For those with acne, it feels like you never win with skin care. While there are tons of products on the market that work efficiently to clear your skin, some acne-prone folks are still left with other issues like redness and irritation. And among those acne-fighting products, very few are classified as “natural” or “organic”—which for some people matters.
Enter Eminence Organic Skin Care. The skin care company famously known for being natural before it was a trend has released their Acne Advanced Collection, a three-step system that not only targets and prevents moderate to severe acne, but also addresses other skin issues associated with acne, such as excess oil and shine, inflammation, hyperpigmentation and scarring. These organic, non-irritating formulas offer a more natural approach to acne treatment, delivering a healthier, clearer complexion without exposing your skin to harsh chemicals and potential irritants.
The Secret Sauce: Encapsulated Time-Release Salicylic Acid
While each product in Eminence’s Acne Advance Collection has their own unique formulas, they all include salicylic acid, a potent type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and is one of the most effective ingredients for treating and preventing acne. In addition to sloughing off dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, oil-soluble salicylic acid deeply penetrates pores to dissolve excess oil, makeup and dirt build-up, clearing out congestion and blackheads.
While it’s been proven that salicylic acid is effective at treating acne, this BHA can also be potentially irritating to some skin types, causing dryness, redness and itchiness. This is why Eminence’s version of salicylic acid—naturally sourced from willow bark extract—is encapsulated in plant-based lipids and is time-released so it’s evenly deposited on the deeper layer of the skin. By allowing the salicylic acid to slowly exfoliate the skin over time, irritation is minimized, making this an ideal treatment for any skin type, even for those with easily irritated skin.
Aside from salicylic acid, each product in the collection also features a blend of botanical and natural actives to help cleanse, treat and moisturize acne-prone skin.
Get to Know Eminence’s Acne Advanced Collection
This Acne Advanced collection features three at-home products—Cleansing Foam, Clarifying Masque and Clarifying Hydrator—that work together to combat existing acne and prevent future breakouts. Here’s what else you need to know about the products in this collection:
What it is: A unique liquid-to-foam cleanser that gently soothes and tones.
What else you need to know: As encapsulated salicylic acid works to unclog your pores, this unique liquid-to-foam formula also has a natural blend of herbs and caffeine to balance out uneven skin tones. In addition, panthenol (A provitamin b5) contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties to shield the skin from irritation.The result is clean, refreshed skin without having it feeling over-drying.
What else you need to know: Used as a weekly mask for a daily spot treatment, This 2-in-1 product successfully treats active acne, while preventing future breakouts as well. It’s formulated with three different types of purifying clay to absorb excess oil and other impurities, leaving your skin looking matte and refreshed. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties found in basil oil and sulfur clean and exfoliate the skin to reduce any acne spots and enhance your complexion.
What it is: An ultra-lightweight mattifying lotion.
What else you need to know: This moisturizer targets all issues that come with acne-prone skin including excessive shine, hyperpigmentation, and scarring. Aside from from the salicylic acid, three ingredients are at play:
Lotus oil: Made from a blend of sacred lotus and blue lotus extracts controls sebum production—removing any excess oil and imperfections. Zinc Hyaluronate: A type of hyaluronic acid that deeply moisturizes your skin while working to heal any acne-related inflammation. Arbutin: A plant-derived antioxidant that targets and prevents hyperpigmentation and scarring.
Ask any wellness or beauty aficionado, and they’ll all agree: CBD oil is having a moment. But, unlike other super beauty ingredients making a splash in skin and hair care, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the cannabis-derived ingredient. Nonetheless, its beauty benefits and promising future in beauty are hard to ignore.
We tapped three experts to find out the beauty benefits of CBD oil, plus everything you need to know before trying the popular beauty trend. See what they had to say, below.
What Is CBD Oil and How Does It Work
The cannabis plant boasts a variety of compounds—also known as cannabinoids—believed to contain medicinal benefits. Among these cannabinoids is cannabidiol, or CBD. “Oils that are pulled [from] the plant that contains a high concentration of CBD are known as CBD oils,” says Dr. Alissia Zenhausern, NMD.
In order to understand how CBD oils work, it’s important to know what cannabinoids are and what they do. Cannabinoids are chemical messengers that activate a class of cell membrane receptors located throughout the body. These body receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, sleep, mood and memory. Cannabinoids are either naturally produced by the body (endogenous) or outside the body (exogenous). The cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, are considered exogenous, which, when consumed, also interact with cannabinoid receptors in the body and can generate similar physical and psychological effects.
There are currently two known subtypes of cannabinoid receptors in the body, CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor is expressed mainly in the brain, lungs, liver and kidneys. The CB2 receptor is expressed mainly in the immune system and in hematopoietic cells. Before the CBD beauty trend took off, Dr. Zenhausern says CBD-infused drugs was most commonly used for pain management and inflammatory conditions, as “CB2 receptors are most commonly found as part of the immune system [and they can] affect inflammation and pain.
Now, it is important to note that CBD will not produce the same euphoric sensations as THC, which means using CBD won’t make you feel “high.” “The way cannabinoids work is by attaching to CB1 and CB2 body receptors. However, new research has found that CBD doesn’t seem to attach to either receptor directly and [might] help your body use its own cannabinoids,” she adds.
The Beauty Benefits of CBD Oil
Although some CBD enthusiasts experiment with adding the oil into homemade beauty tinctures, the CBD beauty trend mostly refers to products formulated with the cannabinoid. Similar to other natural beauty benefiting ingredients—such as spirulina, which can be ingested on its own or used topically in a beauty product—the oil is the ingredient, and the beauty product is the delivery system that helps provide the skin with the beauty benefits of CBD.
Speaking of beauty benefits, CBD is chock full of them. So much so that some dermatologists—including board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Debra Jaliman—recommend the use of CBD oil for hair and skin. “It’s rich in vitamins A, C and E,” says Dr. Jaliman. “Vitamin A stimulates the cells responsible for producing the tissue that keeps skin firm and healthy; vitamin C stimulates collagen production, and it helps to reduce signs of aging; [and] vitamin E blocks free radicals from the body [which] helps slow down the aging process,” she continues.
On top of the benefits of CBD on aging skin, it can also benefit breakout-prone complexions. “Because acne is an inflammatory condition related to overworked sebaceous gland production, promising new research states that CBD can help reduce the production of sebum, which means CBD could become a future treatment for acne, particularly acne vulgaris, the most common form of acne associated with overproduction of sebum,” says Dr. Zenhausern.
CBD beauty product might also help other inflammatory-related conditions such as skin allergies, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. “The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of CBD naturally help improve irritating skin conditions including rosacea, eczema and psoriasis,” Julie Winter, COO and founding partner of CBD For Life explains.
Skin isn’t the only thing that benefits from CBD—hair can, too! Because it’s rich in fatty and amino acids, it may be beneficial to your hair and nails, too. “CBD and hemp oil stimulate and enhance the growth of hair through the scalp’s absorption of the main fatty acids [found in CBD and hemp], omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9,” says Winter.
Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil
The good news? Unlike THC, initial studies around CBD pose little to no sign of side effects to those who ingest it. “Many small studies have looked at the safety of CBD in adults,” explains Dr. Zenhausern. “Of the studies done, researchers found that most adults well tolerated CBD even at a wide range of doses. They found no significant side effects on the central nervous system. The most common side effects cited include fatigue, diarrhea and changes in appetite or weight.”
