What is it?
Retinol is simply another name for vitamin A. It’s commonly referred to
as a retinoid. Vitamin A is one of the body’s key nutrients for fighting cell damage.
It is an antioxidant that normalizes cell turnover and works as an anti-inflammatory to help acne; as well as fight the visible signs of aging by addressing free radical damage. There are many natural and synthetic (prescription)
forms of retinoids; such as retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, and
What are they used for?
Retinoids are truly transformative and when used regularly they promote
skin renewal, brighten the skin tone, reduce acne, and stimulate
collagen & elastin production. I personally have noticed a
difference in the texture around my eyes, no eye cream has ever worked
on the bumpy surface, but the use of retinaldehyde has smoothed out any
unevenness on my skin.
How do they work?
Retinoids are cell communicators. They actually affect gene expression and enhance collagen level. Retinols work by "telling" the cells to grow
at a faster rate, bringing fresher, more youthful skin to the surface
more rapidly. The increase of new skin cells push oils and dead skin out of blocked pores preventing the formation of new blackheads and whiteheads therefore effectively treating acne.
A popular misconception is that retinoids are exfoliants and that they
thin the skin. They do not. In fact, because it promotes collagen production and new cell growth, it can actually thicken your skin. Vitamin A products can cause redness and flaking when you are first using them,
which can be confused as exfoliation, but it is just a temporary side
effect. After a few weeks your skin cells adapt and begin to tolerate it. Many retinol products also contain exfoliants like AHA's and BHA's which then are mistakenly attributed to the retinoid ingredient.
Retinoids do not increase your risk for sunburn. They do, however, break down in sunlight and become less effective so
always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater. If you
aren’t diligent about sun protection, even the most effective anti-aging
ingredients won’t be able to deliver the results you want. Unprotected
sun exposure is simply bad for skin.
Prescription vs OTC?
Non-prescription retinoids deliver amazing benefits to the skin without
the potential side effects that prescription ones may cause.
Dermatologists often recommend a gentler form of vitamin A for people
with sensitive skin. Studies saw a significant decrease in wrinkles
after about six months of use, but even better results were yielded up
to a year after the start of application. Over time, retinols help boost
collagen and thicken the deeper layer of skin where wrinkles begin to
form, so long-term consistency will be worth the results.
Q: Why is using just
water on your face not enough to wash it?
A: Sometimes it is, but most of the time we need a little more help. Let me explain why.
Your skin has a protection barrier called the acid mantle that is made up of your
body’s natural oils and moisture. It is
slightly acidic with a pH of 4.5 - 5.5. Both
the acid mantle of the skin and its pH are vitally important in keeping your
skin healthy. The acidity of your acid
mantle helps to protect against bacteria and environmental pollutants, as well
as hold in lipids and moisture. On the
pH scale the difference of 1 number is to the power of 10 (4 is 10 x’s more
acidic than 5; 3 is 100 x’s more acidic than 5; 2 is 1000 x’s more acidic than
5). Water is a 7 on the pH scale, a pH that is 1.5 - 2.5 higher than your skins
pH. Meaning your skin is dramatically
more acidic than water and that washing with water alone still disrupts the
acid mantle and can leave the skin dry and vulnerable to external factors.
Those who have dry, dehydrated, or mature skin may not want to wash in the
morning (assuming they went to bed with a clean face). Dry skin produces less
oil, so washing the face in the morning may unnecessarily strip away whatever
has developed of the acid mantle during the night and compromise the barrier on
the skin. Just rinsing the face with
water and then rebalancing it by applying a moisturizer can be a more
beneficial morning routine. Another possibility (and my preference) would be
use a milky cleanser in the morning.
Milky cleansers help keep the skin pH balanced by leaving a moisture
barrier down to restore the skin to a more normal state.
For all the rest of us, we need to wash our face twice a
day. Excess oil production and dead skin
cells block the pores and need to be removed regularly in order to keep the
skin functioning properly. If you are
acneic it is even more imperative that you cleanse twice a day because your skin
produces more dead skin cells than the average person so washing assists in
removing the surplus and helps prevent breakouts. The use of treatment products
at night, like benzoyl peroxide, acids, or retinols, can have adverse reactions
if worn throughout the day so you want to remove those and start the day off with
fresh, clean skin. If you have eczema,
acne, or rosacea, using a medicated cleanser will actually do more for your
skin than not washing at all!
The temptation to scrap it all and only use water is a
direct result of using products that are too harsh for the face. Many cleansers are highly alkaline and many
topical products are extremely acidic, especially those for acne or anti-aging.
