The skin barrier is the outermost layer of our skin and has two main functions.
First, it keeps out harmful substances and second, it keeps in necessary elements like water and electrolytes. This layer of skin also produces antimicrobial proteins, lipids, and peptides to create an invisible protective shield.
The skin barrier is largely responsible for the general health of our skin. When the skin barrier is compromised, you may experience inflammation, redness, breakouts, rashes, dryness, tightness, and generally sensitive skin.
How do you fix a compromised skin barrier?
Look at the exfoliating products in your skin care routine. Any product that contains a physical scrub, a chemical exfoliant (retinol, glycolic, AHA, BHA, salicylic acid) or an enzyme exfoliant can compromise your skin barrier.
How often are you exfoliating? Over exfoliation is the number one cause of a compromised skin barrier
Is your cleanser a cream or a gel? Gel cleansers can be more drying, especially if they contain exfoliating ingredients like glycolic acid or AHA’s. If your skin barrier is compromised, use a cream cleanser.
Are you nourishing your skin with antioxidants? Use a serum or cream with calming, nourishing ingredients twice a day to help your skin rebuild the lipid barrier.
A compromised skin barrier is often a temporary condition but you need to identify the cause and change your habits. The right skin care products and treatments will heal the skin barrier and eliminate sensitivity.
Do a patch test before using products that contain retinol or glycolic acid on your neck. If your skin responds well, use them 1-2 times per week but follow with a hydrating cream.
Use a physical SPF every day regardless of exposure and time of year. I apply my SPF to my face, neck, and chest before getting dressed ensure maximum coverage.
Professional treatments like chemical peels and microdermabrasion are a great way to treat fine lines and pigmentation on the chest and neck. More intense treatments like Ultherapy are required to treat skin laxity in this area.
You’ve found skin care products that work for your skin but are you using them correctly?
Consider the following for each product in your skin care routine:
Time of day: Should I use this product in the morning or at night? Products that contain ingredients like Retinol should only be used at night whereas antioxidants like vitamin c are most effective during the day under your SPF.
Frequency of use: Is this product meant to be used daily? Weekly? Skin care products need a schedule to be effective. Figure out a streamlined morning routine, a slightly more complicated evening routine, and a weekly “skin care hour” (I like Sunday evenings) so you make sure to use all your products on a regular basis.
Order of application: Where does this product fit with the others in my routine? Apply products from lightest in texture to heaviest, always end with SPF or night cream.
Amount of product: Am I using too much/too little product to achieve the desired results? Active ingredients are dose dependent, make sure you are using the recommended amount of product with each application. Most skin care products are sold in packages designed to last 2-4 months of daily use. If you have an open bottle of serum for over year are you really using it correctly?
DermaQuest EyeBrite awakens tired eyes for a refreshed appearance. Vitamin C lightens dark under eye circles while peptides banish puffiness and Madonna lily stem cells firm and tone to soften lines. Antioxidants and amino acids nourish, hydrate and protect the delicate area from environmental stresses.
Peptides and antioxidants prevent signs of aging while keeping skin moist, smooth, and protected all day long. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (including crow’s feet). Visibly diminishes dark under-eye circles while delivering immediate and long-term improvements.
This lightweight anti-aging eye cream instantly penetrates to restore youthful vitality to this delicate area while protecting it against the effects of environmental stress. Jojoba and cocoa butter add a boost of much–needed moisture, increasing firmness and elasticity. European blueberries and the vitamin K in alfalfa act synergistically to reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles, while natural antioxidants derived from grape seeds combat the effects of free radicals.
C EYE SERUM ADVANCE+ is a cutting-edge formulation that effectively combines our scientifically-advanced L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) with copper tripeptide growth factor for enhanced age-defying properties. This powerful yet gentle formula is designed to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and under-eye puffiness and dark circles.
Looking your best for your wedding (or any big event) is important but how do you fit all your appointments in the week before? And in what order?
I get this question a lot from my bridal clients so I’m putting it in a blog!
Six months to a year out from your date: start your skin care routine. This gives you plenty of time to customize your plan with a professional. More aggressive treatments like chemical peels require downtime and planning.
Six months before your big day: have a trial run with your hair and makeup artist as well as other professionals. This includes nails, spray tan, waxing, lash extensions etc. Find the business where you will have these services performed AND the technician who will perform them. Leave as little to chance as possible!
