Vitamin A (also known as retinol, Retin-A, renova, retinyl palmitate, tretinoin, ETC) is not only an excellent antioxidant, it is also cell-communicating (talks to your skin cells). When an antioxidant is cell-communicating, such as Vitamin A, it means that it helps your cells create healthier skin cells and increase the amount of support tissues like collagen and/or elastin. The body lacks the ability to produce Vitamin A, so it is important to gain Vitamin A through foods and skin care products. Vitamin A products are most recommended to individuals that have damaged skin. It is very important to make sure that Vitamin A is packaged correctly; otherwise, the product could be no good. The product should be in a closed, dark colored container. If sunlight penetrates the product it can promote problems with its efficacy. When using Vitamin A based products it is very important that you use a sunscreen daily. When using exfoliating products it makes your skin more susceptible to sun damage. Also, the sun depletes the skin of Vitamin A, which can cause sunbathers to age faster.
Some people will experience irritation from using Vitamin A products for the first time, which is completely normal. To make the best experience, start out using a Vitamin A based product 1 to 2 times weekly and gradually work your way up to 5 to 7 days a week.
Here are a few recommendations of Vitamin A based products:
- SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0
- Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serum 3X
- SkinMedica Retinol Complex 1.0
You can find the products mentioned above on SkinStore.com.
Enriched with natural amino acids, Alterna Overnight Hair Rescue works in synergy with your own hair protein. This elegant formula is the white knight your damaged stands have been waiting for. Apply at night, and feel the silkiness absorbs quickly and easily with no sticky residue. No worries about damaging pillow cases or bed sheets as this treatment doesn’t leave any traces behind. Look forward to awaking to soft, luscious locks and styling without effort.
Got a favorite hair treatment? Tell us what it is!
Skin cancer is a widely spread type of cancer that affects millions of people each year. The most common form of cancer is melanoma and it is caused from the sun. There are four basic categories of melanoma which includes: superficial spreading, lentigo maligna, acral lentiginous, and nodular melanoma. The most common form is superficial spreading melanoma. Other types of skin cancers are basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. By protecting yourself, especially from the hours of 10:00am to 4:00 pm, you can greatly lower your risk because this is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Each time your skin burns you are damaging your DNA, which can greatly increase your chances of getting skin cancer. In fact if you have had five or more sunburns at any age of your life, the risk of you getting melanoma doubles. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of melanoma because early detection means a greater chance of survival and recovery. The first sings of skin cancer are usually atypical moles, so it is important to be able to recognize a potential problem.
Here’s a simple guide to help you spot melanoma is using the ABCDE method:
A= Asymmetry: Melanoma is typically irregular in shape, where as benign (non cancerous) moles are usually round.
B= Border: This is where the outside edges of the mole are not smooth; they appear to be jagged or have notched edges.
C= Color: This one can be tricky because melanoma can look like many shades of brown. The main difference is melanoma will have many shades of brown in one mole and not be one solid color like benign moles. Also if the mole is very dark (almost black), with uneven and jagged edges you may want to get it checked out.
D= Diameter: Typically melanoma lesions are more than ¼ inches wide. As a reference this is about the size of a pencil eraser. If your mole is larger then this, you may want to consult a dermatologist.
E= Evolving: If there is any change in the size, color, or shape this may be potentially dangerous. Also if you have any other symptoms such as bleeding, itching, or crusting of the area you will want to have it looked at by a medical professional.
The most common areas that melanoma can be found are on the torso, head, neck, and lower legs. It is suggested that you check your skin every 6-8 weeks on your own for suspicious moles. It is also important to make an appointment with your dermatologist to do a full body mole check once a year. Especially if you have had cancer in the past, you are more susceptible to getting it again. Also if you have a family history of cancer, this could greatly increase the risk of developing melanoma. If your doctor has any suspicions that a mole may be cancerous, they may perform a biopsy to better determine the outcome.
The number one way to protect your skin from the sun is to use sunscreen daily. A few of our favorite SPF products are La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer with Sunscreen, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 and SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 50.
You can find these products on SkinStore.com.
Source: American Cancer Society
We’re here to tell you what all the hype is with Billy Jealousy products. The name may not say it all because it sounds mysterious, but let me tell you the products are certainly memorable with straight forward results. The company started out with the aspiration of finding the perfect shaving products. The founder Pat Parsi, who we got to sit down with, told us of his constant struggle with finding the right shaving products. He and his wife started the company in 2004, since then Billy Jealousy has become a highly recognized brand with large department stores, online retailers, men’s magazines, and even George Clooney! While we didn’t get to meet the celebs that use these products, we definitely found out why they are so popular. The brand offers not just shaving products but face and body care items that are skin and budget friendly.
