Judging product results can be very tricky. How do you know the product you purchased is working for you? How can you tell if the product is doing what it claims? How can you be sure you even purchased the correct product for the skin concern you have?
It is very important to start at the beginning and write down a list of what skin concerns you have. I would suggest a list of top ten or five concerns arranged from highest to least importance. Identify what concerns need the most attention to detail and start there.
Before you go any further be aware that you need to be using (at the bare minimum) a cleanser, toner and moisturizer (in that order). Using one product alone and not using any other skincare products will limit the effectiveness and results of that one product.
Many times customers with aged or acneic skin call in with concerns about their skin feeling dry, tight or peeling after having used a retinol based product. Upon further consultation I usually find that customers are using the correct product, but the retinol level may be too high. Some brands offer retinol in graduating levels. Unfortunately sometimes in haste we may choose the most potent level thinking it will give us the best or quickest results. In fact retinol products that have graduating levels are designed for you to use them at the lower level first. You can then graduate upwards once your skin has adjusted. You can stop increasing the potency level once you find a level that works for you. Also retinol based products do cause a certain level of drying and peeling.
Be sure to give the product time to work. Ordering a product to address your skin concerns and using it for a few days or a week or two may not be enough time. You may need to use the product(s) for 4-6 weeks before you see noticeable results. Set up a skincare regimen through your esthetician or dermatologist and stick to it.
Finally, set realistic goals and expectations. Thirty years of neglecting to use sunscreen and prolonged sun exposure throughout your early years will not be corrected with one jar of the latest skin care cream in one month! Have someone take a photograph of your face and neck area before you begin to treat that area. Take another photograph at the end of each week. At the end of that four to six week period then compare your first week and last week photos and judge the results.
As always if you are uncertain what products to use you can contact us and we would be happy to help design a skin care regimen for you!
You can also get your own personal consultation now at SkinStore with Product Advisor, developed by our estheticians!
When we consult with our customers, those that are acne prone often inquire about Accutane. Have we heard of it? What does it do? How does it work? Although we don’t carry Accutane (it’s a prescription) we’re well-versed on the product.
Accutane is a prescription medication made for the treatment of severe acne, especially cystic under-the-skin, painful, scarring type of acne. Accutane uses a derivative of vitamin A (similar to that found in our bloodstream) in a very high dose. Most Accutane courses last for 4-6 months. While taking Accutane a patient may experience severe dryness of the lips, nasal passages, and skin. Side effects also include nose bleeds, thinning of the hair, increased sensitivity to sun, irritation of eyes, joint and muscle pains and in some rare cases blurred vision and depression. During Accutane treatment blood tests are necessary to monitor liver health. It is not safe to drink alcoholic beverages while on Accutane. The most serious side effect of Accutane is the possibility of serious birth defects, so women who are pregnant, nursing or trying to become pregnant should not use Accutane.
If you suffer from serious acne and topical products do not help, we recommend consulting with your dermatologist to see if Accutane may be right for you. If you choose to take Accutane make sure to supplement your diet with healthy essential fatty acids, use sunscreen on a daily basis, and keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water and using a nourishing moisturizer.
Accutane not for you? Visit SkinStore for a large assortment of acne treatment products.
What is your skin like? My skin is a real trouble maker. It’s oily… everywhere, but it’s also dehydrated. It breaks out…..everywhere. And there is sun damage…..everywhere. Oh, and it doesn’t appreciate frequent use uses of aggressive products. I have tried this approach but it retaliates with redness and dry, irritated areas. I have to coerce it into behaving properly with a balancing/ juggling act that I have choreographed over the years. To top it off, I am trying to ward off signs of aging, so I have added a couple new products to my routine.
What is your main concern? All of the above.
What does your skincare regimen consist of? See below.
Treatment #1:SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum – This is like 3 serums in one. An anti-aging serum full of peptides and growth factors, an antioxidant serum to prevent and repair free radical damage, and a hydrating serum with sodium hyaluronate. I could go on and on.
If you have blemish prone or problematic skin, then you know that finding the best acne products suited towards your skin is key! There are many products available, ranging from over the counter to doctor prescribed medications. They can be oral or topical and use numerous different ingredients to achieve desired results. This is a run down of the key acne fighting ingredients used in the most popular prevention and treatment products available on the market to date. We will start off with the most commonly known ingredients; Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid.
