Monday, September 19, 2011

Acne? Or something else?

In the skin care world a lot of clients see dots or red spots and immediately refer to it as acne. There are a few other skin conditions that can be misdiagnosed for acne when in reality they are not. Here are 3 and how to get rid of them. 


Why is it confused with acne? 
Both acne and rosacea can bring about redness and whiteheads. 

What does it look like? 
Redness along the cheeks, nose and forehead with small whiteheads. Unlike acne there are also broken or dilated capillaries. (thread-like looking blood vessels, usually red or purple in color.) Sometimes accompanied with red bumps. 

How do I treat it? 
Visit a dermatologist or esthetician. Keep it under control with a combination of oral antibiotics and products that contain ingredients like azelaic acid and sometimes even retinoids. Lasers, like IPL can help strengthening the blood vessels. Use of sensitive skin products help. Also avoid drinking, caffeine, smoking or being in extreme heat, as these can trigger a rosacea breakout. 


Why is it confused with acne? 
Milia, which have some genetic component to them, disguise themselves as whiteheads. In the spa where I work, a lot of people mistake these as pimples and try to extract them themselves, which ends up to lots of picking at, and eventually scarring because milia are very hard to pop. 

What it looks like? 
Small white bumps with trapped dead skin cells, sometimes with oil, beneath the surface of the skin- sunscreen can often be to blame. Popping them is useless, and most of the time nothing will come out. Darn buggers. 

How do I treat it? 
Its best to leave these little guys to the professionals. Your aesthetician or dermatologist will use a tool to open the lesion and express the contents out. Regular exfoliation may prevent them from forming. EXFOLIATE. EXFOLIATE. EXFOLIATE. And use a non-oily sunscreen. 

Folliculitis -

Why is it confused with acne? 
Folliculitis, which is more common in men, (sorry boys, we have to give birth), is an inflamed bacterial infection of the hair follicle that usually occurs in the face, scalp and legs. Its usually more prevalent in males because of the beard area and shaving. This can make the symptoms worse. 

What does it look like?
An extremely red and inflamed pimple or whitehead that is unresponsive to anti-acne treatments. 

How do I treat it? 
Folliculitis usually subsides with anti-yeast drugs like diflucan. Actually, within one week of using, skin clears up dramatically. Majority of folliculitis are bacterial. Men should use caution while shaving and should go to a dermatologist to receive the medication. 

Its always a good idea to get self diagnosed acne checked out by an esthetician or dermatologist. They will give you future skin care reccomendations and further assist you in the process of treatment. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

So you wanna get a facial?

Lots of people ask me the benefits of facials. It depends what kind of facial you are getting, as no two facials are alike, and what your aiming to achieve with your esthetician. The number one thing facials are good for is pampering. Who DOESN'T like to lay in a room with soft music and have someone massage their face? Its beautiful.

Make sure when you go to your appointment you have your esthetician customize your facial based on your skins needs. Hopefully she will ask you questions about your skin and daily routine as well as assessing your skin.

If there is a list of facials you can choose from (there usually is a menu) and you don't know what your skin needs, use this as a guideline.

  • Normal skin (not oily nor dry) can benefit from any type of facial, based on the skins needs that day.

  • Oily skin requires a deep cleansing. Clay masks are recommended for deep cleansing and for reducing the amount of oil on the surface of the skin. Also having a facial that includes enzymes and salicylic are a plus.

  • Facials for sensitive skin is tough, treatments can include a small amount of steam, a cooling mask that doesn't dry on the skin is quite soothing, but avoid heavier, more complicated facials. Also make sure you tell your esthetician that you have sensitive skin, this is an important fact. Less is more. Stick with a more simple facial.

  • Dry skin needs hydration and stimulation to aid the skin in producing more oil. Steam, paraffin and super hydrating moisturizers is beneficial.

Depending on the many facials widely available and customizable, they can be moisturizing, cleansing, firming, nourishing, lightening and relaxing.

Rule of thumb- If you don't know which facial is best for you, tell the esthetician your skin type and a little bit about your skin care routine. A good professional will know what to recomend and what to stay away from. Which is also why its important to go to a salon or spa your confident in. If the girl sounds like she isn't quite sure, don't be hesitant to go somewhere else. This is your face, and that thing is important!

