Beauty School

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Five Steps to Treating Sun Damage & Preventing it in the Future

Unless you’ve hidden inside all summer long, you most likely spent a bit too much time basking in the sun. I’ve done a pretty good job avoiding sunburn this summer, but I know I’ve had a bit of sun damage and I wanted to know what I could do to help treat it. As always, the lovely Celeste filled me in on five steps I could take to help treat and prevent sun damage.

With school starting soon, August marks the unofficial end of summer for people in many parts of the country. I hope your season was filled with relaxation and a trip to your favorite sun-filled location. I also hope you wore (and wear daily) SPF.

Even with proper sunscreen application, you may have experienced sun damage this summer. Freckles, moles, wrinkles and uneven skin tone are signs of sun damage. There are few simple steps to treat sun-damaged skin and prevent future damage:

  1. I can’t emphasize this enough: protect the skin on a daily basis using a full-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you are active throughout the day, remember to reapply your sunscreen.
  2. Powerful antioxidants like vitamin C help protect the skin against UV rays, too.  C boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen, so I urge you to apply a C serum daily underneath your sunscreen moisturizer.
  3. You should resurface the skin on a consistent basis.  Resurfacing is a way to exfoliate the skin that gently dissolves dead skin cells, some of which are likely to be discolored on the skin’s surface.  Consistent resurfacing not only evens the skin tone, it helps combat aging and balances the skin’s pH for hydrated, healthy skin.
  4. Two products I use to treat sun damage and dark spots are from Skin Authority: Hyperpigmentation Treatment and Brightening Serum.
  5. I urge you to visit your dermatologist annually to have any moles examined. Your physician can also recommend laser treatments to help with discoloration and aging caused by the sun.

If you have some spare time, make sure to check out Celeste’s other articles: Seven Tips for Skin Care Success in 2015The Skin Care Basics | Face Oils for Acne Prone Skin | Skin Care for Eyes | Men’s Skin Care | Vitamin C Serums | Three Steps to Sexy Skin.

Photo: Olin Gilbert; Disclosure

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

Tanning Skin Care

Three Steps to Sexy Skin

I might be a creep, but I love routine. It helps me get everything I need done during the day and helps me from getting overwhelmed. When it comes to skin care, this is no exception. I stick to a strict skin care routine to make sure I don’t let things slack and I don’t damage my skin.

But don’t take it from me. The lovely Celeste is back to talk about three keys to a strong skin care routine.

A skin care routine is similar to an exercise routine. Lifting a weight once won’t create muscle definition; wearing sunscreen only when on vacation is not the path to achieving a clear, healthy complexion. Lifestyle changes take time and commitment. When creating a routine, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. Here are three things to avoid when you set out to live a healthy skin lifestyle:

  1. Inconsistency. Consistency is key for addressing skin concerns and maintaining a healthy skin routine. Again, you are unlikely to see any results by using products just once or twice. If it takes you six months to use a bottle that is intended to be used in two, you are not benefiting from the active ingredients in the product. Once you find what works for you, stick with it!
  2. Not cleansing before bed. Imagine not brushing your teeth at the end of the day and that is what it’s like to skip a nightly skin care routine. Even if you don’t wear make-up, you still need to cleanse. Sweat, oil and dirt sit on your skin all day. By skipping your nightly routine, you allow your skin to absorb pollutants. You also need an evening skin care routine to address any concerns and/or maintain your current skin health. Before going to bed, use resurfacing ingredients such as AHAs and retinols, in addition to restorative peptides. Tip: Make-up wipes cannot replace a complete cleanse, they are best used to remove heavy make-up before cleansing.
  3. Overdoing it. I’ll say it again, it is crucial to maintain a consistent, thorough, skin care routine twice a day. However, as the saying goes, “Too much of a good thing is too much.” If you are repeating your routine more than twice daily, it is too much. By over-cleansing/toning/astringing, you are stripping your skin of healthy oils and causing it to produce extra oil. Oil production can be balanced with a healthy and consistent skin care routine. If you are using your prescription skin care products more than as directed, it’s too much. You will not see results faster by doubling up on your topical (or ingested) prescription. This applies to acne, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, freckling, etc. Prescription skin care products are prescribed for a reason and can have serious and damaging effects if used incorrectly.

