How To Get A Perfectly Even Complexion: Part 1 of 2

Did you know hormones, sun exposure, acne, heat, and more could be contributing to your uneven skin tone?

There is great diversity in the color of human skin around the world. But whatever each person’s unique shade may be, the general desire is for uniformity of skin color; no splotches of discoloration, spots, or other changes in pigmentation. 

But… is it possible to get a perfectly even complexion? The answer may surprise you.

Before exploring the causes behind hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration, it is important to first understand pigmentation.

Pigmentation refers to darkening or lightening of the skin. It is a part of how your skin works as it reacts to external factors.

Melanin is the pigment that produces skin color. While it provides pigmentation in humans, it also plays an important biological role by providing protection against damage from the sun and UV light. 

Melanin is produced in skin cells called melanocytes that live in the outermost layer of our skin. Think about these like pigment factories that can be triggered to produce melanin.

Fun fact: Scientists theorize that evolution over hundreds of thousands of years is responsible for the diverse palette of human skin tones we see around the world today. Our ancestors developed permanent pigmentation levels in their skin as a form of natural protection against the sun. Most skin pigmentation (coloration) disorders that break up your otherwise even skin tone are completely harmless, such as birthmarks and freckles. It is likewise normal to see new discolorations appear on our skin as we age. However, you may be interested to learn there are well-defined causes and treatments for some of these skin issues. Preventative measures may also be taken to improve your skin’s chances of achieving even coloring.

Back to Your Skin. What is Hyperpigmentation?

When excess melanin is produced, you have hyperpigmentation. 

Hyperpigmentation is a term that describes a common, usually harmless occurrence where the skin changes to flat, darkened patches due to the overproduction of melanin. 

This can make spots and patches of skin appear darker than surrounding areas. It can occur in small patches, cover large areas, and even affect the entire body. Common examples of hyperpigmentation include freckles, acne marks, age spots (also called liver spots), and melasma.

Most Common Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Some people (maybe you) have always noticed some areas of their skin are different shades. 

If this is a new development, it’s likely the hyperpigmentation can be linked to something your skin experienced.

Inflammatory Causes

Ultraviolet Radiation (Hello, Sun!) 

That nice tan you have? Your skin doesn’t love it. The majority of pigmentation occurrences are caused by sun damage. Age or liver spots are the most common form of skin hyperpigmentation, and they occur due to sun damage. These small, darkened patches are usually found on the hands, face, or other areas frequently exposed to the sun.

Photomelanosis is increased pigmentation due to sun exposure, most commonly found on the face, neck and back. These areas may appear patchy or as diffused darkening.

Heat

Heat can be a trigger for melanocytes to start over-producing melanin! You’re more likely to wind up with heat-induced dark spots if you’re Asian, African-American, or Latinx, since susceptibility to hyperpigmentation is genetic.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (also called PIH)

This type of hyperpigmentation is linked to inflammatory causes that may have happened YEARS before you see the dark spots. When trauma occurs to your skin, melanocytes create melanin which then slowly rises to the surface.

Skin Experimentation 

Any harsh act that has occurred on your skin can cause hyperpigmentation in the future. Chemical peels, Microdermabrasion, Retin-A, and harsh facial scrubs are commonly linked to hyperpigmentation. 

Skin Injuries

Picking at blemishes causes injury to the skin. And skin remembers. If you picked at acne as a teenager, it’s likely as an adult you will see slightly darker spots of pigmentation emerging from beneath layers of skin. 

Hormonal Causes

Melasma, or Chloasma, affects 90% of pregnant women. It shows up as spots or patches which are similar in appearance to age spots, but cover larger areas of skin. These will often appear on the forehead, face, and stomach. This is a type of hyperpigmentation caused by abnormal hormone levels in the body. Its surprise appearance could be influenced by pregnancy, ovarian or thyroid dysfunction, or even the contraceptive pill.

 

Treatment for Hyperpigmentation

exfoliating-face-woman

Exfoliate regularly to break up the pigmented cells to allow them to fade. 

Look for a lightening moisturizer that contains one (or some) of the ingredients on the list below!

The top recommended product from Bee Naturals is MelaClear Pigment Lightening Creme. This product is suitable for any skin type and contains all-natural, collaborative ingredients–Daisy Blossom Extract, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), and Panthenol (Vitamin B5)–to lighten UV induced pigmentation without bleaching surrounding skin. 

Consider a series of corrective skin peels or cosmetic procedures to lighten areas of the skin. Options include the following: laser therapy, intense pulsed light, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.

Time. This is the hardest thing, we know! It can feel like an eternity to treat hyperpigmentation. You won’t see drastic results immediately, but that doesn’t mean the brightening ingredients you’re using are ineffective. Place your trust in the science of skincare, be patient and allow your skin to naturally fade while consistently using sunscreen and other topical remedies–like the ones mentioned below.

Our Favorite Ingredients for Hyperpigmentation & Uneven Skin Tone

Alpha Arbutin: A choice brightening ingredient that is a lower strength derivative of hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is one of the most effective skin-lightening and spot-fading ingredients on the market, however, it can be harsh on your skin. Alpha Arbutin is a safer option which works by slowly releasing hydroquinone over time.

Kojic Acid: This ingredient is known to disrupt the production of melanin. It is a mild skin exfoliator which works to remove freckles and brown spots and also gets rid of the skin’s roughness and dryness.

Licorice Extract: Licorice extracts inhibits the production of tyrosinase, which in turn inhibits the production of dark spots. It also removes excess melanin and acts as a skin brightener!

Pea Extract: This ingredient keeps specific enzymes known as proteases from degrading skin proteins such as collagen and elastic, which are responsible for giving skin its firmness and elasticity. It protects your skin against the damaging effects of proteases activated by different types of skin abuse and the aging process

Resveratrol: An antioxidant found naturally in red grape skins. Resveratrol restores skin health by attracting and neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals in the skin can cause premature signs of aging and are created by too much time in the sun or environmental pollutants. Resveratrol’s topical application aids in the regeneration of healthier, longer-living skin cells which push dead, dying cells to the surface to reveal young-looking, more vibrant skin.

