Tag Archives: skin care

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.

“Higher” Skincare with Hemp

Hemp kind of has a bad rap (unless you hail from Colorado, wink wink). Although hemp seeds come from Cannabis Sativa, the oil actually is rich in essential 3-6-9 fatty acids as well as antioxidants. It has properties that help replenish the skin, prevent premature aging, and maintain moisture balance.

mad hippie

So why not channel your inner free spirit with Mad Hippie’s Antioxidant Facial Oil ($24.99/select Whole Foods Markets)? This hydrating oil has been formulated with hemp seed oil, argan oil, goji, and camu camu without the harmful chemicals, parabens, or synthetic oils and fragrances. Made in the USA, it is also vegan with no animal testing!

mad hippie

Mad Hippie Facial Oil comes in a cute little medicine bottle complete with dropper. I chose to use it at night so my clean face could soak in all the goodness and chill vibes, man. Seriously though, the list of oils and extracts in the ingredients are impressive: Sunflower, pomegranate, cranberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and kiwi to name a few.

Upon using it for a few weeks, I will say I think my skin would benefit from this more in the winter time, as it is an oil, and oils are…well…oily! However, it was super hydrating, and I am sure after getting “baked” in the sun, Mad Hippie Oil is the product I will turn to. To find out more, go to www.madhippie.com.

Peace, love, and hydration!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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.

june favorites

May and June Favorites 2015

Things have been a bit crazy lately with all the travel for my “real” job, so May slipped through my fingers before I could find the time to write up a favorites post. And considering I’m about to depart on yet another trip (an actual vacation this time) for the next two trips, I won’t have time to do a June favorites before July rolls around. The solution here? A really late May favorites and an early June favorites all rolled in to one. Woop, woop!

Being on the go for the past few months has meant that my makeup routine has been trimmed down. I don’t feel the need to overload my carry-on with excess palettes or break the TSA 3-1-1 rule with multiple liquid foundations.

And when I have been home, I’ve been prepping for vacation with sunless tanner, bright polish  and burn-free skin. And now that I’ve rambled for long enough, let’s get to the main event … my current beauty faves.

june favorites

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation | Benefit Roller Lash | Michael Kors Gold

Skin Authority Sunless Tanner | IT Cosmetics Brow Power

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Vegas, Baby | Aveeno Sunscreen

What beauty products are you loving lately?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

vitamin c serums

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.

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.

 

Spring Beauty Must-Have: Priyana MD DNA Repair

Spring is well underway, and what better time than now to prepare your skin for the upcoming warm weather? Priyana MD has recently launched a new product called Damage Control C + DNA Repair, and I was more than excited to give it a go.

PriyayaMD

Damage Control C + DNA Repair is a daily moisturizer that helps improve aging, sun-damaged skin by offering hydration and skin lightening benefits. This sounded perfect for me, as I have begun to notice lots of freckles (aka sun spots- gasp!) during the summer months. I’m also not crazy about the fine lines and wrinkles that appear around my eyes when I smile.

For the past month, I’ve paired the moisturizer with Priyana MD’s HylaSilk HA + NIA + Peptides Hydrating Serum and their VersaLift Eye Restore + Lifting Cream applying in the mornings and evenings. Although I’m not sure I’ve noticed a decrease in my sun spots, I have absolutely seen a difference in how hydrated my skin looks. The skin around my eyes feels firmer, and as they claim, lifted. And I didn’t realize how much my dark circles improved until I took a few shots of my eyes. Check out my makeup free face below.

PriyanaMDface

PriyanaMDeyes

I love the glow these products give my skin. The pictures above show what my skin looks like after applying all three following my shower. I am not usually a #makeupfree selfie kind of girl, but I was excited to share these with you to show how radiant my skin has become.

Although Priyana MD’s Damage Control C + DNA moisturizer may not be budget friendly for all (at $75), I have barely put a dent in it…and it works! I’d rather spend a little more on something that is long lasting and effective, to be honest. You can bet that this has become my new spring routine, and will continue to be essential through the summer months. What a great way to start the new season!

What is your Spring beauty must-have?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

My Spring Skin Care Regimen: Introducing Karelèn Products

I like to think of myself as a bit of a lotion connoisseur, so when I heard about the new brand, Karelèn, and their line of body butters, hand and body lotions, and dry oils, it was like I’d died and gone to heaven. Actually, my first thought was, “What is a dry oil and why haven’t I tried one yet?!”

