Archive for the ‘Acne’ Category

10 Acne Causing Culprits

FullSizeRender-3While acne is caused by dead skin clogging your pores, sometimes there is a bit more going on behind the scenes. Standard treatments and face washing will not help with if there are subtle contributors happening in your daily life. Your diet, lifestyle and habits could all be working against you, preventing you from having the healthy and clear face you want.

If you have already diagnosed all of the obvious things that could be causing acne, here are some contributing factors that are not talked about as frequently:

1. Biotin
Biotin, sometimes referred to as vitamin B7, helps your hair and skin grow. It’s great in low doses, but if you take too much it can contribute to breakouts. Vitamin B7 goes in the same “slot” as vitamin B5, which is absolutely essential in keeping your outer layer of skin clear and beautiful. If you have too much biotin / B7 in your diet, you will crowd out the vitamin B5 and prevent your skin from getting the regulation it needs.

  1. Green Smoothies
    While many of the ingredients in your smoothies might be safe, raw kale is often a trigger for breakouts. Kale is full of goitrogen, which are chemicals that disrupt normal thyroid function. Also found in broccoli, asparagus and brussels sprouts, goitrogens prevent iodine from getting to your thyroid. Eating all of these foods in small quantities is fine, especially if they are cooked, but if you go on a green smoothie rampage and drink several cups of raw kale every day, you will quickly run into thyroid issues. You might notice acne, eczema, fatigue, issues controlling your weight, or depression.
  2. Lip Balm
    Many of the chemicals found in lip balm (and often lipstick too!) are not great for your skin. Things like lanolin, isopropyl palmitate and isopropyl myristate can all clog your pores and lead to breakouts and redness. Look for the term “non-comedogenic” in anything you put on your face – this means that it will not cause your pores to clog.
  3. Hand Lotion
    Just because you are not applying something directly to your face does not mean it will not get there eventually. Most of us touch our faces frequently throughout the day. This means, anything you put on your hands will get transferred to your facial skin over the course of the day. Many common ingredients in hand lotion and cream can cause breakouts. Be especially careful with the hand cream you use before going to sleep. You might sleep on your hands without realizing it!
  4. Tissues
    The fragrances and other chemicals found in some tissues can be transferred to your skin, causing irritation and acne. Even worse, if you blow your nose a lot the texture of the tissues themselves can irritate your skin. If you are breaking out a lot around your nose, consider trying a different brand of tissues to see if a softer, or less chemical-heavy Kleenex might do the trick.
  5. Sweating
    While sweat on its own will not cause acne, failing to wash your face after sweating will. Sweat can carry makeup, dirt and other irritants into your pores and it is also linked to an acne-like infection called pityrosporum folliculitis. A gentle cleanse, or shower after you exercise will help reduce the risk of normal breakouts. If you get stubborn and difficult to treat breakouts after exercising, see a dermatologist for recommendations about how to treat folliculitis.
  6. Makeup
    As long as you are careful to stick to non-comedogenic makeup, you should be fine throughout the day. No matter how safe your makeup is, you will run into trouble if you forget to remove it at night. Your skin needs time to recover at night. Leaving your makeup on can stifle this recovery process and cause you to wake up with an unfortunate mess of acne.
  7. Laundry Detergent
    Just like with hand lotion, any chemicals found in your laundry detergent will quickly find their way onto your face. Fragrances, powdered detergents and any biological ingredients can all lead to breakouts. For best results, stick to a liquid detergent and use as little as you can. Even try choosing a longer rinse cycle if you can. You will minimize the amount of enzymes and other chemicals that wind up in your clothes and linens.
  8. Shampoo / Conditioner
    Things that are good for your scalp and hair might not be good for your face. If you find yourself breaking out on your neck and upper back, it might be because you are letting your shampoo or conditioner wash down your body in the shower. Try shampooing with your head tilted to minimize this drip, or switch to a different shampoo. Be especially watchful for sodium lauryl sulfate and other similarly named chemicals. While these compounds may help your shampoo foam up, they are another big culprit that may be causing your breakouts.
  9. Sunblock

The sun’s rays can cause your skin to age prematurely and develop unsightly blotches and spots. Using the wrong sunblock can lead to breakouts and zits. You can usually avoid this by opting for a physical sunblock rather than a chemical one. Sunblock that uses titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide as the active ingredient tends to be safer for acne-prone skin. If you prefer to use a chemical sunblock, be sure to do your research and find one that will not make your acne flare up.

More Tools At Your Disposal

If you are still suffering from acne despite everything you have tried, examine the things above and see if they might be contributing to your pimples. Acne is a complicated problem that is caused by a multitude of factors. If you can eliminate one or two of them by reducing your stress levels, or cutting down on biotin, it can do a lot to help keep your face clear and beautiful. Try everything for a week or two and pay attention to the results! You will figure out how things affect your face, giving you the information you need in your fight against acne.