Combination Ingredients to Look For

skincare ingredients

Bearberry Extract with Vitamin C: This powerful skin lightening combination is found in skincare products, made from bearberry leaves extract and vitamin C. Contains a natural form of hydroquinone that inhibits production of melanin pigments in skin cells.

Lightening Herbal Blend: A blend of alpine plants, including Malva Sylvestris, Mentha

 Piperita, Primula Veris, Alchemilla Vulgaris, Veronica Officinalis, Melissa Officinalis, and Achillea Millefolium. This blend inhibits the production of melanin pigments, reduces the appearance of age spots and evens out skin tone.

Amino Acid (phenylalanine) and lipids: Unique skin lightening agent made from natural amino acids. Inhibits the production of melanin, lightens age spots and dark skin areas.

Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa) Roots: A natural plant extract obtained from the roots of punarnava. Can reduce the number of different types of hyperpigmentation spots. 

Starflower: The active ingredient (hypoxoside) is derived from Rooperi Rhizome extract. It has been shown to reduce the production of melanin in hyperactive melanocytes. It has effective properties helping to fade age spots, freckles, and hyperpigmentation.

How Can I Prevent Hyperpigmentation?

If you found our page, it may be too late to prevent what you already see on your skin. 

But, great news! There are steps you can start taking today to prevent and manage future hyperpigmentation events!

sunscreen-redhead-womanAvoid exposure to the sun. Consider using a daily sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This serves to prevent the hyperpigmentation from becoming more prominent.

Avoid picking at the skin. Avoid picking at acne and scabs to prevent hyperpigmentation from occurring via skin damage. 

The formation of dark spots and freckles are common amongst people living in tropical climates. Always, always put on sunscreen before going out.

Using the right products and ingredients to treat dark spots and pigmentation will help in the long run. Prevention should always be your focus! 

To answer our earlier question, “Is it possible to get a perfectly even complexion?” The answer is YES (with some exceptions such as freckles and birthmarks). It takes time and commitment to the process. Hang in there! It will get better.

Additional Bee Naturals products to support your journey to a perfect complexion:

Bee Naturals is here for you! Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about the skin you’re in. 

You can call (573) – 242 – 3475 or contact us for a personalized skincare consultation- we want to help!

 

References

Clean Beauty: What It Is and Why It Matters (A BeeNaturals Guide)

It’s about more than cosmetics

In 2004, a British researcher named Philippa Darbre found traces of parabens in breast cancer tumors. At the time, cosmetics manufacturers used parabens extensively as a preservative. Though the data behind that particular study was not very strong, it was a wake-up call.

Suddenly, more consumers than ever started to engage in a broader conversation about cosmetics. They wanted to know what effect these products have on individuals throughout the world.

At first, the dialogue seemed little more than a fear-based grasping at straws. News outlets would report on scary scientific studies and offer little context. They would leave those without firsthand knowledge with little choice but to either overreact or ignore the studies altogether.

But something positive came out of Darbre’s research. Through it, she sounded an alarm that enabled many of us to ask more insightful questions about our beauty products. 

This new conversation is called Clean Beauty.clean beauty

The term Clean Beauty represents a positive discussion around cosmetics. It’s about the ingredients themselves, as well as how they are obtained, packaged, and produced. It’s about how cosmetics affect us as individuals and as citizens of the world.

In this guide, we’ll talk about what Clean Beauty is and what it is not. Throughout, we’ll provide you with information on how you can make more positive choices concerning your skincare.

What “Clean Beauty” Is Not

As we enter this discussion, I’d like to make a few things clear.

First, Clean Beauty is not about what brand you choose.

Clean Beauty does not set out to put down other serious cosmetics professionals who are endeavoring to do good work. It’s not a conversation in which we denigrate the brands found in expensive mall shops or the corner drug store.

Many of them do excellent work within specific parameters. Their choices, while not always “clean” in this particular sense, aren’t necessarily dangerous.

Second, Clean Beauty is not merely about what is “toxic” or “non-toxic.”

The reason is simple: toxicity is about dose and exposure.

For example, those who drink eight glasses of water a day tend to have clearer, more supple skin. Their kidneys function more freely, and they often find it easier to lose weight. People who have the correct dose of water even tend to think more clearly.

But people who drink too much water can go into a coma, have seizures, or even die. The dose is what makes the difference.

Here’s another example that’s a little more relevant to cosmetics. 

Though we at BeeNaturals don’t use SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) for a variety of reasons, many do. In large doses, the stuff is hazardous. But assuming normal use, nearly everyone who applies it to skin or hair is safe from its adverse effects.

Third, Clean Beauty is not about being “superior.”

Though I like to point out the benefits of Clean Beauty to people, everyone makes cosmetics purchases based on a variety of factors. These factors include access and affordability. I wouldn’t want these factors to get in the way of a BeeNaturals purchase. However, I would hate it if someone felt embarrassed that their favorite products aren’t technically “clean.”

When it comes to this topic, I also think about the pressures parents face. It’s tough being a mom or dad. I prefer not to make anyone feel guilty about what skincare products they use — or do not use — on their child. 

Parents have a hard enough time as it is. Let’s leave the personal judgment out of this particular topic.

Finally, Clean Beauty is not about what’s missing from a product.

Clean formulation isn’t just saying, “We don’t use X product. Therefore, it’s clean!” There’s a lot more to it than that.

Here is what I believe the conversation should be about.

What Is Clean Beauty?clean beauty

Clean Beauty is mindfully choosing cosmetics based on four main factors:

  1. Ingredients that positively impact a person’s skin, hair, and well-being
  2. Hygienic manufacturing practices
  3. Ethical and transparent production
  4. Sustainability

That’s a lot to digest, so let’s take them one at a time.

