Enjoy Flawless Face Beauty the Safe, Pure and Natural Way
At Face Beauty HQ, I do not promise the impossible. Instead, I present you with indisputable facts about skin care and skin care products. We all want to retain our youthful looking appearance for as long as we possibly can, and the desire to do so only becomes increasingly urgent with each passing year. During our teen years, acne or the fear of developing acne might be our biggest concern when it comes to our appearance and complexion. However, once we begin to age, it is the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles which tend to terrify us the most.
Let’s face it, once you notice a few fine lines or wrinkles for the first time, you simply cannot avoid seeing them each time you look in the mirror. Once you have seen them, you can’t un-see them. It is almost as if they jump out at you each time you look in the mirror. For many people, this is the moment when the skin battle begins. We have seen the first lines and wrinkles starting to appear, and we know that they are not going to magically disappear overnight.
Fortunately, there are actually a number of steps we can take in order to slow the process down. In fact, it might even be possible to reverse the process of aging skin, at least to a certain extent. Of course, we also need to be realistic in our expectations. If you are in your sixties, you are not going to wake up in the morning looking like a 23-year-old, regardless of what steps you take, and regardless of what skin care items you use.
Forget about all those “Before” and “After” pictures you see in so many commercials. If you believe those, you are lining yourself up for some serious disappointment. Photoshop can do a great job at making you look way younger than you are in photos, but it cannot do anything for you when you are standing in front of a mirror.
Taking Charge of Facial Beauty
When it comes to beauty products, the biggest sellers are those products which have been designed for facial use. Your face is the first part of your body which people see and consciously take notice of, so it is hardly surprising that our faces get so much attention when it comes to skin care. Naturally, cosmetic companies have been flooding the market with all sorts of creams and lotions for many years already.
In some ways, this has been a good thing for consumers. The more products there are, the more choices we have. The sheer amount of competition also helps to keep prices down. On the other hand, when you literally have thousands, if not millions of products to choose from, where do you even start? To make matters even more confusing, we are also being bombarded by an almost infinite number of adverts relating to dietary supplements that can supposedly make you look years younger than you actually are.
The harsh reality of the matter is that there are no magic bullets. Real and lasting facial beauty requires a multi-pronged approach. Lifestyle and diet both play a monumental role in keeping your skin looking radiant and youthful. Creams and lotions can certainly help, but they cannot perform miracles. Also, using the wrong types of skincare items can do more harm than good. Not only can they cause irreparable damage to your skin, but they can also damage your health.
What many people don’t realize is the fact that the cosmetics industry is not governed or controlled by the FDA. Companies that manufacture skincare products are mostly able to add in whatever ingredients they want. This essentially means that when it comes to choosing your beauty products, you are basically on your own.
It is our responsibility to check which ingredients are in a particular cream or lotion. It’s also our responsibility to research those ingredients and then decide if we feel comfortable with the idea of rubbing them into our skin. In short, you need to take charge of your skin care regime and choose your skincare products wisely.
Toxic Ingredients to Avoid
It would be grossly unfair to tar all manufacturers with the same brush, but many of them know no shame when it comes to choosing ingredients for their beauty enhancing products. Sadly, even some of the most famous brand names are equally as guilty. Using cheap and ineffective ingredients is one thing. Using ingredients which are certifiably toxic and dangerous is another matter altogether. Let’s take a look at 5 toxic ingredients which can be found in countless skin enhancing items, all of which should be avoided at all costs:
Whether these phthalates cause damage to your skin or not is debatable, but do you really want to put them on your face and massage them into your skin. The US Centers for Disease Control has in the past tested a large group of people for traces of these substances. They unfortunately found trace amounts in all the people they tested.
Phthalates are widely used in cosmetics, and also in the manufacturing of many types of plastic. Alarmingly, phthalates have been linked to several health problems, including childhood developmental problems and type II diabetes. They have also been linked to reproductive defects and are a known hormone disrupter.
Unfortunately for consumers, the word “phthalates” typically does not appear in the list of ingredients you see on skin health enhancing products. Instead, you will most likely only see the word “fragrance.” To be on the safe side, we recommend using fragrance-free facial creams. If you must have fragrant products, choose those that have been scented with natural essential oils.
Unlike many chemicals, parabens can actually be absorbed by the skin. They have also been found in breast cancer tumors. Although it has not yet been proven, a growing number of researchers are concerned that the widespread use of parabens might be contributing to breast cancer in women, and possibly even testicular cancer in men.
