Masks!

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.

Great for the face, neck, chest, hands and feet!

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.

Travel Size

 

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.

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Serums- The Skin Care Product You Should be Using!

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.

Benefits:

Improves Hydration
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.

Benefits:

  1. Improves Skin Barrier Integrity by Balancing Surface Lipids
  2. Exfoliates to Reduce Visible Wrinkles
  3. Anti-Inflammatory

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.

This serum is a little more expensive but you only use it about twice a week so lasts longer!

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!

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Do You Have Dry, Winter Skin

I’m getting so many questions about how to fight dry, winter skin. I even got a call from my sister the other night and she lives in Utah. It just seems to be super dry this season so I wanted to give you all some suggestions to help your skin.

Exfoliate– Sometimes when our skin is dry or even sensitive (which is often caused by dryness), we skip exfoliation. This is important because it helps slough off the dead skin and allows your products to penetrate deeper and more efficiently therefore properly hydrating the skin. I gave myself a chemical peel on Monday night and unfortunately the next day it was windy and very dry. That meant my skin was very dry and it even got flaky. So last night I took my sponge and gently exfoliated. My skin feels and looks so much better today.

Konjac Sponge for dry skin. Click on picture to see all sponges.

 

Moisturizer– While I don’t think this is a life changing product, it is important and which one we choose does matter. As the seasons change, sometimes we have to change our moisturizer. We often need something a little heavier in the winter to really protect our skin. I have a couple of favorites and I will post them on my blog. The one I use now feels amazing on my skin and gives me a glow even when I’m feeling dry. I’m a little obsessed with it and love putting it on everyday. The other thing to know about moisturizers is that you can’t rely on them to hydrate your skin. Serums will do that or even the grapeseed oil I recommend.

My current obsession!

Grapeseed Oil– Use it every night. And if you want, you can also use it during the day as long as you are wearing sunscreen. Just apply a very small amount after serums and before moisturizer.

You might also have to change up your skin care routine. What you use and how often you use each product. Skin has different needs in the summer than it does in the winter. Adding a different serum can make a difference too. One that is just for making the skin feel better.

 

Chapped Lips– While licking your lips may feel good, it is only a temporary solution and may actually make them more chapped. The more you lick, the drier they get because the saliva attracts moisture from deep within the skin and then evaporates into dry air. Another thing to consider is that saliva has digestive enzymes and those can breakdown the skin. Use a lip balm because lip balm heals and chapstick protects.

Chapped Hands– If you find your hands are constantly in water then wear gloves. If you live in an environment that warrants wearing real gloves, wear them as often as possible. This will save your hands from the weather. You can also exfoliate your hands. Like your face, dead skin builds up and doesn’t allow product to penetrate. A nice hand treatment would be a hydrating mask  and then apply some grapeseed oil on it and put on gloves or socks. Whatever works that is cotton. This is will force the oil deeper into your skin. You can do this overnight if you want. In fact, you can use the hydrating mask with gloves or socks and keep that on overnight. Both will work great and will also work for the feet!

Great for exfoliating the hands and feet!
Great for the face, neck, chest, hands and feet!

Humidifier– Perfect to leave on at night so your skin stays hydrated. Even more needed if you have a heater on at night. When there is no moisture, the air will take it from within your skin, dehydrating you more. Bonus- this creates less static electricity!

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating. When you apply your products, you should be applying them to damp skin (not dripping wet). Right after your toner, apply your serums and follow up with your moisturizer and sunscreen. When your skin is damp, it allows your moisturizer to lock in that hydration. Super important to not feeling dry. Your moisturizer and sunscreen will also go on smoother.

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Hyaluronic Acid- My Favorite Ingredient!

This is an amazing ingredient that we naturally produce in our skin so when we use it, our skin doesn’t see it as foreign and easily accepts it and everyone can benefit from it. The fact that it plumps and softens the skin is why all the  skin care and cosmetic companies are putting it in all their products. It’s also a key component in several injectable wrinkle fillers.

When you apply it to the skin, like in a serum or moisturizer, it helps to bind moisture to the skin as well as pull moisture from the air and is said to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

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I’d love to say that this will eliminate fine lines and wrinkles but this blog (and what I do) is about honesty. What it can do for you when applied topically is form a barrier on the skin and give a soft moisturizing effect that makes skin smoother. That’s good enough for me!

I had a 1st time client the other day tell me that she started using a hyaluronic acid serum because her friend recommended it but she wasn’t sure why it was beneficial. I told her what it was doing for her and she said that had noticed her skin was more supple and that she had actually been getting compliments about the appearance of it. She is a woman in her 60’s and has been using it for about a month and already noticed a difference.

I started using Skin Script earlier this year and hyaluronic acid is in 2 of the products I use. Shortly after, I added 3 Le Mieux serums to my routine, 1 of them being just hyaluronic (featured above). My skin has completely changed. I have always suffered with really dry skin and every time I waxed, my face showed it for days. Now, even in the winter, no one knows. I don’t have that tight, dry feeling anymore.

Bottom line…I love it and everyone one should be using it! Dry, oily, acneic, in your 20’s, in your 60’s, it doesn’t matter.

For more information or to purchase:

www.PSBLounge.com

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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Why do Estheticians Use Steam?

Contrary to what some may believe, the steam does not open your pores. Pores are not windows, they do not open and close. What the steam does do is soften the hardened oil in the pore. The trick though, and this is the most important part, is to lock in the moisture the steam has created. If you don’t, once the steam is turned off, the oil dries up and you are back where you started.

