Another day, another Gwyneth Paltrow trend gone too far. (Kidding! Though she was ahead of the curve on this one.) You might know about cupping because of all the celebrities who have posted about it in recent years, but cupping is actually an ancient Chinese alternative medicine that works by facilitating circulation in the body. Celebs including Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham, and Michael Phelps have all tried the treatment out—and most have sung its praises. Basically, it seems like yet another treatment the rich and powerful have known about for years, and it’s finally trickling down to us regular people. Bless up. To learn more about the treatment that may or may not be responsible for Paltrow and Aniston’s eternal youth, I spoke with Ani Baran, L.Ac at NJ Acupuncture Center. Here’s what I found out.
What Does Cupping Do?
It seems like every celeb-slash-cupping fan has a different reason for loving it: Phelps uses it for muscle recovery, obviously, while Kim Kardashian does it in facial form to reduce wrinkles. What is it actually doing to give such a wide range of results? Baran explains: “Cupping the muscle and other tissues upwards.” This helps to “decrease muscle tension while refreshing blood flow,” which in turn promote muscle healing, relieves pain, and can even help with immunity and digestion. “It’s almost like the equivalent of a deep tissue massage,” Baran added. “But instead of having a trained masseuse knead your muscles to release pain and tension, it uses suction.”
If you’re still wondering how this plays into skin care, don’t worry—I had the same question. According to skincare Guru Nurse Jamie, the key is in the increased blood flow that cupping produces. Apparently, increased blood flow equals stimulated lymphatic system equals reduced inflammation, fine lines, and wrinkles. Yay! Science is hard, but so worth it.
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Yes, yes she WANTED her back to look like this! We swear. It's called cupping and it is used for pain, tightness and chest congestion and if you live in NY you probably have one of those issues. Oh, and it doesn't hurt…we know what you're thinking. Shoutout to @wthn for snapping such a cool pic! Stop by for a cupping session today and say BYE BYE ?? ?? to that pesky back pain!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #balance #flow #acupuncture #selfcare #breathe #dontworrybehappy #healthyliving #healthylifestyle #16thlife #healthyliving #easternmedicine #treatment #needles #cupping #acupuncturefacial #moxa #acupunctureworks #acupuncturetreatment #tcm #painfree #treatmentsforpain #acupuncturist #nyc #erikaweber #nycacupuncutrist #nycacupuncture
Who Would Benefit From Cupping?
According to Baran, “nearly everyone.” And given the fact that improved blood flow and circulation does improve such a wide array of symptoms, that’s probably true. But people who might actually need cupping to improve their day-to-day lives would be elite athletes, or anyone seeking pain or stress relief. Whatever it is, be sure to go in with a clear idea of what you’re seeking to treat. Per Baran, any initial consultation for a cupping appointment will include a discussion of “complaints and goals.” (And no, “not having Gwyneth Paltrow’s skin” is not a valid complaint.)
What’s A Cupping Appointment Like?
Here’s where it gets fun. The main reason we all know about cupping now, despite celebs’ best attempts to keep it for themselves, is that it leaves a telltale mark. Well, marks. As shown in the above Instagram, a cupping appointment leaves you with a series of raised red bumps. I asked Baran to describe a typical cupping session, and here’s what she told me: “You will sit or lay in a comfortable position as cups are applied, typically to larger, flat areas. Using heat or fire, the cups are applied at an angle that creates deep suction, and pulls toxins away from the body as it works deeply into the muscles. Usually the cups are applied for anywhere between 10-20 minutes.”
Sounds easy enough, right? Honestly, Paltrow and others describe the feeling as relaxing, though some other reviewers experienced more pain and discomfort. Ultimately, for how gruesome the treatment looks, I’m glad people aren’t leaving in agony. And yes, I do feel incrementally more desperate to have my toxins flow out into little suction cups every time I look at a picture.
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I need to give a huge thank you to @thestretchboss @belowbodybar and @frankstinsonifbbpro for working the knots out today. It’s been a while since the top half of my body moved like this. The last time I had cupping done, I convinced my kids that I was attacked by the kraken while on my pirate ship. They were upset when I told them the truth a few days later. I think because they had hoped I really was a pirate. Little do they know that I still listen to some of the songs I downloaded from Kazaa back in the day, so I’m still a swashbuckler of sorts. #avastyescallywags #recovery #thestretchboss #cupping
Where Can You Get It Done?
Baran recommends looking to acupuncture centers for this treatment—according to her, that’s “where you’re more likely to find highly trained practitioners who are well versed in this.” As for cost, I surveyed five acupuncture centers that offer the treatment in NYC, and was quoted between $100 and $150 for an initial appointment. It’s worth noting that you may need more than one treatment to get the effects you’re after, but Baran notes that some clients will feel results “in as little as one session.” She also notes that pricing can vary “based on region and the practitioner’s expertise,” so feel free to shop around—but don’t skimp on quality. An amateur could very well leave you with serious burns or bruises, so this is not the time to go for a discount option.
