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Archive for the ‘skincare’ Category

8 Popular Beauty Myths You Should Stop Believing

In beauty, hair, makeup, skincare on September 29, 2020 at 10:26 am

When it comes to things like beauty, everyone has an opinion, a trick, and a solution for every beauty need and desire. Whether it’s information that has been passed down from your grandmother, tips and tricks from your friend, or your favorite beauty guru, there are many beauty routines and regimens that we have committed to for years that keep us looking our best. Or so it seems. This is because there are many beauty schools of thought that may actually be a myth.

Now if you feel that what you are doing on a regular basis is working for you don’t change. However, it’s still good to examine our thought process and approach to many of the things that we accept as fact. Below are 8 very popular beauty concepts that we have accepted through the ages that are actually myths.

You Can Make Pores Smaller/Go Away. I totally hate to be the bearer of bad news but pores don’t get smaller or go away. EVER. Also, I really wish that skin care and makeup companies would stop lying to those of us who have enlarged pores with empty promises of their magic pore shrinking lotions and potions. Now, everyone has pores. Everyone. It’s just that some people, usually those with oily, acne prone skin, have larger, more visible pores. Furthermore, pore size is determined genetically. For pores that “look” larger, they can be stretched when clogged with dirt and sebum. This is where appropriate skincare plays a role. Daily cleansing, gentle exfoliation, as well as using a detoxifying mask and things like peel pads can help pores look more refined. As far as makeup is concerned, there are certain primers have blurring effects that can also make pores look more refined. But again, pores don’t get smaller or go away. EVER.

Skin Adapts to Skin Care Products So You Have To Switch To Something New. Skin, which is our largest organ, is ever changing and evolving. What your skin needed 3 months ago may not be what your skin needs today. Think about why you bought a particular item for your skin, maybe to help with a particular concern that you had. Do you have that concern now? Not necessarily because the major skin changes might have already taken place so the results won’t seem as dramatic although the product is working the same way it always has. If you want to switch up your skincare, that’s totally fine but just know you don’t have to switch to a new product because your skin is “used” to your current products.

Wearing Makeup Daily Is Bad For Your Skin. Granted there are some makeup formulations that can irritate your skin, causing inflammation and breakouts. But makeup isn’t inherently bad for your skin. Also, skin doesn’t need to breathe because skin is not made up of tiny lungs. Now clogged pores – that’s another issue. Pores are tiny openings in the skin that release oils and sweat – not oxygen. Be sure to cleanse your face thoroughly on a daily basis and use the proper skincare formulation for your skin type. If you feel like you want to take a break from wearing makeup, that is never a bad thing. Have at it.

You Can Repair Split Ends. This is simply not true. You can use products to help improve their appearance but you will ultimately have to clip your ends and be mindful of things like heat styling, having a hair care routine in place and using the proper products for your hair on a regular basis. Also hair doesn’t grow faster when you cut it. Hair growth comes from the root. Not the ends. Snip Snip.

Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturizer. The oil in one’s skin is not a moisturizer, which is something ALL skin types need. When someone with oily skin does not wear a moisturizer, the skin actually overcompensates for a lack of moisture by over-producing sebum, thus making you more oily and shiny. And even with all of that extra oil, your skin is still dry. It is best to use an oil free or mattifying moisturizer to help with shine as well as moisture.

Dry Skin Causes Wrinkles. Dry skin does not cause wrinkles. Overexposure to UV rays and other elements (aging, poor diet, genetics, smoking/drinking, etc) as well as the breakdown of collagen contribute to wrinkles. Dry skin can accentuate wrinkles but is not the culprit of said wrinkles.

Cellulite Can Go Away. Well not really but sort of through – measures like surgery. Anyway, although fairly harmless, cellulite can be an annoying occurrence that appears on places such as thighs, belly and breasts. It is more common in women than in men and can become more prevalent in aging, pregnancy as well as weight gain. Even those who are fit or slender may actually have cellulite. Cellulite is caused by fat deposits pushing toward of the surface of the skin. The use of creams, depending on ingredients, can offer a temporary reduction in appearance of cellulite. There are some things you can do to improve the appearance of cellulite such as: hydrate, exercise/eat a healthy well balanced diet and possibly dry brushing. When you stay hydrated, you are helping to flush toxins and keep skin looking healthy. When you are dehydrated, skin can appear more dull and cellulite can appear more visible. Exercising can help build lean muscle and burn fat which can help cellulite appear less visible. Eating a well balanced diet with healthy fats and lean protein can help you maintain your personal healthy weight. Dry brushing is thought to help with lymphatic drainage as well as helps with the appearance of skin.