As for skin care, Dr. Jaliman says “no studies have shown it to cause irritation or to aggravate sensitive skin. Research has shown CBD [beauty products are] safe to use with no unwanted side effects.”
Still, Dr. Zenhausern advises to be cautious when trying the CBD beauty trend—especially if using the straight oil versus a beauty product formulated with it. “Each CBD oil contains a different concentration of CBD, so it is very important to read the label and understand what it means,” she says.
Aside from minding the concentration, it’s also important to be aware of the legal issues surrounding the ingredient. “In the United States, each state has different laws when it comes to the use of CBD as well as medical marijuana,” says Dr. Zenhausern. “Anyone considering CBD oil should speak with their local healthcare provider for more information about the laws in their unique state as well as high-quality sources for safe CBD sources,” she concludes.
How to Use CBD Oil for Best Results
If the beauty benefits of CBD excite you, there are a few ways you can include the super beauty ingredient into your regimen. One of the first, most important tips for using CBD in beauty is to do your research. “Research the CBD products you are interested in purchasing and make sure the products do not contain THC,” says Winter. “CBD is not FDA regulated so consumers should be on the lookout for companies that are transparent with their test results,” she adds.
Another important thing to consider is the results. As with all beauty products, the types of results you wish to see should dictate the way you apply or use CBD in your regimen. “Consumers can ingest CBD oil in products like tinctures for fast-acting results since it travels directly into the bloodstream. But, applying CBD topically is the most effective for targeting specific areas of the body like muscle aches and pains,” explains Winter.
As promising as CBD sounds, it’s no secret that this beauty ingredient is still pretty new and highly controversial, so our advice? As with any trendy, expert-approved beauty ingredient, it’s always wise to consult your dermatologist before adding CBD beauty products to your regimen.
If you’re anything like us, you might not give much thought to how you organize your beauty products and tools. Some choose a makeup bag, others pick the medicine cabinet of their bathroom, while others have the luxury of a vanity. Most of the time, as long as those brushes, hair wands and eyeshadow sticks are in a cool, protected environment, you’re fine…or are you? Board certified dermatologist Dr. Papri Sarkar explains what beauty lovers should worry about the most is the health hazards and the hygiene of their daily-use goodies. “Tools won’t function properly, can grow bacteria or mold or cut you if it’s a sharp instrument like a razor, when not stored properly,” she explains.
Much like anything you apply on your body, being mindful of ingredients and how they’re compromised with exposure to different elements may help you to understand the best TLC strategy. Dr. Sarkar explains that moisture, sunlight and temperature all affect a product’s efficacy. She explains that a product with vitamin C may degrade if exposed to sunlight, or that one with acidic pH can be jeopardized if water is spilled on it. A retinoid could also decrease its effectiveness if it’s in the sun for too long.
To get the most out of your products in a healthy, dermatologist-approved way, follow these smart tips for keeping them safe and sound.
Of all the skin care products you invest in, serums are not only among the most expensive, but they can be the most sensitive to the elements. This is mainly due to their ingredients: “Vitamin C degrades if exposed to light and oxidizes when exposed to air. To increase the life of your vitamin C serum, keep it tightly capped in the fridge,” she recommends.
How about your retinol? Dr. Sarkar says to keep these in cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, like your medicine cabinet.
Moisturizers and eye creams
Much like serums, other liquid facial products can be easily impacted, too. Dr. Sarkar says that you should ensure anything you apply on your sensitive pores daily remain at a cool degree.
“Leaving these in warm places with an open container can cause contamination and cause infections especially if applied close to the eye,” she continues.
For safe-keeping and for that extra benefit of having that soothing, cooling effect, place your eye cream in the fridge.
Makeup tools like brushes or sponges
Dr. Sarkar says in the case of makeup tools—blush brushes, contour wands, sponges for foundation and so on—it is less about where you keep them, but rather, how often you clean them. “If you don’t clean your makeup brushes or tools often enough or let them sit in wet products, they’re likely to get contaminated with bacteria or mold,” she explains. “Without care, you can experience infections, breakouts, irritation, clogged pores and be less effective at applying makeup.”
If you’re honest with yourself, it’s probably been a while since you’ve given them a thorough wash—so get to it! Dr. Sarkar suggests keeping them in a cool, dry place where they will rid of water easily.
Hairstyling tools and brushes
Okay, fess up: when was the last time you pulled all of the hair out of your brush? Not today, right? Dr. Sarkar reveals that we should be cleaning out our brushes each and every single day to protect ourselves from the lingering bacteria that could be left over from previous washes. How come?
She explains: “Hair is amazingly good at holding onto organisms and product and you don’t want that getting back on freshly washed hair,” she says. Where should you keep your tools? In a cool, dry place—especially any electric hair-styling tools, as water can be dangerous.
Dr. Sarkar says that too often, we leave open liquid makeup when we’re in a rush to get to work or meet up with our pals, causing it to get concentrated and become darker in shade. She also reiterated the importance of keeping tinted liquid formulas in the right temperature. For example, if you expose this same formula to sunlight, it can separate, becoming greasy without pigment or thicken to the point where you can’t use it. And if it’s too chilly? It can actually freeze! That’s why you can consider this sort of product as the Goldilocks of beauty essentials: it has to be kept in a temperature that’s just right.
If liquid makeup is picky, powder foundation is a bit easier to please: Dr. Sarkar says that the best rule of thumb to follow is keeping your powder makeup in a dry place.
The only issue you could run into is if your friend or partner bumps your compact into the sink, or accidentally dipping a wet brush or sponge into your powder container, adding moisture and making it clumpy. Pressed powder is also fragile; a little mishap could send it crumbling into pieces and turn the insides of your purse into a powdery mess. Instead, zip it up and store away for whenever anyone is around who might not be as careful as you are.
You should develop a habit of always keeping your nail polish in a place that’s away from heat. Not only does this extend its shelf life, but it will ensure that your beloved shade doesn’t dry out. “Keeping them in a hot place can cause the components of the polish to separate, making it less effective,” she explains. A great place is a closet or even under the sink in your bathroom.
As we age, anti-aging becomes a major focus in our beauty regimens. After all, many of us want to ensure that we don’t just look our best, but are our healthiest—and what better way to do so than adopt a regimen that ensures a healthy-looking complexion?
With that said, anti-aging skin care isn’t just reserved for mature skin types. As it turns out, you’re never too young to start thinking about preventative measures. “The younger we start with preventative care, the less work we will have to do as we age,” says board-certified New York dermatologist, Dr. Debra Jaliman. Preventative skin care routines are about more than just creams and serums—they’re also about lifestyle choices. After all, as we get older, age amounts to a fraction of skin health, and habits such as smoking and not getting enough sleep can result in premature wrinkles and more.
From kicking bad habits to adding powerful ingredients to your product arsenal, we’ve got everything you need to start an anti-aging skin care regimen at any age, ahead.
1. Exfoliate to slough off dry skin
Looking for an effective way to prevent premature signs of aging and promote healthier-looking skin? Dr. Jaliman says to exfoliate. “Exfoliating is very important—it’s the first step to a preventative skin care routine. Exfoliate to get rid of dry, flaky skin [and] rejuvenate and brighten the skin,” Dr. Jaliman explains. “Regular exfoliation will help with any sun damage or skin discoloration and [it] will also allow for products to penetrate deeper into the skin,” she adds. You can incorporate exfoliation into your routine in a number of ways, including dry brushing and sugar scrubs along with chemical exfoliants such as AHA acids.
