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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.

Favorite Find Friday: Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel

Written on May 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm , by


It’s rare that a facial treatment product produces immediate, noticeable results. Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel is one of the few exceptions. We smooth the faintly citrus-scented glycolic acid cream-gel over our face, leave it on for ten minutes you’ll feel a bit of tingling then rinse to reveal a complexion that’s so vibrant and glowy it’s almost reflective, but with none of the redness or irritation normally associated with peels. Our time-saving trick: Slather it on before you step in the shower so it works while you wash, then rinse before you get out.

Tell us: Do you use at-home peels? What’s your product of choice?

Behind-the-Scenes: 2012 FITNESS Beauty Awards

Written on May 16, 2012 at 9:33 am , by

Here’s a peek at just a fraction of the 3,600 new products our beauty team called in for testing for the 2012 FITNESS Beauty Awards, the 60 winners of which will be published in the October issue. Our panel of twelve experts in the fields of dermatology, hair styling and coloring, and makeup artistry are currently testing the products, judging them on factors like effectiveness, ease of use, packaging, and cosmetic elegance. Next, we’ll distribute the products to hundreds of readers for the final round of testing before they’re narrowed down to the top choice in each category. Keep your eye out for the winners in our October issue on newsstands this fall!

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.

More Buzz-Worthy Beauty Finds

Written on May 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm , by

The hand-crafted Worker B Lotion Bar is made with organic almond oil, olive oil, beeswax and propolis.

Our office was flooded with beauty products packed with vitamin-rich, nourishing extracts like honey, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly while we worked on our May 2012 “Buzz-Worthy Finds” Beauty Buys page. We couldn’t fit all our favorite picks on one page, so here are more sweet steals that had the beauty department buzzing.

ALL OVER

BODY

FACE

FEET

HAIR

Big Dipper Wax Works 100 Percent Beeswax Sphere Candles come in three gorgeous carved designs.

HANDS

HOME

Melanoma Monday: 5 Sun Secrets You Need To Know

Written on May 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm , by

Protect your skin 365 days a year, not just when you hit the beach.

Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. Arm yourself with these sun protection secrets from FITNESS Advisory Board member Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University and founder of K&J Sunprotective Clothing.

1. Commute carefully:  Cancer-causing ultraviolet rays can come through the windows of your car, home or office. Studies in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology show that in the U.S., left-sided skin cancers— and aging— are more common as a result of sun exposure during driving. Regardless of weather conditions, apply a light, broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher on your face, arms, and hands before hitting the road.

2. Get out early: Choose the morning to have (protected) fun in the sun. Research published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that afternoon sun exposure is five times more likely to lead to skin cancer. Scientists say this is because a protein the body produces to repair damage caused by ultraviolet rays is most active in the mornings. In general, seeking the shade between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. is best, but when this isn’t possible, try to get an early start to your day.

3. Know your ABCDE…F and G’s: Do monthly self skin exams and look for any spot that is new, not healing or— as gross as it sounds— bleeding, oozing or crusting. When examining moles, be on the lookout for asymmetry (one side doesn’t equal the other), border/color irregularity, lesions growing in diameter, and anything evolving (itching, hurting, etc.)— but don’t forget to look at your fingers/toes and genitalia. Skin cancer can come anywhere, and it’s usually more dangerous in those not-so-easy-to-see spots.

4. Say no to tanning:  When someone’s first tanning booth exposure is in youth, their chances of developing melanoma are increased by 75 percent.  It has also been shown that ladies who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. Additional studies have concluded that tanning can be as addictive as hardcore drugs, making it a hard habit to break.

5. Don’t rely on dark skin: People with dark skin are not immune to skin cancer— fact it can be more deadly in this population. A survey in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that only 17 percent of ethnic minority respondents has been to the dermatologist for a skin check. Everyone, regardless of skin type, should wear sunscreen daily and seek the care of a dermatologist for guidance on optimal skin health.

Cynthia Nixon Talks Rosacea and Her Secrets to Great Skin

Written on April 30, 2012 at 11:41 am , by

She spiced up the small screen as Miranda Hobbes on the cult TV series Sex and the City, and now actress Cynthia Nixon is speaking out about her experience with the chronic inflammatory skin condition rosacea. Read on as she dishes about the foods she loves, her biggest beauty indulgence and her secrets to embracing that natural flush.

