Category: Glyco-A Gel


Is your skin feeling tired, dull, and out of balance? Winter is the best time of year to work on your complexion: UV rays are low, you’re outside less, and if you’re like me – because of the long nights – you are resting more.

I’ve chosen two exfoliating products by Tu’el for the January Product Feature. They both contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and provide amazing results when used together:

Glyco-A Gel is a 10% Glycolic Acid solution which improves the skin’s appearance and texture. It helps reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, and hyper-pigmentation and improves many other skin conditions.  AHAs weaken the binding properties of the lipids that hold the dead skin cells together, allowing the skin to be exfoliated, exposing live skin cells, and stimulating new cell growth.

Crystal C Serum is a healthy-aging and antioxidant Vitamin C serum that acts as a free radical scavenger, helps reverse and prevent sun damage, and improves skin firmness.

Made with the only stable form of Vitamin C, along with Lactic and Malic Acids, this fabulous serum will change your skin! Vitamin C  is great to use under your sun block for natural extra protection as well.

What’s in Crystal C Serum?

Purified Water, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Green Tea Extract, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hydroxyethylcellose, Propylene Glycol, Superoxide Dismutase, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, L-Tyrosine, Sodium Citrate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate. 1 oz.

If you’re new to Star Brows, you may not know about The Product Feature or Rewards yet. To put it simply, 10% of all your product purchases all the time, go toward free Service Enhancements , like Raindrop Therapy, Lash Tint, Chemical Peels, or Star Massage.

When a product is the Monthly Feature however, you’ll get 20% back in Rewards! This month’s feature, Crystal C Serum, is $57 – that means $11 toward a service Enhancement – and Glyco-A Gel, which is $31, gives you $6 in Rewards.

See you at the spa!

Photo: Vintage Vogue

Unfortunately my “pre-bash massage” was just cancelled – dang 😦 – so I’m writing an NYE makeup post instead!

Happy New Year’s party preparations to all of you! I’m getting ready for The Golden Era event at my father’s winery. I want to look my best, and I want you to look your best too – even if you’re not planning to go out for NYE! Here are eight steps to a flawless look:

1. Exfoliate – Perfect makeup requires well-tended skin. A week to a couple of days before the big night start doing masks, peels, and scrubs. The Cleansing Oil is also an excellent way to polish, exfoliate, and brighten your skin: Do a 20-minute massage with it instead of the normal quick cleanse. (Did you know the Cleansing Oil takes off makeup really well? Buh-bye makeup dissolver.)

Of course, hopefully you have consulted a skincare professional about what products are best for your skin. If you trust your exfoliant not to cause a breakout or irritate your skin, using one even the night before will help your skin look radiant.

My picks: Gyco-A Gel, Crystal C Serum and Peeling Cream. Just so happens two of these are January’s Product Feature with Double Rewards!

2. Moisturize – Those of you who read my blog regularly know that when you discipline the skin, you also need to use plenty of TLC. Moisturize the entire face, neck, and décolleté, as well as the eye area. Even oily and acne-prone skin types need moisturizer. Your makeup will look so much better if your skin is well hydrated.

My picks: Hy-Drate, Vitamin Cream, Chamomile, Eye Plus Cream, Lipo-Gen.

3. Prime – Every great artist knows that preparing the canvas is key. Getting the skin ready for the application of cosmetics makes the finished product look so much better. Absorb Oil Control is perfect for oily and acne-prone skin: It is an oil controller and hydrator in one. Mineral Primer will fill in the fine lines and imperfections and make your foundation last. Use Concealer around the eye area.

4. Apply FoundationMineral Makeup is my favorite for your base. Use a small brush for extra coverage in the areas that need it. Use a darker color to contour, like the hollows of your cheeks or the sides of your nose. Contour the eyes with shades of brown, especially if you have droopy lids. (Remember: dark recedes, light brings forward.) Highlighter under the brow bone accentuates the arch. I carry BDB Duo Concealer: it’s a pencil with concealer on one end and highlighter on the other – another “twofer”!

5. Add Color – Glitter (small particles, used sparingly) is a hot look for NYE. Aging skin doesn’t do well with glitter though. I personally like the Youngblood Mineral Makeup in the color Sunglow for sparkle and pop. Blush should be applied to the apple of the cheek only if you have a very thin and long face, so you can create width. If your face is round, apply blush on the cheek starting at the edge of the iris and swooping up to the temples and into the hairline.

Shadow color can be added next. Remember: if you are playing up the eyes, go easy on the lips, and vice versa.

6. Lashes – Right now I am playing with and loving LashSense One Step by SeneGence. It is a lash growth and conditioning product and mascara. And of course I must have my beloved

Blackout Mineral Mascara by Youngblood. I always use two mascaras. I find I get the best lashes that way. Lash Primer is also excellent for extra volume and conditioning. For those of us who need to curl our lashes, I like the MAC curler best.

7. Lips Bright and bold is on trend for both NYE and spring 2011. You know I am partial to LipSense long-lasting lipcolor!  I’ll be wearing Plum as a base, then Brick, and the top coat will be Neutral. Because this lipcolor is applied in 3 coats, I played on my hand to find a color that matched my shoes. (Check them out: They are comfy with leather uppers – Ross!) You can create any color you want when you have the basic Lipsense colors.

