Get caught being naughty this year? Who knew coal is a good thing these days? Well when it comes to your skin coal is the new hot product! Activated charcoal which is created when oxygen is added to regular charcoal, it also can absorb 100 to 200 times its weight in impurities and toxins. So maybe this year you better ask Santa for some coal in your stocking! Since charcoal is good at absorption it makes it good for oily skin type, but with its purifying and balancing effects it can work on all types of skin, even sensitive. Charcoal also has the added benefit of being a natural preservative, so it’s a great addition to most beauty products. When looking into Charcoal beauty products and treatments, remember not all charcoal is the same. Activated charcoal should come from one of the following places as these are known to be the most effective for your skin, bamboo, coal, coconut husks, olive pits, peat and sawdust. If you aren’t sure ask your esthetician about the ingredients in the products you are thinking about buying.
De-stressing the Holiday stress
Shopping, holiday parties and the in-laws have finally put you over the edge. Your skin is freaking out which of course stresses you out more. Last time I talked about the issues, now I am gonna give you a few quick fixes.
1. Under eye baggage- Loss of sleep has finally caught up with you and your eyes are telling the tale. First fix is to take spoons and put them in the freezer for 10-15 while you suck down that first cup of coffee. After the spoons are cold, use the under sides and massage under your eyes starting from inside corner and moving out. This helps get the fluid moving and hopefully out from under your eyes. Dr. Schwab also carries a kick ass eye serum called “Puff away eye gel” I use this morning and night to combat dark circles and puffiness. Lastly, after you have used your cold spoons and eye serum take concealer and apply under eye in an inverted triangle, this helps draw the eye away from the undereye and brighten the appearance.
2. Dry and flaky- Dehydration is a big issue even if you are not stressed. Remember to try and drink plenty of water throughout the day. You can also use a serum that has hyaluronic acid which is a water magnet. It occurs naturally in our body but is great when applied on the skin as it sucks moisture out of the air and gives us a nice dewy look.
3. Acne-You’re not gonna like this fix, its what we should be doing no matter what. Drinking plenty or water, getting exercise, eating a well-balanced diet and staying away from sugar and alcohol. When all that goes out the window and you do get a pimple, try not to freak. Use a spot concealer that you apply with your finger, so you don’t contaminate the tip of the bottle.
4. Rashes and Hives- Seriously if you get to this point with stress go see your Doctor. These things often need prescription strength help. Often a good probiotic will help rebalance the gut.
5. Fine lines- Avoiding RBF when stressed is almost impossible, but a little trick to help you remember to not frown or purse your lips is to take a little piece of tape an put it in between your brows or on the upper lip. When that tape crinkles you know to stop.
I also suggest priming with a silicone facial product, this will help keep your makeup from settling into the lines you already have.
After a long day of shopping or spending time with the family we all could use a little relaxation. What better way to unwind then a nice hot bath with your own bath salts? This recipe is rich in sea minerals as well as the skin softening and conditioning ingredients of grapeseed oil and oats. So, light a candle and start the water.
2 cups sea salt
¼ cup grapeseed oil or almond oil
½ cup baking soda
¼ cup oat flour- grind up oats in your ninja or food processor
1 cup Epsom salts
5-8 drops of your favorite essential oil- Example lavender for sleep
Process- Combine sea salt and oil. Next blend in baking soda, oat flour, and Epsom salt. Lastly, add the essential oils a few drops at a time until well blended. Store in an air tight container for up to 6 months.
This one isn’t for the kiddos, but is definitely an adult pleaser.
1 container lime sherbert
1 bottle champagne or prosecco
3 bottles Izzes Clementine sparkling soda
1 fresh lime to garnish
Rim each glass with the lime and sprinkle with sugar
Add 2 tablespoons lime sherbet to each glass
Add equal parts champagne and Izze soda to each glass
Squeeze 1 lime wedge into glass.
Sit back, watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and enjoy!
Holidays got you stressed?
As we fly through the holidays, shopping, over eating and indulging in the cocktail or 3, our stress levels tend to rise. This stress can cause us not only to binge cookie dough, but can put our skin on high alert for all sorts of issues. And the last thing we need this year is to worry about pimples and hives, when we should be enjoying time with family and friends. So, what does stress really do to your skin?
