Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog knows that I am fascinated by skincare products and routines from around the world, and in particular I’ve developed a real obsession (not a scary, stalker one – I swear) with all things related to South Korean skincare and beauty. Over a year ago I wrote a post called Beauty in South Korea in which I discussed how South Korea (and other Asian countries such as Japan) are world leaders in skincare innovations and trends. (Don’t forget that the BB craze first caught on in South Korea)
After writing the post mentioned above I spent a lot of time online looking at various Korean skincare products and wondering just how well they worked. Finally I took the plunge and ordered products from two different websites: Wishtrend and I Buy Beauti. First a few words about these sites. Each site has completely different brands, giving the consumer a wide variety of products to choose from. Though both sites carry mostly skincare products they also have make-up (including lots of BB and CC creams). Products are presented with lots of information, many times that includes instructional videos (sometimes in Korean, sometimes in English). The English language is used very creatively on the sites which I found quite entertaining. Prices are reasonable, and the sites always seem to be having specials as well. Both sites ship worldwide (Wishtrend ships for a very reasonable fee, I Buy Beauti ships for free :)). My items were packed very safely (ie lots of bubble wrap) and compactly. It took about three weeks from the time of my order until I received my products here in Israel; I paid via PayPal each time. You receive lots of free samples with your order, and I Buy Beauti even included a thank you postcard which I found to be a lovely touch.
I did wonder if the products on these websites were the Korean equivalent of drugstore products like Neutrogena or Garnier or more upscale like those skincare products sold at Sephora. My attempts at researching this question failed so if anyone knows the answer I would appreciate hearing from you. Also if anyone knows a good website to purchase Japanese skincare products from, that doesn’t have crazy international shipping costs, I would love to hear from you as well.
With so many products to choose from I had a lot of trouble deciding what to try. Since at the time of my order I needed moisturizer and sunscreen I concentrated my purchases on those items. Now that I am finally getting around to reviewing my purchases I’ve noticed that some of the items are no longer available online, but I’ll still review them here anyhow.
When I was making my purchases the weather in Israel was turning hot and humid so I wanted to get a light, daytime moisturizer. For reasons that I can no longer remember (it might have just come down to choosing according to price since there were so many interesting products to choose from) I bought Klair’s AC Control Lotion with aloe and snail (I can no longer find the product on the website). Yes, I chose a moisturizer with snail slime which is a very trendy ingredient in Asian skincare at the moment. As I already indicated when the product arrived I couldn’t figure out why I had decided to buy this moisturizer over another one particularly since I really don’t believe the hype about snail slime and I’m a lifelong vegetarian (yes, I know I was going to be putting it on my face and not eating the slime but I do prefer to avoid products with obvious animal ingredients though I am not a vegan). But I have to admit that I didn’t have the patience to mail the product back and wait for another (even after the spring on the pump broke and I could no longer get the product out as intended I still didn’t send the product back) so I just decided to use it. The entire label is in Korean though there is a nice snail smiling at me from the front of the container and that picture can be universally understood. Apparently the snail is happy to share his slime with me. Anyhow, the moisturizer itself is very light and just fine. After using it for months there really isn’t anything else to say about it. It absorbs quickly into the skin, you don’t need all that much in order to cover your whole face, and it smells ok. I wasn’t blown away by this product and even if I could I wouldn’t purchase it again.
Another item I purchased was Skin&Lab Dr. Vita Clinic fre-C Sun Protector which is SPF 50 and has Vitamins C and E in the formulation. This product promised all the things I look for in a sunscreen for summer – a high SPF, contains antioxidants, chemical and physical sunscreen ingredients, and was supposed to be non-sticky, lightweight, and non-whiting on the skin. The label for this product is in both English and Korean. In the end I was disappointed by this sunscreen as a summer sunscreen because I found it too heavy on the skin for use in hot and humid weather. I recommend it for winter use since it actually is quite moisturizing. As a sunscreen I have no complaints, but the feel on skin was not as light as I expected. I constantly hear clients complain how sunscreen feels too heavy on their skin, and the feel of this product would certainly cause a lot of whining.
