Tags Posts tagged with "acne"

acne

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Remember, skin is constantly changing. Especially during seasonal transitions…as well as going from your 20s to 30s. If your products are under-performing, don’t be afraid to switch…even if just for a few weeks or a season.

My chin refuses to acknowledge that I am no longer a teen. Ugh, pimples. So I’m going back to old faithful, SkinCeuticals LHA cleanser & toner. I’m also using the blemish+age defense serum on my chin only. All other parts of my routine will remain same. When I use the cleanser, I rub all over dry skin, let sit up to five minutes, then later and rinse off. This gives the glycolic and other acne fighting ingredients time to work before I rinse off.

I’ve been back on LHA a few days now, and my chin is looking good.

How do you change your skin care routine to account for age, breakouts and seasonal changes? I want to know, for real!

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Surprise, Surprise: Most of the things I blog about are submitted to ThisThatBeauty for editorial consideration. In simpler language — I don’t pay for them. Oh yes, that’s pretty much the way it works with most blogs and all magazines. PR professionals pitch products and as the Editor, it’s my role to decide which items get reviewed or included in stories for ThisThatBeauty. And while we cover lots of great product here on my little bloggy woggy, not all of it gets replenished. Some things I use until they’re all used up . . .never to be replenished again. But then there are those star products that I cannot imagine life without. These are the things that I replenish time after time.

I always say, the true sign of product lust/ loyalty is whether or not a beauty editor BUYS the product on her own dime. Here are the items that I happily pay for with my CHASE Visa Debit Card:

Everything Mario Badescu: Just search my blog and you’ll find countless reviews. MB is basically my skin care savior. Whenever my skin goes through seasonal changes or gets out of whack, I can always rely on MB products to rein it in.

GrandeLash MD: Uhm, excuse me, Bambi! This stuff works. I’ve been using it for the past three months and just placed an order for my next three month supply. My lashes are now super duper long and thick. What I love most about this product is that it does not irritate my lash line at all, unlike other growth serums I have tried. I also love that it dries totally clear and I can use it day or night. With other growth serums I’ve tried, they tend to dry with a little white-ish film that doesn’t look so nice for daytime. I saw length after about four weeks…but now that I am three months in, my lashes are not just longer, but also thicker and darker. I’m hooked!

Everything ReVive (except their eye care…meh!): I fell in love with the line about a 18 months ago, and let me tell you — I had the best skin of my life when I was using all ReVive everything. I’ve yet to meet a line of anti-aging products that work as well as ReVive. On a whole, the line is the best there is. Obviously I like products from other lines and constantly test new products….but I always go back to ReVive when I’m in need of an anti-aging fix. FAVS: Defensif Renewal Serum for day and Moisturizing Renewal Cream for night. Trust!

Koh Gen Do Spa Cleansing Water: Hands down, the best cleansing water for removing stubborn mascara and liner. Super effective, yet super gentle.

MORE THINGS I HAPPILY BUY:

Yes to Cucumbers Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

CoverFx Blotting Powder

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Ahh...inside the tents!
Ahh...inside the tents!

Fashion Week is upon. No. Seriously. It’s like this week. First it’s FNO (see our FNO rundown here) and then…BOOM, full on #NYFW. But before nonstop shows, breakneck speed note-taking on my iPad, impossible deadlines, and everything in between, I make time to properly prep and get my booty, I mean, beauty in shape for the rigorous week ahead.

Read on as I share my Fashion Week Beauty prep for skin & hair. . .

SKIN PREP

Facial: About a week or so before Fashion Week, I always make time for a really thorough facial. The week promises to be incredibly stressful so getting my oily, acne-prone skin into shape in advance is a wise move. I visited Mikki at Mario Badescu and let me tell you — Mikki gave me the business! She worked me over and it was awesome. I walked in looking a super congested, hormonally broken out wreck . . . and my skin now looks great. I love that Mikki was extremely thorough and committed to getting me all cleaned up. And let me tell you, she’s strong for a petite gal! Immediately post-facial my skin looked like I was wearing foundation — and clearly I was not. Yep, I’ll be seeing Mikki again in six weeks….a girl can get used to this!

Proper Skin Maintenance: While the aforementioned facial laid a solid foundation, proper skin care is key. I’m currently managing my adult acne prone skin with…

1) TRIA Skin Perfecting Blue Light. I use this blue light treatment device (the same technology used by dermatologists) to zap the bacteria deep within the skin…the acne causing bacteria that leads to painful breakouts [and naturally, at the most inopportune moments – like Fashion Week]. I treat with TRIA once per day for five minutes. And yes it really works. . . this is my second device, after losing the first one. I highly recommend this as preventative tool for acne-prone skin!

2) Mario Badescu Drying Mask. Like most Mario Badescu products, Drying Mask is one of those skin care saviors that I am never without in my beauty closet. I rely on it to help dry existing pimples and clarify problematic areas before pimples have the opportunity to emerge. While it’s safe to use all over, I generally apply to cheeks and chin (a little area I like to call the “muzzle”)…my most congested areas. And for nights when I do not use the Drying Mask, I balance things out by incorporating  Mario Badescu Healing Soothing Mask. It’s a yin & yang sort of thing.

3) The Body ShopTea Tree Pore Minimiser. You know how we always want what we don’t have?. . . curly girls want stick straight hair & straight girls want coily curls. Well-endowed bellas want a less ample bosom & chesty girls want to frolic in sundresses sans brassiere. . . the list goes on & on. I have notoriously oily skin (though, I’m often told it’s “glowy”) and all I ever want is perfectly matte skin. Luckily, The Body Shop understands my struggle. Incorporating the acne-fighting, natural antiseptic power of tea tree oil, The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser immediately softens the appearance of enlarged pores by absorbing and mattifying excess sebum. Unlike most primers that simply prime the skin for makeup application, The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser also helps to treat and improve congested skin.

