Tag Archives: skincare

Underlying Causes Of Skin Discoloration

Woman checking face at mirror

Hyper: as a prefix, it means over, excessive, above or beyond. Pigmentation: The coloration of tissues by pigment. Put them together and you get hyperpigmentation, the excessive discoloration of skin tissues by pigment.

When it comes to what women want in terms of the appearance of their skin, even tone and uniform color usually top the list. So what can you do if factors come into play that prevents you from having the ideal skin tone? When it comes to correcting hyperpigmentation, the first step is knowing how it is caused.

Acne Related

  • Cause – When acne is the cause of discoloration, the symptoms can often show up long after the blemish is gone. Inflammation is an unavoidable part of acne and the more inflamed the blemish is, the greater the risk of scarring. Although inflammation can be a desirable bodily response to help the pimple fade and heal, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can occur. While PIH does not affect the texture of the skin, it can cause discoloration, which can take a while to fade.
  • Solution – The best cure for acne related hyperpigmentation is a topical product that lightens and brightens. Glycolic masks, hydroquinone, salicylic acid, and retinol can all help to reduce dark spots; chemical peels can be effective and, if the spots are red and flat, you may want to consider redness reducing laser treatment.

Sun Related

  • Cause – If your hyperpigmentation is sun related, it is caused by the deposits of melanin on the skin produced by UV rays. The resulting spots occur on the face, hands, and chest and are usually light to dark brown and can make skin look much more mature than it is.
  • Solution – Retinoid, IPL, and fractional laser treatments are the best ways to deal with sun-related discoloration. IPL sends a beam of light through skin that seeks out melanin. As the light is absorbed, it breaks the pigment up, making it less visible. A series of treatments are necessary to make a noticeable difference. In fractional laser resurfacing, lasers send a beam of fractioned energy to initiate a wound healing response to correct hyperpigmentation.

Hormone Related

  • Cause – Birth control, pregnancy, and menopause can all lead to a spike in production of melanin. In fact, many doctors correlate the rise in hyperpigmentation to increased prescription of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. The hormone surge, along with sun exposure causes the skin to darken.
  • Solution – Hydroquinone and retin-A are the most commonly prescribed treatments prescribed by doctors to treat hyperpigmentation, salicylic, glycol, and lactic peels can also be effective, as can IPL and the use of vitamin C based products.

If you are suffering from skin discoloration, let us know how you deal with it. What is the most effective method for fighting hyperpigmentation?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

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

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

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

Four Causes of Hyperpigmentation

The bad news is, hyperpigmentation is very common. Hyperpigmentation is a skin disorder caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in our body that is responsible for the color of our skin, and can result in dark spots and discoloration. It can stem from exposure to sunlight, use of drugs and medication, or certain health conditions.

The good news is, hyperpigmentation is very common. This means that it is being acknowledged and addressed. Celebrities Brooke Burke and Kerry Washington have both openly acknowledged their experiences with the condition and have provided graceful and glamorous examples for those in similar situations. In addition, research, motivated by widespread concern, is revealing new findings and treatments with surprising frequency. Here are some types of the condition, and some of the newest treatment breakthroughs.

Woman checking face

Types of Pigmentation
Drug Induced Hyperpigmentation (DIH)
DIH is pigmentation caused by illness and reaction to drugs and certain medications. The resulting skin pattern is typically diffuse and characterized by specific hues.

Lentigines
Otherwise known as age spots, lentigines are spots with a well-defined edge and, while not directly caused by aging, tend to become more prevalent with age. Lentigines are a result of UV exposure and are found on 90% of light skinned people over 60.

Melasma
Melasma is a result of hormonal irregularities and is associated with pregnancy, thyroid dysfunction, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
PIH results from injuries, friction, acne, even certain skin treatments, such as chemical peels and extractions. It is generally the most treatable form of hyperpigmentation and usually resolves itself with skin regeneration.

Treatment
When it comes to choosing brightening treatments, the intensity of the exfoliation must align with the sensitivity of the subject’s skin. The mildest treatments include papaya and pumpkin enzyme, sugar cane and lactic acid, and are generally suited to all skin types.

Those with higher tolerance may want to use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or salicylic acid to increase cell turnover.