Four weeks before your big day: have your last corrective facial treatment with microdermabrasion or a peel, hair cut/color, Botox and fillers.
Five-seven days before your big day: have a massage, a body wrap, body scrub, or any other body treatments.
Three-five days before your big day: schedule lash extensions, waxing, LED facial.
The day before your big day: schedule manicure and pedicure then spray tan.
A few general items to remember:
Book as early as possible! Talented technicians in all trades get busy so the earlier you plan, the better for both of you. I have brides that book 6 months of treatments up front and it works great for both of us.
Certain treatments take time to work. Botox takes two weeks to see full results. A chemical peel can take about a month to see the best results. Have consultations with professionals so you know what to expect on what timeline. This is not a time to experiment with something new!
The New York Times examines a Canadian study that shows regular exercise changes the actual structure of the skin, not just the appearance.
“They found that after age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier stratum corneums and thicker dermis layers in their skin. Their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age, even if they were past age 65.”
Sounds amazing, let’s all get to the gym!
Here are a few tips to get the most skin benefits from your workout:
Drink an extra 8oz. of water for every hour of exercise.
Your most sensitive skin, the lips and eyes, are often missed during the sunscreen application process.
When using a physical sunscreen (like you know you should!) the product can feel heavy on delicate areas of the face. If you are still using a chemical sunscreen, it can sting when too close to the eye area.
Sunscreen products made specifically to protect and treat the eyes and lips are worth the extra effort.
Look for high percentages of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, it can be one active ingredient or a combination of the two. Physical sunscreen ingredients don’t have the “sunscreen” odor and won’t sting if you get them in your eyes on accident.
There are many tools on the market for face washing; brushes, cloths, even rubber devices that claim to be superior. Are any of these gadgets necessary to get clean skin?
The answer depends on your skin type and what you are trying to cleanse at the end of the day; makeup, excess oil, debris, layers of sunscreen.
If you have normal or combination skin and don’t wear a lot of makeup, your cleanser and your hands will get your skin clean on a daily basis. Add an enzyme mask once or twice a week for happy pores!
If you need an extra boost in your daily cleansing routine, consider your habits. Are you willing to keep a gadget charged (or replace the batteries on a regular basis)? Can you commit to changing brush heads when they wear out? All gadgets require maintenance to work properly so investigate before you invest!
The most basic way to get an extra hand cleansing your face is a simple washcloth. Have a few on hand so you can launder them regularly to keep bacteria from growing.
Be gentle when using any tool. Use soft brush heads and light pressure. Applying too much pressure can lead to broken capillaries and other long term damage.
Does your oily skin feel dry in winter? You are not alone. The seasons affect moisture levels in all skin types.
Seasonal changes are more noticeable in cold climates but warm, humid, climates also have fluctuations in moisture levels.
Trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) is the official name for loss of water through the skin to the surrounding atmosphere via the evaporation process. TEWL is a process which can take us by surprise, substantial dehydration sometimes occurs before a person realizes what is happening.
TEWL is affected by environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, the time of year and the moisture content of the skin. Your first line of defense is to stay properly hydrated internally.
Our skin is most dehydrated from December through March. Seasonal changes during April, May and June help the skin re-hydrate. The cycle of moisture loss begins again in July and continues until our skin is at its most dehydrated in December.
Knowing how the season will affect moisture levels in our skin allows us to plan our skin care accordingly. When the dry months begin, add a hydrating serum under your treatment cream at night.
We’ve all been there, shopping online we find a serum our esthetician sells but for a fraction of the price.
What’s the deal with these products? Why is a serum $148 at most locations but $99 on a discount site? Is it too good to be true?
Every company sets an MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price) for their products, whether it’s skin care, clothing, or other items. Most companies even go so far as to monitor when their products can go on sale and how deep of a discount can be offered.
All accounts have agreed to sell products for the MSRP whether in person or online. Reputable companies want control over the pricing of their goods and will shut down accounts that don’t comply.
So how are certain sites selling the same product for less?
A large amount of these sales are expired product sold by a third party. Most retailers won’t risk losing their account just to offer an unapproved discount.
Or like I discovered recently, it could fake product.
