We get one face and how we treat it matters. From exposure to the sun to the products we put on it, everything plays a part in how our skin looks and how it ages. There are so many options out there that I know it can be overwhelming.
So what are the right products for you? That’s where I come in. As an esthetician who has helped many clients near and far, I can tell you that using the right products for YOUR skin makes all the difference.
If I want to help you improve your skin, then this is a joint effort and I can’t expect my job to be done when the consultation ends. This is about you loving your skin and I want to be there to help and guide you along the way. I am excited to start this journey with you. Who is ready?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The teenage years are hard enough but then you add the complications of breakouts and it just seems unfair. Hormones are to blame. Around the age of 13, although I have seen earlier, the skin starts to change…fast and it usually begins in the t-zone. It can almost feel like it happens overnight!
Boys generally experience more acne during the teen years than girls do because of the testosterone that can over-stimulate the sebaceous glands. Girls usually have fewer breakouts during these years but are more likely to deal with breakouts later because of the monthly cycle. Sometimes women are still dealing with breakouts past their 40’s. I don’t think we ever really get a break!
Here are some tips to help manage breakouts. But please remember that it can take time for you to see improvement. Usually there is a difference in how it looks and feels after a few days because once you are using products that are good for the skin, the skin then reacts in a healthy way. But big improvements will take longer. The more consistent you are, the better the results. At the same time, we are still fighting hormones though.
Use a gentle cleanser. Teenage skin is more sensitive and so it’s important to use products that are non-drying. I realize that this is the opposite of what is advertised but trust me. Most of the acne cleansers you can find at Target or anything over the counter, including ProActiv uses harsh detergents that strip the skin, irritate it and causes further inflammation. I actually recommend two different cleansers because you want a second cleanser to use a few times a week at night that contains salicylic acid. Too much of that can dry the skin. Salicylic acid reduces acne-causing bacteria and oil, exfoliates and helps to lessen post-breakout redness. It does all of that without irritating the skin.
Alcohol Free Toner– This is an important step that people either skip or use but don’t know why. Toner helps to remove any residual cleanser left on the skin but also is the first step to hydrating the skin. There are different toners to use and depending on the severity of the breakouts or even how motivated someone is to clear the skin, I might recommend 2 different toners. Just like the cleansers, you would use one toner for everyday and another a few nights a week to hit those breakouts hard. Again, the second toner can’t be used all the time because it will dry out the skin.
Wear a sunscreen everyday, even when the sun is not out. This is a hard one for teens, I have found. They don’t care about aging yet. I know I didn’t. My goal was to be as tan as possible every summer. Let me tell you, I regret it. I wish I had listened to my mom when she told me to wear sunscreen. The one I do recommend for the face contains zinc oxide. It calms the skin, protects it and can help fade the post-breakout marks. Now since teens rarely care about sun damage, let’s focus on the two benefits that sunscreen can offer those suffering from acne or just breakouts.
Look for a sunscreen with zinc oxide. It can be anti-inflammatory when it’s on the skin, which makes it perfect for calming red and inflamed blemishes. And did you know that zinc oxide is the main ingredient that’s used in diaper rash creams?
The other reason to use sunscreen is that it can help with the fading of discoloration after the blemishes are gone. Now stay with me while I explain this. Acne scars are caused from the inflammation of the dermis layer of the skin. The inflammation then triggers the pigment cells, which is why you see red and purple discoloration. When the skin is exposed to UV light (365 days a year), that keeps the pigment cells awake and thus preventing the blemish scar from fading as easily. If you wear a sunscreen with zinc oxide that is lightweight and non-pore clogging, it can protect those damaged cells and allow them to heal properly so the skin can become even-toned faster.
So wearing sunscreen becomes more than just worrying about sun damage. It can save your skin from those acne scars and blemishes.
Moisturizer– I recommend using a lightweight one with soothing benefits. This will protect your skin and also keep it hydrated, which is so important with oily skin. It’s all about balance.
