I Try Out the Konjac Sponge

Konjac spongeAt  the recent ( and huge) Cosmoprof Beauty Show  in Las Vegas, it seemed like every third booth was offering the Konjac sponge.

Developed in Japan, it is produced from  the Kojac plant which has been used for centuries in Japan for health and beauty.  The plant  contains elastic fibers and is packed with protein, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids.  The sponge ia actually made from  dried and powdered Konjac root that  has been mixed with water to form a paste. This goo is mixed with calcium hydroxide, poured into molds and  heated to solidify the mixture.  The plum size Kojac balls are then frozen for 24 hours then slowly dried to evaporate moisture.   The final sponge has a pliable, bouncy texture and can be used with and without a cleanser.

There are two  main types — hard and … Continue Reading…

Facials and Retin A– Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Question and Answer logoQuestion:  I used to have facials  several times a year.  Now that I am using  Retin A,   can I continue  my favorite  indulgence?

Answer:  I  love facials and I love Retin A, but together they may  pose problems.  If you are using Retin A, you need to weigh three issues:

1.How long you have been on Retin A ?

2. How is your skin reacting to Retin A?

3. What kind of facial do you want to use?

If you have just started on Retin A ( less than three months),   the short answer is no.  Retin A  is irritating on purpose and adding  a facial  early in the process can be asking for trouble.  Your skin could easily react with redness and peeling  that would require  stopping Retin A  for at least a month. 

If you … Continue Reading…

Budget Beauty Guide– The Daily Plan

Over the past few weeks, I’ve  posted my lists for recommended affordable  anti-aging products covering cleansers,  treatments, exfoliators, moisturizers and sun protection.   Now comes the fun  part- how to use them.

The Theory Behind the Practice

When you strip away all the inflated promises and pseudo science, great skin care  has four key goals:

* take off the top layer of dry dead skin cells

* stimulate growth of collagen

* help the skin  maintain a healthy water balance

* protect against UV rays

Morning:

In the morning you want to clean the face gently and protect it from the sun.

* On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday use your basic mild soap or cleanser.  Wet the face first and work  up a lather on  your skn.  Rinse off with lukewarm water.  Too … Continue Reading…

Budget Beauty Guide– Anti-Aging Options

One  of  my pet peeves are  fashion layouts that show you how to  use  the same  pair of shoes in three different  outfits– but  each outfit then requires  more than  $1000 in additional   clothing and accessories.  Money  is  money and  if you are trying to  cut fashion  or beauty costs,   the choices  need to  be genuinely  affordable AND effective.  To bottomline it, I’m not going to use supermarket bar soap to buy a $300  moisturizer.

With   the steady stream  of bad economic news and at  least one friend   laid off every week, I decided to get serious about  cutting skin care costs but without compromising  results.  So here is the first section of my anti-aging  budget beauty guide.  My goal: to   deliver  cleansing, exfoliation  renewal and protection  at less than one dollar a day. 

Cleansing:

I believe that  great skin … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week  Shawna of Female Fat Loss Over 40 is the host of Fashion Flash.   I have to admit that I am intimidated  by descriptions of  celebrity fitness programs. The intensity, the  pit crew of specialists to assist them,  the amount of  time and energy is overwhelming– and way above my pay scale.  What I love about Shawna’s  blog and DVD’s  is  that not only  are  the exercise programs  so doable, but  she shares real time success stories.  When a fifty something   schoolteacher works  diligently to lose weight  for a wedding, now that is something that  inspires  me.  I can relate to  the  people  who have worked her method and if they can do it, then   I can too. 

 This summer I published the  first No-Nonsense Beauty  NewsletterContinue Reading…

Microdermabrasion– Five Top Questions

1.  How does microdermabrasion work?

Microdermabrasion  removes the  top dead dry  layer of the skin a process that benefits different types of skin issues. For oily skin,  it  “de-roofs”  blocked pores  to remove  blackheads and reduce break-outs.  For dry aging skin, microdermabrasion makes the skin look fresh and glowing.  Many experts believe that  removing the top dead layer  of skin signals the skin to grow healthy firm skin. 

2.  Is there a difference between dermabrasion and microdermabrasion?

A big difference.  Dermabrasion is actually considered surgery.  It is  painful and local anesthesia is needed as  a laser removes most of the epiderrmis.  Afterwards the skin is raw, red and a bit bloody for at least a week.  Full healing can take months, but a successful dermabrasion  can lighten dark patches, remove fine lines … Continue Reading…

Best Facial Ever

I’m always looking for the ideal facial.  Not infrequently, I leave the facial looking a bit splotchy and/or greasy  And the next moring  I wake up with… breakouts. But I still kept looking.  I wanted something that would  make my skin  look fresh, poreless with a  pink, not red glow.  And this summer I found it at the office of Park Avenue cosmetic surgeon, Dr Paul Lorenc. Famous for inventing the endoscopic browlift, Dr Lorenc is a  physician who believes in combining non-invasive anti-aging  tools like the Hydrafacial with surgical options.

 The Hydrafacial is considered the third generation of  microdermabrasion.   It  has about seven steps, each  one offering different but related benefits.  The Hydrafacial combines  a unique type of   tip with an array of products.  The spiral tip ( see pix) rotates on the skin … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Beauty Care– The Truth is Out There

I recently spent two incredible days at a joint conference of the  Health and Beauty Association (HBA) Expo and the 2010 Spa and Resort Medical Aesthetics Conference at the Javits Center in New York.  I’ve been to  many academic programs/ trade shows, and have often been disapointed, but this one really delivered information I could use.

The educational sesions gave me cutting edge developments in anti-aging skin care, all backed up  with first class research including:

* Why women of color  should not use IPL

* How to use cosmetotextiles to firm and smooth your skin

* Which anti-oxidents really deliver for your skin

* What to look for in a peptide  anti-aging  moisturizer

The exhibit section was equally interesting, showing home LED tooth whitening, Clarisonic opal eye roller, and  the Canfield facial imaging system … Continue Reading…