Below the Chin

standard November 11, 2016 Leave a response

Below the Chin: Why Your Neck and Décolletage Need Love, Too!

Healthy Foundation
If you thought facial care stopped at your chin, then, erm, look down.
Your neck and chest are some of the most sensitive areas on your body – which means they deserve a little extra TLC.

Chances are, though, you probably haven’t given them a second thought since the last time you rocked a LBD for date night or took a super-flattering selfie.
Here are five reasons to show your delicate décolletage some love – and the perfect ways to work your ladies into your skincare routine:

1. Sensitive Skin Needs a Cleanser, Too

If you thought facial care stopped at your chin, then, erm, look down.
The sensitive skin right above your breasts may have fewer oil glands than your T-Zone, but that doesn’t mean it cleans itself.
“Always bathe with an amino acid-rich body wash to reduce inflammation and remove any toxins from your skin,” writes Megan Cahn at Elle.

She suggests using a gentle cleanser with seaweed extract, which can help you to detox and remove impurities. Germs be gone! From our catalog: Try our Eucalyptus Seafoam Facial Cleanser for sensitive skin. With a detoxifying blend of seaweeds, invigorating mint essential oils, skin-softening rosehip oil, this rich foam cleanser washes away makeup and other impurities.

2. Exfoliate for Healthier Skin

After a long day hoofing it to meetings or the gym, we don’t think twice about picking up our loofa in the shower. But, says dermatologist Patricia Wexler, you should pay special attention to exfoliating your neck and chest in order to encourage cell turnover.

“Extend your daily exfoliant, whether it’s with a cleansing brush or a glycolic acid, all the way down to the top of your chest,” Wexler told Allure.

“Sloughing away the dead-skin layer allows active ingredients to absorb faster.”
Active ingredients that work best for this sensitive area include retinol and plant extracts like rosehip oil, which help to lighten and firm skin.

By exfoliating away dead skin, you can bask in the powerful antioxidant nutrients from your fave neck cream – because they’ll be that much more effective.
And if you haven’t started exfoliating regularly – we’d like to make the case that you start, like, yesterday to reap major benefits.

“Dry brushing is very good for you as it stimulates the lymphatic system, increases circulation, and removes dead skin cells,” beauty expert Cornelia Zicu told Into the Gloss.

“I recommend and prefer using a scrub once per week. A salt scrub is an excellent choice for exfoliation if you have skin issue that may need healing, as the properties in salt are detoxifying and are a natural and healthy way to heal injury to the skin,” she added.

Once you’ve exfoliated, pat your body dry with a towel (toweling off can irritate newly sensitive skin), and consider adding a rich moisturizer or even a body oil for super-soft skin.

From our catalog: Looking for a strong treatment to soften exfoliated skin? Try our Vitamin A & Coq 10 Wrinkle Smoothing Night Cream. Moisturizing organic rosehip oil, the highest concentration of Vitamin A (retinyl), Vitamin C, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Coenzyme Q10 work together to dramatically lessen the appearance of wrinkles, brighten age spots, and increase firmness. Apply only at night.

3. Sorry, boys. V-Necks = Sun Damage

Beach bunnies, beware. If you’re not using extra-strong sunscreen on this oh-so-sensitive area, you could be in for serious wrinkles down the line.
“Your skin is exposed to a variety of environmental attackers on a daily basis, but UVA/UVB radiation from the sun is the biggest contributor to free radical damage,” explains skin care expert Anita Sturnham to Prevention.

This adds up to major damage, and it could even lead to “brown spots, mottled pigmentation, broken capillaries, lines, and possibly skin cancer—especially if you are wearing v-necks or button down shirts that are exposing the skin to sun,” warns dermatologist Jennifer Chwalek at Stylecaster.

That’s right – your mom and your dermatologist were super serious about slathering on that SPF every day! If the damage is already done, it’s possible to start the healing process by using a product with peptides, a kind of amino acid that can help you restore vitality to your skin. “One of my favorite ingredients for treating damage below the jawline is tetrapeptides,” suggests Patricia Wexler at Allure.

“There’s plenty of science to show they help make new collagen and elastic tissue, which is what the neck and chest need to look firmer and younger.”

