How To Get Clear & Healthy Skin

No one likes blemishes and everyone tries to avoid them. But with rising pollution and increasing levels of stress, keeping the odd blemish at bay is near impossible, which leads to the ever present question of how to get clear skin?

While there’s a plethora of products out there to try when it comes truly understanding how to get clear skin a slap dash approach won’t cut it. You need those designed to cleanse your pores, hydrate your skin and even-out your complexion.

But achieving the holy grail of clear skin isn’t only a topical situation. It starts in the kitchen with inflammation fighting smoothie ingredients and moves onto the bedroom: do you have enough downtime for skin regeneration? Beauty sleep isn’t just a very overused phrase, it’s an actual bodily process and does affect whether you have glowing skin or not.

So dermatologists, nutritionists and cosmetologists explain exactly how to get clear skin and how to maintain it. Think of this as your ultimate guide to skin clarity, health and how to get clear skin.

WHAT CAUSES ACNE

Firstly, you need to be aware of what causes breakouts in the first place. These factors, whether combined or on their own, are the biggest culprits against your efforts when it comes to how to get clear skin.

– Using old cosmetics and unclean brushes
– Hormone imbalances caused by factors like the contraceptive pill
– Stripping oils with harsh skincare products
– Stress
– High GI foods (like potatoes and white bread)
– Dairy
– Germs from your phone and pillowcase
– Friction and rubbing from bed-sheets
– Changing skincare products regularly or introducing more than one new skincare product at a time

EXPERT ADVICE ON HOW TO GET CLEAR SKIN

HOW TO GET CLEAR SKIN NATURALLY

1. Don’t Overdo It

When it comes to how to get clear skin, you need to use a gentle face wash that won’t upset the pH balance of your skin. “As soon as an individual has a breakout, there is a tendency to obsess about skin cleansing”, says Dr Justine Hextall, FRCP Consultant Dermatologist.

“By the time I see acne patients they’re often suffering more because of harsh cleansing routines, rather than the original problem. Think less is more. If your skin feels tight after washing your face or putting on a mask, then you have probably stripped off your natural oils and unbalanced the pH of your skin”.

2. Exfoliate

Most of the time breakouts occur due to a combination of dead skin cells and natural oils mixing together to create a plug that clogs your pores. By getting rid of these dead skin cells, you eliminate this chance.

However, harsh exfoliators can lead to irritated skin and micro tears, which are more susceptible to bacteria, so try to use gentle exfoliators that contain natural ingredients.

HOW TO GET CLEAR SKIN OVERNIGHT WITHOUT PRODUCTS

While there’s no magic potion that’s going to give you crystal clear skin overnight, these nightly rituals can help you along your way.

3. Get Some Downtime

Cells that produce sebum have receptors for stress hormones, so when you’re stressed, you produce more sebum, increasing the chance of clogging your pores.

In addition to this, when we experience stress, our adrenal gland goes into overdrive and increases our androgens (male hormones). Higher androgen levels can lead to more acne.

Take out ten minutes for meditation, or if you do want to throw in a product, give yourself a relaxing face mask.

4. Practice Facial Massage

The Chinese philosophy of Qi/Chi stimulating massage as well as Reflexology therapy believe that by pressing certain points of the body, facial acne can be cured.

According to the ancient science, the body consists of energy centres or energy meridians which are responsible for our overall health and wellness.

By manipulating these meridians you’re able to make the energy flow normally again and restore your skin’s balance. Plus, you’ll promote blood flow and increase circulation, which will feed your skin.

If you do want to add a product into your massage routine, “massage an anti-oxidant oil in your skin at night to de-stress your skin, whilst ensuring excellent hydration and that all-important wind-down before sleep”, says Dr Hextall.

WHAT TO EAT TO GET CLEAR SKIN

5. Don’t Use Hot Water

Does your skin feel itchy when you get out of the shower? If it does, your water is too hot.

Not only can this lead to uneven skin tone, it can also result in dry, flaky skin.

“The hotter the shower (or bath) the more the water will remove natural skin oil and dry your skin out”, says Dr Hextall. Avoid this problem by washing your face with lukewarm water.

