Friday, May 31, 2013

Is Your Skin Care Regimen the Problem? FINALE

Toners, Fresheners, Astringent…oh my!

Toners are valuable to all skin types and one of the most forgotten steps in many regimens. Toners are meant to help remove excess product that may be on the surface of the skin. Also, they are used to help balance the pH of the skin. It is important for the skin’s functions to have the skin’s pH maintained at 4.5-5.5. But more on that later…

Fresheners are very beneficial to dry, prematurely aging, and aging skin. Fresheners do just that…freshen the skin. Delivering hydration to the skin and in return, helping strengthen the skin. 

Astringents are going to be best suited for oily skin types. Really, for excess oil production. Astringents will help remove the excess oil and dry the skin to allow other products to penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin. So this would be beneficial who have acneic skin too, however would not be great for dry skin types. Even those who experience a little oil, it may be too much for. 

Moisturizers and Your Skin

Moisturizers are important for every skin type. Oily skin types may try to avoid it but they really do need it. All skin types can experience dehydration (lack of water) and so finding the right product is important. The more oil your skin produces, the lighter the moisturizer you are going to need…and vice versa, the drier the skin the thicker the moisturizer needs to be. 

Whew! And finally! The regimen list is completed!
Questions? Comments? Concerns? 

I'm itching to write a research post on this product line that my class just experienced...so prepare yourselves, it's a doozy.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Is Your Skin Care Regimen the Problem? Part Dos

I know we've all been on pins and needles...but no worries!

So about exfoliants-

These little boogers, if not used correctly, can cause some damage. There are two types of exfoliating ingredients- chemical and physical. Let me just make a note by saying that people LOVE their exfoliants, so much so that they use them every day. This is a problem. The most commonly used exfoliant used is a the physical scrub...to be specific it's a "fruit seed scrub" (name was concealed for those who might inbox me hate mail should I specifically name it) . (Using any type of product where you can physically feel scrubbing is considered a physical exfoliant) You are only meant to use a physical exfoliant one to two times a week. So you could be doing damage to your skin if you are overdoing it. Using it more than the designated time could compromise your barrier and allow dirt and debris to penetrate deeper AND allow moisture to escape PLUS cause sensitivities. Even then, I would only use a physical exfoliant if you are normal to oily skin. Dry skin could handle it but too dry could allow micro-incisions to worsen and take longer to heal. For oily skin types chemical exfoliants are fine but I would steer more towards a salicylic acid because it's a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and therefore is OIL-LOVING, meaning it's attracted to oil.

If you're a dry or sensitive skin type, chemical exfoliation might be more your style. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are considered chemical exfoliants because they dissolve the glue that holds keratin (aka skin cells)  together. Once they are dissolved then skin cells can slough off. AHAs are WATER-LOVING meaning that they attract water and one of the common AHAs, lactic acid actually helps bind moisture to the skin. I can go on and on about these acids but I think that's going to be saved for another post.

Another alternative would be enzymes. Enzymes found in papaya and pineapple, for example, will actually "eat" superficial dead skin cells. This is going to be the best for sensitive skin types and for those who are contraindicated to other types of exfoliants.

Masks..dun dun dunnnnn!

These are the products most associated to your beauty and skin care regimens. When you see a chick flick, what's the most common night ritual you see them have? A bright green mask with cucumbers over their eyes. Ultimately, masks are customizable as well but you definately want to choose which one you use based on your skin type and possible challenges you might have. Clay and mud masks are setting masks. They dry and when you smile it cracks. This is what all setting masks do. Clay and mud masks are for detoxifying the skin and pulling out impurities from the skin. That being said, oily and acneic skin would benefit more from these types of masks. Non-setting masks are masks that do not harden and stay moist. These have different ingredients but are usually meant for my dry, aging, and prematurely aging skin because they are the types that need more moisture/hydration delivered into the skin. And what were the cucumbers for? They have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce puffy eyes and are very soothing.

This is looking more and more like it's going to have to be a trilogy post...oh well! The last three products coming up next!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Is Your Skin Care Regimen the Problem? Part One

I have many clients coming in to the school who literally respond to every question in their consultation that they want fix something they don't like about their skin. I can recommend all the services that would best suit their skin types and conditions. I can act like CSI and give recommendations on what could be causing them so much despair. However, without an upstanding skincare regimen- results will not be in your future. Results are 30% services and 70% products used at home. So, what do you need in your repitoir?
here are some products that will keep your skin and check:
- 2 cleansers
- exfoliant
- mask
- a toner, a freshener, or an astringent
- moisturizer
- spf
if you have challenges with your skin then serum, ampules, and spot treatments will also benefit you.

