Monthly archive for March 2016

Forget the Cover-Up – Use This Trick to Combat Under-Eye Circles

Under-eye circles are an issue that continues to befuddle the beauty community, despite concerted efforts to uncover the cause of – and solution to – the problem. Everyone seems to have their preferred plan of attack when it comes to covering up discoloration, whether it’s masks, concealer , foundation, or another clever idea.

But during a recent visit to the Erno Laszlo Institute in Manhattan, my eyes were opened to a new approach: a gentle massage. Judit Galambosi, a lead therapist with over 15 years of experience, shared a fascinating approach to combatting the nuisance of under-eye circles.

Judit also explained why, exactly, under-eye circles occur. She cites five main reasons, including genetics, allergies, age, hyperpigmentation, and lifestyle factors. But no matter the cause, she advocates a four-step process that will aid circulation around the eye. The massage trick helps to disperse toxins that may linger in the area, and in so doing, reduces the appearance of under-eye discoloration.

Judit’s method:

  1. Select a thick under-eye cream, such as Erno Laszlo’s Phormula 3-9 Eye Repair ($175).
  2. Using the ring fingers on each hand, pat the cream into your under-eye area from the inner corner of your eyes to the outer. Use gentle pressure. Repeat three times.
  3. Repeat this process on the bone underneath each eyebrow. Again, use gentle pressure and pat from the inner to outer region.
  4. Use ring fingers to gently push – or glide – over the eye cream underneath the eye. Do this three times in one continuous motion.

30 Skin Care Rules For 30-Somethings Who Want to Age Slowly

There are plenty of us in our 30s who want to hold off on invasive skin care procedures but still – ya know – have killer, wrinkle-less skin. Is that too much to ask?

Advice on how to best maintain a dewy glow and lineless visage varies, of course, depending on one’s age. But fortunately for those of us in life’s fourth decade, Dr. Karyn Grossman , an LA-based dermatologist who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow , Molly Sims, and many more stars, is here to help. Dr. Grossman is a Harvard-educated dermatologist who is known for using the best technology, both old and new, to combat antiaging with the most natural-looking results possible.

During her years of experience – and the process of formulating her own upcoming skin care line called KARYNG – Dr. Grossman knows what works for her clients at every stage of life. She knows that, in particular, the 30s are a decisive decade. It’s finally time to get serious about skin care and to establish a dedicated routine. By following these 30 steps, Dr. Grossman believes that it’s possible to keep a youthful look for a very long time.

  1. Always clean your skin in the morning.
  2. Choose gentle cleansers; don’t pick a product that strips the skin.
  3. If you’re in a pinch, it’s OK to even just wash with water.
  4. Make sure to use SPF in the morning, whether it’s a lightweight or heavy-duty formulation.
  5. Apply SPF before makeup.
  6. Follow this order: cleanser, serum, sunblock, moisturizer.
  7. Go oil free with your products and cleansers if you’re acne-prone.
  8. Moisturize as much as your skin needs depending on dryness.
  9. Be careful with scrubs; they can cause micro-tears in the skin.
  10. Always take off your makeup at night.
  11. Makeup remover pads are your friend.
  12. Let thoughts of your skin at 50, 60, 70, and beyond inspire your dedication to taking care of your skin.
  13. Avocado face masks are a good DIY option.
  14. And coconut oil is a great, natural moisturizer for the body.
  15. Remember tans are not good for your skin. A tan means DNA is breaking.
  16. If you have pigmentation, use prescription remedies for only a limited amount of time.
  17. Natural products including licorice and mushroom extract are also good ways to address pigmentation issues.
  18. To combat acne, over-the-counter products work – but moisturize to compensate for the dryness they cause.
  19. For blackheads or cysts, turn to a low-percentage alpha-hydroxy treatment.
  20. If you have significant problems with acne, see a professional.
  21. Find your preferred antiaging cream; it’s time to use it.
  22. At night, apply serum.
  23. Then add moisturizer.
  24. Learn to love collagen-promoting products. Collagen keeps the skin thick and youthful looking.
  25. You don’t need Botox until you see wrinkles on your face at rest. And then you still don’t need it.
  26. Don’t overdo it on procedures. You don’t want to be in your 30s with a frozen face.
  27. Facials can be particularly effective to treat antiaging if they include light fraxel laser treatment, a targeted process that works under the skin to reduce wrinkles and promote collagen.
  28. Pay attention to what you eat. Vitamin-packed foods are good for your skin.
  29. Stay hydrated; water is necessary for good skin, but drinking it in excess doesn’t have major effects.
  30. Don’t stress – every age is beautiful.

5 No-Fail Beauty Tips I Learned on the Set of Telenovelas

Singer, actress, fashion designer, entrepreneur, writer, and mom of two Thalia shares her parenting, lifestyle, fashion, and beauty tips as POPSUGAR Latina’s contributor.

