I Love Vitamin C!

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

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

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

 

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Dermatologist for Acne?

I don’t always post from other blogs but lately I have been hearing so many people talk about their experiences with a Dermatologist for acne. This post was written so well I didn’t think it was necessary to write my own.

Updated 8-31-17  I originally posted this 3 years ago and I still hear the same things from clients. Learning HOW to take care of your skin and using the right products for YOUR skin is what is best. No matter what.

WHY I REGRET GOING TO DERMATOLOGISTS FOR ACNE

It seemed so obvious at the time. My whole family is oily and acne prone. My siblings were both on Accutane. Dermatologists are seen as the first stop for acne problems. It was covered by insurance. After the Proactiv failure, it seemed like the next logical step.

What actually happened was a series of disappointing appointments. In each five to ten minute session, after hours in the waiting room, I was asked what skin care I was using (Blackhead Eliminating Scrub, nothing else), given a few expensive prescriptions, and sent to the pharmacist. When I told them I was getting cystic acne, they didn’t believe me because it was never present at the time of the appointments. I was never asked about my diet. I was never asked about my usual sun exposure, just vaguely told that the medications could make me more sun sensitive. I never had a proper skin analysis. I was never told what my skin type was (combination dry, not oily). I wasn’t asked how often I washed my pillowcase (not enough). I wasn’t asked whether I picked (I do).

At this point, I don’t even remember all of the different expensive medications they gave me over the years. I remember Benzoyl Peroxide, Differen, Tazorac, Retin-A, Cetaphil, and some sort of liquid blotter in a bottle. I know there were more. My skin only got worse when using any of them. I saw no decrease in acne and a sharp increase in redness, peeling, and shininess. I was mocked incessantly about how shiny my face was by the other students in elementary school. They were right- my giant forehead (fivehead) reflected like a mirror and was even more prominent than usual, something I was very self conscious about. .

The shine was a combination of raw skin and product buildup. The top layer of my forehead skin had peeled off early on and never seemed to grow back. I kept using the products, constantly hearing, “It has to get worse before it gets better.” Except it never got better. It got worse and worse and worse. My horrible tendency to pick at the flaking skin did not help at all, and I now have plenty of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This wasn’t at all helped by the 30 minutes of sun exposure at prime sun hours during recess every school day and full days on weekends. I was told to “avoid excess sun exposure,” which in my 11 year old brain meant “don’t lay out in the sun” which I didn’t do anyway. They did not make it clear to me that any sun exposure on my glow in the dark complexion was both counterproductive to my acne and would make every inflammation problem I was having far worse. Eventually I stopped using all of the prescriptions and just let them sit in a drawer untouched.

Don’t get me wrong- there are plenty of cases where dermatologists have helped dramatically. There are many that I’m sure do thorough consultations, many who truly help acne and rosacea cases. Accutane was very effective treating the deep cystic acne of my siblings. I have personally told many clients to see a dermatologist for suspicious spots, at least two of which have been diagnosed as skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma). Dermatologists help with diseases and cancer. They are indispensable.

However, as a nurse practitioner puts it, “Their product toolboxes are too small.” Beautification of skin is the entirety of what an Esthetician does. Appointments are generally an hour or more. A good Esthetician will ask in depth questions about a client’s routines, lifestyle, history and issues. Skin care routines will be recommended, adjusted, perfected. Treatments are done not only to beautify the skin but to calm the mind and body. The stress cycle will be explained and discussed. Exfoliation, extractions, and hydrating masks can be done to speed up the improvement of a new skin care routine.

Lauri Shea, LE

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Skin Care Tips for Everyone

1. Be gentle with your skin. You’re in a hurry, I know, but rubbing and pulling vigorously will only age your skin and damage capillaries.

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2. Try to stay away from fragrances. It doesn’t matter what skin type you have, fragrances are usually not good for the skin. They smell nice but can do long-term damage, like break down collagen and elastin. If you have sensitive skin, it can do a lot more, like give you a rash or make you itch.

3. Don’t skip the moisturizer. I talk to clients all the time with oily skin that are afraid of moisturizer. This product is your friend. I promise. Finding the right one is key. Moisturizer doesn’t penetrate the skin and it will protect you from everything coming at you all day…sun, pollution, smoke, makeup, etc. Your skin needs that barrier.

4. Wash your face every morning and every night. Be consistent with your products.

5. Wear sunscreen, rain or shine. No higher than SPF 30 is necessary.

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Sunscreen, Sun and Your Skin Myths

1. I don’t need to wear an SPF during the winter months or when there is no sun. This is simply not true. UVA means Ultra Violet Aging and those are visible 365 days a year. Protect your skin and always wear it. Even if you are indoors. The sun can penetrate through windows and over time, do more damage than you think.

2. SPF in my makeup is enough. Nope, sorry. ūüė¶¬†You need seven times the normal amount of foundation and 14 times the normal amount of powder to get the sun protection factor on the label. I really hope you aren’t going to apply that much makeup!

3. Applying once a day is enough. If you are not in the direct sun AT ALL, then this is probably okay for you. Otherwise you need to re-apply every 1-2 hours. More if you are prone to burn. As soon as you are in the sun, the sunscreen starts to breakdown.

