The Cinderella Effect

cosmetic effect of skin carePeople ask me all kinds of questions about skin care products. There are a few questions that people should ask, but don’t.

People never think to ask about the Cinderella Effect.

The Cinderella Effect is a product that has instant, visible results to the eye or to the touch, but that disappear as soon as you wash the product off. These products often give an immediate smoothing effect, making pores and fine lines seemingly disappear. The skin may feel incredibly smooth. Some products even provide an instant lifting and firming effect.

This effect isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be a nice addition to a product. Who doesn’t need a little help with smoothing and firming? The important thing to ask is, do I also get a long-term effect with this product as well? Make sure to look for your active ingredients to verify that the product is doing more than just temporarily filling in.

If you feel a product and the skin looks and feels smoother instantly, check the label. Is there an ingredient ending in -cone on the label, like silicone or dimethicone? If so, you know that there is a Cinderella effect going on. It doesn’t mean there aren’t other good, effective ingredients, but don’t get swept away with an instant smoothing or lifting when you are looking for a long-term maintenance or repair.

Some products may use polymers that tighten as they dry to create a lifting a firming effect. These products can be tougher to detect in an ingredients list. Make sure to ask questions about how a firming product works.

Skin care products with a Cinderella effect can be fun to have as a part of your routine. They can be great day-to-day, or they can give you that boost you want for a special occasion. I always want my readers to understand exactly what you are getting in terms of results from your skin care products. Don’t be wooed by the immediate benefits, unless that is what you are looking for and know that you are buying. Always remember to ask about the long-term effects as well, to be certain that you’re getting the results you want. [Tweet this!]

 

 

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Vacation SOS: How To Keep Sunburn From Ruining Your Beach Vacation

how to avoid a sunburnI’ve seen it happen a million times. My friends and I will be on a beach vacation. They’ll make fun of me for the measures I take to protect my skin. They say, “I want to get a little color!” And at the end of the first day, they are toasted. Literally. Lobster red. And I go out the next day alone, because my precautions have saved my skin from burning. I’m the only one who’s not miserable. I’ve told you how to pick a sunscreen; now I’ll tell you how to avoid a sunburn. I’m going to share my secrets with you today. This is how I avoid the burn and enjoy all the days of my beach vacation.

  • Get a good application each day before you go out. I apply sunscreen… and lots of it… before I hit the beach. Make sure you don’t miss a spot by applying sunscreen before you even put on your bathing suit. Remember that your skin starts absorbing UV before you’ve posted up, so make sure you’re ready from the moment you hit the beach.
  • Reapply every hour. Yes, it seems excessive. But if you’re sitting out in the sun, it must be done. I hate reapplying at the beach… you’re sweaty and sandy and gross. So use an aerosol spray that also has a cooling effect to get that SPF boost. You’ll cool down and keep your skin protected. I like the Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist. But make sure to pay attention to my spray sunscreen tips! Give yourself a solid spray (check this FutureDerm article for tips) and make sure to stand downwind. I once watched a loved one spray himself down, but the wind blew all the sunscreen off and back in his face. He was a lobster for the rest of the trip and completely miserable while I sat by the pool. Moral of this story? I’m always right. And apply more of your spray sunscreen than you think you need in a wind-free zone.
  • Use an umbrella. I know. It’s one more thing to carry. But I promise you’ll welcome that shade when the midday sun hits. I swear by it.
  • Keep a cover-up handy. It may make you warmer, but cover-ups can provide a little relief when your skin starts to bake. Stay outside but keep those sensitive areas covered up between the hours of 10am and 2pm (longer if you feel the heat in your skin). You can also try some of the UPF clothing. Let me know if you feel it makes a difference.
  • Wear a hat. You can glam it up with a wide-brimmed straw hat. It makes a huge difference in how much sun damage your face sees.

I love hanging out on the beach. I’m not anti-sun; I’m pro-safe sun. [Tweet this!] So I am extra cautious when it comes to protecting my skin. Make sure to follow these tips to prevent a sunburn. Nothing ruins a beach vacation like a sunburn on the first day.

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Top Picks for Sunscreens

best sunscreen skin care product recommendationSummer brings heat waves, watermelon, and fun in the sun. It also brings a lot of questions about sunscreens. I’ve talked about how to pick a sunscreen. Today, I’m sharing some of my top picks with you.

When I look for a sunscreen, I look first for a mineral filter. I prefer physical blocks like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for several reasons. Mineral sunscreens protect your skin from UV damage, and they are also anti-inflammatory. Zinc oxide is the primary ingredient in diaper cream; it’s known to reduce redness and soothe irritation. Mineral sunscreens are also less likely to cause reactions, so I always recommend them for my sensitive or allergic clients. Mineral sunscreens have a tendency to be thicker, so I know that an oily skin type is going to want a lighter texture. Sometimes you’ll need to go a chemical filter in this case. Remember, the best sunscreen is the one you’ll use!

