Exfoliation 101

Written by: Arielle

 

Exfoliation is one of the most important parts of our at-home skincare routines. Exfoliating on a regular basis will improve skin cell turn over, helping to keep our skin clear from dead skin cells or products that can easily clog the follicle. Believe it or not, we are constantly shedding our skin, even when we cannot see it. Without proper exfoliation, skin can become dry and flaky with uneven texture, making our skin vulnerable to breakouts and ingrown hairs.  It is important to understand exfoliation, especially when sugaring, so let’s get down to the basics:

What is exfoliation? 

Exfoliation is a process that should be done no more than 2-3 times per week depending on your skin type and the type of exfoliant. The process helps remove dry or dead skin cells from our body and face. It can help remove products that create a barrier or a film on the outer layer of our skin. Products that create a film are not only clogging the follicle but are also trapping the dead skin, a recipe for disaster! There are two different methods of exfoliation we can choose from: a psychical exfoliant which mechanically removes the dead skin from our body (like scrubbing) or a chemical exfoliant, which uses chemical ingredients (like alpha hydroxy acids) to deeply exfoliate and speed up the process of cell turnover. You can use both methods of exfoliation on your face and your body, depending on your skin type and what you prefer. 

Physical: 

Physical exfoliation, which we highly recommend to use on all body parts, can be used with tools such as loofahs, exfoliating gloves or mit’s, and dry brushes (to name a few). We can also exfoliate with natural ingredients such as salt grains, sugar grains, jojoba beads, coffee grounds or even oatmeal. You may find exfoliating products that contain plastic micro-beads however, we do not recommend these products. The plastic beads are non-biodegradable and have turned out to be horrible for the environment, not cool!

How to physically exfoliate: 

When we are using any type of physical exfoliant, we want to make sure we are gentle on our skin. Using gentle and soft upward circular motions will give us the best results.  Physical exfoliation should be done 2-3 times per week. If you have sensitive skin, we suggest starting by exfoliating once per week and gradually increase as necessary. Each time you exfoliate, the process should only take a few minutes.  Over-exfoliation can cause irritation, inflammation, and skin sensitivities that may damage our skin in the long run - be gentle!

Chemical: 

Chemical exfoliation is most commonly used to exfoliate the face, and can be a learning process when finding what suits your skin best. Chemical exfoliants products can be purchased over the counter, or you can opt for a professional grade chemical peel. Chemical exfoliation uses ingredients such as AHA’s or BHA’s that dislodge and dissolve dead skin cells. There are also chemical exfoliants that use enzymes to target the outermost layer of the skin and eat away at the dead skin cells. Some of the common ingredients are acids such as salicylic acid (BHA), glycolic, malic or lactic acids (AHA’s). Popular enzymes you will find in chemical exfoliants are naturally derived active ingredients found in fruit. Fruits such as papaya, pumpkin, pomegranate and pineapple. While both acids and enzymes deeply exfoliate to reveal brighter skin, they can cause serious irritation on the skin if used incorrectly. 

How to Chemically Exfoliate: 

Because there are so many methods of chemical exfoliation it is important to do your research on the product you’re interested in before applying anything to the skin. Read the instructions carefully as they all vary and if you are not sure, ask a professional! If you have sensitive skin or are using retinol products, chemical exfoliation will likely not be the right fit for your skin type. Our skin is so unique and different, one product may work wonders for someone and cause a reaction for others.  

Well there you have it! Exfoliation is essential for your at home skin care routine! Proper exfoliation will leave your skin healthy, smooth, and radiant. 

When you are having doubts about the right time to exfoliate here is a quick guide to live by: 

- Skin is looking dry and dull, exfoliate! 

- Headed into a 3-day weekend and need a bomb a** spray tan, exfoliate! 

- Recently experienced a sugaring service and you begin to see those fine tiny hairs growing in, exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! 

All About Brows

Written by: Christine Barsotti

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It is said that eyes are the windows to the soul, so what better way to frame our most important feature of our faces than keeping our browns polished. Eyebrows can enhance our entire facial features and can grately benefit from sugaring. 

