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EASY DIY SKINCARE RECIPES THAT TRULY CARE FOR SKIN

We’ve all heard the statistic about the skin being the body’s largest organ, but opinions about how to care for its extensive surface area range from “leave it alone” to “use all the products!”. I’ve decided to throw my own two cents into the ring and share my sweet, step-by-step DIY skincare regime that happens to fall neatly in the middle of these two approaches – a handful of homemade products and practices that will help your skin look great, naturally.

Before we get started, I feel as though it’s necessary to state that I’m most definitely not a dermatologist, and if you have specific skin issues that may make it challenging to discontinue use of  your current products and/or start using new ones, then it’s probably best to consult with your doctor before embarking on this adventure. For those with fairly normal skin, let’s get experimenting!

DIY skincare to the rescue

First things first, we need a clean slate to work with – we need to clean our skin somehow. About five years ago I stopped using any sort of body wash or facial cleanser and I haven’t looked back since. I don’t miss that tight feeling I used to get after washing my face or stepping out of the shower, and I’ve noticed that my skin is way less dry and itchy, too. In the shower, I use natural bar soap for armpits, feet, and around my lady business. For my face, I simply use a hot washcloth to gently steam and then scrub my face. Avoiding detergent-based soaps, cleansers and washes can prevent your skin from having all its wonderful natural oils stripped and then having to produce it excessively as a means of replacement.

Next, we exfoliate! This is more of a weekly thing than a daily regime, but I like to do it on a regular basis to slough off dead skin, and keep skin looking and feeling soft and dewy. For my body I usually whip up an easy DIY scrub by mixing together an exfoliant and a liquid – usually some mixture of the following:

  • Exfoliants: White sugar, brown sugar, coffee grounds, salt
  • Liquids: Olive oil, coconut oil, honey, water, lemon juice
  1. Add a few tablespoons of the exfoliant first, then slowly add the liquid until it forms a loose paste.
  2. Use your fingertips to gently apply to your body and scrub softly, paying particular attention to knees, elbows, and any other rough spots.

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Let’s face it

For my face, I like to use something a little finer, and my go-to for years had been a mixture of baking soda and water. Same as above, add about a tablespoon of baking soda in a little bowl and add water until it forms a loose paste, then apply with the fingertips and massage in small, circular motions, avoiding the tender skin around the eyes. This face scrub is approximately 99% cheaper than anything you’ll find in a store and there’s no plastic bottle to throw out afterward, either. It’s an unbelievable way to reveal perfect, glowy skin – just don’t scrub too hard! Let the baking soda do the work.

Tone, not alone

Next, a toner. This is an optional step, but a good one if you tend to have oily skin. I used this initially, but over the years, my transition from mid-twenties skin to early-thirties skin means it now leans toward the dry side and I don’t find that I really need it. If you do, the recipe is easy-peasy. Just mix equal parts of organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) with water, and apply to the face with a cotton ball or – even better, a reusable cloth pad. No need to rinse, the ACV dries odorless.

Ready, set, moisturize

Finally, we moisturize! For my body, I love to use unrefined coconut oil for an after-shower full body massage, it’s a great way to keep moisture in the skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth. Simply apply pea-sized amounts of coconut oil to the skin with your fingertips and massage it in until it’s completely absorbed. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but it will liquify as soon as it hits your warm skin. I typically use around 1-2 Tbsp for my whole body.

Those in humid climates may find that this is enough, but if you’re in an arid climate like I am, whipping up this luxe DIY body lotion is fantastic for dry skin.

  • 3 tbsp grated beeswax
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sterile water (boiled and cooled is how I do mine)
  1. Place olive oil into a double boiler over low-medium heat and add the grated beeswax.
  2. When it has melted into the olive oil, remove from heat.
  3. Place water into a blender and turn it on to medium speed.
  4. Then, slooooowly add the olive oil/beeswax mixture. At first it will look like a huge clumpy mess, but adding the oil slowly will allow it and the water to emulsify into a rich cream.
  5. Add a few drops of essential oil if you like your lotion scented, and store in a sterile glass jar.

And, if you’re a makeup-wearer, here’s a bonus tip. Use a few dabs of unrefined coconut oil to remove eye makeup in a snap. Just massage a tiny amount onto your eyelids and eyelashes, and use a warm, wet cloth to wipe it off. It’s a really easy, gentle way to remove eye makeup while being really gentle on that sensitive skin around the eyes.

And there you have it! With a handful of simple products you probably already have in your pantry, you can create a host of easy, natural DIY skincare recipes that will have your skin glowing in no time. No plastic, no unpronounceable chemicals, and virtually no cost.

