Winter Skin Tips!

Good morning readers!

Here in SoCal we’ve experienced a drop in temperature, albeit I’m sure everyone else probably laughs at our concept of ‘cold.’ ¬†ūüôā ¬†Regardless of where you’re located, you may have noticed a change in your skin. Combination skin may start to feel more dry and dry skin may have a lot of flaky patches scattered throughout. ¬†Here’s a few tips that will help winter skin woes.

Sun Protection!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know SPF is an absolute must- rain, shine or snow. Winter doesn’t eliminate the sun’s harmful rays. ¬†In fact, even participating in snow activities can produce severe skin damage because snow reflects UV rays. ¬†Use an SPF of at least 30 and if you need help deciding which sunscreen is best for you click here. ¬†Don’t forget lips need SPF too!

Moisturize!

All skin types can benefit from a moisturizer.  Skin has a higher propensity to loose more water during colder months causing the skin to become dry.  Switching to cream based cleansers and heavier moisturizers with argan or shea butter can be great remedies for dry skin.  Humectants such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid are also great in that they attract and retain moisture levels within the skin.

Diet!

Studies have shown a connection between dry skin and essential fatty acids (EFAs). Incorporating good sources of EFAs, such as salmon, avocado or almonds can help.  (Click here for more information on EFAs).  However, ALWAYS consult a medical professional and/or registered dietitian before implementing any changes in your diet to verify there are no contraindications with certain medical conditions or medications.

Avoid Hot Showers!

Although a long, hot shower may sound like the perfect solution to end (or start) a day, hot water can damage the skin barrier.  A damaged skin barrier is more susceptible to increased sensitivity, inflammation, dryness and an aged appearance.  Keep showers short and warm.

Exfoliate!  

Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells that can accumulate on the skin, causing a dull and flaky appearance.  Scrubs with jojoba beads are a good at home option while chemical peels containing lactic acid are excellent professional treatments;sensitive skin may benefit from gentle enzyme peels. However, if your skin is cracked, hold off on exfoliating as you can further aggravate your skin.  Focus on hydrating and repairing the skin barrier and consult a dermatologist and/or esthetician for further guidance.

How do you switch up your skincare routine when colder weather sets in? 

Stephanie

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.  

 

Can We Reach Pore-fection?

Aside from anti-aging, pore size seems to be a huge complaint from customers.

A study conducted by L‚ÄôOreal Paris revealed that roughly ‚Äú45% of women wish they could change the size of their pores and ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†almost one in three women¬† (28%) are more concerned about¬† their pore size than wrinkles.‚ÄĚ

With so many products out there that claim to shrink or eliminate your pores, how do we know what works? ¬†Let’s take a closer look at what a pore really is.

What is a pore?

A pore is a small opening in the skin that allows oil to reach the surface.  On average, an adult has five million pores on their body with approximately 20,000 on their face alone.   Without pores, our skin would be dry and cracked since oil produced in the sebaceous glands travel up the pore to the skin’s surface and naturally moisturize the skin.

How is pore size determined?

For the most part, pore size is determined by genetics and generally speaking, is most prevalent in men.  However, oil, dirt, dead skin cells and our lifestyle can impact pore size.  For example, avid sun worshipers often see an increase in pore size because the sun’s UV rays breakdown and weaken the skin’s elasticity; the same can apply to aging skin.  Oily skin types typically have an excessive accumulation of dirt, oil and dead skin cells, leading to large, visible pores and in some cases acne.

How to minimize pore appearance

Since you can‚Äôt get ‘rid’ of pores (and really, you don‚Äôt want to as they flush out toxins and help regulate temperature) here‚Äôs a couple of suggestions to help reduce their appearance. ¬†¬†

  • Thoroughly cleanse skin daily
  • Regular exfoliation with either enzymes or hydroxy acids (i.e. glycolic, lactic, or salicylic)
  • Those with oily skin types can benefit from using clay-based masks (look for kaolin or bentonite) about 2x/week
  • Limit excessive sun exposure and always wear SPF
  • Make sure you are using the correct skincare products/makeup for your skin type- makeup primers can help reduce pore appearance
  • Consult with a dermatologist and/or esthetician for other options such as chemical peels
  • Avoid pore strips as in the long run can stretch out skin even more

Questions? Comments? Have a pore-minimizing product you love? Do share!

