Saturday, January 19, 2019

3 Skincare Staples

There are 3 skincare products that absolutely everyone, no matter your skin type, should be using on a daily basis and no, it's not a cleanser (although, yes, you need that too.) These 3 products can be formulated for specific skin types so that you get what you need. I will break it down into each category, my favorites and suggestions for each skin type. These 3 things are for preventative as well as anti-aging in general. These are the best 3 things you can do for your skin as far as home care.
These 3 critical products are Vitamin C, SPF, and a Vitamin A. Vitamin C and SPFs should be used in the morning and Vitamin A at night (usually every other night). Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant that helps protect against environmental damage such as sun and sun spots, pollution, and the many other environmental factors. SPF speaks for itself. You CANNOT use vitamin C and vitamin A WITHOUT an SPF or you will cause even more damage to the skin. It must be protected from UVA/UVB rays. This is SO important. Many people think sunscreens are too greasy and it deters acne prone skin from using them and some people are too lazy and/or forget. There are so many good sunscreens out there that are non-greasy and sink into the skin so easily and this should be a step that is NEVER skipped. And lastly, a Vitamin A. These are so SO beneficial to the skin. Vitamin A helps to exfoliate the skin by turning over skin cells, helps reproduce collagen and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, clears pores, and helps to brighten the skin/fade sun spots over time. Vitamin A is amazing for anti-aging as well as clearing acne. This can come in different forms such as a prescription Retin-A which usually causes a good bit of irritation to the top layer of the skin. There are retinols, which are a derivative of Retin-A. These are usually formulated with other ingredients that can help moisturize the skin and calm irritation while still delivering the anti-aging benefits. If you've never used a Vitamin A you will most likely see slight irritation when starting to use it, but there are ways that it can be used to not be so irritating. You can either mix your retinol in with your moisturizer and apply them together, or you can apply your retinol, wait a few minutes for that to sink in, and then follow with your moisturizer. Like anything you add into your routine, you must be consistent. These 3 powerhouse products will 100% change the way your skin looks (for the better), but be consistent!

Favorites by brand and skin type:


Vitamin C:
1. Skinceuticals Phloretin CF (combo to oily skin)

2. Skinceuticals CE Ferulic (dryer skin types)



3. PCA C&E Advanced with Hexylresorcinol and Silymarin (all skin types-this one has ingredients in it to calm down slight irritation that can be caused by higher percentages of Vitamin C)



SPF:
1. EltaMD (UV Daily-dryer skin types, UV Clear-oily/acne prone skin/rosacea, UV Physical-anyone post procedure or with sensitivity to chemical filter ingredients.)



2. PCA Weightless Protection (great for all skin types)


Honestly those are my favorites, there's no #3 because I always will recommend one of these. There are other good sunscreens out there, but for the formula and the price you can't beat these!

Vitamin A/Retinol:
1. ZO Skin Health Wrinkle & Texture Repair (acne prone and deeper set wrinkles-this one is made for "leathery skin" or anyone with higher grade acne)



2. PCA (Intensive Age Refining- main concern is aging and Intensive Clarity- main concern is acne) I love the PCA ones because not only are they a great formula, but they are made for specific skin concerns. They also offer one for sensitive skin.


3. Glo Renew Serum- fantastic for acne-this formula includes salicylic acid and glycolic acid in addition to retinol. I love this one for acne prone skin, it is a very thin formula and not going to be one that moisturizes.

I personally have worked with all of these products and have seen major changes in my patients skin because of these. I use Elta MD myself, and I own all 3 of the retinols I mentioned. I stand by these products and if you have any questions about them, let me know!
These are pricey, but they last a long time and as I mentioned, are the best thing you can do for your skin at home.

At Elements, we offer these in a bundle (buy the retinol and vitamin C, get an SPF free) and I know a lot of places that do bundles like that, so you can find great deals!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Toners in Rotation

I'm so excited about this post... For the longest time I thought toner was a waste of time and money, but I have found a few that I LOVE and they make SUCH a difference!
Toner is one of those things that you can get away with not using if you are trying to be minimal with your routine and/or on a strict budget, but if you want to take your skincare routine to the next level and make sure your face is free of dirt, oil, and leftover makeup then I would try one of these out!
I almost always double cleanse (especially when I have makeup on). I oil cleanse first with hemp seed oil to get the bulk of my makeup off and then follow with my ZO exfoliating cleanser. Toner gives me that extra squeaky clean, get all the excess makeup off feeling. Now, I always follow with a good moisturizer so I never feel dried out.




