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IS Clinical Powder sunscreen

IS Clinical happens to be one of my favorite product lines so it’s not shocking that they created the perfect powder sunscreen.  This amazing powder feels so light on the skin
and looks great with or without makeup.  The powder is in an easy to use brush applicator that you can throw in your purse and reapply throughout the day.  This  sunscreen has an SPF 20 and provides broad spectrum coverage from both UVA and UVB Rays. With Zine Oxide and titanium dioxide it provides you with great protection without irritating the skin and can be used on all skin types!!!  IS Clinical Powder sunscreen comes in translucent and medium. If you are looking for a powder with sunscreen you will love this product!

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A Simple Primer on Exfoliating Products

To keep your skin looking its best, regular exfoliation is key. Exfoliation removes the top layers of dead skin cells, increasing the circulation in your skin and giving it a glow. Following is basic information to help you choose the best way to exfoliate your skin. It is vital to use sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every day, especially when using exfoliating products.

Scrubs, textured cloths and skin brushes all work by gently polishing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. The most common ingredients in facial scrubs are ground apricot kernels and nutshells or man-made micro beads. Choose a scrub with the smallest granules possible. I often mix my scrub in with cleanser so it glides more smoothly over my skin. Only a light pressure is needed to get the best results. If you use too much pressure you can easily damage your skin.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) work by breaking the bonds that hold dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Using AHA’s will help correct the appearance of uneven skin tone. They help with the elasticity of the skin making fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. The most common AHA’s are glycolic acid (sugar cane) and lactic acid (sour milk). Because they are water-soluble they are best suited for use on skin that is not prone to breaking out.

Beta hydroxy acid, or salicylic acid, is most commonly used with oily or acne prone skin. It is oil soluble, which helps it penetrate pores to clear out clogs and breakouts. Salicylic acid is derived from aspirin. If you are allergic to aspirin, never use products with salicylic acid.

Retinol Products – Working in a Doctor’s office, I saw first hand how prescription strength Retinol helped clear up seemingly hopeless cases of acne. Over-the-counter Retinol is less drying and irritating to the skin. Retinol will help reduce wrinkles, pore size and uneven pigmentation. It softens and smoothes rough aging skin, and over time it will aid in toning and firming the skin. No matter which method you use, if you want to bring out the best in your skin, include exfoliation in your skin care routine.

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3 Easy Ways To Help Your Skin Recover After The Holidays

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season. It’s such a wonderful time of year, filled with parties and celebrations! But when the holidays are over many people discover the extra sugar from holiday treats has really done a number on their skin. If your holiday celebrations have taken a toll on your skin – here are three things I do to keep my skin looking it’s best. The first two are about taking care of your insides, because skin really does reflect what is going on inside the body.

The first thing I do is drink plenty of water to keep my skin hydrated from within. Water also helps to flush out the toxins from the extra sugar that has been so hard to resist during the holidays. The day after a party, I drink a big glass of water as soon as I wake up. I can usually see an improvement in my skin within the hour. If you will drink 6 to 8 glasses of water in a day, you will be amazed at the improvement in your skin.

Second, I include probiotics in my diet. Probiotics help regulate digestion. They help to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and help prevent yeast overgrowth in the intestinal tract. You can find probiotics in many brands of yogurt (read the label to make sure it has active probiotics – look for words like Lactobacillus, Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, etc. on the label, and make sure it’s not loaded with sugar). There are also probiotic capsules and liquid probiotics in the health food stores. I believe if there are any problems in your digestion, it will eventually show up on your face as breakouts, rashes or puffiness.

This is the perfect time of the year to use a facial mask. There are many great masks to choose from. For skin that is breaking out, look for a clarifying mask (usually they have a clay base to help purify the skin and absorb excess oil). Try a hydrating gel mask if your skin feels dry, often these have ingredients like green tea, cucumber or aloe which will give you the added benefit of soothing and calming any redness in your skin. Vitamin C masks will brighten and firm the appearance of your skin. To get the best results, exfoliate your skin before applying a mask.