True Natural All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30My first pick is the True Natural All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30. I’ve linked to the one for baby, but there are several available. I stumbled onto this one at the drugstore one day, and I’ve recommended it ever since. It has a pure mineral sunscreen, and the rest of the ingredients are a blend of truly natural ingredients. It’s moisturizing enough to be an all-in-one product.

Who will love it: Dry skin types, natural skin types, sensitive skin types

Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40

 

The Clarins UV Plus Day Screen SPF 40 is a classic bestseller, and for good reason. It is super lightweight, but still a 100% mineral sunscreen. It absorbs quickly and can be used over any daytime product, from serums to moisturizers. Clarins claims to be a botanically based line, and that bothers me because they really aren’t. But if you’re looking for a lightweight sunscreen, this does the trick.

Who will love it: Oily skin types, people who want lightweight textures

 

bareMinerals SPF 30I mentioned this one in my summer essentials post, but I’m bringing it up again because I just like it that much. My favorite sunscreen touch-up product is the bareMinerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen. Sunscreens are only effective when used properly, and proper use means regular reapplication. This is a great way to touch up your sunscreen and mattify oiliness without budging your makeup. The brush is softer than most of the other powder sunscreens on the market, so it’s much nicer for sensitive skin.

Who will love it: Makeup wearers who want to reapply, oily skin types

Boscia BB Cream

I really love my BB cream. I’ve been using the Boscia B.B. Cream that features an SPF 27 in a mineral filter. It’s got a tint to it, so you get coverage and complexion evening all in the same step. It also has treatment benefits; it has licorice root extract and arbutin to help with pigmentation. It also has ingredients that act as a skin primer, so it smooths texture and fine lines. I wear mine almost every day. It’s lightly hydrating, but dry skin types will still want to use  a moisturizer.

Who will love it: Girls on the go who still want to look polished

Do you have a favorite sunscreen? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

 

 

See a product here that you think would work for you? I earn a commission and you help to support this blog if you use the affiliate links provided. But your trust is important to me, and I’d never recommend something that I haven’t used or didn’t like. Read my disclaimer.

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How To Pick the Best Sunscreen

how to pick the best sunscreenIt’s that time of year. The sun is shining. The weather is warm. Who doesn’t want to be outside? But being outside more means that you need to up your sunscreen protection. And who hasn’t stood in the sunscreen aisle at the store and been completely overwhelmed with the options? How do you find the best one?

The first decision I make is based on the sunscreen ingredients. There are two kinds of sunscreen ingredients: inorganic sunscreens, or mineral filters, and organic sunscreens, or chemical filters. Don’t let the inorganic or organic labels confuse you. Mineral filters are generally considered the “natural” sunscreen, because the minerals occur in nature. Both types of sunscreen ingredients protect from UVA and UVB damage, but they do it in completely different ways. Mineral sunscreens (inorganic) work by deflecting UV rays away from the skin, essentially acting as a mini-mirror. Chemical filters (organic) work by absorbing the UV rays and neutralizing them before they can hit the living layers of the skin and cause damage.

Although both types of sunscreens are approved by the FDA, there are pros and cons to each.

Chemical filters

Chemical filters work by neutralizing UV damage in the very uppermost layers of the skin (the stratum corneum). Chemical sunscreens have had the most controversy in the last few years. Originally they were the most effective forms of protection. Now, we know that they are more likely to cause adverse reactions and allergies in reactive skin types. Although we don’t always know why sunscreens cause allergic reactions, there is some speculation that, because chemical sunscreens release small amounts of heat as they neutralize UV rays, more reactive skin types might be overstimulated by this and more likely to react.

These seem like overwhelming negatives, so why would you choose a chemical sunscreen? The simplest answer is that even with all the negatives, they are still effective at protecting the skin. They are easier to formulate with and can be used for lightweight products. They are easy to apply and do not feel as greasy. They also do not create the blue tint on deeper skin tones that mineral sunscreens can cause. If your preferences lie in formulation, you may prefer a chemical sunscreen.

Mineral sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens use the ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They are typically less likely to cause reactions because they lay on the surface of the skin instead of penetrating to the deeper layers, making them inert. Additionally, zinc oxide is a known anti-inflammatory and can soothe irritated skin.

Mineral sunscreens are reflective, and I believe they provide better protection against pigmentation. UV rays are deflected before they have a chance to cause damage.

Unfortunately, with mineral sunscreens, formulations generally turn out thicker and creamier. If you are a dry skin type, this may be fine for you. But oily and acne prone types may find it difficult to find a mineral sunscreen that is lightweight. Darker skin tones may also have complaints; mineral sunscreens are famous for leaving a blue, ashy cast. Because the minerals are white, they can be difficult to blend.

