Discover the Science Behind Topical Probiotic Skincare

Science

  • Education Corner: What Are Topical Probiotics?

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    What are topical probiotics?

    Probiotics in skincare draw a similar parallel to their usage in dietary supplement form. We ingest probiotics (living beneficial bacteria) orally to support overall body immunity. Our recognition and research into the skin as the immune organ that it is, has allowed us to launch an incredibly powerful skincare system that harnesses the most beneficial components of probiotics for topical application. These probiotic derivatives support and strengthen the skin's immune system for the ultimate defense against environmental aggressors that cause it to age, as well as give the skin the tools it needs to repair and rejuvenate itself naturally. Clinically, topical probiotic usage leads to a dramatic reduction in the visible signs of aging, including lines and wrinkles, unwanted pigmentation, rough texture, irritation and dullness. Long-term usage leads to a healthier and more radiant complexion.

  • 5 Reasons Why Your Skin is Misbehaving

    blog-5-reasonCleanse. Treat. Moisturize. Repeat twice daily. That is the universal formula for clear, radiant and youthful skin, right? Not necessarily. Even if you follow a strict regimen on a daily basis to keep your skin clean, healthy and wrinkle-free, there are some personal habits that could be preventing your skin from unleashing its natural glow. Take a peek at our list of radiance-zapping culprits to figure out if you need to fine-tune your daily routine.

    YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO SAY “NO” TO JUNK FOOD.

    The old adage “you are what you eat” is very true – especially when it comes to your skin. When your belly isn’t happy and your body is lacking the necessary nutrients to get through the day, it can absolutely affect the way your skin acts, feels and looks. The next time you shop for groceries, forgo the “Chips and Soft Drinks” aisle and load up on fresh produce and probiotic-rich foods instead. Fresh fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that help naturally protect your skin from free radical damage and also support healthy collagen production and increased elasticity. The skin and your gut are very closely connected and incorporating probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha into your diet can encourage healthy bacteria to flourish in the gut. Refined carbs and processed foods are very effective in throwing off this healthy bacteria balance, which can ultimately lead to bad bacteria seeping into your bloodstream causing inflammation that is reflected in your skin.

    RETINOL ISN’T A PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE.

    Are you noticing more wrinkles on your face and neck? Are you wondering why your acne didn’t disappear when you graduated from high school? If you’re shaking your head “yes” to one, or both, of these questions, you need to think about adding a retinol product to your skincare regimen. Research proves that retinol is the key to boosting cell turnover, which results in ridding the skin of bacteria-causing acne and softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Another added bonus? Retinol can also promote a smoother texture and increase your skin’s radiance.

    YOU THINK SPF IS ONLY FOR BEACH DAYS.

    Whether you live in the bone-chilling tundra of Alaska or call the blistering 120° temperatures of Arizona home, you need to wear sunscreen every single day. Skin cancer is on the rise, ladies – and your most effective tool for preventing those harmful UV rays from damaging your skin is using a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. SPF also prevents sun-induced damage like brown spots, blotchiness and skin discoloration. Sun damage causes skin to age prematurely, so slathering on SPF 30 on a daily basis can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles from creeping in before you want them to.

    YOU PROBABLY AREN’T REMOVING YOUR MAKE-UP AS WELL AS YOU THINK.

    How many times have you washed your face at the end of the day, only to see some faint “raccoon eyes” in the mirror when you reach for the towel to dry off? Every woman has. And if you’re like most women, the sight of make-up residue triggers you scrub your eye area with excessive force while drying. This is doing way more harm than good to the delicate skin on your face. You can negate this issue by investing in a sulfate-free, oil cleanser. Skincare professionals suggest that the foamier the cleanser, the more effective it is at removing make-up and daily toxins that can wreak havoc on your skin. Start by squeezing the cleanser onto dry hands, and apply to dry skin. Add a splash of water to your hands to form a milky emulsion. Rinse clean and pat dry. If you see any make-up on your towel, repeat the process until your towel turns up make-up free.

    YOU THINK THE BEST WAY TO COMBAT ADULT ACNE IS BY TURNING YOUR FACE INTO A DESERT.

    When you have a breakout, only the lesion needs to be treated with a drying agent such as Benzoyl Peroxide, not your entire face. Applying a drying agent all over your face can disrupt your skin’s pH balance, triggering excessive oil production – the exact opposite result we’re aiming for here. When you have a breakout, reach for a product that is rich salicylic acid post-cleansing to stop that blemish in its tracks. If you’re still feeling overly cautious about moisturizing your face mid-breakout, use a gentle moisturizer that is designed to hydrate and nourish the skin without triggering a breakout or an inflammatory response.

    denise-headshotDenise Prichard has been an avid beauty, health and nutrition writer for over five years - specializing in wellness, skincare, yoga & meditation, and clean eating recipes. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. She believes that beauty comes from within and can be achieved through a health driven lifestyle. Denise practices what she preaches as she is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, blogging about beauty & skincare tips (she is the skincare model for her company’s brand videos), inventing yummy and nutritious recipes and of course hanging out with her rescue dogs, Eleanor & Stevie. 

