12 Feb

Skin Care Products I’m Currently Using – ROUND 2

eyemakeupremover-and-skinbooster

About a month ago I shared that I would be using up all of my skin care products in rounds to prep for a more minimalistic skin care regimen. Check out round 1 of my skin care products here.

Welp, I’m still using up those products. I guess they lasted longer than I expected. I’m thinking it will take me 2-3 months to use up a series of products used consistently on a daily basis.

While, I’ll still be using most of those products up, I did finish up the Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream. What I will be adding to my regimen is Lumene’s Eye Makeup Remover (only a small amount remaining) and Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster.

I received the serum at Fashion’s Night Out a couples years ago. It’s not all natural and contains Phenoxyethenol (a preservative) so I’m assuming it has a shelf life. Plus I did the smell test, it hasn’t changed color and I kept it in the dark so I think it’s still viable :-) It’s just a sample so I will only get 4 or 5 uses out of it. If my skin reacts, it will go in the trash.

Since I won’t be changing much with my skin regimen until I’ve used up my current products, I won’t be updating on my skin again until around April. In the meantime, I’ll remain diligent with #OperationScaleDownMyStash (hair products too).

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22 Jan

Guest Post: Protect Your Skin’s Health with SmartPhone Apps

sunbathing

Make 2015 the year your resolve to make your skin healthy AND beautiful. Because you’ll wear your skin every day for the rest of your life, it’s important to protect it and ensure you’re doing all you can to have the best skin possible. Start the year right with a new skin care regime and few new tips to keep yourself healthy 365 days a year.

Skin cancer, or melanoma, is a serious concern for anyone who spends time in the sun. And although the presence of this disease is more prominent than ever, the general public’s knowledge on its causes and prevention are still largely inadequate.

There are a number of myths and common misconceptions, one of the most popular being that individuals of color are less likely or even immune to the disease. Bob Marley is perhaps one of the best examples to dispel this notion, as the singer suffered from melanoma for four years before passing away in 1981.

Everyone, including women of color, should strive to maintain a healthy skin care routine. This of course includes moisturizing and washing, but it also means protecting via sunscreen, even in the colder months, as the sun’s UV rays never take a break despite a drop in temperature. It is also important to check for any irregularities, such as changes in pre-existing moles, the emergence of new ones, and any changes in the coloring of the skin.

Today, technology can also help you evaluate moles and other skin changes – even providing a “diagnosis” of whether or not the changes is cancerous. And for the most part, apps that facilitate better communication between doctors and patients are a good thing.

According to industry blog HealthITjobs.com, however, health-oriented mobile apps deal with personal data in ways that aren’t necessarily secure or HIPPA-compliant, so patients should be cautious about how they use them. And while not to be used in replacement of actual medical expertise, these apps do provide an excellent education in skin cancer prevention. Read on to learn more about three specific apps being used as melanoma screeners:

Dr. Mole

drmole appDoctor Mole is an application by RevoSoft that is designed to check moles for irregularities that could be indicative of skin cancer. After taking a photo on your smartphone, the app will offer real time analysis of asymmetry, border, diameter, color, and evolution. The detailed mole analysis feature provides a more in depth look at the warning signs of melanoma, and lets users know more specific telltale signs they should look for in the future. All data is secure on your phone, and you can even set up reminders to check the development of any moles you’re concerned about.

DermoScreen

dermoscreenDermoScreen is an inexpensive app that allows for a quick and effective melanoma screening. DermoScreen is a helpful application for many people who don’t have immediate access to a medical specialist but are concerned about potential skin cancer. After a photo of a mole has been taken, it is then run through embedded software and shortly thereafter produces a result. The software has been in development since 2005, and was made with people in developing countries or those who do not have affordable, easy medical access in mind. When tested, it’s produced results with an 85% accuracy rating.

SkinVision

skinvision

SkinVision is a melanoma detection app with the intention of helping people catch any skin anomalies early on and prevent the development of skin cancer. Described on the application’s website as “your lifetime skin companion”, SkinVision doesn’t just provide analysis and then subsequent reminders or recommendations to seek the counsel of a physician, but also provides information on UV-exposure, and stresses the importance of taking preventative measures from the sun’s rays.

While these apps are excellent resources in learning more about melanoma, as well as receiving a free analysis of any concerning moles skin abnormalities, they do not take the place of an actual diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional. If you believe that you or someone you love is at risk for skin cancer, it is critical to make an appointment with a licensed physician as soon as possible.

Learning about the risks of melanoma, as well as maintaining a vigilant skin regimen that includes professional checkups, is one way to actively decrease your risk of developing melanoma.

About the Author:

Beth Kelly is a blogger based in Chicago, IL. She’s become passionate about healthcare and technology issues, and how the two can intersect to make life easier for everyone. In her free time she avid gardener, freelance photographer and lover of silent films. Find her on Twitter @bkelly_88

15 Jan

Skin Care Products I’m Currently Using – ROUND 1

moisturized natural hair

Being a woman of color, I tend to put most of my beauty focus on my hair. It’s a well known fact that black women love all things hair! Now, that may sound like a blanket statement and it is. Of course, not every single black woman is this passionate about her hair but majority place a huge emphasis on the importance of hair and how it’s tied to her physical appearance.

