Vitamin A (also known as retinol, Retin-A, renova, retinyl palmitate, tretinoin, ETC) is not only an excellent antioxidant, it is also cell-communicating (talks to your skin cells). When an antioxidant is cell-communicating, such as Vitamin A, it means that it helps your cells create healthier skin cells and increase the amount of support tissues like collagen and/or elastin. The body lacks the ability to produce Vitamin A, so it is important to gain Vitamin A through foods and skin care products. Vitamin A products are most recommended to individuals that have damaged skin. It is very important to make sure that Vitamin A is packaged correctly; otherwise, the product could be no good. The product should be in a closed, dark colored container. If sunlight penetrates the product it can promote problems with its efficacy. When using Vitamin A based products it is very important that you use a sunscreen daily. When using exfoliating products it makes your skin more susceptible to sun damage. Also, the sun depletes the skin of Vitamin A, which can cause sunbathers to age faster.
Some people will experience irritation from using Vitamin A products for the first time, which is completely normal. To make the best experience, start out using a Vitamin A based product 1 to 2 times weekly and gradually work your way up to 5 to 7 days a week.
Here are a few recommendations of Vitamin A based products:
SkinStore offers some nifty online tools to help direct you to the most ideal products to obtain your skincare goals. Beauty Advisor is a questionnaire created by our licensed estheticians that personalizes a skincare regimen for your unique skin type. Your results may be printed or saved for reference or you may contact an esthetician to discuss in detail which products fit into your lifestyle. SkinStore is committed to providing our customers with easy, personalized service for a more beautiful you!
Did you know that SkinStore has licensed estheticians available to answer your skincare and beauty questions by phone, email or live chat? Our estheticians have a passion for skincare and are happy to assist you to create a personalized regimen just for you. Our experts have completed over 600 hours of education with hands-on skincare training. All of our estheticians are California State Board certified and are educated in various skincare conditions, diseases and the latest skincare treatments.
Can’t wait for your own personalized regimen? Click HERE to get started with the My Beauty Advisor questionnaire.
As we say goodbye to summer, why not say goodbye to sun spots and uneven skin tone as well?! Dr.Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum unites three forms of Vitamin C with a strong peptide to provide supreme brightening and anti-aging benefits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a vital role in the production of collagen. You will see an improvement in sun damage, an increase in skin’s luminosity and a visibly firmer, more youthful appearance. For best results use daily followed by your favorite moisturizer. As with any Vitamin C serum you always want to wear SPF, as this product will make skin more sensitive to the sunlight.
Melasma, otherwise known as pregnancy mask, is one of the most common forms of hyperpigmentation. Women who are pregnant, nursing or even using hormonal therapy run a risk of developing this issue. While this “mask” occurs due to a hormonal imbalance, sun exposure may worsen the condition. Women who have already suffered from sun damage may experience more severe pigmentation. The pigmentation generally affects the forehead, lips, chin and cheeks giving it the name “mask”. It is estimated that about 70% of all pregnant women have some form of melasma during pregnancy. (It also can occur in men, but very rarely).
Most people affected by melasma are advised to avoid prolonged sun exposure and use sunscreen throughout the day, we suggest Belli Pure Radiance Facial Sunscreen. Exfoliating the skin can be beneficial to removing the darkened skin cells, we recommend the Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub which is specially formulated to be gentle enough for pregnant woman. Belli offers a wide range of products for women who are pregnant, nursing or plan on becoming pregnant.
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!
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.
MYTH #1: The FDA ensures that all cosmetics statements are factual before you buy them.
A: FALSE! The FDA or Food & Drug Administration does not require approval of cosmetics before their manufacture and sale since the products are neither labeled for dietary consumption or as a medial supplement. The FDA only regulated the claims made and the labeling provided on each product. Cosmetics can ONLY claim to change the appearance of the body or skin, not the function.
MYTH #2: Sunscreen can actually increase the risk of skin cancer.
A: FALSE! Octinoxate is a chemical sunscreen that is preferred by sensitive skin types. Most physical sunscreens contain zinc oxide which can cause irritation. NO sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s rays (UVB, UVA or otherwise). You will notice a large change in the way sunscreens are marketed in the United States. The Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, labels the strength of the sunscreen but does no matter how the strong sunscreen, they lose their potency after about two hours and need to be reapplied.
MYTH #3: Exfoliating scrubs can be used as an explosive.
A: FALSE! Most exfoliants or “scrubs” contain a variety of grainy materials ranging from fruit pits to seeds to diatomaceous earth, which help slough of dead skin cells from the surface. Diatomaceous earth (DE), marine sediment or fossil algae, is used in many other products not limited to the skincare industry. DE can also be combined with nitroglycerin to classify as dynamite, which is never found in skin care products.
MYTH #4: Your waterproof mascara coats your lashes in plastic.
