Author Archives: Victoria Santalesa

Dissolving Fillers To Reveal Natural Beauty

woman getting filler-dissolving treatment

From the time we saw Bruce Springsteen drag her on the the stage in the “Dancing InThe Dark” video, the nation fell in love with Courtney Cox. We watched her grow up as the charming, if high-maintenance Monica on “Friends,” and then the naughty older lady on “Cougartown.” However, we began to notice a small change, at this time. Was Courtney’s face looking a bit stiffer? Her lips perhaps a little too plump? Had our girl been dabbling in facial fillers?

If you’re a Courtney fan, you may have heard of her latest brave decision to break ties with her facial fillers, in a decision that may be gaining popularity. If you’re thinking of following in Courtney’s footsteps, here’s a little info on dissolving facial fillers.

Why Filler Dissolves
Hyaluronic acid filler, which is usually injected in the lips and cheeks, come from a molecule that already exists in the skin to provide moisture. New York Plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer says, “The only difference is in the laboratory, they connect them by chemical bonds, that’s what makes it stay in shape when it’s in your body. But over about eight months to two years, your body starts to metabolize it and break apart those bonds and then you just absorb it like you would normal, natural hyaluronic acid.

Dissolving Fillers on Purpose
If you don’t want to wait for your filler to dissolve, there are ways to speed the process. In the past four years doctors have begun to inject an enzyme that helps to break down the chemical bonds in the hyaluronic acid. “it’s breaking apart the gel under the skin and your body just absorbs it like it would your own natural hyaluronic acid.

woman receiving filler dissolving enzyme

What Is It Like?
Dissolving filters is a relatively quick process, in which the enzyme is injected into the area where the filler is using a small needle. Shafer says, “it’s not a painful procedure. Usually patients say they feel a little bit of warmth or tingling in the area as the enzyme is working.” Some results are noticeable immediately, while others take 24 hours to work completely. A follow up appointment is recommended two days after the first to see if the procedure was effective, and take additional steps if necessary.

Cost
The procedure commonly starts at $400 per treatment.

Fillers that Can’t Be Dissolved
While the enzyme is a great way to dissolve hyaluronic acid fillers, other fillers won’t response immediately. Those whose injectables are Radiesse, which is made out of hydroxyapatite, or Sculptra, which contains collagen stimulating particles, may just have to wait it out. Radiesse fillers last about a year to a year and a half, while Sculptra lasts 2-3 years.

Get It Right the First Time
Just because fillers are reversible, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in some consideration before you get them. Dr. Schafer says, “Fillers and Botox can make really nice changes for people, they just have to be done conservatively. If it’s getting to be too much or not looking natural, I’m going to tell people ‘no.'”

What do you think of getting fillers dissolved? Good move or bad? Let us know where you stand on the issue.

Scar Treatment Options

woman checking skin in mirror

In movies, good guys scar in a fashionable attractive manner, usually in the form of a pale line strategically placed to make the character look rugged and cute at the same time. However, life is not a movie and we don’t all get so lucky. While some of us may have the good fortune of possessing the perfect scar, others of us spend our lives trying to visualize ourselves scar-free.

Although there is no method for scar removal as yet, there is hope; there are ways to lessen the appearances of scars, and you may even end up turning your less than perfect scar into something straight out of a movie. Here’s a look at scars, what they are and options for treatment.

What Is A Scar?
Scars are natural parts of the healing process of the body, usually resulting from wound repair in the skin and other tissues. Scars can be the results of diseases, accidents, surgeries, or skin conditions, such as acne.

How Do Scars Form?
Scars form when the dermis, a thick, deep layer of skin is damaged. The body forms new collagen fiber to mend the damage, but the new tissue is of a different texture and quality than the original. When the damage has healed, a scar forms.

Hypertrophic to Keloid scars
Although most scars are pale and flat, sometimes the body overproduces collagen and the scar is raised. These kinds of scars are most common in dark-skinned and younger people.

Pitted scars
Other scars have a sunken appearance. These scars result when underlying structures supporting the skin, such as fat and muscle, are lost. Pitted scars are communal the results of surgery or acne.

