Kale-lalu-yAHA

$25.00

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Kale-lalu-yAHA

$25.00

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"My skin feels congested and clogged.

 I want to regain the youthful glow I lost."

"My skin feels congested and clogged.  I want to regain the youthful glow I lost."

Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser

$16.00 Sold Out

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Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser

$16.00 Sold Out

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"I need to wash off the nasties

 but I don’t want to lose any moisture!"

"I need to wash off the nasties  but I don’t want to lose any moisture!"

Height of Summer: TEWL

“I have oily skin, but also feel dried out from the inside! I feel like my skin can’t make up its mind!” Oily-but-dehydrated skin is no stranger to the skincare world. More and more people are noticing that they have oily yet dehydrated skin, and steering clear of oils has not helped at all. So what’s going on? Dry vs Dehydrated Skin The simplest way to think about it is that dry skin characteristically lacks both oil and water whereas dehydrated skin is a condition where it lacks sufficient water. While dry skin might be a result of genetics, dehydrated skin is usually a reflection of the environment and your actions on the skin. “What exactly am I doing wrong to my skin?” A weakened skin barrier It all comes back to your skin barrier function. As we learned before, the skin barrier is a natural shield between our skin and the external world. It keeps hydration inside where it belongs, and prevents foreign substances from coming in and potentially irritating the skin. Your barrier can also be disrupted by constant washing, too many new products, overuse of acids and actives, harsh scrubbing, etc. Once you have a compromised skin barrier, your once tightly-linked fence now has plenty of gaps where things can come in or out! Once the skin barrier is altered, hydration escapes quickly and easily, increasing your TRANS-EPIDERMAL WATER-LOSS (TEWL). And that’s when your skin will feel dehydrated and produce a lot more oil in an attempt to keep the remaining water in. Besides water evaporating from your skin, harmful things also have a higher chance of getting in. This is when your skin might also start feeling more sensitive or reactive, and products/ingredients that did not cause problems before will give your skin irritated and inflamed. Sounds like your situation? Please head to our blog post on the skin barrier to find out what influences the integrity of the skin barrier and how to repair it. Quick tips on fixing dehydrated skin Make sure you’re hydrating from the inside out! Do you still feel thirsty even if you drink plenty of water? If you feel like your body is having trouble holding on to the water you’re drinking, see if you are getting enough electrolytes through your diet or beverages. Avoid (too much) coffee or alcohol, things that make you pee can dry you out from the inside! Simplify your cleansing by choosing a barrier-friendly cleanser such as Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser and limit washing your skin to once a day (or as needed) Layer humectant-rich products with ingredients like glycerin, sodium pca, hyaluronic acid, urea, aloe, honey and etc. These ingredients help your skin hold on to the water you give it so that it doesn’t evaporate as quickly. Look for products containing ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids that will help rebuild your skin barrier. If your skin is severely dehydrated and sensitive, try a normal saline solution mask!  Always remember that healthy skin starts from respecting your skin’s natural functionality. Treat it with care and your skin will love you back.

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Height of Summer: TEWL

“I have oily skin, but also feel dried out from the inside! I feel like my skin can’t make up its...

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How to Manage Summer Breakouts

