Category Archives: Sun Protection

7 Rules of Layering Your Skincare Products

skin-care-product-layeringBefore we dive-in to skincare product layering tips remember this: DON’T strip your skin of it’s lipid barrier function and healthy PH when you wash it, that will make everything you do afterward a big.fat.waste of time (check out my favorite cleansers)!

1. Start light. Serums—the thinnest products—go first, because a) that just makes sense and b) they deliver active ingredients into the skin most efficiently. Pick two or three serums that each treat one of your skincare health concerns: wrinkles/fine lines, acneic or oily (Power Peel Glycolic Gel, Clear It), water or oil-dry (Hydrate Super Serum), sensitive/irritable to calm redness (Calm Down ).

2. Add an antioxidant. Vitamin C is one ingredient every skin type needs. It brightens, protects against sun damage, and promotes collagen production (C Power Vitamin C Serum).

3. Take a coffee break. If you give each product a minute to dry, it won’t pill. I flow my skincare in with the rest of my morning routine. For example, I put on a product, have coffee, then put on a second product, then brush my teeth.

4. Lock it down. Moisturizer is key to any layering routine because it seals serums on your skin, which can make them more effective (Atmosphere Protection Cream).

5. Know when to go in reverse. If your sensitive skin reddens at the thought of using even one treatment product, try putting on a simple, fragrance-free moisturizer first and then serums on top. The cream will reduce the potency of the serums but they’ll also be less likely to cause irritation.

6. Add an oil. In small doses, oils make skin radiant. Put them on dry areas after creams—as a rule, oils can penetrate moisturizers, but not vice versa. Skip the oil if you’re wearing more than two serums under your moisturizer (Botanical Booster).

7. Don’t forget protection. Sunscreen is your last step in the morning. It sits on top of your skin, so if it goes on first, it prevents other ingredients from penetrating (Oil-Free Daily Protect).

See you at the spa!

Wedding-Countdown to Perfect Skin

Mindseye Photo Shoot 032With over 20 years in the beauty industry, I contend that style begins with gorgeous, healthy skin. Everything else is an accessory.

So, how do you get your skin in shape for the biggest beauty day of your life?

Let’s get started.

1. Body Waxing

Perfectly smooth skin, head-to-toe, takes time but is so worth it. Waxing is fast, inexpensive, and easy but can go seriously wrong if you don’t choose a professional who has an impeccably clean and sanitary facility and experienced practices in caring for sensitive skin.

Do: To get totally smooth, you need to start waxing three months before your wedding day, then wax every three to four weeks. Keep track of how long it takes for irritation to subside after waxing and make your last appointment based on that.

Do: It is essential that you follow post-wax aftercare directions from the performing esthetician.

Don’t: Cave and shave!

2. Brows

Do: Great eyebrow design makes a look. You’ll be close up and personal with lots of folks, and your eyebrows need to help communicate beautifully and effectively. If you are trying a new eyebrow designer, make your first appointment three months before. That allows for some re-growth/reshape time.

Do: Choose a MUA that does great eyebrow makeup using pencil, powder, and gel to guarantee a perfect brow. You don’t want your brows looking fake, but you also don’t want a disappearing act.

Don’t: Do your last wax any closer than three days before the wedding date, and only that close if your skin settles down quickly post-wax, and you’ve worked with the designer before.

3. Facials

Do: If you’ve got a skincare specialist you’re working with, you’re pretty safe to do a  facial or specialty treatment up to one week before. The sooner you start though, the better your skin will look. Starting at least three months early will give the best results, monthly thereafter.

Do: Your skincare specialist will recommend home-care as well. In the end, it’s what you do every day/night that will produce the best results.

Don’t: Try someone (treatment) or something (product) new that last month. The skin is so unpredictable, and the stress of the wedding planning alone will take its own toll on your skin.

4. Makeup

Do: Once you have your skin in beautiful shape, you’ll need to choose a professional MUA whose work you’ve seen. Start working with her at least a couple of weeks before the event to establish rapport and practice the exact look you want. Take pictures yourself of the look beforehand to see how it photographs.

Don’t: DIY.

5. Sun Protection

Every bit of skin that shows will need to be protected: face, neck, decollete, arms, and hands. You’re not going to see tanned skin on the real beauties, it’s damaging and aging. I can’t advise on spray-tan, but this would be my choice if I wanted my skin to look darker. Have it done professionally and try it out a month or so beforehand just in case you don’t like it.

Do: Use an SPF30 to prep the face and decollete months in advance for perfect skin. On the day-of use an oil-free SPF15 before an outdoor ceremony or pictures begin. Stay away from zinc oxide, it photographs blueish.

