TIME FOR SUMMER VACATION!!! Whether you’re relaxing on a beach, visiting a new city or hiding out in the woods all summer, it’s important not to let go of your daily self-care routines. It’s always harder to get back on track than to stay on track in the first place. Although travel can certainly throw a lot of unknown variables in the mix, here are a few tricks to keep on track no matter where you spend your summer vacation.
Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink plenty of water to help rebalance the system in spite of travels. The best way to do this is to keep a water bottle with you at all times and sip on it throughout the day.
Travel with food: Don’t let the good healthy eating habits you’ve maintained at home fall away when you’re traveling. Keep your regular healthy foods with you as a snack, that way even if you decide to indulge in something more decadent you’ll be inclined to eat less of it.
Test your Sunblock: There’s nothing worse that having a new sunblock irritate you when you’re supposed to be out enjoying the sun! Be sure to try out any new products before your trip to make sure you don’t have any unwanted surprises.
Protect your skin from the sun: Even if you love the sun, it’s important to remember that it does not love you. Be sure to wear SPF even on cloudy days, especially if you’re near water since the sun’s reflection can cause even more damage. Also, because it’s just as important as it is a chance to be summer chic, grab a nice, wide-brimmed hat and a good pair of UV-Ray blocking sunglasses.
Keep up on Cleansing: Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that acne and other skin irritants are. In fact, because of the travel, overexposure to sunlight, necessary SPF and almost inevitable dietary changes, your skin can become even more reactive and needs just as much, if not more attention than usual.
Wherever you choose to spend your time away this summer, be sure to take the very best care of yourself; you deserve it!
It’s hard to know where to start when addressing combination skin. We often wonder if we should be using products for oily skin to address the T-zone or using products that hydrate the skin to help nourish the dry areas, especially on the cheeks. We get caught trying to treat 2 skin types when in reality we have only 1: unbalanced. The main cause of unbalanced skin, unfortunately, is using too harsh of products. If our skin is oily we tend to want to handle it with products that leave our skin feeling “squeaky clean, ” but if a product is too harsh, it strips the skin of all its oils and dries the complexion. Then the oil glands produce more oil to compensate. So the parts of the face with more oil glands (forehead and around the nose) become even more oily and the parts with less glands (cheeks) become dry. While the most important thing you can do improve combination skin is to find a gentle cleansing routine that doesn’t over dry or strip the skin, here are few more suggestions for how to re-balance combination skin.
Avoid dual purpose products: Yes, it’s wonderfully convenient to have an SPF in your makeup or moisturizer, but the fact of the matter is any SPF clogs the pores and when it’s combined with other skincare or cosmetics it does so even more. Sunblock is easiest on the skin when it is applied over an SPF free moisturizer, such as ÀTOI’s Day Creams.
Cleanse thoroughly with gentle products: We may not want to admit it, but when choosing skincare products there’s a tendency to use the same mentality as when we are choosing bathroom cleaning products. We think we need something harsh to get in the nooks and crannies and destroy all the dirt and bacteria. This mentality is SO off base and absolutely detrimental to the health of the skin. Instead, go for gentle products, such as ÀTOI’s Cleansing System, that treat the skin, and cleanse multiple times in a row with ÀTOI’s superb Cleansing Milk at night so that with each cleanse you reach deeper into the pores without irritating them.
Don’t over exfoliate: Producing oils is one of the ways the skin protects itself. While exfoliating once in a while is excellent for the skin, doing it too often can strip the skin and cause an overproduction of oils.
Drink Water: Balancing the skin from inside is just as important as balancing it from the outside. The best way to re-balance the system is to drink more water. Here at the ÀTOI office we love Neo Alkaline Water because the PH in the water helps calm the system as well as hydrate.
Avoid animal fats: Dairy is so hard on the skin, especially cheese. It actually enlarges the pores, coarsens the skin and contributes to oiliness. It’s fine to have some once in a while, but if it’s a staple in your diet, it will likely take its toll on the complexion.
