Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category

Beautiful Brows Revealed

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You can’t deny it; a fabulous set of brows are priceless. Nicely groomed eyebrows, not only polish off a great look, but also act as an instant eye lift. There will be no need to schedule your next waxing appointment when you follow these simple steps.

First and foremost, invest in a quality set of tweezers. Look for a slanted tip, which provides better accuracy and grip when tweezing unruly hairs. My personal favorite is the Tweezerman Slanted tweezersTweezer. FYI for all the divas out there, these tweezers also come in several different colors! How fun- I’m always on the hunt for cute new items to spice up my makeup bag!

5 Steps to perfectly manicured brows:

1. The cardinal rule- Never over pluck! This is probably the hardest of all of the guidelines. We have all been overzealous with the tweezers at one time in our life, leaving your brows sparse and over plucked. But don’t fear – there are helpful tricks to avoid this mishap.

Try filling in your brows with an eyebrow pencil first. This enables you to create your perfect shape, acting as a pattern for you to follow while tweezing. Tip- use soft, feathery strokes when penciling in your brows, this mimics the look of hair. A heavy hand will make your brows look too harsh and drawn on. By diverting attention away from areas that need to grow in, the focus remains on the hairs that need to be plucked. Follow this easy step and you’ll never be left with thin, wimpy eyebrows again!

2. Shaping- Keep in mind everyone has differently shaped brows. Some are more rounded, while others are more squared. Some have high arches and others are straight across. The key is to enhance the shape you were born with.

3. There are three parts to an eyebrow- the head, arch and tail. The head of the brow should start directly above the side of the nose. Tip- Hold a pencil parallel to the side of your nose. The pencil will land where the head of the brow should begin. Tweeze any hairs that land in unibrow territory.

4. Next, holding the pencil at the side of your nose, diagonally angle it so that the pencil crosses the iris of your eye. The pencil will fall on the part of the brow where your arch should be. Pluck hairs one by one to open up and define the arch.

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5. Now, angle the pencil toward the outside corner of your eye. The pencil will land where the tail of the brow should end. Pluck any stray hairs that remain.

6. Lastly, finish off your look by applying a brow gel. I recommend Billion Dollar Brow Gel, it works wonders! The gel sets your hairs, keeping your brows polished and intact from morning until night!

 

 

Tips for Success:

-Try to avoid overarching the brow, which can leave you with a surprised or angry expression.

-Plucking too many hairs at once can leave holes or gaps in the brow. For better precision, pluck one hair at a time.

-Pick a neutral toned eye brow pencil that matches your natural hair color.

 

 


Zents: What Exactly is our Concreta?

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Trainings and events are my absolute favorite part of my job with ZENTS. I get to meet and learn from amazing people in the spa and skincare industry and share our rich history. ZENTS is a fusion of the words “Zen” and “Scent” and during our trainings I often ask the question: What does the word Zen mean to you?

I love hearing everyone’s answers and the way their whole body often becomes more relaxed as they think upon the question. You can almost see the words floating in their mind’s eye. Peaceful, calm, attuned, mindful… These words create a symphony of relaxation when we think them. The word that I like to call out the most is “mindful.” ZENTS is an incredibly mindful company, from our charitable giving arm, SEVA, to the way we source our ingredients. We procure our shea butter from women’s co-ops in Ghana, directing and positively affecting the lives of women and families.

One of the ZENTS products that embodies mindfulness the most to me is our Concreta. The Concreta is a rich reparative balm, made for dry, problem areas like cuticles, elbows, heels, feet. It is full of organic shea butter and touched lightly with a spa-grade aroma to create a feeling of delight and relaxation when applying it. Shea butter is incredibly hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and zents2helps to protect the skin’s barrier from dehydration. We source our shea butter from women’s co-ops in Ghana, voting with our dollars, and listening to all our customers who tell us how much they appreciate it. The organic shea butter in the Concreta is housed in a hand-carved stone box, and the story behind that box is symbolic of all that embodies ZENTS.Zents

Founder Cord Coen was in a car accident 19 years ago that left him with debilitating injuries, both to mind and body. After two years of rehabilitation in Boulder, Colorado, his Western doctors told him that they could do no more. He would get no better.

Cord and his family refused to believe this and broadened their search until they found a doctor in India who had helped others in the Boulder community. Cord spent a year and half in recovery in India, performing pranayama for his brain rehabilitation and yoga for his body. He took Tibetan medicine and worked every single day at recovery. Slowly, slowly, his mind and body began to heal. Upon his return to the United States, he knew he wanted to be a part of other people’s healing journeys, and ZENTS was born.

To this day, our Concreta boxes are hand-carved by the family that Cord lived with in India. Every time someone purchases a Concreta, they are helping to put food on a family’s table.

It’s when we take care of ourselves that we are best able to take care of others. Thank you for allowing ZENTS to be a part of your healing journey.


Protect Those Feet!

