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.
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.
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.
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.
These are just the miscellaneous products that I didn’t mention in previous product posts.
Blemish Spot Treatment– This blemish spot treatment rapidly dries each blemish and encourages healing.
Soothes skin irritation
Reduces inflammation and redness
Clarifies and heals breakouts
Assists in boosting hydrating levels
Limits pigmentation and scarring
O2 Calming Gel– This ultimate hydrating skin gel calms, soothes and moisturizes dehydrated and irritated skin with natural organic botanical extracts. It is highly recommended as a comforting massage and ultrasound gel, combining the latest technology with organic natural ingredients which enhance a variety of biological functions resulting in added benefits. The calming gel immediately relieves burning, stinging, redness as well as irritated skin. It is also recommended as an excellent after shave gel that delivers instant and lasting comfort from shave irritation.
SS Sheer Protection SPF30– This is a light cream, sheer feeling sunblock that provides both UVA/UVB protection for all skin types.
Provides UVA and UVB sun protection
Ideal for daily wear
Lightly moisturizes and protects the skin
Cotton Squares– Absorbent towels will suck up expensive skin care. These are less absorbent on purpose! 200 per pack
Konjac Sponge– Bestselling 100% Pure Konjac Sponge deeply cleanses, removes blackheads and gently exfoliates the skin. The unique net like structure of the vegetable fibres helps to stimulate blood flow and promote skin cell renewal.
Cleanses and Exfoliates the Delicate Eye Area
Removes Water Based Make-Up
Use With or Without Cleanser
Leaves Skin Radiant & Rejuvenated
Suitable for Sensitive Skin
100% Natural, Colouring & Additive Free
Silky Soft When Wet
GrandeLash Serum– GrandeLASH-MD is a TOP SELLING PRODUCT that is taking the beauty industry by storm! If you want the appearance of spectacular long lashes or full eyebrows naturally, GrandeLASH-MD is the right product for you. This SAFE and PROVEN formula will help to improve the appearance of your eyelashes and eyebrows in LENGTH, FULLNESS, THICKNESS and DARKNESS in only 4 to 8 weeks.
Grande Mascara– FEATURES
LASH OUT, give your lashes a boost with Grande Mascara!
Volumized, Extended, Lifted lashes
Flirtatious lash fringe for a bold, curved and clump-free finish
Precise, separated corner and bottom lashes
Instant extreme volume & length
Helps maintain the effect of GrandeLASH-md
Grande Brow– A tinted brush-on brow gel crafted in Italy & infused with fibers and peptides; adheres to even the finest brow hairs, leaving them fuller and more defined with a single application. Our long-wear formula evenly coats the brows with a natural tint while filling in sparse areas, allowing you to sculpt and define your arches for a bold brow look that lasts all day. Available in a dark gel and a light gel.
I am always asked about drugstore type products. As an esthetician, I only want to recommend products that I believe in and that I know will be good for the skin. The professional lines that I use and retail were chosen because of the research I did. I didn’t just pick them because they are professional but because I know they will do what is expected. I know that the products I retail are high quality and results driven. I know there are a lot of active ingredients that will make changes in my clients skin. And by looking at some of the over the counter products (this includes places like Target and Nordstrom), the prices aren’t always higher for a professional line, especially the ones I use and retail.
So let me tell you the difference between professional lines and the over the counter ones…
Made in small batches
High levels of active ingredients
Chirally Correct- meaning only those ingredients that are molecularly appropriate for the human body to use
Does not contain colors or dyes
pH adjusted- meaning the products help keep our skin at a healthy pH
Smaller molecules so that the good ingredients can get in and do their job!
Over the Counter Products
Made in large batches and preservatives are added so they can last longer
Usually have lower percentage of active ingredients because they are sold as “for all skin types.” This means that the products need to be more basic and simple so as to not cause issues.
Formulated by chemists (not estheticians or those who have worked closely with skin)
Contains fragrances, colors and dyes to make products look and smell better for the consumer but can irritate the skin
Contains fillers and low quality, inexpensive oils that can clog pores.
