Friday, April 11, 2014

Understanding Sunscreen and Why You NEEDS It!

Choosing the Best Sunscreen   

Yee haw!  The weather has finally warmed up!  I think it's safe to say we are officially out of the polar vortex zone.  Before you head out to garden, hike, blow bubbles, run through fields of daisies, or whatever it is you do outside.  Do not leave the house without the proper protection.
It's been a loooooong winter so this looks like a phenomenal idea!
There is a myriad of sunscreen products out there and I am here to help you figure out which ones the best for you cause that's how I roll, my peeps! 

  Nothing ages skin faster than the sun and unfortunately one American dies every hour from melanoma, this according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  By now, we all know the importance of sunscreen.  

However most people are not using their sunscreen properly to get the maximum protection.  You are probably applying too little and not frequently enough.  This is the one time when I believe more is better!

Go to your derm once a year for mole check.  Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.

There are two basic types of sunscreen.  Chemical and physical.  Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the suns UV rays before it hits your skin.  A partial list of the active ingredient in a chemical sunscreen is: Helioplex, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Mexoryl SX and XL, and Octylcrylene.  Chemical sunscreens can be irritating to your skin, cause an allergic reaction, and may cause hormone disruption.  Chemical sunscreen must be applied 15-20 minutes before going out in the sun in order to protect your skin.
There's no doubt about it, I prefer a physical sunscreen.  There a two main ingredients that they contain.  Those ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.  Physical sunscreens work by deflecting and blocking the suns rays.  Also they are not absorbed into your bloodstream like chemical sunscreens.  They protect your skin immediately after you apply it.  Zinc Oxide is generally safe for everyone to use and is the main ingredient in diaper rash creams. 
  Now that you know the difference between the two types of sunscreens, let's discuss the correct amount you should be applying.  2 tablespoons (a shot glass) is what you should be using on your body.  For your face a dollop the size of a nickel should be sufficient.  Reapply every two hours.  More if you have been swimming our sweating.

Don't skimp when it comes to applying sunscreen. Slather it on!
What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays?  The easiest way to remember this is A is for aging and B is for burning.  UVA rays are responsible for sun spots, sagging, and wrinkles.  UVA's penetrate deep into the skin regardless of the weather or time of day.  Those dang aging rays are out even if it is sunny, cloudy, rain, or snow and this is why it is so important to apply sunscreen daily.  UVB causes sunburn and can lead to cataracts.  Unfortunately both cause skin cancer.
This 69 year old man drove a truck for 28 years.  Notice how much more wrinkled he is on the side of his face that was exposed to UVA rays consistently.  Your skin remembers every second you are out in the sun. This includes sitting in your car.  This why it is important to apply sunscreen year round.
SPF can be confusing as well.  SPF on sunscreen tells you two things: how long you can stay in the sun and how well the formula filters the sun's rays.  First, take the amount of time you can spend in the sun before turning pink then multiply that number by the SPF rating, you will get the amount of time you can spend in the sun using that sunscreen.  For example, if you are normally able to stay in the sun for 10 minutes without burning and the SPF of your sunscreen is 20, and you have applied the correct amount then your sunscreen will protect you for 200 minutes before your skin starts to burn. 

*SPF 2 blocks about 50% of UVB rays.
*SPF 10 blocks about 85% of UVB rays.
*SPF 15 blocks about 95 % of UVB rays.
*SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays.
*SPF 50 blocks about 98% of UVB rays.

Always use an SPF 30 and make sure you chose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.  
If you have an unopened bottle of sunscreen that is more than 6 months old, toss it in the garbage and buy a new one.  Once you open a bottle it will start to degrade and lose its oomph.
So tell me....

*Do you always apply sunscreen?

*Do you frequently run through a field of daisies?

*Do you own a bottle of Will Ferrell's sunscreen?

Until next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My First Liebster! WooHoo!

A few days ago I happened to check my spam box.  Not something I do often. It's usually filled  junk mail, viagra offers, made up sweepstakes (Which I always seem to be the winner of!), letters from a nigerian official who has millions to send me once I send him $500, and other ridiculous things.  But there it was.  An email from Jessica from Domesticated Wild Child stating I, your Esthetic Goddess, had been nominated for a Liebster Award.  Make sure to checkout Jessica's awesome site by the way!

