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Why layer, and does product order really matter?

Ever wonder why we layer skincare products, and whether the order of products matter?  Most of us use multiple products and steps in our skincare routine.  Growing up in Japan and watching my mother, I learned at a young age that skincare was a meticulous ritual, layer by layer in a specific order, step-by-step.  But is layering just a question of habit or preference, or, are there benefits to it?

 

LAYERING WITH PURPOSE

Layering products facilitates flexibility and allows for each product and step to maximize its purpose and the delivery of its skincare benefits, from cleansing all the way to moisturizing and nourishing.  There are also questions about ingredient compatibility.  There are ingredients that simply don’t go together in the same formulation.  Some ingredients are water-soluble, others are fat soluble. Certain active ingredients may work best in certain types of formulations, while others would not.  Applying a multitude of actives can benefit our skin, but trying to pack them all into one single lotion might compromise the long-term stability of the formulation.   This is where it makes sense to layer separate products.  Certain targeted ingredients especially, should only be applied where needed, either because it would be a waste otherwise, or worse, because it might irritate skin unnecessarily.  Most of us to a greater or lesser degree have combination skin with some areas drier or oilier than others, some areas more than others prone to break-outs, age spots, sensitivities and wrinkles, etc.etc.  Our faces are puzzles, composed of areas that often have a life of their own.  Layering products allows us to give all puzzle pieces the right TLC.

 

WHY PRODUCT ORDER MATTERS

As a general rule of thumb, lighter texture products should be applied before heavier products, humectants (water binding ingredients) before an occlusive (“sealants” like oils, butters, creams, ointments) to allow for maximum results and benefits. This is not to say that skin would reap zero benefits if the order was reversed, but the effect would be slower and weaker.  Scroll down for recommended order in more detail.

 

WHY CHOOSE A SYSTEM

A lot of the guesswork can be taken out of layering and product order by choosing a core skincare system by one brand.  We’re talking daily staples like cleanser, toner, moisturizer, etc.  Most skincare systems are designed and formulated to ensure ingredient compatibility, overall efficacy and layering safety within the same system.  This is not to say that you should never mix & match from different brands. Especially when it comes to items like masks and exfoliators which fall outside of your daily system, it can be nice way to personalize your program.  Respect your skin’s balance and unique needs, read up on ingredients, plus good old trial & error, and you’ll be layering like a pro in no time!

 

STEP 1 (AM & PM):  

Make-up remover & Cleanser

If you wear make up, the first step is to remove make-up and cleanse skin with a gentle cleanser.  Thorough but non-stripping is key, no matter what your skin type.  If you use a separate oil or oil-based make-up remover, be sure to wipe and wash off any excess residue that could interfere with the treatment steps that follow.

 

STEP 2 (AM or PM, weekly or monthly depending on skin type and product): 

Exfoliator

Whether it’s a classic scrub, enzyme or glycolic treatment or a combination product, exfoliating should generally follow after cleansing (or coincide with it, if it is a 2-in-1 cleansing scrub).  Keep in mind that skin tends to be more sensitive after exfoliating, so you might want to avoid applying products then that might be too irritating on newly-exfoliated skin.  If you have very sensitive skin, stick to exfoliating in the evening, so you’re your skin can rest and recover overnight.

 

STEP 3 (AM & PM):  

Toner

Whether your toner is just a hydrosol mist or a hydrating treatment, it should be applied after cleansing (and exfoliating).  Especially if it’s a humectant-rich(e.g. contains hyaluronic acid), soothing toner, it will help counter the drying effects of tap water and draw hydration to skin quickly and efficiently.

 

STEP 4 (AM and/or PM, depending on skin and product):  

Break-out treatment

Anti-acne actives should be applied only to affected areas and spots, to bare skin after toning but before other products are layered on top, in order to allow full acne-fighting efficacy.  Depending on severity of break-outs, this step is often reserved for night-time only.

