Beauty 101

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The 4 secrets of modern skin hydration
The 4 secrets of modern skin hydration

If you ask me, there are two non-negotiable skincare steps that everyone should perform regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or geographical location: hydrate and wear sunscreen. While, skin moisturization existed for over 10,000 years, daily sunscreen use was incorporated into our routine “only” in the past century. Today, hydrators and moisturizers are popular products as dryness is on the rise courtesy of urban life and increased longevity. 

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Skin Fasting
Skin Fasting

Skin fasting means to deprive our skin of skincare-actives for certain periods of time allowing our skin to “rejuvenate and repair by itself, detoxify the skin and allow a complete reset” 🥴There are different degrees of skin fasting, from removing all skincare products (including cleansers, moisturizers and of course sunscreens … yes, sunscreen! 😮) to selectively remove potent active ingredients such as retinoids or acids. 

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Four totally unrelated (and surprising facts) about the skin
Four totally unrelated (and surprising facts) about the skin

(1) The skin surface is not flat. It contains about 5 million apertures such as hair follicles and sweat and sebaceous glands (also known as skin appendages). Why is this important? Well, these structures cr...

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Slugging
Slugging

Do I slug? Yes! I had done it and I loved it, but before you jump into this, there are a couple of things to consider about your own skin and environment. Let’s start with definitions: What is slugging or slug life? It is a fancy new name for something that our grandmothers and women before them had done for many years: slathering their faces at night with a heavy occlusive moisturizer. 

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Vitamin D deficiency and hair loss
Vitamin D deficiency and hair loss

Around 70% of the world population is deficient in vitamin D and guess what: low levels of vitamin D are linked to hair loss.  Vitamin D 101: Vitamin D is fat soluble and it is produced by keratinocytes (KC) in a UVB-light dependent manner. It also comes from our diet. Vitamin D acts as anti-inflammatory and maintains serum calcium and phosphorus levels. Vitamin D modulates the immune response. There are approximately 2,000 genes under the control of vitamin D (5% of our genome).

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7 Reasons why I do not like fragrances in my skincare
7 Reasons why I do not like fragrances in my skincare

Personally I do not use skincare products that contain fragrances neither I incorporate fragrances in the products I design. I am totally fine with products smelling like the raw ingredients (even when these do not smell like roses). These are my 7 reasons why I do not like fragrances in skincare:

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Does the pH of our skincare products matter?
Does the pH of our skincare products matter?

In 1928 Schade and Marchionini first coined the term Säuremantel or acid mantle, which described the inherent acidic nature of the stratum corneum (pH 4.3-5.3). SC pH is critical to preserve barrier function determining cohesion/ integrity and preserving the microbiota. It is logical to assume that skincare formulations should be acidic. Skin friendly pH formulations are especially important for subjects affected by skin diseases or for older individuals, as the skin surface pH becomes alkaline under these circumstances.

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Tobacco Smoking:  An Unglamorous Way to Premature Aging
Tobacco Smoking: An Unglamorous Way to Premature Aging

In my book there are only two things that are bad for you no matter what: sun tanning and smoking. All the rest is about moderation and balance. Tobacco smoking is well known to be a factor for morbidity (basically is bad for you) and can take a huge toll on skin health.

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Outsmarting skin winter blues:
Outsmarting skin winter blues:

Skin Winter Blues are the result of three factors that are closely related to each other: cold weather and winds, dried air and external heaters. Let me explain a little bit further the mechanisms behind Skin Winter Blues. Cold weather activates our body survival response which is characterized by peripheral blood vessel constriction.

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Fingerprinting skincare ingredients
Fingerprinting skincare ingredients

Factors such as age, ethnicity, skin concerns (wrinkles, pigmentation, redness, dryness to mention some), level of skin damage (old skin vs. young skin, solar exposed skin vs. solar protected), dietary restrictions, lifestyle (outdoorsy or city living, active social life, etc.), environmental conditions (pollution, humid or dry weather) and overall health would determine if our skin can tolerate specific skincare ingredients. 

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Thermal Aging
Thermal Aging

Melanocytes (melanin producing cells) become activated in response to skin injury. Persistent increases in temperature are major skin insults strongly stimulating uneven production of melanin or heat-induced melasma. Melanocyte activation also results in increase basal heat sensitivity as these cells form tight contact with cutaneous nerves. In addition, thermal stress activates epidermal TRPV1 receptors, triggering neuro-inflammation characterized by erythema, swelling, further temperature increase, tenderness, and pain.

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Female hair loss: untangling a complex situation
Female hair loss: untangling a complex situation

Let's start from the beginning, hair grows out from a structure called “hair follicle” which looks like little pockets in our skin and extends from the epidermis down into the dermis. Hair follicles formed around week 10 of our gestacional development (in utero, thanks Mom!). At the moment of birth, we have about 5 million hair follicles (100-150K on our scalp). We are born with the maximum amount of hair follicles that we will ever have as no new hair follicles are formed after birth.

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