Hurray for summer and all it brings–cookouts, beach days, and swimming pools. Being in the sun is great for the soul, but don’t forget to throw a tube of sunscreen in that chic tote! For people of all ages, sun protection is an absolute must, and especially for the little ones whose skin is brand-new and thinner than adults. We know how confusing the range of sunscreens can be, so we turned to an expert in the field, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a renowned New York dermatologist, for some sage advice. Baby’s first summer? Read on for for the how-to’s on sun protection:
Eyes will always be the proverbial windows to our souls, but sometimes those window dressings need a little pick-me-up! Dermadoctor’s Photodynamic Eye Therapy does just that with a potent formula to relax fine lines and tighten lids while reducing puffy eyes and lifting sagging lids. Thought you couldn’t see improvements without the scary thought of a scalpel and anesthetic? I am terrified of any type of surgery, and gladly welcome any alternative that will show any visible differences. Before Dermadoctor Photodynamic Eye Therapy, I was dubious of creams and treatments. I started trying the cream on a few desperate mornings where I didn’t get enough sleep (grrr…) or had a bit too much salt for dinner the previous night, resulting in unsightly bags and puffy eyelids. The cream absorbed readily without any greasy residue, and after a few minutes of tingling (not harsh stinging), I finished brushing my teeth and voila! I felt like I was in college again after an all nighter and it only took a splash of cold water to restore my visage (if only I could get my metabolism back too). Now I can revisit those days minus the exams and stress, thanks to Dermadoctor’s Eye Lift. After using the Eye Lift regularly for a month, I can report firmer and healthier skin around my eyes, and a reduction in under-eye swelling. (more…)
I have a little ritual I’ll share with you: every week when I’m home and ready to start the weekend, I do an exfoliation and pamper myself in the shower before switching to my “weekend wear.” It is a way of rewarding myself for getting through the stress of the work week and then leaving it all behind. I’m currently obsessed with celebrity skin specialist Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment (gotta love the name), which is a gentle formulation of beads that can be added to your regular cleanser. ‘Gentle’ is also the key word here – I have sensitive skin, so I need something that can still give me that post-scrub glow, while not taking off a whole layer of my skin. Exfolikate’s microbeads work in combination with papya, pumpkin, and pineapple enzymes to oxygenate and lift dead skin delicately without causing redness. Other ingredients such as Vitamin A helps fade discolorations (darn sun spots!) and caffeine helps to improve micro-circulation. I squeeze a small bean size amount of the blue scrubby and mix with one of my cleansers, depending on what my skin needs that day . My skin feels oh-so-soft following a 2-minute scrubbing session while I’m enjoying my steam shower.
I first heard about Kate Somerville when Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Demi Moore, and a slew of other Hollywood beauties started swearing by her name. Seeing how flawless their skin looks is testament enough for me! Somerville has mastered the art of the ageless face, and exfoliating is an indispensable step in decongesting, detoxifying, and polishing. I love how smooth and invigorated my skin is immediately after using this product, and even have to resist touching it for the rest of the day!
I’m not a betting woman …but I’ll bet that if I took a poll and asked readers if feel like they lead a stressful lifestyle, I’d get more yeses than noes. The sad fact is, I don’t know anyone who isn’t stressed out on a regular basis by something — be it work, exams, relationships, new baby, or kids in general. As if just being stressed isn’t already bad enough, it’s also pretty much a guarantee that the negative effects of stress will manifest itself on your face — in the form of fatigue, redness and unevenness, breakouts and dehydration. Thanks a lot stress hormones! And the kicker: odds are high than when we’re stressed, we also pay less attention to our skincare routines, making our already suffering skin even worse.
Well Kiehl’s is here to rescue us stressed folks and if we know anything about Kiehl’s, we know that they’re really great at saving our skin (and sanity). The newly launched, and aptly named Skin Rescuer Stress- Minimizing Daily Hydrator, uses highly effective ingredients to address many of the skin conditions that are caused by stress. In order to do this, Kiehl’s chemists identified a three step process (which thankfully, they rolled into 1 great product): calm and hydrate the skin, limit inflammation, and protect the skin barrier from future reactions. To sooth already-stressed skin, the new moisturizer uses chamomile extract to calm, glycerin to deliver immediate moisture, and shea butter to help keep hydration in. The product also contains Rosa Gallica, a flower extract, which has been proven to act as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps to keep reactions like redness and blotchiness in check. Finally, studies have shown that stressed skin is weak skin, so the moisturizer packs a trio of ingredients designed to replenish lipids and straighten the skin barrier. The result is that redness is minimized, skin is kept supple, hydrated and protected.
We love that Kiehl’s designed this as a daily moisturizer, because frankly that gives us one less thing to stress out about. Our four week test trial has shown that this is a very pleasant product indeed: we love that it’s lightweight, fragrance free, moisturizes thoroughly and has noticeably reduced unevenness and splotches in some areas. Sadly, they haven’t figured out a way to make me feel less stressed yet overall (damn deadlines always!), but at least I no longer have to look like it.
To learn more check out Kiehls.com.
