Hands up for moisturizer!

Take a look at your hands or that of your spouse, friend, child or co-worker — chances are they are dry and cracked.  Winter can wreak havoc on our hands.  Our hands come in contact with water more than any other part of our skin and unless we constantly moisturize it is a challenge to keep them hydrated.  Oftentimes in the winter, our hands become so rough that we start to get tiny tears, especially on our knuckles where the skin is the thinnest.  So here are a few suggestions for some immediate relief: find a moisturizer that contains lanolin or squalene (emollients that fill the cracks of the skin) or glycerin, hyaluronic acid or lactic acid (humectants that pull in moisture).  It’s just as important to moisturize your skin when it is still damp so it absorbs into the skin.  Try to avoid overly hot water which only contributes to the drying out of the skin and strips our skin of its natural oil.

Lastly, even in winter, our hands are exposed to the harmful rays of the sun.  I always keep a hand cream in the car that contains a broad spectrum SPF 30.  Our hands are exposed daily to the harmful rays of the sun which can cause those aging sunspots.  So make don’t forget to make your hands part of your daily skincare routine and gently exfoliate, moisturize and protect them from the harmful elements and you will love your youthful looking hands.

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip:  Before bed, mix a scoop of coconut oil into your moisturizer and slather up your hands.  You will be amazed at how hydrated and repaired your hands will be the next morning.

Massage and other tips for puffy eyes.

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season filled with blessings of peace, love and happiness.

I’ve been wanting to share an insert I recently came across in the package of one of my favorite eye creams that I recommend Dr. Brandt DNA Triple Peptide Eye Cream.  The illustration (see below pic) suggests how to apply the cream and massage the eye area.  I love how Step 1 advises to use smoothing strokes from the inner to outer eye to apply the cream.  Then Step 2 suggests using your fingertips to gently massage the lower and upper lids to help drain fluid.  And, lastly, Step 3 suggests using your index finger and thumb to press into the upper brow.  I think this is a great suggestion for people struggling with puffiness.  I think most people, myself included, think of massage only regarding the body and sore muscles but massage is a great benefit to our eye area and even our sinuses.


As I blogged previously, I recommend using an eye cream containing peptides to help build the loss of collagen (see my link above to Dr. Brandt’s DNA cream).  But whatever your eye cream of choice, try some gentle massage to help alleviate puffiness.

A few other tricks I use for puffy eyes are: splashing them with cold water; doing 20 jumping jacks to get blood flowing upon waking; and, trying to keep my pillow/head elevated just above my body.

Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what tricks you use to help with eye puffiness.

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip: Keep cold spoons in the freezer and press them over your lower and upper eyes lids for a quick fix.

What is Micellar water?

Ok.  So what is Micellar water?  This current trend is water that’s made up of balls of cleansing oil molecules called micelles. These little balls are attracted to dirt and oil  draw impurities out of the pores. It’s basically a face wash, make-up remover and moisturizer in one. I think it’s great as an occasional alternative to your cleanser.  Micellar water is great for people with dry or sensitive skin who find cleansers too harsh and drying as micellar water does not contain alcohol.  If you look for micellar water at the store, you’ll be amazed at how many different brands are now carrying micellar water.

I recently tried the brand SIMPLE Micellar cleansing water as an alternative to my facial cleanser.  It’s definitely a different concept to washing with water but my skin honestly felt cleansed and moisturized.

My final thoughts: I think Micellar water is a great alternative on nights when you are just too tired for your nighttime ritual.  It’s a great addition to your gym bag.  I wouldn’t replace it as my nightly cleanser but I would add it as a make-up remover and pre-cleanse step before washing my face.

Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if you tried the latest cleansing trend and what you thought of it.

~Skincare Warrior

Give thanks for coconut oil.

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you are preparing to spend a beautiful and blessed day with your loved ones.  One of the things I’m grateful for is coconut oil.  I’m amazed at how many things you can do with it and how beneficial it is.  First, if you haven’t gotten a jar of this magical stuff, I suggest you do.  I recommend an organic unrefined expeller pressed oil (see my link to Amazon below).


My first introduction to this stuff was by a coworker who had glowing skin. We got to talking skincare and she shared that she only used coconut oil to wash her face and remove her make-up.  I was immediately intrigued.  As I researched about the benefits, I came across the tremendous amount of ways to use it and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I’ve had a jar of it on my bathroom counter ever since.  Let me count the ways:

-use it to remove make-up
-wash your face with it
-use it as a nightly moisturizer once a week
-use it for acne breakouts (it’s so refined and will penetrate the pores and push the bacteria out)
-add it to your body moisturizer
-add a scoop to your warm bath water
-rub it into your rough heels
-rub it into your cuticles and nails nightly
-use it as deep conditioning hair treatment
-swish it around in your mouth and hold it there for as long as you can, it’s a great detox

Here’s a link to an affordable jar of coconut oil at Amazon Spectrum Coconut Oil. Please leave me a comment and let me know how you use this natural gem.

