Posts Tagged ‘anti-aging’

Miscellaneous: On Dame Helen Mirren and the Term ‘Anti-Aging’

Looking Dame good, girl. 72-year-old Helen Mirren rocking the cover of Allure like a boss!

If you follow beauty news at all, or just peruse magazines at the supermarket, you may have seen Dame Helen Mirren on the cover of Allure‘s September issue. You may have also read the magazine is no longer using the term ‘anti-aging.’

According to Allure editor-in-chief Michelle Lee, the term anti-aging insinuates that aging is something we need to fight or prevent, like some disease. I agree! With women like Mirren leading the way, and showing us how sexy life experience can be, getting older is nothing to fear. ‘Anti-aging’ has become an outdated word.

I probably look better and feel better now at the tail end of my 40s than I did in my 20s and early 30s. I do know I feel better about myself and I am more comfortable in my own skin now, versus back then. (Although in my defense, it was the late 80s. Everyone had big hair, and wore stirrup pants and white Reeboks, people!)

I also take better care of myself. I gave up eating beef and pork, and I try to get some form of exercise daily. I either go for a walk or hit the gym, and I do yoga two or three times a week. I take better care of my skin too. I consider that to be basic self care.

As I face the big 5-0 head on, I am more at ease putting myself out there and trying new things, such as photography. And I know who I am: a journalist and blogger.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but it just wasn’t for me. As a kid, I never expressed an interest in science. I always had my nose in a (non-science) book or magazine. What does my love of reading suggest my future profession should be? A writer! (Duh.)

I’m also not as concerned as I once was about what others think. My favorite quote from Mirren is “If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘Eff Off’ more frequently.” I hear ya, Helen.

I respect others’ feelings and opinions, but I try to worry less about pleasing everyone, and making everyone love me. It’s impossible. (And the people I should have told to “Eff Off” know who they are…)

I guess you could say I’ve started to grow into myself. And I’m still growing. So why would I want to fight getting older? I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

You can read the Allure cover story featuring Helen Mirren here, see some of Mirren’s best quotes here, and read editor-in-chief Michelle Lee’s letter about the use of the term anti-aging here.

Tell me. Have you become more comfortable in your own skin as you’ve gotten older? What life lessons have you learned? Let’s talk truth in aging in the comments!

This year, I’m doing the Eyecandy Project 52 photography challenge. Every week, we have to take a picture inspired by a prompt, such as From Above. Some prompts are relevant to the time of year, some are more evergreen. I’ll post my more successful efforts here about once a quarter. Check out the Q1 highlights here and the best of Q2 here.

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Product Review: SimySkin Nourishing Eye Cream

SimySkin Nourishing Eye Cream

I’ve talked about SimySkin before. I love the brand’s Micro-Exfoliating Toner. The folks at SimySkin recently reached out to me about letting me try their Nourishing Eye Cream. Since I’m obsessed with using eye cream, of course I said yes.*

I have been using it for a few weeks, and so far, I am loving it. It’s not too heavy, but leaves the delicate skin under my eyes feeling nice and moisturized. Even on a cold day here in New Jersey. And it has kept my under eye area looking nice and smooth, with no bags or dark circles.

SimySkin Nourishing Eye Cream is packed with important nutrients such as B12 and vitamins A and E. It also contains hyaluronic acid for moisture; cranberry oil for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are great for moisture, luminosity, and plumpness; and vitamin C for brightness.

A spokeswoman for the company told me a sweet story. Simy is a name that goes back generations in the founder’s family: it’s his daughter’s middle name, mother’s first name, grandmother’s middle name, and great-grandmother’s first name! As someone who is named after her maternal grandmother and mother, I was very touched when I learned that.

You can buy SimySkin Nourishing Eye Cream online here. Do you have a go-to eye cream? Tell me all about it in the comments!

This year, I’m doing the Eyecandy Project 52 photography challenge. Every week, we have to take a picture inspired by a prompt, such as From Above. Some prompts are relevant to the time of year, some are more evergreen. I’m thinking I’ll post my more successful efforts here about once a quarter. Wish me luck!

