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April 05, 2018

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The Benefits of Exfoliation

Your skincare routine does not have to be so complicated. In fact, there’s one skincare game-changer that’s often overlooked: exfoliation.
While we can’t often see this buildup, without exfoliating, dead skin sits on the surface of the face, which often leads to dull complexions and acne.

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March 26, 2018

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A Guide to Acids in your Skincare Routine

 

Acids aren’t just for chemical peels! Acids serve a variety of purposes in skincare. However, sometimes knowing the different types of acids and their functions can seem quite daunting. But, if you learn more about them, you will see that the gentler or less concentrated versions of acids can have a huge impact on your skin’s appearance. In fact, they can be the difference between having a dull complexion and a dewy, glowing skin! Let’s go over some types of acids and their functions.

 

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) found in milk and milk products like yogurt and cheese. Lactic acid is what makes sourdough bread sour and is also present in fermented foods and drinks such as kimchi, pickled vegetables, and wine. Our bodies produce lactic acid naturally, so it’s not an entirely foreign substance to the human physiology. But what does it do in skincare?

AHAs such as lactic acid, have beneficial exfoliation properties, improving the skin texture and reducing the appearance of hyper-pigmentation and scarring. The outer layer of skin is sloughed off to reveal healthier skin underneath. Our Extra Exfoliation Mask uses lactic acid to remove dead, dull skin and reveal a radiant complexion.

 

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is another natural substance that’s produced by our bodies. It’s typically found in the joints—where it increases flexibility—and the skin, where it retains moisture, provides elasticity, and assists with collagen production. Hyaluronic acid is often recommended in supplement form for arthritis and injuries.

 As for its skin benefits, hyaluronic acid has many. Its biggest function is to hydrate the skin, helping to reduce dryness and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance. Two of our products feature hyaluronic acid: the Lost Baggage Under Eye Emergency Repair Mask and the No More Years Eternal Radiance Mask, both of which deliver a large dose of moisture to plump the skin and reduce signs of aging. 

 

Glycolic Acid

Another one that comes from the AHA family, glycolic acid is probably the most well-known acid used in skincare products and treatments. Since it is the smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids, it has the ability to penetrate the skin more easily, removing the outer layer of dead skin cells and revealing healthier skin underneath. It can also effectively help with skin issues such as blackheads, hyper-pigmentation, fine lines, enlarged pores, and blackheads. Best of all? Glycolic acid brightens skin, stimulates collagen production, and speeds up healing.

Derived from sugar cane, Glycolic acid was the first treatment-level ingredient to be incorporated into take-home skincare products due to its gentle nature and relatively low cost.  

 

Kojic Acid

While it may not be one you’ve heard of, Kojic acid is used in a drink you probably have heard of—a Japanese rice wine called sake. This acid is produced by several different species of fungi. It comes from the fermentation process in malting rice for the beverage and is beneficial for your skin for many reasons. Kojic acid is primarily effective in decreasing the skin’s melanin production, giving skin an overall lighter and brighter appearance. It also reduces sun damage, age spots, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. The result? A smoother, more youthful glow. Kojic acid is also antibacterial, so it can help preventing breakouts.

 

Now that you know more about various types of acids, keep an eye out for products that include specific acids to fit your skincare needs.
Which one of the acids you think would work best for your skin type and targeted, problematic areas?
Let us know in the comments!

February 06, 2018

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The 5 Best Vitamins and Supplements for Glowing Skin

Nobody can deny that skincare is an essential component of any beauty routine. After all, your face is the first thing people see when they look at you. We use cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and all the serums we can get our hands on to achieve that youthful glow we all crave, and yet how many of us are focusing on improving the appearance of our skin from the inside? Because yes, vitamin deficiencies will manifest themselves on your skin in the form of a dull complexion, wrinkles, and acne. Today we’re going to discuss how you can simply add some vitamins and supplements into your diet to give you a healthier and more youthful glow.


Sound good? Let’s dive in!


Here are 5 vitamins and supplements you can add to your diet for glowing skin:


1) Vitamin C


If you’re not eating your fair share of oranges, it’s time to start. Vitamin C is one of the most essential vitamins you can add to your diet for glowing skin. It helps stimulate the production of collagen, which is the connective tissue that keeps your skin looking firm. Get some vitamin C into your diet and say goodbye to those pesky wrinkles.


