Thursday, January 26, 2012

Extractions: comedones, milia, and pustules, oh my!

Are comedones, milia, and pustules present on your skin? Comedones (blackheads) are hard, oxidized sebum (oil) which is why they are nicknamed blackheads.  Milia (whitehead) is sebum that isn't oxidized and has no opening, which is why they look similar to ant bites without the redness. A pustule (pimple or zit) looks like a bubble on your face and is filled with pus. Pustules are most commonly referred to as pimples and are very painful to the touch. They are usually full with active bacteria as pus that can spread easily if they're not extracted correctly. Pus is a thick, yellowish or greenish opaque liquid produced in infected tissue consisting of dead white blood cells and bacteria with tissue debris and serum.

If you have any of these issues, no worries! Your aesthetician can work some magic with a deep pore cleansing facial! Yes, those dreadful extractions are painful but they will speed the healing process in your skin. Aestheticians start by cleansing the skin. Then they massage your face to emulsify (bring to the surface) oil and loosen debris in your skin. Lastly, they exfoliate any dead skin cells that are blocking pore openings.

From here we look through that bright light (magnifying lamp) and open each milia or pustule with a lancet. Ever think to yourself or even ask, "What's that pricking my skin?" It's called a lancet! Lancets are the needles diabetics use to prick their finger to check their sugar. Lancets have a very thin needle that is barely noticeable when opening milia or pustules. We carefully open a tiny opening and strategically manipulate the hard, sea pearl-like oil from the pore.

An incorrect extraction of pustules will cause pressure underneath the epidermal (surface) layer of skin. This pressure causes the pus to bust open a new trail under the skin causing another pustule to pop up on a new area of the face. That's why extracting at home is not recommended. Picking the skin is the worst thing for your skin! Ever wonder where the term "pot marks" came from? Pot marks are deep circular scars caused from picking the skin. Yes, you can dig the bacteria out of the pore but it's only short term relief. Long term, your skin could be scarred for life. Peels will improve scarring some but most cases are severe enough that the skin will not improve substantially if the scars are deep. So don't pick your skin! A great way to make your skin feel better right from your home in that very second your fingers go near your face is to apply a warm compress to the pustule. Then let the pustule pop on its own and wipe the pus off with an antibacterial wipe.

If you're a client of mine in Tallahassee, just book a reservation with me! I consider extracting an emergency and I'll gladly extract those pesky blemishes for you! Ever wonder why you feel a warm flow of steam for 20 minutes during your facials? Steam softens the skin so I can easily open the pustules and milia to extract them safely. Comedones are the least painful to extract because the pore is already open. The top of the oil is oxidized and easy to see. Comedones will not spread from extracting because blackheads are hard sebum sitting in the pores and will most likely live there until extracted. Yes, those clean, swollen pores after extractions are dreadful and embarrassing but they are so worth it the day after when your skin is glowing and blemish free!

As long as you do your skin care routine you will most definitely prevent pustules, milia, and comedones from taking over your face. It's common for everybody to have some comedones, especially on the nose! So don't fret over one or two! Your aesthetician should catch any comedones, milia, pustules, or acne in your monthly facial visits and help keep your skin blemish free!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Skin Care Tallahassee Client Review

One of my clients, Sarah Weakley, sent me a wonderful message about her progress with her skin after a series of CosMedix peels here in Tallahassee. See her comments below. With her permission, she has allowed me to share her wonderful progress with you:

I want you to know I am absolutely AMAZED with the peal from last week! I can't remember the name of it, but I am AMAZED! I have experienced a bunch of dry skin and pealing initially, but even with that I could see a difference immediately. Now after a full week, though, it is like all areas of blemish have completely disappeared.  Look forward to seeing you again next month! Hope you are well. I appreciate all you are doing for my skin and am so encouraged with the difference that routine facials and you are having on my skin! Thanks [:)]  Sarah

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My favorite CosMedix moisturizers

These are my four favorite moisturizers Hydrate, Pyto Harmony, Emulsion, and Pytoclear!

Hydrate SPF 17 (sun protection factor) is great for people who don't wear makeup! It does not look good under makeup! The other three recommended moisturizers are perfectly fine and look great under makeup. From CosMedix: "This light, daily antioxidant moisturizer hydrates the skin while helping to protect it from sun exposure. With an advanced zinc oxide and natural antioxidant formula, Hydrate + provides exceptional UV protection without irritating synthetic chemicals. Great for every skin type as away time moisturizer." I love the smell and the way if feels and I love how it calms the skin after a peel.

