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Woman washing face

2 for 2: Wash & Exfoliate

If you have a chronically oily T-zone while other areas of your skin are dry, you probably have combination skin. Caring for combination skin requires a delicate balance between products that are strong enough to stop and control oil, while still being gentle enough to not cause irritation and further dryness to other areas of your face. Two of the most important steps in any skin care routine, but especially combination skin, are washing and exfoliating. Keep reading to learn what types of products you should be using and how to use these products on your combination skin.

Wash
Every good skin care routine begins with washing your face. When you have combination skin, it is important to use the correct cleansers to avoid aggravating dry spots or not properly removing oil. The key to washing combination skin is to use a gentle cleanser that removes dirt, oil and makeup in a mild way. Believe it or not, there is no single cleanser that works perfectly for each and every person that has combination skin, you will have to experiment a bit to find a formulation that works for your skin. If you have combination skin that leans towards the oilier side, check out gel-based or very mild foaming cleansers and if you have combination skin that is a bit drier, look for cleansing lotion.

Using the proper cleansing technique is also important in caring for combination skin. You want to begin with warm, not hot, water. Hot water will aggravate any dry areas of your skin because it strips moisture from your skin. Apply your chosen cleanser to your fingertips and wash your face using light pressure and circular motions. Aim to wash for about 30 seconds to one minute to allow the ingredients in your cleanser to fully penetrate your skin. Rinse your face completely using warm water, then pat dry with a clean washcloth. Although using a clean washcloth each and every time you wash your face can seem excessive, it keeps your washcloth from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

Exfoliate
Exfoliation is critical for healthy skin because it removes dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface of your skin. Your skin is constantly undergoing a process known as desquamation, or cell turnover, and the final stage results in dead skin cells on your skin. In order to reveal the healthier and more radiant skin cells, you need to remove the dead skin cells. There are two types of exfoliation – chemical and physical – and for combination skin, you definitely want to use a chemical exfoliator.

Alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic and lactic acids, gently break up and dissolve the bonds that hold your dead skin cells together. When the acids break these bonds, the dead skin cells are sloughed away to reveal the newer and healthier skin cells your epidermis has been producing.

Caring for combination skin doesn’t have to be confusing and complicated. The main objective with combination skin is to keep it balanced. Consistent washing with a gentle cleanser and frequent exfoliation with mild exfoliants help keep your combination skin in balance and under control.

Woman exfoliating her skin

Why Exfoliation is Important for Good Skin Care

Simply put, exfoliation is the removal of dry, dead skin cells that rest on the surface of your skin. There are two ways to exfoliate your skin:

  • Physical Exfoliation – Uses washcloths, facial brushes, dry brushes or scrubs that use exfoliating ingredients like sugar or salt.
  • Chemical Exfoliation – Works by dissolving the “glue” that binds skin cells and sloughing them from the skin. The most commonly used chemical exfoliants are alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, though retinol is also used in many anti-aging products because it stimulates cell turnover.

Why is Exfoliation Important for Healthy Skin?
Your cells naturally regenerate, but the process slows down considerably as you age. As these skin cells pile up on your face, you may notice that your face looks dull, feels rough and appears dry. Additionally, allowing these dead skin cells to accumulate can result in clogged pores which cause blemishes and acne.

Cleansing treatment

Without proper exfoliation, the ingredients in your skin care products are not able to penetrate the skin and be fully absorbed. Bottom line, your face products are less effective if you aren’t exfoliating and if you have dead skin cells accumulating on the surface of your face, you are inviting more skin care problems. Here are some of the greatest benefits to regularly exfoliating your skin:

  • Clear Breakouts and Acne – Skin that is acne-prone sheds more skin cells than any other type of skin, but these skin cells don’t fall away from the face. These skin cells stick to the surface of your skin and clog your pores and follicles which causes your skin to produce more oil that causes blackheads and other blemishes. Exfoliating your skin regularly reduces skin buildup and decreases the likelihood of blemishes forming.
  • Improves Skin Texture – When you exfoliate dead skin cells away, your skin’s natural renewal process is sped up which allows younger, healthier skin to take the place of the dry, dead cells. This will even out complexion taking it from dull to bright and rough to smooth.
  • Minimize the Appearance of Pores – Dead skin cells on the surface of your skin clogs your pores and can trap other dirt and debris in your pores which make your pores appear larger. Exfoliating your skin essentially decongests them and diminishes the appearance of your pores.
  • Reduce Visible Signs of Aging – Your skin becomes drier and less elastic during the aging process which results in visible signs of aging. As previously mentioned, regular exfoliation changes the rough texture of aging skin to a smooth texture. Exfoliating also reveals more luminous skin and can help to combat other signs of aging like discoloration from both age and sunspots.