I finished a favorite eye shadow palette only to discover it had been discontinued. A quick Google search led me to a few for sale on a discount site. Against my better judgement, I purchased it (they has great reviews!) only to discover it was a knock off. The packaging was identical; it was brand new and sealed but full of cheap eye shadow with no pigment.
Thankfully I spent less than $20 to learn that lesson.
A sales rep from a company I work with told me this story years ago. A customer returned a serum she purchased online because it just wasn’t the same as previous bottles. Their lab tested the contents of the returned bottle and it was apple cider vinegar not the $100 serum the customer thought she was purchasing.
If you can’t purchase your products directly from a professional, find a reputable website. Trying to save a few dollars on a discount site could be a disaster in the end.
Advanced Retinol is a concentrated anti-aging serum with retinol, bioidentical phospholipids, and glycolipids. Over time, the serum visibly firms the skin and reduces appearance of wrinkles and pores while fading age spots and pigmentation. The addition of lipids help restore skins moisture barrier and minimize any dryness or peeling from retinol. Advanced Retinol contains 0.5% Retinol: the #1 dermatologist-recommended ingredient for aging and UV-damaged skin. Retinol helps to improve visible signs of aging, such as lines and wrinkles, irregular pigmentation, loss of elasticity, and enlarged pores.
Luna works throughout the night to deliver visibly youthful, luminous, even-toned skin in the morning. Trans-retinoic acid ester complex reduces the appearance of pores and wrinkles, while visibly improving the signs of premature aging: fine lines, uneven texture, age spots, dryness, and dullness. Balanced with blue tansy and German chamomile essential oils, both rich in soothing, blue azulene, visible redness and the signs of sensitivity are neutralized, for a calm, even-toned complexion.
Intensive anti-wrinkle treatment that works through the night, visibly reducing the appearance of expression lines and deep wrinkles within 12 weeks. This is an exclusive combination of pure RoC® Retinol and an essential mineral complex. The formula starts to work as RoC® retinol penetrates deep within the skin’s surface to help fill in even your deep wrinkles.
SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex .25 is formulated to renew the skin’s tone and texture without irritating the skin. Retinol helps combat the signs of premature aging while magnolia bark extract soothes inflammation. Ideal for use twice a week to build tolerance to formula.
I’ve always had a submental fat pad, regardless of the state of my body weight; it’s that little lump of fat under the chin that creates a “double chin” when you smile too big.
As I’ve gotten older, it started to play a roll in my neck looking….older. After an honest conversation with my amazing dermatologist, we decided I would benefit more from getting rid of the fat than tightening the skin.
He suggested Kybella injections but I was afraid of the swelling and downtime. I considered CoolSculpting but heard about a new alternative, Sculpsure, and decided it was the best option for me.
According to their website Sculpsure uses targeted laser energy to heat fat cells under the skin without affecting the skin’s surface. The SculpSure laser raises the temperature of fat cells damaging their structural integrity. Over the next three months, the damaged fat cells are processed and eliminated by the body’s lymphatic system. Fat cells are permanently removed and will not regenerate. Results can be seen as quickly as six weeks, and optimal results typically seen at 12 weeks.
During my consultation, two treatments spaced 4 weeks apart were recommended. The headgear is designed to keep the heating plate in place under the chin so it needs to be rather tight which was slightly uncomfortable. You have to sit up very straight so the plate makes contact with the underside of the chin which also wasn’t super comfortable but it wasn’t the worst procedure I’ve suffered thru!
The initial heating cycle was HOT! Once the heating and cooling cycles kick in it was bearable. I read a review that compares the sensation to a burn from a curling iron which I think is a little dramatic.
After the treatment, I had a mark from the pressure of the device against my chin but no redness or swelling.
The next day my jawbone felt sore from the pressure of the device but no redness or swelling of the tissue. I was instructed to massage the area for 10 minutes per day, I used my jade roller for which caused a bit of soreness but I wanted to make sure I was moving all the lymph fluid.
Two days after the first treatment my chin area felt totally normal. I continued to massage it with my jade roller as much as possible.
The week after I had some intermittent soreness in the tissue.
During the second week I still felt mildly sore at times but had no swelling or nodules which are possible side effects.
After the third week I started to notice a difference! I too photos to compare and sure enough, my chin was smoother. No soreness or pain at all. I began to get excited for my second treatment!
