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Everything You Need to Know About SPF: Guest Blogger

Dermatologist-in-training and all around cool girl blogger Aegean Chan is the savvy mind behind super-skincare blog Aegmora. Chan educates her readers with particularly informative posts that tie together her science background and her extensive experience with beauty products. We love that she demystifies everything from familiar active ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide to the newest trends like coconut oil. This week, Chan teaches us how to fight acne better, keep our skin hydrated, and protect it from the sun.

I’ll admit, I’ve been in this position before (see above). Growing up in California, they tell you the sun is your friend. But that was a bald-faced lie. The sun is NOT a friend to your beautiful skin and I am here to tell you why and what you can do about it.

You may crave the golden brown baked look for the summer, but the harmful UVB and UVA rays emanating from the ball of fire that heats our planet destroy the collagen scaffolding that makes your skin look luscious and plump. Other evil, evil things these rays can do are encourage cell death, mutate DNA to make you more at risk for skin cancer, thin your skin, and cause unsightly damage at too early of an age.

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Antiaging Secrets From A Top Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Revealed

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun. 

Photos courtesy of BHPS

Ever since Halle Berry’s go-to esthetician Olga Lorencin-Northrup of Kinara Spa first turned me onto SkinCeuticals, I can’t get enough of the skincare line’s anti-aging and UV protection products. With that said, you can imagine my delight when the line’s West Coast flagship, Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, invited me to their practice to try the SkinCeuticals Micropeel and chat with major celebrity plastic surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Chiu.

Now, don’t be alarmed—BHPS offers more than just plastic surgery. Their facility also features a medispa for facials, microdermabrasion, peels, and more. The treatment I received by senior clinical esthetician, the impeccably flawless Sophia Phan, included three phases: 1) Dermaplaning, which is a manual exfoliation that removes dead skin cells with a tiny blade (it’s not as scary as you think!), 2) an Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliation to clear clogged pores, and 3) Cryogenic Therapy, which was my favorite part of the process because Sophia applied this cool frozen carbon dioxide slushy stuff to my skin that instantly made me feel fresh-faced, tightened, and glowy. After the treatment, I sat down with Dr. Chiu for an info-packed Q&A:

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Skincare Products We Can’t Live Without: Guest Blogger

The dynamic duo behind Beauty Bender, Kathryn Romeyn and Alexis Johnson, have an impeccable eye for deciphering up-and-coming cosmetics trends and finding experts to give the lowdown on how to wear them. (It must be the decade’s worth of magazine curating experience they have between them.) We can’t get enough of their gorgeous site, and happily, for a whole week they’re sharing all of their beauty insight on our blog!


If there’s one thing we both agree we’d never want to be deprived of, it would be our Clarisonic brushes. Life-changing. Luckily, as beauty editors, we don’t have to whittle it down to just one routine-altering device or product. Here, we pay tribute to a select few truly genius skincare formulas we just wouldn’t look the same without.

Le Mieux Vita-C Serum
I love this incredibly potent serum, which is super hydrating and brightening thanks to maximum-strength vitamin C. My obsession stems from the fact that unlike most products, the main ingredient isn’t water, it’s this is hyaluronic acid, which quenches and plumps my always-thirsty skin. –KR 

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Guest Blogger: Beauty VIPs a Product Girl Can Count On

Founded in 2005 by beauty junkie Carla Maganinho, Product Girl is an outlet for her to discuss her favorite finds. Over the years, the site has gained a loyal following — and even another staffer, Laurie Leopold. Together the blogging duo cover everything from the latest launches to their recent splurges. This week, these ladies-in-the-know are guest blogging for us about all things summer!

At Product Girl, we’re constantly searching for stand-out beauty products. The ones that solve our skin woes, brighten up our faces, and permanently occupy space on our vanity. We call them the Beauty VIPs. With warm weather fast approaching, we’re carefully choosing the crème de la crème of summer beauty. All week, we’ll be sharing our VIPs to help beat the summer heat. Get ready for loads of SPF, bronzer, and colors galore.

First up: sun protection and sunless tanner. The yin and yang of our summer beauty world. One cannot be present without the other. We love the sun, but prefer our bronze to come from another source—one that doesn’t come with a high risk for skin cancer and wrinkles!

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads are one of those products we can’t imagine life without. For use on the face, neck, and décolletage, this tiny square sheet not only gives you a natural, believable tan it, but also has active Vitamin D and anti-aging skincare ingredients. This needs to be everyone’s VIP.

St. Tropez has corned the market on self-tanning, and for good reason—they have something for everyone. Commitment-phobes will love the Instant Wash-Off line, but we are huge fans of the Gradual Tan Everyday for face and body to build up our summer glow at a believable pace.

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 is incredible. Not only does it contain Zinc Oxide—the only UV filter that spans the full UVA/B spectrum—it contains a light tint that melds to all skin tones. And it’s so lightweight that you won’t even know it’s there.

And remember the rest of your body! It’s easy to forget about SPF when you’re going about your everyday business, which is why we love Josie Maran’s Argan Sun Protection For Body SPF 30 so much. It’s scent-free and can also fill in as your body moisturizer.

For more summer must-haves, visit our Birchbox Shop.