Skincare tips for Monsoon

Monsoons are here. With every downpour, your spirits are revived. Your skin, however, does not experience the same enthusiasm and instead suffers from oiliness or dehydration brought on by monsoon. This is the time when the skin becomes irritable due to humidity and rashes caused due to season change, give way to other skin problems.

Rains can be pretty harsh on your skin. You may be surprised that your skin, which looked radiant throughout summers, suddenly looks clammy during rains. Here are five tips and products to protect you from the damages caused by weather-change:

Use a moisturiser-cum-sunscreen: Your skin behaves differently in monsoon, it becomes important to take special care of it. While everything around you is bright and beautiful, the increasing humidity does not allow your skin to breathe properly making it appear dry. Smooth on a moisturizing body lotion that contains sunscreen in proper concentration. The body lotion is not only supposed to protect your skin from drying but also saves it from tanning. Vaseline Healthy White is a moisturizer that contains SPF 25 to prevent your skin from tanning and also makes is 4 times fairer instantly.

Cleanse the skin: The skin should be cleaned 3-4 times a day with non-soapy options. This helps to clean excessive oil and dirt from the skin pores and helps it breathe. Cleansing also keeps blackheads and whiteheads away.



 Say No to Frizz: While umbrellas prevent your hair from getting wet, the moist and wind make your hair frizzy. To avoid your hair from becoming this annoying frizz covering it with fashionable yet protective scarves. Additionally, wash hair a little more frequently than you usually do in the monsoon as all the humidity and sweat causes it to get dirty soon and attract dust and pollution.

Hydrate yourself: Drink at least 7-8 glasses of water to maintain skin hydration, as the skin loses a lot of water due to exertion in the rains .


Avoid fungal infections: Fungal infections are the most common complaints of the rainy season. Never keep your skin wet for a long time. Bathing with lukewarm water and using antifungal creams, soaps and talc will prove to be effective in combating fungal invasion. Some of these common infections are athlete’s foot, ringworm, or itching caused by wet damp clothing. What works best is petroleum jelly that heals your skin from various such infections.




Is Icelandic Skin Care the New Korean Skin Care?

But lately, a new nation is bubbling up in the beauty world: Iceland. With harsh winters and a water-centric culture, Icelandic women are no strangers to having to keep their skin hydrated and protected from inclement weather and dry conditions. And now, finally, a whole crop of skin-care companies are tapping into the purity of local Icelandic nature. Think: water, marine enzymes, seaweeds, and the plants that are able to survive in such a Northern climate—grabbing the attention of celebs and dermatologists alike.

Icelandic lines like Taramar feature organically grown products rich in seaweed and medicinal herb extracts, ingredients that are said to protect cells from aging and free radical damage—sans all of the chemical additives.

With ingredients like Icelandic kelp, skin-care company Hannes Dóttir sells mineral mists and floral water sprays to hydrate your face the natural way (and killer exfoliants). Sóley Organics harvests active ingredients from the highlands of the country—some of the least-touched places on earth. In Iceland, berries like cloudberry and sea buckthorn can also live through harsh climates (and then be infused into creams and lotions that nourish the skin).


But the star of Iceland skin care right now might be a company called BIOEFFECT, which presents a uniquely scientific approach to a skin-care ingredient called epidermal growth factor (EGF).

Derms already know EGF works to help skin look younger. “Most epidermal growth factor used in skin products comes from human sources—mainly male foreskin cells—which are cultured and then used in creams,” says Jeff Dover, M.D., codirector of SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, MA, and an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine. (Yes, really.)



BIOEFFECT’s approach is different: They grow EGF (proteins that can only be made by living cells) in barley. The barley is grown in nourishing volcanic rock in an environmentally friendly greenhouse heated with geothermal energy.

“You can accumulate the proteins in the grains, harvest them, and purify them with no contaminants and no negative effect on the proteins in a pristine environment,” says Einar Mäntylä, a cofounder of BIOEFFECT. “By applying them to the skin in a carefully developed formulation, they help the skin renew itself again, so it becomes more youthful.” (You only need to use two to four drops of BIOEFFECT’s EGF Serum, a potent anti-ager.)