For more do’s and don’ts, I urge you to talk with a Skin Coach. We’ve made it super simple to connect with a Skin Coach through the new app – My Skin Authority. It’s the first interactive lifestyle app that connects people with a live esthetics expert for coaching and guidance. My Skin Authority is a free download at the Apple App Store and on Google play.

And while you’re at it, check out the rest of Celeste’s skin care advice from this year: skin care resolutions, the skin care basics, face oils for acne-prone skin, skin care for eyesdifferences between men’s and women’s skin care and the deal with Vitamin C serums.

What does your daily skin care routine look like?

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

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What’s so Super about Vitamin C Serums?

When I hear “Vitamin C” I think of citrus fruits and the inspirational “Graduation” song. Who doesn’t just shed a few tears while listening to this ballad? Oh yea, and I also think about skin care. What kind of beauty blogger would I be if I didn’t?

I feel like everyone and their mothers with fabulous skin is toting the benefits of vitamin C serums, and I was dying to learn more. So naturally, I turned to the lovely Celeste of Skin Authority who never steers me wrong.

Are you getting enough C? Vitamin C is one of the most vital nutrients. The benefits include those you are likely to have heard, including boosting immunity and overall health, but you may not know that C is super for skin. In fact, vitamin C serums should be a basic part of any skin care routine.

Many people take vitamin C orally to boost immunity. That is smart, but less than 1% of the vitamins we ingest actually make their way to our skin. The skin needs C as well, so it is very important to apply it topically.

Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for and using a vitamin C Serum:

  1. Look for a vitamin C that is paired with an antioxidant blend. Vitamin C boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen, and when it is combined with a powerful antioxidant mixture, it is very effective in protecting the skin from free radicals. I urge you to apply C daily underneath your sunscreen moisturizer.
  2. Vitamin C Serums should contain a minimum of 20% L-ascorbic acid. L-ascorbic acid is a co-factor in collagen production; without this element, the body cannot create collagen for firmer and stronger skin. The minimum amount of L-ascorbic acid necessary for collagen production is 20%, so don’t buy a vitamin C serum it if contains less than that amount. My favorite: Skin Authority Super-C Serum.
  3. Vitamin C Serums are very active products and should be used within the recommended amount of time. Just like an apple oxidizes over time as it is exposed to air, vitamin C Serums also oxidize. If your serum turns a dark brown color, it is time to throw it out. The shelf life of a vitamin C Serum is typically about four months after opening, but shorter if left exposed to the air and heat for long periods of time. If you keep the container closed and store in the refrigerator, it can last a bit longer.

And while you’re at it, check out the rest of Celeste’s skin care advice from this year: skin care resolutions, the skin care basics, face oils for acne-prone skin, skin care for eyes, differences between men’s and women’s skin care.

Do you incorporate vitamin C serums into your skin care routine?

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

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Recent Beauty Haul: Ulta, Sephora and Nordstrom

As you know, I’ve been traveling a lot for my “real” job lately. I was in Montreal and Chicago most recently, and I’m in Santa Clara as I write this. And somehow, I always seem to find the nearest beauty counter with what little downtime I have on these trips. It’s like the Sephoras and Ultas of the world just call to me. Or I just have an obsession. However you want to look at it.

But why I always seem to end up in beauty stores is neither here nor there. What’s really important is the goodies I scoop up while I’m there. I’ve trying to restrain my shopping habits lately as I save for a two-week European vacation this Summer, but sometimes I slip. Woopsies. The only way I convince myself my spending isn’t insane is by only buying things I “need” … like the beauties below.

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Belif toner | Sephora lip pencil | Dior foundation | Biosilk serum | Smashbox primer Kérastase Oleo Curl | Stila eyeliner | Smashbox lip pencil in “Figgy” | Nars concealer

What beauty goodies have you picked up lately?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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The Skin Care Battle of the Sexes

Hello there, ladies. If you’re like me, you steal your man’s shirts for sleeping and his sweatshirts when it’s cold. And apparently, according to the gorgeous Celeste from Skin Authority, it might be time to start stealing his skin care products too.

Does your husband or boyfriend steal your cleansers and moisturizers? My female skin care clients tell me this happens quite a bit in their homes. Well, guess what ladies? The guys are onto something!

