Dry skin

OK it's that time of year again when dry skin really sets in. There are a multitude of fixes out there and I'll share a few of my favorites.

The biggest thing you need to know is that dead skin does not hold moisture. So if you have a build up of dead skin you can apply 20lbs of moisturizer but it's not going to get through to the skin you need it to get through to. You need to make sure you exfoliate regularly to remove the dead skin before you apply moisturizer. I love to use scrubs in the shower. When choosing a scrub avoid ones that have pieces of nuts. The sharp edges can actually make small cuts in the skin. Look for ones that are beaded instead. This applies to the skin on your face as well. You should not use a scrub everyday on your face. 1 to 2 times a week is plenty. Over exfoliation can cause broken capillaries, overly sensitive skin and even irritate or spread acne.

Moisturizer for your face should be skin specific. Light moisturizers for oily/acne skin and heavier more emollient moisturizers for dry skin. I love night moisturizers this time of year. Night moisturizers are made to actually absorb into the skin giving much more hydration. I love PCA's silkcoat balm this time of year for really dry skin. Their Rebalance moisturizer is great for more oily/acne skin.

Using a hydrating mask once a week really makes a huge difference as well. They make some great new masks that can actually be left on the skin for extra hydration. Environ makes one that not only hydrates but exfoliates at the same time. Love it!!!

Moisturizer for your body comes in so many forms it's impossible to narrow them all down. My personal favorite is Oil of Olay Quench! Gives me hydration that lasts all day. Please note it does not smell the greatest.
If you don't have time to exfoliate in the shower using a moisturizer with an alpha hydroxy acid in it will exfoliate and moisturize at the same time. My favorite for this is AmLactin. Again this does not smell good at all but it works beautifully. For skin that is so dry that it is cracked I love Aquafor. This is a very, very thick moisturizer. Doctors actually tell clients to use this after laser surgery because it occludes the skin. It will not let water leave the skin.

If you have a favorite moisturizer I'd love to hear about it. I always love to try new products


Never pick at your skin.

Picking at your skin is a major No, No.

Did you know that picking causes 80-90% of acne scaring. Typically cystic acne is the only kind acne that leaves scaring. All other scars are usually caused by improperly extracting the pimple.

I never recommend picking your own skin but if you are going to do it there are a few rules you have to follow:

1. Never touch a pimple unless it has a white or yellow cap on the top. If it doesn't have one of those it is not ready and no matter how much picking you do you will not get any or all of it out.

2. Wait until your right out of the shower. This makes the skin softer and more pliable.

3. When you do do the extraction always use q-tips NOT your fingernails! Take two q-tips push on either side of the pimple and make a scooping motion to get underneath the pimple. Pushing straight down on the pimple will cause it to break underneath the skin. The skin will then push the bacteria along and you will get another pimple in a different spot.

4. The extraction is done as soon as you see blood. The area will still be raised and swollen. This is normal. If you try to extract until the area is flat you will definitely damage the skin, leaving a scab or even worse a scar!

5. Lastly you have to treat the area immediately. I suggest using a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. In a pinch hydrogen peroxide will work as well.

Again I never recommend doing it yourself but if you follow these rules you will cause much less trauma to the skin. Seeing a professional is the best way to get rid of your blemishes. We are highly trained and have the proper implements to do the job right!


What age should people start getting facials?

I think people should start to get facials in their teens, around 12 or 13, because this is around the time that problems start. If teens are taught at a young age how to properly take care of their skin they will avoid a lot of problems in the future. I do a teen facial which I spend the time telling them how to take care of their skin. How important cleansing morning and night is and how they need to wash after sporting activities, etc. The importance of moisturizing and sunscreen and how damaging picking at their skin is are also things that I discuss with them. I have a lot of teenage clients and it really makes a big difference in their skin and their self-esteem!

I will say though that it is NEVER to late to start getting facials. Facials can improve your skin at any age. So no matter how old you are give it a try and see how wonderful facials really are!