Skincare Routines for Every Season!

Year Round Skincare

Happy Thursday everyone!  Anybody else ready for the weekend?

I have a special post today about seasonal skincare that was inspired by the people over at Dollar Shave Club.  As a company that provides an economical and convenient way to deliver razors each month, they also recognize the importance of a good daily skincare routine. They reached out to me to share my tips for keeping skin healthy and glowing all year long so let’s get to it!

Spring

Spring brings with it the renewal and resurrection of nature but, unfortunately, for most of us it also brings one not so great feature-allergies!  The watery eyes, itchy throat and nose, and constant sneezing coupled with allergy medication can leave your skin sensitized.  Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen as some medications can cause skin to become more sensitive with sun exposure and keep your skincare routine basic (cleanser, toner and moisturizer) until you’re in the clear.

Summer

Arguably the most favored season, summer signifies endless days at the beach and camping trips which can also bring about sunburns if you’re not careful.  It’s imperative to not only wear sunscreen but to also remember to reapply it every two hours or as directed.  In the event of a sunburn, ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile and yucca extract can help calm the burning and itchy sensation that often accompanies a sunburn. Dermalogica After Sun Repair is a personal fave!

It’s also good to include some type of exfoliation to help get rid of buildup that can clog pores.  Skip skincare products that contain retinols and AHA’s and instead use scrubs that contain spherical jojoba beads for a more gentler form of exfoliation. Low foam cleansers remove oil and debris without stripping skin.

Fall 

With summer over and temperatures dropping, now is a great time to step up your skincare routine and address any damage/sun spots that might have surfaced.  Incorporating a vitamin C serum in the daytime under sunscreen can help brighten and fade spots over time. Using a retinol serum at night can smooth the appearance of skin and using AHA’s like lactic acid can help both exfoliate and hydrate the skin.

And, with the pumpkin craze that hits the market this time of year, why not add a professional pumpkin peel to your facial.  Pumpkin peels are great for stimulating collagen and elastin production and reducing the sings of aging by softening fine lines and wrinkles.  A perfect skin treat right before the holiday madness and they smell amazing!

Winter

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, celebrating the holidays with dear loved ones and hanging out in the snow filled mountains; however, cold harsh weather can wreak havoc on skin, making it feel dry. Add in all the indoor heating, and you’re left with skin that is tight and itchy.  Combination to dry skin can benefit from a cream cleanser which is more hydrating and a richer moisturizer that contains ingredients like glycerin, squalane and shea butter. Oily and acne skin can still use a low foam cleanser but can implement a hyaluronic acid serum underneath their moisturizer to keep skin hydrated without feeling heavy or greasy.

If your skin is in good condition, you can schedule chemical peels to really resurface your skin and bring about a nice and healthy glow.  Just remember that sunscreen is still a must this season and every season.  Snow reflects about 80% of UV radiation so you want to make sure you’re protected.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

What are your tips for seasonal skincare? 

Stephanie 

 

 

Skin Tip: Dark Chocolate for Healthier Skin!

Calling all chocolate lovers!

Did you know that consuming 1 ounce of dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa contains high levels of flavonoids, an antioxidant which can protect against sun damage and reduce roughness in skin? Now you know. 🙂

Have a lovely weekend readers! 

Stephanie 

My Morning Skincare Routine!

Morning Skincare Routine

Hello readers!  It’s a lovely day here in sunny California which is always great but I’m feeling under the weather.  At the beginning of the year, I always manage to get sick and though I thought I had broken this spell, I’m sadly mistaken. 😦  Anywho, I hope all of you are doing well.

I often get asked what my morning skincare routine so here it is.  Since I am often testing and trying new items, the product lines I use vary but the gist of my routine is the same.

1) CleansingDermalogica Special Cleansing Gel  I used this when I was in school and I really liked it so I pick one up every so often when I go to IDI (Dermalogica Headquarters).  It’s a basic, soap free cleansing solution that foams but doesn’t feel harsh.

2) ToningDermalogica Multi-Active Toner   Again, another product I used in school that I liked, I spritz this toner to wipe away any residue left after cleansing- you’d be surprised by what’s left behind after you cleanse!  It’s refreshing, doesn’t sting and has the humectant Sodium PCA.

