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Eat Your Way to a Flawless Complexion: 4 Essential Vitamins for Healthy Skin

When it comes to skin health, the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ holds true more than ever before. If you are hankering after spotless, radiant complexion, what you put in your body matters just as much (or even more) as what you put on your skin. Here are the 4 essential vitamins for healthy skin and foods that contain them:

1. Vitamin A

vitamins for healthy skin, vitamin A foods

Why is it good? 

Vitamin A is a miracle worker against fine lines, spots and wrinkles. Similar to retinoids, which are derived from it, vitamin A speeds up tissue repair and supports the healthy functioning of skin’s protective barrier.

It is also a great supplement for oily and acne-prone skin as it can help reduce excess sebum production and clear rough patches on your face.

Natural Sources of Vitamin A: 

  • Liver and liver products such as pâté (but no more than once a week, too much vitamin A can be harmful to your health, especially if you are pregnant or trying to conceive)
  • Eggs
  • Oily fish
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots and leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
  • Yellow fruit such as mango, papaya and apricots

Best Vitamin A Product: Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair

vitamins for healthy skin, vitamin A, retinol

Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair contains 1% retinol which is the highest retinol concentration you can find in over-the-counter products. Retinol is an active form of vitamin A that clears up uneven pigmentation and diminishes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair is formulated with multiple antioxidants to neutralise free radicals and prevent future damage to your skin.

2. Vitamin C

vitamins for healthy skin, vitamin C

Why is it good?

We all know vitamin C can help us fight off colds and flu, but its antioxidant properties are great for skin, too. Vitamin C protects your complexion from free radical damage and boosts collagen production. Exposure to sunlight and pollutants depletes the amount of vitamin C in your skin, so add vitamin-rich foods to your diet to ensure you are getting your daily dose.

Natural Sources of vitamin C:

  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Red and green peppers
  • Blackcurrants

Best Vitamin C Product: Ossential® C-Bright Serum

Ossential C-bright Serum provides a potent dose of 10% pure, stabilised vitamin C to combat spots, dullness and wrinkles. The serum activates upon contact with the skin’s natural water content to maximise exfoliation and reveal radiant, even-toned skin.

3. Vitamin E

vitamins for healthy skin, vitamin E foods

Why is it good?

Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation and neutralises free radicals before they harm the cells in the upper layers of your skin. Studies have shown that vitamin E protects better when it’s combined with vitamin C. When used together, vitamins C and E help reduce the damaging effects of UV radiation twice as effectively than when administered alone.

Natural Sources of Vitamin E:

  • Plant oils such as soya, corn and olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Wheatgerm – found in cereals and cereal products
  • Avocado
  • Olives

Best Vitamin E Product: Ossential C-bright Serum 

C-bright

 

To optimize the benefits of both vitamins, Ossential C-Bright Serum is formulated with 10% pure vitamin C, vitamin E and Q-10 to protect your skin from environmental damage and stimulate healthy collagen production.

4. Vitamin D

vitamins for healthy skin, vitamin D foods

Why is it good?

Vitamin D is vital for skin cell growth and repair. It prevents the onset of premature aging and enhances skin’s ability to retain and replenish moisture. Vitamin D plays a big role in fighting off bacteria and its deficiency is strongly linked to acne breakouts and inflammation.

Natural Sources of Vitamin D: 

  • Oily fish such as salmon, herring and fresh tuna
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified cereals
  • Red Meat

Best Vitamin D Product: Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30

vitamins for healthy skin, vitamin D, sun protection, SPF 30, oclipse sunscreen+primer SPF 30

Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because our body synthesises it from sunlight exposure. However, letting the sun beat down on your face and body without SPF protection is not the right way to get your daily dose of vitamin D.

The World Health Organisation has identified solar UV radiation as a proven human carcinogen, linking to 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers and about 86% of melanomas. Unprotected sun exposure is also the number one reason for premature skin ageing. So, is there a way to get vitamin D without abusing your skin and putting your health at risk?

Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 protects your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation and enhances skin barrier functions. SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent of UVB rays, which means that 2 to 7 percent of solar rays still reaching your skin; this is more than enough to get the vitamin D your body needs.

 

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.

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.

Anti Aging Skincare Tips

For the essential product in your anti-ageing skincare routine, look no further than Ossential Growth Factor Serum Plus. This anti-ageing all rounder delivers daily DNA repair, as well as antioxidant protection. This both corrects current signs of ageing and protects the skin from any future skin damage too.

