Posted on Leave a comment

Preventing & Treating Body Acne in Hot Weather

Summer in Cyprus is behind us but the hot days will reign for a few more months. Hot weather brings sweat, a lot of sweat; and sweat brings pimples and acne but not just on the face. Many people struggle with body acne throughout the year and it is something we would rather not talk about. In the hotter months sweat mixes with bacteria and oils on our skin, clogging pores and causing breakouts. Areas most affected are the chest, back, and bum but it can occur in any part of the body. If you have acne-prone skin there are some things you can do to prevent awful breakouts, minimize them, and treat them when they do happen.

Clothing
Avoid tight clothing and stick to wearing loose clothing that allows your skin to breath. Which means Jeans are a no no! Wash your clothes regularly and only wear them once especially if you sweat during the day.

Bedding
Change your bedding (sheets & pillowcases) regularly especially during the hotter months. Sweating and twisting & turning in our beds results in a build up of dead skin cells, oils, and sweat, a.k.a breeding ground for nasty, acne-causing bacteria. Yuck!

Shower Routine
Shower immediately after workouts & change your shower routine. Avoid long hot showers and lower the temperature to warm or lukewarm water. Do not use a net to scrub the body but rather use a small towel. Net loofahs may feel good but they can be harsh on the skin especially if it is already inflamed with spots. Use body products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA). AHAs help remove dead skin cell build-up and BHAs go deeper to unclog pores and clear our sebum. The easiest way to incorporate these ingredients into your routine is using a serum or body spray post-shower. COSRX’s Clarifying Treatment Toner can also be used on the body. It contains both AHAs & BHAs and it helps remove dead skin cells and sebum from pores reducing inflammation and redness.

AHA BHA toner
COSRX – Clarifying Treatment Toner, €20

A milder alternative is Koelf Madecassoside Clarifying Body Spray which also helps reduce blemishes, regulate sebum production and minimize blackheads while soothing redness on the skin with the help of Willow Bark Extract, Madecassoside & Centella Asiatica Leaf Water.

clarifying body spray
PETITFEE – Koelf Madecassoside Clarifying Body Spray, €21

It is also a good idea to use a body scrub 1-2 times per week. Avoid using harsh body scrubs with beads that can break the skin barrier and increase inflammation. Etude House’s Baking Powder Pore Scrub comes in individually-packaged sachets that help deeply cleanse pores from dirt, impurities & blackheads with over 40% baking powder. This scrub cools and soothes skin with a menthol derivative and does not contain harsh beads.  It is multi-purpose as it can be used both on the face and body.

baking powder pore scrub
Etude House – Baking Powder Pore Scrub (24 Pieces), €20

Moisturize Correctly
Choose a body moisturizer that is lightweight and non-comedogenic which means it won’t clog your pores. Kose’s Precious Garden Body Milk contains organic botanical oils to soothe the skin and salicylic acid (a BHA) for gentle exfoliation with a sweet fragrance of honey peach.

garden body milk
Kose – Precious Garden Body Milk, €15

Treat Existing Pimples
When pimples have already formed just DO NOT pick or squeeze them! This will only lead to more and more spots forming in the area. Instead, use topical treatments to help reduce inflammation and eradicate them the proper way. Use COSRX’s Acne Pimple Master Patches. Just apply them on the spots overnight and they will help soothe the skin, reduce the pimple and prevent infection in the nearby area. Alternatively, use a spot treatment like NATURE REPUBLIC’s Bee Venom Spot Treatment which contains salicylic acid (BHA) to calm down existing spots.

COSRX – Acne Pimple Master Patch (24 Patches), €8
bee venom cream
NATURE REPUBLIC – Bee Venom Spot Treatment, €13

Visit a Dermatologist
If you follow these tips and be consistent with your body care routine, you will notice a big difference within a few weeks. If, however, your body acne does not respond to these changes, it may be best to visit your dermatologist to determine your next steps.

