“I remember smell better than my multiplication tables.”

Last year when I was doing home service facials for my clients, one of the homes I went to had the smell of fresh oven-baked chocolate chip cookies as I walked in. As soon as the scent of chocolate combined with brown sugar and dough hit my nose, I was transported back to my childhood in my grandma’s house and can’t help but reminisce on those good old happy times. For some reason scents have a way of magically bringing back a memory.

Working with beautiful aromas and scents is one of the perks of being an aesthetician and salon owner that I enjoy so much — from the essential oils that freshen the space to the skincare products that I use for my facial treatments. All in all, it makes for a totally relaxing atmosphere. My clients love it and can’t help but comment on the pleasant smell as they enter the salon or as I slather their skin with the mildly scented skincare products. It certainly is a key element in the whole self-care experience.

However, fragrance has garnered a bad reputation recently. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, fragrances are considered one of the leading causes of allergic reactions on the skin. Let’s get to the heart of the matter.

What is fragrance in skin care products?

It’s any ingredient or combination of ingredients added to a product to make it smell a certain way. It could be to cover up an unpleasant or chemical-like smell, or it might simply be there to add a pleasant aroma to an odorless substance.

From moisturizers to serums to sun care, fragrance is added to all kinds of skin care products to make them more pleasurable to apply and bring an element of luxury to your skincare regimen.

Now to find out what’s best for our skin, let’s take a look at different types of formulations.

Natural — are usually created with a mixture of natural-origin ingredients and essential oils.

Synthetic- are made up of artificially derived chemicals and are of particular concern among those with sensitive skin because of their potential to cause irritation.

Fragrance-free — are products that do not have added chemicals that enhance aroma or mask an odor.

Unscented — are products that has no scent. Often so-called masking fragrances are used to cover up unwanted smells from other ingredients that may not have a pleasing odor.

Organic, natural, and green — are botanical extracts and essential oils that may be manufactured or naturally occurring.

Fragrances today aren’t generally harmful, but some people with sensitive skin might like to avoid them. No matter the source, some fragrances may contain allergens. So, both natural and synthetic fragrances may cause irritation to very sensitive skin types. If you have a skin condition, such as dermatitis or eczema, or very reactive and allergy-prone skin, it would be best to use fragrance-free products.

However, only one percent of the general population suffers from fragrance allergies. If you have a more resilient skin type, you may not experience any irritation at all and, in fact, may benefit from the therapeutic element that fragrance brings to a product — whether natural or synthetic. It is usually a safe addition to skin care products and may evoke positive emotions and happy memories as well as bring a more luxurious feel to your routine.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.


“Chemistry… if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”

My 7th grade chemistry teacher was the first to introduce me to the pH scale by using litmus paper. We could establish the pH value of any liquid by dipping the paper into the liquids and then watching to see what color the paper turned. For example, it would show red for vinegar (acid) and blue for milk (alkaline.) Purple represented a neutral pH. It was fun!

So, what exactly is pH?

The term “pH” refers to “potential of hydrogen”. It concerns the activity of hydrogen ions (ions are molecules that carry a positive or negative charge) in a water-based solution. Hydrogen makes up two thirds of water, water being two hydrogen molecules plus an oxygen molecule, H²o.

The pH of a solution is indicated by a numeric scale that runs from 0–14. Anything below 7 (which is pH neutral) is considered acidic, while anything with a pH greater than 7 is considered alkaline, also referred to as basic.

How does pH relate to our bodies?

In our bodies, blood or cytoplasm are the “solutions” in which the required ions are floating. The normal pH of human blood is 7.35–7.45. Anything above or below that could have negative effects on our health.

With the growing interest in the microbiome in recent years and the ecosystem of our body, the principle of pH balancing is again brought to the forefront. This holistic approach believes that the foundation of healthy digestion is built on a simple eating system that maintains an ideal acid/alkaline (pH) balance in the body. Seventy per cent of the immune system is based in the abdomen and 90% of the tryptophan needed to make serotonin for the brain — essential to ensure we feel good — is made here.

As far as food intake goes, the suggested pH ratio would be a diet of two-thirds alkaline and one-third acid-forming foods. So, to take a step in the right direction, let’s outline a few alkaline foods that we can incorporate in greater quantities and some acidic foods we can eliminate.

