Friday, March 17, 2017

It's Not Easy Being Green (Oh, but it is!)

It's not easy being green... Actually, it was easy to put this beauty collage together for St. Patrick's Day today! ðŸ€





The Best Peel Ever!

Aloette Pure Enzyme Peel Girls, this is the most fan-freakintastic facial enzyme peel on God's green earth. Click here if you want to try it and I'll hook you up!


You need this in your life. Aloe vera is the #1 ingredient to calm and soothe, plus there is papain, a fruit enzyme to slough off dead skin cells. You will also find
hyaluronic acid, cucumber fruit, lemon to brighten and lighten age spots without harsh chemicals, as well as pineapple. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain. This helps reveal a natural luminosity and glow. There is NO better peel, no better aloe face product out there. 


Restore pH with Seed

Next, we have Seed Body Care Lemon Balm toner. I have talked about this one before. Soothing, calms hypersensitive skin, cools, balances pH🍃


Bargain Skincare 


Who doesn't love a bargain?💲 Now, I know you are going to be skeptical about this. Just trust me, my friends. Let me preface this by saying, the scent is strong. Ugh. Thankfully, it isn't floral and it dissipates quickly. Do yourself a favor: RUN, don't walk, to ALDI and find this on an endcap by maxi pads and the acetaminophen. 


One of the best kept secrets in all of the beauty industry is Lacura skincare, which is like a mix of the old Orlane and LaPrairie high end brands. Lacura is under FOUR BUCKS, but the products are quite lovely! The last time I ran into Aldi to grab some berries, I noticed the Q10 Day Cream for $3.99. What is in this paraben-free, American made, cruelty free moisturizer? There is antioxidant Coenzyme Q10, bioflavonoids, aloe, panthenol, soy, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, papaya, jojoba and elderberry. You will love how lightweight, yet rich, this feels!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The 5 Best Lemongrass Beauty Products

Lemongrass is one of my most favorite essential oils. I have been using some really fabulous products with lemongrass lately and wanted to share them with you.

What is lemongrass?



Also known as Cymbopogon Citratus Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil has a really delightful herbal lemon aroma. In skincare, lemongrass is beneficial for those with oily skin and congested pores because of its antibacterial properties. It offers some antiperspirant properties and is anti-inflammatory, too.

Karley's favorite lemongrass skincare products



Jane Iredale Lemongrass Love Hydration Spray -- Refreshing, invigorating, cleansing. These are the three words that best describe this mist. It leaves the pores feeling clean as it cools and enlivens the skin. I love ALL of Jane Iredale's various sprays, but this one is my favorite. Hurry, though, as this one is limited edition. Your purchase of this Jane Iredale product benefits Living Beyond Breast Cancer. VEGAN

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin**, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemon Grass) Oil*, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil Expressed, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemon Grass) Extract*, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Alcohol*



Seed Body Care Lemongrass Custom Blend Body Lotion -- Have you ever wished for a pure lemongrass lotion? I am not talking about one with lemongrass fragrance oil, but one with 100% natural lemongrass essential oil. I love the Custom Blend option at Seed. You can pick up to 3 essential oils to create a personalized blend, or you can choose just 1 or 2 oils. If you love lemongrass, you MUST try their Lemongrass Body Lotion. It's a beautiful scent -- layer it by adding lemongrass to your body oil, lip oil or body wash. VEGAN

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Tapioca Starch, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass) Essential Oil


Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap Lemongrass Handmade Soap -- No one makes handmade soap like Nan's. I have been using her soaps for almost a decade and they just are second to none. I think that some people are still hesitant to try a good bar soap. Do NOT confuse the likes of Dove, Zest, Ivory, etc. with true handmade soap. A well formulated handcrafted soap will be creamy, nourishing and feel amazing on the skin. If you are looking for lemongrass soap, this is a must-have. Take a look at the ingredients list, too. It is stellar! VEGAN

Ingredients: Olive oil, coconut oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, lemongrass essential oil, green clay, green oxide



Clover & Bee Lemongrass and Poppyseed Body Polish -- If you have been following along with me here on the blog over the past decade, you will know that I love a good body scrub. I don't like them to bee too dry or too oily. It's hard to get it just right. Clover & Bee is one of my new favorite brands. I am currently using the Lemongrass and Poppyseed Body Polish and am swooning over it. At first, I thought it might be a bit too dry, but once I tried it on my skin, I was hooked. This is a really unique scrub. Most body scrubs are sugar, salt or feature nut shells, but the #1 ingredient in this one is actually granulated honey. I am a sucker for products made with honey because of the myriad skincare benefits. This scrub smells like heaven and leaves skin soft and silky without feeling oily.