After appearing in so many telenovelas and working with so many different makeup artists, makeup brands, and hairstylists who changed my look for each role and sometimes several times in one day, I walked away with a few tricks up my sleeve. Here are five of my favorite and most useful ones.


Follow Thalia on Twitter , Instagram , and Facebook .

10 Aluminum-Free Deodorants That Actually Keep You Stink Free

You can’t talk about natural deodorants without a quick lesson in B.O. 101 . First you need to know the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. An antiperspirant has chemicals like aluminum to stop sweating altogether. The aluminum salts plug the sweat glands, preventing perspiration. On the other hand, a deodorant masks and neutralizes odor. But where does the stink come from in the first place? When the glands in your armpits emit sweat, the liquid interacts with the bacteria in the area to emit unsavory smells.

Natural deodorants use essential oils like tea tree and witch hazel to curb the bacteria. Some also have other less harmful minerals like zinc ricinoleate and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to keep the underarm area dry without stopping sweat altogether. In addition to getting rid of aluminum, most are also paraben free and safe for sensitive skin. If you’re thinking about giving up antiperspirant for Earth Month, start with these 10 formulas that actually keep the stink at bay.

This 3-Product DIY Face Mask With Egg Whites Will Give You Clear Skin

The first thing I think about when I wake up on a Saturday morning is eggs. Before you start making brunch , you may want to save a few eggs for a DIY face mask. According to celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas, egg whites are a key ingredient in a natural skin care remedy.

“Egg whites are very effective in keeping the pores clean and are usually in everyone’s kitchen!” she says. “It exfoliates, hydrates, evens pigment, and cleans the pores. It’s a complete multitasker.” This is especially true if you have acne, since egg whites are wonderful for clarifying.

Try Joanna’s DIY Blackhead Busting Egg Mask for clearer skin in a pinch. You’ll need one egg white, one teaspoon lemon juice, and one teaspoon organic yogurt.

To create the mask, beat one egg white with one teaspoon lemon juice until it gets fluffy. Then, add one teaspoon yogurt. Mix all ingredients thoroughly, and apply directly to the skin. Leave on for 10 minutes, then remove with a warm cloth.

This combination is effective because egg whites are high in protein, which absorbs excess oil from the skin. Lemon juice works as an antiseptic so it gets rid of bacteria (which causes breakouts). Yogurt balances out the detoxifying egg whites and lemon by adding hydration.

“It won’t leave your skin dry, even though it’s clarifying,” Joanna explains. “Yogurt is a great base for anyone’s skin because it’s both soothing and exfoliating. The egg whites help clean out the pores while the lemon juice leaves a bright glow.”

Joanna recommends this remedy for all skin types, but especially if you have normal to oily skin. “It’s a great solution for anyone who struggles to keep their skin clean, and it’s so much better for you than picking at your face,” she advises. “It’s especially great for younger women who are struggling with hormonal breakouts but also have dry skin.”

Looks like you can cure your hungover face and stomach all at once !

These Are the Natural Deodorants That Actually Work

This post was originally featured on Defining Delphine and was written by Annie Langbein , who is a part of POPSUGAR Select Beauty .

On my desk I have a notebook with a list of topics I’m planning to cover for the blog. I’m always adding quicker than I’m able to cross off. Some ideas live there for months – perhaps the research takes a long time, the season isn’t quite right, the idea still incubating. Other ideas jump right to the top of the queue, popping on and off the pad in a day because I want to get the idea onto the blog immediately.

I have had “natural deodorant” scribbled on that pad for a year.

The reason it’s taken me so long to get this post up is not for lack of focus. Rather, there’s very little existing literature on the topic, and it’s taken me that long to find options that I can credibly recommend. The truth is, the vast majority of natural deodorants on the market are weak-to-useless.

Switching to a natural deodorant from Secret, my chemical-based, commercial-brand anti-perspirant of choice, was a change I felt determined to make. Increasingly, I couldn’t fight logic. Sweat glands perform an important anatomical purpose of purging toxins; it just doesn’t seem right to stop them up with chemicals. But this post isn’t intended to be a debate on that topic. You can look into the studies yourself and decide how you feel about possible links between anti-perspirant chemicals and health problems (cancer, Alzheimer’s and various hormone disruptions). This post is intended to be a guide through the product options for those who want to explore the natural route.

Here’s a refresher course on underarm hygiene to provide some context:

First of all, anti-perspirant and deodorant are two different things.

An anti-perspirant’s function is to prevent perspirating all together. It clogs or blocks the sweat glands with chemical astringents such as aluminum chlorohydrate and zirconium so that the pores can’t release sweat. Typically, anti-perspirants are also coupled with deodorant for maximum freshness. Generally speaking, only chemical plugs will prevent the body from excreting sweat altogether. Some natural deodorants may show some ability to block moisture but there’s no natural anti-perspirant that can keep you as dry as a chemical one.

