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.

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Slugging—is This Trend the Answer to Repairing Your Damaged Moisture Barrier?

Slugging is a new skincare trend you might be seeing all over social media. The trend became popular on Reddit a few years back and is having a resurgence thanks to TikTok. Needless to say, slugging has gone viral as a way to fix dry skin caused by a damaged moisture barrier. But does it really work? Is this the miracle we’ve all been looking for? And, maybe most importantly, is it safe for all skin types?

In this post, I’ll explain everything you need to know about fixing a damaged moisture barrier and give my thoughts on this new slugging trend. (Hint: it does work, but there’s a catch.)

What is Slugging?

Slugging is a popular new skincare trend focused on fixing dry, irritated, or damaged skin. The way slugging works is simple: as the final step in your nighttime routine, apply a generous layer of petroleum jelly (a brand name is Vaseline or you can get generic) to coat your face. This is said to help repair your skin’s moisture barrier, and will most definitely leave your face resembling a shiny slug somewhat! As you can see from the graph below, posts and comments about the slugging trend have only been increasing in volume meaning people are more interested in it than ever:
Graph showing popularity of slugging

What Does the Moisture Barrier Have to Do With All This?

If you’ve read my blog before, chances are you’ve heard me talk about how important the moisture barrier is when it comes to skin health. Your skin’s barrier is made up of lipids that bind your skin cells together. An analogy that’s often used is that of a brick wall: if your skin cells are the bricks, the lipids are the mortar that binds everything together. When this mortar is intact, it keeps good things (moisture) in and bad things (irritants) out. However, if it develops cracks, moisture can escape and irritants can get in.

When we talk about “barrier repair” in skincare, it usually refers to replenishing the lipid content of the stratum corneum (outermost layer of the skin). In other words? Adding more mortar to make sure the wall is sealed up nice and tight.

There are many, many ways your moisture barrier can get damaged, which you can read all about in this post.

Does Slugging Work to Repair a Damaged Barrier?

The answer is yes, but with a few caveats.

First, let me explain how Vaseline and other petrolatum (petroleum) products interact with your skin’s moisture barrier. When your barrier is weak because you don’t have enough lipids in your skin, Vaseline acts as a substitute for these lipids. Remember the brick and mortar analogy? Vaseline fills in the cracks in your skin’s “mortar” so that your barrier and skin start to act in a healthy way again. Vaseline is also a very safe ingredient and is chemically inert, meaning it won’t cause irritation (it’s so safe it’s even recommended for treating eczema in babies).

However, because Vaseline doesn’t contain any lipids of its own, it can’t actually replenish your skin’s lipids. This means that it isn’t a long-term solution to repairing barrier damage, but rather a band-aid to help you deal with the symptoms of a damaged barrier instead of addressing the underlying issue. That said, it acts as a safe way to temporarily keep damaged skin protected from water loss and irritation.

In short, if you have dry, damaged skin and try slugging, you’ll probably see the results you’re looking for: smoother, softer, less irritated, more moist skin. However, once you stop using Vaseline, the underlying issue of a damaged barrier is likely to still be there. While I think this is something you could do once in a while when your skin is really in need of some comfort (like in cold climates), I believe there are way more sophisticated products available these days that can help you repair your barrier long-term.

What Are Some Other Ways to Fix a Damaged Barrier?

So, what are some ways to actually repair your skin’s barrier so that it can’t function properly on its own again? As someone who formulates skincare products, I know there are several ways a product can be made to do this. It’s most effective when you use a product that is left on the skin such as a serum, mask, or moisturizer.

Five ways that a skin’s barrier can be repaired with topical skincare products:

  1. Use niacinamide at approximately 4%. Reapply twice a day for at least 30 days. Continue applying at least a few times a week for the repair to continue and maintain the results.
  2. Use usnic acid (usnea), an extract found in tree moss, to stimulate hydroxyceramide production in the granular layer of the epidermis. This ingredient may also help with wound healing. Apply twice daily for nine days to experience results. Continue using for ongoing results.
  3. Use ceramides, essential fatty acids, and fatty acids twice a day for several days. Continue for ongoing results. These can be found in Phytolipid Comfort Creme or Pure Radiance Creme Masque.
  4. Apply plant oils rich in fatty acids and omegas. When used twice daily, surface roughness is smoothed and the skin feels more comfortable. Both are good signs of barrier repair. These ingredients can be found in Pro Remedy Oil.
  5. Occlusion. This can be done with a thick coating of an occlusive masque or moisturizer and should be applied twice daily. (Slugging is considered to be an occlusion method, however, as you’re reading in this post, it’s not my go-to recommendation.)