My very best wishes to everyone as 2012 begins. The start of each year is a blank canvas. I hope there are lots of wonderful images on your canvas you plan on making come true this year!

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The Weather is Changing – Is it Time to Change Skincare Routines?

During the summer months I really focus on keeping my skin clean and protected from the sun.  My focus is still the same during the winter, but I find I need to switch the products I use to get the results I want.

Like many people, as the weather turns cooler I start spending more time indoors.   When the heat comes on, my skin gets more dehydrated.  I hear the same thing from many of the people who come to see me for facials.   I suggest switching to a cleanser that is less drying, and using a hydrating toner with Sodium PCA in the ingredient list.  This will add extra oil free moisture.   At night, after the toner, apply an exfoliating serum a few times during the week.  I am using my Retinol “Resurface” to exfoliate every other night  (if you haven’t used it before, start off using it 1 to 2 times a week).  It is formulated in an oil free moisture base so it has all the great benefits of a Retinol without drying or irritating the skin.  The exfoliating action of “Resurface” helps to remove dead skin cells so they don’t clog your pores, and because it exfoliates the skin, it helps your products work more effectively.  I am getting great feedback from everyone who has ordered it.  It helps control breakouts, tones and firms the skin, and lightens pigmentation and brown spots.  Skin looks brighter and feels softer.  By making these simple changes, I find that most people don’t need to change to a heavier moisturizer at night during the winter months.  If you still are feeling dehydrated, add a hydrating serum on the nights you are not using an exfoliator.  And of course, every morning, remember to apply your sunscreen before heading out the door. 

This is also the perfect time of year to make an appointment for a facial.  Be sure to let your esthetician know if you have any special events or holiday parties in the near future.  If your goal is to have a radiant holiday glow, your esthetician can customize your treatment to bring out the best in your skin.

To close, I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for all the blessings in my life.  Thank you to my friends and family who continue to offer their love and support.  My thanks to all who come for facials, to everyone reading this blog and who follow me on twitter.  I am so grateful to have all of you in my life.  I wish all of you the best that life has to offer.  Happy Holidays!

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Why do I need to wear sunscreen now that summer is over? (Or if I am just going to work? Or if it is raining outside? )

I hear these questions all the time.  I believe that sunscreen is one of the most important part of anyone’s skin care regimen.    Sunscreen is preventative. 

Wearing sunscreen protects you and your skin from the sun’s harmful rays today, and also against future sun damage – the worst being skin cancer.   It’s protection also delays the appearance of brown spots, uneven pigmentation and wrinkles.  I believe in using at least a 30 SPF every day, 365 days a year

Today more than ever, with all the active ingredients in skin care products it is vital to include sunscreen in your daytime routine.   Use a day cream that has a built in sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher.    If you wear makeup, choose one that has been formulated with a sunscreen.  Most mineral makeups have titanium dioxide as a base ingredient, not only do these provide great coverage, but they are offering extra sun protection.   

Another question I always get is “Which is better, a chemical sunscreen or a sunscreen with physical blocks like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide?   This question reminds me of comparing apples to oranges.   Apples and oranges are both fruit, they are both great for you, but they are 2 different fruits.    The best choice is a sunscreen that has both chemical and physical blocks.  Unfortunatley, some people are sensitive to the ingredients in a chemical block, and their skin can break out, or become red and irritated when they use them.  But if you are outdoors for long periods of time, if you are exercising in the sun, the chemical blocks are going to offer you the greatest protection.   Other people feel the sunscreens that rely only on the physical blocks like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, makes their skin look chalky.  Also, if you are using a sunscreen that is relying on physical blocks only, it is vital that you reapply OFTEN.  Because the physical blocks work by by staying on the surface of your skin to block the harmful rays, if your skin gets wet from swimming or even just sweating, it will come off your skin. 