Enjoy fruit for breakfast! Pineapples, kiwi and mango are all excellent for reducing pore size, however, since they’re high in acidity, it’s important to limit them. For best results, enjoy your skin-healthy fruit bowl 1-2 times a week and wait 30 minutes before eating any additional breakfast.
Rebalancing combination skin is completely doable if one treats the issue as a whole. If you’re not sure where to start product-wise, here’s a little guide: If you are combination and…
Prone to redness, start with ÀTOI’s Soothing Line
Broken out, start with ÀTOI’s Clarifying Line
Have mature skin, start with ÀTOI’s Nourishing Line.
If you have any questions or need help getting started, give us a call at 212-929-2182. We’re here to help you fall in love with your skin!
Yes! It’s finally warming up, but before kicking back and enjoying the sunshine, here are a few summer product picks to keep your skin looking great all season long:
1. Sunblock: We all know that for healthy skin SPF is a non-negotiable, but finding one that doesn’t irritate the skin or clog the pores can be very difficult. That’s why I was thrilled to discover Think Sport and Elta MD Sunblocks! Think has a white, goopy texture that smooths easily on the skin and is very gentle. It’s our favorite recommendation for those with light complexions. If you have a darker complexion, Elta MD Sunblock is an excellent choice. It’s a clear formula which doesn’t leave any white residue. However, even the best SPFs can be hard on the skin, so be sure to apply ÀTOI Day Creams before your SPF to create a protective barrier and remove SPF with 2-3 cleansings with ÀTOI Cleansing Milk at night.
2. Sunglasses: Protecting our eyes from the sun is obviously very important, but Oliver Peoples Sunglasses are so stylish, I would wear them anyway! They have a great selection of shapes and colors, are very durable and are the perfect accent to any summer look.
3. Hats: This might be my favorite way to protect my skin from sun exposure. I’m a lover of all hats, but for the summer weather Helen Kaminski raffia hats are my favorite. Made by an Australian designer with exquisite taste in summer styles, these hats look great and the thick raffia weave is of an excellent quality.
4. Beach Snack: We at ÀTOI are healthy, but avid eaters. We tend to avoid gluten and dairy, but are far from willing to give up exceptional flavor or sweets. For a healthy snack that reminds us of our favorite oatmeal cookies, it doesn’t get better than Alyssa’s!
5. Water: It’s so important to stay hydrated all summer long, but to make sure you’re getting the most out of your H20, I recommend bottled water with a high PH. Our office favorite is Neo Water (also available on Amazon). It’s extremely calming for the system and the skin and it tastes delicious!
Whew! You’ve just had a long day. Maybe you accomplished a lot on your “To Do” list, or maybe life threw something unexpected at you and you had to change course. You finally reach that moment where you can relax, crawl under the covers and leave your busy day behind. You close your eyes waiting for sweet sleep to sweep you away and…nothing. You lay there with the remnants of the day’s activities swirling around in your head.
How do we halt this scenario and get ourselves in a place where we can experience all the nourishing, therapeutic benefits of a peaceful night’s sleep? The fact of the matter is a good night’s sleep is the result of good habits throughout the day.
Eat: Even on hectic days, be sure to bring food and water with you so you can eat and drink regularly throughout the day. This way you don’t risk running around all day on an empty stomach only to get home and overeat right before bed.
Accentuate the Positive/Eliminate the Negative: With Social Media, the news, etc. it’s so easy to become bogged down with negativity. That’s why it’s important to avoid things like gossip and not allow our own negativity to become self-indulgent. However, try as we may, we can’t avoid everything, so on those days when we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to take time to process and work through those feelings so we can separate ourselves from them. One of the best ways to do this is to take a few minutes to write down the things that are upsetting us, acknowledge them and make a decision to let them go. Having a clear mind and allowing ourselves to physically and emotionally heal and remove ourselves from the day is essential to a restful sleep.
