Aegmora

Musings on effortless beauty, from an apprentice of the science of skin.

Eye cream for the eye cream skeptic.

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From the within the overwhelming 50 lbs of innovative moisturizing, wrinkle reducing, luminescent skincare technology I picked up at a recent dermatology trade show, I found a 0.5 oz gem that has rocked my world and surely will rock yours. 

CeraVe, already a derm-fan favorite, has come out with an eye repair cream to rival its high end competitors.  As it’s my policy to try anything free given to me at least once, I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it went on and how it instantly plumped up the hollows in my under eye region. A little more digging revealed it’s packed with fantastic skin boosters: niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid.  

Although I still stand by the concept that your regular moisturizer works just as well for your eye area, I highly recommend this product if you gotta have an eye cream. Works great as a plumping primer under your under eye concealer, too.  At $13, it can’t be beat. 

Stay tuned, you divas will be the first to know when I unearth any more gems from my pile of goodies!

Aegmora turned 2 today!  Hurrah! Thanks to all you divas for all the amazing support and encouragement. All this fabulousness happening here is because of how you all inspire me to WERQ! 

So, because it’s my blog birthday and I can do whatever the heck I want, I’m going let it all out, show you my true colors:

Ta-da! Take a good, long look at all of my sun damage. All those brown spots under a UV light reveal exactly how much fun in the sun I had as a kid growing up in SoCal.  You think you’re scared? I can’t even look at myself the same anymore. An overwhelming sense of fear and guilt now overtake me every moment I’m outside without sun protection. 

So I’m using this horrific image as a warning to all my gorgeous readers. Please, go on and have an absolute blast this summer, but slap on a sexy wide brimmed hat, slather on the broad spectrum SPF 30 (I love this), and keep those shenanigans in the shade between 10 am and 2 pm.  I promise, you will thank me in 30 years.  

It’s going to take a lot of work and dedication to undo all the damage those long, lazy afternoons sun bathing at the beach inflicted on my face. As of today, I’m starting an intensive retinoid, peel and resurfacing regimen that will (hopefully) restore my face to its former cherubic glory. Wish me luck!

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I’ve become a little bit of a nail fiend in the past few months and every time I take off that layer of glossy glossy lacquer, I find a multitude of cracks, peeling, and signs of general nail discontent.  I could talk to you for thirty minutes on how to keep your skin moist and gorgeous, but don’t know the first thing about keeping nails happy and healthy. 

First off, I always forget that the nails are an extension of the skin and need moisture to thrive. When we’re using harsh chemicals (i.e. acetone- based nail polish removers) on these babies, they get dry, sad, and then just break down and crack.  Soaking them in water, like when you are glamorously washing dishes sans gloves, can also strip them of the good stuff that holds them together. 

Welp, what to do when the damage is done? Pamper and moisturize like you would your skin, rubbing a little of that glorious Cetaphil or delicious CeraVe onto the nail and cuticles in addition to your baby soft hands er’ day. Also, consider spacing out those manis, with just top coat touch ups to avoid exposure to those drying nail polish removers. 

And for you gel manicure lovers, remember to always protect your skin with a broad spectrum sun block before getting that UV action. Skin cancer and haggard, wrinkly hands are not hot. 

Divas, WERQ that fierce and fabulous nail art, just remember to take care of what’s underneath. For more info, go here

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So, how does this sound for an acne treatment: organic, preservative-free, gentle, gratis? Pretty darn sweet, right? Well, divas, I am talking about urine. No, that wasn’t a typo, I meant to write U-R-I-N-E, a waste product from your body.  My first reaction was shock when I first heard about it, but once the disgust dissipated, I became preoccupied with really how brilliant it is and felt compelled to share it with you all. 

Urotherapy has been used medicinally for centuries (teeth whitening in ancient Rome, etc), under the premise that it is taking advantage of the many enzymes, nutrients, hormones that the body is disposing of. The waste product urea specifically is thought to be the beneficial element in acne urotherapy. It is used to draw moisture in the skin, help slough excess skin cells (a keratolytic), and has been shown to have some anti-bacterial properties.  Although not commonly used for acne, it is used to treat many other skin ailments. 