Stretched skin
Scars appearing as stretched skin occur when the skin stretches rapidly, as in during pregnancy or when skin is under tension while healing.

woman receiving dermabrasion treatment

Scar Treatment Options
While scars cannot be removed completely there are some ways of minimizing their appearance:

  • Topical Treatments
    Although many commercial skin care products such as vitamin E and cocoa butter cream claim to heal scars, they are not effective and should be avoided.
  • Surgery
    There is no specific surgery that can guarantee scar removal, but there are surgical procedures which can be used to change the shape of a scar, or diminish its appearance. In the cases of keloid or hypertrophy scarring, surgery is not recommended because there is a possibility of recurring scars, and even more severe scarring as a result of the surgery.
  • Steroid Injections
    Repeated steroid injections can help to flatten the scars appearance, thus softening the look of keloid or hypertrophic scars.
  • Radiotherapy
    Low dose radiotherapy can be used to prevent the recurrence of hypertrophic and keloid scarring, however, it is only recommended in extreme cases because of its association with long term side effects.

woman receiving dermabrasion treatment on legs

  • Dermabrasion
    Dermabrasion is the removal of the skin’s surface using special equipment. While it may be useful on a raised scar, it may not be as effective when the scar is sunken.
  • Laser Resurfacing
    Dermabrasion’s laser manipulating cousin, traditional dermabrasion involves removing surface layer of skin with the use of lasers. More modern types of lasers may be able to work on the collagen in the dermis without skin removal. This advancement would require less down time than the more conventional resurfacing methods.
  • Filler Injections
    Fillers can be used to raise sunken scars to match the level of the surrounding skin. However, it is to be noted, that the effects of fillers are temporary and may need to be repeated regularly.

What is your experience with scar treatment? Let us know what you recommend.

Beware These Bleaching Ingredients In Your Skincare Products

woman with good skin

One would like to think that society is moving forward; that we are beyond the point of endangering our health for our beauty; that we have come a long way from the days of using white lead to lighten our faces (as the ancient Romans did) or lead sulfate to remove our freckles (Rome circa 15th-18th century). But maybe we’re not as forward thinking as we would like to believe. While the days of full face whitening may be over, many women still use skin bleachers to fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots., and some of these products contain harsh chemicals. Here is a list of some of the chemicals you may not want to see on your skin cream label:

Hydroquinone
If you use skin lightening creams, you may have noticed this ingredient popping up on the label. Hydroquinone is a melanin inhibitor that works by preventing the production of skin pigments. Although it may look as if it is working in the beginning, long-term danger may await. Hydroquinone has been known to cause permanent skin discoloration, and has hence been banned in many countries.

Mercury
Mercury is another ingredient that often looms large in skin lightening products. However, while it may serve to lighten your skin, it may also be doing damage to your kidneys. Mercury in skin products can cause scarring, discoloration, and rashes, and has also been found to break down the skin’s resistance to bacteria and fungus.

Steroids
Banned in most countries without a prescription, topical steroids can cause skin thinning and fungal infections, and long term use can even lead to serious internal diseases. Steroids have also been associated with folliculitis and rosacea.

woman reading labels

Parabens
These preservatives are most often used to extend the shelf like of beauty products, but they have also been found to be carcinogenic. Parabens have not only been associated with an increased cancer risk, and they can also interfere with the endocrine system. Reports show that paraben can have an estrogen-like effect on the body which may disrupt the reproductive system.

Phthalates
Similar to paragons, phthalates are also carcinogenic in nature and should especially be avoided by pregnant women.

Fragrances
They smell lovely, but they may not leave your skin that way. Fragrances can be highly toxic and have an adverse effect on the central nervous system, possibly leading to irritability, hyperactivity, and depression.

Natural Alternatives
So now that you’re sufficiently scared of your skin lightening treatment, you may be wondering if there are natural alternatives, and the good news is; yes, there are! Plant testing has revealed a number of all-natural ingredients that suppress melanin production without the side effects of chemicals. Look for products including such ingredients as licorice, mulberry extract, arbutus, kojic acid, Emblica and vitamin C next time you are looking for a pigment reducer for effective results without the negative side effects.