High SPF numbers that mislead people into thinking that they are more effective with there is no scientific proof. So more chemicals, not more protection
Just because the bottle, jar or tube says that there is an ingredient in it, doesn’t mean there is enough to do anything for the skin
So let’s talk about some over the counter favorites.
Cetaphil– Cetaphil has sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is one of the most overused synthetic cosmetic ingredient that strips your natural lipid barrier. This surfactant and how it effects the skin makes you more susceptible to external irritants, increases internal inflammation while your skin cells become stressed, intensifying redness and possible breakouts as it negatively impacts your natural pH. It’s important that our skin is pH balanced since it’s first thing protecting us from bacteria.
It says that the Cetaphil cleanser is pH balanced, which it just might be, in the bottle. As soon as it comes in contact with our skin, it interferes with our own pH.
St. Ives Apricot Scrub– The walnuts used in this scrub are too big and with jagged edges. They will tear at your pores, enlarging them and also spreading bacteria from one side of your face to the other. Please never buy this again. If you currently have some, use it on your feet.
CeraVe– Some are ok to use, some products contain pore clogging ingredients and some can trigger rosacea flare-ups. I know they are all about barrier support but there are ingredients that can cause problems but not for everyone. If you went on vacation without your moisturizer, I would probably suggest this line.
Micellar Water– If you like it, it’s fine to use but only a pre-cleanse or makeup remover. I wouldn’t use this as your only cleanser.
Biore Strips– Are people still using these? Please don’t. It looks very satisfying when you pull that strip off your nose because there is stuff on it but guess what? That’s only getting the surface and not what’s under the skin. Just wait 2-3 days and it’s all coming to the top again. Go see a professional and get extractions. That’s what will help your blackheads!
Hyperpigmentation. It’s something we all struggle with, unfortunately. There are a lot of products out there making huge promises to get rid of it for. I’m going to break it down and explain to you the best options for the skin, without damaging the skin. As you know, that is always my goal. Let’s fix the problem without causing another one.
Some people are more prone to it than others, based on genetics, but everyone is susceptible. From the fairest skin to the darkest. This is why wearing sunscreen is so important for everyone (I’ll get more into that later).
Remember, no one is born with it. Every baby is free of hyperpigmentation, including freckles, which is also a type of hyperpigmentation.
Freckles are caused by melanin. Melanin is a pigment in the skin and is what gives skin its color. When the sun hits the skin, it causes a production on melanin so that it can protect the skin layers underneath. Once melanin builds up in one place, a freckle is the result.
Here are some ways our skin develops the pigmentation.
Sun Exposure– The sun triggers the production of melanin. The skin is usually worse in the summer months. Using good skin care and regular facial treatments, you can minimize damage. It is completely normal to have your skin get darker in some spots in the summer and lighter in those same spots in the winter. I want to also say, and this is important to remember, sun damage can take up to 10 years to show. That means you can think that your skin is fine after a summer in the sun but later your skin will show the damage. I haven’t tanned my face in 10 years and I am still surprised at the damage that shows up. I had a good time in my teen years and my 20’s!
Heat– This one usually surprises people. Most think that as long as they avoid the actual sun, they will not have any pigmentation. It definitely helps but heat triggers inflammation and inflammation triggers the increase of melanin activity. So even if you go to the beach and wear sunscreen, big sunglasses, a big hat and sit under a big umbrella you can still get the damage. Sorry, folks!
Over-Exfoliation– I am super careful with my clients on how often they exfoliate. When I create a home care plan for them, I consider both the physical and chemical exfoliations. Too much can cause pigmentation. As I said above, inflammation triggers the increase of melanin activity. Even if you can’t see the inflammation, it can still be happening.
Picking at Blemishes/Acne– This is bad for many reasons but one of the biggest ones is that it can create what is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). And like sun damage, you don’t always see it until a few years later.
