Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category
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.
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
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 have. To make it simple, we’ll discuss the three most common types.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Stretch 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
Vitamin A (also known as retinol, Retin-A, renova, retinyl palmitate, tretinoin, ETC) is not only an excellent antioxidant, it is also cell-communicating (talks to your skin cells). When an antioxidant is cell-communicating, such as Vitamin A, it means that it helps your cells create healthier skin cells and increase the amount of support tissues like collagen and/or elastin. The body lacks the ability to produce Vitamin A, so it is important to gain Vitamin A through foods and skin care products. Vitamin A products are most recommended to individuals that have damaged skin. It is very important to make sure that Vitamin A is packaged correctly; otherwise, the product could be no good. The product should be in a closed, dark colored container. If sunlight penetrates the product it can promote problems with its efficacy. When using Vitamin A based products it is very important that you use a sunscreen daily. When using exfoliating products it makes your skin more susceptible to sun damage. Also, the sun depletes the skin of Vitamin A, which can cause sunbathers to age faster.
Some people will experience irritation from using Vitamin A products for the first time, which is completely normal. To make the best experience, start out using a Vitamin A based product 1 to 2 times weekly and gradually work your way up to 5 to 7 days a week.
Here are a few recommendations of Vitamin A based products:
- SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0
- Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serum 3X
- SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES
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.
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.
It 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
Before you layer product atop product, think about the combination of active ingredients you’re putting on your face. There are some ingredients that work well in conjunction, while others are a big no-no. Here is a useful guide of what not to mix:
Don’t mix Vitamin C with…
Retinol: retinol is uber-active in a high concentration, so is vitamin C. Unless the product doesn’t list a marriage or vitamin C with retinol in its ingredient list, the two shouldn’t be layered one on top of the other. Both retinol and vitamin C can cause some dryness, peeling and flaking, so a combination of the two can cause a serious skin irritation.
Copper: Copper helps to firm and strengthen the skin by promoting collagen production. Vitamin C, in addition to stimulating collagen synthesis provides antioxidant protection. When copper is layered together with vitamin C the effects of each are canceled and render each other inactive.
Don’t mix Retinol with…
Alpha Hydroxy Acids: AHA’s and retinol can both increase skin sensitivity by way of chemical exfoliation. AHA combined with retinol can cause the skin to become aggravated and inflamed, so if you like to use both an AHA and a retinol, use the former in the morning and the latter at night.
Benzoyl Peroxide: Both retinol and benzoyl peroxide are great treatments that address acne, but when the two are combined together excessive peeling can occur, causing the skin to flake and pigment irregularly. The skin’s lipid barrier can also become compromised by use of excessively drying agents. Use either retinol or bezoyl peroxide as part of your nightly regimen, but not the two together.
If you have any specific questions, you may ask our estheticians and skincare experts by clicking here.
When I started my esthetics training we quickly learned the process to healthy skin! “Cleanse, tone, moisturize, protect!” Being a girl with acne-prone, oily skin, I didn’t want to add any sort of moisturizer to my skin. I sat down with an instructor one day to go over my regimen. She asked what moisturizer I used, and I said, “Oh! My skin is oily, so I don’t use one!” She looked at me like I was crazy! She explained to me why even oily skin needs a moisturizer, and now, dear friends, I will share that information with you.
You see, believe it or not oily skin can still be dehydrated, meaning it is lacking water, not oil. Dehydration in skin can lead to overactive sebaceous (oil) glands making the skin oily. Using an oil free moisturizer will balance out moisture levels, which will help keep oil production at bay.
It took a couple of months for me to even believe this enough to try it. I finally did, and wouldn’t ya know it! She knew what she was talking about! If you still aren’t buying it, just give it a few weeks. Try an oil free moisturizer! La Roche Posay Effaclar Daily Mattifying Moisturizer is one of my favorites. I bet you’ll notice the difference!