Now that cupping is less mysterious to me, I can’t say it’s less enticing. The logic of improved blood flow and circulation is hard to argue with, and I’ve had good experiences with acupuncture in the past—this seems like an intensified version. I’m certainly not in the “elite athlete” category, but maybe I’ll book a cupping session next time I can’t walk after Barry’s. If it’s good enough for Gwyneth…
It’s 2019, so we’re not going to pretend anymore that getting plastic surgery is some kind of weird taboo that women do in dark rooms on their 40th birthday. Embracing the chance to change something on your body that you feel insecure or uncomfortable with is f*cking awesome, and stigmas are not. And if you’re going to do something, it’s better to have all the information than to go in blind because you were too embarrassed to do research and end up with a botched procedure, right? Right. That’s why we chatted with Dr. Gary Linkov, a Facial Plastic Surgeon from New York to answer all your questions about preventative, non-surgical, and surgical facial procedures.
Which Facial Procedures Are Most Popular?
Nonsurgical: Botox, Filler, Chemical Peel
Surgical: Rhinoplasty (nose job), facelift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), and lip lifts are growing in popularity
When Should You Start Non-Surgical Preventative Treatments?
Although rumours and Instagram ads may suggest otherwise, Dr. Linkov believes that the only truly preventative strategy is botox. He’s had clients who start as young as their early 20s, ranging to about late 20s to early 30s. So if you’re still a child and scared of needles like me, there’s no need to panic. You can still prevent those wrinkles in due time.
How Do You Know If You’re Overdoing It?
It’s not hard to spot an overkill face (we’re looking at you, Tori Spelling), but when you’re in the heat of it, how do you know if you’ve gone overboard? Dr. Linkov says that with Botox, you’re too far once you’ve lost the ability to show emotions through facial expressions and have difficulty animating your face. This low-key sounds like a really good thing that I’d 100% be down for, but it doesn’t look so cute.
In terms of filler, you want to avoid anything that looks disproportionate to the rest of your face. Like, you can legitimately pick anyone from the cast of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and go as far in the opposite direction as possible. The facial procedures are meant to enhance what is already there, not build cheeks from silicone. For lips specifically, you want to avoid an anterior projection that is unnatural, aka you don’t want to look like you’re making the duck face all the time (unless that’s your strategy, then go for it).
How Do You Fix Botched Work?
In his line of work, Dr. Linkov has seen plenty of botched faces. He says the most common type of corrections he performs for non-surgical procedures has to do with too much filler being injected or filler being injected in the wrong place. In that case, he needs to dissolve all the filler and start from scratch.
For surgical facial procedures, rhinoplasty is often one that needs correction. Sometimes too much cartilage is removed during the initial surgery, causing the nose to lose shape or sink in. Or Maybe Becca from Long Island got her nose job the summer before college and did way too much coke so now the bridge of her nose is collapsing. But like who really knows, we all started with a deviated septum anyway, right?
How Do Patients Decide The Best Course Of Treatment?
A lot of what Dr. Linkov spends his time doing is actually talking to patients and truly understanding their concerns. He likes to get a background on what procedures they’ve done prior to coming to see him, as well as their tolerance for various intensities of treatments. It’s also vital that Dr. Linkov has time to properly analyze a client’s face to choose the right method of approach. The bottom line is your surgeon should work with you, not for you, to help determine the best way to achieve what you’re looking for.
When Is The Best Time To Get A Facelift?
Dr. Linkov suggests getting a facelift once the jowls start to show *shivers* and there is some heaviness forming in the neck. Usually, this happens in the mid to late 40s for most women, but it can be later for some lucky betches. The trick, he says, is to do the facelift while the underlying muscle still has good integrity and strength. If you try to get a lift too late, the muscle will have already thinned out and will not support a transformative lift.
Do Facial Gyms Help Wrinkle Prevention?
So apparently taking a spa day to have someone smack your face doesn’t count as going to the gym. Shame. Dr. Linkov says there is very little data to show that facial gyms and wrinkle-prevention exercises actually do anything. In fact, strengthening muscles may even promote wrinkles, since wrinkles are from the activity of the skin’s underlying musculature. It’s fine, you tried.
Who Would Preventative Treatments NOT Be Beneficial For?
If you have limited wrinkles (even when you smile or do a double chin or whatever weird sh*t Snapchat prompts you to do) you don’t actually need preventative botox. Lucky. Fillers, on the other hand, are never really 100% preventative, according to Dr. Linkov, so no one should be trying that out before they want to commit to it.
How Do You Choose A Location And Person?
