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

Skincare Ingredients You Should Not Mix

Discovering the right skincare products for your specific skin type can often be an overwhelming process. Whether you’ve got sensitive, oily, dry, or combination skin, you should be using products that help improve your skin’s health and appearance and not hinder it. From moisturizers to toners and serums, the process of developing the correct routine is something that you often want a professional to help with. Certain ingredients like vitamin c, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol sound pretty harmless by themselves, but what can happen when they are mixed together? Some combinations of ingredients can be damaging to your skin.

Mixing Skincare Products 

Imagine you’ve come up with the perfect skincare routine to battle fine lines and wrinkles. You’ve got the best makeup remover, face wash, toner, and moisturizer. Faithfully you use these products for many months yet see no improvement in your skin’s appearance. What’s the problem? According to professionals, mixing the wrong ingredients can render them inactive or ineffective. 

It’s tough to nail down a good skincare routine if you’re using products from many different brands. Many cosmetic brands develop skincare products that are designed to work harmoniously together to help improve your skin’s health and appearance. When you use mix and match products from different brands, it’s like playing roulette with the results. Skincare companies like ours formulate products to work synergistically, and we make sure that they don’t contain ingredients that don’t work well together. 

Retinol and AHA/BHA 

Retinols are praised in the beauty industry for being the best in anti-aging, but pairing retinols with different products can sometimes be dangerous. Retinols work by increasing collagen production, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improving cell turnover. They are particularly sensitive in which products work well in conjunction with them because of their potential for irritation. When mixed improperly with other ingredients, they can cause redness and irritation. AHA/BHA products that contain salicylic, glycolic, or lactic acid are great at exfoliating and producing a more even skin tone. Still, when they are paired with a product like retinol, they can irritate a sensitive person’s skin and cause painful peeling. Using a retinol product with a moisturizing product can help minimize potential side effects. 

Retinol and Vitamin C 

Vitamin C sounds like a pretty natural and mild ingredient, but retinoids can be pretty tricky to try to pair with it. Less stable forms of vitamin C can be particularly problematic. Vitamin C is an excellent environmental protector used during the daytime, whereas retinoids are better used at night since they become inactivated by sunlight. To maximize the benefits from both products, it’s better to use them separately. Use the vitamin C products during the day and the retinol at night for optimal effects. 

Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide 

Retinol is a form of vitamin A, and most forms of vitamin A don’t work well with some of the most effective forms of acne fighters on the market, like benzoyl peroxide. They can compete and work against each other, with some studies showing that benzoyl peroxide can actually make retinol ineffective by deactivating it. More stable forms of vitamin A like tretinoin may be more stable when combined with benzoyl peroxide

Water-Based Products and Oil-Based Products  

It’s common knowledge that water and oil don’t mix, and for the same reason, it’s a good idea not to combine water-based skincare products with oil-based skincare products. Oils are hydrophobic, which means instead of attracting water, they repel it. For oil and water-based products to work together, they need to be specifically formulated using an emulsifier to ensure that the product does not separate. People with acne-prone or oily skin have often been afraid to use oil-based products. They’ve been told that oil clogs the skin’s pores, causing even more problems. If your skin is more oily prone, sometimes a water-based product can be a better choice, although all oils are not created equal. Some oils that are smaller and lightweight can actually be beneficial to all skin. 

Some of our Favorite Skin Care Products

We produce and formulate skin and body care products with specific therapeutic purposes with high-quality ingredients. Our products are made to promote healthy skin and body for overall well-being. We use more natural ingredients by combining the best that science and nature to create luxurious products for the face and body. In order to pick the products best for your unique skin type, we would love to assist you in making the best choices. Just give us a call or email, and we’ll help you find products perfect for your skincare goals! 

Clarifying Facial Wash 

Our clarifying facial wash is a gentle yet effective exfoliating and clarifying facial wash. With ingredients containing AHA/BHA, this product can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce pore size. It also reduces inflammation, deeply cleanses pores to reduce excess sebum and oil, and allows for better serum and product penetration. 

