Difference Between Hydration and Moisture

A simple way to differentiate these terms is to remember that hydration refers to water while moisture refers to oil.7 However, it’s crucial to first understand the difference between a humectant, emollient, and a sealant, along with why they are used in various beauty and skincare products.8

Board-certified dermatologist Annie Gonzalez says, “Humectants, which hydrate the skin, pull water into the skin from within the body or the environment. Emollients moisturize the skin by filling in the gaps between skin cells and replacing missing lipids to fortify the skin. Sealants, which moisturize the skin, seal in water and help shore up the skin’s barrier functions.” 

Humectants

Humectants are water-loving ingredients that work by attracting water molecules from either the environment or from deeper within the body, ultimately adding more water content to the skin. Our skin naturally makes humectants, as well. These are called natural moisture factors (or NMFs), and they include things like lactic acid and urea.9

Powerful humectants include:

  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Glycols

Emollients

Emollients are lighter oil-based substances that work by covering the skin with a protective film to trap in moisture. Emollients are often used to help manage dry, itchy, or scaly skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and ichthyosis.10

More specific examples of emollients include:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Squalane
  • Cocoa Butter

Sealants

The skin’s natural barrier acts as a shield for the skin, keeping vitamins and nutrients in and keeping toxins, pollutants, and other environmental aggressors out. Sealants add to the skin’s natural barrier by protecting the skin, preventing TEWL, and sealing in moisture.11

In general, sealants are heavier, waxy substances, which include:

  • Lanolin
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Heavier Silicones

Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin

You may be wondering how to determine whether you need hydration or moisture from your skincare products. In short, you need both types of products to ensure that your skin’s lipid barrier is functioning properly. However, it’s important to know the difference between dry and dehydrated skin so you can adjust your skincare routine’s hydration-to-moisture ratios to better fit your skin’s needs.

Third-generation aesthetician, CEO, and Co-Founder of Glowbar, Rachel Liverman, says, “If your skin is dry, it means it lacks oil, so the solution would be a moisturizer; if your skin is dehydrated, meaning it lacks water, you need a hydrator.” A good way to tell whether your skin is dry or dehydrated is to look at its texture. Dehydrated skin tends to look dull and feel tight, whereas dry skin is often flaky, patchy, and sometimes red.12

Liverman explains, “If a client’s skin is presenting as dry (lacking oil), we choose a moisturizer with more humectants and emollients. If a client’s skin shows signs of dehydration, we choose serums with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides. It’s important to remember, though, whether you are dry or dehydrated, I, along with many, recommend using both humectants and sealants.”

Hydrators vs. Moisturizers

Pictured: Hydrators and Moisturizers Ven Diagram     Source: Xtend Life

The Importance of Moisturizing

Moisturizing is a key step in any skincare routine. Here are five reasons why moistuzing your skin is so important:

  • Moisturizing can help your skin repair itself. The most sensitive areas of your skin, like the face, ears, and neck, replace themselves more often than any other area on your skin, which leaves these areas vulnerable to dryness and the elements. Moisturizing can help give your skin the boost it needs to repair itself and stay healthy.13
  • Moisturizing can help keep acne at bay. While excess oil is normally the culprit behind breakouts, dry skin can signal your skin to produce more oil, thus leading to acne. Moisturizing can stop your skin from overcompensating with sebum, which in turn can keep acne at bay.14
  • Moisturizing can give you a smooth base for applying makeup. Moisturizing a few minutes before you apply your makeup can give you a smoother surface to work with, resulting in a more even complexion.15
  • Moisturizing can slow down the signs of skin aging. Properly moisturizing your skin can keep it from developing pre-mature lines and wrinkles. Plus, it can can help minimize the appearance of wrinkles that are already present. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that subjects who used moisturizer developed wrinkles much slower than those who didn’t.16

The Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream 

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream

The Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream are powerful, moisturizing skin treatments that fuse together the power of humectants, emollients, and sealants to keep your skin healthy and ready to take on the day. 

You can shop the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream here.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-barrier#:~:text=Your%20skin%20is%20made%20up,This%20is%20your%20skin%20barrier. [1][2]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2843412/ [3][4]

https://eminenceorganics.com/us/blog/2021/09/20/what-transepidermal-water-loss-how-stop-it#:~:text=TEWL%20occurs%20when%20water%20passes,layer%20of%20the%20stratum%20corneum. [5][6]

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/hydration-vs-moisture [7][8]

https://www.healthline.com/health/humectant#:~:text=A%20humectant%20is%20a%20common,of%20the%20product%20at%20hand. [9]

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/emollients/ [10]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536416/ [11]

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/dry-vs-dehydrated [12]

https://www.vogue.in/beauty/content/winter-skincare-diet-tips-to-hydrate-your-skin-from-within [13]

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/skin-care/moisturizer#:~:text=In%20studies%2C%20most%20patients%20see,medication%2C%20cleanser%2C%20and%20moisturizer. [14]

https://www.stives.com/how-to-moisturize-before-makeup#:~:text=Moisturizer%20does%20two%20very%20important,cause%20it%20to%20look%20cakey. [15]

https://www.glowday.com/blog/the-importance-of-moisturiser-in-the-ageing-process [16]

Give Beauty Roundup

With the holidays just around the corner, many people have begun shopping for loved ones’ gifts. Of course the holidays aren’t just about presents, but studies do show that giving and receiving gifts helps us feel good. Aside from being one of the five love languages, gifts selected with care help express your values and support businesses that are helping make the world a better place. Buying clean, non-toxic gifts for the beauty and skincare lovers in your life can also be soul-warming knowing your present is better for our planet’s health. Say goodbye to gift-related stress as we’ve scoured EWG Verified, Leaping Bunny, B Corp, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Carbon Neutral brands to find the best gifts for your friends and loved ones (and you!). Here are our top 13 favorite clean beauty and self-care gifts to give this holiday season:

HiBAR Shampoo and Conditioner Sample Bar Set

Hibar Shampoo and Conditioner BarsHiBAR’s all-natural shampoo and conditioner bars are made with all hair types in mind, and they cleanse and moisturize without all the wasteful packaging. HiBAR’s shampoo bars can last as long as one 16oz bottle, while the solid conditioner bar can last as long as two. HiBAR is Leaping Bunny Certified and Climate Pledge Friendly.

You can purchase the HiBAR Shampoo and Conditioner Sample Bar Set here

Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask

Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask with Superfruits & Shea ButterHonest Beauty’s antioxidant-rich, moisturizing mask utilizes black currant extract and ice wine to help make the skin appear firmer and more supple. It’s also formulated with vitamin E and superfruits to nourish and replenish. Honest Beauty is EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Cruelty-Free. 

You can purchase the Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask here.

Versed Hydration Station Booster Facial Treatment

Versed Hydration Station Booster Facial TreatmentThis serum booster uses two types of hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin’s surface and the layers beneath it. It’s virtually weightless, which means it disappears into the skin within seconds. It can be used alone as a serum or mixed in with your other serums, gels, creams, and even face makeup to create a dewy look. Versed Skincare is EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Leaping Bunny Certified. 

You can purchase the Versed Hydration Station Booster Facial Treatment here

Greenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads Gift Pack

Greenzla Reusable Makeup WipesThe Greenzla Makeup Pads are designed to last for years, which means no more throwaway cotton balls, wipes, sponges, or paper towels in your beauty routine. The surface of the pads are made from ultra-soft natural bamboo and organic cotton material. This Climate Pledge Friendly and Zero-Waste package includes 20 reusable makeup remover pads, a storage container, and a laundry bag.

You can purchase the Greenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads Gift Pack here

Pipette Relaxing Body Lotion

Pipette Relaxing Body Lotion

If you know a new or expecting mom or someone that just loves clean, non-toxic lotion, Pipette’s Relaxing Body Lotion is the perfect gift. This softly aromatic moisturizing body lotion with plant-derived ingredients melts in instantly, adding long-lasting, weightless moisture to the skin. All Pipette’s products are EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Leaping Bunny Certified.

You can purchase the Pipette Relaxing Body Lotion here

Moon Valley Organics Rejuvenating Gift Set

Moon Valley Organics Gift Set

This Moon Valley Organics gift set includes one Rejuvenating Body Rub, a Lemon Vanilla Herbal Lotion Bar, and a Velvety Vanilla Beeswax Lip Balm; all are beautifully packaged in a 100% biodegradable pouch. Moon Valley Organics is a B Corp, Climate Pledge Friendly, Leaping Bunny Certified, and the brand devotes 10% of all its proceeds to help protect pollinators through direct action and contributions to non-profits.