While these procedures can be pricey, there’s no benefit in trying to cut costs. Dr. Linkov says a lot of people often hunt for the best price per unit of Botox or syringe of filler, but those are also the faces that get botched and have to end up paying more for corrections in the future. Dr. Linkov instead strongly recommends picking a doctor by their experience to treat the face and maintain safety as their top priority. Some treatments can have side effects that range from mild to more severe, so having someone who knows what they’re doing and can do it well is very important. He also suggests that you make sure your injector has the appropriate antidotes, such as hyaluronidase for fillers, and to ask what type of filler is being injected.
What Are Typical Price Points For These Procedures?
Botox: Anywhere from $10-25 per unit or $200-500 per area
Filler: $500-1000 per syringe
Chemical Peel: $200-300 per treatment
Is There Any Downtime?
Botox: Rarely any downtime
Filler: Can have bruising or swelling for up to two weeks, but usually one to two days of downtime
Chemical Peel: Depends on the intensity of the peel, but about one week
Rhinoplasty, Facelift, Liplift: One to two weeks of downtime
What Are The Side Effects?
Botox: Paralysis of neighboring muscles, bruising (rarer)
Filler: Bruising, swelling, vascular occlusion (including skin changes, or in rare cases, blindness)
Chemical Peel: Scarring, skin pigmentation changes
Rhinoplasty: Swelling, bruising, breathing issues, cosmetic deformities
Facelift: Scarring, bleeding, facial nerve damage
If you want to learn more about Dr. Linkov and the procedures he specializes in, feel free to check out his website. To keep up with his daily surgical antics you can follow him on Instagram.
Images: Giphy (2)
If you’ve read any of my articles, you know that I have two obsessions in life: weddings and skin care. I am grateful for overpriced moisturizers the way most people are for their health. Look, I know that most of these designer products are brewed in a lab with the key ingredients of good marketing and absolute bullsh*t, but nothing feels better than slathering a $72 lavender-infused cream on my face at night
and waking up the next day looking the exact same. However, there is something to be said about other beauty treatments that actually do what they say they’ll do so that don’t have to basically throw your money into a cremator at Bloomingdale’s. Well, I’ll be damned! So what are these magical beauty treatments, you ask? I’ll give you a hint, the one and only Lupe Fiasco has an album named after them and that man has an impeccable complexion. Coincidence? I think not. He’s using lasers on that gorgeous mug, y’all!
If, like me, your mind immediately goes to the most painful experience known to humankind, laser hair removal, you aren’t wrong because this treatment is what really kicked off the beauty industry’s exploration into the world of lasers, but there are so many other treatments that neither cost your life savings nor feel like your aesthetician is pouring literal fire on your ~problem areas.~ If your interest is piqued, let me just tell you, it only gets better. I’m talking photofacials and laser genesis. And if you have absolutely no idea what either of those things are, hello same, but fear not because Dr. Steve Fallek, MD of BeautyFix Med Spa has all the answers.
What Is The Difference Between Photofacials And Laser Genesis?
Photofacials use IPL or intense pulse light to lighten the skin. It’s more of a corrective treatment for redness, blemishes, sun spots and about a million other things that separate Paul Rudd the rest of humankind (I imagine). But the lightening is targeted, so you won’t, like, get all your skin lasered off. So now you’re probably wondering how this works, and let me just say, it does work. Dr. Fallek says, “The laser light is absorbed by the red areas of your skin, where it is changed from light to heat. This causes the pigment to ‘break up.’ It promotes collagen and elastin production, too, which leaves your skin feeling and looking more supple.” AKA #skingoals.
Laser genesis is a similar process, but addresses a completely different set of issues associated with anti-aging. Annoying little fine lines and wrinkles are legit zapped by “heating the dermis below the skin’s surface and stimulating collagen production. This treatment will promote vibrant and healthy-looking skin,” Dr. Fallek says. One more selling point before you book your appointment: the results happen within minutes and there’s no downtime for recovery whatsoever. So if immediate gratification gives you all the life you’ll ever need, I assume you’re really feeling laser genesis right about now.
What Are The Side Effects Of Each?
Well, neither of the treatments are invasive so if there are any side effects, they’re really minimal. For instance, Dr. Fallek says that a few side effects of photofacials are “swelling or slight darkening of pigmented areas.” But, he notes, “the redness and mild swelling disappear within a few hours.” That’s to be expected, so it does not sound very intimidating. But, full disclosure, some patients develop a striping pattern, which will slough off within a week or so of the treatment, which, like, gross, but this is not an indication of anything “wrong.”
Laser genesis has no side effects except for an occasional and minimal reddening, which doesn’t happen to everyone who undergoes the treatment. No, really. Dr. Fallek says, “There are no harmful side effects. No irritation and no bruising. The sessions are completed in the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere of our clinic.” And that’s all I have to say about that.
What’s The Laser Protocol?
