My prep.

A few weeks before the trip I was contacted by Lauren Young London (facialist to the stars… N.B.D.)

Lauren Young London, amazing facialist

to see if I’d be interested in a complimentary facial. Which was a really tough decision but I ended up going with “Hells yeah.”
She has done facials on all kinds of celebs, going on tour or fixing them up from all nighters in Vegas. She even has a client that travels from Paris just to see her! If you read her bio HERE you can see that she’s kind of a skin magician. She has a new line that just came out that’s a collection of boosters for specific needs that you can add to your current regiment. She gave me one for smoothing my skin and minimizing pores and one for reducing puffiness in my under eyes. So far I really love them both and can totally notice a difference when I use them.

Anyhow, I was peppering her with all kinds of questions and one thing that she talked a lot about was taking care of your skin with the foods you eat.
She was kind enough to write us a up a whole recipe. I started adding as many of these as I could to my diet a couple weeks before I left (mostly by way of sneaking them into a smoothie) and as well as having healthy looking skin I also had a lot more energy and felt better all around.
Dieting reaaaallly bums me out and always makes me think about everything I “can’t” have twice as much as usual but just adding a few health packed choices? That I can do.

foodforyourface

EAT YOUR WAY TO LOOKING BEAUTIFUL

It’s true… You are what you eat. It’s hard sometimes to always eat healthy so I try to just remember which foods are most important. Eating healthier whenever you can improves the way you feel and really works as a skin beautifier! Here are a few foods to try eating more of, that will help fight the aging process and keep you looking beautiful

1. You want gorgeous shiny hair?
Lean proteins like fish and chicken contain cysteine, which help to nourish hair. Salmon has the bonus on containing omega 3 fatty acids, which promote luster! Biotin from whole grains is also important to keep hair strong.

2. Want amazing glowing skin?
Taking omega 3s or adding them to your diet through fish, walnuts and flaxseed help protect your skin from damage and reduce inflammation the underlying cause of aging. These are great for those of you who still suffer from breakouts since inflammation leads to acne and can help get rid of toxins.
If you are serious about preventing aging and acne than look no further than grapefruit. It has tons of vitamin c which is a benefit to you since it contains
antioxidants that stop free radicals from causing damage to the skin. Another great option to feeling and looking beautiful are juicing… one of my favorite juices to make is kale, coconut and mint.. this is anti-inflammatory and helps keep skin hydrated so you stay looking younger and skin is smooth and radiant.

3. Want better looking nails?
Find foods rich in silica and sulfur. Try one of my favorites, broccoli it’s a must if you want strong healthy nails. Calcium found in milk and yogurt is also very important. I hope you enjoyed today’s tips. If you try any of them, let us know the difference it made for you! Thanks for reading… Stay beautiful!

-Lauren Young London

She also said she would be happy to answer skin care questions from readers so I told her a would compile a list for her.
What do you guys wanna know?

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153 thoughts on “My prep.

  1. What kind of tips would you have for serious under-eye circles (foods, treatments, recommendations of products, etc.)? Thanks so much!

    • HI Clara – For serious under-eye circles I would focus more on treatments than anything else. Start with a topical vitamin c which helps with capilliary repair and Haloxyl which visibly repairs dark under-eye cicles.. my clients have had a great response with blending n. 27 and n.83 to make the eyes brighter and tackle puffiness and dark circles.

  2. Any tips for making your own skin care products from home? I wash with honey, and use coconut oil. If love to hear if there are certain fruit masks or things I can use on my face to help anti aging.

    • Hi Heidi – While a have a back ground in cosmetic chemistry I am not great at explaining how to make your own products. For easy and faster results I love a pumpkin mask – the enzymes really go to work to smooth your skin.. Leave on for 20 mins.. Do a few times a week.. Its like magic ;)

    • Hi Kayla – At 30 I still deal with breakouts so one thing I can recommend is to make sure you always have an emergency blemish fighter on hand.. Something with salicylic acid and tea tree oil.. both work in different ways. Then I would start using a product with Gylcolic and/or Lactic acid.. this will help cell turnover so pores don’t get blocked and makes pores appear tighter.

  3. Hello Cara,
    my question would be:
    “How much exfoliation is too much? Is it ok to use a retinoid at night and daily AHA or BHA treatments?”

    Thank you so much, Cara! You are amazing. Your sweetness and gentle approach to people really bring out beauty from within. And your make up skills are incredible!

    Greetings from Düsseldorf / Germany
    Anna

    • HI Anna – It really depends on how strong your products are? Do you buy drugstore products.. These actives are a little lighter and I find can usually be tolerated on a daily basis but if you use a product from a medical line or professional you might over doing it. I would do a retinoid at night for one week and then switch off to the AHA/BHA treatment for the next week. This will help your skin not get too comfortable with the ingredients.

    • HI Marie – To minimize pores the easiest and fastest way is to get started on a product that contains AHA’s like Gylcolic and/or Lactic Acids. These increase cellular turnover so skin gets incredible soft while keeping dead cells from accumulating inside the pore. Overtime the pores will look smaller and it about 6-8 you will be super happy :)

  4. I was diagnosed with diabetes three months ago. Since then I have been eating more salmon, lean chicken, broccoli and other green vegetables than I used to. For the last week my husband has been commenting on how soft and smooth my skin is. For the last month I have noticed that my hair is much softer and not as dry as before. I know the healthier foods have played a big part in these noticeable changes in my hair and skin. I definitely agree with the suggestions in this blog post.

