Written on March 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Our underarms are often one of the most-overlooked places on our bodies. Besides shaving and swiping on deodorant, we don’t usually treat our armpits to any special skin care routine. Dove Advanced Care Deodorant is setting out to change that. They’re launching a new campaign—“Dear Armpit”—to encourage women to finally speak out about the way they feel about this mysterious place. To celebrate, they are offering women tips on how to give themselves a “PitiCure” (more on that below) and helping them to see their armpits in a new light. You can join in on the conversation, too, by tweeting your thoughts to @Dove with the hashtag #deararmpit. We recently stole some time with NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Ellen Marmur, who has partnered with Dove to improve women’s underarm care. Read on for her expert tips.
Let’s talk about how the “Dear Armpit” campaign is helping raise awareness for taking care of your underarms.
“So we’re launching this campaign by having real women put on sleeveless blouses and sleeveless tops and taking a photo in a photo booth and raising their armpits and getting a ‘PitiCure.’ As a dermatologist, I have been telling my patients for so many years how to take care of their skin, and the armpit skin has its own list of issues that no one talks about. Every time people shave, especially if they’re using an old razor, they are stripping away about 36 perent of their skin’s surface cells, not just the hair, so they’re stripping their skin and causing irritation. Then you’ve got the underarm sweat, which has salt and enzymes, and you’ve got any debris from your clothing and things rubbing in that area that can lead to rashes, which can cause the skin to get thicker, which we call alligator skin. Once you get any irritation or redness, that can lead to blemishes, meaning brown discoloration, in the underarm and I think that leads people to feel really embarrassed and ashamed about wearing certain clothing.”
So what exactly is a “PitiCure” and how can someone give themselves one at home?
“So the ‘PitiCure’ is Dove’s way of making it really lovely and easy to think about. The idea is that it’s like a pedicure, where you take special care of your feet, which also used to be considered ugly; the ‘PitiCure’ is a way to take care of your armpits. It is a three-step process, where you might do it three times a week.
1. In the shower gently wash, not scrub, the underarms to get rid of any impurities or debris using your favorite cleanser.
2. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. With my patients and in general, people forget to dry their skin thoroughly after their bath or shower and they leave water droplets under their arms that can trap water and lead to further problems with the skin.
3. Apply Dove Advanced Care Deodorant ($5, drugstores) which is a multitasker and I think this is the ‘Aha!’ moment which is that your underarm care can have a multi-tasker: a deodorant, an antiperspirant and the nutrient moisture. Swipe it on just three times and that is enough to give you 48 hours of protection.
I think it doesn’t occur to most people to actually moisturize their underarms but this is where you can prevent those issues. No one ever tells you how much deodorant to put on but if you do, say, five swipes, you’re going to end up with residue which can irritate you as well, physically, and if you do only one swipe, you’re not getting enough of the product.”
Is there any danger with deodorant penetrating the skin’s surface?
“That’s a really good question. I want to go back to the basics, where skin’s number one function is to protect. So the skin has all these myths about it, like that it breathes or that it absorbs; nothing absorbs into the skin easily. So, products that you put onto your skin, they go into the top dead surface cells, but they actually don’t penetrate down into the vessels, where the blood vessels would absorb it into the body. And even the tiny ducts, they have their own skin-lining them, so you’re still not absorbing the product. I asked that same question and I looked into the data, because I also want to be counseling in a safe way, so we’ve been looking into studies. The ingredient that has led to controversy is the aluminum ingredient and it’s found in the body, but it’s considered to be in the body because of the foods we eat, and that does make sense that you’re eating food that goes into the gut and the gut’s main job is to absorb, but they weren’t able to detect any absorption, especially around the armpit where you would get it from applying deodorant.”
And what if you have any nicks from shaving? Is there any risk from applying deodorant over that?
“The deodorant has a powder ingredient in it, and powder itself causes bleeding to stop. Like if you cut your finger and put baby powder, or even baking powder, it actually causes the blood to clot. So it is safe in that sense, it’ll stop the bleeding and the moisturization and glycerin that’s in the nutrient moisture will actually help it heal faster. If it’s a huge gash, see your dermatologist. You definitely don’t want to try to fix something like that yourself.”
