Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer has donated contactless baby monitors and iPads to hospitals in New York and her native Alabama to help nurses monitor coronavirus patients’ crucial respiratory functions more safely.
“I, like many of you, have felt helpless in knowing how to help during this time,” wrote the 47-year-old actress on Instagram Tuesday. “Seeing what is happening in the communities that I love, I have teamed up with @Mikucare to donate monitors to nursing and medical facilities … to provide much needed relief to nurses as they navigate care for COVID-19 patients.”
The Los Angeles-based Miku makes a baby-monitor that uses wireless sensors to track changes in sleep and breathing patterns, and transmits that data to smartphones and other devices, such as iPads. Nurses, including those at the Bronx-based Montefiore Health System of 10 hospitals, have adapted them as contact-free patient monitors.
“With the understanding that respiration is one of the earliest indicators of illness, Miku’s breathing monitoring can indicate potential onset before other symptoms present” themselves, continued Spencer, who most recently starred in the Netflix miniseries “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.” “Miku’s two-way talk and video functionality also provides patients and medical personnel a method to communicate safely and effectively with those who have contracted the highly contagious virus.”
The “Ma” star urged, “Please everyone do your part to stay safe and stay home in order to protect yourself and the ones you love most and I hope we can all find ways — small and large — to give back to our neighbors, family, and those on the frontlines.”
A second post contained photos of Montefiore staff familiarizing themselves with the device, which Spencer said “can monitor respiratory and communicate with 10 patients at a time. I wish I could afford to put these in every palliative care convalescent home and hospitals all across the world.”
One Montefiore nurse was so appreciative that she tweeted a video of a line of medical personnel each doing dance moves. “Thank you #MIKU #OctaviaSpencer for allowing staff to complete assessments without entering the room,” posted the account Neuro RN Leader. “Montefiore medical center neuroscience department so happy to receive #MIKU we decided to dance. … Thank you for your very generous gift. We at Montefiore Medical Center love you.”
In addition to her Oscar for “The Help” (2011), Spencer was nominated for “Hidden Figures” (2016) and “The Shape of Water” (2017).
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many big names are joining forces for “The Call to Unite,” a 24-hour global livestream event that starts on Friday, May 1, at 8 p.m. EDT.
Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, President George W. Bush, Deepak Chopra, Eva Longoria, Common, Jennifer Garner, Mandy Moore, Maria Shriver, Martin Luther King III and Alanis Morissette are just some of the famous figures to participate in the event, which aims to unite people across the world to celebrate acts of humanity.
The livestream will feature performances, conversations, life lessons, and more to combat the challenges of the crisis.
Aside from the livestream, Oprah also recently donated $10 million to COVID-19 relief efforts. Beyoncé, Kevin Hart, Rihanna and Charlize Theron have also pulled out their wallets to combat the crisis, which has taken over 211,000 lives worldwide.
“Extra’s” Billy Bush recently FaceTimed with “Modern Family” star Julie Bowen, who is participating in a live online table read of the TV comedy “Half-Assed” to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bowen shared, “This is just strictly for charity… every dollar you give will be matched up to $200,000 so there’s no such thing as too much. We’re encouraged it’s going to raise money for the first responders.”
Billy recently spoke with “Shark Tank” star Lori Grenier, who also showed her appreciation for first responders by donating meals.
Octavia Spencer has joined forces with Miku, the ultra-smart, contact-free baby monitor, to donate Miku monitors to ICUs and Emergency Wards in hospitals from her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, through Baptist Healthcare Systems.
In a statement, Octavia said, “It was incredibly important to find a way to help my communities during this pandemic, and I was lucky enough to find and team up with the founders of Miku to provide state-of-the-art monitors to the most vulnerable people affected by COVID-19.”
Tonight, Aisha Tyler is teaming up with Verizon to host members of the FaZe Clan as they go head-to-head in a gaming livestream on Twitter @Verizon, @Teeqo on Twitch, Yahoo, Verizon’s Facebook page, Fios Channel 501, YouTube, and XBOX. Verizon will also donate $10, up to $2.5 million, to support small businesses when the hashtag #PayItForwardLIVE is used.
When you get a blemish on your face, you typically have a few treatment options. You can reach for an acne spot treatment, spend 10 to 15 minutes masking, or stay the course with your skin-care routine and let your skin do its thing. But another option that has quickly become a favorite among us here at Allure is using pimple patches.
