What really happens when you sleep in makeup?

You don’t need a degree in dermatology to realize that sleeping with your makeup on is a horrible idea. It’s not good for your skin or your sheets. You might think, It’s late. I’m tired. What’s the harm of crashing out without washing my face just this once? Well, it causes more harm than you might think. Going to be bed without washing your face is bad news and can have a cumulative harmful effect. Here’s the icky stuff that happens to your skin, your lashes, and beneath the surface when you nix removing your makeup before bedtime.

Pores get clogged
Sleeping with makeup on is murder on your pores. “Going to bed with makeup on will leave you with clogged pores, since so many makeup [products] have ingredients like silicones that block the pores,” Debra Jalman, a New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From A Top New York Dermatologist, tells me. “When the pores are blocked, your skin gets bumpy. If you are acne-prone, it can even lead to breakouts.” You are effectively damaging skin by neglecting to remove makeup at the end of the day.

You get acne
Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer points to the fact that our skin never stops working, just like our hearts never stop beating. He tells me, “Just like our internal organs, our skin is always at work. Skin is made up of water, protein, lipids, and different minerals and chemicals. Skin is also covered in pores, which allow us to sweat and secrete sebum, a natural lubricant that moisturizes skin and removes dead skin cells and other irritants from our pores. When you apply makeup, you block your pores from releasing sebum, which may lead to visibly larger pores and acne overtime.”

Dr. J. Matthew Knight of FAAD Knight Dermatology Institute also notes that “the mechanical pressure of your face on a pillow can grind makeup into hair follicles, leading to clogged pores acne.” Losing a few minutes of shut eye in favor making use of some cold cream and face wash doesn’t seem like such a hassle when you think of it from that perspective, does it?

You damage skin cells
Skin cells are also damaged by the practice of sleeping in makeup. Dr. Knight sums it up best, saying, “Makeup can trap environmental pollutants and free-radicals that can damage skin cells, including collagen, leading to premature skin aging.” So not only does crashing out with your concealer on ultimately clog pores and lead to zits, but it can also speed up the aging process. Ack.

Your skin becomes dull
Dewy, glowing, soft, and smooth skin is usually a desired trait. Dull, sallow, or parched skin is not. If you use a makeup product, like a highlighter, to impart some peachy pink glow, that’s great. But sleeping in it can cause the opposite effect. “Our skin is the largest organ of our body and it performs vital functions for our body, like secreting sweat, excreting lipids, healing wounds and heat regulation,” New York-licensed esthetician and makeup artist Liz Donat tells me.

“So it is imperative that we cleanse and exfoliate it regularly and we especially do not sleep in our makeup! Clogged pores and blackheads, aka comedones, are formed when dead skin cells, oil and makeup get trapped in the pores and suffocate the skin,” she continued. “These clogged pores are the pre-cursor to acne-like breakouts and make the skin look dull and lifeless.” That’s reason enough to reach for a makeup remover wipe or a washcloth, no matter how late it is or no matter how tired you are.

You interfere with the reparatory process
Our bodies regenerate while we are at rest. The same holds true for our skin. Lancer says, “Skin repairs itself while we sleep, so taking off your makeup at night is important because it allows your pores to release sebum that rehydrates and protects your skin from free radicals in the air.” If you leave makeup on, it disrupts these critical processes.

You set yourself back
As stated, when you sleep, skin regenerates and heals itself. One night of sleeping with makeup on can and will disrupt the delicate balance of your skin and set you back. Dermatologist Dr. Kathy Taghipour of Savana Urban Spa tells me, “When you sleep, your skin regenerates. When your pores are blocked, your skin can’t breathe, and thus it can’t regenerate. The oil in your pores build-up and transform itself into a bacteria, which can lead to various skin problems. After a night with your makeup on, your skin will need about a week to restore its previous condition and to balance again everything.” A whole week? It’s not worth it. Take that makeup off, people!

You can speed up the aging process, aka get wrinkles faster
Andrea Rodriguez of Chalet Cosmetics points to another bad byproduct of this habit — premature aging! “Sleeping in makeup clogs pores causing breakouts, dries out the skin causing redness and sensitivity, and speeds up the aging process leading to premature wrinkles,” she tells me.

Murat Evin, Creative Director at The London School of Make-Up, also warns about sleeping in makeup leading to the onset of wrinkles. “Not removing makeup before you go to bed means that it cakes onto your face,” he tells me. “As wonderful as makeup is, if it is not properly removed before bed, it can lead to a collagen breakdown. If collagen cannot be produced properly, it means your skin ages faster than it is supposed to; drying out, it creates more wrinkles and helps to deepen existing ones.”

Your skin dries out
Leaving makeup on overnight, even if you wash your face in the morning, causes flakiness, unevenness, and dryness, according to Evin. He says, “If you properly cleanse your face at night, and moisturize with products that include ingredients like aloe or witch hazel, this gives your skin chance to repair and replenish itself at night.” He continued, “Not removing your makeup will deny your skin this chance and instead cause it to dry out. As a result, every time you wrinkle your forehead or squint in your sleep, the impression will stay there for longer.”