Be sure to subscribe to Fabulous Forever using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to follow me on social media. Here’s my Twitter and Instagram. I’m on Snapchat at clobuono. And don’t forget to like the Fabulous Forever Facebook page!

*The eye cream was sent to me for my review. Opinions are my own.

Product Review: Supergoop!

I never leave the house with my Ray Bans, and some Supergoop!

I never leave the house with my Ray Bans and some Supergoop!

My latest find? The sun care brand Supergoop! I heard about it a while ago: the Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn SPF 40 is what first caught my attention.*

I think the idea of a hand lotion with SPF is brilliant. Your hands always give you away! I’ve been obsessed with protecting my hands since I read that Khloe Kardashian always puts sunscreen on her hands because she doesn’t want to get age spots.

The cream feels more like a hand lotion than a sunscreen. It doesn’t feel chalky, and if you put it on after washing your hands with antibacterial soap, they feel nice and soft.

And I love the idea that it comes in a one ounce size that is perfect for your purse or golf/tennis/diaper bag. Actually, several products in the Supergoop! line come in smaller travel sizes, which is great if you want to test them out or if you are on the go.

I’ve also been loving the Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil with Meadowfoam SPF 50. I put it on my shoulders, neck, and chest if I’m going to be outside for a while. It feels nice and light. I personally like how it feels on my skin better than a lotion. I avoid putting it on my face, though. I am too afraid it will clog my pores.

I’d like to try the City Sunscreen Serum with Vitamins E and B5 SPF 30 and the Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream SPF 37 next.

Have you tried Supergoop!? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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*I purchased the Supergoop! sunscreen oil and hand cream with SPF. Opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Product Review: SimySkin

SkimySkin cleanser, toner, and face mask

SimySkin cleanser, toner, and face mask

You know me. I’ll try almost anything, if I think it will make me look a few years younger. So when SimySkin offered to send me three of their new products to try, I said, “Sure!” Hey, they offered, right?

SimySkin sent its Anti-Aging Gel Cleanser, Micro-Exfoliating Toner, and Deep Hydrating Mask.* The water-based cleanser contains 10 essential oils, antioxidants, and B12 and other vitamins. It has a faint citrus scent, and didn’t leave my skin feeling too tight. I hate it when cleansers leave your skin feeling stripped.

The toner contains lactic acid and salicylic acid, and 10 percent glycolic acid to get rid of dead skin cells, impurities, and other junk. The company recommends you use the toner two or three times per week, until you see how your skin tolerates it. I’ve only used it once, but I can already see that my skin appears much brighter and fresher.

I love the Hydrating Mask! It doesn’t go on green or chalky, and has a very faint, earthy scent. My skin definitely felt soft and supple when I rinsed it off after 10 minutes. The company suggests you use the mask two or three times per week.

All products are paraben free. The mask and the cleanser are also sulfate free. The toner is soap-, dye-, and fragrance-free.

Oh, so you want to try SimySkin, too? Good, because I’ve scored you a deal. (I’m nice like that.) If you go to simyskin.com before June 30, 2016, you get $15 off your purchase! Just enter the coupon code FABFOREVER15 at checkout. You’re welcome!

Be sure to subscribe to Fabulous Forever using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to follow me on social media. Here’s my Twitter and Instagram. I’m on Snapchat at clobuono. And don’t forget to like the Fabulous Forever Facebook page!

*The products were sent to me for my review. Opinions are my own.

Skincare: 2015 Favorites

SkincareThis week, journalists and bloggers often curate “Best Of 20XX” lists to celebrate the highlights of the past year. So here are my favorite discoveries from 2015 in the skincare, makeup, bath and body, and hair categories.

If I plan to repurchase a product the minute I run out, it made the cut. A big part of a walk-in closet and an entire room in my apartment are dedicated to all of the products I have accumulated since I started beauty blogging. If I repurchase something, rather than doing a deep dive into my stash, it has to be really good.

We’ll kick things off with skincare.

