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Category : Body Care

5 Ways to Combat Winter Weather: Body, Hair & Scalp Edition

5 Ways to Combat Winter Weather: Body, Hair & Scalp Edition

It’s getting cold and with the drop in temperature our body, hair and scalp can become dehydrated and more sensitive and unruly than usual. Recently we focussed on winter skin care tips for the visage. It is also important to modify our body care routine to protect ourselves from the cold, crisp elements that we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of.

Proper Shower Protocol

Let’s discuss a proper winter shower regimen. It is necessary to exfoliate the body at least twice a week during the colder months. The cold weather dries out our skin and leaves loads of dry, dead skin cells that need to be sloughed away. I use Mio Skincare Natural Dry Brush. Use it while skin is dry right before hopping into the shower or bath. Start with the bottoms of your feet and brush all the way up your body in clockwise circles. Focus time on your wobbly bits like the thighs, bum and side of the waist. Brush your stomach clockwise and then up your bust. Start at you hands and brush up your arms – make sure to get under your armpits. You want to brush towards your heart, in the direction of lymphatic drainage. Not only does this help with skin cell turnover but it helps your body expel any excess bloat or toxins that it might be holding onto.

Body Scrubs

Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish and Mio Skincare Double Buff Dual Action Enzyme Exfoliator are two great choices for all natural exfoliating body washes. Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish can be used daily and contains fine grains of rice bran and bamboo to gently cleanse and turn over dry, dead skin cells. It also contains ginger root and ginseng extracts to balance the skin. Double Buff can be used 2 – 3 times per week. Massage it into dry skin and then rinse. Both will even out skin tone.

Hair And Scalp

Despite the dozens of articles you’ve read claiming that you should only wash your hair three times a week, it’s just not true. Just like you wash your face (and hopefully your body) each day, you also need to wash the skin on your scalp. You can keep the shampooing concentrated on scrubbing the scalp area but the skin on your scalp gets dry just like the rest of the skin on your body and needs to be exfoliated and cleansed. I have dry, thick, curly hair that I bleach blond, so I use a leave in conditioner all year round, but during the winter all hair types can benefit from using a light leave in treatment. Caretrico After Treatment Enrich Milk contains hyaluronic acid that gives your hair the extra added moisturizing protection it needs to ward off the wind and cold. Apply it after showering just before your styling product. Wait – one extra layer: Make sure to use a moisturizing hair mask at least once a week. Philip Kingsley’s award winning Elasticizer was formulated expressly for Audrey Hepburn. This intensive moisturizing pre-shampoo treatment (hair mask) delivers elasticity, bounce and shine for everyone from fine to thick curly hair – Elasticizer is nothing short of a miracle worker and much needed during the cold winter months.

Aprés Shower

Mio Skincare A Cream Firming Active Body Cream is the Mr. T treatment of body care. I’m embarrassed to say that until I was introduced to Mio Skincare I was not a body care person at all and was extremely skeptical about body firming products. This moisturizer is the perfect texture – not too thick, not too liquidy. It’s powerful combination of moisturizing omegas, powerful antioxidant and vitamins create a soothing shield to combat dryness and the elements as well as boost elasticity. When used in conjunction with regular exercise and mindful eating – it makes a difference.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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Beauty Benefits of Preventative Care

preventative personal care skin body hair benefits

Travel Beauty recently interviewed renowned New York City Dermatologist, Dr. Mitchell Kline. When asked what younger women in their 20s and early 30s can do in the way of preventative care, Dr. Kline replied:

Underappreciated is the benefit of rest, diet and supplements that truly affect the way the skin ages and damages. The science is astounding and soon will become part of prevention rather than treating problems that develop.

Old Is New

The movement towards prevention as a mode to protect against illness has been prevalent in this country for some time. As a society, through media coverage and increasingly public policy, we are educating ourselves to eat healthier, exercise more often and even decrease the stress levels in our daily lives. While to many, this notion sounds so basic, it is something that has not yet seeped into the American psyche with relation to skin and personal care.

