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Don’t Use Face Moisturizers For Your Eyes

If you are a follower of the hot debates in the beauty world, you may be aware of the ongoing controversy over whether or not it is necessary to use an eye cream in addition to a moisturizer. While some swear by their eye creams, others insist they are simply glorified moisturizers designed to generate more sales for cosmetic companies. So which is it? Is CTM all we need, or is it necessary to bring in more players? The final answer may be somewhat divided, but it seems that at least some of us may benefit from a little attention around the eye area. Read on to find out how some experts weigh in on team cream vs. team moisturizer,

The Delicate Eye Area
The skin around our eyes is notoriously delicate. While our facial skin may be thinner than the skin on the rest of the body, the skin around our eyes can be as much ninety percent thinner than that. In addition, the area around the eye has fewer oil glands than the rest of the face, making it a prime target for dehydration and aging. The ocular area is a sensitive one, easily affected by environmental factors that can accelerate the breakdown of collagen, and facial expressions like squinting, winking, frowning, smiling and looks of surprise can all take a toll on the area. Combined with a lack of sleep, sun exposure, smoking and alcohol intake, these factors all contribute the wrinkles we commonly call crow’s feet.

Eye Cream Vs. Moisturizer
Eye creams and moisturizers both usually include two types of active ingredients: humectants and emollients. Emollients, such as paraffin, mineral oil, hyaluronic acid, and cocoa butter can soften and plump skin. Humectants, like urea, glycerin, and aloe vera gel, help skin maintain moisture levels. As the body ages production of collagen and elastin decreases along with a rate of skin turnover. Ingredients, such as vitamin A (retinol), peptides (ceramide) and antioxidants help with retaining collagen and elasticity.

Many women cite under eye darkness as a skin concern. Dilated blood vessels and thinning skin can heighten the appearance of under eye darkness. Lightning ingredients, like hydroquinone, vitamin K, and Kojic acid are useful for diminishing shadows under the eyes. Allergies and lack of sleep can lead to fluid buildup, causing bags under the eyes which require anti inflammatory ingredients such as caffeine, chamomile, and cucumber Polymers have tightening benefits to reduce puffiness and prevent wrinkles.

Product designed specifically for the eye area tend to be free of excess fragrance and are ophthalmologist tested for sensitivity issues. Eye cream used consistently can show results in as little as four to six weeks.

So, I Need An Eye Cream?
The answer is; not necessarily. While eye creams can bring great benefits for those with the especially fragile skin around the eyes, some of us are lucky enough to not have puffiness, dark circles, or lines, in which case the use of a good moisturizer may suffice. The choice depends on the individual needs and preferences.

How do you weigh in? Team cream or team moisturizer? Let us know which side of the debate you’re on!

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.

Dermatologist Recommendations For Storing Beauty Products

Woman with cosmetics storage

Are you a makeup hoarder? If you have eye shadows colors that only a teenager can get away with and you’re over the age of 30, the answer is probably “yes.” Whether it’s an attachment issue, or if you’re just sort of lazy, expert advice says, “Out with the old,” and it’s not just a backlash against hoarding. Apparently, there are certain guidelines when it comes to storing your cosmetics and, if your safety is a concern, you may want to know them.

Storing Cosmetics
Cosmetic products should remain safe for a reasonable amount go time, provided they are properly stored. That means makeup should be kept in a dry, cool place, without exposure to direct sunlight and the lids securely closed. Hands should be clean before putting fingers into products for application and sharing makeup is not advisable.

Product Deterioration
Once you open your makeup, it becomes exposed to dirt and microorganisms, such as yeasts, mold and bacteria found on applicators, brushes, and in the air. Although most cosmetics contain preservatives to kill the microorganisms, the efficacy of these additives can decrease with time and increased exposure to air. If contaminated, use of these products can cause irritation or infection of the skin. Products must be checked regularly to prevent this from occurring.

FDA Rules
There are no US laws requiring cosmetics to have expiration dates. The FDA considers the shelf life of cosmetics to be part of the responsibility of the manufacturer. Sunscreen and acne products, which are considered to be drugs under law, are subject to regulation and are required to have expiration dates on the label.

Cosmetics on dressing table

Shelf Life
So how long should you hold on to your product? In the UK, products with a shelf life of less than two and a half years a required to be labelled with a best before date, however dating is not common, due to the fact that most cosmetics have a shelf life exceeding two and a half years. However, eye area cosmetics usually have the shortest shelf lives in the cosmetic family and manufacturers tend to recommend discarding mascara two to four months after it is purchased because mascara is exposed to fungi and bacteria with ever usage, and becomes unsafe quickly.

How Do I Know If A Product Is No Longer Safe?
If you come across makeup that has not had a lid on it for a long period of time, you should probably toss it, regardless of the expiration date. Check products for suspicious smell, color, or texture. Lumpy discolored makeup may not do its job properly and could be risky to someone with preexisting skin conditions.