1. Under eye baggage- so yeah, no sleep equals lots of fluid building up under those pretty eyes. Also, bad news for stomach sleepers, gravity is working against you and pooling that liquid right where you don’t want it.
2. Dry and flaky- yuck two words never sounded so terrible, especially when used to describe your skin. Stressed out people tend to drink less water and increase stuff like coffee, soda and alcohol leading to dehydration. Also, don’t forget as the weather gets colder and we turn on those heaters, the moisture is being sucked out of the air.
3. Acne- not just for your pubescent nephew. When we are stressed our body releases cortisol and that can throw off those good ole’ hormones. Which in turns causes freak outs and breakouts alike.
4. Rashes and Hives- these lovelies are cause by a wonderful thing called Dysbiosis. Basically, all the bacteria in your gut gets out of check and once the bad out weighs the good you are looking at trouble.
5. Fine lines- so if the last 4 didn’t sound terrible, this one probably should take the cake. When we stress out, we tend to furrow and purse. I am 100% guilty of RBF when I am stressed or trying to concentrate. These unconscious repetitive actions can ultimately lead to deeper wrinkles.
There you have the top 5 skin issues when it comes to stress. So, take a chill pill and read my next blog on how to handle these bad boys.
Cure? Well only if you believe, I guess… Here are the facts, winter cold sucks all the moisture out of the air. Lack of moisture means ashy wrinkling skin. So you tell me how you want to play it? Personally, I choose moisture and that dewy effect, but… we all fall into the low maintenance trap. That all said, how do we take care of our skin at home and at the spa. Home is easy, not too hot of showers or baths, lots of products that help us with TEWL (Trans epidermal water loss) like coconut oil, Shea butter and oils like olive and grape seed. We can also drink water that is loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and co-enzyme ingredients. Antioxidants are anything green, deep red or blue in color, like kale, romaine, strawberries, raspberries or blue berries. Anti-inflammatory is garlic, turmeric or ginger.
Talk with your esthetician on how you they can also help in the treatment room. Therapies are available for the whole body that will leave you feeling refreshed and hydrated.
These body butter bars are excellent for the winter months as they stay solid and melt as you rub them on your skin, since they don’t have a water ingredient, they don’t need a preservative and last for up to a year. The size can be made small enough that they’ll fit perfectly in your purse or in the glove box of your car. I like leaving them in my car cause that’s when I always notice that my legs and arms are gross and ashy looking and are desperate need of moisturizer. I made them when I was pregnant and rubbed them on my growing belly to help with the itching.
2 tablespoons beeswax- grated or cut up finely
¼ cup shea butter
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ almond or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
15-20 drops Essential Oil of your choice- warm scents are my favorite- cinnamon, lavender, sweet orange
Start a double broiler on medium heat, then reduce to a simmer once a boil starts. After a simmer starts, add the beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil to double broiler. Simmer until melted. Remove from heat, take the pan and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. Add almond oil and vitamin E to mix, combine well. Drop 15-20 drops of essential oil to mix. Once everything is combined, pour mix into silicone mold of your choice. Silicone is the easiest to use since they pop right out. Let the liquid cool overnight then store your new body bars for up to a year in an airtight container out of direct sunlight.
Ch, ch, ch, ch changes…
Just as the song says changes, we are in a transition time at the moment. Winter is coming and here in Southern California the weather can’t seem to make up its mind. 85 during the day and 45 at night, makes for some interesting skin conditions. Winter in general is a tough time for our poor skin, most regions get hit with blistering cold and snow, and other parts still get the heat. Most of us start to feel the dryness and per web md this is why we are experiencing that dryness. Warmer air holds more moisture than cooler air. In the winter, the cold air that seeps into your home from the outside has a lower humidity -- meaning that it carries very little moisture. You crank up the heat inside your house, which adds warmth but doesn't increase the amount of moisture in the air.
So remember that when you are freezing in the morning that extra hot shower it can also dry the heck out of your skin. Just like most things in life we have to adapt as the world changes.
