What I’m Loving Now: Deep Moisture for Dry Skin

Colder temperatures make me crave creamier moisturizers. But finding a moisturizer that’s got enough weight to get the deep moisture that you need and not clog your skin up can often be a challenge. Here are a few of my winter favorites for dry skin.

Nia24 Intensive Recovery Complex

I’ve been trying out some new products recently, and the Nia24 Intensive Recovery Complex has really captured my heart. Quick absorbing but still deeply moisturizing, this cream gives long-term moisture. Nia24 boasts a form of niacin that penetrates deeper into the skin, so in addition to rich moisture, you also get brighter, healthier skin in the long run. The Pro-Niacin complex also helps to thicken the top layers of the skin, giving you a heartier, more resilient complexion.

 

Sircuit Skin Cosmeceuticals Cloud 9

The intensely moisturizing Sircuit Skin Cloud 9+ cream has been one of my standbys for my own dry skin the last few years. It leaves a protective barrier on to defend your skin against the elements. It also features antioxidants and other botanical ingredients to protect against aging and restore at the same time.

 

 

 

Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough Replenishing Cream

I’ve always liked many of the products in the Philosophy skin care line. For many years, this moisturizer, the Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough replenishing cream. It has a buttery texture that melts into skin, protecting dry, chapped skin from the elements and restoring suppleness.

 

 

Korres Greek Yoghurt Moisturizing Face Cream

One of my favorite moisturizers, the Korres Greek Yoghurt Moisturizing Face Cream, recently got a texture makeover, and is now richer and even more moisturizing. It still has a light, whipped texture, so it’s a great cream for people who are on the oilier side of the skin type spectrum. The yoghurt in the cream is reparative and soothing, so that makes this particular product a great choice for irritated or inflamed skin, such as skin types that suffer from eczema or psoriasis.

 
Boscia Tsubaki Beauty OilFacial oils are all the rage, and it’s one of my favorite ways to tweak a skin care routine that’s just not quite enough moisture for dry skin. You don’t need to purchase an entirely new routine; just amp up your current moisture by layering an oil under your favorite lighter summer ones. Your skin absorbs layers better, so using several light products may actually work best for you. My current favorite oil is the Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil, which has a lovely light texture and tons of antioxidants for brightening and extra protection.

 

 

Have you tried any of my winter favorites? What products do you rely on when temperatures drop? Tell me in the comments below!

 

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How To Save Your Skin From Stress

tips to stop your stress from showing on your faceNo matter how perfect your skin care routine is, we all hit points in life when we look less than radiant. Often it’s stress that zaps your glow. And the last thing you need when you’re feeling run down and tired from stress is looking like you’re run down and tired.

Stressed skin usually looks dull, and a dull complexion needs three things: exfoliation, hydration, and nourishment. [Tweet this!] Stress causes your body to deplete its vitamin stores, and your skin loses its nutrients first. It’s also more likely to break out as cortisol changes oil production. Here are some of my cheats to revitalize skin that needs extra help.

  • Mask, mask, mask. Facial masks can do just about anything you need for your skin. Fresh Rose Face Mask When my skin is looking dull and tired, I let a mask soak into my skin, even if I just squeeze in a few minutes in the shower. Whether I’m getting an extra shot of vitamins, a bit of exfoliation, or even a dose of hydration, my skin loves the help. Some to try? I love the Fresh Rose Face Mask for hydrating and revitalizing. Another favorite is the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for extra exfoliation.

 

  • Brighten with a multi-vitamin serum or moisturizer. If you’re not alreadyiS Clinical Poly Vitamin Serum using a serum that lists vitamin C or niacinamide among its ingredients, get one now. Since your dull complexion is telling you that you’re lacking nutrients, make sure to add as many as you can. Some of my go-to skin care products are the iS Clinical Poly Vitamin Serum, which covers all of your needs with a blend of glycolic acid, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, or the Astara Antioxidant Light Moisturizer, which infuses tons of botanicals and nutrients into one lightweight product.

 

  • Grab a green juice. Finding time to eat healthy can be a challenge, and stress just makes me want to eat brownies. Maybe I’m the only one? Sometimes it’s easier to drink my veggies on the go. Greens have tons of phytonutrients and vitamins, and giving your body this boost will also help your skin get the nourishment it needs.