Hormones– Due to the increase of hormones during pregnancy, melasma is often caused. Just another form of pigmentation but harder to lighten. A lot of women will experience what is called a “pregnancy mask.” The upper lip will darken. This can also happen with birth control and even some medications. Always ask your doctor. I have seen many clients with melasma all over their face so it’s not exclusive to the upper lip. Everyone is different in how they will react but there are some worse than others. I once took a birth control pill and immediately started getting that mask above my lip and I switched that pill real fast! Luckily, no long-term damage was done.
Now I will discuss ways to help the pigmented areas.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, shown to reduce the number of sunburned cells as well as reverse age-related damage to the skin. Antioxidants help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.
It does not replace sunscreen, but Vitamin C protects against and may repair UV damage, like discoloration. It also helps brighten the skin, which can make the overall appearance of the skin healthier. This is safe for those pregnant or lactating.
Retinol- 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. Retinol works by promoting cellular renewal and collagen production to improve skin texture and to diminish brown spots. Not safe for those pregnant and lactating.
Exfoliation- It’s important not to exfoliate the skin to break up the pigmented areas. As I said before, be careful not to over-exfoliate. I have a great scrub that also acts as a mask. It has glycolic acid and retinol in it with gentle jojoba beads. I love it because over time it helps to lighten and lift hyperpigmentation. I also have these amazing glycolic/retinol pads that act as a toner so it’s a leave-on. Perfect for hyperpigmentation. Book a product consultation with me if you are interested in having me look over your routine using your products.
Sunscreen- Wear it everyday. SPF 30 is the perfect number. Most damage is done incidentally (about 78%), which means when you are not at the beach but just running errands around town or sitting in your car or next to a window at work. And just as a reminder, sunscreen in your makeup will not help. You have to wear about 7x the amount to actually get that number on the bottle. Sunscreen is skin care and skin care is separate from makeup. Skin care first, makeup second.
Facials- Always important but getting a facial (book with me if you’re local!) when dealing with a specific skin issue will definitely help. Make sure you address your concerns with your esthetician. What you see and what she (or he) sees may be different.
Chemical Peels- Oh my gosh! Anyone who knows me know these are my favorite especially when done in a series. I will only perform the chemical peel series between November and May because of the sun exposure. I am strict on this rule. No point in fixing the skin while damaging it. My series are done weekly over 8 weeks. Slow and steady. I recommend a home care plan so my clients can get the most benefits. They basically have no downtime and can resume normal activities. They might experience some flaking but nothing embarrassing or that will make you want to hide out in your house. You don’t have to peel with a peel because all the change is happening under the top layer.
I’m getting so many questions about how to fight dry, winter skin. I even got a call from my sister the other night and she lives in Utah. It just seems to be super dry this season so I wanted to give you all some suggestions to help your skin.
Exfoliate– Sometimes when our skin is dry or even sensitive (which is often caused by dryness), we skip exfoliation. This is important because it helps slough off the dead skin and allows your products to penetrate deeper and more efficiently therefore properly hydrating the skin. I gave myself a chemical peel on Monday night and unfortunately the next day it was windy and very dry. That meant my skin was very dry and it even got flaky. So last night I took my sponge and gently exfoliated. My skin feels and looks so much better today.
Moisturizer– While I don’t think this is a life changing product, it is important and which one we choose does matter. As the seasons change, sometimes we have to change our moisturizer. We often need something a little heavier in the winter to really protect our skin. I have a couple of favorites and I will post them on my blog. The one I use now feels amazing on my skin and gives me a glow even when I’m feeling dry. I’m a little obsessed with it and love putting it on everyday. The other thing to know about moisturizers is that you can’t rely on them to hydrate your skin. Serums will do that or even the grapeseed oil I recommend.
Grapeseed Oil– Use it every night. And if you want, you can also use it during the day as long as you are wearing sunscreen. Just apply a very small amount after serums and before moisturizer.
You might also have to change up your skin care routine. What you use and how often you use each product. Skin has different needs in the summer than it does in the winter. Adding a different serum can make a difference too. One that is just for making the skin feel better.