Although I could not find any mainstream medical literature corroborating this claim that the topical application of urine can improve acne, I sure did find many anecdotal claims on the interwebs, including livestrong.com.  But if any of you out there are dedicated to a truly organic life, I think this fits the bill better than any store bought remedy. Please please contact me with your thoughts if you’ve tried it, I would love to know if I’m just flushing a golden, magic, pimple-erasing elixir right down the toilet. 

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After my recent trip to Asia, I decided that geisha is the level of flawlessness I’m aiming for.  Although that’s probably not possible without an elixir of crushed pearls, diamonds, fossilized octopus babies, and manatee horn (just kidding, but that’s what the cosmetic companies want you to think), my new best friend helping me to achieve that goal is glycolic acid. 

One of the alpha hydroxy family of acids, this is a safe and effective chemical exfoliator that is worth its weight in the sugar cane it’s extracted from.  Shown to improve the function, texture and appearance of sun-damaged skin, it lifts off those dulling surface skin cells to unveil a truly fantastic glow.

I’ve been religious about twice weekly application of Glytone Mini-Peel. I have never felt my face so baby soft. It’s a 10% formulation, about the most you could get over the counter, and although my skin protests a bit from the burn, it has come to thank me. Some of my colleagues rave about the other glycolic acid containing night cream from the same maker and I have to say it’s not all hype. 

Alternating days with my Clarisonic is the Holy Grail exfoliation regimen for me.  Everyone’s a little different, but with a little hustle and experimenting, I know you’ll get to that wonderfully smooth and glowing place too. 

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Disguising my beauty addiction as science, I finally succumbed to the Clarisonic vortex.  Touted as the latest and greatest in facial sonic cleansing technology (is that even a thing?), it has been marketed as THE only way to cleanse your skin.  Long a skeptic, I decided to try it myself, wondering if it would take my skin to new heights of glow and glory.

I ripped open the box and pulled it out, feeling the weight of it in my hand and the promise it held for my skin. I immediately ran into the bathroom, squirted some cleanser on it and proceeded to work those sonic waves into my skin for 60 seconds. And boy, did it WERQ. I have never felt my face feel so smooth and clean EVER, without feeling like I just used a sander on my face (ahem, Neutrogena Rejuvenator).  

I was sold. And I looked forward to polishing my face every single day, until it shined bright like a diamond. BUT this bliss was rudely interrupted by 3 pimples that popped up in places they neverrrr go and a nagging dryness. No joke, my face turned ashy before I could even reach for my Cetaphil. So it was not all unicorns and rainbows in skin-paradise…. 

So I sat down think about this.  This “gentle skin cleansing” brush was essentially stripping down the lipids, or mortar, between the skin cells that act to retain the moisture in my skin, an essential component of the glow. It caused inflammation that caused me to break out like a hormonal teenager. I found a Clarisonic funded study stating that this device does not disrupt the skin barrier, but it was done on the leg, an area with thicker skin than your delicate face.  

BOTTOM LINE: The Clarisonic is NOT a must-have. It is nowhere near gentle enough to use as a daily cleansing device and should be treated like any other exfoliation tool: to be used sparingly (1-2 times weekly). Remember, divas, the key to beautiful skin is balance. 

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New year, new you! Welcome to 2014, divas!  I am struggling, as many of you are, to keep those thoughtful and hopeful resolutions past the first week of the year (I mean, I must have had one too many glasses of champagne when I thought going to the gym five times a week and eating 10 lbs of kale with every meal would actually happen).  

But I am writing to make sure you all are FLAWLESS this year, with skin so glow-tastic and amazing that you can say with all the confidence in the world: I WOKE UP LIKE THIS (all hail Queen Carter). 

Through much experimenting the past few months, I found an simple regimen that works, resulting in many compliments and no more FOMO on the next best beauty product.  What more could you ask for? 

Like I always say, the key is balance.  The foundation of my regimen has always been washing my face with a gentle cleanser in the morning (Boscia Purifying Cleanser), a heavy duty anti-bacterial one at night (anything with benzoyl peroxide), getting my retinoid on and moisturizing with my trusty Cetaphil cream. Doing this daily was pretty good, I had clear skin, but no blinding luminosity. 

