SkinSense Wellness Blog

Read on to learn  about the latest news and tips to stay healthy, happy and ageless. We scour our trade journals and consult with many other health professionals to make sure the advice and recommendations we make are safe and beneficial. If there are any topics you would like to hear about, please let us know.

“Life is like looking for your phone. Most of the time, it’s in your hand.” – Unknown

I’ve always been fascinated by hands. They are beautiful, useful, and expressive. We use them to work, care for ourselves and other people, and communicate (just ask any Italian). No other body part can claim to do all that.

Recently, I was reminded of the power of the human hands when I had a facial treatment, for the first time in a long while. It was super relaxing and had me feeling luxuriously pampered in no time. Just proves that a hand is not just a hand. It has power that is literally at our fingertips!

German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, once said the hand is the “visible part of the brain.” This is so true! Physically, our hands have many more sensory and motor nerve endings than other parts of our bodies. As a consequence, our thoughts are readily expressed through our hands. When you touch another person, the pressure and movement of your hand tell that person your intention. In a reciprocal way, we are able to discover things about the person we are touching. In my profession, I am able to discover more about my client’s lifestyles, diets, and stress levels.

The Science Behind the Power in your Hands

Hands, we learn, have the power to impact the world. Let’s explore how this seemingly simple body part affects our brains, physical and emotional well-being, as well as our relationships.

If you’ve ever touched the hand of a newborn baby, then you’ve likely witnessed one of the earliest instinctual responses to manifest in humans: the “grasping reflex.” Instinct makes a baby grab your finger and squeeze it tight. Babies may relinquish the grasping reflex over time, but the importance and vitality of touch remain essential.

When holding hands with a lover or getting a massage, the stimulating pressure help improve the functioning of the vagus nerve – the cranial nerve that controls your parasympathetic nervous system also referred to as the “rest and digest” system. As a result, our body enters a state of relaxation – heart rate and the blood pressure goes down – and this relaxation breeds healing. The more time we spend in this relaxed state, the healthier we are. 

Creatures of comfort

As we’ve seen, humans are not only creatures of habit, we’re also creatures of comfort. We gravitate toward situations and people who make us feel as content and secure as possible.

One thing is certain: our entire bodies, from our nerves to our brains, respond positively to touch and crave it from the time we are born. Whether it’s due to instinct, comfort, intimacy, or love, touch brings us closer to each other both physically and emotionally — and is a necessity for our overall well-being.

How can we harness the power of the hands?

If a touch of a hand can make us healthier, happier, and closer to our loved ones, then we should consider how we are using it more consciously on a daily basis. Here are some ways to harness the power of the hands

  • Holding hands, hugging, giving a pat on the back, cuddling
  • Massage, acupuncture, reiki
  • Physical therapy
  • Facials
  • Hair treatments/head massage

However and wherever and you find it, maximizing the power of the touch of a hand is always a good thing.


For more wellness tips, check out our other blogs, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

‘Tis the season… for a crazy, busy holiday schedule filled with shopping, traveling, hosting, and attending parties. Then there’s the holiday food – an endless array of decadent entrees, spiked beverages, and sweet treats. All these can, no doubt, wreak havoc on your skin and leave you feeling more no-no-no than ho-ho-ho.

Here are some of the ways the winter holidays can affect your skin and how you can counteract it:

Stress

Holiday stress causes your body to produce cortisol which makes your skin more sensitive and reactive. The signs of stress can show up in the form of acne breakouts, hives, and blisters. It can also cause flare-ups in skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.

When you’re feeling stressed, take some time to relax. Some ways to help you relax and de-stress include yoga, deep breathing techniques, meditation, and massage.

Sweet treats

Sugar and carbs cause inflammation. And too much sugar triggers a reaction in the body called glycation – a process when collagen and elastin break down. On the skin, this shows up as wrinkles, sagginess, and a loss of radiance.

You don’t have to give up sweet treats for good. Slow down and savor small portions of your favorite holiday desserts. Or put a healthy twist on the classic recipes by using honey, maple syrup, or stevia instead of sugar.

Not enough getting enough sleep

With all the excitement the holiday brings, it’s easy to miss a few zzz’s. Your skin repairs itself while you’re sleeping. Not getting enough sleep can result in dull and dehydrated skin in the morning.

Not to mention, a lack of sleep also increases collagen breakdown. Less collagen accelerates aging – this means more wrinkles and decreased skin elasticity.

Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. And give your skin a little pick-me-up with a dose of antioxidants. Don’t book every night with parties and gatherings. If you can, space them out so that you get enough rest in between.

Alcohol consumption

Alcohol can dehydrate your body and your skin. This means the skin loses fluid and nutrients that are vital for healthy-looking skin. This can make the skin look wrinkled, dull, and grey, or bloated and puffy.

The effect of alcohol on your immune system and the way your cardiovascular system works affect the skin too. And it can worsen psoriasis and rosacea.