1. Clean Beauty is about positive personal impact

When I was working forty hours a week as a nurse, I washed my hands dozens of times a day. The soap I used was “effective” in the technical sense. I was disinfecting my hands, but they became painfully dry and cracked as a result.

Eventually, I began to mindfully choose (and then make) soaps with ingredients that would not only clean my skin but also nourish it. When I did that, I was embarking on the path we now call Clean Beauty. 

As I make soaps, I want to use the best nature has to offer, like avocado oil, coconut oil, and glycerin. But ingredients that are the product of science — if they have a positive effect on a person’s wellbeing — can also be “clean.” 

As mentioned in a previous article, “soap” in any form cannot be natural. It’s the result of a chemical process called “saponification.” When someone says they want “natural soap,” they’re contradicting themselves!

However, the chemical decyl glucoside (an ingredient in our most gentle soaps) is widely regarded as safe, non-toxic, and non-inflammatory. By any measure, it’s a candidate for “Clean Beauty,” even if scientists formulated it in a laboratory.

Remember, it’s not where the ingredient comes from that makes it “clean.” It’s the effect it has on you as a whole person.

2. Clean Beauty products are produced hygienically 

In food production, workers must follow strict guidelines as they handle, store, and wash food. They are required to meet specific standards to protect those of us who eventually eat the food. When manufacturers don’t follow these practices carefully, the results can be disastrous.

The cosmetics industry has similar requirements. However, beauty products are made all over the world. Cosmetics companies may or may not consistently check to make sure their manufacturers are meeting hygiene standards.

For those who care about Clean Beauty, we want our products to be clean literally.

One of the reasons I feel so proud of our BeeNaturals products is that I know how they’re made! As a Missouri company, we produce all of our products in my home state under my supervision. We are very conscious about hygiene.

That’s not to say products produced in other parts of the world are not made hygienically. I just believe cosmetics producers must continually check that their manufacturers are meeting standards.

3. Clean Beauty products are created ethically and transparently

We who are concerned with Clean Beauty aren’t just thinking about the product itself and how it’s made. We want to know that the ingredients are obtained ethically. And we want our cosmetics manufacturers to be able to offer proof when asked. 

For example, Squalane oil, an ingredient found in nearly every moisturizer, came from shark liver for many years. 

Now, since the same oil can be found in many botanicals (including olives), there’s no reason to continue the unethical practice of over-fishing these endangered species. Yet, despite the positive strides we’ve made all over the world, it continues to occur.

There are other similar practices throughout cosmetics. For those of us concerned about Clean Beauty, we only want to do business with companies who are transparent about where they source their ingredients and how they’re tested. 

That’s why BeeNaturals is Leaping Bunny Certified — our products are never tested on animals or come from ingredients that harm animals in any way.

4. Clean Beauty products are good for the environment

Though we can tie this point to #3, this addresses a much broader topic. It asks if the company making the product is doing so in a sustainable way. Clean Beauty products must make the lowest possible environmental impact, reducing pollution at every stage in the product’s lifecycle.

Increasingly, customers want proof their cosmetics are made using sustainable practices. That’s why savvy manufacturers — as well as those with a conscience — are working harder to “go green.” 

At BeeNaturals, we value the Green Chemistry philosophy. 

For example, our product packages are fully recyclable, and the paper products are 100% compostable. In our stores and manufacturing facility, we produce next to no trash — most of what passes through our doors can be recycled or reused in some way.

Additionally, we don’t use any hazardous chemicals, so our products themselves are safe for the environment.

BeeNaturals: The difference Clean Beauty can make

I founded BeeNaturals because I wanted to combine the very best of science and nature to create products that promote healthy skin for our customer’s overall well-being. That last word, “wellbeing,” is what it’s all about — and that means more than just feeling better when you look in the mirror.

To “be well,” we must consider more factors than whether or not our product works. We want to use products that do not harm our bodies or the environment. We want to use products that promote a better world. 

For those of you who have chosen BeeNaturals for your skin, thank you for buying products that are kind to our world. 

For those of you who would like to be a part of the Clean Beauty movement, check out our products or schedule a spa treatment.

And my wish for you, in whatever you do, is to be well.  

How to Get Nourished, Hydrated Skin with Ceramides

One of the most essential parts of a woman’s skincare routine is to keep skin hydrated. Skin sheds cells that require repair to allow for more youthful skin cells to float to the surface. Three forms of Ceramides, Panthenol Vitamin B5, and Hyaluronic Acid are essential for hydrating the skin to create an effective moisture barrier for all skin types.

Every stage in life is important for proper skin hydration. Younger women typically have healthier skin, making this a crucial time to begin a proper regime for future protection. Middle-aged women are starting to see fine lines and wrinkles and an increase in dryness. Women with mature and aging skin continue to see an increase in dryness, along with flakiness as the sebaceous glands gradually lose their ability to keep skin hydrated.

How can you tell if your skin moisture barrier has been damaged or compromised?

  • Redness or rosacea
  • Flakiness
  • Peeling
  • Dryness from a lack of natural oil
  • Tightness in the face
  • Looks dull and dry
  • Dehydration from a lack of moisture
  • Irritation
  • Sensitivity
  • Normal moisturizer just doesn’t seem to work

These are all signs that your moisture barrier is needing some assistance. 

Damage to the skin barrier can also happen during season changes, particularly in the fall and winter when humidity tends to drop.  Using skin care products that contain harsh ingredients or are abrasive can damage the moisture barrier. Too much exfoliation, using strong acne products, and even cleansing too frequently can damage the moisture barrier.

So how do we maintain hydrated skin? Some of the powerhouses of the ingredients in Restore II Hydrate include three forms of Ceramides, Panthenol Vitamin B5, and Hyaluronic Acid.

