Aqua. Four little letters, one major implication: the formula of your average skincare product is mostly water. In fact, read through the ingredients and you’ll notice that it’s listed upfront. But that’s about to change, if K-Beauty is to be believed. South Korea has long set the bar in the world of skincare and, now, it’s turning towards waterless skincare. Not only is it better for the environment for obvious reasons, but it’s also a lot more effective as water is replaced with ingredients that actually serve a purpose, like oils or botanical extracts.
Now, it may take a minute until waterless skincare products go mainstream, but there are more options than you realise. In fact, you don’t have to look far to find them – Upfill, a waterless personal care and cosmetics brand, was founded right here in the UAE! “Consumers in the Middle East are shifting to responsible beauty brands like Upfill because they want to take care of themselves and the planet. They are increasingly aware of the amounts of synthetic chemicals in their beauty routines and no longer wish to buy products full of water and plastics,” says co-founder Mariam Khafagy.
“For decades, big beauty companies have been selling billions of products each year containing more than 70% of ‘aqua’, which is another name for water! Of course, water is relatively cheap when compared to other active ingredients. This is why adding it in cosmetics is more profitable for the bottled cosmetics brands.” As for what the industry does not account for? “The huge carbon footprint that results from moving millions of tons of water contained in cosmetics between continents, especially when we already have tap water at home,” she says.
Interestingly, Mariam says that the concept of waterless cosmetics is not new, contrary to popular belief. “Oil-based traditional cosmetics and waterless skincare have been around for thousands of years in the Arab world. Our ancestors knew better! Most of our clients permanently shifted to waterless beauty for their daily routines once they realised that our products work as well as their plastic bottle counterparts – and often much better. Change takes time, but the movement has definitely started and we’re proud to be pioneering it in the region.” She goes on to reveal that many active ingredients, such as vitamins or essential minerals, react when mixed with water.
“Over time, these ongoing reactions result in a loss of effectiveness. The ingredients in solid beauty products do not experience these reactions and therefore maintain their benefits over time.” And then there’s the matter of preservatives. “Water from bottled skincare products constitutes a perfect environment for bacteria to grow – this is why industrial companies tend to add preservatives to stop germs from developing. These unnecessary preservatives can result in skin reactions caused by irritating chemicals and allergens,” explains Mariam, citing yet another reason to make the transition. Here, we’ve put together a handful of skincare essentials, all of which are waterless. Bonus: each of these products can be shipped to the UAE.
We all have moments when we don’t feel our best. Maybe you had a bad day at work or didn’t get the result you wanted. When these things happen, it’s easy to start focusing on our outer appearance and how it doesn’t measure up to your expectations. What if I tell you to consider this: instead of trying to change how you look on the outside, you can refocus your mindset by celebrating your inner beauty.
But how specifically can you channel your inner gorgeousness? Start by accepting compliments graciously. Instead of downplaying a compliment or shrugging it off, confidently smile and say, “Thank you!” This helps you see the positive things that others see in you and reinforces your self-worth.
Another way to increase self-confidence is by practising positive affirmations. These can be short statements like “I am beautiful” or “I am worthy”. Repeating these phrases to yourself daily can help train your brain to focus on the positive and ignore negative self-talk. Finally, don’t be afraid to show your inner beauty to the world! Do whatever makes you feel confident – the more you exude inner beauty, the more others will see it.
Inner beauty is about self-confidence and being empowered. It’s about knowing your worth and being proud of who you are! In a world where beauty is often defined by what’s on the outside, it’s refreshing to read quotes that celebrate the beauty of your inner self. Here, we’ve collected 40 of our favourite quotes to help you appreciate your unique beauty. Whether you’re dealing with insecurities or need a little boost of confidence, they will remind you that true beauty comes from within.
“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes.” – Sophia Loren
“Adornment, what a science! Beauty, what a weapon! Modesty, what elegance!” – Coco Chanel
“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” – Audrey Hepburn
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” – Khalil Gibran
“To me, beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.” – Ellen DeGeneres
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“Beauty is about enhancing what you have. Let yourself shine through.” – Janelle Monae
“No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself.” – Paramahansa Yogananda
“A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears.” – Anne Roiphe
“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.” – Audrey Hepburn
“What you do, the way you think makes you beautiful.” – Scott Westerfeld
“I’m convinced that inner beauty radiates from within, making someone even more attractive.” – Ellen DeGeneres
“Inner beauty should be the most important part of improving one’s self.” – Priscilla Presley
“I think the definition of beauty is somebody who’s comfortable in their own skin and celebrates that they’re unique and different.” – Drew Barrymore
“The real sin against life is to abuse and destroy beauty, even one’s own – even more, one’s own, for that has been put in our care, and we are responsible for its preservation.” – Katherine Anne Porter
“Outer beauty turns the head, but inner beauty turns the heart.” – Helen J. Russell
“Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eye of one who sees.” – Rumi
“True beauty resides within a good heart, not in superficial things like hair, makeup, or clothes.” – Unknown
“Inner beauty, too, needs occasionally to be told it is beautiful.” – Robert Brault
“The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes because that is the doorway to her heart, the place in which love resides.” – Audrey Hepburn
“Beauty is not about having a pretty face. It is about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and most importantly a pretty soul.” – Unknown
“Beauty shouldn’t be about changing yourself to achieve an ideal or be more socially acceptable. Real beauty, the interesting, truly pleasing kind, is about honoring the beauty within you and without you. It’s about knowing that someone else’s definition of pretty has no hold over you.” – Golda Poretsky
“Beauty lies not in a flawless complexion but in the stories that are told by each transitioning line on a woman’s face.” – Alyscia Cunningham
“To me, beauty is natural beauty. If you’re naturally yourself, you’re beautiful.” – Young MA
“Natural beauty really entices men. They will tell you this time and time again, and studies consistently prove it.” – Helen Fisher
“To experience sublime natural beauty is to confront the total inadequacy of language to describe what you see. Words cannot convey the scale of a view that is so stunning it is felt.” – Eleanor Catton
“Beauty is not something you buy; instead, beauty is what lies within.” – Byron Pulsifer
“I love natural beauty, and I think it’s your best look, but I think makeup as an artist is so transformative.” – Marina and the Diamonds
“Being natural is incredibly empowering for women because it’s just who you are. You’re embracing all the beautiful things about you from your head to your toes. Because when you mask so much of your natural beauty, people don’t get to see that.” – Rozonda Thomas
“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.” – John O’Donohue
“Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.” – Kate Angell
“A pure heart is superlatively rare and even more attractive.” – J. S. B. Morse
“Inner beauty, too, needs occasionally to be told it is beautiful.” – Robert Brault
“We see the beauty within and cannot say no.” – Dave Eggers
“True beauty is when someone radiates that they like themselves.” – Aimee Mullins
“Our hearts are drunk with a beauty our eyes could never see.” – George W. Russell
“Beauty lives with kindness.” – William Shakespeare
“Beauty is not something you buy; instead, beauty is what lies within.” – Byron Pulsifer
“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.” – John Ray
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Happy New Year to you and your skin! After the holiday season’s festivities, your skin is likely feeling dry, dull, and possibly even breaking out, so now is the perfect time to start some new skincare habits in order to bring the life back to your complexion. Here are the five skincare resolutions that everyone should make – and stick to.
