One of the most important lipid categories that make up human sebum is ceramides. Ceramides are naturally able to fill in the gaps between the skin cells and are a critical component in keeping the skin strong & moisturized.
Over time, ceramide levels in the skin become depleted, leading to dryness and dehydration. This lack of moisture in the skin makes it look saggy and tired and emphasizes wrinkles. Low levels of ceramides can lead to a variety of inflammatory skin conditions, which lead to redness and irritation as well as long-term damage.
Look for ceramides in moisturizers to keep your skin soft & supple this winter.
1. Some skin issues affect people of color more frequently
Although hyperpigmentation issues can affect anyone, people of color are more likely to develop them. Two of the most common pigmentation-related concerns are melasma, a condition that causes patches of brown skin and is commonly related to hormonal shifts, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which causes dark spots to appear after an inflammatory event, such as eczema or acne. Those who already have more melanin in their skin (i.e. Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, etc.) are more likely to develop hyperpigmentation after an inflammatory issue. Although these pigmentation issues can be stubborn, they can be lightened through topical treatments and/or chemical peels.
2. Wear sunscreen
A common skincare misconception is that having darker skin is sufficient protection against the damage of UV rays. But even people with darker skin need sunscreen to prevent sunburns and skin cancer. Although people of color are less likely to develop melanoma, they are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage. Sunscreen is the essential first line of defense against sun damage, which can occur even if you don’t get a burn. When choosing a sunscreen, make sure to get one with broad-spectrum protection and at least SPF 30.
Useful for calming redness, swelling, itching, and redness, licorice extract contains components that actively inhibit inflammation in the skin. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and can help brighten skin by inhibiting the production of pigment.
Green tea is an abundant source of plant polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and also have protective effects on the skin against sun-induced free radicals, redness, and skin aging when used topically or taken orally.
Also known as tiger grass, this plant has a history of use for its anti-inflammatory benefits. It can soothe the skin and calm down redness. It has been shown to help with revitalizing the skin’s barrier, hydrating & mitigating the effects of sun damage.
Moisturizers help draw & seal moisture into the skin, strengthening the skin’s protective barrier. Moisturizers should be applied after cleansing and exfoliating,. To make things easier, you can use a moisturizer with at least SPF 30 and broad-spectrum protection (for daytime use), then layer makeup on top. If you plan to moisturize in the evening, you can use the same product. You can also try a formula with other ingredients, like retinol or antioxidants. All you need is a small amount, covering the forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, and neck.
A must-have product, sunscreen helps protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays, which may cause skin cancer and signs of aging. Apply every day after cleansing and exfoliating, and before makeup. Apply to cleaned skin at least 15 minutes before going outside (30 minutes before going in water), and reapply every two hours if you remain outside. Physical sunscreens (consisting of zinc or iron oxide or titanium dioxide) physically block UV rays from damaging the skin while chemical sunscreens (usually ending in -ate or -one) absorb the ultraviolet light, then break it down. Be aware that physical sunscreens are less likely to irritate the skin, but can be thicker and pastier.
Exfoliation removes the outer layers of dead skin cells, helping to brighten and smooth the face, even out pigmentation, unclog pores & reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There are two ways to exfoliate: physical (manual) and chemical. With physical exfoliation, you use a tool, such as a brush, a sponge, or a face scrub, to mechanically remove the dead skin cells. Meanwhile, with chemical exfoliation, chemicals (including lactic, glycolic & salicylic acid) gently dissolve the cells.
When you’re ready to exfoliate, do it right after cleansing, either in the morning or evening. If you’re new to exfoliating , start with once a week, working up to twice or three times per week over time. If you find physical exfoliation is too intense, you can opt for a gentler chemical exfoliant (like lactic acid) instead.
Colloidal oatmeal contains beta-glucans, sugars that reduce skin inflammation and enhance collagen production in the skin. It can be used regularly and for long periods of time safely. It has also been approved by the FDA as a treatment for eczema.
Chamomile contains many naturally occurring compounds known to soothe the skin when applied topically. active ingredients deep into the skin for optimal skin restoration. You can brew a strong tea and make warm compresses, or throw a few tea bags into your bath water, along with sweet almond oil for a soothing soak.
Facelifts are invasive, Botox is expensive, and anti-aging serums or creams don’t ever seem to work. Well, move over Botox, there’s an anti-aging facial — often referred to as a “natural facelift” — that has burst onto the beauty scene, and it actually works. This magical treatment, known as a microcurrent facial, uses electrical currents to boost collagen production, tighten the skin, and lift the facial muscles. It is FDA approved, safe, painless, and no needles are ever involved. Keep reading to learn more about microcurrent facials and where to take advantage of this amazing treatment locally.
A microcurrent facial uses two handheld metal wands that give off electrical currents, one positive and one negative. It stimulates the muscles in the face and increases the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. Microcurrent treatments are safe and effective, as they have been around for years and have even been used in the medical industry to help patients with conditions such as Bell’s Palsy. Due to the electrical current, however, pregnant women and clients that have a pacemaker should not receive a microcurrent facial.