Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category
Melasma also known as the mask of pregnancy is hyperpigmentation that forms patches of brown to gray-brown patches on the face. It’s most often found on the cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, chin and above the upper lip. Melasma occurs when the color making cells in the skin or melanocytes produce too much color. If you have a darker complexion you’re more prone to melasma because you have more active melanocytes than someone with a lighter complexion.
Common causes include:
Sun exposure: Ultraviolet or UV light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes. Even just a small amount of sun exposure can make your melasma return after fading. It often gets worse in the summer with continued sun exposure.
Change in hormones: Melasma is common in pregnant women, is often called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy. Birth control pills can also trigger melasma.
Not all hyperpigmentation is Melasma. To be properly diagnosed, you will need to see a Dermatologist.
Hydroquinone-this can be found in a 2% strength OTC or 4% strength with a prescription, to help lighten the skin.
Tretinoin- a prescription vitamin A or all-trans retinoic acid enhances skin lightening.
Professional treatments that may help include: chemical peels, microdermabrasion and dermabrasion.
Melasma is a difficult skin condition to treat because sun exposure, the main cause, is present in our everyday lives. It’s very important to wear sunscreen every day and reapply every 2 hours. If you know you will be in the sun for long periods of time, be sure to wear a wide brim floppy hat for more coverage.
We recommend PCA SKIN Pigment Gel and Colorscience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Sun Protection Brush SPF 50 for best results.
Skincare can be so confusing and at times downright overwhelming. With cleansers, serums, creams, exfoliants and treatments how is anyone supposed to keep their head from spinning? And let’s be honest the older we get the more products we need. Here is an easy to follow evening regimen so you can get the most from your skincare products and best results for your skin.
Step 1. First Cleanse
Your initial cleanse is to remove dirt and makeup from your skin. If you have multiple cleansers, I would choose a milky or oil cleanser for this first step. These remove makeup and debris best.
Step 2. Second Cleanse
Yes, two cleanses! Think about when you get a facial how they always take the time to thoroughly clean your skin, you should do the same at home. The first cleanse is to remove the day, the second cleanse is to clean your skin. This is the time you would use your Clairsonic cleansing brush if you have one.
Step 3. Tone
After cleansing apply your toner. Some skincare lines do not require a toner since their products are already pH balanced. However, toners are a great way to refresh and add some extra nutrients into the skin.
Step 4. Exfoliate
Depending on the exfoliator you use you will either do this step every night or as little as once per week. Check the directions on the recommended use. If you are not currently using an exfoliant this is not a step to be overlooked. Even if you have dry skin, all of your skincare products will work more effectively if you don’t have a dry layer of skin blocking them from penetrating. Exfoliating improves cell turn over, reduces pore appearance and promotes healthy looking skin.
Step 5. Serums
This is the most confusing step for most. The rule of thumb is to apply your serums thinnest first working your way up to the thickest. With most skincare lines they ask that you allow the serum to dry, about 30 seconds, before layering the next serum.
Step 6. Moisturizer/Treatment
Most night creams are also treatments. Night creams now do more than just moisturize, many have anti-aging treatments to prevent fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation.
Step 7. Eye Cream
This is your final step. If you are like me and use multiple eye products use the same rule of thumb by applying thinnest to thickest.
10 minutes later you are finally ready for bed. Now let all that goodness soak into your skin and wakeup beautiful!
“Chicken Skin” is that patch of scaly skin on your thighs or back of arms. This unattractive skin condition is called keratosis pilaris and up to 40% of adults suffer from it. Although the cause is unknown it most likely runs in your family or you have dry skin to begin with. The scaly patch forms when our bodies produce a build-up of a hard protein called keratin. This keratin forms a plug in the opening of your hair follicle and VOILA! “chicken skin”. Now that you understand what it is, more importantly how do you get rid of it?
Thankfully skincare companies are starting to make products specifically to address this very issue. There are exfoliating body washes and lotions that contain “chicken skin” fighting ingredients like glycolic acid and micro-beads to banish the keratosis pilaris from your skin.
Glytone makes a KP kit that contains a great smelling glycolic body wash that you follow with a powerful glycolic lotion. This combination of products is sure to diminish the bumps.
Another amazing product is Jan Marini’s Bioglycolic Resurfacing Body Scrub. This body wash is incredible at clearing the KP from your skin plus give your body an all-over exfoliation.
