Having perfect skin can seem like an unlikely dream for those of us who have battled skin conditions over the years. Don’t surrender yet though! In the six years I’ve been an esthetician, I’ve helped people with all skin types deal with tons of skin issues, and I’ve learned quite a few secrets, DIY treatments, and helpful tidbits along the way. From lavender oil to digestive health to choosing the right skincare products, here are some tricks of the trade that will help you achieve the ever elusive “perfect” skin. Keep reading »
In June, I went to the doctor with what appeared to be a spider bite on my back. The bite had gotten seriously infected and was oozing pus. In October, I went to the doctor because I had an infected cold sore. My lip swelled up, and my face puffed out. And in January, I went to the doctor because of an infected ingrown hair. The infected part had swelled up and was throbbing painfully. My temperature was elevated and I was prescribed another round of antibiotics and warm compresses on the spot.
So that’s three major infections, and three rounds of antibiotics. Three different major skin problems — with their attendant pain and embarrassment — in three months. And it’s all my fault. I can’t stop picking at my skin.
Keep reading »
I’d had enough with drugstore moisturizers until I found the heavenly Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer. This little blessing in a bottle was just calling out to my acne-inflamed face. After using the moisturizer for the last four months, I have noticed how few breakouts I now have, how much the size of my inflammations have been reduced, and how invisible the red scarring of previous breakouts has become with every application. While the moisturizer does make my face a bit shiny at times, I’ve decided that using tons of blotting papers is worth the price of clear skin! [$15, Aveeno]
I’ve always had good skin. It’s not the best skin in the world, but it’s good — I was fortunate enough to escape adolescence largely unscathed by acne eruptions, and even now I rarely have more than one pimple at any given moment. Thanks in part to my fastidious skincare routine and borderline obsessive refusal to not fall asleep with makeup on no matter how exhausted or inebriated (or both, as is usually the case) I am, my skin is good enough that I field compliments on it regularly. Keep reading »
The first step to getting over a problem is admitting that you have one. Now that we’ve divulged our summer beauty routines, I figured it was time to give up the goods on the five-step program that keeps my naturally oily skin looking summertime fly, and by that I mean dry. If you’re having grease problems, I feel bad for you, son, but I can almost guarantee that mine are worse than yours, especially during the hottest months of the year when sweat exacerbates the issue. My face practically screams, “Drill me.”
With years of market research (sometimes referred to as “shopping at Sephora”), I’ve found that the best way to treat my reactive, combination-to-oily skin and keep it under control is by supplementing my sensitive skin wash-and-tone routine with sebum-fighting powerhouses that simultaneously work to clear up blemishes. Most of them will get you matte in a pinch, and others help with oil production and congestion in the long run. Use one or all of these five tried-and-true slick-solvers, blot throughout the day as necessary, and revel in your miraculously matte complexion. Now isn’t that a relief?
My acne-ridden youth (okay, fine, it was like 20 zits total) engrained in me that chocolate was a pimple-flaring, oil-producing skincare devil to be avoided at all costs. In my more recent, better-skinned years I’ve turned to the dark, 80% cocoa variety to cure me of late-afternoon nap compulsion and early-morning sugar cravings, but I never suspected that the chocolate could actually be to thank for my clearer, more radiant complexion. A new report in the Journal of Nutrition discovers what may in fact be the Best News Ever: not only do women who eat more chocolate tend to have smoother, more hydrated skin, but chocolate itself is choc-full of antioxidants that help to shield skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Keep reading »
Skin: Our largest organ, and also probably our biggest pain in the butt. Managing its temperamental, over-sensitive ways is pretty much a full-time gig, especially if your skin is a delicate Sensitive Sally like mine. Thankfully, we’ve got our new BFF, esthetician Jenna Kulp, to help us solve our skin woes. Jenna’s here to answer all of your troubling skin problems—to offer suggestions and solutions to your skincare needs. If you’ve got a question for Jenna, email us (put “Question for Jenna” in the subject line) and we’ll pass it along! And after the jump, Jenna takes on super bad sunburns and the best way to pop pesky pimples. Keep reading »
I have a confession to make: I’m a popper. Not a popper of pills, mind you. I am a popper of pimples. I know that’s gross, and I’m sorry. However, I do think that, at the very least, I owe it to you, dear reader, to hold myself responsible: My name is Sara Barron, and I’m a pimple-popping addict.
My mother was also an addict, and these sorts of things, see, they run in the family. I first noticed I had a problem just as soon as I went through puberty. I’d get delightful bursts of whiteheads on my face and, I swear to god, it was like they were talking to me. Pop me … pop me … you simply HAVE to pop me. The idea that some people get zits, and are capable of just leaving them alone seems utterly bizarre to me. If you’d said, “Sara: Here’s the deal. There’s a ripe and massive whitehead on your face. You can either A) Pop it, but then you have to run the Boston Marathon, or B) Not pop it, but then you won’t have to run the Boston Marathon,” I’d be like, “Get me some bandaids for my nipples, motherf**ker. I will be running that marathon. And I will be popping that zit.” Keep reading »
I have problem skin. And dermatological fixes have only been temporary. Why? For starters, there are only so many times I will put my body through courses of Accutane and antibiotics. Second, harsh prescription products only frustrate me because of waiting through a dry and red phase (almost seems not worth it). And last, these products aren’t fun, so I usually stop using them for something beauty-oriented.
Ordinarily, I don’t spend a huge amount on skin care either because it’s been covered by insurance, or I’ve just reverted to drugstore basics. But, against my intuition, I recently decided to spend big. After consulting a few beauty industry friends, I compiled a list of top-quality must-haves. The results have been great. While I’d like to say the benefits have been due to superior ingredients, I’m almost more inclined to think that it’s simple mathematics. I spent a lot on these products, therefore I’ve wanted to get my money’s worth, and used them diligently and created a routine. Keep in mind: Yes, buying all these products at once costs a lot. Sephora staffers are happy to give you samples, so you can think on it before committing.
Read on to find out what’s worked! Keep reading »
I don’t get pimples often, but when I do, they’re often painful and difficult to eliminate. I have figured out a pimple-killing strategy that works for my skin — benzoyl peroxide wash, bacteria-fighting prescribed gel, benzoyl peroxide spot treatment cream, and toothpaste at night if the zit is a real doozy. This approach works, but can take days longer than I’d like to clear up a pimple, and I often have a hyper-pigmentation mark after. A few days ago, I could feel two zits under the surface of my skin on my chin — that’s what a day of sweating at the beach can do. So I decided to try the Claro IPL Acne Clearing Device, instead of my usual regimen. Keep reading »