Everyone has a different location in their body that harbors their daily stresses. Mine is definitely my shoulders. When I lived in China for work, I was surprised that there were body & foot massage places on every block (much like Starbucks in New York City). Each time I got a body massage, my shoulders were always tense and I would howl in pain when they would try to knead out the knots.
The tightness in my shoulders haven’t changed, and most recently, I experienced the pain again during my Elemis full body massage on a Disney Cruise trip. Lucy, my masseuse for the blissful hour of kneading out my knots, recommended a two-part regimen. The first part was the body brushing that I’ve posted here in the past.
The second part was the use of a few drops of the Cellutox Active Body Oil. THIS PRODUCT IS AMAZING! Lucy said a few drops does wonders to both the shoulder aches and my cellulite. “Yea right” was my response and I didn’t buy it immediately because being the chemist that I am, I wanted to read up on it before making the purchase.
I was especially surprised to see that the majority of the product was made up of oils and extracts. Minus some fragrance components, the product had no (what we call) “foo-foo dust,” or ingredients that do nothing. The seabuckthorn / lemon / sea fennel / juniper combination drives the anti-oxidant, detoxification, and anti-inflammatory properties, and you feel the product working after your first application. I put this on at night before I go to bed – I warm a few drops by rubbing the oil between my palms before applying it on my shoulders and on areas where I see some cottage cheese rippling. The next morning, there’s a warmth that I feel in my shoulders that relieves some of the tightness. I have yet to see huuuuuge changes to my dimply thighs, but this will definitely take longer than a few applications for sure. A girl can hope, right? I also love the citrusy scent, and it helps me relax before I hit the sack.
I never was an aromatherapy person, but I’m starting to gravitate towards calming scents in my products – especially the ones I use at night. This product is definitely going to be a staple in my body care arsenal.
As we celebrate the birthday of the US of A, we all head out this long weekend under the skies to BBQ, enjoy the beach, and spend time with friends and family. I vary my sunscreen usage depending on the occasion, and I have posted about my daily facial sunscreen. When I go outside and I know I’ll be taking a dip in the ocean or sweating on the golf course, this DuraFlex SPF 30 Continuous Spray Sunscreen is my absolute go-to. You will never see me without a can of this, if I’m going to be active in the slightest.
What I love about this is the flexibility of the film on my skin. Many continuous spray sunscreens (the ones that are able to spray with the cans upside-down) have tacky films that form on the skin after the product dries. This product doesn’t have that “saran wrap” feel, and is comfortable on skin. It has broad spectrum protection, as any sunscreen you use should have, and is water resistant at the maximum level of 80 minutes. ALWAYS reapply every 2 hours or after going for a swim. Some of the sunscreens photo degrade, meaning that they won’t be as affective after being exposed to the sun for too long.
Spray yourself generously before you go out in the sun and your skin will thank you!
Have you ever had that one deep tissue massage that you wish never ended? One that was right by the ocean during vacation? Mine was at Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island. My BFF treated me to the best massage I’ve ever had. The staff for the cruise were trained by Elemis Spa, and it was what the doctor ordered for my tight shoulders and calves. They gave us a full questionnaire and chatted with us prior to the treatment so they knew what to look out for and to discuss any concerns.
After the treatment, Lucy, my masseuse, recommended that I body brush and use an antioxidant oil that would help with my trifecta of problems that I wanted to fix – dry skin, dull skin, and cellulite. I had heard of body brushing before, but was always skeptical. However, Lucy really convinced me that she knew what she was talking about (especially after giving me the best massage of my life!) and I went ahead and ordered the products (I’ll review the Cellutox Active Body Oil in a future post).
The body brush has really stiff cactus bristles and it’s definitely a little intimidating at first. I had to be really gentle the first couple times – it takes a little getting used to. I typically use it in the morning prior to showering, and it totally wakes you up! Body brushing gets your circulation going while exfoliating your skin. With the current concerns with polyethylene beads from exfoliating body washes and hand soaps washing into the oceans, this is a great alternative to buffing your skin. The boost of circulation at the surface of your skin helps to remove toxins in the dermis and epidermis quicker than when the skin is sedentary. Body brushing has also helped my lotion absorb quicker into the skin and my skin is brighter and more taut than before! I love it as part of my skin care regimen.
