Vitamin C – The Holy Grail Of Skincare Ingredients

Whatever your skincare issue – uneven skin tone, rough texture, fine lines, acne scars, general dullness the chances are that vitamin C-based products can help, leaving your skin brighter, clearer and smoother!

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals that helps your skin’s natural regeneration process, which in turn helps your body repair damaged skin cells. A topical antioxidant such as vitamin C can offset daily aggressors such as UV damage and nasties common to air pollution, but this free-radical fighting power is not just used to keep signs of premature aging at bay. In neutralizing these free radicals, vitamin C may also help protect skin from precancerous changes caused by UV exposure too.

Quite remarkably, in addition to its antioxidant status, vitamin C boasts numerous other skin-saving benefits. As it is highly acidic, when vitamin C is used topically the skin is triggered to heal itself by accelerating the production of collagen and elastin, the protein fibres that help keep skin plump and firm. Vitamin C is a commonly used skin brightener as it contains a property that inhibits your skin’s melanin production, which is what causes skin discoloration.

Usually, the vitamin is found listed as ascorbic acid because this is the most stable and effective form of vitamin C in skin care. Another thing worth noting is that when vitamin C and vitamin E are combined, they form a true powerhouse that offers double protection against free-radical damage. This is the case is in Eminence Organics’ Citrus and Kale Potent C Plus E Serum. Applying a few drops of this potent serum before your moisturiser will really transform your skincare regimen and take it to the next level.

Those with sensitive skin may have allergies or redness from vitamin C so it is recommended using a product with a low vitamin C concentration and increasing it as your skin gets used to the product.

How To Self-Tan Like A Pro

If you’re a fan of sunless tanning, you might feel that nailing that gorgeous, natural-looking glow without being left with patches and a whole heap of mess is something that is beyond the reach of an at-home self-tan.

But, achieving just-back-from-the-beach glow and a streak-free finish every time can be a cinch if you know what you are doing. Pastels’ resident spray tan expert Elvie shares some of her at-home tanning secrets for mastering a perfect pro-like application from the comfort of your own home.

  • Prepare your skin thoroughly before applying a new tan.
  • Be sure to exfoliate. Using an oil-free scrub all over your body or exfoliating gloves are also an option.
  • Apply an oil-free moisturiser to any dry areas (which includes the usual areas of hands, elbows, knees and feet), but also add a dose of moisturiser to any areas of dry flaking skin, wrists and underneath the arm and up around the ankles to help dilute the tan and create a 3D effect.
  • Use a clean, fresh Tanning Mitt to apply your tan.
  • Start at the top of the body on the arms meeting in the middle at the chest area and work down the torso to the legs (leaving out the hands, feet and face for now).
  • Work in long sweeping motions and go over the same area with the mitt to buff the tan even further before moving onto the next area.
  • To tan your back, work across the bottom then up and over the shoulders. To finish the centre, turn the mitt around and use the back of your hand to wave the tan side to side, meeting your tan already applied on the sides of your body.
  • Once you have covered the entire body, turn your attention to your hands and feet.
  • Using leftover tan on the mitt, balance your hand in a claw shape and sweep the mitt over your hand from the wrist down over the fingers, blending the tan two to three times by gliding backwards and forwards.
  • Down to the ankles sweep down over a stretched foot, back along the sides, up around the ankle and back down the foot and over the toes (again using leftover tan on the mitt creating that 3D effect).
  • After you have cleansed your face, apply your self-tan before your usual moisturiser of SPF.
  • Buff the skin using an oil-free exfoliator after three days to keep a smooth even surface and moisturise dai;y.



Here’s how you can improve your skin’s texture

If you suffer from dull, tired skin or problematic acne and you dream of skin with a perfect texture and beautiful youth-enhancing glow, why not put some time and energy into rethinking your approach to skincare? While the thought of overhauling a skincare regime can be daunting, the good news is that this process be broken down into a simple 7-step programme that will ensure your skin looks healthy and glowing with no filter needed! 

Step 1: Do a one-week reset of your skincare routine refresh

To ensure your products are suited to your skin and are not causing any adverse side effects that you may have – blotchiness, redness, excess oil, acne breakouts – this refresh is a must. For one week, pare back to the basics: Use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer that don’t contain fragrance or active ingredients.

