beauty

DIY Magnetic Makeup Board

DIY magnetic makeup board

 

Makeup Board

Photo and board by Meredith Brister

Do you often find yourself digging through a cluttered makeup drawer, or feeling like you just have too much on your bathroom counter? Here is an easy, and attractive, solution for all my fellow makeup junkies! It’s a magnetic makeup board, so you can have all your must haves at your fingertips, without all the clutter!

Materials & tools:

  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Sticks
  • Metal Sheet (12″x18″ works, but whatever you feel you need)
  • Cardboard Sheet (same size as metal sheet) *
  • Fabric of Choice
  • Duct Tape
  • Magnets
  • Frame
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Most of these items can be obtained from your local crafts store. The metal sheet can be purchased at any home improvement store. I suggest purchasing the metal sheet first, so you can ensure it fits nicely under the frame of your choice.

*optional

Method:

1. Check the fit of the metal sheet inside your frame.

2. Measure the fabric around the metal sheet, mark with pencil. The cut fabric should be about two inches longer on each side. So for a metal sheet of 12”x18” your fabric should be cut to 16”x22”. Remember you can always cut more material away, but you can’t add it back on.

3. Pull the fabric snuggly around the metal sheet and glue it to the back of the metal sheet. Make sure the corners are pulled tightly.

Makeup Board Fabric Glue

 

photo by cityline

4. Secure the now fabric covered metal sheet inside the frame. Place the cardboard behind the metal sheet for a better fit inside the frame. Duct tape the metal sheet and cardboard to the frame securely. Be sure not to tape over the hanging apparatus on the frame.

Makeup Board Duct Tape

 

photo by cityline

5. Affix magnets to the back of the desired products you wish to store on your board.

6. Hang and enjoy!

 

As always if you have any questions please send them to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and check out the fan page at http://www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

 

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Razor Burn Rescue!

Happy June 1st! I hope a lot of you were able to break in your swimsuits and enjoy some sunshine this weekend, sunburn free, of course. I’ve talked a lot about sunburn and how to avoid it, but today I want to talk about a different kind of burn – razor burn.   Razor burn happens when shaved hairs become ingrown, causing comedone (pimple) look a likes to pop up. Often several at a time. It’s not the same thing as an actual comedone, it’s simply irritated skin around a hair that isn’t growing out of the skin properly. So here are some tips to help avoid razor burn!

 

1. Never shave “against the grain”. Try to shave in the direction of hair growth. I know it’s not a smooth that way, but that’s the point. When you shave against the natural direction of growth, you run the risk of cutting the hair below the skin line. As the hair grows, it may get stuck in the skin and cause ingrown hairs.

2. Exfoliate the shaved area 24-48 hours after shaving. Removing any cells that could block the hair from being able to grow out can help keep razor burn at bay. If you shave every single day, exfoliate the area two times a week. You should be using an exfoliant with jojo beads or seeds as the ingredient that does the scrubbing.

3. Use an aftershave product with tea tree oil in it. It helps discourage bacterial activity and keep down inflammation. You can also use tea tree oil on any existing razor burn to help heal the skin.

4. Change your razor often. If a razor dulls or gets little micro nicks, instead of shaving the hair smoothly it can catch the hair, pull, and break it instead. The broken hair is so short it goes below the skin and can become ingrown.

5. For legs and body, instead of using a shaving cream, try using an inexpensive conditioner. It helps moisturize the skin and keep it healthier! Shaving creams can occasionally dry out the skin.

6. If you have thick or curly hair, use men’s razors. I’ve found they tend to work a little better than the lady versions.

7. After shaving, rinse the skin off with cool water. It helps close the pores and keep out any bacteria or environmental debris that could cause irritation around the hair follicle.

 

If you have a lot of problems with razor burn or ingrown hairs, it may be time to explore a different option of hair removal. Waxing, threading, laser, and electrolysis are all widely available options that may work better for you. I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend! Enjoy!

 

As always if you have any questions please send them to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and check out the fan page at http://www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next week!

What Moms Wish They Knew When They Were Younger

 

Mom and Me

Me and my beautiful momma!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Experience is the greatest gift of age, and I’m so thankful for everyone in my life who has shared their experiences with me so I didn’t have to find out for myself.   The saying “Mom knows best!” really does ring true often! So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share some pearls of wisdom I’ve gained from the moms in my life. These are 5 things they wish they knew when they were younger.

 

1. The tan is not worth it.   I remember hearing tales, from my mom and aunts, of covering their bodies with butter or olive oil and lying in the sun. While the memories of their youth are fond, if they could go back, all of them say– skip the tan. A tan completion wasn’t popular until the 1920’s, when fashion icon Coco Chanel got an accidental sunburn on her vacation to the south of France. When she returned to Paris, with tanned skin, it became a status symbol to be tanned. It’s almost 100 years later, lets let that one go!

 

2. Apply your moisturizer (and other products!) to your neck and décolletage – not just your face.   Do you ever see people with faces that look 10 years younger than their neck and chest? Yeah, it’s not a good look. Pay attention to your neck and décolletage before it becomes a problem.

 

3. Your children are important, but so are you! Often I hear mom’s say they have no time for taking care of themselves. It only takes 2 minutes a day to do everything you need to take care of your skin. Take that time for you. Often the better you look, the better you feel!

 

4. Start using eye cream early. Don’t wait until you start to see the fine lines and crows feet. It’s much easier to prevent than it is to undo.

 

5. Relax. Get some sleep, let go of the things you can’t change, and don’t worry so much! All that anxiety ages you, and can cause other health problems. Life is good, enjoy it!