The most shocking thing of all is the fact that parabens are potent preservatives and are widely used within the cosmetic industry. In fact, they are the most commonly used preservatives within the industry. Various types of parabens are used, including benzylparaben, propylparaben, and etc. These days, there are more and more paraben-free products appearing on the shelves, and we strongly recommend that you avoid any and all facial beauty products that contain parabens.
This must surely be one of the worst chemicals used within the cosmetics industry. It is an extremely potent antibacterial agent that is used in countless mainstream beauty products and other personal hygiene products. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, triclosan is listed as a pesticide. Apart from its use as a pesticide, and apart from its use in numerous skin care products, it is also used in the manufacturing of garbage bags, urinals, toilet seat covers and etc.
It is also a known hormone and thyroid disruptor. Do you really want to wash your face with a product that has a powerful pesticide in it? Yes, triclosan will kill all the bacteria on your face, but that in itself is not really a good thing either because not all bacteria are bad. Naturally, we all want to clean our faces, and so we should. However, a mild natural soap will get the job done and it won’t put your health or the environment at risk.
When older people think about face beauty, they tend to think about trying to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. On the other hand, teens and young adults tend to be far more concerned about things like acne. Acne outbreaks can understandably be quite terrifying when you are a teen, so the only thing that really matters, is being able to find a product that is effective at getting rid of pimples.
Acne creams and ointments have become tremendously popular. Sadly, many of them contain benzoyl peroxide. We all know what vitamin E is, and we all know what collagen is, but how many people are actually familiar with benzoyl peroxide. Of course, skin care manufacturers don’t tell you that this potent chemical has been linked to tumor growth. They also don’t tell you that it is a known eye irritant, a known skin irritant, and a known respiratory irritant. By the way, it is also very toxic, so keep any products containing benzoyl peroxide far away from your mouth.
Hydroquinone is essentially used as a skin lightening agent. It is very effective at lightening almost any dark patch or patches on your skin. It is often said that if something seems to be too good to be true, it usually is. Hydroquinone is a perfect example of this. While it certainly can lighten dark patches of skin, people need to be aware of the fact that the effects on skin pigment are permanent. Hydroquinone is also a suspected carcinogen, and there is currently insufficient evidence to support this.
If you have dark patches or dark blemishes on your face, you really should think twice before you use any product containing hydroquinone. This is particularly true if you are concerned about the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The reason for this being that hydroquinone permanently weakens elastin and collagen. Elastin and collagen are the building blocks of healthy and youthful looking skin.
The Dirty Dozen
In the paragraphs above, we took a look at 5 harmful chemical substances which are widely used in mainstream cosmetic and skin care items. These are not only used in cheap brands which are hardly recognized. They are just as common in many of the very best known brand names. More disturbingly, however, is the fact that there are numerous other harmful chemicals which are also widely used in beauty products such as moisturizers, anti-wrinkle creams, etc.
Actually, the top offenders have even earned the name: The Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen list contains all 5 of the substances we have looked at in the paragraphs above. It also contains 7 other harmful substances:
- Dibutyl phthalate
- Sodium laureth sulfate
- Coal tar dyes (artificial colors listed as Cl with a 5-digit number)
- PEG compounds
- BHA and BHT
The term “Petrolatum” can refer to any number of petroleum-based substances. These are all byproducts of the oil and gas industry. Common examples would include mineral oil, Toluene, and Xylene. Of course, one can’t blame the oil and gas industry. After all, why throw these byproducts away when you can instead sell them to skin care manufacturers.
Just for a minute, think about the irony of all this. We go out and we purchase an expensive facial cleanser to clean our face and get rid of any and all natural oil. With all the natural oil removed, we make it easier for harmful substances to penetrate our pores, and then we seal our pores by applying some or other product containing mineral oil.
The term “mineral” can be very misleading because we tend to associate it with good things such as vitamins and minerals, and things like mineral water. Apart from the fact that petroleum based mineral oil actually clogs your pores; it can also contain numerous other chemicals and/or impurities.
The Importance of Lifestyle Choices
The type of lifestyle you live and the sort of lifestyle choices you make, inevitably have a huge impact on your appearance. You might not think so when you are young and seemingly bulletproof, but the choices you make today can and almost certainly will have long lasting effects on both your health and your appearance.
There is simply no denying the fact that poor lifestyle choices can cause premature aging, both inside your body, and on the outside. Let’s take smokers for example. Almost without exception, a 65-year old chain smoker will always look considerably older than a 65-year-old non-smoker. People who smoke almost always start to see fine lines and wrinkles appearing at a younger age than those who don’t smoke.