    • HI Lindsey – To reduce redness I would first recommend you start using products like vitamin c which increase capillary protection which is leading to your underlying redness and as weird as this sounds every night you should rub your skin with ice cubes for about 5 mins to reduce any inflammation that you might not see. There are also many wonderful sea based peptides that work extremely well for redness prone skin.

  5. I love this post, she seems like an amazing women! I would love to know if there is really anything I can do at home or just on a daily basis to minimize my large pores? I struggle with large pores and feel like it’s all I see when I take photos.

  6. What are the basics we all should be sure to include in our skincare routine? There are so many products out there that claim to do all sorts of different things; cleaners, serum’s, acids, scrubs, moisturizers, Vitamin C, etc. I struggle to know what is essential and what is too much to put on your face.

    Also- can you share some recipes for smoothies where you put in some yummy healthy stuff to help your skin? I’m a HUGE smoothie drinker and would like to start adding some skin-lovin, skin-glowin, break-out prevention ingredients :)

    • HI Abby- So Your Essentials will always be – Cleanser and Tonic.. Then you’ll need your Core Products to keep your skin healthy, good and clear.. These will be your hydrator like with Hylauronic Acid and exfoliator with aha’s like gylcolic and lactic. Both will address taking away all the bad and replacing on all the good. And last but not least you would have Emergency products.. One for breakouts and One for puffiness/dark circles for those days you need to fake 8 hours of sleep. As far as too much thats hard coming from a facialist.. I put a ton of products on everyday.. SO I say if you enjoy..DO it ;)

      Try.. Coconut, Mint and Kale as a Juice… This will change your life!

    • HI Abby – My must haves to improve your skin would be to look for these ingredients… Smoothing: AHA’s like Glycolic Acid and Lactic… Brightening: Vitamin C and Acne: Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil

    • HI Genesis – I would highly recommended have an Emergency Blemish Booster but if you don’t hear is where I would start.. If its white.. Prick it with a needle but don’t use your fingers use a q-tip instead.. go twice towards the blemish and try to expel whatever you can. If you see blood or feel a ton of pain.. Stop. Then clean top of blemish with Hydrogen Peroxide and layer Hydracortizone and Neosporin. Good Luck ;)

  7. Does eating sweets cause breakouts? And if so, do you know how soon after a pimple would appear from eating a chocolate bar?

    • HI Nicole – It all my years working for Dermatologist Offices and Plastic Surgeons I don’t believe sugar is an underlying cause of breakouts. You are probably more hormonal at certain times than others and if your skin isn’t already being fed the right ingredients it can easily start causing breakouts to form.

  8. I have had “red face” since I was pregnant 2 years ago. Before that I had amazing skin so I had no clue what to do. I recently just started treating my skin like I had rosacea. The difference is amazing. My old skin is BACK! I just went to pinterest and google to get tips. I hope that helps you. Also, Clinique’s redness line sucks. I love Eucerin’s Sensitive Skin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion. Just thought I would add my 2 cents ;)

    • HI Laura – I love that product!! Inflammation is the underlying cause of aging so treating it this way will also help slow down your internal aging.. I’d love to know what you’re also doing besides using this product?

  9. Any suggestions for fixing or hiding melasma above your upper lip? Make up seems to make it look even worse and “dirty.” HELP!

    • my experience….i had that from birth control pills which i quickly stopped. it want away with 2 isolaz treatments (i was also treating acne which went away too). some people say isolaz can go either way, make it worse or better but i heard it was possible to help and it did. it will be great to see what she says, but that’s my personal story ;)

    • HI Whitney – I would highly recommend going to a derm and getting yourself on the highest version of a hydraquinone based product like obagi and mix that with a retional for about 3 months. Use sunscreen everyday and this should block its reoccurrence.

  10. 1. What can be done about hormonal acne? I had horrible post-partum acne after I had my son, and I break out every month now. So frustrating!

    2. Are those Clarisonic face brushes really ok to use daily?

    • Meredith, I use my Clarisonic EVERY single day, and it has made a huge difference in my skin. I used to always have a few different breakouts on my face at all times, and now I very rarely get a single breakout. I used to have to use a daily facial cleanser that had salicylic acid, but after being breakout-free for months and months, I switched to just using Cetaphil. It’s all I need with the Clarisonic!

    • HI Meredith – I had hormonal acne for a long time and used birth control to keep it calm and blemishes to a minimum but after years I wanted to have a baby and had the same issue. Here’s what I did after my daughter was born and my skin has been clear ever since. Start with a cleanser for acne.. wash once to remove makeup, oil, and dirt then a second time apply the cleanser to dry skin like a masque and leave on for 5 mins a few times a week. Next twice a daily you need to be using something to keep your pores clean like an AHA..glycolic and lactic acid. Every once in a while Im sure you will still breakout and so I would recomend a product with Sali Acid and Tee Tree Oil. Happy Motherhood ;)