I have friends in my 40’s and 50’s who have been wearing sunscreen for years and  their skin looks amazing.   When I ask them what the secret is, all of them say protecting their skin from the sun has always been their first priority.   There are so many great SPF products offered right now, if one doesn’t agree with you, keep trying until you find the one that is perfect for your skin.  Your skin will thank you for years to come!   Please… take care of yourself and treat yourself like the beautiful human being you are – make sure you use a 30 SPF every day, 365 days a year.

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I have some exciting news to share!

Over the years I have learned so much about how different ingredients affect the skin and I am excited to be releasing a product that combines the best quality ingredients with ideal formulations. It has been my dream for a very long time to offer products that will deliver amazing results without irritating the skin.

 My first release is a Retinol Serum called Retinol Reform. Some of the active ingredients include Aloe Vera, Green Tea and Niacinamide, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. I use an oil free hydrating base for the serum so it can be layered under a moisturizer if you have drier skin, but it will be hydrating enough so that people with oily skin can use it alone.

I started seeing remarkable results people were getting from using Retinol products when I first began working in a Doctor’s office. In addition to being an effective treatment for many cases of acne, I saw firsthand how incredible it was at addressing so many issues related to anti-aging. Despite these amazing benefits, I would often hear the same people complain about how dry and irritated their skin felt. I have been obsessed with finding a way to create a product that will deliver the benefits Retinols offer without the irritated, dry feeling so many people experience. I am thrilled that Retinol Reform has proven to do that and more!

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Last few weeks of Summer.

It’s been a record breaking year for temperatures in many parts of the country.   I want to motivate and encourage everyone to keep up their skin care regiment during these last few weeks of summer.  

In the hot weather it can be a challenge to keep our skin looking fresh and clean.  It’s so important to be using a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF and to keep reapplying it if we are spending time outside.  But often the same sunscreen that is protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays is also clogging our pores when it mixes with any outdoor pollution and our perspiration.  To keep your skin looking it’s best, it’s crucial to maintain a nightly skin cleansing routine.  Rotate your cleansing gel with a cleanser with cleansing beads.  If your skin is excessively oily,  a toner with Salicylic Acid works great to control the oil and will help prevent breakouts.  In warmer weather your skin still needs plenty of moisture; a lighter moisturizer with lots of Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium PCA will keep moisture in your skin without making it feel sticky and greasy.  For added protection layer an antioxidant serum under your moisturizer for extra protection.  Some of my favorite serums contain Vitamin C or Green Tea.  Vitamin C brightens and firms the appearance of the skin and studies are showing Green Tea is anti-inflammatory and is great at protecting the skin from free radical damage.”

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A Buzz In The Air Of Things To Come!

Summer has a way of inspiring a touch of nostalgia for the carefree days from our childhood.  As the weather began to warm up, we would start to daydream about all the mysterious possibilities that summer had in store for us. For 10 weeks we put all our worries on the shelf and positively knew that life would be bringing us some magic memories we would never forget. We were in shorts, our choice of trademark sneakers, bathing suits, sundresses, pigtails, a little sunscreen and call it a day!  Eagerly ready for each moment summer would bring!

We may not be able to fully recapture that laze and excitement; the stripped down, slowed down feel of summer we had when we were young, but we can certainly try! Here are some skin care tips that will help you simplify your routine and let you focus on some summer fun.

Client Care

In The Room

My general focus during hotter months is making sure that my clients have a great exfoliation (as always) without pushing it too far, leaving them potentially vulnerable to sun damage. Depending on skin type, I will use anything from lactic and amino acids for dry/normal and a beta cream peel with vitamin E for oily/normal. I want to make sure everyone has a fantastic summer glow, which means plumping and hydrating, so I am incorporating lots of professional serums into the treatment. If their skin is dry, I use straight hyaluronic acid or moisture-blend serums that will hydrate and absorb without leaving a heavy surface residue when they walk outside. My favorite oily skin professional serum is green tea. Green tea is a super powerful antioxidant along with being a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is key in keeping oily skin from erupting into breakouts in the heat.

On Your Shelf

A cleansing gel for everyone! Even dry skin needs the added benefit of a cleansing gel over a cleansing milk during the summer because we are exposed to more pollution and heat.

