Skin-care-tips

5 Ways To Prep Your Skin For Summer

Since we’re already in the midst of summer weather, it’s time to shed the winter skin in favour of less layers and more sun. Below are our top 5 tips to pamper yourself and prep your skin for the beach, pool and anything in between.

RELATED: The Hidden Dangers of Natural Skincare

Exfoliate

Exfoliating is an essential part of any skincare routine since it helps to decrease the build-up of dry skin. There are a few different ways to exfoliate with masks, shower gels and scrubs to effectively give you instant results.

Skincare: 5 Ways To Prep Your Skin For Summer

Coast To Coast Australia Refreshing Body Exfoliant Sea Kelp & Bamboo, $24.95

Dry body brushing

Not only is this essential in taking away some of those extra layers of dead skin, it also boosts the appearance of circulation – meaning that your skin will actually look better and the appearance of cellulite will diminish. Your skin will feel so soft and smooth for summer!

Skincare: 5 Ways To Prep Your Skin For Summer

Manicare Cellulite Bristle Brush, $14.99

Moisturise

It’s important to moisturise every single day regardless of the weather, but especially if your skin will be exposed to sun, chlorine and salt water. Use a lightweight formula all over the body and focus on dry areas such as elbows, knees and feet to boost hydration.

Skincare: 5 Ways To Prep Your Skin For Summer

Coast To Coast Australia Nourishing Body Balm Desert Lime & Sweet Orange, $24.95

Hair removal

Everybody wants smooth, hair-less legs before summer rolls around and it’s important to get started a few weeks earlier. If you’re going to wax, use a hot formula on arms, legs and the sensitive bikini area since it removes hair directly from the follicle.

The pain might feel a little intense at first, but it does last for up to four weeks! If your skin does have a reaction to the wax, use a tea tree oil to smooth out those bumps before heading to the beach.

Skincare: 5 Ways To Prep Your Skin For Summer

Andrea Brazilian Hard Wax, $14.99

Fake tan

Who doesn’t want to fake that beautiful summer glow? Use a body shimmer on your arms, legs, stomach and decolletage to help your body looked toned and tan! But don’t forget to apply a generous amount of SPF since shimmers have little to no sun protection.

Skincare: 5 Ways To Prep Your Skin For Summer

Red Earth Secret Potion Illuminating Skin Fluid, $39

What are some of your summer skincare secrets?

Image via Our Vanity

5 Ways To Prep Your Skin For Winter

Since winter is just around the corner, it’s time to prep your skincare and devise a fool-proof plan which tackles your common skin concerns.

RELATED: The Hidden Dangers of Natural Skincare

Invest in a few extra skincare products such as serums, cleansers, face masks, and at-home facials to give your skin the extra hydration it needs in winter.

1. Hydrate

Use: Face sheet

About once a week, use a hydrating face sheet which locks-in moisture and will make skin feel smooth and shiny in no-time. Generally, the best time to use a face sheet is right after cleansing but before bedtime, since the product can really penetrate your pores while you sleep.

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Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask, $29.99

2. Moisturise

Use: A thicker moisturiser

Invest in a heavy duty moisturiser if you suffer from dehydrated skin or patches across your face. These places are most commonly the forehead and chin area which need some extra TLC, especially during the winter season. Apply a pea-sized amount of moisturiser to this area and remember to exfoliate on a weekly/bi-weekly basis to remove any dead skin cells.

How To Prep Your Skin For Winter

Natio Evening Primrose Moisturising Face Lotion, $13.95

3. Super-concentrated

Use: Serum

While serums are often misunderstood, especially amongst those who suffer from oily skin, they are nothing to be afraid of! The molecules found in serums are actually more concentrated than your typical moisturiser, and that’s why they’re more hydrating.

If you want to start using a serum, apply just 2-4 drops on your entire face and neck to really quench the skin. They help to add a lot of external moisture back into the skin, but should only be used once per day.

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Grown Alchemist Facial Serum: Rosehip & Camellia Seed, $24.95

4. Remove dead skin cells

Use: Exfoliator

If your face is prone to the occasional break out, then it’s time to start using an exfoliator on a regular basis. Not only does it help to unblock pores, but it will actually remove the layers of dead skin from your face. You could try using a PMD (personal microderm), but a cream exfoliator works just as well without being too abrasive.

How To Prep Your Skin For Winter

Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Exfoliant, $40

5. Regulate

Use: Toner

The secret to glowing, radiant skin is by consistently using a toner after cleansing morning and night. Not only does it help to control the amount of sebum your skin produces, but it actually brings the skin back down to a suitable pH level, which sometimes tap water can interfere with.

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Antipodes Ananda Gentle Toner, $24.99

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

The French pharmacy is known for its miracle skincare products which are ideal for sensitive skin types, and those suffering from redness and inflammation.

