Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category

Esthy Review: Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel

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I’ve been an esthetician for many years now and have had my fair share of experience with many different cleansers. I’ve tried all Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Cleansing Geltypes of cleansers. From salicylic to every array of AHA, I have tried it! I have combination to oily skin. Midday, I experience an oily shine and require blotting in order not to turn into an oil slick by the end of the day. Other than my lovely oil production, I have pretty normal skin. I am in my mid 40’s and on occasion suffer from hormonal acne around my chin area. My skin care regimen is very important in order to keep my skin balanced and healthy.

My first impression of Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Cleansing Gel was quite positive. The texture and smell of the product is lovely. It has a delicate, light, and uplifting aroma. The texture is smooth and silky with just the right amount of suds that I enjoy in a good cleanser. The glycolic acid content is not high in this product. The glycolic acid is a means for penetration and very mild exfoliation. So it is gentle and non-stripping. Once I was done with my face cleanse, my skin did not feel tight or dry. After cleansing I followed up with a moisturizer.

What was really exciting about this product is the use of Rose Stem Cell. This ingredient helps the skin’s barrier function which may be compromised due to age and environmental factors such as UV and humidity changes. The reduction of the skin’s barrier can lead to very dry and sensitive skin. For those that are combo/oily, compromising the skin causes oil glands to produce more oil to balance out. This in turn causes the skin to be prone to acne break outs and shine.

Another fun fact is that rose stem cells have huge anti-aging effects and help repair the skin. So, this cleanser is going to help with fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, and dullness. I’ve used this product for a few days and I have noticed a nice radiance to my skin. My skin is also soft and feels clean. I would recommend this product for all skin types. Be aware that a little goes a long way, about a pea size amount works well for face, neck, and décolleté.

 

You can find this product on SkinStore.com.


AHA vs BHA: What’s the Difference?

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Skin naturally sheds billions of skin cells every day. It is said that 90% of household dust, is made up of dead skin cells. As we age, NS035-neostrata-ultra-skin-smoothing-cream-aha-10this natural shedding process slows down or stops due to many factors such as sun damage, dry skin, oily skin, genetics, or skin disorders. The results of this are dull, dry or flaky skin, clogged pores, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. Exfoliation is key in helping skin balance itself. Getting rid of dead skin cell build up can reduce the effects of the slowdown.

Exfoliation helps your skin look younger, promote blood flow and circulation, promote collagen production, and improve overall skin health. With so many exfoliating products out there, how do we know what to use and what is appropriate for our skin type and need? To better understand what to use, we must first understand how they work and what skin types and conditions are appropriate for each category.

As an esthetician, I’m always asked what is the difference between AHA and BHA? Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) are acids derived from natural substances such as sugar cane, milk, grapes etc. They work by melting the intercellular glue that holds our skin cells together. AHA’s are water loving and water soluble acids and their molecular structure is small. AHAs are preferred for sun-damaged and dry skin because they exfoliate on the surface of skin and have the added benefit of also improving moisture content. A main point of difference is that they don’t penetrate as deep as BHA and the effects are felt on the surface of the skin. AHA’s are great to rejuvenate aging skin.

On the other hand, Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is an oil loving acid. BHA is preferred for oily, acne-prone skin and for treating blackheads and whiteheads. BHA can get through the oil that clogs pores and helps to normalize the lining of the pore that contributes to acne. BHA’s have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. BHA’s are sometimes preferred for those struggling with rosacea. However, not everyone with rosacea can tolerate an exfoliant. It’s best to experiment with a BHA product to see how your rosacea responds. It is likely you’ll see less redness and a smoother, even skin with fewer breakouts.

Many clients often ask if they can be used together? Yes, but it’s not necessary. If you decide to do so, make sure to use them separately; one in the morning and one at night to prevent irritation.

AHA:

– Glycolic acid: derived from sugar cane

– Lactic acid: derived from milk

– Mandelic acid: derived from bitter almonds

– Tartaric acid: derived from grapes

– Malic acid: derived from apples and pears

– Citric acid: derived from citrus fruits

***It is important to note that with today’s technology, most of these acids are derived synthetically. This is to keep the acid stable, allow for use for those with allergies to natural substances, and control its strength***

 

BHA:

– Salicylic acid: derived from the Willow Bark Tree and others.

**This acid is dominantly used in skin care**

– Citric acid: derived from citrus fruits and considered a cross over acid. It can be an AHA depending on its formulation.

 

It is strongly recommended to use SPF when using any of the above acids. Exfoliants can make skin photosensitive and sensitive in general. SPF will help in the prevention of hyperpigmentation etc.

 

General guidelines for usage:

– You can apply an AHA or BHA product once or twice a day.

– You can also apply either of these around the eye area but, not on the eyelid or directly under the eye.

– Apply the AHA or BHA product after your face is cleansed and after your toner has dried.