Sephora Sun Safety Kit Review

Sephora Sun Kit

Sephora Sun Safety Kit, $32

Last week, Sephora released their annual Sun Safety Kit and I believe it is perfect timing since May is Skin Cancer Awareness month.  Since 90% of skin cancer is caused by the sun, I love that this kit provides an array of sunscreens you can try out.  This year, they included a lot more self-tan/bronzing products, which in my opinion is okay, but I would personally prefer more sunscreens.   All products are great for traveling and you can toss them in your purse, making it easier to reapply.  $20 of the proceeds go towards the Skin Cancer Foundation. Here is the breakdown of the kit, along with my thoughts and/or experience.

Sunscreens 

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20

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This is both a moisturizer and sunscreen, which is great if you want to cut down your morning/afternoon skincare routine time.  I find it has a slight medicinal-sunscreen like fragrance that while not overpowering, is prominent.  However, the scent does not linger after it is applied.  It feels a bit thick but it absorbed quickly into my skin and so far, has not broken me out.  Ingredients like enantia chlorantha bark extract and biotin can help control oil and it does contain a bit of vitamin C. *Note: No synthetic fragrances are added.

 

Bare Minerals ready Touch Up Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in Translucent 

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I really like that they included a pressed powdered sunscreen instead of the loose powdered one. ¬†Definitely not as messy. ¬†I also love that this is an easy way to reapply SPF, especially if you are wearing makeup. ¬†It also can work to keep shine at bay for those with oilier skin. ¬†It’s also formulated with antioxidants like green tea, vitamin C, vitamin E, and grapeseed oil.

 

Clarins UV Plus HP Ecran Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 40 Titanium Dioxide 

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This is a 100% mineral based sunscreen (titanium dioxide). ¬†Personally, this is not my favorite as it leaves behind a white cast on my face and feels like a heavy sunscreen. ¬†I do keep this in my purse though and apply to my hands while driving to keep them protected. ¬†It does contain two notable antioxidants, green tea and vitamin E. ¬†However, I also see that alcohol is listed as an ingredient but it doesn’t state which kind so it may be irritating to some.

Ole Henrikson Protect The Truth SPF 50+

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I don’t particularly love this sunscreen but I don’t hate it either. ¬†The consistency is light-weight but it leaves behind a little bit of a white cast effect too. ¬†It’s easily covered when you apply your foundation on top though, works fairly well under makeup and it contains vitamins A, C, and E, which are excellent antioxidants. ¬†Another downside: There is a minute amount of fragrance added but it appears¬†last on the ingredient list.

Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer with White Tea 

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Another time saver in the morning as it is both a moisturizer and sunscreen. ¬†The scent is kind of herbal and citrus like and it does tend to linger a bit. ¬†The texture is lightweight and it is oil-free. ¬†The addition of ¬†white tea and resveratrol are great antioxidants and can strengthen the efficacy of the sunscreen. ¬†Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a complete list of the ingredients online, so I can’t tell if it has any added fragrance. ¬†Bottom line: It’s good but not my favorite.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion Sunscreen Lotion

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This sunscreen definitely smells like a traditional sunscreen and it does feel a bit heavier. ¬†While it didn’t make me break out, it tended to make my skin feel a bit more oily. ¬†*Note: It is a chemical sunscreen, so if you are sensitive to chemical sunscreens and are looking for a physical sunscreen (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide), you may want to skip this one. ¬†Noteworthy ingredients: Vitamins A,C and E, allantoin (a calming and soothing ingredient) and panthenol (pro vitamin B5 which is an humectant).

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ 

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Since the texture of this sunscreen is heavier, hence the cream factor, I think those who have a dry skin type would benefit from this. ¬†What is great about this sunscreen is that it has the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal Of Recommendation for those who are active. ¬†This means it “should protect the wearer from extended sun exposure, such as exposure received outdoors during recreational activities.” ¬†It has also been found to include a water resistance factor, although as with any sunscreen, you must reapply¬†every two hours or so, especially when outside.

Sunscreen Oil

Supergoop Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil with Meadowfoam Broad Spectrum SPF 50 

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I have not tried this one as I glanced through the ingredients and it contains coconut oil.  Although coconut oil may work for some, it makes me breakout when I use it on my face.  I feel this would really make me breakout and I would have to do more research on sunscreen oils.  Not entirely convinced on this idea yet. It is also a chemical sunscreen and lists tocotrienols (members of the vitamin E family), argan oil, grapeseed oil and shea butter among other ingredients.

