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What is Ferulic acid?

Ferulic Acid is a plant-based antioxidant found in the cell walls of plants such as rice and oats and the seeds of apples and oranges, where it plays a key role in the plants’ protection and self-preservation.

What is it used for?

Ferulic acid is primarily used in anti-aging skincare. When applied topically, ferulic acid acts like other antioxidants in that it helps to slow the ageing process by reducing the effects of damaging free radicals on the skin. It is also thought to protect against sun damage, as well as assisting in skin’s regeneration functions to tackle skin that has already been over-exposed.

Ferulic acid can inhibit the enzymes responsible for melanogenesis (production of melanin) that may cause pigmentation and uneven skin tone. That’s the reason it is used mostly in anti-blemish and skin lightening cosmetics, to help prevent further damage.

In addition to working well alongside other antioxidants, it enhances the stability and the efficacy of vitamins C and E. Ferulic acid is thought to help stabilize vitamin C while also increasing its photoprotection. A recent study suggests that ferulic acid can potentially offer twice the amount of photoprotection when combined with vitamins C and E.

Because vitamin C is not very shelf-stable on its own, since it degrades quickly, especially when exposed to sunlight. This is why vitamin C goes well with Ferulic Acid in formulas otherwise vitamin C serums ought to come in opaque or amber-colored bottles.

Forms of Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid is available in foods, supplements as well as in anti-aging serums and other skincare products. However, ferulic acid supplements don’t appear to have the same potency for skin health as serums containing ferulic acid do.

Top 12 foods rich in Ferulic Acid

  1. Bran
  2. Oats
  3. Rice
  4. Citrus
  5. eggplant
  6. Apple seeds
  7. Chocolate, dark
  8. Hard wheat
  9. Common wheat
  10. refined flour
  11. whole grain flour
  12. dried date

Ferulic Acid Side Effects

Overall, Ferulic Acid is considered relatively same for most skin types. However, in those with very sensitive skin, there is a possibility of developing an allergic reaction to Ferulic Acid. If there is a known allergy to any of the foods containing Ferulic Acid, the likelyhood of an allergic reaction is high. To test if you one is allergic, apply the product in a small area. Cease use of any products containing Ferulic Acid if redness, rash, hives, itchiness or skin peeling occurs.

References:
Phenol Explorer
Healthline
Dermstore
Skinceruticals
Allure
Very Well Health
Vogue UK
Women’s Health Mag
StyleCraze
2005 Ferulic Acid Study

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Skin Benefits of Avocado Oil

Below are a list of benefits that have been found in avocado oil

1. Moisturizes and nourishes
2. Relieves inflammation from psoriasis and eczema
3. Prevents and treats acne
4. Accelerates wound healing
5. Treats sunburned skin
6. Reduces signs of aging
7. Improves nail health
8. Improves scalp health

Moisturizes and nourishes

In addition to vitamin E, avocado oil contains potassium, lecithin, and many other nutrients that can nourish and moisturize the skin.

The outermost layer of skin, known as the epidermis, easily absorbs these nutrients, which also help to form new skin.

Relieves inflammation from psoriasis and eczema

The antioxidants and vitamins in avocado oil may help to heal the dry, irritated, and flaky skin associated with eczema and psoriasis.

A person with a skin condition may wish to test a patch of skin first, to ensure that the oil does not trigger or aggravate their symptoms.

Prevents and treats acne

When left on for short periods of time and rinsed off with warm water, avocado oil can keep skin hydrated without leaving an oily residue. This may reduce the risk of acne.

Avocado oil also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne.

Accelerates wound healing

Avocado oil may help wounds to heal more quickly. One 2013 study found that the essential fatty acids and oleic acid in avocado oil can promote collagen synthesis, which is the process of creating new connective tissue.

The essential fatty acids in avocado oil were also found to help reduce inflammation during the healing process.

More studies are needed in humans, however, to determine whether avocado oil can be used to treat wounds.

Treats sunburned skin

The antioxidants in avocado oil may help to ease the symptoms of a sunburn. According to a 2011 review, the vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin D, protein, lecithin, and essential fatty acids in the oil can support healing and soothe the skin.

Other small studies have shown that consuming avocados may help to protect the skin from harmful UV radiation.

Reduces signs of aging

The first signs of aging usually appear on the skin. Some studies have shown that consuming healthful fats, such as those found in avocados, can help the skin to retain its suppleness elasticity through it moisturizing effects.

Can Improve nail health

While some people use avocado oil to heal dry, brittle nails, little scientific evidence confirms this benefit.