Skin that is too alkaline cannot protect
the body against bacteria, which leads to breakouts and water loss. Products that are too acidic permeate further
into the skin causing burning and irritation.
When high alkaline cleansers or products that are too acidic are coupled
with other irritants like sodium laurel sulfate or menthol, either in the product
itself or applied after, it causes even more damage because the disrupted acid
mantle allows the irritants to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Most of us are not getting that dirty throughout our normal day so quit being
so rough on your face! Your skin does not have to be “squeaky-clean.” Using
countless exfoliating creams, scrubs, and brushes (even those fancy, expensive ones
that spin and vibrate) on a daily basis breaks down the skins protective
barrier causing your skin to become over sensitized making you react to every
product that touches your face.
looking for a cleanser keep in mind that cleansers that foam up are for oilier
skins and milky/creamy cleansers are for dryer skin types. Milky cleanser will not be enough to sufficiently
cleanse oily skin. Foaming cleansers may
be too harsh and stripping for those who have dry skin. Everyone should wash their face for 30-60 seconds
so that the cleanser can properly remove any dirt and makeup from the face; as
well as allow for any active ingredients time to penetrate and do their stuff!
If you feel like you have tried everything and have given up
or are afraid to try something new I would suggest you see an aesthetician. A
well-trained aesthetician knows ingredients, understands the pH scale in
regards to the skin, and knows how products affect the skin. An aesthetician can help you get back on the
right path to great skin.
Winter does a number on our skin. If your complexion is
looking drab, dry, and flaky it is time to spring clean your face!
During the winter months central heating, cold temperatures,
lack of sunshine, and extra make-up can contribute to blocked pores and dry,
flaky skin. Switch up your skin care
routine and combat your winter worn skin with these 2 easy tips.
1) Replace your regular cleanser for a more deep cleansing
2) Add an exfoliant to get rid of the dead cells that build
up on skin’s surface (adding years to your appearance) and revealing the fresh,
glowing skin that’s hiding beneath.
Follow me on Facebook and Instagram throughout April to
learn more about different cleansers and exfoliants for The 30 Day Big Spring
Clean! Each day I will focus on a different product or method and tell you all
about its wonderful benefits!
Goodbye Summer; Hello Autumn
Adjust your skin care routine for fabulous fall skin
As the days
grow shorter, the temperatures drop, and the air becomes drier, your
skin may lose precious moisture. Autumn is a time of transition, and the
best autumn skin care routines will correct any summer damage that has
occurred and prepare your skin for winter. Sun,
chlorine, and saltwater may have taken a toll on your skin throughout
the summer, so fall is a time to exfoliate and moisturize.
Follow these fall skin care tips to get the skin on your body healthy once again.
Switch to a soap-free hydrating cleanser. It’s time to put away the gels and bring out the creamy body wash.
Exfoliate with an oil-based scrub. The
summer sun and chlorine may have left your skin feeling dry and flaky.
Oil-based scrubs are wonderful because they exfoliate and hydrate.
Switch from lotion to cream.
As the air becomes drier, your skin needs a thicker moisturizer. Creams
provide a stronger barrier, which means they both reduce water loss
from the outer layer of skin and provide hydration to this layer of skin
at the same time.
Protect your lips. Start moisturizing now to prevent dry, cracked lips this winter. Use a non-petroleum based lip balm for best results.
Invest in hand cream.
Hands often become dry and cracked during fall and winter. An ounce of
prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Start moisturizing your
hands now to ensure soft, supple hands all winter long.
For fabulous, healthy skin on your face schedule an appointment for:
The Spiced Cider Facial. It will hydrate, firm and improve your skin's tone and suppleness. With a medley of fall scents such as fresh apples, nutmeg and cinnamon, it is the perfect facial for the autumn months. Apple contains potent antioxidants and is high Vitamin C as well as malic acid, which is a natural source of exfoliation to help refine wrinkles and other signs of aging; while nutmeg and cinnamon have antioxidant properties to help neutralize free radical damage.
Not Recommended For Rosacea or Sensitive Skins.
I recently signed up to be a source for Help a Reporter Out. It is an online service set up for journalists to obtain advice and quotes for
stories they are covering from people who have expertise or experience in particular
issues. I receive daily emails with source requests relevant to my industry.
A few days ago one came in that was right up my alley. They wanted to know: "How can a beauty
beginner create their perfect skin care routine?" More specifically what are must have products in a routine; how to determine what ingredients to use; and most importantly HOW to use skin care products! Helping people understand how to better care for their skin is not only my business motto, but my passion. Here was my response.
How many products do you need is a Skin Care Regime?
