November 2007 - Posts
Has anyone else heard the rumor that one of Victoria's Secret's fragrances was specially created to absolutely drive men crazy with desire? I believe it's the one called Love Spell. I heard that it's actually formulated with pheromones (nature's own fragrant chemical which ultimately helps with procreation, or at least I would imagine it does).
She says when she's sporting that "specially formulated" fragrance the men are falling all over her. I maintain it may be her killer legs, but who am I to speculate? I decided to put it to the test. In fact, I may make it a double blind study! Is it the fragrance, is it the infused pheromones, is it my own pheromones? Do I need to do one study after a Brazilian wax and one before? After all, one of the theories as to why we have pubic hair is because it is a collective reservoir for the pheromones we excrete. If I've had my private area waxed wouldn't that theoretically mean I couldn't attract men?
I'm going to go au naturel (meaning pre-brazilian) the first week and wear Love Spell the second week sans the Brazilian and then finally Love Spell with a Brazilian the third week. I'm doing this for the sake of science as well as it's just plain fun. We need to know once and for all if pheromones do play a role in sexual attraction amongst humans. Ok, after all that jargonistic prose, I just perused Victoria's Secret's website and I think I heard incorrectly. I believe it's the fragrance called Sexual Secret (not Love Spell) and it doesn't mention "pheromones" per se, but it does proclaim that it has added an "secret ingredient" that causes men to drool all over the wearer. They don't use those exact words, but you get the idea. By the way, I love their website. In the middle of this research, I just dropped a couple hundred bucks on holiday gifts. But when I added, Sexual Secret to the cart, I knew deep down that it was going to be the present I was going to keep for myself and I won't be waiting till Christmas to open it!
Only in Southern California can you get Botox on a Sunday afternoon. Seriously! I woke up one Sunday morning a few weeks ago and looked at my face in the mirror and asked myself, "Who in the heck is that?" My skin looked good because I know good product and take care of it diligently, but the areas of wrinkles that are musculature in nature had taken a nosedive. My eyebrows were drooping, and my crow's feet glaring. I needed Botox immediately. This was a botulism toxin 911.
I realized as I started flipping through the yellow pages that it was Sunday and I would never find a medical spa open. It's rare to find a regular day-spa without medical treatments open on a Sunday so how was I ever going to find a doctor or nurse on staff somewhere? I thought surely I would have to wait till Monday or even worse, later in the week if no appointments were available. Botox doesn't last long once it's been opened so many offices do it only one day a week so that everyone who wants the treatment must schedule their appointment for that specified day. The chances of an office being so busy that they can continually open the vials daily seemed like an unrealistic expectation on my part. But still I marched on.
I called each office in the phone book that didn't specify hours just in the hopes they'd not only be open on a Sunday but do Botox that day as well. Part of me wanted to pull myself together and realize I had some serious altered body image issues for even thinking I couldn't wait a few days for it. But the other part of me was hoping for the instant gratification of getting it NOW and just come to grips with the fact I may have some self esteem concerns (I say that tongue in cheek, because I know I'm emotionally healthy in terms of cosmetic treatments and procedures, but altered body image and body dysmorphic disorder are serious conditions which I will write about another time).
With persistence…I hit pay dirt! I finally found a medical spa open and they even had R.N.'s on hand to do Botox. I scheduled the appointment for 3pm that very day. The next worry on my list was…'but are they good?' Well come to find out they (Dermfx) were indeed very experienced and my results were remarkable. Of course, I had to wait the few days for the precious poison (I meant to say potion, but I suppose poison is apropos) to do its magic. As hoped and anticipated, I looked bright-eyed and bushytailed without looking overdone. The conclusion: Sundays are made for Botox, not football!
Serious dark circles! Yeah right. Is there really anything that will actually be effective? I remember from my nursing and pharmacology days that Vitamin K is virtually the only thing that works to lighten and lessen the appearance of blood underneath the skin. Therefore when any of my clients asked for something to help with their dark circles I would only suggest products that contained at least some Vitamin K. For that matter I'm still crazy about Donell Super-Skin's K-Derm Gel and Cream products.
