When we consult with our customers, those that are acne prone often inquire about Accutane. Have we heard of it? What does it do? How does it work? Although we don’t carry Accutane (it’s a prescription) we’re well-versed on the product.
Accutane is a prescription medication made for the treatment of severe acne, especially cystic under-the-skin, painful, scarring type of acne. Accutane uses a derivative of vitamin A (similar to that found in our bloodstream) in a very high dose. Most Accutane courses last for 4-6 months. While taking Accutane a patient may experience severe dryness of the lips, nasal passages, and skin. Side effects also include nose bleeds, thinning of the hair, increased sensitivity to sun, irritation of eyes, joint and muscle pains and in some rare cases blurred vision and depression. During Accutane treatment blood tests are necessary to monitor liver health. It is not safe to drink alcoholic beverages while on Accutane. The most serious side effect of Accutane is the possibility of serious birth defects, so women who are pregnant, nursing or trying to become pregnant should not use Accutane.
If you suffer from serious acne and topical products do not help, we recommend consulting with your dermatologist to see if Accutane may be right for you. If you choose to take Accutane make sure to supplement your diet with healthy essential fatty acids, use sunscreen on a daily basis, and keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water and using a nourishing moisturizer.
Accutane not for you? Visit SkinStore for a large assortment of acne treatment products.
Glow – Try adding a touch of bronzer to the areas of your face that light naturally hits. Too Faced Caribbean in a Compact – Sun Bunny lets you create versatile looks from a subtle glow or go for a bronzed beauty look, or anything in between.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your makeup. Try different looks for different occasion or even moods!
Vitamin A is a powerful little thing. It’s necessary for healthy eye function; our retina simply can not do without vitamin A. When vitamin A is converted into retinoic acid it functions like a growth factor for our cells. Vitamin A is also commonly known as retinol in dermatological use. Vitamin A is converted into a few different byproducts, and is commonly produced as retinyl acetate or palmitate.
Vitamin A is naturally found in many foods. Liver, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin, eggs, milk, and many other foods are rich sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A, once absorbed by our body, is converted into the appropriate form and utilized by our bodily functions. Vitamin A plays a role in eye health, immune system health, gene transcription, antioxidant activity, and of course, skin health.
Vitamin A is very beneficial to the skin, so a diet rich in vitamin A abundant sources provides for healthy skin that’s firm, clear, radiant and resilient. Vitamin A, when applied topically (in retinol form) is very beneficial to the skin as well. Retinol is often used in the treatment of acne as it dramatically reduces the size and secretion of the sebaceous glands. It also helps to reduce inflammation and induces collagen production. As retinol induces collagen production it helps to firm and tone the skin, so aged skin will become more resistant to drooping and sagging. Retinol is an outstanding treatment for acne, enlarged or clogged pores, as well as prematurely aged skin. As retinol induces exfoliation and cell renewal it also assists in lightening hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration.
Here are some outstanding products that contain retinol and address acne and aging concerns:
Dandruff is the most common scalp condition that we hear about today. What people don’t realize it that the little white flakes you are brushing off of your shoulder may not be dandruff at all, but dry skin. Confused? Let’s take a look at the differences.
True dandruff is also known as seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea. This is a condition that is itchy, inflamed and frequently produces scales of flaky skin. Seborrhea can be found in any oily environment where malassezia furfur, a type of yeast, is known to thrive . Hormones and some chronic or autoimmune conditions are known to play a role too, but one specific cause has not been identified. Symptoms can be very mild (flaking, some itching) or quite severe (very inflamed and resulting in hair loss). Craddle cap on a baby is a good example of mild to moderate seborrhea. This condition can also affect the skin on other areas of the body. To address this condition, treatments include the active ingredients pyrithione zinc, anti-fungals, salicylic acid, sulfur and tar. Since it is difficult to pin point the cause of the symptoms it may be necessary to experiment with the active ingredients to find out which treatments have the most favorable outcome for you.
Some treatments may be labeled for “oily dandruff” since consumers frequently attribute dandruff to dry skin. If you can identify with the symptoms above, here are some products that may be able to help.