I tell my clients that there are only 3 products that are
1) A Good Cleanser: Meaning it is for
your skin type and condition. You must wash for face for 30-60 seconds so
that it has time to do it’s stuff! (Cleansers that foam up for oilier
prone skins and milky/creamy cleansers for dryer skin types.)
2) A Treatment Moisturizer for Night: Your
body repairs itself at night while you sleep so you might as well use that time wisely by using a
moisturizer that helps with the healing process. A moisturizer with active ingredients like peptides, Vitamin C, and
hyaluronic acid helps to restore and repair the skin. Ingredients like Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid helps
oily and acneic skins. Retinols and glycolics are exfoliants and help in the regeneration and renewal of the skin.
3) A Sunblock and Moisturizer
in 1: I like a tinted one so that I can skip foundation too!
What are “Add-on” products and should you use them?
Add-on products include: serums, eye creams, toners, spot treatments, masks, scrubs.
products are all fabulous and give you an added boost or super dose of active
ingredients to treat issues that you may have, but are not absolutely needed in
a skincare regime. They are like taking a multivitamin for your skin.
Using too many products with active ingredients, such as retinols or acids (in
serums, exfoliants, washes, and moisturizers all together), can burn the skin
and results in making the skin become sensitive. Products are extremely active these days. Gone
are the days of “this product doesn’t really do much.”
order should you apply products?
2) Serum (add-on) 3) Eye Cream (add-on)
4) Moisturizer (or moisturizer and sunblock in 1)
about scrubs and treatment masks?
Scrubs and treatment masks can be used once or twice a
week. Treatment masks treat a specific issue; like acne or dry skin. They are meant to feed the skin and help it
heal. Scrubs are exfoliation which gets
rid of dead skin build up. Remember not
to scrub too hard. You will do more
damage than good by breaking capillaries and creating small tears in the skin
which can encourage bacteria growth. Also you cannot scrub acne away! If you
are using retinols or any acids you should steer clear of scrubs as they may
over sensitize your skin. A clean
washcloth is enough for added exfoliation when using chemexfoliation
to determine your skin type?
In the simplest of
terms it is about oil production. Two questions can help determine your
1) How soon after you wash your face do you experience
2) Where does that oiliness appear on the face?
1-2 hours after and oil is all over the face: Oily.
1-3 hours only in the “t-zone”: Oily/combination.
4-8hours: Normal/ combination.
8+ hours: Normal/Dry.
Not at all: Dry skin.
are skin conditions?
There are 3 skin conditions to consider. You can have one or more or all of these conditions no matter what your skin type is.
1) Dehydrated: Means lack of moisture
on the skin (minus water, not oil; you can have oily/dehydrated skin).
Your skin will feel tight. You may also experience a possible burning or itchy
sensation. You could also produce some flakiness and the skin will feel
rough and lines will look deeper.
2) Sensitive: When
you use regular skin products, your face will get red, itchy, or a rash could
form. Breakouts are not a symptom of sensitive skin.
3) Acne-prone: The
presence of ever active blemishes; inflamed or infected sebaceous glands.
If you would like more help with your skin feel free to Schedule an appointment.
Summer can be hard on the skin. Between swimming, air conditioning, and temperatures
in the 100’s, the summer months can deplete our skin of moisture leaving it
dry, dehydrated and irritated! The Cucumber Hydration Toner is one big, tall
glass of water for your skin. This
amazing toner plumps and moisturizes the skin while improving the skin’s
ability to hold moisture. It contains
moisture binding ingredients to freshen and revitalize the skin; the
combination of heavy water, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA and other humectants
provide the skin with the much needed moisture content that is lost daily. The Cucumber Hydration Toner helps also to cool
and soothe aggravated skin as well as provide probiotic support to the skin’s
acid mantle to strengthen its immunity.
The Cucumber Hydration Toner is great for ALL skin
types. Use after cleansing for added
moisture. Spray the skin after make-up
application for a moist, dewy appearance. Keep in refrigerator for cool splash after
activities or carry on the airplane to replace lost hydration. Great for men to help soothe the skin after
"There’s no such thing as a healthy tan.”-Dr. Walayat Hussain, dermatologist
The Summer is once again upon us and as a skin care professional I want to remind all of you how important sun protection is.
Here are a few tips to keep you safe this summer:
Do NOT Burn
Sunburns significantly increase one's lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children.
Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds. UV radiation from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling.
Generously Apply Sunscreen
apply about one ounce of sunscreen to cover all exposed skin 15 minutes
before going outside. Sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor
(SPF) of at least 30 and provide broad-spectrum protection from both
ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply every two
hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible.
Seek shade when possible, and remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Get Vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with Vitamin D. Don't seek the sun.