Touche Éclat-YSL

 

Not sleeping takes a toll on everyone, it’s no secret. I haven’t been getting tons of rest lately and quite frankly it shows. Underneath my eyes I see an increased amount of puffiness and also dark circles that all of the iced cucumber in the world couldn’t fix. I decided I needed to step it up a notch in the under eye concealer department.

I have been using Neutrogena Skin Brightening Eye Protector but felt like I wanted more coverage. I called my friend Courtney to ask what her favorite product is and she told me about Touche Éclat from Yves Saint Laurent. I ran over to Nordstroms STAT to try it out.

To use this product you apply as your last step, it is used to highlight. To achieve a heavier coverage you can layer, just apply, wait for it to dry and re-apply. You can even throw it in your purse and apply thorough out the day. I love the creamy texture and the wand can be directly applied to the eye area without sticking your finger in a pot.

Thanks for the great tip Court!

 

Super Skin Food-Bok Choy

 

The next food I am highlighting in my Super Skin Food series is Bok Choy. Every other week I get a box of fruit and vegetables from a local farm and Bok Choy was included in almost every delivery. At first I wasn’t too excited about it because it’s something I don’t normally cook with but after playing around with it in the kitchen it became one of my new favorites. There are great skin benefits as well!

Bok Choy is good for your skin: Vitamin rich-Loaded with A, C and D making it a super skin food. This combination of vitamins help with collagen production, help fight against sun damage and help cellular turnover. It is loaded with calcium and potassium. And for my pregnant friends, it also is a terrific source of folate so eat up!

Classically, Bok Choy is used in many Asian dishes, especially stir fry. It’s delicious that way (google stir fry and Bok Choy and a bunch of great recipes come up). I also love to saute in a pan with some oil and sea salt and serve with almost any main dish for dinner. I also eat it raw in salads. Enjoy!

 

Everyday Shea Body Lotion

 

Shea butter has been used for centuries in the world of skin care. It has healing benefits for the skin and is deeply hydrating. I tried the Everyday Shea Body Lotion in Vanilla for the first time and I loved it. The Shea butter used in this product is unrefined Shea butter derived from Africa which is known to be more nutritious for the skin.

I love the 32 ounce size and for only $13.99 it is a great value! I sit this bottle with the big pump on my night stand so I can moisturize away. I chose one of my favorite scents, Vanilla, it also comes unscented and Lavender. Check out the company website to learn more about the products and the empowerment programs they support for the people of Africa.

 

Circulation and the Skin

It was interesting for me to learn that having poor circulation can effect the skin in a negative way. It can trigger puffiness and even acne to appear in the face and body. I used to have poor circulation and some of my side effects included leg cramping and low body temperatures. I am the person walking around the plane a bunch of times during a long flight. (Wish I knew about compression socks when I was flying for business!)

Below I will highlight a few helpful ways to reduce poor circulation so we can keep our skin looking its best.

1. Exercise

Pretty obvious we need to keep the blood flowing and this is a great way to do it. Choose your favorite exercise or try something new to get you excited like taking a new class at the gym. I love to work out at home when I don’t have time to get to the gym or take a long walk- it’s all good.

2. Eat Some Garlic

Diet has been linked to circulation issues. Certain fruits and vegetables have been known to boost blood and improve circulation (like Garlic) while other processed foods have been known to thin the blood. Talk to your doc or see a nutritionist to learn more.

3. Go Natural

Alternative therapies are being utilized more and more to treat this problem. Treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy and reflexology have been reported to help. I’m in!

So I guess eating healthy, exercising and receiving relaxing body therapies are helpful…hmmmm I am noticing a theme here.

 

Moisturized!

A really important tip that many people are not aware of is when to moisturize your skin-face and body. As soon as you step out of the shower while your skin is still moist you should be applying your products. I do not dry completely off so there is a little water on my skin, then I apply my lotions/products on both my face and body.

The reason we do this is because the products we apply will be more readily absorbed into the skin and simply put, work more effectively.

If the skin does dry a bit you can spritz a spray toner of your choice and then apply the rest of your daily products. *check out my section dedicated to toners for ideas.* This is even more important in the winter months because all skin tends to be drier. A properly moisturized skin looks more beautiful, less fine lines are noticed and make-up is smoother. Now who doesn’t want that?

 

Happy Valentines Day!

Oh Valentines day, how I love thee! If you need some last minute gift ideas for the special person in your life (or yourself) there are plenty of skin care related ideas. Who doesn’t love getting a massage or facial as a gift? It’s even more special if you share a spa day together. Check Groupon and other deal sites today, they are loaded with deals.

Also, check with your favorite skin care line they may have specials today such as free shipping or gift sets. Nothing says Happy Valentines Day like chocolate, try one of my favorite skin care exfoliators Mocha Loca by Sircuit Cosmeceuticals. Just try not to eat it, it smells THAT good!

Have fun, make dinner at home and enjoy yourself!

