Tag Archives: Skin Care Ingredients

Protect Your Familys Skin Against Harmful Chemicals

Mother and child

It seems the definition of a good parent has expanded in the last few decades. It used to be if you could satisfy the basic needs of your child, see they remained somewhat groomed, hugged them a few times, and remembered to pick them up from school and pack lunch, you were doing okay. But that was back in the ‘ignorance is bliss’ days, before we became aware the existence of an ozone layer and harmful chemicals that were in danger of obliterating it.

Now, you need to develop a superpower that enables you to deflect harmful ingredients from infiltrating their little bodies at the speed of light. Not likely to happen. You’ll just have to do it the old fashioned way. Here are a few tips on keeping protecting your family’s skin from chemicals.

Stay Out of The Sun
The sad fact is that a lot of sunscreens out there do not protect against UV rays, and a host of them contain chemicals that can damage our skin. While it would seem that the best advice would be to stay out of the sun, that is often easier said than done when it comes to the average child. Sure, you can cover them with heavy clothes and a hat, but the likelihood is that most of it will end up on the floor of the playground. So what can you do to ensure your child stays active and chemical-free?

Couple smiling

Sunscreen 101
There are two forms of sunscreens:

  • Physical sunscreens
    These contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which form a film on top of the skin that reflects UV light.
  • Chemical Sunscreens
    These absorb UV rays before they can damage your skin. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, zinc oxide provides extensive UVA and UVB protection.

However, if you want a chemical sunscreen, be aware, while they protect against UV rays, they also contain chemicals which can be absorbed by the skin and end up circulating in your blood stream.

Check the Label For Chemicals

  • Dioxybenzone and Oxybenzone
    The most problematic chemicals found in sunscreen are dioxybenzone and oxybenzone. These two are among the most potent free radical producers and are also known to be disruptive to normal hormonal function.
  • PABA
    You’ve probably seen PABA listed quite frequently on sunscreen labels. Para-aminobenzoic acid is a dye that absorbs UV-B light. It contains a benzene ring which enables electrons to shuffle between different locations inside the structure, absorbing UV-B energy by converting light into heat. PABA can damage DNA, release free radicals, has estrogenic activity and has been known to cause allergic reactions in some people
  • Octyl Methoxycinnamate
    This is the main chemical use to filter out UV-B light in sunscreens. Its toxicity level, which can increase in sunlight can kill the cell in mice.
  • Benzophenone
    Benzophenone is a sunscreen ingredient that protects the products in the sunscreen from breaking down due to the sun rays. According to naturopath Nicole Bjilsma, it also disrupts hormones, interferes with thyroid function and lowers testosterone.

Baby

Check The Ratings
How does your sunscreen measure up? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates sunscreens on safety and protection. You can download their tip sheet on the best and worst chemicals in the cosmetics department, sunscreens included.

What are you doing to make sure your family’s skin stays free of harmful chemicals while avoiding the sun’s rays? Let us know how you do it.

Surprising Foods With Benefits

Can life possibly get better? First, you find out you can practically live on a diet of stuffed grape leaves and Greek yogurt, and then you find out that dark chocolate can fight free radical damage. At this rate, you’re certain that one day you’ll read a report touting the health benefits of donuts. Unfortunately, if you are counting on this article to be the bearer of that news, you may be sadly disappointed. However, although the perks of fried dough have yet to be discovered, there are some other foods that, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out, are both delicious and nutritious. Here are a few foods with benefits.

Hair
cheese

Cheese
Need a good excuse for ordering extra cheese on that pizza? According to Beautyflash.co.uk, cheese is rich in nutrients that can promote the growth of a long healthy mane.

Oysters
Is it the oysters or is it how good your hair looks? Oysters are rich in zinc which helps strengthen the protein structures in hair follicles, encouraging thick, healthy hair.

Poultry
Keep that head of hair lustrous by eating some poultry. Lack of protein causes the body to ration the protein, which may mean less of it goes to your hair, causing potential hair loss. Eating protein-rich poultry can help counter the damage.

