Frequently Asked Questions
• Absorb UV light and neutralize free radicals to protect the skin from sun damage
• Octyl Methoxycinnamate (AKA Octinoxate)
• Benzephenone-3 (AKA Oxybenzone)
• Octyl Salicylate (AKA Octisalate)
• Parsol 1789 (AKA Avobenzone)
• Reflect UV light
• Rests on top of the skin
• Zinc Oxide
• Titanium Dioxide
• Considered the “Burning Ray”
• It is carcinogenic, because it damages our DNA
• It stimulates melanin formation (tan)
• It significantly decreases antioxidants in the skin
• Impairs the skin’s ability to protect itself from free radicals generated by sun exposure
• It is strongest between 10:00am and 4:00pm
• It is strongest at the equator
• It is strongest at high altitudes
• It reflects off water, sand, concrete, etc.
• UVB is 1000 times stronger than UVA
• UVA is the longest reaching, deepest penetrating
• Considered the “Aging Ray”
• Now considered the “Cancer Ray”
• Impairs the skin’s immune system
• Makes up 95% of UV light
• Like UVB; can cause damage to the DNA
• It is strong at any altitude and globally (from pole to pole)
• It penetrates glass (including car windows)
• It is present 1,000 times more than UVB
Many drugs increase sun sensitivity, making it especially important to apply sunscreen, or avoid the sun altogether. Among these medications may be birth control pills, antibiotics, acne medicines, cancer drugs, and immunosuppressants. However, there are others. Ask your doctor if your medication increases sun sensitivity.
Although melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, in some cases, it can be easily detectable. Early detection is the key to avoiding deadly skin cancers. A cancerous mole tends to be a darker color, and tends to change color, size, and shape. If you have skin moles that have recently formed or an old mole that has recently changed, it is best to get it checked. It has been proven that excessive sun exposure can lead to the development of a cancerous mole. Our recommendation is to stay out of the sun and keep your skin protected by using an effective SPF to decrease your risk of melanoma. If you have a mole that you are worried may be cancerous, do not hesitate to get it checked out by a professional; better safe than sorry!
Yes. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor; therefore, when you wear an SPF 15 you are protected from the sun 15 times longer than you would have been without wearing sunscreen. SPF only refers to the protection that you get from UVB rays. Although these are the rays that generally do the burning, UVA rays cause your skin to prematurely age. UVA and UVB rays have both been proven to cause skin cancer. It is important to use an SPF lotion that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Something to look for when getting sunscreens is broad or full spectrum, meaning protection from UVA as well as UVB rays, and this will be most effective for your skin.
Sunscreens will reduce tanning, however depending on which products and what SPF you use, can depend on the amount of time that your skin is protected from the sun. All skin pigmentation, burning, and tanning is harmful and can lead to skin cancer. A safer option than outdoor tanning or tanning in a bed is tanning sunless. There are many great sunless tanners on the market that do not require you to spend any time in the sun to look tanned.
No. It is incredibly harmful for your skin to be exposed to UVA and UVB rays that cause the release of melanin, and in turn cause you to be tanned. The United States has enforced taxes on tanning beds to try and prevent people from using them. Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer, and there has been an increased rate of melanoma in younger individuals (ages 20-29) in recent years. It has been predicted that you are approximately 75% more likely to get melanoma if you have ever used tanning beds frequently. Having tanned, bronzed skin is not what makes a person beautiful, so next time you think about going tanning in a tanning bed, or outside, think twice. Is it really worth it? As well, there are many great sunless tanning products on the market that darken your skin without the risk of melanoma.
Yes, it is very important to take care of your skin in the winter as well as the summer. Although you are less exposed to the burning UVB rays, you are still being exposed to UVA rays, which cause skin to age. Therefore, it is important to use skin moisturizers and wear an SPF lotion especially when doing outdoor activities in the winter. As well, the harsh winter weather causes skin to be dry, itchy, cracked, and peeling. Extremely cold climates can have a very negative effect on your skin; however, there are some things that can be done to minimize these effects during the winter months. We recommend that you put a humidifier in your room, take a cooler shower, and moisturize after every shower or bath. Taking care of your skin during the winter months is important to fight the signs of aging.
