Skin-treatments-2

What Is An Extraction Facial?

Do you suffer from bumpy, dry and blackhead-prone skin – especially around the trick parameters of your nose? Some of us might have accepted that this is just a way of life and perhaps use those annoying little strips to pull out blackheads every once in a while; this is where facial extractions enter the skincare game.

RELATED: No Moisturiser Skincare Routine

Although they might feel a little invasive at first – imagine having every inch of your skin poked and prodded to essentially extract the gunk underneath – the long-term effects outweigh the short-term pain, especially if you want to build a solid skin care routine in your 20s, 30s, or 40s.

How does it work?

Extractions are carried out by a beauty therapist who first massages the skin with a nourishing oil. This way, the skin can relax and improve circulation for the future extraction. Most of the time this is followed by a steam facial which opens up the pores and makes it easier – and less painful – to extract the gunk from under the skin.

Next up is the extraction itself, which requires no tools or sharp bits. The beauty therapist is simply using their hands (with gloves, of course) to squeeze out the gunk from main areas of concern on the face. These places usually include the t-zone, chin and nose. The skin is then cleansed, toned and prepped to go. You might experience some pain directly afterwards, but this is nothing to worry about and should subside over the next hour.

The cost of an average extraction facial is anywhere between $50-$100.

So there you have it, the quick run-through of a typical extraction facial! Are you brave enough to try one?

Image via The Fab Company

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

Want to re-hydrate your skin without lifting a finger? Sheet masks have been used for years to bring back some added moisture to the skin, with the simple requirement of sitting back and relaxing. So, if you’re looking for a few sheet masks to try out this winter, try a few of our recommendations below.

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Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Masks, $29.99

With winter just around the corner, now is the best time to treat the skin to a hydrating mask after a long day. Everyone is bound to love these sheet masks since they’re the perfect way to create a plump, moisturised complexion after a long day at work.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

Missha Real Essential Collagen Sheet Mask, $5.90

Treat your skin to a fine sheet mask from Missha, which helps to bring back moisture to the skin. Apply onto freshly cleansed skin, then sit back and relax for 15-20 minutes. If there is any essence leftover on the mask, apply it over the neck area.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

For Beloved One Melasleep Whitening Bio-Cellulose Mask, $47.98

A revolutionary face mask with added whitening treatments to give the skin an extra kick during the colder weather. Apply onto the face for a short period of time, or sleep with it on for extra moisture.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

Skinfood Deep Sea Water Mask Sheet, $3

Try this brightening gel mask if you’re looking for an instant treatment for flawless looking skin. Remove the film from the hydrogel mask, then apply onto the face and neck for 15-25 minutes and relax.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalising Face Mask, $63

We’ve saved the best for last! This concentrated sheet mask by Shiseido is perfect for a pampering session. It encourages the skin’s natural recovery function and it suitable for all skin types – even acne or blemishes.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

After you’ve applied a face mask, there is no reason to wash it off! Simply dab the remaining essence onto your neck and decolletage, then proceed with your usual skincare routine. This could mean applying an eye cream over the top, then a nourishing lip balm afterwards.

Image via InStyle 

Top 6 Ayurvedic Beauty Tips For Healthy Skin

Have you ever heard of ayurvedic beauty products? They are commonly used in countries such as India to balance the body from the inside out, create a harmonised digestive system, and also to help solve any skincare problems as well. With the foundation of wholesome skincare, this is the perfect way to give both your body and your mind the ultimate detox.

RELATED: What On Earth Is Oil Pulling?

Moisturise

Rather than using a moisturiser from the drugstore, why not use something a little more homemade instead? Coconut oil can be used to tackle a multitude of conditions and can be used on the face, body, hair, and even ingested for good health. Aloe vera is also a great substitute if you can’t get your hands on coconut oil.

Oily skin

If you suffer from oily skin, use a chickpea flour mask at least once a week to soak up the excess oil. Rather than blotting your face with more makeup and chemicals, the chickpea flour will help to control the oil without contributing to more problems for your skin.

Milk bath

Treat your body to a raw milk bath at least once a week to soothe irritated skin. This could be anything from irritated pores, rashes, razor burn, body acne and even sun damage or peeling. The raw milk is packed with fats and lactic acid to soothe your skin and control the pH level.

Toner

Keep your skin looking bright and zit-free by regularly using a toner after cleansing and exfoliating. Not only will it help to minimise your pores, but anything with rosewater will actually soothe your skin over time.

Oil pulling

We’re such a big advocate of oil pulling, especially since it can really help your overall health. Replace your usual mouthwash with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and try to swish it around your mouth for at least 10-15 minutes.

Scalp massage

If you’re experiencing some hair loss, try a scalp massage to awaken the hair follicle. This usually happens when the seasons change and generally isn’t anything serious to worry about. Use a lightweight oil and massage your hair and scalp before washing out with shampoo and water. Leave it in for at least half an hour for a moisturising treatment.

What’s The Difference Between Ampoules and Essence?

In recent weeks we’ve covered essence, serums, but what exactly are ampoules?

These very similar skincare secrets are most popular in countries like Korea and Japan, and are used to repair the skin after stress or breakouts. Shop a few of our personal recommendations below, and share some of your own in the comments.

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What are ampoules?

Ampoules are tiny containers filled with extremely concentrated amounts of botanical extracts, vitamins and even enzymes for skincare. Although they aren’t as common as serums and essence, they are used to gently penetrate the layer of skin after cleansing. Since ampoules are so concentrated, you only require a few drops all over the face and neck for best results.

