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Summer and the Dreaded Acne Breakouts

Summer and the Dreaded Acne Breakouts

Summer is here, and although I’m a cool-weather gal myself, I know a lot of people really thrive in the warm weather and love being outdoors.

Welcome to heat- and sweat-induced acne breakouts.  As the mercury rises, our skin produces more oil.  While our faces may have a healthy “glow,” bacteria and dirt, loving an oily environment, stick to our sweaty skin and clog our pores. Sunscreen, a must for all times of the year, combined with oil and sweat, also contributes to clogging our pores.  A perfect environment for acne is born. 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Well, obviously, keep your skin clean. If you work out, cleanse your face and remove makeup ahead of time if you can.  I know it’s not always possible, so second best is to remove the sweat and dirt as soon as you can afterwards. 
  • Mineral makeup is typically oil-free and is good for oily skin, reducing clogged pores.
  • Be Gentle to Your Skin. Many acne-fighting ingredients simply dry out your skin and damage the skin’s protective barrier (actually causing you to produce more oil to compensate for it).  
  • Don’t just think of combating the acne as it appears, look to certain ingredients to protect your skin’s barrier, fight inflammation and free radicals and nourish and hydrate your skin, making it less susceptible to inflammation and damage in the first place.

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR SKIN CARE

Use a gentle cleanser like our 2-in-1 Gentle Cleansing Milk.  Your skin should never feel taut or squeaky clean.  If so, you are stripping the skin of its natural oils and damaging the skin’s protective barrier. Our cleanser contains organic Bulgarian Rose Water to hydrate and soothe inflamed, sensitive skin and lavender and chamomile essential oils to help calm and fight blemishes. 

Use a toner.  It balances your skin’s pH, helps remove any residual dirt or bacteria on your skin after cleansing, and it prepares your skin to receive maximum benefit from your serum and/or moisturizer.  Plus a cooling spritz throughout the day makes for a rejuvenating pick-me-up for you and your skin.

Our Rose Hydrating Toner/Mist is alcohol-free and contains organic Bulgarian Rose Water and Essential Oil to hydrate and soothe inflamed, sensitive skin.  Phospholipids and hydrolyzed oat protein soothe and nourish skin.  Rhodiola (roseroot) extract contains plant stem cells that fight free radicals, and Moringa seed extract contains skin-purifying properties and antioxidants that fight free radicals.  All that before you even put any moisturizer on your face!

Choose products that contain salix alba (white willow bark) or alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs).  Both act as natural exfoliants, clearing pores, and making way for fresh new cells and soft, smooth plump-looking skin.  For more sensitive skin, you can find white willow bark in our Ultra Hydrating Facial Cream and AHA’s in, yep, our AHA Renewing Facial Cream.

Look for anti-oxidants.  Inflammation sets the whole acne process into motion.  Topical anti-oxidants, particularly Vitamins A, C, and E, can help stop sebum oxidation (the initial phase of forming acne).

Our Intense Rejuvenating Serum for sensitive skin and our anti-aging Vitamin C Brightening Serum are loaded with Vitamins A, C, and E for that added boost in fighting inflammation, brightening skin tone and texture, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.  Anti-oxidants are just good for your skin, acne or not.

Consider a Retinoid.  Our Resurfacing Night Cream contains 2.5% retinol.  Retinol has been scientifically proven to boost collagen production from beneath the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.  It is ideal for acne-prone skin because it removes dead skin cells from the surface that clog pores.

Exfoliate, Exfoliate.  Once or twice a week apply a gentle exfoliating facial mask (not a scrub) like our Lemon Tart Exfoliating Mask.  Jojoba beads gently slough off dead skin cells, maximizing your skin’s ability to absorb other nutrient-rich ingredients.  It is loaded with antioxidants that help brighten and even skin tone.  Cypress essential oil has antiseptic and astringent properties that awaken dull complexions and has an overall toning effect on the skin. 

