Red in the Face?

Why Your Too-Rosy Complexion May Be a Warning

Red blotches, sudden rosy flushes, redness around the nose: Is it just mild irritation caused by too much sun, or maybe over cleansing? Or could it be something more serious? If the redness is persistent, here are some of the conditions you should be wary of.
Also known as atopic dermatitis, this condition can produce dry, red, itchy patches on the face and body. It’s more common in children and isn’t contagious, since it’s caused by the immune system overreacting to an irritant. The tricky part is figuring out what that irritant is and trying to stay away from it. Consider cosmetics, detergent used on linens, facial cleansers and soaps, fragrances, hair products and anything else that makes contact with the face as suspects.
The fix. Because it’s itchy, eczema can lead to secondary infections when you scratch it and rip open the inflamed area. Moisturize well after bathing to trap water in the skin and use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to quell the itching. If it doesn’t improve after a week or so, see a dermatologist for a prescription treatment and to rule out more dangerous conditions, such as psoriasis.
A serious, but difficult-to-diagnose autoimmune disease, lupus can produce a distinctive symptom on the face: the so-called “butterfly rash.” The rash, known as acute cutaneous lupus, spreads across the nose and upper cheeks and resembles a sunburn. It usually isn’t itchy. Women, especially women of color, are much more likely to develop lupus than men are.
The fix. Lupus is not curable, but you should see a doctor immediately if you think you might have it. It’s important to get diagnosed correctly and treated so you can prevent life-threatening complications caused by the chronic inflammation that characterizes the disease.  
Typically, this genetic disorder doesn’t appear until you’re over 30. More common in women than men, rosacea usually begins with occasional flushed skin on the forehead, cheeks, chin and/or nose, but if it’s not treated, the redness can become permanent, worsening over time to include visible blood vessels and acne-like lesions.
There is a similar condition caused by a minuscule mite that lives in the skin’s hair follicles. In some people, the mite’s presence causes a rosacea-like condition called demodicosis.
The fix. If you have symptoms of either problem, see a dermatologist. There’s no cure for rosacea, but it’s important to slow its progression as much as possible with lifestyle changes such as avoiding sun exposure and food triggers (e.g., spices, alcohol). A dermatologist may also prescribe oral or topical antibiotics or other topical treatments, including lotions containing vitamin C.
For demodicosis, a doctor will prescribe antiparasitic medications.
Seborrheic dermatitis
Like rosacea, this condition is most likely hereditary and may be aggravated by cold weather and stress; it’s not contagious. As awful as it sounds, seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff of the face. It’s characterized by red, scaly patches around the nose and eyelids that may be itchy. You may think your skin is overly dry or chapped, but you’ll find that moisturizers won’t help, since the real problem is excess oil.
The fix. Unless it’s really severe (very itchy and unsightly), you may want to try controlling this skin problem yourself. Use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to stop itchiness and redness and gently wash your face once or twice a day with the mildest dandruff shampoo you can find. If after a few weeks you don’t see improvement, visit a dermatologist for advice and to rule out other conditions.

5 Rules for Saving Your Skin’s Most Vulnerable Area

How to Protect the Skin Around Your Eyes

The skin around your eyes is different from the skin on other parts of your face and body. Since it is thinner and lacks as many oil glands as, say, your nose or forehead, it is more fragile and more easily damaged. It’s no coincidence that we show signs of aging first around the eyes.
For perspective, consider this: On average, the skin around your eyes is .05 millimeters thick, whereas on the soles of the feet it is as much as 5 millimeters thick—the eye area is one hundred times as thin, in other words. No wonder it doesn’t stand up well to rubbing, pulling, and harsh cleansing!
As with many things in life, it’s easier to prevent damage to that delicate skin than to try to fix it afterward, so here are 5 rules that will help you save your face’s most vulnerable area:
Hands off.
The less you pull and rub the skin around your eye area, the longer the skin holds onto its youthful elasticity, meaning less premature sagging and wrinkling.
If you have nasal allergies that make your eyes itch, troublesome contact lenses, or a bad habit of rubbing your eyes frequently, address the problem and fix it!
Sunglasses, always.
It doesn’t matter what the weather is doing: If you are outside during the day, you are being exposed to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Sunny or hazy, UV rays get through to damage the skin.
Your first line of defense is a pair of sunglasses appropriate to the weather conditions. Make sure the lens and frame are large enough to fully cover the undereye area. Wrapped styles are best for fully sheltering the skin from exposure.
Bonus: Protecting the eye itself from UV exposure slows down the formation of sight-stealing cataracts.
Wear sunscreen.
After your sunglasses, your second line of defense against UV exposure is an SPF of at least 30. Apply a small amount of sunscreen carefully around the eye socket, avoiding the eyelids. Pat it on gently, don’t rub.
Skip exfoliation.
Don’t use products that contain exfoliating grains, foaming cleansers, or use any kind of scrubbing tool around the eye. This isn’t a part of your face that needs a lot of cleansing, other than makeup removal.
Find a remover formula that will allow you to wipe away the day’s makeup with only one or two swipes. A drop or two of baby oil or similar product on a damp cotton pad works well. You might even consider using a drop of baby shampoo on a wet cotton swab to wipe along the eyelash line, because this has the added benefit of helping to prevent the irritating inflammatory eyelid condition known as blepharitis.
Once your eye makeup is off, continue with your normal evening beauty ritual.
Choose the right products.
You want to use a richer, creamier specialty formulation around the eye because of the skin’s dearth of oil glands there. Opt for eye crèmes that boost hydration, since this area needs extra moisture. It’s when you are dehydrated that dark eye circles are most noticeable.
Likewise, look for a product that contains peptides, protein molecules that help rebuild the natural collagen, improving firmness and minimizing wrinkles.
It’s fine to use products that reduce undereye puffiness or darkness, too, but pat them on very gently with the tip of your finger rather than vigorously massaging them in.