Posted on Leave a comment

Dark Spots & Freckles, Our Summer Souvenirs!

dark spots & freckles

Summer in Cyprus is truly endless and beautiful! But it leaves us with annoying souvenirs we didn’t ask for like dark spots and freckles. So there is no better time to start acting on those pesky pigments with skincare ingredients proven to help minimize them if not eradicate them completely. There are a few miraculous ingredients that can help with skin hyper-pigmentation and Asian beauty brands are no strangers to whitening and brightening potions. In fact, their lab testing is far more rigorous than their Western counterparts! Let’s have a closer look at these star ingredients.

Vitamin C
Oh the legendary Vitamin C! Best used as a serum, Vitamin C actually works to reduce acne scars, even our skin tone, iron out fine lines and rough texture, and brighten skin tone. It is a potent anti-oxidant that works in many ways. It helps neutralize damage from environmental aggressors like pollution and UV exposure. Because Vitamin C is highly acidic, it gives our skin that extra push to start regenerating skin cells and produce collagen and elastin (hence its anti-aging properties). Finally, it inhibits melanin production so it prevents dark spots and hyper-pigmentation and fades out existing ones.

Despite its miraculous abilities, Vitamin C is an unstable ingredient affected by light and air. So choose your packaging carefully (no light-colored bottles or jars). The most stable and effective form of Vitamin C is called Ascorbic Acid. Look for serums that contain Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), another anti-oxidant that strengthens the benefits on the skin. We recommend Rohto Mentholatum’s Melano CC Vitamin C essence which is a potent Vitamin C serum you can incorporate into your daily skincare. The thin dispenser at the end of the tube has technology that does not allow air to enter ensuring the stability of the ingredients. The addition of Vitamin E ensures that you get the full anti-oxidant and anti-aging benefits of the serum. Use it daily with a good sunscreen (SPF30+).

Rohto Mentholatum – Melano CC Vitamin C Essence, €20
Skin type: All

Niancinamide
Our second star ingredient Niancinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 and helps fight acne, rosacea, hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles. Its effects are similar to Vitamin C in that it helps the skin regenerate and fight free radicals. It also helps increase the production of ceramides (lipids that aid the skin’s protective barrier) therefore can have an effect on lines and wrinkles. If for whatever reason your skin is too sensitive for Vitamin C products, then Niancinamide might be your best bet. We carry a few serums containing Niancinamide, depending on your skin type.

Elizavecca – CF-Nest 97% B-Jo Serum, €17
Skin type: All, 20s
iUNIK – Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum, €25
Skin type: Dry, Sensitive, Aging
iUNIK – Rose Galactomyces Synergy Serum, €25
Skin type: Oily, Sensitive, Aging

Licorice
Licorice contains two ingredients that help with hyper-pigmentation, labridin and liquiritin that act to minimize the production of melanin and remove pigmentation from the skin. Licorice also helps even out skin tone. We carry an anti-aging gel cream which contains Licorice, suitable for mature and aging skin.

SANA – Soy Milk Brightening Wrinkle Gel, €31
Skin type: Mature/aging

Arbutin
This is a natural form of hydroquinone, a safer alternative, which is powerful in dealing with existing dark spots by reducing melanin production. You can find this ingredient in SANA’s gel cream (above) and Secret Key’s SYN-AKE Anti-Wrinkle & Whitening cream.

Secret Key – SYN-AKE Anti Wrinkle & Whitening Cream, €26
Skin type: Mature/aging

AHAs & BHAs
Suitable even for the most sensitive and acne-prone skin, alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are great alternatives as they gently exfoliate and brighten the skin and suppress melanin. You may find this milder ingredient in the products below.

Isntree – Clear Skin 8% AHA Essence, €17
Skin type: All, including acne-prone & sensitive
CHICA Y CHICO – Beta-Salic 2.0 Cream, €19
Skin type: All, including acne-prone & sensitive
COSRX – AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, €20
Skin type: All, including acne-prone & sensitive

Clearly, there are many safe & natural ingredients you can use to lighten those dark spots and prevent future ones from forming so it is a good idea to incorporate at least one of them in your daily skincare. The products above are great in helping with this. When using any of the ingredients mentioned in this article, make sure you always wear a sunscreen during the day of at least SPF30+ as they can increase sun sensitivity. Now go get spotless!