Phytoharmony is great as a night time intensive hydrater for very oily skin and a great day time moisturizer for normal to dry skin . It does not have SPF, so Reflect SPF 30 is an option to wear over the moisturizer. From CosMedix: "Phytoharmony - A moisturizing and collagen- and elastin-stimulating formula is especially beneficial for those with aging, menopausal and hormonal skin coping with dryness and dehydration. Phytoharmony uses a combination of phytohormones including soy isoflavones and DHEA to replenish the skin’s valuable stores and revitalize dry, maturing skin." 

Emulsion is great as a day or nighttime moisturizer for dry, very dry, and mature skin. It is a great night time moisturizer for normal to combination skin,  especially during the winter months. From CosMedix: "Emulsion - This deep-penetrating moisturizer alleviates and helps prevent irritation following aggressive exfoliation. A soothing blend of nature’s perfect hydrators—jojoba oil and shea butter—in a unique liquid crystal formulation, Emulsion helps replenish the skin’s delicate liquid crystal matrix to revive dry, aging or recently resurfaced skin." 

Phytoclear is great as a daytime moisturizer for combination skin and oily skin. Phytoclear can be alternated with Phytoharmony as a night time moisturizer for oily to very oily skin. Remember, activities play a part in how much your skin is already balanced with oil and water, so choose your moisturizer carefully!  From CosMedix: "Pytoclear - This unique formula hydrates while targeting bacteria and excess oil. Addressing hormonal factors with a balance of soy isoflavones and pregnenolone, Phytoclear works to keep pores clear, stimulate collagen and restore a healthy glow to oily, impure and menopausal skin." 

Apply a moisturizer to your skin and finish with Sunscreen. My favorite is Reflect by CosMedix! It's a spray-on SPF of 30 and is light and non-greasy. You won't even notice it's on! SPF is a must because it blocks the harmful effects from overexposure to the suns rays. One harmful effect is premature aging! Need I say more?

So I've talked a little about my favorite moisturizers and one of my favorite sunscreens. These aren't the only effective products on the market, but they're the ones I feel work best for my clients and myself. If you'd like to pick a moisturizer on your own, be sure to check out my post on what to look for in a moisturizer.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

A poem I wrote titled "This is My Skin"

This is my skin
I'm born in my skin
I sleep in in my skin
I think in my skin
I believe in my skin
I fight in my skin
I am a woman in my skin
I'm educated and I relate in my skin
Born in a world of dreams and aspirations I dare to be different in my skin
I am of Cherokee descent and I am also spiritual in my skin
Love and of bold charm I'm following my passion in my skin.

By Amber Adair

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Moisturizing helps with breakouts! Yeah I said it!

Moisturizing is the second to the last step (sunscreen is the last) and an important step in your skin care routine. Moisturizers are important for every skin type, especially oily skin. Sebaceous glands are your natural moisturizers that produce oil to moisturize hair and skin. Oily skin needs water to prevent the sebaceous glands from becoming over active and causing a breakout.

There are two types of ingredients to look for when picking a moisturizer: humectants such as urea or glycerin and emollients such as lanolin, mineral oil, or petrolatum. Oily skin needs water, so a humectant moisturizer is perfect. It works by absorbing water from the air around you. Emollients fill in the spaces between the skin cells to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If the moisturizer has both then it is the best of both worlds.

I recommend you use a daytime and a night time moisturizer because you want a lighter moisturizer with sunscreen and a heavier, more intense moisturizer at night to replenish water loss. Remember, when dealing with skin it's all about balance.

Ever wonder why your skin (including your whole body) may feel itchy at night? It's because skin regenerates itself at night and is more likely to have a higher trans-epidermal water loss. Trans-epidermal water loss is defined as a measurement of the quantity of water that passes from inside a body through the epidermal layer to the surrounding atmosphere via diffusion and evaporation processes. You would not wear an expensive pair of leather boots that hasn't been conditioned. Skin can look leathery over time without proper moisturizing and your skin is just as thirsty as those leather boots! So lotion up to prevent itchy blotchy skin and help maintain its integrity.

The moisturizing step in your skin care routine is a must; you must replenish water and lipids to the skin. Do not be concerned that the ingredients will break your skin out. Remember your first and second steps (cleansing and exfoliating) in your skin care routine? Your skin will need the moisturizer after cleansing and exfoliating. Skipping this step over time will give the skin a rough, red, blotchy appearance. Your exfoliant and moisturizer can only repair the skin to improve; it's not a plastic surgeon. So protect that baby skin!

In my next post I'll tell you what my favorite moisturizers are and a little bit about them.