He furthers his previous point, saying, “Dry skin means a loss of elasticity… making wrinkles and impurities more prominent than ever. If your skin continues to be neglected like this frequently and for long periods of time, it can make wrinkles look more like scars, they become that deep.”

You end up with an uneven skintone
Jennifer Yen, an actress and beauty expert who founded purlisse, tells me that in addition to the aging factor and lack of hygiene, “skipping out on proper skincare can also make an already uneven skin tone worse. This is because your skin regenerates at night as you sleep, so depriving it of ingredients known to combat pigmentation means that any recourse for skin damage has been removed. The same principal applies to age spots/dry spots too.”

Your cell regeneration is interrupted
Sleep doesn’t only rest our bodies and our bones — there is more at play. “Cell regeneration happens overnight when you sleep,” Lauren Ing, the president of SMD Cosmetics, a natural skin care from South Korea, tells me. “So sleeping with makeup on interrupts this process and clogs pores! It literally prevents cell turnover, which you need for youthful skin, thus you look old, tired, dry and unhealthy. Skin is an organ and most makeup is full of toxic chemicals, so it’s a MUST to wash your skin before you sleep.”

Your eyes get irritated
Puffy and irritated eyes can be a result of sleeping in makeup, as well. Donat says, “Eye makeup, like shadows, kohl liners, and mascara, must be washed off every single night before bed. Otherwise, the eye area will respond by being puffy and red. Lashes protect our eyeballs from dust, pollen, and environmental pollutants. So when we don’t wash them thoroughly, that debris, mixed with makeup, will trigger our immune response to kick in to fight off a possible infection. The result: swollen, red, irritated and tired eyes.” Long, curled, and voluminous lashes pair best with smoky eyes or a cat-eye flick, not irritated, bloodshot, and puffy peepers!

Eyelashes can break off
Another negative result of sleeping in your eye makeup, like mascara and eyeliner, is that the product can rub into your lashes, causing breakage. That’s why it’s important to take it all off, per Lancer. Rodriguez of Chalet Cosmetics concurs, saying, “Failing to properly remove eye makeup causes lashes to break.” Use a gentle remover. Your lashes will thank you.

You can get styes
“Sleeping with mascara on can not only cause your luscious lashes to become brittle and break off, but can also clog your lash follicles creating styes. Yikes,” Sydney Ziverts, Health & Nutrition Investigator for ConsumerSafety.org, tells me.

Eyelid eczema
Eczema is a common skin issue for many, but on the eyelid? Yep! “Failing to properly remove eye makeup and leaving shadows,liners, and mascara on could result in causing an irritant dermatitis, essentially eczema of the eyelid areas,” Dr. Robin Evans of Southern CT Dermatology tells me. “It could result in a rash, scaliness, itching, and sometimes a burning sensation in the area. Treatment with a dermatologist would be indicated if this occurs, usually using a low potency topical steroid.”

You can scratch you corneas
Brendan O’Brien, Vision Direct’s Chief Operations Officer and former optometrist, broke down the deeper damage that sleeping in makeup can cause. “Removing eye makeup, especially mascara, before you go to sleep is important both for general hygiene and your eye health,” he tells me. “Mascara tubes are prone to the build-up of bacteria and the constant push and pull of the wand can make this worse. It’s a good idea to change your mascara every three months to avoid bacteria from growing in the tube and ending up in your eyes.”

But beyond that, O’Brien says, “Repeatedly sleeping in eye makeup may also lead inflammation in the eyes as it can block sensitive pores and glands such as the Meibomian Gland pores. When left on overnight, mascara can dry up and cause your lashes to break or fall off. This is problematic as eyelashes are essential for protecting our eyes from any dust and debris. A broken eyelash could also end up getting in your eye and scratching your cornea, so it really is important to remove your mascara before going to bed.”

You make a mess of your sheets
Sarah Brown, a sleep wellness expert with Mattress Firm, realizes that it’s somewhat common knowledge that going to bed with makeup on can cause wrinkles and dry skin. But there is a bigger problem. “When you wear your makeup to bed, you’re actually spreading the problem. Not only are you causing dry skin and wrinkles, but you’re leaving behind makeup residue on your bed. This is a nasty cycle because on nights when you do clean your skin, you’ll be resting it on bacteria filled, makeup covered, pillows and sheets. Think of it like walking the streets of New York barefoot and then crawling into bed.” Ick! Gross! If you needed another reason to never break your routine of washing your face and removing makeup before bed, you just go it.

You get chapped lips
Chapped lips are the worst. They are painful. Plus, cracked, flaky lips are not the surface you look for when applying gloss or lipstick. So if you fall asleep with lipstick on, they suck out the moisture and lead to chapping, according to Ziverts.

