Archive for the ‘Quick Tips’ Category

Vitamin D and Skin Health

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The “sunshine” vitamin, also known as Vitamin D, is extremely important for skin health.  Vitamin D is well-known for its role in calcium absorption.  We know that physically, Vitamin D 12057682265_d568e9030f_zdeficiency can cause rickets, osteomalacia, skeletal diseases, metabolic disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease and many others.  It also affects skin conditions, including acne and psoriasis, both of which can be caused by an insufficient amount of vitamin D.

While hormonal balance and overall hygiene are causes of acne, a poor immune system due to low amounts of vitamin D in your system can also increase oil production in your skin cells. Acne forms when the sebaceous glands are clogged and these blocked, oil-producing cells lead to the unsightly blemishes that can afflict you at any time in your life. Sun exposure raises your vitamin D levels as your skin releases a chemical that produces vitamin D. This reduces the amount of bacteria in your system by boosting your immune system, reducing the level of acne.

For skin conditions like psoriasis, Vitamin D plays a crucial role.  The condition is associated with a poor immune system and, in certain instances, low vitamin D levels. The “Journal of Investigative Dermatology” showed that when exposed to ultraviolet-B rays, the element of sunlight that kick starts the vitamin D production system in the body, vitamin D levels increased significantly, and the symptoms of psoriasis disappeared. Similarly, a study in “Rheumatology International” also found that increasing vitamin D levels helped improve psoriasis symptoms.

Vitamin D is important in the rate of cell renewal and division.  A lack of vitamin D can lead to thinner skin that is fragile and sagging.  Vitamin D-3’s presence in your system is known to support the healing of wounds.  Some people use vitamin D for skin conditions including vitiligo, scleroderma, psoriasis, actinic keratosis, and lupus vulgaris.  Some studies have found that both children and adults with eczema are more likely to have low levels of vitamin D. Lower vitamin D levels are also linked to more severe skin symptoms. Research has found that people who have eczema and low levels of vitamin D are more likely to get infections on their skin.


The Last Straw: Dry Summer Hair!

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FFShampooIs your hair feeling dry and frizzy this summer? We get so busy protecting our skin from the sun that we often forget about the damage the sun can cause to our hair. Our once shiny locks can take a serious beating from the summer sun.  Chlorine can strip hair of its protective oils while the salt water of the ocean strips both hair and skin of its hydration.  As refreshing as a plunge in the pool or a swim in the ocean may be, they can both cause our hair to look and feel stripped, fried, and parched.

The summer sun does not have to be the cause of a bad hair day.  You can restore the shine in your hair by simply giving your locks some additional TLC this summer.  Frederic Fekkai PrX Shampoo and Conditioner both help repair and protect hair daily with effective care. Fekkai’s masterfully crafted repair shampoo and conditioner fortify and provide strength against damage.3 minute mask

The Frederic Fekkai PrX Reparatives 3 Minute Mask is a great product to use on a weekly basis, all year long, for a more intensive and rich hair repair treatment.  This mask protects against Keratin loss with restoring smoothness and shine.  By using this system, your hair will look beautiful during those warm and sunny summer vacations!


25% OFF STOREWIDE STARTS NOW!!

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PREMIER EVENT: 25% OFF STOREWIDE STARTS NOW!!

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Use Code 25NOW. Now’s the time to try something new or stock up on your favorites. Shop skin and hair care, cosmetics, tools, natural and men’s products. Don’t miss this opportunity to save more than ever! Exclusions apply; see promotion details for more information.


Save 25% Storewide

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PREMIER EVENT, 25% OFF STOREWIDE STARTS NOW!!

 

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Use Code 25NOW. Facebook fans and customers can shop one-day early, some items are sure to run out. This offer will not be shown on SkinStore.com‘s website until Wednesday. Now’s the time to try something new or stock up on your favorites. Shop skin and hair care, cosmetics, tools, natural and men’s products. Don’t miss this opportunity to save more than ever!


