The Best Summer Acne Busters

summer acne busters

For some reason, this is the time of year that I struggle the most with those pesky pimples. Even though I feel like I’ve reached an age where they should be a non-issue, summer always seems to bring out the worst in my skin, and I know I’m not alone. I can’t tell you how many frantic texts and email messages I’ve received from my good girlfriends recently, basically screaming, “HELP!”

Blame it on the heat, the climate you live in, excessive perspiration, perhaps even the sunscreen that doesn’t 100% get washed off (even when we think it has been). It can be hormones (Oh, don’t we just LOVE those?), and also—the carefree days of summer. We’re camping, we’re vacationing, we’re swimming. Maybe we’re just not being as diligent about our skincare routines as we normally are during other times of the year. And then—once all the acne is cleared, sometimes we head into fall with reminders of the acne we had in the form of discoloration—which makes it even more frustrating. Acne—the gift that keeps on giving!

I hope you find it comforting to know, that a few friends and I have suffered just the way you may be right now, and we’ve put products to the test! Here’s what we discovered to help minimize our summer acne frustrations.

best acne facial cleansers

Cleansers are the first line of defense to get the gunk off that initially clogs our pores. We MUST wash our faces, twice a day! Try incorporating one of these facial cleansers into your skincare regimen:  [Read more...]

Exclusive Q&A with Neutrogena’s Gabrielle Union on Her Beauty Routine & UV Protection

gabrielle union neutrogena

This morning, I was FLOORED when I read this on

Until today, the surgeon general has never said, ‘UV radiation is bad for you; protect your skin’, acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak said.

I have to wonder how many lives would have been saved if UV protection were taken as seriously during other decades, as it’s taken today. [Read more...]

Quick Picks Under $5: Suddenly Smooth Intensive Hand / Foot Treatment

Suddenly Smooth Intensive Hand Foot Treatment

What’s a girl to do mid-month when she’s already blown through her monthly beauty budget? I head over to Sally Beauty to treat myself to something really small. I was bored out of my skull and was tired of cleaning and doing laundry for the weekend—so I figured I deserved a tiny treat. Somehow, I always find myself there.

For $2.99 each (with my Sally card—regular price $3.29), I picked up these fantastic little hand and foot treatments from Suddenly Smooth. Each pack contains either one pair of gloves, or one pair of booties. They’re infused with moisturizing shea butter, marine collagen, Vitamin E, argan oil, ginseng, soy extract (and more!), and they make my hands and feet feel like buttah! Granted, the booties aren’t the most secure fitting in the world, but it gives you incentive to just rest for a few. You’re not going to want to walk around in them anyway.  [Read more...]

A Cautionary Tale About UVA Rays Through Car Windows

man with sun damage on one side of face

In the past few years, I’ve seen this photo circulating the Internet about a man with insane sun damage on the left side of his face because he never wore sunscreen during his 28-year career as a truck driver. The result: excessive thickening and wrinkling of his skin from his photodamage.

I wanted to share this with you because last night during my insomnia, I stumbled across an interesting article on Beauty High regarding this particular man, and they had read the results of the case study from the New England Journal of Medicine[Read more...]

What’s the Future of Your Face?

neutrogena unseen acne 1

You’re probably wondering just what in the world is this photograph. It’s of my own face, and it’s not exactly flattering, is it? A few weeks ago, I had the unique opportunity as a Neutrogena ambassador to visit their headquarters for a peek behind the scenes, and to experience their new technology that can show you the future of your unseen acne. The pimple you see tomorrow actually started brewing several weeks ago! The photo above is indicative of that for me, and it’s all exactly where I normally experience blackheads. Eww!

Neutrogena unseen acne 2

Believe it or not, it can take 6-8 weeks for a pimple to appear…

During my visit, I sat down with a dermatologist and had my skin photographed with Neutrogena’s Clinical Skin Imager. It’s a special camera that has the ability to spot acne causing bacteria, deep within the skin’s surface. I was amazed! While I’m pretty fortunate not to suffer from a lot of raised pimples on a regular basis, I do struggle with a lot of clogged pores in my t-zone—which is a direct result of the excess oil that is generated by my combination skin type.  [Read more...]

What’s New: la prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection


For the past 10 days, I’ve been trying out the latest skincare offerings from la prairie, the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection. Its ingredients are totally unlike anything else I’ve tried. The Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal lineup features unique properties, derived the most resilient plants in Swiss Alps. As you can imagine, winters there are very harsh, basically killing vegetation. But there among the freeze, two timeless little plants, and one type of algae brave the elements.

The exclusive Ice Crystal Complex…

  • Swiss Snow Algae — hibernates through winter, emerging as the snow begins to melt
  • Soldanella Alpina — creates its own energy to surface through the ice, revealing a beautiful bloom
  • Purple Saxifrage — cocoons itself with ice crystals to protect its delicate buds against the environmental conditions

Through their extensive research, la prairie has taken the DNA elements from these lone survivors, and integrated them into their newest skincare products to help revitalize environmentally stressed skin, which also delivers a boost in the anti-aging department. If the complex can help skin in brutal environments, I can only imagine what it could do when faced with assault from the free radicals in my everyday life.

I created a skincare cocktail out of the two products, Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Cream, and the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil. While I probably could have gotten away with using just one of the products (both were very hydrating and luxe), I eventually ended up adding a drop of the Dry Oil into a dab of the cream in the palm of my hand, then applied it directly on my skin for incredible, moisture-packed results. 10 days so far hasn’t been enough for me to truly see any anti-aging benefits, but I can say that I love the luxurious texture, which instantly perked up my parched skin all day and all night.

