TULA Skincare Stopped My Breakouts

Probiotics – this is a word that I have not ever heard associated with skincare, so I was interested to learn more about how TULA skincare works.  “TULA” means balance in Sanskrit and that is the core of what the brand is about.  Have you ever taken probiotics to regulate your digestive system?  It works by promoting good bacteria in your system, helping things to work well and increase your immunity.  Why not take that concept topically to the skin?  I had to try it out.  Here is what my experience has been with several of the TULA skincare  products.

Purifying Face Cleanser $28

This cleanser has a light clean smell and is sort of a gel like consistency that I especially love for summer!  It does lather up and does not leave my skin feeling tight or dry.  This has quickly become my new favorite cleanser!

Exfoliating Treatment Mask $54

This product is pure MAGIC for the skin!  You use it 2/3 times weekly and you will see a visible difference in your skin texture and size of pores immediately after using!  The mask gives a slight cooling sensation and is very relaxing.  When you wash it off, it has small granules in it that give additional exfoliation while you rub it in and wash the mask off.  If you want a product with a “WOW” factor then this is it!  Love, love the results I see with  this mask.

Hydrating Day and Night Cream $52

This is light moisturizer with a fresh, clean scent that can be worn day and night in your skin care routine.  It does not contain any SPF so if using during the day you will need to add on an SPF.   If your skin is really dry and you prefer a thicker moisturizer then this product may not be for you.  For oily or combination skin I think it is really nice.

TULA means “balance” in Sanskrit.

Revitalizing Eye Cream $42

This product promises to rejuvenate skin around the eye and combat crepiness.  Sign me up for that!  As we get older, the skin around our eyes, which is already delicate, becomes even more delicate and thinner.  It’s so important to keep that area hydrated as the drier we are, the older we look, thanks to that crepey skin!  I like that this cream is light enough to wear under makeup.  As with all the products in this line, it has a light fresh scent that is not heavily fragranced.

Urban Defense Hydrating Mist $28

This product is a spray that can be used to refresh your face throughout the day, either for hydration or defense against pollutants.  I love to use this after the gym as it refreshes my face and resets my makeup.  The spray comes out evenly and there is only a hint of a lovely rose fragrance.  I personally don’t like overpowering fragrance in a skin mist or I will get a headache.  This product will definitely have a place in my beach bag this summer!

Overall Impressions

Within a few weeks of using these products, I noticed that I have not gotten the usual hormonal breakouts that always creep onto my chin at a certain time of month, even though I use Retin-A!  It appears that, for me, the probiotic formula in these TULA skincare products is keeping my skin balanced and clear.  I really am impressed with the effectiveness of all the products, but my favorites are the Exfoliating Mask and the Purifying Cleanser.  It’s a special thing when products really blow me away, and that is definitely the case with these products.  Have you tried this brand?  I’d love to hear how your experience has been.  Leave a comment!

 

Please note that the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

How to Follow a Good Skincare Routine

For many of us, trying to remember all the steps you need to do for the best skincare routine can be daunting and confusing.  A consistent skincare routine is very important to keep your skin healthy.   I am going to share the basic steps we should all be following and what I do for my regimen.  (You can also download a free checklist by subscribing to my email list!)  Along the way, I’m going to also share some products that I find to be highly effective!

How many products should be a part of your daily routine?

Step 1 – Cleanse

With this step, you want to be sure to remove any dirt and oil from your face so that your other treatments can absorb in the skin.   The type of cleanser you use should be based on your skin type and personal preference.  In the winter I love using Juice Beauty’s cleansing milk, but for the warmer months, I am really loving TULA’s Purifying Face Cleanser.  It has a nice consistency, is gentle and doesn’t have an overpowering fragrance!

Step 2 – Tone

This is a step that many may skip in the routine, but it is very important to tone.  The cleansers that we use change the PH of our skin to remove dirt, and the toner helps to restore that PH balance.  I love the Pixi Glow Tonic.  It has 5% glycolic acid so it has the added benefit of helping to gently exfoliate my skin.  I also like L’BRI’s Gentle Freshener.  it’s in a spray bottle so it’s quick and easy.

Step 3 – Treat

This is when I like to apply my serums.  You should choose one that is targeting an area of concern in your skin – for example, dryness, or fine lines, etc.  Serums are a thinner consistency that can penetrate deeper into the skin producing better results, which is why if this is a step you’ve been skipping, you should reconsider!  Let me also tell you that Serum does NOT equal expensive!  I found two fantastic serums that are $25 or less each!  They are both from a company called Timeless – I use the 20% C+E+Ferulic  Acid and the Matrixyl Synthe 6 serums.  I’ve seen significant results with both!  Again, you don’t need multiple serums if you don’t want, I’m a little crazy that way!