Don’t break with routine
Routines and regimens are critical for your skin’s health. Cynthia Bailey, MD, dermatologist and founder of DrBaileySkinCare.com, stresses the importance of keeping your routine and not slipping into the habit of sleeping in makeup. She also offered these tips for how to take the best care of your skin and how to remove your makeup.

“Your face should be washed twice daily to remove oil, dead cell buildup and product that’s mixed in with the oil and cells,” Bailey tells me. “When we look at facial skin biopsies under the microscope, you would be shocked at how much makeup and product gets stuck in pores and between dead skin flakes,” she says. “This ‘gook’ makes your complexion look dull and pores look even more clogged that normal. Eye makeup will also irritate eyes and clog the many oil glands around the lash line with particulate matter from product, pigments and mineral particles.”

She concludes, “Night time is the best time for retinoids — anti-wrinkle fighters that also help improve uneven skin pigment, fight clogged pores and acne too. Retinoids, like retinol, break down with light, so apply them before turning off the light for sleep.”

http://www.thelist.com/67696/really-happens-sleep-makeup/

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What is in your skin lightening, brightening, whitening products?

There definitely is a trend in skin lightening and brightening products so I wanted to take some time to educate on the differences out there and what a consumer should be aware of.

Hydroquinone, in the past, was the standard ingredient for skin lightening treatments. Until recently, it was thought to be the safest and most effective treatment for hyperpigmentation, including age spots, melasma, sun damage and other discolorations. However, new research suggests that there may be serious side effects associated with long term use of synthetic hydroquinone. Just recently the FDA also announced its plans to possibly remove hydroquinone based products from store shelves and limit its use to only prescription based medications. Consequently, many manufacturers have begun to produce natural alternatives which mimic the skin lightening properties of hydroquinone. Ingredients such as kojic acid and licorice have become quite popular along with more advanced ingredients like Alpha-Arbutin. When combined, these ingredients can often produce results that even surpass hydroquinone but without the associated risks. Skin lighteners have come a long way in the past few years!! There is no reason to use these harsh chemicals that are just truly a hazard to your skin and health!

The process of lightening the skin occurs in several stages. Most of the current skin lightening ingredients on the market work at different stages of the process and typically provide the best results when combined together into one product. Listed below are a few of the more popular ingredients used by manufacturers of skin whitening products.

Alpha Arbutin:
Alpha-Arbutin is a bio-synthetic active ingredient that is pure, water-soluble and is manufactured in a powder form. As one of the most advanced skin lightening ingredients on the market, it has been shown to work effectively on all skin types. It is the epimer of arbutin, and research has proven that it has a stronger inhibitory action than that of (beta) arbutin. Though it is a very expensive ingredient to manufacture, even at very low concentrations, a-arbutin has shown to inhibit the activity of tyrosinase. Alpha Arbutin’s inhibitory mechanism is different from that of arbutin and can be up to 10 times more effective. The a-glucosidic bond found in alpha Arbutin offers higher stability and efficancy than the B form found in the related Beta-Arbutin. This leads to a skin whitening active that acts faster and more efficiently than existing single components.

Beta-Arbutin (Bearberry Extract):
Beta-Arbutin is often referred to as just Arbutin. As a natural extract found in bearberry (Uva Ursi) plants, Arbutin also provides a skin lightening effect on the skin by inhibiting tyrosinase activity. Though arbutin is a natural derivative of hydroquinone, it does not possess the same risks or side effects. Arbutin has been shown to be a very safe ingredient and does not break down into hydroquionone very readily. Though it is cheaper to manufacture than Alpha-Arbutin, the skin lightening effect is much less than that of its counterpart. For this reason, many new skin whitening products now use Alpha Arbutin as opposed to only beta-Arbutin.

Kojic Acid:
Kojic acid, often used as an ingredient in Asian diets, is a more recent discovery for the treatment of pigmentation problems and age spots. Discovered in 1989, kojic acid is now used extensively as a natural alternative to hydroquinone. Kojic acid is derived from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective as a lightening agent, inhibiting production of melanin (brown pigment). Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine. There is convincing research, both in vitro (in a test tube) and in vivo (on a live subject), showing kojic acid to be effective for inhibiting melanin production.

Licorice Extract:
The licorice plant serves many purposes in skin care. The ingredient that is responsible for the skin whitening aspect of the plant is known as glabridin. Glabridin inhibits pigmentation by preventing tyrosinase activation. Studies have shown that it can provide a considerable skin brightening effect while remaining non-toxic to the melanin forming cells. Glabridin is found in very small traces and therefore it is important to ensure that the correct part of the licorice plant is used. Licorice’s anti-inflammatory properties (due to ihibition of superoxide anion production and cyclooxygenase activity) also make it a very popular ingredient in the skin care industry.

Niacinamide:
Niacinamide is commonly known as Vitamin B3 and is an effective skin lightening compound that works by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes. Often this ingredient works best when combined with other skin lightening treatments. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is also known to be effective in reducing acne.

