Last month, Standard Dose launched its three-story space as a CBD based wellness experience in NYC's NoMad neighborhood. Their aim is to create an environment as a destination for elevated wellness that aims to facilitate an understanding of natural restorative practices. Guests can enjoy high quality CBD and plant-based products, daily yoga, meditation, education workshops and spa services. Educators are on site to inform shoppers on the benefits and uses of 100 curated CBD and plant-based topical and ingestible products.
Upon continuing in the space, a tea bar offers custom blends for detox, immunity and healing. Beyond this area is a meditation studio where guided sessions can be booked.
On the top floor, an outdoor rooftop hosts a number of additional meditation and yoga classes. In addition, there will be community events that focus on CBD and plant-based wellness.
This month, keep an eye out for a spa treatment room where select clean beauty services and body treatments can be reserved.
NY, NY 10001
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know the importance of SPF and re-applying it. There are times when, despite your best efforts, you still manage to get burned. Perhaps you were careless, and after too many margaritas forgot to re-apply your sunblock. Now, you are literally burned by your day of fun in the sun. Before you do anything to put yourself out of your stinging, burning agony, read these tips so you know what NOT to do to soothe a sunburn. Dr. Sheel Desai Solomon is a board- certified Raleigh- Durham North Carolina Dermatologist and founder and owner of Preston Dermatology
Here is her list of things to avoid after a bad sunburn.
Some cologne may contain ingredients that make you more prone to burning. "Oil of bergamot is especially notorious for this," explains Dr. Solomon "and can cause a severe, blistering reaction when it's on your skin and exposed to the sun." It's become rarer in the past few years since many fragrance companies started stripping the ingredient from their products. Other perfume ingredients and essential oils, like rosemary and lavender oils, can make your skin more sensitive to the rays, too, Dr. Solomon adds. To play it safe, avoid spraying any scents onto your skin before you go outside.
Taking an anti-inflammatory medication, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help soothe your skin once you're sunburned. However, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen, can also leave you more vulnerable to getting burned in the first place.
Dr. Solomon explains, "That's because certain medications contain photosensitizing agents. Those molecules will absorb the sun's UV rays and release them back into your skin, which damages and kills skin cells."
However, NSAIDs aren't the only ones that can raise your risk of getting fried. "There is a whole slew of meds out there that can leave your skin more sensitive to sun's rays," says Dr. Solomon "meaning you need to take extra precautions before spending time outdoors." Common ones include topical acne medications like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, antihistamines, and antibiotics. Even OTC supplements like St. John's Wort can make you burn more easily. Avoiding direct sunlight after applying or taking these medications is your best bet, but if you need to head outside, Dr. Solomon suggests protecting your skin with SPF 30 sunscreen and covering up with long sleeves, hats.
Taking Hot Showers
When your skin gets a little too toasted, you may notice that it tends to feel dry as it heals. Even if you're not in physical pain, taking hot showers can strip your skin of essential oils, which can dry it out even further and make it more sensitive, explains Dr. Solomon.
"This may lead to blistering and possibly prolong the healing process." On top of that, hot water isn't going to feel great, even on a mild sunburn that didn't feel too bad to begin with. While cold showers typically feel uncomfortable, sticking to lukewarm or cool showers when you're burned will ease discomfort. The temperature should be no warmer than what you would expect from a heated pool, which is around 84 degrees.
Wearing Tight Clothing
Wearing tight clothing over sunburnt skin is not advised, because inflammation is setting in. "Your body is trying to respond to the trauma by increasing blood flow to the area to help with healing. This results in redness, warmth, and inflammation to the area," says Dr. Solomon. Wearing tight clothes could amplify the response, which could lead to more intense swelling and blisters. Alternatively, you can avoid sunburns altogether and use the best sunscreen for your skin type.
Don't Use Scented Aloe
Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties and is suitable for your skin after you get a sunburn. However, using a scented aloe can irritate the skin even more. Dr. Solomon suggests using a fragrance-free aloe or using aloe directly from an aloe plant. However, the most beneficial treatment of all is to avoid sunburn in the first place.
Don't Cover that Burn With Makeup
Even though your sunburn might look bad, avoid covering it up with makeup. "The only way the burn will heal is if you let your skin breathe," says Dr. Solomon. "Introducing various makeups through dirty sponges or brushes will only increase your risk for infection or allergic reaction, which will ultimately make it all worse."
Don't Pop Your Blisters
Similar to not peeling your skin, you should never pop blisters. "That extra bubble of skin serves a fundamental purpose in protecting the wound," says Dr. Solomon. "If a blister hurts severely, apply a cream-based unscented aloe vera."
