Tag Archives: Exfoliate

Five Steps To A Great Skincare Routine

There is nothing new about the “less is more” concept. Even before Susie Faux termed the phrase “capsule wardrobe” in the seventies, people have realized the wisdom of quality over quantity and the freedom derived from having less. So why is it that so many people are obsessed with multi-step beauty routines?

Of course, if you have the time and patience, you’re welcome to spend as much of it on skin care as you like, but, if you don’t, there is nothing wrong with keeping it scaled down. Remember, you own your beauty routine, it doesn’t own you. So, if you believe in keeping it short and sweet, here’s are five steps that will help you maximize while you minimize.

Woman cleansing skin

Cleanse
Cleansing skin is the most basic step in a skin routine. It should be done twice daily, once in the morning and once at night, to give skin time to heal and breath without being clogged by makeup and debris.

Cleansing should be done with clean hands. Begin by wetting skin with warm water to open the pores. Apply a cleanser appropriate to your skin type using upward circular motions. Some products will be more effective if you leave them on for a minute or two to allow penetration. Remove with damp cotton pads or by splashing your face with cold water. (Cold water will close up pores.) Pat dry gently with a clean towel.

Tone
Toning restores your skin’s pH balance, which is usually altered during the cleansing process. This step can also make your skin more resistant to bacteria. Some toners will only restore your skin’s pH, others will kill bacteria, still others may contain an extra ingredient to prevent acne. Choose the one that suits your skin, and, if you have sensitive skin, be sure to use a specially formulated toner.

Apply toner to entire face with a cotton pad, taking care to avoid your eyes. Do not rinse off.

Woman moisturizing

Moisturize
Moisturizing is the most important step in the beauty routine, and should not be omitted, even if your skin is oily. There is quite a variety of moisturizing products, such as gels (oily skin), creams (dry/sensitive skin), and serums (normal/oily skin). Some may contain anti wrinkle, and anti acne agents, others may tint, or tan, skin.

Apply moisturizer to the face and neck, after toner has dried, using a circular motion. You may want to follow up with a separate moisturizer targeted toward preventing swelling and aging in the eye area.

Exfoliate
Once or twice weekly, use an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells. Make sure not to use anything too harsh, which can irritate skin and tear skin cells.

Remove makeup and massage the exfoliator gently into your face using an outward circular motion for about thirty seconds. Remember, gently is the key word here! If you’re using an exfoliating wash cloth, soak it in warm water and rub it in small circles on your face. Be sure to target creases by your nose and other areas on which blackheads tend to develop.

Face mask

Face Mask
Peel off masks are the best option for unclogging pores, and are the best for oily or acne prone skin. Those with dry skin will benefit most from moisturizing masks.

Choose a natural, mild mask. Keep applications down to once a week or less; frequent applications will result in over cleansing your face. You can make your own, in the interest of keeping it natural, or use a store bought one, following directions on the package.

What do you think of the five-step skin routine? Is less more, or is more more? Let us know what you think?

Transform Dull Pasty Skin

If you’re looking a little more zombie-like than you would prefer, here are some ways you can transform your dull and pasty skin into something a bit more life affirming.

Smiling woman 1. Exfoliate
When you exfoliate, your skin reflects more light. If you’re younger than 20, your skin cells rejuvenate ever 28 days, but by the time you hit for 20’s, turnover slows to between 30 and 40 days. According to Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, “Dead skin cells pile up, diffusing the light and making skin dull. ” Exfoliate at night rather than in the morning for best results and to remove all the dirt and grime buildup from the day.

2. Use a Highlighter
Makeup artist Mally Roncal says a champagne highlighter, “looks good on anyone.” For normal to dry skin, Roncal advises using your fingers for application. “Tap up and down your cheekbones and dab whatever’s leftover on your brow bones, the center of your chin, and the tip of your nose.” If your complexion is on the oily side, you may want to dust some powder formula over those areas with a fluffy brush.

3. Allover Body Glow
To get an all over body radiance, try botanical oils instead of lotion. The lipids found in botanical oils are the same ones that are in your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson recommends coconut oil. “It’s rich in fatty acids, so it gets absorbed really quickly and leaves behind a glow instead of a shine-it looks more like your skin is lit up than lotioned up.”
Roncal weighs in on the importance of an full body shine, saying, “if your face is radiant and your body is ashy, it can look jarring. Your glow will be much more believable if you highlight your body too. However, when it comes to your body, a tinted highlighter is preferable to an untinted, which is easier to blend, while still providing a healthy glow.

Woman exfoliating skin
4. Optimal Skin Care Tips
In addition to exfoliation, there are certain ingredients you should look for to give your skin that extra brilliance.