  • What the Heck is Tech Neck?

    tech-neckLet’s face it, we are all in constant state of looking at our phones – whether we’re looking at Facebook, Instagram, texting with loved ones or checking our email. Technology has become uber-prominent over the last 10 years or so, and it is only projected to take up even more of our time as more things switch over to a strictly digital platform. I mean, just think about it. When was the last time you left your phone at home and didn’t go into a sheer panic?

    Since most women, and even men for that matter, are constantly looking for ways to stave off the effects of aging, what if I told you that your phone might be the main culprit of those wrinkles developing on your neck? There’s even a name for this: it’s called “Tech Neck.”

    The Scary Truth About America’s Tech Addiction

    According to DigitalTrends.com, the average American spends 4.7 hours per day on their phone – this comes out to a whopping 71 DAYS per year on our phones. To put this even more into perspective, the average American only gets about 6.8 hours of sleep every night. Yep, that’s right. That’s only a two-hour difference. Considering most of us need at least 8 hours of sleep per night to function properly during the day, I think it’s safe to say that our technology addiction is playing a huge part in our sleep deficit.

    When Tech Can Literally Be a Pain in the Neck

    Staring down at our phones or tablets can cause quite a “pain in the neck.” But all lame joke attempts aside, this phenomenon is causing some serious creases in your neck. Because the skin is particularly thin in that area, it is prone to deep wrinkles that can develop faster than other parts of our body.

    Another factor? Your head ways A LOT more than you think. We all remember that infamously adorable scene from Jerry Maguire where Renee Zellweger’s on-screen son asks Tom Cruise, “Did you know that the human head weighs 8 pounds?!”

    Well, in reality, the average human head weighs closer to 10 or 11 pounds. Sure that doesn’t seem like a lot, but when we are looking down at our phones at a 45-degree angle, the head weighs closer to 49 pounds which can put a lot of excess strain on the neck. It also forces our neck skin to crinkle.

    Remedies for “Tech Neck”

    First and foremost, challenge yourself to be more physically present and cut down your time on your phone. The world is a beautiful place and you will have more time to enjoy it if you step away from your tech devices. If this isn’t possible, then at least be more aware of your posture when checking your texts, emails and while your perusing your social media channels.

    Also, think about investing in an anti-aging treatment that made specifically for your neck area. Our NECK-CESSITY Anti-Aging Treatment Neck & Décolletage contains our very own Enhanced Retinoid Complex and Smart Peptide 189 to help prevent and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. An added bonus? It also infuses skin with vitamin C to help brighten and detoxify the skin while protecting it from free radical damage.

    About the Author:
    denise-headshotDenise Prichard has been an avid beauty, health and nutrition writer for over five years - specializing in wellness, skincare, yoga & meditation, and clean eating recipes. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. She believes that beauty comes from within and can be achieved through a health driven lifestyle. Denise practices what she preaches as she is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, blogging about beauty & skincare tips (she is the skincare model for her company’s brand videos), inventing yummy and nutritious recipes and of course hanging out with her rescue dogs, Eleanor & Stevie.

  • The 4 Ingredients You Should Never Allow in Your Skincare Products

    sulfate-free-girlOver the last decade or so, more and more people have been jumping on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon – or pursuing a “greener” and “cleaner” life. We fill our plates with nutritious foods, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly and some of us have even adopted a daily meditation ritual to help better our health and well-being. However, despite our best efforts, we could still be exposing ourselves to an insane amount of toxins on a daily basis. In fact, some researchers have even suggested that the average woman uses products that contain 168 chemical ingredients on a daily basis. Yeah, let that bit of information sink in for a minute.

    How is this possible, you ask? Well, what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in our bodies. Our skin is not only the largest organ, it is a highly-absorbent one as well. The last thing I want to do is create fear in you of everyday products, but it is essential that we all pay special attention to the ingredient listings on the back of our skincare, haircare, hygiene and beauty products.

