A blog chronicling skin care, DIY beauty products, wishes and daydreams, life transitions, and other random stuff...

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Toys! High Frequency Machine for Acne & Wrinkles and a Wood's Lamp for Deep Skin Analysis

High frequency machine in use
Santa brought me a high frequency machine and a Wood's lamp for Christmas.  I must have been really good last year!  

A high frequency machine is a super-cool esthetician's tool that helps with a wide variety of skin issues.  It's pretty magical.  I've witnessed, first hand, big, cyst-like pimples reduce in size by up to 50% after one visit.  In a nutshell, the tool is a wand that holds electrodes.  The electrodes help heal blemishes by creating ozone on the skin, killing bacteria, promoting healing & circulation, and removing toxins.  It also helps aging and wrinkled skin by oxygenating the skin and allowing for better product penetration.  It stimulates circulation which helps produce collagen and elastin.  It can also be used on the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

A Wood's lamp is an ultra-violet light that sees beneath the skin's surface.  It can detect all skin issues, including clogged pores, blemishes, dehydration and sun damage spots that are working their way to the surface.  By using the lamp, the esthetician can start working on these areas long before the issues reveal themselves.  
Skin under the ultra-violet Wood's Lamp light shows a variety of conditions beneath the surface
I'm adding these treatments FOR FREE ($15 - $30 value) to all of my facials for a limited time.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A DIY DETOX FACIAL - Be a Bitchen Kitchen Beautician

So the holidays are over, you pushed the limits and now you’re tired, broke and feeling ugly?  You spent all of your money on gifts and partying and you don’t have enough for new skin care products, let alone a pampering facial?  

I’ve been in that situation almost every Monday of my adult life.  I started experimenting with at-home facials a long time ago, and I’ve learned a few things since beauty school that I wish I knew back then.  I love expensive products, but it’s not realistic to expect people to spend crazy money on skin care right now.  That’s how I became a bitchen Kitchen Beautician over the years.

I have a simple Detox Facial that uses cheap ingredients from your cupboards and fridge.  You won’t even need to go to the store.  No excuses. 

One of the first symptoms that you might notice after the holidays is sallow, blemished, irritated or dehydrated skin, red, puffy eyes and lackluster lips.

Lots of parties often means more make-up, falling in to bed without washing your face and waking up with a big ol’ zit or blotchy break-out along with your hangover.  Then your lips are dry and flaky and your eyes are dark and puffy.  It sucks.

A lot of skin is dehydrated.  There’s a difference between “Dry Skin” and “Dehydrated Skin”.  Dry skin is a genetic condition and refers to skin that is lacking oil production.  Even skin with pimples and clogged pores can be dehydrated, so you need to do something about it.  FEED IT.  Dehydrated skin refers to a lack of water.  Indoor heat, air conditioners, wind, smoking, and drinking causes the skin to lose water content, making it tight, sensitive and irritated.

First, don’t feel bad.  Everyone around you is going through the same thing and is feeling the same way when they look in the mirror.  I get up-close-and-personal with a lot of faces and believe me, every single person has something going on that they aren’t happy about.  So get over it and go to your kitchen.


Prep:  Gather the following:
-       A pot of water
-       A towel
-       A washcloth
-       4 Chamomile, green or black tea bags
-       Jojoba, Grape seed or Olive oil
-       A gentle face cleanser
-       White or brown sugar
-       Exfoliating mask ingredients (see below)
-       Blemish spot treatment (if needed)
-       Moisturizer
-       Aloe Vera gel (optional)

1)    Put pot of water on stove and bring to a boil.
2)    Moisten two teabags and place in refrigerator.
3)   It's best to do this facial at night, before bed.  You skin warms up as you sleep, which helps the nutrients penetrate deeply as you sleep and repair.

Start with a Cleansing Oil Massage. Pour 1 – 2 tablespoons of jojoba, grape seed or olive oil in your palms.  Massage in to face and neck and around eyes for 2 – 3 minutes.  Rinse by adding warm water, little by little, until you can feel the normal texture of your skin again.

I know this sounds crazy, but a lot of oils are really good for all skin types, including oily skin.  Jojoba is the best, but if you don’t have that, grape seed oil or olive oil are also very good.  Here’s how it works:  Oil attracts oil.  So, when you massage oil in to your skin for several minutes, you increase blood circulation to the surface of your skin, opening the pores and loosening the dirt, make-up and sebum.  As you continue through the cleansing process, that loose sebum will eventually get washed away.  The antioxidants and other nutrients in the oils help to heal and feed your hungry skin and blemishes.

Now you need to cleanse with a very mild soap or creamy cleanser.  Even if you’re having a breakout, start gentle and your skin will thank you.  Please don’t use any harsh soaps, especially something like Irish Spring, Ivory, anti-bacterial soaps, little hotel soap bars or any other random soap on your face!  These types of soaps strip the natural oils.  All skin types need those natural oils to keep skin pH in balance.  You’re better off rinsing your face really well with water than using harsh soaps with fragrances and chemicals.  Don’t forget, you’re DETOXING.

Steam.  Sometimes I just take a nice hot bath or shower, or you can boil a pot of water and drape a towel over your head for 10 minutes.  Add some tea bags or other herbs like rosemary, sage, chamomile or calendula, if you have them.  Do not steam if your skin is extremely sensitive or dry, you are experiencing Rosacea or a major acne breakout.

Exfoliating Mask.  This is important!  Exfoliation will help shed dead skin cells, bring circulation to the surface for nourishment, and further loosen clogged pores.  It also allows for deeper penetration of the nutrients.

You might not have a favorite exfoliating product or mask, but you can still easily exfoliate at home and should do this at least a couple of times a week.  

Make an exfoliating paste with fine grain sugar (white or brown is fine) and some of the following ingredients, depending on skin condition:

      - Oatmeal (for soothing irritated skin).  Grind the oatmeal in a coffee grinder until fine.
-       Plain yogurt, milk or cream (for soothing, hydrating and lactic acid exfoliation)
-       Honey (pulls moisture toward the skin and acts as an anti-bacterial agent for blemishes)
-       Egg white (tightens skin and pores, good for oily skin)
-       Tomato, blended (Good for blemishes and toning)
-       Lemon juice (brightening and toning - not for sensitive or acneic skin)
-       Pineapple pulp, blended (for brightening and toning)
-       Canned pumpkin (for extra exfoliating acids for blemished skin)

Please note:  If your skin is extremely sensitive or acneic, gently massage your face with a washcloth and gentle cleanser at the end of the second cleanse.  Make a mask with the appropriate products above and do not add the sugar, as it can be too irritating.

Massage in to skin, including lips (but avoid eyes) for 2 minutes.

Apply cooled chamomile, black or green tea bags to your eyes while you relax and the mask does its thing for 10 – 15 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Hydrate.  This is also important for all skin types.  It’s crucial to keep the moisture and oil content of your skin in balance.  Overly stripped skin will cause an over production of oils, leading to more pimples down the line.  Use your favorite moisturizer, or spot-treat blemishes, and then follow with aloe vera for oily or blemished skin.  For dehydrated or sensitive lips and face, apply a light layer of jojoba, grape seed or olive oil mixed with aloe vera and let it soak in overnight.

You will wake up glowing, dewy and gorgeous.