Note: You’ll see that I mentioned how often such products and ingredients should be applied but it’s because that is what is ideal for barrier repair. However, you never want to interfere with your daily sunscreen providing the important protection it needs for the skin, so please be mindful of this. Also, as for usnic acid, I haven’t seen any products for the face that use this ingredient, but I know from taking cosmetic chemistry courses that it has barrier benefits so I wanted to mention it.

Learn everything you need to know about repairing your skin’s moisture barrier.

Is Slugging Good for Acne-Prone Skin?

In short, no. Unfortunately, barrier repair can be a dangerous game for those with skin prone to acne and clogged pores. This is because almost all barrier-repair methods, including slugging and the other methods mentioned above, can lead to comedogenicity if continued over a period of time. (I repeat, if continued over a period of time.)

“Comedogenicity” technically refers to how likely a product is to clog your pores (leading to bumps called “closed comedones,” as you can see from the picture in this post). There is no real, industry-standard measurement for comedogenicity and an ingredient can act differently from person to person or formula to formula. This is why I don’t like to say any ingredients are 100 percent “bad” for acne-prone skin. (This is the case with silicones, which have gotten a bad rap for being comedogenic when, in actuality, it’s not that straightforward as you can read in my silicone post.)

It’s important to know that it isn’t the mere presence of an ingredient that makes a product comedogenic. It depends on a lot of factors: the amount of the ingredient being used, the presence of other comedogenic ingredients OR ingredients that enhance comedogenicity within the same formula, and the length and frequency of exposure. All of these things together determine whether or not a product is truly comedogenic and will clog your pores.

When it comes to slugging, you’re using a product with a very high concentration of petrolatum all over your face every day, so the chances of it leading to clogged pores (bumps) are high. Clinique had a really popular moisturizer in the 90s that many of my clients used, and the second ingredient was mineral oil (a derivative of petrolatum). When they came to me with clogged pores and bumps, I’d have them eliminate it and use something lighter and oil-free. In most cases, their skin would improve within a few weeks just by removing that factor. Since I experienced this with clients over and over again, I’ve always been very wary of petrolatum for oily and acne-prone, and bump-prone skin.

Note: If you do want to give slugging a try and your skin is prone to clogged pores, I would highly recommend that you don’t exfoliate the skin prior to applying petroleum jelly. Since exfoliants (facial scrubs, sonic cleansing brushes and acids) all work to remove surface dryness, this could “open” up the pores more allowing for an increased chance of them getting blocked. You could find yourself with bumps on the skin as soon as the next day.

What Type of Product is Best for Barrier Repair if You Have Breakout-Prone Skin?

Well, I don’t have any suggestions but I’m knee-deep in this right now as I’m currently working on a leave-on barrier repair product that WILL be suitable for those prone to clogged pores and breakouts. (TBD on when it will come out but sign up to be notified.)

I believe that plant oils can be safely used periodically rather than continually and provide a great solution for barrier repair in oily skin. This type of skin (like skin types 1-4) can certainly experience a damaged barrier when someone uses topical drying agents or is taking the prescription Accutane or other oral drugs that work by atrophying sebaceous glands. Unfortunately, many ingredients meant to fight acne can also lead to barrier damage. These types of things can also interrupt the keratinocytes’ natural ability to produce intercellular lipids in the proper ratios, thus causing cells to shed and the skin to become ultra-sensitive and reactive.

So, as I’m working on a product that will help repair the barrier for breakout-prone skin, I will probably tap into using plant oils because those seem to be most agreeable. Stay tuned! 

Bottom Line About Slugging

It definitely works as a temporary measure for dry skin types and I know that a lot of dermatologists recommend it, but I wouldn’t suggest permanently substituting petrolatum as your regular moisturizer. However, it’s a really safe, inexpensive ingredient that can give an overall better experience and repair for the skin. It can temporarily relieve the symptoms of a damaged barrier, but won’t fix the underlying issue, so I suggest using it as a stop-gap measure when your skin really needs some extra comfort. 

I actually use petrolatum (the brand Aquaphor) on my feet with socks in the winter —and it works wonders — but it’s definitely not my go-to recommendation for the face. In my line, I have two moisturizers that work well for barrier repair. Phytolipid Comfort Cream is for dry skin types and Skin Recovery Lotion is good for oily, breakout-prone skin types. I mean, look what it did for my nephew’s skin!

