Beauty Bloggers Share 19 Skincare Secrets You May Not Know

Skincare emergency? Feeling a bit … blah and less than luminous lately? Sometimes a little tweak in your skincare routine is all you need to get glowy skin.

Beauty bloggers have picked up the best skincare tips of makeup artists, models, beauty editors, and other skincare experts. Chances are that we’ve tried that new cream you’re so excited about and can tell you if that handheld device really did help heal a blemish.

19 Skincare Tips You Didn’t Know

From why you do need an eye cream to blemish fighting tips you didn’t think of, here are 19 skincare tips to make you glow!

Control Oily Skin with a Universal Soap

“Black African Soap can be purchased at Farmer’s Markets and even off of eBay. This cheap soap is all natural and while it looks like clumps of dirt, it is easy to use and is gentle enough to be used every day. Used in replacement of your daily face cleanser, Black African Soap will give you a face that is squeaky clean and cut down on both oil and acne. You can even use it on your whole body.”

Sun-Kissed Legs Made Simple

“If you don’t have time to book a self-tanning session, spike lotion with bronzer. Mix a few pumps of liquid bronzer with regular body lotion. Rub it over legs for a gradual dose of sexy, beachy color.”

Easy and Gentle Lip Exfoliation

“Chapped lips need gentle exfoliation to effectively treat and remove dried skin. Take a little Vaseline or petroleum jelly on a soft child’s toothbrush and gently scrub in circular motions to remove old skin and moisturize at the same time. If a toothbrush isn’t handy try a little raw sugar for the scrubbing action.”

How to Make Creme de la Mer a Great Value

“Creme de la Mer is fabulous, but it is also expensive. Use it sparingly in ways you haven’t thought of though and it can actually be a good value! Creme de la Mer tips include using it as an eye cream or brow conditioner.”

The Single Best Way To Prevent Crow’s Feet

“Creams and serums are terrific, but the best way to prevent Crow’s Feet is to wear large, fashionable sunglasses as often as possible! The frames not only look glamorous, but actually block the sun from toasting you delicate undereye area. Be sure they offer UV protection!”

Face Flakey? Try Dandruff Shampoo

“There are a lot of reason to have the dry flakies near your nose, and the least likely is actually the dry skin that most of us blame. It could be anything from facial dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) to rosacea to a fungal infection! Instead of scrubbing the area (which usually only irritates the situation) or piling on moisturizer, try your dandruff shampoo. A pea sized amount while you’re in the shower is often long enough to help the situation. You’ll be surprised how often this takes care of the problem!”

Could Your Skin Use A Boost?

“Is your skin looking dull and lackluster? An at-home peel can remove dull surface cells and help to even and brighten skin tone. I love using peels because the results are fast and it is gentle enough to use once a week!”

Pore Strip Your Entire Face with Stuff From Your Kitchen

“I used to cover my face with expensive pore strips, but then I found a recipe for a DIY Pore Stripping Mask which uses only plain gelatin and a little milk. Mix them up, heat it for about 10 seconds in the microwave and apply. Once it has dried you peel it off, and everythingcomes out of your pores as well. Genius!”

The First Step to Banish Acne

“From full blown acne to just a blemish now and again, you have the first step in getting rid of it right in your linen closet! Change your pillowcase EVERY night. Hair products, oil, leftover makeup and more soil your pillow, why would you want to lay your face on that? If you keep a fresh stack near your bed (so you don’t have an excuse not to do it) you’ll be one step closer to clear skin.”

Is Eye Cream Necessary?

“Do you really need an eye cream? Yes, you really do. In a pinch it is fine to use your face cream, but the skin in this area is thinner and absorbs active ingredients more readily (so that retinoid is more likely to irritate your under eye area), and the skin here has different needs as well. Do yourself a favor and use a separate cream here!”

Consider LED Light Therapy For Your Skin

“Home LED Light Devices are a powerful, high tech way to treat skin conditions and tackle aging with good success rates. Try blue light for acne and red for anti aging.”