Useful Tips

  • Read instruction and warnings carefully.
  • Keep lids on products and use products within recommended time period.
  • Avoid storing cosmetics in direct sunlight or near heat sources. Choose cool, dry areas when possible.
  • Do not mix or dilute products with other products unless instructed.
  • Make sure all applicators or hands are clean before applying cosmetics. Wash applicators regularly with detergent, soap, or mild shampoo.
  • Make sure applicators dry completely before use.
  • Avoid sharing cosmetics.

How do you store your cosmetics? Do you still have your punk rock purple lipstick from the eighties? Let us know what shocking things you discovered weeding through your old makeup! We love to hear from you!

Avoiding Eczema Flare Ups

eczema

In the book, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver, one of the many diabolical acts Kevin, the narrator’s evil son, undertakes is encouraging a young girl, Violetta, to viciously gouge her eczema inflicted skin after years of strict abstinence. In the book, Shriver gives one of the most vivid and haunting descriptions of the condition, writing that it, “itches like fury.” She describes little Violetta clutching her anti- itch ointment, although, “those antipruritics are only so effective anther self-control was impressive. She’d trace a fingernail tantalizingly over her arm and they grasp the offending hand with the other as if putting it on a leash.”

Shriver may or may not have ever known the experience of eczema, but, she surely puts it into perspective for those of us who haven’t. Eczema is a condition causing red, swollen and itchy patches of skin. There are many things in the environment that can trigger eczema and recognize and avoid them are key in keeping flare ups to a minimum.

The Cold
Cold weather is no friend to eczema sufferers. Low temperatures cause the skin to become dry and prone to breakouts. Be sure to have moisturizing ointments handy in the winter and use a humidifier to combat dry air indoors. Try to keep humidity levels between 45 and 55 percent.

Clothing
Synthetics, wool, and rough materials have been known to trigger eczema. Loose- fitting cotton is preferable. Always wash clothes before wearing them to get rid of excess dye and irritants and cut out tags.

Detergent
Try to use a pH neutral, fragrance-free detergent and use the double rinse cycle to make sure you get all of the soap out of your clothes. Look for natural household cleansers and wear rubber gloves when cleaning.

woman smiling in cold weather

Dust Mites
Dust mites can trigger eczema flare-ups, particularly in small children. Made sure you get rid of dust magnets in your child’s room, like carpeting, rugs, and blinds. Wash sheets and curtains in hot water once a week and keep the room clean.

Stress
While it can never be totally avoided, excess stress may be eliminated with yoga and deep breathing. Relaxation will help to send your eczema plan in the right direction.

Food Allergies
For those who suffer from atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, food allergies can trigger to the appearance of symptoms. Food allergies can be diagnosed with skin pricks and blood tests, however, the only way to know if your food is really the trigger is to have the doctor witness what happens after you eat the food, not a very enticing prospect. You must take the food challenge to know for sure.

Cosmetics
If you are a makeup maven who has eczema, finding the right products can be a challenge. Try to avoid products with alcohol, lanolin, preservatives and perfume. Keep in mind the “unscented” label does not necessarily mean there is no fragrance; the fragrance may just be masked. “Fragrance-free” is a better guarantee, choose products with this on the label instead. Also, always test out a new cosmetic on a small patch of skin before deciding whether or not it is for you.

Pets
Unfortunately, Skippy and Fluffy may have to sleep outside for a while and they better keep off the furniture. Vacuuming can help keep down pet dander, a leading eczema trigger, as can regular grooming and bathing of pets.

Facial Sprays & Misting Water

Woman using a facial spray

Ok, so you’re at your favorite makeup store and you’re loading up the little basket you have just gotten from the door attendant who has a pierced lip, black hair and what looks like a pack of ammo around her waist, although, on closer inspection, it seems to be makeup tools.  After you are assured that no violence is about to erupt, you hit the aisles.  You load up your little basket with about $100 worth of merchandise, the whole of which takes up no more than a fraction of your purse.  Then, as you approach the counter, you see it: a bottle of facial spray. Sure, you think you don’t need a $20 bottle of water after you’ve blown your money on everything else.  But think again. With essential oils, herbal extracts and antioxidants, that little addition may be the most valuable thing in your basket.

“But what can this product do for me?” you ask.  Well, more than you might think. Facial sprays can be used in combination with your moisturizer to help lock in hydration and prevent evaporation.  Skin get dry on airplanes?  Just pack your misting spray in your carry on and rejuvenate!  However, if you are using the mists and sprays to retain moisture,  make sure to use a moisturizing face spray with botanical extracts, saccharides or hyaluronic acid, all of which aid in moisture retention. If you  chose to use one  without these ingredients, it may end up having the opposite effect. According to Amanda Matcham, Skin Therapist at the International Dermal Institute, “Don’t let it (facial product without above-mentioned ingredients) dry on your face.  As the water dries on the skin, it evaporates and draws some of the skin’s existing moisture out with it.”