Clear Skin Toner 

Our clear skin toner is free of drying and irritating alcohol. The formula contains natural glycolic acid for improved cell turnover and a brighter, clearer complexion. It’s pH balanced and preps the skin for treatments and serums. 

Queen Bee Facial Nectar

Made with a natural ingredient base including grapeseed, sunflower, and coconut oils, the Queen Bee Facial Nectar is our go-to moisturizer for a wide range of skin types. With the addition of unbleached beeswax, evening primrose, vitamin E, and carrot seed oil, these nursing ingredients help to provide soft, well-nourished skin year-round. It defends the skin from irritants while working to fight visible signs of aging.  

Let Us Help You 

We are 100% committed to producing and formulating skin and body care products that are made with the highest quality ingredients. Our products have a specific therapeutic purpose, and we develop our products based on our customers’ needs. We would love to assist you in our skincare journey, so please reach out to us for a personalized recommendation for your specific skin type. We look forward to making you a customer for life!

What are the Real Dangers of Acetone Nail Polish Remover?

How Dangerous is Acetone?

Like a lot of chemicals you find in cleaners and cosmetic products, acetone is a naturally occurring substance. Since it’s a very powerful solvent, it has a lot of uses in industry, especially as paint thinner. If you’ve ever used acetone to remove paint from furniture, you know how effective it is. 

It’s also one of the most common ingredients in nail polish remover. It has a very strong smell, and for some people, it can be quite irritating. It can also cause some damage to the nail bed and the nails themselves.

While the dangers of acetone nail polish removers are fairly benign, there are also some safer non-acetone nail polish removers that don’t come with the smell, don’t need nearly as many cotton balls, and can get rid of hard-to-remove nail gel without a long soak. 

What are the Health Risks of Acetone?

Acetone has been used by painters and industrial workers for some time and has proven to be safe… when appropriate precautions are taken. While the levels of acetone in nail polish are pretty small by comparison, it’s hard to consider a product entirely safe for your hands and feet when professionals need to handle it with gloves, masks, and protective gear.

So what are the risks of concentrated acetone? Without protective gear, inhaling acetone is fairly dangerous, especially if you do it frequently. Before commercial facilities started requiring sufficient protective gear, factory workers who inhaled large amounts of acetone were found to suffer from a range of serious health consequences: 

Dangers of Inhaling Acetone

  • Increased heart rate
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Severe cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal irritation/sneezing
  • Damage to mucous membranes
  • Loss of consciousness

We know more about the risks of acetone inhalation today, and those same workers in a modern setting aren’t exposed to these same risks if they wear respiration masks and safety goggles.

However, long-term exposure to large amounts of acetone over time (large in this case means 500 parts-per-million airborne particles) could cause permanent lung damage or respiratory illness. So, yes, acetone is relatively safe, provided that you handle it as recommended. 

Is it Safe to Handle Acetone?

This is a common safety label that you’re likely to find on most containers of pure acetone.

We should note that, if you’re already using acetone as a paint thinner or to strip furniture, remember that as long as you’re being safe, you’re not putting yourself in any danger. 

ONLY use acetone:

  • In highly ventilated areas 
  • Wear protective clothing, like long sleeves and surgical gloves, when you use it
  • When you’re also wearing protective eyewear like goggles or OSHA approved eye coverings
  • With a ventilation mask

Taking that all into account, it’s still hard to balance the logic of using a substance on your nails that we can’t confidently recommend that you handle without gloves. What are you exposing yourself to when you soak your nails in it to remove acrylic nails or nail gel?

The Dangers of Soaking Nails in Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Acetone nail polish remover is still the standard at professional nail salons and used in many homes. In fact, most of the time, your manicurist could still be using 100% pure acetone to get rid of your nail acrylic nail extensions. (You’ll now be very aware of why those professionals all wear protective eye covering and ventilation masks.)