At Essence of L Medi Spa & Laser Clinic, we understand that acne isn’t a small problem. While each pimple might be small, the damage caused by these unsightly bumps can be long lasting and difficult to heal. We think that each and every person should be able to have clear, beautiful skin. In order to achieve this goal, we are proud to announce a new Clear Skin acne program.

This one-of-a-kind option offers personalized treatments that are tailored to your unique skin. We take advantage of all of the latest developments in skincare in order to offer a clearance rate of up to 95% after four months.

The Clear Skin program combines revolutionary treatments with a bouquet of high-quality skincare products that have been hand picked and developed by our staff. Not only do we match products to your skin type, we also exhaustively research every ingredient in these products to make sure they are safe and non-irritating. We would not want you to make your acne worse because you are using a cleanser that is full of chemicals that clog your pores, irritate your skin, or disrupt your body’s hormonal balance.

In addition to the products and treatments you receive, our staff can help review your daily practices and identify potential habits that might be causing you to break out. The number of normal activities that can contribute to acne breakouts is surprising to most people. By making small changes in your daily routine, your diet, or even how you prepare for your recreational activities, you can put a major dent in your acne. When you combine this with your treatment sessions and skincare products, you will reduce breakouts even further and get the clear, glowing skin you deserve.

Most people don’t need prescriptions for their acne. Instead, they need a supportive environment, modern treatments, and a skincare routine that utilizes safe and effective ingredients. Essence of L’s Clear Skin program provides all three. By combining expert coaching from skin care experts (who also have also struggled with acne-prone skin), effective treatments, and some of the best skincare products on the market, we will help keep your skin clear and happy!

Don’t struggle against your acne alone! Get in touch with Essence of L Medi Spa & Laser Clinic and find out more about our Clear Skin and Visia Analysis program today. Together, we can start getting rid of your acne for good.

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Sun’s Still Out

 

I am one lucky girl to have found my Skin Therapist from Essence Of L Medi Spa. I swear I’m turning into Benjamin Button from seeing Leah! When I look in the mirror, I feel my skin looks better than when I was in my early 20’s. On a daily basis I get asked how I get such great skin and I am constantly writing down Leah’s contact.

Not only is Leah amazing at what she does, she is one of the most knowledgable people I know when it comes to skin health. So I thought what better way to share then by picking her brain and bringing you some Q&A’s on the essentials needed throughout the year. Even though we are rolling into fall, the sun is still out and these are some important tips you need to know. So Sit back, grab some rosè and enjoy our top 11 skin must do’s.

BB411~ What is the top treatment during sunny weather?

EOL~ Rejuvenating HydraFacial

BB411~ What is the biggest misconception people have about their skin health?

EOL~ Right now I hear (a lot) the question “If I wash my face before I go to bed, why do I have to wash it in the morning?” There are two reasons why it’s important: #1. If you wear active ingredients before you go to bed, you need to wash them off in the morning because they can make you photosensitive and cause irritation and #2. Can we say sweat, dirt and skin mites!

BB411~ SKIN MITES???????

EOL~ Yes!

BB411~ What is the biggest NO NO that clients do when it comes to skin health?

EOL~ Going to bed with makeup on!

BB411~ The next question really helped me out while I was competing in my fitness competitions. This is actually an acne tip (whether you workout or not). What are the top two things to do while working out to help with acne and breakouts?

EOL~ #1. Ice your face. If you can incorporate putting an ice cube on your face for 1-2 minutes it will reduce your inflammation. #2. Wash your face within five minutes of your workout.

BB411~ Leah says to cleanse your skin at the gym or after your workout but I don’t always find that easy. So is there a option that makes it more convenient?

EOL~ The best option we have found is to carry baby wipes with you.

BB411~ Do any baby wipes work? Even cheap baby wipes from say…….. the dollar store?

EOL~ NOOOOOOOOOO! The best ones we have found through continued research are the Costco Kirkland unscented baby wipes. There’s no pore-cloggers in them which is great. (Check out EOL’s list of Pore Clogging Ingredients)

BB411~ To laser or not laser in the Summer, that is the question???

EOL~ In the summer or sun exposure months I’d definitely say pass on laser treatments (Photo Facial or IPL). If you’re looking for treating anti-aging and sun spots, the sun will actually trigger more melanin so you want to avoid that with sun exposure.

BB411~ Spray tan or natural tan?

EOL~ If you are looking for a golden glow, we highly recommend a self-tanner like St Tropez.

BB411~ In June Leah launched her new acne skin care line and I have been testing it out since January on my face and body. It’s incredible. What are the new products in the line?

EOL~ We have two new cleansers – One is an exfoliator and one is for the face and body.

BB411~ Physical or chemical sunblock?

EOL~ We recommend using a physical sunblock during the summer. They are a little bit more hearty, they lay on the surface of the skin like a protective layer and they are usually water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

BB411~ In-between my awesome treatments, I upkeep by skin health by adding some at home maintenance. The “Lumibright” pineapple enzyme mask is great for exfoliating and decongesting.

