Tag:  skin-care Archives - Beauty Banter

WEEKLY MUST-HAVE: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Collection

By | weekly must-have | One Comment

The perfect collection for these humid summer days. Oil, be gone! With Kiehl’s new  Ultra Facial Oil-Free Collection even the oiliest of skin types will stay shine-free all day long.

The 4-product line comes complete with an oil-free cleanser that lathers like no other, an oil-free toner, an oil-free gel cream that retains moisture while reducing the appearance of oil, and an oil-free lotion, which is basically a lightweight moisturizer (because even oily skin needs hydration!).

I’ve been using these products for about a week and I do see a significant decrease in my oil production. And that’s saying A LOT considering New York City is so humid at the moment, it’s as though my face is producing oil faster than I can maintain it. Not anymore! This stuff is humidity-proof. And it works without drying my face out to the point of cracking (you know what I’m talking about – when smiling hurts?). That’s why you moisturize! To keep your face hydrated, so that moisture is absorbed into the skin but not on top of the skin where it tends to create shine and grease.

This is just what the doctor ordered for the humid season – something to get rid of shine but while still keeping me hydrated. Loving these products!

While you may not want to commit to the full-size bottles just yet, you can try a starter kit of mini bottles of the Cleanser, Toner and Moisturizer for $24.50.

Annual Tips For Cooling Off

By | skin | 10 Comments

It’s so hot, I’m sweating in my dreams. Literally. I can’t escape this heat wave even in my sleep. I want to stick my body into a refrigerator and not come out until the sun goes down. But, alas, if it were snowing I’d be complaining too so, I guess when it comes to the weather, the weather really can never win.

Every year I post a very informative (if I may say so myself) piece on how you can cool off despite the rising temps. I think it’s about that time – and temperature – to revisit such a post (click here for last year’s).

So, here it is. My tips on how to stay cool and look cool too:

1 – Use peppermint everything – shampoo & conditioner + body wash & lotion! Peppermint offers and instant “cooling” effect. Try Avalon Organics Peppermint Hand & Body Lotion just before bed. It’ll cool you off long enough to get you into that REM state.

2 – Refrigerate your creams! – Eye and face creams can be refrigerated for an added shock of cool. It’ll also stimulate the blood cells (especially great to wake up tired eyes).

3 – Hydrate – this goes without saying, but drink gallons of water! While water may bore your palette, try coconut water, the trendsetters water of the moment. Zico just launched a Chocolate Coconut water, for those who yearn for a richer kick.

4 –  Stop oil! Use a face mask at least once a week in summer months to alleviate sebum production. Try a mask that contains clay or sulfur, like Peter Thomas Roth Sulfur Cooling Mask, a wonderful combination of eucalyptus, sulfur and clay that exfoliates and unclogs pores.

5 – One of my favorite tips from last year, soak hands and feet in a bath of ice water — literally, add ice (and your favorite summer fragrant oil). If you cool down hands and feet, the rest of the body will follow suit.

BONUS – Wet a washcloth with super cold water (and some ice cubes) and apply a few dots of, again, your favorite summer fragrant oil. Wring out the washcloth and apply to back of neck and face. Try soothing lavender oil or tea tree to clean out pores.

Do you have a great cooling off tip? 
We’d love to know! 
Leave it in the comment section below, along with your name and email… if we LOVE IT, we’ll post it and send YOU a thank-you gift!

FAVORITES: Summer Sprays

By | favorites | 9 Comments

It’s hot out there and, if you’re anywhere east of Arizona, chances are it’s humid as well. There’s nothing like a mist of water to cool you off. Remember those spray cans with the fans built in? You would add water, turn on the fan, and it was like your own, mini outdoor mist machine? Well, it did the trick, albeit not very chic.

These days, we have a variety of sprays to choose from all by top skincare brands. While they’re the perfect refresher to a hot summer day, some also work double duty as a toner to nourish the skin, adding moisture, vitamins and antioxidants while removing dirt and sweaty grime. Now, you tell me, could your water mister do all this? I think not!

