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Skin Savers

Celebrity Esthetician Renée Rouleau on her CrossFit Addiction and Skin Care Tips

Written on October 31, 2012 at 11:18 am , by

Renée Rouleau basically is the definition of busy. On top of running her own skincare company, Renée Rouleau for Beautiful Skin, she’s a celebrity facialist who spends most of her time traveling from her home in Dallas, Texas, to New York, Los Angeles and even to Europe to create “pop up spas” for her clients. In the midst of all this, Rouleau found the time to squeeze in workouts and recently lost over 30 pounds (and counting!) after falling in love with CrossFit. She dished about her workout addiction and how she helps her skin cope with her active lifestyle.

Rouleau’s amazing transformation.

 

How did you get into CrossFit?
“A friend told me about it and how much she loved it. She knew I would love it, too. Luckily they had one that was not far from my house, and they have them all over the world.”

What do you love about doing CrossFit?
“I love it for several different reasons; one is the variety. There’s a W.O.D. (workout of the day) that changes everyday so there’s never any muscle that’s left untouched and you never get bored because it’s always different. Two: I love it because when left to ourselves, we are not very accountable. You go to gym and sit on bike and bring a magazine and whatever. You’ll never push yourself as hard on your own as you will with CrossFit or when your coaches are yelling in a friendly way to push you farther than you would on your own. There’s that accountability. And three: it challenges me physically in ways that I never would. I tend to think people are either cardio bunnies or weight lifters. They tend to gravitate to one or the other. I’m a cardio person. I love running; I love biking; so I love that I’m doing a lot of the Olympic weightlifting. I’m strengthening my weaknesses. I also love that there’s a lot of camaraderie. Everyone who belongs to CrossFit will say it’s like a family. You get to know everybody.”

I know you’re very busy and that you travel a lot. How do you manage to keep up with your workout routine?
“Well whenever I travel, I hit up other CrossFit gyms, so for example, I just got back from Madrid, Spain and Istanbul, Turkey. I went to CrossFit in those countries. I like to experience other CrossFit gyms and the fact that they have them all over the world makes it so easy. They sell t-shirts so it’s fun to collect different shirts at different locations. The nice thing about CrossFit is that a lot of the workouts are things that don’t require any equipment. There’s an App called CrossFit Global and there’s a random W.O.D. feature, so on Sundays, you can select an option and it spits out a random W.O.D. for you. If I’m in a hotel or the gym, I can use the App and it gives me workouts to do. I generally fit it in about five days a week.”

Fitting in those sweat sessions five days a week can sometimes wreak havoc on your skin. What changes have you noticed in your skin? 
“Since I’ve been doing CrossFit for about a year and a half now, there is a lot of outdoor stuff and as a result, especially due to hot Texas summers, I’ve definitely noticed my hyper pigmentation has increased, including little brown spots that come with age. So any time you’re working out outside, you’re more exposed to UV light which increases melanin and combined with being hot, that stimulates melanin activity as well, so you have to be really good about sun protection and making sure to use a daily skin lightening products. I like natural as opposed to prescription to put those melanin cells to sleep and to keep that pigmentation lessened.”

How do you treat your spots?
“Obviously sun protection in the morning. I use Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30 because it’s so light and doesn’t retain heat in the skin like heavier creams can do because of the heavy oils. Then I’ll do my makeup then I’ll dust on the ColorScience SPF 50, which is a mineral powder SPF, as a finisher for extra protection. Later on in the day when I go to CrossFit, I do the mineral powder dust again because sunscreen can degrade throughout the day from natural oils in the skin and UV light so with a second coat, I know I am protected especially if we are outside.

You have a ton of great products. What’s one of your faves?
“After a workout, when I get home, I like to wash my skin because I’ve been sweating. I use a cleanser called Luxe Mint Cleanser Gel. It’s sulfate free so it’s really gentle. It has spearmint, peppermint and rosemary botanicals, which feel cooling.”

How did/do you find the motivation to keep up with a daily workout routine?
“I once heard entrepreneur, Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, say that his best tip for increasing productivity is to work out. He said you’ll approach work with a clear head since exercise decreases stress. Running my company, even though it’s very exciting, it’s very stressful so I feel like when I workout, I feel calmer and have a clearer head; I just feel better. I just really make it a priority. When I feel good, I am stronger and more productive in my daily life so there are physical and emotional benefits. Just making it a priority, it’s a habit now. I don’t even think about it. It actually helps that I really love CrossFit and anyone who goes knows it’s addictive. I’ve never been addicted to an exercise before but it’s hard and there’s such a satisfaction afterwards, you just want to keep going so those are the reasons you want to fit it in.”

Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres Reveals Her Secrets to Soft Skin, Silky Hair and Six-Pack Abs!

Written on October 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm , by

After spending three decades in the pool, Dara Torres knows a thing or two about protecting her skin from chlorine. The 45-year-old best-selling author and 12-time (!) Olympic medalist stopped by to tell us about her role as the first-ever Brand Ambassador for AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care. She also gave us the scoop on her beauty and workout favorites, and how she continues to stay motivated and confident while juggling life as a busy mom.

Dara Torres stops by the Fitness magazine office!

Let’s talk beauty. You’ve spent most of your life in the pool and chlorine can be hard on your skin. How did/do you prevent dryness? 

“I’ve had a problem my whole life with dry skin because of chlorine, always being in the pool and training outside, and now I have my daughter who loves outdoor activities so I’m always in the sun and exposed to that. So when I was asked to be the Brand Ambassador for AmLactin,it was a great fit. It’s funny, my mom was actually the one who told me about the lotion. She’s used it for a long time so I started to use it and the first thing I noticed is that I don’t have to reapply it two or three times a day. I would find that I would apply lotion and then four hours later, my skin would be dry again. The thing that’s great about this is you just put it on once and you’re good to go. It has lactic acid in it, which is great because it exfoliates your skin and you can actually feel it start to tingle when you put it on. I really take care of myself, I exercise a lot, I try to eat healthy, but I also want to look good, especially when you get a little older, it’s so important to take care of your skin.”

And what about your hair? How do you keep it soft and healthy?

“Something I suggest for recreational swimmers is to put conditioner on your hair before you put your cap on. But I really think it’s all about the texture of your hair because my daughter swims and her hair is fried, and I swam my whole life and mine hasn’t gotten fried. I actually like Wen products. There’s something about them that just keeps your hair soft and I also like to change up what I use. I read once that you shouldn’t use the same shampoo all the time or it’ll stop working so I have like five or six different shampoos that I use.”

Do you have any other all-time favorite beauty products you can’t live without?

“I love the Victoria’s Secret Lip Gloss! It actually tastes good! I always get compliments on my lip gloss. They have those bins in the front of the store and every time I go up, my daughter grabs like a handful of them! She likes the pretty colors, but it has a nice taste, too.”

Let’s switch gears a bit to working out. You have killer abs. What’s your secret?

“It’s not about the number of ab exercises—it’s the fact that when I do stuff in the gym, I am always using my core. When I’m exercising, I’m not just concentrating on one muscle; I’m pretty much engaging all those muscles at once so my core is always involved. Even though I only do maybe two or three ab exercises in an entire workout with 10-12 reps in them, I am always engaging my core in every exercise when I work out so that helps.”

What’s your favorite workout gear?

“I love Lululemon. It’s so soft. I love the way it feels, and it lasts long. They have stuff that fits everyone. It’s very soft comfortable and a good fit so that’s probably my favorite.”

What is your advice for athletes who want to improve on their swimming? 

“Join a masters team. And I know people get frightened by that, but you have to understand that masters teams are for everyone. It’s not like your joining an elite team, and you have to swim a certain way or do a certain time. The masters teams have all different kinds of swimmers in them. I’ve been to many masters meets and they have different levels. You want someone who can coach you so you have the proper technique, so you are not wasting too much energy while your swimming and it’s also fun to meet people. It can get boring swimming up and down, up and down, so to have the camaraderie and people there, it just helps. People should forget about the intimidation factor and just check it out and see what it’s about because most people who end up joining masters teams love it and their fears of thinking they cant keep up with everyone just disappear.”

What’s your favorite healthy snack that keeps you energized?

“I actually don’t like to eat too much before I work out. But if I am working out and I get hungry, a bar is best. Even if I just have a banana I feel kind of blah, and I love bananas, but there’s something about a bar. It’s small, has protein in it, and it tastes good so it kind of satisfies your cravings.”

Fitness has been a life-long priority for you. How have you found ways to stay motivated?

“I think the way I stay motivated is results. I finished training almost 2 months ago and I’m like, ‘Oh boy, here we go,’ sitting on the couch and gaining weight. But I think that if you work out and you see results different things fit differently. When I see results, I really stay motivated. I don’t feel like I have to work out everyday now that I’m not swimming anymore but I do. It relieves stress; it makes me feel good; I like the end result; so there’s just a lot of benefits from working out. I think if people can stay in it for about 5-6 weeks, they’ll start seeing results and they’ll feel good and stay motivated.”