Mulberry Extract:
Paper Mulberry extract, is obtained from the root of Broussonetia kazinoki, Siebold. or B. papyrifera, Vent. Tabl. Regn. Veget. or hybrids of both, family Moraceae. Extracts of this root are potent inhibitors of Tyrosinase enzyme. The active constituents present in the extract are Prenylated, polyhydroxylated mono-and bis-phenylderivatives. A 0.4% concentration of paper mulberry extract inhibits tyrosinase by 50% compared to 5.5% for hydroquinone and 10.0% for kojic acid. At 1% paper mulberry extract is not a significant irritant.

Glycolic Acid:
Glycolic Acid is a AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) which promotes exfoliation and a natural brightening of the skin tone. By encouraging cell turnover, glycolic acid not only evens out skin discolorations, but also helps to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. AHA’s such as Glycolic Acid can assist other ingredients in skin lighteners by allowing them to penetrate farther into the skin.

Lactic Acid:
Also an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), Lactic acid mimics the properties of Glycolic acid but is typically better suited for individuals with sensitive skin. AHA’s such as Lacic Acid can assist other ingredients in skin lighteners by allowing them to penetrate farther into the skin.

Lemon Juice Extract:
Lemon juice is one of nature’s most potent skin bleaching ingredients. Unfortunately it is also very irritating to the skin and should only be used at small concentrations in skin lighteners. Lemon juice is also known to be extremely drying to the skin if applied directly.

Emblica:
Emblica is a patented composition extracted from the plant Phyllanthus emblica. The extract uses a multilevel cascade of antioxidant compounds resulting in a long-lasting and stable antioxidant activity. Recent studies have shown that this natural antioxidant also provides significant skin lightening properties when used in moderate concentrations.

Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that occurs in many different forms (some stable and others unstable) each with distinct properties. Several of these forms have been shown to reduce melanin formation and provide a skin whitening effect when applied topically. These include l-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. These forms when used individually or together can assist in slowing down hyperactive melanocytes and thus resulting in lighter skin.

At SMD Cosmetics we only use safe, natural brightening ingredients such as beta-arbutin bearberryry (Uva Ursi) plant, licorice extract, mulberry extract, niacinamide, and vitamin C. The Saromae Radiance Line is the brightening line with almost all of these ingredients, however the Saromae Snail Serum and Inhyunjin Line do contain some of these ingredients.  IF skin brightening is your main goal definitely go for Saromae Radiance!

Snail Serum Korean Skincare…

As soon as the weather begins to warm up and hit the 70’s and 80’s, our skin gets exposed to the sun. While we know the sun can cause sunburn and skin cancer, it can also cause you to gradually lose moisture and oil. This can make your skin appear dry, flaky and prematurely wrinkled. It can be hard to find the right beauty product to actually reverse the effects of the sun and have your skin looking and feeling radiant. An innovative natural Korean skin care line uses ancient herbal ingredients in their products. This addition to their skincare products is the exact solution you need for relieving your dry skin during the warmer seasons!

Dry skin will be the least of your worries this summer with these simple ancient herbal ingredients! Snail Serum in Korean Skincare takes your skin to the next level!

Found here: Saromae Snail Serum Concentrate

SMD Cosmetics is an effective, unique, premium, luxury skincare that is also natural, safe and non-toxic. SMD cosmetics was the first Korean skin care line to offer a non-toxic, safe, natural, premium herbal medicinal-based line. Since launching in the U.S., SMD products are being used by top celebrity makeup artists who have discovered how powerful natural skin care can really be, and how your skin can transform with the right products.

The Saromae Snail Serum Concentrate is a Korean skincare serum that is their best selling product and is the perfected result of combining the precise formulation of natural ingredients and ancient herbal science. It contains 62% pure snail filtrate extract, which is the perfect balance of efficacy and texture. This cruelty-free, all-in-one formula reduces wrinkles, dullness, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and acne scarring. It also deeply hydrates, reverses signs of aging and brightens the skin.

The Best Natural Deodorant…

We like all things natural or safe and non-toxic…so if we are so concerned about our skincare and what we eat we have to look at other things we put on our bodies.  Deodorant goes on everyday, ALL day!  So let’s look at that…this research was done by reviews.com and I have found it very helpful!

The best natural deodorants fend off odor without using ingredients that are likely to be toxic or irritating. After talking with a dermatologist, a chemist, and two natural deodorant creators, Reviews.com hand-tested 23 to find top picks that were: aluminum-free formulas with pleasant scents, goop-free application, and had minimal residue.

In the world of deodorant, “natural” is often code for “aluminum-free.” But they wanted more: a product that was also easy to apply and effective at stopping odors.

Sam’s Natural Deodorant checked every box on their list. The product is free of aluminum, free of common irritants, and its first two ingredients (coconut oil and baking soda) are verified odor-blockers. They found the circular stick easy to maneuver across our pits, and it left minimal goop on clothes and only a faint sheen on skin. The Cedar and Women’s scents that were tested both lasted through two hours of wear — without smelling overpowering — and if neither of these options appeals to you, Sam’s offers 13 more scents. Each stick is reasonably priced ($10 for 3 ounces) and an easy gateway for anyone interested in transitioning to a natural product.