Drink More Water
This sounds like an easy one, but so many of us don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Did you know that dehydration is one of the main causes of dullness and fine lines on the face? Essentially, a lack of water can actually cause you to look older. There are so many more skin benefits to drinking water – it not only helps to reduce lines, but hydrated skin cells are also plumper and firmer which, in turn, gives youglowing and visibly firmer skin. Skin cells are more efficient in repairing damage that causes ageing when they are hydrated, too, so drinking more water actually has anti-ageing benefits.
A top tip to ensure you are drinking the recommended two litres (or three litres in the warmer months) of water a day: invest in a large reusable water bottle and set yourself a goal for how many times you refill it per day. Also, most fitness apps (i.e. Garmin, MyFitnessPal, Fitbit) have a water-tracking option where you can set a goal and input your intake each day. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
We all know that it’s important to wear sunscreen on the beach and by the pool. We want to avoid burning and increasing our risk of skin cancer, but not everyone is aware that sun damage can happen through the mildest exposure to the rays and even when it’s cloudy. Here’s why you want to protect the skin on your face from sun exposure: UV rays can damage the skin’s elastin and collagen, leading to premature ageing. This damage only shows years down the line, but just because you can’t see it today does not mean it isn’t happening.
Sun exposure also causes pigmentation, sometimes called “sun spots”. You can reduce the appearance of pigmentation with certain products or regular skin peels, but it is much easier to prevent the effects by using sunscreen every day. The great thing is that many skincare brands now produce lightweight facial sunscreens with very high protection, such as the Clinique Super City Block Daily Face Protector SPF 40. This can be applied over your moisturiser and under makeup without feeling heavy on your skin and is perfect for daily use.
Add a Serum to Your Skincare Routine
The most basic skincare routine usually involves a moisturiser, but do you use serum? A serum is applied underneath your moisturiser and gives you extra skincare benefits that you just can’t get from a moisturiser alone. There are so many options when it comes to serums for every skincare concern and every budget, which means you can personalise your routine to exactly what you need. For example, if you want anti-ageing benefits, The Regenerating Serum from La Mer helps to diminish lines and wrinkles. GlamGlow’s SUPERSERUM, meanwhile, is fantastic for reducing open pores and refining the skin’s texture.
Start Using Facial Massage Tools
Tools such as a jade roller or gua sha stones not only feel amazing on your skin, but also help with lymphatic drainage and relaxing facial muscles which, in turn, helps to reduce both puffiness and lines. They also help your skin serums and moisturisers absorb better, so use them as part of your nighttime skincare routine to really get the best out of their benefits. If you prefer to use a facial massage tool in the morning, keep yours in the fridge for an instant pick-me-up in themorning. Unsure of where to start? Follow @fit_faces on Instagram to learn some great techniques from Natalia Broberg.
Change Up Your Nightly Routine
Your skin cells repair themselves at night, mostly between the hours of 11pm and 2am, which is why a good night’s sleep is so important when it comes to keeping your skin youthful and preventing premature ageing. To help this process even more, you can add in extra products and moisture to your nighttime skincare routine to create the optimal environment for skin cell repair.
Night creams such as Resilience Multi-Effect Night byEstée Lauder give you double the richness and benefits of the day cream to nourish skin while you sleep.The brand’s Advanced Night Repair serum actually helps in the repair process and reduces the ageing effects of daily skin damage, so it’s another great addition for your nighttime skincare routine. These are just examples, but you can add richer creams, oils, and repair serums to really give your skin a helping hand and wake up with beautifully glowing skin. Now go forth and stick to your skincare resolutions!
In my experience, the standard response to this question is:
“It’s winter – why do I need to wear sunscreen?” “It’s cloudy and overcast, so no.” “I have no plans to go out today.” Or my favourite: “Sunscreen is for Caucasians, and I am much darker, so why should I wear sun cream?”
Almost all skincare experts agree that if you live in a place like Dubai, you should wear sunscreen 365 days a year, especially if you are Caucasian (and even if you are not). But let’s delve further into the why.
What Is the Difference Between Solar Radiation and UV Radiation?
Solar radiation – or the sun’s rays – includes ultraviolet radiation (UV), infraredradiation (IR), and visible radiation (which enables us to see). In this article, we are only interested in UV radiation which, for our purposes, comprises of UVB radiation and UVA radiation.
