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2011 Skin Care Tips: Dermatologist Brandith Irwin Exclusive!

brandith irwinSeattle dermatologist Dr. Brandith Irwin is well known for her SkinTour.com site, as well as her book THE SURGERY-FREE MAKEOVER: All You Need to Know for Great Skin and a Younger Face. Today, Dr. Irwin has provided three skin care tips exclusively for Raging Rouge readers!

1) What is the best method for conquering rosacea?

I really recommend a 3 pronged approach. Control dietary and lifestyle triggers, use a prescription rosacea cream like Metrocream, Noritate or Finacea every night, and lastly use the correct lasers to control flushing and dilated veins. There are other things that can be done but these are the basics to begin with.

There is a lot out there on dietary triggers. See AAD.org for help. Your dermatologist can help you with the best prescription cream for you and laser options.

2) What treatments should be used to fade hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a very complicated issue because some of it is driven by hormones, some by sun exposure and some by inflammation (the type that occurs after acne. In my opinion, the drugstore remedies really do not work well unless the pigment problem is very mild. We use a combination of lifestyle changes, controlling relevant skin diseases, sunscreens (look for zinc 10% or higher), antioxidants, changes in hormones, prescription creams and lasers.

3) Which is best for sun protection, physical or chemical sunscreen? Why?

I think the physical blocks generally are better because they don’t degrade on exposure to light. Some of the chemical sunscreens now have “stabilizers” in them which help keep them more active. It’s easier than it used to be to find physical blocks with zinc or titanium that aren’t chalky. Some are tinted nicely and are almost like a moisturizer with sunscreen and light coverage. For example, the DermaQuest ZinClear isn’t too chalky and comes in a tinted version as well. For a good chemical sunscreen try the La Roche Posay Anthelios with mexoryl.

Home Exfoliation Tips 2011: Skyy Hadley Weighs In!

skyy hadleyI couldn’t be more thrilled to be waving to Winter’s crazy weather while looking through my rear-view mirror.  But Winter isn’t truly over until the side-effects of the season are gone.  Eliminating all of the dry, damaged skin left behind is turning out to be quite a daunting task!  Here are some budget-friendly home exfoliation tips for 2011 from Skyy Hadley, owner of the As “U” Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken, NJ.  These at-home cures for dry peeling skin can be whipped up right in your kitchen! 


Give yourself an at home microdermabrasion treatment before bed by mixing half a cup of sugar with water until a paste forms and rub it onto your face in small circles. Rinse and apply your favorite night cream. You’ll wake up in the morning with younger looking, glowing skin!


Use an exfoliating sugar scrub in the shower once a week to remove dead skin from your entire body. You can make this in your kitchen by mixing about a cup of brown sugar with a ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Rub all over your body and rinse. When you step out of the shower, remember to treat yourself to a Shea Butter application. Shea Butter is soothing and moisturizing and helps cell regeneration, which aids in healing dry skin.


Winter can cause dry calluses on your heels. Try my Meals for the Heels Mask once every two weeks for sandal ready feet! Mix one cup of plain oatmeal and a 1/2 cup of whole milk in a pot and heat over the stove, stirring until cooked. Add a bit of sugar to thicken the mixture and then let it cool off. When the mixture thickens, apply a generous layer to your heels, cover with clear plastic wrap and leave on for 5 – 10 minutes. The oatmeal soothes dry, itchy or irritated skin while the milk acts as an exfoliant to help get rid of dry and dead skin cells. Finish off by moisturizing some pure shea butter into your heals. If you do this at night you can slip on warm socks to lock in the moisture for ultra smooth feet in the morning!

