Teen Beauty Toners


Many women assume they need toner. They believe it removes the extra makeup and oils on your skin, while minimizing pores. There are hundreds of toners on the market. Every brand sells it. But is toner really necessary?
Answer: No, unless you have really oily skin. "Toners just add an extra step and expense," said Jeffrey Dover, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine
While many people feel toners truly cleanse their faces, removing any excess makeup residue, most beauty editors agree toners are not a "must-have" part of most people's skincare regimen. Since most modern toners aren't as drying as the ones of the past, I believe they aren't harmful to most skin types. However, this is up for debate, as you'll see below.
So who should use toner? People with extremely oily or acne-prone skin and those of us who want extra cleansing after wearing a lot of makeup. If you love your toner and sincerely believe it works, then by all means do not throw it out. What's most important is your own skin's reaction to it, not the hype surrounding toner's necessity in the beauty world. 

What the Experts Say

"Today most dermatologists agree toner isn't necessary. Its main purpose is to remove traces of makeup and residual cleanser, but a high-quality cleanser, even a creamy one, should rinse off easily with water alone. Some women like the fact that toner leaves their face tight and smooth. But that taut, tingly sensation actually indicates dryness."
"Skip the toner. When we say this in the magazine, we always get outraged letters from aestheticians saying skin isn't truly clean until it's been swabbed down. But dermatologists say toner can be overly drying on all but the oiliest skin. If you can't resist the lure of the cotton ball, make sure your bottle is alcohol free.
"For many women, toners are the logical next step in a skincare regimen, but I don't buy it. Literally. Whether they are called balancers, clarifying lotions, skin purifiers, or astringents (the strongest ones), toners are a pricey broth of water, color, preservatives, witch hazel, alcohol -- and not much else. In fact, for most women, toners are a redundant product: toners are supposed to remove every last trace of oil, sweat, and makeup from your face -- but so will a good cleanser. A toner will make your pores look smaller by swelling the tissue around the pore, but a moisturizer will do the same thing -- and more." -- "Beauty, the New Basics" by Rona Berg
"Often sold as a must-use step, toners are truly optional." -- Bobbi Brown in "Bobbi Brown Beauty" 


"Fact: you probably don't need toner. Many skincare companies insist that cleanse/tone/moisturize should be the basic, three-step skincare regime, but we disagree. (And so do some of the world's leading facialist "gurus" including Eve Lom, Amanda Lacey and Janet Filderman.)" -- "Total Beauty" by Sarah Stacey and Josephine Fairley
"Beauticians often try to sell us that by using toner during a facial, they're 'closing the pores.' Baloney. Pores aren't elevator doors which can open and shut." -- "Total Beauty" by Sarah Stacey and Josephine Fairley
"There's something about toners that people love. Toners are actually relics of the days when most cleansers left a heavy residue on the skin and one needed to remove it by taking this extra step. Today's cleansers pretty much clean up after themselves, so a toner with strong astringent action is unnecessary, in some case, not to mention dehydrating." -- "Age-Less" by Fredric Brandt, MD

The Beauty Experts Who Promote Toner

Of all my beauty books, these are three that mention toner as a bonus (still, they don't consider them "must-have"):
"If skin feels too oily or you're wearing a lot of makeup, a toner can clean away anything your cleanser has left behind. The newest formulas are alcohol-free and don't strip skin of its necessary oils." Bobbi Brown in "Bobbi Brown Living Beauty"
"Irritant-free toners are an excellent skin-care option for all skin types. They are fine as an cleansing step after removing the cleanser. Toners can also soothe skin, lightly moisturize it, and provide some antioxidant and anti-irritant protection." -- "The Beauty Bible" by Paula Begoun
"A toner is a curious thing ... it's meant to refresh and rejuvenate the skin whenever you feel you need it. It cleans, smooths, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps minimize pores while also preventing breakouts. We love it because it gives your skin a boost, good tone and a healthy glow." -- "The Beauty Buyble, The Best Beauty Products 2007" by Paula Conway and Maureen Regan

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Teen Beauty - Sunscreens

the Difference Between a Sunscreen and a Sunblock

Sunscreens are the most popular at the moment. Available in creams, lotions and gels, they contain chemicals that absorb UV rays. They are also inconspicous on the skin. The chemicals that are most often found in sunscreens include PABA, Benzophenones, Cinnamates, Salicylates,
Sunblocks instead of absorbing UV rays, reflect them. At one time sunblocks could be spotted by the opaque white film, but new technology has created sunblocks with particles so tiny, that the opaque film in no longer noticeable. Chemicals most common in sunblocks include Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Choose the Best Sunscreenf you have ever been to the tanning/sunscreen aisle at your local drugstore, you know how overwhelming it can be. SPF this, UVA that, and then throw in UVBs in the mix and the confusion begins!

