Category Archives: Skin care

ALLURE 2008 Best of Beauty Skin Care and More Award Winners!

For those of you who may not be regular readers of Allure Magazine – Allure Magazine recently conducted it’s annual Best of Beauty Award Winners and Breakthrough Products after testing and retesting nearly 2,000 facial, body, and hair care products.  The winners represent the very best NEW Products chosen by the Allure experts.

         Below are (10) of the 2008 Best Of Beauty Award Winners:

  • FACIAL CLEANSER CATEGORY – FREEZE 24/7  ICE SHIELD FACIAL CLEANSER W/ SCUNSCREEN  – This First of it’s Kind Wash-On Facial Cleanser contains an SPF 15 to protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, while hydrating and clarifying your complexion with powerful anti aging antioxidants and essential oils.
  • FACIAL MOISTURIZER CATEGORY – AVEENO ULTRA CALMING DAILY MOISTURIZER SPF 15  – This light, fast absorbing moisturizer contains feverfew and chamomile to soothe the skin while reducing redness, blotchiness and any facial irritations.  Works well for all skin types, including sensitive skin and those with rosacea.
  • BODY MOISTURIZER CATEGORY – PHILOSOPHY AMAZING GRACE FIRMING BODY EMULSION  – This heavenly scented body emulsion is not only a Beauty Award Winner, but was chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things!  This multi-tasking firming body emulsion revitalizes dry, wrinkled, or aging skin with a blend of anti aging antioxidants, shea butter, macadamia nut, and olive oils.  This very popular intense hydrating lotion gets a 5 star rating!
  • NIGHT CREAM CATEGORY – RoC DEEP WRINKLE NIGHT CREAM – RoC is rated the #1 anti aging night cream in France.  This non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), hypoallergenic night cream is clinically proven to knock 10 yrs. off your skin’s appearance.  Containing magnesium, zinc, and copper this anti aging formula works through the night when your skin is most receptive, to firm the skin and diminish even the deepest wrinkles.  For a product of this quality and effectiveness, this product has a very reasonable price tag!
  • EYE TREATMENT CATEGORY – RELASTIN EYE SILK  – This super silky anti aging gel penetrates deeply but gently to work with your skin’s own cells to stimulate collagen and elastin formation – diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, undereye puffiness, and dark circles. This Zinc Firming Complex treatment makes a perfect primer for eye makeup.
  • BODY WASH CATEGORY – MOLTON BROWN RE-CHARGE BLACK PEPPER BODY WASH  – This spicy masculine body wash is a favorite with men!  Using black pepper – an intensive antiseptic and detoxifier, and basil, bergamont, amber, and vanilla aromatherapy essential oils, this gel heightens the senses and warms the skin, boosting circulation to energize and awaken while deeply cleansing the skin.
  • SHAMPOO CATEGORY – FREDERIC FEKKAI GLOSSING SHAMPOO  – This specially formulated shampoo contains pro-vitamin B-5 and olive oil extract to gently clean, moisturize, and nourish the hair. The triple color protection formula protects hair against UV rays and color fading leaving hair glossy, radiant, and lustrous. For normal to dry hair.
  • CONDITIONER CATEGORY- FREDERIC FEKKAI GLOSSING CONDITIONER  – This lightweight glossing conditioner contains natural humectants like jojoba, sweet almond proteins, and olive oil to moisturize and protect dull, lifeless hair while adding lasting shine and strength to hair.  Safe for color treated hair and ideal for normal to dry hair.
  • ACNE TREATMENT CATEGORY – MURAD ACNE CONCEALER  – This oil-free concealer treats and clears active breakouts with salicylic acid (an acne fighting medication) while providing long lasting coverage.  This 5 star rated acne concealer calms and soothes the skin, while concealing blemishes and preventing new breakouts.  Comes in light, medium, and medium dark.
  • COSMETICS CATEGORY – TWEEZERMAN SLANT TWEEZER  – Chosen the 7th year in a row as an Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner, this remarkable little tool is the choice of makeup artists, celebrities, and models.  Perfectly aligned hand-held tips are designed to grab every hair, everytime with the smoothest precision.  Available in original, red, midnight sky, zebra print, reptile print, and leopard print.