Benzoyl Peroxide has been proven as one of the most effective over the counter antibacterial medications used to treat acne. It draws oxygen to the skin making it difficult for bacteria to thrive. It also can help to rid the follicle of excess dead skin cells. This in turn will decrease pore blockage or the clogging that can occur in your pores.
Salicylic Acid is another ingredient found in common acne treatment products. Its main function is to kill off bacteria and also help to clear out congested pores. The acid is a beta hydroxy acid and is also used in different exfoliating products as it assists to shed off dead skin and offers anti-inflammatory properties. Also look for products containing Willow Bark Extract which is the natural form of salicylic acid.
Zinc is used in different acne products due to its assistance with regulating the production of oils and helping in keeping the pores clear. It also has properties which assist to help fight the bacteria that causes acne.
Glycolic Acid is another well know ingredient used in skin care products, it penetrates deep beneath the damaged upper layers of the skin to release the bond which holds the dead skin to the surface. In short, this ingredient is used to exfoliate the skin, help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tone.
Mandelic Acid is an ingredient becoming more popular to current acne treatment products. This ingredient uses a slower, more even penetration into the skin which can be gentler for people with delicate skin or sensitive skin conditions. Mandelic acid is a very powerful alpha hydroxy acid which smooths away dry skin and offers anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as antibacterial benefits. This ingredient is also used to reduce fine lines or wrinkles and can help lighten different pigmentation issues.
Sulfur has been used for a very long time in acne products. It’s been recorded that it has been used to treat different skin concerns such as dandruff, warts and even dermatitis. When applying this ingredient to the skin, it causes the skins surface to dry and peel. It will help reduce oil production, prevent pore blockage, and assist in healing properties.
Hopefully this key ingredient list will help aid you in your search for acne treatment products beneficial to you!
Each of us at some point in our lifetime has had to deal with the trauma of acne and breakouts. They happen in the most conspicuous area, our face, and occur at the most convenient times, like just before a date or special photograph opportunity!
Most men experience acne at an earlier age, early to late teens, whereas most women begin to experience acne in their late teens to early twenties. There are infinite rumors about what causes breakouts, how to prevent them, and how to treat them, not to mention the unlimited amount of over the counter, department store and prescription treatment products. Ughhhhh! Where to begin?
Here are some myths and facts about acne and break outs:
Oily skin is caused by eating junk food, chocolate and bad hygiene…. MYTH!
Oily skin can be the result of several factors such as environment, stress, hormones, and especially the products you do or do not use on your skin.
Squeezing pimples or popping zits helps to clear out your clogged pore and promote healing… MYTH!
Squeezing your skin to force out any calcification (pimple) or pus (zit/pustule) can actually cause the material inside your pore to spread and cause more break outs!
Placing a clean, warm, moist towel on your face prior to cleansing can help open your pores and promote deep cleansing and exfoliation… FACT!
Using a warm moist towel can not only be relaxing but can open your pores allowing you to remove more dead skin cells and clear out dirt and oil particles clogging your pores.
After cleansing your skin, don’t apply any moisturizer. You’re skin is already oily enough… MYTH!
This is one of the biggest misconceptions in complexion healing. Cleansing our skin can remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil; however not using a moisturizer afterward can leave your skin dry and tight. Your body reacts by releasing more oil from your sebaceous glands. The result is more oily skin than you started out with, more clogged pores and more break outs! A good moisturizer for oily or acneic skin rehydrates the skin without excess oil.
Using products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can help exfoliate dead skin cells and kill bacteria in clogged pores… FACT!
Benzoyl Peroxide can have a drying effect though so be sure to use your moisturizer.
Sitting in the sun can kill the bacteria in your skin and promote a clearer complexion… MYTH!
Exposure to the sun and its UVA and UVB rays can actually cause your recently healed skin cells to damage and cause sun spots and acne scarring.
Now that you’re informed, put your good knowledge to use. Remember anytime you start a new skin care regimen or new product line always follow manufacturer directions and give the products a few weeks before you judge the results!
Start treating your acne now. Click here to discover a large assortment of acne treatments from SkinStore.
