Hannah's Blog

Anti Acne Tip

February 22, 2015 / 12:41 am

Are your hands clean when you apply your skin care products?

Applying face cream (and even acne medication!) while you still have residue from hair products or body lotion on your hands can create a pore clogging environment on your face.

Wash your hand thoroughly before you apply your face products, or apply them before you apply your hair and body products.

Clean hands = clean skin = clean pores!

Inflammation and Aging

February 9, 2015 / 12:29 am

Inflammation is one of the key factors that leads to aging skin, hyper-pigmentation and a variety of other skin issues.

The study of epigenetics shows how lifestyle choices can drastically affect our gene reactions when it comes to the aging of the skin. Inflammation is one of the key factors in this aging process. It plays a large part in the break down of the protective barrier of the skin, DNA damage and hyper-pigmentation.

On a daily basis, we are exposed to stimulus like sun light, HEV light from electronic screens, pollution and cigarette smoke.

Many skin care products currently on the market designed to target hyper-pigmentation don’t take this into account. If we don’t address the root cause of inflammation, we can’t repair the compromised skin barrier and ultimately, control the hyper-pigmentation.

All the new information we have about aging, inflammation and hyper-pigmentation leads us back to antioxidants. They should be incorporated into your day time and night time routine for total protection.

A moisturizer designed to repair the skins barrier is also important for overall skin function.

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion can do wonders to lighten existing hyper-pigmentation but it’s important to incorporate anti-inflammatory skin care products for long term results.

Firming Peptide Eye Therapy

January 11, 2015 / 8:14 am

Firming Peptide Eye Therapy is a gentle, anti-aging eye cream that employs plant extracts and peptides to firm and protect the delicate eye area.

The delicate skin in the eye area does not contain as many oil glands as other areas of the face so a cream designed especially for the area is necessary to hydrate the skin and prevent the breakdown of collagen.

The area inside the eye socket also lacks the structural support provided to the rest of the face which is one of the main reasons the signs of aging are first visible around the eyes.

Peptides are the building blocks of collagen so when applied topically, the skins own collagen is motivated to produce. Daily use of Firming Peptide Eye Therapy will render both short and long term results.

Should I use more moisturizer when my skin is extra dry?

December 31, 2014 / 7:45 pm

Q: During the winter months, my skin gets very dry. If I use an extra layer of moisturizer, will it help?

A: Most moisturizer is full of ingredients designed to repair the skin barrier and seal in moisture, the molecules are too large to be absorbed into the lower layers of the skin.

Serums are lighter in consistency and designed to be more readily absorbed by the skin so adding one underneath your moisturizer will do a better job of getting the hydration where you need it.

Pro Heal Serum Advance + by IS Clinical is one of my favorite serums for most skin types. It adds extra moisture and vitamins, reduces inflammation and redness.

For dry skin on the body, adding an oil like jojoba or grapeseed oil to your regular body moisturizer can give you the extra boost you need during the winter months. I like these two oils because they are lighter and mix well with lotion.

Of course, making sure to drink enough water during the cold winter months is also an important part of keeping skin hydrated. Focus on getting half your body weight in non-caffeinated, non-carbonated, (non-alcoholic!) ounces of liquid per day.

Can I use body lotion on my face?

December 21, 2014 / 2:32 pm

Q: Can I use body lotion on my face?

A. Body lotion and face cream are formulated differently.

Body lotion contains occlusive ingredients which seal in moisture, helpful for the skin on the body since it doesn’t have as many oil glands as the skin on the face.

The occlusive properties of these ingredients can lead to clogged pores on the face, even for people with dry skin. Face cream is designed with the specific balance of the skin on the face in mind so it is less likely to clog the pores.

It is better for most skin types to use two separate products.

The Top 5 New Years Resolutions for Your Skin

December 10, 2014 / 6:44 pm

With less than a month left the year, now is a good time to start thinking about New Years Resolutions. Does your skin play a part in yours?

Here are my suggestions for the Top 5 Skin Care Resolutions:

1. Love your skin!

First, (and this is super important!) pick one thing about your skin that you absolutely love. I battled acne in my teens and my 20’s which means that in my 40’s I get to enjoy the benefits of all that extra oil production. It’s important to take a moment and appreciate what we love about ourselves!

2. Wear a product with at least SPF30 every day.

Concerned about controversial sunscreen chemicals? Choose an option with a physical block and pair it with Vitamin D in your multivitamin. This is important year round, no matter wear you live. When the sun is out, you are being exposed to UVA rays which are the rays that damage your collagen and cause premature aging.

3. Get to the dermatologist for a mole check, especially if you’ve never had one.

The frequency of recommended mole checks varies according to your age, history of sun exposure and family history of skin cancer, your dermatologist will tell you what is right for you. Monthly self exams are also recommended.

4. Schedule a consultation with your esthetician.

How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your skin care goals? Sometimes we can go for years using the same skin care products and receiving the same treatments without stopping to check in and see if they are still right for us.