Here are 5 of my favorite sprays for summer:

1 – Epicuren Protein Mist – A vitamin mist that works to rehydrate all skin types. Meant for use after cleansing, but the bottle is small and so convenient for on-the-go and the sweet scent is so refreshing, I like to spritz throughout the day. Bring on the vitamins! $24.00

2 – Organic Pharmacy Rose Facial Spritz Toner – Cover your face with one of my favorite scents – rose – which also helps to calm red, irritated and sensitive skin. Refreshes as it hydrates, ideal for dry and sensitive skin types. You can use as a toner or multiple times a day for a quick pick-me-up.  21.50 POUNDS

3 – Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence – Great for all skin types, this mist hydrates while improving the appearance of pore size and oil control. It’s light, fresh and refreshing with a wonderful breezy scent. Again, can be used as a toner but is a lovely daily spritzer to freshen up on-the-go. $65.00

4 – AMOREPACIFIC Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System – Free of sulfates, synthetic dyes and petro-chemicals, this lightweight, oil-free botanical mist made from bamboo sap and red ginseng is the ultimate refresher. Suitable for all skin types, anytime, anywhere. Freshen up in style! $35.00

5 –  *DRUGSTORE FIND* Heritage Jasmine Water Spray – These aromatherapy waters come in a medley of scents (I’m loving Jasmine for summer) and are the perfect mist to refresh face and body all day long. Pure essential oils offer the natural scent that is literally water mixed with a dose of exotic flavor. And you can’t beat the price: $5.81

TIP – To use any of the above sprays as facial toners, simply mist onto cotton ball and swipe onto face until clean. It’s as easy as that!

The Neck Creams

By | skin | 6 Comments

My mother always told me that you can tell a woman’s true age by her hands and neck. It’s absolutely correct. A woman can get a face lift, Botox and Restylane the heck out of her eyes, forehead, lips and what not, but hands and neck — there’s not much you can do with the skin there… except take extra kind and gentle care of it!

So, it comes as no surprise to me that skincare brands are designing creams especially for the neck – and chest! – area. We already have our pick of hand creams and I hope that you use hand cream often (I carry tubes in my bag and have bottles at my desk and next to my bed!).

While you don’t neccesarily need a specific cream simply for your neck – you can always use your face cream and apply to the neck and chest area too – if you choose to purchase one, here are 5 product choices and the advantages of each:

Rodial Chin & Neck Lift

The newly launched cream sculpts, firms and lifts with  pomegranate ellagic tannins. Essential amino acids hydrate to firm and strengthen the skin while promoting elasticity and smoothing the appearance of wrinkles. 79 POUNDS

Clarins Super-Restorative Decollete and Neck Concentrate

A non-oily anti-wrinkle and anit-age spot treatment that evens and enhances the skin’s texture while ensuring all the femininity and elegance of the décolleté and neck after age 50. $100.00

Kate Somerville Neck Tissue Repair Cream with Peptide K8™

A firming and anti-wrinkle cream that moisturizes and softens with high-performance peptides and progressive technologies that work to smooth wrinkles and improve overall firmness, elasticity, and skintone. $150.00

Bliss Thinny Thin Chin Neck Firming Cream

This cream works on the area from the chin to the cleavage by firming, hydrating, and improving the appearance of neck lines, crepiness, and hyper-pigmentation. $48.00

La Prairie Anti-Aging Neck Cream

Probably considered the platinum of neck creams, this stuff will help re-contour the chin and neck area to a slimmer, firmer look. It boosts skin function to help restore density, firmness, elasticity and texture with a youth-restoring complex and an advanced peptide. $200.00

The question remains, for these steep prices, do the creams work? Of course they do. Any type of hydration will do the trick. Do you need an additional cream for your neck and chest? Well, that’s up to you… Knowledge is power, ladies. Now you know.

SK-II Cellumination Mask-In Lotion is a MUST

By | skin | One Comment

Makeup artists (Pat McGrath is a fan) and celebrities (Cate Blanchett adores) alike are obsessed. Now, so am I. SK-II is the next best thing in skincare and yes, it took me awhile to figure it out.