Shorten the Lifespan of a Pimple

“To save time when trying to cover a large pimple and shave some time off of the lifespan of it, take a few minutes to apply ice. Wrap a cube in a washcloth and hold it against the pimple for 1 minute. The ice will reduce the inflammation and redness, making it much easier to hide. Want to get really fancy? Make ice cubes out of green tea for extra healing benefits!”

Skip the Expensive Body Scrubs

“It’s easy to make your own with ingredients found right in your kitchen. Mix one cup of brown sugar with enough olive oil to make a thick paste. Take the mixture to the tub and scrub it in circular motions all over. The simple-to make scrub helps rid skin of dead cells while the oil leaves skin extra soft.”

Exfoliate Daily Without Buying A Pricey Spinning Gadget

“Try picking up a microfiber washcloth at your local drugstore or beauty website. These cloths can grip the skin in ways a normal washcloth can not and really remove dead skin cells, leaving your face looking fresh!”

Run Out of Shaving Cream?

“Do double duty by coating legs with hair conditioner. It not only softens the hair making it easier to shave, it leaves legs super soft and silky.”

Reapply Your Sunscreen

“Your sunscreen doesn’t last all day, it needs to be reapplied every 2 hours while you’re in the sun or after swimming. Reapplying sunscreen over your makeup can be tricky, resulting in a muddy mess. On days that I’ll be reapplying, I like to use waterproof makeup and as little as possible. Use a chemical sunscreen rather than a physical sunscreen and pat the sunscreen on to small areas of your face, don’t rub!”

Chose the Best Home Laser Hair Removal Device

“The Tria and the Flash and Go are the two top home laser hair removal devices. A Tria and Flash ‘n Go Comparison shows them to be almost equal in effectiveness, but the Flash and go can also be used on facial hair. Removing your hair at home can be a huge time saver!”

Great Lip Balm

“Say goodbye to chapped lips forever with Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream. This balm for nursing mothers is the best lip balm ever. All other lip balms pale in comparison to this boob cream that will have even the most chapped and cracked lips looking soft and supple in no time and keep them that way.”

EASY DIY SKINCARE RECIPES THAT TRULY CARE FOR SKIN

We’ve all heard the statistic about the skin being the body’s largest organ, but opinions about how to care for its extensive surface area range from “leave it alone” to “use all the products!”. I’ve decided to throw my own two cents into the ring and share my sweet, step-by-step DIY skincare regime that happens to fall neatly in the middle of these two approaches – a handful of homemade products and practices that will help your skin look great, naturally.

Before we get started, I feel as though it’s necessary to state that I’m most definitely not a dermatologist, and if you have specific skin issues that may make it challenging to discontinue use of your current products and/or start using new ones, then it’s probably best to consult with your doctor before embarking on this adventure. For those with fairly normal skin, let’s get experimenting!

DIY skincare to the rescue

First things first, we need a clean slate to work with – we need to clean our skin somehow. About five years ago I stopped using any sort of body wash or facial cleanser and I haven’t looked back since. I don’t miss that tight feeling I used to get after washing my face or stepping out of the shower, and I’ve noticed that my skin is way less dry and itchy, too. In the shower, I use natural bar soap for armpits, feet, and around my lady business. For my face, I simply use a hot washcloth to gently steam and then scrub my face. Avoiding detergent-based soaps, cleansers and washes can prevent your skin from having all its wonderful natural oils stripped and then having to produce it excessively as a means of replacement.

Next, we exfoliate! This is more of a weekly thing than a daily regime, but I like to do it on a regular basis to slough off dead skin, and keep skin looking and feeling soft and dewy. For my body I usually whip up an easy DIY scrub by mixing together an exfoliant and a liquid – usually some mixture of the following:

  • Exfoliants: White sugar, brown sugar, coffee grounds, salt
  • Liquids: Olive oil, coconut oil, honey, water, lemon juice
  1. Add a few tablespoons of the exfoliant first, then slowly add the liquid until it forms a loose paste.
  2. Use your fingertips to gently apply to your body and scrub softly, paying particular attention to knees, elbows, and any other rough spots.