While treatments like this can certainly help minimize sun damage, it’s better to avoid damage in the first place. So lather up, ladies!

4. More Moisture, Please

Because the delicate skin on your skin and neck has fewer sebaceous glands than other areas of your body, it needs a little bit of help when it comes to moisturizing.
“The lack of oil glands on your neck can cause dryness, which may accelerate the aging process and make your neck appear more weathered,” dermatologist Fredric Brandt explained to Real Simple.

The solution? A nutrient-rich moisturizer that’s a little bit heavier than your normal, day-to-day stuff. Fair warning: these thick creams will be hard to apply when cold, says Elle beauty writer Megan Cahn, “so it is important to warm the product in between your fingertips before application.”

“Once it is ready to be absorbed, apply it in fluid, upward strokes from your chest toward the chin, jawline, and back of the ears,” Cahn writes.

“This is a European massage technique that will sooth the skin and encourage lifting.”
A massage and perfect décolletage? Yes, please.

From our catalog: Try our Intensive Healing Moisture Balm to restore softness and elasticity to your neck. Made with healing avocado, shea, and almond butters, the anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants in this ultra-rich moisturizer will protect and repair skin.

5. Skin Ages Here First

You might be able to lie convincingly enough about your age, but the skin on your neck and chest will almost always give you away. (Thanks for nothing, collarbones!)
That’s because the skin in this area loses collagen first, which means it’s more prone to wrinkles as you get older.

“The loss of collagen leads to sagging and visible horizontal rings around the neck, crepey texture, and creases in the décolleté area, along with visible discoloration of the skin,” skincare expert Liev Declerq told Cosmopolitan UK. But don’t give up on that plunging neckline just yet. If you use antioxidant treatments like retinol, says skincare expert Anita Sturnham, you can generate younger-looking skin.

“[Retinol] helps unclog pores, boost collagen, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, speed up cell turnover, and reduce uneven pigmentation,” Sturnham told Prevention.
Just don’t go overboard, cautions dermatologist Fredric Brandt. “Neck creams tend to have gentler active ingredients and be slightly richer than face creams,” Brandt told Real Simple.

Remember: the skin on your upper chest is super sensitive – so it needs a lighter touch and a heavier moisturizer to stay soft, supple, and young.

Foundation vs. Tinted Moisturizer

standard October 30, 2016 Leave a response

Healthy Foundation

If you’ve ever wasted precious minutes in the makeup aisle agonizing over the differences between liquid foundation and tinted moisturizer, we’re here to set the record straight.

For all intents and purposes, there are more similarities between the two products than differences – but, as always, the devil’s in the details.

Here’s everything you need to know to pick the perfect coverage for your skin.

So, What’s the Difference, Anyway?

When beauty editors road test tinted moisturizers and liquid foundations for their magazine, they get down to brass tacks: how well does the product cover imperfections? How heavy does the foundation feel once applied on the skin?

And while those are important notes to cover – more on that below! – we’re grateful to editors who take the time to suss out what makes these products different – and who should be using them.

According to Shannon Romanowski, tinted moisturizer generally contains more humectants – which means it helps keep moisture locked into your skin.

“Tinted moisturizers are usually best for women with dry skin and women that don’t need quite as much coverage,” explains Romanowski at Self.

As you might be able to guess from the name, tinted moisturizer is pigmented – which means it’s perfect if you just need a light correcting base. It can also include other goodies, like sunscreen or antioxidants, to help keep your skin looking young and fresh.

Liquid foundation, on the other hand, has very little of the moisturizing properties in tinted moisturizer – and way more pigment.

“A foundation covers the skin with a layer of color and gives it a flawless finish,” confirms O Magazine’s beauty director, Valerie Monroe.

That’s part of what makes liquid foundation such an appealing choice for fashion editors – not only does it provide an incredible base to build up your look, but it also masks any and all imperfections.

Liquid foundation is heavier in texture, but blends more easily – yet another reason makeup artists love it.

When you’re choosing which product to add to your shopping cart, knowing the basics helps.

But there are plenty of other very personal preferences you might want to consider, too.

