Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Segment Announcement - Q&A

Friday, November 26, 2010

Skin Care 101

We get skin care advice everyday. From magazines, TV, friends, youtube, our parents, siblings... Anyone and everyone can be an expert on skin care. The reality is, everyone isn't. The skin is an organ of our body and very complicated and complex. Most of the time ailments such as eczema, acne and dermatitis come from within. Our skin is able to tell us that something is wrong from within. You can have a hormonal imbalance, being eating too much refined sugar, salt or fat, or even a reaction to a medicine and your skin will show it. We don't always associate these problems with internal issues, and try to fix the problem topically, instead of from within.

Getting advice from someone who doesn't have a deep understanding of the skin is bad news. There are a lot of misconceptions out there that can actually be terrible for our skin.

I'm not an expert by any means. Do I have a deeper understanding of the skin than most people? Of course I do! This is my career field. I look at and touch skin all day long. I can give you advice until I'm blue in the face, does that mean you will follow it? Not necessarily. Whenever anyone asks me about their skin, they are looking for a simple solution to a very complex problem. There is no such thing as hope in a jar. There is no 3 step program that will cure every single person's acne.

Most of the questions I get on here are about acne. What products should I use? How do I get rid of it? I eat right, I change my pillowcase, why isn't this working? I don't know. I can suggest things you can do, but it's really a guessing game. An educated guessing game. Unfortunately I can't see your endocrine system and tell you what's wrong. We don't have an on-board diagnostic system that reads out exactly what's wrong with us. We should and maybe someday science will bring that to us, but we don't.

What causes Acne?

Acne is such a complex problem and there are quite a few factors that play into it.

1. Our Endocrine System: This system controls our hormone levels and determines the amount of sebaceous activity our sebaceous glands will have. Our sebaceous glands/hair follicles are what we call pores. Sebum is a fatty solution that is secreted by our "pores". It is used to lubricate the hair follicle and keep the skin from drying out. Sebum is NOT bad. Too my sebum secretion can lead to oily skin and breakouts. Our skin classification, oily, dry, normal or combo is referring to our sebum production.

2. Resident Bacteria: We hear all the time about products that kill bacteria and spa treatments that kill bacteria. We're always out to kill the bacteria! Kill the bacteria. Well, to be honest our skin is part of our immune system. It is our first line of defense against bacteria that are airborne, on surfaces and such. We have bacteria that already live on us. Sometime we pick them up elsewhere, but our resident bacteria live on our skin. Our skin is slightly acidic so they aren't able to overrun us take over our bodies. Anyways, a certain breed of bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes to be exact, lives on our skin and loves to eat our sebum. Yum. This little guys can get into our "pores" and cause an infection. This triggers an immune response and a lovely pimple is formed. Picking and popping pimples is horrible for your skin. You're basically picking at an infection. This can lead to scaring and hyper pigmentation. It actually takes the skin longer to heal if you pick at the pimple. You can also make the infection worse by picking. You can track more bacteria onto your skin... this could lead to staph infections and even MRSA. Be careful.

3. Retained Skin Cells: We are constantly making new skin and about every 28 days or so we have new skin at the surface. The top layer is supposed to shed and slough off naturally and most of the time it does. Sometimes it doesn't always do what it's supposed and that is why exfoliation is so important. If your skin is producing too much sebum and the resident bacteria are living off it and you add dead skin cells that trap the bacteria to the skin, you're just asking for a pimple! Retained skin cells can also lead to white heads. Now, this doesn't mean you should go an exfoliate everyday. Exfoliating everyday is bad because those dead skin cells are still important. I know this is confusing. Those cells bind water to our skin. They play an important part in the moisture of our skin. Over exfoliating can cause excess sebum production and dehydration of the skin. Only exfoliate 2-3 times a week.

My skin care routine is relatively simple. I wash my face once a day. Most people can get away with this, but washing your face twice a day with normal/oily skin is okay. If you have dry skin you might want to dry washing your face once a day, preferably at night, so that you aren't stripping you skin.

Step 1. Hand Washing: This might seem kind of silly, but the first product I use is a jarred product. I always wrap a tissue or a cotton round around my finger so that I don't actually put my fingers in the jar. Hand washing is mostly a precaution.

Step 2. Makeup Remover: I use plan old Pond's Cold Cream to remove my makeup. It's gentle and doesn't irritate. I can use it on my whole face and my eyes. Versatile and cheap. What's not to love?

Step 3. Cleanse: Cleansing is important to remove daily build of grim, dirt, pollutants and excess oil. It's important not to strip your skin so I recommend that ANYONE could us a product like Cethaphil. It's gentle and cheap. I think cleansers are a HUGE waste of money. They stay on your skin for what, 20 seconds? Think about it. I just use the generic brand of Cethaphil from Target. Remember if you are looking at a generic product, make sure to check and make sure the ingredients match word for word.

Step 4. Exfoliate: I use the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant to exfoliate on a twice weekly basis. I really hate that they say a product that is used to exfoliate the skin can be used everyday. Shame on your Dermalogica. Shame on you. I really do like this product because it has Salicylic acid in it as well as gentle enzymes so it is not too harsh.

Step 5. Toner: Toner is not a product that we need. It was originally created to balance the pH of the skin after we used harsh cleanser. Now most cleanser we use aren't stripping our skin, or at least you shouldn't be using one! Like I said in the video you just need to have damp skin when you put on your cleanser.

