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Posted by 04.12.14

I love coming across a brand that works really hard to deliver the most potent anti-aging ingredients while also keeping it effective for those with sensitive skin. Radical Skincare does just that. Founded in 2011 by Rachel and Liz Edlich, who have worked for over 20 years in the beauty industry creating skin care lines for celebrities and companies, Radical came about when these sisters started playing with formulas to tackle their own skin care woes and saw unbeatable results.

All of the seven core products (ranging from $49 to $190) are infused with the highest level of active ingredients and antioxidants such as green tea, acai, pomegranate, red wine extract, and coffeeberry.  Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads ($75 for 60 pads) are brimming with AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) and BHA (beta hydroxyl acid) fruit acids to de-gunk pores, brighten skin, and create healthy new skin cells. Each pre-soaked pad contains the brand’s signature Trylacel technology, which works to maintain anti-oxidant potency and deliver maximum results. Other ingredients include willowbark and salicylic acid to clean pores and reduce oil production, chamomile to soothe sensitive skin, malus domestica to protect from UV damage, and oslifit to immediately firm skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.  The company says that in two weeks there will be a 50 percent reduction of coarse crow’s feet.

I’ve been using these exfoliating pads after cleansing every for two weeks and notice that my skin is clearer, more even tone and my pores look less clogged, especially around my nose. My crow’s feet look smoother, too, and I don’t need to apply as much makeup.  Each pad has enough solution for the face and neck and you can even use them on other areas such as the décolletage or hands to brighten and shed dull skin.

Incorporate these age-defying exfoliating pads into your spring beauty routine and your skin too will look more radiant and smooth.

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Posted by 03.20.14

It’s spring, at last, and time when young women’s minds turn to thoughts of renewed beauty. Personally, I gravitate towards the latest scientific-ingredient potions, but lately I’ve been giving all-natural skincare products a whirl. These luxurious all-natural formulas contain high-performance ingredients sourced from sustainable farms around the globe to smooth, brighten, restore, and battle the signs of aging, while also keeping the body and skin healthy. The brands below are free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, and synthetic ingredients, and after trying some of them I may just abandon a few of my high-tech formulas and think you will, too.

Kora Organics

Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr was unhappy with organic skincare brands out on the market so she decided to create her own and launched KORA Organics, which debuted in the US in the fall of 2013. The line uses good-for-you ingredients such as noni, a fruit packed with nourishing anti-oxidants, as well as rosehip oil, sea buckthorn, green tea, lavender, and chamomile. The 21-product all-natural line consists of body and face products that feel gentle and good on the skin. One of my favorites is the calming lavender mist that gives skin an extra moisture boost with soothing essential oils and antioxidants. Products range from $25 to $160.

mezEYELINER_viperVapour Beauty delivers on-trend colors and botanical-rich non-comedogenic formulas that look and feel great on the skin. The line contains everything you need to get a flawless look—foundation, lipstick, blush, and glossy nail polishes—all made with 70 percent of organic ingredients and 30 percent of vitamins and mineral pigments, plus the purest food-grade ingredients. Try the Mesmerize Eyeliner in Viper (a rich plum shade and part of the spring 2014 collection), containing anti-inflammatory chrysanthemum, eyebright, and horsetail herb. Prices range from $16-$90.

Products of the eco-certified luxury skincare brand Amala (means most pure in Sanskrit) are packed with active botanicals found in their purest state to fight the signs of aging. The eco-luxe line can be found at some of the country’s most high-end spas and boasts five collections each containing a key ingredient to target a specific skin concern. For spring, try the brightening face polish made with narcissus, raspberry seed, and algae extract to help diminish dark spots and give skin a healthy glow. Products range from $18 to $248.

jmo_greentea&calendula_RightJohn Masters Organics has been creating eco-friendly hair care since the ‘90s with over 49 products that now spans to skincare and pet care, all free of synthetics and harsh ingredients. Packed with organic oils and pure botanicals, the products smell fresh and vibrant while keeping hair and skin healthy and protected. Try the Green Tea & Calendula Leave-in Conditioning Mist containing broccoli seed oil and a slew of certified organic botanicals to make hair soft and shiny without weighing it down. Products range from $6 to $48.