Exfoliation is critical for healthy, youthful looking skin and it makes your skin care products more effective. You can exfoliate your entire body to see smoother, more even skin, but be careful that you don’t overdo it. Using harsh scrubs can cause damage, so it’s best to stick with gentle exfoliators. As a general rule, exfoliating two to three times each week is plenty to keep your skin free from dead skin cell debris, but some people that use very low concentrations of alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids may exfoliate every night. Start exfoliating today to reveal younger and healthier skin.

Woman looking in the mirror

How to Cultivate Your Personal Style

Think you were born without the fashion gene? Think again. You’ve already got a personal sense of style, you just may not know what it is yet. The following five tips will help you narrow down what really makes you feel like your best self and how to build a wardrobe around these elements.

Start an Inspiration Board
Looking to celebrities and fashion icons can be a helpful tool when it comes to trying to determine just what your personal style really is, but the chances of having just one person represent everything you love about fashion is pretty slim. Head to Pinterest and start a board that contains celebrities, fashion icons or just general outfit ideas that you really love and are attracted to. After a while, you will begin to see trends across your board which can help you determine who to look to for inspiration and what the basic elements of your wardrobe should be.

Clean Out Your Closet
Once you have some ideas about the fundamental pieces that your ideal closet should have, go through your current closet and see what items you already have and what items don’t fit with the look you want to achieve. Plan to donate or sell any items that no longer fit or that you haven’t worn in the last six months or so. The more you refine your closet, the easier it is to build a wardrobe that contains only those pieces that really inspire and excite you and that reflect your personal sense of style.

Shop Smart
When you’ve thoroughly gone through your closet and cleaned out items that no longer fit, that don’t mesh with your personal style or that haven’t been worn in six months, you can start introducing pieces that do fit your style into your wardrobe. When it comes to buying clothes a good rule to follow is quality, not quantity. Invest in classic pieces like a great pair of leather boots or the perfect little black dress because these items will last and are great essentials. Shop at stores like T.J. Maxx or Forever 21 when you want to experiment with trendy pieces. This allows you to still play with the most recent trend without dropping a lot of money on items that may not really reflect your personal style.

Woman taking a selfie.

Snap a Selfie
As you begin to build your closet with pieces that you really love, it’s easier to get a bit more creative about how to wear these items. Some days, you walk out your door just oozing confidence and feeling like a million buck and when this happens, take a picture of your outfit, accessories, hair and makeup. These pictures are the epitome of your personal style and can serve as inspiration for more spin-off outfits or they can help you put together an outfit when you’re feeling less than inspired.

Consider the Whole Package
Your clothes are only one element of your personal style; you still have hair, makeup and accessories to play with. Add a signature piece to your closet. Audrey Hepburn had cropped pants, Jackie O. had her amazing sunglasses and Taylor Swift has her red lip. Look at the clothes you own and consider what element will work with your wardrobe in its entirety then try it out.

It can be difficult to part with clothes in your closet, but you will feel so much better once your closet contains only those items that really make you feel like you. Have fun experimenting with different pairings and use accessories to help each individual outfit stand out. Cultivating your personal style is all about making you feel like the most gorgeous and confident version of yourself possible and the five tips we mentioned will help you to find your own sense of style.

Woman cleansing skin.

Seasonal Skincare

To get the healthiest, most radiant skin, you’ll have to do some year-round maintenance work. One thing that remains constant during every season of the year is that you want to be sure you are protecting your skin against damaging UV rays. However, some other areas of your skincare routine may require tweaks here and there as the seasons, and your skincare needs, change. Discover what the main seasonal concerns are and how you can best address these to keep your skin healthy and happy.

Woman applying a facial mask

Winter
Dry, flaky, irritated and itchy skin are all common complaints during the winter months. In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, you also need to protect your skin from other environmental elements. Harsh winds, freezing temperatures and incredibly dry air can all wreak havoc on your skin in winter and one way to fight back is to keep your skin covered when possible. Items like gloves and scarves can help to easily protect your skin.

You may need to switch out some of your fall products for more heavy duty formulations in the winter. Consider the following ideas when remedying winter skin:

  • Switch from a gel cleanser to a creamy or oil-based cleanser
  • Swap your toner for a more moisturizing one to soothe dry skin after cleansing
  • Look for moisturizers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides for maximum hydration
  • Use gentle exfoliants on your face and lips to keep dry, flaky skin at bay

Woman touching her skin

Spring
Say goodbye to the dry, flaky skin of winter by starting spring with some much-needed exfoliation. Using chemical exfoliants such as alpha and beta-hydroxy acids is a great way to gently remove dead skin cells and other debris. A homemade scrub of olive oil and sugar is perfect to get your arms and legs glowing again and to keep them looking great, consider investing in a dry brush. You may also want to:

  • Change from heavy moisturizer to a lighter, oil-free moisturizer
  • Keep lips well protected with balms and treatments that contain SPF
  • Store your moisturizing toner for a lightweight toner or essence to treat skin and combat oil
  • Remember that you still need to be protecting your skin with an SPF every day during spring.