Step 4 – Moisturize

Whether your skin is dry or oily, you need to moisturize!  In the spring and summer months I like to go a little lighter with my moisturizer as I have combination skin.  I am loving the L’BRI Moisturizer with SPF 32 right now.

Step 5 – Sunscreen

If you read my recent post about SPF, then you KNOW this step is a must!  I’ve mentioned the CeraVe Face Lotion, but I’ve recently found another great SPF by Obagi.  It is tinted so it could be used as a light face coverage and also has infrared defense, in addition to the broad spectrum sun protection.

Exfoliating treatment – 2/3x per week

This is Soo important!  Think about little kids and how poreless and flawless their skin is.  This is because their skin cells are naturally turning over constantly.  As we age, that process of cell turnover gets slower and slower and…you get the point.  We need to really focus on exfoliating to manually turn those cells over.  One of my go-to product for this is Dermalogica’s Gentle Cream Exfoliant.  You leave it on your face for 10-15 minutes and wash off.  I recently tried an Exfoliating treatment mask from the brand TULA and was blown away!  You put it on the face for 5 minutes and then wash off.  My pores were so small and it gave my face a healthy, younger, fresh look!

Now, if you are not currently using a skin care regimen and want to get started, I know all these steps can sound overwhelming, but really it only takes me 5-10 minutes to apply everything to my face in the morning.  I try to store them in my medicine cabinet in the order of application so I really don’t need to think about it.  Also you can download my free checklist and hang it in your bathroom until you remember the order of everything – then it will be as easy as brushing your teeth.

Using a consistent skin care routine properly targeted for your skin type and skin goals is key to results.  Please share your current skincare routines and product favorites – I’d love to know!

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

Sunscreen 101: What you need to know

Are you ready to be in the sun this summer?

With Memorial Day upon us and the unofficial kick-off of summer, it’s important to make sure your SPF routine is summer-ready.  Not only is sunscreen key in your antiaging routine (see my anti-aging tips here), but it is also your weapon against skin cancer, which is on the rise.  Here are some facts that are concerning:

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.*
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.*
  • Also, the risk of skin cancer doubles if a person has had 5 or more sunburns in their lifetime or even one severe sunburn as a child.**

Ok, so this is pretty scary.  What do you need to know when selecting a sunscreen?  Products should have a minimum of SPF 30 and should protect against BOTH UVA and UVB rays.  If you don’t see the words “broad spectrum” on the label, then it doesn’t protect from both.  UVA rays cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, and wrinkling.  UVB rays cause sunburn.  Both are contributors to skin cancer.

UV rays pass through clouds and window glass – that is why sunscreen is a MUST every day no matter what the season or the weather!  Also, UV rays are the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm so be extra diligent during those times of day.

Knowing what to look for in a sunscreen is key to being safe in the sun!

What is physical vs. chemical sunscreen and which should I use?

OK, let me break it down.  Bottom line, you need to use sunscreen and need to find one that works well with your skin type.  Both types have pros and cons, and there isn’t any evidence that one is better than the other, as long as you are using it consistently and reapplying often.  (Remember to reapply every 2 hours – don’t forget around your eyes and lips.)

Also there is not evidence that the higher the SPF the better.  Most experts recommend using a minimum of SPF 30 up to 50 with broad spectrum protection.  Really though, anything higher than 30 does not really provide that much more protection, maybe 1-2% more than SPF 30 does.

Physical sunscreens have mineral ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and sit on top of your skin to deflect the sun’s rays.

Pros and Cons-

Physical sunscreens can be better for those with sensitive or acne prone skin; some formulas can be very thick or leave a white cast which can be a con for those with darker skin tones.  However, sunscreen products have come a long way and many are not as thick as in years past.  Another pro is that once applied the product begins working and you can go in the sun.

One product I love that is a physical sunscreen is CeraVe Face Lotion SPF 50.  It is for the face and looks great under makeup!  It also has some other good for you skin ingredients like ceramides and niacinamide, and is pretty inexpensive.  Another product I use to touch up during the day without messing up my makeup is Brush on Block.  It is powder but comes in a portable stick so it’s great to bring to work, the beach or wherever you are going!

Chemical sunscreens have ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate or avobenzone and penetrate into your skin, absorbing the UV rays, changing them to heat and then releasing that heat.

Pros and Cons-

Chemical sunscreens can be more irritating to certain skin types and also, because they penetrate into the skin, it is recommended that you wait at least 20 minutes for the product to sink in before sun exposure.

One chemical sunscreen moisturizer I love is the L’BRI Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 32.  L’BRI is an American company that uses all natural ingredients and features aloe as a main ingredient in its products.  This moisturizer feels great on my skin and leaves a natural glow.