UVB radiation is the shorter, more energetic radiation and about 5-10% of total UVR. The inflammation of the skin (sub burn) and the resulting reddening of the skin (erythema) are mainly caused by UVB radiation. UVA radiation has a longer wavelength and less energetic radiation, and forms about 90-95% of total UV radiation. Therefore, the bulk of UV radiation reaching us is, in fact, UVA.
UVA, because of its longer wavelength radiation, penetrates our skin deeper and is responsible for photoageing (premature ageing of skin caused by sun exposure). UVA radiation is a longer wavelength radiation and penetrates our skin deeper, which causes the breakdown of collagen (what gives our skin its structure and resilience) in our dermis (second layer of the skin).
This can lead to premature ageing characterised by hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and so on. Tanning is also mainly caused by UVA. Both UVA and UVB negatively impact the body’s immune system. It’s also possible for the skin on your eyes to burn, causing inflammation andcataracts (the latter in the long run), which is a major source of blindness globally. Most notably, both UVA and UVB have been implicated in skin cancer (UVR, including UVA and UVB, is a recognised carcinogen).
Sun Damage Can Be Worse than You Think
No amount of serum or anti-ageing product changes the fact that sun damage is cumulative. That means your skin does not ‘forget’ the number of times you forget to apply sunscreen. If it did, then we would not age. In fact, the main cause of extrinsic ageing (which is ageing caused by diet, lifestyle choices, and the environment) is exposure to UV radiation.
Some estimates attribute visible ageing by UV radiation to as much as 90%. Unfortunately, by the time we are adults, we will have experienced the bulk of sun exposure. Based on a 78-year lifespan, the Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that by the time we are 18, we will have experienced 23% of sun exposure – and this rapidly increases to close to 50% by the age of 40.
Where Does Sunscreen Fit In?
Sunscreen products can be effective in preventing sunburn. Scientific findings also suggest that they can prevent the damage linked to photoageing and protect against induced photo-immunosuppression (suppression of adaptive immune responses caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation). Therefore, it’s really important that sunscreens contain filters that protect against both UVB and UVA radiation.
Why Should You Wear Sunscreen Every Single Day?
The temperature in our environment changes by season. In Dubai, the temperature can even go well below 10ºC in the winter. But temperature is not related to UV radiation. The factors that affect UV radiation (and therefore photo-damage) are geography, altitude, time of year, day and weather conditions, and reflection.
Weather conditions refer to cloud cover – while it may be hazy due to sandstorms during the summer months in Dubai, that’s certainly not the case in winter. The skies are clear, and that means there are no blockers for UV radiation. Similarly, surfaces such as snow, sand, water, and grass reflect UVR, which can hit us if we are not wearing adequate sun protection. If you like to go trekking during the winter, keep in mind that the higher the altitude, the greater the UVR exposure as the atmosphere is much thinner there.
Do I Need to Wear Sunscreen If I’m Not Caucasian?
There is no such thing as totally UV-resistant human skin. All people of all skin tones stand to benefit from sunscreen. As an Indian who’s concerned with the vanity aspect of sunscreen and how it delays photoageing– which not only includes wrinkles and fine lines, but also uneven skin tone and pigmentation – sunscreen is a really cheap and effective method to preserve the existing health and age of your skin. So, using it even if you are Asian might be the smartest skin investment that you make.
But Does It Matter If You Spend All Your Time Indoors?
Remember that UVA radiation is the enemy here and, unlike UVB (which cannot penetrate glass), UVA (which causes premature ageing) can penetrate glass – irrespective of whether it’s a car, a train, or an office window.
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Think winter, think dry skin and moisture loss. Sadly, the cooler months require as much attention to your skincare routine as summer. If you haven’t already adjusted your skincare routine to match the weather (beyond simply continuing to apply sunscreen), you might want to consider these winter skincare tips to make your skin glow.
Tip One: Exfoliate
Nobody wants to do a full-body exfoliation when it’s cold, but you accumulate more and more dry skin on the surface of your skin when you don’t. This makes skin look scaly, dry, and wrinkled – or older than it is. The problem is made worse with age as the rate of our natural outer skin shedding (desquamation) goes from 28 to 40 days.
Tip 2: Take Care of Your Lips
It is tempting to keep drinking scorching drinks in the winter, but doing so means that your lips are constantly exposed to hot surfaces and burn. This contributes to increasingly chapped lips that no amount of lip balm can seem to fix. Also, if you are South Asian, you may notice your lips become darker during the winter – I believe the excessive hot drinks makes this worse. Exfoliating your lips, even with just a simple mix of sugar and honey, will reduce the dryness. My favourite lip product is NIOD’s Bio-Lipid Concentrate, which evens lip colour over time.
Tip 3: Use a Mild Soap and Don’t Take Scorching Hot Showers
Hot showers increase the rate of trans-epidermal water loss, which causes the skin to lose more water (moisture) and become dehydrated. Your skin will thank you for taking short and warm showers instead. Also, use a milder soap as the surfactants (cleansing agents) are less harsh on your skin. The mildest soaps (with fragrance) that I have used are from Forest Essentials – the brand makes excellent handmade silk soaps that I absolutely love. As the product contains very few hardening agents, I take it out of the shower and allow it to dry between uses. Otherwise, it will just turn into an unattractive puddle!
Tip 4: Apply Moisturiser Straight Out of the Shower
You have a couple of minutes when you come out of a shower before the rate of trans-epidermal water loss from your body starts to increase, so be sure to reach for your body and face cream to moisturise! Also, penetration of moisturisers is easier when the skin is damp. Damp skin in the winter is the perfect time to use body butter as the oil forms an occlusive layer (essentially, a film) on the epidermis, thereby preventing water loss.
