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

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Book-Related Instagram Giveaways

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

Giveaway #1

Club Clio USA Book Launch Countdown Instagram Giveaway Event

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

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

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

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

Giveaway #2

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

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

Show us Your Book Giveaway Price Package

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

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

and the follow deluxe sample/travel-size products:

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

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

How to Enter:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More

COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream

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

Let’s Take a Look at the Product

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

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

Sodium Hyaluronate

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

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

Personal Use & Opinion

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

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

Bottom Line

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

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

Read More

How to Get Your Armpits Smooth and Summer-Ready

Since they’re often hidden from view, it’s easy to neglect your armpits—that is, until they start giving you issues. 

Treating underarm concerns can be frustrating because, if you think about it, our armpits never really catch a break. Between constant shaving, sweating, and friction from everyday movements, it can be hard to get on top of irritation (spoiler alert: irritation is at the root of almost every common armpit concern).

In this post, I’ll teach you how to get smooth armpits just in time for summer with the help of Dr. Uju Rapu, a medical doctor specializing in dermatology and esthetic medicine and the founder of Belfiore Aesthetics in Lagos, Nigeria. “The underarms are an area that patients are often concerned about,” she says. “Getting smooth armpits is something I’m often asked about.”

Problem 1: You Want Smooth Armpits After Shaving, But They Get Bumpy and Irritated

If you feel like you find yourself having to choose between smooth armpits and hair removal, you’re not alone. Shaving is such a common trigger for underarm irritation. 

It’s important to recognize that shaving is actually a form of physical exfoliation—you’re manually removing the top layer of dead skin cells every time you run a blade over your skin. Daily exfoliation isn’t recommended for any other part of the body, so it stands to reason that shaving every day could cause irritation. 

Solution

Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce irritation from shaving.

Use a shaving gel

I personally prefer shaving gels to shaving creams, and I definitely don’t recommend using plain soap. The nice thing about gel is that it’s a little thicker and adheres to the skin well. This helps create a good buffer between your skin and the blade (which should be replaced regularly, btw). 

Keep the area moisturized

If it hasn’t occurred to you to moisturize your armpits, you’re not the only one. However, healthy skin is moisturized skin, and this will help cut down on friction and irritation to make your armpits smoother. Choose a very lightweight lotion as using something too thick could block pores and cause more bumps.

Shave at night

This will ensure your skin has some time to recover post-shave and that your arms will be staying relatively still while you sleep instead of moving around like you do in the day and causing more friction. 

Consider the clothes you wear

The friction between your skin and clothes could be causing more irritation than you think. When possible, opt for natural fabrics and avoid wearing anything too tight-fitting.

Treat ongoing razor burn

I know it’s not ideal, but if you can, it’s best to stop shaving for a few days to get persistent razor burn under control. Dr. Rapu recommends looking for over-the-counter products with ingredients like tea tree oil, shea butter, or even hydrocortisone cream. These all have anti-inflammatory properties that can help smooth razor burn under the arms.

Problem 2: You Get Ingrown Hairs in Your Armpits

When you’re trying to get your armpits smooth for summer, having to deal with ingrown hairs is just plain annoying. Dr. Rapu notes that one of the reasons underarms are so prone to developing ingrown bumps is that the hair grows back thicker than on other parts of the body, such as the legs for instance. “Some hair removal methods such as shaving may also leave the ends of the hair sharper, and the strands thicker, making them more prone to be ingrown,” she says. “Coarse or curly hairs are also more prone to becoming ingrown than finer strands,” which means some ethnicities are more prone to ingrown hairs than others.

Solution

To minimize the possibility of developing ingrown hairs and bumps in your armpits, follow these steps. 

Use a physical exfoliant

A few times a week, use a gentle scrub, exfoliating mitt, or loofah before you shave. This will help dislodge hairs trapped beneath the skin’s surface to prevent them from becoming ingrown. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your armpits smooth overall. Whatever you use, just remember to be gentle and not scrub aggressively!

Use a gentle acid exfoliant 

“Gentle” is definitely the operative word here. You’ll want to be careful, and here’s how:

    1. Patch test whichever product you’ll be using to make sure you don’t have a reaction
    2. Instead of using a leave-on product like an acid-based serum or lotion, I suggest using either a water-based acid toner or something you can leave on for a minute then rinse off in the shower. These won’t be as strong and therefore are less likely to irritate the sensitive skin under your arms.
    3. Don’t use your acid exfoliator after shaving! This is almost guaranteed to cause irritation.  Learn more about exfoliating acids.

