Recently skinspot brought on two new skin care lines Lira Clinical and Epionce, which means that I am dabbling in oodles of new skin care education. Woot! Basically my former approach to radiant skin has been through two major modalities: exfoliation and nourishment, with an emphasis on exfoliation. I am still advocating for exfoliation and nourishment; however, after recent training I am beginning to believe the emphasis needs to weigh heavy on nourishment. Here’s why… chronic inflammation (i.e. when you are constantly dry, red, or peeling) puts in the skin in a constant state of stress. Consistently stressed skin leads to fine lines, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, and a few other thrilling skin conditions that I am sure I am missing. This is not news to me, but the emphasis that both Lira and Epionce put on repairing the skin’s barrier over all other modalities was a bit of a light bulb moment. Basically if your first line of defense is down, healthy skin is a pipe dream. While creating and maintaining a healthy skin barrier is the most important goal, stimulating new, healthy skin via exfoliation is crucial. However, over exfoliation can take one’s barrier down in a heart beat, so what is a radiant-skin-seeking-being to do? Honestly…. Peel then Heal. Figuring out which modalities are the most efficient for your skin type and condition can take a minute, but once you discover this magical formula you have officially received your ticket to luminous-skin-ville. In my humble opinion the two new lines that skinspot is now carrying compliment each other oh, so well. Lets meet the contenders….
Miss Lira’s speciality is that all of the products in the line contain stem cells. What the heck are stem cells?!! Stem cells aid in repairing the skin and regenerating new and healthy skin. So if you get a chemical peel, a sun burn or perhaps picked too long and hard at an acne lesion, you want stem cells in your daily skin care arsenal to expedite the skin’s recovery. Another speciality of lady Lira is exfoliation via lactic acid, retinol, peptides, enzymes and salicylic acid. As a brief overview here is what do these ingredients do….
Lactic Acid- Derived from milk. This is one of the more gentle AHA’s out there and It exfoliates the skin while hydrating and brightening the skin. Lactic allows for new healthy, skin to shine forth without being overly stripping.
Retinol- Derived from Vitamin A and the gold standard in anti-aging ingredients. Honestly, I have a deep love affair with retinol- if used correctly. Retinol essentially teaches your dead skin cells to behave, which helps to alleviate acne, pigmentation and create overall glowing skin. As if glowing skin isn’t enough, retinol also promotes collagen and elastin stimulation, which equals tighter skin and less fine lines. Be still my heart.
Peptides- Peptides are the building blocks of protein and are all the rage as of late. Peptides are winning hearts due to their ability to aid in skin regeneration like an AHA (aka retinol), without the irritation that AHA’s can cause. Peptides while they are superb at creating new healthy skin, they also expedite the healing process, so your skin gets to repair with more efficiency. Peptides also have a reputation of producing a Botox like effect on the skin. They are NOT Botox, but they help in moving the muscles less that produce those pesky fine lines.
Enzymes- Derived from papaya, pineapple and pumpkin. Enzymes work like pacman on the skin. They come in and gobble up any dead skin hanging around without irritation, which allows smooth skin to make itself known and it allows for any topical treatment product to penetrate with greater efficiency. Win!
Salicylic Acid- Sali is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) derived from the leaves of wintergreen and sweet birch bark that helps to dissolve the oil and dead skin cells in the pore , which aids in keeping sir pore free and clear. Stunning Sali also helps control oil production and is mildly antibacterial. Sali is a great friend to have when trying to achieve clear skin.
While Lira does a stellar job on exfoliation all of their products are formulated with oodles of antioxidants and several skin healing minerals and botanicals. This review on the product truly is just scratching the surface of what Lira has going on.
Now lets meet Contender Number 2: Epionce
Oh Epionce, you continue to surprise and amaze moi. As a former glycolic acid junkie (i.e. I loved to feel the burn) Epionce’s approach to radiant skin via non stripping ingredients and formulations has truly provoked me to reevaluate how I care for skin. Epionce nourishes the heck right out of your skin and protects it like only the best suit of armor could. This line works wonders on acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and highly sensitive skin. Epionce’s star players in their skin care are any of the renewal skin care lotions or creams. These products repair via antioxidants and the perfect combination of ceramides to ensure your barrier remains firmly intact. These products are no ordinary moisturizers and good Lord do they make your skin look radiant. Epionce’s Lytic cleanser and Lytic toner have my heart. They are great for acne prone skin and they do not strip the skin, so your visage is not feelin’ parched after your cleanse. And, to boot, the cleanser and toner make your skin feel so cool and fresh. What more could one want in this world?