Ingredients: Granulated Honey, Granulated Sugar, *Babassu Nut Oil, *Macadamia Nut Oil, *Lemongrass Essential Oil, *Poppyseeds. *denotes certified organic ingredient


EVOLVh SmartVolume Leave-in Conditioner is a staple for me. EVOLVh is in my top 3 favorite natural hair care brands and may just be my MOST favorite (Original Moxie and Briogeo are the other 2). Without a doubt, though, the EVOLVh SmartVolume Leave-in Conditioner is the best leave in I have ever used. Next week, I will be writing a longer post on the 4 products from this brand that I am currently using, but right now I need to mention this one. It helps my hair feel super soft without weighing it down. Plus, after a long day, you can spritz a bit into your hair to give it some more oomph. The smell is just lovely -- a blend of lemongrass, citrus, patchouli and more. VEGAN

Ingredients: Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Flax, Rice Bran Extract, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Lecithin, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Red Grape Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Citrus Orange Peel Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Lavender Oil, Bergamot Fruit Oil, Patchouli Oil, Cinnamomum Oil, Geranium Flower Oil, Thyme Leaf Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol Vitamin E, Grape Seed extract

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Top Products for Acne

Acne is a skin condition that can have a profound effect on a person’s self confidence. Unlike other issues, acne is something which is highly visible and people who suffer from it often tend to seek out every advertised "miracle" product in order to clear up their skin.

Acne Myths

Let’s talk about some acne myths. There are so many surrounding this condition and people with acne often blame themselves for their breakouts. Perhaps the biggest myth is related to food.  Eating greasy foods, chocolate, and drinking coffee do not cause acne. Another myth is that your face isn’t clean enough.  People with acne tend to wash their faces multiple times a day in an attempt to get cleanse away the oil, but this actually causes more harm and results in more acne breakouts.

The Key Cause of Acne

Those with acne have pores that have become clogged by trapped oils, or sebum.  The trapped sebum collects in the pores and will eventually develop bacteria.  This combination of clogged pores and bacteria results in acne. The buildup of bacteria in the pores will ultimately result in inflammation and that is when the red pimples become visible and sore.


Skin Care Tips for Acne

  • Wash your face with a gentle, fragrance free cleanser twice daily.
  • Use a cotton pad to apply an alcohol-free toner designed for sensitive skin to remove any traces of cleanser and help calm redness. Look for one with cucumber on the ingredients label. My go-to is Seed Cucumber Facial Toner.
  • Exfoliate regularly with an oil soluble exfoliant such as salicylic acid. This ingredient is able to get right into the pores to help purge the sebum and bacteria. If you do not clear your clogged pores via exfoliation, your battle with acne will continue.
  • Use a spot treatment containing Tea Tree Oil, a natural essential oil, rather than harmful benzoyl peroxide.  Studies show that it is just as effective as the chemical alternative.
  • Moisturize daily with a light, oil-free moisturizer. It is important to keep your skin hydrated and soothed while it is healing from acne.


Be patient! There is nothing more you want than to be rid of your acne, but please remember that it will take at least 2-3 weeks of a consistent skin care routine to help repair your skin.  If you do not notice any results, then we recommend you make an appointment with a dermatologist because a prescription topical cream may be in order.

Favorite Skincare Products for Acne:


Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser is an exceptional cleanser for hypersensitive skin. Acneic skin is inflamed skin and it needs something truly gentle. Avene is top-notch.




Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is one of two 2% BHA products I adore. Believe it or not, the other is a pad from Stridex. This one, though, is gentler and I love that it is in liquid form. It's one of my most recommended products for those suffering from acne.