2) Vitamin D


This is an important vitamin to pay attention to, especially in the winter. Since vitamin D is primarily provided through exposure to the sun, if you live in a colder climate and sun exposure is limited in these chilly months, taking a vitamin D supplement might be something worth considering. Vitamin D is known to be a key player in helping to prevent acne and unwanted blemishes.


3) Vitamin E


On the other hand, if you spend a fair amount of time in the sun, and you’re starting to see its impact on your face, it might be time to get some vitamin E into your life. While proper sunscreen application is always the first line of defense in sun protection, vitamin E is an excellent source of secondary support. Vitamin E helps to absorb any harmful UV rays, which in turn reduces further wrinkles and any sort of skin inflammation.


4) Vitamin A


If you’re eating your vegetables, you should be getting your fair share of vitamin A. If your diet lacks greens, however, it will start to show on your face in the form of dry, flaky skin. No thank you! Ensure you’re getting the proper amount of vitamin A to aid in the repair of skin tissue. More cell turnover means a more glowing complexion and less wrinkles. Yes please!


5) Chlorophyll


One of the newer trends we’re seeing in the skincare world is chlorophyll supplements. With both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, we’re not too surprised that people have started picking up on the magical properties of this powerful green supplement. Chlorophyll supplements help in clearing up any blemishes and wrinkles, while also depuffing the skin for youthful vibrance. And the best part about chlorophyll? It’s full of vitamins A, C, E, and K, meaning all the vitamins above are all available to you in this one tiny powerful supplement. Four vitamins for the price of one? Count us in!



Switching up your diet and figuring out which vitamins you’re deficient in can be an absolute game changer in improving the overall appearance of your skin. Of course always consult your doctor before making any dramatic diet changes, but for the price of healthy glowing skin, we’d venture to say it might just be a conversation worth having.




February 02, 2018

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Four Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

Do you pay attention to the ingredients in your skincare products? You probably watch what goes into your mouth, checking food labels to avoid the biggest offenders. But have you read the packaging on your skincare products? You may think it’s not as important, because after all, you’re not eating your lotion or body wash (hopefully). Hold up a minute, though—the skin is the largest organ in the body! And when do you usually apply lotion or facial cream? After you wash, when your pores are nice and open from the steam or hot water. This means that your skin absorbs whatever you put on it even more than other times. But why pay attention?


As it happens, product companies often include certain ingredients in skincare only because they’re cheaper for mass production. They don’t care about the health of your body, as long as they make a profit. And some of the ingredients they add in are just as bad for you as eating those preservative-laden foods.


Parabens


Parabens are everywhere—in lip balms, lotions, makeup, skin creams—you name it. They’re listed under several names, but all end in -paraben (methylparaben, etc.). These little buggers unfortunately act like estrogen in the body, causing problems with hormones that can eventually turn into reproductive issues or even raise the risk of breast cancer. Basically, anything that disrupts hormone levels is something to be avoided.


Phthalates


While this may be one of the ingredients you overlook because it just looks like a jumble of letters, phthalates are one you’ll want to pay attention to. Phthalates are plasticizers, endocrine disruptors, and have been known to cause birth defects. Basically, they’re a chemical that gets added to plastic to make it more flexible; thus, they make the product able to stick to skin more easily. Some of the other health risks of phthalates include diabetes, autism, asthma, breast cancer, and fertility issues.


Sulfates


Sulfates, such as Sodium Lauryl and Sodium Laureth, are salt-based surfactants with little benefit. The majority of them only serve to give that rich lather in your shampoo, hand soap, and body wash. While most people feel that the lather is what gets your skin or hair clean, that is entirely false; the sulfates strip everything from your skin and hair, including beneficial natural oils. The result is dryness, irritation, and sometimes allergic reactions as well as oil overproduction to compensate. It’s best to avoid sulfates completely!


Triclosan


At one point, most antibacterial products such as hand soaps, bar soaps, dish soaps, and hand sanitizers contained triclosan. Thankfully, recent research has produced safer alternatives as well as proving that triclosan can potentially alter hormone balances and inhibit immune function. It also has been known to increase liver damage and contribute to the development of resistant germs—which is counterproductive, since that’s the very thing users are trying to avoid! Opting for a triclosan-free product is the best choice.



Despite its length, there’s no need to let a product ingredient list become daunting. Eliminating any dangerous ingredients from your skincare routine—even one at a time—will help to avoid health risks both now and in the future.


