All Roads Lead to Hydration

Updated: October 2017

When I went to Empire Academy of Makeup (best school ever!) many, many years ago, the first thing we learned was that if our skin didn’t look good then our makeup wouldn’t look good. In fact, the first course concentrated on skin so much that I fell in love with it and that is how I got started with skin care.
I’ve learned a lot along the way and things have definitely changed but one thing that always remains consistent is: your skin needs hydration and most people are dehydrated.

If you have dry skin, you most likely need oil and water in your skin. When you wear makeup, powders can age you and accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. And, of course, make you drier.

If you have oily skin, you have too much oil and not enough water. When you wear makeup, it feels like you need to re-apply often and you may be flaky in some areas.

Both of these issues can get better by properly hydrating your skin. A Hyaluronic Acid Serum is the best way to do this. It binds moisture to your skin and draws moisture in.

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All Le Mieux serums are Hyaluronic Acid based. That’s why they are my favorite!

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Does a Miracle Product Really Exist?

Updated: September 2017

Every informercial and over-the-counter skin care line has the latest miracle ingredient or product that is going to do it all for you. Get rid of your wrinkles, cure your acne and forever hydrate your skin. That is not reality. Sorry. Even as much as I talk about the miracle that is grape seed oil, if you were using the wrong cleanser, the oil would not work as well or could even backfire on you.

I am often asked about different products from clients and from people on social media. They have a friend who used this great moisturizer and it did “this” and “that” for their skin and they want to know if they should buy it too thinking it will solve their problems. One product will not. It is a combination of everything you use to help your skin that will give you the skin you want.

From the cleanser to the sunscreen, it matters. The toner you use in the middle of your routine may offer wonderful benefits and may help your skin, but that toner alone will not be the answer.

Here are some tips:

  • Use the right products for YOUR skin (not your friends!)
  • Use the products consistently and correctly
  • Be patient. Most of the time you should see an immediate improvement (no matter how small) with a new routine but for a major difference, it will take time.
  • Listen to a professional (hopefully that is me!) and ignore your friends. They mean well but it can be difficult to help you if you are taking the advice of several people.
  • If you are my client, I am here to help. I will answer your questions and guide you. Switching up your routine or trying something new because it sounded “amazing” can mess up your skin. I’ve seen it happen. Talk to me.

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Cleansing Towelettes- What I Really Think!

Updated: July 2017

I get asked about these all the time and I know these are quite popular especially for those of you that have late nights. They are easier and at least you aren’t going to bed with makeup and your whole day on your face, right? Wrong. Kind of. 🙂

For the most part, I would prefer you not to use these. There are so many varieties and most are not good for your skin. I simply cannot try every towelette and read all the ingredients to determine which are acceptable and which are not. However, I will give you a couple to use and some to absolutely stay away from completely.

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A lot of these contain alcohol so they are super drying to the skin. Then you have the ones that have a lot of fragrance and that can irritate the skin and since you are not washing after, the ones that can be hydrating may leave a film on your skin.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, I would run from these towelettes. I haven’t seen any that are good for your skin types yet. In fact, the only skin type that can really tolerate these, generally speaking, are those with dry skin. As always, there are exceptions to the rules but do you want to find out if you are that exception? You only have 1 face! The more you irritate it, even if you don’t see it now, can cause damage down the road and make you age faster. Now I know you don’t want that!!

That being said, here are my recommendations, as promised, for the good and the bad towelettes…

Good– Neutrogena has 2-  Night Calming and Hydrating Towelettes; most brands that are for dry skin will probably be ok because they will have way less alcohol and fragrance in them. This is still not a recommendation to use.

Bad– Olay Facial Cloths for Combination/Oily; as I said above, most brands for oily and acne-prone skin will not be good for the skin. Avoid!