These are top 6 (yes, 6) products that I am currently using and adoring:
- Epionce’s Lytic Gel Cleanser- clear skin cleanser
- Epionce’s Purifying Toner- great for keeping skin clear
- Lira’s Pro Lite TX- great for pigmentation
- Epionce’s Renewal Facial Lotion- protecting & nourishing
- Lira’s Pro Retinol TX- great for pigmentation, acne, fine lines, overall amaze-balls skin
- Lira’s Bio BB Tint- SPF, makeup, & treatment all-in-one
I do not take this matter lightly. Honestly people ask me what is the number one thing they can do for their skin and, hands down, it would be to always wear your sunscreen. Always- even on cloudy days in the dead of winter, but especially in thick of summer. It is so much easier to prevent than correct. Speaking as somebody with crazy pigmentation issues from being a tanning bed junkie in my ding-dong years of youth, protecting your skin is undeniably invaluable. For some reason people are in search for the fountain of youth, but they resist sunscreen like the plague. I know there is nothing thrilling and exciting about sunscreen, but it works and its relatively inexpensive. Not a bad combo. With that said, not all sunscreens are created equal. So you have two types of sunscreens a chemical and a physical sunscreen and they are two very different beasts.
- these are your avobenzone, octocrylene, octisalate and all of the other long unpronounceable words you see listed as the active ingredients on the back of your sunscreen bottle
- they work by absorbing UV radiation
- if people have an allergy to sunscreen it is usually one of these fellas that is the culprit
- they take about 15 minutes to begin working
- they break down after being exposed to sunlight- say what? Isn’t it their sole purpose to provide protection against the very thing that breaks them down. hmm…
- under suspicion for carcinogenic (cancer causing) properties. Children and pregnant woman are advised to steer clear of sunscreens containing Avobenzone in lieu of the oodles of free radicals it produces. side note: free radicals age the skin as well. Again, hmm…
- these are your zinc oxide and titanium dioxides. They are also referred to as mineral sunscreens.
- they work by reflecting UV radiation (they are an actual physical block)
- zinc is anti-inflammatory, so it actually calms down redness and it is mildly antibacterial making it a superb choice for those battling rosacea and acne
- extremely stable in the sun. Zinc and titanium will keep working after it has a been exposed to sunlight. Phew, given that is generally why you are wearing it in the first place
- difficult to rub in given their whitish hue. However, companies are getting better at making them more user friendly.
With that said, I realize some of the physical sunscreens feel heavy and goopy, which can be a real turn off especially if you are combating acne. I totally understand this. However, I found a handful of supreme sunscreens that work, do not give you cancer or age the skin and they go on like water.
Here they are:
Images’s Hydrating SPF 30. I love this cat. I must also state that I sell this guy, which could make me a little biased. Maybe it does. Or maybe I sell this guy because I love it so much. To get his stats go here.
There he is- in all his glory….
I am also a big fan of the tinted variety. He offers a lovely tan to those who do not naturally possess one. I must admit this color is not for everyone, so if you are genuinely interested in purchasing, I suggest trying a sample first. To get more info go here.
I really also enjoy Elta Md’s UV Physical SPF 41. He errs a little on thick side, but all-in-all he is a winner.
And if you are completely opposed to applying a liquid sunscreen daily, then I would opt for the powder route. My favorite version of this is Color Science’s sunforgettable line. This line comes in variety of different colors, so you have no excuse not to indulge.
Hats and bags over the head also work as superb sun protection, but both are mildly obstructive and inconvenient, so finding a good physical sunscreen from a bottle (or brush) is a decent plan.
If these nuggets of info appeal to you, by all means, sign up skinspot’s letter of news to get more of my skin and health musings delivered straight to your inbox. Upon sign up you get my top 10 skin tips. I mean the gifts just keep on coming…. To sign up for such goodness look to the right of this blog- it really is that easy.
On a completely unrelated note, I am in love with Oreck’s steam cleaner. For whatever reason we have been spending a lot of time together these past few days and I really cannot sing his praises enough. If you have at least one room in your abode that is sans carpet, then this fella is worth his weight in gold.
quite the pair…
Alright that is enough rambling for one post. I hope y’all have one helluva weekend!
ever wonder what is lurking in your everyday beauty products?
- could your chap stick actually be drying your lips out?
- could lipstick being contributing to your lip zits?
- could your gritty exfoliant be contributing to your acne?
- could your sensitive skin cleanser actually be making your skin more sensitive?
