Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ 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.


Revive Your Damaged Locks!

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Brittle…crunchy…dry…damaged hair.

Sound like I’m describing the condition of your hair? Well, let’s fix that! Dry hair is a common concern for many people, but thankfully it’s totally treatable.

You’re going to need a good shampoo and conditioner. I recommend the Frederic Fekkai Essential Shea Duo. This duo hydrates with Shea Butter and leaves hair smooth, supple and manageable.

Next you’re going to change your mind set of washing your hair everyday or even every other day. I’m talking washing your hair at the most 2 times per week. That’s right, you heard me- a max of twice a week, but don’t panic- this is where dry shampoo comes into play. A dry shampoo is going to become your new best friend. My personal favorite is Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. Those with thinner textured hair and are looking for volume will want to go with Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray. Use your dry shampoo when needed to absorb any excess oil and product build up. It will also provide your damaged locks with the proper nourishment it’s dying for.

Also you will want to find a good mask for your hair, which you’ll need to use once a week. There are a lot of good ones out there so this won’t be hard; so far my favorite has been the Alterna TEN Hair Masque.

Try to avoid any hair coloring or chemical processing for 4-8 weeks to fully let your locks rest and restore to their natural beauty.


The Perfect Faux Tan

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Do you stay away from self-tanners because of the streaks, complexity of application, or because you turn every color but tan?  Here are a few tips that are sure to make your self-tanning project simpler and effective.

Preparation:   Keeping your skin in good condition will help your cause when it comes to hitting your perfect self-tan. Try to follow the mantra and moisturize every day when you step out the shower or before you hit the sack. Patchy, dry skin just won’t respond well to a faux glow.

Exfoliate:  I’m sure you’ve heard this one many times before, but I can’t stress enough just how important it is to gently scrub skin before you tan, to lift all those dead skin cells and reveal revitalized, ready-to-tan skin beneath. Applying fake tan to dry, uneven skin will simply leave you patchy and desperate to cover up, not show off your tan.rodial

Moisturize:  Be sure to slather your body top-to-toe in moisturizer before you fake it, but do remember to let it fully sink in before you begin applying your tan enhancer. Be sure to pay particular attention to wrists, elbows, ankles, knees and feet – any areas that can get dry and need extra moisture.

Glove up:  The tell-tale sign you’ve been cheating in your tanning practice is the orange-tinted palms which, unless you want to wear gloves in summer, are impossible to hide. To avoid that beacon glow and grubby fingernails, get into the habit of applying tan wearing gloves. Yes, it seems foreign at first, but after a couple of applications it’ll become second nature. Remove the gloves and use cotton wool pads to apply a small amount of tan to the back of each hand.

TanningBack brush:  Unless you have a dedicated other half to ensure your back is bronzed, tanning your back solo seems like an impossible mission. Fake tan experts have literally thought of everything and introduced a ‘back spatula’ to reach those nooks and crannies we would never get to otherwise.

Vaseline on eyebrows and hair line:  A great tan tip, but one to work behind closed doors, is dotting a small amount of Vaseline along your brows and next to your hair line. Tanning the face should be treated with caution and dabbing the jelly means that any slip of the hand when applying will prevent dodgy tide marks appearing in these areas.

 

Buff it out:   When tanning professionals want to ensure a tan is perfectly applied and avoid any sign of patchiness, they use a buffing mitt and gently dab away at any buildup of tan, to spread it evenly and avoid varying shades.

Wear loose, dark clothing after application:  The number one rule of dressing after tanning is to wear dark, loose clothing to avoid marking any wardrobe favorites. Be sure to keep legs bare to optimize your tan potential.

Self-tan Remover:  If it all goes horribly wrong and you are left with distinctly orange palms, don’t panic, there is a solution. Have handy a self-tan remover.  Simply rub in and use wipes to remove those tell-tale signs.

Reapply:  Stay glowing longer by maintaining a strict routine of gentle exfoliation and moisturizing.  If you start to pale then reapply tanning product as touch up.


Estihetician Review: Scarguard MD

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ScarGuardA couple of years ago, I experienced a milia growing on my cheek next to my nose where my glasses sit.  This thing was ugly, annoying, and relentless.  No matter what I did, I could not remove it. I tried exfoliating, acids, and many other methods to no avail.  The milia really bother me.  One day, I was fed up and I took a needle to the thing.  It did not come out.  Instead, things got worse.  Finally, about 9 months later, I was able to extract it.  By that point, I developed a raised scar that felt as if it changed my facial features.  No amount of concealer or foundation gave me coverage because it was dark and raised.  It was obvious and embarrassing.

