5 Ways To Look Younger

woman-s-smile-1570532-1279x852There comes a point in every woman’s life when they have a very pertinent question to ask – how do I look younger?  Some of us are not ready to embrace the golden years when they hit our appearance.  What simple habits can we start now to slow the aging process?

  1. Bleach any brown spots you may have.  When you’re past the age of freckles, the brown pigments on your skin are a clear indication of aging skin, not to mention sun damage to your skin.  If you lighten these age spots, you could also be lightening up some years that sun damage has done to your skin.  If you decide to invest in a skin bleacher, opt for one with the ingredient hydroquinone.  
  2. Do exfoliate or peel more.  Before you reach the age of 30, you might have invested in exfoliation or chemical peels for special occasions- too afraid of irritating the skin or causing damage.  To reduce the appearance of aging skin, it’s necessary to exfoliate more often and invest in a peeling process to slough away at the top layer of skin in order to reveal fresher and younger looking skin.  If exfoliating every 3 days isn’t enough, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion and plasma skin regeneration are all minimal procedures that can help you in your quest for younger looking skin.  
  3. More moisturizing and more sunscreen. Preventative measures are key to maintaining younger looking skin.  You want to invest in heavier and thicker moisturizer to constantly replenish your skin and to keep skin plump enough that any sagging won’t be overemphasized.  Sunscreen should also be a day to day routine, even if you just plan on driving to work every day- window exposure is enough to give you a sunburn.
  4. Invest in a Vitamin A fortified cream.  Also known as retinoids, these topical gels are formulated to reverse the clock on the aging process and help boost your collagen production.  You can generally get a prescription from a dermatologist for the strongest Vitamin A topical cream, or you can invest in a skin cream that already has retinoids in it.  
  5. Lifestyle tidbits.  Believe it or not, stress can wear you out mentally as well as physically.  When you experience an excess amount of stress, your body releases cortisol.  Cortisol is that nuisance mechanism in our body that turns inflammation bright red, induces breakouts and causes irritation.  To combat stress, it’s important to incorporate more antioxidants in your diet and to also take a psychological breather with methods of relaxation such as yoga or a type of breathing technique.  Sleep is also more necessary then even and you should set aside at least 7 hours a day to good quality shut-eye.  Sleeping is your body’s way of recuperating from day-to-day functioning and to reestablish order. As you can imagine, any disturbance in sleep can greatly disturb your anatomical balance.  

Besides just your outward appearance, be sure to always be focusing on your inward beauty too. Spend quality time with a good support system (friends and family) and invest in time to reflect internally within yourself.  Beauty should really be the output of a healthy lifestyle- no matter what age you are.

Your Guide to Caring for and Understanding Scars

make-up-1623941-1279x1706Some of us have battle scars, some of us are stuck with the remnants of a painful history of acne- whatever the story, scars are a difficult predicament to deal with in the realm of beauty.  They come in a variety of colors and they come in many different forms. It’s important to understand the nature of your scar so that you can properly care for it so that it heals to its upmost potential and doesn’t prevent you from strutting your skin during summer time or doesn’t keep you away from your favorite skirt or dress.  Since the formation of the scar signifies the most about the pathway of your care process, we’ll examine the different types of scars to help you distinguish which one you possess.

Flat scars

These are the most common scars and generally represent a less impactful injury or circumstance.  They have the most range of color-they can be black or brown or pink or red. With the right treatment, flat scars can be faded several tones from the original color you received from your scar.  

Indented scars

Also called atrophic scars, indented scars result from cystic acne, chickenpox virus, or an impactful injury.  The depression quality of these scars indicate that the underlying structure of the skin has been damaged to the point that it has left the scar looking depressed into the skin. Generally, these scars can’t heal as well as the rest, as their supporting structure has perished.  

Raised scars

These type of scars are known as hypertrophic scars and they indicate a surplus production of collagen.  Common in people that have skin of darker pigment, these scars have a better chance of residing to a normal appearance over time, more than indented scars, but it will take a long time.  