Not Drinking Enough Water
Sunburns dehydrate you from the inside out, so you really should be drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to rejuvenate the skin.
While scrubbing dead skin off your body helps to you then the skin, it's one of the worst things you can do on a sunburn. When your skin is burnt from the sun, exfoliating only exposes the damaged layer of skin, even more, causing pain and further irritation, explains Dr. Solomon. Instead, use a gentle moisturizer or mask to treat damaged skin.
Don't Use Coconut Oil or Butter
You may have heard before that lathering butter or coconut oil will soothe your burn, but it's a myth. The skin is hot and needs to cool down, applying a fat-based product onto your skin will not only clog the pores and stop the healing process, but it might also aggravate inflammation. "Coconut oil and butter are great for moisturizing the skin in other instances," says. Dr. Solomon, "but when it comes to a burn, you should wait until the skin cools to use it."
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“Cottage cheese,” “funky gravy.” “hail damage” - whatever you want to call it - cellulite is never something we want to see on our bodies. That lumpy, dimple-looking flesh on our thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and hips is dreaded by women and men alike. Cellulite is caused by fat cells pushing up against a layer of skin, tethered down by connective fibers that attach to the muscles. When there is a buildup of fat, these fibers pull down while the fat pushes up, creating the appearance of uneven, bumpy skin. Cellulite is not a weight issue and can affect individuals of all shapes, sizes and ages.
While cellulite is not a serious medical condition, it can make someone feel insecure or embarrassed. However, you aren’t alone; between 80 to 90 percent of women will experience cellulite at some point in their lives. Some might start to notice cellulite as early as puberty. Dr. Gretchen Frieling is a board -certified Boston Area Dermatopathologist. She cuts out the clutter to define what really works in 2019 to eradicate cellulite, be it a temporary or permanent solution.
Are there at home creams that can provide temporary improvement?
“If you’re looking for an at-home treatment, topical creams are an effective way to diminish cellulite. However, they’re a long-term or complete “cure,” says Dr. Frieling, She adds, “The fat cells are still under there! To maintain the results, you’ll have to apply the product every day. Use a moisturizing cream with ingredients that treat fatty tissues such as caffeine or retinol to minimize cellulite. To see results, you must apply the topical cream daily to improve cell circulation. Caffeine works as a diuretic, which can dehydrate the fat cells and change the water content, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite. While creams with at least 0.3 percent retinol work by thickening the outer layer of skin. It is essential to test these products on your skin before long-term use as some have shown to have adverse effects. Most creams can be found online and at any drugstore.”
What are the latest technologies to decrease Cellulite?
Acoustic wave therapy
Studies show that this can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Several treatment sessions are needed to see a reduction.
During one minimally invasive laser treatment called Cellulaze™, a tiny laser fiber is inserted beneath your skin. When the laser is fired, the laser energy breaks up the tough bands beneath the skin that cause us to see cellulite. This treatment can also thicken your skin, which is important. Skin often thins where cellulite forms. Thickening the skin can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Bottom line: Cellulaze™ may reduce the appearance of cellulite. Patients see results that last a year or longer. More research is needed to know for sure how effective this laser can be.
Called Cellfina™, this medical procedure involves your dermatologist inserting a needle just under the skin to break up the tough bands beneath the skin that cause us to see cellulite.
Bottom Line: Cellfina™ has been shown to reduce the skin dimpling that you see with cellulite. In a study of 232 patients, 99% of them said they were satisfied with the results. The results can last two years and possibly longer.
Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release
This also breaks up the tough bands that cause us to see cellulite. During this procedure, your practitioner will use a device that contains small blades to cut the tough bands. After the bands are cut, the tissue moves upward to fill out and eliminate the dimpled skin.
Bottom line: This may be an effective treatment for reducing cellulite. A small study shows that many patients who received this treatment had less cellulite for up to 3 years. It’s too soon to tell, but the results may last even longer.
This is a type of treatment that heats the cellulite. One FDA-approved device combines radiofrequency with a laser, suction, and massage to target cellulite.
Bottom line: Recent studies suggest some patients see a little less cellulite. This result, however, is short-lived and several treatments are needed to see this minor change.
After treatment, bruises are common. These fade with time.
Are there lifestyle exercise or diet changes that will reduce cellulite?
Dr. Frieling explains, “Your diet may be playing a significant role in the amount of cellulite you have, so it’s important always to have a well-balanced diet. One of the biggest culprits for causing cellulite are sugary sweet snacks and processed foods. Sugar is stored in our fat cells, and having too much will cause them to expand, thus creating the appearance of cellulite. The same goes for foods with high sodium intake, which cause bloating and water retention, making cellulite more noticeable. Other foods to avoid are cheese, soda, deli meat, fried food, and white bread.”