Luckily, BioRepublic makes it easy to avoid these four ingredients when shopping for sheet masks. All BioRepublic masks are formulated with healthy, natural ingredients and never include parabens, phthalates, sulfates, or triclosan. So you can relax when you’re wearing your BioRepublic mask, knowing that you’re helping your skin and your health!

January 31, 2018

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How to Prevent Smile Lines

Smile lines or laugh lines are a sign of a life well-lived. But as natural aging occurs, they can deepen and make us look older than we really are. While aging is inevitable, there are some ways to prevent aging prematurely and keep skin looking smooth and healthy as long as possible. Curious to learn how to prevent smile lines? Keep reading!

 

What Are Smile Lines?

 

Smile lines or laugh lines are layman’s terms for nasolabial folds. These wrinkles go from the edge of the nose and curve around the mouth. They appear when we smile or laugh, hence the name. However, as we naturally age, they begin to stay on our faces even when we’re not smiling.

 

Why Do We Get Smile Lines?

 

Smile lines occur due to a natural loss of volume in our skin as we age. As time passes, we lose collagen and hyaluronic acid from our skin. As a result, fine lines and wrinkles appear. Furthermore, the natural shifting of the face’s fat pads over time can make smile lines become more pronounced.

 

Some people are more predisposed to smile lines than others based on their facial structure and genetic background. However, certain factors can make smile lines worse, including:

 

  • Sun damage
  • History of smoking
  • Sudden weight loss
  • History of weight fluctuations
  • Dehydration

 

Smile lines are a natural part of aging, but don’t despair! There are certain steps you can take to prevent smile lines from developing prematurely.

 

How to Prevent Smile Lines

 

    1. Don’t smoke. Smoking breaks down collagen and decreases skin’s elasticity, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles.
    2. Prevent sun damage by wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen any time you go outdoors. Sun damage is the #1 cause of premature aging.
    3. Avoid “cleanses” and yo-yo dieting, as these can deplete your collagen stores.
    4. Adopt a healthy exercise routine. There’s some scientific evidence that regular exercise jumpstarts cell regeneration. Plus, exercise reduces cortisol, a stress hormone that breaks down collagen.
  • Don’t sleep on your side. When you sleep on your side, your pillow presses against your cheeks and encourages the development of smile lines. Sleep on your back instead, or position your head so that the lower half of your face is not on the pillow.
  • Moisturize your skin. As with other types of wrinkles, moisturizing can help to plump up fine lines and diminish their appearance. Hyaluronic acid is an incredibly effective weapon in the fight against smile lines. Look for a facial moisturizer or moisturizing serum that contains hyaluronic acid to smooth wrinkles.
  • Adopt a skincare routine that promotes collagen production. Smile lines are caused by a loss of collagen and skin elasticity, so look products formulated with ingredients that improve collagen production. Retinol, vitamin B3, copper, glycolic acid, and peptides are all known to boost skin’s elasticity.
  • Repurpose Eye Masks. Made with hydrating and collagen-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides, BioRepublic Lost Baggage Under Eye Emergency Repair Masks are perfect for use on the smile lines. Plus, their shape easily fits the contours of your nasolabial folds. Wear for around 20 minutes 2-3 times per week to deliver skin-nourishing ingredients where you need them most.
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    Are you worried about smile lines? Let us know in the comments!

    January 04, 2018

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    Puffy Eyes: What Causes Them and How to Fix Them

    Puffy eyes are typically attributed to a lack of sleep. But if you’ve been hitting the hay and STILL have bags under your eyes, there may be another reason why your eyes look so tired. Keep reading to learn what causes puffy eyes, and how to get rid of puffy eyes once and for all.

    What Causes Puffy Eyes?

    Bags under the eyes are actually genetic in root, and they can worsen over time. Structures supporting eyelids weaken and sag. Fluid then accumulates in the area, causing a swollen, puffy appearance. Unfortunately, some people are just more genetically predisposed to lose this natural structure.

    Daily habits can worsen the appearance of puffy eyes. Any habits that make you to retain water will cause more fluid to pool in the area, resulting in more puffy-looking eyes.

    How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

    Get Enough Sleep

    You’re not imagining it: lack of sleep really does make eyes more puffy. Yawning causes eyes to water, and this excess fluid around the eyes contributes to puffiness. Lack of sleep can also make the veins around the eye area more pronounced, leading dark circles.