You can purchase the Moon Valley Organics Rejuvenating Gift Set here

Biossance Squalane + Rose Vegan Lip Balm

Biossance’s Squalane + Rose Vegan Lip Balm is a new, reformulated lip balm with 10x more hydrating power and 50% more product in an easy-to-apply tube; plus, it never feels sticky. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and squalane to deliver a boost of hydration, along with ceramides to help maintain and prevent moisture loss. Biossance’s products are EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Leaping Bunny Certified. 

You can purchase the Biossance Squalane + Rose Vegan Lip Balm here

RYVE Daily Inspirational Flip Calendar

RYVE Daily Flip CalenderThe Climate Pledge Friendly RYVE Inspirational Flip Calendar is packed with daily inspirational quotes, positive affirmations, and self-reflection questions; it also acts as an empowerment book. Not only does this daily desk calendar come with bonus printable goal-setting templates, but for every calendar sold, RYVE will buy a meal for the hungry in the US.

You can purchase the RYVE Daily Inspirational Flip Calendar here

Soap & Glory Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash 

Soap and Glory Facial WashThe Soap & Glory 3-in-1 Vitamin C Facial Wash formula goes beyond other makeup removers by utilizing biodegradable wax beads, powerful antioxidants, Vitamin C, and yuzu fruit extract to purify and leave the skin squeaky clean. This product is perfect for all skin types. Soap & Glory products are Climate Pledge Friendly and Leaping Bunny Certified. 

You can purchase the Soap & Glory Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash here

HAN Skincare All Natural 3-in-1 Multistick for Cheeks, Lips, Eyes

Han Skincare BlushHan Skincare’s 3-in-1 Multistick is formulated with shea butter, argan oil, and Vitamin E for skin hydration, along with plant pigments and minerals to deliver a gorgeous color to the cheeks, lips, and eyes. The brand offers an array of shades for all skin tones. Han Skincare is Climate Pledge Friendly and Leaping Bunny Certified. 

You can purchase the HAN Skincare All Natural 3-in-1 Multistick for Cheeks, Lips, and Eyes here

Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow Trio

Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow

The Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow Trio offers a palette of richly pigmented, color-coordinated eyeshadows that can be mixed and matched to perfect any look. The brand’s shadows are formulated with a soothing mix of chamomile, meadowfoam, and vitamin E to help show the delicate skin around your eyes some love. You can also choose from an array of color pallets to match anyone’s aesthetic. Mineral Fusion products are EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, Leaping Bunny, and Carbon Neutral via CarbonFund

You can purchase the Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow Trio here

Find Your Own Magic Guided Self-Care Journal

Guided Self-Care Journal

Give the gift of journaling this holiday season with a self-discovery journaling experience that lasts the entire year. The Find Your Own Magic Guided Self-Care Journal includes a mental health workbook that uses scientifically proven techniques to relieve anxiety, boost motivation, and light that happy, creative spark inside all of us. It also offers daily affirmations, meditations, and drawing practices. 

You can purchase the Find Your Own Magic Guided Self-Care Journal here

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream Set

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye CreamThe Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream are EWG Verified, Leaping Bunny Certified, and Carbon Neutral. These powerful skin treatments fuse together clean plant nutrients rich in antioxidant, adaptogenic, rejuvenating, and moisturizing properties. Both Herban Wisdom® products feature the ultra-moisturizing ingredient squalane, which has been proven to help with inflammation, along with many other natural ingredients that can offer exceptional benefits. 

You can shop the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream here.

Final Takeaway

With holiday shopping lurching closer, it’s no secret that thinking of clean, non-toxic gifts can be difficult. With this holiday gifting list, we hope that we’ve given you a little bit of extra inspiration and a new way of looking at the quest for clean beauty and self-care presents. It always feels good to give back while you’re giving forward. Happy holidays from the Humanist Beauty family!

A Guide to Winter Beauty and Self-Care

With winter comes the holiday season, snow, frigid temperatures, and less daylight. To battle the cold winter months, many of us reach for an extra layer or two to keep warm, while also cranking the thermostat up. However, studies show that seasonal shifts, and what we do to combat them, can affect our skin, emotions, sleep cycles, and more. In this blog, we’ll cover how winter can change your skin and mental health, along with tips to help you lean into self-care given these changes.

Winter and Your Skin

Your skin loves consistency, so when the weather changes, it’s basically like a shock to the system. “Rapid fluctuations in weather can take its toll on our skin as it adjusts to the new environment,” explains dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. “For example, as we shift to winter, temperatures and humidity will drop quickly, so the skin will have to work harder to maintain adequate hydration as cold weather and wind start to kick in.”1

Zeichner also says, “This can lead to cracks in the outer skin layer, loss of hydration, and inflammation — all of which can seriously impact the overall state of your skin health. These symptoms commonly occur due to the skin barrier becoming disturbed during the winter months, which may make your skin more susceptible to irritation and inflammation.”2

Shari Marchbein, a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, mentions that, “It’s the sudden switch in weather, coupled with subsequent lifestyle changes people make as it gets cooler, such as taking hot showers and using central heat in homes, that contributes to the aforementioned dryness and inflammation associated with this transitional period.”3

Winter and Your Well-Being

Considering that there’s less daylight during winter, your circadian rhythm may be affected. Your circadian rhythm moderates your sleep and is affected by light. “Typically, it’s easier for people to ‘fall back’ than ‘spring forward’ as we gain an extra hour of sleep. However, that doesn’t mean that the end of daylight savings time is harmless. It can take a week or more for the body to adjust,” says Dr. Camelia Musleh, a neurologist at Sleep Medicine.4

Winter can also cause a sense of dread for many, which could be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). “Almost a fourth of the population deals with an increase in depression during the colder and darker months,” mentions Dr. Matt VanDusen, a clinical director for Delphi Behavioral Health Group. He notes that SAD has been linked to decreases in exposure to natural light and lower levels of vitamin D due to shorter days.5

SAD is commonly characterized by recurrent episodes of depression that mostly occur during the fall and winter months. A few documented symptoms of SAD may include oversleeping, daytime fatigue, carbohydrate craving, weight gain, and difficulty concentrating.6 It’s recommended that people who experience SAD talk with their healthcare provider to figure out their next steps.

SAD Information

Pictured: Symptoms and causes of SAD    Source: Priory

Tips to Keep You Looking and Feeling Your Best During Winter

The winter months can be tough on both your skin and mental health. Cold temperatures and low humidity levels result in dry air that draws moisture away from the skin, while harsh winter winds and dry indoor heat can lead to cracked and even bleeding skin. Disruptions in your circadian rhythm and symptoms of SAD can make the cold months even more complicated. Here are some tips to keep you looking and feeling your best during winter:

Avoid Hot Showers

A nice steamy shower in cold temperatures sounds like a great idea on the surface, but it can come at a cost. “Taking a long, hot shower can dry out our skin and lead to itchiness,” says Deanne Mraz Robinson, a board-certified dermatologist. “Try to limit your shower time to five to seven minutes and keep the temperature below 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher can strip the skin of its essential moisture and deplete the natural protective barrier of your skin.”7

Product Spotlight: ATTITUDE Natural Moisturizing Body Wash

Attitude Natural Moisturizing Body WashCrafted with the power of plants, the ATTITUDE Natural Moisturizing Body Wash bears the EWG Verified mark for the safest ingredients. It’s formulated with orange leaves that are known to restore the skin and give it a luminous glow, as well as moringa seed extract to help decrease the adhesion of pollutants. It’s the perfect moisturizing shower gel to keep your skin nourished all throughout winter.

You can shop the ATTITUDE Natural Moisturizing Body Wash here.

SPF Is Your BFF (Even In the Winter)

While you likely associate the sun’s damaging rays with summer, the sun comes out even when it’s winter. Beyond that, the sun can also damage your skin when it’s snowing. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, snow reflects up to 80% of the sun’s UV light, meaning that those rays have the potential for double the damage.8

Product Spotlight: Biossance Broad-Spectrum SPF 30

Biossance Broad-Spectrum SPF 30The Biossance Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 is an EWG Verified nontoxic zinc mineral sunscreen that provides invisible, broad-spectrum coverage. Zinc oxide protects the skin’s outer barrier to reflect damaging UVA/UVB rays, while squalane provides deep and fast-absorbing moisture.

To shop the Biossance Broad-Spectrum SPF 30, click here

Add Moisturizing and Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Products to Your Routine

Cooler temperatures can zap the moisture right out of your skin, but eye creams and facial oils are a fantastic remedy to this common cold weather issue. The delicate area under your eyes can suffer during this time of year. Since this area doesn’t contain oil glands, we need eye creams, which are made with vitamins, peptides, and other rescuers; these all help penetrate this thin layer, hydrating and soothing the skin underneath.

