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

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Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser

$16.00

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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!"

Acne Series: Causes and Solutions

Welcome back to our acne series! If you haven’t caught our first post demystifying what acne is once and for all, be sure to check it out! This week we’re going over how to tackle our acne from above AND below. For the longest time, we’ve been given a lot of generic acne advice, like “wash your pillowcase”, “avoid dairy,” etc. While there’s some wisdom to it, many of us don’t really understand why these solutions work or might not work for acne. The lack of this understanding makes it hard to pick and follow a certain regimen. To get to the bottom of this, let’s go through each type of inflammation in more detail and see what can be done to combat them.   1) Your pores are clogged, and it doesn’t get better There are three things that might be causing this type of reaction: Your skin is not renewing and/or detaching properly Cause: Baby cells start at the bottom layer of your skin and move outwards as they age. The oldest skin cells (most commonly known as dead skin cells) simply detach themselves to make room for new ones. Everyone has a natural rate of shedding their dead skin cells, but in some people the rate of shedding is lower than the rate of renewal which causes your pores to get clogged. Solution: The best way to combat this is to treat your acne with gentle exfoliator such as AHAs (i.e. our Kale-Lalu-yAHA) or retinols/retinoids. These substances increase skin cell turnover and help to reset the tempo of the renewal process. Your pores won’t let the gunk out Cause: Contrary to what you might think, pore size has nothing to do with the pore clogging potential of your skin. However, the type of lipids your body produces does. Your sebum may be really gloopy and solid, so it can’t easily move out of the pore. Whereas if the sebum is very liquidy, it can pour out of even a very small opening. Solutions: There are two things you can do to solve your problem. First, you can try to clear your pores by using salicylic acid or clay products. Remember, these are drying and can cause oil over-compensation from your skin, so use them in moderation, and no picking or squeezing, please! Second, you can try to make your sebum less gloopy by supplying topical linoleic acids such (i.e. from safflower oil or rosehip seed oil), as well as by including healthy fats in your diet. Your body needs these building blocks from your food so that it can build the types of lipids that are good for you. You are producing too much excess oil Cause: There are a million reasons your skin could be over-producing oil: overheated skin, overdried skin, hormone imbalance, stress, excess consumption of dairy (the signals in dairy tell our body through insulin and hormones, to increase sebum production and inflammation). Solutions: The reasons are so vast that this topic deserves its own blog post! Let us know in the comments whether you would like us to tell you more about that, and don’t forget to mention if there are any other common reasons for excess oil production we might’ve missed!   2) Bacteria starts taking advantage of the food supply Cause: Clogged skin cells and excess oil are the favorite foods of acne-causing bacteria. When they invade the clogged pore, the body recognizes it as an infection, and attacks the bacteria. This attack results in inflammation. Solutions: Keeping your skin barrier and acid mantle intact is vital to combating this issue. Your skin barrier will naturally protect your pores from these types of bacteria, so using pH-balanced cleanser like our Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser is important and protecting yourself from within by keeping a healthy body microbiome! You can also avoid this issue by not touching your face too often. There is plenty of harmful bacteria and germs on your hands, so you can decrease the chance of them finding a food supply on your face by not touching it. A more aggressive way to tackle this issue is by using benzoyl peroxide or antibiotics. These remedies kill the acne-causing bacteria, but can also cause disruption and injury to the microbiome and in the long run will not help you prevent future re-occurrences.   3) Your skin and body comes to the defense Cause: We mentioned in our skin-body relationship blog post that there is a huge correlation between systemic (whole body) inflammation and your skin’s local inflammation. If your body is on alert mode from being inflamed in the gut or other places, it can overreact when faced with the bacteria in your pores. It will start sending immune cells (defenders of the body) to that area of the face because it feels threatened and feels the need to protect it. That is the redness and also the yellow or white pus that you see. Solutions: Maintaining low levels of inflammation through a good diet and low stress levels and a healthy lifestyle helps the body stay calm when challenged. In modern society, most people are obsessed with everything clean, sterile and sanitized, which is actually causing many people’s immune systems to be hyperreactive since they are not exposed to enough microflora. This is a complicated issue and is best trained at a young age, but you can always start improving the situation now by not over-washing or over-sterilizing your hands, as well as not over-sterilizing your surroundings through harsh cleaning products.     Got any other burning questions about acne? Ask them in the comments below! Our acne series will continue next week, so stay tuned for more tips and tricks!

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Acne Series: Causes and Solutions

Welcome back to our acne series! If you haven’t caught our first post demystifying what acne is o...