You can still drink and be merry but limit the amount of alcohol you drink and have plenty of water between alcoholic drinks to avoid dehydration. Also, you can opt for red wine over hard liquors. Red wine has healthy antioxidants.

Air Travel

The low humidity in the cabin of the plane can dehydrate the skin resulting in dry, flaky, or red skin. And if you are sitting in a window seat, you get extra exposure to closer UV rays.

Before you board, make sure your skin is super hydrated – eye cream, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Go make-up-free or minimally made-up face so as not to clog pores. And don’t forget to drink copious amounts of water (60 – 80 ounces of water daily) to hydrate from the inside out. Lastly, avoid alcohol, tea, and coffee and order a light meal.

Harsh winter weather

The cold winter air can cause the skin to dry out exponentially, leading to cracking, chapping, itchiness, and redness. And while room heaters can keep you warm, they should not be your go-to solution for the cold. They turn the air dry and can, in turn, lead to dry skin and allergies. 

Use a heavier-formula moisturizer for your nighttime skincare routine. In the daytime, apply a serum and moisturizer under your sunscreen (yes, even in the winter months you still need SPF). Twice a week, give yourself an extra soothing and hydrating mask that you leave on while you sleep.

Again, drink plenty of fluids and include flax or fish oils with your supplements. Exercise regularly as it helps increase the oxygen to your skin, making you feel warm and your skin looking youthful. Refrain from taking long, steamy showers. Instead, keep bath time short and sweet – a 5 to 10 minutes lukewarm bath or shower is much better.

And plug in a humidifier to add moisture to the air and prevent dryness.

Finally, splurge on a comforting winter facial to keep your skin shiny and bright until spring.

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For more skincare tips, visit our website, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653-4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“Let me make something very clear… your skin.”

Being an aesthetician for over three decades, I know that taking care of our skin is the ultimate act of self-care. But I’m also a real person with real skin issues of my own, so I know first-hand just how confusing skincare can be. From understanding why you just got hit with a major case of adult acne or keeping abreast of the latest science behind skincare, to figuring out whether the latest buzziest ingredient is the panacea to all your skin woes (as they claim to be), I’m here to help.

I love my clients to bits but here are a few of the common confusions I stumble upon in my conversations with them at the salon.

Not knowing the ingredients in their skincare products.

One thing I find myself asking on every spa visit is “what performance ingredients are you currently using?” The answer is invariably, “I don’t know.”

As consumers, we are inundated with hundreds of skincare products every time we go to the store. And most skincare brands will put certain phrases like hydrating, clarifying, or anti-aging on their labels to grab your attention and stand out in the sea of products. With such simple labeling, it should be easy to find a product that will address your skin concerns, right? Not exactly! Often times you may end up choosing a product that claims to produce a specific result and end up with lackluster results if any at all.

One way to combat this misinformation is to be an ingredient sleuth – be a more informed consumer to find the products that will help in achieving your skincare goals.

Influenced by skinfluencers.

Social media can be a great resource and tool. But sometimes misinformation is circulated as facts, and before-and-after images can be photoshopped. It can be hard to tell who’s spreading dangerous skin care lies and who’s trustworthy… the number of followers does not always mean they know what they are talking about.

While there are skinfluencers that are licensed estheticians or dermatologists, remember that your skin is as unique as you – unique genetics, environmental exposure, and sun damage. Skincare needs to be individualized to your specific skin type. Consult with a board-certified dermatologist or a licensed esthetician who can customize your skincare regimen for optimal results.

Judging a skincare product solely by its ingredients list

The ingredient list on a skincare product can be helpful, especially if you have allergies or sensitivities. They tell you what’s in the product, in a roughly descending order, but not everything. Among the things it doesn’t tell you is the concentration of each ingredient (unless the ingredient is active), how much of the ingredient there is, how the ingredients are formulated together, the grade of an ingredient, and where the brand sources its ingredient.

Furthermore, markers like “dermatologist-tested” or “clinically proven” are fairly prevalent but are actually meaningless as there are no industry standards for designations for terms like these.

Beyond marketing and branding, skincare products are only as good as what they are made of and how they are formulated. The quality and combinations of ingredients are therefore very important. Choosing products from a reputable skincare brand can be helpful since each component may be designed to work in conjunction with the others and you can be more assured of the product’s quality.

Switching products too often

Change can be a good thing… but not when you are switching your skincare products too often. Skincare products take time to do their job. So when you have finally chosen the product for your skin stick with it for at least 3-4 months.

The skin’s outer layer, the epidermis, takes 4 weeks to completely renew. Once your skin goes through this cycle 3-4 times then you’ll have given your skin enough time to start making the real long-term changes and the results more visible.

Oily skin does not equal hydrated skin

It is important to note that although the words “dry” and “dehydrated” are often used interchangeably, the two indicate very different underlying issues when it comes to your skin. While dry skin lacks sebum (something oily complexions have in abundance), dehydrated skin lacks water. If you skip out on regular moisturizing, it can do more harm than good.