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ST005Water shoes, aqua socks, flip-flops, whatever you have, you need to protect your feet this summer. This time of year people are running around barefoot and spreading some pretty nasty stuff around. Water Park restrooms, public pools, locker rooms are all breeding grounds for plantar warts and Athlete’s Foot.  Not familiar with these contagious foot issues? Here are some things to look for if you think you may have contracted one of these little gems. A plantar wart is a fungal infection that can be a painful bump. They are most commonly found on the hands and feet. They usually go away on their own but it may take years. If you would like to rid yourself sooner apply a salicylic acid to the infection and keep it covered to avoid it from spreading to others. In about 12 weeks the infection should be cleared. Athlete’s foot is just as easy to get rid of. If your feet are itchy, red and starting to blister, start an over-the-counter athlete foot treatment like the Stiefel Zeasorb Super Absorbent Antifungal Treatment For Athlete’s Foot . Within a few weeks of consistent use the infections should be gone.


Extra, extra! Read all about it: SkinCeuticals Kits, now available!

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SkinCeuticals is one of our top selling brands and for good reason. This brand is incredible and delivers amazing resultsSK103. Their antioxidant serums have a huge following and their retinols are someSK101
of the most corrective products available. Skincare can be a large investment but SkinCeuticals has introduced concern-specific kits at a big discount to SK102reduce prices. We are now offering SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening Skin System, SkinCeuticals Advanced Anti-Aging System and SkinCeuticals Adult Anti-Acne System. These 3 kits address some of our most talked about skin concerns. They put together some of the best treatment products that work synergistically to give optimal results. If you have several concerns that you wish to address you can use multiple systems in conjunction with each other. If you ever have any questions on how to use these products just ask one of our estheticians; chances are we use some of the products ourselves!


Instant Peel

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Does your skin need a little tender love and care?  Can you use a great facial, but don’t have the time to make it happen?  I may have a great solution for you. Instantly peel away dead skin, sebum and impurities to uncover fresh, baby soft skin. Regardless of your skin type, Instant Peel will dramatically improve your skin texture, elasticity, and firmness. The proof is at your fingertips: peeling within seconds of application when used as directed. The gentle action comes from Instant Peel’s unique combination of proteins and enzymes, and is proven safe for even the most sensitive skin. Instant Peel is a natural exfoliator and an effective alternative to facial scrubs, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. You can’t overuse Instant Peel. Once the dead skin and debris are peeled away, Instant Peel stops working, revealing a youthful glow.

– Free of oils, artificial colorants and detergentsinstant peel

– Hypoallergenic

– Allergy tested

– Non-irritating and gentle

This product is recommended for all skin types and it will help to even skin tone and texture.  You can use this product on your neck and décolleté for an instant pick me up and sheer radiance.  With 28 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, this product has a loyal following and yields amazing results.


Hot Ingredient: Aloe Vera

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The use of aloe vera dates back to the ancient Egyptians.  They called the plant the “plant of immortality”.  It was presented to dead pharaohs as burial gifts. Stone carvings still exist depicting its uses. The ancient Egyptians utilized the Aloe plant to heal infections, burns, and to clear up the existence of parasites on the body.  Since those times, the use of aloe vera has expanded.  We know it’s a leading therapy for sunburns; however, the additional uses of this magnificent plant may astonish you.  Aloe vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It grows in dry climates such as those found in parts of Africa and India and has been used medicinally for centuries. The plant can grow anywhere from several inches in height to several feet, depending on its growing environment.  Ancient Greeks, Spaniards, and Arabs applied aloe to the body to minimize the occurrence of perspiration and body odor. During the sixteenth century, aloe made its way to the West Indies and shortly thereafter arrived in the Caribbean and America. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, American herbalists relied heavily on Aloe Vera for many of their treatments.

Aloe leaves secrete, a clear gel that when broken off from the rest of the plant that can be applied topically to heal wounds and soothe skin.  The leaves of this plant contain a high percentage of water, essential oil, amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, essential fatty acids, and glycoproteins. Aloe Vera has been credited with the following capabilities: antibacterial (minimizing the presence of bacteria), antimicrobial (minimizing microbes), antifungal (minimizing the existence of fungus), anthelmintic (reduction in number of parasites and worms), anti-inflammatory (easing of swelling), antiviral (destruction of viruses), vulnerary (wound healing), purgative (performance as an aggressive laxative), and emollient (acts to moisturize and soothe).

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Various studies have been conducted to examine the benefits of the aloe vera plant and it was found that aloe vera does in fact have several properties that are effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, and hair and scalp problems.   Aloe vera has been credited with the ability to promote cell renewal as it soothes the skin. Taken orally, it is used to cleanse and support the digestive system, infuse energy, and support the immune system. Aloe vera juice is taken internally to provide relief from common digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. It is also taken orally to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, epilepsy, asthma, and diabetes. Topical applications revolve primarily around the treatment of sunburn, burns obtained from sources other than the sun, and psoriasis.

As an antibacterial substance, it offers relief from the redness associated with acne while helping to heal breakouts. Enhancing the skin’s natural levels of moisture, aloe vera is particularly helpful to use on sensitive or dry skin. Its moisturizing capabilities have led to its use in anti-dandruff shampoos. A rich source of many vitamins including A, B, and C, it is used to brighten skin tone and minimize minor pigmentation issues.  We hope you add aloe vera to your list of “must try” ingredients!

 


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!



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