SPF

Let’s talk about sunscreen and sun protection. It’s a must have for everyone yet throughout the time that I’ve been an Esthetician I have heard many misconceptions out there. So, I thought I would talk about it in more detail.

Let’s start off with what sunscreens are and what they do. Sunscreen protects the skin from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays (the aging rays) penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin (the dermis) and break down collagen and elastin, proteins that keep our skin plumped and youthful.  This causes pre-mature aging and wrinkling. UVB (think B for burning) rays cause sunburn and can contribute to skin cancer, which is something we all want to avoid. A sunscreen will act as a shield to prevent these rays from reaching the skin, so wearing SPF every single day is essential. Yes, that means all year round, even when it’s cloudy, rainy, snowing or if you spend most of your time indoors, the sun’s rays penetrate windows and clouds so protect, protect, protect.

There are a ton of sunscreens on the market which can easily confuse anyone, so one of the most important things to remember is to look for broad spectrum UVA and UBV protection on the label. Another important factor is the protection factor number. Have you ever wondered what the difference between SPF 15 and SPF 30 is? Here’s a breakdown: SPF 15 filters about 93% of the sun’s rays, SPF 30 filters 97% and SPF 50 filters 98% of rays. Contrary to beliefs about higher SPF’s, using higher SPF’s like SPF 75 or SPF 100 does not offer more protection than SPF 50.

 

Types of Sunscreens

There are two types of sunscreens, chemical and physical that protect the skin in different ways. Let’s start with chemical sunscreens. This type of sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays and take about 20 minutes to take effect. It is also said that it provides more protection against both UVA and UVB but can be more irritating. There are several different chemical sunscreen filters, this guide I found explains in full detail all the different chemical filters.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the only two physical sunscreens and they work by reflecting the sun’s rays, instead of absorbing them. Think of it as a mirror reflecting light for example.  These sunscreens tend to be thicker in consistency and can leave a white cast behind, but they are effective right away after application. I personally prefer using physical sunscreens, especially one with zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is anti-inflammatory and works really well for acne prone skin. Some of my favorite SPF’s are Alba Botanica hawaiian sunscreen, Josie Maran’s argan daily moisturizer SPF 47 and elta MD SPF 45  One thing to know is that Titanium dioxide mostly provides UVB protection while zinc oxide provides both UVA and UVB protection, so if you’re looking for an all natural SPF, look for one with both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

 

Things to keep in Mind

*The sun is at it’s strongest between 10am-3pm, so if you can, try minimizing sun exposure during these times. This might be harder in during winter since daylight hours are limited so just make sure you reapply your sunscreen.

*Speaking of reapplying, sunscreen only remains effective for two hours after application, so it is essential to reapply. I know that slathering on SPF over makeup, if you wear it, is not ideal, but there are powder SPF’s that are more convenient and practical.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have any questions about SPF? Please leave them in the comments!

SHOP SUNSCREENS

        

IMG_2287
Several months ago I wrote about Repechage’s one minute exfoliating mask, you can see the post here. It’s amazing stuff, so when Repechage contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out some of their products, it was a no brainer. I was already familiar with their line and knew it wouldn’t make my skin go crazy.

I have been trying out the hydra refine cleansing mousse, hydra refine astringent and hydro-complex moisturizer(for oily and combination skin). When trying out new skincare I always like to give it a good month of daily use (morning and night) before making any decisions because our skin cells renew every 30 days, and that’s when we start seeing the most results. I’m going on a month and a half of using only these products and I see better results with each passing day. The products are seaweed based and I love this because seaweed is great for the skin. The particular kind of seaweed Repechage uses is called laminaria saccharina which controls oil production and fights off the oil oxidation that forms blackheads. At the same time, the seaweed hydrates the skin.

