Debunking Skincare Myths in 2020 – Fact Vs. Fiction!
We all fall victim to skin myths. Whether they’re passed on by our family, peers, or unproven beauty claims, it’s hard to know what is fact and what is fiction. In an e-commerce landscape where anyone and their mother can make a new skincare line, you have to be especially careful about where these products are being sourced from. Sadly, not everyone has your best interest at heart. This is partly why the Millennial and Generation Zers are notorious for being ‘brand loyal.’ The younger generations (under the age of 40), tend to trust major brand names like Google, Apple, and Starbucks, as compared to smaller brands they’ve never heard of. The same goes for their cosmetology products. Once you find an established brand that is reputable, affordable, and works for your skin – you are hooked! Right? This is all wonderful, and when you find an effective product, you should use what works for you. But! With so much false information being spread across the internet like wildfire, someone needs to debunk these myths from sources that we can trust! Let’s break down a couple of them by fact vs. fiction, shall we lovelies? Facts · Plastic Packaging Should Be Avoided Exposure to extreme temperatures can ruin your product. This is true, regardless of how high-quality the product is. You must be careful about originating countries that are shipping a product contained in plastic, especially during the hot summer months. Your skin is like a sponge. It is the largest organ on your body. So the plastic from those containers will seep into the product, therefore seeping into your skin. You can read more about this from The National Library of Medicine’s Recent Study regarding Parabens in plastic products that lead to skin toxicity through absorption. The Fix: Go for product packaging that is - - In glass jars - Reusable/Recyclable/Sustainable - Without any packaging, such as Lush’s Shampoo Bars · You Can’t Use Just Any Cleanser Everyone’s skin is unique. If you suffer from oily skin, acne, or sensitive skin, be careful about selecting a product that is too intense. If the products burn or feel painful, they’re likely stripping your skin of all of its healthy oils too. The skin is a high-functioning machine that naturally knows the pH it should possess. The Fix: This does not mean you ought to stop washing your face. No! Please wash your face! But avoid products that strip your face of its natural glow, as this often leads to increased breakouts. This may take some experimentation, but you will want a product that isn’t too harsh, painful, or intense. Fiction · You Do Not Need Sunscreen if It’s Not Sunny Outside False! Clouds are not sufficient protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays - which are the leading cause of premature aging. The Skin Cancer Foundation writes that clouds only protect against roughly, “25%” of harmful UV rays. That’s simply not enough. The Fix: Make sunscreen a daily part of your morning ritual. Some tips for finding your perfect fit are to select a sunscreen that contains/is: - Oil-free, especially if your skin is blemish-prone or you easily experience clogged pores. - Broad Spectrum, which simply means that it defends against both UVA and UVB rays. - Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, both of which naturally reflect sun rays. · A Good Product Will Remove Wrinkles Yes and no. Many anti-aging products can significantly reduce wrinkles, diminish the appearance of fine lines, and moisturize while offering the look of ‘plumper skin.’ This is all true. However, many deep-set wrinkles cannot be removed by a topical treatment alone. Due to this, leading experts in skincare and dermatology believe that: The best treatment against wrinkles – Is prevention! The Fix: Avoid practices that are expediting the rate at which wrinkles appear on your face. Simultaneously, you should work to prevent wrinkles before they establish a permanent home on the residence of your face. Factors that increase the rate at which wrinkles set are: - Smoking tobacco - Sun exposure (UVA and UVB rays) - Alcohol and substance abuse (allow your liver to detoxify) - Air pollution and free radicals - Poor nutrition - Not enough sleep Of course, many of the influences upon your skin will be genetic. But our main takeaways for this piece are: - Avoid plastic packaging - Don’t fight your skins natural pH (leading to more breakouts and excess recalibration) - Wear sunscreen daily (even on the parts that are covered by clothes. Clothes and clouds are not enough protection!) - Prevent wrinkles through proper health, sleep, and nutrition There’s no quick-fix. Only a daily dedication to care for your body and skin from the inside out!
Free Samples in 2020 – Which Ones I’ll Be Purchasing!
