Sponge Cloth

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WHAT IS IT

The Sponge Cloth is an amazing tool- its much more than a face towel! Made from alcohol molecules (yes, alcohol fabric!) this tool will aid your removal of any dermalogica product without giving bacteria a place to grow. Because it is not made from any natural fibers, bacteria can not find a place to hide or grow- keeping your skin care routine free from contamination by bacteria riddled face towels.

WHO SHOULD USE IT

The Sponge Cloth is for all skin types! Its gentle enough to use on acne and sensitive skin and strong enough to grab onto any product for a thorough removal!

HOW TO USE IT

Fresh out of the packaging this hot little number will need to be rinsed thoroughly. You’ll notice its amazingly soft texture right away! Once you’re done using it for the day I suggest to rinse it with some anti-bacterial soap or one of the foaming cleansers if you use one- skin clearing wash works best.
Make sure to designate a special place to hang this where it won’t be disturbed until you need it again. When the Sponge Cloth dries it also hardens (which also helps fight off bacteria). This great tool can also go through your washing machine! Just be sure not to add it to a load with fabric softener or bleach!
This cloth is also biodegradable, so it will need to be replaced from time to time. Dermalogica is all about making things earth friendly so this will begin to tear and degrade after prolonged use. Its suggested to get a new one every 6 months but I’ve had mine for 5 months now and its showing no signs of wear!

WHERE DO I GET IT?!

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

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Dermal Clay Cleanser

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WHAT IS IT

Made to fight excess oil production, this cleanser is great for anyone with mild acne! Clay and calming botanicals clear out oil and calm breakouts all while getting your skin as clean as can be!

WHO SHOULD USE IT

This is defiantly only for oily skin types. The clay and other active ingredients all battle over oil production and refine pores.

Bentonite and Kaolin clay absorb oil from the skin while physically clearing congestion. Sage and cucumber calm the skin and are backed up by menthol that gives your skin a cool feeling- all of which are key to not irritating acne breakouts, decreasing inflammation, and ultimately clearing acne away sooner. Sambucus, ivy, and lemon also work as natural astringents that also help gently refine your skin’s texture. This is a great cleanser that will remove excess oil and help lock in water based moisture into your skin when using a good regimen!

I recommend this for someone who suffers from grade 1-2 acne. If you’re unfamiliar with the 4 grades of acne you can find more information here:

http://www.enetmd.com/content/different-types-acne

HOW TO USE IT

After Precleanse removal, with wet hands and a damp face, take a large almond-sized amount and massage into the skin with upward strokes. This can also be left on for 5 minutes before rinsing as a ‘mini masque’. Remove with warm water and the Sponge Cloth, sponges, or a facial towel. If you are an acne sufferer I highly recommend investing in a Sponge Cloth or professional grade facial towels, the softness of these fabrics will not aggravate breakouts like a rough hand towel will and keep inflammation down, allowing it to heal (and disappear!) sooner.

WHERE DO I GET IT?!

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

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!

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.

Which Pros To Go To?

In the world of beauty there are a multitude of professionals and when looking for specific advice the task of knowing who to ask is daunting! Hopefully this will help clarify each profession and guide you to the best advice available.

Dermatologist:

A dermatologist is a medical doctor with a specialty in skin care. For serious skin issues this person should be the most important advice giver you listen to. All too often I see people lack trust in their dermatologist’s advice because their medication is not working fast enough or as desirably as they would like. There may be a lot of science in becoming  dermatologist but the practice of being one requires more art. Not every medication will have the same effect on every patient and the only way to find out what works best for you is to trust their process. Don’t be afraid to be upfront with them about your concerns or challenges with their instructions. This person is here to help you and can’t give you the best advice if they don’t have all the information they need.

Cosmetologist:

To become a licensed cosmetologist you are tested on more than just hair cutting and coloring knowledge. A cosmetologist is also licensed to do facials, waxing, and nails. The majority of cosmetologists go on to be hair stylists and rarely use the other skills covered by their license but they will have a basic knowledge about all of these things. Cosmetologists are not licensed to use tools that break the surface of the skin like pimple extractors.

Esthetician:

This is always my first recommendation for any one with skin issues as their licenses covers 2 main aspects- skin care and hair removal. I find that their knowledge of the skin is the most helpful first step for any issues you might have. Visiting an esthetician is much cheaper than a dermatologist visit and they will recommend a skin care routine based on your skin’s needs. If you do need more help then they can offer you they will be able to diagnose that and possibly recommend a dermatologist for you to see. They will also have a knowledge of make up application in regards to sanitary applications but not all esthetics schools concentrate on make up artistry. If nothing else, go for the luxury of it! Facials are amazing and well worth the time!

Some estheticians also receive certifications in other types of services like eyelash extensions, permanent make up, or electrolysis. These services are not a part of their license testing.

