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!

How to Build a Skin Care Routine

I can’t tell you how often I speak with clients who are overwhelmed by all the products available for skin care today and further confused by massive marketing campaigns. Who wouldn’t be confused and exasperated!  Our goal at Bee Naturals is to help you understand your skin, what it tells you every day, and how to understand, not only how to decipher ingredient labels, but how to discern which of these ingredients are best to help you achieve a healthy, glowing complexion. We want you to be educated, so you can make the best choices for you!

First, What Is My Skin Type?Build a Skin Care Routine

It’s essential to understand your true skin type. It takes a bit more investigation than you might think, initially, but don’t worry, we have an easy tool to help make this easier. This step is vital to selecting the best, most effective products for you, which will ultimately save you money, waste, and deliver the results you want and deserve, minus surprises and disappointment. There are 4 key factors that must be taken into consideration besides the typical, Normal, Oily/Acneic, Combination, and Dry types scenarios. Ask yourself, or a professional esthetician these key questions:

Dehydration, Inflammation, Pigmentation and Wrinkles

Take dehydration, for example, did you know you can have extremely oily skin that is also dehydrated? Yes, it can absolutely be dehydrated and we see it frequently. Even the oiliest complexions need to:

Avoid drying, harsh cleansers and to hydrate (moisture, not oil)

Is your skin sensitive or does it tend to ‘react’ to products or ingredients? If you answered yes, you’re prone to inflammation. Your skin ‘reacts’ to ingredients. Fragrance is the #1 reason people react to products. (yes, this means you should use primarily fragrance-free facial care products) We know you love that good smell, but often your complexion doesn’t. Even natural essential oils are a potential threat, though many people don’t think so.

Do you have freckles or ‘age spots’, or perhaps areas of darker color or discoloration?

Unless your skin is uniformly colored overall, if you have fair hair, eyes, a history of tanning and/or sunburns, you may have pigmentation issues. And even if you don’t have any of the general characteristics mentioned above, you can still have pigmentation issues.  An esthetician can look at your skin with a special light (Woods lamp) and actually see if you have pigmentation issues deep in your skin before they are visible to the naked eye. Genetics play a role in this issue as well as hormones.

Is your skin tight and firm, or are fines lines and/or wrinkles starting to show up?

Isn’t it frustrating to meet someone who is well into their 50’s, 60’s or even their 70’s and their skin is smooth and nearly free of lines, wrinkles and sagging? Some of us are just blessed with this skin type, genetically, but, keep in mind that poor lifestyle and skin care choices have an impact, so all is not lost. Not all skin ages the same way and if you’re not blessed with ‘ageless’ skin, then you have wrinkles or aging issues.

So what do these factors have to do with my skin type? Everything! These factors are critical subtypes to the basic Normal, Combination, Oily and Dry types. By knowing this information, in addition to your basic skin type, you can make much more accurate and informed choices of which products will best serve your needs and give you the healthy skin and results you want to see.

Second, Just a Bit of Science.

Our skin is our largest organ of the body. It protects us from external environmental assaults, pathogenic bacteria, and toxins. It regulates our temperature, serves as a waste disposal system and so much more, so it only makes sense to take good care of this organ that takes such good care of us.

Whether you’re an ‘I wash my face with soap’ person or an ‘I use multiple serums, elixirs, and trendy anti-aging creams and moisturizers’ type, we’re here for you to help demystify this complex topic by providing solid, science-based information that will empower you to save money while achieving glowing, healthy skin.

Building a Basic Skin Care Routine

Even the busiest of us can agree on this:

  • Cleanse – keep your skin clean
  • Moisturize- keep your skin supple and moist
  • Protect – Use sunscreen to prevent UV damage

If your skin, both on both your face and body are healthy and not dry, excessively oily/acneic, or inflamed, the routine above may well be all you need or want, just keep these principles in mind when choosing the 3 products you will use to cleanse, moisturize and protect.