Significantly Increase Skin Hydration

Ceramides are waxy molecules that limit moisture loss. Ceramides are also known to be naturally occurring long chains of lipids (fats) found in our skins’ outer layers. Ceramides are necessary for water-retention and protecting the skins’ moisture barrier. Studies show that skin hydration is significantly increased with products that contain ceramides to mimic the skin’s own natural moisturizing system. 

Hyaluronic acid is a clear, gooey substance that is naturally produced in your body. It helps to retain water, keeping tissues lubricated. This ingredient helps your skin look and feel more supple. As women age, environmental conditions and nature take a toll on this chemical. The inclusion of it into Restore II Hydrate helps minimize damage and exposure. 

Panthenol Vitamin B5 helps bind to water, holding it to the skin for moisturizing purposes. This binding and holding of the water help to maintain softness and elasticity in your skin. The dual action of Panthenol Vitamin B5 helps to seal cracks in skin with the moisture that is being attracted and bound to it.

Nourish Your Skin

When skin is nourished with high-quality ingredients, hydration increases and gives skin a healthy, youthful glow. All three forms of Ceramides, Panthenol Vitamin B5, and Hyaluronic Acid are an essential part of your skincare as they work to nourish the skin, protecting the skin from signs of aging, irritation, and dehydration. The result is plumper, smoother, and firmer skin with fewer visible lines and wrinkles.

Create Youthful Skin From Within

The three forms of Ceramides, Panthenol Vitamin B5, and Hyaluronic Acid are natural components that are found within young, healthy skin. Younger women can still benefit from ceramide-containing skincare products as they help create a protective layer that helps prevent loss of moisture. They play an essential role in keeping the skin hydrated and protected and preventing premature signs of aging by improving skin elasticity.

Ingredients That Are Amazing for All Skin Types

Ceramides, Panthenol Vitamin B5, and Hyaluronic Acid levels found naturally in the skin start to decline as we get older. These ingredients are known to be anti-aging, “skin-replenishing”, and rejuvenating to aging skin. Since Ceramides, Panthenol Vitamin B5, and Hyaluronic Acid are naturally part of your skin, they are ideal for all skin types, including sensitive, oily, and breakout-prone skin. Ceramides, Panthenol Vitamin B5, and Hyaluronic Acid can even reduce facial skin inflammation, restoring the skin to its natural, healthy state.

Ultimate Protection Of The Skin’s Moisture Barrier

It’s important to protect your skin’s moisture barrier. This is the primary protection of the outer or upper layer of the face. It performs several functions, mainly to maintain moisture within the skin to keep it hydrated and plump. The moisture barrier also keeps dirt, toxins, and bacteria from clogging up pores and damaging your skin.

Clean Formula You Can Trust

Bee Naturals Hydrate II is formulated with the highest quality ingredients to promote healthy skin. Hydrate II has a specific, therapeutic purpose based on clients’ needs for a well-maintained moisture barrier. Purity, safety, and excellence is top priority.  Hydrate II provides the best that nature and science have to offer to create cleanly derived products for the face.

Be kind to your skin and pamper it with nourishing ingredients like the ones in our Restore II product or Pore Refining Serum.  Your skin will thank you for it!

Key Benefits of Niacinamide (Vit. B3)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Is Niacinamide a Skincare Magic Bullet?

If you take a stroll down the skincare aisle at any big box store or even skincare specialty shops, you’ll see big, fancy labels touting the latest combination of vitamins for healthy skin.

Vitamins aren’t some super-secret scientific creation. The truth is, vitamins are basically the building blocks our bodies use every day to do what it needs to do.

Without even realizing it you are creating new skin cells, repairing bones, and growing muscle fibers.

If we didn’t have these building blocks, our bodies would soon stop functioning as intended, and we would start running into problems.

Vitamins are clearly critical when it comes to keeping our skin healthy. And as with many other things in life, healthy skin is happy skin.

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) May Be the Key to Happy Healthy Skin

From charcoal masks and creams made from snail mucus to products infused with CBD, there’s a lot of natural skincare items out there making big promises but delivering little results.

So, it’s only natural to be wary of what you put on your body as well as what you spend your hard-earned money on.

However, the narrative is quite a bit different when it comes to vitamin B-3 (Niacinamide).

Niacinamide can ease dreaded dermatological conditions including dry, sagging skin, and sun damage.

The best part is it’s natural, safe, and scientifically proven to be one of the best skincare ingredients out there today.

Want to Keep Your Skin Firm and Moist Skin? Try Vitamin B3

Niacinamide delivers a big boost when it comes to keeping your skin firm and moist. This is one of the reasons we consider it to be as close to a magic bullet as the natural skincare industry is likely to get.

If we think back to high school biology, we’ll remember our hair, nails, and skin are made of a combination of proteins. Keratin is the main protein in the outermost layer of our skin.

Niacinamide encourages our bodies to ramp up its production of protein especially keratin. It also rejuvenates our skin’s structure. A healthier structure helps to keep skin rigid and firm.

It also strengthens our skin’s moisture barrier. Ceramide is responsible for creating a barrier of fatty tissue (ceramide barrier) within the outermost layer of our skin that helps to keep our skin retain water and a moist, supple texture.

Fight Back against Sun Damage, Dark Spots, and Wrinkles

Sun damage, dark spots, and wrinkles, for many women these are the trifecta of terror when it comes to having skin that ages gracefully.

With the right knowledge and a little bit of persistence, you can fight back against these three troublemakers.

Sun Damage

The sun is essential to life. Without it our world would be icy and empty. On the other hand, catching too many UV rays can wreak havoc on your skin.

For many women, one of the most aggravating parts of aging is developing dark splotches on their skin. Most folks usually refer to these spots as “age spots” or “liver spots”.

These names are a bit of a skincare fib. They’re not directly related to age, and they actually have nothing to do with the liver.

As you can probably guess by now, these brown splotches are usually caused by too much sun exposure.

