Tag Archives: skin care tips

Streamline Your Beauty Routine

If you keep apprised on beauty news, you’ve probably been intrigued by the 10-step beauty routine. While it is hard to deny the apparent agelessness of Korean skin, keep in mind that Koreans prepare for this from an early age. While Western children are learning how to consolidate their earnings and 401Ks, Korean children are busy learning how and when to apply their essences and ampoules and the benefits of the double cleanse.

Woman smiling in nature

True, modern Western women do need to be concerned about their skin, but they also need to be concerned about being superheroes, and sometimes that doesn’t leave time for a ten-step beauty program. If we’re going to multitask, why shouldn’t we ask the same of our beauty products? Here are some ways of streamlining your beauty routine for maximum beauty with minimum energy.

All In One Cleanser
Eliminate the need for multiple products by purchasing and all in one cleanser. Find a whole family friendly soap in a neutral scent to act as a shampoo, bubble bath and body wash.

Dry Shampoo
Need to clean, but have no time to wash and style. Spray some dry shampoo into your roots to absorb excess oil. You can also boost volume by massaging dry shampoo into your roots with your fingers to add a little texture to fine, thin hair.

Eye pencil

Jumbo Eye Pencil
Avoid the hassle of separate shadows, liners, and highlighter. Use a bronze or nude jumbo eyeliner crayon to do triple duty. Use it as an eyeshadow by coloring lids from crease to lash line and then contour cheeks by drawing a light line just below your cheekbones and blending back toward your hairline.

Triple Nutrition Oil
A blend of natural oils. like olive, almond, and avocado, can work on your dry skin and your flaky scalp. Use it head to toe for great skin and lustrous hair.

Tinted Lip Balm
Just one tube of tinted lip balm can bring color to your cheeks and lips. Just dab a little on the apples of your cheeks and blend with your fingertips for a natural, rosy tone.

Tinted lip balm

Complexion Correction Perfection
Surpass your basic lightweight foundation by using one which incorporates an anti-aging complex with a broad spectrum SPF to protect from sun exposure.

Glow on the Go
For instant radiance, try a blotter paper booklet filled with pages pressed with blush and highlighting powder. Simply tear out a page and rub on areas where the light naturally hits. Use the reverse side to blot excess oil.

What do you use to streamline your routine? Tell us your favorite time savers!

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Unisex Skincare Products That Work

Should couples share everything? Gwen Stefani seemed to think so. The lyrics to the No Doubt song, “Bathwater,” feature the blond vixen claiming to “love to wash in (her man’s) old bathwater” and even makes references to “sharing a toothbrush.” Sure, we’ve heard of girls to throwing on their man’s jackets, undershirts, colognes, and watches, and we’ve seen guys borrowing the occasional nail polish and eyeliner, but how about when it comes to personal hygiene? Although there has yet to be recommended the use of the communal toothbrush, there are some products that work well for both sexes. So in the name of equality, let’s explore a few.

Serum
While serum should always have antioxidants and corrective properties tailored to your skin, there are some hydrating formulas which can soothe the skin for you after cleansing, while doing the same for him after shaving. Ideal formulas have no scent and work for all skin types, but remember, no hogging!

Couple cleansing together

Cleanser
Perhaps the biggest difference between men’s and women’s skincare routines is the cleansing part. Women cleanse religiously, while men seem to be more sporadic about it. However, despite the regularity, or lack thereof, one thing is for sure. Both sexes need a cleanser that removes debris, dirt and oil.

Everyday Moisturizer
If you and your man tend toward oily skin, you probably want to pool your earnings into a large tub of a lightweight moisturizer with antioxidants, botanicals, and minerals to reduce shine and balance skin. Also, keep in mind that he may be more comfortable using something in a gender neutral package, so try to keep the frills to a minimum.

Scent Free Shower Cleanser
Use this while showering together or separately. Look for something creamy and Ph balanced to smooth skin while it cleanses. Again, scent-free is recommended for sharing; nothing with too much perfume or cologne.

Couple using skincare together

Face Mask
While the image of a woman in a face mask has been fodder for American sitcoms for generations, men are now equally entitled to this skin clearing vehicle. Share a clay mask to open clogged pores and soak up sebum with a natural buffer to slough off dead skin cells.

