Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ Category

Amazing Argireline!

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Surgery can have quite a few risks and can be a nuisance because of the recovery times. To address this inconvenience, the skin care industry has been creating many products to provide more effective treatments that can be used at home. One such product is Argireline, which is an ingredient that is designed to work in much the same way as Botox.  However, the main difference is that unlike Botox, which is injected by a doctor, Argireline is applied directly to the skin as a cream or serum.NF015-nuface-smoother-powerhouse-peptide-serum-s2

How Argireline works is based on chemistry. Argireline is made up of peptides, which are chains of amino acids that can affect how cells in the body work. When Argireline is applied to the skin, it is absorbed into the body and the ingredient’s chemical composition causes the facial muscles to contract with less force. This diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and can smooth out fine lines that appear with aging. This ingredient can be quite effective, and in some cases, users of Argireline can experience as much as a 30 percent reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.

When choosing an Argireline product, you should know that products with a higher concentration of the drug will provide the most results. Most physicians recommend products with a concentration of 10 percent or higher. The highest concentration of Argireline in any product is 20 percent.

Argireline appears to be safe. According to a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, it is non-toxic orally and doesn’t cause skin irritation even at high doses. Unlike Botox injections, it doesn’t require a visit to dermatologist or other medical professional trained to do Botox injections. It can be safely used at home.


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Skin will naturally shed 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 slows 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 skin cell build up can undo the effects experience by skin cell shedding slowdown.

Exfoliation helps your skin look younger, promote blood flow and circulation, promote collagen production, and improve skin health. But, with all the exfoliating products out there, how do we know which to use and which is appropriate for our skin type and need? To understand which to use we must understand how they work and what skin types and conditions are appropriate for each category.

As an esthetician, I’m always asked what 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 are water loving and water soluble acids. The 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. They do not penetrate as deep as BHA. The effects are felt on the surface of the skin. AHA’s rejuvenate aging skin. On the other hand, BHA, Beta Hydroxy Acids, is oil loving acids. BHA is preferred for oily, acne-prone skin and for treating blackheads and white bumps because BHA can get through the oil that’s clogging your pores, normalizing the lining of the pore that contributes to acne. BHA has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Those are two more reasons to use a BHA exfliant if you have acne or sensitive, reddened skin. BHA is preferred for those struggling with rosacea. Not everyone with rosacea can tolerate an exfoliant, but it is wise 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.

Can they be used together? Yes but not necessary. If you decide to do this make sure you 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 today. 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 Williow 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 the best suited category for your skin and begin to exfoliate years away.


Charcoal: An ancient secret of beauty.

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of charcoal? Maybe BBQ, water filter, or Santa’s naughty list, it is a whole lot more than that and in this blog I will tell you beauty secrets involving charcoal that may blow you away. It is the latest ingredient to take the beauty industry by storm. Activated charcoal is charcoal that’s been treated to increase its absorbency. The use of charcoal and health goes back hundreds of years. Missionaries use charcoal to treat tetanus, typhoid, cholera, dysphoria, hepatitis, pinkeye, diabetic ulcers, Candida, dysentery, gangrene and other ills. It’s been used in emergency rooms at hospitals to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. Charcoal works great on indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, morning sickness, to fight bacterial and viral infections. It works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can. The theory behind activated charcoal in beauty products is similar: It’ll act like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil. And the experts say that theory holds water. “When dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and then get washed away when you rinse,” explains cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson.

So, let’s take a look at what it does for skin. Activated charcoal draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, helping you to achieve a flawless complexion and fight acne. Charcoal is not metabolized, adsorbed or absorbed by the body, but it can be used to treat some poisonous bites and disinfect some wounds. Activated charcoal powder is proven to adsorb thousands of times its own mass in harmful substances, which makes it a popular ingredient in facial masks. It will help with eczema, psoriasis, and many other skin conditions because of its amazing absorbency and purifying effects. It helps prevent cellular damage. It treats body odor.  This magic ingredient is found in many soap bars, beauty masques, and facial cleansers. Also, you will see this ingredient in many home remedies and recipes.

Activated charcoal can be used to whiten your teeth. The micro-porous charcoal grabs all the plaque and grime on your teeth. It has been used for hundreds of years for this purpose and yields amazing results without sensitivity or the high cost of professional whitening products. In addition, it really helps with bad breath and gingivitis.

It can be used for total body detox. Charcoal has an impressive and time-tested record as a treatment for a variety of ailments. Current scientific research has confirmed the validity of most ancient uses of charcoal, as well as pioneering new applications. It has been shown that activated charcoal can…

  • Reduce damage caused by high cholesterol, coronary disease and arteriosclerosis.
  • Counteract pathogens.
  • Work as an antidote for virtually all drugs, chemicals and poisons.
  • Relieve intestinal complaints.
  • Extend life and correct common age-related problems.

Activated charcoal has been coined “The Universal Antidote and Detoxifier” and it is used as a recommended protocol for anti-aging and life extension benefits.