On the other hand, using natural oils to keep the nails, skin and surrounding areas soft may help to reduce breakage.

Improves scalp health

When avocado oil is applied to the scalp as a hot oil mask, it can help to reduce dandruff and other problems caused by a dry, flaky scalp.

References

  1. Medical News Today
  2. One Green Planet
  3. Experience Life
  4. Live About

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Does Your Sunscreen Have the Right Photostabilizers?
For your convenience, below are a list of stable ingredients in sunscreen. Not all of the following are FDA approved. Some are found in exclusive to other countries.

Zinc oxide
Titanium dioxide
Stabilized Avobenzone
Tinosorb S
Tinosorb M
Mexoryl SX
Mexoryl XL
Octocrylene
Uvinul T 150
Enzacamene (4-Methylbenzilidene Camphor)
Uvinul A Plus
Parsol SLX

References

  1. Sunscreen Ingredients and Coverage Chart
  2. UV Filters Chart
  3. Sunscreen Stability Avobenzone
  4. List of stable sunscreen UV filters (not all are FDA approved)
  5. WebMD
  6. Very Well Health
  7. List of FDA Approved Sunscreen Ingredients

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Ingredient Breakdown for Choosing the Right SPF

Sunscreens help shield you from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays in two ways. Some work by scattering the light, reflecting it away from your body. Others absorb the UV rays before they reach your skin.

You’ll want a sunscreen with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA. Ingredients with broad-spectrum protection include benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX).

SPF 15 or higher for UVB protection
The SPF factor rates how effective the sunscreen is in preventing sunburn caused by UVB rays. If you’d normally burn in 10 minutes, SPF 15 multiplies that by a factor of 15, meaning you could go 150 minutes before burning.

For the vast majority of people, SPF 15 is fine, Leffell tells WebMD. But people who have very fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, or conditions like lupus that increase sensitivity to sunlight should consider SPF 30 or higher.

Keep in mind that the higher the SPF, the smaller the increased benefit: contrary to what you might think, SPF 30 isn’t twice as strong as SPF 15. While SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, SPF 30 filters out 97%, only a slight improvement.

UVA protection
Research showed that ultraviolet A rays (UVA) also increase skin cancer risk. While UVA rays don’t cause sunburn, they penetrate deeply into skin and cause wrinkles. There is no rating to tell you how good a sunscreen is at blocking UVA rays. So when it comes to UVA protection, you need to pay attention to the ingredients.

Look for a sunscreen that contains at least one of the following: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. Any of those should do the trick.

Avobenzone
Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) is the only chemical that absorbs the whole UVA spectrum from 310-400 nm. It does not provide any UVB absorption. The problem with avobenzone is that it breaks down in sunlight. As a matter of fact, 50 to 90 percent of this sunscreen is lost one hour after exposure to sunlight. A UVB absorbers like octocrylene make avobenzone much more stable.

Advantages: Blocks full UVA spectrum and does not cause skin irritation
Disadvantages: No UVB protection. Breaks down quickly in sunlight unless combined with certain UVB blockers.

Benzophenones
The benzophenones, oxybenzone, and dioxybenzone are a mixed bag of good and bad properties. They are a common ingredient not only in sunscreens but also in UV-protective fabrics. They are good UVA absorbers but they also absorb in the UVB range. The benzophenones aren’t as irritating as PABA but oxybenzone is the most irritating of all the sunscreen ingredients on the market now.

Advantages: Blocks a broad spectrum of UV radiation including UVA
Disadvantages: Irritating and not water resistant

Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide
Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are considered sun blockers rather than sunscreens. They offer protection against UVA rays but are limited by their opaque appearance. Sunblocks work as physical blockers, reflecting UV rays back off the skin.

Helioplex
Helioplex is a proprietary formula by Johnson & Johnson Neutrogena. This new formulation is a combination of several different UVA and UVB blockers plus stabilizers that keep the more sun-sensitive ingredients from breaking down. It is a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen that is not irritating. It comes in SPF’s of 55, 70, and 85. The active ingredients in Helioplex with their concentrations are:

Avobenzone (3 percent)
Oxybenzone (6 percent)
Octocrylene (2.8 percent)
Homosalate (10 percent in SPF 55 and 15 percent in SPF 70)
Octisalate (5 percent)
Mexoryl SX (Ecamsole)

The other names for this compound include terephthalylidene dicamphor sulfoic acid (TDSA), ecamsule, and Anthelios SX. L’Oreal Paris developed mexoryl and it has been used in Europe since 1982. In 2006 the FDA approved its use in the United States. It is combined with avobenzone and octocrylene and marketed in the US by La Roche Posay as Anthelios SX. This sunscreen is a broad-spectrum blocker that is water resistant, very stable in the sun, and not irritating to the skin. The active ingredients in Anthelios SX with their concentrations are:

Ecamsule (2 percent)
Avobenzone (2 percent)
Octocrylene (10 percent)

Meradimate
Meradimate contains the ingredient menthyl anthranilate which provides coverage against UVA rays though the coverage is not as extensive as Mexoryl or the benzophenones.