10 Makeup Commandments by Paula Begoun

Paula Begoun, paula begoun's favorite beauty products, Cosmetics Cop, paula begoun's favorite beauty products, makeup, beauty, cosmetics, beauty cop, recession beautyBeauty consumers everywhere swear by the advice of famed “Cosmetics Cop” Paula Begoun. With permission from Paula, I am republishing her list of “10 Makeup Commandments” for your reading pleasure.  Don’t foget to check out her book, Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, and her online resource: Beautypedia.com

10 Makeup Commandments by Paula Begoun:

1.  Expensive Doesn’t Mean Better!  There are good and bad products in all price categories, and there are brilliant inexpensive products you should absolutely consider before going for the expensive stuff. 

2. Shop With A Clean Slate!  If you plan to test foundation or concealer, visit the store or salon with a clean, bare face that’s prepped for makeup application, or be willing to take off the makeup you have on.

3. The Right Light is Key!  Always check foundation, concealer and powder colors in natural light.  Department store lighting is deceiving; what looks perfect under artificial light can look glaringly wrong in broad daylight.

4. Tone Down the Shine!  Be careful with shiny blush and eyeshadow.  Generally, for daytime makeup, a blush with a matte finish or just a hint of sheen works best.  Shinier makeup is best reserved for evening use or special occasions.

5. It’s All in the Tools!  Whenever possible, test powder-based products (e.g., blush, eyeshadow) with the appropriate brushes.  Avoid sponge-tip applicators for eyeshadows and those cheap, super-tiny brushes often packaged with powder blushes.

6. Protect Those Peepers & Lips!  Never test mascara or liquid eyeliner in the store.  Even if the brand offers disposable applicators, you don’t know how many people have double-dipped, how old the testers are, or how contaminated they may be.  We know it’s a pain, but for the health of your eyes, it’s best to purchase these products and test them at home.  The same is true when it comes to lip glosses.  Most glosses have sponge-tip or brush applicators that can harbor germs from other people.  It’s best to swipe the gloss on the top of your hand so you can get a sense of how the color “reads” on your skin and can assess its texture and finish.

7. Smack On Lips, Not Germs!  Before you test a lipstick on your lips, have a salesperson sanitize it for you with an alcohol-based spray.  Lipsticks at the counter can become contaminated with germs and microbes that you don’t want near your mouth.  No alcohol spray?  Then wipe off several layers of lipstick with a clean tissue or have the sales associate “shave” off the top portion of the lipstick with a disposable spatula.

8. Take Cues from the Pros!  See a cosmetics salesperson whose makeup you admire? Ask them for application tips, especially if their skin tone is similar to yours.  Chances are good you’ll pick up some great tips and begin to feel more confident about selecting the best colors for your needs.

9. When In Doubt, Take It Back and Try Again!  If you buy a product that doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to take it back.  Almost all drugstores and mass-market stores (think Rite Aid and Wal-Mart) will provide a complete refund on cosmetics purchases if you have the receipt—even if the item has been used. 

10. Bye, Bye Blues!  Lastly, as stated in Paula’s first book, Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal, AVOID blue eyeshadow.  Unless it’s a deep navy, which can almost pass for black, most shades of blue are difficult to work with.  Plus, they do not play up blue eyes; actually, the opposite is true.  The same goes for any eyeshadow shade that’s too colorful, including orange, green, fuchsia, teal and especially red, which can make your eye area look inflamed rather than attractive.  Not ready to give up such shades?  Think of the fashion magazine covers you’ve admired, and then ask yourself: How many of those models or celebrities were sporting bright, colorful eye designs?

Jemma Kidd’s Romantic Red Lips for Valentine’s Day

jemma kidd, romantic red lips, valentine's dayWhat a special treat, readers!  Today, the fabulous Jemma Kidd brings us her personal tips for achieving the sexiest red lips for Valentine’s Day! 

– No lipstick looks good on chapped lips and some matte lipsticks dry lips even more. Keep lips smooth and moisturized with a balm containing natural oils, such as beeswax, and SPF. If you have chapped lips, apply balm and after a few minutes massage gently with a soft toothbrush or muslin cloth.