New Year’s 2017 Beauty Resolutions

6 Musts for a Fresh Start

The coming of the New Year is always exciting because it signifies a chance for a fresh start. This is the time that we create goals and of course resolutions in all areas of our lives, from fitness to financial and everything in between. This is also a great time to let go of bad or boring beauty habits and create a list of New Year’s Beauty Resolutions. Besides the ever-present wear sunscreen every day, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Resolution #1: It’s Prime time
Primers have become an essential part of a makeup routine, and using one under our base makeup can truly transform the look of our skin, how well our makeup applies and even how long it lasts during the day. This year, make primer one of the key steps in your makeup routine (after sunscreen). You can even add in an eyeshadow primer for eye makeup that that pops and lasts from morning until night.
Resolution #2: Feet first
Many of us take great care of our skin from our head down to our…. ankles, especially in the cold winter months when our feet are hidden in boots. This year think about skin care from head to toe and make foot care a part of your weekly and daily routine. For soft feet add in a foot scrub weekly followed by an intensive repair cream to restore and protect. You can give your feet a special treat by rubbing a hydrating balm on them before bed and wearing socks to seal in the moisture.
Resolution #3: Clean your makeup brushes
This is such an important part of a beauty routine that is often overlooked. When makeup brushes are dirty your makeup doesn’t apply well and even worse, bacteria can grow and be transferred to your face. Make it a goal to wash your makeup brushes in warm, soapy water at least once a week, if not more- you will notice a huge difference!
Resolution #4: Blast your beauty rut
We all get into a life mode where our makeup and hair is the same all the time. This year resolve to try new colors and styles! On your lips, try a new lip color or formula; if you usually wear glossy colors try matte or vice versa. On your eyes, experiment with a new palette or switch up your liner color for some variety. Do you wear the same sheer pink on your manicure week after week? Why not opt for a bold yellow or even a metallic gold for fun?
Resolution #5: Learn new techniques
Do you love the look of a contoured face, but are afraid to try it? Do you want to learn how to create beach waves with your hair? This is the year to spend a few hours watching how-to-videos or reading articles on mastering new beauty techniques. Not only will you learn a new skill, but your beauty repertoire will grow as well!
Resolution #6: Revitalize and Protect vs. Repair and Conceal
We all get busy in our lives, and it can be hard to take the time to pamper our skin and hair. The result can be dry, dull skin and hair over time. Now we must focus on repairing or concealing the damage. This year, resolve to give yourself weekly deep conditioning and facial treatments. A simple way to do this is to shower, apply deep conditioner to your hair and cover it with a shower cap. Next, hop out of the shower and use a gentle facial scrub to exfoliate your skin, followed by a revitalizing face mask. Relax for 10 minutes, hop back in the shower and rinse hair and face and voila- in 15 minutes you have pampered yourself!

Beauty Blunders

Mistakes to avoid in 2017

We’ve all made them… the beauty blunders that erase your intentions, ruining your style and sometimes your day! But as the New Year dawns and we look ahead, why not take some preventative measures. Here are our top mistakes to avoid and how to avoid them!
Dry Skin
Winter takes its toll on our skin. In fact, all the seasons do their damage. The most common problem at this time of year? Dry skin. More than a beauty blunder, but an actual health concern, well-moisturized skin is key to looking and feeling your best. To make sure your largest organ is well tended to, choose the skin-care regimen that’s right for you and the season. Regular gentle cleansing, complimented by weekly exfoliation, moisture masks and daily moisturizer for day (with a nourishing crème for night) may sound like a lot – but it’s a small price to pay for looking relaxed, refreshed and beautiful in the cold.  
Chapped lips
Not only are chapped lips uncomfortable, they actually look as painful as they feel. Plus, they make it difficult to smile or wear lipstick! Make your mouth happy with a little nourishing lip scrub to exfoliate dead cells. Then, apply balm regularly for softness. Do it year round and your smile will thank you!
Unkempt nails
Our hands are on display all the time – they’re also one of the first body parts to show age. Both of which make them high priority for self care. The good news is, you don’t need to get regular manicures to keep your nails – and hands – looking their best. Daily moisturizing will help keep skin supple. Then, file your nails and trim your cuticles weekly and work on your handshake since you’ll be more likely to use it! 
Frizzy hair
Ah, the bane of many a woman’s existence. Frizzy, fly away hair. And it’s never worse than in a harsh winter climate. (Summer frizz is a different animal). How to tame your tresses and combat the cold? Sulfate free, keratin shampoo and a weekly conditioning mask will help soften your hair. Then, use a ceramic dryer and proper dressing crème (frizz combatting oil works on all but the finest strands) and smooth locks will follow.
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