The Enemy: Blackheads

Ok, so we all have blackheads and it seems like they never go away. The good news is, there are solutions and ways to prevent, control and get rid of them. Let’s start from the beginning though and I will tell you what causes a blackhead.

Causes of Blackheads– Basically when a pore gets clogged with too much oil (which enlarges the pore) and then it mixes with built-up dead skin cells that cannot shed normally. The combination of the two then get exposed to air, which causes it to oxidize and turn black.

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How to Get Rid of Blackheads– You need to remove and absorb excess oil and also remove dead skin that isn’t shedding on its own. Not all products will do this, even though they claim to. Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid help along with gentle manual exfoliation. Scrubbing harshly and vigorously will not get them out. You will only irritate the skin. This is one of the reasons that pore strips do not work. These blackheads are not just sitting on the surface of the skin so it may appear that you got them out but you actually only got the tip of the blackhead. Using proper skin care products will balance out your skin and keep the blackheads away.

Recommended Products

Please skip the DIY remedies that are found online. Most of them do not work and can also cause permanent damage.

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Review of Skin Script and Le Mieux

I could talk for days about the products I use and recommend because I love them that much. When used correctly and consistently, my clients get results.

Le Mieux:  Hands down…. Le Mieux has the most amazing serums.
TGF – AMAZING anti aging serum.  This is my trick on set when prepping skin for makeup for people who have some lines, so that makeup doesn’t settle as much.  Also, I love using it as a preventative around the eyes for people that are starting to see the beginning of fine lines.

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Skin Script:
Blemish Spot Treatment – OBSESSED doesn’t even begin to describe how much I love this product.  It’s my crack and sometimes I basically use it as my moisturizer on days that my skin feel likes it’s going to need some help to keep the pimples at bay.  It works great over and under makeup.  It’s way better than any spot treatment you find at retail outlets, and I’ve tried them all.  Please do yourself a favor and get this product.  MUST HAVE!!

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Glycolic Cleanser – It’s tingly and makes my skin feel squeaky clean.  I use it at night twice a week to get that extra boost of cleanliness.

Blemish Pads (Clarifying Pads) – These pads are awesome!  And if you rip them in half you get twice as much.  My skin is SUPER oily, and these pads are a great degreaser.  I definitely target areas that feels like there might be a breakout and do a double pass along those areas.  Be careful not to overuse these because your skin can start getting dry.

Green Tea Cleanser – I like using this cleanser as a makeup remover since it’s pretty mild and takes care of the job.

-Grace, Makeup Artist

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Be a Man with a Plan!

Too many men tell me that they just “wash” their face with water. If that isn’t good enough for your body, why would it be good enough for the face? The shampoo falling from your head is also not good enough. 😉

While men are generally luckier than women when it comes to their skin, they still need to care for it properly. And, it can be very easy to do.

I’ve come up with a simple 3-Step Plan, morning and evening. It will take you no more than 2 minutes…probably less!

And for those that want more, I have more! More plans that will help with anti-aging or breakouts or whatever else might concern you. If you don’t know where to start, you can get a FREE consultation from an Esthetician (me!) to help guide you.

This 3-Step Plan will last about 3 months and can be automatically shipped to you so you don’t have to worry about running out. It just can’t get any easier!

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MLM’s vs The Professional Esthetician

I am often asked about different MLM’s (Multi-Level Marketing Companies or Direct Sales) and I definitely have an opinion about these and sometimes the people that sell the products but I have held back from writing about it. Since it seems to be coming up more and more lately, I have decided to fully address it. This might save me time in the future too. Now I can just refer people to this blog post. 🙂 I was also asked by another Esthetician to write something so here it goes…

Before I was an Esthetician, I was part of an MLM (I will not reveal the name). I believed in the product I was selling. This company had high standards and I was lucky enough to get started at the beginning, which if any of you are familiar with these, is key to making money. I loved skin so I wanted to be part of something I thought was good. I thought I had an edge because I knew a lot about skin since I had been obsessed with it for so many years. I was not the typical stay-at-home mom (yes, I can say that because that is what I encountered) with no previous skin care knowledge.

