Beauty is More Than Skin Deep: 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Baking Soda: Miaracle in a Box

If I were stranded on a desserted island, this is one thing I would love to have with me: Baking soda. The uses of this very affordable, even cheap powder is phenomenal. Not only can one use it as a tooth paste, but also as a great exfoliant.

I am sure that like me, a lot of you are frustrated with spending so much money on products that are way too harsh for our face. Look no further. For under 1.50 baking soda promises to give you very supple and clean skin at first try. So go ahead........ after all it is only 1.50. And if you're lucky you might just get if for .99cents!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Get Rid of Acne and other problems

This is a skin saver for under $5.00! Nixoderm has been on the market for over 40 years and has proven time and time again to be very effective in getting rid of pimples and other skin imperfections.

But be warned, if you have sensitive skin you would have to perhaps dilute it with a mild moisturizer. Just apply nixoderm at nights and usually by morning time, you pimple would be gone. What I like most about this product is that it takes away the acne marks with it! What more can one ask for?
The following dermatologist recommended ingredients can be found in nixoderm: Benzoic Acid 6% w/w, Salicylic Acid 2.5% w/w, Precipitated Sulphur 4.6%.

Nixoderm is available at many of your favorite beauty stores. Even the Asian markets or the food markets sometimes stock up on this beauty staple. I will stop here and let you examine the reviews from site.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Straight from the Dermatologist

For those of you who believe that spending $100.00+ is the answer to perfect and flawless skin; Think again. One of the nation's most respected dermatologists Dr. Fran Bolden-Cooke wrote a very brilliant article in NY Times entitled: The Cosmetics Restriction Diet (Jan 4th 2007). In the article she encourages simplicity when using skin care products: Less is always more. The article reads:

DR. FRAN E. COOK-BOLDEN, a dermatologist in Manhattan, is an advocate of skin-care minimalism. When a patient recently arrived for an appointment toting 20 different products she was using regularly — including an eye cream, a vitamin C cream, a wrinkle serum, a pigmentation cream, a mask, a peel, a scrub and “some sort of special oxygen detoxifying cream” — Dr. Cook-Bolden said she confiscated all but three.

“It gave me a headache just to look at all of those products,” Dr. Cook-Bolden said. “Just two products, a gentle cleanser and a good sunscreen, are enough daily skin care for most people, and you can buy those at a drugstore or a grocery store.”

Dr. Cook-Bolden is part of a back-to-basics movement among dermatologists. At a time when beauty companies are introducing an increasing number of products marketed for specific body parts —including necks, creases around the mouth and eyelids — or for apocryphal maladies like visible pores or cellulite, these doctors are putting their patients on cosmetics restriction diets.
They are prescribing simplified skin-care routines requiring at most three steps: soap; sunscreen every day, no matter the weather or the season; and, if necessary, a product tailored to specific skin needs, whether a cream for pimples or pigmented spots, or a vitamin-enriched moisturizer for aging skin. Each product, they say, can be bought at drugstores for $30 or less.
Among those doctors who have become experts at uncluttering their patients’ vanity tables and medicine cabinets is Dr. Sarah Boyce Sawyer, an assistant professor of dermatology at the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“My New Year’s beauty resolution for patients is: cut down on skin-care products and cut your skin-care budget,” Dr. Sawyer said. “Cut down on those $100 potions.”
For some doctors, simplifying skin-care routines is a way to make patients follow a regimen or a means to soothe irritated skin. But some dermatologists are also suggesting patients use fewer, less expensive products because they believe there is little scientific research to justify buying an armload of pricey cosmetics, Dr. Sawyer said.

“We have good medical evidence on prescription products,” she said. “But the science is fuzzy with a lot of cosmetics.”

Unlike drugs, cosmetics are not required to prove their efficacy.
Prescription medications like Accutane for acne and over-the-counter drugs such as sunscreen ingredients must undergo rigorous clinical testing before they gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration. But cosmetics are not subject to the agency’s scrutiny before they go on sale. The F.D.A. defines cosmetics as topical products that do not alter the structure or function of the skin.

Dr. William P. Coleman III, the vice president of the American Academy of Dermatology, said consumers should view moisturizers and wrinkle creams as no more than superficial treatments.

