STEPS I TAKE TO AVOID NEGATIVE REACTION TO NEW SKINCARE PRODUCTS!!

STEPS I TAKE TO AVOID NEGATIVE REACTION TO NEW SKINCARE PRODUCTS!!

Now because of my job and love for skincare products I am constantly trying out new skincare. Sometimes they turn out great and other times my skin pays for it badly, so ill share the steps I take before trying out a new product. Now if you have sensitive or acne prone skin, incorporating new skin care products into your routine can be a scary thing simply because you just don’t know how your skin will respond, even if it’s a product for your skin type, things can just go wrong. Here are some things you need to know when trying out new skin care products.

1) Know your skintype: its really important to know your skin type before you try any particular product. This is my first basic rule (For example, so many people with oily skin always use products for controlling their oil, when in fact they really need to focus on putting water-based hydration into the skin.) basically if you know your skin type you would not need to try some skincare products.

2) Perform a patch test. If you have extremely sensitive and allergic skin, it’s always recommended to do a patch test for compatibility prior to using any new products. When you’re trying a new line you’re excited to dive right in and use everything, but if you have a negative reaction to something you’ll never know what it was. You might make some of your own assumptions, but it’s really hard for you to determine for sure.
The side of the neck is a good starting point for true compatibility because it’s thinner and generally more reactive. The idea is that if it can be tolerated on your neck, then you can feel confident that it will be okay on the face. Also, should you encounter a negative reaction such as an itchy, red rash, you might want it to appear on the neck rather than on your face.

Note: The product category that allergic skins are most reactive to are products that you would leave on the skin (moisturizer, serum, toner, eye cream) as opposed to a cleanser that you apply and rinse right off. Also, if you are doing a patch test with a product that contains Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid or other AHA’s, it is normal that the skin may be slightly pink but this should usually subside within 10-15 minutes, especially if moisturizer is applied on the skin over it.
What to do if you have an allergic reaction? If you ever use a product and break out in a rash, you can apply cold plain yogurt to the affected area, Leave on 15 minutes rinse and repeat every three hours. Also you can use hydrocortisone.

3) Introduce your products slowly. When using new products, even if you have patch-tested and no negative reaction has occurred, I still believe that it is best to only introduce one new product every five days. This way, if a negative reaction should occur, you are able to pinpoint which product it may be, and then you will have this helpful knowledge for future skin care purchases.

xoxoxo

HOW TO GET GLOWING HEALTHY SKIN!

HOW TO GET GLOWING HEALTHY SKIN!

As the skin ages, everything tends to slow down. This includes blood circulation, oil production and the natural exfoliating process of the skin. This is what is responsible for dull skin.  In addition, pigment cells rise to the surface with age, so the skin develops brown spots which cause the skin to not look even-toned.

No worries there’s a lot that can be done to counteract dull skin. In this post, I’ll share my favorite tips to get your skin looking fresh and glowing in no time.

  • Only use low-foaming, sulfate-free cleansers to wash your face

Cleansing your skin in the morning and at night is essential for optimal skin health. However, you need to pay attention to the type of cleanser you use.

Many foaming and gel-based cleansers are formulated with ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate,  or ammonium lauryl sulfate. These are cleansing agents that cut oil from the skin. While you do need to remove oil from the skin, these sulfate ingredients are simply too strong and will strip water from the skin after every washing. This leaves the skin feeling tight and creates irritation. This eventually leads to a damaged moisture barrier that contributes to your skin’s dull, dry appearance. When it comes to cleansing, the rule is more lather, more drying; less lather, less drying. Be sure to look for cleansers labeled as ‘sulfate-free’ and ones that don’t have a shampoo-like bubbly lather. Furthermore, bar soaps are an absolute no-no.