When I WOULD Recommend Vaseline (Petrolatum) to Someone

One really good time to use Vaseline or petrolatum on your face is when you’re swimming in a chlorinated pool. Chlorine is super drying to the skin, especially if you use retinoids and your barrier is already being compromised. Because Vaseline is a solid form of oil, it repels water and will protect your skin from chlorine to prevent unnecessary dryness. Petrolatum also has a very low risk of causing an allergic reaction, which makes it great for protecting against irritation. It can also be used on areas of the body that are prone to dryness while swimming. I recommend you wash it off your face as soon as you get out of the pool by using a cleansing lotion to break down the oil.

It could also be used to protect your face in when outdoors in very cold climates, but only at night since you don’t want it interfering with your sunscreen during the day. (I once went dog sledding at night up in Northern Maine and while I didn’t use this, this would be an example of when it could be helpful.)

So there you have it! My take on the popular slugging trend. I hope you found this post helpful. Finally, since slugging for so many people is about getting that “glow,” here are ten ways to give your skin a healthy glow.

The post Slugging—is This Trend the Answer to Repairing Your Damaged Moisture Barrier? appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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The Products Renée Loves for Winter Skin and Body

Whether or not you’re someone who enjoys winter and all the season has to offer, there’s no denying that’s it’s a tough time for our skin. Even here in Austin, TX, we’re starting to move into colder temperatures. This means that moisture levels in the air start to drop and, on top of that, running the heat indoors means the air in your home will be dry as well. This can lead to dry skin through a process called osmosis. What happens is that the surrounding air, which now contains less moisture than your skin, will actually start pulling water out of your skin.

To compensate for this loss of hydration, you may need to switch up some of your usual products or add a few in for some extra TLC. Here’s everything I’m using this winter so my skin stays hydrated, glowy, and smooth—and keep the dryness away.

(BTW, this post is in no way sponsored and I’m not paid to promote any of these products. Just stuff I really love to use!)

Shower

I consider my showers a ritual and try to turn them into relaxing me-time whenever possible. One of my favorite ways to do this is with luxurious, minty scents that awaken my senses and make my shower feel like a spa. When the days start to get dark and cold, this is a huge pick-me-up!

Rituals, The Ritual of Hammam Sea Salt Hot Scrub

As I mentioned, I love minty things in the shower! This body scrub makes my whole shower smell really luxurious, which I love. It uses ginger and eucalyptus to stimulate circulation and also contains glycerin so that it’s nice and hydrating. I love to use a good body scrub a few times a week to polish away dry, dull skin on my arms and legs (this is definitely a bigger issue for me during the winter months). Overall, this scrub leaves my skin feeling really moist, dewy, and refreshed. 

Classic Eucalyptus Showerspa Mist

I love a long, luxurious shower that feels like a spa experience, and I use this mist to create just that at home. I mist this all over the shower before I hop in and as everything heats up, the aroma of the eucalyptus starts to circulate. It really wakes me up in the mornings and gives me a great boost of energy and happiness. It’s the power of aromatherapy, something I’m a big believer in.

FYI, I also love giving this mist as a gift during the holidays. Anyone I’ve ever given it to absolutely loves it! I also leave on in my guest bath so any visitors can get a cool shower experience. 

Aesop Coriander Seed Body Cleanser

I switch up my shower gels all the time because I like variety, but this one will definitely be my go-to this winter. The requirements I have for a body cleanser are that it’s sulfate-free so it isn’t drying, it has to lather a decent amount but that it also has a great scent. This one checks all the boxes and feels like a treat to use.

Face

Harsh winter weather can make it hard to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, and this means you’ll likely have to adapt your skincare routine. Here are a few products I’m loving to keep my skin glowing, hydrated, and calm this season.

Mint Renewal Cleanser

The best thing about being a skincare formulator is that I get to design products I know I would personally enjoy using! The Mint Renewal Cleanser is definitely one of those products. This is the newest addition to my line and it recently got this rave review from The Cut). I formulated it because I wanted a cleanser that would instantly wake up my skin. This is especially necessary when it’s cold outside and my skin is looking a little dull. 

I’m really proud of this cleanser and its unique formulation that addresses multiple causes of dull skin: biodegradable jojoba beads exfoliate away dry, dull skin; peppermint oil stimulates blood flow and increases circulation to bring skin back to life (the scent is also a great pick-me-up when days are short and dreary!); and panthenol binds moisture to the skin, because the last thing you want in winter is to be left feeling tight or dry! 

Pro Remedy Oil

Particularly on nights when it’s really cold, it’s beneficial to apply a skin oil over your moisturizer as the final step in your skincare routine. Because facial oils have larger molecules than your other skincare products, they act as a sealant (kind of like the top coat of your nail polish). This helps the products underneath stay in the skin and also helps prevent moisture evaporation so your skin stays hydrated.

