Peels, Peels, Peels. Let’s Change Your Skin!

Updated: October 2017

I LOVE Peels! The season is here so book your series now and let’s get started!!

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure. There is little to no downtime (minimal flaking) and the results are amazing!

Benefits: Smoother, Younger Looking Skin  ~Helps with Fine Lines and Wrinkles ~Hyperpigmentation  ~Texture  ~Acne Scars  ~Large Pores (reducing the appearance)

1. You don’t have to peel with a peel.
2. Visible exfoliation (flaking) is a symptom of the treatment. Everyone is different. Some may flake in certain areas on their face, some may flake all over and some may not flake at all.
3. Cellular change takes place in the epidermis (top layer) and dermis (2nd layer), regardless of the amount of visible flaking.
4. Peels are usually done in a series for best results. One will not give you what you want.


5. I will not do a peel on a new client until we have a consultation and/or a facial. It’s important that we are on the same page as far as what you want, what you can expect and what will actually be done. Plus, I need to see and touch your skin.
6. Home care products are key to producing great results. If you are using products at home that I recommended, 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’m almost hesitant to even do a series without the client using my products. When you purchase a series and products, it is always a better price.
7. Grape Seed Oil helps tremendously with these peels!

This client has done 2 Peel Series in 5 years and is very consistent with her home care routine, using all products I have recommended.

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Read This if You Use a Clarisonic!

Updated: October 2017

I used to recommend the Clarisonic. I still think there are a lot of benefits to using a facial brush but now that I have found Konjac Sponges, I don’t find the facial brush as necessary. Exfoliating your skin is extremely important and I have often written and spoken about it. I have also said that you should not over-exfoliate because that can be damaging to the skin.

I now want to provide you with even more information on exfoliating and the Clarisonic.

1. This brush should definitely not be used every morning and night. That is way too much especially if you are using other exfoliating items in your routine like a scrub or glycolic acid.

2. Too much exfoliation can cause dryness because it allows moisture to leave the cells more easily. Leaving you more dehydrated. This brush (or any brush) should be considered when you think about your exfoliation schedule.

3. When you exfoliate your skin, we call that a form of trauma. That is a good thing…occasionally. Exfoliation causes trauma which then puts your skin in repair mode and stimulates cellular regeneration. If you over-exfoliate, you can trigger premature aging. The opposite of what everyone wants!

4. Aggressive exfoliation can cause inflammation (even if you don’t see it). Chronic and prolonged inflammation is a major cause of aging and also bad for acne.

5. The Clarisonic (or any facial brush, harsh wash cloths, facial scrubs) is considered a physical exfoliant and if your skin is extremely reactive to stimulation, it’s important to be more gentle so that you don’t cause post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation. Those who are prone to discoloration and skin of color should be extra cautious!

6. Sometimes the Clarisonic is just too much stimulation for your skin and it will cause breakouts. If this is you, don’t wait for your skin to get used to it. Stop using it! Everyone is different and it may not work for you. I am one of those people.

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My recommendation-

I will give just a general exfoliation schedule but this could be different for your skin type. Contact me for a consultation and we can discuss your specific needs

Glycolic Acid is my favorite form of chemical exfoliation to use at home. Skin Scripts Glycolic Cleanser is great. You feel a tingle but it’s effective! Use this about 2-3x a week. Pm only.

For your physical exfoliation, choose either a scrub (Skin Script Retinol Scrub is amazing!) or the Konjac Sponge (inexpensive replacement for a facial brush). The Retinol Scrub should be used about 2-3 times a week and the Konjoac Sponge can be used every other night. Pm only.

The chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid) will dissolve the dead skin and the physical exfoliant (sponge, brush or scrub) will lift off the dead skin. Different but both are necessary!

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Dry Hands from Washing Dishes?

As an Esthetician, my hands are in constant contact with ingredients like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid and more. These can be very drying to the hands but after about a year of trying to fight it, I finally figured out how to treat them daily to stop the flaking. Grape Seed Oil. I recommend it for the face (at night) and I use it all over my body so why shouldn’t I use it to deeply hydrate my hands? I love it and my hands have never been softer.

So imagine my surprise when I did dishes the other night (it took about 20 minutes) and my hands got extremely dry (immediately after) and then started flaking that night. How can 20 minutes of doing dishes cause that much dryness to my hands? I appreciate that the dish soap was strong enough to clean but doing this everyday cannot be good for the skin. People out there who are doing dishes everyday, multiple times a day, can be doing some damage and causing their hands to age quicker. And don’t forget, your hands give away your age!

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What can you do?

1. Keep a hand moisturizer (creme is even better) next to your sink and apply every single time.

2. At night, apply grape seed oil to your hands and then hand moisturizer/creme.

3. For deeper hydration: Apply a generous amount of grape seed oil and hand creme, put on gloves (socks, whatever you have) and let them sit for about 20 minutes.

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Dermatologist for Acne?

