Pay Attention: ANTI-Aging

It’s so funny to me that most of the women I’ve talked to and consulted with feel that anti-aging products aren’t necessary until you get closer to your 40s and 50s.  Not so.  Think about it…..anti means before.  So anti-aging products are meant to help you before you start aging, to help prevent things like age spots, wrinkles, and firmness.  Anti-aging should start in your mid 20s because once you reach 40, guess what?  You’ve already aged!  Trying to get rid of or correct skin issues is a lot harder when  you start in your 40s.

Here are some good anti-aging habits to start now if you already haven’t.

Eye Cream

I’ll admit that before I went to esthetics school I didn’t use an eye cream.  I thought it was pointless.  But there are eye creams that help with certain issues.  There are eye creams for anti-wrinkle, firmness, dark circles, etc.  More importantly eye creams provide hydration to the skin under your eyes.  That skin is very delicate and should be hydrated.  Remember, more hydrated skin always looks youthful.  Dry skin ages faster.  Benefit makes a good eye cream. benefit its potent eye


Normal skin turnover happens every 30 days.  Meaning you generate  new skin cells every 30 days.  The older you get the slower that process occurs, changing to about every 45-60 days.  Exfoliation is a process that uses a product to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells, which reveals newer and more youthful skin.  It helps with getting rid of dark spots, helps your products penetrate better, makeup goes on better and smoother, and reveals a brighter complexion.  There are a variety of exfoliators available.  Make sure you read labels.  The label will always tell you how often to use the product.  People with sensitive skin should exfoliate once a week.  If you have oilier skin you can exfoliate 2-3 times a week.  I’m oily so I exfoliate 3 times a week sometimes.

I know everyone has tried the St. Ives Apricot scrub but I suggest trying something different.

Treat (mask and/or serum)

Skin treatments are based on what your skin goals are.  Do you want to be more hydrated?  Do you want to get rid of the dark spots on your face?  Do you want firmness?  Your goal will determine the type of treatment best for your skin.  Personally I do masks and use a serum.

Remember that serums are molecularly smaller than a moisturizer so they penetrate deeper into the skin allowing it to work more efficiently.  It DOES NOT replace your moisturizer but should be used in addition to.

Masks (sometimes spelled masques) are good to detoxify and replenish skin.  Sephora makes a good hydrating sheet mask.Sephora Sheet Masks


There are also masks that help with other skin issues like hydration (for dry skin) or oily/acne skin types.

origins charcoal mask

I like the Origins charcoal mask.  Activated charcoal (not the same kind we use on the grill) is good at drawing out impurities because it absorbs thousands times its own mass.  It helps to purify pores and is a good choice for people who have acne or blackheads.  Its an ingredient used in a lot of masks.  There are other brands that make charcoal masks as well.  I know there are some sold over-the-counter at stores like Walmart and Target.  Clinique has a good one as well.

clinique charcoal mask

I know it sounds like a lot but the older you get you have to invest more into your health and appearance.  Let me know if you guys have questions about any more recommendations!



Pay attention to expiration dates!

It’s very important to know when to get rid of both skin care and makeup products.  Using anything past it’s expiration date can cause a variety of issues. I find that especially with makeup women tend to hold on to it until it’s all gone.  For example, with products like powders that come in compacts there is a lot of bacteria that is harbored there over time, especially if you use the sponge that comes with  most compacts.  It is important that if you use the sponge to clean it with antibacterial soap and let it completely dry before putting back in the compact. If you apply makeup with a brush, cleanse the brush the same way after every 3-5 uses.

Using old makeup and/or skin care products could be causing skin irritation, breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, and it could cause the product to have an adverse affect on your skin.  So here are a few tips on how to know when to get rid of some of these items…..

expiration symbol
cosmetic expiration symbol

This symbol is known as the cosmetic expiration symbol.  Not all products will have a specific expiration date; that’s because it’s good until you actually open the product.  This symbol lets you know that the product is good for 12 months after it’s opened.  It’s usually found in plain sight on the back or bottom of products.  Different products will have different expirations, just pay attention to the number which lets you know how many months the product is good for.  If you can’t remember when you purchased something try either writing it down somewhere you won’t lose it, write the purchase date actually on the product itself, or set an alert in your phone when it’s time to trash it.

trash that

Here is a good table that outlines when certain products should be thrown out.  Also, if anything starts to turn colors or change consistency that’s a good indication that it’s time for it to be thrown out.  Just remember, especially with makeup, you are reapplying something to your face that isn’t always a freshly washed face, which makes it easy for bacteria to fester.

