Tag Archives: skin care

A Course Of Action For Flawless Skin

vine vera banner A Course Of Action For Flawless Skin

Admit it. Anytime you hear the words Korean and beauty product in the same sentence, you start to drool a little bit. What is it about the Korean beauty routine that makes us all feel like we westerners just somewhat inferior? Are we just lacking that bit of Asian discipline that drives the Korean women beauty perfectionism? Is it the concept of superior Eastern wisdom which makes us believe the Korean women hold the secrets to great beauty? Or is it simply that the Korean women just look so darn good? Whatever it is that makes us westerners go so crazy for any information beauty related Korean women have to offer, get ready for some more of it. Here are some secrets to flawless skin from the women who wrote the book on it.

Steam Your Face In the Shower
Korean facial massage parlors are as commonplace in South Korea as Starbucks Cafes are in America. Use circular motions with your fingers and also light tapping in rotating patterns starting on the forehead, then continuing to the cheekbones and cheeks, eventually ending at the jawline. Use an oil cleanser for an added benefit.

Use A Charcoal Sheet Mask
The charcoal sheet mask is all the rage in Korea. Simply apply it to your face for 15 to 20 minutes and let it work its detoxifying and exfoliating powers.

Exfoliate with A Warm Damp Wash Cloth
Soak a washcloth in hot water, and massage your face using circular strokes. It’s a known Korean youth booster.

Layer a Facial Essence between Two Moisturizers
If you’re not Korean, you may not even use two moisturizers, much less a facial essence between them. Essences are mild solutions with nutrients to hydrate your skin after cleansing. Follow with a serum, and then add a moisturizer for elasticity and hydration.

vine vera A Course Of Action For Flawless Skin

Blurring
Apparently, it’s not all perfect when it comes to Korean skin. The Korean blurring trick involves using one or more coverage products with a makeup brush to camouflage unwanted perfections. An air cushion foundation is the signature Korean cosmetic for blurring like a pro because it allows you to go from very sheer to very opaque coverage without looking heavy.

Use an Ampoule
Koreans describe the ampoule as a “serum on steroids.” It has the highest amount of active ingredients needed to do their work in the shortest amount of time. Apply a few drops before the essence to treat dullness, acne, and hyper pigmentation.

Use an Overnight Sleeping Mask
You know that your skin is working its hardest at cell recovery while you sleep, which makes it the best time to moisturize. Just apply an intensive sleeping mask before bed, and wake up to skin rejuvenation.

Mouth Stretches
Perhaps you can multitask in the car, by saying A-E-I-O-U in an exaggerated way three times on your way to work. It may improve circulation and brighten skin tone.

What tricks of the trade are you borrowing from the Koreans for flawless skin? Let us know what you think of the sage Korean beauty advice, and how much of it you’re willing to incorporate into your daily routine.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

Taking Care of Your Skin In The Air

flight taking off

Literally and figuratively, flying is a trip. You get up at some ungodly hour in the climate and time zone you’re adapted to, get some air pressurized cabin pumping out some kind of mechanically generated excuse for oxygen, which you inevitably find uncomfortable by the middle of the trip, rise to an unnaturally high altitude, eat processed food, and wake up at a different ungodly hour in a different climate and time zone. If you think this is rough on the mind, just think about your poor skin. The following is a breakdown of exactly what happens to your skin on a flight, and some ways to keep it, and yourself, calm and glowing.

Humidity Factor
One of the main reason’s our skin does not do well on airplanes is because of the dry air in the cabin. According to Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai, “Typically, skin is comfortable when the humidity level is between 40 to 70 percent. Most airplanes are at about 20%. That’s less than half of what we’re used to.” That drop in humidity equals dry red and flaky skin. While you may think a good moisturizer is the best solution, Elizabeth Tanzi, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at George Washingon says, “When there’s no water in the air, moisturizers don’t work as well since there is nothing to grab on to.” Her advice? Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule with the ability to bind to water. Use a small amount of serum containing hyaluronic acid followed by a moisturizer with ceramides. The ceramics will create a barrier to prevent moisture from escaping.

Greasy Skin
When skin dries out, it may try and overcompensate for the dryness by producing too much oil. Make sure to keep skin moist so your skin won’t have to fight the super dry air alone. Blotting papers are a great way to soak up excess oil if the skin does get greasy.

Altitude
Most commercial aircraft become pressurized between 6,000 to 8,000 feet, comparable to what you might experience on the top of a mountain. Kanchanapoomi Levin warns that the increase in altitude means, “less blood flow to the skin, which may make for a dull appearance.”

vine vera Taking Care of Your Skin In The Air

Water Retention
Sitting still on an airplane for a long time eating salty foods can make the body retain extra water, which can result in bloating and puffiness. Tanzi advises trying to get a little exercise in after you land to get the fluid back in circulation.