THE HEAT IS REAL. And so are our skin struggles. “My skin seems to break out more in summer!” “My skin feels so dirty and congested in this heat!” “My skin is as dehydrated as the Sahara in this weather!” These are all very valid skin concerns that arise during this time of the year, especially with the many heat waves that have been taking over cities all around the world. The culprit of all of these issues? Overheated skin. Overheated skin is something that needs to be taken care of first before you start slathering on another spot treatment. HEAT = The match of a fire In the summer, the water in your skin will naturally evaporate more quickly. Your skin then produces more oil as a protective layer to stop the water from escaping. Your pores will also naturally expand with heat, meaning some of the extra sebum will get trapped inside and give an appearance of overstretched/clogged pores. Sweating is your body’s natural way of regulating heat because the evaporation of water on your skin helps cool it down (evaporative cooling). However, as the water from your sweat evaporates, the chemicals and salts in your sweat remain on your skin which can then become irritating. And because of the increased moisture on top of your skin, dust and pollution can easily stick to your skin increasing your chances of clogged pores. That doesn’t sound pretty, does it..? So how do you treat heated skin? 1) Cool it off The first thing you need to do is cool your body. You can easily do so by applying a cool towel to the back of your neck or your forearms, these points have been shown to play a big role in your regulating your body’s heat. Next, you can also apply something cooling on your face. It is pretty popular nowadays to keep your facemasks or aloe vera gel in the fridge. And while this can certainly help, make sure your fridge isn’t too cold or near freezing. Another side note, DO NOT USE ICE CUBES DIRECTLY ON YOUR FACE! We’ve noticed that this has become a popular trend, but the ice from your freezer is typically several degrees colder than freezing. Applying it directly on your face can cause an ice burn or damage on your skin. If you want to use ice, make sure to wrap it in a clean towel. Similarly, if you enjoy massaging your skin with cold spoons or a cold jade roller, keep them in the fridge rather than the freezer! 2) Feed your skin what it craves aka MORE HYDRATION It is crucial to maintain hydration levels in the summer to avoid heat-related breakouts. Make sure you’re drinking tons of water to replace the water you’re losing by sweating and breathing out. A simple saline mask is a cheap and easy way to rehydrate your skin! SAY WHAT?!  Yup! Normal saline solution (a sodium chloride concentration of 0.9%) mimics the fluid that floats inside your body, making it less likely for your skin to resist it if you apply it topically. Contrary to popular belief, your skin does not drink up all the layers of toner you’re applying, most of them just hydrate on the surface level of the skin temporarily and evaporates. Adios, toner... If you use normal saline solution as a face mask, your skin will be more susceptible to receiving the hydration you feed it. But before you go out to the drugstore, here are some things you want to look for: Make sure it’s a ‘Normal’ saline solution with a sodium chloride concentration of 0.9%. Any higher concentration will start to dehydrate your skin. Make sure it doesn’t have added preservatives or ingredients such as those for washing/containing contact lenses. After applying the saline soaked cotton pads on your skin for 10 minutes, gently rinse off the solution so that the salt does not remain on your skin, this is a super important step because if you don’t, it can irritate and dry out your skin. We should also be taking advantage of the humidity by adding some water-grabbers, aka, humectants! Applying hyaluronic acid or glycerin to your skin will help it catch some of the moisture from the environment. If you do not live in a humid area, you can try using humectants during or right after you shower, and seal it in with your favorite moisturizer. 3) Eat antioxidants and apply antioxidants. Have you ever heard of your sebum oxidizing? It happens a lot but surprisingly doesn’t get talked about very often. In a previous post we mentioned that lipids (oil) on your face can get oxidized by environmental light, heat, UV rays, and pollutants in a process called lipid peroxidation. They also come with some consequences: It creates the perfect environment for bacteria P. acnes to thrive. It signals your skin to create an inflammatory response which can show up as redness and irritation. Some lipids in your sebum, such as squalene, can become comedogenic once oxidized and end up clogging your pores. You can prevent this by feeding your skin plenty of antioxidants. Vitamin C and E work together to enhance their antioxidative benefits than when either one is used alone. Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser and Kale-Lalu-yAHA are chock-full of superfood antioxidants. Mung bean or green tea masks are great too, because of their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Simply mix mung bean powder with some water to create a paste and apply it to your face. Matcha mixed with water can be soaked onto cotton pads and applied to the skin as well,  you can even keep it in the fridge beforehand! Drinking green tea is also known to decrease UVB-caused oxidative damage as well as decrease the expression of collagen-breaking MMPs. Grab a matcha and load up on blueberries, walnuts, red bean, and more! 4) Don’t overwash your face Lastly, you might be tempted to wash your face more frequently since you’re noticing more sweat, sebum, or clogged pores in the summer, but remember that the best way to maintain your skin’s hydration is to keep its natural moisture barrier intact! Overwashing can disrupt this barrier and cause more trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Stay tuned for next week’s post for the low-down on TEWL and what you can do to minimize it!

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How to Manage Summer Breakouts

THE HEAT IS REAL. And so are our skin struggles. “My skin seems to break out more in summer!” “M...