Cleansing your face properly is the best way to keep your skin clean, postpone aging and stay hydrated. If you find yourself using these, try to keep it to “every once in a while, only when you need to” situations. Your skin will thank you! (and you’ll thank me when all you friends are jealous of how great you look! 😉 )

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Your Personal Skin Care Prescription

Are you frustrated with your skin? Do you want to try something but afraid to spend the money and not get the results? Once consultation is purchased, you will be emailed a form to fill out so that I can learn more about you and your skin and properly give you the best products for your skin. This is easiest way to get skin care products that are for YOU. And it doesn’t end after I mail you the products. I will help you with questions after you receive the products.

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$20

What You Will Get:
– FULL regimen of samples that is customized for your skin
– Prescription sheet that tells you exactly when and how to use the products.
– 10% off your first order

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The Truth About Anti-Aging Products

Updated: July 2017

We all want to fight the signs of aging and so we go to the malls, our Estheticians and Dermatologists, hoping they will have the answer, maybe even the cure for our wrinkles. From fighting free radicals to stimulating skin’s natural collagen production, anti-aging products make enticing promises.

Do they work? That’s what we want to know, right? Below I have listed 4 commonly listed ingredients and some evidence on whether they actually play an effect on your skin.

Peptides

As we age our skin gets thinner, loses fat and starts to sag and develop fine lines and wrinkles. We produce less collagen and elastin to keep our skin firm and plump. Oh my gosh!

Peptides are small proteins that help stimulate new cells to grow and to help skin cells to heal.

Scientists are still not sure how beneficial these actually are because of the size of the molecule. They are rather large and that makes it more difficult to deeply penetrate the skin. They can, however, do some good in a moisturizer and serum. This way they can hydrate the skin and make lines less noticeable. Whether they reduce wrinkles, the jury is still out.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)

Examples are glycolic, lactic and citric acids which are natural ingredients that come from fruits and milk sugars. They are great for exfoliation because they get rid of dead skin cells, allowing new cells to grow.

Each acid does something different for the skin. Lactic Acid (comes from sour milk) removes the dead skin cells so this will have a brightening effect. Glycolic Acid (comes from sugar cane) helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles which can make skin look smoother and tighter.

Retinols

A natural form of Vitamin A, this boosts the thickness and elasticity of the skin therefore reducing the signs of wrinkles.

There is an abundant amount of evidence to support that retinol works! Finding it in the right products is the tricky part because you need to have enough to get results. Most over-the-counter products cannot put enough retinol in them to give you the benefits you need. This Retinol Serum is amazing and when used correctly, can do great things for the skin.

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Antioxidants

Help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.

There are many antioxidants that are effective, however, the formulation is the most critical. Vitamins C and E are the most commonly used and time-tested.

www.PSBLounge.com

Sunscreen, Sun and Your Skin Myths

1. I don’t need to wear an SPF during the winter months or when there is no sun. This is simply not true. UVA means Ultra Violet Aging and those are visible 365 days a year. Protect your skin and always wear it. Even if you are indoors. The sun can penetrate through windows and over time, do more damage than you think.

2. SPF in my makeup is enough. Nope, sorry. 😦 You need seven times the normal amount of foundation and 14 times the normal amount of powder to get the sun protection factor on the label. I really hope you aren’t going to apply that much makeup!

3. Applying once a day is enough. If you are not in the direct sun AT ALL, then this is probably okay for you. Otherwise you need to re-apply every 1-2 hours. More if you are prone to burn. As soon as you are in the sun, the sunscreen starts to breakdown.

4. I put sunscreen on all the obvious areas so I’m good. What about the back of your neck? Ears? Top of your hands? These areas are often neglected but definitely exposed to sun. Skin cancer and skin damage can be anywhere!

5. Lotions, sprays and sticks all work differently. Not really. My advice is to start with a lotion (stick for the face if you want) and get a good base. When you reapply, a spray should be fine once. Then, use a lotion again. I love the convenience of a spray but it is very easy to miss spots.

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I love this sunscreen!
Click on picture to purchase.

