All Roads Lead to Hydration

Updated: October 2017

When I went to Empire Academy of Makeup (best school ever!) many, many years ago, the first thing we learned was that if our skin didn’t look good then our makeup wouldn’t look good. In fact, the first course concentrated on skin so much that I fell in love with it and that is how I got started with skin care.
I’ve learned a lot along the way and things have definitely changed but one thing that always remains consistent is: your skin needs hydration and most people are dehydrated.

If you have dry skin, you most likely need oil and water in your skin. When you wear makeup, powders can age you and accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. And, of course, make you drier.

If you have oily skin, you have too much oil and not enough water. When you wear makeup, it feels like you need to re-apply often and you may be flaky in some areas.

Both of these issues can get better by properly hydrating your skin. A Hyaluronic Acid Serum is the best way to do this. It binds moisture to your skin and draws moisture in.

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All Le Mieux serums are Hyaluronic Acid based. That’s why they are my favorite!

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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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Beware of DIY Treatments

I have blogged about DIY masks and scrubs and warned about the damage they can do to the skin. Now, my amazing skin care line, Skin Script, has written something about it too. I love that they support Estheticians as much as they do! There really is a difference in what you can do at home vs what we can do in the treatment room. Although I do recommend home masks and scrubs from time to time, they in now way replace a good facial or a professional product.

Here is what Skin Script had to say…

The DIY (do-it-yourself) craze has taken the internet by storm, thanks to popular blogs and websites such as Pinterest. With many at homemade concoctions for everything from nail polish remover to peel-away face masks, we decided to compare these at home treatments to professional treatments:

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1) Quality Ingredients: DIY home recipes call for easily accessible ingredients that can be found around your home or at a grocery store. For example, fruit acids (such those found in lemons) can actually burn your skin if used incorrectly. Table sugar, salt and even oatmeal can scratch the skin due to sharp edges, causing skin irritation and redness. Professional ingredients are pH balanced and modified so your skin cells will accept the ingredients. Skin Script products are “chirally correct” meaning they are accepted by the skin without irritation and will penetrate further than a DIY avocado/mayonnaise mask would.

2) Tools: Extractions with straight pins, “steaming” your face with a pot of boiling water, or using kitty litter as an at-home microdermabrasion treatment (yikes!) can cause serious harm to your skin. Your Esthetician is trained to use tools (such as extractors, steamers and modalities) in a safe, sanitary and effective way.

3) Experience: Attempting to correct skin issues such as acne, pigmentation, rosacea or wrinkles with at home “kitchen ingredients” is not as effective as the combination of an appropriate homecare regimen and regular treatments with a licensed Esthetician. Your Esthetician is trained to properly recommend treatments and homecare to help you achieve your skin care goals.

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Your Personal Skin Care Prescription

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.

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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.
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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.

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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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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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I’ve Heard It, But Is It True?

Update: July 2017

1. Doing facial exercises will not tone your face and make you appear younger. They will, in fact, contribute to wrinkles.

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2. There is no evidence that Vitamin E actually does anything to help with scarring. It is an antioxidant and will help build skin.

3. Pores do not open and close. They are not windows.

4. Drying out problem, oily or acneic skin is not the answer. It is important to use products that will balance out the skin. Grapeseed Oil is my favorite for hydrating the skin. It’s great for all skin types and will help balance out the skin in a natural way.

5. Skin damage and aging cannot be fixed quickly. This takes time and finding what works for you may take even more time. If you get it right the first time, then you can expect results in about 3 months.

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Botox. Is it Aging You?

As an Esthetician I am often asked about Botox and Dermal Fillers (Restylane, Juvederm) and whether or not people should get them. I always say that I think women should do whatever makes them feel better about themselves as long as it isn’t harmful and done with caution. I personally have not done either and don’t have plans to in the future. That certainly doesn’t mean I won’t though. Never say never!

