3 Skin-Care Products I Swear By (and Why I Love Them)

Written by: on Monday, November 18th, 2013
BeautifulFacialSkin

Skip harsh, drying toners with alcohol during the fall and winter months.

 

It’s that time of the year: when the weather gets cooler and my skin gets duller and drier. And it got me thinking: I wish I could hire a personal trainer for my skin like I can for my body. Then I could find out exactly how to switch up my skincare by the season—and ask all sorts of little nagging questions like why I always seem to get tiny blackheads around my nose.

I’ve got a dermatologist (a great one at that), but with my out-of-pocket costs rising, I have to save up my visits up for when

Woman'sNeck

I use the SkinAuthority products on my face, as well as on my neck and upper chest—also where you see the signs of aging.

I really need it (like my twice-yearly mole checks).

But then I found out about the free skin coaching at SkinAuthority, a skin-care line that has zero parabens, dyes, fragrances,

and does not test on animals (just a few reasons that I’ve fallen in love with the line; see my earlier post on the importance of vitamin D, which mentions their great vitamin D product). Sure, these skin-care experts—available to you 24/7—are hoping to get you to buy products, but there’s something different about getting skin-care advice from a trained skin aesthetician than from a department store beauty salesperson or from no one at all (as is the case in a drugstore beauty aisle).

SkinAuthority'sCelesteHilling

Celeste Hilling, CEO and founder of SkinAuthority

I got a chance to speak with Celeste Hilling, founder and CEO of SkinAuthority, about skin care and the brand—and here’s what she had to say: “We’re about education,” says Hilling. “The average phone call with consumers is 30 minutes, but at the end of the day, you make the choice about what’s right for you.” But skin coaches aren’t just on the phone; Skyping is one of the most common ways to speak with the skin coaches. “Last year, we did half a million Skype sessions,” says Hilling, adding that: “People want to show us their skin.”

SkinAuthorityCleanser

Contains glycolic acid and sugar-cane derived exfoliators to remove dead skin cells—and blackheads!

Here are the products that were recommended* for my skin—and that I’ve been loving:

SkinAuthority Exfoliating Cleanser: I used to have tiny (barely visible, except to my eye) little blackheads around my nose and on my chin. Just one week of using this cleanser and every single one is gone. My skin is smoother and more radiant. No joke. This cleanser is like a pore-extracting facial without the painful pore extractions. What I also love: the scent or lack of it. This smell of this product is just … clean. ($42; skinauthority.com)

SkinAuthority Super C Serum: I’m a big believer in what antioxidants can do for the skin (they can reduce the signs of aging, even out

SkinAuthorityVitaminCSerum

You need to use this within 4 months of opening for maximum benefit (not hard, since it’s so great!).

skin tone, and make skin brighter and more radiant), so when I tried this product, I was already a believer. But I loved the fact that this product was literally absorbed right into the skin—with no greasy feel (a must when you’re wearing under sunscreen to help boost UV protection). What I also love: the dropper comes with measurements on it so you know exactly how much to use—and don’t use too much, as I’ve always done in the past. ($99…pricey, but it lasts several months; skinauthority.com).

SkinAuthority Age Defying Moisturizer: Even though I’m in my 40s, I still have oily skin, so I’m always looking for a moisturizer that won’t leave a grease slick on

SkinAuthorityMoisturizer

This daily moisturizer is rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

my face. This moisturizer fits the bill—and does much more. It absorbs fast—and leaves skin feeling soft and supple, sans the grease. I also love that it has an SPF of 18. ($60.50; skinauthority.com)

So you’re probably thinking: if these products are so good, why haven’t I heard about them before. SkinAuthority doesn’t spend money on advertising; it’s all word of mouth and posts by people like me who have fallen in love with their products. Kerri Walsh Jennings, who has been a SkinAuthority consumer for years, just became the face of SkinAuthority….so you’ll be seeing her around more too! (Turns out Kerri—like me—loves the Super C serum, too!)

OlympicVolleyballPlayerKerriWalsh

Olympic volleyball champion Kerri Walsh Jennings is the new face of SkinAuthority. Love that they chose an athlete to be the face of their brand!

Bottom line: these are great products—and you get access to a skin-care expert to ask (and show, via Skype) all those little nagging problems—from blackheads and breakouts to rough skin and wrinkles—you’ve been dying to ask someone. You’ll definitely get results, whether you use one product or completely overall your regime and use only SkinAuthority products.