Here’s a breakdown of what skin type may prefer which kind of sunscreen ingredient:


Chemical Sunscreens
Oily skin types
Acne prone skin types
Deeper skin tones
People who prefer lighter textures


Mineral Sunscreen
Dry skin types
Reactive or allergic skin types
Pigmented skin tones
People who prefer natural ingredients
People who like creamier textures
Children


After you’ve decided which ingredients are right for you, you’ll need to pick your number. SPFs go up to 100 these days, but an SPF of 30 is 97% effective when used correctly. Keep in mind that higher SPFs require a higher chemical load, as it becomes more difficult to formulate high SPFs with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Allergic or sensitive types may find it difficult to use sunscreens with high SPFs for this reason.

Which one is right for you?

Now the million dollar question: which sunscreen is right for you?

My preference is to use a strictly mineral sunscreen, but it may be difficult to find a mineral sunscreen that is only mineral. Many formulations that use a mostly mineral sunscreen may still include some chemical filters simply because it keeps the product lighter. Often I will layer my sunscreens and use a mineral powder on top to get as much protection as possible while still keeping textures light.

Ultimately, the most important step in sunscreen is the application part, so make sure to buy one that you will use. The sunscreen that protects you best is the one that is on your skin, not in the drawer. [Tweet this!]

 

 

Speak your mind! How do you pick a sunscreen? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook and tell me what you think!

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5 Foods for Gorgeous Skin

Today Sabrina, who blogs at BESskincare.com, is guest posting. Enjoy!
Oh food. The sustenance of body, the middle-ground for socializing, the tastiest darn past-time.

Food is important for so many reasons. Obviously it fuels our energy and is as essential as oxygen and water, but its effects reach further than that. Eating certain types of food can influence your hair, your skin and your general being.

As a little girl I was always concerned with my appearance. If one single hair was out-of-place, I would make my babysitter or mother re-do it for me. Not much has changed since then. While my parents laugh at me and joke about my vanity, I can’t disagree with them. Yes, I’m a little vain, but what’s wrong with that? I take pride in taking care of my body and part of that means watching what I eat.

You’re probably assuming I mean my weight, when I say “watch what I eat.” I’m more concerned about my skin though. I am only 26 years young, but I am fully aware that the foods I put in my body will help determine how my skin looks now and in the future. When I’m 40, I wanna look this age, and I don’t see why that’s not possible!

For glowing, ageless skin here are my top 5 favourite foods:

Salmon

This tasty underwater treat is full of skin benefits. First of all, it is full of the essential fatty acid Omega-3. Omega-3’s are responsible for maintaining your skin’s metabolism, controlling the secretion of oils and sustaining natural levels of collagen.

This fish is also a good source of lean protein. Since your skin is made of mostly protein, it’s not surprising that a daily dose of protein protects your skin from damage.5 foods for gorgeous skin leafy greens

Leafy Greens

I’ve been a lover of veggies since I was a little girl, but didn’t get into leafy greens like kale, collards, and bok choy until I was a teenager. These vegetables are rich with vitamins that help promote clear, youthful skin.

Vitamin A and C both help clear acne, regenerate skin cells, and promote cellular turnover for brighter skin. They also flush your body of toxins and free radicals that can damage your skin and, ultimately, it’s appearance.

Walnuts

These aren’t one of my favourite tasting nuts, but they sure are great wrinkle-reducers. Rich in linoleic acid, they  keep your skin nicely moisturized so the likelihood of wrinkles and fine lines significantly diminishes.

Sunflower Seeds5 foods for gorgeous skin sunflower seeds

The official seed of baseball and a fan-favourite of birds, sunflower seeds are tasty and great for your skin. These seeds are high in vitamin E and a great source of the Omega-6 fatty acid. Adding this to your diet will help maintain the integrity of your cell membranes and repair previous skin damage. Combine them with vitamin C-rich foods and further prevent potential sun-damage to your skin.

Lemons

You know the saying “When life hands you lemons.” This fruit is ripe with vitamin C, a vitamin with a million glowing skin benefits.

Vitamin C has the ability to increase natural collagen production and maintain your skin’s elasticity. As we age, we lose levels of this nutrient so it’s important to supplement.

Adding a few slices of lemon to your glass of water can also help flush your body of all the toxins that are preventing proper functioning. A full flushing will give your detoxifying organs a much-needed break so they can go back to focusing on more important things. The benefits of this are plenty- acne-free, even-toned, lighter skin.

Wrinkle-reducing, damage preventing, moisture-providing foods for your skin. Who knew that talking about gorgeous skin could make you so hungry?

 

guest blogger sabrina taylorAuthor Bio: Sabrina is a sassy writer for BESskincare.com. Alongside her BFF V, she delves into the world of all things skin care and beauty. From brutally honest product reviews to dirty DIYs like anti-aging face masks, she covers it all. Stay connected with her on Facebook and Twitter.