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.
Masks. I think this is probably the skin care product that people love to do the most. It’s something fun to do on a girl’s night or even when we just want to have a glass of wine and unwind. At the same time, we put a lot of expectations into a mask. We want them to smooth out our wrinkles and clear up our acne. I wish they could do those things! What they should NOT do is make our skin look and feel dehydrated or make us breakout. What they can do is improve the skin and be a great addition to your regular skin care routine.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your mask, whatever you decide to use.
Make sure your skin is clean and makeup free. Don’t forget toner.
You can still apply your serums under a creamy mask. The mask will actually push and lock the serums into the skin. It’s a great addition!
Be relaxed. Your skin will benefit the most when you are relaxing. So yes, you can do laundry or cook dinner or whatever while wearing a mask but if you can, try to sit and do nothing. Read a book, watch tv, catch up with a friend, etc.
Sheet masks can usually be used twice, at least the ones I use and recommend.
Once a week is enough for masks.
So let’s talk about the masks that I love…
LM Hyaluronic Shea Mask– Oh my gosh, this is such a great mask! It’s silky and creamy and you can immediately feel your skin drinking in the hydration. And what is so great about this one is that you can use it all over. I use it on my clients hands for a hand treatment during a facial. Deep conditioning cream mask binds moisture to prevent water loss, dryness, and roughness while improving elasticity. Nourishing and rejuvenating blend of soothing oils, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter provides intensive, long-lasting hydration for dry, damaged, or mature skin.
LM Icy Revitalizing Mask– This is a clay mask but not your typical clay mask that makes your skin feel tight and dry when you remove it. You can also add a little of this O2 Calming Gel to the mask to make it feel even better on the skin. Refreshing, stimulating clay mask features 3 exotic clays and 8 botanical extracts to unclog pores and rebalance oily skin. Soothes irritation, inflammation, and redness, leaving skin moisturized and velvety soft. Ideal for acne-prone or sensitive skin.
LM Moisture Infusion Mask– If you’re feeling dry, this is the mask for you. If you want a pick-me-up, this is the mask for you. This serum-infused mask soothes and hydrates dry, sensitive, and stressed skin, brightens dull complexions, and minimizes the appearance of expression lines. Features 3 anti-aging peptides, the most stable form of Vitamin C (MAP ), 7 botanical extracts, and marine collagen to promote collagen synthesis for smooth, radiant skin. Ideal after microdermabrasion procedures. Contains 4 masks and each one can usually be used at least twice!
LM Bio-Cell Mask– When I was first introduced to this mask, I was told that it’s great for fine lines and wrinkles and will make you look younger. The cynic that I am didn’t believe it so I had to experiment for myself. I used it 3 different people and only put it on half the face and couldn’t believe the results. It really did soften the imperfections that come with aging! I love this mask for a date night or any special night. But of course you can also use it just for you! Serum-saturated, marine collagen mask incorporates peptide technology in an advanced microencapsulation delivery system for unparalleled results. Features 2 potent peptides, freeze-dried marine collagen, powerful antioxidants, Vitamin C (MAP), and 8 botanical extracts to hydrate, brighten, and improve the appearance of sagging facial contours.
Contains 4 masks and each one can usually be used at least twice!
LM TGF Eye Firming Mask– Sometimes our eyes just need a lift and these eye masks will do that for you. This cooling eye mask dramatically minimizes the appearance of expression lines, dark circles, and puffiness around the eyes. Features 3 potent peptides, red and green algae extracts, and hyaluronic acid in a sophisticated micro-delivery system to smooth, brighten, and firm the eye areas while stimulating collagen synthesis. And guess what? You can use these around your mouth too!
Contains 4 eye masks.
For the second week of product talk, I am going to discuss Serums.
Every product you apply to your skin is important but I think serums do most of the work. Serums are more advanced formulations with smaller molecules that are able to penetrate the skin deeper. Serums treat the skin in a more specific way to address your skin needs.
There are many out there and they all do different things. I do believe that some are better than others. If you’re looking for effectiveness, professional is always the way to go. I say this with every product but since you want serums to make a change for your skin, this is the most important investment. In my opinion. I did some research and I was shocked to see how expensive some serums are at Nordstrom. If you’re going to pay that much, it might as well be products that will actually have enough active ingredients to make a difference.
