Category: Sunscreen


It’s a fact: The Ocean is one big sun reflector. You’re more at risk for sunburns and sun damage on the shore than anywhere else.

Here are my expert tips to keep your skin safe this summer:

  • Discontinue use of AHA’s: Using exfoliants regularly (such as Glycolic Acid) have been shown to increase sun sensitivity by 45 percent. It’s best to discontinue use of AHA’s seven days prior to the beach.
  • Sunscreen: It’s not the SPF number that is as important, it is how often and generously you apply.  When it comes to SPF, I prefer SPF 30 reapplied as often as every hour.

My pick: Tu’el Oil Free Protection SPF 30. It’s an oil-free, lightweight full spectrum sun block for oily or impure skin or for those in hot and/or humid climates. 3 oz. $22

It contains a key moisturizing ingredient, Sodium Hyaluronate as well as nourishing Cucumber Extract, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea
  • Be aware of oily skinned areas: The areas of your face where you have larger pores will always produce more oils.  These natural oils can breakdown sunscreens more quickly, so pay attention and reapply more often.  For example, the nose area acts as a natural reflectant.  Pay attention to your nose, or any area, that is getting shiny…
  • Apply sunscreen in forgotten areas: hairline, ears, tops of feet, toes, eyelids.
  • Don’t think you are safe in the shade: You still get sun under an umbrella, especially by the ocean. Because the water reflects light you still need to apply and re-apply sunscreen.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses: If the goal is to help protect your skin from premature aging, a hat and sunglasses can be the extra coverage you need for your face.
  • Got acne? Go for a swim: The salt in the ocean water helps destroy bacteria, which can clear up your breakouts.
  • Rinse off the saltwater: The same water that is destroying bacteria is also very dehydrated (great for blemishes, not for dry skin). Make sure to rinse off before leaving beach.
  • Wear mineral makeup: For extra protection, Youngblood mineral powders has an SPF protecting factor and will give you a finished look without being too heavy for the beach.

What if you applied sunscreen but still got sunburn? The most common problems are:

  • Too little sunscreen applied
  • Not applied every hour for intense exposure
  • Not the right formulation

Sunscreens wear off, sweat off and wash off.  Applying 20 minutes before exposure, liberally and often makes all the difference.  If you want to look young, avoid the sun. A little sun means a little damage; a lot of sun means a lot of damage.

Click here if you want to learn more about sun protection.

Summer means fun at the beach – relax and enjoy but be safe with your skin!

See you at the spa!

Tu’el Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30

An oil-free, lightweight full spectrum sun block especially for oily or impure skin or for those in hot and/or humid climates. 3 oz. $22

SPF 30 can be worn all day, but is especially important when outside for prolonged periods, or near water.

Some of the ingredients include:

Chamomile Extract: Soothing, calming and  assists in healing.

Green Tea Extract: Powerful antioxidant, free radical scavenger and anti irritant.

Aloe Extract: Soothes and protects.

Sodium Hyaluronate: It is the cosmetic grade of Hyaluronic Acid. Extremely humectant, binds up to 1000 times it’s weight in water, supports collagen and elastin in the dermis where wrinkles form.

People are often confused about sunscreen Sun Protection Factor formulations. Here is what is in this one:
  • Octyl Methoxycinnamate – UVB protection, waterproof, reduces the appearance of scars and is an organic compound.
  • Benzophenone 3 – It is an organic compound, broad spectrum protection photosynthesizing short wave UVA  and absorbs rays in the upper UVB, lower UVB range, where primary sundamage – i.e. burning, skin cancer and aging occur.
  • Octyl Salicylate – Adds emollient properties, is an organic compound and absorbs UVB.
  • Titanium Dioxide – Utra Violet physical block found naturally.
  • Avobenzone – Active, “broad spectrum” (this is an important key phrase, watch for it on labels) protection. It’s an organic sunscreen agent that has the ability to absorb ultraviolet light over a wide range of wavelengths.

See you at the spa!

This summer I’ll be traveling down the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam visiting little villages and touring castles. We begin our adventures with a day in Gay Paree!

It is a thrill to anticipate, and still – I’m a bit apprehensive. 😉

Air travel can still be a brutish experience. An extended flight in an airplane’s low-humidity, pressurized interior, followed by exposure to a climate that may be vastly different from what you’re used to, can wreak havoc on your body.

Cabin air is drier than the world’s driest deserts. It’s like 10 percent humidity. That’s a very harsh environment, not just on your face but on your entire body. An environment like that, with no moisture, can make your skin look five to 10 years older.