IMG_2291

The hydra refine cleansing mousse – I have combination acne prone skin and because of that I like using products that remove excess oil but do not over strip the skin. I was nervous about the cleansing mousse because many foaming cleansers tend to remove the protective oils on the skin, but surprisingly it’s different from any foaming cleanser I’ve ever tried. First, let’s talk about how well it cleanses. I normally do an oil cleanse before using a cleanser to get rid of my makeup but I tried cleansing with the mousse first and it removed everything without leaving my skin feeling parched or angry. The cleansing mousse is soap free so that explains why it is non drying.

The hydra refine astringent – I also felt a bit hesistant because astringents in general tend to be stripping, but again I was pleasantly surprised to see that it left my skin feeling hydrated. The astringent is a thicker liquid, if that makes sense and it feels like you’re infusing your skin with nutrients rather than stripping it. And really you are, with the cucumber oil which is soothing, the lemongrass oil is antiseptic, lily of the valley is anti-bacterial and has antioxidant properties, the licorice root is anti-inflammatory and allantoin is healing to the skin.

IMG_2295

The hydro-complex moisturizer is an absolute dream and has become one of my favorites. Although I have combination skin, I like to use hydrating products because it keeps my skin from breaking out. When your skin is not hydrated enough it causes your skin to produce more oil, your pores then become clogged and it leads to breakouts. This moisturizer although it’s targeted for oily to combination skin and is light in texture, it hydrates really well because of the hyaluronic acid it contains. Hyaluronic acid holds 1000x times its weight in water and it’s like a water magnet for the skin. It keeps your skin looking plump and juicy. The hydro complex also contains 12 vitamins like B12, C, E, K, beta carotene, 18 amino acids which help the skin retain water and stimulate collagen and elastin production. It also contains lactic acid, one of my favorite alpha hydroxy acids because of how gentle it is at exfoliating the skin.

My skin has been loving these products and my skin continues to look and feel better each day – bright, balanced, and soft. Have you tried Repechage before? Let me know your thoughts.

IMG_1773

1. Meditation – In college, I decided to practice meditation and although I only managed to do it about once per week I loved how calm it made me feel afterwards. Meditation eased the constant thoughts rummaging my mind and helped me think more clearly. As I’ve gotten older and life has happened, meditation has been non existent and I wish that wasn’t the case. It’s easy to let life distract us from the things that bring us balance and happiness and I realize I need to make this more of a priority. I want to start meditating again, even if for five minutes a day, that will make such a difference.

2. Walk more – The weather has been really nice lately in NYC, spring is definitely in the air! I’ve been so eager for the weather to warm up so that I can start walking a lot more. Walking aimlessly just make me happy. It relaxes my mind, it helps me discover more of my creative side and just makes me feel good!

3. Get better at public speaking – public speaking is my biggest fear. It absolutely terrifies me and it’s something I want to overcome. A few years ago a client of mine recommended Toastmasters, an organization that gives you a platform to develop your communication and leadership skills. My fear of public speaking is so big that I’ve completely pushed pursuing this aside, but the reality is that I just have to go for it and face my fear.

4. California dreamin’ – California has been on my mind a lot lately, specifically San Francisco. I visited when I was 16 and ever since then, SF has had a special place in my heart. I would love to move there one day. Sooner than later.

So, what’s on your radar?

Happy Friday everyone! The weather in NYC has been so nice this week. The snow has almost entirely melted and I smell Spring in the air. I couldn’t be happier! Just hoping these temps are here to stay. Here are my favorites from this week. Have a great weekend!

Wild horses photographic print

I came across this print on Instagram and ohh, I’m so in love! it needs to find a place in my home soon.

Rosenlund1
Videos

Words of wisdom by Casey Neistat. Great advice at the end for anyone pursuing a creative career or venture.

This one is so funny and cute!

Skincare

On a recent trip to target, I spotted Acure Organics line of products! (an all natural and organic brand) I’ve known about Acure for a while but had not ordered anything from their website, so I’m very excited to see that my local target carries it and can’t wait to try their stuff. If you’d like to learn more about Acure, you can check out their site here.

