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The Perfect Skincare Routine for Your 50s

Beautiful smiling middle-age woman on the couch

Whether or not your intention is to be able to galavant around the world wearing minimal amounts of clothing or to simply remain looking youthful and beautiful, the maintenance of your skin is very important, more so as you age. Collagen levels naturally deplete and skin starts to sag as a result. Why it never seemed to happen to J-Lo is anybody’s guess.

But if J-Lo can do it, so can you. Here are some tips for skin care in your 50″s that may have Jennifer asking what your beauty secrets are.

Women’s Skin In Their 50s

In your thirties, estrogen levels dip. By the time you reach your forties, your estrogen levels are at drought stage. By the time you reach your fifties, menopause rears its ugly head (usually around the ages of 51 and 52) and it’s estrogen out, testosterone in. You lose one-third of your collagen within the first five years of menopause. Skin won’t bounce back the way it used to and it’s likely to lose its moisture and radiance. (Collagen is the connective tissue that gives structure to your skin- basically). Inflammation is also at an all-time high, which makes skin more vulnerable to the ravages of the sun, smoke, and pollution.

This can play out in:

  • Thinning, drying and loosening of the skin
  • Stretched pores
  • Sagging or hooded eyelids
  • Hollow eye sockets
  • Spider veins
  • Age spots
  • Small bumps on the skin, patches, and skin tags
  • Peach Fuzz

Although that may not sound pretty, there are many women in their fifties who manage to maintain their beauty (i.e. Christie Brinkley, 58; Michelle Pfieffer, 53, and Iman, 56, and probably a few hot grandma’s out there). The key is in finding the right skin routine, exercising, and maintaining a healthy diet. 

Skincare Products

Women in their fifties have been there and done that. They are fully prepared for whatever life throws at them, wrinkles, sagging, brown spots and fine lines included. And by prepared, we mean they have a fully stocked vanity to fight every single one of them. Here are some of the skin products you can expect to find in the medicine cabinets of the fifty and fabulous:

  • Barrier-Boosting Ingredients

Not only does skin suffer from collagen depletion when you reach your fifties, but it also loses ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol. Take them all away and you’ve got inflammation, dehydration, and a fully compromise skin barrier.

  • Probiotics

As estrogen levels get lower, pH levels get higher. According to New York City dermatologist, Robin Gmyrek, “Particularly, as we move into our 60’s, the skin’s outermost layer, which is normally acidic, becomes more alkaline, further weakening the moisture barrier, and exacerbating dryness and sensitivity.”

How can we prevent these pH levels from totally breaking down the walls of our skin? The answer is probiotics. Dr. Gmyrak says,” Probiotics have been shown to produce acidic molecules, like fatty acids, which can help restore youthful pH to the skin, so it can better retain for improved suppleness and glow. They also get bonus points for preventing oxidative damage and fighting inflammation to protect elastin and collagen. Dermatologist Whitney Bowe credits probiotics with the ability to hinder trans-epidermal water loss to “hydrate skin from within.”

  • Oil-Based Everything

Applying serum using a small dropper

At fifty, skin is going to crave moisture. It’s all about oil-based cleansers, serums, creams, and any other skin product you might find with the word oil based on it. Aesthetician Kristin Holey posits that creamy cleansers are best for over fifty clients who are not interested in “removing anything but makeup at this point.”

  • Enzyme-Based Exfoliation

Despite the fact that your estrogen production may have slowed down, you may be happy to know that your skin cells are regenerating. Because of this, you’ll want to keep sloughing the dead ones off by exfoliating. When doing so, go for something mild. Many women in their fifties fine enzyme peels work well for them by exfoliating gently without peeling or stripping the skin.

  • Lines and Sagging

Place your hands on either side of your jawline and pull up and out towards the ears, or don’t if you go by the “ignorance is bliss” ideology. We can already tell you that you’re going to see sagging skin around your mouth and chin and all the lines and folds that accompany them.

To prevent the complete downfall of your face, use collagen-boosting ingredients like peptides, retinol, stem cells, and growth factors and keep the skin plump with loads of hyaluronic acid. If you already have a wrinkle in time and no time to un-wrinkle it, the Resveratrol Shiraz Instentic Non-Surgical Syringe is packed with exactly all these amazing skin-plumping ingredients, plus Dimethylaminoethanol Tartrate (DMAE), which has the instant ability to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. 