While there are some small studies on the effectiveness of growing EGF in plants, Dr. Dover notes that none are rigorous. But he adds: “I think it’s a very exciting opportunity and it may be a new biological and organic approach to skin care.”


Ultimately, that’s the root of this boom in Icelandic skin-care products: using science, healing water, and local ingredients to go back to the basics and do things in a way that preserves both Mother Nature and your skin. Consider the way Mäntylä puts it: The complex chemical cocktails that are typical skin-care products today include 70+ ingredients: “Our formulations were generated with only seven ingredients.” That’s especially important if you have sensitive skin, which can be easily irritated by some chemical ingredients, including fragrances and preservatives.

But beyond knowing which bottles to add to their skin-care routine, Icelanders have more skin-care secrets worth stealing too. A big one: Thanks to being covered in darkness for half of the year, women in this region save their skin from the sun damage brought about by excess exposure to harmful UV rays. While you might not be able to mimic the lack of sunshine for six months of the year, you can beef up your SPF routine.

Plus, Icelandic culture includes bathing in mineral-rich waters. After all, the Nordic country has long been known for Blue Lagoon, its geothermal spa just outside of Reykjavik (you’ve seen the Instas). Bathing here is even said to ease the symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis, thanks to the high mineral and salt content of the water. It leaves skin looking and feeling dewy and hydrated.

Basically, not only should you add a few products to your routine, but you might want to consider a trip to the Nordic nation. It’s all in the name of beauty research, right?



Flipkart launches private label fashion brand Divastri to combat rival Amazon

To combat its rival Amazon, Flipkart has intensified its marketing strategy and has now launched its own private fashion label called Divastri, which aims to tap into the demand for women’s ethnic wear.

Amazon had launched its own private brand Symbol in September last year.

Through Divastri, the company is targeting unstitched garments category. So far, the category has been mostly served by long tail merchants in a bid to control quality and pricing in the segment.

Only last week, Flipkart announced that its ‘Fashion Sale’ event witnessed a 2x sale jump in the first three days of the total nine day sale event.

Rishi Vasudev, vice president of fashion (retail), Flipkart, said: “We have some basic line of private label but Divastri will be our first brand in the fashion space. We have selected over 20 sellers, some of whom double up as manufacturers to licence the brand and sell on the Flipkart fashion marketplace. We have started with a selection of 1,500 and will soon ramp it up to 2,500.”


Vasudev further said that Flipkart will be introducing new labels in the coming months as part of the fashion vertical. The current line will meet quality standards with a uniform design story for its offerings.

Flipkart says that fashion accounts for more than 60% of all units sold on the platform. Among the 60%, nearly half the units sold are in the ethnic wear and Indian contemporary wear category.

While this is the first private label brand for Flipkart, Myntra — the fully-owned subsidiary of Flipkart – already has fourteen private label brands, including Roadster, All About You, Mast & Harbour, and Moda Rapido among others.

It recently acquired HRX by Hrithik Roshan, which is already a ₹120 crore brand. Myntra expects to close FY2017 with 21% of its revenues from its private label brands.


Amazon Prime members can upload their outfits and get a fashion expert’s opinion — here’s what it’s like to use in person

Unless you stick to a daily uniform like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, everyone has that frustrating moment once in a while where you just can’t decide what to wear. 

Amazon wants to help with that. The online retail giant rolled out a feature in March called Outfit Compare, which lets you upload two different outfits and get an opinion on which one looks better. 


The feature is free and available in Amazon’s mobile app, but only Prime members can use it. And while Amazon famously doesn’t reveal how many Prime subscribers it has, estimates peg that number around 80 million in the US — which means a lot of people have access to this feature and may not even realize it. 

If Outfit Compare sounds familiar, it’s because Amazon launched a similar service called Style Check in conjunction with the launch of its Echo Look device, an Alexa-enabled camera that can take full-length photos or videos of you, help you build a “personal lookbook,” and give a second opinion on your outfit. 

But Outfit Compare has one key difference: While Style Check uses both machine learning and a fashion specialist to provide a verdict, Outfit Compare relies solely on real humans to judge your look.

