Review: Sweet Chef – Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot

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About The Brand: Sweet Chef mixes the perfect daily shot of vegetables and vitamins to freshly boost your skin’s vitality and deliver a healthy radiance. Quenching your skin has never been so sweet.

What It Does: Refines Pores & Smooths Rough Skin

Active Ingredients:

BEET

Beet harnesses a variety of vitamins that leave skin feeling softer and visibly smoother.

VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is rich in antioxidants that help to minimize signs of aging for a youthful glow.

How To Use: After cleansing and toning, apply serum shot on face with a gentle tapping motion until absorbed. Follow with a moisturizer, if desired.

Verdict: If you’ve been following the blog for a while, then you’ll know of my obsession for Vitamin A and how it helps keep your skin looking radiant. So it’s no surprise that I’d jump at the chance to try out this new Vitamin A serum from Sweet Chef and see how it compares to my favourite Vitamin A serum (that sadly Amazon no longer stocks). The beauty of Vitamin A is that it doesn’t take long to see the benefits. In just of days you’ll notice a much brighter and smoother complexion. The packaging for this completely cute yet very efficient.

I love how this serum feels on my skin, and even after only one night, when I woke up my skin looked considerably better than how it did the night before. This company has various vitamins as serums (also B & C), and I’m sure they’re just as good although they target different skin concerns. You can also make up your own cocktail of sorts, mixing and matching various serums and creams.

Overall, this is an excellent product and I’m looking forward to trying out other skincare products that they have.

Price: $19.99

Where To Buy It: Target

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Beauty In Breakfast: Tomato Omelet Recipe

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, so why not make it the perfect opportunity to eat foods that will give you beauty benefits?

“You can put on all the makeup and concealer in the world, but unless you’re eating a diet of beauty foods, your skin will not look its best,” says Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, the author of The Beauty Diet.

In this mini-series I will provide you with some easy and healthy-skin breakfast options!

In order to have a healthy-glowing skin you need to not only use the right products for your skin type, but you need to be eating foods that boost your skin’s health.

“Sugar may contribute to wrinkles, and there’s research that shows that following a diet lower in refined carbs improves adult acne,” says Drayer.

Throw out your Pop Tarts and Toaster Strudels and give your skin a break.

“Tomatoes are the number one skin-friendly vegetable,” says Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face. Eating bright red vegetables may help fight sunburn, boost collagen, and reduce skin roughness.

Not to mention that eggs are loaded with Vitamin A (your number one skin-friendly vitamin!).

So put down the doughnut and read below for an amazing Tomato Omelet Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 Eggs

1 Medium Size Tomato Finely Chopped

½ Onion Finely Chopped

¼ Finely Chopped Cilantro or Parsley

A pinch of pepper

A pinch of salt

A pinch of Chipotle Pepper

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a pan and heat up.
  2. Beat two eggs in a bowl.
  3. Add the finely chopped onion, tomato, cilantro or parsley, salt, pepper, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix the ingredients.
  4. Then place all the ingredients in the pan and fry until golden.
  5. Enjoy!

    By: Azzurra Nox tomato-omelet-2Photo courtesy of http://fae-magazine.com

Review: Too Cool For School All-In-One Egg Mellow Cream

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If you follow my blog, then you’ll know that I swear by Vitamin A for having good skin. Having said that, one of the key ingredients in this moisturizer is egg yolk (which is rich in Vitamin A and proteins that nourish the skin). The nutrients found in eggs not only help nourish dull skin but it also brightens it. It also gets rid of acne (again, because of the Vitamin A) and because it also contains a natural antibacterial that fights acne. Since egg yolk is mostly made up of water and fats, it actually helps lock moisture into your skin cells, leaving skin feeling incredibly soft and supple. What more could you ask from a single ingredient?

What It Is: Firming Moisturizer

What It Does: This moisturizer is supposed to work as a serum, priming moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream, and sleep mask. It also targets dryness, dullness and uneven texture, and firmness.