Lightweight Sunscreen
His skin may be thicker than yours, but that doesn’t mean it’s not susceptible to sun damage. A non-greasy, lightweight, untinted sunscreen will work for both of you, so look for something with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of 30 or above. Be sure that both of you cover face as well as neck.

Lip Balm
You owe it to each other to keep your lips equally kissable. Find a colorless, weightless balm with added UV protection and keep reapplying throughout the day.

Do you share hygienic products with your better half? What do you think? Are there benefits to sharing? Let us know!

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Aging And Skin Elasticity

If there is an observation to be made about aging, it is that there is an increase in the elasticity in your waistband of your pants and a decrease in the elasticity of your skin. Unfortunately, while our pants get stretchier it seems our skin just gets saggier and we begin to wish that the skin on our faces was as plump as the skin on our mid-sections. If you are noticing the effects of gravity on your skin, there is hope! There are a few things you can do to make sure the skin on your face stays as resilient as the elastic on your sweatpants.

Protein
Your skin is made up of two main proteins; collagen and elastin. Elastin gives your skin its stretchiness and collagen provides your skin with structure. As you get older, these proteins begin to break down, as does your bodies ability to produce them. While you may not be able to control the intrinsic causes of aging skin, such as genetic makeup, there are factors that you can mitigate.

Woman in sun
Aging Caused By the Sun

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, even a minimal amount of exposure to the sun without proper protection can cause premature aging. Photoaging, or aging caused by the sun, not only breaks down the collagen existing in your body, but also prevents the production of new collagen. The result? Saggy skin.

Dehydration
The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology says skin needs about 10 to 15 % water content to maintain its supple appearance. Dehydration causes skin to thin, putting it at risk for sagging and wrinkles. Even if you are getting adequate amounts of water, you may still experience dehydration caused by drinking too much alcohol, exposure to inclement weather or disease.

Woman smoking
Smoking
Yellow stains, thinning skin, and lip lines are all things that a smoker is likely to develop. A study in the journal Archives of Dermatology says that smoking inhibits collagen synthesis. In addition, lighting up increases enzymes called (wait for it) matrix metalloproteinases (spelling bee word) that can degrade collagen and other proteins in your skin. The researchers also found that these changes occurred independently of absence or use of sun block.

What Can You Do?
It is never too late to change, and, thankfully, there are some small alterations you can make to maintain skin elasticity. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and avoid sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is at its harshest. Drink plenty of fluids, including lots of vitamin C enriched juices to help build collagen and use moisturizers for hydration.

Certain skin creams can be used to replace antioxidants lost through smoking and sun exposure. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, creams with alpha-lipolic acid, co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ100 and selenium are effective at restoring antioxidant compounds Laser resurfacing and radio frequency are other options for improving skin appearance.

How do you bounce back when your skin doesn’t? Let us know how you keep your skin supple and plump!

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Skin Care Tips For Every Body Part

When it comes to skin care, our faces usually get the most amount of attention. After all, our faces are usually the focal parts of our bodies, and the most exposed. However, one only needs to look at Michelle Obama’s arms, Heidi Klum’s legs, and Cameron Diaz’s back to know that the other body parts can speak multitudes. And besides, if you’re going to show off that rose tattoo on your neck, or the unicorn on your shoulder blade, you better make sure that the skin surrounding it is up to snuff.

Whether it’s providing the canvas for a new tattoo, or emulating your favorite celebrity, the skin on all parts of our body needs equal and individual care and you need to know how to provide it. Read on to learn how to pamper your skin from head to toe.

Woman who takes care of her skin
Face
Let’s start at the top. The most basic elements of facial care are protection and hydration. That means making sure your skin has a strong moisture barrier and limited exposure to damaging free radicals. Moisturizer and SPF is an absolute necessity. A moisturizer with a built in SPF of 15 or higher packs a great one two punch, or use products separately to keep your face well protected. The thin skin around your eyes may require extra care. Cosmetic physician Dr. Monica Bandaker suggests eye creams which contain caffeine which minimizes dark circles under the eyes by constricting blood vessels and brightening skin.

Neck
If faces are the number one skin priority, the neck has to be a close second. To avoid signs of aging on your neck, always apply sunscreen. Although neck creams tend to be stronger than facial creams, you may choose to use a facial cream containing retinol to avoid purchasing separate products. Bonadaker says that retinoic acids are “the most studied group of active ingredients for the skin to increase cell turnover, shrink pores, brighten skin, and correct acne.”