Chapped Lips– While licking your lips may feel good, it is only a temporary solution and may actually make them more chapped. The more you lick, the drier they get because the saliva attracts moisture from deep within the skin and then evaporates into dry air. Another thing to consider is that saliva has digestive enzymes and those can breakdown the skin. Use a lip balm because lip balm heals and chapstick protects.
Chapped Hands– If you find your hands are constantly in water then wear gloves. If you live in an environment that warrants wearing real gloves, wear them as often as possible. This will save your hands from the weather. You can also exfoliate your hands. Like your face, dead skin builds up and doesn’t allow product to penetrate. A nice hand treatment would be a hydrating mask and then apply some grapeseed oil on it and put on gloves or socks. Whatever works that is cotton. This is will force the oil deeper into your skin. You can do this overnight if you want. In fact, you can use the hydrating mask with gloves or socks and keep that on overnight. Both will work great and will also work for the feet!
Humidifier– Perfect to leave on at night so your skin stays hydrated. Even more needed if you have a heater on at night. When there is no moisture, the air will take it from within your skin, dehydrating you more. Bonus- this creates less static electricity!
I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating. When you apply your products, you should be applying them to damp skin (not dripping wet). Right after your toner, apply your serums and follow up with your moisturizer and sunscreen. When your skin is damp, it allows your moisturizer to lock in that hydration. Super important to not feeling dry. Your moisturizer and sunscreen will also go on smoother.
For the second week of product talk, I am going to discuss Toner. Mostly misunderstood, I will explain why they are important and talk about my favorite ones.
The #1 reason why you should be using a toner is that it’s the last step in the cleansing process. It removes any excess cleanser, oil, dirt and makeup. But also, after you take a shower, a toner will removes chlorines and minerals often found in tap water. You know how your shower door has a film on it? That is what happens to your skin so it’s important to remove it.
When you use a toner and leave the skin damp, it gives your skin moisture before applying serums and moisturizer therefore locking the hydration into the skin. Just make the toner is alcohol-free, otherwise you will just be drying out the skin.
Toners will usually enhance your skin care regimen. Depending on which one your using, they can contain active ingredients to help skin issues. And research has shown that moist skin is actually 10 times more permeable than dry skin. So this means that leaving your skin damp when applying serums and moisturizer will allow the active ingredients to penetrate deeper therefore giving you better results.
I always recommend using a cotton square with a toner. Although some come in a pad form (as I will talk about later), others come in a spray. Spray the cotton and then wipe your face. By the way, these cotton wipes are so great! They do not absorb product like most cotton does so whatever you spray on it, is what you use. No wasted product and that saves you money!
Now I will discuss the toners I use and retail.
Cucumber Toner– Re-hydrates the skin while improving cellular functions and absorption of ingredients. Soothes and normalizes skin tissues. This is a client favorite because it smells so good and feels great on the skin. I recommend this as a daily toner for all skin types. This comes in a spray so you would use cotton to apply.
Topically Reduces Discomfort & Irritation
Assists in Boosting Hydration Levels
ISO-Cell Solution– A unique formula recommended for cleansing and providing supplemental nutrients for wound care. It mimics the composition of blood by providing nutrients from the outside, while complementing the bloodstream work from the inside. The benefits are accelerated healing process and retention of moisture for tissue regeneration. This does not have a scent, which appeals to some. I like this toner for those with acne. Since it’s healing, it helps while the skin is clearing up acne. This also comes in a spray so you would use cotton to apply. It’s used daily.
Clarifying Toner Pads- This acne control toner assists the cleanser in cellular turnover bringing oil and debris to the surface of the skin – the salicylic dries the uplifted oil. This step also removes excess dirt, oil and makeup left after the cleansing process. Tea tree calms and soothes the skin. Great for teens battling breakouts and acne. I also recommend these to adults dealing with acne. Since these pads have salicylic acid, they can be drying to the skin so I only recommend them to be used about 3-4 times a week and only at night. As I’ve said in previous podcasts, exfoliation should only be done at night and these definitely exfoliate. Sometimes these will tingle and sting a little bit but it goes away quickly.