The next tier on the skin perfecting pyramid is to optimize exfoliation. Those pesky dead skin cells on the surface of your skin really dull the landscape. I decided to step it up from my gentle rice powder exfoliation and try a 10% glycolic acid solution (Glytone Mini-Peel). Twice weekly application was pretty good, but still missing that a-ha moment. 

So I decided to succumb to the marketing tornado that is the Clarisonic. Touted as the superior cleansing method, I figured I should try it firsthand. After a lot of trial and error (i.e. cleansing my face raw.. full review to follow), I settled on “sonic-ing” my face on another 2 days of the week. Voila! I found the perfectly balanced skin care regimen for me. I swear, I think I heard angels sing, 

I’ve been on a little hospital work holiday for a few, but now I’m baaaack. Thank you for being such loyal followers, tell your friends, and write to me anytime. XO. 

*Disclaimer: I have a mixed oily dry skin type with mild acne. Everyone is different and needs to tweak their needs via trial and error. Also, becoming buddies with your friendly neighborhood dermatologist won’t hurt a bit. 

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Helloooo divas! I’ve been on hiatus (WERQ-in it in the hospital) but now I’m back! Wanted to share a collaboration with mochi magazine with you all to jump start my return to the blogosphere. Check out my commentary on the perils of bleaching cream here

With Memorial Day upon us again, I know you busy divas are preoccupied with ironing your white linen pants or finding the perfect patriotic bikini, but I wanted to make sure you didn’t forget about skin protection!  I want you all to be looking just as fresh faced and wrinkle-free on Memorial Day 40 years from now.  Here are my 5 tips for picking the perfect sunblock:
1.UVA AND UVB protection (Zinc or titanium dioxide cover both bases).
2. SPF greater than or equal to 30 (none of that SPF 3 nonsense, please).
3. Apply GENEROUSLY.
4. Reapply after you go in the water.
5. Reapply after an hour or two.
*See Exhibit A, my collection of sunblocks on my recent vacation to Mexico. Notable favorites: for face, La Roche-Posay Anthelios is perfection; for body, Neutrogena Ultrasheer with Helioplex.  And who can beat the old school throwback, Zinka in neon pink?!
Have fun, kiddos!

With Memorial Day upon us again, I know you busy divas are preoccupied with ironing your white linen pants or finding the perfect patriotic bikini, but I wanted to make sure you didn’t forget about skin protection!  I want you all to be looking just as fresh faced and wrinkle-free on Memorial Day 40 years from now.  Here are my 5 tips for picking the perfect sunblock:

1.UVA AND UVB protection (Zinc or titanium dioxide cover both bases).

2. SPF greater than or equal to 30 (none of that SPF 3 nonsense, please).

3. Apply GENEROUSLY.

4. Reapply after you go in the water.

5. Reapply after an hour or two.


*See Exhibit A, my collection of sunblocks on my recent vacation to Mexico. Notable favorites: for face, La Roche-Posay Anthelios is perfection; for body, Neutrogena Ultrasheer with Helioplex.  And who can beat the old school throwback, Zinka in neon pink?!


Have fun, kiddos!

Does anyone ever feel like a chicken with their head cut off when I talk about the skin barrier? Diva, it used to make my head spin, as well.  The brick and mortar concept for how your skin functions as a barrier came from my brilliant mentor, Dr. Peter Elias. He and his wife have launched a website dedicated to educating the public on the science behind skin and understanding its function.  It’s a must for knowing how to best nurture and care for your body’s largest organ. Get your primer on the skin here: http://eliasandwilliams.com/primer-on-the-skin-barrier-subscribe/.
Photo credit: banksy.

Does anyone ever feel like a chicken with their head cut off when I talk about the skin barrier? Diva, it used to make my head spin, as well.  The brick and mortar concept for how your skin functions as a barrier came from my brilliant mentor, Dr. Peter Elias. He and his wife have launched a website dedicated to educating the public on the science behind skin and understanding its function.  It’s a must for knowing how to best nurture and care for your body’s largest organ. Get your primer on the skin here: http://eliasandwilliams.com/primer-on-the-skin-barrier-subscribe/.

Photo credit: banksy.