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August 2017

Do I have sensitive skin?

1 month ago

Do I have sensitive skin?

A few things on sensitivity that you might not know.

Skin is sensitive by nature, and it’s made this way to protect us. It’s our body’s largest organ, and just like our other organs, it’s been designed to call the alarm when something isn’t right. We all encounter triggers day to day that cause our skin to become reactive – factors you may not even realize are there. From an office air-con boost in summer to simply using a new face cream, your skin can become sensitized at any time.

There’s only a very small minority of people that are actually born with naturally sensitive skin, but the chances are, you’ve experienced some of the usual suspects that sensitivity triggers. Think redness, irritation, dryness or inflammation, ranging from barely there to chronic. Sound familiar? It’s likely that when these signs have struck, your skin has become sensitized as a result of what it’s been exposed to, rather than having inherently sensitive skin. There’s no real way of defining the exact causes of skin sensitivity, as our skin is exposed to internal and external changes every day, all relative to each of us (genetics have a part to play), but there are some key triggers to look out for.

From external to internal, what are the main causes of skin sensitivity?

UV Rays – Been burnt in the past? Your skin’s natural reaction to over-exposure of sunlight is to switch on the redness. It’s a visual signal to protect you and prevent further, long-lasting damage.

Outdoor pollutants - As if pollution wasn’t bad enough for our lungs, it’s also causing our skin to become more sensitized. Car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke and industrial emissions – a few of the types of the external pollutants that we encounter day-to-day, causing skin to become reactive.

Indoor pollutants – Even inside, you’re exposed to air pollution that’s coming into contact with your skin and causing it to react. Cleaning solvents, fireplaces and pesticides are all the usual suspects that play a part in building up indoor air pollution.

Aggressors
Hydration

Stress – Stress particularly aggravates skin as it initiates a chemical response in your body that makes skin noticeably more sensitive. Not only that, stress prolongs the skin’s healing process and breakouts become pretty likely. Not exactly helpful when you’re already stressed, but it’s your skin’s way of telling you to take it easy.

Overuse of Products - Don’t assume that your skincare is always helping you out. Sensitivity can be as simple as overusing, or simply using, the wrong products. Products that contain harsh ingredients, irritants or sensitizers (from natural or synthetic sources) can initiate a sensitivity in skin that wasn’t there before.

Dehydration – Not getting enough water? If you’re not drinking your 6-8 classes each day, your skin isn’t getting the hydration it needs. Dehydrated skin increases sensitivity, as dryness and dehydration are precursors to sensitized skin. Too much alcohol is just as dehydrating as not drinking water in the first place, too.

Nutrition – What about your five-a-day? If you’re overdoing it with the junk food, you’re replacing the nutrients you should be feeding your body with processed substitutes. Poor eating habits can causes the body to lose essential nutrients that encourage healthy skin.

If these are the causes, should I still be using sensitive skin-type products?

Yes, if they work for you. REN was born as a solution to sensitivity, so as you’d expect, we’re pretty good at this stuff. Our best-selling Evercalm range, pioneering the use of revolutionary active ingredients to combat skin sensitivity, training skin to be less sensitive over time by regulating its immune response. Clinically-proven, our Evercalm range is more than a quick-fix for redness, whatever the sensitivity is that you encounter today.

Your daily duo to combat sensitivity comes in cleanser and moisturiser form. Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Gel or Gentle Cleansing Milk, depending on your preference, contains bio-actives from Calendula to soothe, and Omega 3 and 7 to boost your skin’s lipid content, strengthening that defence barrier. Used alongside our (bestselling) Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream, containing actives that work to hydrate, soothe and protect, you’re on the way to getting that calm back.

Need a boost? Our Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask, in particular, has been formulated to switch-off stress signals using Grifolin (ahem, a first-to-market use of this wonder-ingredient), through blocking the stress signals between the skin and the brain; it helps the skin calm and redness reduce instantly. Our Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum contains Milk Polypeptides to calm and strengthen skin, while Beta-Glucan soothes redness and irritation. Team these up with your daily duo, and you’ve got sensitivity sussed.

Go Clean. Feel REN.

Evercalm

Skincare, the Clean way.

1 month ago

Skincare, the Clean way.