5. Set small skin care goals so you can achieve them.

Overhauling your entire routine is tough, pick one or two things to work on. Washing your face before bed is a great place to start! Got that down? Exfoliating at least once a week is super important too!

Make this the year of great skin!

 

What’s the difference between crystal and diamond Microdermabrasion?

November 30, 2014 / 5:14 pm

Traditional Crystal Microdermabrasion uses a wand to spray crystals and gently sand the skin to eliminate imperfections. Since the early 2000’s the Diamond Tip method of Microdermabrasion has been gaining popularity. What is the difference?

Diamond Tip Microdermabrasion uses a hand piece with rough tip that gently resurfaces the skin. The different tips have different levels of grit, like sandpaper, to be used on different areas of the face. The treatment is often paired with a light chemical peel during the same session to achieve better results.

Crystal Microdermabrasion uses a disposable tip but the level of suction and amount of crystals used can be adjusted. The treatment is generally done alone or paired with a soothing mask since is it more aggressive than the diamond tip version.  Crystal Microdermbrasion is more effective at elimination acne scars and fine lines. It does leave behind crystals, (or “sparkles” as one of my clients calls them!) so it requires a bit more clean up.

The two types of machines vary greatly in price, Diamond Tip machines are less than half as expensive as their Crystal cousins which may explain their growing popularity. Don’t hesitate to ask what machine an esthetician or spa uses for their treatment before you book a session!

Skin Care for Cold and Flu Season

November 9, 2014 / 5:22 pm

With cold and flu season approaching, skin care habits can go out the window when we don’t feel well.

I often get clients returning after a bout with sickness and they don’t understand why their skin is dull and clogged, “I didn’t DO anything, I was in bed all day”. Exactly. You’ve got to DO something, even if it’s the bare minimum, to keep your skin in shape while you’re sick.

* Wash your face twice a day with a gentle, exfoliating cleanser. I know, you are just lolling around in bed, but your skin is still shedding cells and you have germs all over. Wash your face, please.

* Change your pillowcase every day. See above. Not only will it help your skin, it will give you a germ-free place to rest your head.

* Moisturize your face at least twice a day, more if needed. Your skin will be more dry than normal; a fever, cold medicine, blowing your nose, all these aspects of being sick will dry out your skin. Use a calming moisturizer for your entire face and don’t hesitate to do double duty with an unscented lip moisturizer on your dry, chapped nose.

*Lay off the exfoliating products until you are feeling better, they can sensitize your skin even further. And by all means, wait until you are well to get your next treatment, your esthetician will thank you!

Is too much “screen time” affecting my skin?

October 29, 2014 / 4:03 pm

Smart phone, tablet, laptop, TV: does all this technology affect your skin? We interact with these gadgets for hours every day, often at very close proximity to the delicate skin on our face.

We know about the dangerous effects of UVA and UVB light from the sun, but what about the HEV rays from our electronics?

Recent scientific evidence suggests that High Energy Visible (HEV) light at the wavelengths that the eye perceives as blue to violet is harmful to skin when exposed for long periods of time. The result is what is becoming known as an “HEV burn” and can accelerate the signs of aging.

HEV light has been shown to generate the same amount of free radicals in the skin as those produced by UVA and UVB combined. Like UVA, HEV light does not generate the immediate visible “burn” triggered by UVB, but it may accelerate photoaging. While the effect of UVB radiation is associated with direct damage to the DNA, the cellular damage caused by HEV radiation is less direct and is associated with the generation of free radicals and the induction of oxidative stress.

How do I protect my skin fro HEV damage? The good news is, you probably already are!

Antioxidants designed to prevent UVA damage do double duty to prevent HEV damage so products like Antioxidant Therapy and Daily Therapy have you covered. The big shift in the industry is to start recommending these products be used more often and at a younger age than we previously thought.

Nightly Therapy: Retinol Complex

September 26, 2014 / 5:38 pm

Nightly Therapy is a retinol serum designed to be used every night for to exfoliate the skin, help delay the aging process and prevent acne from forming.

Derived from Vitamin A, retinol is an integral part of any skin care routine. Nightly Therapy uses the purest form of Vitamin A to smooth wrinkles, even skin tone and restore youthful radiance.

This powerful skin care product employs a time-released retinol to gently smooth the appearance of lines and Matrixyl peptides to restore the look of skin’s youthful tone and texture while minimizing the chance of irritation.

The light formula can double as a moisturizer for oily and combination skin types or be layered under a heavier moisturizer for drier skin types. It is ophthalmologist-approved for use around eyes, on the “crows feet” area.

What is the difference between chemical and physical sunscreen?

September 10, 2014 / 9:23 am

There are two categories of sunscreen ingredients, physical and chemical.

Physical sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide protect the skin by reflecting the light rays.

Figure-1-Diagram-showing-how-physical-and-chemical-sunscreens-actChemical sunscreen ingredients like avebenzone and oxybenzone absorb the light rays to protect the skin from damage.