Tip 5: Use a Mild Cleanser and an Overnight Face Mask
Our facial skin takes a real beating during the winter. The temperature indoors and outdoors can vary widely, and this difference can make your skin barrier very sensitive. Be kind to your skin and use a mild cleanser or cut down on your current cleanser. An overnight face mask adds more hydration to your skin without much effort.
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You may have seen LED light therapy in several different forms. A popular one resembles a Star Wars stormtrooper mask. Well, this is what is known as LED phototherapy. Much like me, you may be skeptical at first when it comes to LED light therapy, as it can seem like a gimmick. However, it comes highly recommended by dermatologists, aestheticians, and doctors. From facials to at-home devices, LED light therapy is becoming increasingly popular. But what exactly is it? Let’s dig deep.
LED Light Therapy
Looking for a new and improved way to treat your skin conditions? Say hello to LED light therapy! This non-invasive treatment uses light-emitting diodes to emit different wavelengths of light and is known to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, sun damage, pigmentation, and eczema. Best of all, there is no downtime required and the treatment time is short – perfect for busy bees! Plus, it’s safe for all skin types and has been clinically proven to be effective (depending on the wavelength used). And what’s not to love about the free catnap included in the treatment?
How Does It Work?
We all know that plants absorb light energy to help them grow. But did you know that our skin can do the same thing? When we sunbathe, our skin absorbs the sunlight and we develop a tan from the energy of the sun. LED phototherapy uses this same principle to stimulate and repair cells.
In fact, it can work up to 200% faster than natural processes, which helps to regenerate and repair the skin. As the light triggers a whole cascade of skin-enhancing processes, your skin still reaps the benefits, even after the treatment has finished. If you would like a more visual and detailed video, you can find it here.
Are the Results Real?
The results speak for themselves. The great thing about light therapy is it’s not just for the face; you can use it all over the body. You will see many images online to prove that the treatment works. A friend of mine used Dermalux LED light therapy in her clinic on a client’s hands to treat contact dermatitis, showing amazing results. You may see detailed photos of before and after LED light therapy results here.
I am often asked about LED light therapy in my day-to-day work. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions with my answers:
How long does it take per session?
It all depends on the wavelength of the light being used, but roughly speaking, you can expect to sit under those LED lights for anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes per session.
How often do I need to have this treatment?
Twice a week is recommended for optimum results, but it is safe to have this treatment daily and, although very beneficial, it would not be necessary and isn’t too budget-friendly unless you have an at-home device. If so, go ahead!
How long do I need to maintain the treatment to keep the results?
Results can last several months, but maintenance is key with most treatments. After your course, I would suggest at least once a month or every 2-3 months, depending on what skin condition is being treated. The more severe the condition, the more maintenance is required. And don’t forget that your daily skincare is also considered maintenance.
What are the benefits of using LED light therapy?
Helps fight acne formation and reduces bacteria
Lowers redness, swelling, and bruising
Accelerates wound healing
Improves skin rejuvenation
Stimulates hair growth
Repairs sun-damaged skin
Stimulation of the synthesis of new collagen
Improvement in skin elasticity
What do the different LED light colours do?
Most LED devices have red and blue light therapy or red, blue, and near-infrared light. You may often see a pink light, which is a combination of red and blue light. Light therapy is versatile, and you can personalise treatments in many ways! Here’s a quick breakdown of what each colour does:
Red – One of the most popular and the most commonly used. Red-light therapy has been shown to stimulate the synthesis of new collagen, improve lymphatic circulation, reduce wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, reduce inflammation, and stimulate hair follicles. It can also help with muscle recovery.
Near-Infrared Light – This is invisible to the naked eye, but it has a whole host of benefits. It can boost metabolism, trigger the healing process, recharge mitochondria, stimulate white blood cell production, reduce body fat, promote cell regeneration, increase energy, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation.
Blue Light – This is best suited for acne-prone skin, but it should be avoided if you have pigmentation concerns. Blue light has been shown to reduce oiliness, breakouts, blackheads, and whiteheads. It also kills bacteria, making it an ideal treatment for bacterial skin conditions. Blue light can also prevent acne formation by reducing inflammation. It is also known as the “happy light” because it has been shown to improve mood.
What do the different wavelengths mean?
The longer the wavelength, the deeper the penetration delivers energy to the cells. Different LED light wavelengths mean different things for your skin. If you’re looking for a light that penetrates deeply, you’ll want to find one with a longer wavelength. The most clinically evidenced and scientifically proven wavelengths for optimum absorption are:
Red – 630nm-640nm
Blue – 405nm-420nm
Near-Infrared Light – 800nm-900nm
I have some fine lines and wrinkles; is it anti-ageing?
The short answer is yes! Red light and near-infrared light combined would be the best for this. This combination is amazing for skin rejuvenation, loss of elasticity, fine lines, and wrinkles.
How is it a different light from a tanning bed?
Tanning beds use ultraviolet light, which not only emits heat, but also causes pigmentation to become darker and age spots to develop. UV exposure can also cause a whole cascade of health and skin problems, including causing skin cancer and skin ageing at lightning speed.
LED light therapy, on the other hand, uses low-level light, which does not cause any of the problems that UV exposure might cause. Instead, it helps to improve the quality of the skin. LED light therapy is a much safer and healthier option than tanning beds.
Can LED improve hydration in the skin?
Yes, red LED light therapy can improve hydration levels in the skin by stimulating your skin’s fibroblasts and encouraging the skin to retain hydration. However, there are more beneficial treatments, such as the HydrafacialMD, which will also include light therapy if hydration is your main concern.
Will it improve my acne?
