Some tips for when you are having a "bad skin day"

Does diet affect the skin?
A sensible diet is one way to help yourself feeling good from inside out. Low fat diets are great in one sense, and going overboard with a no or extremely low fat diet can be a contributor to very dry and cracked skin in certain individuals. Salmon, herring and other cold-water fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help replace moisture in dry skin and hair. Diets with a bit of olive oil won’t hurt either. Both represent longer-term solutions to dry skin.

Do moisturisers make a difference?
An essential first line of defence against dry, itchy skin (next to a humidifier in your home, of course) is a good moisturiser. Moisturising is usually the final treatment of routine skin care. The lack of moisture in skin can contribute to a loss of elasticity, wrinkles and a generally aged appearance of the skin. The action of a good moisturiser should:

  1. feed moisture and "nourishment" instantly into the skin;
  2. combine with the moisture in the skin to help prevent moisture loss;
  3. help to regulate the "balance" of the skin - usually with the introduction of a balance of water and oil;
  4. render the skin soft and supple - a properly "balanced" skin has a natural softness; and,
  5. create a light, invisible, but effective, barrier which guards the skin against the external elements such as wind, heat, pollution, etc.

I love hot showers but I’ve been told to cut my showers short. Why?
The less time you spend under the nozzle, the better off your skin will be. Bathe in cool to tepid water as briefly as possible and no more than once a day. While you're in there, lather up with a mild, moisturising cleanser such as Circe. Skip deodorant soaps, since they often rinse away moisture along with dirt, and avoid high foaming strong soaps and shower gels. And don’t scrub too hard, particularly with a net shower puff or rough loofah. Hot showers and excessive cleansing combine to deplete the skin of its natural oils.

Why should I towel off lightly after a shower?
No matter how good your moisturiser is, it can't do its job if there's no moisture there to work with. That's why it's a good idea to apply it after you step out of the shower. A couple of pats with a towel will make you as dry as you want to be before you apply a moisturising lotion. You're trying to trap a little water in the skin in order to fight off dryness.

Can certain types of clothing make a difference to my skin?
Tight clothing can be a real trap – a trap for perspiration that is, which in turn, may soften the outer layer of skin. Looser-fitting garments allow sweat to be absorbed naturally and reduce the risk of damaging the surface of the skin. Damage to the skin surface encourages moisture loss.

Can sunscreen help my skin if I’m out in the sun a lot?
Some exposure to sun is healthy, however sunscreens can only goes so far in protecting ones skin from the effects of overexposure to sunlight. To really keep your skin soft and wrinkle free, stay out of the sun as much as possible, particularly during times of high solar radiation. By minimising exposure to solar radiation you help keep your skins soft youthful appearance. It is quite costly and painful to reverse some of the wrinkles we create by sunbathing.

During the winter months my skin feels particularly dry – why is this?
Winter is traditionally a time of low humidity. Skin takes a real beating during the winter because of naturally low humidity, dry heat and warm clothing. To make matters worse, we take long hot showers, which increase the skin's moisture loss even more. To protect your skin, take quick showers with lukewarm water using mild cleansers that will not strip natural oils. It is also important to apply moisturiser daily to help keep skin smooth and supple and prevent further moisture loss.

Skin Problems

Flushed cheeks?
Many people walk around with "sensitive" skin, constant flushing of their cheeks especially outdoors, and redness of their face all the time. Many of these people may in fact have a condition known as rosacea. Rosacea is actually quite common and characterised by chronic redness of the face with many broken blood vessels. Although more common in fair skinned individuals, rosacea may occur in all skin types. Redness and flushing of the skin can occur in response to many factors including stress, diet, sun and wind to name a few. Apart from avoidance of the causative factors, there are medications available that can be prescribed by your dermatologist to provide relief for this condition.

