Posts Tagged ‘skin care’

Hey Estheticians! 50 Incredible Facts About Skin

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
I’m sure most of this is old news to you estheticians and esthetics students in training, but we still thought this was a fun infographic about the largest organ of the body – your skin! Special thanks to Beauty Flash for putting this gem together. :)
50 Incredible Facts About Skin


Makeup Tips: When to Throw Out Old Makeup

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

beauty-school-makeupLike most women, you probably have invested in a number of pricey skin care products that aim to help women achieve healthy, clear skin. But have you ever stopped to think about how your makeup might be affecting the quality of your skin? If you are still using makeup from the last decade, you could be contaminating your skin. A recent study performed on British women revealed most women continue using their old makeup well past the product’s expiration date. Furthermore, the study also revealed that 89% of women were unaware of the fact that their makeup has an expiration date, although in many cases it is not listed clearly on the product.

While most women understand the risk of sleeping in makeup (although 81% of us regularly do so), few actually understand the implications that can arise from using expired makeup. Old make-up can cause a host of skin problems including skin infections, acne, sties and peri-oral dermatitis, a condition that causes the development of rash-like red bumps. If you are one of the 60% of women who shares their old makeup with friends, you are not only exposing yourself to harmful bacteria, but also exposing your friends as well.

Considering the staggering cost of most makeup, it is understandable why many of us, 68% to be exact, only replace make-up once it runs out, opposed to when the product expires. So the next time you get ready to apply that year-old mascara and eyeliner, think again. If you’ve been using old makeup, check out some of our recommendations for proper makeup usage and disposal.

Eye Makeup
Of all makeup items, mascara is the one you will need to replace regularly. According to the study, most women kept their mascara for a year, even though it should be replaced every two to three months. Mascara can breed icky bacteria that can lead to eye irritation, conjunctivitis and sties. While most women keep their powdered eye shadow for 180 months, it should be replaced each year. Cream-based eye shadows can grow bacteria more quickly than powders and should be replaced every 6 months. Liquid or pencil eyeliners should be replaced four times a year.

Foundation and Concealers
The study of British women also revealed that women tended to keep their concealer for two years, even though it should be replaced every 12 months. Generally, powder and stick concealers can last up to a year, while liquid concealers, which are more prone to breed bacteria, should be tossed after 6-12 months. If you buy your foundation in bulk, don’t worry. Unopened foundation can last for a few years.

Storage and Cleaning
Unfortunately, most of us store our makeup and makeup brushed in our moisture-rich bathrooms. You can extend the life of your favorite products by storing them in a dry, dark place. If you find you have frequent acne breakouts, you might be one of the 72% of women who never wash their make-up sponges or brushes. Be sure to wash these items regularly and you will surely see a difference in your skin.

5 Bedtime Beauty Tips

Thursday, October 13th, 2011


Wish you could get up out of bed and be instantly prettier? Of course you do. If you could altogether avoid or cut in half the daunting task of dolling yourself up for the day – wouldn’t you? Absolutely!

Well, now you can with this list of 5 ways to wake up prettier. No more of those days at work having someone tell you, “Ooh, you look tired.” Nope! You can kiss those days goodbye.

Shower it – then braid it

If you want to achieve that nice wavy look, then stick to this old motherly secret. You’ve heard the saying, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, this bedtime beauty secret is old school for a reason – it’s not broke, so don’t fix it!

Double layer it

Wearing primer over skincare products at night might sound odd, but it allows them to sink in and work their magic. Try it out if you’re a non-believer and see how good you look in the morning.

Keep it tamed

Want to protect yourself from the reincarnation of ‘80s riot hair? Then flip your hair upside down, pull it into a ponytail and secure it tightly (but not too tight – you’ve got to sleep comfortably after all) with a hair tie. No more striking a morning pose looking like Madonna.

The rub

You’re not the only one who wants to be comfortable when you lay yourself down to sleep at night. Your skin wants – no, deserves – to be comfy, too. Next time, moisturize yourself all over – elbows, knees, toes, ankles, armpits. If you can name it – moisturize it.