A deodorant controls odor. It either contains antiseptic (antimicrobial) agents which directly wipe out bacteria or it contains agents that make your underarm skin too salty or acidic for bacteria to live. Fragrance is incorporated to please your nose. To achieve all of this, natural deodorants use natural antiseptic agents and fragrant essential oils. Chemical deodorants use chemical ingredients (such as triclosan) to neutralize odor-causing bacteria, and synthetic fragrances, dyes, and preservatives.

I wouldn’t earn my blogging stripes without doing my research first-hand, so over the past year, I’ve sampled my way through a multitude of natural deodorants. I don’t think I offended anyone too badly during the last year, although there were some pretty impressive product fails before I stumbled across the wins.

Before I get to the picks, here are some things to consider when making the switch from synthetic to natural:

1. There’s an adjustment period: In my earliest phase of research, I asked my dermatologist (at Northwestern, legit) if I should worry about Secret’s hazardous chemicals being absorbed into my underarm lymphnodes. His response? “Yeah, it’s not good.” Then I followed up with “could you recommend an alternative?” In an unusual moment of doctor candor, he said “Actually, I don’t wear anything. After a while, you kind of stop smelling.” I left his office wondering if he offered wisdom or self-deception. My conclusion, some months later, was that he was onto something. Since switching to natural I’ve noticed a reduction in my body’s sweat production.

You may also experience a peak in sweating right after switching to a natural deodorant. You’ve been using chemicals for a long time so your body has had to work harder to try to expel toxins. When you switch over you may experience excess sweat and odor. Wait it out – you’ll likely notice that the body figures out your product change and cuts back on the overproduction.

2. Don’t be afraid of a little sweat: First of all, sweat doesn’t stain your clothes. That’s a big mis-conception. Yellow stains are actually caused by the aluminum-based ingredients in your anti-perspirant upon interaction with your sweat. A natural deodorant can effectively eliminate odor and won’t leave stains, but it’s likely you will still experience some moisture, and you know what? It’s not that big of a deal.

3. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution: people are different, and their body chemistries are different based on genetics and environmental factors. Your own sweating habits may fluctuate enormously based on exercise, diet, hormones, and seasons. This means you may have to try a few before finding your personal best fit.

4. Tricks of the trade:

• If you extinguish any lingering bacteria before applying your natural deodorant, it will give your natural deodorant the best chance of working longer. The quick approach: rinse your armpits with an anti-bacterial soap right before applying deodorant. If you’d rather your skin not have contact with the chemicals in anti-bacterial soap (understandable – many of them, like triclosan, are the same ones you are trying to avoid in chemical deodorants), there are excellent natural options. Soak a cotton pad in white vinegar, apple cider vinegar or witch hazel and pat underarms with it. This will lower the skin’s PH to a level at which bacteria cannot survive. Grain alcohol is also an effective, safe option to eliminate bacteria (rubbing alcohol has some other harsh stuff in it that I wouldn’t want to apply to my skin regularly).

• The best time to apply deodorant is at night when sweat production is at its lowest. The ingredients in your natural deodorant can really coat the skin and get a head start on the next day. Apply the following morning too.

Why Shay Mitchell Used to Hide Her Filipina Heritage

I’d like to believe Shay Mitchell and I would be best friends. Aside from the fact that I’m not a big pizza person (and Shay is obsessed!), we have a lot in common. Our favorite esthetician is Shani Darden . We both create content for YouTube. She’s really into skin care and makeup, as am I! And she’s a total girls’ girl but can get down with the boys, too. (Plus, she’s on one of the most scandalous and morbid shows on the tube, Pretty Little Liars, and I love anything creepy or horror-genre related.)

Shay joined us on this week’s episode of #PrettyUnfiltered while promoting her new partnership with Bioré , and having interviewed her once before, I knew that she was going to be fun but also genuine – something that’s absolutely necessary for our series. After an outfit change on her part, we kicked off our shoes and got to talking.

Shay is half Filipina, and growing up, she felt like she didn’t fit in. She explained that she felt insecure in school, which most of us can relate to, but her insecurities were mostly due to the fact that she didn’t look like most of her friends. She had darker skin and features; everyone else was white and blond.

I was also totally blown away to hear that Shay used to dye her hair blond and wear contacts in an effort to alter her image. She explains how she came to embrace herself and how she built up her confidence, and she told us an amazing quote her mother shared with her as a kid. Check out the interview with Shay, and then let us know what empowers you by hashtagging #PrettyUnfiltered.

On Kirbie: Rebecca Vallance top and skirt
On Shay: Hair by Rod Ortega , makeup by Mario Dedivanovic

You'll Be Surprised by How Simple Kendall Jenner's Beauty Routine Is

While we can appreciate the difference between Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s individual looks , it’s Kendall’s flawless complexion and natural beauty that we most envy. Lucky for us, the 20-year-old Estée Lauder ambassador spilled her surprisingly simple beauty tips to MIMI , which we no doubt will be applying to our nighttime regimen tonight. For Kendall, it’s all about hydrating and keeping things to a minimum. Scroll to find out how you too can achieve model-like skin .