Choosing the Right SPF

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The higher the SPF number, the better protection against the sun's harmful UVB rays. The SPF number lets you know how much longer you can stay out of the sun without burning. For example, if it takes 15 minutes for a person to burn, an SPF 15 will allow them to stay out in the sun 15 times longer without burning.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing an SPF of 15 or higher for maximum protection. SPF is available in factors from 2-60. Does highest mean the best protection? Not necessarily. An SPF of 50 only provides 1-2% more protection than an SPF30.

UVA and UVB Protection

The label of the sunscreen will indicate the UVA or UVB protection.

UVA rays are responsible for the aging effect of the sun. However, overexposure to UVA rays can cause skin cancer.

UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and skin cancer.

Choose a product that has states "UVA/UVB" protection or has "broad spectrum" protectant.

Waterproof vs Water Resistant

If you are looking for a sunscreen to use while in the water, choose a sunscreen that is "waterproof" or "water resistant".

"Waterproof" sunscreen should provide protection in the water for 80 minutes, while "water resistant" provides only 40 minutes of protection.

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20 Beauty Secrets Every Teen Should Know-2

11. When can you skip sunscreen ? Never


                                                                Here's a trick we wish we knew: The first beauty product you should apply every day is sunscreen, even if it's cloudy or rainy outside. Why? Good habits start young and if you use sunscreen now, you'll have gorgeous skin when you're 50, 60, 70. Plus, the sun's UV rays can penetrate clouds.

12. Wrapping hair around the barrel creates waves 


                                                                             There's nothing sexier than long, layered waves. To get them, wind hair AROUND the barrel of a large curling iron. Reverse direction for each 2-inch section (wind up for one, down for another).

13. Self-tanner will always stink


                                                             Unfortunately, even the best ones smell. Your best bet is to apply self-tanner a good 24 hours before an important event and take a shower (don't loofah) to wash off any smell.

14. Don't let nails go


                                                Not into manicures and pedicures? No worries. Just make sure to keep nails clean and the same length. If you do want to paint them, don't keep the polish on until half of it's chipped away. Also, there's nothing worse than too-long toenails. Keep nails clipped between pedicures! People tend to judge others by the care they put into their hands and feet.

15. Don't line the inside of your eyes 


                                                                      It will make your eyes appear smaller. Instead, line just at the lash line. Also, an obvious line doesn't look natural. Smudge the line just a bit.

16. Oily hair? Invest in a dry shampoo


                                                                        If you have blonde hair, sprinkling a bit of baby powder on your roots and at your crown will soak up excess oils. If you have brown hair, you might be better off with a dry shampoo for your hair color.

17. Shave legs at the end of the shower  


                                                                Cut down on nicks and cuts by making shaving the very last step in your shower or bathing ritual. 

18. Know your best feature and play it up  
                                                           What feature do people comment on most? Play it up. If you're told you have Angelina Jolie lips, make sure to wear gloss and play with bold lipstick colors. If it's your eye color people love, find eyeshadow colors that complement them and make sure to wear mascara. Also, know what color shirts look best on you and go shopping.

19. Scrubs are great for dry skin


                                                                 If you have dry, itchy skin in winter, invest in a scrub and handmitts and scrub away in the bathtub. Make sure to slather on a thick moisturizer afterward. For dry, callousy feet, buy a pumice stone. They work better than any of the other wimpy options on the market.

20. Remember: Beauty is mostly internal 
                                                                    Think about a girl you know who's overweight yet all the guys love her. Why? Because she's confident. If you aren't wearing makeup and your toes haven't been repainted in weeks, if you're happy and smiling you will still be 10 times prettier than the mopey cheerleader sitting next to you in class. Trust us (wink). 

