Hannah's Blog

Makeup Tips

November 7, 2012 / 3:52 pm

For an esthetician, I am NOT a naturally inclined makeup person!

Over the yeaphoto 2 copyrs I have picked up a few useful makeup tips that I often share with my clients so I thought I’d share them with you.

Healthy skin has it’s own glow that shouldn’t be covered up but I love the idea of a tinted moisturizer to even things out. I haven’t found one that makes me feel like I am getting enough sun protection so I make my own. I take a good sized dollop of my favorite sunscreen and mix it with a small amount of foundation.

I apply the mixture like lotion, all over my face then follow with a light dusting of mineral powder to reduce the shine. It evens out my skin tone while providing adequate sun protection for a day in the city and not making me look overly “made-up”.

I admit to having a bit of an eyelash fetish so mascara is an important part of my daily routine. Clinque High Impact Mascara is my current fav, in black of course (I don’t understand the point of brown photo 1mascara!).

I apply mascara to the top side of my top lashes, then the underside of my top lashes and touch up and areas I’ve missed. Coating both sides gives a much bolder look than just coating the under side.

What are your favorite makeup tips? Please share them in the comments below!

Halloween Makeup (REMOVAL) Techniques!

October 26, 2012 / 3:50 pm

You spent hours on your Halloween makeup, had a great night trick or treating (or drinking) and by the time you get home you just want to fall into bed (or pass out).

Take an extra few minutes to remove your makeup and you will thank me in the morning!

First, hold a warm wash cloth over your entire face for a few minutes. This will remove excess surface debris and allow you to see where you need to focus your efforts.

Second, cold cream is your friend! So is pure jojoba oil. Both will remove most oil based makeup easily. Allow the product to sit on your skin for a few minutes to break down the makeup instead of rubbing which will just cause excess irritation.

Use an eye makeup remover or more jojoba oil on a cotton pad to remove eye makeup. Hold the cotton pad over your eye for a few minutes to emulsify eye lash adhesive before pulling your lashes off.

Wash your face twice with your favorite facial cleanser and apply a heavy night cream. Pass out.

The next morning (after your head clears from the fog; either sugar or alcohol induced), wash your face again, use a Clarisonic brush if you have one, and remove any traces of eye makeup. Apply a gentle clay mask and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse and hydrate well.

You will probably need a heavier moisturizer for the next few days, costume makeup can dehydrate the skin.

Use the mask every other day for the next week if you are breaking out or have more blackheads than usual.

Now is a great time for professional facial.

Happy Halloween!

Skin Care For The Body

September 12, 2012 / 3:35 pm

A few months ago, I wrote about red bumps on the upper arms which spurred more questions about skin care for the body.

Skin on the body has fewer oil glands than skin on the face so it requires different care.

Some general rules when it comes to skin care for the body:

* use warm water, not hot, when you shower or bathe

* use an unscented, moisturizing body wash or gentle bar soap

* apply unscented moisturizing cream to the skin while still damp for maximum effectiveness

* use a body lotion with SPF 15 or higher on any areas that will be exposed during the day

A prominent concern among my clients is acne on the chest and the back. Often, these breakouts are deep cysts that require systemic treatment like antibiotics.

If they are more surface breakouts, try the following tips:

* shower after working out, sitting around in sweaty workout clothes will aggravate the acne

* wash your body AFTER rinsing conditioner from you hair, heavy conditioners can clog pores

* use a 10% benzoyl peroxide body wash in the shower once a day to kill bacteria and lessen break outs

Do you have concerns about the skin on your body? Post your questions in the comments section and I will answer them!

Fabulous Lashes

August 26, 2012 / 2:58 pm

Eye lashes are a major focus in the cosmetic industry and this trend shows no sign of  going away. There are many ways to enhance the lash line, following are some of the popular options.

Eyelash Enhancing Serums:
The active ingredient in most of these products is prostaglandin which extends the growth phase of the eye lash resulting in longer, thicker lashes. Latisse uses a higher concentration which is why it is classified as a prescription, many over the counter products (like my current fav LiLash) use the same ingredient in non-prescription strength doses. These products require daily use for the first 3-4 months to see maximum results, then you can taper off to 3-4 times per week to keep your fabulous lashes. Latisse claims to darken lashes as well but I used it for over a year and noticed no darkening. These products can also be used to enhance eye brow growth.

