The following are the 5 major types of alpha-hydroxy acids found in skincare products and their sources:
- glycolic acid – sugar cane
- lactic acid – milk
- malic acid – apples and pears
- citric acid – oranges and lemons
- tartaric acid – grapes
Recommended by dermatologists, Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is currently one of the most innovative skincare products on the market.
Available in three different strengths including 0.1% retrinal (French for retinol) which is currently the highest amount of retrinal available in an over-the-counter product. The lowest strength is 0.025%, which is where someone who has never used a retrinal product should begin. Classified as dermo-cosmetics, Avène Rétrinal Skin Care products are considered to be cutting edge skincare with a medical approach to skincare.
Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is quite effective for a couple of reasons. The product is a form of Vitamin A which through clinical studies has been proven to improve elasticity, radiance and skin texture – as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. You will get the normal side effects with any retrinal/retinol product – skin sensitivity, peeling, dry skin. But it is all well-worth the end result. Clear, glowing, firm skin.
The easy to apply product should be applied to the face and neck after cleansing. As with all anti-aging products it is imperative that broad-spectrum sunscreen be used at all times when exposed to the sun.
I have used many retinol/retrinal products, over-the-counter and prescription – this is by far the best over-the-counter product I have used.
Heat things up with Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm. This rich dark balm dissolves anything standing in it’s way. Enriched with vitamins and nutrients, this is the first cleanser I have used that feels more like a treatment than everyday essential.
Omorovicza, pronounced (omoro-veet-za) is a luxury skincare line derived from the healing waters of Hungary. The Thermal Cleansing Balm revitalizes skin with the use of Hungarian Moor Mud. This mud has been around for 2,000 years and used in Hungary’s thermal baths. Five years ago, Margaret and Stephen de Heinrich de Omorovicza began using this ancient healing resource in their skin care system. Rich in minerals and nutrients like calcium and magnesium carbonates, the balm draws out impurities from the pores and decongests the skin. Skin is left squeaky clean – sans ‘squeak,’ radiant and ultra-moisturzied.
To use, scoop a small dime-sized amount with the provided spatula (a little goes a long way). Warm the dark-colored balm up in your hands until the color fades a bit and start working in circular motions on your cheeks. The Thermal Cleansing Balm feels slightly warming on the skin and smells of orange blossom. The solid balm breaks down to an oil texture which creates a wonderful lubricant for a facial massage. Work the balm around your face and neck and gently on the eye area. If using the product at night time, simply wipe off with muslin cloth or washcloth – leaving the oils and minerals behind as a treatment for the skin. For additional pampering – use a heated muslin cloth or washcloth. When using for daytime, wash-off with water, as makeup will not stand a chance against the moisturizing oils.
I added Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm to my Holy Grail list because like I said before, this product feels more like a treatment for the skin rather than a vehicle to cleanse the skin. This award-winning balm is gentle but effective and leaves the skin positively glowing and silky-smooth.
Awarded ‘Best Anti-Aging Cleanser’ by Harper’s Bazaar.
Awarded ‘Gentle Purifier’ by Glamour Magazine; “a glossy, rich balm that cleanses without stripping skin.”
With a legion of loyal followers and touted as “a facial in a jar,” I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. Designed for behind-the-scenes use in Hollywood’s entertainment, music, fashion & award show industries, GLAMGLOW Mud Mask was created to achieve immediate camera-ready, glowing skin.
GLAMGLOW’s patent pending continuous time-release technology TEAOXI® delivers ‘Super-Squalene’ and ‘EGCG Super-Antioxidants’ directly into the mud, supplying the skin with nutrients and free-radical protection. It also contains volcanic pumice rock, French sea clay and pieces of green tea that miraculously make skin look healthy in just 10 minutes. It activates moisturizing collagen synthesis, a gentle resurfacing exfoliation, and helps to leave skin smoother, brighter, and softer. The French sea clay absorbs impurities without removing natural oils, shrinks pores and tightens the skin creating a more youthful appearance.
When applying the mask, you will feel a gentle tingling effect, which I found to be very refreshing. This magical mud is a dark charcoal grey hue and has tiny grain-like scrubbers that gently exfoliate during application. The mask will harden on the face and turn to a lighter shade of grey. As soon as you remove the mask, the effects are visible. GLAMGLOW leaves the skin feeling fresh, clean and tight, but not dry. Skin appears healthy and glowing.
Declared a Neiman Marcus Beauty Award Winner for 2012, GLAMGLOW is a wonderful quick-fix for a big night out or when skin is just feeling dull or lifeless.
Skincare 101: The skin’s moisture levels are controlled by lipids, oily substances produced by the epidermis (outer layer of skin). An epidermis that is deficient in lipids allows water to escape from the skin and evaporate, causing dryness. Chilly temperatures, cold winds, low humidity, and dry indoor heat cause water to evaporate from the skin because there is more water in your skin than in the air. Combat winter skin with nourishing and hydrating skincare.