Manicurist:

A manicurist is licensed to do anything concerning nails. This includes manicures, pedicures, acrylic or gel nails, and some skin services like removing a callous from your heel or cutting back the cuticles on your nails. All too often I see nail salons offering body waxing without a licensed esthetician, be wary of them! Some states have also outlawed certain kinds of tools for use- like metal callous cutters, but these tools are still used by less professional ‘pros’. Check with your state board if you have any concerns about any tools your manicurist is using. Infections can spread much quicker in a nail salon from one client to another when the manicurist does not follow all the health and safety codes that are required of them. It is very important to watch for cleanliness for those with Diabetes or other medical illnesses to avoid health issues .

Unlicensed Professionals: This includes make up artists and any service provider that is without a state issued license. There are more and more different kinds of services with each new day and it is hard for state board officials to keep state regulations up to reflect each service. The most important thing to look for with these types of professionals are certifications. A certification means that they have had some kind of training over a certain amount of time. Some times a certification will take a few months but others as little as a few hours. For example I have a certificate in cosmetology from my school for finishing the cosmetology course but my state license has a completely separate testing entity.

There can be professionals who are certified and those who have certificates of completion. Certified most often means they were tested at the end of their education and had to receive a passing grade to receive their certification. Certificates of completion are basically attendance awards for showing up to a lecture, however, this does not mean that their education there is not valid.

Whatever service professional you are seeking it is always important to remember my 5 Tips For Beauty Without Painful Experiences post!

5 Tips For Beauty Without Painful Experiences

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(This is a picture of my work station, notice how shiny everything is?!)

There’s nothing better than a great salon service but all too often trying a new salon can lead to bad results and possible permanent damage. After getting my first surprise visit from state board official I thought it would be a good time to help average consumers spot the red flags that they look for.

TIP #1

Give the whole salon a once over. The first thing you should do before sitting down to receive a service is ask where the restroom is. Usually they are located somewhere in the back so it is a quick way for you to scope the place out. This will give you a general feel for the tidiness of the place. If there is hair left on the floor while the customer is receiving a color treatment or if all the nail stations are covered in nail dust these are bad signs. If the most basic housekeeping RULES are not being followed you can bet your bottom dollar sanitation RULES are being ignored as well. I intentionally capitalized RULES because they are in fact apart of a beauty technician’s job, sweeping and cleaning up after every client are not only a required regulation to being a licensed professional- they are the entire reason why states require licensing.

TIP #2

Find out who has a license so you know who doesn’t. On your way back from the restroom make a mental note of how many people are working on clients, if there are more people working then there are licenses posted that means some of them are working illegally! This can be harder to spot, some salons will have them posted in a group picture frame and others will have them at their work stations. Licenses are required to be displayed in an obvious location so if someone has to squirrel away for a few minutes to show you their license its best to take a good long look at it. It is well within your rights to ask to see a license so don’t take no for an answer!

TIP #3

All tools must be sanitized prior to each use, and in some cases a record must be kept to prove what kind of sanitation was done and when. The best example I can give is related to pedicure foot spas, which happens to be an area I find it to be of the utmost importance as well!

There are three levels of sanitation for foot spas, one for after each client, one for the end of each business day, and one to be conducted at least once a month. Failure to adhere to the sanitation guidelines can give way to the spreading of fungi, bacteria, and even blood born pathogens.

TIP #4

If it can’t be sanitized, it only gets used once. This will include anything that isn’t plastic or metal. This means one nail file per client and a new wax applicator stick for every dip in the communal pot. This is another very important step to keeping fungi, bacteria and other pathogens from spreading that is all too often over looked. Waxing in particular worries me the most because all germs thrive in dark warm places and that makes wax pots the perfect place for them. I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories, some of which I’m not entirely sure they could be true, but not too far fetched to be over ruled.

TIP #5

If it hurts, burns, or feel uncomfortable in any other way something is wrong. I had a client come in the other day with a fiery red scalp, and I commented that she must have just dyed it to its current shade of red. To my shock she informed me that it had already been a week and that she could keep the color on her head more than 5 minutes at a time. It is very common for a colorist to slap color on to the heads of anyone who walks in off the street but this can be a very dangerous practice. The chemical composition of the color and your genetics will determine how your body reacts to it, in most cases only a sight irritation will occur and any dye residue will leave the scalp in about 2 washes. It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to products you have used before so don’t assume you’re safe because everything was ok before. There is a procedure called a patch test that will determine if it is safe for you to use hair color and must be done 24 hours prior to the service. It might be a pain to wait an extra day or go to the salon the day before but this small inconvenience is much better to deal with then the repercussions of a bad allergic reaction. Some of the top services to keep this in mind for are bleaching/highlights and any kind of chemical straightening.

