beautiful skin

Is There A Right Way To Apply Skin Care?

get asked this question frequently.

Is there a right way to apply skin care?

No one wants a complicated morning regime and the reality is that there really is no wrong way to apply your skin care products but there is a better way to apply your skin care so that you get a better result.

The skin is made up of several layers, put simply, there is a water based layer and an oil based layer.  You may already know that oil and water dont mix. This means that ideally you need to be a little bit careful about how you apply your skin care products to ensure you can ensure that you get the best results possible.

The key to this is knowing which of your skin care products are water based or oil based. Most moisturisers are oil based as most creams are made with oils, and most serums are water based, although there are exceptions. Possible exception are some face oils. These face oils can be very fast absorbing. These face oils are often applied not to moisturise, but to seal in the moisture in the skin.

So what is the best and the most effective way to apply your skin care daily? The answer is, water based products first and then oil base products last. It is helpful to know if the product you are about to apply is water based or oil based. The best way to ascertain this is to move a drop between your finger and thumb. If it slides easily then it is probably oil based. If you are using this method then make sure you give the product time to lightly absorb because even a water based product will provide friction if there is enough of it on the surface of the skin. Once you have established what is the main ingredient of your products (water or oil) you are then in the position to apply them to your skin in the correct order.

Apply your water based (very likely a serum like Vitamin C) first, wait a few seconds for it to absorb and then apply your moisturiser. If you are using a sealing face oil, you then apply it over your moisturiser. Give your facial oil a few seconds to absorb and then apply your sun protection and makeup. I know it sounds a bit complicated but it really isnt and if you follow these steps then your skin will really benefit from the fact that some of the product will get absorbed and will make a difference.

One other small tip: if you are using a product with hyalouronic acid in it, if you have time, fill the hand basin with a few centimeters of hot water and place a towel over your head and hover your face over the steam. You only have to hold it there for 30 seconds or so but the hyalouronic acid will absorb 1000 times it weight in water and will leave your skin looking plumped and moist all day. And if you are using a sealing face oil you can then apply the oil to seal the moisture in. Your skin will look youthful and dewy all day.

You might be interested in joining our monthly membership site or  check out our site if you just want to save money on skin care parcels and gift packs.


The Skinny On LED

Aging skin sees the light: LED phototherapy smooths wrinkles, increases collagen without pain, heat, risk
Cosmetic Surgery Times, May, 2004 by Jane Schwanke

Dallas — New clinical data shows that light-emitting diode (LED) phototherapy is a simple, safe treatment that can offer a robust appearance to damaged facial skin. The light-based therapy, which uses exposures calculated to be less than a 25-watt incandescent light bulb, bears similarity to photosynthesis. Unlike lasers and intense pulsed light devices that use heat, the LED technology is a non-thermal, non-ablative narrow band of light that focuses beneath the skin to energize cells in much the same way that the sun’s energy stimulates a plant.

“Skin can be smoothed without using heat, without pain, and without risk,” said Robert A. Weiss, M.D., Baltimore, Md. “It’s a new way to induce collagen formation without heating the skin … it’s the closest thing to a laser without being a laser.” As lead investigator of a 12-month, multi-site clinical trial, Dr. Weiss presented his findings at the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery meeting. Dr. Weiss and his researchers set out to evaluate the efficacy of the Light BioScience, LLC Gentle-Waves Low Intensity Light Therapy (LILT) for treating facial rhytides in the periorbital and/or perioral facial regions.
In theory, photomodulation suggests that very low-intensity light photons of the proper parameters interact with sub-cellular chromophores to increase ATP production in mitochondria. Dr. Weiss said earlier tissue culture studies of human fibroblasts showed increased procollagen and collagen production in fibroblasts from an older patient with much less effect on the same patient’s cells from a skin biopsy taken 10 years earlier. Other tests have shown little effects on younger, healthy fibroblast cells. In addition, melanoma cells in tissue culture have shown no increased growth using this LED device.

