Monthly Archives: December 2016

Calm Irritated Sensitive Skin

Beautiful young woman with clean fresh skin on light background

Sensitive skin reacts very easily to a number of factors such as weather, products, and hormones. Reactions can vary from light irritation to redness and skin dryness, to larger issues such as rosacea and skin peeling. Inflamed sensitive skin can be made worse by using the wrong products. It can be further exacerbated by personal issues such as stress or anxiety. If you have sensitive skin and are prone to irritation we’ll guide you through a variety of ways to help calm your skin.

Cut Out Your Triggers

The easiest way to calm sensitive skin is to make sure it never flares up. Pay attention to specific foods, drinks or environmental factors that can make your skin react. If there is a certain food that makes you red try to avoid or substitute it. Likely trigger foods may be dairy, sugar, meat, and saturated fats. Try to maintain an antioxidant-rich diet of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables instead.. When it comes to drinks sugary sodas, coffee and alcohol are likely culprits that can also trigger skin reaction and sensitivity. Try to limit your consumption of these and consider them more as indulgences than staple beverages. Water, herbal teas and fresh fruit juices are your best bets.

Soothe With Mist

If your skin starts reacting you can counteract feelings of heat and redness with a soothing mist. Use a water-based product with soothing qualities and formulas with lavender oil, cucumber or calendula, which can be hydrating and calming and make your skin feel and look better with a few spritzes. Keep a mist on hand particularly in skin-irritating situations such as post-workout, on a plane or in an extremely hot climate. Follow the spritzing with a moisturizer so your skin stays hydrated even after the water evaporates.

Calming Moisturizer

With sensitive skin you should be using products with minimal ingredients. Most important is that your moisturizer does not contain fragrance or alcohol, and it should also be non-comedogenic. Look for products that contain ceramides and have restorative qualities. Also consistency is huge for skin that flares up easily. Once you find a product that works on your skin you should keep it stocked in your beauty closet for the long run.

Go Green

Green should be your favorite color when it comes to helping calm your skin. The first one is green tea. You can buy cleansers, toners and moisturizers with this ingredient to help calm your skin. Alternatively you can create a homemade soothing toner by steeping a few green tea teabags then letting the water cool off, soaking a washcloth and letting it gently rest on your face for a few minutes. It will have a cool and restorative effect on your skin. The other way that the color green can help is by using a green-based primer to hide redness. When your skin is particularly irritated this is a good way to create a base for your skin so that you can apply foundation.

Cleanse and Exfoliate Gently

Cleansing and exfoliating are big parts of having healthy skin but they can also be triggers for irritation. If you cleanse with alcohol or fragrance you can irritate your skin. When you exfoliate make sure to avoid products that have a gritty, harsh quality to them and contain sand or crystals. These are too harsh and can cause a flare-up. To still rid your skin of dead skin cells look out for products with antioxidants or gentle acids that can peel away the top layer without stripping your skin. We recommend Garnier SkinActive’s Clean+ Gentle Clarifying Cleansing Gel which is specifically designed for sensitive skin and has a cooling texture that will clean and restore your skin. There are also on-the-go wipes for sensitive skin which help cleanse and soothe skin.

Get Rid Of Blackheads

Contrary to popular belief, blackheads are not caused by dirt, they are caused when excess sebum and dead skin cells block up a pore, so repeatedly scrubbing your face clean will not do a lot of good. In fact, if you wash your face too often, it will cause your skin to create even more sebum, so the blackheads will just come back again. That’s not to say that you should never wash your face again! Just don’t overdo it. If blackheads are a persistent problem for you, here are ten tips that will help you get rid of blackheads, and keep them away for good.

1. Use an oil free cleanser

While over-washing can be counterproductive, you still need to keep your skin clean and do what you can to avoid too much oil building up. Use an oil-free skin cleanser, twice a day, and pay particular attention to the oily zones on your face. After you have cleansed your face, use an oil-free moisturiser, and that will stop your skin drying out.