Black Skin Doesn’t Need Sunscreen. Melanin is wonderful and all but it doesn’t protect against the UV rays that lead to aging (UVA) and burning which can lead to skin cancer (UVB). Also – ALL. SKIN. BURNS. For example, if you put white bread, wheat bread and pumpernickel bread into the oven and leave it in too long, all of the bread will burn. You just won’t see the damage on the pumpernickel as well as you would the white bread. But all the bread is damaged. Same with skin. So please, EVERYONE, wear your sunscreen.

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The Natural Deodorant Journey Continues..

In clean beauty, skincare on September 22, 2020 at 9:39 am

So once again I’m on a path to switching to natural deodorant. Around this time last year, I auditioned 3 natural deodorants over a span of several months that didn’t make the cut. My pits were sweaty. Pungent. Annoyed. To make matters worse, during this time, it seemed like everyone wanted a damned hug. Go away. Me and my armpits are going through something. Needless to say, I aborted my mission and went back to my usual aluminum filled choice that keeps my armpits dry and pleasantly fragrant.

I admire people who use natural deodorant. They’ve achieved a sort of relationship that I aspire to. It leaves me feeling like there has to be something out there that can work for me. But the thought of using a natural deodorant makes me leary. I roll my eyes as if thinking of a lover scorned. Or someone who insists on wearing cropped pants and kitten heels. Anyway – the natural deodorant that I’m trying this month is Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream. This deodorant comes enthusiastically recommended from a few of my cohorts. So I’ve tried it. But only inside the house. Because I’m still afraid of being betrayed by my deodorant. The real test is when I actually apply said deodorant and leave the house for the day. Which I haven’t done yet.

Sweet Pitti deodorant cream is part of Drunk Elephant’s hair and body care line which launched earlier this summer. It is contains mandelic acid, shea butter and arrowroot which will keep the skin under my arms soft, smooth and dry while fighting bacteria that leads to pungent pits. It is also formulated without baking soda, essential oils and aluminum – ingredients that can cause inflammation, irritation, discoloration and breakouts. Now I’m used to and prefer a solid so the cream is different for me. I was concerned that it would feel moist under my arms but the formula did dry down shortly after application. The scent is ok but for me deodorant doesn’t necessarily have to have a scent (although a powder fresh scent is always a delight). Retailing for $16, Sweet Pitti is not a bad price to pay for a healthier alternative to other deodorants on the market.

During my research on and in speaking with those who have made the switch to natural deodorants, there may be a period of time where you may have to reapply your deodorant throughout the day as your sweat glands release toxins that can lead to odor. I will try Sweet Pitti for the next month or so and give an update. Perhaps I should leave the house with it on. 🤔

Have you ever tried a natural deodorant and if so what brands have you used and how was your experience?

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

Musings Of The Decolletage

In beauty, skincare on August 5, 2020 at 10:52 am

“I think that each woman, whatever age, needs to recognize something good in her body.  Someone has beautiful legs, someone has beautiful hair, someone else has beautiful decolletage or a beautiful waist or beautiful hands.  Everyone has something great.”  Carine Roitfeld.

 

Many of us know the importance of taking care of our skin.  And for those of us who have a serious skin care routine in place, we usually don’t spare any expense to ensure our skin is radiant, smooth and blemish free.

With that being said, have you ever stopped to consider all of the places you actually apply said skincare?  I mean we apply our various beauty potions on our face and even have a cream or two for the delicate eye area but did you know that you should bring all of  your skincare down to your nipples?  Yes.  Your nipples.  You see, our face actually starts (or stops- however you choose to look at it) at our nipples and skincare should include the area between the bust area all the way up to your hairline.  According to some, the décolletage technically starts at the bottom of your earlobes right down to the areola.

For Mature Audiences Only

Conversations about décolletage can conjure many different emotions.  For some, it is seen as sexy and beautiful – something to be shown off and admired.  For others, it can be seen as something shameful or something to be covered.  Boys drool over it and girls imagine their best lives with it.  Whatever your thoughts are about it – whether it’s something to see or not see – that isn’t the point of this particular discussion.  The point is the decolletage area is skin that should be cared for.

Your décolletage is actually more delicate than the skin on your face.  It contains no follicles or sweat glands.  And  like your hands, your décolletage, which includes the neck and chest area, usually shows the first signs of aging.  Lifestyle habits whether good or not so good – impact what any of our delicate skin looks like as well.  Other factors that affect what our decolletage and the rest of our skin looks like are:

  • Aging.  What else is there to say?  It is the process of life and our bodies go through many changes as we age.  Fortunately, there are many products (and procedures) available to help us age gracefully instead of looking like we have crashed and burned.
  • UV Rays.  UV rays, in addition to the natural aging process, ultraviolet rays cause collagen and elastin to break down causing us to experience an increase in wrinkles and loss of firmness.  Long term exposure to UV rays – childhood through early adulthood  –  also helps to accelerate the aging process.
  • Diet.  Not being the food police here  – eat whatever you want and enjoy.  The fact still remains that what we put in our bodies will show up on the outside of our bodies and on our skin – whether good or not so good.
  • Gravity.  Like aging, gravity is a mutha.  It can really be a drag so it is important to re-evaluate your beauty and lifestyle routine as you progress in age.