 

STEP 5 (AM & PM)

Anti-aging serum

Whether your serum is a gel or an oil or something in between, benefits are delivered efficiently to skin that is still relatively bare.  If you don’t have break-outs, you can skip right to your serum.  Anti-aging serums containing Retinol, should not be applied on top of anti-acne treatments, because they are too irritating together (salicylic acid) or because they deactivate each other (benzoyl peroxide).  If you are not sure, either avoid the area where you applied the anti-acne treatment, or wait until the treatment has fully absorbed before applying the serum.

 

STEP 6 (AM & PM): 

Eye cream

Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate eye areas to address issues like dark circles , puffiness and fine lines, as well as dryness and dehydration.

 

STEP 7 (AM & PM): 

All-over moisturizer

Depending on your skin type, your all-over moisturizer should lock in moisture or balance oil, strengthen your protective barrier and ensure continuous hydration.  You can switch the order of Step 6 & 7, and apply your moisturizer before the eye cream, however, make sure you spare the eye area.  This is because a lot of all-over moisturizers are not formulated for the sensitive eye area, and also because you don’t want the moisturizer to weaken absorption of the eye cream.

 

STEP 8 (AM): 

Sunscreen

During daytime, your last step should always be an all-over, broad-spectrum sunscreen to give you that protective shield from the damaging UVA and UVB rays.  If your daytime face moisturizer contains sun protection, you can skip this step, as long as you apply it evenly all over your face and neck.  Foundation should go on top of the sunscreen, after allowing it time to set and penetrate skin.

Happy layering!

Candlenut: The Balanced Nut!

Candlenut holds a special place at JUARA.  Our very first JUARA product we launched was our popular Candlenut Body Creme, a.k.a. Bali in a Jar, which became an instant hit with customers, editors and estheticians alike.  By popular demand, many more Candlenut treasures followed.

But what exactly is Candlenut?  Rarely do you ever see it sold in a regular grocery store because its consumption is usually limited to the region where it is cultivated, mostly South East Asia and Hawaii.  It looks like an oversized macadamia nut or hazelnut.  Even though it is not widely known, Candlenut is probably one of the most versatile and healthy nuts out there, having been used for medicinal purposes, cooking as well as skincare for centuries.

Omega 6 & 3 Essential Fatty Acids:  The Ratio is Key

Like most nuts, Candlenut has a high oil content (70%).  What makes Candlenut special amongst its peers is its high content of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA).  And not only that, it has what is considered an ideal ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.  While both EFAs have health benefits, it has been shown that the typical Western diet is by far too rich in Omega 6 fatty acids relative to Omega 3 fatty acid consumption, leading to chronic inflammation.  Nobody knows what the ideal ratio exactly is, but current estimates state a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of anywhere between 1:1 and 4:1 as ideal.  It is estimated that people in developed countries reach a ratio of about 15:1.  It has been shown even higher in the typical American diet, where it reaches levels of 25:1 due to a high consumption of fast & processed foods and fried foods which are typically rich in Omega 6, and a low consumption of Omega 3-rich foods like fish and certain nuts and seeds.  Candlenut has a ratio of Omega 3 and 6 of about 1.7:1, which is considered in the ideal range.  As a comparison, Walnuts have a ratio of about 4:1, Pecans 22:1, Flax Seeds 1:4, Sunflower Seeds:  312:1, Corn Oil 46:1, Wild Salmon 1:12, Canned Tuna 1:30.

Other Health Benefits

Candlenut is also rich in saponin, flavonoid and polyphenols, plant compounds that have  anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits as well as antibacterial effects.  Plus, it contains not only alpha tocopherol (the most familiar form of Vitamin E), but also gamma tocopherol, which works synergistically with alpha tocopherol to provide antioxidant protection.

Try it in Food!

In its native Indonesian and Malay, Candlenut is used in cooking as a thickener for curries and soups.  One easy way to incorporate Candlenuts is to roasted Candlenuts in the oven or frying pan, which brings out their aroma, before chopping or shaving them and sprinkling them over curry, soups or salad.

Try it on your Skin!