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I always apply Hyaluronic Acid Serum and a moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and soft. This is great for the skin but will also make the extractions easier. My clients do not leave red or irritated.

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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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What YOU Do Makes a Difference!

I talk about Le Mieux serums all the time. On Facebook, my blog and especially in my treatment room with my clients. I think they are amazing, super effective and inexpensive. (You do not have to spend a fortune to have good skin!)

Here is a picture of the results of using 3 different serums and grape seed oil (I do think the oil had an effect on the skin tone and texture).

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Rosacea

What is Rosacea? A very common skin disease that affects people over the age of 30. It causes redness on your nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. Some people get little bumps and pimples on the red parts of their faces. Rosacea can also cause burning and soreness in your eyes.

What Causes Rosacea? Experts don’t know what causes this yet. They do know that something is irritating the skin but they know it isn’t an infection caused by bacteria. Usually those with fair skin or who blush easily are prone and it seems to run in families.

Symptoms? Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. Small visible blood vessels on the face. Bumps or pimples on the face. Watery or irritated eyes.

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There is no cure for Rosacea but some food and beverages can trigger the symptoms (alcohol and spicy foods are common) as well as anything that normally causes your skin to get red, like working out. It’s up to you to figure out what causes your flare-ups. Ignoring this condition can possibly make it worse, researchers have found.

What to Use: All products should be calming and gentle for the skin. Hydration is very important! This is what I recommend as far as Skin Script and Le Mieux products go…

Pomegranate Cream Cleanser or Green Tea Cleanser, Iso-Cell Solution, Hyaluronic Acid Serum (Le Mieux), Derma Relief Serum (Le Mieux), Vita-C Serum, Moisturizer (maybe the Canteen Balancing Moisturizer but there are other options), SPF. Not all of these need to be used so book a consultation with me so we can decided what is best for you.

Vitamin C can definitely help this skin condition but, unfortunately, it cannot fix it.

I can do a great facial for Rosacea clients using calming ingredients. If you have a more serious case or are looking to do something a little more intense, photo-facials can be great.

In more severe cases, medicine or antibiotics might be necessary. Make an appointment with your doctor (Dermatologist) and see if you are a candidate.

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Let’s Talk About Lips, Ba-by

I got this article from a fellow Esthetician that she had posted from the International Dermal Institute. I don’t talk about the lips much  so I thought this was interesting. It was written by Emma Hobson.

We often tend to neglect our lips when it comes to facial skin care, except of course for the occasional collagen injection for some. And yet our mouth and lips are so vitally important for an array of reasons, including the ability to make various facial expressions, speaking, and let’s not forget kissing!

Lips and the Aging Process
Without proper care, lips can age faster than other areas of our skin. Think of your lips as a sponge. “When exposed to moisture, they absorb water and plump up. When dehydrated, they dry out and shrink,” explains Bruce Bart, M.D., a dermatologist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Because our lips are always exposed, they’re prone to dehydration, particularly during the cold, dry, winter months.

A major culprit of premature aging around the mouth is smoking. Besides the damage caused by the toxins in the smoke itself, smokers are more likely to develop lines around the mouth because of the repeated use of the perioral muscles to hold the cigarette. Smoking increases the hits of aging free radicals by about a million per inhalation. Generally, heavy smokers age 10 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts.

If that’s not enough, smoking decreases the secretion of oestrogen from the ovaries, and it also is thought to make the liver destroy oestrogen supplies (nicotine activates enzymes in the liver that metabolize sex hormones, speeding up the rate at which they are removed from the body), causing possible, early onset of menopause.

Our lips need more moisture and conditioning as we age. The cumulative damage to the lips and the skin resulting from years of overexposure to the sun, cold air and harsh weather pay their toll. The negative effects of the environment frequently result in the drying, chapping, and cracking of the mouth, and there’s increased risk of inflammation, infection and burning sensations. Greater care of your lips can reverse the signs of aging and trauma.

Is it Possible to Reduce the Effects of Environmental Damage and Aging on the Lips?
Using a lip care product with effective moisturizers and sunscreen (SPF 15+) can help reduce the effects of two of the main contributors to an aged appearance: sun damage and moisture loss. Since the lips have little or no melanin, they have little or no protection from the damaging effects of UV rays, which is why the lips can prematurely age as well as contract skin cancer.

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Can you Exfoliate the Lips?

Yes, but be gentle and use mild exfoliants such as Rice Bran Powder. Never over-exfoliate – once per week max. Dr. Monte Meltzer, Chief of Dermatology at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore states “Some lip products contain salicylic acid, an ingredient of unproven safety when applied to lips. Lips are not hyperkeratotic skin, when salicylic acid is applied to the lips, it can erode through the outer stratum corneum to damage living skin layers beneath.”

How do Lip Plumpers/Primers Work?
There is an array of ingredients used for lip plumping; a common one is Red Chili. They work by causing localized skin irritation, whereby the lips become irritated and swell. But keep in mind that where there is inflammation, there is potential for accelerated aging.

Ingredients to look for:

  • Vitamin E
  • Cocoa Seed Butter
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Palmitoyl Oligopeptide
  • Arginine/ Lysine Polypeptide
  • Avocado Oil
  • Rice Bran Oil
  • Wheat Germ Oil
  • Shea Butter

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Artificial fragrance
  • Isopropyl Esters (Myristate, Palmitate, Lanolate and Linoleate)
  • Myristyl Lactate
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Lanolin Wax (Lanolin Acid)
  • Red D&C Dyes
  • Petrolem Jelly
  • Baby Oil

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