The following are the 5 major types of alpha-hydroxy acids found in skincare products and their sources:
- glycolic acid – sugar cane
- lactic acid – milk
- malic acid – apples and pears
- citric acid – oranges and lemons
- tartaric acid – grapes
Recommended by dermatologists, Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is currently one of the most innovative skincare products on the market.
Available in three different strengths including 0.1% retrinal (French for retinol) which is currently the highest amount of retrinal available in an over-the-counter product. The lowest strength is 0.025%, which is where someone who has never used a retrinal product should begin. Classified as dermo-cosmetics, Avène Rétrinal Skin Care products are considered to be cutting edge skincare with a medical approach to skincare.
Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is quite effective for a couple of reasons. The product is a form of Vitamin A which through clinical studies has been proven to improve elasticity, radiance and skin texture – as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. You will get the normal side effects with any retrinal/retinol product – skin sensitivity, peeling, dry skin. But it is all well-worth the end result. Clear, glowing, firm skin.
The easy to apply product should be applied to the face and neck after cleansing. As with all anti-aging products it is imperative that broad-spectrum sunscreen be used at all times when exposed to the sun.
I have used many retinol/retrinal products, over-the-counter and prescription – this is by far the best over-the-counter product I have used.
Quickly get the benefits of a broad spectrum sunscreen and tinted moisturizer with Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive Tint SPF30. This amazing formula provides just-the-right protection while creating the perfect summer glow.
Targeted to sensitive skin types, this Broad Spectrum sunscreen is gentle and nourishing. Formulated with Dermalogica’s exclusive UltraCalming Complex, that contains oat and botanical actives to help minimize discomfort, burning and itching. Natural mineral sunscreens help shield against photodamage and UV exposure and leave no heavy feeling and/or white cast on the face. The sheer formula provides optimal hydration and helps protect and reinforce barrier lipids, which are often compromised in sensitized skin conditions.
Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive Tint SPF30 is the ultimate fast fix in the morning. Perfect for summertime skin, Ultra Sensitive Tint leaves the skin glowing and fresh.
Shower sponges and/or loofahs are the perfect vehicles to work-up a rich lather, clean and exfoliate the body. However, before you start scrubbing, ask yourself how long it’s been since you have replaced it. If you can’t remember, it’s probably been too long. Hanging on to a well-used bath sponge/loofah may mean that you’ve created a new home for bacteria and mold. Eww.
In the warm, wet atmosphere that exists in most bathrooms, bacteria can grow quickly. Regularly switching old sponges for new ones can keep bacteria and mold at bay.
The Daily Concepts Dual Texture Scrubber is a unique shower sponge that not only effectively exfoliates and cleans the skin but has an indicator that tells you it is time to replace. A small label attached to the sponge reads “When the writing fades it’s time to replace me.” Genius!
The Dual Texture Scrubber has two sides of texture, perfect for the entire body. One side offers a ‘scrubber’ texture – great for exfoliating the skin while the other side is soft and gentle – great for sensitive skin.
All of Daily Concepts scrubbers are soy-based bath sponges so they contain 98% less germs, bacteria and mildew than other regular bath sponges. They have a built-in antimicrobial which inhibits bacteria reproduction and functional and clean packaging that suction cups to the wall of your shower.
Create a bacteria-free shower environment with Daily Concepts.
Tory Burch Double Zip Train Case: A great travel case with cool ikat design.
Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipes SPF 30 (21 count): These sunscreen wipes are individually packed, perfect for throwing in your bag. The pre-moistened towelettes are formulated to calm and soothe the skin while providing complete UV protection. Great for sensitive skin, these wipes can be used all over the body.
Coola SPF 30 Unscented Matte Finish Tint: This lightly tinted moisturizer delivers broad spectrum SPF 30 protection. Infused with antioxidants, shea butter, plankton, borage seed oil and evening primrose extract, this lotion will rejuvinate, hydrate and protect. The water-resistant formula and matte finish is great for long days in the sun.
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25: My favorite lip balm to date, this product is incrediably soothing and moisturizing – provides SPF 25 and lasts. Enriched with superior skin conditioners and antioxidants, this emollient balm relieves dry, chapped and irritated lips.
