Monday, April 25, 2011

Homemade skin care


Vicki Taylor Ido asked:
“What kind of kitchen/garden/homemade skin care product can I whip up to smoothe & soften?”

Yahoo! My kind of question! Thanks, Vicki!


For terrific skin care you only have to go as far as your garden (or grocery store produce department). There are great resources to be found online on this subject and this can be so much fun. Some of my favorites are:

Homemade Beauty Recipies
http://hmbeautyrecipes.homestead.com/SKINcarerecipes.html

Skin Care Company http://www.skincarecompany.net/natural-skin-care-recipes.htm

Complete Skincare Therapy http://www.completeskincaretherapy.com/

Here’s a sampling on a good, quick and easy masque:


Anti-Aging Banana Mask

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 med. banana - peeled
1 vitamin E capsule
Mix banana and whipping cream and mash to form a paste, stir in 1 vitamin E capsule. Spread over face and neck and leave on 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and follow with toner and moisturizer.




Anti-Aging Toner Facial Toner

5 green tea bags or several heaping teaspoons of green tea
2 cups mineral water or vitamin water
Bring water to a boil. Place several heaping teaspoons of green tea leaves or 5 tea bags in a glass or bowl. Pour the boiling water over the leaves or bag and steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
Strain the green tea into a bottle, and let it cool. Apply to skin with cotton balls. Do not rinse. Apply moisturizer.
The recipe should be stored in a sterilized bottle and will keep for approximately 5 days in your refrigerator.



Almond and Avocado Moisturizing Cream

3 tsp. beeswax
3 tsp. emulsifying wax
*1/2 cup almond oil
1/2 cup avocado oil
3 Tbl. heated rosewater
Melt the beeswax and emulsifying wax in a double boiler or water bath (do not set wax directly over heat). Continually stirring, add the almond oil, avocado oil, and the heated rosewater drop by drop. Remove from heat and continue to stir until cool. If you wish you may add a fragrance at this time.
*Almond oil is a wonderful emollient (a substance that prevents water loss from the skin). The protein content is thought to stimulate production of collagen and elasticity.
Avocado oil is high in various nutrients, such as: vitamin A, E and D (more so than milk). The oil encourages cell regeneration, and moisturizing

Note that homemade products contain no preservatives and have a tendency to go bad after a period of time. In addition, it is always wise to patch test before using these products.

Happy cooking,or smashing or mixing, Vicki. You are now in the running to win a FREE European Facial all because you submitted a question to m.d. Skin llc. Be sure and check back to see if you are a winner on the final day of the month!

All about sunscreen


Casey Michelle Barlow wrote: “Skin care question: what's the best sunscreen for sensitive skin? I tend to breakout easily when using it on my face, even when it's oil free. “










Casey, as we all know, damage from the sun’s ultra-violet rays (UVA – Aging, UVB – Burning) causes premature aging, wrinkling, crow’s-feet, uneven skin tone and even causes deaths from skin cancers. Most sunscreens marketed today are specially formulated to be non-comedogenic. This is a word used for products that do not clog pores. Because the compounds in sunscreen products do not clog pores, sunscreens are not likely to be the root cause of breakouts. Having said that, most sunblocks contain oils, fragrances or other additives that may aggravate an acne condition that already exists.

If you already have some level of acne, you may be frustrated in searching for a sunscreen product that is right for you. You know that UVA rays are always finding a way to get you . . . even through your car’s windows, so daily protection is a MUST! You probably have some sun protection in your daily moisturizer and makeup. The SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION Prevention Guidelines advise to Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.




For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB)
sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

For Oily Skin types know that excessive oil is not your friend. Oil based products will only cause your pores to become more clogged and, in turn, generate more acne. Stay away from heavy lotion sunscreens. Unless your lifestyle requires an abnormal amount of sun exposure, your current skin care routine MIGHT already be sufficient protection for your face. Check to see what level of SPF is contained in the cosmetic and skin care products you are currently using. You want the total SPF to add up to at least 15. If it does, you may be sufficient. If not, you would need to add an additional sunscreen product. In the event that you are constantly exposed to sun a protection level of SPF 40 (or higher) would be advised. In addition, you would need to reapply during the day.


