Category:  skin


Weekly Must-Have: Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes

By | skin, weekly must-have | No Comments

True story: I’ve been traveling all over the east coast – think planes, subways, and jitneys – and my oversized toiletry bag has taken a serious beating. In the midst of said transportation, my beloved Bioderma Crealine H2O went bust, drenching my bag and making the bottle unusable. Since Bioderma is rather difficult to find in-store in the USA, I was forced to find an alternative to my favorite makeup remover which (read:) Bioderma also gets everything off — including mascara — without the need to pull on skin and eyes (hence benefiting the anti-aging-no-tug-equals-no-fine-lines cause).

Alas, I chose Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes at my local Duane Reade because… well, they come pre-soaked so I didn’t need to lug around the bottle and they’re made with all-natural ingredients – no perfumes or dyes – so they weren’t going to irritate my super sensitive skin. WOW do I love these amazing wipes. While I don’t use them to actually cleanse my face – meaning, I do use a cleanser post-wipe – they took off all of my makeup with just a few gentle wipes of the cloth and just as successfully as Bioderma. They didn’t tug or pull or strip the skin, and they didn’t irritate my sensitive visage. In fact, they were so mild – yet effective – that I decided to use one in the morning instead of washing my face (as too much water and harsh detergents can actually dry out skin). I followed up with a Witch Hazel toner, my current Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer (a true gem for combination, acne-prone skin), and, of course, Elta MD UV Clear Sunscreen. So far, not a single blemish has emerged!

At $4.50 for $25 wipes (meaning you can use these 25 times), it’s a no-brainer for travel and on-the-go. While my Bioderma will remain a staple in my skincare routine, Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes will be joining in my travel bag (and if I actually worked out, I would put these wipes in my gym bag, too!). I am officially obsessed.

PRICE TAG: $4.50

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Cool It: Products To Help You Chill Out This Summer

By | body, skin | 4 Comments

The rising temperatures inevitably have you sweating more than a whore in church. Sorry… was that too much? The heat tends to go straight to our head and affect our better sense of judgment. In any event, beyond your standard ways of cooling off (jumping in a pool, taking a freezing shower, sitting directly in front of the AC), there are several beauty products that have cooling properties and can kinda, maybe, sorta cool you off like sticking your head in the freezer!

Here are our favorites:

Summer means a lot of sweating, so in all likelihood you will find yourself washing your face much more frequently. To avoid over-drying, try Fig + Yarrow Cleansing Nectar ($30) and wash without disturbing your skin’s delicate pH. It’s filled with lavender and aloe to calm and invigorate.

Sunscreen can often feel sticky and goopy. That is far from the case with La Roche-Posay Anthelios 30 Cooling Water-Lotion Sunscreen ($36), which has a water like texture that you will actually find refreshing.

Not only does First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist ($16) reawaken your skin, it lightly hydrates and simultaneously protects from environmental irritants. Pop the small bottle in your fridge for an added boost of refreshment.

Whether your eyes are puffy from a salt-filled summer BBQ or a long day at work, H2O+ Eye Oasis Instant Hydrating Stick ($25) has caffeine and algae to cool and nourish tired peepers. Like the spray above, this product is also fantastic in the fridge.

Although moisturizing may feel counterintuitive when your oil glands are in overdrive, it is not a step you should skip even on the hottest of days. Boscia Cool Blue Hydration Essence ($48) is impossibly lightweight, but still intensely hydrating. You’ll feel more chill than you would after a session with your shrink.

A short jog in serious heat and humidity can feel like a marathon. Soothe your tired muscles with Mio Workout Wonder Invigorating Muscle Gel ($33), which has a cocktail of herbs and extracts to feel like an ice pack on your skin.

You know those days when you do a full face of makeup only to have it completely melt off by the time you arrive to the office? Luckily, COOLA Suncare Classic Face Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 ($36) can prevent those dreaded occurrences. Not only will it keep you cool and refreshed, but it’ll also protect against UV rays.

Getting that gross film of dirt and sweat off your body after a long day is a serious task. C.O. Bigelow Mentha Body Vitamin Body Wash ($12) will leave you feeling downright chilly. What could possibly be better? Okay, maybe a cold glass of wine waiting for you when you’re done showering.


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


How To Get Better Skin: Lactic Acid

By | how to, skin | No Comments

Having good skin without relying on some form of acid is more challenging than booking an all-star SoulCycle instructor’s Saturday class.  Seriously.  While we rely on a bevy of acids to keep our visages in top shape, lactic acid is one we turn to time and time again.