Keep Your Conscience Clear: One of the best ways to prepare for a sound, peaceful sleep is by living well with one’s self and others. Practicing kindness towards others restores the soul in so many ways and helps to keep our minds at peace.
Create Positive Unwind Time: A lot of us enjoy unwinding in front of the TV. It allows us to relax and take our mind off the day. While this is fine earlier in the evening, too much stimulation right before bed can make it difficult to get proper rest. Avoid watching the nightly news and even magazines if they get you excited. Initially it may feel isolating to not immerse yourself in what’s happening in the world, but in today’s information age, it won’t take you too long to catch up on what’s going on the next day. Plus, because you’re well rested, you’ll be more able to cope and think clearly, so it’s really the better way to invest your time.
Cleanse: The skin is the largest organ of the body and, like the rest of our body, it needs rest to properly heal. This is especially true if the skin is broken out. A thorough nighttime skincare routine not only clears away the day’s dirt and grime, it also sets your skin up to do its best healing. Plus, the time taken to care for your skin is wonderful for winding down.
Sleep affects our health and relationships, even how we feel and our skin. Good sleep is a daily practice. It requires a conscious dedication to self-care and to creating positive habits.
Hyperpigmentation presents itself in many ways including white spots, dark spots and a general unevenness of the skin. The reasons for hyperpigmentation vary. Sometimes it’s hormonal or caused by things like pregnancy, other times it’s genetic. Whatever the ultimate cause, it’s important to know that this condition is actually a form of oversensitivity and the measures taken to improve it often involve finding ways to calm both the system and the skin.
Drink lots of water: Drinking more water helps nearly every function of the body and improving the internal system always reflects in the skin. Our favorite water is Neo Water because of its high PH and refreshing taste. Alkaline water is also excellent for balancing the acidity in the system
Cut the acidity: As previously mentioned, hyper-pigmentation is a form of oversensitivity and acidity is one of the hardest things on the system. Oranges, apples, tomatoes and vinegar are some of the worst culprits, so it’s best not to eat them too often
Eat your veggies: We all know eating healthy is important, but did you know that a lack of vegetables in one’s system actually contributes to the skin’s overall sensitivity and reactiveness? Greens, especially kale are best.
Keep it real: Food additives have a very negative effect on the evenness of the skin. Avoid artificial sweeteners and preservatives and be sure to get only nitrate free deli meats.
Stay hydrated inside and out: Of course water is the best way to stay hydrated, but oils help the skin immensely as well. Avocado Oil is one of our favorites. It’s highly hydrating and helps with fine lines, but it also helps to even the skin.
Protect yourself from the sun and sunblock: Too much sun exposure can really exacerbate a pigmentation issue so be sure to wear sunblock and a hat when going outside. Then, before bed make sure you thoroughly remove your sunblock with at least 3 cleansings.
Cleanse: This is how you balance the system from the outside and it’s extremely important. A thorough cleansing routine complete with Cleanser and Toner is the best way to even the texture and pigmentation of the skin.
Hyperpigmentation may seem daunting, but if you treat your skin for what it is—sensitive, you can change your skin by changing a few core habits.
Congratulations! Step 1 is done: you made the resolution! Now, how do you achieve your goal of better, more beautiful skin and keep up your skincare routine all year long?
Start simply: How many times have we fallen short on our resolutions because we took on too much? Start with the basics—Cleansing and Moisturizing. They’re best thing for your skin anyway! Then, when you’re really enjoying your routine, add in Serums, Masks and Exfoliant.
Work cleansing around your other daily routines: You have probably managed to make brushing your teeth twice a day a routine, right? So, it’s entirely possible for you to have a twice daily cleansing routine; just work it around your oral care routine! Start with your Cleansing Milk and follow with Toner. Then, while your Toner dries, brush/floss your teeth! Apply your moisturizer and you’re done—easy peasy!
Cleanse early: Unlike brushing your teeth, your nighttime routine does not have to be done right before bed. Anytime in the evening is fine. You can cleanse as soon as you get home from work or even before you leave the office; just don’t miss it!
