Think of the key to perfect skin as a balancing act. Literally.
Your skin's pH balance is probably one of those things you've heard a whole lot of buzz about, but never knew exactly what it... well, really meant. Don't feel bad! You're not alone. In fact, we're willing to bet even the biggest skincare junkies could stand to learn a thing or two about pH balances and how they effect our skin. Read on!
It basically goes a little something like this: it all starts with your acid mantle. Your acid mantle is made up of amino and lactic acids, plus sebum, also known as fatty free acids. The acid mantle just so happens to protect skin from environmental factors that lead to aging and all-around irritation. The acid mantle creates your skin's pH. The pH scale measures the concentration of hydrogen from 1 to 14. Anything over 7 is alkaline, which in this case is not a good thing: if your skin is on this side of the scale, it's probably dry and prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Skin that's too acidic, on the other hand, will appear oilier, irritate easily and is breakout-prone. In an ideal world, your skin's pH should be at around 5.5—that's slightly on the acidic side (just enough oil so that you maintain a nice glow). See?
We know a balanced pH means everything to your skin—which is why we publish it on all of our products. We formulate every DE product with skin's pH in mind. AHA, BHA and Vitamin C serums are especially tricky to formulate for that sweet spot. If they fall below it, they'll irritate and sensitize your skin; but if they fall above, they just don't work. The ideal pH for AHAs to function without causing undue irritation is 3 - 4; for Vitamin C, between 3 and 3.5 will do the trick.
Cleansers are another common culprit of pH abuse, since most are formulated to be incredibly drying and strip the skin of the oils your acid mantle needs to maintain acidity. Anything above 7 should be avoided. Our Pekee and Juju bars are right on target, coming in at 6.51 and 6.34 respectively— allowing just enough surface tension. In other words? You'll never be left wondering, 'what the pH?!' again.
We all know SPF is a must-have year-around, right?
But, as the temperature rises and our bathing suits take front stage in our wardrobe, we start to pay even more attention to the sunscreen we’re using.
Our favorite? (fine…we’re biased but with good reason)…Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30.
We love Umbra for so many reasons…here’s just a few:
✓ This physical formula (hello, zinc!) delivers powerful UV protection and anti-aging benefits (no chemical screens allowed)
✓ Suitable for all skin tones and leaves your complexion glowing (and no white cast!)
✓ Loaded with antioxidants to ward off free radicals that may cause UV damage and photoaging
✓ Infused with raspberry seed oil and marula oil for intense moisture without any residue or greasiness
✓ The clean, non-toxic formula can be mixed with your favorite moisturizer or serum (don’t worry, it won’t dilute the efficacy)
✓ It’s the perfect base for make-up (so skip your primer and let your skin breath in the summer heat!)
✓ Our gentle formula is ideal for all skin types, and great for sensitive skin
Let’s talk diet. No, we're not about to tell you to go on some trendy cleanse or crazy delivery system: we're specifically talking skin health. We all know (hopefully?) by now that yes, there is a direct correlation between what you put into your body, and how it comes out (sometimes literally) through your skin. So, we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorite, antioxidant-heavy, skin-happy foods (it's not all greens, either... did somebody say chocolate?). Read on and happy snacking!
How's that for a welcome addition to the list? Turns out cocoa is a natural hydrator, and does double duty by making your skin more supple and smooth, due to its natural caffeine content. Most dermatologists recommend eating a chocolate with at least 70% natural cocoa to get the full benefits. Consider it done!
2. Greek Yogurt
Surprise, surprise! This healthy staple is great for your skin, too. Any protein-heavy yogurt, such as Greek yogurt, helps to firm up and maintain skin elasticity. Eat at least a single serving a day, and you’ll be thanking yourself.
3. Sunflower SeedsThey're not just a pretty flower! Sunflower seeds are loaded with Vitamin E, which protects your skin from the sun, as well as keeping it more firm and healthy. A pretty good excuse to sneak in a handful if you ask us!
Yup: it's the old standby for antioxidant power in any diet. Let's put it this way: it benefits your skin by helping break down free radicals, working to help decelerate the aging process.
5. Olive Oil
Real talk: Ancient Romans used it both for and on pretty much everything, and the Greeks basically live forever because their diet is heavy on it (the Mediterranean Diet had its phase for a reason!). But did you know it’s also a free radical butt-kicking powerhouse that can rejuvenate your skin? It’s true. Due to its high concentration of Omega 3, it helps keep your skin youthful. A good excuse to indulge in a little (brown rice!) pasta, right?
Seldomly discussed in skincare, tomatoes are actually loaded with skin protecting properties. Since they're high in antioxidant lycopene, it’s a natural way to increase your skin’s SPF (which you can then you can top off with our Umbra!).
7. Green Tea
It should come as no surprise that Green Tea is skin empowering. The tea is loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants, which help to boost blood flow to your skin, while also delivering nutrients keeping your complexion healthy.
Yes, the trendy plant that does it all actually does quite well for your skin. It’s antioxidants destroy free radicals, and it’s also loaded with skin-strengthening Vitamin A and C.
Did you know your daily latte addiction is actually doing yourself a favor? Research has shown that coffee can actually lower your chances of contracting skin cancer. Keep the grande’s coming, we say.
10. Red Wine
We know you’re shocked that that weekend you can barely remember did a number on your skin (in a good way!). Drinking even half a glass of wine a day can reduce inflammation, and deliver rich antioxidants to help combat free radicals. We’ll drink to that (it's in our name, after all).
Sure, hyaluronic acid is good... but we've got something better.
Hyaluronic acid is hot right now. And we totally get the hype—it's a fantastic ingredient that's an easy fix for dehydrated skin that plumps up your complexion (it can carry up to 1,000 times its weight in water).
The only problem? The molecules are too big to penetrate the skin's surface.
Translation? Those pricey hyaluronic acid-loaded products you're spending your pennies on end up going right down the drain.
Don't get out your pitchforks just yet—we have the fix. Quick science lesson (bear with us—your skin will thank you!): a little something called sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid. It's a smaller molecule, with a more 'bioavailable' structure that can penetrate the skin. Translation: with this stuff, your skin actually stays moisturized and reaps all of the benefits of hyaluronic acid. Get it?
Now, stay with us: turns out Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer is even better than SH, if you can believe it. First, pretend you're looking at a Rubik's Cube. Each square is one unit of sodium hyaluronate. That’s a polymer: several units stuck together. When the polymer goes into the dermis, the enzymes our body naturally makes break the units down slowly, delivering moisture over an extended period of time. Again, translation? A moisturizer that works harder and faster, for long periods of time, and penetrates the way you want it to, rather than just sit on top of your skin.
Did we mention it attacks age-accelerating free radicals, too? We're so crazy about it, we even got The New York Times (!) talking (they hinted at our up-and-coming products—shhh!—too). Oh, and it's vegan, too.
By numbers, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer looks a little something like this:
- Possesses 50 TIMES (!) the water-binding (aka locking moisture in) capacity of hyaluronic acid
- Is FIVE (!) times more moisturizing than hyaluronic acid after 24 hours
All in all? We're pretty sure we just found your skin's new BFF.