Look for a light lotion, spray or foam product. In the morning, after cleansing your face, apply the sunscreen and let it completely dry before adding moisturizer and makeup. Try to make this a habitual part of your regular skincare routine. If your skin is excessively oily you may want to add a face powder containing SPF to help with any shine coming through during the day.

If your skin is dry and acne prone you have a very different issue. That is keeping your skin hydrated and your pores clean and unclogged. Typical acne products can easily add to your dry skin problem. Sun exposure is NOT YOUR FRIEND! It can cause your acne to become even worse. In addition, because your skin is dry you are probably sensitive to various ingredients commonly found in sunscreen.

Sunscreen for dry skin should be a cream or heavy lotion and provide a broad spectrum protection of 25 – 60. Same as with oily skin, become in the habit of applying your sunscreen to cleansed skin and let completely dry before moving on to moisturizer application and makeup. Be sure to reapply during the day if you are constantly exposed to the sun.

Blocked pores cause acne. The use of heavy creams and lotions may create acne flare ups. If your skin becomes red and irritated, stop using the sunscreen product right away.

Typical ingredients that are cause for concerns for skin irritations are: Avobenzone, Benzophenone, Methoxycinnamate, and Para-aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)

It is recommended that sensitive skin types look for the ingredients dimethicone and cyclomethicone in your sunscreen.


I realize that I am not recommending a specific product, Casey. With sensitive skin, it may be an issue of trial and error. I carry SANITAS brand in my treatment room and find it extremely effective.

Now Casey, you are entered into the monthly drawing for FREE European Facial just for submitting your skincare question. Look to see if you’re a winner on the last day of this month!

What's toner all about?


Martha Sessions Davis wrote: "To use toner or not to use toner . . . I keep getting different answers from different folks. I want to make sure I don't leave any makeup or dirt behind when I cleanse, so do I use toner after cleansing and before moisturizing?"

Good question, Martha. Toner is an important player in good skin care. Let's start by telling a little about pH of your skin.
pH stands for the logarithm of the reciprocal of hydrogen ion concentration in gram atoms per liter. What?


Ok . . . settle down . . . pH is the way we measure the alkalinity or acidity of something. If something is 100% pure acid, it has a pH of 0, and if it is pure 100% alkaline it has a pH of 14. Normal skin pH is 5.5
The pores of our skin are made up of a combination of oil and sweat glands (sebaceous and sudoriferous glands) helping to keep our skin healthy and elastic. An excessive sebum secretion is often associated with oily skin and acne. This is particularly common in adolescents, and again in menopausal/peri-menopausal females, as the increased levels of hormones stimulate sebum production and secretion. When in balance, the combined excretion of oil and sweat from the skin’s pores has a pH of about 5.5.

So . . . to Martha’s question, will a toner really help with the care of your skin? Martha, this may be one of the most hotly debated questions in our industry. Here’s a little more detail on the biology of our skin. . . Your skin’s pH is a result of the skin’s acid mantle, which is a mixture of sebum and sweat that form on the surface of your skin. Ideally, a slightly acidic pH is desired because it helps to keep off harmful bacteria. When you wash your skin, you strip away at this acid mantle with cleansers that their sole purpose is to clean and dissolve oils. Using a toner is said to then “re-balance” the skin’s acid mantle.



Now then, having said that, the question still remains, “Is a toner necessary?” After all, within hours after cleansing your skin it will regenerate the acid mantle all on it’s own. In years past the standard in good skin care was “Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize.” Toners were used to remove traces of cleansers and any remaining makeup, daily grime and debris. Today’s cleaners are made to wash completely away and don’t actually need an additional step. In addition, many toners USED to be made up primarily from alcohol and/or witch hazel. BOTH of these ingredients are drying and irritating, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. Todays toner products are different and most have an additional moisturizing ingredient.

Remember that in cleansing your skin, it is not desirable that you strip away every single oil molecule!

Oil, is not the enemy! EXCESSIVE oil is the concern. Key word: EXCESSIVE! If you have an oily complexion a toner is always a must for your daily skin care.