While certainly powerful, this alpha hydroxyacids (AHA) is suitable for almost all skin types, even dry or dehydrated.  It works wonders at reducing breakouts while also keeping wrinkles and dark spots at bay, a.k.a #flawless.

Here are a few of our favorite lactic acid products to gently but effectively resurface:

Biologique Recherche P50 Balancing Exfoliator ($59): Described as our holy grail product here, our love affair with this acid toner has yet to waiver.  Our skin craves its powerful combination of onion extract, lactic acid, salicylic acid, burdock extract, and plankton, meaning we always keep a spare bottle at the ready.

Aesop Parsley Seed Exfoliator ($60): A basic and generic cleanser is exactly what our skin doesn’t need when covered in sweat, sunscreen, and smog (ew).  While it certainly doesn’t hurt that this looks lovely on our shower shelf, we appreciate this cleanser for deep-cleaning abilities, without stripping.

Dermalogica Body Hydrating Cream ($30): Bumpy thighs from shaving should be the least of your worries during bikini season.  This lotion gently exfoliates while simultaneously hydrating, but the non-greasy formula makes it perfect for steamy temps.

Sunday Riley Good Genes ($105): No matter what genes your mama gave you, this coveted treatment plumps fine lines and brightens and smoothes even the most problematic or damaged skin. We’re obsessed.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($30): On nights when we’re using a stronger treatment like Good Genes, a milder toner feels more appropriate.  These pads are extremely gentle, but still get the job done.  Small but mighty.

Erno Laszlo Firmarine Lift Serum ($115): Hydrating in summer is tricky business.  While our skin still needs moisture, the thought of adding anything with weight to our face sounds downright awful.  Luckily, this water-like and refreshing serum moisturizes and firms while also gently detoxifying and exfoliating.  Ma-jor.

Do any of your favorite products have lactic acid? Let us know in the comments below!

-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind

Models present creations by German designer Karl Lagerfeld as part of his Fall/Winter 2014-2015 women's ready-to-wear collection for French fashion house Chanel at the Grand Palais transformed into a "Chanel Shopping Center" during Paris Fashion Week March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe (FRANCE - Tags: FASHION)

Drugstore Finds: 10 Natural Beauty Products To Buy Today

By | body, favorites, makeup, skin, under $10 | No Comments

Living a natural life can seem difficult, especially when it comes to affordable makeup and skincare. But that doesn’t mean impossible… and we love a good challenge! Brands are finally hearing our cries to create products that are good for our skin and body, without being toxic. We’ve rounded up 10 natural beauty products that need to be incorporated into your makeup and skincare routine today. Alas, healthy ingredients that won’t break the bank.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm ($5) – A fan favorite, consider this the all-natural version of the Fresh cult classic Tinted Sugar Lip Treatments ($24). For the pout that enjoys hydration and a hint of hue, look no further.

Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Deep Pore Scrub ($6) – When it comes to exfoliation, oily and acne-prone skin types can do no wrong with this salicylic acid-based scrub. Gentle yet effective, blackheads are obliterated while skin is left clean and clear. In fact, the entire line is an ideal choice for acneic skin, with an ideal price tag!

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap in Lavender ($11) – This natural body wash invigorates the senses with certified organic oils and essential oils that’ll leave your body clean and oh-so soft.

Avalon Organics Hand & Body Lotion, Revitalizing Peppermint ($8) – Our love for this organic body treat knows no bounds – it absorbs quickly into the skin, hydrates, and leaves a lingering peppermint scent. Plus, it’s great for super hot and balmy days and nights as the peppermint is a natural cooling agent to calm and cool off the body.

Yes To Carrots Super Rich Body Butter ($9) – If your skin requires a more intense hydration, the Yes To range offers this uniquely satisfying body butter. It’s thick, creamy, 98% natural, and the subtle scent is equal parts sweet and rich. Our bodies drinks this cream right up!

Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads ($8) – We heart a great on-the-go cleansing pad (like for after the gym!), and this one just so happens to effectively ward off dirt and grime while leaving skin clear and radiant. Tea tree oil is one of the best natural antiseptics, so it’s ideal for combination, oily, and acne-prone skin. Use on your chest and back, too.

Thayers Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel ($9) – In our humble opinion, this is the very best toner on the market (and it just so happens to be affordable, too). The non-alcohol formula means it’s safe for sensitive skin, and it’s a must for oily to combination skin types.