Active Ingredients: Egg yolk, Collagen (great for anti-aging), albumen (egg white), Niacinamide, and omega oil for proper hydration that visibly plumps the skin.

Verdict: As you can tell, I have quite an obsession for overnight masks (you can check out more here), mostly because I suck at waiting out the 15-20 minutes required for face masks and who doesn’t want to wake up to amazing skin? This moisturizer (that also acts as an overnight mask) has fives uses and is packed with multiple benefits in one convenient package. I mostly use this on my face and neck, but it could also be used for the eyes. This cream has a pleasant scent (anyone who has ever used egg on their face knows how sticky and smelly it can be!). What can I say? The moment you apply this cream, your skin will look visibly plumper and will be insanely soft. But don’t worry, the effects last until the following morning. I woke up to softer skin and with no sign of redness or inflammation whatsoever (which can sometimes be the case for us acne-prone skin types). This moisturizer is a godsend to those of you that have dry or flaky skin, but it’s light enough that even those of us with extremely oily skin (as myself) can reap the benefits and won’t clog your pores!

Price: $36

Where To Buy It: Sephora.com

By: Azzurra Nox

Skincare: How Vitamin A Can Make You Have Gorgeous Skin!

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*Foundation-free skin in the photo.

Vitamin A can easily be described as the holy grail of vitamins for skin. If you’re an acne sufferer, this vitamin is your cure. Many dermatologists prescribe Accutane (which is pretty much a medication that makes you overdose on Vitamin A), and while that could temporarily solve your problem, I don’t think that it’s the best approach. Instead, I recommend finding the perfect supplement dose for you (you can have your doctor decide what amounts if safe for you since everyone is different). Although, typically speaking, 25,000 IU taken about 4 times a week shouldn’t cause any harm AND keep the acne or any other skin ailment at bay.

Why 4 times a week and not every day?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it stays stored in your body for awhile, and unlike water-soluble vitamins, it won’t flush out of your system if you have high amounts. Meaning, that it’s easy (and could be potentially hazardous) to overdose on Vitamin A or any other fat-soluble vitamin.

So why choose Vitamin A?

It encourages healthy skin cell production, and it also stimulates fibroblasts (the cells responsible for developing tissue that keeps skin firm and healthy). What this means is that it can help prevent wrinkles, whilst also getting rid of any acne, or acne scars you may have.

When choosing a Vitamin A supplement, I suggest going for the cod liver oil, as that has the best sort of Vitamin A (meaning the most potent and non-chemical).

If supplements aren’t your thing, then try to include more of these foods in your diet:

Chicken Liver, Beef Liver, Butter, or Eggs. For a less aggressive Vitamin A you can choose to eat foods that have beta-carotene (a Vitamin A precursor) which can be food in colorful vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.

Most importantly: In order for the skin to benefit from Vitamin A, the body converts it to retinoic acid, which can also be found in topical serums (my favorite is from Isabis Formulae).

How has it changed my skin?

Ever since I’ve been using Vitamin A supplements for the past year, I’ve seen a vast improvement in my skin. Not only do I rarely get blemishes, but when I do, they last for a less amount of time and leave fewer scars behind. Of course, the supplements or topical serums won’t be as effective if not followed by a healthy diet with low doses of sugar (as much as I love it, anything with sugar is basically poison for your skin).

So it’s a no-brainer that if you’re suffering from acne or wish to have a better complexion, then Vitamin A will be your new best friend.

By: Azzurra Nox

 

My Skincare Routine!

If you have combination or oily skin like me, then this routine will best suit those who have a similar skin type as myself. Many of the products I use are intended for combination to oily skin, so they won’t be necessarily helpful to those that have dry skin.

My skincare routine is pretty simple, but I’ve decided to break it down into two sections: Morning and Night.

