Exfoliation is a pivotal step in effective skin care, but is often an overlooked component of many people’s skin care routines.
There are so many different forms of exfoliating that it can be intimidating for someone who is just getting started. Due to the number of treatments available, even those who do exfoliate may end up performing it incorrectly a lot of the time.
How are you able to tell if you’re exfoliating the right way? Below are the 4 of the most common ways that you may be doing this wrong:
#1: Not exfoliating at all
The most basic exfoliation error that is so common is that most people never exfoliate at all.
Our skin naturally has a buildup of dead skin cells over time. As we get older, the skin loses elasticity and this buildup of dead cells does not slough off the skin as well as it used to. Too much build up of these dead cells makes the skin look dull, and exaggerates the appearance of wrinkles. Properly removing this layer of dead skin requires intervention on our end in order to maintain healthy looking skin.
Regular exfoliation has many upsides, including:
Unclogging of pores
Prevention of blackheads, blemishes, and acne breakouts
Better efficacy of skin care products
Improved cell turnover and collagen synthesis
A more even and brighter skin complexion & smoother texture
There are many different kinds of exfoliation available – chemical peels, facials, scrubs and brushes, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion – the list goes on!
#2: Exfoliating way too often
Exfoliation should be an integral part of every skin care routine; however, it is possible for there to be too much of a good thing.
As we know by now, the main goal of exfoliation is to remove the buildup of dead skin cells. In order to do this effectively, the treatment temporarily needs to remove the protective barrier around the skin as a direct result.
Depending on the type of exfoliation you are using, as well as the level of strength of your selected method, doing this too often or too harshly can cause microtears on the skin’s surface which strip the protective layer away too much. The overly damaged barrier leads to a loss of moisture which causes dried out, flaky skin. Irritation and itchiness are also a sign of excessive exfoliation. If this does happen, be sure to stop any further exfoliation for a bit and focus on skin hydration.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that the more aggressive the treatment is, the less often you need to do it.
Most importantly, in addition to not exfoliating too frequently, it is important to remain consistent with the selected treatment as well. Constantly jumping around from one kind of exfoliation to the other is not recommended. Consistency with a set exfoliation routine is key, and limits the damage to the protective layers on the outer levels on the skin.
#3: Not selecting the correct kind of exfoliation for your needs
Selecting an exfoliation method depends on many factors – your skin type, usage frequency, your existing skin care routine, and most importantly, what your goals are.
For those with sensitive skin or conditions such as rosacea, most physical exfoliation techniques may not be the best option.
Chemical exfoliation also requires consideration beforehand. Most chemical exfoliation methods can be classified as either alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids, and which one to select depends on your skin type and needs. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble, which makes them great for those with normal, dry, sensitive, or redness prone skin. Those with oily and acne prone skin are usually good candidates for beta hydroxy acids, which are oil soluble.
One note to keep in mind is that many chemical exfoliants will increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. However, as a frequent reader of our blog, you are aware of the importance of wearing sunscreen everyday, so this shouldn’t be news to you 🙂
When it comes to exfoliation, simply listen to your skin. If you notice that your skin starts to get irritated when you do a particular method 3 times a week, cut back to once a week and see what happens. If you are using a chemical method and aren’t seeing results, you can then begin to consider other versions that have a bit more strength.
#4: Never getting any professional exfoliation treatments
There’s no shortage of exfoliation treatments available for use at home – and with proper research, you can find a good at home option that keeps the amount of dead skin cells manageable; however, this doesn’t mean that professional exfoliation treatments should be ignored.
At home exfoliation tools are designed to be gentle, which means that their effectiveness is lower compared to professional treatments. Physical exfoliation (also known as mechanical) especially has a lot of room for incorrect use. Additionally, at home physical tools used to treat certain concerns such as blackheads can be harsh on the skin, and because the room for error is much higher, it can cause even more damage if used incorrectly.
Chemical exfoliation has the same issue for at home use. They are intentionally designed to be more gentle on the skin, and so the results are not nearly as potent as the treatments designed to be used by a trained professional. The strength of professional chemical peels and facials, are made to be stronger and more effective than the OTC scrubs and masques you purchase at your local store.
