Posts Tagged ‘skin care’

November 19, 2013 12:00 am

4 Ways Makeup Affects Your Skin

The vast amount of time invested in our skin, from facials to pinning down the perfect cleansing regimen, can often be put at risk by the use of cosmetics. Makeup is a wonderful tool to enhance natural beauty and highlight your best features, but how can makeup work against you? We’ve all heard about the possible reactions our bodies can alert us to when using a new product, but what are some lesser-known ways that makeup affects your skin care?


1. Fights with your moisturizer – If not properly removed at the end of the day, old makeup lingers on the skin, clogs pores, and blocks the replenishment of your night time skin regiment. The skin repairs itself while you sleep, so why not give your dermis the best (and cleanest) possible palette to work with?

The Solution: Every evening, remove makeup with a cleanser that compliments your skin type and follow with your preferred moisturizer.

2. An allergic reaction to cosmetic ingredients, irritant contact dermatitis can come in two types according to Mayo Clinic: irritant contact dermatitis, the most common reaction which affects the skin’s most outer protective layer, and allergic contact dermatitis, when an “allergen triggers an immune reaction in your skin.” Complications resulting from contact dermatitis include neurodermatitis (lichen simplex chronicus), bacterial and fungal infections.

The Solution: Always check the product label for ingredients that have caused your skin to violently respond in the past. If possible, ask for a tester or a sample of the product. If you are still leery to start using a new product, try a “patch test” by applying the product to your wrist or curve of your elbow.

3. Bacterial infections – While there are no requirements made by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cosmetic companies to provide expirations dates on their products, a good rule of thumb is to discard eye products (like mascara) after 3 months of use and foundation, 1 year. The wand of a mascara product is a breeding ground for bacteria. The FDA advises consumers to store cosmetics properly and avoid sharing with friends or family members. The use of saliva to moisten dry product immediately raises the risk of contaminating the product as bacteria from the mouth.

The Solution: Toss it if it’s old, dry, or dirty, don’t share your cosmetics, and store properly. It’s probably a good idea to clean your brushes and applicators too…

4. Just because it’s “organic” doesn’t mean it’s safer to use. “An ingredient’s source does not determine its safety,” states the FDA. “For example, many plants, whether or not they are organically grown, contain substances that may be toxic or allergenic.” Some plant and plant parts contain toxic properties that can cause severe allergic contact dermatitis (see #2).

The Solution: Take the same precautions you would use when using conventional cosmetics. Examine labels for ingredients that have burned you in the past and use the “patch test”.

Bottom line, if you have an adverse reaction to a cosmetic product, immediately discontinue use and seek the advice of a trusted skin care practitioner. Medical spas provide personal assessment and evaluation of their clients’ skin and determine a tailored skin care plan based on skin type and need. Anti-bacterial, detoxifying, and deep cleansing treatments are available in addition to skin-rejuvenation and laser therapy.

By removing your makeup at bedtime, properly caring for your products, and taking the necessary steps to educate yourself about ingredients, you will lessen the chance that your cosmetics will derail your skin’s health.

About the author: Elizabeth Rago is a freelance writer specializing in health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle content, working with yoga studios, chiropractors, mental health, wellness practitioners and Thrive Medical Spa in Chicago. Elizabeth writes the weekly column, The Circular Home for Chicago Shopping (an editorial partner of the Chicago Tribune) and is Senior Editor of All Things Girl, highlighting topics related to the modern domestic woman. She has been published in Mamalode Magazine, and  Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Google+.


March 13, 2013 10:01 am

Pamper Your Pores – Get Clean!

The colder months can be pretty rough on my face, and so I usually dedicate one evening each week to babying it. I usually do this every Sunday evening, and thought I’d share my little pampering ritual with you today!

First Thing’s First
I like to first soften my skin and open up my pores, so I start by steaming my face. I begin by boiling some water and placing a few drops of either lavender essential oil or some tea tree oil in it. If I’ve had a particularly rough week I’ll opt for the lavender, but if my skin is giving me grief then I’ll switch it for tea tree oil instead. I simply lower my face close to the water and cover my head with a towel. Then I sweat it out for about 5 minutes.

Wash it Away
Now that my skin is supple and damp I like to use a grainy cleanser to clear away everything that’s just been drawn out of my pores. I typically have dry skin which is aggravated by this cold weather, so I really adore Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin cleanser. This gentle moisturizing scrub contains chamomile blue oil and ground almonds, which works absolute wonders on my finicky skin.

Draw Those Imperfections Out of Hiding!
Next I rinse away the cleanser with warm water, pat my face dry, and proceed to apply a thick clay mask over my t-zone as my pores in that region are rather large. In the winter I can get away with doing a mask only once a week, but in the summer I apply it much more frequently. My favorite is the Body Shop’s Seaweed Ionic Clay mask. I leave it on until it hardens and then rinse it away with warm water.

Tone & Tighten
Now, I quickly rinse my face with cool water (this is a natural way of closing pores) and move on to apply my toner. I adore La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Toner, as it’s great for tightening pores and keeping skin matte. It leaves skin feeling smooth without the tightness associated with most toners.

Lastly I moisturize, using two different products. I first use Aveda Green Science Firming Eye Cream on my under eye area, and then slather La Roche Posay’s Effaclar H – Compensating Soothing Moisturizer over the rest of my face. The eye cream absorbs rather quickly and doesn’t leave my eye area feeling tight, and I really adore La Roche Posay’s moisturizer because it’s quite light and soothes without leaving any greasy residue. It also helps to keep imperfections at bay, which is a huge plus.

How do you relieve stressed out skin during the colder months? What are favorite products for soothing fragile dry skin?  Share with us in a comment below!