Silk pillowcases are all the rage right now—and for good reason. Not only do they give us an excuse to go to bed early, but they also help prevent some common skin care woes, too. “It is important to sleep on a satin pillowcase so that the skin doesn’t crunch and sleep lines don’t form,” Dr. Jaliman advises. “This helps to keep the skin looking bright and well rested”; on top of that, silk won’t steal your expensive anti-aging products from your skin. A good night’s sleep and more product for the complexion? Yes, please!
Even in the dead of winter, sunscreen is a must-have preventative skin care item. So much so that Dr. Doft recommends adding the product to your routine when you’re a baby! Sunscreen is best known for its ability to prevent sunburns (if used correctly), but that’s not the only thing it’s good for. Since it literally can shield your complexion from the sun, it can protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays that lead to sun damage (we see you, sunspots!), wrinkles and other premature signs of aging.
Using moisturizer at any age can help keep skin ultra-soft and supple. That said, Dr. Doft suggests upping the ante in your 20s. “You want to keep your skin hydrated by using a great moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, which will lock in water,” explains Doft. Water retention plays a big part in hydrating the skin, so using a moisturizer formulated with an ingredient known to do so can help prevent dry skin and leave the complexion with a youthful-looking glow. In addition, it can “make fine lines less noticeable,” according to Dr. Jaliman.
As we age, our preventative skin care routine should start to evolve. With that in mind, Dr. Doft has the ultimate game plan for your late-twenties and 30s. “As you approach your 30s, it is great to start using vitamin A (retinol) and C, which will help brighten your skin, catch free radicals and stimulate collagen formation,” she explains. Thanks to their popularity, you can find vitamin A and C in a host of beauty products such as serums, creams and even face masks. Once you reach your 40s (and beyond), Dr. Doft recommends considering “an over-the-counter prescription-strength retinol.” Before making the switch, be sure to discuss it with your dermatologist.
When using retinol in your regimen, it’s important to consider the potential side effects. “Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen above SPF 30 when using retinol,” says Dr. Jaliman. “Using retinol can make your skin more sun sensitive [and it] should be used at night only,” she notes. In addition to sun protection, expecting mothers should err on the side of caution. “It is unclear if topical retinol is dangerous during pregnancy,” says Dr. Doft. “Oral retinol has been shown to lead to birth defects. I would avoid any products with retinol during pregnancy,” she adds.
Speaking of retinol, Dr. Jaliman suggests using an eye cream formulated with the powerful anti-ager at night. “Using an eye cream with retinol is a good idea if you’re trying to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles or trying to prevent any future ones,” she explains. “Retinol stimulates a quicker renewal of skin cells. When someone uses retinol, the outer layer of the skin is sloughed off and the newer skin underneath is revealed,” she explains. Eye cream, in general, can make for an excellent preventative skin care product, as it tends to be thicker than a regular moisturizer and can provide targeted nourishment to the delicate skin around the eyes.
When we think of preventative skin care, we automatically think of wrinkles and other premature signs of aging. However, that’s not the only thing that can prevent skin from looking healthier and more youthful—acne can, too. For those with acne-prone skin, you might want to consider adding acne-fighting products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. “Use a gentle exfoliating scrub with ingredients such as salicylic acid to remove extra dirt and oils from your skin,” Dr. Jaliman suggests. “This helps to reduce the amount of dead skin that clogs pores. If you have acne-prone skin, you should look for certain ingredients or keywords in labels, [like] glycolic acid, salicylic acid, aloe oil-free [and] non-comedogenic,” she advises.
Preventative skin care is all about adding in the right products and ingredients. That said, there are some to be cautious of and others to avoid altogether. Not to mention: Mixing some of the above suggestions can be disastrous. We share the precautions to consider, below.
8. Quit smoking
Judging by our intro, you probably knew this was coming. While kicking your smoking habits to the curb can benefit the body in more ways than one, it can particularly help in the preventative skin care department too. “Do not smoke, and if you do, quit,” says Plastic Surgeon Dr. Melissa Doft, MD. “I can always spot someone who smoked when they walk into the office as they always look much older than their age,” she notes.
“Cigarette smoke decreases the blood supply to the skin, causes unnecessary wrinkles on the face and leaves skin dehydrated and dull,” Dr. Jaliman adds. Like other environmental pollutants, cigarettes are chock-full of free radicals—the pesky things we try to fight with anti-aging products—and if you smoke, you’re giving them a one-way ticket to your skin and overall health.
9. Stay hydrated
Another lifestyle change that can impact the health of your skin? Your water intake. “Drink plenty of water,” advises Dr. Jaliman. “Staying hydrated is beneficial to the skin.” The recommended daily water intake might vary depending on your sex and activity level (fun fact: The more you work out, the more water you need!), so check with your doctor if you have concerns with your water intake.”
10. Get your beauty sleep
Sleep prevents more than a bad mood. While we sleep, the skin regenerates itself, which helps it stay healthy. “Not sleeping enough is a bad habit,” Dr. Jaliman explains. “Beauty sleep is very important; I recommend that my patients sleep seven to eight hours per night.” We can all use an excuse to get more shut-eye, why not blame it on our beauty?!
In addition to lifestyle changes, there are a few skin care products and ingredients you might want to consider for a preventative skin care routine. Keep reading to find out what products and practices Dr. Jaliman and Dr. Doft swear by for healthy, youthful-looking skin.
Precautions to Note
Albeit a stellar preventative skin care ingredient, retinol can wreak havoc if not used properly—and on its own. “You should avoid mixing retinol products with products that have acids such as alpha-hydroxy (glycolic and lactic) and beta-hydroxy acids (salicylic),” Dr. Jaliman warns. “You can still use the products, but you should use them at different times. Products with acids can be used during daytime and retinol at night,” she notes. Parabens are also important to consider—and Dr. Jaliman says you should avoid them. “They are added to many products to preserve shelf life, but they can disrupt the hormones in your body,” she explains.
If you have acne, you should look for certain ingredients and words on the packaging, but also steer clear of others. “Silicone in makeup tends to cause acne,” Dr. Jaliman reveals. In addition, she suggests avoiding oils such as “almond oil and wheat germ oil” as these ingredients have the ability to clog pores when used on the face.
Those with rosacea might not benefit from the same preventative skin care ingredients and products as those with acne or dry, prematurely aging skin. “Benzoyl peroxide, which is a common ingredient used to treat acne, should be avoided by people who have rosacea, [as] it can increase inflammation,” explains Dr. Jaliman. “Glycolic acid can be found in many anti-aging products and, if you have rosacea, you should avoid it. It can burn and cause redness and peeling,” she concludes.
Not all white bumps under your eyes—and sometimes on your eyelids—are acne.
If you’ve ever developed a milium cyst, you quickly realize these small, pesky bumps are infinitely more difficult to remove than whiteheads or other acne bumps. Many patients try to squeeze them out but ultimately fail (and instead make matters worse from the trauma of picking).
Don’t let these small yet stubborn cysts frustrate you. A lot can be done to treat and prevent milia, but first, one needs to understand what they are and why they occur.
What Are Milia
Milia is the medical term for small, keratin-filled cysts that can be seen in all age groups. These cysts can be solitary (milium) or appear in clusters (milia). They are most commonly seen in infants as tiny, firm, whitish bumps on the cheeks or around the nose and eyes. Nearly half of all infants develop them. Adults can develop milia on the face as well, including very delicate areas like the eyelids. Milia can even form on the arms or hands, especially in older patients with severe sun-damaged (think leathery) skin or those with certain acquired or genetic skin conditions associated with blistering. In all cases, however, milia are benign and treatment is not necessary since they can eventually go away on their own.