Also, don't get a facial you have never gotten a few days before your wedding. That is stupid, because you never know what kind of reaction you will recieve from your treatment. And no one wants to be a blotchy, messy bride.

Men... Boys...whatever you want to call yourselves, don't think your too macho to get a facial. Lets be honest, you guys are sometimes the ones that need them the most.

Live it up. Drink it up!

Human beings can survive for about 5 weeks without eating food. But if a person tried to go without water for only 3 to 5 days, he or she couldn't survive. Water is that important. And if your stranded on an island, that piece of information is going to be extremely helpful. So, your welcome!

How does being dehydrated effect my skin?

  • When dehydrated, the digestive waste products may seek exit through the skin, causing breakouts. Ew, I know. Your gagging. So am I.

  • Puffy and baggy eyes can be the result of water retention, which is often caused by not drinking enough water.

  • Swelling of the face can be caused by not getting enough H20.

  • Dehydration can increase the symptoms of health disorders, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, mood disorders, etc.

  • Dehydration causes fatigue, which shows up on your face. Besides being a slug, your mood will also displease your colleagues and your children. Husbands, I give you full permission to give your wife a water IV.

Now that you understand the negatives of being dehydrated, lets focus on how you can become a liquid goddess.

The rule of thumb is simple. Take your body weight in pounds. Divide by two. That's the number of ounces of water your body needs on a normal day. Please note; I am saying WATER, Diet Coke doesn't count. Although, that would be fun.
In fact, many fluids are actually dehydrating to your body, such as alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. If you drink these, you may need to drink even more water to make up for it. (I can hear all you coke lovers bawling) .

If you live in a humid climate, it's easier to have great skin. HOORAY! Something positive for all those people in Florida. Happy day! You lose less moisture from your skin on a day to day basis than people who live in dry climates.
If you live in a dry climate, you should get a humidifier to add moisture back into the air.

Oh, thats yummy. If you get to chug with him, kudos to you!

Some people drink Gatorade or other electrolyte drinks for replenishment. They aren't recommended, as they contain sugars that raise blood glucose levels, plus artificial flavors, none of which are good for your skin. Hear that, Melanie Warner?

Take from this post, three things:
  1. Drink half your weight of water in ounces.
  2. Drinking other fluids, such as sodas and coffee, doesn't give you the same benefits as drinking water.
  3. Please still love me, even though the next few days you will be peeing like a racehorse.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sensitive skin?

Sorry I have been so MIA. I didn't think people actually read this. Turns out they do. My condolences. And gracias!

Many people ask me about this problem. What to avoid? What to do? Worry no more, sistas! I am here to help.

What is sensitive skin more reactive to?
changes in products

How can I treat my sensitive skin?
Avoid using granular scrubs (exfoliants), essential oils, fragrances, masks, waxing and stimulating massage.
Use a non or low foaming cleanser, avoid heat and sun, and never get a chemical peel.

When cleansing the face, use only tepid water. Not hot or cold. Toner (always a must) should be alcohol free. ALWAYS wear at LEAST SPF 15!

Green tea extract is a good ingredient to use on sensitive skin. It helps calm the redness and activity. Its available in a lot of products. Aveeno is a good product line because it tends to have a lot of natural ingredients, and will not be too harsh on the skin barrier.

Dont skimp on washing your face because your afraid it will get red. Be gentle and use a low activity cleanser.

Smile, your beautiful!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Do I need to exfoliate?

Exfoliation is such a big part of skin-care. Some people never do it and they don't realize how much of an impact it can have on your general structure of your skin.

The benefits of a regular facial exfoliation are as follows-

  • speed up the process of skin flaking and shedding
  • improve your complexion
  • make your skin look brighter and feel smoother
  • encourage the growth of new skin cells
  • increase blood circulation
  • brings a glow to your face
  • improve skin texture and color
  • remove skin blockages
  • allow your face to maintain an adequate amount of oil
  • gives the impression of erasing fine lines and wrinkles
  • keep your skin clear and healthy looking
  • stimulate cellular renewal
  • prevent breakouts
  • remove toxins from your skin
  • skin preparations are absorbed more easily
...Still wondering if its important?

How do I exfoliate my face?