Though the hand puns are cleaver and funny, old wrinkled hands are not. So how do we remedy this, and have our hands feeling their age? Truthfully, the answer is really simple… a good hand cream. Our hands don’t product oil like the rest of our skin and we are (hopefully) constantly washing them they are subject to extreme drying, especially with the winter months upon us.
What to look for in a hand cream…
Personally, I look for more natural ingredients. I just feel better knowing that when one of my kiddos ask to try it, that I am not loading him up with a ton of synthetic chemicals. First, we want to look for skin softening ingredients like, shea butter, grapeseed oil or rapeseed. This helps prepare your skin and keep it soft and supple. Also look for things that keep water in, like silicone and dimethicone, as well as ingredients that attract water, like glycerin or sorbitol.
Home and in-service treatments...
Wow what a mouth full! Ok so easy enough look for a hand cream that is slightly thicker than a face cream. I personally like the ones trader joes has, they fit in my purse without being too bulky and when they are in the purse they are more likely to get used regularly. I try to apply after every hand washing or every time I get back in my car to taxi my kids to yet another appointment. Lastly, we need to put a sunscreen on those hands. The sun in the #1 reason they look like they do. Unfortunately, the spf you are putting on your face probably isn’t enough, it wont last the day with all the rough and tumble we do. Look for something that is at least 50spf and water resistant and if you can reapply at least once during the day. I know, I know, I know… more crap to remember during an already crazy ass day. I am guilty of not doing any of these sometimes. And of course, my hands show the neglect LOL! At night I use the hand saver essential oil mix and put on gloves, it has all the great ingredients that we need and makes my hands look like they didn’t just spend all day chasing kids, doing dishes and picking up other people’s crap!
In-service treatments, so this is where you can have your esthetician really kick up the juice and give your hands the TLC they need. Next time you are getting your facial, ask about hand treatment add-ons, they are usually not too expensive, and they can be done in conjunction. The hands can have peels, masks and be exfoliated just like the face.
The key of course to any of this is consistency… so as always, just try… strive for progress, not perfection 😊
DIY Hand Saver Essential Oil Treatment.
Our poor poor hands, they are constantly subjected to almost torture on a daily basis. Especially now with the changing of the seasons and the drying that comes with the colder winter months. That’s why I decided to do post the hand saver recipe asap, it has been a life saver for me and hopefully it will be for you too.
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons jojoba oil
1 teaspoon unscented grapeseed oil
16 drops tea tree essential oil
12 drops lemon essential oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
FYI your local trader joes should have all the oils, and the essential oils I order off Amazon.
Combine all oils in an airtight bottle (you might need a funnel), I bought a dropped bottle from the travel section at target. Shake the ingredients and label the date on your bottle. This recipe is good for about 6 months if it is kept out of heat and direct sunlight.
Apply a few drops every time you think about it, I usually do this after I wash my hands, shower and before bed. Another trick for at night is to apply a little more than you would during the day, then cover your hands with cotton gloves. In the morning your hands are soft and feel great!
Hey hands off!
Ever look at your face then down at your hands and think geez my hands look like they are twice as old as my face? Well my friend you are definitely not alone. The 2 main areas we show our age is in our face and in our hands. So why are we biting the hands that feed us? I mean honestly think about how much abuse our hands go through in a day? Washing, touching, working in the yard or at a desk, dirt, bacteria, we literally just beat them up all damn day. Hands get exposed to everything we do. UV radiation with the sun, harsh chemicals from all the different soaps we use, so it’s no wonder that they age as fast a they do.
With all this exposure our hands are prime areas for skin cancer, dryness, cracking and all sorts of other issues. When we neglect our hands, aesthetic skin conditions like dark spots (hyperpigmentation), liver spots (chloasma), sun freckles (solar lentigines) and white spots (hypopigmentation) start to arise. Then you add on the thickening of the skin with severe dryness and you have a hotbed for loss of elastin and collagen making your hands look like they’ve never seen a hand cream in their lives! There is hope however. With use of a good daily hand cream, a simple night time regimen and getting your hands on a good esthetician, you can have your face and hands reflecting the age you really are in no time!
