Eczema: Symptoms and Solutions

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30aEczema is a common inflammatory skin condition which is characterized by dryness, flaking, blistering, crusting, swelling, and cracking of the skin. Eczema is typically caused by factors such as skin over-sensitivity, allergies, stress, and genetic factors. Those with asthma are more likely to develop eczema. Typically eczema is treated with a topical corticosteroid cream. Eczema skin types that are prone to infections will often be treated by a mild course of antibiotics. Antihistamines (topical and oral) may often be prescribed for the treatment of eczema as well. Antihistamines reduce swelling thus reducing the irritation and itchiness associated with eczema-prone skin. Eczema can be frustrating and embarrassing, and the doctor route can get costly and is quite unpleasant (why take antibiotics and slather on smelly prescription cream when most eczema outbreaks can be treated by appropriate over the counter products) Here are some great product choices that will help to treat, calm, and prevent eczema outbreaks:

Cleansing: 

Avene Professional Trixera Plus Selectiose Emollient Cleansing Gel effectively combats the 4 symptoms of very dry, atopic skin while cleansing, soothing and protecting the skin.

Toning:

La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water contains healing properties which help to restore the skin’s barrier while providing antioxidant benefits and removing traces of hard water (which contain heavy minerals that are irritating to the skin). The Thermal Spring Water can be spritzed on throughout the day when your skin craves moisture or feels dry and irritated. The fine mist will not disturb your make up but will make your skin look fresh and hydrated.

Moisture:

Skin prone to eczema can often feel taut and dry no matter how much moisturizer is slathered on. We recommend therapeutic moisturizers with skin-building properties that not only hydrate the skin but also strengthen the skin’s barrier. ATOPALM Intensive Moisturizing Cream is a great choice as it helps to restore the skin’s barrier function while soothing and hydrating. If your skin is extremely dry, try using a balm like the Osmotics Cream Extreme Barrier Repair, it looks like butter in the jar, but emulsifies into a fine balm once you warm it up in the palm of your hand. This product will last and last, and a tiny bit goes a long way to restore your skin’s compromised barrier.

Exfoliation:

Get rid of dead, flaky skin by exfoliating regularly with a non-irritating enzyme mask. Enzymes eat dead skin cells without compromising your skin’s barrier. The Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant is a great choice as it contains enzymes as well as skin brighteners and gently resurfaces the skin without irritating.

Body:

If you experience eczema break-outs on your body, we recommend using La Roche Posay body products to address your concerns. The La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet is an outstanding non-drying foaming body wash that cleanses without irritation and neutralizes drying effects of hard water. The La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm AP is a rich hydrator that soothes the skin while providing dry-skin relief and hydration to last all day.

I hope these suggestions help! While eczema can not be cured you can often easily control it with soothing over-the-counter skin care products. And as always, if your skin condition worsens or becomes intolerant to over-the-counter products, consult your doctor for other treatment alternatives.

For more great products, visit us at SkinStore!




Choosing the Right Clarisonic Brush Head

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Clarisonic Brush HeadsDo you love your Clarisonic, but can’t decide which brush head is right for you?! Many people are either using the wrong brush head for their skin type or have no clue which one to use. No fear, I’m here to help! Here are the basics:

Normal Brush (light gray) – For those with normal skin and for use on your body. (Men love this brush head for their skin)

Sensitive Brush (white) – Most popular, gentle brush designed for normal skin, sensitive skin and first time Clarisonic users.

Delicate Brush (light blue) – Ultra sensitive brush best for extremely delicate skin.

Deep Pore Brush (aqua ring) – The only double-action brush designed to effectively clean large pores and the T-zone. Gentle enough for daily use.

Acne Brush (green ring) – Super Soft, specifically designed to be gentle on acne-prone skin.

Body Brush (gray) – For the body only, makes skin noticeably softer & smoother. Helps reduce dry patches on elbows & knees. Also, helps improve Keratosis Pilaris on the upper arms. This brush head will only work on the Clarisonic PLUS device.

To keep your brush head clean, simply rinse the brush head with antibacterial soap and warm water. We recommend replacing your Clarisonic brush head every 2-3 months.

You can find the products mentioned on SkinStore.com.