Ceramides
Although your skin has natural enzymes to slough off dead skin cells, they don’t work as well when your skin is dry. Moisturizers with ceramides can reinforce the natural barrier of your skin and help it to rejuvenate.

Retinoids
Frederic Brandt, dermatologist says, “Your skin reflects light even better when its firm.” He suggests an over the counter or prescription strength retinoid to boost production of collagen.

Vitamin C
Use this antioxidant to brighten skin and help fade dulling sun spots.

Best Exfoliators for Your Skin

For Fair, Dry, and Sensitive Skin
If your skin comes under one of these categories, you should probably go easy on the exfoliation. Your skin type is the type most likely to become irritated and prone to dryness and age spots. Dr. Brandt recommends a lactic peel once a week. Lactic acid is made of fairly large molecules, which doesn’t penetrate as deeply as harsher acids.

For Oily and Combination Skin
If you’ve got combination or oily skin, you require deeper exfoliation than other skin types. Brandt says a cleanser with salicylic acid used daily and a scrub with microbeads used once a weel are the ways to go. “The scrub sweeps aways dead cells so the salicylic acid can clean clogged pores,” he says.

For Normal Skin
Brandt says you should use a glycolic acid peel one a week if you’ve got normal skin. Says he, “it’s one of the most effective exfoliators because it penetrates deeply.”

What do you do when your glow is low? We want to know!

How Do Self Heating Face Masks Work?

In these modern times in which technology proliferates almost ever aspect of our lives, it seems as if everything has a brain. Indeed, there appears to be nothing on the market these days that can’t do what its designed to do without us. There are self -driving cars, self -flying planes, self -cooking ovens, self- cooling cups, self- heating mugs, and even self -cleaning litter boxes. Well, now we can add a new item to the list of products with minds of their own: the self-heating face mask.

If these masks do what they claim to do, they not only have a brain, they can probably write their own book! So what do you think? Is there really something behind these magical masks? Let’s have a look. Woman getting face mask

How Do Self Heating Masks Work?
You may “warm up” to these masks when you learn that there is a method to this madness, and it’s scientific. There are chemicals in the mask that produce an exothermic reaction to water, generating heat instantly. This response opens pores in the skin, allowing the product to better penetrate to the deepest layers.

Skin care expert Joanna Vargas compares its use to her own facial treatments. “I use a steamer to activate products and enzymes I have on the skin. I also use steam to soften everything in the pores to prep for extraction.” The takeaway: If a facial is not realistic, the self-heating mask will provide similar results.

Zeolite is a mineral that is commonly used in these masks. It is derived from volcanic ash and rocks. When zeolite comes into contact with water, its chemical bonds break, releasing heat. Pores open and blood circulates, allowing oil reducing ingredients, such as kaolin, to detoxify the skin.

Why Should You Use A Self Heating Face Mask?
Ok, so they work. But do they work better than temperature stabilized masks? Edward Fallas of Somme Institute says, “Self-heating masks are essential to open pores and activate blood circulation.” Blemishes, oil overproduction or anything that involves pore opening react especially well to the self heaters. The action of the chemicals allow the other ingredients in the mask to work deeper to absorb oil and impurities.

But the real draw here might be the emotional benefit. Relaxing heat is a welcome side effect of this product and also provides much needed comfort on a nippy day.

Woman with face mask
Application
After breaking the seal on the package, squeeze the mask into your hands. You will notice the product will begin heating immediately. Massage the mask into your face for about 60 seconds, adding water if you want to increase the heat. The heat will begin its work, opening your pores. After working it into your skin, rinse with cool water; this will seal your pores. Your skin will feel tingly for a while and most users report instant radiance along with a lovely warming experience.

Sound like the ultimate pampering product to us! Why not treat yourself? And let us know how it goes for you! We’d love to hear from you.

Cold Weather Tips for Clean Skin

If cleanliness is close to godliness, does that imply that dirtiness may be close to sexiness? Lately, that seems to be the case.The Japanese have practically made an art form out of looking disheveled in their new makeup trend aimed at stimulating the facial signs of a rough night. And lo, heroin chic has always had its appeal. But, before you start looking at the You Tube tutorials of recreating the effects of a hangover, remember the holidays are coming and a squeaky clean face is definitely in order.

Certain cleansing practices can dry skin and, in the cold, you have the extra challenges of dry air and low humidity. However, by with the right tips for clean skin, you can cleanse your skin without the chapping , itching, and redness associated with dry, winter skin.

