Category Archives: complexion perfection

15 days to better skin : discover face oils …

I’m hoping by now your skin is taking top priority in your daily rituals, morning and night; that you’re beginning to reap the benefits, and you want to keep it up. If so, I’m ready to share with you the tip I recommend to all my clientele, regardless of their skin type.

Day 12 : January 12

Embrace face oils.

I have a lot of clients that I recommend this to look at me in shock and concerned that using face oil will just promote ongoing oily skin … but many experts will tell you the exact opposite is true … and so will plenty of my clients.

Whether you apply face oil directly to the skin as is, or add a few drops to your existing moisturizer, face oils can help to regulate oil production and hydrate at the same time. They can also be used to remove makeup and cleanse the skin before you wash, which is much more gentle than stripping away your makeup with a remover or soap based cleanser.

There are some great brands available with a range of face oils to combat skin issues such as acne or rosacea, while others can aid in the fight against aging. You can also check out the health food aisle or a nearby health and nutrition store for natural and organic versions. And the best face oil DIY … well for me, it’s organic coconut oil straight out of the jar.

If you’re still unsure about applying oil directly to the skin, start off small with adding just a drop to your moisturizer or night cream. You’ll still notice results, and eventually become more comfortable with using face oil on its own and directly to the skin.

And that’s when the magic happens …

TIP : Get comfortable with it. Start with a simple face oil before moving on to face oils that help to combat certain skin issues.

HOMEWORK : TRack your progress with face oils. Whip out the camera, and track the changes in your skin after a week of using face oils.

Posted in acne, be beautiful, be fresh, beauty, better skin guide, cleanse, complexion perfection, crystal microdermabrasion, face, facials, natural, organic, skin, skincare, tips, treatments | Comments Off

15 days to better skin : do a spot check …

I know it’s winter and the sun is just barely peeking out half the day, but that doesn’t mean that the outdoor elements are doing any damage to your skin. It’s a real no-brainer that you should protect your skin all year round with SPF, so make sure you have that in your routine snowfall or sun! In the meantime, let’s do a skin health check.

Day 5 : January 5

IT’S SKIN CHECK DAY!

You know those horrific mirrors that magnify every.single.detail? Yes we do hate them on the regular, but today it might just come in handy. Whether you have one or not, I want you to arm yourself with a nice sized hand mirror of any kind and park yourself in a spot in your home with lots of bright light – natural is best.

Be sure your skin is completely clean and free of makeup. If you wear bangs, pin them off your forehead.

Now, you know how close you hold your mirror when you’re trying to tweeze your brows?  Well, you want to bring your mirror thatclose for this DIY examination of your skin. Starting from one side of your face at the forehead, slowly start to inspect every area of your complexion, until you reach your décolletage. You’ll want to take note of every imperfection that is NOT a regular pimple or wrinkle and ask yourself the following questions :

  • Is that mark a sunspot or just dirt? If the answer is sunspot or discolouration, is it old or is it new? If it’s old – has it gotten darker or bigger since you last remember? If it’s new, when was the last time you recall NOT having it there?
  • Do I have any new moles popping up? What are the edges of the mole like? Is the shape irregular? Is the colour irregular?
  • Do my pre-existing moles / birthmarks look the same or different? Have they changed in colour or size? Has the border of my existing moles changed?
  • Do I have any new rough or dry patches? Are there any areas where the skin is different in texture from the rest of my face and neck?

If any of your answers to any of the questions above, even just one, confirms that a mole, birthmarks, or sunspot seems irregular or agressive – then I would suggest that you speak to your GP as soon as possible to get a referral to a dermatologist. Sun damage and skin cancer is NO joke, and the earlier you speak with a professional about it – the better. For any moles that seem problematic, you can speak with the dermatologist about your options for removal.

Our skin is so complex it needs the proper attention. Take the time to do it today, and avoid health issues in the future.

No go go Inspector Gadget!

