How Pollution is Aging Your Skin

And what you can do about it!

First, the bad news: an overwhelming number of recent studies have proven what dermatologists have long suspected. Environmental toxins not only speed up aging and cause uneven skin tone, dark spots and – gasp – wrinkles, they’ve also been linked to skin cancer. And no one is immune. Whether you live in the center of the city, the Starbucks suburbs or the rural recesses, microscopic pollutants enter the air around you via cars, fires and even home renovations (for a start). From there, these tiny menaces infiltrate your pores, leading to inflammation, dehydration and loss of collagen, which, among other things, means a decrease in elasticity and firmness.
 
But don’t worry, there’s good news, too. A little mindfulness goes a long way and with a few simple changes to your daily beauty routine, you can reduce the effect of environmental toxins on your skin’s health and appearance.
 
First, consider how (and when) you cleanse!
We all know we should wash our faces… but doing so thoroughly, twice a day is vital to keeping contaminants in check. A mild cleanser applied with fingers every morning will prepare your skin for the day without stripping it of hydration. Acne-prone skin may require something more potent and dry skin may necessitate extra moisture. No matter your skin type, in the evening, apply a gentle, exfoliating scrub (use it every other night if your skin is extra-dry or easily irritated). And finish up with a swab of toner to remove any stickier impurities still caked in your pores.
 
Second, fight those free radicals!
You’ve probably heard of the dastardly molecules that poke holes in collagen, leading to hyperpigmentation, fine lines, acne and rosacea. But did you know that free radicals are also responsible for the cell mutations that can cause cancer? Fortunately, anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals and reduce their impact, whether applied to your skin or ingested. So, load up on leafy greens, blueberries and other anti-oxidant rich foods, and slather your skin in antioxidant serum after each cleanse. And don’t forget the sunscreen all year round – it’s the most important defense of all! We recommend JAFRA’s new Royal Jelly Solar Protection Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 50 as a double duty defense system. It’s only one product, but it blocks pesky rays and helps combat environmental pollutants!
 

Be Good to the Skin You’re in

Skincare blunders you may not be aware of can be compromising your efforts to achieve glowing skin.  To keep your complexion at its very best, watch out for unexpected skin hazards that cause breakouts, irritation, dryness and aging.
 
Good Phone Hygiene
Unless you are wiping it clean daily, your cell phone can be a hotbed of smudge from makeup, sweat, grease and dirt. After all, you’re taking the phone everywhere, setting it down and passing it around—so it’s bound to get grimy. “This harbors bacteria that can aggravate your skin,” says Pragna Chakravarti, JAFRA’s Chief Scientific Officer.
 
Pillowcase Practices
Your pillowcase can undermine your complexion, too.  Wash it weekly and don’t share your pillow with anyone who uses hair gels, face creams or other products that will leave a deposit on the case.  “If not cleaned regularly, says Chakrvarti, “germs can cause bumps and irritation.”
 
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If your face gets taut and irritated, be aware that long hot showers lasting more than 15 minutes dry out your skin. Try turning down the water temperature and always follow up with a hydrating facial moisturizer. When blow drying wet hair, be careful not to aim the dryer nozzle at your face. You’ll avoid jeopardizing your skin’s glow.
 
Workouts and Wash-ups
After a hot yoga session, a daylong hike, or any other workout that causes you to sweat, wash your face immediately afterwards. “Sweat is loaded with things that are meant to be excreted from the skin. Staying sweaty for long periods leads to clogged pores,” says Chakrvarti.  If there aren’t any facilities for washing up, at least use a face wipe. It won’t do the same job as your cleanser and water, but it will remove some of the grime.

 

Get Hot Hands...

With or Without Long Nails

If hand care is not part of your beauty regimen, it should be! Hands are one of the first body parts to show signs of aging and they are on display 24 hours a day – which is all the more reason to take exceptionally great care of them! The good news is that soft, sexy hands are not as hard to come by as you may think – even if you don’t have long fingernails. A little TLC goes a long way. Don’t believe? Try these tips:

Exfoliate!
You slough off the dead skin on your face, décolletage and even your feet – why not your hands? Take whatever extra scrub you’ve got left after a deep facial cleansing and rub it on your hands to lighten/lessen dark spots and keep skin soft and smooth.
 
Show your cuticles some love!
One of the keys to strong nails lies in a healthy nail bed. By pushing your cuticles back and oiling them (being sure to get under the cuticle itself… just not too far), you’ll give even the most delicate nails a fighting chance. You’ll also improve the overall appearance of your hands! Trim those hangnails, ladies… as long as you’re careful while doing it!
 
Don’t be afraid of polish!
Short or long, a clear coat of polish (or non-toxic color) will not only help strengthen your nails, it’ll give you a put together look. If regular manicures are out of the question and you’re not super-skilled with DIY painting, try decals. Short nailed girls, take note: some of the trendiest ones are actually designed for you!
 
And finally, amp up the moisture!
The importance of replenishing moisture cannot be overstated – especially on thin skin! To help you remember to replenish your hands any time you wash them (or the dishes!), keep a bottle of your favorite moisturizer by your sink. While you’re at it, throw a bottle in your purse. A little dab a few times a day, especially during the colder months, will help your hands stay soft and youthful. Just be sure to keep it on the backs of your hands – this way, your fingertips and palms aren’t greasy when you touch your steering wheel, smartphone, computer keyboard, etc.
 
For an extra boost, try slathering your hands in salve at night before bed and wearing cotton gloves to sleep. It’ll have the same effect of a paraffin dip and done regularly, will last longer!

Gorgeous Winter Makeup

This Season’s Best Makeup Trends

The weather has cooled off and it’s an exciting time to try winter’s new makeup trends.  This season, the look is a combination of fresh, sexy and sophisticated.

Berry red lips
A chic deep berry lip is key for this season. Prep your lips for this intense color by exfoliating with a toothbrush or petroleum jelly mixed with sugar; this will create a smooth base for the color. Next, prime lips with foundation or a creamy concealer (this will create a blank canvas for the rich color) and apply the lipstick with a lip brush. Look for lipstick tones from raspberry to ox blood to black plum to stay on trend.
 
Simply smokey eyes
This season, eyes are emphasized with kohl or kajal-inspired pencils to create a smoldering look. Using the tip of the pencil, line the upper and lower lash lines. Next, using a cotton swab or smudge brush, gently smudge the color into the lash line to create the easiest, smoldering, smokey eye ever! If you feel the black is too much for day, try a brown or navy kajal pencil for a softer, tamer look.
 
Flushed cheeks
This season, the idea is to look like you just went for a brisk walk in the crisp winter air or stepped off the ski slopes. Try a rose or peach toned blush to create the look depending on your skin tone. Light skin can try peach or pink tones, medium skin can try rose tones and dark skin can try raisin tones to get the look. To apply, start by smiling in the mirror and applying a small amount of blush to the apples of your cheeks. Next, blend the blush into the skin by using circular motions to create a natural look. If you need more color, you can build up, but it’s always better to start with less and work your way up.
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