Donna Karen Cashmere Mist Deodorant: Keep dry and odor-free with Donna Karen’s Cashmere Mist Deodorant. Delicately scented with perfume, this advanced formula controls wetness and perspiration.
CleanWell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Spray: Thousands of people and porta-potties… hand sanitizer is a must. This all-natural formula is made with thyme oil that kills all germs and the portable spray makes it easy to carry everywhere.
Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo (Travel Size): Extend time between washes with a dry shampoo. This gentle formula smells nice and absorbs oil and dirt – an instant refresher. Infused with oat milk, it also nourishes the hair while creating volume and texture.
Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes: Remove makeup, dirt and oil quickly with these all-natural wipes. Formulated with aloe vera, cucumber, chamomile and vitamin E, the easy-access wipes cleanse and refresh the face and body. Bonus: When purchased, these biodegradable wipes support to protect the endangered Polar Bear.
RMS Cream Eyeshadow – Solar: Perfect for the desert princess, this cream eyeshadow reflects a sheer wash of gold. A great all-in-one eye product, it doubles as an eye cream to nourish and moisturize the eye area.
NARS Cream Blush – Cactus Flower: The name alone implies desert beauty. This bright coral/spicy pink cream blush can be used on both the cheeks and lips. A very subtle gold shimmer leaves the skin flushed, dewy and healthy.
Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Waterproof Mascara: Waterproof mascara is a must-have. I assure you Givenchy’s will not budge or smudge. The spiked-ball wand takes a little to get used to but defines, separates and lengthens exquisitely. Tip: With your finger, smudge on the lashline for an instant liner effect that will last.
Laura Geller Balance-n-Bronze: A genius design, adding bronzer and foundation, all-in-one. The color-correcting foundation is sheer but never looks powdery. The baked bronzer is infused with layers of color to achieve the perfect sun-kissed shade. Swipe separately or swirl together to get a glowing, sun-goddess look.
Face primers are a great way to smooth, prep and perfect the skin before applying foundation. If you have acne scars, fine lines or large pores, a makeup primer can spackle those spaces for an even coverage. However, some people can be allergic or sensitive to the main ingredient found in most makeup primers, silicone.
Silicone is a chemically derived product that sits on top of the skin to protect and keep moisture in. Any product used with that “slippery/silky” feel to it, more than likely contains some kind of silicone. To identify silicone in a product, look for Dimethicone or Methicone in the ingredient list. The general rule of thumb is that anything ending in “cone” is likely to be silicone. Opinions however, are divided as to whether silicone is indeed good or bad for the skin.
Unless you have a sensitivity to silicone and your skin reacts with break-outs or irritation, it seems quite harmless. Silicone is used in almost every product we use on the body from haircare to skincare. To immediately confirm sensitivity to silicone, notice if you breakout on your back from the hair conditioners used. Silicone is abundant in these products and can be the culprit for reoccurring back acne.
Currently, I have two favorite face primers, one silicone-based, one silicone-free. The main activities I look for in a primer are: skincare properties (I do not believe in adding another step to my daily routine – unless it is good for the skin), ability to smooth the skin and longevity.
Hourglass – Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15: This is a wonderful silicone-based primer. It applies effortlessly, smooths the skin, increases the longevity of my face makeup and gives the skin a subtly glow. It contains anti-aging benefits and restores moisture to dehydrated skin. I use this primer for “special occasions” – mostly when I am wearing a full face of makeup. I have found that mixing a small amount of this primer with your foundation produces a flawless, airbrushed-look.
Fresh – Rose Freshface Primer: This is the first silicone-free primer I have tried and now can’t live without. I use this primer on a daily basis and sometimes as my primary moisturizer. Packed with rosewater and cucumber extracts, this lightweight lotion immedietly soothes redness and evens out my skintone. It contains vitamins and botanicals that are beneficial to the skin and smells like a bouquet of roses.
I do notice a difference between the two products, in terms of skin smoothing. Silicone is currently the best ingredient for reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores. This is why the majority of makeup primers on the market contain them. However, there are many silicone-free products on the market and I assume many more will emerge in the future.
Too Faced Primed & Poreless is a makeup primer formulated to erase pores and imperfections, soften fine lines and help create a flawless face.