HAIR PREP

Set Things Straight: For Fashion Week, I am all about straight hair. Given the zillion other things that I have to worry about, I really cannot be bothered with my temperamental, unpredictable, naturally curly hair — So I turn to Sultra The Diva Pressing Iron and Pressing Creme. I first came to know (and quickly love) Sultra back in 2009 when I was a contributor for The Makeup Girl. . . so when I heard that the brand had launched a pressing iron, especially designed to suit the needs of hair like mine. . .  well I wept a unicorn. With so many flat irons and stylers on the market, it’s tough to find one that is suitable for coily hair…one that gets hair straight and smooth, but also does not damage or compromise hair’s natural curl pattern. The Diva’s ThermaGuide™ Plate System, which allows hair to slide across plates without tugging or pulling, and advanced ceramic heater can beautifully style the kinkiest of coils. The grooved side of the plate sort of acts like a comb and helps to smooth the entire length of hair as the plates straighten. Pure genius! For relaxed hair, there is a “relaxed” heat setting and for natural hair, there is a “natural” heat setting. Personally, I like to use the “relaxed” setting for my natural hair. “Relaxed” is a lower temperature and I like to limit my hair’s heat exposure. The Pressing Créme is great because it aids the straightening process and gives my hair shine without feeling heavy.

For a little added sass (and you know how much I love to get sassy), I’ll add a few strips of pastel colored extensions for Fashion Week. I love non-committal ombre.  And lucky you — they’re currently on sale at Sephora for only $9.

(Ahem, it's a curling iron. . . remove your mind from the gutter!)

For a bit more texture (think: soft wayward waves) I like adding The Bombshell Cone Rod Curling Iron to the mix. While we’ve all seen clip-less curling irons, I can guarantee you’ve never seen a clip-less like this. The point of difference is the nubby tapered-barrel. . . it provides mega hold & creates loose, slightly tighter waves at the root and flowy, sexy, messy ringlets at the bottom. Between The Diva and The Bombshell, my hair is NYFW ready!

Stay tuned for my NYFW makeup musts — I’ll rundown the products that help me fake a good night’s sleep, the lipstick that makes my teeth look whither, the highlighter that gives my skin a candlelit glow, and more. Stay tuned! Xx

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How do you get your beauty? Are you a brick & mortar or a click & buy kind of girl? It’s likely you’re a hybrid of the two. Personally, for trying new products, it’s usually the person-to-person contact that seals the deal for me…but for replenishment products, I generally click, add to cart, and checkout. But over the years, with the growing influence of social media, I’ve been known to make online purchases – sight unseen – purely based on the opinion or “thumbs up” from a trusted online influencer. And I know that many of my followers rely on me for this same type of guidance.

Let’s chat about LovelySkin.com, a dermatologist-owned online destination for advanced skin care needs. The beauty of the site is its vast offering of high quality products…products that are typically made available only through expensive spas and dermatologist or cosmetic surgeons’ offices.

Dr. Schlessinger

The other feature that makes LovelySkin.com unique is the hands-on involvement of founder and CEO Dr. Joel Schlessinger, M.D. – he personally selects the products that are sold on the site. Dr. Schlessinger and his team respond daily to customer inquiries and assist customers in choosing the best products to suit their skin care concerns. This is the piece of the puzzle that really helps to demystify the online buying experience and bridge the gap that we sometimes feel when purchasing skin care online.

The LovelySkin.com team and help you determine if your skin needs a boost of collagen or a dose of antioxidants.

In addition to being able to search products by “brand” and “area of body”, you can also search by “skin concern”… I immediately got to clicking on ‘hyperpigmentation” – my number one skin care concern – and found a mountain of products with reviews and detailed usage information. Bulls-eye!

Over the next few months I’ll be trying a few products from LovelySkin.com — like NeoStrata Skin Perfecting Peel (it’s supposed to work wonders for hyperpigmentation) and Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light (for managing my temperamental adult acne). I’ll keep you posted on all.

In the meantime, check out LovelySkin.com. Oh, and they have a blog: here! The “Trend Testers” column is a must…learn to fashion a sock bun, braided headband, and more!

There are many myths surrounding acne, especially acne in adult women (Felicia chronicled her personal struggle here), so we thought we would share some content from Jasmina Aganovic to  separate myth from fact.  Jasmina is the creator of the all-natural, anti-aging skincare line, Stages of Beauty.

MYTH: Acne only appears on the skin of a teenager
Acne can be associated with aging just as much as it is associated with one’s teenage years.
o As we age, not only does our collagen and elastin start to decrease, but overall, the aging process also makes our skin less efficient at other things like regulating its level hydration and oil production both of which can greatly impact acne.

o One of the best examples of this is the rate of regeneration of the skin, which starts to slow as we enter our 30s.

o In our teens it takes our skin approximately 14 days to completely regenerate. That means we have new skin every 2 weeks! In our 30s, this time jumps up to over 30 days. This means that dead skin cells are sitting on the surface for longer, the body is less efficient at pushing healthier skin to the surface.

o The sluggish renewal of cells as we age increases the likely hood of clogging our pores. It also means that any hyperpigmentation from acne will take longer to fade.

o Women in their 30s need to focus more on exfoliation as a means to care for acne and heal acne marks than teens do.

FACT: Adult acne is on the rise for women in their 20s-50s

Over the last five years, the day-to-day lives of women in careers have become more hectic, leading to more stress and other poor lifestyle habits.
o As we age and become more involved in our careers, it’s natural to experience less exercise, unbalanced diets and more stress, which impacts the hormones in the body (and hormones have a profound effect on the skin; good & bad).

o Another factor contributing to acne in adult women being on the rise is that our air and environment is becoming more polluted, which leads to additional damage and clogging of the skin.

o The food that we eat also plays a role in the condition of our skin. There is a debate between the importance of organic meats and dairy. For example: More and more farmers are now supplementing their cows with hormones so that they produce more milk – one must then wonder what this actually does to the milk produced from these cows?

o Any traces of hormones in the milk that we ingest could certainly have an impact on the hormones in our own bodies and as a result have an effect on our skin. None of this is of course proven, but it is certainly something to be mindful of especially because we are seeing an increase in the occurrence of things like adult acne, earlier development and menstruation, etc. in women.

