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Skin Care 101

skin care 101 achieve your best looking skin

information and product recommendations by concern

Get information on the causes, symptoms and solutions for your biggest skin concerns. This includes product recommendations curated to help you achieve your best looking skin. Still have questions on what to get? Contact us, and we will be happy to assist you.


What causes skin to age?

Aging is common skin concern which is caused by a huge range of factors including environmental damage, sun damage, free radical damage, dehydration as well as the loss of collagen and elastin.

Signs of Aging:

  • Onset Wrinkles and fine lines, most commonly under the eyes, around the lips, and across the forehead.
  • Sagging or loose skin that no longer maintains its firmness.
  • Dehydration, and tired appearance of the skin.


The Solution:

Use products that help improve circulation to the face, and assist in boosting cell turnover. This helps increase collagen production for a plump and youthful appearance to the skin. Be sure to use SPF regularly to protect skin from further environmental damage. It is also extremely important to keep skin hydrated. Using moisturizers throughout the day will help with improving skin firmness, elasticity, and dehydration (this is common due to a lack of oil production as we get older).

View Our Top Picks for Age Correction | Anti-Aging

What Causes Acne and Breakouts?

Acne and breakouts can be caused by a whole slew of factors. Some of the most common causes are stress, poor diet, lack of regular skin maintenance, over use of drying products and predisposal to oily skin.

Signs of Acne & Breakouts:

  • Pimples & Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
  • Small red tender bumps (papules)
  • Oily skin throughout the day
  • Large, solid and sometimes painful bumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules).
  • Cystic lesions (fluid filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin)


The Solution:

As acne may be caused by a wide range of factors, there are also various solutions. Most importantly, the easiest way to improve any type of acne is by gently cleansing and exfoliating on a regular basis. Being gentle is extremely important! Over scrubbing and rough treatments can dry the skin out and cause further irritation leading to more breakouts.

Hydration is also key. Many people believe that adding more hydration will only make it worse, however a large percentage of acne cases are due to breakouts from over active sebums due to dehydration. The more hydrated your skin is, the less oil it will naturally produce. Though we still recommend using light moisturizers to avoid clogging pores.

Also be conscious of other products you are using such as detergents, hair sprays, and anything else that may come in contact with your skin. Many secondary products contain ingredients which are irritating and damaging to the skin.

Combine these tips with regular exercise, drinking extra water, eating a healthy diet and quality products for best results.

View Our Top Picks for Acne | Breakouts

What Causes Skin Allergies and Irritations?

Most allergies affected by topical products are genetically predisposed, while a few other forms may develop over time.

Allergy and Irritant Symptoms:

  • Hives, Redness, Irritation, Itchiness, or bumps around affected area.
  • Discomfort, or feeling of warmth.
  • Swelling or inflammation around affected area.
  • Trouble breathing if severely allergic.


The Solution:

Due to the vast array of allergies, and ingredients that may irritate the skin, there is no one solution for all allergies and irritants. The best way to prevent reactions to allergies and irritants is to diagnose allergies beforehand (this may be done with a visit to a specialist), and avoid future contact with them.

View Our Allergies Page for a List of Recommendations by Allergy Concern

What Causes Dark Spots, Hyperpigmentation, and Uneven Skin Tone?

Dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone are commonly caused by 3 primary factors, age, genetics and environmental damage. The severity of pigmentation and skin tone variation may vary, and is largely determined by the predisposed amount of melanin (the substance responsible for color), collagen, and elastin present in the skin. These predisposed amounts are also the main factors which affect the overall texture and smoothness of the skin.

Signs of Dark Spots, Hyperpigmentation and Uneven Skin Tone:

  • Dark to light brown patches appearing over time (most commonly appear on the face, neck, hands, legs and feet), and becoming more noticeable with age.
  • Age or Sun spots may develop. These spots develop due to genetics or prolonged exposure to the sun. They typically have rounded edges and look much like freckles.
  • Blotchiness and uneven skin texture.