FITNESS: What made you start working with the National Rosacea Society?
Cynthia Nixon: I first started working with the National Rosacea Society because 16 million people have the condition, but not many know about it, so I wanted to raise awareness. When you have it, it can be awful to treat it yourself. The first thing you have to do is speak to a dermatologist and get a treatment plan. You can’t cure rosacea, but you can control it. I had acne in my teens and early 20s, and then developed rosacea in my 30s. So many people think of it as acne, then use scrubs and masks and don’t realize they are only making the problem worse. You need to know what to do and what to avoid. Rosacea is a condition that can cause embarrassment and discomfort.
FITNESS: What’s been your experience with rosacea, and how have you managed it?
CN: I cannot stress enough the importance of seeing a dermatologist because everybody’s skin is different. After I found out what the dermatologist recommended and he prescribed me medicine, I have managed to keep it under control.  I also got information about things that I was eating that were triggering the rosacea.
FITNESS: What specific foods trigger rosacea?
CN: Spicy foods trigger it, like tabasco and jalapeño peppers. I still eat those things, but I stay away from them when I know I have important events coming up. Other things that can trigger it are red wine and too much sun exposure.
FITNESS: What have you learned from working with the National Rosacea Society?
CN: I’ve learned that rosacea is much more common than we think. Also, if you don’t treat it, it can get worse. There are four different kinds of rosacea: redness, pimples, eye irritation and thickening of the skin. Your face gets red and blotchy and it’s not fun. You have to tend to it so it doesn’t get worse.
FITNESS: Moving on to beauty: What’s one product that never leaves your bag?
CN: Undereye cream for sure. I find myself applying some too many times per day!
FITNESS: What are your haircare, makeup and skincare routines like on a typical day?
CN: My hair tends to be oily so I wash it two to three times a week. I wake up in the morning and wash my face, then apply some toner, moisturizer with SPF, and undereye cream.
FITNESS: What are your secrets for looking great anytime, anywhere?
CN: I make sure to maintain a gentle regimen. I don’t use many products because they can be too harsh on my skin and can cause my rosacea to flare up. Also, I wear SPF all the time.
FITNESS: What’s your diet like? Are there certain foods or snacks that are your go-tos?
CN: I’m a big fan of cheese! (Editor’s note: Woman after our own heart!) I also eat a lot of salads. I keep celery, carrots and almonds in my house. I also keep protein bars around because those things can really help sustain you through the day.
FITNESS: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence? 
CN: Facial acupuncture for sure. It keeps my blood flowing.  With rosacea, my skin can get very inflamed so the circulation boost is helpful.
FITNESS: How do you stay in shape when you’re on the go?
CN: I work out mostly when I’m at home. When I’m away for a couple of days, I’ll use the hotel gym. I try to eat well; I’m a vegetarian. Also, as I mentioned, I make sure protein bars are always around.
FITNESS: What’s the best tip you’ve picked up from the makeup, hair and skincare experts you’ve worked with?
CN: I actually received the best tip while filming Sex and the City and that is “put as little foundation on as possible.” Maintain a good skincare routine. A ton of foundation only ages you!

Visit rosaceafacts.com to view Cynthia’s iPSA and take a self-screening quiz.

—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern

Customize Your Skincare

Written on February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm , by

You can customize sneakers, frozen yogurt, kitchens—and now skincare: The new bespoke line Truth Art Beauty allows you to co-create your own natural skin products in three simple steps. Choose your base (for example, sea salt or brown sugar for a body scrub), boosters (like antioxidants or anti-aging ingredients) and essential oils (grapefruit, spearmint, orange, lavender, etc.), then your product is custom-blended, so you’re able to see what goes into it from start to finish. Our favorites: The Body Buff, infused with fresh coconut, super-rich Eye Balm (below) and silky, luxurious Body Salve (above).

