Wrinkles, sagging, and a loss of density are a natural part of the aging process. A common misconception of aging is that we have to give in and accept it. Contrary to popular belief, we are not powerless in the war against aging. This topic is one of the most prevalent questions I hear from clients.While there is a certain amount of visible skin aging that is inevitable, there are also steps we can take to keep our skin looking youthful for as long as possible.

There are so many products, treatments, and technologies available today, with new advancements being released every year. With so many methods and treatments at our disposal, choosing a course of action can seem very overwhelming. I always recommend thoroughly looking into your options, and determining which treatment is best suited for you.

Surgical Options Versus Non-surgical
When considering your options, don’t make the mistake of immediately opting for surgical treatments as your first step. Explore your other options first, as surgical procedures do carry many risk factors as well as extended recovery time. Yes, the results can be far more dramatic, but at what cost? Is it worth risking your health over complications that can (and do) happen? Consult a dermatologist regarding topical skincare, such as retinol products, Vitamin A, ceramides, etc. Even if there are no other options left to you, rethink the risks before choosing surgery.

Non-surgical procedures have far fewer negative side effects and far less recovery time. Depending on the treatment, there may not be any side effects at all. Non-invasive skin tightening treatments require very little down recovery time.

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Laser Light Therapy

Laser Light Therapy
One form of skin tightening is done through the use of cosmetic laser equipment that produces infrared light energy to stimulate the collagen production in the lower layer of skin. This is a non-invasive procedure that does not damage the surface layer of your skin, so both recovery time and risks are minimal. The only side effects are nominal swelling and mild redness. Both are just temporary effects caused by the cosmetic laser equipment. This method works on all most skin types and skin colors, though it is not recommended for very dark skin tones. You can return to your regular activities the same day of treatment.

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Using Radio Frequency
While this method is very similar to the laser light therapy treatment, it uses radio frequencies to target cells in the lower layer of skin. Both methods stimulate collagen production in the cells to repair and tighten skin. Radio frequency treatments are good for all skin colors and types. As with laser light therapy, there are minimal side effects and recovery time. One difference between these two treatments is that the radio frequency procedure is not as consistent a treatment as the light therapy.

Other Methods of Skin Tightening
There are still many other methods to tightening your skin. The most commonly sought method is to use topical creams or lotions. Most are nothing more than moisturizers, not even containing any anti wrinkling agents. Some just contain ingredients to prevent further damage to your skin, like sunscreens, without removing the wrinkles you already have. For the most part, skin tightening creams are only mildly effective, making them a less appealing treatment for the advanced stages of aging. Serums are another topical method, and are more concentrated in treatment than moisturizers. They contain a smaller molecular structure, which allows them to absorb slightly deeper than a cream. While a good skincare routine consisting of a serum and moisturizing cream can help to reduce the signs of aging or to help reduce the further signs from accelerating, there is only so much topical products can do.

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Dermal fillers

These are another way to tighten skin, and consist of injecting a substance into the skin to inflate it. This gives the skin the appearance of full, healthy cells. Of course, there is risk involved with this procedure, including migration of the injected material to other areas and lumping effects. This procedure is very popular in the media and hollywood today, with most celebrities (and even many of our beloved Instagram Beauty Guru idols) getting fillers in the cheeks, lips, and forehead areas.

Making the Decision
Before making your final decision, you should consider making an appointment with your doctor to thoroughly explore which procedure be best suited for you. Just because a certain course of action worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will be best for you. Make an informed decision to get the right results for you!

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Clarins has an exciting lineup of launches for Spring 2016! I recently attended their training and Spring launch event, and wanted to share with you all! (I’m also giving away these 2 new products!!) 

Click here to enter my giveaway! There are a ton of different ways you can enter. The giveaway is open worldwide, and open from February 12th 2016 until February 26th, 2016.

2 of the biggest launches for Spring 2016 are the new Mission Perfection Serum, and additions to the Multi Active line!

