Skin Tip: Using Exfoliating Serums!

If you suffer from rough patches on your skin, incorporating an exfoliating serum a couple times a week into your routine can help improve your skin’s texture.  Look for ones that have AHA’s and/or BHA’s which can provide a smoother and more radiant appearance.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Stephanie  

Reader Question: How to Use a Vitamin C Serum!

question mark

 

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I had a question about how to use a vitamin C serum and that is such a great question.  I mean, how many times have you purchased a product that sounds like a great addition to your skincare arsenal and then realize you have no idea how to use it?  Happens to the best of us. 🙂

In a nutshell, the use of vitamin C results in a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, promotes the formation of collagen, protects the skin from UV damage and can also reduce pigmentation due to its brightening properties.  (For more information on vitamin C, click here.)  The best and most efficient way to use it is during the day underneath your moisturizer and sunscreen.  This will give you that extra antioxidant protection your skin needs from the sun’s harmful rays, which plays a prominent role in the breakdown of collagen.

I hope this helps!

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie 

 

 

 

Skin Tip: Lip Balm and Breakouts!

Lip Balm and Acne

If breakouts keep recurring on your chin or jawline, perhaps your lip balm may be the culprit.  Over the last few weeks, I have broken out repeatedly on my chin area and I found it had to do with applying my lip balm right before I went to sleep.

The solution?  Since I haven’t had any problems with this lip balm until I applied it at night, I make sure to apply it a least half an hour before I sleep.  This way, it has a chance to sink in and I can wipe off some of the excess, lessening the chance of it spreading around when I sleep.

Have you ever had this problem?  Share in the comment section below!

See you next week, 

Stephanie 

 

Skin Tip: Less is More Money Saved!

How many times have we thought, “If this product is working wonders for me, imagine what it can do if I use more.”  When it comes to skin care, less is definitely more. Excessive amounts can cause skin problems and waste money.

A pea-sized amount for potent ingredients like retinol or concentrated serums should suffice and about a quarter-sized amount for cleanser and moisturizer should do.

Have a good weekend,

Stephanie

How To: Take Care of Your Skin When You’re Sick

Out Sick

I recently had a reader ask me how to take care of your skin when you are sick.

Good question as flu and cold season is here!

When you are sick, the last thing you probably think of is your skin.  You’re feeling weak or tired and any strength you have is most likely spent towards mustering up enough energy to take your medications.  But, think about it for a second.  You’re coughing, sneezing, sweating, etc and it would good to at least try to remove some that off.  If you can take a shower, it’s easy to just cleanse your face and rinse off.  If you don’t have enough energy for that, you can lightly moisten your skin with lukewarm water, apply your cleanser and remove it by using a few cotton rounds-this way you don’t have to leaning over the sink.

The key here is to keep it basic: a gentle cleanser, toner and moisturizer.  That’s it.  Don’t exfoliate, use retinols or AHAs/BHAs.  Why?  Certain medications can cause your skin to become sensitive temporarily, prompting a reaction or irritation when there would otherwise be none.  Once you’re all better, you can slowly reintroduce these ingredients back into your skincare routine.

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. How do make yourself feel better when you are sick?

Stephanie  

A Beauty-Full Day!

ICES

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was pretty eventful as I attended The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa in Long Beach! It’s an event held  for professionals in the skin care, beauty and wellness industry where you can attend workshops, advanced education seminars and purchase products.  Translation: heaven for a beauty junkie like me!  Here’s a small recap of my day.

 

Badge

The badge we receive for the day of the event- very nice.

Skin Script

First purchase was at the Skin Script booth.  I got the Pomegranate Antioxidant Cleanser, 15% Vitamin C/Green Tea Serum, and the Ageless Skin Moisturizer, with Aloe and Co-Q10.  

SS Peels

 

Another Skin Script purchase.  This one is their holiday special Spiced Cider Facial which includes the Apple Orchard Enzyme and Autumn Spice Hydrating Mask.  Unlike the Skin Script items above though, you need a license to purchase these.

Ilike

I stopped by the Ilike booth which has  an ‘organic’ line of products.  After speaking to one of the representatives, I bought the Sour Cherry Gel Mask for my combination skin.  *Note: I put organic in quotes because there isn’t a universal standard on what is deemed organic.

EM

The Eminence booth was crowded all the time and filled with on-going demonstrations but I managed to squeeze in to scope out their ‘organic’ line. I ended up getting the Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant (an exfoliator that seems similar to Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant) and Strawberry Rhubarb Masque with Hyaluronic Acid, again a mask for my combination skin.

Brands

Though I received a ton of informational pamphlets and brochures from other exhibitors there, I’m highly interested in checking out these products in the future: (h2t) for their pumpkin peel (it smells AMAZING and will hopefully be ordering it soon), Circadia by Dr. Pugliese, Dermapen, Rhonda Allison and Image Skincare.

Mags

Always great to receive free trade industry magazines!

By the end of the day I was exhausted! It’s a bit overwhelming to be surrounded by soo many different products, demonstrations, information, devices, samples (not pictured here) and people.  I concluded my day with a seminar on the Hydrafacial- a modified version of microdermabrasion- and a facial with an (h2t) 30% pumpkin peel.  Pure bliss.

I will post reviews on the products once I have an opportunity to try them out!  What conventions do you look forward to? IMATS? The Makeup Show? Other?  I’d love to know! 

 

 

Beauty And The Oils

Oils have been around since…well, forever but recently the beauty industry has seen their resurgence.  It almost seems like there is a new ‘beauty’ oil discovered every week, each superseding the one before.  From kitchen pantry and health food stores to the beauty aisle, the following oils are lauded as the ultimate ingredient for your face, body, hair and/or nails.