Manicurists will usually have their customers soak the nails in pure acetone to break down a gel manicure. If there’s one thing you don’t want to do to your nails or your skin, it’s soaking them in acetone. 

Soaking your nails for long periods to break down nail polish or gel is far from ideal, and can cause some serious irritations. Acetone can dehydrate the nail bed, cuticles, and skin. For some people, that causes rashes, seriously dry skin, nail discoloration (pseudo-leukonychia) and dry, cracked nails (onychoschizia). 

And of course, dry, brittle, discolored nails almost entirely defeat the purpose of caring for your nails in the first place. 

What are the Other Dangers of Acetone Nail Polish Remover?

Acetone is known for causing sore throats and headaches because of the fumes and the unpleasant odor. Is that a serious health concern? Not necessarily—but headaches and sore throats are certainly unpleasant, particularly if you get either or both every time you do your nails. 

It’s also highly flammable, so you do have to be cautious of how you store it. If it’s ingested, it’s very, very harmful and could cause death. If you have small children around, it’s very important that you don’t leave it out. 

What are the Natural Alternatives to Acetone Nail Polish Remover?

You can easily find acetone-free nail polish remover that you buy at the drugstore. Even if you use remover with acetone, it’s usually fairly diluted. Why is that important? Because simply put, those acetone-free nail polish removers often don’t work quickly and aren’t as effective. Removing several coats of nail polish takes longer and uses up more cotton balls. Even after several applications, you may still see some of the nail polish residues on your nails! 

Clean Nails™, when combined with heat, is as effective at removing even stubborn non-uv-cured gel polish from the nails. In fact, Clean Nails™ is more effective at breaking down polish on acrylic nails, as well as non-uv-cured gel nail polishes, which means you don’t have to soak your delicate skin in an acetone bath! 

Products that have non-invasive or harmful ingredients are fairly easy to spot, so look for labeling that indicates the natural nail polish remover is:

  • Free of VOCs
  • Has limited ingredients
  • Doesn’t include chemicals that irritate the skin or airways
  • Can be used indoors safely
  • Provides additional moisturizers or therapeutic agents for the skin
  • Easy and effective to use
  • Formulated using proven scientific techniques or knowledge

Nail Cleaner FAQs

What are VOCs and why are they harmful?

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes. Some are harmful by themselves, including some that cause cancer. In addition, they can react with other gases and form other air pollutants after they are in the air.

Are acetone and alcohol considered VOCs?

Yes.

Do most regular nail polish removers contain VOCs?

Yes.

Does Bee Naturals Clean Nails™ contain VOCs?

NO! Clean Nails™ is an acetone-free, non-toxic nail polish remover. 

Does Bee Naturals Clean Nails™ work on uv-cured gel nails?

No. Clean Nails™ works at removing nail polish and non-uv-cured gel.

Bee Naturals Clean Nails™: Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Not only is Bee Naturals Clean Nails™ free of VOCs, it also helps condition the nails and cuticles. It works effectively without having to soak your nails in acetone, even to remove nail gel. You can enjoy the fun of switching out your nail polish while keeping the air you breathe cleaner and the environment around you safer.  

For more information about Clean Nails™ click here

You may also be interested in

Cuticle Nail Oil Pen

Queen Bee Soft Facial Polish

Deep Moisture Body Gel

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.  

Top 5 Benefits of CoQ10 in Skincare 

If you’ve ever taken the time to read ingredients in anti-aging beauty products, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a common ingredient. It can be found in toners, moisturizers, and eye creams, because of the effectiveness of reducing the appearance of fine lines. 

What is CoQ10?

CoQ10 is a nutrient that occurs naturally in the body, but production slows down as you age. It’s also a nutrient that is found in foods like tuna, salmon, liver, and whole grains. 

