Skin Care 101 with Alchimie Forever

This week, Ada Polla, the owner of Alchimie Forever skincare, is our guest blogger! Read below for her expert tips to keeping your skin bright and nourished year-round!

While it is 60 degrees in Washington, DC today, it was in the 20s last week, and my skin is feeling it. While I love winter, my skin doesn’t. If you are like me, you might be experience excessive dryness, flakiness, discomfort, roughness, itchiness, and redness. Over the years, I have learned some useful tips to help my skin remain calm, bright, and nourished, regardless of the outdoor temperatures. I hope these help your skin too!

  1. Switch to a cream-based cleanser. Every step in your skin care routine should be about moisture and nourishment, including your cleansing step. Switch away from your gel cleansers, to a nice milky, creamy cleanser (like our Alchimie Forever Excimer gentle cream cleanser, my personal favorite).
  2. No matter the cold outside, avoid showers or baths that are very hot. Hot water will break down the skin’s natural lipids and leave it even dryer. Limit your bath or shower to 5 minutes, and never leave the house with wet hair (your scalp will thank you!).
  3. Switch to a heavier moisturizer. Even if you are combination or oilier in the summertime, your skin needs extra nourishment during the colder months. The best-selling of our three moisturizers between November and March is always our Kantic+ intensely nourishing cream.
    Kantic+ Intensely Nourishing Cream
  4. If even with a cream cleanser and a more hydrating cream your skin is still uncomfortable, dull, and dry, add in a cream moisture mask, and leave it on for as long as you can. I am applying our Kantic brightening moisture mask almost on a daily basis these days…
  5. Combat the air’s dryness with a good humidifier. A low-cost alternative is to place a bowl of water in the rooms you spend most time in. As the water slowly evaporates, it will add moisture to the air.
  6. Give your hands a hand! Never go out in to the cold without gloves. (And avoid wool as it is so rough or cotton, which traps moisture; my favorite gloves are in cashmere). Apply your favorite hand cream frequently, at least following every time your hands are in water. (In case you are wondering, I keep my 532nm antioxidant relief for hands and feet everywhere at home and in the office, even in my car).
  7. Watch for over-exfoliation. In particular if you are experience flakiness, do not pick. Avoid strong grainy scrubs, look for nourishing, gentle, exfoliators, such as our Excimer+ gentle antioxidant refining scrub.
  8. Take care of your lips. Don’t lick them, and don’t pick at them if they are chapped. Keep soothing lip balms in your purse, car, and desk drawer, and reapply as necessary (I don’t believe reapplying makes your lips get addicted to your lip balm…)
  9. Don’t forget sunscreen. Even if the sun is not shining, and you are not in a bathing suit, those pesky UV rays are still attacking your skin. Remember also that sun is double strong when reflected on snow, so up your SPF before hitting the slopes.
  10. Last but not least, remember beauty is internal too. Hydrate with calming teas, and eat “clean and green.” This is true year round of course, but somehow I always have an easier time drinking water and eating salads when my closet is full of dresses and short skirts…
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Keeping Blackheads Under Control

Unsightly, persistent and downright annoying, blackheads are a serious killjoy.  Blackheads are just like any other pimples, except that they form in wide open pores and remain uncovered.  Touching the air turns the pimples black, and helps them pop out for the world to see.  So starting right now, we make it stop.  Here are six quick steps to help you stay blackhead free!

1. CLEANSE:  Keep your skin clean!  Choose an acne cleanser with either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to fight oily build-ups.  A routine is key- don’t let the grime creep up on you!  We suggest something like Dermastage’s Acne Cleanser.

2. TONE:  Choose an alcohol-free facial toner to balance the ph-level of your skin.  Toners are designed to keep your skin healthy, allowing for ultimate moisture absorption and shrinking pores.  We suggest Alba Botanica’s Sea Kelp Facial Toner, full of certified organic and extremely powerful ingredients.  Perfect!

3. SPOT TREAT: When and if pimples sneak through your defense, treat them right away! Choose an acne gel or acid treatment very much like Dermastage’s Acne Relief Gel to dry up the pimple as quickly as possible!

4.  MOISTURIZE: The key to avoiding blackheads taking over your face is constant exfoliation.  To offset this scrubbing, however, healthy skin needs moisture to keep proper levels of elasticity.  Moisturizing before exfoliating is key.  Exfoliating opens up pores and clears them out, and even though moisturizer is excellent for your face, leaving pores clear after exfoliating is a much better idea.  So let your face soak up some moisture before you scrub! Try a super energizing moisturizer like Cor Silver’s Anytime Moisturizer.

5. EXFOLIATE: At least twice a week, scrub your skin and exfoliate dead skin cells.  Especially during the dry season, dead skin cells build up on the surface of your face and create blockages.  Keep your pores clear and open with a simple scrub, like Juara’s Rice Facial Scrub.

6. MASK:  Once a week, polish off your skincare routine with a clarifying mask that not only removes built up deposits but also includes a chemical exfoliant to eat up tough-to-clear build up.  Our new favorite mask is The Holy Mud Company’s Pumpkin Glycolic Mask.

Work these steps into your routine and watch black heads disappear!

… Not Soap, Radio!

A nonsense punchline and a pair of loving sisters brings you one of Beauty of a Site’s favorite product lines: Not Soap, Radio.

These unique products are not only great for the body, durable for travel, but ultra fun.  Great gift ideas, perfect for brightly decorating your bathroom and simply fun for all ages, Not Soap, Radio products are designed to help you find the fun in life.

Need to get away? Check out Not Soap Radio’s “I’m Not Here, I’m Really…” range, that helps you feel like you’re in Tuscany, a spa, on an island, and about anywhere else where you’d expect to be using such luxurious products.  Get together with some girls and feel like you’re on vacation. Click here to see where Not Soap Radio can take you!

I'm Not Here, I'm Really...

Need a gift for someone in your life? Not Soap Radio’s “Say It With Suds” bubble bath features unique phrases on different products to help you thank the babysitter, congratulate the bride, wish someone a happy Hanukkah or even surprise your roommate.  Forget greeting cards- give them something that says the same thing, that they don’t have to throw away! Browse all of the gifts here.

Say It With Suds

Click here to see Not Soap Radio’s classic bath and body products.

Click here to see Not Soap Radio’s cosmetics.

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