If you’re struggling to get rid of those stubborn dimples, it’s time to get up and get moving. “While it isn’t exactly the cure for cellulite,” says Dr. Frieling, she adds that “regular exercise will help in its prevention by strengthening the muscles underneath the fat in your butt, thighs, and hips. Squats and lunges, as well as a 45-minute walk, are great exercises that target the leg muscles and make the skin look more even.”
Smoking reduces the amount of blood that flows to your skin, causing the skin to become thinner and saggier. While it is a difficult habit to kick, the cellulite on your legs, arms, and butt will be less visible.
REDUCE YOUR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
“Elimination or significantly reducing the amount of alcohol you consume may aid in decreasing the toxins that accumulate underneath our fat cells. Alcohol also has high amounts of sugar, which will only make the cellulite more noticeable,” says Dr. Frieling.
This probably won’t be the first time you’ve been told to drink more water, but it does help! Dr. Frieling explains that “By drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day, you’re helping to remove the toxins stored underneath the layer of fat which cause our skin to look lumpy. Staying hydrated also helps with the overall health of your skin, making it appear more plump and full”.
If you have fair skin, a self-tanner may help. Dimpled areas are less noticeable on darker skin. Start with a gentle body scrub, then apply a self-tanning lotion to cellulite areas only. Next spritz your entire body with a tanning spray. Pass on a real tan. It'll damage your skin and make cellulite look worse.
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Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. While some women are “unicorns” and experience the best complexion and hair of their lives, others feel as if their skin has been “hijacked” and that virtually every day brings something foreign or unknown emerging on their face or body. Dr. Sheel Solomon is a Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Board- Certified Dermatologist. She is a mother to two young children and understands first-hand what a woman’s skin and hair go through during pregnancy. Here she shares common concerns and what a woman can do postpartum to regain skin and hair status quo.
Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. Growing that fast can leave you with stretch marks, especially on your belly and breasts, two areas that grow the most. Stretch marks can also show up on the thighs, buttocks, and upper arms. The marks often start out reddish or purple, but after pregnancy, they gradually fade to white or gray. “Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent stretch marks. There’s not a cream, lotion, or “mommy” potion that can do that. If that’s the claim on the bottle, don’t be duped,” says Dr. Solomon.
It isn’t an urban legend. It's real and it's awesome. “Because of increased blood flow and expanded capillaries, at some point in your pregnancy, your skin will effortlessly start to beam. People will likely notice that something is just different about you, and your skin will probably never experience so many compliments again, says Dr. Solomon.
In addition to added blood circulation, pregnancy hormones cause your skin to naturally retain more moisture, thus giving you your radiance. This is one of those side effects that we wish would stick around, but it's likely that it will eventually fade as your hormones level out. It's always a good idea to keep your skin hydrated with a rich lotion or cream, Dr. Solomon says, especially if it makes your skin feel better, look smoother and more toned, and helps the itchiness that can come with your growing belly.
These small, loose, harmless growths of the skin can appear anywhere on your body during pregnancy, but most commonly pop up under the arms and breasts. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to prevent them, but they can easily be removed after pregnancy if you want.
Varicose and spider veins
Varicose veins are those blue or purple veins that usually, show up on the legs, and spider veins are the tiny red veins that may appear on your face when you're pregnant. The good news: Both usually clear up after your baby is born. In the event that they don’t, Dr. Solomon explains that Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution directly into the vein that causes them to shrink.
Zits aren't just for teenagers: Many moms-to-be also get acne throughout their pregnancy, even if they've never had it before. Dr. Solomon explains that “Two things conspire to cause breakouts, which tend to hit sometime around week 6 of pregnancy: hormone surges, of course (in this case, progesterone, which causes your glands to increase acne-causing secretions of oil, called sebum) can clog up pores and cause bacteria to build up, leading to breakouts. And your body is also retaining more fluids, which contain toxins that can lead to **acne.”
Cholestasis of pregnancy
Dr. Solomon cautions that “There are times you shouldn’t ignore itchy skin. Cholestasis of pregnancy is a liver disease that results from high amounts of pregnancy hormones affecting the normal flow of bile in the gallbladder. This condition occurs in the third trimester and can cause severe itching over the whole body. It’s often worse on the palms and soles of the feet and causes patients to feel miserable and be unable to sleep. Cholestasis of pregnancy also may be accompanied by jaundice (a yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes).”
A simple blood test can verify if you have cholestasis of pregnancy, and oral medication may treat it. Delivery also cures it, so OB-GYNS may induce labor when you are closer to your due date.