In the winter, we need to add products to our skincare regime that protect from the harsh elements. If you are still using your normal, summertime, lightweight moisturizer, bump it up to a more emollient one. boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF 15 is an advanced cream that delivers continuous moisture to reverse dryness, help diminish the appearance of uneven skin tone and dullness, and restore luminosity and brightness. This cream additionally provides SPF 15 protection, which is essential for the prevention of future damage from harmful UVA/UVB rays and other environmental stresses.
Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF 15 contains a highly-effective proprietary botanical formula:
boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF 15 is by far the most hydrating daytime cream I have ever used. The gel-like consistency quickly absorbs into the skin and feels amazingly nourishing. TRUTH: If the bottle did not say “SPF 15” – I would never believe it contained sun protection. There is no trace of white residue or heavy, overwhelming texture. This cream does not make the face look shiny or slick, but healthy and glowing.
Win the battle against winter skin with boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF 15.
I am always on the look-out for new and innovative products. I have a strong obsession (borderline neurosis) with international skincare. From French pharmacies to Asian markets, there is always a treasure to be found.
Dedicated to his lifelong goal of satisfying patients, Dr. Jart combined his medical background with a team of 21 skilled dermatologists to develop his eponymous skincare brand. Based in Korean, the line that consists of targeted cosmeceuticals that not only make the skin look good but also deliver long-term benefits. Free of controversial sulfates, petrochemicals, artificial dyes and fragrances, the Dr. Jart+ brand is continuously reinventing skincare.
I recently tried and tested Dr. Jart+ Renewalist Melting Cream. As the name suggests, this innovative moisturizer melts deep into the skin, renewing it’s natural luster. Formulated with moringa oil, argan oil and jojoba oil, this moisturizer delivers soothing hydration. It contains antioxidants to improve elasticity and platol white-c complex to brighten the skin. A clever addition to this product is the use of sebum-controlling powder. This will help control excess oils in the skin without clogging pores and qualifies this product to work as both a moisturizer and a primer.
The unique texture of this product is what makes it one-of-a-kind. It presents itself as a solid, balm-like consistency. A tiny spatula is provided to scoop-out the needed amount and as the product comes in contact with body heat – it melts seamlessly into the skin. The product absorbs quickly, penetrating deep into the skin’s layers with no greasiness or heavy residuals. It leaves the skin fresh, silky and radiant.
The Dr. Jart+ brand is available in the US at your local Sephora.
NARS Gaiety is my current perfect pink blush. It creates the perfect youthfulness and will instantly brighten your day… and complexion.
Described as a “bright candy pink,” the cool-toned pink has a strong blue-base. The buildable color allows for a sheer wash of color on the cheeks or layer for a bold pink flush. The color is matte with tiny specks of silver sparkle, that when applied offers a soft subtle sheen – perfect for the apples of the cheeks.
NARS blushes are long-lasting and true to color. I love Gaiety in the summer, when tanned/bronzed skin needs a flush of color. The contrast of the warm tan and cool pink reflects youthfulness and fun.
There is often a misconception about the use of oil on the face. I believe that the term “oil-free” has brainwashed us to reject these magnificent moisturizers. Face oils can be more effective at hydrating the skin than a cream or gel-based moisturizer. Oil is able to sink to the surface of the skin and penetrate two of the five layers of the epidermal, producing quicker results. They nourish the skin, adding powerful vitamins and antioxidants, and help balance the skin’s natural oil production.
The best face oils are all-natural products made from pure oils and other plant-based ingredients. If a product combines oil with synthetic fillers, it looses it’s effectiveness. Here are my four favorites:
Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil: Formulated with an aromatic blend of 11 essential oils, this opulent oil relies on flowers and botanicals for their calming and illuminating properties. A staple of many top pros and makeup artists, this oil can be used to take makeup off, to moisturize and as a massage oil (expensive massage oil?). Add a couple drops to foundation to create a dewy finish or pat on the cheekbones and undereyes for a beautiful, fresh glow. Just a few drops will make your skin look radiant. Use as an alternate or supplement to your moisturizer and apply whenever your face needs a pick-me-up.
Creator, Linda Rodin spent over a year mixing oils in her bathroom (in a coffee cup) to make the elixir to satisfy all her beauty needs. She does not promise miracles–she is neither a chemist nor a scientist. She is interested in simple, natural products that work. In her own words, “the product makes skin look more alive”.
SUTI Nourish Organic Face Oil for Night: A potent blend of 15 plant and flower extracts that strengthen the skin and promotes the regrowth of skin cells while you sleep. Formulated with Avocado, Sesame, Patchouli and Bergamot to heal, replenish and plump-up dehydrated skin; Macadamia and Geranium to balance the production of sebum (the skin’s natural oil production) for healthy moisture retention; Argan Oil to calm irritated, inflamed and blemished skin and Apricot Kernel to help promote dermal elasticity. This combination is intensively “nourish”-ing, luxurious, and smells of fragrant jasmine. Skin looks glowing, bright and plump in the morning, like you’ve just had a wonderful night’s sleep.
