The Ordinary…LOVE

Hello Gorgeous!Bianca Blue uniform ed.

There is a rather new skin care line on the market which fascinates me. It is called The Ordinary.  All products are ” free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone” as it is stated on The Ordinary website. They also do not test their products on animals, which as an animal lover, I happen to like a lot.

And because I have learned about it about 8-9 months ago, I have been trying it AND because it is “formulated with integrity” and it really works I wanted to share it with all of you, because it’s always so nice to share info about good stuff out there. Isn’t it?!

They have some super potent acids and oil free products which are great for oily problematic skin and they also offer some super hydrators which are good for any skin type at the end of the day. Because as we all know, even if your skin is oily and problematic, that doesn’t mean that it might not lack hydration.

The ORd 2

So here I will only share the products that I have been testing on my own skin and on my patients. Because who doesn’t need a great skin care line at such a great price? Oh, haven’t I mentioned? The price point is so affordable that you’ll want to go buy the entire line! And if something doesn’t work for your face, you can always use it on your elbows, arms or heels 😉

The Ord Hya acid

  • 1. First of all, my first product was a gift from my patient and friend in the US, who happened to go to university with the founder of DECIEM which is the umbrella brand of The Ordinary and a few other amazing skin care brands. Believe it or not, on my wedding day, Myron pulls out this small bottle and he gives it to me saying “you have to try this!” It was the Hyaluronic Acid 2% and B5. And I tried it on my face the night after my wedding. I know, funny timing! But I did fall in love with it. The consistency is so light weight and easy to spread, I always apply it on my neck and decolletage as well.

This product uses 3 types of HA Acid with different molecular structures so it can penetrate into the skin and hydrate it at different levels, for a more plump and hydrated skin from the inside out. It is not    harsh at all, and it can be used morning and night before your moisturizer, but I apply it after anti-  oxidants and retinoids. It does not contain silicone, fragrances, artificial coloring, alcohol or oils.

 

  • 2. After trying the above product for a good couple of weeks, I decided to get myself a couple more. Because I am in Mexico at the moment, it’s been a little hard to find everything I want. So as the acid lover that I am, I got the Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%. And oh boy did I absolutely fall in love with it! This serum with such a concentrated amount of Lactic Acid is probably what I love the most from this line and many others. It’s right there among my top choices, along with a good Retin A product for anti-aging, brightening and tightening effects.

The Ord ed

However, because of the high concentration of lactic acid in this product, I don’t recommend it for sensitive, very dry or reactive skin types. I only use it every other night myself, because I alternate with the RetinA product I am using at the moment. Attention! I can do this only because my skin has been prepped for years for using acids. If you are looking for a milder formulation of Lactic Acid, that would be Lactic Acid 5% + HA from the same brand. And you can always start using it only 2 nights a week, followed by something emollient and hydrating like the 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil or the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, which I spoke about above. So, happy anti-aging and brightening!

The ord Nia

  • 3. And the last absolutely fave product for this post, before it becomes too much to take in, is Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. This really is a very concentrated dose of Niacinamide (Vit B3 and Nicotinic Acid), which is not easy to find in other skin care products. And even if the texture is a bit sticky, I still love using this product knowing all the benefits it has on my skin. Niacinamide is an ingredient used in skin care for inflammation, hyper pigmentation, congestion, and as an aid for treating blemishes. But it can also be used against dullness, dehydration and for skin that lacks elasticity. Basically this ingredient has so many benefits for pretty much any skin type/condition, that is a must HAVE serum for your skin care cabinet at home. It can be used morning and night, and my recommendation is to use 5-6 drops on clean dry skin, underneath moisturizer and sunscreen.

To be continued…

xoxo,

Bianca

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New Year…New Skin

friends-315_2016_03A mom’s schedule can be complicated. Taking care of the kids, and the house, doctor appointments, sports practice, maybe a job too, all these can lead to having no time left for yourself. Sometimes you are just so tired at night that, you fall asleep with your makeup and clothes on. In the morning you don’t know how to get out of the house faster to take the kids to school and make it to work, and you barely have time to wash your face and put on whatever cream you find handy on the bathroom counter. But, there is no greater mistake than not washing your face and not removing your makeup at night. Sleeping with your makeup on will age your skin 7 times faster! And of course, no one wants that!

Because I know how busy moms can be, and because I also know a thing or two about skin care, I’ve decided to try to help you in the New Year. New Year, new skin resolution! That’s right! I’ve put together a very simple general skin regimen with some active ingredients, some being preventive some being corrective, and no matter how busy you are or what your skin type is, you can do it! Unless of course you have a special skin condition that you’re seeing a skin care therapist or a doctor for. Take a look!

