Medical Skin Care Products

In reading a professional skincare magazine tonight, I had to stop counting the number of skincare lines that refer to their products as “medical.”  Medical grade.  Hmmm.  There isn’t much standing behind that claim but we hear it all the time.

Why is it becoming an accepted term when there is no meaning or definition behind it? Consumers, estheticians, and physicians alike are all looking for results and a defining point of difference for sales.  We ask ourselves why should I use this cream over that? What will make a client want to buy the product I’m selling?

Most people will trust the advice of a doctor.  The popularity of shows like The Doctors and Dr. Oz are proof of our desire to trust doctors for solutions to our health issues.  The whole industry is counting on this belief system as a point of sale when they use the term “medical.”  Let me just say that this is an emotional ploy.  Unfounded but effective.

So here’s the down low.  Be educated.  Ask an esthetician.  This is our whole life and love.  Don’t buy blindly based on fluffy terms like this.   The closest you can get to understanding quality and efficacy via terminology is “pharmaceutical grade” ingredients.  Really, the physician’s true point of difference is in the prescriptions they offer.

So in the future, don’t be fooled.  There are many very potent skincare products sold on a better basis than “medical.”  Go for pharmaceutical grade ingredients.  And by all means, go for professional skincare products over drug store products.  You absolutely get what you pay for.


July 2015 Product of the Month

Stone Crop saves our skin during long summer months.  Without our usual cloudy respite from the sun this summer, burned and browned skin is more the rule than the exception.  We’re all familiar with the benefits of aloe vera, but not as many people know about this sister succulent.  Boasting as much as seven times the power of aloe, stone crop helps the skin

  • rehydrate and remain hydrated
  • recover from the sun and calm a sunburn
  • heal from wounding
  • and, slowly but steadily brighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Eminence offers us this healing aide in many forms including gentle Stone Crop Gel Wash, Stone Crop Hydrating Mist, Stone Crop Serum, Stone Crop Gel, Stone Crop Masque and Stone Crop Whip.  One of Eminence’s tried and true ingredients for healthy skin, it benefits all skin types and can be used on children.

On feature this July, put your name in the hat at your appointment to win your own Stone Crop Gel. Soothe the skin on hot summer days!  Looking forward to seeing you at Purely Skin.

FDA Sunscreen labeling changes! June 2012

So for the second momentous time in the ten years I have been an esthetician, the FDA is attempting to change their guidelines for sunscreens. A few years ago, they made a big to do about it…and then never followed through. I imagine the lobbying power against consumer advocacy is immense.

The big date is June 18th, 2012!

In any case, I’m hoping to shed some light (no pun intended!) on these changes coming our way.  According to the FDA,

#1 The highest SPF protection that may be published is a 50. Remember that SPF only refers to the damage caused by the UVB rays. Which brings me to…

#2 Sunscreens that protect our skin from both UVA and UVB rays will be labeled “Broad Spectrum.” This is so important! Buy only broad spectrum protection.

#3 Sunscreens may not be labeled as a “sunblock,” as “waterproof,” or “sweatproof.” Any claims of water resistance will be backed up by studies and listed on the labeling. For example, Tizo has been tested to be water resistant for 80 minutes in the water.

And lastly,

#5 Sunscreens must include a standard “Drug Facts” box on the outer packaging. This allows you to quickly identify which ingredients are providing sun protection and at what percentage.

Now, the only last sticking point that I know of is in regards to Mineral Powder Makeup.  I guess it was not an existing product when the FDA created their lists way back when (in the 30’s?), and so it is not recognized  as SPF now.  To my understanding, mineral makeup will not have SPF ratings listed although their existing formulations and protection are not any different.

I’m a huge promoter of sun smarts!  You can find various high quality sunscreens at Purely Skin.  Please send me your questions about this topic.

Keep tuned as I’ll start to expand on some of the points listed above!

New Release by Eminence

New Release by Eminence

Welcome to the new release by Eminence.  They finally did it!

Not only do we have an organic tinted moisturizer but also a bronzer and highlighter.  I’ve been working with all pieces of the collection using each item individually as well as mixing and blending.  The tinted moistuizer is light and silky.  It can be adjusted for color by mixing it with a moisturizer.  And for those of you who know me,  SPF 25 rain or shine!

The bronzer and highlighter are very finely milled which means that you use less for a beautiful finish…and the lip plumper!

The lip plumper is  my biased favorite.  The paprika mask has long been a tool available during facials to plump those lips.  Now, combined with cinnamon, that paprika plumping is available to all of us on the go in a lip gloss.  It’s clear gloss but brings rosy color and body to the lips within the first minute.  Best of all, it tastes like cinnamon, my favorite.  If you want color on top of your own, you can blend the plumper with the highlighter or bronzer.

These products give a glowing, sun-kissed finish to any face.   Come in for a try and see for yourself!


Fresh Ideas for Hydration

Hydration for the body and skin has been hard to come by this winter.  We’ve experienced freezing temperatures, snow, and wind over the last two months leading us into long hours inside with forced heat working overtime.  And we are thankful for that heat!

We all have been trained to drink water to increase hydration.  We carry water bottles everywhere.  Eight eight ounce glasses a day to drink minimum…and more if we drink coffee or alcoholic beverages or exercise.   And yet, for many of us, our skin is still dry.

So here are a couple of fresh ideas.  Do your work both inside and out.

  • Eat juicy fruits and vegetables.  It turns out and just makes sense that the fiber found in juicy fruits and vegetables provides a slow release of water into our body as it digests. The best example I came across was watermelon.
  • Chia seeds were another surprise to me as a source of hydration.  From what I understand, these are even being used by athletes to maintain hydration during extreme atheletic events such a marathons.  The chia seeds create a gel during digestion, again providing a slow and steady release of fluid through the body.  Its purported to have little flavor and is easily added into our diet in our food or eaten on their own.
  • Use topicals boosting water levels in the skin, like Hyaluronic Acid, which holds 1,000 times its weight in water!  Even oily skin can be dehydrated.
  • Then follow it with an emollient moistuizer that will create a barrier for the skin and hold in that hydration.  Oils and salves in heavier moisturizers prevent evaporation of water through the skin.  You can even add a couple of drops to your favorite lotions and creams to increase that barrier on the skin.

Our skin is the last of the organs in our body to receive moisture and nutrients.  Feed your body well and apply effective skincare products for your needs.

My top picks from Purely Skin are Dermist, a pure hyaluronic acid serum, or Eminence’s new Firm Mask which contains marshmallow root to lock in hydration. Facials are an excellent remedy!

Catching Up to Modern Times

Well, here it is…the day has come that I, Rachel Nelson, have made the jump into modern times.  Beginning a blog represents the leaps and bounds that I have made in the last 6 months to hit the world wide web with a splash.  Hours of wonderfully patient and helpful friends and family guiding me toward a better website, more organized information on that website, trusty web hosting, online appointment booking, online gift certificates, Facebook, and now a blog.  God help me remember how it all functions! Thanks to all the lovely, fantastically brilliant people who have been put in my path.

My hope is to communicate tips, tricks and information relating to healthy, glowing skin with this blog.  Now I’ve made the first dive…stay tuned.