  • Brown Spots

Spotting spots on your skin? As you age you may find unwelcome visitors cropping up along your hairline, on your chest, and on the tops of your hands. Whether you believe the hype or not, (HQ got a bad rap when it was banned in South America), hydroquinone is still considered the best ingredient for skin lightening and the fading of brown spots.

However, you’re not on board with hydroquinone, you may want to try the next best thing. Arbutin is a natural ingredient which turns into hydroquinone when it is absorbed by the skin. So are plant extracts such as mulberry, white mulberry, bearberry, and madder and white mulberry.  These are all good options to consider for their skin-brightening properties.

  • Mouthing Off

Can talking cause wrinkles? Maybe not specifically, but the constant movement of the mouth, along with its relative inability to hold on to product (think of why your lipstick always comes off) can make it very susceptible to damage. One of the most common complaints among women over fifty is the appearance of fine lines above the upper lip. Target these with a collagen-rich product specifically designed for lines around the mouth.

  • Going Neck and Neck with Aging

Woman touching neck in front of mirror

To use a separate neck cream or not to use a separate neck cream? Apparently, that’s the skin question to be decided. Experts say “no.”  They say it’s not what’s in the cream you put on your neck, but rather its consistency. The neck has very thin skin and no oil glands, which makes it especially prone to drying, sagging, and wrinkles. Doctor’s orders? Grab the thickest cream in your house ( so long as it’s not sour cream) and smother your neck with it twice daily. Top it off with a moisturizing retinoid once or twice a week to thicken the skin.

What’s Behind the Mask for Women In Their 50’s

As we mature, our masks mature with us. No longer are we seeking the acne masks of the naïve adolescent,  nor are we interested in the oil controlling masks of idealistic twenty-somethings.  Our masks cater to our needs and tackle pertinent issues. We need to find masks that will take care of our skin properly.

Ingredients

In order to do that, it is important to find a mask with the right ingredients. Generally, the main concerns for women over 50 are hydration, Inflammation, and wrinkles. Our handy dandy list below will help you find the masking ingredients that target each one:

Hydration

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Ceramides
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Aloe
  • Urea
  • Oils
  • Lactic Acid

Inflammation

  • Aloe
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Cucumber
  • Chamomile
  • Vitamin E
  • Niacinamide
  • Centella Asiatica

Wrinkles

  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Retinol
  • Collagen
  • Vitamin C
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Niacinamide
  • Dimethylaminoethanol Tartrate (DMAE)

Easy Tips For Women In Their  50’s

Like we said above, women in their fifties really don’t need tips on doing anything.  With that in mind, here is a list of “suggestions” for those looking to achieve timeless beauty.

1) Wear Sunscreen

We know, you’re probably at the stage where you’re giving this advice to your kids. But, really how can we write about a perfect skin routine for women in their fifties without mentioning sunscreen?

Don’t worry, we won’t tell you about how nothing damages your skin more than sun exposure, or how it’s the leading cause of skin cancer, brown spots and wrinkles and we’re not even going to tell you about how you should wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50. We know you know all of that stuff. In fact, we’re not even going to mention the fact that you should wear it every day, rain or shine, and reapply it throughout the day.

Illustration of effect of sun protection on skin

The best sunscreens are the kind that combine both physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients, of course, because these would help prevent damage caused by both UVA and UVB rays.

Remember how we said that it’s all about moisture at fifty?

Well, it applies to sunscreen too! You can easily find moisturizers with sun protection benefits. The Resveratrol Zinfandel Radiance Cream is a good example, as it offers an SPF 30 while delivering a potent mixture of all those skin-loving ingredients that help to fight UV damage, such as vitamin A and E, green tea, and resveratrol.

What we will tell you, however, is how good it’s making your face look. Keep up the good work!

2) What Works on Crow’s Feet?

Nobody’s going to fault a woman in her fifties for using Botox, dermabrasion, or getting a little nip and tuck once in a while. On the other hand, no one’s going to fault a woman over 50 for saying “Screw it” to plastic surgery and injections altogether. Women in their fifties can do whatever they want-  it just comes with the territory.