How Actress Thandie Newton Gets Glowing Skin, Stays Fit & Says No To Snacks

Written on February 23, 2012 at 11:28 am , by

It’s no wonder that actress and Good Deeds star Thandie Newton is the new face of the Olay Total Effects skincare line: When we sat down with her yesterday morning, the first thing that struck us was the incandescence of her flawless skin— even at 9AM! We asked the sweet, down-to-earth star to share the secrets to that enviable glow, as well as her must-have foods and workouts for on-the-go.

FITNESS: What’s the one beauty product that never leaves your bag?
Thandie Newton: When I was a little girl, my mother, who’s from Zimbabwe but has lived in England for a long time, had to deal with the change from the warm climate to the very cold coast of England, so would never wear makeup. We were working-class and didn’t have money for frivolous stuff, so the only thing she used to used was Oil of Olay, as it was called then. I just remember the little pink bottle up on the shelf of the bathroom. You watch your mom as you grow older, and that really became the symbol of the most glamorous woman. So I’ve used Olay for a long time and I was still using the original one when they got in touch with me. I think I mentioned it in an article or something, and then when they approached me I was incredibly personally touched by it because it was really authentic. I don’t carry it in my bag all the time partly because it’s such an affordable product, so no matter where I travel, I can just go to a pharmacy and it’s there. I do always carry a great lip balm, though: My favorite is from Neal’s Yard Remedies— it’s practically edible!

FITNESS: You’re so busy traveling for work. Is there a routine you try to keep in terms of your makeup, skincare and your hair? Or does it change depending on where you are?
Thandie: I try not to wear makeup if I don’t need to. Just undereye concealer, a little bit of rouge and lip balm. I’ll use those moisturizers with a little color in them, like Olay Total Effects Tone-Correcting UV Moisturizer SPF 15, then I’ll add a few drops of turmeric powder, which is naturally anti-inflammatory and gives a slight sun-kissed look. I have really curly hair so I need a good moisturizer for it. I like John Masters Organics, because it has no harmful chemicals.

FITNESS: You’re always getting your picture taken and jetting from place to place. What are your secrets for looking great on the go?
Thandie: I always make sure I have at least a tinted moisturizer on. There are really great pot rouges by Julie Hewett that come in amazing colors, which I can literally dab on with my eyes closed. Or I’ll pinch my cheeks: l love those old-fashioned little tricks. Apart from that, I just try to remember to smile!

FITNESS: How do to stay active and in shape no matter where you are?
Thandie: Jivamukti Yoga is my absolute go-to temple of wellness. Not only is it a wonderful, energetic, active workout, but it’s also incredibly soothing and relaxing.  I’ve tried a lot of different yoga practices and that one was a bit of a life-changer for me.

FITNESS: What types of foods and snacks do you gravitate toward to stay healthy?
Thandie: I just try to eat well. Anything that makes you feel bad is actually aging for your body. I also love juicing. Because I have a very busy schedule, I’ll have a juice with ginger and lemon in the morning and a green juice in the afternoon. Within 20 minutes you feel the difference; it has a direct impact on your system. I’m not a snacker— I just don’t graze. I think three meals a day is plenty, and then I have the juices in between.

FITNESS: In terms of beauty indulgences, is there anything you splurge on?
Thandie: I think a good massage is really beneficial. I really like a hot stone massage, but as with anything it has to be in combination with other things, like if I’ve done a yoga class and I want to feel soothed afterward. I feel like every little thing that I do, whether it’s taking care of my skin or eating well, is a gift to myself.

FITNESS: What’s the best tip you’ve picked up from a makeup artist, skincare expert or a hairstylist? 
Thandie: I was complaining about my hair being really dry and the ends were ratty because I’ve been relaxing it since I was a teenager, when a friend suggested I grow the relaxer out. It occurred to me that these are incredibly harmful chemicals, so I grew my hair out, and I’m so thrilled that I have. It’s healthier and more lustrous than it’s ever been.

Carrie Underwood’s Secrets To Great Skin, Smart Snacking & Workouts On The Go

Written on February 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm , by

Country star and Olay celebrity ambassador Carrie Underwood is famous for her catchy, go-girl songs—plus her glowing skin, perfect shape, flowing hair and miles-long legs. We asked her to spill her secrets for getting— and maintaining— all of the above on the set of her new ad campaign shoot. Take a peek:

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