Friday, June 1, 2018

8 Ways to Protect Your Skin This Summer

Soaking up the summer sun may feel great, but it’s not great for your skin. Too much sun can cause signs of premature aging like wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, and the bulk of sun damage occurs during the summer months when people are more likely to be outdoors.

Worst of all, sun damage can lead to skin cancer, the most common type of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, skin melanoma cases have risen 1.4 percent each year for the past 10 years.

Luckily, many forms of skin cancer are preventable with proper sun protection. You can still enjoy time outdoors during the summer, but be smart about taking care of your skin by following these tips.

How to Protect Your Skin This Summer

1.     Wear Sunscreen with SPF 30 or Higher Every Single Day (Even If It’s Cloudy)

Sun damage is cumulative. Short exposures to the sun (like dashing into the grocery store or driving to work) can add up over time. In fact, UV rays can damage unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes. That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen every day!

Unfortunately, very few people do actually use sunscreen daily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 14 percent of men and 30 percent of women regularly wear sunscreen.

The trick to preventing everyday sun damage? Get into the habit of applying sunscreen as part of your morning routine. Applying sunscreen once in the morning should provide adequate protection for daily sun exposure. However, if you expect to be in the sun for an extended period of time (like if you’re going to the beach), you’ll want to do some additional work to protect your skin.

2. Choose the Right Sunscreen

Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays contribute to signs of aging, while both UVA and UVB rays contribute to the development of skin cancer.

Make sure to also check the expiration date on your sunscreen – it loses its efficacy after three years.

3. Use the Right Application Technique

When it comes to sunscreen, more is more. You need one ounce of sunscreen to properly cover your entire body – that’s about a whole shot glass! If you prefer spray sunscreen, hold the bottle two inches away from skin when applying. After spraying, rub in the sunscreen.

Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside to give the product a chance to sink into your skin. Reapply every two hours – more often if you’re swimming or working up a sweat.

4. Avoid the Most Powerful UV Rays

Avoid going outside between 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s rays are at their most powerful. If you plan on being outdoors during this time, seek shade, reapply sunscreen often, and sport a wide-brimmed hat.

5. Don’t Forget Your Eyes and Lips

UV rays can also damage the eyes and lips. Wear dark-colored sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection to prevent against cataracts and crow’s feet.

Lips are one of the most common sites for skin cancer, so wear a lip balm with SPF and reapply every two hours.

6. Watch Out for Sensitizing Medication

Some medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun. Common examples include Benadryl, ibuprofen, certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and some diabetic medications. Check with your pharmacist to find out if your medications could be causing sun damage.

7. Wear Protective Clothing

Look for clothing items with a UPF of 50 or higher. These items are made with fabric that’s been treated to block UV rays from reaching the skin. For comparison, a regular white t-shirt has a UPF of 4.

You don’t need to buy specially-treated clothes to protect your skin, however. Dark and tightly woven fabrics (think denim) are also able to effectively block sun rays from reaching the skin.

8. An Extra Layer of Defense

Exposure to UV rays leads to the formation of damaging free radicals, which contribute to signs of premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Add an extra layer of protection by wearing a vitamin C serum beneath sunscreen. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which has the added benefit of brightening the skin.

How will you protect your skin this summer? Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to Tell If Your Skin Is Dry or Dehydrated

We all want perfectly hydrated, glowing skin. But what if your skin is tight, flaky, or dull? The key to achieving your best complexion is to understand whether you have dry skin or dehydrated skin.

On the surface, dry skin and dehydrated skin may seem very similar. However, dry skin is a skin type, while dehydrated skin is a skin condition. They each have very different causes, and therefore require different treatments. Keep reading to find out whether your skin is dry or dehydrated, and how to fix it.

How to Tell if You Have Dry Skin

Dry skin doesn’t produce as much natural oil (sebum) as normal skin. Sebum holds in moisture, so without it, skin becomes dry and flaky with more pronounced wrinkles. Dry skin also means that skin’s natural protective barrier could be compromised, leading to inflammation and sensitivity.

If you have dry skin, you’ve probably always had it. Dry skin is one of the skin types, along with oily, combination, and normal. Your skin type is determined by genetics, rather than external factors. Skin feels dry all year long, regardless of the season. However, external factors like weather can exacerbate dry skin and make it worse.