Semi-permanent mascara:
Semi-permanent mascara is a professionally applied mascara designed to last 10-14 days. The application process takes about 30 minutes and can be tailored to your specifications regarding length, thickness etc. The mascara is waterproof which makes it an excellent choice for vacations and special events.

Eyelash tinting:
Tinting or dying the eyelashes is a great option for people with light colored eyelashes. The process takes about 20 minutes and lasts for 2-3 weeks. Tinting enhances the color of the lashes but doesn’t affect length or thickness.

Eye lash extensions:
(pictured above, compliments of my fabulous friend Akiko)
Lash extensions are semi-permanent false eyelashes. An extension is added to each individual lash to create a customized look. The process can take up to 2 hours for a full set, less for touch-ups or partial sets. With proper care, they can last up to 3 weeks before a touch up session is needed.

Is coffee really bad for your skin?

August 5, 2012 / 2:06 pm

First off, I should admit, I am a coffee junkie. Not only do I love it; the taste, the smell, the ritual; most days I can’t function without it. I start the day with 1-2 cups of French Press then continue with an afternoon latte.

I know skin care professionals that force their clients to cut back or eliminate coffee from their diet for the sake of their skin but I am not one of them! A few weeks ago, I started to wonder, is coffee really bad for your skin? I know caffeine causes dehydration, I try to work an additional 8 ounces of water into my day for each cup of coffee I consume to balance this effect. When applied topically, coffee berries are a potent antioxidant and beneficial for healthy skin. Caffeine dehydrates skin cells by energizing them, causing them to release sodium, potassium and water, which makes skin appear smoother so it is often use in cellulite treatments and eye creams.

Ground coffee beans can be added to an oil base to make a natural body scrub that also reduces the appearance of cellulite. Try this simple scrub at home with your leftover coffee grounds:

Coffee Body Scrub

  • 2 cups leftover coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Jojoba Oil

Mix all items together in a bowl.
Apply liberally to your body while bathing or showering concentrating on rough patches and bumpy skin. Rinse well.

Recent research has shown coffee might have skin cancer-preventing properties; an experiment performed on mice showed that, when combined with exercise, caffeine boosted the mice’s natural defenses against UV rays by an unbelievable 400%. The evidence examined in this particular experiment is a process called apoptosis, by which the body gets rid of damaged and cancerous cells by killing them off. Researchers in Seattle performed a similar experiment, on cultured human skin cells; after placing the cells in a caffeine bath and exposing them to UV rays, they found that the caffeine killed the cells that had been damaged. There’s a very real possibility that caffeine in coffee might prevent the spread of skin cancer by killing damaged cells before they have a chance to become cancerous.

Caffeine does have a negative effect on severe acne, increasing the swelling and severity of cysts. The physiological reaction is described in detail here but even this article goes on to say that moderate coffee consumption as part of a balanced diet is not going to cause acne.

Here’s what Dr Weil recently said on the subject of coffee consumption.

All things considered, I refuse to give up my coffee habit, it isn’t harming my skin and may, in fact, be keeping me healthier in the long run.

Gluten Free Skin Care?

April 22, 2012 / 4:19 pm

Gluten-free diets are increasing in popularity. In the US, 1 in 133 people are intolerant to gluten, which is also know as celiac disease.

What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and millet.

There is controversy about whether individuals with celiac disease need to avoid topical skin care products containing these wheat proteins. Oral consumption of gluten can cause eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis which is sometimes called “gluten rash”. Some people worry about cross contamination i.e. using a hand lotion with wheat proteins then preparing food.

If gluten in your skin care is a concern, avoid ingredients like barley, wheat, and triticum. Oats and oatmeal do not contain wheat protein but are usually processed in a facility where cross contamination is possible.

Wheat germ oil is commonly used in skin care products but the wheat protein has been removed so it shouldn’t cause a reaction.

It is best to avoid lip balms(and any products that may be ingested) that contain wheat proteins.

All of my products are gluten free and I recommend Intense Moisture Therapy to sooth eczema rashes.

Do you have any personal experience with gluten intolerance and skin care? Please feel free to share!

Do I need to use the same brand for all my skin care?

March 25, 2012 / 2:06 pm

Q: Can I mix skin care products from different brands or do I need to use the same brand for all my skin care products?