If you choose photofacials, you’ll have to get between four and six treatments before you really see the results you want, but you’ll start seeing slight improvements with each session, so don’t lose hope if you’re the only one who notices your glow at first. Dr Fallek recommends getting them two weeks apart at first then stopping by for monthly maintenance to upkeep the results. Honestly, that sounds like a lot of work. Laser genesis, however, is pretty immediate, so you’ll see results within minutes, but Dr. Fallek still recommends coming in for four to six treatments because all good things take time, ya know?
Which One Is Better?
Neither is necessarily better than the other, but because laser genesis is meant for all skin types and photofacials are just for lighter skin tones, maybe laser genesis is the winner here. However, they are so similar that you really can’t go wrong (unless you have dark skin and try a photofacial).
However, one major difference between the two treatments that should be taken into account is preparation. Laser genesis requires a lot more prep, plain and simple. Namely, it’s absolutely imperative that you have zero traces of any product or hair on your skin because it makes the laser less effective. Take all of your makeup, moisturizers, and cleanser, and Dr. Fallek also recommends shaving your face beforehand. (Personally, I dermaplane with these cute pastel-colored Dorco Tinkle eyebrow razors. Yes, they are meant for shaping your eyebrows, but as someone who can barely fill them in properly, there is no way I am taking a tiny knife to my brows. So I use these little guys to dermaplane.) Anyway, back to the original question. Both treatments have their benefits, and everyone’s skin is different. While I personally prefer laser genesis, a photofacial may be better for you. Do what your heart (and derm) tells you!
Images: Giphy; Unsplash
I admittedly am not someone that loves to get facials. I think I’ve gotten maybe three at the most in my lifetime. Which is weird considering I’ve pretty much made a living off of testing and reviewing new hair, makeup, and skin care tools, products, and procedures. But for whatever reason, I’ve never been big on facials. That was until I saw the Dermalinfusion treatment pop up on my newsfeed. The facial is a 3-in-1 dermatological treatment that exfoliates, extracts, and infuses the skin with customized serums at the same damn time (*Future voice*). It is described as a safe and effective alternative to microdermabrasion. And, it’s said to instantly hydrate and plump the skin in just one 20 minute treatment.
As soon as I saw the Dermalinfusion device working its magic, I knew I needed to try it out. The device, which is a pen-like tool with a diamond-shaped tip attached by tubes to a tiny machine filled with the customizable serums, essentially suctions, exfoliates, and vacuums away build-up on the skin. Then, it deposits it into a glass cylinder which the patient can then see. (I don’t recommend that if you have a weak stomach, though.)
If we’re being honest, the real reason I wanted to get this procedure done was because I’m a gross person. I wanted to be able to see the gook that came out of my face. Yup, I am that sicko that religiously tags and sends “Dr. Pimple Popper” videos to my friends and family members. I think I even made my mom throw up one time with a particularly bloody cystic pimple clip. So the idea of being able to see what was in my skin after it gets extracted was super appealing to me. The instant results were a nice added bonus.
The cool thing about the Dermalinfusion treatment (besides the fact that you can see what is extracted from your skin) is that it is extremely customizable. It can pretty much be used on any skin type to target each of your skin concern. The treatment can be used as an instant and long-term solution for improving issues like hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun damage, inflammation, fine lines and wrinkles, dry skin, enlarged pores, oily, and congested skin. Depending on your skin concerns, the aesthetician will concoct your custom pro-infusion serum.
Before The Treatment
For my Dermalinfusion treatment, I visited the offices of Dr. Monica L. Halem on the Upper East Side in NYC for an appointment with Medical Aesthetician, Cynthia Rivas. Prior to taking a seat in the facial chair, I talked with Cynthia about my skin concerns. It include enlarged pores, hormonal acne, and blackheads. I also let her know that the tan on my face was in fact from self-tanner (Isle of Paradise’s Purple Self Tanning Drops, to be specific) and not from the sun.
Cynthia then informed me that most of my bronze glow would likely come off during the treatment (and end up in the jar) because of the exfoliation, which I totally understood/was okay with. So for my specific serum, Cynthia mixed up a salicylic acid serum with a hyaluronic acid serum. The salicylic acid was added to clear my pores and then reduce their size, as well as to prevent and fight breakouts, and the hyaluronic acid serum was for hydrating and plumping my skin.
During The Treatment
I showed up to the appointment bare-faced without a stitch of makeup on (I’m so brave). Cynthia assured me, though, that if I had decided to wear makeup, that she would’ve taken it off before the treatment. So I hopped on to the facial chair and Cynthia went to work on my skin. The entire treatment only took about 20 minutes. Unlike a lot of other different types of facials, there was no pain, discomfort, or downtime.
As for the treatment itself, it basically felt like Cynthia was running a tiny vacuum hose along my face. In a weird way, it was kind of soothing. According to the aesthetician, my congested area is along my jawline. So that is the area that she really focused on throughout the treatment. Cynthia was done vacuuming my skin in a shorter amount of time than it takes for me to vacuum my small two bedroom apartment.
