Do you have rough, bumpy (usually red) skin on the back of your arms? This is called Keratosis Pilaris or chicken skin. It is very common and harmless but annoying. They are caused by dead skin blocking the hair follicles.
Does it seem like you always get a blemish in the same spot? There is a reason for this…
The pore may be damaged so it keeps getting re-infected. This is especially common for those who pick. (hint, hint) Picking blemishes loosens the lining of the cell and that causes the clogged oil to go deeper into the skin and that creates an inflammatory reaction.
If you use a drying spot treatment (toothpaste and most over-the-counter spot treatments) this will only dry out the surface infection of the skin. The bacteria is still lurking underneath and will eventually come to the surface again.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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.
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!)
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.
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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.
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.
Please skip the DIY remedies that are found online. Most of them do not work and can also cause permanent damage.
I’ve been telling women about their hands for years! Whatever you do to your face, you should do to your neck, chest and hands. Here are some simple tips to help keep your hands young.
1. Always, always wear sunscreen. At least SPF #15 but I recommend #30.
2. Exfoliate your hands every few days. Just like your face, getting rid of the dead will skin will allow the beneficial products to penetrate and make a difference. I use a Glycolic Cleanser for my face so on the nights I use it, I also will wash my neck, chest and hands (top of hands!). Glycolic Acid helps with aging (brown spots).
3. Keep your hands hydrated. Lotion helps but doesn’t necessarily hydrate the skin. Grapeseed Oil will, so put that on every night. You can put lotion on over it if you want.
Treat the Hands
About once a week, give your hands some extra TLC.
1. Exfoliate using a Glycolic Cleanser (hopefully you will get one if you don’t already have one) and a Konjac Sponge.
2. After cleansing, apply Grapeseed Oil and massage in generously.
3. Apply a hand creme (not lotion- creme is thicker)
4. Apply Vaseline (optional) to lock in everything. Vaseline is occlusive, which means that it helps seal in the products.
5. Put on gloves or socks or something similar to protect your hands. Relax and leave on for about 20 minutes.
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If you’re prone to hyperpigmentation (age spots, sun spots, brown spots, etc), then you probably notice that they become more visible during the summer. It’s definitely a challenge to prevent and/or fade these spots, there are ways to help keep your skin more evenly toned.
- EXFOLIATE– It’s always important to exfoliate your skin but even more so when dealing with skin discoloration. Using ingredients like glycolic acid and retinol will help break apart these pigmented cells and lessen their appearance. Of course, you don’t want to exfoliate too much because in the summer the melanin is already so active, you don’t want to do anything to trigger more melanin. Recommended Products: Glycolic Cleanser, Glycolic/Retinol Pads, Retinol Scrub, Beta-Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum (safe for pregnant/lactating women)
- SUNSCREEN– Wear sunscreen everyday, apply generously and often. The #1 cause of premature aging is UV light and exposing it to the sun will bring out those unwanted spots. Your sunscreen should be SPF 30 (a higher number does not necessarily give you more protection but it does have more chemicals) and it’s important to apply enough to cover the skin. The biggest problem with SPF is not the number but the amount used and how often applied. If you’re in the sun, I recommend applying at least every 2 hours (more if you go in the water). Recommend Product: Sheer Protection SPF 30 (my favorite sunscreen ever!)
- WEAR A HAT– Covering your face and not exposing it directly to the sun is the best idea but you have to be careful because if wear one that is tight on the forehead, it can cause increased discoloration (especially if you’re prone to getting it there) due to the heat.
- BEWARE of the HEAT and SUN-The newest research has show that it isn’t just the UV light but the actual heat that can do damage to our skin.The heat stimulates the melanin. Even if you do everything to protect your skin, you may still get the discoloration so this means that limiting your exposure to the sun and the heat can be equally important.
- VITAMIN C– Using a natural skin lightener like vitamin C (specifically magnesium ascorbic phosphate, a form of vitamin C) helps to suppress melanin cells to fade and prevent discoloration.Vitamin C can also help boost your SPF! Recommended Products: Vita-C Serum (Best-selling serum!)
- MONTHLY FACIALS– Be Proactive, Not Reactive. I have said this for years and it’s still true. There are many things that I can do in the treatment room to help your skin during the summer months, like fill it with lots of antioxidants. It’s easy to get sidetracked and not come in for facials and just wait for the fall, but since preventing is easier than correcting, don’t skin the summer! Recommended Facials: Summer Glow Facial or Customized Facial
If you have any questions or would like personal help with your skin, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Book an Appointment Online.
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.
1. The eyes have no pores. They stop at the orbital bone around the eye.
2. The skin is 7x 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.
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.
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 thing 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. 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.
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.