Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What Does the Best Facial Moisturizer Have to Do To Meet Your Expectations For a Face Moisturizer?

Let me ask you a simple question... Of all the moisturizing creams you've ever used -- did the best facial moisturizer come close to meeting your expectations?

I will make the assumption you answered "No" otherwise, you probably wouldn't be reading this article in the first place.

If that's the case, what features, results and benefits do you reasonably expect from a top quality moisturizing face cream.

The first and most basic things a moisturizer must do in my opinion is hydrate and moisturizes facial tissue by adding water and oils to the skin cells. And at the same time it needs to reduce the amount of moisture lost from the skin.

Now there are lots of good natural hydrating and moisturizing emollients, antioxidants and natural oils that can do this. But, on the other hand, you have to be careful, because there is way to many nasty petroleum-based substances in creams, that you should avoid putting on your delicate facial skin.

The second important issue to think about is the amount of active ingredients contained in the moisturizer. It's simple really -- if there's only a very small amount of substances in the cream that do all the good work... then you can't really expect a satisfactory result. Therefore, the obvious thing to do is look for a moisturizing cream that contains the highest amount of natural active ingredients compared to any other comparable product you're evaluating.

The third thing worth looking for in the best facial moisturizer is can it help maintain and hopefully improve your skins present condition. We all know facial tissues sag and wrinkle, as you get older particularly around and under the eyes, jowls and neck area. This is partly due to dryness, but is more influenced by the reduction of collagen and elastin protein cells being produced by your body.

Therefore, it's reasonable to expect a good quality moisturizing cream to also contain special substances that can help firm and tone up these difficult areas with anti-aging and anti-wrinkle ingredients.

Let's assume you can find a line of creams that meet the above stringent criteria. Then there are only two remaining issues... can you afford to buy and use the products on a daily basis, and are you prepared to start a proper skin care regime and follow it through.

So, the best facial moisturizer isn't just a single product. It's a combination of top-quality natural ingredients used in synergy throughout the day and nighttime, to keep your skin hydrated, moisturized, soft and smooth all the time.

Article Source:

What skin type do I have? Here's An Easy Test

1. Wash your face with a cleanser designed for normal skin. I like to use Cetaphil for this test.
Rinse well. Pat (don't wipe) your face dry using a soft towel.

2. Wait one hour.

Watch a good show. I like The First 48, Snapped, or The Ultimate Fighter! :-)

3. Evaluate your skin.

Dr. Susan Taylor, dertmatologist and Director of the Skin of Color Center, states:

  • If it feels tight, ashy, or flaky- you have dry skin.

  • If you’re oily {Look for shine or a glossy appearance.} only across the forehead, down the nose, and on the chin- you have combination skin.

  • If you are shining, or glossy all over your face- you have oily skin.

  • If your face feels irritated or slightly itchy- you have sensitive skin.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Do I have to use a cleanser?

The answer is simply, “Yes.” Everyone needs to use one cleanser or another. Cleansing improves the health, well-being, and hygiene of your skin. That’s what we want, right?

If the skin is not cleansed, sweat, pollutants, debris, oil and bacteria builds up. Ugh! When you cleanse, you’re eliminating excess toxins which should decrease how quickly microorganisms grow which will reduce the possibility for infection. Yay!

Water alone only removes a little more than 60% of the dirt and oil on the skin. That’s not nearly a clean face. Water does not remove make-up. See, you need that cleanser.

Cleansers are formulated to remove all that additional dirt, oil, bacteria, make-up and dead skin cells.

If you have sensitive skin, wear make-up, or if you use topical creams, you simply must use a cleanser.

Here’s a compromise. We know that a quality skin care routine has four steps: Cleanse, Exfoliate, Moisturize, Protect. If you're too busy for one more step in your skin care routine, buy a cleanser that does more than just cleanse! Use the beauty of science.

My family (Mother plus her four daughters) uses Mary Kay’s Timewise 3-In-1 Cleanser.
Why? First, of all we don’t have much time, two of us are Mothers, so this product combines 3 beauty do’s into one. The 3-In-1 Cleanser is created to save time by combining cleansing, exfolitating, and freshening of the skin.

Secondly, my sisters and I are all over 29, so anti-aging products are at the top of our list. This cleanser contains age-fighting ingredients. Details in another article.

Finally, we simply agree with the thousands of Essence magazine readers who voted this product Reader’s Choice Beauty Award. Women of color-it works on our skin!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What is Glycolic Acid?

There’s a lot of buzz around this ingredient: glycolic acid. Here’s what I’ve discovered.

Dr. Susan Taylor, M.D. is a dertmatologist and Director of the Skin of Color Center. She also is the author of a book called Brown Skin. Dr. Taylor also created a website called She specializes in the dermatological needs of people of color. People of color include Latino/as, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians.

