Skincare: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer Versus Neutrogena Illuminating Whip Moisturizer

My mom told my sister and I several things about our skin when we were young. My sister had rather oily skin. Mine was extremely dry. One thing she said to my sister when she was a teenager was, “You might be having problems with pimples now, but when you girls are older, you will not age as quickly as your sister.” That may have made my sister feel better, but it made me feel like the pits.

I did make some decisions about my skin because of my mom’s words way back then. I decided to try to stay as young as possible, by using good products and caring for this dry skin properly. Today at 50, I still strive for a smooth, soft face. Clinique gives me that.

I have been using Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care Program for about 20 years. Not only does this cleanse, but also it exfoliates my skin. The Clarifying lotion helps with this after I wash with their facial soap. Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion is the icing on the cake. It soaks into my face and makes it feel as soft as a baby. It is really the key for me.

About a year ago, I decided to save some money. Who knows why? I am working toward paying for my son’s college among many other things. I ran out of my Clinique and decided to buy something less expensive. I bought Neutrogena Illuminating Whip Moisturizer, Along with it, I bought their other skin care products, for my skin. I purchased the Deep Clean Cream Cleanser, and even some Anti-Aging Crème. I wanted and must have a good moistuizer.

I don’t really know why I chose Neutrogena. I was walking down the aisle of the store and trying to decide which one to choose. This is not a very practical way to choose your moisturizers and skin care regimen. The blue container kind of just popped out from the rest. I liked the packaging. It looked fresh and clean to me with the white lettering. The advertising people did a really good job designing the packaging. I bought it and took it home thinking I would be saving money and helping my face.

I began to put water on my face to clean with the Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. When I took it off with the water, I felt that I was a little “too clean” or something. My face was tight and dry. I was hoping the moisturizer was going to take the feeling away. I put the Neutrogena Illuminating Whip Moisturizer all over my face. It felt OK. An hour later, my face felt dry again. I reapplied the Neutrogena Illuminating Whip Moisturizer. My face felt a little sticky but not soft.

I did continue to use these products because I wanted to give them a fair chance. After three weeks, I began to have little bumps under my eyes. I stopped applying the moisturizer close to my eyes and the bumps faded. When I squeezed the last drop out of the Neutrogena Illuminating Whip Moisturizer (I do not know what was whipped into this moisturizer), I went as quickly as my little car would take me to get some more Clinique 3-Step Skin Care Program.

I found my yellow bottle of lotion with the pump at the Clinique display in Belk. I even got it on sale. That was unexpected. Clinique is known for giving tote bags or makeup bags, and I got one each of those. With packages in tow, I was headed home.

I quickly washed my face with their facial soap. This time I decided to try the liquid facial soap. It was just as wonderful as the bar soap. The bar has no smell, and the liquid has a slight smell; however, it was the same clean soft feeling on my face. The Clarifying lotion exfoliated gently, yet my skin still did not feel dry. I was ready for the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I applied it to my skin and it slowly sank in. It seemed as if my skin was smiling. That soft, supple feeling was back once more.

I made myself a promise. I would never run out of my Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer again. It was simply not worth it.

This is the truth. The next day, two of my co-workers asked me if I had a new haircut or if I was wearing new makeup. They all know I only wear eye makeup. They asked if I had a facial. I smiled and said no. They said I looked really good that day. I knew it was just my face because it finally had the moisture it had been lacking from Neutrogena. Moisturizer is the key to healthy, beautiful skin…even at 50.

It is worth the extra money. We only have one face, right?

Essential Summer Skincare Tips

Whether you’re hitting the beach or relaxing by the pool for hours on end this summer, make sure you’re taking steps to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and maintaining that youthful glow! Keeping skin radiant during the warmer months is easier than the rest of the year, but too much fun in the sun can dry out your skin and also increase your risk of skin cancer.

Taking preventive measures to protect your skin from UV damage, dehydration and other effects of scorching heat can ward off skin damage signs of aging. Update your summer beauty regimen with these essential summer skincare tips:

Slather on the Sunscreen
Sun protection is a top priority during the summer months, especially if you are planning to be outdoors under the sun’s rays for more than an hour. Make sure you apply sunscreen from head to toe every day, and use makeup that’s infused with SPF for even more protection. If you’re not sure whether your makeup has any sunscreen in it, use a lightweight formula under your makeup instead. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk, $25.56 – $31.95, is a fast-absorbing product that protects skin from both UVB and UVA rays.