So now that Summer is here and tank tops and shorts are inevitable stop covering up and expose your bump-free, smooth skin!
What is the difference between physical exfoliation, enzymatic exfoliation, and chemical exfoliation? A physical exfoliation is one that you can physically feel to the touch. It’s often in the form of beads or granules like that in a scrub. Whereas an enzymatic exfoliation is usually in a treatment type product like a mask, peel, cleanser, etc. Enzymes are found in fruit acids and are generally better tolerated by sensitive skin types. Chemical exfoliators are also found in treatment type products, but are more aggressive and are usually found in the form of acids like Glycolic, Salicylic, AHA’s, & BHA’s. Chemical exfoliators are better suited for normal to tolerant skin types.
When is sunscreen needed? The answer is all the time. You should always wear sunblock! Whether you use daily skincare products or not sunblock helps prevent damage, period. Using sunscreen religiously is the number one thing you can do to prevent pre mature aging!
Do extreme hot/ cold temperatures ruin my product? No. We have confirmed with various manufacturers on this very issue and temperature does not compromise the integrity of the product. If you receive a product and it is either extremely hot or extremely cold bring the product inside and let it go back to room temperature before use. You may also need to shake or stir the product if the ingredients have separated. This does not change the efficacy of the product, it’s good to use.
Why doesn’t my product have a seal on it? Since we’re shipped product directly from the manufacturer to our warehouse it’s not required for the products to come sealed. It is up to the manufacturer if they choose to seal the product or not. Rest assured our inventory doesn’t make contact with the public until it is shipped directly to your door. All returns are sent back to a different facility and aren’t shipped back to the warehouse.
Is the date listed on my product the expiration date? Not always. Most products will list a sequence of digits or numbers that can look like a date format. This is usually a manufactured date, lot number, or batch number. An expiration date will have the letters EXP in front of the date sequence. Most all SPF products will have an expiration date printed on the product or packaging along with certain organic brands. If it does not, you can use the sequence of digits listed to contact the manufacturer directly for more information.
Can I use Retinol and Vitamin C together? The answer is yes. While there are not really any known counteractions, it is suggested to split them up in your regimen (Retinol at night and Vitamin C in the morning). This is because Retinol can make you sun sensitive and depending on how it is delivered to the skin can break down in the sun. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which helps to prevent sun damage and even out skin tone, so its recommended to use in the morning before starting your day. *Of course you would always want to wear daily SPF protection as well.
What is the standard order of application for products? With most products you would want to cleanse, tone, apply any serum (thinnest to thickest), then any treatment type lotions/creams, your moisturizer and lastly your SPF product.
Should I still use a moisturizer if I have combination/ oily skin? The answer is yes. Usually if you have this skin type you are already using a cleanser and treatment product specific to your concerns. Our skin still needs the proper hydration and if it does not get it or you’re stripping the skin of its essential moisture, it will over produce oils to compensate creating more of a problem.
Does the product really work or why am I not seeing results? Products will only give a good result if you are using them as directed and as dictated by your skin type or any specific skin conditions you might have. The best way to determine this is to talk to your local esthetician or dermatologist to first determine your factors. From there you’ll know what products to look for and then can base it off the concerns you’d like to address. Please note, to see the true benefits from product it can take up to 30-45 days which is the skins natural cell cycle length. Certain products and benefits may even take longer depending on how difficult the issue you’re trying to address. You may also see your skin breakout within the first couple weeks which is known as the purge period. Your skin needs time to adjust to the ingredients in a product and it does not necessarily mean the product isn’t working for you.
Can I use skincare products while pregnant? You can, however we suggest consulting with your physician before starting any skincare routine while pregnant. We can safely recommend the brands Belli & Mustela which were formulated specifically for use during pregnancy and while breast feeding.
Vitamin D deficiencies seem to be a big debate right now. Humans are not getting enough nutrition, rest, or sunlight these days. This does not mean you should rush to the tanning bed for your daily dose of Vitamin D, or lay out in the sun lathered in baby oil either. You can take a Vitamin D supplement and eat the right foods and this will provide you with the recommended daily dose.
If a person is not getting enough Vitamin D it may lead to weak muscles and bones, dental decay, lack of energy, nervousness, or trouble sleeping. While some of these symptoms sound like a normal day for a lot of us, it is important to be properly diagnosed and treated if you have any kind of vitamin deficiency.