“You have to think of cosmetics as decorative and hygienic, not as things that are going to change your skin,” said Dr. Coleman, who is a clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. “A $200 cream may have better perfume or packaging, but as far as it moisturizing your skin better than a $10 cream, it probably won’t.”
According to F.D.A. regulations, beauty manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their cosmetics and for their own marketing claims. Although many beauty companies perform studies on their products, they are not required to conduct clinical trials on the level of medical research or to make their proprietary research available to the public.

Dr. Mary Ellen Brademas, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center, said the paucity of rigorous published science on cosmetics makes it difficult to determine how well creams work, whether they cost $10, $100 or $1,000.
“People are spending $450 on a jar of cream just because it is made out of something exotic like salmon eggs or cocoons,” Dr. Brademas said. “But the cheapest products work just as well as the more expensive ones.”

A study of wrinkle creams published last month by Consumer Reports concluded that there was no correlation between price and effectiveness. The study, which tested nine brands of wrinkle creams over 12 weeks, also concluded that none of the products reduced the depth of wrinkles by more than 10 percent, an amount “barely visible to the naked eye.”

The Consumer Reports study found, for example, that a three-step regimen of Olay Regenerist products costing $57 was slightly more effective at reducing the appearance of wrinkles than a $135 tube of StriVectin-SD or a $335 combination of two La Prairie Cellular lotions.
“I am seduced by fancy packaging as much as the next person,” Dr. Brademas said. “But I have a theory that all these skin-care things come out of the same vat in New Jersey.”

John Bailey, the executive vice president for science of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, an industry trade group in Washington, said that skin care varies widely in price because of amounts spent on research and development of ingredients and product formulas, and the cost of manufacturing and packaging.
Skip to next paragraph

Lars Klove for The New York Times
CUSTOMIZE CARE Depending on your skin, Dr. Madfes said, you might add an acne cream like Clean & Clear ($5.29), a retinol cream like Neutrogena’s ($6.99), or Olay Total Effects ($19.99) “to retard redness.”
Drugstores Bank on Snob Appeal (but Can You Pronounce It?) (January 4, 2007)
But, he said, it is difficult to measure performance differences among products.
“Cosmetics don’t have the same quantitative analysis as drugs, so you don’t have a set gauge you can use to determine perceived and actual benefits,” said Dr. Bailey, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry. “Ultimately, consumers will have to try products out and find what works best for them.”
THE back-to-basics skin-care regimen is based on practicality rather than marketing claims. It does not rely on exotic ingredients grown on far-flung islands hand-picked by natives only under a full moon.
Dr. Diane C. Madfes, a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said that basic skin care requires washing one’s face to remove dirt, sweat and bacteria, and using sunscreen to impede sun damage. People who worry about wrinkles, pimples, dry spots or pores may want to add one or two treatment products, she said.
Dr. Cook-Bolden, who has been a paid consultant for several mass-market cosmetics brands, suggested a mild liquid cleanser for the face. Instead of using toners, which may strip skin, or gritty exfoliation beads and microdermabrasion systems, which may irritate skin, she recommended using a washcloth to slough off dead skin cells.
“If you have dry, sensitive skin, you just pat the washcloth on your face gently in a circular motion,” she said. “If you don’t have irritated skin, you can put more speed and pressure on the washcloth.”

Dermatologists disagree whether a moisturizer is then needed. Dr. Brademas said it is superfluous.

“Moisturizer is optional unless you are in the Arctic,” said Dr. Brademas, who favors Vaseline petroleum jelly for dry hands, feet, knees and elbows. “I’m not sure moisturizers do very much except for creating a smooth surface so that makeup can go on without drag.”
Dr. Cook-Bolden took a more agnostic position.

“If you need a moisturizer, moisturize,” she said. “If you want less moisture, use a lotion. If you want more, use a cream. And if you have acne-prone skin, use a gel or a spray.”
Although the dermatologists interviewed for this article disagreed about moisturizer, they agreed on one point: the importance of sun protection, including hats, avoidance of midday sun and the use of an effective sunscreen. They recommended that consumers look for formulas that include ingredients — like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or Mexoryl SX — that impede damage from the sun’s longer wavelength UVA rays, a protective effect that is not indicated by a product’s SPF rating.