I love this oil because it’s lightweight in texture but a heavy-hitter when it comes to benefits! Rosehip seed and cranberry seed oils offer antioxidant benefits while safflower seed and evening primrose oils provide essential lipids for barrier-repair. Just make sure you’re applying your facial oil the right way.

Total Eye Repair Creme

Since the skin around the eyes is very thin and has few oil glands, it’s extremely susceptible to dryness. In fact, this is often the first area to be affected by dry winter air. The result is that fine lines around the eyes become much more visible, so it’s really important to be diligent about using an eye cream during the winter months.

I formulated this one to not only provide excellent moisturizing capabilities but also to provide peptides that help support the skin’s firming structures to keep skin looking tight and lifted. (Some people are skeptical about if eye creams actually work. Read why I believe they do.) 

Body

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, winter body care comes down to one thing: hydration, hydration, hydration. I swear by these products to stave off dry, itchy skin on my body.

Weleda Pampering Body Lotion

I love this body lotion so much that I actually use it year-round! My requirements for a body lotion are that it contains really good moisturizing ingredients without being too rich and that I love the smell. This one definitely ticks all those boxes—it’s lightweight but very hydrating thanks to ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and glycerin, and the rose oil adds a heavenly scent!

Kiehl’s Nourishing Dry Body Oil

While I use my Weleda lotion year-round, I like to kick it up a notch in the winter by applying this body oil on top of my body lotion. It’s the same concept as using an oil on your face—when used as the last step, it creates a seal to prevent moisture evaporation. What I like about this particular body oil is that it doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy. I hate going to bed feeling like I’m greasing up my sheets, and this oil sinks in really well.

Lano Everywhere Multi-Cream

For winter, this is my go-to hand cream. I use it every night before I go to bed as the last step in my beauty routine. It uses lanolin, milk, and vitamin E to hydrate and, without fail, leaves my hands feeling hydrated when I wake up in the morning. I wash my hands fairly often (especially these days), so I need something pretty powerful. Otherwise, I develop little cracks on my fingertips. This cream prevents that from happening.

Aquaphor

I like to keep my beauty game strong from head to toe, and that means never neglecting my feet! It’s easy for feet to become dry in the winter, so I make an effort to wear socks around the house during the day as much as possible to retain moisture in the skin. At night, I slather my feet in Aquaphor and put on cotton socks while I sleep. This makes a huge difference and keeps my feet soft. I used to have really dry heels that would crack a lot during winter because I never moisturized my feet at all. Once I started practicing this habit, I saw HUGE improvements that I never looked back.

Speaking of Aquaphor, you may have heard of slugging, a trend that involves slathering your face in Vaseline or other petrolatum-based products. Read my thoughts on this popular trend!

Beauty

Finally, here are some of my favorite ways to update my beauty and makeup routine during winter to accommodate my skin’s needs.

Giorgio Armani Neo Nude Foundation

I’m a fan of the no-makeup makeup look, and I really like a lightweight foundation that enhances my skin but doesn’t completely cover it up. As someone who has had oily skin most of my life (less so now, but some habits have stuck with me!), I never like to use a foundation that feels heavy or thick on my skin. At the end of the day, I never want to feel greasy.

I switch to this Giorgio Armani foundation in winter because it has more moisturizing ingredients that I feel protect my skin from dehydration, but the finish is still lightweight, sheer, and beautiful.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm

A lot of us struggle with dry lips come wintertime, and to combat this I love this agave lip balm. I want something that has staying power and will last, but I also want something with a nice texture that doesn’t feel sticky. This lip balm has all these qualities! I use it year-round but find that I need to apply it more often in winter. Learn more about how to treat and prevent dry winter lips.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it gave you some inspiration for updating your own winter beauty routine. Want to know more about the beauty products I swear by? Check out my head-to-toe beauty routine or read about what I owe looking younger than my age to.

The post The Products Renée Loves for Winter Skin and Body appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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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.

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How to Adjust Your Skincare Routine When Using a Prescription Retinoid

When it comes to visibly improving the texture and appearance of your skin while preventing signs of aging, prescription retinoids are unmatched. Unfortunately, many people have a hard time using them consistently because of the side effects that often accompany retinoid use. Keep reading for my expert tips on how to adjust your skincare routine to keep your skin comfortable while getting amazing results from your prescription retinoid!

What Exactly is a Prescription Retinoid, and Who Needs One?

First up, a little refresher course! Retinoids are a class of ingredients derived from vitamin A and are great for targeting pigmentation, texture concerns, clogged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. They also help build up collagen within the skin. 