Some people aren’t sure when to start using a serum. I think everyone at age 18 should be using vitamin c. After that, it depends on your skin and its needs. At age 30 you start losing about 1% of collagen a year so then I start my clients on an additional serum. Sometimes people need something extra earlier. Everyone is different. I don’t agree that a 25 year old should be using what a 40 year old person is using. It’s almost wasteful. There is such a thing as preventing but I think we are starting to get carried away. Botox and fillers are being injected in people at a much younger age than necessary. Please listen to my podcast (Pure Skin Talk) about how I feel about those. I’ve had too many young clients come to me using some random product that someone at Nordstrom told her she should use. Most of the time, it wasn’t needed.
I’ve had people ask me about whether they should change up their routine every once in awhile. Yes, you can but you don’t have to. Just as your body never gets used to healthy food, your skin doesn’t get used to healthy products.
Not all serums are for all skin types. Most of the ones I retail are but if you don’t consult with me, make sure it’s compatible.
I basically carry two professional lines, Skin Script and Le Mieux. While I love both, I favor some products in each. I am obsessed with Le Mieux serums. They are incredibly inexpensive for their benefits (but don’t tell them because I don’t want them to raise the prices!).
Ageless Skin Hyaluronic Serum- This is actually a good serum and for it’s price at only $30, it’s definitely worth it. It will hydrate your skin. I sell this one for those that want something beneficial but not a lot of money. It’s like the intro Hyaluronic serum.
Reduces Visible Wrinkles
Plumps the Skin
Assists in Healing and Rejuvenating
SS Beta-Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum- With aloe and olive. A mild exfoliation serum for sensitive skin. Beta carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A; papain is an enzyme derived from papayas. I like this one because it can be used on pregnant or lactating women. They are so limited during this time and this is a good serum to exfoliate and brighten the skin.
Improves Skin Barrier Integrity by Balancing Surface Lipids
Exfoliates to Reduce Visible Wrinkles
So before I get started on all the Le Mieux serums, I want to talk about Hyaluronic Acid. This is a hugely popular ingredient right now and it should be. It’s one of the best you can use on your skin and since we make it naturally (although it slows down in our late teens), everyone can use it.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it draws moisture from its surroundings. It can hold 10x times its weight in water. This ingredient can replenish a lot of moisture. As we get older our skin loses the ability to retain water and that’s where hyaluronic acid helps. Hydration makes our skin plump and that makes us look younger.
All of LM serums that I retail, except for one, uses hyaluronic acid as its base. So whatever issue you’re treating, hydration will always be addressed.
LM Hyaluronic Acid Serum- I just explained what this will do for you. It’s great for those with dry and dehydrated skin. I often recommend this as an extra serum when clients are feeling particularly dry.
LM Vita-C Serum- My #1 seller! Like I said before, everyone 18 and over should use it so this is the first serum I start my clients on. If you want to see a difference, start wearing it. Fight prematurely aging skin with this concentrated serum from the most stable, pure quality and maximum strength Vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate). Stimulates collagen production to illuminate a dull complexion, brightens the skin and delays the loss of healthy skin tone. All skin types can wear this one especially those with acne. Helps in healing scars.
LM TGF-Β Booster- My 2nd best seller! This is always the second serum I recommend to clients and usually starting at about 30. Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a luminous, healthy, youthful glow. The anti-aging serum.
LM Rx Complex Serum- I love this serum for men! It’s kind of all in one. Great for hydrating, also has vitamin c and it helps with fine lines and wrinkles. Men generally aren’t interested in applying a bunch of different serums. Although I prefer to separate and use multiple serums because it’s more effective, this one gets the job done. My male clients love it!
LM Derma Relief- Oh my gosh. I discovered this serum a few years after I got started with LM products. I don’t know why it took me so lone because it’s actually perfect for my skin. This makes my skin feel silky. This lipid replacement serum provides instant relief for very dry, stressed skin. Features powerful ceramides, a superior form of Vitamin E, and 13 exotic oils including argan oil and kukui nut oil to soothe skin, minimize inflammation, and restore suppleness and resiliency. Helps repair skin damage caused by environmental aggressors. I use this year round but some clients only use in the winter.
LM Collagen Peptide Serum- This serum is more pricey than the others which is why I don’t think I talk about it much. I’m always concerned about price for my clients. But here’s the thing, I love it. I use this serum every night. It’s a little creamier than the others and it feels great on my skin. This concentrated, creamy serum features 4 peptides and marine algae extracts to dramatically lift and tighten sagging facial contours while smoothing out expression lines and wrinkles. Nourishing ceramides help hydrate, extend moisture, and restore skin resiliency.