After The Treatment
Immediately following the treatment, my skin was just a tiny bit flushed but very plump and lifted. The minor redness was solely a result of the fact that I just spent 20 minutes having my face vacuumed, not because of any irritation. My complexion went back to its natural coloring within just a few minutes. As soon as I walked out of the derm’s office, my formerly enlarged pores appeared to be a lot smaller. I actually looked like I swiped Snapchat’s “pretty filter” across them.
And now for the good part: my glass cylinder of face gunk. The cylinder got filled with a lot of liquid, because there is so much serum that runs through the tubes during the procedure. Not all of it ends up getting infused into your skin. Since I had self-tanner on my face, I had a feeling that my cylinder would be filled with a bronze-like substance. And it definitely was. When Cynthia held the glass up to the light, you could see tiny blackheads, dirt, and impurities floating around in the brownish, yellowish fluid (that admittedly looks kind of like pee.)
My face looked dewy, plump, and smoother as soon as I got up from the facial chair. But I didn’t notice a drastic change in my skin after just one session. I think the Dermalinfusion treatment is great for when you want plumper skin and a quick glow almost instantly. However, it takes more than one treatment to really make a difference in the overall texture of your skin. According to Cynthia, she typically recommends a patient get three treatments about two weeks apart to really see maximum results.
Considering one Dermalinfusion appointment costs about $150 on average, I’d say that it’s worth investing in more than one session to really arrive at the results that you want, versus shelling out $150 just for one session to get a quick, dewy glow, (there’s plenty of serums and at-home face masks you can use for those kinds of quickies.)
Images: Kelsi Zimmerman; Giphy (1); Noah Buscher/Unsplash
I am 24 years old, and up until recently, I thought I knew how to wash my face. Like, I thought the face wash I was using was AMAZING. And it was, it really was. I was obsessed. But after a lovely facial at Massage Envy, I found out from my esthetician that the face wash I was using is not right for my skin type, and it was actually making my skin really irritated. I didn’t even notice. You may think you’re using the right face wash, but you could be wrong. *Gretchen Wieners voice* I always knew my skin was sensitive but had no idea face wash could possibly be harmful to me. Especially because it’s not like I felt it stinging or ripping my face off. So she told me exactly which type of face wash I needed. I got it, and it DOES feel so much gentler on my skin. My mind was blown, and I decided I needed to ask about the correct face washes for each skin type on behalf of y’all. You’re welcome.
Do not waste any more time using a product that is making your skin worse. I asked a few simple questions for each skin type: What type of face wash you should be using, which face products you should be avoiding, other easy steps you can take to make your skin better, what you’re doing that’s making your skin worse, and which facial is best for your skin type. And to make sure I got an expert opinion, I consulted Diana Morrison, the lead esthetician of Massage Envy. She’s the HBIC who told us 3 easy things we can do for healthier skin.
Skin Type: Well-Balanced Or ‘Normal’ Skin
What type of face wash should I use: Look for a middle of the road cleanser that doesn’t contain harsh exfoliants or too many moisturizing ingredients. A person with normal skin should look for a gentle foamy cleanser. This will allow them to cleanse their skin and remove impurities without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. To take the skin to the next level, I recommend a hydrating toner. This will add additional nourishment and vitamins to keep the skin as healthy as possible.
What types of face products should I avoid: For normal skin, the key is to be gentle. Avoid using aggressive scrubs that will over exfoliate the skin and leave it irritated and dry. The goal is to maintain balance.
Is there anything easy I could be doing that could make my skin better?: The ABC method is essential for people with normal skin. The A, is a vitamin A, like a retinol for use at night. This can help promote cellular rejuvenation while we sleep and keep skin youthful. The B is a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Everyone should be wearing an SPF 30 every day. Even if you are not spending a lot of time outside, it is important to protect your skin. Try to look for a sunscreen that has extra benefits like hydration, or a moisturizer that has SPF. C is for Vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin. I recommend using a Vitamin C day serum. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, which is the building block of our skin.
Anything I might be doing that could be making my skin worse?: The most important thing is to find balance in your skincare. Have fun with your regimen, but don’t over do it. At home, face masks can be beneficial, but over exfoliating will leave the skin dry and flakey. It’s also important to not pick at breakouts and spread bacteria. You should also avoid tanning. There are many disadvantages to tanning but what most people don’t know is that the UVA and UVB rays activate enzymes that eat away at the collagen in the skin. Collagen is the building block of the skin and essential for maintaining a youthful, plump, healthy complexion.
What type of facial is best for me: Someone with normal skin should look for a vitamin-rich facial to rejuvenate, nourish, and refresh skin. At Massage Envy, our Healthy Skin Facials incorporate Murad’s Multi-Vitamin Infusion Oil to give skin a dose of vitamins A-F.
