Natural Skin Lightening Products for You

Ok, green momma, this one’s for you. We know you’ll have none of that synthetic ridiculousness and you could probably teach us a thing or two about how to switch from our regular cosmetics to an all-natural beauty regimen.

But start a  natural skin lightening conversation with us, and you’ll have a worthy partner. That’s our job, you know.

So if you’re an all-natural diva looking to lighten her skin, but you think there’s nothing you can do to actually get the dramatic effects regular cosmetics companies promise, read on. There might be something out there for you, who knows (hint: we know).

The Sweet Escape

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If you’ve stayed under the sun for more than the doctor recommends, than you’re a bad, bad girl and should be scolded. After the scolding you thoroughly deserve, let’s get back to what’s really important: how to make that tan vanish, disappear, dissolve, fade into nothingness.

The answer: lemon and honey.

Wait a second. Why are you putting the kettle on? This is a skin whitening article, not a how to make a cup of tea column.

Right. Lemon and honey brighten the skin. Lemon is one of Mother Nature’s exfoliators, while honey moisturizes and heals. Apply lemon juice to a clean face. See how your skin interacts with it. If it starts stinging too much, it’s time to take it off. But, if not, you could leave it on for five minutes.

After the lemon treatment, slather some organic honey on your face and leave it on for as long as you can. Go for 20 minutes if you’re adventurous.

Use the mask regularly if you want visible results.

A Passage To India

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When looking for natural remedies, tried and tested, we automatically think of those parts of the world where skin lightening is an age-long cultural tradition.

India is definitely part of the pack. And what’s on top of the skin whitening list of the Bharat (official name for the country) population? Turmeric.

One of the oldest whitening fixes, turmeric is used to this day.

To make the best of its skin lightening properties, go for a mask in which powdered turmeric is mixed with raw milk, sandalwood and besan (aka gram flour). The milk will make the whole concoction into a paste, which means you can easily apply it to your face.

Don’t forget to wash and moisturize before using this one, just so you don’t dry out your skin too much. The trick is to not let the mask dry out entirely. As soon as you notice it stretching, just dip your fingers in milk and rub your face again, just so you get it back to that paste texture.

A Fruity Option

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This face mask is as simple as it gets. It involves one of our all-time favorite fruits and a bit of smash and apply.

The fruit: papaya. Just like carrots, this exotic fruit is packed with beta carotene and good enzymes that work wonders for the skin. And, while that’s all good, what we’re particularly interested in is the secret ingredient that makes skin lightening with papaya a relevant option.

That ingredient exists (and it has an adorably ridiculous name). Papain works as a mild exfoliator, it decreases pigmentation and softens the skin.

All you need to do, now that you know this, is grab a papaya, make a paste out of the pulp, apply it to your lovely face and leave it on for 15 minutes. If you’re a juice kind of girl, you can also squeeze that out and use a cotton ball to get it all over your face. This one stays on for 20 minutes.

The Blush Effect

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Other go-to nature’s miracle whiteners are raw potato, the ever-present aloe vera, coconut water, yogurt and tomato. The trick is to pick the right one for your skin.

For instance, if you’re prone to redness and your bathroom counter is populated by sensitive skin creams and serums, you’ll probably have a hard time with that lemon option. On the other hand, yogurt seems to be a good choice, because it’s mild.

Buy It In A Jar

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Of course, not all of us have the time and resilience to actually switch to a “if you can’t eat it, don’t use it” type of beauty regimen.

For all of us lazy/busy go-green girls, cosmetics companies have created products that give us the best of both worlds: botanical ingredients and modern technology.

To get it right, eyes on the ingredients list each time you choose a new cream. Be on the lookout for magic makers such as Aloe Vera, Kojic Acid, Ginseng, Cucumber, Citrus Extract, Carrot or Avocado Oil and Rice Extract.

One of our favorite for the warm seasons is a good, nature-based sun damage treatment cream. We always pack the Enhanced Suntan Reducing Cream every time we go on holiday, especially if we’re heading for sunny islands or beaches.

And, when that’s not enough, we make sure to give our skin a good lightening-hydrating powershot overnight. We love our Creme de Laser, which is packed with green tea, oat protein extract, rosemary leaf and natural oils, as well as Kojic Acid.

In general, nature-based skin whitening is the answer for all those guys and girls who fear getting side-effects from synthetic bleachers. It’s also a good way to avoid those hidden dangers in commercial skin whiteners, like preservatives.

Try it, test it, pick your favorite and go with it. And let us know how it worked for you.

Skin Lightening Soap: Practical, Efficient, and Luxurious

Wash the dull skin away. Yes, you heard that one right. It’s actually that easy.

