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Editor’s Note – October, 2013


“Breaking Bad” Beauty Habits!

Recently, I came across an article discussing common bad habits relating to beauty.  I started mulling over the bad beauty habits I was guilty of and how I was able to break them.  In no particular order, here are a few examples and helpful hints for breaking bad beauty habits!

1. Nail Biting
I was a constant nail biter as a child.  It was a nervous habit and I remember family members constantly pleading with me to stop.  There are a couple of reasons to consider breaking this habit.  First, it is not healthy for the growth of your nails and cuticles.  I experienced more hang nails, splitting, and pain from short, bitten nails.  Also, nail biting puts strain on your front teeth and exposes your mouth to all sorts of yucky bacteria your digits pick up throughout the day.

It was not until I was either in junior high or high school when I was able to break this habit.  I attribute stopping to maturing or “growing out of it” (actually, I probably picked up another habit along the way, but that’s an entirely different matter) and I was also able to stop because I became enamored with enamel!  I realized how short and stubby my gnawed-on nails looked with polish, and it was difficult to paint them because i was always getting polish on the skin below my nail bed.  As my nails started to grow and became stronger, I started receiving compliments, which of course felt great.  To this day, I still receive compliments on my polish color choices and how healthy my bare nails look.

Choosing nail polish colors you love and making it a point to always have your nails lacquered is one way to stop biting them.  You may need to start out painting your nails every few days, or even every day, until you can break your habit.  Pick long-wearing or chip-resistant formulas to keep your nails looking lovely as long as possible.  You can also reward yourself with a professional manicure for every passing week in which you do not bite your nails.  Who wants to ruin a perfectly manicured nail?  I never tried this, but using a bitter or foul-tasting nail treatment will help keep your nails out of your mouth.

2. Sleeping with Makeup on
I was never a frequent offender of this habit, but I did it enough times and feel it is one worth mentioning.  There have been nights, particularly after an event, when I felt too tired to take off my makeup.  I would get home, slip into a deep slumber, and fail to remember the damage I was doing to my skin.  I would awaken the next morning with stinging eyes and one or two new whiteheads.

You might not realize how much you move around in your sleep.  With each toss or turn you push your face against your pillow, moving your makeup around, and causing it to get in your eyes and clog your pores.  Not cleansing your face at night compromises your skin’s ability to fully breath, heal, and generate cell growth.

In my early twenties I realized the importance of developing a skin care routine-better late than never!  Simple cleansing was not enough for my blemish-prone skin with moderate rosacea.  As I discovered what worked for my skin, I started thinking of my nightly routine as a mini spa session-gently massaging each product into my skin and releasing any tension I felt in my face and neck.  It also helped to remove my makeup and wash my face as soon as I got home from work or school in the evening.  That seems to be the best way to break this habit-take it all off as soon as you get home.  By doing so, you reduce the risk of feeling too tired to do it after cooking and chores.  

3. Not Wearing Sunscreen Everyday
It was not until recently that companies started creating elegantly formulated sunscreens with luxurious textures that absorb quickly and dry down to a matte finish.  I am a child of the 80’s, an era in which sunscreens were thick, pasty-white, goop that felt slick and greasy.  I loathed wearing sunscreen and often felt suffocated.  I have extremely fair skin (I start to burn within five to ten minutes), so naturally my parents did everything they could to protect me from the sun and, of course, applying sunscreen was a constant battle.

In high school, I experienced the worst sun burn of my life-blisters, peeling, and pain!  I had to learn the hard way, but from then on I stayed out of the sun during peak hours, wore a hat, and lathered on the sunscreen.

Even though I am in my late twenties and am diligent about protecting myself, I can already see slight sun damage on my skin in the form of a few fine lines and spots.  To ensure protection, my moisturizer, foundation, and setting powder all contain broad spectrum sun protection.  I do not like applying thick layers of products, so having an SPF in all the products I apply to my face guarantees I am protecting myself.  On days when I do not wear makeup and am just running errands, I still apply sunscreen.  Windows do not contain UV filters, and even tinted windows do not block all UV rays, which means you are exposing yourself to harmful rays just driving around town.  If you do not wear much makeup, choose a lightweight moisturizer (a tinted moisturizer is ideal) with at least an SPF of 20.

Which bad beauty habits do you struggle with and wish to break?  It has been said it takes 21 days to break a habit, so this month I encourage you to work on breaking a bad habit, or perhaps creating a new, healthy, beauty habit.


P.S.-Yes, I am a major fan of Breaking Bad!  I was sad to see it end, but was quite satisfied with how things were resolved.  I created the image for this post using the “Name Maker-Breaking Bad” app.

Editor’s Note – June, 2013 (Sun Care 101 – Part 1)


Photo By D. Baker

Sun Care 101 – Part 1

With summer just around the corner, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of protecting your skin from the sun.  Yes, this needs to be practiced regardless of the time of year, but since we are often directly exposed to the sun’s harmful rays during warmer weather, adequate protection is crucial.  Any good dermatologist or plastic surgeon will tell you the key to preventing wrinkles, and other signs of aging, is protecting your skin from the sun.  In the long-run, this prevention will save you time, money, and the agony of some cosmetic procedures to reduce damage.

Over the next few weeks I will unleash a series of posts answering some of your burning questions.  My goal is to clear up the confusion regarding how to choose the right sunscreen for your skin tone and type, which Active Ingredients to look for, using sunscreen with makeup/skin care, and I will provide other tips on how to protect your delicate skin.

Unprotected skin starts to become damaged the moment you step outside, so I want to open this series by explaining the difference between UVA and UVB rays.

Ultraviolet A rays, also known as long-waves and the rays responsible for aging skin, are silent killers!  They are separated into two wavelength ranges: UVA 1 (340-400 nanometers) and UVA 2 (320-340 nanometers).  UVA 1 rays penetrate deeper than UVA 2 rays (this information will be more relevant when I discuss sunscreen ingredients).  These rays deeply penetrate skin, causing cumulative damage over time and, unfortunately, we do not feel them.  They do not burn skin the way UVB rays do.  However, they cause skin cancer, wrinkles, and can weaken the immune system.  UVA rays penetrate through clear glass, tan the skin, and are the ultraviolet rays primarily used in tanning beds.  It was not until recently that researchers realized the harm UVA rays cause.

Ultraviolet B rays, also known as short-waves, are responsible for burning the epidermis.  Although these rays are omnipresent, their intensity is dependant upon the time of day (they are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM) and the season (they are most harmful during spring and summer).  High altitudes and reflective surfaces such as water, light concrete, and snow can bounce UVB rays up to 80%, which means your skin receives a double dose of these rays.  Similar to UVA rays, UVB rays cause skin cancer and wrinkles.  Unlike UVA rays, UVB rays generally do not penetrate through clear glass.

It is important to not be fooled by cloudy or rainy days, as all ultraviolet rays penetrate clouds and damage skin even when the sun is not shining.

What are some questions you have regarding sun care?  I would be more than happy to answer them for you.

Stay tuned for Sun Care 101 – Part 2.


For more information on how to protect yourself, visit:

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