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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!

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?

Turmeric? Tumeric? Turmer-what?

Turmeric.

We’ve been hearing about this super food for months, but what is it? A powder? A root? A magical health elixir?

Thankfully, the JUARA Turmeric Benefits Guide is here to answer all of your questions!

So, let’s start with the basics. What is turmeric?

Part of the ginger family, turmeric is a native plant to southeast India. Turmeric is most popularly used in two forms: raw and dried. Turmeric has been used for almost 1000 years in cuisine, medicine, makeup, skin care, and clothes dying.

What are the health benefits of turmeric?

When ingested, turmeric has historically been used to heal stomach and liver ailments. Turmeric powder concoctions have been used to bring down fevers. It can also be used as an anti-bacterial salve on open wounds. Those who consume turmeric on a regular basis report a reduction in arthritis pain, heartburn, sensitive stomachs, headaches, colds, and menstrual cramps. It may also help those with diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer. How? New research showed that daily turmeric ingestion decreased DNA damage by half in a test of blood cells exposed to oxidation. (Percival SS et al. Bioavailability of herbs and spices in humans as determined by ex vivo inflammatory suppression and DNA strand breaks. J Am Coll Nutr. 2012; 31(4):288-94 in Greger M, Stone G. How Not to Die. Flatiron Books, New York 2015, p352.)

What can turmeric do for my skin?

Turmeric, with its anti-inflammatory and redness reducing properties, can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions including eczema, allergic hives, and even chicken pox! Turmeric is also a great treatment for acne, as it is both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory (not to mention anti-oxidant and anti-neoplastic) (Vaugh AR. et al. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systemic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytother Res. 2016 Aug;30(8):1243-64).

Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence.

. The JUARA Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask maximizes the healing properties of turmeric by combining it with kaolin clay!

Are there any side effects of ingesting or topically applying turmeric?

There are no known side effects for applying turmeric directly onto the skin. When ingesting turmeric, however, it is important to remember that turmeric is a blood thinner. Consuming turmeric daily makes it more difficult for your blood to clot, so lessen your turmeric intake if you take medicine that thins your blood, or speak to your doctor.

 

Do you still have questions about Turmeric and its uses? Leave a comment on our Facebook page!

 

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.

Your Skin Care Spring Clean!

May is a month of fresh starts, new beginnings, and of course Spring Cleaning!

But I’m not talking about spring cleaning for your house… I’m talking about spring cleaning for your face.

Makeup is NOT meant to last forever!

Do you still have that purple eyeliner you bought 4 years ago as a joke and sometimes wear when you go out with your girls?

It’s time to LOSE IT! So to help you get the most out of your makeup ‘spring clean’, here it is:

The Ultimate Guide To Makeup Shelf Life:

Mascara: 3 Months

Mascara has the shortest shelf-life because it has the highest risk of transferring bacteria into the delicate eye-area. And whatever you do, don’t add water to drying-out mascara!

Dry Eye Shadow: 2 Years
Liquid Eye Shadow: 10-12 Months
Eyeliner Pencil: 6-18 Months

This one really depends on how you use it. An eyeliner pencil that is sharpened before each use and is only used to line the outside of the eye should last you a good 18 months. If you’re not as vigilant and tend to line the inside of your eyes, you should probably toss it after 6 months.

Blush: 1-2 Years
Cream Blush: 1 Year
Lipstick: 2 Years

But make sure you disinfect your lipsticks if you use them while you’re sick!

Liquid Foundation & Concealer: 12-18 Months

With foundations and concealers, it’s not the makeup that holds germs- it’s the brush. If you use a disposable applicator, great! If not, make sure to disinfect your brushes at least once every 2 weeks for optimal cleanliness.

Rosacea- Debunking The Myths

You may notice one day

that your post-exercise flush on the cheeks won’t go away. Or perhaps you notice little red bumps that look like acne pimples. If you are in your 30s or older and have fair skin, you may have rosacea.

Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that affects approximately 1 out of 20 Americans, usually between the ages of 30 and 60.

Symptoms:

  • Mostly affects the face or eyes
  • Persistent flushing
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Ruddiness
  • Pimples
  • Irritated eyes that, if untreated, become worse over time.

Currently, there is no cure for rosacea, but with proper treatment and awareness of triggers, symptoms can be controlled and the disease kept in check.Once you are properly diagnosed, your physician may prescribe a topical or oral treatment to address the redness, bumps and skin inflammation associated with rosacea.

Many dermatologists also recommend laser and intense pulse light treatments to reduce redness and broken blood vessels. These new therapy options are considered safe and can visibly improve skin tone and texture.

 

There are also things you can do on a daily basis to help control the symptoms of rosacea.

1. Be aware of factors that trigger your flare-ups. Triggers include sudden temperature changes, hot baths, exercise, alcohol consumption, spicy food, sun exposure, stress and harsh cosmetics.