Skin lightening soap was created specifically for those ladies and gents out there who can’t be bothered with complicated beauty regimens. Can we blame them? Of course we can’t. This life is hectic enough, which means changing your skin care rituals dramatically can result in more stress than you’ve bargained for. Especially if you’re a wash, dry and tuck in kind of person.

Many Talents, One Bar

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Skin lightening soap is pretty straight-forward, though. All you need to do is use it like your regular soap. Of course, the mindset is completely different , isn’t it? You’re getting a shot of optimism, as well as bleaching your skin, so it’s basically a 2-in-1 whitening solution. Ok, considering the actual washing effect, let’s go for 3-in-1.

Not to mention you can use a skin whitening soap on your entire body, which gives it quite a universal quality to it.

Thing are looking brighter already, aren’t they?

Don’t get carried away, though. We still have a few matters to discuss.

The Good & The Grey

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First, there’s the question of type. Skin whitening soap is definitely not a one-trick pony, and it’s up to you which one you’ll ultimately use.

As with every brightening cosmetic, soap is a two-headed creature: you’ve got the natural soap and the not so natural soap.

A good natural soap is what whitening heaven is made of — packed with active ingredients that come from nature. Some of the most popular ingredients are Kojic Acid, Arbutin, Papaya, Rosehip, Grapeseed oil, Goat’s milk, Licorice and (you might want to sit down) Placenta.

Synthetic whitening soap, on the other hand, works by tampering with the world of lab coats, chemistry and industrially produced potions. The morally grey characters we’re talking about here are Hydroquinone and Mercury. And we say morally grey because they’re exactly that: they usually get the job done, but they carry a heavy load on their backs, which is usually made of side effects and skin complications, as well as general health problems.

The Ingredients To Look Out For

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The… natural way to go is… natural. Now don’t get us wrong: not everything natural’s automatically good. Last week’s poison ivy-based rash can attest to that.

Still, with skin whitening soap we’re moving to safe(r) territory simply because those active ingredients are easy to research.

Think Kojic Acid sounds like something you’d use to clean your bathroom? Our faithful internet is here to explain that, instead, this active whitening ingredient is a naturally occurring agent produced by certain types of fungi. More specifically, it’s a bi-product in the fermentation process of malting rice, which goes into making that all-time Japanese favorite, sake. And it’s good, too. Kojic Acid is the most popular natural skin whitening ingredient there is, because it’s extremely efficient.

Kojic Acid’s Little Helpers

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The good thing about good brightening soaps, though, is the fact that they’re the result of good old collective effort. Not thinking of the teams of real-life people behind the products here (thanks, though, guys!), but about our favorite thing to talk about: ingredients.

Skin whitening soaps are usually a solid cocktail packed with yummy extracts, acids and oils which work together to help brighten your skin, as well as protect it and replenish it.

If you’re going on an online rampage trying to find the perfect soap for you, make sure you’re going for premium bars. As with street food, there’s no place for dodgyness in the realm of whitening.

Kojic Acid is a good start, but Arbutin and Papaya added to your bar are clear signs the company behind the soap knows what it’s doing. And if you’re reading Vitamin A, E and C on that label, make sure you take that bar home and make it your best friend, because that’s a cream in disguise right there.

Lifestyle Whitening Awards

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If you’re busy all the time, if you work more hours than you sleep, if all you want to do on a Saturday night is catch some z’s, we’re commiserating silently. You probably don’t have time for an 18th century type of beauty regimen, sure. But that’s ok.

There’s something you can do if you want to get brighter skin, and that’s replacing your regular soap with a whitening bar. Ok, ok, it’s more expensive. But a good one’s a great thing to have: you use it in the shower and it cleans, bleaches and nourishes.

And one more thing: a whitening soap can actually be used in conjunction with other brightening cosmetics — creams, serums, foams. So if you’re not the busy bee we were talking about earlier, you just got yourself a new bleaching weapon on your hands. Go out there and use it wisely.

The Best Whitening Cream Ingredients for 2014

No doubt about it, the always fascinating world of skin whitening is evolving. In 2014, bleaching has finally stopped being all about the controversy, but about an industry that’s thriving and, most importantly, about solutions.

This is a great time to start brightening your skin because we now know more about the business of getting your skin creamy than ever. Ingredients have been tested, fingers have been pointed and now we’re ready to start a journey with products that really work.

And, while companies are learning how to play the whitening game more professionally as we speak/write, only a few of them actually make it to Premier League.

The Elite

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What makes an ingredient good, we already know. But what makes it better than another, well… that’s all in the details. An ingredient might be killer on its own, but it might work even better when associated with something else. If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around that concept, here’s a more relatable example: crackers; cheese. And another: basil; tomatoes. And finally, our favorite: LBD; red lipstick.

Cosmetics have a similar mechanics. One active ingredient can’t do all the work. It needs help, it needs subtle chemistry.

