Special Cleansing Gel

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WHAT IS IT

A great staple for any skin type, Special Cleansing Gel, is a soap-free gel cleanser that gets skin squeaky clean without stripping or drying. This cleanser gels deep into your pores and flushes out everything it comes into contact with.

WHO SHOULD USE IT

Everyone! This is a great option for all skin types, there really isn’t any one who wouldn’t love this. Its gentle enough for sensitive skins and tough enough for even the oiliest of oily types. The secret to its success are in the 3 key ingredients: Quillaja Saponaria, Balm Mint, and Lavender.
Quillaja Saponaria is a naturally foaming extract that gives Special Cleansing Gel its rich lather and penetrating power to remove impurities and excess oil. Balm Mint keeps the skin cool and calm during the dirt eradication. Lavender finishes off by soothing and purifying any compromised barrier areas with its antiseptic properties.
My favorite thing about Dermalogica is the diversity of their products- they make it so easy to find something that can work for everyone and make it ideal for families, or roommates, to buy what works for the household and have it truly work for everyone.

HOW TO USE IT

After Precleanse removal, with wet hands and a damp face, take a pea-sized amount and emulsify between your hands and apply to face. When emulsifying the product there really is no wrong way to do it, whether you reach the super foamy level in your hands first or on your face- it will work!

WHERE DO I GET IT?!

Visit Dermalogica.com to order or find a skin therapist near you for a free skin analysis!

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Jackson Galaxy Spirit Essences: Peacemaker

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I am always trying to find ways to make my fur children get along better- new toys, changing eating arrangements, litter box arrangements, even a few separation periods with slow reintroductions. Nothing really made any noticeable difference until now!

I received my Peacemaker in the mail about a 2 weeks ago and immediately began spraying it everywhere. It is recommended to add a few drops to their water bowl and food, and take a few drops in your hands and rub their bodies with it several times a day. Admittedly I am not following the recommended frequency, I dose their food with each meal (2 a day), and they get at least 2 body rubs a day but even this small effort is making a sizeable difference.

HOW IT WORKS

Spirit Essences are made to work with cats and dogs, so this is a great product with different kinds of animals. Our dog, Duke, is really sweet and loves the cats but I decided to put it on him too to see if it would improve the relationship he has with Coheed. Coheed seems to be more receptive to Duke than usual!

These Spirit Essences are each designed for different purposed but the over all feeling I get is that it calms down whatever undesirable behavior the animals express. I believe this works on 2 separate levels. Firstly the essence itself does have a clamming effect on the animal, giving off a smell that instinctively tells them everything is fine and secondly by having these essences on both animals it supplies a familiar sent they personally identify with.

In their minds, they smell the essence when I rub it into their fur and they think “Hey this smells good, and Mommy sure is giving me some good loving’- I feel good now!”. At each meal (the cats also have adjoining bowls) they smell the essence again, so now they think “I smell the goodness again and this time it smells like food too!”. Once they both begin to eat “Oh hey! Brother/sister smells like the goodness too!” The positive reinforcement they get from the essence in combination with the food is a huge convincing factor for me. The more the animals can associate an essence with food (or loving attention) the more receptive they will be to each other when they smell the same essence  on their sibling. Spraying the entire home helps to encourage them to keep this state of mind no matter where they travel. Spraying often helps to keep the essence fresh and the results strong.

 

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(Above left: Taz and Coheed, Summer 2012 Above Right: Coheed and Duke, Winter 2013)

 

MY RESULTS

I love them but my cats are kind of assholes! Taz has always been a bit of a bully to Coheed but now that he is bigger than her he will initiate a fight just as often. There was a brief period when Coheed was a few months old that they played nicely and snuggled well but ever since then its felt like they just tolerated each other. Now I feel like they are beginning to enjoy being in the other’s company.

I was a bit skeptical when ordering. I couldn’t believe that flower water could make a noticeable difference in their attitudes but I figured if it only helped a little that it would be worth it. The first few days they seemed to fight less often- I haven’t heard a hiss or growl in nearly 3 days now and that is huge!

I’m a believer now! I know these will come in handy when we move again and I’m so glad to have these tools to transition them with!

 

Precleanse

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WHAT IS IT

Dermalogica’s theory of skin care involves a double cleanse and Precleanse is the first step to perfectly clean skin. Precleanse is an oil based cleanser designed to remove oil based make-up and dirt. Oil and water repel each other so how can a water based cleanser remove oil? Precleanse solves this problem by more effectively removing oil build up, make-up, dirt, and whatever else you have on your skin and allowing your water based cleanser to penetrate your skin’s pores more effectively. The better your skin is cleansed the better it can absorber your treatments and moisturizers and the healthier it will be.

