Toners

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Benefits:
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.

Benefits:
Removes congestion
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!
Benefits:
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.

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Acne and Acne Scars

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.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE PRODUCT CONSULTATION

Acne Scars. How to Get Rid of Them.

I was recently asked how to get rid of those pesky marks left on your skin from a blemish. You know the ones…they are dark, red and purple and stick around for weeks and sometimes months.
It becomes dark because the inflammation from the blemish triggers the skin to produce pigment cells. Even if you didn’t pick at the blemish, it can still leave a scar (even though it will fade in time, it’s still considered a scar) because it stretches and damages the surrounding tissue.

1. The most important thing to do: Wear sunscreen. Every single day. There are no exceptions to this. Any exposure to UV rays will stimulate the melanin cells, making it more red and darker for a longer time (maybe forever).

2. Using a chemical and physical exfoliant will help stimulate new, healthy cells while removing the scarred, damaged cells.

3. Vitamin C will brighten the skin and help correct the problem.

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Be Patient with Your Blemishes

Updated: October 2017

I always give my clients permission to extract their blemishes when they are READY. Trying to force anything out sooner can result in problems.

1. If you do it too soon, you can injure the skin and that can result in a scar.

2. If you put on a drying spot treatment after that, you are actually drying out the skin and not the infection because the infection hasn’t reached the surface yet.

3. 1-2 days later, when the infection is to the top, you can squeeze out the infection but you will also be peeling off dry skin. That usually causes a post-breakout red mark (temporary scar) that will linger for months and is worse than what is was originally!

It’s important to be patient when you get a blemish. It generally takes about 1-2 days after it first appears for the infection to come to the surface. It is then that you may attempt to get it out. Wrap your fingers with tissue and GENTLY squeeze (best to do after a shower). Do this only 2-3 times and stop. If it doesn’t come out, try again the next day. If it does, then you can apply a spot treatment (I love Skin Script Blemish Spot Treatment) to it because it will be able to get into the skin and kill any remaining infection. You can also apply the Blemish Spot Treatment when you first see the blemish. It’s strong and effective enough to get to the infection without damaging the skin on top.

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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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Product Review- Sulfer Mask

A lot of clients ask me about masks that can be used at home. I am picky! If I’m going to recommend something, I want to make sure that it is good for the skin and also going to help whatever issue that client might want to fix. It’s fun to do masks at home. It makes us feel good and there is nothing wrong with that! There are three masks that I recommend to my clients but I am focusing on my newest one. Sulfer is great for treating acne in a very gentle way. Sulfur acts like a sponge to draw oil out of blocked pores. This dries up pimples and keeps sebum production in check, helping to prevent future blemishes.

Sulfer Therapeutic Mask. Great for breakouts and even better for acne.

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Sulfur Therapeutic Mask by DDF has been specially designed for use as a clay mask or spot treatment. This versatile treatment contains sulphur and purified clays to absorb oil and help keep pores clear.

Enjoy 10% off the Sulfer Therapeutic Mask and all masks starting today through Monday,  February 20th, 2017.

DIY Tinted Moisturizer

What is the best Tinted Moisturizer? That is one of the most common questions I get and I don’t have a good answer. I have never been able to find a brand that I really like and that I would feel comfortable recommending to my clients, friends and family. So, I’ve stopped looking. For years I have been making my own so from now on, this is what I will be recommending to everyone. What is so great about doing this is that it allows you to choose what you want in the product. If you wear this at night, an SPF isn’t necessary so it’s great that you don’t have to use a moisturizer that has that in it. This is now fully customizable to YOU!  And this is how you do it…

1. Mix equal parts moisturizer and foundation. Blend thoroughly.

2. Apply and you’re done!

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Extra Tips

1. If you want a more natural look, add a little less foundation.

2. If you want a little darker color, add a little more foundation.

3. Apply your regular moisturizer first so the color doesn’t seep into dry patches and/or blemishes. It will give you a more even finish.

4. You can make enough to last you awhile or do this daily. If you are making a bigger batch, just make sure you put it in an airtight bottle. Care for it as you normally would your regular foundation.

Check out tomorrow’s post on DIY Tinted Body Lotion

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