I tested out Outfit Compare over the course of a few weeks. I didn’t often use it to decide between two different tops or to pick the right pair of shoes, mainly because I didn’t have the luxury of time in the morning or a full-length mirror at home. But snapping a quick mirror photo of my outfit each day did help me gain a lot of insight into how others might view my style.



Shiseido aids working women with virtual cosmetics app

TOKYO — Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido has partnered with Microsoft Japan to develop an app using software to create the illusion that a person is wearing makeup and thus improve their appearance on computer monitors. 

The app targets women who work at home or remotely and use computers to teleconference. Named TeleBeauty, its aim is to make it easier for these women to look their best and be comfortable with their image on displays during virtual meetings. 


There were mounting calls within Shiseido for a technology that resolves issues facing women during video conferences, such as poor skin tone and the appearance of pores due to camera quality or room lighting. 

The company’s research and development team decided to adopt virtual makeup software installed on tablet computers that are already in the hands of its 10,000 or so beauty advisers at department stores and other outlets.  

Since 1999, Shiseido has been developing and using software that applies makeup digitally after capturing an original image via camera. The software automatically detects facial features, such as the eyes, eyebrows and mouth, and superimposes different makeup styles using the company’s products. 

In addition to four base patterns — natural, trend, cool and feminine — the app can also make corrections to skin tone and de-focus other parts than face. The thickness of makeup can be adjusted as well.

“With only a few companies having expertise on beauty care and information technology such as automatic detection of facial features, TeleBeauty is a solution only Shiseido can offer,” a company representative said.

Shiseido is also considering pitching the app to other companies. “If work style reforms prompt more women to work at home, demand for TeleBeauty will increase,” the company representative said.

Shiseido IBF 2015 Event virtual app


Japan’s cosmetics shipments top record

TOKYO — Shipments by Japan’s cosmetics makers rose 1.2% to a record 1.52 trillion yen ($13.8 billion) in 2016, aided by rising exports and robust demand from foreign visitors.

The value of shipments climbed for the fifth consecutive year, beating the 1997 record of 1.51 trillion yen. But the growth rate slowed for the second straight year, sliding from a 4.3% gain in 2014 and a 1.3% increase in 2015.

Foreign tourists provided the foundation for the boost, as they increased overall spending 7.8% to 3.74 trillion yen in Japan last year, according to the Japan Tourism Agency. Cosmetics are especially popular, with some estimates showing that 70% of visitors buy such products. Japanese makeup company Shiseido’s inbound-tourist sales grew 30% to 34.5 billion yen for the year ended in December.


Exports also supported the lift, rising 28.8% to a record 267.6 billion yen in 2016, the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association says. For the first time, Japanese cosmetics exports exceeded imports, which dropped by 3.7%. Foreign tourists bought Japanese cosmetics online or in stores upon their return home.

Lipstick produced the largest jump in shipments by product, brightening 14.9% to 42.5 billion yen. Blush climbed 5.5%, followed by a 4.1% increase for mascara and eyebrow makeup. Face lotion, which accounts for more than 10% of cosmetics shipments, also edged up 2.3%.

Shipments should remain rosy this year. Shiseido’s operating profit hit a record 24.1 billion yen for the January-March quarter, while operating profit for Pola Orbis Holdings soared 150%.



How CVS is cutting back on chemicals in cosmetics

As vice president of store brands and quality assurance at CVS Health, I spend a lot of time thinking about one big question: What do our customers want?

Every decision our team makes is driven by customer trends and insights, gleaned through research, external data and consumer testing. When it comes to our store brand beauty and personal care products, we’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want products that work, with all the benefits they’re accustomed to, but with fewer ingredients of concern.

Last month we announced a major step forward with respect to “free-from” products: We will remove parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors (preservative ingredients that can release formaldehyde over time) across nearly 600 of our beauty and personal care products from our CVS Health, Beauty 360, Essence of Beauty and Blade store brands.

We will begin rolling out products that do not contain these ingredients to our stores in the coming months, and we plan to stop shipping products that don’t meet these standards to our distribution centers by the end of 2019.

