Posts Tagged ‘skincare tips’

Prepping your skin for the colder season

       
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Prepping your skin for the colder season

Winter is fast approaching, which means snowfall, hot cocoa, holiday parties and a lot of other excitement. However, the colder, dryer weather doesn’t bode as well for your beauty. Harsh conditions can be tough on your complexion, meaning you’ll need to take certain precautionary measures to prevent flakes, cracks and other skin problems.

Follow these tips and your face won’t be looking as bleak as the weather:

Use kinder cleansers
While you may have been using an aggressive cleanser in the summer months to manage sweat, humidity and excess oil, it might be time to ease up on these solutions as the climate changes. Erica Glaub, Los Angeles-based makeup artist, explained to Shape magazine that gentler oil-based or milk cleansers and soaps are best for washing away impurities without completely stripping your skin of moisture.

Upgrade your moisturizer
Just as you transition your wardrobe to more substantial fabrics, you’ll also need to switch out your moisturizer for a heavy-duty cream. Dr. Deborah Sarnoff, a dermatologist at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Greenvale, N.Y., told LiveScience that a richer product will have more natural oils. She also advised applying a night treatment for some deep hydration while you sleep. Glaub noted that optimal contents for your go-to winter cream are shea butter, almond oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil. Jojoba oil, which helps to balance your skin and accelerate cell repair, is also a key rejuvenating ingredient.

Did you know that honey is also a natural source of hydration? Try rubbing some into your elbows, knee caps or other parched areas, then rinsing.

Adjust your shower
While it’s tempting to take a hot shower in the winter months, doing so can seriously dry out your skin. That doesn’t mean you have to shiver your way through a cold shower - Glaub stressed that even lukewarm water is better. If you can’t bear to turn down the temperature, bathe for a shorter amount of time. When you get out, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it with a towel and immediately apply moisturizer all over.

Exfoliate every week
It’s imperative to exfoliate in the winter, as sloughing off dead skin cells will allow your skin to absorb moisturizers and creams more effectively. Avoid products with abrasive chemicals or beads, which can irritate your skin, especially if it’s on the sensitive side.

Remember sunscreen
Just because the sun’s presence isn’t as strong in the winter doesn’t give you permission to neglect protection from UV rays completely. Sarnoff suggested looking for a moisturizer with at least SPF 15, or 30 if you’re outside more often.

Tips for proper face washing

       
Friday, October 4th, 2013

Tips for proper face washing

Just because you’ve been washing your face since you were in elementary school doesn’t mean you know how to do it properly.

In fact, you may have even fallen into certain habits and routines that aren’t working, meaning you’re not seeing your complexion at its highest potential. To get the most out of your cleansing process, follow these tips:

Frequency and formula
First, you might be wondering how often you should be washing – but the truth is, everyone is different. If you work out frequently, wear a lot of makeup or have especially oily skin, you may need to cleanse more often than someone with dry skin who wears minimal beauty products. However, the general consensus is that two times a day, three at most, is ideal.

To make washing easier and more effective, the first step is to take off your cosmetics. Make sure that the makeup remover is gentle enough for the delicate eye area, but powerful enough to get waterproof products off. After you’ve eliminated the majority of your foundation, mascara and other products, you’ll need to select an optimal cleanser for your skin type. Dermatologist Ariel Ostad told Daily Makeover that formulas with salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy are ideal for those prone to a greasy complexion, as these agents can help to reduce oil. Dry or sensitive skin types that tend to flare up should look for a mild cleanser. Ideally, the fewer ingredients the better so as not to risk any irritation or compromise hydration.

Tactic and temperature
You also need to make sure that you’re using the right technique. Dr. Ostad noted that a wash cloth is great for removing dirt and grime, but some people tend to rub too vigorously or for too long, which can cause redness. While one minute is not sufficient, five minutes of scrubbing is overkill.

The temperature of the water is another important consideration. Dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant stressed that lukewarm water is better than hot, which can “strip healthy natural oils from your skin too quickly.” If you can handle it, icy cold water is even better – not only will it perk you up in the morning, but it’s less likely to leave your face feeling tight and dry.

Now that your skin is nearly squeaky clean, it’s time to dry off. While it might be tempting to just reach for a towel and wipe away, Krant recommended using a soft cloth to pat dry, which will leave a thin layer of moisture on the skin’s surface.

