The Pai Life | Skin, Wellbeing & Everything In-Between
Pai understand sensitive skin. Our certified organic skincare restores calm and confidence to unpredictable skin of all kinds. We scour the world for the most effective organic ingredients, and our commitment to product purity means we never use synthetics & irritants such as parabens, petrochemicals or phenoxyethanol.
If there’s one thing we get asked constantly, it’s “When will Pai make an SPF for sensitive skin?”. We totally get it – when it comes to sensitive skin, often the last thing you want to do each morning is load it with an SPF that might cause a reaction.
Sarah our Founder always felt like she had to choose between having calm, happy skin or giving it the broad spectrum protection it needed. Nothing out there could do both for her easily-irritated skin. That’s why we got to work creating our very own, and we’re thrilled to announce it’s here, Hello Sunshine!
In order for it to be suitable for everyone to use, we had to patch test for eczema-prone and sensitive skin. And because we wanted every shade and type of skin to love it too – whitening or greasiness wasn’t an option.
Hello Sunshine uses non-nano sized Zinc Oxide mineral particles which unlike Titanium Dioxide leaves no white cast on the skin and gives better protection too. What else is in there? Only good stuff. Our COSMOS Natural sensitive skin SPF also includes…
It naturally boosts the product’s UVA and UVB properties while also moisturising skin.
AKA Gossypium Herbaceum, this clever multi-functional ingredient helps protect skin oxidative damage caused by UVA, UVB, Infra-red and Visible radiation.
Organic Jojoba Oil
Soothes and softens skin and can resist oxidation caused by high temperatures.
Vanilla Extract & Mandarin Essential Oil
We chose these soft scents as they’re non-photosensitising, so don’t cause reactions when exposed to sunlight.
Blemishes occur mostly, but not exclusively in oily or combination skin, when an oil or sebum gland becomes blocked with excess oil and dead skin cells. While they can appear any time of year (usually at the most inopportune moments), this gland-blocking can be exacerbated when we pile on those extra products we tend to save for warmer months – from SPF to cooling after sun lotions.
So, how to avoid congestion?
Think about ingredients:
Rather than add to the problem, some products actually combat blemishes, if they’re packed with decongestive ingredients. Our favourite? Thistle oil, that’s why you’ll find it in our Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream.
Think about cleansing:
Keeping on top of pesky pores is a two pronged attack. First up, exfoliation is key to gently remove any dead skin, meaning products are less likely to build up on top. Next up, cleansing. If in warmer weather you’re more likely to wear SPF, you might find it necessary to double cleanse, to rid skin of that extra product. Our Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil – a powerful makeup and SPF remover– makes the perfect pre-cleanse. Once you’ve rinsed it off, skin should feel soft without any tackiness, that’s how you’ll know your SPF is all gone. Follow with our Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser for a nourishing, double cleanse.
Think about diet:
Beautiful weather does indeed call for balmy beer gardens, but it’s still best to approach the wine list with caution. Alcohol not only dehydrates skin, but also decreases important antioxidants in the skin – Vitamin A and C – which help to keep skin radiant and soft. Steering relatively clear of refined sugar and saturated animal fats will also help regulate sebum production too.
And should I be doing it? Two very excellent questions which, do not worry, we’ve got the answers to.
First up, what exactly is double cleansing?
Exactly as you’d imagine, it is the process of cleaning your face not once, but twice. For some people, that wear SPF every day, or heavy, waterproof makeup, double cleansing can be brilliant. Even if you just choose to do so occasionally, perhaps after evenings when you’re wearing more makeup than you usually do. If minimal makeup is more your thing, or you feel like your current cleanser removes all of your makeup without leaving behind any dirt or buildup, then we’d recommend you stick to what’s working for you.
Down to try double cleansing? Here’s how to do it right…
First up, removing that makeup. Enter, our Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil. Remove SPF and stubborn makeup (yes, even waterproof mascara) by massaging cleansing oil into dry skin. Add some water to lift off makeup – you’ll notice the texture will become milky – then rinse it all away. Free from alcohol and harsh irritants often found in makeup removers, our clever formula means even the most sensitive skin can now have easy, powerful removal too. No stings attached.
Next up, a calming, moisturising cleanser – and for that our Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser has you covered. Pat face dry with a towel after makeup removal, then massage cream cleanser into skin, breathing in that beautiful rose scent as you go. Wet the dual-effect cloth and use it to remove cleanser. The terry side is best for sensitive eyes while the muslin side is best for gentle exfoliation.
Ever used a facial scrub and thought, I could make this myself, how hard can it be right? While technically, yes anyone can make one, that doesn’t mean you should. Especially if you’ve got sensitive or reactive skin.
The main problem with scrubs is the exfoliating grains used in them. Whether you buy scrubs or make them yourself – common exfoliants include sugar, crushed shells and rice. Under a microscope all have sharp jagged edges which cause micro tears in the skin and strip away protective lipids. And yep, you guessed it, next comes redness and inflammation.
