Archive for the ‘Body Scrubs, Exfoliants, and Moisturizers’ Category

Debating DIY versus professional body scrubs

       
Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Debating DIY versus professional body scrubsExfoliating is good for you – no contest there. But how we do it is another matter altogether. There are so many products you can buy to help slough away dead skin cells, and they're all good for a number of reasons. But that doesn't mean you can't get some of the same results by merely mixing a few kitchen ingredients together.

According to StyleList.com, you can prepare your own home-made body scrub by mixing sugar into your regular bodywash or by blending it into a vegetable oil, depending on how dry or oily your skin is. You would use it just like you would a regular store-bought product – by massaging it into your skin until the formula virtually dissolves.

This is a great solution if you need a quick fix around the house or you're on the go somewhere, but there's an undeniable advantage in using professional formulas as well. Many products contain skin-enriching vitamins and are carefully designed over time to provide the best balance of ingredients to soothe, beauty and enhance the glow of your skin.

Oils versus lotions (or both?)

       
Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Oils versus lotions (or both?) When most of us think of oils, there’s no real desirable aesthetic that comes to mind – at least when it comes to our skin. Traditionally, skin is supposed to be dewy yet matte, and for those of us with over-active oil glands, there’s a whole gamut of products designed to help keep the shine at bay.

However, oils can actually be quite beneficial for the beauty of your skin, especially if you’re striving to get a heavenly, silky glow. According to Glamour.com, body oils help hydrate and create an alluring luster that most standard lotions can’t produce.

“Use them alone on dry skin or mix some with body cream,” aesthetician Antonina Dutu told the news source. “Neroli oil is great for acne-prone skin.”

For an all-over shine that’s unparalleled to most, use a body oil during your normal daily moisturizing routine or pour an essential oil into your bath. Not only does this create a heady atmosphere for your body to sink into, but it’ll leave you with soft, moisturized skin.

Relaxing gifts for mom

       
Friday, May 6th, 2011

Get mom some products she can use to relax in the tub.Mother’s Day is this weekend, and plenty of you probably still have to find something to give to the woman who gave you life. Shopping for mom can be tough, especially when it feels like she already has everything. But instead of flowers, why not get mom something that she can really use this year?

She might not want to admit it, but your mom is stressed. Between worrying about you and your siblings, taking care of your dad and finding time to walk the dog or feed the cat, she might feel like she almost never gets a moment to herself. This mother’s day, give her a gift that’s all hers – bath products that will help her de-stress and achieve peace of mind, even if only for a short while.

Start off with a nice scrub that will help mom get rid of the remnants of the day – literally. Look for scrubs made with natural ingredients – especially sugar scrubs, which are extra-moisturizing and smell oh-so-sweet in the shower or the tub.

After exfoliating, Mom will certainly appreciate a calming moisturizer this Mother’s Day. Made with natural oils and floral scents, nothing captures the feel of spring better than soft skin that smells of roses and jasmine. Look for a lotion with lavender for something that’s sure to give mom a relaxing break from her daily routine.

Skin through the ages: An everywoman guide

       
Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Skin through the ages: An everywoman guideYou know your skin is sort of a big deal – it is the biggest organ on your body, after all, and having an out-of-this-world glow can make the difference between feeling beautiful or just so-so.

We wash, we exfoliate, we moisturize, we tone – we drink our eight glasses per day in hopes of achieving that ever-elusive perfect, dewy sheen.

The older we get, the more we have to adapt our habits to our skin’s ever-changing needs. That’s why it’s so important for women of all ages to be equipped with the proper knowledge to respond to the changes taking place in their bodies – the skin of a 20-year-old has different needs than the skin of a 47-year-old, but with the proper techniques, every woman can feel like a queen.

According to StyleList.com, “thanks to technology and all that we know about aging today, firm and glowing skin isn’t something you have to leave behind in your youth.”

That doesn’t mean having youthful skin comes without its own bag of issues, however. Many 20-year-olds are still plagued with occasional blemishes.

New York dermatologist Dr. David Bank told StyeList that young women might look for gentle cleansers that contain alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide, such as Neova‘s Acne Cream.

As you get into your 30s, it’s a safe bet you’ll see less and less of the angry red stuff, but your skin might be less capable of restoring itself. This is about the time when blotchiness, dryness and tiny fine lines begin to appear.

