Hand Care: The Missing Step in Your Anti-Ageing Routine

Lifting. Typing. Styling. High-fiving. The list of things you do with your hands could go on forever, yet hand care slips at the bottom of our beauty priorities. Your hands are put to more daily use and abuse than your face and less pampering. So it’s not surprising that they “tattle-tale” your age quicker than any other part of your body.
While you can’t stop the natural, biological process of ageing, you can do a lot to prevent and reduce damage caused by external factors such as UV radiation, pollution and harsh chemicals. More importantly, taking care of your hands doesn’t have to be a major production. Here are 3 simple steps to help your hands look and feel good at any age:

#1 Sun protection

hand care, age spots, old hands

When was the last time you put sunscreen on your hands? If you don’t want them covered with age spots, you should be putting sunscreen on every day and reapplying after you wash your hands. Yes, age spots have nothing to do with age. They are the result of unprotected sun exposure. UV rays damage the DNA in skin cells which induces dark spots formation and uneven pigmentation. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

#2 Exfoliation

hand care, exfoliation

Our skin dries out quickly and takes longer to replenish itself as we age. With the loss of elasticity and hydration, veins that are not visible under plump skin become prominent and the skin on our hands starts to look crepey.
Regular exfoliation will remove dead cell build-ups and put your skin’s renewal process in boot camp. Use a retinol crème to improve rough skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Look for products enriched with vitamins E and C as they are natural antioxidants that restore and enhance skin barrier function.

#3 Hydration

hand care, hydration, hand creme

You probably put a lot more thought into choosing your face cleanser than you did your hand soap. But how often do you wash your hands compared to your face? Harsh detergents strip natural oils and moisture from the skin, leaving your hands dry, cracked and susceptible to irritation.
To protect your hands, hydrate regularly throughout the day, especially after contact with water. Use a rich, nourishing crème that restores hydration and stimulates skin barrier function. Oraser® Nourishing Hand Crème is formulated with nourishing shea butter and skin conditioners to provide a deep hydration and help diminish the appearance of age spots and uneven pigmentation.

5 Neck Firming Exercises To Tighten Your Neck

Nothing betrays a woman’s age more quickly than a sagging, jowly neck. You might have built the perfect skincare routine for your face, but what is the point of it, if your neck is giving away your age or even making you look older?

Here are 5 neck firming exercises that will help you say goodbye to the turkey neck forever:

1. Chin Tuck

This exercise strengthens the front muscles of your neck and helps you maintain better posture.

neck firming exercises, chin tuck

Step 1: Sit straight in a chair with your back firmly supported by a wall or the back of the chair. Make sure the back of your head, shoulders and upper back are against the wall and the underside of your chin is parallel to the floor.
Step 2: Slowly move your chin towards your chest and hold for 5 seconds as you feel a comfortable stretch from the back of your neck to the base of your skull.
Step 3: Release and repeat 5 – 10 times.

2. Seated Neck Release

This exercise targets the side muscles of your neck and helps to relieve stress in the back of your neck.

neck firming exercises, side neck release
Step 1: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
Step 2: Place your arms next to your knees or along the sides of the chair. This position stabilises your torso and allows you to isolate the stretch on the side of your neck.
Step 3: Slowly tilt your head to your left shoulder and hold for 5 seconds. Go back to neutral position and tilt to your right shoulder, holding for another 5 seconds. Repeat 5 -10 times.

Cobra Stretch

This exercise strengthens the muscles of your shoulders and stretches your neck, lower and upper back.

neck firming exercises, cobra stretch

Step 1: Lie on your stomach and place your hands at the base of your ribcage with palms pressing against the ground.
Step 2: Lift your hands off the floor, gently arch your back and lift your chest upward. Press your shoulders down away from your ears.
Step 3: Hold the position for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 – 8 times.

Bridge

A classic exercise, included in almost every yoga workout. It is great not only for your hip muscles but also for the back of your neck.

neck firming exercises, bridge
Step 1: Lie down with your lower back pressed to the floor. Bend your knees, while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Place your arms at your side with palms down.
Step 2: With your palms and feet, pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
Step 3: Hold the position for 10-seconds and release. Repeat 10 – 15 times.