Lancome Pure Empreinte Masque is a 5-minute mask with kaolin and montmorillonite to help deep clean the pores. It is a tried and true, timeless skincare mask and you will adore it.



Belif Tea Tree Oil is not just tea tree. Science tells us that spot treating with tea tree is just as effective as harsh benzoyl peroxide. I love this one, as it combines pure tea tree oil with soothing chamomile, bergamot, sunflower oil and more.


Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion is one I recommend if you are desperate for extra moisture but have really oily skin.






Wednesday, February 8, 2017

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream Review

Let's talk eye cream for a long overdue edition of What's in it Wednesday on The Beauty Blogger.

 I usually use the eye creams I am sent for editorial purposes, with the exception of the First Aid Eye Roller and 100% Pure Caffeine Eye Cream. I was out of the Beautycounter one I was sent and didn't like it enough to repurchase, so I was at Target and decided to read ingredients labels and purchase one there.

After 10 years (almost) of blogging, I can tell you that I have found what I would call my Holy Grail eye cream. Not only are the ingredients fabulous, but the price is super affordable!

The product will set you back ten to twelve bucks and it is really pretty priceless: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream. I will continue to repurchase this cream because I have never been happier with an eye product. It works. It is affordable. It has proven ingredients.


First, let's look at the packaging.


This is the perfect package for a skincare product. It is in a tube that is opaque so the ingredients won't be degraded by light. It is hygienic because it is in a tube -- jars are breeding grounds for bacteria and moisture. Yes, you can use a scoop or mini spoon or Q-tip, but not many people do. They just stick their fingers in the jar to get the product only to leave behind germs. The tube that this is in is really ideal for a skincare product.

Ingredients

Purified Water, Niacinamide, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric TriglycerideGlycerin, Propanediol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Jojoba Esters, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-ll, Ceramide 1Hyaluronic Acid, Zinc Citrate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) OilAloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Tocopherol, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Asparagopsis Armata Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sorbitol, Triethanolamine, Laureth-4, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum

There are no parabens in this formula. My stance on parabens has shifted over the ten years I have been blogging, more than 7 of which were spent as a pretty strict green blogger. I no longer consider myself a green blogger, nor do I only seek out "clean" "green" or "natural" products. I just want a product that will work and to have proven ingredients. that are backed by science.

Let's look at 10 standout ingredients here in the CeraVe Eye Repair Cream:

  1. Niacinamide - Also known as Vitamin B3, nicinamide is anti-inflammatory, which makes  it useful at treating acne, plus it is a powerful anti-aging ingredient. It has firming properties, may help to brighten the skin, and penetrates deeply, making it effective at fighting wrinkles.
  2. Hyaluronic Acid - One of my most favorite ingredients in skincare, HA can hold 1,000  times its weight in water, Impressive! In other words, it is a fabulous hydrator. It is also a remarkable skin restoring ingredient and antioxidant.
  3. Ceramides - A naturally occurring lipid that replenishes and restores the skin. In skin care, the ceramides are plant-derived or lab created. Ceramides help improve skin texture and are tried and true anti-agers.
  4. Almond Oil - Moisturizing, plumping firrming
  5. Aloe Vera - Soothing, healing, anti-inflammatory
  6. Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract - This one is Golden Chamomile. It is known for its ability to help calm the redness associated with Rosacea. Additionally, it is a lovely skin softener.
  7. Tocopherol - Vitamin E is skin protective and one of the best known antioxidants.
  8. Equisetum Arvense Extract - Horestail -- don't worry! This isn't from animal, but rather a perennial herb with natural silicon. It is a great skin brightening ingredient, making it ideal for the under eye area.
  9. Asparagopsis Armata Extract - This is another ingredient that you don't often see. It is a form of wild seaweed and is emollient and a protective antioxidant. 
  10. Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract - Another species of seaweed, this is both emollient and antioxidant.

The Bottom Line: I give this product an A+. Quite simply, it is the best eye cream I have tried in any price range!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

3 Fast Wrinkle Fixes


Are you considering making an appointment for Botox or other injectable fillers? Ladies, before you do, let’s talk about other options.  The cosmetics industry has come far over the years, giving us some really fabulous temporary line and wrinkle fillers. While the visible results are not as long lasting, they are affordable and effective temporary alternatives.