Still my number one product of choice for preventing and help with treating dark circles, bruising, and in some cases with prolonged use, even spider veins. I decided to conduct my own experiment to see if the product Hylexin (one of the top marketed products for "serious dark circles") really works as well as they tout it to be. I have to say I was impressed. Still as I look at the ingredients I see no Vitamin K in the ingredients list, at least by any of the chemical names I'm aware of. The product information claims studies show that it works to "reduce hemoglobin degradation byproducts by optimizing enzymatic activity." So I asked my friend to be the proverbial guinea pig and he couldn't believe the results. I couldn't either. It really does work!
The company that makes Hylexin realized that "hard partying, little sleep and allergies weren't the culprit after all," although they certainly do exacerbate the problem, in my opinion. It is indeed as I had pondered blood accumulation. However, when you do get little sleep and/or end up tying one on, or suffer with allergies more than likely you will end up with those dreaded puffy eyes along with the look of death that accompanies dark circles.
This product seems to help equally with puffiness as well. For permanent results with puffy eyes, especially if the 'eye bags' are not fluid and are fatty deposits or genetic in nature, your only hope may be plastic surgery.
Eyelid surgery, known as blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, and give a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of your eyes, making you look more rested and alert. I had a plastic surgeon tell me it would take 10 years off my face, and when he showed me by contorting and manipulating my eyelids and forehead with his hands during consultation he was right.
Unfortunately, I did not end up being a candidate due to past and present eye disease. As nice as it would be to look ten years younger, I'd say my sight is a tad more precious!!! I will have to stick with products (sans surgery) for my eyes, so I'm really thankful for Hylexin and Donell Super-Skin. Oh and for all eye issues, such as crow's feet, wrinkles and dark circles, bring on MD SkinCare…you may not look ten years younger but believe me you'll look rested, rejuvenated and alert!
Oh my gosh! Have you guys seen the Bobby Brown train case for sale at Neiman Marcus? I saw it on BeautySnob.com (great blog by the way!) and I've never wanted anything so bad in my life! The catch…it's $2000! But man oh man, is it ever drool worthy and I don't even wear half the stuff in it. The last time I wanted something this bad for Christmas I was in the second grade and it was Baby Magic! Oh and an Easy Bake Oven and Dream Date game…but other than that…nothing! I'd practically forgo a Harry Winston diamond…ok that may be an exaggeration…but you get the idea.
Check it out. It's chockfull of goodies!
Click here to take a peek!
All I want for Christmas is a new boobjob…a new boobjob…a new boobjob! I knew I was due for one when I was at the gym with my new personal trainer and he was teaching me how to work my triceps. He said push the weight bar down and then let it come back up to breast level and my best friend chimes in and says, "you mean where her breasts are or where they're supposed to be?" We all got a good laugh out of it, but inside I was thinking, man with friends like her, who needs enemies?!?
I realized right then and there I needed a little, uh, pick-me-up. It had been 14 years since I had my breast augmentation, but I always assumed one was all you needed. Only recently did I discover they will eventually have to be replaced. I suppose my doctor who did a fabulous job (I might add) mentioned it to me at some point during consultation, but I just don't remember. However, I suppose it makes sense that a heavier set at some point is bound to succumb to gravity. I decided to do some research and find out some averages in the lengths of times you can count on for breast augmentation and some popular injectables.
Take note that each of these result times are only estimates and averages. The answer will depend on your age, health, the type of procedure and many other environmental factors. The question should be one you should discuss with your surgeon at time of consult.
The doctors at Columbus Plastic Cosmetic Surgery maintain, "Like all things made by man or machine, your implants wear out with time." Going on to say that the younger you are when you get your implants the more likely you will need replacement. I can't find a written in stone result time for implants to save my soul. The best estimate I've found are the product inserts for the implants from the pharmaceutical companies who make them, however, they too are not typical times. They are percentages of failures after 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and some have up to 7 years. Virtually every website where doctors have answered this question all basically agree that if every woman lived to an old age, all implants would need to be replaced at some point in their life.
The Columbus clinic mentioned above feel that after the initial injection the results will last between four to seven months. My personal experience has been typically three to four months but those times seem to be extending a few days to a week or so each time I get repeated injections. And apparently some studies do conclude or suggest that repeated injections may lead to longer results cumulatively.