How to use honey in your beauty regimen

       
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

How to use honey in your beauty regimen

Honey makes a sweet addition to your tea and oatmeal, but have you ever considered including it in your beauty routine? Before you balk at using the sticky substance on your skin, consider that the it can hydrate your skin and promote a more radiant, supple complexion.

The perks
Women have been using a milk and honey mixture for a more youthful appearance since ancient times. WomenFitness.net noted that honey is packed with of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, copper, iron, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium and zinc, among others. Honey is also a natural humectant, so it acts as a magnet for moisture. Not only that, but it’s chock full of antioxidants, which can fight damage from free radicals and the sun’s rays. It’s also ideal for sensitive skin as it can relieve irritation.

Are you struggling with pesky breakouts? Honey may also be a viable solution for you. Benefits-of-Honey.com explained that because honey can soak up toxins from your pores, it acts as a deep cleanser, preventing blemishes.

The products
Considering the fact that cold, dry months are approaching, it’s the perfect time to think about incorporating honey into a few DIY beauty products. If your elbows, knees or other parts of your body are particularly flaky, Greatist suggested applying honey to the area and letting it absorb for 30 minutes before washing it off.

When your lips start to become chapped and peel in the winter, you could also concoct your own lip balm with honey at home. Lifehacker recommended mixing beeswax, sweet almond oil and honey into a paste. According to the source, you’ll see a major difference almost instantly.

If you’re ready to take advantage of honey’s inherent benefits in a bigger way, you can even infuse it into your entire skincare routine. Benefits-of-Honey.com advised making a gentle cleanser with 1/4 cup honey, 1 tablespoon liquid soap and 1/2 cup glycerin. A face sponge is the best way to evenly distribute the solution onto your face. Then rinse and dry with a towel. Honey is a great addition to your facial scrub because its soothing properties can counteract the harshness of the exfoliants. The website suggested mixing 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon ground almonds, 2 tablespoons dry rolled oats and a dash of yogurt or lemon juice. Work the scrub onto your face and rinse off with warm water for softer, smoother skin. You could also combine 1 peeled, cored apple with a tablespoon of honey in a blender for a natural toner.

Key steps for a clear complexion

       
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Key steps for a clear complexion

No matter your cosmetic preferences or style, clear skin is always a top priority – after all, your complexion is the base for the rest of your makeup.

Achieving a flawless face takes more than a little soap and water, however. While everyone is different, there are certain solutions and even beverages that can help prevent pesky blemishes and breakouts. With these strategies and an optimal combination of products, anyone can bring out the best in their skin:

Banish impurities
The obvious first step in any skincare regimen is a cleanser, but which formula is best? It's crucial to know your skin type - oily, combination, dry or sensitive - before choosing a product that will address your needs. Elle magazine noted that though it may seem like an oxymoron to clean your face with oil, cleansers with these ingredients are extremely effective at eliminating excess oil, as well as removing waterproof makeup. Plus, these formulas don't strip your skin of moisture, which can cause glands to overproduce oil to compensate. Being TRUE's Restoring Deep Cleanser contains seven different exotic oils that can banish impurities while still maintaining hydration.

The way you apply cleanser is just as important as the product itself.  Dermatologist Dendy Engelman told Daily Makeover that rubbing the product on in a circular, upward motion enables the active agents to absorb faster and better. 

Buff off dead cells
Exfoliation is key for a radiant complexion. However, those products with a gritty, sand-like texture can be rough on sensitive skin, causing visible irritation. Elle advised using an exfoliant that contains beta hydroxy acids or fruit enzymes, such as the Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, which is fragrance-free and gentle enough for all skin types. By lifting off dead skin cells, you can prevent clogged pores, blemishes and blackheads.

Boost your skin overnight
It goes without saying that it's crucial to use a makeup remover before you go to bed, but you should also consider a treatment that can enhance your skin while your sleep. Elle noted that retinol can be helpful, as it has the ability to decrease oil production at the source by making oil glands smaller. The source recommended smoothing on Philosophy Help Me Nighttime Retinol Treatment, which not only shrinks and deep cleans pores, but also helps to accelerate cell turnover.

Beauty detoxing
While going au naturel may seem difficult, sometimes your skin just needs a breather. Engelman suggested wearing no makeup for 24 hours once a week. This is especially important if your skin is prone to flaring up, because it'll get a break from allergens, fragrances and other harsh ingredients.

