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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Meet Joanna: She Struggles with Skin Picking—Here’s How She’s Managing It

Almost everyone has experienced the urge to pick, poke, or prod at their skin. When Joanna Saporito, a skin-picking sufferer, reached out to me on Instagram, I thought she would be perfect to profile for this blog. Before you hear her story, I want to share my own personal experience with skin picking, because I’m certainly no angel there either. Growing up, I would pick at my breakouts. I loved the immediate gratification that I got from squeezing my skin. My picking accelerated in my twenties when I developed cystic acne. Even though I was an esthetician, and I knew what was appropriate to extract vs. what should be left alone when it came to caring for a client’s skin, I would still mess with my own skin. I knew that cysts develop and heal deep within the skin, which is why they should never be extracted, yet I would pierce mine with my professional tools, causing more damage, irritation, and inflammation in the long run. It wasn’t until I made a contract with myself to stop picking that I began to remove myself from the skin-picking cycle.

Even as an occasional skin picker, I wasn’t able to stop overnight—it took time, practice, and patience. For chronic skin pickers, it’s an even more difficult journey to recovery. Chronic skin picking, which is also referred to as dermatillomania or excoriation disorder, affects a wide variety of people from all different walks of life. In this post, you’ll hear Joanna’s powerful story and learn all about her experience with dermatillomania. You’ll also meet Lauren McKeaney, the CEO and founder of the only skin-picking disorder nonprofit foundation, Picking Me.

What Is Dermatillomania?

According to McKeaney, dermatillomania is a mental illness that’s characterized by compulsive skin picking. It’s a body-focused repetitive behavior (or BFRB) that’s closely related to OCD. Dermatillomania sufferers experience a sometimes uncontrollable impulse to pick their skin. “You just can’t stop picking,” Joanna says. “As much you want to, you just can’t stop.”

McKeaney says that dermatillomania can be broken down into two types: focused and scanning. Focused picking is when you pass by a mirror and catch something out of the corner of your eye, so you become super focused on it, “fixing perceived imperfections for hours.” Scanning picking is when you’re distracted or “zoning out” and your fingers begin to wander, searching for something to pick. “Breaking down the types of picking is important in developing different strategies to manage dermatillomania,” she says.

Joanna has struggled with dermatillomania her whole life. The first signs appeared when she was five or six. She contracted chickenpox, and she began to pick at the scabs that were left behind. She picked at pimples all throughout puberty. She would even pick at the keratosis pilaris on her arms. “I remember I once had a bloodstain on the back of my shirt. This was my whole life. I would be out with friends at a club in the city and I would pick my face. I was bleeding and I couldn’t get it to stop.”

What Causes Dermatillomania? 

There is no one, singular cause of dermatillomania. In fact, the complexity and severity of the disorder can vary greatly. “As a dermatillomania sufferer herself, McKeaney says that she thinks of dermatillomania as a way to regulate stimuli around her. “If I’m too up, peeling anxious, or excited, I might start picking. Similarly, if I’m too down, tired, or zoned out, I might find myself picking. Skin picking disorder is my behavior to get me to ‘just right.’ Now, I’ve developed strategies to manage the disorder and I like to say I have it, it doesn’t have me.”

Is There a Cure for Dermatillomania?

There is currently no cure for dermatillomania. However, there are helpful treatments. McKeaney says cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is helpful, as well as habit reversal training (or HRT). There’s also N-acetylycisteine (NAC), which is an over-the-counter glutamate supplement. “It’s believed to help reduce BFRB urges in about 50% of the people who try it,” she says.

For Joanna, effectively managing her dermatillomania meant reducing the dosage of a medication she was taking, as well as establishing a comprehensive skincare routine. When she reached out to me on Instagram, she explained her situation and asked for advice. I directed her to take one of our virtual skincare consultations during which we set her up with a personalized skincare routine. “In addition to working with Renée’s products, and being off this medicine, my life has changed. I still pick, but it’s nowhere near what it used to be.”

Note: if you suffer from chronic skin picking, see a physician. They’ll be able to provide professional advice and create a personalized treatment plan.