The #1 best seller for Billy Jealousy has been theBilly Jealousy Hydroplane Shave Cream.This shave cream won the best shave cream by Esquire magazine and we know why. Men and ladies alike will love this rich cream for shaving because it will prevent razor bumps, nicks, and those pesky ingrown hairs. It has a nice light cool citrus scent that is a universal crowd pleaser. It is also an excellent buy, as one 8 oz tube can last you for 6 months. For maximum results you will want to apply theBilly Jealousy Hot Towel Pre-Shave Treatmentand combine it with an equal amount of the hydroplane shave. This will soften the hair follicles to make your shave effortless. For men and women who have hair that is less coarse, try the Billy Jealousy Whipped Cream.This gives you more of a lather as opposed to using a regular shaving cream. For the finale you will want to put on the Billy Jealousy Shaved Ice After Shave Balm.This treatment also works great for sunburn skin and post waxing because of its soothing benefits.
Aside from award winning shave products Bill Jealousy offers excellent face treatments and body products as well. One product that is offered called Billy Jealousy Sucker Punch Face Scrubis a must try.This product is 100% organic and can be used a few times per week for an excellent exfoliation. You can use this product before you shave and the mixture of volcanic black sand, walnut shell, and alumina will lift away dead skin cells and dirt. This product also contains antioxidants to protect your skin and improve elasticity. While were talking anti aging we should mention Billy Jealousy About Face Anti-Aging Serum.This serum contains glycolic acid to help with fine lines and skin discoloration. It also has immune system boosting Echinacea extract, and aloe to moisturize and restore the pH levels in your skin. This serum is priced very well for an anti aging serum at only $48.00 for a 1 oz bottle.
A great body wash to try would be the Billy Jealousy Ocean Front Body Wash.We loved the smell of this one. It had an intoxicating citrus and bergamot smell that left your skin smelling clean and fresh. This body wash also contains salicylic acid, so it works great for people who struggle with break outs on the body area. It’s also beneficial for men who want soft body hair because it contains panthenol to strengthen and condition hair.
These are just a few samples of the line that you may like. We enjoyed all of the products for the refreshing scents and the entertaining names. Billy Jealousy may be a fun and trendy line, but it looks like it is here to stay.
Click here to learn more about Billy Jealousy on SkinStore.com.
BBQ’s and pool parties go hand in hand during these summer months. While most men don’t even flinch about summer time, women tend to go into full detox mode. All we need is a little bit of preparation tips & tricks to get the ball rolling and come prepared when that pool party arrives. So instead of biting your finger nails and becoming a detox princess, follow these guidelines…
After you’ve marked your special date on your calendar, the preparation can begin. You know you will be in a bikini soon, so what immediately comes to mind? Maybe we need a little bit of color, or spot treatments to concern areas? With the few weeks leading up to the event, we can exfoliate our body just like our faces a few times a week. This will get rid of all of the dead skin on the surface so that when we are ready to reveal our skin it will look healthy and smooth. In between exfoliation sessions, don’t forget about shaving. I know I am probably not the only one who likes to borrow good men’s shaving products. Grab some Jack Black Supreme Cream Triple Cushion Shave Lather. I say if it’s strong and comfortable enough for a man, then it would be bliss for a woman. After you shave, don’t forget to prevent and protect your freshly shaved areas with some ingrown hair/ bump fighters! For a suggestion, try Whish Flawless Bump Fighter.
The next prep step would be to pick out and apply a self tanner. We want to look golden and sun kissed at our events but without harm from the sun! We suggest that you take a look at the following self tan products:
- Jan Marini Bioglycolic Sunless Self Tanner
- Decleor Aroma Sun SPF 8 Hydrating Self- Tanning Milk
- Pevonia Self- Tanning Emulsion
- TanTowel Plus Full Body Self- Tanning Towelettes
They are all different options for different types of needs. They range from creams, to lotion/milk textures and even gel textures. These will get you glowing quickly and what a way to help slim up your figure too! Now that you are pretty much ready to flaunt your pool party body and smile, there are a few other items you should remember to stay flawless. Be sure you remember to always wear your preferred SPF products for the face and the body! If you need, there are always some relaxing and soothing after sun products as well.
You can also protect your hair during these weekend water & sun celebrations with products like:
- Alterna BAMBOO UV Color Protection Vibrant Color Shampoo
- Rene Furterer Protective Summer Fluid
- Phyto Protective Sun Veil
Well I think we’ve pretty much covered as much as possible on how to prepare from head to toe. You should feel tan, toned, smooth and fit to stun when you arrive at your summer soiree. Oh, and don’t forget those designer shades!
