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Don’t Believe These Beauty Myths

Some myths die hard, others, we’re pleased to let go of. The big reveal about pizza and chocolate not causing acne may have been a little easier for many to accept, the one about Santa Claus may have been a little more difficult. However, like it or not, eventually the truth will come out. Here are some of the latest “facts” about beauty that are turning out to be, not so factual. Hopefully, they won’t be too hard to part with.

Myth 1: Skincare Products Should Be Chosen According to Age
We often see skin regimens and care products targeted at certain age groups, however, it is important to make a distinction between age groups and skin types. While there are certain skin issues associated with aging, there is no guarantee that a woman in her 30’s does not face the same concerns as a woman in her 50’s. Clogged pores don’t automatically disappear when you reach 50, and wrinkles can occur on women in their 20’s. The bottom line is, fighting aging should begin as soon as possible. It is never too early to start on a healthy skin regimen.

Myth 2: Hypoallergenic Products Are Best For Sensitive Skin
Hypoallergenic is a term which means that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, and is better for sensitive and allergy prone skin. However, there are no regulations for determining if a product can be labelled as hypoallergenic. Rather than looking for the word, “hypoallergenic” on the label, look at the ingredient label. Fragrance free, gentle ingredients are more friendly to sensitive skin.

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Myth 3: Age Spots Are A Part Of Getting Older
The term “age spot’ is something of a misnomer. The brown spots and discoloration come from years of exposure to the elements that lead to visible imperfections in the skin, and can show up at any age. The best skin brightening products are those that contain niacinamide and vitamin C. Plant extracts such as arbutin have also been shown to have skin brightening properties, but none of these ingredients will work without the application of a broad spectrum sun screen. If a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is not applied 365 days a year, the uneven skin tone and spots will not take a turn for the better.

Myth 4: You’ll Outgrow Acne
Unfortunately, acne is not only a rite of passage. Adults up to the age of 60 can get blemishes, and the products that treat them are the same for any age group. The causes of acne are not age related, and the conditions can be triggered at any time. Another common misconception: having clear skin as an adolescents does not exempt you from acne in later life.

Myth 5: Makeup Triggers Acne
There is no research showing a link between makeup and acne, but if you don’t remove makeup completely and correctly, you may run into problems. When you leave traces of makeup on your skin at night, the anti acne products you apply to your face cannot penetrate the pores, which means they are less effective if at all. It is not the makeup itself that triggers acne, but its likelihood to block pores which prevents the acne medication from absorption that pulls the trigger on blemishes.

What beauty myths shocked you? Let us know your favorite busted myth. We love to get your comments.

Add Avocado To Your Beauty Routine

Flower made of Avocado How often has this happened to you? You’re on a date or in a meeting and you go to the restroom. Check your look in the mirror, and there is, the inevitable food on the face. How long has it been there? Is it that noticeable? What is it? Where is it? On your nose? In your eyebrow? Most of us don’t want to be caught wearing our meals in public, yet, at home, it can be somewhat more acceptable, in fact, even desirable. Avocados can be great in your meals and also on your face, and hair. Here are some ways of incorporating the green wonder into your beauty routine.

Anti-Aging
One thing avocados, a.k.a. alligator pears are great for is anti-aging. Not only can you use the mashed avocado for a mask, but eating it helps to fight aging as well. The antioxidants in the avocado detoxify the body, reducing wrinkles and making skin soft and supple.

Drink the Juice for Skin Health
These days it seems as if no fruit or vegetable is beyond liquefaction, and avocados are no exception. Just mix one with a cup of milk in the blender and – voila- a drink full of nutrients and vitamins. Your skin will thank you for it. Add honey if you like it sweet.

Revitalizes the Scalp
Avocado is also a great treatment for your crowning glory. The fruit can be used to treat dry hair or a dry itchy scalp. Just mash some up and massage it into your scalp and let the proteins and amino acids work their magic. You should find a more comfortable, less flaky scalp, and improved overall hair condition.

fresh Avocado smoothie

Defrizz Hair
Got frizz? Put half a mashed up avocado in the blender, add two tablespoons of avocado oil, and work it into your hair and scalp. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and shampoo. You should find hair immediately less frizzy and easier to control.

