Here’s What Skin Experts Want You to Know About the Safety of Sunscreen

We know that sunscreen can prevent DNA damage to skin cells caused by UV light. We also know that UV light is the number one cause of premature skin aging. That’s why skincare experts recommend applying a generous amount of SPF each day, no matter rain or shine.

However, recent reports have called the safety of sunscreen into question for some consumers. Most recently, there was an independent analysis that found 78 sunscreen and after-sun products to contain high levels of benzene, which is a known carcinogen. Before that, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that chemicals in sunscreen were absorbed into the bloodstream at levels potentially higher than previously believed.

This all sounds very scary, but what do these findings really mean? What are the implications for you? In this post, I’ll discuss the safety of sunscreen with the help of Dr. Ranella Hirsch, a board-certified dermatologist and former president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology, and Valerie George, cosmetic chemist, and co-host of Beauty Brains Podcast. I’ll also share why, despite the recent sunscreen news, I choose to wear SPF every single day.

What You Should Know About Sunscreen

First things first. Did you know that sunscreen is classified as a drug by the FDA? This means it’s highly regulated and continuously tested for safety. It goes through rigorous studies and clinical trials. That’s not even to mention decades of real-life safety that has been demonstrated as we’ve used these active ingredients over time. There are always people working behind the scenes to make sure products continue to be safe for personal use. Also, the FDA only allows a relatively small set of actives to be used in sunscreen in the United States. That means we keep getting more and more safety data to back them up.

Unpacking the Benzene Independent Analysis

What Are the Basics?

Let’s start with the most recent sunscreen news—the reports of high levels of benzene being found in specific SPF products. This news was published in an independent analysis by Valisure. They tested a variety of brands and batches of sunscreen and found 27% contained detectable levels of benzene. Some batches contained up to three times the FDA concentration limit of 2 parts per million. Since benzene is a known carcinogen, many consumers felt concerned.

Here’s the thing. Some people are under the impression that sunscreen is intentionally formulated with benzene. This is not true. “A lot of the concern was a byproduct of some poorly handled news reporting,” Dr. Hirsch says. “Benzene is not an intentional sunscreen ingredient.”

What Should I Know?

According to George, benzene is actually one of the most fundamental compounds in organic chemistry. On its own, it’s a carcinogen, but when it is paired with other molecules, it isn’t. “It is one of the building blocks that are used to make many other compounds, both in nature and in synthetic chemistry,” George says. In fact, it’s a base for many compounds that are naturally occurring in our own bodies. Plants even produce it to make fragrance compounds.

“While sunscreen compounds come from benzene chemistry, there’s no real reason why it should be present in the levels that were found in the product, so for me, it’s some contamination coming from the manufacturing process or something that’s residual from the equipment,” George says. “It shouldn’t be in sunscreen formulas—actually, it shouldn’t be in any products, period. It’s something that is highly regulated on a global level, no matter what geography you’re in.”

So, knowing that, people should not be under the impression that it’s intentionally included in sunscreen. Not only is it not permitted, but it offers no real benefit to a product. It’s not an emollient, an emulsifier, or a preservative. There’s no function for it. This was a case of a contaminant and nothing more.

What’s the Bottom Line?

This doesn’t mean you should stop wearing sunscreen—not in the slightest. “Sunscreen is a product whose sole purpose is to protect. It is proven to reduce the risk of skin cancer,” Dr. Hirsch says. “UV is a known class one carcinogen. Fact. This was a contaminant, it happens. Cars have recalls, but we don’t stop driving.”

That’s why I wear sunscreen every day, without fail. I started wearing sunscreen consistently in my 20’s, which was when I formulated Weightless Protection SPF 30. Back then, skincare was much more reactive than proactive. People tended to focus more on getting rid of wrinkles and sun damage once they appeared instead of preventing them altogether. These days, people are much more proactive about their skin health. Sunscreen is absolutely critical to that. That’s why I apply it each morning. I’m also diligent about reapplying it throughout the day and wearing sun-protective clothing when I’m outside.

Unpacking the FDA Study on Sunscreen Chemical Concentration in Blood

What Are the Basics?

There was another report that called the safety of sunscreen into question for some people. It was an FDA study that showed sunscreen chemicals stayed in subjects’ blood for about a week after they stopped applying sunscreen. Concentrations continued to rise over the course of the study. People were understandably concerned when they read these headlines, but just like with the independent analysis, it’s important to put information into context.