Pimple patches are adhesives that are filled with different acne-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid or tea tree oil, that you place on top of blemishes. “These acne patches offer an air-tight seal from the environment and its contaminants, while drawing out impurities from the skin and suspending it in the gel-like matrix of the patch,” says California-based and board-certified dermatologist Melanie Palm. “Some of the patches offer the power-packed punch of active ingredients such as anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, or anti-acne ingredients to soothe and treat acne blemishes.”
They are pretty simple to use and you can just follow the instructions listed on the packaging. Palm says the “stealthiest” way to apply an acne patch is overnight; it will work to treat spots for seven to eight hours while your skin is in its restoration period. But you can also wear them during the day to help prevent you from picking. She says regardless of which acne patch you decide to use, always apply it to dry and freshly-cleansed skin.
Most people are able to use acne patches, though Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, warns those with sensitive skin to be cautious when choosing which to use; having too much exposure to an ingredient such as salicylic acid can be irritating and drying. Garshick also says deep breakouts may not respond at all to these. She’d normally recommend visiting a dermatologist for a cortisone shot. But until we are no longer under quarantine, your safest and best option for this type of acne is to turn to teledermatology and virtually consult with a dermatologist.
Another thing to consider before using an acne patch is that different types of acne require specific types of pimple patches. To figure out which one is best for you, we asked dermatologists to break down which types of patches (and ingredients) are most effective for every type of acne. Scroll through to see what they had to say.
These four American start-ups see their focus on health, wellness and functionality as being increasingly important: with immunity naturally taking coming to the forefront of consumers’ minds.
And while bricks and mortar stores are in constant need of restocking, these brands have ensured that their online stores are primed and ready to respond to an increase in orders. They want to see consumers explore new brands and support smaller businesses as availability of other products decrease.
We asked the entrepreneurs behind plant-based energy shot GO BIG; dandelion-based LION Tea; apple cider vinegar shots Ethan’s; and organic brand Buddha Teas what business is like during the crisis.
GO BIG: ‘As the world comes out of this, people will shift to a healthier lifestyle’
Having just debuted in February in NYC gyms and online, Go Big has been dealt a curve ball very early on in start-up business life. This plant-powered energy shot is made from natural ingredients such as guarana to provide clean energy without the jittery spike or slump associated with coffee and energy shots.
BD: How is the coronavirus crisis affecting your business?
Ben Koren, co-founder and co-CEO: We were partnering with a number of gyms and had plans to expand that channel significantly before all of the lockdowns. Our hearts go out to our partners who have been affected by this. For our business, gyms clearly are not going to be a viable channel until lockdowns are lifted.
But we’ve seen about a 50% rise in our online sales. We think that a big part of that is because while we are an energy shot, we have a lot of the same ingredients as the wellness shots that help to boost immunity. People are really focused on wellness right now.
We’re offering 15% of purchases with the code STOCKUP15 via our website
BD: How will the coronavirus crisis change your goals for 2020?
BK: A new goal of ours for this year is to help first responders to the crisis. We announced an initiative to donate 10,000 GO BIG energy shots to hospital workers that are on the front lines of the fight.
BD: Are there any positives you can pull from this situation?
BK: There’s always a positive side. We do think that in the aftermath of this, people will focus more on the parts of their life that are most meaningful – friends, family, their health. These trends were already there, but this will accelerate them.
As an all-natural, wellness-focused energy shot, we are competing in an industry dominated by artificial ingredients and high-sugar. As the world comes out of this, we’re excited to be part of people’s shift towards better-for-you products and a healthier lifestyle.
LION Tea: ‘We’ve quickly pivoted into direct-to-consumer’
LION Tea launched in 2017 and is available on Amazon and in the Fresh Market, Erewhon and natural food stores across the US. Positioning itself as the first-ever USDA certified organic bottled dandelion tea, it is packed with dandelions which ‘may improve digestion, clear skin, reduce bloating and provide an immune boost.’
BD: How worried are you, as a business, about the coronavirus crisis?
Ray DeRosa, Founder: Luckily, our product isn’t perishable and we just completed a production run right before the situation got bad, so we feel that we’re in a good position right now. In terms of getting our product out into the world, we’re facing the same challenges that everyone is: retail sales.
BD: Have your online sales changed in the last two weeks?
RD: Our online sales are up tremendously, and as a drink with health benefits we’re here to support however we can. Right now, it’s all hands on deck for us to support customer inquiries and the increased sales volume that has come with everyone being at home.
BD: How will the coronavirus crisis change your goals for 2020?