So before you take drastic steps, spackle on a bit of filler. No, it’s not a permanent fix, but it will last throughout the day!


Here are the 3 best temporary wrinkle fillers:






Why I love it: Frownies are unlike other wrinkle fillers.  While others are topical skin care products, Frownies stick to your skin while you are sleeping. Naturally sourced kraft paper and a gentle gum adhesive allow the product to stick to your skin.  They essentially keep your frown lines and eye expression lines from moving, much like Botox does. I was skeptical before I tried them, but they really do provide a temporary line filling effect.  When used the night before a big event, I wake up with any lines smoothed and greatly reduced. These travel very well and can fit right in your bag if you are on vacation.


Why it works: We know that Botox works to paralyze the muscles from moving. Frownies work to prevent -- almost train -- the muscles from moving. While it is not an effect as dramatic as Botox or as long lasting, this product does smooth those expression lines and provides temporary results.


Is this one for you? This is a great concept for people who want to use a wrinkle filler without adding another skin care product to their daily routine. It works well for those who have a big event and want to look more youthful without the pain or commitment of Botox injections.


Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Filler


Why I love it: This does what it says it will do. If you are bothered by lines around the eye and mouth area and would like something to plump up the skin and diffuse the lines quickly, this is a great choice. When you apply it, skin feels tight and firm. A little goes a long way. I find this one to be more effective when it is only used on occasion, because the effect is more dramatic. I like this one if I have a special event to attend and need to see results quickly, even though they are quite temporary.


Why it works: This is a classic filler formula, as it is made with gentle film formers and silicones. Nylon helps to instantly tighten and fill in lines. These are basic ingredients, but they smooth the skin and help give a temporary firmness to the skin.


Is this one for you?  If you are looking for a product to instantly fill in lines and wrinkles, this works well.  The added bonus is that the RoC filler will treat the actual lines and wrinkles with proven skin care ingredients, so this is more than just a cosmetic item. This is a lovely option for those with all but very oily skin types looking for a high quality filler at the drugstore at an affordable cost.

*Note: If you are avoiding parabens, this is not a paraben free product.






Why I love it: If I had to choose only one temporary filler, this would be my favorite. This filler gives gradual, but more lasting results. I am NOT a patient person, but this one delivers real results. Skin looks firmer and lines are smoothed over. It does so without dryness or flaking off.  What I like most is the fact that the Exuviance filler contains potent anti-aging ingredients, so the appearance of fine lines actually does improve over time. It is fragrance free, has a silky texture, and is chock full of proven anti-aging ingredients (peptides).


Why it works: Exuviance is the best luxury dermatologist-developed skincare brand on the market. I have tried Perricone, Peter Thomas Roth, Murad, Dr. Dennis Gross and more, but Exuviance is top-notch. I am NOT affiliated--just a former happy freelancer! This uses Matrixyl, the patented Citrafill, and also includes NeoGlucosamine.


Is this one for you? If you are looking for a product that has really effective anti-aging ingredients while making lines look blurred, this one is for you.

If you just have a couple of bothersome fine lines you’re trying to hide, temporary wrinkle fillers can be an effective alternative to injectable fillers.  Just remember that these are, indeed, temporary.  Once you stop using them, the lines will return to their annoying visible form.

Monday, January 23, 2017

10 Timeless Beauty Favorites


Oh my goodness, I first started using Lancome Modele Sourcils when I was freelancing for Lancome as a college junior. Over the past 20+ years in the beauty industry, I have used countless brow groomers. Modele Sourcils in Taupe is my go-to to keeps these brows in place.


I first started using Bi-Facil to remove eye makeup with my very first Lancome gift with purchase. Yes, you can use more affordable options, from natural beauty brands to high end -- even plant-based oils in your kitchen. Bi-Facil is magical. A little goes a very long way and it thoroughly and gently removes even the most stubborn of waterproof mascaras.