What natural products do you use for hyperpigmentation? Let us know how you’re staying safe while looking gorgeous!

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Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

Coming under the heading of mistaken song lyrics, is the meaning of “essential” in the term essential oil. We usually use the word “essential to mean: “absolutely necessary, indispensable.” However, in the term “essential oil” it refers to ” the essence of the plant,” or the “natural composition” of the plant itself. For instance, lavender essential oil means that the oil is made from the essence of lavender, it doesn’t mean the lavender is a necessary oil. If you’ve been thinking that “essential oils’ meant very important oils, however, you’re not really wrong, so we won’t disabuse of the notion. Here are some very essential oils.Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Carrot sends oil is best known for its rejuvenating properties. It boosts cells turnover and for this reason, it can help to fade scars and age spots. It’s also packed with antioxidants, which help it to quench wrinkle-causing free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Frankincense Essential Oil
Friendly to all skin types, frankincense oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which make it a great acne treatment. It also has natural toning properties to minimize the appearance of pores and even out skin tones, while encouraging the growth of new cells to tighten skin, reduce wrinkles, and lighten scars.

Geranium Essential Oil
Another great oil for reduction of oil, geranium is fantastic at controlling acne breakouts while boosting skin elasticity and making wrinkles less noticeable. Geranium oil is also known for promoting blood circulation, and as such may help to heal everything from cuts to bruises to broken capillaries and is even effective in treating skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, and dermatitis.

vine vera banner Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

Lavender Essential Oils
This stuff smells so good, we would apply it even if it did nothing for our skin, but fortunately for us, that’s not the case. In addition to helping the body adapt to stress, lavender oil can help regenerate skin cells to prevents sun spots, and scarring.

Myrrh Essential Oil
With a biblical reference to its name, myrrh is the ancient essential oil and inflammatory that helps to improve skin’s firmness tome and elasticity, while healing sun damage, chapped skin, eczema, and rashes. Now we know why the Wise Men carried it around all the time.

Tea Essential Oil
If you’re familiar with acne, you should be familiar with tea tree oil. Tea tree essential oil is one of the better-known oils for treating acne. The antibacterial properties of the oil can help to eliminate acne-causing bacteria and heal wounds while limiting the incidence and severity of breakouts.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Another heavenly scented oil, yang has a lot more going for it than just a pretty smell. The floral oil is also able to control oil production to keep breakouts to a minimum and helps cells turnover, to smooth out fine lines and improve skin elasticity.

What do you think are the most essential of the essential oils? Let us know! We love to hear from you!

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Ceramides: The Trending Skincare Ingredient You Should Know About

You take your beauty products seriously. You know there are heaps of products on the market, each claiming to have more advanced ingredients than the next, and new ingredients being touted as the next best thing in skin care almost every other day. To some, all this information may seem hard to keep track of; some have long stopped trying – but not you. You know the importance of finding a product that really works, and that means you need to be aware of what every ingredient does as soon as they hit the market. That’s why you need to know about ceramides. What are they? Do they work? Read on to find out about the latest trending ingredient you need to know about.

What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides are an oily wax that forms a waterproofing barrier in the upper layers of our skin, helping the skin retain water while repairing the skin’s natural barrier and regulating cells. As we age, out production of ceramides lessons, resulting in wrinkles, dry skin, and even dermatitis.

Topical Application Of Ceramides
While there is some evidence that ceramics have a positive effect on skin when ingested, topical application is the preferred and more common method.

Do Ceramides Retain Water?
Ceramides waterproof skin. They do this best when combined with other oily materials. When combined with cholesterol and free fatty acids in a certain ratio, they have been found to have moisture retaining qualities.

Do Ceramides Penetrate?
Ceramides are “skin identical.” This means it is naturally occurring in skin’s upper layers. This allows topically applied ceramics to move into the upper layer of skin easily, in a method known as “tape stripping.” This means that the ceramides stick to your skin, much like a piece of tape, analyze it and then “tear it off” enabling it to move into the next layer of skin, eventually penetrating quite deeply.

