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Made up of smaller molecules than regular moisturizers, skincare serums have become mega-potent alternatives to traditional hydrators. Due to their molecular structure and their ability to hold moisture in extremely high percentages, serums have the capacity to penetrate deeply and directly into the skin to deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients than any moisturizer. However, no two serums are the same, and to get the most out of your serums it’s important to apply them in the right way!

The first step in applying a serum is to figure out what ingredients your serum is made out of. Because water-based serums absorb faster, they should be applied first, with oil-based serums following after. Also, be sure to brush up on your chemistry! Certain ingredients – like Vitamin C and Vitamin A – tend to cancel each other out, so you should never combine those types of serums on your skin as they may actually have a reverse effect (or no effect at all). Additionally, while serums can be chock-full of hydrating ingredients (like hyaluronic acid and ceramides) that help skin retain moisture, you should still be using a creamy moisturizer on top to finish off your skincare routine! Face lotions and creams are richer than serums and create a barrier on top of the skin to keep all that good stuff in.

Finally, when applying a serum, be sure that nothing goes to waste! Instead of rubbing it in your hands to warm it up, as you would with traditional moisturizers, apply the serum with your fingertips, patting it on and then smoothing it out on your skin. Resist the temptation to massage, and let the formula absorb on its own. Also, be sure you’re using the correct amount of product – you should be using enough serum to cover your whole face, but not so much that you leave your skin slick and overly shiny.

Ready to get your serum journey started? Click HERE to find out which serum from the Joanna Vargas Skincare line is right for you!

The post How to Layer Serums appeared first on JOANNA VARGAS.

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Now that spring has sprung and summer is rapidly approaching, it’s officially time to kick your gym goals into high gear! We spoke to Ngo Okafor, personal trainer and owner of ICONOCLAST Gym in New York City, about the best ways to jump start your fitness journey in 2019! Keep reading for some tips and tricks, as well as a fun exercise routine created by Ngo himself at the end of the article!

There’s nothing like the post-holiday season to get you motivated to head back to the gym! With the massive influx of new fitness enthusiasts every spring comes a new crop of people with varying skill and experience levels. What’s the biggest mistake newcomers make when it comes to fitness?

The biggest mistake that newcomers make when it comes to fitness is underestimating the time it takes to get fit. They want to get fit immediately. They try to cram the process of getting fit into a short window of time. They end up overtraining, burning out, and then quit.

On the flipside, there are many people out there who are interested in starting their fitness journey but are unsure about where to start.

It is important to understand that physical fitness can only be achieved by moving the body. In my opinion, the best way for a person to start their fitness journey would be to figure out a fun and enjoyable way to move their bodies. For some people, it could be walking, running, dancing, boxing, or lifting weights. Create a schedule where you engage in one or more body moving activities that you enjoy, regularly, a few times each week.

What’s one word of advice you’d give them for entering into the world of fitness and health?

Fitness is a journey. Rome was not built in a day. You have to be willing to take baby steps in order to achieve your fitness goal. It is not an overnight thing and patience is the key to success. It’s a process that cannot be rushed.

How do you suggest gym goers stay motivated once the shine of their New Year’s resolutions has faded away?

I suggest joining or creating a network of fitness minded people! There are some great apps that make it easy to join or create a fitness community. One of the best ones is FitMatch, a social app that connects workout buddies and new fitness friends anywhere in the world. We all know that working out with a friend or a group of friends makes working out a lot more fun! Studies show that people who work out with a partner exercise 200% longer than those doing it alone.

What’s one way to get a quick workout in when you can’t make it to the gym?

Try these two quick workouts that I created for Men’s Health Magazine. These workouts don’t require any equipment and can done in 10 minutes or less!