MYTH: Oily skin causes acne
If a person has acne, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their skin is too oily. In fact, lack of moisture can cause acne, too!
o It is not the oils or the skin that cause acne, but rather the inability of the body to expel the oils properly, causing build-up and clogging.

o A lack of moisture can also be a cause of acne. Again, it is not the amount of moisture that is produced, but the way that your skin handles its natural oils.

o Your skin should feel balanced and supple without any moisturizer. You’ll know that you need to add moisture to your skin if it feels dry or tight after cleansing.

FACT: The ingredients you use on your face should change as you age
As women age, they should be aware of the ingredients they are putting on their face and look for products that treat the skin concerns of people in their age group.
o In terms of ingredients to avoid, since our skin is more sensitive and less efficient as we age, it is necessary to be more careful with synthetic and heavy ingredients like petrochemicals and silicones, which can often clog the skin. In our teens our skin is more efficient, so clogging is less of a concern with ingredients like these.

o Women 30+ battling acne or problematic skin, should always incorporate exfoliation into their skincare regimen. The skin’s rate of regeneration is slower, leading to more clogging from dead skin cells alone – by helping take off the top layer of skin, you can really enable the skin to breathe a bit more.

o As women age, they should look for ingredients like AHA’s and BHA’s. Salicylic acid is among the most common.


 Want more Acne related ThisThatBeauty posts?…Here you go!

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Acne can be devastating. Leaving both physical and emotional scars. It is reported that almost “80% of people will experience some form of acne during their lifetime, and according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting 60 million Americans at any one time.” To make it a bit easier on acne sufferers, here is a round-up products specifically formulated to treat acne, both on the face and the body.

Clark’s Botanicals Skin Clearing Face & Body Wash
Packed with Jasmine Absolute extract to help soothe and nourish, this algae-enriched, exfoliating face & body wash rids skin of dead surface cells and debris. Formulated with salicylic acid, this refreshing formula refines and minimizes the appearance of large pores. It is ideal for all skin types… especially problem skin.

Avon Clearskin Professional Clarifying Toner Pads

This pack of 45 pads is specifically formulated to help retexturize, calm and soothe. Your skin will both look and feel smoother after just one use.



Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light

The Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light  beauty  is FDA and  safe for all skin types with mild to moderate acne.  The blue light penetrates skin  to kill acne causing bacteria  and allowing clogged pores to open. See ThisThatBeauty’s preview here.

X Out Wash-in treatment

XOut  is  specially formulated for teens (or adults) who want a one step treatment to help manage and prevent acne. X Out washes “powerful, acne fighting medicine into the pores and leave it behind to treat blemishes and help kill the bacteria that causes breakouts.”   X Out is formulated with glycerin to moisturize skin leaving it feeling smooth and looking healthy. See a complete ThisThatBeauty’s preview here.

 

Clean & Clear Advantage Popped Pimple Paste

I always hear not to pop pimples but sometimes it is just plain impossible.  The Clean & Clear Advantage Popped Pimple Relief Paste is formulated with salicylic acid to targets  acne blemishes, including popped pimples. See ThisThatBeauty’s review here.

Soap & Glory Dr Spot™ Invisible Spot-Fighting Gel

This lightweight and invisible gel improves spots without drying out the skin. Salicylic and lactic acids clear clogged pores. Other ingredients balance pH, control oil, and help to relieve irritation and inflammation.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

The Drying Lotion is a fast acting, effective acne spot treatment formulated with salicylic acid, calamine and other quick-drying ingredients, this product will shrink ugly whiteheads virtually overnight while you sleep. See ThisThatBeauty’s review here.

dr. brandt pores no more vacuum cleaner

This gentle exfoliating mask helps loosen and extract blackheads without painful extraction tools while absorbing oil and tightening pores. Dr. Brandt’s exclusive formula combines Salicylic and Glycolic Acid to assist in the release of blackheads while Eijitsu Rose helps tighten pores.

Burt’s Bees® Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment

This natural spot treatment is clinically proven to help reduce and improve the appearance of blemishes without irritating skin. Formulated with Tea Tree, Calendula, Yarrow and Parsley Extracts to help soothe skin and reduce redness and Borage Extracts to promote healthy skin resulting in clear and smooth skin, naturally. Employing naturally derived salicylic acid, the non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested acne fighter reduces redness after 24 hours and reduces acne after 48 hours.

For a complete look at how ThisThatBeauty overcame adult acne, see this epic post, ThisThatBeauty vs Hyperpigmentation.

 

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How often do you evaluate your skin care routine? I mean, really critically analyze the needs of your skin against the efficacy of your products. Perhaps the serum you’re using is great for managing acne, but that was five years ago and suddenly you’ve noticed tiny fine lines on your forehead. Or, perhaps your usual daily moisturizer feels great and applies well, but when stacked against current technology and advanced delivery systems, you realize that in addition to increasing hydration, maybe there are creams on the market that also eradicate wrinkles, fight hyperpigmentation, and leave a luminous finish.

I say all of this to say: Skin beyond the age of 20ish regularly goes through a laundry list of changes. It’s up to you to make sure that the products you apply topically are the cream (pun intended) of the crop and best suited for skin’s changing needs.

Does your skin suffer from diminished vitality? Is it not as plump, smooth, and supple as it used to be? In just four weeks, ANEW Genics Treatment Cream (patented with YouthGenTM Technology – inspired by genetic research on human longevity) is a fairly recent skin care breakthrough that promises to do a Cher (“turn back time”) in as little as four weeks. By boosting specific skin proteins, ANEW Genics Treatment Cream stimulates skin’s Youth Gene and triggers younger acting skin. Momma ThisThatBeauty has been enjoying the benefits ever since I gave her a jar about a month ago. Recently, I could not help but marvel over mom’s much improved 58-year old skin…Isn’t she pretty?!

