Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil Review!

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil

Happy Thursday everyone!

I’m excited for today’s post as about a little over a month ago I received confirmation that I was part of the SEPHORA Beauty Enthusiast community. They sent me a deluxe sample of Sunday Riley’s Luna Night Sleeping Oil and while I had tried a small sample of this before, I gave another test run. Let’s take a look at what this highly talked about oil is all about.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Described as, “a next-generation retinoid oil that improves skin plumpness and helps fight the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and pores for visibly clearer, younger-looking skin.” It’s supposed to help reduce pore size, improve the appearance of damaged skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and moisturize and calm the skin.

Pros 

Retinol as an ester

Antioxidant oils such as cold pressed chia oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil

Improves skin texture

Provides excellent hydration

Includes chamomile which helps soothe irritation

Can be mixed in with your moisturizer for added benefits

Cons 

Essential oils might be irritating for some people

Very fragrant

May be too moisturizing for acne skin types

A bit pricey

Inclusion of dyes (albeit small)

Overall:  The first thing I noticed is that even before I opened the box, I could smell the product.  The scent is laced with chamomile that while it smells nice , it’s fairly strong.  Once this is applied though, the scent quickly dissipates.  The star ingredient is hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a trans-retinoic acid ester.  According to, The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook, hydroxypinacolone retinoate is a mild retinoic ester that decreases effect of sunlight-induced aging and can improve the appearance of acne-prone skin. An ester is a compound formed by a reaction between an acid and an alcohol, significantly reducing the risk of irritation; it’s perfect for people that have experienced irritation with retinol.  As I’ve stated before, my forehead has textural issues and I noticed it was smoother after using this for a few days.  This inclusion of the above mentioned oils and chamomile left my skin feeling very nice and hydrated but unfortunately because I have combination skin, it made me breakout on my jawline.  I would recommend this oil if you have normal to dry skin but if you have acne prone skin or are have sensitive skin, I would tread with caution. I found that I had better luck with Sunday Riley’s Good Genes.

Sunday Riley Luna Oil

What are your thoughts on Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil?  

Stephanie 

Chemical Peels 101!

Chemical peels

When you hear the word chemical peel, usually what springs to mind are horrifying images of red blotchy, blistered, maybe even bloody, skin.  However, not all peels are created equal.  Enzyme peels can offer a more gentle form of exfoliation while a TCA peel can penetrate into the deeper layers of skin.

Here’s an overview on what you need to know about chemical peels.

Chemical Peels Defined

A chemical peel  is an accelerated form of exfoliation that involves an injury of a specific skin-depth.  It involves a process of removing excess accumulations of dead skin cells from the skin through acids, retinoids or enzymes.

Types of Chemical Peels 

  • Very superficial/superficial- performed by estheticians and used for fine wrinkles, sun damage, acne and some cases of rosacea
  • Medium Depth- performed by doctors or estheticians under medical supervision and used for more obvious wrinkles, sun damage and precancerous lesions like actinic keratosis
  • Deep- performed only be a pysician, this peel is used for severe wrinking and sun damage and healing can take several weeks

Benefits of Chemical Peels

  • Improves texture of the skin- looks and feels smoother
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Can potentially stimulate collagen and elastin production
  • Can improve skin conditions such as acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, sun damaged and dry skin
  • Increased moisture retention

 Contraindications for a Chemical Peel 

Although a chemical peel is a great treatment, not everyone is a candidate for them.  Being honest with your esthetician or medical professional will significantly reduce adverse reactions. The following list details some reasons that can contraindicate a chemical peel treatment:

  • Recent cosmetic surgeries, waxing, laser resurfacing, other chemical peels or dermabrasion
  • Recent fillers or Botox
  • Use of Retina-A, retinol, Accutane (Isotretinoin), or other medications that exfoliate or thin the skin
  • Allergies to the ingredients/aspirins
  • Pregnancy
  • Herpes simplex
  • Infectious diseases
  • Open sores or lesions
  • Sunburned or irritated skin
  • Medications that make the skin sensitive to the sun

Post Chemical Peel Care

Once your procedure is completed, follow your esthetician’s or medical professional’s advice on how to care for your skin.  Key points to remember are:

  • Avoid direct sunlight for 48 hours and wear SPF as your skin will be extra sensitive to the sun.   Physical sunscreen is best for sensitive skin.
  • Stay cool and avoid hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, hair dryers or any activity that can generate heat for about 2 days as heat can cause hyperpigmentation.
  • Whether you peel or not doesn’t determine if the peel “worked”.
  • Do not pick or pull on loosening or peeling skin.  You can lightly exfoliate with a dry towel if flaking occurs.
  • Do not wax for 72 hours after a treatment or immediately before.
  • Use gentle products for a few days after the treatment and avoid anything with active ingredients such as retinol.