  • Repair your moisture barrier so the skin will appear light reflective

When you want the skin to have the look of a radiant glow, you want to make light bounce off of the skin. If your skin is dry and flaky, it means you have a damaged moisture barrier. When this happens, your skin develops tiny, invisible cracks that allow not only moisture to escape but also allow light to penetrate. This prevents light from bouncing off the skin’s surface so the skin will not have that ‘lit from within’ look. Instead, you end up with that undesirable dullness we all dislike. Aside from using only gentle cleansers, you have to take steps to repair your skin’s dryness and close up these cracks. The best way to do this is by using the RIGHT type of moisturizer. Now most of you would think this is for people with dry skin but you can have oily skin that is dehydrated. It’s a fact that hydrated skin is healthy skin, so start looking at your ingredient labels to find the perfect moisturizer for your skin.

  • Use a face oil but use it correctly

Especially during Harmattan when the air is dry, moisture is dramatically reduced from the skinOne of the very best ways to prevent moisture evaporation and keep your skin looking radiant is to apply a treatment oil over your night cream. The reason why you want to put it on as the last step in your night regimen is that oils have the largest molecule, more so than any other skin care product. Because of this, oil acts like a top coat or a sealant so that everything underneath (your toner, serum, and moisturizer) stays in the skin. .

  • Be sure to use the right type of exfoliating products and use them regularly

The quickest, easiest way to instantly brighten the skin is to use an exfoliating product. By dissolving and removing dry surface cells, you instantly reveal fresher, brighter, plumper cells that reflect light and give the skin a smoother look. I personally prefer AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid.

  • Use a skin brightener daily

Since pigment cells rise to the surface with age, brown spots and sun spots can make the skin look dull. One of the benefits of a natural skin brightener is its ability to sedate melanin activity to fade stubborn discolored marks. My favorite type is a vitamin C serum  like the YouSkin because it’s a proven brown spot lightener.

  • Use an Illuminator

Never underestimate the power of makeup. if you love your make-up this is probably your favorite part. Take a good look at your face to really familiarize yourself with the bone structure. Once you have identified your cheekbones, brow bones, nose and chin dab an illuminator on those areas. It is all about looking natural, make sure you gently blend any excess product so it does not sit on the skin.

 

if you have other secrets please share with us!

 

xoxo

Nnenna

 

 

5 DAILY HABITS THAT AFFECT THE SKIN.

5 DAILY HABITS THAT AFFECT THE SKIN.
  1. Cell phone use: High exposure of our facial skin to our phones increase our exposure to bacteria, dust and other grimy element that can lead to breakouts in our skin. Ensure that you clean your phone screen with antibacterial wipes.

 

  1. Over exfoliating: Gentle exfoliation is the best thing that you can do to your skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells that accumulate on the skin surface which helps to get rid of the dull, dry skin and will reveal a youthful and fresh looking skin. But when over exfoliating happens it can have adverse affect on your skin. Too much exfoliating or harsh cleansing can worsen breakouts and exacerbate oil production.

 

  1. Hairspray and other hair care products: We know you don’t apply hair products to your face, but the residue can end up there. Next time you apply hairspray, cover your face with a clean towel to protect your skin. Also, use a sweatband when you hit the gym to keep the products from dripping down when you begin to sweat.

 

  1. Always do a patch test before using any product: It is important to do a skin patch test for all DIYs and new products. It is easy to see a new “It product” and be eager to jump on that train, however always be conscious of your skin type and know that what works for others might cause damage to your skin or just not work for you. A fast way of knowing this is through a skin patch test where you check for reactions and other adverse effects on your skin, before you use it fully on your skin.

 

 

  1. Always use a sunscreen:  You need to use sunscreen daily before going out in the sun. It is very essential to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of sun. Prolonged sun exposure without the protection of a good quality sunscreen lotion can cause serious skin damage. It is advisable to apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 before going out. At the same time wear well covered clothes and carry an umbrella to provide maximum protection to your skin.

If you want your skin to look radiant, glowing and young, avoid these common bad skin habits. Also follow a good skin care regimen daily without any fail.

 

 

What are other habits you think may affect the skincare unknowingly? let us know in the comments below!

