The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil September 23 2014
Coconut oil is all the rage but what makes it so special? Extracted from the meat of matured coconuts, coconut oil has many uses and studies have shown that populations that eat a lot of coconut are among the healthiest people on the planet.
After receiving a bad rap for many years, coconut oil has now been found to be a healthy oil and has many benefits. While coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is cholesterol free and trans-fatty acid free and has actually been shown to help lower cholesterol levels due to its ability to stimulate thyroid function. Virgin coconut oil is composed of medium-chain-length fatty acids, or triglycerides MCTs, which are shown to have many health benefits, including raising the body’s metabolism, and acting as an antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent. Coconut oil has a lower smoking point that other oils so it's great for cooking and it gives foods a wonderful flavor. It can also be used instead of vegetable or canola oils when baking and is a much healthier alternative.
In parts of the world, such as Thailand and the Philippines, using coconut oil on hair and skin has been an ancient practice. It's a natural hydrator and it has a high moisture retaining capacity, it doesn't let moisture escape thus keeping hair and skin moist and soft. Because of its anti-microbial properties it can protect skin from infections and various skin disorders. It makes a great makeup remover and can soften dry, cracked skin. Coconut oil is also excellent for styling the hair and reducing protein loss in damaged hair. It can help get rid of dandruff, nourish and minimize dry hair and split ends as well as conditioning and smoothing dry frizzies.
When purchasing coconut oil you should look for organic, extra virgin in an unprocessed form. There is no need to refrigerate your coconut oil because it doesn't go rancid like so many other oils. Store in a dry place and it will become liquid at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, below that temperature it will solidify. Coconut oil should always have a pleasant smell and mild taste.
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Ingredients to Avoid in Your Face Wash September 16 2014
Did you know that what you apply to your skin is absorbed directly into your body? But if you've ever look at the ingredients in your favorite facial cleanser you will notice a long list of ingredients you don't recognize, and probably can't even pronounce. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients are chemicals which could be harmful. Below are a few ingredients you should avoid in your face wash.
Sulfates - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate: These are very inexpensive detergents that are commonly used because of their foaming ability and the way they leave the skin feeling squeeky clean. They are also used as industrial cleaners, degreasers and cleaning agents. Usually, they are derived from petroleum. Because they are so harsh they are often associated with skin irritation, inflammation and skin rashes.
Parabens - These materials are effective preservatives that extend the life of the product and are anti-microbial, but they also are known to disrupt hormone and estrogen function. Parabens have a possible link to breast cancer, in fact, a 2004 study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology detected parabens in breast tumors. Avoid all parabens in your products by looking for the following on the ingredients label: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, other ingredients ending in paraben.
Fragrance - Look at many labels and you'll see the word "fragrance." And while it sounds harmless enough, the word "fragrance" can represent hundreds of chemicals, many of which can cause allergies, asthma attacks, headaches and more. In addition, most synthetic fragrances are stabilized with phthalates, a group of chemicals linked to reproductive problems and birth defects in animal studies [Source: EPA]. Added fragrances in cleansers tend to be irritating and can dry out the skin. It's best to avoid anything with a lot of "purfume" or "scent" but if you just can't live without fragrance opt for products that use essential oils or fruit and plant extracts to scent their solutions.
Choosing a Face Scrub September 09 2014
Have you ever wondered which scrub is best for you? It can get confusing shopping for facial scrubs, there are so many to choose from it can make your head spin! Proper exfoliation, removal of dead skin cells and build up on the surface of your skin, is an important part of your skin care regimen so don’t let all the product choices frustrate you. When browsing the skin-care aisle at your local pharmacy, beauty supply store or searching online you will see a wide variety of scrubs including products containing everything from sugar and salt to ground-up pits and seeds. Although the “natural” exfoliators sound nice, such as apricot or almond scrubs, they often contain particles with sharp edges can result in more irritation than exfoliation, leaving your face with tiny scratches that make it more prone to breakouts and broken capillaries. Because of this, it’s best to avoid scrubs with crushed fruit pits, shells, or similar damaging scrub granules. Instead, choose a scrub that uses a gentle exfoliant, like synthetic microbeads, or a chemical exfoliant, such as lactic or glycolic acid. If you are still unsure consult your Esthetician for expert advice.