  11. i have brown spots emerging all over my face, sun damage, hormonal, hereditary (my mom has it) freckle type splotching (not patches like melasma tho). plus redness in my skin and new lines below my eyes. im 37 and in the last year i was shocked to find the smile lines/crows feet moving below my eyes, towards my checkbones. im hoping theres something to be done, super hoping :)

    the question is what do it do: topicals like retinols, or fraxel, ipl? fraxel seems scary (even the non-ablative one) because im afraid it may do long term damage that we don’t know about yet, but seems to be the “magic” that makes jennifer aniston look 27????

    at this point im not really using anything because it all seems like false hope. i don’t mind saving up and spending on my skin, i just want to do it right.

    id love to have age appropriate skin that looks smooth and even toned :)

    • HI Lana – If you were a client of mine here’s where I would tell you should start… You can say you use the skin regimen of top celebrities! First.. Lets prep your skin.. Get rid of the old and start adding some of the good.. You really need to exfoliate and remove the old dead cells.. Retinols do work and so do AHA but both work different ways. So for 4 weeks I would just use these at night and In the morning I would use a product with Vitamin C for lightening. Depending the products you’re active could be low or they be high.. Expect to see results in 6-8 weeks. Plus the vitamin c will help calm the redness your seeing, repair sun damage and help with those lines your forming. Be patient.. Rome wasn’t built in a day :)

    • HI Bailey – First I would recommend that you start using an SPF daily since sun is what is causing your damage. Then I would begin using a vitamin c product in the morning and an aha at night like glycolic or lactic. Takes about 2 months to see really good results.

  12. I feel like I’ve never been able to find a great skin care regime that just works. My skin KINDA evens up sometimes but it always uneven, large pores, and I have combo skin, which I can’t figure out how to control. I feel like I’ve tried a bunch of products, but honestly most the time don’t even bother washing my face at night cause I feel like it doesn’t make a difference. What is the best way to go about finding the right individual solution and when trying new products, how long do you use them before you make your decision on whether or not they’re right for you? Sometimes I worry that I give up on products too quickly. Also, does sleeping with makeup on REALLY age your skin faster?

    • HI Jen – You’re a girl after my own heart.. I use to always feels this way which is why I went into cosmetic chemistry so I could make really great products.. Here’s what I would recommend: You really should wash your face.. because you need to put special products on ;) For an individual solution i would say follow ingredients and then look to make sure that product is for your skin type. YOU need a core regimen with of a Cleanser and TOnic and then Hydrators and Exfoliators. This is your must haves. It takes approx 30 days for cell turnover so I would also wait about that long to see if a product makes noticeable changes. Also look to where you’re buying your products as they might have little actives. Sleeping with makeup on doesnt age you.. But it doesn’t help you to look beautiful in the morning.. but hey..you don’t have to be perfect ;)

  13. I have these small little zits(?), I’m not sure what you would call them, they are like very small white heads that never go away on my chin area and sides of my nose. They are even really hard to see without a magnifying mirror. But they NEVER go away!!! What can I do to get rid of these pesky little things?

    • I do too! And I squeeze them and they dont pop, just leave a scarrrr and major redness. When they r ready to come out they just come out easy but hate them! I too need a answer to this one. They are pretty small but irritating and looks like white heads. Mainly on chin! Arghhh

    • HI Ashley – Those little tiny white zits are caused by your pores being consistently clogged and giving bacteria a playing ground to feed on… To help these annoying things so away here’s what to do: Wash your face with an acne cleanser once and then dry your skin. After apply the same cleanser without water like a masque and leave on skin for 5 mins.. Do this 3 times a week. After you wash it off you should apply a topical product with AHA’s like Gylcolic and/or Lactic 2x a day until you start seeing your skin clear then back down to once per day. You should see results in about 30 days.

  14. Hi!
    I have very sensitive skin, it´s often very dry, with large (my own opinion) pores and i get small breakouts.. If i add a facecreme, meant for very dry skin, i get even more breakouts, but if i don´t,my skin stays very dry, and make up doesn´t look so good on dry skin. What should i do?
    I´m a reader from Finland, who found your blog by mistake, but now i´m stuck. What a wonderful blog, you do a great job!! Keep up the good work, i get so many good ideas from you, things i then try by myself at home:)

    • HI Lynn – Have you tired switching out your moisturizer for a hydrating serum? This could be your solution! From my years working as a facialist.. I’ve noticed most people have sensitive skin from a damaged barrier so I would find a serum with Hylauronic Acid and Glycerin as your starting point.

  15. I have tons of bumps on my face, next to my nose area. My friends mom works in skin care and gave me a facial a few months ago and was able to extract all my clogged pores. They have clogged up again, really badly. Is there a way to prevent this? Can I extract them myself? Also, Thank you for your blog!! it’s my favorite and I look forward to new posts every week :)

    • HI Karyn – The best way to tackle these pores is to have you start using a product 2x a day that will keep the cell turnover high and keep pores from getting blocked… Takes about 30 days to start using good results.. Look for something with an AHA in it like Glycolic Acid and Lactic. You could try and extract them yourself but most likely you wont see results like you did from a professional facialist… I would recommend doing an enzyme mask treatment a few times a week to help as well :)

  16. What is the best daily routine? Wash face once a day? Twice? Different moisturizer at night vs. during the day? My skin seems to be always yo-yo-ing between looking good and breaking out on my cheeks…. how can I get it to stay more stable?