 

Thank you to all the mothers out there for all you do! You are beautiful and loved!

 

As always if you have any questions please send them to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and check out the fan page at www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

7 Deadly Skin Sins ­­­­– And How To Beat Them

 

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Photo from America’s Next Top Model

We’ve talked a lot about do’s and don’ts when it comes to skin care, so I thought it would be a good idea to make a quick and dirty list of the usual suspects that damage your skin and can lead to less than desirable results. The weather is warmer and more skin is showing, avoid these sinful seven, and keep your skin glowing!

1. The Sun: I’ve said it over and over again – there is simply no such thing as a healthy tan. However, most of our sun damage comes from our every day lives, not just trips to the beach. Just because you don’t see a tan line forming, doesn’t mean you’re not taking sun damage. UVA rays that cause fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots don’t cause sunburn, so we don’t always pay attention to the exposure. I suggest wearing a facial moisturizer with SPF 15-30 daily to protect your skin from those damaging rays. UVA rays are active all year long, and unlike UVBs, can penetrate glass. So, if you’re seeing natural light, wear your SPF! Your skin will thank you as the years go by, and all those 10-minute walks outside add up!

2. Dehydration: An adult body is made of up to 60% water. Water is required for many of the natural biological functions that take place in your body at any give time. You simply cannot operate at full capacity if you aren’t properly hydrated, and that includes having healthy skin. Getting enough water means better functioning metabolism, faster clearing of toxins, and all round better health. You should try to get 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim to drink 75 ounces of water a day. It’s also a good idea to eat lots of fruits and vegetables that have high water content as well!

3. Smoking: Smoking causes asphyxiation to your skin. It literally suffocates your skin cells and denies them oxygen, nutrients, and blood flow – causing the skin to appear dull and lifeless. Smoking also produces cancer causing free radicals, and premature wrinkles around the mouth from drawing in. There are a lot of good reasons to quit smoking, and none to start. Talk to your doctor about ways to kick the habit for good if you’re already a smoker. If you’re thinking about starting, please don’t!

4. Lack of Sleep: Your body goes into a natural reparative and restorative phase while you sleep, and that includes healing your skin. You have to give your body a chance to reset and heal from the day, and all of the stresses that are a part of our lives. While sleeping, your body’s production of cancer causing free radicals drops to it’s lowest, and your body can play catch up neutralizing and eliminate them. We all know “You look tired.” isn’t a compliment, so get your beauty rest!

5. Alcohol: A glass of red wine with dinner can be good for you, but like everything, moderation is key. Alcohol dehydrates your body, and it can also exacerbate the problems of sensitive skin. Too much alcohol can also result in a condition known as couperose, where weakened capillaries are unable to return to their normal size once dilated, and the skin retains a permanent pink tinge.

6. Poor Diet: Avoid CRAP: Caffeine, Refined foods, Alcohol and Artificial sweeteners, and Processed foods are not your friends. Everything you eat affects your whole body, from the inside out.  Your skin is your largest organ, and how you nourish it shows.   If you starve, suffocate, or deny its needs long enough your skin could end up looking older, sallow, dull, and even cause medical problems like acne or eczema. For optimal skin health from the inside out, most experts agree a balanced, healthy diet goes a long way.

7. Stress: Stress dehydrates skin. Most of us have probably noticed that we have more skin problems when we are under stress.  This happens because the human body developed its stress management systems back when our stressors were things like being eaten by saber toothed tigers or trampled by wooly mammoths.  Unfortunately, your body can’t tell the difference between a deadline at work or whether you’re about to become dinner for Tigger, but it does know you’re stressed so it assumes your life is being threatened.  When this happens, your body helps you out by going into a “vital organ protection mode,” which means it chooses to re-route hydration and nutrients from some less critical organs to the organs that will keep you alive.  The first organ that gets cut off is your skin. It makes sense; it’s your largest organ, takes up a lot of resources, and unfortunately beautiful glowing skin isn’t on the list of things that keep you breathing. So take a deep breath, and relax.

Hope this little cheat sheet of things to avoid helps you keep your skin in top-notch shape!

As always send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com and check out the fan page at www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next Sunday!

Q & A : Wine, Chocolate, Makeup and more!

Image

 

It’s been almost three months since I started this blog journey with you all, and each week I hope I’ve brought you interesting information and maybe a laugh or two. I love what I do, and I hope it shows!

In 3 months this blog has seen over 3000 views, and I have all of you to thank for checking in each week and sharing with friends and family! Thank you for encouraging me to share my passion with the world!

I have never wanted this to be a one-way street, however. I always like to hear from my readers and answer specific questions people have. Truth be told, just like back in school, if someone has a question then a lot of others probably have the same question! So, you’ve been asking me your questions for months, and I’ve decided the best thing to do is to start doing a Q&A the first Sunday of each month to address the most popular questions!

Without further ado, here are this month’s questions, concerns, and in some cases, yes, validations.

Make sure to check out the bonus information at the end!

 

1. Can I use a washcloth to wash my face?

Many people use washcloths to help get their skin extra clean, or provide extra exfoliation, but the trouble is…washcloths just aren’t clean. They collect dust and usually have traces of laundry detergent on them that can irritate your skin. If you’re someone who gets more than one use from your washcloth, you’re basically wiping a bacteria rag across your face. Yeah…won’t be using one tonight, will you? On top of all that, even the softest-feeling wash clothes pull at the skin, leave microtears, and can cause inflammation— all of which leads to rapid aging. So just use your hands. They are softer, cleaner (you just put cleanser on them right?), and always available.