Besides the fact that smoking causes cancer and contributes to numerous other serious illnesses, it also makes you look older before your time. When it comes to face beauty, you can’t reverse the damage which has been caused by decades of smoking. However, you can partly reverse it, and you can certainly slow the aging process down by quitting the habit. When people quit smoking, the difference in their appearance can be remarkable within the space of a few weeks. Their skin tone improves, their complexion improves, and they generally just look more healthy and radiant.
Diet also plays a very important role because it is directly linked to skin health. Let’s not forget that skin is our biggest organ and it therefore needs just as much nourishment, if not more, than any of our other organs. These days, many people are well aware of the fact that certain vitamins and minerals are vital for skin health. Vitamin E is just one example, and while we can look for skin creams and supplements containing vitamin E, it is way better to simply include it in your diet.
Just like you should try to avoid skincare items that are full of chemicals, you should also try to avoid foods that are full of chemicals. Fresh produce is always best when it comes to one’s diet, and contrary to what some people believe, it is not only wealthy people who can eat a healthy diet. In fact, wealthy people often have very unhealthy diets. Having a healthy diet can help you to delay the natural aging process, but as with many things, the choice is ultimately yours.
Sun or No Sun
Nobody can deny the fact that the sun can and does cause premature aging of the skin. If you compare the appearance of someone who has spent most of their life in the sun to someone who has rarely spent any time in the sun, the difference can be absolutely astonishing. Yes, there is a growing mountain of evidence showing that spending a great deal of time in the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer. Nobody’s denying that, but let’s forget about skin cancer for the time being. Of course a nice tan looks great, and a good tan can make you look like a picture of health. The fact still remains, however, that excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can and does cause premature aging of the skin. This premature aging may take years to show, but it will show up eventually.
Sun-induced skin damage may never even be noticeable elsewhere on your body, but it is definitely going to show on your face. The skin on your face is relatively thin and sensitive, and besides your hands, your face is exposed to the sun more than any other part of your body.
A certain amount of sunlight is very beneficial for your health. To begin with, when your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D which is essential for your health, and even for your skin. Moderation is the secret. By all means, go ahead and enjoy spending some time in the sun, but don’t overdo it.
Are Sunscreens the Answer?
Sunscreen creams have become a part of our lives, especially amongst people who enjoy spending time in the sun. They are one of the first things we pack into our suitcases before we head off on holiday, or one of the first things we buy when we arrive in our chosen holiday destinations. The quality and effectiveness of sunscreen products have improved dramatically over the years as well.
Of course, there is no denying the fact that sunscreen creams can go a long way in protecting your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. They can help to prevent skin cancer; they help to prevent painful sunburn, and in so doing, they can help to prevent sun-related premature aging.
Spending a great deal of time in the sun without any form of protection is one of the leading causes of premature skin aging. As such, it is highly recommended that you use a good quality sunscreen whenever you head out into the sun. Just remember, many sunscreen lotions also contain harsh and highly questionable chemicals such as oxybenzone. Coincidentally, oxybenzone has been linked to skin allergies and hormone disruption. Even more worryingly, it has been linked to low birth weights in girls.
While I strongly recommend that people use sunscreen lotion when they intend spending prolonged periods of time in the sun, I also highly recommend choosing a good quality sunscreen lotion, and preferably one that contains high quality natural ingredients.
Anti-Aging Cosmetic Procedures
Up Until this point, we have only looked at some of the things which can lead to premature aging of your skin. We have looked at things which can cause you to start looking old long before your time. Fortunately, there are steps we can take in order to retain a youthful appearance. Of course, if you have tons of money and if you are not afraid to take risks, then there are a number of medical procedures which can leave you looking years younger than you actually are.
Unfortunately, cosmetic procedures tend to be very costly, and none of them are without risks. Even Botox injections have their downside. Sure, the risk of experiencing side effects is negligible, but Botox treatments are expensive, and on top of that, the results are short lived. Generally speaking, the results from Botox typically last from three to six months.
It is also worth noting that Botox injections cannot be used for treating lines and wrinkles caused by gravity or sun damage. Other surgical procedure for reducing and/or eliminating lines and wrinkles include things like microderm abrasion, chemical peels, laser treatments, and cosmetic surgery.
Laser treatments are of course non-invasive, but it may require numerous sessions before you even begin to see results, and again, it can end up costing you a fortune. Chemical peels and microderm abrasion procedures can produce very impressive results, but they too are very costly. They can also involve you having to remain in hospital for several days, and should things go wrong, you could be left permanently disfigured.
Natural Skincare Products
As you will no doubt notice here at Face Beauty HQ, I appreciate and understand just how important youthful and radiant-looking skin is for many people. I am also keenly aware of just how confusing it can be for people to choose the correct type of beauty enhancing products, considering the sheer number of products available. Fortunately, you can narrow your choices down considerably just by avoiding skin enhancing items that contain chemicals.