Small white bumps on backs of arms?
Keratosis pilaris is a very common and harmless condition that is characterised by small bumps on various parts of the body. The most common areas to see this condition are on the backs of the arms, the face (cheeks — where it is often mistaken for acne), and the buttocks. This condition may appear at an early age and become less pronounced with age. It often improves in the summer months while worsening in the colder weather. Although the temptation is to use an abrasive brush to 'flatten' these bumps, this will only worsen the condition. Keratosis pilaris responds best to moisturisation, often with an alpha hydroxy acid, as well as quick tepid showers and mild cleansers. Your dermatologist can also provide treatments as well as prescription medications for this condition.

Miscellaneous

What’s the difference between a Circe bar & soap?
Where to start! Putting things as simple as possible Circe is formulated to be friendly to your skin. Soap is not – no matter what claims are made on the packaging. All soap is made from oil or animal fat and alkalis. Soap works by washing the natural grease or sebum off the skin and in the process temporarily changes the skin from its usual acid state (around pH 5.5-6).

What's pH and why is it so important?
The extremely simple answer is that pH is a scale developed to measure the intensity of acidity or alkalinity by reference to hydrogen ions. Sounds complicated!

What’s important to note is that pH is a scale of measurement and as such is neither good nor bad. It’s the measurement relative to the circumstances that’s important. Using an analogy - 28 degrees centigrade may be a pleasant temperature for a spring day but if it’s the inside temperature of your refrigerator – call the repair shop because you’ve got a problem.

Most people have a skin pH that naturally falls between 5 and 6, so cleansers that are gentle and preserve this natural balance are best.

How often should I wash my skin?
All washing removes both dirt and the natural oils our skin produces. The golden rules are simple:

  1. No more than once a day;
  2. As short a time as practical;
  3. Use cool to tepid water;
  4. Use a mild and moisturising cleanser like Circe ; and,
  5. Towel off lightly & apply a moisturiser to still slightly damp skin.

Do we test our products on animals?
No. However ingredients developed for use in cosmetics and personal care products do undergo testing prior to being made available to cosmetic and personal care product manufacturers.

Does Circe contain animal derived ingredients?
No. None of the ingredients used in Circe are animal sourced. Some ingredients such as Stearic Acid may be available from plant or animal sources however our guarantee is that we always use the plant-derived ingredient.

Where can I buy Circe products?
Circe is sold direct through this website.

Why does soap feel more slippery than Circe?
Alkalinity. One of the raw ingredients used in soap is caustic soda, which is strongly alkaline. Strongly alkaline substances cause the skin to swell slightly which temporarily closes the pores. When pores close the sensation is that the soap is slippery. The slipperiness in soap has nothing to do with foaming, sudsing or cleaning ability. Ordinary household bleach, also strongly alkaline, feels slippery to the skin, yet does not suds or foam.

What makes Circe slippery if it isn’t alkaline like soap?
Moisturising ingredients. Circe bars contain, on average 38% moisturising ingredients.

Is Circe made from 'natural' ingredients?
The cleansing ingredients used in Circe come from renewable plant resources – predominantly derived from raw ingredients such as coconut oil. The raw ingredients are subjected to mechanical and/or chemical processes so that various components can be separated or recombined. In some ways the separation processes may be likened to the extraction of butter from milk. Butter is considered to be natural product extracted from milk. In a similar vein, when crude oil is distilled, the oil can be ‘fractionated’ into various components such as asphalt, diesel fuel and kerosene. Neither butter, asphalt, diesel fuel or kerosene exist ‘naturally’ in the real world – however the materials from which they are derived are considered natural.

How can I tell if a product contains soap?
Sometimes you can’t – but start by checking the ingredient listing. If the ingredients list includes the words ‘Tallowate’, ‘Palm Kernelate’ or ‘Palmitate’ with or without a Sodium or Potassium prefix then the product contains soap. Sodium/Potassium Tallowate is derived from animal fat.

What does pH balanced mean?
Good question – we’ve seen it on some packaging as well. Of itself, the phrase means nothing. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14 – some people may consider a pH of 7 to be ‘pH balanced’. If the product information isn’t any more specific you could write to the manufacturer or marketer to ask them what they mean.

What does pH controlled mean?
Of itself, the phrase means nothing. If the product information isn’t any more specific you could write to the manufacturer or marketer to ask them what they mean.