What makes it anti-ageing skincare?

It also contains two growth factors to support collagen production, which increases skin density and helps cure signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles. Also included is anti-ageing hero retinol and amino acids, which stimulate cellular function, reduce the degradation of collagen and restores elasticity for all round skin rejuvenation.

 

This super serum is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and is also a part of the Stage Two Anti-Ageing Skincare Regime.

 

How Exactly Does the Growth Factor Serum Benefit the Skin?

 

 

  • Boosts elastin and collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and to tighten and firm the skin.
  • Growth Factor serum promotes cell turnover to help smooth the skin and provide a more even skin tone against skin pigmentation.
  • Helps protect against DNA damage and encourages healthy DNA repair.
  • Growth factor plus includes antioxidants to provide protection against free radical damage.

Ingredient Spotlight: Retinol

The one ingredient that we’re hearing about time after time, it’s Retinol. We’re always reading about it’s benefits, from reducing the appearance of fine lines, or refining skin texture. It’s even been proved to reduce the appearance of pores. But what exactly is it, and why should you use it?

Retinol is the antioxidant derivative of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful ingredient that speeds up cell turnover, and protects the skin from free radical damage. This can prevent lines, wrinkles and spots from forming in the first place. It works by absorbing into the skin, and breaking down into retinoic acid. This is a compound that affects the chemistry of skin cells and their behaviours. This can help increase collagen production, and improve skin elasticity. It can also increase skin thickness, improve skin texture, and create a more even skin tone, making it an idea ingredient for those with skin discolouration, or damage from the sun.

If you’ve never used Retinol before, you should be aware of initial side effects, such as skin dryness and peeling. This will subside as your skin gets used to the product, and then you’ll start to see the amazing benefits.

Here are our top products from ZO Skin Health and ZO Medical.

Advanced Radical Night Repair

Our best-selling, award-winning formula with a 1% retinol concentration that targets UV-damaged, aged skin.

Brightenex™ 1.0% Retinol

Targets skin discoloration and breaks up existing pigmentation and works to brighten skin and helps even skin tone.

Brightenex™ 0.5% Retinol

Formulated to even skin color and tone, and can also be used as a maintenance product after more aggressive treatments.

Retamax™ Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion

Lighweight, high potency retinol lotion that helps reverse the signs of skin aging and reduce lines and wrinkles.

 

The importance of a regular skincare regime

Why is it important to keep a regular skincare regime?

 

Keeping up a regular skincare regime can be difficult to juggle with a busy work and social life. With everything else going on in our lives, applying skincare products each morning and evening can be difficult to religiously keep up! However, keeping a regular skincare regime is a very important investment, that will lead to healthy and clear skin.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and we put it through harsh weather, pollution, UV damage and abrasion every day, so it’s so important to take good care of it. And there are so many benefits to maintaining a regular skin regime

skincare regime

Good Condition

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your skin in good condition for years to come. Many people only think about starting a consistent skin regime after their skin shows signs of acne, congestion or ageing. However, keeping a regular skin regime can help prevent these issues, and should take no longer than 5 minutes every morning and evening.

Visible Results

A lot of people will try a new skincare product, only to give up after a few uses if they don’t see immediate results. Active ingredients and a regular skincare regime can take up to a few months before you start to see visible results – so don’t give up if you don’t see overnight results! Think of your skincare regime like an exercise routine, it takes consistent practice and time, but you will start to see subtle improvements if you keep at it.

ZO Fundamental 5

The ZO Fundamental 5 is the perfect starting point for your skincare regime. These are a carefully selected group of products recommended to rejuvenate and revitalise dull, tired skin.

In 5 easy steps, you can start your regular skincare regime. Wash, scrub, oil-control, stimulate and protect.

1. Wash: Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser

This cleanser and exfoliant combination targets oil, dirt and bacteria in the skin leaving it deeply cleansed, without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

2. Scrub: Offects® Exfoliating Polish

This exfoliant instantly polishes skin to restore a smoother texture and deliver healthy glowing skin.

3. Oil-Control: Offects® TE-Pads™ 

A dual-chemical exfoliation removes dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores and help decrease a potential acne breakout.