The truth is that no matter how many creams you put on, and how expensive they are, they’re not likely to rid you of every wrinkle, crow’s feet specifically. While some choose to embrace their smile lines their like a badge of honor (see Cameron Diaz rockin’ them like their the latest trend), some would rather turn them down a notch.

Botox is not only effective on crow’s feet. Injections and fillers can work a plethora of wonders on your face. They can lift your eyes, plump your cheeks and lips and fill in marionette lines around your mouth. In fact, some people are so astonished by what fillers can do, they wear a constant look of surprise. Plus, we all know the horror stories.

The bottom line: When it comes to Botox, you’re the one calling the “shots.” Do what makes you happy and feel good about yourself.

3) Stay Healthy

Of course, you can do whatever you want when you’re in your fifties, but that probably shouldn’t include starting to smoke cigarettes or eating boxes of assorted chocolate while lying in bed.

If you’re cheating on your diet, skimping on your exercise, or overloading on processed food, your skin is going to be the first tell. The most important part of any skin routine is staying healthy. Eat your veggies, take your vitamins and get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in at least five days a week. Your skin is going to love you for it.

  

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Plan for Perfect Wedding Skin

Beautiful red-headed bride with bouquet of red roses

There are a few things things most wedding planners can’t help you with, something more important then the who, what, when, and where, of the wedding, and that’s the how: how you look, that is. Weddings mean getting in shape, looking your best, and that includes your skin. But good skin takes a lot of work, and chances are the stress levels aren’t going to make it look any better. Luckily, some dermatologists have it all figured for you. Read on to find out what treatments you should be scheduling and when in order to wake up with perfect skin on your big day.

Twelve Months Before The Wedding

  • This is the ideal time to schedule any procedures that might require downtime, such as:
  • A chemical peel: Chemical peels can kickstart the exfoliation process. They  get your cell turnover going, guaranteeing you blemish free, glowing skin on the big day.
  • Micro needling with Plasma: Although not for the faint of heart, micro needling with platelet rich plasma is a one-size-fits-almost-all treatment that uses the cells in your own blood to promote growth of cells for an even complexion.
  • Remember to communicate with your dermatologist. It is important that he or she knows your goals so you’re on the same page about which treatments will bring your desired results.

Six Months Before the Wedding

  • If you missed out on the micro needling or peel, there is still time for that, as is there time for other rejuvenating treatments, such as lasers or IPL’s.
  • Six months should provide you with enough time to recover from the first treatment, which tends to require the longest downtime, and still leave time to receive one or two more treatments before the wedding.
  • Start planning and thinking about rejuvenating and healing treatments that help to maximize the results you get from these treatments when the skin begins to shed, in the not too distant future.

Three Months Before the Wedding

  • At this point, you should not be introducing anything new to your routine; concentrate on healing from the treatments you’ve already received.
  • This is a good time to have the last dermaplaning session.

One Month Before the Wedding

  • Have the last of the professional treatments; do not plan or receive any more.
  • Stay away from deep peels and extractions, and spend your time using exfoliating products and other skin nourishing formulas.
  • Ask your dermatologist, aesthetician for any last minute tips to get the bridal glow on your big day, and what you should do to get rid of those evil stress induced blemishes that might pop up the week before the wedding.

Good luck, congratulations, look beautiful, and remember, it’s all about that bridal glow! And, for those in the know, let us know how you prepped your skin for your wedding!

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Are You Considering a Tattoo Removal?

Young red-headed woman with tattoos

Think before you ink! You may have heard the advice, but how many of us actually heed it? Out of the 30% of the people in the US who have at least one tattoo, 25% claim to regret getting it. Is it the name of a scorned lover, a neck tattoo that might disqualify you for the job you want, a picture of your mom that looks more like your dad? Whatever your reason for wanting a tattoo removed, you need to be prepared for the consequences. Here is a more in-depth look at tattoo removal.

How Does Tattoo Removal Work?

Tattoo removal works by employing lasers that break up pigment colors with the use of high-intensity beams. Because black tattoo pigments absorb all laser wavelengths, black is the easiest to treat. Other colors must be treated with selected lasers depending on pigment color.