Dry/NormalJan Marin,i C-Esta Cleansing Gel. It will smooth away excess dry skin and build up and has a DMAE complex in it that is more of a skin conditioner. Perfect for making dry skin clean, but soft and supple at the same time.

Oily/Normal – Control Corrective, Salicylic Wash 2%. Oily skin will benefit from a product with Salicylic Acid in it during the summer. This ingredient is fantastic at exfoliating excess dead skin build up, debris and oil, plus it is healing and anti-inflammatory. Soothing oily skin that has a tendency to get more inflamed and prone to breakouts during the summer. 

A non-abrasive scrub is a welcomed addition of exfoliation for both Dry/Oily/Normal skin types this time of year. Use it A.M., twice a week in the shower. Here’s a little trick, cleanse your skin as usual, then apply the scrub, gently massage it on the skin and then leave it there for a few minutes, while you shower. It will act like a little mini-facial treatment combining a resurfacing for the skin and a mask at the same time.

Dry/Oily/Normal – Control Corrective, Cucumber Bead Cleaner. This scrub has perfectly, polished beads, which won’t be too abrasive on the skin and is in a soothing gel/cream base. It contains grape seed oil and cucumber fruit extract, which are both soothing, non-clogging and nourishing for the skin.

The proper sunscreen should have both UVA and UVB protection. As a quick overview, for UVA protection you want a chemical blocker, the most common being an ingredient called oxybenzone and for UVB you want your physical blockers such as zinc and titanium dioxide. A product that combines those ingredients will clearly distinguish itself on the packaging as “Broad-Spectrum” or “UVA & UVB Protection”.

Dry/NormalJan Marini, Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 30. Everyone who uses this product falls in love with it. It has a great smell and has added antioxidants to further help protect you from the sun.

Oily/Normal – Control Corrective, Oil Free Sunscreen SPF 30. This sunscreen has all the right ingredients, plus it has aloe vera in it. This will make it soothing and won’t clog oily skin.

Oily/Acneic – Skin Ceuticals, UV Defense SPF 30. Acneic skin needs more zinc for protection, healing and anti-inflammation. This product contains 7% zinc oxide, a much higher amount than others on the market.

The Tougher Customer/Sun-Damaged Skin 

In The Room

When it comes to clients with sun damage, they are usually the most diligent at doing all the steps necessary for protecting and repairing their skin. Even so, there really isn’t any way to protect their skin from harmful rays during the summer months. For this client I am doing a beta peel combined with vitamin E, which is an effective way to increase the exfoliation and repairing of the skin. Vitamin E is an amazing antioxidant that will protect the skin as well. In addition, I am layering the skin with serums and increasing the penetration by using a high frequency machine. A high frequency machine uses the gentle oscillating, oxygenating power of low level electrical current. It is really popular with Estheticians for the treatment of acne. However, it has other great effects such as revving up the circulation of the skin, increasing collagen and elastin production and it is fantastic with increasing the absorption of products.

On Your Shelf

In the past this has been a tricky thing. Many of the products that help repair sun damage also leave the skin more photosensitive. I often have opted to take these clients off certain products during the summer, just because I don’t want to undo all the progress they have made with eliminating the pigmentation up to this point. Well, that was in the past. IS Clinical has come out with a product that actually blocks the production of melanin and is extremely active in increasing cell turnover and repair.

Dry/NormalIS Clinical, White Lightening Complex and Serum. For dry skin you will use the Serum at night and the Complex during the day.

Oily/Normal – IS Clinical, White Lightening Serum. For oily skin, use the Serum both morning and night. The Complex will be too heavy to use during the summer months, but can be incorporated during the winter.

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June Gloom or Sexy, Summer Glow?

It seems like our skin barely has enough time to recover from the harsh elements of winter during spring, when, all of the sudden, we are being whisked into summer. And with summer comes a whole new onslaught of environmental and social factors that affect our skin in completely different ways. It’s hard to keep up!

