• Skin-Care Truths That Will Make You Change Your Ways

    We all know that lemon juice is bad for your skin, that you should regularly wash your cosmetic brushes, and that you shouldn’t leave the house without sunscreen. But there are less discussed beauty mistakes (and myths) out there that could possibly lead you down a path riddled with unfortunate skin woes. We spoke to a few pros to give you the 4-1-1, so read and change your ways if you’re guilty as charged. And of course, as always, if you have any Q’s about your routine, talk to your doc.

    Truth: Your Hair Products Could Be Causing an Allergic Reaction

    You may jump to conclusions and assume that those breakouts around your hairline and fringed forehead are acne. While that may be a culprit, an isolated splattering in these areas could potentially point to a bad reaction to a hair-care product. Anita Sun, medical esthetician and co-founder of Dermovia Lace Your Face, says if you notice tiny, blistery bumps, breakouts, and blemishes along your hairline or forehead, it could mean you’re having an allergic reaction to a hair product.

    Truth: Makeup Can Be Good For Your Skin

    “The misconception that putting on less or no makeup to allow your skin to rest can actually be harmful to your skin,” says celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendano, whose client roster includes Zendaya, Sarah Hyland, and Gigi Hadid.

    “The fact is that stepping outside of your house during the day exposes you to harmful UV rays and going out with makeup actually gives you a protective barrier,” Avendano says. “Most foundations have titanium dioxide or some form of SPF, and even if there is a minimal amount, it still can act as a protective barrier. The key is to have something on so the rays aren’t directly hitting your skin.”

    Clearly, Avendano is talking about SPF here, so that doesn’t mean to forgo your usual sunscreen for just foundation. He also doesn’t mean going to bed with your makeup on!

    But on another note, there are plenty of makeup formulas out there with skin-care benefits, like ingredients built in that address anti-aging, hydration, and more.

    Truth: It’s Totally Possible to Over Exfoliate

    You should definitely exfoliate, you guys. You just shouldn’t over exfoliate.

    “Somehow women have gotten the impression that the more they use retinols, glycolics, and scrubs the better. However, we really need to understand that the skin can only take so much of that stuff,” says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of her own brand.

    “I see time and again women who come in with red, inflamed skin who think they need more peels and microdermabrasion. The skin thins over time with all of that, and I think we can all agree that once you reach the point of inflammation you really can’t expect anything good to result.”

    Vargas says you should exfoliate no more than twice a week in the spring and summer and that once per week in the winter is plenty.

    Truth: There’s a Right to Apply Your Products

    With the introduction of more and more product types–masks and serums and oils and creams, oh my!– things can get a little confusing during your skin-care regimen.

    “As a rule, I like to apply everything from the lightest consistency to the heaviest,” says Avendano. For example, after you cleanse, you should apply your toner to help balance the pH of your skin. Then, you can move on to your serum, then face and eye creams. If you’re doing a special treatment, such as a peel or a face mask, try doing that after you cleanse and before you tone.

    “As a side note, don’t apply all different serums for different benefits all at once,” adds Avendano. “Alternate them to get the maximum benefit of each one.” Again, talking to your derm about what products can be layered over top of one another is key.

    Truth: Medicine Can Make Your Skin More Sensitive

    “Ibuprofen-including advil and Motrin–can make you sun sensitive and increase risk of sunburn,” says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of the Capital Laser & Skin Care and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at George Washington University Medical Center. The same is true of certain antibiotics and other over-the-counter drugs. You should talk to your doctor about the side effects of any prescribed medicine you’re taking, and always be aware of the effects of OTC meds.

    When in doubt, load up on the SPF, wear a large hat, and try to keep out of the sun.

    Originally featured on Yahoo Beauty from InStyle Magazine

  • What’s the Deal With Multi-Masking?

    Let’s face it: the skin on your face is majorly complicated. I mean, one area can be a giant grease fest while another area can literally be flaking with dryness or one area can be crazy dull and in need of exfoliation, and yet another area half an inch away can be desperate for soothing ingredients for its sensitivity.

    So why, oh why, do we think one mask is going to make our whole face happy? Enter multi-masking: a new trend that helps you get glowier than ever.

    The trick to multimaksing is tuning into your complexion’s needs—looking for dull, blemish-prone, dry, lackluster—basically anything that’s not perfect to your standard—spots and then treating accordingly. But, if you aren’t exactly a skin-whisperer (I mean, who is?) start with a kit like this genius Art Of Multimasking, $42, kit from Boscia. Not only does it come with minis of their four most famous masks and an awesome application brush, it comes with a card that list 6 different ways to multimask with pics . Score!

    SpaDerma carries several masks to clear, hydrate and calm skin such as Skinceuticals Clay Mask, B5 Hydrating mask and Revision Black Mask which has a huge following. Additionally, Neocutis Exfoliating SKin Cleanser can be applied for a few minutes, convenuently while brushing your teeth, for a quick glowy finish.