Spot-treat ingrown hairs

Use a non-drying, anti-inflammatory spot treatment like Anti Bump Solution to treat existing ingrown hairs or bumps.

Look into prescription options

Sometimes, Dr. Rapu will suggest certain prescriptions to help her clients manage ingrown hairs. “Aside from gentle exfoliation,” she says, “ingrown hair bumps can be treated with mild steroids to reduce inflammation, retinoids, and sometimes topical antibiotics.” If at-home remedies aren’t working, you can talk to your dermatologist to learn more about these options.

Consider other hair removal methods

If you’ve tried all of the above and ingrown hairs continue to be a persistent, bothersome issue, you might consider other hair removal methods for smoother underarms. “Avoiding shaving and other methods of frictional hair removal will help avoid ingrowns,” says Dr. Rapu. “I often advise laser hair reduction or electrolysis instead. Some of my clients have found gentle waxing techniques and depilatory creams (this would be hair-removal creams like Nair) to be more suitable.” 

If you wax your bikini line, be sure to follow my foolproof routine for preventing ingrown hairs.

Problem 3: Your Armpits Are Darker Than the Surrounding Skin

According to Dr. Rapu, underarm hyperpigmentation may be one of the most common concerns she encounters. It’s a condition where the skin in the armpit becomes darker than skin in other areas. “Hyperpigmentation is particularly common in patients with skin of color because of increased melanin content and activity,” she adds.

One thing to note is that ongoing or persistent irritation of the skin under your arms can be a big trigger for hyperpigmentation. This means that if you’re experiencing any of the concerns listed above, you’ll want to start by tackling those. Also—and this is important—you may not be able to get rid of 100% of the hyperpigmentation in this area, and that’s okay. Almost everyone has a slight variation in skin tone under their arms—it’s totally normal! However, if you notice significant discoloration, and it bothers you, here are some steps you can take.

Solution

These are the most common causes of underarm hyperpigmentation and what to do about them, according to Dr. Rapu.

Irritation or abrasion from repetitive motion 

The most common repetitive motion in question? Shaving, of course. Ongoing irritation can be a major trigger for hyperpigmentation so if this is a concern for you, you’ll want to make sure you’re following all the steps mentioned above in section 1.

Dr. Rapu reiterates that if this is a chronic issue for patients, she often recommends trying other hair removal methods like gentle waxing or hair-removal creams. If you choose to go the professional route, you can look into laser hair reduction or electrolysis. That said, if you have a deeper skin tone, you should discuss possible risks with your provider and make sure they understand the needs of your skin type. These procedures are safe when done correctly, but done incorrectly could potentially make hyperpigmentation worse (or even cause hypopigmentation, in which the pigment in the skin lightens). 

Chemical Irritation

According to Dr. Rapu, irritation or even allergic reaction can occur in response to certain deodorants or antiperspirants. This may stimulate melanin production in some clients.

“It is important to identify any new cosmetic products in your routine and pinpoint associated reactions,” she says. “Indications of a reaction include a rash, redness or discomfort in the area. Once identified, cutting out these irritants helps settle this.”

If you have sensitive skin under your arms, Dr. Rapu notes that some ingredients commonly found in deodorants could trigger irritation. This includes fragrance, dyes, and aluminum (some people can develop allergic dermatitis to metals). If this is the case, you can look into “natural” deodorants or those made specifically for sensitive skin.

Hormonal Conditions

Certain hormonal skin conditions that may be associated with diabetes and obesity can present as darkness in skin folds and creases. Dr. Rapu says the one she sees most commonly is acanthosis nigricans, which tends to run in families. “A consultation with your dermatologist is necessary to rule out diabetes or other hormonal causes,” she says. “Treatment for this involves treating the underlying cause.”

Ongoing inflammation

“Inflammation describes a condition where an area of skin may become red, swollen, hot or painful, often as a reaction to an injury or trauma,” Dr. Rapu says. “Inflammation in the underarms is commonly caused by ingrown hairs, or skin conditions such as boils or cysts, which can prompt an excess of melanin production in the area.” 

