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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, 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!
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.
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.
You can find the product mentioned on SkinStore.com.
It is almost spring but, don’t leave the big clean for just your home! REN skincare, which was recently added to our site, offers an amazing all-in-one treatment. REN Clean Skincare Flash Rinse One Minute Facial will revitalize dull looking skin, tired from the winter chill. Use this product every 3-4 days for a fresh, bright complexion that will have your friends asking where you’ve been! Simply apply to a cleansed face and massage the entire face, neck and décolleté area. Wet your fingertips with water and repeat the massage to activate the vitamin C. You will immediately notice an enormous difference in your skin tone and texture. Leave the REN Clean Skincare Flash Rinse One Minute Facial to rest for 60 seconds and rinse completely. You will be left with a fresh from the spa feeling that cannot be beat!
You can find this product on SkinStore.com.
Have you ever watched red carpet events and wondered what the stars do to their skin to make it so radiant and beautiful? Most would answer achieving and maintaining healthy skin. Natural and flawless skin depends on two main factors. The first is your overall health and wellness and the second is your everyday products that you use on your skin. Maintaining your body by staying hydrated and eating well contribute to healthy skin. Your everyday products improve and reinforce the health of your skin. Epionce is a well-respected and clinically proven line that delivers the beauty of healthy skin. This non-prescription, dermatological product line has 20+ years of research. Epionce is a comprehensive and innovative skin wellness line designed to optimize the appearance and health of the skin by working at the core of the skin’s own protective and reparative systems.
Why is this important? Most skin care products remain on the skin’s surface and provide no real therapeutic benefit. Epionce has a unique delivery system that penetrates deep into the layers of the skin. Epionce strengthens, improve skin’s function, restores the skin’s natural barrier, and reverses inflammation. Inflammation can lead to skin problems such as scars, redness, irritation, and aging. The result of using Epionce products is smoother, more radiant skin that functions at its very best.
The price point is very reasonable and the line is easy to use. Mix and matching within the Epionce system will help you customize your skin care regimen to meet your specific skin care needs; targeting specific conditions such as dryness, acne, etc.
Sounds amazing right?! For your own personalized Epionce skincare consult contact one of our licensed estheticians today!
Many of us already know and love Dr. Dennis Gross products. He has an amazing reputation for effective products. His latest product, Color Smart Cleanser and Mask is a completely new idea in an anti-aging cleanser. Not only does it brighten and firm with three, yes I said three, forms of vitamin c, it exfoliates with papaya enzymes and glycolic, and draws out impurities and congestion with oil-absorbing clay.
I know what you are thinking, it sounds good, but what is so smart about it? Well, two things. First, it changes color. Apply on dry skin with dry hands. It goes on a peach tone and then as you massage it in it turns a light yellow color so you can see that you have fully cleansed and exfoliated all your nooks and crannies. Genius! No more rough patches. Second, after you have cleansed and the color has turned yellow, you can leave it on for three minutes and use it as a mask 2-3 times a week. This will really drive in all those protecting antioxidants and help soften lines and wrinkles. So you get two products in one!
One SkinStore customer already loves it. She writes: “I love the way my skin feels after using this cream cleanser. It’s DRY and COLD here in New England. I leave it on for a few minutes for the vitamin C benefit. Really good stuff!” We think you will like it too.
Tip: Clay can be a little difficult to wash off. To make it a little easier massage in some water to emulsify the cleanser before doing your final rinse.
You can find this product on SkinStore.com.
Ever wish you had an esthetician at home with you to give you the perfect product recommendations as well as step-by-step instructions? 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!
Although cleansing your face thoroughly with either your hands or a cleansing device is ideal, makeup removing wipes are a convenient way to remove the day’s makeup and grime so that you can properly cleanse your face. Makeup removing wipes shouldn’t be used solely to cleanse the face because they lack any type of cleanser, but are great for removing mascara, eye liner or other long wearing cosmetics. Makeup removing wipes, like the Boots No7 Quick Thinking Wipes – Value Pack are even great for throwing in your gym bag or purse if you want a fresh pick me up midday. You can also cut your make up wipes into smaller more manageable squares and can be used to remove make up goofs like lipstick, eyeliner or mascara from the upper eye lid.
It is easy to get carried away with a new product, especially when you want to start the New Year off fresh. It is important to remember that directions and guidelines are provided for a reason and more isn’t always better.
Retinol or vitamin A, is a great addition to your skincare regimen when used correctly. Retinol comes in several forms and can be found in peels, creams and moisturizers. Vitamin A is a powerful, chemical exfoliator that sloughs away dead skin from the surface revealing youthful looking skin and can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, with the absence of dead skin cells, the surface of the skin can be more susceptible to sun damage. It is important to use retinol products in the evening and use a high dose of SPF (sunscreen) during the day to ensure you aren’t damaging your newly exfoliated skin. It is also important to note that the percentage of retinol can differ from brand to brand.
When used appropriately, retinol can be the greatest anti-aging weapon in your medicine cabinet. Always follow the instructions provided and you will be looking amazing in no time!
Some of our fave retinol products are SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 and SkinMedica Retinol Complex 1.0. You can find them on SkinStore.com.
Hitting the slopes this season? Don’t forget that just because its winter doesn’t mean you can’t get sunburned! Wearing sunscreen is especially important while enjoying the snow because the UV rays are more intense at higher elevations. Also, be aware of certain body parts you might miss while lathering up. Be sure to cover any parts of your face that are exposed such as ears, around the eyes, the scalp and the back of the neck. Here are a few of our favorite winter SPF products:
Skinceuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50; SkinCeuticals recently brought out a revolutionary sunscreen specifically formulated for the eyes.
Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Sun Protection Brush SPF 50 – Medium; If you aren’t keen on liquid sunscreens, Coloscience has an amazing powdered sunscreen that packs a whopping 50 SPF and is backed by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Neova DNA Damage Control Silc Sheer SPF 40 is a traditional liquid sunscreen but helps improve the visible signs of DNA skin damage caused by sun exposure. If you have oily skin, don’t fret. This formula is oil-free and is even water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Have fun this winter! You can find the products mentioned on SkinStore.com.
Statistics show that 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee or caffeinated beverages on a daily basis. Why not take your love of the sacred nectar one step further? Here are a few of our favorite caffeine packed, coffee derived products!
The Archipelago Botanicals Boticario collection is a rich blend of coffee beans, orange blossom and bergamot. The soap in this collection uses real coffee grounds to gently exfoliate the skin and give you a jolt to start the day.
The Skin Authority Coffee Almond Scrub smells like a rich dessert but isn’t all fluff. Skin Authority blends coffee, olive and crushed almonds to provide a powerful scrub that helps alleviate cellulite, shrink blood vessels that cause spider veins and tighten skin as well as hydrate the skin leaving it velvety soft.
The Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub uses fresh Indonesian coffee beans to create a rich, cleansing scrub but differs from the rest because it also creates a gentle, creamy foam like a latte for the skin!