Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lotions & Potions - What To Use When (Part 2)

Part 2 today! I'll be covering the rest of the skin care arsenal, and finish with some sample protocols.
Missed part 1? Read it here.

Ok, a huge category here. A bit of detective work will be required if you don't know what your serum is doing. It might fit in one of the previous categories from part 1 (resurfacers/antioxidants) but if not, I'm calling it a serum. Serums can be used morning and night, after toners and resurfacers, but before moisturizer and sunscreen. Using an antioxidant too? I do something called power blending with my clients. In this case, I would blend the 2 products together and reap the benefits of both.

"Extras" - Lip, Eye, Throat, and Spot Treatments
Lip and eye treatments can generally be used anytime, I personally like to apply after serums, and before moisturizer or sunscreen. For the neck, I apply in place of my normal moisturizer, AM or PM. *The one exception here would be spot treating for acne. This would be done post cleansing and toning (when applicable) before other serums or moisturizer. Think of it like a resurfacer, you want it closest to your skin to get the job done.

This one is pretty easy! Use after resurfacers, antioxidants and serums, but before sunscreen. Most skins don't really need a moisturizer during the day when using a well-formulated sunscreen. The exception here is for very dry or barrier damaged skin that needs the extra support.

Every morning. No matter what. Rain, shine, or "just running out for a bit". Always apply last, prior to makeup. This in non-negotiable and even more important if you're using any exfoliating or resurfacing treatments listed above that can cause sun sensitivity.

A Note About Using Multiple Products
When using multiple products, it's important to keep in mind that many may need a moment to absorb into the skin before applying the next. Why? To get the full benefit of what you're using, you don't want to dilute it by adding something else on top too quickly. So always allow your serums and creams a minute or two to absorb before applying your sunscreen. This is especially important when using resurfacers. If you tend to be sensitive, apply them on dry, not damp skin to lessen the chances of tingling or discomfort.

Sample protocols

Antioxidant cleanser
Power-blended antioxidant serums
Eye serum
Neck Cream
Creamy cleanser
Retinol/Anti-aging serum
Eye serum
Neck Cream

Medicated wash
AHA serum
Non-clogging creamy cleanser
Acne treatment (alternate, every other night)
Non-clogging hydrator (alternate, every other night)

Remember, these are examples. Everyone needs a protocol customized to their unique skin. See your skin therapist! I love personalizing home care and helping you get the most out of your routine by utilizing the right product at the right time.

*I'll be taking a month off from posts and I'll be back at it in November. Yours truly is getting married! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lotions & Potions - What To Use When (Part 1)

So you've washed your face (right?) but now what? With all the lotions and potions we have available, it can be very confusing. A lot of you have a well-stocked arsenal but are still a little puzzled. To be clear, I'm not going to tell you what to use. Every skin is unique, and that's a whole different post. I'm going to tell you when to use what you have. Yes, it really does make a difference in what order different products are used and when. Since there are a million and one options out there, I'm going to break it down into general categories, explaining what's best used in the morning, evening or both. I'll offer some examples of actual protocols I myself, and my clients use to clarify.

Here's the breakdown:

Basic Routine
For those of you keeping it simple, so will I.
AM: Cleanse and apply sunscreen.
PM: Cleanse and apply skin appropriate moisturizer.

From antioxidants to acne fighting ingredients, facial toners and mists cover a wide range of uses. Spritz on or apply with cotton directly after cleansing anytime, before any other product.

PM (usually)
This one is a bit more complicated but stay with me.
  • Retinol (or another vitamin A derived product) should be applied at night, after cleansing and toning (if applicable) but before any other serums and moisturizers. Retinol can not only cause sun-sensitivity, but it easily breaks down in UV light.
  • Alpha and beta hydroxy acids (glycolic, salicylic, lactic, azelaic etc.) should also be used in the evening as a general rule. The exception here is if you are treating acne (or in some cases pigmentation), AM and PM applications may be indicated.
  • Enzyme masks and physical scrubs are best used in the evening after cleansing, but before toning, serums, and creams. A gentle physical exfoliator used in the morning or in the shower is also fine for most skin if you are not challenged with sensitivity or acne.
Be sure to ask your skin therapist if you're not sure what exactly it is you have!

*A word about prescription resurfacers: Please follow the advice of your doctor on how and when to apply any prescription. Discontinuing the use of other resurfacers and a daily SPF 30 sunscreen is absolutely mandatory.

If using only once per day, use your antioxidants in the morning. Daytime is when our skin receives the heaviest assaults from UV, pollution, and other skin stressors. There are a ton of antioxidants out there, and a combination provides the best defense. Use before moisturizer and sunscreen, but after any toners or resurfacers.

Look for part 2 in a few days! I'll cover everything else, from serums to sunscreen, and offer those sample protocols to bring it all together.