Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Glycolic Acid Peels for a Home Run!

I am back and in full force. I've been sitting nicely away from all sorts of technology for the past month on a beach in Long Island, so now it's back to reality and back to posting some great beauty secrets for you!

So recently my friends have been asking me what I've been doing lately to my skin to make it even out so quickly and/or if a break out has subsided so quickly. Even though I have lots of tricks up my sleeve there is one thing I have incorporated into my routine for the last two moths and I am so excited to tell you about doing glycolic acid peels AT HOME.

Glycolic Acid Peel in A Nut Shell

What Glycolic Acid Peel does in a cliff notes version without me going into specifics is that it basically breaks down the surface cell layer. So lets pretend these cells at the surface are the glue that holds the skin together and basically the Glycolic Acid will penetrate that layer so that whatever was being held there like bacteria, dirt, grime is released... you can basically see it like a chemical exfoliate removing a skin layer that is holding all these nasty things.

Now these Glycolic Acid Peels come in certain percentages and the higher percentage the deeper the Peel can penetrate.... I believe 70% is the optimal industrial grade a glycolic acid peel comes in. This means that it is at its peak at which it can penetrate at its best working condition. I BELIEVE ANTHING HIGHER THAN 50% should be done at a skin care professionals office because many things can go wrong if not done properly again you are working with chemicals so please do research but done properly this is defiantly a rewarding treatment for your face

My Experience and Discovery of at home Glycolic Acid Peels


At first I had several glycolic acid peels done at my dermatologist's office, however it was getting to a point where it was becoming time consuming and much more expensive as they added up. They were however so effective at lighting my acne scars and healing my soon to be pimples I could not not do them for the sake of feeling my best.

Well that is until I needed to save money for my friends wedding and my trips for my summer that I did my research and found that you can safely do them at home! Now for those who has never ever done an Acid Peel at home I highly recommend you to seek a skin care professional, or ask the ladies at your favorite make up counter/spa/girlfriends/anyone who knows... basically gather all the necessary information before trying to do this at home because it is ACID you are putting on your face and we don't want something even worse to happen because Glycolic Acid Peels are not for every skin type!

I did 30%, 50% and 70% Glycolic Acid Peels at my dermatologist office and they ranged from $60-80 dollars a treatment. It was defiantly giving me the results I wanted but it was a hassle leaving work to get them done and as I got more it started to add up. So having done my research I told my dermo that I would like trying to get a kit to try at home, he was really encouraging in fact and said it was simple and he knew my skin reacted well to the treatment but told me I should first try the lowest  grade I did with him first which was 30% since it would be my first time handling it, he went even so far as giving me a sample of his and a small prep kit.

I was really excited but nervous to do the peel at home and at first  did it for a minute and increased the time after every application which was once a week then to twice a week after my 5th at home application. You can buy kits for as little as $20 it was insane and they last for 10+ treatments I couldn't believe it!

But I must caution anyone who wants to try this to first spot test it on their skin or consult a skin care professional. It is highly important to not make mistakes! It is a simple process but you need to do your research! I don't mean to come off as making you scared of this treatment it really is great for people who can tolerate it because the results are fantastic! It really works wonders for my skin and has really improved it to renew the cells of my skin 10x's faster!

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Two Step Cleansing and Why I am Hooked!

Cleansing is the most essential way to remove all of the environmental, biological... mess we adhere all day/night and I had my very first question emailed to me today so I am so excited to post the answer about my cleansers and my routine.

I used to just do a one step regular Cleansing but I found using two gentle products has helped me to more of a cleaner healthier skin. This especially works best for me when I wear foundation all day. So using a two step process is essential and applying a two step Cleansing routine really improves your skins over all health so I have seen in my skin especially since I am in my early 20s.

 

If you are platueing with a routine MOVE ON!

I used to use the Proactiv system and it helped control the "hormonal" acne in HS into College but I like many plateaued with the product well into 3 years of using it but I continued using it since I had no desire to really change any routine of mine. That is until after College and a good friend introduced me to the nourishing skin loving Mario Badescu products... unlike Proactiv which really tended to dry out my skin.

I really thought that it was normal for my skin to dry out after Cleansing which I found really harmed my skin. The Proactiv cleanser formula seemed to really break down the layer of my skin and I was treating it with the toner to balance the pH again and moisturizer provided by Proactiv to give it more moisture since it was dryed out but even that left me dry.
 

Two Step Cleansing


I wish I corrected my ways a lot sooner but I am glad that I know better now. I use low to neutral pH cleansers that don't cause harm but still is able to clean away a lot of the products I use in the day and all the oil build up.