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream ($18) – This 99% all-natural eye cream delivers health and effective ingredients to hydrate the delicate eye area while working its magic on fine lines and wrinkles. Great for dry and sensitive skin types.

Acure Argan Oil with Rose ($13) – A serious treat for skin – and the senses – this luxurious oil can be used on face and body to aid in fine lines and wrinkles and reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks. The intoxicating natural scent will make you want to skip your perfume.

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara ($10) – Its tough finding a natural/ organic mascara, even tougher finding one with a price tag under $10… but Physician’s Formula is, by far, the best all-natural drugstore mascara on the market. It lengthens, volumizes, and defines lashes without harsh chemicals. Love your lashes and they’ll love you back.

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5 Useful Tips For Finding Your Glow

By | favorites, makeup, skin | One Comment

From primers to moisturizers, it seems that every other product promises some sort of illuminating effect. Yes, we all want that coveted glow, the one that looks as though a halo is blasting its ethereal shine onto our faces, but which products actually work to give off this all-over youthful vibe, and which product is right for you?

Take a look below at our 5 useful tips for finding your glow.

1. Limit your illuminating products to one per skincare regimen (note: this does not include your handy spot treatment highlighter). A great way to ease into this trend is with an illuminating primer that can be used pre-makeup as a base or on its own for subtle “everywhere” shimmer. Try the original luminizer base, aptly dubbed dew in a bottle, Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base ($48), Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash ($55), a favorite for plumping, priming, and delivering anti-aging benefits, or Honest Beauty Everything Primer ($27), which offers the most subtle golden glow, while it plumps and primes the complexion.

2. For less glow (a.k.a. illumination), use your shimmer product closest to the skin, like a shimmering moisturizer or serum. Make the skincare product give good glow, not the makeup. Try Tatcha Balanced Pore Perfecting Water Gel ($68), which gives off a subtle speckle of golden glow and works on all skin types, including oily (BB obsessed!) or GlamGlow GlowstarterMega Illuminating Moisturizer ($49), a face cream that plumps, hydrates, and adds a fair does of dew to an otherwise dull complexion.

3. If you’re a fan of BB and CC creams, opt for your illumination item to be an illuminating BB or CC cream – there are so many great ones on the market that’ll give you a moderate amount of all-over shimmer while still tackling skin issues like aging or dull complexion). We love It Cosmetics CC+ Illumination ($38) – with an added SPF of 50, Urban Decay Naked Skin Illuminating Beauty Balm ($34), and Lumene Vitamin C+ Illuminating Anti-Aging BB Cream SPF 20 ($15).

4. Illumination now comes in the form of sunscreens! So, if you’re looking for a little extra glow, say at the beach or pool, and you don’t want any coverage (except that of a SPF), then try Dior Diorsnow Brightening Illuminating UV Protection with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Translucent SPF 50 ($55) or Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Illuminating Sunscreen SPF 36 ($34). It’s pretty subtle and leaves skin with a healthy, happy dew.

5. For a serious statement-making glow, choose a basic liquid illuminator, which has the highest concentration of illumination, and combine it with your foundation of choice for an all-over dewy goddess look. You can also use these liquid illuminators to spot treat, meaning dab a small amount onto brow and cheek bones, bridge of nose, and cupid’s bow post-makeup to draw the light to your best assets. Try Nars Illuminator ($30), come in four shades but we’re keen on Hot Sand, or Nyx Cosmetics Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator ($7).

Remember to use an illuminator on your chest as well. It’s an epic way to hydrate, blur imperfections, and bask in a healthy décolletage dew.

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The Art Of Layering: How To Layer Your Skincare For Optimal Results

By | how to, skin | 11 Comments

If you aren’t layering your skincare products yet, let this be a practice that you pick up in the new year. Layering is BIG at the moment – layered hair, layered clothes, and layered skin products.  Like adding on a shirt, sweater, and jacket, layering your retinoids, serums, and moisturizers, allows you to get better results. Think about it in terms of your winter outfit: you put on the sweater and the jacket to keep warm, then throw on a scarf, gloves, maybe even a hat to keep these areas even toastier. Certain areas of your face need certain products and ingredients while other areas don’t, and layering allows you to spot treat where necessary while still offering up essentials like Vitamin C and hydration to the entire face.

