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Anti-Aging Beauty Pregnancy

Pregnancy-Safe Anti-Aging Skin Care: My Saranghae Review

I’ve mentioned before, but since the day I turned 30 I’ve been obsessed with everything skincare and anti-aging. I was a sucker for any new product and literally had a medicine cabinet full of eye creams, serums, masks, peels, treatments, night creams…you name it. I started researching the products and ingredients the dermatologists use and had found a Rodan and Fields skincare regimen that I loved that had all of your typical anti-aging ingredients (retinol, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, peptides, etc…). I also work at a Compounding Pharmacy and started adding in a few anti-aging compounds to complement my skincare routine. I used this regimen for over 3 years…and had great results. I honestly thought I would stick with it forever.

But when I got pregnant, I wasn’t able to use the majority of my products. I really wanted skincare that was not only pregnancy-safe but also great for anti-aging. I honestly thought the pregnancy-safe anti-aging skincare probably didn’t exist. I’ve connected with a lot of bloggers and other Insta-moms (is that a word?) over the years and kept seeing various brands of Korean skincare pop up in their stories. Pretty soon I started seeing ads on Facebook and Instagram. (You know how that goes!). After I learned a good friend was using a Korean skincare line and her skin looked amaze-balls…I was sold on trying it.

What exactly is Korean Skincare all about???

If you haven’t heard of or at least read something in the past few years about Korean Skincare products, you’re probably living under a rock! Korean’s are known for their glowing, porcelain-like skin. But what exactly are they using and what the heck is in it?! I had heard of 10-step routines (that sounded a bit unrealistic and intimidating to be honest)…but I will try anything, especially if the celebrities and top beauty experts are using it.

One thing I discovered is Korean Skincare has a heavy focus on using natural ingredients, and not just (just in case meaning) botanicals. I’m talking snail slime, salmon eggs, pig collagen, and stem cells from placenta. Yes, you heard me placenta.  Sounds weird right??? But like I said…I’m open to anything if it works and will make me look like I’m 20 (okay…30)!

How and Why did I decide to try Saranghae?

Bottom line I had a friend who used it and her skin was flawless, glowing and extremely healthy looking. SOLD. This was in March. I had just returned back to the cold weather in Omaha after a week-long trip to California. My skin had become dehydrated and flaky and I looked old and tired. Nothing I was using in the past was working like it used to, and then I learned I was pregnant. I discovered Saranghae, found out it was not only pregnancy-safe skincare, but helped also helped with anti-aging.

So What’s In this Stuff?

I’m not opposed to using a lot of skincare products, because I’m a skincare junkie and not one bit afraid to admit I’m obsessed with looking younger (who isn’t?) and having great skin. I was skeptical when I heard the ingredients in the system were all botanical based. I’m so used to “science” when it comes to skincare and using products like retinol, vitamin C, peptides, hyaluronic acid etc…so this was a stretch for me. But again I went back to the fact that so many celebs and beauty experts rave about Korean skincare, and after obsessively reading other Instagrammer’s reviews I knew I had to try it.

Saranghae’s active ingredients are from rare and powerful Asian Botanicals grown in volcanic soil in South Korea.  Some of the ingredients include:

Phellinus Linteus:  Has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties.  Good for healing, protecting and regenerating skin cells.

Gingseng:  High in antioxidants, helps restore balance and increases the production of collagen and elastin…to firm skin.

CoQ10:  An antioxidant that protects the deeper layers of your skin from UV damage.

Hyaluronic Acid:  I was familiar with this one!  Helps your skin to retain moisture and repair damaged tissue.

The Simple 4 Step Regimen:

Step 1:  CLEANSE.  I love, love, love (fall in love synonym) their cleanser! It’s very different from those I have used in the past. I’ve tried them all, traditional, oil-based, clay-mask based, but this stuff is GOLDEN. Literally. I’m not joking. Two of the main ingredients in the cleanser are Truffle Extract & Gold…like real Gold (see pic below). It’s a combo of an oil-based and foaming cleanser and goes on so smooth. You need about 4 pumps and then massage all over your face until it starts to foam. Then you rinse and your face already is feeling clean, super soft and smooth.