How I Beat Those Annoying Bumps On My Arms

Written on September 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm , by

By Daniella Araujo, beauty intern
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had little red bumps on the backs of my upper arms. During the winter, they would also pop up on my thighs. I didn’t know what caused them or what they were, but I wanted to get rid of them. I googled “small bumps on my arms” and results for Keratosis Pilaris— a common genetic follicular disorder manifested by the appearance of rough bumps on the skin—came up. Luckily, it’s not a serious condition, but it’s an eyesore. Though there is no cure, there are ways to treat it. After trial and error, I finally found the perfect KP skincare regime that helped me get rid of the bumps and patches of rough skin:

  • Soap swap. Harsh sulfates in soap dry out your skin and cause further irritation if you’re prone to KP. I switched out my go-to bar soap for a moisturizing body wash. Look for one that’s fragrance-free and infused with lotion. I like Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash ($8, drugstores); it’s soap-free and contains shea butter for extra moisture.

DERMADoctor KP Duty Scrub helps slough away dry bumps. (Photo courtesy of DERMADoctor)

  • Scrub and hydrate.Exfoliation and hydration are the keys to getting rid of those icky bumps. Giving your skin a good scrub removes the excess keratin buildup, but it’s important to replenish your skin with a rich body lotion to keep it from drying out. My routine started with DERMAdoctor KP Duty Body Scrub ($44, dermadoctor.com), which has glycolic and lactic acids to slough away the top layer of dead skin. Then I applied DERMAdoctor KP Duty Dermatologist Moisturizing Therapy ($36, dermadoctor.com) to my arms and thighs twice a day.
  • Consistency is key. After two months, my bumps began to disappear and I simplified my regimen so that it was easier to commit long-term. I still start with Olay body wash but I only exfoliate once a week. I follow that with Amlactin Moisturizing Body Lotion ($15, drugstores), which keeps my skin soft and smooth.

Skin Cancer is Color Blind

Written on July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm , by

If you have brown skin, skin cancer may not be top of mind—but it should be.

Research by L’Oréal Paris USA has shown that sun can cause DNA damage in all skin types light to dark. Ultraviolet induced DNA damage is the number one reason that skin cancer develops, so this science debunks the ”people of color don’t get skin cancer” myth.

The truth is, only 17 percent of surveyed minority respondents had been to a dermatologist for a mole check, and over 65 percent of surveyed African American adults had never worn sunscreen.  The incidence of skin cancer is going up particularly fast in Hispanic and some Asian populations, and because of delayed detection it is more likely to be deadly in those with darker skin. Skin cancer is curable if caught early, so everyone regardless should be wearing broad spectrum SPF 30 daily, getting skin checks by a dermatologist yearly, and doing monthly self-skin checks with particular focus on new/changing lesions of the palms/soles and genital skin.

—By Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut

How To Safely Exfoliate On Sunny Days

Written on July 10, 2012 at 11:06 am , by

Dry, dead skin is our summer glow’s kryptonite. From the sticky gym to grimy subway rides, we run our complexion into the ground. When our faces are nearly as flaky as our mom’s apple pie crust, we turn to exfoliators to reveal young, radiant skin. We hit up Beverly Hills dermatologist Debra Luftman to give us the scoop on how to safely slough during sunny months.

New Skin + Sun = Damage Exfoliating reveals a brighter complexion, but you can actually do more harm than good if you’re not cautious about staying out of the sun. “One needs to be careful during the summer after using peels and scrubs,” Luftman says. “Skin can often be inflamed or more sun sensitive.” She warns that because it is new, previously unexposed skin, permanent hyper pigmentation and/or scarring may occur.

Physical (And Chemical) Education There are a couple of ways to smooth your skin. Dr. Luftman breaks down the options:

Physical exfoliators: Srubs that physically remove the dead skin with beads, salt, sugar or a granular material.  Choose a scrub with rounded, non-irritating beads, which won’t tear or abrade the skin. Luftman’s pick: Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

Chemical exfoliators: These contain acids like glycolic, salicylic, lactic and malic. These ingredients loosen and lift dead cells, leaving new, vibrant skin behind. Editor’s pick: Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel

Make A Weekend Of It “It’s best to do a peel when there is an opportunity to stay out of the sun for at least two days, like on a weekend,” Luftman says. “Even after the wait period, it’s important to continually protect the skin with sunscreen.” She recommends slathering a broad spectrum SPF 30 or above on all exposed areas daily. You can’t overdo it!