Here’s a mini-checklist you can take with you to answer every single one of your questions:

1. Cover Up or Go Au Naturel

2nd Skin Foundation

Are you after that fresh, dewy face straight from the runways? Or do you need to master professional polish with a matte, no-nonsense look?

Whatever style you’re dying to try, choosing between tinted moisturizer and liquid foundation can make all the difference.

Tinted moisturizers and BB creams – with lighter textures and less pigmentation – will help you nail fresh-faced appeal.

“I love tinted moisturizer, because its sheer coverage evens out your complexion in the most natural-looking way,” makeup artist Laura Mercier told Allure.

“It’s better to go darker than lighter, so you warm up your skin instead of looking too pale,” Mercier adds.

After applying both moisturizer and primer, add a coat of tinted moisturizer and set with loose powder or setting powder.

Because liquid foundation is matte, it provides the ideal starting point for a killer, pared-back face perfect for going from office to on the town – plus, it offers a lot more coverage than tinted moisturizer.

Blend carefully on the back of your hand with a makeup sponge before applying to your cheeks, forehead, and chin. Mercier suggests cutting your foundation with water – dampen your makeup sponge – if you want a lighter effect.

From our catalog: Our Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer comes in eight customized shades and offers medium coverage for a fresh, dewy face. Looking for something more substantial? Try Fruit Pigmented Healthy Foundation for full coverage that won’t weigh you down.

2. Mark Your Calendars

Warmer weather equals less makeup, which means reaching for a lighter base like tinted moisturizer.

Not only will this strategy give your pores a vacation from heavy, pore-clogging foundation, but both tinted moisturizer and BB cream often include sunscreen in their formulas (bonus!). When you’re on the go, it’s nice to have at least one one-and-done product in your makeup bag.

But, if you can’t live without foundation in warmer months, try out a powder version for maximum coverage with minimal weight.

From our catalog: Our Fruit Pigmented Foundation Face Powder offers medium coverage with a near-matte finish – everything you’re looking for in a foundation for the summer.

3. Check in with Your Skin

When it comes to finding the right foundation, one size doesn’t fit all.

Knowing whether you’re prone to breakouts or in need of major moisture will help you make the best decision for you and your pores.

“If your skin is oily, use oil-free liquid or powder foundation,” advises Jessica Maitlin at O Magazine.

“If you have combination skin, strategically apply a powder foundation” to your T-zone, she adds.

From our catalog: Aging or dry skin can often benefit from a cream-based foundation. Our version is pigmented with fruit and filled with antioxidants that will hydrate your skin and give you a gorgeous near-matte finish.

4. To BB or Not to BB

BB Cream

If you’re ready to pare back and pick a tinted moisturizer, there are plenty of options.

Choose one closest to your skin shade, or even go a little darker if you want more coverage but none of the weight of a full foundation.

In addition to tinted moisturizers, you’ll find similar products like BB creams – the Korean beauty phenomenon – crowding the shelves.

What’s the difference?

“Think of BB creams as multivitamins for your face,” suggests Andrew Sotomayor at Glamour. “They usually contain sunscreen, moisturizer, color, and anti-aging ingredients.”

If you don’t mind a little less pigment, opt for a multi purpose BB cream instead of tinted moisturizer.

Looking for maximum coverage? You can use BB cream after your primer and before a light foundation – it might even help you wear less foundation overall, since BB cream corrects your color, too.

From our catalog: Try our BB Cream for light coverage and a healthy, glowing complexion.

5. Textured Trio

If you tend to suffer from breakouts or are simply looking for more coverage, then foundation’s definitely the way to go.

But how do you begin to tell which foundation will work best for you?

While some of this comes down – yet again – to personal preference, many foundations are designed with specific skin types in mind.

Let’s break it down:

Liquid foundation: Even in this category, there are tons of options! Have trouble with breakouts? Look for a foundation that’s oil-free – even a water-based foundation will do. Worried about drying out? Opt for a moisture-rich formula to keep your pores hydrated.

Powder foundation: Sensitive skin does best with a mineral-based loose powder foundation, while pressed powder foundations work wonders for oily or combination skin.

Cream foundation: If your skin needs a little extra moisture, opt for a creamy foundation and apply with a makeup brush for even coverage.