It’s important to find a moisturizer that does not add oil to the skin but is hydrating. Look for products that are lightweight and contain water-loving ingredients like linoleic and hyaluronic acid.

Finally, here are a few pieces of advice I repeatedly tell my clients.

  • The order of things. You should apply your products starting with the lightest product to applying the heaviest product. Apply cleanser first followed by toner, serum, and moisturizer. During the day, sunscreen and makeup come next.
  • Layering is great but don’t overdo it. Your skin doesn’t need six products in the morning and six in the evening. The skin can only absorb so much at one time. Using fewer products ensures better absorption and effectiveness of the ingredients you’re putting on your skin.
  • And finally, DON’T PICK!! Doing so could crack, damage, or wound the skin and cause hyperpigmentation. If you feel the need to pick, see a skincare professional.

For more beauty and skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness (323) 653–4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“You can’t help getting older. But you don’t have to get old.” – George Burns

50 is the new 40… I’ve heard it too many times before, if only it were true… well, maybe it is for the very few who are genetically blessed with eternally youthful-looking skin. For the rest of us mere mortals, we just have to keep trying these anti-aging products and skin-glowing treatments on the market to see which among the latest ingredients or technology delivers real results.

Among the latest treatments I came across, the claims about the Light Emitting Diode (LED)therapy certainly sounded appealing to me. They’re touted to treat everything from wrinkles, redness, and signs of aging to acne, scarring, and dark spots. Besides, it is popular among celebrities and social media influencers, posting selfies with their LED masks. So, let’s take a look at some of the details that will shed light on this skin treatment innovation.

Initially, LED therapy was used exclusively for the needs of science. The application of lamps was intended to grow plants in space shuttle missions. But then it was discovered that a certain wavelength promotes better tissue regeneration and can be useful in healing wounds. Overtime, LED therapy has spread to cosmetology and is now actively used to treat skin diseases and fight wrinkles.

The lights are generally classified into three wavelengths: ultraviolet, visible, and infrared. And according to how many LEDs and wavelengths in the device being used, you can treat pigmentation, aging, and acne skin. Here’s a rundown of the different LED light therapy benefits:

Blue Light Therapy

Blue light therapy has a shorter wavelength and can be very effective when applied topically to kill the acne-causing bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes or P acnes. These bacteria found in the sebum and oil glands cause inflammation and breakouts on the skin surface. The good news is that P acne is sensitive to blue light and can be eliminated with this kind of therapy. Coupled with proper cleansing and treatment regimens, it offers a safe alternative to antibiotics and harsh topicals.

In addition, blue and red light treatments can be combined to treat acne conditions – heal the skin, diminish scarring, and reduce inflammation. The treatment is great for occasional breakouts too. It takes just a few minutes to get great results when used at home.

Red Light Therapy

Red light belongs to the higher wavelength component of the visible light spectrum. Red light therapy, or RLT, exposes you to low levels of red or near-infrared light for treating certain conditions, such as skin and muscle issues. It can speed wound healing, reduce scarring, stimulate collagen production, promote firmness, and improve skin texture.

Red light therapy can also be used to relieve chronic pain and some sports injuries. In fact, there are now red LED light beds that athletes and some medical professionals use for this purpose.

RLT, known by several names: photobiomodulation (PBM), low-level laser therapy (LLLT), biostimulation, and soft laser therapy, is a popular therapeutic option. It is provided at various facial clinics, wellness centers, spas, and athletic centers. RLT devices for home use are also widely available. The safest way, however, to get this therapy is through a qualified practitioner or aesthetician.

Results from using red light therapy take longer but are noticeable after 4–6 weeks of regular application.

Green Light Therapy

Green light therapy helps to lighten hyperpigmentation spots for a brighter complexion and the soothing effect has anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to treat dilated capillaries, loose skin around the eyes, under-eye circles, hyperpigmentation, and sunspots, especially on the hands.

Because green light waves penetrate more deeply than blue light, it is recommended that the application of green light to the face be done in a salon.

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Light therapy is painless, non-invasive, and requires no recovery time. Red, blue, and greenlights can be used on all skin conditions and ages with no side effects. However, I would highly recommend seeking the help of a skincare professional for a series of treatments in the salon and adding a hand-held or even a full-face unit to your skincare routine at home.

At our salon, we have been using the handheld units during our facial treatments to great effect and have also been retailing them to many clients for home use.

For more beauty and skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness (323) 653–4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“Skin-vestment – the act of putting time, effort, and money into your skin to keep it healthy and glowing.”

Dear Marion… how much time should I spend daily on my skincare routine for it to be thorough and effective? Sincerely, Mrs. trying-hard-not-to-be high maintenance.

In my previous blog, I shared a few beauty shortcuts for when you find yourself in a time crunch. But if you really want to see brilliant results from your skin products and regimen, it’s always best to put in a sufficient amount of time every day on your skincare routine – both daytime and nighttime.

