When is the best time to start taking care of your skin? The best time is really start from 6 months old! Yes, 6 months old babies should start wearing sunscreen. Sun damages are accumulative so start early! Of course a baby can not BUY a sunscreen themselves, thus you as a reader/parent can help to make it happen. This blog post will be more specific on 20’s and above that you can take the control of your skin’s destiny!
In general, all skin care products should really do three things- protect, comfort, moisturize. No matter if you purchase your skin care in drug store or in premium beauty retail. What differentiate the pricing lays in the packaging, the active ingredient used, and the clinical promises that how it will make your skin looking more smart and beautiful.
In your 20’s– all you really need is a basic hydrator and a sunscreen. At this time, your skin should be either oily or oily-combination. Chances are you are active and may lose hydration due to active exercise and moving around. Make sure not only you are drinking 8 glasses of water, you should also do the same to quench your skin thirst. Look for ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, watermelon or honey to keep your skin hydrated. Wear SPF 50 if you are outdoor a lot. Prevention is easier than treatment. If you take care of your skin early, you have less issues down the road.
In your 30’s– You may start experience early signs of aging. It’s time to use a more sophisticated moisturizer with good lipid replenishers and an eye product. Products contains squalane, triglycerides, argan oil, coconut oil, avocado oil are all good choices to help moisturize skin. A light weight eye cream or balm or gel should be added to the daily regimen especially if you tend to have dark circles due to lack of sleep. Ingredients to look for in eye products are buckwheat, or caffeine to help reduce puffiness, licorice, vitamin C, or algae to help with dark circles. It’s also a great time to add in skin perfecting polisher to help exfoliate the skin so your moisturizers can penetrate better. Once a week skin perfecting mask is also suggested for the extra smart move!
In your 40’s– It’s serious skin game time! Not only you have preventative work to do like when you were at 20’s and 30’s, you may have some corrective work if you haven’t been so diligent doing your skin care work. So what does it entail? Amp up your exfoliation game- you may want to increase exfoliation to 2-3 times a week as skin cell turn over can be sluggish if you don’t help it going. Pay extra attention to the eye area– that crows’feet, that hallowing under the eye may start to show. You will need a powerhouse eye cream packed with peptides, retinol-like actives, algaes, lentil extracts, green banana extracts for extra firming and moisturization. Since the skin underneath the eyes is similar to our lips, yes, go ahead massage in the leftover eyecream on our fingertips to your lips. It’s also time to add in a skin serum treatment under your moisturizer as serum is packed with the highest level of actives possible. When you use a serum, do not just slap it on. Try to PRESS the serum on to the skin with outward motion to enhance penetration and follow with a moisturizer to seal in all the greatness of the serum. Oh, and don’t forget to treat your neck as well! Neck is the area even cosmetic surgery will have a hard time to correct once you have that Turkey neck. Protect NOW. Of course, a weekly skin perfecting mask will also help to keep your complexion glowing.
In your 50’s & beyond– Are you hopeless at this stage? Absolutely not! The skin care work at this stage will involve intensive night time skin repair and continue to avoid sun exposure with great sunscreen during the day. My absolute love sun product is Clarins UV plus 50- best invention ever. It’s non-greasy, non-whitening, and smells absolutely fabulous (so you WANT to put it on). At 50 and above, for women, it’s menopausal stage and you will experience hot flash, loss of collagen and elastin so this is the last opportunity to really turn back time. This is also the stage age spots tend to pop up on your cheeks or even hands, so take absolute care with vitamin C or licorice infused products along with gentle physical exfoliation such as cellulose beads or fruit peels from Alpha hydroxy acids or Beta Hydroxy acids. The Skin Perfecting Polisher by Grand Central Beauty is a great combination of both physical exfoliation and fruit acid peel. Just like when you are at 40’s, use your eye creams, serum, and anti-aging moisturizer. You may upgrade your moisturizer at this stage for intensified anti-aging results. You may find ingredients that sooths hot flashes or calming desirable such as alpha bisabolo or chamomile. Multi-peptides, multi-antioxidants, multi-collagen and elastin inducers are much needed at this stage. Check to see if the products have any clinical support on their claims. Again, don’t forget about your neck area, and even hands at this time.
Bottom line for skin care is exfoliation + moisturization + sunscreen and you should have a glowing complexion no matter the age!
Smart & Beautiful Skin To YOU!
There are two special days that you want to be pampered and ready from head to toe- namely New Year + Valentine’s day. Since today is the first day of lunar new year, you can try this head to toe beauty guide for a radiant new you and also ready for a romantic Valentine’s day ahead! In case you don’t know, I am a cosmetic chemist + skin care expert + makeup artist. Beauty is in my blood.
1) Hair– Use a hair mask (Neutrogena Triple Moisture) to keep hair ultra soft for your and his hands to run through. This is by far the most softening hair mask in mass market.