Workout #1:

Cardio/conditioning (3 rounds of this circuit) –

  • In-and-out Jump squats (30 seconds)
  • Cherry pickers (30 seconds)
  • Mountain climbers (30 seconds)
  • Skaters (30 seconds)
  • Burpees (30 seconds)
  • Plank (30 seconds)

* Rest for 30 seconds between rounds

Workout #2:

Cardio/conditioning (3 rounds of this circuit) –

  • Squat (20 repetitions)
  • Jumping jacks (30 seconds)
  • Single leg bridge (20 repetitions)
  • High knees (30 seconds)
  • Crunches (20 repetitions)
  • Mountain climbers (30 seconds)

* Rest for 30 seconds between rounds

What is your favorite JV product for post-workout cleansing?

I love the Miracle Bar and the Rescue Serum! Both products belong to my wife and co-owner of ICONOCLAST, Kindra Okafor, but I sneak some when I can.

What is your favorite post-workout snack or meal?

One half of a rotisserie chicken with a side of sweet potatoes and mixed vegetables. Yum!

Tell us about your transformation program, and where readers can find more information on how to sign up!

I am a big believer in the fact that when people look better, they feel better and do better. My rapid body transformation program was designed to get people to see dramatic results in a short time.

I run 7, 14, and 28-day transformation programs. I achieve results in such a short time by combining circuits of strength exercises and bursts of cardio, designed to keep the heart rate elevated throughout the workout, thus burning an insane number of calories. I also work hand-in-hand on nutrition with my transformation clients. If you’re interested in learning more or coming in to ICONOCLAST for a tour, head to our website or follow us on Instagram at @IconoclastNYC.

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Avocados are undeniably the trendiest food item on the market today. From sandwiches, to spreads, to salads and smoothies, you can find avocado listed in pretty much any recipe imaginable – but beyond just being delicious, avocados are also considered to be a superfood!

Dense in nutrients and high in fiber, avocados top the charts among all fruits for folate, potassium, Vitamin E, and magnesium. And yes, we did say “fruit” – avocados are technically defined as single-seeded berries! Since its original cultivation in South America thousands of years ago, avocados have become a global staple in everyday meals due to its pleasant texture, subtle flavor, and its status as a “healthy fat” (avocados contain oleic acid, a monosaturated fat that helps to lower cholesterol).

If avocados have underwhelmed you in the past, there’s a good chance you haven’t been eating them when they were ripe! To gauge the ripeness of an avocado without cutting it open, follow these three simple steps:

  1. Apply Pressure: Gently press on the skin of the avocado. If it’s hard and firm, it is under ripe and needs 2-3 more days to soften up. If it’s mushy, the avocado is past its ripeness window. The skin of a perfectly ripe avocado should give just slightly when pressed with your fingertips.
  2. Check the Color: While different varieties of avocados have slightly different coloring, it’s important to note that the color of the skin is a telltale sign of whether or not an avocado is ripe. For example, the outside of a ripe Hass avocado (the most common variety) should be a deep purple, almost black.
  3. Pull the Stem: On the narrower end of your avocado is a small indent with a woody stem in the center. Remove the stem and check the color underneath. If it’s yellow, your avocado is ripe! If it’s brown, your avocado is too old and will most likely have brown spots on the green flesh when it’s cut into.

Now that you know everything there is to know about avocados, try out this incredible recipe from JJ Virgin for a quick and easy side dish that goes perfectly with roasted chicken, baked fish, or any other delicious, lean protein.

Creamy Roasted Avocado

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 avocados, halved and pitted
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. pureed garlic
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F and place the avocado halves in a glass baking dish, flesh-side up. Sprinkle the flesh of each avocado half with ½ a teaspoon of lime juice. Spread ¼ teaspoon of pureed garlic over each half, then sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes, until tender and creamy.

Sprinkle ½ tablespoon pumpkin seeds on top. Turn oven to broil and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Serve with spoons to eat the roasted avocado straight from the skins.

Enjoy!

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Now that’s it’s officially “it’s-dark-by-5-o-clock” season, you may be feeling like your skin is lacking that warm, vibrant glow it once had during the warmer months. Luckily, Joanna and her team of skilled aestheticians have the perfect remedy for that winter pallor – the Golden Glow Sunless Tan!

