Scars happen. They are a part of everyday life. Whether your scar resulted from surgery, an accident, stretch marks, acne, a burn or life's little blunders, each scar has a story to tell. I remember each and every story of mine ... from the first time shaving (shin) to moving my mini refrigerator into my dorm room at college (knee) to a biopsy (décolleté), and more. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Your scar may have become a part of your personal style. On the other hand, you may view it as a nuisance.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great products on the market to help minimize the appearance of scars. I am personally testing one at the moment, Mederma® Cream plus SPF 30. I was thrilled to learn the most recent version of Mederma contains an SPF.

Mederma® shares
A scar is the result of your body repairing an open wound. Your skin creates fibrous tissue to replace normal skin. The larger the skin area that's affected, the longer it will take the wound to heal and the greater the chance of a noticeable scar.
I began my Mederma journey several weeks ago. I've noticed that my most recent scar is beginning to fade already. My very first scar, however, will take more time. And that makes sense, as it has been around the longest. Start your own Mederma journey and share your findings with msf. Look for my updates in upcoming monthly product reviews.
Is it possible to brighten your complexion and illuminate your eyes in only 7 minutes? I am here to tell you that it is. Truly.

lightboxWhen I first heard about Orlane's LIGHTBOX Absolute Radiance, I was excited to try it, yet a bit skeptical. Touting to deliver "The Cinderella effect" in 7 minutes is a big claim and made me wonder how this could be done. Well, I was not only impressed with this facial-in-a-box, but absolutely astounded.

The kit is extremely convenient with 6 individualized applications for those big events in your life. My first big event was hot yoga. Yes, you heard me right. While it wasn't really a big event, my goal was to see how long my Cinderella effect would last. My fear was that I would lose the effect once I got home and showered. I kid you not, the undeniable glow lasted into the next morning.

I recently used my LIGHTBOX for an evening event. When the clock struck midnight, my skin did not lose its brilliance. I'd say it's a good 24-hour glow. It leaves you looking refreshed, rested and simply radiant. For $200, it's like getting 6 facials for less than $36 a piece (give or take a dollar, as tax will vary). Unheard of!

The products in the LIGHTBOX:

Dazzling Eyes Ritual

First, the eye serum goes above and below your eyes. Then, apply the eye contour patches. This regenerates skin cells, as well as toning and hydrating the skin around your eyes. The phyto-therapeutic complex will soothe the skin and remove toxins.

Glowing Skin Masque

Mix the powder into the cream to oxygenate the masque. It illuminates, renews and rehydrates the skin by bringing skin's vitality to the surface.

Evanescent Cream
Apply the cream all over your face (and neck) and watch your skin transform into pure perfection. The ingredients not only plump up skin and draw oxygen down into the epidermis, they brighten and embellish, as well.

So you can have your red carpet moment - up to 6 times! Even if the carpet resides in your own home.
sfc_herbalhy.thumbnailThis shout out goes to Mario Badescu Skin Care. A friend of mine in Florida, who travels incessantly, was experiencing dry, flaky skin. She needed fast relief. I sent her two fantastic products that I knew would not only cure dehydration,
but travel easily, as well (the spritzer was put into a travel bottle). Herbal Hydrating Serum is so effective in boosting skin's ability to hold in moisture. You can layer it with moisturizer for added benefit. The Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rose Water is the perfect companion to help alleviate dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin.

Shannon says,
Catherine, I cannot thank you enough for the Mario Badescu products you sent me. You truly saved my skin during this marathon business travel week!
Thanks for coming to the rescue, Mario Badescu! (Hi Nicole)
As we head into Winter, our skin shows it. Dry skin abound. It is important, now more than ever, to ensure your skin is properly cared for and hydrated. After all, you cannot overlook your skin when it comes to holiday events and parties.

You want your skin to glow just as much as you want your holiday attire to make a statement. Treat it right and it will serve you well. Use a gentle facial cleanser, a serum with antioxidants, and a moisturizer suited for your skin type. For dry skin, look for hydrating ingredients. For oily skin, look for oil-free, non-comedogenic or matte formulas. And for normal skin, ensure your moisturizer isn't too rich, which can cause breakouts. Some moisturizers contain peptides and extracts to firm skin and brighten dull skin as a bonus. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week to slough off dead skin cells.

glimmer.thumbnailNow that your skin is radiant and ready for the holidays, let's talk about how to make up your face. holiday-glow.thumbnailTo me, holidays are a time for a little experimentation, without going overboard. If you need something more splashy than a smoky eye, try sparkles in either your eyeshadow, eyeliner or mascara (but not all three). Definitely go for faux lashes! Give your glowing skin a boost with a translucent iridescent powder. Highlight cheeks subtly with a gel-based blush and keep lips soft with a gloss.

It's not often that we get to go for all out drama. The holidays are the perfect excuse to play around. So go for it!
After reading an article over the summer regarding different water types adversely affecting skin, it got me thinking. Of course, it was top of mind because I was traveling ... and my skin always knows when I am traveling. The reasons? Climate and water. In the article, NYC dermatologist Dennis Gross M.D. shared that tap water can contain lead, zinc, magnesium, copper and iron - which are free radicals. They generate other free radicals, and like a chain reaction, they can destroy collagen.

Heavy metals are the most damaging to skin, causing acne, enlarged pores, sun damage and wrinkles. Hard water is rough on skin, too. With too much calcium or magnesium, your skin and hair can become dry and lackluster. And then there are salts and minerals, considered contaminants. When used with soap, they can cause extreme dryness.

What can we do? Dr. Gross encourages the use of a residue-removing sunscreen (one that contains an iron-encapsulating chelator to remove excess iron residue left on the skin from tap water). You should use a water neutralizing facial cleanser and a soap-free body wash. And look for a clarifying shampoo.

This is not meant to alarm to the point of having your water tested. For the most part, and based on geography, we know what we are dealing with when it comes to our water. A simple fix may be installing charcoal filters or alkaline filters in your shower heads. The bottom line is, water clearly plays a role in the health of our skin. However, having information helps us to make informed decisions.

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