June 3, 2015

Marketing #2: How do skin care/makeup companies get away with absurd claims?

Please keep in mind that just because a company uses some of the marketing techniques I discuss, that doesn't necessarily mean they or their products are bad. Marketing exists to make you aware of a product's existence, not to educate you.

Marketing techniques #1: Why are some beauty products or brands always on sale? 

Paula's Choice ingredient database (I agree with them ~90% of the time, so this is a great place to get your ingredient questions answered)

Paula's Choice Beautypedia reviews 

Another science-based beauty blogger I'm fond of: http://www.labmuffin.com/

June 2, 2015

Super easy DIY Aloe Vera toner and facial mist!

Recipe: fill your container up about 90% with aloe juice, then add a small amount of glycerine. If you're using a ~4oz (~118ml) bottle, add about 1 teaspoon (NOT tablespoons--apologies for that misspeak). Start out with less at first and see how it works for you.

For metric users, exact conversion of US teaspoons isn't necessary, just use a small spoonful. 1 tsp is about 5ml if you're particular.

If you're using a smaller bottle, try to scale down accordingly, adding just a small amount of glycerin into the aloe juice. As long as you're not adding too much (glycerin can dry out the skin in very large quantities), it's not that sensitive.

For those who like precision, this recipe works out to about 5% glycerin to aloe (5ml/100ml or 2.5ml/50ml, etc.) Increasing to 2 tsp/100ml obviously raises that concentration, and in my experience the practical reality of 5% vs 10% isn't that dramatic. Use what works best for you.


George's Aloe Juice (32 oz--there are smaller and larger sizes available) http://www.vitacost.com/georges-always-active-aloe-vera-32-fl-oz  or  http://amzn.to/14YTHmo

Glycerin: Any glycerin is fine. Two options are NOW brand, vegetable glycerin or CVS brand

For use as a toner: cleanse with your usual cleanser, then apply toner to cotton pad and swipe gently across face and neck, down to chest if you like. Follow with usual products--serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc. Safe to use around eyes (avoid contact with eyeballs, of course). Safe for all skin types, but not an oil-control product.

This aloe/glycerin toner is great to use with clay powders to mix mud masks, as described in How to reduce blackheads and enlarged pores PERMANENTLY! 

For use as facial mist, spritz throughout day as needed. Can be refrigerated and used as a cooling spray, or carried in a bag to rehydrate while out and about. Spray lightly over makeup to cut down on powdery finish.

It's not a setting spray--there are no film-forming agents that will extend the life of foundation--but neither is MAC Fix+, really. Fix+ isn't a bad product, it's just mostly water and glycerin, has fragrance, and costs a lot more.

And here's a note on rose water toners, in case any of you are curious about that.

Hope you enjoy!

How to treat keratosis pilaris at home

No single professional treatment will ever take the place of consistent home care, and keratosis pilaris is the best example.

I've treated KP professionally, and I guarantee that these steps are more effective than any single spa treatment. So take charge of your KP and reduce it using these easy, effective techniques!

BHA body treatment I used: Paula's Choice RESIST Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA   -- This stuff is absolutely amazing! I have been using it regularly for a while now, and I 100% recommend it.

My PC refer-a-friend link, for $10 off your first order: http://goo.gl/nr2GMb
(This is part of PC's referral program that is open to everyone! I will receive $10 in store credit, but I do not receive any payment from PC for recommending their products.)

Re: KP on the face and neck, skin is skin. If it's the face and neck, you still exfoliate and moisturize, just use appropriate products for the area instead of shaving and using a body-specific product. You can gently use the exfoliating gloves with your facial cleanser over the affected areas, and there are plenty of salicylic products for the face. Don't overthink it!

Other BHA body treatments exist, I just haven't tried them. Just remember, fragrance (including essential oils) and (bad) alcohol free! See my Good vs. Bad Alcohols video for more on alcohols.

Bad alcohols: SD Alcohol, Alcohol denat., Denatured Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol, or just Alcohol, Ethanol, Methanol, and Benzyl Alcohol (when high in ingredient list, to be avoided altogether when skin is dry, problematic or sensitized). These do not belong on your skin!

Keratosis pilaris can go into remission with consistent care, so stick with it!