Sunburns are incredibly damaging to your skin, so you should avoid them at all costs. If you are prone to sunburns and burn easily, use a higher quality SPF lotion and ensure that you use the proper amount. In addition, you should opt to sit in the shade frequently during times when the sun is highest (10am - 4pm), rather than sunbathing. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have been inflicted with a very harsh sunburn, there are some ways to decrease the pain and promote quick healing. Our recommendations for sunburn treatment include applying a cool compress, drinking plenty of fluids, and keeping your skin moisturized using a penetrating, moisturizing body lotion to ensure that the burn heals quickly and as painlessly as possible. We also recommend that you do not peel off your skin as your sunburn begins to flake, and that you be patient with it. Sunburns take time to heal, and you need to give your skin that time. By taking our recommendations, your sunburn will be a little less unpleasant.
A good way to judge if you have used the proper amount of sunscreen, is if all exposed areas (and areas under loose or light clothing) initially have a thick, white coating of sunscreen on them. Once applied, rub the sunscreen into your skin until absorbed but don't try and spread it from area to area or you'll risk not using enough. Once rubbed in, wait approximately 15-20 minutes before beginning your sun exposure. Also, remember to check the time so you know when to reapply.
You always hear that you can look at your parents to see how you’re going to age but this is not entirely true. The way that one looks in their youth is based on their genes, more so than when they are older. The way that a person ages is not strictly based on genetics, it is also based on lifestyle choices, one’s external environment, and how well you take care of your skin. Just because your parents got face wrinkles at a young age does not mean that you have to. By taking care of your body and your skin you can delay the onset of visible signs of aging.
You should begin to use anti-aging skin products as early as possible. When you’re young, the best way to fight the signs of anti aging is to wear an SPF lotion. You will begin to notice the signs of aging, such as crow’s feet, wrinkles, dark spots, lip lines, etc., when you are in your mid 20’s, and this is when it becomes essential that you continue to take good care of your skin. Finding a skincare line that your skin does well with, and using a regime that fits your skin type, is the best way to begin preventing the signs of aging. In your early 30’s, your body naturally begins producing less collagen, and this is when your skin begins to start sagging and wrinkling. At this time, you should begin to use skincare products specifically aimed towards anti-aging.
It is not the climate that will cause aged skin; it is how you take care of your skin in the climate. If you ensure that you are drinking enough water, using sunscreen when going outside, and properly moisturizing, then your skin will not appear to be as aged, nor will your skin be as affected by the climate. People who have dry, sensitive skin are often more prone to having a severe reaction to a dry climate and must moisturize more frequently.
No, wrinkles are caused due to aging and improper care. As we age, our body naturally slows in the production of collagen, which causes our skin to lose elasticity. This is inevitable, although there are ways to prolong the formation of wrinkles, and one of those is to take care of your skin. A lack of sleep can make the appearance of wrinkles seem worse at a younger age, so it is important to ensure that you are getting enough sleep so as not to accent any wrinkles you do have.
Free radicals break down collagen and elastin, and are responsible for the formation of wrinkles. Free radicals are molecules that are unstable, and steal from stable molecules, causing aging. Antioxidants are important to help stop free radical scavenging, and to control skin aging. A great way to get antioxidants is to use a moisturizer containing antioxidants, as your skin can absorb large amounts of them.
Scientifically known as Alpha Hydroxy acid (AHA), it is an all natural exfoliant derived from sugar cane.
Used to reduce the thickening where excess dead skin cells build up. Skin cell buildup can be associated with many skin problems, such as:
• Sun damage
Kara Vita glycolics are the most potent glycolics available without a skincare specialist’s prescription.
