Sunday, 18 March 2012

5 of the Best Natural Skincare Ingredients

When it comes to skin care, natural ingredients are often overlooked in favour of chemical-based products. However, nature has a wealth of hidden benefits that have just the same skin-enhancing effect, without the irritation that chemicals can cause. When it comes to natural products, here are 5 of the best ingredients to look out for...

1. Honey
Honey has natural antioxidant and anti-microbial properties, making it perfect for sufferers of acne or spots. It absorbs dirt and impurities, deeply cleaning and purifying the skin in a gentle way that no chemical ingredient can match. Plus, it will leave your skin smelling wonderful too!

2. Jojoba
This botanical oil is made from the seeds of the Jojoba tree, and is packed full of nourishing nutrients such as the skin-smoothing Vitamin E, known to reduce the appearance of scars. Jojoba oil does not clog the pores so is the perfect way to keep your skin moisturised if you suffer from break outs.

3. Cucumber
You know that stereotypical image of a women with a face mask on and cucumber over her eyes? It's not just that way for the looks - cucumber really works to soothe tired eyes and to reduce puffy under-eye bags, and the refreshing scent is wonderfully invigorating.

Thea Skincare Cucumber & Cranberry Eye Makeup Remover, £7.95

4. Olive Oil
This low cost but amazingly effective ingredient is deeply moisturising, not only for the skin but for the hair too. It contains many antioxidants for deeply cleansed skin that is soft, smooth and protected from free radicals. For a budget skin scrub, just mix two parts olive oil with one part sugar and rub gently all over your body - the sugar exfoliates whilst the olive oil cleanses and moisturises, for naturally beautiful skin.

5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a common ingredient in after-sun lotions as it really soothes irritated or even burnt skin, cooling and calming it down. It is also a  great moisturiser, pumping lost moisture back into dried-out skin. Of course, it's always best to use a good sunscreen and avoid getting burnt, but if you do suffer from sunburn nothing will help more than Aloe Vera juice. It's also great as a year-round moisturiser, not just for summer.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

I have oily skin and spots - what do I do?

I receive many requests for help with acne and oily skin, a few of the common ones include questions such as...

What should I use on my skin?
What can I do to stop spots?
Why do I get spots?
How should I treat spots?

The list of questions is endless! In short, there are so many reasons why people get spots such as hormonal changes, diet, a poor skincare routine and much more. Here are a few simple facts on what causes spots, and things that you can do to help to get rid of both spots and oily skin.

Your skin is naturally acidic as it has a protective acid mantle on its surface, so you should use oily skin care products that are pH balanced.

All Thea Skincare products are not only Paraben free but also pH balanced to be in tune with your skin's normal acid levels. Using skincare products that are too alkaline can damage the skin's natural acid mantle and may lead to oily skin and spots.

If you suffer from acne, oily or spot prone skin use a gentle, natural foaming cleanser for oily skin such as our Rebalance Clarity Foaming Facial Cleanser which is mild on the skin but still gives a deep, purifying clean.

A moisturiser for oily skin is essential to reduce spots

Always use an oily skin toner - toners remove excess cleanser from the skin after you have rinsed most of it off, and help to keep the pores clean and tight, making it harder for impurities to get in. The Thea Clarity Calming Facial Toner is gentle with no stinging sensation, and is effective at helping to keep oily skin at bay.

Exfoliators are great for giving a deeper clean and for removing dead skin from the face, which can otherwise cause premature ageing. For acne, oily and spot prone skin use a gentle face exfoliator such as our Thea Clarity Crème Face Exfoliator . Do not use harsh scrubs on the face, as it just worsens the problem by irritating the skin. Use a gentle exfoliator instead with natural, exfoliating ingredients to help to remove excess oil under the epidermis.

Finally, always use a moisturiser - having oily skin does not mean that you do not need to nourish and treat your skin. Moisturisers help the skin's oil balance and a natural and organic cream for oily skin such as the Thea Clarity Crème Face Moisturiser will do just that, helping to stop the over-production of oil which is one of the main causes of oily and acne prone skin.

Thea x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

5 Tips on How to Get Rid of Spots

No one likes to have oily skin or spots, but unfortunately they are one of the most common skincare complaints. It's not just teenagers who suffer from acne either - the problem can last well into your twenties or thirties, or can possibly even start in later life even if you had perfect skin as a teen. Factors such as your diet, your overall health, how stressed you are and even getting pregnant all have an influence on your skin and can lead to breakouts.
Unfortunately, there is no overnight cure - miracle creams that claim to turn your oily, acne-prone skin into a perfectly clear complexion overnight simply do not work. However, by making the right adjustments to your lifestyle and to your skincare routine, you can stop acne, spots and oily skin.

So, wondering how to get rid of spots? Here are my five top tips for a clearer, more perfect complexion...

1. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
You could be using the best skincare products in the world, but if you don't have a great lifestyle to match you will likely still suffer from acne and oily skin. Your skin is affected not just by what you put on it, but by what you feed it from the inside too, so ensure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals (think lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meat or fish) and also drinking plenty of water, to give your skin the hydration it needs. Thirsty skin dries out and your body will produce excess sebum (the natural oil in your skin) to compensate. Lots of exercise and fresh air won't hurt either!

 2. Moisturise Daily
Do not be fooled into thinking that because you have oily skin you don't need to moisturise, or that moisturising is going to make the problem worse. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. Your skin needs a certain level of moisture to stay healthy and if it is not getting it, your sebum glands will go into overdrive and produce much more oil, so by using a light moisturiser day and night you can keep excess oil to a minimum.

However ensure that you buy the right moisturiser for you - a rich, thick cream designed for dry skin will do nothing for you, so opt for a specially designed moisturier for oily skin that is lighter and probably contains some anti-bacterial ingredients to help with spots, too.

3. Exfoliate Regularly
It is a common misconception that exfoliation is only for dry skin. Yes, it does remove the dead layer of cells on the surface of your skin that can lead to dry, flaky skin, but even those with oily skin have this layer of dead skin cells too! They actually cause more of a problem when combined with oily skin because the dead cells become trapped in the oil and clog up your pores, leading to the infections that cause spots. 

So, find a good quality exfoliator with gentle beads and use it twice a week - avoid harsh facial scrubs and do not exfoliate every day however, as this will only irritate the skin and lead to more breakouts.

4. Change Your Bedding Often
If you tend to wake up with new blemishes most mornings, it could be that your pillow is not clean enough. If you stop to think about it for a moment, we spend hours on end every night with our faces pressed against our pillows, so if these have any dirt or bacteria on them then it's bound to have an impact on your skin. Wash your pillow cases and bedding at least once a week and you're certain to notice an improvement in your skin if you suffer from acne.
5. Avoid Heavy Make Up
If you've woken up with a breakout, it can be very tempting to cover it up with a thick layer of concealer or foundation. However this will not let your skin breathe and will only make the problem worse. If you're at home alone, skip makeup altogether, and if you're going out and want to put some makeup on then ensure that you are using lightweight products that say 'non comedogenic' on the packaging - this means they will not block your pores, so they will not cause spots.

Similarly, if you have particularly oily skin avoid caking your skin in a thick layer of powder and instead opt for a loose, non comedogenic powder and then carry specially designed makeup blotting papers with you, to blot away excess oil throughout the day.