It will certainly improve acne and breakout-prone skin. You will see significant results, but it will not completely clear acne just using LED alone. Along with these treatments, a consistent skincare regimen and looking after your gut health are the most important for acne-prone skin.
If I have a client suffering from acne, blue light therapy would definitely be a part of their treatment programme. Results vary from person to person depending on factors like lifestyle and hormones, but I have seen incredible results from blue light therapy.
I find my skin is dull; is it good for brightening?
Yes, studies have shown that red and near-infrared light used together offer the best results for dull, sallow skin with a lack of radiance.
Will it affect my eyesight?
All devices should be used with protective goggles to block any light and be perfectly safe.
Is light therapy more beneficial than other treatments?
Light therapy is such a versatile treatment that it can be added to existing treatments to enhance its benefits. It can also be added to intensive treatments such as micro-needling to calm the skin and reduce bacteria and redness. Still, it is an incredible standalone treatment that gives clinically proven results. And don’t forget you can also use LED light therapy on any area of the body! If you need to be more budget-friendly, but have skin issues or concerns, then definitely book this treatment as a standalone.
Is it expensive?
It varies on location, device, and whether it is a standalone treatment or an enhancement to another treatment. It can often be included in some treatments, but if not, it is usually cheaper to add to the treatment. Price varies from AED 100-400.
When should I not use LED light therapy and why?
I would avoid light therapy if:
You are taking Accutane or similar medication as the skin can be sensitive to light
You are pregnant
You suffer from epilepsy
You take medications that cause light sensitivity (such as Tetracycline)
You are currently taking steroids or cortisone injections
Can I do this myself at home?
You certainly can! I wouldn’t expect miracles to happen with at-home devices. However, they are great for maintenance and skin rejuvenation. Most at-home devices are a lower level wavelength, so instead of only having to use the device for 10 minutes, you may have to wear it for up to 60 minutes for optimum results.
When it comes to LED light therapy, there are plenty of options on the market. But as the saying goes, “research is best before you invest.” So, to save you some time, I’ve compiled a list of recommended brands:
What to Look For
When it comes to choosing an LED light brand, there are many factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that the brand offers a minimum wavelength of 630nm. You’ll also want to look for brands that offer clinical studies to back up their claims. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to consider convenience and time.
Did You Know?
“After extensive trials, NASA scientists found that using red light is extremely beneficial to humans. The red light was used to speed up the healing process of astronauts’ wounds in space. Further research found that aside from healing wounds, red light can also stimulate the skin’s production of collagen and elastin.”
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Prolonged exposure to harsh sun rays can lead to premature ageing, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and a decrease in the skin’s natural elasticity. Prevent these issues by choosing the right product and practising religious sun cream application stat! Don’t know where to begin? Here are our top seven sunscreen picks that will protect your skin from the scorching Dubai sun.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
This Supergoop! sunscreen is the absolute holy grail for a lot of skincare enthusiasts in the beauty realm. It’s a lightweight broad spectrum sun protection cream that leaves no white cast upon application, making it the perfect choice for when you want to go bare-faced or apply underneath makeup. If you’re sensitive to scent and particular ingredients, you might want to opt for this product as it’s scentless and created with clean chemicals.
This award-winning sunscreen is another favourite among men and women alike. Regarded as one of the most effective sun protection formulas in the market, this non-comedogenic UVA/UVB sunscreen from La Roche-Posay provides advanced protection in a weightless, matte finish. It is also packed with healthy ingredients free of parabens and fragrance, making it a great choice for every skin type.
Want to give the K-beauty trend a try? Try this broad protection sun cream from COSRX. Containing 5,500 ppm of aloe vera leaf extract, this popular Korean skincare brand provides extra hydration and a deep soothing effect for all skin types. Its light formula keeps the skin looking fresh and natural, even after constant reapplication through the day.
Another beauty pick that sits atop many beauty aficionado’s vanity is this SPF 50 sunscreen from Anessa, a brand owned by Shiseido. This Japanese skincare favourite is formulated with hyaluronic acid and green tea extract that aids in hydrating the face and body while protecting it from environmental stressors. Additionally, its strong yet lightweight formula makes it the best sun protection product for both day-to-day errands and outdoor activities.
Protect your skin from the harsh Dubai sun with this pick from Neutrogena. True to its name, it provides an invisible finish, keeping the skin shielded from the harsh heat without giving off an unwanted white tint. It’s also the best choice for when you’re heading to the beach or the pool as it claims to be water-resistant for 80 minutes. For best results, apply a generous amount on the skin at least 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply after every two hours.
A great mineral sunscreen that won’t break the bank is this variant from distinguished skincare brand CeraVe. On top of powerful sun protection, this drugstore favourite contains ceramides and niacinamide that work to replenish the skin barrier. It’s also free of parabens, fragrance, and oils.
Don’t have a lot of extra time in the mornings? Cut your prep time with Sisley’s tinted sun care cream. The light and silky formula helps it seep into the skin easier, giving it extra TLC without any unpleasant greasiness. It is also filled with beneficial ingredients such as the vitamin E acetate that gets rid of free radicals, edelweiss extract that strengthens the skin barrier, and sage and marjoram essential oils that soothe and stimulate the skin.
Today, July 15th, marks National Clean Beauty Day in the US, celebrating mindfully created products that feature ethically sourced ingredients and take both human and environmental health into account. But with no official definition in place, the term ‘clean beauty’ brings with it a sense of ambiguity – and a whole lot of questions. Does sacrificing synthetics impact their effectiveness? Is clean beauty as elitist as the rest of the wellness industry? And does it only cater to goop-reading, yoga-practising, ashwagandha-taking vegans?
Unanswered questions translate to myths that need to be debunked, so we turned to three different experts for their insights: Lorraine Dallmeier (CEO of organic cosmetic science school Formula Botanica), Mukta Purain (founder of clean beauty platform MissPalettable), and Deepica Mutyala (founder of clean beauty brand Live Tinted). Listen in.