Step 2: Choose Your Basics

After your reset week, it’s safe to assume any issues you still have are not caused by a product so now it is the perfect time to assess your skin. If you like what you see, keep using the same cleanser and moisturizer you did in the reset week, but if you think your skin is lacking and/or experiencing some issues then make an appointment for a skincare consultation and facial so an expert can recommend the best basic products for your skin type. 

Step 3: Wear Sunscreen 

Wearing sunscreen regularly decreases the rate of aging and hyperpigmentation so it is a must-have in the quest for perfect skin.

Step 4: Add in an Antioxidant Serum

Serum is like an insurance policy when worn under sunscreen. Make sure you choose one that contains vitamins C and E – Eminence Organics Citrus and Kale Serum (especially when partnered with the brand’s firming Rosehip Oil) is just brilliant. Remember though any new product you introduce could trigger a new skin issue, in which case you will need to go back to the reset week and start over.

Step 5: Treat Acne (If You Have It)

For people with acne, all other skincare matters are secondary. In most instances, acne sufferers will need to add specific acne-fighting products to their skincare armoury. Never buy over-the-counter products, it is better to see a skincare specialist for a consultation during which they can identify the causes and devise a treatment plan to minimise or even eradicate the acne.

Step 6: Identify your primary skin concerns 

To have your best possible skin, you need to identify the exact issues that are bothering and then try to fix them. If you need help making your list, find a picture of yourself when you were happier with your complexion and ask yourself what is different between then and now. Once you have your list, you can work on finding solutions to your problems.  

Step 7: Ask the expert

To advocate a real change, you may need professional help. A skincare expert can assess your skin and recommend a course of treatments and products that will generate beautiful, healthy, glowing skin – which can be a huge boost to anyone’s self-confidence!

Combination Skin – What You Need to Know

Combination skin means you will be experience dryness and/or dehydration in some areas and oiliness in others. Usually the nose, forehead and chin (commonly called the t-zone) will be oily, while cheeks will be dehydrated.  Nearly all skin-types experience dehydration, which is a lack of moisture; while dry skin is due to a lack of oil. With combination skin some parts can be dull tight and flaky, while other parts can be greasy and can experience an occasional break out.

In general, combination skin is down to your genetic makeup, rather than lifestyle choices. That said, UV light from the sun and other factors such as stress, climate (air pollution), lifestyle, changes, diet and hormones can all contribute to the health and well-being of your skin. Humidity and dust can make your skin break out more than normal and contribute to clogged pores whiteheads and blackheads. Polluted air can cause ageing, and AC can be very dehydrating for the skin. In Dubai, it is quite common to experience the symptoms of combination skin such as clogged pores.

To ensure your skin looks its best, you need to have a good combination skin skincare routine featuring ingredients that can help to remove the dirt and oil from the skin such as tea tree oil, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, clay and charcoal can all help. In terms of best facial for combination skin, Vitamin C facials are great for brightening. Facials with enzymes and acids are super for exfoliation and removing dirt and oil and can show a quick result. For best results, though a combination of a good monthly facial and a daily home-care routine is a must for the best result.

One of my favourite treatments for combination skin is the Nimue Deep Cleanse facial treatment as it features clay masques and steps using cleansers that contain all the good acids and enzymes you need to have clean pores and a bright complexion.

Whenever you are purchasing skincare make sure the product has some beneficial ingredients that actually do something for your skin. Always use proven ingredients that work, and typically these are not found in over-the-counter products. For cleansers and masks go for products that are based on charcoal, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid and citric acid, tea tree or clay. The best moisturizer for combination skin should be filled with anti-oxidants and skin-loving acids. An important ingredient you might want to consider is Vitamin C – this is a great anti-oxidant and skin brightening ingredient. It can also act on marks left after spots and breakouts. Also, consider using products with Vitamin B (niacin-amide) as it is an amazing ingredient to even out the colour of skin. Last but not least is Hyaluronic acid. This is an amazing moisturizing ingredient that is in many serums and creams.

How to help your skin cope when flying…

With Eid nearly here, many people will be catching flights this weekend, and while globetrotting can be of benefit to our work life and personal experiences, it can often have a detrimental effect on our skin.

Pressurised cabins have low levels of humidity and are very dry places to be for any length of time, making any natural moisture in your skin quickly evaporate. This means that your face, hands and other extremities will start to feel dry and look dull and parched.