While skin type can go a long way towards pointing you in the right direction, finding the best shade for your skin tone is perhaps even more important – unless you want to have a weird ring of foundation around your jawline, or look like you’re two different shades in those reunion photos.

According to CoverGirl scientist Sarah Vickery, most women struggle with finding the right color.

“Only 15 percent of women choose the correct shade if the appropriate tools aren’t provided,” Vickery told Fitness. Ouch! That means many of us are stumbling around in the dark.

If you can, try a little bit of the shade on your hand in natural light before taking it home. If it doesn’t work for you, most major pharmacies will take makeup back or offer a refund.

Don’t be shy in asking for help, either – it definitely doesn’t pay to wear the wrong shade all season long.

From our catalog: For light coverage with a dewy finish, try our Fruit Pigmented Water Foundation – a perfect option for summer!

While there’s plenty to consider as you’re finding the right fit for your makeup bag, remember there are really no wrong choices.

It all comes down to what feels best on your skin – and what won’t cause you to break out or dry up.

If you’re true to your skin type, the rest will come with practice – and lots of expert blending!

Do you prefer tinted moisturizers, or do you go all-out glam with liquid foundation? Tell us about your favorite look in the comments below :

Dull, Dry Skin Game-Changer

standard October 29, 2016 Leave a response
cucumber for skin
Organic Cucumber Juice

Organic Cucumber Juice

Maybe your poor skin never fully recovered from winter, or perhaps you’re always on the hunt for that elusive radiant glow.

Wherever your quest for gorgeous, hydrated skin begins, we can meet you there.

Learn how to stop dullness in its tracks with one superpowered organic ingredient – and the six steps you can add to your beauty routine for an absolutely flawless face.

Cool as a Cucumber

We’re not going to lie – sometimes we daydream about the cucumber-infused ice water served at spas. It’s so cool! So invigorating!

Now you can finally tap into that oh-so-refreshing feeling when you’re getting ready in front of your lighted mirror. Sure cucumber water tastes good – but what can it actually do to transform dry damaged skin?

For starters, cucumbers naturally contain a ton of water, in addition to antioxidants like vitamin C – which defend against environmental aggressors; vitamin A – which helps even out skin tone; and vitamin K – which can brighten even the darkest undereye circles.

“Cucumbers contain flavonoids and antioxidants that decrease swelling, redness and irritation,” dermatologist Amy Wechsler told The Huffington Post.

“They also provide a cooling effect that helps shrink dilated blood vessels, therefore reducing the appearance of puffy eyes,” she added.

That’s why spas don’t just include cucumbers in the drinking water – the cool slices also make perfect under eye treatments (like in this easy DIY mask you can put together in your own kitchen).

In addition to being a powerful de-puffer, cucumber also helps erase the effects of aging, thanks to a healthy dose of antioxidants.

“Cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidants that, when applied to skin, help fend off wrinkles, sun damage and more,” Wechsler told HuffPo readers.

Whether you’ve been spending too many nights in a row bingeing on Netflix or your skin just needs a pick-me-up, cucumber’s got the juice you need to give your next facial a major boost.

Pencils out? Here are six steps you can to take to transform dull, dry skin into a stunning healthy glow:

1. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

The tip that’s so important, we had to say it three times.

Especially if the sensitive areas of your face are suffering from flaky, dry patches – all too common in harsh Northeastern winters – it’s crucial to exfoliate away dead skin.

If left to their own devices, expired skin cells can build up and prevent moisturizer from doing its job.

According to dermatologist Jeannette Graf, this phenomenon is also a trick of the light.

“Your complexion looks radiant when it’s smooth enough to reflect light,” Graf explained to Allure. “Dead skin cells pile up, diffusing the light and making skin dull,” she added.

Make exfoliating with a light scrub – or a washcloth with your regular cleanser – a part of your nighttime routine once a month, suggests Kristin Appenbrink at Glamour.

This will prevent buildup of dead skin cells and leave plenty of room for a hydrating ingredient like cucumber juice to work its magic on your pores.

2. Cleanse and Tone

Since we already know you’re a super-informed beauty maven, cleansing and toning is likely an important part of your daily ritual.