The top foods that contain Vitamin D are: milk, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, sardines, egg yolks, fortified cereals, and beef liver. These foods may be hard to fit into a normal day, especially if you are lactose intolerant or a vegetarian. You can supplement your dose of D by taking a vitamin. There are a lot of different kinds of vitamins on the market that are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and that do not contain milk.
The suggested dose of Vitamin D is 400 IU per day. For example a whole egg would provide 20 IU where 3.5 oz of salmon provides 360IU. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a daily intake of 800 to 1,000 IU per day for adults over the age of 50. It is important not to overdose on Vitamin D, as it can be toxic to your body in large amounts.
Vitamin D plays a vital role when used in skin care. Vitamin D promotes cell growth and can help prevent pre mature aging of the skin and repair damage to the skin’s structure. Vitamin D will also boost your immune system, maintain a healthy brain function, and has been linked to maintaining a healthy body weight.
If you are going to be in the sun to obtain your Vitamin D, please please please wear your sunscreen!
For an anti-aging sunscreen that contains broad spectrum protection try, DermaQuest Skin Therapy Solar Moisturizer SPF 30.We love this sunscreen because it will firm, hydrate, and protect your skin.
If you have concerns that you may be Vitamin D deficient, contact your health care provider and they can do a specific test to determine if you are at risk.
Visit SkinStore.com for all your skin care and beauty needs.
A lot of the time people think “if some is good, more is better.” But is this really true? Generally speaking, if you are using good, quality skin care products, a little bit goes a long way. If you are using too much product, you might just be washing away money.
For moisturizers, a pea sized to a dime sized amount is usually all that you will need. You want to make sure the product covers the entire area you are trying to treat, but not so much that there is some left visible on the skin. Make sure your skin is slightly damp when you apply a moisturizer too so it can spread better, absorb quicker and you will use less product. Don’t forget your neck and décolleté!
On the other hand, sunscreens are like medicine. In order for sunscreen to be active, the right amount needs to be used. The average-sized person needs to use 1oz of product per application for the entire body. 1oz is about the size of a shot glass. For just the face, neck and décolleté you need approximately a teaspoon full to get the proper coverage. Sunscreen is needed every day, including the winter months.
Customers frequently contact us with many questions about their skin care and hair care products. Here are some of the top questions we receive on a regular basis. Hopefully the answers will be helpful to you!
1. How long do the products that we purchase last?
•Most products have a 2-3 year shelf life unopened.
•Once opened most products, depending on ingredients can last 3-9 months.
2. When do products expire?
•Each product depending on brand and ingredients has a different expiration date. Unfortunately there is no universal labeling system for cosmetics that allow you to definitely tell what serial numbers on the packaging means. The exception would be sunscreen (SPF). The Food & Drug administration (F.D.A.) requires sunscreens to have a printed expiration date on the packaging. Using sunscreens after this expiration date will compromise your skin’s protection to UVA & UVB rays and make you more susceptible to sunburns and skin cell damage.
3. When does product efficacy (effectiveness) begin to diminish?
•Once opened most products, depending on ingredients can last 3-9 months.
•The longer you continue to use the product after that time period the less effective it will be in providing the results you desire.
•Many U.S. manufacturers are beginning to put the European labeling on their products that have a picture of a jar or packaging with a number and an “M” (i.e. 12M) meaning the product has a 12 month shelf life AFTER the product has been opened.
4. Is my product compromised by being exposed to heat or cold?
•All products must pass a heat/cool and freeze/thaw test in order to make it to the market. All products must be tested to ensure the active ingredients and overall composition has not been compromised. Although not recommended, products are tested and can be exposed to extreme heat or cold for extended periods of time but cannot last if the extreme temperatures are constant and repeated.
•Normal exposure to heat or cold while in shipping from the SkinStore warehouse to your delivery location should not affect your product. If your product has been sitting outside in elevated levels of hot or cold weather, bring your product inside and allow it to come to room temperature (70-75 degrees Fahrenheit) before using it. If your product has separated, the active ingredients are not compromised; you should be able to stir the product (i.e. skin cream) until the correct consistency is achieved.
5. Where do you get your products from?
•All of SkinStore’s products come directly from the brand manufacturer. We do not purchase any products that do not come from the manufacturer.
6. Where do you store the products SkinStore sells?
•SkinStore receives all of the products directly from the manufacturer and we store all of the products in a climate controlled warehouse in the United States.