Types of ampoules

Ampoules usually come in two different types: gel and liquid oil.

If you’re using a gel ampoule, pat it gently across your main areas of concern (cheeks, forehead, chin), and use in conjunction with a facial mask. It will absorb better into skin which has been freshly cleansed and moisturised.

Liquid or oil ampoules can be applied at any part of the day, and will give your skin an instant glow. They can be used as part of a nightly routine, or in lieu of a moisturiser or primer. The downside? They’re quite costly, but they will last for years.

How can I use ampoules?

Rather than using them on a daily basis, ampoules are sort of a quick-fix, especially if you’re having some kind of skin breakout or issue. Use a few drops of ampoules after a long and stressful week of work, if your skin is feeling particularly dry and flakey, or if you’re recovering from a large skin breakout.

A concentrated vitamin C serum which is ideal for those suffering from hyperpigmentation or other skin woes. Apply to freshly cleansed skin to instantly re-hydrate.

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Ella Bache Radiance C Ampoules, $189

A nourishing formula which is ideal for skin suffering from dehydration, stress, and even breakouts. The formula is packed with 50% Propolis extract and 20% multi vitamins to nurse the skin back to good health.

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LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule, $38

Image via Yur Topic

Homemade Facial Masks For Clear Skin

Treat your skin to a homemade and all natural face mask with ingredients straight from the garden and pantry.

RELATED: Turn Oily Skin Into Dewy Skin

These body and facial masks are ideal for all skin types and help to bring back some moisture into dry, damaged, or acne-prone skin.

Acne

Ingredients: baking soda and water

For skin which is prone to the occasional acne break-out, it’s important to keep it simple and stick to baking soda and water. Combine them in a small bowl and make a paste using your fingers.

Wait until the mask dries, then wash-off with lukewarm water and a moist towelette for all the exfoliating benefits.

Blackheads

Ingredients: unflavoured gelatin, milk

To make your own DIY blackhead strips, simply combine all of the ingredients and microwave for at least 10 seconds. Apply immediately onto the face with a wooden stick and wait until it hardens. Then simply remove once the mask has tightened on your face – easy!

Wrinkles

Ingredients: avocado, oatmeal, apple cider vinegar, honey, lemon juice

Avocado masks are the perfect way to rejuvenate the face and neck area, especially if your wrinkles are a little too prominent. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to act as an anti-bacterial and remove any dead skin cells from your face.

Pores

Ingredients: egg whites, lemon juice

Enlarged pores are the last things you want to see on your skin, and a mask with egg whites will help to tighten them up. Apply directly onto the skin and rinse with tepid water, then pat dry.

Oily skin

Ingredients: yoghurt, apricot, clay

Oily/acne prone skin can be particularly difficult to control, so it’s important to treat it to a weekly mask. Yoghurt is an essential ingredient for oily skin since it helps to regulate the sebum, and soothes any existing acne spots.

Images via Nutrition Stripped

5 Benefits of Mud Masks

If you really want to see what’s hiding in your skin, then we definitely recommend that you use a mud mask.

Not only are these fabulous products easy to get your hands on (and at any budget), but they actually work really well! Here are just five reasons you should make room for a mud mask in your skincare routine.

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They last forever

Since mud masks are actually concentrated, a little goes a long way. You only need a small pea-size amount to cover your face and neck for best results! Massage gently into the t-zone, chin and cheeks before washing the residue off with lukewarm water.

Tones, exfoliates, and cleanses

The last thing you want to do after a mud mask is go through your entire skincare routine. Luckily, a mud mask acts as both a cleanser, exfoliator and toner so you only need to apply some moisturiser afterwards!

Non-drying

Rather than feeling too dry on your skin like other masks, a mud mask is actually deeply nourishing. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin E), to soothe all skin types, and avoid any dreaded dry patches.

Sit back and relax

One of the best qualities of a mud mask is that you get to relax while it does its job! Take ten minutes out of your day and apply the mask, lie down and listen to some music. There is nothing more relaxing than pampering yourself, and a mud mask is one of the best ways to do it!

Massage

While you’re applying the mask, massage the product onto your damp skin. Focus on the key areas around the lymph nodes, under the eyes, and around your chin. This is not essential, but will help your entire face and body to relax, and make the mask feel better on your skin.

5 Benefits of Mud Masks

1. Formula 10.0.6 Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask, $8.99

2. Dead Sea Mud Facial Mask, 24.77

3. Glam Glow Youthmud Mask, $75

Image via PRlog

Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Treating your skin to a weekly facial mask is the best way to control skin concerns such as acne and spots, whilst deep-conditioning at the same time.

Luxury skincare isn’t an essential, but it’s sometimes nice to indulge in a facial cream which is packed with botanicals and skin-loving nutrients, right? Below are some of the best high-end products which make your skin look and feel amazing, so use in moderation!