Most of the ingredients in Tata Harper’s luxe organic products are grown on the 1,200-acre company farm in Vermont and manufactured in small batches in their own lab. Each product in the all-natural skincare line—serums, moisturizers, cleansers, toners, eye creams, masks, and lip products—contain nine to 29 powerful active ingredients with really beautiful natural scents. One of the newest products, Love Potion, an all-natural sensual perfume, is an aromatic blend of 10 aphrodisiac essential oils such as davana, ylang ylang, jasmine, and atlas cedarwood,which are said to boost mood and promote attractiveness.  Products range from $24 to $365.

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Posted by 02.23.14

Before calling New York City home, board-certified dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor worked at one of Washington, DC’s most prestigious dermatology groups and directed the Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology Center for Georgetown University. She joined New York’s thriving downtown Union Square Laser Dermatology Group in the summer of 2012, a practice that prides itself on having the latest lasers and treatment technologies—the office boasts over 25 lasers and energy devices in their treatment rooms. MacGregor and her colleagues are always the first to test and evaluate the latest equipment, sometimes helping assist with their development or working in clinical trials that lead to FDA approval.  MacGregor is an expert in Ultherapy and when it comes to cosmetic procedures she always makes sure her patients look natural and healthy, not as if they had work done.  

Here Dr. MacGregor talks with Beauty in the Bag on her background and treatment philosophy.

Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get started in the beauty business? 

My interest in dermatology started while working in a cancer research laboratory. In medical school, I chose to specialize in dermatology because of the unique mix of medicine, surgery, pathology, procedures, and aesthetics. The focus is on treating skin conditions, but I have realized through practice that helping people achieve healthy, clear skin and their best appearance possible is an important component.

What is your treatment philosophy?

I usually start with prevention and address overall skin health along with the aesthetic. For younger patients, I may focus on skin health first followed by the aesthetic component. Some patients who come in to see me and already have healthy skin, I may just work with them on keeping it healthy

What is your signature procedure?

Ooh, do I have to choose one? I find combination procedures improve the skin in the most natural way.  For early sun damage, I like to combine vascular laser (for redness and capillaries) with low density non-ablative resurfacing that treats uneven skin tone, pores, and fine lines. It’s a great way to rejuvenate the skin with little downtime.  And in patients with loose or sagging skin, I find non-invasive skin tightening combined with a few well-placed filler injections can provide a remarkable natural-looking lift with virtually no recovery.

New and better lasers are constantly being introduced.  What technology do you find particularly useful or exciting?

An exciting trend that continues to gain popularity is combining antioxidant topical serums (such as SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic) with low density non-ablative resurfacing lasers. The microscopic channels created by the laser can potentially deliver ingredients deep into the skin. This is great for repairing sun-damaged skin and for overall skin quality as well as treating fine lines, texture, pigmentation, and pores. Down the road, we may see this combined technique to be used with fillers, which would allow the filler particles to penetrate deeper into the skin.

Besides technology, what other innovations that are in the pipeline are you excited about

We will see further improvements in non-invasive fat removal, such as injectables, in the coming years. Our current devices are also advancing and becoming more effective, particularly for the hard-to-treat stubborn pockets of fat.

These days, women have so many great anti-aging products to choose from. What are your must-haves?

A must-have, of course, is a broad spectrum SPF 30. Beyond that a topical antioxidant serum and topical retinoids (both prescription or one that you can find over-the-counter) if skin can tolerate it.

Who is your beauty inspiration?

I would have to say Meryl Streep. She is a naturally beautiful, timeless, talented, and successful woman that always projects strength and confidence. She is aging with such grace and elegance and still looks amazing.

Why do you love what you do?

I have been blessed with an incredible career that allows me to help people with a variety of skin issues, but also to help people to look their personal best. We all want to look natural and healthy and this is closely tied to an overall sense of psychological well being. Even if I had all the money in the world, I would still want to do it.

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