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Is There Proof They Work?
Although not every study is dependable, due to control issues, here are a few findings from some pretty credible sources.

A study done on mice that ran in the J Clin Exp Dermatol showed that topical ceramides can not only keep the skin barrier intact, they can protect it from future damage.

According to a Japanese study, plant derived ceramides have more skin hydrating properties than placebos.
A study by the Kao Corporation showed that creams containing ceramide E increases water content in the skin, and reduces symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

The Textbook of Cosmetic Dermatology found that some combinations of ceramides work better than placebos at repairing the function of the skin barrier.

Picking the Right Ceramide
Not all ceramides were created equal. Some just provide an occlusive layer that locks in moisture, In this case, ceramides may work no better than petrolatum for skin care Others penetrate and moisturize from within, and have a longer lasting effect than other conventional treatments. The best formulas combine with fatty acids and cholesterols to imitate the natural moisture of the skin. While it is impossible to know the best lotion without seeing the formula, you can be pretty sure that price is a good indicator. Unfortunately, when it comes to ceramides, you usually get what you pay for. However, as you know, the savvy consumer always gets his or her money’s worth.

Have you used a ceramide? What do you think?Which do you find work best on your skin?

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Foods That Reduce Inflammation and Fight Aging

The human body is a weird and wonderful thing, and it usually has our backs, pun intended. However, every once in a while, a false alarm goes off and our bodies go to war even though there’s no enemy at the front. The human body ends up fighting itself and its normally protective defenses end up inflicting damage on its own system. That’s when inflammation can become dangerous. Normally defensive immune responses become offensive attacks. Otherwise, healthy tissue becomes infected, resulting in swelling, redness, fatigue, and even loss of joint control. That’s where nutrition steps in.

While food can’t prevent our systems from turning against themselves, some of it can be pretty effective when it comes to damage control. Here are some of the best culinary protectors against the more detrimental effects of inflammation.

Beets
Want to beet inflammation? Beets are a potent inflammatory, which also contains antioxidant properties, plus they’re great for boosting energy while lowering blood pressure. Studies show that a single serving of beetroot juice can reduce blood pressure by 10.4/8mm. Also high in nitrates, beets have been shown to boost athletic performance by one to three percent.

Broccoli
You can bet that broccoli is going to show up on any list of foods with health benefits. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients like kaempferol, which is shown to lessen the impact of allergy-inducing substances on the body, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

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Green Tea
Another recurring character on the list of healthy foods, green tea has a large supply of anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Studies show that the leading catechin in green tea is a powerful anti-inflammatory with healing potential. The antioxidant properties in green tea are also quite impressive. Studies show that regular drinkers showed a 22 percent decrease in risk of breast cancer, a 48 percent reduced risk for prostate cancer, and a whopping 57 percent lower colorectal cancer risk.

Garlic
One whiff of garlic and you know you’re dealing with a pretty formidable contender. A Washington State University study found garlic to contain 100 times the potency of two antibiotics used to fight the causes of intestinal illness.

Ginger
Ginger can reduce inflammation and keep blood sugar under control. The National Library of Medicine compared ginger extract to common painkillers and found ginger to be a potent pain reliever.

Onions
Another pretty powerful ingredient, onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant which helps the body fight inflammation. Onions stimulate the respiratory tract and help to get rid of phlegm. The vegetables are also proven antioxidants and may be effective in the treatment of certain cancers.

Spinach
Another overachieving veggie, spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods. The high unique combination of phytonutrients in spinach makes for a high level of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components which can be helpful in protection from cellular damage.

How do you cope with inflammation? What foods do you think are best for protecting and preventing the condition? Let us know!