In order for your skin to be able to use any type of vitamin A product, it has to convert it into retinoic acid. The reason prescription retinoids are so much stronger than over-the-counter retinol products is that they’re already in the form of retinoic acid. This means they’re completely bioavailable to your skin and can immediately get to work without needing to be converted.

Who Should Use a Prescription Retinoid?

While they’re undoubtedly very effective, prescription retinoids are no joke and won’t be suitable for everyone. (You’ll want to talk with your dermatologist to see if you’re an ideal candidate.) In my experience, I believe they’re best suited for those who have one or more of the following:

  • Acne scarring (post-breakouts marks as well as indents from severe cystic acne)
  • Clogged pores (closed comedones)
  • Enlarged pores
  • Sun damage (pigmentation)
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

If you’re in your mid to late-twenties and are looking strictly for preventative aging benefits, I recommend using an over-the-counter retinol. Learn more about how to know whether you should be using a prescription retinoid or non-prescription retinol in my beginner’s guide to retinol and retinoids.

Why Should You Rethink Your Routine When Using a Prescription Retinoid?

So why does starting a prescription retinoid mean you need to reconsider the rest of your skincare routine? 

Well, it’s important to remember that a prescription retinoid isn’t just another skincare product—it’s a medication prescribed by a doctor. It’s designed to have a drastic impact on how your skin behaves. While this is what makes it such an effective product, it can also mean unwanted side effects like dryness, flaking, irritation, and sensitivity for a lot of people (especially during the first four to six weeks). 

The nature of a prescription retinoid is that it will compromise your skin’s moisture barrier and cause irritation. This makes it harder for your skin to hold onto moisture, which is the underlying catalyst for all those nasty side effects. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is, and for some people, these side effects never completely go away. This is why it’s important to adjust your routine—you need to compensate and make sure it’s getting what it needs to keep the irritation tolerable. 

How to Adjust Your Routine

When incorporating a prescription retinoid into your routine, I believe it’s best to be used at night after you’ve cleansed and toned your skin. How often you use your retinoid will depend on your skin type and specific needs. This is definitely something you should discuss with your prescribing doctor. With that said, most doctors will want you to work your way up to consistently using your prescription at least three nights a week (I personally never think people should use it more than five nights a week. Your skin requires a variety of active ingredients to keep it well-rounded, not just one focus). 

Even though how you use your retinoid (and your skincare routine in general) is very personal, there are a few guidelines everyone can follow to make using a prescription retinoid more manageable. The main goal should be to use gentle, comforting products that help your skin retain its moisture.

Here are my tips for adjusting your routine to accommodate the consistent (and successful) use of a prescription retinoid.

Cleansing

The main lesson when it comes to selecting a cleanser? Use something gentle. You never want to use a cleanser that strips the skin of hydration, but this becomes extra important when your routine includes a prescription retinoid. Look for a cleanser that doesn’t contain any of these:

  • Sulfates (these are used in foaming products to create a lather and will dry out the skin)
  • Highly Fragranced Products
  • Solvent alcohols (denatured or SD alcohol 40)

If your skin is oily or acne-prone, you can use a sulfate-free gel cleanser whereas if your skin is normal or dry, and anti-aging is your main concern, you can use a comforting lotion cleanser. Either way, look for a cleanser that includes moisture-binding ingredients such as glycerin to support your skin’s natural moisture barrier. 

Lastly, don’t use a sonic cleansing brush. I don’t ever recommend to a client that they use one of these on a daily basis, but if you’re using a prescription retinoid, my opinion is that the skin is in far too delicate a state to handle that kind of scrubbing every time you cleanse your face. 

Toning

I think toners are essential and can be a great way to infuse hydration into the skin, but you have to make sure you’re using the right kind. Here are some guidelines for using a toner when you’re on a prescription retinoid.

  1. Make sure your toner is alcohol-free. Traditional astringent toners usually include drying alcohols that are sure to leave your skin feeling tight and cracked. The last thing you want!
  2. Don’t use a toner that contains exfoliating acids. Yes, you still need to exfoliate if you use a prescription retinoid, but applying acids to your skin every day in toner form may be too much to handle. Learn more about why I’m not a fan of liquid acid toners.

Should I Apply My Retinoid On Damp Skin?

Normally I recommend applying serums on your skin while it’s still damp from toner, but with a prescription retinoid, it gets a little trickier. Skin is up to ten times more permeable when damp and while this can sometimes work in your favor, it may also increase your chances of irritation when it comes to a retinoid.

What I recommend is applying your toner, waiting a few minutes for it to dry down, then applying your retinoid. 

