Saturday

Homemade 'Cat Litter' Mask for All Skin Types

Ingredients:

Cat-Litter-Mask

 

  • 1 bag cat litter (must be marked '100 Percent Natural Clay')
  • Water
  • Drops of your favorite essential oil

Preparation:

Mix in a couple tablespoons of the cat litter with water and drops of oil (we find the oil helps make the experience somehow less kitty litter-ish)
Apply mask to face
Wash off after 15 minutes.
Cat-Litter-Mask



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Wednesday

Yogurt Face Mask for All Skin Types

This simple (only two ingredients!) cooling mask is great for soothing a sunburnt face. It's great for all skin types.

Prep Time: 2 hours,

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 tbsp natural yogurt, room temperature (not lowfat or non-fat)
  • 1 tsp runny honey (microwave for a few minutes to soften hardened honey)

Preparation:

 

Combine mixture, then apply to face.
Let sit for 15 minutes.
Wash face with steaming washcloth.
For dry skin, use an extra tsp of honey.
Oily skin? Add a few drops of fresh lime juice.


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Saturday

Homemade Clay Mask for All Skin Types

Masks (homemade or otherwise) should stay on for 10-15 minutes. Follow with a cleansing and a thin layer of moisturizer.
green-kaolin-clay-mask

Ingredients:

green-kaolin-clay-mask

 

  • 1½ tsp green clay (French is preferred)
  • ½ tsp kaolin clay
  • 1½ tbsp aloe vera gel
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • 2 drops rose essential oil

Preparation:

green-kaolin-clay-mask

 

Mix green and kaolin clays together.
Add in the aloe vera gel, rosewater and oils.
Refrigerate mixture for up to four weeks.

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Wednesday

Make Your Own Homemade Face Mask

You can use basic ingredients found around the house to make your own simple, hydrating masks. If you have oily or acne prone skin, mud or clay-based masks are great for balancing out your skin. Dry skin will benefit from hydrating masks made from glycerin, honey and oils. Ginseng or green tea masks are great for soothing skin.
Masks (homemade or otherwise) should stay on for 10-15 minutes, should follow with a cleansing and a thin layer of moisturizer. 
Make Your Own Homemade Face Mask

Here are recipes we've gathered over the years arranged by skin type.

All Skin Types 

Homemade Clay Mask for All Skin Types

Yogurt Face Mask for All Skin Types
Homemade 'Cat Litter' Mask for All Skin Types

 

Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Banana Mask for Oily Skin
Homemade Juice Mask for Oily Skin
Strawberry and lemon juice contain natural astringents.

Homemade Clay Mask for Oily or Acne-Prone Skin
Clay masks help neutralize skin. You can pick up clay from any health-food store.

Simple Mask for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
Recipe adapted from Paula Begoun's 'The Beauty Bible.'

 

Combination Skin

Homemade Face Mask for Combination Skin
A rose-based mask is perfect for balancing out the oily and dry areas of your skin.

 

Dry Skin

Homemade Face Mask for Dry Skin
Avocados and honey are particularly moisturizing.
Homemade Milk Mask for Dry Skin

 

Aging Skin

Homemade Face Mask for Aging Skin

 

Sensitive Skin

Homemade Face Mask for Sensitive Skin
This soothing mask is great for chapped, sunburned or irritated skin.

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Tuesday

What Type of Skin Do You Have?

There are five basic skin care types: Oily, combination, sensitive, dry and sun-damaged. Your skin type is determined by how much -- or how little -- oil your skin produces. Genes, diet, stress level, medication and even your skincare regimen all determine how much oil your skin produces.

Rona Berg, in her book, "Beauty the New Basics," details the five different skin types. Here's how to tell what skin type you have.
Berg suggests you take the "skin test." Wash your face, pat it dry, then take a few pieces of rice paper or lens-cleaning tissue paper and press on different spots on your face. If your skin is oily, the paper will stick, pick up oily spots and become translucent. If the paper doesn't stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is dry. If it sticks in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) then you have combination (or normal) skin. About 70 percent of women have combination skin.{br]
Here are the five different skin types and their characteristics.
  • Type 1: Oily 
                                Oily skin tends to shiny with enlarged pores, and is prone to blackheads and blemishes. You might experience some tightness.
  • Type 2: Combination/normal  
                                                                This skin type has medium pores, a smooth and even texture, good circulation, healthy color, may tend toward dryness on the cheeks while being oily in the t-zone.