I also purchased a sheet Vitamin C mask which I can no longer find on the website. This product was a lot of fun. The product is packaged in a two pouch flat package that is sealed in the middle separating the sheet mask from the Vitamin C serum. All the words on the label were in Korea, but luckily there are pictures on the package so you can easily figure out how to use the product. You need to roll the package so that the seal breaks and you mix the mask with the serum. Then you remove the mask and place it on your face for about 15 to 20 minutes. No need to rinse your face afterwards; if any serum remains on your face just gently rub in into the skin. I tried the mask before bedtime and found that my skin felt very soft the next morning.
Additonally, I received a bunch of samples from Wishtrend that I had a lot of fun trying. First off I tried Elisha Coy’s Always Nuddy BB 24 which I liked a lot. It gave very natural, light coverag; I would definitely consider purchasing a regular size of this product in the future. I also received a sample of Elisha Coy’s Skin Repairing Snail Cream (yes more snail slime) which was fine, but I would not purchase a regular size of this product.
I was also sent a lot of Skin&Lab samples which were lots of fun to play with. The samples were moisturizers and essences which are labeled by the letter of a vitamin such as C Plus Brightening or A Plus Lifting or E Plus Moisturizing or ACE Triple Action Essence. I mixed and matched the samples. In the morning I might have used the moisturizer with Vitamin C and then in the evening the moisturizer with Vitamin A. Essences are an Asian skincare innovation that have a gel-like consistency. After toning, but before moisturizing, you apply an essence to treat skin issues. The moisturizers were nice, but I really loved the essences and would definitely consider purchasing one again in the future.
The last sample I received was two anti-blackhead, anti-acne mask both from Caolion: Blackhead Steam Pore Pack and Pore Minimizing Pack. I actually haven’t tried these products yet so I can’t comment on them.
I Buy Beauti Products
I made just three purchases through this website and two were from the same brand – tn (teen’s nature). I was looking for a nighttime moisturizer and was sucked in by the video that I found on the page for the moisturizer Moisture Cocktail Cream. Yes, I fell for the advertising, something I always tell my readers to resist. Anyhow, this moisturizer is very light with a gel-like consistency. It is easily absorbed into the skin, has a light refreshing scent, and nice packaging (what can I say – I’m a sucker for good packaging). I was surprised by the feel of the moisturizer since, as mentioned above, it is a gel not a cream or liquid, but I actually like it a lot. If you live in a colder climate this is definitely not a winter moisturizer option for you, but it works well in warmer climates or in summer. It’s also a good choice for oily skin.
For make-up removal I purchased Etude House Eraser Show Cleansing Serum which is a cream version of make-up removal products like Dermalogica’s PreCleanse or DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil. Apply to dry skin, gently rub into your skin, rinse, and then cleanse with your favorite facial cleanser. I thought this product did a pretty good job removing my make-up (I have never found a product that removes all my eyeliner and waterproof mascara), and it certainly left my skin feeling soft. Another plus – though the package is on the small size (75 ml or 2.53 fluid ounces) I have found that a little bit goes a long way, and it has lasted me months. This is a product I would definitely consider repurchasing; it is also very reasonably priced.
I am consistently on the look-out for a sunscreen that I can carry with me in order to reapply, over make-up, during the day. I gave up on brush-on sunscreens about a year ago because they were constantly exploding all over my purse, but, more importantly, I realized that though they might not mess up my make-up they weren’t really giving me any sun protection. I tried stick sunscreens and was disappointed. So when I came across this sunscreen balm (tn Sun Balm SPF 50) that was packaged like a make-up compact I had to try it. I love this! All I can say is whomever invented this product is a genius. The mirrored compact contains a sponge for easy application, and the product itself goes on smoothly and invisibly. I have definitely found my solution for how to reapply sunscreen during the day. It’s not messy and won’t explode in your bag like brush-on sunscreen, you definitely can control where you put it on your face and know how much you’ve applied, and it leaves a matte and silky finish on your skin. Yes, my sponge quickly turned brown since some of my morning make-up was removed when I applied this product, but I never noticed that my complexion looked worse. I highly, highly recommend this product!
Lastly, with my purchase I received samples of tn Facial Foam Cleanser and Moisture Lotion neither of which I can find on the website (though maybe I’m not looking for the right product; I can’t tell). Both were fine though nothing to write home about.
