When I was a child, I was always intrigued by my mother’s unusual skin cleansing routine, because it sure didn’t look like anything I saw on television commercials. She was very consistent about her routine, and it paid off because she always had fantastic skin. I never found out how she came up with her regimen, and to this day I wonder who told her about the bizarre mask she would apply each week.
My mother would begin her weekly mask regimen by removing her makeup with Pond’s Cold Cream. Then she would walk to the kitchen, grab a small Pyrex bowl, and combine about 1/4 cup of whole milk with 1/4 of corn starch, then apply the bizarre mask to her face and allow it to do its magic for10 minutes. It was always somewhat disturbing to look over at my mom every single night and see her face covered in the blotchy white mask, which would impart a spooky look to her face. By the time the mask dried, it always looked like a cracked and dessicated desert floor. My mom would then remove the mask with warm water and a round natural sponge, apply Clinique Clarifying Lotion Face Toner 2, and then apply moisturizer.
Many years later, when I began working in medical aesthetics, I learned about how cornstarch could control oil production in the skin. Since my mom had oily skin, she fought a constant battle against her skin’s own tendency to overproduce oil. When searching the internet, I was able to find cornstarch and milk mask recipes, but they all had additional ingredients like mashed strawberries or honey. The thought of putting dairy on my skin isn’t appealing at all to me for one reason, which is that I don’t like the smell of milk, so I won’t be making this mask for my own use. If I ever decide to explore the skin benefits of cornstarch, I will use water instead.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was provided with free product in exchange for my unbiased review.
Every once in a while, I encounter a skincare line which impresses me so much that I want to praise it from a mountaintop. This is definitely the case with One Theory Complete Collection, which I recently got a chance to use and review. You can see in the YouTube video review which I have shared at the top of this post that, though I am not standing on a mountaintop, I am definitely a fan of this skincare line, which is paraben-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin like mine.
The Complete Collection includes the following products:
Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum | 1 fl oz Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum | 1 fl oz HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum | 1 fl oz La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer | 1.7 oz
One Theory recommends using the following products in sequence for your morning ritual after cleansing and toning your skin:
Morning Glow Routine:
Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer
In the evening, you will use the following products in sequence:
Night Flow Routine:
Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer
One Theory Complete Collection
Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum:
Probably my favorite aspect of this serum is the fact that it features the more stable magnesium ascorbyl phosphate molecule as its Vitamin C antioxidant. This particular form has both hydrating and calming properties, making it ideal for all skin types. Vitamin C is terrific for combating environmental skin stressors, and it brightens skin beautifully. When I apply this onto my skin, I get wonderful hydration, great absorption, and a glowy tone.
Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum:
Though I am not the biggest fan of retinol (I just don’t like walking around with flaking skin), I do honor its ability to increase cell turnover and refine the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Millionaire Sugar™ features a slow release, active 1% microencapsulated form of Retin-A which prevents the retinol from breaking down before it penetrates your skin. The result is improved skin texture and improved skin renewal.
Imagine my surprise when I developed absolutely NO flakiness or peeling from this product. My skin was already more radiant after using this product for a few nights. I am in love with this retinol product, and look forward to rejuvenating my skin each night as I sleep with this wonderful serum on my face.
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum:
This product boasts a collagen-boosting peptide known as Matrixyl 3000® which is phenomenal for the area around my mouth and eyes, because it just smooths out fine lines and rough skin patches (which I developed from a fractional laser procedure in November of last year). The addition of cucumber and green tea make this gel incredibly soothing, something my skin really appreciates. It’s incredible how this serum seems to normalize skin, balancing out redness, dry spots, and oily spots (yes, I still have some oiliness in my T-zone even though I am over the half-century mark).
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer:
Whenever I find a great moisturizer, I get almost giddy with excitement, because they honestly are difficult to find. From the first time I ever used La Rituelle™, I was completely hooked. It nourishes my parched skin without sending it into an oily mess, absorbs completely, and imparts such a smooth, amazing finish to my skin that I often don’t bother using finishing powder (I don’t use foundation, just finishing powder to combat shine).
