Tag Archives: Moisturize

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?

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!

Tips To Help You Get Your Beauty Sleep

Woman sleeping

Apparently, some consider the hungover look a badge of honor. In the latest trends hitting Japan, women are actually deliberately simulating under eye circles and red puffy skin in an effort to look as if they were, well, recovering from a rough night. This trend, known as “byojaku,” or “sickly” is cropping up magazine covers in the Eastern hemisphere and is beginning to infiltrate western culture as well in the form of YouTube tutorials instructing young women to go heavy on red blush under the eyes and even providing information on creating puffy eye bags with shading and tape.

While this may have a limited appeal, most of us still seem to prefer looking rested. If you are among the many who still value the results of a good night’s sleep, read on for tried and true methods for achieving it.

Use Silk or Satin Pillowcases
Not only will these fibers prevent you waking up with eggbeater hair, they will also soften fine lines and wrinkles. Silk and satin cause less friction between your skin and the pillowcase than other rougher materials. Says Jesleen Ahluwalia, MD, “Silk is easier on hair-it helps avoid tangles and breakage. It’s also better for the skin because the material glides easily and prevents creasing and wrinkles.”

Woman sleeping
Sleep On Your Back
If you can avoid crawling into fetal position every night, you may be able to stop wrinkles before they start to form. According to Ahluwalia, ” a person who sleeps on one side may even have more set in wrinkles on that particular side compared to the other.” Elizabeth Tanzi, MD advises using an extra pillow for elevation, warning that, “When you lie flat fluid can gather around your eyes.”

Moisturize
We all know the importance of proper moisturization. Look for a night cream with hyaluronic acid to attract water to skin and smooth wrinkles. Dr. Deborah Jaliman, a New York City dermatologist also recommends an application of lip balm before going to bed and moisturizing eyelashes with lash conditioner to get the maximum benefit from the nightly “repair cycle of the skin.”

Sleep with a Humidifier
Hydration is a crucial component in keeping skin healthy and a humidifier is a crucial component in nightly hydration. This is especially important in the drying season of winter.

Change Pillowcases
Chicago makeup artist Alle Connell instructs you to, “Wash your pillowcases frequently so you’re not resting your lovely skin on top of bacteria nests for eight hours a night.” Dr. Ahluwalia also recommends changing pillow cases two times a week and flipping pillows regularly.

Keep Hair Our of Your Face
The oil from your hair can wreak nightly havoc on your complexion, but pulling it up too tightly can cause hair to break. While Connell suggests wrapping hair in a scarf, Ahluwalia says a loose, high ponytail is the way to go.

Remember to practice these for the ultimate beauty sleep. Keep in mind that if you think you look too healthy when you wake up, you can always watch a byojaku tutorial and let us know how that goes for you. We love your comments and suggestions!

Boosting Your Skin’s Hydration

Woman applying a moisturizer

One of the golden rules of skincare is to make sure you keep your skin hydrated. Nobody wants dry and flaky, irritated, reddened, or itchy skin, right? One of the key components to avoiding this and achieving healthy, glowing, youthful skin is hydration. That said, achieving and maintaining a healthy level of skin hydration can be harder than one might think. Let’s take a look at some ideas on how to keep your skin hydrated.

Does Drinking Water Help?
It is often said that if you drink enough water, it’ll show in your skin. Sadly, the truth isn’t that simple. There are a lot of reasons to drink a lot of water: it’s necessary for life and it’s healthy to drink a lot of it, it offers a nice refreshed feeling, helps in digestion, helps you regulate your temperature and energy levels, and more. That said, having hydrated skin is unfortunately not on the list of reasons to drink water. When you ingest water, it first goes through the intestines, and is then added to your bloodstream, filtered by the kidneys, and finally hydrating the cells. It can help a little bit with skin cell hydration, but it will make a marginal difference at best. That said, do be sure you’re drinking lots of water for all the other health benefits.

What Does Work Then?
The most surefire way to hydrate your skin is a solid moisturizer. You should hunt for one that matches your skin type; lighter creams for naturally oily faces, and heavier ones for dry faces. If you have sensitive skin, look for hypoallergenic moisturizers. Bonus points if they also have soothing ingredients like aloe or chamomile in them to help treat, prevent, and control any irritation that does come up for sensitive skin types.

You should also minimize your exposure to sunlight, wind, arid environments, alcohol, and long baths. Further, always use an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen when you are going to be exposed to the sun, and if you live in a windy or arid environment, try reapplying a bit of moisturizer after every time you spend any substantial amount of time outdoors.

Your Diet Does Matter, However
Drinking water alone may not be linked to as great an increase in skin hydration as some people like to think, but that said, what you put into your mouth does have an effect on your skin’s moisture levels. Try eating foods rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids like walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, and salmon, to name just a few. You can also find fish oil, borage oil, and flaxseed oil supplements you can take as softgels.

Additionally, and more broadly, you want to be eating a lot of dark leafy greens, colorful, dark fruits, and lean protein in your diet. This tip is less related to skin hydration specifically and more overall health, but staying in good general health is a great way to get that “healthy glow” on your face, and is just a good idea regardless.

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!

Ingredients for Moisturization

Winter is coming. For real though, winter is on its way and the transitional period is a great time to take a look at your skincare routine and ensure that you have products meant to moisturize your skin. If you aren’t sure exactly what ingredients you should be scanning labels for, Vine Vera put together a list of the four most beneficial ingredients for maximum moisture.

Ceramides

Ceramides
Ceramides are natural lipids and are a significant component of your skin’s structure. The entire function of ceramides is to retain moisture in the outer layer of skin, so that skin cells do not dry out. When your skin is lacking ceramides, it has trouble retaining moisture resulting in dry skin. Products containing ceramides restore the skin’s ability to retain moisture and are absorbed quickly into the skin so you can see results in a short period of time.

