BEAUTY & WELLNESS
Curated collection of articles and recommendations for your beauty and wellness essentials.
By: Fola Onifade
By now, someone you know has mentioned the life-changing effects they’ve experienced from meditation. The results may sound interesting to you, but you might still be wondering: how do you even meditate? If you’ve got 100 things you could be doing, it can be difficult to rationalize spending precious moments sitting doing nothing.
There are a lot of reasons people choose to begin a meditation practice. For some, meditation benefits include less feelings of stress or better ability to focus. Maybe you've heard it helps with pain and anxiety, or your perhaps your friends share meditation quotes that inspire you.
Whatever the reason, meditation teaches us awareness and this important lesson has ripple effects throughout every facet of our lives. So, how do you do learn this magic trick / superpower thing?
Start With Sitting Still
Another approach you can take — especially if you’re in a place where you can’t easily access a quiet space — is tuning in to the sounds around you. Make note of what you hear and focus exclusively on those sounds to help ground yourself in the present.
Let Your Mind Do What It Does
Then let them gently float away, like a cloud drifting by in the sky. Some days will be better than others. Some days, your mind will be still and quiet, and other days you’ll struggle to rein it in.
Grow Awareness Each Time You Return
Remember that there’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” meditation, there’s just awareness and non-awareness. Every time you notice your thoughts have drifted off, you sharpen your awareness. Like physical exercise, the more reps you get at this, the more power and control you gain over your mind.
Meditation won’t solve all your problems or transform you into a mind-bending guru. Most of the time, you won’t even notice its subtle benefits until you’re faced with a situation that you handle in a new way that may surprise you.
Resources to Build Your Practice
So give it a try today. If you can, find a comfortable place where you can relax. Start with 1 or 2 minutes and work your way up to 10. Practice doing nothing. No phone, no TV, no distractions, unless you're trying a guided meditation for assistance.
Check out some of the apps above that we recommend as you begin your mindfulness journey.
Remember to be patient and kind with yourself during this time. Wishing you peace as you and your mind getting reacquainted.
By: Fola Onifade
AHA. Collagen. Free radicals. You've read a ton of skincare blogs and you keep seeing the same few words popping up, but you have no idea what they mean. Bookmark this article so you can refer to the definition of these words until you're reading all any skincare blog like a pro.
Take our skincare quiz to see how well you know these terms!
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): A type of chemical exfoliant that loosens the bonds that hold skin cells together. This reveals new skin by allowing old skin cells to be easily swept away. Popular AHAs in your products: glycolic acid and lactic acid.
Antioxidant: Ingredients that can help neutralize free radicals (see below) which can, when imbalanced, cause damage such as premature aging of the skin.
Ascorbic acid: AKA vitamin C. An antioxidant typically found in anti-aging formulations like our Illumine Facial Serum to protect the skin. It can also be found in certain cosmetic products as a preservative.
Biocellulose: Biodegradable, bacteria-derived fiber frequently found in sheet-masks that allows the masks to retain moisture and a snug fit which helps drive active ingredients into the skin.
Ceramides: Naturally occurring in the skin’s oil, these fats hold together the cells of the outer layer of skin to strengthen the skin's protective barrier.
Chemical exfoliant: Chemical exfoliants are the gentler cousins of physical exfoliants. While physical exfoliants manually scrub off dead skin cells, chemical exfoliants break the bonds between those skin cells to make them easy to wash away
Collagen: The most abundant protein in the human body that makes our skin thick, strong and smooth. Collagen naturally breaks down over time, and UV rays and free radicals can speed up this process. Certain ingredients like retinol, peptides, and laser treatments can stimulate new collagen production. The best thing you can do to prevent the loss of collagen you currently have is to wear sunscreen.
Emollient: Moisturizing ingredients that can penetrate into the spaces between skin cells, which leaves the skin feeling softer and smoother.
Popular emollients: face oils such as our Rosehip Oil, our 100% Sweet Almond Oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil
Free radicals: Highly reactive molecules in the environment that are typically created through exposure to some kinds of radiation like UV rays. In high enough doses, free radicals can damage the skin. Antioxidants (see above) are thought to neutralize free radicals and prevent that damage.
Glycerin: A humectant (this means it pulls moisture from the atmosphere to hydrate skin) that is relatively inexpensive and is typically used in moisturizers and hydrating cleansers.
Glycolic Acid: An AHA (see above) often found in high-end cleansers, creams and peel. It’s derived from sugarcane and aids in exfoliation by dissolving the gluelike substance between skin cells.
Salicylic Acid: A BHA that removes excess oil and dead cells from the skin's surface. It's used in nonprescription cleansers, moisturizers, and treatments for acne-prone skin in concentrations of 0.5% — 2%.
Serum: (You learned this one last week!) A skin-care product like our Illumine Facial Serum that contains high concentrations of active ingredients and claims superior penetration of the skin's surface when applied.
Sulfates: Ingredients commonly found in cleansers and shampoos that create lather and remove dirt and oil. Sulfates can be too harsh for some people, creating dry or irritated skin by stripping the skin and hair of too many of its natural oils.
How'd you do on the quiz? Give it another go, now that you've learned all these new terms!
By: Fola Onifade
What's a serum, anyway?
You’ve likely seen your favorite beauty influencer or skincare brands talk about serums, but even if you're obsessed with all things skin, you may still be wondering what your serum actually does.
Serums, according to Dr. Abigail Waldman of Harvard Medical School, are “highly concentrated formulations that are designed to sink into the skin quickly, delivering intensive dose of ingredients that can address common skin complaints.”
In simpler terms: serums are light but powerful, easily absorbed liquids that you spread on your skin to target a host of skin care issues.
But why do we need them?
The most important thing that serums do for your skin is provide intense hydration. In order to do this, most experts recommend that you apply your serum right before you moisturize, and you can do this on a daily basis. So why do we need super hydrated skin?
Well-hydrated skin is the foundation for any skincare routine. Whether you're targeting wrinkles, brown spots, discoloration, or general dullness, serums provide the hydration your skin needs to tackle these issues.
Skin by Ame Pro Tip:
Add droplets of serum to your moisturizer, eye creams, night creams or masks to boost its efficacy.
OK, so how do I choose a serum?
For irritated/acne prone skin
Soothing serums, like our Illumine Facial Serum, are mild formulations made up of anti-inflammatory, often natural ingredients. These serums are great for most skin types, but they're also perfect for itchiness, redness or easily irritated skin. Some of the natural ingredients you’ll find in a soothing serum include aloe, green tea, or chamomile.
You’ll notice that we provided the ingredients in the different types of serums. And while you may not recognize all the scientific words in there, you want to get in the habit of reading and understanding labels so you can find the best formulation for your skincare needs.
Skin by Ame Pro Tip:
Serums can be potent. Always test on a small area before applying widely. And be mindful of combining acid-containing serums with other products that also include acids.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.