Written on February 28, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
No matter how prepared I am for beauty-related emergencies (my boyfriend jokingly refers to me as Mary Poppins because of all the crazy stuff I can pull out of my purse at any time), sometimes I get caught in a jam. I only live two blocks away from my guy so I rarely have to keep much at his place. But the other day I was too lazy to run home and shower and figured there was no harm in sneaking in a rinse there. (Keep in mind: this is a dude’s apartment; a bachelor pad, if you will.) Well, I quickly realized the risk I took when I glanced at the product selection (or lack thereof) in the shower and only found a half-used bar of soap and an economy-sized bottle of 2-in-1 Pert Plus (!). Luckily, I remembered coming back from an Axe launch event where they introduced new men’s products so I stashed them under his sink. I grabbed the Axe Peace Shower Gel and Shampoo ($4 and $6, drugstores) and started to suds up. Immediately, I was pleasantly surprised by the light yet musky scent. With top notes of warm citrus and nutmeg that finish with the soothing smell of cedarwood and amber, it’s masculine but not at all in an overpowering way—I swear! I love using it just as much as “girly” stuff I keep in my shower, and I even got my BF hooked, too. So now, when I shower at his place, we end up smelling the same. Strange? Maybe, but it sure beats that questionable bar of soap.
Written on February 21, 2014 at 11:38 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Jennifer Hudson has come a long way since she first graced the stage as a finalist in the third season of American Idol. As a Grammy-award winning singer, she went on to star in the silver screen blockbuster Dreamgirls, which earned her a Golden Globe, SAG award and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. After the birth of her first child, she announced she was joining Weight Watchers in 2010 and has since been a success story (dropping from a size 16 to a 6) and spokesperson for the brand. She discusses her journey in her book I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down ($15, amazon.com). We nabbed some time with her and Weight Watchers’ chief scientific officer, Karen Miller Kovach as they awarded Baltimore with a healthy community grant on behalf of Weight Watchers.
Tell us about what you guys are doing today in Baltimore.
Miller-Kovach: “Weight Watchers is and always has been very committed in terms of ensuring that our program and services are available throughout the world because we’re not just a United States company. We decided to formalize a little bit and so the healthy community grant came out of that and has been awarded to three cities. It was a highly competitive grant process and was judged by a group of independent judges. So a small, a large and a medium city were selected. We’re in Baltimore today, which is the large city that was selected. And celebrating their record and proven ability to provide, within the community, a holistic approach to health and well-being. So, this is a celebration, I think for the community, it’s a celebration for weight watchers to recognize and renew our commitment to healthy living, to weight management and to being an active player in reversing the tide of obesity that exists in our nation.”
Awesome! And Jennifer what does it mean to you to be involved in this type of program?
Hudson: “I think it’s amazing! One of my new year’s resolutions was to help change lives and that’s what this will do. It will give people a new start and direction. So I’m excited to be a part of it!”
What are some healthy habits that you’ve adopted in achieving your health goals?
“I think all around just making healthier choices and decisions. Drinking water, I’m not a water girl but I have to do that. Because that’s important and knowing what’s important for the body not eating just for fun. Being conscious of what I’m taking in.”
What type of workouts helped you achieve and maintain your transformation?
“What I like most, if I’m going to workout, is being outside. I love being outside! I love being able to enjoy things while I’m working out. So I love jogging because I want to be out. I’ve noticed that if I’m in a nice climate, it inspires me to workout more and be more active. Since I’m in Chicago it’s much colder, so you might not feel like working out which makes it more difficult. So when I can embrace the beautiful air, I love to get out and go running. And just most importantly, making sure I’m enjoying whatever I’m doing. Whether it’s doing squats, whether it’s jogging, whether it’s jumping rope, riding a bike, I like to make it fun so I want to do it again. You want to carry it on. So if you’re enjoying it you’ll do it over and over again. I like to make it fun!”
Have you found to have any snacks that give you energy throughout the day, or to have before or after a workout?
“Actually I love a banana! That’s my favorite, if you want to call that a snack! It’s good because it gets that fiber in there, gets your system going and gives you plenty of energy and it’s no points! So that’s something that I love to have. Before I eat anything in the morning I make sure I have a banana or something because it’s filling and you don’t ever want to be too hungry. Because you don’t want to go to the gym, do a workout and then you’re starving, then you’re going to eat anything. If you have something that’s quick, you can grab out of your bag. To me it’s the most fulfilling fruit there is. Eat that up and I’m good to go!”
In terms of your beauty routine, are there any makeup tricks or hair tricks that you like to do before a night out or something to boost your confidence?