I decided to take a chance and try ScarGuard MD.  I’ve been using it for 2.5 weeks and the scar is virtually gone.  I kid you not!  This stuff was amazing.  I’m feeling a lot more confident and happy.  The product itself has a very strong scent that lasts a short time.  It provides a film over the scar that shrinks and flattens scar tissue.  It can be used for prevention from newly forming scars.  Recently, I did just that-I put some of the product over healing acne scar and the scar was gone in a couple of days with no traces of the acne lesion.  The active ingredients of the product are 12% Silicone (Scar management) and .5% Hydrocortisone (anti-pruritic).  Easy to use and the results may astonish you.


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.

 


Product Feature: L’Occitane Nourishing Shea Butter Discovery Set

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loccIs your skin beginning to feel dry and chapped due to climate changes?  Are you looking for  high end, quality, products that won’t break the bank and will nourish the skin?  Ready for a tremendous value, suited for all skin types, that features Shea Butter as the main ingredient? Why Shea Butter?

Shea Butter contains allantoin, phytosterols, five essential fatty acids, and essential vitamins, A, D, and E. It is beneficial in healing skin irritations, neutralizing free radical damage, and enhancing collagen production. It has exceptional moisturizing capabilities and is used to create ultra-rich lotions, creams, and gels to soften the skin. Shea Butter is included in anti-aging and anti-wrinkling formulas designed to reduce the incidence of premature facial wrinkling, chapped lips, fading scars, and dark spots. Since Shea Butter contains phenolics, an important element of polyphenols, it provides unique anti-aging capabilities that are like those delivered through the use of Green Tea. It is included in shaving formulas to reduce the incidence of bumps and dry skin and in hair formulas to soothe the scalp, eliminate dandruff, and improve hair texture, moisture, and growth. Since Shea Butter is 100 % natural, it is gentle enough for daily use.

Now, and for a limited time, L’Occitane Nourishing Shea Butter Discovery Set is ideal for hot summer days!  This is a 6 piece collection of L’Occitane’s finest products.

Set includes:

Shea Butter Body Lotion, 2.5oz

Shea Milk Soap, 1.7oz

Pure Shea Butter, 0.35oz

Shea Butter Hand Cream, 0.3oz

Shea Butter Foot Cream, 0.3oz

Shea Ultra Rich Lip Balm, 0.1oz

Ultra Rich Comforting Cream, Sample

Moisturize and protect your skin from head-to-toe with this 6 piece collection enriched with Shea Butter, rich in Omega 6 and Karitene to help soothe dry, sensitive skin.


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)

 

 

 


5 Tips to Gorgeous Gams!

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Are you tired of shaving your legs?  Do you suffer from ingrown hair, irritation, and/or razor burn?  The following tips may help you in your journey to the perfect shave.

Exfoliate: Want a seriously close shave? Exfoliate first with a scrub. For your legs, choose a sugar scrub: it’s strong enough to get the job done, leaving skin and body hair ready for a smooth shave.

Soften your follicles: Resist the urge for a super steamy shower: keep water warm, not hot, which dries out skin. Instead of lathering up with hand soap, choose a body wash that will quench skin. Take your time—let your pores open up for a few minutes before breaking out the razor and shaving cream.

Getting a Smooth Shave: You can exfoliate, scrub, and moisturize but it will be of little consequence if you use a bad razor. Using the right razor will make all the difference. Skip the dollar store disposables and choose a razor with at least three blades… and throw it away after a few uses. How do you know it’s time for a new blade? A good razor should glide smoothly and effortlessly along your skin, especially after you’ve exfoliated and applied shaving gel. If you feel like you have to push down to get a smooth shave, it’s time for a new razor.

Prevent Ingrown hairs: Exfoliating before shaving is the first step to preventing ingrown hairs, but it might not get the job done if you’re prone to them. Cortisone cream will help treat irritation and ingrown hair that already exist. If you have sensitive skin, make it a habit to use a product specially formulated to prevent ingrown hairs right after shaving.

Moisturize: The best way to lock in moisture is to lotion up right after the shower while your skin is still damp—it’ll trap and seal in the moisture already on your skin. Next, air dry for a few minutes, letting the lotion sink in. It may feel a little slimy going on, but you’ll notice difference all day: your skin will look healthier and feel softer.



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