We have been working on this important initiative for the last couple of years. We started with extensive customer research, including surveys, focus groups, analysis of social chatter, customer service channels and more.

Identifying chemicals of concern

We wanted to know which ingredients our customers were most concerned about, so we could work with our suppliers and internal teams to determine which products could be safely reformulated while maintaining the product efficacy our customers expect.

Throughout this process, we have been fortunate to receive support from several partners that have collaborated with us in shaping our approach to chemical safety in the area of beauty and personal care.


Our work with groups including Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and the Chemical Footprint Project allows us to stay on top of emerging issues that we need to be mindful of and prioritize in our approach to chemical management.

Beyond removing certain chemicals, customers and advocacy groups increasingly demand more transparency on all product ingredients.

That’s why, in addition to announcing our “free-from” milestone last month, we also published our full list of restricted chemicals (PDF) by category. A quick visit to this list can reassure a customer that any product within a certain category — including baby and child care, beauty or personal care products — never will contain certain chemicals of concern.

We will update this list each May when we release our annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report. And as we work to redesign our packaging over time, we’ll add a call-out about the “free-from” characteristics of products.

This work is an outgrowth of efforts started a decade ago, in 2007, when CVS became the first major drugstore to establish a Cosmetic Safety Policy (PDF). In 2016, we were the first major pharmacy chain in the country to become a signatory of the Chemical Footprint Project.

Our plans for the future include addressing additional chemicals of consumer concern and focusing on more product categories.

For instance, we’ve also begun partnering with our suppliers to validate the label claims on all of our store brand products in every category — more than 4,000 products. That means suppliers who make claims based on studies must provide us with validation of the studies’ methodology and results. We look forward to sharing results and learnings from this effort in the coming year.


Kim Kardashian Just Revealed the Difference Between KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics

When Kim Kardashian announced that she’ll be launching her own beauty line called KKW Beauty, the Internet was a little too quick to say she was trying to steal her sister Kylie Jenner’s throne. Over the past week, people made up stories about them being in competition, but the reality is nothing like that. Two sisters can have their own makeup companies without malicious intent. In a recent interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Kardashian broke down the differences between KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics. Spoiler alert: They are completely different — just take their ages and audiences as the biggest indicator.


Even though KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics are produced by Seed Beauty (the parent company for ColourPop as well) and they both started off with kits, the beauty brands have different focuses. Kylie Cosmetics has firmly marked its territory in the lip category with the popular Lip Kit (and Jenner’s infamous plump pout). KKW Beauty, on the other hand, will focus on what the Kardashians are known for: contouring. That’s where the new beauty brand’s first product, a cream contouring kit, comes in.


Also, don’t expect massive, holiday-themed collections from KKW Beauty. Although Kardashian assured WWD that she wants to release new items monthly, she added that she might “not have as many drops [as Jenner] and I don’t have all the color kits that she does.”

Instead of focusing on bold lipsticks and bold eye shadow palettes, Kardashian plans to focus on skin. A concealer kit will come out in about two months, WWD reports. “A lot of my stuff is going to be for skin.…[I’m] trying to mirror skin care with makeup,” Kardashian told the publication. “It’s going to be a different vibe; it’s not going to be a full color cosmetics [range] with shadows and all of that to start. I will probably do some kits here and there of specific [makeup] looks I’ve done and keep it within the looks.”

Another difference is that the upcoming Creme Contour & Highlight Kit probably won’t sell out as quick as the first Lip Kits did. That’s a good thing. Why? Kardashian worked with Seed Beauty to prepare for the demand. “We have a good model, and even from our lip kit we have a really good general idea of what our customer is going to be like,” Kardashian told WWD. “We are definitely prepared for the demand.…I know they [Seed Beauty] do make a mass volume. It’s not like we’re making a small quantity and it’s selling out.” Hallelujah.

