You may remember the article we shared a few weeks back where Jourdan Dunn practically invited us to have full access to her beauty cabinet.  She revealed an arsenal of products, many of which landed on my wish list.

Then Jourdan decided to be extra generous and reveal her Sunday evening skin perfecting routine.  One of the items in her reveal was Skin Owl’s Beauty Steam.  It’s a combination of skin loving herbs that take your facial steam to a new level.  It sounded amazing…..but a bit pricey.

The idea of enjoying an herbal facial steam seemed too intriguing to pass up.  So I started researching for alternatives.  Soon, I stumbled on an age old beauty secret that women have been enjoying for years to create their most flawless glow.

Apparently, there’s an herbal laxative called Swiss Kriss has become a cult skin care secret.  Instead of consuming the tea for internal cleansing.  Beauty advocates perform a “laxative facial” by placing the flakes in a bowl of hot water and allowing the steam to deep clean pores and remove toxins.

I guess it sorta makes sense because the ingredients in the Swiss Kriss are known for their cleansing qualities.  Could it also work as a mini pore purifier?

According to what I’ve read online, it most certainly does!   After checking out an interview of a woman who swears by the laxative facial on Refinary29, I was sold.  She first heard of this detoxifying steaming facial from an “insanely beautiful friend, with the most flawless perfect skin.”  After trying the Swiss Kriss laxative facial for herself, Rachel claims that “the result is truly glowing skin.”

In a separate article featuring Swiss Kriss, a couple  commenters shared their experience:

Gotta say this stuff really works! I used to steam my complexion with Swiss Kriss years (Decades!) ago and it cleared my skin up beautifully. You know how things go, though. I moved away from my local health food store where I bought it and could never find it again, and finally just forgot about it… (This was before we all had computers and Google and the ability to find just about anything on line.) Well, I was just inspecting my woefully clogged pores in my magnifying mirror and that old herbal laxative steam remedy popped into my head. I remembered how my college roommates teased me when they saw the laxative in my beauty supplies! I realized I could probably find it again online! 

I read about this facial years ago in an interview with a top model who needed perfect skin for close up shots. It works very very well – just remember to moisturize your face about a half hour after steaming it with Swiss Kriss.

Those are just a couple of testimonies, there a many more left by Amazon reviewers who have granted Swiss Kriss a perfect 5 start rating!  I love the laxative facial as an alternative deep pore cleansing method for those who find clay masks to be too drying.   This is a beauty secret that has been around for ages. And now you are officially in the know!  Swiss Kriss is a much more affordable alternative to the designer brand that Jourdan uses. Thanks to Swiss Kriss, we can ALL elevate our Sunday Skin care experience to Super Model Status.

During awards season, you often of celebrities’ pre-red carpet ritual.  It’s what the stars do to make sure they look their absolute best.  Our red carpet equivalent is a night out.  It’s one of the many opportunities to look amazing.  Shouldn’t we also have a specific routine made for those special moments?

Last night, I was invited to a casual social event with a group of people.  No big deal, except these people were old high school classmates.  It’s been quite a while since we all graduated and there have been lots of physical transformations over the years.  I really wanted to look like the best version of myself so I started thinking about what I could do to boost my overall look just a little.

Then it hit me. Why not do a sheet mask ceremony before heading out?  The premise is that perhaps the mask could give my skin an added glow beyond my typical products.  Prior to cleansing, I did a quick facial massage with coconut oil.  This is to promote blood flow to the face while lifting up dirt from the pores.  Next, I cleansed using the Clarisonic pro and Phace cleanser.

Once my skin was dry, I pulled out a sheet mask that I was able to pick up from a local Asian market.  This brand caught my eye because it contained mandelic acid.  Let me warn you all that this brand completely saturates it’s masks with product.  Even when I pull out their heavily coated sheet, the packet still contains excess product at the bottom.  Because of their generosity in soaking this mask with serum, I have to wear the mask while in a reclined position.  Even while laying down, excess product eventually starts to drip from the sheet.

The moment this happened, I simply removed the mask and placed it gently back into its package for a second use.  Once removed, my face was covered in serum.  Suddenly, I didn’t know what to do. Do wipe it off with a paper towel or cleanse again with a gentle cleanser?  The instant I stopped panicking and started thinking logically, the answer came to me.  “Massage it in, you fool!”  

