Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category

Why Exfoliate?

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Exfoliation is the removal of the top layer of dead skin cells that can turn our complexions dull and ashy, to reveal the younger, plumper skin cells underneath. When we are gross peelyoung, our cells naturally turn over every 28 days, so we always have gorgeous skin. As we age, the process slows down, making it necessary to help it along. By exfoliating, you will boost the efficacy of the other products you are using too! Getting rid of those dead cells also clears that layer of skin which can be a barrier that prevents your serums and moisturizers from deeply penetrating.

There are so many exfoliation products that choosing the best for your skin can be a challenge. Here are some general tips that apply most often. As always there can be exceptions.

Chemical exfoliants contain enzymes which act like little Pac-Man figures that gently eat away the dead skin cells. They are the least likely to irritate sensitive skin types as they tend to be more skin-friendly than polishing beads or scrubs. Yet they are still effective enough to do a thorough job. Elemis makes the luxurious Papaya Enzyme Peel that is really wonderful. If you haven’t used a peel before, don’t let the word scare you. Technology has improved so you won’t experience skin actually peeling off with at-home peels. Just softer, smoother skin that is ready for your treatment products!

Scrubs use ingredients like jojoba beads or other gentle particles to slough of the dead skin cells. Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare Complete Clarity Facial Exfoliating Polish will give your skin a beautifully polished feel.

Peel Pads come in different strengths, from gentle for sensitive skin, to extra-strength for more tolerant skin. They have beneficial AHAs such as Glycolic Acid to exfoliate without any abrasion. Dr. Dennis Gross makes excellent peel pads that are safe for everyday use.
arconaGommage is the most aggressive exfoliation you can find for at- home use. It is a 3-in-1 exfoliant that includes enzymes, AHAs, and buffing beads. It is ideal for very tolerant skin. ARCONA, one of our natural brands, offers the Cranberry Gommage which unclogs and tightens pores.

Of course you can always go to the spa and get professional treatments such as peels. These tend to be more aggressive and great for correcting deep skin concerns. You may experience temporary redness, flaking and down time with these procedures. Make sure you discuss what to expect as well as after-care with your skin care professional.
Can you over-exfoliate? Yes. You can actually cause damage by doing it too much. How often should I do it? Well, that also depends on your skin type. Sensitive skin should be exfoliated once every 7-10 days. Dry to Normal skin can exfoliate 1-2 times a week; combination to oily skin can exfoliate 3 times a week.

Nailed It!

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ON009-come-to-bed-redTrying out new nail polish colors is always fun, but when your nails chip right after you’ve painted them it feels like a big waste of time. Personally, I prefer gel nails, but I recently discovered butter LONDON. Their lacquers last more than a week without chipping.

My favorite thing about this polish is how lightning- fast it dries! The product has a high quality formula, and many great colors to choose from.

Butter LONDON is formaldehyde, Toluene, and DBP-free. The polish ON020-yummy-mummycontains Vitamins E, A, C, and B5, which work on strengthening nails. All you really need is two thin coats of this highly-pigmented nail polish.

This brand has a great variety of neutral colors for everyday wear, and my favorite would have to be Yummy Mummy. The polish is a medium beige that would look good on every skin tone. If you want to go a little Goth, check out the wine-colored La Moss, which is beautiful for winter. Of course, every woman needs a go-to red in her polish collection, and butter LONDON has definitely nailed it with Come to Bed Red. It’s the perfect classic signature red. Butter LONDON is a healthy alternative to gel manicures without the harmful ingredients, and with no compromising on lasting shine!

Prime to Perfection!

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Most likely you have heard of makeup primers and probably thought they were an unnecessary step or a way for a makeup artist to up sell you. A foundation Primer is a base applied after the moisturizer and before the foundation. I can say that a makeup primer is one cosmetic I will no longer go without. Not only does it make your makeup look flawless, it seals the pores and provides a layer of protection between your makeup and your skin. The benefits of using a primer are endless, and will make you reconsider your make up routine.

My favorite Primer that I use on a daily basis is Jane Iredale’s Smooth Affair Facial Primer. I love that JI475-jane-iredale-smooth-affair-facial-primer-and-brightenerher products are all natural and this one does much more than just prime the skin for makeup application. The Grapefruit extract makes your skin as radiant as it can be. Algae extract firms the skin and helps it retain moisture. This primer is great for women with sensitive skin, but can be used for all skin types. My makeup is a lot easier to apply when I use this primer, and it has a beautiful finish.

The great things about primers are that they work with all skin types, and skin tones. There are no shades to choose from, so it is very easy to select one. Primers go on like a lotion, but there is no greasy after-feel. By applying a makeup primer you will notice that your pores appear smaller and your makeup will stay in place a lot longer. Try a primer, and you will understand why this will be an essential step in your makeup routine.