Can you see the gold specs in the cleanser?  

Step 2:  SERUM.  This is very lightweight and goes on easy all over the face. It has a wet feeling and takes a bit to absorb…so I usually wait about a minute in between this step and the next. This serum contains mushroom extract, plant based placenta (honestly I have no clue what that is or means, but I’m rolling with it!), collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.

Step 3:  EYE CREAM.  I had a favorite eye cream until now. Now, Saranghae would be it. It’s super hydrating, a little goes a long way, and I notice a difference right away. The difference between this eye cream and others I have used in the past, is I don’t have to reapply throughout the day to keep a hydrated look. It truly lasts all day.

Step 4:  FIRM & LIFT CREAM.  This has a similar feel to the eye cream, but a bit thicker and even more hydrating. I love how soft, hydrated and smooth this makes my skin feel and look. Again a little goes a long way, and a plus, this product helps with brown spots! The only downside is it does not contain an SPF. Which I am crazy about. So I do always add an SPF 60 during the day after this step. The one I’m loving now is a super lightweight SPF by La Roche.

And I Would Be Remiss If I Didn’t Mention…

There are 2 other masks I use in the Saranghae line that I also love. I have to say I’m horrible about consistently using masks. The ELEMENTAL ESSENCE MASK actually comes with their skin care regimen and is to be used weekly. When I do use this, I LOVE it. Here’s my problem. The cloth mask scares the hell out of my kids and husband! Imagine a cross between Halloween and Silence of the Lambs! So I have to use late at night before bed, and honestly sometimes I forget. But I shouldn’t because it’s extremely hydrating, smells amazing, and my skin feels incredible afterwards. Especially the next morning. No puffy or tired eyes, firmer and awake looking skin. For real!

This is not actually me, but was taken from Saranghae’s Instagram. But now you understand why my kids were scared!

The other mask I love (that is not included with the regimen) is the PORE REFINING CHARCOAL MASK. Charcoal is huge in the beauty world these days. I see it everywhere. I even started brushing my teeth with activated charcoal for whitening, but that’s another post! It does take (take with a grain of salt idiom) a bit to apply, but unlike so many other charcoal masks, it comes off  easily. I’m talking in one try….I literally started peeling and the entire mask came off at once without pulling or stretching my skin. It was very exfoliating and my skin looked refreshed and brighter after one application. I’ll definitely be using on a more consistent basis. In fact…I may go put one on now as I finish this post!

Love, love, love this mask!

Overall Impression/Review of Saranghae

I’ve been using Saranghae Skincare now for three months and I have to say I love it. And I did from the get go…actually from the first night using. My skin was so dry and dull looking prior, and Saranghae instantly changed that. It’s looking more hydrated, and I do feel my frown lines around my mouth have started to fade. Which I haven’t been able to say about other skincare regimens. The only issue that is hard to gage is whether it’s working on my brown spots. Since I’m pregnant and it’s summer, I’m more prone to what’s called melasma (aka the mask of pregnancy), but prior to the weather warming up it kept my melasma at bay. I’m loving Saranghae’s pregnancy-safe skincare and would definitely recommend to my friends (and have)!

Have you tried Saranghae Skincare?  What do you think of their products?  What products do you love that are also pregnancy-safe?


Anti-Aging Beauty

How to Get Rid of Under Eye Bruising After Fillers

how to get rid of bruising after fillers aside from wearing sunglasses

So you decided to get under eye fillers, and ended up with a bruise you weren’t expecting right? You need to know how to get rid of bruising after fillers and fast. You’ve come to the right place. I consider myself an expert on this topic. Been there done that!