Acne Products and Purging: What You Need To Know

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Before you decide to switch regimens to address breakouts for the 100th time, read this!

So you just started a regimen a week or two ago that your esthetician raved about and now you are breaking out more than ever?  Believe it or not, this is not the time to change routines.

It is crucial to understand how your skin functions and how certain ingredients influence its behavior so you know what to expect when starting a new regimen.

Normally, your skin regenerates itself every 28-50 days depending on age and skin health. You shed skin cells daily, but the amount is so minute that you rarely see it happening.  This is called natural exfoliation.  Acne regimens rely on products that will enhance this process (along with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients).

When starting a new acne regimen, your skin goes through an accelerated exfoliation and renewal process.  This allows for breakouts to show up much more quickly than they would have otherwise.  The products are not creating new breakouts, but rather unveiling them at a sooner date.  You would have seen the same blemishes surface weeks down the road, but since your skin function has been sped up you are seeing 5-6 weeks worth of breakouts in one or two weeks.  This amazing and horrifying process is commonly referred to as “purging”.

This can definitely be alarming, but it is very important to adhere to the regimen suggested to you so you can get through this period, and you will get through it.  The average time frame is 7-10 days, but it is not uncommon for it to stretch to 2-4 weeks.  It all depends on the severity of acne you were experiencing and how quickly you can advance your regimen.  Sensitive skin has to advance more slowly so the “purging” period may be a bit longer than tolerant skin which can increase the frequency of product usage more quickly. This breakout period can be minimized by using products with anti-bacterial properties such as benzoyl peroxide or topical antibiotics from your derm.  We suggest sticking to a regimen for 6- 8 weeks and sometimes longer before deciding to switch, unless you are have a reaction (not skin purging).  Keep in mind that not all acne will clear in 8 weeks, but you will definitely get a sense of the products and if you will be able to achieve better results over time.

The bottom line is to stick it out and you will see clearer, more refined healthy skin.

The key players in this acclimation process are:

Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (glycolic, lactic, salicylic, malic, mandelic acids) –   Hydroxy acids have the ability to break down corneodemosomes on the surface of the skin.  These are what hold the dead skin cells together.  Think of the mortar on a brick wall.  Once the corneodesmosomes are dissolved, the dead skin cells are ready to fall off.  Using a hydroxy acid will speed up the rate that the cells are shed which means your skin has to make new skin cells to fill their place.  When these new cells die, they are pushed to the surface for their turn to be shed. Any debris or microcomedones (pimples) rise to the surface too, which is why it seems like the product is making you break out.  When using these ingredients for acne, daily is usually best.

Retinol – Retinol works from the inside out, which is opposite of a hydroxy acid.   This ingredient stimulates cell renewal first, which then forces your skin to shed the dead skin cells from the top layer.   This is a very potent ingredient and flaking and peeling is a common reaction because it has the ability to speed up the production of new skin cells so fast that you can visibly see the shedding of the old skin cells, which is usually invisible.  This is generally not a desirable outcome, so moderation is the key with retinol.  Use maybe 2-3 times a week.

Ask a professional before starting a regimen with either of these active ingredients.

Have a questions for our estheticians? Ask us here.



SUNSCREEN FOR SNOW SPORTS

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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 certSkinceuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50ain 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.



REN Clean Skincare Flash Rinse – 1 Minute Facial [GIVEAWAY]

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 REN Clean Skincare Flash Rinse One Minute FacialLooking for a product that can deliver professional facial-like results, but don’t want to spend the money or time on a pro facial? Well, say hello to the  REN Clean Skincare Flash Rinse – 1 Minute Facial!

This transforming treatment instantly revitalizes and visibly rejuvenates the skin. Formulated with potent water-activated Vitamin C it will neutralize urban grey in a flash, leaving skin looking firm, toned and smoothed, while reducing the signs of fatigue, photo-aging and skin imperfections. Skin instantly glows with renewed health and radiance.

Sounds pretty amazing, right?! Well, now you can enter to win one this great product. Just click below to enter our giveaway.

ENTER HERE

 



COFFEE LOVERS UNITE!

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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!Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub

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!



3 Easy to Follow New Year’s Resolutions!

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1. Drink more water!