    • Hi Andrea — The best daily regimen starts here and works for all skin types and issues.. First grab your Essentials: Cleanser and Tonic for your skin type. Then buy your Core Products: Hydration Serum for Day and a Exfoliating Serum for Night. Then buy your sometime products i like to call Emergency products: Breakouts and then one for Puffiness/Dark Circles.. and Lack of Sleep too. You might need an extra moisturizer but I would start with this for a month and you’ll probably notice you hardly need a cream. This will help your skin get stable.. Expect to see results in 3-6 weeks ;)

  17. I would love to know ways to prevent and eliminate acne, as well as acne scars. Thanks so much! BTW, I want to have my own makeup line/company, and I’m in 7th. I loooooove NY and you! Thank you for all the tips and ideas you give me!
    -,mAngo
    (ps the a is capitol on purpose ;D)

    • HI mAngo – If you are hormonal then no this wont be the magic answer but it will remarkably transform your skin. To prevent acne you’ve got to limit inflammation so start by rubbing your skin with ice cubes for 5/10 mins every night. This is good esp. when you’re breaking out as it will heal them faster. If you’ve got consistent acne I would get on a regimen that includes salicylic and tea tree oil to wipe out bacteria.

  18. First I have to say she is absolutely gorgeous and has flawless skin, just like you Cara.
    Any advice for someone that has had adult chicken pox and deep scars are the result of it? My skin is also discolored from the scars. Before the pox I didnt mind my large t zone pores but now that I have holes and large pores… I think this makes my skin look older and Im only 29.

    • HI Beth – SO this isn’t the easiest way but its probably the best. I have adult chicken pox scars on my stomach and I worked for a Derm and decided to try getting a filler in the opening to minimize the scar and it worked! I would also get a strong chemical peel from a doctors office.. this will help the surface by removing old dead layers.. Just this alone should improve skin texture by 20-40%. Scars are tricky to work with and in the 11 years Ive been working I would say this is the only thing I know that works.

    • HI Alexis – To reduce redness I would first recommend you start using products like vitamin c which increase capillary protection which is leading to your underlying cause of the redness and as weird as this sounds every night you should rub your skin with ice cubes for about 5/10 mins to reduce any inflammation that you might not see. There are also many wonderful sea based peptides that work extremely well for redness prone skin. and occasionally I would use a topical hydrocortizone cream 3x a week too.

  19. I would like to know what is an inexpensive moisturizer when you are flat broke.When I have plenty of funds, I personally like the Avon products, but am not always able to afford. The only thing I am using for a moisturizer right now is the olive oil that I take my makeup off with at night, after my skin is clean, i rub in a tiny bit over my face and neck, and during the day I am just using a Dollar General lotion. What is the one moisturizer that anyone can afford that you or she would suggest?

  20. I would like to know the basics for skin care for a girl in her late 20’s- early 30’s. I’ve always had great skin, never a problem with acne, redness, large pores, dryness, oily exc, and I’ve always used sunscreen, now that I am approaching 30 I would like to keep a good thing going, but have no idea how. I’ve seen hundreds of products that promise to help prevent wrinkles, lines, dark spots exc but I truly have no idea what to choose. I also don’t have a couple extra hundred dollars a month to drop on skin care products so things that are priced nicely would be a bonus. : )

    P.S loved your dark hair in the photo shoot!

    • HI Cait – The basics for your 20’s/30’s starts here.. First grab your Essentials: Cleanser and Tonic for your skin type. Then buy your Core Products: Hydration Serum for Day and a Exfoliating Serum for Night. Since I can’t be there to buy these products for you or with you.. Look for ingredients instead and expect them to be at the top of the ingredient deck.

      Hydration — Hylauronic Acid and Glycerin
      Exfoliating – AHA’s Glycolic Acid and Lactic

    • HI Katie – I would try my best to reduce the amount of soft drinks, candy and anything that contains sugar. As this becomes broken down by the body it cross links with protein fibers which increases early sign of aging.

    • Hi Christy – Best the way to treat cystic pimples would be to go get a professional chemical peel from a doctors office… as well as looking into medication that internally work like Birth Control. Cystic Acne is hormonal by nature and I have found these two to work the best.

    • HI Zee — I would look for products that contain peptides.. There are so many different types just look for the solution you’re trying to achieve and go from there… Also make sure the peptide is at the top of the ingredient desk so you know there is enough in there to get the job done! And be patient..Most peptides take about 4-8 weeks to see amazing results.. Be patient…Rome wasn’t built in a day ;)

  21. I’m 39 and getting hormonal acne that never surfaces. I just wait it out and force myself not to pick at it. what do you suggest?

    • HI Susan – Hormonal Acne is really hard to deal with.. I’ve had it for years and still get it. My best advice is to use ice over the area as soon as you feel one showing up and then applying hydrocortisone over the area until its gone. You can also try getting chemical peels at a doctors office along with trying birth control.

  22. Hi Cara, I would love to hear some recommendations for skincare in your early 20’s. I’m starting to get past the acne of my teens and but not yet into wrinkles. I would like to start some preventative anti-aging but I have absolutely no clue where to start…feels like the product options are endless!

    • HI Paige – The basics for your early 20′s should start here.. First grab your Essentials: Cleanser and Tonic for your skin type. Then buy your Core Products: Hydration Serum for Day and a Exfoliating Serum for Night. Both of these are great for preventing aging while keeping your skin looking clear and beautiful!!