Now for my personal skin care routine – I try to never skip using a toner in my own personal regime. I especially love the way my skin feels after a toner. In addition, I will often spritz my face during the day when I feel I need a pick-me-up and especially during the winter when my skin stays thirsty. But in the summer, I even keep some in the fridge in my treatment room. That’s simply a wonderful skin care treat about 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

I stand on the side of the controversy that says you should be using a daily toner. I think at best it encourages healthy skin and certainly at worst, can’t hurt.

Martha, thank you for your question. You are now entered into our monthly drawing for FREE European Facial.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How often should one get a facial?


I had a client the other day that came to see me because she was concerned about the texture of the skin on her face. She had been seeing another Aesthetician for weekly exfoliating facials, spent a ton of money on recommended products and was not very happy with the results. I wondered if she was undergoing a series of specific treatments and she said, “No. This is what my Aesthetician told me I needed.” Yikes! I don’t want to say that this skin care professional was just trying to make money off this client but really question what the deal was for her. This specific client was getting the exact opposite of desired results!


There MAY be reasons to have weekly visits to your Aesthetician. If you are undergoing a series like chemical peels, microdermabrasions and the like, they do require weekly and even sometime twice weekly visits. If you have acne or a lot of blackheads, whiteheads, or maybe even experiencing hormonal changes in your skin, weekly visits may not be too much until you see improvement. Typically, however, monthly visits are ideal. At minimum, I suggest that you visit your skin care professional on a quarterly basis. That is just 4 times each year, every three months.

This is not to say I wouldn’t like to have you in my spa room more frequently. There are so many treatments that one can benefit from: From airbrush tanning, to waxing, to non-surgical facelifts. I refer to my practice as “personalized” skin care. Each client is treated individually. There will be no “cookie cutter” service at m.d. Skin!
Like my new clients complexion, over exfoliation from incorrect treatments and/or products can lead to dry, red or irritation rather than smooth and healthy. I will be happy to provide free consultation and make suggestions on the best treatment plan for you. My goal is smoother, silkier, glowing skin and a long term, happy relationship!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Top 10 List for your BEST Skin

 

TOP TEN ACTION ITEMS FOR YOUR BEST COMPLEXION

  skin care professional

#10 FORM A RELATIONSHIP WITH A SKIN CARE PROFESSIONAL

Don’t think of a facial or other skin care treatment as just a “buff and fluff” sort of service. Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Doesn’t it deserve a qualified professional taking care of it?

A facial is far more beneficial to your overall well-being than you can even imagine its hygiene & exercise for the skin.  Facials offer you the opportunity to work with a skincare specialist who will analyze your skin, help you improve your complexion & show you how to have proper homecare for your skin. 

#9 DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

We learned in elementary school science that our bodies are more than 60% water. Each organ in our bodies needs their share, but it’s not given out equally. Our skin – the largest organ – is about the last to get it’s share. We stay hydrated and send water to heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, GI, and THEN to our skin. It’s very difficult to drink enough H20 to positively effect our skin, but VERY easy to drink too little for negative effects. What happens when we don’t stay hydrated? Headaches, fatigue, dull and drab complexion and much, much more.

#8 KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE

You can’t treat your skin correctly if you haven’t identified what type it is. Skin falls into the following categories:

· Type 1: Oily Oily skin tends to shiny with enlarged pores, and is prone to blackheads and blemishes. You might experience some tightness.

· Type 2: Combination/normal This skin type has medium pores, a smooth and even texture, good circulation, healthy color, may tend toward dryness on the cheeks while being oily in the t-zone.

· Type 3: Sensitive Sensitive skin tends to be thin, delicate with fine pores. It flushes easily, is prone to broken capillaries, is frequently allergic and can be rash prone.

· Type 4: Dry skin feels tight, especially after cleansing. You have a tendency towards fine wrinkles, flaking and red patches. In women of color, skin may appear ashy or dull from dead skin buildup.

· Type 5: Aging or sun-damaged This skin also feels tight with visible wrinkles, slack skin tone -- especially around the cheeks and jaw line -- with leathery texture and broken capillaries.