Bottom Line: Overall I was pretty happy with my Korean skincare product purchases. I will definitely be trying other products in the future. Both websites mentioned here are well worth exploring and buying from.
** Have you tried any Korean skincare or make-up products? If yes, please share your experiences below. Be sure to mention where you bought the products. **
Image from wishtrend.com
My family and I are in the midst of getting ready for a big move next month so we have started going through our apartment, where we have lived for the last five years, to see what we can donate, recycle, throw-out, and sell before the move. At the moment I live in chaos while I wait for the movers to arrive in less than ten days to pack our things and load them onto a container. Instead of feeling like I have less things I feel like our stuff is multiplying and taking over the apartment. No matter how much I try to part with things there only seems to be more and more things around.
In the past I’ve shared with my readers how I am a beauty product hoarder. (See my post Are You a Skincare Product Hoarder?) When we move next month I am planning on bringing with me an entire, large bag just for all my make-up and skincare products. The bag is actually the one I used to use when I was an esthetics student, and I am sure that I will fill the entire thing up with my products. (a picture of the bag is below)
Going through our home has made me wonder the following things repeatedly: why do I need all these things? And can’t I just live with less? If you think the number of beauty products I have is bad, you should realize that I also hoard clothes and shoes, especially shoes. I have always had a thing for shoes. But I digress. So I got to thinking: if I could only choose one beauty product to have around what would it be? I realized that I would actually have to have two: sunscreen and tweezers. I simply cannot live without my tweezers! Twice a day, at least, I have to pluck stray hairs from my face, chin (always my chin), and my brows. I’ve been attached to my tweezers for longer than I can remember; without them I feel lost. I can’t stand feeling or seeing coarse, usually black hairs, on my face. I have a pathological need to get rid of the hairs as quickly as I can. I guess if I really had to I could let go of all my other skincare products (my cleansers, my exfoliating lotions, my retin-a, my antioxidant serums, etc.) but never my tweezers. As for the sunscreen, I think my need for it is pretty self-explanatory.
There is a quote that keeps making the rounds on Pinterest*:
Someone else is happy with less than what you have
At this point in my life this quote resonates strongly with me; I know that this is something I should aspire to – living with less and being happy.
If you could only have one or two beauty products what would they be? Please share below. I love comments!
Image of tweezers from hairbumpsrelief.com
Image of bag from overstock.com
*Not on Pinterest yet? I suggest joining. It is so much fun!
A few weeks ago as a patient was leaving our office she turned to tell me and the doctor I work for that Dr. Oz had recommended on his TV show that you go outside without sunscreen on for 15 minutes in order to get enough Vitamin D. Both the doctor I work for and myself told her that we did not agree with Dr. Oz’s recommendation. We explained that by going outside, even for 15 minutes, without sunscreen you still get too much sun exposure and expose yourself to the risk of skin cancer. The stakes were simply too high to follow that recommendation. If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin D take a supplement instead of going out into the sun unprotected.
Of course being the sunscreen fanatic that I am along with the fact that I see it as a personal responsibility to warn people about the dangers of skin cancer, I was very upset after hearing that Dr. Oz had made that comment on TV to millions of viewers. I can tell you that many women take Dr. Oz’s medical advice extremely seriously and want to follow it to a T. So I did a little online research and found the reference our patient had mentioned:
If these foods don’t sound very appealing to you, there is good news: you don’t have to eat vitamin D to make sure you’re getting your daily dose! Vitamin D is actually produced in your body when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike your skin. The UV rays trigger synthesis of vitamin D, which then gets converted in your liver into its active form.
This means one of the best ways to get vitamin D is to spend about 10-15 minutes a day outside in the sun. Keep in mind that wearing sunscreen will prevent you from getting adequate vitamin D outdoors. In the summertime, an easy solution is skipping sunscreen on your legs for the first 15 minutes in the sun. Just make sure you apply in time to prevent any burns or damage.
If this sounds complicated (or it’s cloudy!), there’s an even easier way to get your vitamin D: many foods in the American diet are fortified with this essential nutrient. In fact, fortified foods provide the majority of vitamin D in our diets.
