Before you decide to switch regimens to address breakouts for the 100th time, read this!
So you just started a regimen a week or two ago that your esthetician raved about and now you are breaking out more than ever? Believe it or not, this is not the time to change routines.
It is crucial to understand how your skin functions and how certain ingredients influence its behavior so you know what to expect when starting a new regimen.
Normally, your skin regenerates itself every 28-50 days depending on age and skin health. You shed skin cells daily, but the amount is so minute that you rarely see it happening. This is called natural exfoliation. Acne regimens rely on products that will enhance this process (along with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients).
When starting a new acne regimen, your skin goes through an accelerated exfoliation and renewal process. This allows for breakouts to show up much more quickly than they would have otherwise. The products are not creating new breakouts, but rather unveiling them at a sooner date. You would have seen the same blemishes surface weeks down the road, but since your skin function has been sped up you are seeing 5-6 weeks worth of breakouts in one or two weeks. This amazing and horrifying process is commonly referred to as “purging”.
This can definitely be alarming, but it is very important to adhere to the regimen suggested to you so you can get through this period, and you will get through it. The average time frame is 7-10 days, but it is not uncommon for it to stretch to 2-4 weeks. It all depends on the severity of acne you were experiencing and how quickly you can advance your regimen. Sensitive skin has to advance more slowly so the “purging” period may be a bit longer than tolerant skin which can increase the frequency of product usage more quickly. This breakout period can be minimized by using products with anti-bacterial properties such as benzoyl peroxide or topical antibiotics from your derm. We suggest sticking to a regimen for 6- 8 weeks and sometimes longer before deciding to switch, unless you are have a reaction (not skin purging). Keep in mind that not all acne will clear in 8 weeks, but you will definitely get a sense of the products and if you will be able to achieve better results over time.
The bottom line is to stick it out and you will see clearer, more refined healthy skin.
The key players in this acclimation process are:
Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (glycolic, lactic, salicylic, malic, mandelic acids) – Hydroxy acids have the ability to break down corneodemosomes on the surface of the skin. These are what hold the dead skin cells together. Think of the mortar on a brick wall. Once the corneodesmosomes are dissolved, the dead skin cells are ready to fall off. Using a hydroxy acid will speed up the rate that the cells are shed which means your skin has to make new skin cells to fill their place. When these new cells die, they are pushed to the surface for their turn to be shed. Any debris or microcomedones (pimples) rise to the surface too, which is why it seems like the product is making you break out. When using these ingredients for acne, daily is usually best.
Retinol – Retinol works from the inside out, which is opposite of a hydroxy acid. This ingredient stimulates cell renewal first, which then forces your skin to shed the dead skin cells from the top layer. This is a very potent ingredient and flaking and peeling is a common reaction because it has the ability to speed up the production of new skin cells so fast that you can visibly see the shedding of the old skin cells, which is usually invisible. This is generally not a desirable outcome, so moderation is the key with retinol. Use maybe 2-3 times a week.
Ask a professional before starting a regimen with either of these active ingredients.
Have a questions for our estheticians? Ask us here.
The winter season brings a host of skin concerns for many of us whether we spend our time outdoors in the cold or inside near the heater. Inside we are exposed to the drying heat of the heater that zaps the hydration out of your skin and outside we are exposed to searing cold which also works to dehydrate our skin very quickly (you’ve heard of freeze-dried?).
Dry cracked feet are a very common concern during the winter season, but what can you do? SkinStore.com Esthetician’s answer this question all the time. Proper foot care all year round is important to your overall health and we always suggest that you focus on hydration on all parts of your skin including your feet daily.
If you require an aggressive approach you can incorporate a Ceramic File, Callus Rasp or a Buffer for additional callus removal by controlled friction. I would give you some caution that you should never go too aggressive with these tools as you could cause additional cracking or bleeding if you get your skin too thin so be gentle at first and perhaps do just a little but each day until you get the desired results.
A gentle alternative is the Barielle Total Foot Care Cream, this is a top customer rated cream that can be used twice daily. A great suggestion with this product is to apply the cream then place your plain 100% cotton socks in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and put them on and leave overnight.
If your feet simply need hydration, the Archipelago Botanicals Milk Foot Balm is a great selection. With milk solids, oat and soy protein, this product will provide adequate moisture if used morning and evening.
You can find the products mentioned on SkinStore.com.
Do you have a winter foot care secret? Share with us here – leave a comment below.
Winter can wreak havoc on your hands. The skin on our hands is thin, delicate and often dry making them more vulnerable to cold winds, frost, and dry heated air.