Most women first reach for an eye cream somewhere around early 20’s…usually due to the effects of dryness, puffiness, or dark circles. However, as skin matures, the prevention of fine lines, wrinkles and creasing is a primary concern. Newly launched, SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream smooths the early signs of aging at the corners of eyes and underneath.

The signature complex, a proprietary blend of Pitera™, Oli-Vityl (anti-oxidant protection), Signaline, and concentrated levels of Niacinamide, work in concert to reduce dull appearance, increase hydration, and firm the look of crepe-y skin. SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream is serious treatment for eyes and an appropriate next step option for those of us in search of an eye cream that does more…much more! (ME!!)

It all sounds so sci-fi…A renewable energy project, turned anti-aging discovery is the real life true story inception of Algenist. Picture it: A team of San Francisco based biotechnology scientists were hard at work developing microalgae-based renewable energy solutions when they uncovered “alguronic acid”, a powerful compound connected to cell regeneration. When tested in clinical trials, younger-looking resulted…in as little as 10 days. Yes, 10 days! Now, who doesn’t have 10 days to put the claim to the test?

Ladies, start your engines…I mean, er, start your infrared LED light. Sure, topicals are effective…but why not work deeper? LightStim helps create collagen (the secret to plump, line-free skin) and improve skin’s elasticity by emitting pain-free amber and red infrared LED light. The wavelengths energize skin’s youth cells and promote radiant, brilliant complexion. The handheld, at-home device is a must add to your routine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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Give your skin the attention it deserves. Take a step back. Look in the mirror. Survey your skin. Now, survey your medicine cabinet? Are you well-equipped to handle the skin care challenges before you? If not, re-read this blog post and compile your shopping list. Thank me later!

I am incredibly passionate about skincare. Just take a peek at the innards of my medicine cabinet…. obsess much?

Around age 21, which marked the ceremonious start of my battle against adult acne, I embraced skincare lotions and potions with open arms. I have always taken great pride in the care/management of my skin. After all, skin is the body’s largest organ. While many facets of skincare float my boat and light my fire, two groups of products in particular have made the biggest impact on the quality of my skin.

1) Sunscreen

2) Peels

You all now that sunscreen is an absolute MUST for me. I have written countless blog posts on the importance of a daily stand-alone SPF product. In my opinion, sunscreen protects against a multitude of skin issues like pre-mature creasing, hyperpigmentation, age spots, and uneven tone

The second most important area of skincare, in my opinion, is chemical exfoliation….i.e. chemical peels, alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic peels, etc.

Earlier this year I wrote about my battle with hyperpigmentation and graphically detailed my process for ridding my skin of dark (nearly black) post acne spots. In the post I discussed the importance of at-home chemical exfoliation. Today I will elaborate on this most important step as well as highlight several products that I have used over the course of the year and ABSOLUTELY LOVE.

I have been d-d-dying to write this post for months and share with you the at-home peels in my life that truly ROCK.com!

If you’re not currently including at-home peels in your skincare regime, sister — you are totally missing out! Peels are incredibly effective at improving texture, increasing luminosity, reducing pore size, correcting uneven tone, and restoring skin’s overall brilliance. Even though I embrace a very complete and through skincare regime overall, I strongly feel that the process of chemical exfoliation is what has made the BIGGEST difference in my skin. Without sounding like a narcissist, because believe me I am not, my skin’s texture is incredibly smooth and brilliant…even when I’m battling a breakout. The pimple is there, don’t get me wrong…but the surrounding skin maintains a certain level of smoothness. And quite honestly, the surrounding “smooth” skin is what keeps me from slitting my wrists when I’m dealing with the routine dastardly cystic zits!

Over the last year I have had the pleasure of trying many at-home peels and I am delighted to share with you my faves! Each product mentioned below is ThisThatBeauty tested. I have used each for at least 4-6 weeks and honestly love them all. I whole-heartedly stand by my recommendations. My rationale behind listing several products is this: I wanted to recommend a variety of products based on various skin types, budget, ease of use, and regional availability (I recently had a Canadian follower email me regarding products that I recommend that are not available in her neck of the woods).

So without further ado, here are my current favorite, most effective at-home chemical peels. I hope that you will find a product that suits your skin type and budget.

For those of you (like me) who deal with the occasional acne bout, I very highly recommend Cane + Austin Acne Treatment Pads with 5% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid. This one-step acne/glycolic acid treatment is derived from pure cane sugar, which acts as an exfoliator to gently resurface skin while salicylic acid treats acne. What I love most about this product (and its sister product, Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Pads with 10% Glycolic Acid) is that the treatment is delivered in a single step. With many glycolic treatments, you are required to rinse or use a neutralizer. With Cane + Austin, you simply apply day and night and follow with a moisturizer. Super simple! A 30-day supply is $60.

ThisThatBeauty Tip: When I used this product for 30 days, I used the acne treatment pads during the day and the glycolic ones for night. Admittedly, I tend to overdue it…and I have a very high tolerance for glycolic products. You might choose to start slow with evenings only.

Talk about an unsung hero…I wish this product received more buzz. I first learned of Actifirm Z Peel a couple of NYFW’s ago and it sat in my beauty closet for months before I decided to give it a whirl. If you’ve got three minutes and ActifirmZPeel, you’re well on your way to brighter and smoother skin. Z Peel is marketed as a “smart” peel that targets specific areas and exfoliates only where you need it. If you’re sensitive to glycolicpeels, you might find this product of interest because it is said to mimic nature’s own exfoliation processes and does not cause excessive redness, scaling or irritation. Instead of glycolic, Actifirm Z Peel uses exfoliating enzyme from Japanese mushroom along with 14 additional botanicals. The formula also includes a soothing cocktail of extracted oils from lavender, coriander and Roman chamomile flowers.

