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.

retinol-serum

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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Serums- The Skin Care Product You Should be Using!

For the second week of product talk, I am going to discuss Serums.

Every product you apply to your skin is important but I think serums do most of the work. Serums are more advanced formulations with smaller molecules that are able to penetrate the skin deeper. Serums treat the skin in a more specific way to address your skin needs.

There are many out there and they all do different things. I do believe that some are better than others. If you’re looking for effectiveness, professional is always the way to go. I say this with every product but since you want serums to make a change for your skin, this is the most important investment. In my opinion. I did some research and I was shocked to see how expensive some serums are at Nordstrom. If you’re going to pay that much, it might as well be products that will actually have enough active ingredients to make a difference.

Some people aren’t sure when to start using a serum. I think everyone at age 18 should be using vitamin c. After that, it depends on your skin and its needs. At age 30 you start losing about 1% of collagen a year so then I start my clients on an additional serum. Sometimes people need something extra earlier. Everyone is different. I don’t agree that a 25 year old should be using what a 40 year old person is using. It’s almost wasteful. There is such a thing as preventing but I think we are starting to get carried away. Botox and fillers are being injected in people at a much younger age than necessary. Please listen to my podcast (Pure Skin Talk) about how I feel about those. I’ve had too many young clients come to me using some random product that someone at Nordstrom told her she should use. Most of the time, it wasn’t needed.

I’ve had people ask me about whether they should change up their routine every once in awhile. Yes, you can but you don’t have to. Just as your body never gets used to healthy food, your skin doesn’t get used to healthy products.

Not all serums are for all skin types. Most of the ones I retail are but if you don’t consult with me, make sure it’s compatible.

I basically carry two professional lines, Skin Script and Le Mieux. While I love both, I favor some products in each. I am obsessed with Le Mieux serums. They are incredibly inexpensive for their benefits (but don’t tell them because I don’t want them to raise the prices!).

Ageless Skin Hyaluronic Serum- This is actually a good serum and for it’s price at only $30, it’s definitely worth it. It will hydrate your skin. I sell this one for those that want something beneficial but not a lot of money. It’s like the intro Hyaluronic serum.

Benefits:

Improves Hydration
Reduces Visible Wrinkles
Plumps the Skin
Assists in Healing and Rejuvenating

SS Beta-Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum- With aloe and olive. A mild exfoliation serum for sensitive skin. Beta carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A; papain is an enzyme derived from papayas. I like this one because it can be used on pregnant or lactating women. They are so limited during this time and this is a good serum to exfoliate and brighten the skin.

Benefits:

  1. Improves Skin Barrier Integrity by Balancing Surface Lipids
  2. Exfoliates to Reduce Visible Wrinkles
  3. Anti-Inflammatory

So before I get started on all the Le Mieux serums, I want to talk about Hyaluronic Acid. This is a hugely popular ingredient right now and it should be. It’s one of the best you can use on your skin and since we make it naturally (although it slows down in our late teens), everyone can use it.

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it draws moisture from its surroundings. It can hold 10x times its weight in water. This ingredient can replenish a lot of moisture. As we get older our skin loses the ability to retain water and that’s where hyaluronic acid helps. Hydration makes our skin plump and that makes us look younger.

All of LM serums that I retail, except for one, uses hyaluronic acid as its base. So whatever issue you’re treating, hydration will always be addressed.

LM Hyaluronic Acid Serum- I just explained what this will do for you. It’s great for those with dry and dehydrated skin. I often recommend this as an extra serum when clients are feeling particularly dry.

LM Vita-C Serum- My #1 seller! Like I said before, everyone 18 and over should use it so this is the first serum I start my clients on. If you want to see a difference, start wearing it. Fight prematurely aging skin with this concentrated serum from the most stable, pure quality and maximum strength Vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate). Stimulates collagen production to illuminate a dull complexion, brightens the skin and delays the loss of healthy skin tone. All skin types can wear this one especially those with acne. Helps in healing scars.

LM TGF-Β Booster- My 2nd best seller! This is always the second serum I recommend to clients and usually starting at about 30. Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a luminous, healthy, youthful glow. The anti-aging serum.

LM Rx Complex Serum- I love this serum for men! It’s kind of all in one. Great for hydrating, also has vitamin c and it helps with fine lines and wrinkles. Men generally aren’t interested in applying a bunch of different serums. Although I prefer to separate and use multiple serums because it’s more effective, this one gets the job done. My male clients love it!

LM Derma Relief- Oh my gosh. I discovered this serum a few years after I got started with LM products. I don’t know why it took me so lone because it’s actually perfect for my skin. This makes my skin feel silky. This lipid replacement serum provides instant relief for very dry, stressed skin. Features powerful ceramides, a superior form of Vitamin E, and 13 exotic oils including argan oil and kukui nut oil to soothe skin, minimize inflammation, and restore suppleness and resiliency. Helps repair skin damage caused by environmental aggressors. I use this year round but some clients only use in the winter.