DIY hygiene

As an added bonus, we’ve whipped up several other DIY hygiene recipes which you may also be interested in including DIY body wash, DIY dry shampoo, DIY body lotion, DIY conditioner, DIY facewash, DIY shave cream, DIY aftershave, DIY toothpaste and DIY deodorant.  Go ahead, give them a try today!
DIY-hygiene

I Tried A 10-Step Korean Skincare Regimen For A Week, And Here Are The Results

I tried every last step, and here’s what you need to know.

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From essences to sheet masks, Korean beauty products and trends are taking over the American beauty market. Everyone is talking about the 10-step routine that is popular among the skin-centric women of Seoul. But it’s a total exaggeration. The first thing I learned when taking on this experiment: A week on a Korean skincare regimen does not mean a 10-step process every day.

“It’s a misconception that you’re supposed to be doing all 10 steps every single day,” Charlotte Cho, the board certified esthetician behind Soko Glam and author of The Little Book of Skin Care, tells SELF. “It’s more about the different variety of products that can be used, depending on your skin concerns and skin type.” For women who are coming from a two or three-step routine, this type of 10-step commitment will likely dwindle down to five. As a skincare fanatic (and a beauty editor who must try everything), I did about seven to all ten steps each day. I really wanted to indulge in this experiment.

“It’s the lifestyle and mindset behind skin that’s really getting people interested in Korean skincare rituals,” says Cho. And if you’re one of those that are intrigued by the lengthy routine, see what my week on a Korean skincare regimen was like—step by step and mask by mask.

Step One: Oil Cleanser

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Purpose: Applied to dry skin, an oil cleanser removes makeup and any other oil-based product debris like sunscreen and pollution particles.

My Experience: I recently got on the oil-cleansing bandwagon thanks to my week with coconut oil. But this time I swapped out my DIY oil cleanser for Banila Clean It Zero ($21, sokoglam.com). The texture and smell of the product was so soft and pleasant—I almost forgot that it needed to be rinsed off. Every night during the week, I removed my daily foundation and mascara combo with this oil. I didn’t use it to remove stubborn heavy eye make up though. For that, I used a cotton round soaked in makeup remover.

banila-clean-it-zero-oil-cleanser

Step Two: Foam Cleanser

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Purpose: “Believe it or not, after one cleanse, you’re still going to have stuff left over,” says Cho. This water-based cleanser is applied to wet skin and removes impurities like sweat and dirt. After double cleansing (first with oil then with foam) not a hint of grime will be left to hinder your skin’s health.

My Experience: Though I often remove my makeup with coconut oil, I’d never really double cleansed before. The oil alone always felt like enough. However, I really enjoyed the second cleansing step, especially after a long day running around the city or the office. After washing away the foam, it felt like my skin was completely cleared of any bad particles, leaving a clean slate to work with for the rest of the regimen. I tried the Neogen Dermalogy Cranberry Real Fresh Foam Cleanser ($19,sokoglam.com), which has actual cranberry fruit particles in it.

I thought I would slack on this two-step process, but surprisingly I ended up double cleansing every night. I might even adopt this habit for my day-to-day.

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Step Three: Exfoliator

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Purpose: Exfoliation not only cleans out clogged pores, but it also sloughs off dead skin cells. When you remove this dull layer of cells, brighter skin is revealed. This step is not recommended for daily use. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll only want to exfoliate once a week. If you have a tougher complexion, you can do it more regularly (about three times a week).

My Experience: I’m all for lazy exfoliating options like wipes instead of scrubs, which is why Cho’s recommendation of Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine ($27, sokoglam.com) was perfect for me. I could easily exfoliate away, while watchingThe Bachelor on my couch. The double-sided wipes were packed with red wine (which you could seriously smell, but in a non-alcoholic stench) and lactic acid. The gauze side was bumpier allowing you to really feel as though your sloughing away any gunk clogging up your pores. Then the quilted side gave you a gentle finish to the process. I did this three times during the seven-day trial.

I had a breakout under my jawline that I was really hoping would clear up with my new exfoliation routine. And while the bumps definitely decreased in size, the discoloration never completely faded.

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Step Four: Toner

Purpose: “After you cleanse so many times, your skin is in a fragile state,” explains Cho. “So you want to really hydrate it.” She also explains that toner acts as a way to prep the skin, so it’ll absorb the following treatments better.