How do you save your skin when stress takes its toll?

BB Creams… Decoded

Flip through any magazine, watch any channel on TV, and you will see an ad for a BB cream. They seem to have come out of nowhere and are suddenly everywhere. The million dollar questions are, what is a BB cream, and do you need one?

The concept of the BB cream originally came out of the Asian market. The BB stands for blemish balm or beauty balm. They are designed to camouflage any blemish or imperfection in the complexion. They are generally lightweight, tinted foundation creams that also contain various treatment ingredients to treat your skin concerns while concealing. They are both solving the problem and covering it up at the same time. The truth about BB creams is that it’s not a new concept. Many of the foundations and tinted moisturizers from just a few years back are similar to the BB creams that we’re seeing advertised today. Those formulations also featured treatment ingredients to address different concerns.

what is a bb cream?BB creams are incredibly tempting because they seem to solve so many problems at one time. But beware the jack of all trades. Even I find a product that is 12-in-1 a little overwhelming. These creams may help with your concerns, but they can’t ever replace the treatment benefits of a serum. At the end of the day, they are still a cosmetic product. If you have a skin concern, make sure to address it with a targeted treatment. But if you’re going to wear a complexion product, you might as well pick something with some added beneficial ingredients.

Most BB creams claim to hydrate or moisturize. As with tinted moisturizers, whether you can just use a BB cream really depends on your skin type. I generally feel that people need a little something more than just a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Those who are super oily may feel like this is just enough. I like to layer since I am very dry.

If you are looking for a full coverage complexion product, you may like a BB cream as a foundation primer or extra layer of coverage. If you just like a little complexion evening and control, a BB cream alone may be just enough for you. Pick the right BB cream for you by first finding a texture and coverage you love. Remember, it’s a cosmetic product first. Do you want more coverage, or just a hint? Do you want a tint and primer in one? Does the brand you’re considering offer a color that suits your natural skin tone? If you’ve got it narrowed down to just a couple now, does this product treat your other concerns? Does it hydrate, or help to fade marks? Think of these benefits as your bonus points.

Look at your BB cream as the frosting on the cake… not completely necessary but it’s sure nice to have it there!

 

 

Speak your mind! Do you have a favorite BB cream? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook and tell me what you think!

What I’m Loving Now: Oils

favorite facial oils including coconut oilThe Northeast is bracing for what will hopefully be the last snow storm of this season, and I have been relying on whatever I can find to keep my dry, itchy skin under control. Here are a few of products that I keep going back to.

 

Argan oil is a popular ingredient these days. It popped up a few years back and fans are Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oilkeeping it front and center. I love the Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil. It has a rich texture that is amazing to soothe dry skin. I especially love it because Kahina gives so much back to the community of Berber women that make the oil. Try a couple of drops under a lotion to amp up your moisture, on cuticles, or even on the ends of hair to tame frizz.

 

Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex


All winter, I’ve been using this Replenishing Nutrient Complex from Tata Harper in my facials. I love the double whammy – it’s wonderfully aromatic and soothing, as well as super moisturizing. I find the rollerball incredibly convenient. I keep it in my bag for touch ups over makeup during the day. Remember that dry skin is dull skin, so a hint of oil on the cheeks can restore your glow.

 

You can’t get more of a multi-tasker than coconut oil. I’m not one for making my own skin Organic Coconut Oilcare; I’d just rather buy something that comes in a pretty box. But I’ve been making this One Minute Chocolate Cake from Chocolate Covered Katie just about every night, and I kept getting coconut oil all over my hands. Not wanting to waste, I started working the excess into the ends of my hair, removing my eye makeup, and rubbing it onto my arms. Now I’m almost out, and I’m obsessed. I need my chocolate cake and my moisture. By the way, if you don’t have a nut allergy, coconut is a hot new ingredient for your skin and for your diet.

 

I do find that oils work best with a moisturizer. The oils seem to soak in and disappear on their own. But if you mix a few drops into your moisturizer, or apply the moisturizer over the oil, it really helps to seal in that extra moisture. Don’t be scared of oil. If your skin is dry, it needs the help.

