Handle with Care: How to look after your hands

hands tweakedOur hands are one of the first places to show the signs of aging. While we might pay plenty of attention to the skin on our face, we often don’t notice wrinkles, age spots and thinning skin on the backs of our hands until one day when we get quite a shock!

What we forget is that hands are exposed daily to damaging environmental factors like UV and other toxins. But there are several steps we can take to ensure our hands are treated with care they deserve.

 

Be Religious About SPF
UV exposure doesn’t just happen when we spend time enjoying the outdoors. Our hands can be exposed to the sun’s damaging rays when we’re driving the car or typing on the computer by a window. Apply SPF to the back of your hands as part of your morning routine. And be sure to keep a tube in the car and at your desk for top ups throughout the day.

Wear Gloves
Gloves are a great way to protect our hands from things like harsh cleaning products and UV rays. Try and wear them whenever you’re doing something that might cause damage, whether it’s cleaning, gardening, skiing or driving the car a long distance.

Treat Them Kindly
Regular use of a nourishing hand cream will keep the skin hydrated and protected. Apply a nourishing oil to your cuticles, pushing them back rather than cutting them which can lead to ragged growth. And when you use a face mask, apply a little to the back of your hands too. They’ll thank you for it.

Skin-Loving Smoothies

 

smoothie picSmoothies are the ultimate convenience food – easy to make, portable and, usually, quite nutritious. But not all smoothies are created equal when it comes to our skin health, with some high in sugar and other potentially inflammatory ingredients.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to add skin-loving ingredients in our smoothies and skip the stuff that isn’t so great. Here are some ideas:

 

Add Vitamins
Vitamins A, C and E are the holy trinity of skincare vitamins, thanks to their ability to fight the free radicals that contribute to premature aging and other skin damage. Adding foods which contain these to your smoothies is one of the easiest ways to get healthy, glowing skin.

  • Vitamin A: Foods rich in carotenoids which the body converts to vitamin A include dark leafy greens, carrots and some tropical fruits such as mango, papaya and melon. Go easy on the latter as they can be high in sugar.
  • Vitamin C: Choose kiwifruit or dark berries for a low-sugar option, dark leafy greens, or a whole organic lemon; leaving the skin on for the maximum vitamin hit.
  • Vitamin E: Excellent sources of this skin-loving vitamin to add to your smoothie include almond butter, avocado, sunflower seeds and, again, those dark leafy greens.

Add Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 is an excellent inflammation-fighter and inflammation is linked to many skin problems from redness to sensitivity and premature aging. Add these “good fats” to your smoothie with a sprinkle of flaxseeds or a glug of quality flaxseed oil, some blended walnuts or a handful of chia seeds.

Find a Skin-Loving Substitute
The all-important texture of your smoothie is often down to any liquid and thickening ingredients you add. Some of these, like fresh juice, milk and sugary fruits like bananas are okay in small amounts, but are easy to overdo when it comes to a guzzling a delicious smoothie! Try using filtered water or coconut water instead of juice, homemade almond milk instead of cow’s milk, and oats or chia seeds for the thickening effect of banana. All these will add to the skincare benefits of your smoothie.

Skip the Sweetener
Smoothies with a fruit element often don’t need added sweeteners like honey. Try leaving them out and train your tastebuds to adapt! If you do need a little bit of sweetness, add a medjool date to the blender. These do contain natural sugar but they have lots of other nutrients too.

Wrinkles and Crinkles: Caring for the Eye Area

crinkled paperIt’s said that the eyes are the window to the soul, and they can certainly tell us plenty about how we live our lives. From how much sleep we get to whether or not we drink enough water to how often we’ve smiled – they reveal both the good and the bad.

Evolu founder Kati Kasza remembers her aunt telling her to smile differently so she wouldn’t get lines around her eyes when she was in her twenties. “I was somewhat surprised and offended,” Kati says. “I believe smile lines make a person and are very attractive.”

But smile lines are one thing; neglect is another. The eye area has delicate, thin skin that requires a gentler touch than the rest of the face. Kati says: “Eye products are important, but more important is how they’re applied. Use the ring finger and apply it onto the orbital bone gently from the outside in. That way the product doesn’t seep into the eye pocket and leave fatty deposits, which can cause ‘bags’ under the eye.”

