As an esthetician, I am always preaching to my family and friends about the benefits of wearing sunscreen every day. As if skin cancer weren’t scary enough, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, up to 90 percent of preventable aging is caused by UV exposure. Twenty years from now, you will regret not applying sunscreen when comparing your skin to someone who wore it on a daily basis. Why have any regrets? Sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer, it helps prevent skin discolorations, and it slows down the development of premature aging. This sounds like a miracle product to me!
There are chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens to choose from. Physical sunscreens work by deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the rays, while some chemical filters can scatter the sun rays as well. Chemical sunscreens can be more irritating to the skin, but offer more protection against UVA and UVB rays depending on the particular active ingredient and its stability. Physical sunscreens contain both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The titanium dioxide protects against UVB ways, but not the full spectrum of UVA rays. Zinc oxide protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Your daily sunscreen should have a minimum SPF of 30, even if you’re sitting in an office all day like me. Sunscreen must be applied every day whether you are indoors or out. Customers ask all the time if they need to apply an SPF if it’s cloudy outside. The answer is, yes. Do not let clouds, cold weather, or shade give you a false sense of security that you’re protected from the sun’s harmful rays. As long as there is light, the UV rays can put your skin at risk for both skin cancer and premature aging. Wearing sunscreen is even crucial when driving, or sitting next to a window, as these reflective surfaces can create more damage to the skin. Sunscreen is really the only way to keep your skin looking healthy, young, and radiant.
Even though hair is strong, it can also get very brittle at times and need some extra care. We all know our hair is better off when we take it easy with heat-styling, use sulfate-free products, avoid over-washing, and use cool water when we do wash. If you feel as though you are already doing your best but still aren’t seeing any improvement, it could be that your hair is lacking the protein it needs. Staying in good general health is always going to help your hair, but sometimes we need more.
Hair damage is the degradation of the keratin proteins that make up the hair strand; the cuticle, which is the protective outer layer, and the inner core. The cuticle is made up of cells that fit together like scales on a fish, and damage occurs when something causes the scales to lift and separate. The inner core of the hair contains the proteins that give it structure and strength. If the cuticle is compromised, damage can occur on both the inside and outside of the hair shaft. Because the protein (keratin) is damaged, keratin is really the only thing that can repair it.
My favorite keratin product is the Kerstin Florian Intensive Hair Repair. We know that skin care masking is important, and the same goes for hair! This mask is very easy to apply and remove. After shampooing, apply the product, concentrating on the ends. Wrap hair in a towel or shower cap for 5-10 minutes. For extra penetration benefits, use a blow dryer to heat the product. Let the mask cool and then rinse. The biggest change I noticed after using this mask was how little breakage I now have. The keratin strengthened my hair, eliminated split ends and smoothed out the texture. This product has allowed me to continue the use of my heated tools and ever-changing hair color without the damage.
Masks have a variety of beneficial functions for the skin. They come in many types, as the do perks. You can find masks for brightening, hydrating, purifying, soothing, exfoliating and/or restoring. A mask can really boost the effectiveness of your regimen, no matter your skin type. You’ll get the greatest benefits out of a mask after exfoliation. Twice a week is all it takes to bring your skin into balance and create a youthful radiance!
Sheet masks are a great way to relax after a long day. They are pre-soaked, with cutouts for your eyes, nose and mouth. Simply unfold the sheet, place the cutouts over the appropriate areas and smooth the mask over your face to ensure it is flush with your skin. If you have time, lie down and soak in all the nutrients. Typically, the sheet has some extra residue even after you’ve used it. Don’t waste it. Rub it over the back of your hands, neck and decollate for an extra treatment! One of my favorites is the SkinCeuticals Biocellulose Restorative mask. It will soothe and cool while deeply hydrating.
Mud or Clay Masks are great for pulling out impurities from the skin and de-toxifying. If you have congestion such as blackheads or whiteheads this would be your go-to complexion picker-upper! Depending on the formulation, mud and clay are a little richer and a little harder to remove. You can help dissolve this type of mask a little by adding water to it and emulsifying before you remove it. One of our newest masks is the Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud mask. A little warning: it’s dark green like the moor mud so you may just blend in if you are going to the forest. If you need camo, this is your mask! But seriously, it’s a great choice and it was surprisingly easy to remove. Also the Somme Institute Boost Mask warms, exfoliates, purifies, hydrates and soothes, all with a heavenly pumpkin aroma.
Lastly, the most common type of mask—cream, is the best for almost any situation. Alchimie Forever’s Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask is amazing before an event. Intensely hydrating and brightening, it truly leaves you with an irresistible glow. Just smooth over clean skin, leave on for 10 minutes, or as long as time allows, and rinse with a washcloth.
Any formulation you choose will help you maximize the results of your regimen.