Facial oils are a huge help during the colder months, too. “Hydration is really a function of water balance; oils help hold water in and prevent the environment from stripping water out,” Tyler Hollmig, a dermatologist at Stanford Health Care, says. “Oils have also been shown to exhibit significant anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe irritated skin during winter.”9

Product Spotlight: Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye CreamThe Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream are EWG Verified powerful skin treatments fusing clean plant nutrients rich in antioxidant, adaptogenic, rejuvenating, and moisturizing properties. They both feature the ultra-moisturizing ingredient squalane, which has been proven to help with inflammation, along with many other natural ingredients that can offer your skin exceptional benefits. The Herban Wisdom Facial Oil and Eye Cream are perfect for your skin all year round. Plus, they make wonderful gifts!

You can shop the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream here

Get Plenty of Rest

While you can’t crawl into a den and hibernate the winter away like a bear, it’s vitally important to get plenty of rest to keep you feeling rejuvenated during the winter months, and it’ll help keep your circadian rhythm in check. Sleep is also the best way to repair and reset the mind.10 You can learn more about better sleep hygiene here.

Product Spotlight: BetterYou Natural Sleep Spray

BetterYou Sleep SprayThe EWG Verified BetterYou Natural Sleep Spray is a mixture of transdermal magnesium with blended essential oils. It commences absorption immediately when massaged into the skin, helping to promote an overall feeling of well-being and natural relaxation.

You can shop the BetterYou Natural Sleep Spray here

Try Aromatherapy

If you’re dealing with symptoms of SAD or having trouble sleeping, aromatherapy may help. Essential oils can influence the area of the brain that’s responsible for controlling moods and the body’s internal clock that influences sleep and appetite. You can also combine aromatherapy with other complementary therapies, such as massage and meditation, for extra relaxation and a feeling of serenity.11 

Product Spotlight: Laguna Moon Lavender Essential Oil

Laguna Moon Lavender Essential OilResearch in recent years has found that lavender essential oil can help lower blood pressure and ease anxiety, while also regulating hormones to reduce mood swings, sadness, and depression. Laguna Moon’s Lavender Essential Oil is 100% pure and ideal for calming aromatherapy blends, diffusers, and so much more.

You can shop the Laguna Moon Lavender Essential Oil here

In Conclusion

With colder weather comes changes to your skin and mental health. Symptoms like eczema flare-ups and reddened skin are the tell-tale signs that your skin microbiome is being affected by the winter weather, while feeling anxious, depressed, and fatigued can mean that you may be suffering from SAD or a change in your circadian rhythm. If you’re having trouble with your skin and/or well-being during the winter months, it’s always recommended to try seeing a dermatologist or your local healthcare provider.

Do you have any winter self-care tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

References:

https://www.allure.com/story/how-seasons-weather-affect-skin [1][2][3]

https://www.northshore.org/healthy-you/is-the-winter-weather-negatively-affecting-your-mood-and-sleep/ [4]

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-cold-weather-affects-your-brain-according-to-experts-19367014 [5]

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651 [6]

https://www.thehealthy.com/beauty/face-body-care/winter-shower-tips/  [7]

https://www.skincancer.org/press/winter-sun-safety/#:~:text=However%2C%20UVB%20rays%20can%20burn,skin%20cancer%20and%20premature%20aging.[8]

https://www.drwangskincare.com/blogs/news/3-reasons-to-start-using-facial-oils-in-the-fall-winter#:~:text=They’re%20Hydrating&text=Oils%20are%20a%20great%20remedy,skin%20looking%20nice%20and%20hydrated. [9]

https://www.thegoodnightco.com.au/blogs/the-journal/why-a-winter-sleep-routine-is-important [10]

https://www.northshore.org/healthy-you/is-the-winter-weather-negatively-affecting-your-mood-and-sleep/ [11]

Moving Away From “Anti-Aging” Skincare

“Anti-aging” is a term that isn’t as embraced by the beauty industry as it used to be. Instead, people are praising the aging process and seeking ways to age gracefully. Allure Magazine, along with many other brands, is ushering in the age of “pro-aging,” a time to embrace the years we’ve been given and not dwell on wrinkles and fine lines. In this blog, we will explore the use of the moniker “anti-aging,” Allure’s terminology pledge, celebrities who celebrate their age, and how to take care of your body and mind for a beautiful and healthy aging process.

Goodbye “Anti-Aging, Hello “Glow” and “Radiance”

The modern anti-aging industry started in the early 20th century, when two female beauty pioneers, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, competed to get their potions into women’s skincare routines. In his book, Branded Beauty: How Marketing Changed the Way We Look, journalist Mark Tungate writes of this competitive duo by saying,

“On the one hand, their products pleased, pampered, and, yes, beautified millions of women. On the other, their advertising copy contrived to persuade their customers that aging was not only undesirable but somehow shameful.”

Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden

Pictured: Elizabeth Arden (Left) and Helena Rubinstein (Right)    Source: NY Post

Elizabeth Arden, which is now owned by Revlon, set the tone for how skincare was sold for the next century. However, in 2010, an analyst told the Wall Street Journal, “Many women out there won’t buy anything with “anti-aging” on it.” This is also when “anti-aging” began to be phased out in place of more positive terminology.1

While there wasn’t necessarily a huge pushback to the idea of “anti-aging,” there was an abundance of indie brands, like Saturday Skin and Herbivore, which use more holistic and positive language like “glow,” “radiance,” and “luminosity,” rather than positioning skin as something that requires a fight to maintain.2

In 2016, the beauty industry regrouped after data suggested that individuals were not buying traditional anti-aging products, according to the trade publication WWD.3 Two years later, with more positive terminology, the sales of products meant to provide glowy, radiant results were up 44%.4

Allure Banned “Anti-Aging” Within Its Pages

Michelle Lee

Pictured: Michelle Lee    Source: Forbes

Michelle Lee, the former editor-in-chief of Allure, felt pressure that the term “anti-aging” had negative connotations and was not inclusive. She’s compared the term to phrases like “dieting” and “throws like a girl,” which both had underpinnings in shaming and sexism. Lee saw the term “anti-aging” similarly, albeit for ageism.

“The world has really moved into this space of acceptance and not shaming people,” she says. “We see so many things like hashtags about acne acceptance and size acceptance and gender and hair texture and everything else. But for some reason, the conversation around aging still hadn’t necessarily been there.’”

In a skincare context, Lee viewed “anti-aging” as a marketing construct. She once said, “When you’re talking to your friends, you say, ‘What vitamin C serum are you using?’ or, ‘What eye cream are you using?’ You don’t ever say to somebody, ‘What is the anti-aging product that you’re using?’”

There are still brands that use “anti-aging,” but many, like Allure, have moved away from the term. In fact, in 2018, Lee made the decision to ban the use of the moniker from Allure’s pages. She wrote in an editor’s letter, “Changing the way we think about aging starts with changing the way we talk about aging.”

You can take a look at Allure’s official statement on getting rid of “anti-aging” terminology here.

Celebrities Unabashed to Show Their Age

While Hollywood is notorious for being an ageless city, not all celebrities have bought into the hype of staying young forever. Many have even voiced their love for aging naturally and gracefully. Here are a few examples:

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly

Pictured: Jennifer Connelly   Source: She Finds

Jennifer Connelly, who is 51 years old, isn’t afraid of the natural changes of growing older. She told People Magazine, “We equate beauty for women with youth, and that’s sad. It’s a shame it’s so hard for so many of us to appreciate the beauty of an older woman and to accept it in ourselves. I don’t want to erase my history on my face.”

Mädchen Amick

Mädchen Amick

Pictured: Mädchen Amick    Source: Shutter Stock

Mädchen Amick, who will be celebrating her 52nd birthday this year, is all about embracing the years as they come at her. “I’m a big advocate of aging gracefully and embracing beauty as it evolves,” she told SolCal Pulse.

Lauren Hutton

Lauren Hutton

Pictured: Lauren Hutton    Source: Harper’s Bazaar

Lauren Hutton, 78, has accepted that women age, so why fight it? “I’ve let go that I look like a miniature Shar-Pei. The wrinkles are going to be there, and they really are the badges of your life,” she told People.

Julie Chen

Julie Chen

Pictured: Julie Chen   Source: Parade

Julie Chen, 52, has always been an advocate for loving each stage of life you’re in. “If you’re trying to be something you’re not, whether it’s an age or a certain type of personality, you’re just going to be in misery,” she shared with Prevention. “You have to own who you are, and part of who you are is your age.”

Christy Turlington Burns

Christy Turlington Burns

Pictured: Christy Turlington Burns    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Christy Turlington Burns, 53, wants to look her age. “Everybody is so anti-aging, but I don’t want to look younger than I am. Our face is a map of our life; the more that’s there, the better,” she told ELLE.