Ninety patients were studied for patient satisfaction, success rates, and adverse events, as well as wrinkle improvement, over a one-year period at two, four, six, and 12 months. Facial skin to be treated was cleansed of all makeup and sunscreen, and dried. Subjects placed their chins in a chin cup that was fastened on a small table. Small, opaque external eye protectors were placed over the subject’s eyes, although no one else in the room needed them. The subject’s entire face was illuminated simultaneously, with light exposure times totaling 25 seconds. The light irradiance ranged from 1.2 to 3.0 milliwatt/[cm.sup.2] (30 to 75 millijoules/[cm.sup.2]) of yellow visible 590nm LED light. Unless a skin biopsy was performed, the subjects did not require any special skincare. Researchers performed eight treatments at intervals of two to five days.

Proteins such as Collagen I increased, while undesirable enzymes, such as collagenase/MMPs, decreased. Dr. Weiss’ team also noted a close connection between in vivo and in vitro findings. Patterns of cell signaling and gene expression were both directly associated with clinical observations of the photo-aged facial skin on his patient subjects. Also, 85 percent of patients registered at least one grade improvement in the Fitzpatrick scale of periorbital wrinkles. Additionally Dr. Weiss said use of a low-voltage, visible yellow LED light source device operated at a very low-density output resulted in zero adverse effects.

“Non-thermal LED phototherapy can modulate the activity of certain genes in human fibroblasts,” Dr. Weiss said. “[This can] result in a net increase in collagen formation and extracellular matrix proteins that are responsible for improved skin tone and texture,

reduced pore size, and fewer lines and wrinkles.”LED light treatment

3 steps to great skin

Keeping Skin Care Simple – 3 Easy Steps

Everyone out there is trying to sell you cosmetics (including us), but we would like to think that we are a lot more honest than a lot of other skin care companies on the market. Which is why we have come up with this strategy for Keeping Skin Care Simple – 3 Easy Steps.

In order to ensure the best skin that you can possibly have for as long a possible there are three things that you really have to do.

E * Exfoliate
M * Moisturize
P * Protect

Firstly exfoliate, by exfoliating you are removing the dead skin cells which will result in the absorption of more of the cosmetics that you use. As well, by not having that layer of dead skin cells your skin looks fresher and brighter. If you are suffering from acne, or even the odd pimple, by exfoliating twice a week you will reduce the breakouts as any contamination under the skin can come to the surface of the skin and be naturally eliminated instead of festering under all those dead skin cells.

One word of warning, when you exfoliate with a great product like our Foliage Exfoliating Bamboo Cleanser you will find your skin looks really bright and smooth directly after exfoliation and so you maybe tempted to exfoliate every day. Please do not do this as if you exfoliate too often, you can dry out your skin. The results of this can be the production of even more oil and so you are setting off a vicious cycle.

It is essential that even oily skin gets added moisture daily. Believe it or not it actually helps with your skins pH levels. Obviously you have to chose a moisturiser that is going to suit your skin type. For oily skin we recommend something nice and light like our Silk daily moisturiser with collagen. Most people know that dry skin can definitely benefit from a great moisturiser but it is important that you chose one that will enhance your skin and not just block up your pores or sit on the skin surface. The truth is that very little of the moisturiser that you put on the skin will be absorbed to where you need it, but moisturisers that contain small enough particles can be absorbed and do make a difference; these are seldom found in cheap supermarket or chemist shop brands. The Foliage Hydrating Facial Moisturiser delivers moisture where you need it without clogging your skin so is perfect for drier skin types.

The final product in our Keeping Skin Care Simple – 3 Easy Steps advice is Protection. Since we have taken the dead skin cells from your skin you have now left your skin vulnerable to sun and environmental damage so we need to add a layer of protection. This involves sun block or sun screen. Most people know that they should use sun block but don’t because it can either leave their skin looking white (from the zinc in the product), or it tends to be greasy and feel thick and heavy on the skin. Foliage does not manufacture their own sun block but we do highly recommend Coola as the ingredients list sounds good enough to eat and it feels like silk on the skin which encourages people to use it. Even though Protection is bottom on our list, it is actually possibly the most important step in your anti-aging, skin enhancing routine. Without protecting your skin from the sun, you may as well save your time and money and not do anything to your skin. Exposure to the sun with leave your skin dry, patchy, pigmented and eventually probably even with skin cancer so a great barrier to sun damage it essential.