  • Type 3: Sensitive  
                                        Sensitive skin tends to be thin, delicate with fine pores. It flushes easily, is prone to broken capillaries, is frequently allergic and can be rashy.
  • Type 4: Dry  
                                  Dry skin feels tight, especially after cleansing. You have a tendency towards fine wrinkles, flaking and red patches. In women of color, skin may appear ashy or dull from dead skin buildup.

  • Type 5: Aging or sun-damaged 
                                                                This skin also feels tight with visible wrinkles, slack skin tone -- especially around the cheeks and jawline -- with leathery texture and broken capillaries. 


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Monday

Exfoliating the Face with Face Cloths

With all of the new products and tools available to wash your face, trying to pick the facial cleanser that's "just right" for you can be confusing. Not too long ago, the only choices you had if you wanted to wash your face were bar soaps and cold creams. Now there are whole aisles devoted to various faclal cleansing options. To cut down on the cleansing confusion, you should make sure you read Skin Care 101.

Introducing the Face Cloth

One of the new types of facial cleansers is the face cloth. No, not the wash cloth that's hanging above your bathroom sink. These face cloths are specifically designed to cleanse your face, and they are very popular. Many enjoy the feel of a cool cloth on the face, and they are more sanitary than bar soaps, as they are designed for one-time use. One downside, however, is that they are more expensive than conventional cleansers.
Face-Cloth

Types of Face Cloths

Face cloths come in different varieties, and some are more appropriate for certain skin types and needs than others. 


Face Cloth Lathering

Face-Cloth-Lathering
 
One way to classify varieties of face cloths is based on whether they lather or not.

Lathering cloths require wetting to activate the cleanser and rinsing off afterward. Some have a moisturizer embedded that helps hydrate the skin after cleansing. In one study, people with rosacea were able to use this type of cloth without too much irritation, so it should be OK for other types of sensitive skin, too.
Non-lathering cloths are pre-moistened towelettes that clean the skin by wiping the surface; you do not need to rinse your face after using one. They generally don't have a moisturizer embedded, but they can remove eye makeup without any irritation around the eyes. 


Face Cloth Weave

Face-Cloth-Weave

Another way to classify face cloths is by how they are made. The weave of the cloth, especially, can indicate which option may be best for you. 

Face-Cloth-Weave


Open-weave cloths have holes in between the fibers, making the cloth softer. These cloths are better for sensitive skin types. Closed-weave cloths have a tighter weave, which offers more exfoliation. These cloths tend to be better better for oily skin types or people who want an option that acts more like a scrub. 


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Saturday

Facial Cleaning Tools

Do you think your face needs a more thorough cleansing than it gets with just soap? If so, you're not alone. This need to clean the skin "better" has spurred the invention of different face cleaning tools. Beware. You may feel like you're getting a deeper clean. But, just like abrasive scrubs, these cleaning tools can cause too much dryness and tiny injuries on the face.
Let's take a look at four popular face cleaning tools and how they affect the skin.

Woven Mesh Sponge

 

The original mesh cleanser was the Buf-Puf. It was made of non-woven polyester fibers designed to unclog pores. The fibers were held together with a glue that didn't dissolve or soften after it was soaked in water. This made the fibers very stiff and harsh.
Now, Buf-Puf sponges are made of a softer woven mesh. They also come in four different "strengths" depending on how soft or firm the fibers are.

Facial Cloths

 

One of the most popular tools for cleaning the face is the facial cloth. Some cloths have soap and moisturizers embedded in them and lather after you get them wet. Others don't have a lathering soap and work more like a moist towelette. Because facial cloths are a good choice for many skin types, get more in-depth information about washing your face with facial cloths.

Cleansing Pouch

 

The cleansing pouch is actually a variation of the facial cloth. The pouch is made of two open-weave cloths that have holes of various diameters. A plastic membrane with cleanser embedded is sandwiched in between the cloths, and the size of the holes determines how much of the cleanser gets to the skin. While it does control the amount of cleanser that's released, the cleansing pouch doesn't exfoliate as much as a non-woven cleansing cloth.

Face Brush


 

The latest facial cleansing tool is the Clarisonic face brush, made by the same company that developed the Sonicare Toothbrush. And yes, this brush works like an electric toothbrush for the face.
It's a hand-held device that has an oscillating brush head with soft bristles. You use your own cleanser: The brush lathers it and cleanses your face. The level of exfoliation or irritation depends on the type of bristles used, the type of cleanser used, and the amount of pressure applied to the skin.

Is One Of These Tools Right For Me?