And who among us hasn’t been here?  You  go to the restroom in the middle of your day only to find you have just attended a meeting with your boss or had  a hot date with lipstick on your teeth or mascara under your eyes.  Well, assuming that is not your desired effect, it  can be avoided with just a little spritz of facial spray.  It will help to set your makeup and make sure you look relaxed, fresh and confident. For this, a regular water spray is best, according to Eddie Malter, official L’Oreal Paris makeup artist. It will help to set your makeup and make sure you look relaxed, fresh and confident all day.

So, what else should you know about facial sprays? A thermal water spray, rich in calcium and antioxidants, is the best for anti-irritation and sensitive skin.  Distilled water is good for basic hydration,  but those that contain botanical extracts and essential oils like aloe and lavender will do a better job.  Hydrosal, a.k.a. herbal water, is best for softening skin and will make you smell yummy too!  For mature skin, fruit based mists are best.  Look for products infused with orange and apple slices.

So, the takeaway?  Next time you’re in your makeup store, splurge.  That little bottle may be the best investment you make. And maybe you should smile at the door attendant on the way out.

Vine Vera on Makeup Ingredients to Avoid – VineVera Reviews

Various cosmetic ingredients If you’re all for checking out the food labels when it comes to regulating what goes into your body, you should definitely ensure that you check out the ingredient list in your makeup as well. Despite the FDA regulations that are in place, you would find a lot of ingredients in your makeup that you should definitely stay away from.  Makeup products contain thousands of chemicals that get absorbed into your body through your skin and cause a lot of damage. You might not know this, but many makeup products contain skin penetrators, skin irritants and endocrine disruptors that are extremely damaging to your body. Vine Vera examines some of the makeup ingredients that you should definitely avoid.

 

1. Phthalates

Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are commonly used in makeup products to increase the softness of plastics. Some of the most common phthalates used in makeup products include phthalate, diethyl phthalate and dimethyl phthalates. These phthalates are popular endocrine disruptors that can increase the risk of breast cancer and reproductive birth defects.

 

2. Mercury

Mercury is a famous allergen that impairs the development of your brain. It is commonly found in a number of eye drops and mascara.

 

3. Imidazolidinyl Urea

The EU has termed Imidazolidinyl Urea as a formaldehyde  releaser. Short term use of products which contain these releasers can induce lead to dermatitis. Imidazolidinyl Urea is commonly found in eye creams, eye liners, eye shadows, face powder and moisturizers.

 

4. Parabens

Parabens are used as preservatives that can prevent the growth of yeast and bacteria in cosmetic products. Yes, they might be good in terms of keeping the bacteria away, but parabens have also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer because of their estrogen-mimicking properties. Parabens get absorbed into the skin and are usually found in deodorants, makeup items and facial cleansers.

 

5. Talc

The biggest issue with talc is asbestos. There is a kind of talc that contains asbestiform fibers and a kind of talc that does not contain these fibers. Studies have shown that asbestiform fibers can lead to an issue known as mesothelioma. Generally, the talc used in makeup doesn’t contain talc which has these asbestiform fibers, but it doesn’t hurt to be sure. Some of the main products that you should check out for talc include blushes, nail polish, eye shadow, lip liners, foundations and bronzers.

 

6. Lead

Lead is a common carcinogen that is usually found in hair dye and lipsticks. Stay away from products that contain lead. It can really cause serious damage to your body.

 

7. Petrolatum

Petrolatum is a derivative of crude oil and petroleum that is a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor. This chemical suffocates the skin and prevents it from taking in the oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Ever seen those oil spills and figured out what happens to the sealife because of the spill?   Imagine the same thing happening to your skin. Petrolatum is mostly used in lipsticks, lip balms and lotions.

 

8. Toluene

Toluene is a petrochemical which is derived from coal tar or petroleum. It is commonly listed on makeup products as toluol, benzene, methylbenzene or phenylmethane. Toluene is a solvent that is usually used to dissolve paint thinners and paint. It can cause serious damage to the respiratory system, irritate the skin and cause nausea. Pregnant ladies should always avoid exposure to toluene vapors because it can cause developmental damage to the fetus. Toluene is commonly found in hair bleaching products, nail polish and nail treatments.

 

9. Coal Tar Dyes

Coal Tar Dyes are a carcinogen that are made from bituminous coal. They are commonly listed as p-phenylenediamine and are usually found in hair dyes and anti-itch creams.

 

Stay away from these ingredients and you should be able to immediately transform the overall health of your skin to make it look younger, smoother and healthier.