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Acne

Favorite Find Friday: Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation

Written on January 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm , by

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.

Celeb Esthetician Renee Rouleau Answers Your Biggest Skin Questions

Written on August 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

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.”

How Fitness’ Assistant Web Editor Finally Beat Acne

Written on June 19, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of those girls lucky enough to breeze through their teenage years without breakouts. Once puberty hit, blackheads and pimples did too—with a vengeance. While Accutane helped for a few years in college, once the real stressors hit, my face broke out as if I had traveled back in time to visit my 16-year-old-self.

Fast-forward five years and my skin was in the same, sad shape. There were months when I saw barely-there blemishes, and others when I felt like craters took up mad real-estate on my face (attractive visual, I know). Tired of being a 20-something who had the skin of a pubescent teen, I enlisted the help of our beauty director, Heather Muir. She’s an encyclopedia of beauty knowledge, and after a quick chat about my skin-care regimen, I went home with new products to try and a facial appointment at the spa-to-the-stars Mario Badescu.

It’s been a few months since I started a new routine, and I’m happy to report nothing but glowing reviews! My skin will always need TLC, but it’s worth the work: I no longer need makeup to leave my apartment. Here’s what’s worked for me:

Morning:
I rinse with Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam ($20, clinique.com) for a refreshing wakeup call. In the hot summer months, BB cream is my go-to coverup; I like Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector ($13, drugstores). If extra coverage is necessary, Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup ($27, clinique.com) does the trick. To treat flare-ups and dim redness, I’m obsessed with Almay Clear Complexion Concealer + Treatment Gel ($10, drugstores).

Pre-workout:
It’s critical that the makeup comes off before a killer sweat session. When I’m at SoulCycle, I use Clean and Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser ($4, drugstores).

Post-workout:
I grab Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes ($8, drugstores) from my gym bag. I’m obsessed with the pink grapefruit scent!

Evening:
If I’m taking a shower at night, I love having Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel ($12, mariobadescu.com). The thick consistency makes me feel like I’m really getting out the gunk. If I’m not showering, I take the lazy-girl route and simply swipe with a wipe. Lucky for me, that’s totally OK: derms say that’s all I need. A quick dab of Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17, mariobadescu.com) after and I’m ready for a good dose of beauty sleep.

Weekly:
If I’m having a breakout, I immediately slap on Origins Out of Trouble 10-Minute Mask ($23, origins.com). If it’s general upkeep, I like Origins Clear Improvement ($23, origins.com) to open up my pores. Every Sunday, I use the Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush ($119, clarisonic.com), to take my skin straight to exfoliating heaven.

Monthly:
Facials! Justifying them to my no-frills boyfriend was a stretch at first, but having a professional do the painful-but-necessary extractions then smooth with specialized treatments has been the pore perfector I needed. But if the budget is too tight one month, my esthetician from Mario Badescu gave me these quick tips and product suggestions for an at-home spa session.

  • Cleanse. Wash face and neck using a cleanser to clear skin and rid oil from the surface of the skin.
  • Steam. Boil a pot of water. Remove from heat and pour into a wide bowl. Lean over the bowl so face is about 10 inches from the water. Hold for 3-5 minutes to relax pores and soften skin.
  • Exfoliate. Apply a gentle face scrub to damp skin. Use fingertips to massage face in circular motions for 30 seconds. Rinse with warm water.
  • Mask. Choose a mask that is appropriate for your skin type. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
  • Moisturize. Lightly apply eye cream, face and lip moisturizer.

Do you have any tried and true solutions that have changed your skin? Do tell!

 

—Samantha Shelton, assistant web editor

Favorite Find Friday: BeautyRx Skincare by Dr. Schultz Daily Exfoliating Therapy Serum

Written on February 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm , by

Newsflash: Not all beauty editors have perfect skin. You can trust me when I tell you I actually have problematic skin. Some people brush this off to me being dramatic or exaggeratory, but really, I have a pretty serious case of cystic acne and some serious skills when it comes to covering it all up (even my derm was fooled when I walked in for acne treatment). I’ve tried everything under the sun, and I mean everything, from spot treatments, to 3-step systems, even kitchen remedies—you name it, I’ve tried it. Topically, nothing has really worked that well for me until I started using BeautyRx Skincare by Dr. Schultz.  I’ve only been using the products for two weeks and am already seeing a major improvement. My blemishes are cleared (and no new ones are threatening to pop up), my pores are smaller and my complexion has a new-found glow thanks to the Daily Exfoliating Serum ($65, beautyrx.com). It’s an 8% glycolic exfoliant that helps unclog pores and brighten dull looking skin. I apply three drops all over my face before bed and wake up to a fresher and clearer complexion (and one step closer to finally having my dream skin).