This is why, for 2014, we’re looking at ingredients that whiten the skin, but also at combinations, mixes, cocktails and associations for the best whitening cream.

Because knowledge is layer-based and this is a new layer in skin whitening know-how.

Kojic Acid (+moisture)

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If you’ve been researching skin whitening, you’re probably familiar with the newly discovered Kojic Acid mantra.

This rising star of the industry is praised as being particularly efficient and a wonderful alternative to the more controversial Hydroquinone.

Creams which rely on this organic ingredient already have a clear advantage over other products, simply because this one’s tested and tried in whitening scenarios of all sorts. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. Which means Kojic Acid can sometimes be a bit aggressive on the skin. Happily, a reliable sidekick can neutralize that effect in no time.

The usual suspects? Pure Aloe Vera Extract, Wild Chamomile, Green Tea.

Go for gold with creams and serums that find the balance between the efficiency of Kojic Acid and the soothing abilities other natural extracts have and you’ll find your skin going in the direction you want it to.

Sepi-White MSH™ (+lots of love)

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This active ingredient you probably haven’t heard about before works 20 times better than Hydroquinone and Kojic Acid combined, but without the harshness. How about that, huh?

This innovative whitening agent not only turns your skin from dull to glowing in a matter of months (Yes, months. It might take a while, but it’s gradual and it pays), it also smooths out fine lines and age spots.

We know you’re no beginner to sun damage. We’ve all been there. With Sepi-White, you’re addressing that exact problem and giving your skin a new life. Wouldn’t it be great if we could only fix other teenage mistakes with creams and serums? Alas.

Complex Blends

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Sometimes, simple is good. But it all depends.

You can’t really apply the same solution to a score of different problems and expect the same result. That would be mad. And we sure don’t want to be mad. That’s why we figured that some areas on our body deserve a different whitening treatment.

Take the hands, for once. A whole different story from the face, right? We know.

When we’re dealing with hands, moisture is crucial. At the same time, whitening might be a bit more difficult. Which means you need more of everything. More efficiency, more moisture. Go big or go home.

Hands love Sepi-White, but they have to get a nutrient upgrade too. And, as always, the best way to go is natural. Think rich, creamy avocado, safflower oil, calendula blossoms, mulberry extract.

Many of these actually hide dual blades up their sleeves — they have whitening abilities, as well as moisturizing properties. Which means creams that go for a lead singer (the active ingredient) and many backing vocals (natural extracts) are particularly efficient, as well as nourishing.

It’s 2014. Skin whitening has never looked better. Knowledge is power, yes, but it’s also beauty. And that’s what we’re going for this year as well. What about you?

Skin Brightening: A Journey Towards Opulence

It’s true — we’re all looking for that special thing. The rich texture on that beautiful, overpriced leather jacket. That decadent layered cake glistening in the 5 o’clock sun. That lush hair color. Nothing else will please us. We always want more.

The Queen’s Question

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Is that bad? We don’t think so. We just want the best of the best. The cream of the crop. The upper crust. And getting it doesn’t mean spending thousands of dollars on tokens. But it does mean treating yourself like royalty. We’ll never be royals, Lorde proclaims in her working class manifesto, but we can always feel royal by doing what we want and being who we want to.

Skin Brightening Empowers

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Skin brightening is all about that. It’s being who you want to be without having to explain yourself and it’s doing it just right. And if that’s not regal, what is?

In truth, skin whitening has the tendency to go un-royal in a second. It usually happens when we’re playing in the dark. When we’re buying the first brightening cream off a dodgy website and we end up getting hell in a jar and hell on our faces.

When we’re not researching. Because skin care is as much science as it is ritual. Before we can reap the benefits, we’ve got to open a book or so (or click on a few reliable links, that is).

The Journey Towards Opulence

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If you’re using a skin whitening cream, we’ve got a question for you: are you having a luscious experience? If indeed you are, high-five. You’re on your way to becoming Queen of Bright. If not, please put down that cream now. And read on.

The skin whitening journey is all about the start. A bad start means a hell of a journey. A good start means you’re half royal already.

And a good start is the Learning chapter. It’s when you separate the good from the bad (aka the Kojic Acid from the Mercury). This is when you investigate which active ingredients in skin whitening creams are mostly harmful — that would be Hydroquinone, the above-mentioned Mercury and a bunch of others too — and which are safe, natural and long-term companions for the road (Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Vitamin C and A, Licorice, etc).

Now that you know what’s good and what’s not, you’ve reached the first checkpoint.

It’s time to make our search engines even more sophisticated. Active ingredients are great to start with, but what about the rest of the ingredients? A cream that has many beneficial agents, such as botanical extracts and vitamins, alongside the active ingredient, will make a good choice because it addresses more skin issues at the same time — you can easily deal with acne, rosacea, wrinkles, sun spots and scars while also brightening.