To combat these dulling effects, Dr. Tina Alster recommends focusing on exfoliation and moisturizing, while Dr. Bank mentions that most of the stuff you used in your 20s to fight acne can also still be beneficial for anti-aging purposes. Retinol creams and glycolic acid are especially suited for fine lines and blotchiness, the news source reports.

Those who begin to notice signs of rosacea at this age are advised to avoid a self-diagnosis and to visit a dermatologist. Skin-care professionals usually have the most effective treatments for this inflammatory condition. If you do decide to self-medicate, you can use products such as Phytomer‘s Rosee Visage Toning Cleansing Lotion and Accept Neutralizing Cream.

Women progressing into their 40s may see a marked progression of the aging effects they experienced in their 30s “due to weakening of collagen and elastin fibers, loss of fat and muscles, and coupled with gravitational pull,” Dr. Banks told the news source. “It’s not surprising that you will begin to see signs of sagging eyelids, drooping brows and hollowness under the eyes.”

The best advice is to up the strength of the exfoliation and moisturizing process, opting for subtle dermabrasion formulas with microcrystals and moisturizers with lots of glycerin. Bank recommends looking for formulas with anti-oxidants such as grape-seed extract or vitamins A, C and E, the news source reports.

Women aged 50 and over may begin to see more pronounced wrinkles as the moisture and fat content in their skin begins to wane. At this point, lathering on oil-rich moisturizers is a safe bet for the skin, which isn’t as prone to break-outs as it was years ago. Alster recommends products with collagen-building ingredients, such as retinoic acid, and hydrators like hyaluronic acid.

Bank says there’s something to look forward to in your 60s, which may bring skin less prone to hormonal fluctuations and a more defined bone structure. To prevent the dryness and itchiness associated with this age, look for creams with shea butter or serums with phytoestrogens, the news source reports.

Once you’re in your 70s, you can leave the soap behind. Look for soap-free cleansers that will help you retain as much moisture as you can – adding a vitamin C serum can help you with sunspots. Cellex-C Advanced-C Serum will do wonders for blotchiness and uneven skin tone.

And if there is one thing that you do take away from all of this, remember to always put on sunscreen. Applying SPF 20 or greater can be your number one defense against aging, no matter what birthday you’ll be celebrating this year.

The perfect winter pedicure

       
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The perfect winter pedicureWhile many women only indulge in pedicures during sandal season, treating your feet in the cold months too can be a great pick-me-up. However, a winter pedicure requires a little more TLC than a summertime one.

According to StyleList.com, begin by exfoliating your feet in the shower with a pumice stone, but wait until the end of your shower so that your feet have had ample time to soak (at least five to 10 minutes). Dry off and use a lotion with vitamin E, such as June Jacobs Green Tea and Cucumber Hand and Foot Treatment.

"[Vitamin E is] an antioxidant, so it protects skin from various sources of pollution, UV rays, stress damage, drugs and toxins, all of which can trigger cell-damaging free radicals," nail technician Mara Taskin told the news source. "Plus it just helps keep skin and nails healthy and supple."

You should also look for a treatment that contains glycolic acid, like Exuviance Heel Repair, to remove calluses. Massage cuticle oil into your nail beds and use a cotton-covered orange stick to push back cuticles.

Finally, apply a base coat, two coats of nail polish and a top coat. Taskin recommends using a light-colored lacquer – dark polish is trickier to apply as the slightest mistakes are more noticeable.

How to fake a wintertime glow

       
Friday, January 21st, 2011

How to fake a wintertime glowWhile many people head for the tanning beds in the wintertime to fake a great glow, there are other ways to make your skin look healthy in the cold weather. With the right products and a bit of expert advice, you can achieve a fantastic winter glow without running to the tanning salon.

Before you apply cosmetics, make sure that your skin is well-conditioned. In the colder months, exfoliating and moisturizing are of the utmost importance – the former will remove flaky skin while the latter will provide hydration to keep dryness to a minimum.

According to InStyle, stars like Glee’s Amber Riley and One Tree Hill’s Sophia Bush use heavier moisturizers in cold weather. Women can also use conditioning products such as GloMinerals Hydrating Bath & Body Oil, which will nourish skin and reduce water loss.