2) Brows– Groom it with Maybelline Brow drama for a natural yet intensified look. It’s so natural!
3) Eyes– Less on eyeshadow. Big on cat eyes with liquid eyeliner (Maybelline Stileto liquid). I love this liquid eyeliner. It stays put yet removable with a wet Q-tip for any mistakes.
4) lips– smooth with lipscrub and apply lip gloss (Clinique sweet pots). They are fun, functional and inexpensive!
5) Face– Multi-tasking mask for S.M.A.R.T. results (Grand Central Beauty Skin Perfecting Mask). Hands down the best mask! You do not need to buy 5 different masks to get 5 desired results!
6 )Neck– Clarins Firming Neck Cream. Addictive soft texture. You need to love the texture to use daily right?
7) Hands– Clarins Hand Cream. Non-greasy. Moisturizes hands and cuticles.
8) Body– Use fragrance layering of shower gel + perfume lotion + eau de parfum + powder. Prada Candy make you extra sweet. If you have dry skin, fragrance does not last on you. Always LAYER it.
9) Nails– Chanel Vamp is back in style. Sheswai Winesnob shade is also awesome!
Happy Year of Fire Monkey! Happy Valentine’s Day ahead!
The honest truth from a cosmetic chemist.
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Christmas is less than one week away. If you are still scrambling for what to get for holiday gifts, fragrance can be a good option as fragrance is personal, and often being regarded as a luxury gift. People often ask me why does the fragrance cost so much? My simple response- Because you don’t want to smell cheap :-).
Below are pointers for all the fragrance questions you may have when you approach the counter:
WHO ARE YOU BUYING THE FRAGRANCE FOR?
WHAT ARE THE FRAGRANCE TYPES?
Traditionally, fragrances are divided into 4 types with some variations- Floral, Oriental, Woody and Fresh.
The modern version of fragrance type are ozonic (Davidoff Coolwater. Armarni Aqua di gio), gourmand type (Angel, Lancome La Vie Est Belle, Prada Candy). The gourmand trend will continue in 2016.
WHAT ARE THE FRAGRANCE INTENSITIES?
Fragrance make people feel good and confident. Pure fragrance oil can be very expensive thus they are often diluted with solvents like water or alcohol or with emollients so it is more affordable. Based on the concentration of oil, the fragrance lasting power can vary.
WHAT ARE THE FRAGRANCE NOTES?
Similar to intensities, fragrances is like a piece of music with three main notes. The top notes usually consists of florals and last for 8-15 minutes. When the body temperature is warm, it blooms to the mid notes usually consists of essences from lavender/rose for another 30 minutes. What determines if the fragrance will stick longer usually is in the base notes consists of woods, musk and vanilla. The basenotes can last for hours. Having said this, needless to say if you will be going camping and can not bathe for a few days, pick a fragrance that is in the oriental/woody family as they tend to have stronger base notes.
WHAT ARE THE DO’S AND DON’TS ON FRAGRANCES?
How Should You Wear A Fragrance?
According to Coco-Chanel- Wear fragrance where you’d like to be kissed.
According to Estee Lauder- Spray your fragrance in air and walk into it.
According to fragrance expert Sue Phillips- Spray on knees & on pulse points. Fragrance travels from bottom to top. If you just spray your hair, you are attracting flocks of birds.
Personally, the best way to wear it is fragrance layering. This is why you often see sets of fragrance and lotion together for you to layer. Often times people complain the fragrance do not last on them and refuse to buy a companion body cream or lotion. However, think for a second, if your skin is dry you have noting to grab on to the fragrance you are buying. If you apply a lotion or cream first then spray, the fragrance will be softer and stay on longer. You can even spray on the fragrance after you use your unscented body lotion and see if fragrance lasts longer on you. Chances are you do not own unscented body lotion, so why not get the entire set of fragrance? Boxed deals are the best deals when it comes to shopping the cosmetic department. Always, always, get the value set!
Lastly, you have your summer and winter wardrobe, so should your fragrances. According to industry reports, the fragrance trend for Spring/Summer 2016 is praline, sorbet and freesia. Sounds so much like Prada Candy! The trend for Fall/Winter will be winterberries, violet and Oud (a type of wood very popular in men’s fragrance) so fragrance like Balenciaga B for woman and Ralph Lauren Supreme Oud may be popular.
Yes you can choose to have one signature scent but isn’t life more fun with more? It is just like a woman will never just have one lipstick. Build your fragrance library today. Personally, I wear a different fragrance each day according to my mood and who I will be seeing that day. Have some fun!
As a cosmetic chemist, a skin expert and a makeup artist, I have been asked many questions by consumers and editors. Below is the Q&A for the commonly asked questions and my professional opinion.
If you have any beauty questions, please feel free to comment.