And that is the true definition of royal — a cream that does everything for you.

Ok, we’re getting there. For our ultimate test, it’s time to separate the “nearly there” from the “right there”. That’s the battle of the brands.

And, while sometimes it’s best to go with your gut, this is all about knowledge. Try to research your top brands for a while. See how they talk about their products. See how their lines look. Do they have highly personalized treatments or are they offering one “miracle” cream for every need? Are they transparent? Do they talk about their product and make sure everything is out in the open? Do they have a different cream for your elbows than the one for your face?

If the answers to those questions are mostly yes, you have a good one on your hands. If not, think twice.

It’s all about YOU

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An opulent skin whitening experience starts with knowing that what you’re buying was created especially for your needs. It give you what you want, when you want it.

Skin lightening should be safe, fun and exciting and, if it’s all that, it has the potential to make your skin look positively royal. That glow can never be faked. Makeup doesn’t replace it. Brighter skin means deeper eyes and more contrast for your features to stand out.

That’s a trick every Queen has up her sleeve.

An Introduction to Skin Whitening Products

The history of skin brightening goes way back. In Elizabethan times, women and men fought for a lighter skin tone with lead, vinegar, sulphur, alum or tin ash-based weapons. To them, the goal was simple — a brighter visage, which was a sign of good health and prestige.

Skin Whitening in Modern Times

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Fast forward more than 400 years later and, while not apparent at first, it’s becoming more and more clear that things haven’t changed as much as we’d want to believe.

Skin whitening is still “a thing”. And that’s not all. It has now become and industry, a trend and a big subject online and offline. The reasons have changed, according to our own social and cultural realities, but they haven’t changed too much. Skin whitening is still about how people see us. It’s as much about us as it is about others. It’s esthetic and it’s community-oriented.

Our big and bold contemporary advantage we have on the Elizabethans is knowledge. We are now more informed than ever. And this makes it easier to choose the right cosmetics. While back in the day, people had no choice but to stack layers of toxic lead on their skin, because they just didn’t know better, we now have access to ingredient lists, medical articles and beauty editorials.

Why We Still Choose Wrong

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But people still make mistakes. They still go for the wrong product. They still have a surprised look on their faces when someone informs them that their eye gel is cancer in a jar. And that’s because people need a little help sometimes. They need to be told time after time till they finally remember it.

With skin whitening, that rule thoroughly applies. This is why an introduction to the products used to brighten is so important.

How it Works

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Modern cosmetics use active ingredients to achieve lighter skin. Some of them are natural, some of them synthetic. But what they have in common is their ability to lessen the concentration of melanin (the pigment responsible for our skin tone). And that means age spots, freckles, birthmarks and moles as well as whole body, face or specific area lightening.

Some are better, some are worse. Some have little to no risks, while some are downright dangerous. And this is where knowledge comes in. This is where the good ones go to the left and the bad ones to the right.

Hydroquinone

By far the most popular skin whitening agent under the sun, Hydroquinone is also pretty popular in other types of cosmetics, such as moisturizers, hair conditioners or facial cleansers. Controversial like any celebrity should be, this active ingredient works wonders. It is a strong inhibitor of melanin and it’s considered to be the most powerful whitener out there.

While this might be true, there’s also a reverse to that coin. Besides the usual suspects — skin irritation, contact dermatitis, nail pigmentation or discoloration or cataract, the two biggest Hydroquinone-related scares are it’s association with cancer and ochronosis, a condition which is basically the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve — instead of whitened skin, you get dark patches which are almost impossible to reverse.

Kojic Acid

Part of the natural camp, Kojic Acid is derived from different species of fungus and it’s used in all sorts of skin whitening cosmetics — face creams, body lotions, sunscreen, even soaps. It’s so versatile mainly because of it’s longer than usual shelf life. While other skin brightening agents aren’t very stable, which renders them useless pretty quickly, Kojic Acid stands the test of time.

Not only can it last longer, but a cream infused with Kojic Acid is likely to work pretty well too. Studies show that adding this fungus-based ingredient to a whitening product increases its effectiveness.

As for side effects, Kojic Acid is safer than it’s older, more lab-oriented brother, Hydroquinone. Still, make sure to pay attention to your skin’s reaction. As with every type of cosmetics, there is a small risk of irritation or contact dermatitis. Also, keep in mind that skin that’s been whitened is more sensitive to those golden rays, so make a mental note to shield your body with sunblock every time you leave the house.

The Art of Choosing

Knowing what an active ingredient does and what is the first step to whitening your skin like a pro. But that’s not all the know-how you have to get a grip on. There’s also the issue of what goes where.

With brightening, face and body were not created equal. While the face needs extra care, knees and elbows need extra power. How about lips? Feet? The ever sensitive area around the eyes?