5 Tips for Younger Looking Skin

If you are already blessed with younger-looking skin, then consider yourself lucky and you may not need our 5 Tips for Younger Looking Skin. But if you wish your skin looked younger than it does now, then all hope is not lost, as there are things you can do to reverse the aging process. Either way, once you have it, you need to do whatever you can to maintain younger-looking skin.

The first step in our 5 tips for younger looking skin is to minimize or completely stop any damage that you are doing to your skin. There will always be natural processes at work that you have little control over, but the things that you can control have a major impact on the appearance of your skin. Here are a few things you can do to maintain younger-looking skin.

1. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Good nutrition is important for every part of your body, and that includes your skin. Eat a wide range of whole foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, healthy fats, and whole grains. Taking a multi-vitamin is better than nothing, but it is a poor substitute for real and wholesome food. One thing to avoid where at all possible is processed foods particularly those high in sugar. Consuming large amounts of sugar is very aging.

2. If you really want younger looking skin then avoid too much sun exposure. You shouldn’t avoid the sun altogether as your body needs sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. Conversely, however, you don’t want to overdo it. Some people think they need to get a good sunburn at the beginning of beach season. The theory is that this will somehow provide a good base for tanning as the season progresses. Bad move! Sunburn is one of the worst things for your skin, and it’s impossible to undo all of its effects.

3. Younger looking skin requires plenty of fluids. Your skin needs a lot of moisture to look its best. You can buy moisturizers to apply topically to the skin, and they will help a little, but you also need to moisturize your skin from the inside-out. If you find you’re getting thirsty, then it’s a sign that you aren’t getting enough fluids. However, beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine can have the opposite effect, so drink those in moderation.

4. Smoking is the most aging thing you can do. If you smoke then now is the time to quit. Everyone is aware that smoking increases the risk of getting all sorts of diseases, but what they often don’t realise is that smoking makes your skin look awful. If you smoke, and you are serious about wanting to achieve younger-looking skin, then stop smoking now.

5. If you want younger looking skin then it would pay to stop using toners. If you must use a toner, make sure that it doesn’t contain alcohol as alcohol is harsh and drying on the skin. Exfoliating is a great anti-aging habit but any exfoliating should be mild, and only done twice a week or it will dry out your skin. Moisturizers that contain humectants will not only moisturize your skin, but will also lock in moisture.

These simple tips will help you to maintain younger-looking skin, but they are only the beginning. The more information you have, the better you will be able to take care of your skin properly. Where at all possible chose a skincare range that is natural and that is designed to feed your skin and not strip it.

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Leave The Bags at Home – Your Complete Clear Eye Strategy

In this article we will show you how to treat puffy eyes… so you can leave the bags at home – your complete clear eye strategy.You wake up in the morning and the first thing you notice is your puffy eyes. Some people just suffer from them, often caused by allergies to dust or even dust mites on your pillow; others just get them now and again. Whatever the cause, most people are not that happy when they look in the mirror and are confronted with puffy eyes, dark circles, and shadows under their eyes.

As well as being aesthetically not the look you are after, there can be several health related reasons for reactions around the eyes area. There are some cases where dark circles are just a fact of life, if you are of Indian or African decent then dark circles under your eyes can be heredity and there really is nothing safe that you can do to eliminate them. However if your puffy or dark circles eyes are not down to genetics then there are some things that you can do about them. So you can leave the bags at home – your complete clear eye strategy.