I am not here to quibble about the fact that you can get all the Vitamin D that your body needs from the sun, what I am going to argue against is Dr. Oz’s advice. Let’s be very realistic here – you’ve thought about it and today you notice it is sunny outside so you think “I’ll be out and about running errands, I won’t put sunscreen on for the first 15 minutes I am out”. Now how many people do you know who will stop during their busy day and put on sunscreen?? I don’t know any. People drastically underestimate the amount of damage intermittent sun exposure does to their skin. Put your sunscreen on everyday before you leave the house. If you are inside during the day and then leave to go out while it is still sunny put more sunscreen on all your exposed skin. A tan may look sexy now but wrinkles and dark spots are not sexy later on. And remember – a tan is a sign of damage to your skin no matter how fabulous you think you look right now. One of the most common complaints any esthetician hears is about sun damage. It is very hard to treat hyperpigmentation (one way you can gauge how hard it is to treat a specific skin issue is by the number of products on the market sold to treat it. There is no perfect solution for hyperpigmentation hence the vast proliferation of products to erase it). I found this comment about Vitamin D and sun exposure to be just another example of how well-meaning advice will be improperly followed and interpreted out in the real world.
Another case in point – terror over the safety of sunscreens. The EWG has made numerous headlines over their claims that sunscreens are more harmful than helpful. As with many controversies the cold hard truth gets lost adminsts the hype. Renee Rouleau does a good job at explaining one controversial sunscreen ingredient in her blog post Does Sunscreen Cause Cancer?:
While the internet is an amazing resource for information, when a rumor gets out there, it spreads like crazy on the web and when people read it they may consider it to be factual.
One such skin care rumor that has swirled around on the internet for a while now is that octinoxate–the most common sunscreen ingredient in the world– causes cancer. Then the other day I was reading one of the handled bags from a recent Lululemon purchase and was shocked when I read the following printed on their bag: “Sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse than sunshine. Get the right amount of sunshine.” What? Did I really read this correctly on a Lululemon bag? Why is a fitness clothing company implying this claim on their cute bags that are given out in the stores? While I’m certainly okay with getting the right amount of sunshine as I do many of my own workouts outdoors, I am not okay with the comment implying that sunscreens may be worse than sunshine. This is wrong and misleading. Can we say melanoma–one of the deadliest forms of cancer??? There is so much scientific evidence that excessive sun exposure can increase your chances of skin cancer. (Read more about melanoma here.)…
So does sunscreen cause cancer? No. This is simply not true because there is no study at all that proves octinoxate causes cancer, and without a proven scientific study, this claim simply can be not accurate and true.
Some cosmetic brands that do not use this ingredient in their sunscreens will use scare tactics to get consumers to believe that their product is safe and others are harmful. This has been the case with parabens and I have spoken publicly about this here. Instead, they use the phrase “linked to cancer” to scare the public to buy their product, instead of “proven to cause cancer”– and there is a huge difference between the two.
In some studies where octinoxate is “linked” to cancer, the ingredient has been placed in high concentrations directly onto various types of cells taken from skin or other areas of the body (liver, uterus) or was fed to rats or mice in their food. One such study, conducted by researchers at the University of Zurich in Switzerland in 2004, found evidence of endocrine disruption activity in rats fed octinoxate but did not find a link to cancer.*1 Shortly after the 2004 study was published, another research group in Australia found detectable amounts of octinoxate in the stratum corneum and epidermis layers of the skin 24 hours after applying the ingredient to intact skin, but the amount found was 5 times less than studies where octinoxate was applied directly to human keratinocytes in a Petrie dish.
Bottom line: There is no evidence or information about octinoxate causing cancer. Trust me, if there were valid, published studies about octinoxate as a cause of cancer, we would all know about it.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has long refuted the EWG’s claims that sunscreen ingredients are dangerous and are doing more harm than good.
Recent attacks on sunscreens in the media point to imperfections and potential risks, but miss the point that sunscreen continues to be one of the safest and most effective sun protection methods available.
We are concerned that the criticisms will raise unnecessary fears and cause people to stop using sunscreen, doing their skin serious harm.
In general, the criticisms have not been based on hard science. In fact, The Chair of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee, an independent panel of top experts on sun damage and sun protection, reviewed the same studies cited in the media, and found that their determination of what made a sunscreen bad or good was based on “junk science.”