Dry scalp is just how it sounds. It is skin lacking oil, water or both. Flaking, an itchy, tight feeling and sensitivity can be key indicators. Inflammation is not as common, but if left untreated, can occur. Exfoliation is be beneficial to remove flakes and to allow the scalp to accept hydrating treatment products. This condition is much easier to address than seborrheic dermatitis. Some products will be listed for use for “dry dandruff” due of the common misconception of the consumer. Below are some great products to get your scalp back in shape.
When you find a lump or a bump on the surface of your skin you may wonder… What is this? What caused it? How can I treat it? Here’s a simple guide to the most common lumps and bumps that are found on the skin and how to address them:
Cysts: They appear in the form of cystic acne on the face, but are also common the back, on the legs, and sometimes on the arms. Cysts are harmless and can result due to localized infections or clogging of sebaceous glands. Cysts cause a bumpy appearance of the skin and can feel painful due to an inflammatory response. Most cysts can be extracted or dissipate on their own, some cysts may need to be drained by a dermatologist through the use of a surgical lancet. Many cysts can be treated with localized cortisone shots to reduce inflammation.
Dermatofibromas: Harmless red, purple or brown growths that are similar to a mole but can appear overnight. Dermatofibromas can be painful and feel tender to the touch, sometimes they can be itchy. The growths can be surgically removed by a dermatologist or frozen with liquid nitrogen.
Epidermoid Cysts: Epidermoid Cysts are not to be confused with cystic acne. Epidermoid cysts are caused by blocked oil glands in the skin. Milia, which are often found around the eye area, are a type of epidermoid cyst. These types of cysts are benign, but can be unsightly. Epidermoid cysts must be extracted by a dermatologist through an incision in the skin as the sac of the cyst must be completely removed. If the discharge is forced out by squeezing the cyst, the cyst will reappear over time as the sac will remain within the skin.
Folliculitis: An infection of the hair follicles, folliculitis appears due to skin irritation caused by chemicals or physical factors such as friction, or by infection within the hair follicle itself. Folliculitis is predominant in those with a compromised immune system. Folliculitis is characterized by itchy skin, redness, irritation and a rash-like appearance. Antibiotics or antifungal medications may be used to treat folliculitis.
Keratosis Pilaris: Commonly referred to as ‘chicken skin’ or ‘KP’ Keratosis Pilaris appears on the backs of arms and on the thighs, and can also appear on cheeks, back, and buttocks. There is no known cause for KP but it’s commonly associated with dry skin. Treatment of KP includes using rich moisturizers in conjunction with exfoliating products, such as alpha hydroxyl acids.
Lipomas: Lipomas are soft tissue tumors that are slow-growing and benign. Lipomas usually appear on the neck and back but can appear on other parts of the body as well. Lipomas have a rubbery feel, and can appear in clusters and variable sizes. Lipomas need to be removed by a dermatologist.
If you have a lump, growth, bump or irritation that you find bothersome or unsightly, consult with your doctor. Always have your moles checked to ensure that they are benign.
If you have any specific skincare questions, you may ask our estheticians and skincare experts by clicking here.
Essential oils have been around for centuries and have been used to treat everything from relieving stress, sore muscles, sinus problems, and even enhancing your mood…. The benefits of aromatherapy can have an effect on your mind, body, and spirit just by the direct connection they have to your brain.
Since essential oils can be absorbed into the blood steam, due to their small molecular structure, they can provide many health benefits to your whole body. Essential oils can be extracted by means of distillation, steam, cold expression, alcohol extraction or fixed oil. There is also a technique called oil pulling an ancient method, which uses essential oils to clean the teeth and gums. You would choose oil such as sunflower or sesame and move it around in your mouth in a light swishing motion then spit it out. You can repeat this a few times per day depending on which health issue you are trying to treat. It is also claimed that the swishing activates enzymes in the body, which can draw toxins out of the blood and treat many health conditions.
It is important to realize that essential oils are extremely potent and they should not be applied directly on the skin. They should be blended together with carrier oil, this process is called synergy. For example you can use almond, apricot, or grapeseed oil. You will still get the same benefits but will not burn or irritate your skin.
If you are using any citrus based oils or blossoms such as neroli, you should definitely make sure you are wearing a sun screen to protect your skin.