    To get rid of puffy eyes, aim for at least 8 hours of beauty sleep every night. Sleeping on your back with extra pillows may also help to prevent fluid retention in the eye area.

    Stay Hydrated

    Dehydration can cause eye bags to become more pronounced. Aim to drink at least two liters of water every day. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, which can cause fluid loss.

    Avoid Sodium

    You probably already know that sodium makes you retain water in your body, and your under eye area is no exception.

    To cut sodium from your diet, choose fresh, whole foods over processed foods whenever possible. Keep an eye on nutritional labels, and avoid products with more than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.

    Treat Your Allergies

    Allergies can also contribute to swollen, puffy eyes. If you suspect that allergies are to blame, speak to your doctor about taking an antihistamine to prevent eyes from swelling during allergy season.

    Apply Eye Creams Correctly

    Wear and tear around the eyes is one of the main culprits of eye bags. When applying eye creams, dab product very gently using the ring finger only. Avoid using too much product, which can weigh down the delicate skin of the eye area. Also avoid applying product too close to the lash line, as this can cause eyes to water and contribute to further puffiness.

    Eat More Collagen

    Adding more collagen into your diet will help to strengthen the skin around your eyes and prevent eye bags. Consider taking a collagen supplement, or try making bone broth at home.

    Try an Under Eye Mask

    We get it: it’s not always possible to avoid sodium, get enough sleep, AND drink two liters of water every day. If your eyes are looking puffy, it’s time to try an under eye mask.

    Biorepublic’s Lost Baggage Under Eye Emergency Repair Mask restore eyes with a powerful combination of peptides, hyaluronic acid, squalene, rose water, and vitamin E. One pair of these professional grade eye masks will send bags packing. You’ll be bright eyed in no time!

    Written by: Colleen Welsch

    January 02, 2018

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    How to Get Enough Vitamin D This Winter

    Vitamin D has many important functions in the body: regulating moods, building healthy bones, and improving the immune system. Unlike most vitamins, humans actually get vitamin D primarily from the sun. During exposure to sunlight, the skin synthesizes vitamin D in a photosynthetic reaction to UV radiation.
    However, winter’s shorter days and colder temperatures usually mean less time in the sun. Plus, in northern climates, the sun’s rays are weaker during the winter. The result? The skin produces less vitamin D, causing depression, fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia.
    But don’t worry! There are ways to make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D this winter. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of vitamin D, and how to get enough when it’s cold outside.

    The Benefits of Vitamin D

    Adequate vitamin D levels are absolutely critical to maintaining long term health. Here’s just a few of the reasons why you should make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D:

    Healthy Bones

    Vitamin D improves the body’s ability to absorb calcium, which is the reason why you see it added to so many dairy products! By helping with calcium absorption, adequate vitamin D levels contribute to healthy bones.

    Better Moods

    Vitamin D also encourages to the production of serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin regulates moods, while melatonin regulates the sleep cycle. Without enough vitamin D, we may suffer from anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

    Improved Skin

    Vitamin D provides many benefits for the skin as well. Vitamin D contributes to skin cell growth, making vitamin D essential for maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin D is an effective treatment for eczema, and itchy skin condition which often plagues people during the cold, dry winter months. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce acne, which is why minor acne cases often clear up with exposure to sunlight. Finally, vitamin D acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that contribute to fine lines and wrinkles.  

    Tips for Getting Enough Vitamin D

    1. Get Outside!
    The most effective way to get enough vitamin D is to brave the cold and go outdoors for 20 minutes every day. Bundle up during your lunch break and take a brisk walk! You may be surprised that the temperatures don’t feel so cold when you’re exercising. Experts also recommend skipping your sunglasses for at least 10 minutes for more mood- and sleep-regulating benefits.
    1. Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin D
    You can also eat your way to better vitamin D levels. Try adding the following vitamin D-rich foods to your diet:
    Mushrooms
    Wild-caught oily fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna
    Eggs
    Beef
    Fortified dairy products
    Fortified orange juice
    Tofu
    1. Take a Supplement
    Unfortunately, it may be difficult to eat your way to healthy vitamin D levels. If this is the case, try supplementing your diet by taking vitamin D capsules. Experts recommend taking 2,000 to 3,000 IU of D3 supplements each day to experience the benefits of vitamin D (https://www.allure.com/story/vitamin-d-myths-facts).
    How do you make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D during the winter? Let us know in the comments!

    Written by: Colleen Welsch

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