What Should I Know?

First of all, the fact that an ingredient ends up in our bodies does not inherently mean that it is toxic or harmful. Second, this study was done under maximal use conditions, meaning subjects applied the amount of sunscreen they actually need to reach the SPF rating on the label. This amount is 2 mg of sunscreen per cm^2. To give you an idea, that’s at least a very full shot glass of sunscreen, depending on the surface area of your body. That’s a lot more than most people generally use, and these subjects applied that amount four times a day for four consecutive days before their blood was tested.

Don’t get me wrong. This is definitely the amount of sunscreen you should be wearing if you’re walking around on a beach all day in a bathing suit, but for most of us, that’s not what a typical day looks like. The sample size for this study was also very small, and there were many factors that weren’t controlled making it hard to draw a firm conclusion.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The authors of this study were not calling the safety of sunscreen into question. In other words, they were not suggesting that chemicals in sunscreen are dangerous. They certainly weren’t suggesting that you stop wearing sunscreen. Instead, this study showed chemicals in sunscreen can be absorbed into our blood at levels that triggered FDA requirements for more safety data. This basically means that going forward, manufacturers will have to perform even more tests and provide the FDA with better data so researchers can make sure these ingredients are safe for long-term, daily use. The FDA is also looking into updating its regulatory requirements for sunscreen, including how it is labeled. If anything, this response is comforting because it demonstrates how seriously the safety of these products is taken.

So, Where Does That Leave Us?

From a safety perspective, in the United States, we have the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board. In the European Union, it’s the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. These are independent groups of scientists reviewing the safety of all these ingredients from all over. I can assure you that people are actively working to ensure the safety of your sunscreen. As George puts it, “ingredients are safe. People can trust that.”

In fact, if there’s anything these recent reports can tell you, as the consumer, it’s that chemists, doctors, and scientific researchers are working passionately to make sure we know everything about the safety of the compounds we put into and onto our bodies. While some people may truly believe that cosmetics are dangerous, the truth is that it’s not in a brand’s best interest to harm its customers.

It’s part of my job to stay on top of new findings that are relevant to your health and safety and to provide you with accurate information to the best of my knowledge. I am always researching this, and at the end of the day, I also want to be safe. If there was something alarming to me, I would certainly be talking about it. As always, I will continue to update you and share information as it becomes available. In the meantime, keep wearing sunscreen. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. (I even had my own skin cancer scare), and the dangers of overexposure to the sun are well-documented. Sunscreen is a key component of protecting yourself from UV damage and should always be used, along with other sun protection measures.

What Kind of Sunscreen Should I Use?

There’s been a lot of talk about what kind of sunscreen is better—chemical or physical. I’m a believer in getting the best of both worlds, which is why I formulated Weightless Protection SPF 30 with both chemical and physical blockers. I usually recommend using both chemical and physical blockers if it’s compatible with your skin type.

With that being said, I don’t think you should necessarily focus on the type of sunscreen you use. Instead, find one that you like (it’s that simple!). This will ensure you wear it regularly. As Dr. Hirsch puts it, “the right one for you is the one you will use.”

Next, read all about “clean beauty” and the safety of other skincare ingredients!

The post Here’s What Skin Experts Want You to Know About the Safety of Sunscreen 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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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

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

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

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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Everything You Should Know About Managing Rosacea

Seeing red is never a good thing, especially when it comes to your complexion. Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that affects at least 14 million people in the U.S. I’ve seen many clients with rosacea over the past 30 years and understand what a frustrating and painful condition it can be. That said, I’ve also seen how much progress can be made when it’s managed effectively. Keep reading to learn more about how you can tweak your behavior, lifestyle, and skincare routine for clear, calm skin.

What Does Rosacea Look Like?

There are so many different signs and symptoms that can accompany a rosacea diagnosis that doctors have created four categories of rosacea. These are the two most common:

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea: flushing; persistent redness or discoloration; visible, broken blood vessels; swollen, sensitive skin; burning or stinging; rough skin
  2. Papulopustular Rosacea: red, acne-like breakouts that come and go; oily skin; sensitive skin that stings or burns; visible, broken blood vessels; persistent redness

Though it’s rare, rosacea can sometimes cause the skin to become bumpy and thicken (especially on the nose). Some people also get it in their eyes, known as ocular rosacea. This can cause watery, swollen, or bloodshot eyes and blurred vision.