Most information suggests that collagen injections last between 3 to 5 months, but Dr.Wood-Smith of New York says they may have longer lasting outcomes depending on patient's age, genes, skin, lifestyle and site injected.
When used on the face, depending on age, metabolism, skin type, lifestyle, etc. the medical staff at Hedden Plastic Surgery feel that the correction should last an estimated 1 to 2 years, with an occasional touch up. Radiesse is another injectible dermal filler such as collagen or Restylane.
This injectible dermal filler lasts approximately 6 months and is made up of non-animal hyaluronic acid which makes it extremely allergy friendly. No allergy testing is required, therefore you can get the treatment on the actual day of the appointment. Please share with us your experiences with these treatments. I'm especially interested in your individual experience with breast augmentation so that we can get an idea on some typical complications, length of results, as well as positive feedback. Maybe you'll help me decide if I really want a new boob-job for Christmas or perhaps I should skip it and get my teeth whitened instead…All I want for Christmas is some new white teeth, new white teeth, some new white teeth!
Lately I've been pondering about getting a cosmetic procedure known as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Unfortunately after my first pregnancy I was stricken with the mother of all stretched out bellies; I'm not just talking stretch marks, I'm talking loose hanging skin! I had a condition known as polyhydramnios. This fairly rare problem in pregnancy causes the womb to fill up with too much amnionic fluid and stretches the uterus and therefore the abdominal wall. By the ninth month I had a girth the size of someone who was carrying triplets. After my daughter was born the doctor told me right at the outset the only thing I could do would be to have plastic surgery.
No amount of stretch mark cream and exercise was ever going to get my long lost abs back. My well muscled six-pack abs were now six feet under and pushing up daisies. Not only was my skin stretched to the max, my muscles had torn as well. That was 24 years ago and I'm still kicking around the idea of succumbing to the knife. I've had a couple of consultations with cosmetic surgeons who've all agreed I'm the perfect candidate, but I just can't seem to take that step of scheduling the surgery. Having heard the horrible news of rapper Kanye West's mother (Donda West) recently dying after a plastic surgery I am now even more unsure than ever. Part of me knows that any surgery is dangerous and there is always the possibility of unwanted consequences and complications, but it seems I keep hearing more and more about plastic surgery gone wrong. Perhaps it's because there are now so many more cosmetic procedures than days past, that we are bound to hear more about problems and complications including death. I decided I would do some research on safety and see what we can do as patients to keep us well informed to make good choices when it comes to elective surgery. I found a valuable article on a website called Skincare News, entitled "Skincare Alert: Chasing Plastic Surgery…at any Cost?"The author offers some basic steps and questions to ask and follow before signing on the dotted line to consent to surgery:
Use resources such as the Internet, magazines and your library.
Get referrals from friends, family and your family doctor.
Talk to people you've known who have had successful cosmetic surgeries and perhaps get a consult from their doctor.
Check out the surgeon's website once you get a name.
Check for board certification in the field of plastic surgery.
Check for valid license in the state or country where you're planning your surgery.
Make sure the surgeon has hospital privileges.
Check for malpractice history.
Verify training and credentials.
Choose a surgeon who specializes in the procedure you want.
Be sure his or her malpractice insurance has proper coverage.
Ask the surgeon about any special training he or she has had as well as if they continue to do on-going continual medical education. You may even want to ask them about their success rate, complications, realistic outcomes, and rate of infection.
Write down a list of questions before you go to the consultation and be sure to also give him or her your complete medical history.
Give yourself a few days before making your decision.
I was thinking. Perhaps we could make this list even larger. Do any of you have anything else to add to this list? It would be so cool to get a whole section of the blog dedicated to plastic surgery so that we can all feel a little more informed before taking that step. And then when and if we do decide to go for it, the goal would be to not only look gorgeous but to know we had the power and confidence to do it right! We'll call ourselves "The Empowered Beauty Researchers of Plastic Surgery!"
