Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Honey for Blemishes

I talked about washing your face with honey in the last post, but I didn't get into my favorite aspect of honey on your face. It is fantastic on blemishes!

We all know that picking at your zits is bad, and yet we all find ourselves doing it anyway. The next time you find yourself going at your face (and let’s be honest, feeling pretty guilty), put a little honey on it! I find that if I dab some honey on right after, it speeds up the healing time of my blemishes, prevents scabbing and scarring, and helps my skin to heal better. The best part is that because it heals much more flat and less scabby, I can easily cover up with makeup. I’m sure you've experienced how annoying it is trying to cover a dry, scabby spot.

This trick works as a spot treatment on any kind of pimple, and is seriously effective, even on the ones you haven’t stupidly tried to pop. It’s best to use at night, since the honey will leave your skin sticky. You can cover the spot with a band-aid or leave it bare—I usually don’t bother to cover it and that works just fine. I've also let it dry a bit and then put some foundation or concealer over it, and that works,too.

This is one of my favorite spot treatments, so try it out and let me know what you think! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Soak and Float Review

This shampoo makes your shower smell like a campfire. And not like you’re having a good time making s’mores and singing songs under the night sky, but like there’s a freaking forest fire in your house. My mom once checked the kitchen to make sure she didn’t leave the stove on. I personally don’t mind it, but I know some people cannot stand it. It’s not supposed to linger in the hair, but I’ve had the bf hug me and comment on my camp fire once or twice. I don’t use conditioner anywhere near my scalp/roots, so I’m guessing that’s why it doesn’t get completely masked by it. Ok, but why did I buy this smokin’ shampoo?

lush solid shampoo soak and float
Image from Lush USA website

 According to Lush: 
 A rather pungent shampoo bar, Soak and Float is incredibly effective at fighting flakes and dry scalps. Cade oil is what gives Soak and Float its distinctive smell, and works wonders against the microbes that cause dandruff, and it also works to alleviate bothered scalps that are dry and itchy. Lavender oil helps to improve the smell, and works its magic with marigold petals to soothe and clear up dry and irritated scalps. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nighttime Skincare Routine

Skincare is kind of a big deal for us Pore Girls.  It makes up about 50% of our conversations on gchat.  We spend a lot of time reading about ingredients and sending each other articles.  The following is the routine I've been using for about 4 months.  It's been working for me in that I don't have crazy break outs but I actually wouldn't call it my holy grail. 

First, my skin type:
  • Acne-prone. This past year has been a hell of cystic acne that I have never had before. They are turning into dark spots and scars because I pick at them (don't pick!).
  • Combination leaning mostly towards oily. I have dry peeling patches around my big blemishes.
  • I also get eczema/roscea type of stuff around my lips and eye creases.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Honey on Your Face

We Pore Girls are big fans of Crunchy Betty, and one of the best things I’ve gotten out of her blog is washing my face with honey. Really? You might ask. Honey?

YES. Honey is an amazing and gentle face wash for any skin type. It is healing, slightly drying to get rid of excess oil, but also moisturizing since it's a humectant (meaning it draws moisture from the air into your skin). It is also naturally antibacterial and great for combating blemishes. And it rinses away completely with a little lukewarm water. Basically, it’s kind of magical. I like to use it in the morning to wash my face, since it doesn’t wash away makeup. But if your face is bare, you can use it whenever you like—remember it’s generally best not to wash your face more than twice a day.

If you decide to give honey on your face a go, try to find raw and organic honey, preferably from a local source. You can use more conventional honey of course, but processing tends to get rid of some of its beneficial and antibacterial properties. And if you use an unstrained kind with little fragments in it, it will also add some exfoliating action to your skin. The honey in the photo is in a glass jar but I just pour some out into a squeeze tube for easier access.

