How to Get Younger-Looking Hands

We’re constantly talking about how to keep the skin on our faces looking youthful and fresh, but what about our hands? Our hands are put through the wringer on a daily basis. Between frequent washing, UV exposure, nicks and cuts, and anything else they might come into contact with, your hands probably deserve more love than you’re giving them. 

What’s more, your hands can give away your age so quickly since they’re often overlooked when it comes to self-care. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone who, thanks to diligent skincare, looks younger than their age only to be betrayed by their hands! In this post, I’ll share my expert tips for keeping your hands looking beautiful. I also asked my friend Dr. Sam Lam, a plastic surgeon at Lam Facial Plastics, to weigh in on professional treatment options for aging hands.

My Professional Experience with Hand Care

Fun Fact: in my early twenties, I considered being a hand model before I became an esthetician!

When I first started beauty school, I had a fellow classmate who was a hand model and she convinced me that I, too, should become a hand model.  It wasn’t as easy as just filling out an application though. I had to create a portfolio with studio shots of my hands, which meant I had to keep my hands in tiptop shape. Thankfully, my friend shared her tips with me!

Unfortunately, though, I got a cut on my hand that required stitches, and my career as a hand model ended before it began. Oh well, I’d say my career as an esthetician is going pretty well! Besides, it wasn’t all a loss. I learned a lot and developed a lifelong routine for protecting my hands and keeping them looking their best. 

People often ask me, “Don’t estheticians have especially soft and young-looking hands since they are in creams and serums all day long?” I do believe this has some merit. While our hands are getting dried out from being dipped in water a lot while using facial sponges, it’s definitely offset by the nourishment they get from using all the treatment products. A lot of estheticians now wear plastic gloves when performing treatments, so while the skin on the hands isn’t being indulged with creams and serums, plastic gloves still provide benefits. They make an occlusive seal over the skin to create an environment within the gloves where moisture doesn’t evaporate out of the skin.

Anti-Aging Tips to Keep Your Hands Looking Their Best

As I see it, there are four main things that contribute to making our hands looks older:

  • Age spots (brown spots)
  • Wrinkles
  • Dryness (this contributes to a less-than-smooth look)
  • Loss of volume (this is what can make veins more prominent as we age)

Here are my expert tips for combatting these signs of aging hands.

How to Prevent Age Spots and Wrinkles on Your Hands

Let’s talk about preventing age spots and wrinkles.

One of the ways the hands show aging is by forming brown spots. The amount of spots you get certainly has to do with sun exposure, but it also comes down to genetic predisposition. Some people naturally form more pigment in the skin. Pigment cells rise to the surface as we age, which is why these spots start to show up as we get older. (Dealing with brown sunspots on your face? Here’s what to do about it.)

Like age spots, the wrinkles that start to appear on our hands are caused mainly by sun exposure.

Here’s how you can prevent age spots and wrinkles on your hands:

  • Start by looking at your mother’s hands to see what might be in store for yours for the future. By doing this, it could be a great motivator for you to hop on hand-care early.
  • Keep your hands out of the sun and wear sunscreen whenever possible. Since we wash our hands all day, I’ve found the easiest way to do this is by using a water-resistant, SPF-infused mineral powder. If you prefer, you can also use a hand cream with SPF.
  • Wear gloves when you’re driving. Did you know the number one cause of aging on hands is from sunlight contact while on a steering wheel?
  • Exfoliate a few times a week with acids. Keep in mind that if you do this, it’s extra important to use sun protection on your hands during the day!
  • Build up to using a prescription retinoid a few times a week. Using a retinoid on your hands will have the same collagen-building effects as it does on your face.

If you already have stubborn age spots on your hands, you have a few options for removing them:

  • Use prescription skin bleach like hydroquinone to treat stubborn spots.
  • Consider professional laser treatments to remove spots. According to Dr. Lam, it’s critical that you select the correct type of laser treatment. “You can do IPL therapy,” he said, “but the risk is that the spots can sometimes get darker or not go away. Stronger lasers are not safe for the hands because our hands lack enough sebaceous glands for the healing of the skin. Personally, I have used low-fractionated CO2 laser treatment safely and without scarring.” Be sure to consult with your doctor about which professional treatment is best for you.

How to Prevent Dryness for Smoother-Looking Hands

Keeping the skin on your hands hydrated is essential for keeping them smooth and younger-looking. 

  • Be diligent about moisturizing. Try to make a habit of moisturizing your hands every time you wash them since this strips moisture. If you’re struggling with really dry hands, try applying a thicker salve while you sleep.
  • Try a cuticle oil. You can apply cuticle oil anywhere you have irritation or cracking.
  • Wear gloves when possible. Wear rubber gloves when cleaning or doing the dishes to protect your hands from harsh chemicals and hot water. At night, you can also try wearing cotton gloves over your moisturizer to create a seal and keep moisture in.
  • Pay attention to your diet. Dry, cracking, or brittle nails could be a sign you’re not getting enough vitamin B2, vitamin A, or calcium. Dry, hardened cuticles could also be from a lack of zinc.

For more tips about how to heal dry hands (and how to prevent dryness from handwashing), read this post.

How to Address Volume Loss in Your Hands

Even if we take great care of our hands, some people (like me!) are just prone to developing thin skin and veiny hands as we age. This is also something you can tell from looking at your mom’s hands. When we get older, the skin everywhere (including the hands) loses its natural cushion. You’ll notice the hands start to look bonier and veins will appear more prominent.

The only way to realistically address this loss of volumes in the hands is with professional treatments. You know the dermal fillers that you can get put in your face to build volume? Well, they can be used on the tops of the hands as well. I actually tried it once last year.  It took a few weeks for the swelling to go down, which I didn’t really expect, but once it all settled in, I definitely saw a big improvement. It was expensive so that’s not ideal, but it lasted about six months and I would consider doing it again.