This primer aroused my curiosity with one ingredient, a powerful dose of retinol. Always a fan of multi-tasking, finally a primer formulated to prime the skin while restoring moisture, elasticity with anti-wrinkle fighting ingredients.
The primer slides onto the skin seamlessly, easy to blend and sets quickly. The nude tone becomes invisible once applied, so can be used on any skintone. Pores were airbrushed away and my combination skin felt less oily. Makeup lasted all day, no touch-ups needed.
The retinol in the product is quickly noticeable with a slight “itchy” feeling. Nothing to be discouraged about, but very sensitive skin might be fore-warned.
Too Faced Primed & Poreless is a great primer for oily and combination skintypes. Just remember to apply your sunscreen as retinol can make skin sensitive to the sun.
Konjac is a natural food source that has been used in Japanese cuisine for over 1500 years. Ninety seven percent of Konjac is water and three percent is a dietary fiber. Rich in vitamins and minerals, the Japanese have been using Konjac sponges as beauty treatments for centuries.
The unique net like structure of the Konjac sponge, gently massages and stimulates blood flow and new growth of skin cells. A naturally moisture-rich plant fibre in the sponge balances the acidity of the skin and leaves it extremely clean and refreshed with no need for additional cleansers or soap.
Available in diferent ranges, according to skin type, the Konjac sponge can be infused with clays and charcoal for added benefits. Pink clay has been used for tired, devitalized skin, green clay for normal to oily skin and red clay for dry and sensitive skin. Also, available in bamboo charcoal for very oily or acne-prone skin.
To use, gently massage sponge over the face and body in a circular motion. A cleansing solution can be added, but is not necessary. If added, the smallest amount is needed as the sponge will create an immense lather. Splash with warm water to reveal squeaky clean and refreshed skin.
Each sponge lasts for around one to three months and can be found at any health-food stores. Can be used on the most delicate, sensitive skin and is even recommended for newborn babies. The Konjac sponge is simple yet effective and works on every skintype.
Due to the importance of sunscreen, I test a lot of them and am always on the hunt for a light, non-chalky version that is also beneficial to the skin.
NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention 100% Mineral Sunscreen receives high-marks for all search criteria. This sunscreen contains a blend of active sunscreens that help to protect the skin from UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. It has a rating of PA+++, which is the highest grade of defense against aging rays.
NIA24 contains Pro-Niacin, a skin strengthening compound clinically shown to improve skin tone, texture and reduce hyper-pigmentation. It also contains ceramides, which promote vibrancy and mango butter to nourish the skin.
The super-absorbent formula feels weightless on the skin and does not leave it looking greasy. The advanced sheer formula leaves no white residue behind, is oil-free, non-comedogenic, dermatologist recommended and suitable for sensitive skin.
NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention 100% Mineral Sunscreen will correct, prevent and benefit.
Micellar Cleansing Water is used to remove impurities, tone and hydrate the skin without the need of water. These delicate waters immediately eliminate makeup, dirt and oil from the skin with one sweep.
Based on a micelle principle, these technologically advanced products release softening agents to hydrate and calm the skin while effectively removing all traces of make-up on face, eyes and lips. Gentle enough for sensitive skin, (some brands provide a separate sensitive-skin formula) these refreshing waters cleanse and tone the skin without irritation.
The difference between Micellar Cleansing Water and simple makeup removers…
According to Bernard Pochic, Bioderma’s National Trainer, “Micellar Cleansers dissolve the bond between cosmetic pigments and your skin so you can wipe it off.” Doesn’t sound all that different, simple makeup removers primarily smear the cosmetic pigments allowing an easy removal when you wash your face. The Micellar Cleansers is a one-step process that eliminates the need for a second cleanse.
Simply apply product to cotton pad and wipe gently where needed. These products will dissolve even the most stubborn or waterproof product.
Primarily made by French skincare brands, Micellar Cleansers are now popping up everywhere. Here are a few of my favorites, all but one (Bioderma) can be found online, in drugstores or beauty supply.
Vichy – Purete Thermale Cleansing Micellar Lotion, Avene – Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Make-up Remover, Embryolisse – Micellar Lotion , La Roche-Posay – Physiological Micellar Solution, Bioderma – Sensibio H20 Micellar Solution