Acne-sufferers are no strangers to the pharmacy. But for those looking for an effective over-the-counter product, finding the right one can often be an endless case of trial and error. You’re not alone. Nearly half of adults have used 3 to 7 different acne treatments and still 81% say they’ve never found an effective treatment. It’s either too expensive, too drying, or too irritating. And the irritation goes beyond skin-deep.
Many of us use one or more prescription medications on a daily basis. But the road to getting that prescription in hand is often long and arduous. First there’s the doctor’s visit, then dropping off the prescription at the pharmacy, and then waiting to pick it up. For non-vital prescriptions, extra visits to the pharmacy become an inconvenience. That’s why some people choose over-the-counter medications when they can, because there’s no waiting or calling in—all they have to do is just pick up and go.
Total Beauty revealed the winners of their 2016 Beauty Awards yesterday. According to their website, they tried thousands of products to select their Editors’ Picks Winners. I’m not sure how true that is but nonetheless, with all the beauty products to choose from, this is a good way to start narrowing options down. Here is my curated list of what I am planning to buy and try thanks to Total Beauty:
Lovely, foamy, lathery suds! No longer a sign of cleanliness?
Americans love to shampoo. According to a recent public radio news story, we lather up an average of 4.59 times a week – twice as much as Italians and Spaniards. But to understand our current obsession with suds, we need to find out where it all started.
Shrink your pores? Diminish pore size? Make your pores disappear?
We’ve all learned the claims on so-called “pore-shrinking” products are mostly bogus. If you struggle with blackheads, you’ve probably been lured in by at least one of them before. And that’s unfortunate. These ploys blatantly pander to our perpetual desire to achieve perfect skin, touting results that are sadly unrealistic (if not altogether impossible).
WHY WE HAVE PORES
Although it may be frustrating to some that we cannot make our pores vanish, we wouldn’t want to do that. Your pores are responsible for some vital functions: they release sebum (this is actually a good thing) and sweat (which enables your body to regulate its temperature). Without pores, you’d not only overheat—your skin would be parched, cracked, and scaly. Not a good look.
WHY SO-CALLED PORE-SHRINKING PRODUCTS DON’T WORK
The size of your pores, much like the size of your nose, is determined by genetics—and while they cannot be shrunken, they can, and often do grow larger as you age. What you certainly can do is improve their appearance by keeping them clear, so that they appear less pronounced.
WHAT TO AVOID
I used to love pore strips. At one point, I had an unhealthy obsession with them. Seeing those blackheads get sucked up by a virtual vacuum is pretty satisfying. However, if used too often, these same pore strips that provide instant gratification can also disrupt the healthy balance of sebum in your pores and, over time, make them look bigger.
Similarly, harsh toners that strip skin and leave it squeaky clean can prompt your oil glands to overcompensate. This results in oilier skin and more visible and enlarged pores.
WHAT ACTUALLY WORKS
There are an overwhelming number of skin care products specifically designed for pores. In narrowing down my options, I thought it made the most sense to try the brand that pretty much revolutionized acne care by introducing a 3-step system: Proactiv®.
I’d seen their infomercials before—who hasn’t? But what got my attention this time was their latest line, Proactiv+. It uses something called Smart Target® technology, which envelops benzoyl peroxide (a popular acne-fighting ingredient) and delivers it into the pores where it can do its job. What this means is that it helps to purge the oil and debris that is clogging your pores and causing your blackheads.
Within a couple weeks of using Proactiv+, the appearance of my pores and blackheads on and around my nose were barely visible (the true test!).* I even noticed a few times, as I was exfoliating, some of my blackheads becoming “unplugged”—no extractions (aka pore strips) needed! When I read that benzoyl peroxide would help to unplug pores, I didn’t think it would be that literal.
By week 4, I started seeing other differences like a more even skin tone, and a glow—I’m talking a legitimate, post-workout-kind-of radiance.
Other users shared similar experiences. After 2 weeks, 95% said they noticed an improvement in their skin’s overall texture, and after 4 weeks, 89% said their pores appeared smaller.**
Of course, the only way to know if it works for your skin is to try it. Right now, there’s a deal going on where you can SAVE $10 on the Proactiv+ kit (originally $29.95) and get FREE SHIPPING. If you FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ORDER, they’ll also include a free Blackheads Dissolving Gel and Skin Purifying Mask.
I don’t think your plugged pores will stand a chance against that combination. And, in the event it doesn’t work for you, there’s always the money back guarantee (less S&H).
*Individual results may vary.
**Based on a user-perception study after a total of 13 weeks of use.
Brought to you by Proactiv+
From Crossfit to Climbing to Spinning, there are a number of ways a woman can get her sweat on the old-fashioned way—in a gym, doing strenuous physical activity. Whether or not these sorts of workouts actually work is not a question. Hard work pays off! But 99% of the population, I’d guess, can agree that physically taxing hard work is not fun. If you’re averse to this sort of hard work but long for its payoff, what follows here might be the best news you’ve heard all year. There is a lazy way to get fit, and to reap its benefits, you need only to set aside a single hour in your busy schedule and lay down. You’ll sweat—and I mean, a lot—and in the process you’ll burn more calories than you would if you spent the same amount of time doing actual exercise. All you need is an infrared sauna, and if you live in a major city, you can probably find one in a variety of studios close to home.
Amid what seems like a never-ending influx of “newer” and “better” products to improve the look of aging skin, a few simple truths remain—and they center on a handful of key ingredients that have long been favored by dermatologists. Here, a look at skin care’s real anti-aging heroes, and important things to bear in mind when seeking them out.
In the fickle world of nail trends, nothing lasts forever. (Not even a universal disdain for French tips.) With that in mind, I can’t say I didn’t see this one coming: E! News’ Mani Cam is done. You know what this means, right? The era of nail art is officially over! Considering that multicolored 3-D designs sprouting out of a grown woman’s fingertips are—let’s be honest with ourselves—garish, I’m thrilled that what fashion deems chic right now are pared-down nudes. If beige is just too boring for you, maybe you’ll prefer the season’s fresh crop of pinks.
Love her or hate her, there is no denying Kim Kardashian has being ultra-glam down to a science. (When’s the last time you saw her with unintentional bedhead?) Yes, the ever-present glam squad helps, but so does her infinite beauty wisdom. Exhibit A: Her hair-washing schedule, which, if you’ve got long hair, is just so logical. “I don’t wash it every day. We start out with a blowout on day one, then we go into a messier vibe the next day, and then we flat iron it and do a really sleek look on day three since that requires a little oil in the hair,” she told Into the Gloss. “Day four could be a slicked-back ponytail, and on the fifth day is when you wash it.” Check out the full feature here if you’re curious about her skin care and makeup tricks. (You know you are.)
When we think of using makeup to look younger and more radiant, mainstays like mascara and eyeliner come to mind. But Molly Stern, the makeup guru who got Best Actress nominee Reese Witherspoon ready for Hollywood’s biggest night, took a different approach—and the results were undeniably gorgeous.
“I wanted Reese to look like she’d just come back from a relaxing vacation, even though she’s been doing so much press and so many red carpets over the past few months,” Stern told Allure.
To create a just-back-from-the-tropics glow in the dead of a particularly mean winter, she employed a combination of body bronzer, darker foundation and blush, all strategically applied not only on Witherspoon’s face, but on her arms, neck and chest to ensure a subtle, even look. Get the full how-to on Allure.com.