    Before heading to checkout – whether it’s online or in-store – make sure you don’t see any of the following toxic ingredients included in your products:

    Sulfates

    Usually listed as Sodium Laureth (or Lauryl) Sulfate (SLS) or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), this toxic ingredient is one that you should really look out for. Why? Because its only purpose for being included in your shampoos, body washes and facial cleansers is to create a foamy, frothy lather. Seriously, that is its only purpose. Don’t let any shady advertising fool you – even though sulfates are derived from coconuts, these bad boys are far from safe or natural. Not only will they strip your hair and skin of their natural oils, they are frequently laced with 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide, the former being a known human carcinogen and the latter being a possible human carcinogen. Let’s just err on the side of caution and avoid sulfates at all costs.

    Parabens

    Oh man, this one is a biggie. You have probably heard about the dangers that parabens can cause to the human body, but in case you haven’t, allow me to enlighten you. There have been multiple studies that link parabens to cancer – more specifically breast cancer. Just take a look at this study in which they found an unnerving amount of parabens in human breast tissue in the group that used deodorant containing parabens. Unfortunately, staying away from parabens isn’t as simple as you think since they are included in a bevy of everyday products like deodorants, skincare products, haircare products, makeup – this list goes on. So, please check those labels and research healthier alternatives.

    Phthalates

    Okay, this is a tough one because phthalates are used in so many things. Phthalates are mainly used to make things softer and more flexible, which is why you can find them plastics, furniture, toys, cosmetics and even food. Yep. You read that correctly. One study even found that there were high concentrations of phthalates in dairy, meats and oils – just to name a few. Phthalates, whether applied topically or ingested, can lead to fertility and motility problems, not mention that they can cause irreversible damage to sperm DNA. It’s especially important to avoid these toxic molecules during pregnancy because prenatal exposure has been linked to behavioral disorders such as aggression, depression, and ADD. Oh, and if I haven’t scared you enough, phthalates can also increase your risk of developing cancer, endometriosis, asthma and eczema and can cause obesity. In cosmetics and skincare products, they disguise themselves as a molecule that’s attached to a synthetic fragrance. However, not all fragrances are bad; bioidentical fragrances are more natural, hypoallergenic alternatives that mimic essential oils. The moral of this story? Research the beauty products you use on a daily basis.

    Mineral Oil

    Beware of this toxic ingredient because it disguises itself under a few different names, including white oil, liquid paraffin and liquid petroleum. Other than the fact that applying mineral oil literally does NOTHING for your skin (you read that correctly), it can also aggravate chronic skin conditions like acne, dermatitis and eczema. It also negatively affects skin function which can lead to premature aging. Mineral oil is unable to penetrate the skin and instead creates a shiny film, which is why your mom has probably suggested using it as a tanning oil (seriously, don’t do that).  Your skin is your largest organ and it works synergistically with your liver and kidneys to detoxify your body. When your skin can’t breathe, it certainly cannot aid in the detoxification process. If the reasons listed above can’t convince you to say goodbye to mineral oil, maybe this will: the use of petroleum products increase your risk of developing cancer. Petroleum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),which have a strong link to cancer development. Can we also agree that the use of petroleum has an extremely negative impact on the Earth? The fact that its production significantly contributes to pollution and the release of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere should be enough to convince us to stop using these products.

    The scary facts above are the exact reasons why we don’t include any of these toxic ingredients in our skincare products. We care about you, your family and Mother earth. We should also mention that we care equally for animals and NEVER test our products on them. Let’s keep our bodies and our planet clean, y’all!

    denise-headshotDenise Prichard has been an avid beauty, health and nutrition writer for over five years - specializing in wellness, skincare, yoga & meditation, and clean eating recipes. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. She believes that beauty comes from within and can be achieved through a health driven lifestyle. Denise practices what she preaches as she is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, blogging about beauty & skincare tips (she is the skincare model for her company’s brand videos), inventing yummy and nutritious recipes and of course hanging out with her rescue dogs, Eleanor & Stevie. 

  • 5 Unexpected Things You Are Doing That Cause Acne

    acneBy now, you have probably read your fair share of skincare articles that tell you that one of the keys to nipping acne in the bud for clear, radiant skin starts with a healthy inside. For the most part, this information is very accurate – if you’re fueling up on empty calories that are riddled with preservatives (chips, soda, fast food, etc.), not only are you going to feel terrible, your skin will start to look and feel that way too.

    Filling up on fresh produce, drinking plenty of water and upping your protein intake creates balance in your diet and can also help you attain that vibrant, clear and youthful complexion that every skin-savvy gal wants.

    But is cutting out junk food enough to battle breakouts?

    The bad news: there are a ton of acne triggers that we expose ourselves to on a daily basis – even some that don’t seem like they have anything to do with skincare at all (just check out #2 on our list below).

    The good news: these triggers can be completely avoidable!

    Read on to learn about these unexpected acne-causers and what you can do to help rid your lives of them.