Who Gets Rosacea?

Rosacea is most commonly found in people with fair skin (think Northern European descent). This doesn’t mean other skin tones can’t experience rosacea, though. It’s a lot more likely to be misdiagnosed or missed entirely in patients of color because they don’t always present with classic redness. Other signs and symptoms to look for include warm-feeling skin; dry, swollen skin; a dusky brown discoloration; acne-like breakouts that come and go and don’t clear with treatment.

You’re more likely to develop rosacea if someone in your family has had it or if you’ve experienced lots of acne at some point. It’s not uncommon for rosacea to develop after the age of 30.

Tips for Managing Rosacea

The true root cause of rosacea is still unknown, and it’s likely more than just a single factor. Much like acne, rosacea is a systemic, inflammatory disease for which there is no known cure. The key is managing it successfully to be able to minimize flare-ups as much as possible. By working with a professional, identifying your triggers, and building the right skincare routine, you can get your skin to a much better place.

Work With a Dermatologist

Having worked with a lot of rosacea patients in the past, I’m full of tips and tricks for helping you manage rosacea at home. My first and foremost tip, though, is to work with a dermatologist. Rosacea is a medical condition that should be diagnosed by a board-certified dermatologist, especially since some of the signs and symptoms can be confused with other conditions (such as acne, eczema, or allergies). The first step is to confirm that you’re dealing with rosacea and not something else.

You may also need medications to help get your symptoms under control, and these can only be prescribed by a dermatologist. 

  • Azelaic acid. Azelaic acid has been shown to be very effective against rosacea, but only at 15% which is considered prescription strength. It’s anti-inflammatory, helps minimize redness, and exfoliates ever so slightly.
  • Sulfur-based medications. Sulfur has also been shown to help with redness and inflammatory lesions associated with rosacea.
  • Antibiotics. Dermatologists will sometimes prescribe low-dose antibiotics to help with inflammation

Know Your Triggers

When it comes to rosacea management, I can’t stress this enough: Know. Your. Triggers. While the underlying cause of rosacea may still be unknown, there are many well-known triggers. These are what set off an inflammatory response in rosacea patients and cause them to have flare-ups. Cutting out or reducing triggers is one of the most effective ways to manage symptoms of rosacea.

These are some of the most commonly known triggers for rosacea:

  • Sun exposure
  • Emotional stress
  • Wind
  • Heat (hot weather, hot baths or showers, saunas, hot tubs, etc.)
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Exercise 
  • Certain skincare ingredients
  • Certain medications

This list is by no means extensive, and it’s important to note that not all rosacea patients will have the same triggers. For example, one rosacea patient might react negatively to a skincare ingredient that another rosacea patient can use without issue. Because it’s so individual, you really have to be your own skin detective. 

I recommend keeping a journal as a way to help identify your personal triggers. This way, when you have a flare-up, you can go back to see if there was a skincare product, type of food, behavior, or environmental factor that could have contributed. I know it sounds tedious, and it can certainly take a while to identify patterns, but once you do you’ll be one step closer to clearer, calmer skin.

Build a Routine and Stick to It

If you have a condition like rosacea that makes your skin act sensitive, you’ll want to avoid product hopping. It’s important to build a consistent routine with the right products. Look for products that are soothing, hydrating, and support your skin’s barrier health. In other words? Baby your skin and keep it as comforted as possible. 

Here are some of my top tips for building a routine focused on managing rosacea:

  1. Cleanse gently, every day. This means both morning and evening! Cleansing can help remove dead skin-cell buildup from the skin (removing buildup can help keep flare-ups under control). Opt for a simple, sulfate-free cleanser. 
  2. NEVER skip sun protection. As I mentioned, sun exposure is one of the top triggers for rosacea. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day in addition to wearing sun-protective clothing and avoiding direct sun exposure during peak daylight hours. Some people with rosacea are sensitive to “chemical” sunscreen filters, in which case I recommend trying a zinc oxide sunscreen. (Learn more about physical vs. chemical sunscreens.)
  3. Exfoliate (carefully). Removing dead cell buildup from the skin can help keep your moisture barrier balanced, which in turn can help mitigate rosacea flare-ups. Exfoliating is a great way to do this, but those with rosacea should proceed with caution. You may not be able to exfoliate as frequently as other people, and some traditional exfoliating ingredients like AHAs may just be too sensitizing for you. The good news is, there are other ways to exfoliate. It’s all about finding the right type for your skin. Just make sure you patch test anything you haven’t tried before. 
  4. Hydrate. It may seem obvious, but the importance of keeping rosacea-prone skin well-hydrated really can’t be overstated. As is the case with pretty much any skin condition, maintaining a healthy moisture barrier is key. This is achieved using products with oils and phospholipids. If you have oily skin and don’t want a heavy moisturizer everywhere, try using a heavier cream on the affected areas of your face (especially during flare-ups) and a lighter moisturizer everywhere else.