Sunscreen
You are closer to the sun, after all. According to Kanachanapoomi Levin, “UV rays are much more intense at higher altitudes, and with thinner air, there is less screening of harmful radiation.” If you’re flying during daylight hours, sunscreen in your carry-on is an absolute must.

Eyes, Nose, Lips, Cuticles
Perhaps one of the reasons airplane food is so notoriously bad has to do with the fact that the crew is counting on your impaired ability to taste properly on a flight. When mucous membranes dry out on a plane, side effects may include not only an impaired sense of taste, but dry lips, nosebleeds, and red itchy eyes. Make sure to keep some Vaseline closely for your nose and lips, and some moisturizing eye drops to keep your eyes refreshed.

How do you keep your skin from getting stressed during travel? Let us know what you do before during and after boarding.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips, Lifestyle

Give These Summer Skincare Tips A Try

The day of reckoning has come. The days are getting longer and the shorts are getting shorter. It’s time to unveil all those parts of the body that you’ve been referring to as the “nether regions” this past winter, and that means your skin has to be up to the task. How are you going to get your pasty legs “Daisy Duke” ready in time to hit the beach? No problem! Just dust off that razor, toss out the old sunscreen, and get ready to glow crazy.

Exfoliate
Your body is a skin cell shedding machine. You need to get rid of all those dead cells before they end up collecting on your skin, making it look dull and dry. Lotions is not enough. You need to grab a good body scrub and high tail it to the shower, now! Rub the exfoliator over your body in circular movements and rinse. Do this 2-3 times a week to keep skin soft and smooth.

Shave the Right Way
If you haven’t been exactly diligent about your shaving practices last winter, its time to pay the piper. Find a good razor that won’t cause razor burn and invest in a good women’s shaving lotion with moisturizers. If you find yourself without lotion, hair conditioners will do in a pinch.

Use A Summer Scented Lotion
You don’t want to just look like summer, you want to smell like it too. Get the full effect with a light fast absorbing summery gel or spray. Coconut and mango scents absolutely bespeak of summer. Make sure to apply right after drying off from the shower to seal in moisture.

Give These Summer Skincare Tips A Try

Maridav / Shutterstock.com

Safe Summer Glow
It may seem hard to believe that less than 40 years ago, people spent their summers basking in the sun hoping to catch some color. Nowadays, we have to seek our glow from containers. Sunless tanners are a great option for giving your skin a glow this summer. You can also alternate your usual facial moisturizer with a tinted one to build gradual color, giving the effect of an effortlessly maintained tan all summer long.

Feet
Time to switch out those winter boots for your slinky sandals? An at home pedicure may be on the agenda. Use a foot scrub and file to scrub off dry, dead skin a few times a week. Products with ADA acids will add some exfoliating action to your pedi, making your feet sandal ready.

Nail Polish
While you’re working on those feet, you may want to polish those toenails. You can go for something bolder on the toes than the fingernails, and its bound to stay on for a lot longer because we don’t clean our houses with our feet. Just apply a base coat, two coats of color, and a clear top coat for protection. Go barefoot for a few hours to let polish set.

New Sunscreen
The importance of a good sunscreen cannot be overstated in the summer months. Using last year’s unused sunscreen is not going to cut it. Be safe and buy a new bottle and use it. You should apply a shot glass sized amount of sunscreen to your body and a full teaspoon for just the face and neck area. Reapply every 1 to 2 hours. Be sure to look for something with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of at least 30.

How are you getting your glow on this summer? Let us know your favorite summer glow to-s.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

Try The “Tissue Test” To Determine Your Skin Type

If you’re trying to choose the best skin care treatment for your skin, whether it be cleansing, moisturizing, or toning, the first step is always the same: determining your skin type. Which should be easy, right? How far off the mark can you be? But truthfully, we’re all a little unsure, and if you’re reluctant to admit confusion, you’re not alone.

You see, as it turns out, determining your skin type can be more difficult than you might think. That’s because skin type changes as you age. Acne-prone teens can grow into adults with dry sensitive skin and clear skinned twenty-somethings can develop breakouts later in life. Heaters, air conditioning, changes in weather and other external factors can also affect skin behavior. If you’re among the many who are not sure which skin type category your fall under, you may want to try the “tissue test” for an accurate read.

Woman smiling

The Tissue Test

  1. Cleanse your face. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face and pat dry. Remove all traces of makeup. This will clear away the daily accumulation of oil and dirt, leaving your skin in the best shape for the test. Be careful to avoid over washing.
  2. Wait an hour. This will give your skin time to return to its most natural state, restoring pH balance after cleansing. Try to avoid touching your face during this time.
  3. Dab your face with tissue.
  4. Pay most attention to your “T-zone,’ the area including the nose and forehead.