American Attitudes Towards Personal Care

Typically Americans wait until they see signs of aging, sunspots, blemishes or develop a skin condition, like rosacea to become serious about a skin care routine. Similarly, they wait until they experience hair loss or have serious dandruff issues to establish healthy hair care habits. Even more prevalent - women typically start using body firming lotions and scrubs after they give birth or are presenting with cellulite. Perhaps you’ve heard that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? All I have to say is #TRUTH.

A 360 Degree Approach to Beauty

In Europe the approach to personal care is different. Europeans appreciate skin for what it is – the largest organ of the human body – and an important one at that. It is the only protection our bodies have from the elements. All that stands between our blood, veins, internal organs and tissue and the outside world is skin.

This approach not only includes eating right, getting enough rest, taking supplements and regular facial treatments but using quality skin care products early on. Effective ones that prevent the type of skin damage that results from pollution, climate and aging, before we start to see the effects in the form of wrinkles, fine lines and sunspots.

A Lifelong Obsession With Beauty

I became interested in personal care products at a young age. I traveled with my mother frequently overseas and the most anticipated stop of the trip was the charming, local European pharmacies.

My earliest product memories star Erno Laszlo’s Sea Mud Soap – revolutionary when it first hit the scene - My mother had all sorts of serums and potions in lovely glass jars stored on an elegant, old world sit down vanity. It was so glamorous.

My mother also always used body lotion. This annoyed me as it took her, what seemed like a year, to get dressed. When I asked her why she insisted on this long drawn ritual (we once missed a bus that ultimately crashed because she was running so late – THANK YOU BODY LOTION) – she said the only reason she didn’t look like an old bag is because she’d been using body lotion her entire life and if I didn’t want to look fat and saggy skinned I better think about doing the same. My mother is not one to hold back.

Forming Healthy Habits Early On

I started having regular extraction facials when I was 12. When I think facial, I don’t conjure a picture of lounging in a robe, cucumber water in hand. In fact, many spas of lesser quality play up this piece of the experience to makeup for the mediocre quality of their treatments. Not to say that you should be having a facial in a dingy back alley. It should be a lovely, tranquil place but the most important part is a knowledgeable, experienced aesthetician that works closely with dermatologists and plastic surgeons, understands product and is not a one treatment fits all practitioner. Facials should be akin to clinical treatments – parts of which can be painful – hello extraction! They can be likened to teeth cleanings. You have your teeth cleaned at least every six months to prevent tooth and gum decay. So to, regular facials keep your skin in check. Yasmine Djerradine is the only person that I trust with my skin.

To that end, here are some exceptional products that approach personal care through a preventative lens. They are not only extremely effective but are aimed at keeping skin and hair healthy. If you have healthy skin and hair, they will look great and these products are the proof.

Skin Care That Works At The Cellular Level

Sapelo Skin Care, a revolutionary, all natural line from Savannah, Georgia combines high concentrations of plant extracts, indigenous to the region, with powerful, scientifically proven peptides that nurture the skin at the cellular level turning back the hands of time. These products protect the skin from the elements and are formulated without harsh retinoids and acids. Sapelo is ideal for sensitive, dry and/or mature skin. This is an anti-aging skin care line bar-none. My mother is 67 and since she started using this line 6 months ago, has never looked better. Her skin looks like she has a microcurrent facial daily.

What About Sunspots?

The foundation of protection is applying a product that counteracts the body’s chemical reaction to Ultra Violet radiation or sun exposure. Sapelo Skin Care’s Rejuvenating Cream contains anti-oxidants and platinum peptides, biochemically designed to halt UV injury before sunspots occur. The system was designed to replicate the skin’s healing response to injury. If used twice a day, Sapelo works 24/7, at the cellular level, to stop UV damage – which causes ugly brown spots.

Skin Care With Ayurvedic Roots

Cosmetics 27 by M.E. SkinLab leverages the restorative nature of Centella Asiatica extracts, a plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3,000 years to strengthen the skin’s ability, at the cellular level, to fight the factors that cause it to look old and dull, on its own. Michèle Evrard, the founder of Cosmetics 27, is a pharmacist by training and has worked in product development for years. She approaches beauty in a holistic manner also offering a nutritional supplement, Supplément 27, to be used in conjunction with her skin care line. It contains active anti-oxidant and anti-free radical ingredients, Centella Asiatica, Vitamin A, C and E and Selenium which combat cellular aging, reinforcing the skin’s natural defenses while providing the skin with the elements it needs to regain its beauty and radiance. It visibly reduces the signs of age and helps maintain the skin’s natural equilibrium and beauty from the inside out.