RD: Our number one goal is to help keep our customers and employees healthy! Besides that our financial/revenue goals haven’t changed significantly, we are just focusing on e-commerce.
BD: Are there any positives you can pull from the situation?
RD: I think it’s been really great to see how communities have come together to help each other out. We’ve recently had major influencers posting about LION Tea just to get the word out about dandelion tea and help people feel better in these trying times, so it’s been great to see people lending a helping hand where they can.
As for our strategy moving forward, we’ve since built a plan and quickly pivoted into direct to consumer-only.
Ethan’s: ‘There’s an emphasis on our immunity and wellness items’
Ethan’s launched in 2017 and is currently available in retailers such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, Walmart, Wegman’s and more across the U.S. The brands’ age-old brew Original & Citrus Fire Shots are made with ACV, spices and a drop of organic honey, containing immunity boosting properties.
BD: How worried are you, as a business, about the coronavirus crisis?
Ethan Hirshberg, founder: The biggest challenge we’re facing is as a young brand is having new distribution cancelled. Stores are understandably focused on keeping essentials in stock and have deprioritized new product launches, which is detrimental to young and ascendant brands. We were set to double our total retail store count in April 2020 alone, so we’ve had to adjust our expectations a bit and focus on what’s within our control.
However, we have seen an influx in demand both at current retail and online. There is huge demand in these channels, so we’re focused on executing and optimizing online and in current retail distribution.
More specific to us, we’ve pivoted marketing and production efforts towards our products for which there is specific need and demand at this time. In our case, that’s manifested with an emphasis on our immunity and wellness items, instead of our energy products. We have a unique opportunity to provide something that people really need and want, so we want to lean into that as much as possible in the coming weeks.
BD: How will the coronavirus crisis change your goals for 2020?
EH: As I mentioned, we’ve had to adjust our expectations on our retail count and focus on what’s within our control for the time being.
Buddha Teas: ‘Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose’
Buddha Teas was founded in 2009 with a focus on natural, quality and sustainable products. Its wide range of products includes herbal teas, green teas, specialty teas, and caffeine-free teas. Buddha Teas now has a presence in every state, in stores such as Sprouts, Ralphs, Wegmans, Moms Organic, Publix GreenWise and Chamberlains.
BD: How have your online sales changed over the last two weeks?
John Boyd, Founder: We’ve increased by 500% at Buddhateas.com; 300% similar increase with Amazon sales.
BD: How worried are you, as a business, about the coronavirus crisis?
JB: Naturally, we’re worried about the health and safety of our employees, the country, the world, but we’re trying to stay positive. As we’re in the food and beverage space, we’re classified as an essential business.
We also consider ourselves herbal medicine, and we know the importance of our immune boosting, respiratory teas for our customers. We’d like to stay selling teas as long as possible. Like Eckhart Tolle says, “Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”
BD: How will the coronavirus crisis change your goals for 2020?
JB: One of our big goals for 2020 was to launch a profit share program for all of our employees. The increase in sales has obviously made that goal a reality, and all employees will be thrilled receive a healthy profit share bonus this summer.
46% of American businesses have implemented remote-work policies as of mid-February. As more of the world’s population face Coronavirus lockdown, we’re all looking for tasty treats we can enjoy from the confines of our homes. Here are seven companies making beverages and snacks that are not only delicious, but also good for you and the planet. You should be able to find them at your local grocery stores or online. Enjoy — and stay healthy!
1. Karma Nuts
With a mission to “do good, eat good, feel good,” Karma Nuts is the innovator of the Wrapped™ cashew. By leaving the skin on the nuts, Karma Nuts enables its cashews to serve as a good source of six essential vitamins and minerals, with the additional benefits of twice the fiber and antioxidative activity of other cashews. This snack is nutritionally superior, Whole30 compliant, vegan, paleo, keto-friendly, and sold in a variety of flavors from turmeric to cinnamon.
In addition, Karma Nuts is dedicated to sustainability. Leaving the skin on the cashews upcycles a portion of the nut that usually is discarded, thereby resulting in less waste overall. The company works closely with its Indian suppliers, regularly auditing them for ethical and sustainable practices in every aspect of the business.
Karma Nuts Founder and President Ganesh Nair’sfamily has been in the cashew business in India for over 85 years. His grandfather was one of the pioneers of cashew production in the late 1920s, when India was under British rule. The cashew industry went on to become a leading employer in southern and western India, helping lift the economic prospects of thousands of people, particularly women.