Let’s say you have an entire skin care regimen consisting of a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and SPF, but you’re still struggling with breakouts. You have the complete skin care regimen, right? Actually, there’s something missing from your routine: the mask. Facial masks provide additional or deeper treatments to the skin, but many tend to neglect them. Masks can be used to moisturize, detoxify, and replenish nutrients. If you find that you are breaking out, a mask could be the answer. Choose a mask based on your skin type and the issue you’d like to correct. While it’s true that not many of us are looking to add time to our skin care routines, a mask could be one of the most effective steps you’ll take.
Sulfur masks are to be used in the midst of a breakout to control oil production. Sulfur also accelerates cell turnover by getting rid of dead skin cells and buildup that can clog pores. This ingredient helps dry out existing blemishes and prevents the spread of acne-causing bacteria. My favorite sulfur mask is the Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque. This highly-effective treatment contains eucalyptus, sulfur and purified clay to exfoliate the skin and treat inflamed acne. After using it only a few times, I noticed my congested skin was looking much clearer. I couldn’t ask for more. When I’m struggling with a bad breakout, I use this mask twice a week for the best results. All I need to do is wait the ten minutes and let the product do the work.
My other recent acne mask discovery is the Erno Laszlo Anti Blemish Purifying Mask. This product contains Kaolin Clay, Willow bark extract, and Salicylic Acid. While the Clay and Willow bark reduce surface oil and shine, the Salicylic acid works at exfoliating the skin. I really love the way this mask reduces redness and soothes inflammation; it’s perfect before an important event. After applying this mask, you’ll feel a cool, tingly sensation, which I really enjoy. I do have to say that when I used this mask twice in one week, I experienced some dryness around my nose, but I simply reduced it to once a week and was fine!
One of our bestselling brands has just launched their latest product and oh boy, we think you’re going to love it! We know SkinCeuticals for its scientifically-based, effective formulations. Their newest integrates that science with cosmetic elegance.
The Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is a repairing moisturizer that builds the protective barrier of your skin, enhancing its strength and ability to defend against environmental aggressors. Formulated with 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids, your skin is bathed in the highest concentration of barrier-strengthening ingredients on the market. A perfect companion product to retinol, the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 contains the soothing essential oils of lavender, rosemary and peppermint.
This moisturizer is rich without being heavy. It’s specifically formulated for dehydrated, sensitive and dry skin. You will experience lasting hydration for 24 hours, as well as improved texture and increased radiance. Yes, please!
Have you ever wondered how celebrities achieve the look of perfect bone structure? A few tips and tricks will help you highlight your best features and diminish your least favorite. There’s a reason everyone looks good in candlelight. The facial features are illuminated and given a beautiful glow. Highlighting is basically adding light to the face, something that makeup artists have been doing forever, but only recently has it become a big part of daily makeup routines.
The first step in highlighting is to determine your skin’s undertone, which will be warm, neutral, or cool. Next, find a color that is one shade lighter than your natural color. Keep an eye on how much shimmer your highlighter contains, as the more shimmer, the less natural it will look.
Highlighting products are available in both cream and powder. Generally, cream is better for drier skin types, and powder works better on oily skin. Choose one that is easiest for you to blend. Apply your highlighter down the center of the nose, the middle of the upper lip (cupids bow), middle of the chin, right above the cheekbones and near the inner corners of the eyes. A great trick for an all-over dewy look is to blend a bit of highlighter into your foundation! Because highlighter is one of the finishing touches to your makeup, be sure to stipple with your fingers to blend and be careful to not smear it. By perfecting these techniques, you’ll create definition and illumination, a slimming effect, and an overall sculpted look. Get ready to boost your confidence with these easy tips!
Get the protection you need with the coverage you want this spring, with this amazing two-in-one foundation and SPF. Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Sun Protection SPF 50 is a wonderful combination product that will not only help you combat midday shine; it will also help keep you protected from the dangers of UV rays. This sheer, lightweight mineral foundation is an easy- application product, with mineral powder that comes through the brush bristles, making afternoon makeup touch-ups a breeze. With a matte-based formula, this is sure to stop shine in its tracks!
We also love this product because it provides non-irritating, UVA and UVB protection delicate enough for your face, with an SPF of 50. This is perfect for travel, with its no-mess packaging and easy application. Throw it in your purse, keep it in your makeup bag or toss it into a backpack or beach bag for shine-free SPF protection at your fingertips.
Brows are the most important feature on your face in my opinion. A poorly defined brow can accentuate what you don’t like about your face as well as the shape. It’s best to stick with the natural shape of your brows and just clean them up a little, but if you’re like me and you weren’t blessed with a naturally flattering brow line that compliments the shape of your face, here are some recommendations for selecting a shape that’s flattering for your face.
If your face is round, the goal is to make the face appear longer by creating a high arch. A high-arched brow follows a straight line from the beginning of the brow to the arch; this creates a vertical line on the face which diverts the attention from the roundness.