Melasma and Zinc Oxide

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Dealing with Melasma can be challenging and frustrating.  The bad news is that there’s no cure in the horizon for this common and often chronic disorder, which recent research suggests may have both an epidermal and dermal component as well as a genetic component that is not just based on race or skin type. Estrogen and progesterone seem to play a role in Melasma.  Prescription obagitopical medications with hydroquinone, Tretinoin and a range of acids, and possibly corticosteroids, have long been the main stream way of Melasma treatment. Today, sufferers are receiving a boost from chemical peels and microdermabrasion and, of late, targeted laser therapy using both new and standard devices. This combination appears promising as a new avenue for Melasma treatment.

SK077In addition to those treatments, studies recently have shown that Zinc Oxide has been very successful in the prevention and treatment of Melasma.  Many report great results according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  Zinc Oxide is a common ingredient is sunscreen.  The key is to have the highest percentage of Zinc Oxide in the sunscreen in order to protect, prevent, and heal Melasma.  Will it get rid of all the Melasma?  No.  Remember there is no cure at this time.  However, it has proven to be of great help.

We recommend for those that suffer from Melasma to use physical sunscreens vs chemical sunscreens.  Since chemical sunscreens absorb and disperse the harmful UV rays, this may trigger Melasma vs calming it down.  Physical sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are best suited for those with Melasma since they repel the harmful UV rays. Look for options like the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 or the Obagi Sunshield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50.

 


Help Treat Acne with these Lifestyle Tips

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The affliction of acne can be worrisome, painful, and can affect self-esteem.  Acne has physical, psychological, and emotional consequences.  There are many tools that can be utilized to ease the condition.  Acne requires a lifestyle shift in order to aid in getting it in control.  The following are recommendations that will have a positive influence in treatment of acne.

Get more sleep:  According to a study in Sleep, the risk of psychological stress increases by 14% for every hour of sleep you lose a night. So what does this have to do with acne?

“Stress increases glucocorticoid production, which can lead to abnormalities in skin structure and function,” says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, a dermatologist in Danville, CA. And that can make conditions like acne worse.

To get your beauty sleep, crank your thermostat down to between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. French researchers found that a cooler body temperature makes it easier to fall asleep after you’ve hit the sack. (WebMD)

Change your diet: Some foods cause your blood sugar to raise quickly, triggering a boost in insulin. Too much insulin in your bloodstream can trigger changes in your body that can lead to the growth of pore-clogging cells. It can also boost action in your oil glands.

acne1So make some changes to your meals. A study in the American Journal of Nutrition suggests you may have fewer breakouts if you add more whole grains, beans, and veggies and cut back on pasta, white rice, white bread, and sugar. (WebMD)

Exercise: Exercise helps cut stress, which may contribute to acne outbreaks.

Physical activity also helps your skin by increasing your blood circulation, which sends more oxygen to your skin cells and carries away cell waste.

But keep in mind that sweat from exercise can also lead to breakouts by irritating your skin. So it’s important to shower right after a workout. (WebMD)

H2O: Increasing the amount of water you drink is a great way to flush out internal toxins and hydrate your skin from the inside out. Although there is no definitive research that shows toxins lead to breakouts.  Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that having about 2 cups of water significantly boosted blood flow throughout the body and skin. (WebMD)

Sunscreen: You may hesitate to put sunscreen on your face because you’ve noticed that after a day in the sun, your complexion looks clear and breakout-free. But the inflammation from sunburn can make your acne worse or cause more dark spots. Plus, staying out in the sun without sunscreen raises your risk of skin cancer.

Use sunscreen every time you’re in the sun. Read the ingredients list on the back of your sunscreen, and if you’re acne-prone, look for lighter chemical ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, octocylene, and zinc oxide. If you have acne, look for “non-comedogenic” on the label, which means it should not clog your pores. (WebMD)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s have been shown to control the production of leukotriene B4, a molecule that can increase sebum and cause inflammatory acne.

Omega-3s can be found in supplements or in foods like walnuts, avocados, flaxseed oil, and salmon. (WebMD)

Cleanse 2X a day: The face has more oil-producing glands than any other part of the body, says Carolyn Jacob, MD, a Chicago dermatologist. Top that with a day’s worth of makeup, sweat, smog, dust, and dirt and you’re left with a pore-clogging concoction that, if not washed away regularly, will seep into and fill pores, resulting in blackheads and pimples.

