Acne is the worst! I hate it and I have no qualms about admitting my dislike of the pesky part of life that some of us must encounter as a teen and as an adult. Adult acne is a cruel joke that no one finds funny. Acne is the occurrence of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin. It causes pimples or “zits” which include whiteheads, blackheads, and red inflamed patches of skin. This is relevant among teenagers, but there is also adult acne that occurs as a result of hypersensitivity or overproduction of androgens. Adult acne happens to women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s and is usually caused by hormonal fluctuations from pregnancy, birth control pills, your menstrual cycle, or menopause.

Oftentimes we come into contact with things that will inflame, irritate, or cause acne like food, detergents, and even the products we may use on our bodies. It doesn’t have to even be products that are specifically for your face. Many women may find that the products they use on their hair will cause acne after their hair comes into contact with their skin. Before you know it, you are seeing those ugly pimples on your forehead, cheeks, hairline, and back.

“Dermatologist Doris J. Day, M.D., author of 100 Questions & Answers about Acne, notes that 'pomade acne' — caused by pore-clogging hair products — first became a problem in the 1970s. During this time, hair oils and creams were commonly used for certain hairstyles, like the afro. These products often caused acne breakouts on the forehead, temple and hairline.” - Skincare-news.com

You don't have to compromise your beautiful skin for fabulous hair. Here are preventive measures to prevent acne breakouts before they happen.

Exfoliate on your washday

Weekly exfoliation is good for your skin anyways so you might as well designate it for washday in order to get rid of dead skin cells, oil, products that clog your pores. You can also exfoliate your scalp too, and there are tons of DIY recipes for both. No need for pricey brands, check out this DIY Brown Sugar Scrub.

Change your pillowcase regularly

Oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria get trapped in the pillowcase while you sleep. If there are oils or products in your hair that may aggravate your face, it can transfer to your pillowcase and then onto your face, back, and shoulders. Try and buy a couple of satin pillowcases so you can swap them out more often.

Tie your hair up at night

Another thing to note is whether or not you tie your hair up at night. Although a satin pillowcase is a great alternative to a cotton pillowcase, your hair is coming into contact with your face as you toss and turn while you sleep. You may want to start using a satin scarf and/or satin bonnet to keep your hair out of your face at night.

Wash your hands

This is important after you apply product to your hair or whenever you touch your hair. You don’t want to transfer the oils and product to your face and irritate your skin.

Wash your face every night

Even if you don’t wear makeup this step is essential. Oil, hair products, and debris from the air can clog your pores while you sleep.

Wash your body after rinsing and plop
If you wash your hair in the shower, finish cleansing your hair before you wash your body. By rinsing your conditioner and applying your moisturizer after you have washed your body you are forgetting the product that is dripping onto your body before you step out the shower. Simply wrap your hair in a t-shirt before washing your body in order to prevent product from dripping.

Avoid styling products before exercising

You may want to forgo the styling products on your workout days, as the sweat from your hair will drip onto your face and cause irritation. If you can’t help it, then use a headband to capture the sweat and keep it off your face.

Avoid certain ingredients 

Some ingredients (petroleum, mineral oil, lanolin, and silicones) are thick and can potentially clog your pores. They can also cause acne to develop on your scalp or just aggravate acne on your face or other parts of your body.

Although more companies are formulating products with less harmful ingredients, what is meant for your hair is not always good for your skin. The best way to keep the acne at bay is to drink lots of water, establish healthy eating habits, don't touch your face, keep your skin clean, and know what’s in your hair products.

How has your skin reacted to your curly hair products? How do you prevent breakouts?

As temperatures climb, summer beauty centers on good skin. This season there are a new crop of superstar anti-aging products promising to lift, tighten and smooth faces without the nip and tuck. In my latest work for the Wall Street Journal, I put these brands to the test. From Japanese serums worn by Geishas to three-minute eye masks, these six products are the crème de la crème of over the counter youth recovery, standing out among the rest.

 

Erno Laszlo, Transphuse Rapid Renewal Cell Protocol

The latest anti-aging program from the Hungarian skin care house was developed to work in tune with the skin’s own 28 day self-renewal system. The light and milky serum suppresses the production of progerin, a toxin that interrupts cellular rejuvenation and causes visible signs of aging. Though a set of four mini serums comes with a hefty price tag, they produce impressive and immediate results. The skin instantly brightens with noticeably improved luster and after 28 days, fine lines and elasticity show a marked improvement. With results like these, it comes as no surprise that brand founder, Dr. Laszlo, was responsible for the complexions of 1960’s elite like Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. £550 ernolaszlo.com

 

Sunday Riley, Isis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil

Sunday Riley is known for potent oils and her latest launch doesn’t disappoint. Isis combines Russian, Bulgarian and Turkish roses, optimizing the anti-aging benefits of all three botanicals. It’s an oil bouquet with Rosa Geranium promoting lymphatic drainage, which detoxifies and reduces water retention. But the real standout star in the fight against aging is the trans-retinoic acid reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The oil smells luxurious and absorbs seamlessly into the skin producing rapid results. €115.64 sundayriley.com  

 

This Works, No Wrinkles Tired Eyes

Keep jet lag at bay this summer with one cool pump of this powerful serum. Formulated to combat signs of fatigue and reduce wrinkles, Persian Silk detoxifies the skin while Hyaluronic acid adds comfort and moisture. Ideal after a long flight, or when you want to fake a few extra hours of sleep, this soothing eye serum is a nap in a bottle. Needless to say, this works.€54 thisworks.com

