Remove Halloween Makeup and Avoid Scary Pimples

Your candy bag is full, your feet are tired and maybe you had a few too many BOO-tini’s. BUT everyone loved your zombie or clown or flapper costume and the makeup really completed the look! However, you can’t go to sleep because you still have some fake blood dripping from your eyeballs. I know you’re “dead” tired. (sorry, I couldn’t resist.) SO. Removing all that junk doesn’t have to be difficult and you can do with little to no mess.

It will be a quick, at-home facial that will cleanse and refresh your skin.

Once you do get home, grab a clean, fresh towel, dampen it and throw it in the microwave for a minute or so. You don’t need it so MELT your face, Halloween is over. But get it warm enough to be relaxing and effective. You can rub in a few drops of essential oil if you want an extra added stress-buster.

Once your pores are steamed open, you’re going to begin the cleansing. Lukewarm water will get it going, I would suggest a clay cleanser for this step. Slow circle motions will massage that cleanser in, be careful not to scrub. There are a few layers of gunk so you a slow process is ideal. Concentrate on the most heavily made up areas of your face, as these will be the hot spots for extra oiliness and pimples.

You will need another warm towel for your clean face. You can take a load off, and relax with the steamy towel. About one to three minutes will get your pores open and loosen any left behind makeup, getting and ready for round two.

Again you will gently cleanse your skin, if you require more of the clay cleanser, use that. If you want something different, you could use a foaming cleanser or something with a good liquid base. This decision will be based on how much makeup is left.

Rinse well with lukewarm water. Depending on how much is left, you could be doing the towel-cleanse routine for another step. You can use your best judgment. Once your face is naked, you will pat it dry. After this, hit it with your toner. Take a second to have a few Starburst. Then rub on your expensive repair lotion (the one you don’t use enough) or facial moisturizer for some TLC. Your skin shouldn’t be raw at this point, it should feel clean and fresh. I would advise some deluxe night repair eye cream, but your everyday is ok, as well.

Sleep tight my little ghosts and goblins–at least you don’t have to wear this much makeup all year round!





Before you Haunt…Pre Halloween Skin Care

Halloween is but a few days away…in addition to finding the best bits and pieces for your costume, you should be considering the type of makeup you will be using. If you are going all out, meaning fake blood, corpse paint, etc, you are no doubt considering the toll taken on your skin. Breakouts are common, in fact, I can almost FEEL the pimples forming when I have a full face of makeup. (shudder)

Before you haunt…

If you already bought your grease paint, pancake, whatever, check it to make sure it is non-comedogenic. This means that it won’t clog your already angry pores. Prepare your skin a few days before, meaning stay true to your regiment. This will get your skin in shape for what is to come. Stay hydrated and get a few extra hours of sleep before your party.

Then, cleanse thoroughly. Really get in there, clean off all surface debris so you can start with a primed, fresh face. Give your face a few minutes to dry and then hit it with a layer of your favorite facial lotion. Nothing too greasy or heavy, just something to clear up any flaky or rough patches. Let that set in because moisturizer is a natural makeup remover. You want to start with a fresh canvas!

Happy Haunting and have FUN!!!!!!!!

Makeup Brushes–How Clean Are Yours?

The biggest complaint people email me about is this–“I wash my face like a manic, I do everything right and I still have acne. Help.” Well, here’s another idea–what about your makeup brushes?

A dirty makeup brush can mean more acne, every time you use it you’re soaking up toxins, dead skin cells, oils and bacteria that are sitting on your skin, then you’re going let them putrefy so that you can scrub them on next time  you apply your makeup. G R O S S . Think about it–are you re-applying all that glop?! You are if you have active acne and you’re not washing your brushes almost weekly. (It sounds extensive, but it could help.)


so next time you use it you’re putting all of that yucky stuff right back on again. Especially if you’ve been using your brush when you’ve got active acne. Anything you touch your face with or apply to your face should be clean, clean clean, so keeping your makeup brush toxin-free is essential.

Washing your makeup brushes could keep your skin more clear, it will help your brushes last longer, as well. You paid enough for those things, take care of them! This rule goes for the sponges, reusable applicators, anything that you use on a regular basis that touches your skin.

