Taking Care of Your Skin During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, anatomical and hormonal changes can cause many skin imperfections. The skin changes, but fortunately, there are things you can do to soothe and reduce these discomforts.

Here is a list of common skin changes that can occur during pregnancy:

STRETCH MARKS
Almost 90% of pregnant women will notice their skin cracking revealing pinkish traces on their abdomen. After giving birth, these stretch marks fade, but they never disappear completely. So you might as well treat right from the beginning of the pregnancy to prevent their apparition.

What to do?
Exercise and moisturize quickly and intensely the areas you know will stretch, the abdomen, the breasts and the hips among others. Massage in a circular motion with a replenishing body butter. This is relaxing and it also improves skin circulation.

MASK OF PREGNANCY
Also known as melasma or chloasma, the mask of pregnancy is characterized by local brown spots on the forehead and cheeks. During pregnancy, your body produces more hormones which increases pigmentation. Nearly 50% of women will show signs of this problem and on 10% of them, the problem will persist or will reappear with the use of the contraceptive pill. That’s why maintaining good habits is fundamental to avoid these spots.

What to do?
Take your protective shields out: SPF 15 (minimum) sun care cream, hat, light covering clothes. No need to mention that you should avoid sun bathing!

IMPERFECTIONS
Hormonal upsets during pregnancy disrupt sebaceous glands that increase their sebum production and make the skin oilier and more prone to pimple breakouts, to acne and imperfections.

What to do?
Adopt a strict beauty routine to purify your skin. Choose adapted products and visit your beauty professional to get the best advice for your skin. Avoid the use of harsh products that could irritate your skin even more.

You can also use anti-imperfection products to correct and conceal minor imperfections.

VARICOSE VEINS
Varicose veins are the bluish veins that appear on the legs. If you have a family history of varicose veins, chances are that you’ll also be dealing with this discomfort.

What to do?
Avoid standing or sitting for long periods, walk to increase your blood flow, wear support stockings, take your dose of vitamin C to keep your veins healthy and lift your legs up regularly.

ITCHY SKIN
With stretching skin often comes dryness and itching. If late in the pregnancy, the symptoms worsen, you should talk with your doctor.

What to do?
To soothe the discomfort, it is important to wash with gentle products and to keep your skin well hydrated.

And maybe we could conclude on a positive note by talking about the PREGNANCY GLOW. As a matter of fact, during pregnancy, your body produces 50% more blood and this gives the skin a pinkish glow. Moreover, the skin retains more moisture, which plumps it up smoothing out fine lines. This little extra could all make us blush with envy…

Our Tips for Happy Feet

Did you know that one quarter of your bones are in your feet? Even if they are one of the most under-appreciated limb in our body, they are the most overworked and the most reliable that can handle mile upon mile of supporting our body weight. Giving them a little TLC would provide relief not only for your feet but for your entire body.

Here are a few tips to get you started in your spa pedicure right at home:

  1. Prep: Remove your nail polish and file your nails. Do not forget to light a candle and put on your favourite playlist. This should be a precious moment.
  2. Soak: Soak your feet in warm water. You can add Epsom salt, nice essential oils if you have some and even a few drops of olive oil to keep skin moisturized. Relax for 10 minutes and pat dry gently.
  3. Exfoliate: Slough off dead skin under the feet, on the heels where it tends to get calloussed, and around the ankles and work your way up the calves. Massage and exfoliate gently and avoid irritated skin. You can make your own scrub using your Néolia butter by adding either brown sugar to it and even ground coffee for an even deeper exfoliation. You’ll get a great scrub at a bargain price. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
  4. Moisturize with your favourite Néolia butter: Be sure to massage the full calves and feet with enough pressure to relieve tension. If you have the time for a full treat, massage with a ball under your feet.
  5. Beauty finish: Finish with a nail treatment or a nail polish if you feel like it.

We strongly suggest that you massage your feet every day, especially at night, with your oil-enriched butter. Just cream you might think. Try it for a week, your feet will feel prettier, smoother and certainly happier. As the summer approaching, it’s a habit more-than-worth establishing.

Just love your feet, they sure love you!

Dandruff: Harmless but So Annoying

Dandruff is a common benign condition affecting almost one out of two persons, mainly younger men. Marked by itching and flaking skin on your scalp, the symptoms tend to worsen during the dry winter months.