Serums

As a general rule, I’m not a fan of people using serums at the same time as their prescription retinoids. You want your retinoid to be the star of the show, so it’s best to save your other serums for “off” nights when you’re not using it. Learn why I prefer using serums in rotation instead of mixing them together. With that said, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Vitamin C Serums

All experts agree that using a stable vitamin C serum is a non-negotiable part of any good morning skincare routine! Not only does it offer great collagen-building benefits that will complement your retinoid, but it also protects against harmful free radicals and UV damage. 

Here’s the catch, though. A lot of vitamin C serums use pure ascorbic or L-ascorbic acid, both of which are highly acidic. Using a product every single morning that lowers the pH of your skin isn’t ideal when you’re using a prescription retinoid since both of these things can compromise your skin’s barrier. Instead, I recommend using a stable, no-sting form of vitamin C and saving your acids for exfoliation. (Here are five more things to look for in a vitamin C serum if you use retinoids).

Moisturizer

Because prescription retinoids compromise your skin’s barrier and make it harder for you to retain moisture, I recommend that most people kick their moisturizer up a notch. This doesn’t mean everyone should switch to a super-rich cream, especially if they’re acne-prone. Just go up a level from what you were using before. For example, if you were using a gel, move up to a lotion. If you were using a lotion, move up to a light cream. You don’t want to overdo it, but using something a little thicker will help your skin hang on to moisture. As for moisturizing with a retinoid (especially as you start out), it’s beneficial to apply a lightweight moisturizer over your retinoid to buffer it. 

How Soon After Applying My Retinoid Should I Apply Moisturizer?

When you’re first starting out, you can apply your moisturizer right after applying your prescription to help mitigate some of the side effects. Then, slowly work your way up to leaving your prescription retinoid on the skin for up to twenty minutes before applying moisturizer. This will help you get the full effect.

Exfoliation

Whether you exfoliate more or less while on a prescription retinoid depends on what you were doing before, but gentle exfoliation is key for managing the surface dryness that accompanies retinoid use. Prescription retinoids work within the skin to increase the rate of cell turnover. This means that retinoids encourage skin cells to rise to the surface at a faster rate. Once these cells reach the surface (and the end of their life cycle), they dry out and need to be dissolved away. This is where exfoliation comes in.

I recommend using an alcohol-free exfoliating acid serum once or twice a week (not on the prescription retinoid night), depending on what your skin can handle. You may be able to handle more exfoliation the longer you use your retinoid. 

Can I Use an Acid Peel if I Use a Prescription Retinoid?

I would stay away from this at the beginning, but once your skin has adjusted, you can use an at-home peel like my Triple Berry Smoothing Peel up to once a week. Just use it in place of your exfoliating serum one night. You may be able to use it some weeks and not others depending on a number of factors. The idea here is that your skin needs protective cells to help retain moisture in the skin and if you’re over-exfoliating combined with the use of a retinoid, your skin can experience more dryness. For example, due to the drier air in winter, your skin might become more dry and sensitive, in which case you’ll want to scale back and baby it a bit more. Again, listen to your skin and know that its needs aren’t always the same.

If you’re getting a professional chemical peel, talk with your provider. I know most estheticians will recommend you stop using your prescription for a week before and after your peel.

Use a Physical Scrub

This one surprises a lot of people, but I highly recommend the use of gentle, physical scrubs (you can read why here). In short, your acid exfoliants will dissolve the bonds that are keeping dry, dead cells attached to the surface of the skin, and then a facial scrub will actually lift those cells away for a smooth, fresh canvas. Using a chemical and physical scrub is one of the best ways to manage the dryness that can accompany retinoid use and will actually make your prescription more effective since it won’t have to penetrate through layers of dead skin. However, don’t use a scrub and an acid exfoliant on the same day. Again, we don’t want your skin to get too much exfoliation. 

Sunscreen

Always, always use sunscreen during the day and be sure to apply it generously. This is a cornerstone of any good skincare routine but is so important when you’re using a prescription retinoid since it puts the skin in a vulnerable state.

A Note on Using Retinoids for Acne

As I said, the general rule when using a prescription retinoid is to look for skincare products that are gentle, comforting, and will help you retain moisture. This is fairly easy to do if your skin is more mature and you are using retinoids to address visible signs of aging. Most products made for these skin types are already very rich and deeply moisturizing. If you’re using retinoids for clogged pores and breakouts, on the other hand, it gets trickier.