FACIAL MASKS – Improve the Health and Beauty of Your Skin with an Anti Aging Facial Skin Care Mask

The MANY benefits of Anti Aging Facial Mask (or masques) have been known for centuries.  Using a Facial Mask just once a week can vastly improve the health and beauty of your skin.  There are different kinds of Facial Masks for different purposes – Deep Cleansing, Clay (Mud), Collagen, Hydrating, Enzyme, Exfoliating, Self-Heating, Skin Brightening, etc.  Containing high concentrations of anti aging ingredients to oxygenate and nourish the skin, Facial Masks draw out bacteria and toxins, tighten pores, exfoliate, and hydrate the skin.

Below are (7) Anti Aging Facial Masks that get outstanding reviews and will leave your skin positively glowing:

  • Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask  – This herbal ultra-purification mask is Astara’s most popular!  This natural anti-bacterial mask deep cleans skin and pores and is excellent for most skin problems and blemishes.  Can also be used as an overnight spot treatment. Can be used on oily, normal, and dry skin types.  Also Available:  Astara Green Papaya Nutrient Mask  – This aloe based mask gently exfoliates while purifying the skin and pores. This soothing, calming, and nourishing mask is loaded with plant extracts and essential oils and has a fragrant meditatative aroma.  Works well on all skin types, but is highly recommended for sensitive or irritated skin.
  • MD Formulations Vitamin-A Plus Firming Treatment Masque – This nutrient-rich anti aging skin care treatment mask boosts collagen and elastin production.  Containing Alpha Retinyl Complex, BHA’s, and Papaya, this 5-Star Rated Treatment, exfoliates, hydrates, firms, and refines the skin while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.  Ideal for all skin types, but works exceptionally well on mature aging skin.
  • Exuviance Rejuvenation Treatment Masque  – This refreshing deep cleansing masque soothes and calms the skin while brightening dull skin and retexurizing.  Containing Vitamins A, B5, C, and E and  grapefruit and aloe vera botanicals, this exclusive blend provides cleansing detoxification and superior moisturization while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Excellent Value!!
  • Alchemie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask – This luxurious creamy mask is packed full of botanicals to soothe, soften, and brighten dull skin and high levels of anti aging antioxidants to protect the skin from enviromental stress and to eleviate redness. Suitable for all skin types.
  • Dr. Michelle Copeland Clay Mask – This very soothing clay mask cleans and tightens pores while absorbing excess oil and debris.  Containing herbal ingredients and powerful antioxidants like Vitamin-C, Zinc, and Lipoic Acid to stimulate cell renewal, purify, and restore radiance to the skin. Fragrance Free.
  • Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Masque – This multi-functional ultra soothing, non-irritating gel masque can be used every day!  Made with botanical extracts like chamomile and papaya, this hydrating and super calming masque can be used on the most sensitive skin types and works well to reduce under eye puffiness as well as to soothe the skin after waxing, and cosmetic procedures.

Instructions for using a Facial Mask:  Apply a thin coating of the facial mask evenly over the skin avoiding eye and lip area.  Leave on as long as directed, generally from just a few minutes up to 30 minutes.  While mask is drying, try not to laugh or smile.  Remove Clay (Mud) Mask with a warm, wet wash cloth and pat face dry.  If using certain gel masks – Peel off mask starting at forehead and moving downwards.  Depending on skin type most masks are used just once or twice a week.

RETINOL – Powerful Anti Aging Skin Care Products For Total Skin Rejuvenation!

What is Retinol?  Retinol is just a technical (or) fancy name for Vitamin A.  Found in the human body – Retinol is the purest, most natural form of Vitamin A.  Besides Retinol – Vitamin A goes by many different names such as retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate and tretinoin.  Studies show that topical Vitamin A, when applied to the skin can be very beneficial to treat problematic and aging skin.  Retinol is found in many anti wrinkle creams and plays an important role in anti aging skin care.