In the same article The Skin Cancer Foundation goes on to refute different claims made against sunscreens such as:
• Retinyl Palmitate, a Form of Vitamin A and an Ingredient in 41 Percent of Sunscreens, Speeds up Growth of Tumors and Other Lesions When Exposed to the Sun.
An FDA study is often cited for this data, with some faulting the FDA for not releasing the study. However, the FDA is yet to release the study precisely because it has not gone through proper peer review. Thus, the criticisms are based on an unapproved 10-year-old study of mice that has never been published in any journal. To date, there is no scientific evidence that vitamin A is a carcinogen in humans. What’s more, only trace amounts of retinyl palmitate appear in sunscreens, and some evidence suggests that it is actually protective against cancer.
I think the lesson here is don’t believe everything you read or see on TV. You’re a smart person, right? Do some of your own research before just accepting what someone else has to say.
Further watching and reading (from my related posts):
Mary Cassatt painting Children Playing on the Beach image from wikipaintings.org
Rebecca requests…On a recent trip to the beach I was unfortunate enough to sit down wind of someone applying a spray on sunscreen. I think less than half of what she sprayed actually hit her body because most of it was blown away by the breeze and landed on me! I could feel it and even see a fine film covering my sunglasses. I couldn’t help but wonder how in the world a spray on product can provide effective sun protection. Do the spray products use different ingredients than the lotions?
The Left Brain responds:
Formulating a spray-on sunscreen does present different challenges than creating a lotion product.
To start with, even thin emulsions are difficult to spray because they don’t atomize well and they can clog the valve. So, most spray products are solutions of UV absorbers in ethanol. That means only alcohol soluble ingredients like Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, and Oxybenzone can be used. Physical sunblocks, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are not alcohol soluble so they can’t be sprayed from this type of product. In addition, to help ensure that the sunscreen coats the skin evenly, film forming ingredients like Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer are added. These film formers helps keep prevent the alcohol solution from pooling in nooks and crannies of your skin.
Of course none of this matters if too much overspray occurs. If the spray doesn’t hit your skin it’s obviously wasted. While they are appealing because of ease of application you may be getting less deposition than you realize, especially if you’re applying them on a windy day. Considering how important uniform sunscreen application is for the prevention of sunburn (and potentially skin cancer), I think it’s a bit risky to rely on this kind of spray application.
Perhaps that’s why sprays are not “officially” approved as sunscreens even though they are sold as such. According to an article by Stanley B Levy, MD published Medscape, as of April 11, 2012, “The FDA Final Monograph has not approved sprays as a dosage form pending further considerations and testing.”
Furthermore, all that wasted over spray makes spray-on sunscreens potentially more expensive to use. And when you factor in the cost of ethanol (which is a more expensive solvent than water) and the aluminum can and the valve hardware (which are more expensive than a plastic lotion bottle), you may end up paying a lot more for the convenience of not getting lotion all over your hands. I think I’ll stick with lotions.
Though I am far from a fan of the EWG this organization also urges people to avoid the use of spray sunscreens because:
Aerosol spray sunscreen packages will soon be required to display FDA-mandated warnings such as “use in a well ventilated area” and “intentional misuse… can be harmful or fatal.” These cautions highlight growing concerns that sprays pose serious inhalation risks. Spray sunscreens also make it too easy to miss a spot, leaving bare skin exposed to harmful rays.
As mentioned in the above quote from the EWG, the FDA is concerned about what people are inhaling when spray sunscreens are used:
For sunscreen spray products, the agency requested additional data to establish effectiveness and to determine whether they present a safety concern if inhaled unintentionally. These requests arose because sprays are applied differently from other sunscreen dosage forms, such as lotions and sticks.
Bottom Line: Spray on sunscreens are a god sent for people with children who can’t and won’t sit still long enough for you to apply the proper amount of sunscreen to their skin. Yet even with the best intentions you still run the risk of really not getting adequate sun protection when using these sunscreens. If you can use cream and lotion sunscreens instead.