The Solution:

Utilize anti-aging, hydrating, and collagen boosting products to help support elasticity and smoothness of the skin’s texture. Most importantly, be sure to use an SPF every day for any amount of sun exposure (even in the car). It will prevent future damage, and also act as a protective barrier since many brightening and lightening products have ingredients which increase phyto (sun) sensitivity. Peels are great at home treatments to help shed the top darkened layers of the skin, and expose a smoother and more even skin tone beneath. Regular exfoliation, whether it’s chemical or physical is also an essential part of evening skin tone and treating dark spots. Last but certainly not least, is utilizing and incorporating an array of brightening/lightening products into your skin care routine. Whether it’s a mask, serum, moisturizer, or treatment, all are amazing ways to continuously inhibit melanin production and reverse/ prevent future discoloration.

View Our Top Picks for Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation

View Our Top Picks for Uneven Skin Tone

What Causes Dark Circles & Puffiness?

Dark circles and eye puffiness or fatigue can be caused by several different factors. One of the most common is a lack of water, rest and sleep. The other most common cause is allergies. Allergies can cause blood vessels in the eye area to dilate and leak, which causes the eye area to appear puffy and dark in terms of color. Another dietary cause is a high salt/sodium diet. Heavy salt based diets cause water retention, translating to puffiness in the eyes. We also have several dark blood veins in the eye area, particularly on the inside of the eye next to the nose. Thinning skin due to collagen loss, can make these veins more noticeable over time.

Common Signs:

  • Dark shadow like appearance under, and on the inside corners of the eyes.
  • Puffiness, and inflammation under the eyes.


The Solution:

Use products that decrease inflammation to help prevent against leakage that causes swelling and a dark appearance. Use a matte concealer in the same shade as your regular foundation (not lighter or shimmery if eyes are puffy, as it will only highlight the swelling), with a slightly warmer (typically yellow or green) tone to cancel out the blue/purple hue. If due to thinning, utilize a collagen boosting cream/serum to help improve skin density in the eye area.

View Our Top Picks for Dark Circles | Eye Puffiness

What Are Hormonal Breakouts?

Breakouts caused by A rise in oil production, triggered by hormones (may be stress, related). This rise in oil production commonly translates into clogged pores and pimples, typically below the skin’s surface.

Common Signs of Hormonal Acne:

  • Regular breakouts during certain times of the month, when becoming pregnant or during times of stress.
  • Breakouts located below the cheekbone, on the chin and along the jaw line are commonly related to hormones rather than acne.
  • Hormonal breakouts tend to be made up of less white heads/greasy inflammations, and are more deep and cystic in appearance. They are commonly more painful and un-pop able, with less fluid or buildup.


The Solution:

The best way to prevent hormonal breakouts is to keep the skin as hormonally balanced as possible at all times. Our top recommendation is to use products with balancing ingredients such as phytoestrogens (plant derived hormone balancers), in conjunction with cleansing and exfoliating regularly around when you typically breakout. It is also important to use a daily toner in order to regulate the acidity of the skin, and to maintain a healthy pH balance. If breakouts do occur it is best to use products with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce redness, inflammation, and soreness of breakouts.

View Our Top Picks for Hormonal Breakouts

What Causes Large Pores and Blackheads?

Blackheads are caused by oil being trapped in large pores and becoming oxidized with air. This oxidation causes the oil to turn dark or “black”, hence the name blackhead. Large pores can have a variety of causes. Some of the most common pore dilation causes is skin thickening as a result of age, sun damage, and decreased elastin. Many people are also predisposed to having thicker/oily skin which can increase the appearance of enlarged pores.

Signs of Large Pores | Blackheads:

  • Dark spot like clusters, typically found around the nose and T-Zone area.
  • Dilated pores in areas of dryness, and dehydration, as well as most commonly in the T-Zone and nose areas.
  • Rough combination skin with uneven tone on the T-Zone, and cheeks.