So what do you need to do to ensure that your deocolletage gets the care and attention it deserves?  Treat this area the same way you would your face.  After all, we spend a lot of time and money on our faces.  We don’t want our décolletage to look 30 years older than the rest of us.

  • Cleanse.  Since this area is more delicate use a gentle cleanser.  A cleanser with brightening or treatment ingredients are also options if you have specific concerns about this particular area.  Rinse and pat dry.
  • Exfoliate.  Once or twice a week, use a gentle exfoliator or buffing cream to slough  off dead skin cells.  You can also choose to use a device such as a Clarisonic that has  the attachment for body or buffing gloves that will cleanse and smooth the area as well.
  • Treat/Firm.  Those same treatment/firming serums and oils you use for your face, bring them down to the neck and chest area.  Gently massage the product into your skin.
  • Moisturize.  Never forget this step which will help keep this area soft and supple.  Remember there are no sebaceous glands so this area can tend to be more dry.
  • Sunscreen.  Just like we use sunscreen for all of  the other areas of our bodies, it’s important to use sun protection in this area, especially when that area is exposed.  Remember that prolonged exposure to UV rays accelerates the aging process which leads to wrinkles.
  • SleepSleep has regenerative properties not only for our brains and physical body but also for our skin.  Lack of sleep ages the skin therefore making our skin more lackluster and vulnerable to aging.  And when you do sleep, try doing so on your back which can help prevent wrinkles and creasing on your face and chest area.  Sleep wrinkles really are a thing.
  • Posture.  Many of us find ourselves slumped over desks, laptops, and cell phones which compromises good posture.  Remember to sit and stand with shoulders back and our heads up like we are balancing a stack of books.  Walking should take on a similar fashion, as if there is a gentle wind in the small of our backs.  Sure it feels strange and uncomfortable initially but it will help you in so many ways in the long run.
  • Glow.  This is of the utmost importance, especially when wearing low cut to lower plunging necklines.  We love our bronzer and highlight on our faces – it’s equally important to not forget the decolletage.
  • Lift The Girls Up.  With a good  bra (or good underwear for that matter) you can conquer the world.  A proper fitting bra will  help with posture, make your clothes look better and help the girls to sit up nicely, reducing pressure off your back and possibly help the skin not to sag as much.

Products to consider adding to your décolletage skincare repertoire:

 

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

14 Products To Help You Get Rid Of Dark Spots

In beauty, skincare on July 31, 2020 at 10:12 am

I believe it is safe to say that anyone’s skin goal is to have clear, blemish free, glowing skin.  And while many of us may have a good skincare routine in place to support those goals, there are certain times in our lives where annoying discoloration rears its ugly head – better known as hyperpigmentation.

What exactly is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is the general term for the types of discoloration that show up on the skin and is caused (in simple terms) by the overproduction of or excess melanin production.  It can appear as pink or red spots/scarring in fair skin tones and as brown/black spots/scarring in deeper skin tones.  There are various causes (or results) of hyperpigmentation, the most common being melasma, sun exposure and post inflammatory.  Melasma is thought to be caused by (but not limited to) hormonal fluctuations, particularly from pregnancy or oral contraception use.  Sun exposure can cause discoloration from overexposure to tanning beds or lack of using a sunscreen.  Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is very common and can come from various skin trauma such as acne, eczema and other skin rashes.  Whatever the case, this type of persistent discoloration can cause a lot of frustration and your self confidence can suffer.

There are many solutions to treating hyperpigmentation.  One of many is in the doctor’s office with the use of lasers, peels, microdermabrasion or other procedures.  These can have various recovery times and result rates as well as the occasional higher price tag that may not fit in one’s budget.  Depending on the severity and depth of discoloration however, a trip to the doctor’s office may be the better option.

For cases that are mild to moderate,  there are many over the counter (OTC) solutions that can yield the results you may be looking for.  These solutions include serums, creams, toners, gels, peels and moisturizers.  When shopping for products, these are some key ingredients to look for:

  • Kojic Acid.  Derived from mushrooms.  Inhibits pigment production.
  • Arbutin.  Derived from bearberry.  It is a natural derivative of hydroquinone which is considered to be the gold standard in skin lightening.  Arbutin, aka alpha arbutin, is a pigment inhibitor and permits the slow release of actives, making it great for sensitive skin.
  • Glycolic Acid.  A well known AHA, glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and provides chemical exfoliation of the uppermost layers of dead skin cells which helps to fade discoloration.  Glycolic acid helps with smoother skin texture as well as helps to promote even skin tone and clarity as well as helps with signs of aging.
  • Lactic Acid.  An AHA derived from milk, lactic acid works in a way similar to glycolic acid.  It is thought to be more gentle and helps to exfoliate and brighten dark spots.
  • Retinol.  A derivative of vitamin A, retinol helps skin cells to regenerate more quickly, revealing smoother, brighter, more clear skin and addresses the signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles, collagen production, elasticity, dullness).  It is also an anti-inflammatory and can help clear skin and prevent acne.
  • Niacinamide.  A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide, which is easily absorbed into the skin, is also an anti-inflammatory.  It helps to unclog pores, reducing the blemishes which can eventually lead to dark spots.  Niacinamide also helps with oil production and helps to treat redness.
  • Vitamin C.  Derived from citrus fruit, vitamin C inhibits melanin production which can help keep new dark spots from occurring.  It is also a chemical exfoliant so it sloughs off dead skin cells.
  • Willowbark.  This ingredient can come from either the white or black willow bark tree.  It is a natural form of salicylic acid, a BHA that is used to treat acne and remove dead skin cells which leads to the eventual fading of dark spots.
  • Licorice Root.  Beyond the candy that you may have loved or hated as a child, licorice root hinders free radical production and excessive melanin production, both of which can lead to hyperpigmentation.
  • Hydroquinone.  Hydroquinone is a popular skin lightening agent found in many products that are created to address concerns of  discoloration.  It is a compound that works to block/hinder an enzyme in melanin production.

Before you head to the doctor’s office for a procedure, consider trying one of the following products first.  If you don’t see the results you are looking for then make an appointment at your doctor’s office:

  • Dr Murad Rapid Age Spot And Pigment Lightening Serum. $72.  Created with 2% hydroquinone (clinically proven to fade dark spots), glycolic (exfoliation) and a hexapeptide (skin brightening), this serum includes the ingredients to get you the results you are looking for.  It is intended to be applied all over but can also be  used as a spot treatment.
  • Ambi Fade Cream For Normal Skin $6.49  This cream also contains hydroquinone,  as well as alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin E to help even and hydrate the skin.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes $85   Good Genes can be used either day or night.  It helps to plump fine lines and wrinkles, boosts radiance and smooths texture.  Good Genes also tackles uneven skin tone with lactic acid and licorice root extract.
  • Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector $22   The key ingredients of retinol and vitamin C create a gentle yet effective formula for getting rid of dark spots.
  • Ole Henriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner $29 –    The high concentration of actives (glycolic and lactic acid as well as witch hazel water) allows you to swipe away dull skin, discoloration and even target fine lines and wrinkles.  Ingredients such as  chamomile helps to sooth the skin, making this toner gentle enough for daily use.
  • Cane + Austin Miracle +30% Glycolic Acid Peel Pad $88   These pre-medicated 30% glycolic acid pads allow you to swipe away dull skin, treat acne (including hormonal) and help target signs of aging.  Continual use can help with dark spots  and can be used daily – even on sensitive skin.
  • Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum $12  For just $12 this lightweight serum that can be used day and night contains tranexamic (specifically targets dark spots) and 4% niacinamide.  This serum also targets age spots and sun damage.
  • Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum $92   This serum contains powerful ingredients to deliver office procedure level results.  Key ingredients of kojic, lactic and L-ascorbic acid as well as arbutin help to resurface the skin and not only targets post acne scarring and sun damage but also the signs of aging in just weeks.
  • Renee Rouleau Advanced Resurfacing Serum $86.50   This retinol cream is actually safe for sensitive skin and those who have not been able to tolerate other retinol  products.  Because it is a retinol, you will get the added benefit of targeting deeper signs of aging such as loss of collagen production and elasticity.
  • Beauty Counter Overnight Resurfacing Peel $63  Contains a mix of powerful AHA/BHA as well as arginine and essential fatty acids to help with smoother texture as well as brighter, more clear skin.
  • Slurp Niacid 50ml $42   Like other effective products, Slurp Niacid contains niacinamide and transexamic.  However, the added benefit is that this particular product also helps to raise indentations (pitting) that can be caused by severe acne.
  • PCA Skin Pigment Gel $64  The key ingredient of this gel is 2% hydroquinone and is effective on all skin types and all types of discoloration including hormonal and  sun damage
  • Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter $52.50    A brightening serum that helps with the discoloration of today with ingredients such as salicylic acid and glucosamine, but also helps to interrupt discoloration of the future with ingredients such as gyokuro and mulberry root.  Patented CL302 Equalizer Technology (damage eraser) penetrates up to 21 layers of  the skin.
  • Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution $54   This dark spot solution can be used as a spot treatment or all over the face (am and pm).  It contains 3 potent ingredients: Activated C (vitamin C) for clarity and even skin tone, white birch extract for hydration and nutrients and peony extract for prevention of oxidative damage.