If there’s a word that people use the most to describe me, it’s probably “small”. I’m certainly not tiny since I’m on the short side of average on the height scale and thin although definitely not underweight. Still, I think many small women can relate to me when I say that I have often times had trouble finding clothes.
It’s great that the fashion industry has recognized the plus sized woman and has offered larger sizes that flatter the full figured shape. Over the last decade more and more stores have started selling plus sized clothing to accommodate body shapes that are more representative of the average American woman. Still, those of us who are small have felt left behind as we have seen the petite lines disappear from major clothing stores.
When I was in Europe recently I bought a bunch of clothing since it’s easier to find attire that fits my frame. Europeans tend to be smaller than Americans and so the sizes selections are smaller to meet the demand. Still, I can’t fly over seas every time I need a new pair of pants or a skirt. Most of the time I am limited to the clothing I can find in the U.S.
Vanity sizing is probably the worst thing that has happened to the smaller woman. While I used to be a size 6 in high school, I am now typically a size 2 and I have to say that I have certainly not lost weight since I was a teenager. If clothing gets any bigger, I’ll have to shop in the children’s section. There are plenty of women who are thinner and shorter than I am so it really shouldn’t be this difficult for someone like me.
After the difficulty I have had, I was really excited to see on the news this year that several clothing stores have reintroduced their petite lines after many complaints from smaller customers. Thank you to all of those ladies who complained! The fashion industry listened and suddenly, I am finding it easier to shop and find clothing that fits. I tend to stick to a few stores that cater to smaller women like Ann Taylor and Banana Republic but I’m sure there are more stores out there that also offer petite options.
Are you a small woman who has trouble finding petite attire? Where do you typically shop? What are the best stores that sell petite clothing?
Have you been seduced by all of the handbags out there to choose from? I’ve never been one to go crazy over purses but in the past year or so I just can’t resist those cute bags that seem to talk to me from the shelves of department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s.
I imagine that most of us can’t escape the celebrity photos of glamorous women with a different handbag to accent each outfit. Purses used to be simply a container to hold the essentials but now they are a fashion statement in themselves.
A couple of years ago one of my co-workers offered me a leopard print bag as a gift and I went nuts over it. At the time I usually went for the option that had the most interior pockets and traveled well but this one just looked good. Although completely impractical, I definitely felt like it made a statement and loved the way it made me feel when I toted it around. Ever since then, I have looked at handbags in a whole new way.
I have probably gotten the most compliments on the simple black leather handbag my husband bought me years ago. Still, there are some occasions when I don’t want a simple look. Instead I want to stand out and be noticed. It’s amazing how much difference a simple toting device can make.
I’m a real sucker for the big name brands like kate spade and Cole Haan but how does one offset the stiff price tags associated with top designer bags? The rich and famous can afford to treat themselves to all kinds of accessories to complement every look. Most of us actually have to adhere to a budget.
Does anyone have ideas for how to accessorize with handbags without spending a fortune? Is there a way to look glamorous when you don’t have the salary of Paris Hilton? I’ve seen all kinds of people with modest budgets and great hand bags so there must be a way. Please tell me how you do it!
My daughter and I were invited to a Halloween party this year and yes we sported costumes and cute ones I might add. I had gone to costume parties in the past and found that they're a lot more fun when you're dressed like a French maid as opposed to a witch or perhaps a ketchup stained surgeon. Pinning your hair up in the operating hat, lips and teeth behind a sterile mask along with the baggy scrubs don't exactly scream…look at me, I'm a cute, sexy chick.
So she dressed as a shagadelic 60's girl and I pranced around as a cavewoman in a strapless $400 leopard number I had purchased years ago for a Tom Petty concert. We were both thrilled with our outfits and ran out of the house just hours before the shindig started to get our toes painted. While waiting for our pedicures she spied fake eyelashes on the counter for sale. I knew what was coming next, we, or more accurately she, had to have them.
When I saw how striking they made her whole face look my wheels started turning and I had to learn more about these newfangled eyelash plumpers I'd been hearing about lately in this biz I so love. When Jan Marini first came out with her "Lash Intervention" I was skeptical to say the least and if that didn't prevent me from buying it, the cost did. Therefore I never took the time to actually learn the science or chemistry as to how these things could actually work. I just assumed it was just another over-priced mascara. Besides how could anything help a hair actually grow?