As I’m getting older however, I need to shift some of that “hair love” over to some “skin love.” I used to talk more about skin care back in the earlier days of this blog and now it’s time to return to our roots! (no pun intended)

So, being that I’m working on a new me that includes long healthy hair, I’m also working on weight loss so that I can be Fit by 50 as well as beautiful clear skin.

I’ve struggled with having clear skin for many years and while I have the no wrinkle thing down pat at my ripe “young” age of 46  (as of the publishing of this post…It’s my birthday today!), I have some old acne scars and the occasional outbreak that likes to creep up. This is due to having Oily Acne Prone Skin.

Therefore, I’m paying a lot more attention to how I treat my skin and what I put on it. It all started with my visit to the Mario Badescu Spa in NYC a couple of weeks ago…

I got a European Facial and a glycolic acid treatment to help begin fading my dark spots. I purchased a number of products from the spa that I planned to make staples…until I read the ingredients.  Of course, I should have read the ingredients first but I assumed that this spa was offering natural products.  Sadly, their products contain parabens AND sulfates. Booooo!

I’m going to use up the products I have because after all, I paid for them! (and thank God I only bought two) and then I’m shifting gears. I’ll be using these products along with some others I have so that I can use up my stash. (I’m currently on #OperationUseUpMyStash for hair products. I’m not include my skin care products in this as well!)

For round 1, my facial routine using the products I will NOT be repurchasing will go like this:

mychelle dermaceuticals

Day

MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Cleanser (this is actually a good product line. I may or may not return to this after trying another line. Keep reading!)
MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Mist (a toner)
Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream (received in a Birchbox, not pictured)
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Moisturizer SPF 15 (not pictured)
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Eye Cream (not pictured)

face toner

Night

Mario Badescu Facial Cleanser with Glycol Acid (samples to use up, not pictured)
Mario Badescu Glycolic Toner on affected dark areas only
MyChelle  Fruit Enzyme Mist on rest of face
Zyana Gel (dermatologist prescribed – Will use until finished with the tube, not pictured)
derma e Night Cream (not pictured)
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Eye Cream (not pictured)

MyChelle Vitamin A Plus Serum (2x a week) – at night on Wednesdays

In conjunction with my day and night routines, I’ll be doing weekly facial steaming with my Dr. Gross Facial Steamer followed by using MyChelle’s Fruit Enzyme Scrub, MyChelle’s Vitamin A Plus Serum and Dr. Gross’s Hyaluronic  Moisture Cushion Cream.

healthy skin lessons

These are the products I’m currently using but they are not staples. I just have so many products (many sent for review, given as gifts and in beauty sampler boxes) to use up that I need to do so in a strategic way.

Every 4 weeks (these are the rounds) I’ll switch to a different series of products until I’ve used everything up. Then, I’ll be switching over to try products from Vasseur Skin Care http://www.vasseurskincare.com. I follow Vasseur Beauty on Youtube and while she isn’t a woman of color, her skin is the most radiant I’ve seen yet. The products are indicated for skin types and skin problems so while we may be of a different race, oily acne prone skin doesn’t discriminate and uneven skin is uneven skin. Those are the two issues I’m dealing with as well as being proactive to prevent wrinkles.

I’ve already narrowed down the products I am going to get to create a complete and effective regimen for my skin’s needs:

Day

  • Olive Oil Cleanser: Gentle pH balanced cleanser will deeply clean and restore healthy moisture to your skin.
  • Papaya Enzyme Toner: A freshening anti bacterial toner infused with fresh papaya enzyme that removes dead skin cells and deep cleans the skin.
  • ALA Cream w/ Azelaic Acid (AZ): Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is one of the most powerful anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatories available. AZ helps clean the pores to prevent build up.
  • Day 25 Cream: Sun protection, daily moisture, antioxidants. Non-pore clogging

Night

  • Olive Oil Cleanser: Gentle pH balanced cleanser will deeply clean and restore healthy moisture to your skin.
  • ALA Cream w/ Azelaic Acid (AZ): Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is one of the most powerful anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatories available. AZ helps clean the pores to prevent build up. Used under Reveal 10.
  • Reveal 10: Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, helps with overall brightening of skin tone and helps with skin imperfections.
  • Eye Q Gel: an innovative, lightweight anti-aging eye treatment gel that contains a dynamic combination of GABA (i.e. topical botox), DMAE, vitamin K and hyaluronic acid that instantly tightens and brightens the eyes and reduces fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles.
  • Night Cream: Provides extra hydration and is applied over Reveal 10.
  • Fade Cream:  Corrects dark spots, age spots or pigmentation.
  • Beauty Pillow: Used to prevent the development of sleep wrinkles. (This is optional but I do plan to get it at some point)

The Vasseur Skin Care line is not cheap but many are sold as part of skin care kits so you can try them in smaller sizes first. So, before I commit to the entire list of products I just shared, I’ll be getting the Starter Travel Kit. And because each order comes with two free samples, I’m hoping they will be 2 that are on this list that are not part of the kit!

vasseur starter kit

When I’m done giving Vasseur a whirl, I’ll either stick with it and buy the full size products in the line or I will return to MyChelle. I know that I need some consistency and these two lines both use natural botanical ingredients.

Stayed tuned for regular updates because 2015 is truly the year I plan to recreate a new me! Clear skin, weight lost, long hair. Yes!

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