Step one

Cleanse your face using a mild cleanser to remove the impurities and the residue of makeup.

Step Two Wet your face and apply an exfoliating cleanser, designed for the face, or sprinkle it onto a sponge or brush.

Step Three Scrub using gentle circular motions, avoiding the eye area because the skin is very delicate and can be easily damaged by abrasive products.

Step Four Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat it dry.

Step Five

Apply a moisturizer or a face Cream.

Tips when exfoliating-

  • Use exfoliating products specifically designed for the face, because the other may be too abrasive and irritating for your skin.
  • Apply facial scrubs only on cleansed, damp skin.
  • Always use light, circular motions
  • Always apply moisturizer after face exfoliation, because exfoliating causes your skin to dry out
  • Never over-exfoliate, you can seriously damage your skin
  • Exfoliation may leave your skin vulnerable to UV rays, that's why using a sunscreen is a must.
  • Never exfoliate of your skin is sunburned or has open wounds
  • If your skin is sensitive or dry, use less abrasive products and avoid using products containing sea salts

..So yes! You DO need to exfoliate!

Hiding imperfections through makeup

The definition is makeup should be subtle and soft, and should be used to define natural beauty or to hide imperfections. Make makeup work for you. Lets review how you can make corrections from some "not so perfect" facial features.

Having a wide nose- A lot of people think they have a less than excellent sniffer. If you happen to have a larger nose, apply a darker tone or shade along the sides of the nose and a thin line of highlighter down the center. (Highlighter can be any lighter color, preferably translucent white or light pink). Barely noticeable, don't go overboard.

Having a longer nose- Visually shorten a long nose by contouring (darkening) the tip of it.

Unfortunately if you look like him there may not be much we can do :) !

Undefined cheekbones- to give the cheekbones more definition, apply highlighter over the very top of the cheek bone, then darken the hollow UNDER the cheekbone. Avoid creating obvious shapes of lines, blend blend blend!

Having a receding chin- to "bring out" a chin that recedes or is weak, apply highlighter on and under the chin.

Having a pointed chin- Minimize the point of the chin by softening it with a slightly darker foundation.

Having a double chin- Use a darker color of foundation to make it recede and appear slimmer.

Heres a good example of a professional "contouring" job not yet blended.

Don't be shy or nervous about trying out these skills. Practice on a night where your not going out. And if you cant seem to get it right, try try again! If you give up, just smile and everyone will love your face, imperfections and all!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kitchen cupboard treatments

I know in this economy it is near impossible to spend your hard earned money on skin care products. Or is it, you secret product junkie? Whatever the circumstance sometimes people like to turn to their own ways instead of trusting bottles of secret potions. Totally understandable. Heres some home remedies that I have found and personally tested for a satisfying spa day at home.

Acne mask
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
Mix to a thick paste. Apply to pimples every evening and leave on for up to 30 minutes. Once the skin has cleared, this treatment can be used to prevent breakouts as a face pack once a month.

(Turmeric has been used for centuries as a liver tonic and to relieve digestive problems. Some people are known to use it as an anti inflammatory as well. You can find it at your grocery store, with the spices.)

nose mask
  • 1/2 teaspoon gram flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • a pinch of salt
  • a few drops of lemon juice
Cover your nose with the paste, allowing it to overlap onto your cheeks. Leave on for 5-10 minutes...

The PH (Potential hydrogen) of the honey prevents the growth of many bacteria. Which makes this treatment great for pesky blackheads. Honey is also used to prevent scarring or swelling when used to treat wounds. Winnie the Pooh was on to something!!!

Lip Scrub
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • olive oil
Mix the honey and baking soda so it makes a paste, apply to lips and leave on for a couple of minutes. Gently rub the lips, remove with lukewarm water. After, apply olive oil.

Glowing face mask
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tablespoon of rice flour
  • 1 tablet of ground up calcium
  • 1 teaspoon honey
Mix well and then apply it to your face for 20 minutes. Wash off lightly with lukewarm water.

Coffee body scrub
  • 2 cups of ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup of sugar OR sea salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of massage oil of your choice
Mix ingredients well. Take a quick warm shower and then apply the scrub massaging the skin lightly. Rinse off with warm water.

The antioxidants that are in coffee can prevent free radicals from cell damage. Your skin will drink it up!