2. Choose gentle skincare products that do not contain alcohol, harsh detergents or abrasive ingredients.

  • Products with calming ingredients such as JUARA Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner and JUARA Clove and Turmeric Serum help soothe skin and keep it hydrated.
    • Rice Bran Extract, a key ingredient in the toner, provides calming benefits and minimizes redness in the skin.
    • Green Tea, Black Tea, and White Tea, when combined, calm the skin and deliver a bundle of healthy antioxidants.
    • Turmeric, a super-ingredient, brightens and evens out complexion while providing free radical protection.
  • Concealers with a green tint  neutralize redness in the skin and can be worn underneath regular foundation.
  • Since sun exposure is considered a trigger factor, daily sun protection is key. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, such as Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen, and wear a hat and protective clothing outdoors.


 

Hidden Superpowers of the Candlenut Body Creme

The JUARA Candlenut Body Creme.


It’s a cult classic. It’s a favorite.

 

The product that started it all for JUARA- it has become a love-at-first-sight product for countless JUARA customers, celebrities and beauty editors. An ultra-nourishing complex of velvety Candlenut Oil, firming Rice Bran Oil, redness-reducing Avocado Oil and rich Illipe Butter give you long-lasting moisture without the greasiness. But did you know it’s a whole lot more than a feel good-smells great body creme?
 

Candlenut Oil  is very high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA).  In fact, the oil is 69% EFA, which puts it up there with Flax Seed Oil and Chia Seed Oil (71% and 70% respectively).  Almond Oil has 17%, Avocado has 10%, Rice Bran Oil has 36%, just to give you perspective.

 

Why is this important?  Application of EFA is key in strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier which is why, for example, Evening Primrose Oil (81%) is often prescribed for Eczema Patients.


So in the context of our Candlenut Body Creme Formulation:

Amazing Avocado*

Caressing Candlenut

Caressing Candlenut*

Impenetrable Illipe

Impenetrable Illipe*

Radiant Rice

Radiant Rice*

Candlenut Oil: Omegas (EFA)
Avocado Oil: Sterols, Vitamin A, Vitamin E
Illipe Butter: High Melting Point- provides a protective barrier for the skin
Rice Bran Oil: Oryzanol (Vitamin E)- essential in improving skin elasticity and brightness
 
Candlenut Body Creme: It’s a Skin Superfood!

*click the link to check out more products that use these amazing ingredients

Cosmetic Secrets of Ancient Cultures: Indonesia – Nicol Ambrosius

Have you read Eat, Pray, Love? Or did you take the easy way and just waited for the movie? Either way you’ve seen the beauty and spirituality of Indonesia. And that beauty is not coming out of the blue.

JAMU-up your life

No, Jamu is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, we all should crave for a little more of that ancient Indonesian tradition of natural health where medicinal herbs are used to treat every aspect of life. Leaves, roots, fruits, flowers and barks of various plants are used for treatments to rejuvenate and pamper the body. Basically, Jamu creates inner peace which results in outer beauty. (If you are interested in learning more about Jamu you should check out Susan-Jane Beers book “JAMU. The Ancient Indonesian Art of Herbal Healing” or watch this awesome video.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D9ySQu8W7w[/youtube]

If you are ready to jump in at the deep end and want to jamu-up your life, here is the information you need to pamper yourself like a Javanese royalty does:

But where’s the coconut?

Well, it should be in your hair. Rinse your hair with coconut milk instead of a commercial conditioner. This natural conditioner will leave your hair sooo soft and shiny.

It’s a wonder nut alright.

Candlenut (fyi: in Hawaii, candlenut is also known as Kukui) truly is a wonder nut. Candlenut oil is known for its remarkable skin care aids and its moisturizing properties as well as an awesome hair conditioner. The oil protects from harsh sunlight, drying winds and salt. So grab your bag and make a run to the next Whole Foods to get your own bottle of Kukui Nut Oil. Or if you want something a little more special here is your link to your own personal candlenut heaven: JUARA’s Candlenut Body Creme.

Turmeric Time

Turmeric plays an important role in the life of any Indonesian. It’s used in multiple ways: as food, as a medicine, as a beauty ingredient. Turmeric is also used by women during an ancient royal bridal ceremony called Lulur. The root is used within that ceremony to cleanse the body and give it a radiant glow.

Turmeric is known for its antioxidant properties and therefore widely used on acne prone skin. It does not only help fight damage from free radicals, but it also helps to reduce inflammation and evens out discoloration from old-break-outs.

If you want to get pampered like an Indonesian bride, a turmeric mask is your way to go. But be careful since Turmeric STAINS. And if I say stain I mean it. When using yellow turmeric your skin will stay yellow for a couple of days. A possible alternative is JUARA’s Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask. This mask is a wet clay mask that exfoliates and purifies pores. There is a special complex of turmeric in it so no stains. I promise =)

Wow, while writing about all those exotic rituals I realized that I HAVE to go to Indonesia at some point. But I guess I’ll start with a Spa visit first. After all that’s the cheapest way…

Have you ever been to Indonesia?