TIP : We love selfies, don’t we? Locate a few good close-up selfies – unfiltered preferably – and try to match up your moles and spots.  If you selfie a lot on Instagram, you should have plenty of images that date back and you can trackback a mole that seems to have become irregular.

HOMEWORK : Study your genealogy by asking your parents a few questions about health history in the family – obviously focusing on skin issues. It’s good to know if any ailments seem to be genetic, in which your dermatologist would like to know!

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the better skin guide : stress less

Perhaps one of your new year’s resolutions is to be more active and live healthier, but if it isn’t, here is a good reason to jump on that train sooner rather than later.

Day 4 : January 4

Alright. So you know that exercise does a multitude of wonders for you physically – beach body ready all year round, yes? Well, the other great thing about exercise is it helps you to decrease the amount of stress you carry with you day in, day out. And what does stress do to you? It makes you tense. And anxious. And worrisome. All three things together unfortunately start showing up on your face.

It could be wrinkles. It could be hormonal acne. It could be frown lines … *gasp*.

Aiming to get a little exercise and destress on the daily helps your complexion internally – better circulation, flushing out toxins, frowning less, etc.  Paired with your new game plan for better skin care habits on the surface (did you pick out some new cleansers and moisturizers yet?), you’re working from the inside and the outside for a one-two punch.

Getting started on moving a little bit more and stressing a whole lot less doesn’t mean signing up at a gym pronto with all the new resolutioners. No no. Instead try one of this tips :

  • Start and end each day with a series of sun salutations. This standard yoga series allows you to get the blood pumping while focusing on breathing, movement and stretching out the body. In the morning, it gets you going and limber; in the evening it slows you down by focusing on breathing.
  • 10-minute walks, three times a day are all you need to feel a little less hectic. Once in the morning, once at lunch and once in the evening – you barely notice you’re getting some movement in.The goal to making these walks count is to be present in them. Your rushed walks from Go Train to the office doesn’t count – that’s more stressful than actually working. Your 10-minute walks should be opportunities to take in the scenery around you, to breathe, and focus on you … not where you’re going and what you have to do next.
  • Got 7 minutes? There are plenty of 7-minute excercise apps that can guide you through a quick workout sans gym. Filled with familiar and easy to follow excercises, you’ll get your blood pumping before you know it. Added bonus : you can do this several times a day to meet the  standard 30 minute move goal.

Alright! Hop to it … literally

TIP : If you’re already a gym rat, consider adding more mindful practices to your gym routine, like a yoga class or even a meditation class. If you’re riding the couch … it’s all good … let’s take it one day at a time. Start small, but aim big … begin with just a goal to move and destress 10 minutes a day. Work your way up from there!

HOMEWORK : Set a workout goal. I’m not talking about losing this many inches or that many pounds. No no. More like … if you do sun salutations for 7 days,  you can reward yourself with {insert instant gratification reward here}. If you walk 3 times a day for 5 days … on the 6th day, you can walk right up to the ice cream store.  See what I mean?

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the one thing they don’t tell you about exfoliating …

are we almost through March 2016? are you kidding me? this is crazy – the year is flying by and my body isn’t even summer ready yet.  but then again … when was it ever. (ba-dump-bump … and cymbal …)

anyhoo, i just wanted to kick a quick minute with you to share with you the one thing you might be doing wrong with your skincare routine, because to be honest, i see it a lot … especially with the most disciplined of skincare enthusiasts. plus, i also find that as the weather warms up, we’re often trying to heal, correct and repair the winter damage that was done, which leads us to going above and WAY beyond in our skin care routine.

so what do i have to share? it’s actually so simple …

you’re over exfoliating babe!

ok, ok – maybe you aren’t BUT if you are exfoliating every day or at three times or more a week … that’s actually TOO MUCH . you can do more damage than good for your skin and you might end up disrupting that delicate microscopic layer of your complexion that keeps everything glowing, healthy and protected.