The makers of all these tools claim their products are gentle enough to use on your face, even if you have dry, sensitive skin. However, studies have shown that using a tool to exfoliate the face causes more dryness and irritation. Some types of facial cloths are an exception because they do little exfoliating. You can find out more about the best facial cleansing routine for your skin.

Dr. Brannon's Bottom Line

The woven mesh sponge and face brush are the most abrasive facial cleansing tools. If you have very oily skin, you might want to rotate one of these tools into your facial routine every couple of days to help exfoliate and remove sebum. If you don't have very oily skin, stick with a facial cloth designed for your skin sensitivity.


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How to Pick a Soap to Wash Your Face




With all the new skin care products and tools, it can be confusing trying to decide the best way to wash your face. Not too long ago, the only choices you had in facial cleansers were bar soaps and cold creams. Now, entire store aisles are devoted to various facial cleansing options. 


The Importance of Facial Cleansing

Facial cleansing is important because the face has so many sebaceous glands that the skin is oilier. In addition, we apply cosmetics and products that create a film on the skin, trapping pollutants from the environment like dust and cigarette smoke. You would think the face needs some aggressive cleansing.

The Importance of GENTLE Facial Cleansing


 

Before you go scrubbing away all that oil and grime, you should understand how delicate the skin on your face is. The top layer of the face's skin, the stratum corneum, has fewer cell layers than any other part of the body except the genitalia. This thinner layer makes the skin more easily irritated. Also, because the face moves so much and has so many nerve endings, it's easier to notice tightness there. This combination means the skin has the potential to get irritated.

THE Guideline for Washing Your Face

An important guideline to follow when deciding how to wash your face is this: Use the mildest cleanser that gets rid of oil and residue


Cleansing Options

Now may be a good time to point out that you shouldn't use the same soap for your face that you use for your body, even if you're using a liquid cleanser for your body. If you're using a bar soap on your body (which you ought to reconsider), don't let that thing get anywhere near your face. Facial soaps are designed specifically for sensitive facial skin, and even the mildest body soap is too hard on the face.
You don't even have to use a soap on your face if you use a facial cloth because the soap is already embedded in the cloth. Other face cleaning tools on the market now including the redesigned Buf-Puf and even a brush that works like an electric toothbrush for the face.
You can learn more about the best soap for different types of faces, but you will rarely go wrong if you use a facial cloth or a non-foaming cleanser to clean your face. 

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Thursday

10 Tips to Pick the Right Hair Color:



When you color your own hair, picking the perfect new shade or color for your hair can be daunting, but here are a few tips and tricks to make it easier:

Tip 1: Coloring newbie? Start with a semipermanent color.  
Semipermanent colors wash out after a few washes, whereas permanent colors never wash out. If you are new to coloring your hair, you might start with a semipermanent hue UNLESS you want to cover gray hair or go two or more shades lighter or darker. For more information on semipermanent vs.

Tip 2: Don't go by the picture on the box 
  Pictures on hair color boxes can be deceiving. Your better off going by the color swatches on the box and the descriptions. According to the February 2006 issue of Ladies Home Journal, most boxes will call out the color (blonde, brown, black and red) and the shade of that color (light, medium and dark). There might also be mention of the tone (golden or ashy).

Tip 3: Is your skin color warm or cool? Most hair colors fall into either 'warm' or 'cool' families. You're likely a 'warm' if you have golden, olive or dark skin and brown or dark eyes (most Latinas, Asians and African Americans fall into this category). You tan easily and the veins in your inner wrists are green. You're a 'cool' if you have fair skin and blue or green eyes. You burn before you tan and the veins in your wrists run blue. If you're confused because you sometimes burn, sometimes tan, you likely skew warm.

Tip 4: Choose the correct shade  
If you have warm skin, opt for golden shades such as caramel and bronze in a darker shade than your skin. Avoid jet-black hair which will wash you out and if you do opt for a golden shade, don't go too light or your hair could turn orange. If you have cool shade, avoid colors that will highlight the ruddiness of your skin tone: Gold, auburn and copper. Ash blondes and cool browns work best.

Tip 5: How to tell if you'd make a great blonde
  A basic rule of thumb: People who had blonde hair as children have the right skin tone to be blonde adults.

Tip 6: The right shade of blonde
  Brassy blonde color or highlights on someone with a warm skin tone can be harsh. Opt for warmer shades instead. If you have brown hair and want to go blonde, you don't want to go too light or you could look washed out. Opt for contrast: Highlights and lowlights. And keep in mind that darker hair will actually complement brown or green eyes better than blonde hair.

