All Roads Lead to Hydration

Updated: October 2017

When I went to Empire Academy of Makeup (best school ever!) many, many years ago, the first thing we learned was that if our skin didn’t look good then our makeup wouldn’t look good. In fact, the first course concentrated on skin so much that I fell in love with it and that is how I got started with skin care.
I’ve learned a lot along the way and things have definitely changed but one thing that always remains consistent is: your skin needs hydration and most people are dehydrated.

If you have dry skin, you most likely need oil and water in your skin. When you wear makeup, powders can age you and accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. And, of course, make you drier.

If you have oily skin, you have too much oil and not enough water. When you wear makeup, it feels like you need to re-apply often and you may be flaky in some areas.

Both of these issues can get better by properly hydrating your skin. A Hyaluronic Acid Serum is the best way to do this. It binds moisture to your skin and draws moisture in.

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All Le Mieux serums are Hyaluronic Acid based. That’s why they are my favorite!

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I Love Vitamin C!

Are you using vitamin C on your skin? It really can do wonders and make a big difference. I think it’s important to use a Vitamin C serum daily but I have developed a new facial that is all about infusing it into your skin.

One of the most powerful functions of Vitamin C is it’s role in the production of collagen. As you age, collagen breaks down and wrinkles begin to form. Stabilizing your skin’s levels of Vitamin C can help to counteract wrinkle formation by increasing collagen production.

Age spots are essentially sun damage, and Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, shown to reduce the number of sunburned cells as well as reverse age-related damage to the skin. It does not replace sunscreen, but protects Vitamin C protects against and may repair UV damage, like discoloration and fine lines.

 

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Your Personal Skin Care Prescription

Are you frustrated with your skin? Do you want to try something but afraid to spend the money and not get the results? Once consultation is purchased, you will be emailed a form to fill out so that I can learn more about you and your skin and properly give you the best products for your skin. This is easiest way to get skin care products that are for YOU. And it doesn’t end after I mail you the products. I will help you with questions after you receive the products.

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What You Will Get:
– FULL regimen of samples that is customized for your skin
– Prescription sheet that tells you exactly when and how to use the products.
– 10% off your first order

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The Truth About Anti-Aging Products

Updated: July 2017

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.

Peptides

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.

Retinols

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.

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Antioxidants

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.

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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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I’ve Heard It, But Is It True?

Update: July 2017

1. Doing facial exercises will not tone your face and make you appear younger. They will, in fact, contribute to wrinkles.

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2. There is no evidence that Vitamin E actually does anything to help with scarring. It is an antioxidant and will help build skin.

3. Pores do not open and close. They are not windows.

4. Drying out problem, oily or acneic skin is not the answer. It is important to use products that will balance out the skin. Grapeseed Oil is my favorite for hydrating the skin. It’s great for all skin types and will help balance out the skin in a natural way.

5. Skin damage and aging cannot be fixed quickly. This takes time and finding what works for you may take even more time. If you get it right the first time, then you can expect results in about 3 months.

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Botox. Is it Aging You?

As an Esthetician I am often asked about Botox and Dermal Fillers (Restylane, Juvederm) and whether or not people should get them. I always say that I think women should do whatever makes them feel better about themselves as long as it isn’t harmful and done with caution. I personally have not done either and don’t have plans to in the future. That certainly doesn’t mean I won’t though. Never say never!

Since so many were asking me about these injections, I thought I should read about them and really find out the good and the bad. Nothing is for free, folks. There are definitely some negative side effects to all of these injections but if you are careful and smart about how you get them, you may avoid the pitfalls.

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BOTOX

We all know it freezes the muscle and takes away those pesky fine lines and wrinkles. This is fantastic for shaving a few years off!

The Negatives-

  • You don’t know how you will react the first time so you could get a lot of bruising, sensitivity and puffiness.
  • If not done correctly or too much injected, the face could change shape or the eyes could look lop-sided (I call it wonky-eye).
  • When you are over 40 and have zero wrinkles, it just doesn’t look natural. The rest of you is still aging (your neck, your hands…).
  • If you start with Botox at an early age (before wrinkles, maybe after fine lines), you are going to weaken the muscle and that will make you look older! When the muscle is paralyzed it causes the skin to lose its fullness. And remember, youthful skin is also plump. 