Ears
Believe it or not, ears are one of the three most likely areas to be affected by skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Don’t neglect them when you’re slathering on the sunscreen.

Arms and Legs
When it comes to alligator skin, the arms and legs are the most commonly affected areas. Moisturizer to the rescue. Banadaker suggests, “creams containing uric acid, which help with the exfoliation of the top dead layer of skin.”

Woman with clean hair
Scalp
Although most of us think dandruff when it comes to scalp related skin problems, it is also a common area for skin cancer to develop. Since slathering hair with sunscreen is not an option, a hat is the best bet for scalp protection. As for the dryness, choose moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, and choose lukewarm water over hot when you rinse.

Back
If bacne is the bane of your existence, perspiration is probably at the root of the problem. Dried sweat clogs pores and leads to breakouts. Make sure to avoid letting sweat dry on your body after a workout and apply an exfoliant to help keep skin blemish free.

Hands
If you want to post selfies of your manicured nails or fabulous rings, you need to be sure to keep your hands in prime conditions. Wear rubber gloves when using harsh cleansers and apply moisturizer nightly. Thick petroleum creams, such as vaseline, are especially potent healers of dry hands.

How do you make sure all the parts of your body stay beautiful? Let us know your all over pampering techniques!

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Try Acupuncture To Improve Your Skin

woman getting acupuncture
It seems that at one time, the thought of having needles stuck in your body was more likely to conjure images of Pinhead from “Hellraiser” than Elle Macpherson and Gwyneth Paltrow. However, in these days, it seems like the concept has become much more desirable. Besides Macpherson and Paltrow, Oprah Winfrey and Jim Carrey are just some of those joining the long list of celebrities who swear by the power of acupuncture. There is a lot of proof that acupuncture is quite effective, and even more effective than many traditional treatments. Here’s a closer look at the ancient art of acupuncture.

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a practice involving the insertion of needles into points that lie along the channels, or meridians of energy in your body connecting your body’s organs. This stimulation caused by the needles is thought to unblock energy to achieve qi, a balance of the body’s vital energy. Acupuncture has its origins in China and is thought to have begun 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.

How Does it Work?
While it is still not clear exactly how this phenomena is explained, it is speculated that it works by stimulating Raphe’s nuclei in the body, which increases serontin production. This is then thought to set off reactions which modulate inflammation and other parts of the immune response system. Since many skin conditions are linked to inflammation, it follows that acupuncture would likewise have a positive effect on the skin.

Acupuncture and Skin
Dr. Raja Sivmani, assistant professor at UC Davis and fellow researchers set out to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on several skin conditions including acne, hives (ueticaria), itchy skin (pruritis), and atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema causing dry skin. The team’s findings were based on past studies conducted in the US, China. Germany, Korea, Taiwan, and Sweden. Here are some of the results.

Studies of acupuncture treatments for atopic dermatitis were very promising, showing positive results to be significantly higher for those who underwent acupuncture treatments as opposed to those who received a placebo treatment or none at all. In the case of urticaria, or hives, acupuncture proved to reduce the duration of episodes more effectively than placebo acupuncture and resulted in a greater decrease in the wheals caused by this condition. One study showed that the wheals disappeared completely and increased the time between episodes for about a quarter of the patients.

One case reported acupuncture as capable of relieving dermatitis, while another was shown to be more effective than herbal medicine and vitamin C in clearing rashes caused by neurodermatitis. Four studies revealed acupuncture to be effective in treatment of HPV wart, facial elasticity, breast inflammation and excessive sweating. More conclusive studies have yet to be done on the effectiveness of the treatment on chronic inflammatory conditions, like acne.

Have you ever used acupuncture? Tell us about your experience! Your opinion counts! We love to hear from you!

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Winter Foods For Healthy Skin

What are you bringing to your holiday table this year? A huge turkey? A heap of stuffing? Why not bring something healthy? Holidays tend to take a terrible toll on our skin as stress combined with unhealthy eating is a sure recipe for wrinkles and zits. So, when your family asks you what you’re giving them this year, you can say, “I am bringing the gift of good skin” and prove it by bringing a bounty of skin enhancing foods to the table. If you are looking for the best way to give your relatives a priceless gift this season, here are some great ideas.