So don't give up hope that you must suffer through acne.  A few preventative measures and attention to what you're putting on your skin can go a long way in reducing acne breakouts.

To visit the entire collection of Laurmé Skin Care's low maintenance, high-performance luxury skin care, click here and experience the bliss of simplified, effortless skin care.

Laurme Skin Care Anti-Aging Collection

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Why Exercise is Good for Your Skin

Why Exercise is Good for Your Skin

The benefits of exercise are well known.  It causes blood flow to increase, and our hearts, lungs, brains, muscles, and cardiovascular systems benefit. Toxins are flushed from our body, which helps unclog pores, and blood carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body help nourish our skin cells.  But what does that really mean to healthy-looking skin?  

It’s no secret our skin changes as we age.  Visibly we see fine lines and crow’s feet.  The outer layer of our skin, made up mostly of dead skin cells and some collagen, begins to thicken.  Our skin becomes drier and flakier.   

The layer of skin right below the epidermis begins to thin, resulting in a loss of elasticity and sagging skin.

It appears researchers are now discovering that in those after age 40 who engage in moderate exercise (three hours a week), there appears to be a marked difference in the skin structure.  The outer layer of skin is thinner and healthier and the underlying dermis layers are thicker. 

An article published in the NY Times, Younger Skin Through Exercise, reports researchers’ findings that study participants’ skin “was closer in composition to that of 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others their age, even if they were past 65.”   

That's pretty exciting and very encouraging news! And it's yet another reason to get out, smell the roses, take charge, and get our bodies moving! 

Just a reminder, if you opt for outdoor exercise, don’t forget to wear sunscreen!  Also, our Vitamin C Brightening Serum is ideally suited for environmentally stressed skinl! 

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Seasonal Skin Care Made Simple

Seasonal Skin Care Made Simple

You don't need a complete overhaul of your skin care routine for each season. We know the weather, environment, and our lifestyle affect our skin, but that's no reason to buy into the beauty industry’s hype about more is better and every season calls for a complete revamping of our skin care routine.

Laurmé Skin Care offers low-maintenance, high-performance skin care that delivers uncompromising results – effortlessly.  Our products are specially formulated to offer multiple benefits - no complicated skin care routines, no dizzying product categories. 

Here are some ways our facial products pull double duty.

Our 2-in-1 Gentle Cleansing Milk -  Gentle, yet powerful, it cleans dirt and debris off your face, yet doesn't strip all the oils from your skin.  Whether it's winter or summer, this cleanser does the job.  And it's gentle enough to remove eye make-up as well!

Our Rose Hydrating Toner/Mist has seemingly endless uses.  It can be used after cleansing to prepare skin for moisturization, a quick spritz during the day to rehydrate and refresh, spritz to set makeup, spritz to calm an overstimulated mind.  This is one product I never leave home without - rain or shine! You can read more about our Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil and Water and its many benefits on a previous blog post.

Our Ultra Hydrating Facial Cream is gentle enough to be used as an eye cream – and works day or night.   

Our Vitamin C Brightening Serum can be used instead of a face cream, works great in place of an eye cream, and blends seamlessly with makeup.

In fact, all of our serums can work as stand-alone moisturizers.  Maybe you're in a humid environment or your skin just feels adequately hydrated.  Skip the face cream and just use a serum.  That ensures you get the benefits of vitamins and anti-oxidants for your skin without adding additional moisturization.  

Switching out which serum you use is often all you need to address your skin's needs on any given day.  You can read my Effortless Guide to Serum Comparison blog post for a quick-and-easy way to identify which serum is best suited for your skin's needs.  

The point is you don’t need 4 cleansers, 5 toners, 10 face creams, and 10 serums to get the best care possible for your skin.

If you’re not sure which products to choose without breaking the bank or how they might feel on your skin, our Travel/Gift sets are an ideal way to experiment, plus the minis are great for carrying in your purse or throwing in your overnight bag!