The Solution:

Regular deep cleansing, and exfoliation are the easiest ways to treat and prevent blackheads, and large pores from showing up. It is also important to avoid heavy oil based products, and those which contain ingredients such as mineral oil, petroleum and propylene bases, sodium and lauryl sulfates and synthetics.

View Our Top Picks for Large Pores & Blackheads

What Causes Premature Aging?

Premature Aging is most commonly caused by environmental damage and lifestyle determinants on our skin. Some of the most common lifestyle factors, especially in our 20’s and 30’s is lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, smoking, nor drinking enough water, lack of regular skin care, and high stress. Environmental damage factors can be the result of tanning or extended periods of sun exposure without spf protection, climate changes and pollution. All of these factors can cause free radical damage, dehydration of the skin and a slowing of cell turnover resulting in the telltale signs of premature aging.

Signs of Premature Aging:

  • Lack of a firm, plump appearance in the skin.
  • Skin may appear tired, fatigued, dull, and lacking radiance.
  • Breakouts, and combination (dry cheeks with an oily T-Zone) skin may develop due to changes in oil production.
  • Fine lines and wrinkles may begin to develop.


The Solution:

The easiest ways to help prevent premature aging is to practice a regular skin care regimen, including a daytime SPF and nightly moisturizer to keep skin hydrated and protected from further damage. It’s also extremely important to feed the skin with nutrients either through masks, treatments, or serums on a regular basis to maintain skin health and promote cell turnover. In terms of products, those containing collagen and circulation boosting key actives, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acids are essential for keeping skin looking plump, radiant, and youthful.

View Our Top Picks For Premature Aging

What Causes Irritation and Skin Sensitivity?

Various factors, both isolated and combined, can explain the reasons behind skin sensitivity, redness and irritation.

  • Vascular causes may be linked to the fragility of blood vessel walls, under the influence of certain external factors like eating spices or drinking alcohol.
  • Environmental causes such as the wind, dryness, the cold or pollution can lead to prickling or burning sensations and heightened skin sensitivity.
  • Contact causes are skin reactions triggered by applying something that contains a poorly tolerated ingredient. For example, this can be the case with hard water.
  • Atopic causes affect skin that suffers from certain types of eczema which are predisposed to hyper-reactivity.


Common Signs of Skin Irritation:

  • Dryness, Itching, peeling or flaking of the skin.
  • Small bumps (goose-like) in clusters
  • Red patches or blemishes that actively flare up.
  • Sensitivity to touch, sun, and other environmental factors.


The Solution:

Use products that are specifically recommended for use on sensitive skin. These products work to keep the skin hydrated, without stripping it of natural oils, and necessary moisturizing agents. Always wear an SPF for any duration of sun exposure, as sensitive skin tends to be more phyto-sensitive. Avoid harsh exfoliants and peels that can strip the skin too much, and cause added redness/irritation.

View Our Top Picks for Hormonal Breakouts

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a slowly developing skin condition that most commonly runs in families and is not able to be transmitted from person to person. Most people start noticing symptoms after the age of thirty. People who are more fair or flush easily, are at a higher risk of developing rosacea.

Common Signs of Rosacea:

  • Redness typically starts in the center of the face on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead (and less often on the neck, chest, or ears).
  • Small visible blood vessels on the face may develop, along with swelling of the nose.
  • Bumps or pimples in concentrated areas of the face may form if left untreated.
  • Watery and irritated eyes is a common trend among people with Rosacea.
  • Commonly characterized by flare ups and remissions.


The Solution:

Avoid common irritants in skin care and cosmetic products such as alcohol, fragrance, menthol, peppermint, etc. Fragrance free, and hypoallergenic products are best. Be sure to use gentle formulas, and try to keep the use of new products at a time to a minimum. We recommend using gentle cleansing products (concentrates are great!), avoiding physical exfoliants, and using light moisturizers to avoid grease and buildup.

View Our Top Picks for Rosacea

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