Low fat cheese
Low-fat Dairy
Put some low fat cheese on the macaroni! One of the most important parts of a good skin diet is Vitamin A and one of the best places to find it is in low fat dairy. Liz Lipski, PhD, MD, especially advocates low fat yogurt for good skin because it contains not only vitamin A, but also acidophilus, the live bacteria associated with good intestinal health. Says Lipski, “Anything that helps keep digestion normal, any live bacteria or enzymes is also going to be reflected in healthy-looking skin.”

Healthy Oils
If you’re looking for essential fatty acids, try cooking with some good quality oils. They help to keep skin lubricated and plump. Look for the oils labeled as “expeller processed, cold pressed, or extra virgin” for the best skin results, as these are not subject to the nutrient loss that occurs in commercial processing.

Green Tea
How about some green tea as a dessert accompaniment? Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and it can also protect the cell membrane from damages. Some experts believe that it may even help prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer. A study published by the Archives of Dermatology seems to back this claim, showing green tea to be effective in reducing the damage from ultraviolet light and lowering the risk of skin cancer.

Sliced turkey
Turkey, Tuna, Muffins, Whole Wheat
Bread, and Brazil Nuts
You may be wondering what all these seemingly unrelated foods have in common. The answer is selenium. Two clinical trials performed at Edinburgh University showed that high selenium levels were likely to lower the likelihood of cancer in skin cells. Whole grain products can provide healthy alternatives to items containing white flour on the holiday table, like sugar, cake and white rice, all of which can cause inflammation associated with skin breakouts.

Salmon, Flaxseed, Walnuts and Canola Oil
Used alone or as part of a recipe, all of the above are great sources of fatty acids, which are key elements in healthy skin. Ann Yelmodas McDermott, PhD, says,” Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes,” which make up the skin barrier, responsible for holding in water. The stronger this barrier is, the better the ability of your cells to hold on to moisture. The result? Younger, plumper skin.

And, just think of how popular you will be when word gets out about all the great food you bring to parties! You’ll be receiving invitations from even the most selective of hosts! Let us know how much your social life has improved! We always love to hear from you!

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Skin Care Tips For Skiers

Woman skiing

Mountain sports and ski vacations are an excellent way of enjoying the fresh air, catching up on physical exercise and having fun with friends while sipping on hot cocoa.  You’re probably booking your chalet and packing your fave winter accessories, but don’t forget to adjust your skin care routine. We’re dishing out a few solutions to help you hit the slopes with a luminous glow without having to worry about things like sunburns, dehydration and frostbites.

Prep Your Skin
If you are looking for the best canvas for applying your face, makeup artist Elle Leary advises switching to cream cleanser for low temperatures skin care. “They are richer in hydration and in general don’t have as many harsh detergents that make skin dryer.” In addition, to prevent patchiness, Leary suggests that her clients exfoliate three to four times weekly with a gentle facial scrub.

Use BB and CC Creams
Leary notes that getting that perfect makeup look can be harder in humid areas. “Makeup doesn’t really work the way you are used to- it has a tendency to stick to dry spots and not blend into the skin very well.” She suggests swapping out your regular foundation for “BB” and “CC” creams. These tinted moisturizers not only contain SPF, but are full of ingredients to ensure radiant skin and allowing the dermis to breathe, enhancing the natural glow of your skin. Another rule of thumb for skiing? Skip the blush, your cheeks will have a natural flush from the low temps.

Woman skiing

Bold Eyes, Nude Lips
We hope barbie did her makeup right! If your ski date includes a Ken, you might want to play up the eyes and leave lips on the bare side. Lips tend to get chapped, dehydrated, and dry causing lipstick to settle into cracks and lines, not your best look. Also, remember to go with waterproof mascara and eyeliner to avoid raccoon eyes.

Fight Windburn
Dr. Howard Sobel, director of the New York Institute of Aesthetic Dermatology and Laser Surgery, has a way to head off the red, overly dry feeling your skin gets in windy locations. He attributes it to “a combination of very cold temperatures and low humidity causing a decrease in the natural oils found in the skin resulting in a dry, red irritated texture.” For exposed skin, the good doctor advises a generous layer of moisturizer with SPF 30 reapplied every two hours to keep skin soft and sun proof.

Use Blotting Papers
Skin can get oily, even in the coldest conditions. If you find yourself sporting a midday shine, Dr. Leary says blotting papers are a better idea than powders because they leave your skin with enough natural oil to protect from the elements.

Do tell us all about your skiing adventures. We love to hear it.

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