Monthly Archives: October 2016
You’re probably well aware of how the cold can affect your skin negatively — it gets flaky and chaffed when exposed to brutal temperatures and dry from central heating indoors. But cold temperatures don’t always have to be negative. Sometimes the cold can be a great tool to use on your skin. Here are six tips on how to use icy goodness in your skin care routine:
1. Cold Spoon + Under Eye Dark Circles and Puffiness
Long night out? Bad night of sleep? Whatever the reason, your eyes have prominent dark circles and puffiness, and you look less than bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. An easy solve for this problem is to have a cold spoon on hand in your refrigerator. Carefully hold the underside of the spoon under your eye and within 10 minutes much of your swelling will have subsided.
2. Cold water + Dull Skin
You could say this is the world’s easiest facial — just splash cold water against your skin and you will look instantly refreshed. You can up the ante by massaging an ice cube against your face, drying your face gently and applying moisturizer. This will leave you with glowing, healthy-looking skin.
3. Hot Weather + Ice Cold Products
Applying a room temperature product in the heat of the summer isn’t particularly refreshing. The solution? Pop your products in the fridge. After waking up from a warm night, the cold temperature will feel refreshing and your complexion will look super pert. A win-win scenario.
4. Frozen Aloe Vera + Sunburns
Spent a little too much time in the sun? If you’re feeling the burn, aloe vera is an absolute godsend. And what’s even better than aloe vera? Aloe vera ice cubes naturally. Chill aloe vera in ice cube trays and use the cubes to rub on affected areas to soothe and restore.
5. Ice Cube + Pimple
An ice cube wrapped in a baggie (not directly) and placed on a zit reduces swelling. It takes about 5 minutes to cool off and reduce the appearance of your blemish.
6. Tweezers + Ice Cubes = Pain-free tweezing
Tweezing your eyebrows can be a fairly painful process. Holding an ice cube against the area before and after will numb the area and make it more comfortable to tweeze.
See a little cold isn’t so bad — use these six tips to make subzero temperatures your new best friend.
Our skin is constantly renewing itself, growing new skin cells to replace the surface skin cells that grow old, die, and fall, or slough, off. Every minute of every day, between 30,000 and 40,000 dead skin cells flake away.
Factors like age and dry skin can mean that dead skin cells don’t fall away as easily as they should. When these cells build up, they can make the complexion look rough and pasty and can also contribute to the clogged pores that lead to adult acne. The regular yet careful use of a skin exfoliant can help slough off dead skin cells and uncover fresh, more youthful skin.
There are two main types of skin exfoliants: mechanical exfoliants and chemical exfoliants. Both are commonly available, and both have pros and cons regarding their use and the types of skin conditions for which they are most appropriate.
Mechanical Skin Exfoliants
Mechanical exfoliants work by sanding off dead skin cells using mildly abrasive substances. These skin exfoliants typically are facial scrubs, creamy cleansers with tiny, rough particles. As you gently massage the exfoliant over the surface of your face and skin, the friction works to loosen the old skin cells.
Mechanical skin exfoliants are readily available in drugstores and easy to use. They are particularly good for people with oily skin or acne, as they remove skin cells and debris that clog pores, but only if you don’t scrub too hard as this can cause further irritation.
However, mechanical exfoliants can be harsh. When you use them, you’re literally sanding away the outer layer of your skin. Some contain particles so jagged and rough that they could actually cut the skin. Because of this, dermatologists recommend using a gentle motion when using a skin exfoliant, and skipping them altogether if you have sensitive skin.
Chemical Skin Exfoliants
A chemical skin exfoliant uses gentle acids to dissolve whatever bonds are preventing the outer layer of dead skin cells from falling off your face and body. There are two main types of chemical skin exfoliants, those that include an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and those that include a beta hydroxy acid (BHA):
Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from different foods, from fruits, such as apples and grapes, to milk. Some of the most common AHAs to look for on product labels are glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, alpha-hydroxyoctanoic acid, and triple fruit acid. An alpha hydroxy acid is best for people with dry or thickened skin.
