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7 Tricks for Nixing Summer Breakouts


Thanks to the sky-rocketing temps and humidity, our skin is constantly on the verge of an epic breakout during the sticky summer months. In a valiant effort to avoid a major complexion revolt, we’re incorporating these seven game-changing tips into our daily skincare routines.

  1. Whether blemish-prone or drier than the Sahara Desert, your complexion needs a daily dose of moisturizer to stay pimple free. Use this cheat sheet to find the right moisturizer for your skin type.

  2. The key to maintaining bright, glowy skin when the thermostat rises? Exfoliation. Watch this video to find out how to properly prep and slough dead skin to get a radiant glow in no time.

  3. A solid pimple prevention plan is half the battle. Stop zits before they start with our handy acne guide, which calls out the most common skin-irritating culprits.

  4. If you’re already dealing with a monster-sized zit, use this tutorial to expertly conceal blemishes both big and small.

  5. Excessive sun exposure can not only lead to sun damage, it can also cause more zits as well—especially if you have sensitive skin. Try a combination moisturizer and sunscreen specifically geared toward reducing breakouts.

  6. Unsurprisingly, what you eat affects your skin as much as what you do or don’t put on your face. Here are three sneaky things in your diet that might be messing with your skin. 

  7. Sweat and hair product residue can be transferred from strands to skin and cause breakouts—particularly on your forehead. On extra warm days, keep your hair up and out of your face with an ever-popular princess roll.


Another trick for keeping acne at bay? Staying clam and stress-free. Sit back, relax, and beat the summer blues with this cooling ice tea recipe from Runa cofounder Tyler Gage. 

Join Us for a Twitter Chat with Simple on All Things Skincare!


We’re giving away 20 sets of these sensitive skin-friendly products from Simple during our Twitter chat with Simple on April 23 at 1:00pm ET!

As much as we love testing the latest and greatest eye treatment or face serum, we know first hand that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the newest high tech ingredients and all the different ways that they can help. Sometimes, a minimalist approach is the gentlest and most effective way to tend to our skin’s woes.

We discovered Simple Skincare through one of our editors who swears by their classic lightweight moisturizer. We’re big fans of their products since they’re free of dyes, artificial perfumes, and harsh irritants that aggravate skin—which makes them ideal for anyone with sensitive skin.

We’re excited to say that tomorrow at 1:00pm ET we’ll be hosting a Twitter chat with the experts at Simple! They’ll be answering any and all of your questions related to skincare, from what ingredients you should look for—and avoid—in a face cleanser to the food you should be eating to make your skin glow.

Tweet your questions in advance with the hashtag #AskSimple—and make sure you’re following @Birchbox and @SimpleSkincare! Plus, just by participating, you’ll be entered to win one of 20 collections of skincare products from Simple, including their Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15, Eye Make-Up Remover Pads, and Soothing Eye Balm! See official rules here.


Curious to learn more about the brand? Here’s even more info on Simple.

The British Brand That Totally Won Over My Sensitive Skin


During my junior year of college I fell in love with Edinburgh (above) and a standout UK-based skincare brand.

Growing up, I always considered myself a beauty rookie since I rarely played with makeup. (A by-product of having a big brother who teaches you to love cars and cloaked comic book characters as a kid). But during college, I realized that I had become something of a skincare connoisseur because of my sensitive, acne-prone skin. I was always on the lookout for the gentlest yet most effective products. By freshman year, I’d tried nearly every drugstore line I could find, given Proactiv a trial run, and finally acknowledged a tiny addiction to clay face masks.

By the time I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland for my junior year abroad, I was pretty well-versed in what really worked for my finicky complexion. So you can imagine my excitement when I found a British brand to fill in for the American mainstays that got lost in an EuRail baggage debacle. Guys, if you haven’t heard of them yet, let me introduce you to Simple Skincare.

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Complexion-Clearing Tricks for Sensitive Skin, Superbowl Style Controversy, and More: Reading List

We know you don’t have oodles of time to browse through everything on the Birchbox blog and in the magazine each week. Here’s a short list of the top blog posts, articles, videos, and news you need to read this weekend. Stay warm!

4 Complexion-Clearing Tricks for Sensitive Skin: pūr~lisse founder and skincare expert Jennifer Yen told us her fool-proof tricks for saving her finicky skin from acne, hives and rosacea.

How To: French Fishtail Braid: Regular braids are SO over. Just kidding! We still love them, but this combination of a French braid and a fishtail braid is so cool we may never separate them again.

Trend Alert: How to Style the New Bob: Life changes, like welcoming a new year, always make us want to change up our hair. Luckily there’s a hot new hair trend we can get behind. Check it out and get your stylist on the phone.

Quarterback (Style) Controversy: Flacco vs. Kaepernick: Get prepped for Sunday’s big game with these lowdown deets on Flacco’s and Kaepernick’s Birchbox Man-worthy style. Included: junior prom suit rentals, flat-brimmed hats, and temporary tattoos.

Celebrating Grand Central Terminal, Then and Now: A century ago, Grand Central Station was brand-spanking new and extra luxurious—which meant it even had a women’s hair dressing parlor. Even cooler? Seeing the layout of the actual New York Times from Feb. 2, 1913.

Stay up to date on the latest and greatest news—check out our morning must reads.

4 Complexion-Clearing Tricks for Sensitive Skin


Meet pūr~lisse founder Jennifer Yen. (Photo: Peter Cervieri)

Last week on a blissfully sunny trip to L.A., I had the chance to catch up with skincare expert and pūr~lisse founder Jennifer Yen. In her former life as an actress (she played an evil sorceress on Power Rangers in its first season), Yen wore extradramatic heavy makeup on a daily basis—which stressed out her sensitive skin, in turn causing acne, hives, and rosacea. To help combat these skincare woes, Yen created pūr~lisse—an entire line of sensitive skin-friendly products that rely on two soothing, healing traditional Chinese ingredients: blue lotus and white tea.

After spending an afternoon with Yen and her seriously luminous skin, I knew I had to find out everything that she uses in her personal regimen. So without further ado, here are the top four tricks that she follows to keep her sensitive skin clear and glowing:

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VMV Hypoallergenics Answers: What Is Sensitive Skin?

For those with sensitive skin, VMV Hypoallergenics is a dream come true. Founded by a leading dermatologist/dermatopathologist, all of the brand’s formulas are created to be as allergen-free as possible, omitting 76 of the most common allergens, including fragrances, dyes, parabens and preservatives. This week, the brand is kindly sharing its unique insight into the world of complexion issues—and dispensing pertinent advice for people of all different skin types and concerns.

What is sensitive skin? Sensitive has become a bit of a catch-all term to define a wide variety of skin conditions, from medically-managed diseases to acne and everything in between. It does cover a broad range of concerns but, strictly speaking, ‘sensitive’ refers to skin that tends to experience sensations like stinging, burning, prickling, tingling, itching, or slight pain, with or without redness, swelling or other signs of irritation. (A tendency towards acne isn’t usually considered sensitivity.)

What causes sensitive skin? There are several possibilities including contact or photocontact dermatitis, which are allergic or irritant reactions to chemicals (including natural extracts—remember natural ingredients are also chemicals). Most people who develop such reactions have an allergic tendency, often with a background of atopic dermatitis, asthma, rhinitis, or reactions to drugs or to their jewelry, foods, clothing, cosmetics, or other things. Dry weather can either cause or worsen sensitivity. And if skin gets so dry that it cracks, microorganisms can enter the fissures and cause more dryness and sensitivity.

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