Image from http://www.scientificamerican.com
The first post I ever wrote for my blog was entitled: Brush-On Mineral Sunscreens – Do They Give Enough Protection?. In this post I went over the pros (portable, good way to reapply sunscreen over make-up) versus the cons (expensive, perhaps really not giving you enough sun protection) of using mineral brush-on sunscreen. I concluded the post by recommending these products as a great way to reapply your sunscreen over make-up during the day and while you were on the go.
As much as I have been a devotee to these products for about three years I always had this nagging suspicion at the back of the head that perhaps they weren’t really giving enough protection at all. One thing that clued me in to this was when I would try to demonstrate on the back of my hand how these products work to a client or a friend you couldn’t even see that I had anything on the back of my hand. I was also hard pressed to even tell how much product was coming out of the container or if any product was coming out at all. Additionally though I was a devoted, daily user of my brush-on sunscreen the product was used up very, very slowly which lead me to believe that nothing was really coming out when I was applying it. So how much sun protection was I really getting? (On the other hand, since these products are so expensive that wasn’t such a terrible thing) Since I also always caution people to never rely solely on their make-up with spf in it for their sun protection needs how different are brush-on sunscreens from make-up really?
While these suspicions were percolating in my head I came across the following from Future Derm in her post The Ugly Truth About Makeup and Moisturizers with SPF:
Why SPF Powders Aren’t Giving You the Protection You Think
You see, the average face is about 600cm2 (although that varies from person to person, of course). This means the average woman needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product’s label. However, most women only apply about 0.085g of powder at a time – fourteen times less than you need to get the SPF listed on the package!
Of course, there are always two sides to every debate. In the June issue of Vogue they write the following about brush-on sunscreens in a mini article entitled Summer Skin Savior: Sunscreen in a Brush (page 119):
The fact that sunscreens lose most of their efficacy after approximately 90 minutes in the sun is something most of us prefer not to think about, since we feel we’ve done our duty applying a thin film, under our makeup, at the about 8:00 in the morning. Is anyone really going to slather on another layer over foundation? (Exactly.)
This summer, salvation comes in a brush. The new powder sunscreens – lightweight mineral blends that provide chemical-free broad-spectrum protection (ideal for sensitive skin) thanks to micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – are the ultimate multitaskers. They dust on invisibly over makeup (some even come with a hint of bronze), and ingredients like silica and cornstarch absorb excess oil, leaving a smooth matte finish. “I use them a lot because I hate a four o’clock shine,” says Debra Jaliman, M.D., author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist. She’s also a fan of the high levels of zinc: “Physical block is like wearing a shirt on your skin. You really get so much more protection.” Plus, she adds of the slim tubes, “it’s something you can throw in your bag, and it won’t spill because it has a brush.” Reapplying just got really easy.
Reading what Vogue has to say does make for an interesting argument, but as for what they have to say about these powders not being messy that simply isn’t true. I’ve tried a few of the brush-on sunscreens and had the tubes crack and break causing the powder to pour out all over my car and bag. Not fun, definitely not mess free. But also the Vogue blurb reads like an ad for the sunscreens as opposed a well researched and science backed article.
Because of the reasons stated above in the Future Derm post, I started experimenting with reapplying cream or lotion sunscreen mid-day over my make-up and found that this worked fine. My make-up stayed intact. I still have a brush-on sunscreen in my bag for on the go touch-ups, but I’ve decided that I shouldn’t rely on it even as a way to just reapply sunscreen during the day since I wasn’t really sure how much, if any, sunscreen protection I was getting when using the powder. Instead I have it with me for emergency reapplications of sunscreen and for cutting down on mid-day shine. I still do think that using a brush-on sunscreens is better than not using anything at all and going out in the sun without any protection, but I definitely would advise my readers to use a lotion or cream sunscreen first before using this kind of product.