References

  1. Sunscreen Ingredients and Coverage Chart
  2. UV Filters Chart
  3. Sunscreen Stability Avobenzone
  4. List of stable sunscreen UV filters (not all are FDA approved)
  5. WebMD
  6. Very Well Health
  7. List of FDA Approved Sunscreen Ingredients

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What to Know When Choosing The Right SPF – A Closer Look into UVA & UVB Protection

Did you know UVB rays, are the main cause of sunburn and skin cancers? UVA rays also contributes to skin cancer and premature aging. Sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum” protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Only products that pass a certain test can be labeled “broad spectrum.” Products that aren’t broad spectrum must carry a warning that they only protect against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.

Make sure your sunscreen has a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers do mean more protection, but the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. No sunscreen protects you completely. The FDA requires any sunscreen with SPF below 15 to carry a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.

“Water resistant” does not mean “waterproof.” No sunscreens are waterproof or “sweatproof,” and manufacturers are not allowed to claim that they are. If a product’s front label makes claims of being water resistant, it must specify whether it lasts for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. For best results, reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and even more often if you are swimming or sweating. Sunscreen usually rubs off when you towel yourself dry, so you will need to put more on.

Other ways to stay sun-safe

In addition to choosing the right sunscreen and using it correctly, follow these steps to help protect your skin from sun damage that can cause premature aging and skin cancer:

  • Cover up when you are out in the sun with clothing and wide-brimmed hats to protect the skin.
  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV light.
  • Seek shade. Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially during the prime afternoon hours.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. Both cause long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.
  • Follow us on Instagram @MelisseBeauty for your Quick Reference Guide: Internal/External Skincare & Health for Young Radiant Skin.

    Browse our entire list of Beauty Topics for your Quick Reference Guide: Internal/External Skincare & Health for Young Radiant Skin.

    References:

    1. The National Center for Biotechnology Information
    2. American Cancer Society
    3. Skin Cancer Foundation

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    Know the Ingredients for UVA Protection

    Most sunscreen formulas offer reliable UVB protection, so your focus should be on the UVA. To ensure you are protected from the anti-ageing effects of the sun, it is essential for your sunscreen to have one of the following ingredients.

    UVA Active Ingredients ‘Broad Spectrum’

    1. Benzophenones (oxybenzone)
    2. Cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate)
    3. Sulisobenzone
    4. Salicylates
    5. Zinc Oxide
    6. Titanium Dioxide
    7. Avobenzone
    8. Ecamsule (often listed by its trade name, Mexoryl SX)

    In Europe, you have more options for UVA protection, such as: Mexoryl XL, the oil-soluble version of Mexoryl SX, Tinosorb S, and Tinosorb M. These ingredients have not been approved in the U.S. (but are under review). European sunscreens with these ingredients are unfortunately, inaccessible from U.S. retailers.

    References:

    1. verywellhealth
    2. Just About Ingredients
    3. Skincancer.org

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    A Closer Look into UVA & UVB Protection

    Did you know UVB rays, are the main cause of sunburn and skin cancers? UVA rays also contributes to skin cancer and premature aging. Sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum” protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

    Only products that pass a certain test can be labeled “broad spectrum.” Products that aren’t broad spectrum must carry a warning that they only protect against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.

    Make sure your sunscreen has a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers do mean more protection, but the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. No sunscreen protects you completely. The FDA requires any sunscreen with SPF below 15 to carry a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.

    Furthermore, “Water resistant” does not mean “waterproof.” No sunscreens are waterproof or “sweatproof,” and manufacturers are not allowed to claim that they are. If a product’s front label makes claims of being water resistant, it must specify whether it lasts for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. For best results, reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and even more often if you are swimming or sweating. Sunscreen usually rubs off when you towel yourself dry, so you will need to put more on.