Surprising beauty secrets from the stars

       
Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Surprising beauty secrets from the stars

There are certain beauty tactics you already know are foolproof: Using lash primer before your mascara, moisturizing before bedtime and leaving your conditioner in for an extra few minutes, for example. Yet you still might be trying to figure out how celebrities look flawless all the time, whether they're stepping off an airplane or strolling down the red carpet.

Some of their go-to products and strategies may seem like common sense, but others might catch you by surprise. Regardless, they seem to be working, so they might be worth a try. Here's a few of their secrets for a stunning look:

Hair
Ever wondered why starlets never seem to have flat hair? The trick lies in the temperature of the blowdryer. Harper's Bazaar revealed that actresses like Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel maintain a voluminous mane because they switch back and forth between the hot and cold setting. Professional stylist Oscar Blandi noted that while it seems counter-intuitive to blast your strands with cold air, it helps promote lifted roots that last for up to nine hours, while also adding staying power to the style.

You might already be aware that avocado is good for your body, but did you know that it's excellent for your hair as well? According to Women's Health magazine, Denise Richards mashes the creamy fruit and smoothes it onto her strands with one tablespoon of olive oil for an ultra-rich conditioning masque. Stay away from rubbing the substance onto your scalp, though, to avoid greasiness.

If you're a product junkie, it's important to deep clean your hair to remove buildup once in a while. A clarifying shampoo will do that, but Catherine Zeta-Jones has another tactic: she washes it in beer. Women's Health explained that the alcohol gets rid of any substances that have accumulated on your tresses, which can make them look dull. After working in the solution, just cover your head with plastic wrap for five minutes and then rinse it out.

Skin
A-listers always appear to have clear, glowing complexions. According to Daily Makeover, Cate Blanchett concocts her own scrub with olive oil, macadamia oil, grapefruit juice and sea salt for a revitalized, radiant face. Meanwhile, Emma Stone, who has hyper-sensitive skin, swears by natural grapeseed oil as a moisturizer.

Other stars make their own skincare products at home. Us magazine reported that Kristin Cavallari's DIY solution requires tossing half a papaya in the blender and leaving it on your face for five minutes. She told the source, "It's really hydrating!"

According to the magazine, Olivia Wilde gets rid of puffiness around her peepers by steeping tea bags in warm water and laying them over her closed eyelids.

Makeup
You may have tried a multitude of lip products to get a plumped-up pucker, but you may be surprised to find that the secret is in your pantry. Women's Health noted that Lisa Rinna puts a few drops of cinnamon oil in her lipgloss for a plumping effect. Makeup artist Patrice Evangeline told the source that it's important to test the oil on your skin first to get the sought-after bee-stung look instead of a negative reaction.

If you can't seem to get glitter off your lids, take a cue from Lady Gaga, who's always rocking dramatic eye makeup. According to Women's Health, she uses fabric tape to remove any stubborn stray pieces. However, the source pointed out that it's best to resort to traditional makeup remover if your skin is at all sensitive.

Starlets always seem to look bright-eyed and alert, even if they've been on set shooting all night. Women's Health revealed that Miranda Kerr just uses shimmery lip balm as a highlighter on her browbone and around her eyes to perk them up. For ladies who are prone to breakouts, makeup artist Stefanie Syat advised using a natural product and avoiding gloss, which could clog pores.

Foods and drinks that age your skin

       
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Foods and drinks that age your skin

You probably already know that certain superfoods can make your skin look healthier, younger and more radiant. But were you aware that other foods and drinks can actually age you? Certainly, anti-wrinkle products, a rich moisturizer and a powerful concealer can help you to reduce or hide any flaws that come with time. But in order to help stall the aging process from the inside out, try limiting your intake of substances that could seriously sabotage your skin.

Sugar
There are a multitude of reasons to limit your sugar intake, but in an interview with Discovery Fit & Health, Dr. Nicholas Perricone explained that excess sugar can actually lead to the kind of inflammation that accelerates aging. He noted that when blood sugar spikes, “glycation” happens, which involves the sugar adhering to collagen. As a result of this proves, the skin becomes more stiff and prone to wrinkles. It’s not just your typical candy bars and desserts that cause these effects, either: Dr. Perricone pointed to refined carbs like white pasta, bread and rice as other major culprits.