Candlenut is rich in EFA, the skincare benefits of which have been well documented.  EFAs help reduce inflammation, strengthens the skin’s own protective barrier, and Omega 6 essential fatty acid specifically helps acne-prone skin clear up clogged pores.  Candlenut’s boasting both Omega-3 and 6 as well as natural anti-microbial properties make it suitable for all skin types, ranging from dry to oily, including sensitive and acne-prone skin.

All of JUARA’s Candlenut products are formulated with Candlenut Oil, but we have added this precious oil to other treatments as well, including:

Kartini Body Oil – $58, 4 oz

The luxurious body oil fit for royalty (hence the name Kartini, named after a Princess who was also a big champion of women’s rights in Indonesia).  A truly nourishing blend of Candlenut, Plumeria, Passionfruit, Moringa and Turmeric Oil, with a silky, light-as-air texture with firming, brightening and softening benefits.

Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm – $20. 2.5 oz

Pure relief and moisture for dry, hard-working hands, that stays on even after washing your hands.  A replenishing blend of oils and butters, plus soothing oat beta glucan and brightening algae Energy immediately comfort skin & cuticles.  Result:  Hands that are soft and smooth, never greasy.

Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer – $60, 1.7 oz

Energy for dry, dull skin. “Kombucha”, nourishing botanical oils and our unique Radiant Complex hydrate, firm, smooth and boost skin luster.  The perfect daily moisturizer for normal to dry skin. 

Miracle Tea Complete Eye Crème – $53, 0.5 oz

This miracle worker gives the fragile skin around the eyes the whole TLC package:  It hydrates, smooths fine lines & wrinkles, reduces the look of dark circles and under-eye bags for a refreshed look!

Radiance Vitality Oil – $70, 1.0oz

The Queen of Face Oils (Face Oil of the Year, Self Magazine 2015) addresses all signs of aging with 12 pure plant oils and extracts by helping to firm, nourish, smooth and revitalize, with results you can see and feel after only one application.

Nourish your natural beauty all over with Candlenut in JUARA products here!

How Oil Can Help Break-Out Prone Skin

Ever since I was a teenager with pimples all over my face, I was told to AVOID oil on my face at all cost.  Even today, our instinct is still to run away from oil, when we are battling break-outs.  At best, we look at a non-comedogenic oil as something that won’t make our problem worse provided of course we use it sparingly.  But can oils actually – GASP –  improve break-out prone skin…?  Let’s look at how an acne pimple is formed.

At the beginning of a break-out is a pore that’s clogged with a sticky combination of sebum (your own skin’s oil), dead skin cells (and maybe some other external debris), that forms a plug.  Add to the sticky plug the proliferation of acne bacteria, a.k.a. Cutibacterium Acnes, plus the resulting inflammation, and, voila:  You get a break-out!  How can an oil help when oil is part of the problem?

1.  The Role of Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acid)

The presence of oil alone does not explain a break-out.  There are plenty of people with oily skin that don’t get break outs, and people with dry skin that do.  It turns out applying an oil rich in Linoleic Acid, which is an essential fatty acid, can help reduce break-outs.  Why?  It has been shown that the surface of break-out prone skin tends to be low in Linoleic Acid.  Interestingly, this is independent of having a Linoleic Acid deficiency inside your body.  Apparently the deficiency on the skin’s surface leads to your skin not self-exfoliating properly and dead skin cells accumulating inside the pore.  Hence applying Linoleic Acid aids the skin’s own pore-clearing process.  Oils high in Linoleic Acid include  Candlenut (Kukui) Oil, Passionfruit Oil, Hemp Oil, Rosehip Oil, Safflower Oil and Rice Bran Oil.

2.  The Role of Your Skin Barrier Function

Our skin barrier is our skin’s own defense structure, of which Linoleic Acid is a key component.  A weak skin barrier (which can be due to genetics, use of harsh products or hormonal changes) makes skin more prone to dryness, dehydration, irritation and inflammation, which in turn can make break-outs worse.  Imagine having break-out prone skin that is also dry and sensitive!  Applying an oil high in Linoleic Acid not only helps reduce the cause of break-outs themselves , it also strengthens the skin’s own defense structure, making it less vulnerable to external stressors and irritation.

