Skincare hacks: How changing the basics can improve your skin
We’re turning over the mic to our very own Editorial Guru, Stella, who recently joined us to dig deep and write, share, and breathe all things Asian beauty. As a former K-Pop-scouted-trainee and cosmetics model who has navigated through her share of beauty products, we’re excited to hear all that she has to say about her take on skincare and cosmetics.
Many of us spend so much time, money and effort improving and maintaining our facial skincare regimens that problems arising on the rest of our bodies often go unnoticed. Have you ever secretly suffered from chest / back acne and was unable to speak up out of embarrassment? I’ve certainly been there. During my first few years in college, I faced the consequences of hormone imbalances, resulting in severe adult acne. I will save the heart-wrenching stories about my extreme efforts to fix facial acne for another day, but the main concern for today’s post is about bodily breakouts.
Did you know that using the wrong shampoo could cause acne on areas that your hair touches (i.e. your hairline, forehead, cheeks, chest, and back)? Two ingredients in hair products that you should particularly look out for are panthenol, sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate. Sodium lauryl sulfate and its relative, ammonium lauryl sulfate, are foam-boosting agents and synthetic detergents that should be avoided if you’re prone to acne: they both cause acne breakouts when included in products in high concentrations or left on the skin for long periods of time. Panthenol, though, makes for a good ingredient in skin care products and will not cause breakouts if used in lower concentrations, but the extremely high percentages used in hair care products can cause acne blemishes on the back and around the hairline for some.
After finding out that all my hair care products contain these ingredients (even those heavily advertised on the media to be life changing and innovative), I immediately switched out my entire bath kit to panthenol-free, sodium lauryl sulfate-free products. Only after about two weeks of using the new hair line, the blemishes that had formed on my chest and back were gone like magic, although some older ones had left scars and took longer to recover.
Recently, I switched out my hair products to uka’s hair care line thoughtfully curated by Peach and Lily, and it is doing wonders. uka’s Deep & Light Scalp Cleanser is an award-winning formula from Japan that uses high quality plant-derived amino acids to restore the health of your scalp. It replenishes and nourishes the scalp on the inside to prep it for healthy hair production. This means your hair will be less susceptible to dryness and oiliness, whichever may be your main concern. I have a very oily scalp, which forces me to wash my hair twice a day; but I also have colored hair, which loses its original color with excessive washing. Another great thing about the uka line is that the Wake Up! shampoo provides volume and strengthens hair while the Nighty Night! shampoo hydrates and repairs overnight.
Your hair is made up of 18 amino acids, 15 of which uka’s head therapy series contain. These 15 amino acids combined work exactly as those 18 amino acids work to nourish your scalp and treat your hair back to its natural, optimal health. To name a few:
1) Arginine helps blood supply flow to the hair root, which in turn stimulates hair growth
2) Glycine helps produce collagen, which revitalizes and strengthens your hair/scalp
3) Proline acts as an exfoliator and works to improve moisture retention and also acts as an antioxidant, thus strengthening your scalp even in harsh conditions.
These three amino acids, and many others, are essential ingredients in the uka hair therapy line. This also makes a great shampoo/treatment for those looking to grow out their hair. I haven’t come across any blemish problems; the brand promises to keep those synthetic, unnecessary ingredients out, providing only the best for all types of hair conditions.
Give it a shot! Again, for those who are looking to find a remedy for “back-ne” and cystic acne around the hairline, uka’s hair therapy line is a must-have. It’s also a great hair care swap for those looking to rebuild and strengthen overall scalp/hair health.
*TIP: The products also contain the thermal hair ingredient y-docosalactone, which reacts with the hair’s internal amino acids under heat to create strength and shine. Remember to use a dryer with warm heat!
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