Hibiscus Extract For Your Skin

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Botox. When its good its very good. It seems hard to contest the fact that, when done properly, botulism injections can solve a lot of aging problems. We’ve all seen those middle-aged women whose Botox injections have spared them from a lot of the common age-related complaints, and it seems like they’ve uncovered the Fountain of Youth. Then, we think of the expense, the horror stories, the looks of permanent surprise, and think it may be better to stay slightly more mature looking. But, what if you found out there was such a thing as the “Botox Flower.” Could it be possible that there was a natural substitute for something so, well, unnatural? Let’s take a look at Hibiscus extract and what it can do for the skin.

The Botox Plant
Not only is the hibiscus beautiful, it is also useful.The hibiscus earns its nickname from its reputation for increasing skin elasticity. The extracts from the stunning plant inhibit the activity of the enzyme elastase, responsible for breaking down skin’s elastin, which mimics the effects of Botox in its ability to firm and lift skin.

Evens Skin Tone
Hyperpigmentation refers to the appearance of discoloration or age spots that form on the skin as it ages, usually due to a number of variables, including genetics, exposure to ultraviolet rays, and excess production of melanin. The hibiscus contains organic acids, including malic and citric acid, which is responsible for the plant’s exfoliating properties, helping to boost turnover of cells for a more even skin tone.

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Antioxidant Loaded
The word antioxidant has become common jargon in the beauty and health world lately. Antioxidants are the powerful naturally occurring ingredients with the astonishing power to fight free radicals and spare skin from the damaging effects of pollution and ultraviolet radiation. The Hibiscus is rich in anthocyanosis, which function as antioxidants as well as astringents. Not only do anthocyanosis prevent oxidation, they minimize the appearance of large pores, and have an anti-inflammatory effect, offering soothing relief for irritation, making hibiscus ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Purifies the Complexion
In addition to reducing the appearance of age spots, the exfoliating malic and citric acids in the skin can make for a fresher, smoother, younger looking complexion. By sloughing off dead skin cells, and promoting the growth of new ones, the acids can decrease the look of aging while decongesting pores to keep acne blemishes to a minimum. Also, because the acids in hibiscus extract are organic, they won’t strip skin of its natural oils like synthetic forms of the acids are likely to do, resulting in a supple, glowing complexion.

Moisture Boost
Of course, no “botox plant” worth its salt would be complete without some moisturizing properties. Hibiscus is high in mucilage content, which is a sticky plant produces the substance that aids in the storage of food and water, and also makes a fantastic natural skin moisturizer. The mucilage in the hibiscus helps skin to retain moisture, staying hydrated longer and keeping skin from excessive dryness and flaking.

What do you think? Have you tried hibiscus extract? Is hibiscus the “Botox Plant?” Let us know!

Vitamin B for Youthful, Radiant Skin

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The vitamin B complex. It may be fair to say it’s the vitamin complex that puts the ‘B’ in beauty. Sure Vitamin A is the “gold standard” when it comes to aging, and vitamin C and E are both powerful antioxidants, but when it comes to strengthening skin, hair, and nails, you can’t really beat the B vitamins. Let’s have a look at this beautifying octet and see why B vitamins are so essential for youthful skin, healthy hair, and tough as nails.

Vitamin B
First thought to be one vitamin, later found to be eight, the B vitamins work together to keep our bodies working like the well-oiled machines they are. B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B8, B9 and B12 all perform slightly different functions that help provide nutrients to our bodies and prevent everything from memory loss to migraines. However, lately vitamin B has been coming into attention from the beauty world, with a large number of studies showing how vitamin B’s inclusion in face creams can be a key component in the prevention of aging.

Nicotinamide, a vitamin B-3 derivative, in particular, has been shown to help the upper layer of skin retain moisture, with less dryness, flakiness, and fine lines, and has demonstrated skin brightening properties when added to moisturizers.

B Vitamins For Skin
Dull and unhealthy skin and certain chronic skin issues have all been associated with a vitamin B deficiency. B-12 regulates pigment location and production which can prevent darkening of the skin on certain parts of the body related to hyperpigmentation. Vitamin B3 can be used to minimize the appearance and degree of severity in some skin conditions, and B5 can help with acne by breaking down oils.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, supplementing with B5 can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels to promote healthy skin indirectly, and can, more specifically help to prevent acne by breaking down the oils in these compounds. Vitamin B5 has also been linked with a fast healing of wounds, especially when combined with vitamin C.

