Category Archives: Skin Care

What Is This? Placenta Eye Patch Edition 

 

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What Is This? The Micellar Water Edition

Photo Credit: Natural Hair Growth 101

Photo Credit: Natural Hair Growth 101

With so many new items constantly popping up on the beauty shelves, it’s really easy to feel like a complete idiot when looking at a product that you’ve never heard of.  The product of the moment is micellar water/micelle solution.  I honestly didn’t get this product either when I first laid eyes on it, so I did some investigating. My first question was is there a difference between micellar water and micelle solution, and the answer is hell no. What a brand calls it just depends on how bougie they want to sound, some brands even call it micellar cleanser – but it’s all the same thing.

 

Micellar water is a hydrating alternative to tradition makeup removers and face wipes, that uses micelles as its active ingredient. I know what you’re thinking…WTF is a micelle?  Micelles are tiny oil molecules that attract and absorb dirt and oil; they are able to remove impurities from the face without drying out your skin. All you need to do is soak a cotton pad (I prefer cotton pillow squares myself), and wipe away makeup and dirt – no rinsing required.  Pretty cool, right?

 

Not only can micellar water be used as a makeup remover, you can also use it as a daily cleanser. It’s perfect for washing your face at the gym after a sweaty workout, or anytime you want a quick refresh when your skin feels gross. I low key found another use for it while in a crunch on set – it cleaned TF out of my makeup brushes! One of favorites is by Bioderma, but drug store options are available from brands such as Garnier.

Save Good Products from Bad Packaging

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Jars are BAAAAAAD, guys. I think that thanks to advertising, women associate cream in jars with luxury, or think a product is going to be super moisturizing/effective if it comes in one. Nope, nope, nope.

Most of the best skincare ingredients aren’t stable and shouldn’t be exposed to air or light. We all know antioxidants are great for the skin. Well, their enemy is listed in their name–oxygen! So let’s say you happen upon a moisturizer in a jar that is very well formulated. It’s going to rapidly get less and less effective every time you open it. Jars also harbor bacteria, since you repeatedly dip your fingers into them, and aside from that being kind of gross, it further breaks down the ingredients aside.

I personally avoid buying anything that comes in a jar. There are plenty of amazing products out there that are well packaged. And by the way, cosmetic chemists are well aware that jars aren’t the way to go, but cosmetic companies keep requesting them because consumers keep purchasing them. But anyway, let’s say you found a cream in a jar that you absolutely love. There is a way to save your product.

Get a set of airless pump containers like these and transfer your jarred products into them. If you can find opaque ones, even better. If you get these particular ones, store them in a medicine cabinet and try to keep them away from light. Obviously, it’s best to transfer your product when it’s brand new, since all of its beneficial ingredients will still be intact, but it’s still worth doing with a product that you’ve only had for a little while. Old jars should really just be tossed…and unless you are head over heels in love with the product, it’s best to search for something with smarter packaging.

 

xx Dana

Quick Tip: Protect Your Pillows

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I generally advise all of my clients who have problems with breakouts to follow a regimen of a gentle cleanser and benzoyl peroxide. I had one bridal client recently who told me that benzoyl peroxide worked for her, but she didn’t like it because it kept bleaching her linens. Because of this, she preferred to use a harsh cleanser and skip the acne treatment.

Now, if you’ve read my other posts, you know how I feel about cleansers like that, but let’s recap. Any cleanser that is heavily fragranced, or has menthol, alcohol, or other yucky ingredients is going to damage your skin’s collagen. You might not see irritation right away, but it’s there. If the cleanser is well formulated and doesn’t have these harsh ingredients and does have a helpful ingredient like benzoyl peroxide, you are just washing the good stuff down the drain.

So, how to use benzoyl peroxide without ruining your pillow cases? Little bandaids! First apply the benzoyl peroxide to your breakout (and only to your breakout, if you are worried about bleaching any fabrics.) Then apply a little more to the gauze area of a small circular or square bandaid, and apply this to your blemish. When you wake up, your spot will be smaller. Easy!

 

xx Dana

My Favorite Ways to Use Jojoba Oil

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A few months ago, I purchased an 8 oz. bottle of organic jojoba oil for under 20 bucks. I’ve barely made a dent in it, even though I use it every day. What a great beauty buy! I’ve found a ton of uses for it, and I want to share them with you. Jojoba is my favorite oil, but feel free to substitute your oil of choice for any of these uses (although be careful with coconut oil if you are prone to breakouts).

Ways to Use:

*adding a drop or two to moisturizer. This is all my oily skin needs, and I can use less moisturizer when I do this, so it saves me money while hydrating my skin. If your skin is on the dry side, you may be able to use this in lieu of moisturizer. (Use a good serum though! Any single ingredient routine will rob your skin of antioxidants. While jojoba has many benefits, no oil can prevent or reverse signs of aging.)

*several drops added to body lotion

*used as a cuticle oil. Many of the cuticle oils sold in stores have essential oils added to them. Sure, they smell great, but essential oils are irritants. Any straight up oil–jojoba, argan, olive, whatever–will be much better.

*as a massage oil! Now all you need is someone to give you a massage. Or someone willing to accept one from you, if you’re a giver.

*to hydrate lips. I have chronically dry lips, and two drops of jojoba oil with a bit of Aquaphor on top is the best thing I’ve tried (and I’ve spent hundreds of dollars looking for a solution.)