Melasma and linea nigra
If you develop dark splotches on your face, you could have melasma or the mask of pregnancy. This skin condition affects up to half of pregnant women and is also responsible for linea nigra, a dark line that runs down the belly.
Hair and nail changes
You may notice that your hair suddenly seems thicker and fuller or that your nails grow faster during pregnancy. These changes are due to pregnancy hormones. Unfortunately, you may also find that hair starts to grow where you'd prefer it didn't, including on your face, chest, and belly.
Quick Tips for Post Pregnancy Skin
Hydrate with water
Do yoga and practice relaxation techniques
Use an oil free moisturizer to avoid acne
Avoid direct exposure to the sun to control pigmentation and wear a good broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen
Use a good under eye cream for puffy eyes and dark circles
Exfoliate your body all over with a gentle exfoliator stimulate circulation
Don’t stop taking your prenatal vitamins. They also are beneficial to the health of your skin, hair, and nails, as they provide iron and calcium.
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Life hacks, DIY tricks, and at home devices that are meant to “mimic the effects of in-office skin care treatments are all the rage right now. They are posted on Instagram, YouTube, and all over the Internet. While some are very constructive and budget-friendly, others are ineffective or downright dangerous. We asked Dr. Gretchen Frieling, who is a Boston area Dermatopathologist, to highlight several highly publicized methods that should bear the warning, “don’t try this at home.”
Dermaplaning - Dermaplaning is a cosmetic procedure that removes the top layers of your skin. The procedure aims to remove fine wrinkles and deep acne scarring, as well as make the skin’s surface look smooth. It uses an exfoliating blade to skim dead skin cells and hair from your face.
The Risks - Anecdotally, the risk of infection, complications, and experiencing pain during home dermaplaning is higher when you do it yourself. “If you have acne, there is a chance that the blade could nick a pimple,” says Dr. Frieling which means it would take longer to heal. In addition, the tool used for dermaplaning is not a safety razor like what we ladies shave with. The device or tool used to accomplish the dermaplaning on the face is made of a sharp blade with a handle or wand.
At home “Derma-Rollers” for MicroNeedling” Aestheticians and dermatologists use derma rollers on clients to increase elasticity, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and help with discoloration. Professional treatment can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,200 per session. According to Marketwatch, “A trend report for 2018 from lifestyle site Pinterest says it’s seen a 345% increase in posts for the “derma-roller” over the past year.” Dr. Frieling is not in favor of using the tools at home because, “the needles aren’t big enough to penetrate the proper holes into the skin, so you’re essentially damaging your face for no reason. And without proper sterilization, derma rollers can harbor harmful bacteria causing infections, breakouts, and can trigger skin conditions such as rosacea, which causes redness and bumps on the face; eczema, itchy inflammation spots; and brown patches on the skin.”
Injecting Botox or other “Black Market” Filler into Your Face - First, even if you were able to get your hands on “real” Botox or filler such as Juvederm or Restylane® it’s almost like putting a firearm in the hands of someone untrained at shooting. There is no safe way to give yourself Botox. You can’t trust what you’re buying, and even if you could, no amount of YouTube-ing will ever adequately teach you the skills you need to inject it. First, you need to know where to inject the substance. The answer is not to point the needle at the fine lines. After all, you’re relaxing muscles, not filling in wrinkles. Injecting Botox requires an understanding of facial muscles. You need to know which muscles should be relaxed for the desired results and where to target them. Second, you need to know how deeply to insert the needle and how much of the mixed substance you should apply in any given location.
Incorrect injection practices can lead to a host of complications, including eyelid drooping (ptosis), excessive swelling, excessive bruising, and a greater risk of infection. In fact, the infection may become so severe that it becomes a staph infection, an infection that spreads throughout the body and causes a variety of diseases. In any case, recovery will be longer, and the results may not be what you intended.
Lip Plumper Suction Devices - We have Kylie Jenner to thank for these! They are much less expensive than filler in the lips but with a far shorter shelf life. Dr. Frieling’s verdict: “Overuse of suction cup lip plumpers can cause misalignment of the teeth due to the outward pressure of the suction. Devices such as these can also cause swelling and bruising of the lips (and sometimes permanent scarring) when used excessively. The advice is to use these devices sensibly and with caution.”