Exfoliate at Least Once Per Week
Dry and flaky skin may be preventing you from maintaining a healthy, radiant glow this season. Shed that layer of dead cells by exfoliating and buffing the skin at least once per week. A pair of exfoliating wash gloves are a great addition to your beauty regimen, and can be used year round to smooth out rough patches of skin and keep your skin looking healthy. Use these in the shower once or twice per week with a brown sugar body scrub like the LaLicious Moisturizing Body Scrub, Brown Sugar and Vanilla Sugar Souffle, $25.60 – $33.30, for even more skin-smoothing benefits.

Keep Skin Hydrated with Moisturizing Gel
You can do away with shea butter and heavy moisturizers during the summer season, and replace your daily moisturizer with a lightweight, scented lotion. Try a moisturizing gel to keep skin cool after a hot day in the sun, and also to infuse it with much-needed moisture. Vaseline Moisturizing Gel with Aloe, $5.03 – $18.27, is a clear and light formula that sinks deep into the pores within seconds and will give your skin a refreshing boost of hydration. If you tend to burn easily during the summer or just want to avoid heavy moisturizers this season, stick with a gel like this to keep skin soft and to restore lost moisture.

 

Homemade Masques, Scrubs and Toners for Moms and Teens

When your teens go through those pesky troubled-skin phases, go straight to the kitchen and cook up dual-purpose beauty masques, scrubs, and toners. All 10 natural skincare products are made by you and your teen, are edible (safe around infants and toddlers), skin-tightening, exfoliating, anti-acne and anti-aging, while infusing your skin with potent anti-oxidants and other nutrients.

1. Ground old fashioned oats mixed with honey to create a basic skin-tightening, toxin-removing masque.

2. Granulated sugar, sea salt or baking soda will create natural scrubs to remove dead skin cells.

3. Olive oil (Biblical) mixed with either vanilla, cherry, banana or walnut extract for a natural moisturizer, with heavenly scents.

4. Apple cider vinegar (watered-down), aloe juice, or witch hazel makes great anti-bacterial skin toners.

5. Egg whites tighten the skin, and according to Dr. Oz television show (spring, 2010) contain pure protein to stimulate natural collagen growth, and leaves skin smooth and soft.

6. Sunflower oil, plain yogurt and lemon juice, also on the Dr. Oz show (spring, 2010) balances ph levels.

7. Cucumber slices, green or black (moistened) tea bags will soothe tired and/or puffy eyes.

8. Ground pomegranate seeds are packed with anti-oxidants and vitamin C, for a potent anti-aging, skin-softening scrub, as cited in Fitness Magazine online.

9. Mashed strawberry makes a skin rub which will polish surface skin, while infusing it with vitamin C, as seen in Fitness Magazine online.

10. Yogurt and mashed blueberries will repair UV damage, when prepared as a mask, infusing skin with vitamins C and E, while lactic acid peels and repairs surface-skin damage, as cited on Fitness Magazine online.

Mix all individually-listed masque ingredients in a food processor or blender, before applying to skin, and refrigerate left-overs in a separate container. Leave masques on face (not around eyes) until dried or ultra-sticky, and then rinse off with clear water, or a wet washcloth. No more than two masques per week are necessary for optimum anti-acne and anti-aging results.

New Video Game Keeps Your Skin Healthy

The Nintendo DS is already popular all over the USA and Japan, with all types of games available. Shooting and racing games are popular with the traditional video game target audience of young males, but recently Nintendo has released virtual pet and brain teaser games for the DS that has opened up the market to include older people and women.

The Nintendo Corporation who brought us the Super Mario franchise and Pokemon, has just released a new game for the DS that seeks to broaden their target audience even more. “Dream Skincare” is a new DS game designed for women, young and old, who seek skincare, aging and beauty tips.