The coenzyme is vital for energy production to help skin regenerate and repair itself. Since your skin is constantly exposed to environmental factors that can cause damage, your body needs the building blocks necessary to repair itself. 

What are the Benefits of CoQ10 in Skincare and Why is it Important?

Products like our new serum, Restore III has CoQ10 as one of the main ingredients, because of the anti-aging benefits it has on the skin. Here are the top benefits of this ingredient: 

1. Helps Skin Repair and Regenerate

In order for your skin to repair itself and regenerate, it needs the energy to carry out that natural function. 

2. Creates a Radiant Complexion 

benefits of coq10 in skincare

Youthful, radiant skin tends to have a higher level of Q10. This higher level allows your skin to regenerate faster, creating a radiant complexion. The reason that your skin tends to look duller and more tired as you age is that your body doesn’t produce as much of this nutrient, making the regeneration process slower. 

3. Reduces Sun Damage to Skin

Studies have shown that CoQ10 has antioxidant properties that allow the skin to fight against free radicals from sun exposure that cause damage. The antioxidant properties of this nutrient are also why people take it as a supplement for overall health. 

4. Helps The Body Produce Collagen 

Collagen represents roughly ⅓ of all proteins in your body and it is necessary to maintain skin elasticity as well as increase cell regeneration. CoQ10 helps the body produce the necessary collagen it needs to support healthy skin.

5. Can Help to Reduce the Fine Lines

Since this nutrient is needed to give skin the energy to regenerate and helps with collagen production, it can be highly effective at reducing fine lines. 

Who Benefits From Using CoQ10?

Anyone that has skin can benefit from using CoQ10! No matter what age you are, your body needs the necessary building blocks to function properly. You shouldn’t wait until your skin starts losing its natural coenzyme Q10 production to give it the resources to replenish it. Instead, using anti-aging beauty products now is beneficial.  

What Other Ingredients Go Well With CoQ10?

In addition to CoQ10, other ingredients can be mixed with it to create an even more effective formula. BeeNaturals Restore III beauty serum is made with CoQ10 and these two additional ingredients: 

Vitamin C

Studies have shown that using a topical form of Vitamin C can help reduce the effects of photoaging. This is damage to skin that has been caused by sunlight and ultraviolet light. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production in the body, which is necessary to reduce the effects of aging. 

Retinol

Just like CoQ10, retinol works to prevent damage from free-radicals. So why would you use both of these ingredients if they do both address damage from free-radicals? Because retinol is known to help breakdown fat-soluble CoQ10. This means that it will be absorbed into the skin faster and therefore, more effective. 

When CoQ10, Retinol, and Vitamin C are used in beauty serum, like Restore III, it can help your skin to have the energy needed to regenerate, reduce the visible signs of fine lines, and produce a healthier-looking complexion. 

Learn more:

Understanding the Top 10 Anti-Aging Ingredients

Hydrating vs Moisturizing Skin Care

Difference between Hydrating and Moisturizing Skin

Many see “hydration” and “moisture” as interchangeable words that describe the same thing, believing a skin hydrator is the same as a moisturizer. This is a common misconception and an easy mistake to make. In reality, these are two very different types of products specifically formulated to serve a different specific purpose for your skin. Believe it or not, hydrator and moisturizer are not just synonyms written on product labels as part of a clever marketing scheme to make you buy more than you really need.

Skin Moisturizers

A moisturizer’s main responsibility is to reduce trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) by forming a barrier over the skin’s surface.  These types of products work to retain any moisture remaining present on your skin at the time of application. By forming a protective seal on the skin’s surface, moisturizers reduce the risk of evaporation of your existing skin moisture throughout the day.

queen bee facial nectar

Queen Bee Facial Nectar

Healthy, normal skin is able to produce lipid cells. These cells trigger the skin’s natural ability to protect itself from moisture loss, communicating to our sebaceous (oil producing) glands to produce more oil (or sebum).

transepidermal-water-loss

Evaporation of water from the skin

People having a deficient lipid barrier will often suffer from dry skin conditions. Unable to coat the skin’s surface with the appropriate amount of sebum, this causes a loss of hydration.  A moisturizer is formulated to aid in correcting the lipid barrier so that the skin is able to regain its healthy moisture balance.  The key word here is “aid,” as these products are only a part of a solution. They are not a fix-all to every skin condition on their own.