Tip 7: When to go red 
  Almost everyone can go red, what's most important is finding the right shade to complement your skin color. Women with a cool or pink skin tone pull off red best, according to Jennifer J, a stylist quoted in the February 2006 issue of Marie Claire.

Tip 8: How to hide that gray
  Gray hair can be hard to color because of its coarse texture. If your hair is less than one-thirds gray, opt for a semi-permanent color that's a shade lighter than your natural color (or matches your color). The gray will blend right in. Semi-permanent color is less damaging than permanent color. If your hair is more gray, colorist Rita Hazan in the November 2004 issue of InStyle magazine, suggests a permanent 'ashy' color, which will help your gray hair appear blonde.

Tip 9: Uh-oh, the color's all wrong  
I strongly suggest you seek out professional help if you dye job went wrong. Coloring over color can be tricky and you don't want to overprocess your hair.

Tip 10: Don't go extreme
  At-home coloring is best for people looking to go a couple shades lighter or darker or to cover gray. If you have light brown hair, a dark blonde will look beautiful on you. For extreme changes, it's best to seek out the help of a professional rather than trying to dye your dark brown hair light blonde.


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Wednesday

3 - Sunscreen for skin

The final step in a good skin care program is using sunscreen, but it's the most forgotten. It's easy to tell if your skin is dirty or dry, requiring a good washing or some added moisture. We can see or feel that our skin needs some extra care. 
Unfortunately, most of the damage to the skin from UV radiation is beneath the surface and happens so slowly that we don't realize how much damage is being done.
Most people know that exposure to UV radiation can cause sun damage to the skin, including sunburn, photoaging, and increased risk of skin cancer. But did you know this damage also occurs when you walk from your house to your car or sit next to a window during the day? Even those little bits of exposure add up over the years and can cause wrinkles, dark spots and skin cancer. 


Sunscreen Decisions

There are several factors to consider when picking out a sunscreen:
  • How sunscreens work
  • Everyday sunscreen vs out-in-the-sun sunscreen
  • Using a sunscreen alone vs sunscreen plus moisturizer
  • Understanding the UV-index
  • How to be safe in the sun

Sunscreen Bottom Line

You've worked hard to take care of your skin by cleansing and moisturizing it. Don't undo all those benefits by exposing it to UV radiation. Find a good broad-spectrum sunscreen and make its application a part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth and bathing.


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Monday

2 - Moisturizing of skin


 Moisturizing of skin

Moisturizing is an essential step in good skin care. A good moisturizer can stop the dry skin cycle from spiraling into cracked, thick, flaky skin. An effective moisturizer will have a combination of ingredients that:
  • Replenish the skin's natural ingredients that help maintain its structure
  • Cut down on damage from free-radicals
  • Help the cells function more normally

Good Moisturizer Ingredients

In the past, moisturizers were essentially water and wax mixtures that worked by trying to hold water in the skin. The only real difference between these moisturizers was how they "felt" to the consumer. Now there is complex science behind the new state-of-the-art moisturizers that are available. Some ingredients that you'll find in a state-of-the-art moisturizer are:
  • Glycerol - Helps water and other moisturizer ingredients penetrate the skin to get where they are needed.
  • Ceramides - Help replenish the skin's natural oils.
  • Hydroxy Acids - Help with exfoliation of dead skin cells
  • Niacinamide - Helps the skin produce more natural oils, and may also help reverse the signs of sun-damaged skin, like brown spots and blotchiness

How to Choose a Moisturizer

Not all skin is the same, and not all moisturizers are the same. Picking out the best moisturizer for your skin depends on what your skin needs. Consider the following skin conditions when choosing a moisturizer:
  • Moisturizers for dry skin
  • Moisturizers for oily skin
  • Moisturizers for normal skin
  • Moisturizers for acne-prone skin
  • Moisturizers for red skin
  • Moisturizers for eczema, atopic dermatitis, or sensitive skin
  • Moisturizers with sunscreen

Moisturizer Bottom Line

Don't settle for your grandmother's old cold cream. Pick a moisturizer with good ingredients for your skin, and enjoy your healthier skin.