La Rituelle™ provides a gentle barrier to moisture loss and works beautifully with all three facial serums in the One Theory line. Kojic acid, Willow Bark extract, Green Tea, and Ginseng are combined with a bit of glycolic acid in a Hyaluronic Acid base to create a magical moisturizer which has become a personal favorite.
I never recommend products which I do not personally use, so when I say that I am over the moon with the One Theory skincare line, I truly mean it. My skin is luminous, hydrated, and happy with all four products in the One Theory line. I am also so excited to try their cleanser and toner when they become available, because I have no doubt that they will be outstanding!
To order the One Theory Complete Collection, just click on the link below:
There are enough women out there who are in the habit of sleeping with their makeup on that I thought this would be a great topic to tackle in my blog. The three most common reasons why women sleep in their makeup are 1) they don’t want their bedmates to know what they really look like (listen, if you’re that concerned, the object of your love/lust is probably too shallow to be a good catch anyway), 2) they are too lazy to take a few minutes to remove their makeup, or 3) they are too drunk to perform a makeup removal ritual. I am not going to say that I have never fallen asleep with my makeup on, but it is exceedingly rare. I am so fastidious about removing makeup that I do a thorough face cleansing immediately after photo shoots and events, because I can’t stand the feeling of full makeup on my face. I honestly don’t know how many women wear full makeup every single day, and I especially cannot understand how some of them will sleep in those layers of gunk!
I cringe every time I hear a woman say that she frequently sleeps in her makeup, because I immediately think about how her skin is unable to breathe and heal because of all the pollutants, germs and oils which bake into it while she sleeps. Makeup is like a mask, and when it sits on top of the skin at night when you are sleeping, it prevents the cells in the skin from performing their restorative processes. Harmful chemicals from the environment cause free radical formation which goes unchecked when the skin is not cleansed, so the result is dull, prematurely aged skin.
Another reason why sleeping in makeup is unhealthy is that it clogs pores. As if that wasn’t enough, all that caked-on makeup serves as a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. I can always tell when women sleep in their makeup, because their skin has a congested, dull appearance, and acne breakouts are common. Even on the nights when a woman who habitually sleeps in her makeup decides to cleanse her skin, she is re-exposing herself to the bacteria, pollution, and oils which were left on the pillowcase along with the makeup from the evenings when she was too lazy to remove her makeup. In addition, sleeping with full makeup is a sure way to stain pillowcases.
I have actually heard women say that as long as they remove their face makeup, there shouldn’t be any hygienic issues with leaving eye makeup wrong. They couldn’t be more wrong. Eye shadows commonly have highly irritating substances like bismuth in them, and leaving them in contact with the delicate skin of the eyelids can invite eyelid inflammation, aka blepharitis, which is NOT fun at all. In addition, mascara, eye shadow and eyeliner can transfer onto the pillow, then get into your eyes, causing corneal irritation or infection.
Another reason why sleeping in eye makeup is a bad idea is that most mascara formulas dry out the eyelashes, and when left on for prolonged periods of time, can cause them to become extremely brittle. Lashes are more prone to breakage when they are dry. Also, for those of you who dare to sleep in false eyelashes at night, be aware that lash adhesives also tend to be very drying and irritating to the lash line, and can even inhibit lash growth if kept on the lash margin for too long.
Though the best way to cleanse your skin at night is to use a gentle yet thorough cleanser and a motorized brush (Clarisonic makes great brushes, but there are decent drugstore brands too), you should at the very least use a makeup remover towelette. If you are truly lazy, keep the towelettes by your bed so that you can easily grab them and wipe your face and eyes before hitting dreamland.
