Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How to get rid of acne

While reading Elle Canada magazine, I came across an article about acne treatment. Dr. Benjamin Barankin, from the Toronto dermatology center, answers readers questions and offers solution on how to get rid of those annoying, nasty acne.

1. What acne solution can you use to get rid of acne scars?
The type and severity of scarring needs to be assessed based on a number of factors including age, skin colour, presence of ongoing acne, etc. A dermatologist is the best person to discuss this with. Acne treatment options include laser (the new Fractionated Lasers have shown nice results, or you can use smoothbeam or another resurfacing laser), subcision or punch excision of scars, and a more modest benefit with chemical peels (remember, the deeper the peel the better the outcome, but it will mean more downtime) and microdermabrasion. Injectable fillers such as Restylane are sometimes used as well to plump out indented scars. It's critical to make sure that any acne is cleared up before going after the scars. You need to stop the fire in the house before rebuilding.

2. What's the best way to treat discolored skin?
It needs to be determined by a dermatologist why the skin is darker or discoloured in that particular area. We need to know if there was a rash or eczema, or another problem in that area. What medications have been used, (some medications can darken the skin.) The skin can be lightened with hydroquinone creams or Vitamin A acid creams (Tretinoin, Tazarotene), or a combination cream. Other times, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser treatments can be beneficial. The use of a good daily sunscreen (minimum SPF 30, ask your dermatologist for which ingredients to look for) is also important as the sun keeps pigment from fading.

3. I have what is called milia under my eyes (tiny white pimple like bumps). Is their any product that will cover them without damaging under my eyes?
Milia seems to be more common in people who have dry skin and while it is difficult to cover up any bumps on the skin, COVERFX and Dermablend make great cover up solutions. Milia are also easily extracted with no scarring by a dermatologist with special extraction tools and minimal discomfort.

4. I started getting small bumps on my face, which appear to be kind of like blocked pores and they won't go away. How can I get rid of them/prevent them from happening?
What you're describing sounds like comedones (whiteheads and/or blackheads). Salicylic acid washes that are available over the counter can be beneficial, but often a topical Vitamin A acid (Tretinoin, Tazarotene, Adapalene) is required to keep the spots at bay. If there are numerous lesions and they are slow to respond to creams, oral Isotretinoin (Accutane) is usually successful, but usually reserved for moderate to severe acne. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion can help as well.

5. I'm still young but I have a lot of deep lines and wrinkles. I've tried many creams but they don't work. What can I do?
Most over the counter creams are only modestly beneficial. Prescription creams with Vitamin A (for example Tazarotene, Tretinoin) in particular have been shown to help with fine wrinkles and other signs of sun/photo-damage in numerous studies. Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) is very popular, effective and safe, and it is particularly helpful for dynamic wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. As well, fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm are very useful for lower face, static wrinkles, especially the smile lines. Resurfacing lasers can also be tried. Surgical options are less in vogue, involve more downtime and have more potential risks. Again, a dermatologist, the only skin expert, is your best bet for more information.

Au revoir

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blemish busters

In humid weather, sweat and bacteria are more likely to get trapped in your pores, creating the perfect breeding ground for whiteheads and blackheads. Step up your skin-care regimen and clear up your complexion with these latest zit zappers.

This gel-like lotion is a triple threat: it treats acne, controls excess oil and soothes irritation.


Try this roll-on stick – infused with white nettle, zinc and vitamin B6 – to gently dry out spots while reducing redness and irritation.


A film-forming polymer creates an invisible seal over bumps, allowing for smoother makeup application, while a dose of salicylic acid works to clear up your skin.

Au revoir

Stay hydrated for Summer

Think you’re dehydrated?

Some signs of dehydration include: feeling dizzy or headachy, having a dry or sticky mouth, feeling lethargic and producing less and/or darker coloured urine.

Keep cool and healthy this summer by ensuring that you’re taking in enough fluids to counteract the effects of the rising temperatures. Here are the top four ways to stay hydrated:

1. Eat more fruits and veggies. Most fruits and vegetables have a high water content, making them a great option for helping you meet your hydration needs. In the summertime there are so many fresh options and really wet fruits in season like watermelon and berries.

2. Have a drink every time you eat. If you’re outdoors a lot, or physically active and sweating excessively, you may need to make a habit of drinking more fluids. Do this by drinking a glass of water with every meal and snack throughout the day, even if you don’t feel overly thirsty. As a rule, if you wait until your body’s screaming for a beverage, you’re already dehydrated.