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Let’s face it

For my face, I like to use something a little finer, and my go-to for years had been a mixture of baking soda and water. Same as above, add about a tablespoon of baking soda in a little bowl and add water until it forms a loose paste, then apply with the fingertips and massage in small, circular motions, avoiding the tender skin around the eyes. This face scrub is approximately 99% cheaper than anything you’ll find in a store and there’s no plastic bottle to throw out afterward, either. It’s an unbelievable way to reveal perfect, glowy skin – just don’t scrub too hard! Let the baking soda do the work.

Tone, not alone

Next, a toner. This is an optional step, but a good one if you tend to have oily skin. I used this initially, but over the years, my transition from mid-twenties skin to early-thirties skin means it now leans toward the dry side and I don’t find that I really need it. If you do, the recipe is easy-peasy. Just mix equal parts of organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) with water, and apply to the face with a cotton ball or – even better, a reusable cloth pad. No need to rinse, the ACV dries odorless.

Ready, set, moisturize

Finally, we moisturize! For my body, I love to use unrefined coconut oil for an after-shower full body massage, it’s a great way to keep moisture in the skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth. Simply apply pea-sized amounts of coconut oil to the skin with your fingertips and massage it in until it’s completely absorbed. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but it will liquify as soon as it hits your warm skin. I typically use around 1-2 Tbsp for my whole body.

Those in humid climates may find that this is enough, but if you’re in an arid climate like I am, whipping up this luxe DIY body lotion is fantastic for dry skin.

  • 3 tbsp grated beeswax
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sterile water (boiled and cooled is how I do mine)
  1. Place olive oil into a double boiler over low-medium heat and add the grated beeswax.
  2. When it has melted into the olive oil, remove from heat.
  3. Place water into a blender and turn it on to medium speed.
  4. Then, slooooowly add the olive oil/beeswax mixture. At first it will look like a huge clumpy mess, but adding the oil slowly will allow it and the water to emulsify into a rich cream.
  5. Add a few drops of essential oil if you like your lotion scented, and store in a sterile glass jar.

And, if you’re a makeup-wearer, here’s a bonus tip. Use a few dabs of unrefined coconut oil to remove eye makeup in a snap. Just massage a tiny amount onto your eyelids and eyelashes, and use a warm, wet cloth to wipe it off. It’s a really easy, gentle way to remove eye makeup while being really gentle on that sensitive skin around the eyes.

And there you have it! With a handful of simple products you probably already have in your pantry, you can create a host of easy, natural DIY skincare recipes that will have your skin glowing in no time. No plastic, no unpronounceable chemicals, and virtually no cost.

DIY hygiene

As an added bonus, we’ve whipped up several other DIY hygiene recipes which you may also be interested in including DIY body wash, DIY dry shampoo, DIY body lotion, DIY conditioner, DIY facewash, DIY shave cream, DIY aftershave, DIY toothpaste and DIY deodorant. Go ahead, give them a try today!
DIY-hygiene

Read This Before Investing In Skin Care

imageAsk a group of people what they feel when they hear the word “exclusive,” and you’ll get a range of emotions. For some, the idea of committing to one S.O., one job, even one cell phone carrier, provides a sense of security. For others, a feeling of suffocation.
The same could be said for your skin-care routine. Sure, it may feel satisfying to complete your one-brand routine each morning and night, but do you ever wonder what else is out there?
Not to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you, but we can’t help but wonder: Is your medicine cabinet really a place for exclusivity, or should you be cheating? Luckily, the answer is surprisingly black-and-white.