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20 Beauty Secrets Every Teen Should Know-1

There's nothing worse than getting advice from older people, we know, we know, but the truth is some advice is worth taking and keeping, especially when it comes to fun beauty tips. We've been reading fashion magazines and testing beauty products for years. In this time, we've read 1000s of beauty tips, tried 1000s of products, but only a few are worth keeping around. So, here we share with you the

 20 things we wish we knew when we were teenagers.

1. Skip the foundation 

                                         If you have acne the first thing you want to do is slather on the thick foundation. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Foundation is for women over 40. Not only will it cover up your natural beauty, but foundation on a teenager looks anything but natural. Instead, cover up blemishes with concealer, then follow with a powder.

2. You pat concealer in, you never rub it in  

                                                                        We know this from watching the Tyra Banks show. When applying concealer, put a bit on the pad of your middle finger and pat it in. Never rub. Got acne? Pat the concealer on top of it.

3. Play up your lips or your eyes,
                                                     never both If you are wearing heavy eye makeup, go for nude lips with just a bit of gloss

Prefer the drama of dark lipstick? Keep face light (stay away from heavy blush) and wear only mascara on your eyes and a light eyeshadow

Don't heavily line your eyes. Play up both and you'll look like a clown.

4. Less is more
                                  Ever notice how some of your friends look best with no makeup at all? No matter your age, too much makeup makes you look worse. If you wear foundation, powder, blush, liner, mascara, eyeshadow, lip liner, gloss on an everyday basis, then you're doing too much. Tone it down: All you really need is a great mascara, concealer for acne and gloss.

5. Natural hair is always hot
                                                       If you have super dark hair, lighten your look by going a shade darker or getting lighter highlights. Blonde? Try highlights, especially around your face. We see too many teens lightening their hair several shades and the look is super tacky, not super fabulous. The trick is to let people assume you were born with sun-kissed hair, not that you gave yourself a bad dye job from a bottle.

6. Vaseline is your best friend
                                                                Skip the bottled cleaners: Vaseline is the best eye makeup remover hands down. It's also great for fixing chapped, scaly lips.
 Slather on a bunch of Vaseline, then use a toothbrush to massage lips. Wipe the excess off on a tissue. Your lips will be smooth and soft.

7. You can never go wrong with layers 
                                                                                Layers are great for any hair type: Super curly, straight or wavy. It makes thin hair appear thicker, curly hair appear manageable and wavy hair appear just-got-back-from-the-beach sexy.

8. Acne? Get thee to a dermatologist, 
                                                       stat Biggest mistake people with acne make? Not going to a dermatologist. Forget those $150 jeans you covet. Getting rid of those pimples will be the best investment you'll ever make. And the only guaranteed way to do it is with a dermatologist.

9. Spend money on key beauty products
                                                           Not sure what to splurge on and what to save on? Here's our Golden Rules: Don't scrimp on eye shadow, facial moisturizer, powder, self-tanner or lipstick. There's a big difference in quality for these products. Don't waste your money on fancy mascaras, cleansers, eye liners or lip gloss.

10. Buying foundation or lipstick? Test it first
                                                               There are some beauty products you simply must try out at a department store or Sephora before you buy. These include: Foundation, lipstick, blush and powder. Buy these products in a grocery store and you'll be lucky if you picked the right color for your skin tone. What you can get away with without testing: Mascara, eye liner, most basic eye shadows and lip gloss.

20 Beauty Secrets Every Teen Should Know-2

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You can take 10 years off your face without plastic surgery by using the right anti-aging products. Microdermabrasion, chemical peels, retinoids and antioxidants are all methods more and more women are embracing.



Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals caused by UV rays. Free radicals are those buggers responsible for fine lines, age spots and skin cancer. Great antioxidants include Prevage cream available by prescription. We also read great things about Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Acid serum. This boosts the skin's protection against UV rays




is basically a purified form of botulinum toxin.  when injected Botox smooths lines by 'blocking nerve impulses that trigger wrinkle-causing muscle contractions.

3-Chemical Peels



Chemical peels are meant to lift away the dead upper layers of skin. They are painted onto the face by a dermatologist or trained cosmetologist. The higher the concentration and the longer they are left on, the deeper they work.

