Beauty Fix: How to keep your hair colour from fading, a cleanser that will help you say goodbye to adult acne and more

Beauty Fix

Beauty Fix

Every week our Beauty Fix columnist takes on your questions about makeup, skincare, hair and more. Have a beauty question we haven’t answered? Email us at beautyfix@fashionmagazine.com.

Is there a quick way to improve my skin’s appearance?
If there’s one point to drive home regarding skincare, let it be this: skincare is about consistency and taking care. The time you put into fine-tuning a regimen that works for your skin usually reaps rewards of skin that looks bright, radiant and breaks out less. That being said, not everyone has time to commit to a routine every day and night. If you’re looking for a quick fix for your skin’s lacklustre state, try Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial ($100, thebay.com). This two-step system involves applying a self-foaming mask containing alpha hydroxy acids and protease enzymes to dissolve impurities in the skin that are contributing to a dull appearance. After a couple of minutes, rinse skin and then finish with the lipid-rich ceramide serum, which also contains skin-firming fruit extracts and soothing aloe vera. Radiant results for five minutes of effort!

What sort of cleanser is best for dealing with bouts of adult acne?
With adult acne you’re dealing with skin that has distinctive and battling needs: a desire to fight blemishes while also addressing anti-aging efforts. Addressing these needs in one swoop can be a challenge, but not impossible. What you want to find is a cleanser that targets any breakouts you may currently have while balancing out the rest of your healthy skin. Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser ($30, sephora.ca) is a good one to try: It contains hyaluronic acid and amino acids to bind moisture to the skin, as well as slow-release encapsulated salicylic acid, which stays on the skin to target and eradicate breakouts. Thanks to the combination of acne-fighting and hydrating acids working in tandem, you’ll get stabilized skin that is balanced and clear.
 
I have way more volume in my hair than I know what to do with, but I’ve tapped out my hair’s heat styling limit. How do I get it to behave?
It’s hard to feel put together when you’re fighting a battle against excess volume. Heat styling can often help (a deep and everlasting bond with a flat iron isn’t rare!), but once it starts contributing to hair damage that means there’s even more unruliness to manage. It’s a vicious cycle! Try applying Pantene Overnight Miracle Repair Serum ($9, well.ca) at night to help heal hair thanks to panthenol, which binds moisture to hair by forming a film over hair cuticles to smooth and calm each strand. You’ll wake up with a sleeker style and, in turn, reduced volume.  Bend the rules a bit and tame hair with a pump or few of this serum in the morning, too. It’ll help hair settle down and continue to repair damaged spots all the while!

I know shea butter is hydrating, but I find it greasy and slow to absorb when I try to moisturize with it. Any alternatives?
Pure, natural oils such as shea or cocoa butter can be used as body moisturizers, however there’s a high likelihood that you’ll experience a slow absorption rate—which can be inconvenient if you’re in a rush to get dressed and out the door. If you want the benefits of a natural hydrator, look for a product that contains a percentage of a natural butter, such as L’Occitane Shea Ultra Soft Cream in “Rose Heart” ($28, loccitane.ca). This softly scented cream, which contains 10% shea butter, is light in texture but heavy in hydration. It’s quick to absorb and leaves skin silky to the touch, making it a clothing-friendly option.
 
What can I do to maintain my hair colour through multiple washes?
One of the biggest reasons why your hair colour fades with every wash is because the hair cuticle (where colour is deposited) is opened when it’s exposed to water, causing the colour seep out. Hair professionals are correct when they suggest you use a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain your shade, but if you find that your hair colour is still fading, try creating a barrier between the water and your hair with Nexxus Color Assure Pre-wash Primer ($20, at drugstores). Don’t worry, this won’t compromise the cleanliness of your hair! Instead, it establishes a barrier between the hair cuticle and water using white orchid extract, coconut oil and sweet almond oil to protect hair from being stripped when being washed. Simply spray the solution onto hair prior to sudsing up and you’re good to go!