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Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque, $50

If you suffer from extremely dry or flakey skin, then this could be your holy grail product. Apply before going to bed as an overnight masque to hydrate skin, and renew moisture for long-lasting hydration. There is no sticky residue the next morning, and it leaves skin feeling soft and smooth.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask, $54.92

Give your skin a refresh with this enzymatic peel mask which tightens pores, and reduces sebum at the same time. Ideal for combination/oily skin types who want to control their natural oil production, and create a matte base.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, $59

Another indulgent (yet effective) peel mask which restores the natural radiance of your skin without the risk of over-drying it. Apply onto areas of concern such as fine lines and wrinkles to diminish their appearance, and improve the state of your skin tone.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Clinique Turnaround Instant Facial Mask, $68

Combining the best of an oil-free facial and microdermabrasion which creates soft, smooth skin almost instantly. Apply to damp skin, and leave on for 5 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water, and following with a lightweight moisturiser.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Glam Glow Youthmud Mask, $75

One of the best-sellers from the entire collection, this mask helps to clear pimples and blackheads by gently exfoliating the skin. Massage a small amount of product over damp skin, and leave it on for 10 minutes until the mask begins to harden. Wash-off with lukewarm water for clearer, radiant skin.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Image via My Lucite Dreams

Are Foam Cleansers Doing More Harm Than Good?

Ever thought that a harmless foam cleanser could be causing problems for your skin?

Various reports over the last few years have pointed the finger to foam cleansers, which can be especially detrimental for women with dry skin. Why? There are extra ingredients in foam cleansers which can cause dry, flakey patches across the entire face and neck area.

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What ingredients do they contain?

Since foam cleansers have to change consistency with a few drops of water, there are some extra chemicals added into the formula to make this happen.

Namely, sulfates which strip the skin of oil, and can create dry patches and redness if used in-excess. The official ingredient called sodium laureth is a comedogenic which has the tendency to cause pimples and extremely itchy skin which can strip away natural sebum (oil).

How do I know if my foam cleanser is safe to use?

All foam cleansers are safe enough to use, you just have to identity if it’s a good match for your skin. Many women with extremely sensitive skin should stick to sulfate-free skincare which doesn’t overwork the skin like other cleansers do.

If you do experience some irritability after using this type of product, apply a gentle moisturiser onto the skin so it can hydrate the surface, and lock-in any moisture which was previously lost.

Isn’t squeaky-clean skin a good thing?

Absolutely not. It is a fact that your skin will probably feel tighter after a deep-cleanse or exfoliating session, but this doesn’t mean it should always be this way. This could actually indicate that your skin has been left over-dried from the products, and needs to lock in the moisture with a hydrating oil afterwards.

After toning, apply a few drops over the t-zone, cheeks, and chin, and pat dry over the skin. If you’re looking to treat yourself once a week, use a serum to really nourish the skin after a rigorous clean.

Should I stop using them altogether?

No, not at all! Almost all skincare products feature a chemical or ingredient which isn’t good for your skin when used in large doses. If you do find that your skin is suffering any severe irritability, it is best to limit the use of the product. Have a few different cleansers, exfoliators, and gentle toners on rotation so your skin doesn’t become immune to the formula.

What are some gentle foam cleansers?

Whether you’re looking to invest in a foam cleanser or simply use something cheap and effective from the drugstore, there are a variety of products for every price-range:

Are Foam Cleansers Doing More Harm Than Good?

1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Foaming Gel, $22.99

2. ModelCo Cleansing Foam Purify & Invigorate, $10.49

3. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser Dry or Sensitive Skin, $38

Image via Taoxanh

Essential Body Oils For Summer

Since we’re in the midst of the summer season, it’s more than important to keep skin hydrated, and sometimes using a moisturiser just isn’t enough.

Body oils are a great alternative because they soak into the skin, and soothe even nasty dry patches on the face and body. Shop from a few of our must-haves for the summer season, or simply use as a luxurious pampering treatment throughout the year.

RELATED: How To Use Multitasking Coconut Oil

Argan oil

Used for years as a supplement for hair, skin, and nails, argan oil is packed with Vitamin E for optimum strength and shine. Lather over your dry patches to quickly rejuvenate the skin while you sleep.

Coconut oil

While coconut oil may feel rather thick in texture, it is one of the best products you can put on your skin. The fatty acids contained inside help to replenish dry, cracked skin without feeling too greasy.

Grape seed oil

If you have acne-prone skin, grape seed oil is gentle enough to use on a daily basis. Unlike other oils, it won’t aggravate your acne, but instead is packed with linoleic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties and heals the skin.

Olive oil

Add a few teaspoons of olive oil into your hair and skincare mask to receive the rich benefits of antioxidants. It contains Vitamin A and Vitamin E which is ideal for women suffering from skin damage, and even extremely dehydrated skin.

Jojoba oil

If you suffer from an oily skin and scalp, jojoba oil is the perfect product to use since it is similar to sebum. Jojoba acts as a lightweight moisturiser which soaks quickly into the skin, and won’t give a sticky residue afterwards.

Almond oil

Give your body a good exfoliating session by lathering sweet almond oil over arms, legs, back and decolletage. It acts as a natural exfoliator by gently removing dead skin cells, and is ideal for those who already suffer from sensitive skin.

What are some of your favourite body oils?

Image via The Lifestyle Report

How To Tame Rosacea

While rosacea is commonly accepted as a chronic, non-contagious skin condition prominent on both the face and body, men and women still find it difficult to live with.

Despite being so widespread, there is no miracle cure for this misunderstood condition which can turn skin red, flaky, and irritable in a matter of minutes.

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What are the common side effects?

Even though side effects can vary from men to women, they both experience a sensation which feels like burning or tingling around the affected area. This may escalate and turn into small spots called papules which can become red and inflamed at any given time.

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What causes Rosacea?

Little is known about the deep-rooted causes of Rosacea, and this can often feel like there is no way to avoid it in the first place. Many dermatologists blame genetics, a poor diet, and even high stress levels as a way of developing Rosacea, but there is no main cause at this point in time. Try and keep track of any changes surrounding your diagnosis with Rosacea, and this should make it easier to control it for the long-term.