Do you have any favorite oils for these last few cold weeks?

Thinking Out of the Box

woman jumping out of skin care boxSkin care companies have put you in a box for years, and I’m here to break you free.

People often confuse skin types with skin concerns. Skin types only indicate how much oil you produce. It’s a sliding scale with very oily skin on one side and extremely dry skin on the other. The center of the scale is balanced skin, or skin that produces just enough oil to be moisturized on its own. Many things can affect your oil production, like seasonal changes, hormonal changes, and medications. Make sure to flex your routine to match what’s actually going on with your skin.

Skin concerns are the specific things you want to change about your skin, like acne, pigmentation, or fine lines. Many people will tell me that their skin type is sensitive, but this is actually more of a concern. No matter what your skin type, you can absolutely treat whatever concern you have in a way that works for you.

Oily skin types generally want to stick with lighter textures. Oil free lotions can be helpful in the summer, but in the winter, be careful of not getting enough moisture. I find lots of oily skin types overestimate their oiliness and get a little dried out in the cooler months. Look for a lotion that is still lightweight but has some botanical oils in it, like jojoba, sunflower, or argan oils. Treat your concerns with serums. Most serums are lightweight enough to not create any more oiliness on the skin, and you can get them to treat any concern you have.

Balanced skin types have the most options of all the skin types, but you are also the ones that need to pay the most attention to external factors. You may find that having a few options for your routine allows you more flexibility. In general, you want to stick with medium weight textures. You may like layering a few serums to help address your concerns and keeping your moisturizer lighter. In cooler months, you may like a bit of a heavier moisturizer. If you’re prone to break outs, keep the moisturizer light and layer the serums to get the right amount of hydration.

Dry skin types can’t get enough moisture. You love a creamy, buttery texture. I’m a dry skin type, and in the winter, creams just can’t be rich enough. But dry skin types need to watch out for going overboard. Creams that are too heavy can lay on the surface of the skin, not only clogging the pores but also preventing moisture from penetrating the deeper layers of the skin. Dry skin types want to embrace layers, maybe using a hydrating serum before a deeper moisturizer. Your skin has more opportunity to absorb many light layers than one super thick layer.

I generally recommend that you pick a cleanser and moisturizer for your skin type and looking for a serum to address your concerns. All skin types can benefit from using a hydrating serum, even just as needed, to help build in additional moisture that is easy for the skin to absorb.

Do you treat for its type, or your concerns?

What I’m Loving Now: Jane Iredale Sugar and Butter Lip Duo

natural lip exfoliant and lip plumper all in oneChapped winter lips have gotten me down, so I was happy to rediscover one of my favorite lip products, the Jane Iredale Sugar and Butter lip duo. I found it in the bottom of a drawer, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t used it since last year. This lip duo features a lip exfoliator on one side, which has organic brown sugar partnered with beneficial botanical oils to exfoliate dead skin and moisturize at the same time. I love sugar exfoliants because they don’t leave nasty tasting synthetic ingredients all over, and sugar dissolves easily for a quick, on the go dead skin removal. The flip side is a hydrating lip butter, with a little extra shimmer and plumper as a bonus. I love the way my lips look when I use this… it’s my barely there lip look. The plumper helps to boost the look of your natural lip color, as well as giving a little fullness that often lacks in the cold winter months. This is best for ladies who don’t crave a dramatic lip look but want to add a little finish with a natural sheen and glow. I am obsessed with lip products, and I hate most of the exfoliants I’ve tried. This little gem has been a welcome change.

What are you relying on to save your lips this winter?

 

 

 Think this product 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.

5 Ways to Get Glowing by Valentine’s Day

valentine card with glowing skinValentine’s Day is just around the corner, and whether you have a date or are looking for one… you’re going to need to get your best glow going! Here are five tips to get you glowing in just a few days.