As an alternative, I like recommending a lip pencil and plumping colored gloss – both by Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics.

8. Eyebrows – Getting the right shape requires professional help – at least to get you started, at best for maintenance. You’re not stuck with the eyebrows you have: You can create the perfect brows at home.  How? If you have thinning brows, start using Brow Boost right away. All the Billion Dollar Brows products rock! Cosmetics for creating the perfect eyebrows – like pencils, powders, and brow-setting gel – will transform blah brows to bomb brows!

See you at the spa!

Caring for your skin is a lifetime pursuit, and it’s never too early to start. In honor of  National Skin Care Awareness Month (NSCAM) – I’d like to offer 50% off the Express Facial for your daughters or sons – 18 years old or younger, during the month of September.

Inspired by NSCAM here is Part #1 of a 3 part post about; skincare myths, truths, mistakes and tips to help you care the largest organ of your body – your skin!

COMMON SKIN MYTHS

MYTH #1- SKIN SHOULD FEEL TIGHT AFTER YOU WASH IT. THIS IS A SIGN THAT IT HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY CLEANED.

TRUTH: Actually, if the skin feels tight after washing, it is a sign that the skin has been stripped of all of its water; this causes surface dead skin cell buildup. Then you have to put your moisturizer on to restore the moisture that you just removed—which makes no sense! Bar soaps (even if they say that they are moisturizing), foaming cleansers, and anything else that leaves your skin feeling tight is an absolute no-no! The most important part of your entire routine is what you wash with. It can make or break the rest of your routine. Look for low foaming cleansers that do not contain the ingredients Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, so your skin will have a comfortable and balanced clean. Check out our collection of cleansers.

MYTH #2- CHOCOLATE AND GREASY FOODS MAKES YOUR SKIN BREAKOUT.

TRUTH: There is actually no evidence indicating that these foods increase breakouts. The foods that most often are linked to breakouts are dairy products and citrus foods.

MYTH #3- THE SUN ISN’T AS STRONG IN THE WINTER, SO YOU DON’T NEED SUNSCREEN.

TRUTH: There are two types of rays: UVB rays cause your skin to get a tan or sunburn and they are not as strong in the winter as in the  summer. UVA rays are what cause premature skin aging and skin cancer and they are equally strong from summer to winter so you’re still getting UV damage even on a cloudy, rainy day in December. A UVA/UVB sunscreen needs to be worn 365 days a year, rain or shine, inside or out.

Did you know? 78% of all the sun damage over a lifetime, is from incidental exposure such as driving in your car, in your home or office near windows and simply walking to the mailbox. Yet another reason to wear sunscreen like: Tu’el Oil Free Sun Protector SPF 30.

MYTH #4- OILY SKINS DON’T NEED TO BE MOISTURIZED.

TRUTH: You don’t need extra oil, but your skin still needs water to keep the skin cells healthy and hydrated. When there is no water present, the skin cells die prematurely, resulting in dead skin cell build up, clogged pores and increased oil production. And BTW, drinking water – although great, is not an efficient way to hydrate the skin.

MYTH #5 -YOU CAN SHRINK YOUR PORE SIZE.

TRUTH: Large pores are an indication of how much oil you produced when you were in your teens—the formative years for your pore size. When your skin rapidly pumped out the oil, the walls of the pore stretched wider resulting in larger pores.  Many products will claim to actually shrink your pores, but there is no way to do this, pore size is genetic.

The best way to reduce the appearance of the large pores is by exfoliating often. By using a combination of both physical exfoliants like Tu’el Peeling Cream, and chemical exfoliants like Tu’el Glyco-A Gel on a regular basis, you will help remove surface dry cells so the opening of the pores are not as deep, making them look smaller.

See you at the spa!

Tu’el brings another wonderful product. This time it’s a 10% Glycolic Acid in a 3.5 PH gel base. It is a very balanced alpha hydroxy acid or AHA.

This alpha hydroxy acid gel will gently increase surface exfoliation, help smooth skin surface and aide in product absorption.

Used by themselves, AHAs are drying, so it is essential to use a deeply penetrating humectant product like

Hy-Drate (rich in hyaluronic acid) in conjunction with this product.

Glycolic acid is also used to improve the skin’s appearance and texture. It may reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and improve many other skin conditions, including actinic keratosis, hyperkeratosis, and seborrheic keratosis.

Once applied, glycolic acid reacts with the upper layer of the skin, weakening the binding properties of the lipids that hold the dead skin cells together. This allows the skin to be exfoliated, exposing live skin cells.

What’s in it?

Aqua (Purified Water), Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Panthenol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate. 2 oz. $31

See you at the spa!

Aestheticians sometimes call their use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) when doing facials – chemical peels; but they are not peeling the skin, they are resurfacing. Whats the difference? There are 3 levels or strengths of AHAs available:

1. Cosmetic-you can get these at the drug or department store – see The Isles of Beauty

2. Cosmeceuticals-available to licensed skincare specialists.

3. Pharmaceuticals-doctors use these or write a prescription for them.

AHA’s work mainly as  exfoliants. They cause the cells of the skin in the upper layers to become “unglued,” allowing the dead skin cells to slough off and making room for regrowth of new skin deeper down.