IMG_3982

I’m really picky when it comes to lip balms. They are not all created equal so I’m always hesitant when looking to try a new one. I decided to give this one from Burt’s Bees a try and it works pretty well. It doesn’t have that thick gloppy feeling you get with other lip balms and best part is, it’s under $4!

IMG_3983

comparisongame

Comparison is the thief of joy -Theodore RooseveltTweet this!

Social media has become such a huge part of our everyday lives. In many ways it has become a great tool to connect and at other times it does not feel as such. We scroll through our feeds to find amazing images of our friends, acquaintances and of those we follow, living what seems like the perfect life and suddenly, often times without realizing it, we find ourselves comparing and feeling as if somehow we have fallen behind. We feel as though the life we have is nearly not as interesting or as exciting others, as if somehow we’re not doing enough with our own lives. It’s the worst feeling.

We live in a society where constantly “doing something great” is celebrated and encouraged, so it’s understandable how social media can play with our emotions and leave us feeling like we have not accomplished enough. We all want our feeds to look beautiful and portray the best parts of our lives, that’s what inspires us and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it got me thinking. Why do we get that feeling whenever we come across certain images?

Whether we see someone write about landing a job that we have wanted or vacationing somewhere beautiful and exotic, why do we start feeling crappy about ourselves? Perhaps it’s the constant inner struggle – feeling like we’re not where we would like to be. Or perhaps it’s our perception of what we believe to be the good life? or maybe it’s our ego messing with us and making us feel as though we’re not enough. It’s a constant tug and pull, but the truth is that we cannot compare ourselves to a tiny glimpse of someone else’s life. What matters is that we focus on ourselves and live authentically. Focus on what we love, what inspires us and what brings out the best in us. It’s also important to put those funny comparison feelings aside and genuinely feel happy for others. We are all able to work hard to accomplish our goals and dreams. For some it might happen quicker than others and that’s ok! it does not mean we have fallen behind. We all have our own journey to experience.

So, whenever we get that feeling of discontent while scrolling through our feeds, let’s just take a step back, and meditate on the fact that it’s just a tiny scope of someone’s life.

FullSizeRender

Sleep – Getting your beauty sleep is not just a saying, it really is true. Our skin repairs and renews itself while we sleep. Have you ever noticed the difference in your skin when you don’t get enough sleep? Lack of sleep makes the blood vessels dilate, resulting in a ruddy complexion and dark circles. This can make us appear older, tired or even gumpy. Ideally, 7-9 hours of sleep per night is what’s needed.

Exercise – Exercise has several advantages for the skin, one is that it increases blood flow to all parts of the body, including our cells. Blood contains oxygen and nutrients, and as blood flows through our system the oxygen and nutrients are supplied to our cells. Another advantage is that blood carries toxins away from the skin, so with an increased blood flow, toxins are removed quicker.

Eat fresh & healthy – You have most likely heard this before and it’s for good reason. You’ve heard the saying, you are what you eat? It’s very true. Our bodies take the nutrients from the foods we eat and distributes it to our cells.  Fresh, healthy food has a ton of minerals and vitamins that keep the skin looking healthy. Juicing and smoothies are a great way to get multiple vegetable and fruit servings at once.

Drink lots of water – Just like eating fresh and healthy food, water is very important to our skin health. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and the skin is our largest organ, so providing that hydration is key. If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding slices of lemon for a bit of flavor. By the way, lemon water is great for you. See why here.

Consistency – I tend to mention consistency often when it comes to taking care of the skin and that’s because consistency is the key to achieving and maintaning results. It’s like exercise, if we stop working out once results are achieved, those results won’t last very long. Consistency is everything but having said that, this does not mean that we cannot treat ourselves from time time. Having a piece of chocolate or two 😉 won’t ruin our skin or the work that we’ve put into it. It’s alright as long as it’s done in moderation and we continue our routine.