Skin
Avocado and Yogurt

Soy Beans
The high protein and mineral content in soy beans make it a great food for reducing blemishes and evening out skin tone.

Avocados
The healthy fats in this wonderful fruit can help keep your skin plump and moisturized while protecting it from sun damage.

Greek Yogurt
Want to reduce those wrinkles? Get some Greek in you. (Greek yogurt, that is). This protein-packed superfood can make skin firmer and more resistant to wrinkles and lines.

Teeth
green tea

Green Tea
It may be green, but it will keep your teeth white. Studies show that green tea reduces plaque, lower the acidity of saliva, and controls bacteria levels. Research suggests that drinking green tea will make you less prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

Cheese
Now there’s a real reason to say “cheese.’ Cheese is a great source of calcium, which is one of the most vital nutrients for supporting healthy teeth. The gooey stuff is also believed to play a role in raising the pH in your mouth, reducing likelihood of tooth decay.

Strawberries
These beauties contain malic acid, a natural cleanser with enamel whitening abilities.

Nails
Chia seeds and borccoli

Mackerel
The omega-3 fatty acids in mackerel is a great way to put an end to dry and brittle nails.

Chia Seeds
Not only are these seeds packed full of protein, calcium, and magnesium, they also support the production of collagen in your body, helping your nails stay strong and fortified.

Broccoli
If growing long nails is on your list of goals, you should start eating your broccoli. With the aid of an amino acid called cysteine and the benefits of protein, this green veggie may be your key to a perfect 10.

If you’ve got a food that you would like to find out surprising health benefits about, well, we can’t really guarantee it; but, if you’ve been pleasantly surprised to find out your favorite food may be satisfying more than your taste buds, we’d love to know! Tell us what you’re loving to eat and all the fringe benefits that you’re getting while doing it.

Everyday Ingredients To Keep Your Skin Fresh Between Facials

Is there any way to keep your skin looking “fresh from a facial” great every day? Here are some ingredients that will help you do just that.

beautiful woman

Antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients found in most plants and are best known for their ability to fight “free radicals.” Free radicals harm DNA, and lead to wrinkles, dry, dull skin, and dark circles around the eyes. To keep skin looking fresh, it is important to not only eat foods rich in these chemicals, but also to use them on your skin.

Alpha Lipoic Acid
This is an antioxidant produced by the body and present in every cell you have. It attacks free radicals and it known for its ability to erase wrinkles and fine lines, shrink pores, and give a healthy glow to the skin.

Green Tea Extract
Tea is rich in free radical-fighting nutrients called polyphenols. Early studies have proven the ingredients in tea able to reduce sun damage and protect from skin cancer when applied topically. Green tea extract can be used under sunscreen to double the protection and, polyphenols, when used in lotions and creams, can reduce skin sagginess and wrinkles.

Retinol
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that boosts collagen production and plumps skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It improves skin tone and reduces dark patches. The stronger counterpoint of retinol is tretinoin, which can improve skin appearance by clearing up acne, slowing aging of skin, and improving unwanted pigmentation.

Portrait of a woman

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a key ingredient in boosting production of collagen and elastin, which depletes with age. Its antioxidants minimize fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.

Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10)
Naturally occurring in your body, CoQ 10 works to destroy free radical in your cells. However, as you age, the amount your body makes decreases, making skin more vulnerable to free radical damage. Creams, gels, and toners containing the antioxidant can be used to supplement the decrease, with one study showing that it can even help to reduce the appearance of “crow’s feet” around the eyes.

Caffeine
Although the jury is still out on whether caffeine is effective when applied to skin, skin care companies have added it to lotions and creams. This is based on the evidence that caffeine may be useful in preventing skin cancer and the deepening of wrinkles, especially “crow’s feet.”

How do you keep that “fresh from the salon glow” every day? You’re looking particularly radiant.

Skin Care Ingredients Pregnant Women Should Avoid

So you’re pregnant. Your husband and your friends keep telling you you’ve never looked better in your life, but you sure don’t feel it today. Your ankles are swollen, you have a headache, and all you see when you look down is your stomach. You know exactly what you need! A little pampering. Nothing like a nice spa session to make you feel like the goddess you are. But wait! Before you apply that mask, there are a few things you should know about the ingredients in the products you may be about to apply.

