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Recapture and maintain luminous skin.My skin looks so dull lately. How can I get a luminous complexion?

Luminous skin is even-toned, radiant, and smooth.  Due to age as well as environmental stress, our skin starts losing luminosity, but with these 5 key tips, you can recapture and maintain luminous skin well into old age:

  1. Exfoliate:  As we age, our skin cell turnover slows down, resulting in an accumulation of dead skin cells that give skin a dull appearance. Reveal new, radiant skin by using a chemical or a physical exfoliator 1x to 3x a week, depending on skin sensitivity. People sensitive to glycolic peels can use physical exfoliators, a.k.a. facial scrubs. Just make sure that the exfoliating beads are perfectly round and gentle. Try MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel/ 2 Steps or Jurlique Daily Exfoliating Cream.

  2. Boost hydration:  Over time, our skin becomes drier, making it look ashy with fine lines more visible. Boost hydration by applying a serum or toner designed to maximize skin hydration before applying your moisturizer. Look for products that contain hyaluronic acid. It can bind up to 1000 times its molecular weight in water and act as a very powerful natural humectant. Try Juara Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner.

  3. Even out skin tone:  Accumulated damage from years of sun exposure eventually show up as age spots and uneven skin tone. When UV-rays penetrate the skin, they stimulate the skin to produce the pigment "melanin", which is why we get a tan, but they also damage the skin's DNA. Products containing turmeric, kojic acid, azelaic acid or Vitamin C all curb the production of melanin and help even out skin tone. Try SkinCeuticals Phyto+.

  4. Daily sun protection:  Apply broad spectrum sunscreen daily, rain or shine, to prevent age spots from forming or darkening. Look for sunscreen agents that protect from UVA rays, such as Avobenzone, Mexoryl, Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide. Try La Roche Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer SPF 15.

  5. Good nutrition:  Studies show that diets rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids help maintain youthful radiance. Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and whole grains. Supplements can provide an added boost to skin luminosity. Try Perricone MD Pigment Corrective Dietary Supplements.

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Solutions for Frizzy HairHow can I control my frizzy hair?

The first step is to determine the cause. Some people with curly hair are prone to “the frizzies,” but excessive blow-drying, coloring, or use of products containing alcohol can exacerbate the problem. It might also be time to switch shampoos. Try a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to combat dryness. If your hair is damaged from over-drying or coloring, it will benefit from a conditioning treatment which will help prevent protein loss and strengthen hair fibers. Using a weekly treatment mask can also help restore lost moisture, as they are more concentrated than regular conditioners.

Rinsing your hair with cool water will “close” the cuticles and add to a smoother look. A styling product such as pomade can help control your hair without weighing it down. Warm a small amount in your hands and work it through your hair, without touching your scalp to avoid looking oily. If you use a blow dryer, don’t use the highest heat setting, and always point the air downward. Running the dryer up and down can cause the cuticles to split and frizz. It is also recommended to use the “cool” setting for the last few minutes of drying your hair to help seal the cuticles.

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Not all questions will be answered in The Product Files.

Winter ItchMy hands are so dry they itch and are starting to crack - help! What can I do?

So many of us have this problem in the winter there is actually a name for it. While 'winter itch' might seem inevitable, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your hands soft and supple even in the harshest winter weather.

Wash your hands in lukewarm – never hot – water, which actually robs your skin of moisture. Take extra care to protect your hands while doing household chores, especially dishes or anything where your hands will get wet. Always wear gloves when you go out into the cold.

Apply a rich moisturizer after washing, ideally one containing glycerin or Shea butter. Many women prefer rich, creamy facial creams in the winter, rather than lighter lotions they might use during warmer weather. The same is true of our hands. We carry a vast selection of rich, creamy moisturizers that will give your skin a protective barrier against the harsh elements. Here are a few to get your started:

Gifts for MenMy husband could use some help when it comes to grooming. He’s doesn’t have a clue beyond a razor and can of shaving cream. What are some "gifty" things I can give him for Christmas?

One of the most satisfying things about giving a gift is when you know it can and will benefit the recipient. Your dilemma is to give something personal yet practical and helpful too. We have just the thing!

Although there are men who are well-groomed and understand why skin care products enhance their appearance and improve their general hygiene, there are others who feel it’s too complicated, not necessary or for women only.

The truth of the matter is, the more that men commit to a routine like yours, the better they’ll look and feel – and it’s not just for appearance sake, it’s for their skin’s general health too.