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If you’ve read my previous skincare posts during this year’s Blogmas, you’ve likely heard me ranting about how important it is to protect the skin and keep it hydrated, especially during the winter.
You can read my full post on products that will save your skin here,
and you can read all about facial oils here! 
During the winter, the skin is exposed to not only cold temperatures, but to dryness, dehydration, and the assaults of that dreaded indoor, artificial heating. All of these elements can wreak havoc on our skin, and its ability to keep itself hydrated. Many opt for a heavier moisturizer during the winter, which is definitely a huge help. However, sometimes a heavier moisturizer just isn’t enough.
Using a hydrating mask 1-2 times a week can really help save your skin from dryness, irritation, and flaking this winter. Most hydration masks help soften and hydrate the skin, but also help protect and strength the skin’s moisture barrier.
For best results, using overnight masks help to keep the skin hydrated throughout the night (when we can often lose most of our moisture!) but also work with the skin’s natural repair mechanism. Skin repair is working its hardest during the night. Did you know that your skin’s repair works in tandem with circadian rhythm, and peaks at night time? Estee Lauder was one of the first companies to discover the true importance of beauty sleep – our skin’s catabolysis process (in which our skin is purifying our cells and getting rid of debris to make room for new, healthy cells) is most active between 12-4 am. “Beauty Sleep” is no longer just an expression!
There are many different products on the market, but these are some of my favourite!
  • Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Mask: this is a hydrating and cleansing mask, that will help draw out impurities while soothing the skin and providing hydration, and antioxidant benefits. I love to use this when my skin is acting up, if I’m having an eczema breakout, irritation, or if I’ve been wearing a lot of heavy makeup lately. This isn’t an overnight mask – you leave it on for about ten minutes, rinse it off, and can then follow with an overnight hydrating mask if you like! It’s also great because (as with mostly all Lush products) it’s natural! It has great ingredients like blueberry.
  • Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask: this mask smells amazing (but strangely doesn’t irritate my skin!) It has a very smooth, buttery feel and really hydrates the skin. This mask you apply liberally at night, let it sink into the skin for about 10 minutes, and then massage in or gently wipe off the excess. I prefer to massage it into the skin so I don’t waste any product. (And honestly, my skin is so dehydrated that it really does drink up every bit of this mask!)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask: This is a lighter weight mask with more of a gel texture. This might be a better option for those with more combination to oily skin types (but it’s great for dry skins too!) It helps calm, soothe, and hydrate the skin. For a lighter treatment, you apply it liberally to clean skin, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then gently rinse off with cold water. For a more intense treatment, you can apply it to your skin as your last skincare step before bed, and let it sink in overnight! You can also refrigerate it for an extra cooling feel!
  • Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask: this mask can be found at most drugstores, and is great because it’s 99% natural! It’s great for hydration and also helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It’s got ingredients like water, castor seed oil, coconut oil, clary extract, and more.
  • Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial: Sephora describes this as a “weightless souffle” – it’s an intensive overnight cream to offer hydration, smoothing, and nourishment for the skin. It’s quite a thick, butter like texture, but it melts right into the skin. This is used at nightime, and can even be used as a daily nighttime moisturizer!
  • Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask: this is an oil-free, fragrance-free mask that’s great for sensitive skins. It was one of the first hydration masks I ever really tried. I fell in love with this product when I used to work at Clinique, and it still remains one of my favourites to this day. It’s a lighter weight cream texture, but offers intense hydration. It really gives you soft, hydrated, dewy looking skin. You apply this liberally at night time, and massage it into the skin.
  • Avene Soothing Moisture Mask: this is another great option for sensitive skins. It contains high amounts of the Avene Thermal spring water to help hydrate, sooth, and protect the skin. It also helps add radiance! You want to apply this liberally all over, let it sink in for 10-15 minutes, then gently tissue off the excess.
  • The Face Shop Avocado Sheet Mask:  I’m relatively new to sheet masks, but definitely couldn’t resist my curiosity for them. I actually tried these because a friend gifted them to me – and have since fallen in love. These are so cool because they are a thin sheet that comes pre-moistened and soaked in a package of serum. You pull the sheet out, press it against your face (and kind of look like a psychopath, to be honest). You leave it on for 10-15 minutes, remove the sheet, and then massage the excess product into your skin! The Avacado mask is so hydrating, it really helped smooth and moisturize my dry skin!
What are your favourite hydration masks?
Don’t forget to check out some of my previous skincare & makeup posts:

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I’ve said it before, and I will likely say it hundreds of times in the future: skincare is absolutely crucial in the winter. Skincare is always important, but even more so in the winter. If you live in a particularly cold or harsh climate like I do, the skin faces aggressors on a daily basis.

In the winter (especially in climates that get a lot of snow and freezing temperatures) the skin’s moisture barrier can majorly suffer (you can read all about the skin and moisture barrier here!) The skin can become majorly dehydrated and dry as it’s exposed to freezing cold, harsh wind, and indoor heating. All of these things wreak havoc on our skin, and its ability to balance itself and regulate moisture.

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Oil collage

While I love the holiday season, I don’t particularly enjoy cold weather. I don’t know about you, but dehydrated, flaking skin can put a damper on my holiday festivities.

The skin typically becomes much drier in the winter as it’s exposed to cold, wind, indoor heating, and dry climates. All of these things can wreak havoc on our skin’s moisture barrier, causing it to become dry, dehydrated, and unbalanced.

Oils are an incredible way to help balance, hydrate, and restore the skin. There are a million different kinds of oils on the market, ensuring there’s a type for every skin need.

In order to really understand how oils work, it’s important to understand one of the most crucial elements of our skin: the moisture barrier.

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