When it comes to restoring volume in the hands, Dr. Lam prefers to use either fillers or fat grafting. “In my opinion,” he said, “volume is the key for younger-looking hands. My preferred method is fat-grafting because I can easily build an entire hand without worrying about the cost of fillers. If I do use fillers, I prefer Radiesse for the hands because it is the closest I can get to fat-grafting in terms of cost/benefit ratio. My third choice for restoring hand volume would be a hyaluronic acid filler.”

Here’s an example of results from PureGraft, the fat grafting system Dr. Lam uses for hands (you can find more before and afters here):

Bottom Line

Here’s the truth. When it comes to having younger-looking hands, you DO have a say in the matter. It’s just a question of whether or not this is a priority and you’re willing to put in a little work that will pay off for years to come. Again, look at your Mom’s hands as that may be a crystal ball that tells you what to focus on. Usually, when I’ve instructed my clients to do so, it’s a huge wake-up call and provides the motivation to prevent what’s to come. 

But at the very least, keeping your hands protected from UV light is the number one thing you can do to prevent hand aging. Sunscreen is the very, very best topical anti-aging product on the planet, and the sun will always be your skin’s worst enemy. You must be diligent about protecting your hands in a way that’s easy and convenient for you. That’s why I love mineral powder—I keep one in my car and it’s so easy to dust it on.

The post How to Get Younger-Looking Hands appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

Read More

Lots of Updates, Featuring Some (Surprise!) Book News & Giveaways Galore

Between working (on work) and hustling together some exciting book launch events (which are going to kick ass and I can’t wait to tell you about them), I’m not sleeping much these days. BUT. I’ve also been working on some kick-ass blog posts about beauty oils and body care routines!  In fact, I was hoping to post them this week, but my plans were foiled. They were foiled, however, for the very best reason, and that reason is that our Korean Beauty Secrets book started shipping 3 WEEKS EARLY!

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

It was insane, actually, as we had absolutely no idea that was going to happen!  We found out about it when people started messaging us on Sunday to tell us their book had just arrived from Amazon. First we did a lot of squealing, and after that we panicked. The original release date was supposed be November 3rd. Coco and I have been working on a companion website, the URL of which is actually in the back of the book. But that website isn’t ready yet because we thought we had a couple more weeks to work on it! So I’ve been in a frenzy since this past Sunday, frantically trying to get the book website ready for prime time. I haven’t showered in a couple of days, I’ve been subsisting on cereal and black cherry seltzer, and sleeping for 8 hours in a row is my new life goal.  This is how the hot dogs are made, you guys!

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

But the good news is: books are shipping! And I finally got a couple of copies of it today, and they look really, really good! Not only is the content great, the actual production is amazing. The binding, the weight, the print quality are all absolutely gorgeous; better than we ever imagined it would be. I’m so proud of this book that I have to restrain myself from shoving it in people’s faces and saying, “Have you seen this? I wrote it. Look at it. I SAID LOOK AT IT!”

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Book-Related Instagram Giveaways

We’ve got a couple of pretty exciting Instagram giveaways surrounding this book going on right now! Here are the details for both:

Giveaway #1

Club Clio USA Book Launch Countdown Instagram Giveaway Event

Club Clio has been awesomely supportive of this book launch. They are doing a whole series of giveaways leading up to November 3rd (the original book launch date), with different bloggers getting to choose the giveaway prize. Today marks the start of my Clio giveaway, and the prize I’m choosing to bestow the winner is: Goodal Repair Plus Essential Oil! This is a moisturizing oil blend with fermented rice yeast, so it combines a few of my favorite things: fermentation, beauty oils, and Goodal. It’s rich but light, and perfect now that cooler, fall weather is setting in.

Goodal Repair Plus Essential Oil
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Entry is easy! Just complete the following 3 steps:

Step 1: Post or regram the giveaway post from my Instagram account (@skinandtonics), with hashtags #beautywolfxclubcliousa #kerryxcoco #koreanbeautysecretsbook #clubcliousa #clio10dayskbeauty
Step 2:  Follow us on Instagram: Coco is @thebeautywolf, I’m @skinandtonics, and Club Clio USA is @clubcliousa
Step 3: Tag three friends you think might enjoy this giveaway

You can enter once a day, just tag three different friends each day!

Giveaway #2

Kerry & Coco’s “Show us Your Book” Mega-Hardcore-Balls-Out K-Beauty Giveaway

Okay, you got me, I actually just made the name up for this giveaway just now. It could be a little tighter! We thought we had a couple more weeks to think of a name! Luckily, we already had the prize all ready to go. Hold on to your hats:

Show us Your Book Giveaway Price Package

One lucky winner will get an insane prize package that includes the following full size products:

• Acwell Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser (a recent favorite, review forthcoming)
• S:um37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick
• Leejiham (LJH) Cosmetics Tea Tree 90 Essence
• Leejiham (LJH) Cosmetics Vita Propolis Ampoule
• Graymelin Hyaluronic Acid 100% (Serum)
• Illi Total Aging Care Body Oil (This oil changed my life)
• I’m Lip Liquid by XO Memebox in color OR601
• I’m Lip Liquid by XO Memebox in color VL600

and the follow deluxe sample/travel-size products:

• Illi Total Aging Care Body Oil
• Illi Total Aging Care Body Lotion
• Goodal Moisture Barrier Cream
• Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner
• Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil

This prize is serious. We did not want to mess around, and we hope you’re as excited about it as we are!

How to Enter:

It’s super easy! All you have to do is post a picture on your Instagram of an in-person copy (preferably your personal copy) of Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup. You can style the photo however you want, but it has to be a picture of the physical book or e-book (as opposed to a picture you found on the internet). For e-books, just show us a shot of the book on your e-reader! Then follow and tag @kerryandcoco, @thebeautywolf, and @skinandtonics, and add hashtag #showusyourbook.

