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.

retinol-serum

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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Exfoliating Products

What is exfoliation? It is the removal of surface dry skin cells. How do you know if you need to do it? Everyone needs to but it then becomes a question of how often and what should be used. This will all be discussed. And I want to be clear that my recommendations are in general terms since everyone really is different.

Why should you exfoliate? It’s considered a very important technique to achieving healthy and glowing skin. Sometimes when I perform a facial, I am surprised at the immediate difference in the skin after exfoliating.

Basics of exfoliation. We only want to exfoliate at night. When you do it in the morning, you make your skin more vulnerable to the sun but also, the products that are used at night are usually (supposed to be) products to help repair the skin and stimulate cellular regeneration. Freshly exfoliated skin will take in these ingredients much better.

And generally speaking, you want to exfoliate about 3-4 times a week. This number changes based on your skin and skin needs and also what you want accomplished.

Here are some things that can happen if you exfoliate daily…

  1. Flaking, redness and underlying inflammation of the skin because the moisture barrier is damaged.
  2. Dryness and dehydration
  3. Sometimes we do damage that cannot be seen. You can age the skin prematurely when there is chronic inflammation
  4. You can destroy healthy cells
  5. The more you exfoliate the more you are stimulating melanin activity and that can result in hyperpigmentation
  6. Products that used to work for you may not anymore because you have stripped and irritated the skin

There are 2 types of exfoliation. Physical and Chemical. A physical exfoliate is a facial brush, facial sponge, scrub, washcloth or anything similar that will lift off dead skin and a chemical exfoliate dissolves the dead skin and examples of that is a glycolic acid or salicylic acid.

As always for the product talk episode, I will discuss the products I use and retail.

SS Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub– This scrub is a powerful cellular turnover scrub with Retinol (Vitamin A) and jojoba beads to clean, soothe and polish the skin. The retinol encourages the breakup of blackheads and clogged pores, jojoba beads gently exfoliate dead skin cells, while kojic lightens age spots and blemishes left from scars. I love this one because it doubles as a mask. I always tell my clients to use it in the shower. Cleanse your face, apply the scrub and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The steam from the shower will help push the ingredients into the skin (kind of like when estheticians use steam during a facial). Shave your legs, wash your body or whatever while the mask does its job and then rinse off. Of course you don’t have to do it this way.
Benefits:
Lessens Visible Aging
Lightens Discolorations
Provides Chemical and Physical Exfoliation
Promotes Collagen Synthesis
Assists in Healing and Rejuvenating

SS Raspberry Refining Scrub– Polish and energize the skin with the antioxidants raspberry and marionberry which will brighten skin and provide anti-inflammatory-like benefits to soothe skin irritations. Jojoba beads and blue corn meal gently exfoliate to remove surface build-up provides physical exfoliation while exfoliating and lightening ingredients work in tandem to promote a clear, healthy skin tone. For all skin types as a mechanical exfoliation. Safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women. I like to always be honest with you so I’m going to tell you that this is not my favorite scrub. I have clients that love it and it’s safe during pregnancy, which is nice to have an alternative. There is nothing wrong with it but it’s just not my go-to.

SS Glycolic and Retinol Pads– 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. I’ve talked about these on other episodes. These are really great because they do so many things. Here’s the thing…if you’re looking to lighten your skin and make a change, these will do it. Plus, they can be used on your neck, chest, hands, feet and elbows.
Benefits:
Provides surface renewal and resurfacing
Purges and exfoliates
Removes oil and debris
Prevents future breakouts
Assists in Anti-wrinkle actions
Lightens pigmentation spots
Improves Skin Function

Great for lightening the skin!

SS Beta Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum– Yes, this is a serum but it’s also considered a form of exfoliation. 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. May be used on pregnant or lactating women which is why I retail this one and why it’s so great. When you’re pregnant, you’re very limited on what you can use and this helps.

Benefits:

Improves Skin Barrier Integrity by Balancing Surface Lipids

Exfoliates to Reduce Visible Wrinkles

Anti-Inflammatory

LM Beta Acid– The American Academy of Dermatology currently recognizes Salicylic Acid (Beta Acid) as one of the most effective agents available for acne skin by significantly reducing build up of dead skin cells through a gentle exfoliation process. You actually apply this at night and leave it on. It has done amazing things for my clients. When it comes to acne you really do need something strong that will actually go deep into the skin and kill the bacteria. Salicylic is my favorite because it’s more gentle. It’s under exfoliation because it’s an acid and will help exfoliate the skin.