Lately I've been using one of these fantastic toners (never all 3)...

1. PCA Skin Smoothing Toner- This one is great for oily/acne prone skin. I'm still pretty oily because my super oily skin is hereditary... thanks dad. This one has lactic acid as well as aloe... to keep the skin exfoliated yet hydrated and soothed. I have honestly been loving this one lately and I feel like I've seen a major difference since using this product. I mostly use this one every other night if I'm not wanting to use more salicylic acid. I find I can use this with a salicylic spot treatment if I have a blemish and it's not too harsh for my skin. 

2. ZO Skin Heath Complexion Renewal Pads or Oil Control Pads-OK STOP. If you have acne prone skin you 100% need these in your life. I am totally obsessed with these and they are my absolute favorite. These are presoaked pads with 2% salicylic acid as well as glycolic acid which is fantastic for acne prone skin. My favorites are the Oil Control pads because those are the ones with 2% salicylic, I just happen to have the complexion renewal open and currently in rotation. The complexion renewal also have salicylic but not as much as the oil control pads.These give you a clean feeling without being TOO drying. If you use these do NOT use them twice a day. I would suggest once a day if you are SUPER oily otherwise every other day. I am so in love with these and I even use them on other parts of my body if I'm having a breakout (my back, shoulders, chest, etc.) These are so good and I cannot recommend them enough.

3. Obagi CLENZIderm MD Pore Therapy- This one is so similar to the formula of the renewal pads. They were both created by doctor Obagi this is just the first formula. I will rotate these two (you don't need both, just giving options) and I apply this with a cotton pad. I will say I don't like that this one has the purple coloring to it, so if you're not about that, then stick to the ZO pads. Honestly, I don't mind it and it doesn't irritate me or bother me in any way. The ingredients are very similar and pretty much work the same. This one also has 2% sal acid. It also has glycerin which is a soothing ingredient and will help to reduce irritation. I find the only differences between the two are that this one is just the liquid, no pads included, and the fact that this has menthol in it. I believe this is for that cooling as well as "pore tightening" effect. This one has a nostalgic scent for me and I don't know why. I feel some deja vu when using this and I LOVE this scent. It tingles a bit when applying (menthol), but I don't mind it. Again, it's not too drying for my skin especially when I follow this with my PCA clearskin moisturizer. Loving this one as well.
There is a pretty hefty price difference between the two, the ZO pads will run you about $51 and the Obagi clenziderm about $30. Either of these are a fantastic option for oily skin and I highly recommend both.

These are my favorites lately! You can find these through a local skin professional in your area (always support local estheticians and there is almost always a special going on in office!)
If you're in the Austin area, let me know if you want the hook up!
If you''re in the BR area, my lovely ladies at LWCA offer both the Obagi line as well as ZO Skin Health. 

I honestly use and love each of these. 
If you don't have oily skin I still would recommend using a toner. I love the PCA Nutrient Toner for ALL skin types (this one is SO good, let me know if you want more details) as well as the Thayers witch hazel toners.

Hope this helps!

XOXO

Sunday, December 2, 2018

November Empties (2018)

I've gone through some great things lately, some newish and some regulars!


Biolage Smooth Proof Conditioner- This was ok, nothing fantastic. I feel like I had to use a lot of product to smooth and condition my hair and I ran out too quickly. I normally don't need a lot of conditioner especially because my hair is naturally oily, but I felt like a lot more of this product was necessary to get all of the tangles out. I won't repurchase this, but I do love the shampoo!