BB411~ What would your top product pick be to use?

EOL~ It would definitely be Retinol, it is the gold standard in the industry. It’s great for anti-aging, for sun damage, melasma and it’s a big contender for acne.

Stay tuned for Leah’s Fall favourites coming soon!

Call and Book your appointment today:

(604) 619-4959
Much Love, BB411

Clear Skin With Leah!

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Unedited & Makeup Free in Natural Sunlight

I have been very fortunate with my skin over the years to not suffer from acne. Though on two different occasions I went through a really tough time with my skin. 1. When I was in high school I went to an aesthetician and they applied too strong of a treatment for my skin and I broke out bad (leading me to have to go to a dermatologist to get acne treatment) and 2. When I got my IUD in 2013 I went through a horrific 3-4 month period where my skin had lots of acne. Other than these two scenarios I have been lucky to have overall good skin.

I know and have talked to people that have or are suffering from acne. It can be debilitating, I remember the feeling of trying to cover up with makeup and being self-conscious that people were staring at me. It really weighs on your confidence. Recently I spoke with a friend that has acne so bad and she is so embarrassed about it that she has quit her job! My heart absolutely breaks for her.

This post is extra special for me…… I have been going to Essence Of L Medi Spa for over a year now and I have never had so many compliments on my skin. When people guess my age the guess 10-15 years younger! Honestly, between the many treatments I have tried one of my absolute favourites is Leah’s Acne Peel. While doing numerous fitness competitions and indulging on vices like rosè, my skin can get congested and this peel works wonders. I swear I look younger since starting my treatments. Also you don’t have to have acne to get this peel, it’s amazing for brightening too. And for those suffering from acne scars, Dermapen Skin Needling Treatments are AMAZING!

What I love most about Leah, other than the fact that she is the most knowledgable skin therapist I have ever seen, is that she suffered from 15 painful years of cystic acne herself so she knows the emotional investment all too well. Her compassion and love for her clients is hands down truly remarkable. I can’t tell you the number of compliments I get on a daily basis and my instant response is “You NEED to go see Leah, she’s the Best!”

I wanted to share an article that Leah wrote to hopefully help anyone out there suffering from acne better understand and offer a solution.

Why Adults Get Acne

Acne is a specific type of skin disorder that persists into adulthood in roughly half of all cases. Acne sufferers typically have oily skin that sheds multiple layers of skin cells per day, resulting in clogged pores that often erupt into different types of pimples. For most of us, we get to blame our family as it is an inherited tendency. While acne is treatable, it is important to understand the disorder in order to properly treat it.

Teenage acne is very different from the kind of acne that affects adults. As you grow older, your hormone levels stabilize and your skin cells age and mature. This tends to happen from the top down. One interesting side effect of this process is that acne moves down your face as you age.

Hormonal fluctuations increase oil secretions, which are produced inside the pore. Normally, this isn’t a problem however acne-prone skin sheds up to 5 times as many skin cells as normal skin. An increase in oil, which is a nutrient for bacteria to proliferate, it creates the perfect storm. A number of other factors can also contribute to a breakout including: birth control, pregnancy, medications, makeup, smoking, and stress.

When your pores are clogged by oil and dead skin, the plug will form a protected place for bacteria to grow. Many times, not much will happen inside your pores. This results in small whiteheads and blackheads without too much swelling.

As the pore begins to stretch, more oil and dead skin cells get caught under the plug, while bacteria inside the pore are allowed to multiply. If the pore gets too full and bursts, bacteria will spread to the surrounding cells. The result is a red bump of infected skin cells, called an inflammatory papule.

Your body tries its best to fight back when it notices an infection, and it will flood the area with white blood cells, creating pus. These pus-filled pimples are called pustules.

If a zit gets quite inflamed it can have other names. Nodules are zits that go very deep, while cysts are pimples that are more than 5mm across. Both of these outbreaks can be painful and tend to scar.

While acne is one of the more common types of skin concerns, there are a number of similar conditions that adults are also vulnerable to getting. Pyoderma facale is particularly common among women in their thirties and this breakout causes redness and pimples. Several fungal and bacterial infections manifest with acne-like symptoms, including folliculitis and staph. If your acne doesn’t get better with a normal treatment (or if it gets worse), consult a skin therapist to make sure you actually have acne and not a lookalike.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having a regular skin care routine can work wonders on all adult skin conditions. Moisturizing, exfoliating, using sunscreen, and keeping your stress levels low will reduce the chances of most kinds of outbreaks. When you do get breakouts, consider a visit to your favorite skin care provider. You will get professional help to assist in determining the exact cause of your pimples and you will get a chance to learn about all of the latest treatments, products and techniques.

Understanding the root cause of acne (dead skin and oil clogging pores) is vital to combat this skin disorder. Exfoliating helps prevent dead skin cells from accumulating, while antibacterial treatments can prevent clogged pores from becoming infected. By recognizing acne symptoms and taking appropriate action, you will be able to minimize outbreaks and keep your skin clear and healthy.