As the skin ages, the epidermis and dermis become thinner and more fragile – Retinol creams not only hydrate, but penetrate deep into the layers of skin, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, while stimulating collagen and elastin production, helping to plump up skin cells and thicken the skin.  Retinol creams encourage the exfoliation of dry, dead skin cells by speeding up cellular turnover.  This process encourages healthier skin cells to surface, making the skin softer and smoother while helping minmize and tighten pores  – resulting in younger, healthier, more vibrant skin!

Though Retinol is widely used for the treatment of acne as the main ingredient in the prescription medication Retin-A for it’s ability to exfoliate the skin to help unclog pores and fade acne scars – Retinol has become exceedingly popular for it’s anti aging effects on dull, sun damaged, unhealthy mature skin.

Retinol creams are sold in several different forms, such as moisturizers, serums, lotions, peels, and even in some cosmetics, but the most popular form is in anti wrinkle night creams combined with powerful anti aging ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid, Co-enzyme Q-10, as well as Vitamins C & E.

         Below are (5) Popular Retinol Creams/Serums that Score Very High Among their Consumers:

  • Skin Medica Retinol Complex – This very popular anti aging Retinol cream combines three pro-retinoic acid (Retinol, Retinyl Actate, and Retinyl Palmitate) together with Vitamin E to speed cellular turnover and accelerate skin exfoliation.  This advanced formula has a time-release delivery system which gives dramatic results with minimal irritation. Perfect for sesitive skin or for first time Retinol users!  Skin Medica Retinol Complex is very reasonably priced, is a staff favorite and gets terrific reviews!
  • Sothys Retinol 15   – This intensive anti wrinkle night treatment has multiple anti aging benefits!  It has a unique patented Microsponge technology which releases the Retinol gradually into the skin, eliminating any irritation that some may experience initially at the onset of using a Retinol product. Works well for hyperpigmentation, age spots, wrinkled or blemished skin.
  • EmerginC Multi Vitamin and Retinol Serum  – This herbal and green tea based serum is loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin A (Retinol), Vitamin B complex, Vitamins C, E,F, H, & K.  This incredible Serum helps diminish broken capillaries and redness associated with with rosacea.  This muti vitamin serum can be used on all skin types but is excellent for red, sensitive or couperose (dilated capillaries) skin!  Also, works great for men as a post-shaving serum.
  • Topix Replenix Plus Smoothing Serum 2X  – This Retinol based Serum combined with the anti aging and anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea and hyaluronic acid, a very potent humectant – has the perfect combination of ingredients to help you achieve healthier more radiant skin.  So, whether you suffer from sun damaged skin, acne, rosacea, or fine lines and wrinkles, Replenix soothes, heals, repairs, and protects the skin.  Topix makes 4 different potency levels – Topix 2X works well for people with sensitive skin, 3X is for normal skin, 5X is for tolerant skin, and 10X is the strongest formulation in the Replenix Line.
  • PCA Retinol Renewal Phaze 26  – This NEW potent corrective serum features RestorAtive Complex, a unique blend of retinol and phyto-retinol that provide a multitude of anti aging benefits to the skin.  PCA provides superior antioxidant benefits to protect the skin from photo-damage (skin damaged by UV exposure) along with moisture attracting humectants for healthy supple skin. This advanced formula is very useful in treating skin that is starting to show signs of chronological aging and environmental stresses.

PLEASE NOTE:  Retinol anti aging skin care products come in different strengths.  Retinol may initially cause warming of the skin, slight redness, or stinging for the first few days, especially at higher levels or if your skin is sensitive. So, it’s best to work up to a higher levels over time.  When first applying Retinol products – Use EVERY OTHER NIGHT as directed – a small “pea” sized amount is usually sufficient.  Applying too much Retinol may cause itching and skin peeling.  If you experience skin irritation and/or chronic peeling, apply product less frequently or use a lower concentration until your skin adapts, or discontinue use.  Also, keep in mind that Retinol can heighten sensitivity to sunlight, so it’s best to use a Retinol product at night time before bed, and then protect your skin when exposed to sunlight with a broad spectrum daily sunscreen SPF 30-45.  But, don’t give up on the Retinol product at the first sight of slight irritation, as the skin generally does adjust quickly and the skin rejuvenation transformation that you’ll experience will more than likely, be well worth it!

