Friday, July 31, 2009

What’s scrub got to do, got to do with it?

There are two types of people in the world: those who don’t exfoliate, and those who over exfoliate. Both should keep reading and we will sort this all out. I’ll try not to rub you the wrong way. Ha! Get it?! Rub?! Wow. There’s more where that came from.

My Chemical Romance

Most people think of gritty scrubs to exfoliate. You may not realize it, but more commonly, people use a chemical to exfoliate. If you use an “anti-aging” product, it probably has AHAs.  AHAs, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, are rapid exfoliates. The strengths vary, but most damage superficial layers of skin, forcing it to renew itself more quickly. AHAs can be used in anti-aging, anti-acne, and smoothing products. Glycolic acid is my favorite. It is an AHA with a molecular structure small enough to penetrate the skin, and therefore repair it from the bottom up. Who doesn’t like bottoms up?

AHAs are not for everybody. If you tan, have rosacea, broken capillaries, acne, or other conditions, consult with you esthetician or dermatologist. Also, if you are using skin care products with chemical exfoliates like AHAs, be careful about layering these. You want your results to be more Nicole Kidman and less Batman villain. Make sure you wear an SPF at all times and evaluate your skin’s health and appearance monthly.

 A Convenient Smooth

If you prefer a good old-fashioned rub down, which scrub you chose is important. Not important enough to get Al Gore involved, but still, something worth thinking through. Choose smaller grit for face and slightly larger for body. I recommend body exfoliation daily, but face scrubs only once or twice a week. Be careful with sugar scrubs for body, which can cause issues with your lady bits. Ewww.

For body.

Sally Hansen Pedicure In A Minute. The creamy base helps smooth and hydrate. I alternate this with a pumice stone. NO RAZORS PLEASE! When getting a pedicure, or doing your own, avoid the callous shaver. It is dangerous and icky and in the long run it will only make you calluses worse.

St Tropez Body Polisher. I love love love love this scrub scrub scrub! It can smooth anything! Use before self-tanning to ensure even application and lasting results. It is also great for butt bumps. Don’t even pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

 For Face

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream. Suitable for all skin types, this scrub is gentle and effective. Just remember to be gentle. Pretend you are washing a baby, not a skillet.

Baking Soda. I love this for very oily, clogged skin. Mix 1/4 teaspoon with 1-2 pumps of liquid facial cleanser. Apply gently to a very wet face. Scrub softly for 10-15 seconds and splash off. Moisturize immediately and thoroughly afterwards. This can be drying for some skin types, so do a test patch. I would recommend using this no more than 1-2 times a month. Please use a clean box, not your fridge box. Your facial products shouldn’t smell like ham.


DERMAdoctor KP Duty. Great for Keratosis Pilaris (KP) or “chicken skin”. My mom called them “sun bumps”. I call them “ those-hideous-disgusting-things-growing-on-my-upper-arms-making-me-feel-awful-about-tank-tops”. Po-tat-o, pot-a-to. KP Duty has glycolic acid and is a gentle chemical exfoliant and moisturizer in one.

Exfoliation is like ice cream. It should be indulgent and soothing and in moderation. It is however, not edible. Usually. We will cover that at a later date. 

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Sun Also Fries Us

Picture it. You, a reasonably sane person, are talking to me, your esthetician, about you skin. Smart move. You express concern about some wrinkles popping up around your eyes, general discoloration in your skin, and that dryness that has been bugging you. I, being a trained and educated professional, have a very simple answer. Stop tanning. That’s when you show signs of what must be heat stroke.

“But, I’m only getting a base tan.”

“I only tan in beds, not outside.”

“All the celebrities are doing it.”

“I need the Vitamin D.”

“Tan fat looks better than pale fat.”

“I’ll stop tanning when I’m older.”

I try to be patient, but enough is enough.

There is no such thing as a base tan. A steak cooked in the oven will still burn on the grill.

Tanning beds are just as bad as outdoor tans. And don’t believe that junk about beds where you can’t burn. While UVA rays are less likely to cause burning than UVB rays, they are suspected to have links to malignant melanoma and immune system damage. Also, they make you look older, faster. So there.

The stars do not actually tan. Usually. The smart ones use fake tan and bronzers. Besides, some stars drink and drive, and then break their probation, so get some better role models already.

Now you are trying to make me angry. Unless you are a vampire who only eats junk food, you get enough Vitamin D. If you have a health concern, go to a doctor, not the tanorexic teenager at the Tan-N-Go. Seriously.

Fat is fat. Tan or pale you take up the same amount of room. Trust me, I know.

The incidence of two types of skin cancer has nearly tripled among women under age 40. But, you could wait till you get cancer to stop. I’m sure that make sense somewhere.

Now that we are on the same page, and you have come to your senses. Let’s talk product.

Sunscreen is easy. Sunscreens' active ingredients do one of two things: Chemical screens like octisalate (which blocks UVB) and avobenzone, aka Parsol 1789 (which blocks UVA), absorb UV rays; physical blocks like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide reflect sunlight altogether. I prefer a physical block for sensitive skin. SPF 15 to 20 is great for the face. SPF 20-45 for the body. Apply 20 minutes before going out, and reapply every hour. SPF 15 everyday, no matter what.