We carry a wonderful selection of gifts for men. Kits that are basic enough to get them on track and other sets for guys who are already taking care of themselves but appreciate being introduced to more.

Whether your guy needs a jump-start or you have a metro man in your life, try any of these:

To see more of our great gifts for men, click here.

SupplementsHow do supplements help my skin?

Nourishing our bodies from the inside out is one of the most significant attributing factors to healthy skin. The most effective method? Nutrients derived from our diet. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or know-how to be consistently successful. However, nutritional supplements have become the most convenient way to supply the body with everything it needs for optimum-looking skin.

There are two ways to incorporate supplements into your skin care routine. A popular trend is boosting the water you drink with antioxidants to not only fight damaging free radicals but combat the signs of aging as well. In addition, water boosters increase the effectiveness of topical sunscreens so you have less chance of burning and long-term damage.

Products to boost your water:

Another way to supplement your diet effectively is to take supplements in pill form. Vitamins improve specific conditions such as dryness, anti-aging, inflammation and detoxification.

Here’s a look at what a few vitamins do to specifically benefit your skin:

  • Vitamin E noted to reduce sun damage, minimize wrinkles and improve skin texture.
  • Selenium helps to protect the body from cancers, such as skin cancer. It also aids in the preservation of collagen and elastin, slowing down the effects of aging.
  • Vitamin C essential for collagen and its repairing properties.

A few pill suppliments to try:

To maintain healthy skin, remember to look for quality ingredients in the products you apply to your face and body, and seek out the best supplements to add to your diet.

SeasonsDoes my skin type change when the seasons change?

Evidence of change in your skin will occur with the seasons. You may feel drier in colder months, oilier in warmer months and notice breakouts occurring intermittently between seasons. However, these are all referred to as skin conditions; your skin type never changes. As a rule, always treat the condition then the type.

Let’s review characteristics of each skin type:

Oily Skin: Occasional breakouts, congested skin and comedones. You will be oily over your entire face and most likely have an oily shine 2-4 hours after cleansing.
Combination Skin: An oily t-zone (nose, chin and forehead), occasional breakouts, congestion and comedones. You’ll have an oily shine 4-6 hours after cleansing.
Dry Skin: Pores are unnoticeable. You rarely suffer from breakouts and congestion. You may notice signs of premature aging.
Normal Skin: Normal skin does not feel dry or oily. Never or very rarely have breakouts, no congestion or comedones. May suffer from slight dehydration in t-zone. May have oily shine 12 hours after cleansing.
Sensitive Skin: Easily irritated. Burns easily. May feel warm or itchy after cleansing. May break out.

We all suffer from some sort of condition on a regular basis. The key is to have supplemental products to treat them.
Here are some products to combat a few skin conditions:

  • Dehydrated, lack-luster tight skin. Try switching from your moisturizing lotion to a serum. Serums have smaller molecules that penetrate the skin and usually have more hydrating ingredients without the extra oil. PCA Skin Hydrating Serum is a good choice.
  • Skin reddens or feels warm after cleansing or exfoliating. Your skin condition is sensitized. Try Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Masque and use daily.
  • Breakouts. If you have a ‘Dry’ skin type, try Pevonia Purifying Skin Mask as a spot treatment. Make sure to follow with a good moisturizer.
  • Skin is flaking and extremely dry because of extreme weather or a chemical peel use PCA SKIN PHaze 20 Silkcoat Balm.

Our overall goal with skincare is to maintain balance in the skin to keep it healthy. Treat your skin condition as it comes. Just remember, your skin type stays the same.

Even though I’ve tried several concealers and foundations, I can’t seem to find any cosmetic that properly covers the large pores on my face. Can I do something to make them smaller?

In general, there are two contributors to having large pores: genetics and age. People who have oily or thicker skin tend to have enlarged pores, and as people get older, sun damage and a decrease in the skin’s elasticity can be a factor for pores to increase in size.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything available on the market that can permanently reduce or “shrink” pore size. However, there are several products that address this condition and help make your pores less noticeable.

Be sure to cleanse your face well. Debris and oil can cause pore blockage, stretching the pores and making them appear larger. A good cleanser to address this contains BHAs and AHAs. Also, exfoliate on a regular basis. Exfoliation rids the skin of dead cells which can block pores and also contribute to the problem. Finally, before applying makeup, use a foundation primer. Not only does it even out your skin tone, but the primer also creates a barrier so your foundation won’t sink into the pores.