First I use the Gentle Skin Cleanser by Cetaphil to remove the residue on my face and it really does a great job breaking down the oils from my foundation I wear during the day and it also isn't soapy or foamy. This is great because I won't have to worry about soap residue and it rinses off so easily.
I lightly splash water on my face and work this formula into my skin using my fingertips not rubbing hard but in a circular motion over my face almost as if I am only touching the product onto my face and then I rinse it off. I was asked if I used any cleansing tools and I used to use a Clarisonic and I had the prettiest baby pink Mia but I found my skin to be too sensitive which is a shame because it was such a pretty tool but it didn't work for me and sadly a terrible investment... instead I sometimes use a rubber cleansing pad like the one from Sephora that way you have control of the application and the pressure to your skin but normally my fingers do the trick just well enough! Just make sure of course to wash them before you touch your products or your face =).

Next I use Enzyme Cleansing Gel by Mario Badescu and I usually apply this on right after I rinse the Cetaphil cleanser, and work it in using a circular motion this formula doesn't foam either and removes any excess residue not removed by the Cetaphil cleanser. The Enzyme Cleansing Gel also has Papaya and Grapefruit Extracts for exfoliating and Alpha Hydroxy Acids that help prevent dulling build-up that can cause blackheads and pimples. These ingredients add extra benefits to my skin while cleansing. I follow up with MB Special Cucumber Lotion and an Oil Free SPF Moisturizer!

Tips on Toning Away

We all tone after cleansing to balance out the pH but I use low to neutral pH cleansers so I don't need to use any harsh toners. And I found that misting on my toner is a better way to do the balancing act. So save those cotton balls, cotton pads for removing your eye make up and nailpolish. Instead put your toner into a travel size spray bottle and mist it all over your face after cleansing. This will help soak into your skin, allows the properties of your cleansers to stay intact and saves you a lot more toner!


Extra Tips on Moisturizing and Cream Application

If you put on anything with your moisturizer at night like I do often... I first put on the lightweight serums or creams first so they get absorbed into my skin and follow up with my more heavier creams like an evening mask like the Wild Rose by Korres or Heavier Moisturizers like the Buttermilk Moisturizer by MB and the same rules apply for the morning. I first apply my topical treatment I am prescribed since it is the lightest weight and then a hydrating serum by MB and then my SPF moisturizer.




 

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Sleepy Eyes to Sleeping Beauty

EYE CREAMS

 
The windows to our soul need delicate loving and I for one have gone through my ups and downs with several products but I have found the balance that will ensure you to healthier looking glows in the morning and the diminishing appearance of dark circles!
 
The first product I have grown to love is Korres Evening Primrose Eye Cream. At first I thought it was greasy but I had come to find with this product a little goes a long way! The greasiness comes from the evening primrose oil from what I can gather. The evening primrose oil is really rich in fatty acids, which provides intense hydration while delicately nourishing the sensitive skin around our eyes. What I love so much about Korres products is that they are formulated without parabens or sulfates or dyes or petrochemicats or GMOs. I for one can tell you the appearance of the dark circles around my eyes had significantly improved after a week of evenings with this product!
Cons:
So it does have its cons because it can take a while but perfect skin for people battling the elements must be patient! This is also a product that can be harsh for people with very delicate or sensitive skin so apply a little if you know your skin to react sensitively to certain types of products! Always read the labels and always read more than one review and the best thing I can think of for you to do if you want to try this product and have sensitive skin is go to a store that sells it and ask for a sample or test it out on your skin rather then purchasing it unless it has a money back guarantee! My skin is pretty resilient to products and just soaks it up so it works great for me but everyone is different and so you need to do what is best for you!
For Usage:
I usually apply this right before bed a small pea size is all I need and I massage into the skin just below my eyes and on the lid! I use this specifically when my eyes have been feeling tired and honestly its one of those products that just does the trick
 
 

The next product I use daily now is surprise surprise a Ceramide Eye Gel from Mario Badescu. I don't have worries of aging but puffiness in the morning is a huge issue for me after long nights and short sleep... so what I do is I have this always sitting in my fridge and use a q-tip and apply it on the problem areas... if there is excess I use it on my lips and it is amazing what a job it does on my sensitive skin around my eyes
It is truly...
truly truly a sleeping beauty's aid =)
 




FROM THE SITE BELOW IS ALL THE USES AND BENEFITS
Improve the delicate eye skin’s hydration levels with our greaseless, lightweight eye gel formulated with softening Ceramides and nourishing Herbal Extracts. Diminishes puffiness and tired eyes. Store in the fridge for a soothing morning eye treatment.

How to Use: Pat a small amount of gel around and under eye area using the ring finger. Use twice daily for best results.

Beauty Tip: Use excess eye cream around delicate lip area as an emollient treatment. Using eye gel cool right out of the refrigerator relieves puffy, tired eyes.

Ingredients:
Ceramides (and) Cholesterol,Herbal Extract,Water,Glycerin,Silicone,Propylene Glycol,Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Methylparaben (and) Propylparaben,Triethanolamine
 

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Monday, June 17, 2013

My Adult Acne Nightmare and How I Survived!