I don’t always post from other blogs but lately I have been hearing so many people talk about their experiences with a Dermatologist for acne. This post was written so well I didn’t think it was necessary to write my own.

Updated 8-31-17  I originally posted this 3 years ago and I still hear the same things from clients. Learning HOW to take care of your skin and using the right products for YOUR skin is what is best. No matter what.

WHY I REGRET GOING TO DERMATOLOGISTS FOR ACNE

It seemed so obvious at the time. My whole family is oily and acne prone. My siblings were both on Accutane. Dermatologists are seen as the first stop for acne problems. It was covered by insurance. After the Proactiv failure, it seemed like the next logical step.

What actually happened was a series of disappointing appointments. In each five to ten minute session, after hours in the waiting room, I was asked what skin care I was using (Blackhead Eliminating Scrub, nothing else), given a few expensive prescriptions, and sent to the pharmacist. When I told them I was getting cystic acne, they didn’t believe me because it was never present at the time of the appointments. I was never asked about my diet. I was never asked about my usual sun exposure, just vaguely told that the medications could make me more sun sensitive. I never had a proper skin analysis. I was never told what my skin type was (combination dry, not oily). I wasn’t asked how often I washed my pillowcase (not enough). I wasn’t asked whether I picked (I do).

At this point, I don’t even remember all of the different expensive medications they gave me over the years. I remember Benzoyl Peroxide, Differen, Tazorac, Retin-A, Cetaphil, and some sort of liquid blotter in a bottle. I know there were more. My skin only got worse when using any of them. I saw no decrease in acne and a sharp increase in redness, peeling, and shininess. I was mocked incessantly about how shiny my face was by the other students in elementary school. They were right- my giant forehead (fivehead) reflected like a mirror and was even more prominent than usual, something I was very self conscious about. .

The shine was a combination of raw skin and product buildup. The top layer of my forehead skin had peeled off early on and never seemed to grow back. I kept using the products, constantly hearing, “It has to get worse before it gets better.” Except it never got better. It got worse and worse and worse. My horrible tendency to pick at the flaking skin did not help at all, and I now have plenty of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This wasn’t at all helped by the 30 minutes of sun exposure at prime sun hours during recess every school day and full days on weekends. I was told to “avoid excess sun exposure,” which in my 11 year old brain meant “don’t lay out in the sun” which I didn’t do anyway. They did not make it clear to me that any sun exposure on my glow in the dark complexion was both counterproductive to my acne and would make every inflammation problem I was having far worse. Eventually I stopped using all of the prescriptions and just let them sit in a drawer untouched.

Don’t get me wrong- there are plenty of cases where dermatologists have helped dramatically. There are many that I’m sure do thorough consultations, many who truly help acne and rosacea cases. Accutane was very effective treating the deep cystic acne of my siblings. I have personally told many clients to see a dermatologist for suspicious spots, at least two of which have been diagnosed as skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma). Dermatologists help with diseases and cancer. They are indispensable.

However, as a nurse practitioner puts it, “Their product toolboxes are too small.” Beautification of skin is the entirety of what an Esthetician does. Appointments are generally an hour or more. A good Esthetician will ask in depth questions about a client’s routines, lifestyle, history and issues. Skin care routines will be recommended, adjusted, perfected. Treatments are done not only to beautify the skin but to calm the mind and body. The stress cycle will be explained and discussed. Exfoliation, extractions, and hydrating masks can be done to speed up the improvement of a new skin care routine.

Lauri Shea, LE

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You Asked. I Answered.

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Updated: July 2017

Q. “The little white bumps on the scalp and forehead. You can’t pop, you can’t scratch them, they are hard little things.”

A. Without having more information and without seeing them, I will assume they are milia. This is the most common answer to this question. The good news is…they are very common and not harmful to the skin. The bad news…hard to get rid of naturally. They are formed on top of the skin and are often caused by products that are too heavy for the skin or when the product can’t penetrate (like the eye area where you have no pores). They happen when dead skin gets trapped under the skin’s surface. The best way to try to get rid of these is to exfoliate (Glycolic Cleanser and Retinol Scrub) and hydrate. I recently got one and I was very diligent with those two steps and it was gone pretty quickly. They don’t always go away though and if they bother you then going to a Dermatologist is the next step. They can use lancets to extract them. Easy and pretty painless. (in some states, lancets can be used by Estheticians. California is not one of those states)

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Q. “After I get a cold sore (below my lip, between my lip and chin), I still have a lot of redness where it was over a month later. What can I do to get rid of the redness?”

A. This is actually a tough question with not necessarily an answer. Avoid picking the cold sore is priority #1! Just like a pimple, picking at it can prolong it and cause skin irritation long after it is gone. The best solution if picking isn’t your issue, is to hydrate the area. Medications (oral or topical) will dry out the skin because that is part of the healing process. It is drying out the bacteria to kill it. Therefore adding hydration to the skin is important to counteracting the side effects. So my advice is to keep it as hydrated as possible while you have it and obviously after it is gone. Grapeseed Oil is my favorite. Natural and non-irritating.

grape-seed-oil-6ozQ. “Is retinol the most powerful ingredient for wrinkle prevention? If not, what is?”