You guessed it — there’s a specific product for each one of those. And if you think you can open every door with the same key, you’re dead wrong. Find dedicated creams that are designed to work for the areas you apply them on. Use them according to instructions (surprising advice, right?). It’s not rocket science, but it takes a bit of caution to reach your whitening goal.

At the End of the Day

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Be brave. In the end, it takes a bit of courage to make a change, but it’s usually the people who take risks that make the history books. Ok, skin whitening isn’t really history-book worthy (well, maybe on a cultural level), but it can definitely be a changing point in your personal history. And — isn’t that right? — that’s the one we end up remembering after all those years.

Makeup at the Dior Ready to Wear Autumn-Winter 2014-15 Show

Trend setting all year long, Dior is a fashion inspiration to us all. But this year, the Ready-to-Wear Autumn-Winter show set trends that are easy for any woman to wear. With palettes you probably already have in your makeup bag, Dior has made it simple for you to enhance your natural beauty with bold colors to establish yourself as an urban woman with style.

Artistic Director of Christian Dior, Raf Simons, says that the inspiration for this year’s show was “a woman with power and energy in a very definite way. I wanted to pursue powerful tailoring, to offer another reality, another function. This season is less about the leisure of the garden and more about the pace of the city. I am attracted to the reality of the urban world and environment, not just to the leisured world of ‘the moment’ – that world of the event or the party. This Dior woman inhabits both”.

The makeup used for this year’s show really emphasizes this idea of the urban world and environment – the simplicity of the natural beauty of a woman but highlighted by a bold color which is the influence of the urban world around her.

In this photo, we see the look of sophistication with natural skin and lip. This khaki-green eye shows the influence of the urban world while still maintaining that couture beauty. The green is perfect for a warm autumn feel, as well as pairing beautiful with all natural hair colors. It’s a gorgeous color on everyone. It’s bold in a natural way that brings out the color in your eyes as well as whatever you are wearing.

The boldness of this color paired with the neutral palette of the rest of the face embodies this “city lights” infused inspiration of the concrete jungle. Using the city as an abstraction to base their looks off of this year, it created a universal style that really translates to any skin tone and any woman. By adding a layer of boldness to natural makeup and beauty, this pairing of colors and edgy clothing creates the look of this “new woman” than Simons was going for.

By contrasting the femininity of color and the basic neutrality of the face, layers were used on all of the models to show silhouettes of the everyday urban woman, and how the city can inspire her to really pop with color and shine – much like the city lights and edginess of the city. It gave natural beauty a fun edge, and gave the entire show the feeling of the girl next door who can create her own street style.

Overall, the show seems to have been a success, as these looks definitely gave the sense of empowered women who were bold and electric. When Dior says “Ready-to-Wear,” they really mean it – because this style is simple enough for the everyday woman to pull off, and can easily pump up the attitude for any street style.

If you’d like to watch the show, it’s available online, so get inspired with these looks today:

Ms. Skintrium’s Beauty Routine: Foot Care (Part 4)

And with this, we reach the end of our beauty journey into the unknown.

We started following Ms. Skintrium, our Director of Product Development, nearly three weeks ago and had the opportunity to listen to her insider secrets on morning and evening skin care, as well as her whole body approach. Now, as our itinerary is coming to a close, we have a few insider tips Ms. Skintrium saved for last.

Soft feet, hard to get

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Feet are a cornucopia of annoyances. Hard skin, cracked heels, calluses, all of these are put on this Earth to test our patience. Add an uneven skin tone to that and you have the complete picture of what we put up with on a regular basis.

Ms. Skintrium is no exception to the rule. She’s human, after all. But what she probably does different from the rest of us is never quit, never cheats on her foot care routine.

Once per week, she emulsifies her feet with a lightening cream, which has a dual effect — it visibly brightens the feet while exfoliating the skin with a cocktail of soothing aloe, chamomile, avocado and pineapple. To that, she adds a moisturizer on top, to enhance the much needed hydration. Her favorite foot moisturizer is the Esthetic Blend Suntan Removal Cream, because of its incredible richness and its sophisticated whitening and hydrating powers.

Now, it’s time for some good old petroleum jelly applied to the soles and, finally, comfy cotton socks over everything, to keep oxygen flowing and letting the hydration process take its toll.

Another weekly ritual is the pedicure, which Ms. Skintrium makes sure to get after she soaks her feet in goats milk. Because of the capric-caprylic triglyceride it contains, goats milk is particularly moisturizing and it is the easiest protein the skin can absorb, out of all types of milk. This is why Ms. Skintrium incorporates goats milk powder to her beauty routine. She takes hour-long foot baths and this has a huge impact on the condition of the rough patches of skin on her heels and fingers.