To be certain what type of skin you have, I suggest you take this easy "skin test." Wash your face, pat it dry. Wait 10-15 minutes then take a few pieces of rice paper or eyeglass lens-cleaning tissue paper and press on different spots on your face. If your skin is oily, the paper will stick, pick up oily spots and become translucent. If the paper doesn't stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is dry. If it sticks in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) then you have combination (or normal) skin. About 70 percent of women have combination skin. Unfortunately, you won’t have to take a test if you fall into that 5th category. You’ll know!

#7 CONSISTENCY WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCT FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE

I have never been one to think that you have to spend a lot of money to get quality skincare products. My Grandmother used old-fashioned Pond’s Cold Crème as far as I can remember. Part of that memory is that she NEVER forgot to use it. Every single night she would slather it on – thick. When she passed away in her 90’s she hardly had a single wrinkle.

Determine what type of skin you have, then find the products designed for that skin type and USE THEM! I subscribe to the KISS Theory as much as possible. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID! I know very popular skincare lines that have 7 or more steps to do – sometime twice per day. Now some people will do it, and do all those steps consistently, BUT – more than not just won’t! I wouldn’t!

Simply skin care requires that you Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize, and Protect. You should add in exfoliation (more written below on that) and certainly you might need specific treatments, as well. BUT . . . the easier you make your skincare regimen; the more likely you are to be consistent with it!

#6 YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT?

Oh we’ve all heard this one, but darn it (!), it’s true! Thankfully, Scientists have identified what’s referred to as, “Super Foods.” To make this category easy, I’m just going to copy/paste directly from www.webmd.com for this. But, for goodness sakes, if you know certain things break you and cause problems . . . stay away from them! (http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/10-everyday-super-foods?page=2)

10 Everyday Super Foods       

These easy-to-eat foods are packed with multiple nutrients to help you stay healthy.

Top 10 Multitasking Super Foods

1. Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. It can also be enhanced with other good-for-you substances. "Yogurt is a vehicle food that can be enriched with probiotics for a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, and beneficial, heart-healthy plant stanols," says Zied. "And lactose sensitive people may tolerate yogurt better than milk." Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to control sweetness and calories. Versatile yogurt can also be used in entree and bakery recipes, in dips for veggies, etc. Don't like yogurt? Skim milk is another super dairy food that has only 83 calories per cup and is easy to slip into coffee to help you get one of the recommended three servings of dairy each day. "Dairy foods contain practically every nutrient you need for total nutrition -- and in just the right balance," says bone health expert, Robert Heaney, MD. "No other food group in the diet is as complete or as economical."

2. Eggs make the list because they are nutritious, versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein. "Studies show if you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight without significantly affecting cholesterol levels," says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory. Enjoy them at any meal or hard-cooked as a portable snack.

3. Nuts have gotten a bad rap because of their high fat content. But their protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber, and antioxidant content earn them a place on the top 10 list. The key to enjoying nuts, experts say, is portion control. "All nuts are healthful in small doses, and studies show they can help lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss," says Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer, MS, RD. "I like pistachio nuts because they also contain plant sterols and it takes longer to crack the shell and eat them, making it easier to control the portion. Whether you prefer pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, or pecans, an ounce a day of nuts help fill you up. Nuts add texture and flavor to salads, side dishes, baked goods, cereals, and entrees. They taste great alone, too. Zied recommends putting together your own "100-calorie packs" of nuts for easy and portable snacks.

4. Kiwis are among the most nutritionally dense fruits, full of antioxidants, says Ward. "One large kiwi supplies your daily requirement for vitamin C," says Ward. "It is also a good source of potassium, fiber, and a decent source of vitamin A and vitamin E, which is one of the missing nutrients, and kiwi is one of the only fruits that provides it." The sweet taste and colorful appearance of kiwis makes it easy to slice in half, scoop out with a spoon and enjoy alone, or slice it into desserts, salads, or side dishes. Kiwifruit can also have a mild laxative effect due to their high fiber content.

5. Quinoa is now readily available in many supermarkets and is one of the best whole grains you can eat, according to Zied. "It is an ancient grain, easy to make, interesting, high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron," she says. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, she says. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley. Try to make at least half your daily grain servings whole grains. In addition to quinoa, try barley, oats, buckwheat, whole wheat, wild rice, and millet.