Dermatologists have looked towards a few main issues which could have the capacity to cause Rosacea, or possibility aggravate it:

  • Leaky Gut Syndrome: A condition where the digestive track develops small holes that can potentially damage your entire system, and create painful inflammation.
  • Blood vessel abnormalities: The inflammation of blood vessels in the face and body can contribute to Rosacea which is prominent around the cheeks and nose.
  • Mite Demodex: Small bugs which crawl over the skin, and have the capacity to seep into the bloodstream. Once they die, the bacteria released can trigger Rosacea.
  • Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth: A condition which results in gastrointestinal abnormalities, quite similar to the previously mentioned Leaky Gut Syndrome.

What are the treatment options?

While there is no known cure for Rosacea, many trial treatments can vary in effectiveness for each patient. Anything from topical creams, oral medications, home remedies, and even laser treatments are known to ease the pain and symptoms for chronic sufferers.

Can Rosacea be controlled?

There are a few ways to change your diet and lifestyle which could potentially have an effect on the state of Rosacea. A few examples include:

  • Diet: Stick to a diet which mainly consists of green vegetables and protein. Stay away from too much acidic fruit which could only be aggravating the Rosacea on your face and body. The Alkaline Diet is specially formulated for people who need to substitute over-acidic foods which something that is more balanced.
  • Home remedies: Aloe vera, banana, avocado, and olive oil are great to use on skin which is sensitive and prone to Rosacea. Use a tonic of each every few days and apply over the inflamed area. Remove with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a cotton pad.
  • Exfoliating: Use a gentle exfoliating formula on your skin at least once a week to remove dead skin cells, and keep the area clean. Use products which are sulphate and fragrance-free since they can  only make your condition worse.
  • Face mapping: Skin conditions on your face are almost always associated with what’s happening on the inside. Face mapping easily determines why skin is acting out due to poor diet and lifestyle choices which could be aggravating your Rosacea.

Images via Pyratine, Rosacea Diets 

The No-Stress Guide To Skin Exfoliators

Exfoliating is an important part of a skincare routine since it helps to rejuvenate the cells, and create a foundation for softer, smoother skin.

But what products are best for beginners? Treat your skin the right way by using some of our holy grail items, ideal for women with normal to sensitive skin.

RELATED: 10 At-Home Skincare Treatments

How should I exfoliate?

Most people think of exfoliating as an abrasive way of stripping the skin of its natural oils. There are a number of ways to exfoliate the skin on your face and body without turning bright red; one of which is perfect for those with sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Muslin cloth

Warm a muslin cloth under a hot faucet, then remove any excess water. Use a cleanser on wet skin, and work the product in with your fingers. Gently wipe the cleanser off with the muslin cloth in large, downward swipes. After you’re done with this step, open the cloth and lay it directly over your face; this helps to open the pores and exfoliate skin without continuous scrubbing.

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The Body Shop Muslin Cloth, $3.95

Scrub

Scrubs are the most popular way to quickly and effectively exfoliate the skin, and are available anywhere from the supermarket to a high-end department store. Apply a pea-sized amount over damp skin, then work the product in with your fingers. If your skin is sensitive, don’t use formulas with added microbeads since they could potentially cause additional redness.

The No-Stress Guide To Skin Exfoliators

DermaVeen Daily Nourish Facial Exfoliator, $12.99

Powder

If your skin is prone to redness and inflammation, use a powder exfoliator in your skincare routine. Not only are powders less abrasive, but they are also a great idea if you want your product to last forever.

Sprinkle a pea-sized amount into your hand, then add some lukewarm water to the mixture. Work up a lather, then apply over your face, neck and décolletage.

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Dermalogica Daily Mircofoliant, $70

Manual exfoliators

A Personal Microderm (PMD) is a manual exfoliating system which helps to remove makeup, and unclog pores. Use with a gentle cleanser, scrub, or facial mask, and gently create a lather; focusing on areas such as the forehead, chin, and cheeks.

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Clarisonic Mia 2 Pink, $199

What should I do now?

After you have exfoliated your skin, apply a gentle toner over the entire face. Focus the product into the t-zone, chin and cheeks since these are the places most women experience acne or scarring.

Wait for your skin to soak it all up, then apply moisturiser. Skin will feel soft, and smooth almost immediately!

Image via Getty Images 

How To Treat Dehydrated Skin

The mystery of dehydrated skin is that almost everyone has it; even if you experience a typically oily t-zone and dry patches across your face.

This could be the result of a few different factors which include your diet, not enough moisture on the skin, and sometimes even a lack of exfoliating. If you find your skin is feeling particularly lacklustre, try a few of these tricks to combat dehydration.

RELATED: Home Remedies For Irritable Skin

Serums

Serums work for a variety of skin types since they are extremely gentle, and can be used to cure a number of skin disorders. Try using a serum at least 2 times a week after cleansing your skin but before applying moisturiser. The role of a serum is to prep the skin so it can better absorb moisturiser and eye creams, leaving skin quenched for the day. Apply just 2-3 drops into your hands, and dab onto the t-zone, cheeks and chin, or any other problem areas you have.

Exfoliate

Rather using an exfoliating scrub which could only disturb already sensitive skin, it’s much easier to exfoliate with a cotton cloth. Use a cleansing oil to remove your daily makeup and skincare, then run a cotton cloth or flannel under warm tap water. Gently remove any makeup with downward swipes, or leave the flannel over your face to open pores for a deep-treatment. This is a less abrasive way of exfoliating the face (and neck!), without using a harmful scrub which can cause redness and breakouts.

