1371 posts tagged "Skincare"
Eco, at least when it comes to beauty, often equates to products that leave much to be desired as far as aesthetics are concerned and stink to high heaven once you slather them on. I’ve never been into the “natural” scent that normally consists of a combination of patchouli and some rare botanical handpicked from a far-flung field. I’m all for saving the planet and minimizing my carbon footprint, but as an eighties child who was raised on synthetics (my diet consisted of Lucky Charms and I doused myself in cucumber melon body spritz), it’s difficult to make the switch to good-for-you (and the planet) ingredients and packaging. In this week’s Style Hunter, I round up the ten green and gorgeous finds that are helping me make the transition. Click here to discover my new stripped-down essentials.
In 1850 in the Austrian Valley, Susanne Kaufmann’s great-great-grandparents opened the Hotel Post Bezau, which thrived happily for more than a century as a place to undergo “la cure” (i.e., a doctor-supervised health break via massages, water therapy, and good old-fashioned mountain air). In 2003, when Kaufmann expanded by adding a spa with the requisite beauty treatments, she knew one thing: The products would have to match the natural, alpine-clean, and health-promoting ethos that made the hotel so successful.
An intensive search for a beauty partner that fit her rigorous criteria of no chemicals, no preservatives, and no color amalgamators turned up nothing, so she decided to create her own range. To realize her goal, she called upon a neighboring farmer to pitch in. “Hotel Post Bezau has always sourced regionally—our menu came from local produce, and the materials for the hotel as well, so we knew we wanted to stick to that spirit and maintain the Austrian authenticity,” explained Kaufmann. “We called on our neighbor Ingo Metzler, a farmer who was making cheese but who also started his own cosmetics line from alpine ingredients, and we decided to collaborate.”
To create the formulas, they literally foraged through meadows and fields of the Bregenz Forest, plucking a myriad of plant-based ingredients such as rosemary, marigold flower, broccoli seed, yarrow, chamomile, thyme, and sage. Then, along with dermatologist Seppl Waldner, they combined them with energy-rich oils like rosehip seed and cuckoo flower, resulting in a series of products that are both restorative and curative. Not only is aging addressed, but also everyday problems like eczema, psoriasis, and even a stiff neck. An added bonus: The sleek and modern packaging make the bottles and jars pretty enough to keep out on your bathroom counter.
So it comes as no surprise that people started noticing them outside of the Austrian hills. 10 Corso Como and Greenwich Village’s Aedes de Venustas, as well as a host of well-edited shops around the globe, are stockists. Up next for the burgeoning brand? A cellulite “peeling” cream—and early next week, an edit of their line will launch on Net-a-Porter.
There has been a lot of pillow talk recently, with fabric cases claiming to do everything from preventing fine lines to minimizing breakouts. But does a rectangular piece of cloth have the power to change your complexion? We asked New York City dermatologist Francesca Fusco if this trend is beauty magic or total B.S:
There are a handful of high-tech linens worth considering, noted Fusco. The most promising one is the Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase, which has support from a small study that demonstrated a decrease in the appearance of crow’s-feet after eight weeks of sleeping on a pillowcase that contains copper oxide, which “upregulates the secretion of extracurricular skin proteins,” she explained. Something like the BeautyZZZ Natural Silk Pillowcase takes the classic version to the next level with its chemical-free, hypoallergenic material. “It will diminish sleep lines as well as be gentle on sensitive-skin types,” Fusco said. “But make sure you wash it with hypoallergenic detergent, otherwise you defeat the purpose.” Then there are pillowcases geared toward breakouts, like the Nufabrx Pillowcase for Blemish Prone Skin, which has a blend of four essential oils in its weave. “Acne can be exacerbated by stress and the subsequent cortisol spikes—if aromatherapy helps diminish stress and subsequent acne, this pillowcase could be a good thing.”
The bottom line: Bonus points for sleeping on complexion-boosting blends, but laundering whatever fabric you put your face to each night on the reg is the real key to getting a flawless facade with your eyes closed.
This column features tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox.
I’ve heard cutting out dairy and sugar can help clear up acne. True? I want to be sure before I make the sacrifice.
Yes, studies link a diet high in dairy and sugar to acne, sadly. The same research also shows acne sufferers tend to have low fish intake and high saturated and trans-fat levels. It seems that this kind of diet can induce insulin and sebum production in the skin, which can aggravate acne. So avoiding sugar, high-glycemic-index foods, and cows’ dairy, and taking a probiotic (at least 5 billion organisms) would be the first step. Next, I would recommend a dietary supplement containing specific nutrients: zinc, B-complex, vitamin A, vitamin E, and copper, for example, have been shown to clear up 88 percent of patients’ acne in eight weeks (with 76 percent citing this blend as effective as antibiotics). Herbal medicine can help as well. An individualized consultation is best, but I often find that a formula with skin depuratives, immune boosters, and lymphatic stimulants is very successful. I developed a version, called Fresh Faced Skin Tea, which targets all these areas. If you can’t get ahold of this, taking burdock tea three times a day along with an echinacea (thirty to forty drops of tincture) is a good alternative. Lastly, if your breakouts are hormone-related, add in the hormone-balancing herb Agnus castus in the morning (twenty drops of tincture). Stick with this regimen and your acne should clear up in two to three months.
A leader in herbal medicine, Daniela Turley is a board member of The American School of Natural Health, a member of The American Herbalists Guild, and The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy. Born and raised in England, Turley received her bachelor of science in herbal medicine, and held an honorary position at the Hale Clinic, the renowned complementary health center in London. In 2011, Turley moved to the New York City where she joined the practice of Shellie Goldstein Acupuncture.
I have always been terrified of the high-tech machines (normally found in skincare labs and a handful of doctor’s offices) that scan the surface of your complexion and spit out horrifying pictures that show how much sun damage you’ve incurred, or the fine lines and age spots that are hiding just under the surface waiting to rear their ugly heads. In order to educate consumers (and prevent those wrinkles from forming in the first place), SK-II developed the Beauty Imaging System, which provides the same service as the aforementioned clinical device minus the shock value (thank God). The futuristic tool essentially acts like a digital camera with X-ray vision, snapping a close-up photo of the left side of your face and analyzing it based on five dimensions—texture refinement, firmness power, wrinkle resilience, radiance, and tone—then providing a percentage for each category (which is calculated by measuring the state of your skin against others in the same ethnic group). To simplify the results, your skin age is also generated for each bracket. For example, while I’m 24 in terms of texture refinement, my spot-control ability matches that of a 15-year-old (although the blemishes on my cheek beg to differ). Starting tomorrow, you can stop in at the brand’s pop-up studios in New York City and San Francisco and experience the technology for yourself—and maybe even boost your mood by discovering that your skin is still young at heart.
SK-II Pop-Up Studio; April 4 through May 23 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday through Saturday) and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday); 468 Broome Street, New York City; 117 Post Street, San Francisco