What is exfoliation and why it is important.

Regular exfoliation is one of the things you can do to help transform your skin to a younger, healthier look. Deriving its name from Latin, “exfoliation” means “to peel off leaves,” and for centuries people have been peeling off the layer of dead skin cells using various exfoliation methods.

When you exfoliate, you are removing the dead skin cells from the upper layer of the skin, revealing the young, healthy cells underneath and encouraging new skin growth.

There are a number of reasons to consider incorporating regular exfoliation into your skincare routine:

  • Exfoliating reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Skin appears brighter, fresher and healthier after exfoliating.
  • Exfoliating prior to using a treatment product allows the active ingredients to better penetrate the skin.
  • Exfoliating helps to unclog pores, which can prevent acne breakouts.
  • Exfoliating speeds up the cell renewal process.

There are many ways to exfoliate, including scrubs, masks, brushes and microdermabrasion devices. Since everyone’s skin is different, with varying sensitivity, Dr. Murad recommends starting with an Murad scrub or mask first and monitoring how your skin reacts. Once you know your skin isn’t highly sensitive to exfoliating, you may wish to move on to trying other exfoliating tools and professional treatments.

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Exfoliate

Cell turnover is an ongoing process. The skin cell forms at the bottom of the epidermis, rises up through that layer, dies, and is shed. It’s nudged free by wear and tear and replaced by a newly arrived cell that has completed the same process. As all of the body processes slow beginning at about age twenty, so does cell turnover. In youth the cells journey from the bottom of the epidermis to shedding, which takes about 28 days. By the time you’ve reached late middle age, it takes about 7-10 days longer. A week and a half doesn’t seem like much, but to a dead cell hanging tenaciously to the skins surface, its time enough to become dried out and crinkle around the edges. That’s why mature skin often feels so rough to the touch. And the irregular surface created by these flaking cells also reflect light differently, so skin appears dull and sallow, with fine lines standing out among the miniscule cracks in the surface. Skin cells are a little like the leaves on a tree. If I pick a fresh green leaf and put water on it, the natural moisture-holding molecules in the leaf won’t let anything penetrate. The water will bead up and run off, and the leaf is smooth and pliable for a while. If I put the stem in water, some of it will enter the leaf, keeping it fresh and green a little longer. Eventually, though, it will dry out.

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That’s what happens to the dead skin cells that pile up on the surface of your skin. For a while the natural moisture factors that surround them keep them supple. But eventually, exposure to the environment takes its toll. To keep that barrier strong, you have to remove those dead cells. Exfoliation makes up for nature’s slowdown by chemically or mechanically removing the topmost layer of those dead cells. To replace the shed cells, the epidermis then steps up production of new ones. The body’s natural effort to keep up with this increased shedding creates healthy cells more quickly. I believe that using an exfoliating agent to increase cell turnover to a more youthful rate is one of the best things you can do to improve your skin’s appearance. It’s also the step that gives you visible results most quickly. That’s because removing those rough cells improves skin color and texture almost immediately.

Exfoliation also temporarily improves circulation, so your skin appears brighter. I think skin literally glows immediately after an exfoliating treatment. People with acne may be surprised to see that not only do their fine lines and wrinkles disappear with regular chemical exfoliation with hydroxy acids, but they have fewer pimples as well. Hydroxy acids normalize the skin cell formation and shedding process in the hair follicles. The abnormal production of skin cells is one of the factors that causes blackheads and whiteheads, the precursors of acne, to form. Within a few weeks of using a hydroxy acid, you’ll notice less clogging of the pores and fewer breakouts.

If you choose your skin care products wisely, you can sustain the rejuvenating effects indefinitely. You can accomplish a little exfoliation when you wash your face using a cleanser that contains gentle abrasive materials such as jojoba beads or cornmeal and/or hydroxy acids to remain on your skin. And you can give your skin a serious turnover boost with a treatment product that contains one or more hydroxy acids once a day or several times a week. To jump start the process or to occasionally get a dramatic improvement you can use an exfoliating facial. And an esthetician can safely use a more concentrated solution hydroxy acids that are available in most treatment products for consumer use. A dermatologist can use an even more powerful glycolic acid formula to actually peel the top layer of skin.