“I started by layering natural ingredients from the market, like aloe vera and rosehip oil,” explains Kat Rudu, facialist, founder of the eponymous skincare line, and devout layerer. “I would exfoliate and then apply certain serums for each area of my skin depending on my concerns at the time.” Rudu explains that if she had oily skin one day, she’d add a few drops of tea tree oil into her aloe vera. Another day, if she needed more hydration, she’d add some all-natural rosehip oil. And on days when her skin was combination, she’d spot treat with tea tree oil on the greasy areas and rosehip on the dehydrated parts.

“Serums deliver active ingredients into the skin.” Rudu suggests applying two to three serums post wash and prior to moisturizer, but make sure to let each dry before applying the next one. “Maybe brush your teeth in between,” explains Rudu. I’ve been doing everything from putting on my pajamas to bringing a glass of water to my bedside table. After each task, I apply my next product.

How do you know what products you should apply to your skin? Consider your concerns and then choose accordingly. Rudu suggests peptides or hylauroniuc acid for anti-aging and plumping (TRY: Perricone MD
Hypoallergenic Peptide Complex
($98), Sanitas Hyaluronic Concentrate ($68), Kat Rudu Liquid Lift ($68)); kojic acid and licorice root for brightening (TRY: Skin Ceuticals Phyto+ ($80), First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Serum ($44)); willow bark for oily skin (TRY: Eminence Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum ($56)); aloe vera for sensitive skin and/ or rosacea (TRY: Philosophy
When Hope Is Not Enough

Rudu explains that you layer in order of the serum/ moisturizer’s consistency, meaning from thinnest to thickest. Directly after washing your face, “you go with antioxidants like vitamin C (TRY: Kat Rudu Hydra Cell Vitamin C Serum ($72) or Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum ($45)). Second is a peptide or hyaluronic acid. After that, you can turn to the oils, especially for more mature skin that craves additional moisture.” Rudu opts for essential oils like rosehip and jojoba (TRY: Pai Skincare Rosehip Bio Regenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend ($35) and Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil ($10)). “Then you do a moisturizer to seal everything.” (TRY: Kat Rudu Hydra Cell Bright Citrus Moisturizer ($54)). The last step is your chosen SPF for sun protection.

At night, Rudu explains that it’s essential to add a retinoid into the mix. “You can either do the retinoids first and then add the serums or do the serums first and seal it with a retinoid. I’ve always put the retinoid first, though.” Basically, skip the vitamin C and put the retinoid in its place. The rest of the layering routine is the same as the morning, minus the SPF. For both AM and PM, use an eye cream directly before your moisturizing step.

It’s pretty basic but the results are anything but. “The more you layer, the more potent the ingredients become,” explains Rudu. So, next time you wash your face, follow it with a slew of serums, an oil, and a face cream that focuses on your specific skin concerns. Watch your complexion change literally overnight. New year, new skincare routine!


Skin-Saving Ingredient Spotlight: Hyaluronic Acid

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Plumper skin in the face? Yes, please. Plumper skin in the tummy region? Not so much. If only we could dictate where the extra lbs go… But since we can’t, we’re spotlighting one of our favorite skincare ingredient that’ll give you the volume where you actually want it.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is not an acid at all; It’s actually a gentle hydrator that can be used on all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone because it is an ingredient that is naturally found in the body already. HA is the ingredient found in most dermal fillers because it holds up to 1000 times its weight in water. When used topically, fine lines and wrinkles literally disappear, while pores minimize and skin gently hydrates to its younger, smoother, healthier state. In other words, HA is the natural “dew” before “dewing” it up with highlighters and illuminators.

So, if you’re not using hyaluronic acid in your current skincare routine, it’s time to start. We’re not getting any younger.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum ($300) – Simply one of the best pure hyaluronic serums on the market. It’s infused with long and short-chain hyaluronic molecules that deeply penetrate the skin for instant hydration. You’ll look years younger after one use, but daily use will minimize wrinkles and loss of volume. Suitable for all skin types.

Honest Beauty Everything Primer ($27) – One of Jessica Alba’s favorite products, this primer offers a subtle golden finish for hat ethereal inner-goddess-glow. Hyaluronic acid and peony root smooth and plump for smaller pores, less prominent fine lines, and flawless looking skin. Wear alone or under makeup for longer-lasting product.

Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($45) – Add this booster into your favorite moisturizer for instant plumping and volumizing effects. Ideal to use around the mouth and eye area to naturally “fill” fine lines.