3.  Targeting Acne Bacteria

While a number of moisturizing oils like Jojoba or Passionfruit have natural antibacterial properties and help balance skin flora, there are several essential oils that target the acne-causing Cutibacterium Acnes specifically.  The most famous one is Tea Tree Oil, but Lavender and Rosemary Oils have been shown effective as well and offer a natural alternative to salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide if you have mild acne.  If you have persistent break-outs or moderate to severe acne, however, it is best to also consult with a dermatologist.

So next time you are shopping for your skin wondering which products can help with break-outs, take a closer at those skin oils.  You might find one that will become your skin’s best friend!

Acne in your 40s: 4 Ways to Fight it Naturally

Is that a pimple in my wrinkle? Does my concealer even hide that topography? Acne at 40…REALLY?  Is my future going to be filled with time spent hiding mountain ranges and molehills on my face.  Maybe I should delve into the art of living incognito with big sunglasses and scarf wrapping. Then I realized that fear is no way to live, it would probably be easier to figure out what are the causes of adult acne and how do I fight it naturally?

STRESS

We all have deadlines, people to take care of, errands, relationship woes, etc. It’s surprising I don’t have more acne if I think about my daily life. But did you know that with stress comes the adrenal hormone cortisol, and with cortisol comes a little bit of testosterone that in women can cause oil gland overactivity?

Resist: Meta-analysis  shows that yoga asanas decrease cortisol production. And meditation practice decreases your body’s physiologic response to stress.

HORMONES

Perimenopause, post pregnancy, and pre-period (did you know that women over 33 are more likely to get pre-period pimples?), along with hormone related health issues like PCOS all affect hormone levels and thus increase oil production, pore clogging, inflammation then pimples.

Retaliate: Use non-stripping cleansers along with salicylic acid treatments that exfoliate gently to unclog pores. Then follow with oil-free, inflammation fighting moisturizers. Finding the balance in your skin is key. And see your doctor for the health issues.

FOOD and ENVIRONMENT

I don’t mean fried foods and chocolate, but sugar.  Sugar increases your insulin which has been found to also bump up the oil provoking hormones. Although the link between pollution and acne is still being established, there’s no denying that the particulates of pollution are probably not good for your skin.

Resist: Cut out high glycemic foods. Not sure what causes that insulin high, check out the estimated glycemic load of your foods.

SKINCARE ROUTINE

Overwashing, as in more than twice a day, or harsh cleansers and exfoliants can dry out skin and cause overproduction of oil. And with aging and sun damage, the collagen of your skin breaks down and pores become bigger making them easier to clog.

Retaliate: Exfoliate gently and regularly to remove the build up of dead skin cells. Gentle cleansers with oil free or non-comedogenic moisturizers keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Boost that healthy skin with collagen building, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory actives.

Knowing that pimples are just a normal part of life make having them much easier. Also knowing there are a few ways I can control breakouts by changing some things in my daily life make me freakout less. All in all, these problems and solutions are manageable and easy to employ.  Maybe now my mountain will turn back into that molehill. Do you have any other tips for managing breakouts?

Summer Readiness – Here We Come.

Summer is the season for sunshine!  With beaches, dining al fresco, summer fridays (read: buh-bye office walls!), and generally being outdoors, you can easily be more prepared than you realize! You’ve heard repeatedly to never leave the house without sunblock, reapply several times a day (as its effectiveness reduces with light exposure, or just from coming off from sweat/daily activities), but there’s a few extra tricks up our sleeve to keep your skin summer fresh and healthy. Being inspired by Indonesia, a tropical country with sun all year round, JUARA knows what a doozy rays near the equator, eternal sun and humidity can do, so here’s our faves to tackle common sun related skin situations!