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Why Beet The Sun is Not Available in the US (yet...)

Hey everyone, Liah here! This is going to be a lengthy post so grab a healthy snack and let’s get started! Beet The Sun SPF 47 PA++++ has launched on our Korea website which means it is currently a South Korea exclusive. I’ve posted a video explaining the situation before but I wanted to give an update about the situation and where we are at now. Long story short, we can’t bring Beet The Sun SPF 47 PA++++ as a sunscreen to the US. Sunscreen is regulated by the US FDA as an over the counter drug because it makes skin-cancer prevention claims, this means that every sunscreen marketed in the US needs to have an FDA approval. Unfortunately, the US is far behind in the sunscreen game and our product does not qualify. Ever heard of people recommending you to stock up on sunscreens when you're visiting Europe or Asia? There’s definitely a reason why. When it comes to allowing newer chemical (organic) UV filters, the US has been very conservative about it. Any international sunscreen that used the UV filters outside the US FDA monograph isn’t allowed to make official sunscreen claims. Here's the problem. With Beet The Sun SPF 47 PA++++, we didn't want to use the old chemical UV filters that the US is using when there are far superior, more photostable, and less irritating options to formulate with. My personal experience with US chemical sunscreens has not been great, a lot of them were irritating making my skin tingle which eventually made my skin even more sensitive to sunlight. This made me want to formulate with UV filters that have little to no photoallergy or contact allergy history. These are the 5 active ingredients we ended up using: Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate/DHHB (Uvinul A Plus) Ethylhexyl Triazone (Octyl triazone) Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate (Amiloxate) Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine/BEMT (Tinosorb S) Polysilicone-15 So where is the US now in the sunscreen game? This next part gets a little technical, so you can totally skip this paragraph if you get the gist. The Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA) was enacted on November 26, 2014, to provide an alternative process for the review of the safety and effectiveness of newer sunscreen active ingredients. This gave hope to the possibility of maybe, finally having the new sunscreen ingredients allowed here in the states. However, according to the recent GAO report, it seems like none of the active ingredients is any closer to being marketed in the United States, and US consumers will not be seeing any innovative sunscreens in the market any time soon. Though these ingredients have been safely used in other countries for more than a decade, I'm sure the US has its own reasoning that I respect. So, here's the twist. We are going to bring that same formula of Beet The Sun SPF 47 PA++++ without the sunscreen claim, but we’re going to need a little help from you guys. We might even change the name 'Beet The Sun' and we won't be able to have an SPF number or any sun protective claims on our packaging. So everything will be quite vague and confusing. So when you talk about it or even recommend it to your friend, please spread the word and let them know it's a sunscreen! It's kind of like a secret code, just between us. We've thought about completely renaming it and repositioning it as a makeup primer but the concept of a makeup primer really doesn’t align with KraveBeauty's philosophy of stripping down to the basics. And if we were to name it as a daytime moisturizer, we knew there would be people who apply it at night as well. But it’s kinda cool I guess! Like a speakeasy bar that you can only access if you have the password, haha. I hope this post can somehow contribute to moving FDA forward with the sunscreen ingredients. I'm positive that once everyone in the country is aware of the matter, there will be a change. Until then, Beet The Sun will remain as a secretive sunscreen-like product that only we will know about 😉 (Some have pointed out there are tons of international sunscreens that are being sold in the US with a proper sunscreen claim, and while there  is definitely is a way around it, it isn’t compliant with the FDA regulations.) - Liah (Founder & CEO of KraveBeauty)

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Why Beet The Sun is Not Available in the US (yet...)

Hey everyone, Liah here! This is going to be a lengthy post so grab a healthy snack and let’s get...