When the skin has no water, it attempts to compensate for the dehydration by producing more oil—which is the last thing that oily skin needs. But for dry skins that have no oil glands, the skin will be depleted of its water content.

Add to that the inevitable experience of jet lag, often mixed with immodest amounts of caffeine or alcohol, pre-flight stress, high-fat meals eaten in a hurry at airport fast-food outlets, and hours of breathing the germ-laden air in the airplane cabin; and it’s no wonder travelers often deplane dehydrated, with dry, blotchy skin, puffy eyes, and swollen ankles.

Complicating matters are new airline security regulations that limit the liquids passengers can carry on. Yet, despite all these gorillas waiting to pound your skin, savvy travelers can still do a lot to lessen the negative impacts.

The moral: traveling is especially tough on skin, so spend a little time anticipating what you’ll need to take care of your self.

So, before I talk myself out of going, let me suggest a few things I carry at Star Brows, that you (and I) will need to keep our skin healthy, hydrated and happy 🙂

  • Moisturizing and hydrating skincare products (in plastic bags in case they leak). Look for serums using ingredients like Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone and Hyaluronic Acid to lock in moisture.

My picks: Hydrate & Hydrating Body Tonic by Tu’el – I call these “under-wear” because they hold onto the moisture that is naturally occurring in your skin, and you typically wear them under sunscreen, night cream and body lotion – especially if you are very dry.

  • A facial mist to instantly hydrate (carry on, and spritz your face when you feel dry).

My pick: Climate Control by Senegence

  • Lip Conditioner containing shea butter, which not only adds to the protective barrier but also locks in moisture.

My pick: Glossy Gloss by Senegence (the moisturizing part of the long-lasting, top-selling duo – LipSence.)

  • Foot cream! 1. To keep your feet in tip-top shape. 2. To have an excuse to massage them.

My pick: Smooth by OPI – it is a no-rinse way to moisturize and exfoilliate.

  • Sunscreen, one for the face and one for the body.

My pick: Sun Diffusing Protector by Bioelements and SPF 30 (full spectrum block) of some sort for the bod.

So, we’ve covered the bare essentials – face and body hydration, UV protection and foot and lip care.

Now let’s talk about a couple other travel do’s and don’ts for great skin:

  • Avoid putting on makeup before boarding an airplane. Makeup will act as one more barrier if you want to rehydrate your skin during flight. (I’ll admit this is a tough one for us beauty mavens!)
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, both in flight and before you board, but do drink as much water as you can–ideally, at least eight ounces for every hour of flight time.
  • Periodically head to the restroom to splash lukewarm water on your face to rehydrate and clean out clogged pores. For long flights, consider soaking a washcloth or paper towel in hot water and placing it on your face to open nasal passages.
  • Apply moisturizer or mist whenever you feel skin beginning to tighten. Every hour is not too often.
  • Gel eye masks are inexpensive and you can ask a flight attendant to keep one in the galley refrigerator for you during the flight.
  • Once you reach your destination, indulge in a long, hot bath as soon as possible. The key is to immerse yourself in water and restore moisture to your dried out skin, lips, and mucous membranes. In addition, a long bath or shower will help humidify the air, which can also be dreadfully dry in hotel rooms.
  • Slip, Slop, Slap as the Aussies say. That’s slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat!
    Don’t stop protecting your skin just because you’ve completed the marathon of getting from Point A to Point B–especially if Point B has a dramatically different climate than Point A. Look out for sunburn.
  • Essential Oil is a travel must. The airplane offers a host of bacteria and viruses, essential oils purify, protect and bolster your immune system.

My pick: Thieves by Young Living

An Irish blessing for your travels:

May your day be filled with blessings like the sun that lights the sky, and may you always have the courage
to spread your wings and fly!

See you at the spa!

Menopause is the 2nd big hormonal event in a women’s life, and even if you are nowhere near this stage of life, it is NOT too early to prepare. Like everything else, preparation and knowledge about the process of  “your change” will dictate your success in navigating through this natural occurrence.

So do as I say, not as I did. I saw menopause as something natural that I would float through seamlessly – didn’t I have my last baby at home? Super Woman! Not 😉 I mean I got through without a DNC, I let fibroids shrink on their own, I wore sunscreen, got moody, lived through night sweats, fought dryness, etc.

What I did not prepare for was the state of depletion that the declining levels of estrogen left me in. There are supplements to address these changes, but I didn’t see the need at the time. I do now, as a 55-year-old post-menopausal woman…better late than never!