Dr. Rapu’s favorite topical treatments for armpit discoloration include low concentration hydroquinone, retinoids, and depigmenting ingredients such as azelaic acid. These are all ingredients that should be used under the guidance of a dermatologist.

So there you have it, that’s how to get smooth armpits just in time for summer! I hope you found this post helpful and that you learned something new.

Next, learn all about how to get rid of bumpy skin on the body, once and for all.

The post How to Get Your Armpits Smooth and Summer-Ready appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

Read More

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

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Book-Related Instagram Giveaways

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

Giveaway #1

Club Clio USA Book Launch Countdown Instagram Giveaway Event

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

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

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

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

Giveaway #2

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

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

Show us Your Book Giveaway Price Package

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

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

and the follow deluxe sample/travel-size products:

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

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

How to Enter:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More

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

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

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

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Korean Beauty Secrets Book

Book-Related Instagram Giveaways

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

Giveaway #1

Club Clio USA Book Launch Countdown Instagram Giveaway Event

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

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

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

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

Giveaway #2

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

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

Show us Your Book Giveaway Price Package

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

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

and the follow deluxe sample/travel-size products:

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

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

How to Enter:

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

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

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

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

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

Read More

Clean, Non-Toxic, Hypoallergenic: Do You Know What These Skincare Marketing Terms Really Mean?

The world of skincare marketing can be confusing, to say the least. With so many terms used to describe the products we buy, it can be hard to know what they really mean and how much stock we should be putting into them. In this post, my goal is to demystify some of the most common marketing terms found in skincare to help you become a smarter, more informed consumer. Let’s go!

Product Performance Terms

These are all common terms used to describe what a product will do for your skin. They have to do with the visible effect a product has on the skin.

Brightening

I’ve always viewed bright skin as skin with an even, uniform tone that’s free from hyperpigmentation or dark spots. Some people may also lump “glowing” in with brightening. Glowing refers to skin being light reflective and having good circulation

There are three main ways a product can add brightness to the skin: 1) increase cellular turnover, 2) degrade melanin pigment within the skin for an overall more even skin tone, and 3) prevent excess melanin from being formed in the first place. 

Some of the main brightening ingredients include exfoliating acids, vitamin C, and retinol. I formulated the Pro Results Power Serum with exfoliating acids–glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids to be exact. They work together to brighten and smooth the surface of the skin. As for vitamin C, you can find this ingredient in the Vitamin C&E Treatment, which contains both water and lipid-soluble forms to penetrate within the epidermal layers of the skin. For retinol, try the Advanced Resurfacing Serum. It’s a retinol cream that’s suitable for sensitive skin and those whose skin has been unable to tolerate prescription retinoids.

Firming

There are a few ways a product can provide firmness to the skin. First, it can create a film over the skin that causes it to contract and become tighter. This gives the instant perception of firming. Skin also feels firmer when it’s hydrated because it will look plumper. 

If you’re looking for more long-term firming effects, look to peptides. Peptides stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which are two important structural components of firm skin. This is important because both begin to deplete as we age. You won’t see instant effects using peptides, but with consistent use, the benefits will be well worth it down the road!

You can find peptides in the Firm + Repair Overnight Serum, along with microalgae and superfruits to improve visible firmness and repair surface effects of daily pollution and environmental damage.

Hydrating or Plumping

Hydration is a term that people use to refer to water content within the skin. When your skin is being hydrated, it’s taking on increased water content, which leads to a plumping effect. The best way to achieve this is to use humectants, which are a class of ingredients that attract water from the air and pull it into the skin. Effective humectants include hyaluronic acid and glycerin

You can find hyaluronic acid in multiple products, including the Daily Mattifying Solution, Skin Drink Concentrate, and Moisture Infusion Toner. As for glycerin, it’s included in the Moisture Protecting Cleanser, Bio Calm Repair Masque, and more.

Calming or Soothing

This one probably resonates with you if you have redness in your skin or if your skin becomes easily inflamed when you try new products. Calming or soothing products typically contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that are meant to tackle visible redness as well as symptoms of inflammation such as burning or stinging. They help cool the skin down or, as I like to say, “put out the fire.”