It doesn’t need to be said but here’s an easy tip. Swap at least 1 cup of the morning coffee for a glass of ice water. Not only will it wake you up but it jump starts your metabolism, helps flush toxins & curbs morning hunger pangs.

2. Get more sleep…no really.

The correct amount of sleep will do wonders for your skin (no more dark circles!), your metabolism and your spirit! So put down that iPad and hit the pillow earlier than later.

3. Eat more fruits and veggies.

Your mother was right! If you’re not keen on the green stuff, keep a small bag of carrots to nosh on at your desk or if you’re super adventurous, throw a cup of kale disguised in a banana shake. It can make a world of difference! Proper nutrition not only helps your metabolism, but your skin and brain function as well. The skin is our biggest organ and it needs to be cared for.

You can find more products to help take care of your skin on SkinStore.com.



Bottoms up! Drink up to Stop Dehydration

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Being hydrated is important to our overall health since our bodies are made up of approximately 75% water. When we get dehydrated our bodies have a way of telling us it’s time to drink up. One of the most obvious signs is that we get really thirsty and our mouths will start to feel dry. Our tongues might appear coated or swollen and we may develop bad breath. Since our bodies are lacking hydration we don’t produce enough saliva in our mouths to prevent overgrowth of bacteria. Our mouths will feel sticky and dry. When this happens it’s time to grab some water. You might also notice that you are using the restroom less often and when you do urinate it is concentrated and dark. A well hydrated person will have clear to slightly colored urine. This is a good way to find out if your baby or little one is getting dehydrated since they often will not be able to communicate the other symptoms they are experiencing. If they are having less wet diapers or their urine is darker start having them drink some fluids. Other signs that you are dehydrated are headache, loss of energy, dizziness and dry skin. To prevent becoming dehydrated you should drink 8-10 glasses of fluid a day and avoid alcohol consumption. When your body is hydrated your skin cells are full and plump. If your skin is feeling dehydrated we suggest SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel. It’s amazing!

You can find the product mentioned on SkinStore.com.



Winter Foot Care

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The winter season brings a host of skin concerns for many of us whether we spend our time outdoors in the cold or inside near the heater. Inside we are exposed to the drying heat of the heater that zaps the hydration out of your skin and outside we are exposed to searing cold which also works to dehydrate our skin very quickly (you’ve heard of freeze-dried?).

Dry cracked feet are a very common concern during the winter season, but what can you do? SkinStore.com Esthetician’s answer this question all the time. Proper foot care all year round is important to your overall health and we always suggest that you focus on hydration on all parts of your skin including your feet daily.

If you require an aggressive approach you can incorporate a Ceramic File, Callus Rasp or a Buffer for additional callus removal by controlled friction. I would give you some caution that you should never go too aggressive with these tools as you could cause additional cracking or bleeding if you get your skin too thin so be gentle at first and perhaps do just a little but each day until you get the desired results.

A gentle alternative is the Barielle Total Foot Care Cream, this is a top customer rated cream that can be used twice daily. A great suggestion with this product is to apply the cream then place your plain 100% cotton socks in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and put them on and leave overnight.

If your feet simply need hydration, the Archipelago Botanicals Milk Foot Balm is a great selection. With milk solids, oat and soy protein, this product will provide adequate moisture if used morning and evening.

You can find the products mentioned on SkinStore.com.

Do you have a winter foot care secret? Share with us here  – leave a comment below.



Winter Lip Care

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Quick Tip: Winter Lip CareWinter… It comes around every year and brings us those windy, cold, and rainy days. As your skin is affected by these weather changes, so are your lips. Lips can easily become dry, cracked and even more sensitive during this time. It’s important to remember to tend to them just as you would with your normal skin care regimen especially during seasonal changes.

You can easily prevent your lips from drying by following a few simple steps. First exfoliate your lips about one to two times a week. This will remove the dry, rough skin sitting on the surface of your lips to reveal soft, smooth lips. We suggest Philosophy’s Kiss Me Exfoliating Lip Scrub. Follow up with a lip treatment or conditioner. For already damaged lips we recommend NUXE Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm made from natural ingredients with a delicious taste of honey and grapefruit.

You can find the products mentioned on SkinStore.com.




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