Once you’ve done that, voila! You’re entered! We’ll be choosing a winner at random on November 15, 2015 and announcing on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This giveaway is open internationally!

If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, now is a great time to do it. It looks like it’s only ~$14 on Amazon right now, which is a fantastic deal. It will also be available from a huge number of other retailers in the U.S. and internationally on November 3rd; Amazon just happens to be the only one I know is already shipping right now.

It’s an amazing book; we’re really proud of it, and we can’t wait for all of you to read it and tell us what you think!

The post Lots of Updates, Featuring Some (Surprise!) Book News & Giveaways Galore appeared first on Skin & Tonics : Skincare Guides & Product Reviews.

Read More

COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream

I am a total makeup geek. I am willing (and honestly, wishing) to try every eyeshadow, blush, cream, you name it, regardless of how many products I already have in my collection. I am that girl. So when the chance to try the JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream came about, I was geeking out. Here’s what I thought:

Let’s Take a Look at the Product

According to the JUNO & Co. website, the Moonshine Miracle Cream is “a luxurious, super hydrating, creamy makeup primer that nourishes skin and diminishes imperfections for the perfect canvas before makeup.” I’ve heard this kind of claim from tons of products, so I needed more convincing that this product was worth the $35 price tag (ya girl has bills to pay).

The company also claims that this product is special because of the ingredients used in the formulation. It is “infused with JUNO’s patented sodium hyaluronate and avocado extract which provides 12-hours of moisture for a dewier complexion. It helps to maintain moisture levels to help visibly smooth and plump skin with ultimate hydration. Evens surface so foundation effortlessly glides on and stays put for longer-lasting makeup wear.”

Sodium Hyaluronate

Since I’ve started working at FutureDerm and one of my jobs is to literally read the FD blog, I have been way more interested in the ingredients and products I put on my face and body. I’m not necessarily skeptical or wary enough to turn a product away, (as I’ve said before, I will try all the makeup) but just more interested. So, in true FutureDerm fashion, I wanted to take a closer look at the patented ingredient used that makes this product special.

So, we know that as people, we’re mostly water. This is also true for our skin, and as we age, our skin begins to lose its moisture, causing loss of flexibility and resilience. Sodium hyaluronate is the key molecule involved with skin moisture, and according to the Derm Review, “the most dramatic histochemical change observed in aging skin is the marked disappearance of sodium hyaluronate in the epidermis (the top layer of skin).” By adding this ingredient to skincare it will help to attract moisture to the skin, resulting in a smoother, softer complexion. Pretty cool, but does it work in the Moonshine Miracle Cream?

Personal Use & Opinion

The very first thing I noticed was that the packaging was gorgeous, and I am a sucker for packaging. The jar itself looks like it’s speckled with stars on a dark purple background, and it’s a little heavier, making it feel expensive. The cream itself is thick and luxurious feeling. It’s lightly scented and feels like a really nice moisturizer when you put it on; it reminded me of a mix between E.L.F.’s Poreless Putty Primer and cold cream texture-wise.

When I received this product, I was just getting ready to head out to my vacation at the Grand Canyon, and it was a lifesaver! My poor Pittsburgh skin was not happy about the change from rainy/snowy and cold to dry and cold. I used this alone without makeup the first few times just because my skin was drinking it up in the desert. With makeup, I did feel a difference in how my foundation wore — it went on smoother and didn’t settle in my fine lines as much compared to other primers I’ve tried before. Overall, I was really happy with the product and ecstatic it saved my skin from drying out on my vacation. Timing is everything.

Bottom Line

I love the JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream! It’s a luxurious feeling cream that can be used alone as a beautiful moisturizer, or as a primer under any foundation for a smoother look. And it includes proven ingredients like sodium hyaluronate working to retain your skin’s natural moisture to reduce the signs of aging. If you’re in the market for a new primer, this one is definitely worth a try.

The post COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream appeared first on FutureDerm.

Read More

When Do Skincare Products Expire?

We’ve all been there—you buy a new skincare product only to use it a handful of times before the novelty wears off. It gets shuffled to the back of your cabinet or bottom of a drawer, collecting dust until you rediscover it months later. But is it still safe to use?

Keep reading for everything you need to know about when skincare products expire, including how to tell if a product has gone bad.

How to Read Expiration Dates on Skincare Products

For starters, skincare products are classified by the FDA as cosmetics, not drugs. This means companies in the U.S. (and Canada) aren’t required by law to display expiration dates on their products. 

The one exception is sunscreen, which is considered a drug since it serves a medical purpose. According to the FDA, sunscreen MUST include an expiration date on the packaging unless it’s been proven to stay stable for up to three years. Be sure to follow expiration dates on sunscreen closely or, if your sunscreen doesn’t come with an expiration date, throw it out after three years.

What Do Those Symbols on Skincare Products Mean?

For those brands that do indicate a shelf life on a cosmetic or skincare product, you’ll find a symbol printed on the packaging itself. There are two main symbols used to indicate how long a skincare product will last. Both symbols are required in the EU, but some companies in the U.S. choose to include them on their packaging as well, especially if they sell over in Europe.

  1. Period After Opening (PAO): This symbol tells you how long a product will stay good after it’s been opened. It looks like a little open jar with a number followed either by the word ‘months’ or letter ‘M’ on it. For example, 18M would mean the product is good for a year and a half once it’s been opened. 
  2. Best Before End Of (BBE): This symbol indicates the date by which a product should be used, just like expiration dates on our food. It looks like a little hourglass followed by a date.