Vitamin A is a powerful little thing. It’s necessary for healthy eye function; our retina simply can not do without vitamin A. When vitamin A is converted into retinoic acid it functions like a growth factor for our cells. Vitamin A is also commonly known as retinol in dermatological use. Vitamin A is converted into a few different byproducts, and is commonly produced as retinyl acetate or palmitate.
Vitamin A is naturally found in many foods. Liver, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin, eggs, milk, and many other foods are rich sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A, once absorbed by our body, is converted into the appropriate form and utilized by our bodily functions. Vitamin A plays a role in eye health, immune system health, gene transcription, antioxidant activity, and of course, skin health.
Vitamin A is very beneficial to the skin, so a diet rich in vitamin A abundant sources provides for healthy skin that’s firm, clear, radiant and resilient. Vitamin A, when applied topically (in retinol form) is very beneficial to the skin as well. Retinol is often used in the treatment of acne as it dramatically reduces the size and secretion of the sebaceous glands. It also helps to reduce inflammation and induces collagen production. As retinol induces collagen production it helps to firm and tone the skin, so aged skin will become more resistant to drooping and sagging. Retinol is an outstanding treatment for acne, enlarged or clogged pores, as well as prematurely aged skin. As retinol induces exfoliation and cell renewal it also assists in lightening hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration.
Here are some outstanding products that contain retinol and address acne and aging concerns:
Below are some great products to add to your routine that are beneficial in treating acne. They will remove dead skin cells and debris, kill acne causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. (Remember, less is more with treatment products!) These are customer (and staff) favorites. Don’t believe us? Read the customer reviews. They speak for themselves!
Jan Marni Bioglycolic Bioclear – Choose the cream for normal to dry skin and the lotion for normal to oily. Contains glycolic, salicylic and azelaic acids to resurface the skin, clear out pores, calm inflammation and even skin tone. Salicylic acid also has anti-bacterial properties.
Peter Thomas Roth Sulfur Cooling Masque – This clay mask contains 10% pharmaceutical grade sulfur for it’s anti-bacterial effects and zinc oxide for wound healing. Eucalyptus provides helps calm inflammation and is also antiseptic. Use once to twice a week to boost your acne regimen.
Belli Acne Clearing Facial Wash – It’s difficult to find an acne treatment when you are expecting. This wash uses lactic acid, so it is safe for use during pregnancy, but it’s a great cleanser for everyone.
Bonus product – ANSR Beam – This is a great LED device that has a blue light for killing acne bacteria. The red light accelerates healing and cell renewal. It’s also great for hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.
It’s best to use a combination of products to address all causes of acne. For example one might use the Jan Marini Bioglycolic Lotion daily for exfoliation and calming inflammation, SkinCeuticals Retinol a couple nights a week for cell renewal and Philosophy On a Clear Day Oil-Free Acne Spot Treatment on the other nights or as needed to control bacteria. It is best to start one new product at a time to minimize irritation. As stated above, “Less is more” because using treatments too frequently or too many at the same time can cause drying and irritation.
Moisturizer and Sunscreen is also a must. Proper hydration promotes healthy cell turnover and you will need sun protection as these products make your skin more vulnerable to UV rays.
Unfortunately, your acne can’t go away over night (no matter how hard you wish for it). It is common for you to see new breakouts at first. For more information on that, please see our blog on skin purging. Be patient and you’ll start to see clearer, healthier skin.
American Idol contestants brave bright lights and harsh criticism on a weekly basis. The pressure of the spotlight beating down is enough to make anyone weak in the knees. With millions of viewers tuning in nightly, sweaty palms should be the least of their worries.
American Idol Make-Up Artist, Mezhgan has made it her top priority to give contestants a competitive edge. She begins every makeup application with a dollop of OC Eight Professional Mattifying Gel.
American Idol Make-Up Artist, Mezhgan, says she is “amazed by how great the contestant’s skin looks on film after using OC Eight.” She says, “OC Eight works like nothing I’ve ever tried before.“
OC Eight Professional Mattifying Gel acts as makeup primer absorbing oil continuously for up to eight hours. This unique product contains ACRYSORB® micro-particles that trap up to 6x their own volume in oil. As a result, skin remains matte and fresh all day, for that just applied look. Your complexion is more even toned, makeup stays in place and your natural glow is not masked.
