Written on August 26, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
While you’re stocking up on back-to-school basics for your little ones, make sure to pick up a very important, yet easily forgotten essential—sunscreen. We know, you’re sending your kids to school, not to the beach, but children actually spend a great deal of time exposed to the sun walking to and from school, outside at recess, during after-school sports and on field trips. And considering that the new FDA regulations state that sunscreen remains effective for 80 minutes max, the stuff you slather on your kids in the morning will most likely wear off by lunchtime.
But before you pop some SPF in your child’s book-bag, consider this: Only two state policies exist that allow for sunscreen use and application during the school day (crazy, right?). In fact, a school ban on sunscreen (it’s technically considered a drug) left two children from Tacoma, WA with severe sunburns during a school field trip last year. One year later, policies affecting sunscreen usage in schools remain nonexistent or vary from state to state and potentially even within school districts. The worst part: new data shows melanoma rates are rising among U.S. children.
Luckily, two savvy sun-care brands are trying to change that:
Coppertone has launched their Making the Sunscreen Grade program, which educates parents with tools and information on how to help protect their children from the sun and enables them to start a conversation with their schools to make sun protection a priority during the school day. You can find more info here as well as download the full Making the Grade sunscreen guide.
Supergoop! has implemented Project Backpack, which not only serves as a vehicle to influence change in these state policies, but also provides SPF to schools in the U.S. so that kids have what they need to protect their skin during time on the playground or athletics. For every SPF 30 Everyday UV lotion ($15, supergoop.com) sold, Supergoop! will donate one backpack-sized sunscreen to partner schools in the U.S. Click here for more info.
Written on August 23, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
I’ve traveled all over the map this summer, from Texas to the Jersey Shore, Bermuda and San Diego. While prepping for these sunny destinations, the number one product on my to-pack list has been SPF. I am fair-skinned with an irrational fear of aging so I’ve tried dozens of formulas in search of one that not only adequately protects my skin, but also feels and smells good, too. You need to want to put this stuff on every 80 minutes. Luckily for me, I stumbled upon Sun Bum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion ($16, trustthebum.com). It’s non-greasy texture is so light, I have no problem slathering it all over my face and body—no need for two options. The subtle coconut scent has just a hint of banana so it smells like a vacation in a bottle, but won’t clear out the entire tiki bar when you walk in. I plan on using mine this fall to remind me of my relaxing summer days spent exploring new places.
Written on August 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
We all want our bodies to look lean and strong, so we hit the gym hard, but those sweat-inducing workouts can sometimes wreak havoc on our skin. Renee Rouleau, Esthetician and Skin Care Expert, gets it—as a CrossFit addict, she knows all about wanting to tone up without having to deal with embarrassing breakouts or runny sunscreen. So we asked her to answer some of your top workout-related skin-care Q’s.
In terms of skin health, how important is it to drink water before and after a workout?
“Since you lose so much water from perspiration, it’s crucial to replace it by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after workouts. The electrolyte-replacing drinks are especially helpful for re-hydrating the body. From a skin-care standpoint, research concludes that drinking water is the least efficient way to hydrate the skin. Skin hydration levels have much more to do with what you are using topically on the skin. A product like the Renée Rouleau Skin Drink ($38, reneerouleau.com) helps hydrate the skin very well. Apply it post-workout to restore hydration.”
I like to wear a headband or a bandana to prevent sweat from dripping down my face, but will that cause breakouts?
“I wouldn’t recommend headbands, bandanas or even hats across the forehead as they can cause a build up of oil and perspiration in the pores which will result in little clogged bumps or acne. If your skin is not prone to breakouts, this may not be an issue for you. If you find that you’re getting clogged pores, try to keep your accessory further back on your hairline but not directly across the forehead.”
How bad is it to wear makeup to the gym?
“Eye makeup and lipstick are fine to wear. Should you really feel the need to wear foundation, try mineral-based powders as they are sweat-resistant, breathable and won’t clog pores. Either way, you want to clean the skin and remove oils and sweat post-workout.”
I like to remove all my makeup before a workout, but then my skin feels a little dry. Is applying a moisturizer before sweating OK?
“When you exercise, your skin loses water due to evaporation, leaving the skin dehydrated. Dehydrated skin increases surface lines and causes skin cells to die prematurely, leading to aging as well as dead skin cell build up and clogged pores. Using a lightweight moisturizer will help to retain the water in the skin. If you are exercising outdoors, it’s best to use a very light moisturizer with a sunscreen.”