Layering your Skincare products!

thumb_img_0346_1024Plenty of people buy lots of new products and use them at random to find that it has made no difference to their skin’s appearance. This is because slapping on skincare products in any random order is probably one of the biggest mistakes a beauty lover could make. To get the benefits of each item, there is actually a correct order to layer skincare products.

 

An easy way of remembering the order of your skincare application is by going from light to heavy. Before any heavyweight creams, products with the lightest consistency should be applied first. Keep reading below to find out how to layer you skincare products correctly, for optimum use.

 

Step 1: Cleanse

Without a good cleanser, your entire skincare routine could suffer. Its purpose is to eliminate all the impurities that water can’t tackle on its own. It frees your skin from dirt and other impurities, contributes to radiant complexion, and improves your skin’s ability to absorb other products from your routine. An Ideal cleanser should be enriched with vitamins and nutrients to hydrate and nourish your skin at the same time.

 

Step 2: Exfoliate (1–2 Times Per Week)

Most experts recommend exfoliating once or twice weekly to tackle built-up dirt and oil, reduce dullness, and sweep away dead skin cells (which promotes healthy cell turnover). Scrubs gently buff away dead skin, while chemical exfoliators and peels give pores a deep clean. When using a scrub, focus your exfoliating energy on areas with blackheads or flakiness (especially nose and cheeks), since those are the areas that get clogged the most.

 

Step 3: Toners

Most people underestimate the power of toners, but this product should be a standard part of your skincare routine. It removes the final traces of dirt that cleanser missed or didn’t reach. Toners also prepare the skin for products you will apply after. Now, it’s important what type of toner you’re going to choose. Some toners contain too much alcohol and only dry out your face e.g. even if you have oily skin, acne toners with too much alcohol could only increase oil production.

You should go for toners that are made of safe and natural ingredients. Remember, toners should also be versatile and offer some other benefits as well. To ensure that your entire skincare routine achieves its full potential, you should go for toners such as the Pixi glow tonic as it has glycolic acid in it that helps exfoliate your skin.

 

Step 4: Apply Serums

Serums are effective products that are formulated to address specific problems. Due to their lightweight formula, they are applied before moisturizer. Why? It’s because moisturizers are heavier and your skin wouldn’t be able to absorb, Rahdha beauty Vitamin C serum aims to decrease fine lines and wrinkles. Serums are versatile; you can get different products for different purposes.

 

 

Step 5: Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is sensitive and doesn’t have sebaceous glands. That is why fine lines and wrinkles appear there first. Products like Radha Intensive youth Eye gel are specially formulated to care for delicate skin around your eyes. It helps puffiness, dark circles, and has anti aging properties.

 

Step 6: Moisturize

The role of moisturizer is to lock the moisture into your skin thus keeping it hydrated and smooth. When you wash your face with cleanser and then use toner or serum, your skin already gets much-needed hydration, but that moisture has to stay inside. Without moisturizer, it would just evaporate. Make sure you get moisturizer formulated for your skin type. Each skin type has different needs and purchasing moisturizer that addresses the needs of your skin is important

 

Step 7: Protect

After moisturizer, it’s time to apply sunscreen. You need a good-quality product to protect you from the sun even when you are not exposed. However, if you don’t have too much time in the morning for a longer skincare routine like a lot of my clients, you can be more practical. For instance, you can use a moisturizing sunscreen, products that protect you from the sun while providing the same moisturizing benefits as moisturizers.

 

I hope this helps everyone…

7 Signs Your Skin Care Routine Needs To Be Changed..

Hi guys, so its been a minute but I am back again with my skincare banter. I am talking about this because during the course of my work I have encountered a lot of these issues, and here are 7 things I can think of from the top of my head that people deal with daily but are not sure how to handle, I hope this helps someone out there.

 

While skin issues can be linked to all manner of reasons hormones, diet, stress, etc. Sometimes all it takes to set things straight is a change in your skin care routine. Take a look at the following signs to see if your skin is a prime candidate for a product transition.