Woman in a beach

Summer
Perhaps the biggest complaint regarding summer skincare is the presence of excessive oil. Part of why this happens is that the warm temperature can liquefy the sebum (oil) in your pores, which causes the oil to leak out onto the surface of your skin resulting in unwanted shine. When you mix sweat with the oil, your skin looks not only greasy, but it feels uncomfortable as well. Combat excess oil in the summer by:

  • Use a gel or foaming cleanser to thoroughly remove dirt, oil and sweat from your face
  • Decrease the intensity of your moisturizer to a lightweight lotion or a serum
  • Use beta-hydroxy acid to deep clean pores and help stop excess oil
  • Look for a sunscreen that contains mattifying properties

Summer fashion exposes far more skin, so be sure that you are applying sunscreen to any area of your body that is exposed. A general guideline is to use the equivalent of a shot glass (1 oz) to cover your entire body. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, apply 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure so your skin has a chance to fully absorb the product. Mineral sunscreens can be applied immediately before stepping into the sun. One application of sunscreen a day isn’t enough if you’re going to be outdoors; reapply sunscreen every two hours or after every time you immerse yourself in water. Protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses are also a good idea to protect yourself.

Woman dressed for fall

Fall
Drier skin isn’t the only fall skin concern that you need to be worried about. Your skin may go into a bit of shock after summer and this manifests as visible sunspots and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. With all of the excess oil that your glands produced during summer, you may have enlarged pores heading into the fall. To keep your skin looking healthy in the fall you should:

  • Store your lightweight moisturizers and serums and begin to use a more heavy duty product
  • Use a gentle cleanser, toner and exfoliant because skin is sensitive from UV damage
  • Begin using retinol to erase signs of sun damage from the summer
  • It should go without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that you need to continue using an SPF daily to protect from further sun damage.

If you are using quality skin care products with great ingredients and formulations, there is a good chance that you won’t need to change your entire collection of products with each season. A few key items here and there can help you keep your skin healthy during every season of the year. Sunscreen is always in season, so don’t forget to stock up on it when you create your seasonal skincare routine.

Woman getting a facial massage.

Anti-Aging Facial Treatments

The desire to look younger is nothing new, ancient cultures had many potions or elixirs designed to keep a youthful appearance. Breakthroughs in science have provided some incredible anti-aging skincare ingredients, but there is no magic product that will erase years from your face as soon as you apply it. A great skincare routine is a huge part of maintaining a young visage, but when you need a little extra help, there are anti-aging facial treatments available. Below, find out about three of the least invasive, yet effective, anti-aging facial treatments.

Facial Massage
You know if you want to keep your arms and legs looking long and lean you need to work the muscles and keep them toned, but you probably don’t think about your face that way. Ymedisour facial muscles require attention as well to maintain a younger looking face particularly because when your facial muscles are tense, they encourage wrinkles. Julia Baba, an esthetician at The Spa in Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel, advocates for facial massages saying they are an amazing anti-aging treatment that you can do daily at home and just one to two minutes per day can provide anti-aging results. The main rule when giving yourself a facial massage is to avoid pulling or tugging at your skin. Use different motions like tapping or softly pinching near your eyebrow area and always massage in an upward circular motion because as Baba says, “you want to work against gravity so that everything goes up.”

Woman getting laser treatment.

Energy Facial Treatments
Lasers are a popular and effective method of addressing signs of aging on your face, but they are also a significant investment and may require multiple treatments. Energy facial treatments are growing in popularity as are the number of medispas or cosmeceutical treatments. The energy facial you receive will be based upon the doctor or medispa you visit, but these treatments have one major thing in common: heat. Many treatments use ultrasound, radio-frequency rays or micro-currents to firm your skin. The idea behind energy facial treatments, which you could do on your lunch hour and return immediately to work, is that the heat used “tricks” your skin into believing it has been damaged so that your skin will remedy the problem with an increase in collagen production. Energy facial treatments are non-invasive and provide immediate results, though the results are temporary.

spa you visit, but these treatments have one major thing in common: heat. Many treatments use ultrasound, radio-frequency rays or micro-currents to firm your skin. The idea behind energy facial treatments, which you could do on your lunch hour and return immediately to work, is that the heat used “tricks” your skin into believing it has been damaged so that your skin will remedy the problem with an increase in collagen production. Energy facial treatments are non-invasive and provide immediate results, though the results are temporary.