Preventative Hair Care

World renowned hair and scalp Trichologist, Philip Kingsley takes a similar approach. At his clinics in London and New York City, Kingsley’s team runs a full blood work up, examines eating habits and digs into clients’ daily routines to determine the types of stress they might be facing. Believe it or not, all of these factors impact the condition of the hair and scalp. Once you have been examined, Kingsley’s team, or if you are lucky enough to see Kingsley himself, devise a custom treatment of products just for you – that really work.

If you can’t make it to the clinic, Kingsley has formulated a retail line that addresses different hair and scalp concerns from dandruff, to thinning hair, to serious frizz.

Holistic Body Care

Mio Skincare is an all natural body care line designed to work in conjunction with regular exercise and healthy eating habits. Products like the Workout Wonder Invigorating Muscle Motivating Gel contains ingredients like Arnica Montana to sooth and bring down the swelling that overworked muscles may experience due to intense workouts. The A Cream creates a soothing shield to combat dryness and boost elasticity, fighting the damaging effects of sun, pollutants and free radicals. It balances, deeply moisturizes and strengthens skin. These happen to be skin firming products but the truth is, the earlier you start moisturizing your body, the more supple it will be.

So that next time someone asks you if any of your products really work or do you just have great genes, you can confidently say, I am sure my genes do play a part, but I take care of myself and that makes all the difference.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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Layering Body Care Products

layering body care products

We’ve been told how to layer our clothes, our skin care…even our hair care. I ask you: What about our body care? Given the amount of square footage you have to cover compared to your face or hair, body care is probably the most important product-layering lesson to learn.

I spend the bulk of my “getting ready time” applying body care products – longer than I spend on my face & hair combined. This has been the case since the beginning of my beauty product obsession, so I’ve learned some best practices along the way…usually through making mistakes. (For instance, if you’re going on a beach vacation and want to do Baby Foot for super-soft feet and a spray tan for super-tan skin, make sure to do Baby Foot far enough in advance that the bulk of your peeling is complete BEFORE getting your spray tan! Otherwise your feet will look like a map. Or a cheetah. Either one is not so cute.)

Before We Begin: Are You Exfoliating?

Don’t get me started; I’ve talked about body scrubs for years now! From there, here’s a step-by-step game plan for getting the best body out of your body products.

Step 1: Self-Tanner

The first step of this first step is to cream up the palms of your hands before even looking at self-tanner. You don’t want to get caught tan-handed. Especially in summer when I am applying self-tanner over most of my body regularly, I like to use self-tanning towels for this step. As you’ll see with the number of products I apply to my body, listed below, having one more cream/oil/gel to apply is a bit of a pain. The towels can be used first thing after getting out of the shower, so they don’t interfere with all the other creams/oils/gels. In fact, if you use exfoliating tan towels, they will actually help all subsequent body products absorb deeper into your skin.

Step 2: Treatment Products

If you’re not using self-tanning towels, these should be applied first to the appropriate areas. They are full of active ingredients that you want to apply directly to bare skin. You may have different products for cellulite, bloating, etc. It’s the same idea as spot treating on your face or hair. If you have one pimple, you only apply a pimple cream to that area. Try Mio Skincare’s award-winning range of targeted treatment products!

Step 3: Body Oil

Should go next; all over body or to treat a specific area. (I will say, though, that a high-quality body oil, even one designed to firm or treat specific conditions can be used everywhere else on the body, so don’t be shy!) Mix up a cocktail with….

Step 4: Body Cream

Also apply cream to targeted areas. In small doses, oils make skin radiant. Put them on dry areas after creams—as a rule, oils can penetrate moisturizers, but not vice versa. The A Cream from Mio Skincare or Emma Hardie Super Rich Body Butter are superb.

Step 5: SPF

Last but not least, I always apply SPF later than I do all other body products; closer to when I’m actually leaving the house and usually when I’m almost fully dressed. This should be old news, but if you’re baring your arms and shoulders, make sure to protect them! And don’t forget the backs of your hands and your décolletage, which are usually exposed until it gets very cold out. Institut Esthederm Adaptasun for Body is the gold standard against which all other body SPF should be measured!