 

  1. Your breakouts worsen after treatment.

If you’ve recently started a topical course of acne treatment and your skin gets worse, the active ingredient in your product may be too active for you right now. If you have never used a product with Glycolic acid, Vitamin A or Vitamin C before, the skin in most cases needs to adjust to the extra strength. Once it detoxifies the skin, it will calm down. Reducing the use of the active product to every other night will usually help this, what I mean is allowing your skin to adjust gradually.

 

  1. Your dry skin is excessively dry.

If you’re cleansing your dry skin with a creamy cleanser, but it’s getting worse instead of better, you could have a double drying issue. The problem with some creamy cleansers is that they’re not exfoliating, nor do they contain natural oils to help replenish dry skin with lipids. Switch to a cleanser that contains more oil, or add a pre-wash that contains Argan oil, lipid oil or nut oil.

 

  1. Your oily skin is excessively dry.

It may sound like a Joke, but oily skin that flakes and feels tight and dry is actually a pretty common occurrence. People with oily skin tend to use cleansers and toners that are over stripping to the skin, causing the acid mantle to become unbalanced. This causes the body to produce even more oil to balance things out and making things worse. Switch to a cleanser that is less drying, preferably one with Glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin and remove the oil.” A hydrating serum like hyaluronic serum should also help.

 

  1. You have new freckles.

Trust me I have seen a lot of girls in Nigeria with freckles. Some may be hereditary, others hormones but if you just get it randomly then its actually hyper pigmentation due to sun damage. And the issue may be your sunscreen (or lack of it). Many people underestimate the importance of using a daily sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Switch to a formula that covers both types of rays, or increase the SPF if the product you use now already protects against both. To work on brown spots during your product transition, try incorporating products that have higher concentrations of Peptides and/or Kojic acid ingredients.

 

  1. Your skin is super red.

This is more prevalent in light skinned girls, while some of them may just have a natural blush and there is nothing to it, most times if your skin has an angry shade of red its an indication that something in your product ingredient list may be too harsh for your skin. Cleansers that contain sulphates or benzoyl peroxide are common culprits, so review the list of ingredients and switch to one that is free of both.

 

6.   Your skin stings or itches.

If your skin begins to sting, itch or appear blotchy, it may be the victim of over exfoliation. “These days there are so many exfoliation products that are used daily as opposed to weekly. When you strip the acid mantle, you remove the protective layer of your skin, which makes you more prone to photosensitization. Switch to a product that’s gentler on the skin and follow the directions religiously. If it says use once a week, then once a week is all it will take to achieve the best results.

 

  1. Your skin has tiny bumps.

Do you have small, white bumps on the surface of your skin? This is the No 1 indication of an allergic reaction. These types of bumps are very tiny, do not resemble whiteheads and may be accompanied by redness. For the first step, try using

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without so many chemicals in them. Look for products that have natural ingredients and are fragrance-free. To ease the transition, apply calming ingredients such as aloe vera or honey.

MY BEAUTY NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

People write down New Year resolutions in a variety of categories, like health, happiness, family and so on….I feel like beauty should have its own category too. It’s my job to be beauty obsessed and I love it, but there are always areas of improvement for me, and maybe for you, too. I think there are a few things we all need to do more this new year…some of them are things that you have heard me say over and over again… but yes ill keep ringing it in your ears till it sinks in, and trust you will thank me later. These are the things I plan to do more in 2016

1. Wear sunscreen every single day: I’m pretty good with this, I never leave my house without sunscreen on my face…I use it underneath my makeup and then use my primer on top. I’m great with applying SPF on my face, and all over especially if I plan to spend long hours under the sun, but I need to be more aware of my neck and chest, and other sneaky areas, like my hands. Be sure to apply all year round, and also I need to learn to add an extra coat of sunscreen on my hands when I am getting a gel manicure because of the UV lights used to dry the nails.