At home acne extractors - The county has become obsessed with popping pimples thanks in part to the success of the TV show “Dr. Pimple Popper.” Acne extractors sold online, and people are using them at home. But should they? Picking causes scars or scabs by ripping off the top layer of skin, whereas extracting by a professional pulls out the fluids or solids inside a pimple. It's far more sterile, sanitary, and cleans the pore of extra debris. Why can’t you simply do this yourself? Acne extraction, be it white or black heads, is a ‘don’t try this at home procedure.’ It’s a one-way ticket to scarring, infection and even more breakouts. Only through a professional facial will your skin be prepped and steamed correctly for extractions – by the hands of a trained, licensed esthetician. Skin that has not been adequately prepped for extractions may be resistant, requiring more pressure and manipulation. If used too aggressively, the pressure of the extractor tool can inflame and even bruise the skin. Additionally, a skin care professional is well-practiced in gentle and efficient movements to maximize results while minimizing potential harm.
Cuticle Cutters -Trimming or cutting cuticles during a manicure is purely cosmetic and doesn't benefit the nail in any way. In fact, it's actually harmful to your nails. “The small area of skin is there to protect your nails from infection. When this skin is removed, your nail is left unprotected from bacteria and fungus. Dr. Frieling recommends pushing back the cuticles by applying cuticle remover on each nail.
Chemical Peels - Chemical peels are designed to work by removing part of the top layer of skin to reveal fresher skin for a more youthful appearance. Many products containing low concentrations of acid are sold through beauty retailers and drug stores, and are often safe to use. People also are treated with peels using a higher concentration at medi-spas or doctor’s offices. When it comes to alpha hydroxy acids or (AHAs) like salicylic and glycolic acids, a concentration of 10 percent or less is safe for home, and more than 30 percent should be reserved for a professional environment, according to a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel. Like many substances, illegal concentrations of chemical peels can be purchased online for substantially less than they would cost in a doctor’s office. But what price do you pay for a “bargain?” According to Dr. Frieling, “the dangers of experimenting with a medical grade peel at home are numerous and can include: extreme pain in the form of stinging, actual burns to the skin, blistering, scarring, changes in skin color, infection.” What’s more, a skin care professional will determine if you are even a candidate for a chemical peel and possibly rule you out if you have taken the acne medication isotretinoin in the past six months, have a dark complexion, have a personal history of ridged areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue (keloids), have abnormal skin pigmentation, have a history of frequent or severe outbreaks of cold sores.
Dr. Frieling says that there are worthwhile “skin care hacks,” DIY recipes for the skin, and some at home devices that are safe and effective. Before buying into the latest Instagram sensation, consult with your doctor first to make sure that you are a good candidate and that what you are considering is safe and effective.
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You’re all set for a fun day in the sun with your wide-brimmed hat to shield you from the UV rays, and you have given your waterproof SPF 30 or higher plenty of time to absorb into your skin. To play it safe, you have brought more suntan lotion to reapply after swimming or sweating. You are a dermatologist’s dream- or so you think! Have you given any thought to what you applied to your skin the night before or that morning before your set out for your day? The answer is you probably have not if you have concocted a skincare regimen that works for your skin type. The problem: What is effective for Winter, Spring and Fall, can cause significant photo-sensitivity (read burning) and other skin complications come Summer. We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Board- Certified Denver, Colorado plastic surgeon to reveal what types of products/ingredients sun worshippers should avoid and what can serve as safe substitutes.
Dr. Shah explains that “Certain ingredients in products make people photosensitive. Photosensitivity (or sun sensitivity) is inflammation of the skin induced by the combination of sunlight and certain medications or substances. This causes skin redness and may look similar to a sunburn. Both the photosensitizing medication or chemical and light source have to be present in order for a photosensitive reaction to occur. Consumers should understand that it is not brands of skincare that can make one photosensitive but rather the ingredients in those brands.”
According to Dr. Manish Shah
If you are planning to be in the sun, do not use the following types of products
Topical Acids Alpha and beta hydroxy acids such as glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids can cause the skin to be more susceptible to sun damage from being regularly exfoliated. These ingredients are commonly used in anti-aging, skin-brightening, and acne-fighting products.
Alternative: While AHAs and BHAs only cause minimal photosensitivity, you wouldn’t want to risk feeling that stinging sensation on your face. There are alternatives. Azelaic acid, found in wheat, rye and barley—comes in handy during the day as it is useful in the treatment of acne, rosacea, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and is not associated with the sun-induced reaction.
Benzoyl peroxide – This is most typically found in acne products and can cause the skin to be very sensitive.
Alternative: Zinc. Zinc enhances the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. Another major role of zinc is to regulate cell production and turnover and reduce the amount of natural oil that your skin produces. It prevents pores from clogging and subsequent acne formation. Zinc oxide is present in many physical sunscreens and is less likely to cause sun-sensitivity. “So, wear a good sunscreen with zinc oxide,” says Dr. Shah.