All the things we love about summer; the chance to frolic on the beach, play by the poolside, a few sangrias at the perfect afternoon barbeque…Well, these things add up to extra long sun exposure and factors that can zap the life and hydration out of your skin. And really, when, more than any other time of year, do we want that natural, easy, healthy glow?

Here are some tips to follow… 

Client Care

In The Room

Make sure the professional treatment you receive in June includes a more intense and active peel. June is typically the last time before fall to really work at removing excess build up of dead skin. After June, the sun and extra, outdoor activities put you more at risk of pigmentation damage after an aggressive peel. Taking advantage of this window will increase the health of your skin and the effective action of all the products you use during the summer months. That and, you really don’t want layers of build up during summer; it will look dull, won’t be able to “breathe” and has more of a chance of clogging with the added sun block you need to apply. The exfoliation is only part of the process. As with any quality, professional facial, it will include a treatment specific mask. I custom blend my masks with the consideration of each client, but also address the particular needs that go along with the season. For summer, I’ll be using moisture rich (not moisture heavy) masks filled with clay minerals, aloe, green tea and honey. You want to moisture kiss your skin, increase the circulation and drive in the anti-oxidants…all things these ingredients do.

On Your Shelf

Time to put away the more intense exfoliations (retinols, glycolic, beta blends) and pick up a serum or cream that will exfoliate, but hydrate at the same time. Lactic acid is, hands down, the perfect ingredient to look for this time of year. Another summer “must have” is a serum with anti-oxidants. I’m pretty sure we all know about anti-oxidants by now, but just to be sure, they are your strongest defense against the sun, pollution and the half bag of super, salty chips you’re going to eat at the barbeque at some point over the summer…all of which suck the moisture from healthy skin. I truly can’t express enough how important it is to purchase a professional quality product when it comes to anti-oxidants (C’s and other anti-oxidants can easily oxidize when they aren’t stabilized, causing them to be completely ineffective, meaning the $30 or so that you saved, isn’t a savings at all). 

Summer standout products

For exfoliation, Control Corrective’s Smoothing Repair Gel, with a blend of lactic and glycolic in it for oily/normal or their Lactic C Firming Cream for dry/normal skin.

Power-packed anti-oxidants serums such as IS Clinical’s Pro Heal, for oily/normal (it has an intense blend, including Olive extract…think beautiful, flawless Mediterranean skin, guess what they eat…tons of olives and olive oil) and for dry/normal their C and E Serum. These can be a bit pricey, so for the client on a budget, I would recommend the Crystal C Serum by Control Corrective, you’re not getting a blend, but their vitamin C, along with all their other ingredients are a really high quality.

The Tougher Customer 

In The Room

Obviously there isn’t any good time to have acne, but the summer months, with the heat, the sun and excessive oil activity, can really aggravate an already bad situation. It is so, so, so important to get the skin as stabilized as possible before things really heat up. For this reason I recommend not one, but, if possible, two facials in June. An active, acne peel, most likely using glycolic or salicylic or both followed with an acne mask that contains sulfur and zinc. My course of action this month with acne clients has this mantra,  “anti-bacterial, calm and heal…over and over”.

On Your Shelf

Acne clients will most likely be going off, or at least backing way off of the more hardcore topical stuff in the summer. It’s really tough because you still need the quality that retinols and intense beta acids provide, unfortunately, they cause so much photo-sensitivity/irritation it can be completely unbearable and intolerable to keep using them. My absolute, hands down favorite substitute to prescriptions for acne is IS Clinical’s Active Serum. Not only does it have an amazing blend of lactic, glycolic and salicylic, it has other healing ingredients such as bilberry extract, natural lightening ingredients for scars and menthol, one of the best ingredients to soothe angry, acneic skin and is anti-bacterial at the same time. As an extra weapon, try a mask at home a couple times a week. Something I use professionally and is available for retail is Control Corrective’s Sulfur Calming Mask. It does what so many other acne masks fail to do; provide an excellent anti-bacterial quality but also heals and hydrates in a non-clogging way.

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