  • Cozy up with a vitamin C serum. Vitamin C helps to promote blood circulation (therefore detoxing the skin), decrease uneven skin tone, and brightening your complexion all over. You’ll get bonus brightening if the vitamin C is paired with arbutin, licorice root extract, or kojic acid. One of my favorites is the iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum, packed with potent vitamin C to stimulate repair and get the blood moving. Another of my favorites is the Korres Wild Rose Brightening Serum , which uses wild rose extracts that naturally contain vitamin C to brighten and prevent fine lines.
  • Kiss your skin with some alpha hydoxy acids. A little extra exfoliation helps to get rid of the layers of dead skin cells that sometimes build up in cooler months and cause a dull complexion. Add a glycolic cleanser three to four times a week, or try an at home peel once a week for the next two weeks to excavate your glow. Some to try? I love DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge glycolic wash (available in varying glycolic strengths start with 1 if you’re new to glycolic), which is formulated to not cause excessive dryness. For at-home peels, I love MD Skincare’s Alpha-Beta Daily Face Peel, though I feel like daily use can be excessive. I generally recommend using it 2-3 times per week at night.
  • Have a fling with an instant brightening mask. I keep these miracle workers
    on hand for a quick fix. My current romance is with the Boscia Bright White Mask, packed with vitamin C and sea algae to remineralize and revitalize the complexion. Another one to try? I love Fresh Rose Face Mask for hydration and a glow.
  • Commit to complete moisture. Cold weather slows oil production and harsh wind can abuse the skin. Look for skin replenishing lipids such as ceramides, shea butter, and healthy botanical oils like jojoba and argan oils. I get my deep moisture from creams like Sircuit Skin Cloud 9 moisturizer or the Astara Antioxidant Light Moisturizer, which is a little lighter but still a glow getter. Be careful of going too heavy… many moisturizers just sit on the surface, leaving the underlying layers depleted and lacking luster. When in doubt, apply layers of moisture in the form of serums and creams.
  • Cheat your complexion with some cosmetic saviors. I rely on highlighters like Fresh’s Twilight highlighter and Benefit High Beam to fake a glow
    where there was dullness before. I swear by a pink blush like the ever famous NARS Orgasm blush, which has saved me on many an early morning (better for lighter skin tones… try Dolce Vita for deeper skin tones). I also love Tarte cheek stain in Blushing Bride. The gel texture is better for dry skin types because it helps the skin appear more hydrated (powders sometimes make skin look drier, which is opposite of the glow we’re going for).

These are some of my favorite tips. What do you do to save your complexion in the middle of tough skin times?

ribbon heart

Falling Back

Fall is in the air in New York for sure, and as the leaves change…so should your skin care routine. These are a few quick tips for managing seasonal changes in your skin.

New fall season requires changes to skin care routineAs the weather cools off, skin has a tendency to dry. Be sure to add some extra moisture to your routine. Look for a moisturizer that has some healthy fats in it, like natural botanical oils such as jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, or avocado oil. You can even stretch your summer moisturizer into the fall months by using some simple, inexpensive jojoba oil underneath it as a serum. Be sure, as always, to avoid mineral oil and petrolatum. Sometimes, switching to a milky cleanser also helps to alleviate dryness, even if you only use it a few times a week.

Many people, myself included, are seeing an increase in their breakouts. Adding an acne control serum can quickly curb breakouts. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid or willow bark extract. Don’t forget to moisturize afterward though! Your skin is likely to be drier right now, and the added acne control can then make dryness worse. Use a skin-type appropriate moisturizer. Sometimes an exfoliating mask can sometimes help to bring your skin back in line. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. And again, remember to moisturize afterward!

Fall is also time for seasonal allergies. Those prone to hay fever may see an increase in dry, itchy skin or eczema. Here again, I find that a healthy botanical oil is very helpful either used on its own or a few drops spiked into your regular moisturizer (for face or body). Sometimes a little hydrocortisone cream can help in small patches. If itchiness persists, definitely see your doctor for a prescription.

Seasonal facials can be a great way to manage a lot of these little changes. A professional exfoliation, extractions, and mask can often give your out-of-balance skin just the help it needs in order to get back on track, as well as giving you a little quality time to check in with an expert on your current skin care routine.

The key to managing your skin during a seasonal change is simply paying attention and being adaptable. Your skin will need different things at different times, so you must be willing to tweak your routine in order to respond. Feeling dry? Maybe amp up your moisturizer for a few days. Breaking out? Add some acne control for a week just in your problem areas. It’s okay to change your skin care routine based on what your skin needs at the time. [Tweet this!] Your skin is always changing, and your skin care routine should adapt as well.