2. Keep everything clean

As well as keeping the oil on your skin to a minimum, you also need to be aware of the oil you might be picking up from other places. Your pillowcases, for example, can trap oil and sweat in them and then it will transfer back onto your face. Keep anything that comes into contact with your skin clean, and that includes your phone as well.

3. Exfoliate regularly

You shouldn’t try to use exfoliation as a means to scrub the blackheads out of your skin, because that would just make your skin sore. You should, however, exfoliate regularly, as a way to keep dead skin cells from blocking up your pores. Use a gentle exfoliator twice a week and that will lift dead skin cells and help to keep blackheads at bay.

4. Steam

Another good tip on how to get rid of blackheads is to use facial steaming, it is a very effective way of removing excess oil and dirt. It also softens the skin and opens up the pores, which will make it easier for any blocked pores to be cleaned out. Simply hold your head over a bowl of steaming water and let the steam do its job. If you do that every two weeks, it will keep blackheads to a minimum.

5. Bentonite clay

Next tip on how to get rid of blackheads is to use bentonite clay, it does a wonderful job of drawing the oil and impurities out of the pores, whilst at the same time, nourishing the skin with minerals. To make a bentonite face mask, just mix bentonite clay with water to make a paste. Apply the paste to your face and leave it to dry for fifteen minutes and then rinse off with warm water and moisturise.

6. Honey and cinnamon pore strips

You can make your own homemade pore strips with honey, cinnamon and a few strips of clean cotton. They are great for pulling out blackheads, and they are antibacterial as well, so they will stop infection setting in. Make up a paste of equal parts honey and cinnamon powder and apply that to your skin. Lay a piece of clean cotton over the paste and leave it for 5 minutes. When you pull the cotton strips off your skin, blackheads will come out with it and your skin will be lovely and clean.

7. Egg whites

Another tip on how to get rid of blackheads is to use eggs. Egg whites will help reduce excess sebum in the skin they will also tighten the pores, which can help force blackheads out. Just whip up two egg whites, apply it your face, and leave it on for 10 minutes before you wash it off again with lukewarm water. Egg whites also contain loads of protein, so, as well as helping to get rid of blackheads; it will also nourish your skin and leave you with a healthy looking glow.

8. Baking soda

We have already mentioned that exfoliating can help you get rid of blackheads, but you don’t want to use anything that’s too course, or it will aggravate your skin and make it sore. That’s why baking soda is so good for this job, because it is very fine. Just mix baking soda into it a paste and gently massage your skin with it. It will lift dead skin cells and clean out the pores.

9. Lemon juice

Another fabulous tip on how to get rid of blackheads is to use lemon juice. The citric acid in lemon juice will break down dead skin cells and clean out blocked pores. Cleanse your face first and pat it dry. Then, dab some fresh lemon juice on the skin and leave it on for about ten minutes before you wash it off again and moisturise.

10. Green tea

Green tea is another home remedy that you can use to clear up blackheads. It breaks down the sebum and clears out the pores. Steep two green teas bags and allow the tea to cool until it is lukewarm. Dab the tea on your face with cotton wool, and leave it on for ten minutes. Repeat that once a day and you will soon notice a reduction in the number of blackheads that you get.

Should You Know About Korean Beauty Secrets

If you’re fashion, style, or beauty obsessed like us, you’re probably aware that Asia is often a decade ahead of the western hemisphere when it comes to trends and products. Pastel hair colors have hit the Internet hard, but they’ve been popular in Japan for years! Recently, no country more so than Korea has dominated the beauty and skincare game. Every company from Sephora to Chanel has started picking up the Korean beauty trends to make them ubiquitous and chic. If you aren’t familiar with the fabulous pampering of the Korean beauty regime, then relax, throw on a sheet mask, and keep reading!

Sheet masks

You’ve probably seen them all over Instagram, or sold individually packaged at the aisle-of-wallet-emptying in your local Sephora. Sheet masks are face masks that come prepackaged and evenly spread onto thin pastel paper. Just like any good mask, some exfoliate, some rejuvenate, and some moisturize – but all of them make you feel like a queen. They’re so easy to use, too – unfold, smooth over your skin, take a few selfies, and watch an episode of the Bachelorette. Rinse, and just try to stop touching your rose-petal-smooth skin!