3) SerumRenee Rouleau Vitamin C & E Treatment I always make sure to incorporate a vitamin C serum in the morning.  It gives your skin antioxidants to fight free-radicals, results in a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, promotes the formation of collagen and can also reduce pigmentation due to its brightening properties.  (For more information on vitamin C, click here.)  Paired underneath sunscreen, it gives your skin extra antioxidant protection your skin needs from the sun’s harmful rays, which plays a prominent role in the breakdown of collagen.  This serum is one of the more hydrating vitamin C serums I have tried and I love the fact that it incorporates vitamin E, which nourishes the skin and enhances the effects of vitamin C.  (For more information on vitamin E, click here).  Apply to the face and extend to the neck and chest area.

4) Moisturizer/SunscreenDermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 A staple in any skincare routine is sunscreen!  I’ve purchased this product several times because it combines moisturizer and sunscreen in 1- a true time  saver. It’s light-weight, works well underneath makeup and is formulated with antioxidant white tea.

5) Eye CreamRenee Rouleau Total Eye Repair Cream  Using an eye cream is a must to hydrate the eye area, especially during the colder months, to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.  This one contains hyaluronic acid and firming peptides.  It does not irritate my eyes, which some eye creams tend to do, and absorbs quickly into skin leaving it moisturized without a heavy feel.  As for the firming effect, my eye area isn’t lax so I did not notice a difference in this aspect.

Disclaimer:  The Renee Rouleau products were recommended and given to me by Renee (thank you!), however, ALL reviews are based on my own honest opinions and experiences. 

I hope you found this helpful on how I keep my skin healthy and protected! 🙂

Have a great Tuesday,

Stephanie

 

Skin Tip: Consistency is Key to Great Skin!

It’s Friday readers which means my weekly skin tip. 🙂

Once you find the right products for your skin, you’re half-way to achieving healthy skin.  However, you need to establish a consistent routine to maintain your results.  Think of it in terms of a workout routine -sticking to it long term will yield results.

See you next week,

Stephanie     

Pumpkin: Skin Treat or Trick?

pumpkin

With the commence of fall in full gear and Halloween coming closer, pretty much everywhere we turn we are inundated with the sight of pumpkins and alluring scents of pumpkins laced with cinnamon and clove.  Similarly, around this time, spas often start to offer pumpkin peels.   Although yummy in pies and lattes, what makes pumpkins in skincare so special?

Enzymes!

Pumpkins contain enzymes that “eat” old, dry skin cells-think of them like a Pac-Man- revealing healthy, glowing skin. Pumpkins are rich in antioxidants vitamin C and notably vitamin A- the anti-aging superstar that minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. Pumpkins are also high in beta carotene, infusing skin with vital nutrients, and zinc which purportedly reduces the appearance of inflammation associated with breakouts.

A few brands that include pumpkin in their products are Eminence, Ayurmedic, June Jacobs and Murad.

Pumpkin Peels 

Most skincare facilities offer pumpkin peels which are often formulated with glycolic, lactic and/or salicylic acid that provide the following benefits:

  • Improves skin texture
  • Targets hyper-pigmentation and acne
  • Stimulates collagen and elastin production.
  • Helps with the cell renewal process.
  • Reduces signs of aging by softening fine lines and wrinkles
  • Hydrates the skin

Pumpkin peels are a great way to refresh your complexion right before the holidays not to mention they smell amazing!

Love pumpkin peels or have a favorite pumpkin product?  Do share your experience!  

Stephanie

The Beauty in Sleep!

sleeping beauty

What’s one thing college students, new parents, teenagers and more than half of the American population have in common?

Sleep deprivation.

As important as it is to get enough sleep, a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation in 2002 concluded that “74% of American adults experience a sleeping problem a few nights a week or more and 39% get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight.”  Recently, The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement suggesting an 8:30 a.m. or later school start time for middle and high school students and with good reason.

Research has shown that young people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer depression, be involved in car accidents and have lower test scores.   Lack of sleep is also a risk factor for weight gain and can disrupt the body’s regulation of blood sugar.  An increase in stress-hormone levels contribute to an elevated rise in blood pressure and promote inflammatory changes associated with chronic disease, including heart disease and diabetes.