Pinpointing the exact cause of your itchy, flaky scalp can be difficult but the most common factors that could investigate are:
-dry skin resulting from dry air
-irritated skin also known as seborrheic dermatitis (a more severe form of dandruff)
-not shampooing enough which causes skin accumulation
-overgrowth of a yeast called malessezia
-eczema and psoriasis can also inflame the scalp area as well as other parts of the body
-your personal care products may also cause contact dermatitis

Probably the most important thing to do to control dandruff is to shampoo regularly with a mild shampoo and conditioner, rinse very well and practice good hygiene.

While you are at it, stop scratching to relieve irritation and relax, stress can worsen the situation. If that doesn’t work, ask your pharmacist to recommend a dandruff treatment shampoo. Alternating the type of product can also help achieve the best results.

Source: dermatology.ca

The Best Soap for You

The eternal shower and bath question: Bar or body wash? Ask around and you’ll probably get firm answers. Either you are strictly a body wash person or forever loyal to your bar soap.

Here’s our input on the matter:

If you are just looking for a way to get clean at the end of the day, the bar soap is just as effective as your body wash for getting your skin rid of any dirt, oil and bacteria, and it is much cheaper.

If you are looking to maintain your skin’s natural balance, you have to read the labels carefully. Theoretically, a bar can have more of a drying effect because of its main ingredients, and a body wash is generally more pH balanced. However, our Néolia soap is quite unique because of its 17% oil content. That makes it a pretty good alternative to keep moisture in; because let’s be honest, washing is not really made to moisturize.

If you are concerned with bacteria, know that you have to rinse your bar after use and change it regularly (about monthly). If you are using a loofah, rinse it well too and store everything in a dry area.

If you are having extra thoughts for Mother Earth, the plastic bottles used for body washes are not usually the best alternatives for the environment. Think, less packaging the better.

After reading everything available on bars and body washes, you will probably still be sticking to your cleansing ritual but know that in any case, for healthy skin, your post-cleansing routine is as important as your cleansing routine.

Neolia butter and lotion: complementary or seperate entities ?

With a wide range of creams, butters and body lotions on the market, making a smart choice for skin care can become complicated.

In fact, moisturizers contain a combination of humectants and emollients. Humectants have an effect on moisturizing the skin and the ability to retain its water while emollients act on nutrition.

Understanding your skin’s needs and learning to read the ingredient list of a product will ensure you get the best results. Neolia products counter popular beliefs because of their high concentration in oil.

Here is a comparative chart of our products that may enlighten you when it comes to choosing what’s best for your needs:

Body Butter Body Lotion
Nutricious effet on dry skin Moisturizing effect for dehydrated skin
Non greasy and quickly absorbed Its 8% olive oil content gives it a film-forming effect
Ideal in the morning Ideal in the evening due to its long-lasting film-forming effect
Generous and silky texture Anti-drying

 

All in all, our butters and lotions have been formulated in a complementary way, to fulfil all of your skin’s needs. Now go ahead and take full advantage of that !

Olive Oil vs Coconut Oil: Who Is the Ultimate Winner?

For years, oils have been rated and ranked for their health benefits, their uses and their popularity as we are constantly learning about their characteristics and virtues…

Since olive oil and coconut oil are the favoured oils at Néolia, we decided to engage them in a superhero combat to determine which one is the ultimate oil…

HEALTH

Coconut oil has made a remarkable entry on the scene with its impressive amount of antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and thereby the risk of heart disease. However, its saturated fat content is 13 times higher than that of olive oil. Olive oil has become a very important player in health with its “good fat” renowned in the Mediterranean diet. It has been shown that a diet high in mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is essential to maintaining good health.

POPULARITY

For the past few years, foodies and influencers have been raving about coconut oil and its benefits. While olive oil has been making its mark for thousands of years, the coco trend has spread like wild fire.

USES

In kitchens, olive oil has proved its worth by offering unlimited health opportunities while coconut oil is slowing gaining more notoriety. Its saturated fat content allows it to be used at higher cooking temperatures and its exotic taste adds a little sunshine to our meals.

In cosmetics, both oils are used in shampoos, cleansers and moisturizers. The fatty acids and antioxidants they contain strengthen and protect the skin.

All in all, it’s impossible for us to proclaim a winner… Maybe you can help us choose which best suits your needs and tastes?