Taking care of yourself isn’t something you have to do. It’s something you get to do, so enjoy it, make time for it and bask in all the wonderful results!
New Year’s resolutions need action plans to become reality. Share your action plan in the comments below!
The holidays are upon us—that most wonderful yet hectic time of year. Most of us are already overly busy: work is longer, play time is rarer and more intense. Just the thought of getting ready for the holidays is unnerving as we try to determine how we’ll manage our holiday to do list and still keep up with our regular work load. This year make the decision to do the holidays differently and make it before the holidays are here. Take the self care oath not to let the tension get to you—easier said than done, but entirely doable.
During this age of non-stop communication, peace and quiet have never been so important. Once we create the habit of grounded quiet time, it is easier to stay balanced and focused.
The 1st step is making the decision. Then the question becomes how to achieve your peace of mind without antagonizing your whole world. That is where the how comes in. The how starts with as little as 5-10 minutes alone with oneself each day before any interaction with family, loved ones or fellow workers. It is one of the best, most stabilizing things you can ever do for yourself. If you are able, find a few extra minutes before this “quiet time”, to connect with or write down whatever is weighing heavily on your mind. It is such a helpful exercise to pinpoint exactly what’s bothering us, note it and either let it go or find a productive way to deal with it. If we don’t give ourselves this conscious quiet time, small problems can become a jumble of tangled emotions that consume us. When we take the time to slow down, we often find that the things that cause us the most grief are the things we can do the least about anyway, so there’s little point in letting them ruin what is otherwise a very special time of year.
During this age of non-stop communication, peace and quiet have never been so important. Once we create the habit of grounded quiet time, it is easier to stay balanced and focused. Then the question becomes how do we keep the peace and calm that we worked so hard to achieve despite life’s challenges. We need to guard our inner peace and stay centered in our commitment to ourselves instead of reacting to negative people, places or things. Consider the quiet center inside of you as a child for whom you are responsible and who always needs protection. When it means that much, we realize how important it is to safeguard that part of ourselves.
The next step is forgiveness and gratitude. Even with our commitment to self care, we are human and at some point or another we all fall back to our self defeating old ways. Forgiveness of ourselves and others is so necessary for self acceptance and personal freedom. Gratitude for each of our blessings is the beginning of this route to peace within us.
The seasons are changing and it’s time to prepare for the influx of cooler weather. We’ve enjoyed our fun in the sun, but we need to repair our skin from extended exposure. Even with sunblock and wind protection, the products we use to prevent damage and the time spent outdoors coarsen the skin and leave it ruddy with bumps under or on the cheeks, forehead and neck. The transition from summer to fall is the skincare season of repairing and preparing: repairing the summer damage with products that calm the skin and preparing for the dry air months ahead with plenty of hydration.
Here’s how to Repair and Prepare!
Proper Cleansing: Ok, we know we say this every time, but it’s so important! ÀTOI’s number 1 “rule of thumb” and the best way to reverse summer sun damage is with a gentle cleansing routine. Any of the 4 ÀTOI lines will clean the pores superbly, but Soothing and Clarifying are our particular favorites after the summer season since they are so calming for the skin.
Proper Cleansing part 2: How you cleanse matters. In case you missed it, Gentle is the operative word. Rubbing too hard on the skin leads to coarsened skin over time. To be sure you’re cleansing as gently as possible, use rolled 100% cotton sprayed with distilled water to remove your Cleansing Milk and apply Toner with a smaller piece of 100% cotton.
Avoid Exfoliants: While you’re restoring the skin, skip the exfoliant. Even ÀTOI’s gentle exfoliant should not be used until the skin calms down and evens out.
Proper Nighttime Cleansing: Breakfast may be the most important meal, but your nighttime cleansing is the most important routine. At the end of the day, cleanse 3-4 times in a row with ÀTOI Cleansing Milk to clean the pores and calm the skin. Follow with 2 applications of ÀTOI Toner. View the full ÀTOI ROUTINE!