We recommend the following Murad exfoliating cleanser:

  • AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser: Cleanse and smooth texture. This gentle but efficient exfoliator works two ways. Salicylic, Lactic and Glycolic Acids encourage clarity and brightness by dissolving skin cell buildup. Jojoba beads further polish and retexturize.  Part of the Murad Age Reform line of anti aging and anti wrinkle skin care products designed for genetic aging.
  • Skin Smoothing Polish: Powerful exfoliating scrub removes embedded impurities, without stripping skin of natural moisture, revealing a more vibrant complexion.
  • Transforming Powder: Dual-action cleanser and exfoliator in a unique, water-activated powder which transforms to effectively cleanse and exfoliate without over-scrubbing.
Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Healthy Skin From the Inside Out

Healthy skin is a reflection of overall health and well-being. Good skincare practices consist of a double approach, internal and topical. Internal skincare is caring for your skin from the inside, by eating a balanced diet, full of beautifying nutrients, providing proper hydration and maintaining low stress levels. Topical skincare is caring for your skin from the outside by helping the epidermis stay strong and healthy. Sunscreen, creams, cleansers, and various treatments are necessary topical solutions for skin.

The inside-out approach to skincare can be summarized by a few basic rules and habits one must follow as part of the daily skincare routine.

    Internally:

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  • Eat a nutritious breakfast and include cereal, fiber-rich foods and probiotic yogurt. Fiber and probiotics help clean your intestines of toxins which can cause skin problems like acne, dermatitis, or irritation and sensitivity.
  • Integrate leafy greens, vegetables and fruits in you diet with every meal. Minerals like Zinc and Selenium are crucial in skin regeneration, anti-oxidants fight free radical damage at cellular level, vitamins nourish the skin from the inside making it radiant and healthy-looking. Tip: add spinach and other greens to your omelettes, sandwiches and salads.
  • Eat ‘good fats’ like Omega 3 and Omega 6 every day to maintain cellular integrity and help maintain skin hydrated from the bottom layers. If cells are optimally hydrated, they are stronger and healthier.
  • Be wise about losing weight. If you plan a diet, make sure you’re not excluding vital nutrients from your meals and exercise to keep your body toned and maintain optimal hydration levels in your muscles. Weight loss usually depletes your body of extra water in your tissues making skin appear saggy, while fat loss makes your skin appear older with visible wrinkles.
  • Don’t forget exercise! Even if you don’t exercise for a dream body, exercising improves blood circulation and skin appearance. Moderate exercise like an hour of walk every day could do wonders for your entire body and your skin.
  • Take time to relax and do a little something you love every day: sleep an extra 10 minutes in the morning, read, go to a spa, or meet your friends. Maintaining low stress levels helps skin stay healthy and wrinkle-free.

 

    Topically:

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  • Use sunscreen every day. Ultra Violet (UV) light in excess damages skin tissue and causes skin aging. Use a minimum SPF15 all over your body every day and reapply a few times when you’re outside on sunny days.
  • Cleanse twice a day. It is imperative to cleanse your face in the morning before applying moisturizers or makeup and in the evening before going to bed. This prevents acne flare-ups, inflammations, and helps moisturizers and treatments penetrate pores better. A clean face at night allows skin to regenerate and build new healthy cells.
  • Exfoliate! The older you get, skin regenerates slower. Help your skin with AHA & BHA peels or gentle scrubs a few times a week. On your body, use a moisturizing scrub or use a loofah while you shower.
  • Moisturize – hydration is essential for supple and healthy skin. Maintain optimal hydration levels with proper nutrition but help your skin stay protected by supplementing moisture with creams and lotions. Even oily skin needs hydration in order to balance the production of sebum; oiliness is often a sign of dehydration – when skin doesn’t have sufficient moisture, it compensates by producing more oil. Keep oil at bay by moisturizing, it will help skin regenerate and stay healthy.

Internal skincare supports topical skincare. The two combined significantly improve the quality of skin and maintain its youthfulness. While cleansing and moisturizing skin is important for everyday care, nourishing and hydrating from the inside with proper nutrients is vital for overall health and improves skin quality in the long term.

 

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Anti-aging Ingredients, The Solution In a Jar

Anti-aging products take so many forms nowadays: from creams to cleansers, from serums to exfoliants, all of these promise a specific ingredient that addresses the anti aging skin concerns. While formulas become more and more complex, and the range of products designed for aging skin is being diversified, not all products present major differences in terms of ingredients.

But of course, there are ingredients that are almost an imperative for any anti-aging product formula and need to address dryness, flakiness, spots and wrinkles. Moisturizers, in particular, are a must in any anti aging product, in order to maintain healthy skin and to help fight aging signs. Whether it’s hormonal or genetic or environmental, the symptoms of aging can be alleviated with topical skin care, but not permanently overcome.

Some of the most popular ingredients in anti aging creams and treatments are on everyone’s lips but not everyone is totally aware of their role in skin care. The best anti-aging ingredients are usually hydrators, vitamins, proteins and botanicals:

Collagen

The skin protein is responsible for maintaining elasticity by binding water molecules and preventing the cellular water loss; collagen fibers are the ones that provide support and strength to the skin. Their loss can be compensated with collagen in creams, or by stimulating the body to produce more collagen on its own. Nutrition plays an important role in our body’s collagen production.