The best exfoliation routines use a combination of at-home tools, as well as professional medical treatments. Professional treatments involve more time between sessions. Thus, at-home exfoliation should be used to maintain the results you receive from professional treatments, rather than being used as the end-all answer.
BRAND NEW at Dermatology Institute of Southern California
We are proud to now offer a new exfoliation treatment as one of our Medical Spa services – DERMAPLANING!!
To learn more about how this non-invasive treatment can benefit your skin, click here.
Holiday season approaches fast – blink your eyes, and before you know it, it’s here! As holiday season draws closer, the time to finalize those gift ideas for your friends and family gets shorter. 🎄🎄🎁🎁
Skin care gifts are great choices since they have a functional purpose. Around this time, providers have discounts on certain skin procedures that may sound like a great idea for a loved one. However, these kinds of gifts may leave a lot of room for misinterpretation depending on the circumstances.
Eg 1: “Merry Christmas my dear mother! You need Botox.”
Person 1: “What did you get as your Secret Santa gift from work?”
Person 2: “I didn’t know my acne was *that* noticeable, but one of my coworkers did, so they got me acne cream.”
To significant other: “I got you a CoolSculpting voucher for your lovehandles.” Extra points if there are friends and family around with you to witness this exchange.
Some people may have a great bond in which the above scenarios would cause no problem, which is great! Others may be imagining a totally different reaction to their good intentions.
Still, everyone can benefit from receiving a gift that assists with caring for their skin. These kinds of gifts will see a lot more use compared to yet another sweater or a trinket that will just sit and collect dust.
Here are 6 gift ideas that can help facilitate good skin care:
#1: Sleep Mask
Good skin care starts before you even wake up in the morning, and doesn’t stop even after you’ve winded down and called it a night. Receiving enough sleep plays a pivotal role in good skin care. However, the quality of sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep you are receiving. One way to help facilitate that is with a sleep mask.
Sleep masks cover the eyes to block out all light. They help you fall asleep quicker, regulate body temperature, and improve the quality of sleep. A sleep mask also protects against blue light exposure, such as your phone receiving messages in the middle of the night. All of these factors contribute to a more restful sleep, which in turn improves the look of the skin.
Getting a good night’s sleep helps limit the formation of puffy eyelids in the morning and dark undereye circles that may form due to the pooling of blood in this area. The enhanced quality of sleep also helps slow down the signs of aging, as the body feels more refreshed and well rested in the morning. The end result is that you and your skin both look bright and energized as opposed to tired and weary.
Sleep masks are good, inexpensive stocking stuffers, and are also great for those who do a lot of traveling. They come in all kinds of creative styles and designs, so you will no doubt find one that is perfect for the lucky person you’re shopping for.
A humidifier adds moisture to the air to increase the humidity and reduce the effects of dry air. They also help combat dry skin by keeping skin well moisturized. Dry skin can cause the skin to look flaky, itchy, and discolored. Skin that is not well hydrated can look aged, as fine lines, and wrinkles become exaggerated and less elastic.
Room humidifiers are especially useful during the winter season since the air becomes drier. In addition to keeping skin moisturized, they can also help you feel warmer in the cold winter air.
Humidifiers make an excellent gift for those who spend a lot of time in the same room everyday, such as offices and classrooms. They come in all shapes and sizes as well. Some are even portable and can plug into your laptop or your car for those who are on the go a lot.
#3: Fancy Water Bottle
There is very little doubt that you know of the numerous benefits that water and adequate hydration provide. Staying well hydrated can combat undereye circles, limit dry looking skin that can appear ashy and tired, and keep the body full and energized just to name a few.
Knowing is half the battle, but the other, more challenging half is doing.
Water bottles are gifts that can help with the doing part. Receiving a fancy one can serve as a convenient visual reminder to ensure that your recipient stays on top of their hydration. As the saying goes – out of sight, out of mind. Plus, they are great for the environment due to being reuseable compared to disposable plastic bottles, and many of them offer unique benefits that disposable ones don’t.