2. Washing my makeup brushes: speaking of brushes ill like to mention their somewhat high maintenance nature. If you don’t wash your brushes regularly, not only are you leaving them open to bacteria, which leads to possibly breakouts, it also means that your brushes wont pick up pigment and work as well as it should. It can also be annoying and long but if you use a brush cleaner it is much easier and faster. So for me I’m setting a specific time (Sunday afternoon at 2pm) to do this chore every week. This gives me enough time to allow my brushes to dry naturally. Put a calendar reminder in your phone.

3. Being more adventurous with makeup (and hairstyles). It’s so easy to get into a makeup routine, but people like MakeupShyla do a great job of switching it up. Celebs on Instagram are a great inspiration for trying new things, gold eye shadow, bold red lips. Amrezy always mixes it up, glossy lips, matte, dark lips, Coloured eyeliner she isn’t afraid….. And why should she be? Its makeup she can wash it off!!!! I’m aiming to try more bold lipsticks, especially red, definitely going out of my comfort zone since I rocked nude lips mostly in 2015.

4. Book in for regular facials: Looking after your skin is a bit like looking after your teeth. While you may brush and floss regularly, you still need to see the dentist for a deep clean and check up. I have a fantastic facial routine and really good products I use on my skin, even though this might seem enough it just isn’t. I know that times are tough in this economy and it’s undeniably smart to cut back on extraneous purchases. However, this is my opinion on why a monthly facial is a good investment. Your skin is always on display and often has the power to dictate how good we feel about ourselves. Investing in proper skincare has a value that can be arguably more important than buying a new dress or going out to a fancy restaurant or even taking an expensive vacation (a facial is a mini-vacation). A facial will cleanse the pores on a much deeper level, Extractions/cleaning out the pores can help to maintain clear skin, stop acne formation, as well as can help to change the pore’s size. Often times left unchecked, pores can start to stretch and widen with the accumulation of oil and dirt. So I have decided to get a facial monthly.

5. Hair and Skin masks. Hair and skin masks are fun to use and make a huge difference for soft, shiny hair and clear skin. I really love the Dead Sea mud mask from pure body naturals at the moment. I love the way my skin feels after, its simply amazing. And I also love the Cantu hair masque, it leaves my hair moisturized and soft, I would use this once a month going forward. I would also like to apply a facemask once a week at a time that’s perfect for me.

6. Look after my natural nails: As ridiculous as it sounds, a manicure is one of the first things people will notice about your appearance, especially if you work in an office. For a while I have been using nail extensions and acrylic, while it looks beautiful it also makes my nails underneath very soft. I would like to take a break from nail extensions and grow my own nails. Strong, long and healthy!!! My nail inspiration is Ez from BIL her natural nails are amazing and ill like mine to look like hers some-day…hahahha.

These are my beauty resolutions ……please feel free to share yours with me below.

We all know Sunscreen is important, but do you know why?????

Sunscreen is known to be the most common way of protecting the skin against the harmful rays of sun. There are products that combine several ingredients that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation UVA and UVB, damage the skin, ages it prematurely, and increases the risk of skin cancer. As we live in a country where the weather is mostly sunny and very humid, I will bring forth all the details of sun protection I have learnt so far.
Some myths that need to be clarified
Regarding sunscreen and sun protection regime, there are two common myths that circulate which need to be made clear.
1. First of all, it is considered that sunscreen when applied, stops you from tanning (getting darker). I have often heard a lot of people say this and it is really not true. No matter how much sunscreen you wear if you are exposed to the sun for long hours, YOU WILL GET A TAN! Sunscreen/Sunblock only protects you from partial UVA/UVB rays, there is no sunblock that covers you 100% so if you don’t want to tan, stay out of the sun. Unfortunately that is the only way to do it, Sunscreen helps to prevent you from burning, not tanning.