What is collagen and why is it important for my skin?

Retinol

It is a natural form of Vitamin A which is essential for maintaining the skin functions and necessary for cell renewal; supplements can make up for the lack of this vitamin in our bodies.

Coenzyme Q10

This is a potent antioxidant which is praised for its anti-aging benefits, usually quite efficient in body aging prevention; it occurs naturally in our skin but its presence decreases with age, so internal or topical supplements are recommended.

Plant Based Estrogens

Replacing the loss of natural estrogen that comes with aging, they deliver hydration and improve elasticity when skin needs it mostly. Estrogen is a female hormone involved in the development of the female characteristics and in maintaining skin elasticity.

Sodium PCA

It is a natural ingredient derived from vegetal sources that is also a very efficient emollient on the skin. It is usually used for intensive hydration of aging skin.

Glycerin

One of the best humectants in skin care, it improves smoothness and hydration and is used in most of the topical products because of its water retaining properties.

Essential Fatty Acids

Vital elements that regenerate and restore skin while providing intense hydration, they are considered some of the most nourishing ingredients; internally or topically, they are “essential” for our bodies.

Botanicals and Fruit Enzymes

Nature has its riches, like ingredients that have regenerating, nourishing, soothing and moisturizing properties; fruit enzymes are also very efficient exfoliators for aging skin.

AHAs & BHAs

Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids are the most popular exfoliators out there. AHAs are stronger and BHAs are known to be milder, suitable for normal and sensitive skin.

Lactic Acid

An exfoliator as well (it is basically an Alpha Hydroxy Acid), it is suitable for almost any type of skin and softens while exfoliating the dead skin cells layers on the surface. Its main benefit is that it doesn’t dry out the skin.

 

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Tips for Combination Skin

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Late afternoon: your forehead, nose and chin look embarrassingly shiny and your pores are about the size of craters of the moon. No matter how much powder you apply, the shine just reappears with a vengeance. What’s even more intriguing is that the rest of your face looks perfectly fine: no shine, no enlarged pores, just smooth, balanced skin. Or maybe there’s some dryness on the sides of your cheeks? Either way, you are experiencing a bad case of COMBINATION SKIN.

You know you have combination skin when your T-zone is oily most of the times while the rest of your face stays normal or dry. The imaginary ”T “of the T-zone is formed by your forehead, nose with the surrounding area, plus your chin. This skin type in particular is always a challenge in skincare – products for oily skin will work on your T-zone but present the risk of over-drying the rest of your face, while hydrating products for dry skin will cause even more trouble on the oily parts while balancing the rest.

This is where products specifically formulated for combination skin are needed. Products for combination skin reduce oil production without stripping skin of its moisture while balancing and hydrating the rest of the face.

To balance your oily and dry areas effectively, give your skin some extra TLC.

Here are a few tips for combination skin:

Exfoliate regularly

– Exfoliation will remove the layer of dead skin cells that can lead to acne breakouts because of too much oil. If your sides are dry, then your skin’s cell turnover is slowed down and exfoliation will help improve this condition. Fruit enzymes, AHAs and BHAs are all effective exfoliators for combination skin.

Hydrate

– Probably not what you wished, especially for your T-Zone! But maintaining optimal hydration will help your skin produce lessmoisture oil and balance out the entire face. Special moisturizers for combination skin are water-based, oil-free, and include antioxidants and plant extracts that combat oil production. Such plants can be Queen of the Meadow, Myrtle, Witch Hazel, Cinnamon, Argania, etc.

Shrink the pores

– Often your pores in the T-zone appear enlarged. To minimize them and give your skin a smooth, even look, it helps to have some occasional steam bath for your face. Always use a gentle cleanser formulated for combination skin and use a toner that will help shrink those pores in an instant. Toners are designed to help balance your skin’s pH after cleansing and they are formulated with gentle astringents and botanicals that calm the skin.

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Wash your face regularly

– It doesn’t get easier that using a special cleanser for combination skin. Morning and evening, wash your face to remove dirt and impurities and balance skin effectively. Cleansers for combination skin are gentle and don’t dry out your skin. Never go to bed with makeup on – it can cause more irritation and lead to imbalance.

Drink water

– Maintaining optimal internal hydration is essential for beautiful, balanced skin. It’s not just about the water intake, but also about other healthy fluids that count as “water”: natural juices, soups, herbal tea and milk.

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A Radiant Complexion, Happy T-Zone + Love for Murad Skin Care

Finding the right skin care products for your particular needs can sometimes be tricky. Firstly, there are so many product lines to choose from. Which one is right for you? Secondly, you want to make sure what you are purchasing actually does what it says it does! Right?