Whenever summer rolls around, I find myself getting into many conversations about sunscreens. For those of you that don’t want to hear me preach about having to wear sunscreens everyday, all day – stand clear. I don’t care if it’s cloudy, rainy, or snowing out, I wear sunscreen every. single. day. SPF 30 has been the new 15, and I will wear nothing lower, especially on my face. I was that kid that used to get panda eyes from my swim goggles after an hour in the pool. NO MORE! And here’s why…
I recently attended an Antioxidant Symposium organized by the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists in New York City. The buzz after the event? No one wants to go out into the sun anymore! Well, I exaggerate (a little). Your cells are immediately affected by the slightest exposure to the sun. If any DNA needs to be repaired, it’s a slow, drawn out process (2 ~ 3 days). So imagine if you’re out in the sun on consecutive days on a weekend or on vacation? Our first line of defense that we can easily do for ourselves is to apply sunscreen. A few years ago, the FDA published the Final Rule, that included labeling rules for sunscreen products. If you are shopping for sunscreens in the US, ALWAYS pick a sunscreen that says “Broad Spectrum” that indicates adequate UVA protection, as deemed by the FDA. Infrared A protection hasn’t been widely explored yet, but after attending the Antioxidant Symposium, I would suspect that this would be the next level of protection that the industry would pursue due to its highly penetrative nature – possibly more in the nutricosmetics area.
Sunscreens are a very difficult area to formulate in, and I’m very picky with the types of formulas I choose to use. As I use sunscreen daily on my face, I need something that works with the make up that I use after. I keep going back to the Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30. It spreads nicely and works well under my MAC Blot Powder or foundation of the day. It’s lightweight and doesn’t whiten my face (as sunscreens with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide do), even after sweating, and moisturizes well.
As my love for oils continues, Aesop’s Fabulous Face Oil is my absolute favorite so far! If you are someone that hasn’t quite drank the cool-aid on oils and still thinks they are too heavy on the skin, this is a great oil to try out. It has a drier feel than any of the other oils that I’ve tried. It goes right into the skin and smells divine. If you’re not allergic to any of the oils in the product, I would HIGHLY recommend this.
Oils: Macadamia, Sweet Almond, Japanese Camellia, Evening Primrose, Ylang Ylang, Wheat Germ, Juniper Berry, Hazel, and Jasmine.
I recently attended Aesop’s very first Essential Oil Workshop in Manhattan. We tried to guess the scents of various oils and learned about all the different effects that each one has on the skin. It was extremely fascinating and I definitely have a newfound appreciation for essential oils in various products. My line of work doesn’t involve essential oils, so I’ve always been curious. Aesop also uses unique oils that you don’t find in other brands and this Fabulous Face Oil is no different. I LOVE using a drop or two in my hair – I get a whiff of calming oils with every hair flick!
YES! 80F degreeeeeeeees! FINALLY! I’m a winter baby and LOVE snow, but this winter was no joke. In addition to all the extra laundry loads with the thick and heavy clothing, I dread the static electricity caused from the dry air. Of course, not to mention the dry skin that flakes around my lower cheek and eyelid areas. Gross. I feel like an anaconda sloughing off its dead skin (I saw an anaconda at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago once… amazing… and ohhh so scary!).
ANYWAY, my point is that THE DRY SKIN DIDN’T HAPPEN THIS YEAR! Not a single chunk of dead skin was sloughed off from this face. It’s the first time since I was maybe 10 years old. I was in shock. The only thing that I did differently to my skin from the past few years was adding Cosme Decorte’s Moisture Liposome Hydration Boosting Serum to my morning skin care regimen. I’m usually not a splurger when it comes to my cosmetics and skin care products, because that could get really expensive the way I use-and-ditch products that I try and don’t like. BUT, something about the “liposome” in the name got me to purchase this $100+ product (I know… trust me, I know. Why else do you think I only used it regularly in the morning?). It was the most expensive product of my Asia haul – and it was worth it.
Kose (Cosme Decorte’s parent company) claims that the multilayer liposome structures in this product allows for deeper and gradual penetration of the moisturization ingredients into the skin. These liposomes are like the nesting Matryoshka dolls, where in between each layer lies the humectants and the actives to help keep the skin from drying. In the US, micro- and nano- anything freaks consumers out (and because of that, I can’t seem to find a legit website that sells this here). For some reason, the Japanese don’t seem to mind. The write ups on this product on the Kose website claims that these liposomes measure 0.1~0.2 microns in diameter and is the reason for longer lasting moisturization. Well, sign me up for anything that makes my skin feel THAT amazing during one of the longest and driest winters that I’ve ever experienced (and yep, the photo below is an empty bottle… I practically drank that stuff).
Happy new year! I’m starting a new year resolution in the realm of cosmetics, and this year I want/need/must use more oils for my skin. I’m noticing a lot of changes on my skin in my 30’s, and oils seem to be part of the solution.
Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil is one of the more well-known products in skin care, and catapulted the argan oils to beauty fame. I bought a small bottle of it in the summer, and it was a little too greasy for the season. But now with the dry winter season, my skin is accepting the oil.
The bottle to the left in the picture below was purchased on my trip to Morocco in September. Huilarome was a brand that the owner of our riad (= hotels in Morocco) recommended. Argan oil is produced in Morocco and they are as pure and fresh as they can get!
I only use the oil in the evenings, as my last step in my skin care regimen (cleanser, toner/lotion, serum, cream, and finally the oil). The next morning, my skin feels uber supple and renewed.