My Experience: Toner was always a skincare step I skipped. It was after talking to Cho that I really came to appreciate this part of the routine, especially when partaking in such extensive cleansing. I tried Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner ($40, glowrecipe.com). At the beginning of the week, I used a cotton round to pat the product into my skin because the consistency is very runny. But by day five, I was just pouring the liquid into my palms. Once I realized that it wasn’t just water (which is how it seemed at first) I didn’t want to waste any of the product that would soak into the cotton.

whamisa-essence-toner

Step Five: Essence

Purpose: The essence is really the heart of Korean skincare, a step that is credited to their culture. Cho claims it’s of the most important parts of the routine. “It’s a treatment product similar to serums, boosters, or ampoules; but it’s more watery in consistency then the rest of those products, so it comes out like a toner.”

My Experience: My primary question: Why not just use a toner and a serum in place of this essence step? It seemed obsolete to me. Yes, it was nice to splash my face with the Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence ($49,misshaus.com). But it felt like the results I was attempting to gain from using an essence could have been achieved with the typical toner-serum combo. Although I didn’t really understand it’s purpose, I continued to use essence every night hoping it’s significance would wow me by the end of the week.

missha-time-revolution-essence

Step Six: Serum, Boosters, or Ampoule Treatments

Purpose: Cho explains that this is not a necessary step for everyone. “If you don’t have brown spots or pigmentation, you don’t really need to use [a treatment],” she says.

My Experience: Since redness is a major issue of mine, I was all in on this serum step. It’s also one that I’m used to completing on a regular basis. For this week, I used Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum ($64, glowrecipe.com), which feels a lot like a gel but spreads easily. It left a smooth layer over the skin similar to how a cream would without any stickiness or grease. It also gave a dewy effect that didn’t look wet or sweaty, just faint enough to look healthy. I’m crediting the serum combined with the moisturizer for my skin feeling so smooth in the mornings.

blossom-jeju-essence-serum

Step Seven: Mask

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Purpose: The purpose of your mask depends on what your skin needs. Cho recommends a hydrating mask like Skinfood Hydro Fitting Snail Mask Sheet ($13, sokoglam.com). But you can also choose one for brightening that may be packed with Vitamin C. This is not an every-night step, you really only need to do it twice a week. In fact, Cho explains that you can swap a sheet mask for a serum or essence to cut time off your routine. “The mask contains those treatment products already,” she explains.

My Experience: One thing I was dying to include during this experimental week was the Blithe Patting Splash Mask ($48,glowrecipe.com). The watery texture tricked me into thinking the product would just run down my face, which wouldn’t give it any time to sink in or have a noticeable effect. But damn Daniel, that was not the case! I tried it twice, both times in the shower since I didn’t want to ‘splash’ all over my clothes or bathroom counter. I poured a cap full of the Green Tea mask thinking I was in for a nice calming green tea treatment. But after patting onto my skin, I could really feel the active ingredients against my skin. It was clear this product is a seriously potent mix of ingredients (and that explains why it only takes 15 seconds to work). The first time, I got too close to my eyes, and I couldn’t even open them because of the stinging. By my second attempt, I learned my lesson.

For the sheet mask, I tried Amorepacific Moisture Bound Intensive Serum Masque, ($90, us.amorepacific.com). It was much thicker than most sheet masks I’ve used, but that meant it stayed on easily. And although it wasn’t dripping in serum like most, the tight seal made my skin feel tighter and plumper after removing. I also tried Skinfood Hydro Fitting Snail Mask Sheet ($13, sokoglam.com), which was incredibly moisturizing and plumping. Although this was packed with wet serum, it didn’t drip and absorbed fairly quickly.

face-mask

Step Eight: Eye Cream

Purpose: Depending on the eye cream you choose, this could focus on everything from fine lines to dark circles. Basically, if you have any under-eye concerns, there’s a cream for it.

My Experience: In a light patting motion, I applied Erborian Gineng Infusion Total Eye ($36, usa.erborian.com) every night. This particular eye product was a creamy texture that absorbed quickly. So I didn’t have to do any rough rubbing to get the cream to sink in. “When you’re pulling and tugging at the area, it causes premature wrinkles,” explains Cho. During my regular routine, I’ll apply an eye cream about two times a week. But I saw my dark circles and puffiness diminish by using this every night. I also applied it during the day a couple times, and this product was great to wear under makeup without smearing my concealer.

erborian-ginseng-infusion-total-eye

Step Nine: Face Cream

Purpose: This step is simply to lock in skin’s moisture. And I’m telling you, next to daily SPF, skin hydration is key for supple, younger-looking skin at all ages.

My Experience: Even if you complete the most basic skincare routine, moisturizer should be worn day and night. I switched over to Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb ($38, sephora.com) for this particular experiment. I looked forward to applying this cream every night. It felt like it was doing its duty, sealing in all the other skincare while providing hydration. Waking up ever morning, my skin didn’t feel greasy or sticky.