But, I digress…let’s just stick to the skin part of this discussion.

The biggest skin bandit is undoubtedly the sun – which we love! but we must respect its power.

In 2nd position is the process of aging. First of all, can I just mention that I HATE the phrase anti-aging. Is it beneficial to be against aging? We, as women, spend our youth worrying if we are thin enough, pretty enough, sexy enough, toned enough…blah, blah, blah enough already! I like to call it healthy aging instead.

That said, let’s talk about what is going on behind the “skin scenes” in the aging process – and  what we can do to have the best possible outcome.

Decline in estrogen levels are the main culprit. This affects every organ skin of the body, including the skin. The estrogen receptors that carry this magic “women juice” are found most abundantly around the genital area (duh), face and lower limbs.

Dryness and wrinkling in peri and post menopause are the most noticeable effects on the skin and impact all women to some degree. But behind the scenes there are some other body systems that are changing:

  • The skin becomes less capable of storing moisture.
  • Collagen is breaking down.
  • The blood supply to the skin decreases.
  • The sebaceous glands shrink and produce less oil
  • The skin’s deeper fat layers shrink
  • Aging skin thins and becomes paler and more translucent
  • The skin bruises more easily and is generally more sensitive
  • Allergic reactions and body itching may increase
  • Risk of skin cancer, rosacia and other skin disorders increase.

Having fun yet? 🙂

Solutions:

  • Use a full spectrum block from an early age – or now!
  • Use Mineral Makeup , it calms, soothes, protects the skin from environmental factors and provides an SPF factor
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Start a preventative skin care regime, supervised by a skincare professional that addresses your skin type and issues.
  • Eat healthy raw foods regularly. Low-gylcemic index foods, will increase dermal hydration.
  • Consider supplements: especially a multiple vitamin, minerals and essential fatty acids like Omega 3
  • Use exfoilliants and/or get chemical peels regularly to increase cell turnover.
  • Moisturize using a formulation with hyaluronic acid
  • Practice regular/daily habits of elimination.
  • Develop stress management resources and a support system. Emotions create toxins that affect the skin.

The skin is a living, breathing organ of elimination. It also serves as a  protective covering and barrier – what works to keep it fit and healthy is constantly changing.

You have completely new skin cells every couple of months. Those new cells were grown in an ever-changing body, depending on: what you eat, drink, your skincare regime, hormones, the weather,  – even your thoughts and moods.

Note: When I do brow maintenance I also consult with my clients about the state of their skin, keeping them in touch with the changes the skin is going through, and how to best facilitate healthy, beautiful skin at any age.

See you at the spa!

I’ve found some excellent priming products over the years that I love and use both at home and at work.
After all, great makeup is no accident, is not for the faint of heart, and requires attention to detail.
Still reading? Good! 😉 Let’s get started!
1.) Mineral Rice Setting Powder by Youngblood
Youngblood Mineral Rice Powder at Star Brows: This ultra-silky, translucent powder absorbs oil to control shine and diminish the appearance of pores, but doesn’t dry your skin. It prepares the skin for my favorite makeup, Natural Mineral Foundation (which comes pressed or loose). The rice powder (which also comes pressed or loose) sets a flawless, long-lasting matte finish. This unique formulation uses rice starch, corn starch and minerals, is 100% talc-free and calms and soothes the skin.
What’s in it?
Mica (CI 77019), Corn Starch Modified, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Hydrated Silica, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower) Flower Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract. .35 oz. $22.
2.) Mineral Primer by Youngblood
Give your makeup real staying power with Mineral Primer, a lightweight, translucent blend that works with Youngblood Mineral Foundation. You will love its silk-to-powder touch within seconds of application, and be amazed at how fine lines and pores disappear effortlessly. Formulated with minerals and vitamins, the Primer also protects skin from environmental damage. Skin protection, a flawless complexion, and makeup that last all day.
What’s in it?
Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Smithsonite Extract, Rhodochrosite Extract, Malachite Extract, Hematite Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate. 1 oz. $37.50
3.) Mineral Lash Prime by Youngblood
This milky white lash “cream” works under mascara to create visibly fuller and thicker lashes after the first coat of mascara. The nourishing formula moisturizes and softens lashes with protein, vitamins and natural oils to help prevent lash breakage.
What’s in it?
Water (Aqua) , Acrylates Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Polybutene, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Triethanolamine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Oleic Acid, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil , Simethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water. .13 oz. $22

Tip: For a fake eyelash effect, apply primer to bear lashes, wiggling at the base and sweeping out. Immediately apply multiple coats of your favorite mascara while it is still wet.