Argan-Oils

Argan  (Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil)

Pressed from nuts found in argan trees-exclusive only in Morroco- argan oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids including linoleic acid, omega-6, which helps in maintaining the lipid barrier in skin and natural tocopherols (vitamin E).  It nourishes, regenerates and protects the skin.

In hair, it adds moisture to dry hair, calms frizzy ends and can help with a dry scalp.

coconut_oil

Coconut (Cocos Nucifera  (Coconut) Oil)

A staple in tropical regions of the world, coconut oil moisturizes, strengthens connective tissues, provides antibacterial properties through lauric acid, nourishes and heals.  I think it’s important to note that although coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties and some people claim it’s a great treatment for acne, use caution.  Those who suffer from acne may find it feels too heavy, clogging pores and potentially leading to more breakouts.

In regards to hair, coconut oil can penetrate better than other oils and therefore is commonly used as a deep conditioner (or found in conditioning products).

grapeseed

Grapeseed (Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil)

Extracted from the seeds of grapes, this is rich in linoleic acid and acts as an emollient and antioxidant (high in vitamin E).  Linoleic acid is an unsaturated EFA that is found in skin lipids like ceramides and cholesterol which protects the skin barrier function, prevents the drying of  skin and soothes.  It’s ideal for massage oil since it glides well on skin.

jojoba oil

Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil)

From the  jojoba plant and known for resembling sebum (oil found on your face), jojoba oil moisturizes, reconditions the skin and provides barrier potection. Interestingly, jojoba oil is thought to balance oil production which could be great news for people with oily skin.  The tocopherol content provides excellent antioxidant activity. *Note: Sometimes only small amounts are needed to reap the benefits so tread lightly if you apply the oil straight to your face.  It might be best for those with oily skin to look for skincare products formulated with this ingredient instead.

OLIVEOIL

Olive (Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil)

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants which help repair and renew skin from oxidative stress, soothes inflammation, smoothes the skin and helps maintain skin elasticity.

In hair, olive oil doubles both as a deep conditioner and dandruff controller, and when rubbed on nails, it helps cuticles stay plump and hydrated while producing a natural shine.

sunflower

Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil)

Produced from sunflower seeds, sunflower oil replenishes and restores the skin with nourishing fatty and amino acids.  Amino acids supply nutrients to nourish the skin, which in turn strengthens connective tissue and keeps the skin smooth.  Sunflower oil also increases moisture retention (great for dry skin!) and provides natural barrier protection.

 

sweet almond

Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil)

This oil contains high levels of oleic acid and unsaturated triglycerides provide moisture to skin that is easily absorbed into the skin. Oleic acid, found naturally in vegetable and animal oils, is high in unsaturated omega-9 fatty acids, providing emolliency and a soothing factor to skin.

In hair, it adds shine and purportedly controls hair fall.

 

Bottom Line: Although the benefits of these oils are superb, it may not work the same for everyone.  You may find that some oils dry out your hair instead of  smoothing them or they work wonders for your body but can wreck havoc on your face.  ‘Natural’ can be great but isn’t exempt from producing adverse reactions so use with caution.

Have you tried any of these oils?  What was your experience like? 

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!  

What’s Your Type?

Our skin types are genetically determined.  However, to the joy of some and the dismay of others, they can change over time, or you can have a combination of several all at once.  Dry skin and a few breakouts here and there?  Yup.  As weird as it sounds, it can happen.

Do you know your skin type(s) or do you just recall what someone once told you your skin type was and have clung to that notion ever since?

Here are six common skin types and their characteristics to help you determine-or at least give you an idea of- of what would be beneficial to your skin.

normal skin

Normal

Normal skin (oh the lucky ones!) has a good oil-water balance and is soft and plump.  It has a healthy glow and color, with fine texture, small pores and no congestion .  Maintenance and preventative care are your main goals.

combination skin

Combination

I personally fall into this category and let me tell you, it can be gosh darn frustrating.  Combination skin is characterized by an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) while the cheeks tend to be on the dry side, causing a flaky appearance.  The goal is to control areas prone to oiliness while moisturizing areas that are dry, and to keep skin well exfoliated to help combat breakouts and dryness.

oily skin

Oily

Oily skin is characterized by an all over greasy shine, visible pores, coarser skin texture (akin to that of  an orange), little wrinkling (silver lining, no?), blackheads/whiteheads, breakouts.  Controlling sebum production, and clearing out the pores is key.  Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin are good at providing hydration.

acne

Acne

Not just for teenagers anymore as the number of adult acne is rising.  Symptoms range from blackheads/whiteheads, breakouts, painful cysts, inflammation and sensitivity .  Causes of acne can be genetic or a hormonal imbalance.  Deep cleansing facials, proper home regimen and soothing the skin are goals. Avoid excessive or harsh cleansers as it can make acne worse.

dry skin

Dry

If the Sahara desert would be envious, then you probably have dry skin.  Where oily skin produces a mass amount of oil, dry skin doesn’t produce enough. Visible dryness, small pores, tightness,and a propensity to wrinkles are indicators of dry skin.   Cleansing creams or milky cleansers are ideal as they don’t strip the skin while ingredients like shea butter or borage seed oil are great moisturizers.

sensitive

Sensitive

Sensitive skin is identified by fragile, thin, red skin that has an impaired barrier function and more reactive capillaries. It’s easily irritated by products (even sometime water) and exposure to heat and sun.  Avoid excessive rubbing, heat, exfoliation, or extractions.  Use calming, soothing ingredients like aloe vera, panthenol (pro-vitamin B-5), bisabolol, and niacinamide.

Has your skin type been consistent or has it undergone major changes throughout the years?