ThinkstockA is for Argan Oil: Argan oil is hot, hot, hot right now, and with good reason. Women in Morocco have been harvesting this nut for centuries for use in traditional beauty recipes, and now modern science has proven why it's such a stellar ingredient.
Naturally high in vitamin E, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, argan oil works on all skin types (yes, even oily!) to hydrate, soften fine lines and prevent damage. "The blend of omega-6 fatty acids and gamma tocopherol that make up argan oil can help reduce inflammation and assist in skin regeneration," says Ni'Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist and YouBeauty columnist.
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For those who balk at the idea of using an oil on your face, fear not: "It has a texture and feel that is light, less greasy but still moisturizing," says Wilson. It even contains antibacterial plant sterols that help curb acne. "One study showed that argan oil can help regulate sebum production when used in a face cream," says Wilson.
We love pure argan oil as an alternative to the blast-your-wrinkles-away treatments that have been so popular for the past few years. Young skin is plump and soft, not thin and stretched, and a daily application of 100-percent argan oil can get you there.
B is for BB Cream: A funny thing has happened lately. Every time we remark on how a co-worker's skin look amazing, she says she's wearing BB cream. Its meteoric rise to the top of the beauty chain (they're everywhere now!) is well-deserved, it seems.
BB creams do it all, from covering spots, to hydrating, to providing SPF. "The 'BB' in BB Cream stands for blemish balm," explains Alyssa Kobel, Marketing Director of Boscia, a Japanese skincare company at the forefront of the BB Cream explosion. "In Asia [where BB creams started], a blemish is any skin imperfection, not just pimples. It could be sunspots, blackheads, uneven skintone."
MORE: More on BB Creams + Product Suggestions
But do they work? The experts say yes. "BB creams aren't the best foundation for a photo shoot, but I really like the effect they give for everyday wear. There's less coverage and more of an optical brightening effect, so skin looks even-toned and fresh instead of matte," says New York City makeup artist Charlie Green.
We sure love a multitasking skincare/makeup hybrid in the morning if it means we can shave a few minutes off our beauty routine.
Products to Try: Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm, $32; Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream, $13; Boscia B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++, $38.
C is for CC Cream: Ok, beauty smarty-pants. Maybe you know about argan oil and BB cream, but here's the scoop on the latest up-and-coming beauty must-have: CC cream. "CC" stands for "color correcting," and just like BB creams, these next generation multitaskers provide coverage, sun protection and skincare benefits all in one tube. But then they go a step further, neutralizing color issues like redness, sallow skin or brown patches.
They also have long-term skincare benefits, and the claim is that over time you will see fewer wrinkles and improved skin brightness.
Sounds good, right? The thing is, CC creams are only sold in Asia right now---Chanel released a double-C cream that beauty bloggers worldwide have been drooling over (no word yet on a US launch date)---so you'll have to wait until Olay launches the first one stateside this October, or head to ebay where you can buy direct from CC cream enthusiasts, for about $35 per tube.
Are they worth the wait? The answer is yes for oily types. "CC creams are lighter in feel and texture than BB creams," explains Wilson, the cosmetic chemist. "They focus more on actually improving skintone (thus color correction), but they're also supposedly more nurturing and suitable for oilier types thanks to the lighter texture."
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