4.) Ultimate Concealer

Who doesn’t need help with the skin under the eyes? Youngblood Ultimate Concealer at Star Brows is a rich & creamy, mineral formula that gives sheer to heavy coverage, while still looking silky and natural. This perfect blend of light-reflecting minerals makes the skin look smoother, draws attention away from dark circles, and diffuses tiny lines. vitamin C and E help minimize lines and dark circles, allantoin extract stimulates the growth of healthy tissue, and jojoba esters prevent dryness throughout the day.

What’s in it?

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Jojoba Esters, Polyethylene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Allantoin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil. .10 oz $27

5.) Concealer Brush

Now for my very favorite priming tip: Japonesque Foundation Brush at Star Brows – This is hot! The soft little brush dipped into a fabulous Mineral Makeup nestles into the labial folds of the nose, (new name please) and eye area. Use it any place where there are sunspots, blemishes, broken capillaries or redness, because: smaller brush = better coverage. This also helps protect vulnerable areas from UV rays, because minerals in a concentrated  area can give up to 30 SPF.

The tips I’ve given you are not just for aesthetic value, but holistic in nature – and therefore worth the time, I think, since they keep your skin and lashes radiantly healthy, as well as beautiful.

See you at the spa!


Everyone’s always talking about UV rays and how bad they are and how you need a certain type of SPF to block out those rays. But what do all those acronyms mean? What are UV rays? Are they bad? And if UV rays are bad, how do you combat them? Well, let me tell ya!

Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is present in sunlight. It is considered an environmental human carcinogen. The effects of UV rays on normal skin include: skin cancer, sunburn inflammation and hyper pigmentation (also known as sunspots). In addition, UV rays can also have a negative impact on the immune system.

UV falls into 3 categories:

1.) UVA– can penetrate glass, it oxidizes melanin (the brown stuff), that’s already present and triggers the release of more melanin in the skin. It has less energy than other UV rays, but penetrates deeply. Fortunately, it does not cause redness. However, UVA can generate chemical changes which can damage DNA. Because it does not cause reddening of the skin it cannot be measured in SPF testing.

2.) UVB– stimulates the body to produce more melanin and produce a “burn”. They are the most potent rays that reach the earth, and can produce skin cancer.

3.) UVC- These are the highest energy UV rays.  They have the shortest wave length and could be the most harmful to your skin and eyes. They should be completely absorbed by the ozone layer, however the earth’s protective shield is increasingly compromised.

So, what is a tan anyway? My kids used to taunt me by saying, “Mom, I’m going out to get some sun damage!”

A tan is the skin’s defense against UV radiation, the brown pigment (melanin) in the skin increases when exposed to moderate levels of radiation. In healthy skin with moderate exposure, Melanin absorbs UV radiation and dissipates the energy as harmless heat, blocking the damaging of skin tissue.

It is important that sunscreen block both UVA,UVB and UVC. A skincare professional can recommend a product; or you can take a few notes about ingredients to look for in a full spectrum block like: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide  (life guards wear it – it’s clear now) and avobenzone.

Here is one of my favorite sunscreens, especially for sensitive skin that react to the chemicals in sunscreens: Tu’el Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30.

Most products contain an SPF rating to show how well they block UVB rays only. However they typically offer no data about UVA protection. In other words, that 80 SPF sunscreen you have sitting in your bathroom may or may not be working.  Since UVA rays don’t cause redness, there’s no way to tell if they’re damaging your skin.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering adding a star rating system to show UVA protection. (Note to the FDA: Hurry up already, it’s been promised for years!)

Everyday sunscreens should be at least SPF 15. If you’re going to be in the sun for prolonged periods, make sure it’s SPF 30, and remember to get one that is formulated to block the full spectrum of rays.

I recommend applying sunscreen to the entire body right after showering, and to the face after washing it. That way the product has time to soak in and take effect before going outside. It’s a good idea to slather on a second application when you hit the beach, or will be having prolonged exposure.

A white cotton shirt has a SPF of about 8, but if the shirt is tight and the weave stretched, it’s much less. If the shirt gets wet, fades or is several years old, its ability to protect against the sun is even more reduced. Did you know that dark colors absorb more UV rays (that’s a good thing), than light colors. That is why you are hotter in a black shirt than a white one.

Adding a hat and UV protective sunglasses to your sunscreen will help protect your face completely.