How to Take Care of Your Health and Well-Being to Age Gracefully

Many factors influence healthy aging; some of these, like genetics, are not in our control, but others — like exercise, eating healthy, living stress-free, and visiting the doctor — are within our reach. Here are a few steps you can take to promote healthy longevity:

Get Moving

Whether you enjoy it or despise it, physical activity is an important part of healthful living at every age. Scientific evidence has found that people who exercise regularly not only live longer but also may live better, meaning they enjoy more years of life without sickness or pain.

A study on adults found that taking 8,000 steps or more daily was associated with a 51% lower risk of death from most natural causes. You can increase the number of steps you get each day by doing activities that keep your body moving, such as walking the dog and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.5

Check out this article highlighting ways to motivate yourself to work out, and stay in that motivated mindset.

Eat Healthy

Eating healthy food can improve brain function, while also keeping your body in good shape. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides healthy eating recommendations for each stage of life and suggests eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

Even if you haven’t thought much about healthy eating until recently, changing your diet can improve your well-being as you age. If you are concerned about the foods that you eat, chat with your doctor about ways that you can make better food choices.

Interested in learning more about foods that promote healthy aging? This article touches on seven foods that’ll keep your stomach full and your body happy.

Live Stress-Free

While stress is a natural part of life, it comes in many different forms. Sometimes stress arises from difficult events or circumstances, but positive changes, like getting a promotion, can also cause stress. Research shows that constant stress can change the brain, affect memory, and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.6, 7

You can help manage your stress through meditation techniques, physical activity, and participating in activities you enjoy. Keeping a journal is also a wonderful way to help you identify and challenge negative and unhelpful thoughts. 

Looking to de-stress? This article outlines ten ways to help you through stressful situations.

Go to the Doctor Regularly

Going to the doctor for regular health screenings are essential to a healthy life. A 2021 study found that regular check-ups help doctors catch chronic diseases early and can help patients reduce risk factors for disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. People who went to the doctor regularly also reported improved quality of life and feelings of wellness.8

Check out this article to learn how to make the most of your doctor’s appointments. 

Enrich Your Self-Esteem With Clarissa Burt

Clarissa Burt

Pictured: Clarissa Burt    Source: Yahoo

Clarissa Burt is the founder and CEO of In The Limelight Media, along with being a media personality, producer, director, writer, author, public speaker, former supermodel, and self-esteem advocate.

Clarissa is passionate about helping people build self-esteem. Her book The Self-Esteem Regime is an action plan for becoming a more confident person.

Jennifer Norman, founder of The Human Beauty Movement, recently spoke with Clarissa on the podcast, Role Models. The interview is chock-full of great ways you can reveal and embrace the essence of your greatness. 

Eager to learn more about Clarissa and how you can improve your self-esteem? You can listen to the Role Models episode featuring Clarissa Burt here. Enjoy the listen, and remember, you can boost your self-esteem no matter your age!

References:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703436504574640642148088168 [1]

https://www.racked.com/2017/5/23/15673444/millennial-skin-care [2]

https://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/skin-care/millennial-beauty-antiwrinkle-baby-boomer-10419202/ [3[

https://www.npd.com/ [4]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32207799/ [5]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31714574/ [6]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31714574/ [7]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34100866/ [8]

Gotu Kola: The Herb of Longevity

Centella asiatica, commonly known as Gotu Kola, is often pegged as the “herb of longevity,” and is a staple in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine. Many practitioners claim that Gotu Kola has the power to boost brainpower, promote liver and kidney health, and target an array of skin concerns. In this blog, we will explore the origins of Gotu Kola in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, along with its vast lineup of medicinal and skincare benefits.

All About Gotu Kola

Gota Kola

Pictured: Gota Kola    Source: Healthline

Gotu Kola is a perennial member of the parsley family, characterized by its small round leaves. The largest populations of this wetland herb are in the East and South Asian countries of China, Indonesia, and Japan, but it has started to populate other areas of the globe as well. 

In Southeast Asia, Gotu Kola is used as much for food as it is for medicinal purposes due to providing an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals needed to maintain optimal health. It has a distinct bittersweet flavor and a slightly grassy scent.1

A review in the International Food Research Journal mentions that 100 grams of fresh Gotu Kola delivers the following nutrients and meets the following recommended dietary intake (RDI) needs:

  • Calcium: 171 milligrams (17% RDI)
  • Iron: 5.6 milligrams (31% RDI)
  • Potassium: 391 milligrams (11% RDI)
  • Vitamin A: 442 micrograms (49% RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 48.5 milligrams (81% RDI)
  • Vitamin B2: 0.19 milligrams (9% RDI)

According to a review of studies, Gotu Kola contains compounds such as triterpenoid saponins, which researchers believe may be largely responsible for the plant’s purported benefits. These studies have been major contributors to why this substance continues to gain more acceptance around the world.

Gotu Kola in Ayurveda 

Gotu Kola is considered to be the plant of knowledge and is highly regarded in Ayurveda as the herb of longevity and anti-aging. The system of Ayurveda reaches back to the period of the Indus Valley Civilization (about 3000 B.C.E) and has been passed down as a healing system through generations.

The Sanskrit word for Gotu Kola is “Brahmi,” which means “knowledge;” and is a derivative of Lord Brahma (or Brahman). Lord Brahma is the deity responsible for the world’s creative forces, and the Hindu name “Brahman” refers to universal consciousness. 2

Lod Brahma

Pictured: Lord Brahma    Source: Vedicfeed

The herb is used in Ayurvedic healing to balance all three doshas, which are the energies believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity — Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. Gotu Kola is said to be relaxing for Pitta, calming for Vata in the mind, and beneficial in reducing excess Kapha in the body.3

Ayurvedic doctors Abhishek Joshi and Aparna explain that “The leaves of Gotu Kola resemble the hemispheres of the brain and are used in Ayurveda to boost brain functions. It’s been mentioned as one of the best Medhya Rasayana (brain nootropics), which can enhance cognition, memory, intelligence, creativity, learning skills, and executive functions.”4

Ayurvedic medicine is a personalized system of medicine native to India and is loyal to the holistic view of treatment. Gotu Kola is one of the many health-enriching herbs in the Ayurvedic medicine cabinet, whose value extends beyond one-dimensional, modern medical treatment for issues relating to the mind, brain, and nervous system.

To learn more about Ayurveda, click here

Gotu Kola in Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Gotu Kola, or Ji Xue Cao, is used to soothe inflammatory and infectious conditions, referred to as “Internal Heat.” Those who have too much “heat” in their body are said to either have a Yang excess or a Yin deficiency. Depending on an individual’s condition, TCM practitioners use Gotu Kola to help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.5

Additionally, “The Five Element Theory” in TCM states that the taste of ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body and what organs and meridians they target. Bitter ingredients like Gotu Kola tend to have a cleansing action on the body and can promote the circulation of Qi, which is one of the building blocks of TCM.6

Gotu Kola is thought to target the spleen, kidney, and liver. In TCM, the spleen assists with digestion and blood coagulation, while the kidneys play a crucial role in the reproductive system and aging process of the body. The liver is often referred to as the body’s “general” as it’s in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and takes a leading role in balancing our emotions.7

The Five Element Theory

Pictured: The Five Element Theory   Source: Earthway

Gotu Kola’s use in TCM is mentioned in the Chinese Shennong Herbal, which was written around the 1st century CE. It’s been called one of the “miracle elixirs of life,” especially by Chinese herbalist Li Ching-Yun, who some believe lived to the age of 197 and reportedly used Gotu Kola regularly. Today, the herb is still widely used by many TCM practitioners.

To learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine, click here

The Benefits of Gotu Kola

Due to Gotu Kola’s anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as its ability to promote overall mental and physical health, Gotu Kola has been a staple in traditional systems of medicine for millennia. Here’s a deeper look into the science-backed benefits of Gotu Kola:

Gotu Kola May Help Boost Cognitive Function and Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

A small 2016 study compared the effects of Gotu Kola extract and folic acid in boosting cognitive function after a stroke. This small study assessed the impact on three groups of participants taking different milligram doses of Gotu Kola daily. Although Gotu Kola and folic acid were equally beneficial in improving overall cognition, Gotu Kola was more effective in improving the memory domain.8, 9

Gotu Kola’s ability to enhance memory and nerve function gives it potential in treating Alzheimer’s disease. One 2012 study found that Gotu Kola extract had a positive effect on behavioral abnormalities in those with Alzheimer’s disease.10 The extract was also shown to have a modest effect on protecting brain cells from toxicity, which could potentially protect the cells from forming the plaque associated with Alzheimer’s. 

Gotu Kola May Help Reduce Anxiety and Stress

A 2016 study found that Gotu Kola had an anti-anxiety effect on participants that were sleep deprived for 72 hours. Sleep deprivation can potentially lead to anxiety, oxidative damage, and neuroinflammation.11 Those that were given Gotu Kola for five consecutive days before undergoing sleep deprivation experienced significantly less anxiety-like behavior, along with improved locomotor activity and less oxidative damage.