Read more

Acne Series: Demystifying Acne

Starting this week we’re doing a deep dive into the world of acne. I’m sure you’ve heard that there are different types of acne, but every week it seems like scientists find another culprit for the cause and it’s impossible to keep track! All while this is happening, the beauty and skincare industry also tell you about the million things you are doing wrong to your skin. Who are we supposed to believe?? Navigating the world of acne is as daunting as it is complex. We don’t have all the answers, but we can equip you with a survival guide so that you’re not alone in your journey! Before you can start to tackle acne, you have to truly understand what it is. The thing with acne is, there’s always advice coming from every direction: scientists, parents, doctors, beauty bloggers, skincare marketing, etc. and while there are bits of truth here and there, it’s mostly masked by a lot of noise and misdirection. Sometimes we even find ourselves following advice without really knowing why. So let’s start with the basics, what is acne? The definition of acne is inflammation of the sebaceous gland and/or hair follicle, and the skin around it. There is often a misconception that the respective types of acne (comedonal, hormonal, etc.) are radically different from each other, but that may not necessarily be true. While there are a million different factors that lead to the actual pimple, whatever the cause, the final manifestation is simple - a clogged pore resulting in inflammation. Here are the classifications for acne: 1. Non-inflammatory acne These include blackheads and whiteheads. They’re so-called non-inflammatory because the skin around the clogged pore is not usually inflamed, red or raised. The dead skin cells and oil simply can’t get out of the little pore. A) Whiteheads aka closed comedones In whiteheads, the trapped skin cells and oil cannot escape because the top of the pore is closed. This gives the appearance of a white dot, and the dot itself (but not the skin around it) can be slightly raised as it tries to push its way out. B) Blackheads aka open comedones In blackheads, the clogged pore has an opening at the top, so when the air comes in and oxidizes the trapped oils it has a black/dark appearance. 2. Inflammatory acne The trapped dead skin cells and oil mentioned above are actually the favorite food of some strains (the acne-causing strains) of the bacteria P. acnes. When these bacteria go into the pore and start to eat and live and reproduce there, the surrounding skin becomes inflamed, causing inflammatory acne, which include papules, pustules, nodules and cysts, commonly grouped by the layman’s term “pimple”, which we tend to think of as different from black and whiteheads. A) Pustules This is the typical pimple that most of us are familiar with. When your clogged pore has endured too much inflammation, either from excess trapped sebum and skin cells or from bacteria infestation, the walls of the pore may break down, and the surrounding skin will become red and inflamed. This whole area will become raised and pushed against the surface, resulting in a red circle with a white or yellow center that feels a bit squishy. The white/yellow liquid is pus, which consists of your immune cells that show up to fight the infection. B) Papules In papules, a similar situation happens as the above, but the inflammation is either a bit smaller or a bit deeper in the skin. It’s not as raised or close to the surface, however the skin is still inflamed, so it results in a pinkish red firm bump with no white center (also known as a headless pimple). C) Nodules In nodules, the inflammation starts even deeper in the skin, and with time or further irritation, it can grow to a considerable size. These are the deep, big, red, painful bumps with no head. D) Cysts Cysts are similar to nodules but are either closer to the surface, or have endured so much inflammation that the swelling of immune cells brought it close to the surface. In these big, red, painful bumps, you can see a white/yellow center. Source: http://www.ayushveda.com/dietfitness/different-types-of-acne/ As you can see, even though there are a lot of appearances of acne, they all have a common factor: a clogged pore. Therefore, no matter the cause of your kind of acne, in the end we’re just trying to prevent our pores from clogging. It’s that simple. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. For example: You may have previously thought that the acne you would get from a comedogenic product is different from the acne you would get from a hormone imbalance, i.e. you’d get black and whiteheads from a comedogenic product, but hormonal acne usually show up as cysts. The truth is, if a comedogenic product clogs your pore, bacteria travels into it, and the inflammation is not managed, a cyst can very well appear. Hormones can influence how much oil is produced and how gloopy it is, but depending on where it gets trapped, papules and pustules are just as likely to happen as cysts. Yes, it’s important to make good diet and lifestyle choices, but it’s more important to know why. These choices help you regulate your oil production and risk of inflammation in an effort to lower the chances of 1) getting a clogged pore and 2) having a clogged pore inflame into a pimple. But you can also prevent acne from the outside by keeping your pores clear - not by picking/squeezing of course! Make sure you have a functioning cell-turnover with regular gentle exfoliation that keeps your barrier intact. Now that you have a fundamental understanding of acne, next week we will delve into some causes and advice we always hear about acne, and how they complete the picture.

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Acne Series: Demystifying Acne

Starting this week we’re doing a deep dive into the world of acne. I’m sure you’ve heard that the...

Read more

A Love Letter to All Your Beautiful Faces

These days, it’s all about the “no makeup makeup” trend and having to look flawlessly dewy or glassy without a spot, wrinkle, or scar in sight. There is tremendous pressure to look effortlessly perfect and it leaves us crippled with self-doubt - so we wanted to send a friendly reminder that YOU ARE NOT YOUR IMPERFECTIONS. It's easy to be fixated on the pimple that has been steadily getting larger on your forehead the past few days, but chances are, others don't notice because they're wrapped up in insecurities of their own. There's no need to be ashamed of anything that happens on your face, it's completely normal and a natural part of life.  We're not here to tell you to change your lifestyle in anyway, but to always do what feels most comfortable to you. If you want to put on makeup, then do it! If you want to go bare-faced (*with SPF of course) and show off your battle scars, why not?! Treat your skin like a friend and it will love you back. There is also so much more to you than all of your skin concerns! Do not let unrealistic ideals define your self worth. When you are in the right mindset of being kind to yourself, your skin health will come naturally over time. Sometimes the best way to deal with skin issues is to not dwell on it obsessively, because that can only lead to more stress and inevitable picking/scratching. Focus on other things that make you happy and round you out as a person. When you feel good about yourself, the glow will start to come from the inside! In this coming month, we will be bringing you a series of blog posts on the topic of acne. We want to shed light on the different types of acne, how they happen, and what you can do to help. Hopefully, by learning more about how your skin works, you’ll be able to become friends with your skin, and treat it with the love and respect it deserves.