Call and Book your appointment today:

(604) 619-4959
Much Love, BB411

 

Winterized Beauty

With the New Year here and the cold weather still here, it is even more important to make sure to protect your skin. I always post on the importance of staying hydrated and keeping moisturized. Even though I try to drink as much water as possible, my skin still shows signs of dehydration at times during the winter months so I need to stay on top of my skin care regime. I wanted to bring you some of my absolute favourite things that I have discovered in 2012 that gave my skin that added boost of moisture.

cold-weather-skin

The first thing I want to talk about is treating yourself to a facial. Now it is important to keep up with weekly maintenance at home, but I recommend finding a great spa near you to pamper yourself each month. A lot of spas have specials that make it affordable to go on a regular basis. For those of you that have been following the blog for some time, know that I just adore SKN Holistic Rejuvenation Clinic in Vancouver. From the moment I have been going to them my skin has been in love and just can’t seem to get enough. I swear that my skin acts up sometimes just so I will go in for a treatment. On a recent visit to SKN, I received the “Perk Me Up Peel“.This peel is a great, quick treatment that creates visible change and hydration in the skin. It boosts the skin by removing surface cells with AHA’s and is completed with an infusion of antioxidants.First off they started by cleansing my skin with Osmosis “Cleanse” with 20% lactic acid added to it. Then a 50% lactic acid was applied to my skin and left on for 2-3 minutes to help with cell turnover, decongestion and hydration. After a Rhonda Allison Omega 6 oil was put on my skin, along with a milk mask to pump up the moisture. While the mask and oil sat on my skin, a cold jade roller was glided across my face (this was the best part). To finish off the treatment, I had more Omega 6 oil and a growth factor serum added for healing and rejuvenating. Not only was my skin glowing when I left, but the next morning and days after I had clear, radiant skin~ no more dehydration and congestion. You can check out SKN Shop  for all these lines and many more great products.

clinicalPeels

Now I have some absolute favourites when it comes to MUST HAVE products that hold a permanent residence in my cupboard. With saying this I want to not only include them in this post but also introduce you to some new contenders I have had cross my path.

Hair~ Now since I cut my hair last February and have a shorter style, I have really started to play around with different products. Recently I have started the journey of becoming a blonde, which means with curly hair as well, I need to find lines that give my hair tons of moisture. Here is a list of some of my favourite products that are keeping my hair in top shape this New Year.

Joico “Smooth Cure” hair care line~ This line gives my hair tons of moisture and helps protect it from the dry winter weather. I love their Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, both contain KeraShield Complex that reduces frizz and leaves my hair manageably soft and smooth. After I like to add Joico’s leave-in rescue treatment. This cream can be used alone on wet hair as a styling aid or it can be applied before blowdrying your hair. When blowdrying my hair I also like to add their thermal styling protectant, these two combined protect my hair against humidity and thermal damage. The whole “Smooth Cure” line from Joico smells great on top off all the goodness it does for your tresses. Another great leave in treatment I found was Biolage Smoothing Shine Milk. This light-weight mist helps control flyaway’s, frizz and gives added shine while leaving my curls bouncy and soft.

The original Mane ‘n Tail hair care line~ It’s funny I originally heard of this line and tried it years ago, but was recently sent some product. This line gave great moisture and strength to my hair. I enjoyed the shampoo, conditioner and hair strengthener. One product that was new to me (and not hair related) was their Hoofmaker hand & nail therapy, it was originally developed for horses to moisturize dry, cracked and brittle hooves. This cream is light-weight and non-greasy. It adds instant moisture to dry hands and left my cuticles nourished.

Moroccan Oil products~ What’s not to love about this line. One product that I recently discovered during a photo shoot was their Luminous hairspray, all I can say is it smells heavenly~ like being on a beach in the Caribbean. It has medium hold but still keeps your hair manageable with a natural look. It’s even easy to brush out if you’re needing to change-up your style. 03739

LUSH~ Awwwwww Good ol LUSH Cosmetics, what can I say ~ How I love thee! As many of you know LUSH holds a special place in my heart. I have discovered so many fabulous products from them that I enjoy sharing them all with you. When it comes to hair, LUSH has been a life saver. I am totally obsessed with their R&B hair moisturizer which I have posted about before. It is one of my go to products that I also use as a styling aid. The Blousey shampoo is a new-found favorite that contains rose oil, blackcurrant absolute, thyme and rosemary. It has fresh smashed organic bananas that provide my hair (especially being blonde) with intense moisture. Next I discovered Happy Happy Joy Joy hair conditioner, which reminds me of Springtime and all the flowers in bloom. With Orange flower absolute, rosewood and grapefruit oils your hair will be dancing a happy tune. Once a week I like to run a bath, apply a hair treatment/mask and relax. There is nothing I enjoy more than hair products that contain peppermint and honey, and Roots hair treatment contains both. I love the way it tingled and left a cooling sensation on my scalp. Honestly my hair had major bounce after this treatment! Last but not least Shine So Bright split end treatment. I love adding this to my hair as a finishing touch after drying. You can use to mend split ends or tame fly-aways as well. It’s a perfect size to slip into you purse and have as a quick fix when your out on the town.baby-lips_pack-shot-crop_Quenched