WHO SHOULD USE IT

Everyone! This is really something I think everyone would benefit from but those who will notice the largest impact from this are make-up enthusiasts and oily/acne skin types.
For make-up enthusiasts who wear full coverage foundation, concealer, primers, finishing sprays, and waterproof products this will take the place of a make-up removing product. You might need to use a little bit more product and spend a little bit more time doing the circular motions to get everything off than the recommended amount but it will get even the heaviest of make-up off
Oily/acne skin types have a hard time understanding why they need this but it makes a huge difference! The Precleanse bonds with the sebum (oil) that your body produces and removes it more successfully than a water based cleanser can. This means that it will help clear out sebum clogged pores that lead to acne more effectively and help to prevent break outs.

*If you wear eyelash extensions, it is imperative to not expose your lashes to this product. It will break down the bond and cause the lashes to fall out sooner. For eye make up removal, the Dermalogica soothing eye make up remover has been tested with lash extensions and has not shown any added fall out when the lashes were applied by a professional, with professional grade products.

HOW TO USE IT

Pour about a 1/4 teaspoon into  dry hands, rub between hands and apply to face. Work in a circular motion and once Precleanse has made a lovely marine-in-cameo-paint look of your make up get your hands wet and continue the circular motions. You should see the Precleanse change to a milky white color and the texture will feel more lubricated, if not add more water. Remove with a wet face towel or sponges- I highly recommend investing in a Sponge Cloth (also made by Dermalogica!). Follow with your prescribed cleanser and skin care routine.

WHERE DO I GET IT?!

Visit Dermalogica.com to order or find a skin therapist near you for a free skin analysis!

Dermalogica: An Overview of Segmented Lines

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Today I am going to introduce you to the segmented lines of Dermalogica! Each of these segments had a specific goal that they were developed for. They are about more than skin health, they are about creating major changes in your skin.
I truly believe that anyone can use anything from Dermalogica but not everyone should be using every product from the segmented lines so make sure your skin is ready for these products before purchasing by getting a skin analysis.

AGE Smart fights premature ageing for any age, 19-90 there will be a product here for you! AGE stands for Advanced Glycation End-products which create a chemical reaction in the skin that leads to degraded collagen, inflammation (which later turns into pigmentation), and inhibits cell turn over. I love everything Dermalogica makes but this line has a special place in my heart because of multivitamin thermafoliant. *sigh* I’ll get into that jem later!

UltraCalming is for seriously sensitive/sensitized skin! Again this is a line that has something for everyone but is really made for those who are having a hard time finding products that don’t freak their skin out. I don’t care who you are or what is wrong with your skin- if you use this line for 6 months your skin will be able to transition to even the strongest of Dermalogica products. Barrier repair is the ‘duct tape’ of Dermalogica’s products and just one of the awesome products from the UltraCalm line!

MediBac Clearing is a gift from the heavens for acne! As someone who has acne prone, oily skin I’ve never seen my skin become so blemish free- and stay that way! My favorite ‘hero product’ from here is the clearing mattifier- made as a skin treatment but doubles as a make up primer! Severe acne sufferers this line is for you! If getting rid of your acne is at the top of your priority list I highly recommend getting the skin kit immediately. The $42 investment should last you at least 3 months, after that I suggest getting face mapped again to make adjustments in your product purchases- personally I found the cleanser to be a little too drying for me after the 3 months.

ChromaWhite TRx might be the last line on my list but its the first true skin brightening product. Unlike skin lightening products that bleach your skin, ChromaWhite only removes unnatural pigmentation from your skin- so say good bye to acne scars and sun spots and hello to your natural skin tone! I’ve only been using tri-active cleanse as my cleanser for 2 months now and it has made a huge difference! I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough to face the world bare faced but if any product would get me there it would be this line! Its packed with calming ingredients that sooth the skin while gently exfoliating pigmented skin cells away.

Keep an eye out for the tags AGE Smart, UltraCalming, MediBac Clearing, and ChromaWhite TRx if any of these lines interest you so you can be sure to catch every review of their products!

On top of these segmented lines there is also the ‘skin health’ or ‘grey’ line. If you are new to Dermalogica I highly recommend beginning here. The skin kits come in 4 varieties: oily, normal/oily, normal/dry, and dry. Using these kits as a starting point will allow you to get your skin detoxed and stabilized. For most people they grey line makes up their primary skin care components and only need a few choice items from the segmented lines. Once the skin kit supply runs out you will be able to invest in larger sized products confidently.
A lot of people can get scared away by the price tag of these products but use-per-use you will not get a better bang for your buck from any other company. In comparison, Proactive starts off at $40 a month but after the trial period goes up to around $60, Dermalogica skin kits are in the $40 range but will last you a minimum of 3 months if you are correctly using the product. I haven’t bought moisturizer in 4 months and I’m only now needing another. The moisturizer I have only hold 1.7 oz of product! Invest in your skin’s health and be beautiful from the inside out!