Don’t: Lie out in the sun less than seven days before your wedding. Newly-tanned skin may look “brown” to the naked eye, but the camera registers pigment colors differently and will likely see the “red” in your skin instead.

6. Changing Medications

Do: If you’re starting or changing ANY medications (like hormone-based birth control methods)  in the last three months before your wedding, be sure to discuss with your doctor how it might impact your skin.

6. Toxic Habits Stress the Skin

Do: Drink water, eat “healthy,” exercise, and get good rest.

Don’t: Try to do everything yourself!


Below are some designers’ collections from bridal market day  to show you how some of the beauties rock perfect skin, or at least the “illusion” of it, thanks to great MUAs!

Maggie Sottero: Glam dresses with a 1920s, Great Gatsby feel.

Amsale: Clean, modern gowns with show-stopping backs, with origami-inspired details.

Kenneth Pool: Luxe, glamorous gowns with sparkle – from beading to amped-up bling.

Christos: Ethereal and romantic dresses with a Shakespearean-maiden feel.

Anne Bowen: Reminiscent of Tim Burton’s dark and dreamy Alice in Wonderland.

Austin Scarlett: Classic bridal gown styles with flattering details

Reem Acra: Feminine and fashion-forward wedding dresses with some  unique accessories

Monique Lhuillier: Check out this designer’s regal and lacey/romantic new collection

CCWP member Linda Hall Ruberto, aka the Brow Boss, esthetician and owner of Star Brows in Grover Beach, is a blogger and nationally published author who recently made the cover of Skin Deep with her article, “The Beauty of Weddings.”

Youngblood Mineral Foundation – August Product Feature 2012

This month we feature our three  silky, natural-looking, and flawless mineral foundations from Youngblood: Natural Loose, Pressed Powder, and the new Mineral Radiance Creme Powder. What a lineup!

“Granting women the power to conceal and correct imperfect complexions has always been the mission of Pauline Youngblood, founder and president of Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics. Pauline draws inspiration from nature as well as her own practical experience as a paramedical aesthetician to dermatologists and plastic surgeons.”

Having been a Youngblood devotee for over a decade, I can vouch for the performance of these foundations for all skin types. Not only do they offer protection from UV rays and environmental stressors, but the range of coverage, from light to full, and  the natural pigments used are amazing as well.

If you’re new to Star Brows, you may not know about The Product Feature or Rewards yet. To put it simply, 10% of all your product purchases, all the time, go toward free Service Enhancements, like Raindrop Therapy, Lash Tint, Chemical Peels, or Star Massage.

When a product is the Monthly Feature, however, you’ll get 20% back in Rewards! Foundations range in price from $42-$56, with Rewards points totaling $8-$11. 🙂

See you at the spa!

FDA and Sunscreen Report – International Dermal Institute

Update: New FDA Rules Regarding Sunscreen

Article from the International Dermal Institute

“Twenty years ago, the concept of sun protection was to prevent sunburn from UVB rays. There was no international SPF test, sun products had virtually no protection against UVA -there were only two sunscreens classed as UVA filters- and there was no concept of photo stability applied to sun care products. The goal was to get a golden tan and enhance it as much as possible (ahem baby oil users!) instead of protecting from future damage.

Today is a vastly different environment when it comes to sun protection. We know a lot more today about UVA rays than we ever did, and sun protection products are much more sophisticated. Regulations have finally caught up with the science, backing sunscreens as effective methods to prevent early skin aging. Last year’s FDA statement covered some ground on testing and labeling of sunscreens- and this goes into effect June 2012.

I’ve summarized the key points below:

• If the product passes FDA’s tests for both UVB and UVA, it can be labeled as ‘broad spectrum’. Previously, only UVB protection was tested, which is where the SPF value comes from. Look for ‘broad spectrum’ on the label for maximum protection.

• If a ‘broad-spectrum’ product has a minimum of SPF15 and is used regularly along with other sun-protection measures (clothing, shade), then these products can state on the label that they not only help prevent sunburn, but also reduce the risk of cancer and reduce signs of early skin aging.

• No more ‘sunblock,’ ‘sweatproof’ or ‘waterproof’ claims. Instead FDA will allow “water resistant (40minutes)” or “extra water resistant (80minutes)” as relevant.

• Remember to apply at least every two hours, especially if swimming or sweating.

• From now on, all sunscreen products must include standard ‘drug facts’ information, on the back and/or side of the container. Look for this panel on the package for detailed information.