6. Look At Labels

You should know what you’re putting on your face, but that’s not always the case. What’s worse, a lot of skincare and makeup products out there contain highly comedogenic ingredients, meaning they clog your pores.

Try to steer clear of petroleum and petroleum byproducts, like silicone and dimethicone. And instead look for calming anti-inflammatory ingredients like calendula, chamomile, clay and niacinamide to soothe irritated, red skin.

7. Wear SPF

In a recent study published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, it was found that sun cream not only protects your skin from sun damage, it can also reverse the signs of photo-ageing, like wrinkles and hyper-pigmentation.

The study, sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson’s Skin Research Centre and led by dermatologists Steven Wang and James Leyden, showed improvements in the many signs of ageing caused by the sun. This included things like texture, overall tone, and fine lines.

Participants who applied a moisturizer containing SPF 30, saw improvements of 52 percent in mottled pigmentation, 40 percent in skin texture, and 41 percent in skin clarity after one year of use.

So if you’re using sun cream on holiday, you’re partly there. But, you should really be applying it every day. Even on the days when it seems like the sun doesn’t even exist. Because it does. Always.

 

 

 

How To Get Radiant Skin On A Long Flight

From wheels-up to touchdown, flights can wreak havoc on your skin. Plane air is just plain gross—and drying. Whether traveling for fun or business, with all the time wasted in flight, you want to land with your best foot – and face – forward. Check out these radiant skin tips to help you improve your next long-haul flight and arrive looking like you’ve been relaxing in first class for hours.

Start the night before.

The key is to start early. On the night before a big trip, it’s important to exfoliate your face to remove any dead skin cells that may have been building up. This will also help your skin better absorb all the products you use later, so you can stay more hydrated for longer.

Remove your makeup.

Remove all of your makeup as soon as you board the plane, ideally with a milk-based cleanser so as to nourish at the same time as deep cleansing. If you prefer to do this in your seat you can use a micellar water on a cotton pad instead. I don’t care for makeup remover wipes, they’re just not that great for your skin and the perfectionist in me doesn’t really believe they remove all traces of makeup, dirt and debris.

Moisturize.

After you’ve landed at your destination, it’s time to restore the hydration that the plane ride may have stolen. Slather on a moisturizer or face cream. The SwissZell Transdermal Cellular Therapy Serum, powerful serum enhances cellular DNA, healing and repairing the skin from within!  packed with hydrating and anti-aging ingredients, locking in moisture and leaving you with an instant glow. Follow with SwissZell Eye cream for your eye contour and added skin glam.

Get some sleep.

Sleep is super important to maintaining a great complexion, so take a good quality block out mask with silk or felt lining, earplugs and — my secret that I swear by — personal humidifying breathing mask. It traps and recycles your own moisture in your breath and prevents dehydration and airborne viruses.

Wherever your travels take you, be sure to stock your bag with the (travel-size) essentials to get you there looking fresh-faced.

How to Make a Pimple Go Away Fast

You can be doing all the right things to keep your acne under control, when, lo and behold, a zit pops up out of nowhere. And, of course, it happens right when you have a first date, big presentation, wedding, or fill-in-the-blank major event in the next 24 hours. That’s when it’s handy to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are a few things you can do at home to make your pimple go away faster and look less red in the meantime.

Ask Yourself: To Pop or Not to Pop?

When making an action plan for how to make a pimple go away, the first thing you have to decide is whether or not to pop it. The rule of thumb is: If you don’t see a white head, don’t pop it, especially if it’s a big hard pimple lurking under skin’s surface. Popping a pimple before it’s ready will only make matters worse.

On the flipside: If the white head has already reared its ugly head and the blemish is swollen, extracting the contents via careful popping can help make the pimple go away faster and jump-start the recovery process. Refer to our guide above for important tips on how to be gentle on skin while popping a pimple.

Unclog Pores and Soothe Redness

Whether or not you pop the pimple, salicylic acid (also known as BHA) is your next go-to fix for making zits disappear quickly. This superhero ingredient not only keeps blemishes at bay, it also works incredibly fast on active breakouts.