Additionally, Gotu Kola protects the brain from inflammation, which is thought to be an underlying cause of depression. Studies have found that Gotu Kola increased participants’ calmness, contentedness, and alertness, thus reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.12, 13

Gotu Kola May Improve Circulation and Reduce Swelling

Another benefit that Gotu Kola is most known for is its ability to improve blood circulation, which can speed up the skin’s healing process and make it effective in treating varicose veins, broken capillaries, and cellulite. This also can aid individuals struggling with hair loss as better circulation means improved delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the scalp.14

Research from 2001 found that Gotu Kola can also reduce fluid retention and ankle swelling. Participants who experienced mild-to-moderate superficial venous disease with varicose veins were asked to take Gotu Kola two days before taking a flight. Researchers found that participants who took Gotu Kola experienced significantly less fluid retention and ankle swelling than those who didn’t.15

Gotu Kola May Reduce the Signs of Aging and Promote Hydration

Gotu Kola is rich in triterpene saponins, which is a compound that helps keep skin tighter and firmer, and is also a great source of phytonutrients called flavonoids that act as antioxidants and fight off free radical damage. As such, Gotu Kola can boost the formation of collagen and skin tissue, which is crucial in maintaining the skin’s elasticity and youthful glow. 

In one study, published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigation Dermatology in 2017, researchers tested out a fluid containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and Gotu Kola extract on 20 women’s forearms over the course of one day. One arm got the fluid while the other forearm got a control cream. 

The researchers measured the hydration level and the amount of water lost throughout the day. Results showed that the arm that got the Gotu Kola fluid showed significantly more hydration and less water loss compared to both the participants’ baseline measurements and the control.16

Gotu Kola May Promote Wound Healing and Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks

In a 2015 study, researchers found that wound dressings containing Gotu Kola had healing effects on multiple types of wounds, including burns, clean cuts by sharp objects, irregular tears caused by blunt-force trauma, and infected tissue.17 

According to a 2013 review, Gotu Kola can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It’s thought that the terpenoids found in Gotu Kola can increase collagen production in the body, which may prevent new marks from forming, as well as help fade any existing marks.18

The Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream

Herban Wisdom Eye Cream EWG

Gotu Kola is integrated into the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream for its antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerogenic, anxiolytic, and circulatory stimulating properties. Its ability to calm inflammation and swelling, speed up wound healing, stimulate new cell growth, improve circulation, and increase collagen production make it a vital ingredient in the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream.

You can shop the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream here.

 

 

References:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gotu_kola_sambol_27863 [1]

https://www.ayurvedacollege.com/blog/brahmi/ [2]

https://doshaguru.com/gotukola/ [3]

https://ayurvedaexpert.in/about-us/ [4]

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/338797 [5]

https://www.mosherhealth.com/mosher-health-system/chinese-medicine/yin-yang#:~:text=The%20Five%20Phases%3A%20Wood%2C%20Fire,%2C%20Earth%2C%20Metal%2C%20and%20Water&text=These%20elements%20correspond%20with%20the,and%20the%20human%20internal%20environment. [6]

https://www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/the-five-major-organ-systems/ [7]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908235/ [8]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4764102/ [9]

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijad/2012/381974/ [10]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26848139/ [11]

https://bebrainfit.com/gotu-kola-benefits-brain/#:~:text=Additionally%2C%20gotu%20kola%20protects%20the,symptoms%20of%20anxiety%20and%20depression. [12]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23653088/ [13]

https://www.sundari.com/blogs/wellness-tips/gotu-kola-the-anti-aging-skincare-elixir#:~:text=The%20use%20of%20Gotu%20Kola,fight%20off%20free%20radical%20damage.[14]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11666121/ [15]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834700/ [16]

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037851731500486X?via%3Dihub [17]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834700/ [18]

What Is A Serum?

A serum is a skincare product that you can apply to your skin after cleansing but before moisturizing with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly into the skin. Serums are particularly suited to this task as they’re made up of small molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin to deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients, which makes them a great tool for targeting specific skincare concerns like wrinkles and dark spots. In this blog, we will explore serums, their benefits, and how to use them, along with spotlighting EWG-Verified serums that may be perfect for your skin type.

A Look At Serums

A serum is a lightweight, quick-absorbing skincare product that contains a large amount of active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, or vitamin C. Due to their concentration, serums are typically the most effective and fast-acting skincare products available.

Well-designed face serums are lightly viscous, which means they have a thinner consistency than creams and lotions, to absorb into the skin quickly, delivering beneficial nutrients and hydration at the cellular level. They also contain fewer fillers, thickeners, and lubricating agents than moisturizers, so the beneficial ingredients can absorb faster to optimize performance.

“Often, a serum can hydrate more effectively than even the heaviest creams. The molecules can truly penetrate the skin and hydrate on the deepest level, while the heavier creams more so sit on those top layers.” says celebrity esthetician Karee Hays. “Serums do not necessarily replace your moisturizer, but can boost the hydrating effects of your moisturizer.”

In fact, a study featuring thirty-two women aged 25 to 55 years with Fitzpatrick skin types I to V and normal or self-perceived dry skin, found that layering facial serum with a moisturizer provided rapid and long-lasting benefits in maintaining skin hydration. Additionally, 82% of the participants believed that the serum and moisturizer combo improved the appearance of their skin overall.1

A participant before trying the serum layered with moisturizer (left) and after two weeks of treatment (right)

Pictured: A participant before trying the serum layered with moisturizer (left) and after two weeks of treatment (right)  Source: National Library of Medicine

Reductions in investigator-graded dryness

Pictured: Reductions in investigator-graded dryness Source: Source: National Library of Medicine

The Benefits of Serums

When you use a serum that’s well suited for your skin, it can have numerous benefits. Here’s a closer look at some of the key benefits of adding a serum to your skincare routine:

Serums Can Deliver Vitamins and Nutrients

For starters, a face serum, by definition, is a skincare solution that includes core vitamins and nutrients your skin cells can use to thrive. The exact ingredient make up of a given face serum will vary from product to product, but most face serums use these common ingredients:

  • Vitamin C and E are antioxidants and may contribute to long-term skin health, especially protection from free radicals.2
  • Niacinamide reduces inflammation, which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions. It also minimizes pore appearance and keeps skin smooth and moisturized.3,4
  • Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is a gold-standard ingredient in skincare as can increase production of collagen in the skin. This results in a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles by improving elasticy.5,6
  • Glycolic acid stimulates fibroblasts in the dermis to produce increased amounts of collagen. Additionally, its small molecular makeup also allows it to penetrate the skin and treat acne and other skin concerns.7,8,9
  • Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant commonly found in face moisturizers. It helps hydrate the outer layers of skin, thereby improving the skin’s appearance.10,11

While our skin cells get a lot of nutrients from our diets and sunshine, as in the case of vitamin D, giving your skin cells additional nutrients through topical absorption may allow those vitamins to be more directly usable by those cells.

In other words, a face serum directly provides your skin cells with core nutrients without those nutrients being absorbed by other bodily tissues first. Plus, since serums are applied topically, your skin cells may receive those benefits more quickly.

Serums Can Improve Hydration

With the use of cleansers and exfoliators, your skin can easily dry out, leaving your face more susceptible to wrinkles and dehydration. Many serums are formulated to improve hydration, and by using them, they can potentially alleviate these side effects or prevent them from happening all together.

Serums with hyaluronic acid, for example, can help your skin’s hydration level. “Hyaluronic acid can draw moisture from the air and keep your skin moist, holding almost 1000 times its weight in water,” explained Kerry Benjamin, esthetician and the founder of best-selling hyaluronic acid serum creator, Stacked Skincare

Serums May Reduce Acne Flare-Ups

Serums could contribute to a long-term solution if you suffer from regular acne flare-ups, which result from hormonal shifts or an overproduction of sebum. When your skin produces too much sebum, it can collect debris and clog your skin’s pores. Over time, this can form blemishes like pimples and pustules. However, the right serum could prevent your skin from producing too much sebum.

Serums formulated with retinol, for example, can reduce acne flare-ups by literally getting under your skin as retinol consists of tiny molecules that penetrate the middle layer of your skin and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Both of these compounds reduce the appearance of pores and acne scarring over time.

Serums May Protect Skin from Certain Damage

Many of the core ingredients in serums are antioxidants, which are known to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can damage skin cells and other tissues as they bounce around in your body.

Antioxidants like CoQ10 can stabilize those free radicals by donating an electron, preventing them from causing damage. Free radicals are responsible for skin irritations and may contribute to many signs of aging or general skin cell degradation.