Our founder Sarah, says “I was so horrified at the harshness of exfoliators on the market it prompted us to create our all-natural, Jojoba bead alternative around six years ago. It’s become one of our most popular products in the line-up and is a personal fave of mine. It was the product that saved my skin and sanity when I had newborns to look after. It would clean, smooth, soften and enliven my skin all in one go – and the aroma (of gorgeous May Chang) would give me a mental boost too. Helping me keep the show on the road during the worst bouts of sleep deprivation!”
So what exactly are Jojoba Wax beads? Perfectly spherical, 100% natural and biodegradable, they gently roll across the skin to polish away dead skin cells and impurities – without scratching the healthy cells below.
The second issue is of course, in the name, and it’s the scrubbing. That’s an aggressive action – especially for sensitive skin. We recommend you approach exfoliation from the position of a ‘polish’ instead. The action should be gentle and provide just enough friction to slough away dead skin cells without it feeling abrasive. You will get the same end result of a smooth and invigorated complexion but without damaging the skin in the process. No brute force required!
Body scrubs on the other hand, we do actually encourage you to make yourself. Sarah shares her homemade body scrub recipe below:
“I used to make a homemade scrub (for the body only) from fine oatmeal and manuka honey. I sometimes added in a base oil like almond to loosen the texture and give it a bit more slip. It’s important to use manuka honey instead of regular honey because of its antimicrobial properties – always look for a high UMF or MGO rating on front of pack. You could use it as a scrub to exfoliate and then leave it on for 10 mins before washing off. The honey makes it very sticky so a shower afterwards is very necessary!”
The best thing about Instagram – aside of course from hours spent racking up holiday inspiration – is hearing your feedback and questions. And when it comes to the tricky topic of makeup, you guys had a whole lot of questions for us.
There has always been a love hate relationship between us sensitive-skinned-souls and makeup. We instinctively want to reach for it when our faces are flaring up, but then the ingredients inside can so often be irritating, that things get worse.
There are ways around this though. From choosing natural products to careful and kind makeup removal techniques, our sensitive skin specialists have got the answers to your burning questions…
Q1. What makes makeup tricky for sensitive skin?
A1. There are certain ingredients in mainstream makeup that can aggravate sensitive skin. Talc, PEGs, Silicones, Polymers, Stabilizers and Mineral Oil are toxic ingredients and can make the skin itchy and uncomfortable. Avoid ingredients such as: Bismuth Oxychloride – a by-product of lead, copper and tin and is often found in mineral makeup, Fragrance – a big one for sensitive skin, Silicones which are used to hold colour in place on the skin and will give it some waterproofing properties. Even though they give a smooth texture they act like cling film on the skin. Synthetic colours which are derived from petroleum and suspected to be human carcinogens and skin irritants. Go for natural and organic where you can to avoid these ingredients.
Q2. What makeup brands might be best for sensitive skin?
A2. We always suggest these brilliant brands; Inika, RMS, Lily Lolo and Vapour.
Q3. How can you be as gentle as possible while removing eye makeup with a Cleansing Oil?
A3. Make sure eyes are firmly closed when gently massaging cleansing oil over the eyelids and across the lash line.
Q4. Are makeup wipes okay once in a while?
A4 For so many reasons, no. Not only do they contain irritants which can aggravate sensitive skin but they’re also not effective at lifting-off dirt and bacteria, increasing the chance of breakouts. And don’t even get us started on their environmental impact…
Q5. How do you know if you’ve taken SPF off properly?
A5. If using our Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil, once you’ve rinsed it off, skin should feel soft without any tackiness.
Q6. Can I use the Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil to wash my skin without makeup?
A6. Yes – it gently dissolves dirt, excess oil and surface debris leaving the skin feeling clean and nourished.
Q7. Will rubbing my eyes with this oil to remove makeup me more prone to wrinkles?
A7. Quite the opposite! The oil provides slip so there is no wrinkle-inducing tugging on the skin.
Facial cleansing wipes have revolutionized the skincare industry, with almost every major brand developing their own variety.
They are, however, the one thing the majority of Pai customers simply cannot tolerate, with many reporting stinging, burning or redness after use.
In fact, a close friend of mine who isn’t prone to sensitivity at all recently woke up with flakey, inflamed and itchy eyes after using a well-known brand of ‘gentle’ wipes nightly.
Why are face wipes bad for your skin?
While they are super convenient, by their very nature facial wipes have to be soaked in some pretty potent ingredients.
Moist cloths packed on top of each other are a breeding ground for bacteria.
They sit on shelves for up to 18 months on a warm shop floor, and so require high levels of preservatives, alcohol and anti-bacterial agents to keep them usable.
These harsh synthetics are then rubbed vigorously into the skin, particularly around the delicate and extra-thin eye area.
As well as irritation, high levels of alcohol can also cause extreme dryness and premature ageing.