Estie Focus Product: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

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Cleanse. Treat. Protect. These are the three basic steps of the perfect skin care regimen according to Dr. Murad. This double exfoliating scrub, which would fall under “cleanse” in Dr. Murad’s routine, is a wonderful addition to any regimen. Utilizing both alpha and beta hydroxy acids plus jojoba beads, this product will help to remove dead skin cells, brighten and bring clarity to the skin. Although this cleanser is a wonderful addition, it should not be used every day. Two to three times weekly would be ideal.MR025-murad-ahabha-exfoliating-cleanser

Alpha-Hydroxy acids include glycolic, lactic, tartaric, malic and citric acids. They are great for rectifying fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, and irregular pigmentation. Beta-Hydroxy Acid is also known as salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin, improve color and texture and ultimately help with acne. These chemical exfoliations help to encourage clarity and brightness by dissolving skin cell buildup. Jojoba beads, also known as jojoba ester, are derived from the jojoba shrub which produces a wax which is then processed into a solid that becomes jojoba ester/beads. Jojoba beads are great to naturally further the polishing and retexurizing of the skin. The chemical and physical exfoliating properties can help this intensive cleanser polish away dullness and impurities, revealing a smoother, younger-looking complexion.

Adding this product to your regimen as an exfoliator or second cleanser will help you to achieve a clear, bright complexion. The next steps are “treat” and “protect”. After using a strong exfoliating product, such as this, you would want to treat and protect with hydrating, nourishing products.

Estie Find: Easy Cleansing Treatment!

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perricone cleanseAre you looking for a quick, efficient cleanser? Feel the need for a second deeper cleanse? Want some exfoliation without any rough scrubbing? Look no further; this blue plasma cleansing treatment made by Perricone MD is a no-rinse formula that deeply cleanses and removes makeup and skin-aging debris as it gently exfoliates and conditions, leaving an instantly smooth and radiant appearance.

Utilizing Perricone’s exclusive Cold Plasma technology, as well as Micellar molecules, this dual-cleaning treatment will target impurities without stripping the skin’s essential oils, and it also helps to trap any impurities and purify pores.

If you are unfamiliar with the Blue Plasma technology, it is a gentle, bio-specific peel that gently removes dead skin cells   while leaving healthy skin unimpaired.  The blue color in the Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment comes from two key ingredients: Copper and Salmon Egg Enzymes. Copper helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as rejuvenate skin cells in aging tissue, boosting the production of collagen and elastin. Salmon Egg Enzymes gently remove dead skin cells, resurfacing and restoring radiance, leaving the skin fresh and bright. The enzymes target only dead skin cells, unlike many chemical acids that generally break down both dead and living skins cells. Pairing these two key ingredients together helps to exfoliate, regenerate, and hydrate at the same time, making this a vital step in any regimen.

Why is it my favorite product? As an esthetician, I love trying anything new and this is one product that I always keep on hand. Whether I am using it as a second cleanser, a toner, or a lazy girl cleanser, this is one of my must-have products. It is very gentle on my sensitive skin and it delivers the promised results. After using, my skin feels refreshed, ultra-clean and left with a velvet finish. With an affordable price, great results and a 3-month supply, this would be a wonderful addition to any regimen.

Estie Find: Five years of science in a jar!

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This unique product is my new must-have. Dr. Perricone believes in beauty from the outside-in, and the inside-out. His dietary supplements are awesome at providing your body with the nutrients needed to maintain your health.   Cold Plasma is like a multivitamin for the face. NV188-cold-plasma

This unique gel-cream serum addresses the ten visible signs of aging: wrinkles, large pores, dryness, redness, discoloration, uneven tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance. Cold Plasma took Dr. Perricone five years to formulate. The unique scientific formula is only attracted to dead skin cells, and works differently on everyone. The bionic phospholipid delivery system of this product is one-of-a-kind; whatever goes on top of Cold Plasma is pulled into the skin ten times deeper.

I have been using this award-winning product for a week and can already see a difference in the tone, texture, and clarity of my skin. I apply it nightly after cleansing. I stir the product with a Q-tip and apply only the amount left on the Q-tip—that’s all that is needed. After I let the product set for a minute or so, I continue with my serum and moisturizer. The scent isn’t the greatest, it reminds me of fish oil, but it dissipates after I apply my serum and night cream. I’ve noticed the overall tone of my skin is more radiant, the texture is smoother, and my pores are refined.

I’m excited to see the results after I use the product for a longer amount of time. It is a pricy, but the amount used per application is so little I can see the jar lasting for at least 6 months, if not longer. All Dr. Perricone’s formulations are free of artificial fragrance, parabens, preservatives and dyes, contain no animal by-products, and are cruelty-free. The advanced, patented formulas are kept stable in medical-grade glass as well.

Give Cold Plasma a try, and promote aging-optional skin!

Product Find: Nuxe Clarifying Cream Mask

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The Nuxe Clarifying Mask is hydrating and purifying at the same time. We all love our mud masks that work on purifying and detoxifying the skin, but some can leave us with a tight, dried out feeling. This mask will leave your skin feeling fresh, clean, and not stripped of all of its natural oils. It is a creamy mask that never really completely dries on the skin. This luxurious product will leave you feeling as though you have stepped into a spa, and has the clean, light scent of fresh lemon.