Anyhoo I was over the moon happy!  Sent out a mass text to my family and friends.  I finally made it and they needed to know!  Then my smarty pants boys ask me what a Liebster was.  I truly had no idea as I am new to blogging so I took to the interwebs and started googling feverishly to find out all I could.  I also put a call into the German in my life, my mommy, to find out just what Liebster means.

So here's what I have uncovered thus far.  Liebster is like a term of endearment.  It means lovely.

The award is given to new bloggers, like moi, by another blogger who has received one, like Jessica.

I found there were several different version of the rules but for the most part were kind of similar.

The rules: 

 * Nominee posts award on their blog. 

* Nominee links back to the nominator’s blog and of course thanks them. 

* Nominee lists 11 random facts about her/himself.  This was not in the rules Jessica posted however if you want to read random facts about me read this and/or that.  

* Nominee answers 11 questions nominator ask of them.

 * Nominee then nominates 11 new bloggers they deem worthy with about 200 followers or less. Make sure to let them know.  This number varied from 200-3000 followers.

 *Nominee poses 11 questions for their nominees to answer.

 Here are Jessica's questions for me.

1)What is your favorite part about blogging?  Hands down it is the interaction with my readers!  Love that!

2)What is your favorite springtime activity?  After the below zero, snow pummeling, polar vortex winter we just had I will settle for ANYTHING outside! Even if it is just digging a ditch!!

3)What is your signature dish?  My homemade pizza.  I make the crust in my bread machine and stuff the crust with cheese.  When is comes out of the oven I brush the crust with melted butter and garlic. Yum!
Butter and garlic make everything better!

4)What is the last movie that you’ve seen?  Despicable Me 2. What can I say the hub and I are just big kids!
                                        These guys are so lovable!
5)What is your favorite song?  I know it's not a new song but Moves Like Jagger.  You can't tell me this song doesn't make you start craning your neck and flapping your arms like a chicken?!
                                             Admit it....your flappin'!

6)Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?  Betty White.  Yes I realize she is like 40 years older than me but I totally think she can pull it off!
She rocks!

7)Favorite season?  Spring and fall.  I know that's two seasons but I can't decide which I like more!

8)Kindle or Paperback?  Paperback rules!!  I want to smell the paper and hold it in my hands!

9)If you could have dinner with one famous person, living or dead, who would you choose?  I want to be sitting at the table at Monk's Cafe with the cast of Seinfeld!
See I could fit between Jerry and Kramer!

10)What’s your favorite social media?  Oh I really don't like social media.  I have a facebook account that I rarely post on and I just got on last year.  I think we are starting to over share things.  Once it's out there it's out there for all to see. I know this makes me a dinosaur but dang it, I like my privacy.

11)What motivates you to write when you have writers block?  I haven't run into this yet because I am new to blogging.  However I don't have a set day as to when I post.  I post when I have something to say.  If I do it any other way it won't seem like fun to me anymore.

And the nominees in no particular order are......

A Brand New Me

The Bajan Texan

Words I Wheel By

Maurissa Sees Beauty

The Secret Surprisinista 

Freckles and Curse Words

Product Review Mom

Momma Can

Enduring Epilepsy

Fibro, Fit, and Fab 

What's On The List 

Should you chose to except this nomination here are your questions.

1)Do you floss everyday?

2)What's the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

3)What's the first thing you notice about people?

4)What is your most favorite post you have written so far?

5)What fashion trend did you try out and now regret?

6)Name one thing on your bucket list.

7)What did the last text you sent say?

8)How did you chose the title for your blog?

9)What is the corniest joke you know?

10)Your trapped on an island.  You can only bring 2 things.  Not counting family or loved ones.  What would you bring?

11)What gives you the heebie jeebies?

Thanks you once again, Jessica! And congratulations, Ladies!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

What I Have Learned (So Far) As An Esthetician

It's All About Integrity 

Lately I have have gotten a few emails from estheticians who are just starting out in the field.  Asking if I have any words of wisdom for them.  I figured that must be a sign from above to do a post on the subject.  Plus this way I won't have to keep 
typing the same thing over and over.