A Dash of Vitamin C

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There are tons of excellent products out there that are rich in Vitamin C. This vitamin is essential in improving elasticity in the skin and boosting the production of collagen. Hyperpigmentation, (also known as sun spots or age spots) can also reduce while future damage is prevented.  Anyone that is ever exposed to the sun can benefit from using a product with vitamin C.  Of course we all fall under that category. So why are so many people not including this ingredient in their regimen? cosmedic pure c

Many may not yet be informed of its wonderful benefits.  Some would say that cost is the factor. Others would say they just do not have the time to add yet another product to their already seemingly long regimen.  CosMedix, a plant based ingredient focused company, has made incorporating a vitamin C very easy.  Their product, CosMedix Pure C , is a powdered crystal form of 100% pure L-ascorbic acid —the only form of vitamin C readily absorbed by the skin.  With this product, you can simply mix the crystals into any cosmetic cream or serum that you already have.  (Do not use water)  You place your desired cream or serum in the palm of your hand and add about six shakes, or a pea size amount of Pure C on top of it.  Mix the products together and apply to your face and neck both morning and evening. Pure C will give the products you already own a performance enhancing boost!

More than Make Up

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Jane Iredale is not your typical make up. It is an extension of skin care. I have always wondered why some women spend all this time and money making sure their skin regimen is ideal for their skin but the makeup ingredients are not always as important. With Jane Iredale you do not have to compromise the coverage or the beautiful make up products. This line is recommended to patients by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and skin care professionals.

Jane Iredales line avoids harsh chemicals, artificial colorants, chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrance, and chemical sunscreens wherever it is possible. Make up can also cause acne. Most cosmetics contain certain oils that will cause or worsen acne. The type of acne that is caused from makeup is referred to as acne cosmetic. It is characterized by blocked pores and reddened bumps. Acne cosmetica occurs when oils from the makeup product collect and clog your pores.  acne1

This line will not only make your skin look wonderful, but it is actually good for your skin. This is the first make up line that that includes skincare benefits in their formulations. When looking for a great make up product it is not only about what looks best on the skin. Products that have the great coverage are usually the most likely to clog your pores. In result you will find yourself using more make up to cover the imperfections that you have created. This will not be the case in this line and you will not be compromising in the look you want to achieve with your make up. Jane Iredale gives you everything you want out of a cosmetic line and your skin will thank you.

Sunscreen Season is every Season

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Even though summer is over, it is always important to apply sunscreen daily to protect your skin against the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays.

Harmful UVA sun rays are every bit as dangerous in the fall as the summer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80% of the UVA rays can penetrate skin even in cloudy weather. Sun damage is easier to prevent than correct so make sure to wear sunscreen every day!

Don’t forget, all year round it’s important to advocate the 4 rules for sun safety: Seek shade from 10AM – 2PM, wear the right amount of sunscreen (1 ounce to cover your body), reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, and get annual skin checks. Become an advocate for sun safety and sun protection.

For sunscreens that you will love this fall and all year long try these gorgeous go-tos:

 La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer with Sunscreen:

Offers UVA/UVB protection plus instant visible blurring effect on signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles and pores) with its unique mattifying texture. For everyday use with or without make-up. Paraben-free, Fragrance-free. Non-acnegenic, Non-comedogenic.

SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50:

Daily UVA/UVB oil-absorbing protective base with a matte finish. This mattifying 100% physical sunscreen is formulated with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (Z-Cote®*) to provide high broad spectrum UV protection. Formulated with translucent color spheres to provide universal tint for all skin tones and repel oil to minimize sebum appearance. Great for face, neck and chest.

These are both great options for those with normal to oily skin looking for a sunscreen with secondary benefits.


The Hand That Launched a Thousand Famous Faces

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phelityl_pre-cleansing_oil_6_8oz_1“50% of my beauty I owe to my mother, 50% to Erno Laszlo”, Audry Hepburn. Erno Laszlo has been known as the authority in skincare since 1927. He developed the fundamental beauty ritual that taught women how to properly cleanse and nourish their face. Famous women like Grace Kelley, Marilyn Monroe, and Princess Stephanie of Hungary used his products and became devotees to his philosophy.

It all begins with Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil. This is the first step to Erno Lazslo’s magic ritual. This magical oil prepares the skin for effective cleansing. Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil penetrates pores to dissolve trapped oils, impurities, and makeup on contact. When combined with a cleansing bar, this treatment oil creates a conditioning lather which improves the epidermal barrier and maximizes the cleansing process. Phelityl indicates Erno Laszlo’s unique moisturizing complex with a pH level nearly identical to that of the skin, which maintains the fatty acids essential for skin function.
Pour a dime-size drop of Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil into the palm and smooth over the face. Follow with your prescribed cleansing bar.



Helps dissolve impurities.

Nourishes and soothes skin.

