Beauty Fix: From freckle woes to stubby eyelashes, we have tips and tricks for all sorts of insecurities
When it comes to our insecurities, it’s easy to dismiss “mind over matter” as a viable solution. But, when it comes to beauty problems that’s definitely half the battle! For every zit you’ve assured yourself was so embarrassing, endless others have suffered through the same fate—and realized it could have been much worse. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to get a little help along the way, and that’s why this week we’re sharing tips and tricks for coping with five common beauty insecurities.
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I don’t like my full face of freckles. Are there facials or treatments that will scrub them away?
May I start off by saying: don’t hate your freckles! I’m envious of girls like Emma Watson who have a cute spattering across their noses. Freckles are totally sexy too—have you seen Megan Fox‘s face? I mean, come on! Freckles come from two places, genetics and sun damage, and though you can’t get rid of your freckles completely without laser treatment (ouch!) you can lighten them slightly with natural lemon juice or lactic-acid. Also, you could try creams with hydroquinone or glycolic acid, both of which are chemical brighteners with noted success, though they can be too harsh if you’re sensitive. If you just want to be temporarily freckle-free, try Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation ($39, at Shoppers Drug Mart), which is highly pigmented enough to cover most “imperfections.” Also, because freckled skin is extra susceptible to the sun and environmental aggressors, don’t forget to use a full-spectrum sunscreen like Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ ($36, kiehls.ca). Aside from the many wrinkle-and-cancer-preventing benefits, it will also keep your spots from darkening any further.
My eyelashes jut straight out from my eyelids and make it tough to wear mascara without it smudging. Is there a different type of mascara I should try?
Eyelashes that make a beeline for the floor can be frustrating but are entirely manageable with a few tips from the pros. First off, if they’re curled properly you should have better luck with your regular mascara. The wider your eyelash curler, the better success you’ll have in opening your entire eye area. Try Shiseido’s eyelash curler ($20, sephora.ca), which has a broad base that lifts lashes at the root. Before you begin, make sure your lashes are completely free of makeup. Also, warming your eyelash curler with a blast from a hairdryer makes a gigantic difference in opening your eye area, as does spending a full 10 seconds with the curler clamped at the base of your lashes before pressing down again at the centre of the lash. Follow up by immediately applying mascara to prevent them from losing their new shape–if you wait even a few minutes, your lashes will start to lose their curl. Opt for waterproof if you want extra defense against smudging but skip the primer, as it can be too heavy and weigh down the curve.
The only thing worse than a breakout on my chest is the dark scarring that lasts for months afterwards. Why doesn’t my skin just go back to normal?
While you may hate how the darkened patch of skin looks, try to recognize that scarring is a natural stage of healing and that’s a great thing for your body. See? Better already! Following a bad breakout our collagen and melanin production goes into overdrive to protect the damage—the more melanin your skin has, the darker your scar may be. Have you ever snapped the stem off an aloe vera plant to sooth burned skin? It works because aloe is super rich in Vitamin C, which aids in the production of collagen, and Vitamin E, an important anti-oxidant to fend off free-radicals from further damage to the skin. Genetics and severity of your scar are important factors in healing but also consider trying an aloe-infused body cream like Jason 84% Pure Aloe Vera Hand & Body Lotion ($7, jason-natural.com), which also has vitamin A to promote a healthy complexion. If you take care immediately after you’re injured, the demarcation should diminish over time, no prob.
I have thin hair and find it so embarrassing when wind blows strongly—I feel like I’m all scalp! How can I give my hair some bulk?
Our society places such a gigantic and unrealistic amount of emphasis on having thick hair—but hair loss is, in large part, due to genetics, and difficult to prevent. Even if you spent years bleaching your hair or heat-styling it into oblivion, that wouldn’t be the primary cause of thick or thinness. Some other food for thought: thinner hair isn’t actually less hair; each strand is simply thinner in diameter. This could be the result of ingesting food you’re allergic to or irritating your scalp with products your skin is averse to. Nioxin HTX is a new hair thickening system that uses a blend of antioxidants, botanicals and SPF to balance the pH balance of your scalp, protect it from sun damage and promote strength from the root through each strand of hair. It’s a salon-only system but you can maintain the results at home with Nioxin DiaMix ($60, at salons), a thickening maintenance treatment. Look forward to holding your head high!
My face frequently suffers from eczema, especially after a stressful day at work. How am I supposed to deal with a puffy red face?
A friend of mine suffered a bout of eczema last week as a result of a bad lipstick. Meanwhile, an extra hot yoga studio recently sent my skin into a fit of inflammation so, trust, you’re not alone here. There are tons of ways to prevent eczema-including avoiding dairy, gluten, fabric softeners, spice, stress (yeah, right)-but not so many tips on how to face the public when your face is inflamed. Consider moisture your saving grace. When your skin erupts in eczema, you need to soothe the itchiness immediately and seal in moisture with an oily and vitamin E and C rich moisturizer. Just like the fix for post-pimple dark spots, those two vitamins in particular will aid in keeping your skin “clean” from irritating free-radicals while strengthening cellular and collagen reproduction to reduce cracks. It’s quite hilarious that the word ‘pansy’ is used to describe someone who’s weak, because pansy extract—a key oil in Weleda Skin Food ($20, well.ca)—is strong enough to de-flame your skin and fight annoying oxidants that disrupt a healthy complexion.