ActifirmZ-Peel is sold in two at-home concentrations – 10% for those with sensitive skin and 15% for folks like me who always want MORE MORE MORE. In fact, I totally wish I lived near a licensed professional who does the professional strength Actifirm Z Peels peels (30-60%). I would absolutely do the occasional in-office peel! $66.30

Naturopathica Glycolic Refining Peel – I cannot say enough wonderful things about this product. In just four minutes a night, this potent exfoliating treatment lives up to its claim. It promotes more youthful and radiant looking skin by increasing cellular renewal. The potent alpha hydroxy treatment is balanced with the inclusion of soothing aloe verato cool and calm the skin. This refining peel contains a concentrated blend of five botanical extracts (bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange, lemon) that contain naturally occurring AHA’s like citric, glycolic, malic and tartaric acids. This one definitely tingles, ladies. The recommend dosage is four minutes per evening. If you’re new to AHA treatments, I highly recommend starting slow with about 1-2 minutes. $68.

For my “go green” girls, try this: jeune d’age organics 5% Glycolic Pumpkin Peel. I have written about this product before, as part of my Hyperpigmentation Series, but could not resist including it in my “fave peels” roundup (in case ya missed it before). jeune d’age organics 5% Glycolic Pumpkin Peel is an excellent product for individuals who prefer organic skincare. Click here for my previous review. Since my review back in May, the brand has launched new packaging! $23.95 *Discontinued*

Get the glow you desire with Votre Vu Nouveau Glow. Through a gentle blend of bergamot, healing bilberry, and AHA loaded citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit and orange, the formula resurfaces skin without irritation. What separates this at-home peel from the other recommendations in this rundown is the use of highly emollient ingredients like Vitamin E, papaya extract and sunflower seed oil….making this peel deeply moisturizing and incredibly soothing. While the product is labeled as safe for all skin types, I imagine that more mature skin types will appreciate the hydrating benefits. $45

Continuing with the trend toward sugar cane derived exfoliants, Bambola Glycolic Sugar Cane Exfoliant is effective at accelerating the removal of dead skin, increasing collagen production, and reducing the appearance of slight facial creasing, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation. This serum also incorporates a balance of smoothing and soothing ingredients…Apple Acid is used to smooth and firm while cucumber nourishes and clarifies. $48

The name says it all. LIERAC Comfort Peel is a 2-in-1 daily moisturizer and face peel treatment. This ultra gentle formula contains time-released glycolic and salicylic acid which leaves skin deeply exfoliated and perfectly hydrated. The slow release of 1% salicylic and 4% glycolic acid optimizes effectiveness, while living up to the product’s claim of “comfort”. No tingling or burning sensations here! $52

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel is a sure-fire oldie but goodie, and is widely available online and in-store via Sephora. The two-piece kit contains a 2 oz container of Lactic/Salicylic Activating Gel and a small 2 oz tube of Vitamin C/ Peptide Resurfacing Crystals. I love products that have a “participation” element and Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel satisfies. After applying the Resurfacing crystals to dry skin, the activator gel is applied over the crystals. From there a warming sensation takes over and a foam appears…this tells me that the product is going to work to break down the yucky disgusting layer of dead surface skin…and fresh, rejuvenated skin in en route! $65

I hope you’ve enjoyed my run down of my favorite “peels” of the moment. I tried to cover a range of products at different price points that work well for a variety of skin types – acne prone, oily, mature, dry.

Please comment and share your thoughts. Do you see a product that appeals to you? Have you tried any of my recommendations? Was this post over-kill with 8 recommendations? Do you feel there was something for everyone?

Cat got your tongue??? Share!!!

xoxoFelicia

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A beauty tip so incredibly genius. . . so immediately complexion-enhancing. . . so effective after just one application — I simply had to share.

While doing the tweet-around-the-clock-tweet-tastic twitter thing that I do, I engaged in a rather game-changing exchange of tweets with @KateSomerville. The topic of conversation was “at-home peels” (fact: I love a good at-home peel). . . and @KateSomerville chimed in to share a skin care tip that knocked my Rockstuds off!

You simply must CLICK HERE to read the full deets. . .published on the Bergdorf Goodman blog. Life changing skin care tip awaits….

Every now & then I like to republish this article for my many followers who deal with hyperpigmentation & inquire about my skin care routine. The blog post is a couple of years old — but my core principles are timeless….

Grab a cup of tea, a big bowl of (ThisThatBeauty’s fav) popcorn, glass of vino, yummy cocktail, or what ever it is you reach for when you settle in for a good read. This article promises to be the longest post in ThisThatBeauty history.

I am often approached regarding my exact skin care routine. I must confess. This is an extremely difficult question to answer for a number of reasons:

1) Everyone’s skin is different and the results I achieve may or may not be similar for your sweet little face.

2) My skin care routine changes from season to season…and when I say “season to season” I am not referring to weather. I am referring to my different “skin seasons”. For example, there’s the “acne season”, where my primary focus is managing my annoying adult acne. There’s the “dry season” where I incorporate products that help remedy excessive dryness. Currently my skin is in “hyperpigmentation season” so my routine is very heavily and aggressively focused on remedying the dastardly dark spots that have taken up residence on my otherwise pristine (I kid) mug.

3) I regularly (and cheerfully) review/test/and flip flop from product to product….and allow me to clarify what I mean by “flip flop”. I only flip flop from product to product after I’ve used for the recommended time frame (usually 4-8 weeks). If there’s no adverse reaction, I generally stick with a product until its used up. I then write a review and decide to re-purchase or move on to the next one. However, I should note that even though I regularly review and switch products, there are certain skin care principles that are constant (more on that later).

4) My overall skin care routine is somewhat extensive. Just ask @KatAragon. We recently roomed together in LA and she lovingly poked fun at my diligent day and evening skin care rituals…but she also all but licked my face and marveled at how smooth and even my complexion is. (I kid about the licking, but I could tell she wanted to-LOL).

So for reasons 1 through 4, it is hard for me to give an exact run down of what my skin care routine is….No two faces are the same, my skin issues and products change often, and my overall routine is quite intense…I’ve actually seen eyes glaze over when I’ve tried to explain it all.