The first step in tattoo removal is a consolation. Arrange a meeting with a trained professional.  He or she will evaluate your tattoo and give you some advice about the process. The number of treatments you will need will be based on the size, age, and color of the tattoo. The color of your skin and the depth of the tattoo pigment will be important factors affecting removal technique.

The Process

This is what you should expect to happen in a tattoo removal session:

  1. You will be given protective shields for your eyes.
  2. Your skin will be tested so the technician can determine which energy treatment will be most effective.
  3. A laser will be used to pass intense light pulses through the top layers of the skin. These will be absorbed only by the tattoo pigment.

Small tattoos should require only a few pulses for removal, while larger ones will need more. Either case will involve several visits to get rid of the tattoo completely, although you will notice progressive fading after each treatment.

The Pain

No pain, no gain. Laser tattoo removal can be painful, but it usually does not call for anesthesia. You may want to apply your own topical anesthetic beforehand. Treatment should be followed with an application of an ice pack to soothe the affected area and an antibiotic cream or ointment is suggested to prevent infection and irritation. Be sure to cover it with a bandage and use sunblock on it when outside.

The Side Effects

When it comes to tattoo removal, laser treatment is the safest because it only targets the pigments in the tattoo. However there are a few side effects:

  1. Risk of Infection – There is always a risk for infection at the tattoo removal sight, and a slight chance of a permanent scar.
  2. Incomplete Removal – More often than not, traces of your tattoo will remain after the process. Usually certain colors will respond more effectively than others. Black and blue tattoos offer the best potential for complete removal.
  3. Hypopigmention – Hypopigmentation sometimes results from tattoo removal, which means that the treated skin will become a bit paler or darker then the rest of your skin.
  4. Cosmetic Tattoo –  Tattooed lip liner, eye liner, and eyebrows may get darker after primary treatments. However, they do tend to fade after additional sessions.

The Doctor

As in all health procedures, it is important to find a reputable doctor. Find a good dermatologist or cosmetic surgery center, preferably with a recommendation from you primary care physician. Insurance will not cover it in most cases, as it is not usually considered medically necessary, Be sure to discuss the charges and obtain the associated costs in writing before treatment.

Have you undergone tattoo removal? Thinking about it? Let us know!

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Should You Get a Facial?

Woman enjoying a facial treatment in the spa

The facial is a time to sit back relax, turn off your mind and let some expert hands do the work for you. But maybe don’t turn off that mind too quickly. You need to be a savvy customer even when you’re looking to let your cares fall away. You need to keep one eye open, even if you’d prefer to keep both eyes closed. Here are some things you need to take into consideration when you’re thinking about a facial.

What Should A Facial Do?

You will commonly hear women talk about relaxation as an integral reason for getting a facial. While relaxation may be a large component of the facial experience, a relaxing facial does not necessarily mean a good facial, and relaxation should not be the main goal behind getting one. A smart consumer will look for a facial that will:

  • Clean Your skin
  • Remove and soften whiteheads and blackheads through manual extraction
  • Restore hydration to skin
  • Plump skin and smooth out wrinkles with a high quality moisturizer
  • Exfoliate skin with a scrub, peel, or peel off mask
  • Fade discolorations, reduce wrinkles and improve skinrone with the use os an AHA or BHA treatment

Another sign of a good facial is the application of sunscreen. A skilled aesthetician will be sure to finish his or her work with a healthy layer of sunscreen containing only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients to prevent irritation, due especially to the fact that a woman’s skin is most sensitive after the application of certain anti aging ingredients.

What A Facial Can’t Do

From the way some magazines and beauty consultants talk about facials, you might think there is little that they can’t do, but the truth is that facials do have limitations, and they may not even be much more effective then what you can do at home. A facial cannot:

  • Cure Acne
  • Cause discolorations to disappear
  • Replace cosmetic procedures like lasers, Botox, and dermal fillers
  • Treat redness and rosacea
  • Firm sagging skin
  • Get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles
  • Detoxify skin

Good Aesthetician, Bad Aesthetician

Now this is where it starts to get scary. You never want anyone performing any kind of procedure on you when they don’t know what they’re doing, and no one wants to be the guinea pig for a novice facialist. How will you know if you’re getting a good guy or a bad guy?