Pregnant woman in front of the mirror

Retin-A, Retinol, Retinyl Palmate
The FDA categorizes ingredients according to letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, and X. Usually, only A and B categorized products are considered safe for pregnancy. Retin-A, retinol. and retinyl palmate all lie in the C category which means it can present a risk to the fetus. Although vitamin A is an important vitamin for fetal development, Albert Sassoon, MD, an ob-gyn says, “getting too much can cause serious birth defects and liver toxicity.” While Retin-A is usually associated with prescription skin care, women should be aware that vitamin A derivatives are also present in many over the counter formulas as well.

Benzoyl Peroxide
Even though pregnancy may call for the occasional zit zapping, benzoyl peroxide also falls into category C, indicating possible fetal risk.

Woman applying oil to pregnant belly

Essential Oils
Essential oils are not subject to assessment by the FDA and are usually marketed as safe for use in beauty products. However, according to Dr. Sassoon, “Often they have 50 times the concentration used in a cup of tea and can be harmful even in a non-pregnancy state.” The most commonly used oils warranting cause for alarm are rosemary and tea tree oil.

According to Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, and dermatologist, “Tea tree oil is very potent and toxic when ingested. Its adverse effects include dermatitis, drug reactions, a blistering disease called linear IgA and estrogenic effects.” which may be to blame for premature contractions. Rosemary oil, meanwhile, is known to, “raise blood pressure and cause uterine contractions at high doses,” adds the doctor.

Woman buying product

Salicylic Acid
This category C acne fighter may be hard to avoid. But, as Dandy Engelman, MD, and dermatologist says,”When you’re pregnant, you have to seek out the purer products–the ones that feature just one of the acids that are approved. Lactic, mandelic, and glycol acids are all considered safe for pregnant women looking for some exfoliating action.

Hydroquinone
Although this may be tempting to use when pregnancy causes melanoma or dark spots, it falls into the C category.

Tazorac and Accutane
Both these vitamin A-derived product are prescription only and fall into category X: known to cause defects in birth.

What safe products do you use to soothe skin while you’re pregnant? Let us know what the modern pregnant lady is using to keep herself and her baby safe.

Would You Try These Innovative Skincare Ingredients

Americans have been accused of being vulnerable to the lure of the exotic. Of falsely attributing other cultures with possessing some ancient wisdom or magic that we, as Americans, are simply unable to harness. Like the belief in the the superiority of Asian skincare. Skeptics will argue that this is just another example of Americans being overly impressed by the foreign. However, if you consider that the Japanese published a “Capital Beauty and Style Manual” in 1813 that included directions for making an early sheet mask with kimono silk and flower water, it may seem that there is reason to think the Asians may know a thing or two about the subject.

If you are among those who are not entirely convinced that the Asian skincare routine is without merit, here are some of the more (and less) unusual ingredients topping the list of Asian beauty products you may want to get more familiar with.

Bee venom

Bee Venom
Bee venom is known to help skin produce collagen and elastin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Bees are reportedly not harmed in the process of extraction.

Vitamin A (Retinol)
One of the more common additions to our list, Vitamin A is an antioxidant that fights damage from free radicals and increases production of collagen to help protect against wrinkles, aging, and sun damage.

Vitamin B
(Niacinamide) B vitamins such as niacinamide, or B3, are known to possess skin brightening properties. They can be used to decrease redness from acne and even out skin tone.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C, including L-ascorbic acid, can improve skin tone as well as protect skin from UV rays. Store in an opaque container to prevent degradation due to light and heat.

Aloe Vera
This ancient plant has been used for centuries to soothe and hydrate. Apply it to sunburns for quick relief or as a soothing balm after shaving.

Pear on wheat

Arbutin
This hydroquinone derivative is found in wheat and pears. It is a safe and natural way of limiting the production of melanin and brightening skin.