Estee Lauder Double Wear is in my top 5 foundations of all time. I started using this back in 1998 while working for Estee Lauder. Bone is my shade. They now have a couple different versions of Bone (I get the warmer toned to neutralize the pink in my skin) and it is a perfect match. Double Wear is fragrance free, won't budge, and looks as flawless at 9pm as it did at 9am. It has beautiful texture, too. This one won't rub off on your collar, nor does it fade throughout the day. It is my favorite higher end long-wearing formula.



Another Estee Lauder favorite of mine is Advanced Night Repair. I have used Advanced Night Repair on and off since 1997. This is the best higher end anti-aging serum on the market and has only gotten better over the years. I especially appreciate that this one is a fragrance free product. When I was working for Lauder, this was ALWAYS first on my list of gratis products because I loved it so much. It really, truly works when used consistently.



I recently repurchased the blush shade that I wore on my wedding day: Clinique Soft-Pressed Powder Blush in Plum Gorgeous. Oh my, how I had forgotten what a beautiful product this was. I hadn't worn it in so many years. Since I have been much more flexible with what I use (because of acknowledging science over fear when it comes to ingredients), I have started falling in love again with some really lovely products from my past. Yes, there are more "sexy" or "trendy" brands and I use them and love them, but there just some really amazing products I am so happy to be using again.




Speaking of Clinique, this is the very first Clinique product I ever purchased. I was in high school and it is still in my makeup bag (not the same tube, of course). Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is a cult favorite -- and with good reason. It's nourishing and it's sheer, yet when you apply it to your lips it just transforms to a beautiful wash of plum.



My first full-time job out of college was as a Clarins Counter Manager. That is when I was first introduced to the concept of using oils on the face to help balance oily skin. It went against my esthetics training. I thought it was crazy until I tried it myself. I had pretty oily skin back then and I was apprehensive about trying the oil. I was sold after the first couple of applications. Clarins offers other oils, but Lotus Face Treatment Oil is my favorite to help balance excess sebum and keep it in check.


Another Clarins favorite is Beauty Flash Balm. I have been purchasing it on and off for 2 decades. It truly adds a boost of radiance and health to your skin. It was an essential for me when I was in my early 20s working at Clarins after long nights out so I looked wide-eyed for work, and it was a must when I was a sleep-deprived mom to two babies. It continues to be an essential for me now at 41. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm actually works best OVER your makeup. If you dab it on, it doesn't disturb your makeup and gives a wonderful radiance.


I will never forget my introduction to *magic Liquid Powder from Prescriptives. I was in my 20s working as a makeup artist at Estee Lauder at the Eastview Mall Kaufmann's store. On my lunch break, I wandered over to visit my friend at the Prescriptives counter, which was located by the women's fragrances. I thought she might be ready to head to the food court, but she was busy unpacking a box of the latest Prescriptives release -- *magic Liquid Powder. I remember her telling me about it and then she offered to let me try some. I almost laughed at the idea that a powder could be a liquid. I mean, it looked just like regular old loose powder to me. When I felt it applied with a brush, I was in awe. It felt like liquid. And when I looked in the mirror, my face was absolutely radiant. I bought my first jar. Now, 18 years later, I am still using it. There were years I did not -- but there really was never anything out there that was the same concept.


Absolutely underrated these days is the skincare brand most loved by my grandmother: Elizabeth Arden. Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant has been around FOREVER. Well, not forever, but since 1930! Yes, it has petrolatum. It isn't cutting edge or glamorous, nor does it possess the "it factor". Do you know something, though? It is a darn good product for weathered, chapped skin. I like to keep one of these tubes with me in the wintertime to really protect my skin from low humidity and dehydration. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

5 Skin Saboteurs

Today we’re talking about the 5 greatest skincare sins.  Are you guilty of them?  Let’s find out!




1. You eat too much sugar.

Sugar causes the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers to break down. In fact, I recently wrote about glycation if you'd like to take a look. The result? Lines and wrinkles creep up more quickly. Before you take another bite of that Twix bar or swallow another handful of Reese's Pieces, head for your fridge and and grab some raspberries, blueberries or blackberries instead.  Not only are berries rich in antioxidants, they are also a sweet substitute for less healthy sugars.

2. You go to bed with your makeup on.

Big mistake, my friends. We all have had those nights. Perhaps you’ve been out too long with friends or maybe you’re just plain exhausted. Going to bed without thoroughly washing your face and removing your makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin.