Sun Protection For Blemish-Prone Skin

Written on April 10, 2012 at 10:23 am , by

Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30

Spring has sprung— but as the temperatures rise, our complexions start feeling the heat. We thought layering on more makeup or frequent blotting were the only options to counter shine and sweat, but not anymore. Enter the oil-controlling, acne-fighting and SPF-depositing powers of Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30. Salicylic Acid and willow bark absorb oil and eradicate blackhead-causing bacteria, while titanium dioxide protects from UVA and UVB rays. A stable of antioxidant vitamins (A, C and E) also work to stave off and undo sun damage and nourish skin. Best of all: The convenient, no-spill brush dispenser makes mid-day touch-ups— even over makeup— a breeze.

—By Alana Peden, contributing blogger

Pro Tennis Player Caroline Wozniacki’s Secrets to Flawless Skin

Written on March 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm , by

Professional tennis player and Proactiv spokesperson Caroline Wozniacki manages to have flawless skin despite constant sweat and sun exposure on the court, so we jumped at the chance to get her secrets. Here’s what she said about the products that keep her looking gorgeous, her on-the-road routine, and her proudest career moment.

FITNESS: What’s your haircare, makeup and skincare routine like on a typical day?
Caroline Wozniacki: I really try to keep my daily routine simple and natural.  I always like my skin to feel light and clean, so I really try hard to use products that are good for my skin and keep me looking naturally fresh.  Since I travel so much, I like to make sure my routine can easily come with me from country to country! I make sure to drink a lot of water, get plenty of sleep and moisturize my skin every day.  I find that doing these simple things are easy ways to keep me looking my best.

FITNESS: You’re constantly on the court and exposed to the harsh sun. How do you keep your skin protected?
CW: I wear SPF under my daily moisturizer every day. I’m on the court and outside playing so much that I don’t want to have to worry about my skin getting damaged from the sun.  So I just make sure I am properly protected every day. Now it’s such a routine that I pretty much have SPF on all the time!

FITNESS: How did you start working with Proactiv?
CW: I started having bad breakouts when I was about 15 years old. I was playing a lot of tournaments back then, so I was in the public eye a lot and didn’t really feel comfortable with all the cameras around because I wasn’t confident about my skin.  I decided to give Proactiv a chance, and my experience was really positive. After about a week, I started to see significant results. I was so happy, and didn’t have to worry about breakouts anymore.  Since I love the product so much, I figured a partnership with them was a great idea.

FITNESS: What’s the one beauty product never leaves your bag? Why?
CW: Once again, SPF is really important to me so I always have some in my bag with me.  You never know when you’re going to need it! I’m also obsessed with a bunch of the Oriflame lip glosses so I keep those on hand most of the time as well.  I hate when my lips are dry or chapped! So I always like to have lip treatments with me, and if they have SPF in them, even better.

FITNESS: What are your gym bag beauty essentials?
CW: Definitely my blister patches! Compeed makes these amazing blister patches that I keep in my gym bag all the time because I wear them almost every day.  Blisters are the absolute worst when I’m playing or practicing and can really affect my game so having the patches on me makes a huge difference.

FITNESS: What does your training consist of?
CW: Naturally I spend a lot of time on the court, but I also spend a fair amount of time training off-court. I also like to mix it up and have some fun with boxercise.

FITNESS: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
CW: I definitely indulge in my fair share of massages, but most of them are more sports therapy.

FITNESS: What are the beauty products you can’t live without?
CW: Proactiv 3 Step System, Proactiv Refining Mask, Compeed Blister Patches, Oriflame Giordani lip gloss line, Oriflame Divine Body Cream and the Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment.

FITNESS: Where do you get the confidence and energy to keep working your absolute hardest on the court?
CW: I’ve always been very motivated to do my best when I play.  It’s definitely a passion and drive within me that keeps me going and playing my best.  I also come from a family of athletes, so they have always been very supportive and motivating which helps me stay focused and try my hardest.

FITNESS: What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
CW: Holding the #1 position for so long is definitely something I am really proud of.  I finished at #1 for two years in a row, so that is something I really strive to reach again.