 

2. What foods cause breakouts?

None. Next….

Seriously, there is not one single food that absolutely causes breakouts in everyone. Often, foods like chocolate get accused of causing breakouts, but they tend to be consumed when we are stressed or during holidays when we may not be eating well as a whole. The overall health of you body and stress levels are really the things to blame for the breakout, not the chocolate.

Now, if you have sensitivity to a particular food, yes it can cause breakouts. Food sensitivities range from the usual suspects like gluten and dairy, as well as shocking culprits like chicken or spinach. So you have to listen to your body. If every single time you eat a particular item you break out, please stop eating that item. And if you’re really concerned there might be a connection between breaking out and a particular food, start tracking your meals and see if they match up with your breakouts!

 

3. My makeup has SPF, so why do I have to have a moisturizer with SPF, too?

Because you’re probably a normal person who doesn’t put your makeup on your ears, down your neck, behind your neck, and on your décolletage (google it). You need SPF in all of those places, not just your face. The other problem is that makeup doesn’t really get absorbed into your skin and has a tendency to wear thin in the places you need SPF most, like your nose and tops of your cheeks.

 

4. I use a tinted moisturizer/BB Cream/CC Cream as my daytime moisturizer, is that ok?

 

Nope. Sorry. No matter how it’s packaged or advertised it’s still makeup and won’t give you the protection a moisturizer will. However, I strongly prefer using these products to other types of facial makeup, so you’re doing great there!

 

5. I LOVE wine, please tell me it’s good for me?

Yes, red wine really is! It’s full of antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals, which play a large role in aging and disease. Red wine also contains polyphenols, which protect the skin from UV light damage and help keep it elastic. Polyphenols also strengthen the cross-linking of collagen, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red wine drinkers also have fewer incidents of cancer lesions. One glass at night can be one of the best things for anti-aging and even overall health. Can’t drink alcohol? You can also gain these benefits from grapeseed oil scrubs made from red wine grapes and their seeds. You can get antioxidant benefits from eating blueberries, pomegranates, and YES….dark chocolate!

 

6. Did you just say chocolate is good for my skin too!?

Yes, dark chocolate that is. Dark chocolate is chock full of flavonoids that protect skin from UV light as well as the antioxidant properties we talked about with wine. However, it is high in calories so try to keep it under 3 ounces of dark chocolate per day for benefits without the less desirable side effects.

 

Bonus: Red Wine and Dark Chocolate At Home Facial Directions

Red wine and dark chocolate can provide excellent benefits topically as well, so if you’re feeling extra fancy, here is a recipe and directions for a DIY chocolate and wine facial mask.

Mask Ingredients:

1/2 cup of yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of honey

3 tablespoons of red wine, any red wine is fine

1 tablespoon of raw cacao.

Small bowl and a spoon to mix everything together.

Mix all ingredients together into a smooth creamy mask

 

Instructions:

1. Cleanse your skin and pat dry

2. Apply mask evenly on face. You’ll want it to be fairly thick.

3. Leave on for about 15 minutes

3. Rise the mask off thoroughly with lukewarm water.

4. Pat skin dry

5. Apply your favorite eye cream and moisturizer

You can repeat this as often as once a week! Enjoy!

 

Thank you again for being part of this exciting journey with me. I love sitting down on Sundays to write, and hearing feedback from all of you!

As always please send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com ,check out the Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty, and follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/MegJacobsBlog.

See you next Sunday!

The 5 Skin Care Products You Should Stop Using

The world of cosmetics is full of choices, and it can be hard to choose the products that are best suited for your skin. However, there are a few products I would outright ban if I had the chance because they are wildly popular, but often responsible for skin issues I see in clients. I’ll admit— I’ve been guilty of using every single one of these products at some point in my life, too! Almost everyone is using at least one of them, so take a look and see what skin sins you may not even know you’re committing!

st.-ives-apricot-scrub

1. Apricot Scrub

I’ll admit— I used this exfoliating scrub every day for years.  It’s like a drug, right?  I used to think apricot scrub was the only thing keeping my skin from the brink of real disaster, but it turns out it was a major reason I had problems at all.

Why?  Well, if you are using this product daily you’re probably also having issues with blackheads, redness, flakiness, combination skin, or large pores.  See, it’s ok to exfoliate your face 1-2 times a week with light pressure, but you want to make sure the little particles that are doing the scrubbing won’t damage your skin.  If you look at the crushed shells and seeds in your apricot scrub under a microscope, they will look like little shards of glass and pebbles, and guess what? They tear up your skin just like little shards of glass and pebbles would. Even with light pressure, these particles leave tiny rips and tears in the skin and break down your skin’s natural barriers and defenses to environmental damage, which leads to rapid aging and unwanted redness. In addition, it over-strips your skin of the natural oils it needs.  This leads to oil over-production that can cause combination skin issues, blackheads, and larger pores.

Ideally, your exfoliating scrub contains something called jojoba beads/seeds, instead. Jojoba beads/seeds are made by mother nature and are rounded, smooth spheres that will remove dull, dead surface skin cells but won’t tear or rip at your skin in the process.

However, still don’t want to throw your apricot scrub out?  No problem! It makes an excellent foot scrub!  Just don’t put it anywhere above your shoulders.

What to use instead: I like Murad’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser* and Aveda’s Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser. However, what you’re really looking for is an ingredients list that includes jojoba beads or seeds, so use any scrub you love that contains them

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2. Cetaphil Cleanser

This product isn’t actually bad, but using the wrong cleanser for your skin is. There are far more people using this cleanser than their skin types call for. It’s a clear gel cleanser, which means it’s fairly high in surfactant. If you skin feels tight or squeaky clean after using this product, it’s just not right for you.  Try switching to a light cream cleanser.