A few years ago, Nair took a sabbatical from his healthcare career to help lead the family business, Western India Cashew. But as he was preparing to re-enter the healthcare world, he saw an opportunity to educate and make available to American consumers a less processed, more nutritious cashew – the Wrapped cashew – which his family had been developing for over ten years.
The biggest challenge Nair faces with Karma Nuts is around education. Very few Americans know what a Wrapped cashew is and why it’s superior in taste and nutrition. Nair’s job is to communicate the health and flavor benefits of eating a skin-on cashew, and to get more people excited about Karma Nuts by enlisting the support of the brand’s biggest fans.
To aspiring changemakers, Nair says, “Do the research. It’s incredibly important to understand your industry, what drives it, what motivates consumers – then you can really understand what is missing. Consumer preferences are constantly changing, so don’t think about how things have been done but rather how you can bring something innovative to the market that better fits people’s needs. Once you build a strong sustainable business on top of that insight, success will follow.”
Quinn is committed to full ingredient transparency, integrity and sustainability in their packaged food products. The company first innovated microwave popcorn, creating the PUREPOP™ bag — the first and only microwave popcorn bag to be completely stripped of all PFOAs, PFCs and plastic coatings. Not only did Quinn clean up the bag, but they also cleaned up the ingredient deck using organic, non-GMO popcorn kernels, high oleic sunflower oil, and never any added natural flavorings, only real ingredients.Quinn was named 2017 Snack Producer of the Year by Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery, and Founder/CEO Kristy Lewis was honored as one of the Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs by Fortune Magazine. Lewis recently was chosen by Whole Foods as one of their Women Makers: Raising the Bar, highlighting female entrepreneurs who are inspiring and motivating others to create new and better products. Quinn snacks are available on Amazon as well as in numerous retail stores.
With three boys under 10, Lewis is passionate about bringing healthier classic snacks to market. Nine years ago and only three days after the birth of her first son, Quinn, she set out to clean up her favorite childhood snack, microwave popcorn. While pregnant, she learned about all the icky ingredients and plastic coatings on all bags of microwave popcorn sold at the time. Following popcorn, Lewis launched the first and only pretzels on the market made with naturally gluten-free sorghum. The ancient grain is not only healthy, but also a highly drought-tolerant and water-efficient crop, which makes it more environmentally sustainable than many other sources of grain. And last year, Quinn launched the first ever gluten-free peanut butter-filled pretzel. Quinn backs all of their ingredients up with their Farm-to-BagTM initiative.
The biggest challenge Lewis has faced is that she is “a total perfectionist and control freak.” At the start, she believed that she needed to work herself into the ground in order to succeed. But she quickly learned that her approach was, on the contrary, a recipe for total failure. “My challenge has been learning to surrender and trusting that if can let go a little bit, everything will be alright,” Lewis says. “If I trusted and believed in my team, everything around me, including me, would thrive!”
To aspiring entrepreneurs, Lewis says, “Even though you may want to be a changemaker, do not sacrifice yourself or your family and friends. If you don’t pace yourself, you will burn out. Caring for yourself is how you can care for others. Go for a walk, listen to a podcast, meditate, breathe, call your friends, and remember that if you don’t have a clear head to achieve the impossible, then you won’t.”
Growing up, Olyxir founder Josephine Musco’s father used the olive leaf to treat various ailments, a remedy that had been passed down through his Phoenician ancestors. It turns out that the olive leaf has many healthful properties. It contains polyphenols and antioxidants that aid in lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system. Yet surprisingly, these leaves are typically wasted by the olive industry. Musco created Olyxir to change that. Using a gentle air-drying process, the leaves are condensed into a concentrated powder and infused into the brand’s instant tea strips, which have zero calories and can be dissolved in hot or cold water. Olyxir is currently available in nine countries and over 30 major retailers.
Musco has been a yogi since she was four, and a raw vegan for most of her adult life. “I have a deep spiritual connection to Mother Nature and believe in the interconnectivity of all forms of life,” she says. “Sustainability is necessary. Mindless consumerism has taken a toll on the environment, which in turn is affecting the quality of our lives. We’ve driven animal and plant species to extinction, the glaciers are melting, and the forests are burning. The birth of my daughter three years ago made me realize that every little bit of effort matters. We all can help tip the scale positively or negatively. I had to do more.”
Getting started with Olyxir, Musco faced many challenges. She was an immigrant woman in her early 20s trying to start a female-owned and operated business in the male-dominated food and beverage world. “I worked night and day meeting sustainability goals and benchmarks, and stayed consistent in relentlessly pursuing my mission of developing a patentable technology to safeguard my small business,” she says.
