How to choose the best ingredients for your skin

You may already know that skin troubles can be caused by a variety of factors – stress, genes, hormones, what you ate last night, if you fell asleep with makeup on, and so on. But if you really understand your own skin, you will be able to choose the best skincare products that actually work for you. That’s because skin essentially functions in the same way for everybody. So whether you have dry skin, acne, wrinkles or rosacea, understanding a few basic principles can help you get the firm, glowing, and blemish-free skin you want.


(1) Natural skin rejuvenation

To put it simply, our skin is made of a layer of dead skin on the outside and living cells on the inside. The living cells inside keep diving to make new cells, so that once some die and move to the outside layer, there are always some living cells to replace them. In other words, the living cells underneath are the source of ‘new skin’ – a fresh layer of dead skin that is free of scars.

It’s a good thing that our outer layer of cells is dead, because they become a protein barrier that protects the living cells from reacting to every small damage that attacks our skin. Without this barrier, all living cells would be infected or have damage from the sun, so that our skin would be completely irreparable.

In our 20s, the time it takes for new skin to replace old skin is around 28 days. This is when our living skin cells have a good environment. When we are younger, our digestive system works better, and our blood circulation is active, so that the living skin cells can receive lots of nutrients and continue to divide at a fast speed.

However, as we approach our 40s and 50s, this slows down to about 60 days. Why?
Because the outer dead skin layer can’t protect the living skin cells underneath from all the stresses from the outside. Our living skin cells still receive some UV damage from the sun that sadly accumulates over time. UV breaks DNA inside living cells and prevents them from diving. Moreover, our digestive system and circulation system start to slow down with age, reducing the amount of nutrients needed for our cells to divide.

To have younger skin, we can help living cells to divide faster, and prevent cell division from slowing down with age. A healthy diet, cardiovascular exercise and water intake can vastly help skin cells by clearing out the circulation system and giving cells the nutrients they need to keep on dividing. Also, to prevent UV from causing DNA damage, don’t forget sunscreen. Once DNA is damaged, there is a point of no return.

Of course, exfoliating is necessary to remove flakes and patches of dry skin that are falling off your skin. Exfoliating may also trigger the inner living cells to divide, but remember that it takes time for new skin to come up. So go easy on exfoliation and try not to strip the entire upper layer, as it may cause further irritation and they serve a vital function to maintaining healthy skin.


(2) Why do we get wrinkles?

Our skin is not only made of cells, but a mesh network of proteins that physically holds the cells together. It’s like a beehive – the houses where bees live are made of the honey that bees make. If the bees don’t continuously make enough honey, the beehive will decompose over time and collapse. With age, our living skin cells produce proteins at a slower and slower speed so that the structure that keeps our skin firm and elastic gradually becomes weaker. Hence, we develop fine lines and wrinkles.

Well-known examples of skin proteins are collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin. Collagen and elastin are proteins made of a bunch of amino acids. When we eat proteins, they break down into amino acids before being absorbed into our body. So while eating collagen and elastin-rich foods won’t specifically help improve to our skin, increasing overall protein content in our diet may help. On the other hand, hyaluronic acid is not a protein but a different type of chemical that binds to water. Many skincare products contain this ingredient as it may help skin to hold onto more water and hydrate the skin.

For those looking to get rid of wrinkles, remember that it takes time to re-strengthen the protein network in deep skin layers. It also takes a whole healthy body to dramatically improve skin, so don’t only focus on your skin. De-stress your mind and body for a youthful look. However, if you want a boost for your skin, look for cell metabolism-boosting ingredients that penetrate into the inner layers, such as the water-based Seanol Miracle Mask. It is an age-defying wrinkle mask that delivers natural active ingredients for cell regeneration directly into deep skin layers using a water-based system.


(3) Hydrated skin

Many things can contribute to the soft, glowing look of skin. Hydrated skin actually means having a good balance between water and oils on the skin. The outermost layer of skin is waterproof and is coated with a thin layer of natural oils produced by pores (see next section). This prevents the water in inner skin layers from evaporating.

In the inner layers, water is essential both inside and outside cells. Cells must retain water inside for basic function, and outside, the network of proteins that hold cells together also hold onto water molecules. With age, cells become less hydrated, and the degrading protein network can hold less and less water.