SkinStore has the cure; Barielle Intensive Hand Treatment (gloves included) is an intense, overnight, moisture treatment. It’s formulated with revolutionary Oat Beta Glucan, which acts as a natural anti-irritant. The Barielle Intensive treatment is the perfect remedy for treating and healing rough, dry, scaled, and chapped hands. This greaseless penetrating cream provides a protective barrier directly on the skin to prevent dryness and is safe for even the most sensitive skin.
To apply, massage the cream into hands, put on enclosed gloves and allow the healing powers of the Oat Beta Glucan, Aloe Vera, Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Passion Flower, Rosehips, and Vitamin E to transform your hands into the soft, healthy and hydrated hands that you are seeking. No more irritation and dryness!
For best results microwave the gloves for 10 to 15 seconds, then put the gloves on and allow cream to penetrate overnight. Make sure the gloves are not too hot before putting them on.
You can find this product on SkinStore.com.
Spices are not just for cooking, many skincare companies utilize spices, or the oils obtained from them, in the formulation of their products. Here are just a few with notable skincare benefits.
• Fennel – Fennel’s ability to decrease irritation and redness make it a great ingredient for sensitive skin. It also has the capability to tone and tighten making it a useful tool for mature skin and a great addition to an eye cream. The Peter Thomas Roth Instant FirmX Eye contains fennel. With its ability to stimulate lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness, Fennel is a useful firming agent.
• Cloves – These little evergreen tree buds have been used all over the world for centuries. Clove oil is an effective antimicrobial agent and is often added to cleansing products such as Eve Lom Cleanser. Additionally, cloves are rich in Vitamins A and C, two very effective antioxidants.
• Cinnamon – Individuals with oily or acne-prone skin will benefit from this yummy ingredient due to its antibacterial and naturally astringent properties. Juara Sweet Black Tea and Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer is a great product that makes use of its benefits. This refreshing gel-cream combines the anti-aging benefits of fermented sweet black tea with the shine-reducing and pore-purifying properties of ginger and cinnamon for a luminous matte finish. Completely oil-free, it immediately reduces shine while at the same time helping delay and reverse signs of aging.
• Pepper – Pepper is a popular ingredient in body products due to its ability to boost circulation. Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper Sugar Scrub also have analgesic properties and can be used to soothe muscle aches. Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel is another great muscle soother.
• Turmeric – This is a popular ingredient because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant and can help with the lightening of hyperpigmentation. For a more in-depth look on Turmeric, see our previous blog. [“Hot Ingredient – Turmeric”]
You can find the products mentioned on SkinStore.com.
I’m always on a search for the best eye cream, and so are our customers. At least five times a day I have customers asking “What is the best eye cream you have?”
Of course, ‘best’ depends on customer preference. Things that work for some people may not work well for others, but it seems that there are those cult-favorites with the loyal following that always seem to top the ‘favorites’ charts for just about everybody.
Here are some magic little potions we (and our customers) can’t stop raving about:
Neocutis Lumiere Riche Bio-Restorative Eye Balm with PSP is excellent for dry, dehydrated skin and is formulated with 30% more PSP. Lumiere Riche helps target the most prevalent signs of skin aging including: lines and wrinkles, under eye darkness, stress and fatigue, puffiness and hydration. This is a periorbital wonder cream!
Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Firming Eye Repair features a powerful combination of active copper, cutting edge peptides and anti-aging proteins that help boost collagen levels lost due to aging. This soothing, rich, cream-gel formula improves the overall health, balance and quality of collagen to firm, tone and tighten the entire eye area, while reducing the depth of fine lines and wrinkles.
SkinCeuticals Eye Balm is a synergistic combination of highly effective, yet gentle phytochemicals rehabilitates mature, aging skin around the delicate eye area. This rich, corrective emollient treatment is specifically formulated to counter the three prime signs of aging— moisture loss, collagen breakdown, and free radical damage. A natural anti-inflammatory is added to reduce the appearance of under-eye puffiness, while a soothing agent derived from the chamomile plant calms irritated skin.
L’Occitane Immortelle Eye Balm – An eye cream with anti-aging benefits that reduces dark circles, puffiness and signs of tiredness around the eyes. Formulated with Immortelle floral water, this cream will soothe, moisturize, nourish and tone the delicate skin around the eyes.
Give one (or all) a try- we’re sure you’ll love them!
You can find these and many other great products on SkinStore.com!
Shiny hair is sexy. Shiny hair signals youth and fertility, so instinctively men love a woman with luscious locks. Here are a few simple and easy steps that every woman can take to keep her hair shiny, and to keep those boys breaking their necks.