Their newest launch, Cellumination Mask-In Lotion, is a MUST for beautiful skin. It does everything a mask would do but in a fraction of the time (just the time it takes to apply). The consistency is pure liquid, you apply to your skin morning and evening after washing, prior to your creams, and let it do its job. They’re dubbing it a “pre-lotion.” Skin will appear younger, more radiant, smoother and all around healthier in just a single application!

The tag line is: “an everyday lotion that delivers mask like benefits.” I get it. It leaves skin soft and smooth, constantly hydrating but it is not a cream/ lotion so it is nice for my skin (normal to oily) as well. It’s very lightweight and actually works all day long – and all night, too.

A word (or several) from the company…

“Featuring the Cellumination line’s signature Aura-Bright Complex, a powerful cocktail of Centella Asiatica extract, Nicotinamide W and a concentrated form of SK-II’s exclusive ingredient Pitera™, it’s the first step in boosting skin’s ‘Aura-Lucency’—in other words, delivering skin that looks ‘glowing from within’ gorgeous.”

Beautiful skin is worth every penny – and every product out there!

PRICE TAG: $75.00


By | skin | 3 Comments

Every now and then, I find a product line that is so fabulous, so epic, I get giddy just by the idea of sharing it with you, my readers.

Today is one of those times.

I had the pleasure of testing a truly fantastic skin and body line called ISUN Alive and Ageless Skincare and I can’t stop trying out the goodies – or touching my skin! It’s so soft, so smooth, so noticeably glowing.  I was sent a plethora of products in sample sizes to test – around 30 – ranging from body scrubs to shea butter (that literally melts upon touch) to eye creams, face oils and specialty masks. There isn’t a single product that I wouldn’t recommend. Seriously. I’m obsessed with everything I have put on my face and body.

Founder Bunnie Gulick says (about the range), “ISUN is a celebration of our belief that a dynamic luminous quality of youth can be captured without medical intervention or invasive procedures. From formulation through production, ISUN has embraced the rhythm and flow of perfection that exists in the laws of nature so that you may experience the pure magnificence of nature’s many gifts.”

With eco conscious ethics, integrity packaging and fair trade ingredients, ISUN isn’t simply just another line of products, it’s a way of life. Treat the world better, treat your skin better. Period. Sustainable beauty.

Here are my top 5 picks of products to try NOW:

ISUN Ultra Restore Our purest, most transforming moisturizers are teeming with energy and alive organic and natural nutrients that penetrate deeply to truly make a difference in skin. Complex blends of organic therapeutic herbs, oils and essential oils with a stable, highly active form of vitamin C. $88.00

ISUN Blue-Green Algae Mask –  The natural fragrance of organic blue-green algae from upper Klamath Lake with a hint of pure cooling cucumber distillate is a sign of this masks truly nourishing quality and cooling sensation with living gel. Blended in a base of algae and aloe gel infused with a soothing herb complex and oat milk, your skin feels hydrated, nurtured and calm. This is an excellent mask treatment for sensitive or inflamed skin. For a more cooling sensation, keep in the refrigerator. $38.00

ISUN Photo Cleanse II The pure rosemary hydrosol base infused with other antioxidant and antimicrobial herbs such as green tea, echinacea, milk thistle, wild-crafted Tibetan goji berries and Amazon rainforest acai, Hawaiian noni and grapeskin extract protect skin and help prevent skin problems. $28.00

ISUN Antioxidant Body ButterLuxury butters are blended with a distinctive herbal antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and regenerating ‘Emerald Sun Oil’, and a ‘Himalayan-Rainforest Oil’ with goji berry, acai berry and urucum seed infused in sesame and rice bran oils. $56.00

ISUN Trim and Tone Body Oil Active herbs and essential oils stimulate subcutaneous circulation and thermogenesis (heat creation or cellular energy production). These actions increase removal of fats, congested tissues and toxins. As toxins are released, an abundance of antioxidants are available to help ward off any damaging effects to healthy tissues. $48.00

Peruse the site and discover the wonderful mind, body and spirit gifts that ISUN has to offer you. Click here! Happy shopping.

AmorePacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Collection

By | skin | 3 Comments

There’s no denying the fact that I am a HUGE AmorePacific fan. I absolutely adore their Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel Oil-Free for Summer months when moisture isn’t as much of a concern. And in Winter months, I turn to their Moisture Bound Vitalizing Crème to keep my skin well hydrated and glowing.

I could hardly wait to get my hands on their newest line, launching this Spring, the MOISTURE BOUND Rejuvenating collection.  Complete with a cream, a serum (my favorite – I sub it for the cream) and an eye treatment, these 3 products are meant to “accelerate cell turnover and regenerate fresh skin while deeply hydrating, effectively protecting youthful tone and texture while delaying signs of time.”

Basically, the collection gives your skin a complete resurgence of moisture. So, if you’re feeling parched following this wretchid winter weather, this line is for you and your face!

Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Collection promises results of 50% improvement in hydration levels in just one day and 76% improvement in two weeks.Each product in the Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Collection employs AMOREPACIFIC’s 5-Hydra Complex™, a potent blend of Asian botanicals handpicked for their intense quenching benefits and age-delay power. More hydrating than water, Bamboo Sap and Bamboo Leaf extract deeply moisturize while accelerating skin cell regeneration.

Here are the products:

*Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Creme ($150): This revitalizing creme mimics skin’s own barrier function to achieve optimal moisture levels, effectively improving cellular turnover and regenerating new cells to maintain a fresh, youthful complexion.

*Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Eye Treatment ($85): This penetrating formula intensely hydrates the delicate eye area, fortifying the most vulnerable skin against aging.

*Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Serum ($100): The oil-free, lightweight consistency assures fast, efficient delivery of nutrient-rich Bamboo Sap to the deepest layers of the skin, working synergistically with complementary Moisture Bound Rejuvenating treatments to delay and correct premature skin aging, such as surface lines and wrinkles.

Yes, the products are a bit on the pricey side, but they last for ages and they are soooooo worth it. Your skin will glow, and when your skin glows, so too does your soul. Ugh, that was tres cheesy. You get my point. Good products = good skin. Sometimes, it’ll cost you!

Winter to Spring: Making the Beauty Switchover

By | skin | 5 Comments

Spring is in the air! Can’t you FINALLY feel it? With daylight saving’s time – my personal favorite time of year – Spring is actually a reality.

To celebrate this milestone, we asked Dr. Heidi Waldorf, Director of Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology at Mount Sinai, to answer our questions on turning winter skincare into spring skincare, tanning concerns, and the must have products for the switchover.

Here are her exclusive tips:

What is the best prep for spring skin?

Get your skin barrier back in shape after the cold dry winter.  Use a gentle cleanser and moisturize to keep the skin flexible and the barrier intact.  Gently exfoliate to remove excess scale using a brush like the Clarisonic or the new Olay product or a gentle scrub like resurfastic face.

What is the best SPF that you would recommend? Number? Brand? How high should it be to protect against sun?

SPF should be at least a 30 for outdoor days but remember that the SPF only measures protection against ultraviolet b (uvb), the burning rays.  For protection against ultraviolet a (uva), the aging rays, look in the active ingredients for zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone and/or mexoryl.  Apply daily to any skin that may be exposed during the day and reapply every one to two hours while outdoors and after swimming or sweating.  Some good brands are:  Blue Lizard, Anthelios and Neutrogena.

What are legitimate tanning alternatives moving from the harsh winter into spring?

The only legitimate tan is a sunless tan – it can be a spray, lotion or gel.  One of the easiest ways to ‘tan’ is to use a moisturizer containing some self tanner.  It is easier to apply without streaking and builds color gradually.  Ultraviolet tanning is dangerous indoors and out!

What should one change from their winter to spring beauty routine?

As the weather becomes warmer and the air more humid, switch moisturizing formulas from heavy creams to lighter lotions.  Patients who get irritation from aha’s and retinoids during the winter usually tolerate those products better in the spring and can increase frequency.  And be sure that your body moisturizer contains sun protection as you start to wear short sleeves and shorts.

