beautygrind

Elevate Your Skincare Game With The Power Of Retinoids

In beauty, skincare on May 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm

Retinols, which are a form of retinoids, have long been the go to when it comes to skincare multi-tasking and anti-aging.  Considered to be the gold standard in skincare, retinoids are like your big sister who can do it all.  Retinoids have been around since the 70’s and were originally prescribed for acne concerns because they help to slough off dead skin and clear pores. Dermatologists and patients began to see that with regular use skin was more clear and smooth, with fewer pimples and less discoloration.  Skin looked better overall.

What Is A Retinoid And Where Does It Come From?
To first understand what a retinoid is and what it does, it is important to understand where retinoids come from.  Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A which occurs naturally in the body and can also be found in animal or plant sources.  Vitamin A is important because it is responsible for things like good vision and healthy bones as well as healthy cell turnover and collagen production.  

The term retinoid is the category name or umbrella under which the terms retin-a and retinol fall under.  Retin-A (aka tretinoin) is available with a prescription.  Retinol, the more common form of retinoid, is known by more familiar terms such as retinol palmitate, retinol acetate and retinol linoleate.  These forms tend to be more gentle and are a perfect introduction into the world of retinoids.   Retinols don’t need a prescription and can be found over the counter – in your favorite beauty stores.

How Do Retinoids Work And How Are They Different Than AHA’s And BHA’s? 

Retinoids, which work in the deeper layers of the skin, help to reduce the appearance of fine line, wrinkles, discoloration and enlarged pores.  They also help with cell renewal and collagen production.  The later two functions are important to note as they relate to anti-aging concerns because when you reach the age of 30, cell renewal begins to slow down, occurring evey 60 days or so as opposed to every 28-30 days when in your twenties. Slower cell turnover leads to dull, lackluster, congested skin.   In addition, collagen production, which is responsible for giving our skin, bones and connective tissues the structure they need, also begins to decline as well when we age.  This reduction in collagen production is responsible for fine lines, deep wrinkles and sagging, less plump skin. Retinoids work to increase skin thickness and elasticity in the deeper layers where wrinkles begin.  They also slow down the breakdown of collagen and curb the production of melanin (brown spots).

So what is the difference between retinoids, AHA’s and BHA’s?  AHA’s work on the surface of the skin to improve what we see while BHA’s work just below the skin’s surface.  Retinoids affect the deeper layers of the skin to push out permanently better skin and are more effective in the long run. 

How Does One Incorporate Retinoids Into Their Skincare Routine?

Start slowly and follow the directions of the brand you choose.  Directions usually instruct to use every other evening or 1-2x weekly, eventually working your way up to every evening.  Always use a sunscreen and keep in mind that results can take anywhere from 3-6 months of regular use to really see results.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Retinol Use?  What Precautions Should One Take When First Using Retinol?

Possible drying, peeling, or redness.  However, the new generation of retinoids deliver the same results with less irritation because these formulations include ingredients such as honey and jojoba to help soothe and calm irritation.   If you do experience any side effects, you can reduce dosage/usage but don’t stop completely because you won’t see the benefits.  Make sure you are using a moisturizer/oil to keep the skin hydrated and to counteract any possible irritation associated with retinol use.  Don’t use if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. 

Differin Gel.  Once available only with a prescription, Differin gel is the first FDA approved retinoid gel approved for over the counter use for the treatment of acne.  Differin gel contains adapalene, a form of retinoid that treats/clears acne.  Available in a 30 day and 90 day supply and has an accompanying cleanser and moisturizer. The highest dose still requires a prescription (.3% adapalene)

Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength 3% Retinoid Plus.  Perfect for normal, oily, combination and dry skin, this lightweight serum helps to get rid of the signs of aging.  A key ingredients include caffeine which helps with penetration and the buffering complex of symitive 1609 and symcalmin to calm irritation.

Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex.   This vegan, gluten-free eye cream is microencapsulated, ensuring potency of the retinol as well as better absorption into the skin.  Niacinimide, vitamin C and peptides help to ensure hydration, reduction of dark circles and plumping of fine lines.