Kylie Jenner's Favorite Blemish Zapper Is a Beauty Editor Favorite

I’m sure you thought that the trick to Kylie Jenner having clear skin is just: “being 18 years old!” We’ve got a sense of humor about all things Kardashian, too. But it’s time everyone realizes that Kylie Jenner is a beauty afficionado. You might not like her “glam,” you might think she’s too young to enhance her looks, but time and time again, Kylie has proven to us that she knows the biz. Whether she’s snapping about a $9 drugstore makeup remover (albeit, hers is monogrammed and bedazzled), touting a shade from her lip kit , or breaking down her favorite faux lashes , we consistently favor Kylie’s favorite products. Which is why we’re not surprised that she is in-the-know about spot treatments.

Kylie recently snapped about the aforementioned makeup remover, Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate ($46) and the holy grail of spot treatments, otherwise known as Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion ($17). Beauty editors and skin care junkies love this product because it works: it reduces the size of the blemish and the redness overnight and can even bring blemishes to the surface for easier extractions.

Kylie filmed a mini Snapchat demo on how to use the product, emphasizing that you do not shake the product, but instead use a cotton swab to dip into the solution and spot treat. I personally fell in love with this brand in middle school after reading that Hilary Duff loved the rosewater spray. The Drying Lotion works wonders for breakouts, and at almost $20, it’s a considerable beauty investment – but worth every penny. (It lasts you months, though, so it definitely gives major bang for your bucks.) We even made a homemade version – that’s how much we adore it.

I spoke with Mario Badescu ‘s PR manager, Nicole Darmanin, to see if Kylie’s influence affected sales of the product. “After Kylie snapped, we immediately started receiving phone calls and there was an instant uptick in sales. The Kylie buzz was instantaneous!” said Darmanin. Ah, Kylie Jenner : a modern-day beauty savant. Perhaps she has a future as an editor? (You know, after running her Lip Kit empire.)

Everything You Need to Know Before You Get a Wedding Spray Tan

You’ve planned every detail of your wedding : found your something blue , mastered your makeup look , and even nailed down all of your bridesmaids’ hairstyles . Type A ? It’s OK – it’s your day. And the last thing you want is for something like a spray-tan mishap – such as a bronze formula smeared on your dream white dress – distracting you from the magic of your big day.

We know wearing white can be daunting, so you’re probably going to want to get some sort of faux glow (you’ve been wearing plenty of SPF, right? ). So we created this special spray-tan guide just for brides. Once you’ve brushed up on the ABCs of tanning and how to exfoliate , read on to score tips from Jessica Bringas, the self-tanning pro at Oasis Day Spa in New York City.

POPSUGAR: When is the perfect time to get your spray tan?

Jessica Bringas: I would definitely suggest doing it two days before your wedding so you will have already washed off the first layer of the tan, it will have settled into your skin, and you can add your own moisturizer. You also have the ability to see how it turned out and make sure that it’s perfect. And if, god forbid, it isn’t [right], you have some time to get it fixed or touched up.

PS: Is there any chance it will get on your white dress?

JB: No, because it already has sunk into your skin. Once you shower and rinse off that [extra formula] – which is just bronzer, not the actual tan itself – you’ll be left with just the color on your skin.

PS: White is an extreme color to wear with a tan. How should you pick what bronze shade to do?

JB: Go by what your base color already is. So if it’s in the middle of the Summer and you’ve been at the beach this whole time, obviously you are going to be darker than you would be during the wintertime. So then you can go a shade darker. I don’t suggest doing anything more than a few shades darker than your natural skin tone, because that tends to look more artificial. You also want to choose a shade according to your features – your hair and eye color. So if you have dark hair and eyes, then you can get away with a darker tan. If you are blond with blue eyes and freckles, you want a hue that’s a bit lighter.

PS: What’s the best way to convey the color you want to be to the person doing your spray tan?

JB: I always try to get a good idea by mentioning a celebrity whom a lot of people know. For example, I often suggest Jennifer Lopez ‘s bronze, because she looks amazing, but at the same time, she’s not superdark or artificial-looking. She has that caramel sun-kissed color.

PS: What should you look for in a tanning salon?

JB: Choose a place that doesn’t use the same shade for everyone – that’s a bad sign, a really bad sign. And find out what kind of spray-tan formula they use. At Oasis Day Spa, we use SunFX, which is organic and hardly has a smell. Plus, it has a nice green undertone, which cancels out any chance of looking orange.

