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Monthly Archives : January 2016

Winter Weather Skin Care Tips

skin care tips for winter season

Even the most stout-skinned of us need to brace our faces against harsh winter weather. If your skin is sensitive, you’ve probably come to fear winter like the zombie apocalypse. And unfortunately, it’s not just Jack Frost’s nose nips that put our skin through the ringer. The colder it gets out, the harder we pump the heat indoors. Our days then consist of going from cold to hot to cold. This constant switching from bitter cold to incredibly drying convection heat and back to bitter cold again can severely stress and deplete skin. Here are some tips and tools to give skin the extra protection it needs in winter.

  • To begin…In summer, we leave the house in nothing but a tank dress and sandals. DONE. In winter, it’s a hat, gloves, scarf, sweater, parka, etc. In the same vein, if you leave your house in winter with your face “wearing” the same old products as it does in summer, you’re leaving your face incredibly under-protected. too exposed to the elements and environment.
  • Expand your product arsenal. Using a (gentle) cleanser, toner, scrub, serum/essence, balm, oil, cream and SPF is NOT excessive for winter months. When you use each productand how much you usedepends on your skin’s needs. Experiment with different combinations to see which makes your skin the happiest and look its best. If you apply a product and see your skin is drinking it in, add another. Your skin obviously needs it. One caveat: Try to keep your SPF as a standalone product, and don’t have it be the first product you put on clean skin, as it will only clog pores. Apply a toner and at least a serum first, so a layer is created between the SPF and your skin.
  • Calm down with the cleansing. At this time of year, your skin needs every drop of moisture it can get, so don’t strip it twice a day with an industrial strength cleanser. As much as you may love a soapy, foamy, bubbly face wash (I know I do), switch to a gentler cleanser, at least until April. You can’t go wrong with B. Kamins Laboratories Vegetable Cleanser, or for a more luxe choice, try Sapelo Skin Care Seaweed Cleanser. For a real moisture surge, use a cleansing balm. In the winter (well, all year round, really) we love Cosmetics 27 Cleanser 27 by M.E. SkinLab and the cult favorite Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. Both balms are silky, gentle, all-natural and full of high quality botanical ingredients that not only deeply cleanse skin, but also nourish and repair it.
  • I loveLOVEmy steamy (read: scalding) showers…especially on a cold winter morning! You too? Well, as good as we know that hot water feels, we must resist the temptation to stand under a scalding shower stream to warm ourselves up. As I’ve aged, I’ve really seenand feltthe toll that super-hot (and therefore super-drying) water has taken on my skin…from scalp to sole. The skin on my legs and tops of my feet, where the water hits most often, seems impossible to keep smooth and dewy these days. So keep the shower water warmtepid even. If you can’t tolerate the tepidness for an entire shower, aim for at least a portion of it. The most beneficial moments to turn down the temp would be when you’re rinsing off shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.
  • While you’re in the shower, exfoliate. Everywhere. I know I’m entering broken record territory here about exfoliating; I only mention it in EVERY SINGLE BLOG POST. But really, exfoliating regularly will TRANSFORM your skinface…body…all of it. Lavido’s Gentle Exfoliator Peeling Cream for face is super-gentle, with Oyster Shell Powder and Pomegranate Peel Grains to provide a subtle scrubbing action. For body, Glytone Body Wash, withyou guessed it—glycolic acid, is the gold standard exfoliating wash. It is definitely not a “green” product, though, so if you want to stay away from chemicals, the Sasawashi Mesh Body Scrub Towel, Yu-be Foaming Skin Polish Body Scrub and Mio Skincare Double Buff Dual Enzyme Exfoliator are solid exfoliator choices that provide manual, as opposed to chemical (like Glytone), exfoliation. Yu-be Foaming Skin Polish and Mio Skincare Double Buff can both also be used on your face. Don’t forget your scalp, too! Does your scalp dry up once temperatures drop? Philip Kingsley’s Exfoliating Scalp Mask is brilliant. Not just for a healthy scalp, but for the overall quality of your hair. Healthy scalp=happy, beautiful hair.
  • Even in winter, use an acid. Work a peeling/exfoliating product into your routine 1-2 times a day (only once at night if your skin is particularly sensitive/reactive). Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads are my hands-down favorite. They come in several different “strengths”, so even those with sensitive skin can use them. Follow your peel pads with a spritz or cotton pad soaked swipe of a hydrating toner (we know you read our recent blog post on toners, right?!) before applying your serum. Quick note on toners: This is the time of year to avoid all alcohol-heavy products. They are incredibly drying and irritating, especially after an AHA product.
  • Multimask! Though you should continue to use face masks year round, opt for more hydrating ones in the winter, as opposed to detoxifying clay/mud/charcoal based ones. If you have combination skin that still breaks out occasionally in winter, you can always multimask! Use a deep-cleansing/detoxifying mask on your T-zone and problem areas, like Binchotan Facial Cleansing Mask then a moisturizing mask on cheeks and drier areas. Winter is also the perfect time to work a hydrating sleep mask into your skin care routine. And honestly, any creamy mask can be a “sleep mask”, just apply before bed and leave it on overnight. The best of the best? Celeb (and royalty) favorite, Heaven Skincare’s Bee Venom Mask.