Woman exfoliating face
Exfoliate
To keep skin as hydrated a possible, beauty expert Julyne Derrick suggests moisturizing freshly exfoliated skin to ensure you are penetrating the deepest layers of your skin and not just the peeling outer layer. When you do exfoliate, do so often, and try to use products with natural ingredients like olive oil and sugar.

Avoid Water
Think like the Wicked Witch of the West and stay away from the H2O, even cool water. According to Prevention Magazine, water upsets the balance of skin causing dryness. Those at the magazine suggest keeping contact with water to a minimum, washing hands and face as quickly as possible and choosing lukewarm water to avoid stripping too many oils.

Use a Simple Soap
If you are looking to retain moisture, you probably want to skip fragrance based soaps and go for cleansing bars with a petroleum base.

Keep Lips Moist
You never know who you will meet under the mistletoe! Keep lips exfoliated with a mixture of olive oil and sugar and use lip balms with avocado oil, shea butter, coconut butter and olive oil.

Woman using face product
Use the Right Cleanser
If your current cleanser contains glycolic or salicylic acid, it may be extremely drying to your skin. Try switching it up with a more hydrating product with moisturizing ingredients. It is also a good general rule of thumb to moisturize within 30 seconds of cleansing to avoid dehydration. Hydrating toners are also a good idea.

Moisturize Immediately
Moisturizers work best on damp skin, so you’re best advised to slather it on directly after washing to seal in hydration. Keep a bottle of it within arms reach of your shower stall.

Choose The Right Moisturizer
Make sure your moisturizer is oil- based and has natural ingredients. Beware of petroleum and water based solutions that can actually dry skin out. Look for hydrating ingredients like chamomile, lavender, and jojoba

Remember, you can still be a dirty girl (or boy) with a clean face. We’d love to hear from all the dirty people out there. Let us know how you clean up for the holidays!

Battling Adult Acne

  Women examining acne on her face.

Most of us talk about how we would like to turn back the clock.  Sure, we would all like to look a bit  younger, but there are definitely some things about youth that we are happy to see the back of that denim jacket with the heavy metal patches on it that you wore until it rotted, the self-administered buzz cut, the experiments with green hair dye, and acne.  Yes, if there is anything to be glad about when it comes to aging, it would have to be the end of acne.  But, what if you find yourself having graduated to  adulthood when……THEY’RE BACK! Just when you thought you zapped, squeezed and hid your last pimple, white or black head, they’re back and badder than ever.

Why?

Hormones
Teens are not the only ones whose hormones are aflutter.  According to dermatologist Julia Tzu, MD of Wall Street Dermatology says,”Fluctuation in hormones, such as before one’s menstrual cycle, is the main cause.” Hormonal acne is identifiable by a painful outbreak around the chin neck and back and may occur before your menstrual cycle. High-stress levels can also contribute to hormonal imbalance.  When the stress hormone, cortisol, is released by the body, it is often accompanied by testosterone, a male hormone which leads to the production of more oil, ultimately resulting in more outbreaks.

Using the Wrong Products
If you are prone to breakouts, you should be using products that will not clog your pores. DR. Neal Schultz, of Beauty RX Skincare, suggest looking  for  the words “oil-free”, “non-comedogenic” or “water -based” on the label.

Overcleansing
 Dr.  Rebecca Kazin, MD of the John Hopkins Department of Dermatology says cleansing more than twice a day is too much and can just dry out skin “which can cause it to produce more oil to overcompensate.  Grainy and gritty cleansers  that rub your skin can similarly promote acne.    Try switching to a gentle detoxifying gel cleanser and two is the magic number.

Food
Many of us have heard that there is a direct relationship between chocolate, greasy food and acne, but. before you put down that Hershey’s bar, there is no statistic proof of any of this.  However, you would be well advised to avoid iodine, found in shellfish and greens like kelp and spinach.  Sugary food can also be a culprit.  By raising your insulin level, sugary foods can boost oil- triggering hormones, like testosterone.

Treatment Ingredients

Salicylic Acid
Also known as beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid exfoliates gently to unclog pores.  It is go-to in anti-acne products and can be found in most OTC cleansers and spot treatments and is mild enough to use on your whole face.

Benzoyl Peroxide
This stuff kills acne bacteria whole exfoliating the pores but stick to spot treatment for this one.  It has been known to make skin irritated and should not be used all over the face.

Glycolic Acid
If you are facing the acne meets wrinkles stages, this may be just the thing. It removes dead skin cells on the surface and stimulates the collagen and  hyaluronic acid, improving skin’s texture on the whole.

Retinol
Another godsend for the acne meets wrinkles crowd.  It is one of the most effective treatments for acne and also has collagen building properties, but , be aware, can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin so try testing it on  a small spot on your skin before you commit to it.