My second treatment was four weeks after the first and I’m pretty sure the technician increased the intensity a bit. Since I was already noticing results I was determined to get thru it! This time my chin felt sore directly after the treatment. I tried to use my jade roller that evening but was too tender.
The morning after second treatment I was still sore and slightly swollen. By the third day it was still sore to touch but swelling had gone down. I was sore while massaging my chin for a full week after my second treatment, it was nothing unbearable and since the results were getting better each day, I wasn’t alarmed.
12 weeks after my first treatment I am thrilled with the results! The fat pad that bothered me is gone, my jawline is more defined and there was zero downtime involved in the procedure.
This USDA organic power-packed serum blends 20 carefully selected organic oils and botanicals known for their ability to help combat UV induced damage and restore skin’s natural radiance. This concentrated antioxidant serum is also a delicious defense against future damage so we suggest you use it pre- and post- sun exposure together with your favorite mineral sunscreen. The heavenly scent of hibiscus and sweet orange will have you falling back in love with something good for you.
Radiant Skin Facial Oil is a blend of 9 essential oils that soothe irritated, chapped skin. This fast acting, leave on oil provides healing and anti-inflammatory qualities as it deeply nourishes dry, dehydrated and compromised skin. Use Radiant Skin Facial Oil to protect skin restoring suppleness and balance!
This ultra hydrating botanical oil restores a dewy luster to your skin. Naturally rich Jojoba and Sesame seed oils deliver advanced hydration, visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A blend of pure Lavender, Rosewood and Geranium essential oils provide a dewy, illuminated complexion and create a gorgeous aromatic allure. The perfect instant surge of hydration for a beautiful, radiant glow.
Nine natural oils multitask to help protect from free radical damage and to refresh skin’s appearance. Evening primrose, argan and jojoba oils help to boost hydration, reinforce skin’s moisture barrier, and soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Grapeseed and rosehip oils deliver vitamins c + e to improve tone and restore a healthy-looking complexion. Geranium and borage oils help balance skin. This quick-absorbing treatment provides instant hydration to help skin look and feel softer, smoother and brighter.
A botanically active blend of a cold-pressed powerhouse of superfood seed oils, this formula nourishes the skin with antioxidants, vitamins, essential amino acids, omegas 3, 6, and 9, and naturally soothing agents for a luminous, radiant complexion. Vitamins A and C help to brighten the skin’s appearance for healthy-looking vibrancy, while they fortify the skin with antioxidants to support anti-aging. Sinks in, leaving skin hydrated, protected, and velvety soft for an obsession worthy glow.
How often you swap out your skin care products depends on several factors, mainly the environment and your skin type.
If your city has four distinct seasons, you need two sets of products to get thru the year. A gel cleanser and light serum will control oil on warm and humid days but a cream cleanser and more moisture will be necessary during cold and windy months.
If you spend the majority of your time in a steady climate, you can have one routine for the entire year. So when should we try something new?
There is a common myth that skin gets used to a product and it stops working as well.
Your skin will not build up tolerance to a topical product. You shed the top layer of skin every 28-35 days, the product is interacting with “new” skin on a regular basis.
When we start using a new product, we see the most visible results in the first 30-90 days. Then the results plateau but the product is still doing its job. If you stopped using the product and your old skin conditions returned, you would realize how well it was working.
If you feel like your routine isn’t working as well as it used to or you are developing new skin issues, schedule a consult with a professional.
Most people need an entire range of new skincare products at least once per decade. Your routine from college isn’t going to serve you very well in your 30’s!
When you don’t get a full 8 hours your skin suffers. During a busy holiday season, lack of sleep will start to show in your skin.
1. Plan in advance. Look at your schedule for the week to see when you have the dreaded combination of late night + early morning commitments. Stay extra hydrated and cut back on salty food the day your sleep will be short. Also, consider skipping the alcohol at your evening event!
2. Wash your face when you get home, no matter how late. Traces of eye makeup will add to puffiness and irritation the following morning.
3. When you wake up, fill a large bowl with cold water, add some ice cubes and submerge your face for a few seconds. This jolt you into reality, get the blood flowing to your face and color in your cheeks.
4. Have 16oz of water before your first cup of coffee. It’s amazing how much better you feel when well hydrated!
5. Chill your jade roller in your bowl of ice water for a few minutes and give yourself a quick facial massage focusing on any puffy areas.