Oval is considered the ideal face shape, so the brows don’t play a hugely important role. However, the ideal shape for oval faces tends to be a softer angled brow. This brow shape goes straight to the arch and then has a gentle curve from the arch to the end of the eye. Jessica Alba is the perfect example of an oval face with a soft angled brow.
Heart-shaped faces look best with a softer, rounded brow. The arch of the brow should be soft and feminine to accentuate the beautiful shape of the face. Think of the point of the chin as the end of the heart and the arches as the top of a heart.
Long faces should have a flattering brow shape to detract from the elongation and make them appear shorter. Sarah Jessica Parker is a great example of a long face shape with a flat brow. The square-shaped face has a strong, angular jaw line, and a fuller brow with a soft arch helps balance the angular shape of the face. Demi Moore and Cara Delevingne both have this brow perfected!
Last but not least, we have the diamond-shaped face. A highly-curved brow helps to soften the appearance of the widest portion of the diamond. Create an almost-straight line upward from the beginning of the brow to the iris of the eye, then angle the brow downward from the arch. Linda Evangelista has a diamond-shaped face and a highly-arched brow to suit her shape.
I recommend that you see a licensed esthetician to help you select a brow shape suitable for you, then maintain by tweezing and filling in the brows between visits. Anastasia has a brow kit with stencils if your brows are very thin or sparse and need a lot of filling in.
You’ve most likely taken baths before, but have you treated yourself to luxurious bath oils or bubble bath with a beautiful aroma? It’s amazing how much we can benefit from taking some time out of the day to relax. But, baths offer much more than relaxation. They can assist in lowering blood pressure, help you fall asleep, ease cold and flu symptoms, reduce headaches, and some studies show taking baths can even help us maintain a healthy weight.
Bath products will enhance your senses and take the experience to the next level. Aromatherapy Associates carries a bath and shower oil that contains a blend of natural oils from calming plants and flowers that will assist you in getting a great night’s sleep. After using bath oil, your skin is soft, silky, and hydrated. If your skin isn’t a clear as you’d like, a bath can be great for decongesting. The Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Steam Bath encourages skin detoxification. After using this product, I noticed that it helped a great deal with clogged pores and loosening up black heads.
My favorite bath product since I was a little girl has to be bubble bath! L’occitane Verbena Foaming Bath has a light, lemony fragrance. I love how you do not need to use very much of this product, yet your tub will be full of colossal, fluffy bubbles.
There are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your bathing experience. Timing your bath for around 90 minutes before bedtime will help you fall sleep. Keep in mind that you never want to spend more than 20 minutes in a bath, because hot water can be very drying to the skin. The ideal temperature for bath water is about 100° Fahrenheit, which is perfect for relaxing muscles. Bathing is also the perfect time to exfoliate, as the warm water loosens dead skin and helps remove toxins. Remember, this is your time, so light some candles, play some music and unwind from the day.
3. Clarisonic Mia 2 Value Set – Help mom cleanse her skin 6 times more effectively than just a wash cloth, with a Clarisonic Mia 2. The Mia 2 has two different cleansing speeds and is one of our bestselling models. I love this set because it comes with a sensitive brush head as well as a radiance brush head, and the color is fresh for spring.
4. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Mask – One of our bestselling hydrating masks is the perfect pick me up after a long day, or can even be worn overnight to reveal plumper smoother skin in the morning.
5. Jurlique Hand Cream Trio – Pamper her with this luxurious trio. It contains 3 of Jurlique’s bestselling hand creams: Rose, Lavender, and Citrus. Mom is sure to find a scent she loves, and her hands will be smooth as silk.
6. Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Duo – A shampoo and conditioner duo that leaves hair silky smooth and doesn’t contain any harsh Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates. Our customers rave about this stuff and say it’s worth every penny.
7. L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil – This lightweight oil leaves skin soft and smooth. I love the light almond scent and the way my skin feels after it’s applied, so I’ve ditched traditional body creams for this amazing oil.
8. Kneipp Red Poppy and Hemp Pure Bliss Herbal Bath – Does your mom enjoy a relaxing bath? This is a perfect addition to her routine if she does. Kniepp uses essential oils of red poppy and hemp. One of our estheticians swears by this stuff and said it helps her wind down after a long day.
9. Trind Perfect Nail and Cuticle Nail Kit – Help Mom’s nails stay strong and less brittle with this bestselling kit. The kit contains a cuticle balsam, nail balsam, and Trind’s bestselling Nail repair, which tightens the proteins in the nails for stronger, healthier nails.
10. Kniepp Healthy Feet Foot repair – Does Mom suffer from dry cracked feet? This is one of the best foot creams I’ve tried. A little goes a long way, and it absorbs quickly enough to be able to apply, slip on your sandals, and go.