Beyond soap and sunscreen, Dr. Madfes said that one or two additional products might be added to personalize a skin-care routine.
“People who see wrinkles around their eyes are going to reach for an eye cream,” Dr. Madfes said. “Someone who looks in the mirror and sees large pores may want to use a cleanser with salicylic acid, which can reduce clogged pores.”
She is also a proponent of night creams that combine retinol, a form of vitamin A that may help speed up the turnover of skin cells, and antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E or lycopene that may help thwart environmental damage to the skin. People with skin conditions like severe acne or people interested in topical anti-wrinkle drugs should consult their doctors about prescription medications, she said.
On an expedition last week to a CVS Pharmacy at Columbus Circle with a reporter, Dr. Madfes examined the product labels on skin-care items from a variety of mass-market brands and recommended a few basic products, including Cetaphil cleanser and La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX sunscreen.

“Higher end, more expensive products may look better in the box and feel better on your face, but they don’t necessarily work better than less expensive products as long as you look for ingredients that are known for efficacy,” Dr. Madfes said.
But she did see one benefit to splurging.

“The thing is, when someone buys a $200 cream, they are going to use that cream,” Dr. Madfes said. “So, in the end, their skin may benefit.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Achieving a More Radiant Smile

Everyone loves a beautiful smile........ well, let's hope. And as many of you know, many people still refuse to go to the dentist simply because of bad past experiences. I strongly recommend that you keep testing the waters until you find the dentist you are most comfortable with. You can always solve this problem by getting a referral from trusted friends or from your online community.

In the meantime, between dental breaks you would be happy to know that there are everyday foods that can aid to you achieving a bright smile. (courtesy of Today's show). Some of these foods include:

Carrots, green tea, black tea, oranges(or vit. C foods) etc

Here is a very informative link from msnbc:

Remember you always have the option of purchasing otc teeth whitening kits. However, you should keep in mind that having healthy gums and strong teeth are prerequisites for teeth bleaching. It is highly recommneded that you find out from your dentist whether you are a candidate for otc teeth whitening.

If all else fails, remember the old tradition of oil pulling....... come on, just google it!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Summer-proof makeup

Avoid looking like a toasted, burnt bagel this summer! Here is a very intersting link(courtesy of with some of the best beauty products that would not embarass you this summer.,,bq8zx57s,00.html

And remember if you know of any other products, feel free to share!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Spas For Less in NYC

At such low prices, pampering yourself is a must. Here are a list of affordable spas in the NYC area. If you know of any please do not hesitate to share:

Elite day spa: offers facials for as low as $31.20 including tax. Located at: 24 W 39th St, between 5th and 6th right next to Lord and Taylor. Not great on ambiance but they get the job done and very cheap. Ask for Mara or Angela. (212) 730-2100)

Randee Elaine Spa & NY Laser Center

Though ambiance is not the greatest, however it is very neat. Located in the west village, this spa charges only $30 for a Brazilian. They offer a Deep Pore Cleansing Facial which includes: a deep cleansing, followed by a gentle enzyme peel. In addition, you receive a face, neck, and shoulder massage, exfoliation, extractions, masque and a nutrient-rich moisturizer. 60 minutes: Only $50 (212) 229-0399 180 7th Ave South, Greenwich Village.

New York International Beauty School:

If you’re looking for an extreme make over on a low budget, NY International Beauty School is your answer. You can get a makeover from a student in training. Services range from hair coloring and cutting to facials. Prices range from $5 to $18! No appointment necessary.500 Eighth Ave., 8th Floor, between 35th and 36th Sts.; 212-868-7171

The Perfect ShapeAt the Perfect Shape, eyebrow threading starts at a meager $5.00. Waxing ranges from $10 to $45. They also offer facials! They are constantly praised for their superior services. All Indian staff. 295 Park Ave. South, between 22nd and 23rd Sts., 212-473-7400

Christine Valmy International School:
Only $27 for an hour and a half facial. It is advisable that you call a week in advance for an appointment with one of Valmy's students. All students are supervised by an instructor.
They are located at 437 Fifth Ave., 212-779-7800

Emerald Spa

Please be advised that prices and locations do change periodically. I do not take personal responsibility for the prices that are quoted in this posting. Good luck and may you have a blissful experience!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cheap vs. Expensive Sunglasses

When choosing sunglasses, most of us are in a qualdrum: Should we splurge on a brand name, or do we go to the nearest Strawberry store or even the street peddlers?