This is really embarrassing to put out there but I know most of us at some point in our lives has suffered or is suffering from those pesky little mishaps that we cannot control ACNE! Whether it be genetics, environment.... I encourage you to never give up... there are solutions some chemical, some organic... Ask for help, seek advice, because you are not alone!

Wishing for flawless complexion has been a reach for me since I hit puberty but I overcame my fears and knew I was the only person who could change it if I wanted it that bad... so here is my story and I really hope this will help you out in some way!
 
Acne became present in my life right when womanhood came knocking. I had my first zit around homecoming in high school and I remember wanting to die and not wanting to leave the house. So after begging and begging my mom finally took me to our family doctor who prescribed me a topical treatment called benzaclin which uses the active ingredients benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin. I used this morning and night. My routine then was to wash my face with a normal gentle cleanser then a non-alcohol toner and lastly the benzaclin and during the day I would use a moisturizer with SPF. This process took about three whole months till it started to actually work so patience then was super hard but my doctor kept telling me over and over again to give it time and it paid off because my skin was looking better and my confidence grew back. I went from being paralyzed by Acne to being empowered and after 2 years on it my skin was almost like its old self again. So in Senior year I thought I'd ditch that routine and use a normal 3 step system. Probably the worst mistake I made... 
 
I thought my battle with acne was over after high school, Since 3 years total on the benzaclin I thought my acne was cured... after all Senior year I never had a major breakout and in college I'd have a blemish that would appear here and there usually around my time of the month, so I was always prepared and had my secret lavender oil to dab on to an almost emerging pimple to lessen any inflammation and to reduce redness which really helped! However after completing college and I entered the real world... Stress was at an all time high...
 
I got a new job, I had more bills to pay, more responsibilities, student loans, maintaining relationships, and completing tasks was mounting and my skin felt all that pressure and just lost it and did something I thought I'd never ever have to deal with again, I broke out!
 
I tried not to panic but it was hard to come to terms that I was having acne issues at 22! So after moping and groaning, I sucked it up and made an appointment with a dermatologist. He was super helpful and told me my options I told him my story and he put me on benzaclin since it had worked for me in the past. When he was there he also treated my already present acne with cortisone shots which sped up the healing process. But after 3 months of being on benzaclin again it did not seem to be working on my new acne it was just the same and this made me so depressed and discouraged.
 
At my follow up with my dermo, he tried to reassure me that he was there to help, he gave me options on taking oral pills or trying a new aggressive topical treatment regimen and gave me the side affects of each. I was apprehensive about taking any pill form since I knew there would be a chance of long term effects. So I opted to try a new topical treatment regimen which consisted of Sodium Sulfacetamide , Sulfur lotion for the Morning and Tretinoin 0.1% Cream in the Evening (SUPER IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW YOUR DERMOS RULES EACH MEDICATION HAS SENSITIVITES AND READ LABELS ON MEDICATION BEFORE USAGE). I did each after my cleansing and toning, the topical treatment, followed by moisturizers.
 
After the first week of the new topical treatment regimen my skin became so sensitive and dry I was so concerned because my skin was flaking off and became so red. I called my dermo who reassured me that it was taking its toll on my skin for the better and that it would adjust to the treatment and suggested I use aloe in the mean time to help reduce the drying and redness. My patience paid off and after 3 weeks my skin was looking so much better. After the second month I was 70% back to normal, I had some redness from the acne spots but no inflammations and within the third month I was so happily back to normal. I continue to use this regimen even though my acne has cleared up for purposes of preventing bacterial growth.
 
If I learned anything about acne is that there are solutions out there and that we should not give up wanting for better skin its our right to overcome this pesky problem that can really cause a huge gap in our lives. So being patient, asking for help from a professional, and giving yourself time and giving yourself assurance that you are doing everything possible to meet your needs is all it takes to reaching your skin care goals! I really hope my story has helped you all in your own goals for better healthier skin!
 
XOXO Arms

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

If life gives you lemons...

...make an exfoliator!

Not only is it super important to exfoliate our important asset (our money making faces =) but our body needs some loving too and with a simple recipe we can give it the care its been lacking.
 I can guarantee this will leave your body feeling smooth and glowing, if not that refreshing and clean just like you had a $1000 dollar spa day!
 
So...
What you will need:
Whole lemon
Kosher salt or Sea Salt
Organic Honey

 
Prep:

Squeeze the juice and pulp out of the lemon into a mixing bowl and add 3-4 tablespoons of kosher salt or sea salt and stir till it becomes a smooth paste consistency. Next stir in 4-6 tablespoons of honey till it is almost runny immersing the bowl in hot water will aid in stirring the honey!