Morning

Having oily skin means that I absolutely CANNOT skip washing my face in the morning, as I often wake up with an oil slick all over my face. I know most people prefer to use cold water in the morning to wake themselves up, however, I actually need to use hot water in the mornings to wash my face in order to break down the oils. Another thing that I absolutely cannot do without is facial cleansers!

Here are some of my faves:

Purity by Philosophy

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Burt’s Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser

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Clean & Clear Morning Energy Cleanser

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After washing my face I apply Smashbox’s Photofinish Primer under my eyes to keep that area hydrated throughout the day. I also apply a thin layer of Perfectly Posh’s My Hero sunscreen before applying makeup. And that’s it. No moisturizers, or any other creams or serums, as my skin is too oily and any sort of cream will either increase my oiliness levels or break me out.

Night

I always – always – remove my makeup before hitting the sack. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, or how late I return home, I JUST DO IT. Falling asleep in your makeup is one of the worst things you can do to your skin! Not only will it clog your pores and be the breeding ground for breakouts, but it’ll also cause pre-mature wrinkles! So ladies, if you value your skin, REMOVE THE MAKEUP before bed.

My go-to makeup remover for the past fifteen years or so has been Olay’s Daily Deeply Clean 4-in-1 Water Activated Cleansing Face Cloths (33-ct. $14.19 on amazon.com). Now, there may be some better removers out there, but I’ve been happy with these for so long that I’m not really itching to change it up. But if you have any suggestions, leave them to me in the comments!

Now, once I’m done removing my makeup I use a toner. My currents faves are:

Thayer’s Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Toner ($7.99 on amazon.com)

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Everyone Face For Every Day Tone ($4.79 on amazon.com)

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Tip: When choosing a toner, opt for alcohol-free, as any of the toners that contain a high alcohol content or smell like rubbing alcohol will dry out your skin.

After toner I apply an anti-acne cream (my favourite for years has been Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Cream).

Once I’m done applying a thin later of that, I’ll use top it off with a thin layer of either Clinique’s Even Better Spot Serum (I love this because it moisturizers without being greasy AND it helps eliminate any past acne scars or dark spots) or a thin layer of Isabis Formulae Vitamin C with Vitamin A & E Serum (available on amazon.com for $25.97). I’ll usually use the Vitamin C serum more often when my skin looks like it’s about to breakout, or during moments when I know it’s more prone to breakout (like when I’m getting closer to my period) as this serum is a MIRACLEWORKER when it comes to keeping your skin not only incredibly smooth and soft, but pimple-free!

Last, but not least, I use an eye cream. I’m always changing these up (you can check out some of my favourite eye creams here). At the moment I’m currently using Honest Beauty The Younger Eye Cream ($28 at Target) and so far I’m satisfied with how it leaves my undereye feeling incredibly hydrated and smooth.

This pretty much sums up my skincare routine. It’s nothing too complex but works for me.

What are some of your skincare rituals?

By: Azzurra Nox

Say Farewell to your Acne FOREVER!

Acne can be a very serious problem for many men and women. Not only is it painful but it can be very damaging to your self-esteem. And yet, acne is no longer a problem that’s only debilitating teenagers around the world, but rather more and more adults everyday are being affected by this skin condition. 50 million, to be exact.

Now, I’m not a dermatologist, and I haven’t suffered from severe adult acne as some have, but I’ve had to deal with some painful cystic acne in which nothing seemed to cure. And apparently dermatologists were just as clueless, offering to prescribe one different acne cream or wash after another with no real significant change.

Being someone who’s always avid to learn, I decided that maybe I should try to find the perfect cure to eradicate this problem. After all, a whole population of an island on Papua New Guinea have never suffered from acne in their lives. This made me think about what did they have going for them?

First of all, throughout my extensive research I’ve learned one major fact, that acne is a problem that cripples mostly the Western World (poor eating habits and stress being the major issues).

I know dermatologists have been saying for years that they don’t know WHAT causes acne, but I decided to take matters into my own hands and figure out exactly what is happening to our skins.