SUNBURN RESCUE:

Oops. Didn’t we say slather up the SPF? Well, it happens to the best of us… the sunburn. Sunburns are caused when skin is overexposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays and can happen in as little as 15 minutes, but can take 2-6 hours for the symptoms to appear. Some symptoms of mild sunburn include redness and tenderness, and for that, our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner is a great skin soothing treatment. It contains rice bran extract, which specifically reduces redness and irritation, hyaluronic acid and tamarind see extract to moisturize and cool – without oil or alcohol, and triple tea extracts packed with anti0xidants. It really is instant relief. (For serious symptoms including blistering, fever, chills and nausea, we suggest going to the doctor!)

toner

GREASE BE GONE:

Does summer weather and humidity put your skin into a tizzy? Does your skin range from “well, it’s rather shiny” to “a greasy mess?” Our Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer is oil-free, yet contains Kombucha, our anti-aging fermented black tea complex, plus ginger and cinnamon that reduces sebum production. This means the moisturizer does not only reduce oil-induced shine at the moment, but it also means that the more time you use it over, the less “shiny” your skin will naturally become!

Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer

Another anti-shine darling? Our Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum. Also with our Turmeric infused Radiance Complex, this oil-free serum serves as excellent hydration with seaweed, while containing skin firming ingredients including palm peptides, clove flower, and goji berries. Like an exotic fruit cocktail for your face – just less messy, and way more immediate in its firming, skin-smoothing results!

JUARA Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum

POST-SUN RESET AND REFRESH:

Once you’ve been exposed to a day of rays, it’s always good to refresh and rejuvinate your skin! Counter sun, travel, or pollution exposure with our Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask, which contains our potent Turmeric extract which neutralizes free radicals and brightens for a healthy “I am so HEALTHY!” glow. And we like to get our sexy natural radiance on – ready for the next day. This mask also contains Kaolin Clay is blended with Candlenut Oil to purify skin, absorbing impurities, while also keeping it moist and not overdried. Great for all skin types, just make sure you take it off when you leave the house because it just feels THAT GOOD on after 10 minutes! (Or just do what we do for a super treatment – apply a thin layer and leave on overnight. Wake up to the morning glow. Literally.)

 

And of course, we remind you to stay hydrated, make sure your sunglasses have a UV filter on them, try out a sun parasol if you’re feeling particularly stylish like some do in Asia, and keep smiling! Got any sun tips to share? We’d love to hear it!

You can see the JUARA products here

5 Principles of an Effective Core Skincare Regimen

“Regimen” may sound restrictive and boring, but a consistent daily regimen is in fact your skin’s best friend.  Like with anything in life, a consistent regimen tells you over time what’s working and what needs change because it gives you a solid benchmark to start from.  In that way, it not only helps your skin, but it also helps you to get to know your skin better.  How to get started?

Select 4-5 products for daily use that provide a solid framework for your skin type and address your top concerns.  You can add extra treatment products, like masks or special items, once you feel comfortable with your core and confident that you will stick to it AM and PM.  Here are the key elements and principles in a great core:

1. Cleanse:  Gentle is King

A good cleanser removes dirt and make-up without stripping skin.  Feeling refreshed is good.  Feeling “squeaky clean” is overkill.  When you strip your skin of its own natural lipid barrier, it’s hard to add it back through product. With a good cleanser, your skin should still feel comfortable and not taught for a whole minute or so after cleansing and before applying a moisturizer.

2.  Tone: Focus on Hydration and Skin-Friendly Ingredients

All skin types, including oily skin, can get dehydrated.  Dehydration means that your skin is lacking water and can result in fine dry lines, irritation and redness.  Look for a toner with water-binding ingredients, like Hyaluronic Acid or Tamarind Seed Extract.  It will plump skin and keep it soft and supple while also making your moisturizer more productive.  Avoid irritating and drying ingredients like alcohol.

3.  Treat: Commit to an Antioxidant-Rich Serum

Antioxidants help prevent premature skin-aging and can even reverse existing signs of aging, such as dullness, lines and wrinkles, large pores and loss of firmness.  They also improve redness and other signs of stress.  Serums, which are highly concentrated formulations, are great ways to provide skin directly with an extra dose of antioxidants and nutrients.  What specific ingredients to look for?  Botanicals rich in antioxidants include Turmeric, Clove Flower, Indian Gooseberry, Tea Extracts, Goji Berry and Kombucha.

