Winter Skin Strategies

I have had the privilege of spending the past few days at the Sundance Mountain Resort, in UT, for my favorite annual conference – Brigadoon. The days have involved skiing, incredibly stimulating conversations, new ideas, old friends, as well as snow and freezing temperatures. And my skin has been suffering!

If you are still in the midst of winter weather, here are some tips to keep your skin hydrated, comfortable, and glowing.

  1. Hydrate from the inside out. You can never drink too much water… it will help your skin and your body. (And here in Sundance, it also helps with altitude sickness!).
  2. Switch out your usual cleanser for a cream or oil-based cleanser. And use lukewarm water even when the temperatures are frigid.
  3. Layer moisturizers and oils. I recently bought the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum and it has saved my skin. I apply it after my Pigment lightening serum, and under my Kantic+ intensely nourishing cream.
  4. Exfoliate. The most nourishing products won’t be able to penetrate and moisturize your skin if you have a layer of dead skin cells on top of your epidermis. But don’t overdo it – find a gentle scrub (like our Gentle refining scrub), and keep it to once a week.
  5. Give your skin the benefit of a hydrating treatment. I have been using our Kantic Brightening moisture mask twice weekly for the past couple of weeks, and it has saved my skin!
  6. Don’t forget your SPF. In particular in the mountains, and when enjoying winter sports, daily UV protection is a must. On top of my various creams and serums (see step #3), I layer our Daily defense SPF 23.

Enjoy the rest of the winter weather, even while dreaming of Spring!

Grooming for our fathers

When people ask me why Alchimie Forever offers products for men only, I often answer “because my mother [the force behind our new product development] loves men and wanted to make them feel special.” In honor of Father’s day, and all the men in our lives, I thought it might be timely to write about men’s grooming, and our Alchimie Forever men’s products.

Despite what one might think, men spend  a lot of time in the bathroom. As my Mom says, “they just close the door before they start looking at themselves in the mirror.” I can confirm both that my husband spends a lot of time grooming and that he always closes the door. While I don’t exactly know what happens behind closed doors, I know how good he looks when he gets out. Here are my favorite tips and products for men.

  1. Soft feet. There is nothing less sexy to me than bad feet. Whether they are in bed next to me feeling rough against my skin or belong to a stranger in flip-flops I pass on the street. On that note, I think there is one less sexy thing – feet in Crocs. But that is a topic for another discussion…
  2. Manicured hands. Assuming the man’s feet are in closed shoes, my eyes immediately go to the hands. Do they look powerful? Do they look strong yet soft? How would it feel to hold his hand? Are the nails too long? Are the nails bitten? What tales do any calluses tell? Of course, my Alchimie Forever 532nm antioxidant relief for the hands and feet is the best product to ensure both soft feet and soft hands.
  3. No shaving bumps or post-shaving irritation. A red, angry neck and ingrown hairs do not make for a good first impression. The Grooming Lounge’s Beard Master shave oil can help. As can choosing a better razor, and never shaving against the grain. Finish with the Alchimie Forever Antioxidant skin repair gel and your skin will thank you.
  4. Hair. Whether you have a little or a lot, embrace what you have and run with it. I love a shaved head. Michael Jordan and Bruce Willis made that sexy and manly many years ago. If you are blessed with a head of hair a la Pierce Brosnan, make sure the back of your neck always looks clean. I love salt and pepper hair… which my husband has. So refined and elegant. Much better than a bad color job. And I love the way his Aveda Men Pur-Formance shampoo and hair conditioner smell.
  5. Also, hairs (notice the “s”). Whether you have a lot or a little was decided by Mother Nature. What you do with it is entirely up to you. Invest in trimmers. For ear hair. For nose hair. For chest hair. Invest in waxing services (don’t ask your wife to trim the hair on your back; value a bit of mystery in a relationship).

Happy Father’s day to all the most handsome Dads out there!

Sun, sunscreens, sunburns…

The sun is (or at least should be!) shining, it’s that time of year. And May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. All in all, it is time to review sun, UV, sunburns and sunscreens. Here are some tips to help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to this burning topic (no pun intended…).

Myth: I don’t need to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day.

Truth: Up to 85% of UV can penetrate light cloud cover

Myth: I have a tan, so I won’t burn.

Truth: Having a tan is only the equivalent of about SPF 4, and does not mean you won’t burn.

Myth: I am young, I don’t need to worry about skin cancer.

Truth:  Melanoma (skin cancer) is the number one cancer seen in ages 25-29

Myth: I need more vitamin D so I shouldn’t wear sunscreen.

Truth: You only need about 10 minutes of sun exposure per day to get enough vitamin D for your wellbeing. (And remember, even with sunscreen on you will get sun exposure).

Myth: Getting just one sunburn won’t really harm my skin.

Truth: A single sunburn in childhood will increase the risk of melanoma. And it can take up to 5 years for the skin to fully recover from a single sunburn!

Myth: Tanning beds are sage.

Truth: UVs matter inside and out; indoor tanning may increase the chance of getting melanoma up to 75%

Myth: Sunscreen will block all UV

Truth: “Sunscreen is not enough” as said Dr. Karen Burke. Remember to layer your antioxidants under your sunscreen, so you have a second line of defense (try our Diode 1 + 2 serums for your face, and our Alexandrite gel for neck and bust for your body).

Other interesting facts about the sun and sunscreens…

UVA versus UVB:

  • UVA damage DNA and lead to skin cancer (damages not initially visible to the naked eye)
  • UVB lead to redness and ultimately wrinkles (the visible sunburn effects)

Chemical versus physical sunscreens:

  • Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays. These are typically lighter sunscreens.
  • Physical sunscreens (really known as sunblocks) reflect UV rays. Ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are used in physical sunscreens. The usual “thick, white, sticky” feel of sunscreens comes mostly from physical sunscreens.

Water-resistant versus waterproof sunscreens:

  • Water-resistant sunscreens maintain their SPF levels after 40 minutes of water exposure
  • Waterproof sunscreens maintain their SPF levels after 80 minutes of water exposure

The sun’s reflective powers are great:

  • 17% on sand
  • 80% on snow

If you want to learn more about the sunscreens I like, watch this week’s segment on Let’s Talk Live. And remember, no sun is safe sun. And you earn the skin you’re in!

Summer beauty tips

Last night, in our Georgetown showroom, we hosted lovely group of people from the Harvard Club of DC – all alumni of my alma mater who live in the DC region. The goal: networking, enjoying delicious wine and treats, and to discuss summer beauty tips.
Summer… = sun, heat, humidity, “smaller” clothes…
So here goes:

Ada's travel beauty tips

If you know anything about me, you know that I travel a lot. I love to travel, I travel for work, and for business. Some of you have been asking me about my travel beauty tips. So here goes.

Typically, the day before I get on a plane, I will apply our Kantic Mask. It helps to nourish my skin (airplane air is so dehydrating), and gives me a nice glow – i.e. makes me look like I travel less than I do.

Legs, legs, legs

Last night I had a debate with my dear friend Kelly about tights. Or stockings, however you prefer to call them. I love dresses and skirts year round, but I hate tights. So in the winter, my legs are always cold. She was telling me about fabulous cashmere thigh highs… I might have to try those.

Our conversation made me think about legs, and then of course my mind wandered to products, as it always does. And I realized that I use 4 Alchimie Forever products on my legs and feet! While you might think about taking care of your legs during the summer, if you are like me and don’t like tights then you might want to think about them during the winter also. After all, ’tis the season for holiday parties and short cocktail dresses.