The challenge with expiration symbols (and the reason I’m not always a fan) is that there’s no way for them to be 100 percent accurate. For example, let’s say a symbol indicates a product is effective for six months after you open it. The reality is, the clock starts ticking on a product the minute it’s made and put into a jar or bottle. Between sitting in a warehouse, on a delivery truck, or on a retail shelf waiting to get sold, you just don’t know how long it’s been around before you get it. So because of this, you can’t totally rely on these symbols. To tell if a product has gone bad, I prefer using good common sense and judgment by inspecting a product for any visible changes.

How to Know If a Skincare Product has Expired

Regardless of whether or not your products have expiration dates or symbols on the packaging, it’s important to be aware they don’t last forever. Most skincare products guarantee safety and freshness for one year, though some can last up to two years, and others will be good for less (especially if they’re organic products). So with all this variation in potential expiration dates, how do you know if a skincare product is expired? Here’s what to look for:

  • Expiration Dates: the first and most obvious step is to check for expiration dates or symbols. But as I mentioned, not all skincare products will have these, nor can you safely rely on them.
  • Change in Consistency: is your product thinner than it was originally? Are the ingredients separating? Does the product just look strange? Is there mold growing on it? Yikes!
  • Change in Color: has the color changed such as from white to either yellow or light brown? (This is especially common with L-ascorbic acid, a notoriously unstable vitamin C ingredient)
  • Change in Scent: does your product smell different than it did when you purchased it? Does it smell rancid or just not a pleasant scent?

If your product is showing one or more of these signs, it’s time to toss.

What Happens If You Use Expired Skincare?

Luckily, most reputable skincare products use a robust preservative system that ensures they won’t become dangerous to use, even if it’s past a year or two. The one exception is “natural” products that don’t use preservatives. These can potentially grow mold or bacteria, which you definitely don’t want to be introducing onto your skin. 

For the most part, the biggest issue you’ll face when using expired products is that they can become less effective over time. The extent to which this happens depends on the product. For example, unstable forms of vitamin C, such as pure ascorbic or L-ascorbic acids, can oxidize fairly quickly after being opened and exposed to air. Once this happens, they no longer deliver the same activity of antioxidants and will become less effective. This means less benefits to the skin. If a product contains enzymes, they can start to become inactive over time. Well-formulated products also use pH adjusters to keep them stable, but these can wear off after a while resulting in a different pH level. This can increase the risk of irritation or may simply make a product less effective.

In general, I always recommend using a product up within 12-18 months after opening for maximum results (and to get the most bang for your buck!).

Tips for Getting the Longest Life Out Of Your Skincare Products

Your products may not last forever, but I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for making them last as long as possible. Here they are, from me to you!

  1. Write the purchase date on the bottom of your product with a marker. Whether or not the packaging includes a POA symbol (the image of an open jar), the difficulty will be remembering when you opened it. What good is knowing your product will last eighteen months after opening if you’re not sure when that was? Writing the date on the product is a foolproof way to remember.  
  2. Keep your products away from light and heat. This definitely helps preserve them longer since many active ingredients can be compromised when exposed to light and/or heat. Store them in a drawer or cabinet, away from direct sunlight.
  3. Wash your hands before dipping fingers into a jar. Most skincare products should be formulated with a strong preservative system, so you shouldn’t worry about using your fingers to get a cream or mask out of a jar (no need for those little spatulas that have become popular recently). That said, it’s always good to make sure your hands are clean first. Learn more about whether it’s safe to use products in jars.
  4. Keep the caps tightly closed. It’s a fact that air can break down active ingredients more rapidly, so make sure the caps on your products are closed tightly.
  5. Optional: refrigerate your skincare products. If you aren’t using a product on a regular basis and want it to last, you can always store it in the refrigerator. This may help to maintain its freshness for longer. Learn more about which products to keep refrigerated.

For the best results for your skin, you do want to use your products up within 12-18 months because this ensures the product is most safe and effective. In addition, the more you tend to your skin with a regular skincare routine (and not fall into the laziness trap), the more positive changes you’ll see in your skin! Finally, if you haven’t been using a product and are wondering whether it’s expired, I urge you to consider WHY you haven’t used that product. If it’s ultimately not the right fit for your skin type, don’t force it. Give it to a friend or family member for who it might be a better fit. They’ll love you for the generous gift!

I hope this post gives you some good insight into product usage and safety. And as always, #ObeyRenee 🙂 

The post When Do Skincare Products Expire? appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

Read More

Are Face Steamers an At-Home Tool You Should Be Using?

Face steamers are something I’ve been using in my facials for over thirty years, so it’s been interesting to watch them become such a popular, at-home tool. While you can get clear benefits by using a face steamer, I’ve also noticed there isn’t much guidance out there about how to use one properly, so I thought I’d shed some light. Keep reading to learn the benefits and possible drawbacks of using a steamer, as well as how I believe is the best way to use on for maximum benefits. (And a few things to be mindful of!)

The Benefits Of Steaming Your Face

To understand how steaming your face at home can be beneficial, it helps to know which actions are occurring within the skin when you expose it to steam.

The first action of steam on the face is:

  • the internal temperature of the skin is increased
  • hydration is delivered into the skin

With these two actions in mind, here’s what steaming your face can do.

Increase Blood Flow

By raising the skin’s internal temperature, steam allows capillaries to expand. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that carry oxygen and vital nutrients to our cells, and when they’re expanded from heat, they can deliver more of both. In short? Heating the skin with steam increases circulation and delivers nutrients to give a nice, fresh glow.

While face steamers are no doubt a great way to bring a little extra glow to the skin, I prefer this method and do it most every night! 