That is why to achieve healthy skin, you must drink lots of water. Encouraging cells to produce more proteins can also help skin to retain hydration. You can do this by maintaining a healthy metabolism, i.e. diet and exercise. For skincare, there are various options between water-based and oil-based hydration formulas. Seanol Miracle Spray and Miracle Mask are water-based products that soak the skin and directly replenish cells with water and natural bioactive ingredients to encourage cell metabolism. It is a good idea to follow up with an oil-based product, especially if you have naturally dry skin (skin that doesn’t produce a lot of oils), as this can prevent water loss by evaporation. However, as we’ll find out, having too much oil can cause other problems.


(4) All about pores

The pores on our face that cause the most trouble are actually hair follicles. Pores have holes where hairs can grow and oils are released. All pores have oil glands because all hairs, like the hair on our heads, need to be coated with a layer of oil to make them waterproof. However, when the holes are filled with other material, namely dead cells, excess oil and bacteria, this can cause acne and blackheads.

Gentle, regular pore purification is the only solution to preventing breakouts and irritation while maintaining hydration (remember, oils are necessary for hydrated skin). Harsh pore cleansing methods can encourage more oil production and damage and dry out skin further. Recommended as a daily cleanser for all skin types, the Seanol Miracle Essential Balance Cleansing Bar removes impurities while maintaining a good balance between oil and water on your skin. It does not harshly strip pores, but gently cleanses with 100% natural ingredients (so artificial chemicals or preservatives) to prevent inflammation and irritation. It also produces a gentle foam that eliminates oil build-up. Follow up with a toner or water-based moisturizer after cleansing.


(5) Red alert!

Anything that appears red on the skin – acne, dry patches, sunburn, etc. – are caused by inflammation and a surge of blood. Inflammation is a type of body reaction that increases blood flow, which makes it look red and sometimes also causes pain or itchiness. Inflammation can be caused by infection, intense sunlight, hormones and other factors. Basically, it tries to help the body by bringing more oxygen, nutrients and immune cells that are floating in the blood closer to a problem area, so that whatever is wrong can be fixed.

Inflammation is a chain reaction involving biochemicals, so controlling one step can effectively reduce the entire reaction. Seanol, a mix of marine polyphenol extracts from Ecklonia cava, is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient that blocks NF-κB, a major biochemical involved in the inflammation reaction. Seanol is also effective against the acne-causing bacteria P. acnes. This makes Seanol Miracle Mask the acne mask to consider for blemish-prone, sensitive skin types.


(6) Sun damage and 'photoaging'

UV damage is one of the greatest assailants of skin aging. It attacks the ability of cells to divide, which reduces the skin’s ability to retain moisture and to maintain strength and elasticity. As it accumulates over time, it causes dehydration, fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Nowadays sun care is a staple of skincare routines. However, a good sunscreen is hard to find, especially for combination and oily skin types.

Luckily, anti-oxidative ingredients are also greatly beneficial for fighting aging. This is because the main way that UV causes damage to skin is through oxidative stress. UV rays split oxygen molecules, which produces ‘reactive oxygen species’ (ROS) (aka. free radicals) that are like bullets that penetrate and react with various cell structures. ROS can attack proteins and DNA in skin. Marine polyphenols are naturally occurring ingredients that directly capture and disable ROS. As a key ingredient in Seanol Miracle Spray, this product is recommended for young and mature skin to form a daily anti-aging barrier that reduces signs of aging without the sticky feeling.


(7) Stress less

There are many ways stress can affect our skin. Some of us eat more junk food, and some of us sleep less. Whether it causes breakouts, dark circles or patchy complexion, our skin is always quick to show when we’re feeling pressured or under the weather. In addition, stress hormones such as cortisol wear down our skin. Cortisol causes protein breakdown, resulting in dull and weak texture. It also promotes oil production, leaving skin prone to acne and other troubles.

If you’re busy and feeling pressured, it’s easy to neglect skincare. So maybe you’re looking for a multitasking, quick and easy skincare fix. If so, the Seanol Miracle Spray is the best therapeutic skincare item to relieve stress on your mind and skin. With a calming natural scent and multi-acting formula that targets hydration, cellular repair and metabolism, it will soothe your complexion and boost your mood with only a few spritzes.


The Miracle of Miracle Mask

Stepping into summer, our best pick for facial mask is the Seanol Miracle Mask. With many Korean masks in the market, the reason this stands out is its natural formula and multiple benefits. It acts as a hydrating mask, brightening mask, acne mask and anti-aging mask all rolled into one. Another point goes to the fact that the sheet is made of Tencel micro-fiber, a 100% natural fiber from Eucalyptus tree leaves that is naturally anti-microbial and 100% biodegradable. This Seanol® Korean mask also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which has well known whitening and anti-aging benefits. It is recommended to leave on the face 10-15 minutes after cleansing.

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