Combinations Work! The most frequently asked question by clients is "what facial or product will work to correct my concerns?" The answer is not always simple. There really is no "one product" or treatment that will completely correct any issue. It takes a combination of facials/products or a series of treatments along with home care products to correct most skincare issues. The biggest key to success, though, is simply through consistency. If you really want beautiful skin, you will need to be able to be consistent in your home care and consistent in your treatment plan. I also advocate small steps: Work on each issue one by one so that your home regimen is changed slowly, so that you can see each new product work (or find you are intolerant) and will know exactly what was changed to cause the improvement.
Vitamin C - What are the benefits? A lot of clients have heard me going on about the benefits of vitamin C. It is one of the best antioxidants available, but I have recently read an article that fully explained the role of vitamin C and listed the benefits. I was astounded at what this ingredient can do when appropriately added to skin cae products in the appropriate form! I learned:
1. You can't make collagen without vitamin C.
2. Using the appropriate form of vitamin C in a skin care product, at appropriate strength, will diminish fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dark circles under the eyes, and reduce hyperpigmentation with visible results in usually just 3 weeks!
3. The "Gold Standard" form of vitamin C in skin care products is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
So, the general recommendation is to continue to take vitamin C as a supplement or eat lots of foods rich in vitamin C for good health, but be sure that "tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate" appears in the ingredient list of your skin care product! Need to find a product that contains tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate? Ask me!
Do You Exfoliate Too Much? The answer is probably yes. If you listen to commercials or read some labels that state their scrub product is "gentle enough to use every day," then you probably think you are doing the right thing. If you take into consideration that it takes anywhere from 28 to 35+ days for your skin to regenerate, then you can see why too much exfoliation can actually be harmful. It can also leave your pores open so that outside pollutants and bacteria can get in and create annoying blackheads and pimples. A simple, gentle cleanser is the right product to use at night to remove makeup and clean your skin. Scrubs should be used sparingly and only as needed (and remember that products called "scrubs" ARE exfoliants!) when your skin starts to look a little dull, which indicates a gentle scrub will brighten your complexion. If you like a regular schedule, then scrub once every 3 to 4 weeks for general skin maintenance.
*Remember that if you are working on clearing acne or hyperpigmentation, or some other skin issues, I might recommend a more frequent exfoliation but this would be for a limited period of time.
Why Use a Toner? I was like a lot of women who thought a toner was not necessary- until I went to aesthetics school. I now know that the toning portion of the skin care routine is one of the most important steps. Why? Because toners help to control the pH of your skin. If your pH is too high, it will result in that tight uncomfortable feeling and perhaps even some flaking. If your pH is too low, and you have oily or combination skin, it will allow a nice comfortable environment for bacteria to grow and cause whiteheads, blackheads and other assorted pimples. A neutral environment is best for skin, and a toner can provide the neutral pH that your skin will love.