A: Yes. If you like a product and it works for you, use it. They only person that will tell you different if the person trying to sell you a their entire line of products!

That being said, be careful of using multiple products that have similar ingredients. the most common example of this is using more than one product to exfoliate and ending up with irritated skin.

What’s the difference between Retin A and Retinol? And should I be using one?

March 14, 2012 / 2:34 pm

Q: I hear a lot about Retin A and skin creams with retinol…should I be using one? And what’s the difference?

A: There are a variety of skin care products on the market that incorporate Vitamin A derivatives, commonly called retinols or retinoids. These products benefit the skin in multiple ways but most importantly they increase skin cell turnover. This increased cell activity helps prevent blackheads, smooths fine lines, lessens the appearance of wrinkles, and lightens pigment spot from age or acne.

Tretinoin (the generic name for Retin A) is a prescription retinoid. Tretinoin is sold under several brand names: Retin A, Retin A Micro, Renova, Atralin to name a few. These products require a prescription so your dermatologist will determine which one is best for you based on your skin type.

Many over the counter products contain retinol. Nightly Therapy is one of my best selling products, it contains time released retinol and is safe to use around the eyes.

Most people can benefit from incorporating a retinol into their skin care routine. Retinols should always be used at night since sunlight breaks down the active ingredients. SPF must be worn during the day because the increased skin cell turnover will leave your skin less protected.

If your have no breakouts and very few fine lines, use a light retinol once or twice a week at night to exfoliate and help prevent the signs of aging.

If you have acne, visit a dermatologist and get a prescription for tretinion.

If you are fighting more pronounced signs of aging, use a retinol every night. Layer it under your moisturizer if your skin is dry.

Retinols are a great tool for increased skin health!

Pregnancy and Skin Care

February 22, 2012 / 7:01 pm

With all the hormonal changes your body goes thru during pregnancy and breast feeding, your skin can feel like it’s on a roller coaster ride.

Many over the counter and prescription acne treatments aren’t safe to use during pregnancy and breast feeding. Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin (Retin A, Tazarac etc.) and retinol are NOT recommended for use when you are pregnant or breast feeding.Glycolic acid based products are the best way to control excess oil and keep acne to a minimum without affecting your growing fetus or tainting breast milk.

Professional glycolic peels and cleansing facials with extractions also help keep the skin balanced and healthy during this time.

Melasma is a common concern during pregnancy. The excess hormonal activity can trigger what is commonly called the “mask of pregnancy”, large patches of dark skin on the cheeks, forehead or jawline. Most discoloration fades within 6 months but the process can be helped along with glycolic acid peels and microdermabrasion.

Jessners Peels are very helpful in removing hormonal pigmentation but should not be done while you are pregnant or breast feeding.

“I have red bumps on my upper arms, help!”

February 8, 2012 / 2:38 pm

Q: I have red bumps on my upper arms. They get worse during the winter and got really bad when I was pregnant. It’s embarrassing to wear sleeveless tops! What can I do to treat them? Help!

A: Red bumps that appear on the upper arms are known in the medical community as keratosis pilaris. It is a very common problem, often due to genetic factors and can be easily kept under control. The bumps arise from excess keratin production which can clog the hair follicle. Use a gentle cleanser and a glycolic body lotion on the affected area to keep the skin smooth and clear.

If the problem persists or worsens, make an appointment to see your dermatologist.

Skin care for the great outdoors

January 28, 2012 / 5:01 pm

Does your idea of a fun weekend include a Saturday morning ocean swim followed by a short hike and mountain biking on Sunday?

Outdoor activities require specific skin care considerations.

I cannot stress sun protection enough. And I mean thick, white, water-resistant sunscreen that you would never wear on a day to day basis. Yes, it may clog your pores but it will also help prevent a myriad of skin conditions ranging from unsightly Melasma to serious skin cancers. I like the Suntegrity Face Sunscreen for the face and Neutrogena SPF 70 for the body.

Both of these products utilize a physical sunscreen ingredient. A physical block (like titanium dioxide) contains particles that do exactly that, physically block the sun light. This also helps protect your skin from other elements like wind and cold.

Before you get dressed in the morning, apply SPF lotion to your face and entire body. This will ensure you don’t miss crucial areas on the edges of your active wear. Use a full 2 ounces to cover your body and a blob the size if a quarter for your face, neck and ears.