Mind your posture

neck firming exercises, correct posture

Hunching over your desk all day will not only cause you back pain but also add horizontal lines to your neck. Instead, try to sit with your back straight, relax your shoulders and keep your head up. During long sedentary periods, like sitting at our desks at work, it is easy to forget about good posture and crane your neck, while staring at your computer screen. So, make a conscious effort to improve your sitting habits and check your posture throughout the day.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget your neck in your skincare routine

This delicate area develops wrinkles faster than the face yet is often left out of skincare routines. Your neck needs just as much (or even more) protection and nourishment as your face. Your neck and chest areas have fewer oil glands than your face, so hydrate diligently! Never skip sunscreen and don’t forget about serum and anti-ageing care, too.

Oily Skin Hydration: 3 Easy Ways to Winterproof Your Skin Without Breaking Out

Winter is in full swing which means you need to up your skincare game so as to keep your complexion balanced, hydrated and radiant. The cold dry air, coupled with even dryer indoor heating, takes a toll on all skin types. But for those of us struggling with oily skin the issue is twofold – how do we give our skin a hydration boost while keeping the T-zone shine at bay?

oily skin hydration, girl cleaning her face
Here is our action plan to help you hydrate, nourish and protect your skin in the winter without exacerbating oiliness and causing breakouts:

#1 Swap your gritty scrub for a gentle cleanser

There is no denying exfoliation is a crucial part of your skincare routine. However, over-exfoliating can do a real number on your skin, especially in the winter. When temperatures dip down and the wind whips up, you want to help your skin lock in as much moisture as possible. If you are scrubbing too hard and too frequently, you are not only removing excess oils but also getting rid of healthy cells and compromising your skin’s protective barrier. When natural moisture escapes from the skin, your sebaceous glands go into a frenzy and produce even more oil, trying to compensate for the loss of hydration.

So, instead of keeping your skin clean and smooth, you are doing the exact opposite – stimulating more sebum production. If you don’t want to get trapped in this vicious cycle, take a break from gritty exfoliators. Instead, switch to a gentle cleanser that cleans your skin thoroughly but doesn’t strip its natural moisture.

Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser combines BHA, to gently remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, whilst nourishing lipids boost hydration and skin softness. Use it daily to keep excess oil under control and give your skin the extra nourishment it needs in the winter.

#2 Use non-comedogenic sunscreen

We should all be in the habit of putting on sunscreen every day and reapplying it regularly – all year round. But most products on the high street are chalky and greasy and when you are in an eternal battle with shine and oiliness, the last thing you want to do is put a layer of thick, pore-clogging sunscreen on your face.

oily skin hydration, oclipse® daily sheer

However, this is not a good excuse to skip sun protection. Oclipse® Daily Sheer SPF 50 has a special, non-greasy formula that blends seamlessly into the skin and gives it a sheer matte finish. It dries quickly and provides broad-spectrum protection with zero chances of breakouts.

#3 Add a serum to your routine

People with oily skin often (and wrongly) avoid serums thinking their thick formula will exacerbate oiliness. The truth is that serums are serious hydration boosters and work for all skin types, including oily skin. If you want to nourish your skin without clogging your pores, serums are the much better choice that thick crèmes and moisturisers. The molecule structures of serums are smaller, so they can penetrate the skin surface deeper than moisturisers and hydrate the skin from within.

oily skin hydration, oseential-c bright serum

Ossential® C-Bright Serum contains naturally occurring lipids that support skin barrier restoration and help skin’s natural hydration process. It also helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and even your complexion.

How to calm rosacea flare ups

Winter brings its own set of skincare challenges especially if you’re one of the 1 in 10 people who suffer from rosacea. Keeping rosacea flare-ups under control in normal conditions is difficult enough as triggers are many and varied. But when you throw arctic winds, indoor heating and low humidity into the mix, it gets even more challenging to soothe your temperamental skin.

So, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite tips and products to help you beat the discomfort and how to calm rosacea flare-up during the chilly weather and keep your rosacea symptoms at bay:

#1 Avoid long, hot showers

rosacea flare-ups, hot water, steamy shower

So hard to do in the winter months, but necessary if you want to combat face flushing. Hot water strips the skin from its natural oils and moisture, so after a day of braving the cold, the last thing you want to do to your sensitive face is put it under a steaming hot shower.