Review by Best of this life

When I am interested in a product, I try to read as many reviews as possible to get an idea of what I might be investing in. I am happy to share my review of Murad Skin Care today, because I have some good things to tell you.

To start with, like any good skin care line, Murad offers specific products for specific skin types. Identifying your skin type is the first step to take on muradcanada.com. Once you’ve done that, it will be easy to choose products that will bring out your very best complexion.

My skin is oily and sometimes prone to breakouts, however I’m also starting to see some fine lines. A balanced routine of anti-aging care and acne treatment is ideal for my skin type.

Murad helped me choose the right products to achieve a smooth healthy complexion.

First up: AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Why you need it: This gentle but efficient exfoliator polishes away dullness and locked-in impurities. Provides clarity, brightness and improve cell-turnover by dissolving dead skin cell buildup Leaves skin smooth and hydrated. Jojoba beads reveal a smoother, younger-looking complexion

I love how light-weight this cleanser is, as well as gentle on my skin. After I wash my face, it feels smooth, cleansed, and fresh.

Next in line: T-Zone Pore Refining Gel
Why you need it: Clears pores while balancing oily and dry zones for a healthy, shine-free complexion
Primary Benefits:Dissolves pore clogging impurities. Normalizes oil production

This is an ideal product for oily skin and combination skin. When I apply this serum, it melts into my skin and tingles a little bit. It feels like it’s lifting out impurities and closing my pores! I’ve noticed a big difference in the oil production on my forehead and nose by using this product.

My 3rd step for my day routine includes: Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 | PA++
Why you need it: Reduces shine and controls oil. Effectively reduces breakouts.
Primary Benefits: This shine-reducing moisturizer creates an immediate matte surface, controls oil throughout the day while protecting blemish-prone skin.

I can’t say enough good things about this product! For anyone who wants a shine-free, oil-free face yet also wants an SPF and moisturizer – this is for you! This product does double-time, leaving the skin moisturized, smooth, and matte. I have applied it daily, with a bare face and when I do wear makeup, it prevents my makeup from melting off in the heat or from excess oil production.

Additionally, I sampled Murad’s Acne Spot Treatment, which I used at night-time on a few pimples. It reduced the redness and helped clear up the blemish by morning time. This was a great “extra” to my skin care routine for the odd breakout.

I’ve been using the products for nearly two weeks and have noticed an improvement in my complexion and skin tone. I’m very pleased with the skin care products that Murad helped me choose and am happy with the results that I’ve already seen.

Dr. Murad’s Skin Care Philosophy is about helping everyone achieve their best skin ever!

“As a dermatologist, pharmacist and researcher, I have devoted my life to making beautiful, healthy skin attainable for everyone.

A healthy complexion is a reflection of total wellness both inside and out. This, in turn, creates a healthy environment for the skin so that if problems do arise, they resolve more easily. Furthermore, skincare can lead the way to overall health. Take all the necessary steps to achieve healthy skin-including the right products, the proper nutrients (from both food and supplements) and positive lifestyle choices-and over time, your whole body will be healthier too.”

 

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Why you should exfoliate at least once a week

Exfoliation is the step most people skip in their weekly skincare routine and your skin needs it to feel smooth and healthy again.

Throughout your life, your skin will change constantly. In fact, your skin will regenerate itself approximately every 27 days. New cells grow and push the older ones to the surface (the epidermis). Eventually, the dead cells break away from the epidermis and fall off.

External factors like pollution, makeup and stress and can also cause breakout and block pores. Thankfully, exfoliating regularly can prevent this and enhance your skin appearance. By avoiding a dull skin appearance and promoting the absorption of the nutrients it needs to stay hydrated.

Exfoliating will maximize the results of your skincare routine by removing dead skin cells so that your serums, creams and masks can penetrate your skin for maximum results.

We recommend that you gently exfoliate your skin once or twice a week for maximum results depending on your skin type and skin sensitivity.

Our Murad suggestion:

AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser:

    This cleanser provides two types of exfoliators.
  • Salicylic, lactic and glycolic acids will gently exfoliation to reveal softer and smoother skin.
  • Jojoba beans will aid in the mechanic exfoliation process to clarifying the skin but also stimulate blood circulation which improves bringing the oxygen to skin cells and improve skin color.

 

Article by Elodie Rivet – Murad Beauty Advisor

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Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

What is it?

A mild exfoliating facial cleanser

What are AHAs?

This cleanser has the magic four exfoliating acids that consists of glycolic acid (from sugarcane), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruit), and lactic acid (from milk).

How does it work?

AHAs breakdown the glue that holds your epidermal skin cells together and will dissolve dead cell buildup. (more…)

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