Natural Sunscreen
If you’re looking for a chemical free way of guarding againstUVA and UVB exposure, avocado oil works as a natural sunscreen and also soothes sunburnt skin. The high antioxidant content of the avocado protects against free radical damage and can restore the effects caused by overexposure to the sun.

Treats Skin Conditions
The healthy fats and oils in contained in the avocado are a close match for the natural oils in the skin and make great natural moisturizers with calming properties to reduce inflammation. Just mash one up and put it right on your face and neck, and wash it off after 5 or 10 minutes and reap the effects of radiant, beautiful skin.

Bad Breath
Some stuff a stick of gum in their mouths before an up close encounter, others drink avocado juice. Bad breath comes from your stomach, not your mouth. Avocado juice cleanses both mouth and intestines, removing the microbes that cause bad breath.

What is your beauty go to’s? What food do you wear? What do you do with your avocados? Let us know! We love to hear it!

What To Look For In Natural Cosmetics

Woman with flowers

Does it ever seem odd that we pointedly avoid buying foods with any vaguely chemical sounding ingredients, but we actively search for them in our cosmetic products? Breyer’s Ice Cream brags of containing only five simple ingredients, yet we persist in putting a veritable cocktail of synthetic chemicals on our faces. Although it is true that many of the manmade skincare ingredients have proven harmless and effective, there has to be a certain amount of wisdom in the belief that the best things for our bodies come from the same place as our bodies do: the earth. With that in mind, let’s talk natural cosmetics and take a look at what you can do to keep green while you look beautiful.

Scale Down
While there seems to be a myriad of products to address each skin issue individually, some of them really have very similar formulations. Eye creams, for example, vary very little in consistency from basic facial moisturizers. If you are trying to scale down on the number of chemicals you are putting on your face, limit the amounts of products you are putting on your face. Try to limit your skincare routine to the basic essentials: cleanser, moisturizer, toner, and broad spectrum sunscreen.

Organic beauty products

Choose Organic Beauty Products
Organic ingredients are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers which make them a healthier choice for both our planet and out bodies. Even better are botanicals grown employing biodynamic farming methods. These take the green mentality one step further by putting emphasis on the holistic relationship between plants, soil, and animals. The USDA National Organic Program has been certifying organic skincare products since 2003, and an increasing number of formulas are now bearing the organic seal. Biodynamically certified products feature the Demeter USA’s approval stamp.

Know What’s Really In “Natural” Products
Many companies market skincare by slapping the word “natural” on the label; however, the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated terms. To be sure, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database site. This will tell you the level of toxicity in popular cosmetics products on a scale from 0 to 10.

No Fragrance
Besides the use of the word “natural” on product labels, federal law also overlooks the need for companies to state the toxic chemicals in a product’s fragrance mixture. Artificial fragrances can contain phthalates, which can trigger health problems and allergic reactions. Beware of products with “parfum” or “fragrance” on the label, as this could indicate hidden toxicity.

Healthy diet plan

Keep Healthy
Of course, a great way to get a natural glow without chemicals is by making sure you maintain healthy diet and exercise habits. Make a point to get the occasional workout in to keep the blood flowing to your skin, and eat plenty of healthy fats, like flaxseed and omega-3 fish oils, protein, fruits and complex carbohydrates.

Are you going natural with your cosmetics? Let us know how you’re greening up your routine. We love to hear it.

Signs You’re Allergic To Your Skincare Product

Woman in front of mirror

We all know how difficult it can be to find a skincare product you love. After consigning half your paycheck’s worth of products to the garbage bin, you come upon something that actually works; that anti wrinkle cream that really seems to be making you look younger, that spot treatment that really seems to be getting rid of those spots. And just when you declare yourself an official customer for life, it happens: the itching, the redness, the wheezing, the inflammation – the allergic reaction. Sure, the product did what it said it would, but are you really just trading one problem for another? Here are some signs that you’re allergic to your skincare product and what you can do about it.