Treatment Options

  1. Serum, scar treatment gel or silicon-based gel. This is generally a method you can use after the wound has fully healed.  Using a couple times of day, these methods lighten the skin pigment of the scar to a more flesh colored complexion.  It’s also especially important to be applying sunscreen if the scar is exposed to sun as the sun can dramatically recede the progress of fading and improving the appearance of your scar.  
  2. Laser treatments and grafting.  Surgery is generally a more ideal choice for those with indented or raised scars.  Skin grafting is formulated for skin indented scars and it involves removing a portion of skin from another area of the body in order to refill the indented area. The improvement rate is fairly low (50%), but can drastically change the appearance of the scar if the scar is prominent.  
  3. Silicone gel sheets.  This type of treatment is used for raised scars.  It involves a reusable sheet that can be worn up to 24 hours at a time. With persistent use, raised scars can dramatically be lowered to the normal level of the surrounding skin on the body.  

It’s important before investing in a treatment option to confirm with your dermatologist to ensure the most effective option to care for your scar.   

How to Miniaturize Those Large Pores

squinting-eye-1436988When you meet someone for the first time, you don’t want them saying hello to your deep crater-like pores, you want them to say hello to you and your charming face!  Large pores effect a great number of people and carry along other stubborn problems such as persistent blackheads and oily skin.  The problem of enlarged pores is certainly an instance of a catch 22, but we offer some solutions to help you break the vicious cycle and regain your confidence.  

Why do pores become enlarged?

Your pores take on more responsibility than they’re capable of when you have enlarged pores.  Pores of normal size experience the ease of a normal flow of oil production, flowing in and out and evenly spreading over the surface of the skin.  When oil glands produce an excess of oil, pores swell to accommodate.  The problem of blackheads and acne arise when your pores start to trap in dead skin and other debris.  

What Can I do to take care of my large pores?

Be cautious of your skin care products.  First and foremost, stop the usage of products that will cause your oil glands from producing more oil.  If your pores are clogged, more oil is going to build up and grow the size of your pores even more than they are right now.  Avoid thick creamy and greasy moisturizers as these tend to clog your pores and cause more problems.  Also avoid products that contain alcohol in which will irritate and dry your skin and cause a surplus of oil to be generated by your skin.  

Use an exfoliator that contains salicylic acid.  By exfoliating skin with an exfoliator formulated with salicylic acid, excess skin cells can be removed from deep within the surface.  Overtime, this will minimize the size of the pores and allow maintenance of your oil to be regimented.  Unlike most people, you should practice exfoliating more than once a week – 2-3 times a week is more ideal.  

Retinoids help you get straight to the source.  Prescription retinoids such as Avita, Renova, Differin and Retin-A are commonly used for anti-aging reasons, but can also be used to tighten and refine pores in the process as well.  These type of products target how your pores function, and are formulated to improve the texture of your skin.  

Practice better habits.  With as stubborn problems as blackheads and large pores, every little lifestyle change can help your progress.  For one, make sure you always remove your makeup. There are some nights where you just want to crawl into bed with little effort, but that’s where handy dandy makeup remover wipes come in.  Makeup clogs your pores overtime, so it’s important to start implementing this habit right away.  Wash your sheets and pillow cases at least once every two weeks – as these manifest bacteria that can breed on your skin.  Also, be sure to be intake enough water as this can help clear out toxins in your body and keep your perspiration steady.  

If your efforts are not fruitful, you may need to consult a professional. They can hone into your skin and customize your very own plan of action to minimize your pores.  

Detox and Destress for the New Year: Health and Beauty

is-it-friday-yet-1239465-1279x959A month into your fresh new year and you may have noticed that everything about you has been revamped and upgraded—except for the fact that you haven’t detoxed what still lingers in and on your body from last year!  How do we perform an overall convenient detox from the inside and out in order to feel revitalized and unstoppable for the new year?