For my day cream I used Erborian Bamboo Crème Frapee Skin Reviving Fresh Gel ($43, sephora.com), which I actually used before my week with Korean skincare. I loved the sheen this left on my skin underneath my makeup or barefaced. And it was so light it mixed well with the SPF.

belif-erborian-face-cream

Step Ten: SPF

Purpose: “We’re pretty obsessed about SPF,” says Cho. It seems self-explanatory, but we can never stress enough how important sun protection is on a daily basis. Cho claims that it’s applying SPF regularly that’s the biggest differentiator in the Korean regimen.

My Experience: I made my own little two-step SPF program. I started with the Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen ($30, sokoglam.com), which I applied after my moisturizer every morning. And I finished everything off with the Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ ($60, us.amorepacific.com). This bouncy compact filled with tinted moisturizer not only provided SPF coverage, but it also gave me a glowing complexion without that cakey makeup feel. A cushion compact seemed like the best place to end since it’s a makeup innovation that’s also fresh out of Korean beauty culture.

I have to say, during my seven-day experiment, only one night felt like work. The other six nights, it was a nice way to unwind while chatting with my roommates or catching up on The Affair. “Western culture’s skincare routine is more of a chore almost,” claims Cho. “You just put on whatever you have in the bathroom.” But she explains that with a Korean-skin mindset, it’s all about pampering and taking care of yourself. By the end of my vigorous week, my skin felt smoother. My red, blotchy inflammation calmed down and my under-eye bags were almost non-existent. I was so confident in my skin, I didn’t wear makeup the following week. Will I do all ten steps again? Probably not. Using a toner, essence, AND serum seemed redundant. But double cleansing is the way forward for my city lifestyle.

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Local aesthetician shares spring skin care tips

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Ginger Francis, a renowned Panama City skin care aesthetician, showcased some of the hottest skin care treatments and techniques for flawless and healthy skin.

Some of the products Francis brought in were Human Growth Factor Hormones. Regenica is one of those cutting edge products that helps regenerate and repair your skin. Regenica also has an eye creme that helps with puffiness and wrinkles.

Francis says it’s easier to prevent skin conditions than to treat them and wearing sun screen daily can help. She says people tend to skip their neck and back of the hands. These are important parts of our bodies and they can show age just like any other part.

Francis, who currently works at Skin Alchemy in Lynn Haven, has more than 13 years of experience in medical aesthetics and skin care, and was recently recognized by “Aesthetic Everything” as the #1 aesthetician in the nation.

Visit Skin Alchemy’s website for information on the services they provide.

Read This Before Investing In Skin Care

imageAsk a group of people what they feel when they hear the word “exclusive,” and you’ll get a range of emotions. For some, the idea of committing to one S.O., one job, even one cell phone carrier, provides a sense of security. For others, a feeling of suffocation.
The same could be said for your skin-care routine. Sure, it may feel satisfying to complete your one-brand routine each morning and night, but do you ever wonder what else is out there?
Not to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you, but we can’t help but wonder: Is your medicine cabinet really a place for exclusivity, or should you be cheating? Luckily, the answer is surprisingly black-and-white.

Why The Pros Want You To Cheat

The pros have spoken and the answer is clear: You should be cheating, with one exception (but more on that later).
“Honestly, buying a one-brand, multi-step system is for the lazy person,” Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, board-certified dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, says. “If you’re willing to do your homework and shop around, you’re probably going to put together a better skin-care regime for yourself than that of a package deal.”
Why? In short, you’re getting a lot of stuff you simply don’t need and could be missing out on the things you do need from different brands. No surprise here: Not every line is the best in every category.
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michael Swann, when you buy into a full line, you’re probably getting filler products. And what’s worse, things that are doing more harm than good for your skin. “Every successful product line looks at their market, just like any good business does,” Dr. Swann explains.
That means, if something like a face mist or a peeling agent is having a moment in the industry, the big lines try to create something to fill that category in order to go after that customer. The product gets stuck into a pre-existing line. “The problem is, you’ve got these lines that have tons of different things that your skin may or may not need,” he says. “I’m not saying they don’t all work, but buyer beware.”

EVERY SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT LINE LOOKS AT THEIR MARKET, JUST LIKE ANY GOOD BUSINESS DOES

MICHAEL SWANN, MD

How To Cheat The Right Way

Instead of committing to a full line without giving it much thought, Dr. Swann prefers a “skin typing” approach to creating your own unique routine. It’s simple: Determine what your skin type is (you may need the help of a dermatologist or aesthetician for this) and what your goals are (to prevent fine lines, breakouts, dullness, or just keep the status quo with the right protection, for example). Then, look for products that fit your needs and are suited to your skin-type.

Dr. Swann recommends cherry-picking from lines that do clinical testing for efficacy, likeObagi, SkinMedica, and Elta MD. Skinceuticals, which releases studies on their efficacy, is also a good one to explore.

But before you get overwhelmed, heed Dr. Tanzi’s advice. “Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated,” she says. “You just need three steps.” That is: cleanse, treat, and protect with sunscreen in the morning; cleanse, treat, and moisturize at night.

Disclaimer: This isn’t to say that some lines aren’t a great base for your research. There’s no denying that you will find great products packaged together, but don’t feel obliged to go all in just because the brand is marketing them as a line — think of trying a range a bit like dating, not every person product is going to work with you and your needs, no matter how alluring they are. [Ed. note: For me, face mists are like bad boys, they seem like they’ll be fun and invigorating, but they just dry out my skin.]

HONESTLY, BUYING A ONE-BRAND, MULTI-STEP SYSTEM IS FOR THE LAZY PERSON.

ELIZABETH TANZI, MD

Monogamy Has Its Benefits

Of course, this isn’t totally black-and-white. “There are some advantages to using a single line of products,” Dr. Swann explains. “If a company that is manufacturing the products does a lot of testing, they’re probably testing the products together.” That translates to “elegance of use,” Dr. Swann says, which doesn’t mean more effective, just more pleasant (one product won’t pill on another and everything will feel and smell good together) and easier to use (the order and time of day is often mapped out for you).

Dr. Tanzi also notes that for people who don’t prioritize their skin-care routines, or are simply way too busy to put some thought into things, sticking to a line is their best bet. Translation: You may be spending more money and not getting maximum results, but it’s certainly better than not caring for your skin or adding to the stress of your already busy life. (We feel you.)
For people with incredibly reactive skin, finding a line that works for you can be a godsend, because after all, if it’s keeping your skin clear, balanced, and healthy, that’s all that really matters. For example, we’ve heard countless tales from editors and celebrities alike who swear by the power of complete lines like Somme Institute (seen above) and Biologique Recherche. Proof positive that sometimes, shopping around isn’t worth it when you have a good thing going.

IT’S QUICK AND DIRTY, BUT BETTER THAN NOTHING IF YOU CAN’T SHOP AROUND.

ELIZABETH TANZI, MD

The Exception To The Rule: Acne

“Acne is a little bit of a different animal,” Dr. Swann explains. Using Proactiv as his example, he breaks it down like this: No ingredient in a typical acne kit is fancy or unique to that kit (acne lines are all basically made up of the same ingredients, but more on that in a second); but packaged together, they make it easy to feel like you’re doing something to help your breakouts.

And you are: “Around 90% of acne is main acne, or acne vulgaris. So, when someone sees results with a series of products, they’re going to stick with it,” Dr. Swann explains.

Dr. Tanzi agrees. “There are a couple of key ingredients for acne that work: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, plus something to soothe the skin, so it’s a little easier to get a good kit for acne than it is to get a kit for something like anti-aging,” she says. “I’ll have patients call me and say ‘I’m not in the country right now,’ or, ‘I just need something quick for my acne,’ and I tell them to go to CVS and buy La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar system,” she says. “It’s quick and dirty, but better than nothing if you can’t shop around.”

Lesson Learned

The moral of the story? If you suffer from acne, can’t be bothered to pick and choose, or have a good thing going, a pre-designed routine could be a great option for you, but don’t feel beholden to every product, since some could just be filler. As for everyone else? Playing the field is all it’s cracked up to be.

Tried and Tested: Six super glycolic skincare treatments

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L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Peeling Lotion 29

A long time staple in my bathroom cabinet and one of my favourites. It’s very good at smoothing out skin and exfoliating gently without any scrubbing which makes it ideal for fragile skin. Use after cleansing as your would a toner, don’t wash it off and apply your normal serum or moisturiser on top. I haven’t noticed any “peeling” so I’m not sure why that’s in the name. Don’t worry, your face won’t fall off.

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Estée Lauder Idealist Dual Action Refinishing Treatment €50.50

This is a great product that works really well to smooth skin and exfoliate because it contains high levels of active ingredients. The glycolic is joined by salicylic acid (the pore unblocker) and you’ll feel the difference straight after use. Spread over cleansed skin and massage in – you don’t have to use much. Leave it on for five minutes, wash off and bingo.

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Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Retexturising Pads €60.45

This box of cotton discs is saturated in a mixture of glycolic and amino acids. I like it because it couldn’t be more simple; swipe a disk over your face to quickly exfoliate and you’re done.

image (4)Neostrata Oily Skin Solution €39.95

Neostrata make some of the strongest glycolic treatments around and this kit is designed to be used once a week for four weeks. It’s pretty strong and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to those of you with fragile or sensitive skin. However you can use it anywhere on the body and it can help to clear skin on the back or chest for instance. As men’s skin is thicker and often oiler than women’s it’s a treatment that is worth considering if skin is very congested

image (5)Clarisonic Sonic Radiance cleansing device Kit €249

The Clarisonic Aria is very effective method of sweeping away dead skin cells and exfoliating at the same time. I like this kit because it includes three cleansing products all with ingredients to brighten skin. The evening cleanser includes a gentle glycolic and lactic acid mix which work with the brush to deeply exfoliate. Your serum or moisturiser can sink into new fresh cells and will do a better job. Yes, there are cheaper sonic brushes out there but in some cases you get what you pay for and this is one of them.

image (6)Aisling Loves . . . Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask €35

I use this mask all the time because it’s easy, quick and really works. Despite the current trend for leaving makeup on all night we all know that it’s a very bad move. This mask is the quickest way to recharge. Spread a thick layer of the gloop over your face for ten minutes and after you’ve washed it off drench your skin with lots of moisture rich serum or moisturiser (yes even if you have oily skin). Instant forgiveness.

The latest makeup for blue eyes and anti-ageing skincare infused with copper: Elsa McAlonan’s beauty upgrades

 

  • Elsa McAlonan gives her top beauty tips for spring beauty the week
  • Start the countdown to summer with the new bronzing makeup
  • Don’t be afraid to try blue eye make-up – it is one of the biggest trends

    Race you there!

    Start the countdown to summer with the new Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Color Collection. The limited edition products include a bronzing powder and a crayon highlighter to fake a post-holiday glow. My personal favourite is the Prismatic Eye Shadow Palette (£25, elizabetharden.co.uk) which has five summery shades of taupe and purple shadow, encased in a brightly patterned compact. You certainly won’t struggle to find it in your make-up bag.

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    What’s now & how to do it: Blue eyes

    Don’t be afraid to try blue eye make-up this spring – even if you haven’t worn the shade for decades. It is one of the biggest make-up trends this season. A slick of blue eyeliner is all it takes, but don’t be tempted to apply it inside the eye. Instead, draw along the upper lash line, softly smudging it into the lashes. Finish with lots of black mascara.

    Try Rimmel London Magnif’ Eyes (£6.99, Boots); Chameleon pencil (£19, charlottetilbury.com); or Sisley Phyto Eye Twist (£28, John Lewis).

 

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Instant grey cover-up

Cover grey hair in seconds with a new spray-on. The L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch (£8.99, Boots) comes in light blonde, dark blonde, brown, dark brown and black. It works particularly well on darker hair like Eva Longoria’s, above, covering greys instantly.
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Can copper really turn back time?

Copper has been used in skincare products for centuries, thanks to its wound-healing properties. And now it has made a return to the beauty industry – in anti-ageing products.

Find copper in the new Elemis Biotec skincare, which claims to ‘wake-up’ the skin, helping it look radiant and smooth. The range includes Biotec Skin Energising Cleanser (£39.50) Day Cream (£75) and Night Cream (£85, all elemis.com). Copper is also in Perricone MD Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment (£35, Space NK). It is a gentle cleanser that removes impurities from the skin and is an easy step to add to your routine as it doesn’t need to be rinsed off.

Or try a copper-infused moisturiser – Dermalogica Retinol Overnight Repair (£73, dermalogica.co.uk) which uses a copper and amino acid complex to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

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This works

Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream (£20, balanceme. co.uk ) is designed to cover and diminish dark shadows, firm the skin under eyes and reduce puffiness. Just what we need to treat dark circles after losing an hour’s sleep yesterday.

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Shameless indulgence

Tea isn’t something that springs to mind when thinking of scent. But Jo Malone has turned tea leaves into a luxurious cologne collection. The Rare Teas range costs a huge £240 for a 175ml bottle (jomalone.co.uk) and launches at the end of this week. They handpicked tea from Japan, China and the Himalayas and infused the scent from the leaves into the fragrance. The six-cologne collection includes Silver Needle Tea, with added rose and sage, Darjeeling Tea, with notes of freesia and jasmine, Jade Leaf Tea with pomelo and sesame, Oolong Tea with cocoa and tonka bean, Midnight Black Tea with oriental woody notes of vanilla and labdanum, and Golden Needle tea, paired with sandalwood, giving it a leathery, spicy aroma.

