Tag Archives: skincare

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!

Leave a 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

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

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!

1 Comment

Filed under Beauty News & Tips

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Lifestyle