Dr. Brandt Needles No More 3-D Filler Mask ($95) – A leave-on mask that aids in visually reshaping and revolumizing face contours. Created with a combination of peptides, Adipofill’in™ Complex, and hyaluronic acid to instantly plump, creating a more youthful complexion from the first use.

Hada Labo Ultimate Anti-Aging Facial Mask ($15 for set of 4)- Our obsession with sheet masks is never ending, and this one just happens to be chock-full of hyaluronic acid to smooth, firm, and plump the complexion. Suitable for all skin types.

Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Eye Serum ($79) – While Trish McEvoy makes some fabulous makeup (we’re talking to you, High Volume Mascara), their skincare products are HG-amazing too. This particular lightweight hyaluronic acid and peptides-packed booster is one of our favorites for the delicate eye area. Add to your mouth area too for instant hydration and a more plumped appearance.

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6 Steps To Switching Up Your Summer Skincare Routine

By | skin | No Comments

“Your skin is the largest living organ and is the first line of defense against all of the microbes and other hazards in the environment,” explains facialist and founder of eponymous skincare line, Cecilia Wong. “Though it can regenerate, repair, and restore itself, it’s important that we take very good care of it.”

So, how does the sun – and summer months – affect our skin? “During the summer, the sun is the strongest and UV levels can wreak havoc on exposed skin. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to premature aging, causing excessive oil and sweat, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin discoloration, and loss of collagen, hydration and vitamins.”

But wait. There’s more… pay close attention, especially those suffering from acne. “The sun can also cause clogged pores, leading to whiteheads and small bumps. Heat can cause oil glands to work overtime, hence, the oily T-zone,” says Cecilia. “We also sweat more causing dehydration and loss of minerals and vitamins. In order to maintain a healthy radiant glow, we need to take the necessary steps to replenish and protect our skin daily.”

No need to hide in doors just yet. Here, Cecilia Wong offers up these 6 crucial steps and product recommendations to add into your summer skincare routine. Follow them, and you’ll save face.

1. Add in a Vitamin C product – Vitamin C contains loads of antioxidants that helps repair sun damage, reduce sunburn caused by exposure to ultraviolet B radiation and prevent the consequences of long-term sun exposure that leads to wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin tone, and loss of collagen. Vitamin C is also great in preventing and reducing acne. I’d recommend using Vitamin C from plants or fruit oil which is less invasive and won’t irritate skin.
TRY: Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream; Cecilia Wong Skincare Vitamin C Cleanser

2. Switch to a lighter moisturizer – This goes for all skin types, even those with dry skin can experience sweat and oil during the summer. The dermis is made up of 70% water and the epidermis, 15%. In order to keep the skin well moisturized but not oily and greasy, it’s important to choose a water based moisturizer that balances the level of water within the skin. Don’t make the mistake of skipping this step altogether as it’s essential for your skin to remain hydrated. One way to discover if your moisturizer is too heavy is to check your skin an hour after applying – is your face filled with grease, especially the T-zone area and does your face feel heavy with the moisturizer sitting on your skin? If the moisturizer is too heavy, this can cause clogged pores leading to breakouts.
TRY: Ilike Sulfuric Whipped Moisturizer; Cecilia Wong Skincare Moisturizer for Oily/Combo Skin

3. Choose a higher SPF – During the summer, the UV index is the strongest. It’s important to wear sunscreen at all times, but especially between 11 A.M. AND 4 P.M. Sunscreen protects your skin from visible aging (sun spots, inflammation, uneven skin tone, rough texture, fine lines, wrinkles, loss of collagen and dehydration). Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) rating of at least 30. For those with fair skin, malasma or prone to sun spots, opt for SPF 60. To be the most effective, sunscreen needs time to absorb into your skin. Apply 20-30 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 hours.
TRY: Coola Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30; La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 60 (both are suitable for all skin types)

4. Exfoliate – In the summer, skin cells are shed at a very quick rate daily, so if you don’t get rid of the dead cells sitting on top of your skin, they can cause it to look dull and dry. Exfoliating helps in removing dead and dull skin debris and prevents congestion and clogged pores. It also helps to improve better absorption from toners and moisturizers, helps even out any skin discoloration, draws excess oil out of the pores and leaves skin less shiny. I switch between using the Clarisonic (it really gets the dead skin off without over scrubbing and gives my skin a smoother texture) and enzyme based exfoliators. Enzyme based exfoliators contain minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, so not only do they get rid of dull skin, they are also anti-aging. Enzyme exfoliators are less harsh and drying than ones that contain glycolic or salicylic acid. They are also gentle enough for all skin types.
TRY: The Clarisonic; Ilike Sulphuric Exfoliator; Ilike Botanical AHA Peel