Skin Care Travel Gift Sets

I love answering questions.  So let me know, what are your skin concerns?

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The Silence of Cancer - Everyday Heroes

The Silence of Cancer - Everyday Heroes

My sister, Nancy White, is my best friend.  As opposite as we are in many ways, I couldn't love her more.  She has made my life so much richer and beautiful.  I cannot imagine a world where I can't turn to her for help, to laugh ridiculously out loud over something funny, or to share just everyday stuff.  

Her diagnosis of breast cancer sent our family into a tailspin. How could it happen to somebody so good and kind and loving?  But cancer doesn't discriminate.  

I believe there is an extra burden placed on cancer patients because they often suffer in silence.  Not only are they dealing with their own emotional and physical pain, but they are keenly aware of the impact their actions have on those who love them, who are also so frightened, and who can't bear to see them suffer.   I am so in awe and humbled by the courage and strength of my sister.   She, like millions of others, are the everyday heroes.

I'm starting a blog series that allows women to share their feelings on dealing with cancer.  My sister's diagnosis was really the push for me to start Laurmé. It's too easy to let everyday life quash our hopes and dreams. Ultimately, for most of us, there is no perfect time to pursue our dreams - no time like the present.

So for obvious reasons I chose my sister as the first person whose story I want to share.

What was your first reaction when you were told you had breast cancer?

I started to cry and asked if I was going to die. Fear.  Disbelief. 

What kind of treatment did you have to undergo?

Bilateral mastectomy, chemo, radiation, expander fills, repeat reconstructive surgeries due to complications.

How did you find the strength to go through the treatments?

Family support was huge, but I have always been a positive person. Thinking of my husband and kids pushed me through some really dark times. 

What was the hardest part in going through the treatments?

Sometimes it was hard getting through the day, feeling crappy, fatigue, some pain, burning from the radiation.  Losing my fingernails was tough.  I hadn’t anticipated that.  Running water was unbearable.  It burned and stung.  Something simple like opening a Splenda packet was painful and frustrating.

When my hair started coming out in chunks, I asked my daughter, who is a hair stylist, to cut it all off.  That was really hard.  And losing my eyebrows and eyelashes really threw me for a loop.  

There were a lot of complications from surgeries because my skin was so compromised from the radiation.  So from beginning to end, it was two years of treatment.  Some days I really felt beat down.

How has this taken a toll on you emotionally?

Even though it’s been 5 years, there is a daily reminder I had cancer. Mostly side effects from medication and, of course, the obvious physical scars and reminders. I also have some memory problems, “chemo brain.”  I still see my oncologist every 6 months and get a little anxiety before the visit, hoping my markers are good from the blood work. But for the most part, I’m just enjoying life to its fullest.

What did friends or family members do that meant the most to you?

They stood by me every step of the way, took care of me after surgeries, went to doctors’ visits with me, brought me my favorite foods.  A dear friend set up a meal chain with different people bringing dinners at different times.  I’m not very good at being on the receiving end of help, but I couldn’t have asked for more and was overwhelmed with the love and support.

What would you say has been the most difficult part of this for your family and friends?

Sometimes I think the cancer was harder for my family. They felt so helpless at times.  It was hard for them to see me in pain, all the issues with chemo and radiation. And it seemed like every time we turned around, there was another surgery.  It’s emotionally draining on family members too.

When did you want friends and family close and when did you want them at a distance?

When I was in pain or sick, I just wanted to be by myself. I’m a pretty positive person, but there were days that had me feeling low, and I just didn’t want a pep talk.

What do you wish people would not have said to you?

I knew someone who was also going through chemo the same time I was, and after I lost my hair, she said “See, It’s no big deal losing your hair.”  It was a huge deal for me, and her words made me feel bad for being sad that I lost my hair.   It’s different for everyone.

What did doctors say and do that meant the most to you?