Much More Than Just A Phrase

We’ve all heard about needing our ‘beauty sleep’ but it turns out this phrase isn’t just superficial-it can accelerate the aging process!  On a visual level, not receiving the crucial shut-eye results in a dull complexion because when you are tired, blood doesn’t flow efficiently; fine lines also appear more prominent.  On a deeper level, your skin, as well as your whole body, transitions into repair mode when you sleep.  New skin cells grow and replace older cells.  An increase in inflammatory cells in the body lead to a breakdown in collagen and hyaluronic acid, both of which assist in giving skin it’s glow, bounce and translucency.

A Look at ‘Beauty Sleep’ by the Hour

Perhaps Charles Perrault’s tale The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods was inadvertently on to something, except let’s replace the 100 years with the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. (Yet another example of how I love to tie beauty and literature together!)

Hours 1-3: The deepest sleep of the night, your body produces the most human growth hormone- critical to skin and hair repair.

Hours 4-5: Deep sleep shortens and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep begins. There’s also an increase in melatonin, a hormone with potent antioxidant properties to combat oxidative stress.

Hours 6-8: This is when you get the most REM sleep. Your skin’s temperature reaches its lowest point, enabling muscles to relax and allowing skin its deepest recovery.

Solutions to Promote Better Sleep

Sometimes sleep doesn’t come easily so if you have trouble sleeping, try these suggestions.

  • Schedule your bedtime and your wake-up time according to the number of hours of sleep you need.
  • About an hour or more before bedtime, stop phone calls and watching television and read or listen to music instead.
  • Try aromatherapy (my favorite!).  Lavender, neroli and sandalwood essential oils can relax and promote a restful sleep.  Fill half of a mini spray bottle with water, mix in your relaxing essential oil of choice and lightly spritz onto your sheets and/or pillow.
  • Learning to manage your stress or keep it under control will in turn yield to a more restful sleep. Breathing techniques, exercise, a spa visit and regular massages can keep stress in check.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. What helps you catch more Zzzzz’s? 

 

Disclaimer: The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition. 

 

 

Beauty Benefits of Tamarind Water!

tamarind

Since healthy skin works from the inside out, here’s another idea inspired by drinks I grew up with that are great for beating the summer heat: tamarind water, also known as agua de tamarindo!  

Tamarind is a sweet and sour fruit that is rich in tartaric acid, which is a powerful antioxidant and a good source of iron, thiamin, niacin and vitamin C.  Antioxidants can help protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, guarding your cells from damage and vitamin C helps the body repair itself.  Tamarind can be found in any market that appeals to Hispanic, Asian and Indian cultures.  To make tamarind water, follow below.

10-15 tamarind pods

Water (about 10 cups)

Sweetener of choice

1) Take the tamarind pods and remove the outer shell and any veins (strings) that may be attached.  Discard the shells and veins.

2) Place the inner portion of the tamarind (looks like seeds) inside a pot and boil for about 25-30 minutes.

3)  After 25-30 minutes, remove from stove and let it cool down completely.

4) Once the tamarind water has cooled down, squeeze the remaining pulp from the seeds with clean hands and discard the seeds.

5) Next,  blend the water and pulp in a blender and pour into a pitcher after running it through a sieve.

6) Lightly sweeten to taste (emphasis on the lightly!) and enjoy!  You can always add a bit more water to dilute some of the tartness without having to add tons of sugar.

Hope you enjoyed this post! 

 

My Current Favorite Exfoliators!

Exfoliating is a great and easy way to achieve a healthy complexion and to improve texture of skin.  Here are some exfoliators that have found their way (and stayed!) in my skincare routine.

exfolikate

Sephora, $85; travel-size, $22

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

One of my favorite products that I find myself repurchasing every so often, this exfoliant is truly intense.  As soon as you apply it, you immediately feel a tingly sensation and can feel your blood circulating thanks to the cinnamon, acids and enzymes found in here.  I definitely have a glow after using it and my complexion feels (and looks) super soft.  I tend to pick up the travel sized version of this at Sephora since it’s more wallet friendly and the tube lasts a good 3-4 months.