Make It Easier to Get Rid of Clogged Pores

Contrary to what you may have heard, face steamers do NOT “open” your pores (they’re not like doors!) or even clean your pores out. When a pore is clogged, it’s filled with a blockage made of hardened oil. Steam doesn’t magically make this blockage disappear. The only way to unclog a pore is to manually remove the hardened oil inside by performing extractions. This is where face steamers come in!

Steaming your face makes manual extractions easier by softening and sort of ‘melting’ the hardened oil that’s causing your clogged pores. The combination of heat and hydration provided by face steamers changes the consistency of these blockages so they’re easier to remove. This also prevents too much stress on the skin and helps protect it from damage. Estheticians certainly use steamers in the facial room any time they’re performing extractions because these tools make it so much easier to get rid of congestion.

Performing your own extractions at home? Here’s how. 

Provide Hydration

Since steam is just water, using a face steamer at home can be a great way to provide water-based hydration to dehydrated skin. The only catch is, as soon as you’re done steaming, you’ll want to put something on your face to seal in all that moisture. Otherwise, through a process called osmosis, you could actually end up drying your skin out more. 

What happens is that the surrounding air will have less moisture than your skin at that point, and as a response will actually start pulling water out of your skin. You have 60 seconds to apply a serum and/or cream topically to seal in that moisture and protect it from the greedy air.

Precautions to Take When Using a Face Steamer

While I do consider face steamers to be safe tools, for the most part, there are a few instances in which they could actually end up harming the skin. Here’s when you should be taking precautions while using a face steamer. 

If You’re Prone to Rosacea, Facial Flushing, or Broken Capillaries 

As I mentioned, the heat from steamers dilates capillaries and allows more oxygen and nutrients to be brought to the skin. While this is great if your skin is looking a little dull or lackluster, it can be harmful if you experience rosacea, facial flushing (redness), and/or broken capillaries. Increasing the internal temperature of the skin can trigger facial flushing as well as rosacea, and heat is definitely a trigger you want to avoid with these conditions. 

Heating capillaries causes them to expand and then constrict, and doing this too often weakens them over time. Just like a rubber band, eventually, capillaries won’t be able to spring back, meaning they’ll remain visible just under the surface of the skin. Learn more about how to prevent broken capillaries

If you deal with any of these conditions, I wouldn’t recommend investing in a handheld face steamer. Sure, everyone’s skin is different, and some might be able to handle steam more than others, but why risk it? There are other ways to increase circulation in the skin and provide hydration without risking a flare-up or broken capillaries. 

If You Have Melasma

Melasma, a type of pigmentation that looks like brown or grey-brown patches on the skin, can often be triggered by heat. When you have melasma, you should always be working to suppress overactive melanin cells. Unfortunately, heating the skin has the opposite effect and can actually wake these cells up. Learn more about which triggers to avoid if you have melasma.

If You Have Sensitive Skin

Having sensitive skin doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use a face steamer, but I would recommend erring on the side of caution by steaming your face once a week at first and seeing how it goes. 

Something I would definitely caution against, though, is using essential oils for face steaming. I know this is a popular trend in some circles, but exposing the skin to such high concentrations of essential oils can be irritating to anyone’s skin, especially if it’s already sensitive. 

Want to know more? Learn whether saunas and steam rooms are good or bad for the skin.   

If Your Skin Is Peeling From a Professional Peel or Prescription Retinoid

If you’ve ever had a professional chemical peel or have used a prescription retinoid that was a little too strong for your skin, you’re probably no stranger to a little peeling. The skin can become visibly flaky, and it can be really tempting to try to remove these flakes since they create such an uneven texture on the skin. If this is the case, you should be extra careful when steaming your skin at home.

Since steam softens and moistens the dry, dead skin cells that are creating visible flaking, it can make it easier to slough these flakes off manually using something like a washcloth. The problem is, these dead skin cells are often still attached to live skin cells. So if you use steam then rub at them before they’re ready to naturally fall off on their own, you could very well end up rubbing off live skin. This is what happened to me the very first time I got my hands on a professional-grade glycolic acid peel back in 1992. I was so excited to see my skin sloughing off that I got overzealous and ended up taking off live skin cells! You can read the whole story here.

The same is true for scabs leftover from blemishes. Steam will soften them up and make it seem like you can easily scrub them away, but doing this too early means you run the risk of creating a whole new scab underneath.

Bottom line: Post-steam, DON’T use any kind of physical exfoliator on blemishes or peeling skin.

How to Steam Your Face

Here are a few of my tips for getting the best results from your face steamer based on my thirty years in the facial room.

How Often Should You Steam Your Face, and for How Long?

My personal recommendation would be to use a face steamer once a week during an at-home facial. That said, everyone’s skin is different and if you like the results you get from using a face steamer, you can use it a few times a week. The most important thing is to listen to your skin and pull back if you start to notice anything like dryness, increased redness, or sensitivity. 

When in Your Routine Should You Use a Face Steamer?

If you’re using a steamer as part of your normal nightly routine, I would suggest doing it after cleansing. You should cleanse, steam, tone, apply serum, and finish with a moisturizer.

If you’re using a face steamer during an at-home facial, I suggest doing it after you exfoliate. After cleansing your skin, apply your exfoliating enzyme or acid peel. This will remove dead skin cells, which means that after you’ve rinsed off your peel, the steam will be able to do a better job of delivering hydration into the skin. Once you’re done steaming, immediately follow with an alcohol-free toner, serum, and moisturizer.

You can steam your face for up to ten minutes (again, listen to your skin). Regardless of how often you use a steamer in your routine, be sure not to hold your face too close to the device! This could overheat your skin. Instead, keep your face at a slight distance. @aishabeau demonstrates the perfect distance for face steaming in the photo above! 

Should I Have Anything On My Skin While I’m Steaming?