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B Vitamins For Hair
B vitamins metabolize food, which means nutrition goes to the whole body, hair follicles included. B1, B2, B3, and B5 deficiencies can all result in weak hair follicle cells, and lack of B9, or folic acid, can slow cell division in follicles, slowing down growth.

Vitamin B7 or biotin, otherwise know as the “beauty vitamin” can help maintain strength, tone, and texture of hair and can even prevent hair loss caused by poor thyroid health and biotin deficiencies. Biotin can also be used to treat cradle cap in infants.

B Vitamins For Nails
Strong nails require a number of B vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamin B12 or riboflavin helps with iron absorption necessary for nail health, too little of which results in white, thin, brittle nails, and even abnormal nail growth. B12 also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells, hence the prevention of anemia, one of the symptoms of which is unhealthy nails. Vitamin B9, or folate, helps with the development of new cells, which contributes to nail growth.

Sources
While the body usually produces its own vitamin B, food sources include fish, meat, and vegetables. Fish has the highest B content, with salmon, tuna, trout, and cod topping the list. Lamb, poultry, eggs meat, and dairy are also good sources of Vitamin B and certain fruits, vegetables and legumes also rank high on the list. Avocados, pomegranates, and berries are all high in Vitamin B, as are green leafy vegetables, potatoes, and squashes. Soybeans, lentils, and kidney beans also have high concentrations of the vitamin.

What do you think? Does Vitamin B complex put the “B” in beauty? Let us know!

Beauty Tricks For Days When You Are Short On Time

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You wake up in the morning, and no matter what time it is, it’s not enough time to get ready and go to work. You look hopelessly look at your array of makeup products, and head out the door, silently hoping your Korean aunt never finds out about this. As you get in your car, you struggle to apply your mascara in the rearview mirror, looking longingly as the Starbuck’s recedes in the distance. Finally, you make it to your building, catch a look at yourself in the lobby mirror, and see….a hot mess. If you’re a busy woman, you’re always short on time, but you can’t afford to look your best. When it comes to beauty shortcuts, you need to take ’em wherever you can get ’em. Here are a few beauty tricks you may want to take advantage of.

Exfoliate Before the Foundation
We all know haste makes waste. Do something quickly and you may have to redo it; you need to get it right the first time. That’s why you need to exfoliate before you apply foundation. Sure, it a may seem counterintuitive to add a step in order to save time, but, as foundation wearers will testify, bases are sure to highlight any patch of dryness on your face, making it necessary to take off the foundation, slather on moisturizer, and start from scratch. Makeup expert Jane Park says, “It (pre-exfoliation) saves time because of your lipstick, makeup, everything goes on smoother after. ” Park uses a konjac sponge for exfoliation gentle enough to use every day. Simply, dampen, smooth it over your face and you’re set for a flawless application.

Use a clear sunscreen as a primer, moisturizer, and facial SPF
We’re always being warned of the importance of applying an effective sunscreen daily, but thick formulas can take ages for the short of time beauty maven to rub in, leaving that telltale white residue marking you as a makeup amateur. Fortunately, newer formulas solve that problem, by offering a sheer consistency that eliminates the chalky whiteness altogether. Even better, because the sunscreen is hydrating, you can skip moisturizing. The sunscreen provides enough hydration to sub for the moisturizer, or you can mix it with your base makeup for extra protection.

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Multifunctional Mascara
If you’re used to doing full face makeup, this hack will give you the basic effect in a fraction of the time. Instead of doing brow, shadow, eyeliner, and mascara keep things to a minimum by just focusing on your brows and lashes. Use a tinted brow gel to embolden your brows while keeping them tame and use a mascara with multiple wand functions so you don’t have to layer on multiple formulas for a finished look.

Go Monochromatic
It’s great to experiment with contrasting makeup if you have the time. For days when the time is short, multipurpose sticks are a great option. Just dab the color on straight from the tube or use your fingers to apply it to your cheeks, lids, and lips. You’ll find these colors are so sheer and easy to use, you can apply them sans mirror!