Why? When you don’t remove your makeup, you are creating a breeding ground for bacterial growth. Your pores will get clogged and you’ll eventually end up with a zit or two (or three). Your skin will also look older. No one wants that to happen.  I didn’t even mention the possibility of infection caused by leaving on mascara all night that may get into your eyes. Just don’t do it. Take a couple of moments and remember to remove all that makeup. Let your skin breathe.  Your complexion will thank you!

Cheat: If you don't want to wash your face, I like the super duper affordable Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes in a pinch.


3. You’re not wearing sunscreen.

The bulk of skin aging is caused by sun UV damage. Since we know that the sun will make your skin look older, why not commit to using sunscreen each and every day. You cannot control your genes, but this is one type of aging you actually have a say in. Plus, broad spectrum sunscreen can help prevent cancer. Don’t you think that this is reason enough to start wearing it?

My favorite facial SPF is from Exuviance. It is pricey, though. A close second favorite is available right at Target for about 1/3 of the price. It's by Coola and it called Bare Republic SPF 30 Mineral Face Lotion.

4. You’re not having enough sex.

This is not a joke. Now in no way am I saying to run off and pick some random person off the street for this task, but did you know that research proves that having sex improves your skin?  Dr. David Weeks, of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, actually conducted a study for more than a decade just on this subject.  The results?  Women who were having sex regularly looked 7 years younger than the others in the study group. Have sex.  Look younger. What’s not to love about that?

5. You fill up on flour.

White flour is one of the leading dietary causes of acne.  The bulk of cookies, cakes, pastas, and cereals are high on the glycemic index.  In other words, these are the “bad carbs.” White flours are notorious for causing breakouts and inflammation.  If you are prone to skin swelling and acne, it may just be because of the white flour in your diet.

Are you guilty of the above 5 skin saboteurs? Whether it’s not getting enough nookie or getting too much sun, making simple lifestyle and dietary changes may dramatically improve the condition of your skin.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Should you try the Korean Skincare Routine?


Beauty trends come and go and one that is really popular right now is what's known as the Korean Skincare Routine. Just what is the Korean Skincare Routine and how does it differ from other facial skin care regimens? Let's learn more about this multi-step trend that has a cult following.





There is a great emphasis on prevention versus correction



  • At a young age, women in Korea are taught to take good care of their skin, often heading to bathhouses with their mothers. It is cultural to invest time and energy into the art of a skin care routine in order to keep skin looking younger longer.
  • By contrast, in the United States, women are generally more likely to take the minimalist approach with their daily regimen.
  • In the US, trends indicate that we do not typically to stick to a consistent routine until we begin to notice subtle signs of aging.

The Korean Skin Care routine is labor-intensive



  • There are ten steps, to be exact. Ten. It is truly a ritual -- and that is its appeal.
  • The idea is that a lengthy (typically 30 minutes) routine helps pamper and nurture your skin.
  • Says esthetician and Korean beauty expert Charlotte Cho: "It’s the lifestyle and mindset behind skin that’s really getting people interested in Korean skin care rituals."

10 steps of the Korean Skincare Routine: Layering is the name of the game



  • Cleansing oil dissolves makeup and remove environmental debris. Massage into face and neck, add a splash of water in order to emulsify the oil, and repeat. You can't go wrong with DHC Facial Cleansing Oil.


  • Foaming cleanser is used to remove all traces of makeup and other impurities left behind after step one. Following an oil cleanser with a water-based cleanser is known as the “double cleanse” method that is one of the hallmarks of the Korean skincare regimen. A gentle, fragrance free option is Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser.


  • Exfoliation is the third step. This step should be done once or twice a week and allows dead skin cells to be sloughed off. It is, perhaps, the most crucial step, as a clean face allows treatment products to absorb more readily into the pores. In other skincare routines, we tend to focus on chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid. A good old fashioned manual scrub is the norm in the Korean routine. My favorite manual scrub is one I have used for over 20 years! It's the Queen Helene Oatmeal & Honey Facial Scrub.