      I would look out for these fabulous ingredients!!!

      Hydration — Hylauronic Acid and Glycerin
      Exfoliating – AHA’s Glycolic Acid and Lactic

      • Lauren, you’re amazing. Can’t believe you took the time to go through all these comments and answer questions, particularly in such a direct and simplistic manner. Thank you so much for your advice and just know it is truly appreciated! Keep being awesome <3

  23. I work out 6 days a week. Since I started, my forehead has gotten really bad break outs. I will admit that it’s hard not to pick! But I don’t wear makeup during my workout, drink tons of water thought the day, try my best to eat clean and actually already eat most of what you suggested (though I love grape fruit so I am going to add that!) what could be the underlying issue? I take omega 3 daily, a multivitamin, a CLA and sometimes use chai seed in my kale smoothies.
    My forehead is driving me nuts!

    • Hi Melissa – Breakouts are such a bummer! I would start first by picking up facial cleansing wipes made for acne or acne prone skin. Use these before you workout.. One to remove all your makeup and second one to add a touch of salicylic acid to your skin to help reduce bacteria..which is contributing to your bad breakouts. Next I would start with some topical products to keep keep your pores clean and clear.. Looking for something with AHA’s these are miracle ingredients to help keep breakouts away. use twice daily for 4 weeks then see how you’re doing.. you might only need it once a day at night after.. ;)

    • HI Darcy — If were taking drugstore brands… Heres where i would start — ;)

      Cleanser – Purpose Daily Face Wash or Clean and Clear Acne Wash
      Toner – Witch Hazel.. all purpose.. you can find in medicine aisle
      Moisturizer – I would use a Hydrating Serum instead of a moisturizer

      Look for these ingredients –

      Hylauronic Acid and Glycerin and Sodium PCA

    • HI Jenny — Sun Damage can take a while to totally erase but if you have patiences here how I would go about getting rid of it..

      First – YOU must be using a daily SPF.. no reason to spend a lot of money when the sun is what caused the damage so go buy a really good one.. its totally worth it in the long run.. I promise you…

      Second – You need a vitamin c based product to use during the day.. this will help to even out your skin tone and suppressing the cells from producing more pigment

      Third – You will need to start exfoliating off those top dead layers of skin cells that have pigment in them.. My favorite because it works on all skin types even sensitive skin is AHA’s like glycolic and lactic acids

      You will begin to see results in about 6-8 weeks… Rome wasn’t built in a day so just have patience but it will go away.. i promise ;)

    • HI Heidi – I love me a good eye cream!! Of course I think my line is the best but the best thing to do is look for the solutions to what you’re trying to correct — think peptides.. These will do amazing things to help you get fresh, beautiful eyes…

      Dark Circles – you need Hyloxyl
      Puffiness – you need Eyeliss

      For sun spots and pigmentation.. think vitamin c… this will help to brightening your skin while suppressing those cells so you see less pigment come to the surface and then always remember to wear an SPF daily so you dont see future damage! ;)

  24. this doesnt really have to do with this post, so i’m sorry in advance. but i was just curious if there is any drug store foundation that you would recommend over other ones? I dont have the money to buy an expensive one right now, and i would like to find a good one because im getting married in a month.
    thank you so much! i know you hear this a million times but i absolutely love your blog!

    • Sarah, I paid for a makeup consultation at MAC before my wedding (I did my own makeup) but I wasn’t sure about the foundation color, so he gave me a large sample. I also asked for samples from the Dior counter. Between the two, I used the MAC on my wedding day (should’ve trusted him, the color was perfect), but might stick with the Dior longer term. But don’t be afraid to go the sample route! I find they’re large enough for multiple applications. And congratulations in advance!

    • HI Sarah – I agree with Lynn… most MAC counters are happy to give you samples and if you go to a few stores you should have enough for your wedding day! Just let them know you have very sensitive skin so you’re just making sure you wont breakout… :) this way they will give you plenty… Congrats on your big day!!!

  25. Thank you so much for this post! I am now making a beauty grocery list. I love your blog and tell people to follow you all the time, and it is exactly because of post like this (and of course your eyebrow expertise!).

    • Hi Jessie — I love beauty grocery lists .. Mine gets longer and longer as I get older ;) Here’s a great book that will teach you more about foods incase you’d love to learn more.. Feed Your Skin.. Starve Your Wrinkles.. One of my clients gave it to me and its full of fabulous little goodies ;)

  26. I struggle with blackheads on my nose and chin area. What is the best way to get rid of them? There are so many treatments claiming that they work that don’t, so I’d love to hear what she has to say!!!!!

    • Hi Amanda – Getting rid of blackheads is a two part problem..

      First you need to keep your pores clean and clear and that starts with using an AHA product to keep old dead cells from accumulating inside the pore

      Second you need to prevent the sebum thats inside the pore from oxidizing that there is only one way to do that..with vitamin c..

      Give yourself about 3 weeks use vitamin c in the AM and AHA in the PM and youll say bye bye to blackheads! :)

    • Chemical peels! I had terrible cystic acne until my mom suggested looking into chemical peels. I then got 2 peels with the plastic surgery department of my hospital and have never looked back. My skin improved so much that people did not believe me when I told them that I had cystic acne. You can also get chemical peels at some spas. My friend who is in cosmetology school just gave me one today.