Stay tuned for my next blog and we will chat all about home treatments and treatments to ask your esthetician about!
Becoming your own hero…
What a lesson for all girls and women to learn. I think that as young children we are conditioned to think that a knight in shining armor is going to come in on his white horse and whisk us off to our castle where we become princesses. And dammit if that just isn’t the reality of the whole thing. In our world today, the reality is we have to learn to save ourselves, no knights, no Christian Greys and no rich princes to sweep us off our feet. I can’t imagine raising a daughter in today’s age, with social media the way it is. I do know however that I will teach my 2 boys what respect is, what love it, how to treat all people by lifting them up and giving them support. I have always tried to instill in my boys what a real woman looks like, she isn’t perfect, her hair can be a mess, she doesn’t walk around in 4in stilettos for their enjoyment and eventually after breastfeeding 2 babies her boobs will get “long” like my oldest once said about mine. Real life is messy and definitely not perfect, so I am not pretending either way. I am keeping it as honest as possible and remembering that I once needed a hero and realized rather quickly the one person who can save me, is myself. So, I wish you luck in keeping it real, and saving yourself. And who are we kidding reading all about Mr. Grey and his Red Room 😉
Full Body Pumpkin Mask
In honor of fall and the upcoming holidays I thought it would be fun to start my first DIY blog off with a pumpkin inspired recipe. Pumpkin is loaded with over 100 vitamins and nutrients that are awesome for your skin. It’s nourishing and hydrating which is something we definitely need in the upcoming fall and winter months. When you add this with the brightening and clarifying orange as well as soothing oats and hydrating olive oil this recipe can be used all over for a wonderful home treatment and excuse to relax for 15 minutes!
1 cup of pureed pumpkin either from a can or home cooked-
½ cup cooked oatmeal
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger (fresh is best)
½ teaspoon fresh grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)
½ cup sugar- raw turbinado or anything you have in the cupboard
Combine ingredients in order listed above in an airtight container. You can store this in the fridge for about a week, but since the ingredients are fresh and pumpkin oxidizes quickly try to use within a day or 2.
How to use:
It’s best to use the mask after you have taken a shower or steamed in the tub a bit. This helps get your skin clean and your pores open. Once you are ready and clean, grab a glass of wine, your favorite facial mask and get ready for some pumpkin fun.
Personally, I lay in the bath tub when I do this body treatment. I take the mixture, spread it evenly all over, put my facial mask on, and pour my glass of wine. I then sit in the tub, drink my wine and let my facial mask and pumpkin body mask do its magic. After about 15 minutes head on over to the shower and rise off. If you need use a lightly soaped loofah to get off any residue. Careful after getting clean the shower floor can be a little slippery!
So what’s the deal with facial masking?
Ah yes the ancient art of putting a goop on your face and hoping it will provide that miracle once washed off… unfortunately as many of us have experienced that just isn’t the case. Masking in my mind has 2 main goals (product penetration and detoxification), and the other stuff it accomplishes is just the icing on the cake, things like lifting and tightening.
Penetration, doesn’t it sound like a naughty word! However, in the world of masking its our go to goal. With the advancement of skin care with things like serums, we have the ability to layer under a mask to get that added benefit of deeper product dispersion. Masks as they heat, dry or rest on our skin allow the under layers to be pushed and absorbed more efficiently, and I know I am all about getting more bang for my buck!
Detoxification, another great word! I think we all can use a little detox every once and awhile. As with the first goal of masking, detoxing is just as it sounds, pushing out the gunk. Yes, I know gunk is a very technical word. Masking helps the body eliminate any sort of toxin or dead skin cells that still are hanging on for dear life.
Types of masks: Masks come in a variety of forms, most common are clay, gel, cream and sheet. Clay masks tend to focus on detoxing the skin. Gel, cream and sheet are used primarily for hydration and restoration (meaning possible skin issues like sunburn, redness, etc.)
So to sum it all up…
Main benefits of masking look like
· Getting those products deeper down in the layers of our skin
· Repairing damage
· Lifting and tightening
· Just good ole relaxation
Things to remember when choosing a mask.
