Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to find an Esthetician!

How to find and choose a great Esthetician

In this day and age of the internet online reviews are one of the top ways to find an Esthetician but sometimes the reviews can be misleading and sometimes you don't know if they are real reviews or slanted in one way or the other.  The Esthetician may have 5 star reviews but that doesn’t always mean that she or he is the right one for you.  There are also lots of facial deals and in my opinion some of those deals can be a true bargain and a great way to try different types of facials and facialists on your search to find “the one” but sometimes you are going to get a cookie cutter facial or a rushed job because you are not a full-paying client – I’m not saying this is right but it does happen.  It makes the best sense for your skin to find an esthetician you can feel comfortable with and stick with because they will know your skin. The following are some of my top tips for finding an esthetician you can glow with…

Do you have a coworker or friend or perhaps someone you have met who has gorgeous glowing skin? Chances are she or he might have an esthetician on their speed dial so don’t hesitate to ask what their secret is and you may just get an amazing referral.

Is there a skincare line you absolutely love?  If so,  check that companies website and see if they have a esthetician in your area who uses the products since many companies have a referral system in place with their customers.  You could also call the skincare company and ask them directly to recommend someone.  If you absolutely love a certain organic skincare line or a special alpha hydroxy based line it makes sense to find an esthetician who has a similar philosophy and recommends and uses some of your favorites in their skincare practice.

You can also contact estheticians and ask for a complimentary  consultation. When I had my skincare practice I offered free initial consults where I would have potential clients come in and perhaps bring their regimen in so I could see what their skincare routine was and I would examine their skin under the orb of truth aka my magnifying lamp. I would then offer suggestions and devise a plan of action based on what they wanted to achieve with their skin.  This was a great way to meet first and talk about their skincare goals and what services I had to offer and to see if I felt I could help them achieve their skincare goals. I also would give them samples to try, homework in the way of special teas to drink, vitamins to take and other lifestyle tips to support their skincare goals and then schedule a facial at that meeting.

Six questions to ask your potential esthetician:

What type of training have you had? (This is a good question to ask. Make sure your esthetician has attended classes and studied beyond the standard state issued license)

What’s your philosophy on skincare?

What type of products do you use during your facials?

What would you recommend for my skin and have you worked with my particular skin type or the issue I’m having?

What’s your specialty? (This is important because some estheticians specialize in Brazilian waxing or lash extensions which is great if that’s what you’re getting but I would recommend having an esthetician who is passionate about skincare and lists skincare as their number one specialty for getting maximum results from your facials!)



Monday, February 17, 2014

Facial Serums - Do you need one?

Serums – Do You Need One?

Collagen Serum from Exuviance - Lifting, Firming and Building Volume with Matrixyl 3000 peptides and Gardenia Cell Culture plus Polyhydroxy acids


I’m a huge advocate of serums. I call them the “Green Juice” of skincare since they have so many active ingredients and in a liquid form they give your skin vital nutrients and a high quantity of actives in one little drop – penetrating deeply! It’s the equivalent of a giant platter of veggies being reduced to a glass of juice – if you have ever made your own green juice you will know exactly what I mean – You can never eat that many veggies in one sitting but you can drink that juice and you feel so good when you do and not to mention your skin will glow with health.

Serums should be applied under your moisturizers day and night. For daytime use look for antioxidant serums – such as ECGC – the active ingredient in Vitamin C that comes from green tea. Serums will protect and hydrate and give you that wonderful glow of hydrated healthy skin. For evening you can use serums that contain ingredients that exfoliate and treat such as alpha hydroxy acids as well an antioxidants. I also look for peptides like oligopeptide and Matrixyl 3000, plant stem cells, Grapeseed extract, Lilac phyto stem cell, Geranium phyto stem cell, etc. There are many wonderful skin-loving ingredients. Hylauronic acid is one of - if not my most favorite ingredient ever to look for in a serum. It holds 1000 times its’ weight in water and will really lock in your skins own moisture and attract more moisture to your skin.

There are water based serums and oil based serums. Every skin type can benefit from water based serums and if you are normal to dry you may prefer an oil based serums especially for evening. While we are sleeping our bodies dehydrate and of course our skin being our largest excretory organ is going to be dehydrated when we wake up but not if you use a hydrating serum.

Serums go deep into the skin and if you exfoliate regularly you will find your serums penetrate really well – correct exfoliation is key as well! You don’t want your wonderful and pricey serums just sitting on top of dry dead skin cells so please exfoliate properly and get yourself a serum. Your skin will love you for it.

There are many skincare companies that make excellent serums. I love NeoStrata, Exuviance, PCA Skincare, YonKa, Jan Marini, Skin Ceuticals, SkinMedica among many others. I recommend going to your Esthetician and getting recommendations and /or visiting Sephora and Ulta and checking out what they have and talking to the associates that work there as they usually try everything in the store and may have some recommendations and maybe even a sample for you to try!

What's your favorite serum?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

For Your Eyes Only - Prevent, Correct and Renew

The eye area has the thinnest skin on the body and there are no oil glands. It’s also an area of expression and is usually the first area of the face to start to show the signs of age and sun damage.  It’s far easier to prevent than correct but luckily there are amazing doctors and researchers that have created effective topical treatments that actually reverse some of the signs of aging. Prevention though is key so the earlier you start on a good eye cream the better.