The software created by the Konami Corp. allows players to input information about themselves via the DSs touch screen. Body temperature, skin tone, amount of sleep, skin smoothness, and exposure to sunlight among others, are all tracked daily on the DS and the game will automatically tell the player what things they can do to help preserve and better care for their skin.

The game gives advice like what foods to eat, how to keep a good hormonal balance, and what type of daily skin care regime should be used to help women keep their skin beautiful. The game also includes videos of Chizu Saeki acting as a virtual skin care consultant advising women on how to apply makeup, skin care products, and facial massage. The game will also feature recipes designed to keep women healthy and beautiful as well as advice on manners and being womanly.

“Dream Skincare” due out October 18, 2007 in Japan, has been met with mixed reviews. Some people praise Nintendo for trying to expand their audience with innovative games like “Dream Skincare” and making such an innovative console as the Wii released in 2006. Other gamers think that “Dream Skincare” and other games like it are laughable at best and will do nothing but hurt Nintendo’s profits and image. But with over 40 million DSs sold and sales still strong, Nintendo does not seem concerned that their new and untraditional approach to gaming will have any negative effects.

It is still unknown if “Dream Skincare” will be released in the USA or Europe, the reception of the game in Japan will probably dictate whether or not it gets to debut in any other countries. But for those of us women who don’t have access to our own personal skincare advisor via the DS, there’s always the salon, or if nothing else, the skincare aisle at Wal-Mart.

Sources:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19244840/
http://news.filefront.com/ds-will-bring-dream-skincare-to-japan/
http://www.destructoid.com/konami-to-release-groundbreaking-ds-game-dream-skincare-33137.phtml

California Baby: Natural Skincare Products Safe for Babies and You!

In my quest to live as naturally as possible, I searched high and low for a beauty product that was suitable for my eczema-prone skin. As anyone with the skin condition will know, it can be difficult to find something that will not provoke an adverse reaction. There are many lotions and creams out on the market today containing synthetic fragrances, which can dry out the skin and lead to the tell-tale itchiness of eczema.

California Baby’s products are made with essential oils and organic ingredients. Additionally they are not animal tested, and are sulfate and paraben-free. On the company’s website (www.californiababy.com) customers can view the large product section from skin care to bug repellents and accessories. Although the target line was originally products for babies, everything on the website can be used for everyone in the family. For more information on what makes California Baby natural, the FAQ page has a detailed explanation on what is used and what is avoided.

Unsure of what product to try? Items are also grouped under “massage”, “shop by scent”, “no fragrance”, “calming”, “travel sizes”, “newborn basics”, and “eczema care”. For those with eczema, I highly recommend the Calendula Cream. I used it on a terrible patch that would not go away and was surprised it did not sting upon contact. The cream greatly reduced the itch, and helped the skin heal within a week. And unlike other non-steroidal creams, it absorbed quickly without feeling sticky. Best of all, the cream’s smell of lavender made it easy to whip out during work and dab on a spot without anyone commenting. Imagine doing that with traditional medications!

The only problem with California Baby products is the price to quantity ratio. The Calendula Cream comes in a 60 gram tub at $11.50. Although the quality of ingredients would account for the price, it is still expensive. The largest size available is the gallon, available for certain shampoo and bodywashes, bubble baths, and lotions. A gallon of Calming Shampoo amp; Bodywash for example, is priced at $118.90. However, the company will also offer specials from time to time; as of writing there are several packages priced at 20% off. There are also sample sizes for shampoo, bubble bath, and trial sets for reasonable prices. The Eczema Care Pack includes a travel-sized Calendula Cream, suncreen, shampoos, lotions, and massage oil for the price of $11.35.

Shipping from the website is quick and simple. Orders are shipped Monday to Friday within 48 hours via UPS ground, and with free shipping if the amount is over $150 or if the order includes a gallon-sized product. Since my order was under $25, my shipping cost came to $6.50 and took only four days to arrive. California Baby will also ship to Canada and internationally. Don’t forget to ask for free samples when you check out!

Nowadays when I’m out of the Calendula Cream I simply head out to my local Whole Foods to stock up. Not all stores carry the brand, but if you aren’t willing to wait or would like to try a sample first, you could also try the Whole Foods or CVS stores in Southern California. California Baby is also available on Amazon.com, but be aware the shipping will take much longer as the third-party vendors are often out of stock.