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A Love Letter to All Your Beautiful Faces

These days, it’s all about the “no makeup makeup” trend and having to look flawlessly dewy or gla...

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Height of Summer: Post-Sun, Beach, & Travel Care

Can’t believe summer is already starting to wind down! 😭 Summer is the perfect opportunity for all of us to escape from our routine - whether it’s going to the beach, going on vacation, or spending our days relaxing, we all love a nice break. But let’s keep in mind that deviation from our routine can be one of the biggest enemies for our skin! This post is for all of you who had a little too much fun in the sun and now your skin is feeling the effects of those extra sugary drinks while laying out. It is time to get your skin back in shape before you have to face the harsh realities of Fall! We know that glow you came back post-trip was everyone’s envy, but lurking beneath could be sun damage that may take years to show its full effects. Overexposure to sun can lead to many problems. The most immediate effect is the significant increase in water loss, which will make your skin look less plump. In addition to that, the UV from the sun stimulates your collagen breakdown machines called MMPs, which cause your skin to lose support from within which makes it take even longer to get it back to its original state. If you were at the beach and have been swimming in the ocean, the sand and salt in the water can be abrasive and sensitizing to your skin, especially if you didn’t rinse it off immediately after. Being in the water also washes off your sunscreen which continues to adds to the sun damage. Let’s say you went on a trip, and you weren’t even in the sun that much! Unfortunately, the trip is still a stressful time for your skin. When your skin is exposed to new environments, it has to adjust to an all-new set of environmental conditions and pollutants. If you forgot to or didn’t want to go through the trouble of packing all your bodywashes and lotions from home, you were probably using a new product that was provided by your lodging, or bought at a local drugstore. Any time you use a new product, your skin takes time to adjust! That’s why people often come back from trips with bumps or rashes, even though they feel like they haven’t done anything wrong. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to help your skin recover: 1. Do we even have to say it – Hydrate! Replenish the lost water by drinking more of it. You can also help your skin topically by adding humectants and water-loving ingredients. Glycerin, sodium pca, hyaluronic acid, urea, etc. are all great choices. Have you given the normal saline solution mask a try? 2. Soothe the skin Your skin can be irritated by many different things. Ingredients that help calm inflammation include: aloe, oats, or centella. You can make a cheap and easy soothing mask by soaking ground (non-instant!) oats in water for several hours, then applying the water (a cotton pad will help!) to your skin. Keeping the mixture in the fridge while it soaks is a nice way to make a cooling mask, just make sure it’s not too cold! 3. Grab your nearest antioxidant Being in the sun depletes your antioxidants, and you need them more than ever so that you can repair the damage done to your skin. As we mentioned in a previous blogpost - mung beans, green tea, Vitamin C and E are all great topicals. We can't overlook the importance of antioxidants in your diet! 4. Pleeeeease be gentle Did you know that UV exposure can lower your skin immunity? During this time, your skin is especially vulnerable to anything that’s harmful or unfamiliar. Here’s how to help your skin while it’s healing: - Take lukewarm showers Cleanse your skin with water that isn’t too hot or cold. Don’t scrub too hard and try not to shower for too long, this will help keep the water in your skin. - Stop all actives Take a break from your acids or retinoids/retinols for a while. Once your skin has calmed down, you can resume these ingredients. They may even help fight some of the hyperpigmentation left behind from summer. - Repair your barrier! Focus on simple skin loving ingredients. If your barrier is compromised for any of the above reasons, you can help rebuild it by adding ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids into your routine.

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Height of Summer: Post-Sun, Beach, & Travel Care

Can’t believe summer is already starting to wind down! 😭 Summer is the perfect opportunity for al...

Read more

Using AHA in the Summer

Our skin feels much more congested in this hot and humid weather so all of us at KraveBeauty have been loving our Kale-Lalu-yAHA to decongest and exfoliate the stress away!  But let's be mindful when using higher percentages of AHA in summer. AHA works by revealing a more youthful skin layer to the sun and you definitely don't want to damage this fresh, healthy skin by exposing it to direct sunlight.  The solution is simple. Be more diligent about applying your favorite sunscreen. Apply a generous amount and make sure to re-apply it to ensure a solid UV protection. If you're going on a beach holiday where you know that you're going to be exposed to the sun for the majority of the day, maybe skip your AHA and just enjoy the vacation. *this skin tip applies to all retinol users too! And others who just got a chemical peel, laser treatment, etc. 

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Using AHA in the Summer

Our skin feels much more congested in this hot and humid weather so all of us at KraveBeauty have...

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