This was my experience:

1. We had tons of training (available to us and I took advantage of it) on how to sell the product and gain new consultants. New consultants was how you actually made money.

2. I flew to Chicago for a weekend to learn more about the company and how to sell. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. Just not about skin care.

3. There were sheets that would tell you what products the client “should” use based on their skin type. Now, most skin care companies do this, even the professional ones, but if you are a professional you understand how to tweak the regimen if necessary for the client. If you are not, then most likely you will not understand that not everyone falls perfectly into a category.

4. There was no training about skin. I was not taught (luckily I knew) what skin needed and why. If something went wrong with a product or someone reacted negatively to a product, I wasn’t taught how to fix it. Again, I knew a lot more about skin so I was able to troubleshoot but if you don’t know anything and someone has a reaction, what do you do?

5. We were supposed to have these parties and just introduce these products. I didn’t like that. I don’t like sales. So, I taught people about skin and then showed them the products and why they were needed. When I did these parties, I was successful. Just selling people stuff doesn’t usually work but if you explain to them WHY, then they will keep up with it.

6. I was not good at this and I lost A LOT of money. I could sell the product but I couldn’t get people to sign up to be consultants and like I said before, that is where you make your money.

I’m not worried that the MLM’s will take over the professional lines because they have been around since the 60’s. Every year another new “miracle” product comes out and people believe it changes their skin until they realize it didn’t. I’m not blaming or faulting these people because we all want better skin and want to believe that this next thing will be the answer. Just remember that OTC products CANNOT do what a professional can. That is a fact! OTC products, for the most part, do not go deep enough into the skin to make a lasting difference. What you are seeing is temporary. If you stop, the damage will come back immediately. OTC also offers no prevention and that is key to anti-aging.

When it comes down to it, I would much rather have a professional help me with my skin because of their experience and knowledge. Personally, I know how much research I do. 🙂

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Skin Care Tips for Everyone

1. Be gentle with your skin. You’re in a hurry, I know, but rubbing and pulling vigorously will only age your skin and damage capillaries.

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2. Try to stay away from fragrances. It doesn’t matter what skin type you have, fragrances are usually not good for the skin. They smell nice but can do long-term damage, like break down collagen and elastin. If you have sensitive skin, it can do a lot more, like give you a rash or make you itch.

3. Don’t skip the moisturizer. I talk to clients all the time with oily skin that are afraid of moisturizer. This product is your friend. I promise. Finding the right one is key. Moisturizer doesn’t penetrate the skin and it will protect you from everything coming at you all day…sun, pollution, smoke, makeup, etc. You need that barrier.

4. Wash your face every morning and every night. Be consistent with your products.

5. Wear sunscreen, rain or shine. No higher than SPF 30 is necessary.

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Water and Your Skin

I have a bad habit of not drinking enough water. I admit it but I have always said though, skin is not affected by whether you drink a lot or none at all. It is what you do to it topically that matters. Don’t get me wrong, water is good for your body and it’s important to drink it, but there has been a lot of research on this topic to prove my point. Dr. Oz even did a study with twins where one drank a lot of water and the other drank none. There was zero effect on the skin on both twins. Dr. Oz said that there is enough water in our foods that we aren’t necessarily dehydrated. I love it!

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Bottom Line: The dry skin that most people suffer from is caused by dryness on the outside and the fix is with the right skin care products.

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I’ve Heard It, But Is It True?

1. Doing facial exercises will not tone your face and make you appear younger. They will, in fact, contribute to wrinkles.

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2. There is no evidence that Vitamin E actually does anything to help with scarring. It is an antioxidant and will help build skin.