Skin Type: Dry
What type of face wash should I use: Someone with dry skin should stick to a creamy cleanser. It is important to gently cleanse the skin without stripping away oils. Infusing hydration with a cleanser will also help keep the skin nourished. Micellar water can be used as an alternative cleanser for dry skin.
What types of face products should I avoid: It is best to avoid mattifying products that are meant to dry out the skin. Salicylic acid has a lot of benefits but is simply too harsh for someone with dry skin. Stay away from anything that will accentuate dryness. Even when using makeup, heavy powders will dull out the skin. For the best results, use products that add luminosity and give a healthy glow.
Is there anything easy I could be doing that could make my skin better?: Facial oils can be a lifesaver for people with dry skin. Using the right amount in the morning will allow the oil to absorb into the skin, giving a plumping and luminous glow. It is also important to moisturize often and drink a lot of water. Healthy skin can start from the inside out.
Anything I might be doing that could be making my skin worse?: Over-exfoliating is dry skin’s worst nightmare. A lot of people with dry and flaky skin try to over exfoliate it to get rid of dead skin cells. But in reality, they should be moisturizing and hydrating internally and externally.
What type of facial is best for me: A healthy skin facial works best for people with dry skin. Enzyme facials yield amazing results. The enzymes act like pacman and gently digest the old, dead surface cells on the skin. This allows moisturizers to absorb better and help with an overall healthy glow.
Skin Type: Oily
What type of face wash should I use: Foam cleansers work best for people with oily skin to remove oil, makeup, and sunscreen. Look for foam cleansers with lactic acid and salicylic acid. They remove impurities and tend to be a bit more drying, which helps control oil production while leaving the skin feeling clean.
What types of face products should I avoid: When it comes to oily skin, it is all about finding a balance in oil production. Anything too occlusive will not let your skin breathe and can lead to clogged pores and acne.
Is there anything easy I could be doing that could make my skin better?: For oily skin, I recommend a corrective serum. Topical products with AHAs like glycolic acid or lactic acid work throughout the day to help dissolve buildup and impurities in the skin. Salicylic acid also has many benefits. It helps balance the skin while acting as an anti-bacterial to effectively kill breakouts.
Anything I might be doing that could be making my skin worse?: The worst thing for oily, acne prone skin is to pick at breakouts. Most of the time, our bodies detoxify the breakout internally and can clear it up on its own. However, if you do decide to manually extract a breakout, make sure the skin is soft. It is important to be as safe and clean as possible when extracting breakouts. A misconception about oily skin is that you do not need a moisturizer. However, people with oily skin need the balance of a squeaky-clean feel and moisture. I recommend a lightweight, water-based moisturizer that will leave the skin looking balanced and healthy.
What type of facial is best for me: Massage Envy’s Microderm Infusion treatment is effective for people with oily skin who do not have active breakouts.
Skin Type: Combination Skin
What type of face wash should I use: For combination skin, it is important to treat the dry and oily parts of the skin differently. I recommend a double cleanse. First, use a light, foamy cleanser that is not too drying. Then, use a corrective cleanser with a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to treat oily and congested areas. The cleansers are most effective when paired with a corrective toner.
What types of face products should I avoid: With combination skin, it is important to find a balance. I do not recommend using anything that is too drying or too moisturizing.
Is there anything easy I could be doing that could make my skin better?: I recommend using a corrective serum. Anything with glycolic acid AHA works well with combination skin. I would pair this with a light moisturizer that is water-based and nourishing.
Anything I might be doing that could be making my skin worse?: Using any product that treats one extreme or another can have negative results on the skin.
What type of facial is best for me: A chemical exfoliation helps yield the best results for combination skin. Massage Envy offers Healthy Skin Facials that are personalized for the client’s skincare needs. Microderm Infusions also work to give a gentle exfoliation and clear the surface of dead skin cells.
About Diana Morrison (Lead Esthetician of Massage Envy):
Diana Morrison is the Lead Esthetician of Massage Envy. She has been a dual licensed massage therapist and esthetician for over 10 years. Diana has practiced in multiple modalities, including both spa and clinical treatments, such as highly experiential facial and body wrap treatments, advanced skin care such as microdermabrasion with a chemical peel, dermaplaning, high frequency.
If you, like me, spent the last week
getting fucked up celebrating v important calendar dates such as the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo then, first of all, I applaud you. Second of all, please tell me your skin is as fucked up as mine is rn. I’m really just amazed that my skin only sabotages me every once in a while considering all of the shit I put it through on a daily basis. See, I like to do this thing where I “treat myself” sevenish days of the week—it’s sort of like playing Russian roulette with my skin but instead of bullets it’s massive amounts of alcohol and pizza. I know, I’m a peach. ANYWAY, I am sure I’m not alone out there so because I’m feeling charitable and also because I’m already counting down the minutes until it’s 5pm and socially acceptable to open wine, here’s a list of the best alcohol and face mask pairings to get you started on your happy hour skin care journey.