Being a beauty-obsessed shopper in 2020 is hard. But free samples make it easier! With brands adding in more samples of their products than ever, shoppers can try snippets before purchasing the entire product. This psychologically-brilliant tactic is working for beauty brands, landing them more sales than ever. I think the reason free samples work so well is because: · Try before you buy, (the obvious) · Shoppers can purchase the full-size with confidence, resulting in fewer returns for the company · The risk-averse shoppers feel taken care of · Something about a gift triggers the human response of reciprocity (wanting to do something for them, like purchase more, once they have given you a gift) It’s truly a win-win. For context - My skin is oily, acne-prone, and also fighting anti-aging. A glorious trio. Here are some of my recent freebies from 2020 so far (going from left to right): ·The Curology Cleanser - o Very gentle o Lightweight o Made for all skin-types o Produced by leading dermatologists o You can purchase with a $40 bottle of customized formula for your skin-concerns, $40 covering a 2-month supply. The cleanser and moisturizer are the same for everyone, very gentle and neutral. Curology - The Cleanser · The Purlisse Matcha Green Tea Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask – o This mask is magical o Your face feels so clean after o Smells delicious o I use 2-3 times per week for a nice, gentle exfoliation o The charcoal cleanses and visibly tightens pores o The tea calms your skin o The lemon brightens with vitamin C o The full-sized product is $35.00 with a 5-star rating presently pūrlisse - Matcha Green Tea + Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask · 24K Gold Mineral Mud Mask from Ahava/Ulta – o Dead sea mud mask o LITERALLY GOLD (see picture for sample on my hand, didn’t want to waste much!) o It is very soft, and my face feels smoother after use o Some report breakouts afterward and there are mixed reviews o It leaves a glitter residue behind, unsure if some mistake that for the glow but I have experienced no breakouts o Full-sized product is $68.00 with a 3.2-star rating on Ulta AHAVA - 24K Gold Mineral Mud Mask · Herbivore Botanical’s Phoenix Oil – o I use this in the mornings, 2-3 drops o It is for dry skin but I have oily skin, feels great and very moisturizing o Works for sensitive skin, anti-aging, dryness o Very lightweight o Made using rosehip, omega oils, vitamin A, and sea buckthorn o Herbivore is probably my favorite skincare line (vegan, product is concentrated and goes a long way, lasts for 6 months+ if used slowly, their products WORK!) o Uses Alpha Lipoic Acid to add a natural glow to skin o Large bottle is $88.00, again, will last you 6-months to a year if you take your time o You could use one drop a day if you wanted o Color will vary (I have noticed with their Lapis Blue Tansy oil that it got greener over time. You can see from my Phoenix sample in the picture that it is more yellow, whereas on the website it is more orange. This is likely due to oxidation and the potency of the product may be decreasing slightly as it is exposed to air).HERBIVORE - Phoenix Rosehip Anti-Aging Face Oil for Dry Skin · Sunday Riley’s UFO Acne Treatment Oil – o 1.5% salicylic acid, to fight acne and breakouts o Clears pore congestion o Quite lightweight for an oil o Tea tree oil works great on my skin, with anti-fungal properties to fight bad bacteria o Vegan/fragrance/paraben-free o Emerald green in color o Full-sized product is $40.00 with 4.5-star ratings out of 34-reviews presently SUNDAY RILEY - U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil · Eight Saint’s Bright Side – o A cleanser that utilizes antioxidants o Crème-based but not too heavy o Made using fruit and seed oils o The smell is citrusy and fruity o Intended for dry skin but I’ve experienced no issues with it (even though I have oily and acne-prone skin) o Full-sized product is $46.00 with 5-star ratings out of 17-reviews presently So!EIGHT SAINTS - Bright Side Out of these six, the four I would purchase the full-sized product of and recommend include: · The Purlisse Matcha Green Tea Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask · 24K Gold Mineral Mud Mask from Ahava/Ulta · Herbivore Botanical’s Phoenix Oil · Sunday Riley’s UFO Acne Treatment Oil My all-time favorite out of that would have to be the phoenix oil by Herbivore. My second favorite is the matcha green tea. And honestly, I could live without the other four. That’s my hot take! I hope it helps you, beautiful queens!