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant was nearly missed altogether since some of its other product lines, including its jar formulas and sensitive skin sticks, only feature one targeted ingredients. But Schmidt’s sticks for regular skin boast the same odor-busting coconut oil and baking soda as Sam’s, in a similarly flake- and residue-free formula. Reviews.com tried four of its seven scents and liked the cool “freshly fallen rain” nose of the Charcoal+Magnesium formula — although if you like a pop of floral, its Rose+Vanilla certainly delivers. The price point is about the same as Sam’s: around $10 for 3 ounces.

For Pit’s Sake is an excellent runner-up. This product comes in a stick that leaves almost no residue, but it did take a bit of force to fully coat our pits, which some hairy-pitted testers weren’t too into. That said, it includes all three of the odor-blocking ingredients we pinpointed in our research — coconut oil, baking soda, and zinc — at a comfortable price.

If buying organic is your top priority, we’d suggest Green Tidings. Like Sam’s and Schmidt’s, this deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free, but its ingredients are also certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and it’s made in a solar-powered plant. The trade-off? It’s a little more expensive. Green Tidings is aluminum-free and includes baking soda and (organic) coconut oil to fend off body odor. The subtle scent (courtesy of organic lavender essential oil) didn’t last as long as Sam’s, but after two hours, you couldn’t notice any BO, either. Testers did find the product a bit gritty, but some of them liked this added assurance that they’d successfully coated their underarms.

During the process of finding the right natural deodorant, Reviews.com unearthed a couple more intriguing options. Fatco Stank Stop Deodorant was the only other natural deodorant we tested that included all three wish-list odor-blockers. (It’s also Certified Paleo, and includes beef tallow as a moisturizer.) Fatco is a cream, which means you’ll need to dip your fingers into a (very small) jar to apply the product — a process testers weren’t wild about. But the deodorant itself was very effective, with a pleasant smell and minimal residue.

Some also really loved Agent Nateur & Shiva Rose Holi (Rose) Deodorant, which seemed almost like a combination of deodorant and women’s perfume (although not everyone liked the rose and sandalwood scent). Holi Rose leaves very little residue, and while it was also the most expensive product that we tested ($25 for 1.7 ounces), it’s a good high-end option if you’re concerned about protecting delicate fabric.

The world of natural deodorants can be a tricky one — and “natural” means different things to different people. We’d suggest choosing a product that omits aluminum (if nothing else, you’ll avoid yellow stains), and steering clear of fragrance, simple alcohols, propanediol, and propylene glycol. Instead, look for products with coconut oil, baking soda, zinc oxide, or some combination of the three. And above all, be open to trying a few different options to see what works best with your body.

http://www.reviews.com/natural-deodorant/

The Powerful Connection Between Psychology and Skin

Having good skin has more to do with psychological well-being than just sheer vanity.
For the millions of people who struggle with their skin, it’s something that can have a major impact on their life. Skincare problems can lead to serious psychological issues, that have long-term effects. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology reports that millions of people are affected by skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and that each of these issues are linked to depression and anxiety. The emotional impacts can continue to impair the individual long after their skin condition has cleared up. Our body image accounts for a large part of a person’s self-esteem and our overall psychological well-being.

“Skin problems can be the source of extreme distress in people, causing a loss of self-
confidence, anxiety, feelings of shame and embarrassment, which often results in a
sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Poor skin quality has been linked to everything from suicidal thoughts, PTSD, social isolation to higher unemployment rates,” explains Lauren Ing, president of SMD Cosmetics International, who is also a licensed marriage and family therapist. “The mind/body connection between skin and psychological well-being is strong. We know that when we feel good about our skin, it directly links to feeling better about ourselves.”

Psychodermatology, an emerging area of science, looks at the relationship between psychology and one’s skin, because it has been identified in numerous studies as such
an important issue.

“We know the psychological damage that skin problems can lead to,” states licensed
psychotherapist and vice president of SMD Cosmetics International, Amoreena Berg.
“The good news is that with products like SMD Cosmetics, we can help just about
anyone’s skin look more radiant, helping them to love what they see when they look in
the mirror.”

South Koreans are known for taking great care of their skin, using up to 10 to 18
products on their face, twice a day. Their dedication to their skin may be the reason why
they are known for having some of the most beautiful skin in the world. It is a
preventative approach, because the Korean beauty philosophy is to use top quality,
natural ingredients that are safe and non-toxic, like those found in SMD Cosmetics,
which products are based on over 2,000 years herbal medicinal wisdom.

