Top Fall Foods for Skin Health!

One of the great aspects about fall is that we find ourselves surrounded by swirls of vivid yellow, red, orange and green colors.  Luckily for us, this season also yields produce that is just as colorful and nutrient rich that proves beneficial to our body.  Take a look-you may just find some of your favorites!

apples

Apples

Is there some truth behind the adage an apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Well, apples (whether sweet or tart) contain heart-healthy flavonoids, are full of antioxidants, fiber, and collagen stimulating vitamin C.  Just remember to eat the skin too as it contains most of the healthy fiber and nutrients and do follow up with your doctor regularly to be on the safe side.

pears

Pears

These naturally sweet and juicy fruits are a good source of fiber, wound healing vitamin C and copper. They’re also a great source of potassium which is necessary for a healthy heart, muscles and nerves.

sweet-potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are extremely rich in  vitamin A which is important for good vision, healthy skin and a strong immune system as well as a good source of iron and anti-inflammatory benefits.

squash

Squash

This versatile vegetable contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids which can emhance skin’s natural glow and provide perhaps a little bit of relief to skin that is dry and prone to eczema.  It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A as well.

pumpkinpatch

Pumpkin

A fall favorite food, pumpkin is considered a low calorie food that is full of fiber, potassium, calcium, copper, phosphorus  and a high content of vitamin A.  Also a good source of B vitamins ( niacin and thiamine) that boosts circulation for healthy skin. Unfortunately, pumpkin lattes don’t count.

pomegranate

Pomegranates

This tangy, high antioxidant rich fruit is a good source of vitamin C and folate.  Antioxidants work to counter the effects of free radicals that damage healthy cells.

 

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Kiwi

This green colored fruit contains enzymes that can aid in digestion; are a good source of free radical quencher vitamin E; potassium and copper; have antioxidants that protect the cell DNA  from oxidative damage; and has more vitamin C than an orange.

Fresh clementines

Tangerines 

These citrus fruits may be small but they are packed with vitamin C and are a good source of beta-carotene.   Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, an essential nutrient with antioxidant activity that helps to protect cells from damage.

And there you have it.  A list of some popular foods for a ‘beauty-fall’ complexion!  🙂

What are some of your favorite fall foods? 

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. 

Skin Tip: About Lemon Juice in DIY Skincare!

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve heard and seen many people post about using lemon juice in DIY skincare treatments due to its vitamin C properties. While lemons do have a high concentration of vitamin C, they have a very low pH which can actually burn your skin.  Carefully formulated vitamin C formulas might be a better option to get your topical dose of vitamin C and if you have sensitive skin, look into magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.

Have a great weekend!

Stephanie   

 

Simple Strawberries and Cream Recipe!

Strawberry 2

Hi readers!  How is everyone doing?

I have a simple recipe to share with you today.  There was a strawberry festival over the weekend which means there is a box full of strawberries in the fridge, ready to be used.  One of my favorite things to make is fresas con crema (strawberries and cream) and it’s super easy to make.  Normally it requires Mexican crema or crème fraiche but I like to substitute Greek yogurt instead to make it healthier. *Note: I am not a health expert nor am I claiming to be one; I’m just sharing what works for me. 

Follow the steps below for a great, vitamin C rich snack!

Fresas con Crema

Strawberries, cut in half

Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla flavored)

Optional: granola, coconut flakes and/or honey

Mix the strawberries and Greek yogurt together in a bowl- if you’re using plain yogurt, you can drizzle a bit of honey on top to sweeten it just a bit.  You can enjoy it as is or top it off with coconut flakes and/or granola.

And that’s it.  Easy, right?

Stay tuned for a few more strawberry themed recipes in the coming weeks! 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

Reader Question: What Causes Dark Circles?

 

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Hello everyone! Hoping everyone had a great Easter weekend!

I’ve been asked about what I recommend for dark circles before and more recently Katie from Plus+Beauty also mentioned this concern (hi Katie!).