Can double as a makeup remover and cuticle moisturizer.

Recommended for normal to dry skin.


Stress and Skin

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Beauty starts from the inside. How we handle stress varies from person to person. Some of us eat more, others eat less, and some of us binge on sweets while another might turn to caffeine or alcohol. Both stress and poor nutrition can suppress the immune system. So the next time you reach for a quick fix to combat stress, remember, now is not the time to short change your diet.

In addition to sleep, exercise and drinking water, nutrition is critically important to relieving stress, boosting the immune system and maintaining healthy skin.   I get asked so often ‘what can I eat to help relieve stress and improve my beautiful skin? The answer is A LOT…here are some quick tips:

“The Do’s and Don’ts of Eating When You’re Stressed”:

Don’t reach for carbohydrates when you’re stressed.   They release serotonin in the brain and literally make us feel better.  Instead, reach for healthy comfort foods like air popped popcorn (with a bit of canola oil spray, salt and spices), raw almonds or cashews, multi-grain snacks, green tea lemonade (my personal favorite!) and berries (high in antioxidants.  Great for breakfast too!)

Do eat foods high in Essential Fatty Acids to reduce internal inflammation (this is increased by stress and leads to disease and aging).   You can take Omega supplements (Nordic Naturals is the best choice, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, which our body does not make), or incorporate foods into your diet such as salmon, trout, raw nuts and flaxseed.

Do cut back on white bread, refined sugar and pasta. This will help lower the secretion of Cortisol, which contributes to breakouts and is the hormone we release when we’re stressed.    Plus, you can add beans/legumes to the diet, which are high in Zinc to further decrease the inflammation, which contributes to inflamed acne.

Do channel a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, tomatoes and red wine (in moderation) because it is high in antioxidants, which help block the chemical reactions that lead to sun damage in skin.  (We have to think about environmental stress on our skin, too).  This can help prevent melanoma.

Don’t forget to drink lots and lots of water to detox the body and keep skin hydrated!

Do eat a diet high in antioxidants and minerals.  A deficiency in vitamins or antioxidants such as beta-carotene, selenium, and vitamin C makes us more susceptible to disease. Without enough essential minerals, like magnesium and zinc, our immune system is compromised. Reports show vitamin and mineral levels dropping up to 33% during a stressful week, despite an adequate diet.

After you have taken care of the inside, don’t forget to care for the outside with skin care products to relieve the visible signs of stress on your skin (aging, acne, sensitivities).   Did you know that when you are stressed your body temperature increases?  Skyn ICELAND products go on with a cooling sensation to bring skin back into balance and to bring back the youthful glow you left behind!  Great for summer are:

Glacial Cleansing Cloths (take them to the beach!)
Arctic Face Mist (replenishes skin with those vitamins depleted by stress)
Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (to reduce puffiness in TEN minutes)
Antidote (a cooling lotion that decongests, detoxifies and calms stressed skin)
Pure Cloud Cream (great for replenishing, healing and soothing sun burned skin)

When we look better, we feel better.  Have a healthy, stress-free summer.

The At Home Peel: Real Chemistry 3 Minute Peel

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ty002There was a day that you had to visit your local spa or dermatologist office to get a good skin peel. Those days are gone and at home peels are the way to go, if you want to bring your skincare regimen to a new level. If you’re already using great skincare products, you’re probably wondering if a peel is even necessary. Skincare products work better after a peel since the skin is freshly exfoliated and more receptive of the ingredients that are applied onto it.

One peel that we really love right now is the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel.  This peel is a gel that is thinly applied on your face and décolleté. After just 15 seconds, dead skin begins to solidify as you massage the peel onto your skin. Once all of the gel has been worked in, rinse your face, and pat dry.

Keep in mind if you are already using an exfoliating product, there is no need to use that and the peel on the same day. In fact, we recommend that you refrain from using any retinol, glycolic, or lactic ingredients the day before or after doing the at home peel. And as always, be sure to follow up with an SPF. We do not want sun exposure to reverse the results you’ve worked hard for. We recommend that you apply this peel at night. This will allow any redness to calm before exposure to daylight.

NuFace Trinity Giveaway!

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NuFace GiveawayRejuvenate and improve the appearance of your skin in just minutes a day with the award-winning, multi-solution NuFace Trinity micro-current device. Just in time to enhance your fall wardrobe with the ultimate accessory – beautiful skin – we’re giving away a NuFace Trinity (a $325 value) once a day for seven days!

The NuFace Trinity is an FDA-cleared, portable micro-current facial toning device that gently stimulates the larger surface areas of the face to improve your appearance.

Along with the device, the NuFace Trinity kit includes Gel Primer, charging cradle, power adapter and a one-year warranty. Clinical studies showed improvements in facial contour, firmness, and tone, making NuFace Trinity the perfect way to “exercise” your face.

Every weekday we will post the names of the winners on our FaceBook page by 8:30 PM EST.

See the complete contest rules here.

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