We invited beauty expert, Nina Sutton to the group to answer your questions on keeping skin healthy. See her answers below!
A mom of two sons, Nina Sutton is also a TV host, and author of The Chic Mom's Guide to Feeling Fabulous, which offers realistic tips on how moms can balance looking beautiful while managing the demands of being a mom. She has appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, The Rolanda Show, The Health and Beauty Revolution, and has been quoted in "The Los Angeles Times."
cemcnair asked: Do you have a quick solution for reducing the appearance of acne?
Nina answered: Covering acne can be tricky; if it is done incorrectly you can actually look worse. First of all, it is important to understand that when it comes to acne, less is more, when it comes to makeup. Applying too much makeup to try to "cover it up" can enhance the problem. Instead, change your mind set from "cover" to "camouflage".
Here is an easy way to do this: First of all, keep on hand both a green and yellow concealer; these colors will neutralize the "hot" tones of the breakouts. If your blemish is on the red side, use a small, fine tipped concealer brush to gently dab the green concealer over the blemish. If your acne is more on the purple or pink-toned side, apply the yellow concealer over it. Your next step is to use a makeup sponge to apply foundation to your face. Next, using a concealer brush, pat (don't rub) your regular concealer just over the blemishes. Finish with a light dusting of loose powder (in a shade close to your skin tone) to set the makeup.
cemcnair asked: How often do you need to reapply makeup throughout a full work day? I always feel like mine never makes it all day
Nina answered: How often you reapply makeup truly becomes a personal preference (or necessity!). The key to lasting makeup is to apply it correctly in the morning so it does last all day. It always amazes me when a makeup artist does my makeup; because by the evening it still looks the same! Here are some tips to make it last:
Make sure you start with a clean, fresh face. Be sure to exfoliate regularly and moisturizer daily. Makeup always goes on better to smooth, clean skin, so good skincare is your first step to making your makeup last long; and this applies to your lips as well. Exfoliate your lips often (you can even use brown sugar and petroleum jelly!) to remove any dry, flaky skin. You should also apply sunscreen every morning before your makeup to protect your skin.
Next, make sure you have the correct tools (brushes, sponges, etc.) to apply your makeup. The right tools can make all the difference in how your makeup looks and how long it lasts.
First, apply foundation primer all over your face using a brush or sponge. Be sure to apply primer to your eyelids, under your eyes and to your lips as well (you can even find formulas designed for these areas; including eyelash primer). The primers create a smooth base for your makeup and give your makeup a base to adhere to.
Once you are well-primed, use a flat foundation brush or foundation sponge to apply a small amount of foundation to your skin. In general, oil-free liquid formulas last longer than regular foundation formulas. Makeup artists use a technique called "stippling"- basically you use quick patting motions to blend the makeup into your skin for a flawless finish. You can also try a mineral foundation (generally applied with a fluffy kabuki brush or large powder brush).
Next, follow with the rest of your makeup. Because you have primed your lids, eyelashes and lips as well, your eye shadow, mascara and lipstick should last all day!
Your final step is to seal your makeup. You can either do a light dusting of translucent powder or try one of the new makeup setting sprays, such as Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. I also like to keep a small Evian spray bottle with me; a quick spritz helps to refresh my makeup and me!
nicolett80 asked: What's the secret to getting rid of acne scars?
Nina answered: I wish there was an easy way to get rid of acne scars! First of all, you have to determine what kind of acne scars you have; some scars create a slight indent into the skin, and some leave dark spots (hyperpigmentation) on your face.
For marks left on your face, look for gels or serums that contain glycolic and salicylic acids; these help exfoliate skin to reveal the fresh skin underneath. You can amp this up by using a vitamin-C serum to help brighten the skin (some mark fading treatments include all 3 ingredients).
You can also ask your dermatologist about hydroquinone, an ingredient that inhibits melanin production (melanin is responsible for skin color).
If you find yourself with post-acne depression spots, you can even-out the texture of your skin with regular, gentle exfoliation... however this might not be enough. Your dermatologist can prescribe a product like Retin-A to stimulate collagen production or you can invest in a laser treatment such as Fraxel. Another option is for your doctor to inject hyaluronic acid filler, such as Restylane, into the depression spot to plump up and even out the skin.