4. Balance: Ossential® Daily Power Defense™ 

Formulated with retinol, enzymes and antioxidants, this skin restorer helps to stabilise skin by repairing damaged cells and protecting skin against future damage.

Protect: Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30

A broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF that uses a multiple-defence sun protection system to provides full-spectrum defence against UV rays in addition to shielding skin from the ageing effects of HEV light (high-energy visible light).

 

 

Anti-Pollution Skincare

anti pollution skincare

How does pollution affect your skin?

Anti-Pollution skincare is the buzzword of the moment in the beauty industry. But how does pollution affect our skin, and what do we need to look for to protect our skin from pollution?

We love the hustle and the bustle of the city, but it seems we’re only just realising the adverse effect it can have on our skin. Pollution levels are at an all-time high, for example London’s Oxford Street has the worst pollution levels in the world – with 10x the legal limit of nitrogen dioxide. All those chemical, dirt and dust particles can not only make your skin feel unclean and irritated, it can also affect how the skin ages.

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that high levels of nitrogen dioxide are linked to increases in age spots and hyper pigmentation. Pollution can also break down the skin’s natural barrier, leaving it exposed to free radical damage, which can damage the DNA of your skin, leading to damaged elastin fibres, impaired collagen synthesis and melanin production.

The resulting sagging skin, wrinkles and age spots can make your skin look up to 10x older than those who live in less polluted areas!

Starting an anti-pollution skincare regime

Cleansing your skin every night is essential to remove dirt and toxins from the skin’s surface. All ZO Skin Health and ZO Medical cleansers are the first step in your anti-pollution skincare regime, and remove dirt and oil without leaving a residue.

Exfoliating also works to give your skin a deeper clean, and help your serums and other skincare products penetrate the skin. Offects Exfoliating Polish is ideal for all skin types, and contains vitamin C, A and E for antioxidant protection and to help achieve glowing skin.

An antioxidant serum is crucial to protect skin against pollution damage. Antioxidants interact with free radicals, and stops them from damaging the skin. Vitamin C is a great anti-oxidant and is also essential to produce collagen. ZO Medical C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum provides a high dose of stabilized pure vitamin C, perfect to reduce the effects of pollution on the skin. The addition of coenzyme Q10, another powerful antioxidant, helps to defend against other environmental triggers that cause inflammation.

The last step in your anti-pollution skincare regime should always be an SPF – many people forget that their skin needs UV protection all year round, and an SPF adds an additional layer of protection to your skin. Zo Skin Health Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 gives daily multi-defence protection from UVA rays, UVB rays and HEV light, as well as continuous antioxidant protection against free radical damage and the harmful effects of IR-A rays.

Makeup Wipes: The Truth Behind What They Are Doing To Your Skin

One of the biggest skincare mistakes, which many people are guilty of, is using makeup wipes! They may seem like a quick and convenient way to cleanse the skin and remove your makeup, but are they? Is the health of your skin really worth trying to cut a few minutes out of your skincare routine? We take a closer look at why it’s time to ditch the wipes and grab yourself a cleanser.

woman makeup wipes, cleansing skin

Harsh On Your Skin

When using makeup wipes you need to apply a reasonable amount of pressure to the skin to remove your makeup. Over time, rubbing and pulling at the skin will not only cause irritation, but lead to an increase in fine lines and wrinkles! The is especially true for the skin around the delicate eye area.

Most wipes contain a high level of detergent chemicals and preservatives, to stop bacteria from breeding inside the pack. However, these chemicals can be highly irritating to the skin, sometimes even causing allergic reactions. Most dermatologists and skincare experts will advise against the use of makeup wipes, especially for those with sensitive skin conditions.

Makeup Wipes Can Cause Breakouts

Although you will see some evidence of makeup removal on the wipe itself, most of the dirt is still on your skin! Using a wipe will only smear the makeup and dirt around the skin on the face, and remove surface makeup. Without rinsing your face after using these wipes, a lot of residue will remain on the skin, leading to blocked pores and then subsequent breakouts.

Ineffective Skincare

Due to the dirt and grime remaining in the pores after using the wipes, any following skincare won’t be able to fully penetrate the skin. So your carefully selected ZO® skin routine won’t actually benefit the skin at all.

So to ensure your skin stays radiant and healthy looking, ditch the wipes. Invest time in a cleanser perfect for your skin type, your skin will thank you for it.