Skin Hydrators

While moisturizers are formulated to seal moisture into the skin, hydrating products are designed to increase the water content of the skin.  This is typically achieved by utilizing the powers of various hygroscopic (Hygroscopic substances have the ability to attract water from its surroundings through absorption or adsorption) ingredients, like humectants (Humectants absorb water from the air and bind it to the skin, facilitating hydration). Glycerinhoney and hyaluronic acid are great examples of humectants.

queen bee facial freshener (alcohol-free)

Queen Bee Facial Freshener (alcohol-free)

Some moisturizers are infused with hydrating ingredients, like those mentioned above, but are not always able to penetrate skin as deeply. As previously stated, moisturizers function to prevent water loss by forming a barrier over the skin, primarily through a mixture of occlusive (barrier forming substances) and emollient (aid skin smoothness, and sometimes enhance barrier strength) ingredients. Humectants can function within a moisturizer’s formula, but depending on your skin’s need, may not supply your skin with a sufficient amount of hydration.

Long Story Short…Remember to apply hydrating products first and a moisturizer second.

This way, you are adding moisture to your skin, and then ensuring it remains throughout your day. If you have dry skin and are only using a moisturizer, chances are you are feeling the need to apply it multiple times throughout the day. While the moisturizing ingredients may appear to have helped smooth those dry flaky spots, they are not fixing the root of your skin’s condition. Moisturizers are only masking the issue at hand.

You can increase the water content of your skin by incorporating a hydrator into your daily routine!  Not only will this practice help your skin regain its proper moisture balance, it will also increase the effectiveness of your moisturizer.  Hydrating ingredients make your skin more receptive to absorbing all the beneficial ingredients offered by your moisturizer.  A little will go a long way when your moisturizer becomes more powerful by applying the products in the right order. This gives you the added bonus of saving money in addition to having healthy, moist skin!

LEARN MORE

Serums vs Moisturizers – What’s the Difference?

The Dynamics of Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) From Hydrated Skin

Answers to Questions About Hand Sanitizer

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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/

Squalene vs Squalane Oil: The BeeNaturals Guide

Hydrated skin is healthy skin. It looks younger, suppler, and plumper. It remains resilient when surrounded by harmful environmental factors. And it’s less oily-looking, less prone to irritation, and even allows makeup to adhere more easily.

To stay hydrated, our skin creates oils that both attract and trap moisture. But it’s not always enough. Simple skincare regimens (like using a nourishing facial cleanser followed by an oil-infused moisturizer) reinforce what our skin is trying to do for itself.

In discussions about skincare, two oils, similarly spelled, show up again and again: squalene and squalane.

In this guide, we’ll explain the difference between these two oils. We will describe how they’re produced, what they do, and how to use them.

Finally, we’ll present a few ways anyone can benefit from their nourishing power.

What is squalene?

Squalene, spelled with one a and two e’s, is an oil produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. It makes up 13% of the sebum, which is comprised of:

  • Squalene
  • Triglycerides
  • Wax esters
  • Cholesterol and cholesterol esters

Squalene’s job is to form a barrier on your skin to trap moisture. It’s also a powerful antioxidant (more on this later). And unfortunately, after age 30, our sebaceous glands slow the production of squalene. Our skin gets drier, rougher, and starts to show signs of aging.

But you can’t bottle squalene! Unfortunately, apart from your body, it’s chemically unstable.

That’s where squalane comes in.