Myth 1: Clean Beauty Is Preservative-Free
LD: “Well, that’s clearly not the case because a preservative is necessary to make a safe and stable product. When I first got into natural beauty, everyone was all about avoiding preservatives, claiming they’re dangerous and carcinogenic. But it has calmed down a lot, which is a good thing. We’ve played a big role in that by going out there and saying that not only can preservation protect your formulation and your customer, but it can also be done safely because there are lots of naturally derived preservatives on the market now. But it’s absolutely okay if you don’t want to work with preservatives. You just have to stick with anhydrase products, which don’t contain water – oils, butters, balms, that sort of thing. You’re limiting yourself in the formulations that you can make, and there is nothing wrong with that.”
MP: “It comes down to shelf life – if a product is free of preservatives, it means that it’s really natural and has to be used almost immediately. But in general, it’s impossible to create a preservative-free product with a shelf life of two years. There are a lot of misconceptions around preservatives – whether it’s in beauty, food, or anything else. And they get a bad rap, most of which stems from packaged food. But the difference here is that no one is going to buy a moisturiser with a three-week shelf life. The one exception is things like bar soaps and solid shampoo, which don’t need preservatives because they’re dry. But as soon as you have any form of liquid in your product, you need preservatives – otherwise it will spoil.”
DM: “Not true – a lot of people equate clean beauty with preservative-free beauty because of parabens. Historically, parabens were one of the key ingredients that clean beauty standards avoided, but it really doesn’t mean clean beauty is free of preservatives. The reality is that you need preservatives in your makeup and skincare to avoid bacterial growth and degradation over time.”
Myth 2: Clean Beauty Isn’t Fun
LD: “Our mantra is that everyone can and should formulate because it’s fun, easy, and empowering. It’s a bit like learning how to cook. One of my colleagues wanted to formulate for the first time, and I suggested he try out a lip balm kit. He’s got two kids – they’re six and eight – and they did it together. They made it and labelled it and gifted some to their grandmothers. Everyone was just blown away by these lip balms. They still use them. And they were like, ‘When can we do this again?’ Anyone can do this, and it’s so much fun, so I think clean beauty is actually a ton of fun.”
MP: “Clean beauty started off very organic, very wholesome – it was for people who had sensitive skin and wasn’t as fun at first. But things have changed. Technology has advanced, formulations have advanced. In the past, you had founders who were slightly older creating such brands, but a lot of them these days are millennials. They’re trying to create brands that are both conscious and connect with the kind of lifestyles they live so the colours are a lot more pigmented, the branding is so much more vibrant – and this is just the beginning. Take Bouclème, a hair care brand that we carry on MissPalettable. Hair care isn’t really that exciting, right? But its packaging is bright, the social media pages are full of curly hair influencers, it’s very real. At the same time, its bottles are made of sugarcane waste.”
DM: “A complete myth! Our Huestick and Hueglow are super fun. What is the definition of fun anyway? It’s different for everyone. You have to think about who your target consumer is and what they want. Do they want fun makeup or makeup that works overtime? Creating fun clean products if possible. It just requires a little bit more work to bring the formula to life because the laboratory you work with may not want to experiment as much, and there could be higher costs involved – but that’s the burden of the company, not the consumer. So absolutely, making fun products is possible, it might just require more patience. The industry is moving towards the clean beauty standard, and that means the innovations are coming. It is the responsibility of the brand to figure it out.”
Myth 3: Clean Beauty Isn’t Effective
LD: “What’s interesting is that we have to define what ‘effective’ means. The beauty industry has been telling us that we don’t look right, we don’t smell right, we aren’t right for a while now. It tells us to erase the sands of time and halt the aging process – something you can’t do when you use natural. And yet what’s happened as a result of the indie beauty movement taking off is that big brands have started to research all these botanical extracts, so I don’t agree that clean beauty is ineffective because a lot of the high-performance extracts that we use can be derived from plants. We can keep our skin healthy and clean and glowing with botanical ingredients, so again, it’s a myth that has been put out there, sadly.”
MP: “Before the term ‘clean beauty’ came about, it was natural and organic. And are natural and organic versions more effective than mainstream products? I’m not sure. But clean beauty is broader in the sense that it’s about formulations that do not contain harmful chemicals. There’s a spectrum – some clean beauty brands claim that there are no chemicals in their products, which is a lie because everything is a chemical. At the same time, you’ve got brands that are more balanced, every ingredient in their formulations serving a function. It all comes down to the person behind the brand. Deepica, for example, created the Huestick because South Asians have dark circles. That’s where I feel clean beauty brands are a lot more effective; there’s a passion and a reason behind them.”
DM: “Another myth. What is the definition of effective? Are we talking really long wearing power or breathability? Being a clean beauty brand is redefining the meaning of some of these words. Are we going to be able to match the performance of those liquid lipsticks with 24-hour claims right out of the box? Maybe not. It’s reasonable to think that they are formulated with ingredients that are on the clean beauty ban list. On the other hand, effectiveness might mean breathability, and one of the things we’ve learnt in this post-pandemic world is that people want wearable makeup that lets their skin breathe – that itself is considered effective.”
Myth 4: Clean Beauty Isn’t Inclusive
LD: “It’s an important point because clean beauty can be a little non-inclusive. For starters, it tends to operate in skincare. Hair care is harder since it contains a lot more water and therefore needs more stabilisation. We’re seeing some awesome indie brands that cater to curly and coily hair types, but they’re in the minority. Indie makeup is still quite rare because making cosmetics with natural pigments that aren’t derived from a lab is hard as well. And again, you have the issue with different skin tones that aren’t catered for because you have a teeny tiny budget and launch with only a few products. The other thing is clean beauty can be quite pricey because, obviously, you’re not pumping your products full of water and stabilisers, which is what the big brands are doing – and that pushes up your cost and retail price. It can lock some people out of the marketplace. There’s a lot of work to do at all levels.”