That's when I had to stop and ponder how I felt about products such as Rogaine and Nioxin for their potential in boosting hair growth on the scalp. After all, not long ago many balding people thought any such claim was nothing more than a quack selling snake oil. But they had to eventually admit they were wrong as studies confirmed that science prevailed and could actually make hair indeed grow. I had to do the research; more for my own vanity than anything else…I wanted to look striking, just as Ashley did in those long fake lashes! Nothing looks more glamorous than a beautiful set of eyes and I would give anything to make my beady little pair stand out a little more. Well anything except fake eyelashes. As much as I love beauty, I know for certain, less is more! I wanted long, bat-worthy lashes, but I know anything too false looks cheesy and harsh so I had to try something else. That something would have to be to nourish the lashes I already have to make them thrive. I had to let go of the instant gratification I'd come to know, love and rely on, because to have natural gorgeous lashes would take time. It turns out it only takes a month! Here's the concept in a nutshell. We condition for a thicker, more beautiful head of hair…isn't that reasonable to suggest? Then why can't we apply that same technology to our eyelashes? Fortunately, a few well-respected companies have developed that model in their labs, safely and effectively. Some have formulations that prevent breakage, while others have products to stimulate growth. These eyelash treatments promote the health of the eyelashes as opposed to typical lash coating mascara that only gives the temporary illusion of them actually being longer. By simply conditioning the lashes, a few good companies have enabled our own set of lashes to be revitalized and flourish. There are a few really good products I would recommend as I've either tried them for myself or have witnessed the use and success in others. As mentioned earlier, Jan Marini's Age Intervention Eyelash Conditioner is fabulous but a bit steep in price. You'll need to plan on spending well over a hundred bucks. But if you're comfortable with spending that kind of cash, you won't be let down. Same goes for the raved about MD Lash Factor. Both are extremely result-oriented. Two others you may want to check out are physician formulated and highly recommended RevitalashMD and the affordable Talika Lipocils Eyelash Conditioning Gel. Both have a huge, faithful following, many of whom say they're addicted and will never quit using it. As for my ghoulish experiment (haven't forgotten that Halloween helped me discover these little "must-haves") with the new conditioning lash enhancers…I too am hooked! I will never go back to sparse, little lashville!
Body acne is an ugly subject. Nobody likes to talk about it but the reality is that many acne sufferers don’t just experience breakouts on the face. It’s very common for pimples to form on the chest, shoulders and back. In some cases, people can even battle acne on the arms, legs and buttocks.
What’s the best way to deal with body acne? For starters, take the same care in cleansing and treating the skin on your body as you do with the skin on your face. That means washing at least twice a day and following with an acne treatment. Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing to let your skin breathe. Make sure you shower thoroughly immediately following sweaty workouts. Sweating can cause pore blockage and make sebaceous glands more active than usual.
Choosing an acne treatment can be tricky when dealing with body acne. The skin on the back is usually pretty thick and resistant but the skin on the chest is much thinner, particularly for women, and can be more fragile. Use more caution when treating acne on the chest.
Benzoyl peroxide is very effective against acne but will bleach out colored clothing which is why it needs to be used carefully on body acne. My favorite benzoyl peroxide cleanser is Peter Thomas Roth BPO 10% Acne Wash. Most benzoyl peroxide cleansers are in the form of a watery non-foaming lotion. This makes it difficult to effectively wash a large area. The Peter Thomas Roth cleanser foams up nicely so you can really see where the product is going on your skin. Use it only in the shower as this way it will be easy to rinse off thoroughly and you won’t have to worry about the bleaching effect. I’m also a big fan of DDF Pumice Acne Scrub that treats while exfoliating dead skin cells that clog pores. This is a great product for the back but I find it a little harsh for the chest so use wisely. Massage gently so as not to aggravate active acne.
If you do choose to use a benzoyl peroxide treatment after cleansing (a great one to try is Jan Marini Benzoyl Peroxide 5%), make sure you wear light colored clothing that won’t discolor. Buy sheets and towels that are free of dyes. I have used benzoyl peroxide for years and my family still teases me for bleaching out the linens.