Reverses fine lines
Reduces oil production
Provides antibacterial protection
Heals cystic breakouts
Enhances cellular turnover
Glycolic and Retinol Pads– These pads break up surface oil to refine pores and reveal fresh, healthy skin. Kojic and arbutin lighten sun spots and scars left from blemishes. I love these pads for those who want to lift hyperpigmentation and also to brighten the skin. Like the Clarifying Pads, I only recommend these pads to be used about 3-4 times a week and at night. Sometimes these will tingle and sting a little bit but it goes away quickly.
I will also use these pads on my elbows and bottom of my feet. They make those areas so smooth!
Provides surface renewal and resurfacing
Purges and exfoliates
Removes oil and debris
Prevents future breakouts
Assists in Anti-wrinkle actions
Lightens pigmentation spots
Improves Skin Function
I really do love all these toners and they are great on their own but even better when added to a good skin care regimen.
Pure Skin Talk covers acne to anti-aging and everything in between. These are short and easy to listen to episodes. They are not product specific so everyone can benefit! Sometimes specials are even offered to the online store and if you are local to Orange County for facials!!
Look for Pure Skin Talk on your favorite podcast app!
I have noticed that often people will spend money on every other product in their routine and not care about their cleansers. Here’s the thing, yes it is washed off but what you use to cleanse the skin is actually important.
When you use a cleanser, you don’t want it leaving your skin tight and dry because that means it stripped your skin.
Sometimes even when you use a gentle cleanser, this can happen. Make sure you always finish your routine after cleansing. If you do it in the shower, make your skin care routine the first thing you do.
Never use a bar of soap to cleanse your skin. The most simple reason is because the ingredients that bind a bar of soap together, are dehydrating (they have a high pH balance).
Avoid cleansing oils. While I’m sure these feel great on those with dry skin, they unfortunately leave behind a residue of and barrier on the skin. This prevents your serums from getting deep within the skin where they need to go to benefit you the most. Even if you don’t think (or feel) it’s leaving behind a residue, it is. Using a water-soluble cleanser is important so that it washes away completely and you are left with a clean slate. Serums can do wonders for the skin but won’t be able to if they are blocked by a barrier of oil.
Your cleansers can be used for shaving. It’s more expensive obviously but in a pinch, it’s an option.
Cleansing should be done for about 30-45 seconds to make sure you get rid of all the dirt, oil and/or makeup.
Professional cleansers go a long way because they are so concentrated so you don’t have to use a lot. This is actually true for all professional products.
Now I’m going to discuss the 4 cleansers I retail and use on myself and in my treatment room.
Pomegranate Creamy Cleanser– This creamy pomegranate cleanser nourishes and hydrates the skin with aloe vera as the pomegranate antioxidant brings the skin to life giving it a healthy, radiant glow.
These are great for dry skin but I have found that a lot of times a cream cleanser is used wrong and people don’t like it. It is to be used on dry skin with dry hands, almost like you’re applying your moisturizer. Massage in gently and rinse when done. You can also use cotton squares to remove it or a gentle washcloth. I suggest a baby washcloth since they are really gentle and soft.
Benefits of this cleanser:
Soothes Skin Irritation
Reduces Inflammation and Redness
Clarifies and Heals Breakouts
Assists in Boosting Hydration Levels
Limits Pigmentation and Scarring
Green Tea Citrus Antioxidant Cleanser- This green tea citrus cleanser contains grapefruit, lemon and yucca to remove excess oils as the green tea antioxidants calm the skin and bring it new life giving it a radiant glow. Lemon deep cleans while yucca soothes the skin. This one smells good.
This is definitely my biggest selling cleanser. People love it and so do I. I used to use the Pomegranate Cleanser but switched over to this one about 1 ½ ago when my skin started changing. It’s gentle and yet I know it’s cleansing my skin. No sting factor or dryness with this one.