The SMD Cosmetics exclusive line is considered one of the most popular and
prestigious skin care lines in South Korea, and is now available in the United States. In
addition to the Saromae Snail Serum, SMD Cosmetics also offers the celebrity favorite
INHYUNJIN collection, which is a natural, anti-aging line that includes a purifying cream
toner, “essence” age defying serum, “emulsion” refining moisturizer, intensive night
repair cream, and their reversing miracle eye cream. The innovative collection is
patented, award-winning, and uses Asian herbals along with probiotics to help reverse
the signs of aging and provide skin renewal. They also offer specialty products like the
skin perfecting AloGel and the Saromae Collection, which uses beer yeast and bear
berry extracts to help brighten the skin and help the look of acne scars and/or dark
spots. The luxurious line of skin care products is now available in the U.S., online. They
are sold at Hollywood's premier beauty supply company, Nigel Beauty Emporium in
North Hollywood, Ca. For more information, visit the site at: www.smdcosmetics.com.

About SMD Cosmetics:
SMD Cosmetics offers a premium line of award-winning, natural skincare products from
South Korea. Founded over 20 years ago, SMD Cosmetics has perfected their patented
formulas by using the most advanced natural skincare technology in combination with
Asian herbal medicinal wisdom that is truly authentic. SMD Cosmetics is one of Korea’s
most prestigious, top-selling skincare lines formulated by a team of researchers and
chemists to revive, replenish and rejuvenate your skin using the power of nature and
innovative technology. For more information, visit the site at: www.SMDcosmetics.com.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology. Acne. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions
American Academy of Dermatology. Eczema. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/eczema/eczema-resource-center/what-to- watch-for/mood

American Academy of Dermatology. Psoriasis. https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/research- links-psoriasis-depression
Psychology Today. The Emotional Impact of Skin Problems. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/skin-deep/201001/the-emotional- impact-skin- problems

Animal Testing in the Cosmetic Industry

Animal cruelty and the cosmetic industry…a sad subject most of don’t know much about.  After some lengthy research today I came across some eye opening information and wanted to share since I personally would rather be informed than not. Here at SMD Cosmetics we are animal cruelty free and all products are made in South Korea, but apparently that is not the case with many cosmetic companies.

Humane Society International estimates that as many as 500,000 animals are still being used each year around the world in cruel and outdated tests for cosmetic ingredients and products. By far the largest proportion of these animals—more than 375,000 in 2015—are used to meet pre-market test requirements in China alone.

“China’s Food and Drug Administration requires all imported cosmetics, new cosmetic ingredients, and “special-use” cosmetics such as hair dyes, deodorants and sunscreens, to undergo animal testing before being sold. Companies are required to submit finished product samples to the government for testing in a CFDA-recognized laboratory. Once approved for sale, provincial authorities also conduct post-market inspections of cosmetic products, which can include a further layer of animal testing.”

In 2012 it was discovered that China was requiring animal tests for cosmetics to be funded by cosmetics companies—including Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay. In June 2014, the CFDA introduced regulatory reform that removed the mandatory requirement for pre-market animal testing for non-special-use or “ordinary” cosmetics manufactured in mainland China but little movement has been made.

After four years of hard work persuading the Chinese government to accept non-animal methods for cosmetics testing, scientists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, whose work in China was first funded by a grant from PETA, are celebrating an important victory!  Chinese government officials have stated that they will soon, for the first time ever, be recognizing data from a completely non-animal test method for safety evaluations of cosmetics.  Currently, the Chinese government requires cosmetics companies to pay for cruel tests on animals in order to sell imported and special-use cosmetics in China – a practice PETA exposed in 2012.  The government’s acceptance of the 3T3 Phototoxicity assay means that cosmetic companies selling in China will be able to submit data on cosmetics for this particular test, involving exposure to light, without having to harm animals.  PETA is proud to have contributed to this effort, and congratulates the scientists at IIVS for their critical work helping to end the Chinese government’s requirements for tests on animals for cosmetics. Yey PETA!!

Here is a list of companies that DON’T test on animals:

http://www.peta.org/blog/3-companies-booted-cruelty-free-list/

While we all look to the day when cosmetics animal testing is relegated to the history books, we’re not there yet, especially in China. By continuing to uphold the integrity of cruelty-free standards we can applaud the progress China has made while continuing the necessary pressure to facilitate further change and put an end to cosmetics cruelty around the world, once and for all. Caring consumers, and the suffering of hundreds of thousands of animals each year, demand nothing less.

 

Why Korean Skincare?!

The earlier you understand how to treat your skin the better and there is no set age to start incorporating an effective daily anti-aging routine. Korean’s have some of the most beautiful skin in the world due to the way they treat their skin from an early age and the advanced technology they use in skincare. We Americans can learn a thing or two from what they have been doing for decades.

From what we can tell the days of the all-in-one skin creams found in drug store shelves are over. Made with synthetic petroleum based products and ingredients like formaldehydes, parabens and phthalates, they can actually damage your skin permanently. Why do these companies use such chemicals as ingredients? Because they are cheap, readily available and make their products last longer on store shelves.

At SMD Cosmetics, we find the that most effective skin care products are ones that use natural ingredients to offer a step by step methodology to heal, regenerate and repair the skin to produce natural and long term skin health. It’s not about covering up, it’s about healing.