Immediately, I started massaging the gooey serum in.  Within seconds, most of it was absorbed leaving behind highly moisturized skin.  My face looked like it received a weeks worth of skin loving serum in one short session (but without looking greasy).  I couldn’t get over how amazing my skin looked.

When I pulled out of the driveway, I had one intention……to have some old classmate look at me and say “wow you look so young….did you go to school with us?” Call it vain, but I had a mission to accomplish.

The night was fun. Lots of getting reconnected with people from the long lost past.  At one point, this guy walks up to me and introduces himself.  I responded by sharing my name and confirming that I attended the same school. After a second of contemplation, he says, “you look kinda young to be in the same class as us.”  #missionaccomplished   It was at that point that I revealed my intention to him and congratulated him for helping me to achieve it.

Overall it was a good night. Not only did I catch up with old friends, but I discovered this little trick that’ll change all my night outs from this day forward.  The next experiment to try is indulging in consecutive sheet mask rituals for several nights in a row in preparation for more substantial events.  Hopefully, this is just part one of the “pre-night out” beauty ritual series.  Looking forward to doing more of these posts.

Recently, I treated myself to a series of 3 professional peels at a local spa.  I’ve always heard that purchasing a series of treatments was much more effective than sporadic visits. The treatments themselves were fairly mild. My skin only peeled lightly for the most part.  Overall, I did experience some acne scar fading. But what was really interesting is what happened on my last visit.

As I laid on the little bed awaiting the application of the peel, I took the opportunity to ask a few questions.  The esthetician and I got on the topic of acne scars.  That’s when she gave me possibly the best advice on treating discoloration that I’ve ever heard.  “You have to do something every day to fade your acne.”  She went on to explain how she used the “do something every day” method to successfully create her flawless skin.

Summer’s coming y’all.  The signature look of summer skin is superb flawlessness.  Most of us will sport hair styles that keep our hair off our shoulders.  Your skin will become the center of attention.  That’s why we gotta start working now! Let’s adopt this daily acne scar elimination strategy pronto.

Ok, to keep it simple, we’ll the actions to 3 main categories: Exfoliation, Protection & Treatment.

Protection comes down to one thing, wearing sunscreen everyday…no excuses.  The sun basically acts as an instigator, causing your skin to hyperpigment.  Without the aid of sunscreen, you’re leaving your skin vulnerable to the short term & long effects of the sun.  If you aren’t committed to wearing sunscreen daily, how can you be serious about wanting even toned skin? Let’s make this priority #1.

Once we have protection down pact, it’s time to address current discoloration.  Everyone we’ve ever studied with perfect skin all profess to following a regular practice of exfoliation. We’ve seen it over, and over, and over again.  Regular exfoliation and a glowing complexion go hand in hand.  Keep in mind that there a levels to this.  You can exfoliate daily using the gentlest of products like Cure Exfoliating Gel or you can opt to facial scrubs and fading serums.  Maybe daily exfoliation isn’t your thing, if not, you can try regular enzyme peels like Beyonce does.  I mean, if it’s good enough to create Beyonce’s perfect glow, it’s good enough for us too.

Lastly, we must actively fight discoloration with a product meant to dissolve pigment. That’s one area that I’ve been lacking in.  One thing the aesthetician stressed is using a product daily that will break down the extra pigment.  There are lots of products on the market that have the power to fade surface level scars.  You can opt for a skin brightening serum or a targeted fade cream.  That’s next on my shopping list.  Currently I have my eye on Murad’s Lightening Gel but I’m open to suggestions if any of you have a recommendation that worked well for you.

If you’ve got stubborn scars like me, you may have to take a more direct route, like indulging in professional treatments or employing facial tools that directly target dark spots.

Let’s implement this daily practice of fading our acne scars today so by summer you’ll have the skin of your dreams.

Recently, I treated myself to a series of 3 professional peels at a local spa.  I’ve always heard that purchasing a series of treatments was much more effective than sporadic visits. The treatments themselves were fairly mild. My skin only peeled lightly for the most part.  Overall, I did experience some acne scar fading. But what was really interesting is what happened on my last visit.

As I laid on the little bed awaiting the application of the peel, I took the opportunity to ask a few questions.  The esthetician and I got on the topic of acne scars.  That’s when she gave me possibly the best advice on treating discoloration that I’ve ever heard.  “You have to do something every day to fade your acne.”  She went on to explain how she used the “do something every day” method to successfully create her flawless skin.