Do you like salty foods? If yes, then watch your salt intake. It doesn’t take much salt to start causing health issues and to make your eyes look awful. Sodium and water retention go hand in hand and water retention is one of the main causes of puffy eyes so you can see why you may need to cut back on your salt intake. This doesn’t just mean the salt that you add to your food, sodium is added to almost all processed foods to add flavor. If you eat a lot of processed foods then it would definitely pay to monitor your sodium intake. Reduced sodium may help remove your puffy eyes but will also help your overall health to improve. Ironically you can use salt to sooth eyes. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt in some warm water and dip a cotton ball into the saline solution and gently dab around the eye area. Be careful not to get the solution in the eye itself as it will sting.
Having just said that water retention is a cause of puffy eyes… water is also your friend when it comes to reducing puffiness and bags under your eyes. While it’s true that you don’t want to retain excess water, it is also important that you drink enough water to stay properly hydrated. It is imperative that you are consuming enough water and general consensus is 6-8 glasses of water a day. Water ensures that your organs are operating optimally. Water also helps you eliminate toxins and it keeps your circulation going. Without enough water you will not only have puffy and dehydrated eyes, you could suffer from organ failure.
Eat your greens… and your yellows and reds, in other words, add more fruit and vegetables to your diet. By eating a well-balanced diet, you may not even get puffy eyes and dark circles around your eyes in the first place. Although if you do find that you are getting them, quickly up your intake of fruit and vegetables and you will most likely eliminate puffy eyes and dark circles entirely. Focus on foods that ensure that you are getting the full range of vitamins and nutrients, particularly vitamin A, C, and E. Not only will your eyes not have bags but they will look bright and alive, which is definitely what you are after.
There are home remedies, like using cucumber slices over the eyes. Cucumber is calming and it feels wonderful. Tea bags, in particular, Camomile tea bags are a simple trick that you can use to reduce inflammation and irritation especially during hay fever season or after a late night. Caffeinated teas help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. Most people have Mint growing in their gardens so you can try this simple home-made eye treatment to relieve dark circles under the eyes. Just crush your mint leaves into a light paste and apply to the affected area for 15 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Hemorrhoid cream was a very popular remedy for puffy eyes and dark circles around the eyes, in the early 90’s, although there is a risk that Hemorrhoid cream could cause additional irritation so if you are going to try this remedy, be very careful as the skin around the eye area is extremely delicate.
There are eye creams and other natural remedies that can also assist in maintaining beautiful eyes. Foliage Cucumber Eye Gel is a calming and moisturising twice daily treatment that also boosts hydration levels around the eyes to help reduce fine lines.
Puffiness around the eye area can be a result of your lymphatic drainage system not working optimally. A sluggish Lymphatic system is quickly reflected in the eye area. There are some wonderful self – massage techniques that you can do daily that can assist with this problem. These lymphatic drainage exercises are excellent at keeping the under-eye area clear and smooth and they also assist with headaches and mucus problems that you can experience particularly during spring.
This is a great YouTube video on how to do your own daily lymphatic massage. It is advertised for over 50’s age group but believe us, no matter how young or old you are, this massage technique will leave your eyes glowing.

Helena Mary Carter, EzineArticles Basic Author

Bamboo exfolator

Ban The Bead

Large cosmetic companies (actually large corporations in general), have a lot to answer for when it comes to looking after our environment. Money always seems to come first. In the case of using tiny plastic beads in cosmetics, the environment is suffering, but equally importantly, so are you. You need to take action and Ban The Bead from your life.

Sometimes people chose convenience over the environment and that can be understandable. But what you may not know is that some of these choices you make can also affect your health. Tiny micro-beads found in cosmetics (an other consumer products), are now being found in the food chain and they have potential to affect your health.

There are plenty of natural products that can replace plastic micro-beads. Foliage uses natural bamboo granules in our cleanser as they are effective and safe for both you and the environment. The reason large cosmetic companies don’t use these natural alternatives is because plastic granules are cheaper than the natural alternatives, so they put money ahead of the environment and your health. You can force them to change, simply by refusing to purchase products that have plastic micro-beads in them. You wont have to worry there are thousands of safe options. You could also write or email these environmental wreaking companies and tell them why you will not be using their products any longer. The will hopefully get the message sooner rather than later.