3. Choose drinks that you enjoy. Several studies show that people consume about 45 to 50 percent more water when it's flavored. To pack in the most fluids, pick drinks you enjoy, but beware of overly sweetened juices. Many contain as much sugar as a soda pop. Instead dilute sweet drinks with water to cut back on unnecessary calories. You can also add a wedge of lemon or orange to your water for some natural flavour.

4. Skip the ice. If you’re playing sports or need instant hydration, skip the ice. Drinks served at moderate temperatures – not too hot, or cold - are more quickly absorbed by the body.

Tips: Start a steamy summer day off right with a breakfast that’s loaded with liquids. Cereal with milk, topped with a cup of juicy berries is a great option. Or, try oatmeal. “Grains, like oats, soak up water when you cook them, so they contribute to your liquid needs. for more information

Au revoir

Monday, July 28, 2008

Helen Mirren in a bikini at 65!

WoW! At the age of 65, Helen Mirren looks so good in her red bikini! Her body is toned and looks very confident. I hope I will look just as good and toned as Helen Mirren when I turned 65 years old! OMG, I just pray that I don't turned out to be all wrinkly and saggy skin! EEEKKK

Au revoir

Helen looks amazing!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

DIY Facemask: Facemasks, made fresh

"Be it the anti-inflammatory nature of chamomile or the antiseptic ability of sage, fresh herbs can help to renew and rejuvenate your skin" says Susan Vuyanovich of Sattva Biodynamics, an expert on naturally therapeutic skincare products.
Check out Vuyanovich's recipes and select the one that suits your skin type.
oily or combination skin:

1Tbsp French green clay
1Tbsp fresh lemon balm
1Tbsp fresh sage leaves
1Tbsp fresh thyme
1-2 Tbsp aloe vera juice
1Tsp honey

dry skin:

1 Tbsp calendula flowers
1 Tbsp chamomile flowers
1 Tbsp plain organic yogurt
1 Tsp wheatgerm or flax oil

Crush herbs, mix in remaining ingredients and apply to clean skin, avoiding the eye and mouth areas. Let sit for 10-20 minutes and rinse with tepid water.

Tip Each recipe makes enough for one application. Best if used immediately.

Check out for more details.

Celeb complexion secrets

New York-based skincare guru Ling Chan has perfected the complexions of some of Hollywood's most famous faces, including Uma Thurman, Madonna and Naomi Watts. Check out a few of her secrets for getting picture-perfect skin.Tip 1: For brilliant skin, exfoliate. Try an at-home microdermabrasion treatment once a week, or use a fruit-acid-based product with ingredients like papaya. "The fruit enzymes will help digest dead skin cells," says Chan. Try DERMAGLOW RADIANCE RX MICRODERMABRASION TREATMENT, $60

Tip 2: Apply daytime protection from environmental exposure. Opt for a moisturizer with sun protection, particularly during the warm-weather months when you spend more time outdoors. Try OLAY DEFINITY REFINING LOTION WITH SPF 15, $35


Tip 3: Use a gel-based mask once a week and leave it on for about 15 minutes to reveal smooth and hydrated skin. Try GUERLAIN PARIS SUPER AQUA-MASK REVITALIZER, $68

Au revoir

Check out for more details.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Expiration Date for your products!!

Using the right skin regimen for your skin type is important because this will target all the issues you are concerned with. Such as rosacea, acne, wrinkles, skin discoloration, etc. Expiration date is also an important factor to check before buying your favorate moisturizer or eye cream. When a product is decomposed this may cause your skin to break out. All products have an expiration date! It is either displayed under or at the back of the product, and it is printed on the packaging as well.

Products slowly lose their efficacy once being opened or being exposed to sunlight. Those that include an SPF have a specific shelf-life. If the product has a funky smell, changed color or watery THROW IT AWAY!! Many products become ineffective after the expiration date, and some can be harmful.

  • Eye cream- 1 year
  • Face lotion- 3 years/SPF- see date on the box

  • Lip balm-1-5 years

  • Lipstick-2 years

  • Mascara-3 to 4 months

  • Perfume-1 to 2 years. To keep them lasting longer, store them in the fridge or away from direct sunlight.

  • Wash'n Dri moist wipes -Good until dried out
  • Anti-aging and acne treatment-3 months to 1 year

  • Body lotion-2-3 years

  • Sunscreen-Check the package for an expiration date

  • Eye and lip pencils-3-5 years

  • Lipgloss-18 months to 2 years

  • Foundation-one year

  • Powder-2 years. It can last longer, but it tends to dry out.