Looking for a better alternative at an affordable price? You can get a bounty of products focused on allergy relief for babies and children at Allergy Free Me.

Dietary Supplements for Blotchy and Sun Damaged Skin – Your Best Picks

If you have blotchy skin, a dermatologist or medical spa professional may recommend taking dietary supplements in conjunction with a facial treatment. Certain vitamins and minerals can help to promote an even skin tone, protect the skin from future skin damage, and give you a smooth and youthful complexion. Here’s a close look at some of the leading dietary supplements appropriate for treating blotchy or sun-damaged skin:

Citrus Bioflavanoids: Products like the GliSODin Skin Nutrietns Skin Brightening Formula contain a high concentration of citrus bioflavanoids that have been linked to promoting a healthier skin tone and reducing the risk of hyperpigmentation from sun exposure. Look for dietary supplements that contain citrus bioflavanoids as a main ingredient to help clear up blotchy or sun-damaged skin.

Chromium: Dietary supplements such as the VitaMedica Healthy Skin Formula are designed to increase strength of the skin structures and support natural detoxification. Accelerating the detoxification process may help to shuttle away dead skin cells that are causing the blotchy look, and making your skin stronger can help prevent further damage.

Vitamin C: Dietary supplements that contain high concentrations of Vitamin C may be beneficial for individuals with blotchy or sun-damaged skin because Vitamin C plays an important role in tissue repair, collagen production and the skin cell regeneration process. The rate of skin cell regeneration is important when you have blotchy or sun damaged skin because you need your body to produce more layers of skin to cover up the damaged areas as quickly as possible. Supplements that contain a high concentration of Vitamin C may help you achieve stronger and healthier-looking skin.

Lycopene: If you’re eating tomatoes or cooked tomato products on a regular basis, you are probably already giving your skin a boost with a generous dose of lycopene. Lycopene is found in many dietary supplements for the skin such as Dermavite, and is a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals and protects the skin from further damage. This protective compound can also help support a healthy skin structure, reducing the appearance of blotchy and sun damaged skin over time.

Zinc: Zinc plays an important role in wound healing, and may help clear up patches of blotchy skin and sun damaged areas after continued use. You can take zinc as a supplement on its own, or find it as a leading ingredient in many dietary supplements designed specifically for supporting healthy skin.

If you are considering taking dietary supplements to improve the health and appearance of your skin, it’s still important to consult with your physician. Some dietary supplements are not appropriate for those who are taking prescription medications or are being treated for certain diseases. If your physician approves, some of these dietary supplements may help you achieve healthy-looking and smoother skin within a few weeks and months.

Natural Parenting the Easy Way

Some may call it a trend but for others its simply the way its always been. Natural. When our babies are born we try to do everything the safest and healthiest way possible. This comes down to the foods they eat, the toys they play with and even the fabric we put next to their delicate skin. Going along the natural parenting route can seem overwhelming and even costly for parents who don’t know much about it, but the truth is it can actually be more affordable in the long run, and it ends up making your life simpler as well.

One of the most basic things your baby will need when they enter the world is food. Studies have shown for many years that breastfeeding is by far the ultimate form of nutrition for a baby. It benefits their immune system better than formula and aids in better brain development. The downside of this is that breastfeeding can be a big challenge to a lot of moms. Luckily in this day and age many products are available that can help solve the problems a lot of mothers have. My Brest Friend makes a number of really great, high quality breastfeeding products that are a must have for moms who want to breast feed. Their nursing pillow is the most recommended pillow on the market and comes in a variety of styles that can even accommodate twins. Different color choices are available and you can buy an organic version as well that is really nice. Also by My Brest Friend is their adjustable Nursing Stool. I’ve seen a number of these stools on the market and this one is one of the best quality ones I’ve seen. Its all wood and the top has grip strips to prevent slippage. You can adjust the angle of the top and when you’re done nursing, it becomes a regular step stool that your toddler can use in the bathroom or their bedroom.