  1. Cleanse your inner and outer body with veggie and citrus juices.  Not only can you drink green goodness and citrus bless in order to flush away toxins and send nutrients straight to the places your body needs them, you can use a juice mixer as a refreshing facial mask.  To make your very own organic facial mask, mash red grapefruit with cooked tasteless oatmeal with a cup of milk. This mixture fortifies your skin with the use of antioxidants- the ultimate skin revival messengers.  By performing once a week, you will notice inflammation wane away to reveal incandescent skin.  Moreover, you get a blast away the past with the additive bonus of exfoliation from the oatmeal- peeling away the skin and unveiling new fresh baby skin.  
  2. Destress and detox your mane. By the end of the year, a lot of us are drained from the consecutive holidays and end of year resolution-fulfilling- and it shows in our hair. If you have brittle, inflexible, dull and flyaway hair, consider yourself a victim.  In order to detox your hair, you need to reset the pH levels that keep your hair pristine as fine wine. Invest in lemons and cucumbers and smash up to a paste.  Use as much as you need to cover the full scope of your hair as well as penetrating your scalp.  This combo with soothe your scalp while cooling and cleansing your hair without stripping natural oils.  
  3. Be aware of the enemies.  While you are detoxing, be sure to eliminate these ingredients from your existence: processed foods, artificial sweeteners, gluten, refined sugars, dairy and processed foods.  These nemeses will add a whole plethora of problems to maintaining your beauty – from causing you to lose hair to causing premature wrinkles.  Opt for hot green tea, raw vegetables (the darker the green the better) and fresh fruit. This way you flush out your GI tract and help clear out the pathways of your body that help deliver the nutrients that you so vitally need.  
  4. Revitalize your skin.  Over time, the pollutants, toxins, and metals in tap water build up on skin and hair.  Start your cleanse with a clay mask.  A clay mask will pull up all of the unwarranted substances that clog your skin in order for you to eradicate them.  Since your skin is constantly absorbing a lot of dirt, pollutants and metals, you want to invest in a product for your skin that contains chelators.  Chelators detoxify any of the unwanted substances that are wearing on your appearance and also prevent any new damage.

Don’t forget to also switch out your old makeup for new fresh cosmetic goodies-especially if you’ve had a product for more than 3 months.  A mistake a lot of women make that takes away from an annual cleansing and detoxing is using expired makeup.  It also never hurts to switch it up and try something new either!

Unveiling the Mystery of Toner

moisturise-me-1424465-1279x1062Shoppers have become especially consumer-cautious in this day and age- especially for beauty products.  You read all sorts of promises on bottles and products, and a lot of them always remain unfulfilled.  A lot of women have started to really etch the question out for one product in particular as it seems to be the mystery that’s linger for years – toner.

What is Toner? Toner is a product in the cosmetic department that levels out the pH levels in your skin. What this means is it helps restore moisture equally to all parts of your face. Why would you need this? After you cleanse your face, you might unseeingly strip your face of all essential natural oils, all in which can dry your skin out and cause a difference in pH.   Toners can be labeled as refreshers or astringents as well.  

Should I Use Toner? Toner started out in the market as a liquid astringent product for those with acne- usually teenagers.  As you can imagine, the same market goes. Generally, if you have oily skin or pores that stubbornly stay clogged.  Now, there’s toners formulated for sensitive skin, ones that exfoliate, and ones that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients and ones that contain brightening agents for luminous skin. Just be aware that the traditional toner with no added specialization may not be formulated for your skin type.  It’s safe to assume that any toner without any added specialization is formulated for oily skin and may dry out your skin if you have dry or sensitive skin.  To apply toner, you want to use it after you have cleansed your skin and patted dry. You want to apply only in the morning and use a cotton ball for application.  For an extra boost of refreshment, keep your toner in the fridge before application for the ultimate morning pick-me-up.

Examining the Different Types of Toner

  1. Astringents.  This is mostly for acne-prone and oily skin.  Anyone would sensitive or dry skin should avoid this because it would deteriorate the mechanism your skin uses to build up collagen and repair itself over time.
  2. Fresheners or Clarifiers.  These are usually glycerin or glycol-based formulas with additive fragrant extracts like rose water, common citrus fruits or aloe Vera. These are good to soften skin and prep for application for makeup.
  3. Water-based toners.  Generally, these are more moisturizing and can help tighten pores all while removing dire and oil and leaving your skin matte and ready for your heavier duty moisturizers or creams.   

Different types of toners may work better for some women than for others. Try testing with a toner that matches up best for you based on the description; if it doesn’t work with your skin try the next most likely on the list.