KarelenCremeDryOils

KarelenCurlyTwirls

Receiving my goodies in the mail was much like opening my presents on Christmas morning. There was a lot of oohing and aahing. The body butters, lotions, and dry oils come in 13 fragrances, each with their own unique healing nutrients such as Vitamin E to neutralize free radicals, avocado rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and olive oil to promote cell growth.

I am a sucker for good packaging, and I loved the little pump on my Vivacious Vitamin E Hand & Body Crème. Not only did it make my skin feel silky smooth, it had a light and fresh fragrance that is perfect on these warmer sunny days.

…And can we talk about the dry oils? I love the idea of oils, but usually they are pretty messy and can leave stains on sheets and clothing. The two oils I’ve been using (Luscious Coconut and Olive All Over) go on like an oil, but rub in matte. They also smell divine- I have a small obsession with anything coconut! I was a little skeptical when the bottle said it was fast-drying, easily absorbed, and non-greasy, but the description was spot on. My only wish for these bottles is that they had spray nozzles to create a mist, rather than droplets of oil. Kind of like the old Australian Gold tanning oil sprays I used to use when I was a clueless sun worshipping high schooler.

Below you can see how matte the oil is after I rubbed it into my hand. No sun glare here!

KarelenDryOilHand

Karelèn also has a whole line of hair products called Curly Twirls. Although the weather has not become quite humid enough yet for me to wear my hair wavy, I have sprayed their Frizz Blitz Spritz with Argan Oil on my frizzies to smooth them down. I can’t wait to use the Curly Twirls Custard when it gets a little warmer. Both of these smell fantastic! On the left my frizzies are out in full force, and on the right they have been tamed by the Frizz Blitz Spritz. Nice and smooth and definitely not greasy looking!

KarelenFrizzBefore

KarelenFrizzAfter

The amazing thing about Karelèn products are that they are made in the U.S.A and are crafted with the earth’s finest essential oils. They contain no glycols, parabens, mineral oils, or petrolatum, and best of all are cruelty free. And for $8 each, they are a steal. If you want to check out their whole line, head over to their website at http://karelen.com.

Have you tried Dry Oils yet? Tell us in the comments below!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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.

 

Darphin Hydraskin collection

Darphin Hydraskin Collection: Hydrate Your Winter Skin

Is it Spring yet? I think everyone will agree these past winter months have been brutal on the skin. I have been applying moisturizer like crazy, only to have my hands and lips crack anyway.

I was more than excited to put Darphin’s Hydraskin Intensive Skin-Hydrating Serum to the test. Darphin’s Hydraskin collection is designed specifically to help hydrate skin- hence the name.  It is ideal for all skin types and is formulated to quench dry, tight skin. It sounded like the perfect pick-me-up for my parched winter skin.

The serum comes in a small, blue frosted glass bottle. Usually I don’t get excited about the appearance of my beauty products, but it was too pretty to throw in a drawer. It is currently displayed on my glass vanity.

Exhibit A:

Darphin-Hydraskin-Collection

I have to admit, I was expecting the serum to be thick and oily. It actually feels a bit more like the consistency of water, but it only takes a tiny amount to cover the whole face. It also has a very light and fresh fragrance- all bonus points in my book.

After applying the Hydraskin Serum in the morning for a little over a month, my skin feels properly hydrated and quenched- no dry skin here! To be honest, I don’t know that I would put this into my permanent beauty product rotation year round, as it is a bit out of my price range (at $76). But it is definitely the perfect serum for winter months, and with the small amount needed, I could see it lasting several months before running out.

I was not disappointed with how Darphin’s Hydraskin Intensive Skin-Hydrating Serum left my skin feeling, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for to rejuvenate their dry winter skin. Happy hydrating!

What is your favorite hydrating serum?

Photo: Amy Genduso/beautyXposé; Disclosure

 About the Author – Amy Genduso

amy genduso

Amy spends every waking moment around children, and she stands by the fact that a classic, polished look can still be achieved! Don’t let that fool you, she’s anything but basic. Ulta is her own slice of heaven, and she has a small hoarding problem with OPI and Lorac products.