Author Archives: Kirstin

Teens and Skin Care

Damage to our skin takes years to show itself. We should learn from our past skincare mistakes and begin our tweens and teenagers as early as possible.

Educating but also keeping it simple will be the best approach to talking to your kids about their skin care needs.

Many tweens or teens are embarrassed by their acne. Tween and teen acne is NORMAL! The influx of hormones and changes in the body creates more production of sebum, ie. oil. Some more than others. This evens out over time and can be helped with cleansing the face regularly.

Teen Skin Care

Most teens do not need harsh acne medications or topical ointments if they are cleansing their faces as needed, meaning morning and night. Harsh medications and ointments can over time damage the skin, cause kidney damage and can actually make the skin age faster. Most medications slow down or halt the production of sebum, we produce sebum to keep they skin hydrated and healthy and when you remove this from the skin, not only are you preventing acne but you’re dehydrating the skin which in turn can cause the skin to age faster.

Of course with any good skin care regimen sunscreen is always necessary, before leaving the house and during any prolonged exposure to the sun. Beginning early will protect your tween or teen from sun damage, age spots, premature wrinkles and especially skin cancer.

Getting your tween or teen on a simple yet regular regimen will be key for regulating acne and breakouts, it will also create a good foundation for future skin care maintenance.

Why We Need To Exfoliate….

Exfoliation is removing the top layer of the skin – which is mostly made up of dead skin cells.  These layers of dead cells are a month old and are blocking essential oxygen to your skin. When skin cannot breathe, it looks dull and dry. Even more so in the winter.

Exfoliation is necessary for a few reasons: It helps prevent breakouts. Dead skin cells clog pores which can lead to acne and other skin conditions. It improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also assist in the reduction of hyperpigmentation such as brown spots or sun spots and Exfoliation also helps with dry skin.

Sugar Scrub for the Face by Debra (Flickr = debcll)There are two different kinds of exfoliation: Chemical and Mechanical. Chemical or “acid” exfoliation does the work for you. You apply it, leave it on the skin, and it works to dissolve the dry skin cells. These exfoliants include ingredients such as Glycolic Acid, AHAs and BHA, and enzymes such as Pumpkin, Papaya, and Pineapple. Mechanical exfoliation is the use of products such as a scrub, where you do the work. Both are beneficial.

The thing to keep in mind is that the goal of exfoliation is to leave your skin feeling softer and looking healthier — not red and irritated. If you over-exfoliate, you could end up doing more harm than good.

For some people, exfoliating scrubs might just be too harsh. If that seems to be the case for you, try using a chemical exfoliator. You’ll probably need to use it only once a week. Also, avoid using an exfoliating tool or cleanser near your eyes, as this skin is far too sensitive and doesn’t need exfoliation.

A good rule of thumb when exfoliating at home is not to do it every day! This is a sure fire way that you will not over do it and cause damage to your skin.

The goal to any skin care product is to improve the condition and the appearance of your skin. If you are ever confused or unsure ask a trained esthetician who can point you in the right direction based on your skin’s needs.

We happen to love the Ren Skincare line!  We suggest you look at the Ren Radiance collection – it offers multiple choices for uncovering youthful skin. Whether you want chemical exfoliation or mechanical, you’ll find a product that’s perfect for getting your glow on!

Do I Really Need To Use Sunscreen In The Winter?

Way too often when I am consulting with a new client before a facial I learn that many do not use or think to apply sunscreen during the winter months.  This of course horrifies me and surprises many of my clients when I say even if its cold and cloudy Sunscreen and SPF is a MUST!

This is why:

Winter Sun - Use SunscreenSnow ups the sun’s power. It might be winter, but the sun reflects off the snow and bounces 80% of its rays back at you. The effect is similar to a typical day at the beach.

Even if there is no snow in some areas of the United States the amount of ultraviolet radiation (UV)  we get from the sun does not drop during the winter months.In some higher elevations such as your favorite mountain , the atmosphere is thinner. Without using proper coverage in these places a severe sunburn can occur and cause major damage to the skin.

Applying Sunscreen regularly will not only decrease the number of sunburns you get, it will also reduce skin cancer risks dramatically and help fight off premature aging.

And a side note, a moisturizer with SPF is good to start the day off with, but reapplying throughout the day is the only real way to protect your skin all day long!  Especially when you are enjoying those fun outdoor winter activities.

How to Protect Your Skin in the Winter Months

How To Protect Your Skin in WinterProtecting our faces these days is not just about looking good. Protecting our skin in the winter months is key so that the skin can perform its crucial barrier functions – which means protection from water loss and preventing penetration of infectious agents and allergens.

In the winter months this is particularly important due to the fact that there is less moisture it the air (why humidity is good for the skin) Mix this decrees with indoor heating, hot showers and baths, extreme cold temperatures, and blistery winds all skin types can become dry and irritated. In some cases skin can become itchy and flaky.

In order to help combat this here are a few tips to protect you skin and keeping it looking radiant through the cold months.

1. Avoid taking really hot baths and showers. Try using lukewarm water instead and limit them to 5-10 minutes.

2. Apply moisturizer within minutes of stepping out of the shower, this will help hold in some of the moisture from the water in the upper layer of the skin.

3. Drink A LOT of water.

4. Reapply your moisturizer throughout the day vs. only twice a day(if you wear a foundation or a full coverage makeup be sure to have a spray moisturizer, this will keep your makeup in place and hydrate). This will help not only hydrate the skin but will assist in protecting it from the outside elements and the forced air of the offices and homes.

5. Pick a heavier moisturizer for the winter months.

6. Increase the number of times you exfoliate to help preventing the skin looking dry and dull.

7. Add a creamy healing moisturizing mask or serum to your regimen.

8. Consider purchasing a humidifier for your home.

9. Layer up! Whenever your outside wrap those big scarves around your face, to protect it from wind and cold air.