 

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Sunny Summer Days

This past Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. Now everyone can look forward to months of beaches and BBQs and fun in the sun. Summer can also mean dramatic changes in your skin that can often wreak havoc. Read on for some ideas on avoiding trouble and cruising through summer with a glow.

Changes of season are a great time to revisit your skincare routine.  Everyone experiences changes in their skin, and routines need to be tweaked accordingly. As temperatures rise, you may find that your oiliness increases as well. More oiliness calls for lighter textures and, for some, moderate use of oil controlling ingredients. You may find that adding a wash with salicylic acid will help to combat excessive shine and more frequent breakouts. Look for a wash with 2% salicylic acid. Use it daily for oily-all-over skin types, and try it three times a week for T-zone-oily skin types. Remember that overuse of salicylic acid can dry, so dial it back a little if you start to dry out.

Increases in oiliness can also often lead to more clogged pores, which can in turn lead to seasonal breakouts. These breakouts are easily controlled. Again, increasing your use of salicylic acid can help, adding either a wash or a light acne control serum. Remember that you still need to hydrate and protect your skin, so don’t skip your moisturizer for fear of making breakouts worse. Instead, switch to a light-weight hydrator, or use a hydrating serum under your sunscreen.

Warmer days often encourage extra sun exposure too, so it is also the time to increase your daily SPF protection. I generally recommend switching to a dedicated SPF and putting your moisturizer with SPF aside until fall. Make sure you amp up to an SPF 30 as well, as you need that extra coverage. You may find that dusting on a mineral SPF powder can give you a mid-day touch up, protecting your skin while blotting some excess shine. I’ve talked about sunscreens more in depth in other posts.

Pigmentation is also a concern in summer months. Diligent use of sunscreen is your best defense against those pesky brown spots. You can add a botanical brightening serum underneath your moisturizer. I usually do this morning and night in order to get a boost in repair, as well as proactively protecting against more damage. I recommend putting your prescriptions or products containing hydroquinone away for the summer since misuse of more aggressive products can actually lead to more damage.

Summer skin problems don’t have to stop your fun. [Tweet this!] A few simple changes to your routine can help keep your skin under control and glowing through the fall!

 

 

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Just the FAQs: When Do I Use That?

With all the different kinds of products out there, one of the questions I get the most often is, “When do I use that?” After the basic cleanser-toner-moisturizer, how do you layer products and still maintain effectiveness? I have a few easy, general rules that can help you sort out your products once you get them home.

  • Use the products that have the lightest texture first. Feel the texture of each of your products. You want to use the product with a watery or gel-like texture first. These products, which are generally serums, penetrate faster and have a higher concentration of active ingredients, and you want that closest to the skin.
  • Use exfoliants at night. Check the ingredients. Does it use an AHA like glycolic or lactic acid? Does it have retinol as one of the active ingredients? These exfoliants can sometimes cause photosensitivity, so it is safer to put it on at night and give your skin a chance to repair. Be sure to use an SPF in the morning!
  • Use your antioxidants in the morning. Does this product contain Vitamin C? Have you got a CoQ10 cream? Is it a multi-vitamin for your skin? Your skin is exposed to more free radicals when you’re running around during the day, so you’ll get the most benefits from antioxidants then. You can always use antioxidants at night; you just want to be sure to use them during the day.
  • Use the more reparative products at night. Does your cream repairs fine lines? Your skin, just like your mind and your body, restores and repairs itself at night. Get the most benefits from your reparative or anti-aging products by giving those ingredients to your skin when it can use them best.
  • When all else fails… Prioritize your routine by your primary concern. You have two light-weight, watery serums. One addresses hydration, and one uses antioxidants. If you want to use them both, use the one that addresses your primary concern first. Is your primary concern is hydration? Put that on your cleansed skin first. Is your primary concern is anti-aging? Try the antioxidant serum first instead. The active ingredients will all benefit the skin, but this way it absorbs the product that fixes your first concern the fastest.

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. These are only guidelines, designed to help you build your own customized routine with your favorite products. When in doubt, follow the recommendations of your dermatologist or skincare professional.