Under eye circles are a very common skin care concern. Our customers (and myself included) are on a constant hunt for the miracle product that will address this concern. In order to find the right product, you first need to figure out what is the cause of your dark circles. Take a look at the color under your eyes, if the skin appears more blue then your dark circles may be caused by leaking blood vessels and if your skin appears more brown then it may be caused by hyperpigmentation.
Blue circles are usually hereditary or show up as we age. As we age the padding around the eye gets thinner and we lose the baby fat. The skin around the eyes is about .5 mm while the rest of our skin is about 2 mm. Since the skin is so thin around the eyes it can show blood pooling or leaking. Eye products that contain vitamin K may help address this issue. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting, improving blood circulation and reduces inflammation. The problem with vitamin K is that it is hard to stabilize and therefore you cannot just rub some vitamin K under your eyes and expect to see results. It is important to find a reputable brand that has formulated a product with a stabile form of vitamin K to target dark circles. Peptides are another great way to combat blue under eye discoloration. Peptides will tighten the tissues around the eyes and prevent blood leakage from the vessels. Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Eye Repair Cream is a spectacular product to “reduce” the look of dark circles.
Brown circles are more common among darker skin tones. Periorbital Hyperpigmentation is when more melanin is produced around the eye than usual. The best way to prevent this discoloration is to apply a sunscreen daily to protect the eyes from sun damage. NIA24 Eye Repair Complex is a great product to address darkness around the eyes. It contains Pro-Niacin to improve the hyperpigmentation and vitamin C to brighten the eye area. Understand that there is not a product that can get rid of the circles completely, but there are products that can definitely help.
SkinCeuticals announces their newest correcting and hydrating product, Metacell Renewal B3! This product is perfect, if you are just starting to see signs of aging due to sun exposure. This light gel-cream offers barrier repair, calming of inflammation, brightening, and correction for a dull skin tone. Tri-peptides help tighten the skin. It is also, great for dehydration and hyper pigmentation. Every skin type can benefit from a serum that boosts hydration levels. I have been using it for almost a week and have seen an improvement in firmness and brightening. In the morning I use it after the CE Ferulic. It absorbs nicely into the skin. So far, I give it an A+!
Another hot product is SkinCeuticals, Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50. I will be honest; at first I didn’t really see the need for this product. After learning that most facial cancers happen around the eyes AND knowing my own issues with sun damage around my eyes, I didn’t need any more convincing. Plus, for those of us who wear glasses the sun rays are magnified through the lenses, exposing the already delicate under eye area to more harmful UV rays. Yikes! I get it now, you totally need this product. Like its uber-popular facial counterpart, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50, it is tinted. So, you can use it like a concealer or an eye shadow primer. There is no moisturizer in it, so it’s not greasy. In fact a colleague reported that it actually controlled the oil on her eyelids. We love it and think you will too!
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, this 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.
– 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***
– 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!
Oil is our skin’s public enemy #1! Blot, strip, seek & destroy all oil off our faces! So we thought… It turns out that certain oils contain the power of superheroes for our skin. Many experts say that oil may actually be the missing link to balanced skin. Oil attracts oil, dirt, and impurities. Thus, it gently and effectively removes makeup, dirt, sweat, and excess sebum. Sebum is the skin’s natural oil that keeps it protected and supple. It is vital not to remove all sebum from your face. Oils cleanse without irritating sensitive skin. A major plus is that oil maintains the skin’s natural level of moisture. Lack of moisture on our skin makes skin look dull and lack luster. Lack of moisture allows fine lines and wrinkles to be more pronounced and compromises supple, radiant skin.
The banishing all oil off our face campaign comes with some problems. Stripping the skin can cause irritation, breakouts, redness and over dryness. Water cannot dissolve oil. Most cleansers contain chemicals to strip oil away. Parabens, surfactants, and sulfates have been controversial ingredients that strip the skin. These ingredients are responsible for the suds produced by cleansers. This can cause skin to become sensitive and problematic. It can leave your skin depleted of its natural oils. If skin is depleted it will produce more oil to balance itself out; the never ending cycle.