10 Tips to Make Your Next Bikini Wax Nearly Painless

We’re convinced only masochists look forward to a bikini wax, but you may need to take care of business before your next Summer weekend beach trip. But it doesn’t have to hurt quite so badly. There are ways you can reduce the pain. If you’re new to waxing, start out with a professional to see how it’s done. After a few times, you might want to try doing it at home to save a few bucks. Either way, to learn how to keep pain at bay, keep reading.

  1. Plan to wax after your period. Your pain threshold is higher in the week after your period than beforehand. Think of it like this: if sappy commercials make you cry when you’re premenstrual, having wax applied to your dainty bits certainly will.
  2. Lose your self-consciousness. Yes, a stranger is going to see you wearing, at most, a paper thong. Don’t worry about offending her or feeling embarrassed. It’s nothing she hasn’t seen before. The less anxious you are, the less you’ll worry about pain.
  3. Start off slowly. Your first bikini wax is not the time to try a Brazilian. If you’re new to waxing, go with a basic bikini wax. If you want to remove more, there’s always next time.
  4. Exfoliate. The day before you decide to wax, exfoliate in the shower. This will remove dead skin, allowing the wax to grip shorter hairs.
  5. Speak up. A good esthetician will work with you to make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be. Don’t be too shy to say something if you have a low pain tolerance – it’s better to speak up than to suffer in silence.
  6. Use hard wax. Hard wax is gentler than soft wax, so visit a spa that uses it.
  7. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. About an hour before your appointment, take an Advil, Tylenol, or other pain reliever.
  8. Breathe. It can be tempting to hold your breath, but breathing in and out helps reduce the pain. Take a deep breath in when the wax goes on, then breathe out when your esthetician gives it a yank.
  9. Know which parts are most sensitive. You wouldn’t expect it, but having hair pulled from the lower abdomen area is more painful than it is around the vaginal opening.
  10. Turn your head and cough. An esthetician at Bliss taught us this trick: when the wax is about to be ripped off, cough. Sounds weird, but it distracts from the pain.

This Ingredient Is the Secret to Making Your Cellulite Temporarily Disappear

We have bad and good news. The bummer: cellulite is practically impossible to get rid of . The picker-upper: there’s one readily available ingredient that, according to some studies , might make its appearance less noticeable, and that is coffee.

No, we’re not telling you to up your Starbucks runs , but to rub it directly on your skin by using a scrub in the bath or shower right before getting in a swimsuit or wearing supershort shorts. See, the antioxidants and caffeine in coffee, combined with the scrubbing motion, can dilate blood vessels and stimulate circulation to reduce the puckered appearance of skin. So just in time for Spring break and Summer, we give you a few shopping options that might do the trick.

This Instagram Movement Will Make You Stop Photoshopping Your Face

The morning I took the selfie ahead , I did not feel good about my skin. It was blotchy and dull, and I had a few breakouts. I attempted to take a Snapchat but immediately deleted it, because the results were not flattering. Since I was into my hair that day (shout-out to Jen Atkin’s line, Ouai , which gave me those air-dried beach waves), I wanted to make it work. So I blended some of Charlotte Tilbury’s new Magic Foundation onto my face, along with Clé de Peau Beauté concealer , La Prairie cream blush , and Benefit highlighter . I was shocked when I stuck my camera phone in front of my mug and was able to snap a photo that needed little filtering (and I can admittedly feel very self-conscious about my #selfies ).

I didn’t want to brag – because that’s so obnoxious on Instagram, right? – but I was really excited about how glowy my complexion looked thanks to makeup. Unlike past images, I felt no need to zoom in using apps like Aviary, Snapseed, or Facetune to blur my under-eye bags, red spots, or fine lines. With a touch of brightening, the photo was ready to post. But before I pushed “share,” I wanted to call out that this was a “real” photo. So I dug around the social media tool and discovered that diverse women have been using the hashtag #nofacetune when they shared similar sentiments and images.

The message behind #nofacetune is to shed light on the fact that these close-up pictures were not photoshopped in a popular app called Facetune . Kim Kardashian famously uses a comparable one called Perfect365 , while many top vloggers rely on the former. In this essay , I coined the term Botox Instagram Face (aka BIF), which described the flat, matte complexion you often see on influencers. In person, their skin looks very different, but these aforementioned Photoshop Instagram apps can quickly change it with just a few swipes.

#Nofacetune is the antimovement to the BIF. Instead, women are calling out the foundation, self-tanner, and other makeup they’re using instead of Photoshop. And if some skin imperfections show through the coverage, so what? Makeup is not necessarily natural, but it’s a lot more realistic than photo manipulation. Instagram users are also going deeper, bravely revealing their bare skin – sunspots, wrinkles, and all – and philosophies on the matter.

Instagrammer Sarah Woodier writes: “It’s shameful that apps like ‘facetune’ and *ahem seriously* ‘cream cam’ exist, you don’t need a smooth face, no wrinkles, no freckles to be beautiful. What does it do for self confidence adjusting your face to within a inch of recognition? How does that increase your self worth when you’re not being yourself. I would revel in our differences and embrace the ageing process, you are you and nobody else can be you. That’s pretty powerful. Please embrace the you that doesn’t need to look like a generic version of beauty/womanhood. We’re all different and that’s a GREAT thing.”