To learn more about building a routine, check out Skin Type 5 and Skin Type 9. I created these specifically for those who have rosacea and redness-prone skin. 

Always Patch-Test New Products

If you have rosacea, you’re more likely than the average person to have a negative reaction to a new skincare product. A negative reaction could trigger a flare-up, which might last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The best way to avoid this is to diligently patch-test new skincare products before applying them everywhere. It may seem like a pain, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Read more about how to patch-test for a negative reaction.

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid if You Have Rosacea (Plus, Ingredients That Can Help)

We’ve already talked about how there can be tons of different triggers for rosacea, but I want to touch on skincare ingredients for a moment. Yes, everyone is different, but these are ingredients I’ve noticed many rosacea patients react negatively to:

  • Fragrance (Both synthetic and natural, like high doses of essential oils.)
  • Drying alcohols (SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, isopropyl alcohol)
  • Sulfates (Found in some cleansers.)
  • Circulation-boosting extracts (This includes ingredients like mint, ginseng, and vitamin B12.)
  • L-ascorbic acid (This is a very potent form of vitamin C. Instead, try a no-sting form such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl phosphate.) 

Note: Be very careful with (or avoid) active facial treatments, such as microdermabrasion. Always check with your dermatologist first before getting any professional treatments. 

Ingredients to Help Soothe Rosacea

These are some of the ingredients I love to formulate with when I’m creating products for sensitive, redness-prone skin. They help soothe inflammation, calm irritation, boost hydration, and support a healthier moisture barrier. 

I know keeping rosacea under control can feel like an uphill battle sometimes, but I’ve seen many clients significantly improve their skin by diligently following these tips! Hard work pays off, and clearer, calmer skin is definitely possible.

Next, learn how to get rid of red, broken blood vessels on the face.

The post Everything You Should Know About Managing Rosacea 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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Here’s What You Need to Know Before Washing Your Face With Bar Soap

Bar soap is quite possibly the oldest cleansing method out there, having been around for thousands of years. While it never really went away, I’ve noticed that it cycles back every so often making its way into the spotlight. 

In this post, I’ll give you my honest opinion about bar soap and how it affects your skin based on both personal experience and over 30 years of working hands-on with clients.  

What’s the Difference Between Bar Soap and “Non-Soap Cleansing Bars?”

Just because something comes in bar form doesn’t automatically mean it’s bar soap. There’s an important distinction between traditional bar soaps and non-soap cleansers. 

Bar Soap

So what exactly is bar soap? True bar soap is made by mixing an oil with something really alkaline (meaning it has a high pH). This is usually either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. One common combo, for example, is coconut oil and sodium hydroxide. Combining the two triggers a chemical reaction that results in sodium cocoate, which is the main cleansing agent and what you’d see on the ingredient label. 

One of the biggest problems with traditional bar soaps is that they have a very high pH. They range anywhere from 7.5-10, whereas the skin’s natural pH hovers around 5.5. If the skin is put into an alkaline state long enough, it can easily lead to moisture barrier damage.

Non-Soap Cleansing Bars

Non-soap cleansers have a completely different chemistry than bar soaps. Put simply, they’re a waterless version of a traditional cleanser that has been solidified into bar form. (Cosmetic chemists call them SynDet bars, short for “synthetic detergent.”) 

Instead of combining an oil and a hydroxide, these are made using traditional surfactants, which are the main mechanism your “regular” cleansers use to remove dirt and oil from the skin. Surfactants are taken in their solid form, heated up, and pressed together into a solid bar before being left to cool. The cleansing agents found in these bars are part of a group of synthetic surfactants called isethionates. For reference, the most classic example of a non-soap cleanser is the Dove Beauty Bar, which uses a cleansing agent called sodium lauroyl isethionate. 