A. Retinol isn’t necessarily for prevention. It can be used that way but most use it to soften fine lines and wrinkles. (prescription retinol, like Retin-A is much stronger and can definitely be used for prevention…with side effects though!) Exfoliation, acids (like Glycolic), vitamin-C and SPF are your best bets. Along with regular facials, of course. Getting rid of dead skin is key. Using a scrub (or my favorite, the Konjac Sponge) helps get rid of the dead skin in a physical way. A Glycolic Acid (which is proven to be the best chemical exfoliant for wrinkles) is a great addition to your routine. Vitamin-C will brighten your skin and also help with protection from the sun (hyper-pigmentation!). And, we all know that SPF is the #1 way to prevent aging. Probably not the answer you wanted if you were looking for a miracle but I have always said that there is no miracle when it comes to skin care. (Grapeseed oil is the closest!)

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Q. “I’m getting age spots on my hands!”

A. Hands are often neglected and exposed to the sun A LOT! We wash them all throughout the day and usually don’t think to apply SPF to them. I recommend that every time you apply it to your face, rub it on your hands as well. Of course, that only lasts until you wash your hands again so keep some with you at all times. There are travel size bottle that are small enough to keep in your purse (not in your car, too hot!) Another way to help is to exfoliate and hydrate your hands properly. If you use a Glycolic Acid on your face, use it on your hands too. Along with serums and grape seed oil. All these things will probably not get rid of age spots (very, very difficult to do on anything below the face) but they will help prevent.

My favorite!
My favorite!

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Should I Shave my Face?

Updated: July 2017
I get this question a lot! Men have always been known for aging gracefully (and they don’t even appreciate it). Their secret? Shaving. Here are some myths and facts regarding shaving your face. You might find that you will want to do it…
 
Myth: Shaving your face makes your hair grow back darker and thicker. Just as with the rest of your body, hairs on your face will not grow back darker, thicker, or more numerous if you shave them. 
Fact: Shaving coarse hair will create stubble. If you have a few coarser hairs sprinkled among the peach fuzz, pluck or wax them first to avoid any chance of (horrors) facial stubble. Female face shaving is a skin treatment, not a hair removal method.
Myth: Shaving roughens the skin. If you’re like most women, you’ll find your legs feel smoother than parts of your body that you don’t shave. Smooth, fine-textured skin is just a side effect for legs, but for your face, it’s a prime benefit of shaving.
Fact: Men look so young for their age in part because they shave their faces. Exfoliation speeds up skin cell turnover and reveals chubby young skin cells underneath the old gray ones. Women exfoliate with scrubs or cloths and men shave. As far as skin is concerned, it’s all exfoliation; skin doesn’t care if it’s taboo to shave.
Myth: Shaving gives you ingrown hairs. Fine hairs don’t have the tensile strength to grow into skin like coarser hair on the legs and at the bikini line, so shaving can’t cause ingrown facial hair. This is another reason to remove coarse hairs before shaving.
Fact: Makeup goes on more smoothly with a shaved face. If you want immaculate foundation coverage, shave your skin smooth. While female face shaving improves skin texture, taking off any fine hair down near your jawline is a nice fringe benefit. Powder that used to cling to facial fuzz now lies flat and smooth on your skin.
 
If you’re convinced, here’s a quick rundown on how to shave your face. If it makes you feel better, call it “razor exfoliation.”
  • Wash your face before shaving and let it dry thoroughly.
  • Use a special razor and throw away after 5 uses. You don’t want to use a dull blade.
  • Remove any coarse hair with tweezers (a good pair of tweezers is important).
  • Shave in the opposite direction of hair growth at a 45 degree angle using short, upward strokes.
  • Avoid acne, blemishes or any skin irritation.
  • Shaving is a form of exfoliation. Skip other forms of exfoliation a few days before and after.
  • Clean the blade with rubbing alcohol when finished.


Always use a razor dedicated to face shaving alone. Hair elsewhere is too coarse, and using the same razor everywhere leads to shaving cuts. Take care around your hairline and eyebrows. You want people to notice your glow, not your half an eyebrow.  As long as you remove coarse hairs first, you can shave as often as you like (about every 3 weeks). It’s one of the kindest and least irritating skin treatments.

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The Enemy: Blackheads

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

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

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

Recommended Products

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

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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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Should I Get a Chemical Peel?

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. 🙂

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Great for those with one (or more) of the following problems…

Acne
Acne scars and post-breakout marks
Sun damage
Fine lines
Wrinkles
Large pores (help the appearance of)
Freckles
Age spots
Skin in need of smoothing
Anti-aging

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.

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