Darphin Ideal Resource Youth Retinol Concentrate.  Infused with nourishing botanicals, this retinol encourages cell turnover, moisturizes and is perfect for face and eye.  To preserve potency and protect from light damage, this retinol concentrate is housed in individual opaque capsules.

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.  This cream has the highest strength of retinol available without a prescription and works overnight to help reduce the signs of aging with pure RoC Retinol and an essential mineral complex.

Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Booster. This lightweight fluid is a slow release retinol that actually boosts the efficacy of your other skincare products such as serums and moisturizers.  It also helps to even skin tone and improve radiance.  Can also be used alone.

Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum.   This serum which is perfect for normal, dry, combination and oily skin contains a 6.5% blend of retinoid ingredients to fight the signs of aging as well as Hawaiian white honey, bisabolol and ginger to help balance and soothe the skin.

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream.  The key ingredients of Vitamin F, triple peptide blend and Retinol 1% work together to help target UV damage and other signs of aging while helping to firm and smooth the skin.

Are you a retinol user or is it something you have considered adding to your skin care routine but haven’t done so yet? Leave your comments below.

The Interview. Karin Rodney-Haapala

In the interview on May 15, 2019 at 4:33 pm

What happens when the ladies get together for a day of makeup-art and conversation?  A wonderful time spent talking about life: careers, relationships, life lessons and of course beauty.  Ideas and laughter permeated the creative space and was the perfect backdrop for encouragement and pushing each other toward greatness.

Karin Rodney-Haapala

Social: @krhaapala, @damesativa

Hometown: Washington, D.C. (Currently residing in Silver Spring, MD)

Occupation:

  1. A/R/Tographer (artist/researcher/teacher) owner of KRH Arts & Academics and Part Time College Professor of Fine Arts at Montgomery College
  2. Depth Psychologist
  3. Cannabis Health and Wellness Educator and Co owner/Chief Creative Consultant of Greener Living Experience

Describe your style in 3 words. Androgynous. Comfortable. Minimalistic.

Where does your style inspiration come from?   Playing in an orchestra from 10-19 years old, I had to wear black all the time.  I am also drawn to the style of the abstract expressionist.

You have amazing skin.  Tell us about your skincare routine and some of your favorite products.  A fragrance free skin care routine is key.  As an aesthetician, I find that people use products with copious amounts of fragrance in their skin care products.  Though they may not develop an allergy from their products at that moment, it is highly possible that they will develop one in the future.

I have very hormonal reactive skin.  To counteract this, I do the following – in the morning, I use Ceravae Face Wash.  Then I follow up with a sulfur wash.  To finish up, I use an acne cream called Aczone,  followed by a Neutrogna Gel Cream and a sunscreen.  In the evening, I oil cleanse with grape seed oil and Ceravae Face Wash.  I then use Ceravae Night Cream followed up with Retin A.  I also get monthly facials.

You mentioned that you wear a sunscreen.   It can be difficult for those of us with deeper skin tones to find the right sunscreen that doesn’t leave that horrible gray or lavender cast on our skin.  What are some of your favorite brands to use?  For sunscreens there are some unsung choices.  Neutrogna Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen is a delightful treat. I believe it comes in SPF 30 and 50.   It’s light and perfect for oily skin.  Black Girl Sunscreen says it all.  It is made for us brown girls by brown girls.  It fits along my “clean” skincare regimen.  It has no fragrance, parabens, oxybenzone or octinoxate. SuperGoop! Unseen Sunscreen is a treat.  It is gluten free and an affordable daily staple. 

I love your haircut/style.  What hair care items do you use and what does your daily/weekly routine look like?  Well thank you!  I use hemp oil to moisturize my hair and scalp daily.  I also use Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl And Shine shampoo and conditioner.  I follow up with the Ouai leave in conditioner.  I often wear protective styles like braids and twists.  After six years of growing my hair, I decided to get it trimmed.  I know…I know…Also, I shave my head every two weeks.