too much exfoliating can dry out the skin, thin it out, and make it sensitive to cleansers and moisturizers. ouch! for some, the opposite can occur and you can go super oily because your complexion starts to produce oil overtime to replace what you have been excessively stripping away. excessive oiliness can then snowball into a whole new set of issues …

but i get it, i do, because nothing feels more refreshing than a fresh scrub. coming out of the winter season. exfoliating brightens up the skin making you feel spring ready. here are three quick fixes to ensure you don’t over do it …

drop your daily exfoliating wash. microbeads are soon to be a thing of the past in face washes thanks to new regulation and the protecting of our earth (yes!), but there are other cleansers out there that claim to be daily exfoliating washes. while they may not feel as scratchy or scrubby as an actual exfoliator, there still contain ingredients made to strip the skin. ditch it, and pick up something new that is gentle and made for your skin type.

aim for twice a week. wednesdays and sundays. toonie tuesdays and friyays. dedicate exfoliating to two days a week – the same two days every week – and this will ensure you’ll never have to guess when you last exfoliated and end up overdoing it because you miscalculated.

keep it simple scrub. cornstarch. brown sugar. baking soda. exfoliating the skin is as easy as heading over to your pantry. once you find a new cleanser you love, take a bit of brown sugar and mix it together. make a light creamy paste, and gently work in circular motions one the skin. rinse away and continue your routine as normal.

to be clear, exfoliating is NOT the enemy. it’s over-exfoliating that is.

if you have any questions about exfoliating or getting your skin summer ready, feel free to give the FB team a shout through our contact page!

here’s to better skin days!

-s-

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bioderma sensible H2O : everyone wants to be french, non?

on any given day in the beauty and/or style section of a Chapters or Indigo, one can find plenty of books and resources about how to be stylish or beautiful like the french. or a parisian. or even someone from Quebec City. 

i will not lie, i like quite a few things that are very parisian or french – most of which are pastries and delectable bites … but those stories belong on another blog such as a foodie blog or “how i doubled in size that one time i looked at a pastry shop” kind of blog. but i digress.

when it comes to beauty and skincare, I do adore micellaire cleansing solutions.  There are plenty on the market these days, but I have a favourite … namely Bioderma Sensibio H2O. for those of you not in the know, Bioderma Sensibio is a cleansing makeup remover water that is fragrance free, paraben free, and alcohol free. made specifically for fragile or sensitive skin, it removes makeup with ease and soothes irritated skin. it’s the perfect way to refresh the complexion at the end of the day.

the other reason Bioderma is so popular is it’s user-friendly application. while it removes even the most water-resistant of makeup, there is no need to rinse after use. you simply apply Bioderma to a cotton pad and wipe away the day’s dirt. discard used cotton pad. moisturize skin. say goodnight.

it’s that easy. really!

Bioderma is the perfect solution for anyone, and certainly any of my clientele, who seem to say “I’m too tired to wash my face tonight” at least three to four times a week. it is also the perfect companion for those whom require a more gentle routine.

available at Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques across Canada, you can now embrace a little bit of your inner french beauty!

-s-

 

 

Posted in Bioderma, Bioderma Sensibio, cleanse, cleansing water, complexion perfection, face, micellaire, product review, skin, skincare | Comments Off

hey steph, it’s spring … what’s up with my skin?

you know, i really thought by now that we would be seeing some more positive temperatures in the city, but that is sooooo not the case. we’re still experiencing below zero temps with some serious windchill, and i cannot even begin to tell you how many of my skincare clients are so confused by their skin. clearly, the environment and the elements, along with our dietary and skincare regimen, all have a hand in what our skin looks and feels like as we change seasons, but what’s a girl to do when the weather is having a serious identity crisis? how does she keep her complexion in check?

well, as they say – your best offence is a strong DEFENCE.

a lot of my clientele often react to their skin issues instead of trying to address them head on before they become a true issue. often, they will get a breakout and then decide to do something about it, when in reality, treating your skin to prevent breakouts is probably the better way to go. instead of buying products to treat a pimple and acne scar that has already made itself a home, let’s prevent them from moving in. and same goes for dry skin. don’t let your skin get rough and dry … stop it from happening.

april is right around the corner, like two days away, and  you are probably in the midst of spring-a-fying your wardrobe, your home, and your makeup kit; so let me help you with your bathroom vanity!