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Morning

  1. Always wash your face. You need a gentle cleanser for mornings. Something that won’t strip off and dry out your skin. A couple of cleansers that I love and are super accessible are: Toleriane Dermo Cleanser from La Roche Posay and Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. After washing the skin, dab the skin dry and follow withIMG_34292. 5-6 drops of a very good Anti-oxidant complex. We hear this word a few times a day, so by now we know that anti-oxidant rich foods and products are working only in our benefit. More specifically, they help neutralize free radicals which occur in our skin due to sun damage, pollution, smoking (even passive smoking), alcohol, not enough rest, etc. Free radicals are the damaging factors responsible for collagen and elastin breakage, leading to premature aging of the skin. This is why a very good quality anti-oxidant product in a stable formulation is essential for preventing this kind of damage and premature aging. My favorite one for many years by far has been CE Ferulic- for drier skin types, and Phloretin CF– for oily skin types, both from Skin Ceuticals.IMG_34252. And a mineral sunscreen, applied religiously to your face, neck, chest and the back of your hands. This will protect your skin throughout the day from the damaging UVAs and UVBs, responsible for the aging of your skin as well as the increased risk of skin cancers. I recommend PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45 as well as Mineral Tinted Cream SPF 30 from MDSolarSciences.

Evening

  1. Remove all your makeup thoroughly. And only after that you start cleansing your face. At night you can use a more exfoliating cleanser, in order to remove a lot of the debris, oils and makeup accumulated throughout the day. My favorite cleanser for night time is Effaclar Creme Moussante Desincrustante from La Roche Posay. IMG_3428 (1)
  2. Every other night apply a Retinol/RetinA product on clean dry skin. This is your one corrective for night time. If you don’t have time for anything else, this is going to help regenerate your skin over night. I personally use medical grade RetinA or Tretinoin, but sometimes I also like to use the PCA Skin Retinol, which is one of the  best on the market. And it comes in a few versions, depending on your skin’s needs.IMG_34263. On the nights when I do not apply the Vitamin A product (#2), I like to use a Glycolic Acid Gel. My go to lately is Glicoisdin from the Spanish company ISDIN. Glycolic acid is known to help brighten and resurface sun damaged and aging skin, while it also helps increase your skin’s elasticity. This product in particular is also somewhat hydrating, having a very light weight gel consistency.

And this is all if your time does not permit you to do more. I promise you that if you follow these very simple steps every morning and night, your skin will change within a couple of months.

And no more excuses like “I don’t have time for me” or “I don’t have time for a skin care regimen”. You will wear your skin for the rest of your life, so help it look and feel its best!

                                                                                                                                      xoxo, Bianca

Saving my hair from Androgenic Alopecia

As many of you know I have been suffering, yes that’s right “suffering” is the right word… of androgenic alopecia for many years now. I was diagnosed only 3 years ago, but as it is often a genetically transmitted  or inherited disease, I’ve probably had it for my whole life, but it had become very severe during the past 10-15 years. While I’ve had a very beautiful hair during my childhood, once I started being really stressed, with the adult life, my hair started going away. And I mean every day I would kiss goodbye anywhere between 100-200 hairs.

I’ve been dealing with severe hair loss , for so many years now I barely can remember, and during this time I’ve got a lot of opinions from doctors. That I was anemic, that I had a vitamin deficiency, that I had to check my thyroid, or that it couldn’t be SO many hairs I was losing and that they thought I still has beautiful hair.  Well, I finally did check my thyroid 3 years ago and yes, I do have Hashimoto’s disease, which is a form of hypothyroidism. However, while my hypothyroidism has been controlled ever since I got diagnosed, my hair loss has not.

Needless to say that I have tried everything over the years. From massaging my scalp with coconut oil and chili peppers, to massaging with olive oil and raw onion juice (FYI this last one is going to make your hair smell like raw onions for 2 months straight!), to taking all kind of supplements and vitamins like Iron (both pill and liquid form), Vitamin D, Biotin, Saw Palmetto (a natural remedy for enlarged prostate which has been shown to help with hair loss), marine algae supplements….and the list can go on and on for a while. Not to mention the solutions I’ve tried topically on my scalp! Oh boy. You name it, I’ve tried it! Nothing worked.

Recently though, after many conversations with different doctors and friends, and after hours of research online, I seem to have found “The Solution”! Well at least the solution that works for me, and that seems to have decreased my hair loss with 50%(just approximating here, but trust me that when you see the tub and the sink completely covered in hair, after each wash, and after endless tears I’ve poured seeing my hair leaving my head, I think I can approximate pretty well)!