LM Collagen Peptide Serum- This serum is more pricey than the others which is why I don’t think I talk about it much. I’m always concerned about price for my clients. But here’s the thing, I love it. I use this serum every night. It’s a little creamier than the others and it feels great on my skin. This concentrated, creamy serum features 4 peptides and marine algae extracts to dramatically lift and tighten sagging facial contours while smoothing out expression lines and wrinkles. Nourishing ceramides help hydrate, extend moisture, and restore skin resiliency.

LM Retinol Serum- This is also a pricier serum but you only use it once or twice a week so it lasts as long as the others. What can I say about retinol that you don’t already know? It’s a great anti-aging ingredient. This 0.5% retinol concentrated serum resurfaces skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brighten dull skin, fade sun-induced age spots, and improve rough texture. The peptide-infused formula and revolutionary Tri-Cosmetic Delivery System help boost collagen and elastin production for a fresh, glowing, and age-defying complexion.

This serum is a little more expensive but you only use it about twice a week so lasts longer!

So here are the serums I use daily…Vita-C and Derma Relief in the morning. TGF Booster and Collagen Peptide at night. I can only use the Retinol serum once a week so on that night, I skip my other two night serums.

Listen, I’m trying to do everything I can to hold off botox, fillers, lifts and plastic surgery. I’m not even sure I would get them anyway but I need my skin to look good. It’s my business but it’s also my face! I want it to look good!

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Products for Your Winter Skin

Vita-C Serum

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 Vitamin C protects against and may repair UV damage, like discoloration and fine lines.

There are different forms of vitamin c but one of the most stable is MAP (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate). Stability is important because when it’s not, it can irritate the skin. That is why not all vitamin c’s are created equal. The one I recommend has MAP in it so therefore most people can use it without an issue.

Hyaluronic Shea Mask

Deep conditioning cream mask binds moisture to prevent water loss, dryness, and roughness while improving elasticity. Nourishing and rejuvenating blend of soothing oils, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter provides intensive, long-lasting hydration for dry, damaged, or mature skin. Your skin will feel so good after you use it. And you can even apply it to your hands for a deep conditioning hand mask. If the weather is making you feel dry, this mask will revitalize your skin again and give you back your glow.

Grapeseed Oil

You all have to be sick of me talking about this oil but I love it and think that it does such great things for the skin. Dry, oily, mature skin, acne skin, teens, babies…whatever your age, whatever your issue, this oil will work.

For those with dry skin, it will deeply hydrate and give you that youthful tone. If you have oily skin, it helps to balance out the oil and in turn, helps with acne.

Konjac Sponge

I love these sponges! I’ve often said how sensitive my skin is so that means I have to be super careful with how I care for it and especially how I exfoliate it. Scrubs don’t work with my skin. They irritate it. Washcloths, even baby washcloths don’t work either. I can use these sponges every other night and my skin has seriously never been softer. These are perfect for winter time when your barrier (top layer that protects you) becomes compromised…meaning dry and sensitive. It’s still important to exfoliate but you have got to be gentle.

Charcoal is great for acne and breakouts. Also available in white for all skin types.

24 Hr. Age Defying Cream

This moisturizer is not for everyone but those that do use it, love it! It immediately made my skin have a glow again. That’s not easy to achieve on dry skin.

Rich, creamy formula fortifies the skin’s essential moisture barrier, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promotes firmness, resiliency, and lasting hydration for up to 24 hours. Features skin-refining peptides, ceramides, and cupuacu, shea, and kukui butters to soothe dryness and irritation. Highly effective for improving the appearance of crepey, weathered neck skin.

Moisture Infusion Mask

This is a good mask for all skin types. It’s tough when you are breaking out or even dealing with acne because sometimes (most of the time unless I’m treating you) the skin is also dry. You want a mask that will help hydrate but most that do that can also clog pores on acneic skin. Enter, the Moisture Infusion Mask. Packed with lots of serums that won’t cause breakouts but will hydrate and make the skin feel better. It comes in a pack of 4, but each mask can usually be used 2-3 times. And if you keep it in the fridge, then you will also get a firming effect. Great for holiday parties and date night!

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Save Your Skin During the Holidays!

Shopping, parties, family in town, traveling, etc. There are so many things going on this time of year that sometimes we neglect ourselves and that means, our skin. I’ve compiled a short list of things to remember to save your skin so you don’t have to play catch up in January. It’s bad enough the credit card bills come piling in, do we also need the wrinkles and dry skin?

1. Wear Your Sunscreen– Even though the sun is gone, we still need to be aware of the UVA rays that are present year round. These are the rays that can cause skin cancer and premature aging.

My favorite!

2. If you’re stressed out, your skin will show it. I know that being “stress free” isn’t always an option but it’s important to take a time-out every once in a while. Go do some yoga, get a pedicure, a facial (call me!) or just relax by the fire. We all know these things but we need to be reminded.