This clarifying cream mask contains rose petals to purify the skin without over-drying. The Kaolin and rice powder gently exfoliate the skin while reducing pore size. The Rosemary works on detoxifying the skin while preventing future break outs. The mask also uses damascena rose extract, and Allantoin to calm and reduce inflammation.


Customers have found that their complexions looked smoother and more refined, pore size was reduced and skin appeared brighter. The mask can be used 2-3 times a week and is especially great for acne-prone skin. After leaving the mask on for 10-15 minutes, your skin is left with a beautiful glow and your pore size will be noticeably reduced. The mask consistency is very creamy and it’s easy to apply and remove. This mask is perfect for dry, sensitive skin that still has occasional break outs.

Kick that Cold!

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It happens to all of us, the dreaded cold or flu. Minimize your downtime with Kneipp Eucalyptus Cold and Flu Herbal Bath. You will be breathing clearly again as you relax in an aromatic bath. This NEW coldhelpBEAUTY award-winner really helps with all the typical symptoms of colds and the flu-like congestion, fatigue, runny nose and coughing. It even helps with allergies!

If the herbal bath is too intense for you, try their Kneipp Eucalyptus Cold and Sinus Mineral Bath Salts. It has all the same benefits of its counterpart but is slightly less fragrant. Bath salts can be detoxifying and are proven to shorten the life of a cold.

Don’t have time for a soak in the tub, or just need a little allergy relief? Kneipp Mint and Eucalyptus Refreshing Body Wash is just the ticket for you. This skin-softening cleanser will leave your skin fresh and lightly scented. Kneipp is a natural brand born from a German apothecary with good-for-you ingredients. Gesundheit!

Save the trip, microderm at home!

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UF001-trophy-skin-minimd-home-microdermabrasionMicrodermabrasion of the skin is used to treat discoloration, sun damage, stretch marks, and scarring. This treatment uses an abrasive tool to gently exfoliate the surface layer of the skin. People with fine lines, uneven skin tone, and clogged pores benefit the most from these treatments. The price of a single microdermabrasion treatment at a salon or spa varies between $75 and $200. The good news is that Trophy Skin has a MiniMD Home Microdermabrasion tool that costs about what you would pay for a single visit. UF003-trophy-skin-minimd-precision-diamond-tip

The Trophy Skin MiniMD Home Microdermabrasion uses a diamond tip and suction for a very effective exfoliation of the skin. Ongoing microdermabrasion treatments are something that everyone can benefit from. This resurfacing treatment is key to beautiful, healthy, glowing skin. Trophy Skin even offers different attachments to personalize your at-home microdermabrasion experience. They offer their MiniMD Pore extraction tip, MiniMD Body Diamond Tip, and many more. Using microdermabrasion will even make your serums and moisturizers more effective because they will be more easily absorbed into the skin. This treatment is painless, and a very simple task to include in your beauty routine to see amazing results!

Why Cleanse?

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Cleansing your skin is the starting point of any regimen and it is important to do it both morning and night. The purpose in the AM is to wash off any residue your skin has purged during its natural repair cycle, which happens while you sleep. This also gives your makeup a smooth canvas to start. If you use an exfoliating cleanser, morning is an ideal time. At night, you cleanse again to wash off any makeup, dirt, and environmental pollution that can clog pores and cause wrinkles. lady

Although they can vary in ingredients, the function of all cleansers is the same: to keep your complexion fresh and clean. You can use the same cleanser morning and night. If your budget allows, it is also very beneficial to use an exfoliating cleanser in the morning and a more moisturizing cleanser at night. Or, vice versa, depending on your skin type.

How do I know which cleanser is right for me? Well, preference of texture is a big factor. If you love a gel cleanser I probably won’t be able to convince you to use a creamy cleanser. But there are certain textures that cater to specific skin types. There are exceptions but in general the following tips apply:

If you have dry skin, you will probably prefer a creamy cleanser or a cleansing bar. Creamy cleansers can be soothing and moisturizing to a dry or irritated skin type. Most remove make up, are gentle and effective.

Normal-to-combination skin types are usually well-served by a foaming cleanser, which are available in creamy or gel formulations. They help balance the oil in the t-zone and hydrate the drier cheek areas.

The oily and acne-prone types really benefit from gel cleansers. Gels tend to be more oil absorbing. You can also find them with acne–fighting ingredients like Salicylic Acid. Typically oily skin is more tolerant than the other skin types and can handle stronger acids.

Cleansing oils are a great option for all skin types. They can be a bit harder to fully remove so a second rinse might be required. Oils are excellent for breaking up long-wear makeup. Micellar waters or “waterless” cleansers are really handy for the woman on the move. Just swipe on and no rinsing is needed. Another all-skin type option is cleansing bars. They are available for each skin type as well, so you just have to know what suits you best. Bars with good ingredients are a great option for men as well.

As always, if you need help determining your skin type or would like personalized product recommendations, please call to speak with one of our estheticians. We are happy to help!

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