• Glycol-X Cleanser -10%
Pharmaceutical actives and bio-actives are used in the listed product.
Yes, but it is just as important to know the pH range of the Kara Vita Glycolic products, which is 3.5. The pH is important to know, along with the percentage of glycolic used, because it determines how bio-active the glycolic formula really is. For example, some skin care companies advertise that they have medical strength glycolic acid in their products at say 15%. But, if the pH on this product is 4.5, then the glycolic is mostly “inactivated”, demonstrating a deceptive way to make a dramatic claim.
They are able to improve skin clarity, reduce fines lines and wrinkles, and retexture the skin, for a smooth, younger-looking complexion. Once inside the skin, they trigger new formations of collagen to plump cells. Also, they are able to resurface the skin, taking off more dead skin to bring the impurities out, like black heads and white heads – as well as skin cells that might be pre-cancerous.
• START SLOWLY - At night, once or twice for the first week, then 2-3x per week, thereafter.
• Cleanse with 1-2 pumps of Glycol-X Cleanser, substituting it for the cleanser you normally use.
• Stay out of the eye area. When using this cleanser, the eyes may feel burning (like chopping an onion), because of breathing the fumes in through the nose.
• Masque, if it's a masqueing day.
• Hydrating Antioxidant Treatment- 2 ½ pumps over entire face. Can be used on the neck (as long as you have been using the regime on that area). This is an add-on piece. Again, stay out of the eye area.
• Eye Tender (if using)
• Antioxidants / Moisturizers
• SPF 29
When using the glycolic system you must use a SPF of at least 15 during the day, and not be out in the sun for long periods of time because glycolics bring new skin to the surface, and it will burn much faster.
If burning, you should use the product once a week for the first 2 weeks and then gradually move up to three times a week as your skin adjusts. If you develop a rash, you should discontinue use and try again in about two weeks. After two weeks has passed, you should start slower than usual. Follow directions as above for burning.
Dark under-eye circles and eye puffiness are common problems that many people suffer from. They can be results of genetics, water retention, hormone levels, allergies, lack of sleep, or many other causes. Often times, if you don’t drink enough water your body stores water as a defense mechanism, and that can cause water retention, or puffiness. Ensure also that you are getting eight hours of sleep per night and maintaining a balanced diet. In addition, Kara Vita's Eye Tender specifically targets dark circles around the eyes as well as eye puffiness and works to reduce both.
The skin around your eyes is very sensitive, and therefore requires a special cream that targets the eyes specifically. The skin around the eye is effected more harshly by weather and aging. Even if you use skin moisturizers daily, an eye cream is highly recommended. People of all ages can benefit from a firming eye cream, and it is great to get this into your daily routine early in order to prevent the visible signs of aging.
You can determine your skin type based on the typical (day-to-day) appearance and characteristics of the skin. If you suffer from skin dehydration, dry or flaky skin on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin, and have no visible blackheads you most likely have dry skin. If you have dry cheeks, but find that your t-zone (nose, forehead, and chin) is oily at times, then you most likely have combination skin. Furthermore, if you find that your forehead, cheeks, chin and nose are quite oily and slick, then your skin is most likely oily. In order to see what your skin type is, place your index finger on your cheek and push up. If you experience wrinkling, then you are on the dry side, and if there is no wrinkling, then you are combination to oily. Finally, if you have acne breakouts, as well as visible black and white heads, then you have acneic skin.
If you have sensitive facial skin, you need to use skincare products that won’t irritate your skin. This means that you need to find products that will calm the skin, rather than irritate it. You should also be very aware of your external environment when you have sensitive facial skin. It is important to avoid extreme temperatures, pollutants, spicy foods, strong fragrances, and try to minimize the stress in your life, as all of these factors could cause your skin to react negatively. Kara Vita has several products that are specifically designed to be used on sensitive skin.