~Skincare warrior

Warrior tip: Coconut oil changes consistency based on temperature. It will solidify in normal/cooler temps and liquify in warm weather.  Rub it between your hands to break it down to an oil…a little goes a long way. Give it a few minutes to absorb.

Skincare Warrior saving$ alert

If you are looking for a fantastic glycolic peel pad, now is the time to pick one up at Kohls. They are currently on sale for 50% off plus you can apply your Kohls cash (no coupons can be used on this prestige brand).  You get 30 pads in the pack and honestly, there’s so much product on these individually sealed packets that I cut mine in half and get 60 uses instead of 30.  Click here to enjoy your savings on these spa quality pads. BLISS Glycolic ‘incredi-peel’ pads

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip: Before tossing your pad out, run it over the heels of your feet and see how soft they become over time.



Skincare Warrior saving$ alert

I admit it, I am frugal and love a good deal.  Trust me when I say that buying good quality skincare products does not mean you have to spend a lot of money.  When someone tells me they can’t afford to spend money on good skincare items, I always respond by saying, “you don’t have to spend a lot.” So here’s one of my tips: If you are not already a CVS customer, I suggest you sign-up online.  They send out 30% and sometimes 40% coupons frequently.  CVS carries some of my favorite skincare lines.  Starting today if you are a registered CVS cardholder you will get a 40% discount on 1 item.  This is when I make my purchase for a product I am running low on or I am out of.  Two of my favorites lines I have blogged about are at CVS: Derma e and LaRoche Posay.  Whether you need an exfoliator, a winter moisturizer or serum or a retinol cream, now is the time to use that 40% off.  Don’t wait as it expires on November 19th.


laroche3   laroche2

Please leave me a comment and let me know if you enjoyed saving money on your new product as much as I did (that’s if I don’t see you at the store)!

~Skincare Warrior


Turning on the heat = turning up your moisturizer

Once Fall is officially here and my heat gets turned on, I know it’s time to change my skincare routine. The cooler air and low humidity causes drier air which takes all the moisture away leaving us with dry skin. Without proper care, our skin starts to flake, crack and even bleed and the winter wind makes it even worse.

A heavier moisturizer in the Fall is a necessity. It provides a nice barrier to the cold air. There are creams for every skin type – so choose wisely. If your skin is extremely dry, I suggest finding a lotion that contains an oil such as jojobo or sunflower to add an extra layer of moisture. A cream containing evening primrose oil is very soothing for sensitive skin types. I find oil based moisturizers help retain the moisture moreso than water based ones. I get that some people don’t want to add another item to their routine or change their products, so if nothing else I suggest adding an extra pump of your serum to your moisturizer both a.m. and p.m.

Here are a few more cold weather suggestions for your skin: wash with lukewarm water (the hot water strips our skin of its natural oils), make sure to moisturize when your skin is wet and drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated.  Why not drink your water warm or even hot with a squeeze of lemon or orange?

Not only do I change my moisturizer in the winter but I also change my cleanser. I find my acid based cleansers in the winter time can exacerbate the dryness so I will use it intermittently with a moisturizing cleanser. This is the time of year you want to add a hydrating toner (see my earlier post about toners) followed with a more hydrating moisturizer. Two of my favorite products are Derma-e Hydrating cream and Andalou Natural night repair cream.


Just making a few adjustments to your winter skin regimen can keep your skin looking hydrated and dewy.

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip: The sun is just as strong and those UVA and UVB rays are just as prevalent in winter as they are in summer so remember to use a daily broad spectrum sunblock.

Witch hazel: My favorite toner

To tone or not to tone? I’ve heard this asked many times. My rule of thumb is why not tone? By toning your skin you are essentially ridding your skin of any traces of make-up or dirt left behind after cleansing. Plus using a mild toner provides pH balance to your skin. Our skin’s perfect pH balance is 5.5 but cleansing can throw the skin’s pH balance off. Hence the need to use a toner to put it back in balance. I prefer using witch hazel for my toner. I find it to be very gentle and is one of the most affordable toners you can use. Witch hazel is great for decreasing oil and, therefore, helpful for acne flare-ups. Some which hazels incorporate salicylic acids which are great to fight oily skin. Witch hazel helps to tighten the skin and decrease pore size. It can even help puffiness under the eyes.