The main focus of this article is my current “skin season”HYPERPIGMENTATION, which is in bold and spelled out in caps to signify that I am yelling the word at the top of my lungs. Hyperpigmentation is no joke! It makes me feel angry, sad, insecure…and basically unpretty. So for this article I will share with you, the intimate details of my struggle with hyperpigmentation and the products I am currently using. Once I am through this particular “skin season” some of the products will likely change.

Before getting into the actual products, I have to take a small step back and talk a bit more about my overall skin care routine. As I’ve already said, my routines are “skin season” specific and change often. HOWEVER HOWEVER, there are CORE PRINCIPLES that are constant….cleanse, tone, eye cream, treat issues, anti oxidant serum, sunscreen, special treatment masks, regular facials and regular dermatologist visits.

PROPER CLEANSING

I generally tend to favor gentle cleansers. I am usually on some sort of topical medication for acne management (currently using Evoclin foam) so I steer clear of harsh cleaners that will possibly conflict. However, the cleanser must clean deep enough to control my excessive sebum and oil production. A few of my fav cleansers include:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – It is super gentle and does no harm.

KISS MY FACE Exfoliating Face Wash – Don’t let the word “exfoliating” scare you. The formula is gel-like with no bits or particles. The cleanser gently uses the power of natural fruit acids to exfoliate the skin. Lemon Grass Oil is incorporated as an anti-inflammatory and astringent. Antioxidant Green Tea repairs damaged skin.

Lancome Creme Radiance – This clarifying cream to foam cleanser contains antioxidant White Lotus and soothing Rose de France to penetrate deeply without drying out the skin. I always feel brighter after using.

GRN Blue Chamomile Cleanser – Certified Organic Extracts of Chamomile, Rosemary and Green Tea. This gentle cleanser provides deep cleansing without harsh chemicals. It does not dry or irritate my skin.

So you see, I mainly use cleansers that are gentle and free of harsh irritants. My cleansers do rotate from time to time, but GENTLE is key for any cleanser I use. In addition, my Clarisonic Skin Care Brush is a staple. This brush is working miracles in my skin….*cue the parting of the sea and the conversion of water into wine*

This brush saves lives! I bought my first Clarisonic a few years back when Lady O (not Michelle, Oprah) touted the brush as one of her fav things. The brush flew off the shelves like Free Pancake Day at IHOP, but I was lucky enough track one down (and was later rather unlucky because I left it at a hotel and was forced to buy a replacement). For some odd reason I abandoned using the brush…bad move. During a skin care convo with my sister from another mister – Adri, she encouraged me to get back on my Clarisonic grind. I charged up the super sonic brush and have not looked back. My skin is, at this very moment, the best it has been in a long time. Regardless of the different cleaners I rotate, my Clarisonic skin care brush is a staple.

TONER

The next step of my skincare routine involves the use of a “gentle” toner. There’s that word again, “gentle”. My current favs are all awesome with a capital “A” because they are non-drying, contain no alcohol, and help to restore my skin’s balance after cleansing:

Chella Refining Tonic – Contains zinc and pomegranate. Is gentle and refreshing. The yummy pom scent is a bonus!

Renee Rouleau – Moisture Infusion Toner, Revitalizing Ginseng Toner, and Balancing Skin Tonic are my favs.KISS MY FACE Balancing Act Facial Toner – (Description from KISS MY FACE) Tone and nourish skin with organic ingredients. Revitalize tired skin with this blend of certified organic grapefruit, orange, ginger and lemon balm essential oils and extracts. Seaweed extract provides trace minerals while antioxidants Ester C® and Vitamin E help fight the signs of aging.

Again, the trend is “gentle” yet effective!

The last few steps in my general routine include acne medication, serum, eye cream, SPF, special treatment masks, regular check-ins with my derm, and somewhat regular facials.

And now, getting back to the main focus of this article, the next few products in my routine are formulated specifically to address my current “hyperpigmentation season”.

Are you surprised that I stated there will be a “few products” required to address hyperpigmentation? Well don’t be. Often times we expect one miracle product to solve our issues. I wish! The reality is that good skin takes a concerted and continued effort.

While this post is intended to share with you the products I am using to win my personal battle against hyperpigmentation, I also want to express my opinion that a lot of folks out there are slackin’ on their skincare pimpin’ and expect one miracle product to improve your skin. Girlfriends, I am here to tell you that if you are not properly addressing your skin from all angles, don’t expect the two or three hyperpigmentation remedies I’m about to recommend to work for you.

For example –

  • If you’re sleeping in your makeup….your skin is filthy and not properly repairing itself so don’t expect these products to work for you.
  • If you are not using sunscreen daily (preferably SPF30)…. don’t expect these products to dramatically diminish your hyperpigmentation.
  • If you do not properly exfoliate…do not expect these product to magically transform your roughness.

Am I making myself clear:) Good skin care is a multi-pronged approached. Whipping your skin into shape is serious business, kids. I highly suggest that you evaluate all aspects of your regime and not just place a band-aid. I am taking the time to highlight my core principles of skin care because I want you to understand that it takes a certain level of sustained commitment to achieve your desired results.

So having said ALLLLLLLL that (Whew, momma’s tired), I now want to share with you the products that I am currently using to address my hyperpigmentation. But remember, overall good skin care habits in conjunction with these products is the route that ThisThatBeauty wholeheartedly recommends.

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I did not always have post acne hyperpigmentation. When I was in my early twenties and first started breaking out (Hello Adult Acne), my pimples usually healed without leaving a trace of its existence. This is no longer the case. I went through a terrible breakout phase last summer. The pimples were often cystic and extremely painful. After months of a couple pimples here and a couple pimples there, my face transformed from relatively blemish free to a face full of dark spots.

I went from skin like this (no makeup in pic):

To occasional breakouts like these (NSFW):

Which eventually led to lots of dark spots like these (DOUBLE NSFW):

I even ended up in my derm’s chair for cortisone shots:

With the help of great concealers by Cinema Secrets, Make Up For Ever, CoverFX, and BECCA, I was able to conceal the dark spots with minimal effort. But that was a band-aid, not the solution. The products I am recommending in this post are tried and true skincare solutions!

