A Mask A Day...

My favorite part of my skincare routine is masking. It's fun, gives instant results, and makes a very forgiving selfie. When I heard L'Oreal was making 3 new clay based masks, I said oh hell yeah, sign me up! I mean, at $13 each, buying all 3 is still cheaper than any of my other masks. I tested them all out for you and have been pleasantly surprised.

As soon as I saw they were out, I checked out the ingredients online and was so happy to see they didn't have titanium dioxide. TD is the most widely used mineral sunscreen, and is also used to make skincare products have a white colour. When used in masks it doesn't do a damn thing except act as a cheap filler. As much as I love my inexpensive Korean brands, so many of them use it, probably why I haven't found a Korean clay mask I love.

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Purify & Mattify Treatment Mask - Designed to unclog pores and keep this shine free, this green mask contain 3 clays to draw out impurities and eucalyptus to soothe skin.  Out of the 3 masks this was my least favorite.  Did I notice a big different? No. Will I try it again? Definitely, but it will have to go back to the end of my mask queue.

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Detox & Brightening Mask - After reading the ingredients on all the masks, this mask contains the highest concentrate of the 3 clays.  Charcoal gives this mask it's jet black colour and pulls out dirt and impurities leaving skin super smooth.  This is my favorite of the 3 masks, my face looked super bright and felt hella fresh, my pores were noticeably clearer.  I think I only left it on for 10min, next time I'll leave it on for 15-20.  Great to use before a night out or to recover from a long night out.

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Exfoliate & Refining Treatment Mask - Again we have the 3 clays, Kaolin, Moroccan Lava Clay, and Montmorillonite plus Red Algae to refine.  This mask has more of a grit to it than the other masks, provided by Apricot Seed Powder.  After its dried on the skin 10-15min, splash the face with water and massage to get extra exfoliation.  A great alternative to traditional scrubs, who doesn't love a multi-tasker??

For drugstore masks, even compared to high end masks, these are definitely great products, a total win for L'Oreal.  I'm hoping that they do well and L'Oreal continues to grow their masking category, I'll be the first in line to grab the next ones.  Which is your favorite?

8 Bad Skin Habits

In my 15 years in the Cosmetics industry I've seen it all, the bad habits people have that don't know any better and the bad habits that they keep on doing even though they know they're bad.  Most the bad habits are ones I've personally had and over the years and regretted, but seen results from quitting.  Here are a few things that you should and shouldn't be doing

1.     I Don’t Wash My Face At Night
Oh you thought sleeping with a full face of makeup on was good for your skin?  So did Paris Hilton in her book Confessions of an Heiress, but I highly doubt she still is 11 years later.  I can't tell you how many girls sit in my chair, I'm removing their 17 layers of built up mascara and lash glue and all their lashes are falling out.  "Why do my lashes keep falling out"...  Um...  Well princess, the tar from your waterproof mascara and the lash glue you keep re-applying are clogging the hair follicles, making the hairs weak, and they're falling out.  Remove it every night.  Oh and those layers of foundation and colour you're wearing all day?  Pollution from the environment sits on top of their and when you sleep with it on, it all absorbs into your skin, leaving the skin red, blemish prone, and blotchy looking.  Even if you're not wearing makeup, remember that everywhere you've been during the day, a little bit of that is left on your face.  For those oh so lazy, buy some wipes (Ole Henrikson Makeup Removing Wipes are great and remove waterproof makeup) leave them by your bed and wipe away your sins before bed.

2.     I Don’t Use Eye Cream

So you wear eye makeup, tug and pull at the eyes applying and removing it eh?  Well that’s aging your eyes.  The skin around the eyes is super thin, which means it will age faster than the rest of your skin with no fat or collagen under it to make it look plump. I started using eye cream at 15, because I’m pretty neurotic about these things, but I recommend anyone over the age of 18 use an eye cream for preventative measures, day and night to help keep the skin hydrated and soft.   Try Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream is a good starter