Final thoughts

No matter what, find an SPF product that works for you and use it!  Don’t just use it when you are going to the beach, but every day.  And, don’t just apply in the morning and forget about it the rest of the day!  It needs to be reapplied every couple of hours or after you’ve sweat or gone swimming.  If you are using makeup with SPF in it, great but please don’t rely only on that for your protection.  Happy summer, everyone!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

*Cancer Facts and Figures 2017. American Cancer Society.  http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@editorial/documents/document/acspc-048738.pdf.

**Milady’s Standard Fundamentals for Estheticians 9th Edition.

5 Things to Know Before Getting a Facial

For me, getting a facial is one of the most relaxing, satisfying experiences to have!  Not only am I relaxing, but doing something good for my skin that is going to keep the signs of aging at bay!  Whether you are like me and get facials often, or have never had a facial and are thinking about getting one, read on to get my 5 tips for being prepared and getting the most out of your service!

Be prepared to answer some personal questions.  No one is trying to invade your privacy but understand that it is important for your practicioner to understand if you are pregnant, have any allergies or are taking any types of medications as sometimes this can react negatively withsome ingredients in the skincare products used during the facial.  Be sure to answer their questionnarie as accurately and thoroughly as possible to ensure you have the best facial experience possible.

Stop using retinol products 48-72 hours prior.  Every facial has an exfoliation component to it, and depending on the type you are getting some are more intense than others.  If you have just used a retinol product your skin may be too sensitive for certain types of exfoliation so let your practitioner know immediately so that the appropriate products can be used for your skin.

Leave the eye makeup at home.  As a step in every facial, the esthetician is going to cleanse your skin, removing any makeup you have on.  I know sometimes it’s difficult to go to a facial with no makeup if you are coming from work or somewhere where you need to have makeup on, but eye makeup is especially challenging to thoroughly remove during a facial.  From my experience as an esthetician giving facials to clients, I believe the time it takes to remove this detracts from the time the esthetician can be doing other parts of the facial, like the heavenly facial massage!  To ensure you are getting the most out of  your facial, I’d recommend removing your eye makeup prior to your appointment.

Aaah! Be sure you communicate with your esthetician so you can have the best experience at your appointment.

Don’t be afraid to communicate with your esthetician!   Be sure that your preferences are known about massage pressure, likes, dislikes, any issues with your skin you want to address,  etc.  Also, if you are claustrophobic, let your esthetician know.  Sometimes that towel wrap over your face can get intense so let your practicioner know so she can make the appropriate adjustments and ensure you have the best experience.  Remember this is YOUR facial and the goal is for you to have the best, most relaxing experience.  Trust me, your esthetician WANTS to have your feedback so don’t feel like you’re being mean or a diva.  What one person prefers is different for another and your practictioner is not a mind reader.  Help HER help YOU have a great appointment!

Hit the restroom before your session.  I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one.  Running down the hall of the spa with just a wrap on and product all over your face is not a relaxing experience!  Also, laying there preoccupied about having to pee only detracts from your experience, so plan ahead!  Most estheticians will ask if you need to use the restroom prior to getting started for just that reason.

So now that you have all my tips for a fantastic facial, get ready to relax and have one of the most luxurious experiences you can have!  Enjoy!

5 Ways to Transition your Skincare for Spring

As we get ready for spring, whether it’s cleaning your house top to bottom or adding new pieces to your spring wardrobe, it’s important not to forget to transition to a spring skincare regimen as well.  Our skin acts differently as the temperature and climate starts to change, so you need to be sure you are using the best products to care for your skin in the current season.

I have combination skin, so as the weather gets warmer and more humid, I start to have an oily t-zone, so I need to slightly modify some products that I am using in the colder winter months to be sure I am taking care of my skin the best that I can.  Does that mean buying all new products?  No, not at all.  Read on as I outline the specific products you should evaluate as the season changes:

#1 Cleanser – What kind of cleanser are you currently using?  If your skin tends to act dry in the winter, you may be using a milky, creamy type of cleanser.  As we transition to warmer weather, it may be time to use a foam or gel cleanser that can work to keep your skin balanced in the warmer weather when it may act more oily.  One cleanser that I’ll be transitioning to is Murad’s Time Release Acne Cleanser.

#2 Moisturizer – If you are using a moisturizer with a thicker consistency for extra moisture for dry winter skin, you may want to consider transitioning to a lighter formula for warmer, humid days.  Don’t skip moisturizer, even if you have oily skin!  I made that mistake in my teens, thinking that it was bad to add moisture when my skin was oily, but what that did was make my skin produce more oil, causing breakouts.

#3 SPF – If you’ve ready my anti-aging article, you know that SPF is a vitally important part of your skincare routine all year long.  So if you aren’t using a daily SPF, you need to start ASAP and continue using all the time.