What Causes Milia
Milia form as a consequence of the skin’s localized inability to naturally exfoliate. Dead skin cells—composed predominantly of keratin, a protein also found in hair and nails—build up underneath, causing a bump to form. Unlike acne, milia are cysts, do not form from a pore and typically do not get inflamed or develop redness or swelling.
How to Get Rid of Milia
So what needs to be done? In most cases, nothing. In due time all milia will resolve spontaneously, so it’s perfectly reasonable to leave them alone. However, when waiting is not an option, especially for those with very persistent or cosmetically bothersome milia, treatment should be considered with the help of your dermatologist. Here are some things you can do.
1. Regular Exfoliation
Products that boost exfoliation and cell turnover keep the skin smooth and thin, thereby eradicating milia and preventing them from recurring. I highly recommend Skinceuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub, which is gentle enough to use daily without leaving the skin overly dry or irritated. After slightly wetting your fingers, massage this product along your face using small circular motions. Just a few minutes are all your need to give your skin an instantly smoother feel and appearance.
Products containing glycolic acid and retinol are also fantastic milia-busters. These products are considered very safe, but some caution is needed when using these products around the eyes where skin is thinner and inherently more prone to irritation. Glycolic acid is available in over-the-counter creams or gels in 20% or lower concentrations. Consistent use of this natural alpha-hydroxy acid at low doses gives the skin a consistent rate of exfoliation without excess irritation. Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel does an excellent job exfoliating without leaving the skin too dry. A thin layer applied every other evening is typically sufficient to give your skin a brighter and smoother appearance. Let the product dry for ten minutes, then apply a moisturizer on top before going to bed.
Retinol is another milia-eradicating ingredient. Nightly use of low concentrations, like that found in Skin Medica Retinol Complex 1.0, gently increases the skin’s cell turnover rate, revealing a fresh smooth layer. For those with sensitive skin, it’s wise to start with a thin layer applied only every other night before ramping up to daily use. Remember to always follow up with an evening moisturizer to counteract dryness and irritation. For especially stubborn or numerous milia, prescription retinol creams (like Retin-A or generic tretinoin 0.025% – 0.05% cream or gel) may be in order. Consult your dermatologist to discuss these options.
2. Professional Extraction
For those who simply can’t wait the number of weeks required for topical exfoliating treatments to work their magic, manual extraction by your dermatologist can provide a quicker solution. A sterile needle or blade is used initially to create a small opening in the cyst. Afterwards, the bump can either be left alone to spontaneously decompress with routine cleansing or exfoliating, or extraction using a comedone extractor can be done to remove the cyst manually by gentle pressure. In skilled hands, little trauma and no scarring should be produced. I caution my patients against doing this at home on themselves. Improper technique can cause excess skin trauma leading to hyperpigmentation (dark marks) or even permanent scarring.
The best course of action of course is to not get them in the first place. This is why sunscreen is critical. Sun damage is a known contributor to milia formation, so every morning routine must include application of sunscreen (at least an SPF 30). I recommend EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 because it contains micronized zinc oxide (which provides the optimum sun protection by blocking both UVA and UVB radiation). It feels light, smooth and non-greasy on the face. It won’t leave a white sheen or increase breakouts. Apply after cleansing and moisturizing.
With a solid routine in place that incorporates daily sun protection, gentle exfoliation at home, and in-office extraction as needed, your skin could be smooth, radiant and milia-free!
When working at a beauty company, it gets super-easy to fall in love with a new product each and every day. We’re surrounded by some of the best-selling skin care, hair care and makeup products that we love sampling, sniffing and chatting about endlessly. Naturally, some of them end up being our go-tos that we stash in our purses and take with us everywhere!
Here at Dermstore, you’ll find all kinds of beauty aficionados—from savvy marketers to trend-scouring beauty buyers—who know their stuff. We selected just a few of these fabulous ladies to spill the content of their bags and give us the lowdown on each item. Read ahead to get to know them (and their favorite beauty products) a little better.
Kat S., MarketingDirector – Content and SEO
Skin Type: Combination Skin Concerns: Milia, Age Prevention Lifestyle: Active/Outdoorsy
How long have you been using it? About 6 months. What do you love most about it? The packaging is super cute and easy to slip into a bag. Also, the color is blend-able and lasts all day. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? I’m a minimalist when it comes to makeup. Part of it is not wanting to spend much time getting ready along with wanting my face to feel lightweight when I’m out about my day. So, I only really wear a brow pencil, mascara and blush on a daily basis. With that being said, I love how just a little bit of this color can add a natural glow to my skin. If you could describe it in 2-3 words, what would they be? Hint of color.
How long have you been using it? About a year. What do you love most about it? Ok, I have always had a problem with tube mascara. Maybe I was just never buying high-end enough, but I hate how when you buy a new tube, the wand is completely coated in makeup. How’s a girl supposed to get precision from that? With Besame’s Black Cake Mascara, I love that I can control exactly how much I apply, every time. Plus, the product lasts a really long time. If you could describe it in 2-3 words, what would they be? Mascara for grownups.
How long have you been using it? Over a year. What do you love most about it? Are there any unique ingredients? This is a zinc-based mineral sunscreen and it’s the best I’ve found. Zinc is the only mineral sunscreen ingredient that will protect against UVA and UVB rays (titanium dioxide needs zinc as its buddy, zinc can go it alone), so it makes for a super simple SPF with minimal ingredients. As a fair-skinned gal, I don’t mind the initial white-cast this one gives since it does fade/sink in after a minute or two. Best of all, it’s also not oily at all! If you could describe it in 2-3 words, what would they be? Daily necessity.
Jordan J., Marketing Coordinator
Skin Type: Normal
Skin Concerns: AgePrevention, Sun Protection
Hair Type and Texture: Fine, Oily
How long have you been using it? Months! What do you love most about it? This is my all-time favorite. If I was stranded on a desert island with one product, this would be it. This lip butter hydrates, treats and is slightly tinted. I travel a lot and so my lips are often dry, but after using this product, my lips feel restored. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? No more dry, cracked lips!
How long have you been using it? 3 months. What do you love most about it? So far, I love it. It fits perfectly in my purse, detangles greatly and stimulates the scalp. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? For those of you that have fine hair (like me) that is easily knotted, this hair brush is a lifesaver. If you could describe it in 2-3 words, what would they be? Best on-the-go brush.
How long have you been using it? 4 months. What do you love most about it? I was a bit hesitant to try a dry shampoo paste, but now, there’s no looking back. This product has a matte finish and is both a dry shampoo and styling product in one. This is my saving grace on days I don’t wash my hair or when I just need a little pick-me-up. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? Yes! I can now say goodbye to greasy, unstyled hair! If you could describe it in 2-3 words, what would they be? Instant hair makeover.
How long have you been using it? 2 months. What do you love most about it? Are there any unique ingredients? I love that this product energizes and enhances your skin. The unique tourmaline stones really do help improve the tone and texture of your skin. You can visibly see a difference, especially if you’re a side sleeper, as it reduces lines and swelling. How does it compare to other products that you’ve tried in the past? I prefer this over a stone roller any day. You can use this all over your body, not just your face. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? I definitely notice a reduction in face swelling and signs of fine lines.