Aluminum Compounds
If your armpits are getting red and peeling, it may just be that you’re having an allergic reaction to the aluminum compounds in your antiperspirant, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

You can try swapping it with a natural deodorant. However, Zeichner says, “They do a fine job of masking odor, but aren’t great at preventing sweating.” If leaky pits are still problem, try a sensitive skin antiperspirant with low levels of aluminum.

Acids
It may not surprise you to note that some of the products designed to get rid of skin cells may be causing more harm than good. Salicylic acid, topical retinoids, and glycol acids all, “can cause skin irritation, dryness, redness, and/or burning if you over-use them, ” says Zeichner.

If you notice a negative reaction to topicals, you may want to consult a dermatologist and follow usage instructions carefully. It may be that you need to start with a lower dosage and gradually build up from there, or decrease usage to every other day or every few days. If you are having an allergic reaction to a glycol peel, you may want to trnon-chemicalal forms of exfoliation, like a gentle scrub or a vitamin C or fruit enzyme peel.

Fragrance
Health researchers at the University of Washington credit the use of synthetic fragrance with the development of skin and respiratory irritation in over 20% of the American population. “And fragrance doesn’t just mean perfume; it’s used in almost every beauty product under the sun, points out Siobhan O’Connor, co author of “No More Dirty Looks.” Fragrances pop up even in products that are labeled “unscented” because companies are known to use fragrance chemicals as masking agents to create neutral “non-scents.”

A word to the wise and fragrance sensitive: avoid products with the word “fragrance”on their label, and look for the term “fragrance-free” instead.

Metallics
Glitter can be a girl’s best friend, but not if she’s allergic to nickel. If you’re allergic to the metal, found in the plating of buttons and snaps and costume jewelry, you may also have an allergic reaction to cobalt, used in personal care products, such as light brown hair dyes and antiperspirants. Aluminum, lead, and chromium are other metals to be wary of.

Do a patch test with any cosmetic or mineral makeup which is likely to contain metallic elements to be sure it will not cause a reaction when you apply it to your face.

Emollients
Perry Romanowski, cosmetic chemist says, “Emollients are ingredients designed to feel good on your skin, but any go them cause breakouts, especially for acne-prone skin. Coconut butter, lanolin, cocoa butter, iso-stearyl isostearate, isopropyl palmitate and myristyl lactate are all emollients to be put on the “use with caution” list.

If you’re breakout-prone, use a noncomedogenic, water-based moisturizer to keep skin hydrated without clogging your pores.

Are you allergic to your skin care product? Let us know how you prevent breakouts and what you use to replace the cosmetics that cause you irritation.

What Makes A Product Noncomedogenic?

Noncomedogenic. N-O-N-C-O-M-E-D-O-G-E-N-I-C. Noncomedogenic. It sounds like the word that stumped the runner up in the fourth grade spelling bee. If you’ve been hearing this word used a lot lately in the cosmetic industry and thinking it sounds impressive, its meant to. But is it, really? Let’s break it down.

Woman squeezing pimple

A comedo is the mildest form of acne, otherwise known as a pimple, whitehead, or blackhead. So technically you could say, “Wow, that’s a rather large comedo on your face.” as a more polite way of saying, “Wow, that’s a really big zit you have.” Non, of course means without, hence, noncomedogenic, when applied to a skin cleanser essentially means the product does not clog pores and will break down excess oils on your skin without stripping necessary moisture.

What Does “Noncomedogenic” Mean?
Although the term “noncomedogenic” sounds scientific, the truth is that the effectiveness of noncomedogenic products has not been proven in clinical trials, nor has it been tested by the FDA. This is not, however, to say that such products are without merit; in fact, there is some evidence that non comedic products can reduce acne. There is, after all, proof that blocked pores can produce acne, and therefore, a product preventing occlusion of pores, may help prevent it. However, some forms of acne may be a result of other causes, such as a high presence of bacteria on the skin, and, in these cases, noncomedogenic goods would not have much effect.

In other instances, products are labelled noncomedogenic, but, in fact can cause skin rashes an irritation.

Woman cleaning face

Chemistry of Noncomedogenic Products
Noncomedogenic cleanser usually contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or salicylic acid. Some have ingredients to treat acne, and others are simply formulated to not aggravate pimples and clog pores.