    Other Ways to Stay Sun-Safe

    In addition to choosing the right sunscreen and using it correctly, follow these steps to help protect your skin from sun damage that can cause premature aging and skin cancer.

    1. Cover up. When you are out in the sun, wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV light.
    2. Seek shade. Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
    3. Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. Both can cause serious long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.

    References:

    1. The National Center for Biotechnology Information
    2. American Cancer Society
    3. Skin Cancer Foundation
    4. Time Magazine

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    Why is Vitamin C Essential to Skincare?

    The antioxidant properties of vitamin C(ascorbic acid) and its role in collagen synthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for skin health. Dietary and topical ascorbic acid have beneficial effects on skin cells, and some studies have shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage. Aging, however, causes a decline in vitamin C content in both the epidermis and dermis. Excessive exposures to UV light or pollutants may also lower vitamin C content.

    Vitamin C can be provided to the skin through topical application. The stratum corneum is the primary obstacle to efficient vitamin C absorption from external sources; removal of the stratum corneum by laser, chemical, or mechanical methods enhances absorption. Although similar studies are still required for humans, studies in laboratory animals show that percutaneous vitamin C absorption greatly depends on pH. Preparations with a pH below 4.0 aid in transport by promoting the uncharged form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid. Although concentrations of vitamin C up to 30% have been used for animal studies, maximal absorption was achieved with a 20% vitamin C solution, with higher concentrations showing lower absorption

    Vitamin C limits the damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Vitamin C is not a “sunscreen” because it does not absorb light in the UVA or UVB spectrum. Rather, the antioxidant activity of vitamin C protects against UV-induced damage caused by free radicals

    Topical application of vitamin C, alone or in combination with other compounds, may result in greater photoprotection than oral supplementation because of the more direct route of administration. In one mouse study, topical application of ascorbic acid delayed the effects of chronic high-dose UVB exposure on the skin, including a reduction in skin wrinkling and the development of skin tumors (13). In pig models, topical application of vitamin C reduced the number of sunburned cells, decreased erythema response, and reduced DNA damage induced by UVA exposure. Topically applied combinations of vitamin C and vitamin E are more effective in preventing photodamage than either vitamin alone. In particular, this combination of antioxidant vitamins decreased the immunosuppressive effects of UV exposure and decreased cell damage.

    In cell culture models, vitamin C supplementation has many beneficial effects in combating photodamage. Specifically, vitamin C has been shown to stabilize collagen mRNA, thus increasing collagen protein synthesis for repair of the damaged skin

    References:

  • Skin & Health
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    Dermato-Endocrinology studies suggest that as little as 5 min of UV exposure in nude mice caused enhanced deposition of Hyaluronic Acid, indicating that UV radiation induced skin damage is an extremely rapid event.

    When skin is exposed to excessive UVB rays, it becomes inflamed (sunburn) and the cells in the dermis stop producing as much Hyaluronic acid. As a result, will increase the rate of its degradation. Repeated and extensive exposures to UV ultimately simulate a typical wound healing response with deposition of scarlike type I collagen, rather than the usual types I and III collagen mixture that gives skin resilience and pliability.

    Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater. If you aren’t diligent about sun protection, even the most effective anti-aging ingredients won’t be able to deliver the results you want. Unprotected sun exposure is simply bad for skin. Daily use of sunscreen as directed, along with other sun protection measures, decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.

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    What’s the Importance of Toners?

    Applying facial toner is an essential step after cleansing and before moisturizing your face. Toners help to remove excess dirt, traces of oil and makeup, cleans pores, corrects and balance the pH of your skin, and helps control acne on acne prone skin.


    What could be standing between you and clear skin? Using a facial toner is considered to be one the most important steps in a skincare routine. Below are 6 main reasons to use a facial toner.

    1. Shrinks pores
    2. Restores your skin’s PH balance
    3. Adds protective layer by not only closing pores but tighten cell gaps after cleansing as well
    4. Primes and Moisturizes – Some toners are humectants, which means they help to bind moisture to the skin.
    5. It refreshes skin – In lieu of washing your skin when it’s oily or dirty, a few sprays of toner will leave your skin revitalized when you’re on the go.
    6. Toners containing glycolic acid or other alpha hydroxy acids can help to prevent ingrown hairs.

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    References:

    1. Cleure
    2. Today

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    Retinol (Vitamin A) products can help visibly diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, increase the appearance of firmness, improve uneven skin tone, smooth and refine the surface of skin, and help mitigate the effects of environmental stressors.