Inside-out beauty

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Of course, skin-deep rituals are supported by diet choices and daily habits. Without them, Ms. Skintrium confessed that there’s no chance to get the desired effect.

Collagen capsules and green tea are the staples of a good skin diet. Ms. Skintrium never misses a day without them. She also keeps a close eye on her food choices, and goes for healthy, wholesome food and, once per week, a juice detox, which gives her system a reboot and helps the body maintain a pure, vigilant state. Needless to say, Ms. Skintrium is an advocate of eating your veggies and drinking water, but she tops that with non-dietary choices – working out, to increase blood flow and nourish skin cells, clean linen and an immaculate environment, to make sure no impurities reach the surface of her skin.

The philosophy behind the beauty

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Ms. Skintrium’s beauty rituals sometimes remind us of ancient demoiselles and that feminine strictness that’s less common in present times. But when it comes to appearance, we’re all somewhere in the middle. Either trying to be something we are not, or attempting to change our habits. Getting there, but not quite yet.

To us, Ms. Skintrium has reached her place of comfort. Knowing her, we’re well aware of the fact that her beauty decisions are not only backed by the science she uses to develop cosmetics, but also by a personal wisdom.

She knows that, like most things in life, beauty is hard to get, hard to keep. And, like so many of us decide to dedicate all our energy to a certain cause, Ms. Skintrium focuses on beauty. Her life revolves around it, at home and at work.

She knows beauty doesn’t come from a jar, but from a personal decision that implies dramatic lifestyle changes. Her flawless skin tells that tale.

Ms. Skintrium’s Beauty Routine: Whole Body Pampering (Part 3)

If you’ve been hanging around on the Skintrium blog for a couple weeks now, you’re probably looking forward to this one. By now, we’ve covered our muse’s morning beauty routine, as well as her evening rituals. This week, it’s all about whole body.

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For those of you who are late to the party, our muse is Ms. Skintrium, aka our company’s very own Director of Product Development. She is her most important and probably most demanding customer and this is why we chose to unveil some of her beauty secrets. Don’t be fooled — there’s no magic solution involved, no shortcuts, no cheating. Just plain, old-fashioned routine, dedication and attention to detail.

How the body fits in

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Take it from Ms. Skintrium: the skin on our bodies was not created equal.

While it’s easier to lighten the face and neck, the same doesn’t apply for the elbows and the buttocks. The elbows in particular are extremely hard to whiten. Naturally, harmonizing these areas with the rest of the body is crucial for a well-rounded look, so Ms. Skintrium is extra careful about them.

This is how she does it.

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Twice every week, on Sundays and Wednesdays, she gets a full body peel. This is done with a VHA peel at 3.5 pH level. We mention pH because, in skin care, it is a crucial element. Anti-aging cosmetics, for once, rely heavily on pH levels for effectiveness. The rule of thumb is: the lower pH level, the more powerful the product is. The acid exfoliates more effectively and, thus, collagen growth is encouraged. And that means less wrinkles and a smoother skin. 3.5 pH is one of the lowest levels you’ll generally find in over-the-counter cosmetics.

Ms. Skintrium uses the peel in the shower. It replaces any other body gel or cream she usually uses, so she applies it liberally to her whole body, except the face and the neck. After the shower, the peel is left to dry on the skin.

Show’s not over. With her skin tightly wrapped in soft exfoliator, Ms. Skintrium now sleeps on it. This is an overnight treatment, so make sure you clear your schedule. The purpose of this extensive approach is easy to foretell: the skin has enough time to regenerate, the exfoliation process is thorough, pores are minimized and the skin is brighter than ever.

But what happens in the morning? For around five minutes, Ms. Skintrium rinses her skin with pure water, no soap. She then pat dries and applies another layer of peeler. This stays on for another day. The culmination of this skincare stealth routine is a late night goat’s milk bath. This 30 minute protein pampering session wonderfully hydrates the skin while the exfoliator is still active. After the bath, Ms. Skintrium will pat her skin dry and apply moisturizer.

There will be no scrubbing until Thursday!

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On Thursday, Ms. Skintrium gently scrubs her skin. If you choose to do the same, you’ll notice that it generally starts to flake by Saturday, and this is the perfect time to apply Esthetic Blend Suntan Removal Cream, which will reverse sun damage, while also being effective on problem areas such as knees and elbows and helping with skin hydration.

This complex peel makes sure the skin is creamy and flawless, so now that the exfoliation process has ended, your skin deserves a much needed break.

The hard shell of a soft skin

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By now, you’re probably wondering if this beauty regimen is for you or not. In truth, it all depends. Ms. Skintrium knows what works for her and she dedicates her entire life to beauty. Her world revolves around it, she is immersed completely. She couldn’t have it any other way and she argues her case every time, because she knows that beauty doesn’t just come out of a jar. What’s most important is the whole package — the steps we take towards our goal.