Salicylic acid’s acne-fighting power is twofold: First, it penetrates pores to dissolve oil and other breakout-causing substances, and, second, its soothing properties help minimize the redness that accompanies a blemish. It’s a win-win ingredient to help make pimples go away fast.

Use a salicylic acid exfoliant daily for acne-prone skin, and keep a high-strength spot treatment on-hand to help those occasional, extra-stubborn bumps go down overnight.

What About Removing Pimple Marks?

What do you do once your pimple is gone, but you’re left with an ugly red or brown mark that won’t go away? There’s a trick for that, too: Spot treat with a potent dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C is backed by mounds of research for its ability to help brighten uneven skin tone and minimize red marks. And keep using that salicylic acid exfoliant to further speed fading of pimple marks.

What kind of alcohol to avoid in your skincare

With how much misleading information there is online in regards to alcohol in skincare, it’s easy to see why some people believe it really isn’t all that bad for skin. However, the research (and we mean a lot of research) makes it perfectly clear: alcohol as a main ingredient in any skincare product is a problem.

We know we can’t convince everyone but we hope the latest research, and, if you’ll pardon the pun, sobering facts about alcohol-based products, will help you put down the bottle if alcohol is lurking at the top of the ingredient list (we know, another pun, but we couldn’t help ourselves).

But first we need to clarify what kind of alcohol we want you to avoid.

Bad vs. Good Alcohol in Cosmetic Formulas

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to a drying type of alcohol that you’ll most often see listed on an ingredient label as SD alcoholdenatured alcohol, or, less often, isopropyl alcohol. These types of volatile alcohols give products a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless on skin, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin.

But those short term benefits end up with negative long term consequences.

When you see these names of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question they will aggravate and be cruel to skin. No way around that, it’s simply bad for all skin types. Consequences include dryness, erosion of the surface of skin (that’s really bad for skin), and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

There are other types of alcohols, known as fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. Examples you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetylstearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. All of these are good ingredients for dry skin, and in small amounts fine for any skin type as they give a pleasing texture and help keep ingredients stable in products. It’s important to discern these skin-friendly forms of alcohol from the problematic types of alcohol.

Likewise, you may have heard that alcohol is a good ingredient because it helps other ingredients like retinol and vitamin C absorb into skin more effectively. Although it’s true that it does enhance absorption of ingredients, the alcohol also destroys skin’s surface and the very substances that keep your skin healthy over the long term. There are certainly other, gentler ways to get good ingredients into skin, without damaging its outer layer, an issue that causes more problems than benefits.

How Alcohol Damages Skin and Makes Breakouts Worse

If your skin is oily, it can be tempting to use alcohol-based products because they provide an immediate matte finish, essentially de-greasing the “oil slick.” The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from alcohol can lead to an increase in bumps and enlarged pores.

Alcohol can actually increase oiliness, so the immediate de-greasing effect is eventually counteracted, prompting your oily skin to look even more shiny.

The studies are clear: Alcohol harms your skin’s protective surface, depletes vital substances needed for healthy skin, and makes oily skin worse. To put it simply, it’s pro-aging. Given the hundreds of skin-friendly alternatives that are available, it’s essential to abstain from products front-loaded with the skin damaging forms of alcohol.

THREE DAILY HABITS TO A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

During this busy lifestyle, the simplest habits can have a profound and lasting impact on your life.  We all know that, it’s the small things that count.  So what are you doing daily to build a healthy life?

Today I wanted to share with you easy habits that you can start incorporating into your daily routine to improve your mind and body.

1. DRINK LEMON WATER

This is a new habit for me, but I have started to drink a hot cup of lemon water first thing in the morning everyday.  Not only will this help wake up your liver and digestive tract but lemons also help you naturally detox your system.  By drinking hot water with lemon, you will also be balancing your pH as lemons are an alkaline food.

Plus, most of us don’t drink enough water, and creating a daily lemon water habit is a great way to force down the good stuff.

 

2. EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day – not only will it provide you with the energy and nutrients for the day and can help you maintain a healthy body weight… but it also sets the tone for the rest of the day.

When I start my day off right, I feel good and energized and am more likely to keep up my healthy habits for the remainder of my day.