What’s more, we all know that travelling can be a stressful time as there are many things to think about and flight times to meet. Stress produces the hormone cortisol, which impacts skin’s ability to function as a barrier and contributes to redness, blotchiness and breakouts. All in all, not a good recipe for perfect skin!

The good news is that it is possible to counteract these negatives effects of air travel with a bit of forward planning. First of all, always go make-up free. As scary as it sounds, flying barefaced will go a long way to ensuring that your skin remains hydrated and can breathe throughout the flight. Also, apply a luxurious moisturiser – Nimue offers terrific options that contain all the essential nutrients your skin needs to keep it hydrated for hours on end.

But the work doesn’t stop when the flight is over! Before arriving at your destination, re-apply your makeup or simply slather on a high factor SPF with UVA and UVB protection for daytime. (A favourite of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia is Nimue’s option!) As you disembark, wear a hat and sunglasses for maximum skin protection. If you have travelled to a hot climate it is a good idea to apply a gorgeous hydrating mask in the evenings, which will replenish any moisture lost during the daytime. Also consider adding a lightweight serum to your skincare regime. Eminence Organic’s Citrus C and Kale serum is rumoured to be a favourite with celebrities such as Meghan Markle and Jessica Biel.

Frequent flying doesn’t need to mean dry or prematurely aged skin. Follow our tips and you will be amazed at how good your skin feels, even after a long haul flight!

Time to hit the beach!

As fun and relaxing as a day at the beach can be, aside from sunscreen to protect your skin, be sure to pack some haircare must-haves to keep your hair protected too. As your favourite haircare destination, Pastels Salon has got the ultimate beach bag wish-list, which will ensure channelling your inner beach babe won’t lead to any hair disasters!

KeraStraight Sun Protect Spray: Sun, sand and seawater are a harmful combination, and can often leave our hair looking dry, damaged and out of control. KeraStraight’s iconic protection spray is the perfect antidote to the harmful effects caused by our holiday environments, and boasts a number of benefits. The spray protects hair from harmful UVA/UVB rays, saltwater and chlorine up to 8 times more than our natural defences. It can be applied to wet hair or dry hair depending on the level of protection required and with a sleek and compact design, this protective spray can be carried with you at all times.

Invisibobble: An absolute essential hair accessory, the Invisibobble allows you to create any number of hairstyles with precision and ease, including an on-point topknot, as seen on beach-loving celebrities such as Gisele. Best of all, this cult accessory has anti-allergenic properties to make it sweat proof and waterproof, making it beach-perfect!

With its unique and compact design, the Tangle Teezer can be carried with you wherever you go. Fitting discreetly into the smallest of beach bags, you will never be without the chance to detangle! Available in a range of colours including designs by Lulu Guinness and Markus Lupfer, you can extend your sense of style to your haircare, matching your Tangle Teezer to your bikini!

All products are available from Pastels Salon.

How to ensure you glow this Valentine’s Day!

With the most romantic day of the year almost upon us, Beautician Aislinn from Pastels Jumeirah shares her tips on how you can look your most alluring!

“When it comes to our skin, we all want to have it bright, glowing and radiant, but how to we get this?  

Aside from using products with active ingredients such as Vitamin C for brightening and AHA or Glycolic for exfoliating, don’t forget  your lifestyle, stress levels, sleep patterns and diet all have a big impact on the glow and purity of your skin. A healthy day moisturizer and a good night creme will seriously hydrate and restore dehydrated skin and a weekly masque suited to your skin type is also highly recommended.

Dull skin is usually due to the fact that we have dead skin cells layered on top, and they need to be removed by exfoliating with an AHA or a light soft scrub. The rice powder strawberry rhubarb dermafoliant from Eminence or the green tea gommage biologique from Guinot are brilliant exfoliators. Be careful in your choice of exfoliator because bigger micro beads in some scrubs can give little tears in thin sensitive delicate skin so always ask your skincare specialist to recommend the best one for you!

Another reason for dull skin is poor circulation and so to improve blood circulation our collagen boost massage facial is a terrific option!

Dry skin is usually due to damage, and not always a lack of moisture. The main damage is done by the sun and that is why it is so important to wear an SPF 365 days a year.  It is also important to avoid certain products such as those containing alcohol as well as saunas and steam rooms if you have dry skin as they will make it worse!

Finally, to really give dry skin radiance, nothing beats a facial oil!”

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