An aesthetician who knows his or her trade will start by asking you about your skin. He or she will want to know whether your using medications and what you’re doing to care for your skin, as these should all impact the way he performs his work. Look out for an aesthetician who incorporates any of the following into your facial:

  1. Skin steaming, which, especially with extremely hot steam can make skin refer or result in broken capillaries
  2. Unnecessary aggressiveness with acne extractions that can worsen clogged pores or push blemishes deeper into your skin
  3. Essential oils, which may irritate your skin
  4. Alcohol, menthol, or camphor, which may also irritate skin, damaging collagen and destroying substances your skin needs
  5. Facial rejuvenation devices, which he or she may not know how to operate

Another sign of a good fail is an expert massage. The art of massage is taught at state accredited aesthetician schools, and a good aesthetician should be well versed in it. A good facial massage should never involve tugging or pulling skin, which can compromise skin elasticity.

What do you think constitutes a good facial? Let us know about your best (and worst) facial experiences. We love to hear it!

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The Perfect Sunless Tan

Closeup of woman's face in bronzed and contoured makeup

We are all familiar with the risks of sun bathing… skin cancer, premature aging, risk of sunburn…. but that doesn’t stop us from aspiring to a flawless tanned look. Although we have the means at our disposal, self tanning often leads to unnatural colors, weird smells, and, after all that, it can take hours before the results of the tan actually take effect. Read on to find out how you can acquire a tan that will dry quickly and show up instantly.

Prep Work

Fashion writer Jessica Prince Erlich stresses the importance of prep work in the self tanning process. She recommends starting by exfoliating to wash away dry, rough skin and create a smooth surface. It is recommended you use an oil free moisturizer as residue from oils can leave streaks. Then follow up by moisturizing. It’s also a good idea to shave before self tanning. Shaving a day or two after acquiring a self tan can strip the color. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure you are nice and smooth beforehand.

Use the Right Products

Once you are ready to tan, using the right products are very important. St. Tropez tanning expert Fiona Locke tells us to start by reading product reviews to make sure you are using a reputable tanner. Unfortunately, it is difficult to consult the ingredient list to find the right products. Locke says most tanners have the same basic ingredients, but it’s the amount of the ingredients each product uses that sets them apart. This information can not be found on labels.

How to Apply?

Now that you are ready to apply your tanner, seek a cool, dry place in front of a mirror to apply. Also, it’s a good idea to invest in a reusable tanning mitt to avoid staining your palms orange. Start at your feet, then work your way up your legs in long, even strokes. Avoid rubbing in the product aggressively as this will make the tan uneven. On the other hand, don’t worry about going over the same area multiple times, as it is the parts that are missed that will result in uneven tanning. If you are using a spray tanner, do not apply directly to face; spray into mitt and then rub that in to your face. To use a spray tanner on your back, spray mist, then walk backwards into it.

Maintenance is Key

To keep your tan looking flawless, take cool short showers, and then pat yourself dry. Rubbing skin with a towel will remove the tan. Wear a water resistant SPF sunscreen at the pool and apply a moisturizing, tan extending formula daily. Buff off the tan once a week to get rid of old patches, and then start again if desired.

If, for some reason, you are unhappy with your tan, have no fear. Showering and exfoliating often, as well as sitting in a hot bath will fade tans quickly. Squeezing lemon juice on to cotton pads and sweeping over streaks and dark spots should be an effective remedy for uneven tanning.

So, what do you think is the best way to self tan? What products do you like to use?

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Tips for Looking Lively When You’re Dead Tired

Beautiful woman looking tired, sitting down

Maybe you’ve been partying out in the desert the last three nights. Maybe you’ve been pacing the floor with a new infant, or maybe you just couldn’t put down the book you were reading, but for whatever reason, you’re dead tired today. This may not be a problem for you if can afford to look like a train wreck for the next 24 hours, but for the rest of us, it’s probably not the best option. Here are some tips for looking lively when you’re dead tired.

Cold Water

This one may seem to be something of a no-brainer. Turns out that one of the fastest, easiest way to look alive is to “simply splash cold water on your face,” according to Francesa Fusco, MD and NYC dermatologist. Cooler temperatures helps to constrict blood vessels to give skin a more toned look. You may want to consider adding an atomizer to the contents of your purse for a mid day pick-me-up.