Moisturiser

Keep your skin feeling hydrated by applying an appropriate moisturiser for both morning and night. For the morning, use a lightweight formula with added SPF to keep your skin protected all day long. If your skin is acne-prone, there are many fragrance-free formulas which won’t clog your pores or disrupt established breakouts.

Before going to bed, use a rich moisturiser which will keep your skin hydrated while you sleep. This is extremely important since dehydrated skin needs constant attention – even when you think it doesn’t need it! Choose non-oily formulas which won’t leave your skin with a greasy residue the next morning.

Thermal water

Spritz your face with a thermal water to beat the heat, and keep skin hydrated for those hot summer days. Thermal water is perfect for dehydrated skin because it helps to keep pH levels consistent, and prevents breakouts if you’re acne-prone. Keep a small bottle in your handbag and spray every time your face needs some additional moisture throughout the day, or on a long plane trip.

How do you treat dehydrated skin? Let us know of your tips below.

Image via Veooz

What is The 12 Step Korean Skincare Routine?

Just imagine applying twelve different products on your skin every morning and evening – sounds a little excessive, doesn’t it?

This basically describes the 12 Step Korean Skincare Routine which brightens skin and creates a soft, supple visage that hardly ever breaks out.

We will take you step-by-step into this misunderstood skincare treatment, which can take up to one hour!

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Step 1: Cleanse I

Remove your makeup with a mild cleansing solution (usually a gel), or a micellar cleansing water. Take care around your eyes, and don’t forget the neck!

Step 2: Cleanse II

Double-cleansing is also popular in the western world, so use an overall facial cleanser to remove any residue left by your moisturiser and makeup.

Step 3: Exfoliate

To allow your skin to take in the products better, use a gentle exfoliator. This will also help to eliminate dry and flaky skin from your face.

Step 4: Tone

Apply just a few drops of your favourite toner onto a cotton pad, and press over your nose, cheeks and forehead. This helps to remove dirt from the skin, and minimise pores.

Step 5: Essence

Usually a toner with added emulsion, this helps to keep skin looking soft and moist. Apply a few drops onto your hands, and press over the skin.

Step 6: Eye cream

Apply an eye cream around your eyes, and press lightly with your ring finger. Avoid tugging at the skin, since this will only tear the delicate area.

Step 7: Treatment I

Use a brightening treatment under your eyes to improve the texture of your skin, and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

Step 8: Treatment II

Follow with a regenerating night serum which locks in moisture, and keeps skin looking hydrated and healthy.

Step 9: Moisturiser

Seal your previous skincare treatments by applying a light moisturiser all over your face and neck. Choose one with a hyaluronic ingredient to keep your skin super-soft.

Step 10: Mask

A sheet mask is a great way to give your entire face a deep-conditioning treatment. Relax, and leave the sheet on for 10-15 minutes. Once your time is up, apply any excess product onto your neck.

Step 11: Night moisturiser

Apply a night moisturiser all over your skin and wait for it to completely settle. This may take a few minutes.

Step 12: Sleeping pack

A sleeping pack is essentially a light cream which sets all the previous treatments, and keeps them from evaporating while you sleep.

You’re done!

Would you try the 12 Step Korean Skincare Treatment?

Image via ELLE

Skincare Benefits of Cucumber

If you like treating your skin to homemade masks and cleansing solutions every few months, then you’re aware of the benefits of cucumber. Not only are they super-easy to find (every supermarket and green grocer sells them), but they work miracles on tired and inflamed skin types.

Create your own signature face mask or complete skincare treatment in just 5 minutes using a few of our suggestions below.

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Pore minimising

Reduce the appearance of your pores (especially if you suffer from oily skin), with this natural treatment. Equal parts of fresh yoghurt and mashed cucumber makes a cooling face mask which gives amazing results.

Swollen eyes

Just place two cucumber slices over your eyes to transform your swollen, tired eyes. The water weight in a cucumber is enough to replenish your eyes, and leave them feeling firm soft to the touch.

Redness

Juice three cucumbers and strain away the pulp so you’re left with just the liquid. Apply onto your entire face to soothe red and inflamed skin. If your skin feels tight, simply wash-off with a mild cleanser, and apply a toning solution to diminish your pores. Follow-up with a moisturiser to lock-in the hydration.

Fade freckles

Have you spent too much time in the sun lately? Grated cucumber naturally reduces the appearance of prominent freckles anywhere on the body. This is a safe way to improve the complexion of your skin, without using harmful chemicals.

Sunburn

Sliced cucumbers are a great way to relieve painful sunburn (especially if you have blisters – eek!) Cucumbers provide a cooling effect on dried skin, and will speed up the healing process.

Image via Lifehacker

How To Naturally Minimize Your Pores

Large pores are very common for teenagers or even women in their late 30s. The most popular areas include over the nose, directly under the bottom lip near the chin, and even on the forehead.

Have you ever wanted to minimize your pores without resorting to expensive treatments? Follow our tips and tricks to say bye-bye to irritating pores on your skin!

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What are pores?

Pores first begin as tiny hair follicles found in the skin. Although, when exposed to oil, dirt, and an inconsistent skincare regime, pores can often become clogged and appear bigger than they actually are.