SUTI is created by two sister-in-laws Suzannah and Tina (the “Su” and “Ti”). SUTI is a small, impeccably crafted line from the UK that uses only sustainably sourced, organically grown ingredients, hand-blended into the finest and gentlest of facial oils, balms and tonics.
Alpha-H Age Delay Facial Oil: A preventative and corrective solution formulated with nine of nature’s finest oils: Apricot Oil for it’s protection and softening properties; Rose Hip Oil to repair and strengthen: Wheat Germ to nourish; Calendula to regenerate; Carrot Oil to improve skin texture and miximize moisture levels; Frankincense for it’s firming and toning benefits; German Chamomile to soothe; Lavender to heal; Patchouli to aid in repairing cells and balance the skin. This facial oil is a synergistic mix that works to slow the aging process by protecting the skin against free radical damage, repair cell damage and sun damage. Deeply hydrates and firms the skin for instant, noticeable results. Your skin will drink this oil up and immediately feel soothed and nourished.
Australia’s leading professional salon treatment brand, Alpha-H pioneered the use of fruit acids in skin care nearly 20 years ago. Their cult cosmeceutical formulas are endorsed by a global following of clinicians, make-up artists and beauty writers and are relied upon by thousands of therapists worldwide for their fast and visible results on signs of ageing, sun damage, sensitivity and acne.
BEST OF THE BEST: Xen-Tan Absolute Gold
Xen-Tan Absolute Gold is my Summer 2012 winner for best self-tanning product. In just one application this self-tanner produces a rich, deep, olive-based tan that lasts.
The luxurious formula contains a color guard made of 24K gold leaf. Usually, I am not a fan of color guards. I believe them to be unnecessary and the reason behind messy application. However, the gold sheen in this product is very flattering and subtle. It dries nicely and does not rub-off on clothing or bed linens.
Enriched with Shea Butter, Absolute Gold is incredibly moisturizing – which is why, I believe, it lasts so long. The rich lotion feels very pampering on the skin and does not stick to stubborn dry patches. It absorbs into the skin very quickly, which cuts out drying time, but forces application to be speedy. The formula contains Xen-Tan’s innovative “Scent Secure” – a ground-breaking technology that blocks out self-tan (DHA) odor. And has a sweet vanilla scent, that reminds me of yummy marzipan.
For an easy, single-application, luxurious-feeling, natural-looking dark tan – you need to try Xen-Tan Absolute Gold.
Read my post on: Application Tips & Tricks
BEST DRUGSTORE SELF-TANNER: Jergens Natural Glow Express
Jergens Natural Glow Express is a gradual self-tanning lotion that delivers hydration, dark color and leaves skin glowing. Even better… it is available at the drugstore.
Formulated with antioxidants, this thick lotion has the same consistency of a body butter. It is available in two shades: Fair to Medium and Medium to Tan. The Fair to Medium is much too light and develops a yellow-based tan. In just one to two applications, the Medium to Tan creates a natural-looking, dark tan. It leaves a nice sheen on the skin and reflects a healthy-glow.
This lotion has a slight “self-tanner” smell but nothing too evasive. It can be mixed with your favorite moisturizer to mask the scent and extend the life of the small 4 oz tube. I have used this product for years and always bring a bottle when I travel. It is quick and easy and I never worry about streaks or stains.This gradual tanner will extend and preserve the life of your tan all summer long.
Read my post: Application Tips & Tricks
Achieve glowing skin instantly with this shimmering body lotion that lasts all day. The bronzer to the stars, Scott Barnes Body Bling, is a no-commitment illuminator, that washes off with soap and water. Glow & Go.
Scott Barnes is a celebrated makeup artist credited for creating gorgeous looks for his numerous celebrity clients. His most popular look coined “the glow” was created on Jennifer Lopez. This monochromatic look features bronze glowing skin and pale lips. His signature look became known as “lit from within” and launched the world famous shimmering bronzer, Body Bling.
Use Body Bling on your shoulders, arms, legs, décolletage for a flawless look from head to toe. It’s great for masking self-tanning streaks or mistakes, covering flaws and instantly toning and slimming arms and legs. It is easy to apply and feels moisturizing on the skin.
Scott Barnes Body Bling is a must-have for summer. This lotion looks amazing on-top of already tanned (fake or real) skin. It is not dark enough to replace your other self-tanning products, but will look incredible in conjunction with. With specks of gold shimmer that reflect light beautifully, everyone can create Scott Barnes signature “lit from within” look.
Nothing gets me more excited for summer than Bobbi Brown’s beach Fragrance. Layered with notes of jasmine, sea spray and mandarin, it is truly summer in a bottle.
An intoxicating combination of suntan lotion, salty sea and sand, the scent is comforting and nostalgic. The full line of Bobbi Brown’s beach Fragrance include: Body Lotion, Body Oil, Body Scrub, Shower Gel and Fragrance. The products are designed to keep skin glowing and hydrated all summer long. When layered, these products will also keep the fragrance locked-in for hours.
Use these products on a particularly gloomy day when you need a little pick-me-up. The refreshing scent will instantly recall memories of warm sunny days and a calm sea breeze.