These days everyone is looking for a way to slow down the aging processes and since the Fountain of Youth has yet to be found, we all turn to the next best thing – SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Until recently, many individuals were a little unsure of what type of protection our SPF was providing. With the increased risk of skin cancer, we now realize that what we don’t know CAN hurt us, thus many have turned to their dermatologists or esthetician for education.
Let’s begin with a basic understanding of how the sun can cause damage to our unprotected skin. Sunlight contains two types of ultraviolet radiation which can damage the skin, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).
UVA, known as the “aging” ray, can penetrate deeper into our skin and cause symptoms of premature aging such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and damaged collagen. It is believed that UVA is up to 20 times more abundant in sunlight than UVB rays. In addition, the UVA wave-lengths are longer, can pass through window glass and they are not affected by weather – in other words, they are active and present every day, all day – rain or shine! So – don’t be fooled, wear your SPF even on a cloudy day the UVA rays are just as harmful whether sunny or cloudy outside.
UVB is known as the “burning” ray. The UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and increased melanin production (the cause of tanning). These rays are shorter and more intense than the UVA rays however; they can not pass through window glass. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation about 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are linked with ultraviolet radiation exposure. UVB play’s a significant role in these statistics. In addition, unlike UVA rays, the intensity of the UVB rays can be affected by altitude and latitude thus, individuals may experience a higher level of exposure while in mountainous regions and near the equator.
At SkinStore.com we offer a wide selection of SPF products. We have a variety of both chemical sunscreens and physical sun blocks. Chemical sunscreens use synthetic compounds to filter the sunlight by absorbing them before they can do any harm. Some active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are octylcrylene, avobenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, oxybenzone and Mexoryl, the ingredient in Anthelios SX. Mexoryl was approved as recently as 2006 by the FDA for protection against UVA and UVB rays. Chemical sunscreens are fantastic because they absorb very easily into the skin, which is a big plus for an oilier skin type however, they might not be suited for sensitive or allergy prone skin types. Physical sun blocks provide a barrier on the skin deflecting sunlight off the surface similar to the way a mirror would reflect light. The most common ingredients in a physical sun block are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. While both provide great protection to UVA and UVB rays, individual preference may include consideration factors such as consistency and physical attributes of the ingredients.
SPF labels–we have all seen one right? So what do they mean?…in short, SPF labels are our guide for understanding a sunscreens capacity for protecting our skin from sun damage. The higher the SPF, the greater the amount of UVB rays are blocked – though no sunscreen will block 100% of the UVB rays, an SPF50 can block up to 98% of those harmful rays! The SPF level also helps to determine the amount of time we can be in the sun while remaining protected. For example, if you normally begin to turn pink after 10 minutes of being in the sun with out sunscreen, an SPF 15 may protect your skin for up to 2.5 hours before you may experience sunburn. Remember, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that sunscreens be applied 30 minutes before exposure to the sun with reapplication at least every two hours – the active ingredient in most sunscreens breaks down quickly, leaving your skin unprotected. Better to be safe than sorry, right?!
La Roche Posay offers a fabulous broad-spectrum protection product called Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. They have created a synergistic combination called Cell-ox Shield which is high efficacy sun filters and powerful anti-oxidants to further protect your skin. So you’re not only protecting your skin from external harm, you’re promoting internal health as well. One of my personal favorites is the Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Sun Protection Brush SPF 50-Medium. It’s great because I can toss it my purse and do touch-ups through out the day, right on top of my make-up. It’s also a physical block with 12.45% active titanium dioxide and 9.80% zinc oxide, with complete transparency and mattifing mineral powder. Not only that, but it also contains a blend of six powerful, active wrinkle relaxing and anti-aging peptides and neuropeptides! What more could a girl ask for!? Okay…maybe if this also made me ten pounds lighter it would be every girl’s dream come true.
Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation. For more information about skin cancer visit The Skin Cancer Foundation website.
This is for all you vegans and veggies out there that want to use products to fit your lifestyle. Here’s some info on some vegan and vegetarian products that SkinStore.com offers. For those of you that may be newer to the world of vegetarianism I have made it pretty simple to spot out products to suit your preferences.
Strictly vegan lines do not contain such ingredients as milk, honey, lanolin (substance derived from sheep’s wool) or any animal derived ingredients. Vegetarian skin care lines may include lactic acid or honey, however any other animal based ingredients such as squalene, fish oil, gelatin, carmine (pigment from a beetle), collagen, vitamin A, and glycerin will not be included as these are all animal by products.
A lot of makeup companies that are vegan use synthetic materials for their brushes instead of animal hair. This works well for vegans and people allergic to animals that may not be able to tolerate natural fibers.