You are truly a multi-hyphenate. Tell us a little bit more about your career and what advice would you give to someone who might want to follow a similar path?  I guess you can say that I am an entrepreneur in many ways.  I do not have one set career field. I have many interests and skills, so I decided to create my own lane.  After ten years of service in the military and 6 degrees under my belt, I decided to never work in a cubicle or work a 9 to 5.  I encourage others to do the same.  It is scary to do but just create a lane and ride!

Tell us more about your work as a depth psychologist and as a cannabis health and wellness educator.   Depth psychology, which studies the unconscious, investigates the inner systems of the psyche and how these processes, such as dreams and/or complexes affect our life or vice versa.  Most of this exploration is visible in mythology, fairy tales, ethogenic experience (the use of psychedelics) and theology.  This work affords me to study the creative process and facilitates my students’ inner processes and, at times, reveals gems that heightens and expands their creative work.

Navigating the realm of cannabis can be overwhelming.  My initiation into using cannabis as medicine and lifestyle lacked when it came to open resources to study so I took it upon myself to do the research.  I now share that journey and knowledge with patients to teach plant based self care management.  As a cannabis health and wellness educator, I facilitate a learning environment that engages patients and helps them see the healing properties of the beautiful Cannabis sativa plant.  My business partner and I assist in the crossing of the threshold of medical marijuana patients who initially have a warped perspective of using plant based medicine (cannabis) in their times of need.  We focus on the science and individual experiences to suggest strains that may benefit the patient. We emphasize and promote a responsible healing culture for all.  Deconstructing and destigmatizing the ugly myth of exploring and consuming cannabis yields a whole new way of exploration and consumption of cannabis and thus the use of some harmful and addictive pharmaceuticals such as opioids.

If you could be any character from a movie, who would it be and why?  Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden from the film “Fight Club” or Tilda Swinton’s character Madame Markos in the remake of Dario Agento’s “Suspiria”.  Practically any villain or anti-hero would be my choice.  Both are flawed and exude a depth of authenticity even in their non-heroic ways.

What advice would you give to your younger self?  “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

Are you currently working on any projects?   Yes, I am working on a thousand things.  My photographic work, Incidents, is part of the National Veterans Art Museum’s triennial.  I also just came back from Chicago for the opening and gave an artist talk.

I am the curatorial Consultant for the upcoming exhibition in the Fall called “Service, Art and Passion. Six Veteran Artist.”

As Cannabis Health and Wellness educator and Co owner/Chief Creative Consultant of Greener Living, we are preparing to launch our YouTube channel and Podcast.

Photography by @rozzienecole

Makeup by @khalilahneals

Styling by @krhaapala





PIT STOP: What Happened When I Tried Natural Deodorant For 5 Months?

In beauty, clean beauty, skincare on April 29, 2019 at 8:53 am

I have been on a journey of sorts for the past 5 months or so trying to navigate the natural deoderant space.  For years, I have given the side eye to the thought of using natural deodorants (and many beauty products with the word “natural”) because I have considered these types of products to be ineffective.  That coupled with people’s account of their own testy experiences with natural deodorants was enough to make me never want to convert.

Clean Beauty

Natural beauty products and their use is nothing new as these types of products have been around for some time.  However, with greater and more recent focus on the environment and sustainability, people have also been shifting their focus to cleaner living by using products (food, beauty and cleaning products, etc) that are perceived to support better health with fewer to no toxins.  With that said, although there are some products I love that I’m not ready to part with, I decided I would begin my clean(er) journey by starting with my deoderant.  A Degree and Dove user for years, these two deoderants have NEVER let me down with profuse sweating or smelly pits. I have always been confident when raising my hand, hugging people or just being outside of my house for that matter.  In addition, the pits of my clothing have not been ruined with stains or smells and life was good.  So, before stumbling head first into this arena, I felt I needed to do some research.  I needed to be educated and ensure that I wasn’t jumping on some scare tactic bandwagon.  Why should I, or anyone for that matter, consider clean/green beauty products in general and deoderant specifically.  Why is this a good idea?  I also wanted to stop feeling guilty and worthless because I wasn’t interested in making the change – despite what everyone was saying. Cause no one has time for stinky pits.  EVER.