In my search to find a quick, easy, and effective way to reapply my sunscreen I decided to purchase Shiseido’s Sun Protection Stick with SPF 35. This is a solid and very portable sunscreen that you can just swipe across your face making reapplication a snap, and in my opinion, you also are getting real sun protection when using this product. (I heard about this product from one my favorite blogs Scatterbraintures so thanks Rae!) I decided to get translucent shade and was actually disappointed when I got the product and tried it for the first time since it actually looked white on my face until I rubbed it in well. I’ve used this stick sunscreen on my son and niece as well and you could definitely see where I had applied it on their faces. The so-called translucent shade left a distinct white cast on their skin (on the plus side, using a stick sunscreen on a child is very easy) So I suggest perhaps getting one of the tinted ones. The tinted shades can also be a perfect, light make-up for some people so that is an added bonus. (I also just discovered Sun Bum Sunscreen Stick which is oil-free but haven’t tried it yet)
I think that life is only worth living if you are constantly learning, and learning comes from questioning. So dear readers – after much thought and research I have to conclude that purchasing a brush-on sunscreen isn’t such a great idea. Carry your lotion (or stick) sunscreen with you and reapply as needed. That is the only way you will be sure that you are really protected from the sun. Save your brush-on sunscreen for getting rid of mid-day shine.
Image from thesnowmag.com
If there is one consistent subject that I write about repeatedly in this blog it is sun protection. There is a very good reason for that – non- melanoma skin cancer has reached epidemic rates in the US. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month so I wanted to share some important information about the subject with my readers.
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation:
Skin cancer is a lifestyle disease, affecting young women, older men and everyone in between. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime; 13 million Americans are living with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
But there is good news: because skin cancer is chiefly lifestyle disease, it is also highly preventable.
“About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun,” says Perry Robins, MD, President of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “Everyone, regardless of skin color, should make staying safe in the sun a priority and incorporate sun protection measures into their daily life.”
In my opinion the scariest phenomena occurring right now is the rapid rise in the cases of melanoma among young women who use tanning beds. Let me be very clear – tanning beds are not safe! I wish the FDA would ban them entirely. If someone tells you that tanning beds aren’t harmful they are lying to you – period.
Since skin cancer is almost entirely preventable the key to protecting yourself (and your loved ones) is in your hands. Remember to:
Image from skinsheen.com
Creating an anti-aging skincare routine isn’t all that hard. If you keep a few key things in mind you’ll help your skin look great now and into the future.
Though I don’t advocate going crazy with anti-aging treatments when you are in your 20s do start thinking at that time about protecting your skin. As the Web MD article 10 Ways to Slow the Aging Process explains:
Think the early twenties is too soon to see signs of aging skin? Dermatologists see them commonly.
“The earliest signs of aging really start around the eyes. You can start to see some fine lines, and then on the face in general, some broken blood vessels and sun spots,” says Doris Day, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in New York City and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center. Typically, the more sun exposure, the greater the damage, she says.
Fortunately, the twenties and thirties are also prime decades for women to learn how to counter sun damage and other factors that age the skin, says Heidi Waldorf, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is also director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.
“What you do for your skin or against your skin will have ramifications as you age,” she says.
First, younger women must understand the pitfalls. For instance, Waldorf sees many who still embrace tanning. Often, they wrongly believe that skin aging is something to worry about down the road, not in their youth, Waldorf says.
Another common habit that damages young skin: smoking.
Ok so the article already mentioned two of the big no nos – sun and smoking. Here are more tips about those and other anti-aging musts:
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Image from hghwatch.com
Can your make-up really help you fight the signs of aging? Please allow me to be both cynical and straight forward with my answer and that answer is: no. In my opinion make-up that claims to be anti-aging is simply nothing more than marketing hype. The most effective anti-aging products you can use are not make-up products. Looking for your anti-aging solution in a container of foundation will get you nowhere. Having said that, make-up can certainly help enhance and even maintain the results you get from both topical anti-aging products (Retin-A for example) or office/spa treatments (such as chemical peels, laser resurfacing, etc.).
The most effective anti-aging ingredients work on many levels, but two things need to consistent in order for any anti-aging product to work: you need to have the correct concentration of the effective ingredients and you need to use the product over an extended period of time (three months or more usually before you see real results). This is the issue with almost all make-up that claims to be anti-aging – it doesn’t have the correct concentrations of anti-aging ingredients in the make-up in order to change your skin at all.
The one ingredient contained in some make-up that truly can be considered anti-aging is sunscreen. If you see that your make-up has an actual spf rating then you can trust that the product is protecting you from sun exposure since a manufacturer cannot slap a spf rating on a protect without FDA consent. But please remember – just because you use make-up with a spf rating does not mean that you can skip using your sunscreen or your moisturizer with sunscreen. I have yet to met a person who uses enough foundation (mineral, liquid, etc.) to get effective sun protection.