One way Eyebrows can help you look and feel more beautiful is by shaping them in the form of sugaring. Sugaring removes unwanted hair in a safe and natural way that suits every skin type. Made of sugar, lemon and water, it doesn't get more natural than that. Regular brow waxes can help you maintain a polished and professional appearance. Continued sugaring over time can even kill the hair follicle maintaining a perfect shape for the rest of your life. A good brow wax can even have the effects of lifting the face and enhancing eye shape. Who needs botox when you can have a brow wax?

Another way brow shaping can help is by maintaining a cleaner and more professional look. A good brow wax can help you have a positive lasting impression, especially in the professional world.

The last way brows can help with beauty upkeep, is a good brow product. Simple things like a brow pencil or a brow tint can add color to sparse areas and fill in those perfectly waxed eye frames, because lets be real, most everyone has some areas in their eyebrows that are more sparse or uneven brows. Their not twins, but sisters. A good brow product can even enhance eye color and brow shape. With sugaring, we can all have perfect brows, anytime, anywhere.

 

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6 Natural Summer Beauty Hacks

Written by: Jenn Juarez

Summer is undeniably every SoCal girls favorite time of the year. Whether you're spending your days at the beach, poolside, hiking, or at work counting the days down until your long-awaited vacay, we all want to look our best. Here are our top six ways to stay summer ready.

 

 image via @freepeople

image via @freepeople

SPF is your BFF. We all know it. We tend to slack off in the winter months and when it is overcast, but you can still get burned through the clouds! Protecting your skin from the sun is the #1 way to protect your skin's health and appearance. Physical sunscreens use active mineral ingredients, like zinc oxide, that sit on top of the skin and deflect the sun's damaging rays. An extra plus is purchasing a physical sunscreen that is also cruelty-free.

We love Bare Republic products, which can be found at Ulta. If you happen to get too much sun, Aloe Vera will always save your sin. In California aloe plants are very easy to find. If you'd prefer, aloe gel can be purchased organic and cruelty-free as well! Just make sure that Aloe is the FIRST ingredient on the bottle. Aloe vera gel is the ultimate aftercare product. Use it after sun, after you save, or after the pesky summer mosquito bites.

 

 image via: byride beauty

image via: byride beauty

Now let's talk silky, smooth skin. This DIY Sugar Body Scrub will help get rid of dead skin cells and reveal fresh, glowing skin. In a shower safe container combine 1 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup oil (either coconut or olive), and 3 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. The sugar will exfoliate, the oil will moisturize, and the citrus helps to brighten your skin. 

 

 image via: intothegloss

image via: intothegloss

So we've got the body looking good and being protected, next up is our HAIR! For those of us who spend our hard-earned paychecks on the perfect hair color, we need to protect our investments. The number one thing we recommend during summer for your hair is COMPLETELY FREE. What is it? Wet your hair with tap water before diving in! It doesn't matter if you're going in a pool or the ocean, this is a must. If you don't soak your hair with fresh water first, your precious locks will soak up all of the chlorine or salt water, both of which are drying and damaging to the hair.

Blondes especially need to utilize this protection method, because we all know our beautiful blonde will go green after a day in a pool! The tap water will be the first thing your hair will absorb and will dilute the chlorine and salt. I know, I know, we all love the way our hair looks after a beach day, so here is a DIY Sea Salt Spray to help you achieve your beachy desires. In a plastic spray bottle mix 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon of gel (for hold) or leave-in conditioner (for softness) with 1 cup of warm water and shake. If you want to feel a little more luxurious, add in a couple drops of your favorite essential oil, like lavender, vanilla or jasmine.

 

 image via: swell 

image via: swell 

Last but not least, one of the most important things we need to do this summer (and always) is to stay hydrated! Sometimes its hard to remember to drink water when enjoying your favorite cocktails poolside, so we suggest investing in a reusable vacuum sealed water bottle to keep your water cold and easy to enjoy. S'well bottles, that can be found at Target, come in so many different colors and patterns you will find the right one to match your personality or bikini. And again, environmentally friendly!