Purchasing a good quality highly functional breastpump is also very important and Simplisse offers a few different models including a double electric pump that comes complete with storage bottles and carrying purse. Simplisse pumps are far gentler than your average pump and will tug less. The design mimics a baby’s suckling You can also purchase accessories like a breastfeeding pillow, breast pads, storage bags, etc. on their website. This product was designed by an actual lactation consultant and mom and it’s truly a wonderful product to have ready when your baby will be arriving. Simplisse is the only company on the market that provides such a wide variety of products related to breastfeeding all in one place. You can trust the quality.

Breastfeeding moms drink more water on average than a woman who is not breastfeeding and lately there’s been a lot of talk about the safety of traditional plastic water bottles. While the BPA has been removed from the bottles on the market, plastic is still being labeled as unsafe and more people are turning to other methods of water storage such as glass and stainless steel. Glass can be convenient at home but it can be tough to transport a glass container safely when you’re on the go. Takeya makes great glass water bottles that have a silicone cover on the outside of them so if they get bumped or dropped, you’re far less likely to break one than a plain glass bottle. Prices are pretty reasonable and a variety of colors and sizes are available. WaterGeeks makes a large line of stainless steel bottles (High grade) that can be used alone or with a carbon filter that gets inserted into the inside spout of the bottle. The carbon filter will help remove toxic chemicals that can be harmful to the body so you’ll be drinking healthier and tastier water. Children’s sippy cups and sports bottles are also available. Each filter lasts for about 80 gallons worth of water.

Something many mothers are very passionate about it cloth diapering their baby. Environment conscious moms don’t like the thought of filling our garbage dumps with used disposable diapers and many don’t like the chemicals that can be transferred to their baby’s skin by using a disposable diaper method. Cloth diapering has been around far longer than disposables have and many mothers are going back down that road. To dumb it down, products that are available these days typically consist of a decorative diaper cover of some sort along with inserts that act as the soakers. Best Bottom diapers are great because they are adjustable- there are a number of snaps on the diaper cover and as your baby grows you’ll be able to use the same diaper covers. The diaper inserts also snap in which prevent them from moving around and allowing leakage to occur. Simply snap them out and wash them. A number of different types of inserts are available from Best Bottom and Organic cotton / Hemp is one of them. Small, medium and large covers are available.

Cutey Baby features the That’s a Wrap 2-part diapering system as well and they also have a great product that works well if you’re an on-the-go type of mom. Instead of using disposable diapers when you’re going to be out for the day and don’t want to deal with the cloth mess in your diaper bag, you can buy their biodegradable flushable liners that can be used with the cloth covers. They come in a small roll and you can keep them around with ease, using them for convenience but not needing to worry about filling up a landfill somewhere. Their covers come in some very cute prints and their closure system focuses on Velcro and is very secure.

BumWear cloth diapers feature a soft fleece inside the diaper cover which allows wetness to pass through. Inserts go inside of the diaper lining and the outside is waterproof. This method requires you to wash the cover itself with each use, but they are very absorbent and have a good design with leg gathers to prevent leakage and an elasticized front which prevents any gaps from forming because of a mis-fit. Sizes are also adjustable.

Bambino Mio reusable diapers are very affordable and utilize the waterproof covers with prefold liners. These are very absorbent and many moms prefer this method. There’s different ways you can fold the liners to get the absorbancy you need. These liners also make washing a bit easier with the way they absorb fluids. Velcro enclosure is part of the Bambino Mio line and these diapers are very lightweight and comfortable. You can also utilize many of Bambino Mio’s products when its time to potty train. They have great reusable training pants that are absorbent enough to use for outings and at night. They also have detergents you can use for your cloth needs (Traditional scented detergents are not recommended when cloth diapering).

Fuzzi Bunz features a number of different products including one size diapers and sized. Hemp products are available, organic cotton wipes and different inserts are all available. You can also purchase products to help you make cloth diapering easy like wet bags for storage of dirty diapers and even a diaper sprayer that hooks to your toilet and allows you to wash waste into the toilet before washing in your machine.

Happy Heinys is rated the number one pocket diaper system. Their wool covers and other products are made in the U.S.A. and use Aplix hook and eye closures. Their diapers fit well, are snug and are very easy to use. A line of cloth diapers for preemies are even available from this company which is tough to find and the longevity of these diapers is really great. You can find a variety of colors, styles and fabrics from Happy Heinys.