There have been a plethora of surveys on the topic: Cheap sunglasses vs. Expensive ones. Interestingly enough, the results are usually very consistent. In most instances both the cheap and the expensive sunglasses were found to provide sufficient protection from UV rays.

The only problem is that one can never be too sure when purchasing the sunglasses on the streets. Simply having a sticker that says UV protection is not always a gurantee that we are receivng great coverage. Unfortunately the only way we could tell if our cheap sunglasses provides us with UV protection is by having them tested at a lab.

I will continue to take a chance by purchasing the non-brand name sunglasses at stores that I trust. Afterall the difference in spending $300 vs. $7.00 is astronomical!

If you would like to read more on cheap sunglasses vs. expensive sunglasses, here is an interesting link:

Go ahead...Keep those eyes protected! And remember, sunglasses are not just for style!

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Thruth about The Best and Worst Suncreens

Summer is here and most of us are looking forward to spending as much time outdoors as we possibly can. While some of us have already stocked up on our sunscreens, the rest of can’t be bothered.

With the number of skin cancer cases on the rise, we cannot afford to neglect the importance of applying sunscreen before heading outdoors. In recent weeks, there have been several articles highlighting the fact that not all sunscreens are created equal. Most dermatologists agree that the majority of sunscreen lotions on the market today are good at screening out the sun's UVB rays: the ones that cause sunburn and skin cancers. However, few of these sunscreens offer protection against UVA rays, the harmful rays that seem to give us wrinkles. Don’t be discouraged!

Recent studies showed that lotions that contain the ingredients Oxybenzone, Titanium Dioxide or Parsol 1789 block out some UVA rays. Yes, only some!

That’s where Mexoryl comes in. Mexoryl is a chemical that tackles those mean UVA rays. According to Dr. Vincent DeLeo, chairman of dermatology at Columbia University:
"It produces a product which gives us almost perfect protection against sunshine," said chairman of dermatology at Columbia University.

I will not get too technical; however it is worth noting that helioplex (found in neutrogena’s products) is very effective in protecting us from UVA. In fact, in a recent study, Neutrogena's Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock 45 came out on top for best UVA and UVB protection. This product retails for a mere $13.00 for a 3oz tube. In the event that you are not willing to shell out $13.00, you will be happy to know that No-Ad Sunblock lotion SPF 45 tested almost as high, for about half the cost of the Neutrogena.

For those of you who do not have the time, or are too lazy to spend time at the drugstore in search of the perfect sunscreen, here are a few helpful links:

Top 9 Best sunscreens:

What Sunscreen works best:

So before you ran to the 99cents store to make such a huge Beauty investment, keep the following in mind: slathering on sunscreen today, will save you many visits to the doctor in the future! You too guys! Real men wear sunscreen!

*****Please do not neglect those lips. Get a lipgloss with spf 15! Last week I purchased a couple from Avon on sale for $0.79.

Welcome to Beauty Staples

Television's most beloved judge, Judge Judy Sheindlin, was right on the money when she said: "Dumb is forever, beauty fades."

Dumbness can be reversed......... Get an education, Learn something new etc...
Can beauty be reversed?

Depending on your field, beauty may be given greater priority than being intelligent. Ask Paris Hilton or other women who constantly grace the cover of magazines. That is not to say that all models are dumb. Take Iman for example. Iman exemplifies everything great. She has it all: Brain, Beauty, Stable family and a Compassionate heart for causes dear to her. Other beauty and brains models include: Petra Nemcova, Melania Trump, Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks to name a few. Absent from this list is Concessa Alfred.....(I know what you are thinking)

I strongly believe that both beauty and brains should be celebrated. Lady O (Oprah) is known for saying: " if you got it flaunt!"
Now what if you don't "got it"? Perhaps fake it?

We live in a time where everthing is readily accessible with the click of a button or a simple phone call. Life is too short to spend hours 'not feeling good about our selves'. This blog is dedicated to those of you who want to look like the starlet you are but do not have the finances of Heidi Klum.

So Cheers to Beauty and Brains!