Any time I hear someone complain about how predictable, steady and boring life is, I chuckle, because I have never been able to make that statement about my own life. This doesn’t mean that my life is unstable, but that I have always had so much going on that there hasn’t been time for boredom to set in. I truly am CONSTANTLY doing something, and I have a habit of packing a lot into each day. I understand that some people are stuck in boring jobs, so I am thankful that I love being a physician, and love the environments in which I work. I am fortunate to be involved in pursuits which I am passionate about, and which give me an incredible sense of fulfillment. Whether I am doctoring, writing articles, modeling, doing booth work, creating nutrition and workout regimens, or working on business strategies or branding, so much is going on inside my head that I couldn’t possibly get bored.
I will admit that aspects of my regular daily routine could be seen by others as a bit dull, since I head to the gym around the same time, and I usually spend weeknights writing. However, I typically cram so much stuff in between those activities that I spend the entire day rushing around, trying to get it ALL done. The overachiever in me can’t seem to let go of the notion that the best days are the ones in which all the important items on the to do list are checked off. Even on the weekends, I spend the majority of my time trying to catch up on articles and plans which I wasn’t able to get to during the week.
Another feature of my life is that I wear so many hats that I have to constantly shift gears. Though it puts a lot of pressure on me, I prefer to have a lot of variety in my day, talking about medicine, fitness, skincare, nutrition, and business. My nerves can get pretty frazzled from the endless list of things to do, but I know I wouldn’t be able to deal with sitting around all day with nothing to do. I think partially because I have chosen a number of very interesting fields to pursue, and partially because I seem to attract a lot of movement and energy, circumstances also seem to keep me on my toes, and also keep boredom at bay. About 25 years ago, I remember someone telling me that I moved at a high “burn rate”, that my spirit had a lot of karmic energy which would attract lots of activity and movement. Despite its mystical tone, the statement struck me, and I can honestly say that it fits the cadence of my entire life.
If you find that you are bored with your life, it’s time to examine what might be holding you in a rut. Maybe you watch a lot of television. If so, turn off the television and read a good book. If it has been months or even years since you exercised, join a gym and commit to a regular workout schedule. Go out with friends. If you have pockets of time in which you are looking for things to do, try exploring your city or town by visiting other neighborhood stores, parks and restaurants. Cultivate a new hobby. Volunteer.
You can turn a boring life into a fulfilling, fun, exciting one by doing new things. Have fun!
Did you know that stress can do a number on your skin? You are probably familiar with the stress-induced breakout, but prolonged, chronic stress can also prematurely age the skin. Stressful situations trigger the release of cortisol, adrenaline, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and angiotensin, all of which rob your skin of collagen and weaken its cellular repairing capabilities. Circulation is diverted away from the skin during stressful situations, which explains the dull, pale appearance of the skin in people who deal with constant stress.
Cortisol in particular inhibits the growth of fibroblasts which are responsible for making collagen, so they can’t keep up with the constant breakdown of old tissue. The result is skin which is collagen deficient, resulting in thinner, more wrinkled skin. Free radicals are formed in response to stress, which then damages skin cells and adversely affects the condition of the skin.
So how can you fight the effects of stress on the skin? There are three keys:
Every cell in the body benefits from exercise, including skin cells The pores of the skin dilate during exercise, and when you work up a sweat, trapped dirt particles are released. In addition, the increased circulation which results from exercise delivers more oxygen and other nutrients to skin cells, as well as carries away waste products and free radicals.
We all know how frustrating it can be to have a big event looming, only to have an acne breakout right before the big day. The fact is that the stress associated with preparing for the event can trigger excess oil production in the skin, which clogs pores and sets up the perfect environment for an acne flareup. Even other skin issues, like psoriasis, are linked to stress. However, by practicing relaxation techniques, you can increase blood flow to the skin and offset any triggering factors (such as buildup of oil or free radicals) which contribute to skin maladies.
3. Use topicals:
Some of the best friends for your skin are topical agents such as antioxidants and retinoids. I am a big fan of vitamin C, not only because of its general antioxidant benefits, but also because it has a tendency to lighten up brown spots and impart a brighter appearance to the complexion. Retinoids are great for increasing cell turnover, and are potent anti-aging compounds.