Before you opt to receive a chemical peel, consult with your esthetician or medical professional to discuss your goals and concerns see what options are right for you.  Also, be mindful of the fact that it may take more than one treatment to see results so make sure that you are financially prepared.

I hope this post was helpful and if you have any other questions, let me know!

Have you ever received a chemical peel?  What was your experience like? 

Stephanie

Skin Tip: Using Exfoliating Serums!

If you suffer from rough patches on your skin, incorporating an exfoliating serum a couple times a week into your routine can help improve your skin’s texture.  Look for ones that have AHA’s and/or BHA’s which can provide a smoother and more radiant appearance.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Stephanie  

The Acid Chronicles: Glycolic Acid!

Glycolic

Hello readers and happy Thursday!

Last week I posted on lactic acid and today I am continuing this short series with glycolic acid so read on to find out more on this AHA.

Who: Glycolic acid

What skin conditions can it help: Aging, fine lines, texture concerns, acne and hyperpigmentation

Where it comes from: Sugar cane or made synthetically

Why it’s important: It breaks down the bonds between cells that allow for easier exfoliation of the skin and is great for treating fine lines, smoothing skin texture and acne. It has the smallest molecular structure which makes it permeate faster and deeper but can cause more irritation and inflammation. *Not recommended for thin skin.

How it’s used: Glycolic acid can be found in skincare products (i.e. cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums) and also in professional treatments like chemical peels.  It also acts as a strong degreasing agent meaning it’s great for removing oil.  *Like any other exfoliating agent, limit use to a few times per week, wear sunscreen and use caution when using ingredients containing retinol as this can irritate skin.

See you tomorrow,

Stephanie

 

 

Skin Tip: Ingredient Lists and Antioxidants!

It’s Friday readers and that means my weekly skin tip! 🙂

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while now know that I am a huge advocate for antioxidants in skincare ingredients, especially vitamin C.  However, if you happen to read the label and see that the antioxidants are listed towards the bottom of the list, chances are they were added to preserve the product and not intended to be active ingredients.  Sometimes, this could be the reason why a certain product that claims to ‘fade spots’ or ‘help brighten your look’ isn’t as effective as you would like it to be. For a guide on how to decipher other names for antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, click on each link.

Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to check out my giveaway by clicking here. 🙂

Stephanie 

Why AHAs Are Important in Anti-Aging Skincare!

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  My week is off to a great start.  I was able to attend a special event at the International Dermal Institute headed by Jane Wurwand who is the founder of Dermalogica.  Such an amazing and inspirational woman!  Her motivational speech was beyond fantastic and she has a lovely sense of humor and heart.  Also, I found out I won the giveaway hosted by Maiko from SkinConciergeMaiko! Yay!  Check out her blog for other awesome reviews and tips. 🙂

Alright, enough about that.  Let’s get right to the topic of today’s post which is alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs.

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

Technically speaking, alpha hydroxy acids “are a group of water-soluble carboxylic acids that work to release the desmosomes that hold skin cells together.”  Hmmm. I fear I lost you guys. 🙂 In plain English, they are naturally occurring mild acids used as chemical exfoliants that help shed off dead skin cells.  They are hydrophilic (attracted to water) and are pH dependent meaning they require a lower pH to be effective.

Why are they Beneficial?

AHAs are highly coveted and present in many anti-aging products/treatments for the following reasons:

  • Allows for easier exfoliation
  • Increased cell turnover (hello glowing skin)
  • Stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin (something that decreases over time)
  • Firm the skin
  • Smooth and improve skin texture
  • Reduce lines and pigmentation
  • Leads to a more youthful appearance and feel
  • Increase ceramides (hydration)

*Note: Overly and aggressively exfoliating the skin can result in sensitive itchy red skin.

What are the Different Types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

  • Lactic acid– derived from milk
  • Glycolic acid-derived from sugar
  • Citric acid- derived from citrus fruits
  • Tartaric acid- derived from grapes
  • Mandelic acid- derived from bitter almonds
  • Malic acid- derived from sour apples

*A special note on AHAs:  Overly and aggressively exfoliating the skin, with or without AHAs can result in sensitive itchy red skin.  Also, when using AHAs, you’re more sensitive to the sun and more prone to burning so sunscreen is crucial! 

I hope you found this information helpful and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. 🙂

Have a good Tuesday,

Stephanie

 

My Morning Skincare Routine!

Morning Skincare Routine

Hello readers!  It’s a lovely day here in sunny California which is always great but I’m feeling under the weather.  At the beginning of the year, I always manage to get sick and though I thought I had broken this spell, I’m sadly mistaken. 😦  Anywho, I hope all of you are doing well.

I often get asked what my morning skincare routine so here it is.  Since I am often testing and trying new items, the product lines I use vary but the gist of my routine is the same.