Results

Normal Skin
If you have normal skin, your skin will show no oil and no flaking skin, and feel smooth and supple. If you have this, congratulations, this is the most desirable type.

Oily Skin
A greasy tissue means greasy skin. Oily skin is also characterized by large pores and a shiny complexion.

Dry Skin
If your skin feels taut or shows dead skin flakes it means you have dry skin. It is also common for people with this skin types to have small pores. Moisturize, moisturize!

Combination
If your skin shows all three traits of the above type, join the crowd. Combination skin is the most common skin type. Usually, this means the skin in the T-zone is oily, while other parts are normals or dry.

Woman smiling

Skin Problems
In addition to having a “type,” there are two common “problem” categories that your skin can fall under.

Sensitive skin
If your skin reacts easily to regular facial products, developing redness, itchiness, or rashes, your skin is sensitive.

Acne-Prone
Teenager of not, if you see spots, you’ve got acne-prone skin. Look for a good product with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid on the market, or visit a dermatologist for advice.

Did you do the tissue test? Did it work for you? Let us know, and tell us what works best on your skin type.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

Caffeine’s Effects On Your Skin

Judging from the lines at Starbucks, people sure like the effects of coffee. It seems that coffee companies cannot find enough ways of incorporating the bean into new drinks. Just when you think you finally figured out the difference between a mocha chino and macchiato, a new drink appears with lines of people ready to dole out their hard-earned cash for the latest blast of caffeine infused sweetness. And while these consumers may be giving themselves an extra pat on the back for the not so recent evidence of coffee’s antioxidant properties, they may be less enamored to hear of how the brew actually affects the skin.

Woman drinking coffee

Tannins
Tannin is a chemical present in coffee and tea. If the knowledge that tannin is used in tanneries to process leather isn’t enough to convince you that it’s not something you want in your coffee, consider its effects on your skin. Tannins prevent the pores of cells from receiving nutrients. Other things that make tannin such a great leather treatment, and a such a lousy skin treatment, are its hydration removal properties, which can make skin brittle over time.

Liver Spots
Liver spots are a common skin problem for older people. The liver functions as a filter to purify your blood, allowing cells to receive essential nutrients and oxygen. Over the long term, coffee can block the liver with toxins, preventing it from doing its job. The impurities in the blood result in high levels of liver congestion and toxicity which can result in the appearance of the dreaded liver spot, according to Chet Day’s Health and Beyond Online.

Dehydration
Not only does the tannin contribute to skin dehydration, the caffeine in the coffee acts like a diuretic in high amounts, furthering the dehydrating effects. Diuretics cause increased urination which dries out your skin and your body. Although a few cups of Joe a day may not dry you out too badly, try to keep your intake to under 4 cups to avoid problems.

Woman drinking coffee indoors

Acne
Ok, so the word is still out on the acne-caffeine connection, but it seems to be the opinion of most experts that, while caffeine may not cause acne, it could exacerbate an already existing condition, according to AbsoluteAcneInfo.com. The toxic effects of coffee on the liver may also contribute to acne because the caffeine can block the liver from purifying blood, which may taint skin cells.

Topical Use Of Caffeine
Why, you may be wondering, if coffee is so bad for the skin, is it a common ingredient in skin care products? Well, it turns out that the antioxidant properties in caffeine make it an effective anti-ager and its ability to constrict small blood vessels and reduce inflammation can help minimize sagging skin and dark circles under the eyes. Caffeine’s anti- inflammatory qualities often aid in reducing the appearance of cellulite and its dehydrating abilities help to draw excess fluids from fat cells.

So the upshot? When it comes to caffeine and your skin, put it on you, not in you. Let us know what you think? Is the caffeine withdrawal worth the potential skin benefits?

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

The Best Spring Colors For Your Skin Tone

Colors can be very attractive, but as much as you like them in the makeup palette, they may not be the most flattering colors for you. So, in the spirit of saving you some heartache, and sparing you from unnecessary purchases, here’s the skinny on finding the right spring color for your skin tone.

Here’s The Deal
Your skin has undertones. They may not be very apparent, but they come out when you hold another color up to it. That’s why certain colors can make you look gorgeous and others can make you look like you’ve just eaten something disagreeable. To tell which colors best complement your skin tone, you need to first establish what your skin tone is. Take off your makeup and try a drape test to figure it out.

Cool skin tone

Cool
Are you on of the cool kids? If your hair is blonde, ash brown, dark brown, or black, and your skin has pink undertones, you are! Still not sure? Hold up some springy royal blues and bright pinks and basic blacks and whites to your face. Look good? You’re cool!

Light cool
If your hair has a light ashy tone, and your skin is pale with pink undertones, you may be cool light, or light cool. To make sure, hold up some light blues, pinks, and lavenders. If they flatter, you’re light cool.