Drink up! It is so good to keep the body moisturized inside and outside. Water does that nutritionally. Alkaline water is best because it benefits the whole system and neutralizes acidity, which aggravates and causes blotchiness and irritation. It may be easier to drink more water in the summer heat, but it’s just as important to keep your water intake up during the cold months ahead so that extreme central heating doesn’t take its toll on our skin. Drinking small amounts of water throughout the day is a healthy and easy way to stay hydrated and is so beneficial for mind and body.
Pack on the Moisture: For an extraordinarily hydrating lift, do what the French call a “Packing” on the skin. After the Toner dries, apply at least 3 heavy layers of your ÀTOI Eye Cream and respective Soothing Day/Night, Strengthening Vitamin E or Nourishing Night Cream onto the face and neck and leave it on for as long as you are able. Relax and feel those healing French Ingredients working their magic and restoring the pores and texture of the skin in as little as 20 minutes, or longer if you have the time. Then, massage cream onto face and neck and blot away excess with an unscented tissue. Check your beautiful complexion before going out. You won’t believe what your skin looks like: restored and radiant. You can, if you like, put makeup over it, but you may decide your skin looks so good you can skip it and let everyone admire your radiant complexion.
Whatever the weather may bring, loving your skin is always in season. If you have any questions, we’re always here to help guide you from a stunning summer to a fabulous fall. Visit atoiskincare.com for more information and helpful tips!
Preparing for menopause is really preparing for life’s next chapter. It is a wonderful opportunity to take stock of what we need and develop the habits that will serve us best as we take the next step. No matter how busy or complicated our life is or seems; we can alter it so that it suits our deepest need by changing what we do. What we do is so often more important than what we think.
Gratitude, a positive attitude to self and taking charge of today’s issues instead of worrying about yesterday or tomorrow are our best weapons against negative self-talk.
Here are some tips to get started.
Positive Self-Talk: When we are busy and overwhelmed one excellent place to start is with positive self-talk. Going through menopause is certainly a time when we might find ourselves at “loose ends.” That negative place filled with “I can’t” and “why bother.” There is no advantage or growth from being at “loose ends.” It is the single biggest waste of time and often leads us to a very unproductive ‘victim’ mindset. Gratitude, a positive attitude to self and taking charge of today’s issues instead of worrying about yesterday or tomorrow are our best weapons against negative self-talk.
Choose your Company Wisely: Improving ourselves, body and soul, is our decision, and we are the ones responsible for staying positive and focused. If we surround ourselves with people who are stuck in their own negativity as we’re just learning to be more positive, we’ll eventually end up back where we started. True friends want you to be happy and to do what is best for you. Those who are not positive are that way because of their own issues, and when they weigh us down they do so because misery loves company. Do not undervalue yourself. You deserve a good life and friends that celebrate it with you.
Exercise: Sweat your symptoms out! Sweating actually helps to reduce inflammation so a regular workout becomes even more important and beneficial. Plus, it helps us focus which gives a greater sense of emotional, mental and physical well-being. If you’re not in the habit of exercising or have experienced past injuries, check with your doctor to see what types of exercises are best for you. Then, begin with as little as 10-15 minutes a day until your body is comfortable with more. Don’t worry about perfection if things aren’t as easy as they were. Even doing gentle aerobic exercises and going for regular walks will help.
Change your diet: Our body is going through so much during menopause it’s important to support it with the proper nutrients. Organic sweet potatoes are particularly beneficial because they have nutrients that help the eyes and balance hormone levels.
Remember your skin: Your skin is changing too, so don’t leave it out of this new beginning. In fact, our skin needs even more attention. Add a second ÀTOI cleansing to your morning routine and follow with ÀTOI Toner. Then in your nighttime routine, which should consist of 3 cleansings and 2 applications of Toner to improve lines, smooth and even the skin and shrink the pores, add ÀTOI Serums. They penetrate the skin very quickly, making an immediate change. ÀTOI’s Line Defying, Lifting and Revitalizing Collagen Serums are particularly helpful for fine lines and dehydration.