If contestants can withstand Simon’s wrath without a makeup meltdown, our ordinary lives should be no sweat! With a flawless matte complexion, the only thing shining are their standout performances.
Oily skin is usually characterized by large, clogged pores, and areas with excessive oil production. This skin type follows along with sensitive skin as being frustrating and difficult to find the right products for. I mean, who likes cleansing their face only to feel as if they are wearing a mask applied from grease only about an hour later?! Surely not I, and I’m sure none of you either. Oily skin types can also lead to other concerns such as blemishes and acne if not attended to, so it is very important to take the necessary steps to finding the proper products.
First of all, there are two types of characteristics of oily skin to understand. One is clogged skin, where the produced sebum is hardened and dead skin cells stay within the follicular orifice. This results in the feeling of easily mistaken dry skin. The next is oily skin which appears wet or shiny. It is possible to experience both of these characteristics and important that you use products that will not only treat but aid in prevention as well. The regimen you should be committed to should include the following steps:
You should cleanse your skin both morning and evening. If you experience any over drying in the skin, you may be using a cleanser that’s not right for you. Switch to something more mild. You would want to use a cleanser specific to oily skin. Suggestions would include finding a gel cleanser with hydrating and exfoliating properties.
A toner would be necessary to help keep the skin pH levels balanced, help clear out the pores, and improve skin texture.
Your moisturizers need to be lightweight, hydrating and mattifying. You can look for oil-free moisturizers but don’t forget that your skin still needs moisture so that it does not over produce oils. Over production of oils will result in adding to already existing concerns.
You can also incorporate masks into your regimen. You’d want to look for masks that are either exfoliating or purifying. Most can be used a couple times a week and will enhance the results of the products you are already using in your daily regimen.
Lastly, there are also certain treatment products or serums specific to aid in control of oil production, smoothing of skin texture, and prevention of future blemishes.
For any questions or for help finding the right products, you can look on our site under oily skin in the word friendly search box, refer to a previous blog titled “Finding the Right Products- For Oily/ Acne Prone Skin”, or simply call us to go over products with our licensed aestheticians. We are always happy to help and we all know that feeling of relief once you find your perfect regimen. So don’t be shy, start asking questions and do your research to pave your way to healthy, flawless skin. Feeling like a million bucks is priceless!
La Roche Posay Effaclar AI is a one stop acne treatment shop. It is a revolutionary acne product combining two of the most effective acne treatment ingredients on the market, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells while micro encapsulated benzoyl peroxide kills acne causing bacteria. This one two punch is clinically proven to reduce acne lesions by 60% in just a few weeks. Apply a thin layer to targeted areas once to twice daily for great results.
New to the scene, Zeno Hot Spot is an effective acne treatment device that utilizes thermal energy to kill acne causing bacteria. With the flip of a switch, the device warms up to a comfortable 118 degrees. It delivers just the right amount of heat every time because it has a unique personalization component that adjusts to the user’s skin temperature. This wonder gadget delivers results and fast! Blemishes are reduced significantly within just an hour and by a dramatic ninety percent within 24 hours.
Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask is loaded with rich natural ingredients that purify and detoxify the skin. Aloe, Kaolin, Tea Tree Oil, Marine Algae, and Lavender are a few of the key ingredients. The mask can be used as an allover treatment mask or as a spot treatment left on overnight. This formula purges pores of toxins, kills and prevents acne causing bacteria from spreading, while nourishes and hydrating the skin. Used once a week, Astara Blue Flame Purification mask is an excellent preventative maintenance treatment.
SkinCeuticals Acne Care System combats all acne woes in one super powered kit. The kit includes a clarifying cleanser that contains Salicylic, Glycolic, and Mandelic acids that unclogs pores and exfoliates dead skin cells leaving the skin clean, smooth and clear. Next is the blemish control gel, a lightweight acne treatment gel made to attack troublesome whiteheads, and blackheads with 1% Salicylic acid. The kit also includes Retinol 0.5 which aides to minimize pore size, and reveals a more even and uniform complexion. Retinol also stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin. Lastly, the clarifying clay mask, which combines Kaolin and Bentonite clay rids pores of impurities deep within the skin.