Beta hydroxy acids are the chemical cousins of alpha hydroxy acids, but are more oil-soluble and therefore better at exfoliating oily skin or acne-prone skin. The best known beta hydroxy acid is salicylic acid. On product labels, look for salicylate, sodium salicylate, beta hydroxybutanoic acid, or tropic acid.
Alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid skin care products tend to be less harsh on the skin than mechanical exfoliants. They also help refresh the skin in ways a facial scrub can’t: They lower the skin’s pH level and help smooth small, shallow wrinkles, improving the look of skin that is dry or sun damaged.
Finding the right formulation for your skin involves some trial and error. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you should choose alpha hydroxy acid-based chemical exfoliants with an alpha hydroxy acid concentration of 10 percent or less and a pH of 3.5 or more. Beta hydroxy acid-based exfoliants containing salicylic acid are effective at levels of 1.5 to 2 percent. Using stronger solutions can cause skin irritation.
Another caveat: These types of exfoliants increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun for as long as a week after each use. Before going out, always apply sunscreen — a skin-saving recommendation for everyone.
How and When to Use Exfoliants
You should not use an exfoliant every day. Your skin needs time to regenerate its topmost layer, which exfoliation strips away. People with dry skin should only exfoliate once or twice a week, while those with oily skin can exfoliate two to four times a week. Stop using an exfoliant if you find your skin becoming irritated or developing a rash. Remember to moisturize your skin after exfoliating, to soothe it and keep it from drying out.
It’s important to take care of your body. When it comes to taking care of your skin, you want to make the time and investment. The sooner you start making smart, healthy skin choices, the better off your skin will be long-term. Whether you practice a basic routine or a more complex one, maintaining healthy skin pays off in the long-run.
The Basic Routine
A basic, easy-to-follow skincare routine has three main (but essential) parts: cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing. Knowing the correct order to apply products makes your skincare routine more effective.
Washing your face with water alone isn’t enough to rid the skin of impurities, and traditional soaps can be too harsh. A cleanser removes dirt, debris, oil and makeup from your skin – we suggest doing this twice a day, especially before bed. Choose a cleanser based on your skin’s needs. If you have oily skin, it may benefit from additional acne-fighting ingredients. If you have dry skin, choose a cleanser that won’t strip your skin of moisture. By cleansing your skin, other products will work better and your skin will benefit overall.
Buildup of dead cells on the skin’s surface can cause acne, dull complexion or wrinkles. An exfoliator gets rid of the buildup, giving your skin a healthy glow. Exfoliate according to product instructions.
All skin types, even oily skin, benefit from a moisturizer. Moisturizers help balance the skin’s natural moisture levels and give a healthy, refreshed appearance. Opt for an oil-free moisturizer if you have oily or combination skin. A moisturizer with SPF is best for daytime, as it protects against sun damage. Use a night cream suited to your skin type, which offers deep moisture when you need it most. Day and night, an eye cream, designed specifically for the delicate skin around the eye area, should also be applied directly after moisturizing.
The Advanced Treatment Routine
All skin types need a basic routine. However, an advanced treatment routine is recommended for those with particular skin needs. If you have oily, dry skin or blemished skin you may benefit from advanced treatment. Advanced treatments can also help prevent signs of aging like fine lines, dullness, and deeper wrinkles. Products for a more advanced skin care treatment, in addition to the three basic steps, include:
Toner is designed to prime your skin for further treatment. After cleansing, toner helps soften and calm the skin, eliminating any remaining residue and priming it for further steps. Unlike a cleanser, toner remains on the skin – there’s no need to wash it off.
Those with particular concerns, such as acne control or age prevention, can look for toners that help treat or prevent acne and wrinkles. If you have sensitive skin or wrinkles, look for a toner that is alcohol-free to prevent irritation and over-drying.
After exfoliating, and before applying moisturizer, use treatment products that target your specific skin concern, such as an acne cream or an anti-aging serum. If you have more than one specific skin concern, you’ll benefit from layering the products to maximize their efficacy. Lighter products, like serums, go on first. Heavier creams and ointments go on last, just before the moisturizer.