Facial Fillers
Botox has been around for ages and it continues to be used frequently as a way to treat sagging skin and wrinkles. While women today want to eradicate wrinkles and look younger, many women are concerned that traditional plastic surgery or Botox will look “fake” and “plastic,” and they desire a treatment that reduces wrinkles and leaves them looking younger, but still natural. When done by a skilled cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon, fillers can have a dramatic effect while remaining more natural looking. Hyaluronic acid as a filler is gaining popularity not only because it fills in lines and wrinkles, but it can actually lift problem areas as well. Frederic Brandt, a dermatologist in Miami and New York, says that when done properly, one can expect a replenishment of youthful contours such as chins, jawlines, cheekbones and temples and lifting of the face. On certain areas, you can place the filler under the muscle, which will add volume but also give a more contoured and structural effect.” According to Brandt, these facial fillers can last up to two years, but proceed with caution when selecting a doctor. “The filler is only part of the equation. The technique in which it’s used is an equally or more important part of the treatment,” notes Brandt.

Prevention is key in the fight against aging, so protecting your skin as best as you can early on will result in less work as you age. Always wear an SPF not only on your face, but down your neck and chest too because these areas show signs of aging as much, if not more, than your face. Be consistent with proper skincare and add a facial massage to your nightly routine and when you need more serious help, look for anti-aging facial treatments like the above to give you a younger, yet natural looking face.

Laser treatment

All About Laser Treatments

If you’ve ever considered laser treatments for your skin concerns but have been worried about looking like a lobster for several months, we’ve got some good news. Laser treatments have advanced significantly since their inception and while there are treatments that will leave you looking like you just got a sunburn, there are also procedures and treatments that provide great results with minimal side effects.

What is a Laser and How Does it Work?
The word laser is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. What this boils down to is that lasers work by generating a concentrated stream of pulsed bright light that can be strategically controlled and directed over the surface of the skin. Unlike a regular white light bulb that contains a spectrum of colors, lasers only contain one specific color. These intense rays of light are used to destroy unwanted pigments, hair or other skin concerns. Lasers are classified as either ablative or non-ablative.

Ablative Lasers – Ablative lasers work by targeting the surface of your skin (epidermis) as well as the lower, deeper (dermis) layers of skin. In order to penetrate to these lower layers of skin, ablative lasers injure or ablate the surface of your skin. Ablative lasers can be used to:

  • Fade skin discolorations
  • Remove sun damage
  • Reveal healthier skin
  • Improve appearance of deep lines and wrinkles

Non-ablative Lasers – Non-ablative treatments target the lower layers of your skin, but they leave the surface of your skin undamaged and intact. Non-ablative lasers are used to:

  • Improve or eliminate redness from broken capillaries or rosacea
  • Remove superficial spots
  • Improve appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Stimulate collagen production

Types of Lasers
Laser technology has advanced significantly since the treatments were first offered. Today’s lasers are able to provide more precise results with less damage and side effects. Some of the most common types of lasers used for laser therapy include:

  • CO2 Pulse Laser – This ablative laser is one of the oldest lasers in use. It provides significant results following therapy, but the side effects are intense with the potential for skin to remain red for up to two months following treatment.
  • Erbium YAG Laser – Another ablative laser, this machine is less invasive than the CO2 Pulse Lasers, but it also does not treat wrinkles as deeply as those machines. There is also the Variable YAG Pulse Laser, which is a popular option for its ability to work almost as effectively as the CO2 Pulse, but without as much damage.
  • Fraxels – These non-ablative lasers are some of the most frequently used because they deliver impressive results with minimal side effects and risks. The name is derived from the word fractional, which is how fraxels work. Instead of one, steady stream of light, fraxels pinpoint target the skin with a polka-dot type pattern of light that causes less tissue damage. Fraxels are used for a large range of skin concerns from wrinkles and stretch marks to hyperpigmentation.
  • Long-Pulsed YAG Laser – This laser is also non-ablative and is used mainly for wrinkles and reducing the appearance of acne scars. These lasers, while less invasive than others, provide more subtle results than others.