Regardless of whatever skincare products you are using, be sure to use a sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF.

Do you struggle with  hyperpigmentation?  If so, what has been your go-to product to help clear up your skin?

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

How To Look Better In Your Next Video Call

In beauty, how to, makeup, skincare on May 18, 2020 at 9:25 pm

Image Courtesy of Cottonbro via Pexels

It’s no secret that video has become a valuable tool in our technologically advanced society, especially during these strange times.  From FaceTime and Skype to the ever increasing popularity and use of Zoom, video is a great way to stay connected.

Now, more than ever, video calls are the go to tool for many of the things we do, from work to virtual happy hours and parties.  With that being said, how we look on video is just as important as the information that is being exchanged.  It usually doesn’t matter when we communicate via phone call, text and email but obviously, in video, people see you.  In most cases, when it comes down to work and even things like virtual dating, looks matter.  Think about it – how would you present yourself to your current or potential boss, client or even a romantic prospect?  You wouldn’t show up in pajamas or a dusty t-shirt or a face mask for your zits.  You, instead, would put your best face forward.  Again, looks matter so it’s important to look your personal best.  Also since many of us are currently stuck inside, that’s all the more reason to put on that lipstick, hair or outfit you’ve been wanting to wear.  So go ahead, you can still slay through that screen with these simple tips/reminders:

Lighting.  When you take a selfie, you usually make sure you show up in the best light.  The same goes for when you are doing a video call.  Natural light is the better option as it most flattering.  The key when using natural light is positioning yourself at the correct angle.  To catch the best light, sit facing the window (or other light source for that matter).  If the sun is particularly bright you can close the blinds a little or put up a white curtain to help filter the light.  On cloudy days you can sit more directly in the light source because your features won’t be blown out.  Whatever the case, be sure to not sit with your back to your light source which will cause your figure to be shadowy.

You can always add a light source if necessary.  Ring lights are very popular and can be found on Amazon (or eBay).  I’ve been using the Make Up Light for several years because I like the ability to customize the fixtures and the fact that that it breaks down quickly, making it easier to carry and can fit mostly in a large tote bag.

You can always use a regular lamp if necessary.  Remember to position it in front of you (behind your computer or other video source).

Sound.  Be sure that your sound is working, without feedback/echo.  This is especially important if you are a presenter or leading the meeting.  Usually the sound on your chosen device is sufficient however if you need something that works better, there are microphone options on Amazon (or eBay).

Setting.  Where you take your virtual meeting (or event) is just as important as how you look.  Choose an area free of excessive distractions.  If possible, set up at a desk or table with ample lighting and a comfortable chair.  Make sure that whatever people see behind you is clean, neat, organized and visually appealing.  Add plants or artwork to add dimension to your space.  If you live with other people or other people will be present in your space, make sure they know when you will be participating in your meeting/event and that they are aware that they should keep noise to a minimum or non-existent.

Position.  Make sure your device (laptop, phone, tablet) is positioned at face/eye level.  and make sure you have good posture.  This will help you to not look distorted and again helps to present you in the best “light” possible.

Wardrobe.  Although, for the most part, you will only be seen from mid chest upwards, it’s still important that whatever people see looks nice.  Choose flattering colors that will complement your skin tone and contrast nicely with your background as well as ensure the right fit for your clothing.  Keep prints to a minimum and be sure that what you are wearing is not too revealing.  A blazer and camisole/t-shirt/blouse is a no fail combination, as well as just a blouse or nice sweater.  It all depends on your work environment, dress code and expectations.  Don’t forget accessories like a simple pair of earrings and/or necklace to complete the look.  However, be sure to avoid noisy jewelry as that can be a distraction.

Makeup.  Whether you know very little about makeup or don’t care for it, the fact  remains that a polished look makes for a good impression.  Again, looks matter.  And not in a “I look like a supermodel” but more of a way in which you don’t look like you just rolled out of bed and was dragged behind a dump truck.  You don’t have to do the most, just follow the basics of giving good face – “flawless” complexion, soft yet well defined brows, lash lift, lip tint/color, sculpting and definition.

