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Getting Your Natural Skin Tone Ready ~ Body
Exfoliating and moisturizing are your two best friends to prep your skin tone and texture for Spring. Your skin has been shielded and is probably very dry from the harsh winter cold and indoor heat. The best type of exfoliation would be a sugar base for sensitive skin and a salt base for more normal skin. I have written on Carol's Daughter Brown Sugar Scrub and I am in love with it. It has Vitamin E, Olive Oil, combined with brown sugar which is not only a great exfoliant, but very hydrating. Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrubs are amazing as well.  Combined with Shea Butter and Vitamin C, a great combination to smooth and hydrate. After exfoliating, I suggest using either Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream or one of the Tree Hut Shea Body Butters. These in combination with the exfoliants will leave your skin smooth and heavenly, ready just in time for Spring.

Getting Your Natural Skin Tone Ready ~ Face
Fruit enzyme is amazing for the face and will get your skin smooth and brightened just in time for Spring. I have written on the Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask before, but this mask is not only great for maintenance, but it is great if this is your first time using an exfoliating mask. It is gentle, yet effective. Simply wash your face and place the exfoliating mask on the skin up to ten minutes and rinse. You can use this mask up to three times a week. Moisturize daily and nightly and within two weeks you will have your skin Springtime ready and your nudes will go on beautifully!

The Power of Shea!
If you want something 100% natural that will do more than twenty things to preserve and hydrate your beauty, would you try it? It's time to make 100% Shea Butter a part of your Fall and all year regimen! Shea Butter is made from the nut of the African Shea Tree and is full of fatty acids and Vitamins A, E, and F that all work together to rejuvenate and moisturize your skin. Your skin will begin to look smoother and softer, but overtime, these properties will enrich your skin and it will actually become healthier. Shea Butter protects your skin from the harsh elements of wind, cold, and sun, but it has tons of healing benefits. Shea Butter is not only extremely hydrating, but it naturally fights off the signs of aging and can be used on the face to treat acne, wrinkles, stretch marks, and dark spots. Heals eczema, minor burns, and is even gentle enough to use on a baby for diaper rash. Being oily and acne-prone, I was nervous to try it on my face, so I did a patch test. It will NOT clog your pores at all! I've been using it for three weeks now and absolutely love it! Use it as your nightly moisturizer after you cleanse on your face and neck. Now that it's a lot cooler, I use it daily on my elbows, eczema spots, knees, and heels. Use it after your body scrub weekly and guaranteed, you will begin to see a change in your skin. Lastly, the smell is not the best, but the benefits far surpass the scent. 100% Shea Butter never expires, and it comes in a hard form, but rub and warm it together and you will have a thick cream. You won't use as much in the summer months, but try it on a sunburn and it will do wonders! I picked mine up at an African shop. There are tons of products out there that contain a little bit of Shea, but there's nothing like the 100% version. Pick yours up and leave me a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Shea Butter.

Article: Dark Spots. How to Get Rid of Them!
Have you found after your pimple goes away, you have a left over spot?  Or maybe you loving the sun has caused some new dark spots on your face and body that you've never noticed before?  Or, if you are a person of color and you're looking at your face without makeup, you notice some light as well as dark areas?  Well, the good news is that you're not alone.  A lot of people experience this extremely common skin concern.  And even better, there are many ways to fix them.

Dark spots are known as hypERpigmentation and lighter spots are knows as hypOpigmentation.  Both are catergorized as pigmented skin.  The good news is the darker spots you can fix, but unfortunately the lighter spots you cannot.  There are many ways you can get these spots and blotches.  For some, it may be hormonal changes, maybe a change of your birth control or pregnancy.  It could be because you are a person of color, or maybe it's your lifestyle of loving to be in the sun or tanning bed.  Illness or a particular medication could be the culprit, or it can simply be age.  So how do you get rid of these dreaded dark spots so your skin can be more even and radiant again?

First, you may need to change your lifestyle a bit.  For example, look at when you noticed your skin changing. Maybe it was when you started that new birth control, or you realized you had been in the sun for years without protection.  If it was the birth control, you can stop taking it and change to an alternative method.  It may take months until you see some improvement, but this just may do the trick.  In terms of laying in the sun, there are many alternative methods that will still give you that healthy glow you love, but without the dangers of premature lines and wrinkles and even worse, skin cancer like melanoma. You'll love the variety of spray tans out these days.  Notice I mentioned spray, not a tanning bed.  Lotions, gels, creams, and foam can now give you that St. Tropez sunless glow you love.