Summer’s coming y’all.  The signature look of summer skin is superb flawlessness.  Most of us will sport hair styles that keep our hair off our shoulders.  Your skin will become the center of attention.  That’s why we gotta start working now! Let’s adopt this daily acne scar elimination strategy pronto.

Ok, to keep it simple, we’ll the actions to 3 main categories: Exfoliation, Protection & Treatment.

Protection comes down to one thing, wearing sunscreen everyday…no excuses.  The sun basically acts as an instigator, causing your skin to hyperpigment.  Without the aid of sunscreen, you’re leaving your skin vulnerable to the short term & long effects of the sun.  If you aren’t committed to wearing sunscreen daily, how can you be serious about wanting even toned skin? Let’s make this priority #1.

Once we have protection down pact, it’s time to address current discoloration.  Everyone we’ve ever studied with perfect skin all profess to following a regular practice of exfoliation. We’ve seen it over, and over, and over again.  Regular exfoliation and a glowing complexion go hand in hand.  Keep in mind that there a levels to this.  You can exfoliate daily using the gentlest of products like Cure Exfoliating Gel or you can opt to facial scrubs and fading serums.  Maybe daily exfoliation isn’t your thing, if not, you can try regular enzyme peels like Beyonce does.  I mean, if it’s good enough to create Beyonce’s perfect glow, it’s good enough for us too.

Lastly, we must actively fight discoloration with a product meant to dissolve pigment. That’s one area that I’ve been lacking in.  One thing the aesthetician stressed is using a product daily that will break down the extra pigment.  There are lots of products on the market that have the power to fade surface level scars.  You can opt for a skin brightening serum or a targeted fade cream.  That’s next on my shopping list.  Currently I have my eye on Murad’s Lightening Gel but I’m open to suggestions if any of you have a recommendation that worked well for you.

If you’ve got stubborn scars like me, you may have to take a more direct route, like indulging in professional treatments or employing facial tools that directly target dark spots.

Let’s implement this daily practice of fading our acne scars today so by summer you’ll have the skin of your dreams.

When I was younger, a brand called Stridex filled the airwaves with commercials depicting acne ridden teens wiping their faces clean with medicated pads.  A teen smiles directly into the camera as she moves the damp pad in circular motions.  When finished, she flips the pad towards the screen revealing visible dirt instantly lifted off her skin.

Of course, I immediately ran to the drug store and grabbed several boxes. Those medicated pads took the place of a toner after washing.  This may not have been a good idea because, with daily use, it dried out my skin.  Eventually, I transitioned to using apple cider vinegar on soft cotton pads as a toner.
But then, Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Peels came into my life.  I fell in love with the idea of giving myself a mini-chemical exfoliation with just a swipe of a pad. While convenient, Alpha Beta Peels are a bit pricey.  And since I’ve been in a DIY mood lately, I asked myself, “is there a way to create these mini-peel pads myself?”

The answer is yes!  All I had to do is get a hold of a gentle acid.  In my case, I use Mandelic Acid because it’s effective, yet gentle enough for pigmented skin.  Prior to my DIY experiment, I applied the Mandelic Acid using a cotton pad.  I quickly figured out that this method was highly ineffective.  Cotton absorbs too much product.  I needed a plain “Stridex pad” like Dr. Dennis Gross uses.  
Immediately, my search began.  A short while later, I stumbled on a brand called Theraderm that offers dry exfoliation pads!  That’s right.  You apply your own exfoliant or toner for a fraction of the cost. 
These DIY pads make it so easy to exfoliate on the regular.  It’s as simple as moistening a cotton round.  Because these pads have somewhat of a rough texture, I still experience physical exfoliation even when I saturate them with toner instead of an acid.  I noticed the Mandelic Acid seemed much more effective when used with Theraderm pads versus with a cotton round application.  What I love most about these exfoliation pads, is that they seem to have the ability to easily draw out additional dirt and oil.  They are going to be a must have during the summer when oil production goes haywire.  And since the pads are dry, there’s barely any waste.  You use as much product as you need. No more no less.  
If you’ve always liked the idea of giving yourself a mini-facial peel with little effort, these Theraderm pads are a dream come true.  
(p.s. If you’re exfoliating more often with these convenient pads, make sure you stay consistent with daily sunscreen).  
Now go get your glow.