How long have you been using it? Over a year. What do you love most about it? This sunscreen layers well under makeup and isn’t oily or scented. It’s travel-ready, long-lasting and great rain or shine. The best part is that it also moisturizes your skin! Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? I would be sunburned and covered in freckles if it wasn’t for this sunscreen.
Sonia A., Associate Buyer
Skin Type: Combination/Dry
Skin Concerns: Dehydrated Skin, Hyperpigmentation, Dark Circles
How long have you been using it? Just started using this! What do you love most about it? It’s a super moisturizing cream that can be used all over the body, not just the hands and face. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? I have eczema and this definitely helps keep my symptoms at bay.
How long have you been using it? 4 months. What do you love most about it? Are there any unique ingredients? I love the color—it’s a subtle nude/pinkish color. It contains aloe vera, which is very soothing and hydrating. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? It has definitely helped to restore my dry lips.
How long have you been using it? About 2 months What do you love most about it? I love the way it leaves my skin glowing. It’s very handy for those times I leave the house in a rush and forget to apply sunscreen to my arms and hands. How does it compare to other products that you’ve tried in the past? I think what really differentiates this product is that it’s a glow stick, so it can be used as a highlighter on the face as well. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? I think the fact that it protects my skin while locking in moisture is a major plus!
Christine W., Dermstore Spa Esthetician
Skin Type: Sensitive/Dehydrated Skin Concerns: Sun Damage Lifestyle: Outdoorsy
How long have you been using it? 10+ years. What do you love most about it? It’s great for keeping a clean shape in between appointments or tackling any hairs on the chin or upper lip area. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? It helps to prevent two groomed brows from becoming one.
How long have you been using it? 6 years. What do you love most about it? Are there any unique ingredients? This is one of my go-to mascaras because of the large, fluffy brush applicator that allows me to create volume and length without any product buildup. Also, as someone who wears mascara daily, the seaweed lipids within this formula protect my lashes from getting brittle and prevent breakage. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? I don’t have as many lashes falling out thanks to the seaweed lipids keeping them nourished throughout the day.
How long have you been using it? 5 years. How does it compare to other products that you’ve tried in the past? The smell and shine that it provides is long-lasting, unlike other hair perfumes that I have tried. It’s a light, flirty scent with notes of lily and blood orange that isn’t too overpowering. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? This helps minimize any unpleasant odors whether it’s after the gym or maybe when you want to mask the scent of your dry shampoo. Just a couple sprays and the unwanted smell is gone! If you could describe it in 2-3 words, what would they be? Flirtatious, fresh fragrance.
How long have you been using it? 3 years. What do you love most about it? Are there any unique ingredients? I find that I rarely have to re-apply this balm since it truly provides long-lasting hydration.I love the anti-aging properties from the Bio-ceramides and antioxidant protection from vitamin E. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? Yes, it has improved the texture of my lips, leaving them soft and supple throughout the day.
How long have you been using it? 5 years. What do you love most about it? Are there any unique ingredients? The aroma is very refreshing and invigorating and I love to use this mist throughout the day to refresh my makeup or skin. Plus, the antioxidants found in this formula provide great protection from environmental aggressors like pollution—especially beneficial for those that have a long commute. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? It has made my skin softer, suppler and brighter.
How long have you been using it? For almost a year. What do you love most about it?Are there any unique ingredients? This product has a beautiful tint and keeps my lips hydrated all day long! I love that this item contains nourishing shea butter and refreshing Mandarin oil. How does it compare to other products that you’ve tried in the past? This lip balm lasts much longer compared to some of the other products I’ve tried. It’s convenient to use and most importantly, hydrating. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? I’ve noticed that the lip balm has helped with my chapped lips.
How long have you been using it? 5 months. What do you love most about it? I love how the product melts into my skin right away and shrinks my pores instantly. How does it compare to other products that you’ve tried in the past? This is a very lightweight oil that doesn’t sit on top of the skin like some of the other oils I’ve tried in the past. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? My pores definitely look smaller.
How long have you been using it? 3 months. What do you love most about it? Are there any unique ingredients? This product instantly brightens my skin for a natural-looking glow. It contains hyaluronic acid and meadowfoam seed oil that provides deep hydration and targets fine lines and wrinkles. How does it compare to other products that you’ve tried in the past? It’s great because you can use it both day or night. Has it improved any major conditions or concerns? My skin is much tighter and appears to be brighter.
Have you been wanting to try Obagi Medical’s impressive line of skin care products and systems but don’t know where to start? Do you know anyone who’s raving about its results but still unsure if it’s the right brand for you? Have you always wanted to try a more professional approach to your skin care routine but just never had the chance to talk to a dermatologist about it? You’ve come to the right place. Here, the experts at Obagi Medical give us the lowdown on your most pressing skin concerns, as well as share their top advice on how to pick the right Obagi skin care products based on what your skin needs.
If You’re Dealing With Fine Lines & Wrinkles
What happens to your skin: Lines and wrinkles often first appear around the eyes, seemingly out of nowhere one day, long before other wrinkles start to show. This can appear prematurely if one hasn’t been vigilant with the sun or if one has neglected to moisturize. As always, the sun is the main culprit, with the usual consequences such as collagen matrix degradation, elastin rigidity and decay, and glycosaminoglycans deterioration. A compromised barrier function creates water loss and weakens the defense against environmental attacks, ultimately resulting in lines and wrinkles.
What ingredients/products to look for: Staples of any solid skin care regimen should always include a mild cleanser, an antioxidant, a good exfoliator, a strong moisturizer, and a sunscreen offering a minimum SPF 30, if possible 50. This is necessary for good maintenance and protection but in order to effectively fight the look of skin aging (such as lines & wrinkles).
As for ingredients, one should look for retinoid (an in-depth skin renewal ingredient), vitamin C (well known for its antioxidant properties), and hyaluronic acid (recognized for its water-bearing capacity). Reliable exfoliants such as glycolic acid should also find their place in efficacious products. Finally, make sure your moisturizer delivers long-term hydration throughout the day.
Which Obagi skin care line would be best for this concern: Obagi Medical currently offers a full portfolio of products that address this particular concern. The choice is determined by severity, area of concern as well as skin type. For example, we address peri-orbital lines with our proprietary Elastiderm technology, found in our line of eye products (both Cream and Serum). Our Elastiderm eye cream is clinically proven to dramatically reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles around the eye, thanks to its proprietary bi-mineral complex technology. At the end of an 8 week study on women who tried ELASTIderm Eye Cream, 97% of patients considered the roughness/crepey texture of the skin around their eyes to be barely or not noticeable and 88% of patients considered the laxity/looseness of the skin around their eyes to be barely or not noticeable.
We extend our care to the entire face with retinoids. For the face, our retinol, which comes in two strengths (Retinol 1.0 and Retinol 0.5), features entrapment technology, a unique means of encapsulation that dramatically reduces irritation potential and is clinically shown to deliver efficacy without the redness or flaking one would expect from such a high dose of retinoid. In fact, 90% of study participants saw an improvement in facial appearance (i.e. lines and wrinkles less visible, face appeared firmer, improvement in appearance of texture, etc.) by week 3 with Obagi Retinol 1.0.
How to use this line for best results: For the retinol, it is always best to acclimate, especially if your skin is retinoid-naïve. We recommend slowly easing your way into retinol 0.5 before moving on to retinol 1.0. Use at night and combine with daily exfoliation, whether it be chemical exfoliation (like our Exfoderm or Exfoderm Forte), or a combination of mechanical and chemical exfoliation (like our Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser). Use Elastiderm Eye Cream day and night for optimal results; it can be used around the entire upper and lower eyelid area.