Clean up your act when it comes to your skin.

Navigating yourself within the world of skincare can be a challenge. Looking out for what’s in your products has, rightly so, become just as important as looking out for what’s not. We get it if you feel like you need a magnifying glass and a translator to find out what you need to know. And that’s still easier said than done. That’s why we’re here, to clean things up.

REN’s definition of Clean Skincare.

A word you’ve heard in the beauty industry, but what does it really mean? For REN, Clean Skincare means no compromise. It means not having to choose between natural ingredients and clinically-proven results. It means saying no to controversial ingredients and potential irritants, and yes to powerful, active ingredients extracted from natural and mineral sources. Not only that, it means considering the environmental impact of the products you consume – as well as the waste you throw away. Oh, and REN means Clean in Swedish.

What’s in?

For as long as we’ve existed, we’ve challenged the convention that skincare can either be natural or effective, not both. Since 2000, when ‘clean skincare’ was just a twinkle in the eye of the beauty industry – REN pushed the boundaries of skin science, renouncing controversial synthetics or skin-harsh ingredients in favor of safe alternatives that deliver the same high-levels of performance. With deep understanding of skin chemistry and unwavering faith in the potency of nature, we scour the globe to uncover the latent, skin-transformational powers of plants and minerals.

Using advanced bio-science to extract high concentrations of active ingredients from clean sources, and cellular bio-chemistry to rigorously test their efficacy and skin-compatibility, our team of scientists formulate powerful, pleasurable products that work with your skin, for real and lasting results.

Bio-chemistry
No

What’s out?

No nasties. No unnecessaries. From day one, we decided that every ingredient in a REN product must either positively benefit long-term skin health, or support the safety and integrity of the formulation. Our commitment to Clean skincare means we say NO to harmful toxins, harsh chemicals, controversial ingredients, potential irritants, or any ingredient linked to internal health disruption. Using bio-science to extract the most effective actives from naturally-derived sources, REN delivers performance, purity and pleasure in a bottle. Great skin starts from within – so we leave the nasties out.

Performance

REN pushes the frontiers of skin science to help skin to help itself, creating pioneering formulations from naturally-derived bio-actives, rigorously tested and clinically proven to deliver results, as well as using innovative, airless packaging for optimized performance.

Purity

REN is uncompromising in the use of skin-friendly ingredients, ethically-sourced 100% plant and mineral actives, no skin-unfriendly synthetics, irritants or animal derivatives, and uses recyclable packaging wherever possible, and always using recyclable materials.

Pleasure

REN believes in the transformational power of touch and scent, with luxuriant textures and subtle, natural fragrances for an inner feel-good that shows on the outside.

Go Clean. Feel REN.

Hands

The problem with pollution.

1 month ago

The problem with pollution.

How to protect your skin against pollution.

Second to the sun, pollution is one of the most damaging environmental aggressors out there. Car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke and industrial emissions – just a few of the undesirables on the street that are having an invisible, yet detrimental, impact on your skin.

Live in a city? You’re affected. Live in the middle of nowhere? Yep, you’re affected. Perhaps not as much as city-dwellers, but it is there, even though you can’t see it. Wherever you are the world, chances are that your skin is exposed to pollution every day, and it’s doing more damage than just making your skin feel grubby.

Give me the science.

Once your skin is exposed to pollution, cue free-radical mayhem. Air pollution particles (PM) are about 2.5 micro-meters in size (that’s about the quarter of the width of a human hair). Because they’re so small, they can be absorbed into the layers of your skin, releasing free radicals which attack the collagen and elastin, all while disrupting the skin’s defence barrier (something that our skincare expects work very hard to protect). The consequences? Premature ageing, (something none of us want anyway, never mind prematurely), as well as visible dullness and irritation that definitely wasn’t there before.

We tend to turn a blind eye to these harmful free-radicals found in smog and environmental pollution that are ageing us, day by day, if just for the sake of our sanity. The invisible nature of pollution lends it to be something you can ignore with ease in the short-term, but it’s a little harder down the line when you’re wearing those years of pollution on your face.

Cityscape

What's the answer?