I sometimes can’t shower immediately after the gym. Could that cause body acne?
“Showering immediately after a workout can definitely help keep your back clear. The people that are most likely to get back breakouts are the ones that produce excessive oil. Generally, those who have oily skin on their face will also have excessive oil production on the back as well. Since oil is a breeding ground for bacteria, one of the ways to reduce back breakouts is to shower often. Keeping the skin clean can make a huge difference. Exfoliate your back with a mild cleansing gel and exfoliating cloth three times a week and apply an anti-bacterial lotion to help keep your back clear.”
I always apply sunscreen but I sweat a lot. Do I just sweat my sunscreen right off? If so, how can I stay protected besides wearing a hat?
“Apply your sunscreen prior to working out so it has time to absorb fully. No sunscreen can withhold intense sweating so it’s important to reapply often. You can also apply a mineral powder with SPF over your sunscreen for added protection. Most mineral powders tend to be water-resistant so they will hold up better to sweating and therefore keep you protected better. Since one of the major contributing factors to the aging process is the production of free radicals caused from exercise, it’s very important to take antioxidants to minimize the damage. One simple way to help suppress the free radical activity is to take Vitamin C (500 mg) thirty minutes prior to exercise. It takes about thirty minutes to dissolve in your system and activate, so while you are exercising you’re sure to have full Vitamin C protection for the cells in your body.”
Written on August 19, 2013 at 9:32 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
We get it—you don’t want to carry your entire beauty arsenal around in your gym bag. Luckily it doesn’t take tons of tools to look sleek postworkout. Meet The Jet-Setter by Sarah Potempa ($99, joyus.com), a small but mighty four-inch iron (featured in the September issue of FITNESS, on stands now!) that clams frizz, straightens strands and smooths that annoying ponytail crease in a snap. No outlet? No problem—it’s rechargeable and cordless, and now you can get it (and anything else you toss in your cart) for an even bigger steal! Head to joyus.com and enter the code JETSET9 for 15% off your entire order now through August 30, 2013. Then, check out styling tips from the creator, celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa here.
Written on August 14, 2013 at 11:48 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
As a new mother with a thriving acting career, Malin Akerman knows how to juggle a hectic schedule. Between spending time with her son, Sebastian, and her husband, she’s also playing Debbie Harry, lead singer of the band Blondie, in the new film CBGB out this October (some of her other blockbusters include Couples Retreat and Rock of Ages). Now she’s adding television star to her resume by starring in a new ABC comedy, Trophy Wife, this fall. In an attempt to be the best wife and mother she can be, she’s taking care of herself by squeezing in workouts and taking care of her family by stocking the fridge with healthy snacks. She let us in on what it’s like to juggle it all. Watch our interview below.
Written on August 12, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
We’ve all been there: the moment you’re walking (running) to your airport gate as you go through a mental checklist of everything you packed for your trip—for business, vacation or with family, whatever—when you realize you forgot your most beloved beauty product (um, talk about sheer panic). Well, you no longer need to settle for going without your fave mascara or must-have blush—Benefit’s got your back (and your face). This fall, they are launching their Glam Up & Away! automated retail kiosks in an airport near you. With 25 locations nationwide, including JFK, Austin and Las Vegas, the super-luxe and cheeky vending machines look like vintage pink buses and will offer jetsetters access to 30 best-selling products. So now all you girls-on-the-go can touch up before your plane touches down!
Written on August 6, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Calling all beauty junkies: If you spend a majority of your extra cash on mascara and nail polish, you probably already belong to Sephora’s Beauty Insider program. But if you don’t, there are more reasons now than ever to join the program. The trailblazer in beauty retail is re-launching their entire loyalty program on August 12th to make it bigger and better. The new and improved Beauty Insider program will include:
- A premium new membership level – The new rewards level, VIB Rouge, is for serious product addicts. You’ll earn bragging rights with this tier when you spend $1,000+ in a calendar year and you’ll get insider access to one-of-a-kind experiences and rewards. The chic and shiny red card opens the door to private events, advance access to new products, free shipping on sephora.com, unlimited complimentary services at Sephora Beauty Studios and your own beauty concierge hotline. For more info, click here.