  • Flawless Complexion.  Since makeup is never a substitute for good skin, start with a basic skincare routine for your skin type (if you don’t already have a 50 step process in place) – cleanse, tone, moisturize.  Once you have those basics in place,  a primer is your next step.  A primer will keep your makeup up on longer and can help your makeup look better on your skin.  Next apply a lightweight tinted moisturizer or foundation with a beauty blender or foundation brush.  If you need more coverage you can  definitely choose a medium/full coverage foundation.  Dark under eye circles/hyper-pigmentation (acne scars, etc) is a common concern for many so don’t forget a concealer.  Follow up with a setting powder to lock everything in place and to cut down on shine.
  • Brows.  I cannot stress the importance of having good brows.  Brows are the architecture of your face and can make or break your look.  If  you have full brows already, all you may need to do is use a brow gel to tame and shape them.  If you have brows that are more sparse, there are a multitude of products that you can use from brow powder to pencil to fill in/create the perfect brow.
  • Eyes.  You don’t have to do a full smoky eye.  In most cases, eye liner and mascara will suffice.  If you want to give a little more,  you can always choose a color slightly deeper than your complexion in your crease to give a little more depth and structure to the eye by applying/blending with a crease brush.  Finish off with 2-3 coats of your preferred mascara.  For eyeliner, choose an off black or black/brown to define the eye shape and use a smudge brush to soften the lines.  These two color choices will define without looking too dramatic or harsh.
  • Lips.  First off, exfoliation and moisture is so important – whether you choose to wear lip color or not.  Speaking of color, you don’t have to do full on color – a lip tint can suffice if you don’t want to do the most.  But for everyone else, go ahead and  put on that bold bright beautiful color to liven things up.  Mattes are good choice because in many cases, depending on formulation/brand, there is minimal transfer.
  • Sculpting with blush.  Add a little blush to add warmth to the complexion and  to sculpt and define those cheekbones.

Hair.  Brush it.  Comb it.  Shave it.  Cut it.  Do whatever you have to do to make sure it looks nice and presentable.  Styling products are your friend.  Add accessories if you need to like a headband or a nice hair clip.  Chances are you have many of these things in your arsenal.  You just need to use them.

 

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

Skincare And Wellness Ingredient Trends Worth Knowing

In skincare on February 2, 2020 at 11:29 pm


Just when we thought we’ve gained a thorough understanding of all the ingredients in our favorite skincare, a new or alternative ingredient makes it’s way onto the scene.  These new/alternative ingredients, which show up in entirely new products or as new iterations of the products  we’ve been using might make you wonder if what you are currently using is “the one”.  But, if you are anything like me and other beauty enthusiasts and experts out there, you are definitely one to do some research, shopping and testing.  With piqued interest, we do whatever is necessary to get our hands, faces, lips and hair acquainted with these new products on the market.  Contained in these products are breakthrough ingredients that promise to be better than their predecessor and revolutionize how we do skincare and beauty.  Are these ingredients here to stay or will they eventually fade into oblivion?  Only time will tell.  Below are 8 ingredients/concepts that are making a mark in the skincare, beauty and wellness industries and taking up space on our vanities and bathroom sinks.  

Cica.  Around the later half of 2018 I started noticing products with the ingredient cica. Cica, also known as centella asiatica, is a well known herb in Asia and very popular in Chinese medicine. A more familiar name is tiger balm and is associated with the tigers who supposedly roll around in the herb to help regenerate their skin from battle wounds.  For humans, cica, which has antibacterial properties, is great for sensitized skin and aids in repairing the skin barrier.  It is also great for caring for the skin after procedures like chemical peels and laser treatments. Dr Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream

Polyhydroxy Acids aka PHA’s.  Just when we got a handle on understanding what AHA’s did for our skin, another acid makes it’s way into the spotlight. Unlike AHA’s which can cause irritation to the skin and make it more sensitive to the sun, PHA’s have larger molecules which don’t penetrate as quickly and deeply, causing less irritation thus making PHA’s a possibly better alternative for sensitive skin.  The end goal of a PHA is the same as AH  (chemical exfoliation for brighter, smoother skin) but less aggressive.  Ole Henriksen Phat Glow Facial

Retinols/Retinol Alternatives.  Although this ingredient is the holy grail of skincare ingredients, nothing raises eyebrows more than the word retinol.  As a vitamin A derivative, retinol is responsible for making skin cells act younger. Today’s versions of this old school ingredient originally prescribed for acne, now shows up in serums, moisturizer and various other treatments with buffers such as manuka honey to counteract the sometimes aggressive effects of retinol.  Now there  are retinol alternatives such as bakuchiol which promise to deliver similar line reducing, collagen producing results as traditional retinols but that are less irritating and invasive.  Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum

Overnight Eye Sleeping Masks.   We all know the importance of using eye creams for the delicate eye area EVERY SINGLE DAY AND NIGHT. There are many formulations to address various concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, brightening, puffiness and refreshing – you name it, there is a a potion for it.   Recently, I have seen an uptick in overnight eye sleeping masks and like overnight sleeping masks for the face, these particular masks provide the same benefits to the eye area while you sleep.  Laneige Eye Sleeping Mask

Liquid Exfoliators.  Back in the day, one of the skincare steps that was included in a solid skincare routine was the use of a physical exfoliator. These physical exfoliators helped to refine and brighten the texture of the skin and are still a product of choice for many.  The newer kid on the block, liquid exfoliators, which are acids that exfoliate (AHA, BHA, PHA) provide a form of chemical exfoliation without the abrasiveness and helps to unclog pores, brighten, smooth and get rid of dark spots. Please note if you are using retinols and liquid exfoliators ask part of your skincare routine, alternate your days between the two products until you build up tolerance and to prevent excess drying and irritation.  Nip + Fab Exfoliate Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow Daily 2%