Q: What’s good for dark circles under the eyes?

A:

Dark circles can be caused by:

  • Sun damage
  • Veins and/ or capillaries showing through the skin
  •  Allergies
  •  Genetics

What to Use/Do

  • Products with retinol or vitamin C can help brighten the area.
  • An eye cream with SPF and sunglasses can help prevent more darkening if it’s caused by the sun.
  • Talking to your doctor if allergies are the culprit to see what options are available
  •  A peach colored concealer can help neutralize the appearance of dark circles
  •  Sometimes fillers like Radiesse or light treatments can help.

Product Recommendations

  • Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair
  • Algenist Firming and Lifting Eye Gel
  • Dermaologica Total Eye Care SPF 15
  • Le Miuex Eye Wrinkle Corrector
  • Renee Rouleau Vitamin C Eye Brightener
  • Eve Pearl Dual Salmon Concealer

These are a few products I have tried and liked but if you have another eye cream that works, please share!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Stephanie

Skin Tip: Ingredient Lists and Antioxidants!

It’s Friday readers and that means my weekly skin tip! 🙂

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while now know that I am a huge advocate for antioxidants in skincare ingredients, especially vitamin C.  However, if you happen to read the label and see that the antioxidants are listed towards the bottom of the list, chances are they were added to preserve the product and not intended to be active ingredients.  Sometimes, this could be the reason why a certain product that claims to ‘fade spots’ or ‘help brighten your look’ isn’t as effective as you would like it to be. For a guide on how to decipher other names for antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, click on each link.

Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to check out my giveaway by clicking here. 🙂

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

 

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 

 

 

 

Needles For Aging Skin?

microneedle

One of my readers asked me about micro needling so here’s the breakdown on this popular anti-aging process.

About Skin Needling

Skin needling, also referred to as microneedling or collagen induction therapy, is the use of multiple needles at one time on a set gauge or length that is either rolled or stamped onto the skin.  Originally recognized as a method to repair scars in 1995 by Norman Orentreich, MD, and David S. Orentreich, MD, it was Des Fernandes, MD, who introduced skin needling as a skin rejuvenation method.

Different needle lengths will yield different results.  For example, shorter needles will increase product penetration and stimulate collagen production while longer needles may be used to treat deeper wrinkles and scarring.

How it Works

Skin needling is based on the premise of a controlled wound response than in turn stimulates collagen production.   Basically, anytime your skin is injured, it begins a process of wound healing that is followed by the production of new collagen and elastin.  In skin needling, the needles create tiny ‘injuries’ that prompt this wound healing process.

Skin needling treatments will also be followed by applications of, but not limited to vitamin C, retinoids, peptides and/or hydroxy based exfoliants.  Whereas microdermabrasion or chemical peels drive ingredients further into the skin by removing a layer(s) of skin, skin needling does the same without removing the top layer of skin.

Who’s A Good Candidate?

Most skin types and conditions can benefit from this treatment but may not be suited for skin that is sensitive or inflamed.  Skin needling is used for fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and stretch marks.  Treatments can be tailored according to skin types and conditions by changing the device, needle depth and frequency of treatments.

 Things to Consider

A series of treatments are needed to achieve optimum results.

Treatments can range from $200-$500 per treatment.

The longer the needle is, this risk for infection increases; therefore follow your physicians instructions.

Procedures like these are usually performed in a medical office or medical spa- make sure the person performing the treatment is qualified and that he/she wears gloves at all times.

Although a topical numbing cream will be used prior to treatment, expect some discomfort.

Bottom Line: Skin needling is just one of many anti-aging options available that can generate great results. However, always do your research and consult with a professional to determine what works best for you.

I hope this article is helpful and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

*Note: Although I love DIY treatments, this treatment is best left to professionals.  Doing this yourself can cause damage and lead to severe infections.   

 

 

 

 

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! 

 

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

IMG_20140518_132949_089-1

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!