Hydrosols are the water by-product from steam distilling essential oils, but they aren't just water, they are better because they contain the chemical constitutes of the plant with all of its active phytonutrients. By misting with a hydrosol after I've removed your mask I am rehydrating your skin. Following with a facial oil or moisturizer, while still damp, I am recreating the top layer of the skin, the acid mantle, which is made of of lipids (oil) and water. The acid mantle is critical to healthy skin. It is why I named my private line Mantle Skincare. I expect I'll see more dehydrated skin once it cools off outside and the heat goes on inside. Hydrosols are also in many of my facial mists I retail for home care. Take one home to add to your regime. It may be the ticket for balanced skin, boosting the results from your moisturizer and possibly allowing you to use a lighter one.
The Beauty Sort-Out
The Beauty Sort-Out is 90-minute service that is a makeup application and discussion using your cosmetics and brushes from home with products from my kit, some of which I retail. Brand names that I sell include Lavera, Mineral Hygienics, Glominerals and Blinc. Be introduced to makeup, brushes and techniques that complement what you already have while gaining clarity about what is working and what is not. We all know it doesn't matter where the item was purchased or how much you paid, for that matter. The criteria; does it agree with your skin and serve a purpose toward the greater good of your look?
I will also cover best practices for preparing the skin with oils, serums and moisturizers and sunscreens, including the order of layering multiple products.
This playful interaction will expand your range and address challenges brought on by various skin conditions, including aging, acne and rosacea. I believe that your skin and beauty rituals need adjusting from time to time, just as it is necessary to change your nutrition and ways of moving and exercising the body. Many women are stuck doing what they have always done and can benefit from some tweaking.
Enjoy what department and makeup specialty stores do not offer; a clean and beautiful private room, skin care advice from a mature esthetician, and the eye of an artist who holds a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts).
Proper technique for washing and caring for makeup brushes is demonstrated on one or more of your brushes, as time permits.
Pack your bag and get creative with me!
Depends on the line, and I sell a selection from about seven lines. Tell me of your sensitivities, allergies and preferences and I can make suggestions. Let me apply some things and have you leave it on for a “test drive.”
Personally, I haven’t had to be very strict. For now, in my skincare and my makeup I avoid sodium lauryl sulfate, petroleum oil and synthetic fragrances.
Here are some key observations I have made while testing loads and loads of cosmetics:
Generally long-wearing products have sophisticated synthetic ingredients (fine-tuned in laboratories) that make them that way; able to really stick to the skin and repel water. Mineral powders made of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are an exception, being naturally water-resistant. This is why they are so popular--fewer ingredients and long-wearing. They are not, however, organic and “all natural” in the strict definition despite the marketing claims.
Retin-A and Renova are both brand names for products with the active ingredient of tretinoin or retinoic acid or vitamin A acid. Generally speaking, Retin-A in its various strengths and forms are used for treating acne and Renova is used to treat fine wrinkles, spotty skin discoloration and rough feeling skin. Because the active is the same though, doctors prescribe them interchangeably sometimes. Renova is often the choice for dryer skin.
Many clients, with a suggestion from a physician, have tried prescription strength retinoids like Retin-A and Renova to mitigate the visible effects of aging only to find themselves not using them. Here are, what I believe to be, the reasons for this:
1. They experience irritation, called retinoid dermatitis; redness, swelling, breakouts, flaking etc. so they stop before improvement of condition/s can be seen.
2. They aren’t getting support on how to use this complex skin care product properly (or they have forgotten) to minimize the irritation and maximize results. No one is looking at their whole skin care routine.
3. They don’t realize that this has to be ongoing. To get the results, the product has to be used. Stop using the product and the effects are lost.
4. They are advised to use daily sunscreen or avoid sun and they know they will not.
5. They realize they can no longer safely do waxing for facial hair removal.
6. Buying and using such a product does not match their values.
I was surprised to read clinical trial data on Renova recently. 24% of patients saw moderate improvement in Fine Wrinkling (36% saw no improvement), 38% saw moderate improvement in Mottled Hyperpigmentation (35% saw no improvement) and 16% saw moderate improvement in Tactile Skin Roughness (49% saw no improvement). Most improvement in the categories was noted during the first 24 weeks of therapy and maintained thereafter with continued use. Details can be found here. Pretty lack-luster results for an expensive high-maintenance product with un-established safety when used for more than 48 weeks.
If, after consideration, you decide to proceed with one of these products, I suggest a 24 week trial to look for signs of improvement. During the trial, follow these best practices:
"Mineral physical blockers zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have a long history of being friendly to the body and are especially nice for sensitive and allergic types."
With my clients, these are the points I usually make regarding sunscreen:
Daily sunscreen use is essential when trying to minimize hyper-pigmentation especially after more aggressive treatments using acids, including my vitamin c facial.
Apply your sunscreen after allowing your moisturizer to sink in. Ten minutes or more. Make-up can be layered immediately over it.
Mineral physical blockers zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have a long history of being friendly to the body and are especially nice for sensitive and allergic types. They are also still the most effective sunscreen ingredients to date against the full UV spectrum. You will see a white cast, especially for the first 10 minutes, but this will fade with a good formulation.
Still searching for a perfect sunscreen with only physical blockers with a matte, non-sticky, non-white finish? Me too. Meanwhile trust that the sticky occlusive nature of zinc oxide is partly why it is so effective. On days when you are wearing zinc you will need to make sure the cleanser you are using is removing it thoroughly.
An SPF 30 does not supply twice the protection of an SPF 15. SPF 30 blocks approximately 97% of UVB rays (when used as instructed) and SPF 15 blocks approximately 94%. Remember the numbers come from the length of time you can be exposed and not burn. SPF 30 allows you to be out 30 times as long as you could be unprotected. In the US our SPF numbers are based on UVB only. Though since 2011 if the product is labeled “broad spectrum” it has been tested and protects against UVB and UVA. A certain percentage of the protection must be from UVA to qualify for this distinction.
Keep hearing about BB Creams? Another all-in-one product you can skip. Here is why:
BB, short for blemish balm or beauty balm, creams are more similar to a tinted moisturizer than a true balm made from oil and wax. Which is to say it is another multiple-in-one product. Like other hybrids claiming to be an answer to layering separate products it may have ingredients that treat/moisturize/protect/conceal/illuminate but the presence of them all don't allow some to perform as intended.
I advise dividing skin products into two major groups. The first are ingredients to moisturize and treat. You can layer these one after the other; for example a facial oil followed by moisturizing gels, serums, lotions or creams. Then allow 10 minutes for absorption before using products from the second group; sunscreens and makeup. Group one products need to penetrate and reach deeper for best results, while group two are designed for the outermost layers of the skin. If they were combined, group two would keep group one from doing their job.
So although the convenience sounds good, it is a little like expecting a parfait of yogurt, granola and fresh fruit to be as good mixed up, stored in the fridge and served tomorrow as it is layered immediately before eating.
Note: If you like the look of a tinted moisturizer or BB cream, all is not lost when using them as your final layer. You still have gained the SPF, pigment (color) and the "finish" the product can offer. If further coverage is needed, just conceal and camouflage those areas. The look will still be overall more natural than using a high coverage foundation all over.
Primers: BB creams, tinted moisturizers or mineral SPFs can act as light diffusing primers and generally contain less silicone then most conventional makeup primers. Silicones lend the slippery smooth feeling but can cause some skin types to become clogged.
Amy Linville is an artist and esthetician that believes simple, sustainable and non-rushed daily skincare and beauty rituals are the foundation for finding comfort in your skin and looks, no matter your age.