“Well, I cut my hair and I think that’s like a weight loss goal for people. A lot of times it’s a goal when you’re going through weight loss. You know it’s like ‘if I ever lose weight I’m going to cut my hair!’ So I cut my hair so I can show off my facial structure and things like that. It’s fun being able to experiment with the new me and discovering who I am now. Like I had the big girl look down, no I’m like ‘okay, what’s my style now?’ Like re-discovering myself and it’s fun! You know, every girl wants to play dress up! So I’m getting to play dress up with myself and find my new self!”
Have you found it to be easier to maintain and to style?
“It is, I think it’s fun and it’s funky! It’s a lot of things but it’s definitely easier to maintain than longer hair. And it inspires me to workout more because I can’t hide behind the hair! If you’ve got short hair you can see my arms and my back, you know what I mean? It inspires me to push even further to work out!”
Written on February 14, 2014 at 11:38 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
When I was younger, I changed my perfume after every breakup (such a teenage-angsty thing to do—I know). There was just something about a fragrance that was so closely tied to the memories of the relationship, that after it ended, I wanted a fresh start. And a fresh scent. But since I’ve been very happily attached for the past six years (!), I’ve had to come up with a new smell strategy. It was around the time when my guy and I first started dating that I began crushing on Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum ($68, ralphlauren.com). Described as a fragrance that “captures the timeless essence of falling in love,” it seemed like the perfect match for the start of a budding romance. I loved the sensual florals, like white violet and sun goddess rose that created seductive chemistry when combined with the musk of exotic woods. As time went on, I fell more and more in love with my beau and my perfume. But the winter melted into spring and I needed to switch things up (in the fragrance department, not the BF one!) so I swapped in the summer edition—Ralph Lauren Romance Summer Blossom Eau de Toilette Spray ($74, ralphlauren.com). A lighter, fruitier version of the original, this sunny and playful scent has notes of mandarin and waterlily that lightly flutter on top of the woodsy, vanilla base. One spritz gives you that pit-of-your-stomach butterfly feeling and ignites those summer love sparks, even in a long-term relationship. I continue to alternate between the two and since I’m loyal to the collection, I’m anxiously awaiting the latest launch, Midnight Romance coming out this April. So after years of testing out all those other
guys perfumes that weren’t a perfect fit, I’m blissfully happy to have finally found the one for me. And today, I thought it was the appropriate timing to share this ode to oud with all of you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Written on February 7, 2014 at 8:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Let’s just say this has been one rough winter for us here in the northeast. There have been polar vortexes, followed by apocalyptic snow storms, followed by plummeting temperatures, followed by rain, sleet, hail, slush—the kind of stuff you remember from the 90s. I’m from northeast PA, not too far outside the city but at a much higher elevation so this is nothing new to me. But sadly, my skin has adapted to the closer-to-sea-level altitude of NYC and it has not been happy with the forecast. White, dry and flaky: my skin’s condition sounds more and more like the weather that’s causing it as each wintery day passes. I needed some serious help so I grabbed Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion ($5, walgreens.com). I slather it on right out of the shower (waiting more than just a few minutes can mean less hydration) and it sinks in deep to hydrate extra dry skin. It’s infused with authentic Moroccan argan oil, a lightweight ingredient known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants, so after just a few days of using it, I noticed my skin looking more radiant than before. The effects last all day so I know I’m covered until I reapply before bed (seriously, my skin drinks this stuff up.) And since those meteorology-savvy little groundhogs Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck both saw their shadows this year, predicting six more weeks of this arctic assault in the northeast, I guess I’ll be relying on every last drop of this skin saver until spring.
On a side note, if you’re like me and dreading this weather, but wishing for brighter days, Suave has teamed up with the dapper celebrity fashion stylist, Brad Goreski, to help make your dreams come true. Just tweet your wish (which can be anything from silky, glowing skin to a sunny vacay) to @SuaveBeauty with hashtag #RadiantWishes to be entered into the sweepstakes or head to the Suave Beauty Facebook page to enter the Radiant Wishes Sweepstakes for a chance to win Suave Professional Moroccan infusion products, a spa day or a trip to sunny Los Angeles. A few lucky winners’ wishes will be fulfilled!
Written on February 6, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Mark Teixiera, the first baseman for the New York Yankees, knows all about the importance of a fit and healthy lifestyle, especially after missing a majority of last season due to a wrist injury. He’s been drinking raw juice for 10 years and started picking up Juice Press bottles on the go. He loved the juices so much, he decided to get involved with the company. As the brand announced a new location at SoHo Strength Lab in New York City, we chatted with Teixiera on everything from his love affair with raw juices to his pre-game rituals.
How did you get involved with Juice Press?