They were great, told me I was going to be fine, that I was brave, strong and special. They never sugarcoated anything, but it for sure wasn’t all doom and gloom.  They took time with me to answer my questions.  I know they were really busy, but I never felt rushed. 

What do you think has been the most valuable insight you’ve gained from this experience?

I think just to appreciate time with family and friends.  Enjoy life, appreciate it, and if the house doesn’t get cleaned on the weekend, oh well.

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The Effortless Guide to Serum Comparison

The Effortless Guide to Serum Comparison

Laurmé Skin Care makes choosing a facial serum effortless. No complicated skin care routines, no dizzying product categories.  

All of our serums incorporate a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, active botanicals, and anti-aging ingredients to brighten tired and dehydrated skin, target fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, and bring back your radiantly youthful glow.  Silky soft, healthy-looking skin does not have to be complicated.

Below is a brief summary of the key differences in our serums.  

INTENSE REJUVENATING SERUM - (sensitive skin)

In a nutshell, it’s the sensitive skin alternative to our Vitamin C Brightening Serum.  Formulated with luxurious organic Bulgarian Rose flower water as a base with hyaluronic acid and additional ingredients to help calm and soothe sensitive skin, it’s got all the age-defying goodness you want but in a kinder, gentler formulation. 

PEPTIDE COMPLEX SERUM –  (most hydrating)

This is a thicker, creamier serum featuring hyaluronic acid and some incredible wrinkle-fighting ingredients.  Our formulation includes dipalmitoyl hydroxproline, which is sometimes referred to as a natural alternative to Botox.  It is the most hydrating of all the serums.  

VITAMIN C BRIGHTENING SERUM (anti-aging, stressed, weather-damaged skin)

Ideal for stressed and weather-damaged skin.   Also featuring the luxurious organic Bulgarian Rose flower water as a base, it is our serum on steroids (figuratively speaking, of course) for brightening tired and stressed skin, combating fine lines and wrinkles, and helping reduce the appearance of age spots.  It’s pretty much a do-it-all serum.

All of our serums can also be used as stand-alone moisturizers.  Let your skin be your guide.  For example, if you’re somewhere humid or your skin feels properly nourished, plump and soft, it’s totally fine to skip the face cream.  If skin feels dry, think of using the Peptide Complex Serum or go ahead and apply the serum of your choice again during the day.  It’s all about keeping things simple.

Visit Laurmé Skin Care for beautiful skin and a life less complicated. 

 

If you have a question about which serum is right for you, please let us know!

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Amazing Skin-loving Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

Amazing Skin-loving Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

How do I count the ways I love hyaluronic acid?  A lot of skincare ingredients are unworthy of all the hype.  Not so with hyaluronic acid.  Hyaluronic acid is best known for its incredible ability to retain moisture and hydrate the skin.  In fact, it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water!! 

WHAT IS IT?

Scientifically speaking, hyaluronic acid is a strand of various sugar compounds, known as a glycosaminoglycan.  It’s a compound that naturally occurs in the body – especially in joints, connective tissue, eyes, and your skin.

WHY WE LOVE IT

There’s two main things our skin needs to do – draw moisture into the skin (humectants) and keep moisture from escaping our skin (emollients).   The magic of hyaluronic acid lies in its ability to hold and retain water. 

As we age, our skin loses the ability to retain moisture and along with that the suppleness and bounce-back of plump skin.  Quite sad.  Hyaluronic acid helps skin hold onto moisture, softening skin and giving smoothness to rough skin surfaces (dry, flaky skin).  It’s like endless drinks for the skin.  The difference in hydration can be felt immediately, and it’s a key player in giving our skin that dewy, youthful glow we all love. 

On top of all its amazing goodness, it’s also gentle enough and ideal for those with sensitive skin, and because of its lightweight texture, it can be used for oily skin as well.  (Yes, oily skin still needs hydration.)  Daily application of hyaluronic acid allows your skin to not only look healthier, but gives it that touch-worthy softness that puts a smile on our faces.   