Warm
If you’ve gone for strawberry blond tints and your skin tans well, it’s all about orange. If orange makes you look radiant, you’re getting warm.

Warm skin

Light Warm
If you’ve got a reddish tint but your skin is fair, or you have darker skin with a peachy glow, then oranges, greens and browns may be overwhelming. Try beachy spring corals, beiges and peaches instead. If they make your eyes pop, you’re a light warm.

Your Best Spring Colors
So now that you know what skin tone you have, here are a few colors you may want to include in your springtime wardrobe.

Orchid
Cool tones, rejoice. Your color for the spring is a radiant orchid. Whether it be maxi dress, flirty sandals or blouses, be sure to include this standout jewel tone in your spring collection.

Lavender

Soft Lavender
Light cool tones will want to find themselves draped in soft lavender this spring. Don a lavender sun dress for some fairy tale spring inspiration and make this pastel your signature color this season.

Cayenne Pink
Warm tones will find the yellow and orange undertones in coral pink great complements to your golden skin tones. A standout color on the spring fashion runways, cayenne pink is going to be huge this year, and it’s going to look terrific on you.

Woman in yellow dress

Lemon Yellow
When life hands you “lemon,” wear it! Nothing says spring quite like a warm, buttery yellow and it’s just the thing for light and warm tones this year. Light warms will do best with lighter desaturated yellow, while true warms can go for the bold canary colors. Get your yellow on in sunnies, skirts/ and platform heels for some fun in the sun this spring.

So which skin tone are you? Whether you’re cooling off or warming up for the spring, we want to hear all about you’re fashion adventures. Please keep us posted.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

Lifestyle May Be Your Skin Care Savior

Your skin will not lie. You can say you never ate that sugary food, didn’t go out in the sun without sunscreen, didn’t skimp on sleep; the list goes on, but your skin will give you away every time. You can lie all you want, but that blemish, sunburn, or wrinkle will be there to testify against you.

Face it, there’s only one way to prevent your skin from revealing your sins, and that is to stop sinning. It’s time to accept the fact that the only way to keep your skin quiet is by keeping it healthy. Here are some lifestyle changes to help you choose the right path to healthy skin.

Woman in nature

Protect Your Skin From the Sun
One sure way to prevent skin from premature aging is to protect it from the sun. There is no surer way to prevent age spots and wrinkles or to lower the risk of skin cancer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 and apply generously, repeating every two hours, or more, if you’ve been swimming or perspiring.

Try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when its rays are strongest and do your best to stay in the shade.

Wear protective clothing. Tightly woven long-sleeved shirts and pants, and wide-brimmed hats provide the best protection from the sun. There are also laundry additives on the market which give clothes an extra layer of UV protection for a number of washings, as well as sun protective clothing with built-in protection from ultraviolet rays.

Stop Smoking
Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin, decreasing blood flow and depleting skin of nutrients and oxygen. The result is older looking skin and wrinkles.

Additionally, smoking is a danger to collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin are the fibers that maintain skin’s strength and elasticity.

Woman smoking

Also, the faces that you make from smoking? The pursing of the lips? The squinting? Also likely to cause wrinkles. How can you prevent this? Quit smoking. Ask your doctor for tips and treatment advice.

Be Gentle
Even simply daily cleansing can tax your skin. You can keep the toll to a minimum by limiting bath time. Hot water can remove oil from your skin, and the longer you spend bathing, the greater the loss of moisture. Keep bath time down and try to use warm water, rather than hot.

Swap strong soaps and detergents for mild cleansers to keep skin better hydrated.
Shave carefully, using shaving cream, gel, or lotion prior to shaving. Use a clean sharp razor and shave in the direction in which the hair grows to ensure the smoothest shave with the least skin nicks and cuts.

Pat skin dry after washing to make sure some moisture is left on the skin and follow up with an SPF containing moisturizer that is suited to your skin type.

Eat well
Never underestimate the importance of a good diet for skin health. Eat your veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Research suggests that diets high in unhealthy fats and processed carbohydrates may age skin prematurely, while vitamin C-rich foods may promote younger-looking skin.

Woman meditating outdoors

Control Stress
Stress can increase skin sensitivity and lead to breakouts and other problems. You can manage stress by setting limits and decreasing overwhelming activity in exchange for things you enjoy, or doing low-intensity exercises like yoga and pilates.

Turn Off Your Cell Phone
According to Dr. Francesca J. Fusco, if you keep your head down often while scrolling or texting, you may begin to notice lines in your neck. She suggests hanging photos at eye level in rooms in which you text the most as an enticement to keep your head up during phone use.

Let us know how you have changed your lifestyle to improve your skin health. We want to know!

Leave a comment

Filed under Lifestyle