It may sound like high maintenance but, in reality, each step is necessary to achieve healthy, youthful-looking skin. So even with a busy schedule – juggling kids, a partner, and work – it is important to carve out that essential “me time” to take care of your skin.

Here is a basic plan that works out evenly for both the a.m. and p.m. skincare regimen.

MORNING ROUTINE – geared towards protection from the elements.

Step 1: Cleansing

Massage the cleanser into your skin for at least 30 seconds to a minute, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. You can rinse your face immediately, unless your cleanser contains active ingredients such as AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, then follow the product instructions.

Adding a silicone brush to cleansing 2-3 times a week ensures your pores stay unclogged and your skin super clean.

Wait for the skin to feel completely dry before moving on to step two. But, if you are using a toner containing hyaluronic acid, apply it immediately after cleansing while your skin is still damp. This seals in an extra layer of hydration.

Step 2: Toning

Yes – toners are important! They restore the pH of the skin, get rid of impurities and excess oils, shrink the pores, and prepare the skin to better absorb other products, such as serums and moisturizers. Some toners are also a humectant, which means that they can bind moisture to the skin.

It is most effective when applied with damp cotton, rather than sprayed on, and usually takes around 20 seconds to apply.

Step 3: Serum

Serums are lighter skin care formulations than moisturizers. Because they have thinner viscosity they are absorbed more easily and feel light on the skin.

This step should take around 30 seconds or the time it takes to smooth the product over the whole face.

Step 4: Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is thinner, very delicate, and the first to show signs of aging. So apply creams specific to the eye area to avoid damage or irritation. If you are extremely sensitive or wear contact lenses, gel formulas may be more suitable.

It should take around 30 seconds to apply a specific eye product.

Step 5: Spot Treatment

Treat the areas with acne, blemishes, dark spots, age spots, or uneven skin tone one by one to help to reduce redness or discoloration and speed up your skin’s natural healing process.

The time this step will take depends on how many blemishes you have, but approximately it should be around 20 seconds for the application. Let the treatment dry before moving on to the next step, which could take at least one minute. Otherwise, the treatment will end up migrating to other parts of your face.

Step 6: Moisturizer

Apply the moisturizer to the face, neck, and chest.

The cream must absorb completely before moving to the next step, so wait about two minutes, or at least until the skin doesn’t feel sticky to the touch.

Step 7: Sun Cream

This is the step that should take the longest in a skincare routine. If applying it to the whole body, spend at least two minutes thoroughly applying it, and be generous. If it’s just the face and neck, a minute or two should be enough.

Then wait about 10 minutes before applying makeup. Applying makeup too soon can disrupt the sunscreen and reduce coverage and efficacy.

Total time for daytime routine: 20-30 minutes, before applying makeup.

NIGHTTIME ROUTINE – geared toward repair and rebuilding.

Repeat steps 1 through 5 from your morning routine.

Step 6: Treatment

Apply serums that contain any of the plethoras of active ingredients currently available – ATP, stem cells, peptides, minerals, antioxidants. This is a sure way to support the skin while you sleep. Choose a few of the ingredients to alternate every night and follow instructions by the manufacturer or as advised by your aesthetician, to avoid any reactions and get the best results.

Allow five minutes before the next step.

Step 7: Night Cream

Apply the cream over the face and neck, which should take around one to two minutes.

If you want to use a facial roller or gua sha tool, this is the moment to do it. Then wait at least 10 minutes before going to bed, so all the products that have been applied don’t end up on the pillow.

Total time for nighttime routine: 20-25 minutes.

“Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time.” – Linden Tyler

For more beauty and skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness (323) 653–4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you. 

“Dear body hair, if I’ve been waxing, plucking, and shaving every time you show up, I think you should get the hint.”

Shaving cream, razors, tweezers, hair removal cream, wax strips, scissors — the list goes on and on and on. But no matter what I use to get my body hair off, it seems to grow back almost immediately. It’s exhausting! I almost gave up on achieving hairless nirvana.

Removal of body hair has a long and complex history, dating all the way back to The Stone Age, 100,000 years ago. Cavemen used flint blades, seashells, and other sharp objects to shave off all body hair. Hair removal then was done for practical reasons: to prevent frostbite (especially during the Ice Age, when the unending winter would make the water freeze on their body hair), to remove a potential breeding ground for parasites like mites and lice, and to take away any advantage an adversary might have in a brawl by grabbing.

The practice of removing female body hair can be traced back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Some of the first razors, made of copper, were used in Egypt and India around 3000 BCE. Egyptian women removed their head hair and considered pubic hair uncivilized. Upper-class Roman women of the sixth century BCE used tweezers, pumice stones, and depilatories to achieve the desired degree of hairlessness, while Egyptians of Cleopatra’s time used a sugar mixture in a method similar to waxing and sugaring techniques used today. Elizabethan women removed their eyebrows and hair from their foreheads to give themselves longer brows. Think Elizabeth I.