So, now what? Well, lets get that sunscreen we talked about. I love Aveeno Continuous Protection SPF30 and Aveeno Baby SPF 55. But anything non-greasy and oil-free is swell. If you can get sweat-proof, do it. You will thank me later.

When you want a tan and you want it now, St. Tropez Whipped Bronze instant self-tanning mousse is what you need. Streakless, instant color dries in just 60 seconds for a perfect tan anytime, anywhere. Its self-adjusting mousse is oil free and complements any skin tone, while the tan deepens over 3 hours - all without the damaging effects of the sun. Also their Body Polisher is divine and will help your new tan last longer. Try a gradual tan lotion like Neutrogena Build A Tan to maintain your color. Shave, scrub, and tan. Move on with life. No more excuses.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Miss Me?

Hi kids! I have been so busy at work, I have neglected to rant in a timely fashion. Since things are looking like they are not slowing down, a solution had to be found. That solution? Previously written material.

I was an esthetician in another incarnation. And a damn good one. However, I decided the Arts were more important than your skin care and hair removal needs. But I am not heartless. 

Over the next 6 weeks or so, I will be presenting a series or hilarious and informative articles I wrote during that time. Hope that entertain and inform you. Or at least keep you busy till I get back.



I just got home from our new cosmetic superstore at the mall. Wow. Love it now as always, but let’s have a quick talk about how to behave in the cosmetics department.

  1. Stop putting your finger in everything. Use a spatula for creams, and q-tips or brushes for all else. I mean really.
  2. Stop putting everything on your face that everyone else has put their finger in. Is it really worth it? Icky icky icky. Buy the sample size.
  3. Stop letting your kids and teenagers put their fingers in everything. Double icky icky icky.
  4. Seriously, smack your kid about the head until they realize how miserable they are making those poor sales clerk’s lives. All they wanted was to work in beauty, and your insane wanna-be punk 14yr old is smearing blue cream shadow across her boyfriend’s face (and every surface in a 4 foot radius). It’s not worth $10.50 an hour to deal with that. Also it just pisses me off. Your kid is being a jerk. I am, in fairness, old and grumpy. But in this case, I am also right.

That is all on that. 

Moving on.

Skin care - Myth busting edition.

1.     Hemorrhoid cream doesn’t get rid of under eye bags. It actually will make them worse in the long run. It pulls the skin too taut and dries it out. This breaks down collagen and makes your bags worse. So there. 

Rule of thumb: don’t put anything on your face that you put on your butt.

2.     Petroleum Jelly is not a moisturizer. I promise. It can help to hold moisture, but it cannot penetrate the skin and moisturize.  However, if you need another reason, the butt rule applies.

3.     Chapstick is not a moisturizer. See #2.

4.     Toner is not cleanser. Rubbing alcohol is not toner. Rubbing alcohol is not drinking alcohol. Fresca is alcohol free and refreshing.

5.     You will not scrub your acne away. Or sun damage. No matter what scrub you use or how hard you use it. Soothe acne, don’t punish it. Less tough, more love.

6.     All natural is not always better. Arsenic is all-natural, so is poison ivy. I’ll take my chances with titanium dioxide thank you very much. Also, apricot pits are the worst part of the fruit; stop rubbing them all over your face. The acids in the apricot fruit are better at exfoliating anyway.

I do what I can to educate, but often crazy and habit team up and win. No doubt we will revisit this. Stay vigilant.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tiny Rant

3 small observations for the week.

1. HBO and Showtime.
Enough already with the sex scenes. With the utter failure of network television to produce anything watchable, (other than Law and Order and SYTYCD, of course) cable networks decided to get it right. Deadwood, Big Love, Weeds, The Tudors and others are outstanding programs. Spectacular writing and acting. I only have one minor complaint. The sex. I know it sounds old-fashioned. But do I have to see Bill Paxton's ass EVERY episode? And I get it, Henry the 8th liked to bang chicks. Seriously. Of course, when a network airs a great show like "Kings", it gets cancelled. Probably because the average person demands more ass than acting.

2. Time.
You have time. Stop whining that you do not have enough time. You do. I have plenty of time to go to the gym. I prefer to spend that time sleeping or reading or doing most anything else. You have time to cook dinner for real. ( You have time to talk on the phone (and not in your car). Saying "I don't have time to ___" is just saying "I don't give a crap about ____" That's fine. Just say "I prefer beekeeping to TV". Quit acting like you are busier than everyone else. We've all got shit to do. I work full time (and then some), knit, play games, cook dinners, pack lunches, craft, spend time with friends, make bread, shop and many other things and guess what? I still have time to watch SYTYCD. Because it is just that damn important to me.

3. Coffee.
I used to be grumpy about fancy coffees. I used to complain about paying for frou frou drinks with soy milk and whipped cream. I used to act superior for drinking a plain old cup of joe. Then I had a fancy coffee. I have cultivated my palate to appreciate all the finer points of a $5 beverage. I now proudly order the ventiskinnyicedsoymochafrappenowhipdoubleshot in one breath with my head held high. Say what you will. Coffee is good, mochas are badass.