Get the glow

Self tanner is an important beauty product for maintaining exceptionally vibrant skin throughout the year. The best time to apply it? Right before bed. By self-tanning before bed and letting it dry overnight, you’ll find yourself waking up radiant-er.

By utilizing these 5 beauty-before-bedtime tips, you’ll be well on your way to waking up prettier and saving yourself that bothersome task of getting ready in the morning.

High-Tech Esthetics – Part One: Photorejuvenation

Friday, October 7th, 2011


The other day, a Groupon popped into our inbox promoting photorejuvenation, and even though we work in the beauty industry all day, we had a little trouble defining exactly what it was that we now had a coupon for. We could kind of break it down – “photo,” which generally has to do with light, which we’re a fan of; and “rejuvenation,” which is always a positive thing in our books – but what were the down-and-dirty details of this procedure?

Basically: what, exactly, is photorejuvenation? (Hands down, estheticians – we know you probably have the answer already!)

Photorejuvenation is a skin treatment that uses intense pulsed light (which you might see just referred to as IPL) to treat certain skin conditions and sometimes remove wrinkles caused by UVA and UVB exposure. Apparently it can be used to:

  • Lighten or remove sun spots, age spots or other brown discolorations
  • Lighten or reduce rosacea, dilated blood vessels or broken blood vessels

And (to lesser effect):

  • Improve skin texture through collagen stimulation
  • Improve pore size by temporarily reducing oiliness

So, in general, this procedure improves our skin’s tone and texture. It’s non-invasive, only really affects the very top layers of the skin and is filtered so that no UV damage is possible, so a lot of the time, the only side effects people feel are flushed skin that’s akin to a very mild sunburn. Most places that offer photorejuvenation require 3-5 initial treatments for optimal results, and after that, you might have to come back for a maintenance treatment every few years or so.

Seems pretty harmless, right? Why NOT get it?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind – like tanning. Most places don’t recommend the procedure if you have a tan or tanned skin, so it’s not for everyone. Also, some people may experience more extreme side effects, like burns or blisters, scarring, or changes in pigmentation. It’s rare, but it’s still possible. Your best course of action is to go to a professional skin care specialist and consult with them about whether photorejuvenation would be a good option for you.

There! That’s it in a nutshell. We’re planning on this being just the first in a series of articles that explores some of the high-level, high-tech skin care services that fabulous estheticians are offering these days, so be on the lookout for explorations into dermal fillers, sclerotherapy and more!

And then be on the lookout for the Groupons that are sure to pop up.

DIY Beauty 101: Get Pretty on the Cheap!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010


DIY-beauty can be a great way to save some dough. But if you’re thinking you have to resort to crazy (and smelly…) tactics involving mayonnaise, egg yolks or other odd kitchen items, think again!

Here are a few affordable (even totally free in some cases) ways to look and feel your very best with the help of common household items.

Great Hair

1.       Pump up the volume

Try adding mousse into your hairstyling routine. It brings more bang for the buck than some other hair-pumping products.

Another (totally free!) way to add some lift to your ‘do is by blow-drying your hair upside down. Flip your hair over and dry the hair away from the scalp. When it’s barely damp, flip it back and continue styling.

2.       Bring out the shine

Add a weekly hot-oil treatment to your beauty regimen. Sound expensive? It doesn’t have to be! Pick up some jojoba oil (you can find it at natural food stores for around $10) and substitute this for pricier hair-repair products.  Just spread the oil generously through dry hair, pop on a plastic shower cap, and cover your head with a hot towel for about a half-hour. When time’s up, rinse your hair with cold water to seal in the moisture. Then, head out and show off those shiny tresses!

Glowing Skin

1.       Erase the redness

To reduce redness and soothe irritated skin, all it takes is a quick trip to the fridge. When you soak a washcloth in cold milk and place the washcloth over your face for about 10 minutes, the proteins, fat, amino acids and vitamin A found in milk can rejuvenate your skin and help it look soft and glowing.

