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:

microbeforeafter

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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Moonstone Presents The Latest In Health & Wellness

If you are in the North Bay area on Thursday, November 12, 2015, we invite you to join us for a panel discussion & live demonstration on skin rejuvenation and body wellness with the top professional health and wellness team in Novato!  This free event includes snacks and drinks, and insights on furthering your skin care treatment options and holiday weight management from Dr. Joel Erickson and Arlene Padilla, R.N. of Laser Light Treatment Center and Dr. Doug Desalvo of Desalvo Chiropractic.

LaserLightEvent

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Deconstructing the Facial

For some, facials are an absolute, get-it-in-the-budget necessity.  Others think of facials as a serene, relaxing, fluff-and-buff service that one might treat themselves to for a special occasion or while on holiday.  The truth is, every facial designed at Moonstone Skin & Body Care is customized to correct, nurture, and restore health to the skin.  Every face has its own needs, and we take careful measures to address those specific needs – no two facials are ever the same!  To give you a better understanding of why facials are more than a luxury service, let’s deconstruct the steps of a basic facial protocol.

  • Cleanse.  We start the facial process by cleansing the skin twice.  The first time is to remove makeup, pollutions, and impurities, and the second time is to deep cleanse the skin.
  • Toning.  Toning removes any remaining traces of makeup, and readjusts the pH balance of the skin so that it’s ready to receive maximum benefit from the rest of the steps. And many times, toning alerts on any dryness or dehydration of the skin.
  • Exfoliate/Detox.  This second step starts to remove dead skin cells collected on the skin’s surface for a more radiant complexion, soften the skin for extractions, and allows for better product penetration.  This step also helps to stimulate blood flow to the skin, which nourishes the facial tissues with nutrients and oxygen.
  • Extractions.  This step allows your esthetician to deep clean your pores and remove blackheads and clogs from your pores that dull the complexion or cause unhealthy skin conditions like acne.  We have the benefit of skin that is prepared to be extracted, as well as a magnifying lamp and instruments that can allow us to remove blemishes without damaging or breaking the skin open.  Many people do this step at home, but if there’s one reason to make a facial appointment, it’s to allow us to deep clean your skin without trauma or the spread of bacteria.
  • Masking.  Masks can be magic! Professional grade masks are packed full of hydration, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are specially formulated to penetrate the skin’s surface to nourish your skin from the inside.  Masks are customized to address specific skin needs: anti-aging, hydration, moisture balancing (for combination skin types) calming & soothing for sensitive or rosacea skin types, firming, brightening… the possibilities are endless.  Masks can be further customized to each area of the face to address literally all of your skin care concerns.
  • Massage.  It feels wonderful, it relaxes you, and it can make you feel like you’re the most pampered person in the world.  But there are further benefits besides making you feel heavenly – facial massage stimulates your lymphatic system, which is the part of the blood that fights infection, and increases circulation at the surface of the skin.  It also helps to tone the muscles of your face, which gives your skin a tighter, younger complexion, and it helps the nourishing products we use on you to continue to penetrate deeper into your skin.
  • Correctives.  Usually in the form of serums, correctives are specially formulated to penetrate the epidermis deeper and are almost always a form of pure product, with no filler ingredients — you are getting a mega-dose of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that will start to correct your concerns deep into your skin.  This is where the healing and correction really begins for your skin.
  • Hydration. In this step, we are closing the service by applying a moisturizer formulated for your skin type and condition.  Hydrated skin is happy skin, and no one – not even people with oily skin – should skip this step.  Hydrated skin appears smoother, plumper, and shows less fine lines and wrinkling than a dry, dehydrated skin.
  • Sun Protection.  Every facial should end with an SPF of at least 30 applied to the newly exfoliated, detoxed skin, as the stratum corneum (the hardened, top-most layer of the epidermis) has been sloughed away and the fresh new skin is now exposed.  Applying an SPF to the fresh skin will protect it from the sun’s rays and hyperpigmentation.

Depending on your skin type, your concerns for your skin, and the needs of your skin, your esthetician may further customize your facial to include more advanced treatments, such as ultrasound, high frequency, or galvanic, which are not consumer-grade and cannot be performed at home, but are hugely beneficial in helping to achieve your skin goals.

5e409ac33c8a4e0cff252ab00c347f80Immediately following a facial, your skin will radiate a healthy glow.  48 – 72 hours after a facial, your skin is more hydrated than it was before the facial, and circulation in the face has been boosted.  About a month after receiving your first facial, your cells begin to regenerate, and you can begin to see some of the long-term benefits of facials (less laxity in the skin, brighter, more even skin tone, acne reduction, etc.).  This is the time you should be scheduling your next appointment, in order to remove dead skin cells and build upon the benefits of the first facial you received.  Some skin corrections, such as acne, or hyperpigmentation (melasma, sun spots, etc.) may require more frequent visits to achieve optimal results, and then the time span between appointments can be increased as the desired results are achieved.

What would you most like to change about your skin?  We’d love to hear about it in our comments!

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September 11, 2012 A day of service – what does it mean to you?

Today, I had the honor to hang out with the local Novato firefighter department where they led through my first day in Leadership Novato. I’m excited to be participating in Leadership Novato which is a community affairs program designed to identify and develop community leaders. And what I discovered is our community needs citizens to exercise leadership. Leadership influences outcomes and today we a have choice to recognize our own potential leadership by participating in September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance. Check it out if you want to express your own leadership within your community and pay tribute to those who came together under that historical day.

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