By now, we’ve all been told about how damaging sun exposure is to the skin. Tanning in the sun or in a tanning bed is just about the worst thing you can do to your birthday suit! Not only will it cause substantial pre-mature aging (think: dry, leathery, wrinkled skin – yikes!), but it will more alarmingly increase your risk of skin cancer by a long shot.

What makes the Golden Glow Tanning solution unique? Our non-toxic formula is made with certified organic ingredients and its health benefits are through the roof! Jam packed with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, vitamins A, E, C, F, Omega 3s, green tea and aloe vera, the Golden Glow helps nourish the skin and maximize its ability to retain age-defying moisture. This golden potion is then sprayed onto the skin with 98% pure oxygen, leaving you with a smooth, streak-free finish! Additionally, the tanning agent is derived from beets and can be customized to any skin tone, meaning you no longer have to worry about coming out Oompa Loompa orange. The treatment is preceded by a full body microdermabrasion treatment – the ultimate head to toe anti-aging experience for a brand new you! Once the anti-aging spray tan is applied, keep it on for six to eight hours before showering. After rinsing, you’ll have a gorgeous glow for 5-7 days!

Ready to try out the Golden Glow for yourself? Head to our website to learn more and book an appointment! Enjoy!

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Glowing. It’s quite possibly the word we most overuse when describing how we want our skin to look. But when you think about it, “glowing” skin is just a tell-tale sign that your skin is refreshed, hydrated, and youthful – no wonder it’s something we all dream about having!

Beautiful skin is a direct result of the things you put in and on your body. Along with a healthy diet, frequent exercise, and lots of water, glowing skin requires a skincare regimen that is specifically tailored to packing in hydration and reducing uneven tone. The Joanna Vargas Skincare line has a myriad of products that fire on all cylinders when it comes to toning, tightening, smoothing, and brightening the skin. Keep reading for a list of our top products to get that next-level summertime glow all year ‘round!

Exfoliating Mask ($75)

At the heart of radiant skin, even texture, and youthful vibrancy, is one of the oldest skincare secrets known since ancient Egypt: exfoliation. Using fruit derived enzymes and a fusion of volcanic ash and mineral-rich clay, this gentle exfoliating treatment gently draws out impurities without drying out the skin. The end result? Clear pores and a brightened, smooth, glowing complexion! Use this two or three times a week after cleansing with a gentle facial soap, then follow up with serums and moisturizers. To learn more about the Exfoliating Mask, click HERE.

Rejuvenating Serum ($100)

This luxurious face oil is the essential foundation for all your beauty rituals (and an incredible anti-aging moisturizer for your skin). This perfect portion of reviving oils is loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and nourishing ingredients that promote cellular metabolism, soften the skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Use this on its own after cleansing (day or night) or combine with a dollop of moisturizer for an extra dose of hydration.

Forever Glow Sheet Mask ($75)

Formulated to firm and smooth skin, this hydrating face mask instantly diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Infused with metabolism-boosting and antioxidant-rich ingredients, this bamboo sheet mask strengthens collagen and increases circulation to deliver flawless, glowing skin. Use this face mask once a week for a quick shot of hydration when you need it most.

Pro Tip: Bring your Forever Glow Sheet Mask on the flight with you for an in-flight glow refresh. Click HERE to learn more.

Head to our website to learn more or purchase any of the products for yourself! And be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share your skincare stories. Three cheers for glowing skin!

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No matter how often we exfoliate and moisturize, the debilitating effects of cold wind and weather always increase the possibility of dry, cracked skin and uneven texture. During this seasonal transition, there’s nothing better for your skin than a professional peel! Stronger than any at-home treatments (but still gentle enough to avoid damaging your skin) a professional-grade peel helps to rid the skin’s surface of lingering dead skin cells and leaves you with a newly revealed layer of soft, supple, glowing skin. When used along with standard exfoliation and dry brushing techniques throughout the week, a skin peel is an excellent way to stop dehydrated, rough skin in its tracks!