What to Know Before Laser Therapy
That’s definitely a question for your doctor to decide. If you are considering laser therapy, it is a great idea to do some research, but remember that your doctor is the expert. Look for offices that feature multiple types of lasers, because an office that only has one may use it on your skin to keep your business, but it may not be the most effective or safe treatment for you. Laser therapy costs range widely depending on the type of laser, the number of treatments, your location and what type of laser therapy you are having done. Laser therapies come with varying amounts of pain. The majority of laser treatments do not require numbing before the treatment, but if you are having deeper resurfacing done, your doctor may use “…a topical anesthetic or a combination of a topical and pain injections plus anxiety drugs such as Ativan or Valium,” says Brian Biesman, clinical assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Laser treatments are an effective way to treat a large number of skin concerns from resurfacing to deep-set wrinkles. Prior to undergoing any type of laser therapy, we recommend doing some research to find a doctor that you trust and the laser treatment that is right for you.

Portrait of smiling mature woman with white hair

Makeup Tips for Mature Skin

It is so easy to fall into a beauty rut, using the same cosmetic products decade after decade. However, your skin, as well as your features, change as you age, meaning that your makeup products and application techniques need to evolve too.

From foundation to lipstick, here are some guidelines when it comes to makeup for mature skin.

Start With Your Skin

The best-looking makeup begins with good skin, which is why this should always be your initial focus when evaluating cosmetics.

Before applying any makeup to your face, you need to ensure that your skin has been thoroughly cleansed. Exfoliating it will be a bonus, as this will clear away any dead skin cells and rough patches from the surface of your skin, giving you a blank canvas to work with when it comes to your makeup.

Immediately after exfoliating, you need to moisturize your skin.

This is even more important for mature skin…

Why?

Because one of the main skin issues that mature skin faces is a lack of moisture, as skin loses its ability to retain moisture as it ages. This can result in a rough and dry complexion, which will only end up being accentuated, rather than hidden, by your makeup.

A thick and rich moisturizer is best, and it should also contain plenty of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and resveratrol

Another bonus to moisturizing before applying any makeup?

It will give your face a smooth and dewy finish, meaning that your makeup will just glide effortlessly on afterwards.

woman applying primer or moisturizer

Primer

Primers are not strictly essential, but do have quite a few benefits, especially when it comes to mature skin.

Here are a few of the reasons as to why you should be using a primer:

  • Hides visible pores
  • Smooths and softens the skin
  • Gives makeup a base to grip on to, meaning it lasts for longer 
  • Prevents foundation from oxidizing and changing color

When choosing a primer for mature skin, you want the formula to be a lightweight and moisturizing one, without containing any shimmer. As with any product you use, try to pick one that contains added antioxidants. If your skin is sensitive, look for a primer that contains soothing ingredients, such as niacinimide or green tea. 

Foundation

When it comes to choosing a foundation for mature skin, thick formulas, or loose powders, are a big no.

woman applying powder foundation

Why?

These products will only end up settling into any creases in your face as your skin moves, making any fine lines or wrinkles so much more visible.

Instead, go for a light liquid foundation, or a cream foundation.

Wondering what the main differences between the two are?

Well, a cream foundation is more opaque, meaning that it provides better coverage if you have age spots or broken capillaries. Using a cream foundation means that you will likely need to use less concealer on any of these blemishes.

Another bonus to using a cream foundation formula is that these will usually be more moisturizing, making them great for drier skin types.

On the other hand, a liquid foundation will tend to have a lighter texture, and, if you only have a few minor imperfections, a liquid foundation will likely do the job.

When it comes to actually applying your foundation…

Begin at the center of your face, and use a foundation brush to blend this outwards.

Wondering how to stop your foundation from settling into any lines or wrinkles?

This is often inevitable, no matter which foundation you choose. When this happens, all you need to do is blot the area with a Q-tip, before fixing it up with some powder.

Alternatively, if you are dealing with fine lines rather than deeper wrinkles, try pressing a finger gently against your skin, rocking it back and forth in a slight rolling motion. This will help to disperse the foundation that has settled into your lines.

Don’t like using foundation but still want a bit of coverage?

Try a CC cream instead. These are actually perfect for mature skin, because not only will they disguise any redness or imperfections, but they will also refine your skin’s texture.

Concealer

While some may strongly believe that a concealer should be applied before a foundation, it should really be the other way round.

Why?

Because your foundation will already cover up quite a few imperfections, so you will only need to use the concealer on areas that actually need the extra coverage

Want to know the best way to use a concealer to hide blemishes?

Simply dab a small amount onto your blemish, and then use the tip of a brush to blend this into your foundation, until you cannot see it any more.

In addition to using your concealer to cover up any blemishes, you can also apply it in a way that will help to give your face more of a lifted appearance.

How?

Use your concealer to draw a triangle on your cheek, with the base of the triangle underneath your eye, and the other two sides pointing down towards your cheek. Then, blend it in.

woman using concealer under her eyes

So, how do you actually go about choosing a concealer for mature skin?