MP: “Let’s take Bouclème as an example again. It’s huge on inclusivity because its products cater to a population that was hardly considered before. Personally, I don’t agree that clean beauty isn’t inclusive because a lot of clean beauty brands were created as a result of their founders feeling excluded by mainstream brands. Michele Scott-Lynch started Bouclème because she and her children have curly hair, and she just couldn’t find products that worked. She also wanted her brand to have a conscience, so it’s paraben-free, sulfate-free, and vegan. Skincare is still most inclusive because you’re dealing with skin types, not skin tones. I mean, it’s only recently – after the likes of Fenty Beauty and Huda Beauty – that we’re starting to see some inclusivity in makeup. It’s happening because the founders of these brands are people of colour themselves, and the same thing is carrying over into clean beauty.”
DM: “False! Live Tinted’s mission is to bring clean, vegan, and cruelty-free products that work on all skin tones. We are here to dispel such myths. For some reason, there’s this mindset that if something is clean, it doesn’t show up on your skin. The reality is that you can make products that are pigmented and work on deeper skin tones, yet are clean. Take our award-winning Huestick, for example. One of the things that was very important was to make a buildable formula because different people have different layers of dark circles and dark spots that they want to cover, which is what makes our products truly inclusive. This myth mainly comes from the fact that there aren’t that many clean brands focused on the BIPOC consumer. And that’s where Live Tinted comes in. It doesn’t mean clean inclusive beauty cannot be done. It just means there is room for brands like ours to grow.”
Myth 5: Clean Beauty Requires a Lifestyle Overhaul
LD: “I disagree, clean beauty should be for anyone who wants to participate. Some can be very purist about it, but you’re going to alienate people that way. The one thing that everyone should embrace, however, is sustainable beauty. That’s a far bigger issue. Literally no one talks about consumption because the beauty industry is set up to encourage infinite economic growth with finite resources. And it doesn’t work because we only have one planet. The average woman has 16 beauty products on her bathroom shelf, so I once asked the Sustainability Director of Shiseido how the brand is encouraging people to use fewer products and she admitted to feeling stumped. I don’t think it matters if you’re clean or not, vegan or not. What matters is how sustainable our beauty habits are – that goes for the brands making them and the people buying them.”
MP: “No, that’s not true. Clean beauty is becoming increasingly inclusive, but you exclude people by saying it’s only intended for vegans or vegetarians. Suddenly, you’re clean-shaming people. It comes down to a personal choice. When you take an interest in clean beauty, you’re already thinking about taking a more conscious approach. It’s because you’re taking a step back and examining your life. But it’s got nothing to do with going vegan or practising yoga or anything like that – it’s more about you internally. And such things take time. I mean, you’re not going to become this extremely conscious minimalist overnight. I feel like the first step is acknowledging it, then slowly adjusting your choices over a period of time. Even having one vegetarian meal a day is a start.”
DM: “A lot of the clean beauty conversations revolve around ingredients, but sustainability is also a major component. It’s not about solving that problem alone and on day one. However, if we collectively take small steps towards that goal, it will have a massive impact now and an even bigger one in the future. Does it mean you need to throw away all your products and only buy clean? No. What you can do as a consumer is find products that work for you and the environment – playing with new products is part of the fun anyway. Look at our Huestick Multisticks – you can create an entire look with only one product! You shouldn’t have to overhaul your lifestyle. Instead, you should feel proud and excited to make small changes that can have a big impact on you and the planet.”
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Sun exposure is one of the biggest causes of premature skin ageing there is, so it’s vital to have good sunscreen products in your skincare line-up. But what if you’re trying to avoid traditional sunscreens that contain lots of nasty chemicals?
Thankfully, there are lots of new sunscreens that don’t use harsh chemicals and still offer great protection from the sun. Add that to their anti-ageing properties, loads of antioxidants, and fast-absorbing formulations as well as being organic, vegan, and reef-friendly (with recycled, reusable, or refillable packaging), and these everyday beach buddies are not only great for your skin, but also the environment. The Gaggler videographer Emma Brain tested three hot sunscreens to see which shone through as the best sun protection of the bunch.
Watch the Video: All Three Sunscreens Put to the Test
Ixora Ultimate Protection Sunscreen (SPF 40)
Need to Know:
Protects from harmful UV rays and contains concentrated amounts of Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, which is a natural SPF that’s also high in antioxidants, nourishing the skin as well as protecting it.
Face masks have been around for thousands of years. Cleopatra was known to use Dead Sea mud, and some Egyptians even used crocodile dung masks that allegedly gave a youthful appearance (thank goodness those days are over). But do you really need to add face masks to your skincare routine?
Here’s the Lowdown
Face masks are not completely necessary and will not dramatically improve your skin overnight. However, they can be beneficial in many other ways. They don’t offer long-term benefits, but can certainly offer short-term benefits such as reducing inflammation, oiliness, breakouts, skin tightening, and hydration. I recommend incorporating them once a week to continue improving your skin health and texture. If you have an event to attend, they are great for prepping your skin for an amazing glow!
More importantly, taking time out for yourself to put on your favourite face mask improves your mood and can be great for your mental health. You are more likely to do something relaxing while putting on a face mask such as taking a bath, watching a movie, or taking a nap. Who can say no to some good old self-care?
Types of Masks
These masks are usually filled with hyaluronic acid, green tea, and aloe vera to give your skin an extra boost of hydration, calm, and soothe.
Clay masks draw out impurities and usually contain kaolin, which is oil-absorbing and wound healing – great for oily/breakout-prone skin!