Lip SPF

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

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I am glad that the kit this year included a lip product with SPF as sometimes we (yes, even me!) tend to forget about protecting our lips.  Fresh Sugar lip balms in general are pretty moisturizing but fee light-weight.  This particular one has a lemon scent, which is pretty perfect for summer.

Oil Control with SPF

Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 

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I think this mattifier would work great on oily skin. ¬†It contains cinnamomum zeylanicum bark extract, which is excellent for treating acne; biotin and niacinamide, great for controlling oil production; and¬†antioxidant vitamin E. ¬†My skin isn’t too oily yet, but I will keep this around and see how it works.¬†

Bronzers

Dr. Denis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Anti-Aging Exfoliating Self-Tanner with Active Vitamin D and Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Glow Moisture 

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I haven’t had luck with self-tanner towelettes and this was no exception. ¬†In theory, this would be great because you receive exfoliation benefits as well as a nice tan. ¬†However, ¬†until I get the hang of how to use these, I will pass because they tend to streak and some areas are darker than others.

St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse 

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Of all the self-tanning products in this kit, I like this one the best. ¬†It’s a dark-colored foam that is easy to apply and you can actually see where you are applying it. ¬†I think this would work best on those who are fair-skinned. ¬†The color looked the most natural on me but I am still working on learning how to apply it evenly.

 

Stila All Day10-in-1 HD Bronzing Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 30

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This is a BB cream with a bronze tint. ¬†While I wouldn’t use it by itself, I may mix it in with my normal CC cream to add a hint of color. ¬†It comes in a ‘universal’ shade, which by my experience won’t work on everyone. ¬†Fragrance is listed rather high on the ingredient list so beware if you are sensitive to it.

Tarte Brazilliance Self Rejuvenating Maracuja Self Tanner 

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Sadly, this didn’t work out for me. ¬†True to their claim, this did not turn orange, but on me, it looked muddy. ¬†Definitely not natural. ¬†I know the full size comes with a mitt so maybe that might make a difference. ¬†This does contain vitamins A,C, and E but is also lists fragrance towards the top of the ingredient list.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep Matte Bronzer

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Love this bronzer.  It is a matte finish (perfect for my skin since it tends to get oilier in the summer), great for contouring or adding a hint of color, is travel sized and has a mirror attached on the inside.

You can purchase the kit at Sephora stores or you can ask for samples to try them out.  I hope this review was helpful!

Is Exercise Wreaking Havoc on Your Skin?

exercise

The advantages of exercise are numerous.  It increases endorphins, elevates your mood, decreases your risk for disease, controls your weight, focuses your mind, reduces stress, and keeps you healthy and strong.

Beauty bonus: As your heart rate increase, it sends oxygen to your skin and creates a healthy glow.

Pretty great benefits if you ask me.  But what happens when you start developing a host of other issues? Dry skin. Sudden breakouts. The dreaded bacne.  Not really what you signed up for, is it?

Instead of throwing in the towel, a few adjustments to your skincare routine can make a huge difference.

Here are some guidelines and factors to keep in mind before and after your workout.

Wear sunscreen!  Use a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 and reapply frequently when sweating or swimming, especially when outdoors.

Exercising makes your skin lose moisture so wear a light-weight moisturizer.

If possible, immediately wash your face and body after working out.  Alcohol-free towelettes or makeup remover wipes can work to remove sweat and dirt if you can’t wash your face.

If your skin feels dry after cleansing (meaning no oil), try switching to a cream based cleanser.  Adding a hydrating mask 2-3 times per week can help.

 Combination/ Oily skin can use a gel or foam wash. If you are prone to breakouts, choose a cleanser with acne fighting ingredients- tea tree, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and/ or papain (papaya enzymes) are a few ingredients to look for. Using a clay based mask up to 3 times per week can help control sebum and draw out impurities.

Tight-fighting workout clothes sweat and friction can lead to breakouts on your body, especially your back.  Adding breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics and showering right after you workout can help.  If you’re prone to breakouts on your back, use a salicylic acid body wash, gently exfoliate with a scrub, and spot treat.

Excessive sweating and heat can cause flare ups if you have eczema– something to keep in mind.

I hope this post was helpful!

Feel free to leave a question or comment.

Should You CC?