For instance, insulated water bottles can help keep water cold later on in the day when they would have otherwise warmed up to room temperature or above. Some water bottles are collapsible to save space for hikes and bike rides, and others just have great designs that will catch the eye quickly and serve as a neat reminder to take a few sips.
These are a great choice for co-workers, Secret Santas, and gift exchanges. No matter which kind you choose, both your recipient and their skin will thank you.
It is a common saying that clothing usually doesn’t make for a good gift. Fortunately, accessories are not considered clothing, and so they successfully avoid the label of “lame Christmas gifts”. Besides, who doesn’t love wearing a pair of awesome sunglasses?
Sun radiation is one of the worst things to expose your skin to. In addition to the risk of skin cancer, the UV rays can also cause sun damage, and speed up the development of wrinkles, age spots, and skin discoloration.
The skin around the eyes is especially susceptible to this, as the skin is looser around this region and can be one of the first areas that begins to show signs of sun damage. Sunglasses are not only fashionable, but provide protection to this delicate area by limiting UV exposure and blocking the deleterious effects of the sun’s rays.
In addition, you can attach a note to the stylish sunglasses to remind your recipient to also apply sunscreen before they leave the house with their fancy new sunglasses. These two simple steps of wearing sunglasses and sunscreen can go a very long way of limiting the sun’s effects and keeping skin well guarded.
At first glance one might think that fitness trackers are only to help people stay more physically active. While this is definitely a strong plus of fitness trackers, they usually also come with a partner app for your smartphone that can complement skin care as well.
The accompanying apps often contain reminders to not only get your body moving (which is also good for the skin by the way), but also to do other beneficial tasks such as drinking water consistently, tracking your sleep, and setting customized alarms for personal tasks, such as reapplying sunscreen or starting your nighttime skin care routine before you get too tired at bedtime.
While these benefits can be done on a smartphone regardless, a fitness tracker has the benefit of limiting distraction. How many times have you picked up your phone to check one thing, and then inadvertently get distracted by a different notification – only to end up checking even more things? Before you know it, you’ve spent much more time on your phone than you initially expected.
These reminders to drink water, get sleep, and perform other tasks without the constant need to check your phone are all useful benefits that can help the body and the skin remain healthy.
#6: Skin Care Products
We knew this was coming. There’s no better gift idea to take care of skin than actual skin care products! That being said, not all skin care products are created equal.
First, not everything that is sold is medical grade, which makes all the difference when it comes to these items. Medical grade products matter for a variety of reasons. The ingredients in medical grade products are of superior quality as opposed to regular over-the-counter items. There’s also adequate research, testing, and safety standards in place with medical grade products. Most importantly, medical grade items are suited towards specific goals and types of skin, whereas over the counter (OTC) items are intended to be used generally for all types of skin and try to treat many things at once. Because of this, OTC items can claim lots of things through elaborate marketing campaigns, but they may not have the results to back them up.
The second important factor when selecting skin care items for gift purposes is that you’ll want to consider the kinds of items you’re giving. For instance – wrinkle removers, creams for undereye bags, and products for certain conditions such as acne and cellulite may not be the best items to give out during the holidays. Even if you’ve been using the BEST wrinkle remover you’ve ever tried and are eager to share it with a friend, products like these may not be considered to be in good taste by some recipients, especially when they’re unwrapping gifts in front of large groups of friends/family.
Good skin care products to consider are ones that “add” rather than “fix” or “remove”. Products that hydrate, moisturize, brighten, and protect are safe bets, and are features that everyone can benefit from. Glow serums, sunscreens, brightening complexes, and hydration formulas are examples of products that can add great & desirable skin benefits without raising any eyebrows or having misinterpreted messages.
Skin care products can make excellent gifts for close friends and family, and can complement an existing skin care regimen, or spark the development of a new one.
This holiday season, our Capsule Collection is available for a limited time at our Beverly Hills and Santa Monica offices.