  • Toner is applied with a cotton pad to assist in restoring skin pH and helps to rehydrate the skin. Think of it as somewhat of a liquid primer for the skin. A makeup primer creates a smooth canvas with which to apply foundation and, similarly, a toner creates the right canvas for serums and masks. A soothing option is Seed Advanced Botanicals Toner. There are two options. My go-to is their Lemon Balm toner.


  • Essence is a lightweight, less concentrated product used before a serum and is considered to be the core of the Korean skincare routine. Think of essence as a toner-serum blend. Apply this skin repairing liquid into the skin with your hands and gently massage in. Caudalie Beauty Elixir is my top pick. 


  • Serum is applied after essense and it known as “ampoule” in Korea. It is highly concentrated and is the skin perfecting step. In this skincare regimen, your choice of serum is based on your key concern, whether it be congested pores, lack of brightness or fine lines. A luxurious choice for cell regeneration and brightening is Siam Seas Twilight Be Calm Elixir. I received three Siam Seas products in my last Boxwalla box and am VERY impressed with the quality.



  • Sheet mask follows a serum. Unlike the masks we are used to in the United States, a wet, paper-like mask is used. This step is relaxing and takes a bit longer than the other steps, as it is on up to 15 minutes. Sheet masks can be used every day of the week if desired. Unclog your pores with the Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask
     



  • Eye cream is a twice daily must. As the skin under the eyes is thinner than an eggshell, it is quite fragile and lacks hydration. A rich, nourishing cream formula is what is advised. My favorite eye cream is CeraVe Eye Repair Cream. I bought this on a whim after Christmas and am super impressed! 

    

  • Moisturizer to help skin seals in the previous steps and leaves the skin looking plump and dewy. Whether you prefer a lightweight lotion or a rich cream, be sure to look for one with niacinamide for its nourishing and anti-aging benefits. A tried and true is Seed Advanced Botanicals Daily Moisturizer. I personally use the Lemon + Grapefruit for brightening.
     

  • Sunscreen is non-negotiable in any skincare routine, but it is emphasized even more so in the Korean skincare routine. It is the very last thing to go on the skin and should be used every single morning -- whether it be cloudy and dreary or sunny and bright. Look for a product with broad spectrum protection to help prevent UVA and UVB damage. A non-greasy choice for the face is Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50 . Yes, it is expensive, but it really is the best protective facial sunscreen available in the US.

Are ten steps really necessary?

No, no, no.

Here's my take: I have been in the skincare industry now for more than half of my life. I believe that taking preventive measures -- beginning a solid skincare routine with potent vitamins and active ingredients -- is really important. I believe that as a culture, we are always busy and in a hurry. This aspect of our lives tends to carry over to our skincare, doesn’t it?

We rush. We skip steps. We opt for fast over thorough. Sometimes we "forget" or our too tired to take off our makeup at the end of the day. Other times, we go a couple weeks without exfoliating, thinking "What's the big deal?"

In that regard, I really think that the aspect of taking a break to sit back, relax, and truly pamper ourselves is really important. I used to be rather skeptical of this routine thinking that it was nothing more than a ploy to get you to purchase more products. 

Here's my take: I have been in the skincare industry now for more than half of my life. I believe that taking preventive measures -- beginning a solid skincare routine with potent vitamins and active ingredients -- is really important. I believe that as a culture, we are always busy and in a hurry. This aspect of our lives tends to carry over to our skincare, doesn’t it?

We rush. We skip steps. We opt for fast over thorough. Sometimes we "forget" or our too tired to take off our makeup at the end of the day. Other times, we go a couple weeks without exfoliating, thinking "What's the big deal?"

In that regard, I really think that the aspect of taking a break to sit back, relax, and truly pamper ourselves is really important. I used to be rather skeptical of this routine thinking that it was nothing more than a ploy to get you to purchase more products. 

I was apprehensive about so many steps and the likelihood that it might irritate the skin and clog pores. I still am. It's unnecessary.

While this is still a big concern and YOU DO NOT NEED TEN STEPS IN YOUR ROUTINE (that's just cray), I really think that if we can learn a lesson from the lengthy routine: Take the time to relax and focus on the relationship between better self care and better skincare. In doing so, both our skin and our spirits will be revitalized.