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Why: It’s the end of a long, long (did I mention, it’s been long?) New York winter, and I was desperate for a cream, lotion, serum, kitchen recipe — anything really — to bring my skin back to life without pounds of blush, bronzer and illuminator. When I met with Joanna Vargas, esthetician and owner of her eponymous salon and skin care line a few weeks ago, I saw a ray of smooth-skinned hope — her amazing serums.
Vargas explained how important nutrition is to making your skin glow (she gives out her green juice recipe to all her clients — check it out below). But since most of us don’t drink those yummy and nutrient-packed green juices every day like we should, she incorporated nourishing and organic ingredients into her skincare products. The prices are high, but IMO, totally worth the splurge.
The Joanna Vargas Daily Serum, $85 (above), is like a multi-vitamin for the skin. It contains galactoarabinan, a naturally derived ingredient from the larch tree that intensifies cell turnover, along with magnesium, postassium and zinc which supports a healthy lymphatic system to process nutrients better and carry away waste more effectively. Plus, it’s full of antioxidants and a high dose of hyaluronic acid to create a lasting moisture shield on skin.
The Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum, $100 is an ambitious mix of argan oil (for anti-aging and hydration), neroli oil (to boost circulation), olive oil (to detox skin and reduce inflammation), rosehip Oil (to accelerate cell production and aid in rejuvenation), and finally, jojoba oil (to moisturize). It absorbs quicker than you would imagine and has a nice, earthy-floral scent. If you had to choose only one, I would go with this one since it’s so, well, rejuvenating.
In the last few weeks, these have transformed my skin, making it smoother, glowy-er and more hydrated. These products work all year round and on all skin types — they are so ultra-moisturizing, they are especially nice for older skin.
For glowing skin from the inside out, try Joanna’s Green Juice Recipe:
“I love an all greens juice with romaine, celery, cucumber, spinach, parsley, kale and apple with a dash of lemon and ginger,” says Vargas. “A green juice instantly hydrates the skin while encouraging lymphatic drainage, so you are de-puffed and glowing!” Toss the following into a juicer:
- 1 green apple
- 2 handfuls romaine
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 handful parsley
- 1 handful kale
- 3 stalks celery
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
Drink up and enjoy!
Any nursing mother knows how essential nipple cream is during the first few weeks of breast feeding — cracked, bleeding nipples anyone? And so, with the birth of my son Ian, my obsession with lanolin began. Since it’s natural and safe to be ingested, it’s typically the ingredient of choice for new moms. Once I learned how amazing it was, I used my trusted nipple balm on everything — cuts, dry skin, inside my kids’ nose in the winter and of course on my lips. But taking out a big ol’ tube of nipple balm at the dinner table is kind of awkward. That’s where Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips, $15, comes into the picture. 100% medical grade lanolin, it’s an amazing lip healer, but it’s also a makeup-bag essential for fixing up dry patches or as an intense eye cream. A makeup artist recently dabbed it on my dry nose and forehead to smooth my skin under my makeup. The tube will last you ages and you too can discover the wonder that is nipple balm — for lips!
For more of our dry lip favorites, click here.
Shiny. Bouncy. Full. Luxurious. Those are words I dream about using to describe my hair. In reality, I’ll take healthy and clean. But the closest I come to my hair fantasies is when I use Chaz Dean’s WEN Cleansing Conditioners, $32. Now, to give up a traditional shampoo for a cleansing conditioner takes some getting used to. First, there is no gratifying sudsy foam. Second, you need to use a huge amount of product. I mean like a big handful of cleansing condioner (40 pumps for long hair). But if you use it the right way, it will clean, moisturize and repair your hair in a way that no traditional shampoo/shampoo combo can. It’s absolutely decadent. This fall Dean has launched a limited edition Fall Ginger Pumpkin, $40 variety and come December, he’ll launch Winter Vanilla Mint. These seasonal products smell amazing and are a little richer and more nourishing than the traditional cleansing conditioners. Fall is the perfect time to give these a try, and I bet once you do, you will use them all year round.
Have you ever tried a cleansing conditioner?
— Carrie Stern Kleiner