· What are your primary goals that day? Hydration, detoxing etc.
· Your skin type (DUH!)
Check out my video on masking to see how we get it on, off and all the in between. I’m on YouTube and IGTV
When I let go of what I am. I become what I might be.
Hmmm after I posted this quote, then really started thinking about it, I was like “huh?!?! Sounds like crap to me” Who the hell has time to let go? I get asked often actually (cause I am an OCD, A-type, control freak), what would it look like if I just stopped running the world around me and let go… and the idea of that scares the crap out of me. I grew up in the home of an alcoholic, we walked on egg shells not trying to upset the anyone. I strove not only daily, but by the minute to be perfect, to maintain the precious balance of our slightly broken home. Of course those things trickled over into my adult life, duh! We all carry some amount of baggage from previous experiences, I kinda feel its impossible not to. So as I carry my baggage around, and sometimes act the martyr, oh yes I definitely go there, with the “why me, I don’t understand why things aren’t easier, what did I do to deserve this… and my current favorite, well because it’s the right thing to do” It amazes me how I can talk myself into believing myself. Like I am an expert and can be trusted, hahaha… Actively telling yourself to let go and doing it, whoa what a concept. Again, what does it look like to let go of everything you drag around so that you can become lighter and a better version of you? I just try to practice patience and know that these moments are gone in a flash. I try my hardest to be a good mom, wife, daughter and friend. To remember we all, carry our pain or whatnot in different ways. I want to become a better version of myself, I have the desire to be whatever it is I’m meant to be. Its just the road to getting there is unpaved, bumpy and in parts washed out. I have to trust myself and forgive myself when I don’t get it right. And to quote one of my fav Al-Anon lines, strive for progress, not perfection. Have a wonderful day my friends and I wish you all the best on your journey to a better version of yourself.
Types of Exfoliates and how to choose the best one for you!
Exfoliates tend to fall into 2 categories- Mechanical and enzymatic. The easiest way to remember is one you move around on your face and the other just sits and looks pretty for 10 minutes or so.
Mechanical exfoliates are the little granular feeling scrubs. And believe me when I say not all are created equally. Some granular feeling exfoliates can contain a product that if you are unaware can create microscopic cuts in your skin, leaving you open for bacteria and breakouts! When in doubt give a shout out to your esthetician to talk about what is in the product you want to buy.
All Skin Types can use a mechanical exfoliation product, however oily skin types need to be careful to not over stimulate the skin and create more oil production. Just easy does it on the massaging it in.
Enzymatic exfoliates these are the pac-mans of the exfoliate world. The product sits on your skin and on a small scale runs around like pac-man eating the skin cells. Common fruit enzymes come from pumpkin, pineapple and papaya, so read those labels to watch out for allergies.
All Skin Types can use an enzymatic exfoliation product.
Why do we need to exfoliate?
Exfoliation is probably the most important step that is consistently skipped. Most of “blackheads” you see on your nose and chin are there because you didn’t exfoliate. Exfoliation is a fancy word for removal. Removal of all the dead skin cells that are just sitting on your face. On average our skin cells turn over every 28 days or so, that of course slows down as we age, also not every skin cell is turning over at the same time otherwise our whole face would peel at once. Basically, our skin cells are always turning over and we need to exfoliate to get them off.
Top reasons to exfoliate
· Helps counteract signs of aging
· Removal of dry/dead skin so new skin can be nourished
· Increased blood circulation
· Helps reduce breakouts
· Increases the efficiency of your skin care products so you don’t waste money
Ok we know the why, so what about the what? What exfoliator do I choose for my skin type?
A few things to keep in mind when choosing an exfoliant.
· Know your skin type
· Think about your lifestyle- do you sweat a lot, wear heavy makeup
· Know allergies and sensitivities
· Research and educate yourself- get an Aesthetics Mentor to help you
Don’t forget to watch my “how to exfoliate your face” tutorial!
Cleanser for normal skin- this is usually based on user preference. Most products will work for normal skin types. However, be smart and look at the ingredients of the stuff you are putting on your face. This goes for all skin types. Be an educated consumer, read labels and ask questions.