You have several options, but I find that these are my favorites, and they are relatively simple. You can mix up a solution of white vinegar and water, with 2x the amount of water as vinegar. (Why use vinegar? It has disinfecting properties.) Gently dip  your brush in, now, you don’t have to go crazy. Don’t water log it, just get it wet enough to work up a little lather. Now, give it a gentle “scrub” with a paper towel, working your way from the base to the tips. Afterwards, rinse with cool running water. Then, reshape and lay on its side to dry.

**You could substitute Tea Tree Oil instead of vinegar–it has its own type of antibacterial properties.

**Or you can just use a gentle shampoo and wash the same way. You will scrub, rinse, re-shape and dry the same way.


DO NOT: boil your brushes.

KEEP THEM OUT OF THE MICROWAVE: Does that even need to be stated? Ya…People are weird.

Pass on the conditioner, it will pull the bristles out and possibly clog your pores later.

Once you see the gunk that is coming out of these brushes, I promise you will want to this more often.

Let me know if it works for ya!




Pimples and Pregnancy

Ok, I’ve never been pregnant, but one of my besties has just announced that she is four months pregnant! YAY!! Congrats lil mama! We had lunch yesterday and immediately started chatting about the changes she is about to undergo. Of course, knowing me, I was curious about what pregnancy can do to your skin…

Well, we all know about the pregnancy “glow.” Yeah, it isn’t just a saying, science claims there really IS a glow about you moms-to-be. Your body is experiencing an increase in blood volume, giving the cheeks a freshly pinched, pink glow. Also, the oil glands are going double-time, giving your skin a special sheen.

In addition to a glow, you could see an increase in acne. Yikes! It won’t be as bad as your “tween” years but you may need to break out your favorite teenage pimple routines. (Unless you’re like me and you never outgrew your teenage pimple routine.) Just be sure to use all natural, more gentle skin care as you are scrubbing for two now!

You could also be affected by something called PUPP, pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. Don’t freak out, it is itchy, red raised spots on the tummy, thighs, bum and arms/legs. It will come and go–treat it like you would any other itchy skin rash.  Skin can also become dry and flaky and even more itchy; most notably in the skin that is stretching.

Speaking of itching–your palms and bottoms of your feet can become extra red and itchy. Don’t worry, this is normal, and it is just a strange, unexplained aspect of pregnancy. It is called palmar erythema and it can occur in the second month of pregnancy.

Your pregnancy will bring on more skin changes–freckles and moles will seem darker. This is also normal for the most part. They can appear larger or more plentiful–check with your doctor or dermatologist if there are any raised edges or irregular borders.

Spider veins are on the way, as are skin tags, heat rash. You can also look forward to something called linea nigra. This is a faint white line that runs from your belly button to the center of your pubic bone. This line is not visible before pregnancy, but it can occur in the second trimester. Sometimes the line extends upward from the navel as well. The linea nigra is darker in darker skinned women will disappear after you have delivered your baby.

Interesting, right?!

Pregnancy is so amazing!!


Buckle In for Rosacea Season

Rosacea is like vertigo–the exact causes are unknown. (I bring up vertigo because I had it all week last week!) I got a few emails on the causes of rosacea and easy, natural ways to cure it.

Rosacea occurs over a longer period of time, it is essentially adult acne that causes red or pink bands of skin on the face: cheeks, nose, forehead. It can also cause watery eyes and bumps or pimples on the affected area. (Please note my very “official” photo accompaniment. lol) From the research I did, it looks like there is no official cure for  this, but you can do things to control it.

There is a whole family of “creams” for you to try, Chrysanthellum indicum extract (applied twice a day), Green Tea Creams, Niacinamide Cream, a form of vitamin B and Azelaic acid cream which is derived from wheat, rye and barley.

Next, look at your food intake, does it seem like your rosacea gets worse after certain meals? You could have a food intolerance. Food that dilates the blood vessels, like hot peppers, garlic, alcohol, for example could cause rosacea to flare up. Fatty foods should also be avoided, as those with rosacea don’t have some of the necessary digestive enzymes.

Also, licorice has helped some people’s rosacea. BEFORE you pass the Twizzlers, it is herb licorice and it requires a topical treatment.

We are on the brink of full on rosacea season–let’s work together!


Is Cold Water Best?

I was speaking with a client yesterday, she is in her late fifties and she looks like she is in her mid thirties. (Seriously, she looks beyond amazing.) We got to chatting and she told me that she only showers in cold water. Yeah. COLD showers, cold water to wash her face, the whole nine yards.