Joanna’s Daily Skincare Routine:

AHA/BHA Blemish Control Cleanser: Reduces bumps and blemishes with a blend of salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acid

Balancing Skin Tonic: Witch hazel, geranium, and niacinamide (vitamin B3) hydrates the skin and diminish post-breakout discolored marks and scarring

Anti-Bump Solution: Visibly reduces the appearance of acne, blemishes, and painful bumps that form deep within the skin.

Vitamin C & E Treatment: This antioxidant-rich formula helps fade hyperpigmentation left behind from picking. “I think I just went through two bottles,” Joanna says. “I love it.”

Total Eye Repair Crème: Improves dryness, fatigue, and the appearance of wrinkles around the eye area.

Weightless Protection SPF 30: A lightweight sunscreen for oily and sensitive skin that won’t feel greasy, cause blemishes, or clog the pores.

She also uses a fidget toy and rubberized gloves to prevent picking. (On that note: our No Picking! Twisty Toy is designed to keep your hands busy and off your face to prevent picking).

How Do You Suggest Resisting the Urge to Pick Your Skin?

There are three things I personally do if I feel the urge to pick my skin.

  1. The first is to take a pause and take a breath. When you pause, ask yourself if you’re going to be helping or hurting the situation. I can assure you, as can anyone who repeatedly picks their skin, the aftermath—the scabbing, bleeding, and oozing—is most likely going to leave a discolored mark. Discoloration can last for months (or longer). Sometimes that pause is enough to prevent excess picking.
  2. After pausing, try to recognize what you’re feeling. Are you nervous? Are you stressed? Try to identify the emotions you might be feeling that might be triggering you to pick your skin.
  3. The third thing is to ask yourself if there’s something else you can do in the moment to channel your energy away from picking. I personally like to get fresh air, keep my hands busy with a twisty toy, or mediate.

McKeaney also has advice to share. For focused picking, she recommends altering your environment. “This could look like covering your mirror with a scarf or love notes, dimming your bathroom light or unscrewing a light bulb, staying arm’s length away from a mirror or splashing water on the bathroom sink so you are less likely to lean in, bring and set a timer in the bathroom, or shower and change by nightlight.”

For scanning picking, she suggests using blockers and barriers. “Tight clothing like turtlenecks, leggings, or long sleeves with thumbholes can be helpful,” she says. She also recommends acrylic nails, which make picking more difficult, as well as using fidget toys, applying bandages or hydrocolloid patches, putting gaff tape over your nail beds, and wearing jingling bracelets and perfume on your wrists to use your other senses. All of these things can bring awareness to your fingers.

What Should I Do If I Already Picked My Skin?

If you’ve already picked your skin, you want to avoid further irritation and scarring by simply leaving it alone. Try not to touch it anymore. If it’s a whitehead you’ve squeezed, you can use a drying spot treatment, such as my Night Time Spot Treatment, which will help close up the skin and accelerate the healing process. You may also consider putting a pimple patch or small, circular bandage over the spot, so you don’t see it, and you’re not tempted to touch it.

If you’ve picked to the point of bleeding, you might apply some Neosporin to accelerate the healing process and keep the wound clean. Whatever you do, avoid acid-based ingredients, since the skin is already broken, and you don’t want to irritate it any more.

Final Thoughts:

“There is freedom beyond this,” Joanna says. “There is no shame in this because we all suffer from something. I think there’s been a lot of shame, especially with women who do this. People will tell you, ‘just stop.’ Well, if it were that easy, don’t you think I would? I would just love to stop picking, but I can’t.”

“Be gentle with yourself after a picking episode, McKeaney says. “The disorder already gets to tear you apart and it doesn’t need a minute more of your time. Choose yourself over the mental illness that chose you, #PickingMe over skin picking. Aim for progress over perfection. Set mini-goals to experience mini wins, build on that progress, living in that momentum, that’s where happy happens. Know that you’re not alone and in fact, have a whole community behind you at Picking Me Foundation. I validate your struggle and am sending you much love and support. Please reach out anytime lauren@pickingme.org!”