Oh and we lightly touched on the effect that these plastic beads have on your health… the beads are turning up in fish. So when you are enjoying your fish dinner or sushi for lunch remember you could well be digesting tiny plastic beads which can build up in your body. Like the rivers, lakes and oceans, and fish, you are gradually getting poisoned by these seemingly innocent cosmetic ingredients.

Below is a link to a great article. We hope you will read and take action. You can make a difference. Ban the Bead in your household and share the information with everyone you know.

natural products

Natural Cosmetic Ingredients

Would you use a natural cosmetic with this list of ingredients in it, even if it was called a natural cosmetic skincare? There is so much mis-information about natural cosmetics ingredients. The ingredients lists sometimes don’t help. After all how many of us could read the list of ingredients below and know what they are? How do you ensure that your natural cosmetics is the best skin care with only natural cosmetic ingredients in it?

Unless you are a chemist or are prepared to walk around with a cosmetic reference book in your bag then it is easy to get alarmed when you look on the back of your natural cosmetics jar and see some very scary looking ingredients names, but you maybe amazed at how some of them really are not only natural but are really good for you!

Conversely, there are a lot of natural cosmetics that are anything but natural! Just because there might be a few natural ingredients in the cosmetic, that does not make it natural! Your natural cosmetic has to contain 100% natural ingredients otherwise they are lying to you! Natural cosmetics make the best skin care products.

If you are looking to purchase a natural product then do check the label for words in the ingredient lists like Paraben, Sulphate, silicone, ethoxylate and artificial colours these are ingredients that it is best to avoid. Real natural cosmetics would not contain these ingredients.

One small downside to not having parabens and sulphates in your cosmetics is that they are preservatives and if there are no preservatives, then there is a real risk of bacteria growing in your face cream. You need to avoid this but not putting your fingers in the cream and by using it quickly. Most natural creams, kept in the right atmosphere will not last much longer than 12 months depending on what ingredients are in it.

Now… how un-natural do the ingredients listed below? You will be amazed.


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Why You Should Exfoliate

We have noticed a lot of conflicting discussion around exfoliating your skin. Some say you should some say you shouldn’t. This is why you should exfoliate…

Your skin is made up of different layers and at the top of these layers is the horny layer or dead skin layer. This layer is there to protect your skin but it also makes your skin look dull and lifeless and stops any good quality product to put on your skin from being absorbed… this is why you should exfoliate.

If it seems that obvious why you should exfoliate so why then is it so controversial? Firstly there is some discussion about the potential damage that can be done when you exfoliate. This comes down to the products that you are using. Some of the cheaper brands of exfoliants such as St Ives, use ground up kernels which are very harsh on the skin and can cause micro-tears in the skin. For about 10 years now tiny plastic spheres have also been used. While these are much less damaging to the skin they are a nightmare on the environment. Hundreds of tons of these non degradeable plastic spheres are floating around the rivers, lakes and oceans causing incalculable damage to wild life. In fact New York state is looking to become the first in the USA to ban plastic microbeads after the tiny plastic beads have been found accumulating at “alarmingly high levels” in New York waterways. This problem of course is not just in the USA but around the world.

While regular exfoliation is important, it is equally important that it is not done too often. Twice a week is the optimal number of times

natural cosmetics

Purchasing Natural Cosmetics

We gave this question a great deal of thought before we setup our Natural Products Beauty Club. Why you should join the Natural Products Beauty Club and start purchasing natural cosmetics. In a nutshell it’s because you will save money and time while also benefiting from high-quality natural cosmetics and all delivered to your door each month. Start purchasing natural cosmetics now.

Now days most people understand that our health is being put at risk with the chemicals that are being added to both our food chain and also our cosmetics.  Ideally you will use products on your skin that don’t add to the toxins that get absorbed and consumed daily. This is another reason why you should join the Natural Products Beauty Club and start purchasing natural cosmetics.