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Sunday

1 - Cleansing of skin

Most of us know that cleansing is an important part of good skin care
The purpose of a cleanser, or soap, is to surround, loosen, and make it easy to remove dirt, debris, germs, excess oils, and left-over products applied to the skin. Unfortunately, there are harmful effects of cleansers on the skin. 
 Cleansing of skin

 Cleansing of skin

Many people have dry skin because of their cleansing routines, not because their skin is normally dry. Often people think that their skin isn't clean unless it feels dry and tight after they wash it. People get used to the way their skin normally feels. They come to expect that they will have dry, rough patches on the backs of their hands, itch in winter time, and sometimes have a dull complexion. They don't know that their choice of cleanser could be hurting their skin.
How do you know what type of cleanser to use and where? The first step is to understand your cleanser options:
  • Bar soaps - The most irritating cleansers but the best to get rid of dirt and grime
  • Liquid cleansers - A wide variety of tolerability - good for cleaning all but the oiliest skin
  • Facial cleansers - The mildest cleanser but may not remove oil and dirt as well.

Cleansing Bottom Line

  • You don't have to feel dry to be clean
  • You have good options
  • Use the mildest cleanser possible that still removes dirt, oil and debris 


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Vaseline: The Best Eye Makeup Remover Around

There are all sorts of eye makeup removers on the market but the best one I've found is Vaseline. I learned this trick in high school from Seventeen Magazine & I've been using it ever since.
Vaseline-Removing-eye-makeup

advantages of vasline
 1- it's easy and it doesn't sting the eye.
2- it's cheap.
Vaseline-Removing-eye-makeup

Some beauty experts tout Vaseline is actually good for the skin around the eyes. (I don't really buy that -- the tender skin around my eyes doesn't seem better than average after years of Vaseline).


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Thursday

Facial Cleanser Options

Is the soap you use for your face the same one you use for your body?
 If so, you probably don't realize that the sensitive skin on your face needs a milder cleanser.

All Cleansers Are Not the Same

While there are different tools for face washing, most people use some type of soap. Even though some facial and body cleansers are made of most of the same ingredients, there are significant differences. Facial cleansers are milder on the skin because the surfactant they contain is milder than that of body cleansers. Some liquid body cleansers even have a harsher than usual surfactant, which manufacturers make up for by adding a good, but heavy, moisturizing system. That moisturizing system is based on the inclusion of emollients in the cleansing formula. Facial cleansers use different emollients, as the ones found in body cleansers leave behind a heavy, greasy feeling.
These differences in formula contribute to why facial cleansers tend to be more expensive than body cleansers (very mild surfactants are more costly).

So What Are My Options?

There are different types of facial cleansers, and they have different effects on the skin. Soaps for the face can be divided into these three groups:
  • Foaming cleansers
  • Non-foaming cleansers
  • Abrasive scrubs
Let's take a trip down the skincare aisle..

Foaming Facial Cleansers

These facial soaps tend to have the most pleasing feel because they lather and leave behind a refreshing sensation after they're rinsed off. Foaming facial cleansers can come in a variety of types, including:
  • Lotions
  • Creams
  • Gels
  • Self-foaming cleansers
  • Aerosols
  • Scrubs

Non-Foaming Facial Cleansers

The non-foaming facial cleansers tend to be the mildest type of facial cleanser because they have a very small amount of surfactant and can be wiped off instead of rinsed off. Since these don't come in contact with water, they can deposit more of the cleanser's helpful ingredients (moisturizers, anti-oxidants) on the skin. Non-foaming cleansers typically include:
  • Creams
  • Lotions (sometimes known as milks)
  • Cold creams

Abrasive Scrubs

Abrasive scrubs contain ingredients that physically scrub the skin to help remove dead skin cells. The advantage of using a scrub is that it makes the skin smoother. The disadvantage is that the granules that do the actual scrubbing can cause irritation, redness, and even tiny cuts on the face.
The scrubbing particles used in a scrub determine how mild or harsh it is. Here, some common exfoliating granules that can be found in product ingredient lists:
  • Sodium tetraborate decahydrate granules (the mildest abrasive because the granules soften and dissolve when they get wet)
  • Polyethylene silica or beads (mild because the beads are smooth and round)
  • Jojoba esters (somewhat mild)
  • Cross-linked polymethacrylate (somewhat harsh because of its density)
  • Calcium carbonate (harsh because the particles are different sizes and gritty)
  • Ground seeds, such as apricot, almond and walnut seeds (harsh because they have rough edges)
  • Aluminum oxide (harsh because of its rough edges)
Sometimes finding the cleanser that works best with your skin, fits your budget and is to your liking takes a bit of trial and error. If you're uncertain about which option might be best for you, you can always consult with your dermatologist.


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