Benzoyl peroxyde kills bacteria which causes acne and does not produce oil on the skin. Salicylic acid does not kill bacteria, but does unclog pores without creating additional oil. It also dissolves oil in the hair follicles. Sulfur washes away dead skin cells and excess oil and is also believed to be able to break down blackheads and whiteheads.

Pros and Cons Of Noncomedogenic Cleansers
Noncomedogenic. How bad could it be, right? Anything purported not to clog pores, couldn’t be too bad, right? Well, you be the judge.

Benzoyl Peroxide
If you’ve ever used benzoyl peroxide to treat acne, you probably found it to be effective. However, you will need to use it for a few weeks before you see results, and, if you discontinue use, the acne will return. Also, while you can combat the drying effects of benzoyl peroxide on skin with moisturizer, other side effects are not so easy to deal with. Itching, rashes, burning, and swelling have all been associated with the use of benzoyl peroxide and are best handled professionally.

Woman checking skin

Salicylic Acid
Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid requires continuous use to see results, as pores will clog up again when the skin is no longer receiving treatment. Although it can cause irritation and stinging, it is usually mild enough to work without causing serious side effects.

Sulfur
Sulfur has very few side effects, if any, and, although some may find the smell disagreeable, the odor is usually not detectable when mixed with other ingredients.

What do you think of noncomedogenic products? Does the term reassure you? Let us know!

Beauty Products To Store In The Refrigerator

Did your significant other get mad because he accidentally drank your eye serum? Did your kid almost put your moisturizer on his cereal? Did your roommate use your facial mist as cooking spray? Is your nail polish occupying the ice tray in your freezer? So, maybe you’re not the domestic type, but you sure have a leg up when it comes to keeping your makeup fresh.
Beauty products that contain organic and natural ingredients may lack preservatives found in other cosmetics to keep them fresh. Keeping these products at a lower temperature can lengthen the life of vital vitamins and nutrients and keep your favorite makeup looking its best.

Beauty Products
Facial Mists

Facial mists are one example of a product whose survival rate can be increased by storage at a cool temperature. Michelle Ornstein, licensed aesthetician says, “Facial mists can help provide more soothing and calming benefits, especially if you’re spraying it on dry, inflamed skin. Plus, it feels more refreshing spraying cold mists instead of hot mists.”

Serums and Eye Cream
According to Tessa McCullough, makeup artist at G2O spa and salon, “Keeping my eye serum and line refiner for under eye super cold (freezer of fridge) make it that much more powerful at reducing puffiness and boosting circulation under the eye are to reflect a well-rested appearance. The cooling effect feels pretty amazing too.”

Nail Polish
When it comes to nail polish, refrigeration is all about protecting it from outside elements. Ami Shvartzman, director of Education for Osmosis, says its because the glass bottles that contain the nail polish make it a target for the effects of the sun. “Leaving nail polish in an area where it is subject to light and/or heat can change the texture and even the color of the product in the bottle.”

Lipstick
Lipstick

Melty lipstick is no good for your lips or the inside of your purse, and Cristina Samuels, co – founder of Mode says it can never be cold enough for your lip paint. She says that, “freezing your lipstick locks in freshness and helps prevent the beneficial and delicate natural oils and extracts from going rancid.” She adds, “Remember, heat is lipstick’s enemy,” and has advocated her clients to store extra lipsticks in the freezer and just popping one out “the night before or a couple of hours before you plan on using it to come to room temperature and your lipstick is ready!” Defrosted lipstick!

Mascara
If you’re noticing a strange odor emanating from your favorite mascara, that may because mascara has a shelf life, and, according to Shvartman, “liquid cosmetics have a shorter shelf life. Placing your mascara in a colder environment can enhance its life and keep it safe for your eyes longer.”

Serums, Masks, Toners, and Moisturizers
Because “cold temperatures shrink capillaries and stimulate drainage to reduce puffiness, toners serums, moisturizers, and gel-based masks do well in the fridge,” according to celebrity aesthetician Renee Rouleau. “Not only does this help preserve product, but the cooled down temperatures help reduce redness by constriction capillaries.”

If your fridge looks more like Sephora than Martha Stewart, tell us about it. What product do you find does its best at cooler temps? Let us know!