There are many things we can do to protect our vulnerable eye area.   When we wear the correct eye creams, remove our eye makeup gently and effectively at night, wear sunglasses and/or a hat when driving and/or in direct sunlight to prevent squinting and thus wrinkling the eye area.
How to Apply an Eye Cream - An eye cream should be applied to the upper and lower lid and a good eye cream without fragrance and artificial color can be applied all the way to the lash line.

Eye Cream: Essential part of a healthy skincare regimen

Depending on what your concerns are around your eye area you definitely will want to use an eye cream with unique and effective ingredients for what your specific concerns are.  Everyone can benefit from an eye cream – men and women-  and should start by age 20. It is equally important to wear an eye cream during the day as it is in the evening. During the daytime hours we want to hydrate and protect and while we sleep our body naturally rests and we want our ingredients to repair and correct. There is a plethora of eye creams available. So you may be wondering,  “What’s the best eye cream for my eyes?” Let’s look at some common concerns and ingredients that address them.

Issues that affect the skin around the eyes:

Dark Circles: Vitamin K – this amazing nutrient heals the tiny capillaries under the eyes, they can leak blood and it pools under our eyes.  Plastic surgeons have been prescribing vitamin k for years for their patients pre and post operatively. (helpful hint: if your eye cream isn’t yellow it doesn’t have adequate levels of vitamin k and wont help your dark circles!) One to try: Exuviance Brightening Bionic Eye Cream: it’s bright yellow and has no artificial colors….the yellow tone is vitamin K which has another added bonus of immediately brightening and dissipating that purplish dark hue that dark circles produce. Jan Marini, Skin Medica, Yon Ka and many other professional skincare lines also have excellent eye creams.
Puffiness:  Caffeine – this ingredient is a diuretic and removes excess fluid from the eye area. (helpful hint: apply the eye cream from the inner corner outward in small tapping motion with your ring finger- this will stimulate your skins own lymphatic system and help the caffeine be even more effective at removing fluid). There are also some relatively new patented ingredients called Actiflow and Eyeliss that target puffiness and I can tell you from my experience working with many women and men that these ingredients work well.  Rosemary Essential Oil is also effective. I also recommend refrigerating your eye creams if puffiness is a big concern.  Also, make sure you are drinking enough water since dehydration actually leads to fluid retention.

Easy to Make Eye Treatment pads for puffy eyes and dark circles

Pulverize 1 organic cucumber
Pulverize 1 handful of parsley
combine and wrap mixture in gauze and apply to eyes for 10 minutes
This mixture will keep in the fridge for about 4 days

Dryness/Crepeness: Grapeseed Extract, Shea butter, carrot seed oil, lipids, hylauronic acid (this amazing plant derived ingredient holds 1000x its weight and gives your skin instant hydration

Wrinkles/Lines:  Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A), Maltobionic acid, Polyhydroxy acid, Lactobionic Acid, Vitamin C, Grapeseed extract

Sagging/Loss of Firmness:  Matrixyl 3000, Peptides - this amazing ingredient lifts and firms and you want to look for medically formulated creams with this ingredient since peptides need a certain percentage to actually work which you wont always find in drug store or mass produced creams

Prevention :  Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Algae Extract, Hylauronic acid

Antiflammatory: Chamomile, Ginseng, Calendula, Green tea extract, cucumber extract and many more.

Remove Eye Makeup Thoroughly but Gently!

A gentle cleansing Cream will not only remove your eye makeup gently and effectively but also has ingredients like polyhydroxy acids that will provide gentle exfoliation and gently remove the dead skin cells which will help promote healthy cell renewal in our eye area. It’s very clogging to the delicate eye area and can even by aging to sleep with your makeup on especially eye makeup since eye shadows, mascaras and even concealers can contain a lot of drying and irritating ingredients.  It’s been shown that inflammation can lead to aging and there’s even a new topic of study by the medical beauty industry called “Inflammaging”. Its best to remove your makeup to prevent inflammation and any irritation that can trigger redness, clogged pores and puffiness around your eyes.

Eye treatment pads

Cooling, soothing, hydrating and firming. These little pads are a favorite of Hollywood starlets and even some metrosexual  Hollywood hunks.  The Eye Treatment Pads from Exuviance have an amazing ingredient called Lactobionic acid which has been used for years by the medical world as one of the ingredients to preserve organs prior to organ transplant.  There are also many professional skincare lines that make eye treatment pads like GM Collin and also SK II has some with Pitera which are very hydrating. Of course since our skin is our bodies largest organ and an outer one at that – it takes a lot of abuse so what better way to treat our eye area than with an eye mask with this potent and special antioxidant. We apply masks all over our face except for our eyes so these pads are the perfect way to treat your eyes while you treat your face.  For extra calming benefits (especially if you suffer from seasonal allergies) keep the pads in the refrigerator and they will be even more cooling.  What’s wonderful about the eye treatment pads are that they can stay on your eye area up to 30 minutes and you will see instant results. The effects are immediate and the long-lasting results are cumulative as well. These pads can be used 1 to 2 times per week and will remove the morning puffiness and hydrate the skin.