4. I put sunscreen on all the obvious areas so I’m good. What about the back of your neck? Ears? Top of your hands? These areas are often neglected but definitely exposed to sun. Skin cancer and skin damage can be anywhere!

5. Lotions, sprays and sticks all work differently. Not really. My advice is to start with a lotion (stick for the face if you want) and get a good base. When you reapply, a spray should be fine once. Then, use a lotion again. I love the convenience of a spray but it is very easy to miss spots.

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I love this sunscreen!
Click on picture to purchase.

6. Expiration dates don’t mean anything. YES THEY DO! If it is expired, STOP using it. No exceptions.

7. A tan is fine as long as I don’t burn. You are still damaging your skin. That is what a tan actually is.

8. My umbrella is enough protection so I don’t need sunscreen. Please don’t believe this! Did you know that sand reflects 17% of UV radiation. That means you are still exposed. It is still important to stay in the shade but wear your sunscreen.

9. The sun always cures my acne (or breakouts). This is a BIG myth. It can be a (very) temporary solution (the sun does kill bacteria) but in reality it causes a buildup of dead skin which leads to clogged pores. And, if you have oily skin, the sun will dry you out, producing even more oil. Viscous cycle.

10. I use SPF100 so I am fully protecting my skin. That isn’t even going to be available anymore because you get 96% protection with SPF30. Anything higher may give you a 4% increase but it will definitely give you more chemicals.

11. The damage is done so it doesn’t matter anymore. It always matters! Wear sunscreen at every age!

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Read this previous blog post on sunscreen…

Be Sun Smart

Read this previous blog post on how to care for sunburned skin…

Sunburn Tips

Should You Use a Spray Sunscreen?

Now that summer is here I think it’s important to talk about sunscreens. Here are some tips to help you prevent sunburns and premature aging…

  1. SPF 30 is all you need. Anything higher is not necessarily more protection (maybe 2% more) but it is more chemicals. In fact, the best way to protect your skin while in the sun is to make sure you apply the sunscreen generously and often.
  2. I recommend reapplying sunscreen at least every 2 hours. If you are in the water or sweating, apply sooner.
  3. Don’t be stingy with the sunscreen. Applying more will only ensure that you don’t miss a spot.
  4. Spray Sunscreens- I think it’s best to start with a cream sunscreen first. That way you have a good base and then you can reapply with a spray. Again, spray generously so you don’t miss a spot. Please don’t spray your face. A separate face sunscreen is better to use since those are made specifically for the face. Recommended Product: Sheer Protection SPF 30
  5. Kids- There really isn’t a difference between kids and adult sunscreens. Keep them protected since they are too young to know better or even care. Until they are old enough to understand the importance, they won’t do it so it’s 100% up to you!
  6. Kids & Spray Sunscreens- I don’t recommend these for kids. It is not safe for them to inhale the chemicals on a continuous basis. As adults, we know to not breathe while spraying but kids won’t. If it is all you have, something is better than nothing but it’s best not to make it a habit.
  7. Lips- Your lips can burn as well and anyone who has had this happen knows that it hurts! Make sure your chapstick or lip balm has SPF in it. Recommended Product: Lip Balm SPF 15

Follow these simple and easy tips and you should avoid a sunburn!

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Are Your Products Old?

If you ever get random rashes or pimples and wonder where they are coming from or why, it could be from your old skin care products. Expired skin care items can grow bacteria and mold which can lead to acne and infections. Unfortunately in the US the FDA does not require cosmetic companies to put an expiration date on their products so therefore no one really knows when to throw it away. We hope that you will go through it before it goes bad but women tend to have a habit of buying many different items so we just don’t get the chance to empty them before they expire.

Here are some guidelines and tips to help:

1. Write the date on any new products so you can remember when you purchased them.

2. If you think it’s outdated, smell it. If it smells funny, then it’s probably time to toss it. If it has changed color or consistency, that is another clue to toss it. Please note that natural products can slightly change color over time and still remain effective and safe to use.

3. The following is a list of items with an approximate shelf life (some items may differ). Cleansers– 1 Year. Serums– 6-12 months. Moisturizers– 1 Year. SPF– 6-12 months. Acne Treatments– 2 Years.

4. Products in jars can have shorter shelf life because you may be dipping your finger in them to get the product out. Try using a spatula or something so that you don’t add bacteria to it.

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Take Your Time with Your Skin

I always tell people that your skin care routine should not take you very long to do but that doesn’t mean you should rush through it. Take your time. I know so many of you have kids so this isn’t always easy. When you can, you should. Cleanse your face properly and make sure you are getting all the dirt, oil and makeup off. The longer you do this, the cleaner your skin will be (30-45 seconds).¬†After cleansing, use a toner to make sure that all the residue is gone. Then you should go right to your serum(s), moisturizer and spf. Don’t wait for each product to dry in between steps. You want your skin damp so that the water is locked in and can hydrate your skin. Plus, this will save you money because you will use less product!

Pamper yourself. You can’t always get to your Esthetician (me, right?!) so take the time to pamper yourself. I promise you that it will feel good and it will relax you. Let your thoughts go and just focus on you.

And, remember that skin care should always go before makeup. This is includes spf.

 

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Handy Skin Care Tips For Women’s Hands

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).

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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.

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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.

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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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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 CРUsing 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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