Other tips on how to address this skin concern: Wear sunscreen every single day, if possible with a broad spectrum high SPF such as Obagi Sunshield Matte SPF50. Remember that you are most likely not applying enough sunscreen, so reapply often. Wear a hat, and sunglasses (squinting will bring on those crow’s feet faster).
If You Struggle With Acne
What happens to your skin: Acne comes from a trifecta of events that precipitate the emergence of breakouts: P.acnes invasion, overactive sebum glands and plugged pores. Sometimes inflammation can add to the condition and make things worse. Flares typically begin at puberty and are triggered by hormonal fluctuations, but they also can happen in adulthood depending on genetics, lifestyle and stress.
What ingredients/products to look for: The FDA has a precise list of sanctioned ingredients that are approved for acne. The most commonly used (and most efficacious) are benzoyl peroxide (BPO) and salicylic acid. BPO kills P. acnes whereas salicylic acid promotes exfoliation by exerting its keratolytic effect. These ingredients work but tend to be aggressive and can dry the skin
Which Obagi skin care line would be best for this concern: We use the FDA’s approved gold standards for acne care in our Clenziderm line. However, we use specific versions of these compounds and put them into formulations that enable their efficacy while minimizing side effects. For example, our Clenziderm Therapeutic Lotion uses a unique, solubilized BPO molecule that spends less time at the surface of the skin, thus reducing its irritation potential. Also, our a proprietary formulation of 5% benzoyl peroxide gets delivered directly to the follicles to reach the source of acne. In fact, this highly effective, yet tolerable system backed by clinical studies that show it reduces breakouts in as little as 1 week with continued results through 12 weeks.
Aside from the Clenziderm Therapeutic lotion, the line also features a special toner named Pore Therapy, that works so well it is a cult item even amongst those who have no acne but want their pores to look smaller and a more matte look. Pore Therapy is a 2% salicylic acid solution that unclogs pores and clears away dead skin cells.There is also a salicylic acid-containing foaming cleanser that complements the regimen and have the maximum chance for efficacy without the usual side effects. 81% of patients were satisfied or very satisfied with their acne improvement and 87% reported that the system was effective or very effective.
How to use this line for best results: Saturate a flat cotton pad with Pore therapy for best application. If you use the Therapeutic lotion at night make sure your pillowcase is white, as the benzoyl peroxide can bleach colored textiles.
If you are still experiencing side effects such as dryness or flaking, use the Clenziderm Therapeutic Moisturizer to remedy as needed, it has a very high glycerin content that will mitigate dryness.
Other tips on how to address this skin concern: Have trouble sticking to your routine when you’re busy? Use Susan Obagi MD Acne Wipes for those times when you’re on the go and need a convenient option to cleanse. Also, some studies suggest that avoiding short carbohydrates can help diminish flare frequency. It is also a good idea to reduce sun exposure so as not to aggravate the inflammatory process that may already have started.
If You Have Dull, Dry or Dehydrated Skin
What happens to your skin: Dry skin typically is the result of lack of care, chronic abuse of the skin barrier, and photodamage.
What ingredients/products to look for: Everyone needs a good moisturizer. However, many moisturizers on the market do not deliver real moisture but instead sit on the skin passively. This is good because it can help with transepidermal water loss, but a great moisturizer should deliver more.
Hydromanil, shea butter, mango butter, avocado and glycerin in Obagi Hydrate provide rapid and all-day moisturization. These ingredients and more, chronoline and kollaren, in Obagi Hydrate Luxe work while you sleep for, long-lasting moisturization and a rejuvenated-looking complexion. Also, L-asorbic acid is great for retaining moisture and brightening the skin.
Which Obagi skin care line would be best for this concern: Our Obagi Hydrate moisturizer has 2-in-1 moisturizing action that goes above and beyond and actually provides moisture all throughout the day, thanks to our hydrating matrix technology derived from Tara seed. In addition, our rich Hydrate Luxe also features two biomimetic peptides designed to deliver benefits to the skin while you are sleeping and/or feeling extra dry.
Both Obagi moisturizers are special from an innovation perspective as well as a benefit perspective. Hydrate integrates within the Nu-Derm system to reduce potential side effects such as dryness or flakiness, but it can also work by itself as an all-day moisturizer. Hydrate Luxe is designed to work with the skin’s circadian rhythms to deliver benefits when the skin is most receptive.
Also, the Professional-C Portfolio offers a number of options to help skin appear more rejuvenated, including Obagi Professional-C Serum in 10%, 15% or 20% and Professional-C Peptide Complex. The Professional C Portfolio’s Professional-C Serum 10% is a concentrated formula recommended specifically for dry, irritated or sensitive skin. In a clinical study, 91% of users reported that their skin appeared brighter and/or more hydrated.
How to use this line for best results: Hydrate Luxe can also be used during the day as well, when there is a need to treat extra dry skin.
If You Have Hyperpigmentation or Dark Spots
What happens to your skin: Hyperpigmentation can be brought about by genetics, hormonal changes (melasma), excessive sun/environmental exposure, or a past inflammatory event (PIH). It manifests itself as age spots, melasma or mottled hyperpigmentation.
What ingredients/products to look for: In order to correct the appearance of hyperpigmentation, a brightening agent is needed. There are specific ingredients that target the look of age spots or mottled hyperpigmentation, and we only use the most physician-trusted ones. Arbutin is a long-standing alternative to prescription-strength lighteners that is clinically proven to deliver brightening benefits when used as part of our Obagi regimen. And as always, vitamin C with its antioxidant benefits is one of our most reliable compounds for preserving a radiant, bright look. But not all forms of vitamin Cs are created equal, and there are many derivatives on the market. We only use L-ascorbic acid because it is known to be the most bioavailable and thus most efficacious form. It is hard to stabilize but we have created a base that does just that!
Which Obagi skin care line would be best for this concern: The Obagi Nu-Derm FX system is clinically proven to brighten skin tone and reduce the look of mottled pigmentation when used with a retinoid. We suggest using our special retinol technology to get maximum efficacy.
Nu-Derm FX combines all of our original, trusted products but features arbutin, instead of prescription-strength hydroquinone, in both the Clear FX and Blend FX products. Both Clear Fx and Blend Fx are skin-brightening creams formulated with 7% arbutin, antioxidants and lactic acid. Clear Fx enhances the appearance of even skin tone, while Blend Fx helps clarify and brighten the skin with a richer, thicker formula for nighttime use.
How to use this line for best results: You can layer any retinoid with Blend FX or you can mix them together before applying to your face, but we recommend our Retinol 0.5 or 1.0 for its gentleness and efficacy. Remember to limit retinol use to your nightly routine.
Additionally, patients may consider adding an antioxidant for additional defense against oxidative stress during the day. Obagi Pro-C Serum in 10%, 15% or 20% can be layered before Clear Fx for morning application.
Other tips on how to address this skin concern: Be religious about sunscreen. Even the strongest topical treatment will deliver efficacy if you defeat its purpose with unprotected sun exposure. Always use a sunscreen with the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommended SPF of 30 or higher, such as Obagi’s Sunshield Matte.
In addition, the latest science has uncovered evidence that pollution does induce hyperpigmentation, so make sure to protect your skin with antioxidant products as well!