There is nothing sexier than a man with a chiseled physique whose skin is like polished wood, healthy, smooth, and even. Yet I see so many male competitors who don’t seem to care about the appearance of their skin, and who sport an epidermis which looks and feels like a piece of driftwood.
Healthy skin that glows looks amazing onstage, takes spray tanner better, and reflects the optimal diet which competitors should be practicing. So how does one get such healthy skin?
There are general guidelines which should be followed:
Avoid long hot showers
Moisturize regularly, preferably right after you shower
Wear sunblock regularly
Increase water intake
Consume healthy fats with omega-3 fatty acids
Exfoliate with scrubs, washcloths or loofahs
Since skin is the largest organ system, and also since it reflects a person’s overall health, it is imperative to take the above steps to ensure that your skin will look its best.
Published on MensPhysique.com on Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Shaving is the cheapest hair removal method, especially for morerazor hirsute individuals who want to don the stage with a minimal amount of body hair. Keep in mind, though, that this method can result in uncomfortable itchiness as the hair grows back. If this is something you feel you can handle, then let’s discuss the best approach to this method.
A good way to prep for a massive assault on body hair is to clip the hair either with a small pair of scissors or an electric clipper. Some men will often abandon shaving after completing this step, but others will carry through with removing the remainder with a razor. Once this is done, it is always best to hop in the shower and allow the water and steam to soften the hair and open up the hair follicles for easiest shaving.
Make sure to use a blade that is fresh and sharp, and shave with the direction of hair growth. If you are NOT prone to ingrown hairs you MAY wish to shave against the grain after shaving with the grain. Use a glycerin or aloe based shaving gel to allow the razor to glide more easily along the surface of the skin.
If you happen to get any irritation from the razor you may use hydrocortisone cream to soothe the afflicted area.
Please read my RxGirl article on making lifestyle adjustments that will transform your skin. You can access the original article by clicking on the link above, or keep reading here for the full article.
“What skin cream do you use? Your skin looks amazing!”
This is a common exclamation from women who admire the flawless skin of those who are either naturally dermatologically blessed or have been proactive about practicing good skin care. Perhaps you are one of the blessed individuals, but most women deal with acne, wrinkles, oiliness, hyperpigmentation, dry skin and dark circles under the eyes, all of which can be addressed with targeted products. If you practice consistent skin care with the right products, you will see improvements in the tone and quality of your skin.
Before delving into topical products in Part 2 of this article, I will utilize Part 1 here to review the many variables which can dramatically influence the quality of the skin.
Sleeping Beauty –
There’s a lot of truth to the adage about getting one’s beauty sleep. When you get adequate sleep, you optimize your body’s ability to repair itself because it has a chance to release human growth hormone in the deep stages of sleep. Conversely, cheating yourself out of a good night’s sleep results in an increase in cortisol release, which increases the amount of inflammation in the body. Basically, the inflammation prevents your cells from repairing damaged collagen, and if this occurs chronically, your skin will adopt an aged appearance. So get some quality shut-eye every night!
Don’t smoke –
I know most of you ladies don’t engage in this habit, but if you do, bear in mind that the habit breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin, aging you prematurely. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in the upper layer (epidermis), which interferes with delivery of oxygen and other vital nutrients which are involved in cell renewal. Lastly, the constant pursing of the lips which occurs while puffing on a cigarette causes fine vertical lines (“smoker’s lines”) to develop around the mouth.
Internal antioxidants –
We have all heard of the benefits of daily antioxidant intake and how these nutrients boost the body’s immunity, decrease inflammation, and even improve cognition, so it shouldn’t surprise you that antioxidants also promote cellular repair in the skin as well. Make sure to incorporate foods and supplements which have antioxidants such as vitamins A,C, E, cofactors like CoQ10, and polyphenols like resveratrol in them.