Treating Ingrown Hairs September 02 2014
After a summer of frequent shaving many of us experience unsightly and painful ingrown hairs. They occur when the shaved hair gets trapped inside the follicle or grows back into the skin. The medical term is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae or PFB and it can cause scarring, redness and swelling.
Here are some tips to improve and prevent ingrown hairs.
1. Salicylic acid is one of the best ingredients to visibly improve razor bumps and ingrown hairs. It exfoliates, clears pores and can help prevent infection
2. Daily exfoliation with a scrub, brush or with glycolic and salicylic acid is particularly effective.
3. Avoid shaving too close. Hair stubs cut too closely will get trapped inside the hair follicle and dig inward or sideways.
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Concealer Tips August 26 2014
Using the right concealer is key to achieving a flawless complexion. A good concealer will counteract discolorations, lighten shadowed areas, disguise blemishes, and work with your foundation to create the appearance of an even skin tone. Concealer is meant to be used on small areas (underneath the eyes, around the nose, on blemishes) to cover imperfections, rather than being used instead of foundation. The best way to get a flawless look is to use concealer in conjunction with your foundation so here are a few tips.
Depending on how much coverage you need, concealer can be applied over or under your foundation. For less coverage, apply concealer before foundation; for more coverage, apply concealer on top of foundation. But I don't recommend using concealer over powder foundation as it tends to look unnatural and doesn't blend well. If you use powder foundation always apply your concealer first.
Using a concealer that is one or two shades lighter than the area you are trying to cover is enough to neutralize dark areas calling attention to the area by making it look too light. It's also best to apply concealer over top of moisturizer so it looks more natural and doesn't look dry and cakey. My favorite way to achieve a good coverage is to apply my tinted sunscreen first and immediately, while the skin is still super moist, apply concealer to the areas where I need more coverage. This gives a smooth, even-toned look but if you still need more coverage you can apply your foundation over top.
Beautiful Brows August 19 2014
Eyebrows are a very important facial feature. Well shaped brows can enhance your appearance and really accentuate your eyes. Waxing, tweezing or threading can be done by a professional but if you choose to shape your brows at home here are some guidelines.
First make sure you have good quality tweezers and before you start it helps to fill in your brows so you can clearly see the line you are trying to achieve. But if you aren't sure where to start the shaping guide below can help.
1. Start by drawing an imaginary line from the side of your nose up along the corner of your eye, this is where your brows should start.
2. Next, to locate your arch, draw another imaginary line from the tip of your nose straight through the pupil of your eye on up to your eyebrow. This is where the tip of your arch should be.
3. Finally to locate the end of your brows draw the 3rd imaginary line from the edge of your nose up through the outer corner of your eye and on up to the end of your brow.
If your brows are sparse you can fill them in to make them look fuller. I'm not a fan of eyebrow pencils as they can look a little harsh. Powder or mousse is what I recommend for a more natural look. Check out our blinc Brow Mousse in our new online store. http://www.myskinstudio.com/collections/blinc/products/blinc-eyebrow-mousse-1
Acne - Not Just for Teens August 12 2014
1. Use a mild antibacterial cleanser twice daily. Limit the scrubs and harsher cleansers to once or twice weekly as they may actually irritate the skin and make the acne worse.
2. Limit the use of oily hair care products and make sure you keep your hair products off of your face.
3. Keep your hands off of your face and no picking! See your esthetician for proper extractions. Picking and popping may lead to scarring and infection.
4. Birth control pills may help acne that is caused my hormonal changes. You can consult your doctor if you feel this may be a problem for you.
5. Microdermabrasion and certain peels can be helpful in fighting acne. These procedures can be irritating so be sure they are done by an experience professional who can determine which procedure is most beneficial for your skin type and condition.
6. Products containing salicylic acid and retinol can be helpful to treat breakouts but be careful not to over-dry the skin. Keeping a good balance is important, especially when you are fighting wrinkles and acne at the same time. Your esthetician can advise you of the best home care regimen for your particular condition.