LM Vita-C Clear Skin Pad– Gentle micro-peel exfoliates and prepares the epidermal cell layers for faster and more effective penetration of other nutrients. Natural Vitamin C is infused within the soft fabric to help to brighten skin for a natural glow. These are definitely different than the Glycolic/Retinol Pads because first of all, they contain vitamin c but also because these pads are more about setting the skin up for the serums you apply after. And of course, they do exfoliate the skin.

LM Perfect Renewal System– This skin-perfecting system clears congested pores, improves uneven skin tone, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and blemishes. Features mandelic acid to enhance cellular turnover, while vitamin B, hyaluronic acid, and alpha-arbutin promote a smooth, radiant complexion. WHAT DOES IT DO? Clears congested pores and excess oil without causing dryness. Improves uneven tone and texture. Helps smooth out fine lines. Reduces the appearance of blemishes, including back acne. Restores radiant glow. These are closer to the Glycolic/Retinol Pads so I would choose one over the other, not both. I do love both though. These are probably a little bit more gentle and better for my sensitive skin. But to be honest, I use both and just switch when I run out of one. These have hyaluronic acid and we all know how great that is for the skin.

5% Glyco Polymer Solution– This polymerized micro-peel lightly exfoliates the skin with glycolic and lactic acids to refine uneven texture, clear and tighten pores, and minimize the appearance of fine lines. Features a marine enzyme known to preserve the skin’s collagen network, plus soothing botanical extracts that promote a smooth, healthy complexion with fewer breakouts. Wanna know why I sell this one? For Keratosis Pilaris or chicken skin. It’s those little red bumps that people get on the back of their arms. This is really great for getting rid of them. Of course it can be used on the face too but it’s not my first choice.

LM Ultrasonic Spatula– I love this tool. I talked about this on my episode about at-home tools. This is one of 2 devices that I retail and my most favorite. I actually use it in almost every facial. It gently exfoliates and helps lift clogged pores. Makes extractions easier during a facial. It’s so great for home use because you can’t really over use it, as most tend to do with devices. It’s like a little earthquake for the skin…shakes things up! And when you flip it over, it can help infuse your serums deeper into the skin.

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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Hyperpimentation. How to Fix It!

Hyperpigmentation. It’s something we all struggle with, unfortunately. There are a lot of products out there making huge promises to get rid of it for. I’m going to break it down and explain to you the best options for the skin, without damaging the skin. As you know, that is always my goal. Let’s fix the problem without causing another one.

Some people are more prone to it than others, based on genetics, but everyone is susceptible. From the fairest skin to the darkest. This is why wearing sunscreen is so important for everyone (I’ll get more into that later).

Remember, no one is born with it. Every baby is free of hyperpigmentation, including freckles, which is also a type of hyperpigmentation.

Freckles are caused by melanin. Melanin is a pigment in the skin and is what gives skin its color. When the sun hits the skin, it causes a production on melanin so that it can protect the skin layers underneath. Once melanin builds up in one place, a freckle is the result.

Here are some ways our skin develops the pigmentation.

Sun Exposure– The sun triggers the production of melanin. The skin is usually worse in the summer months. Using good skin care and regular facial treatments, you can minimize damage. It is completely normal to have your skin get darker in some spots in the summer and lighter in those same spots in the winter. I want to also say, and this is important to remember, sun damage can take up to 10 years to show. That means you can think that your skin is fine after a summer in the sun but later your skin will show the damage. I haven’t tanned my face in 10 years and I am still surprised at the damage that shows up. I had a good time in my teen years and my 20’s!

Heat– This one usually surprises people. Most think that as long as they avoid the actual sun, they will not have any pigmentation. It definitely helps but heat triggers inflammation and inflammation triggers the increase of melanin activity. So even if you go to the beach and wear sunscreen, big sunglasses, a big hat and sit under a big umbrella you can still get the damage. Sorry, folks!

Over-Exfoliation– I am super careful with my clients on how often they exfoliate. When I create a home care plan for them, I consider both the physical and chemical exfoliations. Too much can cause pigmentation. As I said above, inflammation triggers the increase of melanin activity. Even if you can’t see the inflammation, it can still be happening.

Picking at Blemishes/Acne– This is bad for many reasons but one of the biggest ones is that it can create what is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). And like sun damage, you don’t always see it until a few years later.