Now, she has to face the consumer and their mindset. Musco says that “educating people on the impact of the plastic bottle, tea bag, and post-consumer waste is a tremendous task. Olyxir takes the conventional drink from a plastic bottle or tea bag to a fully dissolvable, antioxidant-rich strip. My team and I work on a daily basis to increase mindfulness of the environment as well as consumer health.”
To aspiring entrepreneurs, Musco says, “You will fail, you will be turned down, and you will be told that it’s a bad idea. If you believe in what you are doing, keep doing it! For repetition is the mother of perfection and perseverance is the mother of success. Practice gratefulness and always see the full half of the glass. You have one life.”
4. Forager Project
Forager Project is a family-owned company committed to providing organic, plant-based, minimally-processed products such as cashew milks and yogurts, and non-dairy butter and sour cream. Founder and CEO Stephen Williamson joined Odwalla juice company in 1991, where he held a variety of positions from CFO to Chairman of the Board and CEO. After taking a sabbatical from the world of consumer-packaged goods, he created Forager Project in 2013 with his stepson John-Charles Hanley.
“Forager is a reflection of my life,” says Williamson. “I went to UC Berkeley when good food was just opening up with Chez Panisse, Cheese Board, Monterey Market, Berkeley Bowl. It was a great place for good, minimally processed food. That stayed with me for the rest of my life. Good food, good thought, good books, good friends are all the core to life.”
Forager Project believes that with the current state of human population on the earth, an animal agricultural system is unsustainable. Plant-based foods are better for the planet and human health, as is farming organically. But moving forward with the company has taken far more capital than its founders ever envisioned. “It feels like rock climbing without a rope – you have only one choice, to go up,” says Williamson. “Up until Danone invested, our family led every capital raise and that’s tough to do.”
To aspiring changemakers, Williamson has this to say. “The more that people doubt you and think you’re crazy, the more that you have to be comfortable with yourself and your vision. There’s a doubter at every corner.”
By 2050, more than seven billion people will be living in cities worldwide. Food scarcity is a real issue, and modern agriculture places an incredible burden on our environment. Infarm has developed a sustainable approach to farming that reduces energy demand and supports biodiversity by almost eliminating the food supply chain. To date, the company has partnered with over 25 major retailers in seven countries – including Kroger’s QFC in the US – to grow its fresh greens and herbs directly inside their stores. Each in-store Infarm requires 95% less water and 75% less fertilizer than soil-based agriculture, and removes the need for transportation and shipping of the produce as well as pesticides and harmful chemicals.
Michaeli cofounded Infarm in order to help cities become self-sufficient in their food production while significantly improving the safety, quality, and environmental footprint of our food. Modern agricultural production is responsible for 17% of total global CO2 emissions and saps plants of 45% of vital nutrients by the time they arrive in the supermarket. Infarm began by experimenting with hydroponic systems they built themselves. They also connected with many inspiring urban planners, designers, food activists, bio-dynamic farmers, architects, chefs, and hackers. “These varied voices helped us to understand why urban farming had not experienced rapid growth despite it being a possible solution to feeding the world in a more sustainable way,” Michaeli says. “They helped us crystalize what kind of change we could offer.”
“Being an entrepreneur is an ongoing learning process that involves lots of research, trial and error,” Michaeli cautions. “You have to love it because the need to be open to learning just accelerates over the years as you grow. Also, find the right partners who inspire you, whom you trust and you enjoy working with. I have the fortune to work with the Galonska brothers and we elevate one another. We three together are more than anything we could possibly produce apart.”
6. LION Tea
LION Tea has created a line of all-natural, antioxidant-rich dandelion tea products that are as good for human health as they are for the environment. The dandelion — America’s much maligned lawn nuisance, the innocent victim of every weed killer on the market — happens to be beloved by bees, bring nutrients to the soil, and serve as a powerful healing remedy to humans. LION Tea has launched in New York and LA, gained over 500 retail partners, and with Amazon is fulfilling orders across the country.
One day soon after his 21st birthday, LION Tea Founder Ray DeRosa woke up and realized that he was blind. It turned out he had a rare condition known as Leber’s Neuropathy, an inherited eye disease that takes away your vision over the course of a few days. Doctors told him there was no known cure. Luckily for DeRosa, his mother refused to accept that prognosis. Hailing originally from Greece, whose culture is known for its homemade health remedies, she created her own concoction of dandelion tea to heal her son. Within three days, his vision had miraculously returned.