Physical sunscreens do a better job of protecting the skin from sun damage and chemical sunscreens allow products to have a lighter feel and be water resistant. Many popular brands use a combination of physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients to produce the most user friendly product.

As an esthetician who works with a lot of clients suffering from hyper-pigmentation or melasma (often called “sun spots”), I am a fan of physical sunscreens. There is less opportunity for allergic reactions and they are safer for acne prone/sensitive skin as well.

 

Is makeup bad for my skin?

August 31, 2014 / 8:19 am

Q: After getting a facial, I never want to “ruin” the results by putting on makeup afterwards. Is this a real concern? Is wearing makeup that bad for my skin?

A: Back in the days of pancake makeup, full coverage products earned a bad reputation. It took loads of cold cream and harsh cleansers to remove them at the end of the day and they were prone to clogging the pores.

Most modern foundation, especially tinted moisturizers and BB creams, are actually fortified with ingredients that are beneficial to your skin like SPF and antioxidants.

When you apply these products over a treatment cream or serum, the foundation will even out your skin tone without interfering with your skin.

There are exceptions to this, foundation that is designed to give a lot of coverage for a photo shoot for example. I don’t recommend using this type of product on a daily basis, a thick foundation can clog pores and cause breakouts, not too mention it is difficult to remove in the evening. Save it for a special occasion.

As far as applying makeup after a facial, it really depends on the treatment you received. Some treatments, like a self neutralizing chemical peel, require that the skin be left untouched for 5 hours post treatment.

If you are going back to work or out to dinner after a basic facial, there is no downside to applying a small amount of tinted moisturizer or powder.

A popular misconception is that the pores are “open” after a treatment. Pores don’t “open” and “close” like little doors all over your face. The do expand and contract with heat and cold but a good facial will include the appropriate mask followed by high frequency current and moisturizer with SPF before sending you out into the world so your skin will be protected from whatever you choose to apply.

The Best Home Facial Routine for Oily and Combination Skin

August 20, 2014 / 4:20 pm

1. Cleanse your skin using a light gel cleanser. Make sure to remove all traces of eye makeup, dirt and sunscreen during this initial cleanse.

2. Cleanse your skin a second time to clean the skin. You can use the same gel cleanser or a more nourishing cleanser if you have combination skin.

3. While the skin is still damp, apply a thin layer of an enzyme exfoliating mask. Relax for 3-5 minutes, take this time to chill out and make yourself a cup of tea. Take the leftover hot water and dampen a washcloth for your face. Place the warm washcloth over your face (with the mask still on) for a few minutes and let the heat expand the pores and help the enzyme work. Remove the enzyme mask with the washcloth, then rinse with clean water. If your skin is oily, apply an exfoliating toner with a cotton pad.

photo 1

4. Apply a thin layer of a white clay balancing mask on clean, dry skin. You can use a facial brush if you like the feeling (and the look of an evenly applied mask). Allow the mask to sit for 8-10 minutes. Take this time to relax, lie on the floor in Savasana (like the Panda) take some deep breaths, have another cup of tea or soak your feet in a mineral salt bath.

5. Using the washcloth if necessary, remove the clay mask then rinse the skin well. Apply an eye cream around the delicate eye area then a  treatment moisturizer or SPF moisturizer depending on the time of day.

6. Enjoy your fresh, clean complexion! This home facial routine should be done once a week for best results.

Plant Stem Cells and Anti-aging Skin Care Products

August 10, 2014 / 8:09 am

You may have seen skin care products on the market that contain stem cells derived from either plant or animal sources. While stem cells derived from animal or human sources remain controversial, plant stem cells are proven as a safe and effective way to energize skin cells and reverse many signs of aging.

Plant stem cells are undifferentiated cells which carry the entire DNA gene expression of the plant and can morph, or differentiate, into any cell type to help the plant regenerate. This ability makes them invaluable for cosmetic applications since they can address multiple concerns.

These cells can be cultured in a laboratory setting where the concentration of phenylpropanoids—active substances created in response to injury or trauma—is multiplied in these cells by 1,000 times or more. As the stem cells are cultured in this manner, their chemical purity is also enhanced allowing for more influence in safety, control and standardization. When the finished product is applied topically, it works to trigger self-renewal in human skin.

The Mung Bean sprout, or Vigna Radiata, contains all the important substances for regeneration and protection of stressed skin making it’s stem cells particularly effective for skin care applications. The next generation of products from sōwd:therapy for skin will contain this potent extract, coming soon!

Does my car window protect me from sun damage?

July 30, 2014 / 8:37 am

No.

This is a fascinating case study from The New England Journal of Medicine that shows Unilateral Dermatoheliosis, essentially sun damage occurring on one side of the face.

The man in the picture was a delivery truck driver for 28 years.

UPDATE 5/24/15:  An article from New Beauty about the dangers of sun exposure while flying.

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