Fashion trends and even war have been part of the growth in popularity of hair removal, and it has long been used to classify a women’s place in society throughout history.

There are several ways for people to de-fuzz and get rid of body hair. Here are 7 of the most popular methods.

 RAZORS

Shaving is quick, easy, convenient, and inexpensive. There are now specially manufactured women’s razors with fewer blades. Although shaving is painless, it can cause cuts or razor burns, skin irritation, and ingrown hair.

To avoid these issues:

  • use a body scrub before shaving to lift the hair
  • shave after a shower when hair is soft, and the skin is free of any excess oil or dead skin cells that may clog the blade
  • always use a shaving gel or cream to protect the skin,
  • shave in the direction the hair grows to avoid razor burns
  • rinse the razor after every swipe to avoid irritation
  • and make sure to apply a body lotion when finished.

DEPILATORIES OR HAIR REMOVAL CREAMS

These creams contain alkaline ingredients that break down keratin in the hair, applied like a body lotion, and within a few minutes wiped off along with the unwanted hair. Painless, inexpensive, easy to use, and the good news is that nowadays they smell much more pleasant – unlike the rotten egg scent of the older versions.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. Some users have reported that it doesn’t remove all the hair the first time around. In addition, those with sensitive skin may experience discomfort and skin irritation – from a mild tingling or a burning sensation to a rash.

It’s always best to test the product on a small area of your skin before using it to see how your skin reacts.

 WAXING

There are many kinds of wax available today. Cool, warm, crème, hard, resin – the list is a long one. They all work pretty much the same – wax is spread on the area you want to remove hair from and a strip of cloth is then placed on top of the area and pulled off quickly so the hair, including the follicle, gets pulled along with it. The result is a smooth, hairless skin that lasts 3-4 weeks. If done regularly over a period of time, results may last longer as the hair root weakens and the hair becomes finer.

However, depending on your pain tolerance, waxing can be painful as the hair is pulled off from the root. Also, waxing can cause inflamed hair follicles, redness, ingrown hairs, and skin irritation. So, it would be best to splurge on the process and go to a salon. In between salon visits, use a body exfoliant regularly to reduce ingrown hairs.

 SUGARING

Sugaring is an ancient method of removing unwanted hair that has become popular in recent years. Most products contain sugar, lemon, and water, and are heated to make a sticky syrup that can cling to hair to help pull them out, similar to waxing. It is said to brighten tattoos in some instances.

Though your skin may be less irritated than with waxing, you may still experience some irritation and inflammation with sugaring. As with waxing, keep the skin clean after treatment to help avoid infection in the ingrown areas.

THREADING

Threading has been around for centuries where twisted cotton threads are rolled over hairlines to pluck unwanted hair. It is a very skilled procedure that can remove the tiniest of hairs and gives a very precise, clean result that lasts for two to four weeks. It’s great for clients who prefer to avoid chemicals and heat.

However, threading only works on flat surfaces, like the brows.

ELECTROLYSIS

For more permanent options, electrolysis removes hair and prevents hair growth. A teeny tiny probe is inserted into your pore, zap it with electricity to kill the hair follicle, and tweezers to pull out the dead hair.

Make sure you go to an experienced electrologist – there is a risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation in the wrong hands. Although time-consuming and more expensive, electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal process endorsed by the FDA.

LASER HAIR REMOVAL

Laser hair removal uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) that is absorbed by the pigment of the hair damaging the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hair. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.

Multiple sessions over the course of a few months may be needed to see long-term results. The upfront costs of the procedure will be way more expensive than a pack of razors, but the results gained from a series of treatments are long-lasting. And the procedure gets rid of ingrown hairs.

However, there is a risk of hyperpigmentation so once again, go to a reputable laser clinic that can use the right laser for your skin type.

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Whatever hair removal option you choose, make sure you are doing it correctly, and don’t forget to take care of your skin. In this way, you get the best results.

For more beauty and skincare tips, check out my website, call us at Skinsense Wellness (323) 653–4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you. 

“I would rather be late than arrive ugly.”

My mornings often feel like a race against the clock. Get up (okay, I admit I snoozed maybe once or twice), hurry up, and go. With the frantic rush to get out the door or get on the early Zoom meeting, I find myself rushing my morning routine. But there are personal hygiene and some beauty routines I just can’t skip, especially now that I’m older. It seems like, with age, it takes longer and longer for me to primp to look good.

I’m sure a lot of women – wives, mothers, professionals, etc. – feel the same way I do. But just because you are crunched for time, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looking gorgeous. So, I gathered a few beauty shortcuts of my own and from my always impeccably groomed clients to keep you looking pretty in no time.