Overwhelmed? Too many steps? Take it slow…add new layers to your routine at your own pace. And ask any questions in the comments, below!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Negative Ion Water Benefits for Hair and Skin Care

negative ion water benefits for skin and hair care

When hot, sticky summer weather makes our hair and skin freak out (i.e., break out…frizz out…), we make sure to stock up on our favorite multitasking product from Japan. No one can sing the praises of Vine Minus Ion Care Water better than Travel Beauty’s hair care expert, Ishi. ——— Where do I begin? Vine Care Water is negative ion water that was first developed in Japan for NASA to clean the lenses and mirrors on space bound vehicles and satellites. Bacteria cannot live in a pH 12.5 environment, so it was made as a germ-killing cleanser. Negative ion water is 170 times more absorbent than water, so on its own it provides moisture. Used in conjunction with hair and skin care products, negative ion water works as a driver – so it boosts the effectiveness of products used subsequently.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Hair Care

The negative charge of the water is attracted to – and bonds to – hair.  It helps strengthen fine hair, making it feel thicker. It boosts the strength of conditioners, treatments and styling aids to amplify the benefits of these products. It can also be mixed with your shampoo or conditioner at a rate of 10%, or can be sprayed onto hair, roots to ends, before leave-in conditioners or styling aids are applied. This is a fabulous tool for thick, curly hair as well; read more here about how to use it.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Skin Care

Care Water works well as a moisturizing skin toner or clarifier (most products that clarify tend to dry the skin). Many of my clients have had success clearing up some forms of acne with Care Water as well. Layered with other products, it boosts the benefits of those products. Here’s an easy experiment to give you an idea of what Care Water does:

  • Put a few drops of oil into water. You will see it separates.
  • Then spray the oil and water with Care Water.
  • You will see it actually reduces the size of the oil drops so that the water and oil mix together.
  • This is the same way Care Water breaks up and clears away oils on the skin.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Scrapes & Cuts

Sprayed on scrapes or cuts, Care Water cleans the wounds (by killing bacteria) and moisturizes, therefore promoting healing. It’s currently being used in research at burn hospitals in Japan with very positive results.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Teeth

Care Water also works for brushing your teeth – both cleansing and whitening. Read all about our smile-cleaning secrets here. Don’t swallow it, though! It is not for internal use. The pH is too extreme for that. Care Water is the ideal multi-tasking travel companion. You can find this cure-all wonder water in travel size here at Travel Beauty.

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Your Best Summer Shaving Tips

your best summer shaving tips

I love the ease of summer dressing…throw a dress over my head and I’m done. I deeply appreciated this ease when I was very pregnant with my second child for most of the summer. I wore no maternity clothes — just easy, breezy (stretchy) dresses that effortlessly accommodated my spherical stomach, and still looked great once my son was “on the outside”. What a pleasure.

All. The. Shaving.

What was not a pleasure? All. The. Shaving. Made necessary by wearing dresses every day. So time-consuming, and with the astronomical price of razor blades, expensive! I also had to deal with my underarms: when I shaved every day the skin got so raw and irritated I had to gird my loins and say a prayer before applying deodorant. I made it my mission to shave so effectively that I could skip a day. Now, I’m just talking legs and underarms here; the bikini area should be waxed or lasered in my opinion. Here’s how I’m able to skip a shave…may these tips bring you smooth sailing, too!

Exfoliate First…But Gently!

I  am a well-know exfoliating enthusiast. And getting rid of any dead skin will certainly yield a closer shave. However! Shaving itself is very exfoliating, so you don’t want to run a razor over skin you just scrubbed like the dickens. It can lead to major redness and irritation…and it sure won’t tickle (I speak from experience here). A gentle body scrub applied with a light touch, or cleaning with an exfoliating body towel should do the trick.

Don’t Shave First Thing in the Morning

I know this is tough, as most of us shower  — and therefore shave — in the AM. But as you sleep, your legs swell slightly, which can cause hair to retreat back into the follicle. Know how your face can look puffy first thing in the morning? Same goes for your gams. Shaving in the afternoon or at night will allow you to get a closer shave, so if you can postpone your shave until later in the day, do.