Some serums may also provide ancillary protective benefits against harm from toxins, environmental pollutants, and even UV radiation from the sun. If you use a face serum, you may be at less risk of sun damage to your skin, including burning, but you should always read the label of your specific product to confirm this.

Serums May Reduce Signs of Aging

Many signs of aging, including wrinkles, aging spots, and sagging skin, result from long-term skin cell degradation and dryness. While face serums can’t prevent your skin from aging overall, they may help to reduce the severity of some of those symptoms. Serums that contain vitamins C, B, and E with ferulic acid and hyaluronic acid, especially, can help to deeply hydrate skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How to Apply Serum

Everyone’s skin is different, but on average, you should use a serum for about seven weeks to see how your skin responds. Depending on the serum and the current state of your skin, you might see initial results — like slightly more hydrated skin — in just a few days, according to Dr. Craig Kraffert, a board-certified dermatologist.

It’s important to note that before applying a new product, you should perform a patch test. Try the product on a small area of your skin to see how it reacts, such as the inside of your elbow. Keep in mind that some serums will naturally leave your face slightly pink, but this should subside after about 10-15 minutes. If you’re having a reaction, consult your doctor.

 Pictured: How to perform a patch test   Source: Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve

Step 1: Cleanse

To allow the key ingredients to be effectively absorbed, a serum should always be applied to clean skin. Before applying serum, cleanse with a gentle face wash to help dissolve makeup, impurities, and pollutants.

Step 2: Tone

A facial toner plays an important role in preparing the skin for serum application. Not only will it help to rebalance the skin after cleansing, but it can help sweep away remaining traces of dirt and makeup, removing all barriers on the skin’s surface, and allowing the serum to effectively penetrate the different layers of the epidermis.  

Apply the toner onto a cotton pad, then sweep it over your skin in an upward motion. Toners can also help reduce the appearance of pores and even out skin tone. 

Step 3: Apply Serum

Dispense a pea-sized amount of serum into your palms, then gently rub your hands together to warm and activate the serum. Lightly press your palms onto your skin and pat in outward and upward motions until fully applied to your face and neck.

Step 4: Moisturize 

Allow the serum to absorb into your skin for at least 90 seconds, then massage a moisturizer over your face and neck to lock in those key ingredients. This also helps protect and hydrate the skin’s surface. 

Serum Spotlight

From fine lines to the most sensitive skin types, adding a potent serum before your moisturizer can help boost the healthy look and feel of your skin. However, there are hundreds — if not thousands — of different serum types on the market, making choosing a single one for your skincare routine a daunting task. 

“The key is to look for serums that deliver a ton of botanicals, antioxidants, and hydration — they can deliver a concentrated dose of nutrients, and when applied on just-cleaned skin, the serum will penetrate more deeply,” said Dr. Kraffert.

To make choosing a serum easier, check out these EWG-Verified, nutrient-rich serums that’ll make an excellent addition to your skincare regime:

Be Natural Organics Hyaluronic Serum:Created for all skin types, this product is formulated with hyaluronic acid, which can offer a more immediate visual effect on the complexion as it hydrates and softens lines. It can improve the look of skin’s texture, firmness, and suppleness, while also providing high-performance hydration for problematic skin without clogging pores.

To shop the Be Natural Organics Hyaluronic Serum, click here

Live Ultimate Camu Advanced Youth Recovery Facial Serum:Perfect for all skin types, this lightweight, fast-absorbing, and nutrient-rich formula of superfruit antioxidants, rejuvenating plant stem cells, wrinkle-smoothing peptides, vitamins, and skin brightening botanicals is designed to soak deep into the cellular level where it nourishes, heals, and strengthens the skin from the outside in for a more youthful and radiant look.

To shop the Live Ultimate Camu Advanced Youth Recovery Facial Serum, click here

Sea Kind Elysium Perfecting Facial Serum: Formulated for all skin types, this serum has the highest concentration available today of marine actives extracts derived from algae, micro-nutrients, and sea plants fermented to provide unmatched restorative powers. Both laboratory and volunteer tests confirm that this product can improve skin hydration, firmness, resilience, complexion, and smoothness.

To shop the Sea Kind Elysium Perfecting Facial Serum, click here.

To shop Sally B’s Peptide Collagen Booster Serum, click here

Versed Sunday Morning Antioxidant Serum: Ideal for all skin types, this antioxidant oil-serum hybrid can strengthen the skin’s barrier, moisturize, and deliver an all-day glow. Chamomile extract, vitamin E, and sodium hyaluronate help to keep skin hydrated and calm. For an added glow that's never greasy, this serum can also double as a subtle, moisturizing highlighter.

To shop the Versed Sunday Morning Antioxidant Serum, click here

In Conclusion

Serums are lightweight products that contain a high concentration of active ingredients. They are often seen as one of the more rewarding steps in your beauty routine as they come with major skin benefits and absorb quickly into your skin . If you’re not sure if a face serum is right for you, or which type to use for your skin, talk to a board certified dermatologist for more information.

What’s your favorite serum? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050617/ [1]

https://www.webmd.com/beauty/skin-care-guide#:~:text=Vitamins%20C%20and%20E%2C%20and,protect%20skin%20from%20sun%20damage.&text=Vitamin%20A%2C%20also%20known%20as,as%20a%20topical%20antiaging%20treatment.&text=Coenzyme%20Q10%2C%20also%20known%20as,helps%20protect%20cells%20from%20damage. [2]

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/vitamin-b3-in-topical-skin-care [3]

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/niacinamide#:~:text=Niacinamide%20reduces%20inflammation%20%2C%20which%20may,in%20pore%20size%20over%20time. [4]

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/do-retinoids-really-reduce-wrinkles [5]

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/23293-retinol#:~:text=What%20does%20retinol%20do%20for,skin%20a%20fresher%2C%20plump%20appearance. [6]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3875240/ [7]

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/glycolic-acid-for-acne#:~:text=Glycolic%20acid%3A%20a%20type%20of,for%20new%20skin%20cell%20generation. [8]

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen [9]

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/hyaluronic-acid#:~:text=%E2%80%9CIn%20skin%20care%20products%2C%20hyaluronic,more%20radiant%20and%20youthful%2Dlooking [10]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/ [11]

All About Facial Yoga

In the ongoing quest to age gracefully and exude a sense of inner peace, many people are searching for natural, affordable options that will help them look and feel better. Facial yoga involves massages and exercises that stimulate the muscles, skin, and lymphatic system by relaxing your face muscles to help alleviate tension, stress, and worry. In this blog, we will dive into facial yoga and its origins, while also touching on its benefits and how you can practice facial yoga in the comfort of your own home.

What Is Facial Yoga?

Facial yoga doesn’t involve the usual Shavasana or Downward-Facing Dog poses that you’re familiar with from your yoga practice. Essentially, “yoga” is just a catchy way to say facial exercises that move the muscles on your face into certain positions — similar to yoga for your body. 

The idea is that performing these exercises will keep your face looking toned by lifting areas that are drooping, which can trim years from your visage. A balanced facial yoga routine includes exercises along with massage, relaxation, and acupressure techniques.

“The aim is to create a moment of self-care where you improve blood circulation for a healthy glow and reduce stress and tension in your face,” says Dr. Elsa Jungman, Ph.D., a scientist, microbiome expert, and proponent of facial yoga.

“Most people hold tension in their faces, whether through facial expressions or too much time in front of a screen. All these daily activities cause patterns in how we use our face and the specific muscles we recruit,” Dr. Jungman says. “This is why we want to focus more on releasing and softening our faces to let go of these patterns and any held facial tension.”

You can create a facial yoga routine to target a specific area of concern in your face, such as frown lines, forehead lines, or crow’s feet; or you can focus on concerns related to issues such as stress, anxiety, or sleep. With a consistent facial yoga routine, you can help to create positive long-term effects for your skin.

The Origins of Facial Yoga and Fumiko Takatsu

While facial yoga is a rising trend, utilizing facial exercises for skin benefits is not a new practice. Egyptian queen Cleopatra, for example, is believed to have used forms of facial exercises to keep her skin toned and youthful. 

Fumiko Takatsu, known as a facial yoga pioneer and founder of the famous Face Yoga Method, wrote about its origins on her website, saying she came up with the concept following a car crash in which her body was injured and her face was left looking “asymmetrical”.

Pictured: Fumiko Takatsu   Source: Medium

Standing in front of the mirror one day, Takatsu had a realization: “If I exercise my body muscles, I should be able to do the same for my face.” After Takatsu started practicing this method, people began praising her appearance and were eager to know how she achieved such results. With these experiences, the Face Yoga Method was born. 

Takatsu says, “Women and men come to us to look younger, naturally, but they stay for the way they feel and the value they get for being a Face Yogi. We offer 100% natural alternatives to cosmetic procedures and plastic surgeries but we never label ourselves as anti-aging. 