Thirsties are a modern version of the cloth diaper. The secure Velcro system allows for super quick diaper changes and the completely waterproof covers are breathable and comfortable. The extra small size even features a cut out portion for the umbilical cord so you won’t aggravate that area. The covers are completely free of VOC’s. PVC, lead and latex. A variety of colors are available and inserts are available in different varieties including hemp prefolds.

You can also find handmade, affordable cloth wipes from the GenerationMe Etsy shop online. The quality is great and not only can you use the products and wipes but you can use them as a cloth diaper soaker as well. GenerationMe also makes waterproof wet/dirty bags for home use or on the road. They’re very well made and very versatile. Turtles R Us on Etsy also features cloth wipes as well as blankets, loveys, clothing and much more. All are handmade and extremely affordable. The fabric is a good quality and there are a number of cute prints to choose from.

Many attachment parenting moms insist it’s a necessity to purchase one or more good wrap carriers when you’re going to be having a baby. Studies show the benefits to the baby when worn frequently during their infancy. This makes for a less fussy baby as well and it allows mom to get more done during the day. The Sleepy Wrap by NAP, Inc. is by far one of the best wraps I’ve seen. The fabric quality is fantastic, the design is great and the give of the fabric makes for a really great and snug fit. You can buy their classic version or their organic version but both are really great and definitely a must have for any mom (Or dad). A large variety of colors are available and the price is unbeatable for the quality of product you will receive.

Clothing your child in an all natural way can be a lot easier these days then it used to be. Not a lot of organic cotton clothing was available a few years back and if it was, it wasn’t as stylish as the name brands and it was extremely expensive. Baby Loopies is a line of children’s designer socks and a number of organic versions are available. The patterns are adorable and if you live in a warm climate and your little one is sporting their cloth diaper, a onesie and some socks there are none cuter that Baby Loopies’ socks. Adorable clothes can be found at YalaDesigns.com for not only baby but for mom, dad and even for the home as well. The bamboo material is incredibly soft, durable and beautiful. Prices are typical for this type of clothing but the quality is unparallel. Positively Organic features positively adorable organic clothing for your child. The toddler outfits are so cute and the prints are so unique that everyone will be asking where you got that outfit from. Coordinating pants, hats and shirts are all available and you can really come up with some cute combinations with these products.

If you need to paint or stain a piece of furniture or decoration for your baby’s room turn to Delta Creative’s Soy Paints and Stains. These products work just like regular acrylics and stains but are non toxic and contain an extremely low VOC count. Paints come in 24 different colors and the stains come in 4 shades. Imagine staining a dresser and not even needing gloves, that’s how gentle these products are. Drying time is shorter than your average product and is very easy to use.

Bathing and skincare products can be a tough purchase when trying to stay as natural as possible but also trying to get a product that will actually work while being safe for your children as well. Episencial makes a line of natural skincare products that is marketed towards healthier skin for a stronger immune system. People may not know that baby’s skin is a lot thinner and permeable than an adults. This means chemicals and toxins are more likely to enter a baby’s body than an adult’s. Going an all natural route when treating dry skin, protecting from the sun, etc. is very important and you can use Episencial’s products for many years. Adults can even use these items. Eric Carle artwork is featured on Episencial’s products, making them fun for kid’s of all ages. Not only are traditional bathing products available but as is bubble bath, protective face balm, and eczema relief cream.

Save money on disposable snack bags and tote around a reusable version. You can find these at really great prices by shopping on Etsy.com where the creations are handmade by the sellers themselves. CelesteBlakeDesigns on Etsy makes great cotton snack bags with a nylon liner that is water and stain resistant. They are machine washable. These bags have zippers which is unlike other Velcro versions. This removes the risk of crumbs getting stuck in the Velcro and nothing will escape from the bag. BagItConscious makes really cute and high quality snack bags on Etsy as well and you’d never know they were handmade especially for the price. They’re really functional and have a very secure closure. The patterns and designs are great as well.