The bronze complexion many sun worshipers speak is not a sign of health and fitness. Actually, it means your skin has been damaged by the sun.

When skin cells absorb too many UV rays, they release melanin to try and fight back against the sun’s damage. It’s the melanin that causes our skin to develop that sought after and complexion.

However, the release of melanin is also responsible for the dark color and rough texture of age spots.

Undoing UV Damage

Research has shown niacinamide can repair skin cell DNA. This is a fancy way of saying it can undo the damage that leads to dark spots and discolored skin.

Rubbing on some niacinamide cream is not a get out of jail free card. Sunscreen is still a necessity. The old cliché holds true. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Wrinkles

It’s a safe bet that even as far back as the days when the ancient Greeks were using honey and olive oil to keep their skin looking good, there was an ambitious, ancient dermatologist trying to come up with a clever concoction to get rid of the wrinkles.

Thankfully, these days, we have something a little better than honey and olive oil. You guessed it, niacinamide.

Collagen is an essential protein whose job it is to help our skin maintain its elasticity and keep its natural ability to “bounce back” into shape.

Unfortunately, our collagen production drops off as we age. As we lose collagen, wrinkles slowly but surely began to pop up.

The bad news starts in our mid-20s and typically keeps getting worse all the way through menopause. Once we hit our mid-20s, we slowly begin to lose collagen.

Five years into menopause our collagen production declines by about 30%.

Fighting Wrinkles

We don’t throw up our hands, avoid the mirror as our wrinkles become more frequent and deeper year after year.

Niacinamide to the rescue. This little protein acts as a time machine for our skin. This fountain of youth increases collagen production. Studies have shown in as little as eight weeks, treatment with Niacinamide can create a noticeable difference in the appearance of wrinkles. In 12 weeks, many saw a significant increase in their skin’s elasticity, its ability to bounce back into shape.

Enjoy the Benefits of Younger Looking Skin

Niacinamide truly gives women the best of both worlds. We are able to enjoy the fruits of our wisdom experience while keeping our skin healthy and beautiful as we age.

Increasing firmness, reversing the sun damage, and undoing wrinkles, this amazing protein is the Trinity of healthy skin.

2020 has been a trying year for all of us. Reward yourself with the gift of youthful, beautiful, and healthy skin. Add skincare products with niacinamide to your daily routine!

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Products that contain NIACINAMIDE (Vit. B3)

[/vc_column_text]

[/vc_column][/vc_row]

Understanding the Top 10 Anti-Aging Ingredients

Understanding the Top 10 Anti-Aging Ingredients in Skincare Products, and Why Using Them Will Help Keep Your Skin Healthy, Glowing and Beautiful at Any Age

Imagine if you could jump in a tiny box, click a button, and emerge 10 minutes later looking 10 years younger. Anti-aging ingredients are among the most searched and sought after for this reason alone — no one really wants to have ‘aged’ looking skin. And yes, there are some really effective skincare products out there, but keep in mind that nothing can totally turn back the hands of time. The good news? It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin.

If you’re younger, using these ingredients in your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s can help prevent premature signs of aging, and have people raving about your beautiful skin when you’re in your 50’s, 60’s and 70’s! Remember that old saying: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? When it comes to investing in your skin, what you do now will save you a lot of angst and money down the road! 

Anti-Aging Ingredients to Look For and Why

#1 Niacinamide aka Vitamin B3

This skin vitamin has been shown to help fight free-radical damage to collagen, brighten dark spots and help manage acne and oily skin, Look for a serum or lotions that contain at least 6% and up to 20% to reap the benefits of this powerhouse that suitable for all skin types. Make sure you don’t mix this with an acidic serum as that can convert the niacinamide to nicotinic acid, which may be irritating to some complexions. 

Bee Naturals products that contain niacinamide: Oil Free Moisturizer, Queen Bee Facial Nectar, Foaming Face Wash, MelaClear Pigment Lightening Creme, Anti Aging Blemish Creme

#2 Retinol

No, we’re not talking about Retin-A and its derivatives. These are prescription strength, and frankly, often these powerful products prove to be too drying for many complexions. Rather, find a product that contains retinol, which is converted slowly to usable form.  Retinols, in general, are ‘gold standard’ for overall skin vibrancy and have an abundance of evidence to back their use.

Retinoids, including retinol speed cell-turnover, meaning that the skin will shed the upper skin cells more rapidly, thus aiding the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and acne. It is also believed that retinol helps increase collagen production, which aids in helping skin stay firm. Collagen production, unfortunately, decreases as we age.

No matter if you’re using a prescription-strength retinol product or over the counter, retinol products tend to cause some irritation and/or dryness when first used and you may experience some flakiness, stitching or redness, so start slowly, with less product, then gradually increase, over time and be sure to use a moisturizer over the treated area to help alleviate dryness and absolutely use sunscreen to protect the fresh skin revealed beneath. 

Bee Naturals Products that contain Retinol: Bio Phyto Nutrient Oil, Queen Bee Facial Nectar, Queen Bee Facial Serum

#3 Vitamin C and it’s trifecta companions, ferulic acid and vitamin E

Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, et. al., discovered the antioxidant power of Vitamin C on the skin and that the positive effects are potentiated by the addition of ferulic acid and Vitamin E.  This original cocktail is known for its skin lightening/brightening powers, ameliorating oxidative damage and also having a protective effect from cumulative UV radiation effects. It’s best to use a more stable form of Vitamin C known as either sodium ascorbyl phosphate or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, which are more stable against light and oxygen degradation and are more pH friendly to facial tissues.

Bee Naturals products that contain Vitamin C: Ultra AA Serum, Vitamin C CremeQueen Bee Facial Serum

Anti-Aging and Acids

Acids!!? On my face? Yes, these ingredients are the rock stars of facial ‘resurfacing’ or refinement.  Some use mechanical exfoliation, such as microdermabrasion or dermaplaning but these should generally be done by a professional and can be too irritating for fragile, sensitive skin. Rather, consider these ingredients that you can control.