Protection. Just like SPF, protecting your skin with anti-oxidant, omega and nutrient rich creams makes a significant difference in the amount to which free-radicals are able to penetrate your skin. Yes, you can believe the double-cleansing hype - it is doing its bit to remove all the debris you’ve encountered through the day from your complexion, but stopping pollution at the first hurdle is a significantly better bet for the long term.

You need to protect – enter Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream - containing Omega 3 and 7 oils that work to reduce inflammation and boost the skin’s lipid content, restoring moisture and providing a natural barrier against pollution and irritants. Aside from just the long-term effects, environmental aggressors are perpetrators of temporarily sensitized skin – turns out your redness and irritation isn’t your natural ‘skin-type’.

You need a shield. Our Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist reinforces your shield against air pollution particles, and even contains an active ingredient which boosts your skins own production of antioxidants and it’s antioxidant capacity (bio-actives scientific name - Quercetin), meaning that it provides the skin with the materials for it to create the protective shield itself. Pretty clever, right?

Protect from the inside out.


There’s more you can do against the effects of pollution than just protecting skin with your skincare regime. Combined with drinking enough water (six to eight glasses) to flush toxins through your body, healthy diets can similarly support your skin’s health, especially when rich in anti-oxidant-plenty fruit and veg (think blueberries, strawberries, kale, etc.)

Just because your skin is protected, doesn’t mean you can’t do more for the cause. Get commute-smart and start using public transport (or better, walking) to work over driving, or simply just conserving the energy you use – lights off – to make a little but vital difference. There’s a lot of things we can do to make the world we all share a little bit cleaner.

Go Clean. Feel REN.

How much product should I be using?

1 month ago

How much product should I be using?

Got skincare FAQ’s? You name it, we’ve got the answer.

The problem with skincare.

Now with more steps than you can clock-up on your Fitbit in a day, our skincare regimes are always growing. As a result, so are the list of frequently asked questions that we’re asked here at REN HQ, put to our skincare experts and in need of answers. ‘How much do I use?’, ‘How often do I exfoliate?’ and ‘When do you double-cleanse?’ If these are things that go through your head on a daily basis, keep your eyes peeled here for some expert answers to your skincare queries.

How much product should I be using?

Today, we’re answering one of the basics. How much to use is a balancing act and getting it right will help you (and your skin) out. Let’s face it – skincare doesn’t grow on trees and overdoing it isn’t something we recommend (just in favor of your purse, not to mention the potential effects it’s having on your skin). Nevertheless, you need to be getting enough product actually on your skin to absorb it effectively, soaking in and giving you the optimum benefits that you’ve invested in (and deserve).

The phrase ‘too much of a good thing’ is more than appropriate when it comes to how much of each product you’re putting on every day (and sometimes, twice a day). Being hard to measure and differing by individual, we’re often overcompensating with the amounts we’re putting on our skin, thinking the results will, in turn, double as well. In reality, it’s the reverse.

How much cleanser should I be using?

We tend to use way more cleanser than we actually need - just to be on the safe side - but really, you need approximately the size of a hazelnut for one cleanse. Double cleansing in the evening? Try half the amount during the first cleanse (ideally using a balm cleanser), then follow up with the second, using half again, to get skin feeling spotlessly clean and prevent using excessive amounts.

How much moisturiser should I be using?

Getting this one right is important. You are probably using more moisturiser than you think, and too much of the stuff will be difficult for skin to absorb (and probably be clogging your pores as a result). Using too little? This can lead to dryness, sensitivity and that dull-look that none of us want. The size of a blueberry should be about right, but check your skin after a few minutes of application to see if it’s absorbed fully, and adjust if needed.

Cleanser
Moisturiser
Mask
Eye cream

How much face mask should I be using?

The length of time you leave on a mask is the key to getting a face mask right, but it’s also important not to apply too much. The size of a strawberry should be about right, and a little more if you’re applying on your neck, too.

How much eye cream (or eye gel) should I be using?

Eye cream differs from person to person, but a little goes a long way with this one. In fact, eye cream is the most overused skincare product. The skin around the eye is the most fragile of the entire face, and if any excess migrates to the eye, it can cause sensitivity or redness. Work with the size of a rice grain for each eye, and add more if you think it’s needed.