Well, just like with your foundation, liquid or cream formulas are best. Liquid is usually preferred by those with mature skin, as its lightweight texture means that it is less likely to gather in wrinkles and creases during the day. If you opt for a cream, you may need to set it with a powder afterwards to ensure that it does not crease.

You will also likely need two different shades, one for underneath your eyes and one for your face.

Here are some tips on choosing the two shades:

  • For underneath the eyes, choose a concealer that is one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. However, do not go any lighter than this, otherwise you may end up with an obvious light circle around your eyes
  • For the face, your concealer needs to perfectly match the shade of your foundation

Blush

While a cream blush looks great on bare skin, a powder blush tends to be the better option if you are also wearing foundation. However, in order not to dry your skin out, you need to make sure that you opt for a powder that has a fine and light texture.

When it comes to color, do not be tempted by strong and harsh shades. As the face ages, it becomes more angular, and stronger shades of blush will only make this seem hollow.

Instead, go for a softer shade, such as apricot or rose, making sure that it complements your skin tone.

Woman applying makeup

When it comes to actually applying your blush…

Many tend to apply this on the apples of their cheeks, but this often only ends up drawing attention to sagging skin.

What should you do instead?

Apply your blush to the highest point of your cheekbones, using a large brush to lift this upwards, making sure that you do not apply any color too close to your nose.

Eyes

Did you know that your eyes change shape as you age?

Your eyelids become more hooded, while wrinkles around the eyes can also affect their shape.

So, what is the best way to deal with this when it comes to eye makeup?

A subtle wash of a light colored shadow is really all you need, with satin finishes in particular helping to brighten up the eyes. Matte and sparkly shadows do not work too well on mature eyes, as these tend to settle into the fine lines on eyelids, making them looked creased.

If you do decide to go for a shadow with some sparkle or shimmer for a special occasion, keep this away from the outer corners of your eyes, as it will only emphasize fine lines. Instead, keep the sparkle for your inner corners, the center of your eyelids, and your brow bones.

What about eye liner?

This is great to make your eyes really pop, but a liquid or gel formula can sometimes be too harsh on mature eyes, making an eye liner pencil your best option.

Do you find an eye liner pencil difficult to apply?

This is a common issue, but an easy solution is to just make sure that your eye liner pencil is soft, so that the color comes out smoothly and easily.

When applying your eye liner…

Make sure that you apply more to your top lash line than your bottom.

Why?

Because this helps to prevent your eye liner from dragging your eyes down. Eyeliner on your lower lash line will also make your eyes look much smaller, and will draw attention to any dark circles. Try to also ensure that the line you draw becomes thicker towards the outer edge, because this will give you a lift in an area where mature eyes tend to droop.

Do not forget about your eyebrows either…

Eyebrows naturally thin with age, and filling these in can really subtract decades from your appearance. Use either a light colored brow pencil or a shadow, as you want the color to look subtle and natural. Make sure that you blend this in well, following your eyebrow’s natural shape and ensuring that they do not look as though they have been drawn on. 

Just like with your eyebrows, your eyelashes will also naturally thin with age…

Mascara is great for this, but do not be afraid to experiment with individual false eyelashes, as these are perfect for filling in any gaps.

Giving your eyelashes a curl before applying your mascara can also make a huge difference, as this will instantly open up your eyes, making them appear bigger and brighter.

When applying mascara to mature eyes, you would be best off staying away from your lower lashes, and only applying it to your top lashes.

Why?

Because mascara on your lower lashes will only emphasize any dark circles or crow’s feet, whereas a deep, black mascara on your top lashes only will make your eyes look brighter and whiter.

Lips

Your lips will change quite a bit as you age, becoming much thinner, with wrinkles appearing around them. 

This means that you will want to use makeup in a way that plumps your lips out, so that they appear fuller and smoother.

How can you do this?

With a sheer, moisturizing lipstick. Neutral shades are usually best, as you want to enhance the shape and color of your lips without drawing too much attention to them. The most flattering shades for mature lips tend to be a color that is only slightly darker than your natural lip color.

senior woman applying lipstick

Try to avoid dark or bright lipsticks, as well as those with a satin finish.

Why?

Because these often only end up drawing attention to thinner lips, as well as to fine lines.

Don’t forget about lip liner either…

This can be used to give your lips a slight boost in volume, while also preventing your lipstick from bleeding into any wrinkles or lines. All you need to do is trace the lip liner around the outside of your lips, so that you have slightly over-lined them. However, make sure that the shade of lip liner you choose matches the shade of lipstick that you are going to be wearing with it, and try not to be too heavy-handed when applying the lip liner

Wondering whether or not you should be wearing lip gloss?