Korean brands have been doing this for decades and now. Our philosophy is much different compared to North American brands. It’s less about promising you a miracle and more about pampering your skin, much like an in-home spa treatment.

“Search “Korean Skin Care” in Google and you will be inundated with articles from Vogue to New York Times extoling the virtues of Korean Skin care. Forbes Magazine and Sephora, the world’s largest retailer of cosmetics and skincare recently named South Korea as the most innovative country for anti-aging solutions. In 2014 Korea exported $3 Billion USD of anti-aging products to the United States alone. In 2017, that figure will reach $15 Billion.”

What we want to avoid is covering up the problem areas with oils and fillers which will just lead to more damage over time. We need to consistently cleanse our skin of toxins and free radicals that accelerate skin damage and support the skin natural healing process by supplying the right nutrients and building blocks at the right time and in the right amount.

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10-step Korean skin care routine

The first key to understanding the Korean skin care industry is to understand the legacy behind it. Koreans have among the longest documented historical civilized legacies (dating back to 8000 BCE) in the world. Skincare interest has been documented since the earliest Korean writings (700 BCE) and the Dongui Bogam, an ancient Korean medicinal text, has an entire section on preparation and use of herbal ingredients, including for skin concerns.

Korean beauty is a little breath of relaxing joy…this may also stem from the centuries-old tradition of spa and self-care in Korean culture. The Korean spa is also primarily about relaxing with other women and hanging out, rather than just ‘go to the spa, get these things done to you, leave.’ It’s frequently a family affair.

Korean routine is not merely about results (although they are certainly happy about the results). Instead, similar to the Korean spa experience itself, it’s also about the ritual: the precise order of layering; the time necessary to let essence or serum penetrate before the next product can be applied; the special patting motion for the eye cream, etc. This particular form of self-care can be empowering for women.

Korean skincare regimen sounds a bit extreme, but it all boils down to cleansing, exfoliating, treating, intensely moisturizing and applying plenty of SPF during the day. I guess the real differentiating factor between how Koreans take care of their skin and more Western routines is that in Korea, you’re programmed to start early— well before your first training bra—while our more American version of skincare tends to be a sudden mad dash to Nordstrom to buy $100 eye cream, hoping it will reverse some of the teenage UV damage when we hit the age of 30.

Step 1: The Eye Makeup Removal

Remove your eye makeup gently with good makeup remover because expecting a normal cleanser to do a detailed job is what leaves you with week-old mascara on your lashes.

Step 2: The Cleanse

Rule of thumb is, if you’re going to spend 30 minutes putting on your face, you should spend the same amount of time are take the same amount of care when cleaning it off.

Step 3: The Refresher

What we in America think of as “toning’ is an essential step. It’s believed to help remove pollutants along with any residue from your cleansers, while also restoring your skin’s pH balance. It soothes and preps your skin to absorb the next step—the essence. I’ve found Korean toners are less harsh and drying than other kinds that I’ve tried, which is maybe why they’re called “refreshers.”

Step 4: The Essence

Considered the most important step to Korean women, yet still a mystery to many.  It affects skin on a cellular level, speeding your cell turnover rate which makes skin smoother and brighter. I’ve had the most noticeable results from adding this this to my regimen.

Step 5: The Ampoule

Ampoules are super-concentrated versions of essences, and are often referred to as serums and boosters out West.

Step 6: The Sheet Mask

Sheet masks are a twice-a-week ritual, or more if your face is very dry. The wet, papery, masks (makes you look like a serial killer), are soaked in ingredients like collagen, which they in turn soak into your skin. The fun is in the variety; some masks contain avocado extracts (containing tons of antioxidants) or Vitamin E (anti-aging). The secret to sheet masks? They force your skin to absorb the nutrients and moisture better than if you just applied a cream or serum—before the product has a chance to evaporate. The immediate effects are addicting, after one use your face is slightly more plump and much brighter due to all the moisture your skin just absorbed.

Step 7: Snail Cream

You can’t skip the snail serum concentrate!!  The snail mucus solves a multiple amount of skin issues from anti-aging, acne, to evening out one’s skin.

Step 8: The Eye Cream

This is a self-explanatory product, but take note of the technique.  This leads to better absorption of the product, and of course eliminates any of that tugging and pulling.

Step 9: The Moisturizer

Really, another layer? If you haven’t noticed, Korean women are all about layering, to the point you feel your skin has been mummified.

Step 10: The Night Cream

By this point your face feels like a 6-tiered cream cake and your skin has major shine—or as Korean women like to call it, a dewy, “moist glow.” The point is, your skin needs to stay hydrated as you recharge overnight. If it’s morning time skip this step and go with plenty of SPF.

Like I tell all my girlfriends, this routine only takes about 15 minutes out of my evening (sheet masks and exfoliating packs are not really a daily thing), and it’s actually a bit therapeutic to pamper my face as I wind down for the night. The key is daily prevention and nurturing, which eliminates any need for expensive facials. Sure, if you’re stumbling home a bit toasty, barely able to take off your triple-strapped sandals, do yourself a favor and at least wipe off the day’s makeup with some cleansing tissues. Sleeping in your makeup is the universal ultimate skincare sin—whether you’re in California or Seoul.