CBD.  It’s no secret that many of today’s beauty products – from mascara, serums, body and intimate care – seem to be infused with CBD.  But what exactly is CBD and will you start tripping off of it?   Well, CBD, also known as a cannabinoid, comes from the canibus sativa plant and because it doesn’t contain THC, a known psychoaticive, you will not get high or start tripping.  So then why would you want a product that contains CBD?   CBD has antioxidants and can treat inflammation, anxiety and pain.  It can also help with skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.  Hora Skincare Super Serum + CBD

Adaptogens.  Although not a new concept as adaptogens have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayuvedic healing/medicine, the conversation around adaptogens has ramped up in recent years.  Adaptogens are a category of non-toxic plants (and some mushrooms) that help the body resist stressors.  We all know the long term effects that stress can have on the immune, neurological and physical aspects of our being and it is though that the use adaptogens in addition to a balanced diet and lifestyle can lead to better health.   Adaptogens can be found in various forms including teas, pre-mixed powders as well as pills and capsules and includes rhodiola, ashwagandha, reishi, maca root, turmeric and ginseng.  Moonjuice Super You Dietary Supplement

Sustainability.  So we know about the impact our lifestyle is having on the environment in the way of global warming. It’s not a new thing for brands to pay attention to the ingredients they are putting in the products we use on our bodies but more and more beauty companies and brands are putting more effort into recycled packaging – even down to the ink that is used in printing on the packaging. Companies even have goals on being completely sustainable within a particular timeframe. Wildcrafting is a term (as it relates to skincare ingredients) that I have been hearing more of recently and refers to the sustainable practice of harvesting a plant as it grows naturally in its environment.

The Rise Of Single Ingredient Skin Care: Does your skin care have to be complex to be effective?

In skincare on December 9, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Simple, effective, and customizable describes the new trend disrupting the skin care industry.

As more people begin to understand the importance of taking care of their skin, many are starting to invest more time and money in pursuit of products to support their skincare goals.  For some that may mean actually putting a routine in place where there was none.  For others, that may mean an upgrade to a moisturizer they’ve used for years or adding a sunscreen or eye cream.  If you are a more advanced skincare user, you might also be one to use an essence, serum, peel, mask and an oil.  And, if you are really fancy pants, you might be a jade rolling, micro needling aficionado who has monthly appointments with your facialist.  All in the pursuit of beautiful skin.

That might seem like a of products (or steps) for someone to use on their face.  In some instances it is which is why it’s important to assess what your skin really needs.  Within the various product categories, most, if not all of the skin care products one uses on their skin has multiple benefits because of the many ingredients they are created with.  Nothing is wrong with that if you are getting the results you desire. Many of our favorite skincare brands spend years in research and development to create products that deliver first in class, highly efficacious products.

But then attached to this multi-step, muti-product routine is the all too familiar hefty price tag.  And the fact that you can still be confused about what may or not work best for your particular skin concerns – even after going to a skincare expert, reading multiple articles and reviews or watching YouTube videos.  To ease the pain of the sometimes exorbitant price tag, there is always the option of going to the local drug store to purchase your skin care.  But have you noticed that even drugstore brands are becoming more advanced, complex and expensive?

With that being said, many people are not opposed to using a $200 serum if it really works.  But what if there is a single ingredient product that gets right down to the heart of your skincare needs?  And what if that single (or fewer) ingredient item costs significantly less than its counterpart where a particular hero ingredient shares space with other active ingredients that your skin may not need at the moment?

Welcome to the trend of what has been considered fast skincare.  Fast skincare usually features a single or hero ingredient and a focus on customization without the hefty price tag.  With customization as one of the key components of this newer trend in skincare, customers know what they are purchasing, are able to target a specific concern and can use in addition to the products they are already using – thus allowing one to address their skin’s ever changing needs without the high price.  Why is this trend considered fast skincare?  Because there are shorter R & D times.  With shorter R & D times, the average product turnaround, from concept to production to market is about 18 weeks vs 18 months – a concept similar to fast fashion.  That, in addition to leveraging the power of social media and using simplistic packaging that’s still Instagram worthy allows brands to come to market faster and get in the hands of consumers ASAP.  Below are 4 brands that fall into the category of fast or less expensive targeted skincare with a single/hero ingredient.

The Ordinary.  Just a few years old, The Ordinary, which falls under the Deciem umbrella, focuses on “clinical formulations with integrity”.   This results driven skin care line is very affordable with prices starting at $6 and is free of parabens, sulfates and mineral oils.  It is still important to know your ingredients – the varying percentages and various ingredients can leave one confused.  It’s almost like staring at a chemistry exam.

