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: 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

 

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? 

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 

IMG_20140518_132615_358-1

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+

IMG_20140518_132237_093-1

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 

IMG_20140518_132353_220-1

 

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

IMG_20140518_132049_185-1

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+ 

IMG_20140518_132714_790-1

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 

IMG_20140518_131323_391-1

 

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

IMG_20140518_130752_951-2

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!

To Shea!

shea butter

Suffering from eczema, psoriasis or dry skin?

Here is one topical ingredient that can improve and relieve symptoms associated with these skin conditions.

Who: Butyrospermum Parkii, or shea butter

What skin types/conditions it can help: Dry, aging, eczema and psoriasis               

Where it comes from: The nut of the karite tree which grows in Africa

Why it’s important: Rich in vitamins A and E (antioxidants) and vitamin F (an Essential Fatty Acid known as linoleic acid), shea butter protects the skin from free radicals, helps minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and is a great emollient.  It also has soothing and nourishing properties

How it helps with dry, aging, eczema and psoriasis: Emollients maintain soft, smooth, pliable skin; remain on skin surface to act as a lubricant; reduce flaking; and improve appearance.  The soothing and nourishing aspects help repair the skin barrier.  Linoleic acid in skin care helps provide anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing support.

Vintage Sister Lip Balm Review!

Browsing online for lip balms one day, I happened to stumble upon Vintage Sister and I am so glad I did. These lip balms are super moisturizing, non-sticky, and don’t have a waxy feel like other lip balms I have tried.  Bonus: the packaging is super cute, they have fun flavors inspired by seasons, cocktails, and chocolate to name a few, and they are very affordable!

The lip balms are packaged in two forms: tins or tubes.  I purchased both.

Vintage Sister 2

Pros of lip balms in tins:

Very hydrating with ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E

Non-sticky

A unique array of flavors

About $3.95 each

Aromatic without being overwhelming

Cons of lip balms in tins:

Not travel friendly- the lid can slide open easily in bags, pockets, or travel gear and they liquefy quickly when exposed to heat

Unless you use a clean finger or disposable applicator, cross contaminating can occur

Vintage Sister 1

Pros of lip balms in tubes:

Formulated with great moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter and apricot kern oil

Travel friendly

Hygienic

Between $3.50-$4.00 each

Cons of lip balms in tubes:

Limited flavor selection

Although they provide great moisture than most other lip balms, these feel slightly less hydrating than the ones in tins

Overall: I really do love these.  I carry the tube lip balms in my purse and leave the tin lip balms on my bedside table to use at night.  They make adorable gifts, are a fun and inexpensive indulgence, and wear well under lipstick/lipgloss.

A definite repurchase!

Where to buy:  http://www.vintagesister.com

What’s your favorite lip balm product?

Happy Thursday!

The ‘E’ In Healthy Skin

Vitamin E

Dry and aging skin need not despair!  Vitamin E is excellent in smoothing away fine lines and wrinkles while keeping skin supple and providing a radiant glow.

Have oily skin? There is a silver lining to all that shine.

Read on to find out what vitamin E can do for you!

Who: Vitamin E

What skin conditions it can help: Aging.

Where it’s found: Foods high in vitamin E include vegetables, oils, seeds, corn, wheat germ and egg yolk.

For topical uses look for: Vitamin E, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Succinate, Tocopheryl Nicotinate.

Why it’s important: Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, an antioxidant that quenches free radicals and is instrumental in wound healing.  It’s also the most abundant antioxidant found in human skin; however, it declines with exposure to UV rays, pollution and age.

How it affects the body and skin: Vitamin E is needed to prevent muscle weakness (atrophy), loss of muscle mass, abnormal eye movements, vision problems and unsteady walking.

Topical use of vitamin E smooths skin, prevents moisture loss (excellent for dry skin!), and can reach living cells, therefore increasing the effectiveness of sunscreen. Studies have shown it to reduce sunburn cells after UV exposure- but this isn’t a free pass to subject your skin to sunburns!

Vitamin E is naturally delivered to the skin’s surface through sebum (oil), providing nourishment for the skin, and could be a possible reason why oily skin types age better.  Combined use of vitamin E and vitamin C enhances these effects.

Have a favorite vitamin E product?  Do share!

Happy Tuesday!

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.

ACE Skin Health!

ACE

The adage, “You are what you eat,” holds true, especially when it comes to our skin.  Afterall, our skin is a mirror that reflects what is going on internally as well as externally in our bodies.  Proper nutrition is not only vital in keeping us functioning properly but it also helps us radiate beauty from the inside out.

There are 13 essential vitamins that are needed for the body to function, which include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. Vitamins are grouped into two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble.  Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are stored in the body’s fatty tissue and can lead to toxicity if consumed in high amounts.  Water-soluble vitamins are used by the body right away, and any left over water-soluble vitamins leave the body through the urine.

In regards to topical application, vitamins absorb into the skin like a sponge. Vitamins A, C, and E seem to have garnered the most interest from skincare companies to makeup lines.  How many times have you seen that ‘X’ product now contains vitamin C to help brighten skin and help combat hyperpigmentation?  Even when taking vitamin supplements, you can’t help but notice the various beauty benefits purported on the labels.

So what makes ACE important in the skin care realm and overall health?

Stay tuned this week to learn the individual beauty benefits of this triad!

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.