Re-apply often; immediately after an water-based activity or every 1-2 hours. I like spray sunscreens for re-applying on the body, it’s easier if you are wearing cycling gloves, have dirty hands etc. SPF sticks are helpful to for re-application to the face.

Wear a hat with sun protection, sun glasses with adequate coverage, long sleeves, and a high neckline when you can. If you have short hair, thin hair (or no hair!) don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your scalp.

After you activity, your first order of business is to clean your face. Keep facial cleansing cloths in your bag for a quick wipe before you head home.

Once you are able to give your face a good washing, use a gentle cleanser to cleanse twice. Lather, rinse, repeat. This will ensure your skin is clean without over drying.

Exfoliate on a regular basis. Use an enzyme peel 2-3 times a week and a gentle toner daily to keep dead skin to a minimum and pores clean.

Do skin care products really expire?

January 21, 2012 / 3:13 pm

The simple answer is yes.

However, there are many factors that can extend the shelf life of the fabulous products you work hard to be able to purchase!

Most skin care products have a symbol on the label that lets you know how long the product is good once it’s been opened: the most widely used icon is a jar with and open cap and a number on it. The number denotes how many months the product is guaranteed from the day you open it.

Most products are good for 6-24 months once they have been opened. Packaging plays a large roll in how this number is determined. An airless pump keeps a product fresh for much longer than a wide mouth jar. The less contamination (for the air or your fingers), the longer your product with stay fresh and stable.

If a product changes color or separates, chances are good that is has expired.

Vitamin C is difficult to keep stable and has a short shelf life. It oxidizes (turns brown) when it is no longer effective.

Most skin care products are sold in containers determined to be the amount an average person would consume, with regular use, in a 3-4 month period.

If you are worried about your products expiring before you use them up, stick with items sold in pumps and tubes instead of jars and store them in a dark, cool environment.

Is there a downside to using expired products?

Again, the simple answer is yes.

When a product is past the expiration date it is no longer effective. For something like a basic moisturizer, this isn’t a concern but for a product containing sunscreen or retinol it’s important to make sure the active ingredients aren’t past their prime.

How to wash your face.

January 11, 2012 / 4:52 pm

Many people have questions about this simple task!

Wash your face with lukewarm to cool water. Hot water will dry your skin as well as increase blood flow to the face which can exacerbate puffiness (especially around the eyes).

Splash your face with water, apply a dime size amount of cleanser to the palm of your hand, rub your palms together and apply the cleanser evenly to your face. Use a gentle, circular motion to work the cleanser on your skin for at least a minute. Rinse 2-3 times with clean water. Pat your face dry with a soft towel.

Use a gentle skin cleanser designed for the face.

Foaming cleansers will dry excess oil but I don’t recommend them unless you have extremely oily skin. For combination, normal and dry skin, use a cream base cleanser. If this doesn’t give you the squeaky clean feeling you crave, wash twice: lather, rinse, repeat.

Wash your face morning and night. Additionally, wash your face between work and working out (or any activity where you perspire).

Any questions?

Skin Care for Men

December 11, 2011 / 5:32 pm

Men need skin care too!

40% of my clients are male; they have thicker, oilier skin however many experience sensitivity, especially in the lower face and neck from shaving.

Here are some basic skin tips for men:

Shave as little as possible (many men can get away with shaving every other day, especially in San Francisco where “business casual” is the norm) or alternate your razor with an electric shaver. An electric shaver doesn’t give as close of a shave but is more gentle on the skin.

Shave after you shower. The steam from the shower relaxes the pores and the hair follicles making them more receptive to shaving.

Use a gentle shaving cream (Aveeno is good) or a face wash that doubles as a shaving lubricant (like IS Clinical Cleansing Complex).

Exfoliate your face 1-2 times a week. Use a gentle face scrub or an enzyme exfoliator. Exfoliation ensures dead skin cells are swept away before they have a chance to clog the pores which causes blackheads and exacerbates in-grown hairs.

Use a gentle lotion with SPF every day. No questions. Preventing sun damage is so much easier that reversing sun damage.

The same goes for eye cream; start using it before you think you need it, both morning and night.

Professional treatments help the texture and overall health of your skin. Cleansing Facials 4 times a year is a good place to start. Microdermabrasion is an option for men that want a more corrective treatment with little to no downtime.

