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Skin Care

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...

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...

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"-...