Serums: Why are they important?

Serums are an ideal way to get potent skin specific ingredients into the skin fast!
They can range from liquids to lightweight creams and even oil textures.  Serums reach deeper as well as quicker into the epidermis making them a perfect pre-moisturizer step.  The reason why serums are usually more expensive and in much smaller packaging than a jar or tube of moisturizer is because the efficacy is so much higher and concentrated ingredients are harder to stabilize.  So it's safe to say that serums are usually one of the most important and higher priced items in your routine.  Applying a serum before a moisturizer is like flossing before brushing the teeth.  A thin layer (remember serums are highly concentrated) all over the face, neck and chest is ideal and we need to remember those areas when treating our skin with any product, including cleansers, exfoliants, etc.   Occasionally people won't use moisturizers over a serum depending on how much oil is in the skin and/or during warm, humid weather but generally speaking every skin can do well with some form of a serum underneath a daily spf moisturizer and under a nightly moisturizer.

Some examples of my favorite serums:

Image Skincare:
Vitamin C hydrating serum (mature, sensitive skin, thinner skin, rosacea)
A C E liquid serum (thicker skin, aging, sensitive)
Iluma Bleaching serum (hyper pigmentation)
Pure Hyaluronic serum  (dehydrated, pregnant
Glycolic serum (anti-aging, firming)
Clear Cell Restoring serum (acne, dehydrated)

Caudalie Skincare:
Resveratrol Lift serum (lifting, mature, sensitive, pregnant)
Premier Cru 1/2 oil 1/2 serum Elixir (anti-aging, nourishing, any skin)
Vinoperfect Brightening serum (hyper pigmentation, any skin)
SOS serum (sensitive skin)
Overnight Recovery Oil (dry, sensitive, aging, pregnant)
C15 Detox Oil (any skin)

Toners: Why are they important?

Toners are a terrific way to instantly hydrate and freshen up the skin.  They also balance the pH of the skin as well as aid in the delivery of products into the skin.  Look for alcohol-free spritz toners, tonics or brumisateur (atomizer) sprays.  Spray toners are so much easier to use and you'll get a full coverage using less product.  Saturating a cotton pad can use up product too fast and it's unnecessary unless you're using a toner with acne fighting ingredients.  A few drops on a cotton pad swept over blemishes is safe and appropriate for that because you don't want those acne fighting ingredients in the eye area.
Ingredients found in spray toners vary from botanicals to fruit extracts, collagen and hyaluronic acid ( hydrating acid).   Toners perk up the skin and mind.   They are ideal for spritzing over makeup throughout the day, after cleansing and after a workout.  Toners give a dewy glow and thats the best part.  Bring on the dew!!  A great way to beat the dull and dry winter days ahead!  Make your own toner with green tea and a travel size spray bottle.  Boil water and steep a pure green tea bag, let cool and carefully pour into a sanitary travel spray bottle.  Pop into your purse, gym bag and spritz as often as you need to!  Great for flying too, have fun.

Cleansing: Why is it important?

Cleansing the skin in the morning and at night is the norm but it's not the rule.  Cleansing in the evening  before bed is most important because you want to remove the surface dirt, impurities, perspiration and make-up from the day.  You'll also have a clean slate to then apply your serum/moisturizer/eye cream of choice.  Using a cleanser that has alpha or beta hydroxy acid or glycolic acid are going to deepen the cleanse so your nighttime products will absorb deeper and thus work better for you while you're sleeping.  To ensure that it's not too harsh try using those ingredients every other night or every third night.  Fill in with a foaming, milky or oil wash on the other nights.  If you're a new mom,  had a rough night out or just feeling lazy bones, at least grab a baby wipe (clean ;) ) or a soft wash cloth (baby wash cloths rock!) and wipe your face, neck and chest with tepid water. Keep a moisturizer next to your bed so you can slather it on before turning out the light. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Good morning!  To give your skin a deep cleansing in the morning may be unnecessary because you've just cleansed the night before.  If you feel like you have to wash your face in the morning, choose a gentle cleanser.  One that is a micellar water, milky or an oil version would be great choices.  Or you can just gently wipe off your face, neck and chest with your soft cloth rinsed with tepid water or apply a spritz with your alcohol free toner and go about the rest of your moisturizing routine.  It's not absolutely necessary to do a thorough cleanse in the morning.
Whenever you're cleansing always remember NOT to use too hot or too cold of water.  The myth is the hotter the water, the pores will open up and colder the water the pores will shrink.  Not so.  In fact, the extreme temperatures will potentially break the capillaries and upset your face.  As we age, the amount of sebum (oil) that our skin produces lessens and we need that oil to preserve our elastin in our skin.  So remember that we do need to kick it up a notch with our P.M. cleansers a couple times a week but then we need to also help allow our skin to build up those natural oils as well.  Happy cleansing!

As always, feel free to email me with your confidential questions:

Why facials are important:

Ahhhh, to relax and let go of the world for an hour seems dreamy.

Well, facials could be helping you with a whole plethora of health benefits at the same time you're getting your pores clean.