“People underestimate DC!” exclaims spa founder and master esthetician Shae Jackson, when asked about introducing a fresh new concept in beauty treatments to the nation’s capital. We are sitting next to the zen waterfall in the outdoors of the newly-opened Haven Beauty Lounge. She is the expert that everyone is trying to book, and for good reason! Having traveled around the world researching beauty treatments, Jackson has formulated her own integrated approach to skin care and wellness, combining her vision with years of experience at the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Bliss, and Blue Mercury. Now, Jackson has branched out on her own and opened Haven, a members-only beauty lounge, where she has meticulously selected the best and most effective products for her signature custom facials, nail services and waxes. Membership starts at only $30 a month and instead of going through the hassle of setting up a pedicure every few weeks or monthly facial, you can have an ongoing appointment scheduled with credit card on file, so you can literally forget your wallet! (more…)
Kiehl’s kicked off Earth Day weekend this week by celebrating its Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream — one of my favorite Kiehl’s products — to benefit Recycle Across America. Which celebrities partnered for the cause? Alanis Morissette and Zachary Quinto, who designed cool limited-edition labels for the product. (Fans, shop the collection while you can!) One-hundred percent of the collection’s proceeds will go toward Recycle Across America, and $50,000 will be used to create 65,000 recycling labels for select K-12 schools nationwide.
The benefit was held in Santa Monica, Calif., and as usual, a crop of stars came out to support the cause — including the lovely Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), Amy Smart and The Misshapes. (Speaking of which, I am LOVING Leigh Lezark’s short, blond hair.)
Luscious. Pouty. Sexy. Everyone wants beautiful, healthy lips, and underneath the lipstick and gloss we all know and love, lips need a lot of TLC. Since I’m gaga over anything that has to do with lips, I figured I’d pay homage by doing a kiss-worthy roundup! I’ve pooled all my favorite lip products and done some hard-core testing to bring you the best of the best. So pucker up, here goes!
1) Ultra Repair Lip Therapy. I love how this sumptuous moisturizer coats my lips, and with this product I purposely don’t “stay within the lines.” I make sure a little extra balm goes on the corners and outside my lips so that everything is healthy and hydrated. Over the winter when I had a bit of a cold, a dash on my nose was the only thing that would soothe it. The consistency is quite thick, but not sticky or tacky. It’s there for emergencies when the wind is chafing, and also for extra TLC anytime. The handy lightweight tube is easy to grab on the go.
2) Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Repair Balm. This little jar has earned its place on my nightstand. By what merit, you ask? It’s the perfect texture (soft and richly thick) and nourishing enough to last all through the night. Your body rejuvenates itself every night while you’re sleeping with cells dividing rapidly, so it makes sense to give it the best boost you can. Since I started using the balm, I’ve noticed the vertical lines on my lips getting softer, and overall texture is softer and healthier. For very dry lips, this is a must-have. The light eucalyptus scent calms like a cup of chamomile tea, perfect for evenings. For a daytime treatment, the Nourishing Lip Balm comes formulated with SPF 20 in a tube for convenience. The consistency is a little different but better for squeezing on the go. Sun protection is often overlooked for lips in favor of a facial SPF moisturizer, but lips are just as important and can show age quickly, so don’t forget to protect them. (more…)
One of my favorite perfumes in the world comes naturally from a jasmine flower, which is also one of the simplest tiny blooms I’ve ever seen. The dainty little beauty creates such a lovely and unique scent it’s no wonder that it is one of the most prized flower for teas and fragrances. As soon as I opened the beautiful aluminum tube of Soap & Paper Factory Hand Cream, it was like a thousand jasmine flowers floating out. The cream itself is incredibly velvety on my hands which are so parched from getting washed a million times a day! Soap and Paper Factory is all about putting heart, soul, and beauty into their products, as evidenced by carefully sourced ingredients to exquisite earth-friendly packaging. Their products are made in New York and organic ingredients are used whenever possible. The hand cream is chock full of aloe, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and other fine natural oils. I try not to touch anything with parabens, so this one is safely void of them as well as phthalates and petroleum. Equally loveable is the pretty girly packaging- each design actually starts from a hand drawing!
Jasmine flowers release their scent at night under the moonlight, so it’s fitting this I use this as a night treatment for my hands. After all, our hands deserve to be pampered after being busy all day! The cream is long-lasting enough to hydrate my skin through the night, and with the deep-moisturizing effects, I can tell the difference in the morning. I’ve learned to be careful to moisturize every night since hands show age easily and are often overlooked. The creams come in a variety of scents and each has its own pretty package, making it a perfect gifts for mom, grandma, or even sis (if she’s nice).
I’ve always considered myself lucky that I was born in the month of April — not only are flowers blooming (just not this year yet), but my birthstone is, of course, the diamond. Naturally, it’s always been my excuse to pass over other stones, because well, I was just born that way. When I first heard about the new 50-minute Diamond Facial at The Spa at Equinox, I couldn’t wait to try it since it combines two of my loves — getting pampered and diamonds! The “diamond” part of the facial is a collagen mask formulated to give the same effects as a diamond microdermabrasion, and it is actually platinum-infused to illuminate and revive the skin. (more…)
I love enormous cheeks on babies, possibly because my baby has some of the fattest cheeks around town. Hubby and I joke that since they protrude so far from her face that they have to be moisturized more often! My latest obsession is Lavanila’s Healthy Baby Butter which I just love for her cheeks and body (and my hands too, while I’m buttering!). It absorbs easily and has a clean scent (without synthetic fragrances or dyes), so it doesn’t cover up that delicious newborn smell. As a plus, I don’t have to worry about the safety as it’s 100% natural and is free of alcohol, parabens, and petroleum and since it contains aloe and is hypoallergenic, it’s perfect for dry skin and sensitive skin — even eczema. Baby’s skin is comforted and richly hydrated by pure shea and cocoa butters which are blended with nourishing Calendula and Noni Juice. My little girl is soft and smooth, protected against dryness without feeling slippery or greasy.
Though the product is meant for babies, everyone in our family has been grabbing for the butter this winter, which probably explains why it’s missing at the moment… Time for a new tube!