How much serum should I be using?

Less is definitely more when it comes to serums, especially as they’re becoming more advanced in formulation. Containing increasingly concentrated levels of actives, doubling-up the amount you’re using may lead to skin irritation, if you’re not careful. Stick to an amount similar to the size of a pea, and you’ll be good to go whatever serum you’re using.

Got more questions? Let us know and we’ll try and answer them next time.

Go Clean. Feel REN.

Serum

Five ways to find calm.

1 month ago

Five ways to find calm.

Take the time to make your day that little bit calmer.

Been running on overdrive? Taking time out for you is often overlooked, but one of the most important things we can do for a healthy mind. Getting caught up in the day-to-day stresses is unavoidable; in a blink the week’s passed you by. We’ve all been there, and as an escape to a yoga retreat in Bali isn’t on the cards as often as we’d like when tensions rise, here are some tips for keeping calm that don’t require a passport.

Take your time to be mindful.

Staying in the present moment, amidst a busy lifestyle (using the term busy lightly, here), is much easier said than done. Especially when making time for dinner often feels like an accomplishment in itself, let alone planning tomorrows. We know the drill – there’s just not enough time to sit down, legs crossed and be Zen. But, there are times through the day we don’t even recognize as ‘me’ time, and these are your times to be mindful. Take, for instance, that ten minutes while you wash up, or while you’re blow-drying your hair, these are moments that even the busiest of us still have to make time for, but are potential gems of opportunity for you to pay more attention to your thoughts, feelings and the world around you. The health benefits of mindfulness? Encouraging a healthy lifestyle and a calmer mind. You might even find yourself looking forward to the chores.

Turn off to switch off.

We know that a Netflix-binge straight before bed isn’t exactly healthy for our sleeping patterns. Especially when it involves watching a series specifically designed to keep you up at night. But, despite our efforts, we go back time and time again to the laptop before bed, as, quite frankly, it requires minimal effort on our behalf when we’re feeling pretty depleted of energy at the end of a long day. So how can we get the best of both worlds? Trying to cut down the amount of episodes you’re watching is a good start. Still letting you get your fix will help you stick to it, but shutting it off at least an hour before you switch off gives your body enough time to de-wire. You wouldn’t let yourself have a cup of coffee before bed, so treating technology in the same way means only good things for your sleep-routine.

Walk it out.

Exercising to relax. Seems like a slight contradiction? Powerwalking or jogging has been proven to relax the senses, enabling you to feel calmer and balances stress hormones. Whether you get your kicks with a jog at the break of dawn, or prefer to sweat it out on the treadmill, getting rid of your end of the week tension is best cured when moving, in our experience. Releasing endorphins (or feel-good hormones) through exercise works to relax that built-up tension that comes along with the daily-grind. As simple as taking the stairs, it’s going to help you gather your thoughts and reap the health benefits.

The art of bathing.

There’s a good reason behind why we turn to the tub at the end of a long day, and why it’s especially appealing at night time. Bathing regularly has been proven to increase levels of positivity. The bath is one of the only places we can’t reach for our technology (unless you really are a risk taker) or get distracted, so it’s some much-needed time out; an opportunity to really calm your thoughts and your senses. Tranquil music, bath salts and candles are all added extras that will give you that feeling of Zen. So, why are we so inclined to bath at night-time? Immersing yourself in warm water can help you get a good night’s sleep. After bathing (warm, not too hot), that dip in body temperature as you quickly cool down is one of the signals for the body to start producing the hormone that induces sleep. So, taking a bath one-to-two hours before bed is actually doing more good than we realize, getting you well-rested for the next day.

Get outside

When did you last get outside, for the sole reason of being outside? That feeling of rejuvenation, as though our bodies have been re-set, that you get when you come back from holiday is something you can still experience back at home, any time of year. The great outdoors really is that when it comes to giving you that feeling of relaxation. The bonus? An increase in Vitamin-D exposure does wonders for our positivity, elevating our mood, whilst fresh air encourages a clarity of mind and a sense of gratitude we don’t get indoors. Heading somewhere without Wi-Fi might also be a blessing in disguise, too, restricting our urge to be online and switched on throughout the day.

Go Clean. Feel REN.