What to use instead:  Click here for a guide to choosing the right cleanser for you.

chapstick1

3. Chapstick

From time to time, especially long cold winters like this one, our lips dry out and could use a little help.  Unfortunately, many lip balms contain ingredients like camphor, phenol and menthol that can actually dry the lips out further and discourage your lips’ natural ability to rehydrate and lubricate themselves.  This can lead to your lips being “addicted” to lip balm, because you need more and more of it to keep feeling normal! Quite the marketing racket, eh? Chapstick, arguably the most popular brand of lip balm, is notorious for this.

What to use instead: Aquaphor, Vaseline (petroleum jelly), and even coconut oil are great ways to give your lips temporary help and relief without the addictive side effects. Have a really bad case of chapped lips?  You can also buy Bag Balm at local drug stores.  Yes, I know it’s udder cream for cows, but it’s udderly fantastic and can provide relief for even the worst case of chapped lips. There’s probably no butter product on the market, unless I’ve made a miscowculation.  Ok, I don’t want to get cheesy and milk this pun pasture tolerance levels. 😀

Deep-Cleansing-Pore-Strips

4. Nose Strips

This was another skin-sin that was hard for me to give up.  It’s just SO satisfying to pull the strip off and see all the stuff that comes out of your pores!  However, repeated use of nose strips tends to create more blackheads than you would have had in the first place.  The strips don’t just remove blackheads, but they also remove a thin layer of skin and tiny hairs, which leaves you with open pores that are perfect for bacteria to settle into.  Natural oils get stripped away, as well, which leads to extra oil production that further clogs the open pores. This combination of oil and bacteria usually leads to even more blackheads.

What to use instead:  If blackheads are your concern, pick up a hydrating toner instead.  The water it adds to your skin will help cut down oil production, and therefore your blackheads.

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5. Extraction tools

Extraction tools are verboten for all the same reasons as nose strips, with the added bonus that if they’re misused (and if you haven’t been trained to use them, you’re probably misusing them), they have the ability to break, bruise, and to cause bleeding in the skin.  These tools are designed to be used by a professional on a client. Even as a trained esthetician, I cannot properly use the tool on myself; the physics just don’t work.  So stop using them!

What to use instead:  Your esthetician.  Schedule a facial, and they will properly extract for you!  If you really want you, you can always ask to see what comes out of your skin!

As always, please send any questions or suggestions for future posts to megjacobsblog@gmail.com

Check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next Sunday!

*Disclosure— My spa carries the Murad product line.  However, I am not directly compensated by any manufacturer, including Murad, for recommending their products on my blog.

Here Comes The Bride….and everyone else with a big event!

Bridal Skin

You’re getting married and you have a million things to do.  Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting yet stressful times in your life.  All that excitement and stress (remember, excitement can register in your body as stress as well!) can take a toll on the skin and cause unwanted breakouts, inflammation, cold sores, and eczema flare-ups just when you don’t want them the most.  In order to avoid the unknown and unwanted, you need to have a plan so you’re as beautiful and healthy on your big day as you’ve always dreamed of being.   Even if you’re not getting married, these same tips are great for any major event like class reunions, major presentations, or “running” into your ex. 😉

Here’s the key, though:  You have to start planning far in advance, ideally longer than six months out!  If you’re only a few days or weeks out from the big day, there are only limited options available to you— and more importantly, a few big last-minute no-no’s.

One Year-Six Months From the Big Day

Good for you!  You’ve started thinking about this far enough in advance that you have a lot of options!  With a little bit of skin-TLC and some professional help, you’ll look even more amazing for your Big Day!

Do start getting facials.  The longer you get them, the better the results.  Starting this early before your Day gives you time to try different facials and get used to the products your esthetician uses.  Word of warning, though— not every esthetician is created the same.  Try a few out, pick one you feel comfortable with, and whose advice works for you.

Do get any advanced treatments now.  If you’re looking to do something more advanced, like a chemical peel or IPL laser to address fine lines, wrinkles, or sun damage, start those treatments now.  Do not do these within six months of your wedding and honeymoon. You want to give your skin plenty of time to recover, especially if you’re planning a sunny honeymoon! But, here’s the most important part about advanced treatments— you must go to a medical professional (do not go to anyone without formal medical training, regardless of whether they are certified or not!!!) for a consultation and to have the procedures done. Do not buy a Groupon or trust someone without medical credentials to do advanced procedures on your face (or anywhere else, really).  It is not worth the few bucks you’ll save to risk permanent damage to your skin because someone isn’t detail oriented, properly trained, or working with improperly calibrated equipment.

Do get on a daily skin regimen. Your daily routine should take you about two minutes, twice a day.  Cleanse, Tone, Treat, Moisturize and Protect. Your esthetician can and should help you pick out the products that will work best for you after giving you a thorough skin consultation. You can read a detailed outline for daily skincare here.

Do call a doctor if you have skin problems as a result of a medical condition.  If you have a skin issue that needs a doctor’s attention, call your dermatologist now.  It can take months to get an appointment, so don’t wait.  In my experience, it often takes at least three months for results to really show from prescription treatments, so you’ll want to get started as soon as possible.

Do start exercising.  I know this doesn’t sound like a skin care tip, but it is.  Your skin is your largest organ, and whole body health matters. Sweat helps flush toxins from the body and exercise is a very healthy outlet for your excitement and stress! I’m sure you’d rather turn that extra energy into a smoking hot body than unwanted breakouts, so get that body moving!