Moisturizer

A thick layer of occlusive moisturizer is a great way to lock the moisture into your skin.  Ranella Hirsch MD. explains, “With a face balm, any dryness, and flakiness will disappear, and wrinkles will be less obvious.”

Even It Out

Still looking tired? Dip a cloth into some milk on ice, wring it out, and apply it to your face for about five minutes. According to Dr. Fusco, “The combination of the pH of the milk, plus the cold, makes this brightening. While you’re at it, you may want to suck on one of the ice cubes sans milk. Because the nerves at the top of your mouth connect to blood vessels in your face, the ice sends messages which cause them to constrict, evening out skin tone.

Depuff

To get rid of that under eye puffiness, try an eye treatment with a mix of peptides and caffeine. Peptides are among the least irritating anti-aging ingredients and caffeine is a diuretic. Store it in the fridge for best results.

Go Light on The Foundation

Heavy foundation and powder will only make your skin look dull.  Sarah Lucero, global education director, advises slathering on a tinted moisturizer with SPF instead to even out blotchiness while avoiding a mask-like effect. You may want to apply two layers or some concealer to camouflage any still noticeable dark circles.

Curl Your Lashes

New York city makeup artist Emily Kate Warren says that she always travels with an eyelash curler.  “It’s the only thing that perks up my face when I’m sleep-deprived,” she says. Try to get the curler as close to the lash line as you can, squeeze, and hold for about ten seconds; then go over outer lashes again.

Bright Blush

Peach is better than pink for a wakeup call to the cheeks. Lucero says, “Peach tones brighten skin and take the focus away form under eye rings. Cream formulas leave a slight two on the cheeks, like a ‘flush of youth.’ Dab some blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend. Apply a small amount to lips if desired.

Got any tricks for looking great when you’re dead tired? Let us know!

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This is How You Control That Unwanted Shine

Beautiful woman in the desert

Your friend just posted the pictures she took at the party on Saturday night and you can’t help but notice a glaring consistency between all of the photos with you in them. The shine. Every single light source in every single photo seems to have made their way to your T zone. As you see it, you now have one of two choices. You can spend the next few hours honing up on your photoshopping skills, or you can spend the next few days working on getting rid of that unwanted shine for good. Since the latter seems the more long-term solution, you may want to start by reading the following article.

Invest in a Cleanser that Regulates Oil

The first step in controlling the shine should be the first step in your beauty routine. Start the day off shine free by using a face wash with salicylic acid or purifying clay to clear pores and keep oil levels down.

Avoid Alcohol-Based or Harsh Astringent Toners

Although it may seem like the ideal solution, overly drying products will cause skin to overcompensate with excess production of oil. The result? Midday shininess. Your best defense is to use treatments containing calendula extract or tea tree oil, which “mattify” and balance skin without stripping it of natural oil.

Exfoliate Weekly

A weekly scrubbing will slough off those dead skin cells, preventing breakouts and making the oil-controlling products you apply afterward all the more effective.

Use an Oil Absorbing Clay Mask Once a Week

Clay masks can clear and tighten pores to regulate production of oil.

Find a Good Translucent Primer or Powder

Pressed powders can make skin look cakey, as can some older versions of primers.  Newer products, however, are formulated to give skin a  much more natural appearance without drying it out. Be prepared for a little trial and error in determining the right powder or primer to suit your skin type before finalizing your decision.

Keep the Blotting Paper Handy

Blotting papers in the purse are always a quick fix for some midday, or late night, oil leaks. They’ll soak up the excess oil without disturbing the rest of your makeup.

Eat Right

Spicy foods and cocktails dilate blood vessels and cause perspiration. Limit your alcohol intake to one drink per night and keep spicy foods down to once a week. Load up on cantaloupe, spinach, and carrots, which are rich in vitamin A and can actually slow production of oil.

Don’t Let Up On the Sunblock

Sunblock, surprisingly is a key defense against excess shine and oil. Trade in your morning moisturizer for some mineral-based block with oil-absorbing ingredients, or one with denatured alcohol to keep skin matte. Look for “alcohol denat” or “SD alcohol 40” on the ingredient label and be sure to keep that SPF to at least 30.