6. Expiration dates don’t mean anything. YES THEY DO! If it is expired, STOP using it. No exceptions.

7. A tan is fine as long as I don’t burn. You are still damaging your skin. That is what a tan actually is.

8. My umbrella is enough protection so I don’t need sunscreen. Please don’t believe this! Did you know that sand reflects 17% of UV radiation. That means you are still exposed. It is still important to stay in the shade but wear your sunscreen.

9. The sun always cures my acne (or breakouts). This is a BIG myth. It can be a (very) temporary solution (the sun does kill bacteria) but in reality it causes a buildup of dead skin which leads to clogged pores. And, if you have oily skin, the sun will dry you out, producing even more oil. Viscous cycle.

10. I use SPF100 so I am fully protecting my skin. That isn’t even going to be available anymore because you get 96% protection with SPF30. Anything higher may give you a 4% increase but it will definitely give you more chemicals.

11. The damage is done so it doesn’t matter anymore. It always matters! Wear sunscreen at every age!

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Read this previous blog post on sunscreen…

Be Sun Smart

Read this previous blog post on how to care for sunburned skin…

Sunburn Tips

Product Review- Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub

If you’re looking for a great exfoliating scrub then look no further. This is a client favorite and makes your skin look and feel amazing. One of the best things about this scrub is that it can be doubled as a mask. If you leave it on for 10 minutes, then the retinol has more opportunity to get in there and do what it needs to do.

Bonus Tip! Use the Glycolic Cleanser first, leave it on and then apply the scrub/mask. Tingling is normal. This addition will boost instant results!

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This scrub is a powerful cellular turnover scrub with Retinol (Vitamin A) and jojoba beads to clean, soothe and polish the skin. The retinol encourages the breakup of blackheads and clogged pores, jojoba beads gently exfoliate dead skin cells, while kojic lightens age spots and blemishes left from scars.

Lessens Visible Aging
Lightens Discolorations
Provides Chemical and Physical Exfoliation
Promotes Collagen Synthesis
Assists in Healing and Rejuvenating

Sunscreen Buildup? This happens so often in the summer because we are applying a lot more sunscreen than we do in the winter. This is a great scrub to help fight through the buildup and clean those pores!

Botox. Is it Aging You?

As an Esthetician I am often asked about Botox and Dermal Fillers (Restylane, Juvederm) and whether or not people should get them. I always say that I think women should do whatever makes them feel better about themselves as long as it isn’t harmful and done with caution. I personally have not done either and don’t have plans to in the future. That certainly doesn’t mean I won’t though. Never say never!

Since so many were asking me about these injections, I thought I should read about them and really find out the good and the bad. Nothing is for free, folks. There are definitely some negative side effects to all of these injections but if you are careful and smart about how you get them, you may avoid the pitfalls.

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BOTOX

We all know it freezes the muscle and takes away those pesky fine lines and wrinkles. This is fantastic for shaving a few years off!

The Negatives-

  • You don’t know how you will react the first time so you could get a lot of bruising, sensitivity and puffiness.
  • If not done correctly or too much injected, the face could change shape or the eyes could look lop-sided (I call it wonky-eye).
  • When you are over 40 and have zero wrinkles, it just doesn’t look natural. The rest of you is still aging (your neck, your hands…).
  • If you start with Botox at an early age (before wrinkles, maybe after fine lines), you are going to weaken the muscle and that will make you look older! When the muscle is paralyzed it causes the skin to lose its fullness. And remember, youthful skin is also plump. 

Now, you could get fillers to offset the Botox. Just be careful. Less is more.

The Negatives to Fillers-

  • These can alter your appearance. You have seen this in celebrities…Courtney Cox, Lindsay Lohan, etc.
  • Just like Botox, your skin can react poorly. The actual filler is safe though. Hyaluronic Acid is made naturally in our bodies.

 

www.PureSkinandBodyLounge.com

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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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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