- could your sunscreen be aging your skin rather than helping to prevent just the opposite?
- could your oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer be a contributor to your acne?
- could your natural products be not so natural?
- could your make-up contain carcinogens or be part of your all too consistant breakouts?
- could you be paying for advertising rather than the miracle anti-aging properties of the product?
The cosmetic industry is not regulated by the FDA (even if it were, I am not sure it would be a whole lot better), so the cosmetic industry is a marketing paradise. A lot big name companies spend oodles on advertising their products and little on the actual ingredients in the product. Ever wonder why that acne cleanser you purchased from Walgreen’s never quite got after your acne, but made your skin nice and dry? More times than not you are not getting exactly what you think you are getting with skin care.
Because this is a fairly large topic, I will give you a list of ingredients to be on the prowl for. I have covered this before in another post about what to look for in your make-up, but a refresher can never hurt.
these ingredients could be contributing to your breakouts:
- lanolin- sheep’s sebum. enough said. this is in oodles of chap sticks and a key player in lip zits.
- isoproply myristate- this is in oodles of lipsticks and lovely contributor to lip zits. he is also found in many hand lotions, but is known to cause cracks in the skin hmmm.
- petroleum- yep, this is the same stuff that fuels your cars and it is also in many chap sticks/balms intended to hydrate, but actually dries your lips out. hmmm
- mineral oil- derivative of petroleum. this is the main ingredient in a sensitive skin cleanser recommended by many dermatologists. however, this lovely fella actually aggravates acne via suffocating the skin. delightful.
- petrolatum- derivative of petroleum. offers the same benefits of mineral oil.
- apricot kernels- cause micro tears in the skin, which allows for nutrients to escape and bacteria to get in. these guys also promote the spreading of bacteria. if you have an orange tub of these, stop using this on your visage immediately. Use them on your hands and feet if you need to use this product up.
A carcinogen that is in oodles of make-up
- talc- found in powders because of its moisture wicking properties. However, it is closely related to asbestos…
my favorite make-up lines:
- Bare Minerals- the big name in mineral make-up. I like it for the ingredients in it, but I don’t love the thick coverage.
- Jane Iredale- a sophisticated mineral line that is a little bit more pricey, but the make-up quality closely matches more traditional make-up
- Color Science- a great mineral make-up line. their main focus in on sun protection and correcting via using different colors (i.e green cancels out red).
- MAC- has a few good products, but be careful because not all of their products are on “safe list”
- Image Skin Care- has a new line of foundations out that offer amazing coverage and the ingredient declaration is superb. However, I have never tried them, so I cannot fully endorse.
my favorite skin care lines are:
- Image skin care- I love this line through and through. I use to cherry pick between different skin care lines to complete my regime. After I discovered Image skin care, I only use their products and my skin has never looked better. They do not put any ingredients in the product if it does not need to be there. Their products work and they are priced extremely well. These are the only products I use and sell in my skin care practice. Shameless plug: if you are interested in ordering, please do contact skinspot. You will get a customized routine and specific instructions on how to use to ensure you get the best results out of your products.
- Glytone- I use to use their Mild Gel Wash and I loved it. This product line is formulated very well and priced just as well.
- IS Clinical- I use to use their serums. I adore their Super serum Advance +. However, this line is a little spend-y.
If you are interested in getting a more in-depth consult, contact skinspot. Get to know what you are really putting on your visage!
howdy and welcome to skin tip Friday!
A lot of my clients ask me what make-up to use and, truth be told, I am probably not the person to ask. In fact, the majority of the population probably knows more than I do. I need my make-up to be VERY simple. I spend so much time taking care of my face that there simply is not enough hours in the day for me to spend painting it too. So if you want a few recommendations for an easy, peasy regime that treats the skin while beautifying it, then here are my humble suggestions:
Lets break these guys down a little:
Before this fella, I was only wearing eye cream instead of legit concealer for fear of looking like a cake-y mess. However, before our wedding I decided that I did not want to look like a sleepy beast in pictures, so I sought help from a lovely associate at the MAC store. I couldn’t be more pleased with this little delight. The ingredient declaration is as clean as one could hope for from a MAC product, it has zinc in it (this equals sun protection), and, most importantly, it covers my dark circles without looking like I have a layer of goo under my eyes. Win!