    The only tricky thing? Keeping an eye on time. Either choose masks that take the same amount of time, or tissue off masks that need to sit for a shorter stretch so you don’t get accidental irritation.

    Done. Love.

    Originally featured on Self.com

  • 9 Reasons Your Skin Hates You

    You sometimes use sunscreen

    Always. It should be always sunscreen, as in every time you go outside—rain, shine, cold, crappy, it doesn’t matter. If there’s daylight, there are ultraviolet rays; in fact, even when the clouds are blocking your sun, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB can penetrate your skin. You know skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US; an estimated one in five Americans will develop it in their lifetime. You also know too much sun will age your skin faster—many wrinkles, dark spots, and skin sagginess can be blamed on UVA rays. What you may not realize, however, is that excessive sun exposure can damage special immune cells in the skin that combat infection, help prevent the reactivation of certain viral conditions (like cold sores), and target certain pre-cancerous and cancerous cells.

    You sunscreen after you’re outside

    The bottle you’re using says: SPF 30 (or higher), broad spectrum (so it protects your skin from both UVA aging rays and UVB burning rays) and water resistant (effective for up to 40 minutes in the water; very water resistant works for 80 minutes). This is all excellent. But for your sunscreen to do its job properly, it needs to be applied 15 minutes before you head outdoors, so your skin can fully absorb it. In the time it takes you to find the perfect spot on the beach, set up your chair, move to a better spot, open your umbrella, and then grab the sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn. Also, be sure to use enough sunscreen to generously cover all of your exposed skin, and don’t forget to reapply at least every two hours, or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

    You use a washcloth

    Not only is a washcloth way too harsh for your face, but the washcloth scrubs off oils we need on our bodies, explains Chris G. Adigun, MD, a dermatologist in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. ‘Ditch the washcloth,’ she says; your hands are fine to lather up your body, and stick to fingertips for your face. And as good as that steady stream of shower water feels, limit it to 10 minutes at a lukewarm temp; long, hot showers dry your skin.

    You put soap on that washcloth

    Your skin hates you twice as much now. Gentle or non-soap cleansers are the way to go. ‘Soap has a high pH, which strips away natural oils and basically destroys the skin,’ says Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor, department of dermatology, Yale School of Medicine. The products with scrubbing beads and grit can be too abrasive as well, adds Dr. Adigun. When you over-exfoliate or overuse toners in an effort to make your skin less oily, you body compensates and creates an overproduction of oil, essentially defeating the purpose, explains Dr. Gohara.

    Moisturizing isn’t part of your post-shower routine

    When your skin is damp really is the best time to do it. Moisturizers work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. Ointments and creams (the kind you find in a jar or tub) are more effective than lotion at helping soften and smooth skin, and most importantly—keeping it intact. ‘The skin is our first line of defense against infections,’ says Dr. Adigun; it helps block bacteria, viruses, and fungi from entering the body. Moisturizing regularly helps prevent microscopic cracks and breaks in the skin from developing, which compromises this barrier function. Some ingredients to look for: olive or jojoba oil, ceramides, lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, and petrolatum.

    You believe toothpaste helps acne

    It doesn’t. An alcohol-based toner and astringent isn’t going to make that pimple go away either. And you know what else isn’t true? That you should pour a bunch of hydrogen peroxide on a cut or scrape to clean it out. Those old wives’ tales just irritate your skin even more.

    You never clean your cell phone

    Research has shown it has more germs than a public bathroom door handle. And if that’s not gross enough, Buzzfeed asked a microbiologist to compare bacteria on a toilet seat versus a few phones. The toilet seat had about three different types of bacteria; the cell phones had an average of 10 to 12 different (and worse) strains. ‘Push that dirty phone up against your face to talk, and you’re swirling bacteria and oil into your pores,’ says Gohara. She cleans hers with a facial wipe; alcohol wipes work too.

    You’re a chocoholic

    Whether or not eating it will make you break out is still up for debate, but what experts do know is that overeating sugar can leave your skin dull and wrinkled. As you indulge in your favorite flavor of ice cream, cake, and candy bar, sugar molecules bind to proteins in your skin, causing damage to the fibers that keep skin firm and elastic, and likely leading to wrinkles and sagginess.

    You think ‘beauty sleep’ is funny

    You can’t help it: Any time someone say they have to get their ‘beauty sleep,’ you giggle. But it’s so not a punch line. Your skin is constantly making new cells below the surface, and this process speeds up during sleep. When you don’t get enough rest, skin cells have less opportunity to regenerate; plus, stress hormones increase, which can contribute to inflammation. So when you hear it’s time to get some beauty sleep, stifle and hit the sack: Research has shown people who get uninterrupted, quality sleep show half as many signs of aging as poor sleepers, including fewer fine lines, better elasticity, and more even tone. Ideal: seven to nine hours a night.

    Article was originally featured on MSN.com and Readers Digest