The answer is no. While there is no denying that lip gloss can really help to plump up your lips, it will also highlight every single fine line that is on your lips, so is best avoided.

In order to really look your best as you age, your makeup needs to evolve in the same way that your face and features do. From your eyes to your lips, make sure that you are constantly assessing each individual feature, so that you can determine exactly what they need in order to really shine.

Woman applying lipstick.

Anti-aging Makeup: How Resveratrol is Making its Way Into Cosmetics

We love resveratrol, and we have been big fans of this potent antioxidant for some time. The benefits that resveratrol provides are so incredible and so varied. From anti-aging to fighting cancer, resveratrol truly is a superior antioxidant. Quality skin care lines have been incorporating resveratrol into their products for some time, and now it seems that the entire beauty industry is taking note.

Resveratrol and Aging
Resveratrol is a chemical produced by various plants in order to fight off attackers or to withstand a lack of water or essential nutrients. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells against free radical damage. Free radicals are created by exposure to oxygen and sunlight, and they damage collagen and other active enzymes necessary for healthy, youthful looking skin. The subject of much scientific study, how resveratrol works is just now being understood. It is thought that resveratrol works not only by eradicating existing free radicals, but also prevents new free radicals from forming. Applied topically, resveratrol has also been shown to inhibit UVB oxidative stress and to prevent UVA damage.

Resveratrol Beauty Products
While skin care is currently the biggest source of resveratrol products in the industry, makeup companies are beginning to follow suit. BITE beauty, founded in 2011 is one brand that has started incorporating the power of resveratrol into their cosmetics. BITE was conceived when founder Susanne Langmuir developed sensitivities to non-natural beauty ingredients and fragrance chemicals. The idea behind the BITE brand was, “you eat what you put on your lips, so your lipstick should be good for you.” The result was a collection of moisture-rich and creamy lip products that were made using antioxidant ingredients which are actually good enough to eat.

The BITE Luminous Creme Lipstick, is a long-lasting, moisturizing lipstick made from 95% natural contents. One of these natural antioxidant ingredients is resveratrol. The concentration of resveratrol in each lipstick is equal to anywhere from five to 10 glasses of wine. BITE Luminous Creme is available in 24 shades, so you’ll certainly be able to find one that suits you and that protects your lips against early aging.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of skincare and makeup products that contain resveratrol is the level of resveratrol you receive. As we noted, one BITE Luminous Creme Lipstick contains concentrations equal to five to 10 glasses of red wine. While you can certainly receive the benefits of red wine by ingesting it, the concentration of resveratrol is significantly higher in products designed for topical use as opposed to drinking wine. Consuming resveratrol does not provide as much of the antioxidant than topical skincare and cosmetic items containing this skin-saving ingredient. A great beauty routine starts with excellent skincare, but using makeup that contains resveratrol is a great way to increase your defenses against aging and environmental damage.

Woman applying sunscreen

Protect Your Skin from UV Rays and Chemicals with Safer Sunscreen

Wearing sun protection everyday is crucial if you want to age gracefully and keep your skin healthy. However, you might be leery of using a sunblock every single day due to the potential damage they may cause. There are those who believe that sunscreen does more harm than good due to the chemicals it contains being absorbed into the skin. But, you may not have to choose between no sun protection and sunscreens that penetrate the skin. Researchers at Yale University have developed a sunscreen that remains on the surface of the skin, making sun protection safe and simple.

What are Sunscreens and How do They Work?
Sunscreens are products that combine various ingredients for the purpose of preventing UV rays from reaching your skin. There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. UVB rays are primarily responsible for causing visible burns, while UVA rays cause deeper skin damage, leading to signs of premature aging such as wrinkly or saggy skin.

Sunscreens use SPF (sun protection factor) to indicate how well a sunscreen protects your skin against damage from UVB rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF serves as a guide for how long you can safely expose yourself to the sun after applying sunscreen. “Here’s how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer – about five hours.”

Woman holding sunscreen bottle

What is “Safer” Sunscreen?
There is some general concern that sunscreens may actually do more harm than good. Some claim that the use of sunscreen creates a vitamin D deficiency, though many dermatologists do not believe this to be true. The other concern regarding sunscreen is that the chemicals within the sunscreen are absorbed into the skin thus entering the bloodstream and having deleterious effects. Nano particles that are designed to reflect or absorb cancer-causing UV rays may cause hormonal problems if they enter into the bloodstream, and some believe that this actually increases the risk of skin cancer. The dilemma becomes determining whether sunscreen protects against or encourages skin cancer.