Severely dry skin and skin dehydration requires that you moisturize intensely. Not only do you have to moisturize enough to replace the moisture that your skin is losing, but you also need to get your moisture barrier up. When you have really dry skin, your skin’s moisture barrier is weaker, which allows the skin’s moisture to escape more easily. The result of this is very dry, flaky skin. So moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! And use skin moisturizers specifically targeted towards dry skin.
Over time, the amount of oil that your skin produces should minimize. As we age, our oil glands begin to shrink and thus produce less oil. As this happens, your skin should become less oily. In the mean time, it is important to use a skincare regime that is specifically designed to help purify your oily complexion. This is important because if you do not take care of your oily skin, it can lead to congestion and a shiny look to your skin. In addition, it is important that even if you have oily skin, to still use skin moisturizers, as you can still suffer from skin dehydration even if your skin is quite oily.
Exfoliating is great for an oily face. It helps to slough away dead skin cells in order to prevent a buildup in the pores. As well, it helps to keep skin clear, and improve overall skin tone.
If you have had your “scar” for over a year then it is really a scar; anything that is present before one year’s time is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), and will most likely fade within a couple months. In order to speed up the healing of PIH, find products that include Glycolics Acid, Hydroquinone, Licorice Acid, and Kojic Acid. If you do have acne scars, especially face scars, you will want to see a dermatologist to discuss the options for scar removal. Although acne scar removal can be done, it will not completely remove all signs of blemishes and scarring. The best step for reducing acne scars is ensuring that you properly take care of acne while you have it.
The best advice we can give to you is to take care of your back the way you do your face, and to be patient. Acne removal can be a slow process, but it is worth it in the end. It is important to purchase quality skincare products, and to avoid products with benzoyl peroxide (bleach) in them. Bleach will not aid in the acne removal process, it just temporarily hides the acne, and in the long-term will actually cause more harm to your skin.
The first thing that needs to be determined is if what you are worried about is actually blackheads. If you have an area of your face where your “blackheads” are all evenly dispersed, then they are probably actually sebaceous filaments, which are permanent. If this is the case for you, we recommend that you see a dermatologist. If what you are worried about is actually blackheads (areas that are clogged unevenly) then you need to use products and serums to help shrink the pore size, and prevent them from filling back up again (glycolics are great for doing just that). Although blackheads can be treated, there is really no permanent blackhead remover.
Yes, there is a difference between blackheads and whiteheads. A blackhead is a clogged follicle that contains dead skin cells and oil, where as a whitehead is also clogged, but is not open and has barely any exposure to air. Blackheads are black because the clogged follicle is exposed to air, which causes oxidization. Because whiteheads are not open to air, they are not able to oxidize, and therefore remain white.
Your diet does have an effect on your skin. The foods that you eat can contribute to dry skin, oily skin and even acne breakouts. The recent craze of low fat/fat free foods is contributing to dry skin, as eating these types of foods deprive our body of essential fatty acids, causing water loss, and in turn, dry skin. As well, foods that are higher in fat cause some people's skin to breakout. The best thing you can do for your skin is to ensure that you are eating a balanced diet.
Many people believe that certain foods cause acne breakouts. Research has linked the causes of acne to excessive oil production, bacteria in the oil glands, plugged oil glands, hormone fluctuations, and inflammation. In recent years, there has also been a link between certain foods and acne. Research has proven that individuals have a higher risk of acne production if they consume dairy products and high glycemic-index foods. High glycemic-index foods cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Many people believe that chocolate and salty foods cause acne; however, this has not been proven.
No. Sun exposure is never the answer to any problems, including oil and facial breakouts, which you may be experiencing with your skin. Although tanning may seem like it is working because it is initially drying out your skin, the long-term effects are more negative than positive. As well, don’t think that putting SPF on your skin will increase the oil. Using an SPF is probably the best thing that you can do for your skin to even out skin tone and minimize oil and breakouts. If you feel that your skin will look better tanned, than sunless tanning is the better option to protect your skin from damage.
