Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category

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


Ingredients Not to Mix

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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.


Does My Oily Skin Really Need a Moisturizer?

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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!


Expert Advice at SkinStore.com!

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Did you know that SkinStore.com has qualified skin care professionals like Estheticians and Cosmetologists available to help you with your skin care needs? We offer live chat, email, and phone support during our regular office hours and we are happy to answer any of your beauty and skin care questions. With literally thousands of products to choose from, let us help you make the right choice for you! Call, email or chat with us anytime, or request a complimentary consultation. We are happy to help!


What are Shingles?

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The first time I heard that someone had shingles my first questions was “what are they going to do with them?” I was so embarrassed that I thought it was a conversation about roof materials and not a skin rash! I quickly learned that shingles is a painful illness that is common among our maturing population, and it can be highly contagious.

What are shingles? Shingles are known in the medical community as Herpes zoster. It is caused by the Varicella zoster virus which is also the cause of chickenpox in children. In fact, because shingles is contagious to children or people who have never had chickenpox the virus can be contracted by them and can manifest as chickenpox.

How is shingles contracted? After a child has chickenpox, the Varicella zoster virus lay dormant in the root of the nervous system, or the part of the nervous system near the spine. As we age or experience compromises in our immune system, the virus can then reactivated and move out through the nervous system when factors like, stress, cancer, chemotherapy or HIV take hold of one’s health. However, there are also unknown causes for reactivation and the virus appears to become more common in those people 60 years or older.

What are the symptoms? Because shingles works its way through your nervous system, it will go down a nerve(s) and will often manifest in a characteristic pattern consistent with nerve regions. Shingles are generally accompanied by itchy blisters that can become filled with pus in addition to a generalized pain on the skin in the affected region. Pain can range from mild to excruciating.

If you experience any symptoms like the above you should seek the advice of your physician. Your physician can help you determine the best ways to soothe your skin and calm your rash. Common forms of soothing include calamine lotion and cool compresses.

As I was researching shingles, I came across a great video clip on the Dr. Oz website called Chickenpox Returns . It highly informative and has great visual aids to see what this illness looks like.

Source: Medicinenet.com

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What is Scabies?

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Living organisms that infest or otherwise “bug” humans (pun intended!) have been around since the dawn of time. With so many forms of itches, rashes, bumps, and other skin irritations we thought it may be helpful to provide a basic understanding of scabies.

What is scabies? The skin condition described as “Scabies” is caused by a tiny parasitic mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The female mite is predominately the cause of the initial infection when she uses her mouthparts and front legs to tunnel under the skin. Once in the skin, she lays 2-3 eggs a day while continuing to burrow across the skin of her human host. She lives for about 2 months and spends her days and nights loading her host up with eggs that hatch to become larva, that then transition to nymphs and eventually become adult Sarcoptes scabiei which then start the process again. The sex of the mite is determined by how many times the parasite molts, once for a male and twice for female so the females tend to be twice the size of the males. Okay, enough about the bugs, you are probably wonder how you get it and what the skin looks like right?!

How do you get it? The Sarcoptes scabiei mite is transmitted via direct skin to skin contact and is highly contagious. Outbreaks can commonly occur in hospitals and care facilities where people have close contact, conditions are unhygienic, or where high concentrations of people are in close proximity, though non-intimate casual contact is generally not a method of contracting scabies.

What are the symptoms? Once you are exposed and have become host to a fertile female Sarcoptes scabiei it can take up to six weeks for an itchy red rash to appear on your skin. Though no other symptoms may be present during the first six weeks other people having close contact with the host can become infected and spread the parasite further. If you’ve had contact with someone who has been recently diagnosed, be sure to tell you physician if you too should become symptomatic. The itch can start as mild irritation accompanied with redness and then intensify to unbearable itching with increased intensity at night. Intensity can be so unbearable that the host may not even be able to sleep.

If you experience any of the above symptoms you should contact your physician. It’s important to note that only a doctor can prescribe treatments that are effective in battling scabies.

For minor itches and irritation year round I keep my paraben-free ATOPALM Intensive Moisturizing Cream handy! It’s a multipurpose moisturizer that really works well to relieve irritation and redness associated with seasonal factors and even summer bug bites like mosquitos and chiggers.

Sources: Parasitesinhumans.org, Scabiesweb.org, Medicinenet.com.


Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

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Seborrhoeic dermatitis, also known as seborrhea, is a common skin disorder that effects 3-5% of the population. It is found mainly on the scalp and face in scaly, itchy, red skin patches. The patches of skin can appear thick, and either yellow or red in color, and sometimes these patches can look shiny. Seborrhea commonly appears on the upper chest and back or other areas of the body that contain more sebaceous glands. Babies can also suffer from this condition and is typically known as cradle cap, which will usually clear up by their first birthday. While this skin condition is non-contagious, the people who suffer often will find it difficult to treat.