First and foremost, not to beat a dead horse because I already mentioned my Clarisonic in this post but ….hats off to my Clarisonic skin care brush. Its sonic technology gently and effectively cleanses my skin, clears pores, and really helps to improve my tone and texture. Everything about my skin improved once I started back using my Clarisonic skin care brush. Without proper cleansing, environmental stressors like pollutantion, oil and bacteria accumulate on the skin, clogging pores which causes blackheads, blemishes and dullness. Clarisonic’s gentle cleansing and massage help to prep my skin to better absorb my skin care products. In a study Clarisonic reported that after cleansing with their brush, skin showed a 61% improvement in the absorption of Vitamin C. They claim that skin becomes clean, clear and smooth—allowing skin to experience the full benefits of serums and moisturizers. I co-sign. The proof is in my gorgeous glowing skin….and did I mention I bought two Clarisonic brushes? Yea, its that serious!

For daytime I use Kiehl’s Highly Effective Skin Tone Corrector (KHESTC). This has been a staple in my anti-hyperpigmentation arsenal. I’ve been using for over four weeks and already see significant improvement.

KHESTC is formulated with a blend of antioxidants and acids that help to lessen the appearance of dark spots, sun spots, and uneven skin tone. KHESTC does not contain Hydroquinone. Instead it is made of a unique blend of Glycolic Acid, Emblica Fruit extract, and HEPES which KHESTC claims is as effective as 2% Hydroquinone and a safer, gentler combination of ingredients to achieve almost similar results.

Emblica Fruit extract contains a large amount of Vitamin C which serves to protect the skin from sun damage, promote collagen production, reduce inflammation, and help repair damaged skin. It is a natural antioxidant, which means it eliminates free radical damage to the skin. Emblica extract also works as a skin lightener. HEPES is an organic chemical buffer and acts as a hydrating agent to the skin. HEPES helps to eliminate roughness. It is as powerful as Glycolic Acid.

Glycolici Acid, a long time friend of mine, is essential because it works to dissolve the outer skin layer, breakdown hyperpigmentation, and reveal fresher looking skin. Glycolic Acid also helps to even out skin tone and improve texture/scarring.

I like that KHESTC is a corrector and antioxidant in one. That’s very important because it cuts down on the need for a separate antioxidant serum. The product comes in a gel like formula which is quickly absorbed into the skin. My one complaint about the product is the packaging. The metal tube oozes product long after you squeeze and dispense. This leads to the wasting of product. Here’s how I worked around this annoyance…I squeeze less than I need and allow the tub to ooze out additional product. Does this make sense? [UPDATE: KHESTC has been discontinued but try Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution instead]

After applying KHESTC, I follow up with a healthy slathering of Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20. I am eternally grateful to my beauty blogger bud who was kind enough to give me her press sample of Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20. I had heard buzz from several friends in the industry that the moisturizer is effective in correcting hyperpigmentation. I used the product every morning for about 6-8 weeks and noticed that my dark spots were beginning to fade. Over time they became less and less obvious. After going through one full sized container, I rushed out and purchased another. I continue to use it today.

In the evenings, for the last 2-3 weeks, after cleansing, toning, eye cream, and Evoclin, I have been applying Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. Once again, I have my sister from another mister, Adri, to thank for turning me on to this product. I was complaining that I need another product in my anti-hyperpigmentation arsenal and she suggested stepping up my game with Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. NOTE: Your Hyperpigmentation might not require a treatment for day and a treatment for night….but you saw my pictures. I did not have time to play games. I should disclose that Murad contains 2% Hydroquinone. Momma’s not hear to judge, but merely inform. My dark spots, in my opinion, require a product like Keihl’s that’s safe for daytime use…AND a product like Murad’s that’s highly effective for evening use. Once my spots fade a bit more, I will transition off of the Murad because I don’t want to use a product with hydroquinone for an extended period of time. You definitely need to think long and hard about the severity of your hyperpigmentation and then choose a product accordingly. Consult your dermatologist…which is actually a very important step that I won’t spend too much time on today. But see your derm…I do, regularly. Over the counter products can be expected to do but so much. I usually get regular facials and Silk Peels (but I haven’t made time for either since starting this new regime…bad girl!).

After applying Murad, in lieu of a night cream I rotate between one of two Vitamin C serums. In the evenings I alternate between Mario Badescu Vitamim C Serum and MD Skincare Hydra Pure Vitamin C Serum. Both contain potent doses of Vitamin C and have proved effective in diminishing my dark spots. Sometimes I skip the serum and go straight for Creme de La Mer.

On a weekly basis I use enzyme masks like Chella’s Enzyme Exfoliating Crema Mask. I also alternate between at home peels like Erno Laszlo C Peel or MD Skincare Alpha Beta Peels.

I am incredibly pleased with the improvement I am seeing in my skin. If my skin remains on its current course, I hope to slay the hyperpigmentation beast and be blemish free by summer.

Here’s what I look like today…WITH NO MAKEUP!!! You will notice that my hyperpigmentation is SIGNIFICANTLY improved. Perfect? No! But definitely much improved. I feel I’m well on my way….

Hyperpigmentation is no joke! In my day to day as a makeup artist and beauty writer, I often come across women who struggle to remedy their hyperpigmentation. Often times in our insecure moments of weakness we purchase some random snake oil in hopes that we’ll wake up looking like new money. This is almost never the case, love bunnies. You must commit to improving the overall health of your skin. And that has everything to do with how you care for your skin from sun up to sun down and from “skin season” to “skin season”. Make the investment!

This is an extremely personal post for me. I went back and forth in my head debating whether or not to leak my “un-pretty” photos. In the end I decided to share my photos/experience and pour hours into writing this post because I want to help other women in the hyperpigmentation struggle. I want to arm you with the information and resources to improve your skin. Be empowered! I also want you all to know that you’re not alone…ThisThatBeauty’s been there too!