#4 Primer – I know this is delving into makeup a little, but there are lots of primers out there that do a lot of different things, so it is important to assess this seasonally.  For example, in the winter months I use a hydrating primer to add more moisture to my dry skin.  In the spring moving into summer, with warmer more humid days, I like to use a mattifying primer to keep my skin less shiny.  One that I’ve used and enjoyed is Dr. Brandt’s “Pores No More.”

#5 Nighttime serum/lotions – Another part of your skincare routine to evaluate for the warmer seasons is your nighttime regimen.  You may want to shift from thicker moisturizers to lighter formulas, or Retin-A, as that can be drying to the skin.    With any retinol product, remember that it does make your skin more sensitive in the sun, so even more reason to be extra diligent with your SPF (see #3 above).

Summary

Everyone’s skin type is different so this is not a one-size-fits-all equation, so you may not be making the same modifications to your spring skincare regimen that I do.  However, what is important is that you evaluate how your skin behaves from season to season and take the time to make sure you are using the correct products to keep your skin in the best condition all year around!  Comment below and share what changes you make to your spring skincare routine for the spring and summer seasons.

5 things you should be doing NOW for antiaging

We are all different ages and our skin is uniquely ours, based on how we take care of it as well as our environment and heredity.  If you are like me, you want to turn back the hands of time and keep people guessing what your real age is.  No matter what condition your skin is in now, by following the following five things you WILL improve your skin’s appearance and ward off the signs of aging.  Read on to see what they are…

# 1     Drink a lot of water  – This may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your skin hydrated inside and out is a sure way to keep yourself looking younger and glowing.  Remember, our skin is the largest organ of our body, so it is important to take care of it!  This also includes getting enough rest and eating a healthy diet as the healthier you are, the better your skin will look.  From a product perspective, be sure to use Hyaluronic Acid.  I mentioned the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in my Best Winter Products article but the same applies here. Hydrated skin looks plumper and younger and it is important to be hydrated both inside and out.  If you aren’t already, be sure this ingredient is incorporated into your skincare routine!

Get out and enjoy nature – but don’t forget the sunscreen.

#2     Use Sunscreen – This is another thing that so many of us neglect in our daily activities.  Trust me,  sunscreen is not just for summer!  It should be applied year-round before going outside.  We don’t think about it, but there are so many free radicals in our environment that all work to break down the elasticity of our skin.  Harmful UV rays fall into this category.  Sunscreen is your “force field” to make it difficult for these environmental toxins to gain access to our skin.

Tretinoin cream is another name for Retin-A. It comes in varying strengths. This is the lowest.

#3     Vitamin A is your friend – There is so much information on so many skincare products out there that it can be overwhelming to know what to use.  I’m sure you’ve heard of retinol, which is essentially Vitamin A.  Retinols need to be a part of your routine to anti-age!  If you are new to Retinols, I’d start with any over the counter retinol cream and slowly integrate it into your routine.  Most store-bought creams are mild but everyone’s skin reacts differently.  Basically what this will do is help with your cell turnover (which slows down as we age) leaving us with smoother, glowing skin.  If you are in your 30s or 40s you should get Retin-A (also commonly known as Tretinoin) which is a much stronger dosage (about 10X stronger than retinoids). Typically you need a prescription for this but there are some online places you can order it.   Another benefit is that this treatment also clears acne!  Use sparingly until your skin is used to it, and be sure to be extra diligent about sunscreen when you are using any of these vitamin A products as they increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun.  NOTE:  If you are pregnant or nursing you should NOT use these products!

#4-     Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! – You could be using all the best products for your skin, but if you are not exfoliating, or removing the dead layers of skin from its surface, none of your products will penetrate fully or be as effective.  So maximize all your skincare products by exfoliating at least 2/3 times per week.  You can use products that can manually exfoliate or some that have mild acids in it to melt off those layers.  I like Dermologica’s Gentle Cream Exfoliant.

#5-     Don’t forget your neck and hands– In our quest to keep our skin looking younger we all tend to focus the most attention on our faces; after all, that is the first thing we see on each other!  However, as you are applying products to your face don’t forget to also apply to the neck and even the decollete area.  Nothing is worse than having our necks betray our true age when we’ve worked so hard to keep our face looking young.  Be sure to give your hands some TLC also to keep yourself looking young in all the right places.  I made this mistake and wish I could get back those years, but now I apply my products on the neck and back of the hands to fully reach all the key areas that begin to show our age.

SUMMARY

So how many of the tips above are you already doing?  Following these steps are relatively inexpensive and can save you in the long run of possible cosmetic procedures to turn back the hands of time.  The sooner you start putting these tips into practice the better prepared you will be to hold off on those lines and wrinkles. Happy anti-aging!