Raw, green leafy vegetables like chard, kale and spinach are all excellent alkaline-rich foods. So are avocados, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, coconut, cherries, grapefruit, lemons and watermelon. A healthy way to start and end each day with an alkaline system for example, would be with a cup of warm water flavored with half a lemon.

Things to avoid would be white flour, coffee, red meat, too much alcohol, simple carbohydrates and artificial sugar.

How does pH affect our skin?

Our skin’s surface and uppermost layers are naturally acidic, making it compatible with acidic skin care products. The skin’s average pH is 4.7 and although the pH of our skin increases with age, it remains acidic.

Our skin has a protective film on its surface that’s known as the acid mantle. It plays a vital role by working with skin-natural ingredients like ceramides, cholesterol, enzymes, sweat, and even our skin’s own oil to protect skin’s surface and lower layers from external threats.

The skin’s acidic pH also plays a role in keeping its delicate microbiome balanced. An acidic microbiome makes it more difficult for harmful pathogens to multiply but lets the good stuff flourish. Frequently disturbing skin’s pH to a strong degree can lead to or worsen many problems, including common skin disorders (eczema, acne, rosacea, and wrinkles) and that dry, tight feeling from washing with bar or liquid soaps (most soaps are alkaline). Using highly acidic (pH 2.5 or lower) or alkaline (pH 8 or greater) products causes a significant disruption in skin’s pH too.

To avoid problems, look for pH-balanced skin care products (between pH 4 and pH 7). How do we do that when skincare products in the US don’t show the product’s pH? An easy solution would be to get a pH test kit available online for home use.

So, getting healthy glowing skin is really easy. All it takes is a few simple and inexpensive tweaks to your beauty routine and your diet.


For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“Summer is over. Time to officially remember what day of the week it is.”

I remember my first day of college (although it was ages ago). I was excited and nervous at the same time. I was looking forward to a new chapter in my life but also a bit scared whether the students and teachers would be friendly, if I would find my classrooms without getting lost, and if I could catch up with all the lessons. Needless to say, it was stressful. To make matters worse, my skin started breaking out from the stress. Ugh!

It’s back to school time once again, and this year back to school for most students would be in-person after a long period of exclusively online classes. For students who are back on campus in their dorms, there are safety restrictions (of course) and six feet of social distancing. Other students are doing a hybrid model, where they are doing both virtual and in-person coursework. And others are completely remote.

Whatever the format, here is a list of essential products for students to use back in school to make sure their skin makes the grade.

1. First and foremost, have plenty of masks available — both washable and disposable, and lots of hand sanitizer and gloves. Washing with soap and water works really well and is an important part of staying safe and protected but you need some back up when a sink, hot water and soap aren’t around the corner.

Tip: Spray the inside of clean masks with a 2% salicylic acid or a tea tree hydrosol to help control breakouts. And emphasize the importance of using a clean mask every day.

2. Next, select an easy to apply wash-off cleanser that can be used morning and night. This will help to keep the skin clean in spite of late-night studying and constant mask wearing.

3. Bring a few spare pillowcases. These should be changed twice a week to prevent acne breakouts and for good hygiene.

4. Pack a lightweight daily moisturizer that is formulated for your skin type and can be used twice a day. Chances are you’re going to need extra moisture while away, living through winter weather and colder temperatures. Think of one with hyaluronic acid or ceramides for an extra boost.

5. A sunscreen with an SPF 30 should be worn daily. UV rays can still penetrate clouds and cooler weather.

Tip: some sunscreens are also moisturizing and can eliminate the need for regular moisturizers in the morning as long as your skin is not too dry.

6. College dorms are known for their cavalcade of aromas, many of them pungent and unpleasant! Use essential oils to improve the atmosphere, sleep, concentration, reduce stress and increase well-being. Electric plug-ins are safe and easy to use and available on Amazon.

Tip: orange, grapefruit and lemon are great mood elevators. Peppermint and eucalyptus help with concentration. Lavender is calming and can be mixed with any other oil. And of course, all the essential oils improve air quality and smell great!!

7. Hand cream — hands can get very chapped from all the handwashing, especially in cold weather. Keep several tubes in your backpacks and dorm room.

8. Spot treatment — even with daily routines, acne and breakouts happen. That can certainly put a damper on being social even though it is somewhat restricted at the moment. Spot treatments can discourage picking and improve confidence.

Tip: Salicylic acid, tea tree oil and Neosporin crème are all available over the counter and suit most breakout situations.

Being prepped for safety and well-being will allow you to concentrate on your studies and stay focused while still enjoying your college experience.

“In school, you’re taught a lesson and given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” — Tom Bodett

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“I found a really effective sunblock, It’s called my house.”

Perhaps you can call me a sunscreen bully because I constantly tell my clients to wear it daily before going out, even on a cloudy day. I slather a generous amount on my face and body every morning. It’s always best to protect ourselves from the dangerous UV rays of the sun and from the risk of skin cancer. Now I hear from the news that sunscreen actually causes cancer. What’s going on! And should I freak out already?

Benzene, a colorless liquid that is known to be carcinogenic has been found in some sunscreens and after-sun products by Valisure, an online pharmacy and lab, most of them spray-ons. It’s important to note that benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreen, and Valisure’s petition for a recall of these products suggests that the findings are a result of contamination somewhere in the manufacturing process.

Here’s what changes you can make to stay safe.

With summer in full swing, sunscreen is a necessity for everyone. Beachgoers often reach for aerosols because they are easier and less messy to apply than creams so when their favorite brands are suddenly unavailable there can be a confusing scramble to find a replacement.

Furthermore, the discussion about whether anything is really safe reoccurs, and this leaves people open and vulnerable to sun damage and potential skin cancers. Being in the skincare industry as a fulltime aesthetician, I definitely think it’s not an option to skip on sun protection most especially in the summer.

  1. Pick a sunscreen that wasn’t contaminated. The majority of products tested — over 200 of them — had no detectable amounts of benzene, and uncontaminated sunscreen should continue to be used.
  2. Check and choose formulas for safety. As far as formulation goes, there are two kinds — mineral based with zinc and titanium, and chemical blends that contain actives like octinoxate and homosalate. Very often both formulas contain other anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant ingredients like aloe, green tea, lindera root, arnica and pomegranate, a great source of vitamin C. If you have very sensitive skin or suffer from rosacea, use a mineral based formula. Avoid oxybenzone, an ingredient that may behave like estrogen. Oxybenzone penetrates the skin easily and can disrupt the hormonal system. Look for products that along with zinc oxide, contain 3 percent avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. They protect skin from harmful UVA radiation.
  3. Avoid sprays and aerosols. They cloud the air with tiny particles that may not be safe to breathe particularly when used on children. And remember, a few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer. Keep infants under 6 months out of direct sun and well covered and shaded at all times. Their skin is not yet protected by melanin. It is important to note that any SPF with a higher protection factor of 30 only provides 1–2% extra protection and a much higher possibility for irritation.
  4. Apply sunscreen liberally at least 30 minutes before leaving the house and layer twice waiting 15 minutes before second application if possible. This ensures a more thorough covering. (Consider any protection contained in make-up a bonus and not a main source of protection.)
  5. Get your skin checked annually by your dermatologist. Men ignore sun safety at their peril. In 2021, the American Cancer Society estimates about twice as many American men are expected to die from melanoma as women. Surveys show that 48 percent of men report routine sun avoidance, compared to 68 percent of women.
  6. Slop on sunscreen and reapply it often, especially if swimming and sweating a lot. If it doesn’t smell right or feel right find another by using these guidelines.
  7. Wear a hat and sun protective clothing. And if possible, seek shade between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunscreen is still a very important, effective, and a safe, scientifically-based way to prevent the harmful effects of the sun. Well, I guess I will be a sunscreen bully for life.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“The only ex I need in my life is my exfoliator.”

Did someone say New Kids on the Block? Yes, there’s a new kid on the block… the skincare block, that is. And while it’s not the popular boy band of the 90’s it has uh-oh-oh!!! the Right Stuff. They are Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) and are considered “cousins” of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). They also happen to be one of the latest trendy beauty ingredients touted to banish fine lines.

What are they?

PHAs are chemical exfoliants, often used to remove the unwanted cells on the skin’s surface resulting in a more even skin tone and texture. The most common PHAs are galactose — a naturally occurring sugar that skin uses to synthesize collagen, lactobionic acid — derived from oxidized lactose (milk sugar), and gluconolactone — a powdery substance extracted from gluconic acid, found in animals and corn.

What do they do?

PHAs are a chemical exfoliant. And exfoliation helps to slough away dead, dull-looking skin resulting in reduced hyperpigmentation and improved skin texture. They are related to alpha and beta hydroxy acids but because they are formed from larger molecules, they penetrate the skin more slowly and without irritation.

PHAs hydrate skin. They support the skin’s barrier function, which locks in moisture and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

PHAs also help skin-care ingredients penetrate deeper into the layers of your skin, thus boosting their efficacy.

And, PHAs have antioxidant and humectant properties that help undo and prevent UV and pollution-induced free radical damage to collagen and skin resulting in an anti-aging effect. Over time this can soften fine lines and wrinkles.

Wow!!! Sounds like another great tool for the skincare toolbox.

Here’s a recap on their benefits:

  • They’re Gentle Giants: They stay on the surface where they do a great job without traveling quite as deep as a straight-up AHA.
  • Non-irritating: If you have sensitive skin, you’ll probably be able to apply a PHA with little-to-no stinging or irritation.
  • Keep Skin Moist: PHAs are humectants (meaning they retain moisture reserves) and offer a great way to capture that healthy glow!
  • They’re Anti-aging: These acids may be best known for their exfoliation properties, but their real claim to fame should be that they come armed with tons of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

How do you apply them?

PHAs are used in a wide selection of products, and in a few different ways. They are best applied to the skin at night to give them sufficient time to loosen the bonds between the outermost epidermis. They can be incorporated into any product type — liquid exfoliant, toner, mask, or moisturizer, which can be layered on top.

PHAs can also be combined with retinoids when treating acne or photoaging but be guided by your skincare professional when using PHAs this way to avoid any irritation.

A lot of AHA solutions will have PHAs in them in order to clean up the surface-level debris AHAs miss. PHAs are also added as an extra exfoliating factor to a non-exfoliating product like a cleanser so that dead skin cells are washed away when rinsed off. And PHAs are often the main ingredient and selling point.

If you’re looking for a natural, nontoxic compound that could positively influence cell turnover and keep your skin clear and healthy, PHAs might be the way to go!

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are ready to welcome you all back.


“Out of all my body parts, I feel like my eyes are in the best shape. I do at least a thousand eye rolls a day.”

Making eye contact with everyone I meet tells me a lot about the person. I find it fascinating and I am certainly not alone in this. The results of a survey in the U.S., taken to find out what men and women notice first about the opposite sex, put eyes at the top of the list. This does not surprise me. And as an aesthetician, I can tell if the person cares enough to include the skin surrounding the eye area in their daily skincare routine.

This area is thinner, contains fewer oil glands and muscle tissue. It’s also delicate and often very sensitive to the environment and anything you put on it. Lack of sleep, exercise, and eye strain show up as dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness and eyes are the first area of the face to show tiredness. Layer seasonal allergies on top of all this and eye skincare can be a nightmare!!

Here are a few eye-skincare tips to keep them bright and young-looking.

1. Keep them moisturized. Cleansers and moisturizers for the face do not cut it. They are often too heavy and can cause those annoying little white bumps (called milia,) irritation and swelling. Eye creams, on the other hand, are often formulated with enough active ingredients that may help reduce wrinkles and fine lines without any irritation. Some ingredients to look for are:

a. Golden root, argania spinosa, Summer snowflake bulb, caffeine, hydroquinone, kojic acid, and vitamin C to reduce the appearance of dark circles.

b. Caffeine, green tea and coffee berry polyphenols, dipeptide-2 (Eyeliss), and willow herbs to help reduce puffiness.

c. Biopeptides to tighten.

d. Evening primrose and hyaluronic acid to hydrate.

e. Tuberose to revitalize tired eyes.

f. Argan oil, retinol, and peptides to stimulate collagen production resulting in plump and lift.

g. Antioxidants to help reduce free radicals triggered by UV rays, smoking, and pollution

2. Be gentle. When applying skincare products, start on the lids going from the inner to the outer area, circling under and into the side of the nose. Same with cleansers which are best used on a damp cotton pad. We know waterproof mascara can be challenging to remove but harsh makeup removers should be avoided.

3. Wear sunscreen. When applying sunscreen, don’t forget the upper eyelid. This is one of the most overlooked areas. Also consider investing in a pair of sunglasses that offers UV protection. This can help protect not only your eyes but also the skin around them from unwanted UVA and UVB rays.

4. Get a spa treatment. There are some great treatments that target the eye area using thermal therapy and microcurrent. These treatments use super light serums that penetrate with the help of the heat and electrotherapy. And when done consistently, can make the eye area look toned and firm.

5. Keep a healthy lifestyle — get enough sleep, eat healthy, and exercise. Try regular exercise that involves hanging upside down — yoga and downward dog for example. They can really make a difference because they defy gravity and reverse the blood flow.

6. Retire devices that emit blue light — computer, cellphones, televisions, one hour before bedtime. And consider using blue-light blocking glasses if your work demands hours of screen time. Blue light, known as high-energy-visible light (HEV), not only strains the eyes but can also accelerate the aging process and cause dryness.

Lastly, if topical treatments simply aren’t working, consider nonsurgical options like botox, fillers, and laser resurfacing.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are ready to welcome you all back.

“I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I get older… YOUNGER.”

I have resolved to grow old gracefully. What do I mean by that? Apart from lying about my age (which oftentimes, I don’t remember anyway), I am committed to taking care of my skin and my overall health — none of the harmful products and treatments. And I’m just as committed to taking care of my client’s skin, keeping it healthy with that youthful glow.

On the subject of youthful-looking skin, at Skinsense we’re obsessed with the anti-aging benefits of microcurrent, and we use it a whole lot. It has been a long-standing star on our electrical stage and so I thought it might be helpful to talk about what it does and how it compares and works with that now (in)famous muscle relaxer, Botox.

Renowned skin physiologist and cosmetic chemist, Dr. Pugliese, maintains that micro-current creates lots of activity on a deep, dermal level where all our serious aging problems begin. It stimulates the fibroblasts, cell of connective tissues, which significantly increases the production of collagen and elastin — the skin’s structural proteins — and also GAG’s — glycosaminoglycans — the viscous material in which protein is embedded.

The other great advantage of using micro-current is that it boosts the production of ATP — adenosine triphosphate — the glucose type fuel responsible for all cellular activity. Other benefits include promoting waste removal, healing, and circulation. And not often mentioned but something that we have noticed with using micro-current at our salon is its ability to calm rosacea and irritated skin.

The result… a more youthful, even textured and plump complexion.

Microcurrent has been used for decades to treat everything from wounds, paralysis, migraines, twitchy eyes, and chronic pain. It operates on a sub-sensory level, which allows the electrodes to glide over the skin with little discomfort. Maybe sometimes a slight pulling or twinge in the dental and neck zones, but the intensity can be adjusted to suit the client’s pain tolerance and can work on the lowest frequencies with great success.

A series of six microcurrent treatments booked bi-weekly or weekly is generally recommended at first to start re-educating the muscles. Regularity of treatment obviously depends to some degree on each clients’ availability. After the first series, micro-current can be added to other facial routines or done every few months to tighten and boost muscle tone.

We recommend clients wait two weeks after receiving Botox before having micro current to avoid any product transference or migration.

Botox on the other hand, does not work directly on the muscles. It binds to the neurotransmitters preventing them from signaling muscles to contract. Done once or twice a year it can knock out expression wrinkles very effectively. But when done too often, it can cause muscular atrophy, where the muscles become slack. This is where electrical stimulation from microcurrent devices help.

How effective are at-home microcurrent devices?

Although not as potent electrically and considering they are being used by untrained hands, if used consistently, these tools can certainly deliver the promised benefits.

Along with a healthy lifestyle and a good product regimen, including topicals that contain peptides and a variety of anti-aging ingredients, microcurrent can restore fullness and muscle tone while Botox can soften expression lines.

Overall, it’s the perfect anti-aging skin treatment partnership. It allows us to loosen gravity’s grip just a little bit more!

For more skincare tips, check out our other blogs on Medium or call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are ready to welcome you all back.


“Good things happen to those who double cleanse.”

I have always been fascinated by French women’s beauty — they have a certain je ne sais quoi and seem to always have glowing skin. What’s their secret? Simple beauty routine (cleanse, tone, and moisturize) and water-based skincare products… Micellar water and Toner.

What is Micellar Water?

The French invented Micellar water. Apparently, French tap water especially in Paris is extremely harsh on the skin. It contains large deposit of minerals that made their skin look dull. So, they came up with eau micellaire. This beauty product has since built a cult following worldwide and has set a trend as the ultimate cleanser.

Micellar water is basically a combination of oil and water. It is both hydrophobic (oil loving) and hydrophilic (water loving.) The tiny oil droplets called micelles are suspended into soft water and draw out dirt, oil, and grime from the face, leaving it clean and hydrated. It also removes makeup, including waterproof eye make-up.

When do you use it?

Use micellar water before anything else. It’s the first step in your skincare routine. Pour some micellar water on a cotton pad and glide it over your face to clean it. It’s basically a really gentle cleanser that’s super hydrating and often contains rebalancing ingredients like probiotics, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid, rose and cornflower extract. Follow this step with a rinse off wash and then go ahead and use a toner.

Toning

Toners on the other hand have a bad reputation. I often have clients tell me that they think toners don’t do anything and can be drying on the skin. They are not totally wrong as the toners in the past had high levels of alcohol that removed oil and sucked every bit of moisture out of your skin.

Modern toners, however, are formulated to be more gentle. Still, you might be wondering, what do toners actually do? They prevent dirt build-up by minimizing the size of the pores and remove dust particles stuck in them. With the right blend of ingredients, a toner can leave your skin smooth, bright, and toned. A good toner will also balance out your skin’s pH level, revitalize its protective barrier and prepare the way for your serum or moisturizer.

For combination or oily skin, toners can reduce enlarged pores and excess oil. Look for aloe vera, niacinamide, burdock root, tea tree and vitamin B in the formula.

For normal, dry, or sensitive skin types, toners can lessen redness and flaking. Look for hyaluronic acid, ceramides, panthenol, sea whip and willow herb in the formula.

When do you use it?

Use a toner after you’ve wiped off your makeup, applied micellar water and cleansed your face. It is basically water with skin-loving ingredients like glycerin and antioxidants that prep the skin for the next stage — either a serum or moisturizer or both.

Misting vs cotton pad application

My recommendation is to use cotton wipes am and pm for both micellar water and toner, and mists and hydrosols during the day.

Bonus tip: Swap out your hand sanitizer with this non-drying alternative.

Often alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be drying or irritating to the skin. Micellar water is a wonderful alternative for cleaning your hands in a pinch if you don’t have a sanitizer available — no rinsing required.

Last but certainly not least, you can use micellar water as a brush cleaner. Makeup artist and beauty blogger Hillary Kline explains, “What’s nice about micellar water is that it is made to get rid of dirt and oil, which helps get rid of all that buildup on your makeup brushes.” Just swap out brush cleaner for your choice of micellar water and wash your brushes at least once a week.

Micellar water vs toner isn’t a battle of comparable items. Both serve different purposes: micellar water for cleansing, moisturizing, and toning and toner for, well… toning. You can use micellar water without needing to tone but, if you have oily or breakout-prone skin and you stick with a regular cleanser, you’ll need a toner to restore your pH balance. Ultimately, in this battle of the skincare products, everybody wins.

For more skincare tips, visit our websitecall us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are ready to welcome you all back.

“Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light.” — Groucho Marx

I’m over 40 years old… a baby boomer in fact. On top of that I’m an aesthetician and skincare fanatic. So, any technology claiming anti-aging benefits always pique my interest.

Recently, it has been LED light therapy that has social media buzzing with celebrities and influencers, posting selfies with their LED masks. And so, I thought it may be a great time to talk about this popular treatment.

What is an LED?

LED, or light emitting diode, is a skincare treatment that uses varying wavelengths of light, including red, blue and more recently green.

NASA originally developed it for plant growth experiments on shuttle missions and later found it to have promise for wound treatment. How? It triggers collagen production, improves circulation, and decreases inflammation. Further studies have provided evidence that it works wonders for the body and for the skin. At SkinSense we use both blue and red light therapy to treat acne, eczema, rosacea and even aging. And we are just about to add green light therapy for pigmentation and scarring.

Here’s a rundown of the different LED light therapy benefits…

Blue Light

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 acnes is sensitive to blue light and can be eliminated with this kind of therapy. Coupled with proper cleansing and treatment regimens the blue light offers a safe alternative to antibiotics and harsh topicals.

Red Light

Red light therapy has a longer wavelength and a different function to blue light. It can speed wound healing and stimulate collagen production, promote firmness and improve skin texture. It can also be used to relieve chronic pain and some injuries. Additionally, red and blue light treatments can be used together on acne conditions to heal the skin, diminish scarring and reduce inflammation.

Green Light

Handheld green light devices for at home use are proving to be quite effective at reducing pigmentation especially on the hands. Green light waves penetrate more deeply than blue light, so it is recommended that the application of green light to the face be done in a salon.

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. It is great to have a zit zapper that can get rid of pimples and breakouts at your fingertips. We have also found that by using the blue light at home, clients are less tempted to pick their skin because the breakouts clear up quickly and don’t leave a mark. It only takes minutes a day to treat each area. Results from using red light therapy take longer but are noticeable after 4–6 weeks of regular application.

Light therapy is painless, non-invasive and requires no recovery time. Both red, blue and green lights can be used on all skin conditions and ages with no side effects. I highly recommend adding a hand held or even a full face unit to your skincare routine at home.

To know more about the latest skincare trends, check out my other blogs on Medium, or call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701.

“Too much of a good thing can be taxing.” — Mae West

This week I received a frantic call from a client who had purchased an over-the-counter retinol product and glycolic acid peel. Unfortunately, she used both at the same time and her skin reacted badly — it was red, irritated, and flaky. Yikes!

There are just too many topicals available now, over the counter and online, including glycolic acid, various vitamin A derivatives, and at-home peels. These skincare products, when used wisely and under the supervision from either a dermatologist or aesthetician, can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin — the building blocks of the skin that keeps it looking youthful and plump. As we age these proteins begin to diminish and that is when lines and wrinkles begin to show.

These topicals work by causing a small amount of localized trauma. So many women assume that skin irritation is part of the cell renewal process. And when the reaction is mild and short lived, it can be. But tolerating anything more serious or chronic is just inflaming the skin.

Another ingredient that can also contribute to irritating oxidative damage is benzoyl peroxide, a mainstay of professional and at-home acne treatments. So instead of healing the acne it worsens it.

Certain acids, particularly those of smaller molecular size like glycolic acid, have been shown to reach the dermis or true skin where inflammation takes place. Molecularly larger acids, such as lactic, malic, pyruvic and tartaric, don’t tend to penetrate the dermis, making them gentler on the skin and less likely to spark inflammation. They are also naturally occurring substances in human skin which makes them more compatible to a wider range of skin conditions.

More isn’t always better. Overtreatment can have an adverse effect on your skin’s appearance and health. It can result in inflammaging. This means that when the skin has chronic, persistent inflammation it can actually age prematurely. Instead of a toned and firm complexion, the skin looks red, irritated, and broken out.

As with any skin concern, inflammaging can worsen with prolonged sun exposure.

So, what can you do to reverse inflammaged skin?

  1. Take antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, and adaptogen-rich supplements. Adaptogens are herbal pharmaceuticals. They work to counteract the effects of stress in the body and on the skin. This will help protect and boost the skin’s antioxidant response system.
  2. Support the Skin’s Barrier. Look for products that contain ceramides, hyaluronic acid, (HA,) plant butters, cholesterol and squalene. Make sure these ingredients are plant based. They all reduce water evaporation which keeps the skin soft and hydrated.
  3. Moisturize. Blend your retinol product with a moisturizer — this buffers the skin and reduces any reaction. A pea sized amount used twice a week works for most people.
  4. Stop doing at-home glycolic acid treatments — leave those to the professionals.
  5. Look for chirally correct products, where ingredients occur in their purest form. This can help further maintain the efficacy of other ingredients and minimize the risk of adverse side effects.
  6. Make sure you use an SPF 30 everyday whether you are indoors or outside. Without good ventilation indoor pollution can be twice as bad as outdoor.
  7. Keep it simple. When your skin is irritated stick to a basic routine.

Lastly, be patient. Your skin needs time to recover and won’t heal overnight. Allow a few weeks of consistent use to see a calmer, smoother skin, and fewer lines.

In an industry that is constantly updating itself, the advent of inflammaging serves as both a wake-up call and a challenge to product developers, cosmetic companies and skin care professionals alike. And more than ever, it’s definitely about education. The skin care game is transforming itself scientifically to consider environmental concerns and the effect pollution has on our skins. It is our job to keep up and stay informed!

For more skincare tips, check out my other blogs on Medium, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701. We offer a virtual consultation, in-salon treatments, and home service facials to our valued clients.