#4 Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is the gold standard exfoliant and overall brightener in professional circles. It is one of the two major alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) and can be found in many different products such as chemical peels, toners, creams, etc.  Its exfoliant actions dissolve the old skin cells away from the new, revealing fresh, bright, skin, minus, fine lines, dark spots, and blemish scars.

It’s available in various strengths and products, usually not stronger than 10% in over the counter products, which can be used several times a week but may go up to  70% in professional-grade peels used by physicians and estheticians.  These products are used under supervision and much less frequently.  There is ‘downtime’ associated with the use of these stronger peel type products.  It is imperative to wear sunscreen when using this product.

Bee Natural products that contain Glycolic Acid:  Clarifying Face Wash, Glycolic Renewal Creme, Fruit Acid AHA/BHA Exfoliating Creme, AHA Rejuvenate 15

#5 Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is the sole BHA, or beta hydroxy acid that is gentler than glycolic acid, and more specifically used in the treatment of acne. It too has exfoliating effects that are always helpful in softening the signs of fine lines and wrinkles and, since it is an oil-soluble ingredient, it’s especially helpful in keeping oil-filled pores clean – good especially if you’re prone to blackheads. Ditto on the sunscreen.

Bee Natural products that contain Salicylic Acid:  Clarifying Face Wash, Acne Clarifying Oil, Fruit Acid AHA/BHA Exfoliating Creme, Blemish RX Drying Lotion

#6 Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is another alpha hydroxy acid that can be combined with glycolic, or used alone. It has all the same characteristics as glycolic acid, but is generally a bit more gentle, and has ‘hydrating’ properties, making it a good choice for skin that is dull AND dry.  Again, as with all AHA’s and BHA’s new skin revealed when using these products is more susceptible to the sun, so be sure to wear at least SPF 25.

Bee Natural products that contain Lactic: Glycolic Renewal Creme, AHA Rejuvenate 15, Reconstructor Rx

#7 Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid has become almost a household word these days, but it is a terrific humectant that attracts moisture to the skin, making it look more plump, moist, and youthful. Hyaluronic acid along with glycerin is very common in skin care products and they typically are well tolerated in most skin types since they are hydrators, not exfoliators. If your skin tends to be chronically dehydrated, this is an ingredient to look for in products.

Bee Naturals Products that contain Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Serum, Hydrating Facial Freshener Hand & Body Nectar, Ultra AA Serum, CC Serum, Oil-Free Moisturizer, Rose Geranium Moisture Veil,  Oil Free Night Repair Creme, Queen Bee Ultimate Eye Serum, Rejuvenating Creme Cleanser, MelaClear Pigment Lightening Creme,

#8 Ceramides

Ceramides are one of several lipids or fatty acids that help hold your skin together- sort of like flexible mortar. Skin that is chronically dry and/or mature will benefit from using products that contain these ingredients.  They restore skin moisture by locking it into the skin, they protect the skin, help reduce inflammation and soften dry, dull skin. 

Bee Naturals Products that contain Ceramides. Pore Refining SerumRejuvenating Creme Cleanser, Tinted Facial Primer 25% Zinc Oxide

#9 Panthenol

Panthenol is vitamin B5 and like glycerin, honey, and hyaluronic acid, it has both humectant and moisturizing properties making it a great addition to skincare products for dry, dehydrated, and mature skin. Panthenol also has anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in wound healing.  Oh, and it’s good in hair care products, too.

Bee Naturals Products that contain Panthenol.  Rejuvenating Creme CleanserAnti Aging Blemish Creme, Oil Free Night Repair Creme Oil Free, MelaClear Pigment Lightening Creme,

#10 Sunscreen

Yes, we know you’re probably tired of hearing this, but you can’t worship the sun and have youthful, healthy skin.  Now, what you choose to use is another story altogether.  The debate rages about the relative benefits and potential hazards of chemical sunscreens too lengthy to go into here, but whatever you choose, use it or you’ll be inviting all those lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation right back to your face and breakdown of collagen. 

We prefer using products with zinc oxide in a finely milled form to provide non-toxic UVA and UVB sun protection. We do not sell an SPF rated sunscreen (due to high cost of lab testing to verify the rating claims), however, a good, non-chemical start for sun protection is our non-nano particle Tinted Facial Primer 25% Zinc Oxide. It can be used over your chosen sunscreen, or alone. 

More about zinc oxide:  What is Zinc Oxide Sunscreen?    EWG Sunscreens Wallet Guide Download

Final Thoughts

It’s important to stay educated. Have an understanding of what you’re putting on your face as well as why you’re doing it. Remember, too, that it’s never too late to start treating your skin well.  

 

Serums vs Moisturizers – What’s the Difference?

Serums and Moisturizers Explained

Serums are typically thinner and lighter than moisturizers and have a wide variety of functions. They usually don’t contain oils.  Typically, serums have active ingredients in them that penetrate deeply into your skin.

Moisturizers are thicker and creamier than serums. Serums are usually liquid or semi-liquid products, whereas moisturizers are usually in either a lotion or cream form.  These are emulsions (a mix of water and oils).

Serums can be water-based and can also be oil-based. Water-based serums should be applied directly to clean, slightly moist skin for the most effective delivery penetration of active ingredients and hydrating ingredients.

Bee Naturals Ultra AA Serum is a product that delivers water-soluble Vitamin C and other antioxidants deep within the skin. It also hydrates. Think of hydrating products as those that ‘give your skin a drink of water’.

Queen Bee Facial Serum is an oil-based serum that also delivers oil-soluble antioxidants to the skin but is oil-based and very moisturizing and lubricating.  This type of serum should be used after water-based serums are applied.

If water-based serums are applied after an oil-based serum or moisturizer, the water hydrating compounds and active ingredients can’t penetrate through the oil layer on the skin, because it creates a ‘barrier’ that water can’t penetrate.