Versed Skincare.  Versed Skincare is Who What Wear‘s sister brand and has 19 essential products under $20 that cleanse, seal, boost or treat.  There is a line up of serums, oils, cleansers and peels, all of which are vegan and cruelty free – products are only tested on humans.  The simplistic packaging features pastel colors with symbols that speak to the function or focus of the product:  hourglass – aging, bulls eye – target, sun-dullness and is definitely Instagram worthy.

Good Molecules.  Good Molecules is created by Beautylish as a budget friendly brand.  Products are fuss free and start at $6.  Rest assured that the ingredients are up to standard as this product line was created by beauty industry veterans.  They have worked directly with top labs to create products that address texture, acne, dryness and hyperpigmentation with easy to understand terms.

The Inkey List.  UK based brand The Inkey List focuses on 15 hero ingredients – all $15 and under.  Created by former Boots branding and product development team Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, their focus is on simplifying popular skin care terms.  The Inkey List includes skincare heavy hitters such as retinol, salicylic acid and vitamin C and is cruelty free.  They do not work with suppliers who animal test and they do not enter into any test market where there is no alternative to animal testing.  They also have an environmental and sustainability policy  and are making an effort to source ingredients from sustainable sources.

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.

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.

These 7 Ingredients Can Help Fight Acne

In skincare on September 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

person s face covered with white powder

Photo by Ricardo Garcia on Pexels.com

Having a breakout is never a fun thing.  Whether it is periodic or a regular occurrence, breakouts are the kiss of death.  Sure, having acne is terrible when you are an awkward teenager but what about when you are a full grown adult?  In your career?  On the dating scene?  Advancing toward the next milestone of your life?  In a perfect world, adulting would never include fighting acne.

But it’s not a perfect world and adult acne is a real thing.  And while some people may think focusing on your looks is vain and self centered, those struggling with adult acne know better.  Oftentimes, there is an embarrassment and shame as well as the physical and emotional scarring that is overlooked.

To cope, some acne sufferers may just chalk it up to breakouts being their lot in life and just move on.  Depending on the severity, some may suffer depression and never leave the house while others will spend time and money undergoing treatment.  The latter is always an option in the fight against breakouts but there are also over the counter (OTC) options that can help you in the war against acne.

But wait.  With all of the OTC options that exist, how do you know which brand to choose, let alone which ingredient to choose?  Continue reading to get the 411 on several pimple fighting ingredients.

Benzoyl Peroxide.  An old school acne fighting ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, which is perfect for whiteheads, kills the bacteria that causes acne and keeps pores from being blocked.  Found in concentrations between 2.5% and 10%, it is best when used on a continual basis.  Proceed with caution because it can be drying to the skin and cause redness.  Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment.

Glycolic Acid. This popular alphy hydroxy acid which is derived from sugar cane is a master at exfoliation and skin clearing.  Having the smallest molecule, it is able to penetrate the skin to help with concerns such as acne, blackheads, dullness, scarring fine lines and wrinkles, helping to reveal smoother, brighter skin.  Helps with whiteheads.  Mario Badescu Glycolic Gel.

Light Therapy.  This kind of treatment uses different colors (blue and red) of visible light to treat acne.  Red light, which stimulates collagen, not only treats anti-aging but helps with inflammation and helps to reduce oil production.  Blue light is an anti-bacterial and helps to reduce the appearance of pores and active breakouts.  Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment.

Salicylic Acid.  A beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory that treats whiteheads and blackheads.  Performing like Drain-o, salicylic acid dives past oil and gunk to get down to the pores to clear them out and dissolves the cement that holds the sticky cells together.  Although salicylic acid is found in most acne treatments, it does not kill bacteria.  Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil.

Sulfur.  Another ingredient that wages war against the bacteria that causes acne, sulfur can be used to treat mild acne.  It is keratolyic – meaning it dries the skin and makes the epidermis thinner.  Sulfur helps to reduce oil and has anti-microbial properties.  Helps with whiteheads and blackheads.  Dr Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask.

Niacinamide.  Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide has multiple benefits for the skin, helping with the appearance of enlarged pores as well as fine lines and wrinkles.  It can also help brighten the skin and help reduce redness.  Fights whiteheads blackheads.  The Ordinary, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.

Retinoids.  If you are looking for a product with an ingredient that addresses multiple concerns, retinol might be for you.  A derivative of vitamin A, retinol is anti-aging in that it helps with fine lines and wrinkles.  As an exfoliator, it helps refine skin texture and pores as well as helps to speed up cell turnover to reveal new skin.  Retinol is also an anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce oil production.  You may experience drying if you have dry skin.  Use at retinol products night and use a sunscreen during the day.  Treats whiteheads and blackheads.  Differin Gel.