Filed In: Anti-Aging

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Beauty Bargain Bonanza

Get ready! This is our biggest collection of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals ever. What beauty products are you going to grab this week?


Ahava Mineral Body Lotion

Who: Ahava:

What: On Black Friday, get 35% off any order (hello, Dead Sea bath salts). Use the code BFRIDAY14. On Cyber Monday you can snatch up 35% off and get a free Ahava Triple Mineral Body Lotion using the promo code CYBRMON35.

When: November 28th – December 1st



Anthony Algae Facial Cleanser

Who: Anthony

What: Take 30% off awesome skincare for the man in your life — they will thank you.

When: November 28th – December 1st



Arcona Triad Pads

Who: Arcona

What: Arcona is offering 40% off Arcona-brand skin care purchases of $200 or more online, in stores on over the phone (check the website for exclusions).

When: November 28th – November 29th

Where:, the Arcona boutique and over the phone (877-272-6620)


Q: Do At-Home Peels And Microdermabrasion Work?

Kate Somerville Clinic-To-Go resurfacing PadsQuestion: I’d like to try microdermabrasion or a peel, but I’m afraid to do it at home. Do those kits work or should I go to a med spa?

Answer: For most women, a mild exfoliation from a peel or microdermabrasion kit one or two times a week (at home!) will do the trick to make your skin healthy and glow. And it can save mucho time and money. These at-home treatments don’t go deep enough to tackle major wrinkles and acne scars — those are better left to the pros — but they are strong enough to visibly freshen your skin.

 Here are the basics: At-home Microdermabrasion kits use physical exfoliation to help slough away the top layer of skin, letting fresh baby skin show through and encouraging your body to create collagen. It gives skin a healthy glow and will help increase cell turnover. A chemical peel does the same thing, but with acids — usually Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Trichloroacetic Acids (TCAs) — to remove built-up dead skin cells and excess sebum. Salicylic acid, another oft-used ingredient in peels is good for those with a history of acne, brown spots or sun damage.

Here are the exceptions: A word of caution, “Over exfoliating can result in acne or very dry skin,” warns New York dermatologist, Ariel Ostad, MD, so make sure you don’t overdo it. Skin needs time to recover between treatments so don’t use a peel or microdermabrasion more than two times a week. Always see a dermatologist if you need a more intense exfoliation that goes deeper into the dermis to treat serious skin conditions like severe acne, scaring, or dark patches, explains Ostad. He also recommends checking with your doctor or practitioner before you use any home kit to avoid any side effects or reactions.

Here are your options: Most peels and microdermabrasion kits target specific skin problems, so read the labels and ingredients to get a product most tailored to what you want. Here are some to try:

Kate Somerville Clinic-To-Go resurfacing Pads, $48 (pictured above)

first-aid-beauty-facial-radiance-padsFirst Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, $28

Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel SystemOlay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel System, $24

Kiehl's Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-DermabrasionKiehl’s Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion, $41

Do you do at-home treatments or prefer the spa?

Have undereye circles? Read this:

If you’re someone who deals with undereye circles, and I mean serious shadows, this might change your life — or at least make you look more bright-eyed. Clinique just launched Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector, $40, the newest addition to their Even Better line of dark-spot reducing, skin correcting products. So, what’s new about this one: Clinique researchers discovered that a large part of the color of dark circles is melanin accumulation. So if you lighten the eye area, making skin tone more even, bye-bye dark circles. The star of this eye cream is the cocktail of ingredients that give long-term benefits like mulberry root and vitamin C to lighten dark circles, anti-irritant ingredients like caffeine and green tea, siegesbeckia orientalis extract to prevent collagen breakdown, and whey protein to strengthen the skin. But that’s not all. It has optic technology that catches the light to diffuse the look of dark circles instantly. Though it’s not a concealer (you can add that after), it has a peachy tint that works on all skin tones to makes dark circles less visible. The fancy silver application tip is fun part. It has a cooling effect while you apply the cream and the massaging action helps improve microcirculation. They recommend using it twice a day, but I personally stash this in my purse and slather it on throughout the day when I felt like my eyes are a little dull or when I’m extra tired. It’s officially edging out lip balm as my obsessive compulsive go-to.