    • HI Chely – Cystic acne is caused by a rise in hormones and is really hard to deal with.. I’ve had it for years and still get it. My best advice is to use ice over the area as soon as you feel one showing up and then applying hydrocortisone over the area until its gone. And I agree with Kate — If you can also try getting chemical peels at a doctors office along with trying birth control.Amazing results!!

  27. What is the best over all way to even your skin tone? My skin isn’t awful or any thing but I would never leave the house with out at least a Tinted moisturizer on( for example it has little dots from acne scares and my cheeks are red and i have dark circles under my eyes)
    Also the pores on my nose and cheek area seem to be larger than other areas any tricks to get them smaller?
    Also how to deal with EXTREAMLY oily skin? Is there anything you can do lessen or reduce the amount of oil your skin puts out?

    • Hi Riley — Here goes … :)

      You need a trio of SUNSCREEN, VIT C and AHAs. These will help you to even your skin tone.. Get rid of large pores and help with the oiliness.

      Later in life you’ll appreciate having oily skin as you age less than those with dry skin so think of it as a bonus to come ;)

      I would carry blot papers with you to help.. Sophora sells some really great ones.. ;)

  28. I would be interested in knowing what she would suggest for minimizing/treating and concealing dermal melasma. (Not the result of being or having been pregnant…mask of pregnancy) This has been super frustrating to deal with and seemingly what works for one person fails to work on another. I also enjoy living an active life and doing so involves some degree of exposure to the sun. However, I feel like I now have to be so careful in the summer. It seems as though any exposure really compounds the problem regardless of sunscreen, hats, etc.

    • HI Laura – Ive had issues with Melasma since i was 16 and i went to an amazing derm who i studied under who finally got it under control when I was about 22!! Here’s the only thing I know that works..

      First.. You need to find a doctor who will prescribe you a topical hydraquinone cream at 4% or even better 6% for three months and blend this with a topical vitamin c. do this twice daily.

      Second — You need an amazing PHYSICAL SUNCREEN ONLY….cells contain memory so even if you arn’t in direct contact with the sun just the heat alone can sometimes cause your cells to over produce pigment and just like that you’ve got your melasma like as if you never tried treating it. I had this happen from personal experince so there is nothing worst than spending a ton of money and time and seeing it come back!

      The only brand that really works for those who have melasma is Lucrese here is there website.. http://www.lucrece.com/sun-protection.php

      Then just be patient.. Takes about 3 full months to see results and expect to use that sunscreen for the rest of your life… Im now 5 years without seeing it pop up ;)

  29. I have major scarring from acne and am wondering if there is anything I can do to lighten those suckers up and just help the scarred tissue all together.

    • HI Danielle — I suffered from acne for years and had light scarring.. some times it never goes away.. Just want to be honest but there are quite a few things you can do to help fade their appearance..

      First – If you can I would go see a doctor and have a string chemical peel done.. this will really improve the skins texture and fade the scars.

      Second – You should start applying a topical vitamin c product to help breakdown the pigment and keep it form reoccuring.

      If you dont go on to get a chemical peels I would start using AHAs and Retionals at night… switch off every other week.

      Expect to see results in about 6-8 weeks.. ;)

    • HI Marissa – I would highly recommended have an Emergency Blemish Booster on hand but if you don’t hear is where I would start.. If its white I would pop it.. Prick it with a needle but don’t use your fingers use a q-tip instead.. go twice towards the blemish and try to expel whatever you can. If you see blood or feel a ton of pain.. Stop. Then clean top of blemish with Hydrogen Peroxide and layer Hydracortizone and Neosporin. Good Luck

      Then a long term solution would be to start using AHA’s to keep pores clear and prevent the pores from getting blocked.. Use 1 or 2x a day depending on how often you see breakouts and you’ll see amazing results in about 4 weeks ;)

  30. Is there anything she recommends for very, very dry and sensitive skin (specifically eczema)?? I have eczema, and almost anything I try seriously irritates my skin (burning/stinging) and/or doesn’t moisturize enough. I use natural and high-quality products (Tarte makeup) and avoid anything with harsh chemicals. Is there anything more I can do?

    • HI Christina – I have eczema myself so finding products that work and don’t make it worse can be hard which is why is started making my own products! I would start with a hydrating serum with hylauronic acid this will help improve your skin’s barrier so you get less stinging.. then when you have an active eczema breakout i would apply a 1% hydrocortizone cream to the area.. Hope this helps ;)

  31. Any tips on best dealing with oily skin? Especially in the summer, I always look like I just ran a mile, regardless of what products I use.

    • Hello – I am still on my never ending quest to find the perfect product for oily skin.. So Im now in my lab working on making one that actually works!

      First — I would start using an oil -control lotion.. something like this.. Shine Control Primer from Neutrogena.. I haven’t used it myslef but it uses a good technology to absorb excess oil

      Second – I would carry blotting papers from Sophora.. these work wonders

      Third – I would start to use an AHA daily.. this will help with the oily skin by keep skin healthy and less prone to have spikes in oil production.