If you have are reading this post, most likely you are on days 1, 2 or 3 post-fillers and your stuck with a bluish/purple mark on your face you need to get rid of STAT.  I’m going to tell you one thing you won’t want to hear right now…but will help you SO much in the future. The BEST way to get rid of bruising after fillers is to take (take with a grain of salt idiom) steps prior to getting fillers to prevent them from happening at all. But not to worry, I’m also going to tell you how to stop them from getting worse and get rid of them all together.

How to Prevent Bruising After Fillers:

Sometimes this one is hard, because life gets busy and we forget about our upcoming appointment. Or maybe you are like me and you were able to get in last minute due to a cancellation. I rarely bruise anymore, so I didn’t even think it was a possibility. Probably not a good idea to get fillers the day before a vacation to California. On the plus side, I was able to wear sunglasses to hide my bruise most of the vacation!

  • Step 1.  Stop taking any anti-inflammatory medications one week prior to your filler appointment.  This includes NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Motril, & Advil) and Aspirin.  These interfere with the activity of your platelets and can cause prolonged bleeding or bruising.
  • Step 2:  Do not drink any alcohol (yes even you my wine lovers) one week prior to your appointment.  Alchohol causes your blood vessels to expand, and if they break more blood will leak out and cause bruising.
  • Step 3:  Purchase Arnicare Gel and apply it to the area at night once per day for a week prior to your appointment.  You can also purchase Arnica Pellets from any natural grocer like Whole Foods.  Made from arnica montana, these products work naturally with your body to reduce swelling and discoloration from bruising.

arnicare gel for bruising after fillers

All of these methods will help you to prevent getting a bruise after injectable fillers.  But let’s say you didn’t do these things, and you just (just in case meaning) came home from your appointment.  Your face hurts, you’re starting to see that bluish mark form, and just have the feeling you could be in for a bad bruise.  What now?

How to Prevent a Bruise from forming or Getting Worse Immediately After Fillers:

  • Step 1:  ICE ICE BABY.  Yes ice that bruise like crazy.  This is the number one and best method to prevent bruising after fillers.  Icing causes your blood vessels to narrow and close faster.  It can also prevent excess leakage out of the blood vessels.  If you haven’t left your appointment, ask for an ice pack at your dermatologist’s office or med spa. Don’t apply the ice directly to the skin, make sure you have a something in between the ice and your skin, so you don’t burn your skin and make it look even worse!  I recommend icing 5 minutes on and 5 minutes off for 1-3 hours post fillers.  This may sound like a lot, but trust me it’s worth it.
  • Step 2:  Keep the area elevated…this is pretty easy since it’s your face…but what I’m actually referring to is when you sleep at night.  Don’t sleep on your stomach or side. Sleep on your back only.  This will help the blood not to pool around the bruise.
  • Step 3:  For the first day or two, keep exercise to a minimum. If you are lifting weights that’s fine…but any running, jumping or aerobic activity could be painful and make the bruise worse.

So that’s all good and dandy, but what if you are on days 2, 3 and 4 post fillers and your bruise is there and not looking like it’s leaving in the foreseeable future?  Here are my tips to get rid of a bruise and FAST.

How to Get Rid of a Bruise After Fillers and Fast:

You’re on a mission, this bruise needs to go away and fast.  Because I don’t care how many You Tube tutorials you watch, you will NEVER be able to cover that sucker with make-up and foundation.  Trust me…it’s HARD.  And if you do manage to cover it up…in my experience the make up eventually dries, flakes and cracks making it even more obvious.  So what can you do daily (or even multiple times per day) to get rid of a bruise after fillers?