The fact that I purchased mascara is a mini miracle. I loathe mascara. I have witnessed way too many women desperate for Latisse and I swear it is due to using craptastic mascara. Craptastic mascara causes healthy lashes to become unhealthy and break. I am pretty sure that very scientific explanation is in some very important medical journal. However, the ingredients in this mascara are pretty dang clean and it works. I have tried a fair share of “natural” mascaras that err the less on the craptastic side and they all smudge like crazy and my lashes do not look any longer or fuller for it. However, sir studio fix does a swell job of lengthening and defining my lashes without making me look like I got socked in the eye. Win!
Oh heavens, just when I thought I couldn’t love Image more, I discovered their tinted moisturizer. I just tried this nugget out last week. I was tickled pink with their hydrating SPF 30, so I had no reason to switch. However, I got jealous. One of my clients was wearing it and her skin looked luminous. Hot dog, I do not know what took me so long to jump on the tinted moisturizer bandwagon. I am getting my sunscreen, hydration, anti-oxidants and I no longer look like Casper the friendly ghost. Why do I always sound like an infomercial.
And there you have it, my expert advice on make-up.
I hope all of you have a superb weekend!
Howdy and welcome to skin tip Friday!
My tip for this Friday is one of my favorite products: Sweet Blessed Bee Magic Balm
I adore this stuff for a variety of reasons as it is my windex (please tell me that reference is not lost). Basically if you use Vaseline (pitch it immediately) and order this vat of goodness. Here’s why: Vaseline (side note: I spelled “vaseline” “vasoline” and the auto correct went to “gasoline” -oh the irony) is indeed mineral oil and miner oil is petroleum. We all know what petroleum is and why would you want to put this on your precious visage? Lately, a few of my clients have come in with the little white bumps residing around their lips and eyes. Coincidentally they are also using Vaseline. Vaseline is occlusive, this means that your skin cannot breath. When your skin cannot breath, a variety of unsightly conditions happen, one of which are milia, which are those little white bumps. Bee balm feels similar to Vaseline, but it contains: Organic extra virgin olive oil, organic beeswax, organic honey, propolis, organic bee pollen and royal jelly. These ingredients are light years away from gasoline. I adore this stuff for its hydrating and antibacterial properties, so if you are acne prone this is a great product for you. However, if you are not acne prone, this is a great product for you. The only person who would not benefit from this product is somebody with a honey allergy.
Here is what I use it for:
- make-up remover when I am traveling and I do not have coconut oil on hand
- I stick this goo around my nose in these dehydrating winter months
- I put it around my eyes to hydrate, nourish, & protect the delicate eye skin. An extra perk with this is it makes your skin look like it is glowing.
- I put it on my dry, cracked feet. sexy
- I put it on cuts to hydrate & repair skin as well as offer its antibacterial properties
- when traveling I use this is as a moisturizer because I do not want to pack an extra product. However, I am so very acne prone, I wouldn’t do this every day, but while traveling exceptions are made.
- I also use this when skiing. I put the goo under my sunscreen to protect from windburn. Works like a charm
- If I had a baby, you can bet I would be using this on his or her’s bum.
Need more convincing? Read their story.
And with that, I am off to give some facials!
I know all must be shedding many tears that I will no longer be posting this week’s workouts. Fear not, I will still be working out and sharing a single workout from time-to-time, but the collaborative post on the weekends had me bored to death. And I am my biggest fan, so if I was bored I can only imagine where that left you cats.
Now lets get on to more important matters:
This post is full of random. Beware.
veggies preparing themselves:
The star of the show:
In addition to getting goods for the soup, I picked up these two fun finds:
I have been itching to try this garlic gold oil for a while and decided to splurge on it yesterday. I am thinking he will be a nice topper to my salads. deep thoughts.
The fiesta lime chips have also been on my radar, but I have passed them up in lieu of the sugar and whey in the ingredient declaration. I got a wild hair up my fanny yesterday and said “screw it.” I am wild! They are delish!
I also decided to try a new shampoo and conditioner. I have been buying the same salon stuff for over a year and didn’t feel like making a separate stop, so I hope these two do not disappoint.
I have been using Earth Science’s olive and avocado conditioning masque for a while as a treatment and I adore it. This fella can also be purchased at Whole Foods. If you have dry, frizzy hair like myself then this guy should be added to your toolbox asap.
Two other loves that were purchased on grocery store expedition:
the lavender is intended to help me chill out and the white musk is to make me smell oh, so good. The white musk is a mixture of oils that allow you to smell devine without knocking you out. To boot, the little bottles are only $7.99 and they last for months. Win!
On another note:
Today we are watching our friends’ kiddo, Mr. Maxx.
I will leave you with Mr. Dead Dog
And with that, I am off. Happy Sunday!