6. Beans, beans, good for your heart -- really! Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fiber, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste. They're also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, and potassium. Bauer favors edamame (whole soybeans) because they also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Beans can easily substitute for meat or poultry as the centerpiece of a meal, says Bauer, but they also work as a side dish, or tossed into soups, stews, or egg dishes. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 cups weekly.

7. Salmon is a super food because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help protect heart health. That's why the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon twice weekly. Salmon is low in calories (200 for 3 ounces) has lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat. You can simply grill or bake it, top it with salsas or other low-fat sauces, or serve it on top of salad greens. If you don't like salmon, Lichtenstein recommends eating other kinds of fish, like canned tuna. And what about the mercury content? (Mercury is known to accumulate in fish.) "The benefits of eating salmon or other fatty fish twice weekly far outweigh any risks, but if you are concerned, check with your doctor," says Zied.

8. Broccoli is one of America's favorite vegetables because it tastes good and is available all year long. It's a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight. "Some people think beta-carotene (vitamin A) is only found in orange and yellow vegetables, but broccoli is an excellent source," says Ward. You can eat broccoli raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled. Eat it as a side dish, or toss into grains, egg dishes, soups, and salads.

9. Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the dark orange vegetable family, which lead the pack in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato (also loaded with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium) for a baked white potato. And before you add butter or sugar, taste the sweetness that develops when a sweet potato is cooked -- and think of all the calories you can save over that loaded baked potato. "If we eat more foods like sweet potatoes that are rich sources of potassium, and fewer high-sodium foods, we can blunt the effect of sodium on blood pressure and reduce bone loss," says Zied. Other dark orange vegetable standouts include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers.

10. Berries pack an incredible amount of nutritional goodness into a small package. They're loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, low in calories, and high in water and fiber to help control blood sugar and keep you full longer. And their flavors satisfy sweets cravings for a fraction of the calories in baked goods. Blueberries lead the pack because they are among the best source of antioxidants and are widely available. Cranberries are also widely available fresh, frozen, or dried. All can add flavor and nutrition to numerous dishes, from salads and cereals to baked goods and yogurt.

#5 MOISTURIZE/TREAT YOUR SKIN

bigstockphoto_woman_applying_concealer_4135410_s600x600Our skin needs hydration in order for it to stay healthy. Lack of it moisture could result to dry, rough, and, or cracked skin. Dry skin may be due to humidity, too much use of soap, strong cosmetics, skin aging, or prolonged hot shows or baths. Sometimes we use products, such as anti-acne medications, that could dry our skin. Dryness and, or cracked skin could let the harmful microorganisms a chance to enter our skin and cause infection.

Moisturizers formulated for our face add moisture without making our skin oily. Regular Premature wrinkles, age spots, and fine lines may disappear because your skin is well hydrated and plumped up. Not all moisturizers are the same, however. Some MAY contain chemicals that could harm our skin. Make sure that you check out the label before buying any. Parabens, alcohol, dioxane, phenol carbolic acid, mineral oils, and artificial fragrance are some of the chemicals that are commonly used in skin care products that should be avoided. If alcohol is listed first, just put that jar back on the shelf!

Most moisturizers contain SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that protect our skin from harmful UV rays of the sun. We all know the damage sun can cause on our skin – from simple brown spots, lines and wrinkles to deadly skin cancers.

Though most people know the importance of using a moisturizer, only few people take time to include it on their daily routine. If you want to have young looking skin that is soft, glowing, and free from premature wrinkles, don’t forget to put on your facial moisturizer.

#4 EXFOLIATE / USE A RETINOL PRODUCT

Our skin is made up of 7 extremely amazing layers. Interestingly, the top lay is already dead. Here’s an interesting-but-yucky fact: On our life time, we will discharge enough dead skin cells to fill 8 5-lb flour sacks. Regular exfoliation can help our cells turn over even quicker, however, than nature’s every 28 day cycle. Shaving is an exfoliation method, just as manual with a loofa (or other item), chemical peels, enzyme peels and Microdermabrasion. They each help to remove the dead and dying upper layers of skin to reveal the healthy, vital complexion to all desire.