‘Pimple popping’ with your fingers is not sanitary and it can cause bacteria to spread. As well, it can lead to long-term scarring. In addition, when popping pimples you are forcing some sebum and dirt further down into your skin, which can lead to cystic acne, a much more severe form of acne. The best way to deal with a pimple is to purchase a spot treatment that will deal with the pimple in a sanitary manner, quickly and effectively, without leaving the area of the pimple inflamed and irritated. .
Nail growth changes can be a result of aging, as well as due to daily conditions and internal factors. If you are in poor health, or are lacking minerals and vitamins, your nails will show this. As well, nails can be affected by harsh environmental conditions. Although our nails are quite tough, they will show the wear and tear in the long-term if they are constantly exposed to chemicals, hand soap, etc. Finally, some conditions can change the composition of the nails. For example, eczema, psoriasis, and warts can cause the nails to change. In order to minimize the changes that your nails go through, you should avoid using your nails as tools, protect them from harsh environments, and ensure that you moisturize often. It is also important to avoid biting your nails, and don’t feel bad about pampering them!
Damaged cuticles occur when cuticles become really dry. This can result from weather conditions, washing your hands too often, or from biting your nails. A damaged nail cuticle is not a severe condition, and is easily treatable. Using a good cuticle cream and ensuring that you are taking care of your hands and keeping them moisturized is essential to cuticle health.
Kara Vita products are tested in accelerated stability ovens for 3 months, and are exposed to a constant heat of 97 degrees. We do not have to do this, we choose to do this. This information allows us to assess product viability over years while taking into consideration the factor of environmental stress.
The product most vulnerable to heat is the PBH Exfoliating Facial Masque. Heat activates the bioactive – pineapple extract. If someone was on a vacation and the enzyme masque was left in the mailbox for two afternoons at 114 degrees, there would be degradation to the activity and potency of the product component.
The antioxidants are also vulnerable, but the occasional stress will not diminish the potency. Cleansers, mists, lotions, and glycolics are stable for a few days with intermittent intense heat. Sunscreens are stable with constant intense heat.
It is possible that in extreme cold during the winter months, Kara Vita products may be partially or fully frozen by the time you receive them. We have run tests on a wide array of frozen product to see whether or not freezing has a negative effect on the product – it did not. If your product is frozen you should let it thaw naturally in your home or run it under warm water.
What you’re experiencing is a popular skin condition known as keratosis. Many people get skin bumps, and believe that they have pimples on the back of their arms, thighs or buttocks. This skin condition consists solely of a buildup of dead skin cells. The keratosis treatment that works best is to use an exfoliating wash that has Glycolic Acid with it, followed by a skin moisturizer. Within a few day’s time, you should notice a difference in your skin, and the affected areas should be much smoother..
Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone and the same goes for face washing. Although it is important to wash your face twice a day (in the morning and at night), it is not necessary to wash your face much more than that. If you end up washing your face more than a couple times a day you will end up causing more harm than good. It depends on your skin type whether or not your skin will dry out, but regardless, your skin will not react well to over-washing.
You are constantly being told to wash your hands and keep your skin clean and free of bacteria, but now, people are wondering if skin bacteria could be good for the skin. In fact, bacteria’s are necessary for life, and assists in optimizing your skin. There are many different types of bacteria found on the body, and some of them actually help in healing wounds and decreasing inflammation. Recent studies have also found that over-washing actually does more bad than good, as when you wash away the bad bacteria, you also wash away the good bacteria.
Collagen is the skin’s strength! It is what keeps the skin taut and gives it elasticity. Collagen is naturally produced in the deeper layers of the skin until the early to mid-twenties, when the production begins to slow down drastically. As collagen production decreases, the first signs of aging begin to show; therefore, it is important to use products that help to stimulate collagen production in the body. Kara Vita's 'UpTight ® Duo' helps rebuild the skins matrix, helping the skin to regain its youthful look and feel.