Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category

Top Eye Creams

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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.Neocutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye

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!

 


Acne Products and Purging: What You Need To Know

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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.


Fact or Fiction? Common Myths in the Beauty World

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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 onlySkinStore.com 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.


Re-Writing the Myth on Alcohols

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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.

One of our fave eye creams that is super moisturizing contains cetyl alcohol, Neocutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream. You can find this and other amazing products on SkinStore.com!


Eczema: Symptoms and Solutions

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30aEczema 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:

Cleansing: 

Avene Professional Trixera Plus Selectiose Emollient Cleansing Gel effectively combats the 4 symptoms of very dry, atopic skin while cleansing, soothing and protecting the skin.

Toning:

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.

Moisture:

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.

Exfoliation:

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.

Body:

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.

For more great products, visit us at SkinStore!


Understanding Keratosis Pilaris

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Glytone KP KitKeratosis 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.

A Few Great Recommendations:

- PCA SKIN Dry Skin Relief Bar

- Avene Professional Akerat Smoothing Exfoliating Cream

- Glytone KP Kit


Melasma

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Melasma, otherwise known as pregnancy mask, is one of the most common forms of hyperpigmentation. Women who are pregnant,Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub 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. 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.

You can find the products mentioned above on SkinStore.com!


ROSACEA

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Rosacea is a skin condition that causes extreme redness on the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead mainly. Rosacea has no Murad Recovery Treatment Gelknown cause but it typically affects people 30 and over. The redness that is displayed on the face is brought on when the capillaries are expanded or over stimulated. Many things can cause this flare up; a few common triggers are extreme exercise, exposure to extreme hot or cold weather, a warm beverage, spicy foods, and excesses alcohol consumption.  While Doctors have not found the cure to Rosacea there are many products that you can use to help mask the redness. It goes back to the color matching theory, what color cancels out red…? GREEN! Many facial products that are made to combat the redness of Rosacea are green tinted. Below I have listed a product that will not only help the redness that may be induced by Rosacea, but will even out your complexion.

Murad Recovery Treatment Gel:

Description:
Relieve redness and irritation with this deep penetrating, light-weight, patented gel Treat and prevent redness and sensitivity by fortifying delicate skin and improving skin comfort all day.

Additional features and benefits:

  • Azelaic Acid improves hydration and calms flushed skin
  • Goji Berry Extract helps accelerate the healing of dry, flaky skin

Zinc Oxide and Peppermint Leaf Extract soothe skin and help to reduce stinging and sensitivity.

You can find this product on SkinStore.com!


Staff Favorites: Bridgette

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Ever since I was a little girl I have been interested in skincare. I remember training myself when I was eight years old to sleep on Bridgettemy back to prevent getting wrinkles. So it’s only natural that I would grow up and become an esthetician. Being an esthetician at Skinstore we have access to some of the best skincare brands and products. I would like to share some of my all-time favorite products.

Honestly, I have not always been that great about wearing sunscreen. I felt like it was too thick and made my face look pasty plus my makeup wouldn’t stay on as well. I know sunscreen is the best product to use to protect your skin and prevent aging but sometimes it just didn’t seem worth it. Then I discovered SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50, LOVE! It is a lightweight sunscreen with a perfect sheer tint that evens out my skin tone. My makeup no longer melts off my face and lasts all day. I recommend that everyone try this sunscreen. It’s truly amazing!

There are so many serums out there that promise the world, it can be overwhelming at times! Which products actually live up to what they claim? The Arcona Instant Magic Reversal Serum is exactly what it states, it’s magic! It’s everything you would want out of a serum. It’s corrective, hydrating and preventative. When I apply this serum my skin is instantly transformed. If I had only one skin care product to use this would be it.

Lastly, I have been blessed with a skin condition called hyperkeratosis pilaris. That is the scientific name for “I have ugly red bumps on the back of my arms and thighs”. These bumps are caused by having a blockage in the hair follicle. I have tried so many exfoliating creams and even microdermabrasion treatments to get rid of the bumps. Everything I have tried has either taken too long or is too costly. However Jan Marini Bioglycolic Resurfacing Body Scrub is affordable, fast and you see amazing results. I even use it on my chest and back to help diminish signs of sun damage. It has a light citrus smell and doesn’t leave your shower gritty with scrub.  It is the perfect product for body care.

So out of the millions of products I have stored away in my bathroom these three products are my absolute favorites. I swear by them!


Staff Favorites: Amber

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AmberWe’re always getting asked, “What’s the best eye cream, moisturizer, or serum etc.” Out of so many products we carry at SkinStore we just don’t have enough skin to try everything! But that hasn’t stopped us from finding our favorites. Here’s a peek at my top favorites list.

ARCONA Cranberry Gommage:

This product is amazing. Not only does it tone, cleanse and purifies your skin; but it is a dual exfoliator that manually and chemically dissolves the dead skin. The ingredients on this product are the best for chemical exfoliation; to name a few it has salicylic acid which helps to purify the skin and unclog pores. It has volcanic ashes that work deep into the follicular wall to provide antibacterial benefits. It also has Cranberry and Raspberry enzymes that eat and dissolve away dead skin. This is the ultimate combination and it is perfect for normal to oily skin types.  It smells like heaven in a bottle and it works miracles on your skin, this is a must have for smooth radiant skin!

Philosophy Miracle Worker Lactic Acid Cleanser:

This is the cleansers of all cleansers, not only is it anti-aging but it is an exfoliator. This cleanser makes your skin look bright, young, and youthful. Lactaid acid is a great beauty ingredient that has been used since ancient times for retexturing and softening the skin. When I say ancient I do mean ancient, this was Egyptian Queen Cleopatra main ingredient for the beautifying of her skin. Not only is this a great cleanser, but it doubles as a mask! Yes a brightening mask when left on the skin for 3-5 minutes. This cleanser does it all and I highly recommend it for your daily regimen.

Whish Almond Three Whishes Sugar Scrub:

This is the ultimate body exfoliate! It helps to renew and polish the skin while leaving it extremely hydrated and soft. A unique combination of brown sugar, raspberry seeds, bamboo powder, and organic sugar cane extract combined to create a gentle yet effective scrub to buffer away all dead skin and debris. This product leaves my skin glowing and radiate, I absolutely love this product, and it’s also great for those rough areas like the elbows or heels. This is the product for your body exfoliating needs.

 

I know you’ll love my top products just as much as I do! You can find them on SkinStore.com!



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