1. Champagne + Bubbles Mask
Get it? I’m pairing bubbles with bubbles? Okay, not super original SO SUE ME. But this will look v cute on Instagram and isn’t that really all we’re striving for here? Try E.L.F’s Hydrating Bubble Mask for a frothy face mask that’s more fun than a Snapchat filter and it also nourishes the fuck out of your skin.
2. Cosmopolitan + Detox Mask
This is for all my city girls out there who have to deal with garbage humans who literally shit on public transportation (seriously, I saw this happen once). A detox mask is the perfect way to refresh your skin after a long week of dealing with psychopaths on the subway, and we suggest using Caudalie Instant Detox Mask in particular. The natural clay ingredients give your skin a deep cleanse while also leaving your face smooth and your complexion even. And before you start talking shit, I know no one drinks Cosmopolitans anymore because it’s not the year 2000, but I’m suggesting this pairing anyways because it seems v sad to make yourself a vodka cran to Netflix and chill… alone. Just saying.
3. Boxed Wine + Peel Off Mask
I’m not sure who still drinks wine out of a box, but I’m assuming it’s the same person who buys their face masks from the sales section at Walmart. I assume. Masque Bar Luminizing Charcoal Peel Off Mask is going to be your go-to mask. Both this mask and boxed wine are cheap AF but still v effective and will get the job done during desperate, desperate times.
4. Bordeaux + Clay Mask
Bordeaux were legit made for drinking in a clay mask. They’re full-bodied and earthy just like the shit you’re putting on your face rn. This is the kind of shit someone like, say, Hannah Baker would sip and savor and then plan out how to be extra AF from beyond the grave (I assume). Pair a clay mask, like Aveda Deep Cleansing Herbal Clay Masque, with any bordeaux. Any betch with combination skin will feel blessed AF using this mask because it draws out impurities from the skin while also absorbing any excess oil. FML forever it is not.
5. Wine Cooler + Anti Aging Mask
It seemed fitting to pair something that’s supposed to reclaim your youth with a drink that no one above the age of 19 drinks. Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Baby Facial is perfect for any skin type and its main goal is to “minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, refine pores, and boost overall clarity and radiance.” And a bonus is that you can now enjoy the wine cooler in the privacy of your own home instead of the local Wawa parking lot. Blessings.
6. Pinot Grigio + Hydrating Mask
Pinot Grigio is basically like water, which is not a fact but just my personal opinion—it’s light, refreshing, and I drink 8 glasses of it a day. Hydrating masks, like Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask, go perfectly with Pinot Grigio. Made of almond oil, hyaluronic acid, licorice root, lemon fruit, honey, and aloe—it’s divine served chilled (both the wine and the mask) and will refresh the fuck out of your face. But, like, I’ve also heard white wine will give you a skin disease so there’s really conflicting information over here. Like can we get someone on this please? GOP, can we stop trying to ruin the health care system and instead focus on the more important issues at hand, like, is my Pinot Grigio safe?? K, thx.
7. Tequila Shots + The Trend Mask
I never advise taking tequila shots because no matter how many articles I read about tequila making your bones healthy or adding years to your life I’m convinced it’s all just fake news. There’s no way that tequila, the same alcohol that
my sorority sisters people do body shots with and convinced me to get my belly button pierced at 20 years old on spring break, is actually good for you. That being said, you’re going to need all the shots when you try out any sort of trend mask that’s being pimped out hyped hard by teenagers on Instagram. Especially the Hanacure gel mask because this is the face that will look back at you in the mirror and it is terrifying:
^^actual footage of me looking at my reflection rn
But South Koreans did come up with this product so you know it’s some good shit. It pulls tightly on your skin, totally warping your face until you look old as hell, but when you take off the mask it leaves your skin looking 10 years younger by reducing wrinkles and your pore size.
Is your skin tired and sad? Did winter leave its mark worse than that guy who gave you hickeys in high school? Are zits making their presence known among the debris field that is your face—which includes dry skin land mines and crater-esque dark spots? We feel you. Winter is a time not only for acquiring a boyfriend and gaining four pounds, but also for dull, dry skin that screams “I’ve been inside for five months straight.” But like, it’s summer now and you will soon be required to leave your house and show your face both in public and on Instagram. To combat all the damage winter did to your attractiveness level, we recommend making yourself (and TREATING YO’SELF) to an at-home facial. Going to an actual spa requires driving, a bra, and making your hair look normal—none of which seem to fit with this whole “pamper yourself” thing, so here’s our guid to spa-level skin treatments that you can do while binge watching Netflix in your pajamas.
1. For Brightness:
Mix together the juice from one fresh lemon and ¼ cup sweet almond oil. Pat on to your face, wait about 15 minutes, then rinse off. The Vitamin C will brighten your skin and the almond oil will sooth all the dryness winter left behind.