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In the Future, You May Shop for Skin-Care Products Based on Your Genes

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Visits to the skin-care counter may be a lot more intimate in the future. The saleswoman could ask you to open wide and get a quick swab of saliva. She’ll then run the swab through a machine and recommend the serum or lotion that best matches not just your basic skin type but your genetic signature.

“We already know from studying genetics that certain people respond to certain ingredients—and not to others,” says Olay principal scientist Frauke Neuser. Not everyone, for example, is programmed to respond to retinol in the same way. What does this mean for five-to-ten-years-from-now you? “We’ll know not only the way your skin will age in the future but also what your skin does and doesn’t respond to right now,” says Neuser. “We’ll be able to tell that while someone isn’t going to wrinkle much, they’ll have loads of age spots. And we’ll know what ingredients your skin genetically responds to that will specifically address that problem.” So let’s all open wide and say, ‘Ahhhh.’

Beauty review: Enhancing my skincare routine with Innisfree’s Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack

It is seriously hard to maintain good skin in Singapore – especially for me.

This may sound a bit like a rant but why can’t we enjoy cooler weather here and not feel like we are stepping into a sauna whenever we leave the house?

Moreover with outdoor air pollution, ladies in Singapore usually end up with a ‘melted’ face of cakey foundation and oil pools around our T-Zones – especially around our noses – by the end of the day.

With my oily and sensitive skin, I have been experimenting with my skincare regime.

I remove my make-up everyday by massaging my face with extra virgin olive oil. Then, I will apply some honey to moisturise my skin, and leave it on for about five to 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

Every other day, I exfoliate dead skin with a black sugar face scrub from KLAIRS. I will also use an egg-white mask once a week to remove pesky black and white heads.

Although my current skincare regime leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh, I still feel that I am missing something.

After unclogging my pores, I need a product that can help close them up.

I also want to brighten the dull skin tone around my nose whenever it gets oily.

Gel-like texture, cooling effect

 

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Recently, I tried using the Innisfree Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack ($37) for a week to see if it suits my needs.

According to Korean beauty company, the sleeping pack is a cream infused with six types of citrus flavonoids extracted from organic tangerine peels, which helps to brighten up dull skin tones, correct dark spots, and refine uneven pore textures.

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I found the cream easy to spread over my face with its gel-like texture. It felt light and cooling on the skin and also had a light orange scent.

After applying the sleeping pack, I chilled out in an air-conditioned room to help it dry up.

As it was a leave-on treatment, I placed a soft towel on my pillow to prevent the cream from transferring to my pillow case.

Rinsing off the sleeping pack with warm water the next morning left my skin feeling firm and smooth.

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After using the cream for three nights, I found that it reduced my skin redness.

A week later, my skin lost the usual patchy redness and it felt smooth. The dry skin around my forehead and cheeks also looked more hydrated.

It was hard to tell if the size of my pores became smaller during the review period but I think there might be more visible results with longer use of the sleeping pack.

My only peeve of this product was its gel-like texture. The stickiness gave me an icky feeling and I had keep my hair away so it wouldn’t get stuck to my face.

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After I finish up Innisfree Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack, I am keen to give Innisfree’s White Tone Up Sleeping Pack ($24) a try.

It seems like a promising product as it has the 6 Free System stamp, which means it is free from parabens (chemical preservatives), talc, artificial colours, animal ingredients, mineral oil, and artificial fragrance.

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Kelly Rowland teases skin care line after makeup collection announcement

Kelly Rowland wants to cater to you. Yes, you, chocolate girls.

The original Destiny’s Child, Grammy Award-winning solo artist and Chasing Destiny host had the Internet jumpin’ jumpin’ this week after Essence magazine announced her makeup collection, which she will co-launch with her partner, Sheika Daley.

On the heels of the reveal, the #bosslady sat down with USA TODAY to chat about the line, which specifically caters to “chocolate girls.” And while she paid homage to the designers who have developed products for women of color, she maintained that navigating the market is still exasperating for darker-skinned women.

“What’s frustrating, I think, about that whole process is when (a line) is just discontinued. Or, you know, a lot of other makeup lines will get brought out by the bigger companies and the makeup completely changes or the color that you like will completely change,” she said. “I’m so happy that Iman’s line is still as powerful as it is. That line is so amazing to me. Bobbi Brown also has a really good line. You know, she’s not a woman of color but she’s really mastered it in my opinion. And there are other smaller lines, but there’s so much room in the marketplace for another line that caters to women of color. My partner, Sheika, and I — our makeup line is going to be for every woman, but we want to make sure that we get the women of color right.”