The causes of seborrhoeic dermatitis are not yet known by doctors but there are key factors that may play a role in its origin. There is natural occurring yeast called malassezia that grows in sebum, an overabundance of malassezia can cause flare-ups and inflammation. Also a change in season can be a trigger to a flareup, so seborrhea is usually more prevalent in the winter time. Seborrhoeic dermatitis has also been linked to people who have neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, and in people who are stressed and fatigued would be at greater risk. It seems to also be related to hormones and genetics, but doctors are not sure why.

Treatments for seborrhoeic dermatitis includes creams and lotions as well as medicated shampoos for the scalp. In some severe cases a doctor can prescribe an oral or topical medication to help reduce symptoms, because usually an antifungal product will help keep the flareups at bay. If you have seborrhoeic dermatitis on your scalp, an anti-fungal shampoo that contains selenium sulfide, coal tar, zinc pyrithione, or salicylic acid can be effective (we recommend Philip B Anti-Flake Relief Shampoo). Even over the counter shampoos and products should be used as directed or as a physician prescribes. Alternative methods for helping symptoms include the use of phototherapy which uses LED lights to inhibit the growth of malassezia which can reduce inflammation. Also the use of natural ingredients such as aloe, coconut oil and tea tree oil have helped certain people.

People who have seborrhoeic dermatitis sometimes think they just have dry skin or dandruff because their skin or scalp is flaky and itchy. Dandruff is considered the less inflammatory form of seborrhoeic dermatitis. If people do not know the specific skin condition they are dealing with, this can cause people to use products that are too heavy and are greasy on the skin which can aggravate the condition. A doctor would be able to determine the best course of action for you to ensure you are getting the care you need.

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Psoriasis

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There are five types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic, however plaque psoriasis is the most common form. While most people may think it is a skin condition, it is actually an immune system deficiency. The immune system protects the body from infections and diseases. In patients with plaque psoriasis, certain immune cells are activated and produce too much of a protein called tumor necrosis factor (a.k.a TNF), it’s protein produced by the body in response to infections. This protein can cause skin cells to grow too quickly. In turn, the skin cells build up and form raised, red patches often with silvery scales, known as plaques. Plaques can be painful, itchy and in some cases can even bleed. They can appear anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp and back. Although this is a disease of the immune system, there are certain factors that may trigger psoriasis such as:

• Injury to the skin- skin infections, inflammation or excessive scratching
• Over exposure to sunlight (sunburn)
• Streptococcal infections
• HIV
• Medications
• Emotional stress
• Smoking and alcohol
• Hormone changes

Here is a breakdown of the types of psoriasis:

Guttate Psoriasis: This form of psoriasis appears as small, red, individual spots on the skin. Guttate lesions usually appear on the trunk and limbs. These spots are not usually as thick as plaque lesions.

Inverse Psoriasis: Is found in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and in other skin folds around the genitals and the buttocks. This type of psoriasis appears as bright-red lesions that are smooth and shiny. Inverse psoriasis is subject to irritation from rubbing and sweating because of its location in skin folds and tender areas.

Pustular Psoriasis: is characterized by white blisters of noninfectious pus (consisting of white blood cells) surrounded by red skin. There are three types of pustular psoriasis. It may be localized to certain areas of the body, such as the hands and feet, or covering most of the body. It begins with the reddening of the skin followed by formation of pustules and scaling.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis: is a particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis that affects most of the body surface. It is characterized by periodic, widespread, fiery redness of the skin and the shedding of scales in sheets, rather than smaller flakes. The reddening and shedding of the skin are often accompanied by severe itching and pain, heart rate increase, and fluctuating body temperature. People experiencing the symptoms of erythrodermic psoriasis flare should see a doctor immediately.

If you have any of these signs or symptoms we recommend contacting your physician for best treatment recommendations. There are many oral drugs that can be prescribed by a physician to treat psoriasis. If prescriptions fail or you would like to steer clear of unwanted side effects, there are also more natural remedies like herbs, vitamins, sunlight, and ocean water. Some of the ingredients known to help are aloe vera, fish oil, Vitamin D, dead sea salts and cayenne.

While there is no cure for psoriasis, there is hope in topical and systemic medications. Topically, some effective ingredients are; salicylic acid, coal-tar ointments, and retinoids. Skinstore.com carries a variety of products that can help. Neostrata Therapeutics Psorent Topical is clinically-proven solution designed to help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis such as itching, scaling, flaking, redness and irritation. Avene Professional Akerat S Psoriasis Skin Cream is recommended for localized rough, thick and scaly areas on the scalp and body. This body product helps relieve and prevent the recurrence of itching, flaking and scaling. PCA SKIN Dry Skin Relief Bar is a mild facial bar suitable for all types of dry skin conditions particularly psoriasis and eczema. Tarsum Shampoo/Gel from Summers is a therapeutic scalp product. For a relaxing and calming treatment try one of the Ahava Mineral Bath Salts. No other natural substance contains a greater concentration of skin rejuvenating minerals than 100% pure Dead Sea salt crystals.

Resources & References: www.webmd.com and www.psoriasis.org

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