I am obsessed with Cover F/X Custom Infusion Drops, specifically the Radiance (vitamin C and lemongrass) and Anti-Aging (vitamin A and jasmine). If I could put them in my food, I would. If I could put them in my cats’ food, I would.

I love to add these to my moisturizer in the morning and at bedtime. The drops don’t leave my skin feeling oily, because they absorb quickly, and my skin tone and and the appearance of any fine lines and wrinkles have noticeably improved.

DermaE Microdermabrasion Scrub is my go-to for getting rid of excess oil and makeup, and those annoying little red spots that sometimes pop up. Plus it smells clean and citrus-y. The scrub is especially great in the summer, when your skin can feel extra dirty from sweat and sunscreen.

Of all the skincare regimens I’ve tried, Paula’s Choice and Laneige stand out. The regimens don’t have a million steps, and my skin feels and looks amazing. Both lines are pretty wallet friendly, too.

Oh, and before I forget, I discovered Avene Retrinal 0.1% Intensive Cream over Thanksgiving. My skin already looks smoother and more youthful, and it feels great on my face. I use it at night, because it contains retinol, which can make your skin UV sensitive.

You can buy Cover F/X Custom Infusion Drops at Sephora and DermaE at Walgreens. Paula’s Choice is available at dermstore.com, as is Avene. Laneige, from top Korean beauty company AmorePacific, is available at Target.

What skincare products and/or brands have you discovered in 2015? Tell me about them in the comments! I’m always open to recommendations.

Fabulous Forever got a makeover in time for the holidays! Be sure to subscribe using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to spread the word. And don’t forget to like the new Fabulous Forever Facebook page.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Product Review: Moroccan Heritage Skin Care

MoroccanHeritage

A few weeks ago, I went to the launch event for Moroccan Heritage, a new line of skin care products. The line contains ingredients native to Morocco and the regimen is based on the traditional skin care practices of Moroccan women.

I got to meet Brand Ambassador Iman Oubou, Miss New York U.S. 2015, who is Moroccan. She was nice enough to let me take home a little goody bag.*

ImanOubouandI

Iman and I at the launch party. Shout out to the Pig n’ Whistle in Times Square!

I have been using the barbary fig seed (also known as prickly pear seed) oil and orange blossom water since I got them. I spray the orange blossom water on my face and then apply the barbary fig seed oil.

What I love about both products is that a little goes a long way. One or two sprays of the water keeps my face from feeling too tight after I washed it, and my skin absorbs one or two drops of the oil very quickly. My skin never felt greasy. And the water smells amazing, while the oil has a faint, nutty scent I really like.

According to Moroccan Heritage, barbary fig seed oil is high in vitamin E, an antioxidant. The oil also contains fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, and stearic acid, that nourish your skin and hair.

Not only is barbary fig seed oil a moisturizer for your skin and hair, it also reduces under eye puffiness, improves the appearance of dark circles, and tones and tightens the skin, so it has anti aging benefits.

My skin looks great since I have been using it. Iman gave me a tip: she uses it under her makeup as a primer. I have been doing that too, and can tell you first hand it really works! My foundation, blush, or bronzer stays put.

And the ghassoul clay mask works well, too! I tried it last weekend while I watched football. You mix the powdered clay with water to make a paste, and then apply the mixture to your face. The mask feels really tight as it dries, but when you wash it off, your skin feels like a baby’s bottom. It helped heal a big zit I had earlier in the week.

You can find Moroccan Heritage Skin Care online or on Amazon. They also have an argan oil.

Have you ever tried barbary fig seed or argan oil? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Fabulous Forever got a makeover in time for the holidays! Be sure to subscribe using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to spread the word. And don’t forget to like the new Fabulous Forever Facebook page.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

*The products were given to me for my review. Opinions are my own.

Fabulous Links of the Week

What Frenchwomen think of American women and beauty, a behind the scenes peek at the Whole Body section of Whole Foods, one secret to glow-y skin, products to add to your beauty routine in colder weather, eye creams the best beauty editors in the biz are loving, pumpkin recipes for skin, hair, and taste buds, and 3-D printed hair in this week’s Fabulous Links.