ZO Oilacleanse- This cleanser has unfortunately been discontinued. This was a part of the ZO medical line which they merged with their skin health line. They discontinued this cleanser because the formula was too similar to the ZO exfoliating cleanser. There are very few differences between the cleansers and I love the exfoliating cleanser as well which will be the one that I pop open next. I will say that I liked this cleanser better than the exfoliating cleanser. For some reason I felt like this one packed a bit more punch. This cleanser has exfoliating beads in it as well as red colored beads that contained vitamin E. Those are meant to be rubbed into the skin until the color disappears. This also has salicylic acid in it which again is great for oily skin like mine. Loved this so much and I'm sad it's discontinued BUT I will be using the exfoliating cleanser next!

ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense- I ran out of this two days after I took these pictures, so it didn't make it in, but still an empty and I've definitely shown in before. Still obsessed. All time favorite product, cannot live without. Of course I have a back up. I won't type anything else about this because I swear it's been mentioned in a million posts of mine.

EltaMD UV Physical- I used this SPF constantly on our honeymoon in Costa Rica. This is my favorite facial SPF when I know I will be sweating/outside and I need a full physical block. I usually rotate between this and the Elta Clear SPF for my daily wear, but if I'm outdoors I always choose this one. I did repurchase this!

PCA Skin Clearskin Moisturizer- My favorite night time moisturizer. For my oily skin it isn't too thick, but gives me enough moisture to keep me from being too dry when using acne spot treatments and retinols. I have definitely repurchased this and it is one of my holy grail products for sure.

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 gel (mini)- I believe I've reviewed this in full before, but I absolutely love this stuff. I haven't repurchased the full size yet, but it is on my list. This is so great especially in the winter because it gives you the extra hydration your skin may be lacking in the colder months.


Well People Biocorrect concealer (mini)- This was a very good concealer that was full coverage and did not crease! Some reviews on this say it's not for dryer skin so dry skin beware, but speaking for an oily skin gal this was great. The only thing I didn't love about this was the color. It was a bit dark to use under the eyes so it wasn't brightening enough for me, but I did have the shade "light" and could have gone one down. If you are into more clean makeup this is a great option and would definitely recommend! I am not repurchasing this simply because I have others I like better and need to use up.


What have you gone through lately and repurchased?



Monday, October 8, 2018

Post workout recovery snacks

After you finish a workout it is important to refuel your body of the nutrients that have been depleted. It is best to refuel within 30 minutes of completing your workout. When it comes to recovery snacks, you need to eat something with a good amount of protein and carbs to replenish your energy stores and repair your muscles. Here are some of my favorite recovery snacks...

1. Protein Shake: This is the quickest and easiest way to refuel. You can either make your own as soon as you get home, or stop and pick one up on your way home. Our gym and I know many others offer shakes in house so I will make one right after I finish up. I will usually mix the chocolate whey protein with a little peanut butter and half of a banana. YUM. If I'm mixing it up I will use vanilla protein with blueberries and banana. Equally as delicious!

2. Peanut butter & banana toast or rice cake: I recently discovered that I actually like rice cakes... They are so easy to top with whatever you want! Post workout (or even quick breakfast) I've been doing peanut butter, banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon! SO good and great for refueling your body. If you're not a fan of the rice cakes you can use toast instead!
I have also topped my rice cakes with a HIGH PROTEIN cream cheese and blueberries with a little drizzle of honey!

3. Greek Yogurt with fruit and granola: You can play around with this and choose whatever fruit you like on top! I love greek yogurt with honey (my favorite is from Trader Joe's) to give it a little more flavor. I like to top with fresh berries, granola, and some sliced almonds!

4. Hummus and Pita bread: This will give you a good mix of protein and carbs to refuel your muscles, and if you want some extra protein grab some sliced turkey!

5. Turkey and cheese roll ups: Easy enough and delicious. Grab an apple too to add some extra carbs!

It's so important to eat after you finish a workout to replenish your body of what you just burned, but it's also important to be mindful of WHAT you eat after. You definitely want to have a good amount of protein as well as carbs, (about 1:2 ratio) but make sure what you're putting in nourishes your body rather than putting in empty calories that do nothing for you. Happy snacking!

xoxo

Monday, October 1, 2018

Wear Test: Stila Stay All Day

I got a sample of this from Sephora and it was described (obviously) as a long wearing foundation so I figured I would do a wear test of this one! The color that matched me best was Light 3 and it blended in well.
This foundation is supposed to be a concealer and foundation in one so that makes me think full coverage and long lasting. It says that it is lightweight, high-definition, buildable coverage, oil-free, matte foundation. So lets get into it...