How do you treat undereye circles? With skin care products or concealer?

– Carrie Stern Kleiner

Best Cyber Monday Beauty Deals

I’m sure your inbox is already brimming with offers from Best Buy, Target, etc., etc. So when it comes to seeking out the best Cyber Monday beauty deals, you might not yet know which store or brand has a fabulous offer going. I decided to make that easier on you by sharing some of the best lists of deals I’ve found on other beauty sites. I’ll definitely be using them to check a few people off of my gift giving list this year. Well that, and I’ll be stocking up on some beauty essentials (and non essentials) for myself too. Happy shopping!

Temptalia’s List — she shares a long list of both Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals from stores and brands like Bath & Body Works, Stila and Sephora.

Real Beauty’s List — they share a deal from one of my fave nail brands Butter London and a deal from — among others.

Fab Over Forty’s List — find deals from Lancome, Bobbi Brown and Kiehl’s.

The Beauty Girl’s List — she not only shares a couple of beauty deals, but also gives scoop on the sales Godiva and Hanky Panky are offering.

Two other sites worth checking out for their deals: and — they both carry a ton of great brands and have awesome offers going.

Bookmark these pages now so you don’t miss out on them come Friday and Monday.

What will you be looking to buy this Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Please share!

How To De-stress With a Skin Repairing Serum and Acupressure

What do you get when you combine a botanical oil infused anti-aging serum with key acupressure moves? A zen moment — with benefits.

I’m always in need of a de-stressing trick (or five), and I suffer from chronic headaches and migraines. That’s why I was thrilled when Annet King, the director of global education for the International Dermal Institute, introduced me to the new Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serum, $60 while at the same time showing me a few key headache-relieving/calming acupressure moves.

I decided to photograph myself doing each of them so you could copy them at home — to burn off the stress in your life. Don’t judge though, I had to use the computer camera for these, so they’re not pretty.

Here’s what I did: I applied four drops of the serum (as recommended) to my skin. It is infused with botanical oils like Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Geranium, Rosemary, Cinnamon and Neroil — phew — that was quite a list. And, in addition, it contains an active peptide and hyaluronic acid to help promote collagen production and hydrate the skin. So basically this product is a spirit-calming, anti-aging multitasker. Just what the doctor ordered. Here are the acupressure points I then pushed on:

Acupoint No. 1: Press on your temples to help relieve headaches and aid in relaxation.

Acupoint No. 2: Press on the inner corners of your eyes. This helps relieve sinus pressure, headaches and even swelling around the eyes.

Acupoint No. 3: Press on the little indentation under your brow — right on the bone. Again, this helps relieve headaches and sinus pressure.

Acupoint No. 4: Press on the area between your brows. This will help calm your mind.

Acupoint No. 5: Press on your cupid’s bow, just below your nose. This too helps calm you down.

Try this and let me know if it works for you. And, if you don’t have a snazzy serum like this handy right now, use your favorite calming essential oil — it will do the trick, too.

“In What Order Should These Products Be Applied?”

Reader Jacalyn recently changed up her skin care regimen and says, “I was using a daytime moisturizer that contained SPF. I’m now using (and loving) Kate Somerville’s Deep Tissue Repair and Quench Hydrating Serum. I will need to add sunscreen to this routine, so in what order should these products be applied?”

I’m sure this is a question we’ve all asked ourselves a thousand times. With the layers upon layers of products we slather on daily — from moisturizers, serums and spot treatments to sunscreen and prescription products, it’s hard to know what goes first, third and last.