BODY

  1. Shower the night before.
  2. Shave the night before to cut your shower time in half the next day. But if you shave in the morning, use an oil-based gel instead of your typical shaving cream. It will give you an easy shave while also moisturizing your skin so you can skip putting on lotion afterwards.
  3. If you skip the shower, use a damp cloth on the areas where smells tend to gather (a.k.a. your pits) and don’t forget the deodorant and perfume to stay fresh all day!

 FACE

  1. Early morning mask treatments – when you first get out of bed, splash your face with tepid water and apply both an eye and face mask. (Keep the eye mask in the fridge for extra de-puffing benefits). Then you can go about your normal early morning rituals and be getting a mini facial at the same time.
  2. Simplify your make-up routine – Moisturizer, mineral powder with SPF, and lipstick.
  3. Skip the foundation. Dab concealer under eyes, down the bridge of the nose, on your chin, and on any problem areas like dark spots or pimples.
  4. Get a lash perm and lash and brow tinting – tint lashes and brows every month to save using mascara and eyebrow pencils. Lash perms are also great and can last for up to six weeks.
  5. Smudge eyeliner for an instant smokey eye – simply line your eyes using a creamy eyeliner and smudge with your ring finger. In just a few seconds, you’ll have a simple Parisian look.
  6. Use a tinted lip balm for blush – dab a tinted lip balm on your cheeks and blend for a creamy blush alternative.
  7. Choose a lip stain – one quick pat on the lips in the morning as you’re running out the door, and you don’t need to re-apply throughout the day.

HAIR

  1. Apply dry shampoo before your head hits the pillow at night. The shampoo will work itself into your strands overnight, resulting in clean, healthy-looking hair in the morning.
  2. Use silk pillowcases to prevent messy morning hair and keep your strands smooth while you sleep.
  3. Have a manageable cut that matches your hair type – straight or curly – saves having to fuss or curl.
  4. For bouncy beach waves, braid your hair after your shower at night and leave them in while you sleep. In the morning, undo the braids, spritz the resulting waves with a little texturizing spray, and scrunch with your hands.
  5. Wear your hair in a nice ponytail, braid, or bun.
  6. And, hats, hair pieces, and hair ties are all great accessories to have on hand.

NAILS

Dry nail polish fast with ice water. If you’re going to an event or getting ready for a date, and you didn’t have time for a mani, soak your freshly painted nails in a bowl of ice water for a minute; the cold will dry them quickly.

CLOTHING

  1. Choose your outfit the night before, this includes accessories like jewelry, shoes, bags, belts, etc.
  2. Steam your clothes in the shower to get rid of wrinkles. Hang the wrinkled clothes from the shower rod. Then go about your normal bathroom routine. Fifteen minutes later, wrinkle-free clothes.

So, even when you just rolled out of bed, no one will have to know.

For more beauty and skincare tips, check out our blogs, call us at Skinsense Wellness (323) 653-4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

First God created man, then he had a better idea…

What’s the difference between men and women… besides our genitals, of course? It’s pretty interesting how, biologically speaking, we all start out as women. So, you’re a little embryo – a little fetus, and around 5 – 6 weeks if you have a Y chromosome it develops, and you start making testosterone and sexually differentiate.

However, the differences between male and female skin only emerge from puberty and onwards. These variations determine the type of skincare routine and products one should use, so let’s compare…

Skin Thickness

Dermatologists have found that the male dermis is about 20% thicker than a woman’s and that is why men tend to have fewer superficial fine lines than women. But they are more prone to the deep wrinkles that are caused by repeated facial expressions. Frown and smile lines for example.

Collagen and elastin production

Both men and women have specific hormones which help promote collagen and elastin production. Testosterone in men and estrogen in women. Collagen and elastin are proteins that act as the main building blocks in the skin, keeping it tight and firm.

As we age the level of both proteins diminishes. While this process happens to both men and women, they taper off at different rates. Men lose collagen and elastin at a constant rate throughout their adulthood, but gradually. Women start losing both less quickly until they hit menopause, and then the loss happens very rapidly and results in thinning, saggy skin, and wrinkles.

Oil levels and pore issues

Sebum, the skin’s natural oil, helps hydrate the skin and mixes with fat molecules to form a protective coating on the skin, defending it from harmful pathogens and bacteria.

But too much of a good thing can become a problem. Men have more oil glands or sebaceous glands than women. In fact, it has been estimated that men produce twice as much sebum than women overall. They also have larger and a higher number of pores. This combination can result in clogging and lead to acne.

Shaving doesn’t help either. It exacerbates the skin surface and can cause irritation, ingrown hairs, and even more breakouts – particularly if the beard growth is heavy and curly.

Impact of lifestyle choices on skin

Although genes play a role in how we age as a whole, our lifestyle choices can also have a powerful effect. Unfortunately, men often engage in behaviors that can speed up skin aging.

Exposure to UV rays is a primary cause of premature wrinkles in both men and women. However, men are more likely to work outdoors than women and spend long periods of time in the sun without protection – sunscreen and hats for example.