Step 6. Moisturize: This is by far the most important step and should never be skipped. You should choose a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin and your climate. The weather needs to be factored into your skin care routine. I typically use a lighter moisturizer in the summer and a heavier one in the winter. Make sure you wear sunscreen all year long regardless of season or the amount of sunlight!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I, like everyone else, would like to take a moment today and remember what I'm thankful for.

First off, my family. They are the most amazing people EVER! My parents are such fun, supportive and smart people that I can't imagine my life without them. I'm thankful they are always there and love me as much as they do! I'm thankful that my broski and I now live close enough we could see each other everyday. He's a great person, he's fun and he's so smart. I love him so so so much! My aunt and uncle. My second set of parents. They are always there for holidays, birthdays and just when I need them. I love them very much!

My boyfriend and bestest friend! I love having him in my life to make hard decisions with and to snuggle with. He's the most amazing man a girl could ask for. I'm not quite sure how I got so lucky, but I'm thankful for having such an intelligent, sweet, caring, loving partner by my side. I'm thankful that we have stuck it out for this long and still have fun together! Many more Thanksgivings together? I think so!

My best friend, Betsy. Thank you for always being there for me. You're a true friend! I love you dearly!

My puppy. Ah, Kona. How I love you. I'm so thankful I found you and brought you into my life. You bring so much joy and companionship. I'm thankful you're always there for a hug and a kiss. Without you life just wouldn't be so exciting. I'm also thankful that you will let me dress you up in ridiculous outfits. Love you boo boo bear.

Maureen. The most amazing teacher I've ever had. Not only is her head filled with so much knowledge, but she loves to share it and will explain it until you know it backwards, forwards and sideways. She always had a kind word and is there to give you that confidence that you need. Thank you for always believing in me and my classmates.

I'm also thankful for the heater in my bathroom, the beautiful snowstorm we just had, my cozy bed, comfortable shoes, chapstick, moisturizer, mascara, brownies/ice cream/candy, fashion magazines, mittens, electricity, earrings, photography, running water, clean water, vacuum cleaners and the roof over my head!

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where Has All the Inspiration Gone?

Today I had a snow day. No schoooooool! Yay! Seattle is an ice skating rink. It's ridiculous. I'm from Idaho so I'm used to snowy winters, but Seattle is a different story. It snows so infrequently here that at the mention of snow people start driving off the roads. With all the hills and such here it's a scary place. I will be walking everywhere until everything melts and things go back to normal.

As much as I love the snow, it's hindering our ability to go home for the holiday. We decided that we are not going to risk getting stuck on the mountain passes. I still haven't completely wrapped my head around this idea, because I was looking forward to seeing my parents and my bestest friend. Maybe we will check the weather one last time tomorrow and see how things are.

Anyways, back to what I was going to talk about... Oh, and the heater in my living room broke. #*&%#@!@#$! Yep. It's 20 something degrees and the heater took a big poo. Thank you heater! :)

Okay, ready to focus. I woke up thinking that I would just make video, after video, after video today. My doggie and I put on our snuggies and decided that we would make a tag video, I made the video and now I don't feel like posting it. I made a tutorial... Don't feel like posting it. I haven't done any looks that I really love. I like what I'm wearing, but I need some inspiration! Someone please help!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cocktail Hour - UV Free Tanning

Join us for a drink! The drink we made tasted just like a peach! Yum! This recipe will make enough for two small drinks.

1 shot of Absolute Peach Vodka
1 shot of Peach Schnapps
1 cup of sparkling water
and a splash of V8 Splash Peach Mango Juice

I love that sunkissed glow, but I'm terrified of the effects UV radiation has on my skin. It causes skin cancer and premature aging. I went tanning in a tanning bed for about 6 months, once a week for about ten minutes each. I actually got sunspots from that time in a tanning bed. Since then I have stopped spending a lot of time in the sun and have never set foot in a tanning bed since. I'm not sure what motivated me to go tanning in the first place. All through high school and most of college, I was the queen of anti-tanning. I told my friend they were going to die and look old. I was a broken record. Then I got tired of being the pasty girl in all the pictures, etc. I had a big event coming up that required a cocktail dress and figured tanning was my only option. Well it wasn't, but I thought it was.

Nowadays there are so many options for UV Free Tanning. It's awesome. Formulations for self-tanners have improved greatly. My favorite by far is an airbrushed tan. An experienced technician can make you look like you just got back from a tropical vacation in less than 5 minutes! Be sure to check out my video all about your options. I talk with Chardae, my friend and fellow Esthetician, who operates her own tanning studio out of her house.

When looking at UV Free Tanners, you want to make sure the active ingredient in the product is  Dihydroxyacetone or DHA. DHA reacts with the amino acids in your skin and changes the color of your skin. Unlike, say bronzers, it's changes the color of the skin instead of adding color on top of the skin. Most selftanners you can buy at the store will use this as their main ingredient. I would recommend it being one of the top 3 ingredients if you are looking for immediate results. If you are looking for a gradual tan, having it listed as the 5th or 6th ingredient is just fine. I really like Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer for a gradual tan. DHA is listed as the 4th ingredient The L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Luminous Self-Tanning Lotion is awesome for instant results. DHA is listed at the 3rd ingredient.

There has been some research that sunless tanners can increase free radical activity in the body. I would recommend getting plenty of antioxidants both internally and externally when using self tanning products! :)

Happy Tanning!

*If you are under the legal drinking age, don't drink. Just have V8 Juice with some sparkling water. Please drink responsibly.