December 13, 2012
May 03, 2012
Summer Skin Care Tips
Brought to you by Ada Polla - CEO Alchimie Forever
While the first official day of summer is still almost two months away, as I sit in my hotel room in Miami (taking a quick break from the amazing Tuff Love Aveda / Neill hair show taking place this weekend) and watch the people lying out by the pool, the topic of summer skin care comes to mind.
My mother always told me that the change of seasons was the perfect excuse to do a deep cleaning of my house, more specifically of my closets. My father, on the other hand, always told me the change of seasons was the perfect time to take another look at my skin care products and skin care routine and adapt it accordingly.
How do late spring and summer affect our skin? Of course, sunburns come to mind. Sweating, heat rashes, and clogged pores are also typical concerns of warm weather skin care. Sunshine and higher temperatures also mean dresses, shorts, sleeveless tops, open toed shoes and flip flops…. Here is how I deal with warm weather skin:
- I switch to a gel-based cleanser. My skin type is pretty normal, and as is typical, I am dryer during the winter months and oilier during the warmer months. To get rid of all traces of sweat and to avoid clogged pores, I love a “squeaky clean” feel, and our Excimer purifying gel cleanser is perfect for that.
- I take cooler showers. Really, hot water, while delightful and relaxing, is not great for the skin, in any season. In warmer months, I find it easier to enjoy slightly cooler water, which is great to tighten pores, stimulate circulation (my Mom swears it is her daily cold showers that have given her her cellulite-free legs…), and give my hair some added shine.
- I make sure to exfoliate regularly, both face and body. I find that regular (aka twice weekly) exfoliation helps to keep my blackheads under control, and actually ensure a longer, more even sun-kissed look. While I don’t use self-tanner, exfoliation is indeed crucial prior to applying tanning lotion, to ensure it goes on smoothly and avoid streaks.
- I switch to a lighter moisturizer. Whether I am in DC or in New Orleans, there is plenty of moisture in the air starting April. While humidity can be awful for hair, it truly is wonderful for skin. Skin will absorb some of the moisture in the air, and as such, most skin types can benefit from a lighter moisturizer during the warmer months. Our Yttrium protective morning cream is particularly ideal and leaves a very matte finish on the skin.
- Sunscreen is a must. Indeed, while sunscreen is a must every day, it is a MUST when out by the beach, the pool, or the river. My father always recommended SPF 50+ on the face and body, and until we develop our own sunscreen, his favorite is LaRoche Posay’s Anthelios. He also taught me to avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm, and to be particularly careful when in the water, as sun gets reflected and is then twice a dangerous.
- Don’t forget your lips – they too are prone to sunburn. Whatever sunscreen you apply on the face, don’t avoid your lips or lip contours. And make sure you use a lip balm that contains an SPF.
- Don’t forget your eyes – sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun, and will help prevent squinting, which leads to wrinkles.
- Shorter dresses and arm-bearing tops mean that I am particularly conscious of my body. Our Alexandrite firming gel for neck and bust, and our Q-switch optimizing body contour gel take care of my upper and lower body respectively, preventing sagging and minimizing cellulite. Of course, a couple extra sessions of Barre3 will help more than any product…
- For many, summer means more frequent shaving. If you experience post-shaving irritation or ingrown hairs, remember to shave only after you have been in the shower for a few minutes (your hairs will be softer), to change your blade often, to exfoliate, and to shave with a cream-based product (shaving cream or hair conditioner work best).
- Don’t forget your feet – for me, open-toed shoes mean more frequent pedicures, but also dryer feet and the propensity to cracked heels. I use our 532nm antioxidant relief for hands and feet religiously every evening.
- Last but not least, hydrate from the inside out. With warmer weather comes more sweating, which means it is doubly important to drink those recommended 8 glasses of water per day. Emergen-C in my water helps it go down better…
February 14, 2012
This week, Ada Polla, the owner of Alchimie Forever skincare, is our guest blogger! Read below for her expert tips to keeping your skin bright and nourished year-round!While it is 60 degrees in Washington, DC today, it was in the 20s last week, and my skin is feeling it. While I love winter, my skin doesn’t. If you are like me, you might be experience excessive dryness, flakiness, discomfort, roughness, itchiness, and redness. Over the years, I have learned some useful tips to help my skin remain calm, bright, and nourished, regardless of the outdoor temperatures. I hope these help your skin too!
- Switch to a cream-based cleanser. Every step in your skin care routine should be about moisture and nourishment, including your cleansing step. Switch away from your gel cleansers, to a nice milky, creamy cleanser (like our Alchimie Forever Excimer gentle cream cleanser, my personal favorite).
- No matter the cold outside, avoid showers or baths that are very hot. Hot water will break down the skin’s natural lipids and leave it even dryer. Limit your bath or shower to 5 minutes, and never leave the house with wet hair (your scalp will thank you!).
- Switch to a heavier moisturizer. Even if you are combination or oilier in the summertime, your skin needs extra nourishment during the colder months. The best-selling of our three moisturizers between November and March is always our Kantic+ intensely nourishing cream.
- If even with a cream cleanser and a more hydrating cream your skin is still uncomfortable, dull, and dry, add in a cream moisture mask, and leave it on for as long as you can. I am applying our Kantic brightening moisture mask almost on a daily basis these days…
- Combat the air’s dryness with a good humidifier. A low-cost alternative is to place a bowl of water in the rooms you spend most time in. As the water slowly evaporates, it will add moisture to the air.
- Give your hands a hand! Never go out in to the cold without gloves. (And avoid wool as it is so rough or cotton, which traps moisture; my favorite gloves are in cashmere). Apply your favorite hand cream frequently, at least following every time your hands are in water. (In case you are wondering, I keep my 532nm antioxidant relief for hands and feet everywhere at home and in the office, even in my car).
- Watch for over-exfoliation. In particular if you are experience flakiness, do not pick. Avoid strong grainy scrubs, look for nourishing, gentle, exfoliators, such as our Excimer+ gentle antioxidant refining scrub.
- Take care of your lips. Don’t lick them, and don’t pick at them if they are chapped. Keep soothing lip balms in your purse, car, and desk drawer, and reapply as necessary (I don’t believe reapplying makes your lips get addicted to your lip balm…)
- Don’t forget sunscreen. Even if the sun is not shining, and you are not in a bathing suit, those pesky UV rays are still attacking your skin. Remember also that sun is double strong when reflected on snow, so up your SPF before hitting the slopes.
- Last but not least, remember beauty is internal too. Hydrate with calming teas, and eat “clean and green.” This is true year round of course, but somehow I always have an easier time drinking water and eating salads when my closet is full of dresses and short skirts…
February 07, 2012
...To send the puckers [of your skin] packing (at least temporarily), start by applying [this] lotion that contains a diuretic agent such as theophylline or caffeine; it acts like shrink-wrap to tighten skin for a few hours.To get your own skin-tightening body gel, Click Here! The only thing to lose is that dimpled mattress look on your skin!
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