Hydrate from within –
Drink plenty of water, and you will be rewarded with glowing, healthy skin. Every time I have told a patient who suffered either from dry skin or from stubborn acne to drink plenty of water, I have seen dramatic improvement in the quality of their skin after they began drinking at least three liters of water per day. Adequate hydration will ensure that toxins are flushed out of cells and the cells are filled with water.
Healthy fats –
One of the hazards of competing is the tendency for coaches to completely strip dietary fat from contest prep diets. What results is a gaunt, unhealthy, aged appearance in the face which looks terrible and just screams for dermal fillers. Rather than wreak havoc on your youthful appearance, why not keep healthy fats like avocado, MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed, almonds, cashews, and fish oil in your daily regimen?
Limit alcohol –
Alcohol is notorious for dehydrating the skin and for that reason alone should be ingested in moderation. Also, since alcohol is toxic to the liver, it impairs the body’s ability to remove other environmental toxins which will be reflected in the quality of the skin. And for those of you who suffer from rosacea, that relaxing glass of red wine with dinner is a big no-no because it will aggravate the condition.
Clean makeup brushes –
When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? Makeup brushes should be thoroughly washed on a regular basis to remove product build-up, bacteria and oils. If you suffer from acne, you need to be especially diligent about cleaning your makeup brushes regularly. As a general rule, clean foundation and concealer brushes at least once a week (twice a week if acne is a major issue). Eye makeup brushes should be cleaned every two weeks, and other brushes should be cleaned monthly. There are some excellent brush cleaning solvents, but you can mix one part baby shampoo with four parts water for an excellent and cheap brush cleaner.
Sanitize cell phone –
Cleaning your cell phone on a regular basis is a good sanitary practice to adopt, and can also save your skin from acne breakouts and rashes. Think for a minute how much you touch your phone and how much dust, ear wax and fingertip residue can accumulate on its surface. It’s no surprise that putting this bacteria- riddled device next to your cheek can cause skin flare-ups to occur. The best way to clean your phone is to use a soft cloth which is lightly sprayed with a dilute isopropyl alcohol solution (equal parts iso alcohol and water).
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article which will cover topical products and treatments for luminous, youthful skin!
I was compelled to revisit this topic because I foolishly went against my better judgement and used a product which I happen to hate, with disastrous results. I hate Lubriderm products and think they are a scam due to the presence of mineral oil. Mineral oil is a very cheap filler which is used in skincare products and cosmetics. What many people don’t realize is that some individuals suffer from mineral oil sensitivity and truly cannot come into contact with it. Sadly, I am one of those people.
Lubriderm is touted as a “dermatologist tested” product, which basically doesn’t mean a thing. Apparently the dermatologists who tested this product weren’t aware of the fact that mineral oil can be a very reactive substance for a segment of the population. I for one have ALWAYS been reactive, though I could never understand as a child why I always broke out in itchy rashes within an hour of being exposed to baby oil. To this day, a high concentration of mineral oil will drive me into an itchy frenzy. This was the main reason why I hesitated when the idea of trying Lubriderm once again, but my stubbornness won out.
I used Lubriderm lotion for normal to dry skin for one week, and during that entire time, experienced itchy skin which only got worse at night, as well as a diffuse papular (raised) rash which covered my shoulders, arms, and thighs. On the last day in which I used the Lubriderm, I actually broke out into hives on my thighs!
As soon as I stopped using Lubriderm, the rash cleared up without any intervention. This was a clear sign that I was indeed still very sensitive to mineral oil, and that it was tragic that products could still be found which listed mineral oil among its top 5 ingredients.
PIt’s important to bear in mind that mineral oil is manufactured from crude oil, and as a result can cause pronounced reactions in people who are sensitive. Such reactions aren’t confined to skin rashes, but also include headaches or joint aches. Mineral oil can also disguise itself as petrolatum, paraffin, or propylene glycol.
lease please please be aware that mineral oil sensitivity is very real!