Woman in mirror

Brightening Treatments
There are several recommend brightening treatments for hyperpigmentation. Glucosamine is a commonly recommended brightening treatment which interrupts UV-triggered chemical signals that lead to production of melanin. Hydrolyzed pearl powder is a tyrosinase inhibitor and increases skin radiance. Licorice root extract is an antioxidant known to fight free radical damage. Niacinamide decreases color deposits and reduces inflammation and pigmentation. Vitamin C is another antioxidant known to prevent tyrosinase production.

Peptides
Peptides are the latest ground breaking found to be effective in the treatment of hyperpigmentation.

Azelaic Acid
This natural fatty acid developed for acne treatment has proven an effective ingredient in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, especially in the case of PIH caused by acne. Studies found azelaic acid to provide results similar to four percent hydroquinone without harmful side effects.

Kojic Acid
Another breakthrough option, kojic acid inhibits production of tyrosinase and can be used in combination with skin lighteners as a hydroquinone alternative. Drawbacks include the occurrence contact dermatitis in certain individuals.

Retinoids
Retinoids work as tyrosinase inhibitors and interrupters of the synthesis of melanin. Prescription tretinoin, while known to be effective in pigmentation reduction, may require up to 24 weeks of treatment before noticeable improvement occurs. Because pigmentation issues can take anywhere from two weeks to a year to resolve it is important that users have reasonable expectations and not expect “overnight results.”

How do you deal with hyperpigmentation? Let us know what works for you!

1 Comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

Timeless Age Defying Beauty Tips

Charlize Theron

taniavolobueva / Shutterstock.com

Ah, Hollywood’s timeless age-defying beauties! The women who have seen it all, done it all, and lived to tell about it, five marriages and ten grandchildren later. The Christie Brinkleys who proudly pose with their grown daughters on the beach with barely a discernible age difference to be found! The Jane Fondas who can still wear the psychedelic space bikinis from their Barbarella days! The Heidi Klums who can still play a mean guitar in their underwear! How do they do it? While that info may be known only to the stars themselves, there are some tips you can follow for achieving your own timeless age-defying beauty.

Makeup

Base
A high-quality primer will camouflage fine lines and prevent makeup from creasing. Try one with an SPF for sun protection and added anti-aging benefits. When it comes to foundation, pick one tailored to mature skin and apply with your fingers, using a moist makeup sponge to avoid a caked-on appearance. If foundation is not your thing, try a light concealer to hide under eye circles and blemishes. Concealer with yellow tones are best for balancing redness and brightening.

If you have noticed the color in your cheeks decreasing as a result of age, you may want to add some blusher. Creams have to benefit of allowing you to gradually increase color, while powders last longer. Bronzers and highlighters can also help to create a youthful look, but try to avoid glittery formulas. Instead, look for finely milled products that build up to create a light sheen.

Jane Fonda

Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

Eyes and Brows
Eyebrows grow sparse over time, so fuller brows can create a younger appearance, but try to avoid overdoing it with the brow pencil, which can look harsh. You’re better off gently filling out brows with a matching powder and blush for a subtle touch.

Spidery lashes will also add years. When it comes to mascara application, apply just one coat and then wiggle the brush at the lash base to add definition and volume.

If reading glasses are among your daily accessories, be aware that they can magnify eye makeup imperfections. Avoid this by trading in your severe liquid liner for a more forgiving, softer kohl pencil. In addition, be wary of bright eyeshadows which can smudge and smear during the day. this can be avoided by using a primer formulated for the eyes. Use a q-tip moistened with makeup remover to mop up the excess.

Lips
While strong lipstick can bring color to your face, it also tends to bleed into the fine lines around your mouth. You can prevent this by using a good lipliner around the corners of the mouth and cupid’s bow.

Although matte lipsticks are popular, glossy finishes tend to be more flattering and create the illusion of fuller lips. The best way to achieve a natural look is the find a shade of pink that matches the color of the inside of your bottom lip; your perfect neutral.

Halle Berry

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Daily Advice

Beauty Sleep
No matter what new products and procedures come out, it seems that sleep is always number one on the list of anti-agers. Try and get 8-10 hours every night. Also, try to sleep on your back or side with a pillow propped under your ear, as sleeping with your face against the pillows can cause “sleep lines” with may evolve into wrinkles.

Fruits and Veggies
Antioxidant-rich diets are a known component in the prevention of disease and premature aging. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, which fight free radicals that attack cell membranes. They also protect the nervous system, the immune system, and prevent the brain from oxidative damage leading to memory loss.

How do you achieve your timeless beauty? We want in on your secrets! Let us know!

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips, Uncategorized