Hydroquinone- Typically used in skin-lightening products. Although hydroquinone is stable in sunlight, it’s not advisable to use it during the day as the sun’s skin-darkening effects are stronger than hydroquinone’s bleaching effect. Additionally, hydroquinone actually reduces your body's ability to create enough pigment to protect your from UV rays.
Alternative: Vitamin C is an excellent alternative to hydroquinone, as it is an antioxidant and combats dark spots while also having anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
Retinol and retinol derivatives encourage cell turnover, which exposes delicate, new skin. These newer layers of skin can be more sensitive to the sun. With enough sunscreen protection, newer formulations of retinol can be safely used during the day, but experts still advise limiting its use to nighttime especially for those who have sensitive skin.
Alternative: Bakuchiol is the new, clinically proven “natural retinol,” a powerful plant-based retinol alternative that decreases skin sensitivity to the sun. It is derived from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant and helps to heal, calm and soothe the skin, via its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Essential oils including bergamot, bitter orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, and mandarin leaf can also cause sun sensitivity.
Alternative: It is best to choose FCF or “furocoumarin free” essential oils when in the sun, as these are not known to be “photosensitive” or cause reactions to sunlight. Furocoumarins are phototoxins which are produced by plants as a mechanism to ward off small animals or bugs. Common ones include Oxypeucedanin and Bergapten. Examples of FCF essential oils are Bergamot FCF (Citrus bergamia), Blood Orange, Tangerine, and Red Mandarin.
Topical and oral prescriptions including antibiotics, antifungals, antihistamines, and anti-inflammatories can also cause sensitivity, so it's vital to thoroughly read labels, instructions, and warnings as well.
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Throughout the decades, brow looks come and go. Full, bushy brows evoke 80s-era Brooke Shields. Super skinny brows scream the late 90s. Recently, the perfectly painted “Insta Brow” has been having a major moment.
For 2019, a more easy-going, lower-maintenance, the natural brow is trending. To achieve this look, we tapped brow guru Umbreen Sheikh for her best tips. As a licensed cosmetologist and Founder + CEO of Wink Brow Bar, Umbreen is a bonafide brow savant. Here’s how she – and her teams at Wink’s multiple locations in New York City, Brooklyn, and London – are helping clients live their best brow lives.
Umbreen Sheikh’s Top 6 Brow Tricks
1. Assume the position
While you might think you need to park yourself this close to the mirror to precision-groom your brows, that isn’t actually the case. “Standing too close can throw-off your brow proportions, and make you lose perspective on the overall shape,” says Umbreen. “For best results, stand at least one foot away.”
2. Break out the brush
Short on time? At the very least, give your brows a thorough brushing. Stroke up and over, and then anchor your arches with a dab of brow gel or clear mascara. (More on brow gel shade-selection below.) FYI, the Wink tool of choice has an angled side and a spoolie on one end, so consider investing in a brow brush of similar quality. You’ll be using it every day, so it will pay for itself in no time.
3. Select your ideal shade
Picking the perfect, slam-dunk shade of gel, pencil or powder is crucial, so this is where you need to spend real quality time. As a general rule, you’ll want to match your hair roots, which are typically one shade lighter than your brows. “Most women want their brows to add definition to their face, and not ‘read’ as harsh or aggressive,” says Umbreen. “Matching your brows to your roots does that.” With one exception, Umbreen cautions. “If you’re blonde, go a shade darker than your roots. Otherwise, you’ll look washed-out.” NOTE: If you opt for professional brow tinting, which lasts for up to four weeks and is among Wink’s most popular services, you can skip this shade-selection tip altogether. How easy is that?
4. Get a little nosey
One of the very best things about next-level brow grooming, whether you master it yourself or pop by Wink for professional assistance, is that it allows you to visually alter the shape of your nose. Thinner, wider – whatever nose look you’re after, beautiful brows can help you get there. If you’re opting for thinner, Umbreen recommends drawing an imaginary vertical line from the tip of your nose to the beginning of your brow and then focusing your shade-filling right there at the start. To make your nose appear wider, do the opposite and focus your shade-filling at the end of your brow, not the beginning.
5. Pencil (or powder) it in
Whichever shade format you choose, the absolute key to success is to follow the basic shape of your existing brow. Go easy, and only add color between hairs, as needed. “The idea is to shade, not ‘draw’ your brows on from scratch,” says Umbreen. “The goal is a soft, subtle look that lends definition. Straight, hard lines are to be avoided at all costs.”