*For sensitive skin, there is Kate Somerville Exfolikate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment

daily micro

Ulta, $52

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I was introduced to this product in esthetic school and while it took me a while to warm up to it, once I learned how to correctly use it, I love it.  First of all, this product is a rice-based powder that requires water to activate.  You dispense a little bit of product onto wet hands and rub them together to form what becomes a creamy paste.  Once you create the paste, you massage it over your face, leave it on for about a minute or so, and then rinse off.   What’s great about this gentle but effective scrub is that you can mix it in with your cleanser to get that ‘deep’ clean feel.

Note* Although the name says Daily Microfoliant, I would use this no more than 3x per day as it can be too drying.  Also, don’t leave this in your shower as you can end up with a clumpy mess.

bha serum

reneerouleau.com, $46.50

 

Renee Rouleau BHA Clarifying Serum, $46.50

A new favorite that has found its way into my skincare routine, this exfoliating serum is especially great if you have textural concerns.  I tend to get little whiteheads all over my forehead and this blend of lactic, salicylic and glycolic acid  has significantly reduced them-people have actually noticed the smoother complexion!  I stopped using it for a few weeks only to have the whiteheads develop again, so I know this particular product is what is making a difference.  Unlike the other exfoliants featured here, this one is unique in that you leave it on overnight.

gentle exfol

PCA Skin Representative/Dermstore.com, $25

PCA Skin Gentle Scrub, $25

If you have normal to dry skin and want something that is fragrance free, this would be an apt choice.  Round beads that are suspended in a creamy base of aloe vera leaf juice, glycolic acid and jojoba seed oil gently polish away dead skin cells.  Bonus:  The bottle is 7 oz.

What is your favorite exfoliator? 

 

Father’s Day Skincare Gift Ideas!

Men’s skincare is too often overlooked but can make a world of a difference-and a great Father’s Day present!  So weather you’re still looking for gift options or you’re a guy who wants to step up his skin health, take a glance at some of the options below!

 

JackBlack

$52; sephora.com; getjackblack.com

Jack Black Core Collection

I’ve purchased and gifted this set several times and it always seems to be a crowd-pleaser.  This trio includes a facial cleanser, shaving lotion and face moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 20.  It’s fragrance and alcohol free and perfect for men who want a simplified routine.

dermalogica

$38, ulta.com

Dermalogica Shave System

This shaving kit includes two shaving creams (Pre-Shave Guard and Soothing Shave Cream) which can be used alone or together to help soften the beard. Other items included in this kit are Daily Clean Scrub, an exfoliating cleanser which helps minimize ingrown hairs;  Post-Shave Balm, which helps control oil and reduces redness that can occur after shaving; and Daily Defense Block SPF 15 is a matte sunscreen.

PCA Skin

$22, dermstore.com/ PCA Skin Representative

PCA Skin Total Face Wash Face & Body Cleanser

A 2-in-1 product for men on the go!  This gentle foaming cleanser is formulated with lactic acid to exfoliate, moisturize, and help prevent ingrown hairs and also doubles as a body wash in one easy step.  Antioxidant vitamin E improves the barrier function of the skin; soothing aloe, allantoin, and  bisabolol help to calm skin; and tea tree oil provides antiseptic properties.

AL

$48, sephora.com; $56 ulta.com

Anthony Logistics For Men The Essential Traveler Kit

This kit features an array of products that are perfect for those who travel or for those who want to get a feel for the products.  The Glycolic Facial Cleanser exfoliates and loosens dead skin cells to achieve a closer shave; the Shave Cream calms the skin and includes anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects; All Purpose Facial Moisturizer contains antioxidants vitamin C to brighten skin and vitamin E to help nourish skin; Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash incorporates Pro Vitamin B5 which promotes tissue healing in skin and helps to retain moisture ; Advanced Formula Lip Balm SPF 25 Mint and White Tea soothes, protects and conditions lips.

 

AOS Block

$20, sephora.com; theartofshaving.com

The Art Of Shaving Alum Block- Unscented

If you’re prone to nicks and cuts, this may be a product to check out.  The alum block helps stop bleeding from minor cuts and delivers antiseptic properties.

Have you tried any of these products?  What did you think of them? 

I am always looking for and researching new lines so if you have a skincare line you use and love, do share!