Benzoyl peroxide is too harsh for sensitive skin and many acne sufferers seek alternatives. There are a couple of products that contain salicylic acid in the form of a spray. They are very convenient for treating large areas of the body. Murad Clarifying Body Spray is very gentle with only .5% salicylic acid so as not to irritate. It smells a bit medicinal but it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a lingering odor. It has a nice cooling effect on the skin that feels very refreshing. What’s great about the spray bottle is that you can hold it at any angle, even upside down, and it still works great. Another effective spray that has a higher concentration of acne medicine (2% salicylic acid) is Dr. Michelle Copeland Advanced Acne Formula. Although it is stronger than the Murad spray, I have not experienced any irritation.
Be persistent when it comes to treating your acne. If you are committed and take the necessary steps, you will find yourself with clearer skin.
The weather around here is changing and I am noticing that with the colder and drier air, my hands are suffering a little. It’s no mystery that dry, cold air robs the skin of essential moisture. To add insult to injury, most of us wash our hands numerous times a day. This leaves our skin even more vulnerable to dehydration. I experience the worst drying between my pinky and ring fingers and if I don’t moisturize properly, I experience irritation and itching.
So what can you do to keep your hands soft and hydrated during the dry season? For starters, avoid anti-bacterial soaps when you can. While clinical settings demand constant sanitation, most of us can do just fine with regular soap and water. Don’t fall prey to the notion that you need to kill every microbe on your skin for it to be healthy. On the contrary, balanced skin is the healthiest kind of all. A nice and gentle pump soap to try is L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Wash For Hands & Body. This is a great choice for frequent hand-washers since the super mild formula actually softens and protects the skin rather than stripping out moisture. Wash your hands in warm but not hot water since hot water is very drying to the skin.
During the day, I keep Atopalm MLE Cream at my desk at all times and apply a small amount at the first sign of dry, cracked or irritated skin. I’m always amazed at how quickly this wonder cream reduces irritation and redness. It leaves my skin nice and soothed without any greasy feel whatsoever. That’s something I really appreciate since typing with greasy hands is just plain yucky, for lack of a better word. The MLE Cream is free of dyes and perfumes so it’s perfect for the most sensitive of skins.
Right before bed, after my last hand wash of the day, I like to apply L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. The 20% Shea Butter formula is very rich and moisturizing and leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and nourished. It does feel a little heavy at first which is why I use it before bed. However, it does absorb after a few minutes and doesn’t leave much of a residue. If you feel that it’s too rich for you, try the L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Lotion For Hands & Body. The formula is much lighter with only 5% Shea Butter but it still moisturizes nicely. Both products have a light pleasant scent that lasts through several hand washings.
I’ve heard that our hands are the first place we show the signs of aging. That said, make sure you don’t neglect your hands this winter. They just might give your age away!
You think your lungs love oxygen...just wait till your skin gets a breath of it! Last year for my birthday my girlfriend took me to one of those 'oxygen bars'. They are literally little stores or areas in a salon or day spa where you go to breathe a safe amount of extra oxygen. I was skeptical at first thinking..."hmmm, here's an idea...how about we just take a big deep breath of the great outdoors, or even the indoors for that matter?" But then reconsidered and thought well it is my birthday, and she's paying for it and it couldn't hurt...so what the heck! It turned out that it was one of the best gifts I'd ever received.
What a nice surprise a day with a little extra O2 makes. I couldn't believe how wonderful I felt. I was energized and practically felt as though each little red blood cell was traveling through my arteries happy as a lark carrying its little piece of precious life on its back. I walked and shopped for hours that day and never got tired. Since that day of enlightenment I've dreamed of going back to that little bar again and suck down some of that ever so important molecule (or is it an element?) listed as number 8 on the periodic table. Obviously, I'm not much of a chemist, but I am an expert at skincare...and boy oh boy did I ever learn something new about skin and oxygen.