As listed above,  life changes can prevent future dark spots from appearing, but here are the ingredients you need to get rid of the ones you already have.  You will need to use both an exfoliating ingredient as well as a lightning agent to see the best results.  Combining these two ingredients is the ideal recipe!  You will not see the best results by using one without the other.  Please note there are some treatments that have both the exfoliation and lightning agents combined.  A great example is to look for products that contain Vitamin C.  Vitamin C, depending on its formulation, can both exfoliate and lighten, but only if it's the right formulation.  Make sure and ask an expert and do your research to make sure you have the correct formulation.

In terms of exfoliation only, look for treatment products that have Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's) in them such as glycolic acid and/or lactic acid.  Another great exfoliating ingredient is retinol (Vitamin A).  Or for a gentler method, enzymes are great.  Enzymes can be used on the gentlest of skins and will also give the skin an amazing glow.  Papaya and Pineapple are great enzymes if you prefer this more gentle, yet effective exfoliant.  These are all ingredients you can find over the counter.  If you'd like to get a perscription from your dermatologist, Retin-A or the generic form Tretinoin are very popular.  For a gentle dosage, you can get the tretinoin as low as .025%.

In terms of lightning ingredients, hydroquinone is the most popular.  It is very important to note that you should not lay out in the sun if you are using hydroquinone, you should always use sunscreen, and it is suggested that pregnant or nursing women should not use hydroquinone.  These disclaimers are not to scare you, rather to protect you.  Hydroquinone has not been known to effect  pregnant or nursing women because it has never been tested on these women, so it is a blanket disclaimer for precautionary reasons.  You can purchase over the counter hydroquinone at nothing higher than 2%.  Anything higher and you will need a prescription from your dermatologist.  If you start to get irritated, cut down your use to every other evening or even less, to two nights a week.  Herbal lightners are great as well.  Here are some great ingredients to look for if you'd like to go the herbal route - licorice, rasberry, bearberry, grape seed extract, rice, and echinacea.

The tricks for removing your dark spots are recognizing what may have caused them, deciding to change your lifestyle (if needed), wearing sunscreen regardless, and using up to two treatment products, one that has an exfoliating ingredient and one that has a lighting agent.

So your morning regimen would be as follows: cleansing and toning, using your exfoliating treatment #1, and moisturizer w/ an SPF.  In the evening, cleanse and tone again, use your lightning treatment #2, and then moisturize with no SPF.  You should start to see the fading within 24-30 days or in about a month.

Like anything, patience is key.  Stick to it, and you will notice your even, glowing skin coming through! 

Great Source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Better Skin by Lucy Beale and Angela Jensen

Copyright 2010 Lori Moore. All Rights Reserved.

Hormonal Acne
You are over 25 years old and during your teenage years, you were lucky and had flawless skin and no acne. So why now, as an adult, you have to deal with acne? You thought you passed that stage, right? Interestingly enough, there are a lot of hormonal changes that women experience as they get older.

It's all about balancing your hormones. There probably is some sort of a hormonal imbalance going on. Have you heard of the hormone androgen? Men produce a lot of it, but women produce it as well. Anyway, this hormone can enlarge and stimulate the sebaceous (oil) glands to pump out oil. Its when this oil mixes with bacteria and clogs the pore that you have a breakout. The thing is, women naturally produce androgen in their ovaries and if you produce a lot of it, you're probably going to see a breakout. Estrogen can be very helpful. Around the time you get your period, you may breakout or you may get clearer skin. This is all due to your estrogen levels fluctuating during this time. Even if you become pregnant, your skin may clear up if you had acne before or you may breakout if you never have, all due to the fluctuation of your hormonal changes.

Crazy enough, hormonal breakouts are different than an adult who has acne. Most hormonal breakouts are going to be along the jawline, chin, and maybe even where the neck meets the face (right underneath the jawline). An adult who has acne is usually experiences more consistent breakouts, while hormonal breakouts are usually more occasional. They may even be more cystic and underneath the skin instead of blackheads and whiteheads. This means that it may fluctuate during that time of month.

So what can you do? Your doctor may prescribe a birth control to help balance out your hormonal and estrogen levels. Homecare Regimen: Skin that's over 25 years old is experiencing the signs of possible lines, wrinkles, and now those dreaded occasional breakouts. The trick is to keep the skin hydrated while using active ingredients to reduce the oil and bacteria mix that's clogging the pores. Usually at this stage, the skin is clogged mainly along the jawline. In this case, a sulfur based mask in the affected area up to 3x a week may be efficient enough.  If you'd like a personal consultation on any of your skin concerns, you can Contact Me at the top of the page.

Great Source: Book: Beautiful Skin of Color by Jeanine Downie, M.D. and Fran Cook-Bolden, M.D.

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