    All forms of retinol deteriorate when exposed to air and light, so make sure you only buy retinol products packaged in airtight, opaque containers. Avoid jar packaging!

    There are two forms of vitamin A: preformed or retinol vitamin A which is found in animal meats, and provitamin A or carotenoid vitamin A which is found in fruits and vegetables. Preformed vitamin A is easier for your body to absorb because it is able to convert into retinol by itself while the body must use energy to convert provitamin A into retinol. Both forms will eventually become retinoic acid, the retinoid most used by the body.

    Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy skin, immune function, reproduction, cellular communication and reproduction, bone, teeth, mucus membranes and other soft tissue. Women between ages 19-50 need approximately 700 mcg

    Foods that contain high levels of vitamin A are: Cod Fish liver, eggs, fortified cereals and milk, orange and yellow fruits, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and other dark leafy greens.

    On the skin, retinoids work at a much more profound level by affecting gene expression and causing enhanced collagen production, skin smoothing, and an evening of pigmentation.

    Gary Fisher, a professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Many over-the-counter formulas claim you’ll see results within weeks,” says Fisher. “But in my experience, it takes an average of 12 weeks for retinoic acid to produce noticeable changes in the skin. So stick with it for at least that long to see the benefits.”

    Follow us on Instagram @melissebeauty for your Quick Reference Guide: Internal/External Skincare & Health for Young Radiant Skin.

    The Difference Between Retin-A, Retinol, & Retinoid:
    https://stackedskincare.com/blogs/news/the-difference-between-retin-a-retinol-and-retinoid/

    Retinoid Myth Busters:
    https://www.allure.com/gallery/biggest-retinol-cream-myths

    What is Vitamin A?:
    http://www.vitaminrelief.org/vitamin-a/

    https://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/skincare-advice/anti-aging-wrinkles/retinol-for-anti-aging.html

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    Collagen for Skin Health
    Collagen is essential to young and healthy looking skin. After learning a bit about Collagen, We decided to dig deeper and ask the following questions.

    What is Collagen? Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues.

    Why do I need Collagen? From our early twenties onwards, the body’s own natural production process of collagen declines (falling by 1.5% per year). This means by the time we’re 40 we are actually producing 25% less collagen.

    How will Collagen contribute to my pursuit for young healthy looking skin? Collagen is the molecule that in conjunction with Hyaloronic Acid, maintains and improves on skin elasticity. Hyaloronic Acid is needed to bind Collagen to Elastin thus, improving skin elasticity.

    How effective is Collagen in serums and moisturizers? Fact: “Cosmetic products that claim to increase collagen levels are unlikely to do so, as collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin.” …”Such over-the-counter treatments are also not classified as drugs, meaning that there is no requirement for scientific validation of the claims made regarding their efficacy.” Therefore, for optimal results Collagen should be taken orally.

    Collagen Supplements come in different forms. Some of the most common forms of supplements are powder and pills. Collagen can be derived from many sources including bovine, fish, chicken and many more. The bioavailability varies depending on the source.
    #rawskincareregime

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    Tips for Controlling Oily Skin
    1. Keep blotting sheets on hand to touch up excess oil throughout the day.
    2. A matte moisturizer or foundation can also help soak up extra oil.
    3. Use lightweight moisturizers and gel-based cleansers.
    4. Blot areas of your face with enlarged pores throughout the day.
    5. Exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells, keep pores clean and reduce
    breakouts.

    **One benefit of oily skin is that you may not show signs of aging as quickly as those with dry skin.


    Frequent washing and/or exfoliating diminishes natural oil from the skin. This can cause an autoimmune response by the sebaceous glands, reacting by overproducing oils to compensate for the loss. A good rule of thumb is to wash only twice a day.


    Neglecting to apply sunscreen in the day can cause your skin to dry out. This also leads to an increased in sebum production. Sunscreen is recommended every single day.

    Follow us on Instagram @MelisseBeauty for your Quick Reference Guide: Internal/External Skincare & Health for Young Radiant Skin.

    References:

    1. EveryDayHealth
    2. Healthline

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    High vs. Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid

    Low-molecular weight HA has been broken down into smaller fragments. As a result, these smaller fragments can no longer form a gel with water like the large molecules. However, Low-molecular weight hyaluronic acid can penetrate the skin much easier and actually have a better anti-irritant and regenerating effect once absorbed by skin.


    High-molecular hyaluronic acid has a better hydrating effect than the low-molecular form of HA.

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    References:

    1. EveryDayHealth
    2. NCBI
    3. BareFacedTruth

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