—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern

The #1 Workout Mistake That Could Sabotage Your Skin

Written on December 7, 2011 at 6:41 am , by

Naturally, we’re huge proponents of working up a sweat, whether you’re mastering the elliptical or letting out stress in your cardio kickboxing class. But excess sweat that dries on skin can leave behind salt and toxins, which contribute to acne and red bumps on the skin, according to Dr. Alex Fazeli, M.D., president of skincare brand Sebamed . Here, three ways to keep workout-induced breakouts at bay:

  1. Ditch the sweatbands and tight clothing, which can drive bacteria even deeper into the skin, causing blemishes. Choose exercise apparel made of moisture-wicking fabrics, which are breathable and help prevent pores from getting clogged.
  2. Avoid touching your face or blemish-prone areas with your hands or used towel, which can spread bacteria.
  3. Cleanse your skin immediately after working out with a hydrating wash like the Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash to help restore your skin’s barrier and remoisturize, which will prevent further toxins from penetrating.

—By Jaclyn Smock, beauty intern

Bedtime Breakouts

Written on July 18, 2011 at 11:05 am , by

We all thought our acne would be gone after high school, but alas, it persists—for years and sometimes decades, many blemishes incubating while we sleep. Here, a few simple ways to reduce unsightly breakouts that occur while you snooze:

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  • Wash your pillowcase once a week. Dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that accumulate on pillowcases can cause bacteria buildup and breakouts.
  • Try sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your side puts your face in direct contact with the buildup on your pillowcase and sheets, and suffocates your pores.
  • Don’t sleep with hair products on. If you’re deep conditioning your hair overnight or have leftover product in from during the day, either wash your hair before bed or cover it with a shower cap before lying down. Oils and waxes in hair products are known to clog pores and bring on blemishes.
  • Avoid cosmetics, lotions, and lip treatments that contain lanolin, petrolatum, oleic acid, certain vegetable oils and lauryl alchol. The National Women’s Health Information Center found these ingredients are more likely to cause acne.
  • Get enough sleep! Sleep is vital to every element of your health. If you’re sleep-deprived, your acne will take longer to clear and will only get worse.

—By Amanda Downs, beauty intern

Spot On

Written on June 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm , by

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If anyone knows the truth about acne, it’s Katie Rodan, M.D., and Kathy Fields, M.D., the dermatologist founders of billion-dollar blemish brand Proactiv. To kick off June National Acne Awareness Month, we’re sharing some surprising acne facts from their book, The Doctors’ Secrets to a Lifetime of Clear Skin:

  • Acne is the #1 skin disease in the world—in the U.S., 85 percent of people have it sometime in their lives.
  • They might do a number on your waistline, but sweets like chocolate and soda, and greasy foods like French fries don’t cause acne.
  • It may seem like the sun dries up your pimples, but sun exposure actually makes acne worse over time: Your skin sheds the UV-damaged cells, which clog pores and can trigger breakouts.
  • The dark spots that appear on skin after a blemish are called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: Unlike acne scars, they’re not permanent but can take weeks to heal.
  • Don’t spot treat: The red pimple that erupts on your skin is actually the last stage of a blemish’s life. Always treat your whole face to attack acne at every stage (even when it’s not yet visible).
  • Keep products with the zit-fighting ingredient benzoyl peroxide away from clothes and fabrics; it’s oxidizing action will bleach them.
  • Avoid facial scrubs with ground fruit or nut bits, like apricot pits or walnut, when trying to deep-clean skin: Their sharp edges can make micro-tears in your skin, causing further inflammation and irritation.
  • Don’t wash your face more than twice a day: Stripping your skin of oil prompts your body to produce more, exacerbating acne and oiliness.

Kick The Habit

Written on March 3, 2011 at 7:11 am , by

PimpleWomanSome of our beauty habits might sound innocent enough, but can really do damage over time. Here’s a list of pesky habits that we should all kick:

  • Hair fiddling: This one might be the hardest to break, since we don’t always notice ourselves doing it. People tend to play with their hair—twisting, bending, and even breaking it—out of boredom or to just to keep our hands busy. But, this seemingly harmless habit can lead to breakage, tangles and oily strands.
  • Popping pimples: We know how tempting it is to attack a blemish that’s taking over our face—but doing so can cause serious scarring and even spread pimple-causing bacteria (plus oil from your fingers) around the face. Attempt to banish acne before it even forms with ZENO Hot Spot Blemish Clearing Device.
  • Sleeping with makeup on: Cleansing our faces is often the first thing that falls by the wayside at the end of a busy, exhausting day. But not washing leaves pores clogged with leftover makeup, dirt and sweat—which leads to dull and break-out prone skin. Keep cleansing wipes like biodegradable Yes To Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes on your nightstand so you never forget to wash up before you doze off.

—By Maite Gonzalez, beauty intern