4-Premature aging 


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Anti-aging ( Retinoids & Alpha Hydroxy Acids)

There are products that really do turn back time, so to say, and reduce lines and wrinkles.


The Secret to Youth: 

1- Collagen

Collagen is the key to healthy skin that tends to age well. The change in the pH level of the skin caused by just a few uses of a retinoid product such as Retin-A or AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) can help generate collagen. "Collagen is the skin's structural fiber," dermatologist Dennis Gross said in the October 2005 issue of O Magazine. "As we get older, it breaks down, creating lines and large pores."

The best way to keep collagen from breaking down is avoiding the sun at all costs. Dermatologists warn that up to 90 percent of wrinkles, dark spots and sun damage are caused by sun exposure. This is why they're always preaching the use of sunscreen . 

However, if the damage is done, you can try to recoup the gorgeous skin you once had. To find out your best option, read on.  
2-Vitamin A

Vitamin A really cuts down on the wrinkles, perhaps better than any other type of skin product. I would recommend skipping the over-the-counter vitamin A products and consider getting a prescription from your doctor for Retin-A, Renova or Retin-A Micro. 


These contain the ingredient "tretinoin," which is proven more effective on fine lines and wrinkles than retinol, found in most OTC products.
Keep in mind that you shouldn't expose skin to the sun when using Retin-A, Renova or Retin-A Micro. You'll want to cover up with sunscreen and a hat. Vitamin A makes skin very susceptible to skin damage.


Retinoids are the tamer, non-prescription versions of the vitamin A derivatives listed above. Retinoids contain a less harsh Vitamin A derivative called retinol. These products are less potent and therefore great for weekly upkeep.

Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids

AHAs and BHAs are better options for women who find the Vitamin A products dry out their skin. AHAs are acid extracts that tend to be more moisturizing. You'll want to look for products that include glycolic (an acid extract from sugarcane), lactic (milk) or citric (citrus fruits).

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How to Get Rid of Wrinkles

No one likes wrinkles, which are caused when collagen breaks down deep in your dermis, far below the skin's top layer. The key to improving or preventing wrinkles is two-fold: You need to stimulate collagen production while keeping free radicals such as the sun, stress & pollution from causing more damage. You have a number of options available to help you turn back time a bit without going under the knife. Here's a rundown of 5 options currently on the market that are created to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Better yet, most of these can be bought over-the-counter:

 1. Sunscreen.  
                             Sun damage is the #1 cause of wrinkles. Wonder what your skin would look like if it was never exposed to the sun? Look at your bottom. Wrinkle-free, eh? That's what your skin would look like if it was kept under cover all the time as well. 

A good rule of thumb: If it's daylight outside, you need sunscreen, no matter how cloudy it is. In the June, 2005 issue of InStyle Magazine, Dr. Fredric Brandt, dermatologist to the stars, suggests using a 'two-finger scoop' of sunscreen daily to the face & neck.


 Also, don't forget the top of your hands. Dermatologists report seeing women with young faces & old hands all the time. 

 2. Vitamin A (retinoid) creams.

                                                             To prevent wrinkles or keep them from worsening, look for products containing vitamin A Used nightly (or every other night), vitamin A creams stimulate collagen renewal & prevent skin cells from breaking down. Women in their 20s & early 30s can use these to keep fine lines from turning into deeper furrows. I've been trying one percent Retin-A on my skin for the past month & I've noticed a marked improvement even though best results can be seen in about 6 months.


 (Just make sure you never go out without sunscreen when you're on these Vitamin A products, your skin is extra susceptible to sun damage). 

 3. Alpha-hydroxy acids or microdermabrasion.
                                                       If you're in your mid-30s & worried about wrinkles you might try exfoliating once a week with a alpha-hydroxy acid (AHAs) or a microdermabrasion kit.


 Don't use both & be careful not to over-exfoliate. Chemical exfoliators (the AHAs) work great on oily or combination skin, while the physical scrubs are great for very sensitive skin (make sure it's in a creamy base). AHA's are glycolic or lactic acid formulated to increase collagen in sun-damaged skin. They are also known to reduce pore size, redness, blotchiness & fine lines. Microdermabrasives smooth fine lines & get rid of dead skin.