#2 Cover up

rosacea-flare-ups, cold winter, cover face, scarf

Limit your cold exposure as much as you can. Infinity scarves are not only a good fashion choice, but you can pull them up and protect your face from the biting wind. When you suffer from rosacea, you always want to avoid dramatic changes in your body temperature. Try to layer your outfit, so you can quickly peel off when you start to feel too warm, after coming into a heated building from frosty outdoors.

#3 Turn the thermostat down

rosacea flare-ups, central heating, dry air

With freezing temperatures outside, it’s tempting to turn up the heating and snuggle up, when you get home. However, dry warm air doesn’t do your irritable skin any good. Instead of cranking up the heat, put on the humidifier. If you don’t have a central one, you can buy a portable humidifier or just put a bowl of water next to your radiators. It will put the much-needed moisture back in the air.

Revamp your rosacea skincare routine for winter

Choosing the right products for your winter routine is the most important part of your flare-up management. Any abrasive products can further irritate your already sensitive skin, so forget about scrubs, cleansing powders, and aggressive exfoliators. A good rosacea routine should consist of the following steps:

Protection

It might be tempting to skip sunscreen when the thermometer dips down below freezing, but just because you don’t feel the sun as much as you do in the summer, it doesn’t mean the UV rays are not damaging your skin.

oclipse-c Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 ZO Medical
Oclipse-C™ is a non-irritating, mineral SPF 50 sunscreen, developed to protect the most sensitive skin types. It shields your skin from UVA, UVB, HEV and IR-A rays and supports its natural barrier function thanks to a slow-release antioxidant complex. Use daily to prevent your cheeks from turning red this winter.

Cleansing

If your skin is rosacea-prone, you need to be extra careful when choosing your cleansing products. Even the ones labelled for “sensitive” skin can cause irritation.

ZO Medical Rozatrol Rosacea Treatment

Rozatrol™ is an enzymatic exfoliator which provides ultra-mild cleanse and prevents excess sebum production. This little tube can be a lifesaver for anyone struggling with rosacea flare-ups. It not only cleans your skin thoroughly but also reliefs existing redness and inflammation thanks to its amino acid complex.

Hydration

The last step in your winter routine is the most obvious one…Hydration. At this time of the year, you want to give your skin a major hydration boost and lock in as much moisture as you can.

RESTORACALM Soothing Recovery Crème

For a quick flare-up relief, use the Restoracalm™ soothing recovery cream. It provides immediate comfort to dry, flushed skin and stimulates the natural restoration of the skin barrier. Restoracalm™ has been developed with silk sericin protein to support skin’s recovery process and prevent future irritation and signs of ageing.

The Right Way to Detox Your Skin Post-Holidays

Christmas is a magical time of the year, filled with celebration and overindulgence on comfort foods, wine, sweets and canapés. After all, tis the season to relax and be jolly.

Sadly, the Christmas break has flown by quickly, we’re back to our normal routine and the not-so-pretty consequences of the festive overindulgence are showing on our skin. If your your skin is dull and spotty, and the dark circles under your eyes are bigger than your friend circle, don’t panic – we’ve got you covered. Here is how to detox your skin and get back your pre-holiday glow:

#1 Skip the dessert


Let’s face it, Christmas just isn’t the same without the abundance of sweets and goodies. We won’t judge you (we’ve all been there) if you’ve consumed your body weight in mince pies or eaten an entire box of Quality Streets by yourself. While an occasional sweet binge is okay, regular sugar indulgence wreaks havoc on your skin.

When sugars hit our bloodstream, they form molecules (AGEs) that break down collagen and elastin – the proteins that keep skin firm and elastic. On top of that, high-glycemic foods are responsible for excessive insulin production. Insulin spikes send our body signals to produce certain growth factors that exacerbate hormone imbalance, causing breakouts and irritation. So, do your skin a favour and skip the dessert as often as you can. Your waistline will thank you, too!

#2 Go salt-free for a week

detox your skin, salt, post-holiday cleanse
When it comes to skin health, salt is just as bad as sugar. Pretzels and other salty treats are most likely the reason behind those under-eye bags that we all hate so much. While sodium is a very important nutrient in our diet, excessive amounts prompt the body to hold onto water, giving the face a bloated appearance and causing puffiness around the eyes. You should really pay attention to your salt intake if you have acne-prone skin. Excessive consumption dehydrates your skin and tricks your glands into producing more oil to compensate for the water loss.