  32. I would love to know if there’s anything I can do to reverse the melasma on my face. I started getting melasma from taking bc pills, then when I had two babies 14 months apart, it got horrible. It’s so embarassing. My brother once asked me, “What’s wrong with your face?”. Not a comment that any girl wants to hear, complete self esteem killer. I would also love to know some makeup tricks to make it less obvious, especially on my forehead. Please help!! Thank you!

    • HI Susan.. I just recommend this to another post so I would recommend you follow this outline too! I had a baby too and I think from following this to the T — I have yet to experience a bad case of melasma..

      Ive had issues with Melasma since i was 16 and i went to an amazing derm who i studied under who finally got it under control when I was about 22!! Here’s the only thing I know that works..

      First.. You need to find a doctor who will prescribe you a topical hydraquinone cream at 4% or even better 6% for three months and blend this with a topical vitamin c. do this twice daily.

      Second — You need an amazing PHYSICAL SUNCREEN ONLY….cells contain memory so even if you arn’t in direct contact with the sun just the heat alone can sometimes cause your cells to over produce pigment and just like that you’ve got your melasma like as if you never tried treating it. I had this happen from personal experince so there is nothing worst than spending a ton of money and time and seeing it come back!

      The only brand that really works for those who have melasma is Lucrese here is there website.. http://www.lucrece.com/sun-protection.php

      Then just be patient.. Takes about 3 full months to see results and expect to use that sunscreen for the rest of your life… Im now 5 years without seeing it pop up

    • HI Cre — The science of skin is always changing.. I have been studying epigenetics and its an amazing way my team formulates all of our products. You can certainly influence the way you will age.. So its always best to eat as healthy as you can and take preventative measures not to age faster than you are ;)

    • HI Lora — I just answered this above so i am pasting it below for you to look over.. I hope this helps ;)

      I suffered from acne for years and had light scarring.. some times it never goes away.. Just want to be honest but there are quite a few things you can do to help fade their appearance..

      First – If you can I would go see a doctor and have a string chemical peel done.. this will really improve the skins texture and fade the scars.

      Second – You should start applying a topical vitamin c product to help breakdown the pigment and keep it form reoccuring.

      If you dont go on to get a chemical peels I would start using AHAs and Retionals at night… switch off every other week.

      Expect to see results in about 6-8 weeks..

  33. What is great skin care without parabens/ sulfates/ mineral oil/ etc…for different types of skin issues like acne/ blackheads/ wrinkles etc….

    • HI Erin — More and more skin care lines are getting better at removing parabens from their ingredients..We removed all of our about two years ago! As far as sulfates.. These can be helpful when you have really oily or acne prone skin since they do such a good job at removing excess oil but I am a huge fan of cocoaminobetaine.. I am in the process of creating cleansers and this is by far one of the best replacements for sulfates that i have found! Gosh.. mineral oil is such an out dated ingredient.. I didn’t know people really used that any more… in topical face products!

      This is really something you’re going to need to take the time to figure out yourself so spending time in the beauty stores going product by product reading the ingredient decks..and its the best way to learn too!!

      Here’s the ingredients I would want ;)

      Acne — AHA’s and BHA’s and Tea Tree Oil
      Blackheads — Vitamin C is the only thing that works!
      Wrinkles – Peptides.. Matrixyl.. this simulates collagen

      • Thanks a lot! Great I formation. I have been using Miessence products for years and I love everything about it except for that I have to order it from Australia to Canada. Eminence is nice too, but e pensive!

  34. I’m currently on a program to lose a large amount of weight – over 100 pounds – and I’m older. What can I do (in addition to losing at a healthy rate) to reduce skin sag?

  35. what is the best way to shrink/eliminate a sebacious acne cyst thats under the skin? A dermatologist suggested a cortisone injection but I don’t have the time or money to get one everytime one pops up. thanks!

    • HI Genesis – I would highly recommended have an Emergency Blemish Booster but if you don’t here is where I would start..Then clean top of blemish with Hydrogen Peroxide and layer Hydracortizone and Neosporin. Good Luck

  36. Any suggestions/foods on how to help with hormonal acne would be greatly appreciated! I am in my mid 20’s and have been suffering with this since around 19 or 20 and have tried so many different products/medications and nothing has truly helped. I’ve heard that the general consensus on hormonal acne is that nothing works for it (except birth control and only while you’re on it) and there is nothing I can do about it except live with it. :( I don’t want to give up looking or trying though – but sometimes it is tempting when I have looked for so long and nothing has worked out. Plus the scarring really sucks!

    • HI Becky — I would limit the amount of dairy all together if you can. Many of my clients see a drastic decrease when they do this.. Its hard to maintain but well worth it if you keep experience hormonal acne and nothing seems to be helping!

      Then I would start on a regular regimen of 2x daily topical AHA’s to increase cell turnover and prevent pores from getting blocked.

      Next I would find a product that contains Salicylic acid and/or Tea Tree oil and use this daily over the area where you are breaking out..

      1. Cleanse
      2. Apply Witch Hazel
      3. Apply AHA
      4. Spot Treat Acne

      Then be patient.. You should see your breakouts start to clear up in about one month ;)

  37. Any advice for major breakouts on the sides of my face? I’ve always had mild acne, but never on my cheeks and sides of face! I have very fair skin so it is also extremely red. You are awesome!