Find your “Cornerstone Habit”: At ÀTOI our favorite mode of self-care is, of course, a thorough daily skincare routine, since aside from giving us radiant skin, it’s an excellent way to wind down and take a little precious time for ourselves. But everyone’s idea of self-care is a little different, so take the time to figure out what works for you and do that thing consistently. You’ll develop cornerstone habit that leads to even more positive changes.
Getting to the other side of negative habits is life altering and as rewarding as anything we could give ourselves. Remain optimistic and positive as you make the decision to eat better, exercise more, and take care of your complexion. Take pride and celebrate every small change because that is how big changes happen: one small change at a time. It is so worthwhile.
Transforming your skin is doable, constructive and, though thinking of it can be overwhelming, often times not as hard as we think. Here are our 5 favorite positive habits that make a huge impact on your skin—no matter what the issue.
Water: You may know this, but it’s one extra action you can take to make a big improvement. Water is the beverage of choice for the complexion. If you’re not a big water drinker, begin with a small amount. Drinking water is a habit that has to be built over time and a great way to start is by keeping a water bottle with you and drinking it throughout the day. Have it ready at your office so you don’t have to keep running for refills and carry it in your bag. Once you get started you’ll be surprised how refreshing consistent water intake can be and your body and skin will thank you.
Oils: A little good oil in the diet goes a long way in helping our skin. Cold-Pressed Apricot, Avocado and Almond oils are some of ÀTOI’s favorites. For dry skin they help nourish and hydrate the skin from within, but adding one of these health food oils regulates all complexions including oily ones so that the body becomes balanced and does not produce excess oils. The best way to add oils to your diet is to use it as a replacement for butter when you cook or in homemade salad dressing. Too much dairy, especially butter and cheese, can cause eruptions and coarsen the skin over time. Oils not only improve your skin, they’re also a positive way to limit your dairy intake without sacrificing flavor.
Sleep: Peaceful deep sleep is the best gift you can give yourself; body, soul and complexion. Between bosses and babies we may not have much choice of the hours we get to sleep, but we can do something about the quality. For that, quiet time is key. Resist the evening news, even fashion magazines—anything that overstimulates, and instead find ways to wind down. Try replacing that one last episode of “Modern Family” before bed with your ÀTOI Cleansing routine. Your skin will thank you, and whether you spent the day working hard or creatively procrastinating, you could sure use a little time for self-care.
Be Gentle: There are a few things in life that get cleaner with elbow grease: stove tops, cars, bathtubs, but your skin is not one of them. In fact, rubbing too hard only irritates and coarsens the skin over time. Your skin is precious and no matter what issue it may be having taking your frustration out on it with a rough hand will only exacerbate the problem. One way to make sure you’re using a gentle approach is to use 100% cotton wetted with irritant-free distilled water to remove your cleanser instead of rinsing with tap water and then drying it with a rough towel.
Cleanse Thoroughly: Cleansing once during your nighttime routine is great, but 3 cleansings at night to make sure the grit, makeup and sunblock is out of the pores will make an even more striking improvement. ÀTOI’s Cleansing Milks are designed to gently open the pores and lift out impurities. With each cleansing the Milk reaches deeper into the pores, leaving them not only scrupulously clean, but also smaller. Finishing with 2 applications of ÀTOI alcohol-free Toner completely closes your freshly cleaned pores and gives your skin an extra touch of radiance.
Changing our day-to-day habits can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to make adjustments little by little and be kind and reasonable with yourself as you integrate these healthy lifestyle changes. The great thing is, once you start making these changes, you won’t have to wait long to see improvement. You’ll start to feel good and look good and even feel good about how you look—the best possible result.
Visit us at atoiskincare.com to view our superb French inspired formulas and find out What’s Right for You as you begin your journey to stunning skin.