Exfoliate
Probably the best thing you can do to fight acne is exfoliated and the best way to so it is with glycol acid.  A glycol cleanser is helpful, but exfoliating pads and serums that really soak your skin are more effective.

Keep Spot Treatment on Hand
As soon as you feel that zit waiting to burst our, zap it with some benzoyl peroxide to start killing bacteria immediately.  Try to look for a gentle formula with soothing ingredients  for adult skin.

In closing, while these treatments are all effective, keep in mind that hormones are some pretty powerful players.  If topical treatment isn’t enough, talk to your doctor.  He may have the best advice on the best course of action.

Boost Your AHA

Woman getting a cleansing treatment

Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of several types of acids which naturally occur in foods, including but not limited to citric acid from citrus fruits, glycolic acid from sugar cane, lactic acid from milk, malic acid from apples, and tartaric acid from grapes. But why should you care? Well, interestingly enough, there’s a fair bit of evidence indicating that alpha-hydroxy acids could help even out and firm up your skin when applied topically. While more study is necessary to say for certain, alpha-hydroxy acids seem to be able to remove the top layers of dead skin cells, making them a powerful exfoliant, and cause deeper, living layers of skin to thicken, which may promote firmness, acting as a potential anti-aging ingredient.

So let’s go over a few of the ways you can use alpha-hydroxy acids to better your skin.

Commercial Creams
You can get commercially available creams that contain various alpha-hydroxy acids in moisturizers, peels, etc. For something you’re going to leave on long-term, you don’t want anything stronger than a 8% concentration for most alpha-hydroxys, and 14% for products using the alpha-hydroxy acid acid gluconalactone. Leave-on creams with this concentration are effective for treating sun-damaged and aging skin to help firm it up.

For exfoliation to get softer, smoother skin and/or help reduce the appearance of acne scars, glycolic acid is a good bet. You should use glycolic acid peels once every two weeks, starting with a 20% concentration and then building to 35%, 50%, and finally 70%, leaving the peel on for 2 minutes the first time, and adding a minute every time until you hit 4-5 minutes.

Homemade Treatments
Remember how we said that alhpa-hydroxy acids are found in foods? You can take advantage of this fact by using fresh fruits right at home. You can apply lemon juice to your face (though you might want to water it down slightly, try one part lemon juice to one part water) and rinse after leaving it there for a few minutes. You can also used crushed papaya, tomato seed pulp (the juicy, seedy center of the tomato), plain yogurt (which contains lactic acid), or blended pineapple meat as an anti-aging mask. It might be a little messy and sticky, but the leftovers from your project mean you get an anti-aging treatment and a snack at the same time!

Talk to Your Dermatologist and Listen to Your Body
With all alpha-hydroxy acids (and, for that matter, beauty products in general) listen to your body, and immediately stop and rinse off the product or homemade treatment if it starts to cause uncomfortable pain, tingling, or burning (low-levels of tingling that do not cause discomfort are okay).

Finally, make sure you discuss your skincare with a dermatologist, and don’t forget to detail all aspects of your home care! And with potentially harmful acids (alpha-hydroxy acids are considered generally safe in the right concentrations and when used correctly, but they are still acid, and can quite literally burn you if misused), you should check with your dermatologist before beginning any homemade treatments. Tell them exactly what you intend to try and get the all clear first. It may sound like a pain, but “better safe than sorry” definitely applies here!

How to use Oils all Over Your Body – Vine Vera Reviews

Massage oils in a spa.

The benefits of oils are seemingly endless when it comes to hair and beauty. Don’t let your face have all the fun, oils are beneficial when applied all over the body as well. How to use oils all over your body may seem like such common sense that a how-to article is laughable. However, there are techniques to applying oils all over your body that result in your skin getting the maximum benefits that your oils have to offer.

Start on Clean Skin
Virtually every beauty ritual, except cleansing, begins with cleaning the area you are going to beautify. When it comes to oils all over your body, you will want to cleanse either in the shower or bath. Use a gentle cleanser that won’t aggravate your skin.

Woman exfoliating her skin in a white background.

Exfoliate
You know you need to exfoliate your face and you should exfoliate your body before doing things such as self-tanning. To get optimal results from your body oils, you should exfoliate prior to using them. You do not need to bust out a harsh sugar or salt scrub every day in order to prime your skin for body oils. Scrubs should be used no more than twice weekly to avoid damaging the skin. Invest in a body wash or gel that gently exfoliates your skin. This not only removes dead skin cells and other debris, but an exfoliating body wash or gel shortens the oil regime by taking care of two steps in one.