So should you just skip buying make-up that claims to be fighting wrinkles? If you like the make-up that claims to have anti-aging benefits then buy the make-up for that reason – that you like how to looks on your skin. And it can’t hurt your skin by any means. Using make-up with sunscreen and antioxidants in it will, of course, benefit your skin in the long run but that doesn’t mean that you should put away your Retin-A, moisturizer, antioxidant serum, and favorite sunscreen.
When makeup is loaded with proven wrinkle-reducing ingredients like retinol and peptides, it can be effective, says Patricia Farris, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. But to see an improvement over time, these ingredients must be present above certain concentrations. For vitamin C, it’s 5 to 10 percent, says Dr. Farris. For retinol, it’s at least 0.1 percent. Two products that have that 0.1 percent: GloMinerals GloCream Blush in Fig or Guava ($25 each, gloskincare.com). Beauty companies don’t often tell you these percentages, though you can hedge your bets by checking that active ingredients like vitamins and retinol are higher up on the ingredient list — and by choosing creamy formulas over powders. Retinol and vitamin E, for example, are oily materials. “They’re difficult to blend in powder at high levels because they make the particles stick together,” says Perry Romanowski, an independent cosmetics chemist. Instead, try a liquid such as L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Line-Minimizing & Tone-Enhancing Makeup ($14.25, drugstores) with pro-retinol and SPF 17.
Also look closely at the claims. Few anti-aging cosmetics explicitly promise to eliminate wrinkles or sun damage, says Brandith Irwin, M.D., a Seattle dermatologist and author of The Surgery-Free Makeover. Instead, they “minimize the appearance of wrinkles” or “visibly reduce fine lines.” As for those studies showing a reduction in wrinkle depth, dermatologists often credit the moisture in makeup, not the anti-aging ingredients, for doing most of the heavy lifting. “The quickest way to make a wrinkle look better is to smear moisturizer on it,” Dr. Farris says. Skin is like a sponge, wrinkled and rough when dry, soft and smooth once you add water. Infusing it with hydrators is faster (and cheaper) than adding enough retinol or peptides to makeup to smooth skin long-term.
And don’t forget that it is perfectly legal for a manufacturer to claim that their make-up is anti-aging even if it only has a tiny amount of retinol or antioxidants or just contains sunscreen. So remember to look at the actual ingredient list before purchasing a product if you are hoping to see real changes in your skin after using your make-up (and by that I mean your skin looks different after you remove your make-up not just while you are wearing the make-up).
The bottom line is this: stick to skincare products with a proven track record in order to get real anti-aging results. Buy your cosmetics based on how they feel and look on your skin and not based on marketing claims.
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If you really want to tell someone’s age don’t look at their face – look at their hands. So often people forget to care for their hands and simply concentrate all their anti-aging efforts on their faces.
Over a year ago I wrote a blog post called Give Your Hands Some TLC, but I thought I would revisit the subject of caring for your hands with a few new tips and product recommendations.
Just as there is a solution for every skin issue that you have with your facial skin there is also a solution for the skin issues on your hands as well. First off, you can use the anti-aging products you use on your face on your hands too. Retinols, either prescription or OTC, will help smooth your hands and stimulate collagen production so that your hands will eventually look younger.
If your hands have lost a lot of their volume consider injections like Radiesse or Restylane to restore volume and help build collagen. This procedure can also help hide prominent veins. Or consider laser treatments which can get rid of sun damage, age spots, crepiness, and help build collagen as well. Just as you can have a chemical peel performed on your face in order to treat hyperpigmentation and fine lines the same thing can be done on your hands. As always with chemical peels – a series of peels usually yields the best results.
If you aren’t ready for treatments that only a doctor can provide like the injections or the laser treatments be sure to keep your hands well moisturized and to use spf on your hands. Moisturizer temporarily plumps the skin leading to a smoother appearance. You could even apply a moisturizing hand mask like this mask from OPI. Using spf daily, and reapplying before you go outside, helps prevent sun spots and collagen loss over time.
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