Why The Pros Want You To Cheat

The pros have spoken and the answer is clear: You should be cheating, with one exception (but more on that later).
“Honestly, buying a one-brand, multi-step system is for the lazy person,” Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, board-certified dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, says. “If you’re willing to do your homework and shop around, you’re probably going to put together a better skin-care regime for yourself than that of a package deal.”
Why? In short, you’re getting a lot of stuff you simply don’t need and could be missing out on the things you do need from different brands. No surprise here: Not every line is the best in every category.
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michael Swann, when you buy into a full line, you’re probably getting filler products. And what’s worse, things that are doing more harm than good for your skin. “Every successful product line looks at their market, just like any good business does,” Dr. Swann explains.
That means, if something like a face mist or a peeling agent is having a moment in the industry, the big lines try to create something to fill that category in order to go after that customer. The product gets stuck into a pre-existing line. “The problem is, you’ve got these lines that have tons of different things that your skin may or may not need,” he says. “I’m not saying they don’t all work, but buyer beware.”

EVERY SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT LINE LOOKS AT THEIR MARKET, JUST LIKE ANY GOOD BUSINESS DOES

MICHAEL SWANN, MD

How To Cheat The Right Way

Instead of committing to a full line without giving it much thought, Dr. Swann prefers a “skin typing” approach to creating your own unique routine. It’s simple: Determine what your skin type is (you may need the help of a dermatologist or aesthetician for this) and what your goals are (to prevent fine lines, breakouts, dullness, or just keep the status quo with the right protection, for example). Then, look for products that fit your needs and are suited to your skin-type.

Dr. Swann recommends cherry-picking from lines that do clinical testing for efficacy, likeObagi, SkinMedica, and Elta MD. Skinceuticals, which releases studies on their efficacy, is also a good one to explore.

But before you get overwhelmed, heed Dr. Tanzi’s advice. “Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated,” she says. “You just need three steps.” That is: cleanse, treat, and protect with sunscreen in the morning; cleanse, treat, and moisturize at night.

Disclaimer: This isn’t to say that some lines aren’t a great base for your research. There’s no denying that you will find great products packaged together, but don’t feel obliged to go all in just because the brand is marketing them as a line — think of trying a range a bit like dating, not every person product is going to work with you and your needs, no matter how alluring they are. [Ed. note: For me, face mists are like bad boys, they seem like they’ll be fun and invigorating, but they just dry out my skin.]

HONESTLY, BUYING A ONE-BRAND, MULTI-STEP SYSTEM IS FOR THE LAZY PERSON.

ELIZABETH TANZI, MD

Monogamy Has Its Benefits

Of course, this isn’t totally black-and-white. “There are some advantages to using a single line of products,” Dr. Swann explains. “If a company that is manufacturing the products does a lot of testing, they’re probably testing the products together.” That translates to “elegance of use,” Dr. Swann says, which doesn’t mean more effective, just more pleasant (one product won’t pill on another and everything will feel and smell good together) and easier to use (the order and time of day is often mapped out for you).

Dr. Tanzi also notes that for people who don’t prioritize their skin-care routines, or are simply way too busy to put some thought into things, sticking to a line is their best bet. Translation: You may be spending more money and not getting maximum results, but it’s certainly better than not caring for your skin or adding to the stress of your already busy life. (We feel you.)
For people with incredibly reactive skin, finding a line that works for you can be a godsend, because after all, if it’s keeping your skin clear, balanced, and healthy, that’s all that really matters. For example, we’ve heard countless tales from editors and celebrities alike who swear by the power of complete lines like Somme Institute (seen above) and Biologique Recherche. Proof positive that sometimes, shopping around isn’t worth it when you have a good thing going.

IT’S QUICK AND DIRTY, BUT BETTER THAN NOTHING IF YOU CAN’T SHOP AROUND.

