Skin Care
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  • Winter Wonderful Skin 101

    Every winter season, I find myself in dire need of skin treatments and products that combat the dry, scaly, flaky skin that seems to flare up during this time of year. As the temperatures drop and the humidity declines, we tend to find ourselves facing some of the driest conditions of the year. Let’s not forget that we’re also subjecting ourselves to indoor heat which instantly removes what little moisture is left in our skin. Wearing multiple layers of cotton, wool and other natural fibers can exacerbate the irritated, inflamed conditions that tend to arise throughout the winter months. In order to maintain beautifully smooth soft skin, it’s important to use the right products and to remember a few key tips. Follow these tips below and you won’t have to suffer unsuitably dry skin this winter.

    • Keep your shower or bath water in the lukewarm range. Even though you will be tempted to take hot showers and bath on those cold winter nights or brisk winter mornings, hot water is a major deterrent to smooth, healthy skin. Not only does it strip the skin of it’s natural oils but it also can lead to irritation which in turn leads to scratching and itching your tender skin. Lukewarm water gives you the satisfaction of warmth and comfort without sacrificing your skin’s moisture levels.
    • Step up your exfoliation when showering or batheing. Unlike the spring and summer where you might exfoliate once or twice a week, you will want to remove the dead skin at least 3 to 4 times a week. Because you are increasing your exfoliation, you will want to use a product that is gentle enough to use daily but still effective enough to remove the dirt and dead skin with ease. Try Sephora Collection Smoothing Body Scrub in Vanilla ($10, Sephora.com). The delectable sweet scent will sweeten your skin while the paraben free formula will certainly soften it.
    • Another important tip occurs after you’ve finished your shower or bath. Rather than towel yourself dry, leave your skin damp. Let the water soak into your skin and lightly towel it off. Next you will want to apply a body oil. Opt for Fresh Sugar Body Oil, ($45, Fresh.com). Let the body oil soak into your skin. You will find that gently adding a deep layer of moisture to your damp skin will vastly improve the overall texture, appearance and quality of your skin throughout the cold winter season.
    • In order to maintain smooth, scale-free feet, you will need to consistently remove the dead skin build-up especially on the heels and balls of the feet. One of my go-to foot care products is the Dimancel # 10 The Classic Big Buffer ($49, BlissWorld.com). At first glance, the price may seem a bit steep but it’s really quite cheap when you think about the fact that this foot rasper is made with small diamond chips which means it will never go dull and never has to be sharpened. I use this foot rasper all year round to keep my feet beautifully soft. Once you remove the rough edges, you will need to slather your heels with an emollient foot salve or cream. Check out Soap & Glory’s Heel Genius Foot Mask Amazing Foot Cream ($15, SoapandGlory.com/US). Not only does this foot cream smooth out the hard heels but it also can be used as a cuticle cream for hands and feet. Love products that pull double duty.

    With all of these easy tips, you will be on your way to smooth skin no matter how cold it gets outside. Have a happy holiday season and stay soft!

    December 13, 2012 • Bath & Body, Skincare, Spa • Views: 2697

  • Product Review: Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub

    Clean & Clear, Morning Burst Facial Scrub, $5.95, www.cleanandclear.com

    Clean & Clear may seem like a skin care brand for teens but let me tell you, it’s actually equally effective for adults. I recently had to purchase some facial scrub while on vacay in Miami. I decided to buy a travel sized Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub as I wasn’t entirely sure if the product would work well for my skin. I have normal skin but the thought surrounding Clean & Clear is that it’s primarily for those suffering from acne and blemishes. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of this scrub. It was gentle enough for every day use and left my skin feeling refreshed and clean. This is a great alternative to some of the high priced scrubs that clutter your favorite fashion and beauty mags. If you’re on a beauty budget and want to find a decent scrub that works, this is definitely my top pick!

    What makes this scrub so great are the tiny bursting beads that help eradicate dirt, grime and dead skin cells without harming or irritating the skin. This scrub is also infused with Vitamin C and Ginseng for the additional beneficial effects that help keep skin healthy and clear. It’s made for all skin types except for sensitive.

    September 5, 2012 • Product Review, Skincare • Views: 1091

  • Beauty News: Oils are Making a Splash in Skin Care

    I remember the first time I was introduced to oils for the face. I was working at Sephora and I came across a brand called Decleor. It was a French-based brand and their claim to fame was there amazing skin care oils that supposedly turned back the hands of time for women of all ages and skin types. Now, I have normal skin so applying oils to my face really isn’t an issue but the idea of dousing my skin with oil just seemed so wrong. Wow, what a difference several years and lots of education about skin makes. Over the years, I learned how pivotal it is to use oils as they are one of the few products on the market that truly get down into the deeper levels of the skin. Oils are able to carry nutrients and other botanical ingredients into the epidermal layer of the skin which is directly below the top layer of skin. Most skin care products just lay on top of the skin without ever penetrating the epidermal layer which means the benefits of these products is never actually realized.