The skin is our body’s largest organ and it is our way of greeting the world. Ms. Skintrium has figured out that beauty starts with lifestyle changes and she is fully committed. And, while we might not have the time to be so dedicated all the time, knowing what the professionals are doing in the privacy of their own homes is an invaluable insight that could at least help us change some bad beauty habits.

Next week, in our final piece from this series, we discuss Ms. Skintrium’s beauty secrets for stubborn feet, plus a bonus of how to take care of your body from the inside.

Ms Skintrium’s Beauty Routine: Evening Routine (Part 2)

Last week, we talked all about Ms. Skintrium morning routine. If your memory needs refreshing, we’ll give you a little backstory: Ms. Skintrium is the woman in charge of product development here at Skintrium Cosmetics.

She firmly believes in beauty as a lifestyle. Making positive choices about how we look should be a vow to ourselves and it should be about the whole package. Beauty helps us feel better, disciplines us and makes us more vigilant. Ms. Skintrium knows it’s never only about the body, it’s about how looking good can influence our choices and make us into better people.

Inquisitive as we are, our beauty one-on-one could not stop with the morning routine. We knew for sure Ms. Skintrium had a lot more up her sleeve, and our ears were peeled.

What happens before she goes to bed?

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If you know Ms. Skintrium, you can probably guess she doesn’t have a quick bedtime routine. And that’s because she understands skin.

She begins the whole ritual by applying Nutritive Pigmentation Reducing Cleansing Milk. Of course, there’s a catch. Ms. Skintrium uses it as if it were a moisturizer, which means gently, but thoroughly applying a generous amount of milk, usually three to four pumps, on her face and neck. She leaves it on for another 10 to 15 minutes, to allow it to soften the skin. Because of its multiple valences, the milk not only soothes the visage, it also helps prepare the skin for deeper treatment, while brightening and reducing pigmentation.

After that, she jumps in the shower, where her makeup is finally completely removed. With a now clean skin, Ms. Skintrium is ready to exfoliate. She uses the Granita Cleanser from the Skin Soho line, one dollop for her face and neck, applied with upward outward circular movements, making sure to keep away from her eyes. Don’t forget, we’re still in the shower.

Cleansing Milk vs Cleanser

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What, you’ll say? Cleanser after Cleaning Milk? Yes, Ms. Skintrium will answer. The two products are best when used together because the first one gently cleans the face, while the other renews the skin with tiny grains of granita. Both help lighten your complexion, so using them in conjuncture will make them work for a common goal as well.

Now that the skin is ready for anything, Ms. Skintrium is out of the shower.

The focus now is on skin health. She uses the Fair & Flawless Advanced Pigmentation Reducing Tonic, which firms up the skin and begins the lightening process. Applying the tonic, Ms. Skintrium told us, is essential between cleaning and moisturizing, because it makes the skin fully receptive to lightening and it removes surface pigmentation. How it’s done: two spritz on a cotton ball, then thoroughly slather on the face and neck. Don’t miss that hairline or the back of your ears. Those inaccessible areas might be hard to check off the list, but they’re not invisible!

Now, for the eyes. Or, better yet, under the eyes. Ms. Skintrium is faithful to her morning product, the Clarity Under Eye Peptide Gel, which she applies under the eye — a pea-size quantity will more than do.

The whitening part

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For the full lightening effect, Ms. Skintrium goes for the big guns, Esthetic Blend Face Whitening Moisturizer, the Teal version. This dramatic lightening cream is dabbed all over the face and neck, to get an even tone between the two.

This is when Ms. Skintrium massages her skin as much as she can, to get the full effect of the product and also reap the rest of the benefits facial massages brings to the table: it improves the health of the skin, increases blood and lymph flow, removes toxins and dead skin cells and helps with muscle tone, wrinkle and puffiness reduction.

The evening ends on a high beauty note, with regular moisturizer being applied on the face and neck and also the rest of the body.

Time for bed

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With that, Ms. Skintrium’s nighttime beauty ritual ends.

She’s gone through careful cleaning and gentle exfoliating, she’s taken care of the sensitive area under the eyes, while also focusing on powerful brightening and moisturizing. She hasn’t missed the neck or the more hidden areas close to the face, because she wants consistent results on all her skin.

While Ms. Skintrium’s ritual might sound a bit daunting at first, at second glance it turns out it’s just an upgraded version of every woman’s routine. While some of us might simply wash, hydrate and tuck in, Ms. Skintrium makes sure not to miss any steps, because she knows how important they are in the whole process.

Cleaning and showering set the scene, exfoliation prepares the skin for whitening, eye gel improves the condition of the delicate skin under her eyes, tonic starts the brightening process and whitening moisturizer does just what it’s supposed to do, while regular moisturizer helps the skin even more after the brightening.