I was talking with a friend the other day about the skincare regimen known as Philosophy (many of my favorite products are by Philosophy) and she mentioned that it was one of Oprah's favorite brands. That evening while laying in bed that little proverbial light bulb went off in my head and I recalled a peel made by Philosophy using oxygen for specific treatment of the skin. I was laying there pondering about how radiant I felt on the inside the day I got to breathe in a little extra O2 on my birthday and imagined how radiant my skin would look on the outside if I could only perfuse it with oxygen. After all, our skin (our body's largest organ) is made up of cells and oxygen feeds those little cells. I was almost envious Philosophy created it before I did. Needless to say, I ordered the oxygen peel the next day.
My girlfriend was over when the Philosophy Oxygen Peel Kit arrived so we decided to do one of the treatments right then and there. Both of us had spent one too many days in the sun when we were younger and now of course we are paying for it. We've spent fortunes on facials and microdermabrasions and never did we get the results we got this day from this "in home peel." We needed this repair more than just about anyone and let me tell you, this oxygen peel delivered. We couldn't stop looking at our skin and even went out to dinner that night with no make-up on. Never had we had such a polished and radiant looking skin. Our pores were deeply cleansed and closed tight. Our face appeared luminous and firm. It was absolutely one of the best treatments I've ever done to my face whether done at home or in a high-end day spa. If I could have any say so, I would put the letter "O" on the number one slot of the periodic table!
One of the most common questions asked by oily skin types is, “Do I need a moisturizer?”. Some experts will tell you that all skin types require moisture. Others say that oily types don’t need to moisturize. I say let your skin tell you.
Trying to figure out whether or not you need to moisturize shouldn’t be difficult. Our skin gives us plenty of signs when it’s dehydrated. Tightness, cracking and flaking are all signs that you need to add moisture to your regimen or try a richer moisturizer.
While those with excessively oily skin may not need to moisturize at all, many oily types also suffer from blemishes and regularly apply aggressive acne medications which dehydrate the skin and create a demand for additional moisture. In fact, if your skin isn’t properly hydrated, it will produce increased amounts of sebum, making your skin even oilier.
Finding an effective moisturizer that doesn’t leave a heavy feel on oily skin is not easy. I have tried a zillion moisturizers for oily/acne prone skin and have discovered that only a handful are truly moisturizing but also very light.
If you want a basic moisturizer that won’t interfere with your topical acne treatments or if you want the moisture without anything else, my recommendation is MD Skincare Hydra-Pure Oil Free Moisture. I love how light this lotion feels on the skin. I can barely tell that anything is there. You can layer it with other treatments without the worry of additional irritation.
One of my favorite moisturizers, which also contains a gentle acne medication, is Murad Moisturizing Acne Treatment Gel. This gel hydrates the skin nicely but it absorbs instantly and leaves a nice matte finish on the face. It contains a light concentration of salicylic acid to treat and prevent blemishes without aggravating the skin.
Everyone knows how important it is to use daily sun protection. Boscia offers an outstanding protective moisturizer for oily skin, the Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF 15. This is one of the few oil free sunscreen products I have ever tried that truly does not leave a greasy feel on the skin. It soaks in to moisturize nicely without any kind of residue. I also love how incredibly pure and gentle the product is. This is absolutely safe for sensitive skins.
When it comes to moisturizing, the most important lesson will come from your skin itself. You may need to experiment a little to figure out what your skin needs but in time, it will let you know.
Blackheads are a real nuisance to deal with. They’re not the worst skin problem imaginable yet they are pesky and unsightly and difficult to get rid of. There are products that claim to eliminate blackheads. Is it really that easy to get rid of them? What products are most effective and how can you get the most out of them?
Did you ever partake in the Biore pore strip craze that started about 10 years ago? These strips were flying off the shelves at local drugstores. I even remember seeing a sign in front of a local store that said “We have Biore Strips”. Yet for some reason hardly anybody talks about these strips anymore and the TV commercials have long since disappeared. I can tell you that I was one of the people who rushed out the door to get my pore strips when I first heard of them. I was also very impressed at the initial results as I did find that they removed practically all of my blackheads. However, I also found them to be very harsh. If I let the strips dry too long, I drew blood. I also began to notice that the small broken capillaries on my nose were getting worse. That was enough to make me abandon the strips and seek an alternative.
