Tuesday, May 31, 2016

# 4 All Star Ingredient: Retinol


"Retinol is the master of surface renewal, " says dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD. "And if skin is soft and smooth and has no imperfections, it will reflect light better and look more radiant." A derivative of Vitamin A, studies show retinol helps minimize lines, wrinkles and age spots from both environmental and congenital aging. And it helps minimize pore size and blemishes, which are often unfortunate companions of problematic skin. It's like the duct tape of skin care. Since retinol works through receptors on the cell surface that speed up the cellular renewal cycle it can be irritating. New oil based formulations buffer the retinol with botanicals and moisturizing lipids.

Friday, May 27, 2016

#3 Important Ingredient in skin care: Squalene


We are born with this ultra-moisturising component, it's a natural part and parcel of human skin. Present in the 2nd layer of our dermis in and around the sebum it is the secret to baby's and young children's dewy skin. But alas it diminishes with aging and most of it has dematerialized by age 20. Do not fret, after age 20 it may be replenished topically.

  Squalane (with an A) was originally harvested (unfortunately) by hunting sharks and expressing the oil from their liver. Scientists have now been able to extract squalane from other sources, such as sugarcane and olive trees. But squalane is not stable enough to endure "the shelf life" of most skin care products. Squalene (with an E) is a much more stable form extracted from squalane. Squalene is an odorless, colorless and enduring version. In addition to squalane/squalene's ability to replenish our intrinsic hydration, it is a transport agent and easily accepted by the skin due to it's similarity to sebum. So any other added ingredients are driven deeper into the skin. And like most oils, it can be used on anything from your head to your toes.

Try EltaMD's Barrier Renewal Complex chock full of squalene to renew your baby soft skin.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

# 2 Must Have Ingredient, Vitamin C


 "I think vitamin C is maybe the number-one, top antiaging ingredient of all time , " says Dr. Dennis Gross, MD. " It's the only ingredient that both directly stimulates fibroblast cells to make collagen and protects the collagen you already have by acting as an antioxidant ." 

   Vitamin C has become a champion brightener also via it's melanin-disrupting qualities. Historically vitamin C has been difficult to harness, due to it's easy deactivation by exposure to light and air, but the newest formulations piggyback the C in an oil base. Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD has been studying vitamin C since the 80's and states that " with a fat-soluble vitamin C, we can go to all parts of the cell, including the plasma membrane-the most vulnerable part of the cell-and the mitochondria. We can also get much higher levels of vitamin C very quickly into the skin, providing a therapeutic environment for anti-inflammatory activity and building collagen and elastin."

    And don't forget it's DNA damage protection from UV rays when applied before sunscreen. A hint: do not mix C with alpha hydroxy acids, they will change the pH and render the C inactive. Check out our list of some of the best vitamin C's on the market.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

#1 Must Skincare Ingredients

Hurray For The Six ALL STAR Ingredients That The Experts Agree Actually Work....and every Gal needs on her bathroom shelf.
1. Niacinamide :
A form of vitamin B3 Niacinamide is now observed as a multifaceted antiager. " We initially used niacinamide for its moisturizing and moisture barrier-building properties, but we now know that it's a direct precursor to the coenzymes that drive fundamental cell metabolism ", says scientist Frauke Neuser, PhD. " That means that when you add niacinamide to older skin cells they up their energy levels and produce more collagen acting like they did when they were young ".
Additional information is cited by dermatologist Kavita Maruvaille, MD.  Niacinamide has been proven to " increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels and improve microcirculation in the skin ". This ingredient also advances cell turnover, bridles hyperpigmentation and is anti-inflammatory because it combats redness. And as Neuser aptly states, " it really is an amazing ingredient ". Try EltaMD's AM and PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer to experience 2 of Miss Violet's picks for niacinamide rich products. Use EltaMD UV Clear for an additional niacinamide boost with your sunscreen.

Monday, May 23, 2016


Chemical based sunscreens absorb into the skin and absorb UV rays, Physical based sunscreens stay on the skin's surface and reflect UV rays. Chemical Sunscreens need to be rubbed in like a lotion 15-20 minutes prior to exposure. A combination of 2-6 active ingredients are found in Chemical Sunscreens: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octesalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. If opting for a Chemical Sunscreen avoid those with oxybenzone, which is rated an 8 out of 10 on the hazard score by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) based on skin penetration, hormone disruption and allergic reactions. Better to choose a 3% avobenzone which is rated a 2 out of 10 by the EWG, the same rating as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Physical Sunscreens are to be applied in a thin layer and not rubbed in. The active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide reflect the sun's rays like a mirror. Zinc oxide delivers the best UVA/UVB broad spectrum coverage and does not break down as readily in the sun, offering longer protection. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide tend to appear white and chalky on the skin, Geisha-like, but the new micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are almost clear.
Don't be fooled by SPF's, anything over 50 is just a higher % of chemicals you may want to avoid. Plus SPF indicates protection from UVB rays only and not the more threatening UVA or aging and deeper penetrating rays. Remember sunscreens can protect us from sunburns, but not necessarily from skin cancer. Some studies have shown a reduction in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), but not in other genres of cancer, such as melanoma.
Sunscreens are now labeled as water-resistant in lieu of waterproof. When you see the word "Sports" on sunscreen labels it usually means the sunscreen will stay on wet skin for 40 minutes (water-resistant) or 80 minutes (very water-resistant). Chemical sunscreens, unlike mineral, are water and or sweat resistant and are better for a day at the beach or outdoor sports. Therefore re-apply, re-apply and re-apply. Did I mention re-apply ?  If wearing makeup and you don't want to start all over for re-application try a mineral powder such as Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush in SPF 30 or 50. And another tip to avoid the Geisha look when at the beach or at bootcamp try layering a tinted physical sunscreen over a chemical.
Cheers, Miss Violet