“About two and a half years ago, I met Marcus [the founder and CEO] at the Lower East Side store. I fell in love with the product. You know, it’s a lifestyle choice and I’ve drank raw juice for years. It’s a painstaking, labor-intensive process. Usually when you buy something in a bottle it doesn’t taste as good; it’s not as fresh, but the product was so good I said, ‘Marc, we’ve got to partner up here.’ Then we worked something out!”
So do you also juice at home?
“Absolutely! I drink anywhere from two to five juices a day.”
Do you do meal replacements and snacks or juice cleanses?
“It depends. If I’ve been sick or had a long vacation where I didn’t necessarily make the right choices eating-wise, I will do a cleanse. But I’ve found that when I’m on the go all day, grabbing a couple juices works. I’ll bring a cooler with me—just put it in the car and instead of driving through somewhere or stopping in a convenient store and getting snacks. You can try to make the best choices you can but nothing’s going to be better to put in your body than Juice Press. So it’s a lifestyle choice that’s really worked out.”
Do you have any favorite juices to drink before or after a workout?
“Pre-workout, I love Glo in the morning because it’s refreshing with citrus and vitamin C. A Glo and a raw oatmeal for breakfast before a workout is a great meal! And then after the workout, something with a little more protein in it, Lait de Coconut is a really good drink for after a workout. Smoothies are great after a workout as well.”
So, how is your wrist?
“It’s doing much better. It was a major surgery and I’m going to be smart about it the first couple weeks of spring training. But I have full confidence that I’ll be fine for the season.”
That’s good news! So what are your workouts like off-season?
“They actually vary. I’m always working on something. As a professional athlete, you’re always trying to get better; you’re always trying to keep from being injured or rehab an injury or get stronger. So my workouts vary from something that’s very functional, baseball-wise, and stuff that’s very strength or conditioning specific depending on the time of year and how my body feels.”
And then how do they adjust when you get into the season?
“The older I’ve gotten, the less I’ve been able to lift during the season. So during the season, it’s a lot more core work, a lot more stability work. Basically, you kick your butt every night on the field; you don’t want to kick your butt in the weight room as well. I could do that when I was 25 but I’m turning 34 this year, I’ve got a lot of miles on my body. When I’m in the weight room I want to build myself up stability-wise, not break myself down pounding the weights.”
Do you have any interesting rituals or superstitions that you do before a game?
“I almost always get in the hot tub before practices and before games because warming up my muscles, making sure my joints are lubricated, being able to go out there with a sweat already is very important to me. Then, if I had a really good game the night before, I basically try and do the same thing the next day. I eat the same foods, I wear the same uniform. If I wore long sleeves, I wear long sleeves. If I wore short sleeves, I’m wearing short sleeves. You know, it’s just the little idiosyncrasies of baseball that come out in you.”
Since I am a beauty editor, I have to ask about your grooming routine! Do you have any favorite products you love?
“Jack Black products, I’ve used them forever. So, the face lotion. When it’s 12 degrees in New York and the wind is blowing in your face, it gets a little dry. The shampoo and conditioner. You know, I really don’t do too much on the beauty side, I use my body not my looks!”
Written on January 27, 2014 at 9:35 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
If there’s one singer out there who knows how to Get the Party Started, it’s P!NK. On her The Truth About Love Tour, she flies through the air Matrix-style, performs acrobatic moves worthy of the Cirque du Soleil (as proven in last night’s Grammy performance), and tears up the stage with her dance moves all while showing off her rock hard abs—oh, and belting lyrics of course! But that’s just her day job. She’s also a busy working mom and one of the beautiful faces of CoverGirl. We got the chance to grill her on what’s in her beauty bag and how she stays in sick shape.
Your CoverGirl ads are gorgeous and fierce! Did you pick up any cool makeup tips while on set that you can share?
“Well, a lot of people might know this but an eyelash curler really gives your lashes amazing lift. Also, a dab of concealer under the eyes is the best quick-fix for dark circles, especially for tired moms like me.”
What’s one beauty product you have to have right now?
“Right now, I love CoverGirl Bombshell Mascara ($10, covergirl.com). There’s one coat for volume and another coat that intensifies for noticeable lashes. The result is this dark sexy lacquered look. Sometimes a girl just wants to flaunt her sexy!”
What’s the one beauty staple you have to have on everyday?
“I guess I’d have to say foundation, but nothing too heavy or unnatural. The CoverGirl TruBlend Foundation ($10, covergirl.com) is great because it feels really lightweight and it’s so super blendable that even I can’t mess it up.”