Sun protection is also vital for protecting the area. Physical protection is best, so invest in some good quality sunglasses, a sun hat and sit in the shade if you can. Don’t rely  on sunscreen to protect they area, as they are often too greasy for the skin and can irritate the eye itself.

A gentle touch is also required when applying eye makeup. Avoid pulling or tugging the skin around the eye, particularly when putting on eyeliner. Keep brushes clean and update products as soon as they expire, especially mascara.

Kati also recommends being “religious” about removing eye make-up before cleansing each night. A little rosehip oil on a cotton pad works well, and it nourishes the skin at the same time. These tips won’t guarantee your eyes are wrinkle-free, but they’ll ensure the lines that are there are good ones.

 

 

Moisturiser 101

moisture 101Moisturiser can be one of the most confusing parts of skincare. There is an abundance of products on offer, each claiming to be the answer to your skincare concerns.

But do you really need moisturiser? And which one should you choose?

Do I need a moisturiser? The short answer is yes. As we age, our skin undergoes many changes including the breakdown of its lipid content which leads to dry and depleted skin. Babies and children don’t generally need moisturiser as their skin has a high lipid content, making it plump and smooth.

Moisturisers contain ingredients called ‘humectants’ to attract and bind moisture to the skin, ’emollients’ to soothe and soften it and ‘occlusives’ to form a protective barrier and prevent further moisture loss.

What should my moisturiser contain? Your moisturiser should contain a balance of emollients, occlusives and humectants to suit your skin type. You can tell what this balance is from the texture or ‘feel’ of a product. For instance, people with oily or acne-prone skin should avoid thick creams that feel heavy as they can cause further congestion. Evolu is known for light, easily absorbed creams that are still packed full of nourishment.

You should also look for ingredients which deliver benefits to your skin over and above just retaining moisture. Antioxidants are the most helpful as they can reverse damage that has already occurred and protect skin against further harm. There are lots of different types of antioxidants, and no single one is the best. Evolu moisturisers all contain a blend of antioxidants to make sure you’re getting the best possible nourishment.

What should it not contain? There have been red flags raised around many common skincare ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, phthalates and mineral oil. We choose not to use any of these as we’ve found safe, natural alternatives. We figure – why risk it if you don’t have to?

Should I use a clay mask?

clay-squareClay masks are popular because of their ability to absorb and remove impurities like dirt, excess sebum and dead cells from the skin. This gives a deep cleanse which is otherwise difficult to achieve at home.

Using a clay mask can have a range of other benefits too, provided you use the correct one for your skin.

 
In our brand new Triple Action Oil Control Clay Mask we’ve used kaolin, a fine white clay which is gentle enough for even sensitive skin. Unlike bentonite, which is also commonly used in masks, it doesn’t dry out or irritate the skin. We’ve also added in a range of other botanical actives like lentil seed, kiwifruit seed, balm mint, fennel and hops to not only cleanse the skin but regulate sebum and brighten the complexion too.

People with oily or normal skin can use a clay mask up to twice a week as needed, but a good starting point for most people is to apply it weekly. And here’s another tip: If you don’t like the uncomfortable “concrete” feel of a completely dry clay mask, just remove it while it is still slightly damp – you’ll still get all the skin-loving benefits.

Should you use skincare oils in summer?

image1-3The short answer is YES.

Although putting oil on your skin in summer might seem like a bad idea, modern skincare oils are very different to the dangerous tanning oils we might have used in the past.

They are packed with skin-loving ingredients and are easily absorbed, helping your skin deal with the effects of increased UV exposure and air pollution during the warmer months.

They keep skin hydrated
Hydrated skin is healthy skin and skincare oils are excellent hydrators. Good hydration signals to the skin that it does not need to produce excessive amounts of its own oil (or sebum), which can cause congestion and breakouts.

They deliver antioxidants
Our skincare oils contain potent antioxidants including the essential vitamins A, C and E. These counter the effects of free radical damage that comes with exposure to things like UV light and air pollution, which increases during the summer. Some ingredients can become less effective in sunlight, so we recommend our Facial Serum is only used at night. Our Certified Organic Rosehip Oil can be safely used in the morning however, underneath your usual sun protection.

They are easily absorbed
Modern skincare oils have a “dry” texture, so a couple of drops smoothed across the face and décolletage will absorb very quickly. This means they are excellent at delivering nourishing ingredients to the deeper layers of the skin and do not sit on the surface causing shininess or congestion.