Using this regimen really feels like such a lavish treat—I’ve always felt that la prairie products are presented in of the most extravagant ways. With gorgeous packaging, distinct fragrances, and richness to the touch, all the way to their premium ingredients. The Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection is a fusion of luxury and science, so I think I’ll keep indulging my way through my samples, enjoying them while I can!

From la prairie…

Miles high in the Swiss Alps, in a world of sheer ice crystals, beauty transcends time. Here, two seemingly fragile plants and one tiny algae survive and thrive in the harshest setting on earth, developing strategies to outwit the environment. It’s only fitting then that la prairie, with a heritage deeply rooted in Switzerland, harnessed these extreme-survivalist secrets into the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection. The discovery combines some of the most sophisticated survivalist secrets.

la prairie logo

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by laboratories la prairie via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of laboratories la prairie.

What’s New: Strivectin LABS Extreme Cream

StriVectin LABS Extreme Cream

This season is the WORST for dry skin. I know that more than half the country is under ice right now, but I’ve got to say—even my skin is parched—and I’m lucky enough to be enjoying the great temperatures we’re experiencing in Southern California. (I swear, I’m not bragging!) My arms, legs, and hands are just screaming for hydration, it’s pitiful. My face and neck however, they’re pretty satisfied because I’ve been using the new Extreme Cream for about two weeks, that just launched from StriVectin LABS. [Read more...]

Holiday Gifting: Perfect Stocking Stuffers

nivea stocking stuffers

This is the final countdown to get that last minute Christmas shopping in, how’s yours going? The one thing I always forget is stocking stuffers, and by the time I go back—it’s all picked over and not what I would have liked to give. So do yourself a favor. Get thee to Target and pick up two of the best (and most useful) products that I found. (I even bought a few to stash away, because it’s NIVEA—and you can never go wrong.) Check these out!

nivea kiss me set

NIVEA Limited Edition Kiss Me Keepsake Tin

I’ve been singing the praises of the Lip Butter tins for over a year now. First, they taste and smell delicious enough to eat (but please don’t), and they keep my lips feeling soft and comfy, despite wearing the most drying of matte lipsticks. With the heater on this time of year, my lips look scaly and cracked sometimes when I wake up in the morning. NIVEA Lip Butters put an end to that madness. While this tin I picked up on has the Raspberry Rosé Kiss flavor, there are some other delicious flavors available for individual purchase. Also try Caramel Cream Kiss, Smooth Kiss (great for guys), and Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss. Also, tuck that Kiss of Shimmer balm in your handbag for effortless lippie touch-ups on-the-go with plenty of moisture. $4.99, Target (Comes with 2 Lip Butters, and one Kiss of Shimmer Lip Balm Stick.)

nivea creme

NIVEA Creme Travel Size Tin 1 oz.

NIVEA Creme is an icon! This mini 1 oz. size is perfect for travel or handbags, and is the ultimate multi-tasker for dry skin. It’s nice and rich without feeling too heavy or greasy, and works fantastically on elbows, arms, legs, feet, hands, you name it! Kiss cracked, dry skin goodbye with NIVEA Creme. While you’re at it, pick one up for the guys—it’s great for them too! Get a load of this—it’s a whopping .97 at Target! When you fall in love with it (and you probably will), there are larger sizes available to buy year-round.

This post is in partnership with NIVEA, however all opinions remain the author’s alone, and do not reflect those of the brand.

5 Easy Steps for Healthy Winter Skin


Many people think that just because summer is long gone, they can slack off in the sunscreen department. This is simply not true! Often, the winter rays are even worse for skin, especially once they reflect off of the snow and onto your face. But how do you keep yourself protected since it’s not exactly necessary to apply thick, waterproof sunscreens this season?

nivea cold weather must-haves

Not only can UV rays be stronger in the winter, but your skin can be at its driest and most sensitive. Here are a few tips that will not only make your skin more comfortable this season, but will also keep it protected.

  • Regularly exfoliate — Gentle, regular exfoliation is great for removing the itchiest of dry skin. It will also help your skincare products work more effectively. Your moisturizers can do their best work!
  • Take shorter, less hot showers — I’ll be the first one to admit I love a steaming, hot shower when it’s cold, but it also strips the skin of essential moisture, leaving your skin even dryer than it already was. Turn down the temperature, and take a shorter shower or bath.
  • Multi-task with your daytime moisturizers — For daytime, try switching up your routine with Eucerin’s Daily Protection line of moisturizers for face and body. These gentle, effective formulas offer both daily broad-spectrum UV protection and deep hydration, with a lightweight feel. Great for even those with sensitive skin, I recommend Eucerin’s  Moisturizing Face Lotion with SPF 30, and Daily Protection Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 for the body.
  • Avoid dry, chapped lips — Just like you’re multi-tasking with your skincare products, do the same for your lips. Try NIVEA’s “A Kiss of” line of lipcare products. They offer UV protection and comforting moisture to even the driest of lips. My favorites—A Kiss of Cherry with SPF 10, and A Kiss of Strawberry with SPF 10. They also offer a slight tint to the lips, bonus!
  • Switch to more mild soaps — Detergents and soaps can strip your skin of essential oils. Change your laundry detergent and body washes to sensitive skin formulas!

What are some of your winter skincare tips?

This post is in partnership with NIVEA. All opinions are those of the author, and do not reflect those of the brand.