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.

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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

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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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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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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 10x 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 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. Sorry about the genetics again. 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.

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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

Products can be purchased online:

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Results! Pitted Acne Scars

This client starting coming to me in November and once we got her breakouts under control (less than 2 months), we started an intense 14 week Chemical Peel Series. She still has about 3 weeks left but the results are so great that I couldn’t wait to share!

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This series is from Skin Script Skin Care. She used all of their home care products as well. I also included a Le Mieux serum and of course, grape seed oil to her regimen.

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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).

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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 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 Grape Seed 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 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 washing 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 Clarisonic. It’s a great investment! This is a form of exfoliation so use at night only.

Buy Clarisonic here on Amazon in Pink  $89.00            Buy Clarisonic here on Amazon in White  $98.52

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 lost. (see #3)

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

16. Take your vitamins. Some think that Zinc and Vitamin C are essential and extremely effective to boosting your immune system which can then help acne. You have nothing to lose!

17. 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

Rosacea

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

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

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

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

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

Pomegranate Cream Cleanser or Green Tea Cleanser, Retinol Scrub (2x a week), Cucumber Toner, Hyaluronic Acid Serum (Le Mieux), Derma Relief Serum (Le Mieux), Vitamin C/Green Tea Serum, Moisturizer (maybe the Hydrating one but this would be customized for each skin type), SPF. Not all of these need to be used so book a consultation with me so we can decided what is best for you.

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

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

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

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