Find what you are passionate about and specialize in that.  You will never regret it or burn out.  Work will never feel like work!  I have never liked waxing or make up so I don't do them.  I adore anti-aging services and working with machines so I focus on that.  When you do what you're good at you enjoy everyday of work.  When you do a service you are not enjoying or are not good at the client will feel it and know it.  It will end up being a bad experience for you and the client.

Always test out products and treatments that you are going to use or sell to clients. When I get a new peel for instance, I always do a peel on myself first, then my hubby, next my 3 boys, and last my boss. If I don't do treatments on myself I can't tell clients what to feel or expect. When it comes to skincare I will use a product for 3 months to truly test it out. If if does not live up to its promises I won't sell it. Clients know this about me and trust that when I recommend something for them, it must truly work.

My magical & gorgeous treatment room at work!
Don't be afraid to turn a client away from a service that will not work for them.  For example, one of the procedures I perform is the Venus Freeze.  It's a skin tightening procedure but you must be the right candidate for it.  The ideal candidate is someone who is just beginning to see signs of aging.  If the skin is to far gone it will not work.  I would rather someone be mad at me for something I did not do then for something I did do.  However they really are never mad because I was honest with them and saved them from wasting their money and time.  I always tell them what they can do to correct their skin.  We don't perform plastic surgery or fraxel laser at our medical spa but I explain those option to them and send them to the competition.

Which brings me to my next piece of advice.   Don't be  afraid of your competition.  Embrace them!  I have  always done this and we send each other  business all the time.  Know a good dermatologist and plastic surgeon to refer people to.  Clients really do appreciate the honesty.  Even if they don't do a treatment with you, they are so happy you were honest with them that many times they end up sending new clients to you!

Lastly, never ever stop learning!  This is an exciting ever changing field to be in.  The technology is continually changing and there are many different areas you can go into! 

This is what I have learned so far but I am always learning!  If you have any questions.  Don't hesitate to contact me. 

Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why YOU Should Be Using Retin A

This is a repost from September 2013.  I spruced it up and rewrote it for you cause that's how I roll!  Actually I am always asked which skin care product I would NOT be without so I thought this post deserved another looksee.  Hope you find it helpful!

Is Retin A the Fountain of Youth?   

  Retin A (aka Trentinoin) is my first love for an anti-aging weapon.  I have been using this product for over 20 years.  A dermatologist first introduced it to me (Thank you, Dr.  Coynik).   I was 28 at the time and didn't realize I was in possession of the 'fountain of youth' in a tube.

 I would use it occasionally.  A couple of nights here or there.  As soon as my face would get red or start to peel I would stop using it.  I didn't know how to use it correctly.  When I reached my mid 30's I investigated it further and discovered WHY I should be using it.  I am now 49 and my skin looks better than when I was in my 20's.  Retin A has become a staple in my skin care regime.

Retin A was first introduced in the 1970's for acne.  However after several months of use patients were noticing that not only was their acne clearing up but their skin was smoother as well.  After several years of testing the FDA approved it for the treatment of wrinkles. In fact it is the only FDA approved anti-wrinkle cream! Remember that the next time you are tempted to purchase the latest and greatest anti-aging product at the drugstore. 

The FDA will only allow over the counter products to go no lower the the epidermis.  That is the top layer of skin.  In order for a product to be effective you need it to go down into the dermis.  This is where collagen and elastin are. The good stuff!
Photo courtesy of Medscape

Retin A  is a Vitamin A derivative.  It promotes the formation of healthy new skin by speeding up the cellular turnover rate of skin.  The older we get the slower our cell turnover rate becomes.  When we are younger, our skin cell turnover rate is every 14 days.  In our teens to early 20's cell turnover is every 21-28 days. 
By the time we reach 50 cell turnover can take 1-1/2 to 3 months!

What do I mean by skin cell turnover rate?  It is the rate at which skin cells are used and renewed.  We are constantly shedding skin cells and depending on your age your cell turnover rate is how long it takes for new skin cells to reach the top layer of skin.