Interesting. I have been doing some research, trying to believe that she is just a freak of nature. The secret of youthful, glowing, clear skin and shiny hair is NOT cold water. Because if it is–I will need a refund. For the past 15 years of allegiance to the health/beauty industry.

Here’s the concept, you know that warm/hot water pulls circulation/blood to your skin. Well, cold water pulls circulation to your organs. The Japanese culture has been using cold water as medicine for hundreds of years. While the Japanese swear that you can cure your acne problems with cold water, I am not ready to comply completely…

Here is a great way to compromise–switch back and forth. OPEN those pores first and wash as you normally do. Then, do your cold water for the rest of your shower time. THAT I can do…and I can even get behind the science. The cold water will also close up those pores so they are impervious to further infection and oil.

One more reason to shower with cold water: the cold makes your blood vessels constrict–reducing swelling. This will also help decrease the appearance of dark circles under your eyes.

Clearly, ending your bathroom time with a cold shower is not a terrible idea…I am interested in a pink, youthful glow and it seems that cold water can make this happen. However, the colder weather is coming and bathing like I’m in a Turkish prison is nothing I am looking forward to. BUT, I will say that I would like to know that I’m doing my part to improve my circulation. Cold water has been rumored to ease the appearance of varicose veins. Circulation is crucial for hypertension and to help deter the hardening of the arteries.

Cold water will help with cleansing as well, it encourages the blood to the contracted muscles, encouraging the release of toxins. Also, cold water is rumored to help with to strengthen the mucous membranes, which can help to resist hay fever, allergies, colds, coughs.

I can do the cold water thing…

I will let you know how it goes.





Seasonal Skin Detox

We are slowly sliding into the autumn of 2011, the leaves are changing and haunted houses are springing up all over. I always like to start a new season with a good detox–inside and out. Detoxing is a great way to flush out the junk floating around in there. (This is ALSO a great time to do your lemon and cayenne pepper cleanse, just FYI.) But don’t worry, you don’t have to starve yourself for a week to get fresh, clear skin!

1. WATER WATER…and then…chase it with some WATER. Water is your body’s masked avenger. And not this purple water, or the junk with the Splenda–straight up water!

2. Start your day with some blackberry juices. Just one lil glass. (I will have to make room, I usually kick it off with some Metamucil. I’m not kidding.) Antioxidants are a good deal, things like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, pears, cherries, pomegranates and plums make a great morning cocktail.

3. Exercise: Sweating is a great way to push out toxins. If you can get at least 30 minutes in, you’re doing the work for your skin. That means 30 min of Spin Class or 30 min of Wii Basketball–however you get it done.

4. Weekly Detox Bath: The recipe is hot water and 1 cup baking soda (to neutralize), 1 cup Epsom salts (to pull out fluids/toxins from the skin), 5 drops lavender essential oil (lavender is a gentle antiseptic), 5 drops chamomile essential oil (this works as an anti-inflammatory and antifungal soak) and 5 drops lemongrass essential oil (skin revitalizer, but you can skip it if your skin is ultra sensitive.)

5. Dry Skin Brushing…is a great idea. It aids in an all over exfoliation. Your skin is your body’s largest organ. When you go over it with a dry brush, you are increasing circulation and you are also brushing away the top layer of dead skin. I have keratosis pilaris on my arms, it gets bad in the winter. I think this dry brushing has worked wonders on it! Also, if you are a proponent of tight clothing like skinny jeans–fashions like these can clog pores.

6. Skin Tea, Recipe. Don’t worry, you’re not drinking skin–gross, right? This is the recipe for a tea to aid those with inflamed acne and rosacea, as well as eczema and psoriasis. (It is also recommended for burn victims, so it sounds pretty official.)

Skin Tea Recipe:

1 1/2 parts dried nettle

1 part dried calendula flowers

1 part dried red clover flowers

1/2 part dried symphytum leaf

1/2 part dried lavender buds. (You should be able to find these dried flowers and leaves at health food stores.)

Boil 1 quart of water, remove pot from heat and add in about four to five teaspoons of the mixture. Then, steep for half an hour and strain. I wish I remember where I found this recipe…


Well, start here–detoxing is always a process. Be aware of your limitations! This stuff can impact people in different ways. If you see that your skin is red or broken, stop!