This includes three of our best-selling items – Hydrating Serum, Vita-CE, & Glow Serum – all in one package for a special price! Contact us to learn more about this holiday-exclusive bundle!
It is Halloween season, the favorite time of year for many people. Along with munching on candy, binge watching horror movies, and getting a Blood Facial to get into the scary spirit, dressing up in costumes is one of the staple traditions of this holiday. The use of Halloween makeup can be a great way to amplify your costume and make it stand out! Applying Halloween makeup is an art, and there are countless articles and videos available that can help you get your Halloween look to the next level – however, taking care of your skin during Halloween is just as important, and starts before you even open the new pack of face paints.
Year after year, many people apply Halloween makeup on their night out only to wake up November 1 with dried out skin, acne breakouts, allergic reactions, or other side effects that can be scarier than the actual costume they wore. To help prevent this situation from happening to you, here are 5 tips that can help you with applying your Halloween makeup:
Tip #1: Get creative with your costume
Halloween is a time of high creativity, as people come up with all kinds of extravagant ideas for costumes. Figuring out how to implement your intended costume is a whole extra skill on its own, too. Once you’ve settled on a look, don’t forget to experiment with ways to implement your costume, and consider alternative ways you can achieve your imagined look that can limit the use of full-faced Halloween makeup.
For instance, if you plan on wearing a costume more than once this season, or will be wearing it for an entire day, perhaps masks, hats, and accessories can obtain your same look without needing to wear as much heavy paints and makeup as you initially planned for a full day.
Some other examples include:
Wearing fancy shades instead of adding and removing makeup around the eyes, which has thinner, more delicate skin compared to the rest of the face
Adding Halloween makeup to only a small portion of your face or around the outside edges of your face, which can amplify the effect of certain looks
Using a different shade of your regular routinely used makeup instead of applying brand new face paint you’ve never tried out before
Sometimes less is more. Maybe adding bright neon lipstick or just drawing a small design can create a noticeable contrast without the need to paint the whole face
Adding adhesives and scarring effects to an external masquerade mask rather than needing to apply them directly on the skin can limit the risk of having an allergic reaction to the ingredients, and is also not aggressive on the epidermis. It also allows you to freely add and remove the look to your face at will
There is no limit to how creative you can get with your design. You might even come up with a brand new idea altogether once you start to think outside of the box a little bit!
There are many creative Halloween makeup styles available that can be applied to a portion of the face instead of needing to cover the entire face. Here, makeup artist @AlyshiaJoness demonstrates a stitched face effect where the costume products are used only around the outside edge of the face.
Tip #2: Do not reuse old makeup
While it may be tempting to re-use makeup and paints left over from the year before, it is good practice to resist the urge and TOSS IT OUT. For your skin’s safety, you will want to be sure that the products you are using are new, fresh, and uncontaminated. Used makeup that has been closed for a long period of time and stored in an overtly warm or cold location can serve as a breeding ground for all kinds of various germs and bacteria – which you definitely do not want to add to your face! These seasonal products usually come with an expiration date for this very reason, and disregarding these labels just to save a couple of dollars is not worth the risk.
Additionally, older products tend to work less efficiently than new ones. The ingredients may harden over time and become clunkier, while others can get separated and dry out. When this happens, this usually requires you to add on even more makeup than you would have used otherwise, which can not only increase the risk of an unfavorable reaction, but can negatively impact the look of your costume as well. The last thing you want to do is compromise the look of your skin and your costume with old products.
Tip #3: Thoroughly research products before purchase
Part of the preparation process should be not only researching what designs you want, but also researching exactly what products you’re going to be applying to your skin. When selecting what products you use, this is not the time to skimp out on the pricing. You will frequently see tons of low-priced paints and makeup by the registers at different stores, but these are often leftover products from years before that were stored and placed back on the shelves this year. Additionally, the ingredients in these products are often not FDA approved or contain metal impurities. These are not items you will want to leave on for long periods of time, if at all.