Proceed with caution when doing DIY face masks. Avoid lemon juice and aspirin, and stick to more calming ingredients such as yoghurt and aloe vera as they are usually safe to use. Just be aware of any allergies you may have. If you like experimenting with at-home face masks, then definitely try this DIY mask!
I am a lover of multi-masking. My skin is dehydrated, oily, breakout-prone, and I have post-inflammatory skin pigmentation so I like to use two masks at once. You can even layer or sleep in some of these masks! Here are some of my favourites.
I love the consistency of this mask – it’s creamy rather than clay, so if you want something a little richer, this one is a great choice as it gives amazing results.
Benefits: Hydrates, soothes, replenishes, and detoxifies skin
Contains: Lactic acid, salicylic acid, mandelic acid, and tea tree leaf oil
Tip: This is a great multi-mask product. If you suffer from blackheads, I would recommend using this as a treatment in those areas and multi-mask with a different mask of your choice. This mask also contains lactic and mandelic acid, which are exfoliating ingredients known as AHAs, so I would avoid exfoliating beforehand as this could cause dryness/flakiness and irritation depending on your skin.
This mask is great because it’s not only a face mask, but it’s also great for us as a spot treatment. If you have a pimple, but don’t want to apply the entire mask, you can just put some on the area and leave it on. It is non-drying so, unlike some clay masks, it won’t leave your skin feeling dry afterward. Plus, it’s surprisingly hydrating.
Benefits: Balances excess oils, purifies the skin, soothes, and hydrates
Contains: Rose geranium, kaolin, rose damascena, and marshmallow
Tip: I would sleep in it when spot treating as it draws out the impurities and helps to reduce the size of the pimple and inflammation.
This is a quick and easy mask to use, and is perfect for dehydrated skin, which makes it great for travel, especially on or after a flight due to the dehydration your skin goes through while flying.
Replenishes hydration and prevents water loss
Provides antioxidant benefits
Calms and soothes
Contains: Aloe vera, green tea, and panthenol
Tip: Both the Medik8 and ZO sheet masks can be put in the fridge for a cooling and soothing effect. This is especially great for sunburn or post-professional laser, micro-needling, or peel treatments (make sure to check with your practitioner first, though).
Looking for beauty products to add to your ever-evolving collection? Look no further. The UAE is home to several brands that offer a wide range of products to keep your hair, skin, and makeup in check this summer – and beyond. Here, we share our picks of the 10 best products by locally based brands.
KJ Serums Triology Fresh Vitamin C Serum
Kathryn Jones established her business following a longstanding career in the UK under the biopharmaceutical sector. With her thorough background and passion for skincare, she launched KJ Serums to bring effective products to the market using unique ingredients and special formulations. The Triology Day serum is packed with amazing ingredients such as pure L-ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and ferulic acid, all proven to combat ageing, damage from UV rays, and hyperpigmentation.
Launched by makeup artist and award-winning beauty blogger Huda Kattan, Huda Beauty has cemented itself as one of the world’s most popular makeup brands today. Hailed as “a filter in a bottle”, the brand’s liquid foundation has become a staple in every makeup enthusiast’s kit. It offers 24-hour coverage, a luminous finish, and a fragrance-free formulation.
Specially formulated with UAE residents in mind, Shirley Conlon Organics produces luxury skincare products that perfectly adapt to heat and humidity. The brand’s signature Rose Hip Oil is a weightless blend of botanicals and antioxidants that promotes anti-ageing, reduces the appearance of scars, and repairs the skin from sun damage, effectively giving the skin a healthy natural glow.
Aiming to inspire makeup junkies with her unique approach to beauty, founder Nina Ubhi started her brand with the mission to create products that enhance natural features. Part of The Classic Collection, the false lashes in Poppy give the eyes a soft and natural look without weighing the lids down.
Professional makeup artist and founder Natasha Zaki launched Glossy Makeup in response to the market’s lack of beautiful, yet affordable beauty products. The Ombre Brush Collection is specifically designed to aid its users in creating a flawless makeup look. It’s also completely vegan and shed-free!
Rooted in founder Mouna Abassy’s Moroccan heritage, IZIL aims to showcase the beauty rituals perfected by Moroccan women for centuries through its bespoke products. The Nutritive Oil is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that nourish dry and dull hair, keeping it soft and shiny throughout the day.
Founded by sisters Huda and Mona Kattan, Kayali fragrances are inspired by the rich culture and sophistication of the Middle East. The Citrus | 08 puts a twist on your typical fragrance, combining Italian bergamot, pink grapefruit, rose centifolia, musk, and oakmoss for its key notes. It’s the perfect scent for those who want to emulate casual elegance and youthful freshness.
Shiffa started when Dr. Lamees created the brand’s famous Pregnancy Body Oil out of personal necessity. Today, the brand takes pride in being the only luxury organic skincare brand established by a doctor expert in healing science. The Sweetness Body Polish gently exfoliates the skin, effectively giving it a soft and refined texture. On top of that, the luxurious oils infused in this body polish hydrate and nourish the skin for a healthy, youthful glow.
Brand founder and managing director Aly Rahimtoola launched the brand in hopes of providing the market with beauty products that make the skin look good and feel good. Formulated with 95% natural ingredients, the Himalayan Micellar Water provides the skin a thorough cleanse without stripping it of its natural oils and hydration. If you have sensitive skin, you might just want to check out this award-winning product.
Priya Judge and Gayatri Sagar have always been committed to providing “cruelty-free beauty with a purpose”. They firmly believe in using ingredients that promote natural beauty, and it is highly evident through their product releases. The Boss Babe Face Mist is a versatile addition to any skincare routine as it can even out skin texture and reduce skin irritation without the use of fragrance, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.