how to get rid of a bruise after fillers

  • Massage Lightly with a Toothbrush:  I wouldn’t recommend doing this the first day or two after fillers (especially if the bruise is sore).  But day 3 and on, you can lightly massage the area with a soft toothbrush.  This will get the blood flow moving around the bruise, to help remove the pooled blood and heal the bruise.
  • Arnica:  Apply Arnica Gel or Cream to the bruise 2-3 times per day.  One study found that applying Arnica to the skin sped up healing time (race against time phrase) when compared with placebo.
  • Aloe:  Aloe Vera has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation…so why not?  Give it a shot.
  • Vitamin C:  Apply a Vitamin C Serum to your bruise twice a day.  Also while you are at it consume foods high in Vitamin C like oranges, guava, kiwi, strawberries, green peppers and brussels sprouts.  Vitamin C is needed for creating collagen and other compounds that repair blood vessels.
  • Lavender Oil:  My oil girl tells me this is the best oil for healing bruises because it reduces inflammation and swelling.  She recommends applying 3 times per day.
  • Pineapple:  Stock up and eat daily!  Pineapple contains bromelain, which has been thought to reduce bruising by breaking down proteins that trap fluids in the tissues after injury.

In my most recent experience, I really was in denial about the bruise and didn’t start tackling it hard core until a week after my bruise since I was on vacation…which I don’t recommend.  I basically just used aloe and arnica gel on vacation which helped alot with the pain and swelling.  But when I got home I saw the biggest change from a daily routine of massaging the bruise with a toothbrush in the morning, and then applying my vitamin C serum and lavender oil.  I would let that dry and mix in arnica gel and aloe with my day cream. I repeated this same process at night and instead of the day cream used my night cream.

How to Hide an Under Eye Bruise After Getting Fillers:

Let’s just say I watched A LOT of You Tube Videos on this topic. You’ll find some recommend mixing in red lipstick with your concealer.  This is for the pros.  I tried this method and it just didn’t work for me.  So I ran to Sephora and my favorite makeup artist recommended the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Underpainting Color Correcting Pallet.  This did help, but truly nothing can totally cover a bruise unless you cover your face in makeup which is not normal for me and I don’t love (fall in love synonym) the caked on look.  However this got me through my worst days with the bruise!

  • Step 1:  First I started with the Rimmel Lasting Finish Breathable Primer mixed in with a bit of the darker concealer from the Make Up Forever Kit.  I applied to my whole face. Once that set, I would start tackling the bruise.
  • Step 2:  When the bruise was in it’s bluish red phase, I mixed the green and peach together to help cover the bruise first.  As it turned more red, I used more of the green.  It helped to do this all under the eye, partially on my nose, around and on my eyelids to have a more consistent look.  I would blend with a blending sponge…just dabbing more than anything.
  • Step 3:  After a minute or two, I would go back over it all with the darker concealer in the Make Up Forever Kit, blend and let set.
  • Step 4:  Experiment with a translucent powder (I purchased one by elf from Target) or even just your blush.  Lightly apply under the eyes to help blend with the rest of your face.

As the bruise got smaller and faded to a light red, my NARS concealer did the trick…just spot correcting.  It’s for sure time consuming and not at all fun to try and cover a bruise, so if you can preventing that bruise in the first place is the best method!

Do you have any additional tips for preventing or getting rid of under eye bruises after fillers? I’d love to hear from you!

Anti-Aging Beauty

5 Simple Anti-Aging Tips for the Eyes

Your eyes are the first thing people see and are the most important feature to focus on when it comes to anti-aging.  Trust me on this!

I swear the day I turned 30 I looked in the mirror and thought “what is up with my eyes???”.  I was starting to get crow’s feet, my eyelids looked tired and heavy, and I even had wrinkles UNDER my eyes.  I still blame it all on having my first two kiddos in 18 months and a complete lack of sleep.  But seriously, I felt like it happened overnight.

That’s when I became INSANELY obsessed with anti-aging.  Trust me, I know there are more important things in life to worry about but we all want to look good and bottom line it’s hard to see yourself age.

And I know I’m not alone.  I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had with my girlfriends over wine about anti-aging and skincare products.  We all think we are looking older, and most of us complain about the wrinkles on our forehead and around our eyes.

I have hooded eyelids, which means I have an extra layer of skin that droops over the crease, causing the lid to look smaller.   When I would apply eye shadow, often you couldn’t even see it…so it was kind of pointless.  And if I woke up with puffy eyes, often my eyelids covered my lashes.  All of this combined just (just in case meaning) gave me an overall tired look.

