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.

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Are You Taking Care of Your Chest?

I have a lot of older clients that always ask me about their chest. They are concerned about sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles. Once the damage is done, it is much more difficult to treat the skin…but not impossible. Start caring for your skin now! The younger you are, the more you can do to prevent the damage. Below I have listed options for preventing and correcting this often neglected area.

1. Exfoliation. Just like your face, you body needs to be exfoliated to get rid of the dry skin so that products can properly penetrate and do the job correctly. Dead skin is an unwanted barrier. Unlike your face, you can exfoliate this area more often. I recommend using a Konjac Body Sponge every other day and a Glycolic Cleanser about 2-3x a week.

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2. Treat the Skin. If you are using serums on your face, then apply them on your neck and chest too. Immediately after a shower.

3. Grapeseed Oil. This is great from head to toe. I personally use it all over my body and my skin is super soft. Even better, this is a great product for aging. Grapeseed Oil should be used at night after you get out of the shower.

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4. SPF. Always, always, always wear sunscreen. This is true for your face and body. Don’t just extend it from your face, hoping it is enough for your neck and chest. Use enough that you are fully covered.

Hydration is the key to making fine lines and wrinkles look less obvious. The drier your skin is (anywhere on the body), the more you will see what you don’t want to show the world.

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Acne Scars. How to Get Rid of Them.

I was recently asked how to get rid of those pesky marks left on your skin from a blemish. You know the ones…they are dark, red and purple and stick around for weeks and sometimes months.
It becomes dark because the inflammation from the blemish triggers the skin to produce pigment cells. Even if you didn’t pick at the blemish, it can still leave a scar (even though it will fade in time, it’s still considered a scar) because it stretches and damages the surrounding tissue.

1. The most important thing to do: Wear sunscreen. Every single day. There are no exceptions to this. Any exposure to UV rays will stimulate the melanin cells, making it more red and darker for a longer time (maybe forever).

2. Using a chemical and physical exfoliant will help stimulate new, healthy cells while removing the scarred, damaged cells.

3. Vitamin C will brighten the skin and help correct the problem.

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Acne. How to Improve Your Skin

Million dollar question, right? Sometimes acne can simply be caused by using the wrong products or not washing your skin at all. If this is the case, improving your skin will be much easier. Unfortunately, if your acne is hormonal then it will be much more difficult. We can usually improve the clarity, frequency and intensity though. Here are some tips…

1. Be consistent. Cleanse your skin every night and every morning.

2. Use products that are right for your skin and that will balance out the oil without dehydrating. Most OTC (over-the-counter, NOT professional) acne products take everything out of your skin and don’t replenish it. This can make things worse and/or cause you to age quicker.

3. Use Grapeseed Oil. This will hydrate your skin and balance the oil. Read here for al the benefits. My clients use and love this! It really does work. Cleanse, tone and apply oil. If you are using serums, apply those first and then the oil. A little goes a long way.

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4. Keep your pillowcase clean. Even though you are washing your face every night, this is still important. If have a more severe case, then you should be changing/washing it at least every week.

5. Use alcohol to clean your phones and sunglasses. Bacteria spreads very easily.

6. Don’t touch or pick at your face.

7. Get regular facials. Having an expert (like me!) do extractions helps. It’s better than you doing it and healthier for your skin.

8. Dairy can aggravate acne in some people. Give it up for 6-12 weeks to see if there is any significant improvement.

9. Drink lots and lots of water.

10. Make sure you aren’t using any pore clogging makeup. Heavy or thick foundations are not good for the skin. Try not reapply as the day goes on.

11. Wash your makeup brushes. You should wash them with baby shampoo at least twice a month and using a brush cleaner every single day. Of course, this is for people that wear makeup everyday. Adjust if necessary but those are the guidelines. Don’t reuse sponges and don’t use powder puffs.

12. Get a physical exfoliant like a sponge because it’s gentle.

13. Wear SPF because you should anyway but also because sometimes the sun can darken the blemishes and leave your skin with scars and hyper pigmentation.

14. Salicylic Acid should be in your products. This is dehydrating so remember to use other products that will replenish water loss. (see #3)

15. Be gentle. You don’t have to scrub hard or a lot to get results. Hopefully you are using effective products so that they can do all the work for you.

16. Have patience and know that it will not go away in a day or even a week. Avoid buying anything that tells you differently.

18. Book a consultation and/or facial with me. I can help! Book Here!!

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Tomorrow- Products to Avoid and Why

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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Chirally Correct. Why It’s Important.

Updated: October 2017

Chirality is certainly not a term many people are familiar with, but we are certain to hear more about it in the coming months and years. Have you ever found yourself wondering why costly, specially formulated skin care products just sometimes don’t work — at all? In theory, these skin care remedies contain everything the skin needs to restore balance and regenerate. Still, not only do some of these products fail to alleviate or remedy any ailment — some of them actually cause allergic reactions, the release of free radicals, and a host of other maladies. Researchers in both the pharmaceutical and skin care industries are now beginning to realize that the problem with many products boils down to the chirality of the ingredients themselves.