Luckily, it’s easy enough to shop some of these products in Australia – but where do you start? Below is a cheat-list of the best products you need from the French pharmacy.

RELATED: 20 Affordable Skincare Products Under $20

Bioderma Crealine H2O Cleanser & Make Up Remover, $29.99

By now, you’ve probably heard us rave about the importance of micellar water for effectively removing makeup. Bioderma was one of the first brands to release a micellar solution for sensitive skin, which is perfect to use on both the face and eyes!

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

Nuxe Baume Levres Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm, $19.99

A hydrating lip product which locks-in moisture, and heals chapped lips overnight. The thick formula is packed with a pleasant honey and fruit fragrance, and won’t irritate sensitive skin and lips.

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser, $24.99

A gentle cleanser which acts as a 2-in-1, and carefully removes makeup while keeping skin feeling soft and hydrated. The formula isn’t too drying, and won’t leave your skin feeling tight after each wash.

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

Avene Thermal Spring Water, $9.99

Cleanse, smooth, and refresh your face with thermal water every single day to achieve clear skin. The non-irritating formula aims to neutralise the pH levels in your skin, without causing extra redness or irritation.

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, $29.99

The best multi-purpose oil with an added golden shimmer to give skin a healthy glow all year-round. Keep this in your bag for a boost of added hydration, or even just a quick touch-up during the summertime.

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

La Roche-Posay Rosaliac Ar Intense, $39.99

Intended for those with couperose-prone, inflamed, just overall sensitive skin, the Rosaliac aims to restore skin back to good health. Apply a pea-sized amount of the product onto the areas that need treatment, then apply your usual moisturiser over the top.

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

Bioderma Hydrabio Rich Cream, $39.99

Use this hypoallergenic formula for super-sensitive skin after cleansing to lock-in moisture without over-stimulating the skin. The lightweight moisturiser treats dehydrated skin to lots of hydration, which is perfect during the morning or even before bed.

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

Avene Cleanance Lotion Toner, $29.99

A gentle-action toner which soothes the skin, while also minimising the appearance of large pores with long-term use. Apply onto the face using a cotton pad, and focus on areas such as the forehead and t-zone after cleansing.

Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

Image via Becoming Madame

How to Reduce Cellulite (No, Really!)

Cellulite is one of the most frustrating issues for women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities, and if you have it, welcome to the “over 80% of women above 20 years of age” club that develop it at some point in their lives.

Unfortunately for women it’s not only due in part to our hormonal profile and an excess of estrogens, but it’s also related to how many toxins our bodies are holding on to, and to the anatomy of our skin and the way in which our fat cells and receptors are distributed.

Fitness and health expert Alexa Towersey, listed by Lifestyle Asia as one of the Top 5 Toughest Personal Trainers in 2013, knows there is no miracle overnight cure to getting rid of cellulite. But there are ways to combat cellulite naturally by making some lifestyle changes. Here’s how:

1. Minimise your exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants
Go organic with your cosmetics and household products (check out www.ewg.org to find out how toxic your favourite brands are), don’t reheat your food in plastic containers, avoid soy products, and buy organic produce when possible.  If you’re on a budget and need to prioritise, watch out for the pesticide laden “Dirty Dozen”: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, capsicum, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale.

2. Eat nutritionally dense, high fiber and low GI foods to manage your blood sugar and reduce bodyfat
The worst offenders for cellulite are alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars.  If you just can’t do without your glass of wine with dinner, stick to Sardinian and Spanish red wines, pinot and merlot which have some beneficial anti-oxidants.

3. Cellulite isn’t just a fat issue, it’s a skin issue
One of the reasons it may be so visible is that the collagen in your skin lacks optimal connective tissue structure. Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C, high in collagen strengthening and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals, and have lots of essential fatty acids.  Citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruits and oranges are good choices, as are nuts and seeds. Plant based omega oils are a great supplement to increase fat burning, decrease inflammation and improve the health of our cell membranes.

4.  Support your digestive system
Learn to love your cruciferous veges (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy) which contain compounds that draw out excess estrogens, and include plenty of fiber which will then bind to and eliminate the waste products (flaxseeds, dark green leafy veges, fresh fruits, beans and lentils, steel-cut oats, buckwheat and barley).  Raw apple cider vinegar in warm water is a strong digestive aid, and a really cheap and effective way to kickstart your system first thing in the morning.  I’m a fan of includng a good quality probiotic and a plant based digestive enzyme.

cellulite

5. Use resistance training to help rebalance your hormones and reshape your body
Hormonal imbalances can often show up as stubborn fat on different parts of your body, with estrogen dominating the hip and thigh region.  You can effectively lean out your legs by telling your body to turn on your fat burning hormones and turn off your fat storing hormones.  I recommend women include weights as part of their training program using a circuit style of high reps (15-25), moderate weight and low rest.  For fans of spin classes, I’m sorry I’m about to ruin your day, but research has shown that spinning actually increases the intramuscular fat stores in the legs!