While gals often wear heavier foundation in the winter to hide their pale complexions, a thick coat of concealer can often look unnatural.

“To prevent base from looking cakey, mix it with a few drops of moisturizer,” celebrity makeup artist Leslie Lopez told the publication. “It thins the foundation and gives you an extra boost of moisture.”

Don’t rely on foundation to infuse your face with color – a sheer layer will hide minor flaws, and a few spots of concealer can cover darker imperfections. For a flush of realistic color, use a mix of bronzer, blush and highlighter – using just one product can create a one-dimensional look. However, remember to pay close attention to how you apply the makeup.

“Bronzer looks a lot more natural when it’s concentrated on the contours of the face where the sun would hit: less on the forehead than the nose and cheekbones,” Glamour.com reports. “It also helps to add a little bit of blush…a real tan usually involves slightly rosy cheeks, not just browned skin.”

Of course, it takes a little more than color to make skin look truly radiant. Highlighting cream is a great way to make your complexion glow. Apply the shimmery cream in moderation – a little bit will go a long way. Dab some on the inner corners of your eyes, the tops of your cheekbones and your brow bones.

When selecting bronzers and blushes, there are a seemingly limitless amount of hues to choose from. Look for a bronzer just one or two shades darker than your natural coloring. Finding the perfect blush can be a bit trickier, as the pigment meeds to complement your natural coloring.

To find the hues that best fit with your coloring, Leatrice Eiseman, author of More Alive With Color, told InStyle that women should look toward the skies – colors found in the sunsets, such as terra-cottas and oranges, look best on warm complexions, while hues seen in sunrises, like hot pinks and blues, are better suited for fair skin.

According to the magazine, women can easily determine whether they are a “sunrise” or “sunset” by checking their wrists – blue veins indicate sunrise, while green point to sunset.

While gals often wear long layers in the winter, sometimes you step out in a shorter skirt or sleeveless dress that shows a bit of skin. Though many women regularly use body lotions to look great in cold weather, makeup can also be used on your body to further enhance your skin.

“Apply a mix of foundation and shimmer lotion [like GloMinerals Body Glisten] to you legs,” actress Evan Rachel Wood told the news source. “It makes skin look flawless.”

Tips for great-looking legs

       
Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Tips for great-looking legsWhether they’re preparing for a New Year’s Eve party or ditching the winter weather for a warmer climate, many women will soon be rocking dresses that show off their legs. And while some gals will sport tights, others may prefer the alluring appeal of bare legs.

If you insist on stocking-free stems, make sure that your legs are ready to be seen – and we mean more than a last-minute shave.

“Sloughing off dead skin is critical,” makeup artist Linda Hay told Allure magazine. Look for an oil based exfoliant, like Babor Khanya Sugar Oil Peeling, as the scrub will smooth skin and supply a subtle sheen.

After you’ve exfoliated, apply a rich moisturizer to hydrate and condition your skin. If you’re planning on wearing your signature scent, select a fragrance-free formula such as G.M.Collin Body Hydrating Cream, as it won’t compete with your perfume.

While many women may think cosmetics are only for their faces, body makeup is imperative when creating gorgeous-looking legs. Long-wearing Dermablend Leg and Body Cover Creme will conceal scars, bruises and blemishes. A highlighter, like Karin Herzog Body Shimmer, can enhance your legs as well, as long as you apply it carefully.

“Draw a line down the center of legs, front and back, thigh to toes,” Hay advised.

How to stay fresh-faced as you travel home for the holidays

       
Thursday, November 25th, 2010

How to stay fresh-faced as you travel home for the holidaysAs Thanksgiving Day approaches, women everywhere are getting ready to board planes, trains and automobiles to get home for the holidays. Unfortunately, given most ladies’ jam-packed schedules, few may have the chance to freshen up in between arriving at their destinations and attending family gatherings.

However, with a bit of preparation, some savvy packing and a few key products, women can create a great travel revival kit that will enable them to instantly refresh their look before they set foot in their parents’ house.

Before leaving, use a mild exfoliant to remove dead skin and apply a thick layer of moisturizer, skincare expert Denise Spanek told StyleCaster. She also warns that women should avoid using products that contain Retin A or a high percentage of alpha-hydroxy acids, as they can irritate skin when exposed to different climates.