Dry Shampoo and A Blow Dryer
Dry shampoo can be a big time saver, but you need to do it the right way. Although you may think you can spritz some dry shampoo on oily roots and be done, hairstylist Jacob Rozenberg says that this will result in large patches of powder that will take ages to absorb. He advises spraying the dry shampoo a minimum of eight inches away from your head, letting it sit for 60 seconds, and then distributing it through your hair with a brush or blow dryer while using your fingers to rake the powder through for even application.

Do you have any time-saving beauty hacks for us? We’d love to hear them! Let us know how you cut your prep time and manage to arrive flawlessly.

Topical Nutrients That Boost Your Skin’s Glow

woman in blue with glowing skin

Topical or oral, that is the question to be decided. When it comes to skin care, is it best to apply our vitamins directly to the affected area, or is it better to ingest them?. On the one hand, our skin is an outward expression of what’s going on in our bodies, including aging. This being the case, we should take our vitamins orally; healthy body, healthy skin, right? However, do you ever wonder if the vitamins know where to go after they are consumed? Is there a vitamin whisperer in your body directing the vitamin E to your crows feet? Apparently not. Clinical Professor Mary Lupo says, “The body delivers only a certain percentage of vitamins to your skin no matter how much you ingest.” That means, if you want to confront the problem head on, you’re probably best with a topical approach. Here are topical nutrients to boost skin’s glow.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A (the derivatives are known as retinoids) is probably the best remedy for wrinkles, roughness and brown spots. Commonly found in night creams, OTC lotions, and prescription products, vitamin A is one of the strongest proven anti-agers on the market. According to Doris Day MD, “There are more than 700 published studies on retinoids. They’re tried and true ingredients. Anyone who wants younger skin should use one.”

As for application, retinoids are best applied at night, as sunlight renders vitamin An inactive. Prescription retinoids work fastest, but tend to be irritating; OTC products are better for beginners. To avoid irritation, begin by using the vitamin A treatment sparingly every two or three nights, gradually building to nightly use.

Vitamin B-3
If redness is an issue for you, its B-3 to the rescue. Often referred to as niacinamide on the labels of creams, lotions, and serums, B-3 known to increase skin’s fatty acid and ceramide production, strengthening the skin’s barrier. Leslie S. Baumann, MD, explains, “As that barrier is strengthened, skin is better able to keep moisture and irritants out if your complexion is dry or sensitive.” One study showed it to effectively reduce blushing and redness caused by rosacea.

B-3 can also minimize dark spots by inhibiting pigment transfer to skin cells. B3 can be applied morning and evening and can be used in conjunction with retinoids to reduce the retinoid irritation.

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Vitamin C
When it comes to skin health, vitamin C o gets superstar status. However, don’t expect top billing for vitamin C. C should be listed near the middle of the panel of ingredients to ensure the concentration of 5% or higher needed to make an impact on skin.

Vitamin C quenches free radicals that lead to wrinkling, and sagging, and helps to firm and smooth skin while fading dark spot. One study showed women who used a vitamin C cream on their sun damaged skin for six months saw a noticeable improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is best applied in the morning right before sunscreen to protect from UV free radicals.

Vitamin E
Because vitamin E is known for its ability to hydrate and boost skin’s UV defense, it is commonly found in sunscreens or sun related skin products. It’s recommended 1 % concentration will usually place it near the middle of the ingredients label. Vitamin E eases dryness by helping skin to maintain its natural moisture and it is known for its powerful ability as a neutralizer of free radicals. One study showed vitamin E was actually able to reduce the number of unstable molecules caused by cigarette smoke. Others showed skin treated with vitamin E before UV exposure was less swollen red and dry.

While vitamin E’s protection from sun exposure makes it ideal for application before and after the sun soak, it should be noted that a strong single blast of UV light can destroy half of the skin’s natural supply of the vitamin, and it is best to use a sunscreen with both E and C to ensure effectiveness.

Let us know what vitamins you’re delivering straight to the spot.We love to hear what your favorite topical nutrients are.