Her message is empowering – as are these 15 photos shared by real women (including yours truly) incorporating the hashtag #nofacetune. There are even some familiar faces, such as a model made over by Kim’s go-to makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, and Jourdan Dunn . I encourage you to share your own snap and tag us (@POPSUGARBeauty ) so that the world can see your true beauty!

This Tattoo Health Benefit Will Make You Even More Addicted to Ink

Most people who have tattoos find them to be oddly similar to eating potato chips: one just isn’t enough. After getting your initial ink , you likely became addicted to the adrenaline rush . You know that every time you visit your favorite parlor, it’s far from being your last appointment. Maybe your arms are covered with colorful sleeves, or perhaps you’ve decorated your body with countless tiny tats . Regardless of how you decorate your skin, your addiction is bad news for your wallet – but it may actually be good for your health.

Recent research published in the American Journal of Human Biology shows that getting inked stimulates the immune system. The 29 participants in the study provided saliva samples before and after getting a new tattoo, and the researchers analyzed the levels of immunoglobulin A (an antibody found in mucous membranes) in each sample.

According to The Huffington Post , the level of immunoglobulin A in the candidates who were receiving their first ink dropped much lower than those who had multiple tats. This implies that the immune system of those with more “tattoo experience” is adjusted to the ink process and trained to react faster to stressors.

Christopher Lynn, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama and coauthor of the study, told The Huffington Post that the body’s response is similar to someone out of shape hitting the gym. You’re immediately sore (even for days!), but with consistent workouts, your body adjusts.

“After the stress response, your body returns to an equilibrium,” Lynn said. “However, if you continue to stress your body over and over again, instead of returning to the same set point, it adjusts its internal set points and moves higher.”

You don’t want to use these findings as an argument for getting your first tattoo – in fact, that first ink can make you more susceptible to illness, as your body is stressed by that experience. But, if you’re already addicted, it’s just another reason to love your body art even more.

The Cure For Dark Underarms and Bikini Spots Is in the Acne Aisle

Bikini season implies that all your sensitive areas will be on display. We often talk about dark spots on your face , but what about discoloration of the armpits and around the bikini line? It will all be exposed on the beach, too! Jodi Shays, Cottonelle’s grooming guru and founder of Queen Bee Salon and Spa , has the simple solution. These particular dark spots are caused by constant friction. “If you’re shaving every day, your skin says to your brain – I need protection – so it darkens up,” she explains. “Or maybe you’re waxing and the wax is too hot. Any kind of controlled injury to your skin will either keloid or create a stain.”

The solution: salicylic or glycolic acid . Use the same pads that are prescribed for acne to lighten up your underarms and bikini line. Just make sure not to go too close to your lady bits (burning is bad). Kojic acid, which was a geisha favorite, is also a natural approach that Shays loves. You can repurpose your favorite at-home peel as a brightening bikini treatment, too. Swipe it on, then jump in the shower and let the steam sink in for two minutes before rinsing it away.

Source: Imaxtree ; front page image: Shutterstock

The One Thing You Should Never Say to a Women Over 30

Image Source: Giafrese

Last week, I struck up a conversation with my Uber driver. As the conversation continued around politics, he made an assumption that we were close in age, saying as someone in her late twenties/early thirties, surely I could relate. I pointed out that I’m actually in my mid-forties (I’ll be 45 in June), at which the driver abruptly adjusted the rearview mirror with shock and said, “There is NO WAY you’re that old! You don’t look your age!”

This situation happens to me often. I know he meant it as a sincere compliment, but I’m troubled by the concept that somehow I’m winning at life because I don’t have more visible, external signs of aging. It seems after a certain age, “You don’t look your age!” is supposed to be the Mother of All Compliments, feathered in a soft nest of “I would never have guessed!” and “OMG, are you serious?” While I appreciate the flattery, I’m always left with a very uneasy feeling: what does that say about how we feel about women and aging ?

What makes this well-meaning compliment so unsettling is it implies there’s something wrong with looking middle-aged or older. We live in a youth-obsessed culture. It’s almost as if we have invisible expiration dates on our skin, and any sign of wear and tear sets off an alarm. The catalyst makes us feel suddenly shamed and expendable.

Our societal thirst for youth is undeniable. Entire magazines dedicated to “The Age Issue.” Intense media scrutiny on the appearance of every woman in the public eye, as parodied by Amy Schumer, Tina Fey , Amy Poehler , and others in “Last F*ckable Day .” And the beauty business wages a full-scale war on time, complete with antiaging weaponry meant to eradicate, decimate, and bury all evidence that a woman might be getting older, like “age-defying lasers ” and “miracle worker ” eye creams. Every day, I watch women battling time with everything they’ve got, attempting to stay in the same jeans from high school while pushing foreign matter into their faces in order to literally freeze everything right where it is today, forever and ever more.