Of course change doesn’t occur suddenly so these are things to look forward this year, with additional changes in the future. Some issues that FDA will look at in the coming years include investigating whether some delivery methods are valid ways of delivering UV protection. These forms are eligible for inclusion in the future OTC sunscreen monograph: oils, lotions, creams, gels, butters, pastes, ointments, sticks and sprays. We should point out that sprays may be delisted pending FDA requested safety and efficacy testing. While spray sunscreens are easy to use, most people don’t use enough (you need at least a shot glass of the cream kind so imagine how much you really need to spray!). For now, the FDA will require an extra safety warning for sprays to ensure proper application. Other popular forms of sunscreen delivery, such as powders and wipes, are currently considered ineligible for inclusion in the sunscreen monograph. Since there is no hard evidence showing that really high SPF numbers are significantly better, FDA is proposing to cap SPF values at 50 – that means no more SPF 100! This is all still a work in progress, but it shows that government agencies are putting work into regulating the fast-paced world of over-the-counter drugs in cosmetics.

So what’s the difference between a drug-store sunscreen and a professional skin care product with sunscreen? It all lies in the formulation. Both will legally have the same sun protection, since they must adhere to US FDA (or other regulatory body’s) rules. But the world of skin care is also based on research and sometimes makes changes faster than governmental rules ie: broad spectrum protection has been around for many years before it became a labeling possibility. We know that protecting against UVA and UVB rays is only part of the problem when it comes to photoaging. Free radical formation is also a major culprit- professional skin care products with sunscreens are more likely to have higher levels of antioxidants along with broad-spectrum UV protection for maximum skin health benefits. Formulators of professional products can also enhance products to provide more benefits around specific skin conditions. They will also take into account the feel and texture of the product, so you are sure to get sheer, non-greasy formulas that deliver the same amount of sun protection as any basic sunscreen but formulated with ingredients that maximize skin health and prevent future damage.

The main point of this is to remember that sunscreen is not fool-proof. Be sun aware, especially when outside for long periods of time, either in summer or hitting the slopes in winter. And remember, in order to get the actual SPF designated on the package you must apply a full teaspoon of product to your face or a shot glass to your body… So enjoy the summer – but be sun aware!”

Going to the Beach? Tips to Save Your Skin

It’s a fact: The Ocean is one big sun reflector. You’re more at risk for sunburns and sun damage on the shore than anywhere else.

Here are my expert tips to keep your skin safe this summer:

  • Discontinue use of AHA’s:Using exfoliants regularly (such as Glycolic Acid) have been shown to increase sun sensitivity by 45 percent. It’s best to discontinue use of AHA’s seven days prior to the beach.
  • Sunscreen: It’s not the SPF number that is as important, it is how often and generously you apply.  When it comes to SPF, I prefer SPF 30 reapplied as often as every hour.

My pick: Tu’el Oil Free Protection SPF 30. It’s an oil-free, lightweight full spectrum sun block for oily or impure skin or for those in hot and/or humid climates.

It contains a key moisturizing ingredient, Sodium Hyaluronate as well as nourishing Cucumber Extract, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea
  • Be aware of oily skinned areas: The areas of your face where you have larger pores will always produce more oils.  These natural oils can breakdown sunscreens more quickly, so pay attention and reapply more often.  For example, the nose area acts as a natural reflectant.  Pay attention to your nose, or any area, that is getting shiny…
  • Apply sunscreen in forgotten areas: hairline, ears, tops of feet, toes, eyelids.
  • Don’t think you are safe in the shade: You still get sun under an umbrella, especially by the ocean. Because the water reflects light you still need to apply and re-apply sunscreen.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses: If the goal is to help protect your skin from premature aging, a hat and sunglasses can be the extra coverage you need for your face.
  • Got acne? Go for a swim: The salt in the ocean water helps destroy bacteria, which can clear up your breakouts.
  • Rinse off the saltwater: The same water that is destroying bacteria is also very dehydrated (great for blemishes, not for dry skin). Make sure to rinse off before leaving beach.
  • Wear mineral makeup: For extra protection, Youngblood mineral powders has an SPF protecting factor and will give you a finished look without being too heavy for the beach.

What if you applied sunscreen but still got sunburn? The most common problems are:

  • Too little sunscreen applied
  • Not applied every hour for intense exposure
  • Not the right formulation

Sunscreens wear off, sweat off and wash off.  Applying 20 minutes before exposure, liberally and often makes all the difference.  If you want to look young, avoid the sun. A little sun means a little damage; a lot of sun means a lot of damage.

Click here if you want to learn more about sun protection.

Summer means fun at the beach – relax and enjoy but be safe with your skin!

See you at the spa!