Apple cider toner

The thought of applying apple cider to the face is enough to make you cringe in horror – but it’s really not that bad! Mix 30ml of apple cider and 2 tablespoons of mint leaves until you have infused a fine liquid serum. It’s better to let it marinate in a glass bottle for a few days, but is also great if made fresh.

Use as a toner and apply with a cotton pad over the nose, forehead, and chin to unclog blocked pores.

Steam

A gentle dose of steam over the face is enough to open the pores and unclog problem areas without causing additional damage to the skin. Simply boil a pot of water, take it off the stove, and put your face over the hot steam.

Make sure to keep your head 30-40cm away from the water itself, and use a towel to contain the steam to your face. After just a few minutes, the steam will help to open pores and de-clog dirt and oil locked into the skin.

Sugar scrub

Combine one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of sugar, and a few drops of lemon juice into a small container. Mix until you have a fine paste, then carefully apply to your problem areas (making sure to keep the mixture away from your eyes). Leave on for 3-5 minutes then wash off with lukewarm water.

If you will be using lemon in your skincare routine, it is important to note that you should limit your exposure to the sun. Lemon does make the skin more prone to sun damage, so stay out of the sun right after using this treatment, and keep your skin hydrated with a rich moisturising day and night cream.

Image via Beauty Heaven

A-Z of Cosmeceutical Skincare

We’ve come a long way, lady, from the days when cold cream and rosewater were the biggest guns in the skincare arsenal.

Harnessing the power of science, over the past decade “ cosmeceuticals” have changed the entire landscape of skincare, arming us with clinically proven weapons against (and for the prevention of) lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and other signs of skin damage and ageing.

Australian experts have been at the forefront of this revolution, no doubt driven by our harsh climate and a generation of sun-worshipping Baby Boomers paying the price for the unwitting follies of their youth, seeking solutions.

But the cosmeceutical industry has also become a dizzying minefield of ABCs and A-Zincs of vitamins, minerals, peptides, ceramides, microbial technology, rare and exotic marine and botanical extracts to ingredients from Icelandic volcanic soil … and blah, blah and blah.

What to choose? What works? How does it work? What works with what? Will it work on me? These are but a few of the questions on consumers’ minds when deciding how to spend what are not insignificant prices for “miracle” formulations.

SheSaid asked a leader in the cosmeceuticals industry, Australian biomedical scientist and cosmetic chemist Terri Vinson, founder of Synergie Minerals and Synergie Skin, to make it simple:

“Most over-the-counter (OTC) products are created for a budget and often more money is spent by the manufacturer on marketing and packaging than the contents on the bottle!” she says.

“Consumers are now becoming aware of the media hype and are savvier than ever in understanding ingredients.”

This is her advice for choosing your basic cosmeceuticals and how to use them wisely:

Prepare your skin for active ingredients with a gentle cleanser: “Since a cleanser is a wash-off product and only in contact with the skin surface for less than 30 seconds, adding active ingredients is not logical. Save your precious actives for products that remain on the skin.” After massaging cleanser into your skin for maximum removal of makeup and dirt, remove with a face washer (don’t be too rough with it) or splashing clean with tepid water.

For day, apply a Vitamin C serum (or L-ascorbic acid powder mixed with a water-based serum immediately before use) under your moisturiser and/or sunscreen. It assists with sun defence, as well as helping clarify the complexion, addressing pigmentation and brightening. However, not all vitamin C serums are created equal, according to Terri. For more detail, visit www.synergieskin.com

The most important skin care product of all is sunscreen – of the high SPF, broad-spectrum variety used every day, rain or shine, all year round. Luckily we live in an age where these abound, are eminently affordable and can come combined as a moisturiser, foundation, BB or CC cream. Apply over face, neck and “dec” (decolletage). “Sunscreen is your primary insurance policy against environmental ageing,” says Terri.

For PM skincare, remove the day’s makeup and dirt with a gentle cleanser. Apply a Vitamin A serum over face, neck and dec and wait for three minutes. Vitamin A encourages cellular turnover for firmer, more youthful-looking skin. Again, not all “A”s are top of the grade. Check out Synergie’s site for more info. “World-renowned [US] dermatologist Professor Leslie Baumann states that mixing [retinol] with acids, particularly chemical exfoliants, results in its chemical breakdown and ineffectiveness.

The next step is to apply Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) over the same areas. B3 helps boost skin hydration and reduce pigmentation. Contrary to a lot of advice out there, Terri urges that niacinamide serums should not be used at the same time as L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), lactic, glycolic or salicylic acid-based products for the same reason as not combing them with Vitamin A.

Follow with a nourishing moisturiser for overnight regeneration.

“Formulating cosmeceutical skincare is based on complex chemistry,” Terri concludes. “It’s not simply throwing together various active ingredients and expecting a result. Any cosmetic formulator must respect and have a deep understanding of how ingredients interact with human cells, how ingredients react with each other and clinical data to support scientific claims.”

Have you tried cosmeceutical skincare? What are your favourite products?

We Review Infini Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation

Non-surgical facial rejuvenation technologies have ramped up several notches with the introduction of Infini, and a clinical study claiming it is up to 49 percent as effective as a surgical facelift.

As little as 10 years ago the answer to sagging facial contours and wrinkled, lax skin was a choice between the scalpel or ageing graciously. Then non-surgical rejuvenation technologies came along and revolutionised the face of ageing.

Devices harnessing energy sources such as light (laser), radiofrequency and ultrasound allowed consumers to achieve a firmer, younger-looking appearance without the invasiveness of surgery, its expense and the healing downtime involved.