4.  Moisturize:  Enhance and Balance 

Whether you have dry or oily skin, the point is to help your skin reach and maintain a healthy balance.  If you are dry, choose a moisturizer that enhances and helps rebuild your skin’s own lipid barrier with ingredient that are rich in essential fatty acids, phyto-sterols and/ or ceramide (e.g. Candlenut Oil and Rice Bran Oil).  If you are oily, look for ingredients that help purify pores, reduce shine and balance sebum-production (e.g. Ginger, Cinnamon).

5.  Protect Daily

Whether you prefer a straight sun screen, a moisturizer or foundation with built-in protection, or a protective powder, consistency is key.  Look for a minimum of SPF15 for daily use and make sure it provides broad-spectrum (meaning UVB + UBA) protection.

Say Goodbye to Oily Skin

Do you have oily skin?

Maybe you do. Or maybe you only have oiliness in your T-Zone… or your nose starts out matte and by the end of the day looks like it’s been dipped in lacquer. If you have any of these skin experiences on the regular, I feel you. But what can we do about it?

First of all, why do we get ‘oily skin’? Well, the sebaceous glands in your skin produce oil all day and all night to keep your skin nourished – that is their job. Did you know that the drier your skin is, the more oil you will produce? SO that means keeping your skin well HYDRATED is the key to stopping oily skin in its tracks. Kind of counterintuitive…

So how do I keep my skin matte and gorgeous all day long?

Excellent question. Let’s start with the basics.

Step 1. Wash Gently

A common mistake is washing your skin with a harsh cleanser at the beginning of the day in hopes that this will keep the oil at bay. It will only prompt your sebaceous glands to produce even more oil. Stick to a soap-free gentle cleanser like the JUARA Rice Facial Cleanser or some good old fashioned Coconut Oil.

Step 2. NO Alcohol

If you like using a toner, that’s fine. Just read the label carefully to ensure that your toner is alcohol-free. Not sure where to find an alcohol-free toner? Check out JUARA’s Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner.

Step 3. Spot Moisturize

If your skin is oily all over, that’s an easy fix. Follow the above rules and finish up with a mattefying moisturizer that contains humectants like hyaluronic acid to keep skin properly hydrated without adding oil, e.g. JUARA’s Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Oil-Free Moisturizer.

Things become tricky when you’re T-Zone oily or oily only on your nose and extremely dry elsewhere. If this is the case for your complexion, you’re going to need to treat your moisturizer like a spot-treatment. Use an oil-free where your skin gets slick throughout the day and use a super hydrating moisturizer (the Laurel Whole Plant Organics Facial Balm is one of my favorites for super intense moisture) on areas where skin is dry and flaky.

Step 4. CC Powder + UV is your best friend

For a flawless, matte finish, that ALSO provides sun protection that you are probably missing from your moisturizer routine finish off with a CC Powder aka Airbrush Powder aka MAGIC Powder. My favorite is the CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder by It Cosmetics.

 

Top 5 Misconceptions About Washing Your Face

I remember when I was a child with oily skin

and the doctor said “just wash it with bar soap, It is strong enough to take the oil off.” If I could have only smacked him, I would have. But I didn’t know better – and back then, it’s possible he nor the beauty industry knew either. Here are the top 5 comments or questions I get about scrub-a-dub-dubbing as a skincare company owner…

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Let’s Play A Game: Do or Don’t

1. My skin is so oily, I don’t need a moisturizer after I wash it.

DON’T: Let’s be clear, we need both water AND oil on our skin for a healthy balance. When you wash your face with a cleanser, you risk overstripping and overdrying the skin – which can trigger it to produce more oil to compensate. So combat that with pre-emptive re-hydration. Use a light moisturizer or an oil-free one, or if you’re really oily – a hydrating serum.

2.  I use a scrub everyday.

DON’T: Your skin takes about 28 days to turn over. In other words, when you exfoliate, the process that skin goes from being newly exposed to old and in need of exfoliation takes a while – so you could be rubbing your newly exposed skin raw if you scrub everyday. I suggest 2-3 times a week, giving your skin a break – but still getting the benefits of clear pores and oft skin from scrubbing properly.