This past October I attended World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto and had the opportunity to go backstage with Redken and Maybelline to see all the magic created before the shows. I have always been a fan of both brands and during this trip I came across some new products that caught my eye. First off Hair! Again with shorter curly hair, finding a styling cream that doesn’t weigh my hair down is a little tricky. Also one that doesn’t leave it looking greasy is the key too. That’s where Redken Tousle Whip 04 comes in. This cream smells divine and delivers soft texture while providing a good hold. Then when I want to blow out and style my hair I first use Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide, with macadamia oil it adds protection and leaves my hair glossy smooth. After I dry it, I use Redken Iron Shape 11 finishing thermal spray. This heat protective spray locks in curl and straight shapes while adding a touchable, shiny finish. There are many Maybelline products that now fill my makeup bag, one being their new moisturizing lip balm “Baby Lips“. This lip balm provides 8 hours of hydration and I was passed on a beauty trick from Maybelline’s lead Makeup Artist Grace Lee ~ use it to highlight your features. That’s right girls, you can add “Quenched” (shown here) to your cheekbones for contouring. This new balm also comes in scrumptious shades and my new favorite is “Cherry Me”.

brown_ss_angleFace and Body~ When it comes to my skin I love products that smell great, deep clean and keep me well moisturized. I believe in exfoliating your skin each week, always moisturizing and not going to bed with makeup on (though we all have done this a few times I bet). Here are some of my favourites from 2012 that I can’t seem to put down. Even though I love going to the spa, I love even more finding products that I can indulge in right in my own home. During my birthday last year I received La Licious brown sugar & vanilla sugar souffle’ and this is definitely a scrub you need to get your hands on. It exfoliates your skin to perfection and did I mention it’s all natural! It has all my favourite ingredients~ Brown cane sugar, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and honey. It smells so good you will want to eat it. Another great scrub that I was introduced to by the same friend was Jade & Ginseng Sugar Scrub from Jade Spa. With the detoxifying properties of jade and many health benefits of ginseng, your skin will  be exfoliated, renewed, smooth and hydrated. These two have permanent homes beside my tub.

When it comes to shower time and cleansing my skin I tend to mix it up between using scrubs, body washes, milks and my latest craze~shower jelly. LUSH  introduced me to shower jelly’s and I was instantly hooked. A few of my favourites have been Calacas (limited time only)~which smells like green life saver candies, Ghost~which smells like a garden of jasmine and lilies, and my latest obsession Whoosh~ which bursts with a lemon scent and is sure to wake you up. The great thing about these shower jelly’s is they clean your skin so well without stripping the moisture. Another fave from LUSH  is their Rub Rub Rub shower scrub. This sea salt scrub contains a mimosa and orange blossom scent that is sure to awaken your senses. After cleaning your skin you always need to moisturize. It is said the best way is to apply your crams and lotions while you skin is still damp. Sticking with a theme I came across a few beauty finds from LUSH,  Vanilla DEE-Lite body lotion  is vitamin-packed and made with their Vanilla Fountain fragrance and fresh kiwis. Though this lotion is light it still leaves your skin supple. Another great moisturizer for those looking for an organic line is Consonant C ultra moisturizing organic face cream. This cream is formulated with organic botanicals and natural source hydrators making it a perfect fit for the driest winter weather. Last but not least when it comes to cleansing my face I look for a wash that is gentle for sensitive eyes, deep cleans and won’t over-dry my skin. Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel does the job. I love how easy this cleanser washes my face and easily rinses off. Dermalogica products are formulated without artificial fragrances and colours, making them suitable for all skin types.

Wel there you have it, a few of my favorites from 2012 that I’m continuing to love in the New Year. I’d love to hear what your MUST HAVE beauty products are that you just can’t live without.

Remember to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Look Good and Feel Great with MASC

One thing that Beauty Buzz 411 is constantly on the look out for is fabulous men’s skin care. I have spoken to many men and skin care is not much of an importance on their list. Usually because they want to keep it simple, don’t have time and most don’t know what’s best to use. Beauty Buzz 411 is pleased to be working with MASC, a one stop shop in Vancouver for everything when it comes to skin care for the boys. Their online shop is amazing and I love how they are selective on which brands they carry. From The moment I stepped foot into the Vancouver store (in the heart of Yaletown) I felt right at home. It doesn’t hurt that Owners Patrick Levesque and Jamie Beuthin are incredibly knowledgeable and are such amazing guys. I still remember the moment I first met Patrick, it was an instant connection and I knew that we would work on something great together. As the months rolled on I have had the chance to get to know Patrick more and realize how down to earth he is and passionate he is about mens skin care needs.