Decorate your dining room table with cloth napkins from Etsy creators like EveryDayUses. Having a stack of these handmade creations will be a conversation starter and will also add some unique décor to your kitchen area. You can also pick up some cloth cocktail napkins for your parties from Yellowbirdaprons.com. Very rustic, traditional prints are available and the quality is great and holds up in the wash.

Natural parenting can really be an easy and affordable route if you give it a chance and find a routine for your household. In the long run it really won’t trake up much more of your time, and will save you a great deal of money. You can get your whole household involved in helping the environment and your budget. Luckily, natural parenting has become a much easier way to parent thanks to all of the great products on the market these days.

Skincare Basics

Many factors can affect your skin’s appearance. Knowing how to properly care for your skin can keep your skin from looking its best.

Free Radicals

Free radicals are loose oxygen molecules that make your skin look older through the oxidation process. Oxidation causes those brown “age spots.”

You can fight free radicals and oxidation with anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are vitamins. Vitamins A and C as well as beta carotene. Many skincare products are made containing anti-oxidants. You can also eat vegetables which are high in anti-oxidants.

The Sun

The sun can be a major source of skin damage, even if you don’t get a sun burn.

There are two types of ultra violet rays that can damage your skin. The UVB rays are the type that cause sunburns. Every sunburn you get in your lifetime, increases your risk of getting skin cancer.

UVA rays penetrate to the dermis, the inner layer of skin that contains collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are what keeps your skin from sagging and allows it to go back after it has been stretched. When collagen and elastin break down, your skin sags.

You should always wear sunscreen, even if you aren’t going to be outside for very long or your skin doesn’t normally burn. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to choose an appropriate SPF.

The SPF number indicates the length of time your skin will be protected. The average person, wearing no sunscreen, can be in the sun about thirty minutes before they start to burn. The SPF number indicates the number times thirty that you are protected. For example, if you are wearing SPF 10, you are protected for 30 times 10 minutes (300 minutes or 5 hours.)

Other Causes of Skin Damage

There are some other factors in skin aging and damage. The environment can cause damage. Pollution, and dry, or winter climates can cause your skin to age prematurely.

Genetics are another factor. If your family has damaged or aged skin, you probably will too.

Proper skin care can keep your skin looking the best.

Wash Your Face

It is very important that you do not go to bed wearing makeup. No matter how tired you are, take the time to wash your face.

Don’t wash your face with regular soap and water. The skin on your face is different than the rest of your skin. Regular soap will dry out your skin and tighten your pores.

Use a facial cleanser for your face. Using warm water, (not hot), lather the cleanser. Using your finger-tips, massage the cleanser into your face in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water.

Toner

Some cleansers contain a toner. If yours does, you don’t need to use a separate toner.
Toner conditions your skin and replaces minerals and vitamins that are lost during the cleansing process. Simply apply the toner according to the manufacturer’s directions. No rinsing is needed.

Moisturize

There are many different types of moisturizer. You’ll want to be sure that your moisturizer is right for your skin.

Determining your skin type is not as complicated as it sounds. There are three types of skin: oily, dry, and normal. If your skin appears shiny, your have oily skin. If your skin feels tight and is flaky, you have dry skin. If neither of these applies to your skin, you have normal skin.

I recommend buying a moisturizer that contains an SPF. This will eliminate the extra step of applying sunscreen. If yours does not have sunscreen in the moisturizer, you will want to apply sunscreen now.

Separate treatments.

If you use special products for puffy eyes, acne, or blemishes, you will apply them last.

I just want to mention at this point, when applying products around your eyes, do not tug at the skin. This area of your face is especially susceptible to wrinkles. Use your ring finger to apply products around your eyes. Apply it in three or four small dots then smooth it in gently.

Your skincare regimen is now complete. You can apply your make-up as usual.

The Anti-Aging Journey

For those of you under 30, anti-aging skincare is probably not the highest priority on your to-do list. But for those of us past 30 (and past 40, I must be honest), even if we never thought of ourselves as vain, we do glance in the mirror and wonder if we’re doing enough to keep our skin looking young for as long as possible.

I have been blessed (thanks Mom!) with good genes. Folks in my gene pool tend to look 10 or more years younger than their actual age for a long time. Even in their 80’s (we live a long time too), my family members look great. But even good genes aren’t enough, especially if you like to spend time outdoors.