The fear of being seen as anything less than sexually viable, the palpable threat of being traded in for a younger model, the intense messaging that we’re going to die alone if we show a crack in the armor of our skin – all of it is crushing, pervasive, and punishing. We treat women like the newest release of the iPhone: just wait a minute, because we’ve got a hot newer model coming, and she’s so much sexier than your old one that we’ve made the old model obsolete.

I find this incredibly disturbing. The lines running across my forehead mimic those of my father’s. And I can’t imagine doing something to get rid of them. Recently, I discovered the magical power of rainbow-colored hair, and I defy someone telling me I’m too old to have it. My jawline and breasts are slowly descending, and outside of exercise, good bras, and products, I’m letting them continue on their path. I truly find softness truly sexy. But I am worried about the women my age (or older) and for the young impressionable girls who are imprinted with an unnecessary fear of aging.

My age is awesome . I know so much more than I have ever known before. The light that shines within my skin is knowledge of how amazing life can be if you just hang in there. I laugh more easily, and I’m so much better in bed because I know my body. My soul, wit, intelligence – the very spark of life within me makes for my vibrancy. I feel like I’ve done a pretty damned good job taking care of myself. I come from a long line of extraordinary black women who take incredible pride in appearance, and we all have daily rituals that reinforce that sentiment.

“The less you do to your face, the less you will ever have to do to you face,” is a mantra my mother once said. I swear by it. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, I cleanse, I treat, I moisturize; repeat daily. Outside of that, I’ve never had anything “done” (re: cosmetic dermatology). The only needles near my face have involved piercing my ears and dental work, and the only surgery has been wisdom teeth removal. No fillers, no nothing. It’s real, and it’s all mine.

That said, I did start using products at the young age of 9 years old, when my Olay -obsessed Aunt Bert used to slather my face with the legendary cream. I would stand on the stool in her bathroom as she performed her nightly beauty ritual.

Image Source: Courtesy of Kristin Booker

At first, I used moisturizers as a teenager to offset the drying effects of cleansers and astringents. And that routine has now evolved into a twice-daily regimen of cleansing, serums, and moisturizers. My regiment has guest-starring appearances from other products weekly, because I test so many things. But the mainstays remain SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser ($34), Simple Cleansing Micellar Water ($7), Kiehl’s Since 1851 Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($72), and, you guessed it, Olay Moisturizing Lotion For Sensitive Skin ($10).

I also admit to spending a ridiculous amount on night creams (my desert island products would be Erno Laszlo Luminous C10 Night Treatment ($135) and SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair ($102).

Since there’s no beauty cream or cosmetic procedure that can cure our obsession with youth, I’d like to propose a different solution: awareness. Instead of telling a woman she doesn’t look her age, just tell her she looks good. Really good. “Wow, you’re beautiful,” is something every single person on the planet recognizes as sincere currency, and we can live off that bank of positive energy for days.

Also, accomplishments, goals, dreams, and intelligence are incredibly beautiful. Women living unapologetically, like Angela Bassett, Halle Berry , Oprah Winfrey , Lauren Hutton, Meryl Streep , and Rita Moreno, are vibrant, exquisite beings. Smart brands are starting to recognize the sensuality that comes from a life of experience. Marc Jacobs embracing Jessica Lange, Joan Didion in a Céline campaign, NARS featuring Charlotte Rampling, and most recently Lancome signing on Isabella Rossellini are all steps in the right direction.

The childish fear of the inevitable end of our lives is forcing us to take extraordinary measures that don’t celebrate women. Ladies, if you’re with people who don’t see the sum of your beauty, ditch them and find your tribe of women who are as juicy and amazing as you. Same goes for the men in your life. Someone out there will love you right as you are . . . no further assembly required.

It’s time for a new standard of beauty. Let’s all look amazing, regardless of our age. The ultimate compliment is to recognize all of what’s in front of you, inside and out. Every single woman has something to bring to the party, and it’s time we celebrate that in all its glory.

Lo Bosworth's Beauty Must Have Is Probably Already in Your House

Lo Bosworth ‘s website, The Lo Down , covers everything from cooking to beauty, and we can say with authority that she’s an expert when it comes to the latter. It’s almost as if her entire being glows when she enters a room, so it’s no surprise that Arm & Hammer chose the star to be its beauty spokesperson. Lo’s beauty prowess seems almost innate, and her tips for incorporating baking soda into your beauty routine are life changing.

The Laguna Beach and The Hills alumna made the cross-country jump from LA to New York last year and we have to say, she’s got the East Coast vibe down pat. She’s managed to juggle adjusting to a different city, redecorating a new (and superdreamy) apartment, and spearheading a lifestyle brand with the poise we’d expect from the young businesswoman.