We live in a society that is much less "touchy/feely" and we're even less comfortable around strangers because of the things we see, read and hear about.  That being said, when you decide to put your trust in a facialist, it's got to feel relaxing, trusting, private and genuinely therapeutic.  Once those components are present, it's time to give yourself a time out and just breathe.  Your "happy chemicals" including Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins and Oxytocin release anxiety, depression and self doubt and then allow to fill your bucket with optimism, strength and compassion for yourself and others.

Getting a thorough facial is defined differently by each guest and what their expectations are at the time of their appointment.  It may be different each visit, understandably so.  We all have a "type" of skin but the conditions of our skin change all the time.  It's important to get some sort of exfoliation even for the super sensitive conditions as that's what helps with circulation, and cell renewal.  It's imperative that you get a customized facial suited just for you and your current skin condition.

As we age, our cells do not turnover as quickly as they used to.  For example, when you cut yourself as a child, the skin rebuilds at a MUCH higher rate than when we cut ourselves at mid life.  The cells usually rebuild every 28 days and then it takes 56 days to rebuild then 84 days and so on.....Much slower renewal.  It's extremely important to appropriately exfoliate to remind the cells to turnover.  Exfoliating also prepares the skin and "dis-encrusts" the skin for easier comedone (blackhead) and/or pustule removal.

Steam helps to just slightly soften the skin and penetrates products.  You don't have to use steam but it does serve a purpose and many people enjoy the misting sensation.

Facial massage is important to exercise the facial muscles and also to release pressure or tension on the facial muscles.  It's this magical feeling that happens once the facial bones are being relaxed.  The sacrum starts to melt into the bed and the shoulders leave the hunched position and there's a feeling of pure weightlessness.

Facials are so much more than what many may think.  It's not so much about the vanity but more about getting a thorough "grooming" treatment.  Most of all, giving yourself permission to turn off for a much needed siesta...........It's the best preventative medicine you can give to yourself.

There's so much that goes into a facial treatment and I want to remind you of a few things before you book an appointment.  This is your treatment so don't be afraid to speak up if you have any aversions or  questions.  There's no such thing as a crazy question.  Also, stay hydrated before and after a facial treatment. A lot of lymph draining occurs and it's easy to get dehydrated.  Communication is key.

Please email or call with any questions:    (831)324-4611

Vellus Hair Removal (Dermaplaning)

There's a buzz going on about why "shaving" or Dermaplaning is so great for the skin.  Well, truth be told with summer in full bloom, peach fuzz or vellus hair is more noticeable in the bright light and this is a gentle, quick and effective way to get rid of that unwanted fur and exfoliate at the same time.  The areas of most concern are the sides of face and upper lip.  Men are at a huge advantage because when they shave they're actually exfoliating too which helps with cell rejuvenation which helps with firming the skin-yeah!
Using a sterile blade the skin is feathered very lightly and is scraping off the dead epidermal (top) layer and removing the hair as well.  It's perfect for those using retinols or other topicals/orals that can sensitize the skin.  Waxing is not appropriate for retinol users and sensitive skin. This procedure allows the skin to be super smooth which helps products reach deeper into the skin and creams/makeup sit better on top of the skin.  The hair grows back at the same rate and the same texture as before the treatment.  The myth of hair growing back thicker and darker is simply that, a myth.
It's an ideal treatment for pregnant/lactating moms too as there are no chemicals involved.  I've had multiple treatments and I really love the two-for-one result with a smoother texture skin and an epidermal exfoliation as well.  For those wanting to kick it up a notch, you can add a professional peel after the dermaplane.  

In between appointments, you can get the job done safely at home with a Tinkle Brow Shaper.  You won't get as close of a shave but it really makes a difference and it's very easy to use.  You can Youtube how to use one but once you get the hang of it, you might get addicted!  It's an economical way to go too.

Micellar Water

The Micellar water craze:

Micelles are tiny round cleansing molecules that have a magnetic type action to sweep away surface dirt, impurities and makeup without needing to rinse with water.  Miceller water can be used as a quick multi-purpose cleanser if you don't have time to do your normal cleansing routine (new moms), late late nights, when there's no running water (camping) or after a workout.  It doesn't leave a residue and can be used with a cotton pad or a press/release action with your hands.
I wouldn't recommend that you switch out your normal cleansing routine altogether but this is a way to get the job done and not feel guilty for sleeping with your makeup on.  It'd be a great pre-cleanse because of the fact that it gently and efficiently removes the makeup without leaving any film.
It's a helpful go-to for makeup artists when we need to re-do an area because it feels refreshing, not heavy.
Caudalie has a grape seed infused micellar water that is very reasonable at $28. for 6.7 ounces and it will last approx 3 months if used daily.  For any of you product junkies, this is a fun, hip product that won't break the bank!

Men and Facials

It's true.  Men need facials just as much as women and here are a few reasons why:

~ Relaxation and cranial surrendering
~ Exfoliation, especially on the areas where they do not shave

~Any necessary grooming of unwanted hair on the eyebrows, ears, nose

~Gentle extractions of comedones as men are usually more sensitive (yes, it's true)

~Massage, especially around the eye area

~Education on simple yet effective ways to maintain healthy, firm and protected skin

~Make an appointment to see a Dermatologist for a full body skin check.  Men are at high risk because they don't like to wear an SPF.

Cheers to all of the kind and courageous men in the world, you matter!