An amazing treatment addition, and awesome exfoliator is a Retinol/Retin-A product. There are many forms of Retinol (vitamin A); retinyl acetate or palmitate,  retinoic acid, retinaldehyde and a new comer to the group Zorac. What does it do:

  • Retinol Increases cell production in the top layer of skin.
  • Skin looks smoother and therefore looks younger.
  • Has a positive effect on collagen production.
  • Helps to reduce pigmentation caused by the sun.
  • Commonly used in the treatment of acne, whiteheads and blackheads. (When using Retin-A for acne, your condition will become worse in the first few days.  Other side effects are dryness, redness, tenderness and swelling of the skin, these side effects do not last long.)


It has been discovered some companies are not using pure forms of retinol.  If high concentrations are not being used in skin care products, then it is highly unlikely you will gain any benefits from using it, so if you are buying products with retinol advertised as the main ingredient, please be careful. Make sure you know how much retinol the product contains.  Unless a product discloses how much retinol is in it, don’t buy it.  Making the right choice is important as it is the difference between achieving younger looks, and throwing your money away.

Note: Do be careful and go slow when using these products. Too much, too fast can make your skin extremely tender and sensitive. Always protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen, especially when using any of the Vit-A products! You can get sunburned quickly when you expose that beautiful, new skin to the sun.

#3 Get YOUR 8

I have written previous blogs on sleep (or lack of) and its effects on our bodies/skin. Too little sleep makes you look and feel old and tired. One of the first places lack up sleep shows up is on the face, with dark circles and bags under the eyes, and sagging, dull skin. Lack of sleep is also a major factor in memory loss and symptoms of depression that include lack of interest in daily activities and in negative thinking.

Research has shown that most adults function best with at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Reduce caffeine during the day (with none in the evening), avoid eating at least 2 hours before bedtime, DON’T SMOKE, and maintain a sleep routine that includes going to bed at the same time each night. A new mattress may not be a bad idea either (http://www.bestmattres.net) For more tips on better night’s sleep, go to http://www.bettersleep.org. If you are having trouble sleeping, for any reason, it’s a very good idea to see your health care provider.

#2 SUNSCREEN! SUNSCREEN! SUNSCREEN!

Thankfully, today’s makeup and day moisturizers commonly contain at least a 15 SPF sunscreen. Most of us, even if we don’t try, have a little protection on our face every day we lube and paint. The problem is that we don’t even think about it. Problem? Yes, I think that’s a problem. We SHOULD think about it and exhibit good, safe, sun habits all of the time – even when we’re clean-faced and makeup free. But it’s not just our faces we should be concerned about. Oh . . . . think about those ugly brown spots on our hands, arms and legs. Yep! That’s sun damage, too.

I’m as guilty as you are, my friends. I forget. I ignore. I am diligently working to remove those really nasty brown spots all over me. I have them on my shoulders and chest, hands, arms, legs and any piece of me that has been exposed to UV. OK . . . I’ll admit it. I have been a sunbed girl. I got brown spots where they should NEVER be!

Broad Spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays (aging and burning). I suggest a sun BLOCK with a minimum of 30. You can still be nice and golden tan with the use of self-tanners and spray tanning – a service I provide at m.d. Skin.

#1 NEVER, EVER, EVER GO TO BED WITH MAKE-UP ONskin texture

This is your #1? Yep! Sure is. You should see what I see in my treatment room on a regular basis. Nasty stuff ground deep into client’s pores – all because they don’t wash their face before going to bed. Imagine all the environmental stuff our face receives during the day – just every day dirt and debris. Now think of the oils our skin naturally produces (some more than others) and then the additional cosmetics we apply. Pile it all on. Now it’s bedtime. You didn’t change your pillowcase this morning, did you? NO? So you’re laying your pretty little face with all of today’s stuff onto a pillow layered with last night’s dirty “stuff” as well the nights before. That is just being transferred back and forth, back and forth, packing into your face. It can get ground in so deep that everyday surface cleansing won’t do the trick. Your skin CANT be is most radiant and healthy when it is impacted and clogged!

