I’ve Been Thinking About Your Dad…

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Greetings Moonstone Friends and Fans,

Here’s the deal, Rochell and I are such perfectionist that we can’t help to think about your Dad’s pores and his skin. Did you know, male pores are 20% larger than the female? Now, we’ve you thinking about the potential grime and dirt that may be living within those pores, aka. blackheads.

Yes, it’s true men love facials too. At Moonstone, we’ve conducted enough facials to tell you that every guy who ends up getting a facial tells us how much they enjoy the steam towels and massaging of the face. Facials do more than just relax Dad, a gentleman’s facial is formulated to help with dry skin, razor burn, skin sensitivity, and dullness. So do something different this Father’s Day and book your favorite guy a facial with us or purchase a gift certificate. If you want to extend the love beyond a gentleman’s facial, Jeannie, our massage therapist is also available for massages. Let us not forget our recent graduates, they’ve worked hard so let’s polish them up with the Moonstone Signature Facial.

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Avoid the Burn – Protect Yourself

Sunscreen is your friend, say it with me. The problem with sunscreen are the choices and options. Do I go with 15 SPF or 100 SPF? Do I use a different one for my face and my body? What’s safe for me and my family? Do I have to reapply throughout the day?

Ideally, you should choose a sunscreen for your face and your body. The facial’ skin tends to be more sensitive and requires a bit more protection than the skin on your body. You want to choose a sunscreen that offers both UVA/UVB protection. The label should read “Broad Spectrum” which means it offers both UVA/UVB coverage.Regarding the SPF range, EWG recommends SPF value in the range of 30 to 50 for an adequate sunburn protection, even for the most sensitive skin. Reapplying sunscreen plays a factor in coverage, make sure you always read the labels and follow directions as suggested even for water resistant sunscreen.

Moonstone is proud  to share that PCA offers both body and facial sunscreen with the Skin Cancer Foundation seal of approval. What’s even more exciting to share PCA has just launched and we now carry PCA Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum Spf 45. It’s their first tinted sunscreen that acts like a primer or used as stand alone and it’s water resistant. Perfect for the summertime. For now until June 10th, when you purchase two of your favorite facial or body sunscreen, you will receive a free beach bag. Quantites are limited.

To learn more about the ratings of sunscreen, visit http://www.ewg.org. More importantly, always read the labels and active ingredients to determine what’s best for you and your skin.

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10 Tips for Battling Acne

Acne face
10 Tips for Battling Acne
1.) Sleep More.  Ideally no less than 7 to 8 hours per night – this is when your skin can really heal and repair itself from damage!
2.) Use only Fragrance-Free or All-Free liquid detergents and no fabric softeners at all, especially on sheets.
3.) Avoid iodides in the diet, such as salty snacks, fast foods, processed foods, peanut products, kelp, iodized salt, sea products, excessive dairy products, and vitamin/mineral supplements containing kelp or iodine,
4.) Get regular monthly treatments.  Glycol and enzyme treatments exfoilate the skin and allow treatment products to penetrate better.
5.) Do not rub off dead skin – this can cause excessive irritation!
6.) Never skip your home care routine.  Skipping your skin care routine allows microcomedones to form deep in the follicle and can result in new breakouts and blackheads.
7.) Minimize sun exposure and reapply non-comedogenic sunblock when in direct sunlight.
8.) Drink more water.  A lot more.
9.) Reduce stress!  Carve out time to read, take a relaxing bath, meditate, do yoga, knit, or workout.  Do whatever it takes to work stress out of your system.
10.) STOP PICKING BLEMISHES! Put notes on your mirrors, take up crochet, give yourself a manicure – find some way to change your behavior when you feel the urge to pick at an acne lesion.  Picking spreads bacteria and allows the breakout to move to other areas of the face and body.
For a FREE evaluation or to book a detox acne treatment visit moonstoneskincare.com and schedule an appointment.
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Chemical Peel Myths & Truths

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There are a lot of chemical peels in today’s market, from at-home exfoliating peels you can purchase at any beauty retailer, to high grade chemical peels that slough off several layers of skin and must be applied by a physician.  Because there is such a vast amount of options, the term “chemical peel” has taken on a very broad range of expectations and misinformation.  In order to help you make the best possible skin care plan with your esthetician, here’s everything you need to know about the peels performed by the estheticians here at Moonstone Skin & Body Care.

Myth #1:  If I don’t peel, it’s not working.