DeRosa soon discovered a wide range of benefits from his mother’s homemade elixir. It worked as a hangover cure, a natural detox, an anti-inflammatory, a liver cleanser, a skin toner, and more. He became dedicated to creating LION Tea and thereby spreading the message about the healing powers of dandelions to the world. In addition, sustainability is one of the company’s core values. “Dandelions aren’t a pesky weed but a homegrown super-plant,” says DeRosa. “Imagine a world where we stopped spraying herbicides that are awful for us and the environment, and started enjoying these plants as food and medicine.”
To aspiring entrepreneurs, DeRosa offers this advice. “First, make sure you’re getting into your business for the right reasons. You’re going to be tested over and over. If you are here for the money, it’s going to be hard. Then, assuming you’ve created something that has addressed a market need, all you need to do is survive. I think people underestimate resilience. I’ve seen great products fail and terrible products succeed all based on the founding team’s ability to survive the trials that come with entrepreneurship.”
7. ROAR Organic
ROAR Organic makes all-natural low-calorie, low-sugar beverages with functional benefits coming from electrolytes, antioxidants and B-vitamins. The company recently introduced Kids ROAR, a line of USDA Certified organic electrolyte beverages with Vitamin C for children, and Electrolyte Powder Sticks that consumers can mix with water. ROAR is rapidly expanding nationally and on track to be carried in 20,000 stores in 2020.
With a dedication to overall wellness on the rise, especially among younger people, ROAR Founder and CEO Roly Nesi saw a market need. “Boutique fitness studio concepts were popping up everywhere, but the beverage choices didn’t seem to be keeping up with these trends,” he says. “If you looked at the electrolyte beverage options that were available at the time, all of them were very masculine, aggressive in appearance and marketing, and centered around team sports. I wanted to create a beverage that was designed for the Millennial hustler, whether at the office or the fitness studio.”
An unknown brand when he started it, Nesi found it challenging to locate a distributor for ROAR. He chose to self-distribute – and not in the most typical fashion. He explains, “We towed our first product run in an open landscaping trailer across the George Washington Bridge and it almost fell into the Hudson. We warehoused the drinks in my mom’s shed and had to pay for new gravel every other week because the truck would destroy her driveway. We were working 14 to 16-hour days, taking home no income, and realizing how much less we knew about the business than we thought. Looking back, I wouldn’t have done it any differently. You learn a lot that way and those were some of the best times of my life.”
To aspiring entrepreneurs, Nesi says, “There are no right answers. Find your path. Do your thing. Be happy. This has been my journey and I am hoping to reach others with a similar message.”
The fact that shows like TLC’s Dr. Pimple Popper have such a huge following is proof that there’s a shift in the public perception of acne, even if some of us still feel a little embarrassed when we wake up to a fresh blemish settling in on our face. Pimple patches were really hyped last year, particularly the Chrissy Teigen-approved KILLA kit from ZitSticka.
Since launching in 2019, the brand has made it clear that acne is perfectly normal; the real issue is the shame and stigma that comes attached. ZitSticka gained even more recognition post-launch from its ZSA ambassador campaign starring models Munroe Bergdorf and Shaun Ross. Today, the brand is changing up its format with a brand-new product called Skin Discipline. If you thought that the self-dissolving microdart patches were discreet, this supplement is even better since nobody has to ever see it.
Skin Discipline was created specifically for people with “disobedient skin” at any stage of an acne breakout. Each capsule is loaded with a blend of nutrients that include, selenium, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, omega 3, chromium, and probiotics. As a result, the product helps with alleviating inflammation, regulating the production of sebum and acne-causing hormones, optimizing and detoxing microbiomes, and balancing out bacteria that supports overall skin health.
ZitSticka co-founder and director Daniel Kaplan’s mission for the skin-tech company is to “revolutionize the way people resolve their breakouts with efficacy and innovation.” Transitioning from a patch to a supplement is a major part of the brand’s strategy to “offer products for every stage of a zit’s life cycle” which consumers will see more of as they roll-out an official “comprehensive clear-skin tool kit” throughout 2020.
“Topical beauty products and inner health go hand-in-hand, and beating breakouts is more than just washing your face and calling it a day,” he says. “We’re fortunate to have been able to leverage some longstanding skincare experts as well as world-class manufacturing processes to engineer a breakout-specific supplement that addresses the root causes of zits.”
ZitSticka claims that consumers should start noticing a difference within the first 8 weeks of consistent use. Maximum results can be expected after passing 12 weeks. Skin Discipline is available to order now for a flat rate of $44 or $36 for subscribers.