What are your cold weather skin care hacks? Let us know in the comments!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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Cosmetics 27 Founder Michèle Evrard Talks Skin Care

Cosmetics 27 Skin Care Michele Evrard

We had the chance to spend some time with one of the most knowledgeable and inspiring Girl Bosses we know, Michèle Evrard. Michèle is the Founder of M.E. Skinlabs and creator of the cult favorite French skin care line, Cosmetics 27. We often have marathon Skype sessions with Michèle (from Paris) that cover everything from skin care to supplements to sleep patterns and everything in between! She has a singular outlook and wealth of information that we are excited to share with you.

What is Your Background?

I am a pharmacist. I studied Pharmacy in Belgium. I wanted to work in a lab on formulation & product development. I started as an intern at Max Factor in the US, only I was integrated in the marketing department. That’s how I started my career in fragrance and cosmetics. I worked at Max Factor for 2 years on product development. I learned most of the job there and owe it to the incredible women who were at the beginning of what this industry has become! I have been in this industry for over 24 years, working on product development, my passion, and marketing in companies such as L’Oréal, Christian Dior Parfums, Boucheron Parfums and Matis skin care. I decided to create my own products in 2008 and launched Baume 27 in 2009.

What Led You to Create the Cosmetics 27 Line?

My passion for product and innovation, clearly! I had worked on the concept of a unique formula for 3 years after I had discovered the virtues of Centella Asiatica. I have always been fascinated  by cellular regeneration. It was when I left my last position and set up my own consulting firm that I decided to develop that formula for myself. It was the Baume 27. That was the beginning of the Cosmetics 27 line that came out the year after.

What Differentiates Cosmetics 27 From Other Skin Care Lines?

My philosophy is not so much about selling or adding another product to the market. After all, everything, or almost everything, is already out there! I created my line with the idea that it helps taking care of the skin in a primary way. The underlying concept is homeostasis, the principle of equilibrium of any living organism. I want to help women have healthier, better skin. If it is healthy, it will look good. If you look good you feel beautiful. I didn’t want to sell claims, only results. I wanted to be authentic.

My products are all unique, in concept and formulae. It is not a conventional line, I create products that I feel are useful and that will bring something different. All our products are natural and thought to bring results, and we validate the results by extensive testing. The line is among pioneers in the field of natural cosmeceuticals .

What Skin Care Advice Can You Share With Us?

The first advice I give is: get to know your skin! You will know how to treat it and maintain it better. Too many women use and abuse products and treatments. Be good to your skin.

Adopt a simple routine, clean your skin gently, don’t abuse the sun (that’s not to say stay away from it!). Massage skin as often as you can, it is a the first step to prevent skin aging. Drink water, a lot, don’t smoke and laugh a lot!

In terms of skin care, I recommend mixing the different products you use (in your hand) before applying them. It helps achieve the right formula and texture for a specific skin. You dose the products better and will know how much you need to apply by testing and feeling different amounts. If you apply them one on top of the other, you might use too much or not get the best out of each product. This is how I use my products; you can adapt them to your needs. For example, if the Baume 27 is too rich for daytime, you can add a few drops of the Essence 27 and you will have your own preferred texture with the benefits of both products. The formulae are all thought to be complementary and not additional. It is not the skin that adapts to the products, the product can be adapted depending on the skin need and condition.

What Are You Especially Passionate About in the Field of Skin Care?

I am passionate about what will become integrative beauty. I am interested in integrative medicine, which is maybe more popular in the US than it is in our countries (Europe). In essence, integrative medicine focuses on the patient’s wellness and health rather than treating a disease. It means that the patient is at the center, and takes charge of his own health. It takes its roots in oriental medicine and therapies, including allopathy, homeopathy, osteopathy and traditional medicine. It’s medicine that treats the body and soul. Beauty will get there! I like the idea that there is not one treatment solution for all, but that we are all different. It has already started in the US with the concept of integrative spas.

Travel Beauty Tip: For those of us with dry and/or mature skin that can become even more dehydrated over the winter, mix 4 -5 drops of Huile 27 in your hands with Baume 27. It gives that added extra moisture that skin is thirsty for this time of year. Can also be used as a face, hair and cuticle oil.

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Our 4 Best Facial Toners

best toners for your beauty regimen

If you’ve committed to taking better care of your skin in 2016, adding a toner to your skincare routine is a great place to start. Toners are an important skin care step because they get your cleansed skin ready for your serums and treatment products, allowing those products to work more effectively. Treatment products such as anti-aging and spot lightening moisturizers and emollients can be the most expensive products in your skincare regimen. Boosting their efficacy probably sounds like a really good idea, no?

Toners also pack a skin-benefiting punch all their own. Here are a few of my favorite toners, with some guidance on which skin type they are best for (though each is universal enough that anyone can use any of them – promise.)