Ferment
Use fermented products like yeast, rice or pitera to boost skin elasticity and prevent aging.

Green Tea
Another recommendation from the “Capital Beauty and Style Manual,” green tea has antioxidant properties which can decrease inflammation an fight the effects of carcinogens and age.

Honey and Royal Jelly
It’s back to the bee hive for some anti-inflammatory and and antiseptic properties to prevent acne and dryness.

Milk
Whether from cow’s or donkeys, milk is a great moisturizer and brightener.

Rice

Rice
Another,”I told you so” from the ancient Manual, rice as been used for centuries in Asian culture as a toner or scrub to even skin tone.

Snail
Asians swear by snail secretion filtrate as a moisturizing ingredient. It is associated with reducing redness acne and repairing skin damage.

Syn-ake
This is a synthetic snake venom said to be similar to botox in its ability to fight aging. It is known to firm skin and improve elasticity.

Yogurt
The lactic acid in yogurt can exfoliate the skin, while the zinc can reduce the production of oil and sebum, known to block pores.

Let us know if which of these ingredients you have tried, or would consider trying. We’d love to know!

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!

Natural Ingredients That Keep Skin Soft, Flexible, and Resilient

Of course, the modern women knows that wit and ingenuity are our greatest weapons, but we also know its not a bad idea to keep a few tricks up our sleeves for when the going gets tough. Like when it comes to the war against aging skin. That’s when it time to call in the coven for a little witch’s brew. How do you think Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon stayed so young looking for the Witches of Eastwick sequel?

When it comes to magic potions for your skin, nature is your best resource. There are plenty of ingredients bestowed by the good grace of Mother Nature that can keep your skin flexible strong, and resilient.

Coconut Oil
1. Coconut Oil
Not just for monkeys! Coconut oil’s many talents include removing dead skin cells, protecting against sunburns and strengthening epidermal tissue. In fact, research shows that coconut oil can even fight chronic skin disease and curb cutaneous inflammation. You can use this miracle of nature on your hair and skin to remove makeup, cleanse, heal wounds and scars, and prevent razor burns. When taken internally, coconut helps to bring oxygen and nutrients to the cells and wash away toxins, making it indispensable for skin health.

2. Tea Tree Oil
Also known as mealeuca alternifolia, tea tree oil has been used in Australia for hundreds of years to fight inflammation, redness, and breakouts. It is also known as a well-tolerated alternative for people who react poorly to harsh acne treatments. and its hydrocarbons contribute to its anti-bacterial properties. Researchers have found more than 100 different chemical components that are aromatic and capable of traveling through the pores of the skin and mucus membranes, which is why tea tree oil is so effective as a home remedy for acne.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar
This inexpensive skin product can kill pathogens like bacteria, and clear skin problems resulting from gut issues as well as cleanse the skin and prevent acne. It also contains vitamins like magnesium and potassium, which are can be effective detoxifying agents when taken internally because of their ability to improve liver function and balance gut bacteria.

Raw honey
4. Raw Honey
Bring on the sweet stuff for reducing breakouts, healing wounds, fighting allergic rashes, and reducing scars. This unheated, unpasteurized ingredient keep all of its nutrients intact because it is not subject to processing, like other honey. Honey is also an effective antimicrobial and can be used for dressing burns and wounds, and has been used in treatments to heal dandruff, psoriasis, diaper dermatitis and more.

5. Sea Salt
One of the more recent stars of the nutritional world, sea salt is chockfull of calcium, magnesium and potassium that it absorbs from seawater. because these minerals are the same as those found within the skin else in our body, sea salt is an excellent ingredient that can protect, balance and restore skin. Ir contains anti-inflammatory properties to fight breakouts, remove dead cells, balance oil production and help skin retain moisture.

So what potions are you stirring up this week? We would love to know!

Create A Healthy Glow With Gentle Exfoliation

You’re exfoliating for the first time. The devil inside you says, “Wow, this is great. It looks like I took off about ten years in two minutes. I should do this every day. At this rate, I will look 18 by the end of the week.”

