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Anatomy of a Facial

A facial is a procedure involving a variety of skin treatments, including: steam, exfoliation, extraction, creams, lotions, facial masks, peels, and massage.  Facials can last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour and range in price depending on the types of products used for the treatments.  They are professionally recommended every 4 weeks for maximum results. Step 1: See a Professional. All facials follow the same basic structure and order. They will begin with makeup removal and cleansing.  Then comes some method of exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and smooth the surface of the skin. A massage is then performed that can include all or some of...

New Year, New You: Plan Accordingly!

Looking to enter the New Year looking younger and more refreshed?  It's important to plan your beauty needs around a hectic holiday schedule, so if you're thinking of amping up your look for the New Year (or any Holiday Parties) here's some helpful hints/guidelines: Non-Invasive Spray Tan Spray tans typically last 7-14 days.  If your thinking of spraying (which I highly recommend), do it as close to your event as possible!  You can't shower for 6 hours after a spray, and you can smell a little bit sugary post-spray, so keep this in mind.  For the best results, spray the day before.   Facial A plain old facial can be done anywhere from...

Skin Under Stress

"50% of my patients are presenting with stress-related skin problems" - Leslie Baumann, director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute. I was given an interesting article from Allure magazine about skin issues and stress (which is a huge problem many of us have, including myself).  Eighty seven percent of respondents in the allure.com poll said they "notice a difference in their skin when they're stressed out." When under stress, our bodies release adrenaline that elevates the level of a hormone called cortisol in the blood.  High cortisol levels also cause the skin to produce inflammatory agents, causing redness.  This hormone also tells fat...

Microdermabrasion

We all know I love chemical peels, ('Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!) but my second must do treatment for every woman: Microdermabrasion!!!! What does it do? It mechanically exfoliates the top layer of skin, removing  dead skin and debris (that both greatly contribute to aging/skin cancer). Microderm also: Helps to soften fine lines and scarring, breakup acne and hyperpigmentation, it brightens the skin, and creates an epidermis (outer layer of skin) that allows for better penetration of products during a facial, and also at home.  You will leave with glowing skin! How it works:  The abrasion tool uses aluminum oxide microcrystals in combination with a vacuum attachment.  This process removes the top layer of the epidermis, which is...

How to Tip Your Beauty Provider

In their younger years, my mother was a waitress and my father was a bartender.  They taught me you always tip 20% unless the service is really bad.  People who work in the service industry depend on their tips as a large portion of their income.  Waitress's make like $2 an hour.  You can't live off that! Hairdresser's and aesthetician's have a similar sentiment.  How should they be tipped?  Here's a guide! Hair Stylist  15%-20% of your service.  If you have a hard time figuring this out, and for some reason you left your cell at home, think of it like this.  20% is $2 on every $10.  So...

Hydrating Ingredients in Skin Care Products

It's getting cold out and like I said 'Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!  Both of these things necessitate hydrating products for your skin.  Here's a list of ingredients your cosmeceutical/pharmaceutical skin care products should have in them! Alpha Lipoic Acid - a powerful antioxidant that destroys free-radicals before they can destroy cells.  Alpha Lipoic Acid also enhances the potency of Vitamin C and E.  It occurs naturally in green, leafy vegetables. Lactic Acid - A multi-purpose ingredient used as a preservative, exfoliant, and moisturizer, and to provide acidity to a formulation.  In the body, lactic acid is found in the blood and muscle tissue as a product of the metabolism of...

'Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!

When the summer is over, and you will not be out in the sun anymore (which you shouldn't be doing ANYWAYS) it's time to have a good chemical peel with your aesthetician.  The reason you don't want to do this in the summer is that depending on the strength of the peel, the top layer of skin will flake off and left your epidermis unprotected from the sun. Chemical peels come in different strengths.  You might not necessarily peel, or you might peel--a lot.  Make sure you tell your aesthetician your desired level of peeling.  I wish I had pictures of the peels I've had.  I've had a...

Skin Care Product Ingredients for Hyper-Pigmentation

Arbutin - L-Arbutin is a naturally occurring form of hydroquinone that inhibits melanin synthesis by inhibiting tyrosinase activity.  Arbutin has also been clinically proven to lighten existing pigment. Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate (Licorice)** - Natural plant lightening agent, tyrosinase inhibitor, more effective than kojic acid and 75 times more effective than ascorbic acid as a lightening agent. Hydroquinone - A pigment-lightening agent used in bleaching creams.  The FDA allows a maximum of 2 percent concentration in a cosmetic formulation.  Although it occurs naturally, the synthetic version is the one most commonly used in cosmetics. *Hydroquinone is a very controversial ingredient.  It may be taken off the market due to its "boomerang effect"-...

Key Ingredients in Your Anti-Aging Products

What should you be looking for in your cosmeceutical/pharmaceutical products for anti-aging?  Here's a list. *Remember over the counter products (anything you don't need a professional license to buy) cannot penetrate into the dermal layer, so even if they have these ingredients, they aren't strong enough to work--i.e. they are a WASTE of MONEY* Step 2: Spend wisely. *Your skin may not require all of these ingredients.  So please use the following as an aide! Ask your aesthetician what she/he recommends!* Step 1: See a Professional. Ingredients to Check For Alpha Lipoic Acid - a powerful antioxidant that destroys free-radicals before they can destroy cells.  Alpha Lipoic Acid also enhances the potency of...

Step 2: Spend wisely

If  you are going to take my advice to see an aesthetician, expect that you will leave with a few products as well.  But how will you know your making a good investment? Expect to need 2 or 3 products.  No one needs 20 products in their medicine cabinet.  Learning how to use more than 2-3 products is overwhelming.  You should not feel this way! The products should be either pharmaceutical or cosmeceutical grade (see definition below). The product was explained to you.  The ingredients were explained to you.  Why you need it was explained to you.  (Can you tell I'm a fan of education yet?) Although you might see change...