Let’s Compare Skin Lightening Pads

I love Skin Script Rx Skin Care. I use it everyday on myself, I use it in my treatment room and I retail it to my clients. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t something that could be better out there so I like to do research. Below I have compared two skin lightening pads and (spoiler alert!), Skin Script came out on top.

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Philosophy Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel

Retail $69 for 12 individually pads (12 treatments)

Claims:

  • triple-acid formula dissolves dull skin, buffers the appearance of fine lines and enhances skin clarity
  • skin-brightening technology visibly reduces the appearance of dark spots and discoloration

Pros:

  • niacinamide (4th ingredient) can improve skin’s elasticity, dramatically enhance its barrier function, help erase discolorations, and revive skin’s healthy tone and texture.

Cons:

  • the 2nd ingredient is sd alcohol (closer to the top means it is a main ingredient) and that is known to be drying and a skin irritant
  • 1st lightening ingredient is listed as the 5th ingredient and the others are after
  • other irritating skin ingredients
  • the price

Glycolic-Retinol-Pads

 

Skin Script Rx Glycolic and Retinol Pads

Retail $23.00 for 50 pads

Claims:

  • 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.

Pros

  • the price
  • packaging (pads are soaked in solution so they can be cut up for spot treatments)
  • 2% glycolic
  • 4% arbutin- limits melanin production, reduces visible pigmentation through lightening actions
  • 3% kojic acid- inhibits tyrosinase and also lightens existing pigmentation naturally, comparable to Hydroquinone without the negative side effects

Cons:

  • if you have super sensitive skin, these won’t be for you; although most of these type of products won’t be healthy for you

 

Just looking at the facts, I would definitely go with Skin Script Lightening Pads. The price is significantly less and the ingredients are significantly better!

www.PSBLounge.com

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UltraSonic Spatula

Have you heard about this new tool? I’m in love! I did a lot of research on this before I decided to purchase because it sounded too good to be true. I finally gave in and thought I would try it out for myself to see what the hype was about.  Of course, my family are my guinea pigs…

Mom- She had this thing on her nose for so many years, she was convinced it was just part of her nose. After just one session with the spatula, the “thing” started erupting (for lack of a better word). Since then, I have used it one more time and it is almost gone!

Dad- He has very dry skin and is constantly scratching his back. He uses walls and posts like a cat and it was always a family joke. One back facial with the spatula and he is itch-free. It has been 4 days and still nothing. He can’t believe it!

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Sister- Her skin is pretty clear but we decided to try it to see what would happen. The next day, I asked her what she thought and she realized that she wasn’t wearing any concealer (she always wears makeup) because she didn’t need it. She said her skin looked much more even!

UltraSonic Spatula

Push out impurities and clear away excess oil with the sonic vibration of the Skin Spatula. As the skin cells vibrate, the tissue and pores become softened, extracting environmental toxins, oil and makeup. On the flip side, the spatula aids in the absorption of water or gel-based skin products with the same sonic push, giving you double action in one tool. The energy of the ultrasonic waves brightens and evens skin tone while providing long lasting results and radiant skin, all for just minutes a day.

• Vibrating ultrasonic waves exfoliate dead skin & extract dirt and oil from clogged pores

• Hydrates new cells

• Spatula shaped tip can be used to penetrate serums & gels for better efficacy

This spatula is used with EVERY* facial!

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*excluding express and teen facials

A Path to Healthy Skin

A variety of treatments and products are used to protect skin from   environmental hazards and combat fine lines, wrinkles, and a dull, uneven skin tone. Estheticians are also skilled in managing conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and dry skin, to name just a few. Through specialized therapies and remedies, I can help ease the burdens such conditions can cause. Furthermore, skin care treatments are wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. If smooth, healthy skin is your goal, I can help you achieve them.

What is a Facial?

A facial gives you clear, well-hydrated, and youthful skin. Basically, it cleans, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, and specially focuses on addressing a specific or various needs of your skin, like rejuvenation and replenishment of the skin’s lost nutrients, using different skin care products and professional techniques in skin care. When done regularly, a facial actually boosts the effectiveness of your skin care regimen so you are better able to achieve your skin care goal, and helps to maintain your ideal skin condition in a major way. 

Who Can Benefit From a Facial?

No matter how sensitive or hard to treat your skin is (or what age), you can still benefit from a facial because any facial can be suited to fit your individual skin care needs. If you have sensitive skin, only gentle cleansing and moisturizing products will be used. If your goal is to clear up your acne, I will guide you toward a facial that will  help you achieve that goal. Be sure to communicate clearly with me exactly what you want to get out of your facial, so that I can do my best to accommodate you.   

What Can I Expect During My Facial?

Cleansing, skin analysis, exfoliation, massage, extraction of blackheads and other impurities, and application of products targeted to your skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive, mature). Some facials involve light massaging of the face and neck to aid in further relaxation and to stimulate blood and oxygen flow to the skin. Hand treatments are also included in selected facials.

What About Home Care?

When you leave my treatment room after a facial, your skin will be glowing, fresh, and hydrated. Some facials might also increase breakouts for a short period afterward, since the skin was stimulated and is now ridding itself of toxins and impurities (this is not very common but can happen). Keep in mind that the more facials you get, the less impurities your skin will contain, which means you will experience fewer breakouts as time goes on. I will give you a “prescription” for a home-care regimen that will include detailed instructions on how to use them and why you should you use them. Education is key! If you are looking for results, it is important to use the proper skin care products for your skin type, at home.

Your “prescription” sheet that tells you when and how to use the products at home.

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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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