MelanieMans asked: Whats the best lotion for soft, smooth skin?
Nina answered: The best lotion for soft, smooth skin is one that will combine different moisturizing ingredients and absorb easily into your skin. This is a good time to read ingredient labels on products. I like to look for formulas that contain ingredients like glycerin or ceramides, because these help draw water into your skin and lock it in there. Other ingredients to look for are petrolatum, shea butter or oils, because these will immediately hydrate your skin. I want to note that the best way to get smooth skin is to exfoliate it first in the shower (you can use an exfoliating body wash or a loofah). Sloughing off the old, dry skin will create a smooth base for your lotion and your lotion will be better absorbed.
MelanieMans asked: What's a good body wash to use that won't dry your skin out?
Nina answered: When using a body wash, look for formulas that are creamy (vs. gels) and that like body lotions, contain ingredients such as oils, glycerin or butters (for example shea butter or cocoa butter). I like Dove's Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash; which contains glycerin, soybean oil and fatty acids to cleanse, hydrate and seal in moisture at one time.
21lisa72 asked: How do you get rid of sun spots?
Nina answered: The first step to getting rid of sun spots is to work on prevention; so on a daily basis, you should wear an SPF 30 or more to protect your skin from head to toe. The next step is to start using an exfoliating cleanser and serum that contains retinol or glycolic acid to slough off the top layer of your skin; hence revealing your fresh skin underneath. You can also look for a serum that contains hydroquinone, an ingredient that inhibits melanin production in the skin. Your dermatologist can also give you a treatment that combines hydroquinone with Retin-A. At higher levels of active ingredients, you will find that your sun spots can fade a little faster. If you want to try a natural approach, lemon juice is a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids (citric acid). Just be sure to do a skin test first because it can irritate some people.
diaperstodating asked: How can I get rid of my stretch marks?
Nina answered: Dermatologists say you cannot get rid of stretch marks 100%, but you can fade them. First of all, if you are pregnant, your best bet is to use a gentle exfoliating body wash daily (look for a formula that has beads and not crushed nuts or shells, which can actually tear your skin). Follow this with vitamin E oil or a thick cream to hydrate your skin. If you are not pregnant, ask your dermatologist for Retin-A, which can help stimulate collagen production and increase skin-cell turnover. A good combination is a retinoid product combined with a super hydrating oil or cream; the key is to be consistent to see results.
There is no quick fix to reducing the appearance of stretch marks.... Another trick is to camouflage them with self-tanner (applied with a cotton swab for precision). I remember after having my second baby, I had what I called "tiger stripes" on my lower back; I had no idea I had stretch marks there and went to the beach with my kids. I remembered to put sunscreen on the kids, but not on my body... and I ended up making my stretch marks worse. The solution? I asked my hubby to apply self-tanner only on the lighter areas of skin to match the stretch mark tones (this is one time you really need to color "in the lines"). I have to say I was freaked out by the marks... but I would not have traded them in for the world, because it meant I had my wonderful children.
goddess99 asked: Is there a good product that helps hide the dark circles under eyes?
Nina answered: I am always on the quest for products that hide dark circles under my eyes! The first key is to wake up your eyes with a cooling eye-gel. I like to keep mine in the fridge; this also helps to de-puff the under-eye area. Next, moisturize with eye-cream and protect the area with sunscreen. I like Supergoop! Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 37 because it hydrates and protects at the same time. Next, it is time to color-correct the dark circles. Start with a yellow-based color correcting primer to neutralize the dark purple tones, such as Physician's Formula Youthful Wear Cosmesceutical Youth-Boosting Dark Circle Corrector + Concealer. This is a dual-ended product; one side is a yellow-based primer and the other is a concealer. I also like Makeup Forever's Full Coverage Concealer; I apply it using a small concealer brush followed by patting it with my ring finger. Remember to also apply it to the inner corners and not so far out to the crow's feet area. Many women make the mistake of applying too much or on the wrong areas, which can accentuate wrinkles.
peacegiver asked: What is the best moisturizer for dry legs and feet that won't break the bank?