For someone who colors their hair often, it must be tough to avoid damage. What do you do to keep your strands healthy?
“I’ve been told that washing it every day can make hair dry but with being on tour and being so active, skipping a wash isn’t really an option. The good thing is that when it’s short like this, I don’t have to use a hairdryer, so that helps and I use a deep conditioning treatment when I have downtime. I’m lucky that I have people to help me with these things!”
Switching gears a bit, your tour is really physical. How do you train and how do you manage to stay in shape while traveling?
“My show is pretty demanding, physically, so on tour, I work out about 5 times a week. I do an hour of cardio and an hour of yoga with my dancers before almost every show. It’s intense, I know. Sometimes I feel more like an athlete than a singer!”
How do you keep your diet on track while you’re on the road?
“I try to eat really healthy most of the time. When I’m not on tour, I’ve done the vegan thing, although I sometimes eat chicken and fish. But on tour is a different story. I don’t beat myself up over every little food choice. If I’m hungry for bread or pasta or a French fry, I eat it. I cannot resist cheesecake! You can’t be too controlled.”
When you’re not touring, how do you find time to fit in a workout as a busy mom?
“I try to find the time to do something active every day, whether it’s hiking or running or anything outdoors. I like the results—feeling strong, and I think that challenging myself physically keeps me more mentally aware so I’m better able to tackle all of the other stuff. Even when you’re not in the mood, it’s worth motivating yourself to do.”
Written on January 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
One of the benefits to being related to me is that I hook my family up with the best beauty goodies (I like to spread the love!). What’s better is that then, when I travel to my loved ones’ homes, I can leave my massive bag of beauty “essentials” behind and bank on them having the right products to share with me. This works out best between my sister and I, as she pretty much uses everything I tell her to (which is pretty much everything I use). During my last visit to her house, I was using the guest bathroom, which has now been taken over by my 16-month old niece. Now—you might think a little baby doesn’t require many beauty products exactly, but then that would mean you haven’t seen this little girl. She was born with a full head of hair. Like, so much hair that she had to get it cut four times before her first birthday (!). So washing it is a must. My sis loves Mustela products and uses the Mustela 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash ($10, mustela.com) on my niece. I usually shudder at the thought of a 2-in-1 for hair (I need more conditioner!) but since my options were limited mid-shower, I reached for it anyways. The gel formula was so hydrating, I completely forgot about conditioner and because it’s formulated for the delicate skin of babies, it’s soap-free and ultra gentle. I liked it so much, I then proceeded to shave my legs with it! It left my skin feeling soft and smooth; not dry in any way. So the lesson to learn here is to steal from babies. Kidding! But seriously, they usually have the best beauty products.
Written on January 17, 2014 at 8:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Jen Atkin is the mane mastermind behind some of Hollywood’s hottest hair (think: the Kardashians, Katy Perry and Sophia Vergara) as well as the celeb stylist for Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy. When we planned our February hair feature Chopped, we just knew we had to work with her. On set, she spilled these tips for getting the cut you want and leaving the salon happy. Avoid a hack job by going to your next appointment prepared. “Bring photos, especially if you’re making a big change,” suggests Atkin. Or create a Pinterest board of looks you like and scroll through it with your stylist on your smart phone. Just be ready to shift your expectations depending on your texture and the time you’re willing to spend working with it. “It’s so important to be honest about how high- or low-maintenance you want your cut to be,” she says. To see videos of three readers’ major makeovers, click here, here and here.
Written on January 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
When it comes to foundation, I’m not afraid of major coverage (let’s just say, I’m not a tinted moisturizer kind of girl). Having struggled—and sometimes still struggle—with acne for years, I know that foundation, concealer and powder are my complexion’s best friends. But when using all three, you run the risk of your makeup looking heavy and caked on (what we like to call friends without benefits). So you really have to look for formulas that hide breakouts but still look natural—like real skin. Enter Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation ($35, coverfx.com). Even though I work in the beauty industry and have access to hundreds of products, I was introduced to this one through a friend. It was just that good that she had to share it. The first time I used it, I was hooked. You can apply it alone as your base with the included sponge (damp or dry) or you can swipe on your favorite foundation and brush this over top as a finishing powder like I do. It offers additional coverage to the spots where you need it most and sets your makeup in place without looking thick. It comes in 24 shades so there’s a match for everyone. I keep two shades in my makeup bag at all times: one for the summer and one for the winter. Just like your bestie is there for you through, say… a break up, I can always rely on my favorite powder through any breakout.