What services should one have done to prepare for spring?

To remove dull dry skin, professional microdermabrasion or light chemical peels in your dermatologist’s office can add luster.  If you were planning to have laser to remove brown spots or if hyperpigmentation is a problem for you, do those procedures before it starts to get sunny.  For anyone with medium or darker toned skin, even a small amount of ultraviolet exposure can make a laser or peeling procedure heal with lighter or darker pigmentation.

What are the 5 must-have skin care products for spring?

A good sunblock-moisturizer; a waterproof sunblock; antioxidant lotion or serum (works synergistically with your sunblock); a retinoid for night time use; a sun protecting lip gloss…. for over 5, add a gentle exfoliant like the resurfastic face and a gentle cleanser.

Spring Fling: Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream

By | skin | 2 Comments

Yes, another Spring post. Hey, they say Spring’s on its way. Here’s to wishful thinking…

While Spring gives way to lighter jackets and open-toed shoes, it also sparks change in your beauty regimen. Winter is harsh on your skin. Spring is a bit nicer. Then Summer kicks face again.

Kiehl’s is celebrating the changing of season’s with the launch of a new skin cream – Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream. It’s a super-rich, incredibly luxe formula that will nourish, reactivate and regenerate your skin by “waking up” skin cells to regenerate healthier looking skin. Like Spring itself, life reforms.

The story behind the formula is like the change from winter to spring: ” a flower that has the physiological and structural strategy to minimize water loss such that it can dry out completely and survive periods of dryness during unfavorable conditions for up to 31 months as an environmental survival strategy.  Then, when the optimal growth conditions arise, the plant resumes normal growth within hours, with only a few drops of moisture, and is restored in one to two days.”

Rosa Artica is thick in consistency and a little goes a long way so no need to overdue. It’ll definitely hydrate and, even for someone like me with moderate oily skin, it moisturized without turning my face greasy. But the part I loved most of all was how wonderfully glowing my skin looked after a night’s sleep in the cream. Remarkable. My skin seemed to soak the “Resurrection Flower” right up!

The Cream in Statistics:

Rosa Arctica is scientifically proven to:

 •           Retain moisture for smoother, healthier skin

•           Increase cell vitality to accelerate key processes necessary for healthy skin function (proven by decrease of the enzyme LDH)

•           Trigger skin’s own natural restoration process to stimulate collagen and elastin production

•           Defend from future aging by protecting skin from environmental stressors, water loss and oxidation from free radicals

 Key skin benefits from our consumer test:

•           Helps to minimize the appearance of lines, increase firmness and elasticity, and smooth overall texture of skin.

•           91% stated their skin appeared revitalized and rejuvenated*

•           93% said skin felt denser and thicker*

Stock up before Spring!

PRICE TAG: $60.00 for 1.7 fl oz

Dermagenics Purifying Smart Cleanser + GIVEAWAY!!!

By | skin | 27 Comments

I love love LOVE finding a new face cleanser that does everything right: cleans off my makeup, doesn’t strip, and doesn’t make me break out. The fact that I’ve found said cleanser and it contains no soap, sulfates, or alcohol is just a bonus.

Dermagenics Purifying Smart Cleanser is gentle enough to use everyday, twice a day, and won’t damage or irritate your skin. Organic lavender extract soothes the skin and adds a wonderful, subtle scent to the clear formula. And a little goes a long way – it may be sulfate free, but this stuff still suds!

PRICE TAG: $35.00

Well, ladies, you’re in for some GOOD LUCK. In honor of finding a cleanser that I’m smitten with, we’re doing a GIVEAWAY!!!

Here’s how to enter:
Leave a comment in the comment section below. Make sure to leave your name AND email. Also, make sure that you subscribe to our daily newletter by adding your email to the space below the “subscription” button on the left of the site. WE DO CROSS CHECK!
Contest is open to USA participants, only and will close on Tuesday, February 15 at 12:00 pm PST.

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.