The ancient powers of Red Ginseng in Skincare

Red ginseng has been used for centuries and has many benefits for the skin, hair and health.  Let’s explore the miracles it does for the skin and why SMD uses Red Ginseng in the Saromae Moisture skincare line.

Reduce Wrinkles

Ginseng is most often included as an anti-aging ingredient in facial moisturizers. Several medical studies have shown its effectiveness in fighting wrinkles due to ginseng’s ability to boost skin-firming collagen. The herb also acts as a whitener, giving the skin a brighter and more youthful appearance.

Heal and Calm

Ginseng is a valuable commodity in herbal medicine for its ability to encourage skin regeneration.  It is considered a strong anti-aging skincare treatment because of its reputation for stimulating and rejuvenating skin from the inside, out. It rids your skin of free radicals that gets accumulated when your skin is regularly exposed to sunlight and environmental pollution.

  • Anti-wrinkle: A 2009 study on women over 40 with photo aged skin (skin damaged by sun exposure), reported that a mixture of red ginseng extract and other herbs improved facial wrinkles and enhanced the production of collagen, which helps strength skin.
  • Anti-aging: Another study that same year found that red ginseng extract had a protective effect against skin photo aging caused by chronic sun exposure, potentially due to its ability to increase collagen synthesis. Supporting collagen synthesis is important because as we age, collagen becomes stiffer and weaker, and turnover takes longer than when we were younger. Improving collagen production helps retain skin’s elasticity and strength.
  • Protect against sun damage: Researchers also found that it helped protect skin, preventing UVB-induced skin photo aging at very low doses.
  • Improve blood circulation: Ginseng has shown in several studies to help improve blood circulation, which can help the skin receive more of the nutrients it needs to be vital and healthy.
  • Improves acne and rosacea: Ginseng helps refine the skin and counteract dryness, and because of its anti-inflammatory properties, can help reduce acne outbreaks and may tone down rosacea and psoriasis.
  • Brightens skin tone: Some small studies on ginseng berry extract have found that it has potential in lightening and brightening skin, helping to inhibit the production of melanin, which gives skin its color and can contribute to hyper-pigmentation. Specifically, researchers found that ginseng could help protect skin from the type of pigmentation that is caused by UV radiation—the sun.

Pretty amazing stuff isn’t it?!

Why do you need to Moisturize?!

You wouldn’t go a day without drinking water, right? Well, you shouldn’t go a day without hydrating your skin. It’s not just meant to help you today—the benefits of hydrating your skin will be visible years in the future. Here are the most important reasons to keep moisturizer close at hand.

In the short term, proper hydration makes skin look healthy. Moisturizers lock in water with ingredients like “occlusives,” which prevent water loss in heat or wind, “humectants,” which attract water to skin cells, and “emollients,” which smooth rough and flaking skin. A day after using facial lotion you’ll find skin is smoother, softer, and fresher-looking.

Using moisturizer has proven benefits for the skin over the long haul. Hydration is what allows skin to function at peak performance. Skin cells in this condition can rapidly repair themselves and turnover fresh cells, which means huge anti-aging benefits down the road. In this study from the British Journal of Dermatology, those who used moisturizer were found to develop wrinkles at a fraction of the rate of those with dry skin. For men, moisturizing is particularly important. In another study, researchers found that being a male makes one more likely to show signs of aging.

If the above wasn’t enough to compel you to moisturize, consider this: it’s insanely refreshing. Along with a quick teeth brushing, there’s no better way to transition from the office to the bar. While there are options for every skin concern, you really can’t go wrong: any moisturizer at all is better than none.

Moisturizing reduces the chances of skin problems. Using the right kind of moisturizer for your skin can help maintain its balance. When skin is too dry or too oily, many common skin problems like acne start to pop up.

Moisturizing can reduce the appearance of other blemishes. Freshly moisturized skin has a healthy sheen, which can even out any existing blemishes.

Moisturizing helps your skin stay young. The most sensitive areas of your skin – the face, ears, neck, and chest – replace themselves more often than any other area on your skin. This daily loss of skin cells leaves these areas vulnerable to the dryness and the elements – in fact, they are highest-risk areas for skin cancer. Moisturizing can help give your sensitive skin the boost it needs to repair itself and stay healthy.

Moisturizing fights wrinkles. That plump, firm feeling in your face after moisturizing isn’t an illusion. According to the British Journal of Dermatology, people with properly moisturized skin accumulate wrinkles at just a fraction of the rate of those with dry skin.

Make sure you’re choosing a moisturizer that works for your skin. SMD Cosmetics has moisturizing products that work for any kind of skin, from dry to oily. If you’re unsure of what direction to go with in our vast range of products reach out and ask one of us…we want you to have the best outcome for your skin!