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 »
Each summer, as I dare to don the shorter garments in my closet, I’m taken back to junior high gym class. Playing kickball and running laps with no athletic ability was pretty humiliating, but worse was doing it as the most pallid, Gollum-like adolescent in the gym. As classmates caught sight of my near translucent, purplish legs, I’d hear the common refrain: “Get a tan, girl!”
Could I get a tan? Should I get a tan? I’ve asked myself these questions countless times since I first came to realize I looked borderline cadaverous. Now, more than a decade later, I have the answers. Keep reading »
When it comes to products that I feel very strongly that I NEEEEEED, they generally cost more than my ConEd bill for any given month. I love luxury beauty because it makes me feel that I, by owning and using it, become luxurious by osmosis. It’s a little mind game that I like to play with myself: if I buy this $150 serum, it will make me the kind of fabulous girl who warrants a $150 serum in the first place! Yay marketing! Keep reading »
Exfoliation is one of the most important things you can do for your skin, but the approach has changed immensely over the past couple of years. Whereas a simple scrub once sufficed, we now have endless options that range from chemical exfoliators (like acids and peels) to intense, deep-cleansing physical tools (like the ever-popular Clarisonic). Yes, “chemical peel” is a terrifying name and concept, but its bark is far worse than its bite: while peels were once strictly relegated to the offices of cosmetic specialists, today’s at-home formulas use fruit-derived enzymes and plant extracts to smooth, clarify, and encourage cell turnover to dramatically reduce signs of aging.
Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie offers innovative “professional level” (their quotes, not mine) exfoliating technology with their Cellular Resurfacing 3-Minute Peel, but at $210 for a small jar, the price alone might induce more fine lines than it promises to erase (and skincare naturalists like myself will be put off by the fact that a full list of ingredients can be found … nowhere). This is where Murad Intensive-C® Radiance Peel comes in: at $49.50, it’s less than 1/4 the price of La Prairie’s version, and you can actually feel the active enzymes as they work their brightening, hydrating, pore-shrinking witchcraft. La who, now?
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 »