The best product-related helpers to prevent damage to the skin are arguably antioxidants and sunscreens, which both help prevent the formation of free radicals in the first place, and also help neutralize these offenders.
Picture a knight in shining armor, swinging a sword at an evil free radical, he'd be considered the antioxidant.
My go-to, long-standing favorite antioxidants are topical Vitamin C's.
Topical vitamin C's are known to have many benefits, including:
- Neutralizing free radicals, preventing skin aging
- Helping to maintain normal cellular turnover
- Helping to build collagen
- Lightening and brightening the skin
- Reducing inflammation
- Decreasing transepidermal water loss (your skin won't leak moisture so much)
Here are just a few I love:
- Skinmedica C & E Complex This creamy, silky formulation has a satin-like consistency... Just like those makeup primers we all love. I tend to like it because of its cosmetic elegance and the lipid-soluble Vitamin C feature. Also, if you are as clumsy as I can be, the pump is very helpful. No spills! Read more about this one in my post, 3 Fast Facts: Skinmedica C and E Complex
- Skinceuticals CE Ferulic This L-ascorbic classic has been often imitated, never duplicated! Read More about it in my post, 3 Fast Facts: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic
- Skinmedica TNS Essential Serum My clients know that I refer to this one as 'the Mercedes Benz of anti-aging products'. Because, not only is there C, but lots of other potent goodies, too. Namely, growth factors, antioxidants, peptides, and alpha arbutin. Read more about it in my post, 3 Fast Facts: SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum
- Obagi C-clarifying Serum This little powerhouse is the first and the only of its kind on the market. It's really under-rated, in my opinion. Read more about it in my post, 3 Fast Facts: Obagi C-Clarifying Serum
How to Use Vitamin C: Use Vitamin C in the mornings after toner and before moisturizers and sunscreens to help defend skin from the onslaught of pollutants, sun, and all kinds of other threats that you'll meet out there during your busy day.
Think: I'm drinking my OJ in the morning, My skin needs its Vitamin C in the morning, too!
Buyer Beware: Even though Vitamin C is a sort of 'knight in shining armor', it's also really unstable... always about to oxidize and die. Be sure that you don't go with just ANY vitamin C. Those that have published research or from reputable companies are the best bet.
Oxidation: If you've got a water-based C (L-ascorbic) like CE Ferulic, for example, be sure you toss it when it starts to turn orange/amber in color. This assures that your product isn't weakened or *GASP* causing oxidation. This is an ANTI-OXIDANT, for goodness sake.
Acne Patients Beware: Vitamin C's are great for many people, but acne patients should avoid: even though Vitamin C's are great to lighten acne marks from old breakouts, they are not the best choice for those currently breaking out. If you currently have active acne, get your breakouts under control first, and then consider choosing a formula meant for all or oily skin types.
Stay safe in the sun out there - and Until Next Time, Stay Fabulous My Friends!
I will admit: I was hesitant to experiment with Neocutis a few years back because I am SUCH a SkinMedica TNS fan. Like, an Ultra-Fan. But of course I have to keep my eyes and ears open for different and new ways to use products and new technology etc... so I dove in.
I loved the way the Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream felt, and really enjoyed the brightness it seemed to provide my eye area. I really enjoyed using the Exfoliating Skin Cleanser (featuring 10% Glycolic acid) which did not make my skin feel stripped. I also really loved the convenience of the Journee, a one-stop-shop anti-aging product featuring a sunscreen, a slight tint, and PSP, Neocutis' growth factor. By far, my favorite of the group was the Bio-Serum: a concentrated growth-factor intensive that helped the clarity of my skin and the texture simultaneously.
I recently became re-familiarized with the line when my good friend Jill took on the Chicago Neocutis territory and dropped in to school me on the swiss technology ...and let me play around with the products again. I am pretty excited about the line again, it's just as good as I remember and I even had the chance to do a couple split-face comparisons with other products. (More about that in another post). In the meantime, here is a another post I wrote about Neocutis and their approach to skin care technology: to check that out, Click Here
And until next time, Stay Fabulous, My Friends!
My hair has suffered through a lot throughout the years... Health and nutrition issues, stress, changing colors, bleaching, medications, breakage... The list goes on! While I'm entirely more of a skin care expert than a hair expert, I do have some experience on the topic. This ranges from working as an shampoo girl, assistant and salon receptionist for many years to managing a larger corporate spa. Add to that list the transforming, repairing, and disguising of issues with my own hair (years later ) with everything from cranial prosthesis to extensions, weaves and falls. (It doesn't hurt to have fabulously talented and smarty-pants professional stylist friends to give advice, either!)
Anyway, here are just a few key things that I have found helpful over the years for thinning and breaking hair. Because if you've ever gone through this, you know that you're ALWAYS seeking new info, desperate to find something to helpful during a really tough time.
Best for Delicate Hair, Loss, and Breakage
- A Boar Bristle Hair Brush
The theory here is that the boar bristles will help to distribute your own oils from your scalp to the ends, while simultaneously stimulating the scalp. Mine is new, so far it's going pretty well! Caution: these guys are expensive. I found mine on Amazon, but these can be found at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom as well.
- Aveda Invati Line
Consisting of an exfoliating shampoo, a light/medium consistency conditioner, and a daily scalp spray, this line is most helpful for prevention of breakage*. Aveda insists that the spray is necessary to do every day ("12 sprays a day keep the loss away") But I must admit, I am not great at completing that stop as regularly as I should. Nonetheless, I still feel that this line has been helping considerably. * Side note: You may be thinking, "Great, but my issue is hair loss, not breakage". I thought the same thing. But when you are suffering from hair loss, do not under estimate the importance of keeping the hair you have! http://www.aveda.com/products/8655/Hair-Care/Hair-Concern/thinning-solutions/index.tmpl
Best for Damaged and Dry hair
- Phyto 7 and Phyto Revitalizing Serum
Found at Nordstrom, Sephora, and Ulta, these products are one of the reasons that I still HAVE hair over the years of bleach and abuse. My favorite by far is the Phyto 7 Day Cream. Not as heavy as an oil this can be used easily on dry hair without making it look heavy or greasy. I've also liked the treatment serum, packaged in ampules and used twice a week on the scalp. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/phyto-7-daily-hydrating-cream/2832082
- Aveda's Damage Remedy line
These fantastic products are sort of expensive, but I worth every penny. Using proteins to repair damage, this line consists of a Reconstructive Shampoo and conditioner, a daily repair leave in conditioner, and an intensive treatment mask. I've been using this product family for a few years since they launched, and would highly recommend them. http://www.aveda.com/products/5232/Collections/Damage-RemedyTM/index.tmpl
I'll post additional hair products soon... In the meantime, stay fabulous my friends!