– Dab foundation around the lip are and over the lip itself. It will tone down any redness and ensures the line of the lips will be sharp and defined.

– Use a matching waxy lipliner to prevent any bleed around the lips. Spend time drawing the outline, making sure the lips are completely symmetrical and the bow is even. An uneven top lip shows up with red lipstick more than any other color. Start at the V of the Cupid’s bow and take the liner right into the corners.

– Fill in the lip with the pencil to hold the lipstick in place and make it last longer. Go over the pencil color with a lip brush, working it into any creases.

– Paint on the lipstick using a lip brush for precision, starting in one corner and working inward. Use the tip of the brush for the edges and the flat of the brush for larger areas. Blot with a tissue and apply another coat.

– Add a dab of gloss in a clear or slightly lighter shade at the center of the lower lip and press your lips together. High-shine glossy lips create instant glamour, make the lips look fuller, and draw attention to your mouth-a luscious evening look.

– Red lips spell grown-up glamour and should be worn with confidence.

– Hair color is irrelevant when choosing the right shade of red – it’s skin tone that counts. Pink tones are best suited to cooler “blue reds,” while darker, Mediterranean, and Asian skins are better suited to “orange reds.”

– Deep, plumy reds look fantastic on dark skin, cool blue-based reds suit pink-toned and pale skin, while orange-based reds are less draining on a warmer complexion (but make sure it doesn’t accentuate any redness in your cheeks).

– Red lips will be the focus, so keep the rest of your make-up minimal.

– A red-tinted lipgloss will give a more subtle effect.

– Try not to touch your mouth so you don’t risk smudging the lipstick. Matte finishes are more resistant to smudging than gloss.

“Lip color is one of the most fun and accessible areas of make-up, and also one of the most noticeable. From pretty and natural through classic and sophisticated to glamorous and vampish, how we make up our lips can change our mood in an instant”

The Best 100 Skin Care Products: Picked By A Pro!

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Ok… this post is a wee bit late , but Dr. Brandith Irwin’s “top 100” skin care picks for the holidays is still interesting reading.  After all, it isn’t every day you get to read a laundry list of the most effective skin care products, selected by a dermatologist!

So today, rather than post my own review, I’m going to simply point you in the direction of Dr. Irwin’s Top 100 Skin Care Products for the 2010 Holidays posted on her website, SkinTour.com.

For a wee sneak peek, some of Dr. Irwin’s selections were:
     •    Wrinkle Repair and Anti-Aging: SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex and SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
     •    Oil Control and Acne Care: Vivite Exfoliating Facial Cleanser and Solvere Acne Clearing Gel
     •    Sunscreens: Elta MD UV Daily SPF 40 Pump and Colorescience Powder Sunscreen
     •    Moisturizers: SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel Moisturizer and DDF Ultralight Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew
     •    Cleansers: Topix Citrix Antioxidant Cleanser and Vanicream Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser
     •    Eye Creams: SkinMedica TNS Night Eye Repair and Cellex-C Eye Contour Cream Plus
     •    Natural and Organic Products: Eminence Lemon Cleanser and Eminence Blueberry Soy Night Recovery Cream
     •    Body Care: Avene Akerat Body Lotion and Eminence Cranberry Pomegranate Sugar Scrub

Dr. Irwin is unusual among prominent dermatologists in that she has no financial ties to any line of skin care products or laser company. She does not sit on any boards, act as a spokesperson, accept any fees, or endorse any line of cosmetics. She is a board certified dermatologist who practices in Seattle at the clinic she founded, Madison Skin & Laser Center. Her most recent book is The Surgery-Free Makeover: All You Need to Know for Great Skin and a Younger Face.

“Dr. Irwin is one of the few independent voices in the medical world today who can help consumers make educated decisions about procedures and medical options so they can stay as young as they can for as long as they can,” says Paula Begoun, author of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me and a consumer skin care product advocate.