Researchers at Yale University set out to address the problem chemical absorption and have created a sunblock that uses nano particles that are bio-adhesive. This means that rather than sink into your skin, sunblock remains on the surface of your skin. To make this possible, researchers at Yale developed nano particles with a surface that is rich in aldehyde groups. Aldehyde groups are what allow these nano particles to stick to the skin, not penetrate beneath it. Michael Girardi, co-author of this study, explained the motive for the research and the results stating, “commercial chemical sunblock is protective against the direct hazards of ultraviolet damage of DNA, but might not be against the indirect ones. In fact, the indirect damage was worse when we used the commercial sunblock.”

What are the Benefits of “Safer” Sunscreen?
If larger particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are used in sunblock, they do prevent the product from sinking into the skin. However, many people won’t use these sunblocks because they are a very opaque white color. With the new Yale sunblock, there are nano particles (which makes the sunscreen transparent) that merely stick to the skin’s surface as opposed to going deeper. Major benefits of this new sunblock are:

  1. Does not penetrate into the skin or enter the bloodstream
  2. Is waterproof
  3. Is transparent.

When you protect yourself from ultraviolet light, you maintain healthy, youthful skin. With this promising development from Yale University, you can wear your sunblock each day without worrying about any damage that the chemicals may do to your body. Add sunscreen to your daily routine and apply about 20 minutes before heading out the door. Use about one ounce (the size of a standard shot glass) of the product and if you are going to be in the sun constantly, reapply every two hours or after immersing yourself in water.

Skin care terms

Skin Care Terms Defined

With the number of skin care and beauty products available, it is super easy to get confused and bewildered by wording on the labels. Cosmetic products make claims that are nothing short of miraculous, and if you aren’t sure what the skin care terms mean, buying these products can lead to wasted money and headaches. Here, we’ve rounded up 15 of the most common skin care terms and defined them so you won’t feel lost or frustrated the next time you need skin care products.

Acne
Acne is the term used to describe a blemish or pimple on the skin. Acne can occur at any age and is most commonly found in people with oily skin types. Severe acne may cause cysts or abscesses.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Naturally occurring acids found primarily in cane sugar and citrus fruits. Types of AHAs include citric acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid and pyruvic acid. Often used as exfoliating agents due to their ability to loosen skin cells on the surface of the skin. AHAs also help to retain moisture in the skin.

Antioxidant
Substances that fight free-radicals. Antioxidants counteract free-radicals by bonding to the damaging compounds into non-damaging compounds. They also may turn damaging compounds into cell-repairing compounds. Antioxidants are also an important factor in new collagen growth.

Barrier/Barrier Function
A paper-thin layer at the top of the skin that is responsible for protective functions. Barrier function refers to the skin’s ability to prevent penetration by microorganisms and chemicals that may cause damage or circulate into the bloodstream. This skin also reduces the amount of water lost.

Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
More commonly referred to as salicylic acid, beta-hydroxy acids are used primarily to treat acne. BHAs have antimicrobial features and can penetrate into pores. Because BHAs can penetrate pores, it exfoliates both surface skin and the inside of pores.

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen/Sun Protection
A sunscreen or sun protection product labeled as broad spectrum means that it contains active ingredients that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrated into deeper layers of the skin than UVB rays, making them more likely to cause premature aging. UVB rays are responsible for visible burns.

Comedogenic
A skin care product that includes one or more ingredients known to increase the accumulation of dead skin cells within follicles. This leads to the formation of blackheads and general acne flare-ups.

Dermatologically Tested
Products that have undergone clinical laboratory tests conducted of an independent or third-party dermatologist.

Exfoliants
Skin care products designed to break down the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.

Free Radicals
Created when oxygen produces by-products during normal cellular metabolism. The reactive oxygen “steals” electrons from proteins, DNA and the membranes of cells resulting in damaged tissue.

Hypoallergenic
Describes products that were tested by third-party clinical laboratories and were shown to not create new allergic reactions.

Non-Acnegenic
Products that do not cause acne. Non-comedogenic refers to products that do not cause the pores to become clogged.

Sebum
Oil that is produced by glands in the middle layer of skin.

Sun Protection Factor
Numbers that refer to the effectiveness of a sunscreen to protect against UVB rays. To determine what SPF if appropriate, take the number of minutes it takes to burn without sunscreen and multiply it by the SPF factor. The result indicates the maximum amount of time for sun exposure before it must be reapplied.

Toxins
Substances that are irritating or poisonous and that lead to breakouts.

With these terms defined, your next trip to the beauty counter won’t be confusing or exasperating. You can pick your products with confidence that you know what they are and how they may affect your skin.

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