Yummy fruit and granola in an acai bowl is a great way to go – it’s super filling too!

 

3. TAKE THE STAIRS

Instead of taking the escalator, choose the stairs.   I especially love taking the stairs after I have been sitting on an airplane for so long.  It feels so good to move my legs and I can’t help but feel a little pride when everyone else shuffles onto the escalators.

But in all seriousness, just remember that it’s the little things that we do daily that will help make a significant impact to help improve our lives.

De-stress Your Skin

From the report there are more than 52% of Millennials that they’ve lost sleep in the past month due to stress, and 44% of millennials report stress has made them angry or irritable. Meanwhile,  celebrities like Demi Lovato and Emma Stone have become the poster children for overcoming an anxiety disorder.

Stress has a negative impact on our skin. When our minds are anxious, this causes our hormone levels to spike, which in turn makes your skin more sensitive and reactive. This can lead to various skin conditions and aggravates any problems you already suffer from. In other words, when your mind is in a panic, so is your skin. That’s why when you’ve got something important coming up, you burst out in spots. The most helpful thing to do is to get to the root of your stress and find a way to manage it.

General stress does not cause skin conditions, but it certainly can worsen it.

Beauty brands have been pushing their anti-aging products on younger consumers, in an attempt to combat the superficial side effects of anxiety and stress. To find out what’s what, we spoke with one of our favorite dermatologists, Rebecca Kazin, MD, Medical Director of Johns Hopkins Dermatology and Cosmetic Center.

Is anxiety causing your skin condition? Not exactly. According to Dr. Kazin, “General stress does not cause skin conditions, but it certainly can worsen it.” Basically, the side effects of anxiety – such as not taking good care of yourself, staying up nights, making your body work in overdrive to meet a deadline – can inflame a preexisting condition even more.

Millenial Skin Conditions

Dr. Kazin says she’s noticed an increase in skin stress among Millennial patients, especially when it comes to rosacrea and acne. We all want clear skin, and that’s part of the problem: millenials are “so focused on prevention that they tend to overcompensate and go overboard with certain products.” Dr. Kazin says the biggest culprits are products with a high dose of retinol, or are over-exfoliating.

Who’s at Risk

Fair-skinned Caucasians are most prone to premature aging. If you don’t take good care of yourself and eat right, that can wreak havoc on your skin. We all know that sun exposure, cigarette smoking and other lifestyle factors can contribute to how fast we age, but there’s another secret reason we can’t easily control—pollution. People who live in places with high levels of air pollutants have a 20% higher risk of death from cancer than people who live in less-polluted areas.

What Should You Do?

Your first step to prevent skin stress is to “Be proactive”. The earlier you start taking care of your skin, the less repair work later. Maintenance is key.” However, just because you dig the packaging or promises on an SPF product, doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. “One product or active ingredient isn’t for every body,” so Dr. Kazin recommends you buy a small amount of a prospective brand and make sure it doesn’t aggravate your skin before you fully commit.

Beauty Brands are Right

Should you buy anti-aging serums and eye-cream as a young woman? absolutely: Prevention is key. Antioxidants help neutralize the skin stressors we face everyday. By slowing that process down, you are going to slow the collagen breakdown that causes aging.

5 Beauty products you should NOT use every day

The journey to find your perfect beauty product lineup can be a long and windy road. It’s no wonder that when you find a product you just love, it can be tempting to apply that baby every single day! But some products are not meant to be for everyday use. Now check out just what types of products we should avoid overusing.

DRY SHAMPOO

No time for a shower? Trying to make that fab hair day last? Dry shampoo can be your mane’s best pal. However, this miracle hair-saver in a spray bottle can also damage your locks with overuse.

Using a lot of dry shampoo day after day can dry your hair out and leave it feeling brittle and crispy. A build up of too much use can cause breakage and damage over time.

When a busy morning has you racing out the door, grab your trusty dry shampoo and spray away. But don’t get in the habit of relying on it every single day. You shouldn’t use it more than two days in a row.