Because these bars aren’t made by adding a hydroxide, they tend to be more pH-balanced than bar soaps and less likely to strip the skin.

Is Washing Your Face With Bar Soap Bad for Your Skin?

Yes, I believe using bar soap to wash your face is bad for your skin. While non-soap cleansing bars aren’t as bad as traditional bar soaps, they’re still not ideal. Let me explain why.

Since all cleansing bars are waterless, they have low water solubility. This means you have to rinse VERY thoroughly with lots of warm water to get them off the skin. It’s not uncommon for bars to leave a residue behind. Ever had that “squeaky clean” feeling after using a bar of soap? Yeah, that’s from the residue it left on your skin. This is where the high pH of a bar can start to become really problematic; having something alkaline on your skin for an extended period of time won’t do you any favors. 

But even if a bar is pH balanced, having that residue on the skin means your other products won’t penetrate as well. At best, you’ll be wasting your money by not getting the most out of your products. At worst, it could lead to dehydration and a compromised moisture barrier (hello, irritation). 

Of course, no matter how you cleanse, make sure you’re following it up with the right routine for your skin type to keep your skin healthy and balanced. Another tip? Apply your moisturizer within one minute of cleansing to avoid moisture loss—I call this the “Golden Minute Rule.

Are Cleansing Bars Good for Sensitive Skin?

There is some speculation that cleansing bars are a good option for those with sensitive skin since they tend to be free of preservatives (which is possible thanks to their lack of water content). I would argue this is only beneficial if you have a known preservative allergy, which isn’t all that common. I think the main reason some people with sensitive skin do well with cleansing bars is that the ingredient lists are usually short and simple. This doesn’t necessarily mean cleansing bars are better, it probably just means you’ve eliminated something that was an irritant for you. Instead, I would prefer you use a basic, gentle liquid cleanser. They’re definitely out there, companies just tend to add more bells and whistles to liquid cleansers because it’s so easy to do.

“Sensitive skin” can also mean any number of things, and a cleansing bar isn’t an automatic fix. What types of skin sensitivity do you have? What exactly are you sensitive to? For example, many cleansing bars contain fragrance, which is more likely than most preservatives to irritate sensitive skin. Skin sensitivities are nuanced, and I don’t believe you can apply a blanket statement such as bar soaps being the best cleansing method.

If you have very sensitive skin and have found that a cleansing bar works well for you, go ahead and keep using it (just make sure you’re rinsing your face thoroughly!). You know your skin best, and it’s ultimately up to you. That said, I do believe there are a lot of good liquid cleansing options for sensitive skin—it’s just about finding the right one. Here are four ingredients your cleanser should never contain.

Does Bar Soap Affect Acne?

There isn’t much evidence either way to support bar soaps improving or exacerbating acne. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend someone who is trying to get breakouts under control use this as a cleansing method. The last thing you want to do is cause irritation or disrupt your barrier, since this will only make breakouts worse. Because bar soaps and bar cleansers are more likely to do both, I’d steer clear. Instead, follow these 17 tips that might help banish your breakouts for good.

What’s the Best Way to Cleanse Your Skin?

The best way to cleanse your skin is by using a non-drying, sulfate-free cleanser for your specific skin type and concerns. Beyond choosing the right cleanser for your skin type, you’ll want to make sure you’re cleansing your face correctly in both the morning and evening. 

So, What’s the Bottom Line?

Throughout the years, I’ve personally experimented with so many bar soaps. I used to go to France quite a bit to visit family and was always tempted to try fancy French bar soaps. There’s something about them that just seems so luxurious and wonderful. Sadly, every single time I would use one, my skin would immediately feel tight and look dehydrated. I’ve seen the same thing happen to a lot of my clients as well. 

At the end of the day, I believe using a non-drying, sulfate-free cleanser in its liquid form is much better for the skin than a bar cleanser, whether it be traditional bar soap or the newer generation of cleansing bars. While the newer bars aren’t as stripping or drying as traditional bar soaps, they can still leave a film on the skin that could cause irritation and make it harder for products applied afterward to penetrate properly. With all that being said, if you’ve tried lots of cleansing options and truly feel like a bar cleanser has worked best for you, keep using it. It’s your skin, you know it best and at the end of the day, the best thing we can do for our skin is to listen to it.

The post Here’s What You Need to Know Before Washing Your Face With Bar Soap 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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