No, you should not. Since steam is just water, it will have a smaller molecule than any of your skincare products. You want to get as much of that hydration in without anything blocking its path, then seal it in quickly with a product once you’re done.

I’ve also seen a number of people on social media use face steamers while wearing enzyme or acid peels, but that’s not something I recommend doing at home. It’s true that steam makes these products more potent because the constant exposure to moisture keeps the enzymes or exfoliating acids more active. In fact, this technique is often used during professional peels in the facial room, but the key here is that it’s being done under the guidance of a licensed professional. It doesn’t take much to overdo it with these types of products and cause a lot of irritation or barrier damage to your skin. It’s also important to keep in mind that these products are formulated specifically for at-home use, so you don’t need to be applying steam in order for them to be effective.

Bottom Line

As someone who has used a steamer on her clients for over thirty years, I’m no stranger to this tool and the benefits it can provide. The main benefits of using a steamer at home are increasing circulation and delivering hydration to the skin. While both of these are great, there are a number of ways to get these benefits, so I don’t think anyone needs to be rushing out to buy a face steamer. That said, if you enjoy using one at home, I hope you found these tips helpful and learned how to use your steamer safely and to its full potential! If you enjoyed this post, read my review of other at-home skincare tools and devices.

Special thanks to @aishabeau for letting us use her beautiful image!

The post Are Face Steamers an At-Home Tool You Should Be Using? appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

Read More

6 Grooming Tips For Women With Dark Skin

You look up the Internet, and all you can find is a huge range of beauty care articles for those with fair skin, but amid all the discussion, the interests of dark-skinned women get ignored. Dark skin is a beautiful skin color, but cultural stereotypes have their own twisted disapproval towards it. Women with dark skin need to take care of their skin as much as any fair skinned woman.

It is easy to bring or maintain the shine in theskin by the application of a few simple tips. In this article, we have listed down 6 such tips which will provide great assistance in skin care treatment to dark-skinned beauties we have out there reading our article.

6 Grooming Tips For Women With Dark Skin

1. Befriend the Sunscreen

There is this crazy misconception that dark-skinned people are least affected by thesun—please, avoid being ridiculous, folks! Your skin is as much at risk as those with fair skin, and hence, you must use sunscreen whenever you are out there in the sun.

2. Moisturising Skin Everyday

Yes, it is absolutely important to moisturize skin on a daily basis to nourish your skin with necessary ingredients. Dry skin can make your complexion look very ashy—something that does not work out well outside. In order to ensure the radiance in your skin, purchase a good quality moisturizer and apply the same every day after the shower.

3. Be Extra Careful About Pimples And Acne

One genuine demerit of having a dark skin is that you might be more vulnerable to pimples and acne. Thus, it is important to take care of a few things.

Make sure you have removed makeup at night and have cleaned your face with the help of a suitable face cleanser. Never ever pick on pimples because if you do, you will beleft with scars which do not fade away easily.

4. Exfoliation

Exfoliation is a wonderful remedy which produces great results for every type of skin. When you exfoliate skin, dead cells are eliminated and natural color of the skin is restored. The cleaning process will help in the cleaning of the pores and reduction of chances of future breakouts.

There are many simple ways to exfoliate such as scrubbing lemon on theface or rubbing an amalgam of sugar and olive oil. You should be thrifty about the exfoliating products in case you want to purchase one from the market.

5. Lipstick

You need to mindful of the lipstick you apply. Dark skin tone goes very well with dark shades, however, bright shades are a complete no-no. Do not go overboard and apply too much gloss on the lips.

Recommended shades include beige, coffee, berry, and burgundy.

6. Say NO To Too Much Powder

While using powder, you do not need to throw all you can on your face. You must not cover your face with excessive powder and should pay special attention to the quality of the powder you are using. Just apply a reasonable amount to avoid having a cakey layer on your skin.

The post 6 Grooming Tips For Women With Dark Skin appeared first on Skin Care Beauty Zone.

Read More

5 Tips To Keep Your Skin Soft And Nourished During Winter

Winter may be welcoming to many people, but they are definitely not so great for your skin. Low humidity and cold weather cause dry air which effortlessly dries up your skin and makes it look duller and duller every day. Hence, skin care during winter is extremely important.

Skin care regime during winters has to be regular and sincere. If immediate attention is not provided to the skin, then your skin will crack up and even bleed. But, how to do that? Well, we have 5 tips that can help you in treating your skin the right way during winters.

5 Tips To Keep Your Skin Soft And Nourished During Winter

1. Lukewarm Water Helps A Great Deal

Everyone loves to bathe in hot water during winter. While the feeling is good, you might be hurting your skin. It is recommended that when you wash your face, you should use lukewarm water instead—this way you will prevent your skin from losing out essential oils that help your skin look younger and healthier.

2. Get A Good Moisturizer

The first thing you should shop for is a good moisturizer. Cold weather leeches out moisture from your skin and causes dryness, and hence, you should hit the market and purchase a good quality cold cream.

It is recommended that you prefer oil-basedmoisturizers over water-based ones, as the former is more effective at moisture retention. You should be careful about the ingredients usedin the product and go for the one which uses natural ingredients such as chamomile, lavender,andjojoba which soothe itchy skin.

When you have the right moisturizer for your skin, make sure you use it right. Keep a bottle close to the shower room and apply it immediately after showering.

3. Protection

You must not rely on moisturizers only; you should also take some protective measures to yield better results. Wear scarves and gloves to guard your skin from rain, snow and cold winds. Make sure you apply sunscreen every time you go outdoors because, quite opposite to what common understanding states, winter sun is as dangerous as thesummer sun.

4. Drink Water

Water is an underrated remedy, but you got to admit that it offers great help in skin care. The point is that you must drink water in plentiful amounts. Winter is the time when our water consumption falls dramatically, but you must avoid that as much as possible.