Pores are vital to the health of your skin. The oil they deliver maintains suppleness and hydration to your skin. If you do have large pores, there’s a good chance you have an oily skin type. Later in life, this may be to your advantage—the natural moisture in your pores will help the skin age better by delaying or minimizing the drying and wrinkling that occurs. And that’s a good thing.

 

Here are some products to try:

Help! My heels are cracked and callused and summer just started. Will smooth, soft feet be impossible for me?

Cracked, callused heels are a common condition caused by dry skin. Going barefoot and wearing sandals in the summer can easily aggravate this problem. Besides looking unattractive, it can actually become painful.

It’s important to identify whether you’re dealing with a cosmetic condition or a possible health issue. Be sure to talk to your physician if you develop deep and/or bleeding cracks on your heels.

If you simply need to step up your foot care routine like most of us, here are a few things to do to get you on the right track:

  • While showering or soaking in a bathtub, rub H2O Plus Pumice Foot Scrub onto the bottoms of your feet particularly along the heels. This softens callused skin and reduces their thickness on the heels.
  • Apply a heavier moisturizer on your heels each night at bedtime like Atopalm MLE Cream or Pedinol Hydrisinol Crème. Slip on a pair of socks to better absorb the cream while you sleep.
  • Soak your feet at least once a week in a small tub of warm water. Use a pumice stone to remove any dead skin on your heels. After patting your feet dry, generously apply Barielle Total Foot Care Cream for a soft, supple finish.
  • Don’t forget to treat yourself to a pedicure on a regular basis to keep your feet in tiptop shape.

It’s not impossible to keep feet looking their best—it just takes a bit of extra time and effort to show them off confidently!

Solutions for Leg Scars How can I reduce the appearance of scars on my legs?

Scars are evidence of healing. The deeper the damage, the more scar tissue forms. Inflammation and discoloration are normal and in many instances, lessen after time.

Although no product on the market can make a scar completely disappear, some help to diminish the appearance. There are products that reduce redness or purple discoloration (known as hyperpigmentation) and some that can help minimize inflammation or flatten the surface of a scar.

It’s important to identify the type of scar you have before treating it as some products are specific to scar type. Are the scars from an injury or surgery? Are they raised (Keloid), recessed/pitted or appear stretched?

Remember, you can always talk to you physician about options. For at-home care, consider the following.

Products that address hyperpigmentation caused from scarring:

Products to help decrease the appearance of Keloid scars:

You can pair any of the above products with a corrective cosmetic specifically for covering imperfections on the body from Dermablend.


Vitamin C - Give your skin its daily dose Do I need Vitamin C in my regimen?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble, anti-oxidant vitamin found in several skin care products. Its powerful benefits have been shown to promote healthy looking skin.

Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. When applied topically, it also helps prevent and correct free radical damage due to environmental and internal stressors. Some common internal stressors are stress, lack of sleep and poor diet. External stressors include sun exposure, cigarette smoking and pollution.

Although Vitamin C isn't the only anti-oxidant used in skin care products, it is one that provides noticeable results when used regularly. Consider including these products with Vitamin C in your regimen:

Solutions for Dark CirclesI have dark circles that won’t go away! I’m tired of looking tired is there anything I can do?

Although dark circles are often genetic, several effective products can help. To see long-term results, use a vitamin K gel or cream like Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue under the eyes to help strengthen capillaries, diminishing the ‘blue eye’ appearance. Vitamin C based eye serums or creams such as La Roche Posay Active C Eyes provide antioxidant protection and make the eye area more resilient.

Other contributing factors could be the cause for your dark circles, such as: sun damage, smoking, excessive caffeine and alcohol. As we get older, dark circles become more prominent—the skin under our eyes becomes thinner and our blood vessels become more visible. It’s never too early to care for the delicate skin around the eyes with proper skin care and healthy, lifestyle choices.

Tip: For a quick fix, you can pair either of the above products with a corrective cosmetic like Exuviance Cover Blend Multi Function Concealer or Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Concealer. Apply before foundation to minimize any darkness.

Although the products have similar ingredients, the actual antioxidants are different. Prevage contains an antioxidant by the name of Idebenone or Co-Q-9. Sovage's Idebenol contains a combination of botanical antioxidants and does not include any Idebenone.

Both products are similar in benefits as they were created for "anti-aging" results. Prevage is lighter in consistency so it is typically preferred by consumers who have a combination to oily skin type, however, dry skin types can use this product. Sovage Idebenol is a cream based formula preferred by dry skin customers.

 
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