Foods such as white pasta, bread and rice act the same way as sugar, according to Dr. Henry Lodge, who told Care2 that these refined carbohydrates can cause a dramatic rise in blood sugar levels and glycation. Additionally, they promote insulin resistance, which happens when too much insulin is released and your blood sugar levels crash. You don’t need to cut out carbs completely – just opt for whole grains, which digest slower and won’t cause blood sugar to suddenly soar or drop.

Alcohol
You might want to think twice before picking up that second or third drink. Dr. Oz reported that excessive alcohol consumption can hinder the body’s production of vitamin A, which is crucial to the skin’s cell turnover and the production of collagen, which is key to a youthful complexion. Additionally, he revealed that when alcohol is broken down in the body, it expands the blood vessels that allow blood to flow to your face, causing redness and puffiness. Over time, alcohol continues to make blood vessels widen, and can eventually lead to permanent red patches similar to rosacea or broken capillaries.

Salt
Our bodies need salt for survival, but too many shakes can add years to your face. Neal Schultz, a dermatologist, told Shape magazine that excess salt can cause you to retain water, which leads to a swelling effect. This can translate to a puffy face, which makes you look old and tired. Shultz noted that this is especially common around the eyes as the skin there is thin and delicate. Sodium also dehydrates you, which can promote dry, tired looking skin.

Coffee
Even though you drink java to feel awake and alert, too much of it can dehydrate you, causing you to look more tired. Dr. Deborah Wattenberg told NBC News that since caffeine is a diuretic, coffee, soda, tea and energy drinks don’t allow your body to hold on to the water it needs. This causes your skin to look old and shriveled instead of supple. Try to stick to one cup of joe a day, and even less when it comes to sugary soft drinks.

Saturated Fat
Saturated fat isn’t just damaging to your heart and your waistline – it could also make your skin age faster. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a 17-gram increase in daily intake of these fats was linked to a more wrinkly face. Related research by the International Health and Development Unit at Monash University found similar adverse skin effects, particularly as a result of butter consumption. Try to avoid fried and processed foods, which are loaded with these unhealthy fats.

DIY beauty solutions

       
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

DIY beauty solutions

While do-it-yourself projects typically involve hot glue guns and MacGyver-like skills, you can also DIY when it comes to your beauty products.

In fact, there are likely a multitude of items in your drawers, cabinets and pantry that could be used in beauty treatments (powdered milk, anyone?). The best part about DIY beauty is that because you're concocting the solutions yourself, you can customize the formula to address your specific hair concerns, skincare needs or makeup preferences. Here are just a few DIY ideas for some products you can make with simple ingredients.

Haircare
If you're dealing with dry, dull strands, this mask will instantly make locks more lustrous. All you need, according to Self magazine, are two or three thoroughly mashed bananas, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Mix the concoction together and apply evenly to your hair, letting it sit for 15 minutes before you wash it out. Bananas are high in potassium, which can infuse strength into strands weakened by the sun, heat styling and other stressors. Self noted that the apple cider vinegar acts as a clarifying agent to get rid of product buildup, while the olive oil's fatty acids hydrate strands.

Skincare
Dry skin is a downer, but Adina Grigore, founder and chief formulator for S.W. Basics, told Refinery 29 that you can mix a moisturizer so rich that parched, damaged skin becomes softer, smoother and fully hydrated. Just mix together 1/2 cup of shea butter, 1/4 cup cocoa butter and a drizzle of coconut oil into a glass bowl. Make sure the bowl can withstand heat, as you'll be putting it over a a double boiler on low heat for several minutes. Once the consistency is fluid, use an oven mitt to take the bowl off the burner and let it cool. Then put a lid or plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate the homemade moisturizer. An hour later you can apply the cream to your face and body – and take a deep breath, because the scent is heavenly.

Makeup
Looking for a great glow? Sometimes it's hard to find the right shade of bronzer – if it's too light it's ineffective, and if it's too dark it looks entirely fake. The idea is to achieve the kind of radiance you'd naturally get from a day basking on the beaches of St. Tropez, and there's no better way to get the color just right than to mix it yourself. Self magazine recommends mixing together 1/2 cup cinnamon powder, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and three tablespoons of baby powder and sifting it into a bowl before mixing in four to five drops of coconut oil. By adding body lotion, you can personalize the shade: More lotion will make the bronzer more subtle while less will make a richer, deeper pigment.

What to drink for healthier, brighter skin

       
Monday, August 5th, 2013

Healthier, brighter skin now: What to drink

We all know it's important to drink enough water and consume nutrient-dense superfoods for radiant skin. However, experts say that there are other beverages that can provide a bevy of benefits, from fewer fine lines to enhanced elasticity. Here are some drinks you'll want to sip on for a glowing complexion.