Institut Esthederm Cellular Water

This is an extra-gentle (fragrance-free, dye-free, preservative-free and hypoallergenic) option that’s great not only for prepping skin for other products, but also for setting makeup application as well. It is an aerosol bottle that sprays an extremely fine mist, so you don’t have to fret about large drops of liquid smudging your cateye. Institut Esthederm invented Cellular Water (or Eau Cellulaire) to replicate the water found naturally in the skin. While the demineralized water generally used in cosmetics is pure, it does not provide an ideal cellular environment for the skin. Cellular Water was specifically designed for stressed skin that lacks vitality. Its high levels of mineral salts boosts the effectiveness of all other skin care products applied subsequently.

Lavido Hydrating Toner

A botanical-based toner, great for all skin types. Lavido formulated this gentle facial toner with organic pomegranate peel, orange blossom (a.k.a. Neroli – my favorite!) and carrot. The delicately-scented aromatherapeutic Neroli hydrosol water, derived purely from the distillation of orange blossoms, moisturizes the skin and relieves tension. Used after cleansing, this toner can be applied with a cotton round to thoroughly remove any traces of makeup left over. It also works to tighten and close the pores, leaving skin refreshed and ready for serum and/or moisturizer. Don’t let the flowery ingredients fool you, this truly unisex toner can be used by men as an after shave tonic to soothe and repair sensitive post-shave skin. You can also spray directly onto skin whenever you want a quick skin refresh with aromatherapeutic benefits (I’m looking at you, frequent fliers).

Ursa Major 4-in-1 Face Tonic

This is the most robust of all the toners listed here, as it will really help cleanse skin as well. You can find 4-in-1 Tonic in the cult favorite Essential Face Wipes (a post-workout MUST), or if you prefer spray bottle format, Ursa Major’s Traveler’s Skin Care Kit has a perfect travel size bottle of the tonic as well.

4-in-1 Face Tonic cleanses – removing oil and grime without stripping skin of its moisture or throwing off skin’s pH balance. It also exfoliates – dissolving dead skin cells and clearing clogged pores with its 3% natural AHA/BHA complex. It heals skin – soothing irritation and inflammation and accelerating healing (great for razor nicks). It even hydrates and firms! The natural scent is a refreshing, medicinal brew spiked with orange, fir and lavender. I love all Ursa Major products because they use the highest-grade natural ingredients (99.9% natural, 53% organic to be exact), sourced wherever possible from family-owned, sustainable growers. There are never any petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance or color, glycols, silicones or PEGs. All products are also vegan, gluten & cruelty-free.

Vine Minus Ion Care Water

This “water” is so much more than just that! By far the most multi-tasking product we sell, Vine Minus Ion Care Water is a great antibacterial choice to treat acne-prone skin or even occasional breakouts. Care Water can be sprayed anywhere from hair to heels, and reaps different benefits depending on where you spray it. On the skin, it is extremely healing and antibacterial, thanks to the negative ions. Many customers who suffer from acne have reported major improvements in the condition of their skin with regular use. It is superb as a skin and hair “primer”, really boosting the efficacy of all products applied after it. It is also deeply moisturizing, actually drawing moisture to skin and hair.

What’s your favorite toner? Do you rotate? (Yes, of course I do.) Tell us below!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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New Year, New You! Tips From Team Charlotte

latest beauty tips from charlottes book

New Year, new you? Every day it seems a new way to revamp, revitalize and reboot ourselves from head to toe hits spas and doctors’ offices…it’s enough to make our bayalaged heads spin. One of our favorite sources for the latest and greatest cosmetic treatments is Team Charlotte. We can always count on Charlotte’s Book to have the scoop on what’s happening right now in aesthetics, beauty and wellness. Here’s a roundup of some of the latest treatment options that Team Charlotte has uncovered. Bottom’s up and Happy New Year!

HOW TO STOP YOUR HANGOVER BEFORE IT STARTS

Sometimes—usually—the best medicine is preventive. According to our CB verified experts, there are some excellent tactics to avoid a brutal hangover. Perhaps you consider that New Year’s Day hangover inevitable. But what can you do before you even start drinking to prevent (or make slightly less terrible) those next-day woes? Read more.

WHAT’S UP WITH ISOLAZ?

When it comes to acne, sometimes lotions and potions just don’t cut it. Pills can be complicated and risky, and needles aren’t for everybody (I’m looking at you, cortisone). So what’s left?

A lot, actually… Read more.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH HAIR BURNING (A.K.A. VELATERAPIA)?

We’ve never purposely played with fire, so we’re still not sure about this new treatment, Velaterapia, a Brazilian hair burning treatment that promises to refresh split ends and leave hair smooth and shiny. Intrigued? Read more.

DERMAPLANING: CHARLOTTE EXPLAINS THIS SIMPLE DEEP EXFOLIATING PROCESS

There are a slew of specialized facials and skincare procedures that offer brighter, firmer and more radiant skin, but here’s why dermaplaning is a favorite among celebrities and supermodels who have to look high-definition photo ready 24/7.

Hungry for more? Sign up for the Charlotte’s Book newsletter.

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