- Ultimate digital headquarters – The new Beauty Insider digital hub (accessible online here, on-the-go via mobile web or on the new Sephora To Go App for iPhone and iPod Touch) lets you view the latest rewards and exclusive offers, check your point balance and get access to members-only products and events. You can also keep track of products you love and past purchases (so you never forget the name of your favorite shade of foundation again).
- Revamped rewards for all tiers – The already-in-place Beauty Insider tiers (Beauty Insider and VIB) have gotten a makeover, too. The program now features new ways to use your points, members-only beauty classes, first access to the most coveted new products (like the Marc Jacobs Beauty launch this fall) plus, all the benefits members already love, like the free birthday gift—yay!
Don’t forget, membership is free and from August 12-18th, Sephora is celebrating their loyal customers with double point purchases for Beauty Insiders, triple point purchases for VIBs, and quadruple (!) point purchases for VIB Rouge Members. Think it can’t get any better? Think again—now you can transfer your newly acquired points to friends and family for access to rewards that money can’t buy, like a chance to win a once in a lifetime trip for two to Paris with Make Up For Ever or a trip to Los Angeles for you and a friend to get a haircut by the man behind Jennifer Aniston’s famous style, Chris McMillan. Click here for more info on these to-die-for prizes. Happy beauty shopping!
Written on July 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
To one of the guys, C.J. Wilson might be most well-known for his success on the pitcher’s mound, but to the ladies, his boyish good looks and a great head of hair are what stand out (sorry girls, he’s recently engaged to supermodel Lisalla Montenegro). Head & Shoulders also took note of his flowing locks and signed him up as their “Mane Man” for the 2012-2013 MLB Season to launch their “Season of the #Whiff” campaign. We stole a moment with him before last week’s All-Star game to chat about the details of the campaign and got him to spill some of his great hair secrets as well as his pro-workout routine.
Tell us about the Season of the #Whiff Campaign and why it’s important to you.
“The Season of the #Whiff (strikeout) campaign is with Head & Shoulders, the MLB and the RBI program. The RBI program is really cool because it brings kids that wouldn’t normally be able to play baseball onto the baseball field. It gets them equipment, places to play. Obviously being a baseball player, it’s been a life-changing opportunity for me, so I wanted other people to get that opportunity. For every strike out or “whiff” this season, Head & Shoulders donates one dollar to the RBI program, so as you can imagine, over the season that becomes a lot of money, and then they have special contests for every month for different teams. If their fans tweet #whiff, they total that up at the end of the month, and whoever wins gets $10,000 per month for their local RBI program, so it’s a really cool thing overall.”
Pitchers have a lot of pressure on them throughout the game. How do you keep your cool on the mound?
“You just have to trust your preparation. A lot of pressure is on you because you initiate the action. You have a ball in your hands, so you have to not screw up, basically. One of the adages of baseball is good pitching beats good hitting, so you have to trust that the odds are in your favor. If you make good pitches, the guys are going to strike out the majority of the time. You just have to hope the odds stack up, so that if they do get a hit, it’s not when a bunch of guys are on base. You have to try to throw strikes and strike out as many guys as possible. At least that’s the way I try to pitch. Go for the whiff!”
Do you have any pre-game rituals that you do before every game?
“Yeah, definitely. I try to visualize the opposing team and how I’m going to pitch to them, so that I have a game plan. For the most part, you get acclimated to it. You start as a little kid, and even when I was a little kid, I threw the same exact way that I throw now. It’s just something that I’ve always done. You trust the training and make sure you’re wearing your shoes and socks. I’ve actually left the locker room with my jacket and glove, but didn’t have my hat. Even as a grown man, you still make those little mistakes, but you just have to try to make it as much about routine as possible.”
What are your workouts like?
“My workouts are kind of all over the board because I try to train all of my different systems. You have to have endurance in terms of recovery. As a pitcher, you pitch for basically two straight hours, so your body is up for all that time. You have to do enough volume between running and lifting weights to be able to handle that. At the same time, if you don’t train the right way, your body can break down pretty easily. A lot of guys have arm injuries because the little, tiny muscles in your arm that you can easily injure if you do something like lift up a jug of milk the wrong way, those are the ones that hold our arm together. We have to do all these weird exercises with rubber bands and three pound weights. If you go to the gym and see someone doing these exercises, you’re going to be like, ‘What is wrong with that guy?’ because they are clearly not very difficult, but if you do them for 10 minutes straight, then it is difficult. It’s very specialized in that regard. Other than that, I do Crossfit, cardio and sprints.”