2. For Dry, Pimply Skin:
Mash together 2 tbsps of all natural raw honey, one banana, and ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt. Yummy. Smear over your face and let sit for 20 minutes before washing off. This shit’ll have your skin smoother, softer, and less sad.
3. For Peely Skin:
Feelin’ parched? Mix together ½ an avocado, 2 tbsps raw honey, and ½ tsp coconut oil. Smooth over face and leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. The avocado and coconut get skin some much-needed moisture while the honey actually acts as an antiseptic and soother.
4. For When You’re Tired Or Puffy:
Caffeine is ALWAYS our friend, and it turns out smearing coffee all over your face isn’t so crazy after all. Mix together 2 tbsps ground coffee, 2 tbsps cocoa powder, 1 tbsp of honey, and 3 tbsps whole fat plain Greek yogurt. Spread over your face, let sit for 15 minutes, then wash off.
5. For When You Want Both A Smoothie And A Facial:
Yeah we hear you with that whole double duty thing. Mix together ¼ cups mashed strawberries, 2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tbsp yogurt, and 2 tbsps honey. Pat onto face and let sit for 10 minutes. Wipe off and rinse. Use leftovers with almond milk and boom, breakfast.
If you were watching the Oscars last night and were trying to figure out how these people show up looking fucking flawless, join the club. Celebs obviously have to be abnormally skinny and good-looking by default, but like, at what cost? I mean, don’t get me wrong—Emma Stone looked pretty decent in Lala Land, but professionals are paid to edit that shit.
What in the Steve Harvey happened last night? Read our Oscars recap!
We wanted to know what kind of prep goes on before the red carpet, so we did some research into the glamorous lives (and weird diets) of Hollywood’s elite. If you thought stars were actually just like us, think again. Here’s what the celebs do to get ready for the red carpet:
1. They Get Their Faces Shaved
This is not a joke, and it’s not a mistake that some 6th grade girl made because she was too scared to ask her mom for a wax. Celebs literally get their faces shaved before the red carpet and the treatment is technically called Dermaflash. Apparently, by getting rid of some excess peach fuzz and exfoliating your skin, you get that extra fresh glow that “flashing” provides. J.Lo and Jennifer Garner were both spotted getting their “flashing” done at the Beverly Hills Hot Springs and their skin is unreal, so like, we’re trying not to judge.
2. They Get Their Cheekbones Accentuated
We’ve been getting facials before events ever since our middle school graduations, but when it comes to award shows, celebs go to specific professionals who know how to literally manipulate your face to look better on camera. There are specific pros in LA that will only take nominees’ appointments on the day of the Oscars. For example, celeb fave Joanna Vargas is known for her Oxygen Purifying Facial, which uses medical-grade oxygen to erase dull skin and create finer lines to get your cheekbones to look like they’re popping out of your face. Goals, right?
3. They Get Blood Injected Into Their Faces
Botox appointments are just as regular as teeth cleanings in the celeb world, but when it comes to the Oscars, the regular injection doesn’t make the cut. Celebs like Kim Kardashian swear by the “Vampire Facial Lift,” which literally injects blood back into your face by using platelet rich plasma. Apparently it helps make your eyes look wider and your skin look super rejuvenated, and results are immediate. BRB, throwing up.
4. They Wrap Ice Cubes Onto Their Faces
A few days before the show, celebs are having this funky ice concoction wrapped onto their faces. Dr. Nigma Talib, an LA-based naturopathic doctor, works with stars before the Oscars through “icing” their faces. Icing is a process meant to de-puff your face, make your pores more refined, and take away any redness in your skin. She mixes together cucumber water, aloe vera juice, turmeric root, and water into a blender, and then freezes the liquid in an ice tray. Once they’re frozen, she wraps the ice cubes in a washcloth onto their skin until it’s all melted. Sounds pretty unpleasant and it’s probably freezing AF. Aren’t they cold enough from dieting all year-round?
5. They Put Jellyfish On Their Faces
This is another treatment that is super trendy right now in Hollywood, and it sounds like a high school bio experiment we decided to ditch. The jellyfish mask is made from jellyfish collagen, which is supposed to hydrate and firm your face to give you a youthful glow on camera. I don’t even wanna know how much this absurd treatment costs, but you couldn’t pay me to stick a jellyfish on my face. I know it makes you look good, but there are Instagram filters that do that too. We will be doing a follow-up analysis on if anybody ever has to have their face peed on if this treatment goes wrong.
6. They Cut Out Sugar, Gluten, Dairy, & Booze
Try telling a waiter that you’re sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and you don’t need a cocktail menu either. Celebs like Kate Bosworth, Penelope Cruz, and Sienna Miller follow this no-fun diet for weeks leading up to the Oscars, and it sounds pretty brutal. The worst part is, they probably can’t even complain about it because all their famous friends are on the same fucking diet. I just hope they at least get shitfaced at the afterparty.
The Best & Worst Beauty Looks From The Oscars