Next week, we follow Ms. Skintrium’s whole body routine. We’ll save foot care for last, as so many of us tend to ignore our feet in the whole beauty picture.

Ms. Skintrium’s Beauty Routine: Love the Skin You’re In (Part 1)

As Director of Product Development for Skintrium, Ms. Skintrium is an invaluable resource for all things skincare. She has researched, tested, and re-tested hundreds of formulas, ingredients, miracle and not-so-miracle cures in her search for the very best in skincare. Each Skintrium product is a testament to her creativity and tenacity, as well as her commitment to you, our valued customer.

Feminine and determined, we know her as a seeker of balance and therefore, think of her as a model and an inspiration to other women just like her — individuals who have their mind set on something and know it takes work to get there.

For Ms. Skintrium, good skin isn’t coincidental. It’s a conscious decision. It starts in the morning and ends before falling asleep. It affects her way of life in subtle, but definite ways. It takes time.
This month, we finally sat her down and asked her to share her skincare and beauty routines so that you, too, might benefit from her deep knowledge and experience. Enjoy!

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Ms Skintrium’s morning routine

For many of us, mornings are hazy, just a transitional time between sleep and real life. For Ms. Skintrium, dawn starts with a splash of cold water on the face, to make sure all those dreams are fully evaporated and the path before her is clear.

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Next, she works out. 

The body is a collection of connections, which means everything we do can affect our physique in ways that are tricky to anticipate. With that in mind, the logic behind athletics as part of a beauty regimen is simple — as we sweat, our heart pumps blood faster. Circulation is accelerated and skin cells nourished. Toxins are carried away.

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But Ms. Skintrium doesn’t stop here. She gathers her strength and moves on to her face. Enter Granita Pre-treatment Cleanser, which is applied gently, with slow, circular motions. In the world of cosmetics, there is a time for vigor and a time for delicacy. Applying face cleanser is part of that latter school of thought — it’s all about smooth touches, which don’t impact the skin’s surface in a negative way.

In the shower, Ms. Skintrium washes her face, getting it ready for toning. We often forget to wash our faces before applying treatments and she just doesn’t understand how that can happen. Number one rule: everything starts with a clean face.

Face tonic sets the scene for the lead actor — Clarity Under Eye Gel, for a brighter skin, is used all over the face, a trick Ms. Skintrium discovered when she realized how her skin responded to the gentle moisturizing effect of the gel. This is a good lesson to learn and re-learn: nothing is set in stone. Don’t just believe it because they say it. Believe it because it’s working for you. Investigate, test, remix. Be an active member of your own beauty regimen, not just a bystander who’s being fed information and products.

Next, Ms. Skintrium uses Sun Damage Prevention Emulsion, a mineral sunscreen that prevents any form of sun-related damage to her face. Finding the right sunblock that you can use on a daily basis on your face is a quest that takes you from overly greasy to strange smelling creams and gels, but the stakes are high. Not only does sun damage slowly but surely darkens your skin as months and years go by, but it is also synonymous with our modern society’s biggest fear — skin cancer.

Here, Ms. Skintrium takes a short break, three to five minutes to let the emulsion absorb completely before starting on the makeup. She focuses on the eyes, lips and cheeks and ignores any type of foundation, which results in a natural, but contoured  look. Indeed, if you’re going to be so thorough about your skin, why hide it under layers of BB cream and primer and not flaunt it?

The details that make the difference

Once every week and never more often than that, Ms. Skintrium will use retinol cream.

In other words, Vitamin A. Nothing glamorous about it, just straight up efficiency. Retinol helps skin cells regenerate and improves skin texture, while also giving your face a fresh start. This way, your skin can make the most of the products you’re “feeding” it without getting too accustomed to them.

And, while retinol is a key ingredient in the alchemy of skin care, it could also be a bit harsh on the skin and it could even stop working altogether if used too frequently. Balance is key. Keep your retinol cream safely locked up till next week and you’ll be able to enjoy its effects.

Knowing that her skin is just a piece of the puzzle, Ms. Skintrium never ignores flossing, brushing her teeth and using mouthwash. She does this every day and won’t have it any other way.

Sunrise etiquette

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Writers, thinkers, famous musicians of the past — they all had morning rituals that they abided to religiously. And, indeed, a daybreak habit that’s repeated over and over again, without alteration, seems a bit passe. It packs a nostalgic punch.

Ms. Skintrium’s beauty routine might seem demanding at first, but it is the event horizon that led her to developing the whole Skintrium range of products. And if starting early means a better skin, what’s in an hour?

Next week, we go into Ms. Skintrium’s night routine. We will then follow her whole-body tricks and tips and immerse ourselves into her lifestyle choices and how they affect the way her skin feels and glows.