The Power Peel is one of the most sought-after treatments offered at Joanna Vargas’ skincare salons in New York and Los Angeles. Consisting of several different stages and techniques, the Power Peel is a multi-step process that combines a diamond peel, LED light and pure oxygen therapies, and an organic detox mask to eliminate dead skin cells, pull out impurities, and supercharge your skin’s natural healing abilities for a flawless complexion. Unlike many other peels on the market, our Power Peel uses non-aggressive chemical exfoliants created with organic, healthy ingredients to stimulate and nurture your skin without causing any lasting damage at the molecular level.

For more information or to book your own Power Peel treatment 60 Minutes, $175, email New York at salon@joannavargas.com

Email jvla@joannavargas.com or call 310.424.5141 for Los Angeles

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At the heart of radiant skin, even texture, and youthful vibrancy is one of the oldest skincare secrets known since ancient Egypt: exfoliation.

The word “exfoliate” is literally defined as “the act of shedding a surface of scales or layers.” In terms of skincare, exfoliation is a vital tool for unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells, allowing fresh layers of skin to be revealed and increasing your skin’s ability to absorb much needed vitamins and nutrients. And while exfoliation should be considered one of the most important steps in everyone’s skincare routine (contrary to popular belief, everyone should use some form of exfoliant, regardless of skin type!), not all exfoliating products are made the same. While there are undoubtedly hundreds of exfoliating products on the market today, the one that rises to the top is definitely our Exfoliating Mask!

Made from a combination of chemical and physical exfoliants, the Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask will gently resurface your skin to ensure a vibrant glow. Strong enough to fight dirt and oil, but gentle enough for use on sensitive skin, this soothing exfoliating treatment uses fruit derived enzymes and a fusion of volcanic ash and mineral-rich clay to gently draw out impurities. The end result? Clear pores and a brightened, smooth, glowing complexion.

While this miracle product can be used as a regular exfoliant for the face, it can also be used (as the name suggests) as a mask! After applying to a cleansed face and massaging the product into the skin for 5 minutes, let the mask dry and then leave it on overnight. After rinsing the mask off in the morning, you’ll be left with glowing, clear skin that will no doubt turn heads! No time for a mask? No problem! Simply dab it on pimples and acne spots to help reduce unsightly blemishes overnight. For more information about our Exfoliating Mask, head to our 2017 blog in which Joanna herself explains the benefits of the product often referred to as “liquid gold.”

To purchase our Exfoliating Mask on our website, click here. If you have Amazon prime, click here.

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Joanna Vargas Skincare Blog by Joanna Vargas - 3M ago

Our bodies are incredible powerhouses – made up of complex systems of organs, nerves, veins, and arteries, our bodies work hard to maintain the level of nutrition we so desperately need to survive while simultaneously expelling everyday toxins from the body. One of the most important entities responsible for this transaction is the lymphatic system, the network of vessels through which lymph (the fluid that helps push toxins out of your system) drains from the tissues and into the blood. In many countries across the globe, lymphatic drainage massage is a regularly practiced technique used in doctors’ offices and hospitals to combat patients swelling and stress post-surgery or medical procedure. In the US, however, lymphatic drainage massage is often seen as a luxury – something that is not necessary but can be occasionally useful. We at Joanna Vargas NYC are here to change that mentality!

A healthy, active lymphatic system use the natural movements of smooth muscle tissue to move the lymph fluid through the body. However, when lymph builds up and thickens (normally after surgery or some other damaging activity), the lymph nodes become enflamed and it becomes increasingly difficult for the lymphatic system to push waste out of the body, leading to noticeable changes in the skin. This where our latest add-on treatment, the Body Booster, comes in!