7:30 am upon application:
This looked great upon application and it is definitely a matte foundation. Pretty full coverage and everything layered on top well.


(tired eyes)

9:30 am update:
It still looks good, but I find it has seeped into the pores a little more than I would like...


2:00 pm
This has definitely broken up around my nose and around my jawline. It doesn't look too bad, but those spots are really falling apart...

6:00 pm
I am looking really oily here and my nose, chin, and jawline have not held up well. It still doesn't look terrible and I wouldn't say it's a BAD foundation, but not my favorite so far. There are definitely others that are more long wearing. I liked the finish of this and it went on nicely, but to me it's not worth purchasing.




xoxo



Thursday, September 13, 2018

He is Faithful

Exciting things have happened since my last update... Dainon and I have moved into a new bigger and beautiful place! We are finally starting to get settled in and loving our new home together. Shoutout to his awesome family for all of their help moving us in, they were amazing! It wasn't all easy... we had some leaks, and an air conditioning problem where we had to go without a/c for 3 nights. If you know me and my dramatic self that was hell in itself. Thank God it has been overcast because otherwise I don't know what I would have done in full on Texas heat with no air. Anyway, that's finally fixed and hopefully we don't run into any other major issues.
Other good news, I got a full time job at a laser spa, which seems like it's going to be a great job for me! I will be working mostly afternoons/evenings which should work out well traffic wise, and Dainon has late classes anyway. I will have some time to sleep in and run errands if need be in the mornings. The Lord always provides and this situation was no different. He put us in a great area and gave me a job doing something that I love with room to grow and be successful. I am very thankful!
So far I am loving it here and I can't wait to see what God has in store for us!

Philippians 4:19
 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Psalms 36:5  
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.


Lamentations 3:22-23
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new  every morning; great is your faithfulness


Thanking God for supplying for all of our needs, for being faithful, and for always keeping His promises!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Empties Lately



PCA Clearskin moisturizer- I go through this about every 4 months or so and it still amazes me that I'm sticking to the products I love and see results with! This is definitely a favorite of mine and I've already repurchased!

ZO exfoliating polish- I love using this stuff 2x a week for a quick physical exfoliation. I already have 2 back ups!

Lulu Organics hair powder- I really liked using this in place of a dry shampoo. I like the ingredients in this product and it definitely soaked up any excess oil! I would definitely purchase the full size of this although it is pretty pricey!



ZO daily power defense (full size)- Obsessed and will continue to break the bank for this product! I honestly can't go without it. It is a very lightweight moisturizer with plenty of actives (little bit of retinol, antioxidants, little bit of hydration) and my skin loves it.

Marc Jacobs Twinklepop in Volver- If you know me at all, you know it is so hard for me to fully go through a makeup product! I am always wanting to try new products especially when it comes to eye shadow. This is SO easy to do in the mornings before work and I still look put together. I love how neutral but pretty this color is and I already bought another in this color and one in hunny bunny! Absolutely love these!

Mychelle liquid tint SPF (not pictured)- I love the coverage that this tinted SPF gives, and it doesn't feel heavy. It has a matte finish and somedays I will skip foundation and use this with a wee bit of concealer under the eyes instead! Does the job beautifully!

EltaMD UV Clear- This is my every single darn day facial SPF and I just love it! It has niacinamide in it to help keep the skin clear, it's so light weight, and sits well underneath my makeup! I already have two back ups of this as well! Forever love this sunscreen.

EltaMD UV Pure- This SPF is purely a physical block and does NOT budge. This can be used on the face and body. This formula is 90 minutes water resistant. I wear this when I go for a run a and I don't sweat if off. I also use it on vacation (used it on our honeymoon the whole time) and it works really well! This has a slight white cast, but I don't mind that. Definitely have repurchased.

Urban Decay Deslick setting spray- I did like this, but I didn't repurchase this one, I went for the original setting spray when it was on sale and feel that they work the same way. My makeup definitely lasts longer when I use this and I'm not near as oily!


What products have you gone through lately that you love??