So I thought I would share my combination of remedies with you all who suffer of this terrible disease, called androgenic alopecia, but please keep in mind that I am not a doctor, so I am not prescribing this, nor promising that it’s going to work for you. But when you’re losing all your hair pretty much anything is worth it!

This is what I’ve been doing for the past 3 months and it’s been working!

hair

  1. 30 min before washing my hair I massage my scalp with rosemary oil mixed with castor oil (in Mexico this is called (aceite de ricino). Sometimes I also mix a few drops of Vitamin A to this cocktail, but I noticed that it dries my scalp, so I don’t do it much.
  2. In the shower I apply Tio Nacho shampoo on my scalp and hair and leave it on for 5-10 min. This is a shampoo from Mexico that is supposed to strengthen the hair and reduce hair loss, in a natural way. The ingredient list does not show that it’s so natural, however since I was desperate, I’ve decided to try it anyway…Since my whole life I’ve probably used mainly un-natural shampoos 😉
  3. After rinsing this shampoo off, I apply another one called Pilopeptan shampoo (also found here in Mexico) and leave it on for another 5-6 minutes.
  4. After rinsing all these off very well, I apply a conditioner, strictly on the hair length, and NOT on the scalp. This is something I’ve learned from my hair stylist friends who I trust, so I’ve been respecting this rule very carefully.
  5. Once out of the shower, I towel dry my hair, very gently, and while it’s damp, I apply one bottle of this concoction called Kevis 8, a trycozymes, enzymes and peptides cocktail, to the scalp, and I massage it in gently.
  6. Every morning, I take 2 medications. One is Pilopeptan oral supplemets and another is Aldactone A 25 mg with the active ingredient Spironolactone. This is a medication that might help you with fluids retention in your body, as it is a diuretic. So for me this works and I haven’t been too concerned about its potential negative effects, nor have I had any. Please make sure you consult with your doctor though, if you decide using this medication. hair1

A couple of other notations: *I do not style my hair unless absolutely necessary * I do not blow dry my hair unless absolutely necessary *I only color my hair once every 3-4 months. Yes, I do have grey hairs, but I am choosing to have my hair as opposed to it looking always freshly colored but not healthy!

Hair PicMonkey Collage

I hope all this info is going to help someone out there!

 

Yours truly,

signature pic monkey ed 1

 

Naturally white teeth with no effort

I get asked sometimes how do I keep my teeth looking white and clean. Simple. I have a few tricks I use at home, which are non invasive, not painful, not damaging, not chemical based and really inexpensive.

Here is what I do:

  1. First thing in the morning, I take a tea spoon of coconut oil (organic or not, doesn’t really matter) and I swish it through my teeth the same way I use a mouth wash, for about 5-10 minutes. I try to do 10, when I have the time and I don’t need to talk. The Lauric Acid found in coconut oil is a great anti bacterial and anti microbial component which kills bad breath causing bacteria, while the whole swishing procedure helps with removing plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth.

Check out the video below:

     2.  I use a banana skin to rub the bottom and the top teeth for about 2 minutes and then I wait for 10             minutes so the minerals (magnesium, potassium and manganese) contained in the banana peel can           get activated and work on whitening my teeth.

     3.   I brush my teeth with Baking Soda and lemon juice…Exactly like I do in the video below. Lemon                juice is a natural bleaching agent, so naturally it works on teeth as well. And the mild abrasiveness             of baking soda will help remove superficial stains on your teeth.

Make sure though, that after all these steps, you still use a regular tooth paste to brush your teeth with, in order to remove the acid from the lemon juice which can be damaging to the tooth enamel and also to provide some fluoride to your teeth, which is not naturally found in any of the ingredients we spoke about.

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Cheers and don’t forget to smile!

signature pic monkey ed 1

 

1,2,3, beautiful skin for the holidays!

I’ve recently perfected an old recipe for a facial exfoliator using simple ingredients all of us have in our kitchen. It’s very easy to make and extremely effective for any skin type, but will provide the most benefits to congested, acneic, pigmented and dull skin types.

Here there are the ingredients you’ll need:

1 lemon or lime, 1 teaspoon honey,  2 teaspoons sugar (any kind),  2 teaspoons baking soda

exfo colage

Preparation:

  1. Squeeze the juice of one lemon/lime
  2. Add the honey
  3. Add the sugar
  4. Add the baking soda and mix.

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Apply the mixture to the cleaned face, using a bit of friction in the problematic areas (nose, chin, jawline, etc.). Leave on skin for a maximum of 10 minutes and wash off with cold water. Your skin will start glowing instantly!  The acne and hyperpigmentation will start fading from the second use!

Follow with your favorite hydrator and repeat next week.

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Me, immediately after using this exfoliator on my face. Completely makeup free!