The angel says,”No way, this exfoliation rough stuff. You’re going to scrub your face off.”
Devil: I heard Beyonce’s makeup artist says Queen B exfoliates every day and look at her.”
Angel: You’re no Beyonce. You’re going to scrub your face off.

Exfoliation can be very gratifying, but as with all other things, there can be too much of a good thing and the key is finding that happy medium. You want to make a difference, but if you go too far, your cells will stop regenerating and the effects won’t be as gratifying. Here are some tips for gentle exfoliation for a healthy glow.

Woman exfoliating skin
Rules of Exfoliation

Give Priority to Rough Skin Patches
If you begin to see rough patches, you should follow the advice of Ole Henriksen, the founder of the eponymous skincare brand. Go outside in the daylight with clean skin and bring a mirror. This will help you to understand what is going on and the areas where you might need help. I believe that everyone should be their own skincare expert, and this is an essential step for getting to know your skin. ” Exfoliate concentrating on places in which your skin is dull, uneven, or flaky.

Exfoliate in An Upward Circular Motion
Henriksen says, “I think the biggest mistake people make is being heavy- handed. A little goes a long way- let the exfoliating particles do their job. You just want to facilitate the glide access the face, that way your skin feels great and you don’t over treat it.” Henriksen suggests limited exfoliation to twice weekly, and, if you have frail capillaries, it may be a good idea to apply a face oil before you scrub, for extra protection. Vermen Verallo-Rowell, MD, dermatologist and founder of VMV Hypoallergenics recommends virgin coconut oil, which is inexpensive and safe for all types of skin. If you continue to notice redness and sensitivity, you may want to cut down exfoliation to once a week.

If you are looking for a scrub that won’t harm your face with harsh beads, Henriksen recommends mild jojoba beads, adding that, “you want to be sure …that the beads are perfectly round spheres.”

Exfoliating brushes may be a good tool for some, but you should keep a close watch on your skin’s reaction to this treatment and limit use if irritation occurs.

Follow with A Hydrating Moisturizer
To make sure your skin retains moisture, you follow up your exfoliating routine with a good thick moisturizer. Wash your face with warm water and pat it dry with a towel. Apply a cream or anti -aging serum before hitting the hay. Your morning you will thank you.

Exfoliation techniques
Exfoliate At Night
Night is the time when your skin is most receptive to treatments, especially when it comes to speeding cell turnover. This is the best time for the application of topical treatments with retinol and vitamin C.

If You Overexfoliate
If you overdo it, not to worry, just give your skin a break for about a week, Use a cleanser with Vitamin C or green tea that is free of drying agents. You can tone down redness with an over-the-counter cortisone cream.

What rules for exfoliation do you follow? How do put the “X” in exfoliation? Let us know!

Try These Ingredients To Brighten Skin

Why would anyone want “bright skin?” As a civilization, we are obsessed with reversing the effects of time, especially with regard to our skin. As we age, the skin that we were born with becomes darker, due to exposure to the sun and light. Although we may never hope to return our skin to the state from whence it came, there is promise of returning it to a healthier, simpler state, before the evil sun did its damage.

Woman with bright glowing skin

Skin brighteners defend skin against post- inflammatory hyper pigmentation, or any type of inflammation on the skin, specifically, blemishes from acne. Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD and senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation says,” When the acne resolves, sometimes the skin stains, which is causing too much pigment to be released. That’s a common issue where a skin brightener may help. In addition, skin brighteners help target age spots and brown spots, which are caused by ultraviolet rays.”

The Ingredients
Although most brighteners contain similar ingredients, they may work entirely differently depending on the formula. Here are some ingredients found in most skin brighteners and what they do.

Hydroquinone
While it may be 50 years old, “prescription hydroquinine is still the gold standard in bleaching,” according to Pearl Grimes, professor of dermatology at UCLA . The drug works to fade spots and block enzymes used to create new ones, and can lighten skin blotches in about four to six weeks when used in combination with a nonprescription retinal or retinoid.

Azelaic Acid
If your skin tends toward redness, this ingredient is for you. Often used as a treatment for rosacea prone skin, it “only targets melanin, so it doesn’t lighten healthy skin,” says Jeannette Graf, assistant professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai school of Medicine.