Chiral (rhymes with “spiral”) is derived from Greek and loosely translates into “handedness”. Just as our hands are mirror images of one another, researchers now conclude that molecules are the same way: all molecules exist in both a right-handed and left-handed form, or isomer. Each molecule is composed of an L-isomer and a D-isomer.

The different isomers have different effects upon your body. For generations, chemists have been adding molecules into products with both isomers present at the same time. When this happens, there are three possible effects upon the body:

The body will recognize and use one side while considering the other side to be waste and disposing of it. Each isomer will cancel one another out and there will be no effect upon the body. The incompatible side will cause harm and be considered toxic by the body and most likely lead to increased free radical production. It helps to take a look at an example, like vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Scientists and nutritionists have known for years that vitamin C boosts immune system function, helps fight oxidants, and can even stimulate the synthesis of collagen, which is why it is such a popular ingredient in skin care products — especially anti-aging remedies. Theoretically, vitamin C should be positively great for skin care — so why don’t all skin care products with this beneficial nutrient work?

It’s because ascorbic acid, exists as two isomers: L-ascorbic acid and R-ascorbic acid. The L-ascorbic acid has all the beneficial properties listed above and is a great inclusion in any skin care product. D-ascorbic acid, however, leads to increased dryness, itching, scratching and free radical production. Few skin care companies isolate the molecules into their respective isomers and instead present both of them at the same time, leading to one of the three scenarios listed above. It is easy to recognize chirally correct ingredients: they will all feature either a D- or an L- preface.

The pharmaceutical and skin care industries are both spending billions of dollars each year making sure their new products are “chirally” correct. However, there have been cases when presenting both isomers in a product at the same time led to devastating results, as is the case with Thalidomide. This drug was prescribed to pregnant women during the 1950’s to help curb morning sickness. In 1979, it was discovered that although the D-isomer was recognized and used by the body as intended, the L-isomer was responsible for birth defects.

Skin care remedies made with chirally correct ingredients will not cause side effects and will be recognized and used by the body as intended. The human body is chirally selective and so too must be skin care companies when formulating their products. Chiral compounds are at the heart of every life process, which is why chirality is so important for pharmaceutical and skin care products.

Copyright © 1999-2013 dermstore.com, Inc., All rights reserved.

 

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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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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

LM5004

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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The Eyes- How to Treat Them Well

Let’s talk about the eyes today. I’ve mentioned all of this before but this is such an important area and it seems to cause the most confusion.

FACTS:
1. The eyes have no pores. They stop at the orbital bone around the eye.

2. The skin is 7x thinner than the rest of your face.

3. Most abused/ages the quickest

4. Under-eye puffiness is mostly genetic. Salt, allergies and abuse can make it worse.

5. Dark circles can also be genetic. Lack of sleep, dehydration, aging and nose jobs can make them worse.

6. There is no miracle product.

SOLUTIONS:
1. Do not apply product past your orbital bone. There is no reason to because the product will not be able to penetrate. You will only get milia (small, whitish bumps) and greasy eyelids.

2. Do not apply moisturizer in this area (past the bone). Yes, I am repeating myself! Eye creams are great and serve their purpose but I also think that serums can do the same. I stopped wearing an eye cream about 1 1/2 years ago and I have not noticed a difference. The serums I use will do the same things and since I am applying them to the same area (stopping at the bone), why do I need another product? Now, if you want to firm up the area during the day, then an eye cream can do that for you.

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Le Mieux Eye Wrinkle Corrector

 

3. Be gentle. Use eye makeup remover at night (Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover is my favorite and the only OTC product I recommend!). It removes even waterproof mascara…which should only really be used on special occasions. Avoid pulling and tugging at your eyes. This includes when you are applying your makeup. Every little thing matters.

4. You can’t avoid allergies and genetics, I get it. Salty foods and abuse, you can. If this is a big issue for you, try eliminating these and see what happens. If this is NOT a chronic problem, try cold cucumbers (or really anything cold will work) on your eyes when you wake up, for 20 minutes.

5. Get more sleep! As far as dehydration goes, this isn’t about drinking more water (although that is always a good thing), it is more about what you do topically. Does your serum have hyaluronic acid in it? That will help with hydration. And, of course, my favorite go-to product…Grapeseed Oil.
As you age, the skin naturally starts to thin and that is why darkness gets darker. Treating this area more carefully can help.
Nose jobs causes severe bruising under the eyes and releases the formation of iron which can give a rust-colored stain under the eye.

LM5004
Le Mieux Vita-C Serum
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Le Mieux TGF-B Serum

6. Are you exfoliating your eye area? I use my Skin Script Glycolic Cleanser about twice a week on my eye area (be super careful!) and also my new Konjac Sponge (also about twice a week). Even though you don’t have pores, exfoliating will help lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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Skin Script Glycolic Cleanser
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Konjac Facial Sponge

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