Men’s and women’s skin care products differ only slightly. It is often thought that all men have thick, oily skin. That can be true, but I’ve also seen plenty of men who have sensitive skin. And, with women, their skin type can be all over the board based on hormones, age, sun exposure, etc.

Women who have dense, oily, thick skin might benefit from the slight difference in a lower pH that can often be found in men’s products. Men with more sensitive skin can benefit from products that have a slightly higher pH and/or more soothing ingredients. As I’ve written previously, treatment products should have a pH below four. The human skin ranges from 4.5-5.5 pH; a product should be below the pH level of the skin for maximum penetration.

Another shopping tip, many gender-specific products are simply marketed to either men or women in terms of packaging and fragrance, but offer no real difference. Most importantly, your skin care regimen comes down to: 1. the concerns you are looking to address and 2. what works best for your individual needs and lifestyle.

A product that works for my husband and me is Skin Authority’s Age-Defying Shave Serum. We love that the Serum incorporates ingredients to raise the hair away from the skin for an ultra-close shave without irritation.

Now excuse me while I go sneak some of my boyfriend’s skin care products before he notices. And while you’re at it, check out Celeste’s skin care tips from January, February, March and April. Enjoy!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclaimer

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

 

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The Eyes Have It: Which Types of Beauty Products Make them Sparkle?

Happy April, beauties. It’s finally starting to feel like Spring here in Boston, which is a welcome change. Our favorite guest blogger, Celeste from Skin Authority, is back to answer another one of your skin care questions. This month, she’s hear to tackle the topic of eye skin care. Enjoy!

The eyes are one of the first things that people notice when they meet you, so let’s give them extra love. I’m often asked if the same moisturizer that is used on the face can be used on the eyes. Sorry, beauties, the answer is no.

Under-eye creams are different than facial creams and moisturizers in many ways. Since the skin around the eyes is significantly thinner and more delicate than facial skin, specific formulas are needed. Also:

  • The skin around the eye area requires a pH level that differs from that which facial creams often provide.
  • Many facial creams contain added fragrances and/or petroleum, which are not safe for use around the eyes.
  • Face products may have different end-results in terms of product benefits.

Effective products for the eyes contain powerful ingredients including arnica, vitamins K & E, and polymers. These ingredients not only aid in eye hydration, but also address puffiness, discoloration, and tightening of the eye area.

A few more tips for sparkling eyes:

  • Ice cubes are great to relieve stayed-up-too-late eyes. Just lightly move the ice cube back and forth under your eyes a few times for a lift.
  • Baggy eyes? Use your fingertips to create a light, circular massage motion under your eyes. Finish by pushing your fingers toward your nose; this helps release extra, unneeded moisture through your tear ducts.

As usual, Celeste is a great source of skin-care knowledge. If you haven’t already, check out her posts on skin care resolutions, skin care basics and face oils for acne-prone skin.  And as always, if you have any questions for Celeste, you can email them to me at kristinbassett@beautyxpose.com and I’ll make sure to have her answer them next month!

What are your favorite eye products?

Photos: Ultra Luxe Skin Care; Disclosure

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

 

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Last Call (and a Giveaway): Ulta 21 Days of Spring Beauty

Oh hello, you beauty, you. Just a friendly reminder that the Ulta 21 Days of Spring Beauty promotion comes to a close this Saturday. We wish it wasn’t so, but all good things much come to an end.  Take a glance at the rest of the deals this week and then enter our AH-MAZING giveaway at the end of the post.

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This giveaway is now closed. And the best part of this post? I’ve teamed up with Ulta to bring you a whole butt-load of fabulous beauty products in this giveaway. Let’s take a moment to realize what’s up for grabs here – more than $450 worth of goodies are coming to the winner! The prize package includes:

  1. Too Faced Cat Eyes Purrrfection Kit – $36
  2. Benefit Cosmetics The Flawless Four – $24
  3. LORAC Dazzling Dozen 2 Eye Shadow Collection – $39
  4. Stila Shimmer All Night Makeup Set – $38
  5. bareMInerals Bare Tutorials Bronze Smoky Eyes – $29.50
  6. Algenist The Firming & Lifting Collection – $54
  7. IT Cosmetics Hello Lash Extensions Mascara plus No-Tug Gel Eye Liner – $24
  8. Urban Decay The Ultimate Pair – $26
  9. Dermadoctor Kakadu C Face Crème – $65
  10. Dermadoctor Kakadu C Eye Soufflé – $68
  11. BECCA Mineral Blush – $32
  12. BECCA Beach Tint – $25
  13. BECCA Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé – $27

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck to all who enter!