I’ve had customers tell me that they’re using the same powder compact that they’ve been using for the past 5 years.  First of all, YUCK.   It’s obviously expired and is not working at its full capacity.  Sometimes people tend to think their products aren’t working for them anymore when maybe the issue is actually you’re not taking proper care of it.

Secondly, once a hygiene product (and yes, makeup is a part of hygiene) gets “contaminated” with so much bacteria, all  you’re doing is putting bacteria back on your face every time that product is used.

Think about it like this:   you wouldn’t use the same toothbrush for 5 years, would you?  I hope the answer is no.  So please don’t try to make your products last longer than they should.  We’re all guilty of it but let’s do better!

Pay Attention: Ingredients!

So I think I’m going to start a Pay Attention series….just things to pay attention to that can help you tackle your skin care issues.  It’s always nice to see a professional, either a dermatologist if you have a skin disease, or an esthetician who can help keep up with regular maintenance.

You don’t have to be a pro, but you should know which ingredients can help with your particular issues.  Dark spots and dry skin are the issues that I get asked about the most so today I’ll be focusing on those issues.

For Dark Spots

Hydroquinone – this ingredient is a melanin inhibitor, meaning it decreases the amount of melanin produced.  It works well for freckles, acne scars, age spots and other skin discolorations.


This product should not be used long term.  You should see results within roughly 4 weeks of use.  You should discontinue use after about 2-3 months.  I’m not saying you can’t ever use it after those initial months but let your skin take a break before resuming again.

This can be purchased over the counter.  The most common amount in an over the counter product is 2%.  A doctor can prescribe a larger dose but most insurance companies don’t cover it because it is a cosmetic item.  So that can make a prescription version very pricey.


Ambi Fade Cream (contains 2% hydroquinone)
paula's choice hq
Paula’s Choice Resist Triple Action Dark Spot Erase Gel (has 2% hydroquinone and 2% BHA, which is an exfoliator)


For Hydration (dry skin)

Hyaluronic Acid – this is something that the body actually produces on its own but as time goes on the body produces less and less.  It is very helpful to use topically to treat wounds and to help with providing moisture and moisture retention.  It’s also good for anti-aging because the more moisture skin has the younger it looks.  Thinner and dryer skin ages faster.

You can get moisture using products that don’t contain hyaluronic acid, but this is a good ingredient to look out for if you have very dry skin.


derma e hydrating serum
Derma e Hydrating Serum
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel










Let me know if you have any other skin issues that you need recommendations for.  I’m always taking requests if you want to see a post about something specific!

Moisturizer Recommendations

So in my last post I mentioned what you should not use on your skin as a moisturizer and had a lot of follow up questions regarding what should be used.  Here are some good moisturizers for the cooler weather, in no particular order.

turnaround cream
I am a big fan of Clinique’s turnaround overnight moisturizer.  In the past few months they re-formulated their ingredients and I have to say I’m impressed.  It’s a night time radiance moisturizer so it’s especially good for those who have lackluster looking skin and want a boost of rejuvenation.  Anyone can use it; I have oily skin and love it.  You can purchase at any Clinique counter as well as Sephora.  If you’re near a Sephora I suggest getting a sample to see if you like it before purchasing. Sephora gives samples of EVERYTHING!  🙂

murad hydro dynamicMurad’s Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisturizer is an awesome moisturizer for dry dehydrated skin.  The texture is super rich and thick and it’s a part of the anti-aging line of the brand.


cetaphil creamFor those who don’t necessarily need anything special Cetaphil is a decent opticetaphil lotionon.  It’s very affordable and can be found almost anywhere (Walmart, Target, CVS).  Pictured to the left is the moisturizing cream which is good if you need more hydration (dry skin).  Pictured to the right is the moisturizing lotion that provides lightweight hydration for normal or oily skin.

Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar is a good option that gives lightweight hydration.  It contains lactic acid, which helps to gently exfoliate the skin, helping skin turnover and improving skin’s texture over time.  Good for all skin types, but those with oilier skin would especially enjoy this because it doesn’t make your face greasy or shiny.  Also found at Sephora, department stores, and Ulta.

hope in a jar

An oldie but goodie is Estee Lauder’s Daywear.  It’s been around for quite a while but it’s a good day moisturizer with spf 25.  There are 2 versions, one for oily skin and one for dry skin (pictured below).  This option is the priciest of the ones given, but again go grab a sample from Sephora.  Also available at department stores that have Estee Lauder counters.


image prevention moisturizer image matte moisturizerImage is a professional brand used by estheticians in spas but is also available for the public to purchase as well.  It is available online and in certain spas.