Hormones– Due to the increase of hormones during pregnancy, melasma is often caused. Just another form of pigmentation but harder to lighten. A lot of women will experience what is called a “pregnancy mask.” The upper lip will darken. This can also happen with birth control and even some medications. Always ask your doctor. I have seen many clients with melasma all over their face so it’s not exclusive to the upper lip. Everyone is different in how they will react but there are some worse than others. I once took a birth control pill and immediately started getting that mask above my lip and I switched that pill real fast! Luckily, no long-term damage was done.

Now I will discuss ways to help the pigmented areas.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, shown to reduce the number of sunburned cells as well as reverse age-related damage to the skin. Antioxidants help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.

It does not replace sunscreen, but Vitamin C protects against and may repair UV damage, like discoloration. It also helps brighten the skin, which can make the overall appearance of the skin healthier. This is safe for those pregnant or lactating.

Retinol- 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. Retinol works by promoting cellular renewal and collagen production to improve skin texture and to diminish brown spots. Not safe for those pregnant and lactating.

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

Exfoliation- It’s important not to exfoliate the skin to break up the pigmented areas. As I said before, be careful not to over-exfoliate. I have a great scrub that also acts as a mask. It has glycolic acid and retinol in it with gentle jojoba beads. I love it because over time it helps to lighten and lift hyperpigmentation. I also have these amazing glycolic/retinol pads that act as a toner so it’s a leave-on. Perfect for hyperpigmentation. Book a product consultation with me if you are interested in having me look over your routine using your products.

Great for lightening the skin!

 

Sunscreen- Wear it everyday. SPF 30 is the perfect number. Most damage is done incidentally (about 78%), which means when you are not at the beach but just running errands around town or sitting in your car or next to a window at work. And just as a reminder, sunscreen in your makeup will not help. You have to wear about 7x the amount to actually get that number on the bottle. Sunscreen is skin care and skin care is separate from makeup. Skin care first, makeup second.

Facials- Always important but getting a facial (book with me if you’re local!) when dealing with a specific skin issue will definitely help. Make sure you address your concerns with your esthetician. What you see and what she (or he) sees may be different.

Chemical Peels- Oh my gosh! Anyone who knows me know these are my favorite especially when done in a series. I will only perform the chemical peel series between November and May because of the sun exposure. I am strict on this rule. No point in fixing the skin while damaging it. My series are done weekly over 8 weeks. Slow and steady. I recommend a home care plan so my clients can get the most benefits. They basically have no downtime and can resume normal activities. They might experience some flaking but nothing embarrassing or that will make you want to hide out in your house. You don’t have to peel with a peel because all the change is happening under the top layer.

Results from a Chemical Peel Series and using recommended home care products.

 

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Listen to the podcast, Pure Skin Talk. 

Toners

For the second week of product talk, I am going to discuss Toner. Mostly misunderstood, I will explain why they are important and talk about my favorite ones.

  1. The #1 reason why you should be using a toner is that it’s the last step in the cleansing process. It removes any excess cleanser, oil, dirt and makeup. But also, after you take a shower, a toner will removes chlorines and minerals often found in tap water. You know how your shower door has a film on it? That is what happens to your skin so it’s important to remove it.
  2. When you use a toner and leave the skin damp, it gives your skin moisture before applying serums and moisturizer therefore locking the hydration into the skin. Just make the toner is alcohol-free, otherwise you will just be drying out the skin.
  3. Toners will usually enhance your skin care regimen. Depending on which one your using, they can contain active ingredients to help skin issues. And research has shown that moist skin is actually 10 times more permeable than dry skin. So this means that leaving your skin damp when applying serums and moisturizer will allow the active ingredients to penetrate deeper therefore giving you better results.

I always recommend using a cotton square with a toner. Although some come in a pad form (as I will talk about later), others come in a spray. Spray the cotton and then wipe your face. By the way, these cotton wipes are so great! They do not absorb product like most cotton does so whatever you spray on it, is what you use. No wasted product and that saves you money!

Now I will discuss the toners I use and retail.

Cucumber Toner– Re-hydrates the skin while improving cellular functions and absorption of ingredients. Soothes and normalizes skin tissues. This is a client favorite because it smells so good and feels great on the skin. I recommend this as a daily toner for all skin types. This comes in a spray so you would use cotton to apply.
Benefits:
Topically Reduces Discomfort & Irritation
Assists in Boosting Hydration Levels

ISO-Cell Solution– A unique formula recommended for cleansing and providing supplemental nutrients for wound care. It mimics the composition of blood by providing nutrients from the outside, while complementing the bloodstream work from the inside. The benefits are accelerated healing process and retention of moisture for tissue regeneration. This does not have a scent, which appeals to some. I like this toner for those with acne. Since it’s healing, it helps while the skin is clearing up acne. This also comes in a spray so you would use cotton to apply. It’s used daily.