Please share this post with your girlfriends, aunties, roommates, etc. I hope this extremely long article is in some way helpful!

Please share your thoughts! Have I helped…or run-on for way too long? Leave a comment:)

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Girls!! I would give a pinky finger for QT time with the lovable, fiery Ms. Mally. . .Luckily — this offer exists:

Master Makeup Artist, Mally Roncal will be revealing her beauty tips and tricks at:

Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue
Thursday, March 29th 2012

Mally Roncal will host a Master Class especially for the Bendel’s customers in New York City, where she will be spilling all her secrets and sharing her must have beauty products. For VIP celebrity treatment, book a private one-on-one makeup session with Mally herself, to learn her makeup tips first hand and become red carpet ready for your life.Private

One-On-One Sessions

- Hour-long private lesson with Mally
- $500 fee, completely redeemable in product
- Book appointment via Gabriel@Mallybeauty.com

 Master Class

- Hour-long class hosted by Mally, revealing her tips and tricks
- $75 fee redeemable in product
- Book appointment via Gabriel@Mallybeauty.com

Want to know my favorite Mally Beauty product? . . . it’s this!

Mally Poreless Perfection Skin Finisher

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@plushpinkallure reports on the newest from Clarisonic. . .

Get ready as Clarisonic expands its family and introduces its newest addition, the Clarisonic Acne Clarifying Collection.  The Mia 2 is travel friendly and cleans skin six times better than hands.  Begin by selecting 1 of 2 speeds at which you wish to cleanse, and then allow the new pulsing T- Timer to guide you through a 60-second cleanse across all areas of the face. 

The customized Acne Cleansing Brush Head makes pore cleansing both gentle and effective.  The Acne Daily Clarifying Cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid to dry out blemishes and botanicals to help heal skin.  With the gentleness of these elements, The Mia 2 is safe enough to use up to two times a day.  Important to note: Be certain to follow up with a good moisturizer.  The Mia 2 cleanses thoroughly as well as exfoliates, leaving skin able to better absorb skin care products.  Whether one is acne prone or just experiencing the occasional breakout, the Mia 2 is a solid investment to towards healthier, clearer skin.

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More than two years ago, I went through the worst acne bout of my entire adult life. While I am affectionately known to be a bit of a Drama Queen, I exaggerate not when I say my skin was totally out of control. This was an incredibly frustrating phase of my life. By the time I figured out how to get the acne under control, I was left with dark, frightful, pigment marring spots all over my face. While clever skin mimicking concealers and foundations helped keep my dirty little secret, my nightly face wash revealed the horror beneath the guise.

In an effort to help others, I wrote an epic post on the topic of Hyper pigmentation…and later started a blog series titled, what else: Hyper pigmentation Series. In the series, I highlight the many products on the market designed to treat hyper pigmentation.

If you go back and read my inaugural hyper pigmentation post, you will note that Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel was an integral part of my hyper pigmentation recovery routine. That stuff WORKS. PERIOD! Within 3-4 weeks of continued use, my spots diminished…A few more weeks later and, what spots? That stuff WORKS. PERIOD!

GIRRRRRRLS..and boys (like my beloved twitter Beauty Boy @calebjf) —

Hold the phone! Dr Murad has improved on perfection.

“Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum” fast tracks results in as little as one week. The next generation of Murad’s award-winning Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel is more advanced because it targets, treats and prevents future pigmentation. I have always said that Murad is the gold standard when it comes to spot lightening. The enhanced formulation is appropriate for all ethnicites and appropriate for a wide range of spots including: age spots, sun spots, freckles, post acne spots, and other unwanted pigmentation.

Key features (via Murad):

  • Clinically proven to restore clarity and even skin tone by reducing the appearance of sun spots and age spots 33% in 1 week
  • Hydroquinone fades dark spots, age spots and freckles, evening skin tone to reveal a clearer, brighter complexion
  • Hexapeptide-2, an advanced skin lightening peptide, complements the results of Hydroquinone, helping block future damage by prohibiting pigment formation
  • Glycolic Acid exfoliates to remove dead skin cells, helping the active ingredient penetrate quickly for faster results
  • 88% of study participants saw a more even skin tone in 2 weeks

If clear, vibrant skin is on your wish list for the new year, mark your calendar for next month’s launch at Sephora, Ulta…and leading spa/salon locations beginning 2012.

It is $60…and worth E-VE-RY penny!

Writer @brandalynfulton tries out a new cleanser and. . .

Have you ever been excited to wash your face? I am so pleased with my complexion from using the Refine™ Deep Penetrating Clay Cleanser from SKIN by Monica Olsen for the past few weeks. I love the way my skin feels after doing my weekly mask. Imagine your skin having that fresh, nourished, perfectly yet-clean-not stripped feeling every morning after washing your face.

Refine™ Deep Penetrating Clay Cleanser from SKIN by Monica Olsen is gentle enough to use daily. Apply it like a mask on your face & neck, but avoid your eye and lip area. Rinse after 2 minutes. Be generous about the waiting period to get maximum results. This cleanser is packed with essential oils and antioxidants that cleanse your skin and serve as a gentle exfoliant. Kaolin, the main clay ingredient, has been used in cosmetics for centuries — it absorbs and removes impurities from skin.

SKIN by Monica Olsen is a unique skin and hair care company founded by model, Monica Olsen. This company uses natural preservatives and you will not find alcohol, petroleum, dimethicone, parabens, or fragrances used in any of the products. To keep their formulations as pure as possible, they manufacture in small batches — ensuring the highest quality. You can find SKIN by Monica Olsen at select Duane Reade in New York City or online at www.skinbymonicaolsen.com. The Deep Penetrating Clay Cleanser retails for $16.95.

Brandalyn’s PRO ARTIST Tip: Exfoliation is essential for an amazing complexion. It also helps foundation apply flawlessly! If your foundation does not look smooth…have you exfoliated lately?

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