Serum vs. Moistuizer

Wow, I have got to thank my friends and fans of I ♥ Skin care for giving me such great topics to talk to you all about! I was asked another terrific question about serums and moisturizers for the skin. Do you need both? Is one better than the other? Do I need a super expensive product? How to use? I explain below:

  • Let’s start with the differences between the two. Serums are designed to target specific concerns (dryness, pigmentation etc) and penetrate into the skin. Moisturizers are designed to stay on top of the skin and to protect the barrier. They add moisturize and also lock it in. Some oily skin types may want to use a serum that helps to keep the skin looking matte and may not need a moisturizer but if it is in the daytime an SPF is needed.
  • If you are 18, have no skin care concerns and perfectly normal skin I would say you probably do not have to use both. However, most of us over the age of 30 are going to want to use both products because they work differently and lets face it we have concerns.
  • As far as which serum or brand of moisturizer to purchase there all several factors to consider. Of course you can get a facial and have the skin care therapist suggest products for you. I always like to recommend going to a skin care center and getting a skin consultation if a facial is not an option. A trained skin care therapist can analyze your skin under a magnified light, look and feel what is going on with your skin. This is typically a free service and a great help when you are looking for the right product to use. Dermalogica has a great system with their partner skin care centers where they map the skin and help target the right products for the skin concern. Find a center where you feel comfortable with the price range so you don’t leave with sticker shock as well. Many of the best and most effective products do not cost a small fortune and work well.
  • Ask for samples. Especially if you are a more sensitive skin type it always helps to get a facial with the products you are thinking about purchasing or trying a sample to see if there will be a reaction. Just keep in mind most companies do not sample every product and mostly do not sample the serums.
  • As I mentioned above, Serums MOSTLY are applied first and then the moisturizer. Make sure and follow the directions but that is a general rule of thumb. Also these products absorb best when applied on moist skin so if your skin is totally dry before you get to your application, spray a misting toner first and then continue. (I have many suggestions for spray toners I love under the section toner.)

Hope that helps and happy moisturizing!

 

Oh I’m stressed!

I watched a documentary about stress recently and it really got me thinking. Stress is incredibly detrimental to our health, causing illness and disease in millions. An interesting study even stated that mothers stressed while pregnant had babies that were effected throughout the course of their lifetimes. (Pre-natal yoga anyone!?)

It made me stop and think about stress and how it relates to the skin. I know personally when I get stressed I usually get a break out and my skins appearance suffers. Because the hormone levels change during times of stress, oil production in the skin can increase causing acne. And lets face it hormones control everything. One dermatological study suggested the skins outer barrier function is compromised during times of stress leading to less protection and healing in the skin. This really had my full attention.

So we know stress is bad for your skin and it’s really bad for your heath. What should we do? I have had my fair share of stress in my life and worry about continuing down a path filled with it. Because after learning about the havoc it causes, frankly it stressed me out. I don’t think we can ever fully escape it but we can try to find healthy solutions to cope (hobbies, exercise, meditation etc). For me, I like to sit back and count my blessings and try not to focus on that which I lack. It helps. Oh and wine. Wine helps.

 

 

 

New Year, New Skin?

If you are not totally happy with the appearance of your skin and would like to see an  improvement in 2012, here are a few suggestions to try if you are not already doing so. Not all of these goals or resolutions include spending money but just a few tips to help start of this New Year right!

1. Take away one bad habit.

Whether this habit is rubbing your eyes, sleeping in make-up or smoking, you know you should not be doing it… so stop!

2. Add Vitamins to your regimen.

Beauty from the inside out, heard this one before? This is becoming more and more common knowledge, here are a few of my favorite supplements for the skin: SKIN HEALTH

3. Add one new step to your at home program.

If you are not using a mask or eye cream treat yourself to a new product that targets an area of concern to YOU on your skin.

4. Visit a Dermatologist and get checked for Skin Cancer.

Self explanatory, this is an annual appointment we need to keep.

5. Raid your Beauty Drawer.

Have a cleanser from the Reagan administration? A blush they stopped making in the 90’s? Get rid of it! While you’re at it, wash all of your make-up brushes and clean your phones. This will help prevent breakouts as well.

Here is to a more beautiful and healthy 2012, cheers!

MythBusters-Skin Care Edition

 

From time to time I hear a friend or someone at a spa say something that is just not true in relation to skin care and cosmetics. Here are some of the doozers I have heard:

1. You need to use the same skin care line for all of your products.

Really, why? I am sure the woman behind the counter at the mall would love you to believe this. Use what works for you, if that means using an exfoliation from Dermalogica and your favorite cleanser from SkinCeuticals, do it.

2. When a product turns color and starts to smell-it’s still good.

Well, as much as you want to believe that your $80.00 Vitamin C serum is still good to put on your face even though you have to hold your breath to apply, don’t do it. Products do not last forever, it is important to remember the date you opened it and toss it out when the product turns. Because at this point the product is rancid.

3. The more you exfoliate the better for your skin.

My friends in the beauty industry are most guilty of this, even though they know better! (you know who you are.) Over exfoliation can lead to a break down of healthy skin, sensitivity and even premature aging! Follow the directions of your products and a good rule of thumb for over the counter peels is two to three times a week.

4. You don’t need SPF on cloudy days.

Come on people, we know harmful UV rays can penetrate though a hazy sky, apply it every day no matter what.

5. Natural Products are the best.

Next time your friend says she only uses “natural products” on her skin ask her what the definition of that is. Just because a product says “natural” doesn’t mean it is. There is no legal consequence for putting natural on a label when it is not because there is no legal definition. I have seen a natural line include fragrance and other items most would not consider natural so read your labels and make your own choices. As for making your own products at home, be careful. You don’t want to be smearing a bunch of bacteria and oxidized food from your fridge on your face now do you?

Do your own research and just remember not everything on the web is accurate when it comes to cosmetics or anything else for that matter. Always consider your source and what their interests are. If you have heard something skin care related you are a little iffy about please let me know!