ANTI AGING BEAUTY SERUMS – Achieve Visibly Younger Looking Skin!

Used for years in Spa’s as part of a facial treatment – Anti Aging Beauty Serums have become one of the hottest products around in the quest for healthier, younger, more youthful skin!  Serums are generally water or oil based and because they have a smaller molecular structure, penetrate the skin deeper than a cream.  Serums protect against free radicals, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, stimulate collagen and elastin production, hydrate, and firm sagging skin.  Serums tend to be a bit pricey, but are highly concentrated, so you use less, so they will last longer.  As part of a daily skin care regimen, they’re generally applied once or twice a day, after the toner, and before the moisturizer.

Here are a few of my tried and true personal favorites as well as some very popular Anti Aging Serums that get GREAT reviews from their loyal customers!

DDF Mesojection Healthy Cell Serum – Inspired by Mesotherapy (Mezo-therapy) the anti aging injection therapy, this Serum delivers powerful antioxidants and peptides into the surface of the skin 14 layers deep, but without the injections!  This amazing serum contains acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry, one of the most powerful nutrients in the world to help restore skin’s youthful firmness and brightness.  Mesojection Serum gets outstanding reviews! The only downside is, it has a slightly unpleasant scent when first applied, but scent quickly disapates as it dries. Otherwise, it get’s a 5 star rating!

Murad Resurgence Age-Diffusing Serum – Use by Joan Lunden, this is part of Murad’s Hormonal Aging Line – Perfect for women with menopausal/peri-menopausal skin.  Prior to and during menopause, estrogen levels decline, resulting in weakening of the collagen and elastin fibers causing fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, as well as blothiness. This silky anti aging serum contains plant-based ingredients like soy, wild yam, and clover flower extracts.  These powerful ingredients combat the hormonal aging process significantly improving skin’s tone, texture, hydration, and increasing skin’s firmness up to 42%.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster – This natural calming and very healing serum with it’s luscious fruity aromatic scent is infused with a high powered Vitamin-C complex that targets fine lines and wrinkles, by waking up lazy collagen producing cells. This nourishing, light-weight, aloe based serum absorbs instantly and penetrates deeply to hydrate and soothe even the most sensitive skin.  Ideal for all skin types.

Jansen Beckett Vitamin C&C Facial Serum  – This potent Vitamin-C serum helps to repair sun-damaged skin while helping to prevent further damage and signs of aging.  Vitamin-C,  a very potent antioxidant boosts collagen synthesis while additional anti aging ingredients lighten and remove dark age spots and discoloration.  This very impressive formula contains skin brightening essential oils and can be used on both the face and body.

Bliss Sleeping Peel Serum – Lose your wrinkles while you sleep with this amino-acid, antioxidant formula.  This very popular serum reduces pore size, exfoliates, hydrates, and visibly lightens hyperpigmentation and age spots and without the irritation some may experience with AHA’s.  Perfect for all skin types.

Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum – Packed full of natural, organic essential oils and a number of very potent and powerful age defying ingredients like DMAE, alpha-lipoic acid, co-enzyme Q10, peptides, vitamins A, C, and E, and antioxidants – Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum smells heavenly and will rejuvenate dry, sensitive, or aging skin types.

These Serums vary in price and are considered some of the best around with very positive customer feedback!  My personal favorites that I have inlcuded and can’t rave enough about, are the Murad Resurgence Serum (which I’m currently using), Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster, Bliss Sleeping Peel Serum, and the Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum!!!

ANTI AGING FACIAL MOISTURIZERS – Finding the Perfect One!

While different skin types have different needs – One thing all skin types have in common is the need for moisture.  Especially as we age – A good anti aging moisturizer is an absolute beauty essential! Moisturizing does more than just ease dry patches, it actually improves the look of your skin, by temporarily plumping it.  If you’re over 40 – A few good rules of thumb when picking an anti aging moisturizer is to look for one that contains an SPF of at least 15.  Choose a product that contains high levels of antioxidants to protect your skin from free radicals and to help strengthen your skin.  Opt for natural skin care products over products that contain harsh chemicals and perfumey scents.  And for optimum skin health and beauty – Apply your moisturizer daily, but don’t over do it, to avoid clogging pores!