Now, oil cleansers target skin from a different angle. They use oil against itself! When you put oil and oil together, they bind to each other. Oil attracts oil. This binding results in an effective deep pore cleansing.
What types of oils produce this effect on our skin? Those oils rich in linoleic acid work best. Oils like safflower, grape seed, and sunflower. As an added bonus, these oils are rich with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Products like Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Nourishing Cleansing Oil and Murad Resurgence Renewing Cleansing Oil contain natural botanical oils that gently cleanse and renew the skin. Softening and conditioning our largest organ of the body.
Most experts agree that oil cleansers work for every skin type and age group. This includes out of balance extreme cases such as acneic, oily, dry, and reactive. So, never fear now that oil is here!
Cold sores, fever blisters, leprosy lips are all names for the dreaded herpes simplex virus. They are the worst! These fluid filled blisters that group together take up to 2 weeks to heal. Once you have the virus in your body you have it for the rest of your life and unfortunately there is not a cure. Luckily there are some treatments that help relieve the pain, swelling and duration of the outbreak. Usually when your body is run down from illness, stress or too much sun exposure a cold sore is likely to form. The first indication is the itchy, tingling feeling. This is a good time to start any sort of treatment. There are topical ointments and oral pills that help speed up the healing process. The next stage is the swelling of the area, this swelling can be pretty extreme and cause bulbous lips for days and lymph nodes to swell. Then there is the “weeping” stage when the fluid from the blisters start to leak and this is when your cold sores are the most contagious. The final stage is the scabbing and healing of the sore. The best way to prevent getting cold sores is living a healthy lifestyle. Get plenty of sleep and protect your lips with an SPF year round. A great lip product is Jane Iredale LipDrink SPF 15 Lip Balm since it helps hydrate and protect the lips with sunscreen and antioxidants. Since there is no cure, prevention is key to keep cold sores at bay.
Are you looking for a night time treatment that will help to tone, correct, and retexture your skin while you are sleeping? Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Nightly Brightening Pads is a new all-in-one treatment that helps to target all signs of aging. This luxurious treatment is made out of eco-friendly bamboo and the pads are saturated with antioxidant-rich organic fruit acids to brighten your complexion. Algae extracts, Vitamin B3 and hyaluronic acid reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation for optimum age-defying results.This product is suitable for all skin types and is gentle on the skin.
Juice Beauty is a wellness brand that values safety and efficacy. Juice Beauty’s mission is to lead the industry with high efficacy and authentically organic beauty products while inspiring the ultimate customer experience. Made in the USA, all of their products contain organic juices bringing their total organic content up to 98%.
Ceramides nourish skin from within and preserve youthful skin. As children and young adults, our bodies manufacture plenty of ceramide molecules to keep our skin healthy, supple, and strong. Ceramides are a major component of our skin’s surface. They protect our skin against moisture loss and support the skin’s matrix. This yields skin that is youthful and supple. The support provided by ceramides keeps skin firm. However, as we age ceramides decline and skin begins to sag and wrinkle.
What is a ceramide? It is a type of lipid found in the cell membrane of cells. The richest concentration of ceramides are found in the epidermis. The epidermis is the outer most layer of the skin that we see every day. Ceramides play an important role. They prevent loss of water through the skin that could lead to dryness and act as a barrier against bacteria and environmental pollutants. Ceramides work in conjunction with lipids like cholesterol, fatty acids, and squalene to provide a critical layer of protection for healthy skin.
There are a few causes for the loss of ceramides as we age: Harsh cleansers disrupt and strip ceramides and lipids. Medications alter ceramide and lipid levels in the epidermis. Diet that lacks essential fatty acids disrupts the levels of ceramides and lipids. Environment and UV rays also contribute to the loss of these essential lipids. Dryness, flakiness, irritation, sensitivity, and redness are side effects of ceramide depletion.