Because Retin A increases cell turnover the dermis thickens.  This stimulates collagen production and increases blood flow to the skin.  The results are fewer wrinkles, tighter, smoother more even toned skin.  Retin A will also increase your skins natural hyaluronic acid.  Additionally it will decrease oil production and unclog pores.  Who wouldn't want that?!

So is Retin A the fountain of youth?  It is pretty darn close!!  Retin A has over 30 years of science behind it.  It is still the gold standard in the medical society for anti-aging and acne.
Retin A is prescription only.  It should not be used by anyone pregnant or nursing.

As I have discovered, there is a learning curve when using this product.  For tips on how to use it and not have your face turn into a hot mess I wrote this post 'How To Use Retin A Correctly'

So now you know.  Retin A is a product I will never stop using.  Have you ever used Retin A?  What was your experience with it?

Till next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads Review

Full disclosure. I was sent a sample of Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads to write a post about.  However this will never influence whether I like a product or not.

Wipe Away Dull Dry Skin To Reveal A More Youthful Complexion

 You may have noticed that I really don't do many sponsored reviews. I get approached by many companies but pick and choose the ones I think you will get the most benefit from.  Back in December I was approached by the wonderful folks from Radical Skincare.  I first checked out the company and was intrigued and impressed with what I read.

The company was started by two sisters, Liz and Rachel kind of by accident.  They had designed skin care for just themselves and after much prodding from friends and relatives as to what they were using on their skin to make it so beautiful, a skin care line was born.  Okay, I'm sure it wasn't that easy but I'm pretty close!
Liz & Rachel. The Radical girls!

Anyhoo, I loved the Instant Revitalizing Mask they sent me. You can read about it and a little more about the company here.  They reached out to me once again and asked if I would be interested in testing out their Age-Defying Pads.  Oh heck yeah!!

What are these magical pads?  Much more then a toning pad.  That is for sure!  These babies are meant to help exfoliate your skin as well as help fight aging.  (You know how I like to fight aging!)  It contains a blend of multi fruit acids like, Glycolic and Salicylic.  These are two ingredients that I use on a consistent basis in chemical peels and serums.  They help exfoliate dead cells, keep pores clean, help control oil production, and allow the skin to stay balanced so it never feels dried out.

The magical pad of goodness and youth!

I have been using them for a little over a month now and my skin is softer and smoother.  In the evening after I cleanse my face I swipe on the pad of goodness and youth over my face, neck, decollete, and the tops off my hands.  I would do my whole body if the pads were bigger!

Because of the fruit acid blend in these pads they not only sweep dead cells off but they prepare your skin for other anti-aging products.  After using one of these, any product you use will now go deeper into your skin and work even harder for you.  This is all part of the anti aging war, folks.  It's necessary and if a fine line and clogged pore is destroyed in the battle then so be it!!
You can purchase your own container of age defying goodness at Sephora.   For $75.00 you receive 60 pads.  That's two whole months worth!  A small price to pay for a smoother, tighter, hydrated complexion!

Have you ever tried a product like this?  What is your must have product for your skin? 

Until next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie

Other places around the web that you can find out more about Radical Skincare:

Here is the full list of ingredients.  Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Salicylic Acid, Centella Asiatica Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Allantoin, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Resveratrol, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Pca, Propylene Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Lecithin, Limonene, Linalool

Friday, March 14, 2014

Smooth & Shiny. Just How I like It!

So I have been saving my tip money to have the Coppola Keratin Treatment done by my awesometastic stylist Alicia.  Her and I have been talking about this treatment for my hair for quite some time.  Finally last week I had it done!

The first thing Alicia did was wash my hair with a clarifying shampoo.  This opens the hair's cuticle.  Making it accept the keratin treatment better.   

Unfortunately Alicia is so good at doing hair that even when she blow drys my hair with out styling it my hair still didn't look half bad.  (Why must you be so awesometastic Alicia? Why?)  

If I had blow dried my hair myself it would have looked much more wavy and frizzy.
If I had blow dried my hair it would look something like Roseanne Roseannadanna.  I may be stretching the truth here just a tad but you have to admit this would make a spectacular before picture!