Visible exfoliation doesn’t determine the efficacy of treatment. Generally, healthy skin has less visible exfoliation. Exfoliation often takes place at the cellular level and is not always visible to the naked eye. On the flip side, some patients’ skin is so impacted that it can take a few peels to loosen dead cells enough to allow them to shed. These patients will see little or no peeling at first, but may then see sloughing after a few treatments. Think of peeling as a side effect to a peel, the same way you would think of drowsiness as a side effect of a pain pill.  The effectiveness of the peel is not dependent on what side effects you do or don’t experience.

Myth #2: I’m too sensitive for a chemical peel.

Sensitive skin is defined as a heightened intolerance to topical products or external factors. Sensitive skin often presents itself as red, irritated or scaly. Our peels utilize ingredient blends to combat sensitive skin presentations. Our philosophy follows the low-dose approach; meaning, inducing the least amount of trauma to the skin to achieve optimal results. Peels are actually a great way to manage certain sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea.  By keeping our approach progressive instead of aggressive, we can treat many different skin types and conditions with peels to achieve beautiful results.

Myth #3: All peels have to be neutralized before the end of my appointment.

This one actually can be true – but in our case, it’s not.  Here’s why:  Straight AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) like glycolic and lactic acids require neutralization, or they can over-process and burn your skin.  Ouch! The other side effect of neutralizing peels is that it releases hydrogen, which can increase the sensation of heat on the skin and make it even more uncomfortable to you.  However, peels such as the Jessner’s and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels do not require neutralization. The water and lipid content in the skin leads to self-neutralization. The PCA Skin peels used at Moonstone combines AHA acids with TCA or Jessner’s peels, along with ingredients like retinol, salicylic acid, antioxidants and calming and soothing agents in bases that provide excellent delivery systems. The synergy of these ingredients allow the peels to self-neutralize, allowing for maximum effectiveness with little or no downtime.

Myth #4:  I can hit the gym or keep up with my running right after a peel.

This is the hardest truth for many of our clients to swallow.  The epidermis is made up of several layers, and when a chemical peel is applied, even if it’s very superficial, it can cause these layers to separate. Any activity that encourages heat and sweating, either from a work out, an athletic activity or sitting in the sauna, can cause water to become trapped between the epidermal layers. This may result in blistering and, depending on the severity of the blistering, lead to an uneven skin tone. Another reason to stay cool following a peel is that internal heat can also lead to uneven skin tone. It’s imperative you remain cool for 48 hours post-peel to avoid any heat-related complications post-treatment.  Netflix and chill?

Myth #5:  This peel should behave exactly like my last peel.

The amount of visible exfoliation depends on skin conditions and atmospheric conditions like humidity, which may cause flakes to adhere to the skin more so than in dry climates. There could be a lot of visible exfoliation after the first treatment and less for the second, but this does not mean the first treatment worked better than the second (see Myth #1). Someone who has previously had peel treatments may not have as much visible exfoliation as someone who has never or rarely gets treatments, as these patients will have more build-up. Everyone has a different tolerance for peels and that tolerance tends to grow with every treatment.

Myth #6: My skin is too dry for a peel.

Peels can be great for drier skin types, and help to rehydrate your skin.  A well-formulated chemical peel minimizes the amount of impacted skin cells lying on the surface of the skin while delivering hydrating, firming, strengthening and brightening ingredients into the skin. Once the skin is free of the dull surface layer, any products applied topically will penetrate better, leaving skin healthy and hydrated.

Myth #7:  I don’t have to do regular peels – one every now and then is fine.

Regular treatments are critical to maintaining optimal skin health. We recommend basing frequency of treatment on the condition. Uneven skin tone may be treated every three weeks and acne (all types) may be treated every two weeks. Sensitive skin may be treated every four weeks, while aging skin may be treated every three weeks. Staying ahead of the issue we are trying to correct will help you achieve the results you desire quickly, whereas you may never see the improvement you want if you peel sporadically.

Myth #8: Daily homecare isn’t a big deal as long as I see my esthetician regularly.

Along with receiving regular treatments, your daily care regimen is just as important to maintaining skin health. You must manage their own skin at least twice a day; that’s 60 times in any given month vs. a single monthly treatment from an esthetician. Therefore, one professional treatment won’t be beneficial if you are not doing your part on a daily basis to maintain the health of the skin. Using a broad spectrum sunscreen is especially important post-peel, as the procedure sensitizes skin to the sun. Remember, peels work at the cellular level and are still working long after you’ve had the treatment. Thus, it’s important to incorporate sun protection into your daily care regimen. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t stop brushing your teeth just because your dental hygienist cleans them once a year, right?

We hope this quick guide has helped to clear up misconceptions you may have had about chemical peels!  We welcome your questions, and would love to hear from you.  If you have questions we haven’t addressed here, or want to know more about how your specific skin type and condition would benefit from a series of peels, please get in touch by calling us at 415-898-0426, emailing us at info@moonstoneskincare.com, or self-book an appointment for a free skin care consultation here.