AHAVA-24K Gold Mineral Mud Mask
Skincare for Time-Savers – My Lazy Day Skincare Routine for Acne!
As someone that is beauty product OBSESSED – I sometimes end up with a twelve-step routine before bed. Although this is fun, sometimes I have to step back and ask myself: · Do I really need this many products? · Could too many products be actually harming my skin instead of helping? · Could I achieve the same healthy skin with less product application and significantly less money spent? A few details about my type of skin include: · European heritage · Oily-skin that is dry with the wrong products · Acne-prone skin since I was fifteen/ subsequent scarring · Fighting anti-aging and fine lines, especially around my smile and forehead. (Curse my expressive face that cannot hide any emotions!) So I asked myself – Can I get this down to three products? And voila! I selected my favorite three that I could NOT live without. When I do not feel like bringing out the entire skincare brigade – I opt for these main trusted three: 1. Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask – A bit about this product includes: a. Great for a once-per-week mask b. Sometimes I use it twice per week if I’m suffering from bad acne c. The ingredients clarify using aloe (soothing) blue tansy (redness calmer), white willow bark (anti-inflammatory), all combining for a resurfacing-effect that fights bacteria. d. Contains BHAs and Salicin (an anti-microbial that kills bacteria) e. The scent is fruity and smells like herbs/aloe f. Blue tansy has a mildly-medicinal fragrance g. The texture is thick, almost like maple syrup h. A little goes a long way! i. One bottle can last me about 6-months if I use it properly j. Price: $48.00 k.Ratings: 4.5-stars out of 200+ reviews 2. Terre Mere’s Aloe and Tea Tree Toner – A bit about this product includes: a. I only recently discovered this in my Fab Fit Fun box, a subscription service that sends new beauty products to your door once per season. b. On days that I do not mask with the Blue Tansy – I only use this toner and the oil listed in #3. (If only using these bottom two products, I would use the toner first, and then follow-up with the oil on step #3, for an even more simplified routine). You should also cleanse/wash your face between toning and moisturizing, but we’re going for basics here! c. I tend to lean towards products with aloe, very calming for my skin’s redness d. The tea tree oil offers an anti-fungal property to fight harmful bacteria that clog pores e. Infused with a sulfur compound that they claim offers a collagen-boosting effect f. Vegan g. Willow bark (now that I’m researching, quite similar to the blue tansy mask indeed!) There is a reason these ingredients are used for fighting acne – they work! h. Fragrance-free - important unless the fragrances are naturally-occurring. You don’t want to clog your skin with dyes and perfumes. i. Price: $54.00 j. Ratings: None available 3. Herbivore’s Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil – A bit about this product includes: a. I love the brand Herbivore Botanicals! It is one of my all-time favorites. Not only do I trust them for clean, vegan, and highly-moisturizing products, but they also fight my breakouts like no other topical treatment ever has. b. The prices are slightly high – however, the formulas are so concentrated. I have been able to make a bottle of this last for 6-months. That is less than $8 per month. So there is no need to see your skincare as a major luxury! c. Fights redness and dullness d. Absorbs quickly e. Great for any skin type– even oily skin. That is what it’s for! If you have oily skin, stripping it of natural oils will only reinforce oil production, resulting in more breakouts. Do not fight your skin’s natural proclivity to produce oil! Okay, queens!? f. Even if you have dry or combination skin, this product will leave you feeling exceptionally moisturized without a greasy effect. g. Utilizes a blend of cannabis oil, hemp seed oil, omegas, and adaptogens h. $1 for each bottle sold is donated to help legalize cannabis for therapeutic-use and medicinal research i. The color is as the name suggests – emerald to light green j. I use about 2-3 drops per morning and night k. I gently massage it into the places that become the most inflamed (around mouth mostly) l. Price: $48.00 m. Rating: 4.5-stars out of 100+ reviews I have a few other favorites, but honestly, nothing compares to these OG three! These main three products are heavily responsible for my skin having: · Reduced redness · Less inflammation and acne · A smoother texture · A brightened glow See the before and after pictures for proof of my glow-up!