Rowland knows the struggle of collections getting it wrong all too well.

Reflecting on her Destiny’s Child days, she bemoaned how makeup artists struggled to match her skin tone. “I remember just being pink, a little on the olive side, maybe a little too fair, you know what I mean? So, I just want to get it right. I’d just like to keep it authentic and keep it real and keep it beautiful.”

Stay tuned for the debut date on her makeup line… and potentially, a skin care line.

“I’m also the type of person that feels like we don’t need to be covered up all the time, so I want to eventually get into skin care as well, but I got to pace myself,” she said, laughing. “I keep having all these great ideas. Like, they’re all on my vision board, but I have to pace myself.”

6 Tips to Relieve Dry Skin Fast

When you have flaky, itchy, dry skin, you want fast relief. Easing your dry skin isn’t just about what you put on it. It also depends on how you clean your skin, the air around you, and even your clothes.Try these six tips to soothe your dry skin.

1. Warm Yes, Hot No.

A steamy shower feels good, but that hot water is not a good idea for your dry skin, says dermatologist Andrea Lynn Cambio, MD.

The problem is that hot showers strip your body of its natural oil barrier, and you need that barrier to help trap moisture and keep your skin smooth and moist.

So dial down the temperature and don’t linger too long. Skin care experts recommend short, warm showers or baths that last no longer than 5 to 10 minutes.

Afterward, gently pat dry and moisturize your body.

2. Cleanse Gently.

Wash with a soapless cleanser when you shower. Cambio says gentle soaps that are free of fragrance are a great option. Products with deodorant or antibacterial additives can be harsh on skin.

You might also consider a cleanser that contains ceramides, says dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD. Ceramides are fatty molecules that make up the outer barrier of your skin. They help skin hold in moisture. Some skin care products use synthetic ceramides to replace those we lose with age.

Go easy on toners, peels, and other astringents made with alcohol, which is drying. When you exfoliate, don’t scrub too much or too hard, Jacob says. It can irritate and thicken skin.

3. Shave Smartly.

Shaving can irritate dry skin. As you shave unwanted hair, you’re also scraping off natural oils.

The best time to shave is after you shower, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Hairs are softer and more pliable after bathing, making shaving easier.

Always use a shaving cream or gel, and shave in the direction the hair is growing to protect your skin.

Make sure the razor is sharp. A dull razor blade can cause additional irritation. Change your razor blades often. If you are using a blade you’ve used before, soak it in rubbing alcohol to clean it.

4. Cover Up.

Sun damage is one of the main causes behind dry skin, wrinkles, and roughness. You can help prevent that damage by wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen year-round and dressing right.

In cool weather, Cambio says, be sure to “dress in layers to prevent overheating and perspiring excessively; both can irritate the skin.”

To prevent dry, chapped lips in winter, use a lip balm with SPF 15 sunscreen, and cover your lips with a scarf or a hat with a mask.

In summer, wear light, loose, long-sleeved shirts when out in the sun, and wear a 2-inch wide-brimmed hat to shade your neck, ears, and eyes.

5. Follow the Rules of Moisturizing.

The simplest moisturizing products can soothe dry skin. “Petroleum jelly makes a great moisturizer,” dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, says. Or you can use mineral oil, a favorite cream, or lotion.

If you like a very rich moisturizer, look for one with shea butter, ceramides, stearic acid, or glycerin, Leslie Baumann, MD, director of the Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute at the University of Miami, says. “All are rich moisturizers that will help you replenish your skin barrier,” Baumann writes in her online article Winter Skin, where she also says she particularly loves glycerin.

Jacobs says that whichever product you choose, a consistent, smart moisturizing routine helps.

  • Wash with a non-soap liquid cleanser, preferably one with ceramides to replenish the skin’s outer layer.
  • Pat skin dry for less than 20 seconds.
  • Apply a thick moisturizer to slightly damp skin within minutes of bathing to trap in moisture.
  • Moisturize your hands every time you wash them so that evaporating water doesn’t draw even more moisture from your dry skin.

Finally, look for a cream with sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to get the added benefit of sun protection. You can find moisturizing sunscreens as ointments, creams, gels, even sprays. The AAD suggests creams as your best bet for helping to combat dry skin.

6. Humidify in Winter.

Cold, dry air is a common cause of dry, irritated skin. Heating your house keeps you warm, but it also removes moisture from the air, which can make dry skin even more parched.

To replenish that missing moisture quickly and easily, use a humidifier in your bedroom, Cambio says. You can track humidity easily with an inexpensive humidity meter, called a hygrometer. Aim for indoor humidity of about 50%.

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