There are just an astounding number of anti aging moisurizers to choose from, so I’ve picked  a few of my personal favorites as well as top sellers that consistently get high ratings and rave reviews!!!

  • Kinerase Cream – Endorsed by Courteney Cox-Arquette, this pharmaceutical grade anti aging cream is one of the top moisturizers sold by Dermatoligists and is an Allure “Best of Beauty” Award Winner!  This remarkable topical cream works as well as Renova and Retin-A in helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, but without the skin irritating side effects.  Kinerase cream is hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.  It’s perfect for all skin types and is gentle enough for sensitive skin and rosacea.  Kinerase Cream is a little pricey, but is currently on sale, so now would be a good time to try it!
  • Caudalie (koh-da-lee) Vinoperfect Perfecting Cream SPF 15 – This  French skin care line is all natural and used by celebrities like Jennifer Aniston.  Vinoperfect perfecting cream is a silky skin brightening cream that contains high levels of powerful antioxidants like grape seed extract and resveratrol (the red wine molecule).  This patented forumula has exceptional radiance and complexion enhancing actions that visibly improve dark spots and skin discolorations while helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Can be used on all skin types, but ideal for women with dry skin.
  • Ole Henriksen Express the Truth Creme is the newest anti aging wrinkle creme from this exceptional skin care line! Ole Henriksen’s Award Winning Day Spa in Los Angeles services celebrities like Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger, Cher, Lisa Marie Presley, Matthew McConaughey, and Brendan Fraser to name a few.  Formulated with African Red Tea to strengthen the skin and slow the aging process, this truly remarkable antioxidant moisturizer helps combat free radical damage.  In addition, it’s natural peptides boost collagen and elastin production and inhibit deep wrinkles from forming while repairing existing ones. Express the Truth Creme is suitable for all skin types and is just one of the seven moisturizers Ole Henriksen has to offer.
  • Relastin Ultra Emollient Zinc Firming Complex is a new super-hydrating and nourishing anti aging cream that treats all major signs of aging skin.  This vitamin and antioxidant rich formula combined with Relastin’s patent-pending Zinc Firming Complex penetrates deeply, helping the skin produce more collagen and elastin, while peptides visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles and firm the skin.  Relastin is a little more expensive than some creams, but is a best seller and consistently gets high ratings and good reviews.  Works well on dry or very dry mature skin.
  • Pur~lisse Pur Moist Hydra Balance Moisturizer  is pure heaven in a tube!  Translated as “pure” and “smooth,”  this natural, delicate anti aging moisturizer is infused with Lotus Lupine Peptide Complex, Vitamin E and a secret blend of French Marine Plants.  This hydrating formula offers superior anti-inflammatory benefits, destroys free radicals, and prevents the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles leaving you with healthy, supple, dewey skin. Pur~lisse also offers a sun-protection moisturizer called Pur~Protect SPF 30.  This light-weight moisturizer protects your skin from premature aging due to daily sun exposure.  Pur~lisse skin care products contain no harsh chemicals, artificial colorants, synthetic fragrances and are paraben-free.  This pure natural skin care line is one of my favorites and a staff favorite at many skin care and beauty sites!
    So, now I hope I haven’t confused you too much as to what moisurizer to try???  Remember, not all moisurizers are created equal!  When it comes to picking a moisturizer, a good pharmaceutical-grade skin care product (like the products above) are going to cost a little more than the typical cosmetic-grade over the counter brands that you find at the grocery and drug store.  The pharmaceutical-grade moisturizers contain
    much higher levels of antioxidants and anti aging ingredients to repair and protect the skin than the less expensive brands. I think you’ll find the anti aging benefits and visible results you see and feel are well worth the extra investment!  The results really do speak for themselves!  So, depending on your budget, always opt for the best moisturizer you can afford!

    My personal favorites and top recommendations that I have used and loved are… Pur~lisse, Kinerase, and while I haven’t tried the new Ole Henriksen moisturizer I listed, yet…I am a huge fan of Ole Henriksen products!!!