What goodies in the giveaway gift package are you most excited for?

Photos: Ulta; Disclosure

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Take Advantage of Ulta’s 21 Days of Spring Beauty

Hi, dolls. Just a quick post today. I wanted to pop in and remind you to take advantage of Ulta’s 21 Days of Spring Beauty, which ends on April 4th.

Today’s deal is a fabulous one – 50% off of Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer, which is my current go-to shadow primer. Today, you can also get Strivectin Age-Fighting Discovery Kit for $20 (normally $35).

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And on top of all of the great steals, Ulta is hosting loads on in-store events, which you can read more about here. Now excuse me, please. I need to clean up from lounging around and high-tail it to the new Ulta that opened down the street from me.

What deal from the 21 Days of Spring Beauty if your favorite?

Photos: Ulta; Disclosure

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$350 Beauty Blogazons Spring Giveaway

Hi there, beauties. Do I have something fabulous for you! To celebrate the start of Spring … even though the weather in Boston doesn’t seem to have gotten the message … I’ve teamed up with the other ladies of the Beauty Blogazons to bring you a huge Spring giveaway. $350 huge to be exact. You can enter using the widget below and find all information in the “terms and conditions” tab at the bottom of the widget.

Beauty Blogazons Spring Giveaway

Good luck to all who enter and happy Spring!

What would you use the Visa gift card for if you were to win?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

essential oils for acne prone skin

Have Acne? Don’t Overlook the Healing Properties of Essential Oils

Hi all. You know the drill. Another month, another skin care-related post from the lovely founder and CEO of Skin Authority — Celeste Hilling. Last month we talked about skin care basics, in January we talked about skin care resolutions and this month we’re talking about a questions I’ve received before. Can you use face oils for acne prone skin? I’m a huge fan of face oils, so I’m especially for this month’s post. And with that, I’ll turn things over to the always-fabulous Celeste.

Afraid to use oils because you think they’ll clog your pores and cause breakouts? I’m here to resolve your fears. With high concentrations of vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, essential oils are proven to soothe, restore, and instantly transform skin. The added benefit of using essential oils is the body’s stress-release response to the molecules in the oil, which elicits a sense of wellbeing and calm.

An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are simply known as the “oil of” the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. They are extremely concentrated; for example, it takes 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to yield one ounce of essential oil.

Pure essential oils can penetrate your skin because they are minuscule in molecular size. They are also very different than common carrier oils or fragrance oils that are found in most beauty products. If you see the word “fragrance”, “fragrance oil” or “perfume” on anything, you can assume the oils are synthetic; not natural.

There are numerous essential oils, each with specific benefits. A few of my favorites:

  • Avocado Seed Oil soothes, protects, and moisturizes skin with its high concentration of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Bergamot Oil is a natural antibiotic and disinfectant. The antibacterial action makes the oil great for those with acne, as it helps to kill bacteria on the skin before it can react to create blackheads and pimples. Bergamot has the added benefit of helping control excess oil production, thus, it attacks acne from two sides.
  • Cardamom Oil is rich in Vitamin C and manganese. It works as a potent antioxidant and detoxifies our whole body. The antiseptic property of cardamom oil is very helpful in treating a variety of skin infections and maintaining the health of hair.

Choosing a skin care formula that combines just the right combination of oils is the ideal way to ensure you will achieve the maximum benefits of the ingredients. My favorite is Skin Authority Oil Nutrient for Face, Hair & Nails.

Essential oils can be incorporated into any part of your skin care routine, but are particularly luxurious when included in masks and moisturizers. While wearing a mask, take long, slow, deep breaths to allow the oils to enter your body and calm your mind. When using a moisturizer with essential oils, massage in the product using slow, firm, upward circular motions for nourished skin and a clear mind.

I have to admit, I sighed a huge sigh of relief when Celeste answered my question. I’ve been recommended everyone and their mother incorporate face oils into their skin care routine, so I’m thrilled to know I wasn’t completely misguiding them. And with that, I’m off to apply some face oil and let my skin soak up the moisture and vitamin goodness.

Photos: Health Foundations Birth Center; Dislcosure

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.