DEEP CONDITIONER

Giving your dry scalp and roots a moisture-rich deep condition is a must for keeping your hair looking and feeling healthy, especially in the drier winter months. But stick to the package recommendations of once (maybe twice) per week.

“Over-use of deep protein-rich conditioning treatments can be detrimental,” says Citrone. “Protein-rich treatments can throw off the pH balance of the hair and cause the opposite effect, making your hair break off. If you feel like you need more love for your hair, then incorporate coconut oil as a weekly maintenance.”

MEDICATED LIP BALM

We’ve all been that person digging through their bag searching for that trusty medicated lip balm. The refreshing and cooling finish is chapped lips’ lifesaver. But it’s a no-go for regular application. Annie Chiu, M.D., a dermatologist at The Derm Institute, recommends steering clear of using medicated lip balm on the reg, because you’ll end up making your chapped lip situation even worse.

“Overuse can cause your lips to rely on the medication to stay moisturized,” she says. “Use them until you are no longer chapped, and then switch to a regular lip balm.”

MAKEUP PRIMER

Primer is a fantastic base for a smooth, even foundation, allowing for your look to last longer and look flawless. However, your skin isn’t a big fan of its ingredients.

“Don’t use a primer ever single day,” Chiu says. “The silicone in these could clog pores with oils and sweat and cause breakouts. Save them for special occasions, and be sure to wash well when removing.”

WATERPROOF MASCARA

Your lashes’ best friend, mascara, is a morning routine must for a long and full look. Thankfully, Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg isn’t advocating we ditch the mascara, but just watch out for the waterproof versions.

“It tends to dry out your lashes and should be used sparingly,” she says. “Put a coat of regular mascara on your lashes first and then use the waterproof to seal it in.”

5 TIPS TO WAKE UP TIRED EYES FOR GOOD

Just because you feel fatigued doesn’t mean you have to look like it. Using a few simple tips, you can help wake up tired eyes for good!

1. Go easy on the makeup remover: Rubbing your eyes to remove your makeup is a surefire way to irritate the eye contour area which can lead to tired-looking, puffy, discolored skin. Successfully remove makeup without rubbing your eyes using this method:

  • Moisten a cotton pad with makeup remover. We love Gernetic Demaquillant Douceur – All Skin types make-up remover. This cleansing, soothing and refreshing lotion will help relieve tired eyes. It help to remove your makeup gently and effectively without rubbing.
  • Place it on your eyelids and eyebrows and dab gently.
  • Carefully swipe it down towards your eyelashes, then press again to dissolve any remaining mascara.

2. Choose a multi-action eye cream: we recommends utilizing the following:

3. Exercise: Breaking a sweat isn’t only great for your health, it can also improve the look of tired eyes! Move your body regularly to reinvigorate your face’s glow and boost both oxygen and blood supply around your eyes.

4. Eat well: Consume foods rich in essential fatty acids and drink plenty of water to help offset the effects of over-heated or air-conditioned environments, like dehydration lines.

5. Self-massage: Wake up with puffy eyes? Give yourself an at-home massage. Press lightly with your middle finger on the inside corner of the eye, at the bottom in the middle of your dark circles, at the top under the eyebrow, and then on your temple.

 

Should You Use Eye Cream Both Morning And Night?

One of the many lovely responsibilities that comes with getting older is the adoption of an anti-aging routine. As you age, words like “retinol,” “hyaluronic acid,” and “Botox” suddenly become part of your vocabulary. Heavy-duty treatments aside, most dermatologists agree that your twenties is a great time to start an eye cream routine.

You might not be showing any signs of aging in your twenties or sometimes thirties, but it’s never too early to get a jump on preventing lines, says Erin Gilbert, M.D., celebrity skin expert. “The most important thing you can do is to adopt a good skin-care routine,” she says. “Using eye cream at an early age will not only get you on the road to preventing damage from occurring, but it will also begin protecting your skin from environmental aggressors.”

Eye cream is something that dermatologists all agree we should use to help moisturize sensitive eye skin and ward off fine lines. But, there’s not much out there by way of what to use or how to use them—and more importantly, when to use them.