    1. You may be feeding a minor food allergy.

    Sure, you may follow a sensible diet, but if you are still experiencing breakouts on a regular basis, it may be time to look at what you are filling up your plates with. The most common food allergens associated with chronic skin conditions, mainly acne, are gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol and sugar. If avoiding these allergens altogether seems like an impossible battle you aren’t willing to take on, I get it – I find myself daydreaming about cheese on a daily basis and I wouldn’t even be able to write this article without my morning java. The good news is, just because you’re sensitive to one of these common food allergens doesn’t mean you’re sensitive to all of them. Try nixing one allergen at a time for two weeks to see how you feel and how your skin reacts. Keep a food diary during these trials and take note if you ended up breaking out after you re-introduce that allergen back into your diet.

    2. You’re using the wrong toothpaste.

    See, I told you. Mind BLOWN. But just hear me out. If you experience unpleasant bumps around your lips, then you may need to look at your toothpaste as the culprit. “Common ingredients seen in mainstream toothpaste formulations, such as fluoride and sulfates, have shown to be potential triggers in an acne-like condition around the mouth, known as perioral dermatitis,” says Daniel Clary, L.E., C.O.E. and the Director of Global Education at GLOWBIOTICS MD. We suggest sticking to more natural toothpastes that don’t contain these ingredients. And before you get upset about us taking your whitening toothpaste away… have no fear, there are plenty of natural toothpastes with whitening capabilities out there!

    3. You’re disrupting your skin’s natural pH.

    Just like you, your skin needs balance to stay happy and function properly. The next time you cleanse your face, take a look at the ingredients listed on the bottle. If you see the words Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate or their abbreviations (SLS or SLES, respectively) then it is time to say goodbye to your cleanser. Cleansers with sulfates will make your skin extremely alkaline and will throw off its natural pH which can trigger inflammation when your skin is exposed to environmental factors. Look for a cleanser that is 100% sulfate-free to help your skin maintain proper pH, hydration, vitality… and happiness.

    4. Bright lights, big city… bad breakouts. Let’s detox to retox!

    Living in a city like LA or New York, or a highly-congested area of any city, you are going to be exposed to more pollutants than the dwellers of suburbia. Even if you maintain a proper diet, you still need to up your detoxification game to rid your body of harmful toxins.

    Here are a couple of tips to help you get the process started:

    • - Try practicing yoga a few times a week. Twists help aid in the detoxification process – plus they feel really good!!!
    • - Take regular Epsom salt baths to help draw out toxins as your body absorbs vital magnesium. Aim for 3 to 4 times a week. I like to take my Epsom salt baths after my yoga workouts since they aid in muscle recovery and also help you stay “zened out” even after Savasana.
    • - Use treatment products or masks that are specifically made to purify your skin. Try using this daily treatment that includes Chelasyn, an ingredient that helps detoxify the skin; once or twice a week, use a purifying clay mask to help gently draw out daily environmental toxins. May I suggest doing a mask while taking an Epsom salt bath? Sounds like heaven!
    • - Apply a sun shield every morning before going outside that is rich is protective zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

     

    5. Your skincare routine hasn’t changed all year – or ever.

    Remember that saying, “Variety is the spice of life!”? Well, the same thing can be said for your skincare regimen. We are constantly reminded to eat seasonally by health & wellness experts for optimal health, but did you know that you also need to switch up your skincare lineup seasonally too? What your thirsty and wind-chapped skin needs in the winter is wildly different than what your sweaty and sticky skin needs in the summer. Heavy creams that are cold-weather appropriate may be too rich for your skin in the summer and can cause breakouts; your lightweight, oil-absorbing hydrator may not be moisturizing enough to withstand frigid temperatures and can also cause breakouts if your skin gets irritated enough.

    And while we’re on the subject if switching up skincare products, if you’re still under the impression that the Benzoyl Peroxide-loaded face wash you used in high school to combat breakouts is appropriate to use in your 30s and 40s, you are wrong. Just like your skin requires different vitamins and nutrients as the seasons change, as you age (gracefully, of course), your skin’s needs also change. Instead of piling on harsh topical acne fighters that will only anger your skin, try using a gentle acne cleanser with 2% Salicylic Acid, and an oil-absorbing hydrator to maintain balance.

    denise-headshotDenise Prichard has been an avid beauty, health and nutrition writer for over five years - specializing in wellness, skincare, yoga & meditation, and clean eating recipes. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. She believes that beauty comes from within and can be achieved through a health driven lifestyle. Denise practices what she preaches as she is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, blogging about beauty & skincare tips (she is the skincare model for her company’s brand videos), inventing yummy and nutritious recipes and of course hanging out with her rescue dogs, Eleanor & Stevie. 

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