 

 

 

Create Your Own Unique Skincare Regime

image1-2Creating a personalised skincare regime isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It all comes down to three factors – your skin type, your lifestyle and your personal preferences.

Here we guide you through creating a basic skincare regime, and what you need to consider:

Cleanse: Thorough, gentle, twice-daily cleansing is always a good place to start. People with dry skin should opt for a non-drying cream or oil cleanser; those with normal or oily skin might choose formulations that cleanse a little more deeply. If you have a job where you sweat a lot you may need to cleanse more often or if you have highly sensitized skin you might want to skip your morning cleanse in favour of a splash of water.

Tone: Not everyone chooses to use a toner, but there are some real benefits. A well-balanced toner (not a harsh, alcohol-based one) restores the skin’s natural acidity and prepares it to accept all the beneficial ingredients of your next step. Our facial toner is beautifully balancing and comes as a pleasantly cooling mist suitable for most skin types. Frequent fliers use it for excellent in-flight hydration.

Target and treat: This step is necessary if you want to see positive change in your skin. Work out your main skin concern such as aging, sun damage or acne, and choose a serum or treatment product that targets that concern. Our facial serum comes as a fragrant oil and treats a wide range of concerns from uneven texture to dehydration and dullness with potent botanical actives. It is best used at night before drifting off to dreamland.

Moisturise: Everyone needs a moisturiser to nourish the skin and prevent moisture loss. Dry skins generally require richer formulations while oilier skins require light weight creams. The best moisturisers had additional beneficial ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants, and are a pleasure to use.

Sun protection is also a must, and should be applied every single morning. This is particularly important if you’re lifestyle means you spend a lot of time outdoors. This can be included in your moisturiser or put on afterwards.

Exfoliation and Masks: Exfoliation and masks can be added to this basic regime as well. There are lots of options to choose from, but be guided by your skin type and experiment from there. For more information on exfoliation, read our guide here.

 

 

Why Exfoliate?

image1-10Skin cells undergo a constant process of renewal. As we age this process becomes less efficient, and requires some additional help!

Encouraging the removal of dead skin cells gives skin a softer, more even texture and a more radiant appearance. It also allows the other skincare ingredients in the serums and moisturisers that we use to work more effectively.

How should I exfoliate?
Exfoliation can be done manually with a scrub or loofah, or with skincare ingredients that encourage the rate of cell turnover. Our Renewing Facial Exfoliator uses both methods for maximum effectiveness – tiny jojoba beads to gently polish the skin and papaya extract to help refine it. Our Invigorating Body Scrub contains 20% Arabica coffee grounds that have the added benefit of improving lymphatic circulation.

What about microbeads?
Plastic microbeads are bad news for our environment as they wash into the waterways and harm fish and other sea creatures. We really encourage you to avoid them – and with the United States set to phase out their use they’ll hopefully soon be a relic of the past. The jojoba beads and coffee grounds we use in our products are natural and biodegradable and are a much better option.

How often should I exfoliate?
Everyone’s skin is different, but generally once or twice a week is best. If your skin is particularly congested or you’re using lots of heavy sunscreen in the summer you may need to increase the frequency; if your skin is sensitive or dry (particularly during winter) you may need to do it less often.

Men’s Skincare

Men's SkincareMen’s skin doesn’t get as much attention as women’s, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need it. It has its own unique challenges, such as the drying effect of regular shaving and a tendency towards oiliness and enlarged pores, while still being susceptible to sun-damage, breakouts and uneven texture.

Evolu is basically a gender-neutral range, so men should feel comfortable using most of our products. Here are a few that are particularly suited to the needs of male skin:

Regulating Gel Cleanser
A gentle yet thorough cleanser, the inclusion of Lentil Seed extract helps minimise pores and regulate sebum production without stripping the skin.

Protective Day Cream SPF15
A light yet hydrating cream for everyday, with the all-important broad-spectrum sun protection factor.

Renewing Facial Exfoliator
Used once or twice a week this non-abrasive exfoliator gives a deep cleanse and encourages a gentle renewal of the skin.

Soothing Eye Gel
For tired or travel-weary eyes, this soothing gel sinks in instantly and leaves the area feeling refreshed and soothed.

Lip Treatment with SPF15
Perfect for those who spend lots of time in the elements, this protective and healing lip treatment has an SPF15.