    • Hi Joanna — I would start on a regular regimen of 2x daily topical AHA’s to increase cell turnover and prevent pores from getting blocked. Next I would find a product that contains Salicylic acid and/or Tea Tree oil and use this daily over the area where you are breaking out.. Here’s the order i would apply and do this AM/PM

      1. Cleanse
      2. Apply Witch Hazel
      3. Apply AHA
      4. Spot Treat Acne

      Then be patient.. You should see your breakouts start to clear up in about one month :)

    • HI Kaylin — I just answered this above so i am pasting it below for you to look over.. I hope this helps :)

      I suffered from acne for years and had light scarring.. some times it never goes away.. Just want to be honest but there are quite a few things you can do to help fade their appearance..

      First – If you can I would go see a doctor and have a string chemical peel done.. this will really improve the skins texture and fade the scars.

      Second – You should start applying a topical vitamin c product to help breakdown the pigment and keep it form reoccuring.

      If you dont go on to get a chemical peels I would start using AHAs and Retionals at night… switch off every other week.

      Expect to see results in about 6-8 weeks..

  38. along with mint for tummy troubles… what else (without benzoyl peroxide) can i do to make my skin glow and feel better? i eat a bunch of strawberries (i swear that they make my skin better) and i use salylic acid and try to manage my skin that way. benzoyl peroxide only works on my chest and shoulders.

  39. Hi Amara — I would start on Chlorophyll 2x a day.. this will really help to make your skin glow glow glow ;)

    You should pick up Witch Hazel and use it after showering if you are experiencing breakouts on your chest and shoulders.. Better yet.. You can use it everywhere.. I love it ;)

  40. Do you have any drugstore-priced recommendations for an undereye concealer? I have olive toned skin, and super annoying undereye dark circles…. I recently purchased a new one to try, and it helps, but doesn’t make a huge difference. Thank you!

  41. I’m wondering if its possible to use too many products! For example, I have sometimes very oily skin with tons of sun damage, light acne, consistently large, clogged pores and the wrinkles are making their way in too. I’ve finally recently decided to launch an all out attack with a consistent regimen of good quality products (and I’ve spent a fortune trying to figure out the best of each one!). I currently use a salicylic acid cleanser, morning and night, a toner in the am, I spot treat with benzoyl peroxide, I use philosophy’s miracle worker pads at night, and I rotate through a few sun protecting moisturizers. I intend to start with an AHA cream and a vitamin C serum tonight. Am I doing way too much? Could any parts of this routine be counteracting each other? Thank you so much!

  42. What are your favorite foundation picks for both drugstore and professional? For an airbrush glowy finish? Thanks so much!!!!

  43. Is the kale, mint and coconut juice made with coconut water or milk? And thanks for all the skin info, I just read all of my products to find out some of them has none of the ingredients you mentioned.

  44. Pingback: Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is

  45. Hi Lauren,

    I think I might have missed my chance for this, but just in case!

    My skin is terrible, so difficult and sensitive to most things. I have eczema, allergy to fish (so find it difficult to get Omega 3 in my diet) and I am very fair skinned so I have some sun damage even though I habitually wear high SPF – including a melasma on my nose. My skin is so sensitive that I cannot use anything but water as a cleanser/toner and a prescription moisturiser from my doctor. Even these dry out my skin in patches. Any treatment like retinol/lactic acid is completely out.

    Are there any natural remedies you can suggest to help repair my skin and prevent further ageing? I find these milder than clinical treatments and less likely to trigger eczema outbreaks. I saw your recommendation about a pumpkin facemask above and am very excited to try that!

    Thank you for doing this thread. It’s so frustrating trying to make the best of my skin and any advice you can give would be amazing.

  46. Hi Lauren! I read this article last week, poured over your website, and I am just now seeing that you have been responding to comments! Your advice here has been great, thank you! I am just in my last two days of an esthetics program and I plan on continuing my education. Do you have any advice or resources for staying educated in the field? Do you ever offer trainings? Are there any favorites in the field that do trainings that you recommend? TIA!

  47. I am 25, light skin, very very dark hair, oily, took Accutane 10 years ago, and have Mirena for birth control so I I get cystic hormonal acne. I have had trouble with my topical acne prescription making my skin very thin and actually COMING OFF when I have facial waxing. My dermatologist has added Doxycycline so I don’t rely as heavily on the topical medication. My questions aren’t about the medications, but the waxing…

    My dermatologist recommended I eventually stop waxing because the repeated trauma to the follicle can lead to very enlarged pores and a pitted skin texture in 15+ years if I keep waxing. She recommended I save up and eventually have laser hair removal to thin and lighten my facial hair. Is this true? Is laser hair removal worth it?

  48. I have been scouring the internet for advice on back acne (gross, I know) and have not found anything of much value. If there is ANYTHING you can tell me to help get rid of these gross red bumps on my back I would very much appreciate it. (It is beach season, you know). Natural remedies and diet focus would be great. Thank you!!!

  49. Lauren,

    How can I get rid of upper back acne, as well as chest acne? I’ve started having breakouts and can’t seem to get rid of them… I’m recently engaged and will be shopping for my dress soon… I need these less-than-appealing spots to go away ASAP! Also, I’m a type 1 diabetic and live in cold weather most of the year–as a result, my skin is pretty dry. I’m too scared to use lotion because I don’t want to make my back and chest breakouts even worse! Please help!

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