3.     I Go Tanning

 Oh how I took advantage of my unlimited tanning membership at 23

Oh how I took advantage of my unlimited tanning membership at 23

We all know better than to go to tanning beds, but I know, they feel like happiness and dreams, I had a tanning membership off and on from ages 16-26 and I’m fully paying for it now.  In our younger years we don’t think about the consequences, but so maybe of out parents can attest to the fact that sun damage doesn’t rear its ugly face until much further down the road.  You may love that deep brown skin now, but the deep brown sunspots will be an evil reminder in 20 years.  Now I love the beach, and will not stop going out in the sun all summer, there are “safe” ways to tan, use sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours.  The quicker you burn without sunscreen, the high the sunscreen you should be wearing.  I have medium olive skin, and don’t really burn, so I start my summer off with SPF30 on my face and SPF15 on my body, as the summer goes on I move to SPF15 Face and SPF6 body (Lancaster Sun Tan Deepener SPF6 is my JAM).  Am I still getting some sun damage?  Of course, but Istvan likes his colour and will burn off the sun damage with lasers and retinoids all winter.

4.     I Don’t Wear Sunscreen

Did you know you get more sun damage in your daily activities than laying out by the pool all day?  When you’re in the sun for an extended period of time your skin puts up its natural defenses giving you some natural protection (especially if you have a good amount of Omegas in your diet), but intermittent sun exposure causes the skin to only take in the bad.  I recommend wearing an SPF30 daily.  Now I am definitely a culprit of this bad habit, at 12 years old I would wash, tone, and moisturize w/ SPF15 every day, as an adult I NEVER wore sunscreen.  Only until about 2 years ago did I start using a sunscreen regularly, and its made the biggest difference in my skin.  I hate the texture of most suncreens, they either burn or make my skin itch like fire ants are crawling all over.  Experiment, see which works better for you skin either mineral or chemical or a combo of both.  Mineral sunscreens reflect light (Titanium and Zinc) and last longer, but sometimes the small particles can irritate the skin.  Chemical sunscreens (Those crazy names you can’t pronounce) absorb light so it doesn’t hit your skin, and lose potency after 2 hours.  My skin reacts best with a combo heavy on the chemical side, I love the Tony Moly My Sunny Watery Sun Gel SPF30, it feels like water that goes on and disappears.

5.     I Don’t Moisturize

I can’t tell you how many people I have told me “Oh I have oily skin, I don’t need to moisturize” um yeah you do.  Remember me talking about all the pollutants in the air?  They all sit on your skin throughout the day causing free radical damage, aging, acne, redness, and irritation, basically jacking up your skin.  If you balance out your oily skin by adding a little water based moisture (Dr Jart+ Water-Sure Gel is great) it won’t produce so much oil and your skin will feel balanced.  I’ve also heard a lot of people saying nothing has worked for them and they’re using coconut oil as their moisturizer, all the people who have said this to me have the worst black heads I’ve ever seen, like black black black blackheads, its gross.  If you’re going to use coconut oil, don’t skimp; buy that $30 bottle from Whole Foods.

6.     I Eat Like Crap

When I was 19 I moved out on my own, and like every child on their own I ate exactly how I wanted, McDonalds, Pizza Rolls w/ Ranch, and Haagen-Dazs.  Now I did know to get a bottled water with my McDonalds order, I quit soda at 15 and the small amount of acne I had immediately went away.  The saying “You are what you eat” does have a lot of merit.  A diet rich in Omegas (salmon), Good Fats (olive oil, avocado), lots of water, and Anti-Oxidants (think of eating an entire rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables) helps keep your body happy and your skin glowing from within.  I completely understand that this isn’t so easy to do every day, especially if you travel a lot and have a busy schedule.  I make sure to get all my missed nutrients in pill form, having a mother who’s a Naturopathic Doctor has definitely helped with this!  I take vitamins, omegas, an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity aka anti-oxidants), minerals, herbal supplements, and probiotics every day to keep my health up and my skin refreshed.  If you’re interested in a supplement regime I’m more than happy to help you out, shoot me an email at ihrichak1@gmail.com or visit my Natures Sunshine page to scout out the supplement brand I’ve been taking for almost 20 years.