Warm Your Skin
This step may seem odd and you’re probably thinking “if I just came out of a warm shower, what do I need to get my skin warm for?” During warmer months this step can be left out, but when the air is cold and dry, it is an important part of the process. Warm your skin by vigorously rubbing all areas of the body where you are going to apply your oil. If you want to feel extra luxurious, you can wrap your body in warmed towels for a few minutes prior to applying oil.

Woman getting an oil massage at a spa.

Application
Oil penetrates warm, slightly moist skin better than rough, dry skin. Apply your chosen oil generously to all areas of your body and allow several minutes for the oil to sink in. When you have waited several minutes, you can pat any excessively oily areas with a towel to remove shine. Even after blotting with towels, you want to wait a few more minutes before putting on clothes. This ensures that you receive maximum benefits without ruining your favorite outfit.

While it may seem like a bit of a complicated process, applying oils all over your body really is not all that laborious. A few quick and easy steps help you achieve maximum hydration and other skin soothing benefits. Some of our favorite oils include:

  • Coconut Oil – Not only does this oil hydrate your skin and absorb easily, it also fights free radicals giving your skin extra protection. Coconut oil is also widely available at your local grocery store.
  • Sweet Almond Oil -This oil is an incredibly moisturizer, particularly when your skin is super dry. Almond oil also relieves uncomfortable skin and helps slow the aging process.
  • Jojoba Oil – An excellent and intense source of hydration, this oil also absorbs quickly into your skin.

Applying oils all over your body may require a bit more effort than simply slapping on some lotion, but the amazing skin you get from taking the time to do so is more than worth the work.

Best Exfoliants for Your Skin

Bottle of exfoliating acid

Exfoliation is a process which helps you to get rid of the dead skin cells from the outermost layer of your skin. Exfoliation is a natural process by way of which the body sheds off its dead epidermis once in every 25 days. However, this process starts slowing down the moment one crosses the age of 30. If you don’t exfoliate your skin for a long period of time, you might end up with a dull and uneven complexion and your skin might feel dry or rough to touch. Moreover, exfoliation is one of the most important steps of any skin care routine. Apart from making you look younger, it also helps to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Vine Vera examines the best exfoliants for your skin in this article. This Vine Vera article mostly deals with chemical exfoliants for the skin. Chemical exfoliants are basically made up of chemicals that peel off your outermost layers and speed up the production of collagen and elastin. The biggest advantage of using chemical exfoliants is that they are easy to use and that they work well on the skin.

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is the most common type of alpha hydroxy acid that is used to exfoliate your skin. It has a reputation for being one of the safest types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids and it removes the outermost layer of your dead skin cells to reveal fresher looking skin. Glycolic acid is considered to be particularly useful to people looking for exfoliating ingredients which help out with anti-aging as well. Some of the main advantages of glycolic acid include reducing sun spots and age spots and assisting people with blackhead or acne prone skin.

Phenol
Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, is the strongest chemical peel for the skin. It produces long term and dramatic effects and it can work wonders with sun damaged skin, wrinkles and pre-cancerous growths. Phenol occurs naturally in the human body and it can be created as well. Phenol peels are usually designed to remove freckles from your face and lead to permanent skin lightening. However, you need to understand that it could take months to recover from phenol peels and that you would need increased sun protection throughout your life.

Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is extremely helpful for treating skin conditions like psoriasis. It acts as a keratolytic which not only loosens the keratin from your skin, but also allows the scaly plaques to shed easily. Using salicylic acid based exfoliators can not only slough off your dead skin cells, but also decrease inflammation and reduce the appearance of breakouts. However, you should be careful about salicylic acid exfoliators if you already have a decent exfoliating routine.

Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is a natural acid that is derived from plants and from milk. It is found in a number of anti-aging products and in chemical exfoliators as well. Lactic acids are famous for being gentle on the skin and less irritating as well. Moreover, lactic acid is also known to be less irritating and gentler than glycolic acid. Finally, lactic acid helps to increase the natural barrier lipids in the outermost layer of your skin, hydrate your skin and brighten the skin tone in darkened areas. This makes lactic acid one of the best exfoliators in the world.

Trichloroacetic Acid
Trichloroacetic Acid, also known as TCA, is the main ingredient that is used in medium-strength chemical peels. TCA is particularly useful in helping you to reduce blemishes and surface wrinkles. Generally, TCA takes about 15 minutes, after which you can resume your normal activities immediately. However, once you use TCA based peels, you need to limit the amount of time that you can spend under the sun. Moreover, it may take several months for your skin to return to its typical schedule and skin care routine.