Clarifies and removes excess oils
Maintains healthy cell function
Protects from bacterial attacks
Provides cellular protection from free radicals
Soothes and restores skin balance
Raspberry Refining Cleanser- This raspberry-based acne control cleanser will increase cellular turnover bringing oil and debris to the surface of the skin; salicylic then dries the uplifted oil. Tea tree calms and soothes the skin. And this has a nice raspberry smell.
This is a cleanser you would use about 2-4 times a week at night, depending on your skin. It has glycolic and salicylic acid and also tea tree oil to help fight blemishes. It’s more gentle so you probably won’t tingle with this one. I recommend this to all my teen clients and sometimes older clients when they are still dealing with breakouts. Also great for sensitive skin.
Provides surface renewal and resurfacing
Purges and exfoliates
Removes oil and debris
Prevents future breakouts
Glycolic Cleanser- This 17% glycolic cleanser breaks down oil and encourages cellular turnover to minimize oil and refine pores to reveal fresh, healthy skin.
You can definitely feel the glycolic in this one but it doesn’t hurt, only tingles. Great for anti-aging clients and for those who might still be dealing with mild breakouts. I recommend this to be used about 2-4 times a week at night, depending on your skin.
When I use my bio-brasion machine in my treatment room (which is a microdermabrasion machine on wet skin), this is the cleanser I will use with it. Makes the skin glow!
Refines Pores and Renews the Skin
Reduces Visible Wrinkles
Brightens and Invigorates the Skin
Assists in Boosting Hydration Levels
Reduces Acne Scars
Enhances Cellular Turnover
Acne is frustrating but I am trying to break it down for you to make it more clear…no pun intended. So let’s talk about blemishes…
I don’t know about you but when I learn new things or even want to start something new, I need to understand why it needs to happen. The more information I have, the easier it is to do it. So this is what your blemish needs to do to heal itself and how to get rid of them correctly.
Blemishes have an infection within the pore and that is why they can be painful and red. What should naturally happen is that the infection comes up through the skins surface (the white stuff). Cysts are different.
You aren’t going to like what I’m about to say but there is a way around it. If you are using something that dries out the surface of the skin, like most over the counter spot treatments do, your blemish will stick around longer. The dead skin stops the infection from being able to come to the surface, which as I explained above, needs to happen. I do have a product that kills the infection without drying the skin.
Here are the steps…
Apply a non-drying spot treatment
When a whitehead comes to the surface, you may then GENTLY squeeze it out. I think it’s best to do this after a shower when your skin is soft and hydrated. Once removed, apply the spot treatment to kill any infection left.
A lot of people dealing with acne or even just breakouts, wonder why they are left with red or dark marks long after the blemish is gone. It’s caused by the inflammation within the dermis that triggers the skin to product the pigment cells. And sometimes you are left with distended capillaries or broken capillaries as they are often called, and that causes more redness. If these areas are not properly treated then you will end up with a scar. The darkness of the mark varies based on different things.
The darker the skin, the darker the mark.
If the infection came up and broke through the surface, it will be darker. A cyst usually doesn’t cause as much damage because the body reabsorbed the infection and didn’t break the surface.
The time the blemish lasted plus how long YOUR skin takes to heal. Everyone is different.
And the most important last two and more easily avoided…how much you picked at it or used the wrong products. When you pick, it pushes the infection deeper into the skin and can also spread it. Using the wrong products can hurt the health of the skin.
Here is what you can do to treat the skin and avoid a scar.
Exfoliate the skin. Using a gentle acid exfoliant along with a gentle scrub will help lift off dead skin cells and the scarred cells. Don’t use them on the same days.
Vitamin C is also highly recommended to brighten the skin, calm the redness and help fade acne scars.
Wear SPF. It’s super important to protect the skin in general but when trying to heal the skin and avoid scarring, it becomes even more important. If you are acne-prone, make sure you aren’t using a sunscreen that will clog pores.
Using the right products is vital to getting rid of and healing acne and acne scars. What you were using when you were a teenager is not good for you as an adult. Many things change and we have to change accordingly. The breakouts that you had as a teen could be different than what you have as an adult. Plus, as we get older anti-aging products become important. And just because a product says “for acne,” doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin.