I have oily combination skin and honey leaves my face feeling clean but not tight, soft, and glowy. It’s ideal for any skin type, and is especially great for sensitive and acne-prone skin since it is so gentle.  Just rub a quarter-size drop into your face (dry or slightly damp) and rinse away. It can also be left on for 5-10 minutes as a mask. And chances are you already have some in your pantry, so do yourself a favor and put some honey on your face!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Skin 101: How Your Skin Works

 So, before I get into what you can do for your skin, I want to give you a quick run-down of how your skin actually works.  Knowing how it works, and what skin type you have, is essential in figuring out what your skin needs.

When your pores work correctly, they allow just enough sebum (your skin’s natural oil) through to spread across your face and lubricate your skin, acting as a barrier to seal in moisture and keep it healthy. This happens for those lucky people with normal skin and small, even pores.

There are two main reasons that this can go wrong: over-production of sebum, and rapid shedding of dead skin cells. When your skin cells shed too rapidly, they can get clogged in your pores instead of getting pushed out as they should. Some people with very oily skin actually produce sebum that is extra sticky. (Hormones have a big role in causing oily skin.) When these two problems combine, the dead skin cells mix with oil and dirt to create a sebum plug, which is what causes clogged pores, also known as comedones.

When a comedone has an opening exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns black—that’s a blackhead! When the comedone stays under the skin with no opening, it’s a whitehead. And when a comedone becomes infected and inflamed, it becomes a pimple. Cystic acne happens a bit differently and is more difficult to treat. The oil-producing glands actually rupture deep under the skin and cause major inflammation and infection. Each of these types of acne and blemishes require different treatments, which I’ll cover in future posts.

There’s nothing you can do to change the skin you’re born with, it’s mostly up to genetics whether you are normal, dry, oily, combination, acne-prone, or sensitive. And you can be pretty much any combination of those!  But there are some things you can do to help your skin stay healthy and clear, especially once you’ve targeted your specific skin concerns. Believe me, it took some serious trial-and-error to figure out what my skin needs, and I’m still learning!

So, now you know the basics. I’ll be doing some more in-depth posts on each skin type, some of my favorite products, and how to give any skin a healthy glow. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Foundation

I am on an endless mission to find the perfect foundation.  What is perfect? Oh you know, medium to full coverage (buildable), matches my skintone, doesn’t look cakey, doesn’t oxidize, lasts at least 8 hours, and mattifies my oily face.  I don’t ask for a lot right?

tarte amazonian clay full coverage foundation

Revlon ColorStay in the oily/combination formulation has been the closest I have gotten to this goal.  The problem is I can never find the right shade.  My latest one is too dark because I bought it during the summer when I had a “tan”.  And it oxidizes.  I look like I got an orange spray tan.  Recently I went searching and swatching and came across Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12hr Foundation. The $38 dollar tag versus my trusty ColorStay’s $9.99 kept me away, but around the same time Sephora sent a $15 gift card to Beauty Insiders. This was destiny’s way of telling me it was time.

Tarte’s website claims the following

Product Performance: Achieve flawless skin that looks healthy and natural. This supremely blendable, buildable and full coverage formula delivers up to 12 hours of satin-matte coverage with a weightless texture. Reduce the appearance of pores, discolorations and imperfections and ensure a perfectly flawless complexion every time with this best seller.
Powered By: Amazonian clay: This nutrient-rich, multitasking and total-skin-balancing clay reduces dryness and flakiness, improves skin clarity, elasticity, firmness, and texture while removing oil from the skin's surface for smooth application and wear
Formulated without: Parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic fragrance

Let’s look at the keywords in that paragraph:
  • looks natural
  • buildable
  • full coverage
  • 12 hours
  • satin-matte
  • reduces appearance of pores
If we were playing bingo with my opening paragraph, well, BINGO!  Off to Sephora I go!  After some awesome help from the girl working there, we picked up Light Medium.  I probably should have gotten medium since this has pink undertones but I can make it work. This foundation comes in 8 shades.  Packaging is a brown squeeze tube with a hella cute “wood” cap wide enough to stand.  You don’t have to touch the product or waste any by pouring.  Just squeeze a bit and go. Yay for good packaging!

So does it live up to those claims?