Step I: Cleansing

Although pure soap has been around for millennia, it is by nature, alkaline to some extent, and therefore drying to some degree, depending on the soap itself. We don’t recommend it if you are the least bit prone to dry skin. Alkaline cleansers, such as soap are inherently drying. If you choose to use a pure soap product, ask if it is enriched with oils and or humectants to help offset the dry effect. Look for added ingredients such as glycerin, honey, propanediol, or plant oils such as coconut, or avocado oils. 

We prefer, especially for facial care, the newer generation surfactants (cleanser ingredients) such as decyl glucoside, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate and coco glucoside, to name a few. We avoid the use of sodium lauryl sulfate, as it is too harsh and drying. Many of these are derived from natural sources and clean well, but without over-cleaning, or cleaning too well. Squeaky clean is NOT good, especially for your face. You want to remove dirt, excess oil and debris- not turn your skin into the Sahara Desert.

How:  AM & PM

So, after you have selected your cleanser based on our chart below with recommendations, using lukewarm water, wet your dedicated face cloth, apply cleanser to your face, or the cloth, (your preference) and gently, but thoroughly massage your cleanser over your entire face, jawline and neck, then rinse with tepid water, thoroughly. Gently and lightly pat (don’t rub) your face almost dry. Leave it just a bit damp and immediately proceed to Step II.

Step II: Moisturize 

Select the most appropriate moisturizer for your skin type, based on our chart below. The choice of moisturizer based on the needs of your skin is imperative. If it’s too rich, your skin may feel greasy or looks shiny; conversely, if your skin is on the drier side, you will need a heavier or richer moisturizer to compensate for your skin’s lack of natural oils. If you find that your skin still feels too dry, you’ll likely want to select a richer moisturizer. It should make your skin feel and look good, Moist, and dewy.

How: AM & PM

While your skin is still slightly damp, apply your selected moisturizer to your skin and gently massage it in using upward movement. Your moisturizer, applied to damp skin, acts to help seal in the moisture and keeps your skin better hydrated throughout the day, or night. Moisturizer helps prevent what is technically called TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss). Too much TEWL causes dehydrated skin, not necessarily dry skin.

Step III: Protect

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun, (even on cloudy days) is the #1 cause of premature skin aging (sagging, coarse texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation)!  This damage to the skin causes the breakdown of collagen, too, and is cumulative and irreversible!  So, do we have your attention?

How: AM

Select the sunscreen/protective product of your choice. We are advocates of non-chemical sunscreen products, such as zinc oxide (remember lifeguards at the pool?) Zinc oxide blocks both UVA and UVB rays and is well tolerated by most people. Look for a zinc oxide concentration of 25% for the best protection and apply it liberally. Reapply, if you’re perspiring during heavy physical activity or swimming.

9 Tips For Caring for Your Hands

A lot of life happens through our hands. With them, we labor, love, and care for ourselves and others. Although people commonly look to your face to determine your age, your hands are one of the key giveaways of your real age. And like your face, if improperly cared for, your hands can make you look older than you really are. And nobody wants that! 

While handwashing has always been an important part of a healthy routine, it is emphasized now more than ever as an essential task in the prevention and spread of disease. Add with the constant use of alcohol-based sanitizers, your hands are likely feeling a little unloved.

We want to share our simple techniques to keep your hands looking (and feeling) their best.

Caring for Your Hands

1. Start with a Gentle Soap

Many of today’s commercial soaps are riddled with harsh detergents that can strip your hands of their natural, protective barrier. Certain ingredients, such as sulfates and parabens can cause irritation and other health concerns. Science has generally concluded that plain soap is effective against the spread of disease. (1)

We recommend using a gentle, ‘milky’ type hand wash, such as Bee Naturals Aromatherapy Self Foaming Hand Wash.  This detergent and sulfate-free soap is made with honey and coconut oil, which are naturally antibacterial and rich in emollients. 

2. Exfoliate the Right Way

Exfoliation should be a part of your healthy skincare routine. It removes dead skin cells and aids in improving circulation for the healthy growth of new cells. And that brightened look adds to the youthful appearance of your skin. 

There are two ways you can exfoliate your skin: chemically and mechanically. Chemical exfoliation is done through Alpha-hydroxy acids or Beta-hydroxy acids. These treatments are typically reserved for the face, depending on your skin type.