American women think French women are très chic. And they think we’re effortlessly fabulous, too! [The Cut]

After reading this, I may have to check out the Whole Foods beauty department. [Into the Gloss]

One good way to get glow-y this winter? Two words: green juicing! [Well + Good]

How to switch up your skin, hair, and body care the the deep freeze to come. Moisture is key, people. [Allure]

The eye creams Allure editors swear by. I want to try this black tea-based cream from Fresh. [Allure]

Recipes for a pumpkin-based face mask, hair mask, and paleo PSL. Because Halloween. [Charlotte’s Book]

3-D printers can now print hair. Isn’t technology great?! [The Cut]

Hope you had a great Halloween! How great are the painted pumpkins  on display in my local library (photo on the left)? I have never seen pumpkins decorated like that. The picture doesn’t do them justice. And check out my mini-haul from TonyMoly, a shopping trip inspired by my experience at the Korean Culture and Tourism Festival.

Mini-haul from @tonymolyus. #fabulousforeverblog #beautifulblogher15 #kbeauty

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

Skin Care: Retinols, AHAs, BHAs, and Sun Exposure

Dr. Barry Resnik

Dr. Barry Resnik

Tons of information, scientifically proven or not, exists on the Internet about the compatibility of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) with over-the-counter (OTC) retinols. So I jumped at the chance to interview Dr Barry Resnik, medical director of the Resnik Skin Institute, about the topic. Retinol is a molecule that gets absorbed into the skin, where it is converted to tretinoin, or retinoic acid, by enzymes called retinal dehydrogenase and retinol dehydrogenase, Resnik told me.

Retinol is a less potent derivative of vitamin A than retinoids, such as retinoic acid (brand names: Renova, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro), that require a prescription. A weaker concentration of active ingredient means that retinol-containing products are generally less irritating that the prescription stuff, and they are sold OTC. “The consensus is retinol is less irritating than retinoic acid, making it a better medicine to mix with other molecules,” said Resnik, who is also the dermatologist to MLB’s Miami Marlins. If a product is less irritating, you can use it in the morning and the evening.

“Every time I tell patients they can use retinol in the morning, I always warn them that everyone has a different reaction to things, everyone has their own story,” Resnik said. If you use retinol in the morning, and your skin gets irritated, then try using it at night.

When I asked Resnik about why people believe you should only use retinol at night, he said he thought it was because people lump retinol in with prescription retinoids. He said he has acne patients who use adapalene (Differin), another prescription retinoid, and he has them use it in the morning. He tells them to wear sunscreen. He also tells patients who are trying to rejuvenate their skin they need to wear sunscreen and use common sense.

“For the most part, the stuff we started off with, Retin-A being the prototype, caused irritation,” Resnik said. It contained a higher percentage of retinoic acid. Derms gave their patients a blanket statement to the effect of, “This will cause irritation, so use it at night.” It is not so much a myth, as a generalization intended to cover the most people, said Resnik.

And should you use AHAs or BHAs with an OTC retinol? According to this post on FutureDerm.com, no. AHAs and BHAs are just that: acids. Retinal and retinol dehydrogenase function best at a higher, more neutral pH.

But when I asked Resnik about this, he told me in an email, “I don’t think it matters that much, as most products on the market are made to be tolerable by the largest number of people. This makes everything more ‘neutral.’ ” I’d still avoid mixing AHAs or BHAs with retinols, though. I use AHAs with vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night.

You may have also heard that retinol and retinoids make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Well, they do. And they don’t. Think about it this way. You are chemically thinning the dead, outer layer of skin, and at the same time, retinol and retinoic acid promote the production of new collagen, Resnik said. You are thickening the live, inner layer of skin.

All of this renewal comes with a price: your skin is now more sensitive. If you walk out in the sun unprotected, you’ll be more likely to burn. As Resnik eloquently put it, “Why do you want to go through the effort, cost, and sometimes downtime to make your skin look better, only to go out in the sun and beat on it again?”