Summer Body Lotions August 05 2014
It's time to put away your thick winter body butters and bring out more light summery lotions. You don't have time to wait for your lotion to sink in, so look for something light and fast absorbing. Find a summery lotion that you won't forget to put on because nothing spells summer more than a light refreshing lotion. Make sure you apply right after you dry off from your shower so as to seal in the moisture your body just soaked in. And if you use self tanners be sure to moisturize daily between application to prolong your tan. Check out our new Cool Calm Collected Body Lotion made without chemicals and scented with citrus and mint essential oils!
Vitamin C - Good for the Body & Good for the Skin August 01 2014
I love Vitamin C and I’ll tell you why. Vitamin C boosts the skin’s natural immune properties, minimizing and repairing the damage caused by the sun and free radicals. Vitamin C is also the only antioxidant that has been proven to stimulate the production of collagen which binds cells together giving you a more youthful appearance by firming your skin. Vitamin C also speeds healing, reduces inflammation and strengthens the skin barrier giving you a more radiant, youthful appearance. This is one power-packed little vitamin!
There are many forms of Vitamin C being used in topical skin care products and it can be very confusing when trying to decide which one is best. Ascorbic Acid was the first and most common form of Vitamin C used in skin care preparations but it is very unstable and can be irritating to the skin. But recently more stable and less irritating forms have been made available to the skin care industry. Currently the most stable form of Vitamin C is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (BV-OSC) which is both oil and water soluable and penetrates the whole cell. Better penetration gives it the ability to reduce wrinkles and improve your skin’s tone and texture. BV-OSC also has been found to clarify and brighten the skin by inhibiting melanogenesis (the production of pigment) thereby promoting a more even skin tone. Unlike ascorbic acid it will not exfoliate or irritate skin.
I recommend using a Vitamin C product year around but it's especially importnant in the Summer time. During the Summer months the sun depletes important nutrients in the skin, such as Vitamin C. The sun also causes free radical damage which rapidly speeds up aging and causes damage to the skin's surface. Vitamin C fights free radicals and protects and repairs damaged cells. Adding a Vitamin C serum or cream to your regimen protects your skin and creates a healthy, youthful glow!
Natural Looking Makeup for Summer July 28 2014
Makeup should enhance your features rather than cover them up. A natural looking foundation is very appealing, especially for Summer. Below are some tips on how to create a more natural glowing look so people will notice your beautiful skin instead of your makeup.
The key to creating a natural look with foundation is to match your skin tone. Nothing looks more unnatural than a foundation that doesn't blend with your skin! The best way to get the right shade of foundation is to sample it on your jaw line and leave it there for a few minutes. Look at it in different lights to make sure it blends well with your face and neck. If you are having trouble ask a professional to match it up for you. There are many shades to choose from and it's just a matter of finding your perfect match!
Once you have the right shade of foundation make sure to apply it sparingly so as not to give a masky appearance. For a smoother dewy look be sure to apply a light moisturizer first. If you have a thicker foundation you can even blend a little moisturizer before applying to soften the look.
For those of you who like an even more natural look, try a tinted moisturizer. Many on the market today contain sunscreen and give a light coverage that enhances the skin and evens out the skin tone.
And always remember that beautiful, healthy skin needs less makeup so stick to a good skin care regimen, drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet.
The Dreaded "Cottage Cheese" Thighs! June 19 2014
Did you know that 90% of all women will deal with cellulite? Cellulite occurs when the connective tissue pulls down on fat causing the fat to bulge under the skin. Diet and exercise play an important role in reducing the appearance of cellulite.
If you want to reduce cellulite you need to detox your body. Stay away from nicotine and caffeine, reduce your intake of salt and fat and drink plenty of water. Eat nutrient rich foods like berries and nuts and add plenty of glucosamine, B vitamins and essential fatty acids to your diet. Onions are also a great food to combat cellulite because they act as a natural diuretic releasing water buildup from skin cells.
Don't forget to exercise. The less fat and more muscle you have will make cellulite disappear. Muscle will stretch the skin and smooth out the dimpled appearance.
Increase circulation and break up the fat by doing daily massages to troubled areas using a cellulite reducing cream and using a body brush in the shower or bath to help increase circulation. Use aromatherapy oils in your bath to stimulate your system: Sage, cypress, and juniper essential oils added to your bath aid with cellulite reduction by stimulating your system.
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