Terre mère-Aloe and Tea Tree Toner
Eye Serum for Fine Lines - Hyaluronic Acid to the Rescue!
My grandma instilled in me as a little girl – “Take care of your skin early-on!” When I was 13, I began taking care of my skin against acne and concurrently anti-aging. Now, over 12 years later, I think my skin has significantly benefited from the early attention to fine lines and all-around health. Eyes tell the story of your soul, and we want them to shine bright! We all battle with fine lines appearing and fighting the tests of time, but you do not want the skin around your eyes to pay the cost. I have always experienced difficulty with eye creams because: · If I apply the eye cream too low, it will cause acne on my sensitive-skin and cheeks. · If I apply the eye cream too high, it creeps into my eye in the middle of the night and I’m temporarily blinded and in searing pain! This sounds ridiculous, but I have come to the conclusion that it is my long eyelashes pulling the product into my eyes to the point of stinging and burning. Therefore, I have to be very careful about the products I use as well as their placement. Favorite Product to Date Since many eye products have not worked for me, I have opted for an anti-aging moisturizer that incorporates Hyaluronic Acid into a serum. It is delicate, very gentle, and effective (without blinding me!) My favorite recent discovery is the Hyaluronic Acid Serum by Grace & Stella. I found this product through my Fab Fit Fun box subscription, a cosmetology and lifestyle service that sends trendy beauty products to your door once per season. Why I Love It The reasons that I love this specific serum by Grace and Stella includes: · Paraben & fragrance-free · A non-toxic beauty brand that I trust · I can use on my entire face, all wrinkles, and fine lines (not just around eyes) · The formula is incredibly soft, lightweight, and feels ultra-hydrating · Removes blemishes, acne scarring, and fine lines simultaneously – As a 25-year-old battling multiple skin concerns, this is what I need out of a product! You can easily spend hundreds on numerous products, but this is a great all-in-one option. Why Hyaluronic Acid? Some of the benefits of hyaluronic acid include: · Adds a moisturizing effect to the skin that ‘plumps’ out fine lines and sunken wrinkles · Adds suppleness as a humectant (humectant is a natural moisturizer that draws water from deeper layers of skin cells, essentially acting as a sponge on your skin for hydration) · Generates cell renewal so that your brightest and freshest skin layers are resurfaced daily · Related to cell turnover, pigmentation issues decrease (such as age spots) · Protects your lipid barrier, leaving the skin resilient against free radicals and external toxins, such as pollution. These are just some basic facts that drew me to hyaluronic acid, but always do your own research to know if a product or chemical is a good match for your skin type. Nearly half of my life has been dedicated to proper skin-care. Due to this, I recommend you start hunting for those best-fitting products sooner rather than later. Science, dermatologists, and countless studies have proven that it is nearly impossible to remove a wrinkle once it has solidified. Therefore - prevention is the best treatment!