7. My product color varies from my last order, is it still okay to use?
•Some products, especially those with a higher level of natural ingredients or L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) can have varying color from batch to batch depending on where and when the ingredients were harvested from.
•L-Ascorbic Acid begins to oxidize and darken as soon as it is exposed to oxygen. This is a natural process and does not mean your product has been compromised or has expired.
8. How should I store my product?
•Store your product in a cool, dry, dark place, away from heat, moisture and sunlight.
9. I ordered a product that comes out of a pump. I pump the container and nothing comes out. What’s wrong?
•This is one of our most frequently asked questions regarding product packaging. Nearly all of the products that come in a pump dispenser, regardless of brand, will have a certain amount of air in the package. Sometimes an air bubble can get stuck in the between the product and the dispenser. Firmly tapping the bottom of the dispenser bottle several times and then rapidly pumping can help to get the air out of the packaging and release the product. Click here to learn more about air pump issues.
10. Why don’t my products have the same packaging and seals as when I purchased them at the retail store?
•In an effort to save packaging for environmental reasons and passing those savings on to the consumer, some of the products shipped to SkinStore do not have the same packaging and seals that you would find at a retail location. All of our items are stored in our climate controlled warehouse and shipped directly to you with no retail setting where the product can be tampered with.
As always, if you have questions about a product you are welcome to contact us and we will be happy to help you!
Dermatitis appears in many forms- some of which can be a bit difficult to decode. Is it a rash? Hives? Simple irritation? Here is my guide to help decipher different types of dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema and is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can occur anywhere on the body but is mostly predominant on the neck, inner arms, or backs of knees. Atopic dermatitis flares up occasionally and may have dormant states where it’s nearly invisible. The cause of this skin disorder is unknown but is related to stress, asthma and immune system dysfunction. Atopic dermatitis can be extremely itchy and appears red and flaky. Persons affected by this skin disorder should not use harsh soaps or cleansers, can use hydrocortisone creams to soothe the area, and use healing ointments to promote skin repair.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis is the type of dermatitis caused by an allergen. Allergens can include perfume, cosmetics, hair color, weeds such as poison oak or poison ivy, metals, rubber and other synthetics. This type of dermatitis can occur anywhere on the body, depending on the contact with the allergen. The irritation resolves in two to three weeks. Irritation can be alleviated with the use of soothing topical ointments.
Irritant Contact Dermatitis
Similar to allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis is caused by synthetic irritants such as soap, detergents/fabric softeners or other synthetics. Irritant contact dermatitis is characterized by red, itchy, dry patches which bear a resemblance to a burn. This type of dermatitis resolves on its own within two to three weeks. Irritation can be alleviated with the use of soothing topical ointments.
Perioral dermatitis occurs on the face and usually affects the areas around the mouth and chin. Perioral dermatitis may have a rosacea-like look and is characterized by red bumps, itchy skin, flaky skin and pus-filled bumps. To treat perioral dermatitis a gentle antibacterial wash and soothing ointment may be used. Acne medication may be used on the bumps as well. There is no known cause of perioral dermatitis but irritants such as harsh cleansers, detergents, make-up, or fluoride products may be the culprit.
One of the most common forms of dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis occurs on oily areas of the body such as the face, upper chest, and back. It can also appear on the scalp as dandruff and in infants as cradle cap. Seborrheic dermatitis is characterized by greasy flakes, itchy skin, redness and inflammation. Seborrheic dermatitis can be treated with medicated shampoos that contain coal tar, and with anti-inflammatory topical preparations, soothing ointments and hydrocortisone cream.
Do you have a skincare question for our SkinStore.com estheticians? Email us now.
Sometimes when we get too much sun or have a hormonal imbalance, we get something called hyperpigmentation which is when our melanocytes get kicked into overdrive and they leave brown marks behind such as freckles, age spots, dark marks, etc. Vitiligo is the complete opposite. Vitiligo occurs when melanocytes no longer produce pigment, therefore they leave white splotches behind on the skin. Usually Vitiligo is prominent on the face, hands and wrists. The patches of depigmentation usually start out small, but they often enlarge and change shape over time. Vitiligo can affect all races, but it more noticeable in those with darker skin tones. Unfortunately there is no cure for Vitiligo, but there are products out there that can help cover the unpigmented spots. Dermablend Cosmetics and Exuviance Coverblend products specialize in covering up imperfections such as scarring, uneven pigmentation, birth marks and rosacea.