A: TRUE! Plastic derivatives have been used in a variation of products for many years. Plastic derivatives or polymers are crucial in the production of hairspray, hair gel, liquid bandages and even perfumes. Polymers, when viewed under a microscope, are perfectly round spheres and do not damage the surface of the skin or irritate sensitive areas like the eyes, ears, or nose.
MYTH #5: Lipsticks contains a lethal amount of lead.
A: FALSE! In 2009, the FDA developed a method of testing to determine the amount of lead in products. It was then the FDA confirmed that the amount of lead found in lipstick was detected in 20 lipstick products but very low and did not pose any safety or health concerns. The lead levels are attributed to color additives and other ingredients that are acceptable by the FDA.
Contrary to popular belief, alcohols can actually have great skincare benefits. Not all alcohols are astringent or abrasive, some can even be moisturizing and conditioning. Alcohols are actually a classification of chemicals that react differently and more varied than you may think.
Ethanol (alcohol), generally found in alcoholic beverages, is synonymous with the word “alcohol” but is the only chain that has drying effects. Ethanol alcohol is used in products for oilier skin types because of the ability to absorb quickly.
If you are on the drier side and worried about alcohols in your products, don’t be alarmed if you see; cetyl, cetearyl, stearyl, behenyl, arachidyl or myristyl alcohols.
Eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition which is characterized by dryness, flaking, blistering, crusting, swelling, and cracking of the skin. Eczema is typically caused by factors such as skin over-sensitivity, allergies, stress, and genetic factors. Those with asthma are more likely to develop eczema. Typically eczema is treated with a topical corticosteroid cream. Eczema skin types that are prone to infections will often be treated by a mild course of antibiotics. Antihistamines (topical and oral) may often be prescribed for the treatment of eczema as well. Antihistamines reduce swelling thus reducing the irritation and itchiness associated with eczema-prone skin. Eczema can be frustrating and embarrassing, and the doctor route can get costly and is quite unpleasant (why take antibiotics and slather on smelly prescription cream when most eczema outbreaks can be treated by appropriate over the counter products) Here are some great product choices that will help to treat, calm, and prevent eczema outbreaks:
La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water contains healing properties which help to restore the skin’s barrier while providing antioxidant benefits and removing traces of hard water (which contain heavy minerals that are irritating to the skin). The Thermal Spring Water can be spritzed on throughout the day when your skin craves moisture or feels dry and irritated. The fine mist will not disturb your make up but will make your skin look fresh and hydrated.
Skin prone to eczema can often feel taut and dry no matter how much moisturizer is slathered on. We recommend therapeutic moisturizers with skin-building properties that not only hydrate the skin but also strengthen the skin’s barrier. ATOPALM Intensive Moisturizing Cream is a great choice as it helps to restore the skin’s barrier function while soothing and hydrating. If your skin is extremely dry, try using a balm like the Osmotics Cream Extreme Barrier Repair, it looks like butter in the jar, but emulsifies into a fine balm once you warm it up in the palm of your hand. This product will last and last, and a tiny bit goes a long way to restore your skin’s compromised barrier.
Get rid of dead, flaky skin by exfoliating regularly with a non-irritating enzyme mask. Enzymes eat dead skin cells without compromising your skin’s barrier. The Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant is a great choice as it contains enzymes as well as skin brighteners and gently resurfaces the skin without irritating.
If you experience eczema break-outs on your body, we recommend using La Roche Posay body products to address your concerns. The La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet is an outstanding non-drying foaming body wash that cleanses without irritation and neutralizes drying effects of hard water. The La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm AP is a rich hydrator that soothes the skin while providing dry-skin relief and hydration to last all day.
I hope these suggestions help! While eczema can not be cured you can often easily control it with soothing over-the-counter skin care products. And as always, if your skin condition worsens or becomes intolerant to over-the-counter products, consult your doctor for other treatment alternatives.
Keratosis Pilaris (ker-uh-TO-sis pil-AIR-is) or KP is a very common skin condition that mainly occurs on the back and outer sides of the upper arms, however, it can occur on other parts of the body such as the thighs, cheeks, back and/or buttocks. This skin condition affects 50% of the entire world’s population, most commonly found in adolescents.
KP causes small, acne-like bumps that are painless and normally have a reddish coloring. KP has also been referred to as “chicken skin” or “permanent goose bumps”. Though this skin condition is not so attractive, it is harmless. KP is normally worse in the winter months when the climate is drier. It has also been noted that KP may worsen during pregnancy or after childbirth.
Though treatment is not medically necessary, most people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. The most common treatments to lessen the appearance of KP are exfoliators and moisturizers that are targeted to hydrate dry skin types. Some common ingredients and products that help to treat KP are Lactic Acid, Urea, Vitamin A treatments, microdermabrasion products, Salicylic Acid and Glycolic acid. Since KP is a chronic condition, treatments are recommended to be done continuously.