The mission behind the Face Yoga Method, according to Takatsu, is to empower men and women to reclaim their confidence and embrace their age naturally and become part of the new age in beauty — the PRO-age movement.1

Today, thanks to individuals like Takatsu, many celebrities swear by facial yoga, including Madonna, Cindy Crawford, and the Kardashians. Meghan Markle, for example, has often praised the practice and uses facial yoga exercises to keep the volume in her cheeks.

The Benefits of Facial Yoga 

The benefits of facial yoga may be more than skin deep. Touted as a natural facelift that also enhances your overall health, practitioners say its benefits are immense. Additionally, research supporting these benefits is mounting.

A small 2018 study investigated the effectiveness of 32 facial exercises in reducing the appearance of aging in middle-aged women. For the first eight weeks, the participants did daily 30-minute sessions of facial exercises. During the next 12 weeks, they did the sessions every other day.

Most of the women showed improvements in the fullness of their faces and were highly satisfied with the visible results. They reported significant improvement in 18 of 20 facial features. Researchers plan to further these findings through more studies in a similar vein.2

Another small 2018 study examined the benefits of facial exercises in improving the mental health of older individuals. The participants did 30-minute facial exercise sessions twice weekly for 12 weeks, which included yogic breathing as well as rhythmic facial movement and muscle stretching.

The results reported positive improvements related to mental health, facial expression, and tongue muscle power. It was also noted that some of the participants may have looked younger at the end of the study, with two dermatologists estimating the participants’ average age was 50.8 years old at the start of the study and 48.1 years old 20 weeks later.3

In addition to the reported reduction of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, facial yoga may promote increased lymphatic drainage leading to reduced puffiness and improved circulation. Face yoga practitioners also report that it may help to:

  • Control Face Muscles
  • Promote Proper Nostril Breathing
  • Firm the Neckline
  • Reprogram Muscle Memory
  • Improve Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders4
  • Make Your Face More Symmetrical
  • Reduce the Appearance of Dark Under Eye Circles
  • Improve Confidence
  • Tone Face Muscles
  • Correct Sagging
  • Generate Positive Emotions
  • Make Your Face Less Rounded

It’s important to keep in mind that facial yoga won’t alter the texture of your skin, according to Harvard Health, though moving and stretching scarred skin through facial yoga can lessen the appearance of scars.4

DIY Facial Yoga

You can perform facial yoga in the comfort of your own home as part of your skincare routine and self-care practice. Dr. Jungman recommends practicing for five to 10-minutes each day to start, eventually working your way up to 15 to 20-minutes per day.

Follow this routine, shared by the skincare experts at Origins, for a serene rejuvenation that can leave you feeling empowered:

Step 1

Try to remember to always sanitize before doing your skincare routine. “Bacteria is all over our hands,” confirms Virginia-based dermatologist Dr. Lily Talakoub. “From our doorknobs to desks, keyboards, shopping carts — it’s everywhere. Your face is a warm home for bacteria, so wash and sanitize your hands before doing any skincare to prevent any transfer of bacteria, which can cause acne and skin infections.” 

Step 2

Apply two pumps of your favorite facial oil to your fingertips, such as the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil, which is an exceptionally-crafted formula that’s a powerful skin treatment fusing clean plant nutrients rich in antioxidant, adaptogenic, rejuvenating, and moisturizing properties.

The Herban Wisdom Facial Oil

Step 3

If your favorite facial oil is scented with aromatherapy botanicals, tent your hands over your nose while breathing deeply to inhale the aromas. Next, spread the serum all over your face. Bend your index and middle fingers, then place your chin between those knuckles. Gently glide your fingers upward along your jawline three times; take a deep breath.

Girl doing facial yoga

Source: My Related Life

Step 4

Place your thumbs beneath your cheekbones with palms facing forward. Guide your thumbs up toward your temples three times; take a deep breath. Position your fingertips in the center of your brow. Applying firm pressure, sweep up and out toward your hairline and temples three times; take a deep breath.

Girl doing facial yogaSource: My Related Life

Step 5

If needed, add a few more drops of your facial oil onto your hands. Slide your fingers upward on each side of your neck three times. With your fingertips beneath your jawline, gently push your chin upward; take a deep breath.

Girl doing facial yoga 3

Source: My Related Life

Step 6

Repeat as many times as needed. After you’re done, bask in the glow of your DIY face renewal. 

In Conclusion

Facial yoga is a wonderful self-care technique that may improve your appearance by softening, stretching, and strengthening your face muscles. This outer transformation is often accompanied by feelings of serenity and confidence. According to Danielle Collins, the founder of Danielle Collins’ Face Yoga, facial yoga can help you get in tune with what you need by activating the healing power of your own hands.

She says, “I also recommend using positive affirmations as part of facial yoga, which helps us to feel grateful for our faces and skin while cultivating self-love. Engaging in this nourishing practice helps you to feel calmer and happier.”

Try to dedicate some time daily for facial yoga since Collins points out: “Regular daily practice is what gives best results.” After all, taking time for yourself each day can be a gentle reminder to tune in to your needs and how you’re feeling.

Do you use any facial yoga techniques in your self-care and skincare routine? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

References:

https://medium.com/authority-magazine/women-in-wellness-face-yoga-expert-fumiko-takatsu-on-the-five-lifestyle-tweaks-that-will-help-d88f8fc6a462 [1]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885810/ [2]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29503371/ [3]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23356206/ [4]

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/does-your-face-need-a-workout [5]

The Ancient Practice of Gua Sha

Gua Sha (pronounced gwa-shah) is a tool, or tools, used to scrape the skin to promote circulation. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) utilized Gua Sha tools thousands of years ago to increase blood circulation and heal the body. Today, the practice continues to evolve into a sought-after addition to people’s beauty regimen to tone and tighten skin. In this blog, we will explore the origins of Gua Sha, its benefits, and the tools and techniques used for this ancient skin practice.

What Is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is a traditional Eastern and Southeast Asian healing technique in which a smooth, credit-card-sized “board” is pressed along the body’s skin; however, in more recent years, it’s been adapted for the face and neck, as well. The idea behind Gua Sha is that light pressure releases fascial and muscular tension and moves sluggish lymph fluid to tone the face.

Originally, Gua Sha was used to release different aches and pains in the body. For example, in TCM, it was commonly used on the upper back to invigorate blood flow, release heat toxins, stimulate lymphatic drainage, activate various acupressure points of the body, and stimulate an immune response bringing beneficial cells to the area.

Gua Sha works by promoting blood circulation. When you scrape the skin gently on the face or body, you’re stimulating a certain meridian point, which corresponds to an organ in the body that’s responsible for your skin’s overall health. In turn, you’re sending a signal to your body that this area needs more circulation.

The Origins of Gua Sha

Back-view illustration of Gua Sha treatment from Fangyi chuyan (A Modest Proposal for Epidemic Prevention)

Pictured: Back-view illustration of Gua Sha treatment from Fangyi chuyan (A Modest Proposal for Epidemic Prevention)    Source: Gua Sha Massage

With its origins in the treatment of abscesses in the Warring States period (475-221 BCE) of ancient China, Gua Sha has been a mainstay as a folk medicine since antiquity. 

Theories of “sha” disease gradually developed based on the premise that a pathogen was to be cleared and dispersed from the body and this was combined with a scraping technique, initially involving a hemp rope rubbing method using water or sesame oil in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368 CE).

By the Qing dynasty (1644-1912 CE), the method of scraping had become more precise and expanded towards the entire body. A working framework for the treatment of sha was also developed at this time which enabled a wider application of scraping and included instructions for headaches, numbness of the face, and head shaking.

It was not until the Song dynasty (960-1279 CE) that anything resembling the practice of cosmetic scraping appeared, which was in the form of jade rubbing to treat facial scars. Many of the ideas behind facial Gua Sha have been influenced by traditional Chinese cosmetology, which from the Warring States and Qin and Han Dynasties, came ideas of how the human body and skin color changes are directly related to changes in people’s temperament, age, health, and qi.

Ancient doctors rarely recorded the specific methods, time, and treatment of Gua Sha but in the 20th century with the work of Jiang Jingbo and later Lu Jiru, Gua Sha was reinvigorated and an adapted, modernized style of Gua Sha therapy was promoted.1

The Benefits of Gua Sha

Implementing Gua Sha into your self-care routine may offer these potential benefits:

Gua Sha May Help Reduce Inflammation and Puffiness

Similar to other types of massages, gliding a Gua Sha tool across your face or body can promote microcirculation in your soft tissues, aka blood flow in small blood vessels. This increase in blood flow might help physical symptoms of inflammation like puffiness and swelling.2 The practice may also help lymphatic drainage by moving fluid away from swollen areas.3

Gua Sha May Boost Your Skin’s Collagen Production

Every year, our skin produces 1% less collagen; collagen keeps our skin strong and elastic.. Giving yourself regular Gua Sha facials can help ramp up your skin’s collagen production, thereby reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.4

Gua Sha May Increase the Efficacy of Skincare Topicals

Gua Sha can increase the efficacy of the skincare you’re already using. If you apply your moisturizer or serum and then give yourself a massage, the Gua Sha tools helps push the product deeper into your skin. This can help your serum absorb better and allow you to experience the full benefits of the formula.