A lot of acne-fighting products or ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, tend to be harsh and strip the skin of moisture. The reality is, they may simply not pair well with your retinoid. You need to look for something that will still give you an antibacterial action without stripping the skin. I love Rapid Response Detox Masque for this very purpose; it gives antimicrobial benefits while simultaneously soothing and hydrating stressed skin.

Typically, when a teenager has acne, the first stop is a dermatologist where they’re likely to get a bunch of prescriptions. The problem arises when they’re not told how to use them properly or are simply using too many strong ingredients at once and can’t live with the side effects. That’s usually when they end up seeing an esthetician like me. I was always the second stop for teenage acne treatments and have a lot of experience working with people who were using prescriptions, only to find their skin got too irritated and inflamed. This is why it’s so important to do two things: make your skincare routine more accommodating and take it slow when introducing prescriptions. Don’t overuse them! I always recommend people ask their doctor or dermatologist about proper use as well as a plan should the side effects of a topical medication become unbearable. 

If You Keep Struggling With Side Effects, You May Need to Adjust How You Use Your Prescription

If the side effects of a prescription retinoid aren’t manageable, does this always mean you don’t have the right skincare routine? Not necessarily. Side effects may never totally subside for everyone, and at a certain point, skincare products to help prevent that can only do so much. Some people will have to accept always managing a certain level of surface dryness or sensitivity. This is more likely to occur if you have very fair skin since it already tends to be thin and sensitive.

It’s normal for most people to experience side effects like irritation and flaking for the first four to six weeks (there’s really no way around this, but you can manage it). But if you’ve adjusted your routine and the side effects are still too much after this initial period, you might need to do a reset. Start by laying off your prescription for a week and let the skin recover. Then, in my experience, the best move is to start again very slowly. Use your prescription just once a week until you can tolerate it, and slowly move up to more. Remember, it’s always good to check with your doctor so they can help you make adjustments specific to your situation! Read more tips for fixing dry, flaky skin caused by harsh acne treatments.

Pro tip: It takes about 48 hours after applying a retinoid product for your skin to show dryness. So for example, you could apply your prescription retinoid on a Monday night, have a little tightness the following day, then start experiencing dryness and flakiness on Wednesday. You can keep this in mind and time your retinoid use when you don’t have any special events coming up.

So there you have it! I know this is a complicated topic, but I hope this post gives you some guidance and that you can incorporate some of my tips into your routine. Remember, at the end of the day, you have to be patient and be prepared for the side effects but the goal is to find what works for YOU so that you can use your prescription retinoid consistently (not to be confused with frequently). I know it can be a lot of effort, but if you stick with it, I promise you’ll get a huge return on investment!

The post How to Adjust Your Skincare Routine When Using a Prescription Retinoid appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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Your Complete Guide to Safely Fighting Acne During Pregnancy

We’ve all heard of the “pregnancy glow,” but what happens when this isn’t the case? At least half of pregnant women can expect to experience some form of acne during their pregnancy. Crazy, right? It’s a lot more common than people may think!

There’s no doubt that pregnancy is a delicate state that can be stressful to navigate as is, so adding acne into the mix definitely isn’t ideal (especially considering the fact that many traditional tried-and-true acne treatments are off-limits during pregnancy). Luckily, I’ve got some great tips for you! Because your skin is the last thing you should have to worry about during this special time.

Why Does Pregnancy Cause Acne in Some Women?

Now that you know how common it is to develop acne during pregnancy, let’s explore why it happens.

According to Dr. Ranella Hirsch, a board-certified dermatologist and former president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology, the culprit behind pregnancy-related breakouts is—you guessed it—hormones.

“[Acne during pregnancy] is related to the increase in progesterone, which is a key hormone supporting the developing fetus,” says Dr. Hirsch. “Unfortunately, it also stimulates the production of sebum, which can lead to acne.”

Dr. Hirsch also mentions that pregnancy acne isn’t limited to hormonal blemishes—you can develop all types. It just depends on the person. 

Acne-Fighting Ingredients NOT Safe During Pregnancy

First thing’s first, it’s important to know which ingredients are no longer safe to use while pregnant:

  • Retinol or Retinoids
  • Salicylic Acid (some doctors say this is okay in certain amounts, but be sure to consult with your OB before using any product containing salicylic acid)
  • High-percentage professional chemical peels (although low-dose glycolic and lactic acids are still safe to use at home)

Here’s a list of Renée Rouleau products that should not be used during pregnancy (including alternative options).

*This list is focused on ingredients commonly used to fight acne and is not comprehensive. Always check with your doctor if unsure about using any personal care products or certain ingredients during pregnancy.