The Importance of Conditioning

Do you often look in the mirror and find yourself thinking your hair looks dull? Many things can contribute to making your hair seem less than unharmed even if you avoid the typical assailants such as hot tools. The drying effects of seasonal arid air both inside (thanks to your radiator) and outside (cold winter winds) not to mention tight ponytails and even brushing out tangles can have negative effects on your locks.

By skipping conditioner, you’re exposing your hair to tons of damage that will wear away the cuticle layer, making every strand appear thinner.

Conditioning as rule of thumb is key in helping to maintain the natural nourishment of your hair especially after doing treatments such as straightening, colouring, perming and other hair enhancers. The conditioner closes our hair cuticles and keeps the moisture locked in after the shampoo has lifted and stripped it. The added step is crucial to make your hair softer by coating the hair with a protective layer to your easily roughed-up hair cuticles (that look something like fish scales under a microscope).

Use the right kind of conditioner with cool water and your hair will not only be silky, smooth, hydrated and detangled, but healthier-looking too!

Tips to get your hair glossy as can be

Shiny hair is generally associated with overall good health. However, the products you use can make significant difference. The key is to find the right regimen to keep your hair clean and healthy.

Here are some hair care tips to help your hair become glossier than ever :

  • Never overlook conditioner. Conditioning the hair helps to trap in the moisture that is stripped by shampoos, treatments and accessories. In addition, it helps make the hair smoother, which facilitates styling thus minimizing hair loss.
  • Heat opens the hair cuticle and allows dirt to get in. It is best to avoid heat styling as much as possible. Alternating between letting the hair air dry and blow-drying can be beneficial as well as rinsing with cold water.
  • To keep hair healthy, a regular trim is a must.

We must not ignore the benefits of good diet, high in fatty acids and omega 3 and 6. Get enough of these essential nutrients and you will find your hair looking supple, bright and full of vitality from the root to tip.

 

PH and the Skin

PH is often at the centre of misleading marketing stories. To better understand why, let’s explore what pH really is.

PH measures the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. Its levels vary from 0 to 14, 7 being neutral, below 7 being acid and above 7 being alkaline.

The skin in itself does not have a pH level, it is the secretions from sweat and sebaceous glands in the skin that have a pH. The pH of these secretions can differ for each individual and different parts of their body. Together, they create an acidic mantel that protects the skin. The pH of this layer varies between 4.5 and 5.5.

Cleansers can strip this protective layer from the skin. Fortunately, the skin has the ability to immediately replace it after showering or bathing. That being said, the pH levels of the products sold on the market isn’t really what’s cause for concern. It’s among other things the pH-balancing synthetic ingredients in certain products that can irritate the skin and decrease its natural defences because the cleansing power of those ingredients are often too intense for the epidermis.

The best way to find out if a product is right for you is to try it out and see how your skin reacts. The skin it the body’s largest organ, keeping it healthy is all about being in tune to what it’s telling you…

Olive Oil 101

In order to help you overcome the total confusion that ensues as you stand in front of the olive oil section of your grocery store, here are a few important facts to remember in order to pick out the best ones for you :

6 categories of oil

VIRGIN OILS: THE BEST

  1. Extra virgin olive oil (maximum acidity of 0.8%)
  2. Virgin olive oil (maximum acidity of 2%)

REFINED OILS: OBTAINED BY CHEMICAL PROCESS

  1. Lampante olive oil (gold refined oil)
  2. Refined olive-pomace oil (with solvent)
  3. Olive oil (mixture of lampante oil and virgin oil)
  4. Olive-pomace oil (with solvent)

The 3 attributes of a good olive oil

If you wanted to become a sommelier in olive oil, here are the attributes you should look for:

  • Fruity taste
  • Bitterness
  • Pungent flavour

In search of a superior oil, here’s what you should look for:

  1. Extra virgin
  2. Date of bottling (to be discarded after 1 year opened or not)
  3. Buy from a producer you trust
  4. Bottled in a dark container

Olive oil has been praised for its cosmetic virtues for thousands of years and its nutritional claims are equally impressive. Studies show that diets rich in mono-unsaturated fats decrease bad cholesterol and significantly decreases blood pressure.

Unlike wine, olive oil does not get finer with age and fast consumption without moderation is in good taste!