Gals who are flying to their holiday destination of choice may need the most preparation, as the Transportation Security Authority restricts the amount of liquids one can bring on a flight. According to regulations, carry-on luggage can include one quart-sized plastic bag filled with 3.4 ounce bottles of liquid.

Instead of checking your luggage or trying to squeeze 20 bottles into the one bag, only take the necessary products along for the trip. This is a completely personal decision – some women cannot live without their specialty shampoo and conditioner, while others won’t leave home without the products for their personalized skincare regiment. Carefully weigh what you can and cannot do without, and fill a few three-ounce bottles accordingly.

When packing your revival kit, make sure to include items for the three target areas – skin, hair and makeup.

Whether you are traveling on a plane or by bus, the stuffy, recirculated air can leave your skin feeling dry and dull. Make sure to bring a hydrating hand cream and a facial moisturizer. L’Occitane offers treatments that are good for your skin and are packaged small enough to travel with easily, such as Mini Cherry Blossom Hand Cream and Ultra Moisturizing Fluid SPF 20.

While tying your hair back is the easiest way to keep strands from looking stringy, women who prefer to wear their locks loose should still bring along some hair elastics, and stock up on dry shampoo.

According to Allure, New York-based hair stylist Moulay Yacoubi suggests that at the beginning of the trip, women separate their hair into three sections – one on each side of your head and one in the back – and make three loose braids. Upon arrival, simply shake out the braids and use a product, such as Clean Original Dry Shampoo, to absorb excess oil. Finish with Clean Shampoo Fresh Hair Fragrance, which will make your locks smell as if you just stepped out of the shower.

Instead of carrying your cosmetics case with you, pack your every day items in your luggage and fill your revival kit with a few multipurpose products. Cream blushes, such as Paula Dorf Cheek Color Cream, can infuse your pout and complexion with color. Pixi Lid & Line combines liner, shadow and a smudger in one easy-to-use (and better yet, easy-to-carry) pen.

While your beauty revival kit will help you to look great when you arrive at your destination, there are a few items you may want to avoid as you travel, to improve your appearance as well.

“Internally, it’s best to stay away from salt, coffee and alcohol – try and drink teas [herbal or green is best] and lots of water,” Spanek told StyleCaster. “Yes, it sounds boring but you will arrive feeling and looking much better.”

Bad habits to break for great looking skin

       
Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Bad habits to break for great looking skinEven with the best cosmetics and the greatest makeup techniques, it can be hard to achieve a fantastic appearance without a flawless complexion. However, many women may be unaware of several bad habits that are keeping their skin from looking positively perfect.

While women may spend more time in the sun in the summertime, gals should still protect their skin from the dangers of UV rays in the colder months as well. Too much sun exposure may lead to premature wrinkles and dark spots. Allure magazine suggests wearing a sunscreen that contains a minimum of SPF 30, and applying a tablespoon to your face, reapplying every two hours if you are outside for an extended period of time.

Ladies can use a broad spectrum sunscreen, such as B. Kamins Chemist Sunbar Sunscreen SPF 30, to guard their skin against the harmful rays of the sun. June Jacobs Protective Moisturizer SPF 30, a facial moisturizer that also contains SPF, is great for women who don’t want to sacrifice hydration for sun protection.

Miami dermatologist Leslie Baumann, author of The Skin Type Solution, told the publication that one of the most common skincare mistakes that gals make is using the wrong product for their skin type. However, she shared some insight as to which products ladies should use.

Women with dry skin should opt for a non-soap cleanser that won’t eliminate protective oils, like Dr. Michelle Copeland Daily Cleanser, and then apply a moisturizer that contains trehalose, like Priori Idebenone Moisturizing Facial Cream, to prevent tightness.

If you have oily skin, however, Baumann recommends using a cleanser with salicylic acid, an oil-free moisturizer, and a mattifying toner to reduce shine. Peter Thomas Roth offers a range of products perfect for an oily complexion, such as Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, Max All Day Moisture Defense Cream With SPF30 and Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel.

It may be harder to select products for combination skin, but Baumann suggests using a foaming cleanser for oily skin, applying a lightweight moisturizer and then dabbing a heavier cream on dry spots. Gals with sensitive complexions should stick to fragrance-free formulas, which are less likely to irritate skin, and use milky cleansers that boast high hydration.