6. Reduce the appearance of cellulite by improving your circulation
Lymphatic drainage and detoxification channels using alternative body treatments such as acupuncture, lymphatic drainage massage, Epsom salts baths, body brushing and infra-red saunas will all help to reduce cellulite.  Drinking plenty of water is also important for flushing out toxins.

What are your best tips for reducing the appearance of cellulite?

Skin Care Tips With Skin Expert Emma Hobson

If there’s one expert on skin care, it’s Emma Hobson, Education Manager at the International Dermal Institute. We chat with Emma on which skin care and beauty products she can’t live without, how to really cleanse and moisturise your skin, and what the best anti-ageing ingredients out there are.

Which 3 skin care products can’t you live without?

I can’t live without age reversal eye complex. This is an awesome, eye care saver containing highly active cosmeceutical product containing retinol and ARG-LYS Poleptide , stabalized Vitamin C, Niacinamide and a UGL complex. Which reverses the multiple signs of ageing around my eye area (fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles and dehydration).

I simply can’t live without is Power Rich™ ; this is the ultimate multi-functional product that packs an incredible punch of Dermalogica cosmeceutical active ingredients to address my ageing skin needs. It’s the ultimate restructuring cream, and one of Dermalogica’s premium super performers.

C-12 Concentrate is my third can’t-live-without product. After way to many years in the sun when I was younger, I suffer from hyperpigmentation on my neck and face. Since skin discolouration/uneven skin tone is the number 1 sign of premature ageing on the skin I need to ensure I keep my pigmentation at bay.  C-12 Concentrate does this,  it’s a high potency treatment  containing a proprietary peptide called Oligopeptide-34, Zinc Glycinate, Phytic Acid, and various botanicals and mineral amino acids that all targeting the pigmentation. This product keeps my skin looking luminous and improves its clarity.

And which 3 makeup products can’t you live without?

1. My Lancôme Dolls Eye Mascara- just the best for defining my lashes, creating length without clogging or smearing.

2. My MAC eye shadows, I have way too many, the ease of application, the variety and depth of colour they offer and the colour lasts all day.

3. Dermalogica’s skinperfect primer SPF30, this provides a great canvas for my foundation making it easy to apply, I need less foundation which lasts day to night on my skin. It heightens and improves the colour of the foundation I am wearing, it has an SPF30 to help protect my skin, AND since it is a skin care product too it is packed full of cosmeceutical age fighting ingredients.

What are your best tips for cleansing and moisturising your skin?

Cleansing
To get a really squeaky clean skin I would recommend the use of a pre-cleanse oil. Cleansing oils are a fantastic new type of product that you use ideally for your first cleanse, they deliver a level of cleansing traditionally experienced in the professional treatment room. They work on the principle that like attracts like. The oil in the product attracts the oil as well as the dirt, make-up and debris on the skin surface. These are simply massaged into the skin with light fingertips. They help liquefy sebum without stripping the skin or compromising the barrier function. Therefore, when you wash off the cleansing oil you will thoroughly wash away all the dirt, surface oil and debris. This ensures your second cleanse with your normal cleanser, really cleans the skin so it is squeaky clean.

The great thing about these types of product is that they are excellent at removing sun screens off the skin surface. A sun screen can often sit on the skin and result in skin congestion or sensitivity. They are also fantastic at removing waterproof mascara and long-wearing lipstick.

One of the secrets to effective cleansing, is to cleanse the skin twice (morning and evening),that’s right double cleanse!

You follow the pre cleanse oil with a good cleanser which needs to match your skin type for your second cleanse. If you have oily skin, you need a cleanser with a stronger surfactant (degreasing agent) and one that does not strip the skin of oils (i.e. soap or products containing S.D alcohol) these normally come in the form of clay based cleanser or a gel facial wash. Equally if you have an oil dry skin you will need to use a milder cleanser with less surfactant, they often come in the form of a milky/ creamy cleanser. For a combination skin the cleanser sits in the middle of the cleansing spectrum (re surfactant) and can be a light milky cleanser or a gel facial wash. If you have a some sensitivity, choose a cleanser ensuring it has no know skin irritants (free from artificial colours and fragrance) and has calming and soothing ingredients. If you have a very traumatised/sensitised skin choose a cleanser that normally states ‘for environmentally sensitised skin’. These come in milky/creamy formulas or cleansing gels.