Even if you don’t shower twice a day, it’s important to wash your face thoroughly — and gently — in the morning and at night. Look for cleansers that say “non-comedogenic” on the bottle. (WebMD)

Exfoliate: Sure, overzealous oil glands can lead to breakouts, but so can underperforming oil glands. Dry skin has tiny cracks in which bacteria can breed; plus, excessive flaking can lead to clogged pores.

The fix: Gently exfoliate your skin a few times a week with a scrub designed for the face and follow up with a non-comedogenic moisturizer. (WebMD)

Clean your phone: Several studies have shown that cell phones are breeding ground for germs. Throughout any given day your phone can be exposed to thousands of bacteria, which spread from your fingers (via texting) to your face (via talking) and vice versa.

In addition, the heat produced by your phone can help bacteria to multiply. To keep the germs from landing on your face, wipe the surface of your phone with a little hand sanitizer each day. It’s best to use headphones. (WebMD)

 

 

 


Hot Ingredient: Aloe Vera

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The use of aloe vera dates back to the ancient Egyptians.  They called the plant the “plant of immortality”.  It was presented to dead pharaohs as burial gifts. Stone carvings still exist depicting its uses. The ancient Egyptians utilized the Aloe plant to heal infections, burns, and to clear up the existence of parasites on the body.  Since those times, the use of aloe vera has expanded.  We know it’s a leading therapy for sunburns; however, the additional uses of this magnificent plant may astonish you.  Aloe vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It grows in dry climates such as those found in parts of Africa and India and has been used medicinally for centuries. The plant can grow anywhere from several inches in height to several feet, depending on its growing environment.  Ancient Greeks, Spaniards, and Arabs applied aloe to the body to minimize the occurrence of perspiration and body odor. During the sixteenth century, aloe made its way to the West Indies and shortly thereafter arrived in the Caribbean and America. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, American herbalists relied heavily on Aloe Vera for many of their treatments.

Aloe leaves secrete, a clear gel that when broken off from the rest of the plant that can be applied topically to heal wounds and soothe skin.  The leaves of this plant contain a high percentage of water, essential oil, amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, essential fatty acids, and glycoproteins. Aloe Vera has been credited with the following capabilities: antibacterial (minimizing the presence of bacteria), antimicrobial (minimizing microbes), antifungal (minimizing the existence of fungus), anthelmintic (reduction in number of parasites and worms), anti-inflammatory (easing of swelling), antiviral (destruction of viruses), vulnerary (wound healing), purgative (performance as an aggressive laxative), and emollient (acts to moisturize and soothe).

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Various studies have been conducted to examine the benefits of the aloe vera plant and it was found that aloe vera does in fact have several properties that are effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, and hair and scalp problems.   Aloe vera has been credited with the ability to promote cell renewal as it soothes the skin. Taken orally, it is used to cleanse and support the digestive system, infuse energy, and support the immune system. Aloe vera juice is taken internally to provide relief from common digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. It is also taken orally to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, epilepsy, asthma, and diabetes. Topical applications revolve primarily around the treatment of sunburn, burns obtained from sources other than the sun, and psoriasis.

As an antibacterial substance, it offers relief from the redness associated with acne while helping to heal breakouts. Enhancing the skin’s natural levels of moisture, aloe vera is particularly helpful to use on sensitive or dry skin. Its moisturizing capabilities have led to its use in anti-dandruff shampoos. A rich source of many vitamins including A, B, and C, it is used to brighten skin tone and minimize minor pigmentation issues.  We hope you add aloe vera to your list of “must try” ingredients!


Anastasia: Dipbrow vs. Brow Wiz

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The days of pencil thin brows are over and full brows are here to stay! Every celebrity has an eyebrow guru to give them the desired natural but styled brow. Anastasia of Beverly Hills has been the Dipbrowfront runner of the eyebrow movement. Anastasia is an actual esthetician and brow technician who still runs her practice at her Beverly Hills salon. If you can’t afford the airfare, don’t fret! You can create a perfectly groomed eyebrow at home with her world famous Dipbrow Pomade or Brow Wiz.

AJ071The question is, which one is for you??