Weekly Mask– I think masks are fun. When I was a teenager I used to rummage through my sisters cabinet, she had all the fun stuff because she was older, and so I would play with her masks. Unfortunately we have very different skin but I didn’t understand that then so I just had fun using them! A great mask for acne prone skin is one that will unclog pores, rebalance the skin and soothe irritation, inflammation and redness. Not all masks are created equal so make sure you don’t use one that just dries out the skin. I posted one that I love for acne and breakouts.
See an Esthetician– What I can do in the treatment room is much different than what you can do at home. I have stronger products and I know how to use them gently so the skin is not damaged. Extractions are another reason to see an Esthetician. Everything I do in a facial leading up to extractions is to make it easier to do them. It’s easier than you think to damage those pores. This may not be the favorite part of a facial but it’s necessary to achieve healthy skin. And I’ve actually been told that I am pretty gentle. Seeing an Esthetician is also a good reminder to stay on track with home care. You can’t lie to an Esthetician. We know whether you have been taking care of your skin or not.
Some parents might opt to take their teen to a Dermatologist. This will likely mean that a prescription will be given. I’m not against that route because I think some have it so bad, it’s the best way to clear the skin and usually the fastest. I would still recommend seeing an Esthetician because then the teen will learn how to properly care for the skin too. A quick fix is never the answer and they may pay for that later. Most of the prescription products are really drying to the skin and so using good products become even more important. Damage that is done at 15 won’t show up until later and then it’s too late.
For the most part, my teen clients are using the same products but the frequency of the stronger products might be different. When you see me or even do a consultation (if you don’t live in the area), I am available for questions or concerns. My goal is for you to have healthy skin. The most important thing to remember is that it takes time. Teenagers are impatient and they want results now. Be patient and it will be worth it.
I see a lot of teens in my treatment room and they all complain about acne and breakouts. I always know the ones that will listen to my suggestions and follow my advice vs the ones that will still do their own thing mixed in with my help. I do what I can and always hope for the best.
Sometimes what I recommend the first time may not work or it may not be strong enough which is why communication is so important. Instead of deciding to change it yourself, it is important to talk to me (or whoever is treating you) and let them know your concerns. It may be something simple but when you make the decision it becomes more difficult to figure out what went wrong. Mixing and matching your routine just doesn’t work.
Honesty and consistency is vital. I don’t think people are deciding to just lie to me, but I do think they leave out information. It makes it difficult to properly treat the situation and more than likely, the problem will not go away. Self-treating wasn’t working and that is why the client came to me, right?
Patience is something else people need to have when it comes to teen acne. It is not something, for the most part, that goes away in a month. It takes time. Hormones are raging! I can’t control those but I can help with better skin. I will always be honest though. If I don’t see any improvement, I will say that. For each person that has followed my advice, has seen improvement though. Their skin gets healthier. Breakouts don’t always go away because, remember, hormones cannot be controlled on my end. And I am also not a fan of acne meds except for more extreme cases. I definitely don’t think it should be the go-to treatment but rather a last resort.
This is what results look like when YOU want results. It takes time each morning and night (not a lot) and a few other things depending on your lifestyle but if your skin is effecting your self-esteem, it should be worth it, right?
Does it seem like you always get a blemish in the same spot? There is a reason for this…
The pore may be damaged so it keeps getting re-infected. This is especially common for those who pick. (hint, hint) Picking blemishes loosens the lining of the cell and that causes the clogged oil to go deeper into the skin and that creates an inflammatory reaction.
If you use a drying spot treatment (toothpaste and most over-the-counter spot treatments) this will only dry out the surface infection of the skin. The bacteria is still lurking underneath and will eventually come to the surface again.
I offer free skin care consultations. This is a great way for people to try out my products without investing in a facial when they are on a budget. I will do a skin analysis and ask you a lot of questions. We discuss everything about your skin and then I send you home with samples and a prescription sheet that will guide you in your new routine.
In a perfect world, everyone would get a facial first and then try the samples. The reason I prefer this is that it will allow me to see your skin react immediately to the products I use and gives me the opportunity to deeply cleanse and exfoliate your skin. Plus, all facials include extractions.