 

Tatcha, Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum

For skin in need of serious hydration, Tatcha’s latest serum is rich in Okinawan red algae. Cultivated in a region famed with having the longest average lifespan in the world, the Japanese algae have a striking ability to retain water and have long been a part of the typical beauty regime of the Geisha Tatcha founder Victoria Tsai, cultivated the sea vegetable for her Water Collection, calling it the “source of luminosity.” Hyaluronic Acid firms and tones the skin while hints of 23-karat gold introduce a youthful glow. The serum wears smoothly with a non-irritating formula that works well on all skin types. €70 tatcha.com

 

GLAMGLOW Brightmud Eye Treatment

Since eyes may be the telltale sign of aging for most, California-based mud mask brand GLAMGLOW has formulated a new quick fix. BRIGHTMUD is a three-minute eye mask that radically reduces dark circles and diminishes fine lines. Ingredients like caffeine and peppermint decrease fluid retention stimulating lymphatic drainage. The company launched in 2011 after founders Glenn & Shannon Dellimore received attention for the masks they hand-made for celebrity friends in their home; three years later with several beauty awards to boot, one thing is clear, the brand knows how to deliver results quickly. All four of their products are masks noted for their ability to rapidly transform the skin. BRIGHTMUD is no exception, it’s a summer must buy for those fountain of youth seekers or anyone in need of a quick pick-me up before an important fete. £44.99 glamglowmud.com

 

Transderma A Serum

Swedish skincare brand, Transderma knows a thing or two about the fight against aging. The brand’s co-founder, Dr. Alvin Ronlán has spent the last thirty years in the laboratory researching how natural anti-oxidants and vitamins can preserve the skin’s youthful glow. His retinol rich and vitamin E rich Transderma A Serum is one of the gentlest and most effective retinol products. Retinol, a natural form of vitamin A, increases collagen production and evens skin pigmentation resulting in younger smoother skin. Retinols are hardly new to market, but many come with an array of unpleasant side effects like itching, burning and on occasion even pealing. What makes this serum a standout is it’s revolutionary delivery method. Transderma A affects gene expression without any of the nasty side effects, making it suitable for sensitive skin.€128 mytransderma.com

 

- Words and photo by Aimee Blaut, article first published in The Wall Street Journal

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CN Says: 
Although this article focuses on skin care, we use these same ingredients in our hair! I hope it helps! Spoiler alert- shea butter, rice bran and olive oil are the winners ;) 


Q:  Rebecca asks us to recommend the most effective, longest lasting, all around best plant-based moisturizer for skin. In our response we talk about the different methods of moisturization and what it means to be “plant-based.”

A: 3 methods of moisturization.

1. Occlusives
Purpose: To reduce how much water evaporates through your skin. (Cosmetic scientists refer to this as TransEpidermal Moisture Loss or TEWL.) Occlusive agents form a hydrophobic barrier on your skin that keeps the water on the inside. The most effective examples include petrolatum, mineral oil, and dimethicone. Some plant oils help occlude the skin but typically they are included more for their emolliency.

Read On!>>>
2. Hydrators
Purpose: In this context I’m talking about adding water to skin and the only ingredient that can really do that is…water. For some product types (like shampoo) water is just a carrier or solvent for other ingredients. But in the case of moisturizing lotions the water contained in the product is also hydrating your skin.

3. Humectants
Purpose: To bind (or even attract) moisture to your skin.
Ingredients known as “polyols” have the ability to hold on to large amounts of water and keep it close to your skin. In some cases they can even absorb moisture from the atmosphere. These ingredients have two drawbacks: they can make your skin feel sticky and when the air is REALLY dry they can actually pull water out of your skin instead of the atmosphere. Examples include glycerin, sorbitol, and hyaluronic acid. Glycerin and sorbitol work pretty well and they’re cheap. Hyaluronic acid can hold hundreds of times its weight in water but it’s really expensive.

What does it mean to be “plant-based”
For example, if the “lauryl” part of a surfactant like sodium lauryl sulfate is made from coconut oil, does that mean that SLS is a natural, plant-based ingredient?

Are plant-based ingredients good moisturizers?
We found an “occlusivity rating” of various oils that compares plant-based moisturizers with petrolatum and mineral oil. In this evaluation a higher scorer is better so clearly petrolatum and mineral oil are the best. But plant oils (like olive oil, rice bran oil, and shea butter) do a pretty good job as well.

Petrolatum 80+
Mineral oil 75+
Olive oil 70
Rice bran 70
Shea butter 70
Macadamia oil 70
Castor oil 68
Soybean oil 68
Reference: http://www.floratech.com/Uploads/pdfs/occlusivitychart.pdf

What about other ingredients?
To determine if a product is plant-based you need to look at more than just the moisturizing ingredients. You have to evaluate the emulsifiers, thickeners, pH control agents, and so on. So pick one of your favorite “natural” brands, preferably one that lists the sources of their ingredients in parenthesis. For example, Seventh Generation puts an “*” next to each plant derived ingredient. Some examples:

Emulsifiers
caprylic/capric triglyceride*
glyceryl stearate*
stearyl alcohol*

Thickeners
cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose (plant-based),
xanthan gum*

Control agents
lactic acid*
essential oils and botanical extracts*

The Beauty Brains bottom line
The best plant based moisturizing ingredients are olive oil, rice bran oil and shea butter. Look for a natural brand that you trust that discloses the source of their ingredients and then look for these as the first few ingredients.