TPDTY: Hair Strobing is Odd

Hair StrobingImage from PopSugar

When I read the title of this Popsugar article on Hair Strobing, my face lit up. In spite of being a boring (mostly) professional, I have a love for glitter – and hey, why not my hair?

Then, though, I read the article itself and took in its photos.

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TPDTY: Tan Talk: Sunless Tanner Smell

Sunless Tanning Myths

I’ve talked about sunless tanners (my favorite is Million Dollar Tan) quite a bit before. Many posts mention, but do not focus on sunless tanner smell, however; the occasionally annoying odor that follow sunless tanning product usage. It isn’t limited to lotions: spray tans and even tanning bed (boo, do not use these) products are affected.

How Do Sunless Tanners Work?

There are three kinds of sunless tanners. Some products only temporarily deposit color that is washed away in 1-3 showers. Other products are intended to develop color over time; in those, the main, active ingredient in sunless tanners is DHA (dihydroxyacetone). The third type does a bit of both.

DHA & Melanin

When applied, DHA prompts your skin to produce melanin. Melanin is what gives our skin its color; people with darker skin tones naturally have more of it regardless of sun or DHA exposure. For lighter skin tones, stimulating melanin production causes us to appear tan.

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TPDTY: On Upselling for Consumers and Salespeople

A month ago, I went for a wax at a popular waxing chain. The first-time service, albeit uncomfortable, went well! Part of how this chain makes money is through selling their in-house line of skincare products for use at home after the service. I generally eschew these things unless the person I’m working with can make an excellent case for them. Most do not.

Upselling

Afterwards, the esthetician who rendered my services tried (gently, unlike this hair stylist) upselling me on some of their retail line. According to my esthetician, the products contain growth inhibitors and exfoliants. Both are cool, but not enough to sell me on a $27 tub of 45 wipes. She gave me one of the wipes to demonstrate how saturated they were (unlike some wipes that are halfway dry); it was pretty solid. But then again, for $0.60 per wipe, they ought to be.

Know Your Products (or Services)

I asked what its active ingredients were to exfoliate – like an AHA or salicylic acid; she balked. She ultimately went on to tell me that it contained lavender and aloe vera for soothing purposes – great, but not what I asked. The packages did not list that information either which, as a consumer, I find disconcerting.

Needless to say, she didn’t make the sale. I later went to research the products and found that they do have both AHA and BHAs – but no information on what kind or on concentration. Ouch, not worth it to me when I can use any number of products I already own.

As a Consumer

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TPDTY: On Sebaceous Filaments & Why You Don’t Need Pore Strips

This is a post from the Beauty Skeptic archives that has been given a facelift! Content is the same but may have been edited for clarity and flow, as well as some small content updates noted in line.

Pore StripOh look, a pore strip!

Yeah, you’re familiar with them, probably from Biore. Other brands make pore strip products, too, often more expensive for the same (lackluster) result.

But you don’t need them.

Yeah, there are DIY pore strip tutorials online with weird suggestions involving egg whites or Elmer’s Glue. And listen, I can appreciate getting a little mad scientist in my beauty/skincare as much as the next person…

But you don’t need to.

Wash your face, leave it sopping. Dry your hands, open the thing. Slap the pore strip on your nose and smooth it down. Wait until it feels ridiculous, then rip it off.

But you don’t need that.

Here’s the thing – what many of us bought those things or played mad scientist for was because we believed we had a ton of god-awful blackheads on and around our nose, right? Oh god, we have to fix it. We’d peel away the papier-mâché pore strip and marvel in disgust over what we just ripped out of our faces with this pore strip. Right? Don’t lie, if you’ve used this, you have. You’re elated for a day or two because your skin looks a little better…and then things return to normal – and you strip again.

A waste, indeed, of time and money for such fleeting results.

But here’s the thing – in so many cases (I wish I could quote you a percentage) those are not blackheads. They are sebaceous filaments – they occur naturally on everyone, ever, and are not blemishes…and they cannot be, “removed,” not even by a pore strip. Yes, they aren’t the cutest thing in the world, and yes, that is irritating. Proper skincare, however, can make them less obvious.

The Routine

Your skincare routine should consist of (at minimum), daily cleansing, exfoliating as often as your skin wants/needs it (some people like a daily gentle exfoliant, some of us like to break out the big guns 2-3 times per week), and moisturizing. You can get more detailed than this if you wish (I like to!) but it isn’t a dire necessity. (Bonus points if you use a face brush like an Olay Pro-X or Clarisonic!)

In terms of cleansers, I like something basic and simple. (2017) CeraVe Foaming (2014) Cetaphil Gentle is my favorite. As far as exfoliants go…in terms of what is best for your skin, a chemical exfoliant is technically best and I have (2017) this AHA gel from Alpha Skin (formerly Alpha Hydrox) (2014) this one from Alpha Hydrox .

That said, I also commit “skincare sins,” and indulge in physical ones (theoretically the gritty nature of these can cause tiny cuts in your skin. I haven’t had problems, personally, but I get it – especially with the St Ives, it can be a bit much if you overdo the pressure) such as this classic from St Ives and my long-time favorite from Burt’s Bees 2017 Update: The only physical exfoliation my face sees these days comes from my Clarisonic or Luna Mini.

Moisturizers are very personalized depending on your needs but I am currently happiest with (2017) Mountain Rose Herbs Argan Oil (2014) Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light. Those things help me keep my skin healthy and looking well-cared-for.

The Bottom Line

Stop wasting your money on pore strip products, your time on playing face-goop-alchemy, and just get back to basics. They’re fun, but they are a gimmick – and a costly one, at that. Chances are if you don’t have other acne issues, you don’t have a nose rife with blackheads…you, like most people, just have some sebaceous filaments which are normal and healthy. Not gross, just kind of odd looking when you actually notice them.

TPDTY: Managing Suddenly Problem Skin (as an Adult)

As an adult, when you go from nearly life-long clear skin to problem skin in the space of three months, you might panic.

I did. Many ladies and gentlemen did and do. Adult-onset acne is not unheard of and can be triggered by any number of things – commonly hormones, but also environment, diet, and other lifestyle factors. Going from having something work for years to everything being clearly.freaking.wrong for your skin is frustrating!

For the first time in I’m-not-even-sure-at-this-point (18 months? 24? I don’t know anymore!), I’ve had clear skin. Clear, that is, aside from an occasional cycle-related blemish that is minor and goes away on its own. Hallelujah.

If you’re frantically trying to pursue resolution, you might inadvertently have left common sense by the wayside. No judgment; I did. Keep these things in mind when trying to manage suddenly problem skin.

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