Dont worry.  If your wedding is within the next six months and you’re just now reading this, that’s ok.  All this advice can carry forward – just get started now, and hold off on the advanced treatments that can take a while to heal from!

Three to Six Months Out

Do drink water.  You should be getting 1oz of water for every 2lbs of body weight.  So, if you weigh 150lbs, you should be getting 75oz of water each day.  The only substitute for water is ice water.  If you’re adding lemons, crystal light, anything else that isn’t just ice, or drinking water that comes in a bottle with an adjective in front of it (like fitness, vitamin, etc), your water isn’t water anymore and doesn’t count.

If you hate drinking water, I suggest doing shots.  Of water, not liquor.  Every time you walk past a water fountain or the water cooler at work, drink a shot’s worth.  These small amounts really add up, and once your body starts to get hydrated, you will start craving H2O.  Your whole body will thank you, not just your skin!

Do start thinking about diet. Lots of brides are on a diet, but that’s not what I mean.  You need to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs.  You need to be eating the healthy foods that provide macro- and micro-essential nutrients for your health, and your skin health! Click here for a list of very skin healthy items to add in!

Don’t starve yourself.  I cannot stress this enough.  Your body needs fuel to meet your goals.  Depriving your body of its needs will lead to sallow, unhealthy looking skin.  You don’t want to look sallow, do you?  That word just sounds horrible.  Sallow.  Not to mention, if you don’t eat, you’ll be a very grumpy person all the time during what should be a very happy time! So eat. It’s vital to your happiness and reaching your skin goals.  No excuses.

One to Three Months Out

Do say goodbye to CRAP. Caffeine, Refined foods, Alcohol and Artificial sweeteners, and Processed foods are not your friends. At this point, you should already be used to a healthier diet, but it’s time to get strict.  Stop sneaking the Jordan Almonds and calling everything a “taste test”.  If it’s your actual wedding taste test, or your bridal shower, please enjoy those events fully!  If it’s just you picking food for yourself, cut the CRAP.

Do try Spray Tan.  If you want a bronze glow, a spray tan is a relatively healthier option than a real tan.  Schedule an appointment for a trial about six weeks before your wedding date. Your tanner will be able to suggest the best directions for the week of the wedding, but in my experience it’s best to get it done two days before the date. So, if your wedding is a Saturday, get sprayed on Thursday. Important caveat— a spray tan does put a lot of chemicals into your skin, so don’t go overboard and get spray tans every week, now.  I only suggest them relative to the damage an actual tan causes— the healthiest option is no tan at all, and have your photographer give you one in post-processing. 😉

Do your make-up trial.  You want to be sure your makeup plan not only looks the way you envision, but also ensure that your skin doesn’t react to the products your makeup artist uses.  If you’re thinking about using airbrush makeup for your wedding day, I totally recommend it. I’ve seen brides with airbrush makeup get dunked in oceans, and the stuff doesn’t move. With that in mind, make sure you have an oil facial cleanser.  You’ll want to use that to remove any airbrush makeup, since water and regular cleanser don’t cut it.

Don’t cut corners. You might be starting to get busy and bogged down in your checklist.  Family drama may be taking up your time, and it may seem like an extra step to do your skin routine, make it to the gym, or even bother making yourself dinner.  Take care of yourself, and don’t lose focus on all the hard work you’ve already done.

One Month Out

Don’t try new things.  This isn’t the time to get creative and try that beauty product you keep hearing about, or that mask you keep seeing on pinterest.  Also, don’t make the executive decision that since using a product once a day is working well, using it three times a day will be three times as good! You have your routine, stick with what you know.  You don’t want to risk reactions and inflammation this close to the Big Day.

Do get your last facial. Do not treat yourself to a facial the week of the wedding.  Get your last one done 10-15 days out. On the day of your wedding, you’ll likely be wearing more makeup than normal. If your skin is still sensitive at all from your facial, irritation is very possible. Also, if you are insisting on getting a real tan, DO NOT TAN WITHIN 48 HOURS OF YOUR FACIAL.  This very often leads to a rash that will not be gone before your wedding.

Do take Bachelorette Party precautions.  If you know you’re going to be consuming larger than normal quantities of alcohol start the evening by hydrating in advance.  Anecdotally, I’ve also seen that taking 200mg of ibuprofen before you start drinking can help manage inflammation.  Have a great time, but remember to alternate your drinks with water. Once the night is over drink some more water before bed, and consider another dose of ibuprofen. Your skin, body, and head will be very appreciative.

The Week Of

Do get sleep.  It’s easy to think everything must be done right now by you, and you alone, but this attitude can take away from your ability to take care of yourself. Unless the crisis you’re handling is stopping a meteor from hitting the earth or a missile attack, it can wait until tomorrow or be delegated to someone else. Pack it in and get some shut-eye.  You don’t want to be covering huge, dark eye-circles on your wedding day.

Don’t forget whats important.  You’re getting married. If, at the end of the day you are married to the person you love, your wedding is a success.  If the wrong flowers show up, if someone is trying to make the event about them, if your beautiful outdoor wedding is showing forecast for a hurricane, or if you’ve followed my advice and you still have an unexplained breakout….let it go.  All the worry and stress won’t change any of these things, but it will aggravate your skin, general happiness, and take the focus off the important part— your new life with your wonderful new spouse, and the hilarious stories you’ll have if things “go wrong.”