People with oily hair tend to over wash their hair. When the hair is stripped of its essential oils it goes into overdrive to produce more oils, so it’s a never ending battle to keep oily hair clean. Instead, wash only a few times a week if your hair is oily. The oils in your hair condition the roots and lengths of your hair, and will keep the hair shiny and supple. If the root area looks greasy, use a dry shampoo to keep it immaculate. Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is a great choice.
If you have normal to dry hair and a dry scalp, it’s likely that your hair stays fresh for quite some time. Once weekly washings are appropriate to those that don’t produce much oil at the scalp and the oil that is produced will be beneficial and hydrating to the hair, so use a soft boar bristle brush to pull the oils from the roots through the lengths of the hair.
Don’t overuse heat tools. Stick straight hair is so 2005, so don’t flat iron your hair to its death. Instead, embrace the natural texture that you were born with. Air dry hair when possible, and if you need to use a blow-dryer, opt for a cool setting instead of high heat. My therapist (I mean stylist) has taught me some great hair care tricks over the years, but one of my favorites is a blow-drying tip. Part the hair and spritz with heat-protective spray, then blow dry only at the roots, let the ends of the hair air-dry… this always gives my hair a lot of natural movement but doesn’t leave the top of my head kinked. If you like your hair curly, then traditional curling rods are a better choice than a high-heat curling iron, so if you’re sporting ringlets let dry hair set in curlers for a few hours.
Lay off the chemical processing for a change. Highlights, lowlights, double processing, triple processing, you’ve done it all. Every chemical process does a bit of damage, and when color is constantly pulled out and deposited in, the hair strand becomes more and more damaged. Color only the hair that hasn’t been colored, we advise professional root touch ups every 6-8 weeks. And quit with the drama already… If you don’t have naturally light hair, the peroxide that you use will eat up your healthy dark tresses. And light haired girls that go uber-dark can end up with those grey-looking roots (nobody wants to look like they have a receding hair line). Many colorists say that the most flattering color you can have as an adult is the hair color that you had as a child. Was it sunny and blonde, but turned a little brassy and mousy as you got older? Pump up the volume on the developer and lighten up! Did you have gorgeous black hair as a baby but it looks a little worn and ashen? Deposit a rich hue to bring out the vibrancy!
One of the most important rules in hair care is to trim your hair regularly. Hair that has split ends (no matter how well cared for) can look dry and brittle. Regular trims keep the hair looking slick and smooth, not bushy and unruly.
Remember that hair care products play a huge role in the way your hair looks. Using quality shampoo and conditioner that are made for your specific hair type will be beneficial to the health of your hair. Yes, a shampoo and conditioner made for color-treated hair can improve and prolong your hair color. A shampoo and conditioner made for oily hair will help to balance the production of sebum in the scalp. A shampoo and conditioner made for normal to dry hair will condition the hair thoroughly to provide greater manageability.
Leave-in treatment products are very beneficial to the hair. Leave-in conditioners (in spray or cream form) help to condition the hair and seal the cuticle so it’s pliable and elastic, therefore less prone to break. Leave-in products such as shine enhancing sprays and serums seal the hair cuticle and impart shine, so hair not only feels healthier, it also looks better.
Deep conditioners are intense and really beneficial to thirsty hair. Because I have platinum hair that requires a lot of color developer to lift the ashy-ness out of my roots, and A LOT of toner to keep it neutral instead of brassy, my hair is always thirsty. In addition to using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner and leave-in products I love a once-weekly deep conditioner, and you will too once you try one. When you can’t afford to have it in-salon (or just have no time or desire to sit in a salon chair for two hours) use a hair masque at home instead! After washing and conditioning the hair, apply a generous amount of hair masque that’s appropriate to your hair type (I LOVE the Alterna TEN Hair Masque), put on a shower cap and use your blow-dryer to warm up the hair (make sure the cap isn’t the type that melts), this will allow for your hair cuticle to open up and absorb more of the active ingredients. Then rinse, dry and voila! Shiny, bouncy, smooth hair that’s manageable and silky.
Find more Hair Care products on SkinStore.com.
Shea butter is a highly beneficial ingredient. It protects, nourishes and moisturizes the skin. Shea butter is an intensely nourishing ingredient perfect for use anywhere on the body. It is suitable for all skin types including dry skin, sensitive skin and even a baby’s skin. When added to soap, shea butter makes the soap milder and adds moisturizing properties. Shea butter also has natural antioxidant properties and contains cinnamic acid which provides UV protection.