In the past, consumers never had all the choices they have these days, and especially when it comes to all-natural beauty products. Of course, the rapid growth in natural skin health enhancing products has inevitably also attracted manufacturers who are more than happy to exploit the ever growing interest in these types of products.
Many manufacturers simply use the cheapest and most common natural ingredients they can get their hands on. Others will in fact include some costly ingredients in their skin care products, but only in ridiculously small amounts. This allows them to legally list certain ingredients on the product labels. Quite often, it is the big brand name manufacturers that are the worst offenders in this regard.
Good quality natural ingredients cost money, so prices are one possible indicator of quality. Of course, this is not to say that only expensive products should be trusted. Most manufacturers of big brand name cosmetics spend millions and millions of dollars on advertising, and naturally they have to recoup whatever they spend on marketing.
Whichever brand of skin care items you decide to use, always make sure that you read the label, and also check the list of ingredients. Apart from avoiding chemicals like the plague, I also recommend that you familiarize yourself with some “natural” ingredients. Remember, just because something is natural, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is good for you.
After all, Botox is essentially made from Botulinum, a naturally occurring toxin made by Clostridiumbotulinum bacterium. It might be a “natural” substance, but as little as 1.3 to 2.1 nanograms/per 100 kilograms of body mass is almost always lethal.
Younger Looking Skin the Soft and Gentle Way
No beauty products are capable of eliminating lines and wrinkles overnight, regardless of whether they are all-natural products or not. In fact, depending on the severity (depth) of your lines and wrinkles, you may never be able to get rid of them completely. However, good quality skincare items that are made from high quality ingredients should be able to reduce the number of wrinkles by around 30 to 35 percent, and also reduce the depth of more serious wrinkles by about 15%.
Facial beauty is an ongoing process. It is never too late to begin your war against fine lines and wrinkles, but the sooner you start, the more likely you are to remain line and wrinkle free for as long as is humanly possible. However, it is not something you should rush into. I recommend taking your time to do some research so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a specific line of skincare products.
Also, once you have made your decision, don’t expect overnight results. Even the very best skin creams and other related products need some time to work. A good all-natural anti-wrinkle cream, for example, will need to be applied regularly for about two to three weeks in order for you to start seeing real results.
Beautiful skin is priceless because you simply cannot put a price on the amount of self-confidence it can give you. We have to live with the skin we have until the day we die, so, taking good care of it is imperative, particularly if we are concerned about our appearance. Even your soaps and facial cleansers should be chosen with care. Harsh soaps damage the skin, and that is a scientifically proven fact. Good quality natural creams and moisturizers can work wonders, but you are not going to get the best possible results if you are repeatedly damaging your skin with harsh soaps and/or other cleansers.
The Truth about Collagen
There is simply no denying the fact that collagen and youthful looking skin go hand in hand. Along with elastin, collagen is responsible for radiant and youthful looking skin. When we are young, our bodies produce ample amounts of both, but as we age, collagen and elastin production go into decline. Once levels decline to a certain extent, we start to see those dreaded lines and wrinkles starting to appear.
These days, it seems like every other type of skin cream, from moisturizers to anti-wrinkle serums, contain collagen. Unfortunately, our skin is not really capable of absorbing collagen. Nearly everyone knows collagen is crucial for a healthy and youthful looking skin, so skin care manufacturers have been quick to exploit this for financial gain. They add a small amount of collagen to their products and highlight this on their product labels. Technically, they have done nothing wrong. They have added collagen and have simply mentioned it on their labels, and without making any unsubstantiated claims.
Consumers buy these products believing that the added collagen will make up for their naturally declining collagen production. Unfortunately, it simply does not work that way. If you really want to boost the amount of collagen and elastin in your skin, rather look for beauty enhancing products that contain natural ingredients that are capable of boosting the cells that are responsible for the production of collagen and elastin.
Staying Wrinkle Free is a Race against Time
With every day that passes, you get one day closer to the day when you will notice the first fine lines appearing. You cannot avoid that day forever, but you can definitely delay it substantially by adopting a healthy lifestyle; limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun, and by using good quality all-natural skin enhancing items that are actually capable of nourishing your skin.
A healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet can nourish your skin from the inside, while carefully chosen skin health enhancing products can nourish it from the outside. Just be sure to choose products that are gentle on your skin, and products that are rich in beneficial nutrients. With a good skin care regimen and a good ongoing routine, you will be able to achieve youthful and radiant looking skin, and also long lasting facial beauty.