EltaMD has always been a power player in the board-spectrum sunscreen arena. In fact, its best-selling sunscreen, EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, has been hailed the “most-loved sunscreen on Dermstore” and has sold more than 20,000 bottles. But what most shoppers don’t know is that this brand actually started out with skin care products intended for wound healing, developed for physicians and other medical professionals to be used in hospitals, burn centers and rehabilitation clinics. And because its formulas are designed to address severe skin conditions, EltaMD uses only the most premium-grade ingredients that are gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin.
For over 25 years, EltaMD’s mission—which is to provide physicians and their patients with innovative products that help restore, protect and maintain healthy skin—hasn’t changed. And now, thanks to Dermstore, anyone can now have access to EltaMD’s physician-recommended skin care line, even without an appointment to a dermatologist. Whether you have problematic skin that needs special care or are just on the lookout for a simple, straightforward skin care regimen that’s easy for you to keep up with, EltaMD offers four basic steps that cater to your specific skin type. Here’s a quick guide on how to build your own skin care regimen with EltaMD.
Step 1: Cleanse
Cleansing is the first step to a good skin care routine. It removes all the makeup, dirt and oil accumulated on your skin throughout the day. Choose a cleanser that won’t leave your skin dry and will restore your skin’s pH balance.
Why we love it: Don’t be fooled by its oil-free, soap-free formulation. EltaMD Facial Cleanser deeply cleans your pores, leaving the skin feeling clean, smooth and supple. And while most cleansers for oily skin tend to strip your skin dry, sometimes causing the skin to overcompensate by producing more oil, this cleanser binds moisture to the keratin in skin cells. It also does not contain harsh chemicals and AHAs, which can irritate sensitive skin.
Why we love it: This cleanser features a gentle enzyme and amino acid blend, creating a rich, creamy foam that loosens makeup, oil and other impurities while leaving you with moisturized, silky-smooth skin. The enzymes—extracted from pineapples—also work as an anti-inflammatory and reduces inflammation, making it perfect, too, for post-procedure skin. To use, massage gently and evenly to moistened face and neck. Allow 30 seconds for the cleanser to foam and then rinse off well with lukewarm water.
Great for: Normal to Dry, Dry and Post-Procedure Skin
Step 2: Moisturize
It is a common misconception that only those with dry skin need to moisturize, but the truth is that keeping your skin hydrated is just as important even if you have oily skin. Why? Stripping your skin of essential moisture can actually send your sebaceous glands into overdrive, producing more oil to make up for lost moisture. No matter your skin type, EltaMD’s therapeutic and super-hydrating facial moisturizers can help decrease dryness and itching while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.
Why we love it: Oil-free, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and doesn’t feel heavy or sticky, this super-hydrating moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin B3 to offer lightweight moisture and stimulate the skin’s natural water system. Willow bark extract gently stimulates cell turnover for smoother skin without causing irritation, while niacinamide (vitamin B3) enhances skin color and tone. Apply a pearl-size amount every morning to clean, moist skin and gently massage onto face, using circular upward and outward motions.
Why we love it: This rich and highly moisturizing night cream features reparative ingredients that turn your beauty sleep up a notch. Ceramides strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Niacinamide and antioxidants work to improve skin color and tone, while also speeding the metabolism to maximize the nightly skin repair process. Small rice protein peptides penetrate to stimulate cell growth and collagen formation, resulting in more skin elasticity. Apply this at night as you would the AM Therapy Moisturizer.
Great for: All Skin Types
Step 3: Renew
All the late-night partying, chasing after your toddler at midnight and the endless work deadlines to beat will soon catch up on you. And while it’s great that your eyes are the windows to your soul, they’re also first to show signs of skin fatigue and aging. The solution? Repair and prevent future signs of aging with a targeted cream for that delicate skin around your eyes.
Why we love it: This eye cream doesn’t just help eliminate the appearance of puffiness, wrinkles and dark circles around the eyes. It also features special peptides and natural extracts to stimulate collagen synthesis and hyaluronic acid production within the dermis to rebuild the skin matrix and prevent the appearance of skin aging. Apply a small amount of this ultra-rich eye cream in the morning (under makeup or alone) and at night to achieve best results.
Great for: All Skin Types
Step 4: Protect
Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen should be second nature to everyone. It helps reduce the risk of skin cancer, protect the skin from sun damage and ward of early signs of skin aging.
Why we love it: This sunscreen is not only the most searched sunscreen on Dermstore, it’s also one of our top-reviewed products! And we’re not surprised—this broad-spectrum formula features moisturizing hyaluronic acid and pore-refining lactic acid, making it perfect for those with acne-prone skin. Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic, this sunscreen also features ingredients that help calm skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea and discoloration.
Why we love it: We like how this sunscreen offers hydration with hyaluronic acid as it protects the skin from harmful UVB and UVA rays. It features antioxidants to help combat skin-aging free radicals associated with ultraviolet (UV) and infrared radiation (IR). This sunscreen is also fragrance-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic.
Just as Memorial Day marked the beginning of summer’s sun-kissed skin promises, Labor Day marks the beginning of fall. While we say goodbye to our favorite pair of crisp white jeans, we also say hello to more hydrating skin care products designed to help repair the damage our skin endured from that one day (or three) of laying out on the beach. To understand how our skin changes around this time of the year, as well as get season-specific tips on how to take care of it, we chatted with Jordana Mattioli, renowned medical esthetician and one of the most sought-after beauty experts in New York.
Dermstore: What are some of the challenges our skin faces during this transitional time of the year?
JM: Just like the seasons, our skin changes and goes through different phases and transitions. It’s very sensitive to the change in climate and fluctuating temperatures. During the warmer weather we are dealing with heat, increased sun exposure, and extreme dryness or extreme humidity depending on where you live. Excessive sweating can lead to dehydration, extra oily skin, or breakouts. Unprotected skin is prone to sun spots, blotchiness, and uneven skin tone. The heat can cause the dreaded heat rash, rosacea flare ups, and bring out melasma. As the temperature starts to cool down in the beginning of fall, most of these issues subside- and that is the perfect time to really repair any summer damage and get the skin back into a perfect balance.
How should these challenges affect our normal skin care routine?
Take advantage of the calmer climate, and repair summer damage! This is the time of year I encourage my clients to add in regular exfoliation and a retinoid, and to get a peel or some laser.
What are some key ingredients to help our skin recover from summer and transition to fall?
Exfoliating, brightening, and repairing is the focus for summer skin recovery. I recommend exfoliating every day! Alternate a superficial exfoliant scrub with gentle particles like rice-based powders with an enzyme or acids a few times a week. For acids, look for glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids. Brightening ingredients should definitely include vitamin c and niacinamide. For repairing and nourishing, I look for humectants like glycerin and hylauronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants.
What are the ingredients we should avoid/go easy with?
Even though you are ramping up your exfoliation, you still want to include a vitamin A like retinol a few nights a week, but start out on low percentages and infrequent use (twice a week max.) Then in the winter, you can transition into every other night.
What are your top 5 must-have fall products?
Dermalogica has a good range of products that would be great for fall. Here are the Dermalogica products I use and recommend:
A Gentle Exfoliant
A gentle exfoliant is one of the easiest ways to instantly achieve super-soft skin. It buffs away dead cells that make your skin look dull and and give your skin a fresh clean slate so your other products can work even better. If you like physical exfoliants, Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is gentle for any skin type and can be used in place of a cleanser a few times a week. The scrub particles are made from a superfine rice based powder that won’t scratch the skin like harsh scrubs.