Woman with glowing skin
Melazyme
This enzyme has come a long way from its original purpose of whitening paper. Melazyme is the only ingredient capable of dissolving melanin on the surface of the skin. (Other enzymes impede the melanin production, blocking pigments from the surface of the skin.) The mushroom derived ingredient usually works within four weeks, as compared with the one or two months it takes for most brighteners to take effect.

Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is a white powder used often used in Japan as a natural treatment for reduction of skin discoloration. Studies by the American Academy of Dermatologists have shown its clinical ability to fight hyperpigmention by limiting the tyrosinase, the protein which produces melanin. Kojic acid is also an antioxidant, suitable for sensate skin.

Alpha Arbutin
Alpha arbutus is one of the most effective skin lightening ingredients available and has been proven to work on all skin types. The chemical properties inhibit tyrosinase from producing melanin, which is responsible for creation of pigment and outperforms all other bleaching agents. Alpha arbutus is found in a powder form and is pure and water soluble.

Beta Arbutin
Often referred to simply as Arbutin, beta arbutin, or bearberry extract lightens skin by inhibiting activity of tyrosinase. It is no as strong as its alpha counterpart, but has been used to treat skin pigmentation and brighten skin.

What do you know about brighter skin? Do you have any secrets to share? We love to hear them!

Choosing The Right Tools For Exfoliation

When it comes to exfoliation, things seem to be getting pretty sordid. If you follow the Real Housewives of New Jersey, you may have heard Caroline Manzo speak about her preferred method; face shaving, an admission that fellow housewife Teresa Giudice says, “Freakin’ blew my mind!”

This is not the first time we’ve heard of razors in conjunction with the exfoliation of skin. Dermatologists have been known to offer a derma-planing treatment which involves the running of a surgical grade razor over the skin, and both Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor swore by the amazing effects of a daily shave. With all the options out there, it may be difficult to choose the right tools for exfoliation, but, rest assured, there are ways to get glowing skin without running the risk of a five o clock shadow; here are just a few.

Exfoliating Tools

chemical mask
Chemical
Chemical peels involve the application of a solution to peel off the top layer of skin. They contain enzymes and beta hydroxy acids that loosen skin cells, making them easy to remove. Mild solutions are available over the counter, stronger ones are available by prescription.

Mechanical
Mechanical exfoliating tools refer to abrasives, such as loofahs and body scrubs that remove dead skin. Despite their name, abrasives should generally be gentle enough to not cause skin irritation, however, if your skin feels raw after use, the tool may be too harsh.

For the Face
When it comes to facial exfoliation, your best choice is a pair of soft exfoliating gloves or a micro -exfoliating cloth. Pouches are another option, although they tend to be too gentle to exfoliate as effectively as the gloves or cloth. Electric face brushes can be a good idea, but their effectiveness may vary with the type of cleanser, bristle type, and application of pressure.

Expert Advice
Before you choose your exfoliation tools, you may want to consider this advise from board certified dermatologist Mary P. Lupo, MD, FAAD

Take Your Skin Type Into Consideration
Those with dry or sensitive skin should stick with mild chemical exfoliation, such as salicylic acid peels, given by a dermatologist. If you have thicker, oilier skin, you may be able to stand stronger treatments like 2 percent salicylic acid wash or mechanical tools, like a scrub or motorized brush.

Woman using exfoliation mask
Time Exfoliation Correctly
While individuals with thick, oily skin may be able to withstand exfoliating once a day, those with sensitive skin may want to limit treatments to once a week. Also, more aggressive procedures, such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels administered by a dermatologist should generally be performed only a few times over several weeks.

Be Careful When Buying Products
Dr. Lupo suggests making sure that the products you buy come from reputable companies. She recommends over the counter products with an acid concentration of no higher then 2% salicylic acid or 10% glycol acid. Board certified dermatologists can help you pick an at home treatment best suited for your skin type and may be able to recommend other treatments for best results.

Do you know any great exfoliation secrets? Please share!