6. Between brow appointments, “cheat” with concealer
Pressed for time? If you can’t make it into Wink or carve-out 15 minutes to do a thorough DIY bathroom brow-grooming sesh, Umbreen recommends adding a dab of concealer on the most unruly hairs. “Whatever you do, resist the temptation to just yank them out,” she says. “Brows add so much structure and personality to your face that you really want to take your time, and groom properly. Or better yet, head to Wink, and let us help.”
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We sat down with Laila Ali, who continued Muhammad Ali, her father’s legacy in the sport, as well as trailblazing outside of it. As a professional boxer who went undefeated in her career, she held the WBC, WIBA, IWBF and IBA female super middleweight titles and the IWBF light heavyweight title. She is a TV personality and host of OWN’s Home Made Simple, participating in Dancing with the Stars, Food Network’s Chopped as well as Celebrity Apprentice. In our interview, we took time to talk with her about the importance of fitness, nutrition and how we can focus on spring cleaning this time of year.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us the moment when you realized that you wanted to be a boxer and eventually parlaying that into TV hosting, nutrition and wellness?
LAILA ALI: So I first saw women’s boxing on television when I was about 17 years old and that was when I first had the idea and desire to become a professional boxer myself. So it wasn’t right away that I took the leap because I was at school full time and I had a business at the time and it took me about a year to start training and once I did, that was it – end of story. Of course I ended with 24-0, 21 KOs and 4 world titles.
So boxing was my first love and I focused so much time and energy on it for about 9 years and then I decided I wanted to retire and to start a family, then I started to think about what I wanted to do next. Right around that time, Dancing With the Stars called and I decided to do the show as it was a great platform for me to show other sides of myself. From there, I just went onto TV hosting and different opportunities. During that 5 year period I began to think about what I was passionate about, what I wanted to do next, and that was really when I came to the conclusion that I really wanted to be able to help other people live their best life. I wanted to help them make healthy lifestyle choices and then I started doing shows such as Home Made Simple which I host, now which comes on OWN every Saturday. I’m able to work with families, make their living spaces amazing, also cook healthy recipes with them out of my cookbook Food For Life and now we’re launching our own product line which is simple plantbased cleaning products. They are available at select Walmart stores and Walmart.com.
So, things have really come full circle, but it was all about really encouraging people to make healthy lifestyle choices and live their best life.
AM: Can you tell us a little more about Home Made Simple’s product extension of cleaning products and why you enjoy using them?
LA: So we have hand soap, we have dish soap, we’ve got laundry detergent, fabric softener, multipurpose spray. It comes in lemon, lavender and rosemary. All of these products are not only safe and affordable, but they are effective and that is the most important thing. I’m all about using products that are good for my family, the environment and Home Made Simple’s products are amazing in that they actually work as well.
AM: We know that you have a number of tips about cleaning your home – especially in a way that keeps it simple, can you share 3 with us?
LA: Now is the time that everyone is thinking about spring cleaning right? We are in my household as well! Some of the things that I like to do is to get my kids involved and what I do is give them a series of chores on a chart. When they have done everything that they need to do, then I reward them. Whatever they are asking me for, I tell them that they can get it once they have gotten all of their stars on their chart. One of the other things that works out really well for me is not to wait for things to pile up. I like to take 10-15 minutes out of everyday to put things in their place. Another tip I have is that whenever you have things that you want to give away or get rid of, clothes that don’t fit anymore – put them in a big bin. I leave mine in the garage and remove them quarterly as it keeps clutter down. Every time you buy things – when you bring something into the household, you take something else out. We all have things in our kitchens and other rooms of the house that can be placed in a bin. I think that when you do that, you’re encouraged to donate items and I think that it’s really good to be able to help those in need or to be able to repurpose those items. That’s how it keeps everything nice and organized. Of course, it's all about using products that you love and that work and Home Made Simple really makes that easy to do with their new plant-based cleaning products.
AM: With it being the Spring and people needing ways to spruce up food options when it comes to supporting their workout, what smoothies and power foods should we think about incorporating into our day to day?
LA: I think it’s very important to be consistent first of all and make sure that you are getting enough rest so that you can do your best workout. Staying hydrated is key! A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to drink water as it enhances your performance, effects the way that you think and it’s really important to do. I like to have a protein shake after I workout. I don’t want to eat and put my body through having to digest food which is more work. I like to have a protein shake and just kind of get everything in and then eat a couple of hours after which is what my routine is.
AM: As someone who I’m sure travels a lot, what are 3 skincare products that you swear by that you enjoy using in your routine?