Your eye cream really does need that time to settle into the skin. Applying it in the morning, then putting more products on top of it, makes it harder for it to absorb into the skin and can make those other products dissolve more easily. That’s why it’s best to use eye creams at night. Plus, your skin rejuvenates and repairs itself while you’re sleeping (like the rest of your body), so while your skin is working, it might as well have something to work with.

There’s also a specific way you should be applying your eye cream. You don’t want to apply just underneath your eyes where you may see puffiness or dark circles. Instead, you should apply eye cream all around the orbital bone to get at all the wrinkles and creases that crop up around your eyes.

Use your ring finger to dot your eye cream underneath and around your eye. It’s your weakest finger, perfect for applying products to the delicate eye area. With a patting motion, blend the cream in. Don’t smear or pull the cream around your eye, which could irritate the skin.

And now that you know how to apply it, we recommend this SwissZell Instant Eye Wrinkle Defense Cream ($125, Swisszell.com) In addition to de-puffing /anti-aging effect, this formula contains milk protein, for intense hydration and botanical extracts to fight signs of aging, and can help banish dark circles. Also, the super-gentle formula won’t cause any irritation if you get sloppy with your application.

 

6 Habits of People Who Age Well

Exercise, diet—even attitude—can be as important as genetics when it comes to growing old gracefully. Sure, growing older affects nearly every part of your body—including your hair, skin, heart, muscles, and more—but aging well may be as simple as adopting these (mostly) easy everyday habits.

1. Maintain a positive attitude.

You are what you think you are when it comes to aging. Seniors who think of age as a means to wisdom and overall satisfaction are more than 40 percent more likely to recover from a disability than those who see aging as synonymous with helplessness or uselessness, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association.

2. Eat Healthy

Nutrition plays a major role in how your body ages. The latest research shows that a low-glycemic diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is healthiest. One great example is the Mediterranean diet, rich in plant-based foods, whole grains, nuts, and red wine (in moderation!). It also involves eating fish twice each week and cutting back on salt. Research shows that this type of diet may help you age better by warding off heart attacks, strokes, and premature death.

To age well and live longer, it’s best to stick to a balanced diet that consists of about 2.5 cups of vegetables, 1.5 to two cups of fruit, six ounces of grains, three cups of dairy, and five ounces of protein each day.

3. Exercise regularly.

Staying active is a vital part of aging well. The average woman can lose 23 percent of her muscle mass between ages of 30 and 70. You lose muscle more rapidly as you age, but exercise—resistance workouts in particular—can increase mass and strength, even well into your 90s. Staying fit may also reduce age-related memory loss, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. Plus, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for approximately 60 to 70 percent of all dementia cases, adding that increasing physical activity can decrease this statistic by 25 percent. That’s because exercise strengthens the hippo-campus, the region of the brain associated with learning.

4. Skincare routine.

Being a creature of habit can work in your favor—at least when it comes to your skin. Add eye cream to your skin care, if you don’t have a quality eye cream in your skin-care arsenal, you’re seriously missing out. Some of you may be struggling to get rid of puffiness and dark circles under and around your eyes. We created Swiss Zell Instant Eye Wrinkle Defense Cream for morning and evening ($125, swisszell.com).

5. Protect your skin from the sun.

Too much time in the sun can cause wrinkles, not to mention cancer. But wearing sunscreen can help prevent your skin’s aging. And while the sun’s UV rays do trigger vitamin D production, which is essential for bone health, that’s hardly a good reason to expose yourself. After a few minutes of sun, your skin stops making vitamin D…and starts making skin cancer. Most people get plenty of Vitamin D, but if you think you’re not, try eating more salmon or even eggs (also eat the yolk).

6. Get beauty sleep.

You probably know that you should snooze for seven to nine hours each night. But did you know that not sleeping enough may mean a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Plus, naps can improve memory and even help make up for missing nightly sleep. And it turns out that “beauty sleep” isn’t a myth. During sleep, your body releases a growth hormone that helps restore collagen and elastin, the essential building blocks of young, healthy skin. Recent studies have also shown a connection between insomnia and accelerated aging of the brain.

In other words, chronic lack of sleep adversely affects your brain’s function and speeds up the aging process.