#3 Go Dry This January

detox your skin, post-holidays-cleanse, alcohol, dry january
If you’ve hit the cocktail bars a little too heavily over the Christmas break, you should give Dry January a try. Especially if you suffer from rosacea or have dry and sensitive skin. Alcohol dehydrates your body generally, including its largest organ – your skin. Wonder why those nasty face flushes won’t go away? Alcohol has a lot to do with it because it causes blood vessels to dilate, triggering redness and irritability.

Regular alcohol overindulgence can also cause permanent skin damage such as broken capillaries and spots. So, for the sake of your skin health, take a break from alcohol this January and stock up on herbal teas, coconut water and juices that are rich in antioxidants.

#4 Go to Bed Earlier

detox your skin, post-holidays cleanse, sleep
Did you know that your skin cell turnover is working 8 times faster while you are sleeping at night? Well, it is called beauty sleep for a reason. If you are regularly short of sleep and going to bed late, you are likely to suffer from hormone imbalances that are tied to skin problems such as eczema and irritant dermatitis. In addition, your sleep-deprived body is releasing more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol not only increases inflammation in the body but is also directly correlated with acne breakouts.

Search no more for an excuse to sleep in! Go to bed on time, sleep at least seven hours per night and wake up with glowing skin in the morning.

5 Skincare Resolutions to Follow in 2018

Yes, it’s that time of the year again! That time when we are all promising ourselves that in the New Year we will hit the gym harder, eat better, work harder at our jobs, but also make more time for our hobbies. Usually by the end of February our enthusiasm has drained, and we go to the gym every fortnight and drink soda instead of a smoothie.

This year instead of making big promises,  we are unlikely to keep, we have put together 5 small easy tips to help you with your skincare resolutions, that are going to make a big difference for your skin.

1. I will wash my makeup brushes at least once a month.

skincare resolutions, clean makeup brushes

 

Makeup and oils from your skin build up on your brushes making them a breeding ground for bacteria. Ideally you should be cleaning your brushes every week, but it’s more realistic to make a monthly commitment. Wash them with lukewarm water and gentle soap and leave them to dry thoroughly.

2. I will exfoliate regularly

skincare resolutions, exfoliating

Baby’s skin takes 14 days to replenish itself completely. With ageing the skin dries out quicker and takes longer to replenish. If you don’t want your skin to lose its smoothness and glow, you need a good exfoliator to remove dead cell build-ups and kick-start the renewal process. Make sure you use products that clean your skin without breaking its natural barrier. Offects® Exfoliating Polish contains vitamins C, A and E that give your skin an antioxidant protection and preserve its natural hydration. Exfoliate regularly to achieve a smooth, glowing complexion.

3. I will wear sunscreen every single day

skincare resolution, sun protection, SPF

Smoking and  unprotected sun exposure are the top reasons for premature ageing. Forget about tanning this year and apply SPF every time you are about to go outside. Yes, in the winter months, too! Don’t use a sunscreen with a SPF lower than 15 even if you don’t burn easily. In sunscreen feels “heavy” on your skin, choose a non-greasy formula such as the Oclipse® Daily Sheer which blends seamlessly into the skin and gives you a long-lasting protection.

4. I won’t skip cleansing before bed.

skincare resolutions, face washing

After a long hard day at the office it might be tempting to skip your cleansing routine and head to bed or just use makeup wipes. While swap and slumber is quick and convenient, makeup wipes are not a friend of your skin.  They often contain detergent chemicals that can be highly irritable and more importantly wipes will not remove all the dirt from your pores.

So, if you don’t rinse your face after using makeup wipes or, even worse, don’t clean your makeup at all, you are likely to wake up with a breakout. You will enjoy much healthier skin this year, if you toss out the makeup wipes and resolve to a nightly wash with a gentle and hydrating cleanser.

5. I will stick to my resolutions and my skincare regimen.

skincare resolutions, 2018 goals

It is natural to expect immediate results when you start a new skincare regimen. However, some product and ingredients take weeks or even months to work. And ultimately, beautiful skin requires a continuous, lifelong routine. Don’t give up on your skincare regimen, if you don’t see the expected results straight away, it takes time. Take a few steps now and your skin will thank you later.