 

Enjoy! signature pic monkey ed 1

Have you heard about micro-needling?

Micro-needling or CIT (collagen induction therapy) is a rather new clinical skin care procedure, easy, non-invasive  and very effective in the treatment of acne scarring (and not only), lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, and overall improvement in the texture of your skin. All these conditions are lacking collagen or the collagen in those affected areas has been subsiding.

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The micro-needling procedure helps stimulate collagen production which helps reverse the formation and appearance of scars, wrinkles, and depressions in the skin such as stretch marks.

Micro-needling is almost pain free and it works by creating micro channels through the superficial layer of skin called epidermis, which triggers an intense inflammatory reaction that begins the remodeling of the affected skin, by stimulating the formation of new skin tissue. In a word, it works by stimulating what our bodies already do naturally, the wound healing. Scar-less healing is being promoted by the release of epidermal growth factors (found naturally in our skin), which help produce “healthy collagen”.

Our bodies have a natural ability to heal when they are wounded, by new formation of collagen. It is the most abundant protein in our bodies (mainly found in the skin, bones, muscles and connective tissue), which helps hold our bodies together, like a glue. As we grow older, the naturally produced collagen decreases, which is why we start supplementing, re-stimulating its growth, and replenishing it with the help of oral dietary supplements and also with devices such as ultrasound and/or micro-needling.

microneedling 2There are a few micro-needling devices on the market, for professional and also personal use at home. The one I prefer and work with is called Dermapen. Easy to use, safe and inexpensive, it creates thousands of micro-channels in the epidermis. The healing process after this procedure is only about 1-2 days and even though the collagen is going to be produced over a period of 6 weeks after the treatment, patients report that their skin starts looking healthier and glowing starting with the second day after the procedure.

The results are surprisingly amazing and often compared with laser, chemical peels and surgery results, while it is very cost effective.

microneedlingI recommend a series of 3-4 treatments 6 weeks apart. In between treatments it is OK to do regular facial treatments.

signature pic monkey ed 1

 

The skin is your best accessory

Woman massaging legs sitting on white backgroundAs a professional in the health and beauty industry, I have developed a bad habit!  When I meet someone for the first time, I always check out their skin. I look at the face initially, then neck, chest, hands, knees (if I have visual access to them) and last, but not least, I look at their heels and toes. Nothing speaks more about someone than the appearance of their skin, hair and nails. I would say that having beautiful, flawless skin is just as important as having a good, fresh manicure and pedicure. Ladies trust me, all of the above speak volumes about you! And also trust me when I say that if you achieve beautiful, flawless skin on your face and body, everyone you’ll meet will notice!

I have a body routine I do once a week, that I wanted to share with you that will help with that dead scaly skin on different areas of your body, with blood circulation and the lymph flow.

Here are some simple steps for you to follow at least once a week, before and during your shower, in order to achieve flawless, young looking and vibrant skin!

1. Before you get in the shower take a dry body brush (natural bristle brush) and brush your whole body, starting at the soles of your feet, your back, arms and upper body.

drybrush

Use long, upward, gentle strokes towards your heart and get your partner to help with your back, if necessary. Your skin is the biggest organ on your body and you need to keep it exfoliated in order to make sure that the pores are not clogged and that its ability to excrete toxins and sweat is not impaired. If the natural detoxification ability of your skin is impaired, then your other body organs will have to take on the extra work, and it’s going to be harder on them and on your body in general.
P.S. Dry body brushing can be done every day if you have time and you are passionate about the health of your skin.

2. After your dry brushing, get in the shower and you use this body scrub I have perfected over time. Please note that it is a bit of a messy procedure, so there is a bit of clean up to do afterwards.


NATURAL BODY SCRUB                                    

PicMonkey Collagescrubw

1)  3 spoons olive oil 

2) 5 spoons coconut oil

3) 2 tea spoons honey

4) juice from 1/2 lemon (or orange)

5) 2 spoons sugar 

6) 3-4 spoons coffee grounds 

7) 1 spoon corn flower 

8) 4 tbsp cinnamon

9) 2 spoons greek yogurt (or milk)

Mix them all together in a bowl and apply. Focus on rougher areas of your body like the heels and elbows. Rinse off with tepid water and maybe a little shower gel. But, I don’t like to use shower gel after this exfoliation, because all the oils feed the skin essential nutrients, so I don’t want to remove that nutritive film from the surface of my skin.

This body scrub is loaded with vitamins, essential nutrient oils, anti-oxidants and recently some studies showed that coffee not only helps exfoliate your skin, but it stimulates the blood flow and it helps reduce sun damage.

You’ll achieve soft, velvety skin even from the first procedure and your skin will thank you!

Enjoy!

signature pic monkey 1