In addition, ceramides are being used to help ease skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Clinical studies have shown that people with such skin conditions naturally produce fewer ceramides in the epidermis compared to people with normal skin. Using products with ceramides is proven to provide considerable relief for these conditions.
We highly suggest First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream that incorporates ceramides with shea butter and colloidal oatmeal to produce an amazing calming, smoothing, hydrating cream that reduce symptoms of eczema, dermatitis, and keratosis pilaris. Free of parabens, harsh chemicals and colorants, this cream really allows relief for those suffering from any sensitivities.
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 are 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.
The 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.
Dragon’s Blood, also called Croton Lechleri extract, is a bright red resin/sap with a bounty of health benefits. Dominantly found in South America, Dragon’s Blood has been used for centuries by the indigenous people for many types of health issues. It is extracted from the trees by making diagonal cuts with a machete and allowing the sap/resin to seep out. It is then collected and refined. Health benefits include various skin conditions, gastro intestinal ailments, digestive and respiratory disorders. Today, we are going to concentrate on the health benefits for the skin.
Throughout the Amazon rainforest, Dragon’s blood, called both Sangre de Drago and Sangre de Grado, is the primary topical aid for just about anything bad that can happen to skin. Cuts, bites, burns, stings, rashes, abrasions, sores, wounds and skin conditions of all kinds benefit from application of the healing red resin of this tree. Dragon’s blood has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. These properties help sufferers of acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Dragon’s blood is widely used on infectious skin conditions of all kinds with great success. It is rich in protective antioxidant phenols, and anti-inflammatory compounds of various kinds. Due to these compounds, Dragon’s blood sap/resin helps to protect the cells of the skin and reduces redness and swelling. It also contains a group of compounds called proanthocyanidins, which actually repair collagen, the main protein that makes up much of our tissues. Additionally, Dragon’s blood contains taspine, a known tissue-healing agent.
In addition, Dragon’s Blood has been clinically studied for its benefits. Studies regarding this plant date back to the late 1970s. Dragon’s blood is found in several pharmaceutical products, some of them patented.
Rodial Skin Care is a premier skincare line that features Dragon’s Blood as a main ingredient in their formulations. Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel is an innovative product that actually acts like a second skin. This skin-like film effectively protects, reduces redness and firms for a smoother, plumper and youthful looking complexion.
Clinical results of this product:
-Trial volunteers saw an increase in skin elasticity by 92% in 3 months
-Trial volunteers saw a reduction in skin sagging by 72% in 3 months
-Skin is dramatically defined and volumized
-Skin is firmer around the jaw line and cheek bones with improved tonicity
Dragon’s Blood is truly a gem from South America. Its benefits are becoming world renowned and the applications continue to expand and grow. We will continue to hear about this magic resin for years to come!
People have been using coconuts for a wide range of uses for thousands of years. In the Philippines people have been using coconut oil for beauty, health, diet and even as an alternative fuel for cars. Just recently people in the U.S. are discovering ways to introduce coconut oil into their lives. With all of the benefits that coconut oil offers it is a wonder why we haven’t started using coconut oil sooner. Coconuts are rich in lauric acid which essentially is a saturated fat. It is a disinfectant, anti-microbial and is anti-viral. Coconut oil may be consumed and used to cook with or added to tea/coffee as a natural creamer. An added benefit is that coconut oil will give you energy and can be used for weight management. When used in the hair, coconut oil penetrates the roots and addresses dandruff or cradle cap for babies. It also aids skin concerns such as rosacea, keratosis pilaris and eczema. All types of skin can benefit from using coconut oil! It also works great as an eye makeup remover, you can even brush your teeth with it and use it on babies as a natural diaper cream. The RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream is an excellent way to introduce coconut into your regimen to find all the ways you can use this multitasking product. Enjoy!