A guide to choosing an esthetician

Choosing an esthetician is like choosing a dentist, nutritionist, music teacher…what criteria should be used in deciding who to go to? You need to find someone who is knowledgeable about skin physiology, skin chemistry, and product chemistry. It’s not about whether they carry a specific line of products and that they regurgitate all the marketing hype of that product line. It’s about how they can help you take care of your skin without making your face look red/swollen/uncomfortable/painful. It’s about keeping your skin strong and balanced…

For all my wonderful clients who will be looking for a new esthetician due to my decision to retire….here is a guide to finding a good skin care specialist/esthetician/facialist:

Make the following requests of your esthetician in terms of how they treat your skin:

For all skin types:
No steam (unless it’s for teenage acne), no hot towels, cool water only
No benzoyl peroxide anything…
No detergent cleansers
No glycolic cleanser (it is detergent based)
No salicylic cleanser (it is detergent based)
No scrub (it does NOT deep clean the pores)
Only inorganic (mineral) sunscreen please…

In addition….

For sensitive skin or any skin with any level of redness in it:
No aggressive AHA or BHA treatments
No retinols or other aggressive anti aging products
No hydrocortisone
No hydroquinone (skin whitening)

For dry skin types:
No clay masks – they will dry the skin out
No Titanium Dioxide sunscreen – it will emphasize dryness on the skin

Ask questions like:
How do you keep the skin balanced? See if the answer is similar to what I say.
How often should I have a facial? It should not be a set period of time – it’s 4-6weeks for oily clogged skin to every 6 months for dry skin.
Does diet, stress, shampoo and conditioner impact the skin? (the answer should be YES).

If the esthetician says any of the following….run away as fast as possible because they ‘know not of what they speak’…ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARE FALSE/UNSCIENTIFIC/MISLEADING/MYTHS:

/ they will ‘detox’ your skin
/ natural products are always good for your skin
/ organic skin care is the same as eating organic food
/ your skin absorbs everything you put on it (well they’ll probably say at least 60%)
/ you need to open the pores then close them again
/ all blackheads must be extracted otherwise they become acne
/ your skin will be ‘purging’ toxins after the facial (aka expect a lot of pimples)
/ acne and acne rosacea are the same thing
/ oil causes acne – so they only recommend oil-free products
/ they recommend the use oil absorbing products to eliminate oil from the skin (even when you’re not really oily)
/ they believe that squeaky clean skin is good and that they can ‘deep-clean’ the pores
/ a toner is important to pH balance the skin
/ their products have no ‘chemicals’ in them (everything on the planet is a chemical except light and electricity so it’s impossible to get a chemical free ‘anything’).

Check out the videos about skin care myths as well as how the skin works… all helpful videos can be watched on the SkinCareTV channel.

Remember, I’m just a video call away, so make an appointment and I can help you through any conflicts or concerns as you transition to a new esthetician.

Thank you for letting me help you with the ongoing care of your skin. I appreciated your support over the years as well as your confidence in my ability to treat your skin the way it should/needs be treated.

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The 3rd quarter newsletter is archived here.

In summary:

I will be closing my 2 skin care treatment rooms at 57 West Portal Ave as well as 520 Montgomery St as at Dec 31, 2015, however the online shop will stay open and will expand. Your skin’s favourite products will still be available with free shipping!

There are limited duration promotions and special offers that you can take advantage of at the Blue Turtle Spa online shop.

Your feedback regarding your experience at Blue Turtle Spa is requested and a simple 7 question, anonymous, survey can be completed here.

Thank you for your friendship and support.

Dangerous ingredients in toothpaste and personal care products that detractors love to sell

I was going to write something of my own about contradictions in the skin care and food industry pertaining to a variety of ingredients…but the article Dangerous Toothpaste speaks volumes!!!! Read it and weep!

It’s all about MONEY – not ethics and sincerity.

It makes me sad. The world is messed up enough without us having to deal with lies and deception in the marketing of food and personal care products. As always, Caveat Emptor rules!

By the by, carrageenan comes from edible red seaweed and is used in skin care products. It is totally natural and organic….so what does that really mean? Yikes, life is not as simple and linear as some people like…no surprises there eh! 🙂

Reverse or reduce damage and hyperpigmentation from laser treatments

A laser burns the skin. That’s what it is designed to do. Acute burning and killing of skin cells will stimulate new cell growth. It can help reduce wrinkles. It can help reduce the depth of acne scars. It can help reduce hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage in your youth. BUT it can also INCREASE hyperpigmentation in the skin. It can also leave you with more sensitive skin….

The natural process of the skin is to produce more melanin (your skin colour cells) to cover any inflamed tissue because inflamed tissue is more easily damaged by the sun than non-inflamed tissue. This is particularly important for people with colour in their skin…whether it be Mediterranean, Latino, Middle Eastern, Asian or Equatorial African….etc.

If you have an inflamed acne pimple, the chances are you will have a dark spot on your skin when the swelling reduces and the pimple goes away. So too with laser treatments on skin with colour.

Even though you may have very light skin, and have the lightest skin tone in your family, the chances of having dark pigmentation after laser treatments is still a very real threat. Check out and see if previous generations on your mother’s and father’s side had naturally dark skin…you may have inherited those genes, and will scar quite deeply after laser treatments.

Unfortunately, laser technicians (who are supposed to be medical professionals) don’t know who will pigment the most – and besides, they want to make money so won’t be too concerned about your particular genetic inheritance….

For some clients I’ve seen, essentially the pigment is deep seated due to the laser treatment that traumatised the skin and created the pigmented response… It will be impossible to remove deep seated pigmentation, but we can lighten it and maintain it in a lighter form. Sun exposure will cause deep seated hyperpigmentation to get a lot darker.

So, here’s what I suggest (assuming your skin may still have some low level sensitivity as a residual of the laser treatment):

We start with a nightly Vitamin C Serum plus Decircling Serum treatment. I  blogged about how to use it as a solution for the hands – that’s just an example of where this treatment can be used…it is definitely suited to the face and neck etc… if you feel sensitivity, reduce the frequency of application.

You will use it in the same manner on the face/neck, at night, after cleansing the skin using a gentle cleanser (extreme + sensitive cleanser) and only with cool water. Use 2 – 3 pumps of the C + Renew Serum and apply firstly to pigmented areas and then spread out to all other skin on the face. You will need 3 – 4 pumps of the Decircle + Firm Eyes, and apply it over the C + Renew Serum. Do this about 30 – 40 minutes before going to bed, or anytime in the evening after you cleanse. Leave it on over night.

After a few months you will begin using an alpha hydroxy acid like Age Limit at night before the application of the Vitamin C. I don’t rush this step because it’s best not to re-sensitize or traumatize your skin…the glycolic combined with the vitamin c will be instrumental in lightening the darker pigmented areas even more than the above mentioned step. It will still be slow, so be patient.

For now, if you want to even out skin tone during the day, use the TINTED 20% zinc sunscreen for a subtle evening out of skin tone, or the Zinc and Titanium Tinted sunscreen if you prefer a little more definite coverage.

Always remember to keep your face out of hot or warm water. Use cool water only. Only use sensitive skin products.

By the by, all medical treatments are tested on animals, in case you are opposed to painful and torturous experiments on unwilling caged lab animals…

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.