It’s not every day you and your favorite celebrity use the same skincare. But that’s what GlamGlow fans found out when Queen of Twitter Chrissy Teigen shared a selfie wearing her favorite GlamGlow mask. “Not an ad. I’m obsessed with every GlamGlow mask ever,” Teigen said in a video she posted to her Instagram Stories. “Not an ad. I just love them.” Over the post, she wrote, “@glamglow I love u.”
The face mask Teigen loves is GlamGlow’s GravityMud Firming Treatment Mask ($59 at Sephora), a favorite for the way it goes on silver and peels off for an Insta-friendly look. But that’s not all it does. The mask promises to lift, tighten and plump skin thanks to active ingredients such as Marine Algae plasma, Soy Isoflavone Liposome, hyaluronic acid and Glacial clay. It comes with a little brush to spread the mask all over the face, neck and chest as it turns from white to chrome.
Teigen is on a skincare kick and trying other cult-favorite products to clear up her breakouts. Last night, she popped on two ZitSticka Killa pimple patches ($29 at Amazon). These feature self-dissolving microdarts full of niacinamide to reduce redness and salicylic acid to smooth and exfoliate dead skin cells. They can help reduce the size and color of a cystic pimple overnight.
We know Teigen started a website and YouTuber channel for her cooking but is she the next beauty blogger? Time will tell and we’ll be watching.
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There are few things as annoying as waking up to a brand-new blemish. There are definitely ways you can embrace the unexpected breakout — including some space-inspired stickers or colorful makeup — but that doesn’t make an overnight guest taking up space on your face any less ugh-inducing. Zitsticka wants to change all that, and has announced a temporary giveaway that celebrates surprise acne.
The brand behind a set of pimple stickers recently unveiled its We Got You ad campaign. The campaign features an adorable series of acne-positivity ads that highlight how sometimes pimples can just happen, and that acne is something everyone deals with. Whether it’s a pimple caused by a late-night craving for something sweet or a blemish induced by the stress of literally everything you have to do in a day, Zitsticka’s campaign sends an encouraging message that yes, acne happens, and it’s okay.
Along with the vintage-inspired social media clips, Zitsticka is taking the We Got You message one step further, and is promising to be there for New Yorkers. That’s right, NYC, the brand wants to give you free stickers, and in order to get some all you have to do is take a selfie and tag it with #ZSWeGotYou and @zitsticka. The giveaway ends on Friday, but you still have a few more days to cross your fingers for a pimple you can use a patch on.
If you don’t happen to live in NYC, the company does have an online store, and as the Teen Vogue Acne Awards demonstrated, there are plenty of products available, including patches, to possibly use in your skin-care routine.
Ultimately, as much as we try to prevent acne from happening, sometimes a pimple will just pop up, and whether you cover it with a sticker or choose to follow in the footsteps of your fave celebs and embrace the zit remains up to you. Skin care is all about finding the product and routine that makes you feel comfortable in your skin.
In the past week alone, every single human in the U.S. has gotten a pimple, according to very scientific data I just made up. But seriously, if I’m basing this solely off a dozen frantic, late-night text messages from friends and coworkers, then yeah, virtually everyone I know—including yours truly—has been inducted into the Big-Ass Breakout Club this summer, and we’re all asking the same thing: What the f*ck is happening right now?? Are we under attack? Is this the second (puberty) coming? WILL WE EVER BE OKAY?!
So, with a ZitSticka patch covering the throbbing cystic zit on my jaw and salicylic acid globbed onto the mysterious little whiteheads sprinkling my nose, I begged for answers from dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor at Yale University and OG calmer of my skin anxieties. And according to Dr. Gohara, there very much is a reason why you’re breaking out right now. Actually, there are three:
REASON #1: It’s this g’damn stupid heat wave.
Right now, around the country (and even in Europe), record-high temperatures are basically signaling the apocalypse. I mean, the freaking Washington Post is calling it “the hottest month that humans have ever recorded,” and guess what? None of this bodes well for your skin (or for the planet, but more on civilization-ending global warming later).
“When it’s really hot, people tend to sweat significantly more,” says Dr. Gohara. “That sweat then sits on your face, mixing with all the sticky gunk and grime and pollution in the air to create the perfect environment for pores to clog and acne-causing bacteria to grow.” Yay! I love summer!