7.     I Don’t Exfoliate

You can have the most expensive face cream in the world, but if you have a bunch of dead skin piling up, the moisturizer won’t make it past the first layer of your skin.  It’s important to sloth off those dead layer 2-3 times a week, this stimulates the skin and reveals a brighter more radiant complexion, and also allows for your products to work so much better!  I’m personally a fan of enzymatic and chemical exfoliates vs. a physical/granular exfoliatant.  The Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel is my favorite exfoliator, the $60 bottle will last at least a year, I had a bottle for 2 years once, I swear it replenishes itself.

8.     I Don’t Get Facial

Sometimes all the steps you’re doing at home just don’t cut it and you need to boost up your routine.  A visit to the estheticians office can help you get your skincare routine back on track!  I love to go get a facial massage, chemical peel, and micro current facials.  These are great supplements to your routine, if you can afford them, go once a month, if its something you can’t do all the time, save up and go twice a year, your skin will thank you. 

If you’re in SoCal go visit my girlfriend Jessica at Definitions Salon and Spa 951-371-3410 she’s taught me so much about skincare and tools I can’t even begin to explain

If you’re in the DC Area, my girlfriend Laura at Green Revolution Skin Studio 301-656-2000 will hook your skin up with the best natural and organic products out there

9.     I Overdraw My Lip Liner

So this doesn’t have to do with skincare, it’s just a faux pas that annoys the shit out of me.  When you overdraw your lip liner the only person you’re fooling is yourself, save some time (and embarrassment) and go get some filler.

 

Body Beautiful

While we take such great care of the skin on our face, often times we neglect the rest of the skin on our body.  Nothing worse than face 25 body 55, you know what I mean, smooth tight face, and a sun damaged, wrinkly decollete, or a dull dry looking tummy.  These are the fears that keep me up late at night.  I extend most of my skincare (and definitely sunscreen) down my chest, but I always worry that while I exercise regularly, the skin on my body will start to age.  Here's a few body products I'm currently obsessed with that keep my skin soft and supple.

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If you're a product junkie, chances are you've used Kate Sommerville's Exfolikate, I recently discovered she makes a body version!  I've been looking for a product like this for a LONG time, and nothing else has come close.  This body scrub contains some amazing exfoliating and refining ingredients such as Lactic and Glycolic acids, Papaya and Pumpkin Enzymes, exfoliating beads, plus Vitamin E to hydrate, and Caffeine to tighten the skin.  I've been using this twice a week for a few weeks now and I'm totally hooked.  Use after cleansing, while still in the shower, scrub all over the body (don't use on your face) and leave for 2 minutes.  The steam from the shower helps activate the enzymes for deeper exfoliation.  This has really smoothed out the texture of my skin and my body moisturizers absorb so much better.  Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Body 4.5/5 Stars (only cause the beads can be a little difficult to wash off) $65.

I've been following Bisou Beauty Bar on Instagram for a little while now, and she always gets some of the coolest products from the newest brands!  On my most recent purchased, I picked up the Illi Total Aging Care Body Oil, and I'm super obsessed.  It has the most beautiful smell (which disappears after applying) and such a soft lightweight texture that moisturizes without feeling greasy.  It contains Ginseng, Green Tea, and Camellia Oil which are anti-inflammatory and offer free radical protection.  Illi is a division of the Amore Pacific Group that focuses mostly on body products (thought I tried their sheet masks and wow, definitely a new favorite) I've noticed the skin on my stomach looking smoother and tighter, and all the skin on my body absolutely glowing.  Apply as a last step before leaving the shower, while skin is still wet, it absorbs best that way. Illi Total Aging Care Body Oil 5/5 Stars $22.56 (its cheaper on Bisou than all the other sites I've checked as well!)

When it comes to cleansing I love me a good bar soap.  The Zum bar soaps are one of my favorites, made with hydrating Goats Milks, natural oils, and no sulfates, this bar cleanses while leaving skin hydrated and lightly fragranced.  Since I'm a total hippie, I love the Patchouli soup, even when I don't wear cologne I get compliments on how I smell.  Zum Bar Goats Milk Soap Patchouli 5/5 Stars $5.35