LM Retinol Serum- This is also a pricier serum but you only use it once or twice a week so it lasts as long as the others. What can I say about retinol that you don’t already know? It’s a great anti-aging ingredient. This 0.5% retinol concentrated serum resurfaces skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brighten dull skin, fade sun-induced age spots, and improve rough texture. The peptide-infused formula and revolutionary Tri-Cosmetic Delivery System help boost collagen and elastin production for a fresh, glowing, and age-defying complexion.
So here are the serums I use daily…Vita-C and Derma Relief in the morning. TGF Booster and Collagen Peptide at night. I can only use the Retinol serum once a week so on that night, I skip my other two night serums.
Listen, I’m trying to do everything I can to hold off botox, fillers, lifts and plastic surgery. I’m not even sure I would get them anyway but I need my skin to look good. It’s my business but it’s also my face! I want it to look good!
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.
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. Your skin needs 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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
Chemical Peels are very popular and when done right, can give you some amazing results. It’s the least invasive procedure to correcting skin issues. And the best part? No downtime. Some clients may experience minimal flaking but if home care products are being used properly, then you will be okay to face the public. 🙂
Great for those with one (or more) of the following problems…
Acne scars and post-breakout marks
Large pores (help the appearance of)
Skin in need of smoothing
A chemical peel is applied to the skin to remove and exfoliate the outer layers so that a clearer and more glowing skin can appear. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled and the peels are conducive in the stimulation of fibroblasts and creating new collagen.
Each peel series is fully customized for each client. Skin is really like snowflakes so it’s important to address it individually.
Home care products are key to producing great results. If you are using products at home that I recommend, then I know exactly how they work together with the peels. This is an important step, not just for the results but also for the condition of your skin during the series.
I am on the internet a lot. I check out so many different websites just looking for different things to discuss on my blog, Facebook and Instagram. I come across A LOT of DIY stuff and some of it is scary. The problem is people are posting things and other people read them and think, “well, it worked for her so it will for me!” Not always true. I don’t think I’m the absolute expert on skin but I have experience and I do a lot of research to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Please, do your own research if you are going to try some new “miracle” solution for your skin. Ask me! You could be damaging your skin…even if you don’t see the damage now. You can break down the collagen and elastin (what keeps your skin firm), causing you to age faster. (that is just one thing that could go wrong)
Or you could live by this rule…
If it sounds to be good to be true, it probably is.
I used this skin care line many years ago and it was fine. Expensive but fine. It didn’t irritate my sensitive skin and it felt hydrated. I stopped using it because of the cost. I was also in my early twenties so I wasn’t worried about wrinkles and fine lines at the time so I can’t tell you if it did anything for those.
Now, many years later, these infomercials are still going strong so I decided to do some research and see what other people think and see if I could find out if Cindy Crawford really uses this line. Before digging up any dirt, I assumed she either uses the “good” stuff (meaning the products with the key ingredients heavily increased) or she doesn’t use it all. I found a lot but I will keep my review short.
1. Most reviews of this line were negative. Highly negative. People wrote some nasty, unpleasant things. I have found that most will not take the time to do that unless they are mad. These women sounded mad! They talked about rashes, irritated skin, no results, problems with canceling membership, how expensive the products were and that they didn’t believe Cindy Crawford used the products.
2. On the infomercials (and website) they talk about this French “melon” that is the key ingredient to the line. Well, this ingredient is pretty far down on the list, which means it can’t be very effective. And, trying to find more information about this wonder melon was not easy. Makes me think that they just picked a fruit and decided that was what they would tell people was special.
3. These are considered over-the-counter (OTC) products and that means they will not have the effective ingredients as the active ingredients. Marketing and packaging is where the money is spent so you get less of the important stuff needed to treat and fix the skin. You will never convince me that you have to spend a fortune to have good skin. Using the right products for YOUR skin with the right ingredients is all you need.
4. Cindy may not use these products. Or, if she does, it isn’t all she does. She said, “Im not going to lie to myself. Past a certain age, creams work on the texture of your skin but, in order to restore elasticity, all I can really count on is vitamin injections, Botox and collagen… I have a very simple, healthy life, which works miracles. I drink a lot of water, watch what I eat and exercise. But I owe the quality of my skin to my cosmetic surgeon.” Disappointing Cindy.