If all that wasn’t enough to convince you to slather on the sunscreen, here’s a few more fun (sun) facts:

  • One per cent of wrinkles are caused by ageing; 99 per cent are caused by the sun.
  • It only takes one severe burn during childhood to double the risk of skin cancer in adult life.
  • Using SPF 15 during the first 18 years of life lowers skin cancer odds by 80 percent.
  • An easy way to remember the difference between UVA + UVB rays: UVA = ageing, UVB= burning.

So remember – practice safe sun!

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!

Age is nothing but a number to gorgeous stars including Sandra, Demi, Helen Mirren, Meryl, Sigourney and J. Lo. These over 40 beauties are great in pictures, but I bet they look like us before fabulous makeup artists work their magic!

To make it onto my healthy aging “A” list you need; expression and smile lines, your own tatas, and a healthy womanly looking figure.
Cameron Diaz  is such a pretty woman – and I loved her red lips; I hope she was wearing LipSense so it stayed on all night!

Diane Krueger’s smokey eye, pale lip color and great bone structure is striking! She was a favorite look of mine: simple, classic, and elegant.

Julianne Moore makes a case for sunscreen on the forearms. Freckles are cute when you are young, but tend to multiply as you age, especially when you don’t practice safe sun.

Penelope Cruz needs facial waxing. Some ethnicities like to rock the “sideburn” , but I’m not a fan.

And finally for the ladies, Helen Mirren celebrated what a naturally healthy aging woman looks like!

And what is up with all the guys’ scruffy beards? Thanks, Zac, for shaving – you look great, mmmm!

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!

 

So, you’ve heard me say before that you have the skin you’ve inherited until about 30, and then  you have the skin you deserve after that. Which means, beautiful skin doesn’t happen naturally (just like the body!). So, what are the top 5 things to guarantee a great complexion?

1.) Find an esthetician that you can visit at least seasonally. Facials are a real boost to the health of the skin and a good way to get professional feedback on how your skin is doing and what it needs more or less of. Your esthetician will also get you hooked up with the best products to use for your skin.  Remember: Your skin is always changing, so what you use should change as well. There are seasonal changes that all skin types experience, and personal changes and stressors that are unique to you. Even if your skin is so problematic that you need a doctors help, that’s no excuse to neglect caring for it at home.

2.) Use great products even if this is a low priority or you have limited resources, there are some key product that really are a must. Let me tell you about a few of my secret weapons:

Facial sunscreen – USE THIS DAILY! In other words, don’t let UV Radiation hit your face without protection (UVA penetrates glass), and keep some in your purse (pocket) for prolonged exposure. In case you’re wondering, the numbers on the bottle don’t mean much; the use of them is unregulated. What does mean something is “full spectrum coverage.” Zinc Oxide is the key ingredient for achieving that.  Not to give you a science lesson, but Zinc Oxide is what lifeguards used to wear before they developed a clear formula.  (Remember that thick white stuff that covered their t-zones?) It’s an important ingredient because it is natural. You don’t have to get it full strength (bit much) but try to get a sunscreen with Zinc Oxide as an active ingredient.

Moisturizer with Sodium Hyaluronate – Sodium Hyaluronate is a polysaccharide  found in the extracellular matrix of our connective tissue.  It is a tissue lubricant that holds over 100 times it’s weight in water.  (Ok. That was REALLY a science lesson.) As we age, this ingrediant needs to be supplemented. Bottom line? Don’t use a moisturizer without Sodium Hyaluronate as one of the top ingredients. The product I recommend is Advance by Serum from DermaQuest. It contains  40% Hyaluronic Acid. Don’t worry!  It doesn’t act like an acid (burn), it is called an acid because of its molecular size and thus, its ability to penetrate the surface of the skin.

Use a foundation everyday – Before mineral makeup came on the scene I could not get my staff (at the Spa in MN), to put makeup on women after a facial, because they didn’t want to “clog the pores”. Mineral makeup doesn’t clog pores, but not all mineral makeup is created equal. I  carry Youngblood Mineral Makeup,which also has an SPF value.  Some of the minerals reflect UV, some absorb it. When wearing mineral makeup, getting a good match is key. Using it daily is also important because the enviroment stresses the skin and mineral makeup soothes and protects it. It calms redness, conceals “spots”, and evens skin tone. It is also not a comedigenic (acne feeding) makeup.

Note: Get a small concealer brush to apply minerals under and on top of the eye area before using shadow. It adds extra  UV protection and conceals redness and dark circles.

So now that you know about some great products to care for your skin, what are the remaining three ways to guarantee a great complexion?

3.) Eat right

4.) Exercise

5.) Drink plenty of water

See you at the spa!

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

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