In order to retain moisture in your skin, you must keep your skin hydrated—and water is, of course, the way to follow. Keep drinking water at regular intervals and you will notice great changes in your skin.

5. Exfoliate

If you want to have a great, shiny skin, you should exfoliate. It is a magical remedy which works on all skin types and yields amazing results in a short period of time. You need to get rid of those dead cells which accumulate on your skin, especially during winters and hence, exfoliate.

You can employ natural exfoliating methods or purchase products from the market. Whatever your choice may be, please do not go overboard with exfoliating.

The post 5 Tips To Keep Your Skin Soft And Nourished During Winter appeared first on Skin Care Beauty Zone.

Read More

Lots of Updates, Featuring Some (Surprise!) Book News & Giveaways Galore

Between working (on work) and hustling together some exciting book launch events (which are going to kick ass and I can’t wait to tell you about them), I’m not sleeping much these days. BUT. I’ve also been working on some kick-ass blog posts about beauty oils and body care routines!  In fact, I was hoping to post them this week, but my plans were foiled. They were foiled, however, for the very best reason, and that reason is that our Korean Beauty Secrets book started shipping 3 WEEKS EARLY!

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

It was insane, actually, as we had absolutely no idea that was going to happen!  We found out about it when people started messaging us on Sunday to tell us their book had just arrived from Amazon. First we did a lot of squealing, and after that we panicked. The original release date was supposed be November 3rd. Coco and I have been working on a companion website, the URL of which is actually in the back of the book. But that website isn’t ready yet because we thought we had a couple more weeks to work on it! So I’ve been in a frenzy since this past Sunday, frantically trying to get the book website ready for prime time. I haven’t showered in a couple of days, I’ve been subsisting on cereal and black cherry seltzer, and sleeping for 8 hours in a row is my new life goal.  This is how the hot dogs are made, you guys!

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

But the good news is: books are shipping! And I finally got a couple of copies of it today, and they look really, really good! Not only is the content great, the actual production is amazing. The binding, the weight, the print quality are all absolutely gorgeous; better than we ever imagined it would be. I’m so proud of this book that I have to restrain myself from shoving it in people’s faces and saying, “Have you seen this? I wrote it. Look at it. I SAID LOOK AT IT!”

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Book-Related Instagram Giveaways

We’ve got a couple of pretty exciting Instagram giveaways surrounding this book going on right now! Here are the details for both:

Giveaway #1

Club Clio USA Book Launch Countdown Instagram Giveaway Event

Club Clio has been awesomely supportive of this book launch. They are doing a whole series of giveaways leading up to November 3rd (the original book launch date), with different bloggers getting to choose the giveaway prize. Today marks the start of my Clio giveaway, and the prize I’m choosing to bestow the winner is: Goodal Repair Plus Essential Oil! This is a moisturizing oil blend with fermented rice yeast, so it combines a few of my favorite things: fermentation, beauty oils, and Goodal. It’s rich but light, and perfect now that cooler, fall weather is setting in.

Goodal Repair Plus Essential Oil
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Entry is easy! Just complete the following 3 steps:

Step 1: Post or regram the giveaway post from my Instagram account (@skinandtonics), with hashtags #beautywolfxclubcliousa #kerryxcoco #koreanbeautysecretsbook #clubcliousa #clio10dayskbeauty
Step 2:  Follow us on Instagram: Coco is @thebeautywolf, I’m @skinandtonics, and Club Clio USA is @clubcliousa
Step 3: Tag three friends you think might enjoy this giveaway

You can enter once a day, just tag three different friends each day!

Giveaway #2

Kerry & Coco’s “Show us Your Book” Mega-Hardcore-Balls-Out K-Beauty Giveaway

Okay, you got me, I actually just made the name up for this giveaway just now. It could be a little tighter! We thought we had a couple more weeks to think of a name! Luckily, we already had the prize all ready to go. Hold on to your hats:

Show us Your Book Giveaway Price Package

One lucky winner will get an insane prize package that includes the following full size products:

• Acwell Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser (a recent favorite, review forthcoming)
• S:um37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick
• Leejiham (LJH) Cosmetics Tea Tree 90 Essence
• Leejiham (LJH) Cosmetics Vita Propolis Ampoule
• Graymelin Hyaluronic Acid 100% (Serum)
• Illi Total Aging Care Body Oil (This oil changed my life)
• I’m Lip Liquid by XO Memebox in color OR601
• I’m Lip Liquid by XO Memebox in color VL600

and the follow deluxe sample/travel-size products:

• Illi Total Aging Care Body Oil
• Illi Total Aging Care Body Lotion
• Goodal Moisture Barrier Cream
• Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner
• Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil

This prize is serious. We did not want to mess around, and we hope you’re as excited about it as we are!

How to Enter:

It’s super easy! All you have to do is post a picture on your Instagram of an in-person copy (preferably your personal copy) of Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup. You can style the photo however you want, but it has to be a picture of the physical book or e-book (as opposed to a picture you found on the internet). For e-books, just show us a shot of the book on your e-reader! Then follow and tag @kerryandcoco, @thebeautywolf, and @skinandtonics, and add hashtag #showusyourbook.

Once you’ve done that, voila! You’re entered! We’ll be choosing a winner at random on November 15, 2015 and announcing on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This giveaway is open internationally!

If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, now is a great time to do it. It looks like it’s only ~$14 on Amazon right now, which is a fantastic deal. It will also be available from a huge number of other retailers in the U.S. and internationally on November 3rd; Amazon just happens to be the only one I know is already shipping right now.

It’s an amazing book; we’re really proud of it, and we can’t wait for all of you to read it and tell us what you think!

The post Lots of Updates, Featuring Some (Surprise!) Book News & Giveaways Galore appeared first on Skin & Tonics : Skincare Guides & Product Reviews.