Particular ingredients to watch out for are:
– Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol (irritants)
– Parabens (controversial ingredients, here’s why)
– Phenoxyethanol (irritant)
– 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Dio (potent anti-microbial agent that carries the highest hazard rating, 8-10, on the Skin Deep Ingredients database. Read more here).
Why cleansers are better
Face wipes only remove impurities from the skin’s surface, and so have no other meaningful skin benefits.
A high-performance oil cleanser, like our NEW Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil removes every last trace of makeup, without any stinging or irritation. And because it contains our wonder-ingredient Rosehip Oil, skin is left feeling nourished and radiant too.
If a cream cleanser is more your thing, our bestselling Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is completely chemical, irritant and alcohol-free, and its high levels of Omega 3, Vitamin A, B, C & E keep skin soft and supple. Depending on how much makeup or SPF you wear, you might even like to use them both, as part of a double cleanse routine each evening.
Remember every part of your skincare regime contributes to a clear, glowing complexion, so there’s no point investing in a premium moisturiser and then using face wipes!
Every year on the 22nd April, Earth Day is observed worldwide as a day to celebrate the environment and raise awareness of environmental issues.
At Pai, we’re committed to reducing our impact on the earth – every single day.
Here’s a few things we’re doing right now:
Our Soil Association certification means we source ingredients that are grown to organic standards – without the use of pesticides and solvents. It also means all ingredients must be sustainable; helping us to invest in local communities and prevent over-farming. Organic farming encourages diverse eco-systems, allowing wildlife to flourish naturally with significantly more birds, plant species and pollinators (bees and butterflies) than non-organic farming. It also means that we never use endangered plant species, such as rosewood essential oil, helping preserve and protect the precious remaining sources.
Rather than transport heavy pallets of double distilled water from elsewhere in the country, we invested in a bespoke water filtration system. This system reduces our water consumption by 50% per year and uses 80% less energy than some systems. It also allows us to recirculate some of the waste water – meaning the way we make your products is much more efficient and eco-friendly.
We do our very best to avoid plastic across the range – opting for glass wherever possible (52% of the range is in glass packaging). Where we have to use plastic, we use hDPE and polypropylene, both of which are recyclable.
While PET is the most easily recyclable plastic, there are concerns about the migration of BPA (a potential hormone disruptor) into the product. It’s not something we feel we can risk, so all of our plastic packaging is BPA-free.
Our 200ml Cleanser Tubes are now made from 100% biodegradable and renewable sugarcane bio-plastic, something we are hoping to move all of our plastic tubes too soon.
The packing chips we use inside boxes are called EcoFlo chips which are made from maize-starch and are 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable too.
Caring for the environment is the right thing to do – and it also helps us sleep at night!
‘Easter is approaching. It starts on Good Friday, there’s Easter Sunday and then it ends on Diabetes Tuesday’ – Jimmy Carr
As Jimmy’s joke points out, ever since the confectionery egg came along Easter time has been synonymous with chocolate overindulgence.
The good news is that, though many of you may blame your breakouts on a sweet tooth, it isn’t chocolate per se that plays havoc with your skin.
The bad news is that the bucket load of refined sugar and animal fats in popular milk chocolate eggs do (more on that here)! To get your chocolate fix without the dreaded breakouts, follow my three top tips:
I’ve said it before but unlike its unhealthier relatives, dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) is full of antioxidants, promotes heart health and even makes us happier!
There are plenty of dark eggs available and some are even Fair Trade too – double brownie points!
Although it can be easy to get over-excited about your egg, put that mindfulness into practice and eat it in small portions throughout the day rather than munching the whole thing in one go!
Dramatic increases in our sugar levels cause the body to produce more insulin, which in turn causes more sebum to be produced. Excess sebum can clog pores and cause blemishes.
Moderating your sugar intake prevents these sudden spikes, and though chocolate may still result in a little extra sebum, the skin is more likely to be able to adjust to it without breaking out. If it is breaking out regardless, scroll down to the bottom of this blog post for the products we recommend to restore balance to blemish-prone skin.
STROLL IN THE SUNSHINE
If it’s a glorious Easter weekend, why not go out for a walk? This may not strictly prevent you from getting spots, but it’s great for the mind (and for de-stressing generally) and will stop those unsaturated fats from depositing themselves in any unwanted areas…!
As well as drinking plenty of water, you can hydrate your body through the skin too. Using a serum after cleansing and before applying your facial oil or day cream, means that all the hydrating ingredients in there get delivered much further into the skin (due to the size of the tiny water-carrying molecules inside).
We’d recommend our new Back To Life Hydration Serum, which provides your skin with a serious dose of hydration, perfect for warmer-weather skin changes.
DON’T FORGET THE BODY!
Your feet and legs have most likely been encased in tights, thick socks and boots for the last few months.
The arrival of spring signals the countdown to summer; it’s now not long until sandals (and, dare we say it – bare legs) are a daily occurrence!