People with oily skin and/or acne tend to want to wear less product and skipping sunscreen seems like an easy thing to avoid. You shouldn’t. The sun is the #1 reason we scar so you have to protect your skin everyday of the year.
Over-exfoliating is another thing that some people do. Once we see results, we want to keep doing the thing that gave us those results. Less is more. You should never be exfoliating twice a day. It’s too much and is causing inflammation. And don’t forget that exfoliation can be physical like a scrub and also chemical like glycolic or salicylic acids.
Like I said above, those with oily/acne skin want to wear less product. Skipping moisturizer saves your skin, right? Nope. Letting your skin “breathe” is not a real thing. Here is why you want to wear a moisturizer.
Skin needs hydration. Applying a toner and serums on damp skin allows the moisturizer to lock all of that in. Without hydration, the skin will produce more oil.
And I am introducing something new. I get a lot of emails and social messages asking about different products. As much as I love my products and think they are great for the skin, not everyone uses them. Helping people love their skin is my goal, in whatever way it gets them there as long as it’s safe. So I am now offering Product Consultations. You send me a list of your products and I will give you my honest, educated opinion. I will go over each product. This will be done over email so that you have everything written down for you. After, if you have more questions, we can do a 15 minute consultation over the phone, email or messaging. I recommend email or messaging so again, you have it all written out and you don’t have to memorize what I’m saying. You will not be pressured to buy anything.
As the seasons change so do the needs of our skin. Our skin can get drier, more oily, we can have more breakouts or maybe just more sensitivity. Don’t panic! It’s most likely not your products that have suddenly stopped working for you, it’s the weather that has changed your skin. All it means is that you need to change how you use your products. So much easier, right? And a money saver! Here are some ingredients with their side effects that may affect your skin differently in the winter. Change accordingly if you needed.
Retinol– A derivative of Vitamin A, this can be drying to the skin. You may not notice it as much during the summer but in the winter when our skin gets drier, this can wreak havoc on our moisture level. You don’t have to stop using this, just use less. The Retinol Serum below is the one I recommend to my clients. Most only use about twice a week anyway because I want them to avoid drying out their skin and dealing with all the other side effects. This seems to work best while still giving them great results.
Salicylic Acid– Great for acne and breakouts but extremely drying for the skin. When I recommend any product using this ingredient, I do not suggest using it everyday because I do not want to dry out the skin as the acne goes away. If you find your skin seems flaky or dry, cut it back a bit, maybe just once and go from there. You still want to use the product and get the effectiveness but with using it less. Sometimes even one less use can make a difference.
Vaseline– This seems like an odd choice to be on this list, right? Well, in the winter this seems to be the go-to product. A lot of people use it on their chapped lips, hands, feet, etc. Here’s the thing…it’s occlusive. That means it can’t penetrate the skin and will only sit on the surface. It will not moisturize the skin but it will protect it. Great to put over lotion on the hands and feet for extra hydration (it will lock in that moisture) and also for the nose area when you have a cold. It has no healing benefits though. It can clog pores on the face since it can’t penetrate so use with caution.
Benzoyl Peroxide– Same as salicylic acid but even more drying. Below is the only product I recommend with benzoyl peroxide and I always say, proceed with caution. Benzoyl Peroxide is an ingredient you only want to use temporarily (there are many side effects that aren’t good long-term). The severe drying side effect can actually age your skin. Whatever the season, use with caution. In the winter, think twice.
Hand Sanitizer– Although this is not for the face, I thought I would throw it in here anyway. 🙂 The alcohol and lack of water can really dry out your hands. Try washing your hands like we used to…with soap and water and then moisturize.
These are guidelines and suggestions. What works for one person may not work for another. Some may not be able to change their routine so that means you will need to add to your regimen so you can get more moisture. You need to compensate for the water being pulled out of your skin because if you don’t, your skin will start to produce more oil. This grapeseed oil is great for hydrating the ski without clogging the pores. Click on picture to learn more about it.