How do I know which is which?

Look at the label!

If the product contains water in the list of ingredients, it is a water-soluble product and should be used before any oil containing products.

If it primarily contains oils, it is an oil-based product and should be applied after water-based serums.

So, in general, a hydrating water-based serum delivers moisture and active ingredients to your skin. Moisturizers, though they may be hydrating provide a lubricating, protective layer that prevents the evaporation of water (moisture) from your skin.

So then, now that we know some skin care basics, how do we best optimize the effects of our skincare products?

How to Best Use Skincare Products

  1. Make sure your skin is well cleansed – clean, but not stripped of all healthy oils.  This is accomplished in two ways:
  2. Use a gentle low foaming cleanser to thoroughly remove makeup and debris, but not so much as to ‘strip’ the skin to the point of squeaky clean. Gentle, gentle! Bee Naturals Queen Bee Cleansing Milk or Rose Geranium Foaming Facial Cleanser are good choices, or for very dry or nutrient-deprived skin, consider Rejuvenating Creme Cleanser.
  3. Ensure that your skin is adequately exfoliated, meaning that surface dead skin cells are removed.  Typically, use products that contain gentle acids such as those with glycolic acid, or lactic acid or gentle enzymes to remove surface dullness. Bee Naturals Enzyme Exfoliating Creme or AHA Rejuvenate 15 Creme used several times weekly to help with cell turn-over and allow vital ingredients to better penetrate the skin, where they’re needed. We recommend using a soft terry face cloth. Unless the skin is very soiled, we advise against the use of mechanical exfoliants (scrubs) If you are plagued with numerous blackheads, try using Bee Naturals Facial Polish periodically to help soften and remove excess debris.  It’s customizable and less likely to cause abrasions than some ‘scrubs’.
  4. Hydrate after cleansing with either Bee Naturals Hydrating Facial Freshener  or Calming Tonic prior to applying moisturizer, especially if you live in an arid or dry climate.
  5. If your skin is oily and/or acne-prone, the use of a hydrating, serum-weight moisturizer may be perfect for you. For example, Bee Naturals Oil-Free Moisturizer (a serum) may be all you need, or you can add our Oil Free Day Creme or Oil Free Night Repair Creme.
  6. If your skin is normal/combination, use a slightly heavier moisturizer, such as Queen Bee Facial Nectar or Rose Geranium Moisture Veil.  Both deliver nutrients, moisture, and lubrication to your skin.
  7. If your skin is dry, you may consider using Bee Naturals Creme Luxe Intense Moisture Creme or Queen Bee Facial Serum.

Special Concerns about excessively oily skin / acne:

Often those with excessively oily skin and/or acne believe that super-scrubbed skin is the only way to deal with these issues. While it is an understandable conclusion, it is also absolutely the incorrect approach. We often see clients that have oily skin and/or acne, but the surface of their skin is dehydrated and dry looking in appearance. If overly aggressive treatment is given to this skin type, the skin becomes so dry on the surface that the natural, necessary lubricating oils can’t make it to the surface where they are needed. Because of the surface dryness, this treatment further aggravates acne and oiliness and often contributes to whiteheads, blackheads, and additional acne. Often the skin will actually get oilier in response to this aggressive approach making matters worse for this skin situation. Moist Skin does not equate to Oily Skin.

With these basic skin care steps in mind, consider incorporating one of our many specialty cremes to your regimen if you have particular skin issues.

CC Serum for those with redness or rosacea.

Vitamin C Creme for mature, sun-damaged skin that is aged and dry or may be showing signs of sun damage.

Anti-Aging Blemish Cream for those that still suffer from occasional acne, but are also concerned with signs of aging.

Glycolic Renewal is a gentle, but effective exfoliating creme that helps brighten the complexion and helps your products absorb better.

Fruit Acid AHA/BHA Exfoliating Creme for those who need a bit more powerful exfoliating and brightening power or have occasional acne. Gentle salicylic acid helps here in addition to mixed AHA fruit acids.

Hyaluronic Serum for those who need extra hydration, prior to applying moisturizer.

Pore Refining Serum for those who have enlarged pores due to aging and loss of collagen… It’s hydrating, too!

Answers to Questions About Hand Sanitizer

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

In Response to Questions About Hand Sanitizer

Our hand sanitizer is made with a minimum of 65% alcohol, as required for effectiveness.

Hand sanitizer does not expire. Yes, really.

To those of you who have recently ordered hand sanitizer from us or those who plan to, please be advised that due to the unavailability of our usual gelling ingredient, carbomer, we were forced to convert to xanthan gum as a thicker. Xanthan gum does not create a thick, crystal clear sanitizer that you may be accustomed to using, but the upside is that you can put it into a spray container, as well, which in some circumstances may be more convenient to use.

Though perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing, it is made to specifications required for sanitizing hands with an alcohol content of at least 65%, hydrating glycerin and soothing essential oils of sweet orange and lavender, which now, considering the shortage, is a good thing. We wanted to be able to continue to do our part to help those at risk to have this product available at a cost after free shipping, which leaves us little or no profit.

As soon as carbomer becomes available again, we will resume using it in our hand sanitizer.

As stated in our return policy, we are not able to accept returns on hand sanitizer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Exciting News from Bee Naturals Beginning March, 2020

Now Using Organic, Unbleached Beeswax

Bee Naturals will begin using organic, unbleached beeswax in all products that contain this ingredient.

What does this mean for you?  No concerns about potential pesticide or organophosphate residue.

It costs more, but you’re worth it!

Our Decision About the Future Use of Xylitol

Bee Naturals will stop using xylitol in our very popular Oral Whitening Pre-Brush Rinse and Mouthwash and instead will begin, using the much-preferred erythritol.  What does this mean for you?