This, in turn, allowed them to prolong the need for cosmetic plastic surgery (if that was ever on their radar) or avoid it altogether.

Now non-surgical facial rejuvenation has ramped up several notches with Infini, a treatment described as “3D Micro-Needling Fractional Radio Frequency (MFR)”.

A clinical study conducted among 499 participants in five countries showed that Infini could be up to 49 percent as effective as a surgical facelift.

When asked to trial Infini at cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson’s Sydney clinic (the first in Australia with the technology), I wasn’t exactly skeptical but, as a specialist writer in cosmetic anti-ageing for more than five years (and with a great personal interest in subject for years prior to that), I have heard my share of extravagant product claims.

I have also had a number of non-surgical facial firming/rejuvenating treatments over the years. While they certainly made a difference, it was of the subtle kind that attracted comments from others like “you look well – have you been on holidays?” rather than seeing it for myself in the mirror. Because the improvements are gradual, over a period of 3-6 months as collagen in the dermis is regenerated, it’s hard to see these changes for yourself.

After the first session of Infini (two down, one to go), I began to notice distinct improvements within about two weeks. It wasn’t that I was staring in the mirror watching for results – it was catching random glimpses of myself in glass reflections (the latter are way worse than mirrors as they tend to exaggerate every groove and depression. Or maybe they just tell the plainer truth!).

The hollows under my eyes appeared less … well … hollow, my jawline seemed firmer and my mouth corners not so ☹. In the mirror my skin looked fresher. Llnes weren’t as pronounced around my eyes and pigmented patches were lighter. Overall my complexion looked and felt more hydrated and it absorbed product more effectively.

My skin is definitely improving all the time and I still have one session to go. I’m told I’ll see optimal results 3-6 months after my final treatment.

One not-so-great by-product is that the intensive process of cell renewal generated by Infini seems to have dislodged all the murky stuff that lay beneath and brought it to the surface. For about a month I was getting breakouts, particularly around my chin and lip area. I’m told this is a good thing and a sign Infini is doing its work. Thankfully the eruptions have now subsided but I delayed my final Infini treatment as a result.

So, what is Infini? 

Non-surgical rejuvenation technologies using radiofrequency (RF) heat the dermis (the second of the skin’s three layers) to stimulate the production of new collagen and, so, renew and tighten the skin. Because RF doesn’t affect the epidermis (surface of the skin) there’s no way of telling what effect it is having underneath if the setting is too high – until it’s too late and the patient is burnt.

By using a “micro-needling” handpiece that creates fractional micro-holes in epidermis, higher levels of RF can be delivered to the dermis with more predictable results than RF used alone. Micro-needling is also well documented to generate production of new collagen in its own right.

This all means more dramatic results. It also meant my face was left beetroot red immediately after treatment, and it took up to a day for the red-pink blush to fully subside. But more of that in shortly…

What does an Infini treatment involve?

I was told there could be pain or discomfort, but I’ve heard that before. Yeah, yeah. yeah. I consider myself an aficionado of these treatments and, combined with extensive corrective dental work over the years, have a high pain threshold.

So maybe I was just too cocky. I won’t lie…it hurt. Quite a bit.

After two applications of numbing cream at 20-minute intervals, Hannah, my designated therapist, got down to biz. There were to be three “passes” over my face and upper neck of decreasing intensity. Hannah started on my forehead and worked down (with extra attention to the droopiest and most lined areas), along systematic lines. On each “line” there were up to five short, sharp pulses of micro-needles delivering RF.

Each pulse of the first “pass” jolted me and I asked for micro-breaks. The second pass was easier and by the third it was bearable. It was all over in about 30 minutes.

Redness is an oft-cited side effect of skin rejuvenation treatments. I’ve rarely suffered any but in this case it was no lie, either. My face was bright red (mainly the result of the micro-needling) but fortunately the clinic recommended Synergie Minerals’ Mineralwhip Antioxidant Cream Foundation as the ultimate post-procedure cover-up. Although light and silky, it covered the redness so no one could tell I’d had anything done. I went straight on to a meeting.

My skin was still a bit red, then pink for a day after each of my two sessions so far and felt somewhat dry and flaky for up to a week.

Is Infini for you?

Dr Hogdkinson says Infini is ideal for those concerned by moderate signs of facial drooping and skin laxity who aren’t ready for, or want to avoid cosmetic surgery.

“However, if a patient has passed a certain point, I will recommend they save their money for when they are ready to have a surgical rejuvenation procedure,” he says. “Otherwise they will be wasting their money and I don’t condone that.”

Although I found Infini … uncomfortable … I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it in light of the results I have achieved so far. No pain, no gain as the cliché goes.

I would, however, advise accepting the offer of a pre-procedure painkiller or sedative (in that event, make sure you have a lift organised home, or get a taxi)!

You don’t have to go the “whole hog”, either, as I did. Patients can have either the superficial RF or the micro-needling as individual treatments. This is ideal for younger patients and those who just want a subtle boost.

What anti-ageing treatments have you tried and loved (or hated!). Tell us in the comments!

6 of the Best New Age Facials

Facials aren’t what they used to be – thank goodness! It’s no longer enough to be pampered. We want real results, and there’s something for every skin.

While blissful, traditional pampering facials really don’t do much for the skin beyond a fleeting after-glow. With huge advances in rejuvenating and corrective skincare technology, women now expect to see visible, ongoing results from solutions-driven facial treatments.

SheSaid looks at six of the best facial treatments, whether to give your face a boost for festive season frolics – or to recover from them! (Prices and treatment protocols may vary according to the location).