ELIZABETH TANZI, MD

The Exception To The Rule: Acne

“Acne is a little bit of a different animal,” Dr. Swann explains. Using Proactiv as his example, he breaks it down like this: No ingredient in a typical acne kit is fancy or unique to that kit (acne lines are all basically made up of the same ingredients, but more on that in a second); but packaged together, they make it easy to feel like you’re doing something to help your breakouts.

And you are: “Around 90% of acne is main acne, or acne vulgaris. So, when someone sees results with a series of products, they’re going to stick with it,” Dr. Swann explains.

Dr. Tanzi agrees. “There are a couple of key ingredients for acne that work: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, plus something to soothe the skin, so it’s a little easier to get a good kit for acne than it is to get a kit for something like anti-aging,” she says. “I’ll have patients call me and say ‘I’m not in the country right now,’ or, ‘I just need something quick for my acne,’ and I tell them to go to CVS and buy La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar system,” she says. “It’s quick and dirty, but better than nothing if you can’t shop around.”

Lesson Learned

The moral of the story? If you suffer from acne, can’t be bothered to pick and choose, or have a good thing going, a pre-designed routine could be a great option for you, but don’t feel beholden to every product, since some could just be filler. As for everyone else? Playing the field is all it’s cracked up to be.

Beauty review: Enhancing my skincare routine with Innisfree’s Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack

It is seriously hard to maintain good skin in Singapore – especially for me.

This may sound a bit like a rant but why can’t we enjoy cooler weather here and not feel like we are stepping into a sauna whenever we leave the house?

Moreover with outdoor air pollution, ladies in Singapore usually end up with a ‘melted’ face of cakey foundation and oil pools around our T-Zones – especially around our noses – by the end of the day.

With my oily and sensitive skin, I have been experimenting with my skincare regime.

I remove my make-up everyday by massaging my face with extra virgin olive oil. Then, I will apply some honey to moisturise my skin, and leave it on for about five to 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

Every other day, I exfoliate dead skin with a black sugar face scrub from KLAIRS. I will also use an egg-white mask once a week to remove pesky black and white heads.

Although my current skincare regime leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh, I still feel that I am missing something.

After unclogging my pores, I need a product that can help close them up.

I also want to brighten the dull skin tone around my nose whenever it gets oily.

Gel-like texture, cooling effect

 

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Recently, I tried using the Innisfree Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack ($37) for a week to see if it suits my needs.

According to Korean beauty company, the sleeping pack is a cream infused with six types of citrus flavonoids extracted from organic tangerine peels, which helps to brighten up dull skin tones, correct dark spots, and refine uneven pore textures.

innisfree

I found the cream easy to spread over my face with its gel-like texture. It felt light and cooling on the skin and also had a light orange scent.

After applying the sleeping pack, I chilled out in an air-conditioned room to help it dry up.

As it was a leave-on treatment, I placed a soft towel on my pillow to prevent the cream from transferring to my pillow case.

Rinsing off the sleeping pack with warm water the next morning left my skin feeling firm and smooth.

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After using the cream for three nights, I found that it reduced my skin redness.

A week later, my skin lost the usual patchy redness and it felt smooth. The dry skin around my forehead and cheeks also looked more hydrated.

It was hard to tell if the size of my pores became smaller during the review period but I think there might be more visible results with longer use of the sleeping pack.

My only peeve of this product was its gel-like texture. The stickiness gave me an icky feeling and I had keep my hair away so it wouldn’t get stuck to my face.

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After I finish up Innisfree Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack, I am keen to give Innisfree’s White Tone Up Sleeping Pack ($24) a try.

It seems like a promising product as it has the 6 Free System stamp, which means it is free from parabens (chemical preservatives), talc, artificial colours, animal ingredients, mineral oil, and artificial fragrance.