Greatly reduced risk of harm to domestic animals that live in your household.  We don’t want your fur babies to be at risk, plus, there is evidence that erythritol is even more effective at suppressing cavity-causing bacterial biofilm than xylitol!

For more information see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5011233/

Conquering Dry Skin: The Bee Naturals Guide

Warm climate or cool, there’s relief for those who suffer from Dry Skin (xerosis cutis), no matter their skin type.

Dry skin (xerosis cutis) is more than an occasional annoyance for many in the world. Even those in warm, tropical climates deal with it! But ‘dry skin’ is a broad and general description for several different skin conditions.

Skin is the largest organ of the body and serves many functions to keep us healthy and regulated. If we don’t treat the underlying causes of dry skin, a whole host of not-fun symptoms can become aggravated, such as:

  • Irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Rosacea
  • Allergic dermatitis

In this guide, I hope to help those of you who suffer from itchy, dry skin understand what’s really going on. I’ll also show you how to address your unique situation and even share products that I believe can help almost anyone.

What causes dry skin?

Though there are too many factors to address in detail here, those with dry skin have lost excessive amounts of water or moisture from their skin. This is also referred to as TEWL—Transepidermal Water Loss.

This water loss is the result of impaired or inadequate skin moisturizing factors, including:

  • Sebum (the oils your skin secrets naturally)
  • Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) (the cocktail of chemicals that keep skin hydrated)
  • Aquaporin (proteins that channel water in the skin)
  • Stratum corneum lipids (more on this in a moment)

With inadequate amounts and ratios of these vital skin factors, the skin loses too much moisture to evaporation. Then, it becomes dry, dull, irritated—not to mention itchy and flaky!

There’s little moisture to keep it plump and healthy, further compounded by a lack of skin lipids to help hold or seal in the much-needed moisture for normal, healthy skin.

The Hydration Problem

The stratum corneum plays a critical role in the skin’s ability to maintain skin hydration. First, a little background.

The stratum corneum is made up of keratinocytes surrounded by ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. Think of it this way:

  • The stratum corneum is the outer layer of the skin
  • Keratinocytes are the skin cells that produce keratin, the protein that forms a protective layer on the skin
  • Ceramides are waxy molecules that limit moisture loss

When these components are present in adequate amounts, the skin is balanced, healthy, protected, and watertight. Yay! That’s what we want!

But when these critical substances are out of balance, the skin cells are not as neatly ‘glued’ together as they should be. The skin appears dull and flaky. It often feels tight and itchy.

Before we continue, here’s some esthetician insider lingo!

Whenever you hear a discussion about skincare, here are some terms you’ll run into. (Now, you’ll feel like a pro!)

Humectants

These are water-soluble ingredients that attract water to the skin and help ‘plump’ tissues. Look for ingredients such as:

  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Honey
  • Panthenol
  • Lactic acid

A quick note for those who live in dry or high-altitude environments: humectants can have the opposite effect in low humidity. So, don’t go overboard!

Occlusives

These are moisturizers that have a high percentage of lipids or fatty ingredients. Not only do they help prevent the evaporation of water from the skin, but they also soften rough skin (emollience).

Typically heavier and oily-feeling, they tend to sit on the surface and not absorb rapidly into the skin.

Emollients

These oily substances also help smooth, soften, and lubricate the skin. They reduce that “tight feeling” and absorb into the skin more quickly than occlusive ingredients.

Dermatitis

This is simply irritation or inflammation of the skin. Specific environmental factors and product ingredients can cause it, among a wide variety of other variables.

Eczema

This is a medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed with blisters. Eczema is nasty. It causes itching and bleeding, sometimes resulting from a reaction to irritation (eczematous dermatitis), but more typically has no apparent external cause.

How to Care for Your Dry Skin

Once you know what you’re dealing with, caring for dry skin is relatively straightforward. Since your skin’s watertight barrier is impaired and NMF is diminished, you have to proceed with caution to care for your skin.

First, moisturize your environment

Dry skin conditions always worsen in the dry, cold winter months when humidity is already lower. What’s worse, forced hot air reduces the moisture in the air even more. You feel it all over your body, whether you know it or not.

So, do yourself a favor. Use humidifiers and vaporizers. Let them moisturize the air around you.

Baths, Showers, and Soaps

Baths and showers can do a lot of damage to our skin! When it’s time to get clean:

  • Try to limit baths and showers to no more than once daily (or less if you’re brave)
  • Use warm rather than hot water
  • Use a smaller amount of skin cleanser
  • Keep it brief

Then, look out for the soap you use, especially avoiding foaming cleansers. Many of them are harsh on dry skin. They dissolve and wash away too much of the protective oil on your skin, contributing to the dryness cycle. And nobody wants to contribute to the dryness cycle!

Instead, opt for a creamy type of skin cleanser that contains mild, new generation cleansing agents. You’re looking for low-foam or no-foam cleansers, like our Bath and Body Oil and Luxury Creme Body Wash.

Moisturizers

Next, dry skin needs more than just emollients (creams, lotions, and gels).

It needs moisture, so it’s imperative to apply heavier, occlusive moisturizers immediately after bathing to ‘seal’ in the moisture and slow water loss. Effective hydrating moisturizers often contain occlusive ingredients like:

  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Honey (that’s where BeeNaturals gets its name!)

Products that contain beeswax, cocoa butter, and shea butter provide a better occlusive barrier to help prevent TEWL. Moisturizers of this type typically have a heavier or greasier feel. But if your skin is dry, “heavy” and “greasy” can be a very good thing as the day wears on.

It may be helpful to apply a lighter, water-laden moisturizer first, like our Hydra 72-hour Moisture Reservoir. Then, you can use a more substantial product over the first, like our Glow Body Butter.

Unsure what to do next?

All of this information can be overwhelming, especially if your skin is compromised by another factor, such as age, allergies, or sensitivities you already have.

That’s why I’ve put together suites of products in our BeeNaturals Collections. You can find solutions curated by skin type here.