Are you frustrated with your skin? Do you want to try something but afraid to spend the money and not get the results? Once consultation is purchased, you will be emailed a form to fill out so that I can learn more about you and your skin and properly give you the best products for your skin. This is easiest way to get skin care products that are for YOU. And it doesn’t end after I mail you the products. I will help you with questions after you receive the products.
What You Will Get:
– FULL regimen of samples that is customized for your skin
– Prescription sheet that tells you exactly when and how to use the products.
– 10% off your first order
This facial will be customized to fit your skin needs and skin type plus target acne and breakouts. It will include a Blemish Clear Mask that is a deep cleansing anti-inflammatory blemish control treatment.
It contains Microalgae Extracts and other biological plant extracts known to absorb excess sebum and clarify blemished skin. Natural Tea Tree Oil combats bacteria and reduces inflammation as it works with Zinc to regulate sebum metabolism. Willow Bark Extract, rich in natural Salicylic Acids, gently helps to exfoliate skin to reduce the build up of dead skin cells which can lead to clogged pores.
I have been experimenting with this mask and I cannot believe the results! When I remove the mask from each client, their skin is brighter, clearer and much less irritated. Le Mieux has done it again! Their products are amazing and effective.
Bonus! This mask is safe for pregnant women! I know a lot of women battle with their skin during pregnancy and are limited in what can be used on the skin so this is the PERFECT facial and mask to help heal and clear the skin.
Interested in getting a facial? Not sure what a facial from me entails? Below is what happens during a regular facial, not a specialty one. I’m breaking it down for you so you can get excited and come in!
1. Let’s talk. I always ask about your skin. What are your concerns and what would you like me to work on. What I see and what you see is not always the same and I want make sure that when you leave, I have addressed YOUR concerns.
2. Cleanse. I use a mild cleanser (steamer is now on) to remove dirt, oil and makeup. This is also when I can access your skin. By look and feel.
3. 2nd Cleanse. I use a stronger cleanser during this step to get the process of lifting dead skin and softening pores started. Sometimes I add a scrub to this step. It depends on what the skin needs.
4. Enzyme. I have a variety to choose from and I make my decision on which one to use based on what you need, want, lifestyle and weather. A stronger enzyme that contains some acids will not necessarily be used during the summer months. They are all effective and help exfoliate the skin. Steamer is turned off after this step.
5. Ultrasonic Spatula. I apply a gel or toner-type solution to the skin to help loosen the dead skin and using the spatula that is activated by ultrasonic sound waves (28,000 vibrations per second), it lifts the dry skin cells off the skin. At the same time, water is being pushed into the skin which allows the new cells to be hydrated. All you feel is a gentle vibration.
6. Hydrating Serum and Moisturizer. Each step prior has been about softening the skin and exfoliating. Once the steamer is turned off, the skin dries up and the pores goes back to normal. They aren’t changing size, they are just tightening, which makes extractions more difficult and painful. The serum keeps the skin hydrated and the moisturizer locks it in. This is a little secret that makes a tremendous difference! I don’t force extractions either. If they are ready, I will get them.
7. Mask. Since I apply two masks, this one is usually anti-bacterial and calming. Your skin can sometimes get a little red from extractions. This mask will calm it down.
8. 2nd Mask. Hydration. Everyone needs it. I have many different masks to choose from but they are all hydrating. Some brighten, whiten or even help with blemishes. I pick one that best suits your skin. During this mask you will get a light neck and shoulder massage.
9. It’s the end. Boo. 😦 Serum, Moisturizer and SPF. If it’s an evening facial, I will ask if you would like me to apply Grape Seed Oil to your skin instead of moisturizer since that is what I recommend for nighttime.
Depending on your skin and needs, I may add or take away steps. Most of the time I add. 😉
This facial is about you. We can talk as little or as much as you want. First-timers often take advantage and ask me a lot of questions. Some just want peace and quiet. It is your time.
When you leave my treatment room, you will have a glow. There are no signs of being tortured, even if you have acne! 🙂