You’re a Head & Shoulders “Mane Man,” and you have a good head of hair, so what is your typical hair care routine like?
“Other than using Head & Shoulders as often as possible, I don’t really have much that I do. I try not to put a lot of product in it because we have to wear hats, so if you wear a lot of pomade or something and it gets in your face, it kind of becomes a mess. I try to keep it long so that it lies down. If it’s short, I have to put stuff in it to tame it. My hair sort of just does what I need it do to. I guess I’m naturally gifted in that way. No performance enhancers here!”
So what do you love about the new addition of the Old Spice scent to the Head & Shoulders line?
“It smells manly. There’s definitely a confidence thing to it. When you’re shopping, you’re attracted to certain colors. For me, the blue and red put together is a cool combination. I’ll look at it, then open the bottle and smell it, and I’m like ‘Oh, that smells good!’ I think all of the Old Spice products smell good, whether it’s the body wash or the deodorant. It smells homogenous. You maintain some of your unpolished manliness, which is kind of the charm.”
Do you have any other grooming products that you like?
“The biggest thing to me is the stuff that I shave with because I have very sensitive skin. I have to shave in regular intervals otherwise I get skin issues. If I’m the spokesman for any type of grooming product, I can’t have some sort of caveman beard. Brett Keisel (Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end a fellow Head & Shoulders Mane Man) has a crazy beard, but his beard is the most beautiful, manly beard I have ever seen. I’m the clean-shaven guy, so I kind of have to stay that way.”
Written on July 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Most women—regardless of their shape or size—are susceptible to dreaded, dimply cellulite. In fact, 95% of women have it (yep, even skinny chicks), so it’s a universal issue. We recently turned to DERMADoctor founder and board certified dermatologist, Dr. Audrey Kunin, to find out about the latest breakthrough in cellulite treatment as well as her best tips for looking hotter than ever this summer.
Tell us about the unique technology behind DERMADoctor Shrinking Beauty.
“I was inspired by how lobsters lose weight. In order to shed their shells so they can get larger, they need to get skinny to wiggle free of their shell. But they don’t know how to eat less or go swim laps. So, they have the ability to make a hormone, which revs up their fat metabolism, and it physically squeezes those fat cells down. Like deflating a water balloon, all the filler-fat comes out of the fat cells, and I was really intrigued by that because one of the causes of cellulite is that the fat puffs up higher into the skin where it doesn’t belong because we lose the collagen barrier that keeps the fat where it should be. That happens because of female hormones, and it becomes more noticeable with the aging process as we lose collagen. So when you look at what’s out there on the market with cellulite products, they tend to be caffeine and water-based, which is just a temporary, fluid reducer and de-puffer. But, what we really need to do is get those fat cells to get smaller and go back where they belong. So Shrinking Beauty ($58, dermadoctor.com) targets both the fat cells as well as rebuilds that collagen barrier. I was able to replicate the hormone that lobsters make, so it’s shellfish free and I didn’t hurt any lobsters, but I basically replicated that hormone.” [I just started using this cream and after slathering it on for just a few days, I'm already seeing smoother skin so I am anxious to see the full results after one month.]
Besides a cream like Shrinking Beauty, what else can women do to look their best all summer?
“Anything that is going to help smooth out and hydrate certainly will give the appearance of firmer, more tone-looking skin. So use a scrub and an alpha-hydroxy acid based moisturizer. It’s going to make the skin look healthier, smoother and give the illusion that it’s in better shape than maybe it is. Pilates is actually an incredible way to help firm and tone the muscles and the skin, and it’s certainly something you want to consider adding into your exercise routine.”
If someone is really struggling with cellulite and feel like they’ve tried everything, what is the next step for them?
“Well, it’s part of the aging process, and you can’t stop aging, but you can slow it down; you can improve what damage has happened, but it’s an ongoing thing. So you do need to continue a regimen, whatever you’re doing that’s working. Or you could explore in-office treatment options, like a cool sculpting procedure that’s freezing the fat. So it’s almost a little lypo/tightening of the skin. You can try the endermologie, and I’m talking about in-office level endermologie, not someone massaging you with some sort of little roller-ball. Those are the two big things that can be done.”