For radiantly touchable skin and to give your dehydrated skin some extra love, look for products with hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, or sodium PCA.  You can find these in our Intense Rejuvenating Serum and our Peptide Complex Serum.   Powerfully Effortless.

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Seasonal Skin Changes

Seasonal Skin Changes

There’s no getting around the effect weather has on our skin.  Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett can sing “Baby, it’s cold outside” and make us feel all warm and cozy inside, but our skin isn’t having any of it.

With cooler, dryer air, our skin retains less moisture.  Cranking up the indoor thermostat doesn’t help either.  Our skin can become red, dry, flaky and just downright dull looking, but there are things you can do. 

For moisturizing, you’re basically looking for two things:  humectants, which help draw moisture into your skin (AHAs, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, panthenol); and emollients, which help keep moisture from escaping your skin (aloe vera, coconut oil, shea butter, sunflower oil).

Here is a simple routine to get the ultimate in hydration and moisture without feeling like you just dipped your face in a jar of petroleum jelly.

  • 2-in-1 Gentle Cleansing Milk - if you don’t typically like the idea of milky cleansers, this might be a good time to give it a try. It dissolves dirt and debris gently without drying out your skin’s natural oils.  You absolutely can (and should) have clean skin without the “squeaky clean” feel.
  • Rose Hydrating Toner/Mist - helps calm and soothe dry skin while hydrating. You can use it to spritz throughout the day to renew tired skin and a weary soul.  You may be surprised how refreshing this can be to a face that feels like an outline of the Sahara desert.
  • Peptide Complex Serum – creamy serum loaded with peptides, anti-oxidants, and hyaluronic acid offers rich hydration.

  • Ultra Hydrating Facial Cream - for sensitive skin. Luxuriously rich, yet lightweight, this cream leaves your skin almost as soft as a baby’s behind.

  • Resurfacing Night Cream – retinol has been scientifically proven to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It boosts collagen production, can stimulate cell turnover, and help restore and maintain youthful looking skin.  While retinol can be too harsh for some with sensitive skin, and winter weather may be too harsh, it is considered by many a must-have in any anti-aging skin care routine. 
  • Lemon Tart Exfoliating Mask – Don’t forget to exfoliate. The build-up of dead skin cells results in sluggish, dull skin and can increase the likelihood of acne as pores become clogged.   Jojoba beads gently slough away dead skin cells, while vitamins and phospholipids nourish & moisturize.  All the moisturizing in the world isn’t going to get you glowing radiant skin if the outer layer is covered with dead skin cells.  Sad but true.  Indulge yourself once a week or as often as desired.

    If all this seems a bit overwhelming, let our travel/gift sets simplify life. 

Now you can kick up your feet, reach for the hot toddy, and enjoy the season.

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City of Hope & Breast Cancer Awareness

City of Hope & Breast Cancer Awareness

It’s a rare woman who doesn’t know someone who has battled breast cancer.  For me, of course, it was closer to home than I could have ever imagined.  My sister was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in January 2012.  Over the next two years she endured a dozen surgeries, including a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and some unbelievably painful side effects.

Today she is cancer-free, and I am in awe every day of her courage!!  It was her ravaged skin and seeing her struggle that became my inspiration for following my passion and creating my own skin care line.

I had sensitive and problem skin my entire life, but it paled in comparison to my sister’s.  I watched as she lost her hair, her eyebrows, battled fatigue.  Her red, dehydrated and fragile skin was yet another outward reminder of the toll cancer and its treatment can take.  Throughout it all, she soldiered on, rarely voicing what she was struggling with, but it broke my heart knowing how much she was suffering.

I wanted to give her something in some small way that could ease her discomfort.  My sensitive skin care line was created with her in mind.  Premium natural and organic ingredients were a must.  The formulations had to hydrate and nourish, soothe and calm skin.  We looked to science for proven ingredients to fight sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles as well. 