3. Pores do not open and close. They are not windows.

4. Drying out problem, oily or acneic skin is not the answer. It is important to use products that will balance out the skin.

5. Skin damage and aging cannot be fixed quickly. This takes time and finding what works for you may take even more time. If you get it right the first time, then you can expect results in about 3 months.

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Are Your Products Old?

If you ever get random rashes or pimples and wonder where they are coming from or why, it could be from your old skin care products. Expired skin care items can grow bacteria and mold which can lead to acne and infections. Unfortunately in the US the FDA does not require cosmetic companies to put an expiration date on their products so therefore no one really knows when to throw it away. We hope that you will go through it before it goes bad but women tend to have a habit of buying many different items so we just don’t get the chance to empty them before they expire.

Here are some guidelines and tips to help:

1. Write the date on any new products so you can remember when you purchased them.

2. If you think it’s outdated, smell it. If it smells funny, then it’s probably time to toss it. If it has changed color or consistency, that is another clue to toss it. Please note that natural products can slightly change color over time and still remain effective and safe to use.

3. The following is a list of items with an approximate shelf life (some items may differ). Cleansers– 1 Year. Serums– 6-12 months. Moisturizers– 1 Year. SPF– 6-12 months. Acne Treatments– 2 Years.

4. Products in jars can have shorter shelf life because you may be dipping your finger in them to get the product out. Try using a spatula or something so that you don’t add bacteria to it.

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Take Your Time with Your Skin

I always tell people that your skin care routine should not take you very long to do but that doesn’t mean you should rush through it. Take your time. I know so many of you have kids so this isn’t always easy. When you can, you should. Cleanse your face properly and make sure you are getting all the dirt, oil and makeup off. The longer you do this, the cleaner your skin will be (30-45 seconds). After cleansing, use a toner to make sure that all the residue is gone. Then you should go right to your serum(s), moisturizer and spf. Don’t wait for each product to dry in between steps. You want your skin damp so that the water is locked in and can hydrate your skin. Plus, this will save you money because you will use less product!

Pamper yourself. You can’t always get to your Esthetician (me, right?!) so take the time to pamper yourself. I promise you that it will feel good and it will relax you. Let your thoughts go and just focus on you.

And, remember that skin care should always go before makeup. This is includes spf.

 

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Are You Exfoliating?

Even if you think you are doing everything right…cleanse, tone, moisturize. And doing this day and night. Maybe even adding in some extra serums or an eye cream. You are still missing something. Something that can make all the difference in the world to get you the skin you want: exfoliation!

Our skin naturally shed billions of skin cells a day but when this starts to slow down or even stop due to sun damage, oily skin, skin disorders, etc., the result is undeniable…dry or flaky, dull and lifeless skin. That can lead to even bigger problems: blemishes, clogged pores, wrinkles and uneven skin tone (one of the biggest giveaways of age!).

When you exfoliate regularly you can rid yourself of a lot of these problems or at least keep them at a minimum. And here is the best reason for you to start exfoliating today: You Will Look Instantly Younger! Yes, you read that correctly. 🙂  Compare this to a pedicure. Before, your feet are dry, scaly and rough but immediately after they are smooth and unwrinkled! Of course, the two are not the same but the results are (just don’t scrub as hard on your face 🙂 ).

Regular facials are key to keeping your skin young and fresh. What can be done in a treatment room by a professional, cannot be done at home, but that being said, there is still plenty for you to do at home.

1. Use a Konjac Sponge. Gentle and effective. You can use this every other night with your cleanser. Quick and easy.

 

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This sponge is great for acne and even small breakouts. Perfect for teens!

2. My 2nd recommendation would be a product from Skin Script. It has 2% retinol in it so you get great benefits from that (to name a couple…helps to stimulate collagen and hyularonic acid- main components that give your skin firmness and fullness). It can also be used as a mask. Leave on for 10 minutes to get the full use of the retinol.

 

 

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