2. The second myth is that people with dark skin don’t need sunscreen as they already have dark skin and tanning won’t be prominent. Well, dark skinned people need sunscreen and skin protection just like any other person. The sunscreen’s job is to stop the harmful rays from getting to the skin’s layers.
How does SPF stamped on Sunscreen work?
Most of us get confused with the SPF amount written on the sunscreen every now and then. The thing is that SPF, a sun-protecting factor, is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. A good way to look at it is in terms of percentages, for example lets say SPF 15 filters out approximately 93% of all incoming UVB rays, SPF 30 keeps out 97% and SPF 50 keeps out 98%.
Choose the right sunscreen for your skin type
There are many good companies that are making sunscreens and when you see a number of different sun protections, you get confused and ask yourself which one to really use. So here are some tips to choose the right one for your skin.
1. If you have a combination/oily skin, choose the sunscreen that doesn’t make your skin oily, preferably one that is matte. On the other hand if you have dry skin, you need to get one that moisturizes your skin.
2. In all cases I recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen offering protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
3. You can choose sunscreens in different forms; they come in creams, lotions, sprays and gel forms. Make sure you select the right type for you so it makes it easier to apply. My skin loves lotion, so I am always up for it.
4. If you are planning a holiday or a weekend outdoors, make sure to get sunscreens with higher SPF values and remember to reapply every 2hours.
With all this sunscreen information, you will be able to select one that serves you right. I personally use SPF-50 matte creams on my face because I have oily Tzones, and SPF 30 lotion on my body…oh and I stay away from the sun as much as I can.
Evaluate your skin type, and then choose something that suits you and makes you happy.
Remember be smart about when and how long you stay in the sun.

To get more beauty tips follow me on instagram @youtopiabeauty
Till next time xoxoxo

SHRINK YOUR PORES……. MY FACIAL ROUTINE, MY JOURNEY!!!!

If you know me well then you know how obsessed I am with pores. When I meet people I just can’t help noticing enlarged pores on their faces, I know its horrible but wanting smaller invisible pores has been an obsession of mine for a very long time. While science has informed me that I cannot eradicate pores, I am doing my best in making them appear as small as possible.

First of all what are pores? They are those tiny dots you see on the surface of your skin; they are actually the openings of hair follicles. Each one contains a sebaceous gland, which produces your skin’s oils. Pores are more noticeable on some parts of the face, like for me my nose (doesn’t help that it’s not exactly a small one). Sometimes the size of your pores is genetic, your skin type too, can play a role.

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FACE MAPPING…..ACNE WHY IT SHOWS UP WHERE

Last week when I put up this picture and said acne, why it shows up where. There were a lot of people asking questions about what exactly this meant, so I have decided to do this post to elaborate.

When you are not taking care of yourself as well as you should…your skin will let you know. Your skin is constantly communicating with you and if you are experiencing pigmentation problems, acne, puffy eyes and other issues it is most likely the result of something deeper that is happening on the inside.

Face mapping has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese believe that you can tell a lot about a person and their health just by looking at their skin. I personally use this map and it’s always right.
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Acne Aftermath: How to Cover Up The Scars That Are Left Behind

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acne-on-black-skin

Unless you’ve been blessed with completely immaculate skin, you may have experienced face or body acne at least once in your life, as well as the unsightly scarring that can be left in its wake. Some scars are not that bad, but most people find them to be an annoying reminder of their skin struggles. They can come in different sizes, shapes, and shades, depending on the type of acne and how the person’s skin reacts. Different things can lead to obvious scarring such as picking at pimples and even exposure to sunlight. Luckily with the proper makeup application, scars can, for the most part, be covered.

Prepping the skin for coverage

Your skin should be nourished and moisturized before attempting coverage. products that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retin-A are great but they can dry out the skin causing it to flake. on the other hand Lactic Acid and Kojic Acid are great and will strip away dead skin and leave the area exfoliated but without the drying effects. Stick with products that have brightening ingredients, such as Licorice, Gingko Biloba, and Vitamin C, also make sure you always wear sunscreen it’s the best way to protect the skin from more distinct scarring.
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