Consistency is key: find a routine that fits your schedule and stick with it!

Why do I break out after I get a facial?

December 1, 2011 / 3:33 pm

One of the most common excuses for NOT getting regular facials is breaking out a few days after the treatment.
There are a few reasons why a facial can bring on an eruption of pimples.

Human skin is made up of 3 primary layers, sebum (oil) production occurs in the middle layer (the dermis) so the eruptions that surface after a facial originated long before the treatment occurred. Unfortunately, this is often part of the purging process associated with starting a new skin care regime.

That being said, there are many ways for an esthetician to minimize this risk.

Using a product or device to minimize bacteria during or after the extraction process is helpful. I incorporate the high frequency current into all of my treatments which treats existing breakouts and minimizes the chance of future eruptions.

If your skin is very “bumpy”, that indicates the presence of comedones or clogged pores. Smoothing out the texture of the skin is a process that includes regular professional treatments and consistent home care. You may have to deal with a few eruptions along the way, but the end result is worth it!

Quick Cold Weather Skin Treat!

November 8, 2011 / 6:11 pm

Carrot-E-Chop Facial Ingredients:
1 carrot
2 tablespoons honey
4 drops of vitamin E oil
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
Oat flour

Supplies:
Medium-sized bowl
Large spoon

Step 1: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the carrot, cooked and mashed, with the honey, vitamin E oil and aloe vera gel.

Step 2: Mix ingredients with a large spoon, stopping when it forms a thick, orange paste. If the mixture appears too thin, add a small amount of oat flour, which acts as a thickening agent.

Step 3: Apply the mask in a thick coat evenly across the face, and let sit for approximately 30 minutes.

Step 4: Upon removing the mask, your skin should feel moisturized and rejuvenated. It will appear brighter, more toned and firmer—and ready to go for round two against Jack Frost.

I came accross this quick facial treatment in the current issue of Skin Inc magazine: I love the rejuvenating effects of carrots both inside and out!

How often do I need a facial?

November 2, 2011 / 5:32 pm

Do you wait until you get a gift certificate to think about skin care? If so, chances are you need facials more often!

Consistency is key. For general maintenance of healthy skin, I recommend a Cleansing Facial every 4-6 weeks. Having your pores cleaned on a regular basis allows them to shrink and become less noticeable.

New skin cells replace the old ones every 28-32 days, when treating a condition like acne scars, it is beneficial to have a professional treatment twice during this cycle. I recommend a series of 6 sessions of Microdermabrasion spaced 2 weeks apart for maximum results, then follow up treatments ever 3 months.

This same model works well with glycolic peels for acne prone skin.

If money or time is an issue, figure out a frequency that fits your budget and stick with it; even if it’s 2-4 times a year. Quarterly facials are more beneficial than four monthly sessions in a row then a large gap until your next treatment.

Find an esthetician that you like and stick with him or her! There is an added benefit to visits with someone who knows the history of your skin especially through hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause. And it’s nice to have someone you know pamper you after a rough day!

Skin care from the neck down

October 23, 2011 / 9:37 pm

I share a lot of information about skin care for the face but what about the rest of your body? Here are few tips just in time for winter!

Use warm water when you bathe or shower. Hot water will dry your skin which causes flaking and itchiness. Skin on the body doesn’t have as many oil glands as the face so it becomes dry more easily.

Use soap or body wash only on the important areas, using too much of these products will dry you skin. If you have chronically dry skin, try a body wash that contains colloidal oatmeal which soothes the skin.

Use an unscented body lotion or cream every day. I like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream when my skin is dry. I specify unscented because most commercial scents contain alcohol which is drying. If you like a scented cream, add a few drops of an organic essential oil. Use a moisturizer with SPF on any areas that will be exposed to the sun during the day like arms, hand and chest.

For rough heels, knees and elbows, I alternate between Glycolix Elite 15 Percent Body Lotion to exfoliate the skin and a rich cream (like RAW Cocoa Butter) to moisturize. Glycolic lotion is also helpful when treating rough, bumpy patches on the upper arms (usually a result of dry skin).

Make sure you are drinking enough water during the winter months. Moisturizers work to seal in moisture so you need to hydrate from the inside out for the best results. And remember, any non-caffeinated beverage, fruit juice or soup counts towards your daily water intake!

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