I see eyelashes that are so thickly caked with weeks old mascara! They are brittle and broken. People invest money in products to enhance and grow long, lush lashes, but don’t remove their daily mascara. Not smart, my friends. Just not smart. I worked for an Ophthalmologist for 5 years and saw this situation over and over again. Those patients just didn’t understand why their contact lenses just didn’t work for them. They wondered about constant eye irritations. I was just amazed! These were not dummies! Intelligent, business women constantly came in with these issues.

I think the issue doesn’t fall into their not knowing better, rather in their insecurities about being seen without any makeup. Really? Ladies . . . you are beautiful in your healthy, natural skin . . . provided you take care of it! These simply 10 steps can gently lead you to revealing the glow you have within. I hope you find this information helpful.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Facebook

m_d_-Skin-LLCHOW TO “SPA”

I have a lot of clients ask me various questions about spa etiquette.  I have written previous blogs on the subject, but I will address it again.  It is first necessary to state that coming to a spa environment isn’t scary and should be looked forward to.  The trend toward “Luxury” spas is shifting back to more therapies for health and wellness.

Today, there is nothing indulgent about going to a spa.  In the crazy busy, fast-paced world that we live in, receiving spa treatments to prevent chronic stress is a very smart decision.  When we have too much cortisol (the stress hormone) circulating through our system for prolonged periods of time, we are simply asking for trouble.  Spas have a rich history of providing a source of healing and today’s spas are providing more and more therapeutic services to their treatment menus.

In order to make your experience more pleasurable, here are some guidelines for your visit:

Age Requirement:  Most spa environments are appropriate for those 18 years of age and older.  That is not to say teens and even pre-teens are not welcome.  They can certainly benefit from skin care treatments, spray tanning and other services.  They must, however, be accompanied by their parent or guardian.  Written permission will be required prior to receiving any treatment.  The spa is not a place for children, as a calm, quiet environment is expected.  An ambiance of tranquility is always found in an excellent spa and you should be expected to contribute in that manner, as well.  Please be respectful of the quiet and privacy of other spa guests by refraining from using electronic equipment (cell phones, iPods, etc.) while in the area.  It is also expected that you speak softly or simply enjoy the beauty of silence.  Of course, there is never any smoking while at most spas.

Cancellation of Appointments:  24 hours notice is required in most circumstances.  Remember that your service is scheduled just for you and if you fail to arrive or arrive late you are taking up valuable time on your therapist’s schedule.  Late arrivals may be asked to reschedule so that they may receive the full benefit of their scheduled service, or you may be given what ever allowed time is left with your scheduled appointment. In case of a no-show your credit card may be charged a portion or even the full amount of your scheduled service.

What to Bring:  That depends. For most services you will change from your street clothes into a gown and/or robe.  Changing rooms, areas, or lockers are typically available to spa guests.  For airbrush tanning you may bring a swimsuit (though many clients prefer all over tanning and opt for no clothing) and a loose fitting change of clothes to put on after your tanning service.

Check-In:  Most spas ask that you arrive a minimum of 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment, though allowing more time only gives you more opportunity to “gear down”.  You will have information/health assessment forms to complete and permission slips to sign prior to receiving your service.  This is necessary to assist your therapists in providing the best experience possible and to assure your safety and comfort.  It is extremely important that you disclose any pertinent health conditions or other information that may affect your spa experience.

Gratuity:  A tip is above and beyond the service fee and is certainly appropriate.  Some large spas automatically add in a 20% service fee that is distributed to the staff.  It is always an option at smaller spas and completely up to the client.  If you especially enjoyed your treatment, by all means, let your therapist know.

Gift Cards:  Most spas offer gift cards for purchase either for specific services or for a specified dollar amount.  Spa service gift cards make a lovely gift for any occasion.

Retail:  Most spas have either a Boutique or retail display featuring their preferred products. Some even offer logo items and giftables like candles, teas, jewelry and others.  Many large spas will ship your purchases for your convenience.

I hope you find this information helpful and informative.  My practice is a single practioner operation.  I do not have any staff and try to always perform on a tight schedule for efficiency and convenience of my clients.  I ask that you expect the best of me at every visit and commit my respect and professionalism to you.