3. Why shouldn’t I use regular bar soap to wash my face?

DON’T: True, bar soaps and facial soaps all clean – that’s for sure. But how aggressively they do it, and how they make the skin feel after drastically differs; that matters too. Bar soap may have stronger surfactants to clean and there is a huge emphasis on fragrance.  Both may irritate your skin, but most importantly – bar soap can be harsher and overstrip/overdry your skin – which is a bit like giving your skin a beating. If you’re in a pinch and must, then just don’t lather for too long, and rinse off. Definitely follow with a moisturizer.

4. I only wash my face with water.

DO…ish: Believe it or not, there are people in this category. Surprisingly, there are experiments run on people who stop using soap altogether, my brother being one of them who tried. The body has an interesting way of balancing itself, so in a way, this isn’t the most terrible thing to do – and has benefits in that you’re au naturale – with fewer chemicals to mess with your skin. Honestly, if this works for you, and you’re not a heavy makeup user, go for it. But what you’re missing out on are some benefits gentle products can do – like exfoliate and hydrate to keep your skin extra smooth.

5. How many times should I wash my face per day?

DO… wait that doesn’t really work here since this is a question. Before you go to bed – definitely. In the morning when you get up is a good one too – though since technically you just slept, rinsing with water may be sufficient – and preserve your skin’s natural balance. If you are exercising or in heavily polluted areas in the day – you can wash it again in the middle – but try not to wash too often. The risk is overstripping your natural oils – and throwing your skin off balance – being too oily or dry can come with its own issues.

Got more questions? Let me know!

X.O.

JUARA Girl Metta

Treating adult acne the natural way – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

When you are past your teens and still or again battling break-outs, you are in good company. One in five women between the ages of 25 and 40 suffers from adult acne. Adult acne is not different from teenage acne in that the same key factors are involved: Hormonal activity which has an effect on our oil glands, blocked pores, acne bacteria and inflammation. What makes adult acne tricky is that the skin of a person in his/ her 30s or 40s is different from teenage skin. Some people suffering from adult acne may not have oily skin, their skin might be more sensitive, and they are likely concerned about fighting skin aging.

One way to fight adult acne is with over-the-counter medicated products, but there are also a number of natural remedies that can effectively prevent and treat break-outs. Whether your skin is too sensitive to chemical acne-fighting agents or you are simply interested in alternative options, here are some tips and product recommendations for how to fight adult acne the natural way.

Nature’s solutions
A number of natural and botanical-based ingredients help with the causes and symptons of acne, including:

Naturally antibacterial and antiseptic: Willow bark, tea tree oil, ginger, green, white and black tea extracts.

Reduces redness and inflammation: green, white and black tea extracts, aloe

Exfoliates and free blocked pores: Manuka Honey, alpha hydroxyl acids from milk (lactic acid), fruit (fruit acid), apple (malic acid) and sugar (glycolic acid)

Reduces excess oil production: Avocutine, derived from avocados as well as pumpkin seed oil curbs sebum production in the pores.

Cleansers: Keep it gentle
Contrary to a stubborn myth, acne is NOT caused by dirty skin, so stay away from harsh cleansers that strip skin. In fact, dehydration can prompt your skin to produce even more oil and at the same time exacerbate the appearance of roughness, lines and wrinkles. Here are some good options:

Avene Cleanance Soapless Cleanser, 6.76 oz, $17: Contains Pumpkin Seed Oil to reduce excess sebum.

ARCONA Raspberry Acne Bar, 4 oz, $38: Contains lactic acid and fruit enzymes to exfoliate and free pores.

Toner/ Treatment: Look for multi-taskers
Be good to your skin by targeting breakouts as well as aging and other skin issues. If you use a toner, stay away from alcohol-based formulations that unnecessarily strip and dehydrate skin. Here are some good options:

Juara Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner, 4.75 oz, $27: Contains green, white and black tea extract to combat acne bacteria and well as provide antioxidant benefits and reduce redness.