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Tried and Tested: Six super glycolic skincare treatments

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L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Peeling Lotion 29

A long time staple in my bathroom cabinet and one of my favourites. It’s very good at smoothing out skin and exfoliating gently without any scrubbing which makes it ideal for fragile skin. Use after cleansing as your would a toner, don’t wash it off and apply your normal serum or moisturiser on top. I haven’t noticed any “peeling” so I’m not sure why that’s in the name. Don’t worry, your face won’t fall off.

image (2)

Estée Lauder Idealist Dual Action Refinishing Treatment €50.50

This is a great product that works really well to smooth skin and exfoliate because it contains high levels of active ingredients. The glycolic is joined by salicylic acid (the pore unblocker) and you’ll feel the difference straight after use. Spread over cleansed skin and massage in – you don’t have to use much. Leave it on for five minutes, wash off and bingo.

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Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Retexturising Pads €60.45

This box of cotton discs is saturated in a mixture of glycolic and amino acids. I like it because it couldn’t be more simple; swipe a disk over your face to quickly exfoliate and you’re done.

image (4)Neostrata Oily Skin Solution €39.95

Neostrata make some of the strongest glycolic treatments around and this kit is designed to be used once a week for four weeks. It’s pretty strong and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to those of you with fragile or sensitive skin. However you can use it anywhere on the body and it can help to clear skin on the back or chest for instance. As men’s skin is thicker and often oiler than women’s it’s a treatment that is worth considering if skin is very congested

image (5)Clarisonic Sonic Radiance cleansing device Kit €249

The Clarisonic Aria is very effective method of sweeping away dead skin cells and exfoliating at the same time. I like this kit because it includes three cleansing products all with ingredients to brighten skin. The evening cleanser includes a gentle glycolic and lactic acid mix which work with the brush to deeply exfoliate. Your serum or moisturiser can sink into new fresh cells and will do a better job. Yes, there are cheaper sonic brushes out there but in some cases you get what you pay for and this is one of them.

image (6)Aisling Loves . . . Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask €35

I use this mask all the time because it’s easy, quick and really works. Despite the current trend for leaving makeup on all night we all know that it’s a very bad move. This mask is the quickest way to recharge. Spread a thick layer of the gloop over your face for ten minutes and after you’ve washed it off drench your skin with lots of moisture rich serum or moisturiser (yes even if you have oily skin). Instant forgiveness.

Kelly Rowland teases skin care line after makeup collection announcement

Kelly Rowland wants to cater to you. Yes, you, chocolate girls.

The original Destiny’s Child, Grammy Award-winning solo artist and Chasing Destiny host had the Internet jumpin’ jumpin’ this week after Essence magazine announced her makeup collection, which she will co-launch with her partner, Sheika Daley.

On the heels of the reveal, the #bosslady sat down with USA TODAY to chat about the line, which specifically caters to “chocolate girls.” And while she paid homage to the designers who have developed products for women of color, she maintained that navigating the market is still exasperating for darker-skinned women.

“What’s frustrating, I think, about that whole process is when (a line) is just discontinued. Or, you know, a lot of other makeup lines will get brought out by the bigger companies and the makeup completely changes or the color that you like will completely change,” she said. “I’m so happy that Iman’s line is still as powerful as it is. That line is so amazing to me. Bobbi Brown also has a really good line. You know, she’s not a woman of color but she’s really mastered it in my opinion. And there are other smaller lines, but there’s so much room in the marketplace for another line that caters to women of color. My partner, Sheika, and I — our makeup line is going to be for every woman, but we want to make sure that we get the women of color right.”

Rowland knows the struggle of collections getting it wrong all too well.

Reflecting on her Destiny’s Child days, she bemoaned how makeup artists struggled to match her skin tone. “I remember just being pink, a little on the olive side, maybe a little too fair, you know what I mean? So, I just want to get it right. I’d just like to keep it authentic and keep it real and keep it beautiful.”

Stay tuned for the debut date on her makeup line… and potentially, a skin care line.

“I’m also the type of person that feels like we don’t need to be covered up all the time, so I want to eventually get into skin care as well, but I got to pace myself,” she said, laughing. “I keep having all these great ideas. Like, they’re all on my vision board, but I have to pace myself.”