Chemical formula of hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic Acid
You’ve no doubt heard about this popular skincare ingredient, and there is a good reason:  hyaluronic acid is incredible when it comes to adding moisture to your skin. Hyaluronic acid is a type of moisturizer known as a humectant. Humectants not only add moisture to skin, but they hold it in place for long periods of time. Hyaluronic acid absorbs water and keeps it in your skin to provide you skin with hydration long after applying a product. This ingredient is perfect for those with oily skin that gets dehydrated during cold temperatures and harsh weather. Using heavy products tends to increase oil production, but hyaluronic acid is great because it provides intense moisture, helps repair the skin’s barrier function and  most importantly for oily skin, it is a lightweight moisturizer.

Woman pouring milk in a bath.

Lactic Acid
This alpha-hydroxy acid is not only a great moisturizer, it is also an incredibly gentle exfoliant. While using an exfoliant on dry skin may seem counter-intuitive, if the exfoliator is mild it can help to increase moisture levels in your skin. Exfoliating removes dry, dead skin cells and reveals newer, healthier skin that is better able to absorb moisture.

Moisturizer

Mineral Oil
Although this common skin care ingredient has a pretty bad reputation, it is actually one of the best moisturizing ingredients available. The most frequently cited reasons for not using mineral oil are the thought that it’s comedogenic (causes breakouts) and that it’s a derivative of petroleum. Yes, mineral oil is a derivative of petroleum. However, there are different grades of mineral oil and the mineral oil found in cosmetics and skincare has been purified. Skincare experts sing praises of mineral oil saying that cosmetic-grade mineral oil is one of the most non-irritating, safest and most effective moisturizing ingredients. There is a caveat to using products with mineral oil: do not use anything containing mineral oil with a product that has comedogenic principles. Because mineral oil moisturizes skin so well, it may trap those pore-clogging ingredients in the same way it traps, and keeps, moisture in the skin.

Transitioning from summer to fall and fall to winter definitely takes a toll on your skin. The lowered moisture in the air and the amount of heat indoors combine to sap your skin out of moisture. By picking products that contain the most beneficial ingredients, you can combat dry skin easily.

Skin Care Rehab

You’ve had a stressful week; work has been crazy, you’ve been taking care of your home and you are aching for the weekend when you can enjoy a night out with the only concern being what activity sounds the most fun or relaxing. You just want to shake off the stress and let your hair down. And so that’s what you do; good for you for taking time for yourself. However, it is possible to go a little overboard on your night out and your liver and kidneys aren’t the only organs in your body affected by too much drinking and eating unhealthy food favorites. Your skin, the largest organ of your body, is also greatly affected by your nights out and these good times can leave your skin looking grey, blotchy, tired and old. Vine Vera has you covered with skin care rehab both for when you return home at night and for extra care the next day.

Woman drinking water

Immediately After a Night Out
You probably already do this before heading to bed after a night out, but it is important enough to mention again. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help reduce any bloat from salt or sugar. Not only does water help reduce bloat, it also helps your skin to look healthier from the inside out. Bonus points for drinking a glass of warm water with lemon before bed as lemons add extra detoxifying properties.

Chances are you have a nightly skin care ritual that seems completely unnecessary and overwhelming after a long night out. Resist the urge to just fall into bed and take some time to cleanse your skin. This is especially important if you have been wearing makeup. If you can’t be bothered to do your regular routine of cleansing, toning, exfoliating and moisturizing, at least be sure to cleanse. If you absolutely cannot stand the idea of a full face wash, at least use some cleansing water to remove all the dirt, makeup and grime before you hit the sheets. Before you slip under your covers, add moisture back into your skin with a moisturizer. A sleeping pack with ingredients like hyaluronic acid is perfect for replenishing skin after a night out.

Woman washing her face.

The Next Morning
You probably took aspirin the night before, and you may be grabbing for it in the morning as well. Aspirin doesn’t just help your headache, it can benefit your skin after a big night out. If you are in a rush in the morning, you’ll want to skip this but if you have time an aspirin mask is a great way to reduce irritation, inflammation and even out blotchiness. Crush one aspirin and mix with a small amount of your usual toner. Apply to skin, focusing on red and uneven colored patches, then rinse off after five minutes or so.

Next, follow your normal morning care routine for cleansing and toning. Exfoliation is an important part of skin care rehab because it gets rid of dirt, debris and dead skin cells resulting from your night out. A gentle chemical exfoliant, like an AHA or BHA liquid, is a great way to effectively exfoliate your skin while still being gentle. For a bit more oomph during your exfoliation, pick up some exfoliating cotton rounds from any local store (Target, Wal-Mart or drugstores) and use the exfoliant on the exfoliating side of the cotton pad.

Woman applying moisturizer.

Finally, it’s time to seriously moisturize the skin. You can use your regular moisturizer, but for maximum impact look for a product, specifically a serum, that is packed with antioxidants to repair damage. You can just apply as you normally would, however, you can also help revive your face by massaging the serum or cream into your face. A facial massage helps to soothe tired muscles, can help fight signs of aging and ensures that your moisturizer (whether it is a serum or cream) is fully absorbed into your skin.

If you’re applying makeup, using light-reflective products help add radiance to your skin. A light-reflective concealer can work wonders under your eyes and down the center of your nose. Light-reflective powder is perfect for setting the concealer to keep your eyes bright.

You definitely deserve a night out after all that you do! Your schedule is crazy busy and it is incredibly important to take some time for yourself with friends or your partner to just have some fun. And if you have a little too much fun, keep your skin looking great with these skin care rehab tips.