Written on July 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
As a beauty editor, it’s part of my job to lug home a bajillion products and test, try, swipe, soak, spray, spritz, apply, etc. to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Although there isn’t an inch to spare in my medicine cabinet due to my product hoarding, testing gives us key insight into the user experience. Now trust me; I get it—we’re not saving lives here, and there are far more dangerous jobs than that of a beauty-obsessed journalist writing about the mascara she can’t live without, but sometimes this testing could be considered, well.….an occupational hazard. Take, for instance, the time I suffered second degree burns from an at-home hair-removal wax kit.
To explain: I heated up the wax in my microwave according to the directions and although the bottom of the pot was thoroughly melted, the top portion never liquefied. This created a hard disk, which misled me to believe the entire pot was still solid. When I went to test this “solid” theory with the wood stick by inserting it into the jar, it pushed one side of the hard disk down into the liquid bottom and created a catapult-like effect that launched lava-level hot wax straight onto my wrist and arm.
Ouch would be an understatement. My reaction involved something more along the lines of a lot of text symbols like: $@#!%&@#!!!!!!
This is actually not an uncommon incident. Debora Heslin, RPA-C, who treated me along with Neal Schultz, M.D., a dermatologist at Park Avenue Skin Care, let me know that their practice sees many patients who come in with this exact issue, whether it happened at the salon or was self-inflicted at home. However, as a beauty editor experienced with not only using these kits, but also writing the directions on how to use them, I felt like a total dope for hurting myself so severely. On the bright side, I now consider myself an expert at all things burn-related (adding that to my resume!). Here are the best tips I picked up along the way:
1. Release The Heat: After arriving at my derm’s office, Heslin first froze the wax to make it easier to remove. This also helped reduce the heat stuck beneath the skin’s surface and it felt insanely blissful on my burn. I spent the next two days icing my arm on and off which helped ease the pain.
2. Keep It Moist: Heslin described that when it comes to skin treatments, usually less is more, but not when it comes to burns. She urged me to slather my prescription ointment on excessively multiple times a day, then later, I switched to BeautyRx Healing Balm ($9, call 855.BEAUTY.RX to order).
3. Don’t Suffer: In an attempt to act all cavalier about my injury, I told everyone I was fine, but the truth is a burn is a very different kind of pain and it hurts! It’s like a dull, pulsing sensation mixed with a stinging feeling, which is the strongest during the first few days. Heslin said popping a few aspirin is best for treating burns for its anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Cover Up: Protecting the burn with bandages and changing the dressings two to three times a day is the most annoying part, but it’s so important. It not only keeps your ointment in place, but it also protects your burn from dirt and germs that can cause an infection. I went through boxes of Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Mirasorb Gauze Sponges ($11, walgreens.com), Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Hurt-Free Wrap ($5, walgreens.com), and Band Aid Large Waterblock Plus Bandages ($5, walgreens.com). Although bandages are really not the chicest things to wear around for weeks, you just have to do it (when I had to attend a black-tie wedding, I disguised them with an oversized gold cuff bracelet).
5. Hands Off: As your burn starts to heal, it could be tempting to pick the dead, fried skin that is shedding off or mess with the blisters but it’s crucial not to touch. Your skin will heal without your help and you could risk worse scarring if you pick.
6. Keep It Clean: My incident happened right before I was headed to the beach so Heslin told me to keep my arm out of the sun, sand and ocean water. Shower water is OK and you can rinse it with a gentle soap and warm water when showering or bathing.
7. Milk It: No, I don’t mean make your boyfriend and your mom wait on you hand and foot due to your “very painful, badly burned arm” (though this kind of manipulation will work and you should use it to your advantage). Once the blisters have emptied, Dr. Schultz advised soaking the burn in equal parts skim milk and water. The milk has proteins in it that help reduce inflammation and the burning discomfort.
8. No Sunshine When It’s Gone: Once the burn is healed enough (meaning no blisters, shedding skin or scabs) it will just look raw and pink. During this stage, it’s crucial to keep it out of the sun, which can turn the pink pigments brown causing annoying hyperpigmentation which can be difficult to remove.. Apply an SPF of at least 30 to the area daily, reapply after swimming or sweating and cover it with a zinc-based sunscreen if outdoors for an extended period of time. Also, don’t reach for scar creams or patches right away—those are made for raised scars, which are more common from things like cuts or surgery. Plus, if you take really good care of your burn (like me!) you won’t have any scarring.
Listen, accidents happen. And even the most skilled person can flub when it comes to hair removal so follow the directions and use caution. If you get badly burned, see a medical professional and reference the tips above. Otherwise, you might just want to leave the tough stuff to the pros.