There are tons of great calming ingredients out there, but one class of ingredients that’s really up and coming in this area is algae. I choose to formulate with red marine algae in my line and love it for its ability to soothe, protect, and strengthen the skin’s barrier. Try it in the Phytolipid Comfort Creme, which reduces visible dryness, flaking, and redness. 

Anti Aging

This one is a bit trickier because it’s really about prevention, so you don’t always see instant results. Because of this, I’d divide anti-aging products into two categories: those that give an instant boost and those that give results further down the road.

Some ingredients (in fact a lot of the ingredients mentioned above) instantly make your skin look better and, therefore, more youthful. If your skin looks brighter, smoother, or plumper, it makes you feel better instantly. On the other hand, you have ingredients that need to be used over long periods of time. You won’t see them working immediately but when used consistently they can actually prevent some of the visible signs of aging that would otherwise naturally appear. Read my beginner’s guide to using retinol or retinoids.

Consumer Preference

These terms all have to do with product classification and consumer preference. It can definitely be a confusing space because a lot of these don’t have legal definitions, but I’m here to help you navigate them!

Clean

“Clean” has no legal definition. It can vary from company to company and from person to person. What you consider clean really comes down to what you’re personally comfortable with, You have to find a brand you trust that resonates with that.

For example, some people feel silicones are clean because they have very pure chemistry and are unlikely to cause a bad reaction on the skin. Other people, however, may not feel silicones are clean because they tend to be synthetically processed, meaning they aren’t strictly raw materials (such as honey or other unprocessed foods). 

Learn more about my thoughts on the clean beauty movement

Non-Toxic

This is a skincare marketing term that’s especially problematic because labeling your product “non-toxic” implies that other brands may be formulating with toxins you’ve chosen to leave out. In reality, it’s illegal to put toxins into cosmetics in the U.S. I know a lot of people feel that the cosmetics industry in the U.S. is unregulated, but there are certain standards you must abide by to be a legitimate brand. If you’re following these standards, you’re formulating your products safely and are never using ingredients in a way that could be toxic to humans.

Most big beauty brands or conglomerates conduct safety assessments for their products by having a toxicologist review not only the final product, but each individual ingredient to make sure they’re being used properly and aren’t interacting with one another in a potentially harmful way. This toxicology testing is required in Europe but optional in the U.S., so the responsibility is on the brand to make sure their products are safe. Again, it’s important to buy from companies you trust!

Natural or All-Natural

This is definitely a confusing claim as it’s pretty open to interpretation. Much like “clean,” there is no legal definition for natural. When a brand makes this claim I’m often left wondering what they mean. Do they mean the raw materials they use aren’t processed? That they haven’t added anything from synthetic chemistry? Are they adding things from natural sources then chemically modifying them? It’s just not clear. If a brand identifies themselves or their products as natural or all-natural, it’s on them to explain what that means. 

There is an international standard that is trying to become more mainstream for calculating the percent natural origin of a product. This standard takes into consideration the original ingredient, what chemistry has been applied (if any), and which ingredients are completely synthetic. The problem with this is that people automatically assume a product with a higher natural percentage is better or safer than something synthetic, and that’s not always the case. In fact, a lot of synthetic ingredients are used to make cosmetic products safer. The claim that something is natural can be very misleading when it’s used for marketing. 

Organic

This is one of few claims that are highly regulated. It doesn’t speak to an entire product, but rather to the ingredients that make up a product. It speaks to the cultivation practice the ingredient undergoes and how it’s grown, cultivated, and processed.

In order to claim a product is organic, it has to contain a certain percentage of certified organic ingredients according to the USDA.

Fragrance-Free

This claim can be made when a product doesn’t contain any fragrance material at all. This includes synthetic perfumes, essential oils, and anything that is added specifically to provide a pleasant scent. This could even be a pleasant-smelling fruit extract. 

Unscented

Unscented is a little different in that, while a product hasn’t been formulated to have a beautiful scent, it can still contain ingredients that have been added to neutralize unpleasant odors. So while these products don’t usually have much of a scent, they’re not technically considered fragrance-free.

Oil-Free

The term oil-free means just that—a product that literally doesn’t contain any oils. To get a little technical, oils are officially classified as any compound made up of triglycerides. This includes things like marula oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, etc. 