Gua Sha Can Alleviate Tech Neck and Other Pains

If you feel the aches and pains from uncomfortable work posture or constant scrolling, a Gua Sha body massage might help. In a small 2014 study involving 60 regular computer users with neck and shoulder pain, researchers found that Gua Sha helped reduce pain and improve range of motion.5 Individuals in a small 2011 study also reported that Gua Sha helped reduce neck pain when compared with people who used heating pads.6

Gua Sha Can Improve Headache and Migraine Symptoms

If you’re dealing with migraines or headaches, Gua Sha might help relieve pain and tension in your head and neck. A 2007 case study of a 72-year-old woman reported that Gua Sha helped relieve migraine symptoms over a 14-day period.7

Gua Sha Can Aid in Muscle Recovery

Gua Sha’s ability to promote blood circulation might also help move the buildup of lactic acid that accumulates from your workouts. In a small 2017 study involving 65 male weightlifters, people who had Gua Sha treatments reported that lifting weights was easier post-treatment. Researchers concluded that Gua Sha might also help speed up muscle recovery and be a potential alternative to other sports recovery methods.8

Gua Sha May Help Tourette Symptoms

Tourette syndrome is a condition that affects the nervous system and causes sudden involuntary movements or sounds. While Gua Sha is not a miracle cure, limited research shows it might help reduce symptoms when combined with other treatments.

A 2017 case study of a 33-year-old man found that a combination of Gua Sha and other therapies appeared to reduce his Tourette syndrome symptoms. 9 

Gua Sha May Help Perimenopausal Symptoms

A small 2017 study involving 80 perimenopausal women found that people who had Gua Sha treatments for 8 weeks experienced fewer symptoms compared with the control group receiving only traditional therapy. 10

Gua Sha Tools

Some of the most common Gua Sha tool shapes are:

The Wand-Shaped Tool

Gua Sha S Shaped Tool

Pictured: Wand Gua Sha tool  Source: Eastern Currents

This long, slender tool has 2 pointy ends that are best to use for specific areas where you want to apply pressure and relieve tension in the body. These areas are primarily in the hands, feet, laterals, back, neck, and shoulders. The challenge with this shape is the limited maneuverability around the face and smaller areas of the body.

If you’re interested in adding this tool to your regime, check out the LEOSENSE Gua Sha Bian Stone Wand Tool.

The Dolphin

Gua Sha Wing or Fin Tool

Pictured: Dolphin Gua Sha tool    Source: DH Gate

This tool shape is one of the most popular and commonly purchased Gua Sha tools available on the market. It’s easy to hold due to its small size and is perfect for contouring different areas of the face including the jawline, nose bridge, chin, and under-eye area.

While the heart-shaped tool is great for the face, neck, and hands, it might be less effective to use in other parts of the body as its edges are not long enough to hold onto, and therefore less workable for applying firmer pressure.

If you’re interested in adding this tool to your regime, check out the MEEKU Gua Sha Stainless Steel Dolphin Tool.

The Spoon Tool

Gua Sha Spoon Tool

Pictured: Spoon Gua Sha tool    Source: Amazon

A Gua Sha spoon is a sculpting tool that helps you target acupressure points along your face and neck to gently release any muscle tension. Its spoon-like shape helps to target smaller areas as well as harder-to-reach areas like those around the nose and eyes.

If you’re interested in adding this tool to your regime, check out the Top Sewing Gua Sha 100% Jade Spoon Tool

The Comb Tool

Gua Sha Comb Tool

Pictured: Comb Gua Sha tool    Source: Amazon

This shape is exactly what it sounds like: a Gua Sha scraper equipped with comb-like prongs. On one side of this tool, you have the classic curved edge, perfect for a facial treatment. On the opposite side, the stone is shaped into a comb so you can give your scalp a nice, deep massage.

If you’re interested in adding this tool to your regime, check out the FORUHEALTH Gua Sha Jade Comb Tool.

Gua Sha Materials

Here’s a look at the most common materials used in Gua Sha:

  • Rose quartz is one of the most popular stones for Gua Sha tools. It’s said to be the stone of compassion, love, and emotional healing. Likewise, it supposedly has calming properties, which makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin and those who suffer from acne, rosacea, or other skin issues. According to some, rose quartz is also the best material for reducing signs of aging. In addition, as a healing stone, it’s used to drain toxins and negativity from the body.
  • Jade is a widely-used stone in the world of Gua Sha. Jade is known for its cooling effect, as well as its ability to balance the body and our inner energies. Similarly, some people claim that it helps relax the nervous system. If you’re looking for a tool that will reduce facial puffiness, jade might be your best bet. Plus, it’s known to promote lymphatic function. 
  • The Bian stone is also lauded for its healing properties. It’s an ancient stone with a wide range of uses, and one of those happens to be Gua Sha. According to certain studies, the Bian stone may help regulate blood pressure. Also, when used in a full-body Gua Sha treatment, it’s ideal for treating lower back pain.
  • Amethyst may help reduce stress and negative energy. Like jade, amethyst is perfect for cooling down the skin. Moreover, some people claim that it fights bacteria and targets the pores. 
  • Clear Quartz is among the rarest of these materials. It’s often referred to as a “master healer.” Many fans believe that it balances the mind, body, and spirit, providing a feeling of calm and clarity. Clear quartz is great for all skin types.

DIY Gua Sha

Once you choose the perfect shape and material, you can start using your Gua Sha tool every day or at least two to three times a week. To prevent any rashes or irritation when doing a Gua Sha massage, make sure to always use a facial oil first.

After using your Gua Sha tool, be sure to clean it with soap and warm water.

Facial Gua Sha: A Step-by-Step Guide

Always begin with your neck to release tension and assist with lymph drainage. Repeat each step three to five times. For a more detailed look at this technique, you can check out this video.

  1. Hold the skin at the base of your neck with your hand that isn’t holding the tool. Using the divot in your tool, use upward strokes, and glide up the cervical spine (the middle of your neck) from the base of your neck to the base of the skull and give it a wiggle. 
  2. Turn your Gua Sha tool to use the long flat edg. Gently glide down the side of your neck next to your shoulder. Hold your skin taut a few inches down from where you are gliding the Gua Sha.
  3. Repeat on the other side of your neck.
  4. Using the divot on your tool, glide up from the center of your collarbone to your chin. Use feather-light pressure.
  5. Choose the side of your face you would like to work on first. Use the divot of the tool to go from the middle of your chin towards the ear along the jawline.
  6. Use the long side of your Gua Sha and hook the tool under the cheekbone drawing out and up towards the ear.
  7. Using light pressure, slowly sweep from the side of your nose, under the eye, out towards the temple
  8. Next, using lighter pressure, going along the brow bone, use the long side of the tool to sweep from the center of the forehead to the temples.
  9. Starting at the space between the eyebrows, stroke up to your hairline. Move over to the right eyebrow and repeat.
  10. Finally, you can scrape from the center of your forehead towards the earlobe and down to your collarbone using a downward motion to help flush your lymphatic system.

The Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil Is Perfect For Gua Sha

The Herban Wisdom Facial Oil

The golden rule of Gua Sha is to always apply facial oil before using your stone. You need enough slip so that the tool can easily glide across the contours of your face — without it, you can pull or tug at your delicate skin.

The Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil is a high-vibrational facial oil that will compliment your Gua Sha routine perfectly. This exceptional formula is a powerful skin treatment fusing clean plant nutrients rich in antioxidant, adaptogenic, rejuvenating, and moisturizing properties.

Just a few drops incorporated into your own Gua Sha ritual can help visibly recharge skin to appear calm and balanced, radiating with a gorgeous natural glow. 

You can shop the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil here

References:

http://en.chinaculture.org/info/2013-04/25/content_456628.htm [1]

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1550830707001772?via%3Dihub [2]

https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/9/11/3678/htm [3]

https://blog.sidekicktool.com/gua-sha-wrinkles/ [4]

https://he01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/ams/article/view/66337 [5]

https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/12/3/362/1829149?login=false [6]

https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/107731 [7]

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254627217300262 [8]

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S200529011630125X?via%3Dihub [9]

https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2017/03000/Effect_of_Gua_sha_therapy_on_perimenopausal.10.aspx [10]