- cleanser check : is it time for a new cleanser? after a long dull winter, you will want to start brightening up and refreshing dull dry skin, so look for a cleanser that is gentle on the skin but still deeps cleans. with so many types from foaming to gel to cream, look for the formula that cleans and brightens, but doesn’t leave your skin tight and dry after washing. if you’re skin feels clean and fresh after your rinse and pat down, plus keeps your complexion clear – you’re on the right path.

- its time to exfoliate : for real now …  everyone knows they should, everyone knows its easy, but for some reason they don’t do it but it truly is a good thing for the skin to indulge in an exfoliating wash once or twice a week. there are so many options right now : washes with microbeads, konjac sponges, and my personal favourite, a bit of brown sugar mixed into your regular cleanser. once or twice a week is all you need to help clear up congestion, remove dead skin, and clear out pores. just keep a jar of brown sugar on your vanity. a pinch or two rubbed in with your cleanser makes a huge difference.

- hydrate and repair : even if you think you’re oily it doesn’t mean you skip this step. even the oiliest of skin should still indulge in some moisturizing – its a matter of finding the right ROUTINE and product that works for you. for dry skin, a heavier moisturizer twice a day would be the trick, with maybe a more dense cream at night is your holy grail. and for normal skin, twice a day with the same moisturizer might be your jam. and if your oily? opt for a lightweight moisturizer once a day – perhaps in the evening while your skin starts the repair process.

- the quick fix : a friend came for a visit! if you’re prone to the occasional breakout, you don’t necessarily need an everyday acne treatment, perhaps you just need a spot treatment readily available in your arsenal. natural solutions like witch hazel or tea tree oil are good to have on hand, but if your breakouts tend to be more painful or persistent, find your
go-to treatment or perhaps something more clinical and dermatologist recommended is required. the minute you feel or see that “friend” coming, defend your skin an apply your treatment where required. the trick to not wreaking havoc on your skin : treat the area for the problem NOT the whole face.

- r&r required : masks are the bomb.com … you know on Sunday night, when you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed and TOTALLY creeping on that girl you knew in high school who always looked awesome and has incredible style? okay, well that’s a time suck UNLESS you are multi-tasking and wearing a face mask for the whole 15-20 minutes of creeping. whether you are enjoying a clay mask, a sheet mask, or even those ones that just repair and lift under the eyes, its a great way to give yourself a treat and refresh/repair before the start of a new week. sheet masks are inexpensive and honestly, fun. keep a few on hand … and totally Instagram that you are doing it!

- to serve and protect : age is nothing but a number … BUT it does show up on your face. age spots, wrinkles, fine lines – the number one reason i have clients lined up to see me for cold laser therapy is to correct and repair all three of those skin issues. remember, your best offence, is a strong defence. complete your vanity with a sun protection cream of your choice. SPF30 is all you need but if you’re a keener, 45, 50, 75 – whatever your heart desires.

now here’s the kicker of a disclaimer : if your skin is already on point with no complaints – then ignore what I’m saying above. keep your routine as is with the products as is, and keep it simple.  BUT if you think you’ve been slagging and needed a kick in the right direction – find 6 products that work for you based on the above. stick with it for two weeks, and see how your skin improves. when incorporating any new product, remember to introduce one new product at a time, 2-3 days apart to make sure you have no allergic reactions. lastly if you love one or two products that you already have, keep them, and find new options for the others. same rules for introducing new products (as above) to the routine apply.

happy spring y’all!

-stephanie-

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