The Day Of

Do exfoliate.  This is the only time I will ever tell anyone to exfoliate in the morning.  You want to give your makeup artist the smoothest pallet possible to work with, and that means a freshly exfoliated face. However, that doesn’t mean you can go overboard and scrub your face off.  Just do your normal exfoliant from the skin care regimen you’ve been doing for the past few months. Spray your toner, put on a light moisturizer, and leave your face alone.  Your makeup artist will handle the rest!

Do have a great time!  The day is here, you’ve worked hard to look fabulous in all your photos, but no cosmetic or skin care can take the place of a real genuine smile.  So be joyous, it will make you glow!

After…and the days beyond

Do use an oil cleanser. No matter what your skin type, you’ll need an extra step to get the larger than normal amount of makeup off.  If you’re worried about the oil on your skin, feel free to follow with your normal cleanser.

Don’t stop now!  You’ve spent the past few months learning great habits for beautiful skin and a healthier body.  Keep them up, and enjoy the benefits for life!

As always send questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com and check us out on facebook: www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next week!

7 Weird Things That Could Be Causing Your Breakouts

skin-woes

Is your skin behaving badly, and you can’t figure out what is going on?  You’ve read my blog, switched up your facial products, increased your water consumption, changed your pillow cases, even swapped out your detergents for fragrance-free ones… but your skin is determined to keep breaking out!

Well, it turns out that sometimes life throws you a curveball.  It’s not just about how well you take care of your skin, sometimes there are outside elements that prevent you from having the skin you work hard for!

Here are seven wild-cards that could be behind your skin woes:

1. Your Calendar – You know, that big date you have circled is coming up.  Maybe it’s a wedding, vacation, business trip, or a big presentation at work or school.  You’re excited and also nervous and can’t stop thinking about it.   It turns out, your body can misinterpret that excitement for stress when it last for days at a time.  So, the very same excitement you have over the big day ends up causing the same physical response as stress!  It dehydrates your skin, causes inflammation, puts stress on your immune system ,and can cause a break-out over night.

calandar

What to do: Take a 200mg dose of ibuprofen, another 4-6 hours later, and then one more the next day will help calm the inflammation and give your skin a break.  Just three doses total though.  If you’re a chronic stresser-outer this isn’t a lifetime fix.  A few grams of fish oil supplements can also do the trick (4000mg per dose!).

2. Your Hair – Well, technically your hair products.  People often miss the connection because it can take up to 4-6 weeks for a blemish to fully form. By the time the breakout shows up, you don’t think of a change that happened over a month ago. Hair products often cause breakouts along the hairline, so your sexy new chin-brushing bob could break-out the jaw line, or those bangs like Zooey could be wreaking havoc on your forehead.  Don’t worry, its not your new haircut itself, just your hair product coming into contact with your skin.

Hair-Styles-For-Long-Hair

What to do:  If you started trying a new product, see if cutting it out of your routine solves the problem.  If a new haircut is causing your hair to touch your face the best way to solve it is keep it tied back. If that’s not an option, try keeping your hair products to a minimum and slowly introduce products back to your routine to see which one might be causing the issue.  Hey, I didn’t say it was an ideal fix, sometimes a girl’s got to pick her poison!

3. Your Man – Scruff can be adorable, and lots of great fellas participate in “No Shave November”, or Movember, but that scratchy beard is no good for your sensitive facial skin.  His facial hair is like an exfoliating pad on your skin every time you kiss him, and this leads to red, irritated, and possibly broken-out skin around the mouth.  If his beard is a little longer, he may also be using hair products on it that don’t mix well with your skin. Of course if he keeps his face smooth as Fabio’s bare chest, he may be using an aftershave or fragrance that you don’t react well to.

fabioflysaplane

What to do: Stop kissing him.  Just kidding, but do hand him a razor….or just wait for it to grow out enough to be soft as a puppy.

4. Brushing Your Teeth – A lot of people wash their face and then brush their teeth, and don’t understand why they keep getting unexplained breakouts around their mouth.  Residue from the toothpaste can get left behind and irritate the skin and cause a breakout.

Woman brushing her teeth-1586021

What to do:  Just switch it up! Brush your teeth first and you’ll get any bits of toothpaste residue off when you cleanse your skin.

5. Your Water – Hard water doesn’t get products off the skin as well as soft water, and that buildup on the skin can lead to clogged, dull-looking skin.

Hard_water_and_drop

What to do:  If you suspect hard water, you can get a showerhead filter for around $30—you don’t have to spend several thousand dollars on a whole home filter for clearer skin! Something like this works great and is super easy to install:

http://goo.gl/kwzd2H 

6. Your Tan – Yeah, I know.  Every time you get a tan your skin looks clearer, but you’re making a deal with the devil. A tan is nothing but a sign that your skin has taken damage and it’s trying to protect itself.  When you take UV-ray damage, your skin increases cell production to thicken your epidermis, and this thicker skin can lead to more clogged pores and breakouts that will haunt you weeks later.—not to mention the wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, and cancer side-effects that tanning brings you.

tan face

What to do: Wear an oil-free SPF protectant on your face every day and leave the idea of a tan being desirable behind.  Sorry.  Tanning is just flat out bad for you, no matter how cute it makes you.  Plus, it’ll age you much, much faster.

7.  Hormones….that aren’t yours – We’ve all heard that birth control can help clear skin, and that is certainly true, but you have to find the right one for you.  A dose that doesn’t work well with your body can cause breakouts, hyperpigmentation, and a general overall feeling of not being yourself. Eating animal products that have been treated with hormones can also wreak havoc on your skin, and unfortunately, hormones are making their way into our water supply, as well.

the pill

What to do: Talk to your doctor if you suspect your hormonal medications may be causing your skin distress and avoid animal food products that have been treated with hormones.  It might also be worth buying a water filter to get rid of any pharmaceuticals that make it into your water supply, too!