So retinol does make you sun sensitive, but by a secondary mechanism, not by a primary mechanism. You are not allergic to the sun, which is what Resnik says he hears a lot. Retinol makes your skin look better, and this rejuvenated skin is more sensitive to sun exposure. “Our goal is to make skin look younger and to keep it looking that way in a positive and doable fashion,” said Resnik.

Have you ever used an OTC retinol during the day, or following use of AHAs or BHAs? Tell me about your experience in the comments!

Product Review: CoverFX Custom Infusion Drops

CoverFX recently threw a great party to celebrate the launch of its Custom Infusion Drops. The drops contain a vitamin and an essential oil that work synergistically to give you the desired result, Derek Selby, International Director of Artistry and Education for CoverFX, told me on the phone after the event.

You add the drops to your moisturizer to customize and “boost” your skin care, so to speak, said Selby. He went on to explain that, “The idea is to add one to three drops of Custom Cover Drops to your favorite moisturizer or skin care product based on the result you are looking for. You now have a new skincare/foundation product customized to your needs.”

The drops come in four formulations: Calming (vitamin E and chamomile); Hydration (vitamin F and neroli); Antiaging (vitamin A and jasmine); and Radiance (vitamin C and lemongrass). “We think certain formulas will do better at certain times of year, and do better for certain skin types,” said Selby.

For example, the Hydration drops, with vitamin F and neroli, will do well post-holiday in January and February. The Radiance drops will do very well for party season in November and December, and with those who have a lot of hyperpigmentation. They are also very good for tired, post-summer skin. The Calming drops will do great with people who have rosacea or very sensitive skin, especially in very cold weather.

You can use the drops as part of your daytime or nighttime skin care routine. However, “We recommend that if you use the Antiaging drops during the day, you use a high-SPF sunscreen, because they contain retinol and retinyl palmitate, which can make your skin photosensitive,” said Selby.

I have been using the Radiance drops during the day and the Antiaging drops at night, mixed into my DermaE DMAE Firming Moisturizer.* My skin looks bright and fresh, even after a long summer. I have added Custom Infusion Drops to my permanent skin care stash.

And yes, Selby said you can apply the drops directly to your skin. I have been gently patting the vitamin C and lemongrass Radiance drops onto my face, focusing on those areas where the sun hits and I have the most hyperpigmentation.

Before I forget, Selby said he had a scar from a biking accident, and the Calming drops really sped up the healing process. Based on Selby’s advice, I have been applying the Calming drops directly to a nasty toaster oven burn on my left forearm, and it has helped the wound to heal.

You can mix the drops together, too. They are safe for very sensitive skin, Selby said. But if someone has never used retinol, Selby recommends they start with just one drop and work their way up to two or three drops per use.

You can mix the Custom Infusion Drops with anything water-, oil-, or silicone-based. Selby did say the drops will dilute, or “sheer out,” coverage provided by a pigmented product, such as a BB or CC cream or a foundation.

CoverFX Custom Infusion Drops are available at Sephora. Has anyone tried them? And I am not familiar with the CoverFX brand. It seems like great stuff. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

*I received the Custom Infusion Drops in a goody bag from the launch party. Opinions are my own.

Product Review: Exuviance Firm-NG⁶ Non-Acid Peel

Exuviance Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel

Exuviance Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel

I recently discovered the Exuviance Firm-NG⁶ Non-Acid Peel by NeoStrata. My skin is in its end-of-the-summer slump, and sun spots have popped up on my cheekbones. I tried the peel hoping to brighten things up for the fall.*

The company said in press materials its Exuviance peel contains six percent NeoGlucosamine®, a non-acid compound that is safe for all skin types. According to the company, NeoGlucosamine accelerates cell renewal and firms and tightens the skin. I was surprised by how much fresher my skin looked after a few uses!

The peel is a leave-on peel. You apply it after cleansing and wait for five to 10 minutes for the product to absorb before applying moisturizer.

The Exuviance Firm-NG⁶ Non-Acid Peel is available at Ulta. Have you ever done a peel? Would you try this one? Let me know in the comments!

*Product was sent to me for review. Opinions are my own.

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