1) CleansingDermalogica Special Cleansing Gel  I used this when I was in school and I really liked it so I pick one up every so often when I go to IDI (Dermalogica Headquarters).  It’s a basic, soap free cleansing solution that foams but doesn’t feel harsh.

2) ToningDermalogica Multi-Active Toner   Again, another product I used in school that I liked, I spritz this toner to wipe away any residue left after cleansing- you’d be surprised by what’s left behind after you cleanse!  It’s refreshing, doesn’t sting and has the humectant Sodium PCA.

3) SerumRenee Rouleau Vitamin C & E Treatment I always make sure to incorporate a vitamin C serum in the morning.  It gives your skin antioxidants to fight free-radicals, results in a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, promotes the formation of collagen and can also reduce pigmentation due to its brightening properties.  (For more information on vitamin C, click here.)  Paired underneath sunscreen, it gives your skin extra antioxidant protection your skin needs from the sun’s harmful rays, which plays a prominent role in the breakdown of collagen.  This serum is one of the more hydrating vitamin C serums I have tried and I love the fact that it incorporates vitamin E, which nourishes the skin and enhances the effects of vitamin C.  (For more information on vitamin E, click here).  Apply to the face and extend to the neck and chest area.

4) Moisturizer/SunscreenDermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 A staple in any skincare routine is sunscreen!  I’ve purchased this product several times because it combines moisturizer and sunscreen in 1- a true time  saver. It’s light-weight, works well underneath makeup and is formulated with antioxidant white tea.

5) Eye CreamRenee Rouleau Total Eye Repair Cream  Using an eye cream is a must to hydrate the eye area, especially during the colder months, to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.  This one contains hyaluronic acid and firming peptides.  It does not irritate my eyes, which some eye creams tend to do, and absorbs quickly into skin leaving it moisturized without a heavy feel.  As for the firming effect, my eye area isn’t lax so I did not notice a difference in this aspect.

Disclaimer:  The Renee Rouleau products were recommended and given to me by Renee (thank you!), however, ALL reviews are based on my own honest opinions and experiences. 

I hope you found this helpful on how I keep my skin healthy and protected! 🙂

Have a great Tuesday,

Stephanie

 

Makeup 411: Don’t Let Powder Age You!

MUFE Powder

Powder helps in setting make up but it can sometimes accentuate fine lines.  Apply powder on your forehead, nose and chin, leaving the under eye area and cheeks alone since powder in these areas tends to settle into fine lines.

*Note: If you have dry/very dry skin, skip this step altogether. 

Featured here and my go-to favorite: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder (mini).

Do you use powder?  Which one is your favorite? 

Warm Regards, 

Stephanie 

Needles For Aging Skin?

microneedle

One of my readers asked me about micro needling so here’s the breakdown on this popular anti-aging process.

About Skin Needling

Skin needling, also referred to as microneedling or collagen induction therapy, is the use of multiple needles at one time on a set gauge or length that is either rolled or stamped onto the skin.  Originally recognized as a method to repair scars in 1995 by Norman Orentreich, MD, and David S. Orentreich, MD, it was Des Fernandes, MD, who introduced skin needling as a skin rejuvenation method.

Different needle lengths will yield different results.  For example, shorter needles will increase product penetration and stimulate collagen production while longer needles may be used to treat deeper wrinkles and scarring.

How it Works

Skin needling is based on the premise of a controlled wound response than in turn stimulates collagen production.   Basically, anytime your skin is injured, it begins a process of wound healing that is followed by the production of new collagen and elastin.  In skin needling, the needles create tiny ‘injuries’ that prompt this wound healing process.

Skin needling treatments will also be followed by applications of, but not limited to vitamin C, retinoids, peptides and/or hydroxy based exfoliants.  Whereas microdermabrasion or chemical peels drive ingredients further into the skin by removing a layer(s) of skin, skin needling does the same without removing the top layer of skin.

Who’s A Good Candidate?

Most skin types and conditions can benefit from this treatment but may not be suited for skin that is sensitive or inflamed.  Skin needling is used for fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and stretch marks.  Treatments can be tailored according to skin types and conditions by changing the device, needle depth and frequency of treatments.

 Things to Consider

A series of treatments are needed to achieve optimum results.

Treatments can range from $200-$500 per treatment.

The longer the needle is, this risk for infection increases; therefore follow your physicians instructions.

Procedures like these are usually performed in a medical office or medical spa- make sure the person performing the treatment is qualified and that he/she wears gloves at all times.

Although a topical numbing cream will be used prior to treatment, expect some discomfort.

Bottom Line: Skin needling is just one of many anti-aging options available that can generate great results. However, always do your research and consult with a professional to determine what works best for you.

I hope this article is helpful and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

*Note: Although I love DIY treatments, this treatment is best left to professionals.  Doing this yourself can cause damage and lead to severe infections.