KKW Beauty officially launches Wednesday, June 21, on



Elle Canada puts its best face forward with custom makeup collection

The TVA-owned magazine brands have paired with Lise Watier Cosmetics to design a limited edition fall collection of Lisa Watier Cosmetics entitled The Weekender Collection. The collection includes a mascara and eyeliner, an eyeshadow pallet and a lipstick. According to TVA, the partnership is the first of its kind in Canada.

Vanessa Craft (pictured left), editor-in-chief of Elle Canada, told MiC the collection was designed to appeal to as broad of a demographic as possible, not just sticking to Elle Canada‘s readership (according to its 2015 media kit, Elle Canada‘s audience has an average age of 36 and an average household income of more than $92,000).

“It’s really just targeted at women who love makeup,” she said. “It’s inspired by the Danish concept of hyggewhich we saw emerging as this very cozy, happy, luxurious sense of well-being. It’s aimed at feeling relaxed and at ease, which doesn’t have a specific demographic.”


The collection, which will be available starting in August, will be promoted throughout Elle Canada and Elle Quebec‘s magazine and digital properties with advertising and custom content.

The payoff for Elle Canada, said Craft, is the magazine’s branding on all of the makeup, bringing the magazine to top-of-mind for makeup consumers. “When you use that eyeshadow pallet, you’re going to be thinking of Elle.”

According to the most recent Vividata topline rankings, Elle Canada had an average print issue audience of 1,420,000 readers, placing it at #16 out of 40 tracked English magazines. It also had an average online audience of 404,000 per month. Elle Quebec had an average of 573,000 readers per issue, making it #13 out of 24 French magazines, and 84,000 average monthly viewers online.



The Absolute Best Moisturizers for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

What to Look For: “If you have oily or acne-prone skin, make sure that the moisturizer does not contain thick ingredients that will clog your pores. Avoid mineral oil or petrolatum-based moisturizers in favor of light oil-based ones or oil-absorbing ones. Most oil-absorbing moisturizers contain dimethicone or some type of polymer that cross links to trap and absorb oil. The products that I prefer are Sisley Black Rose Oil—although it says it is for dry/mature skin. If you use just one drop, especially during the winter, it gives you the moisture without having to use a thick oil. I also love La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Mat moisturizer. It does an amazing job of keeping you oil-free all day.”


1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer, $32


2. Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil Anti-Aging Nutrition, $107


Dr. Emmy Graber, MD, MBA, The Dermatology Institute of Boston

What to Look For: “There are several gel cream moisturizers on the market that are great for oily skin, like Neutrogena HydroBoost Water Gel and also Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer. The Cetaphil product is great because it contains silica which can absorb oil. It is also very lightweight in feel, something that is preferred by oily skin types. The gel moisturizers are the most lightweight type of moisturizers. A gel absorbs into the skin almost instantly, unlike typical creams that sit on the surface for longer and make oily skin feel even oilier.”


1. Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel, $20


2. Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Moisturizer, $12


Erica Suppa, Oncology Esthetician, Research Scientist, and Founder of Fresh Faced Skin Care


What to Know: “Everybody’s different so you should test a product before you use it, and even if you have good ingredients in a moisturizer, there could be comodogenic ingredients (pore-clogging ones) in there as well.”

What to Look For: In order to manage oil topically, Suppa says people should seek out a water-based moisturizer, which means that water will be listed as one of the top two ingredients of the product. Hydrating humectants should also be in the mix. “One that draws water from the air is glycerin, which helps absorb water into the skin’s surface and prevent moisture loss. Panthenol—a pro-vitamin B5—is another humectant that helps with moisture retention.” She also recommends finding products that include sodium hyaluronate which is “beneficial as a moisturizer because it penetrates the skin layer more readily than hyaluronic acid.” Cucumber fruit extract will also calm and soothe skin, she says.

Suppa also suggests controlling acne with a chemical exfoliant serum that helps to dissolve dead skin out of the pores and prevents breakouts (rather than physical exfoliants in the forms of beads, scrubs, etc.) The Balance Moisturizer that she formulated contains all the above ingredients, and using it with an exfoliating serum like her Clarity Serum will help to clear up skin, she says.

1. Fresh Faced Skin Care Balance Moisturizer, $32


2. Fresh Faced Skin Care Clarity Serum, $47


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