Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category

Commonly Asked Questions: Part 1

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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.


The Benefits of Vitamin D

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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.


Are You Using Too Much Or Too Little Product?

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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.


Product Shelf Life FAQ’s

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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!


5 Types of Dermatitis: Symptoms and Solutions

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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

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

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.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

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.


What is Vitiligo?

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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.


Hot Ingredient: Matrixyl 3000

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What is Matrixyl 3000? Matrixyl 3000 is a combination of two peptides palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7.  This is an advanced formulation of the early edition of Matrixyl. These peptides are believed to stimulate collagen production by approximately 117% and also increase the hyaluronic acid production in your skin. The peptides stimulate the skin to reduce wrinkles and will also increase firmness in the skin. It is also believed that Matrixyl 3000 is less irritating on the skin than retinol or vitamin C. Even the most sensitive skin types can use this peptide, as it does not cause inflammation.

A combination of the palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, will provide greater benefits then versus when used alone.  Together, they increase collagen production, reduce wrinkle depth and density. There has also been reports of an overall improved tone and texture of the skin. Matrixyl 3000 is said to firm the skin by reversing and preventing glycation damage to your skin. Glycation occurs when glucose and protein link together and cause the skin to stiffen resulting in dramatic decreases in collagen and elastin within the skin. This ingredient is a skin saver because it slows down the skin’s natural aging process, by promoting healthy skin from the inside out.

Here are some featured products on SkinStore.com that contain Matrixyl 3000:

Dr. Michelle Copeland Rewind Advanced Day Serum with Matrixyl 3000

Peter Thomas Roth UnWrinkle Eye

Janson Beckett NekaDerm-EL

ARCONA Restore


Determining Your Skin Type

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In a world where skin care products are so specialized, it can be a bit confusing knowing what to look for and which ones will work best for you. Not to fear, your answer is here! Half the battle is knowing what skin type you Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serumhave. To make it simple, we’ll discuss the three most common types.

Dry Skin:

Dry skin is generally characterized by smaller pores on and around the nose and forehead. This type of skin needs the most moisture. Under moisturized, dry skin can experience some oiliness when it needs hydration. Overly dry skin will work harder to produce the oil it craves, once properly hydrated, the oil subsides. Rough patches and flakiness can be exfoliated away with a scrub or peel. Extremely dry or inflamed skin can be calmed with products containing soothing ingredients such as chamomile.

What to look for: Creams rich in oils, such as Jojoba and Avocado, Glycerin, Lanolin and Shea Butter.

What to avoid: AHA’s and BHA’s with high concentrations. Acids typically make the skin drier.

Pevonia Botanica is a great line for dry skin. Formulated with botanicals and gentle ingredients, this line is wonderful at hydrating and protecting delicate skin.  For a glimpse into the regimen, you might try the Pevonia Your Skincare Solution Dry Skin Pack.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum are amazing for strengthening and hydrating dry skin. Just squeeze open one little capsule and you will see and feel a difference!

For mature dry skin Tensage Advanced Cream offers hydration, collagen building, and wrinkle softening.

Combination Skin:

The most common type of skin is combination. Skin that is combination will have medium to large pores on the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. This skin tends to see some oil in the T-zone and is drier on the cheeks. Balancing the combo type can be tricky. Sometimes using two types of products can be most effective. Such as using dry skin products on the cheeks and products for oily skin on the forehead, nose and chin. When unbalanced, you will see congestion, black or whiteheads and occasional breakouts.

What to look for: Gentle cleansers, oil-free hydrators, spot treatments, balancing products.

What to avoid: Super-moisturizing oils, soap–based cleansers, waxes that can clog skin, Alcohols.H2O Plus Face Oasis Cleansing Water

Vichy Neodovial GF Skin for Normal to Combination Skin will help firm the jawline and reduce the appearance of fine lines! This moisturizer is richer in texture so it’s perfect for winter months.

Need a pick me up? Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist will not only balance your skin with the scent of fresh roses. It will also set mineral make-up!  Can be used just in the morning or all day as a refresher.

H2O Plus Face Oasis Cleansing Water is an ultra-foaming, oil free, liquid cleanser that will work wonderfully with a cleansing brush to help balance out combination skin.

Oily Skin:

Oily skin tends to have larger pores throughout the T-Zone and cheeks. It’s most common for this type to be blemish-prone, however all types can experience pore congestion such as black or whiteheads and breakouts. Controlling oil and acne are the main concerns for oily skin. Moisturizers and foundations with a matte finish will help to keep shine at bay. Acids will help exfoliate, heal blemishes and kill bacteria. Keep in mind, over-use of acids can strip the skin making it too dry resulting in an over-production of oil to compensate which can create more breakouts. Over time, the use of oil-free moisturizer will help balance hyper-active oil glands and bring skin back to manageability. Using an enzyme exfoliant 2-3 times a week is also an effective way to keep skin cells turning over and clear acne.Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

What to look for: Salicylic Acid (BHA). gel formulations, Benzoyl Peroxide, Glycolic Acid (AHA), and matte finish products.

What to avoid:  Scrubs with beads than can infect and spread acne bacteria, stripping the skin with too much acid.

Have oily skin that needs help with anti-aging as well as clearing acne? Suki Balancing Day Lotion boosts collagen synthesis, and calms inflammation. It’s a multi-tasking, age fighting moisturizer.

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel is a peel that will help with acne scarring, fine lines and moisture. Pineapple and Papaya enzymes are natural exfoliants that will help smooth your skin without causing infection to existing acne.

Gel cleansers are ideal for oily skin. Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel is going to brighten, clarify and exfoliate all in one! Address fine lines and wrinkles while you do a deep pore cleanse and wash away dirt make-up and impurities.


Understanding Stretch Marks

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Rodial Stretch MXStretch marks appear when the skin has been stretched to the point of breaking down. When the skin becomes weak and the support structure begins to separate, the result is grooved and discolored skin. Collagen is normally damaged at the dermis level and a scar or stretch mark is left behind. The skin will normally have a red or purplish color at first which over time will fade out to have a silver or white appearance. Common causes are pregnancy, rapid growth and/or hormones.

Over the counter products will help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. They normally do not entirely go away. Stretch mark creams will help to fade the discoloration of the scar and some will help to stimulate collagen reproduction.

Consider These Products To Treat Stretch Marks:

Belli Stretchmark Minimizing Cream

Rodial Stretch MX

StriVectin SD Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks and Wrinkles


Skin Condition: Psoriasis

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What is Psoriasis?Many people these days have different skin conditions to treat, however differentiating and understanding each condition is not always easy. Psoriasis is a major skin condition that affects an estimated 7.5 million Americans according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Having any skin condition is not only uncomfortable but very stressful.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. There are 5 different types of psoriasis listed as: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular & erythrodermic. The most common form of psoriasis is plaque. The usual symptoms of this type Psoriasis are usually raised red patches or lesions which are covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. This condition can appear anywhere on the body, but is not contagious.

Prevention is a major aspect of treatment. Psoriasis triggers can be different for each individual however, there are some more common or known triggers. The first known trigger is stress. Stress can actually activate a first time flare up or aggravate an existing condition. The second known trigger is injury to the skin. For example: vaccinations, sunburns and even scratches on the skin can trigger a reaction. Medication can also be a big trigger and can easily be disregarded when contemplating trigger factors. Some of the many different medications that have been found to trigger a reaction are: Lithium, Antimalarials, Inderal, Quinidine and Indomethacin. NeoStrata Therapeutics Psorent Topical

Other known triggers such as weather, diet, and allergies can play a big role in a Psoriasis flare up. Although there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are ways to alleviate symptoms.

Treatments will generally consist of topical or internal solutions. As the severity of each case and treatment options will vary from one person to the next, it is recommended that each individual consults with a licensed physician for professional opinion before use of any product.

Thalgo Plasmalg Marine GelIt is also important to understand that many times an individual will go through various products before they find one that best suits them. You can find products on our site ranging from cleansers to shampoo and even body products. Some of those include Therapeutics Psorent Topical by Neostrata and Plasmalg Marine Gel by Thalgo. We hope after this read you’ll understand this condition better. We also want you to know we are always here to help and wish you all the best on the road to healing!

Source: National Psoriasis Foundation



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