L’Occitane is well known for its use of shea butter and has been using it in a variety of its beauty products for over 20 years. L’Occitane 100% Pure Shea Butter is the perfect multi-usage moisturizer. L’Occitane’s ultra-nourishing Organic Shea Butter takes care of lips, skin, elbows, feet and even hair. This product contains pure organic shea butter from Burkina Faso, harvested in a sustainable and fair trade partnership with the women who produce it.
You can find this and other amazing products on SkinStore.com!
These days more and more consumers are becoming increasingly cautious about the ingredients used in their skincare and cosmetic products and they are trying to stay away from chemicals such as parabens, petrochemicals, or synthetic fragrances, just to name a few.
Companies are certainly aware of this and many of them are jumping on the “green” bandwagon. You are probably seeing a lot more products on the market labeled with the terms “organic” and “natural” and you may be wondering, what is the difference between these two? Is there a difference? The short answer is yes, there is a difference between “organic” and “natural”.
To start with, there may be some confusion for the consumer as to how these terms are regulated. In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the government agency that regulates the labeling and safety requirements for the cosmetic industry. Yet, they do not have a sanctioned definition of either of these terms. While the term natural is not regulated by any agency, the term organic is. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the National Organic Program (NOP) which regulates what can be considered organic. That being said, the USDA does not have a separate category for cosmetics, they use the same standards used for the food industry.
There are also International organizations that certify organic products. ECOCERT is a worldwide organization working in over 80 countries and COSMEBIO is a French organization created specifically for cosmetics and skincare.
So, what does is actually take for a product to really be “organic”? To earn a certified organic label 95% of the ingredients used must be organic. For a product labeled “made with organic ingredients” the required percentage goes down to 70%.
Natural is a broader term usually used to indicate that a minimal amount of chemicals were used in either the process of making the product or the actual formula of the product. Typically, “natural” products are free of synthetic additives such as chemical preservatives, synthetic coloring or fragrance. However, seeing natural on the label is not a guarantee that any of these ingredients will not be in the product. If you are still uncertain, always check the ingredient listing.
With so many choices out there it can be overwhelming. How does the consumer know what they are getting? What’s the bottom line for all of you ingredient-savvy consumers? Read those labels!
It’s that time of year again! We have to start thinking of all the photo opportunities that fall brings. Back to School and the upcoming holiday season- they’re all occasions when cameras are ever present. We want to make sure your smiles are ready for a close up.
GoSmile products offer a safe and effective way of lightening teeth in no time! If you’re in need of some big time whitening try the GoSmile Whitening System. Stains are reduced in as little as one 30 minute treatment! This easy to use device is to be hand held. Start by brushing your teeth, then use a tissue to blot dry the surface of your teeth. Rub the included teeth whitening serum in a circular motion ensuring each tooth is thoroughly coated. Then press the “G” button to turn on the light. Insert the Smile Whitening Light into the mouth and shine the light on your teeth until the device beeps and automatically shuts off. Immediately repeat ampoule plus light process two more times, for a total of 3 passes of ampoule plus light. Remember, no food or drink for 20 minutes after use.
If you don’t have 30 minutes to devote, no biggie, we still have you covered. Supersmile Professional Whitening System is a two item system that whitens and cleans teeth. Use equal parts of the Supersmile Whitening Accelerator Component and Supersmile Original Mint Whitening Toothpaste, and brush teeth in circular motions for 2 minutes.
You could even use the products in conjunction with each other if you’d like…
Let’s talk underarms. They’re the pits. They are pit-iful. They need a ton of TLC to stay looking smooth and healthy.
There are a few things you can do to prevent ingrown hairs, rashes, and tenderness when shaving your underarms. There are also a few tricks to getting a closer shave than ever before, and going longer between shaves, too!
Always shave in the shower or bath, when your skin is damp. Hot water softens the hair and the skin holds onto the hair less tightly when it’s damp. Never, ever dry shave, especially under your arms.
Always use shave cream or gel, and invest in a high quality razor. Your razor should have at least three blades and a moisture cushion around the blade. One-blade disposable razors shouldn’t have ever been made.
Because the hair under your arms grows in a circle type of shape rather than in one direction, it’s important to maneuver your blade to adjust to hair growth – always shave downwards first, then upwards, and then sideways if you have any strays. Don’t go over the area more than three times with your blade, and if you have any stubborn strays left remove them with tweezers post-shower.
Don’t apply deodorant or antiperspirant after shaving, let your skin rest overnight, or at least for a few hours. If you must use something then use a gentle or natural formula with soothing ingredients like aloe.
If you’re prone to getting bumps or rashes after shaving apply an aftershave gel post-shave, we like Shaveworks The Cool Fix because it’s soothing, cooling, and has glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin and prevent ingrowns.