Cleanser for dry skin- avoid products with high alcohol content and look for a creamy consistency. This will sooth and hydrate dry skin with repairing your barrier.
Cleanser for Oily skin- Oily skin tends to need a product with a slightly lower PH level as well as a more foam or gel consistency.
Cleanser for Combo Skin- this tends to be also user preference. You may also have 2 cleansers one for the oily sections and one for the dry sections. You would want to follow the recommendations for dry and oily skin cleansers.
Cleanser for Sensitive skin- with this being a recent addition to skin type, there is an overabundance of products brought onto market. Look for balanced PH, products free of synthetics, but also remember natural and organic are not regulated for skin care products. So education is key.
Why do we cleanse our face?
We cleanse our body with juice fasts and every new fad available, but why do we forget that our face needs a good cleaning? And daily at that!
So here is the nitty gritty so to speak on facial cleansing. We need to remove build up. Build up is everything that you and your face contact both externally and internally. Internally our bodies are shedding and replacing skin cells and hair on average every 28 days. Externally, makeup, pollutants, bacteria and on and on touch your skin. Without washing all that off, the products you do put on your face would never penetrate that layer of gunk.
When you maintain a good cleansing routine you help maintain the barrier function of your skin. Without a proper barrier function, your skin breaks down, breaks out and basically freaks out.
Some of the most basic reasons to cleanse are really no brainers.
· Regular cleansing keeps your skin looking good
· Clean skin will absorb products better- so you’re not wasting your money
· Helps keep your pores from looking like landmines
· Keeps your face hydrated and limits the over production of oils
Ok we know the why, so what about the what? What cleanser do I choose for my skin type?
A few things to keep in mind for cleanser choosing.
· Know your skin type
· Think about your lifestyle- do you sweat a lot, wear heavy makeup
· Know allergies and sensitivities
· Research and educate yourself- get an Aesthetics Mentor to help you
Don’t forget to watch my “how to cleanse your face” tutorial!
Normal- the illusive “normal”, lets be honest, its pretty rare to be normal! Ha, well with skin types at least. When it comes to skin normal is someone who kinda just falls smack dab in the middle. Not too oily or too dry, minimal blemishes/wrinkles, pore size is smaller or hardly visible and usually a even skin tone. Normal skin types can have minor breakouts or issues of dryness but tend to clear up quickly.
Dry- This skin types biggest complaint is a tight feeling in the skin. The skin may also be scaling or have flaking. Dry skin has almost invisible pores and inevitably shows signs of premature aging and irritation to the skin. Why are we dry? First let’s clear up that dry and dehydrated are 2 different things. Dry means a lack of oil, where dehydrated means a lack of water. So back to dry or lacking oil, this condition can have a variety of factors, incorrect products, heredity and environmental exposure. For example, extremely hot showers or the steam room at the gym will strip the oil from your skin.
Oily- This skin type is described right in the name, oily, shiny and prone to acne breakouts. Silver lining for oily skin type though is minimal signs of age! All that oil keeps your skin nice and safe from life! Yay for less signs of aging, especially if you suffered through more than a few years of horrible acne. Oily skin is from several factors but mainly hormones and genetics. When we are young we produce a steady amount of sebum or oil, but as we age that production slows down. Also, oily skin types can get dehydrated. Unfortunately, excess oil can also lead to more breakouts and the appearance of larger pores.
Combination- Ahh here is where many of us end up, in the good ole’ land of who knows what is happening! Today I am oily, but yesterday I was tight and dry. Generally, combo skin types are oily in what we call the T-zone (see picture) and dry in other areas. So, combo skin usually is harder to type as you can be oily yet not oily all over, or you can be dry but again not dry all over.
Sensitive- so this is a newer skin “type” more and more people are developing environmental sensitives due to more exposure chemicals that may not have been present 50 or even 5 years ago. So many sensitive skin types can show signs of dry, oily or even combo characteristics. However, normal/sensitive generally doesn’t happen, of course. Sensitive is mostly characterized by redness or irritation, inflammation is also very common.