But the heat and humidity are only half of the problem. You’re the other half. “When we notice, Holy shit, my face is a Crisco pad, we tend to touch our skin more—blotting with shirts or towels or sheets, wiping or fixing makeup with fingers, dusting on more powder to mattify the shine, and feeling for new or growing zits,” says Dr. Gohara. “So not only are you introducing new bacteria and oils to your face, but you’re also irritating your skin barrier with all the wiping and touching.” And an irritated barrier is an angry barrier—one that’ll start breaking out even harder from the disruption.
Hands. Off. Your. Face. Seriously—get your hands off your skin, stop rubbing at it, don’t triple-cleanse during the day, don’t pack on the makeup to cover the grease. Instead, gently soak up the shine once or twice a day with fragrance-free oil blotting sheets (my favorite: Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets), wash your face once or twice a day with a creamy, non-foaming cleanser (see below), and keep your makeup to a minimum on the areas where you tend to break out most. And maybe move to Alaska.
REASON #2: You’re blasting the A/C.
This goes hand in hand with the hellacious heat wave (is it fall yet?), but if you’ve been sitting in front of your air conditioner for three weeks or blasting your car’s A/C or existing only in frigid coffee shops, classrooms, planes, or offices, it could actually be breaking you out.
“Air-conditioning usually removes moisture from the air, making it incredibly drying, especially if it’s blasting you right in the face,” says Dr. Gohara. “So it ends up sucking the moisture from your face, which causes your skin to overproduce oil to compensate for the dryness.”
The result? Extra-oily skin (yup, even if your skin looks matte and dry; your pores produce oil from within, and too much too quickly can clog the pore before it reaches the surface). So while the A/C is kicking your oil production into overdrive, the heat wave is cranking out the sweat and the humidity is mixing it all together and sticking it to your skin.
Adopt an electricity-free life—maybe move to a remote shack on the beaches of Bali? Just kidding. There’s not much you can do when A/C is virtually everywhere in the summer, except try to redirect the air from blowing on your face as much as possible. If you’re traveling, push the air vents in your car away from your face or twist the airplane’s vent above your seat closed. And try adding a portable humidifier (the Hey Dewy Portable Facial Humidifier is honestly great) to your life—keep it on your desk, in the cupholder in your car, wherever. That bit of moisture can help offset some of the A/C’s drying effects.
REASON #3: You’re going crazy trying to fix your zits.
So you got a few zits (and then a few more), and you went bat-shit nuclear on your skin, trying to fix it fast. I get it—the panic is real. But changing up your entire routine, or even adding one new acne-fighting formula, can break the space-time continuum/your face.
“When people break out, they start reaching for more heavy-duty, acid-filled formulas, over-exfoliating their face, loading on the retinol and spot treatments, and basically flip to the extremes in the course of a week or a few days,” says Dr. Gohara. “And all that change creates a disruption in your skin’s equilibrium, causing it to freak out, dry out, and break out.” Think of your skin like a temperamental toddler—change its nap schedule and, IDK, dump some salicylic acid on it, and it’s going to be very pissed.
Also, if you do what I did—which was slather an acne-fighting serum all over my T-zone in a ~genius~ attempt at preventing more breakouts—you could inadvertently be causing the worst freaking breakout of your life: purging. “Purging is definitely a real thing,” says Dr. Gohara. “It’s when skin-resurfacing products, like retinoids and acids, bring your future zits to the surface of your skin all at once.”
It isn’t a surefire thing (you’re more likely to purge if you’re already acne prone or if you’re using a way stronger formula than usual), but it’s something to be aware of and ideally avoid. I knew all these things and yet I, the local idiot, still forged ahead, slapping acids on my face and waking up to whiteheads 48 hours later.
Just…wait. Do nothing. I know, this sounds absolutely insane, but trying to radically alter your routine will bring you nothing but skin sadness. “Resist the compulsion to do anything differently, and try to avoid disrupting your skin as much as possible,” says Dr. Gohara.
Ultimately, your skin is under Mother Nature’s cruel, cruel thumb, so know that there’s only so much you can do this summer.“Just be cognizant of not deviating from what you normally do and also resist the compulsion to wipe, scrub, or touch your skin more than normal this summer,” says Dr. Gohara. Yeah, it sucks, but hey—fall is just a few weeks away, and if you’re really concerned (like you need that cystic zit gone now), you can head to your dermatologist for a cortisone injection or an extraction.
So next time (tonight) you’re staring at your new crop of zits in the mirror, take a few deep breaths, remember that breakouts are totally normal, and they’ll probs die a quick, painless death in a few weeks anyway.