AHA’s also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and improve wrinkling, roughness, and mottled pigmentation or sun damaged skin.

Some examples of AHA’s are: Glycolic – sugarcane, Lactic – sour milk products, Citric – citrus fruits, Malic – apples and pears, Tartaric – grapes.

For home use, I love: Glyco-A Gel by Tu’el

There is also a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) called salicylic. All  the acids have different strengths and purposes. So, what’s the difference between the BHA & AHA’s? Two words: lipid solubility, aka a substance’s ability to dissolve in oil. AHA’s are water soluble, and BHA dissolves in oil. So…oily skin likes BHA and normal to dry skin like AHA’s.

Try: 5% Salicylic Acid Clarifying Pads by DermaQuest Skin Therapy.

Side Effects of these acids include; irritation, sun sensitivity, redness, and itching.

Rosacea is a skin disease that responds favorably to some forms of resurfacing, but because this condition is often red, irritable and swollen,a patch test on the inside of the arm to check for allergic response or sensitivity is recommended. The capillary walls are near the surface of the skin in this condition (hence the redness and veiny appearance) so the skin needs extra protection. The skin is also thin, so toughening it up and thickening it with AHAs can be helpful.

AHA & BHA products may reverse some of the damage caused by the sun, but at the same time they make the skin more susceptible to sun damage. When using resurfacers use a good sunscreen – see Sunscreen 101 , that contains UVA and UVB protection.

My favorite: Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30 by Tu’el

See you at the spa!

Getting great skin is like raising a child; you need equal doses of discipline and TLC.

For skin, discipline means exfoliation. This is important because your skin is constantly shedding dead layers and building new cells deep in the dermal layer. The older you get, the slower this regenerative process becomes. There are three types of exfoliation that you can do at home, and professionally as well:

1.) Massage – Unless your skin is acne prone or very sensitive, massaging with the products you use to “nurture” your skin (think moisturizers, serums and Cleansing Oils!), is a form of exfoliation.

The proper technique for facial massage is as follows:

Forehead… Begin in the middle of the forehead making small circular movements out towards the temples. Repeat 5 times.

Eyes… From your temples, glide your index fingers over your brow and circle your eye sockets. The pressure should be very light. Repeat twice.

Nose… Slide your fingers down each side of your nose to the tip and up again. Repeat 5 times. End at the top of the mouth.

Mouth… Use your index and middle fingers and start at the chin, gently massage in a circular and upward motion around the mouth and lips. Bring the massage motion to the top of the mouth, under the nostrils. Repeat 5 times.

Cheeks… In a circular motion, massage outward from your chin to your earlobes, from the corners of your mouth to the middle of your ears and from your nostrils to your temples. Repeat twice, covering the whole area of the cheek.

Chin… Begin on your right where the jaw meets your ear. Using your thumb and index finger, gently slide across the jaw to your chin. Massage back to the starting point with circular motions. Repeat on the left side. Repeat 3 times each side.

Neck… Beginning at the back of the neck, massage upwards to the head with small circular motions. Repeat 5 times. Come around to the front of the neck and gently stroke upwards from the collarbone to the base of the chin. Repeat 3 times.

2.) Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) –

AHAs have been used for thousands of years, Cleopatra was said to have bathed in sour milk (lactic acid) to improve her skin tone.

They are typically derived from food products. Don’t let the word acid throw you off.  They are classified scientifically as acids, because of their ability to penetrate the skin. They dissolve the “glue” that holds the superficial layers of the skin together.

You’ll find AHAs in the Isles of Beauty, in skincare clinics or prescribed by doctors in the form of moisturizers, cleansers, serums and masks. You can use them at home or have professional treatments.

I like Tu’els Glyco-A Gel and Crystal C Serum; they have multiple AHA’s to exfoliate, brighten, strengthen, as well as calm the complexion.

3. Scrubs – This family of exfoliants clean up dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. I like Tu’el Peeling Cream a manual microdermabrasion product. Be careful with this family of products though; use sparingly and massage lightly – more is not better.

Exfoliation can be done up to 5 times per week, or until the skin manifests the desired effects. Use different forms of exfoliation, give your skin “time off” and don’t use the same products for prolonged periods – results diminish.

All exfoliants stimulate new cell growth deep in the skin, but they also create free radicals and break the skin down.

A word of caution – don’t use resurfacers or get peels unless you are willing to use an appropriate sunscreen religiously,as well as a nurturing regime to combat the challenges resurfacing presents to the skin.

Most of this post is applicable for “normal skin”. People with clinical grade acne, history of melanoma, extreme sensitivity, any skin disease like rosacea, or those who are under the care of a physician should consult a professional and proceed with caution.

Moisturizers, antioxidant serums, soothing masks, and peptides are a few of the nurturing products that are necessary when you are serious about caring for your skin.

Get a plan for loving the skin your in.

See you at the spa!

 

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