– Once the AHA or BHA has been absorbed, you can apply any other product in your routine, such as moisturizer, serum, eye cream, sunscreen, and/or foundation.

– If you’re using a topical prescription product such as Renova, other retinoids, or any of the topical prescription products for rosacea, consult with your doctor before applying either AHA or BHA.

Now, all that is left to do is to choose which one is right for you and exfoliate the years away!

Some of our favorites on SkinStore.com are Neostrata Ultra Skin Smoothing Cream AHA 10 and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2 Percent BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

 

 

 


FAQ: Skinceuticals C E Ferulic vs. Phloretin CF

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A vitamin C antioxidant serum is a great way to help protect your skin from free radical damage. Over the years antioxidant serums have become an essential part of the skin care regimen. Skinceuticals makes some of the most popular antioxidant serums available. The 2 most popular serums in their brand are the C E Ferulic and the Phloretin CF. As incredible as theses serums areSkinCeuticals C E Ferulic there seems to be some confusion on the differences between them and how each serum functions. Hopefully this information will answer any questions and help you find the best antioxidant serum for you.

The Skinceuticals C E Ferulic serum is exactly what it says. It is a combination of 15% vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), 1% vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and 0.5% Ferulic acid. This combination of ingredients increases skin photo protective benefits by 4x the normal level. Vitamin C and E are known antioxidants and have been used in skin care products for years. The antioxidant benefits of ferulic have just recently been discovered and are finding their way into more and more skin care products. Ferulic acid is extracted from rice bran oil and not only provides protection from free radicals, but also has sun protection benefits as well. The C E Ferulic provides antioxidant protection, increases firmness and reduces wrinkles. This serum is ideal for a person who has sensitive, normal or dry skin.

SK059-phloretin-allureThe Skinceuticals Phloretin CF is a combination of 10% Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), 2% Phloretin and 0.5% Ferulic acid. As mentioned before, the Ferulic acid is extracted from rice bran oil. Phloretin is extracted from the root bark of apple trees which provides great antioxidant benefits in addition to aiding the serum penetrate deeper into the skin. Phloretin works to correct hyperpigmentation and diminish dullness. This serum is perfect for a person with normal, combination or oily skin.

Both the C E Ferulic and Phloretin CF are applied the same way. Depending on the area you are treating a little goes a long way. If you are just treating your face a few drops will be plenty, you may need more if treating your neck or chest as well. These serums do not really have any “slip and glide” so patting the serum into the skin works best. Allow about a minute for the product to penetrate before applying any other products (Tip: pat any excess serum on the tops of your hands to help prevent aging hands). Once the serum has fully absorbed it stays in the skin for up to 72 hours and cannot be wiped or rinsed off.

A very common question we receive is about the color of the product and how it can vary between batches. The manufacturer states that “any change in color does not affect the efficacy”. Depending on the time of year and batch of ingredients the serums may vary in color of light to darker yellow and have a distinct smell which dissipates after a few minutes. As with most vitamin C serums there is a little tackiness to the touch but once you apply other products and your sunscreen that is no longer a concern. These serums are truly incredible and they have a loyal following of customers. Once you find the right serum for you, we are sure you will fall in love as well.

Overview:

If you have Sensitive/Dry/ Normal skin with concerns of fine lines and wrinkles Skinceuticals C E Ferulic is right for you.

If you have Oily/Combination/Normal skin with concerns of hyperpigmentation then Skinceuticals Phloretin CF is right for you.

 

You can find both of these products on SkinStore.com.


In Need of a Beauty Advisor?

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Ever wish you had an esthetician at home with you to give you the perfect product recommendations as well as step-by-step Beauty Advisorinstructions? Now you can have the next best thing, for free! The SkinStore.com Beauty Advisor offers a questionnaire complied by SkinStore estheticians to guide you in getting customized solutions for your specific skin care needs.

You’ll find 12 easy questions on skin concerns, lifestyle and water intake. All of these factors play a key role in choosing the perfect products for you. In just a few minutes, you’ll have information on issues you might not have considered as reasons why your skin may not look its absolute best.

You are able to save, email and/or print your results. Check out my beauty advisor at SkinStore.com today, click HERE.

And as always our estheticians are available by phone, chat and e-mail from 9 am – 9 pm EST. Let us help you be your most beautiful self!


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!


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.


Why is Vitamin A so Important in My Skin Care Regimen?

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SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0Vitamin 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:

– SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0

– Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serum 3X

– SkinMedica Retinol Complex 1.0

 

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


My Beauty Advisor

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Beauty AdvisorSkinStore 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.


Lighten Up with Vitamin C

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As we say goodbye to summer, why not say goodbye to sun spots and uneven skin tone as well?! Dr.Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening SerumVitamin 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.

You can find this product on SkinStore.com.


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, 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.

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



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