Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Picking Cleansers for Your Skin

When picking a cleanser for your skin, ask yourself "Is this gentle?" "Does it contain acids?" "What ingredients does it have?" By practicing this you'll be able to pick a more efficient product. Labels like "normal", "dry", "combination", and "oily" doesn't necessarily mean the cleanser will work for you based on skin type. Even if it's labeled "normal", "dry", "combination", and "oily" if you look at the ingredients, the cleanser still could contain drying agents that will be counter productive to your regimen. Read the labels carefully and research the individual ingredients. Double check with your aesthetician to see if the cleanser will work for your skin type.

Every skin type needs to be balanced in oil and water.  The way we achieve balance is by cleansing with a pH balanced, gentle cleanser to remove make-up every night. Skin needs oil removed, water/lipids added, or a little of both. One cleanser type does not fit all. That's why you will need two cleansers in your skin care regimen. You need one cleanser that's great for make-up removal and every day cleansing and another decongesting cleanser (even if you don't wear makeup). Your every day cleanser will cleanse your skin daily without removing excess oil. The other cleanser should be exfoliating to some degree and a decongestant. Just stay away from the eyelids when using the decongesting cleanser. Cleanse the eyelids with a gentle cleanser first. Never use a decongesting cleanser on your eyelids because the eyelids are usually dehydrated and easily irritated. If the cleanser has any acids then you know that's a no go because you have to be able to cleanse your eyelids and remove makeup without irritating your delicate eyelids.  Always apply moisturizer in the morning and at night if it wasn't your night to apply an exfoliant.

Your skin type is not always oily, always dry, or combination. Weather and activities play a huge part in the state your skin is in. Ever wonder why once a month your aesthetician may recommend a peel, different facial treatment, or perhaps add a new product to your regimen? That's because your skin can change month to month depending on your activities! Perhaps you flew to Napa Vally for a weekend. Flying at high altitudes dries your skin out. Your next visit your aesthetician may recommend a peel to revive the skin, restore it with a hydrating mask, and send you home with a more intense moisturizer to use a little more often and to take with you on your future travels.

Benefit Clean and Purity Clean are my two favorite pH balanced cleansers that are great for every skin type and balance every skin type. Yes, oily, combo, and dry skin are real terms. But when they are written on product bottles they are just marketing terms!
  • Benefit Clean: This cleanser is "free of irritating sodium laurel sulfate. Benefit Clean is an immensely beneficial facial cleanser that’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types. Formulated with gluconolactone (polyhydroxy acid), this antioxidant cleanser eliminates impurities, hydrates the skin and helps improve the appearance of photo damage." Cleanse your skin at night to remove makeup and on the mornings you don't use purity clean or use plain water then cleanse with Benefit Clean again.
  • Purity Clean: This cleanser is a "concentrated, exfoliating cleanser infused with peppermint essential oil to cool the skin and stimulate circulation. This refreshing cleanser penetrates deep, eliminating cellular debris, decongesting pores and hydrating, to keep normal to oily skin healthy and glowing." Use Purity Clean in the morning, once a week only. Pay attention to how often you need the decongestant cleanser; overuse could irritate your skin. If you wear make up, it's useless to use an exfoliating cleanser unless used on clean skin. Benefit Clean is a much better makeup remover and is safe to cleanse eyelids. Use Purity Clean in the shower and enjoy the amazing aroma therapy!
Combine these two cleansers in your daily cleansing regimen and you are guaranteed more balanced, healthy skin!



Exfoliants: Cosmedix Pure Enzymes, Define, and Refine

In my last blog I talked about my favorite exfoliants (Cosmedix Pure Enzymes, Define, and Refine) and today we will elaborate on them! Ultimately, your aesthetician should help you pick the right exfoliant for your skin.

Pure Enzymes is a great, mild exfoliating product for all skin types. It is especially great for teens and for dark melanin skin tones because it does not make your skin sensitive to sun compared to Refine and Define. Teenagers are more likely to be active in the sun and Pure Enzymes is a great exfoliant for active people. It is also great for skin types with a lot of melanin (i.e African American, Native American, or any other dark skin complexion). It exfoliates the top surface of the skin and emulsifies comedones (blackheads) to the surface so when you cleanse your skin, you wash most of the dirt, oil, and makeup away.

Define is a 2% Vitamin A product that is in cream form and is a unique blend of gentle acids and 2% of CosMedix's proprietary retinol complex. Define would be used on a person that is older with thinner skin. It could also be used on a young women or man who has pretty good skin but is trying to prevent wrinkles, uneven skin tone, breakouts or just wants a more smooth complexion. This formulation is not as strong as Refine and most clients can tolerate it with no problem! Define pushes the activity of the skin to a very dynamic, yet well-tolerated level of remodeling. It also mildly hydrates the skin. Define is applied at night only after cleansing. Moisturizer is not necessary after Define because it works best alone to lift dead skin cells, even out the skin tone, and help to stimulate collagen production. The best way to use Define is every other night. I, like many others, can only use it once every week as it over stimulates my skin cell removal resulting in red, patchy, irritated skin. If you see this irritated skin with any product you use, that's your key to use that product less often.