On top of all that, she always keeps her skin and hair on point – not a blemish in sight nor a tousled blond strand out of place. We sat down with Lo and she dished her secret skin care weapon, in addition to reminiscing about the MTV series that made us fall in love with her way back when.

Image Source: MTV

The Secret to Conquering Dark Circles Is in Your Spice Rack

Fans of curry dishes are already familiar with turmeric. It’s a powdered form of ginger that transforms bland sauces into fragrant, yellow-tinged delicacies. But it’s time that beauty junkies got acquainted with the spice – and incorporated it into their skin care regimens.

In this quick video from Instagram user farahdhukai , she mixes about an eighth of a teaspoon of turmeric into approximately a tablespoon of buttermilk, then paints the blend onto her dark circles. After letting it dry, she washes it away to reveal a brighter, more luminous complexion . . . with no “raccoon eyes.” Her under-eye area looks so flawless, it appears like she applied concealer. Farah suggests applying this cocktail frequently to keep shadows at bay.

It seems possible that the vibrant yellow hue of the antioxidant-rich powder is lightly staining the skin to counteract darkness, but the results are so impressive, any discoloration would be totally worth it to us! Watch the video to see how effective the treatment is.

7 Dangerous Sunscreen Mistakes Not to Make This Spring Break

You know about sunscreen, of course. You walk down the aisles full of them in the supermarket. You see the commercials. You read about new formulas when they launch. Maybe you’re still making excuses not to wear it every day or maybe you’re following the rules and slathering on SPF without fail. But are you confident you’re doing the best you can to protect your skin?

With an increase of 20 percent in melanoma cases among Hispanics in the past two decades, it sounds like Latinas might be making more mistakes that we think we are. Keep scrolling to find out what the most common blunders are and how to avoid them from Flor Mayoral, MD, a dermatologist and L’Oréal Paris ambassador.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Latest Project? Oh, Just Upending the Beauty Industry

How do you thoroughly thrill a room full of New York editors on a snowy Friday morning? The answer: Gwyneth Paltrow , and smoothies.

GP herself was in New York on Friday to unveil the latest undertaking from her lifestyle empire, Goop. It’s a range of all-natural beauty products, the latest endeavor to come from Goop’s partnership with Juice Beauty . The results are a perfect merging of Goop’s dual missions of focusing on both inner and outer beauty.

“The reason I wanted to create these products is for the vain part of me,” Gwyneth said. “I wanted skin care products that really were effective and took care of hydration, fine lines, glow, and wrinkles. Even as somebody who’s so engaged in the health and wellness community, I could not find products that were organic and that were offering me the same results with that really luxurious touch and feel.”

The smoothies were a perfect segue into the health-conscious and frankly wonderful world of Goop. Gwyneth’s team invited said editors to make “GP’s Morning Smoothie,” a concoction full of fruit, almond milk, and powders from the buzzy Los Angeles juice maker Moon Juice . As Gwyneth prepared her demo drink, we editors had a moment to notice her own glowing, tan, and lineless skin. Whatever she’s doing, I want to do. (And the drink was actually pretty good.)

Goop Beauty is based on an appreciation for healthy, organic ingredients. The team set out to fill what Goop CEO Lisa Gersh called “white space” in the beauty market, by introducing an organic – but high-end – product in the industry. Thirteen months later, Gwyneth is proud of what they’ve created.

“I do really believe that beauty comes from within,” Gwyneth said. “How you feel about yourself and how you express your love of yourself, but also in the form of nutrition and taking care of yourself from the inside.”

As a result, Goop Beauty contains 99 percent certified organic materials as well as plant extracts from poet’s daffodil, sweet iris, and more. Only food-grade – not chemical – preservatives were used.

Gwyneth put extra emphasis on ingredients, she said, because of the lack of government regulations on the US beauty industry. This is especially important to Gwyneth, since her 12-year-old daughter, Apple, currently “is obsessed with makeup and body mist.”

Goop Beauty consists of six items: a face oil, an instant facial, a cleanser, moisturizer, night cream, and eye cream. The collection launched on Goop ‘s site this week and is available in-store at select retailers across the country. It’s a system, Lisa said, that allows Goop ultimate control, as they are solely in charge of production and distribution.

One product, in particular, has become something of a favorite for its creator. “I really am obsessed with the instant facial,” she said. “You put it on and you feel it – it’s very active. I’ve gotten into the habit of using that every night to really turn over skin cells, and bring hydration and a really nice glow.”

And if everything goes as planned, many more women will soon reap the same benefits.

“The Goop woman,” Lisa explained, “is someone who really cares about herself, her body, what she eats, and being healthy. She cares about discovery. She’s very curious, and so a product that is healthy and delivers on that promise is something that she’s going to love.”

I suspect Gwyneth and Lisa are right. And if this brings me one step closer to a Gwyneth-level glow, I’m in too.