Beauty Buzz 411 will be working with MASC and testing out the latest and greatest skin care for men. There will be on going monthly posts on what products and lines are a “MUST HAVE”! Recently I had the opportunity to indulge (along with my male panelists) in some amazing beauty products that were an instant hit. First was the Jack Black “Beard Lube” Conditioning Shave. I have to say this was a HUGE Winner for both myself and the boys. I used it on my legs and was blown away, I actually think it may be the best I’ve ever tried! As for the men they found it incredible, a 4 day hair growth shaved as easily as 1 day (without the razor catching the hair). With jojoba, eucalyptus and macadamia nut oil your skin will be left feeling clean and soft. Beard Lube is a pre-shave oil, shave cream and skin conditioner all in one. Not only does it go on clear making it easy for the men to see the hair, but it rinses easily and won’t leave a film or clog your blade.

Now you all know I am an advocate for exfoliation, well Menscience “Microfine” Face Scrub is a great addition to any skin type regime. I love how this product contains glycolic acid to remove dead cells, salicylic acid to clear pores and allantoin/aloe/glycerin to soften and soothe skin. It’s gentle for the face but still worked great on the chest and back! For the men it was great to prepare the skin for shaving. Also from the same line, another absolute MUST HAVE was Menscience “Advanced Face Lotion”. This lotion was ultra light-weight yet provided mega moisture, perfect for the men (especially those travelling on planes a lot). Not only is it formulated with advanced water-binding agents and skin-refining ingredients, It helps renew and restore your complexion. It really nurtures and protects your skin.

Last but not least I wanted to find a new cleanser that would be great for everyday use without stripping the skin of moisture. I discovered Kyoku “Daily Facial Cleanser” , it is inspired by Japanese herbal skin remedies and is designed especially with a mans skin in mind. I loved the way it felt on my skin and the scent of peppermint was uplifting. I was very pleased with these 4 beauty finds and look forward to searching out and bringing you all more. There was one more product that I tested out, Evolution Man Conceal and Treat and I feel it’s the perfect concealor for Men. It isn’t greasy and has a matte finish, making it great for providing coverage without looking like you’re wearing make up. I highly recommend picking one up as you never know when a late night or blemish will throw your complexion for a loop.

I recently had the chance to interview Patrick and find out the 411 on what’s to know when it comes to skin care for the boys!

BB411~ You and Jamie are the founders of MASC, how did the idea come to be?

PL~We graduated with Bachelor of Commerce degrees in Entrepreneurial Management, with no specific ideas of how we were going to apply that in the real world. We worked at several different jobs and gained some invaluable experience before it dawned on us about getting into men’s skin care & grooming. We both found ourselves having a hard time finding products  that were on the market, but were just not easily accessible. We also disliked having to go into a women’s shop or department store to find one shelf of product for men, which seemed more of an afterthought than anything else.

BB411~You carry select product lines, what do you look for in deciding which ones to carry?

PL~We consider the reputation of the brand, if it’s unique in comparison to other brands we carry, whether or not the product works well, the quality of the ingredients, whether it’s tested on animals, and of product packaging. We also really strive to offer our customers something unique and thus don’t see the point in offering a brand they can easily buy at the drug store.

BB411~ What do you want people to feel when shopping in the store or online with Masc? What makes you different from other stores?

PL~ We want people to feel comfortable and informed at masc. We are not about pressuring a guy to buy something, or the most expensive product, but rather finding the best products for their skin or to address their specific concerns. We take the time to ask questions, and are always happy to provide samples if he’s uncertain. Our store caters specifically to men, is run by men, we are knowledgeable about our products, and obviously have direct experience with skin care and grooming for men. We know what works. Online we try to provide as much information, including videos where we talk about the products so that they can feel like they’re in the store, even when they are not. We are renowned not only for our extremely high level of customer service but also for our unique assortment of quality products. Most of our brands will not be found anywhere else in Vancouver, and in some cases even in Canada.

BB411~How important is skin care for men?

PL~Men tend to underestimate the importance of a good skin care routine. If you consider the fact that men take blades to their face when shaving, I’d almost say it’s even more important for men. There are various skin complications that can arise from improper shaving techniques or poor quality products.

BB411~What are some key points for men in taking care of their skin?

PL~Cleanse & moisturize daily, both morning and night. Use a good shaving cream and exfoliate a few times a week right before you shave. Not only with this improve the appearance of your skin, but it will also allow for a smoother and less irritating shave. Just remember, your shave can make or break the appearance of your skin so it’s important to really figure this part out. Also, your under eye area can be the first area of your face that will show signs of aging. Using a good under eye product daily, morning and night will go a long way. The key is consistency with all of this. Get into a good routine and stick to it. The more you take care of your skin now, the more benefits you’ll reap in the future. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes.

BB411~Does nutrition and fitness play an importance in healthy skin?

PL~It’s all connected. If you don’t take care of your body by eating healthy, keeping hydrated, and exercising, it will reflect on the health of your skin as well. Just like if you work out like crazy, but eat takeout every night, you’re not achieving the optimal results that you could be.