The following question and answer was posted on

What is glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid is a fruit acid or alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) derived from sugar cane. It is considered a natural product and is often used as a skin exfoliant and moisturizer. Glycolic acid reacts with the upper layer of your skin (the epidermis), weakening the binding properties of the lipids that hold the dead skin cells together. The outer layer of your skin "dissolves" revealing the underlying healthier skin. The result is a much-smoother skin surface and a more youthful appearance.

I would like to add to this posting the following additional information.

Exfoliates and moisturizes (Dr. Susan Taylor, M.D., author of Brown Skin)
Hydrates skin (Dr. David E. Bank, author of Beautiful Skin)
Unclogs pores (Dr. David E. Bank, author of Beautiful Skin)
Stimulates collagen production (Dr. David E. Bank, author of Beautiful Skin)
Helps generate a smooth youthful complexion (Dr. Susan Taylor, M.D., author of Brown Skin)

The Other Side of the Coin

Now we know most products have some good and some bad.
A blog post titled “Five Ingredients Your Skin Can’t Live Without …and How to Use Them” lists AHA’s as one of 5 must have skin care ingredients. This blog post, which is written by a second year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, adds some very beneficial warnings.

The blog post states that AHAs should be discarded “six months after opening. Over time alpha hydroxy acids become more potent, and hence more potentially irritating.” Most people probably assume that products become less potent over time. This is critical information to know especially about something that is designed to go on your face. The blog post offers up another warning. Don’t use AHAs in conjunction with retinol/retinoids.


Discard after 6 months
Use sunscreen while using the product
Don’t combine AHAs with Retinoids

Here is one more awareness, on page 34 of, Brown Skin, it says if you have sensitive skin you should "avoid cleansers containing glycolic acid" especially if it irritates your skin. However, if you have one of the common skin types: dry, oily, or combination skin, "cleansing or moisturizing with products containing glycolic acid (an AHA)...will give you a clearer, smoother complexion (Page 105, Brown Skin)."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Your lipstick can do more for you!

Lipstick can be a little expensive!
Vincent Longo $32.00
Paula Dorf $20.00
NARS Sheer lipstick $24.00
Stila $18.00
Lorac $19.00
MAC $14.00
Mary Kay $13.00

Let's be honest. Rarely do we purchase one tube of lip stick or lip gloss. If we're going to pay for lip stick, and some of us are paying more than others depending on the brand, why not buy lipstick that gives us something more than temporary color?

Today's lipstick/lip gloss can do more.

Most people shop for lipsticks/glosses that come in a specific color. Probably, next on their list is a product that is "long-wearing with stay-true" color.

How about this?
Now you can find products that also contain moisturizers/conditioners to seal in moisture.

A quality lipstick/gloss will also have Vitamins E and/or C.

Vitamin C, according to WebMD, promotes a "lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better skin-aging appearance."

Vitamin E is commonly used as an anti-oxidant to protect cells against damage. It also helps promote healthy skin!

The next time you buy a tube of lip stick/lip gloss, read the ingredients and make sure it's worth your hard earned money!

The Enemy in the Air-Conditioner

It's been upwards of 80 degrees in Los Angeles for about two weeks. Out of necessity, air conditioners all over the city have been cranked up to high power.

Air conditioners pull moisture out of the air. Air conditioners are not selective about where the humidity comes from. Some of the moisture pulled from the room in which the A/C is operating is removed from the skin. When air conditioners pull the moisture out of the skin, it creates a drying effect.

Water keeps things fluid, mobile and elastic. Water serves the same purpose for skin. Water is crucial to maintain the skins' elasticity. Without it, overtime, skin shrivels, creases, and wrinkles. In other words, the ageing process is hastened. There is not a person on Earth who would willingly volunteer to age faster than he/she has to.

To make matters worse, often people step out of an air conditioned office or car into the blazing hot sun that prompted them to turn on the A/C in the first place. Outdoors UVA and UVB rays beam down into the face.

Keep in mind, facial skin is also constantly battered by wind, pollutants, changing weather conditions, irritants, allergens, and emissions from cars. Nature and technology seem to be working against the skin's innate struggle to maintain its health. This is all negative stress. Negative stress is unhealthy and damaging.

Without consistent proper skin care, a simple technological comfort such as turning on the A/C could potentially contribute to damaging the skin. The long term damage is not limited to premature aging. Some people's skin due to poor diet, underlying illness, or poor maintenance over time, is simply unable to quickly adjust and may suffer structural damage. Structural damage can't be repaired with over the counter (OTC) products.

Place several bowls of water in the area that's being cooled by the A/C. This simple inexpensive adjustment can help decrease the drying effect on the skin. This makes sense since the A/C can pull moisture from the sitting water and not facial skin.