We all lead busy lives and often because we are so busy we rush around and make decisions based on ease and not in-depth  investigations. This can lead you to choose the wrong product or just as likely, choose a product that looks nice and smells nice but is not able to deliver the results you are after and possibly even damage you.  To avoid this happening you should join the Natural Products Beauty club.

You may think, as you dash into the department store to purchase a new moisturiser that it smells wonderful and the packaging is absolutely beautiful.  That lovely smell in particular, should be avoided at all costs. Perfumes in products are the number cause of allergies and reactions to cosmetics. This is because perfume added to cosmetics are seldom natural now days. Perfumes tend to be synthetic and so it is highly likely your skin will react to them. When purchasing cosmetics, and you really do want your face cream to smell like roses, try to find one that incorporates natural essential oils. If it does not boast that it contains natural essential oils on the packaging then it is highly likely that any fragrance it contains will be man-made. Having said all of that, some people also have reactions to essential oils in cosmetics, this could possibly be because the concentrations may be too high and as a result toxic to the skin, or it could be that you are just allergic to whatever essential oil they are using.  We were originally tempted to add fragrance to our Foliage range but realised that this puts our customers at risk so we decided against it. Yet another reason why you should join the Natural Products Beauty Club!

Another reason we are very confident that you will be happy when you purchase Foliage natural cosmetics from us is that we have a very high quality product range. How often have you purchased a cosmetic that you have thought was natural and found that it either has also sorts of synthetic ingredients or it really doesn’t work! Regulations are very lax and you can actually call your product natural even if it only has 15% of natural ingredients… how can that be right???


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Are Cosmetics With Parabens Safe?

Are Cosmetics with Parabens Safe? We don’t believe that they are, which is why we developed our Foliage Natural Skincare range.

Parabens are used in cosmetic manufacturing as a preservative. Cosmetics that have gone ‘off’ i.e. full of bacteria are almost, or as, dangerous as parabens. The risk of cosmetics going off when they don’t have parabens is high because most cosmetics contain a high percentage of water. So you can understand why cosmetic manufacturers use parabens in then products but are cosmetics with parabens safe?

Because of the question ‘are Cosmetics with Parabens Safe?’ being asked all over the world now. We are sure that parabens will be eventually phased out of cosmetics over the next few years. Even the big cosmetics manufacturers are now trying to reduce the amount of parabens that go into their products, although until they find a reliable replacement, they will continue to use parabens.

So what are parabens? Parabens are a chemical compound of para-hydroxybenzoic acid. They are used to fight bacteria and fungus. Most of the parabens used as preservatives are synthetic (man-made), so not naturally occurring. There are naturally occurring parabens but they tend to be more expensive so manufacturers tend to opt for the cheaper versions.

Obviously for every argument that parabens cause significant risks to health (the main one is that they cause cancer), and environment there are equally vigorous arguments that say they don’t. it is believed that women can be particularly at risk of paraben exposure because parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. Parabens have been found in cancer tumors in the breast and as a result it is believed there is a relationship between parabens and tumors.

There is also some suggestion that parabens can also affect males. In the July 2002 issue of the Archives of Toxicology, Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health documented exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.”

While there is no conclusive proof that parabens in cosmetics cause cancer it seems pretty logical that you would do what you can to avoid them where possible. While parabens are also used in the food chain, and so maybe harder to identify and avoid, parabens in cosmetics are easier to eliminate from your life. It is easy to change your cosmetic range to one like Foliage Natural Skincare that has no parabens or other nasties. You do have to be careful to use up your natural cosmetic products more quickly as they can go off. The shelf life for natural cosmetics is generally 12 months, depending on the ingredients and how much water is in them. The environment can also affect them; always leave your natural cosmetics in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

So do you still believe that cosmetics with parabens safe? We believe that if you are worried about parabens in your cosmetics, you should be. Fortunately there are great natural paraben-free products readily available; you just have to take responsibility for your own health and well being by choosing them. This way you will know for sure that the cosmetics that you are using are safe.

You might find this video interesting…