The Body Booster uses a combination of slip-on padding and compressed air to cycle lymph through the body. Not only is this “really amazing and super relaxing” (in Joanna’s own words) but it’s also great for boosting your immune system, detoxing the body, reducing overall puffiness, and reducing inflammation. The Body Booster system is also an excellent tool for speeding up the post-workout or injury recovery process. Add this treatment to any hour-long facial for a lymphatic body boost while your face is being pampered by one of our incredible aestheticians!

For more information on add-on package pricing or to book your appointment, please contact us at salon@joannavargas.com.

Please be advised: while this add-on treatment is good for all ages and skin types, be sure to ask your doctor before use if you’re pregnant or have any chronic illnesses or heart conditions!

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There’s nothing like a good massage or a soothing facial to relax you after a long week. At Joanna Vargas LA, we offer a wide variety of face and body treatments for every skin and body type. Our latest addition to our treatment menu, The Glow, combines some of our most popular face and body treatments into one luxurious package – the perfect bundle for anyone who’s looking for an all-around youthful glow!

The Glow treatment starts with Joanna’s signature microcurrent facial, the Triple Crown – a three-step facial that speeds up collagen and elastic production quickly and effectively. Using two handheld prongs, your aesthetician will deliver precise dosages of energy to the skin while working to repair and produce collagen in the dermis (the deepest layer of the skin) and gently erasing signs of aging in the epidermis (the top layer of skin). This safe and painless facial helps erase fine lines and wrinkles, firms your skin, and defines your features. It improves muscle tone, reduces puffiness, increases cellular activity, and even tightens pores! The overall result is healthier and younger looking skin, not matter what age you are!

After the Triple Crown facial, clients partaking in The Glow treatment will move on to Full Body Microdermabrasion. Your skin is constantly being bombarded with pollutants, bacteria, UV rays, and other dangerous free radicals that may cause the skin to age prematurely. Full Body Microdermabrasion combats this by sloughing off the dead and damaged top layer of skin with a diamond-tipped wand, leaving you with a radiant, healthy looking glow. In just one hour, you’ll be able to see and feel a difference in the vitality of your skin and its new baby-soft texture. With consistent treatments, this incredible full body experience will erase sun spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. It will also help to reduce scars and stretch marks substantially.

Finally, we end The Glow treatment with a personalized Tailor Made Massage. As the name suggests, this massage is specifically customized to fit your individual needs, making it the perfect way to wrap up such a specialized treatment experience.

Interested in booking The Glow for yourself? Contact us at JVLA@joannavargas.comfor more information or to schedule an appointment. And don’t forget to follow us on social media to keep up with our latest offers and newest releases!

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Now that the holidays are over and the festivities have subsided, you may be dealing with one of those dizzying post-party hangovers. While the side-effects of a hangover may seem unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to alleviate some of the pain you may be feeling. Besides drinking plenty of water and getting some rest, drinking a cup or two of warm matcha tea can drastically improve the way you feel after having a few too many glasses of champagne.

While the murky green drink may not look appealing on first glance, matcha tea is both delicious and good for you! Matcha powder has endless health benefits and is a powerful source of vitamins and antioxidants. In fact, one cup of matcha tea is equal to 10 glasses of regular green tea! Those extra-strength antioxidants work within the body to flush toxins from your liver and regulate the amount of sugar in your bloodstream – both vital functions when looking to speed up the recovery time on a hangover. Additionally, matcha is hydrating, helping you maintain the fluid balance within your body that often gets disrupted by alcohol consumption. Finally, matcha is chock full of caffeine, which is an excellent cure for headaches and fatigue!

There are a ton of great ways to incorporate matcha into your diet. If you’re still not sold on drinking a steaming hot cup of matcha tea straight up, try mixing a spoonful of matcha powder into a cup of coconut water with a pinch of salt – the coconut water boosts hydration while the salt adds much needed electrolytes – or blend matcha powder with almond milk to make a therapeutic smoothie!

Enjoy!

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