3. Manicures- All your running around at the malls and cooking are going to wreak havoc on your hands and nails. Mix any oil (olive, jojoba, grapeseed) with a lotion or apply by itself for extra hydration. If you haven’t already, try a Gel manicure. I love them! Lasts about 2-3 weeks and the best part, at least for me, you don’t have to wait for them to dry! Chipping isn’t really an issue either. It happens but it is pretty rare. A little more expensive than a regular manicure but just think what your sanity is worth. 🙂

4. Chapped Lips- This is when you need a Lip BALM, not a chapstick. A balm will heal your lips and a chapstick will protect your lips. Burt’s Bees is my absolute favorite.

5. Sore Feet- Peppermint is the answer. You can find it in scrubs and lotions and it will make your feet feel fantastic! Peppermint is also great for headaches. I use an inexpensive peppermint oil and put it where the headache is and most often I won’t have to take medicine.

6. Dry Skin- How many times can I talk about this during this time of year? I think it makes it in every blog post! Did you know that people with dry skin tend to age faster than those with oily skin? Yep, there is an advantage to oily skin. 🙂 Keep your skin hydrated and not just your face. I’m obsessed with grapeseed oil so that is my go-to oil. Just make sure you use it consistently. Those heaters can dry out our skin and make things worse. Add a humidifier to your bedroom and turn it on at night. That can help keep the skin hydrated, especially if you turn on the heater.

7. Makeup- Keep it light and dewy and wash your face every night!

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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.

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.

bath-sponges

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.

grape-seed-oil-6oz

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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Eye Cream. Should You Use One?

This is a common question and for many years I have said that everyone should use one. I have since changed my mind. I still see the value in them and still recommend them but now there are conditions.

The reason you use an eye cream is to hydrate the eye area to help with dark circles, puffiness and/or fine lines. This is either a preventative or corrective. The eye area is 7x thinner than your face so it does require something different than your moisturizer so there is definitely a benefit to an eye cream.

I stopped recommending them to everyone because if you are using serums in your routine then I don’t think you need another product for your eyes. Of course, this only applies if you are using the correct serums but I make sure that my clients are using the right ones so they aren’t missing out on anything.

The ingredients in the serums are small enough to penetrate into the eye area and give you what you need. I don’t know why an additional cream/serum is needed. I used myself as the guinea pig for this experiment. I stopped using an eye cream to see if I would see a difference and I haven’t. The serums I use are hydrating and will help with fine lines.

Another reason to start using an eye cream is to firm up the area during the day. You can also mix a little eye cream with your under eye concealer to make it less drying.

Now, if you aren’t using serums (or the right ones) then you MUST wear an eye cream/serum. Your eyes age the fastest and are the most abused so protect the area now! I suggest people start as young as 18-20.

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2 Beauty Myths

I was reading some beauty myths and I wanted to share them with you. One made me mad, frustrated and confused. The other made me laugh.

1. Putting Vaseline on your face nightly will prevent wrinkles– I agree that this is not true. The part that made me mad, frustrated and confused was what the dermatologist said, “Petroleum jelly is the strongest moisturizer there is because it forces oils into the skin and prevents them from evaporating.”  He needed to elaborate on this. If you have oily skin, this may work for you but what about those of us with dry skin? I don’t have any oil in my skin so this would be absolutely useless on my face. At least the article mentioned the potential for breakouts that Vaseline can cause. I would not recommend this for anyone!

Often, not enough information is given, so people end up doing the wrong things for their skin.

images

2. Preparation H deflates puffiness– This made me laugh. Apparently the ingredient in the product that used to help us with this is no longer available in the U.S. version. They reformulated it in 1994! So basically all it will do now is dry out your skin and inflame your skin. Stay away from it!! 🙂

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Hyaluronic Acid- My Favorite Ingredient!

This is an amazing ingredient that we naturally produce in our skin so when we use it, our skin doesn’t see it as foreign and easily accepts it and everyone can benefit from it. The fact that it plumps and softens the skin is why all the  skin care and cosmetic companies are putting it in all their products. It’s also a key component in several injectable wrinkle fillers.

When you apply it to the skin, like in a serum or moisturizer, it helps to bind moisture to the skin as well as pull moisture from the air and is said to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

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I’d love to say that this will eliminate fine lines and wrinkles but this blog (and what I do) is about honesty. What it can do for you when applied topically is form a barrier on the skin and give a soft moisturizing effect that makes skin smoother. That’s good enough for me!

I had a 1st time client the other day tell me that she started using a hyaluronic acid serum because her friend recommended it but she wasn’t sure why it was beneficial. I told her what it was doing for her and she said that had noticed her skin was more supple and that she had actually been getting compliments about the appearance of it. She is a woman in her 60’s and has been using it for about a month and already noticed a difference.

I started using Skin Script earlier this year and hyaluronic acid is in 2 of the products I use. Shortly after, I added 3 Le Mieux serums to my routine, 1 of them being just hyaluronic (featured above). My skin has completely changed. I have always suffered with really dry skin and every time I waxed, my face showed it for days. Now, even in the winter, no one knows. I don’t have that tight, dry feeling anymore.

Bottom line…I love it and everyone one should be using it! Dry, oily, acneic, in your 20’s, in your 60’s, it doesn’t matter.

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