*adding a few drops to conditioner. I personally don’t get good results using large amounts of oil as a treatment, but many people do, so it’s worth a try. But adding a few drops to conditioner gives the conditioner extra slip (so you can use less and not be stuck with that annoying half full bottle of shampoo and two drops of conditioner scenario) and makes the hair nice and shiny.

*as an eye makeup remover

Did I leave out any cool uses? Comment below!

 

xx Dana

Get Rid of Puffy Eyes Forever

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Even if you are an overachiever who washes his or her face every day (go you!), odds are, if you wear it at all, you’re leaving behind a good amount of eye makeup. Even if you don’t see the evidence, you aren’t in the clear. Ever not worn makeup for a couple of days and rubbed your eyes on a towel only to find black smudges?

Ophthalmologists say that failure to fully remove eye makeup can actually damage your eyes, since the remnants will inevitably migrate from your skin to actual eyes. They also advise you not to use waterproof makeup, which even from a makeup artist’s perspective, is good advice–waterproof mascara dries out your lashes, and they’ll never get as long and thick as they otherwise could. Of course, waterproof makeup does have its time and place, but for everyday wear, it’s best avoided.

Dermatologists will tell you that not fully removing eye makeup leads to irritation. You may think that you don’t have sensitive eyes because you don’t notice any itching. But what else can that irritation cause? You guessed it–puffy eyes! Eventually, it will also cause collagen breakdown, so say helllllloooo to wrinkles! My advice is to get a good, oily makeup remover (or just a straight-up oil–I love using 100% jojoba oil), saturate a cotton pad, and gently get to work. It will take several pads. Don’t stop till you use a pad that is fully clean! Next, get a cotton swab and repeat. You’re not done yet–you also don’t want that oil hanging around and getting into your eyes. Wash your face, keep your eyes closed, and use a gentle facial wash (without salicylic acid, etc.) on your eye lids.

xx Dana

Two Places You’re Forgetting to Put Sunscreen

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This post isn’t about your hands and feet–I’m assuming you know by now that all of your skin needs to be protected from the sun. So where might you be forgetting?

1. Your Lips

Lips are skin too. Believe it or not, you can get skin cancer on your lips. But let’s say you’re feeling immortal and are more worried about the superficial side effects–keep in mind that sun damage causes skin to lose elasticity. Your lips already have some of the thinnest skin on your body, and sun damage can make it look thinner.

There are plenty of lip balms with an SPF. Alba Botanica makes a great one for 2.99.

2. Your Hair

OK, your hair isn’t actually in any danger in the way that your skin is. There’s no melanoma of the hair. Your scalp is another story, but you wear a hat, right? Riiiight. But you’ll want to put a hair sunscreen on for sure if you color your hair. UV rays cause dye molecules to oxidize and lead to brassy hair. And pssssst—you don’t need to pay a lot of money for a fancy hair sunscreen. You can use any spray on sunscreen you find at the drugstore on your hair. This is one situation where you will want a product with alcohol. While alcohol is drying on hair, your hair is already dead, girl, and it’s not going to cause the kind of damage it does on skin. The other spray on sunscreens will make your hair look greasy, so this is your best bet. Just be kind to your hair and deep condition it once a week, and try not to use other alcohol-containing hair products on the same day.

 

xx Dana

Why Collagen Isn’t the Miracle Ingredient You Think It Is

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Let me be clear: collagen is a good ingredient. It’s just not some wrinkle-erasing miracle worker. Skin care companies would love us to believe that their topical products work as well as injections and fillers, but that is not the case. They even boast of bogus studies (that they themselves fund, of course) from time to time saying women prefer their cream over Botox, etc. This is absurd–even BOTOX doesn’t work like Botox if it’s applied topically! There is no topical product on the market, not even a $300 cream, that will you get you those kind of results.

Back to collagen. Collagen is good for binding moisture to skin. It cannot, however, fuse to your skin’s natural supply of collagen to fill in wrinkles. In fact, most of the time, the molecule is too big to even penetrate the skin. Besides, you wouldn’t want these products to do what they are claiming to–if they really boosted your skin’s collagen levels that much, you would actually wind up creating scar tissue.

So don’t throw out your collagen-containing products, but do think twice before you shell over some serious dough for a bunch of sketchy claims. As always, don’t believe the hype.

xx Dana

Quick Tip: Don’t Forget Your Neck!

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You wash your face every day, you exfoliate once or twice a week, and you always remember to wear an SPF. Are you perfect? Maybe…if you’re including your neck!

Just about anything you put on the skin on your face should go on your neck. No specialized products necessary. The neck is one of the first areas to show signs of aging, so proper skin care is necessary to keep it looking young. An unlined, baby face on a crepey neck is a little strange, no? It just takes a bit of extra product and three extra seconds to protect your neck–you’ll thank me later.

xx Dana

Quick Tips: The Best Trick for Chapped Lips

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My lips are super chapped all the time. Like, they will BLEED if I go two days without lip balm. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ginger King, cosmetic chemist and and co-found of Grand Central Beauty. I told her that I exfoliate my dry, peeling lips with a warm, wet washcloth and put Aquaphor on after, and they’re still always dry. Her tip? It was what to do in between those two steps–put eye cream on your lips! The Aquaphor or Vaseline will help lock in the moisture, and you can go longer with baby soft lips. Genius.

 

xx Dana