—By Cody Marick, beauty intern

Great Skin, No Sweat

Written on June 19, 2012 at 10:33 am , by

A few quick tricks can keep your skin glowing and blemish-free-- during and after sweat sessions.

As a Pilates instructor, tennis player and founder of the skincare line Stages of Beauty, Jasmina Aganovic has a few tricks up her sleeve for keeping skin in top shape, both in the gym and out.

  • Stay toned. Pack toner-soaked cotton balls in your gym bag and swipe over your face for a quick purifying cleanse.
  • Take cover. You may be indoors, but UV rays can reflect off of metal and glass surfaces in the gym, causing skin damage. Apply broad-spectrum SPF 30 or above both before and after workouts.
  • Hands off. Don’t touch your face with your sweaty hands during your session—body heat opens your pores, making skin apt to absorb bacteria and clogging dirt and oil. Wipe down any mats before touching them or bring a towel to lie down before you begin.
  • Double up. Apply an exfoliator or mask all over your face before you step in the shower, then rub in and rinse before getting out: The treatment ingredients will work while you wash, and the steam enhances penetration.

Sunburn S.O.S.

Written on May 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm , by

There are simple solutions to keep sunburn from leaving you red in the face.

If despite all of our sun safety imploring and warnings, you’re still seeing red after the holiday weekend, fear not. Theri Griego Raby, M.D., founder and medical director of the Raby Institute for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University shares five natural sunburn remedies you can do at home, stat.

  1. Apply aloe: The plant has a long-standing history of providing sunburn relief due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. “Gel straight from the plant is most effective,” Dr. Raby says. “Aloe vera causes blood vessels to constrict, which can take the sting and redness out of a sunburn.”
  2. Refresh with peppermint oil:  The cooling and aromatic qualities of peppermint oil can help quell the scorch of a bad burn. The essential oil can be directly applied to the affected area or diluted with a cup of lukewarm water.
  3. Take an oatmeal bath:  Adding oatmeal to bathwater is an ideal skin soother that won’t irritate already-damaged skin. “The key is to soak no more than 15 to 20 minutes and to use cool, not cold, water to relieve skin without sending the body into shock,” she explains. “Afterward, air dry or blot skin with a towel rather than rubbing skin dry, which can cause further inflammation.”
  4. Go for green tea:  After brewing a pot of green tea, let the liquid cool and soak a washcloth in the mixture.“Placing the compress on affected areas wicks heat away from the skin and reduces swelling,” Dr. Raby says.
  5. Stay hydrated:  Drinking fluids can also help combat second-hand sunburn symptoms. Sunburn can cause a mild fever or headache, so be sure to replenish lost hydration by drinking plenty of water after a day in the sun.

Olay’s Handy Guide to Navigating the New SPF Rules

Written on May 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm , by

Our friends at Olay just shared this fun infographic explaining the FDA’s new sunscreen rules— plus protection tips— right in time for Memorial Day weekend. Here’s to a happy, safe summer!


3 Key Beauty Tips for Triathletes

Written on May 15, 2012 at 9:34 am , by

The number of people participating in triathlons has increased 50 percent in just the past two years—putting involvement in the U.S. at an all-time high. If you’re one of them, Brooke Jackson, M.D., a dermatologist and director of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago, shares these key beauty tips for each leg of a triathlon.

  • SWIMMING: Coat your hair lightly with conditioner before you put on your cap to protect against drying, color-stripping chlorine.
  • BIKING: Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes (bikers have an increased risk of cataracts) and prevent squinting, which causes crow’s feet to form.
  • RUNNING: Put on a hat made of a breathable material like Dri-Fit to protect your scalp from the sun and ward off strand damage.

Make A (Free!) Melanoma Research Donation With SkinCeuticals

Written on May 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm , by

One person in the United States dies from melanoma every hour. In honor of Melanoma Awareness Month, skincare brand SkinCeuticals will donate $5 in your name to the Melanoma Research Alliance for every interaction on their Facebook page (sharing a virtual button, short video or written testimonial). You’ll also be entered into a sweepstakes to win some of their best-selling products. An easy way to give back— and increase awareness about a life-threatening issue— without spending a penny!