Some alternatives to animal based ingredients include vegetable glycerin, soy and plant proteins, or almond and olive oil. Vitamin A alternatives include vegetables such as carrots, wheat germ oil or a synthetic form of Vitamin A.
The brands listed below are vegan or vegetarian:
Nuxe: Contains no animal ingredients, synthetic coloring agents, no mineral oils, and is lab tested and under dermatological supervision.
Duwop: Is vegan, no animal testing, and uses many different antioxidants to improve the look of your skin to enhance makeup application
Sparitual: 100% vegan. We love this line for their fun colors, earth friendly packaging, and great smelling products.
Juara: 100% vegetarian, no animal testing, contains no artificial colorants, paraben-free, no sulfates or pthalates.
Arcona-vegan (except for honey used in only a few products). This is one of my new favorite product lines. The smell, texture, and efficacy of the products are untouchable!
Juice Beauty: Is vegetarian and uses a lot of organic ingredients.
Melvita: Is vegetarian and organic
Colorscience: vegetarian and offers a wide range of natural sunscreens.
Jack Black: vegan except for beeswax and silk amino acids that are in some of their products. They are cruelty, color and fragrance free.
Anthony Logistics: They are vegan except for their lip balms which contain beeswax.
Some companies are either reformulating their products or coming out with products that are exclusively vegetarian to meet the needs of consumers. Vegetarian based products have proven not to be just a fad, but offer real results and are here to stay!
Keratosis Pilaris (ker-uh-TO-sis pil-AIR-is) or KP is a very common skin condition that mainly occurs on the back and outer sides of the upper arms, however, it can occur on other parts of the body such as the thighs, cheeks, back and/or buttocks. This skin condition affects 50% of the entire world’s population, most commonly found in adolescents.
KP causes small, acne-like bumps that are painless and normally have a reddish coloring. KP has also been referred to as “chicken skin” or “permanent goose bumps”. Though this skin condition is not so attractive, it is harmless. KP is normally worse in the winter months when the climate is drier. It has also been noted that KP may worsen during pregnancy or after childbirth.
Though treatment is not medically necessary, most people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. The most common treatments to lessen the appearance of KP are exfoliators and moisturizers that are targeted to hydrate dry skin types. Some common ingredients and products that help to treat KP are Lactic Acid, Urea, Vitamin A treatments, microdermabrasion products, Salicylic Acid and Glycolic acid. Since KP is a chronic condition, treatments are recommended to be done continuously.
A Few Great Recommendations:
- PCA SKIN Dry Skin Relief Bar
- Avene Professional Akerat Smoothing Exfoliating Cream
- Glytone KP Kit
Winter is a wonderful time to relax at home with family or travel. The dry climate can take its toll on your skin so it’s important to take the proper precautions and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! We often forget to use masks to help restore our skin, they are great treatments that don’t take that much time but will offer amazing results.
The Juara Avocado Banana Moisture Mask is an excellent moisture rich mask that will benefit dry, dehydrated skin. It uses avocado to nourish dry skin and banana which is rich in minerals to help soften and protect your skin’s natural moisture levels. This winter friendly mask also uses squalane and carrot seed oil to protect and hydrate even the most sensitive skin types. It is a great mask to use post procedure or while using a retinol or exfoliant, because it is soothing and hydrating.
The Juara Avocado Banana Moisture Mask is rich in texture, smells wonderful and feels even more amazing while on the skin. You can use this mask 1-2 times a week or as needed if you want to add a dose of moisture to your regimen. You will want to leave the mask on 10-15 minutes, or you can apply a very thin layer to your skin and leave on overnight. The results will be refreshing to your skin and soul!
For those of us that like to exfoliate, scrub, and slough off our skin on a regular basis, we often run the risk of overdoing it. The SkinCeuticals Epidermal repair has been specifically formulated for skin that has been compromised by in office peels or at-home blunders. It contains beta glucan and centella asiatica which provide a protective veil on the skin and help to repair and restore the skin barrier function while helping to stimulate collagen production.
The SkinCeuticals Epidermal repair will help with inflammation and will also help to soothe the skin to lessen irritation. If you use this product post-procedure it will help to protect, heal, soothe, and can also prevent scarring (but consult with your doctor before use).
It also makes a nice makeup base for us dry skin types because it contains dimethicone which helps to seal in moisture while preventing peeling and flaking. This is also a great product to use if you have sunburn, windburn, rosacea, or if you are a retinol user. The Epidermal Repair will be a skin saver for anyone that may have overdone it with the peel or treatment, and wants to avoid looking red, scaly or blistered.
You can find this and other great skincare products at SkinStore!