LA: I don’t think that it’s so much products or about a routine. I make sure that I clean my skin really well every night. I wash my face and I use a good moisturizer before I go to bed. In the morning I like to clean my face in the shower after my pores have opened up with the hot steam and then I will clean my face. I like to use my Clarisonic because it really gets into those pores really well. So those are tips that I have. Water and sweating are actually amazing for your skin. Sweating out toxins and that comes from working out and drinking water. Beauty comes from within.
AM: We’re all about #Tribegoals and the power of tribes which are the source of inspiration. Who are 3 people that you are inspired by?
LA: Well I definitely have a tribe of people that are around me. I think that every successful person does. It takes a team and nobody is doing it by themselves. My husband is part of my tribe and is my best friend, my confidant. One of my best girlfriends is like my person my go to who will keep it real with me and be honest. I don’t want to have yes people around me. Of course I would also include my business associates as well.
You can hear Laila Ali's interview now on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multimedia podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
With Memorial Day fast approaching, many are even more focused than usual on their bodies and getting them into tip-top shape at the gym. While exercise has multiple benefits, very often workouts and great looking skin don't go together. We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Board-Certified Denver plastic surgeon and anti-aging expert, to give tips on how you can get the six-pack and still have glowing, acne free skin.
Sweat Itself Does Not Cause Acne
First, "It is important to know that sweat itself does not cause acne," says Dr. Shah. He explains, "Professional sportsmen are predisposed to accumulating dirt and bacteria in their pores during and after workout periods. If left without proper cleansing this can cause worsening in skin conditions like acne and dermatitis."
These days a gym visit almost doesn't seem to "count" unless one Instagrams it. This often leads women to wear makeup to the gym. Just don't. Dr. Shah says, "Most makeup will clog pores by not allowing the skin to breathe naturally during workouts. A better option is a tinted moisturizer if you are self-conscious about your skin tone."
If you're going to be outdoors, apply a light moisturizer with SPF to keep your skin protected from UV rays. Make sure to choose a lightweight product as not to clog up your pores. Look for words like "non-comedogenic" or "oil-free" to know that your sunblock won't cause acne.
Don't Touch Your Face at the Gym!
Cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, these all breed bacteria. Touching them and them wiping beads of sweat off your face is a sure way to spread bacteria that can create new breakouts. Make sure to bring a towel for this instead of using your hands.
A Flowing Mane of Hair is Not Your Friend During a Workout
When you are working out it is a good idea to keep hair out of your face by styling it into a bun or rocking a dry and clean sweatband. Sweat and dirt can get transferred from your hair onto your face. If you haven't washed your hair and you use hairspray or other hair products, these can also splash onto your pores along with perspiration. This can cause irritations and breakouts.
How to Choose the Right Gym Towel
An old rag won't be effective at absorbing sweat. However, you don't want a gym towel that is as absorbent as a bath towel you would use to dry off your body after a shower at home. Dr. Shah says that "The gym towel should be a happy medium — absorbent enough to keep your face dry during a workout, but not so thick it clings to bacteria even after a wash."
Wear Loose and Comfortable Gym Clothes
"Spandex is tight clothing that can lead to skin infections from bacteria and fungi," warns Dr. Shah. "Wear loose attire that will also help wick away the sweat preventing it from being absorbed by your skin." Just google "sweat-wicking workout clothes."
Reduce the Redness
Calm down a flushed face with your redness control remedy made up of a little bit of iced green tea and a spray bottle. "You'll cool down your skin and add in a few extra anti-oxidants in the process," says Dr. Shah.
After your workout
Dr. Shah stresses, "Wash your face immediately after your workout. You don't want a mixture of dirt, oil, and bacteria clinging to your skin, affecting its pH, and clogging your pores. If you are exercising in a park where there is no sink, bring cleansing facial wipes with you."
Moisturize Post Workout
No matter your type of skin, after cleansing you must moisturize. Dr. Shah says that "Skipping this essential step can unknowingly dehydrate your skin causing your oil-producing glands to overcompensate by producing an oversupply of oil. Use a moisturizer that's been produced for your specific skin type and condition immediately after cleansing for the best results."
Skip the Hot Shower
Sure, your muscles are sore, and you're in the mood for a hot shower after a workout. Dr. Shah points out that, "Hot water strips skin of vital oils, leaving you with dry, itchy, dull skin." Exfoliate more often to avoid "Bacne." Breakouts on your back or chest are particularly common for "gym rats." To avoid this, use a gentle body scrub three times a week. Dr. Shah says, "This will keep pores clear and skin functioning well."
Save Your "Superhero" Products for Night
Save serious treatment products for bedtime. Dr. Shah points out that, "Even seemingly normal skin can experience much more sensitivity right after a workout. You may want to wait until redness decreases by bedtime to use your super-active acne or anti-aging treatment products."
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