So these are my moderately yucky before pics thanks to Alicia!
This should be a picture of a frizzy wavy  mess but noooooo.  Alicia has magic stylin' fingers. Seriously.  She didn't even use a brush to dry my hair.  Just her fingers and my hair almost looks like I don't even need this treatment!

Moving forward.  Once my hair was dry she applied the Coppola Keratin to my hair till it was damp but not saturated with the product.  I then sat in the chair for a half an hour while the product penetrated my hair.  Since I am always cold, I really truly wanted to sit under the dryer. Just like I do when Alicia does my highlights. So I asked her twice if I could sit under the dryer and she said no....twice!
I mean she's like Edward Scissor hands without the scissors for hands and the weird make up and she is a girl not a guy but you see what I mean here.
Once the half hour was up it was time to blow dry again.  She then sectioned off my hair and flat ironed it with some kind of weird trance like concentration that I have never seen her do before!  I tried not to bother her with my nonsense comments at this point but every now and again something would slip out.

It took 2 1/2 hours and my butt had fallen asleep from sitting so long however my hair turned out so smooth and shiny!   I totally love it!   I did not love not being able to wash it for 72 hours because I like to wash my hair everyday but god bless dry shampoo.  I would not have been able to do it with out spritzing that on everyday!
For hair like this it was worth it to have a numb butt!
Fingers crossed it will last somewhere between 3-5 months.  Would I do this again?  Heck yeah!  Not only is my hair smoother and softer but it dries quicker. 

Have you ever had a keratin treatment done?  Are you lucky enough to have an awesometastic stylist too?

Until next time.  Have a beautiful skin and hair day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie

Friday, March 7, 2014

My Chemical Peel Adventure! Part Two (Scary pictures included!)

Peel The Imperfections Away

If you read Part One of this blog then you have an understanding of how a medium depth chemical peel works or perhaps you have had one yourself.  I perform this peel once a year to freshen up my complexion and help keep my skin tight. 

As promised here are my day to day pictures I took of myself as I was going through the healing process.  The pictures are from the first time I did this peel on myself in 2008. 

I used a 20% TCA and applied 3 layers.  The first layer isn't bad.  It burns a bit but is tolerable.  The second layer is much stronger.  When it comes time to apply the third layer I have to psych myself up for it as it really strong and feels like I am wiping my skin off with it!  It's definitely eye watering!

This first photo was taken about 20 minutes after the peel.  Face is very red and has a sunburn, windburn feel.  (I put the same shirt on everyday to take the pics and tried to make the same face.)

The next morning my skin no longer has that sunburn windburn feel.  Skin's a little swollen.  It is darker and will continue to darken as the top layer of skin is going to peel off.  It is very dry as well.  I apply emu oil about 4 or 5 times a day.

The third day after the peel very dry and craggly.  New skin is forming underneath so it feels itchy.  It's all I can do to not rub my face on the carpet!! If you look closely you will see at the corners of my mouth the skin is just starting to peel.  Skin is so dry that is is hard to open my mouth all the way so shakes and soups are on the menu for the day.  I continue applying Emu Oil.

Day four after showering this is what rolled off my skin in the shower.  I can move my mouth again! Woo Hoo!!  Looks like I am wearing mask!

At day 5 everything but my forehead had now peeled off.  The forehead took a few more days before it peeled off.

This is still day 5. I just took my hair out of the headband and finally got to smile! My face was pink for about 8-10 days and still had some dead skin flaking off too.  I only used basic products during this time.  Cetaphil for a cleanser, emu oil, and sunscreen.  I didn't use anything with an active ingredient, like Retin A or a vitamin C serum until my skin was all healed.

The most important thing with this type of peel is to never ever pick or pull your skin off.  You can scar your skin and\or cause hyper pigmentation.  Just let your skin heal natural and the results will be worth it!
7 years later. Performing this type of peel helps keep my complexion smooth and even toned.

These photos were taken 7 years ago and it was the first time I had performed this peel on myself.  Now when I do this peel my face no longer gets dark from it.  The first time this peel removed sun damage that I had deep in my skin which wasn't visible with the naked eye.  My skin of course still gets dry and craggly but it's part of the healing process.

Do you think you would ever try a peel like this?  Have you had a peel like this?  What was your experience?

Till next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie