Archive for the ‘Skin Care’ Category

Thursday Treat


This week’s Thursday treat will be on my favorite fruit to eat in the summer; the always refreshing, but never boring – WATERMELON!  After spending a long, hot and sweaty summer day outside, nothing cools me down more than a cold and sweet slice of watermelon.

Watermelon is a delicious fruit with great health benefits.  It has vitamin A, C and the highest level of lycopene all of which works as an antioxidant to protect cells and fight off free radicals to help minimize the signs of aging; lycopene is the pigment that gives watermelon (and tomato) its red color.  Vitamin A is also known to reduce pore size and oil secreted by skin. It has vitamin B6, which helps immune system produce antibodies to fight off diseases, and potassium to help with water balance.  It is also made up of mostly water, so it keeps your body and skin hydrated.  Lastly, it’s a low calorie food, so you can snack on it as much as you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, without undoing all those hours at the gym.

Below are three different quick and very easy watermelon salad recipes for you to try this summer.

Watermelon Salad with Mint & Feta Cheese

What you need:

  •  1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • One 8-pound seedless watermelon, scooped into balls with a melon baller or cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (10 cups), chilled
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 small sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves

Make it:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt, Tabasco and pepper.
  2.  Add the watermelon, feta, olives and onion and toss gently.
  3.  Garnish with the mint and serve.


Watermelon and Arugula Salad

What you need:

  •  1/2 pound baby arugula leaves
  • 2 pounds seedless watermelon, 3/4-inch-diced (3 pounds with the rind)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2-pound chunk Parmesan cheese

Make it:

  1. Place the arugula and watermelon in a large bowl.
  2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3.  Pour enough dressing on the arugula to moisten. Toss well and place on salad plates.
  4. With a very sharp knife or a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan into large shards and sprinkle them on the arugula and watermelon. Sprinkle with salt and serve.


Watermelon and Tomato Salad

What you need:

  • 5 cups (3/4-inch) seeded watermelon cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Romaine lettuce leaves (optional)
  • Cracked black pepper to taste

Make it:

  1. Combine watermelon and tomatoes in a large bowl; sprinkle with sugar and salt, tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in onion, vinegar, and oil. Cover and chill 2 hours.
  3. Serve chilled with lettuce leaves, if desired. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper to taste.


Source: &


What To Do Wednesday – Hyaluronic Acid


What to use to on your face to retain moisture?

Skin + Moisture = Healthy, Youthful and Beautiful appearance
As we grow older, our skin starts to get drier making it easier for wrinkles to show up causing us to look older than we are.  What to do?  Well, worry no more because scientists have finally found the fountain of youth* that is Hyaluronic acid, to rescue us from the horrors of fine line and wrinkles.  Let’s talk a little more about what HA actually is.

What is HA?
Don’t be alarmed or scared because it’s an acid; it doesn’t act like any other acid and won’t burn, peel or sting your face.  Hyaluronic acid (HA) is naturally found and created in our body; it’s in almost every single cell.  Its molecules bind with water and helps lubricate our body, however, its half life is only one to three days before it exits our system.  To help bring this wonderful lubricant back to our skin, scientists have created HA serums/creams for us to use topically and dermatologists also have fillers to plump up those wrinkles.

What are the benefits of HA?
HA Serum: helps moisturize our skin tremendously, it also acts as a barrier which smoothes the skin giving us an instant (temporary) face lift.  Because it bonds so well with water, it is easily absorbed into our skin.  It’s not greasy and is completely fragrance free; so, even people with the most sensitive skin can use it.  HA serum can’t reverse the fine lines and wrinkles you already have but can soften their appearance and should be used as a preventive measure.

HA fillers: because it naturally occurs in our body, HA fillers can be injected into our skin with minimum side effects because our body doesn’t see it as foreign.  HA fillers are safe and easy to use and they work well.  Most importantly, they are reversible so if you decide you don’t want the filler anymore, your dermatologist can give you an anecdote and within hours, it will be gone.

What do I think of HA?
I have only used the HA serum and from my personal use, it absorbed into the skin in about five minutes and left my skin moisturized throughout the winter weather in NY without any peeling, breakouts or that pulling feeling.  I wore it at night and woke up with soft and supple skin in the morning. My make up application was much smoother and lasted longer because my skin was hydrated.  I did (and always do) used sunscreen during the day and a separate eye cream; you should too if you are using or planning to use HA serum.
Where can you purchase HA?
Amazon (steal)
Bioelements Moisture X10 (splurge)

Let me know what you think about HA.  If you have used it, what are your reactions to it?

*HA is dubbed as the fountain though it has not been scientifically proven yet


Thursday Treat


Healthy Breakfast Smoothies

Today’s treat is about breakfast smoothies that are fast, delicious and healthy. If you are not an egg person, you can still have a quick and healthy breakfast while getting your daily dosage of fruits, yay! But let’s talk about fruits first.

Fruits are made of water, fiber, vitamins, minerals and sugar. Most of the fiber in fruits is actually on their skin and seed, so increase your intake of these types of fruits, like apples, peaches, pears (skin) or strawberries, kiwis & raspberries (seed). Citrus fruits like, oranges, grapefruits and clementines are also high in fiber (though, they don’t have edible skin or seed) and are loaded with Vitamin C. These are great fruits to snack on or put in smoothies because fiber helps you stay full and keeps your blood sugar in check. You won’t feel hungry in between meals and these will also satisfy your sweet tooth. Then there are some fruits that you should reduce eating; they are not bad for you (because there are no bad fruits), but they are high in calories and sugar, and low in fiber, like bananas, pineapples and mangoes. Not surprisingly, these are my three most favorite fruits =(.

Below are four delicious smoothies for breakfast or anytime you feel like having something sweet.

Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

What you need:

  • 4 oz fat-free strawberry yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (partially thawed)
  • 1 peeled kiwi
  • 1 cup crushed ice (or 5 to 8 ice cubes).

Make it:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Girl –


Oatmeal smoothie

What you need:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup coconut water (or other liquid, such as juice)

Make it:

Place ice and raspberries in the bottom of blender, and all other ingredients on top. Whir until completely smooth. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of


Glowing Green Smoothie

This recipe is super simple. All you need is a blender and the following ingredients:

  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • a couple handfuls of spinach
  • water

Add just enough water to blend and enjoy, that’s it! Try any combo you like, all you need is a base of bananas, fruit of your choice and a couple handfuls of your favorite green. You may think it tastes gross because of the spinach, but you won’t even taste it. Spinach has a really mild flavor and blends well. This smoothie is great for the digestive and immune systems. Also, spinach is high in Vitamin A, which helps skin retain moisture and prevents acne and wrinkles.

Recipe courtesy of


Peach Lassi Smoothie

What you need:

  • Peaches (frozen slices or chunks)
  • Nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Fresh raspberries

Make it:

Pulse first four ingredients in a blender. Stir in berries and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of

Nutrition info courtesy of &


Nutrition source: &

Saturday Splurge vs. Steal


This post will be about comparing similar items with different price with my review and opinion on what I think is the best.  Starting off the first splurge vs. steal with facial cleanser which is one of the most important things we can put on our face.  My skin is acne prone so I have to be very careful about what I use.  Over the years, I have tried both drugstore and department store cleansers and below are my recommendations and opinions.


Let’s start with the acne clearing face wash:

  Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit – for about $8 at any drugstore, you can buy this face wash.  I must admit that the smell of this cleanser is amazing but that’s about all the good it has.  I found that, for me, it did nothing like it promised.  It didn’t clear/prevent acne or blackheads and didn’t eliminate oil.  After using it for a month or so, I saw no change in my skin.  I still got pimples, had blackheads, and my t-zone was shiny.  It also promises to get rid of dirt which it did but I had to use a lot of it, especially when I wore make up; so, it ran out faster.   I don’t recommend this product even if it’s only $8, not worth it.
  Olay Acne Control Face Wash – also about $8 and can be found at any drugstore but it’s much better than Neutrogena.  I liked the light smell of this wash and it somewhat did what it promised.  It did prevent some future breakouts, but I still got a few here and there.  It didn’t, however, fight blemishes; I still had the old acne marks and got new ones from the few that I got, had blackheads, and my t-zone was still oily.  But a little of it went a long way so it lasted longer.  A great buy for a recessionista!  
  DDF Blemish Foaming Cleanser – $38 for one bottle and you can purchase at any Sephora or department stores that carries this line.  The best acne cleanser I used so far and it actually did prevent breakouts and somewhat lightened the old acne scars I had.  Only one pump is enough to thoroughly clean (two if I was wearing make up) and it lasted for months.   But I couldn’t use it to clean my eye area, had to get a separate cleanser for that, and I noticed that my face still got oily and had blackheads.  Since my concern was mainly acne prevention and it did just that, I was very pleased.  I recommend this if you are willing to splurge a little.  

Now, let’s talk about regular cleansers:

  Olay Pore Minimizing Cleanser + Scrub – a little over $8 and can be purchased at any drugstore.  I liked the light smell of this cleanser and it did clean thoroughly.  But the scrub part did nothing and I didn’t see a significant reduction in my pore sizes.  I had to buy a separate facial scrub to use with this cleanser.  I was disappointed in this product because it didn’t quite deliver on its promise about minimizing pores and the scrub was useless.  I don’t recommend it.
  Biore Steam Activated Cleanser – again a little over $8 you can get this at any drugstore.  I liked this cleanser much more than Olay.  You can really feel it working in the shower (its feels a little warm) and it does what it promised, cleanses thoroughly.  Again, a great buy for recessionistas.  
  Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Cleansing Foam – $28 and can be purchased at any Sephora, Bliss, or department stores that carries this line.  I am currently using this and LOVING it!!!  A little goes a long way; cleans thoroughly and makes my skin looks bright.  The smell is awesome and wakes me up in the morning (great for a non-morning person like me)!  Its not meant to fight acne but ever since I have started using this, I have seen reduction in breakouts.  I love how I can use it all over my face, unlike DDF for which I had to get separate milder cleanser for my eyes, so it saves me money.  I have nothing bad to say about this cleanser; it’s the best out of ALL the ones I used so far and has my highest recommendation.  It’s worth the $28; go get it if you can/want to splurge.  
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