grace & stella-Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Exfoliation 101 – Wisdom for Acne-Prone & Simultaneously Aging Skin
Exfoliation is a tricky but necessary aspect of properly caring for your skin. You may think that cleansing alone is doing the trick, but dead skin cells build up and need to be resurfaced for a more bright, rejuvenated, and glowing appearance. If you scrub too hard, the skin barrier will become inflamed or damaged. If you do not scrub at all, your skin becomes unevenly textured and dull in coloration. If you are battling adult-acne, you sadly can’t use many of the BEST anti-aging products. This is because the formulas are often too thick or concentrated, leading to increased blemishes. It is a confusing dance to learn the ins and outs of exfoliation, especially with the party of combination skin. But here are the tricks that worked for me! About my skin: · European/White/Cherokee Native American Ethnicity/background · Very acne-prone; cystic, scarring, uneven skin tone · Battling aging at the same time (age: 25) · Oily in some places, dry in others, very fun! One of my favorites is a product that I discovered in France a few Summers ago while living abroad (shipping worldwide) is the Deep Cleansing Exfoliator by Caudalie. Here is a bit about the regimen: · I use this product about twice per week, to avoid over-exfoliating and causing skin irritation (or more breakouts). · I use about a nickel-sized amount, pretty generously. You can use a pea-sized drop, whatever feels right! This simple and ‘whipped’ texture is very gentle while somehow feeling like gritty sand. Just as your face feels refreshed from saltwater and the beach, this formula feels like it is giving me a new layer of skin! A brighter, clearer, smoother, and healthier layer of skin!! This gritty product works deep yet somehow is lightweight like a cloud. It has dramatically enhanced the clarity of my skin and has been a real gamechanger. Thank goodness I do not have to fly to France every time I need it, or there would be trouble! Please note – This is simply what has worked for me as the best exfoliant used to date. What works for my skin may not work for your skin. There are mechanical, chemical, or topical exfoliations available on a crowded marketplace. To set honest expectations - You will have to experiment with different exfoliation products to find the right fit for your skin. Tips for exfoliation: · You have to find your own frequency. You can exfoliate every day, and this only works for some skin-types; for others, this can lead to increased breakouts. You want to preserve the natural Ph and balance of your skin, while still forcing it to regenerate new skin cells. · If you do exfoliate daily, do so GENTLY! · Do not use harsh exfoliants that have things like plastic microbeads, shells, volcanic rock, or accidental particles that get thrown into the natural concoction. These are commonly used in cheaply-made or under-researched products, leading to microtears in the skin. To avoid, purchase your product from a trusted and reputable skin-care brand. · Always moisturize afterward. Since my skin is acne-prone, I have to opt for oil-free options. Be very careful with chemical peels or mechanical options as they are literally peeling away a layer of the skin. Chemical peels can lead to scarring and infection, on top of the sheer pain. I personally recommend opting for a more gentle topical option, such as the Caudalie line for skin detoxification. Experiment slowly, and you will find the right regimen of products and frequency for your skin type. Starting early will always be better than starting late!
CAUDALIE-Deep Cleansing Exfoliator
Award-Winning Anti-Aging Crèmes by No7 Beauty – Comparing Day & Night Crèmes
No7 Beauty has won countless beauty awards as a semi-luxury brand that originated in the UK. The leaders of this brand actually started Boots UK, which began in 1935. Basically - They know what they are doing! After three years of daily use, I religiously wear the day and night crèmes. I have the full Early Defense Skincare System, which retails for $56.99 – this set includes: The SPF Early Defense Day Crème 👉🏻I look for products that are safe, clean, without too many products in them. This set is hypoallergenic, and the sunscreen uses lipopeptides and vitamin A to truly brighten your skin. 👉🏻What I like about this day crème is that the SPF does not leave my skin oily like most sun-protective products. It’s creamy as promised and very lightweight, absorbing quickly without leaving a stubborn residue on my skin or adding texture underneath makeup. 👉🏻I also want an SPF that is at 30, after learning that higher SPFS actually don’t do much for your skin. When you reach for the 50-100SPF, you’re only getting about 1% more coverage from UVB and UVA rays, because the 30 targets the necessary level of UV penetration. The Early Defense Night Crème 👉🏻As you can see from the images, I love this one way more than the SPF!! 👉🏻You do not need much when it comes to day crème, but for night! – You want to lather 👉🏻yourself like a buttermilk cake! Frost yourself with all the lotions and allow your sleepy-time to give your skin the vitamins it needs time to restore. The Glow Activating Serum 👉🏻A little will go a long way with this product. It is small, but don’t underestimate it. 👉🏻Since this product alone retails for about $25, the full set for $56.99 is quite a bargain. I am hugely impressed by this set for its affordability and effectiveness. It is lightweight and works for any skin type. These are basic moisturizers, but they are still award-winning for a reason - they will do what they promise. You may want to keep a few higher-end products on the shelves, and maybe a few cheaper ones too! But as the perfect daily balance that still feels like a luxury, I’d highly recommend this Early Defense line by No7 to anyone.
N°7-Early Defence Day Cream SPF 30