Let us know what you do to keep that shine on the inside while avoiding it on your face.  We love to hear your comments and suggestions!

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Skin Care Tips for Windy Spring Days

Young woman with long hair and hat outdoors during summer

“Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I.” So wrote Christina Rosetti in her famous 18th-century poem. True, we have not seen the wind, but any one who has felt its effects will definitely agree that it is a force to be reckoned with. At its most powerful, the wind is capable of uprooting trees, stripping houses of their roofs, and even transporting Dorothy Gayle from Kansas to Oz. So, one can only imagine what havoc the wind may wreak on your skin. With spring upon us, wind is a concern, and part of that concern has to do with what that means for your complexion. Continue reading for some skin care tips for windy days.

Moisturizer

Heidi Waldorf, MD and director of laser surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, says, “One of the best moisturizers you can use is white petroleum jelly – particularly on the toughest areas of skin, such as heels, elbows, and knees.” She also recommends drenching your feet it the gooey stuff and leaving it on overnight covered by a pair of white cotton socks to wake up with happy feet.

Sleeping in your socks not your cup of tea? Waldorf says you can “just smear on the petroleum jelly right before you put on your gym socks and sneakers before working out, or even just to run errands.”

And for hands? Go right ahead and do the same with them, slathering with jelly and covering with white bottom gloves. “Any time you are doing a household or garden chore that requires you to wear rubber gloves or gardening gloves, put on the petroleum jelly first, then the white gloves, then the rubber gloves over that.”

Hair Removal

With the arrival of spring comes the the reckoning of  ignored body hair. Beauty expert Claudia Spagnolo advises a full body exfoliating scrub prior to hair removal. Says she, “If you use a mild natural ingredient like brown sugar to gently, and I repeat, gently, rub your body several days before having a waxing or chemical hair removal, you’ll loosen and remove dead skin cells, which will not only make your hair removal easier but also safer.” Spagnolo also recommends the full body scrub before applying faux tanning products for “a more even application with less streaking.” However, be sure not to exfoliate or scrub on the same day of your treatment. Leave 24 to 48 hours in between the exfoliation and the tanning or hair removal.

Exfoliation

While exfoliation can be extremely beneficial to smooth the skin on your body, it is even more so to the skin on your face. However, Waldorf warns that the scrubs you choose on your face should be very different from the ones you choose for your body, warning that the scrubs contain ingredients such as walnut shells or apricot pits can cause microscopic tears in the skin. She even cautions against the effects of brown sugar scrubs on sensitive skin.

Waldorf suggests using a cleanser or moisturizer that contains an alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acid instead. The doctor adds, “While some of the milder commercial preparations may be okay, don’t try to buy a professional grade acid peel, like the kind sold over the internet and use it on your own – you have to be very careful and you have to know what you are using , or you could end up with some serious problems.” She counts hyper pigmentation among these.

Renewed Spring Skin

For heading into spring, Spagnolo recommends keeping it simple. “Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing twice daily, every day, and then adding a facial steam with or without a mask about once weekly is probably one of the easiest ways to ease skin into spring and summer.”

How are you prepping your skin for a windy spring? Let us know!

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Make the Transition to Spring Skin Care

Young woman sprinkling flower petals during spring

Your mood is lighter, and so are your clothes. You’re switching out your puffa jacket for your denim moto, your wool blankets for your silk sheets, your thermal undies for your Victoria’s Secret lingerie, and your fleece-lined Uggs for your strappy sandals, and, is it just you, or is that guy from accounting getting better-looking? Spring is in the air and, if you’re thinking about spring cleaning, you should be making your makeup cabinet your first stop. What should you be swapping in and out of your skin routine to get your skin ready for a season of radiance? Read on to find out.

Spring Cleaning

Your clothes closet isn’t the only thing that needs special attention in the springtime. When it comes to cosmetics, it’s out with the old and in with the new. Natalie Perger, MD and dermatologist says, “Women should avoid the use of expired skin care products from the year before. This is especially an issue with SPF protection.”  Take some time to toss out products with old expiration dates and stock up on new, updated necessities.