2. An At-Home Peel
Another way to exfoliate is through at-home peels. Dermalogica’s new Rapid Reveal Peel is an amazing weekly at home peel, but for summer damage, you can even use it twice a week for a month to really repair the skin. Three acids (lactic, citric, phytic) work to exfoliate, plus the skin gets a dose of added soothing hydration. This combo makes it safe for all skin types.
3. An Antioxidant Serum
An antioxidant serum not only neutralizes free radical damage that accelerates aging, it also brightens your skin. Use a brightening antioxidant serum every morning before your moisturizer and SPF. I recommend something like Dermalogica’s BioLumin-C Serum, which uses vitamin C, peptides and brightening botanicals to fade brown spots and summer freckles.
4. An Eye Cream
Antioxidants like vitamins A,C, and E are also an excellent combo for softening and smoothing fine lines around the eyes, so try to look for an eye cream with these ingredients, like Dermalogica’s Intensive Eye Repair Cream. Eye creams should be used morning and night.
5. A Hydrating Mask
During the summer, you’ll probably grab your oil-absorbing clay masks often, but since we tend to be a lot less oily come fall, try a hydrating mask treatment instead. Dermalogica’s Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque is more then just hydrating, it gives the skin a dose of powerful repairing vitamins. Stash your hydrating masks in the fridge for extra cooling. You can use weekly, but if you have the time, try twice a week!
Any tips on how to continue my summer glow as long into fall as possible?
If you increase your exfoliation, your skin should stay luminous, but never underestimate the power of a good bronzer or blush too! For a natural look, I like strategically pressing on face oils to help light bounce off the high points of the face for a glowy look. Dab on the upper cheekbones and on the cupids bow right in the center of the upper lip, and don’t forget to slick on a good lip balm.
More About Jordana Mattioli
Licensed medical esthetician and sought-after beauty expert, Jordana Mattioli, has been tending to faces since 2001. Her high-tech facials use the latest anti-aging technologies, techniques and innovative products to create results-oriented treatments for each client. These customized bespoke facials and treatments are tailored to the needs of each individual to deliver beautiful skin. She strongly believes youthful radiant skin is a collaborative effort and works closely with her clients, and often their dermatologists, for the best regimine to maintain optimal results.
With an extensive knowledge and passion for skin care, Jordana has been highly-acclaimed in the beauty industry and featured multiple times in media and international publications. She has been profiled as a Top Esthetician numerous times in Allure, W, Vogue, and Glamour. Her equally impressive client list includes celebrities and models who entrust their skin to Jordana. Throughout her career, she has trained with over 75 brands and continues to provide consulting services in the industry.
She performs a wide range of skin care treatments through private appointment in Manhattan within the dermatology practice of Complete Skin MD with Dr. Julie Karen and Dr. Elizabeth Hale.
Thin hair can be pesky and difficult to manage. While we know certain diseases, medications, age, hormones and genes—factors we have little to no control over—are the biggest culprits behind hair loss and thinning hair, experts say there are things we do on a daily basis that are also making our hair more prone to damage, breakage and fallout. Among the biggest lush-locks saboteur? Stress and poor diet.
“The combination of high levels of stress and poor nutrition can place a person at a higher risk, than one of these causes alone,” says Eliut Rivera, founder of Eliut Salon in New York City.
But here’s the good news: You can do something about it. All it takes is making a few minor adjustments to some of your everyday habits. Here, top hairstylists reveal some of the most common mistakes made by individuals with thin hair and what to do instead.
1. Pulling hair back tightly when wet
It can be tempting, especially when you’re in a rush to throw your hair back in a ponytail just minutes after hopping out of the shower. But doing so can cause serious damage, especially to thin strands. “Hair over stretches when it is wet, so pulling it up in a hair tie when in this state can cause added stress on the hair and can pull out hair or break the hair,” says Lindsay Victoria, Master Stylist at Spoke & Weal in Los Angeles.
“If you need to tie it back when wet, use a gentle scrunchie with a wide elastic band, like Silk Scrunchies by slip, or even a clip, but avoid anything too tight,” she recommends.
2. Using too much hair oil
A hair oil might make your hair feel nice, but it’s not recommended for individuals with thin hair since it is typically too heavy and leads to the strands becoming flat and stuck to the scalp, explains Victoria. Instead, she recommends using a deep conditioning treatment, like Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask to achieve healthy hair, and to avoid using hair oils when styling.
3. Not using styling products
Finding the right styling product that can create thickness and volume is monumental for those with thinning hair, according to Victoria. “If you want to make your hair look and feel thicker, it’s best to use a volumizing or thickening spray, like R+Co’s DALLAS Thickening Spray, before blow-drying,” she says. “If you wash and go, your hair may feel lifeless,” she notes.
While you probably have the best intentions in your mission to not color your hair, you might be surprised to learn that adding a little color can do wonders for enhancing thickness. “Often times when you color your hair or add highlights, you will give the illusion of fuller hair just by creating a contrast of shadows and lightness,” says Victoria. “You will also physically plump the cuticle creating fuller, thicker hair,” she adds.
If you’re avoiding using conditioner at all cost for fear that your hair will become too flat, think again. Just like your face, your scalp needs moisture too. However, Kali Ferrara, senior colorist at the Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City, points out that it’s important for those with thinning hair to make sure they’re purchasing the correct type of conditioner for their hair type. “A volumizing conditioner, like R+Co’s DALLAS Thickening Conditioner, is formulated to work with limp and thin hairs to get the ultimate amount of body out of each hair strand,” she says.
6. Overwashing your hair
If your hair is thin and fragile, it’s best to avoid washing it every day. “The consistency of washing your hair daily can thin and dry it, making it extremely brittle,” says Rivera.“Dry shampoo is a great supplement in between washes to avoid breakage,” he adds. His go-to product? Alterna’s Caviar Sheer Dry Shampoo. Along with giving the illusion of freshly washed hair, Rivera recommends this product because a powder form will add more volume to thin hair and blends well into lighter strands.
7. Not taking multivitamins that promote hair growth
Something as simple as being deficient in vitamins could cause hair loss, warns Ferrera. That’s why he recommends a hair, skin and nail vitamin, like biotin, to all his clients, especially to those who are experiencing hair loss. “Hair is often a reflection of something that is going on inside of your body and sometimes you just need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself,” he adds.
To cover up any areas of your scalp that may be thinning or totally bald, many people use powders meant to mimic the look of hair. “This is a colored fiber that you shake onto the scalp to create thickness around the hair shaft and a powdery fiber substance lays on your scalp,” explains Penny James, IAT-certified trichologist and owner of Penny James Salon in New York City. “If this is repeated every day for months and years, your follicle will get very clogged and suffocate, creating more hair loss,” she notes. Instead, she recommends using it once or twice a week at most.
9. Over-using hair extensions
Extensions might instantly give you the thicker, fuller hair you’re looking for, but, over time, they put a lot of strain on the hairs which the extensions are attached to, which causes scarring alopecia, warns James. “The key is to change up your hairstyle every three months, so you can give your hair and scalp a much-needed break,” she says.
10. Avoiding haircuts
Even for those with thinning hair, it’s better to get a haircut on a regular basis and strengthen your ends than to visit the salon only a few times each year. “Regular cleanups will give you healthy hair and having clean, crisp ends give you the look of fuller hair,” says Victoria.