When washing your face or applying moisturizer, however, don’t forget to use the products on your neck and chest as well. These areas are exposed nearly as much as your face but boast more delicate skin that needs protection as well.

While premium products can help your complexion look its best, your lifestyle choices will also impact the clarity and texture of your skin. Don’t let bad habits prevent you from achieving a flawless face.

Smoking, drinking too much and constant cellphone use can all negatively affect your complexion. According to Allure, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reports that every decade of smoking can make women look an additional 2.5 years older.

While many women may have already been aware of the havoc cigarettes can wreak on skin, alcohol may also cause complexion problems. Dermatologist Fredric Brandt told the news source that alcohol increases the level inflammatory agents in the bloodstream, “which can hasten skin sagging over time.”

And, while many gals may not be able to imagine a world where they don’t talk constantly on their cellphones, resting the handset against your face can cause friction, occlusion and heat, which dermatologist Katie Rodan claims can cause breakouts. Instead of cutting off communication, however, women who want a great complexion can consider investing in a wireless headset – you’ll be able to chat without worrying about blemishes.

Change up your skincare routine for winter

       
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Change up your skincare routine for winterWith the hot days of summer far behind, people across the country are beginning to watch the leaves change color as the air turns cooler. And, in the not too distant future, temperatures will drop even further and snowflakes will begin to fall.

While many women prepare themselves for the impending seasonal change with a new wardrobe filled with sweaters, jackets and scarves, few may realize that they should be updating their skincare routine as well. However, it can be difficult to figure out which products should be switched and why.

The best place to start is at the very beginning of your beauty routine – the shower. While a long, hot shower may seem especially novel on a cold winter day, the hot water could be doing damage to your skin. In fact, according to Allure magazine, after 15 minutes the heated H20 begins to breakdown your skin’s lipid layer that holds in moisture. Instead, take a warm shower – it will be just as soothing but won’t compromise your skin.

“In the winter, when there isn’t as much moisture in the air, absolutely everyone needs a nonfoaming cleanser,” dermatologist Leslie Baumann told the news source, which recommends Murad Renewing Cleansing Cream for dry skin.

A good facial moisturizer is imperative because the dry winter air and chapping wind can wreak havoc on your skin. However, you should look for more than just a moisture-rich formula. While many women are aware of the importance of sun protection in the summertime, few may realize that they should don SPF in the winter as well.

“The sun’s rays still exist in winter – your skin will still absorb them and be slowly damaged over time,” dermatologist Ariel Ostad told the publication. “Even if you’re only outside for a total of 30 minutes, five times per week – such as walking to work or taking a lunch break – over a year, that adds up to 7,800 minutes in the sun.” Murad Perfecting Day Cream SPF 30 provides great hydration and sun protection.

While it’s likely you will often be wearing gloves, thick socks and boots, you shouldn’t forget to take care of your hands and feet as well. With cold and flu season, there’s a good chance you will be washing your hands often and using antibacterial products, which are known to be drying. To combat cracked cuticles and peeling palms, carry a small tube of hand cream at all times, such as L’Occitane Mini Shea Butter Hand Cream, which contains 20 percent shea butter.

To keep the skin on your feet from becoming dry and rough, Allure recommends following a specific routine once a week. “Soak your feet in warm, soapy water for 15 minutes, then buff the soles with a foot file such as Tweezerman Pedro Callus Stone. To soften and help seal cracks, slick on an ointment [like Babor Spa Mediterranee Feet Smoothing Balm] then wear cotton socks while you sleep.”

Finally, don’t forget to guard your lips from the harsh winter weather as well. Whether you are skiing down a mountain or simply walking to work, a chapped pout is almost a guarantee in the colder months without proper protection. According to the magazine, you should look for a lip balm that is viscous, not waxy, so that the formula can penetrate cracked skin. Additionally, you should avoid balms that are heavily scented, as they may be more likely to irritate skin.

B. Kamins Chemist Lip Balm SPF 20 is a hydrating treatment that softens and protects lips from sun, wind and cold. It can be worn alone, underneath lipstick and even applied over lip color throughout the day to keep your pout protected.