2.       Banish puffy eyes

The caffeine found in tea bags can help tired-looking eyes appear brighter and more awake. By shrinking the underlying dark blood vessels that create puffiness around the eyes, the caffeine can help your eyes look bright once again. Find two tea bags and soak them in hot water for about a minute. Then, dunk them in ice water for a few seconds. Lie down and apply the tea bags to your eyes for about 15 minutes while you take a breather.

Dazzling Smile

1.       Mix your own smile-whitener by creating a homemade paste of baking soda and water. By brushing with this paste a few times a month, you can whiten your teeth by as much as one or two shades.

2.       Keep your teeth white between brushings by treating new stains before they set in. When drinking red wine, choose some crunchy raw vegetables to accompany your drink. By chewing up the veggies, you can help rub away any new stains.

It’s time to go forth and look beautiful! All in the comfort of your own home, no less. Have some tips to add to our list? We want to hear ‘em!

Cleanliness is Next to Evilness: Villainess Soaps

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

vilanness-soapNot much about soap is exciting. Some are interesting, but you can’t really say it’s provocative. Unless you’re talking about the naughty & nice collections from Villainess Soaps.

Villainess is a bit naughty because they have scents named after deadly deeds like Pyromania, which gives off a sweet, smoky odor and uses poppy seeds as a mild abrasive. I bought my younger sister a bar of Silk & Cyanide for Christmas, which gives off the scents and flavors one experiences while slowly being poisoned. She cautiously thanked me for my trouble.

Villainess is a bit nice because all their products are cruelty-free, and they operate through a full-disclosure policy about all materials used in manufacture. It’s kind of like how the arch-enemy details all her nefarious plans to the hero before she engages the unnecessarily slow-moving crane toward the shark tank.

Villainess Soaps and cosmetic products are hand-made in Waverly, TN by people who are truly passionate (and a bit evil) about their ideals. The soaps are nicely priced and arrive in un-sculpted hunks of glorious texture, color and odor. Ask your local beauty biz if they’ll stock some, or just visit their website at to see what devilishly clever new things they’ve devised.

Photo: Villainess Soaps

Top 5 Myth-Busted Beauty Tips

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Myth 1: Rubbing lemon on your teeth makes them whiter without damaging them.
FALSE. The citric acid from lemons will make them whiter, but it also wears away the enamel. Don’t make this a habit!

Myth 2: Special shampoos can fix split ends.
FALSE. Special shampoos that rehydrate your hair will only work to prevent damage after you cut your split ends off.

Myth 3: Sunscreen is unnecessary on a cloudy day.
FALSE. Clouds are just made of water droplets. And just like you wouldn’t forget sunscreen coverage for playing in the pool, neither should you for an overcast day. UV rays are the problem-causing light frequency and can easily penetrate any amount of cloud cover. Cover up!

1001603797Myth 4: Eating chocolate causes breakouts.
FALSE. As long as you don’t overdo it, chocolate is part of a healthy diet. Diet plays a very distinct role in skin problems. The best way to promote a healthy complexion is to eat a diet rich with anti-oxidants, nutrients, Vitamin E and simple carbohydrates.

Myth 5: Wearing acrylic nails too often will destroy your real nails.
FALSE. They actually do a pretty good job of protecting your real nails. However, you can certainly do damage to your real nails if you try to get acrylic nails off improperly, like picking them off piece by piece. Treat your acrylic nails with the same respect you give your real nails, and everything will be fine.

Got any more beauty tips passed to you that turned out to be bunk? Let us know about them!

Decoding Skincare Product Ingredients

Monday, April 6th, 2009

With gentle breezes and warm, sunny days just around the corner, I’m already penciling in some of my summer plans. And by now, I’ve learned not to neglect my skin during these warmer months. Every time I walk into the drugstore or my favorite department store, I see new evidence that the skincare market is booming. The shelves are lined with skin creams and potions that all make pretty awesome-sounding claims, but it can be hard to know where to begin.

What’s a good way of getting back to basics and choosing the right product for your skin? The answer yet again lies in understanding the ingredient list. But as always, talk with your licensed esthetician or dermatologist to get a professional opinion on what products will work for you.