How to Safely Fight Acne During Pregnancy

In my thirty years working as an esthetician, I’ve treated many pregnant clients in the facial room and advised them on how to adjust their at-home skincare routines for pregnancy. Here, I’ve compiled my top tips for you to apply to your own routine.

Adjust Your Routine to Prevent Acne During Pregnancy

The most common mistake I see people make when they suddenly start to break out is that they overhaul their whole routine and start using only acne-focused products. This is something that was programmed into a lot of us during our teenage years—when you break out, start using products to dry up the blemishes, right? 

The problem is that these products dry out the rest of your skin too, which can actually send oil production into overdrive. This, combined with dry skin on the surface trapping oil and bacteria underneath, is a recipe for more breakouts (not to mention irritation and/or redness!).

It’s important to understand that acne is an inflammatory disease, so preventing irritation is just as important for preventing blemishes as balancing oil production. Ultimately, you want to create an environment where your skin is calm, has a good balance of hydration without being too oily, and where bacteria is less likely to thrive. 

Pregnancy-Safe Ingredients for Acne Prevention

At the end of the day, the best way to achieve this is by using a blend of oil-reducing and antimicrobial ingredients along with soothing anti-inflammatories and brightening humectants. These are my top suggestions:

Instead of overhauling everything at once, I recommend getting ahead of potential breakouts by slowly introducing acne-fighting products into your routine. Start by swapping out your cleanser (I suggest this cleanser for preventing acne during pregnancy!), observe the results, then take it from there.

You can also look at the products in my line for skin types 1-4, all of which deal with acne. Each product page lists in the FAQs whether or not it’s safe for use during pregnancy.

Spot-Treat Blemishes as They Appear

When it comes to fighting active blemishes during pregnancy, I have two words: Spot. Treat. I’m a huge fan of this method for red, infected blemishes because it’s a good way to avoid unnecessarily drying out the parts of your skin that aren’t breaking out. The key when it comes to spot-treating is doing it correctly.

How to Effectively Spot-Treat a Blemish

Step 1: Apply a non-drying, anti-inflammatory spot treatment. You don’t want to apply anything drying yet, because this can cause the infection (which wants to come out) to become trapped under a layer of dry skin. Effective, pregnancy-safe ingredients to look for include ethyl lactate (a purified form of lactic acid ester) and methyl gluceth-20, which reduces redness and inflammation. 

My top recommendation is Anti Bump Solution, which can also be used as a serum for acne-prevention. Simply apply a thin layer on acne-prone areas after cleansing and toning. 

Step 2: If and only when a whitehead comes to the very surface of the skin, you can gently squeeze it out.

Step 3: Once the whitehead is removed, you can then apply a powerful spot treatment to dry out any remaining infection in the pore. Effective, pregnancy-safe ingredients to look for include sulfur, camphor, and zinc

Step 4: Once your blemish and any scabbing are healed and you’re left with a discolored scar, use a fading gel. Effective, pregnancy-safe ingredients to look for include AHAs like lactic and glycolic acids, and sunscreen! Wearing sunscreen is the number one way to prevent scarring and dark marks, which are stimulated by UV rays. This is also true for melasma, a pigmentation disorder commonly brought on by pregnancy (it’s even been called the “mask of pregnancy”).

By following this process, you’re working with your body’s natural healing process instead of against it so that your blemish goes away as quickly as possible. Finally, always make sure you’re applying your spot treatment correctly.

What About Prescription Options?

If your acne becomes severe during pregnancy, you do have a few prescription options, according to Dr. Hirsch. 

“We use topical azelaic acid in pregnancy,” she says, “and certain antibiotics (assuming their OB has okayed it).” 

You can also find azelaic acid in non-prescription products, and it’s a great ingredient if you’re dealing with bumpy skin caused by clogged, non-infected pores.

Bottom Line

Because traditional acne-fighting ingredients are off-limits, dealing with acne during pregnancy can be a challenge. My tips are to prevent acne flare-ups by keeping the skin calm, and to spot-treat individual pimples as they appear to avoid irritating the rest of the skin.

I know that acne can be very stressful on top of an already stressful state. There’s no cure-all for it, so sometimes the best you can do is try not to worry about it too much since stress can add to acne. Stress reduction is very important, so try different activities that work for you whether it’s yoga, hot baths, massages, or, of course, getting plenty of sleep. 

And when in doubt, don’t go it alone! You can book a virtual consultation with one of our amazing estheticians who will help guide you and adjust your routine during pregnancy. I hope you found this post helpful!

Want to know more? Learn how to prevent stretch marks from pregnancy.

The post Your Complete Guide to Safely Fighting Acne During Pregnancy appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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