Facial masks provide an additional therapeutic boost to help treat any skincare woes. Masks are designed to target everything from acne to dry skin to dark spots, depending on the ingredients they contain. Unlike serums and creams, masks rest on the skin for a short period of time to deep clean the skin and improve texture. Typically, they are in a cream or gel form, and gradually dry and tighten the skin as they draw out impurities and add moisture to the skin.
Tissue masks are fabric cloths that are designed to give your face a more intensive treatment, during a short period of time. Depending on the mask, they can be used once a week or nightly, read the instructions for application details. Each tissue mask contains a heavy dose of serums and the application via the mask on your face creates an occlusive environment for the ingredients to penetrate. Tissue masks are usually recommended as part of a nighttime skincare regimen, followed by a night moisturizer.
Cleansing waters remove dirt, oil and makeup like a cleanser. They are different from typical cleansers because they do not need to be rinsed off. Cleansing waters are a favorite for people with a busy schedule because they are easy to use and require only one step to remove makeup and clean the skin before treatments and moisturizers. They work well for all skin types, including acne-prone skin, dry skin and sensitive skin.
Dark Spot Treatments
If you have dark spots, treatments are available in the form of serums, masks, and creams that help to lessen the appearance of dark spots over time. Depending on the application, dark spot treatments can be used as part of your nightly skincare routine, or as a once-a-week mask treatment.
You need to protect your skin because of the vital role it has protecting your body. Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, and can quickly become second nature, like brushing your teeth.
These five skin protection tips can keep your skin looking and feeling great, by guarding against a slew of skin woes, from chapped skin to prematurely aging to skin cancer.
1. Limit Sun Exposure
You’ve heard the message a zillion times, and there’s good reason for that unrelenting repetition. Ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun cause many types of skin damage:
Using skin care products that offer ultraviolet protection is one of the best ways to help keep your skin looking fresh and youthful:
Use sunscreen every day and reapply regularly whenever you’re outdoors for extended periods.
Cover skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats.
Stay indoors when the sun is at its most intense, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Keep in mind that tanning beds are just as harmful as direct sunlight, as they also emit ultraviolet rays.
2. Stay Hydrated
Keeping your skin moist is essential to skin protection. Skin that is properly hydrated retains pliability and prevents chapped skin or scaly, flaky skin:
Drink lots of water. This is key to hydrating your skin.
Use the right moisturizing cream or lotion for your skin type and apply it right after drying off from your bath or shower. Avoid products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, as this ingredient removes natural oils needed by your skin.
Take warm (not hot) showers or baths, and limit them to between 5 and 10 minutes. It seems counterintuitive, but exposure to water actually dries out your skin. If dry skin persists, consider cutting back on the number of baths you take.
3. Take Health Precautions
Cold sores are caused by a viral infection of the skin bordering the lips, while bacteria can contribute to acne and other skin conditions. Practicing skin protection means paying close attention to what touches your skin, to lower your chances of exposure to germs:
Don’t share any personal items, such as lip balms or toothbrushes.
Don’t share drinks with other people.
Avoid touching your face with your fingers or with objects like telephone receivers that have been used by others.
4. Use Gentle Skin Care
Washing your face is important to remove dirt, oils, germs, and dead cells. However, scrubbing your face causes irritation that can lead to chapped skin that, in turn, can leave skin vulnerable. For best results, you should:
Wash your face twice daily with warm water and a mild cleanser.
Gently massage your face with a washcloth, using a circular motion.
Rinse thoroughly after washing to remove all soap and debris.
Pat your skin dry — don’t rub — then apply your facial moisturizer.
5. Know Your Skin
Pay attention to odd freckles, moles, and growths on your skin, and consult your doctor if you notice any changes. For example, a change in a mole can indicate potential skin cancer. Be sure to treat any cuts that may occur to prevent infection. Other skin conditions that merit a dermatologist visit include frequent acne, inflamed or irritated dry skin, and skin rashes and irritations that don’t go away, as these could be signs of one of the many types of dermatitis, or skin inflammation.
With proper skin care to pamper skin from the outside and with a good diet to nourish from within, skin protection comes down to a few simple steps. But should you ever notice any problems, get medical attention to resolve them quickly and avoid putting your skin at risk.