Prevent Sun Damage All Year Round

Remember this big story from last spring about the truck driver with extreme sun damage on the left side of his face where the sun would hit while he drove?

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After that I was especially diligent about daily sunscreen on my face and body. Even in the dead of winter I use an SPF body hydrator on my arms and chest to make sure that even the slightest daily sun doesn’t accumulate and create damage on me. Coola is what I use daily – half hydrator, half unscented SPF 30 using a safe mineral formulation free of the nasty chemicals some sunscreens use. It’s one of the best sunscreen lines around for organic suncare that doesn’t leave your skin zinc white and feels just like a great moisturizer.

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Just replacing your body moisturizer with one that has SPF is the easiest way to keep sun damage (and skin cancer..) away.

Mustela PhysiObébé Cleansing Fluid for Babies and Sensitive Skin

Mustela’s PhysiObébé is the impossible to pronounce cleansing fluid I’ve been using on little Everly. It’s basically a bath in a bottle for infants when you don’t bathe them every day. I pump some onto a soft cloth and rub it on her hands, face, neck, and head at least once a day. It has kept her flakey cradle cap away as well as those bumps babies sometimes get on their faces. If I notice them coming on I wash her face with this fluid and literally within hours her skin is clear. It’s a natural formula that’s light as water and unscented. Best of all you don’t need to rinse, it’s meant to stay on the skin after cleansing and disappears quickly without leaving a film.

If it works this well on infant skin, it might be a perfect sensitive skin face wash for adults too. At just $14 a bottle it’s a better deal than most cleansers anyway – totally worth checking out.

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Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream is nothing short of a cult favorite among Makeup Artists and celebs alike. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.

Lait-Crème Concentrè

I first saw it in action backstage at Fashion Week at every show – see the squished up tube behind the Rosewater spray (which I also went out and bought shortly after.)

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And here again, next to Eve Pearl, one of my favorite foundations at a different show. Every artist it seemed was carrying it.

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Even Gwyneth Paltrow gave it some Goop love a few years back touting its big time Makeup Artist following. But why is it a staple in most pro’s kits? Because I’ve yet to find a skin type it doesn’t work on. Oily, acne-prone, dry, and even clients with skin so sensitive they bring their own moisturizer because they’re afraid that whatever I’m using might trigger a reaction. But it never has. On the contrary- it calms, softens, and evens out the skin in a subtle but complete way. I’ve been using fewer silicone-based primers these days because this primes the skin so well that I don’t need the added step. At Fashion Week, I also saw it used as a makeup remover for the girls who came in full makeup from other shows. Without sinks and water, the artists were able to get the girl’s faces totally clean using this cream and tissues alone.

A 1oz tube is just $16, but I get the larger 2.6oz since it’s only $28. Yup, it’s a French drugstore line so not only is it free of nasty chemicals (Europe bans most of the ones we still use here), but it’s also cheap!

Best Products to Use After a Laser Treatment (and for Sensitive Skin)

Yesterday I did it- I got the Blue Light Levulan Photodynamic Therapy treatment (this little website actually explains it pretty well). I chose it last minute over the professional micro needling because of how it gives a more complete skin rejuvenation and prevents skin cancer (more on that with a complete before and after later). For now, let’s talk about the skincare given to me right after the treatment to use on my very compromised and ultra-sensitive skin. If this is what docs are giving to patients whose skin shouldn’t even be exposed to sunlight, then those of you with sensitized skin might want to take note, there may be a good solution in here for you too.

Elta MD UV Facial SPF 30: This is a brand I’ve never heard of before, but clicking around today I saw that this SPF is a cult fav that people swear by. I read over and again how it was suggested by a doctor for those who had a reaction to sunscreen or were acne-prone. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s a line I’m excited to check out especially seeing that it was chosen as a best-of by the EWG this year.

Vanicream SPF 60: I bought a sunscreen of theirs a few years ago after searching for a safe physical SPF, it was a fav of beauty editors and the EWG alike. A physical block means it has zinc and titanium dioxide to protect the skin from the sun (like the white stuff lifeguards used to use on their noses), versus a chemical block which uses things like avobenzone and oxybenzone which can be irritating to sensitive skin. If you have any sort of skin reaction at all from sunscreens, switch to a physical block where you might have more luck.

Auuaphor Healing Ointment: Of course I already had some of this all-purpose healing ointment on hand because I use it on my lips and cuticles, but I’d never used it on my face. Since it isn’t fully absorbed into the skin, it acts as a barrier to lock in much needed moisture to create an ideal environment for my skin to heal. It’s not something I’d use on my face long-term of course but if your skin isn’t responding well to anything else you might give it a try.

Dove Sensitive Skin: They also had Vanicream Cleansing Bars which I would’ve preferred because it doesn’t contain sodium tallowate, but they gave me the Dave Sensitive Body Wash too which is sodium tallowate free. The Dove wash is what I’ve used a few times already and it didn’t sting or burn and cleansed the ointment off pretty well without leaving my skin dry. For just $9, the Dove wash would be perfect to throw in the shower and use on both face and body every day.