* SkinAuthority sent these products to me; I did not pay for them, but I also do not endorse any products that I don’t like. And I’ll be paying full price for my refills, as I’m just about out!

 

 

 

The Best—and Worst—Cities for Your Skin

Written by: on Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Woman with beautiful skin

Want beautiful, healthy skin? The environment you live in plays a role.

You diligently take care of your skin morning and night…but it may not be enough if you live in one of the 10 cities ranked the “worst” for your skin by the website, dailyglow.com (below).

 

daily glow's best-worst-cities-for-skinBut rather than getting depressed about where you live, or packing up and heading to a “healthier” city, follow these tips to keep your complexion healthy—no matter what zip code you call home.

1. Examine your moles…regularly. Skin cancer rates were used by dailyglow to rate cities. The best way to prevent skin cancer (which is the most preventable cancer when caught early) is to know your ABCDs:

A (Asymmetry): One half of your mole is unlike the other half

B (Border): Your mole has an irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border

C (Color): Your mole is varied in color from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown, or black, or is sometimes white, red, or even bluish

D (Diameter): Your mole has a diameter greater than 6 millimeters (the size of a pencil eraser).

If your mole has one of these characteristics, book a visit with your dermatologist asap…which brings me to the next point.

 2. Find a good dermatologist—and keep him/her on speed dial. The number of dermatologists per capita was another of the criteria used by dailyglow to rate cities. If you need to locate a good derm in your area, click on aad.org/find-a-derm/. You should see your dermatologist for mole checks every six months (if you’re at high risk) or 12 months (if you’re at lower risk). Dermatologists can also diagnose and treat other conditions to keep your skin at its healthy best.
3. Eat a healthy diet. Fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein (like legumes, chicken, and fish), omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, chia and flaxseeds, and walnuts…to name just a few foods), and plenty of water will keep your body—and your skin—healthy, no matter where you live. A poor diet that’s devoid of key vitamins and minerals (think: fast food, fried foods, processed foods, and soda) will result in pale, lackluster skin (and hair).

 

4. Make antioxidants part of your daily life. Dailyglow rated cities partly based on the amount of pollution. Car exhaust, factory pollution, pesticides, and other environmental pollutants are one of the top sources of free radicals, unstable molecules that can change the function and structure of cells (including skin cells) in the body. Experts believe that, unchecked, free radicals in the body can trigger premature aging of the skin, as well as many diseases, including cancer.

Antioxidants are the body’s main defense against free radicals. You should be eating them (they’re found in brightly colored fruits and veggies) and slathering them on your skin (I’m a huge fan of the antioxidant line, Replere, created by dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer; each of the products in this line has one of the highest documented amounts of antioxidants of any skin-care products.)

5. Always apply sunscreen when you’re headed outdoors. Even incidental sun exposure (e.g. when you’re walking to/from your car) can trigger premature aging—and skin cancer. That’s why I like to use a body moisturizer with SPF every day. (Aveeno and Lubriderm make good ones.) Also, important to note: most car side windows protect you from UVB rays but not UVA rays (the kind that cause premature aging and skin cancer). That means you’ll need to apply that SPF moisturizer before road trips too.

The bottom line: even if your city is ranked one of the best, you’ve still got to take the necessary steps to care of your skin every day!

 

 

 

 

5 Healthy Skin Secrets of a Celebrity Dermatologist

Written by: on Monday, January 30th, 2012
Dermatologist Debra Jaliman

With youthful skin like this, you'd never know that Debra Jaliman has a 20-year-old daughter!

So many women I’ve spoken with are overwhelmed by skin care: which products to use, what to do about the little lines here and there, how to treat a certain condition, and more. Typically you’d have to book an appointment with a dermatologist to get answers to all your questions (or chance it with Internet answers). But not so anymore.