Next, meet Amanda: an IUD caused her chin to breakout—here’s how she fixed it.

The post Meet Joanna: She Struggles with Skin Picking—Here’s How She’s Managing It 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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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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5 Skincare Mistakes That Could Be Making Your Sunscreen Less Effective

Unlike most skincare products, which are considered cosmetics, sunscreen is classified as a drug by the FDA. This means that before a sunscreen ever hits your shelf, it undergoes rigorous testing to ensure the final product does exactly what the label claims—protects your skin from harmful UV rays. 

Of course, testing something in a lab and using it out in the real world are two different things. While we can’t recreate the circumstances under which our sunscreen was tested, we can make sure we’re doing as little as possible to interfere with our sun protection. Sunscreen is your number one defense when it comes to protecting the skin against premature aging and skin cancer, and proper application is everything.

Keep reading to learn if you might accidentally be making your sunscreen less effective with one of these five common application mistakes.

1. Mixing Your Sunscreen With Other Products

Of the five mistakes I mention in this post, this is probably the worst one you can make. When sunscreen comes out of the tube, you’re getting the exact formula that’s been tested to determine SPF (remember that SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measurement of how well a sunscreen will protect your skin against harmful UV rays). The moment you mix that sunscreen with another product, you’re altering a carefully crafted formula and can no longer guarantee full protection. 

Instead of mixing your sunscreen with other skincare products, like serum or moisturizer, layer one product on at a time (learn more about why I’m not a fan of mixing or “cocktailing” skincare products in general). And remember, a generous layer of sunscreen should always be your final application in the morning!

Btw, here’s how much sunscreen you should be applying.

2. Applying a Facial Oil in the Morning

The popularity of facial oils has skyrocketed over the past few years thanks to their ability to impart a luminous glow to the skin almost instantaneously. Unfortunately, facial oil and sunscreen may not be a match made in heaven. 

While there aren’t any conclusive studies showing that oils interfere with sunscreen, the concern is that they may break it down and make it less effective. This makes sense if you think about the fact that your skin’s natural oils eat away at your skincare products throughout the day, or that oil cleansers are specifically designed to break down products like sunscreen. 

I know facial oils can have a beautiful effect, but trust me when I say this short-term glow isn’t worth potential long-term sun damage to your skin. If it’s a dewy finish you’re after, look for a sunscreen that supports this instead. Plenty of sunscreens are now formulated in hydrating bases, some of which even include oils! This way you can rest easy knowing your sunscreen has been proven stable and effective, even with the addition of glow-enhancing ingredients.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to forego oils in your routine altogether (I personally love a good facial oil). Just save them for nighttime and make sure you’re applying your oil correctly

3. Layering Too Many Products on Underneath Your Sunscreen

Another common mistake I see is that people layer on product after product before finally getting to their sunscreen. Here’s the deal: at the end of the day, your skin can only absorb so much. At a certain point, you’re just wasting money by applying tons of serums or dousing your skin with moisturizer. What’s worse is that you risk creating a barrier between your skin and your sunscreen, in which case your sunscreen may not be able to properly coat the skin cells.

To avoid this, I recommend skipping the 10-step morning routine and keeping things as simple as possible: cleanser, alcohol-free toner, antioxidant serum, sunscreen. (Learn more about how to build the perfect morning skincare routine). If you’re concerned about getting enough moisture in your morning routine, there are a few ways to maximize hydration from these four products:

  • Make sure your cleanser is gentle and sulfate-free so it doesn’t strip your skin. 
  • Use an essence-like toner that’s infused with hydrating ingredients to plump the skin.
  • Look for a vitamin C serum that has the texture of a light lotion. 

Finally, I suggest using a lotion- or cream-based sunscreen that can double as a moisturizer for your skin type. This will eliminate the need for an A.M. moisturizer and remove one more layer between your skin and the most important part of your morning routine. For those with oily or acne-prone skin, this Weightless Protection sunscreen is a great option.