Of course, there are other wild cards that the world throws at you, but these are the ones I see most often in clients who come to me exasperated from having tried everything they can think of.  If you have another one, make sure you send me a message and I can do some research for you!

As always if you have any questions email me: megjacobsblog@gmail.com and check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next week!

Eat Your Way To Beautiful Skin

 

Eating for your skin

So you want beautiful skin?  Truly radiant, glowing, and possibly even younger-looking skin?  Then you need to make sure what you put in your body is as carefully chosen as what you put on it! When trying to achieve your skin care goals, it takes more than just what you put on your skin. Relying on products to give you the results you want without taking care of yourself on the inside is as effective as taking diet pills and eating fast food for every meal—you’re simply not going to achieve the results you want!

 

Everything you eat affects your whole body, from the inside out.  Your skin is your largest organ, and how you nourish it shows.   If you starve, suffocate, or deny its needs long enough your skin could end up looking older, sallow, dull, and even cause medical problems like acne or eczema.

 

For optimal skin health from the inside out, most experts agree a balanced, healthy diet goes a long way. Here are five things you can add to your diet (in moderation!!!) to go the extra mile for your skin:

 

1. Vitamin A –  Vit A is a fat-soluble nutritional compound essential for growth and development, helps to support your immune system, and keeps your vision top-notch.  Vitamin A is also your body’s natural source for retinol.  Retinol is sort of like a house-mom for your skin cells. It tells them how look, act, and behave better while keeping other substances from telling your cells to behave abnormally.  This communication with your cells helps prevent and heal blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and general dullness.  It can make your skin a bit sun sensitive though, but you’re already staying out of the sun anyway, right? 😉

 

Best Sources: Whole milk,  yogurt, and other dairy products are arguably the best source for vitamin A, but if you have a dairy allergy or do not eat animal products you can also get vitamin A from sweet potatos, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squash, and swiss chard.  However, for all you skinny minnies who don’t eat any fat, you’re going to need to add a little fat back into your diet when you eat sources of vitamin A, or else your body will be unable to absorb this fat-soluble vitamin.

 

2. Essential fatty acids – These are abbreviated as EFA’s, and they refer to fatty acids that are required for biological processes—you would die if you didn’t have them in your diet!  They are considered “essential” because our bodies are not capable of synthesizing them, which is a fancy way of saying that your body cannot produce these fatty acids by combining other nutrients in your diet.  There are only two known EFA’s for humans: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). As an interesting side note, EFA’s were originally designated “vitamin F” but research eventually showed they were better classified as a fat than a vitamin.

 

Essential fatty acids are responsible for maintaining healthy cell membranes.  Your cell membranes act as the guardians of your cells, which means that their job is to allow good things in (like the nutrients your cells need) while keeping the bad things out (like toxins), so it’s easy to see why it’s important to have properly functioning and healthy cell membranes.  They also allow waste products to get in and out of the cell, a necessary function to life. The cell membrane also holds water in, so the stronger that barrier is, the better your cells can hold moisture. More moisture in your skin means plumper, younger looking skin. Also, the same inflammatory process that harms your arteries and causes heart disease can damage skin cells. Increasing your intake of EFAs is a critical step to healthier, younger looking skin—and your body in general.

 

Best Sources: Salmon, walnuts, flax seed, sardines, and fish oil supplements (with a high EPA/DHA content!)

inflamation

 

A photo of an older man showing skin inflammation caused by not getting the proper nutrients.  Looking at his plate, it’s not a surprise.  

3. Healthy Oils – Eating high-quality oils helps to keep skin lubricated and looking and feeling healthier overall. It’s best to look for oils labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin to ensure you get all the healthy nutrients and compounds in these oils.  When an oil is commercially processed, important nutrients are often lost via the solvents and heating used in these processes.

 

Best Sources: Olive, palm, and coconut oils. Ghee (clarified butter), duck fat and butter from grassfed cows are skin healthy sources of animal fats—and grassfed butter and duck fat are both rich sources of EFAs, too!  Since these are all very high in fat, moderation should of course be exercised.  I prefer to cook with animal fats and coconut oil—not only are they immensely delicious, but they are stable under high heat.  Olive and palm oils can oxidize when heated, which can be damaging to your cells, as you’ll read right below.

 

4. Antioxidants – These help to prevent oxidation in the body (get it? ANTI-oxidant).  Oxidation is actually a normal, natural cellular process, but sometimes the result is a very dangerous side effect—free radicals. Approximately 1-2% of cells that oxidize get damaged and turn into free radicals.  The science behind free radicals isn’t important here, but what is important is that a free radical can injure other cells and damage its DNA, which has been linked to premature aging and other diseases, including cancer.  Thus, it’s critical to be consuming antioxidants in your diet, which neutralize free radicals before they wreak havoc on your cells.

Best Sources: Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, green tea…..and chocolate, but that’s not a free pass!

 

5. Selenium – Selenium is a mineral that helps the skin heal from burn injures and protects from sun rays. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  It sort of plays the role of “Best Supporting Actor” to the other four skin healthy items we mentioned.

 

Best Sources: Tuna, shrimp, brazil nuts, and whole wheat products.

 

Getting your skin to be its healthiest starts from the inside.  Skin care is 80% what you put in your body and 20% what you put on it.  Products and estheticians can only get you so far if you’re not hydrating, and eating essential nutrients to your health.