What is squalane?

Squalane (two a’s and one e) is hydrogenated squalene. They’re nearly the same molecule, but squalane is stable enough to bottle thanks to the addition of hydrogen.

Added to moisturizers, it acts as part of the sebum and gives users the same benefits of squalene.

Not long ago, however, ethically produced squalane was hard to find. 

Where does squalane come from?

In 1910, Japanese scientist Mitsumaro Tsjuiimoto discovered squalene in shark liver oil — specifically, sharks from the family Squalidae.

However, it wasn’t until 1950 that French chemist Sebastien Sabetay discovered he could stabilize the squalene molecule through hydrogenation (making squalane). When squalane first appeared in moisturizers, it almost always came from sharks or other animals.

Thankfully, scientists discovered squalene in plant sources: grains, nuts, and seeds. Much of what moisturizers employ today comes from olives — it’s a natural byproduct of the olive oil refinery process.

BeeNaturals moisturizers always contain ethically produced plant-derived squalane.

The Main Benefits of Squalane

Since squalane acts like part of our sebum, it produces the results our sebaceous glands naturally accomplish before our squalene production slows down.

Here are some of the reasons we use squalane in our moisturizers:

BENEFIT #1: Squalane keeps skin hydrated.

Squalane is an “occlusive emollient” preventing TEWL, or trans-epidermal water loss. Its occlusive properties allow it to form a barrier that traps water in your skin.

We often pair it with another chemical found in healthy skin cells: hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it attracts water. In this way, the two chemicals work as a team — one draws water to the skin, the other keeps it there.

BENEFIT #2: Squalane doesn’t leave an oily residue.

Every person is different, but for most people with dry, oily, combination, or even acne-prone skin, squalane is safe and helpful. Its profile is light, silky, and unlikely to irritate the skin.

Squalane is noncomedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores the way other oils can. Clogged pores are an enemy to beautiful skin, causing whiteheads, blackheads, and acne.

BENEFIT #3: It keeps skin protected and youthful.

Squalane is an antioxidant — it protects the skin from free radicals. These are unstable oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons. Free radicals are everywhere, found in smoke, UV radiation, and pollution.

Free radicals aren’t all bad. Our body produces them to help fight bacteria and viruses. But when antioxidants don’t counterbalance them, our bodies suffer “oxidative stress” — a contributing factor both in inflammation and the aging process.

Since squalane and squalene are antioxidants, they help reverse signs of aging, guard against sunburn, repair damaged skin, and may even help prevent skin cancer.

BENEFIT #4: It’s an anti-inflammatory.

Squalane reduces the dry skin, redness, and swelling associated with inflammation. Therefore, squalane infused moisturizers can help those suffering from:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatitis
  • Rosacea
  • Acne

That last one — acne — may be a surprise. Since our natural oils can clog our pores, it seems like the addition of an oil is a bad idea for those with acne. Though this is not a one-size-fits-all solution, squalane doesn’t typically clog pores. It can help reduce the symptoms of acne, namely, redness and swelling.

How can I get the benefits of squalane for my skin?

BeeNaturals uses ethically produced squalane in our products. And we’ve targeted our formulations for specific skin types.

For extremely dry and dehydrated skin, try Creme Luxe Intense Moisture. This rich and luxurious moisturizer hydrates the skin, boosts collagen formation, and reduces inflammation. It even helps reduce scars and fine lines.

Buy Crème Luxe Intense Moisture here.

 To combat fine lines and wrinkles even further, add a couple of drops of our Queen Bee Facial Serum after cleansing and moisturizing. Though not recommended for oily or acne-prone skin, it’s especially effective for those with very dry or mature skin.

Buy Queen Bee Facial Serum here.

For oily, combination, or moderately dry skin, our Rose Geranium Moisture Veil is light and silky. Rose and rose geranium oils nourish the skin and provide an easy, pleasant scent as well. Suitable for all skin types, it’s an excellent choice for those who don’t want something as heavily occlusive as Crème Luxe Intense Moisture.