Since so many were asking me about these injections, I thought I should read about them and really find out the good and the bad. Nothing is for free, folks. There are definitely some negative side effects to all of these injections but if you are careful and smart about how you get them, you may avoid the pitfalls.

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BOTOX

We all know it freezes the muscle and takes away those pesky fine lines and wrinkles. This is fantastic for shaving a few years off!

The Negatives-

  • You don’t know how you will react the first time so you could get a lot of bruising, sensitivity and puffiness.
  • If not done correctly or too much injected, the face could change shape or the eyes could look lop-sided (I call it wonky-eye).
  • When you are over 40 and have zero wrinkles, it just doesn’t look natural. The rest of you is still aging (your neck, your hands…).
  • If you start with Botox at an early age (before wrinkles, maybe after fine lines), you are going to weaken the muscle and that will make you look older! When the muscle is paralyzed it causes the skin to lose its fullness. And remember, youthful skin is also plump. 

Now, you could get fillers to offset the Botox. Just be careful. Less is more.

The Negatives to Fillers-

  • These can alter your appearance. You have seen this in celebrities…Courtney Cox, Lindsay Lohan, etc.
  • Just like Botox, your skin can react poorly. The actual filler is safe though. Hyaluronic Acid is made naturally in our bodies.

 

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Are You Exfoliating?

Even if you think you are doing everything right…cleanse, tone, moisturize. And doing this day and night. Maybe even adding in some extra serums or an eye cream. You are still missing something. Something that can make all the difference in the world to get you the skin you want: exfoliation!

Our skin naturally shed billions of skin cells a day but when this starts to slow down or even stop due to sun damage, oily skin, skin disorders, etc., the result is undeniable…dry or flaky, dull and lifeless skin. That can lead to even bigger problems: blemishes, clogged pores, wrinkles and uneven skin tone (one of the biggest giveaways of age!).

When you exfoliate regularly you can rid yourself of a lot of these problems or at least keep them at a minimum. And here is the best reason for you to start exfoliating today: You Will Look Instantly Younger! Yes, you read that correctly. 🙂  Compare this to a pedicure. Before, your feet are dry, scaly and rough but immediately after they are smooth and unwrinkled! Of course, the two are not the same but the results are (just don’t scrub as hard on your face 🙂 ).

Regular facials are key to keeping your skin young and fresh. What can be done in a treatment room by a professional, cannot be done at home, but that being said, there is still plenty for you to do at home.

1. Use a Konjac Sponge. Gentle and effective. You can use this every other night with your cleanser. Quick and easy.

 

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This sponge is great for acne and even small breakouts. Perfect for teens!

2. My 2nd recommendation would be a product from Skin Script. It has 2% retinol in it so you get great benefits from that (to name a couple…helps to stimulate collagen and hyularonic acid- main components that give your skin firmness and fullness). It can also be used as a mask. Leave on for 10 minutes to get the full use of the retinol.

 

 

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Should I Get a Chemical Peel?

Chemical Peels are very popular and when done right, can give you some amazing results. It’s the least invasive procedure to correcting skin issues. And the best part? No downtime. Some clients may experience minimal flaking but if home care products are being used properly, then you will be okay to face the public. 🙂

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Great for those with one (or more) of the following problems…

Acne
Acne scars and post-breakout marks
Sun damage
Fine lines
Wrinkles
Large pores (help the appearance of)
Freckles
Age spots
Skin in need of smoothing
Anti-aging

A chemical peel is applied to the skin to remove and exfoliate the outer layers so that a clearer and more glowing skin can appear. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled and the peels are conducive in the stimulation of fibroblasts and creating new collagen.

Each peel series is fully customized for each client. Skin is really like snowflakes so it’s important to address it individually.

Home care products are key to producing great results. If you are using products at home that I recommend, then I know exactly how they work together with the peels. This is an important step, not just for the results but also for the condition of your skin during the series.

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