You will want to check the ingredients of prospective items carefully to ensure you aren’t allergic to anything contained within. If you sweat a lot, you may have heard that oil-based paint works better so that you don’t sweat off your makeup – which is fine, but some of these can contain waxes and oils that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Be sure that the products are noncomedogenic to prevent clogged pores. If possible, be sure to check reviews for the products you are considering to get a sense of what you can expect before purchasing them. Some items may have minor side effects that you will want to be prepared for, such as drying out skin or requiring an additional item for removal. It is best to know this information ahead of time so that you can make the appropriate preparations required.
Tip #4: Plan out your removal routine ahead of time
Many people spend a lot of time carefully crafting their Halloween makeup and taking the time to ensure that everything looks just right – only to rush through the removal process and not take the time to take address their skin afterwards. A well planned Halloween makeup routine continues even after you’ve removed all the paint and fake blood from your face, and the removal process of your makeup requires just as much consideration as applying them. Some products may require additional items for removal in order to ensure that you aren’t abrasively rubbing away at your face in order to get all the paint and makeup off. While makeup remover can work for most products, it doesn’t work with everything. Oil-based products for instance will require other methods for removal. Certain products may dry out your face, which should be followed up with moisturizer. Toner and cleanser are also recommended to be included in your aftercare routine.
And finally, do be sure that at the end of your festivities, you wash your makeup off COMPLETELY and that you do not sleep with any on. This tip may seem like a common sense one that most people already know – however, the number of celebrators who still do this is surprisingly high. Halloween makeup can be a bit stubborn to remove, and after a long night when you are tired and worn out, the last thing you may want to do is spend time removing every last bit.
But it needs to be done. It is *very* important to make sure that you remove it all thoroughly, and take the time to properly maintain your face afterwards. If you are purchasing new moisturizers or toners, be sure to read the directions and get comfortable with them ahead of time before the big evening. Having your removal items lined up, easily accessible, and ready to go before you head out can limit the amount of time you spend looking for things, and makes the removal process more efficient.
Tip #5: Stay hydrated!
One of the perks of the Halloween season is the abundance of all kinds of sugary snacks and various seasonal beverages that make their appearance only at this time of the year. It can be a joy for many people to indulge in these sugary goodies before they disappear for another year – but overindulging in these can mean bad news for your skin.
When sugar enters the bloodstream, the sugar depletes the water from the rest of your cells, which can lead to dehydration. In addition, both sugar and alcohol can cause diuretic effects as the body attempts to remove these products from the body, which can contribute to dehydration even more.
Dehydrated skin appears dry, itchy, and can have an uneven skin tone/complexion that can last all day and leave you looking tired and weary. Fine lines and wrinkles that you may have never noticed otherwise become exaggerated, and can become visible all of a sudden. Overconsumption of sugary snacks and beverages can also cause water retention, which results in swollen eyelids and dark circles under the eyes. In addition, dehydration can also cause other bodily side effects such as headaches, muscle cramps, and a lack of energy.
The good news is that combatting dehydration is very simple. First, setting limits on the amount of sugary snacks and beverages you consume is a great start. Keeping limits on your sugar intake is beneficial not only for your skin, but for your body overall. Even though there is a wide availability of candy everywhere, and hearing drinks with all kinds of spooky names can get your taste buds excited, don’t forget to keep an eye on your consumption of these items and know when to stop. Drinking plenty of water is another great habit to follow as well. Drinking adequate amounts of water consistently not only ensures that your body and skin are well hydrated, but the water can also help you feel fuller. This can assist you with limiting your candy consumption, and controlling the dehydrating effects of alcoholic beverages.
As mentioned in Tip #3, also be sure to keep your face hydrated by regular use of a moisturizer as well. This is especially important during this time of the year as the weather begins to cool down, which can contribute to the drying out of skin even faster.
After your Halloween activities have concluded for the year, treating your face with a HydraFacial is an excellent way to reward your skin and give it reinvigorating hydration after enduring those October nights. Click here to learn more about the HydraFacial procedure
Anyone in search of a safe and effective way to tighten their skin should consider Morpheus. It’s the next generation of micro-needling treatments that can be used on the face and various parts of the body. The procedure is so effective that people...