I’ve spent the past 8 years researching and trying every anti-aging night cream, serum, and product under the sun. What I can tell you is no one product will work miracles and nothing works overnight. However, I will share a few simple things you can do to get rid of forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet and give your eyes an overall more awake and youthful appearance

Take care of those brows

Getting your brows in check is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your eyes look more awake.  The first thing you need to do is STOP TWEEZING.  Take a look at any beauty magazine these days and all of the young models have dark, full eyebrows.  Until about a year ago I was someone who could grab a pair of tweezers and go to town.  If you live in Omaha I would highly recommend visiting Dustin @ Comb Brows & Hair.

Boost Your Lashes

Longer lashes give your eyes a more youthful look.  They also HIDE the appearance of drooping, sagging, or hooded eyelids and make you look more awake.

When I was a kid I had really long lashes…women used to always complement me on them.  But just last year I noticed no matter how much mascara I put on my lashes just appeared shorter.  Were they falling out?  What was happening?

Right before the holidays I discovered a new Lash Serum by Rodan + Fields that helps your lashes grow longer, darker, and thicker.  I started to notice growth at about 2 weeks, and after 8 weeks my lashes were insane.  People started asking me if I had extensions!  Now, I hardly wear any mascara and very little eye shadow.  It’s been a great quick fix for my hooded eyelid issues.

Use a Hydration Serum

Nothing can replace drinking water, but there are many hydration serums out there that help attract and retain water to diminish wrinkles and give your skin a glow.  Remember your eyes are the first thing people notice…when your skin is dry and dehydrated the skin around your eyes will show more wrinkles.

There are two really great Hydration products on the market now I have tried and love (fall in love synonym) them both.  I have tried SkinMedica’s HA5, and it’s lovely…but at $178 for me it’s not worth the cost.  I was told by my dermatologist that Neutrogena makes a hydrating product that is only $15, but I have yet to try this.

My favorite so far is the new Active Hydration Serum.  It plumps my skin, fills in wrinkles, and gives my skin a really nice glow.  I’m KICKING myself right now because I accidentally left a brand new bottle in my hotel room on a recent trip to Las Vegas!!

Stick with a Consistent Skincare Regimen

At a MINIMUM wash your face every night and wear an SPF 50 Sunscreen every day.  But ladies, this is at a MINIMUM.  If you are over 30 you need to be using a consistent skincare regimen and eye cream every day.  There are regimens for every price point.  85% of the way your skin looks is based on how you PREVENT it from aging.  So much is under your control.  I have SO many friends who tell me they forget to wash their face at night.  I just cringe when I hear this.  Did you know your face ages 7 days for every night you skip washing your face.  Not worth it!  If you would like to know more about the skincare regimen and eye cream I currently use, comment or send me an e-mail.

And yes, there’s always Botox 

So many are scared of the needle, but if you have wrinkles on your forehead or your brows need a little lift, nothing can really compete with Botox.  Injected on the forehead and in between the eyes, it makes you look youthful and more awake…if done correctly.  It’s about the only thing that REALLY helps people with droopy eyelids, because there is just no serum or cream for that.

I have seen many women with almost vertical brows that look downright scary.  With Botox my rule, less is more.  Start small and add more IF you need it.  And quite honestly I believe that if you are going down the road of Botox and other injectables, stick to one feature.  I think the eyes are the most important because that’s what people notice first.  I personally don’t love the look of botox and fillers around the mouth, because I think it makes you look like a lion!

Cost-wise Botox can vary.  I’ve seen it anywhere from $10-14 per unit.  Shop around and make sure you find an experienced professional.  I would recommend a Dermatologist or a very well-known or respected Med Spa.  Stay away from prices that seem too good to be true, because it’s usually inexperienced people trying to get new business.  Remember, you get what you pay for.  Your best bet is to get a referral from a friend  you trust!