4. Using a Face Mist After You’ve Applied Sunscreen

When face mists first started to come out, I wasn’t a huge fan since most of them were basically just water and didn’t include any ingredients that would truly help hydrate the skin. Fast forward, and now there are a lot of well-formulated mists that include humectants to help bind moisture to the skin. 

The problem I’ve noticed is that people like to mist their skin either at the end of their routine before they head out the door, or throughout the day. Not only do you risk diluting and messing with your sun protection by doing this, this practice also won’t do much for your skin in terms of hydration. Humectant ingredients found in face mists are great for hydrating the skin, but they need to be sealed in with a moisturizer in order to be most effective. 

If you have a face mist you love using, I suggest spritzing it after you cleanse as the “toner” step in your routine. This way when you follow with your serum and moisturizing SPF, you’ll be sealing in all that skin goodness. 

5. Not Letting Your Sunscreen Dry Before Applying Makeup

The good news about modern sunscreen formulas is that once they’ve dried down, most of them are really stable. However, when you add something like makeup on top before your sunscreen is dry, you risk diluting and interfering with the formula. Since makeup application usually involves a lot of dabbing, rubbing, and brushing, you can also end up wiping away some of that sunscreen you so painstakingly applied! 

The solution is simple: wait until your sunscreen is fully dry before going in with foundation makeup. Did you know I actually believe wearing makeup every day is good for your skin? While it should never be used as a replacement for sunscreen, the iron oxides found in most foundations and concealers add an extra layer of sun protection. Think of it as an insurance policy!

Did any of these five mistakes sound familiar to you? If so, I hope this post taught you something new about how to get the best possible protection out of your sunscreen! On a final note, the most effective sunscreen is the one you’ll actually enjoy wearing every single day. If you’re still trying to find the right fit for you, it might help to learn about the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens

The post 5 Skincare Mistakes That Could Be Making Your Sunscreen Less Effective appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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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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What Age Should I Start Using Retinol for Preventative Skin Aging?

The secret has been out for a long time: retinol is one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients on the market. I can tell you firsthand, I’ve seen clients who started using it consistently in their thirties and are now in their sixties—and the results are absolutely amazing.

Despite this, there’s still a lot of confusion as to how it should be used. One of the most common questions I get is, “Renée, what’s the best age for me to start using retinol?” There’s definitely an ideal age range, and it can get a little nuanced depending on your skin’s history and needs. Keep reading to learn when you should start using this game-changing ingredient! 

What is Retinol?

First, a quick refresher course. Retinoids, which include retinol, are derivatives of vitamin A, which is one of the body’s key nutrients for giving cellular turnover a boost. It’s used in topical skincare products to promote bright, even-toned skin with a smooth texture. It also helps stimulate the production of collagen. Depending on the formula, it can be helpful for clearing clogged pores and lessening breakout activity.

Types of Retinoids

“Retinoid” is an umbrella term for any ingredient or group of ingredients derived from vitamin A. There are four main categories of retinoids (from weakest to strongest):

  1. Retinol Esters (retinyl propionate, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate)
  2. Retinol
  3. Retinaldehyde (retinal)
  4. Retinoic Acid (tretinoin) — usually available by prescription only

The potency of a retinoid depends on how many times it needs to be converted by your skin in order to be turned into retinoic acid. Most products containing pure retinoic acid are only available by prescription. The notable exception is Differin (Adapalene), a synthetic, prescription-strength retinoid you can now buy over the counter.  

I recommend most people start with a gentle, non-prescription retinol product and slowly work their way up. This will help your skin acclimate while minimizing the irritation and inflammation sometimes associated with retinoids. 

Depending on your tolerance and skincare goals, you may work your way up to a prescription retinoid, like tretinoin, or you may find that an over-the-counter retinol works well for you long-term. (Studies have actually shown that using retinol consistently over many years can give results similar to using tretinoin!) You can learn more about who should use non-prescription retinol or prescription retinoid in my Beginner’s Guide to Retinol.

What is the Best Age to Start Using Retinol?