Types of Products
Now of course, if you are an expert about your skin type then you understand that all products are not meant for everybody. If you aren't one of those people then you might not even know where to start! There are types of products meant to suit certain skin types and possible conditions. "Well duh!," you might be saying to the screen but did you also know that the order of your products can affect your skin as well? Of course, ingredients are the superstars of the products but if you don't know a lot about them, it could not be beneficial. Knowing the basis will help.
So let's start from the beginning..
Two cleansers are required to get the cleanse that you need. The first cleanse is meant to to remove the makeup, dirt, debris and it best to use an oil-based cleanser. Oil attracts oil and so it will help remove those oil based makeup products and even those "long wear" liners, colors, etc. Even if you are oily, it will help draw oil to the surface to be wicked away. The second cleanser is used to focus on balancing your skin type or addressing your skin conditions. This may seem simple enough, but guess what? Each skin type that has specific needs in a cleanser!  You might see some cleanser that are gels, milky, or even a thick lotion consistency. That's what I'm talkin' about!
Normal to Oily are going to benefit more from gels because they will provide a good cleanse without stripping the oil of your face altogether. You don't want to remove all of the oil from the skin (that's a whole new post I'll get to).
Milky cleansers are thicker and more hydrating-suitable for dry, premature aging, and mature skin types. Dry skin needs more moisture and so the thicker product ensures more delivery of such.
Finally lotions are best for sensitive skin types because they are very hydrating but can be removed even without water. Yes, some people are so sensitive that water irritates the skin.
So if you are using something that isn't doing your regimen justice...talk to your local esthetician :) Or investigate your skin type and products. Next post, I will go over some of the other products!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Professional Vs...Not.

Can you remember the last time that you were so sick that you had to go to the doctor?

The last time I had gone to the doctor, I had a sinus infection that I could not shake. It was miserable, not matter how many Tylenols I popped for the pain- it was bothering me. So, I had to gather all my energy and finally make an appointment. When I went in I waited about 45 minutes in the waiting area, got called back and sat in a very bare room, waited another 15 min for a nurse to come fill out my chart, nurse left and another 10 minutes passed until I saw my doctor. He asked me a few ho-hum questions and scribbled on a little tablet. And there it was...the answer to all my problems...a prescription to feel better! TADA!

No imagine that you are suffering from something a little less dramatic...sort of. Working in a spa, I've had many people present me with challenge after challenge. " I want to look 20 years younger. I want to clear up my skin. I want to get rid of the unwanted spots.." While I can do my darndest while you are on my table results come from 30% treatment and 70% at home care. Which means I will have to PRESCRIBE you product for maintenance and to look better! Think of your skin care professional as a doctor and their prescription as their take-home recommendations...if you want to see a change, you have to follow instruction. Not only that but if you're wanting to "get better", professional skin care products are going to do the job better than what you can get in the aisle of your convenience store (oh hey, kind of like your medication when you're sick!).

How can you tell the difference?
The difference between Over the Counter (OTC) and professional products are that professional products are sold at establishments in which a licensed esthetician or medical practitioner are located.  For you to be able to get the results you need and to get clear instruction it has to be so! Professional products have a higher amount and quality of ingredients designated for balancing out the skin and/or treating skin conditions. A lot of these professional products contain ingredients that could do some damage if not used correctly. OTC products can be sold by anyone, usually aren't recommended based on YOUR needs only what you think your needs are, and in the end can cost you more money for the results you want. Used correctly, your professional products will cost you less and with quicker results than the OTC messes.

And that's just professional product...don't make me show you pictures of crazy people doing professional grade treatments at home...seriously. Would you inject yourself with a vaccine? Probably not. Something could go wrong! You aren't the expert! So leave it to those who are! Plus, I don't think giving yourself a massage feels as good as getting one by a professional.

So needless to say, I'm an advocate for your local esthetician. Need one? Check out Spa Finder for day spas and medspas in your area. Sign up with their newsletter and they'll even send you info on SPA WEEK which is an amazing event where a gazillion spas offer discounted services! Who could pass that up? Even if you don't have a challenge...atleast you could go in for a wellness "check up".

I'll get off my little soapbox now...but what would you guys like to know? I'm open to some questions! If you aren't up to posting a comment feel free to email me at soskinsmart@gmail.com. Let's hear it!

Where To Start Your Smart Skin Decisions

Growing up I've always heard, "beauty is only skin deep..". 
A cliche we've all come to love and know. However, as a licensed esthetician I've grown to understand it's true meaning. To really appreciate beautiful skin is to chase after it like millions of us around the world are!

Maybe I need a little introduction- my name is Chelsea and I'm a licensed esthetician and esthetician instructor. So I assure you, this comes from a good place! Obviously my students have a ton of questions but I also have many clients who all wonder the same things...what will work for me? So this blog as stemmed from those pleas! So here we go...

Did you know that $53.7 billion have been spent by the U.S. alone in 2013 on COSMETICS? Cosmetics are defined as products "intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions." That's a lot of money being invested in our beauty wouldn't you say? The majority of that money stems from make-up which is used to enhance your beautiful features and conceal the less attractive...but the rest? The rest of that money is spent on those skin care products that fill that space under your bathroom sink. And why does it sit there out of sight? Because those products don't work for you or they don't live up to expectation. How do you know which products are for you?

Or what about that cool  skin treatment you just saw on that reality TV show about over-privledged sisters? Does it really work? In 2011, the spa industry's revenue was recorded at 13.4 billion dollars!  Not only is that money spent but what about the hours spent at the spa? Is it worth it? No worries, you have the internet...the answer to all your problems! Maybe. You can go on Youtube these days and find people doing chemical peels on themselves at home with no education whatsoever! For every successful one there is probably 5 botched "at home treatments". Is a chemical even the right treatment for you? So please, don't burn your face off!

As a professional, my ultimate goal is to educate everyone on not what's the trend but really the basics and foundation that you as a consumer need to know.  It's only then that you can come to a conclusion on what your skin care regimen should entail, what ingredient best suits your needs, what plan of action is going to help you with your skin care challenge. Not only am I here to tell you what you need but how your skin represents your internal health. With my background and knowledge I hope to answer some of your questions and infulence some of your smart skin decisions!

Looking forward to jumping right in!