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Coconut Oil as Facial Moisturizer

coconuts-Coconut-oil-on-spoonCoconut oil has gained popularity over the last few years as the go-to home remedy for anything that ails the body.  Although we all love coconut oil and it’s wide variety of uses, it’s time to admit that it is not always the best solution for every problem.

Specifically?  It’s not the best moisturizer for your face.  We see clients regularly who use coconut oil as a facial moisturizer, and we are working with them to transition them to a more suitable moisturizer for their skin type.  We love cooking with it.  We love making body scrubs with it.  We love so many of coconut oil’s myriad uses, but please stop putting it on your face.

Coconut oil is pore-blocking and can cause breakouts, especially in already acne-prone skin.  The molecular weight of coconut oil is just too large for the skin to actually absorb, so it gets trapped in the pore, creating a blockage, which in time turns into acne.  And if it’s too big to be absorbed, that means you’re not actually getting any hydration into your skin.  The surface of your skin may feel softer after using it, but it’s only moisturizing the topmost layer of your skin, which is mostly dead skin cells.  You could be missing out on some much-needed moisture!

Also, because of the thickness of coconut oil, it’s oftentimes not properly or completely removed from the skin, which leads to more breakouts, blackheads and clogging.  So if it’s causing congestion in the skin, and not moisturizing or nourishing the skin, let’s get it off the skin!

Let’s be clear – coconut oil is not bad, but there are better oils for your face.  I love substituting coconut oil for margarine when baking, or mixing it with another carrier oil, such as jojoba to create a moisturizer that leaves my legs glowing.  Coconut oil is still wonderful and healthy, but it’s probably going to be healthier for your face from the inside out.

If you need help breaking your coconut oil habit and would like some guidance in selecting a moisturizer better suited to your individual skin needs, please reach out to us!  We’re happy to help!

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Micro Needling Pictures and Progress

For those of you who attended our Health & Wellness Panel on November 12, you witnessed me (Rochell) receive a micro needling treatment,  where a hyaluronic acid serum was pressed into my face via a handheld tool that contained several tiny needles.  In addition to infusing the serum into my skin, the micro needles create a controlled injury to the skin that sends a signal to your body that the area needs to be repaired. It helps to stimulate collagen production, even your skin’s texture, and help it to appear smoother and more radiant.

Micro needling is a great anti-aging treatment to fight the signs of aging that is already appearing on our skin, but my correction focus was on my acne scarring.  My adult acne was cystic in nature, leaving my cheeks with shallow pitting.  Here’s the before and the immediately after:

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I was given a numbing cream that I applied an hour before I received the treatment, and washed off right before the treatment.  The micro needling itself was very tolerable – I liken it to having an electric toothbrush scrubbing against your skin.  Afterward, my skin was very red and felt dry, warm, and tight, similar to a sunburn, but nowhere near as painful or uncomfortable.  I did not wash my face with anything that night.

The next morning, I washed my face with water only, and applied PCA Weight Protection Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 45 (as per my aftercare instructions – no cleansers, toners, or serums for 24 hours after treatment).  This is what my skin looked like the morning of November 13.

microday2

There was still a lot of redness, but I am also extremely fair, so it shows up more on my skin than it would on someone who is darker complected.  My skin still felt dry and tight, but the warmth had subsided.  It was a little more sensitive than usual, like a light windburn.  By mid-day, the sensitivity had gone away completely.  I noticed already that the texture of my skin seems much smoother than before, even though the scars are not completely gone.  My complexion seemed brighter as well!  I was able to return to my normal skincare routine that night, and washed my face with PCA Facial Wash, toned with Nutrient Toner, applied Hydrating Serum, and Silkcoat Balm.  My face was still on the dryer and tighter side, but not as much as it was on day 2.

Day 3, my skin feels back to normal, and most of the redness has subsided except for a few of the harder planes of my face (nose and chin).  The tightness and dryness seem to be gone, and the sensitivity has completely dissipated as well.  I washed this morning with Facial Wash, used Nutrient Toner, Hydrating Serum, C&E Strength, ReBalance, and Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45.  My brows are filled in and I am wearing mascara, but I am not wearing any other makeup, foundation, powder, etc.

microday3

After just one treatment, I am loving the effects on my skin!  The depth of the scarring is greatly reduced from what it was before.  My skin looks smoother, and more refined.  The pores also appear smaller.  And I am loving the extra glow my skin has from the hydration that was infused.  I really feel that micro needling yields fantastic results very quickly, without being overly aggressive or invasive.  This is definitely a treatment I will be repeating in the future!

 

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