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Sunscreen is Your Best Friend

“It’s cloudy outside. Do I still need to wear sunscreen?” “I have a dark skin tone. Do I still need to wear sunscreen?” “I’m a teenager. Do I still need to wear sunscreen?” Yes, yes, and YES. We need sunscreen every single day, not just for when we are in the direct sun! And here’s why: 1) Wearing sunscreen prevents skin cancer Sun damage ACCUMULATES. So even if you’re ONLY in the sun on your walk to and from work, it can add up, day after day, year after year. Aim to develop good sunscreen habits in children so that it can easily carry on into adulthood! People with darker skin tones also need sunscreen. While skin cancer rates are lower in people of color, it still happens and can be potentially more dangerous because changes in moles or other pigmentation may not be as easily noticed. Skin cancer in people of color often occurs in odd areas that get the least sun, such as the palms, soles of feet, and beneath the fingernails/toenails. While having more melanin in your skin means fewer UV rays get through, the melanin itself is still susceptible to change and damage from the sun! Melanin can get darker when exposed to UVA and new melanin can also be produced. Everyone at every age is susceptible to skin cancer, therefore sunscreen is for everyone.   2) Sunscreen is the best anti-aging product Sunscreen is the best investment if you want to dive into the world of anti-aging. It’s easy to find a woman in their 40s and 50s regretting the days of baking in the sun. Believe it or not, 90% of the signs of aging are caused by the sun and can make your skin leathery and less firm over time.   The collagen factory in your skin runs 24/7. It produces collagen, recycles it, and renews it. The factory starts to function slower with as we continue to age and with sun exposure. HOW? Exposure to UVA and UVB from the sun turns on your collagen shredders (MMP-1 and MMP-3) speeding up the breakdown of your collagen. Luckily, we have our sunscreen on hand. Studies show that sunscreen can reduce the chances of that happening!   3) Prevent hyperpigmentation Let’s say your top skin concern is hyperpigmentation/discolouration. Please don’t tell us that you’re investing in expensive vitamin C, AHA, and other skin-brightening products but skipping a sunscreen! Let’s set things straight. Regular sun exposure, even if it’s just a little bit a day, gradually changes the way pigment appears on your skin. Melanin-producing factories (melanocytes) sit at the lowest layer of your epidermis to produce and gather the melanin into little packages (melanosomes). These packages are then delivered and distributed among the top layer of your skin. The best way to prevent hyperpigmentation after the acne goes away, is to put sunscreen on it consistently and liberally! For extra protection, coat another layer of sunscreen on the spots that are more prone to sun damage. 4) Sunscreen is a non-negotiable for acne prone skin We hear our founder, Liah, talking a lot about ‘Lipid Peroxidation’. Lipid peroxidation is basically a process where your sebum (oil on the skin) being oxidized by sun exposure, free radicals, and other environmental factors. Oxidized sebum exacerbates acne as it thickens the sebum which has a higher chance of clogging pores - that doesn’t sound fun at all. So wear that sunscreen and look for antioxidant-rich skincare to prevent this from happening! 5) Flushed skin? Wear sunscreen. If you already have flushed skin purely by walking outdoors, it’s possible that you are already sunburnt. Not all sunburns end in blisters - mild burns usually show up as red patches (erythema) that are warm and sensitive to touch. The redness from these types of burns take about 3-5 days to clear. Having these mild sunburns repeatedly also SIGNIFICANTLY increases your risk of future skin cancer, so definitely put on sunscreen to avoid getting sun-induced redness (erythema)! Convinced that sunscreen is your best friend? Make sure to apply ENOUGH and bring it wherever you go so that you can reapply throughout the day!    

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Sunscreen is Your Best Friend

“It’s cloudy outside. Do I still need to wear sunscreen?” “I have a dark skin tone. Do I still ne...

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Skin Myths: Fact or Fiction?