Tips for Improving Dry Skin

    Use heavy, emollient-rich moisturizers to lock in skin’s natural moisture. Ingredients to look for include shea butter, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, and beeswax. Herbacin Day Cream is great for keeping dry skin soft and hydrated all day long.
   Only use very gentle skin cleansers, or make the switch to an oil cleanser.
   Gently exfoliate weekly to improve flakiness.
   Invest in a humidifier, especially if you live in a dry climate or heat your home during the winter.

How to Tell if You Have Dehydrated Skin

Does your skin ever feel tight and parched in the winter or after a long flight? You have dehydrated skin.

Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin is NOT a skin type. Dehydrated skin is a temporary condition when the skin loses moisture from external or internal factors. In fact, you can have an oily skin type and still have dehydrated skin, especially if you use harsh products designed to fight acne. Even though dehydrated skin is a temporary condition, however, you can still have dehydrated skin for a long time.

Dehydrated skin can be the result of dry weather, internal dehydration, or using products with drying ingredients. One way to tell if you have dehydrated skin is to do a pinch test. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If it easily bounces back, your skin is adequately hydrated. If you skin doesn’t bounce back, it’s dehydrated.

Tips for Improving Dehydrated Skin

   Use a moisturizer with humectant ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin, such as Herbacin Anti-Age Serum. Humectants draw water from the air into the skin, keeping it hydrated and soft.
   Use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip skin’s natural oils.
   Use a replenishing toner that rehydrates skin after cleansing.
   Cut back on exfoliation and potent skincare products like retinol and vitamin C serums to see if skin improves.
   Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating beverages that contain alcohol and caffeine.

Do you have dry or dehydrated skin? Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

How to Get Your Feet Ready for Sandal Season

It’s May, which means it’s finally sandal season! If you’re like us, you’re ready for summer, sunshine, and open-toed shoes. But are your feet ready?

While a pedicure is always fun, you can actually get your own feet ready for summer with a few simple tips and tricks. Keeping reading to find out how to get your feet in sandal shape and take advantage of sunny days ahead!

How to Prep Feet for Summer

1.   Soak

A nice, relaxing soak will soften dead skin and calluses, readying them for exfoliation. Add warm water to a large bowl or basin with a liquid soap like body wash. Soak feet for 5 minutes and rinse.

2.   Exfoliate

Once skin is nice and soft, it’s time to exfoliate! A long winter of dead skin buildup can mean unsightly calluses and cracks.

To remove this dead skin, exfoliate using a sugar scrub, pumice stone, or foot peel like Herbacin Foot Care Peeling. Pay particular attention to the soles of the feet and the heels, are these are most likely to develop unsightly calluses.

3.   Trim

Did you know that there’s a right way to trim your toenails? Always trim your toenails flat across, then file down any sharp edges. Cutting toenails in a rounded shape can result in ingrown toenails, which are incredibly painful and can lead to infection.

4.   Paint

Now your toes are ready for polish (if you want). Place toe separators in between toes, and then apply a base coat, which will help your pedicure to last longer and prevent staining. Next, apply two coats of nail polish and finish with a top coat. For a chip-free pedicure, use thin layers of polish and allow to dry completely between each layer.

5.   Moisturize

After exfoliating, replenish your skin’s moisture levels by applying a rich cream formulated specifically for the feet like Herbacin Foot Care Foot Cream. Feet tend to be more dry than other parts of your body because they lack sebaceous glands. In fact, sebaceous glands, which provide natural moisturizing oil called sebum, are found everywhere on the body except the bottoms of your feet and the palms of your hands. Hence, it’s important to frequently moisturize feet.

For extra hydration, apply lotion liberally to feet before bed and then put on socks. When you wake up in the morning, your feet will be silky soft!

How to Maintain Sandal-Ready Feet

Now that your feet are ready for sandal season, you’ll just want to follow this advice to keep your feet healthy all summer long.

Make Exfoliation a Part of Your Routine

Wearing sandals or going barefoot means that calluses are likely to form again. Preemptively fight back by exfoliating feet weekly.

Dealing with Blisters

Unfortunately, going sans socks in hot and humid weather often means blisters. As soon as you feel a blister come on, put on a bandage and change into more comfortable shoes. Keep the area clean and resist the urge to pop blisters, as this will only increase your recovery time.

Keep Your Feet Clean

Remember: you should be cleaning your feet every day, especially if you’re wearing sandals. Open-toed shoes mean more dirt and debris from the outside world land on your feet.

To keep germs out of your home, wash feet with soap and water after wearing sandals outdoors.

Are your feet ready for summer? Let us know in the comments!