 4. Antioxidants. 
                                Free radicals -- the unstable oxygen molecules produced by pollution, stress & sun -- are a skincare nightmare. They attack healthy skin cells & cause collagen breakdown, all of which lead to wrinkles. Antioxidants like green tea, vitamins C & E, & coenzyme Q10 work together to neutralize free radicals.


 A cocktail of these antioxidants are like a multi-vitamin for skin, according to dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross. How to use it? Use antioxidants both orally & topically. IN Elle Magazine, dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD, swears by Heliocare vitamins. Topically, antioxidants are great for bolstering UV protection. Apply an antioxidant serum containing vitamins C or E, Co-Q, alpha-lipoic acid, grean or white tea, pomegranate or idebenone under your sunscreen (see products below). The antioxidants will fight those free radicals the sun generates.

5. Eye cream.  
                         You might notice the area on your face that's aging the fastest is around your eyes. The skin around eyes is extra-thin & prone to developing undereye bags, crow's feet & dark circles. 


 To battle crow's feet you'll want to use a retinoid wrinkle reducer that hydrates. To fight bags under the eyes, a skin-tightener with hyaluronic acid or retinol . But keep in mind that most doctors agree the only way to get rid of undereye bags is to undergo surgery. Want to rid eyes of dark circles? You need a vitamin K-based eye product . By the way, those undereye circles are not caused by lack of sleep. According to Davide J. Leffell, MD, professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, dark undereye circles are caused by genetics & won't change with more or less sleep. Some fun facts on wrinkles from the April 2006 edition of Allure: In 1889, Margaret Kroesen created Frownies, an adhesive patch that held skin taut, smoothing out wrinkles. 1920, the year Coco Chanel made suntans fashionable after her return from a sun-filled vacation on a yacht. 1982, the year Chanel launched it's first anti-wrinkle cream with sunscreen. 1988, the year the FDA warned about the indiscriminate use of Retin-A, an acne drug, to treat wrinkles. 1995, the year the FDA approved tretinoic acid, the main ingredient in Retin-A, for the purpose of fighting wrinkles.


Anti-aging (how to Slow the Aging Skin Process)-2

You saw the 5 'dos' for perfect skin care. Now here are 
B- 5 don'ts:  

1-Don’t pull and rub your skin.
                                                       Aging skin has been under attack by UV rays, stress and carbon monoxide so don't stress it more by pulling on it.

2-Don’t forget to moisturize 

                                               While it's a myth that wrinkles are caused by dry skin, moisturizing can improve the appearance of lines by temporarily plumping them up.

Extra tip: Moisturizers are best used on damp skin. They lock the moisture in. Gross doesn't use tap water when washing skin because of harsh minerals found in many city water sources. 

3-Don’t ignore your neck and chest

                                                     The neck and chest are first to show the signs of aging (they have fewer oil glands than the rest of your body), yet most of us ignore them. 



Look for moisturizers that have age-fighting ingredients like vitamin A (retinols), kinetin, copper or vitamin C.
4-Don’t forget the sunscreen. 
                                        This is a no-brainer. You’ve had it ingrained in your head since youth, but seriously, even in winter it can take just 20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to damage the skin. . 


By the way, it's a MYTH that 80 percent of your lifetime sun damage occurs before age 18, according to the April, 2006, issue of O Magazine. Katie Rodan, MD, adjunct professor of dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine, says in O that this myth stands officially debunked and studies indicate we get only 23 percent of total UV exposure by age 18. Of course it gets worse as we age. So you CAN prevent sun-induced aging by wearing sunscreen. 


5-Don’t tan.
                             Even if wrinkles haven't shown up yet, you need to stop tanning now because they will.


 Once signs of aging appears, you'll be spending a lot of money to reverse it. So if you do have sun damage? You can reverse the damage with photorejuvenation such as pulsed light treatments. Many spas and dermatologists provide these pricey fixes. 

  • One word of warning: Once you start an anti-aging regimen, you have to keep it up. The effects of acid peels, AHAs, moisturizers -- all the anti-aging products that remove dead skin cells and make skin look plumper -- won't last forever. You have to maintain them. 
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