1. Sunscreen gives you cancer FICTION Sunscreen protects you from skin cancer! There is often a misleading notion that people who use more sunscreen have higher rates of skin cancer, but that is simply not true. The reason is because people typically only put on sunscreen when they expect to be out in the sun (i.e. going to the beach or Disneyland), and that they almost never put on enough! To get the proper protection of the SPF printed on the label, you need to put on at least 1/4 teaspoon, just for your face! 😱 So next time you’re putting on sunscreen, use that methodology for your body and face, and don’t forget to reapply   2. Consuming dairy causes acne FACT There are tons of different hormones in dairy milk, and it has been shown that, these signals lead to an increased amount of insulin and other hormones in our body, resulting in an increase in sebum-producing cells, sebum, and inflammation, which becomes a perfect recipe for acne!   3. Collagen creams and supplements help with collagen levels in your skin. FACT & FICTION It is hard for collagen to be absorbed into the skin because it is large in size. Even when the collagen is broken into little pieces, our barrier functions to keep out most substances. Occasionally a few of those pieces will get absorbed into the skin, but there are no guarantees that our cells will make collagen out of those pieces. New research does however show that you have a good chance of maintaining your collagen levels by taking dietary supplements of collagen peptides/hydrolyzed collagen. Since the building blocks are supplied to your cells directly from your blood at the correct ratios, it increases the chance that they will be used for building collagen. It is shown that taking collagen supplements reduces sun damage and improves skin elasticity.   4. Moisturizers make your skin oily FICTION The right moisturizer will NOT make your skin oily because it will make up for what your skin lacks. To add back hydration, go for a moisturizer with higher water content, such as a gel moisturizer; and to replenish your oils so that your skin doesn’t overcompensate, consider oils high in linoleic acid content (e.g. hemp seed, rosehip seed) or oils that are similar to sebum (i.e. jojoba oil).   5. Organic skincare is safer FICTION Don’t give in to the fear-mongering! Many synthetic chemicals used on our skin today have been tested for decades to see if there are any possible side-effects. If you have never had a bad reaction to it, there is no reason to distrust it now. Organic skincare often includes plant-derived extracts and ingredients which require a lot more preservatives and solvents which can actually have a higher chance of irritating your skin.   6. Makeup ages your skin FACT & FICTION Makeup itself doesn’t actually accelerate the process of aging, however, if you don’t remove your makeup properly, it can clog your pores and lead to inflammation. Inflammation can cause the protein in your skin to break down resulting in the appearance of aged skin. You may also want to be wary of makeup that is too occlusive, your skin’s production of natural moisturizing factors (NMFs, the things that lock in your skin’s hydration) depends on its ability to breathe and react to its environmental conditions.   7. Your skin gets used to products FICTION Sometimes when we don’t see new improvements, we start to assume that our products have stopped working, but the reality is that there is a threshold of how much a product can help. After a while, your product starts working in maintenance mode but if you stop using the product, your condition will worsen again. Some people think that this means your skin becomes “dependent” on the product, but remember that skincare is only one aspect of maintaining skin health and is not a “cure.” For truly healthy skin you must consider all contributing factors, including your physical and mental health, your skincare just nudges it in the right direction.   8. Oils oxidize on your skin FACT & FICTION Oils, especially unsaturated oils, naturally oxidize when exposed to environmental light or heat. The simple act of putting oil on your face does not immediately cause it to oxidize because they have a certain amount of stability to it, but when you do choose to use them, be sure to avoid the sun and polluted city air. A simple solution would be to use oils mostly at night!   9. You should avoid alcohols in skincare completely FICTION Alcohols serve an important function in skincare because not only are they essential in achieving the desired texture of your products, they also help increase skin penetration so that the active ingredients can absorb into the skin much more effectively. This is why alcohols in skincare should be judged on a case by case basis. If you try a product with alcohol and your skin loves it, then there's no reason to avoid it; but if your skin feels dry and irritated after, it is possible that 1) you had a bad reaction to the alcohol itself or the active ingredient that it helped penetrate into your skin, OR 2) the concentration of alcohol in the product is really high, which can be very drying on your skin and can cause irritation. You can get a sense of how high the percentage of alcohol is by how soon it appears on the ingredient list. The closer to the top of the list, the higher the percentage, but don’t let its mere presence put you off!   10. Acid exfoliants can damage your skin barrier FACT It is possible to damage your skin barrier by using too many acid exfoliants. The function of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) is to exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells and reveal the new cells underneath. During this process, your skin is working hard to speed up its process of self-renewal and can be sensitive to any other changes. Therefore, until your skin gets used to it, using too many AHAs at the same time or using AHAs too frequently can increase the risk of damaging your skin barrier. If you’re new to acid exfoliation, start slow to give your skin a chance to acclimate. Don’t forget to moisturize and use sunscreen!

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Skin Myths: Fact or Fiction?

1. Sunscreen gives you cancer FICTION Sunscreen protects you from skin cancer! There is often a...

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