The major culprit is P. acnes (a bacteria that colonizes the skin whether or not you have acne) and grows rampant with the help of sebum (hence why people with oily skin or combination skin are the ones who majorly suffer from this skin condition). Hormones also play a huge role, creating an overabundance of sebum (thus making your skin fertile for acne to flourish).

The issue is, how can we eradicate the problem? I turned to science as a way to solve it. What I learned was that a lot of the inflammation that causes acne begins in the stomach and that the common denominator in crushing acne is Vitamin A. So I used that knowledge to test drive the five steps that have kept me acne-free for two years.

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5 Proven Steps to Better Skin

Vitamin A. This vitamin makes your skin virtually hostile towards P. acnes by keeping your levels of sebum very low. There’s a reason why dermatologists prescribe Acutane to acne sufferers, and it’s because it’s pretty much overdosing on Vitamin A. Now, there’s two ways you can obtain more of this vitamin (through food such as a chicken livers, which you’d only need to eat it once a week, as Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it’ll stayed stored in your liver till your body consumes it) or you can take Vitamin A supplements (which anything higher than 25,000IU daily dosage could be potentially harmful or even fatal, which is why if you’re planning on taking supplements that you see your doctor first to see what dosage is best for you). I DO NOT recommend to self-medicate because this isn’t a water soluble vitamin, so take with caution.

Rose Water Toner. Rose water helps soothes inflamed skin, and nothing causes acne-prone skin to breakout or get worse than using toners that are alcohol based (they’re too drying and hence will have your body replace even more sebum, creating a vicious cycle). There’s many to choose from on the market, but my personal go-to is Alteya Organic Bulgarian Rose Water (from New Rose Harvest). You can order it from Amazon and it retails for $15.94 (250-ml/8.5-fl. oz.).

Benzoyl Peroxide. This works because it helps kill the P. acnes that’s harvesting on your skin. Usually it takes about 6-12 weeks for you to start seeing a difference, so consistence is key. I’ve tried out many but what has really worked for me is Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel. It’s got 10% Benzoyl Peroxide (most of the creams out there have only 5%) and it really helps with keeping my skin clear. You can find it on Amazon or your local Ulta, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, or CVS and it usually retails for $6.50 (1-fl. oz.).

Brewer’s Yeast. Now, one of the major culprits that causes acne is your digestive tract being out of whack. Somehow, inflammation in your gut corresponds with inflammation on your skin. One of the reasons why that population in Papua New Guinea doesn’t suffer from acne is because they eat a plant-based diet, low sugar, and no processed foods. But some people even if they were to do all that, will still have gut issues because of stress. Enter Brewer’s Yeast that’s packed with all the B-vitamins essential for healthy skin (Thiamin Vitamin B1, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Niacin Vitamin B3, Pantothenic acid Vitamin B5, and Pyridoxine Vitamin B6). It’s also got the good bacteria that makes your gut happy – Probiotics. Now you can take it in powder form (which is absolutely disgusting but does the trick) or you can find it in capsule form. I recommend Now’s Brewer’s Yeast, retailing for $10.25 (200-tablets) on Amazon.

Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C is essential for collagen and cell turn over, and with skin that’s constantly inflamed, it helps dry out the P. acnes without causing it harm. I always put this on after having applied a thin layer of Neutrogena’s Spot Cream (see #3). I especially love Isabis Formulae’s Vitamin C serum because it’s also packed with Vitamin A & E which somehow helps keep spots at bay while leaving your skin feeling supple and glowing (this serum is so lightweight that you can also apply it during the day). It currently retails for $25.97 (30-ml/1-fl. oz.) on Amazon. A little goes a long way. One bottle usually lasts me between 3-4 months (I use it once a day at night).

*In conjunction with these steps you must also follow a diet that’s extremely low on dairy intake, high in leafy greens and water, and no processed foods or exceeding more than three teaspoons of sugar a day.

By: Azzurra Nox