Exfoliate

It’s not surprising that the season of rebirth should require some shedding of dead skin cells. With winter, comes cold air, and with cold air comes flaky, dry skin. Spring is a great time to slough off the dead skin cells that have accumulated during the winter months. Perger suggests using a face, foot and body scrub twice a week in the spring.

Lightweight Moisturizer

Heavy foundations and moisturizers are excellent sources of hydration for the drying winter months, but with the change to warmer weather comes the time to change to lighter formulas, including a lighter moisturizer with extra hydrating benefits.  Lighter foundation, primer, and concealer are also recommended to give your skin that extra springtime polish.

Up Your SPF Usage

With the spring comes more sunlight, which means shielding your skin is imperative. Says Perger, “Even though sunscreen is important in the winter, spring brings more sunlight exposure, so it’s very important to ensure you have good SPF. For those of us who like a bit of coverage, lighter SPF foundations are recommended.”

Spa Treatment

If you love a good trip to the spa, and who doesn’t, the beginning of spring is the perfect excuse to book one. As Perger wisely puts it: “Since exfoliation is key to having a great complexions and a higher absorption rate for gentler products, booking a natural enzyme peel series with your esthetician is ideal. You will also receive the best prescription for your at home care.” She suggests a visit with the derm every four to six weeks and a monthly facial to get your glow on.

Other Products to Try

While you’re tossing and restocking, there are a few more things to keep in mind. Adding a daily or nightly face serum can protect against pigmentation due to warmer weather. In addition to these, Perger also advises you to have a good SPF moisturizer. She says, “Two-in-one products are also great, like an exfoliating cleanser.”

How’s your spring skin routine transition going?

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Maintaining Healthy and Balanced Skin

smiling woman with lavender

It has been said, after all, that life is about balance. The highs and the lows, the yins and the yangs, the gins and the tonics, the acids and the bases. The acids and the bases? Isn’t that something you learned about in chemistry? Ph (or potential of hydrogen) balance is the measure of the acidity and alkalinity of a fluid, and we have lots of fluids in our bodies that we need to keep balanced in order to keep looking and feeling our best. The fluid in our skin is no exception.

PH in the Skin

PH plays an important role in the acid mantle of the skin. The acid mantle functions as a barrier for the skin, keeping moisture in, and pollution and bacteria out. The acid mantle is strongest, and most balanced when the skin is slightly acidic, at a pH of about 5.5. New York dermatologist Howard Sobel says, “You need some acidity to inhibit bacterial growth on the skin, which is why skin that’s too alkaline may, for example, be susceptible to acne.”

In addition to acne inflammation, alkalinity may also be responsible for aging. According to a study published in the “British Journal of Dermatology,” women with an alkaline pH level developed more crow’s feet and fine lines over an eight-year period than women with more acidic levels. Sobel says, “Skin with a balanced pH appears healthier, is slightly moist, looks plumper, and has a healthy glow.” Alkaline skin, he says, “may be acne-prone, dry or excessively oily.”

Addressing Excessive Alkalinity

Products

Most experts agree that swapping soap for cleanser is one of the first steps in decreasing alkalinity. Sobel also notes that there are “several effective treatments that can help the skin be more acidic, such as glycol peels which have an exfoliating effect. “

Diet

Although many experts argue that the food you eat does not affect the alkalinity or acidity of the skin, others claim that there is a connection. Microbiologist Robert O. Young says that green vegetables can aid digestion, boost immunity and improve skin. He also cautions against meat, sugar, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and sweet fruits, which he claims turn alkaline when metabolized.

Cleanses

Dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD, recommends alkalizing “cocktails” containing super foods mixed with fiber, along with a high fruit and vegetable intake. However, she does not rule out the occasional meat or dairy product. She says, “It’s human; you’re probably going to drink coffee and alcohol too, and that’s okay, you just have to balance it all out.”

Other Graf recommendations are her vegetable based cleanses. “Even if you have only one day when you’re doing nothing but drinking juice and lots of water, your pH will go up. If you take mineral supplements and eat salads every day, your pH will go up.” Saliva pH-testing strips are available in drug stores to check that your levels remain at a healthy 7 – 7.5, but the doctor says, “Your barometer should just be feeling and looking good.”

Let us know if keeping a  pH balance is helping your skin! What are you doing to keep your skin healthy and glowing? We love to hear it!