Soft, straight eyebrows

The popular Korean eyebrow is very different from the arched, sharp ‘Instagram’ brow that was brought into the spotlight by celebrities like Kim Kardashian. Instead, Korean makeup gurus prefer a very soft, straight, and full eyebrow. These brows are created with a pencil, and often are ashier in color. It’s important to use small strokes and build slowly – the goal is to keep your brows looking as natural as possible.

Double cleansing

This is another one of important Korean beauty secrets. Korean ladies take the care of their skin very seriously, and part of that skincare involves very regimented but gentle cleansing methods. Double cleansing is exactly what it sounds like – cleansing twice. Korean cleansers are often oil-based, and the first cleanse is meant to remove makeup and dirt, while the second is to gently exfoliate. Because of the oil, double cleansing won’t strip skin of its natural moisture barrier, and will leave it feeling supple and smooth. Always follow up with a good moisturizer!

Lip stains

Lip stains are certainly nothing new to us – ancient Romans were applying ‘stains’ made of berries as lipstick and rouge for centuries! However, the Korean method is very unique – it involves creating a gradient. This trend is called ‘bitten’ lips, and requires concealer around the edges of the lips with a soft lip stain at the center, blended outwards. It creates a very natural-looking finish, and won’t get all over your wine glass!

Sponge blush and foundation

Another one of Korean beauty secrets is sponge blush and foundation trend. We’re obsessed! Here’s the concept: instead of your blush or foundation being packaged as a liquid, powder, or mousse, it arrives (always with the cutest packaging) as a cushion – just like stamp ink cushions! Pressing the cushion releases the product, and you can use any tool you like to apply on your face. The best thing about this packaging method is the buildable product, and ‘less is more’ mentality surrounding it. Your skin will have the most refreshing dewy glow (glowing skin is a keystone of Korean beauty), and you’ll never look cakey again.

BB cream

BB cream, aka Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm infiltrated the North American and European beauty markets a few years ago – and no one has looked back since. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, BB cream is a magical blend of lightweight moisturizer and foundation. And sunscreen, and toner, and primer, and serum. Yeah, it basically does everything. When applied, it creates a light, even coverage on your skin without making it look less like…well, skin. Your entire natural glow still shines through – which is the best part about it, in our humble opinion.

CC Cream

This is like BB cream, but more intense. CC cream has moisturizer, and heavier tinted coverage, but it also is chock-full of exfoliants and skin-saving vitamins. The most important distinction, though, is that CC often stands for Color Corrector – CC creams often have a color correcting elements to battle redness from blemishes, or under eye circles. Both BB cream and CC cream vary from brand to brand, so it’s important to test out a few, grab some samples, and find your favorite.

Essence

Next one of Korean beauty secrets is essence. Korean skincare is so futuristic; it has products you’ve (probably) never even heard of! Don’t worry, essences are simple and totally useful. Basically, an essence product is meant to encourage cell regeneration and exfoliate very gently. It’s meant to be used after cleansing, and it hydrates, exfoliates, brightens, and firms. Sort of like a toner, but way better!

Sunscreen!

Korean beauty centers around taking incredibly good care of your skin – and that includes keeping it protected from UV rays. Brands like Shiseido and Biore have incredible lightweight sunscreens (with both a high UV index and PA) that are non-comedogenic and sit beautifully under makeup. Often, many BB and CC creams come with sunscreen already included, but it never hurts to add a little more! We think any shade of skin is beautiful, and every shade needs to be protected from the sun on a daily basis – even when it’s overcast.

Puppy-dog eyeliner

And finally, one of popular Korean beauty secrets is puppy-dog eyeliner. This cute and quirky eyeliner style mirrors the winged cat-eye liner that is all the rage right now in other parts of the world. It follows a very similar premise – thin, crisp eyeliner on the top lid that wings outwards. However, while a cat-eye wings upwards, the puppy-dog eyeliner wings slightly down! It’s a cool way to create a different expression and look, and is a very nice subtle way to wear eyeliner.