 

CC Cream 2

Me wearing Bobbi Brown’s CC Cream SPF 35

After an unfavorable experience with Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Smart Gel BB, I decided to forgo BB creams and dive in to CC creams.  The appeal of a CC (Color Correcting) cream is that it can address issues like redness, dullness, uneven skin tone, age spots and sallowness while providing SPF coverage and a light feel on the skin.  It’s normally aimed at those who have minor skin issues but they can have buildable coverage.

The CC cream I have been testing out for the last couple of weeks is Bobbi Brown’s CC Cream SPF 35 in Warm Nude-geared towards light to medium skin tones-and I love it! Below, the breakdown of my review.

Pros

Feels light on the skin

Excellent in concealing redness

Provides good moisture to my combination skin without feeling oily

Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Cons

Limited Color Selection

Takes a little bit longer to blend than I would normally like

Buildable coverage for those who have minor skin imperfections but not as much as a foundation can provide

Price: $44 1.35 FL OZ

Overall: While in my opinion CC creams don’t replace your skincare routine, they are a great everyday option if you have minor skin imperfections and want light-weight coverage; over time you may see a slight improvement in your skin.  Also, although the inclusion of SPF is a plus and great for when you are in a hurry, I still wear my normal SPF underneath to make sure I apply the recommended amount- 1 teaspoon.

CC Cream

What’s your preferred medium: tinted moisturizers, BB Creams, CC Creams, foundation or powders?

Sunscreen 101!

Sunscreen 2

Different seasons bring a host of new trends in the beauty industry- think pastel washes of color, orange lipstick, the coveted au naturale look- but what’s one trend we should implement and follow all year-round?

Sunscreen!

Whether you are male or female, have a skincare regimen in place or not, sunscreen should be a staple product in your arsenal.  The immense danger of exposure to UV radiation is skin cancer, however skin cancer is almost entirely preventable if you choose the right sunscreen and apply with slavish devotion.  The sun is also a main culprit in the causes of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and saggy skin-even going out for a quick walk or running an errand in your car exposes you to the sun’s damaging rays!

While there is a plethora of sunscreens to choose from, you don’t have to spend a fortune to protect yourself.  Here is a brief insight into sunscreen.

Broad-spectrum

Make sure that your sunscreen offers broad-spectrum coverage, which will protect you from UVA and UVB rays.  UVA rays cause premature aging and UVB rays are known as the tanning and burning rays; both cause cancer.

Sun Protection Factor

The term ‚ÄúSPF‚ÄĚ is the abbreviation for a product‚Äôs Sun Protection Factor.¬† The level of protection is not proportionate with SPF rating, meaning a higher SPF doesn‚Äôt mean more protection.¬† In fact, an SPF of 15 provides protection from 93% of the sun‚Äôs rays, SPF 30 protects from 97% of the sun‚Äôs rays and an SPF 60 protects 98%. ¬†No sunscreen can block 100% of the sun‚Äôs rays and it is important to reapply every 2 hours during outdoor activities, sweating or swimming.

Types: Physical and Chemical

Physical sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin and reflect or scatter UV radiation before it can reach the epidermis. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide compose this category.

Zinc oxide is a great option for those who have sensitive skin or rosacea.

Chemical sunscreens have a strong ability to effectively absorb UVB radiation before they can damage the skin. Look for:  Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Homosalate, Octyldimethly PABA (Padimate O), Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Avobenzone (Parasol 1789), and/or Ecamsule (Mexoryl).

Bonus: Antioxidants

Sunscreens formulated with antioxidants can further protect against harmful UV rays and damaging free radicals.

Caffeine, silymarin (from milk thistle), genistein ( a soy isoflavone), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), resveratrol, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid)  are examples of common added antioxidants.

Application

According to the FDA, the correct amount of product to use is a teaspoon for the face and a shot glass for the body. Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure.  Remember, constant reapplication is key, even with sweat and water resistant sunscreens!  Also, avoiding prime sun hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) if you can, and covering up with shades and a hat helps.

Overall

Physical sunscreens are typically a good option for sensitive skin types and offer UVA and UVB protection.  Chemical sunscreens offer adequate protection from UVB rays but frequently don’t offer favorable protection against UVA rays. Blended sunscreens (physical and chemical) with the addition of antioxidants are ideal, however the type of sunscreen that will work best depends on your skin and how it reacts. Sometimes, it takes a couple of trial and error sessions to figure out what the best formulation is for you.

I hope you found this post helpful.

Feel free to comment or ask a question!