Pictured left is the prevention daily hydrating moisturizer that is good for sensitive and dry/dehydrated skin and has spf 30.  To the right is the matte version of the moisturizer, making it good for oily skin.  It has spf of 32, provides all day hydration, and helps to absorb oils produced throughout the day giving you a nice matte finish.  It works great under makeup.

So this is a longer post but I wanted to make sure I cold give suggestions to various skin types for day and night moisturizers.  Let me know if  you guys have any questions.  Feel free to leave a comment or question below.  Hope this info helps!

Tip Tuesday – What NOT to use as a moisturizer

So we all have products that our mothers or grandmothers put on our face that was NOT in any way beneficial.  The one I remember the most is none other than Vaseline. vaseline My mother would slather this stuff all over my face every morning.  I felt like I was suffocating.  And she still uses it to this day no matter how many times I tell her it’s not good for the skin on her face.  Great for feet, elbows, and knees, but face….No.  I’m so traumatized I don’t even keep any of this stuff in my house.  I hate it.  I will say that it’s good at healing wounds like cuts, scrapes, and burns.  It’s still banned from my house though.  LOL.

There are so many other products that people use as moisturizers on a daily basis that is clogging pores and causing breakouts and blackheads.  So if you’re using anything on this list and have skin issues you may want to take heed to my Vaseline philosophy.

Here are 5 of the worse ingredients for your skin:



Coco Butter 

Just like Vaseline, it’s great for certain parts of the body, but not the face.  It clogs pores. Despite what your grandmother tells you it doesn’t heal everything.

Olive Oil & Peanut Oil

Great to cook with….leave it at that.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil smells good, makes a great hair moisturizer but should be kept away as a facial moisturizer.  It makes a good makeup remover for getting rid of waterproof makeup.  But if used as a makeup remover you should cleanse right after.

Mineral Oil also known as Vaseline also known as Petroleum

See first paragraph….

What has your mother scarred you against using or wearing?




Change your skincare with the weather

Now that’s it’s getting cooler in temperature it’s important for you to change your skin care routine.  Just like you adjust your wardrobe, you gotta aUnknown-1djust your skincare.  Some may not need to change much, wile others may need to swap out a few products.  It all depends on your skin and your skin type.  Now, no one likes to hear “it depends” but that really is the case with skin care and makeup because no two people are the same.  That’s the importance of being able to ask an esthetician questions.  I recommend having a skin analysis at least twice a year to gauge where your skin is at and to make sure you’re using the right products.

In the cooler months I add a hydrating toner and a thicker moisturizer at night.

Here are a few tips to help your skin in the dryer months.

 1)  Use Vitamin C products.  They help protect your skin from environmental pollutants, hydrates, and it gives your skin a radiant natural glow.  It’s also good for anti-aging because it helps to lift and firm the skin.  I like the brand Image.  They have several different collections but my favorite from their Vitamin C line is the masque.


You can find a list of their other Vitamin C products here:

2)  Exfoliate.  It’s important to exfoliate all year round but people tend to think that you should only exfoliate in the summer.  NOT TRUE!  Exfoliating helps to shed dead skin cells, which in turn helps your moisturizer pens653972-main-zoometrate deeper.  Make sure you don’t over exfoliate by using products that are too harsh or exfoliating too often.
If you use something gentle (which should be printed on the packaging) that’s cool.  But I like Murad’s AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser.  It’s a chemical exfoliator that has very fine beads.  It shouldn’t be used everyday because it can cause dryness.  I recommend using a product like this once a week.

3)  Use a hydrating serum and/or toner.  If your normal toner isn’t one that hydrates I would suggest swapping it for one that does.  Also, serums are awesome at not only hydrating, but correcting.  They can be a little pricey but its because they actually work.  A serum has smaller molecules than a moisturizer so it penetrates deeper into the skin.  Basically it works better and faster.  Some people want to replace their moisturizer with a serum, but the serum is meant to be used in addition to the moisturizer, not instead of.


I like Michael Todd’s Hyaluronic Acid + C serum.  Hyaluronic acid is a great moisturizing agent and it has Vitamin C.  HIs products are sold online and sometimes are on Groupon.

So if you incorporated a serum into your skincare here’s how the regiment would go:

  1. cleanse
  2. tone
  3. serum
  4. moisturize

Let me know if you guys have any questions or need product recommendations.  I’ve worked for a few different product lines and am a product junkie.  I love helping people come up with regimens!