5. Add a Toning Mist into the mix – Extra sweat means that dirt, oils and other environmental chemicals are trapped close to the skin and your pores. It’s important to keep your pores closed and skin cool by using a non-alcohol based facial toner. Facial toners are refreshing and, with the right ingredients, they restore, repair and hydrate the surface of the skin. They can also kill bacteria that can cause acne and other blemishes. When you sweat, you lose minerals and nutrients necessary for healthy skin and a toner can add the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Stay away from alcohol or artificial fragrances.
TRY: Cecilia Wong Skincare Pro-biotic Charged Rejuvenating Toner Mist (for combination and oily skin); Ilike Rosehip Toner (for normal to dry skin)

6. Apply a Mask 2-3 time a week – For those with oily/combo skin or acne prone skin, use a clay or herb based mask. For sensitive and dry skin, use a hydrating mask. During the warmest months, acne and other blemishes (blackheads, whiteheads, small bumps) can occur. Other skin conditions can also flare up (heat rash and rosacea) and skin loses water, vitamins and other nutrients. Applying a mask can help rehydrate, cool and prevent breakouts by purifying and detoxifying the pores. It rejuvenates and repairs the skin from the day’s damage.
TRY: Cecilia Wong Skincare Multi-Purpose Blemish Peel Mask, Ilike Rich Carrot Mask (to hydrate)


The Best Sunscreen For Your Skin Type

By | skin | No Comments

Although the list of summer essentials is fairly extensive (floppy hat…jean shorts…espadrilles…sunglasses…you get the point), sunscreen definitely tops it.  Quite simply, this item is a total non-negotiable.  While we know we need it, finding the right one isn’t always that easy.

Here we breakdown the best options for your specific skin needs, because the last thing you want is for your sunscreen to cause more harm than good!


When our editor Sarah says she lives and dies by a product, you listen.  Eltamd UV Clear ($30) is the only sunscreen she’ll use.  If you’ve previously struggled with sunscreen causing breakouts, this is the product for you.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Sunscreen ($20) has a remarkably dry finish, but also works to absorb oil with perlite (naturally occurring volcanic glass) and silica.

If the 2PM oil-slick is an everyday occurrence, rely on Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Spray ($28) for an afternoon pick-me-up.


Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($65) can really work on all skin types.  Better yet, the formula blurs imperfections while simultaneously protecting.  A win-win product.


If your skin is dry regardless of season, try Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 ($32) to protect while also hydrating.

To fight signs of aging (in addition to the sun!), look to Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream SPF 30 ($82).  It promotes elasticity and firmness, thanks to jasmonic acid and beech treat extract.


Even gentle formulas can contain irritating chemicals.  If you’ve fallen victim to this while attempting to protect your face, try Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense ($38).

While relying on retinols and acids can do wonders for your visage, it can make skin seriously sensitive.  Although far from glamorous, my dermatologist recommended Vanicream Sunscreen ($16) a few years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

Did we miss any of your favorites for your particular skin type?
Let us know in the comments below. 

-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


Weekly Must-Have: Patchology SmartMud Sheet Mask

By | skin, weekly must-have | No Comments

Clay masks belong the in the skincare hall of fame as a non-negotiable part of your regimen.  Unless your visage is majorly dry or sensitive,  everyone can benefit from the deep cleaning and oil-absorbing properties of clay, especially in the summertime heat.  Problem is, these adored masks can be an absolute mess to apply and rinse off, which can result in less frequent use.

It seems as though the skincare Gods heard our prayers and delivered us Patchology SmartMud No Mess Mud Masque Single Facial Sheet ($8).

Before this product, we relied on our favorite sheet masks to hydrate, plump, and brighten our skin.  This is the first we have found that includes hero-ingredient clay.  It comes in two sections for easy application, and quickly but effectively gets to work.

Besides the mess, clay masks can often be overly-drying and aggressive.  That is far from the case with Patchology’s SmartMud.  While it is cooling and deeply cleansing, there is no sense of tightness or redness post-application.  In fact, it’s gentle enough that I tend to leave it on for 20 minutes as opposed to the recommended 10.  What can I say–my pores need it!

If you want to take care of clogged pores without clogging your sink with mask remnants, this mask is for you.


Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.