Back To That Research

During my research,  I learned that that one of the active ingredients of concern in traditional deoderant/antiperspirant is aluminum. Aluminum, which is responsible for blocking odor and keeping you oh so fresh and so clean is also stopping a natural process by which your body gets rid of toxins – sweating.  Sweat in and of itself doesn’t cause odor but when mixed with the naturally occurring bacteria on your skin can cause odor.   It has also been found that traditional deoderants/antiperspirants contain other ingredients that can cause skin irritations as well as can be can be linked to certain health issues.  With the application of these questionable ingredients being applied regularly so close to the breasts, there is concern of increasing estrogen related hormones as well as increasing lymph node and breast health concerns.  While organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National institutes of Health (NIH) have not concluded that not using a natural deoderant can negatively impact one’s health, switching over is definitely worth consideration so I decided to give it a try. During my research, I also learned that there can be a significant detox period with your pits as you make the transition which can result in you smelling like a 15 year old boy after gym class.

With that being said,  I decided that I would wait until the fall/winter months to give natural deodorants a try.  I figured that I would be less sweaty from the hot weather.  To me, less sweaty means less funky.  Or so I thought. Not sure what would make me think that I was exempt from the impending detox period. 

So now, a run down of the clean deoderant brands that I have tried thus far…

Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deoderant. Because I respect Tarte as a brand and enjoy using their Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes and Tarteist Clay Paint Liner, I was excited to try this deoderant.  My initial impression of this deoderant was that it smelled pleasant and applied smoothly.   As I went throughout the day, I was unable to get past the moist feeling under my arms but that was to be expected right? Right.  Then the unpleasant scent began to linger under my arms.  I was definitely uncomfortable but decided to stick to it.  I would also reapply mid day to ensure fresher smelling pits but to no avail.   I also noticed that the deoderant dried out rather quickly and became harder to apply and yes, the cap was on tightly.  My intent was to finish what I started and use the entire tube.  However after a month or so of funk, swamp like wetness and general torture, I figured this particular deoderant was not for me and decided to try a different natural deoderant.

Kopari Coconut Deoderant.  Kopari is still a fairly new brand to me and I do like their Coconut Lip Glossy so I decided to give the deoderant a try.  Let me just say it was love at first swipe.  I loved the way this deoderant smelled and was infatuated with the texture and the smooth way it applied to my armpits.  I looked forward to using this during my am and pm beauty routines.  It did feel more moist under my arm than with the previous deoderant BUT my pits smelled good.  Initially.   The good times lasted for a couple of weeks then one day I got a whiff of myself and was frightened.  How could this be?  I wasn’t going to run away and again decided to stick it out.  I made sure I reapplied throughout the day which curbed odor but I honestly couldn’t get past the fact that my armpits felt like a raging ocean during hurricane season ALL. DAY. LONG.  After almost 2 months I decided to move on.

Farmacy Freshen Up All-Natural Deoderant. Farmacy is a brand that I absolutely love. From their Green Clean Makeup Melt Away Cleansing Balm to their Honey Savior All In One Skin Repair Salve, Farmacy is definitely a brand that I will spend my money on and feel good about it.  So when this deoderant launched I was extremely excited.  I liked the cool, menthol-like scent and feel and loved the way it applied smoothly.  I felt good about the fact that my pits were dry and stayed that way throughout the day.  I felt like I was winning.  Then a few weeks in I happened to get a whiff of my pits. The scent was enough to choke a baby elephant.  Again I was going to stick it out. After a month or so, nothing changed.  NOTHING. Enough already.

So after all that, what did I do?  I went back to my regular deoderant/antiperspirant  – Degree to be exact.  I have received some recommendations for a few other clean brands that I want to try.  But not right now.  I need a break.   I will definitely give an update on this journey because I really want to change but I just can’t right now.

Have you considered switching to a natural deoderant or are you a hardcore traditional deoderant user?  If you have switched over, how has your journey been?   Leave your comments below.