Archive for the ‘Anti-Inflammatory’ 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

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

“Balanced and Fit……. a fitness journey”

fitness-quotes1I can’t believe I am approaching the three-month mark since I started my fitness journey. The only other time I have completed something similar in duration was when I entered a fitness competition through Muscle Hers fitness magazine a few years back. I completed 9 weeks, so to be at 3 months seems incredible and I can’t help but be proud of myself. I love the quote pic this week “It never gets easier, you just get stronger!”. The initial stages were tough as my body was adjusting to  getting back into a routine of hitting the gym. But as time goes on it is still challenging and so it should be. You should never get to a point where you workout and don’t feel the burn or hit a plateau. You should always look for ways to push your body and shock your muscles. The one thing that does get easier is how your body recovers as you get stronger. By staying committed and making fitness a part of your lifestyle, you will gain strength like you never knew you had.

The one thing that has impressed myself as the weeks have gone on is how I’m able to lift heavier weights and do intervals. Last week my trainer Hanan had added in an additional day for my legs where I do back to back exercises with no break in between. I have to admit, I got my butt kicked (which was her mission). After my first set I was feeling like I had done three, but I knew I had to stay focus and that it was just mind over matter. Too often in the past I would have done one set and quit, not this time. I finished all three sets and then proceeded to do cardio. I can tell you that I definitely felt it the next day and I am starting to see my rear end firm up. My stomach has a nice little 4.5 pack.

At the end of my sets  I also had another inspiration~ while at the gym I had a gentleman who was in a wheelchair come into the room and workout beside me. It made me stop for a moment and realize how much I have to be grateful for and that there are no excuses. I was so motivated by his determination and focus that it helped push me harder and inspired me. I normally do not work out in that room at Steve Nash Fitness and I am so glad I did that day. There are many people out there that have difficult circumstances that could make them throw their hands up and give up, instead they don’t let it hold them back and persevere. I also wanted to share a video I saw recently that truly inspired me ~ Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation!
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As for my diet, I have been pretty disciplined with staying on track. There have been long working days where it’s tempting to grab junk food or make poor food choices. Not any more! On the go I continue to opt for fruit, nuts, veggie smoothies and protein shakes. My obsession with Kale continues, I have been eating tons of salads with fresh raw kale (seen in picture here). I take some butter lettuce and mix kale, red peppers, cucumbers, celery and hearts of palm (which are so tasty and remind me of artichoke hearts~not to mention have many health benefits). For the dressing I use a little apple cider vinegar mixed with a few drops of honey and some olive oil. If you want a bit more of the good fats, I suggest slicing some avocado and adding it to your salad.

This next week will be fun as I am doing a HUGE photo shoot with an amazing team. With this said I am making sure to workout extra hard, stay super hydrated and eat clean. I will be experimenting with fruit and veggie shakes and make sure to post some pictures and recipes next week.

Well Week 12, let’s do this!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

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

“Balanced and Fit…….a fitness journey”

mind-2-body-pilates-gym-inspiring-fitness-quotes-sayings-take-care-of-your-body-exercise-motivational-statements-famous-quotes

Ten weeks have passed and the lessons keep coming. This past week I experienced food poisoning and it left me out of commission for more days than I wished to experience. This was tough as I had already been fighting the flu for a few weeks. Unfortunately I had to cut my gym time short and limit the amount of exercise. At times like this when you get a wrench thrown into things, you have to take care of yourself. I could have pushed myself and completed my workouts, but I feel in my gut that it would have done more harm than good. This picture quote is perfect, you only have one body, you might as well take care of it. When your body is fighting off something, sometimes the only thing to do is get some rest. So that is what I did and I am feeling a lot better. My diet this week lacked as I was not able to eat much. With this said, when I did have an appetite I made sure to get in as much protein as I could and stay on top of my leafy greens. I consumed many shakes~ Kale and me are becoming bff’s.

In my last check-in with Hanan, I sent the pictures wearing a bikni so she could see better what was going on in my overall body. She really wants to target my booty so she has added an additional lower body workout. I am excited for my workouts this week and look forward to the continued changes to come.

I am ready to jump back into my routine and hit the gym and nutrition hard this week. I love odd numbers so week 11….. I’m ready for you!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

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

“Balanced and Fit……..a fitness journey”

It’s crazy to think that I have been on this fitness journey for 6 weeks now. By documenting and posting each week for you I have really been able to look back and reflect on all the progress made so far. I am starting to gain a strength I never knew I had and learning how to live a balanced life. This quote picture was my inspiration this past week. Alot of the time when you are sore from a workout, your mind takes over and it becomes a mental struggle. You really have to push that aside and keep going, eventually it becomes easier. I also love this picture because I adore Jillian Michael’s and she inspires me. I still have on my bucket list to one day train with her and Bob Harper.

I worked out really hard this past week during my weight sessions and my body definitely felt the burn. I still find my leg workouts the most challenging, mostly because for days after I can barely walk. One thing Hanan my fitness trainer suggested was to increase my Glutamine and take and extra dose before bed. Also since I have completed 6 weeks of training, Hanan decided to revamp my plan and I am now on phase 2. I am still doing 4 days of weights but she has changed up the exercises and added in cardio. I can’t wait to shock my body and see how it reacts.

I have continued to stay on track with a clean diet and only had one cheat meal this week (Indian food). I still do my meal prep for the week and have been loving experimenting with different ways to add flavour to my protein. Mrs. Dash is really becoming my new bff. This week I decided to take my yams and sweet potatoes, cut them into cubes, toss them with cinnamon and a teaspoon of Olive oil (you can use coconut too) and bake them. WOW, they tasted incredible and I tricked my mind into thinking it was getting a sweet treat. Cinnamon is really good for you and helps stabilize your blood sugar. My choice of veggie this week was broccoli, I couldn’t seem to get enough of it (whether steamed or raw). It’s funny lately everyone has been saying that my skin is glowing, it must be from all the good I’m doing to and putting into my body. Oh and it doesn’t hurt that I wash my face with pure organic honey!

I’m looking forward to starting my week 7, not only because it is my birthday (which will be a challenge on its own) but each week I am seeing my body transform more and more. My clothes are starting to become baggy which gives me a reason for some shopping sprees! So far I have lost 4.5 pounds and my upper body is really starting to show definition. My lower body is a little more stubborn, but Hanan says that is normal. I have however taken 1.5″ off my hips~Exciting!

Thank you to my personal trainer Hanan Arabatlian from Hanan Fitness  for my fitness program &Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for sponsoring my training at their various gyms.

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