Both salicylic and glycolic acids keep pore walls clean and clear and can prevent blackheads from forming. That’s what makes them great general acne fighters. These ingredients are also effective at loosening blackheads and can be found in several products intended to completely remove the unsightly pore-cloggers but it’s important to set realistic expectations when using these products.
Joey New York has a product in its Instant Chemistry line called Quick Blackhead Dissolver and Pore Minimizer Gel. You simply apply a thin layer to entire face, wait a minute and gently rub the product off. The blackheads are supposed to roll away with the product. I wondered if it could be this easy so I tried it and I have to admit that I was impressed with the results. I definitely saw fewer blackheads but it didn’t get them all. The especially nasty ones remained.
Donell also formulated its Super Skin Alpha Beta Acne Gel to gently unroof blackheads. You will definitely see an improvement in the appearance of your skin with regular use but don’t expect instant miracles. That’s the mistake people make when using products for blackheads. While salicylic and glycolic acids can loosen blackheads and allow you to remove the top crust, blackheads that are deeply imbedded in the pores will most likely require the additional step of extraction.
If you want to attempt to physically remove blackheads, do so only if you are not prone to scarring. Find a good tool like Tweezerman Skin Care Tool and clean it thoroughly with hot water and soap. Blackheads can be loosened even more with the steam of a hot bath or shower. With the ring of the Tweezerman tool, apply very gentle pressure to the blackhead until it is extracted. I cannot stress the word “gentle” enough. Too much pressure can damage the skin and cause scarring. If the blackhead doesn’t budge with gentle pressure, don’t force it. You might consider having a professional clean your pores.
After you’re finished extracting, cleanse your face thoroughly. You may find that your skin is a little irritated at first so only do this before bed. If in the morning your skin is still irritated, self pore-extraction is not for you. You also may find that it takes a few days for the pore to become less apparent. Blackheads can stretch pores out. Once the pores are clear, they may remain enlarged. Continue to use products containing salicylic and glycolic acid to keep pores clear.
More and more skin care companies are offering consumers daily peel pads as part of an everyday regimen for healthy skin. What are the benefits of using daily peel pads? Can everyone use these pads and expect to see good results? What is a good choice for you?
Daily peel pads are used following cleansing and prior to moisturizing. They can often replace the toning phase since they prepare the skin for moisturizers and treatments. These pads are usually treated with beta and/or alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate and refine the skin. Exfoliation is essential to healthy skin since turning over skin cells regularly can clear and prevent acne, soften fine lines and diminish discoloration.
One of the most effective products that I’ve tried is MD Formulations Daily Peel Pads. These pads are treated with both salicylic and glycolic acids. The pads are also “dual textured” which means that there’s a smoother side and a rougher side. The rougher side aids in a more effective exfoliation but it can also cause more irritation. MD Formulations Daily Peel Pads are very effective at smoothing out dull, rough skin and even more effective at clearing and preventing acne. However, I find them to be too irritating for sensitive and drier skin types.
If acne is your primary concern and you don’t usually have a sensitivity reaction to products, try NeoCeuticals Acne Treatment Solution Pads. These highly textured pads contain a very powerful concentration of acne fighters. I think it’s a great alternative to using Benzoyl Peroxide creams, particularly on the chest, shoulders and back since the medicine does not bleach out clothing or cause as much dryness and irritation. My skin does typically appear red and feel very warm right after using these pads but the effect is temporary and passes after a few minutes. Not only does my skin stay clear but it also feels super soft and smooth.
All skin types excluding very sensitive and dry can benefit from MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel. This is actually a 2 step system where you will use two different pads. The first contains several different acids to exfoliate. The second contains a neutralizing pad to soothe irritation. These pads are definitely more gentle than the pads I mention above and leave the skin with a nice, healthy glow.
If your skin is very sensitive and/or dry, you may not be able to use daily peel pads at all. If you want to try, I would suggest using a very gentle one with lactic acid such as philosophy microdelivery peel pads. Try using the pads every other day and then increase to every day as tolerated. I have not found lactic acid to be as effective as other acids typically used in daily peel pads but it does offer some exfoliating benefits while minimizing irritation.
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