Clarifying Toner Pads- This acne control toner assists the cleanser in cellular turnover bringing oil and debris to the surface of the skin – the salicylic dries the uplifted oil. This step also removes excess dirt, oil and makeup left after the cleansing process. Tea tree calms and soothes the skin. Great for teens battling breakouts and acne. I also recommend these to adults dealing with acne. Since these pads have salicylic acid, they can be drying to the skin so I only recommend them to be used about 3-4 times a week and only at night. As I’ve said in previous podcasts, exfoliation should only be done at night and these definitely exfoliate. Sometimes these will tingle and sting a little bit but it goes away quickly.

Benefits:
Removes congestion
Reverses fine lines
Reduces oil production
Provides antibacterial protection
Heals cystic breakouts
Enhances cellular turnover

Glycolic and Retinol Pads– 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. I love these pads for those who want to lift hyperpigmentation and also to brighten the skin. Like the Clarifying Pads, I only recommend these pads to be used about 3-4 times a week and at night. Sometimes these will tingle and sting a little bit but it goes away quickly.

I will also use these pads on my elbows and bottom of my feet. They make those areas so smooth!
Benefits:
Provides surface renewal and resurfacing
Purges and exfoliates
Removes oil and debris
Prevents future breakouts
Assists in Anti-wrinkle actions
Lightens pigmentation spots
Improves Skin Function

I really do love all these toners and they are great on their own but even better when added to a good skin care regimen.

Winter is Here- How’s Your Skin?

As the seasons change so do the needs of our skin. Our skin can get drier, more oily, we can have more breakouts or maybe just more sensitivity. Don’t panic! It’s most likely not your products that have suddenly stopped working for you, it’s the weather that has changed your skin. All it means is that you need to change how you use your products. So much easier, right? And a money saver! Here are some ingredients with their side effects that may affect your skin differently in the winter. Change accordingly if you needed.

Retinol– A derivative of Vitamin A, this can be drying to the skin. You may not notice it as much during the summer but in the winter when our skin gets drier, this can wreak havoc on our moisture level. You don’t have to stop using this, just use less. The Retinol Serum below is the one I recommend to my clients. Most only use about twice a week anyway because I want them to avoid drying out their skin and dealing with all the other side effects. This seems to work best while still giving them great results.

Salicylic Acid– Great for acne and breakouts but extremely drying for the skin. When I recommend any product using this ingredient, I do not suggest using it everyday because I do not want to dry out the skin as the acne goes away. If you find your skin seems flaky or dry, cut it back a bit, maybe just once and go from there. You still want to use the product and get the effectiveness but with using it less. Sometimes even one less use can make a difference.

Vaseline– This seems like an odd choice to be on this list, right? Well, in the winter this seems to be the go-to product. A lot of people use it on their chapped lips, hands, feet, etc. Here’s the thing…it’s occlusive. That means it can’t penetrate the skin and will only sit on the surface. It will not moisturize the skin but it will protect it. Great to put over lotion on the hands and feet for extra hydration (it will lock in that moisture) and also for the nose area when you have a cold. It has no healing benefits though. It can clog pores on the face since it can’t penetrate so use with caution.

Benzoyl Peroxide– Same as salicylic acid but even more drying. Below is the only product I recommend with benzoyl peroxide and I always say, proceed with caution. Benzoyl Peroxide is an ingredient you only want to use temporarily (there are many side effects that aren’t good long-term). The severe drying side effect can actually age your skin. Whatever the season, use with caution. In the winter, think twice.

Hand Sanitizer– Although this is not for the face, I thought I would throw it in here anyway. 🙂 The alcohol and lack of water can really dry out your hands. Try washing your hands like we used to…with soap and water and then moisturize.

These are guidelines and suggestions. What works for one person may not work for another. Some may not be able to change their routine so that means you will need to add to your regimen so you can get more moisture. You need to compensate for the water being pulled out of your skin because if you don’t, your skin will start to produce more oil. This grapeseed oil is great for hydrating the ski without clogging the pores. Click on picture to learn more about it.

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Should You Splurge on All Skin Care Products?

I recently read this article about saving and splurging on skin care products. It was interesting and some of it I believe to be true. Below I gave my opinion on each item.

1. Sunscreen– I absolutely agree that everyone should be wearing this every single day but I think that SPF 30 is better. It’s the most coverage without more chemicals. I go to Palm Desert every summer (at least twice because it’s one of my favorite places to go) and I never burn. In fact, I don’t even get color on my face. It is possible to lay in a pool all day in 110 degree weather and not burn. I reapply my face every hour and my body every 2 hours. I also wear a hat and sunglasses. I do allow myself to get tan on my body even though I shouldn’t but not my face. Never my face.

2. Skip the wipes! Not just for cost but because they are not good for the skin. I know they are quick and easy but if you are concerned about the condition of your skin, I would skip these altogether.

3. I think everyone needs a physical exfoliant but an actual cleansing tool isn’t necessary. I use a Konjac Sponge every other night in the shower (only exfoliate at night) and replace every 4-5 months. I am all about saving money and I think this is an easy way to do it.

4. Cleansers don’t necessarily make or break your skin care routine but using a professional one is definitely more beneficial and not necessarily more expensive. The more concentrated a product is, the less you can use. You will use less each time than you would a non-professional brand. Have you ever purchased a cheap dish soap like at the dollar store or something? It takes so much more of that stuff because it is so watered down. If you spent a few more dollars, you would use less and the bottle would last longer. So yes, you can spend less with a drugstore brand but that doesn’t mean you will save money.

4a. Non-Professional Brand Product- I am referring to any product not purchased through an Esthetician or Doctor, including MLM’s.

5. YES! Antioxidants are great! Vitamin C is a great example of an antioxidant, plus it does so much more for the skin.

6. I do agree that you shouldn’t waste money on single face masks because most of the ones out there today don’t do much for the skin. Investing your money on a face cream (or gel) mask is better on the bank account and more beneficial for the skin. As an Esthetician, I use (and retail) one face sheet mask but each one can be used about 2-3 times, if taken care of properly. This is something I recommend for clients to use if they have a hot date or a special occasion. Not that it can’t be used for other times but there are masks specifically used for multiple times a week.

7. Eye Creams can be important. The one I recommend is for day use and is a firming eye cream. So that will help with the temporary firming of fine lines and wrinkles. As far as correcting eye issues, I have always thought that serums will do that for you. Here’s the thing, you are not supposed to apply any skin care product past the orbital bone so that means that the serums you are (hopefully) applying will hydrate the eye area and give the skin what it needs to look better. If you are not using serums, then I would definitely recommend a different night eye cream. Nighttime is when the product will penetrate and create results. If you are looking to save money though, purchase a high quality serum so your whole face can benefit.

8. Remember this…lip balm heals and chapstick protects. Lip balm penetrates allowing it to heal and hydrate the lips. Chapstick will protect your lips from the environment (sun, snow, etc). My favorite lip balm is the original Burt’s Bees.

9. Moisturizers are not magic. I think people expect more from them than what they give (it’s what we are told over and over). Moisturizers aren’t meant to penetrate the skin. They are meant to protect us from the environment. When I look for one, I want one that will lock in the hydration and serums on my skin and that will make me look glowy. I recently switched my moisturizer and although the first one I was using was doing what I needed it to do, the one I use now also makes my skin feel and look soft and youthful. It’s my serums that are doing all the work though.

10. I am strongly against face mists unless it is your toner and you are using it as part of your skin care routine. Water attracts water. When you spray it on your face, the water that is in your skin will pull to the surface, dehydrating your skin.

What are Age Spots?

Updated March 2018

Age Spots or Liver Spots as they are sometimes called are not really caused by aging. Though they do show up as we get older, they are actually caused by sun damage which is why they show up on areas that tend to get more sun like our hands, chest and face. Bleaching creams, peels and lightening treatments may lessen their appearance but to rule out more serious problems, check with your dermatologist first.

Sunscreen is key to prevent further damage but also to stop the spots from getting darker.

My favorite!

Vitamin C is an ingredient that will help the current spots by brightening and evening the skin tone.

Retinol is similar to vitamin c but much stronger. This gets deeper into the skin creating even more results.

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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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Let’s Prevent Summer Sun Spots!

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.

  1. 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)
  2. 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!)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!)
  6. 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

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If you have any questions or would like personal help with your skin, please email me at devyn@psblounge.com or Book an Appointment Online.

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