Read More

COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream

I am a total makeup geek. I am willing (and honestly, wishing) to try every eyeshadow, blush, cream, you name it, regardless of how many products I already have in my collection. I am that girl. So when the chance to try the JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream came about, I was geeking out. Here’s what I thought:

Let’s Take a Look at the Product

According to the JUNO & Co. website, the Moonshine Miracle Cream is “a luxurious, super hydrating, creamy makeup primer that nourishes skin and diminishes imperfections for the perfect canvas before makeup.” I’ve heard this kind of claim from tons of products, so I needed more convincing that this product was worth the $35 price tag (ya girl has bills to pay).

The company also claims that this product is special because of the ingredients used in the formulation. It is “infused with JUNO’s patented sodium hyaluronate and avocado extract which provides 12-hours of moisture for a dewier complexion. It helps to maintain moisture levels to help visibly smooth and plump skin with ultimate hydration. Evens surface so foundation effortlessly glides on and stays put for longer-lasting makeup wear.”

Sodium Hyaluronate

Since I’ve started working at FutureDerm and one of my jobs is to literally read the FD blog, I have been way more interested in the ingredients and products I put on my face and body. I’m not necessarily skeptical or wary enough to turn a product away, (as I’ve said before, I will try all the makeup) but just more interested. So, in true FutureDerm fashion, I wanted to take a closer look at the patented ingredient used that makes this product special.

So, we know that as people, we’re mostly water. This is also true for our skin, and as we age, our skin begins to lose its moisture, causing loss of flexibility and resilience. Sodium hyaluronate is the key molecule involved with skin moisture, and according to the Derm Review, “the most dramatic histochemical change observed in aging skin is the marked disappearance of sodium hyaluronate in the epidermis (the top layer of skin).” By adding this ingredient to skincare it will help to attract moisture to the skin, resulting in a smoother, softer complexion. Pretty cool, but does it work in the Moonshine Miracle Cream?

Personal Use & Opinion

The very first thing I noticed was that the packaging was gorgeous, and I am a sucker for packaging. The jar itself looks like it’s speckled with stars on a dark purple background, and it’s a little heavier, making it feel expensive. The cream itself is thick and luxurious feeling. It’s lightly scented and feels like a really nice moisturizer when you put it on; it reminded me of a mix between E.L.F.’s Poreless Putty Primer and cold cream texture-wise.

When I received this product, I was just getting ready to head out to my vacation at the Grand Canyon, and it was a lifesaver! My poor Pittsburgh skin was not happy about the change from rainy/snowy and cold to dry and cold. I used this alone without makeup the first few times just because my skin was drinking it up in the desert. With makeup, I did feel a difference in how my foundation wore — it went on smoother and didn’t settle in my fine lines as much compared to other primers I’ve tried before. Overall, I was really happy with the product and ecstatic it saved my skin from drying out on my vacation. Timing is everything.

Bottom Line

I love the JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream! It’s a luxurious feeling cream that can be used alone as a beautiful moisturizer, or as a primer under any foundation for a smoother look. And it includes proven ingredients like sodium hyaluronate working to retain your skin’s natural moisture to reduce the signs of aging. If you’re in the market for a new primer, this one is definitely worth a try.

The post COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream appeared first on FutureDerm.

Read More

5 Things You Should Not Do To Your Skin

Skincare is one of the basics of personal care, and one cannot be reckless about the same. While we may spend away a huge chunk of money on beauty treatments, you will not be able to reap many benefits in case you are ignorant about certain facts regardingskin care treatment.

You must have looked up the Internet various ways to ensure healthy and beautiful skin; however, we often forget the area which probably needs more attention—the things we must not do to our skin. In this article, you will be made aware of such things which must not be done to the skin.

Things You Should Not Do To Your Skin

Read below to find out more about those 5 things:

1. Picking At Pimples And Blemishes

Okay, we know, it is quite tempting to break those unsightly protruding pimples and blemishes, but, if you want a scar-free skin, then you must restrain yourself. We will give you two reasons why you should not pick at them.

First, upon popping, your face will be left with a scar which does not fade away in a day or two and could take weeks to completely disappear. Second, a pimple or blemish is an infected area and when pricked at with the help of our bacteria-ridden fingers, then things might get worse.

2. Do Not Go Overboard With Exfoliation

We all know the great benefits of exfoliating, but we often forget one key aspect which makes exfoliating a success—limited exfoliation. While we desperately want to keep our pores unplugged, over-exfoliation might result in irritation.

Exfoliating the skin is a nice exercise which you should undertake once or twice a week, but if you go overboard with the same, then your skin might become more vulnerable than ever.

3. No Picking At A Cyst

A cystic acne is a nightmare and makes us too desperate to get rid of it. However, you should know that such acne is a fluid-filled infection which runs deep in the skin. If you pick at a cystic acne, then you are inviting damage to tissues neighboring it.

We know it will be hard, but try pretending that the acne does not exist at all!

4. Sleeping With Makeup On

Okay, you might have seen celebrities wake up all pretty under a heavy mask of makeup, but remember reel world is different from thereal world. It is highly advisable that you should not regularly sleep with makeup on. If you do so, then your skin will be prone to dryness, breakouts and eye irritation.

Sleep as you are—the world does not really care how you look when you sleep!

5. Lack Of Sleep

Many people underrate the importance of this tip, but, hey, sleeping sufficiently is one of the key ingredients for having a wonderful skin.

It is absolutely important to have sufficient sleep because lack of the same may cause breakouts, dark circles, redness and dry skin. Well, if you are ready for a deluge of all these problems, then skip this tip.

The post 5 Things You Should Not Do To Your Skin appeared first on Skin Care Beauty Zone.

Read More