 
Application
Generously and gently rub the salt scrub exfoliant in a circular motion massaging into
 hands/ feet/ elbows/ knees / even face.
Rinse off excess well and pat dry.
The recipe will leave your skin super-soft.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Oil Free Hydration!

Enter to Win

 Mario Badescu's Fan Friday Giveaway!

 



Herbal Hydrating Serum by Mario Badescu really saved my skin after my dermatologist put me on very strong topical treatments to treat my adult acne. When I started my new regimen given to me by my dermatologist it was working great I noticed my skin really responding after the first day but only after few days into using the topical treatments they made my skin was so dried out and sensitive by the retinol-A & sulfur combination. I cried to my dermatologist and he said to add a hydrating serum preferably oil free that wouldn't break up the topical treatments that I was using and to still go along with the treatment. So I went to my favorite counter at Lord and Taylor’s on 5th Ave in NYC and they suggested I use the Herbal Hydrating Serum.

That night I was very hopeful and I prayed I would be restored. Sure enough my skin was not flaking in the morning and good as new, thanks to a little prayer and of course Mario Badescu! After the next application I was back to normal! Since then its been a part of my skin routine and is by far the best hydrating serum I have ever used and I am so happy and really a true fanatic of Mario Badescu because they have something for every skin issue that can occur!

I am talking about this now because they are giving it away to a lucky person and I would love for everyone to try this amazing product, so check the link I posted above! I know I write a lot about this company but honestly nothing has worked more miracles on my skin than Mario Badescu because it simply works, so go to Ulta.com, Nordstrom.com or MarioBadescu.com to check out the products yourself!

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Friday, May 31, 2013

My Favorite Hydrating Mist!

Summer Refreshers

My Favorite Hydrating Mist

Summer is making an appearance here in NYC so when I am dabbing all the sweat off my forehead, I really need something to calm my pores from the heat and nothing helps better then a refreshing hydrating mist to revitalize my day creams and also something that won't ruin my makeup I wear throughout the day! So please read on if you'd like to know my favorite facial spray that you can buy for yourself and one you can DIY!

 

The Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater
By Mario Badescu

 



I have been obsessed with rose scents for this summer and being a fanatic of Mario Badescu I was so eager to buy this mist. It is aromatic but not overpowering it is a light and dainty fragrance that really invigorates my day creams and helps keep my face hydrated. I honestly find myself sitting at my desk mid-day at work misting myself, which weirdly enough helps me stay awake, feeling refreshed, and a with a dewy glow.
 
It is the best pick me up for dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin. You can even use it to set make-up leaving you a dewy air brushed model glow or even on dry hair throughout the day.
 
This is a safe and gentle spray for all skin types.


Ingredients:

Deionized Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Bladderwrack Extract,Herbal Extract, Rose Extract,Gardenia Extract,Propylene Glycol
 
 
The best part is that it is super affordable! I went through one 4 oz bottle in 2 months it probably would have lasted me longer but I have two sisters and girlfriends who whenever they are over at my place are setting their make up or using it to set their hair! I am a sharer so I love that they love the product as much as I do!
 
Side note:
 Which is why I love Mario Badescu it can be a stretch in a lot of peoples' budget to buy their line however you get a great amount of product for what you pay for and it is super effective so you must check them out, I tell you it is well worth the money, and you can fill out a form online for free samples absolutely no purchase necessary you just answer a few questions about your skin and they suggest produts at the end and you can request the samples absolutely FREE!
 
SO...
For only $7 you can get a 4oz bottle at:

DIY Lavender/Calendula Mist

Another scent I love is Lavender and with this simple DIY Misting Spray you will be feeling calm and refreshed! Lavender as I have mentioned before in an earlier post on my favorite essential oils has natural antiseptic and antifungal properties and is also great for acne and other skin disorders like psoriasis. Calendula Oil also has these properties and is used as an anti-inflammatory. I love this spray because it is so easy to make, I love spraying it on after work or before bed! Lavender has a great soothing and calming affect for me.
 
What you will need:
- Lavender Oil www.gnc.com
- Calendula Oil www.pureformulas.com
-Distilled Water
-Small Spray Bottle (I usually get mine from one of those travel bottle sets you can get at Target/Chain Pharmacy/ Wal-Mart)
 
Prep:
First fill your spray bottle with 2/3 distilled water. Then depending the size of your bottle you want to do a 2:1 ratio of Lavender Oil:Calednula Oil. So if its a 2 oz bottle for example we would put 4 drops Lavender Oil: 2 drops Calendula Oil or depending on however much you want. Sometimes I like to put a little bit more lavender for scent! Then shake well!
If you see oil separate at the top don't worry like we all learned oil and water don't quite mix so its important to shake well each time you use this spray!
 
How to Use:
Shake well and mist all over face/neck/hair as desired!
 
 
There you have it thanks for reading and if you have a favorite spray let me know I'd love to know!

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