It was years in the making, but I am proud to offer a skin care line specifically for those with sensitive and stressed skin.  My sister is my best friend, and I am so blessed to have her in my life every day.  I couldn’t love her more.  My sensitive skin care line honors her and all she is to me.

Laurmé Skin Care donates a portion of all proceeds to the City of Hope.  I have personal experience with a family member being treated there, and I go there every year for my annual mammogram. 

There are many cancers that afflict women other than breast cancer.  All require cutting-edge research, and City of Hope is at the forefront. 

Their mission:  “At City of Hope, we treat you as an individual whose life will be made whole again.  We combine science with soul to work miracles.”

The top photo is what you see when you walk into the City of Hope medical facility. They embody this philosophy at every turn. You are treated as a whole being, far more than just your physical state of health.  The doctors and staff are an amazing combination of medical expertise combined with compassion.  

Your October purchases help support the services provided at City of Hope as well as much-needed cancer research. 

The picture below shows messages of hope and inspiration that patients and those who love and support them hang from trees at City of Hope.  Those who battle cancer are not alone in their fight.  

 

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The Beauty of Bulgarian Rose Water

The Beauty of Bulgarian Rose Water

Of the 7,000 varieties of roses worldwide, only a few are used for producing high-quality rose water and oil. Since the days of the Roman Empire, the Bulgarian rose has been recognized as the finest and most exquisite rose in the world with a long list of health and beauty benefits.

Sourced directly from a distiller whose plantations are located in the Kasanlak region in Southern Bulgaria, the area is known as the Bulgarian Rose Valley. Its climate offers mild winters, long springs, high humidity, ideal temperature and sunlight and is ideal for the cultivation of the Bulgarian Rose.

The benefits of rose water in skin care goes back centuries, way before grandma’s days. In cleansers it’s used to help remove oil and dirt that accumulate and clog pores. Its astringent-like properties make it ideal for use in a toner. It has emollient properties for moisturizing dry skin and anti-inflammatory properties for soothing and calming red and sensitive skin.  

The subtle rose fragrance is as close to nature as you can get. Not a sickeningly sweet synthetic fragrance, but the aroma instead gently refreshes and invigorates the soul.  I love to spritz with our Rose Hydrating Toner & Mist for invigorating pick-me-ups or to calm a busy mind any time of the day or night.  

The cost for such a premium ingredient is worth it. You can be assured if a skin care product is using Bulgarian Rose water/oil, it will be mentioned by name.  There is no comparable substitute.

Indulge your skin and experience the luxurious difference of Bulgarian Rose water/essential oil in the following Laurmè products:  

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The Importance of Washing your Face

The Importance of Washing your Face

Yeah, our moms always told us not to go to bed without washing our faces, and when we were younger, maybe we could get away with it, but there’s good wisdom in mom’s advice.

Obviously, if we’re wearing makeup all day, there’s a lot of dirt and and debris that needs to be washed off.  But even if we go make-up free, our skin is constantly being covered with environmental pollutants, bacteria, dirt, and dead skin cells hanging around being not helpful at all.

So what does cleansing actually do for our skin:

It helps unclog pores.  If follicles and pores are blocked, sweat, sebum, and dead skin cells are trapped, making it difficult for moisturizers and other skin care products to absorb better. 

We actually need to allow sebum to the skin surface to help prevent bacteria from entering the skin, which can cause acne, which is the reason why (despite what you may have been told) you can have dry, oily skin.  I know.  It’s not right. 

Cleansing is also a good way to slough off the dead skin cells, but you don’t need harsh cleansers to accomplish this.  Squeaky clean can mean you’ve stripped the good oils from your skin, and that's definitely something we want to avoid.   

So the first step in radiant, glowing skin begins with cleansing.  Our 2-in-1 Gentle Cleansing Milk is luxuriously rich and creamy, for all skin types, and is gentle enough to be used as an eye makeup remover!!  Love double-duty skin care.

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