Personally, I think that for such a small investment it’s so worth adding this step to your skincare routine. Be careful to read the ingredients. Some witch hazel has alcohol which can dry and strip the skin. Find a toner that works for your skin’s needs. If you have dry skin, try a moisturizing toner containing rosewater. For oily skin, you can use a lime toner to help tighten your pores.

Derma-e carries some very affordable and noteworthy toners that range from moisturizing to anti-aging to calming. They are almost 100% natural and less than $15. Here are two of my favs:  Derma-e Radiance toner and Derma-e anti-wrinkle toner.

Click here for Derma-e Anti-Wrinkle toner at Amazon.

antiwrinkletoner dermaetoner

In the morning I often just splash my face with the coldest water I can stand. Then I run a cotton ball soaked with witch hazel over my skin before applying my daytime moisturizer. Think your cleanser is doing the whole job? Try running a cotton ball over your face after washing it and you will see what’s left behind.

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip: Suffering from hyperpigmentation spots after some fun in the sun? Spot treat them with a cotton ball dabbed in apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to start fading those pesky spots. Be diligent and you will see it start to fade.

Pumpkin facial anyone?


Next time you are in a salon, check out the list of facials. You will likely see pumpkin listed as one of the many ingredients. Pumpkin is packed with enzymes and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) which are great at cell turnover and brightening the skin. Pumpkins are also jam packed with vitamins, specifically Vitamins A & C, which are great anti-aging fighters. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and can help acne sufferers by controlling hormone levels and oil production. The benefits of pumpkin are due to its cell structure. It is extremely small and can penetrate deep into the skin when used topically. It’s fantastic for brightening a dull complexion and fighting aging skin and pigmentation.

I’ve always been a ‘pumpkin’ lover but not until recently did I know the benefits of pumpkin as a topical product. Recently, I was given a face mask containing pumpkin & honey and introduced to a new skincare line called Andalou (http://andalou.com/pumpkin-honey-glycolic-mask).  I knew it was doing its job when it was stinging and I felt flushed. Ok I admit I was a little nervous but I stuck it out and after rinsing my face, I had smoother, brighter skin that stayed with me for quite a few days. You can get similar result by mixing a tablespoon of cooked pumpkin (or canned) and an equal amount of raw honey. Leave this mask on your face for 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water. If you feel a warm sensation that starts to get uncomfortable, don’t worry, that’s just the enzymes getting down deep and doing their job. Enzymes can be powerful so you may need to introduce them in small doses.


I can’t wait to report more on this new line of natural skincare. But until then please join me this season and celebrate pumpkin. You don’t have to like the taste of pumpkin to wear it.

~Skincare warrior

Warrior tip: Before throwing out your seasonal pumpkins, rub the inside flesh of the pumpkin on your feet to soften up your callouses.  Those pumpkin enzymes will give those callouses a run for their money. Then go enjoy a pumpkin spice coffee!

Peptides deserve a pep-rally!

Our skin is comprised mostly of collagen which provides a foundation and thickening of our skin. As we age, our skin tends to thin out and begins to sag because we lose collagen.  As collagen deteriorates, it produces certain peptides. When these skin care peptides are applied topically, it triggers your skin to produce more collagen. I have found that using skincare and eye care products that contain peptides greatly minimizes wrinkles and gives my skin a more youthful appearance. It doesn’t happen overnight but in time it makes a difference.

skin aging

Over the years I noticed more and more anti-aging products referencing peptides and, in particular, Matrixyl.  Matrixyl (also known as palmitoyl- or oligopeptide pentapeptide) seems to be the most popular peptide in anti-aging products. You will find that after using products containing this game-changing ingredient, it starts to reduce fine lines. Argireline (also known as Acetyl hexapeptide) is marketed as a topical alternative to Botox as it causes facial muscles to relax and minimizes wrinkles.

There’s been lots of talk of neuropeptides which are important because they have the ability to penetrate your skin more deeply to do the most good.

dermae  triplepeptide.jpg


So why not start using an anti-aging product that contains these little gems.  If you don’t want to spend a fortune on another product in your beauty regimen, I recommend  Derma-E Deep Wrinkle Peptide Moisturizer. I love this product line as it’s natural, paraben free and AFFORDABLE. One of my favorite peptide eye creams that truly gives results is Dr. Brandt’s DNA eye cream. I’ve honestly received compliments after using this peptide filled cream after just a short period of use. Find a product that you like or comes recommended from an estethician that contains peptides.   Use it twice a day for a few months and see the difference for yourself. Then invite me to your peprally for peptides!

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip:  If your face needs a little pick-me-up after a restless night’s sleep, try filling a big bowl with ice water and dunk or splash your face. This is an old Hollywood trick that circulates blood flow to awaken the skin and bring some color to the face.