Refine 4% is also a Vitamin A product! It's great for all skin types as it does the work of many products in one. It lifts skin cells off the surface. It balances oil production, stimulates collagen and elastin, refines lines and wrinkles, and mildly hydrates the skin. Refine 4% is also great to treat thick, dull, lifeless skin as well as acne, deep wrinkled, sun damaged skin. This product, along with facials, can turn the skin around tremendously. Due to the high concentration of Vitamin A, most clients I've treated can use Refine every other night and some clients can use it only one night a week. Refine 4% is basically the same thing as Retin-A (a product a dermatologist would prescribe) except Cosmedix Refine is formulated to work more harmoniously with your skin with a lesser chance for side effects.

You are probably wondering "Which exfoliant is for me?" A good rule of thumb is to communicate to your aesthetician about how your products feel, how you reacted to them, and what you liked or disliked about the products. I've had lots of cases with clients where misusing a product gets in the way of their path to great skin because they feel the products are too strong. However, if the client starts using the product the right way they'll actually save money by using less product and still reap the benefits. It's a myth that you have to use an exfoliating product everyday, twice a day! Thats a recipe for dry skin as your skin never has a chance to heal, so you're just irritating fresh skin constantly. So let your skin breathe! Let your skin have a chance to do its natural skin cell cycle and you can help it along the way! It's our job as aestheticians to keep you and your skin on the right track to success and this can only be done with efficient communication between the both of us! Products and dosage will not work the same for every skin and each of you will use the products more or less than others. That's why it's so important to establish a great connection with your aesthetician. They can help you pick the right exfoliant for your skin.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Treat your skin even when you are busy!

It's hard to take time to cleanse your skin after a hard day's work or (especially this time of year) when it's all about family and entertaining! But going to bed with makeup on over time will stretch your pores and cause blackheads. This is where most people confuse themselves with having large pores. Do not worry though; a facial can do wonders. Ever wonder what aestheticians are looking for when the bright light appears just after a soothing face and foot massage? Our magnifying lamp shows us everything we need to extract or treat your skin..  Blackheads, milia, pustuals, cysts, acne, hyper pigmentation, dry skin, oily, skin, combination skin, dehydrated skin, wrinkles, premature aging -- these are some of the conditions I look for in just a few short 15 minutes. From here is where I start to give advice on products that will improve your condition and if your skin is perfect, well then it's my job to keep it that way.

Here are some ways you can prevent blackheads and dull dry skin right from your home! -

Ever think to yourself, "my skin is dry on the surface but I'm oily underneath?" People with oily skin think they don't need moisturizer. This is completly false. If you try to dry out oily skin to get rid of the oil then you trick the sebaceous glands into thinking they need to produce more oil. One of the worst ways to treat oily skin is to use dove soap. Dermatologists have recommended dove soap to treat acne in patients for decades. This is the worst thing ever for acne. It can take 6 months to a year for your aesthetician to balance out your skin, but it can be done. The skin needs three basic steps in your daily routine to keep it balanced and happy:

  • Cleanse your skin with a pH balanced cleanser at least twice a day, one of which could be plain water in the morning if you washed it with a cleanser the night before. Cleansing too often could dry the skin out as well. A 4.5 pH balanced cleanser is the best; anything 7 and over is too alcaline and will dry your skin out.

  • Exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells that are rough and raised. They naturally will fall off in a 28 day cycle but exfoliating with product creates a smooth texture. Your makeup will look better and the skin will shine through instead of a scaly look. This could be a scrub or a liquid treatment you can purchase from your aesthetician. My three favorites are by Cosmedix: Refine 4%, Define 2% and Pure Enzymes which is a fruit enzyme and is great for exfoliating the very surface of the skin. The Refine and Define are more advanced. They restore life to environmentally damaged skin to reduce signs of premature aging and improve the texture and tone. The main reason I love these two is they help to produce collagen. At age 22 we start losing 1% of collagen a year. You can tell this by the presence of loose, sagging skin. These products help to tighen and restore the fibers that loosen over time as we age.

  • Lastly, moisturize your skin with lipids that hydrate your skin so that it can repair itself. Moisturizers are great to prevent oily skin as it keeps the skin balanced with oil and water. This step is a must before makeup. Without moisturizing your makeup will not look as smooth and glowing. The shine in the moisturizer mixed with your own oil plus the makeup equals a flawless complexion! 

Toast to a little tip on how you can give your skin a little attention! It is our largest organ, people see it first, and it regulates our heating and cooling! Lets put our best face forward!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Introducing the adair skin care blog

Hi, Amber Adair here! Welcome to adair skin care! This blog has been created to share my world of skin care and hair removal! Throughout my work I’ve encountered many inspiring stories, the latest techniques, and before and after glory photos. Who knows what I’ll be blogging about “really’! The nature in itself with my job varies one day to the next because no two people have the same skin or the same personalities! It is the number one reason I choose this field and the fact I get bored easily is not a highlight of my personality. But I’ve made it this far so I’d say I’m a pretty challenged girl in my field eight years later. Still in the game and creating fabulous skin! Toast to the beginning of adair skin care blog! Stay tuned.

Amber Adair