Here are a few essential oils that are beneficial for specific skin types and concerns:
Carrier oils: wheat germ, apricot, grapeseed, extra virgin, or macadamia nut oil.
Here are some other uses for essential oils:
Lemongrass: used to treat fevers and infections.
Geraniun oil: used for hormonal imbalances.
Lime: anti-viral, anti-septic and disinfectant.
Yarrow oil: used to relieve joint pain.
Cedar wood: used to alleviate acne, eczema, and dermatitis.
Rose Geranium, lavender, lemon balm, peppermint, orange oil: Used to repel insects.
When using any essential oils you want to first do a patch test on a small area of your skin. It is also not recommended if you are pregnant to use aromatherapy oils as some essential oils such as juniper, rosemary, and sage can cause uterine contractions. It is recommended that you contact an aromatherapy practitioner if you have any questions or need help blending oils to customize your results.
Ok, so if you read my first blog on the extreme damaging effects of the sun, and you went out in the sun anyway; you may want to read up on tips and products to condition and protect your skin from further damage. Damaging conditions include cloudy days, major suns rays, and yes even you tanning bed junkies. So anyone that has been under a cloud, in the sun, or in a tanning bed is at risk for excessive sun damage. I will now get off my sun protected soapbox and tell you how you can condition your skin, reduce further sun damage, and possibly suggest a little sunscreen while I have your attention.
So maybe you just got back from a vacation to somewhere tropical and you need to know what to put on that red inflamed skin of yours. While I have little sympathy regarding the vacation part, I do want to help you with your sunburned skin. Let’s talk about the Ole Henriksen All Purpose Aloe Vera Gel.While this does say “all purpose” I am pretty sure your going to want use this wherever you have scorched skin. Great for all skin types this product contains a magical blend of aloe vera, chamomile, and spirulina, which is just what your skin needs in order to repair itself. With little help from you, this product will do most of the work.
After your skin is sunburned you can be in pain for up to a week, so you also may want to get a hold of some St. John’s wort oil. This repairing red oil has been used to soothe sunburn and relieve nerve pain for centuries. St. John’s wort has also been known to relieve anxiety and stress, so feel free to let the aroma calm and relax you. You can even put a few drops in a cool bath to relieve your sore muscles and inflamed skin. Because of its stimulating effects, St. John’s wort oil is not recommend to use while pregnant and for that matter neither is being in the sun all day!
After the inflammation has subsided you should be using products to correct and treat your sun damaged skin. Since 80% of your wrinkles will be caused from the sun, you may want to invest in some serious treatment products. One line in particular is Kinerase. Kinerase is formulated for sun damaged and sensitive skin and it may be just what the Esthetician ordered.Kinerase Photofacial Sun Damage Reversal Kitwill give you an opportunity to use an exfoliating cleanser, daily moisturizer with SPF 50, and a night moisturizer. Using this full regimen will begin to repair your skin to just 4 short weeks.
Other remedies for sunburn include vinegar, aspirin, tea, milk, baking soda, cornstarch, and oatmeal. To reduce itching apply vitamin e, or lavender essential oil.
Since it is always better to prevent sunburn rather than treat it, you should wear a daily SPF and reapply every two hours for optimum protection. A great face and body sunscreen is the La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Melt In Sunscreen Milk.This sunscreen will protect your skin with no greasy feel, so feel free to layer it on!
Whatever you choose to use on your skin just make sure you are not using products that can further irritate your sunburn. This means no alcohol based products, perfume, scented body lotions, or harsh exfoliants. You also do not want to use petroleum jelly or greasy ointments. This will trap the heat inside and prevent your sunburn from healing.
If you are experiencing a fever, blistering, dehydration, or feeling dizzy please check with your doctor, you may have had too much fun in the sun!
Confused on the proper amount to tip your beauty service provider? Well, hopefully I can help remove any questioning from this guessing game.
I worked in a spa for over 2 years as an esthetician. I’ve seen it all when it comes to tipping; over tipped, under tipped, not tipped and tipped in nickels…. (yes, that really happened). So when it comes to things like this, I have to say I’m a girl who prefers guidelines not rules, so here’s a general outline. Different experiences call for different ranges of tipping, it is said that the rule of thumb is 15- 20 percent per total of services. So when leaving the salon, keep in mind the following guidelines:
Leave a little extra for strenuous work or truly wonderful experiences.
Hair assistants should be given $2-$5 if provided a shampoo.
Don’t tip the salon owner.
When possible tip in cash (but keep the change), otherwise the tip is taxed on the paycheck.
If you’re using a Gift Certificate to pay, double check to see if a gratuity is covered in the balance.
When possible give the tip directly to your service provider, it is more personable that way.
Tipping is your way of showing gratitude, no need to feel intimidated, this is only a form of saying “Thank you!”
The subject of boosting collagen production in the skin seems to be a hot topic right now. Consumers want to know the best products for anti aging that are going to help stimulate collagen production, and keep their skin looking youthful and radiant. If you are not ready to have a needle full of collagen injected into your skin, you may want to try a less painful route and follow these tips.
Collagen acts as a protein that is made up of amino acids that connects the tissues in our skin. As we age, we cannot readily produce enough collagen on our own, so we may need a little help. This is another minus about getting older; luckily we can still be proactive by using the right products, to lessen the effects. Other factors that break down the collagen fibers are hormonal imbalances, smoking, and sun exposure. It is recommended to always wear sunscreen, even when you will only be in the sun for a limited amount of time. The sun damages DNA, cell membranes, and collagen in your skin. So put on a pair of fabulous sunglasses when you’re exposed to the sun; they will not only look great but will help to preserve the delicate skin under your eyes.
A lot of studies on different websites suggest that certain ingredients cannot be absorbed into your skin, therefore rebuilding collagen is impossible. It is important to get your information from creditable sources that strictly deal with skin care and have no agendas but to educate the general public. According to many dermatologists, they believe you can stimulate collagen production by using the right ingredients. These ingredients include: vitamin c, copper peptides, growth factors and alpha hydroxy acids. Some companies such as Pevonia are using hydrolyzed marine collagen, which is a natural collagen obtained from cod fish. Collagen has been effective in brightening the skin and helping to firm and hydrate, by replenishing connective tissue in the skin. Pevonia Power Repair Marine Collagen Cream is a great example of a collagen product. This cream also contains squalane andhyaluronic acid to restore the skin’s moisture levels.Marine collagen has a small molecular weight so it can penetrate and absorb into the skin easily and effectively.
There is constantly new research and breakthroughs involving the skin care world happening everyday. Most of the ingredients we can’t even pronounce let alone understand that involves this new world of advancements. That is why it is encouraging to know that we can prevent damage to our skin by simply staying out of the sun, drinking plenty of water, and using the right products.
Acne can be embarrassing and painful. Cystic acne can be extremely persistent, and unlike acne that surfaces and can be extracted, cystic acne can stay trapped under the skin and gives a bumpy, inflamed appearance. To reduce inflammation in the skin caused by acne, I recommend incorporating zinc into your diet as well as your skincare regimen. Zinc is an essential nutrient that is required for collagen formation and promotes healthy immune function as well as wound healing. Zinc acts as an outstanding anti-inflammatory and thus is very beneficial to inflamed cystic acne.
Here are some great zinc-rich products that you can incorporate into your skincare regimen to address your acne woes:
Leaf and Rusher Acne Serum Tx – Formulated with the most advanced form of botanical extracts and vitamins, it treats existing breakouts and reduces the frequency of future problems. This highly evolved treatment contains a unique soy extract that, with regular use, can help control regular recurring breakouts. Cosmedicine Speedy Recovery Acne Treatment Nighttime Blemish Powder – This fast-acting blemish-fighting powder with Retinoic Acid and a soothing botanical complex works all night to not only fight breakouts and eliminate acne symptoms; it actually leaves your skin in healthier and better condition than before your acne problems began.
Cellex-C Betaplex Clear Complexion Masque – Alpha and beta hydroxy acids (3%) provide gentle exfoliation while antiseptic herbals and skin calming botanicals soothe troubled skin. This creamy kaolin clay mask dries on the skin without flaking or cracking while gently lifting loosened flakes of skin to help create a gleaming, silky smooth complexion.
Remember to drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep to allow for your skin to function at its optimum. Incorporate zinc-rich foods such as oysters, wheat bran and pecan nuts into your diet to promote healing and battle acne.