Nina answered: One of my favorite moisturizers for dry legs and feet is Dove's Cream Oil Body Lotion Shea Butter. I like using it all over my body; especially when I get out of the shower and I put it on before I put on my pajamas each night. It smells great too and makes your skin look super smooth and soft. In fact, I like putting it on when I am going out at night and have bare legs; it makes my legs look sleek and firm!
conweis asked: What is the best way to deal with callous cracking hands?
Nina answered: The first step is to apply each morning an exfoliating cream that contains an alpha-hydroxy acid to soften your skin. Follow with a thick hand cream (and keep this with you at all times to replenish your skin). At night, put a thick layer of Vaseline on your hands and put cotton gloves on; when you wake up in the morning your hands should be much softer! Also make sure that all of your hand soaps are moisturizing and be sure to wear gloves when doing the dishes, housework or gardening.
ablackdolphin asked: I'm currently training for my first half marathon and finding that no matter how much water I drink, my skin is very dry. Any tips?
Nina answered: You are doing the right thing by drinking lots of water- that is the key to hydrating your body from the inside. To boost your internal hydration, try taking flaxseed oil or fish oil supplements (ask your doctor first before you take any supplements). Now for the outside! Start by exfoliating your body from head to toe at least 2-3 times per week. In the shower, use a moisturizing body wash like Dove's VisibleCare Radiance Crème Body Wash; not only will it remove the top layer of dry skin, but it will infuse moisture at the same time. Finish by applying a creamy body oil while your skin is still damp; this will seal in the hydration.
nicolett80 asked: I always get razor bumps when shaving my bikini area. Is there a way to get rid of them for good?
Nina answered: To get rid of razor bumps in your bikini area, start by applying a warm washcloth to the area to soften the skin and hair. Next, exfoliate the area to remove dead skin (since this can be a sensitive area, use a gentle formula or a wash cloth). Exfoliating this area will also allow you to have a closer shave. Once you are prepped, apply shaving cream to the area and using a fresh razor, shave in the direction your hair grows. Once you step out of the shower, apply a super-hydrating lotion to the area.
nicolett80 asked: What's the best cure for itchy skin?
Nina answered: To relieve itchy skin, take a look at your daily skin care routine. Keep your shower short and use warm water- not hot. Hot water can dry out your skin by removing necessary oils and nutrients, while cooler water gets you clean, but leaves behind the nutrients your skin needs. Try switching to gentle, fragrance free cleansers head-to-toe; you might be allergic to the fragrance or another ingredient in your regular products. I am also a huge believer in moisturizing skin all day long; including while you sleep! Try using a hypo-allergenic body lotion all over your body before going to bed; put on your pajamas and even socks on your feet to seal in the moisture. If the above tips don't work, you might need to see your doctor to determine the true cause of itching and treatment options.
Mblessesd4x asked: Hi Nina! I have terribly dry skin and I think i may have rosacea to boot. I always exfoliate, tone, and moisturize but my skin winds up dry, red and blotchy within a couple hours. Are there any tips you can give me to help relieve this stubborn skin?
Nina answered: My first thought as I read your question is that you might be over-exfoliating your skin. Over-exfoliating your skin can actually leave it red, raw and sore. It also makes your skin more susceptible to the elements (wind, sun, dry air, etc.).Try exfoliating only 1-2 times per week; and look for a mild formula that exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time (some exfoliating cleansers are more stripping than hydrating). If you think you have rosacea, you might want to skip the toner; while toner can help some skin types, it can sometimes irritate people with sensitive skin. Next, focus on hydrating your skin on all levels; the air, internally and externally. In your bedroom, try keeping a personal humidifier to keep the air (and your skin) moist all night. Next, increase your water intake and try taking fish-oil or flax seed supplements (always ask your doctor first before taking any supplements). You can also eat more water based foods, like watermelon and strawberries (about 92% water!). Finally, switch to gentle, hypo-allergenic products (that are fragrance-free as well). You might be sensitive to the ingredients in your current products, which could be a source of the irritation.
Many thanks to all of you for your wonderful questions and to Nina for her awesome answers!
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