PRIORI® CoffeeBerry Yoga Facial with Omnilux Light Therapy
Equal parts pampering and potent. The treatment starts with a blissful “yoga” massage of the arms, hands, neck, décolletage and scalp. Next comes a cleanse, exfoliating peel, facial massage and mask using Priori CoffeeBerry products. CoffeeBerry extract is the most potent form of natural antioxidants of any fruit, vegetable or tea – indeed, it’s three times more potent than green tea. Priori products are also free of parabens and petro chemicals. The Yoga Facial improves hydration for anti-ageing benefits such as a visible reduction of lines,  wrinkles and pigmentation and refines skin texture for a smoother, more radiant complexion. You won’t recognise yourself afterwards (I barely could!). The Yoga Facial may be followed by Omnilux Light Therapy for around 20 minutes, a non-invasive treatment that helps boost skin regeneration with no downtime.

Visit www.spauniverse.com.au for a salon near you.

Eminence Firm Skin Facial
For people who want real results from products without chemicals, the Firm Skin Facial starts with a thorough cleansing and enzymatic peeling using “active organics”. This stimulates blood flow, transporting fresh nutrients and oxygen into the tissue. There is a lot of active product application and a great “organic Botox” massage that combines some facial muscle manipulation with lymphatic drainage. The skin looks immediately lifted, firmer and more hydrated. The “holiday glow” has lasted up to a week in my experience, using home care products from the Hungarian range to maximise results. Firm Skin Facial is particularly effective for anti-ageing, hydrating and detoxifying.

Call 1800 142 182 or www.eminenceorganics.com.au

Ariane Inden Personalised Facial Treatments
An Ariane Inden facial starts with a computer analysis of your skin’s condition to determine the percentage of moisture and sebum. A treatment is then prescribed according to which one of the 32 skin types you are, as identified by the Dutch-based skin care company.

These are based on eight skin characteristics (Tired, Stressed, Acne, Wrinkles, Sensitive and allergic, Thick Skin, Thin and couperose, Perfect and beautiful) and four skin conditions: (low moisture/high natural sebum; high moisture/low natural sebum; low moisture/low natural sebum; high moisture/ high natural sebum). All facial treatments use high concentrations of anti-ageing vitamins A, C and E. There is a big emphasis on face, neck and shoulder massage (sublime!) to promote better blood flow and infuse the tissues with youth-giving oxygen.

You float out of the clinic looking radiant – but only after a complimentary makeup session and armed with a menu suggestion of ideal home care products.

While high tech, Ariane Inden products are hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested (not on animals), do not contain animal ingredients and are available scented and unscented, without colouring agents.

Call 02 8964 7005; www.facebook.com/arianeindenaustralia

MEDIK8 “Lunchtime” Facial Peel Treatments
High performance British cosmeceutical clinical and home skincare range Medik8 has “lunchtime” acid and enzyme peels for different conditions that leave skin looking younger, clearer and more radiant, with increased hydration and elasticity. During treatment, there may the sensation of tingling or even mild stinging for a few minutes, but there is no redness or peeling afterwards, so no downtime. Skin continues to improve after treatment. Depending on your preference and practitioner, the peels may be combined with massages or masks.

There is Superfacial, to pep up dull skin, White Peel to help lighten pigmentation, Age Peel to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and imperfections, Eye Peel to improve tone, texture and plumpness around the vulnerable eye area (also good for upper lip, decolletage and backs of hands) and Beta Peel to combat and help prevent future occurrences of acne, breakouts and congestion.

Call Advanced Cosmeceuticals on 1800 242 011 or visit www.medik8.com.au

Clear + Brilliant
Designed to fill the space between a microdermabrasion and more aggressive laser treatments such as Fraxel, Clear + Brilliant can be used as a one-off treatment for younger-looking, more radiant skin before a special event or over a course of treatments for longer term youth-giving improvements. It’s not a pamper fest, let’s get that straight. Numbing cream is applied and then the laser device is moved over the face in precise areas in meticulous strokes (simultaneously with cold air for comfort). There may be a sensation of slight, warm prickles or even of getting sunburnt. Skin can look pink to red for up to a day afterwards and feel a bit dry, so Clear + Brilliant needs to be planned ahead. It’s ideal perfect for those who want to refresh their skin, or are looking to prevent the signs of ageing (or both!). It’s is designed for all skin types, colour and age, even people in their 20s.  You will see results immediately and more as time goes on.

Visit www.clearandbrilliant.com/consumer/find-a-doctor

Luminiere Microdermabrasion, Peel and Omnilux Facial Treatment
A Luminiere microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to deeply exfoliate the build-up of dead cells that contribute to conditions from breakouts to dullness and fine lines. Products used afterwards will penetrate more effectively to enhance results. Microdermabrasion also improves lymphatic drainage and circulation for a clearer, brighter complexion. It sounds scratchy but in fact it is a very soothing, almost massage-like experience as the therapist systematically works the microdermabrasion device over the face.

A light chemical peel follows to remove the top layers of skin and help stimulate collagen production and combat the signs of sun damage. The type used at Luminiere will be completely dependent on your skin type and concerns. You may feel a tingling, or even mild stinging sensation for a few minutes as the peel works its magic.

Omnilux Light Therapy follows to stimulate the body’s natural process to heal and rejuvenate the skin. You glow!

Call 1300 586 000 or www.luminiere.com.au

What’s your favourite facial treatment? Share it in the comments!

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