Boscia Willow Bark Breakout Treatment, 0.5 oz, $25: Contains natural antibacterial willow bark as well as Vitamin C and E for antioxidant protection.

Hydrate and fight aging
It’s tempting to not moisturize when you see pimples, but it’s important to keep skin hydrated, no matter what your skin type, even if you have break-outs. If you are concerned oiliness, choose an oil-free moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, which draws vital hydration to the skin without adding oil, while plumping lines and making skin supple.

Juara Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer, 2 oz, $48: Anti-aging & oil-control benefits in one. Contains fermented sweet black tea to reduce signs of aging, ginger to purify, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and avocutin to reduce excess sebum.

Astara Blue Flame Oil-Free Moisturizer, 2 oz, $42: Hydrates with hyaluronic acid and totara tree essence to purify, while soothing with aloe.

Put break-outs on the spot

Juice Beauty Blemish Be Gone, 0.27 oz, $15: Multiple natural alpha hydroxyl acids free blocked pores while Coenzyme Q10 helps fade discoloration from past breakouts.

Jurlique Blemish Cream, 0.5 oz, $28: Contains tea tree oil for antibacterial benefits. Plus the slightly tinted formulation helps cover up existing blemishes and redness.

bareMinerals RareMinerals Blemish Therapy, 0.07 oz, $28: A unique powder formulation applied with a makeup brush, that treats break-outs with tea tree oil, helps absorb excess oil and covers redness and blemishes.

Any natural acne products that you swear by? Let us know!

Masks for Oily Summer Skin – Louise (JUARA intern)

Summer is almost everyone’s favorite season. People love the beach, the heat, the tans… but I just think of the humidity! As someone who has oily skin, the summer means one thing for me- acne. All the humidity increases oil production, which is bad news for oily skinned gals. One important thing is to wash your face every night to get rid of all the makeup and dirt your face has collected all day.

But sometimes just washing your face with a normal cleanser isn’t enough. Using a mask a few times per week is one of the best ways to thoroughly cleanse your skin and draw out all the impurities. There are tons of different brands who sell great masks. The best thing to do is to try different products and see what works best for your skin.

But while looking for a mask, make sure that it contains ingredients like Salicylic Acid which help keep pores clear, Kaolin clay which absorbs oil, or Benzoyl Peroxide which kill bacteria which causes acne.

Clay masks are also great for oily skin because it removes excess oil, clears up blackheads, and deep cleans your pores. I have two favorite masks that I’ve been using this summer:

The first is Lancome’s Pure Empreinte Masque. This mineral mask with white clay mask hardens after about 5 minutes and removes oils and reduces the appearance of my pores.

The other mask I’ve recently become obsessed with is the JUARA Milk & Red Sandalwood Mask. It absorbs oil and reduces redness. The mask comes as a powder and you mix it with any type of liquid into a thick paste. After about 15 minutes, I wash it off and I’m left with cleansed skin. Many masks leave my face feeling super dry and tight. But this mask leaves my skin feeling great and super soft.

As much as clay can be purifying, it can also be drying if left on for too long. I always use an oil-free moisturizer or JUARA’s oil-free, alcohol-free Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner, which gives just the right amount of moisture to negate the potentially overdrying effect of clay.

A lot of people like to make their own masks. Check out this website with different mask recipes and try to make your own at home!

Some recipes that look great are:
*Cucumber Yogurt Mask – ½ cucumber, 1 Tbsp plain yogurt – Puree cucumber in blender and mix in yogurt. Apply to face and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse well. Yogurt can soften skin and exfoliate gently, while the cucumber tones the skin. How relaxing!

*Apple Zinger Facial Mask – 1 medium size apple, 5 tbs. honey – Grate the apple and mix the honey well. Smooth over skin and let sir for 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. Honey is antibacterial and skin softening, while apple can exfoliate.

*Honey Mask – High quality honey – Massage a small amount of slightly heated honey onto skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. Honey is a powerful antibacterial agent and it does not cause unpleasant side effects such as dry skin, itchy skin or allergy.

Do you have favorite masks for oily skin?