There is no need to change your cleanser during the seasons as your skin type does not change winter to summer, what does change is your skin condition, being perhaps more sensitive and dehydrated. If your skin is environmentally sensitised (disregarding your skin type) you may want to choose a cleanser specifically for this skin condition. These cleansers are formulated to be gentle and help repair the barrier function of the skin. And are great for people who are so sensitised they can’t even tolerate water on their skin, as they can be completely removed with soft  tissues instead.

You will notice if you have chosen the incorrect cleanser as you will not be getting the results you should expect such as clearing the skin from congestion,  helping prevent breakouts form reoccurring. You may find it has to strong a degreasing agent and the skin becomes dehydrated or your skin can become sensitised to the cleanser.

The correct cleansing routine would be to firstly ensure you have your hair back from the perimeters of your face, this will enable you to clean the often neglected hair line and around the ears. Then apply the correct amount of product (check product instructions) to the skin with clean hands. With a facial brush or your fingers work the cleanser into your skin in light circular motions from top to bottom or vice versa. Pay special attention to the areas where you have congestion such as the nose, forehead, neck or chin.  Ensure you take your cleanser right up to your hair line and around to the back of your ears and under your jaw line and down the neck as these are common areas for congestion, often due to poor cleansing. It should take about one minute to cleanse your skin; research at the International Dermal Institute found that most people spend less than 10 seconds on cleansing!  It is essential to use  the correct amount of product , and if it is a gel to mix it with sufficient water otherwise the gel remains too concentrated and can result in irritation, dehydration or poor results.  Most cleansers these days can be used in the shower as they are easily washed off.  There are some cleansers which have been developed for environmentally sensitised skin, these are for people who can’t tolerate water on their skin so they can be completely removed with tissues instead.

Moisturising
For your moisturiser, ideally this will be applied over your toner. By applying a hydrating spritz toner it will boost the hydration levels of the skin and prevents dry skin patches (which soak up heaps of moisturiser) you will then only need about half the quantity of moisturiser than if you hadn’t spritzed, that would need about the size of a pea. If your moisturiser is also your sun protection you will need to apply about half a teaspoon for the SPF to be effective.

To combat dry skin think  PROTECTION, HYDRATION AND MOISTURISATION. Choose a moisturiser with lots of hydrating and soothing ingredients and one that acts as a protectant (may contain silicones that form a protective barrier over the skin),there are many ranges now that have products designed specifically for harsh/extreme weather conditions. You may want to choose a moisturiser with a slightly higher oil content but note ‘only slightly’ if you feel your skin is more flaky, dry and dehydrated. If the skin is oil dry, then it needs additional nourishment which can be easily found in a good moisturiser.

It is no longer necessary to use a ‘thick, greasy’ moisturiser as there are now such fantastic ingredients and formulations available that can be really effective without being too heavy or sticky on the skin. Look for moisturisers that contain a complex of vitamins A,C,E, Panthenol (B5), as well as essential fatty acids found in many vegetable oils such as Evening Primrose oil Borage Seed oil, Shea butter, Jojoba oil,  a great ingredient to combat dry skin is Betaglucan derived from Oates. It is important not confuse (as so many people do) a dry skin (skin lacking oil) with that of dehydration (a skin lacking moisture). If your skin feels dry solely from dehydration, you will need a lightweight moisture rich, moisturiser which may have little to no oil content.

What are some of the key ingredients we should be looking for in skincare products as we get older?

  • Arginine/Lysine Polypeptide: A peptide that acts as a sugar trap, binding free sugar that would react with proteins to form AGEs.  Provides an anti-glycation effect
  • Palmitoyl Pentapeptide & Olgiopentapeptide:  for deeper fortification of collagen structure. They stimulates collagen & works similarly to retinol & vitamin C.  Helps skin re-structure the extracellular matrix
  • Glucosamine HCl : Helps stimulate collagen production, fights AGEs, inhibits melanin formation, inhibits MMPs, stimulates Hyaluronic Acid, defends against ROS and inhibits AGE formation
  • Glycine Soya Protein (Soy)
  • Genestein
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate being a non-acidic, stable form of Vitamin C that stimulates collagen formation in the skin while providing antioxidant protection, inhibiting melanin formation and inhibiting MMP enzymes that contribute to collagen degradation.
  • Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract protects against Reactive Oxygen Species (free radicals), fights the formation of AGEs in skin and inhibits MMPs.
  • Vitamin A, E and Beta Glucan
  • Hyaluronic Acid & Cross Linked Hyaluronic Acid provides intense skin hydration.
  • Yeast Extract helps stimulate wound healing, collagen formation and increases oxygen utilisation in skin.

What’s your favourite Dermalogica product and why do you love it so much?

My favourite of the three above would have to be…ohhh this is very hard……Power Rich. It is such an amazing multi-functional skin performer, the results I get from it are fabulous especially as I am so concerned with trying to inhibit the ageing process!

What are your can’t-live-without skin care products? Tell us in the comments below!

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