In her article “What Are Those Ingredients?” Stacy Colino asks some dermatologists to decode some of the most common skincare ingredients. Here are a few of the big-name players:

1. Vitamin C:
• Also known as: ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palimate.
• Great for: almost all skin types, except very sensitive skin
• Treats: aging and sun damage

2. Salicylic Acid
• Alias: beta hydroxy acid (BHA)
• Great for: normal and oily skin
• Treats: acne and skin irritation

3. Ferulic Acid
• Alias: 4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamic acid
• Great for: normal and dry skin
• Treats: aging and sun damage

4. Retinol
• Alias: retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate
• Great for: normal and oily skin
• Treats: aging, acne and sun damage

5. Idebenone
• Alias: ubiquinone, coenzyme Q-10
• Great for: almost all skin types
• Treats: aging, irritation and sun damage

6. Hyaluronic Acid
• Alias: sodium hyaluronate
• Great for: almost all skin types, especially for dry skin
• Treats: aging

7. Green Tea
• Alias: epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
• Great for: almost all skin types
• Treats: aging, irritation and sun damage

8. Niacinamide
• Alias: nicotinamide
• Great for: dry skin
• Treats: aging, irritation, sun damage

9. Alpha Lipoic Acid
• Alias: lipoic acid
• Great for: almost all skin types, except very sensitive skin
• Treats: aging and sun damage

Some of these wonder ingredients have pretty long aliases, but paying attention to the label next time you’re in the skincare aisle can pay off for your skin. Have any great brands to recommend for skincare during the warmer months? Let us know!

Write Off Wrinkles

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

The pen is mightier than sword – well in this case, knife! I found a great product that is a cosmetic pen that erases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. offers Cosmedicine Instant Wrinkle Write Off Pen and it is supposed to fill in your wrinkles with the ease of a stroke. 

The pen is designed to temporarily eliminate fine lines and wrinkles and tightens and lifts the skin while absorbing oil and minimizing pores. After reading some reviews, it sounds like it might work, and be a cheaper, safer alternative to Botox or cosmetic surgery.

This product is light weight and can be worn under make-up and fetches the price of $25. would like to know your thoughts and opinions on this.

Carrots and skin benefits

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Try this for healthy, young-looking skin!

My boyfriend’s mom is in amazing shape. She recently became a certified nutrition coach – her area of expertise is in whole foods. She practices everything she preaches – and more. In fact, when it comes to local and green living, she’s one of the savviest people around.

Recently, she shared something with me that completely amazed, shocked and inspired me. So, I have to pass my new-found wisdom along to you.

I’ve always thought that skin damage was permanent and that, unless you paid tons of money for injections or surgeries, you were stuck with it. Guess what? That’s not true! According to my boyfriend’s mom (I’ve seen 15 year-old-pictures of her that prove it), you can improve your skin’s health through completely natural and super-cheap method.

Aside from eating healthful, local and mostly organic foods that have done wonders to improve her health overall, she attributes much of her skin’s healthy glow to a really common and inexpensive ingredient: carrots. She simply juices a few carrots in the morning for a beta-carotene, vitamin and mineral packed drink.

Breaking it down
Beta-carotene absorbed into your skin can help protect it from UV rays. And, when your body converts it into vitamin A it helps develop skin cells and promotes skin health.

Plus, the vitamin C in carrots is a powerful antioxidant that can clean up the free radicals caused by overexposure to the sun. Vitamin C also helps in the formation of collagen which helps keep skin looking young.

How to juice
Juicing carrots is really easy, too. You just have to take several large carrots and clean them with water and a vegetable brush. Be sure not to peel them because a lot of nutrients are stored in the upper surfaces. Put them in a juicer and drink immediately to get the most nutrients.

I’ve also heard that eating a ton of carrots can turn your skin orange, but as long as you don’t go overboard, drinking carrot juice will give your skin a natural tan and give you a soft glow.

The best part: it’s delicious!