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Acne

Brush Up

Written on February 9, 2011 at 7:41 am , by

When was the last time you properly cleaned your makeup brushes?

Can’t remember? Then you might be swirling bacteria and fungus on your face—ick!

Makeup brushes pick up and accumulate dead skin cells, oils, dirt and any other bacteria that’s on your skin. This leads to brushes that are stiff with separated bristles, causing streaky makeup and eventually destroying your tool.  Plus, touching your face with a dirty brush every day can cause clogged pores and breakouts, too. Take the time to clean yours as often as possible. The following products make it easy:

  • Clinique Brush Cleanser is a great wash to remove all the grime that’s accumulated,  leaving a completely clean, sanitized brush.
  • Bare Escentuals Quick Change Brush Cleaner is a lifesaver when you need to instantly remove pigment from your brushes. It allows you to go from one shade to another in seconds, leaving no traces of the previous color.

Remember: Clean brushes mean a clean, happy face!

—By Maite Gonzalez, beauty intern

My Aha Acne Moment

Written on January 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm , by

This past weekend, I visited the Mario Badescu Spa for a vitamin C facial, and I totally had an acne aha moment. For the past couple of months, I have been consistently breaking out on my neck.  (Who knew this was even possible?!) The zits are often on the left side of my neck, and I originally blamed my little puppy Elvis as my acne culprit. However, as soon as my facialist saw the breakouts on my neck, she asked: “Do you sleep with your hair down?” My answer: Yes, and I often slather oil (my go-to one: Shu Uemura Essence Absolue) on my ends in order to keep them shiny and prevent split-ends. Then she asked: “Do you sleep with your head turned more to the right?” My answer: Totally, because I like to face my window. Ding, ding! Tossing my hair around was exacerbating, if not completely causing, my neck bumps. Since this visit, I’ve been wearing my hair up, and I’ve already noticed that my skin is clearer. Have any of you guys come across other habits that are skin saboteurs? I’m curious!

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No-Sweat Skin Savers

Written on December 9, 2010 at 9:39 am , by

At FITNESS, we know the importance of a good workout. While the sweat may work wonders on your body, it can wreak havoc on your face, resulting in unwanted blemishes. Here, a few tips to prevent workout woes:

  • Avoid contact with equipment. It’s impossible to steer clear of equipment when you’re at the gym, but it is possible to avoid contact with it. Before sitting or laying down on any of the machines, lay out a clean towel to use as a barrier, protecting your skin against dirt and bacteria. Don’t feel like carrying around a towel with you? Wear workout clothing that covers breakout-prone parts of your body, such as the back and shoulders.
  • Tie your hair. When you’re working out, your scalp produces oil more quickly than usual. If your hair falls onto your face during exercise, the likelihood of a breakout increases. Prevent blemishes by keeping hair off your face and back with elastic hair ties and headbands.
  • Hands off! Touching your face is the number one way of transferring bacteria onto your skin. No matter how strenuous the workout, keep sweaty hands out of your skin!
  • Clean your gym bag. Let’s face it: We require quite a few on-the-go supplies after a long workout. Storing your gym bag in a locker (or putting it on the locker room floor) can allow dirt and bacteria to get in, as does touching your products before washing your hands. Clean the outside of your gym bag with an antibacterial wipe or spray every couple of uses, and store makeup in Ziploc bags so it doesn’t come in contact with your sweaty gym necessities.
  • Choose cotton. Nylon and polyester clothing hinder the skin’s ability to breathe, clogging pores and causing body breakouts. Choose cotton as your go-to material; it allows skin to breathe even during your most grueling cardio class.
  • -Nina Ramadan, beauty intern

    Scrub Your Way to Soft Skin

    Written on October 27, 2010 at 6:56 am , by

    Along with the crisp air and colored leaves, autumn brings dry skin. While it’s easy to moisturize your body with creamy and freshly-fragranced lotions, it’s not so simple when it comes to your face. My sister Sabrina noticed her skin getting drier as the weather has become colder, leaving her face dull and her foundation flaky. She asked me what she could do to keep her face smooth throughout the season, and I told her my secret to keeping skin soft all year round: exfoliating.

    Using a soft scrub in the shower removes excess dead cells and keeps flakiness at bay. For chronic dryness, it’s best to use scrubs with physical exfoliators like the beads in L’Oréal Paris Go 360˚ Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub or Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. Also look for scrubs with fruit enzymes, like Wei East Pomegranate Buffing Beads Exfoliator.

    For acne-prone skin, choose scrubs with salicylic acid, such as St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub. The salicylic acid clears breakouts, while the refreshing green tea component tackles redness and irritation.

    Scrubs are not recommended for sensitive skin types, but don’t worry, we’ve still got you covered! Try an exfoliating pad instead, like Philosophy Microdelivery Mini Peel Pads, which slough skin, tone and brighten without the harshness.

    The final key to combating dry skin is to use a moisturizer with SPF. This will keep your face hydrated, makeup smooth and skin protected! What scrubs do you use to keep skin soft during the chilly months?

    -Nina Ramadan, beauty intern

    Favorite Find Friday: Neutrogena Deep Clean Sport

    Written on October 1, 2010 at 8:58 am , by

    Deep-Clean-Sport-Facial-Cleanser-lgFrom makeup remover to acne wash, it takes a small army of cleansers to freshen my face before bed. For years, I’ve been searching for a face wash that can do it all while still protecting my sensitive skin. After hearing Features Assistant Editor Sarah D’Angelo rave about Neutrogena Deep Clean Sport Facial Cleanser ($6.99, drugstores), I decided to give it a shot. The tingling wash took off grime and makeup, but wasn’t harsh. Plus, it contains salicylic acid to keep blemishes at bay, and the leak-proof packaging is perfect for my gym bag. So long, three-step cleansing routine!

    — Catherine Q. O’Neill, contributing blogger