Celebrity dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., has written a book (out March 13; preorder for $15.34 from barnesandnoble.com) that demystifies everything about skincare. Called Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, the book features seven-seven rules about skin care. Sounds like a lot, right? That’s exactly what I thought when I picked up this book. BUT, the way Jaliman writes (each rule is short, sweet and super easy for everyone to understand), I actually enjoyed reading every single rule—and page. A few of her secrets that resonated with me (I’ve dog-eared the pages on these):

1) Don’t waste money on expensive cleansers. Spend it on moisturizers, sunscreens, and anti-aging products instead. Otherwise, “you’re just washing money down the drain,” says Jaliman. This is one rule that I myself follow—and was happy to see it in Jaliman’s book: I buy drugstore cleansers (despite trying to be persuaded otherwise by department/specialty store salespeople). My favorite cleanser is Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash because it keeps adult breakouts at bay. (I also use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover to take off mascaras, shadow, and liner.) Then I splurge on serums: one for day (I love SkinAuthority’s Wrinkle Reversing Serum,

Wrinkle Reversing Serum from SkinAuthority

My favorite serum for day—in an airtight pump container.

which absorbs quickly and makes my skin healthy and radiant; $125, skinauthority.com) and one for night (I’m addicted to Skinceuticals Phloretin CF antioxidant serum; $162, skinceuticals.com); both are pricey, but are worth the smooth-skin results you get. Just use sparingly so you don’t go through the containers too quickly.

2) Buy physical sunscreens that are white, not clear. Despite all my years of working in health and beauty, I had never heard this advice before. According to Jaliman, the whitish part of the sunscreen is what “makes these products safe to use. They appear white because the particles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide [the protective ingredients] are too big for the skin to absorb”.  Jaliman goes on to say that “particle size matters…and this is one area where big truly is better”. But “when [the sunscreen] comes out clear from the tube, the manufacturer has used nanoparticles that are many times smaller. And scientists are growing increasingly concerned about nanoparticles and their possible effects. Recent studies have shown that people whose sunscreens contain zinc nanoparticles have increased levels of zinc in their blood.” Hmm…a bit disturbing, but good advice that I’ll be putting into practice ASAP. One sunscreen I do love—and feel comfortable using on me and my kids: Soléo Organics All-Natural Sunscreen ($19.96; amazon.com).

3) Take it nice and slow.“I always tell my patients to approach skin treatment the way they would approach exercise. Nobody should run a marathon the first day out on the track: by the same token, you should gradually build up a tolerance to any skin treatment.” I just love this analogy. People expect miracles when it comes to skin care (just as they do with weight loss or exercise regimens)— but slow and

Skin Rules Book

The new beauty bible: every woman should read it!

steady wins the race when it comes to keeping your skin healthy.

4) Good things come in tubes and pumps. Anything else, says Jaliman, “deteriorates quickly when exposed to air and sunlight, which happens every time a jar is opened”. If you want to use a product in a jar, use a cotton swab (or the little spatula that sometimes comes with it) instead of your fingers to get the product out. “Every time you stick your finger into a jar, you are introducing bacteria into it,” she explains.

5) Take biotin for cracked, brittle nails. “Far more effective than those ‘nail-strengthening’ polishes is a daily dose of biotin (vitamin B-7),” says Jaliman. “Most recent studies recommend 2.5 milligrams a day.” I’ve started taking biotin after reading this! But Jaliman also adds:

Avoid the UV heating lamps used in salons to speed drying of nail polishes “because those UV rays age your hands”.

Stay away from nail gels; “more and more salons are offering them, but there are increasing reports of serious side effects, including neurological damage (they’re so hard to get off that nails can be damaged in

woman with smooth skin smiling outdoors

You'll look more youthful with this advice from dermatologist Debra Jaliman.

the process),” explains Jaliman.

Ban nail extensions. “People don’t realize that the space between the fake nail and the real nail is the ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow,” says Jaliman, who adds: “Sooner or later, people who use nail extensions are going to get an infection…If you like long nails, take biotin and grow your own instead.”

Just a few of the helpful tips she includes…

What I also love about this book: despite the fact that Jaliman has her own line of great products, she never mentions them once in this book and actually goes out of her way to recommend other products—drugstore brands and pricier options—to go along with each rule. So you know exactly what to buy to get results. In my mind, this gives her even more credibility as a smart, objective dermatologist.

I’m not one for casually reading skin-care books, but this one is a keeper: it’s the new “bible” of skin-care for every woman. I highly recommend reading this…and putting Jaliman’s advice into practice. Your skin will thank you for it! (And just so you know, I’m not even a patient of Jaliman’s…I just love the book!)