Buy Rose Geranium Moisture Veil here.

Preservatives & Natural Skin Care

The time has come to discuss a topic that has built up quite the reputation over the past few years.  Having worked retail for a variety of natural skin care companies, I would argue that the most frequently ask questions by customers are those concerning the use of preservatives.  And it’s not hard to see why!

The likely culprit of our confusion?

Hand Holds Petri Dish with Bacteria Culture

Harmful Microbes

In my opinion, a lot of the confusion stems from what I call the, ‘preservative-free’ movement and the ‘paraben scare.’    Studies were conducted (thank goodness), and a respectable amount of preservatives used in the most common commercial-based products were deemed dangerous, toxic, and threatening to our health.  One minute later, someone decided ALL preservatives were bad, unnecessary, and downright offensive to even read on a product label.  While there are, without question, some preservatives we should do our best to avoid, do not let a few bad apples destroy your faith in the rest of them.

Here are some of the most common questions I hear (and have asked myself) regarding preservatives and how they operate in the realm of Green Chemistry, and help maintain healthy skin.  It is my hope, and Bee Naturals’ mission, that these explanations help clarify some of the confusion, and equip you with the knowledge necessary to make informative and healthy consumer choices.

Frequently Asked Questions & Straightforward Answers:

Let’s start off easy…

What is a preservative?

  • A preservative is an ingredient used in products to inhibit the growth of microbial contaminants (bacteria, mold, and yeast).
  • Some preservatives can protect against all three contaminants and are known as, broad spectrum preservatives. Because not all preservatives are blessed with such abilities, it is common for manufacturers to use a few in combination with one another to ensure the formula can defend itself against all microbial enemies.

What do you risk when you don’t have a preservative?

  • Without the use of preservatives, you run the risk of your product spoiling and becoming a microbial breeding ground for all kinds of health concerns, even diseases.  Imagine leaving the leftovers from dinner sitting on the counter for a couple of days.  You wouldn’t eat them, right?
  • Health concerns that can arise from bacteria overgrowth in a product include various forms of skin infections, toxic shock, strep throat, eye infections, etc.

Does EVERY skin care product need a preservative?

  • Primarily, water-based lotions and creams need a preservative.  Products like lip balms and water-free ointments, generally are considered, ‘self-preserved’, as they don’t contain all the necessary elements from organisms to grow and multiply.

What about parabens?

  • Well…there are many opinions on this matter.  On one side, we have those reputable sources who strongly believe that parabens are misunderstood, and, if used correctly under the right specifications, are perfectly safe.  To keep a long story short, the paraben-cancer scare is said to have started when, in 2004, Dr. Philippa Darbre published a study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology that alluded to the possibility of parabens causing cancer.  The study has since been deemed inaccurate and has been discredited.  However, general public consensus rules parabens DO still cause cancer, so many manufactures have chosen to use other alternative preservatives.

*For more on this story, check out this article written by Perry Romanowski

  • Regardless, there are still many articles claiming parabens do pose threats to our health. To stay clear of the paraben mess of opinions altogether, some companies, such as Bee Naturals, simply avoid paraben use altogether.

What preservatives are found in Bee Naturals products?

  • We use phenoxyethanol blended with sorbic acid/potassium sorbate for the majority of our water containing products.
  • This is our blend of choice because of its long history of safe use, as well as their ability to fully defend our products against the most harmful microbes.

References

https://chemistscorner.com/how-to-prevent-contamination-in-cosmetic-products/

https://cosmetictestlabs.com/five_most_common_types_of_preservatives_used_in_cosmetics.html

https://www.bathbybettijo.com/preservatives.php

https://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/research/chemistry/Phenoxyethanol-as-a-Safe-and-Important-Preservative-in-Personal-Carepremium-256198651.html