HOW TO STOP A BAD SALON

The first line of defense against a bad salon is you! State board officials will asses the salon before it opens but are only able to check back anywhere from every 6 months to a year after! If you encounter a bad service and suspect that the rules and regulations of running a safe salon are not being followed inform your state board. Most states want a complaint in writing so be prepared to write something out. Each state has their own reaction time to letters, but they are often handled swiftly. I once wrote a letter about a nail salon, mailed it through the USPS and an inspector followed up the next day with over $2,000 worth of fines. Your complaint might not shut a business down but it will affect them monetarily and hopefully make them think twice about their business practices.

DON’T BE AFRAID

Don’t let this discourage you from trying a new salon or service! If you come across something that worries you research it with your states board and ask lots of questions at the salon. Any reputable salon staffer will be more than happy to explain every step of a service to you.

Cheap and Easy Skin Care

This is an over view of my current skin care routine. The exact products I use many not work for everyone so I suggest seeking the opinion of a dermatologist or an anesthetic specialist. They might offer you fancy and pricey products but they can at least make sure you have an unbiased evaluation of your skin to lead you in the right direction.

First let me show you what I use:

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ROUTINE

I use each of these a minimum of once a day. The hugest part of any skin care routine is to have a routine! Without staying consistent even products that are custom made for you will not give you the skin you are looking for. Try any product every day for at least 3 weeks before you make any judgements about it- nothing that gives you over night results will also maintain long term results!

COSTS

Noxzema cleansing cream (also called cold cream) can be found at any drug store, supermarket, ect for less than $4, the Clean and Clear will run a little more, I bought it for $7.50 at Ulta.

WHY THESE PRODUCTS

I fell in love with cold cream many years ago during my theater/show choir experiences in high school. By far this is the cheapest and best product any girl could own. It cleanses and moisturizes the skin and can cut through even the heaviest stage makeup. In fact its pretty much the only thing that can get through Ben Nye- the most popular brand of stage make up which also well known for being the oiliest stuff around. I imagine it would also work really well for anyone who wears MAC on a regular basis. Cold cream will clean your pores without over doing it or striping your skin.

Moisturizers are just as important as cleansers! Even if you’re using a more abrasive cleanser a moisturizer is essential to balancing your skin. Most women seem to think that any oil on their skin is bad when the opposite is actually true! Oil is naturally produced by our skin to clean out pores and maintain elasticity. Blemished are the result of pores being clogged by dirt and/or too much oil. If you strip the skin of all its oil with out replacing some of it with a moisturizer your skin will go into over drive to replace it which could leading to more breakouts. If this bad skin care process is repeated enough it can lead to the ‘permanent’ over production of oil by your skin. Your skin should be left feeling dewy, soft and slightly moist to the touch but without residue left on your fingers. I personally use the acne control moisturizer because my nose produces more oil then the rest of my face and I’ve found this product to be a huge help in balancing that with my dry cheeks.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Seasonal weather changes can have a big effect on your skin. Some products that work great in the spring and summer might not be enough in the winter. For example I recently moved across country with my husband from Southern California to Southern Maine in early fall, before the move I could get away with just using the cold cream most of the year but with the bitterly cold New England winters my skin has gone from just slightly dry to wind whipped of all its moisture.

HOW TO USE THEM

I begin by scooping out a heafty amount of cold cream with freshly washed hands- about a ping pong ball amount and applying it to my face in a circular motion. The first few times using cold cream you will feel a tingling sensation it might feel a little weird and uncomfortable at first but give it a few days and it should subside. If however the ‘tingling’ turns into more of a ‘burning’ on more than the first few times and/or your skin remains red and irritated after you finish then the formulation of the cold cream is too harsh for you and I suggest trying another brand and/or switching to a sensitive skin version. While I am massaging the cold cream into my pores I usually have the water running to get it warm enough for removing the cold cream. Water should be warm but not hot- hot water will strip the skin of all oils and invalidate the entire point of using cold cream. Using a damp washcloth, gently rub off all of the cold cream. I suggest changing out the wash cloth as often as possible. I thoroughly rinse mine out after every use and change them out each week.

Finally I finish with 2 pumps of my moisturizer, applying it evenly all over. I feel it is important to make moisturizing the last step prior to applying make up, if  I brush my teeth right after this then the abrasives in the tooth paste will remove the moisturizer from my skin similar to how blow drying my hair can cause the skin to become over dried.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for checking out my skin care routine! I hope you have learned a thing or two and that it helps you bring out the most beautiful you! Don’t forget that these exact products might not give you the same results but by no means should you shy away from them either!

I literally think there is a cold cream out there for everyone so please don’t dismiss it if the first one isn’t right for you! And if you use nothing else I believe cold cream alone can be the most gratifying product for 99% of people in the world!

If you have any questions or review requests  please feel free to leave them in comments!