Mechanical exfoliation is a great way to ‘scrub’ your dead skin cells away. We recommend using a gentle sugar-based scrub like our Citrus Splash Sugar Scrub, or our Honey Sugar Scrub. Use these scrubs several times a week to remove dry, flakey skin. You’ll love the silky-soft feeling of your hands.

3. Avoid Extremes

In your quest to kill the germs taking up residence on your hands, you might find yourself wanting to use extremely hot water. However, studies have shown that neither hot nor cold water plays part in the efficacy of bacterial removal. (2) In fact, extremely hot or cold water can cause undue stress to the skin. 

Harsh chemicals used for cleaning can also strip our skin of necessary moisture. It’s a good practice to wear rubber gloves when cleaning.

4. Hydrate

As is the case with many commercial hand soaps, a significant amount of moisturizing products contain ingredients that can be harmful to your skin. Petroleum-based products are a cheap way to soften skin, but they have a dark side. Studies point to potential toxicity if petroleum isn’t properly refined for use in skincare products. (3) Furthermore, many of these products are occlusive, blocking your skin’s natural ability to hydrate and maintain its moisture balance.

Instead, try using creams that contain cocoa butter, beeswax, shea butter, and avocado oil. These ingredients give your skin a nourishing drink of hydration without compromise. We recommend our Bee Naturals Ultra Rich Hand Creme. This emollient-loaded formula soothes even the most severely dry, chapped skin.

5. Show Your Nails Love, Too

Part of your hands’ appearance and health involves showing your nails and cuticles some love. Trimming cuticles was once a part of the manicure process. However, health care professionals recommend against the practice as it opens pathways for harmful bacteria to enter the body.

Instead, try soaking your hands in warm water, then use a cuticle stick to push them back. Follow up by massaging in Bee Naturals Cuticle and Nail Oil for healthy, supple cuticles and nails.

6. When You Sanitize…

In our busy, on-the-go world, you don’t always have access to soap and water. Sanitizers are an effective guard against germs and bacteria (although washing is always the most effective option). Because the CDC recommends using a sanitizer with at least  60% alcohol, you can count on your skin getting sapped of its protective moisture barrier. 

Have you seen our Bee Naturals Aromatherapy Hand Sanitizer?  The refreshing scent of lavender and orange, combined with skin-softening glycerin make our sanitizer a handy, luxurious way to protect you and your loved ones.

7. Sun Protection

When you apply sunscreen, you are likely diligent in covering your face, shoulders, and arms. The tops of your hands, however, might get overlooked. Guard against brown spots, aging, and the harmful effects of UV damage by applying SPF 30 often.

8. Guard Against Aging

Because our hands, like our faces, can show signs of aging, using a high-quality anti-aging serum with Vitamin C and/or peptides can help maintain your hands’ youthful appearance. Wanting a more in-depth look at the benefits of peptides in the battle against aging? We’ve covered that topic on this blog

You’ll love our Bee Naturals Ultra AA Serum, loaded with the best anti-aging ingredients science and nature have to offer. We recommend sharing the love with your hands, after applying this serum to your face, as part of your morning skincare routine.

9. Treat Your Hands to a Spa Day

Looking for a way to pamper yourself or a loved one? (Or, have your loved one pamper you?) Treat your hands to a spa day by using our Bee Naturals Detox Facial Mask. Follow up by massaging Bee Naturals Hand and Body Nectar onto your hands, then wrapping them in a warm towel. 

Are you looking for more ways to improve your skin’s overall appearance and health? We’d love to connect with you! At Bee Naturals, we are committed to formulating and producing skin and body care products that help promote healthy skin and body for your overall well-being.

Sources:

  1. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/7/2/70-0225_article
  2. Hot water and hand washing
  3. http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/petrolatum/

You may also be interested in:

Beat the Itch: 4 Easy to Avoid Dry Skin in Winter

Answers to Questions About Hand Sanitizer

Cuticle Nail Oil Pen

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

Key Benefits of Niacinamide (Vit. B3)

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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!

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Products that contain NIACINAMIDE (Vit. B3)

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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!