  • Concealer-1 year

  • Eyeshadows-3 years/Cream shadows-1 year

I was on Lara Hill website and was able to learn "MAC production codes are a handy way of working out how old your more perishable cosmetics are, as well as being useful for working out the 'safe' qualities of various pigments (certain pigments made after a particular date are listed as being safe for eyes, lips and face, whereas previous production lots of these same pigments may have been unsuitable for eyes or lips) and being a good indicator of whether a product is fake or not.

The first letter signifies the production run that month - A was the first run, B the second run and so forth.

The second letter or number signifies the month of production:













The final number indicates the year of production.

Using these numbers tells me that this Bombshell lipstick was made in the first production run of April, 2005."

Courtesy of Lara Hill

Friday, June 27, 2008

Clear Skin 101

1) The problem: oil
You’re constantly fighting shine, your skin is greasy to the touch and your makeup never lasts past noon.

Quick fix: Avoid heavy, oil-based makeup. “It can stimulate the sebaceous glands,” says Joanna Schlip, a celebrity makeup artist for Physicians Formula who has worked with Jessica Simpson and Ellen Pompeo. Instead, choose a light, water-based foundation—a skin-friendly formula made for oily skin. After spreading foundation evenly over your face with a synthetic brush, dab on pressed powder with talc using a sponge or puff to help absorb excess oil. Rather skip powders and foundations? Try a powder-free blotting papers.

Skin tip: Avoid a high-sugar diet, which is believed to increase oiliness and encourage acne flare-ups.

2) The problem: acne
You know the signs: small, red pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and, in more severe cases, nodules, cysts and scarring.

Quick fix: Cover up each pimple with Cream Concealer in Soft Green to neutralize redness, then blend it in with a clean concealer brush. Next, grab a natural-bristled foundation brush and dust on a micro-fine layer of loose mineral powder to even out your skin tone. “Mineral-based formulas are fragrance-, preservative-, dye- and talc-free,” says Schlip, “so they’re less likely to irritate acne-prone skin.” Studies have shown that minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can actually speed up skin’s healing time.

Skin tip: Breaking out? Avoid hydrating masques and facials until your complexion calms down.

3) The problem: big pores
Enlarged pores can be caused by whiteheads, blackheads or past acne scars, and they’re tough to hide.

Quick fix: “Primers are the best way to fill in uneven skin,” says Schlip. “Warm up a dot between your fingers and spread it over areas that need it most.” Apply primer in the morning with clean hands across the top of your cheeks, around your nose and on your chin. Finish with a dusting of loose mineral powder for a natural look.

Skin tip: Avoid ultra-shimmery cosmetics; they magnify pitted skin.

4) The problem: dull skin
Grey, pasty, sallow—call it what you will, but dull skin is instantly aging. Here’s what it takes to coax back a youthful glow.

Quick fix: Begin with an illuminating mineral powder. “These sheer finishing powders are even more lightweight than loose mineral foundations,” says Schlip, “and they give you a healthy luminous finish.” Tap your foundation brush for one application and apply in a circular motion over your entire face. Follow up with a soft sweep of your favourite blush. “To me, blush is the quickest route to younger, fresher-looking skin,” says Schlip.

Skin tip: Don’t forget to wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. The more sun damage you acquire, the duller your skin will look.

Find more tips and tricks in FLARE’s July issue.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Essential acne-fighting products

Gentle cleanser that removes dirt and makeup without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. Dry and irritated skin is prone to breakouts.
Toner to remove impurities and balance the skin.
Oil-free or acne-fighting moisturizer to leave skin soft and supple.
Spot-treatment to clear existing blemishes.
Top active ingredients
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that comes from white willow bark. This mild acid breaks down blackheads and whiteheads by peeling the top layer of skin and clearing blocked pores. It's also a keratolytic agent, which means that it has both exfoliating and antiseptic properties and can assist in shedding dead skin cells that can cause acne when they mix with dirt and sebum.
Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most powerful anti-acne medications, designed to treat multiple acne-causing factors. Naturally antibacterial and antiseptic, benzoyl peroxide helps to reduce the P. acnes bacteria on the skin that's responsible for causing acne in many people. It also contains exfoliating properties that slough off the top layer of dead skin cells, encouraging normal production of cells. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide has an oxidizing property that dries excess oil and sebum on the skin’s surface.

Au revoir