Generally speaking, I recommend most people start using retinol in their mid- to late-twenties, anywhere from 25-30. This is when collagen and elastin production starts to slow down, so it’s the perfect time to start reaping the preventative-aging benefits retinol has to offer. 

The reason I don’t normally recommend people start using retinol sooner is that it kick-starts the skin’s metabolism. When you’re under 25, your skin is naturally very metabolically active, so introducing retinol could cause overstimulation and inflammation. In addition, a lot of people under 25 are still dealing with breakouts. Since acne is an inflammatory condition, you don’t want to introduce anything that could add fuel to the fire.

The exception would be if you’re using a prescription retinoid to manage blemishes and bumpy skin caused by clogged pores—something that’s best done under the guidance of a dermatologist! 

I’ve personally been using my own retinol formula since I turned 35, and I’m now 51. I tried using tretinoin after meeting the doctor responsible for getting it FDA-approved as a treatment for wrinkles, but I found it was too strong for my eczema-prone skin and at the time. I didn’t really know how to manage the side effects, so I decided to stick with retinol. Fast forward to my mid 40’s, I decided to try a prescription again followed by the application of this cream, and was able to use it fairly successfully. I now use tretinoin once a week in addition to regularly using my retinol serum.

When to Consider Starting Retinol at 25

So how do you know whether to start using retinol on the earlier or later end of the spectrum? For the most part, it’s up to you. I’d say the most important thing is being sure you’re ready to make the commitment. Retinol should be used consistently and, once you start, for life!

That said, here are three things that might make me suggest someone start using retinol at age 25 (or soon after). 

You Have Thin Skin

Thin skin tends to show fine lines and wrinkles more prominently since there isn’t as much of a cushion to “plump” them out. Thin skin is most common in those with fair skin—think Irish or Scandanavian heritage. Three other indicators you might have thin skin are (1) easily getting bad sunburns, (2) easily getting injuries or breaks in the skin, and (3) quickly developing fine lines when your skin is dehydrated. 

One of the most notable benefits of retinol is that it helps thicken the skin over time. If your skin is thin, this will definitely help make fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable in the long-run. If you’re using retinol for thin skin, the key is starting with something really gentle and working your way up slowly. 

You Have a History of Excessive Sun Damage

Let’s be honest, there are probably few of us who didn’t get a little too much sun exposure during our teenage years (tanning oil, anyone?). However, if your lifestyle or hobbies exposed you to excessive sun damage, you may want to consider starting retinol on the earlier side. Examples include lifeguarding, spending lots of time on the beach, and regularly participating in outdoor sports without proper sun protection. 

You Have Texture Issues from Severe Acne

If you had severe acne in your teens or early twenties, you know all too well that cystic and nodular blemishes can leave indents behind. Because retinol stimulates collagen production, it’s a great ingredient for helping repair that damage and plumping indents out over time.

If you’re using retinol mainly to address pitted acne scars, this is one of the few times I would suggest starting out with a prescription retinoid, like tretinoin. You won’t want to jump right in using it every day (build up slowly), but this will be the most effective option for visibly reducing indents. The exception would be if your skin is very sensitive and can’t tolerate a prescription retinoid. Learn more about how to smooth indented acne scars.

Bottom Line

Because your skin’s natural collagen and elastin production start slowing down at 25, the best age to start using retinol is 25-30. That said, I don’t want you to get too hung up on exactly when you start using it. When you start using retinol, you’re playing the long game. As my friend and dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch says, “retinol changes are measured in months and years, not days and weeks. You don’t see your grass growing each day, but it is.” 

Getting a head-start is great, but the most important thing is that you just start and make a commitment to using your retinol consistently going forward. Start slow, work your way up, and listen to your skin. Whatever it likes best is what’s right for you.

Finally, make sure you’re never neglecting the number one anti-aging ingredient in the world: sunscreen! Learn about the differences between chemical sunscreens vs physical sunscreens

I hope you found this post helpful in your quest for healthy-looking skin! Retinol is for sure a staple in my own skincare routine along with practicing these 10 skincare rules.

The post What Age Should I Start Using Retinol for Preventative Skin Aging? appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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