The Dipbrow Pomade is a waterproof, pot of highly pigmented eyebrow crème which comes in twelve shades. This is deal for sculpting existing hair or creating the illusion of hair where it may be lacking. If using a makeup brush isn’t your forte or time is of the essence, you may prefer the Brow Wiz. The Brow Wiz mechanical pencil comes in nine shades. The fine tip to mimic the appearance of small brow hairs and the bottom of the pencil is equipped with a spooley brush to effectively blend the product for a natural look. For optimal results, use short strokes and a light touch to fill in the brow, and extend where needed. Always blend pencil with the spooley for even color distribution.

Both are amazing products and will leave you with Hollywood style brows that will be the envy of all your friends!


Beautiful Brows Revealed

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You can’t deny it; a fabulous set of brows are priceless. Nicely groomed eyebrows, not only polish off a great look, but also act as an instant eye lift. There will be no need to schedule your next waxing appointment when you follow these simple steps.

First and foremost, invest in a quality set of tweezers. Look for a slanted tip, which provides better accuracy and grip when tweezing unruly hairs. My personal favorite is the Tweezerman Slanted tweezersTweezer. FYI for all the divas out there, these tweezers also come in several different colors! How fun- I’m always on the hunt for cute new items to spice up my makeup bag!

5 Steps to perfectly manicured brows:

1. The cardinal rule- Never over pluck! This is probably the hardest of all of the guidelines. We have all been overzealous with the tweezers at one time in our life, leaving your brows sparse and over plucked. But don’t fear – there are helpful tricks to avoid this mishap.

Try filling in your brows with an eyebrow pencil first. This enables you to create your perfect shape, acting as a pattern for you to follow while tweezing. Tip- use soft, feathery strokes when penciling in your brows, this mimics the look of hair. A heavy hand will make your brows look too harsh and drawn on. By diverting attention away from areas that need to grow in, the focus remains on the hairs that need to be plucked. Follow this easy step and you’ll never be left with thin, wimpy eyebrows again!

2. Shaping- Keep in mind everyone has differently shaped brows. Some are more rounded, while others are more squared. Some have high arches and others are straight across. The key is to enhance the shape you were born with.

3. There are three parts to an eyebrow- the head, arch and tail. The head of the brow should start directly above the side of the nose. Tip- Hold a pencil parallel to the side of your nose. The pencil will land where the head of the brow should begin. Tweeze any hairs that land in unibrow territory.

4. Next, holding the pencil at the side of your nose, diagonally angle it so that the pencil crosses the iris of your eye. The pencil will fall on the part of the brow where your arch should be. Pluck hairs one by one to open up and define the arch.

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5. Now, angle the pencil toward the outside corner of your eye. The pencil will land where the tail of the brow should end. Pluck any stray hairs that remain.

6. Lastly, finish off your look by applying a brow gel. I recommend Billion Dollar Brow Gel, it works wonders! The gel sets your hairs, keeping your brows polished and intact from morning until night!

 

 

Tips for Success:

-Try to avoid overarching the brow, which can leave you with a surprised or angry expression.

-Plucking too many hairs at once can leave holes or gaps in the brow. For better precision, pluck one hair at a time.

-Pick a neutral toned eye brow pencil that matches your natural hair color.

 

 


Protect Those Feet!

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ST005Water shoes, aqua socks, flip-flops, whatever you have, you need to protect your feet this summer. This time of year people are running around barefoot and spreading some pretty nasty stuff around. Water Park restrooms, public pools, locker rooms are all breeding grounds for plantar warts and Athlete’s Foot.  Not familiar with these contagious foot issues? Here are some things to look for if you think you may have contracted one of these little gems. A plantar wart is a fungal infection that can be a painful bump. They are most commonly found on the hands and feet. They usually go away on their own but it may take years. If you would like to rid yourself sooner apply a salicylic acid to the infection and keep it covered to avoid it from spreading to others. In about 12 weeks the infection should be cleared. Athlete’s foot is just as easy to get rid of. If your feet are itchy, red and starting to blister, start an over-the-counter athlete foot treatment like the Stiefel Zeasorb Super Absorbent Antifungal Treatment For Athlete’s Foot . Within a few weeks of consistent use the infections should be gone.



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