Now, you could get fillers to offset the Botox. Just be careful. Less is more.

The Negatives to Fillers-

  • These can alter your appearance. You have seen this in celebrities…Courtney Cox, Lindsay Lohan, etc.
  • Just like Botox, your skin can react poorly. The actual filler is safe though. Hyaluronic Acid is made naturally in our bodies.

 

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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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Are You Taking Care of Your Chest?

I have a lot of older clients that always ask me about their chest. They are concerned about sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles. Once the damage is done, it is much more difficult to treat the skin…but not impossible. Start caring for your skin now! The younger you are, the more you can do to prevent the damage. Below I have listed options for preventing and correcting this often neglected area.

1. Exfoliation. Just like your face, you body needs to be exfoliated to get rid of the dry skin so that products can properly penetrate and do the job correctly. Dead skin is an unwanted barrier. Unlike your face, you can exfoliate this area more often. I recommend using a Konjac Body Sponge every other day and a Glycolic Cleanser about 2-3x a week.

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2. Treat the Skin. If you are using serums on your face, then apply them on your neck and chest too. Immediately after a shower.

3. Grapeseed Oil. This is great from head to toe. I personally use it all over my body and my skin is super soft. Even better, this is a great product for aging. Grapeseed Oil should be used at night after you get out of the shower.

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4. SPF. Always, always, always wear sunscreen. This is true for your face and body. Don’t just extend it from your face, hoping it is enough for your neck and chest. Use enough that you are fully covered.

Hydration is the key to making fine lines and wrinkles look less obvious. The drier your skin is (anywhere on the body), the more you will see what you don’t want to show the world.

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The Eyes- How to Treat Them Well

Let’s talk about the eyes today. I’ve mentioned all of this before but this is such an important area and it seems to cause the most confusion.

FACTS:
1. The eyes have no pores. They stop at the orbital bone around the eye.

2. The skin is 10x thinner than the rest of your face.

3. Most abused/ages the quickest

4. Under-eye puffiness is mostly genetic. Salt, allergies and abuse can make it worse.

5. Dark circles can also be genetic. Lack of sleep, dehydration, aging and nose jobs can make them worse.

6. There is no miracle product.

SOLUTIONS:
1. Do not apply product past your orbital bone. There is no reason to because the product will not be able to penetrate. You will only get milia (small, whitish bumps) and greasy eyelids.

2. Do not apply moisturizer in this area (past the bone). Yes, I am repeating myself! Eye creams are great and serve their purpose but I also think that serums can do the same. I stopped wearing an eye cream about 1 1/2 years ago and I have not noticed a difference. The serums I use will do the same things and since I am applying them to the same area (stopping at the bone), why do I need another product? Now, if you want to firm up the area during the day, then an eye cream can do that for you.

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Le Mieux Eye Wrinkle Corrector

 

3. Be gentle. Use eye makeup remover at night (Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover is my favorite and the only OTC product I recommend!). It removes even waterproof mascara…which should only really be used on special occasions. Avoid pulling and tugging at your eyes. This includes when you are applying your makeup. Every little matters.

4. You can’t avoid allergies and genetics, I get it. Salty foods and abuse, you can. If this is a big issue for you, try eliminating these and see what happens. If this is NOT a chronic problem, try cold cucumbers (or really anything cold will work) on your eyes when you wake up, for 20 minutes.

5. Sorry about the genetics again. Get more sleep! As far as dehydration goes, this isn’t about drinking more water (although that is always a good thing), it is more about what you do topically. Does your serum have hyaluronic acid in it? That will help with hydration. And, of course, my favorite go-to product…Grapeseed Oil.
As you age, the skin naturally starts to thin and that is why darkness gets darker. Treating this area more carefully can help.
Nose jobs causes severe bruising under the eyes and releases the formation of iron which can give a rust-colored stain under the eye.

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Le Mieux Vita-C Serum
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Le Mieux TGF-B Serum

6. Are you exfoliating your eye area? I use my Skin Script Glycolic Cleanser about twice a week on my eye area (be super careful!) and also my new Konjac Sponge (also about twice a week). Even though you don’t have pores, exfoliating will help lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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Skin Script Glycolic Cleanser
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Konjac Facial Sponge

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