Bad habits like smoking, not getting enough sleep or exercise, and poor diet can factor in too.

Finally, men generally lack the same skin care knowledge that women are taught from an early age. This gives them a significant disadvantage in preventing wrinkles and in recognizing the signs of aging.

Skincare Advice for Men

To keep your skin in the best possible condition, cleanse every morning and evening with a non-irritating product suitable for your skin type. Keep your skin moisturized and if it is oily choose a non-greasy face lotion which will keep your face feeling hydrated all day without causing blocked pores.

If you have a beard covering part of your face, it’s especially important to keep the skin underneath it properly hydrated. Dryness under the beard can be uncomfortable, resulting in itchy, flaky skin, and even beard dandruff.

Skincare Advice for Women

Every good skincare routine starts with washing your face using a cleanser that offers gentle exfoliation and anti-aging benefits — think AHA acids, plant-derived enzymes, or even fermented ingredients. Then use an antioxidant serum containing a cocktail of vitamins — most popular are vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, resveratrol, and niacinamide —to guard against free radical development that causes degradation of precious collagen.

For moisturizers, look for a formula that contains hydrating ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, squalene, and glycerin. These formulas will replenish skin and lock in hydration for the day.

A good eye cream that depuffs and hydrates the eye area, and a collagen-boosting product like a peptide cream or growth factor serum are also great additions to a morning skincare routine.

Lastly, for both men and women, apply sunscreen. A mineral SPF of at least 30 with zinc oxide and antioxidants to support protection against environmental pollution.

For more skincare and wellness tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“In a rose, all love stories fit, and in a love story the air smells of roses” – Efrat Cybulkiewicz

Legend has it that Cleopatra would bath in a mixture of rose water, milk and honey to keep her skin soft. She was obviously on to something because she was famous for her great beauty, and of course her power. Fast forward 2000 years, and the rose is still all the rage in skincare, beauty and wellness treatments.

Recognized for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it’s no surprise that it has become an increasingly popular ingredient in skin care products. Rose oil contains a variety of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals and is fantastic for tackling a multitude of skin issues.

There are two main types of rose that are valued in the cosmetic industry: the Damask Rose (Rosa damascena) and the Cabbage Rose (Rosa centifolia). Damask roses are the preferred variety for their sweet fragrance, their potency against bacteria and anti-aging compounds. But essential oils from both of these have distinct benefits for our skin and wellbeing.

Skin protection

Rose contains a number of powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals. This helps to strengthen and protect skin cells from environmental damage, and regenerate skin tissue.

Skin hydration

While rose is great for all skin types, it is especially suited to treat dry and aged skin due to its extremely hydrating properties. Used on its own, or under a moisturizer in the form of an essential oil or serum, rose extract strengthens the skin barrier and seals in moisture.

Antiaging properties

Two of the antioxidants found in rose oil arevitamins A and C, both of which can help with aging skin. Apart from smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, these vitamins help to reduce the appearance of age spots and aid with collagen production. Vitamin C also helps to protect the skin from UV exposure.

To soothe skin irritation

Rose oil is widely used for its calming benefits. It soothes redness and rosacea and any surface itchiness or irritation. Rose hip oil, in particular, contains fatty acids which are ideal for treating inflammatory conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.

Heals cuts, scars, and burns

Rose water has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which can help fight infection and heal wounds and burns faster.

Hair moisturizer

If you have dry, frizzy hair, especially in the wintertime, a few sprays of rose water can help tame your mane.

Mood enhancer

Because of its very pleasant and calming smell, rose oil can be used in a room diffuser to help boost self-esteem, confidence and mental strength as wells as diminish feelings of anxiety and depression.

Here’s how to use it:

Rose essential oil is expensive and potent. A small amount goes a long way and blends well with jojoba oil, grapeseed, sweet almond and argan oil.

For your bath: Add about 5-7 drops of rose oil to a carrier oil of your choice and then add the mixture to your warm bath for a relaxing experience.

As a soak for your foot: Add 4-5 drops of rose essential oil to warm water and soak your feet in it.

For anxiety relief: Diffuse rose essential oil for calmness or you can also dab some diluted rose oil on your wrists, neck, and chest.

While rose water can be used in a number of different ways:

As a facial cleanser or toner: Just rinse your face with rose water after washing with your regular cleanser.

As a skin mist: Put rose water in a spray bottle and mist on your wrist, face, or even your pillow.

(Rose water and rose essential oil are used in aromatherapy to help relieve headaches this way.)

As a refreshing drink: Add to regular water for tastier hydration or mix in lemonade, iced tea and other drink recipes.

Suffice to say that stopping to smell the roses (along with dabbing, slathering, soaking, etc.) truly has some magical benefits.

For more skincare and wellness tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“Why yes, they are my lashes… I bought them.” 