 

As always, if you have any questions please email me at megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and I’d love to hear suggestions for future posts!

 

Don’t forget to follow on Facebook! www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

 

See you next Sunday!

 

 

 

 

What Your Breakouts Mean

dermalogica_face_mapping

             Face Map from Dermalogica 

Your skin is a giant tattletale. It is. Every time you look in the mirror it’s talking to you, trying to let you know what’s going on inside.  But, it can’t keep a secret to save its life. Your skin tells the story of your sleeping and eating habits, internal processes, and can be the first sign to figuring out certain health issues or imbalances.  If you seem to constantly break out or have other skin issues in the same areas, your skin is probably trying to tell you something!

Fortunately, these signals are easy for you to interpret. The formal name for this interpretation is Face Mapping.  Dealing with break-outs and blotchiness aren’t very fun, but it’s important for you to have a road map to your own face.  That way, you will be able to decode some persistent problem areas and understand the underlying causes that might be affecting your overall health, as well as your skin health.

Forehead (zone 1, 3)*- Consistent breakouts here are usually related to bladder and digestive functions. If you are constantly breaking out in this area it can be a sign that you need to take a break from junk foods, alcohol, and caffeine.  Try to drink more water and focus on wholesome foods, preferably ones that fall in the cold or cool realms.  Stress can also disrupt the flow of your body and digestion and cause breakouts here.  So, make sure you get plenty of rest and let go of worrying about things you can’t control.

http-::holistichealth-counseling.com

Middle of the Forehead and between eyebrows (zone 2) *– Breakouts here are often related to the liver. Most of us are aware that the liver is responsible for filtering toxins from our bodies, such as alcohol and drugs, but the liver also produces bile to digest fats and proteins. Try to reduce your consumption of alcohol, drugs (including over the counter ones), and heavy fatty foods. Since it’s cold and flu season, you may also experience breakouts in this area if you’ve had a cold or flu recently and have been living on medicine to help you through.  Your liver has to flush those out of your system…but the breakout should go away not long after your cold/flu.

*Your gallbladder can also cause issues in zones 1, 2, and 3. The gallbladder is where your body stores the bile your liver produces. Reducing fatty processed foods from your diet should help.

Ears (zone 4, 10) – If your ears are red or hot it can indicate stress on the adrenal gland or kidneys.  Calm down and drink some cool water to help those kidneys filter!  Stay away from sodas and energy drinks—they dehydrate you and the caffeine in them are stressors on your endocrine system.

Cheeks (zone 5, 9) – Breakouts here can indicate issues with the respiratory system.  If you are a smoker, or have allergies, breakouts here can be very common.  Food allergies can also show up here first.  If you don’t smoke and don’t believe you have any allergies but seem to have redness, it can be a sign of rosacea or a diet too full of warm foods.  Breakouts on the lower cheeks can also indicate dental or gum infections like gingivitis.

Eyes (zone 6, 8) – Puffiness and dark circles often indicates poor kidney function.  Much like zone 4, the key here is to drink water and avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol and soda. It may seem obvious but make sure you’ve been getting good sleep as well!  Yes, darkness and puffiness can be hereditary but if you get solid sleep and stay hydrated you can minimize the effects of those pesky genes.

Nose (zone 7) – Issues with your heart or circulation can show up here.  Redness can indicate high blood pressure or the beginnings of rosacea, as well. If you have constant redness in a butterfly shape on your nose and cheeks, that possibly spreads to other parts of the face, it is a good idea to check for lupus as well.

Sides of the chin and jawline (zone 11, 13)** – Breakouts here are often related to changes in stress and hormone levels.  They can often follow the pattern of the female ovulation cycle or show up during times of high stress.  Pregnancy, using hormonal birth control, or even eating foods treated with hormones can also lead to breakouts in this area.  If you are a female who experiences acne in this area and also heavier hair growth around the chin, it’s a good idea to get tested for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  If you have had recent dental work, you may also experience breakouts around the jaw line.

Chin (zone 12)** – Stomach and hormonal imbalances are often the culprit behind congestion and breakouts in this area.   Everything from zones 11 and 13 still applies here, but if you have a poor quality diet, you may have extra congestion on the chin.  Focus on reducing the amount of CRAP (Caffeine, Refined foods, Alcohol and Artificial sweeteners, and Processed foods)

**Another issue I often see around Valentines Day and the entire month of November (Movember) is unexplainable redness, irritation, and breakouts around the chin and mouth.  Just tell your man to shave for goodness sakes. 😉

Neck (zone 14) – breakouts or uneven skin tone on the neck can indicate your body is fighting off a bacterial or viral infection or that you’re putting stress on your adrenal gland.  Get some rest, eat well, read a good book, and relax. Namaste.

As you can see, your facial skin can be an indicator for a lot of internal turmoil.  In fact, it’s literally staring at you in the mirror. If you do suspect an underlying hormonal imbalance or other medical condition, please get to the doctor and have your levels checked.  When it comes to thyroid, adrenal, the rest of your endocrine system and the health of your whole body, it is better to be safe than sorry—a lot of issues can be mitigated if you start treating them sooner rather than later.

Listen to your skin. It really does have your best interests in mind!

As always, keep sending me your beauty-based questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com or facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next Sunday!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and when looking into the idea of face mapping keep an open mind.  Just because you have breakouts in a certain area does not mean you absolutely have a  medical condition that needs treatment. Always seek medical help if you suspect a problem. These are simply guidelines to help you on your path to skin you love.