    For Fall 2012, many skin care brands are creating oils that will be a welcome relief after a season of serious sun exposure and evironmental damage. A few of the top products to try this fall are:

    Josie Maran, 100% Argan Oil, $48, www,josiemaran.com

    Fresh, Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil, $50, www.fresh.com

    100% Pure, Facial Oil, $28, www.100percentpure.com

    August 22, 2012 • Skincare • Views: 690

  • Color Me Bad: Sizzling Summer Skin Care Tips for Women of Color

    Today marks the official first day of summer! Pack your best bikinis, cover-ups, wedges and flip flops and head to the closest pool, beach or lake for some major fun in the sun. While you’re packing your summer tote, don’t forget to pack special products for your skin. Summer is the one time during the year when many of us women of color toss all common sense aside and bare our skin to the elements only to wind up getting sunburned and damaging our precious skin all of which could have been prevented. Even though as women of color we have more melanin in our skin which means we have built-in sun protection, it doesn’t mean that we cannot get skin cancer and other skin disorders and diseases like our white and fair skinned counterparts. Here are some easy yet important summer skin care tips to help keep your skin healthy and cancer-free this summer and hopefully many summers to come!

    • Be sure to use a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or higher. It’s imperative not to skimp on SPF just because you’re naturally brown or dark-skinned. Your skin can burn just like someone with red hair and freckles so be sure to slather on a face moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher and a body moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher whenever you leave the house.
    • When heading to the beach or pool, you will need to reapply your sunscreen or sunblock every hour as the product dissipates whenever you get into the water and when you sweat. The best sunscreens to use at the beach or pool are the spray sunscreens as they are super easy to apply and leave skin protected without the sticky or greasy after-effect of traditional sunblock or suntan lotions.
    • Protect your scalp just like you would the rest of your body by slathering your hair with conditioner before laying out or by wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat. Your scalp is highly susceptible to burning and that could lead to hair loss.
    • For after sun care, opt for a natural alternative to lotions or salves and pick up a bottle of aloe vera gel from your local health food store. This all-natural skin-soothing treatment is a great way to treat sunburns or other skin ailments.
    • Exfoliation is very important during the summer season as your skin tends to get very dry and flaky after being exposed to large amounts of heat, humidity and sun. It also can be affected by air-conditioning. In order to keep your skin looking its best during the summer season, look for a body exfoliator and a facial exfoliator. For the body, I prefer the fruit scrubs as they work hard to remove dead skin and flaky skin patches. For the face, opt for a glycolic or fruit acid exfoliator as they are less harsh for the sensitive skin on the face and produce less irritation or inflammation.

    Enjoy the summer and be sure to keep your skin healthy, glowing and most importantly protected!

    June 20, 2012 • Skincare • Views: 1444

  • Product Review: FeedMySkin Strawberry Scrub in a Tub

    FeedMySkin, Strawberry Scrub in a Tub, $12, www.feedmyskin.com

    I have an obsession with body scrubs. I love how the granulated sugar feels as it gently removes dead skin. I love how soft and smooth my skin feels as I wash the scrub away with lukewarm water. I especially love the delicious scents most body scrubs leave behind. With the summer sun literally frying my skin, I have found that I am constantly in need of quality body scrubs in order to keep my skin soft, supple and smooth. One of my newest favorites is FeedMySkin Strawberry Scrub in a Tub. This delightful, organic scrub is made with granulated sugar, shea butter, coconut oil, real strawberries, cocoa powder and coffee. What I love about this line of skin care products is that they must be kept in the freezer to maintain the integrity of the ingredients and formulations.

    In order to use the scrub, I had to defrost it overnight in my refridgerator. After a grueling workout, I decided to treat myself to a nice total body scrub. I dipped my hands into the container and scooped out enough to do one arm. I immediately noticed the sweet fruity scent that was heavenly and delectable. I scrubbed one arm and could instantly feel the smoothness coming on. I proceeded to do my entire body excluding the face. This scrub is not for the face as it would be too abrasive and could cause irritation or other skin issues. I highly recommend this product for those with normal skin. Those with sensitive skin might fine the sugar granuales to be a little too harsh and those with oily skin will most likely not like the oil left on the skin after washing away the sugar granuales.

    Another key thing to remember is to not use this scrub or any other scrub on skin with open sores, lesions or abrasions. Scrubs will only exacerbate the problem and may lead to more harm and additional healing time. All in all, I love this scrub and will be using it all summer long to keep my skin swimsuit ready!

    For more information or to purchase this scrub please visit www.FeedMySkin.com

    June 20, 2012 • Beauty News, Product Review, Skincare • Views: 869