Dermalogica: A Product by Product Series Review

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Over the next few weeks I will review every single product by Dermalogica!

These last few months have been busy for me- I opened a salon for my job, hired an esthetician for our new store, and have been going to Dermalogica classes. I am only a few classes away from completing Dermalogica’s Expert Program! Becoming a Dermalogica Expert means that I have spent dozens of training hours with their educators learning everything there is to know about their products and who they would work best for. Now I’m going to share that knowledge with you!

Dermalogica is a company that I whole heartedly believe in. Their products work for everyone- and I mean everyone! The only time I’ve ever heard of people not liking the results it was from one of 2 reasons: they weren’t using it correctly or they were given the wrong items to use!

They believe in being good to our planet and the people on it. Dermalogica uses as many recycled materials in their packaging as they can and everything is biodegradable. They are also a humanitarian company and have their own charity to help women in developing countries. All of their products are made in the USA. Their products work because of their extensive research and meticulous vetting that each product goes through. They recently pulled a product from the market because they found a small number of adverse reactions were happening. This might sound like a duh to most people but when this happens with other companies their reaction is not the same- they ignore it and blame the consumer’s improper use. Dermalogica investigates it and removes the product from the market until they have an answer.

 

Using a product incorrectly can mean quite a few things-  using too much or too little, too often or not often enough, using it in conjunction with the wrong products or using it in a way that it is not intended for. If you’re going to make the investment in professional quality skin care treatments do it with both feet! Changing in half measures will only get you so far and will negatively impact your results. As fantastic as Dermalogica products are, if you’re only using their cleanser and a drug store moisturizer you won’t have much luck changing your skin.

Not everyone is well educated on Dermalogica products, so don’t assume the person helping you at Ultra has been trained! Ask about their education- are they an esthetician, how many Dermalogica classes have they been to, which ones, where do they fall on Dermalogica’s certification scale? At a minimum they should be Certified and have a pin/certificate to back it up. Even then, asking for a Specialist or Expert would be your best approach.

Here is a link to finding a Dermalogica Certified Skin Therapist in your area:
http://www.dermalogica.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Dermalogica-Site/default/Stores-Find
 

Please keep in mind that this will serve as a guide to help narrow your search for products but it will not replace having a trained professional getting their hands and eyes on your skin. Every skin therapist will prescribe a different routine based on their personal and professional experiences with products, no answer is wrong as long as there is an educated and experienced mind behind it!

Where you should buy beauty products

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There are many ways to get professional grade beauty products. The most common are from a local convenience store, online, and from a beauty professional. One of the most troubling problems with products in the beauty industry is divergence.
Divergence is when products made for use or sale by licensed professionals only find their way onto eBay or in the beauty isle at your local Walmart. A budget conscious shopper might feel that they are getting a better deal on their products by shopping online or in Walmart but often the items sold in these venues are either expired, illegally sold, or both.

Professional products found in grocery stores are often sold by a sales rep for that company with bad faith, meaning that they have knowledge that the products will not be sold in accordance with the company’s guildlines. Once these products are in the purchaser’s hands they are usually stored in a warehouse, sometimes for years, until the product’s bar codes cycle out of use. New bar code stickers are created and then the products are sold to any willing buyer.

This kind of practice leads to clients unwittingly using expired products.

Most people assuming that if they are getting their products from Target or Walmart that it is also cheaper than what they would pay at a salon. Most often than not, you will actually pay $2-$3 more for the expired product!

Buying items online through eBay and Amazon is also on the rise. This again follows a similar story line with a sales rep- but sometimes its the sales rep themselves profiting from the online sales. I’ve actually done searches on eBay and Amazon for a product line that I use and turned the seller’s information to their legal departments. During my search I found a lot of products that I wasn’t familiar with, I asked one of the company’s educators about them and she told me some of those had been discontinued 3-4 years earlier. All of those products were labeled as new and/or never opened.

When ever you are considering a purchase, consider where you are. Is the shampoo/conditioner giant bottle bundle really worth the asking price? If getting a ‘deal’ on a product means more to you than the quality of what’s in the bottle is it really worth it to buy professional brands at all?
It can be hard to buy professional products with a small budget but wouldn’t it be better to talk to your stylist about your budget and get their help finding a solution than to buy something expired? If it was me, I’d drop my commission just to make sure you were getting a better quality product. I probably wouldn’t do it for a client that only seemed to want to nickel and dime me but I’d have no hesitation to do it for someone who was genuinely struggling with a budget factor. Then once they see how great a fresh batch of product is I’m sure they’d realize the little bit of money this product costs saves them more in the long run on hair cuts, color treatments, ect.