Let's take a minute to focus on one of the most important (and one of the most neglected) personal hygiene routines...
How do you start a skincare regime? How do you know what products will be effective? How do you know you aren't wasting your money on products that won't work? How do you use your facial cleanser, moisturizer and eye creams? There's endless questions we could all ask about skincare but never find ourselves in the company of experienced "skin doctors" who are qualified to answer these questions. Let's start by explaining the different types of skin...
What are the different types of skin?
How do you go about choosing products that are suited for your skin type?
What are the ingredients that you should look for to compliment your skin type?
Q&A with Emily Mitchell:
Q: Brittany T. - "I get blackheads around the edges of my lips and over my entire chin. I've been told it's hormonal, but truthfully, it doesn't just flare up around "that time." How do I counteract those hormones that are causing this? I've read that certain hormones increase the production and secretion of oils in the skin, and then that's what causes more breakouts. Still not sure how to help it."
A: Emily M. - "Well, you can always stick to basic homeopathic home care remedies; but whether it's hormonal or not, it will continue to happen no matter what. I don't want to mislead you and say that you will be completely clear one day forever, but your skin is your largest organ and there are so many variables that can effect the condition. The best thing you can do is narrow down skincare products such as homeopathic, salicylic based, or products that are designed to help with reducing oil production to give your skin a better, more clear look and feel."
Q: Kim G. - "How can I help my wrinkles & fine lines? I've got them around my eyes and other areas of my face. Also, should I be using actual skincare products on my body as well as my face? Or can I just get away with using regular body wash products?"
A: Emily M - "First off, it's always a great idea to use skincare products on the neck and décolleté area because these are the areas of the body that we begin to show aging faster. Second, you can use any body wash you want! If you've got acne issues on your back then it would be prudent to use skincare products that are salicylic based on your back. Lastly, lets address the difference between dehydration and fine lines. If you've got actual fine lines, there is no miracle eye cream or facial moisturizer that will make them go away permanently. That being said, lines created through dehydration are curable. How can you tell the difference? Lines created through dehydration do not bounce back easily, can look oily but will feel dry to the touch and is more prone to congestion; meaning any form of acne. Quick fix? Look for products that have glycerin or hyaluronic acid in them! Find products with Retinol or Tretinol; the difference between the two is that Tretinol works for acne and those who have oily or tolerant skin are best suited for Tretinol whereas Retinol is primarily more suitable for sensitive skin types and also tend to contain moisturizers and emollients to reduce the likelihood of irritation"
Q: Caitlin S. - "Does it matter if I mix product brands?"
A: Emily M. - "As a clinical aesthetician, we don't normally advise that you do this. Because most product lines are designed to compliment and support the next one. If you have an understanding about the different ingredients in each product and are able to piece together different brands for your skin type and possible condition without affecting the strength and purpose of each product then there should not be any issues."
Q: Leslie S. - "What are the best kind of products for different types of skin? What are the products that everyone should be using and which ones aren't really a necessity?"
A: Emily M. - "You should use products that are geared towards your skin type - are you oily? Dry? Etc....As far as which products are necessary vs. not necessary I truly believe that everyone should have a 1. Cleanser 2. Serum 3. Eye Cream 4. Moisturizer/ SPF - other products such as toners are however extremely helpful in neutralizing the pH balance and prepping the skin for your serums and moisturizers."
Q: Leslie S. - "How do you get ride of Sun/ Age spots?"
A: Emily M. - "You can either go with a natural skin brightener (Kojic acid or Azelaic acid) or hydroquinone (chemical) or laser (medical). Once you decide on one of these you still have to use your SPF every single day and avoid the sun. If you don't your sun spots and age spots will come right back."
Q: Tana L. - "What are the best all natural or organic products for 40+ something skin - not young and not fighting wrinkles and nothing with chemicals of any kind?"
A: Emily M - "I can always make recommendations but if you are wanting to avoid all chemicals of any kind you'd need to steer towards a truly all natural skincare lines such as the Luxe Apothecary that we carry in our spa. It is important to read the labels because if there is at least 1% that's technically "all natural" then a company is allowed to label it "organic" but there could still be chemicals in it that you don't know about"
Q: Diana P. - "What is a good quick fix in the morning for puffiness under the eyes. Also, is there a way to help keep eye lids firm?"
A: Emily M. - "If you are looking for a FREE way to help - tapping around the eyes with your middle finger rapidly. Cold compress will also help - unfortunately there isn't any quick fix or miracle to make this issue go away. We carry an Eye Fix at our spa that is designed specifically for this issue."
Q: What skincare products should my husband be using? Is it normal for men to use skincare products?
A: Emily M. - "Actually yes, it is normal for men to use skincare products. Typically men need products that are designed to control oil. Usually a gel based product."
Q: What's the difference between skincare products in your spa and products in the store?
A: Emily M. - "Lets talk about the difference between "over the counter" products and professional grade to medical grade strength; the difference being 2%-5% active vs. 10%-20% active. When you use "over the counter" you are typically using ingredients that are the lowest quality - hence the inexpensive price. However, when you start using professional and medical grade products you are essentially purchasing the highest quality ingredients on the market. That being said, those individuals with the "perfect skin" or low maintenance skin would do 'fine' using over the counter products; of course there's nothing stopping you from wanting to make improvements by using higher quality products to maintain your already great skin. Those individuals with damaged or 'trouble' skin would do best with products that are of higher quality."
Q: Do I have to use my skincare products every day?
A: Emily M. - "You should... with free radicals, the influence of the environment and other variables fighting against you every day you should be protecting your skin every day."
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