Green tea
For maximum skin-boosting advantages, this tea is best consumed hot. Women's Health magazine reported that heat causes the tea to release an antioxidant which not only acts as an anti-inflammatory but can also ward off cancer. The source noted that a study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry determined that drinking between two and six cups a day may help prevent malignancies that result from too much sun exposure.

Oat milk
Some say that eliminating dairy products can improve the skin's appearance. Glamour magazine recommended switching out traditional cow's milk for oat milk, which is available at most supermarkets. The source explained that this alternative has a significant amount of vitamin E and folic acid, both of which are key for healthy skin regeneration.

Nettle tea
Does your skin tend to flare up? Nettle tea might be just the remedy if you are prone to breakouts or eczema, according to Glamour. High levels antioxidants mean the tea may also help rid the skin and body of toxins and free radicals, which tend to speed up the aging process.

Fruit and veggie juice
When you're not in the mood to eat your vegetables, drinking them can provide the same essential nutrients that help brighten and protect skin. Noelle Swatland of GreenLemonade.com told Shape magazine that the right concoctions can help to rid the body of impurities and restore balance to the skin, thus evening out its tone. Cucumbers are her top choice, as they are packed with skin-boosting potassium, magnesium and silica. Not only that, but cucumbers are a whopping 90 percent water, so they're ultra-hydrating. Tomato juice is also an ideal selection, as Glamour pointed out that these fruits contain skin-tightening vitamin C and lycopene, which helps circulation.

Peppermint tea
Stress is a major skin villain. When things are getting tense, unwind with a cup of peppermint tea, which Glamour magazine pointed out has innate soothing effects. There are other benefits as well: The herb can help to clear out the sinuses, relieve a headache and facilitate digestion.

Superfoods for radiant skin

       
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Superfoods for radiant skin

You are what you eat, and this adage is no less true for your skin. Whatever your concerns – whether it's a dry complexion, signs of aging, or damage from the sun, your diet can actually make a huge difference. Include these superfoods along with the right skincare products to boost hydration, fuel faster cell turnover and make skin appear younger for the long-term.

Frank Lipman, founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, told Allure that the healthy fats in wild salmon can help to pad skin tissue and cell membranes, leaving skin looking plumper. He suggested aiming for two to three servings per week. The monounsaturated fats in avocados can also help skin to retain moisture as well as replenish its own natural oils.

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – and they can also reduce the production of free radicals. Redbook reported that raw kale is especially rich in carotenoids, which according to research by the University of Nottingham, gives skin a glow that's even more attractive than a sun tan. Meanwhile, the lycopene in tomatoes is essentially nature's SPF, offering extra protection against the sun's harmful UV rays.

Fruits and vegetables with a high water content, like watermelon and cucumbers, can help hydrate and nourish skin, which is especially important in the dry summer heat. Papaya contains two to three times your daily vitamin C needs – which is key, as Redbook noted that women with diets higher in the vitamin had less wrinkles and younger looking skin.

Tips for faking a natural tan

       
Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Tips for faking a natural tan

Come summertime, one of your biggest beauty challenges is maintaining a tan without damaging your skin. But with the right combination of skincare and cosmetics, it's possible to get that coveted glow without laying out in the sun.

The proper application of a good bronzer can do wonders for making your face look naturally tan. But some people might prefer a more moisturizing formula – like the Sun Self-Tanning Milk by G.M. Collin. This ultra-light lotion absorbs into the skin quickly, and contains seven herbal extracts. Over time, not only will you build up an even, long-lasting tan, but your skin will feel softer and more hydrated. 

Another option for a darker tint is Self-Tanning Fluid from Babor. A powerful combination of nutrients and minerals leaves skin nearly flawless, while also making it stronger and more resilient. The multi-protection properties of this formula boost the skin's natural defense systems so that it's more resistant to photo-aging.

If you're looking for something a little more advanced – check out being TRUE – The Kit by True Cosmetics. This complete, all-inclusive kit is great for traveling to your next summer getaway, and it includes two universal shades of Protective Mineral Foundation with SPF 17, Mineral Mist Bronze Blush, a compact all-purpose brush, finishing sponge, quick tips booklet and a cosmetic case.

With every application, you'll get a deeper pigment while also protecting your skin long-term.