Find Your Nearest Skin Expert

Recommended Autumn Skincare Essentials

For those who want to give their skin a boost for the autumn, here are a few of our favourite skincare essentials that we believe will make a visible improvement to your complexion.

autumn skincare essentials

Cleanser

It’s essential to cleanse your skin both morning and night to ensure you remove all the impurities and dead skin cells to promote cell turnover and thus have a fresher, younger looking skin.

For Normal to Dry skin we recommend: Offects® Hydrating Cleanser

Dry skin requires a gentle cleanser that will not disrupt sebum which is why Offects® Hydrating Cleanser is perfect. It hydrates by helping to retaining moisture during the cleansing process and rejuvenates with it’s calming properties such as panthenol, which soothes, repairs and restores skin. In addition, this cleanser stimulates collagen production and contains allantoin, which cleans away dead skin cells and supports cellular renewal. All on top of it removing dirt, oil and makeup without leaving any residue. Washing your face never felt so good.

For Normal to Oily Skin we recommend: Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser

Cleansing is an important first step for all skin types, but for oily, acne-prone skin, it’s critical. The key to managing oily skin is gently exfoliating dull, dry skin cells that trap bacteria; reducing excess oil; and neutralising free radicals. Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser does all of that and goes one step further, by providing encapsulated Vitamin E, the most important antioxidant for healthy skin.

Nourishing Hydrator

No matter what your skin type, one of our skincare essentials is a good hydrating crème for both day and night. Even those with oily skin need to hydrate as without the proper hydration your skin will produce even more excessive oils as an overcompensation for the lack of hydration.

For the day we recommend: Ommerse® Renewal Crème 
This crème is packed with pure retinol, powerful anti-oxidants and a soothing agent to repair the skin barrier and rejuvenate the skin. Oh, and one more thing. It’s a great all-day hydrator, too.

For the night we recommend: Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème
While you sleep, your skin becomes more active, repairing and regenerating skin cells. This is the most important time to strengthen and nourish your skin. Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème is the natural counterpoint to an active day–a little bit of R and R to calm and nourish the skin. It’s not sheer indulgence, though. While you sleep, retinol works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, ceramides nourish and calming agents protect against inflammation.

Peel

Peels are always a firm recommendation from dermatologists and one of our favourite skincare essentials. As it lifts off the rough, dull surface layer of dead skin cells to help give skin the reflective glow that only comes from a smooth, even surface.

We recommend: ZO Medical’s Invisapeel™

This formulation uses a unique process to renew the epidermis, providing enhanced exfoliation without any flaking or peeling, leaving skin noticeably smoother, firmer and brighter. Specialized enzymes and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) promote exfoliation to improve the texture and help even skin tone in addition to enhancing and accelerating the repair of most epidermal problems such as discoloration, flaky skin and roughness. What’s more this product is excellent for both facial and non-facial skin such as hands, arms and legs!

Anti-Ageing in Your Twenties

Is it ever too early to start using anti-ageing products? The short answer is no. Prevention is always easier than treatment so starting the fight against ageing in your twenties is a smart move.

Anti-Ageing in Your Twenties

Prevention Over Treatment

The skin is no different to any other organ in the body that suffers age-related degeneration. It’s much easier to prevent the decline than it is to reverse the process after it has happened.

To give your skin a fighting chance, you need to start taking care of it from a young age. However, that does not mean that solely using an anti-ageing cream lets you off the hook. Alongside using the right products such as ZO’s Ommerse® Renewal Crème  and Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème, you need to unlearn bad habits like leaving your makeup on overnight. By leaving makeup on, your pores get clogged, you get breakouts and your skin is just generally left looking dull and worse-for-wear. So it is essential that you always cleanse your skin properly before you go to bed.

Additionally, one of the biggest mistakes made by those in their twenties, is overlooking the importance of protecting skin from the sun. Exposure to the sun, no matter if its bright blue skies or a dull, overcast day, the UV rays emitted from the sun are harmful and damaging to the skin. Thus for skin to remain healthy and taut as you age, twenty-somethings should get a lead on using sunscreen like Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30. Not only does this product protect your skin from harmful UV rays and HEV light (the blue light omitted from smartphones) but it also doubles up as a makeup primer! A very nifty thing to have in your skincare routine!

See all the sun protection products we offer here. Find your perfect match.