Don’t Shave Your Legs as Soon as You Get in the Shower

Understandably, you want to get your morning routine underway, but it really is best to hang out in the shower or bath for about 10 minutes before you start shaving. This will soften the hair and open up follicles. But don’t wait too long! Your skin will start to wrinkle and swell, and it’ll then be harder to get a close shave. Also, water temperature is important! It should be warm; if it’s too chilly the hair won’t soften up and if it’s too hot it can dry out skin. Make the shower warm yet comfortable and you should be okay.

Are You Really Using Bar Soap to Shave?!

No matter how big a hurry you may be in, skip the temptation to shave with just water or with a soap or shower gel. Soap doesn’t create enough lubrication for your razor to glide easily over skin, which can lead to more cuts. Lather up your legs with a moisturizing shaving cream (I prefer creams to gels or foams, but it’s a matter of personal preference) to avoid nicks and cuts and to get a closer shave. In a pinch, hair conditioner will do just as good a job…in fact, we’ve been told by a very reputable source that Philip Kingsley Elasticizer makes a great shave cream! Though you don’t want to borrow your guy’s razor (see my last bullet point), you can borrow his shaving cream. I love shaving with Ursa Major Stellar Shave Cream — it smells fantastic, gives me a close shave and never leaves my skin dry.

What’s the Best Direction to Shave?

If you have the time, shave down your leg before you shave up. On your first pass, shave in the direction your hair grows (down the leg). Why? While shaving against the grain may get you a closer shave, it also increases the possibility of irritation, nicks, and cuts. Once your hairs are already very short, and the skin is warm and lubricated, going against the direction of hair growth is safer. Reapply your shave cream and shave again — against the direction of the hair growth. *ALSO*, rinse your razor after every run! It doesn’t matter how many blades that thing has; if they’re all clogged with hair, it can give a close shave. I like to blast mine with running water, rather than just shake it under water, as this really gets rid of any buildup.

Underarm Hair Grows in Every Direction!

You want to go over the area from several different angles. I apply my shave cream with my opposite hand (you want to be able to get a good grip with your other hand), and then use the hand of the arm I’m shaving under to pull the skin taut. Bend your arm and pull up right above where the hair starts growing. It sounds trickier than it is, and actually makes a huge difference in getting a close shave.

Are You Really Using Those One-blade Disposable Razors?!

You’re a big girl now, use a big girl razor. A single blade razor is fine in a pinch, like if you’re staying in a hotel and forgot to pack your razor, but for everyday use take my advice and invest in a five-blade razor. I LOVE Gillette Venus, especially the ones with the Olay moisturizing strip built in. They provide the smoothest results, letting you navigate tricky areas like your knees and ankles without nicking yourself. Those single-blade disposables are likelier to drag against the skin, and don’t give you nearly as close of a shave.

You’re Using Your Razor Blade HOW MANY Times?

Listen, I get it. Every time I buy razor blades I wonder when Hattori Hanzo became CEO of Gillette. Why…HOW are they $4 a pop?! But a nice razor is useless if you don’t change the cartridge at the first sign of dullness. For me this is usually about five to seven shaves. Old blades are not only less effective, but also more likely to cause bumps/redness and trap bacteria, which can potentially cause infections.

Don’t Shave with Your Guy’s Razor…

Unless you’re looking for a bathroom bloodbath. A lot of women think using a men’s razor is more effective, and it is, if you’re shaving a man’s face. A man’s razor is not designed to navigate a woman’s body, and the handle is completely inadequate — it’s too skinny and not rubbery enough — for the amount of water and lather a woman needs to shave her body in the shower. This makes it easy to lose your grip and cut yourself but GOOD. Steer clear.

After Your Shower

Show skin some extra love with an alcohol-free lotion. Emma Hardie Body Butter is fantastic! As much as I LOVE body oil, I try not to put it on freshly-shaved skin — I find it can lead to bumps. A nice lotion will help to lock in moisture and add a nice sheen to skin  — perfect for the short shorts of summertime!

Do you have any sharp shaving wisdom? Please share in the comments below!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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