Here are some anti-aging skin care tips to help you along.

Drink plenty of water. Really, it is not an old wives tale. Staying hydrated keeps your skin plump and young looking. Dehydrated skin looks dry and wrinkly. Eat right and take your vitamins. If you’re eating fast food, sweets and sodas, you’re not doing your skin any favors. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Your waistline and your skin will thank you. Exercise. Right along with a healthy diet, exercise keeps you young–inside and out.

Use good quality skin care products. I’m sorry ladies, but soap and water are not going to make you a natural beauty. You don’t need a complicated regimen, but a cleanser and moisturizer suitable to your skin type should form the backbone of your anti-aging skin care routine. Look for anti-aging cosmetics. As we age we don’t want to look heavily made up, as if we’re trying to hide something. What you do want is simple daily make up that both enhances your skin and makes you look younger. Wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 every day. Preferably use one with natural sun blocking ingredients, such as zinc, and not chemical blockers.

Wash your face every night, even if you didn’t wear make up. Cosmetics, oils and environmental toxins need to be washed away before you jump into bed. Think of all the dirt, pollens and pollutants floating around in the air that have been quietly making themselves comfortable on your skin; get rid of them and prevent environmental damage to your skin.

Don’t smoke. Talk about toxic pollutants that can damage your skin. Non-smokers will always look younger than smokers.

The anti-aging journey doesn’t need to be filled with rocky roads and washed out bridges, just follow these simple, healthy tips and you can keep your youthful appearance for many years.

7 Skincare Mistakes that Make You Look Older

Maintaining healthy and youthful looking skin at any age is easier when you stick with a consistent skin cleansing and moisturizing regiment, wash off your makeup every night and stay out of the sun more often than not. However, many women are stuck in a routine that may actually be speeding up the aging process.

Rona Berg, author of the book Beauty: The New Basics points out that it’s never too late to take proper care of your face and take advantage of the latest skincare technologies. Here are just seven skincare mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your skin looking fresh, vibrant and free of wrinkles:

Skincare Mistake #1: Skipping the Moisturizer
Moisturizer acts as a protective barrier against the elements and will shield your skin from toxins. Moisturizer can also help to maintain skin elasticity, so make sure you’re applying it day and night to ward off wrinkles.

Skincare Mistake #2: Washing Your Face Before Washing Your Hair
This is a common mistake that many women make and don’t realize it has an effect until they change their routine. If you’re shampooing and conditioning your hair in the shower, those suds are likely getting trapped on your face. Make sure you’re cleansing and toning after the shower so that your pores are clean and clear.

Skincare Mistake #3: Using Oil Based Makeup
Many makeup brands made with natural oils can trigger breakouts because they clog up your pores and make it difficult for skin cells to turn over naturally. If you have acne-prone skin or are experiencing hormonal changes, stick with non-comedogenic products as often as possible.

Skincare Mistake #4: Washing Your Face in a Hot Shower
A hot shower does a body good, but scrubbing your face under the hot suds can dry out your skin and make it lose its natural emollients. Stick with cool water rinses when it’s time to cleanse or exfoliate.

Skincare Mistake #5: Over Exfoliating
Are you using a facial scrub, buffing sponge and a facial towel to get rid of dead skin cells? You could be setting your skin up for over drying and wrinkles. Exfoliate just once or twice per week with your preferred product or scrubbing tool and stick with cleansing and toning to preserve your healthy glow.

Skincare Mistake #6: Not Washing Off Eye Makeup
If you’re waking up with globs of mascara and crackled eye shadow, your eyelids may be prone to developing wrinkles and breakouts. Use a high quality eye makeup remover to keep your peepers looking youthful – and clean.

Skincare Mistake #7: Touching Your Face
Touching your face throughout the day, whether you’re just leaning on your hands or you’re glued to the cell phone, can take its toll on your skin. You are at a higher risk of breakouts and wrinkles with the constant trauma, so keep those fingers and products away from your skin to avoid contamination from germs and oils in your environment.

Sources:

JustMommies.com
http://www.reddingdermatology.com/skinfacts.htm
http://beauty.ivillage.com/