That said, there are ingredients that aren’t made up of triglycerides but intrinsically still have an oily or greasy feel to them. A company can include these in a product and still claim it’s oil-free. There has actually been some recent litigation around this because some consumers have felt duped by the oil-free claim. Yes, the product may be free of triglycerides, but it can still contain other greasy-feeling ingredients that make consumers feel like they aren’t getting what they were looking for from an oil-free product.

Non-comedogenic

This is one that most people think they understand, but there still seem to be some misconceptions. At its most basic level, comedogenicity is the likelihood something will cause comedones (clogged pores). Today, there are two methods used for comedogenic testing. 

In the first method, a product or ingredient is applied to the skin on a person’s upper back. Over the course of hours and weeks, clinicians will check for an acne response and even take a small biopsy from the site to see if there are any comedones in the area. The problem with this test is that the skin on the back doesn’t translate directly to the skin on a person’s face, so it’s not the most accurate.

The second method is a clinical testing format where the results are evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist. Participants are graded on whether they already have mild, moderate, or severe acne lesions. The product or ingredient is placed on the skin over the course of four to six weeks after which the skin is evaluated for the number and type of lesions. This is then compared to the baseline.

The good thing about this test is that it uses a real-life model and translates much more directly to how people use products in real life. The drawback is that, when ingredients are tested for comedogenicity, they’re applied to the skin at 100 percent concentration. When an ingredient is used in a skincare product, it’s never at 100 percent, so this test doesn’t take into account how an ingredient will be formulated. What’s the delivery system? How does it interact with the other ingredients in the formula? None of this is taken into consideration, which is why the “comedogenicity scores” assigned to ingredients (which a lot of consumers look at) are not always realistic. Keep in mind that it’s very expensive to test an entire product for comedogenicity, so most brands just go off of individual ingredient scores. Learn more about skincare ingredient percentages

Product Testing

These terms relate to how product claims are tested as well as product safety.

Hypoallergenic

In order for a company to claim their product is hypoallergenic (unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, so especially good for sensitive or reactive skin), it has to undergo what’s called human repeat insult patch testing or HRIPT. 

It’s not a perfect test of course, because the number of subjects is limited, but the benefit is that it’s performed on actual human subjects. Basically, 100-200 people with different skin types are selected and the product is repeatedly applied to their skin. The subjects’ skin is then evaluated for a response to determine if the product is in any way irritating, sensitizing, or elicits an allergic reaction.  

If the results are good, you can say your product is for sensitive skin. To claim that it’s hypoallergenic, you have to take it a step further and have the results reviewed by a dermatologist. This is where dermatologist-tested and dermatologist-approved come in.

Dermatologist-Approved

This comes from the HRIPT test mentioned above. During the test, you can say, “I want a dermatologist to review my report, and put a stamp on it.” That’s dermatologist-approved, and now a product can be labeled as such. 

Another way to look at “dermatologist-approved” is if you have a dermatologist test the product themselves, or test the product with their patients. This is basically a form of consumer testing and means dermatologists have said, “This is a great product that we recommend to patients all the time.” 

Dermatologist-Tested

Dermatologist-tested basically takes dermatologist-approved one step further. Instead of having a clinician conduct testing, such as an HRIPT, you would have a dermatologist overseeing it and making the final assessment. Another way to think of this is that a product has been dermatologist-reviewed.

Clinically-Tested

This is a claim-substantiation test, meaning it could be testing any number of marketing claims. The important thing about “clinically-tested” is that it means a company has had a third-party lab or consumer product testing facility do unbiased testing of their product. 

For All Skin Types

For some brands, it’s important to have versatile products that can be used by people with a wide variety of skin types. There are a few ways a brand can get this claim for a product. The first option is clinical testing. In a clinical setting, the product has to be tested on a wide variety of skin types and monitored for any unwanted side effects. The second option is consumer product testing. To do this, a company needs to bring in a third-party organization that sends their product out to consumers and sets up the testing.

So there you have it! These are some of the most common skincare marketing terms and what they really mean. As you can see, it’s not always black and white. I hope this post offers some insight and makes you more confident about choosing the skincare products that are right for you.

Next, learn whether medical and professional-grade skincare products are really better.

The post Clean, Non-Toxic, Hypoallergenic: Do You Know What These Skincare Marketing Terms Really Mean? appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

Read More