BB411~#1 mistake men make when it comes to taking care of their skin?

PL~Not moisturizing. Guys have either never been told they should moisturize, and never experienced the benefits, or have had a bad experience with a poor quality moisturizer that made them feel greasy. There are some great moisturizers available that will make your skin look and feel great, and it is so important to moisturize daily.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

PL~I don’t necessarily carry any beauty products with me on a day-to-day basis besides a Jack Black Lip Balm. If I had to choose another, I’d select a hand cream. More often than not I don’t have a bag with me so I have to keep it simple. Oh, one product that is good to keep at work though is a jar of toner pads. Sometimes if you’re going somewhere straight after work and want to freshen up without having to wash your face, toner pads are great for that.

BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?

PL~ The Vitamin E Moisturizer from (Malin+Goetz). I’ve been using it for years and it works so well. It’s oil-free and they use fatty acids as the primary moisturizing ingredient, so it absorbs into the skin very well.

BB411~ Favorite cleanser and exfoliant?

PL~ My favorite cleanser right now is the Menscience Daily Face Wash and my favorite scrub is the Urth Face Scrub.

BB411~ Favorite Cologne?

PL~ Duro by Nasomatto

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

PL~ Good question. I’d have to say that beauty comes from the inside out. I know that’s cliché, but I know that for me, if someone is an awful person, it changes the way I see them. The same goes for someone with a big heart. I think someone who respects others and themselves is also the same person that will take care of themselves and try to reflect on the outside how they are on the inside. It doesn’t always go hand in hand though.

BB411~ What does it mean to give back?

PL~ It means helping those that are less fortunate or that need a helping hand of some sort. There are so many organizations out there that need support and we feel really good about being able to help whenever we can.

BB411~ What charities or causes are you involved in or that are dear to your heart?

PL~ I’m definitely a supporter of anti-bullying and different causes that go along with that. We have and continue to support many Out In School events put on by Friends & Company. Also, we support the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation as well as they are such a fantastic organization. Another one that is important to me is Autism Speaks. My niece has autism and it’s becoming more and more common and requires a lot of support and awareness within the community because there’s still so much unknown about it. Families with kids that have autism need all the help they can get. We support other causes, including different sports teams etc, but those two are ones that stand out in my mind.

BB411~ What inspires you?

Wow, that’s a good one. I think I’m inspired by the fact that all limitations are self-imposed. When someone says I can’t, I want to prove them wrong. Being an entrepreneur, there are no limits and it’s all up to us how big we want to dream. The other day I was at the gym after having not made it a priority for a while, and I saw a blind man working out, with his guide dog helping him navigate through a busy gym. People like THAT inspire me.

BB411~ That is truly inspiring, WOW!

BB411~ Favorite quote?

PL~ “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

BB411~ You are also one of the founders of Homorazzi, can you tell me a bit about that?

PL~ Homorazzi started about two years into Masc being open. I started it with my friend Donovan and a bunch of our friends were eager to join in as well. It’s  an entertainment site where we write about the latest in TV, movies, music, celebrities, gay issues, and of course, intermixed with some eye candy. It’s been an exciting ride and we’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many cool people along the way. We also have a show on OUTtv now where a panel of four of us talk about the same sorts of topics that we cover on our site.

BB411~ You are openly gay, has that been a struggle for you in your life?

PL~ Every since I’ve come out of the closet, being gay has never been a struggle. The struggle was when I was still in the closet and having to constantly lie to myself and others. When I was true to who I was, the world opened up many doors and I am a much happier person for it.

BB411~ What advice would you give to the younger generation that may be struggling with coming out?

PL~ We grow up hearing the phrase “be yourself” and it couldn’t be more true in this scenario. There is no rule for when you should come out, so do it when you feel ready, but know that your life will get better in the long run once you do.

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you know now what would it be? (a lesson learned or wisdom gained?)

PL~ I would tell my younger self that my family and friends will love me for who I am, regardless of my sexuality. I would also say to myself, “Follow your dreams and do what makes you happy in life.”

BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?

PL~ I just found out last year that I was adopted! The news brought my family closer together so it was a positive experience.

To find out more about MASC and all the faboulous products check out their website, visit the store , follow on  facebook and  Twitter

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

When life gives you lemons…Use them for Beauty!

It’s funny they say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade~ I say use it in your beauty regime!

For centuries lemons have been used for their numerous health and beauty benefits. They are high in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene. Lemons boost your immune system, balance ph levels and help promote clearer skin. Lemons act as a digestive aid and cleanse the liver, which when added to your diet can help with weight loss.

I wanted to share with all of you some great tips and tricks on how lemons are the perfect beauty tool and packed full of power for your health.

Digestion and cleansing the system~ First thing in the morning on an empty stomach, I add freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon to a cup of lukewarm water and drink. This helps jump-start my system and purges toxins from the blood which helps keep my skin clear. Lemon juice helps in digestion and aids the liver to get rid of impurities.  “According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down”. I say what better way to start your morning ritual then to add these beautiful little yellow gems to your day!

Acne~ Lemons contain citric acid and vitamin C, which can be effective in treating acne and promoting healthy glowing skin. I like to take fresh sliced tomato with lemon juice on them, place on my face and relax for a bit. This not only brightens your complexion, the natural acid helps to clear up blemishes.

Constipation~ Combine 1 cup of hot water, ¼ lemon and 1 tsp ground flax-seed, mix thoroughly and drink. This home remedy can be taken daily until issue resolves.

Oily Hair~ You don’t need to be annoyed with oily hair anymore! Take 2 spoons of lemon juice, add it to some water and use in your last rinse. It will also help add shine to your hair too. I remember growing up and putting lemon juice in my hair while going out and sitting in the sun. This lightened my hair and added natural highlights.

Blackheads~ Take 5 cotton pads and soak in lemon juice and place them onto your  face. After 15 minutes,  remove and allow your skin to dry. This process can be repeated daily until your pores are clear.

Discolored nails or excess nail polish~ Whenever I take nail polish off I sometimes tend to have a little discoloration on my nail bed. I take a lemon and cut it in half and squeeze out the juice into a bowl. I then take the lemon half and rub on my nails. After I take the juice that I squeezed from the lemon and soak my fingers in the bowl for 10 minutes. To finish off I take a nail brush (or a toothbrush will work too) and scrub my nails. Lemons are a great natural bleach and can be used for dark underarms, elbows and knees too. Again take half a lemon and rub onto the darkened area. Regular application of lemon lightens the skin color.

The color yellow reminds me of summer and I especially love rocking a great polish. A few of my favorites are MAC “Al Fredo” , butter LONDON  “Cheeky Chops” and Sephora O.P.I “opaque bright buttercup yellow”

What are the favorite ways you incorporate lemon into your life?

Would love to hear what your favorite nail lacquer is in YELLOW!

Remember to say that you heard it first from Beauty Buzz 411!

Email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here.

Look forward to hearing from all of you

Much love, Beauty Buzz 411

Spinach Power

When I was younger  I was told to eat my spinach so I would grow up to be big and strong (like Popeye). It wasn’t till I was older that I realized how true that statement was and how much power spinach really has. Learning more about this Superfood and all the health and beauty benefits it provides, I’ve made a real effort to include it more in my diet. This leafy green vegetable is full of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. Did you know that “one cup of spinach contains far more than your daily requirements of vitamin K and vitamin A, almost all the manganese and folate your body needs and nearly 40 percent of your magnesium requirement. Vitamin A is especially important for promoting healthy skin (like preventing wrinkles and improving acne) and is an excellent source of more than 20 different measurable nutrients, including dietary fiber, calcium and protein.” I’d say that spinach is definitely one of the superheros in Superfoods.

Now I am not a huge fan of eating raw spinach on its own (though a lot of people love a good spinach salad), so I have found a few creative ways to make sure I get my daily dose. Here are a few tasty recipes that I love to get more nutrient-rich spinach into my day.

Simple Sautéed Spinach:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (coconut oil is my #1 preference)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 20 ounces fresh spinach (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

*Weights & Measures:

  •                 10 ounces trimmed mature spinach=about 10 cups raw
  •                 10 ounces baby spinach=about 8 cups raw

Cheese and Spinach stuffed Portobellos:

  • 4 large Portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce

oven to 450°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (I use coconut oil)

  • Place mushroom caps, gill-side up, on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mash ricotta, spinach, 1/4 cup Parmesan, olives, Italian seasoning and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Place marinara sauce in a small bowl, cover and microwave on High until hot, 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes.
  • When the mushrooms are tender, carefully pour out any liquid accumulated in the caps. Return the caps to the pan gill-side up. Spread 1 tablespoon marinara into each cap; cover the remaining sauce to keep warm. Mound a generous 1/3 cup ricotta filling into each cap and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until hot, about 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining marinara sauce.

Smoothies and Baked goods: Last the #1 way I love to add more spinach to my diet is in my morning shakes and baking. First off, I add a handful of either raw or frozen spinach to my smoothie. You can easily buy frozen spinach at the super market that comes in cubes, making it easy to drop a few in your shake. I usually mix it with chocolate protein powder, frozen berries and almond/coconut milk. You won’t be able to taste it and being frozen gives your shake an icy consistency. As for baking, you can add it to any cookie, loaf, or muffin recipe. I also do the same with zucchini and always make sure to add some nuts.

As you can see these are just a few ways I incorporate spinach into my daily meals. It’s really quite simple and the health benefits are incredible. Along with other vegetables and fruits, I try to buy organic whenever possible.

What is your favorite way to add spinach into your diet?

Would love to hear your recipes

Remember to say that you heard it first from Beauty Buzz 411!

Email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here.

Look forward to hearing from all of you

Much love, Beauty Buzz 411