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I’m sequestered to the house for another day, but I’m vlogging and taking pics of my face (which resembles raw meat) so I can show the world… Now I understand why I couldn’t find but 3 people who posted video diaries to YouTube (only 1 woman btw) after having this done. You look like shit which isn’t the most fun thing to share, but whatever- it’s interesting and if you’re looking to have it done you should probably know what to expect. Vanity is overrated.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Primer with SPF 50

Drugstore skin care doesn’t get much better. Now available at Walgreens, La Roche Posay has a new sunscreen/primer duo to add to their popular Anthelios sunscreen line that’s sure to become a huge hit. It’s a broad spectrum SPF 50 that’s as much a true primer as it is sun protection. It has the feel of a Smashbox or professional grade silicone primer that fills in fine lines and blurs out skin imperfections instantly. It works so well to prefect skin that you might need a lot less foundation after using it- or even none at all. It’s that fantastic.

I love everything about it and can’t wait to use it as my new daily sunscreen especially after my skin treatment tomorrow that I can’t wait to tell you all about!

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What are BB Creams?

Have you heard about the BB Cream craze? BB Creams (short for blemish balm or beauty balm or beauty base) were first developed for women whose skin was left bruised, raw, and red from lasers and other surgical treatments. These creams were made by doctors to soothe, heal, and protect delicate skin with the added bonus of breakthrough invisible coverage to hide the irritations without having to use any traditional concealers or foundations.  Essentially they’re unique, lightweight coverage creams with sunscreen and other skin benefits built right in. BB Creams are a true marriage of skincare and color – and are often found in the skincare section and not with makeup. They’re traditionally offered as a one-size-fits-all in terms of color using a universal shade that blends into your skin tone perfecting and seamlessly covering redness instead of masking a it the way a foundation does – it reminds me a little of Philosophy’s The Supernatural which gave similar instant results (see my review and photos HERE). You’ll also see some with a PA+, PA++. or PA+++ sunscreen rating (+++ being the best) which tells you how effective the SPF is in guarding against UVA rays – the nasty ones that breakdown collagen and age the skin.

If you like a full coverage foundation you might find that these aren’t enough so use them as a primer to get more skin benefits than what basic silicone formulas provide.They’re really different from anything else out there so go to Sephora where the selection is the best and ask for samples of a few before you commit. I also want to try Lauder’s new BB Cream they’ve incorporated into their Daywear collection which I’ll review separately once I give it a try. For now, here are the 3 I sampled at Sephora and the pros and cons of each.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream $37:

-Pros-

Oily skin can benefit from its mattifying properties.

SPF 30

A good shade (01) that would work for very fair skin tones – the lightest I found.

-Cons-

It was the heaviest of the 3 and it settled into the skin making pores look more noticeable.

No PA rating.

I couldn’t figure out what the added skincare benefits were (what a BB is all about).

Their site refers to it as a ‘weekend makeup’ along the lines of a quick tinted moisturizer, but it’s called a BB. Not sure if it’s a true BB or just marketing.

Its radiance was a little unflattering (at least on my skin) where it bordered shiny instead of healthy.

Overall:

I liked the thick, creamy texture and easy blendability. It’s probably best for those with good skin who favor a tinted moisturizer or quick powder for their daily routine.

Boscia BB Cream SPF 27 PA ++ $38:

-Pros-

Great skincare benefits (help for fine lines, dryness, and large pores), which is what a BB should offer.

SPF 27 and a PA++ rating

It has a natural formula without parabens, phthalates and other chemicals.

It did give my skin an immediate boost.

Good coverage.

-Cons-

It has these tiny bits of shimmer that, although slight, might not be a fit for oily or mature skin.

Like most BB Creams, the one shade isn’t for very fair or very dark skin tones.

Overall:

This was my favorite and the only true BB of the bunch, it made my skin look better and covered redness well. It’s something I would buy and recommend to those looking for quick and easy coverage.

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm Multi-Benefit Skin Care Makeup $32:

-Pros-

Shade range; if you have darker skin you’ll have the best luck finding a color to suit you here.

It gave the most coverage of the 3 I tried, almost as much as some foundations.

You’ll get a pretty glow from its finish.

-Cons-

It does contain some vitamins and minerals, but overall it really is more of a quick makeup than a true BB Cream.

No PA rating and an SPF 20, the lowest of the 3.

Overall:

These are along the lines of what you’ll begin to see more and more of – a foundation with a built in primer and less of a BB Cream but marketed as such. It’s not a bad thing since I really liked the look and coverage, but if you want more of the skin treatment this one will leave you wanting more. Best for those who want great coverage from a tinted moisturizer and don’t care as much for the added skincare bonuses.

A few others to consider:

Sephora now carries Dr Jart’s signature BBs which are favorites in Asia where competition is big. Check out their Premium BB SPF 45 PA+++ $39 for more mature skin and the Water Fuse BB PA++ $32 for normal to oily skin. They’re both great for the skin formulated without synthetics and are exactly what BBs are supposed to be – skincare/makeup hybrids.

Garnier launched the first drugstore BB for just $13 that comes in two shades – Light/Medium and Medium/Deep. I’m can’t find its skincare benefits (or SPF), but it’s getting some good reviews for its light, even coverage. Look for it in the skincare aisle, not next to the makeup.

What to look for in a BB Cream:

– Sunscreen, PA ratings are a bonus.

– Vitamins and minerals.

– Enough coverage so you aren’t using concealer or anything else over it (unless you want to use it as a primer).

– Adequate moisture for your skin.

– Added benefits whether it be for skin lightening, acne, moisture, or whatever- find one that’s helping to target what your skin needs most.

For a full listing of the popular Asian formulas, check out THIS article from 08′ before the US versions hit the stores.