Here’s the order I follow based on the info I’ve picked up from skin gurus over the years: First, apply any prescription or treatment products (like retinoids or acne spot treatments). They should be the items closest to your skin so they don’t get diluted by other products, and can work as efficiently as possible.

Next, apply serum-type products. These are lightweight and meant to be absorbed by skin, so they should go on early in the process as well. They also often contain potent active ingredients, and in order to reap the benefits they offer, you’ll want them close to your skin as possible. Follow serum with moisturizer, which is thicker and often contains more oil. It will actually help seal in the products you previously applied while protecting your skin from the elements.

Finally, finish with SPF. You want your SPF to be the last thing that you apply so it protects your skin to the best of its ability. And, if you’ve applied any products that are easily broken down by UV rays, it will help those products remain more stable and active, too.

Oh, and Jacalyn, if you’re in the market for a great SPF product to layer on top of your Kate Somerville products, I recommend these two: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 55, $6.24  Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50, $52. Both are ultra lightweight (almost watery) and never greasy.

Do YOU have a beauty question? Ask it by commenting on this post.

5 Tricks to Looking Younger

Because today is my birthday, I thought I’d devote this post to sharing a few of my skin care and makeup tricks — the ones I think (hope!) contribute to many people thinking I look younger than I actually am. Let’s hope this continues for another … oh, 40 years or so.

Trick 1: Apply blush high up on the apples of your cheeks. If you have a long, narrow face like mine, this not only gives your cheeks a lifted effect, but it also makes your face appear a bit fuller. I’ve been wearing RAWColor Native Essence Pure Pigment Cheek Color in Horizon, $26.

Trick 2: Use retinoids. I initially started using these to help with regular breakouts (er, maybe it’s the breakouts that make people think I look younger — sure hope not), but in addition to clearing up spots, the overall appearance of my skin became glowy while the texture of my face became very smooth as well. Retinoids are clinically proven to reduce fine lines, build collagen and keep pores clear, so if anti-aging is your MO you should definitely consider using one. The strongest forms can be found in prescription products like Retin-A Micro, Renova, Tazorac, Differin (my fave), but you can also find retinol (the most common over-the-counter form of a retinoid) at the department or drugstore. One to try: SkinCeuticals 1.0, $59.


Buying Beauty Products on — A Do or Don’t?

“Do you think it’s safe to buy beauty products from a website such as Amazon?” asks reader Mrs. O.

A: In short, yes, but in my opinion, you should definitely recognize the seller, which is always listed. If is the seller, I absolutely think it’s safe to buy products from them. They have a name to uphold and are a trusted site in general to buy from. That being said, if the seller is SallySellsBeautyProducts (I’m making this name up, obviously), I would be more hesitant to buy anti-aging creams, mascara, foundation, etc. from them — even if the products are new. I would never buy used beauty products and don’t recommend it. If you’re unsure about whether the seller can be trusted or not, read the reviews about the seller and check out the ratings. If they don’t have any, I’d steer clear. If they have many positive reviews, you can be a little less wary about making a purchase. (more…)

“Can You Recommend a Moisturizer with Retinol?”

We’re kicking off this Q&A-focused beauty blog with a question about retinol — one of my (and most dermatologists’) favorites. Reader Devon asks, “Can you recommend a moisturizer with retinol? I am in desperate need!!”

First off, kudos to you for seeking out retinol, you’re obviously aware of its powerful anti-aging abilities. Retinol, which is a form of vitamin A, is part of the family of retinoids and the one you’ll most often find in over-the-counter creams. It helps to promote skin cell turnover to reveal youthful-looking skin that’s free of spots and wrinkles. And … it’s actually clinically proven to do this — not all anti-aging ingredients can make this claim and actually live up to it.

Now that our little chemistry lesson is out of the way, let’s get down to business. If you’re looking for a moisturizer that also contains retinol, I’d suggest checking out one of these three — depending on your budget and brand preference: (more…)