Lashes and pearls

Long, dark lashes have long been associated with beauty throughout history. From as early as 4000 BC, women in ancient Egypt took to emphasizing their eyelashes with kohl and other ointments. This rudimentary eye makeup not only accentuated the eyes, but it also served as extra protection from the sun. A few thousand years later, Roman women also used kohl to darken their eyelashes. At the time, long, full eyelashes were seen as a sign of chastity. That’s right… it was actually believed that a woman’s eyelashes would fall out if she had too much sex.

In today’s world, we have mascara and eyeliner to give them that extra lift. And admit it, Kim Kardashian’s perfect eyelashes just make you green with lash envy. And, you know what? I don’t blame you. Long, full eyelashes are every woman’s dream, me included. They amplify the eyes and produce a feminine sultry vibe that many women want.

So, get ready to bat an eyelash, here’s everything you need to know about our favorite facial hair.

Lash facts

The focus on eyelashes is often for their aesthetic beauty. But eyelashes also serve a critical function in eye safety. They are the first line of defense for your eyes, keeping airborne dirt, dust, lint and other debris from reaching the delicate eye tissues.

With eyes open, eyelashes catch some airborne debris, but when closed, eyelashes form a nearly impenetrable barrier against foreign irritants in the eye.

The lash itself is composed of the shaft and bulb which connects to the blood vessels around the eye and has a life cycle of between 4 and 11 months. The lower lid typically has between 75 to 80 lashes in four rows, while the upper lid has between 90 to 160 lashes in five or six rows.

Healthy eyelashes can grow to around 12 millimeters and although they are meant to have a slight curvature, they can very often grow straight out or in odd directions.

What causes damage to our lashes? No, contrary to what ancient Romans believed, too much sex is not one of them.

  1. Not removing makeup at night before going to bed.  Use a proper eye makeup remover, not your usual facial cleanser, and be gentle. Dab your eyes rather than rubbing and scraping them.
  2. Irritating or drying makeup ingredients. Use good quality cosmetics and pay attention to the shelf life of each product. And remember to change you pencils, liners and mascara every six months.
  3. Makeup allergies. If your eyes tend to be sensitive or you suffer from allergies, use hypoallergenic or clean makeup to reduce the chances of irritation.
  4. Forceful use of eyelash curlers. Use lash curlers occasionally. For a more gentle approach, use an eyelash comb every day.
  5. Overuse of false eyelashes and rough removal techniques . To remove false eyelashes, soften any adhesive with eye makeup remover. Pinch the outer edge of the false eyelash strip and gently pull away from the lash line. And keep your reusable false lashes clean by removing any lingering adhesive with a makeup remover.

How do you properly care for your lashes?

  1. Brushing them daily would be a big help if you would rather not use mascara but still want your lashes to look long and full naturally. Use a clean and soft bristle mascara wand and be careful not to brush too harshly or for too long as this could cause them to fall out.
  2. Moisturize lashes with vitamin E, castor, coconut, or almond oil to keep them soft, pliable and fuller looking. Apply with a clean mascara wand or a cotton ball before sleeping and just rinsing the conditioning treatment in the morning.
  3. Invest in an eyelash serum. Used daily these serums not only maintain the health of the lash but promote growth.
  4. Take breaks from wearing any eye makeup and false lashes whenever you can.
  5. Making a few changes to your diet can dramatically improve the health of your eyelashes, along with your skin and your hair. Make sure you’re eating enough protein, leafy greens, and healthy fats to support healthy hair growth. You may also want to consider supplementing with Biotin and vitamins C, D, E and H. These are extremely helpful in keeping your eye lashes full and healthy.

While mascara, of course, is still one of the most popular beauty products out there, it isn’t the only beauty product/treatment available to those looking to boost their lashes. Eyelash technology has evolved to also include semi-permanent extensions, growth serums, eyelash tools and more.

Here are some of the popular eyelash products, treatments and technology to try out:

  • Eyelash primer – a no flake peptide formula with mini fibers that hang on to your natural lashes. It preps and boosts the lashes so they appear much longer when paired with mascara.
  • Lash extensions – these are semipermanent lashes that are hand-glued on top of your natural lashes. Eyelash extensions, when properly cared for, can last for 6 – 8 weeks until they fall out like your natural lashes. Your lash stylist can then fill in the missing pieces at this time or earlier if you want to wear them indefinitely.
  • Lash Lift – it’s a 45-minute procedure where an aesthetician will use an adhesive and a curling tool to press your own eyelashes up, basically perming them, to make them look longer and thicker.  Make sure the glue used contains butyl cyanoacrylate and octyl cyanoacrylate instead of formaldehyde—they’re less toxic to the eye area and lashes. When done properly the results can last for up to six weeks.
  • Eyelash Tinting  uses a semi-permanent dye on the lashes that works similarly to hair color and will fade after 2-4 weeks. The dye reveals darker lashes and makes them appear naturally longer and fuller without mascara.

For more lash care and skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare and lash services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.