But if it’s dewy hydrated skin you’re after, then give yourself an edge with the nourishing, hydrating power of cucumber.

In addition to vitamin C, cucumbers contain other goodies that give you that just-out-of-the-shower feeling of refreshment.

“Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B-5…[in cucumbers] helps your skin retain moisture,” explains Andrea Cespedes at Livestrong.

Get ready for your complexion to glow.

From our catalog: Our Cucumber Cleansing Foam will gently detox your skin as chamomile and green coffee oil magnify its soothing, anti-inflammatory effects. Round out your routine with our Cucumber Emulsion Tonique, which nourishes skin and balances pH after cleansing. Other toners can dry out sensitive skin, but our tonique will help you retain moisture where you need it most.

3. Zap Undereye Circles

Bright Eyes

One of the most sensitive areas on our face, the skin right beneath our eyes is so thin that when its fragile capillaries burst from lack of circulation – thanks, fatigue! – the skin can puff and discolor.

Thank goodness there’s a cure for it. In addition to logging between 7 and 8 hours catching Z’s, you can combat dark circles with a strategic routine.

“In the morning, apply a cold compress for about five minutes to constrict the blood vessels,” dermatologist Jeannette Graf told Real Simple. Then, “use an eye cream with caffeine, which helps constrict vessels.”

From our catalog: Kick undereye circles to the curb with our Cucumber Replenishing Eye Cream. Made specifically to soothe the delicate eye area, this cream is packed full of caffeine and antioxidants – including vitamins C and E – to reduce signs of fatigue.

4. Revamp Your Moisturizer

If your skin never seems to stay hydrated, it’s time to bring in the big guns.

Eliminate harsh cleansers that zap the natural oils from your face, and get serious about convincing the moisture you do have to stick around.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions. Look for a cream or ointment that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil.”

Other moisture-rich ingredients include hyaluronic acid, which encourages water molecules to stick around and hydrate your skin.

As soon as you hop out of the shower, use a moisturizing cream or serum to lock in extra moisture.

From our catalog: Our Cucumber Hydrating Moisturizer plumps up thirsty skin cells to make your complexion appear supple and soft, while hyaluronic acid locks in long-lasting hydration. If you’re looking for a more concentrated attack on dry, dull skin, try our Cucumber Renewal Serum. This lightweight formula hydrates thirsty skin cells with an instant water overload. A blend of nutrients with potent antioxidants help keep your skin looking youthful, supple, and healthy.

5. Pamper Your Pores

Face Masks

While there’s plenty you can do on a daily basis to keep your skin soft and supple, those who suffer from chronic dryness might need a little extra TLC.

Our favorite treatment? A hydrating facial mask designed to lock moisture in and rejuvenate skin.

“A hydrating mask restores moisture balance,” explains Jenna Birch at Shape. “These typically contain emollients, humectants and moisturizers that will deliver water molecules on to the skin surface.”

From our catalog: Try our Green Tea Water Bomb Mask for a real hydration boost. A natural humectant, hyaluronic acid helps trap moisture on the skin, while antioxidants from green tea and aloe vera help soothe and tighten.

6. Stay Hydrated. Literally

One of the best things you can do for parched skin? Make sure you’re drinking enough H2O. No matter what season it is, more water will help your skin find much-needed balance.

Even though there are few funded studies that research the effect water has on skin, dermatologists overwhelmingly notice a difference in client skin when they’re packing away plenty of H2O.

“I’ve found that water makes a big difference in skin health,” Dr. Rachel Nazarian told Women’s Health.

“Without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores more prominent.”

Nazarian suggests drinking “eight to ten eight-ounce servings” of water per day to feel energized, decrease breakouts, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

If you’ve been on the hunt for a natural, nutrient-rich source of major hydration, we hope you’ll add organic cucumber juice to your list.

This veggie has plenty of superpowers to spare, including vitamins and antioxidants poised to give your skin a youthful, healthy glow.

Plus, with our six tips for attaining perfectly moisturized skin, you’ll be on track to banish dull, dry skin for good.

How do you beat the winter blues? Tell us your favorite strategies for combating dry cheeks and ashy elbows in the comments below: