Is Stress Aging Your Skin?

Is Stress Aging Your Skin?


Life brings with it lots of stress. Kids, work and money issues to name a few. All trigger the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol, produced by our adrenal glands, has the important function of allowing us to survive immediate, danger when in “fight or flight” situations. That was great back when you had to worry about getting chased by a saber tooth tiger, but today stress is a little different.

During “fight or flight” your body reacts by:

• Rapid heartbeat and breathing:

The body increases heart rate and respiration in order to provide energy and oxygen where it is needed to quickly flee dangerous situations.

• Pale or flushed skin:

As the stress response starts to take hold, blood flow to the surface areas of our bodies are reduced to direct blood to the muscles, brain, legs and arms. You might become pale as a blood drains from your face. Conversely, some people get flushed as blood rushes to their brain.

• Dilated Pupils:

The body prepares itself to become more acutely aware of its surroundings.

• Trembling;

As your body becomes primed to face danger the tension can result in trembling or shaking.

The thing is, we have different stresses today. Stresses that aren’t as temporary as being chased by a tiger. Stresses that may never seem to go away. The long-term effects of fight or flight will eventually start to break down your body, aging you and your skin and potentially leading to disease. The effects of stress are cumulative. Your body may have handled stress better when you were younger, but by middle age your stress bucket might be full. At that point many of us experience adrenal burnout.

Some symptoms of adrenal burnout:

• Weight gain:

Especially around your middle. Fat is deposited there as a survival mechanism to protect our vital organs in times of stress. Oh, great!

• Loose skin:

Prolonged cortisol breaks down the connective tissue, that supports collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis of your skin, leaving it loose and flaccid.

• Increased lines & wrinkles:

Cortisol interferes with your circadian sleep cycles. Sleep is so important for your skin because it’s the time when most healing and repair occurs. This is why we recommend serums and treatment products to be applied just before bed.

• Cross linking of collagen:

Elevated cortisol levels means increased cravings for sweets. That’s because cortisol spikes insulin (the hunger hormone). Think about it, when you’re feeling stressed is it your first impulse to run and get a kale salad, or is are you more likely to grab a slice of chocolate cake?

• Your skin becomes dull and loses its glow:

Because blood is being diverted from your face to other parts of your body, you become deprived of vital nutrients. Your face takes on a tired, lack luster look. Cells dies prematurely which leads to skin aging.

• You might develop rosacea:

If you’re one of those lucky ones whose skin flushes under stressful situations, learning stress reduction techniques is of vital importants.

• Dark Circles may appear:

Stagnant lymph can occur under your eyes making them look puffy, blueish, and perpetually tired.

• You can develop eczema:

Stress lowers your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to eczema, rashes and itchiness.

• Dry Skin:

The lack of circulation to skin cells can leave you dehydrated and skin cells under nourished leading to early senescence.

• Adult Acne: Cortisol also acts as an androgen which increases oil production and increased inflammation. Great, you’re worried about that job interview and now you’ve got a pimple.

Does this mean we’re all doomed if we live our lives under stress?

Well, there are certain things you can do to help your body handle stress in a meaningful way.

Light Exercise:

If you have adrenal burnout you may want to change the way you exercise. While some of us can sustain intense training. If you already have over the top cortisol levels you may actually be breaking down muscles and collagen with vigorous, high intensity workouts that your body perceives as more stress. More moderate exercise, like long walks might be better for you in the long run. Yoga can also be a good alternative choice. Note that moving is an important stress buster, so you need to get up and exercise every day. Sitting at your computer increases stress hormones in a big way, you have to counteract that by getting exercise in there… somehow.

Cut out the sugar:

Refined sugar leads to higher cortisol levels and insulin resistance, which makes you more hungry for more high carb and nutrient deficient foods and more likely to experience sugar causing glycation of collagen fibers in your skin. This leads to wrinkles and excess inflammation which also breaks down skin cells, leading to loss of tone and dullness.

Add omega 3 fatty acids to your diet:

Omega 3s are great for counteracting inflammation caused by stress. Walnuts, salmon and avocados are good choices. Also consider skincare products which include omega 3s. Check out Elizabeth Renee’s Kukui Cleansing Milk, Intensive Lipid Repair night cream and Good Nite sleeping masque as skincare products that help calm dry, stressed out skin.

Eat your veggies:

These are your number one nutritional stress defense. Cruciferous vegetables help lower blood sugar. These veggies carry abundant nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories you need to counteract stress. This should be your highest priority for a healthier lifestyle and reducing the damaging effects of stress. You may also want to supplement with Sunrise Solution, an intense antioxidant serum derived from superfoods. It can easily be add to your morning skincare routine.

Get Space:

Giving yourself a little R&R is a perfect way to lower stress hormones. Put yourself in a good place. Go somewhere peaceful that you enjoy. A walk on the beach or hike in the park isn’t a selfish allegation of time. It’s good for you, and good for those around you. As you lower your stress hormones you’ll become more tolerant of others.  Better for everyone. Getting a massage, or facial may seem like a pampering indulgence, but offers a great boost for your health. Practicing meditation may also be a good choice, although I find it a bit stressful trying to be disciplined enough to control my thought like that. But great if it works for you… go for it.  You might also want to try breathing exercises, which have been shown to help lower stress hormones in the form of relaxation response techniques.

Laughter and social connections:

Isolation causes stress. Social connections help you to get some of that stress out of your system, definitely lowering stress hormones. Remember, your attitude has a powerful effect on stress hormones. Taking everything a little lighter not only lowers cortisol but increases telomere length of your chromosomes. This is a major biomarker for longevity. (More about that in a coming post.) Rumination, or not being able to let things go by playing events over and over in your head, sets you up for continued stress hormones circulating your body, playing havoc with your health and the health of your skin. So just find a way to let it go, and watch how your stress levels drop. You and your skin will feel so much better.

Disclaimer: The preceding article was meant for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice.

Cold Weather Skin Savers

Cold Weather Skin Savers

Burrrrrr. It’s cold outside. You thought you had your skincare routine tweaked to perfection but when the heat turned on you instantly felt like a prune. Moisture was immediately sucked out of your skin leaving it tight, dry, flaky and uncomfortable. Even worse, you suspect you’re looking a bit older than you did just a few short weeks ago. Yikes!

It’s time to rev up your skincare routine to reflect this new environment. Don’t despair, a few changes will help you sail through to get you to the sunnier side of the season. (Even if that means waiting ‘til May if you live in New England.) The following winter time skin savers should do the trick, bringing back that moist happy skin you love.

It’s not just water:

Sure, drinking water helps hydrate your body, and hopefully your skin. But, I know so many clients who drink a full 10 to 12 glasses a day and still experience dry, dehydrated skin. That’s because drinking water doesn’t guarantee that the water is going to be absorbed into your skin. (It may just keep you running to the bathroom). Even if it does get absorbed, with this cold dry air or arid indoor heat, it gets sucked out just as quickly. The key here, if you have dry skin, is lipids and emollients. Barrier ingredients that hold water in your skin and protect it from the environment, bringing relief as it soothes, softens and conditions your skin.

Change up your routine:

It’s important to change your cleanser. The sudden change in weather means the slightest bit of detergent, surfactants or foaming agents will rob dry skin of its precious moisture when used this time of the year. Even that milky cleanser you switched to this fall might be over cleansing your skin. So, look for something a bit more soothing and emollient. Try an Omega 3 fatty acid based cleanser.

Omega 3 fatty acids truly are remarkable ingredients for your skin. They serve as the essential building blocks of skin’s surface layers, creating a smoother, more even, younger-looking, and healthier complexion, no matter what your age. If the idea of putting fish oil on your skin sounds a bit gross, don’t worry—plant-derived omega 3 formulations are remarkable. Here are some things a topical application of omega 3 fatty acids based products can do for your skin:

• Reinforce and smooth your skin’s surface.

• Increase hydration without feeling heavy.

• Calm external stressors, including redness and sensitivity.

• Eliminate signs of flaky, dehydrated-looking skin.

• Visibly strengthen skin against signs of environmental damage.

• Deliver antioxidants for anti-aging results.

• Help dissolve makeup easily when included in your cleansing formula.

All of these benefits mean that applying omega fatty acids directly to skin leads to visible rewards you’ll love. Elizabeth Renee has developed an emollient milky cleanser based on nut oils that is rich with omega 3 fatty acids. These oils derive from hazelnuts, kukui nuts, cherry pits, borage seeds and rose hips. They include sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil and rose oil. Kukui Cleansing Milk has a luxurious feel that isn’t greasy and washes off clean without leaving your skin feeling tight.

Omegas have a natural affinity for skin, and are especially beneficial when combined with other soothing and protective ingredients like Shea butter, green tea and licorice root. This formulary approach is exactly what we do at Elizabeth Renee with our Kukui Cleansing Milk and its exclusive blend of omega 3 fatty acids.

Changing your diet:

This is no time to forget about fatty acids in your diet. Omega 3s are found in foods like cold water fish (salmon), flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. Plus, your grandmother was right when it came to cod liver oil. Yuck you say? Well fresh, good quality cod liver oil (I like the Arctic brand) doesn’t taste fishy at all. Not only is this oil high in omega-3 fatty acids, it is also loaded with anti-aging vitamins A and D.

In its active form as calcitriol, vitamin D contributes to skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. It optimizes the skin’s immune system and helps destroy free radicals that can cause premature aging.

Retinol (vitamin A) is my number one favorite skin vitamin. It organizes skin cells for a smoother texture and reduced clogging of the pores. In the dermis it builds collagen, resulting in youthful and plump skin. While I’m a big fan of using Retinol Resurfacing Treatment regularly for its stellar vitamin A anti-aging qualities, consuming vitamin A is also essential. You can get plenty of beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) from vegetables like yams, carrots and spinach, but only about 5% is actually converted to vitamin A. This means animal sources like grass fed, organic eggs, butter and cheese and cold water fish like salmon… or cod liver oil are most effective. I take a tsp. every morning to nix the possibility of dry winter skin.

Dry heat. Protect yourself!

Barrier protection is essential this time of year. If you’re using moisturizers that are mostly comprised of water holding humectants which worked great in summer, that may be doing more damage than good when the air is dry. Sure, humectants grab on to moisture for your parched skin, but honestly where does that moisture come from? If the air is dry as a bone that humectant is going to draw water from the deepest layers of your skin… which can ultimately evaporate and dehydrate your skin. To prevent this, you need to intensify your moisturizing formula by providing more emollients or adding a protective layer that holds that moisture in and acts somewhat like an overcoat to protect your skin.

My favorite wintertime moisturizer for very dry skin is Intensive Lipid Repair. This luxuriously rich formula not only includes an array of omega 3 fatty acids but has great emollients like Shea Butter and a special performance ingredient called Ursolic Acid (from rosemary extract). Ursolic Acid has the ability to stimulate your own skin cells to produce more natural lipids which hold moisture in between skin cells of your epidermis. If you have very dry skin you might want to use this both day and night especially during a deep freeze.

The overcoat that creates a breathable barrier for your skin is a calming skin serum called Environmental Protection. This very popular serum was first formulated as a protective layer to apply over moisturizer to create a barrier to ward off dehydration during airplane travel. Now it has a loyal following. Apply it over moisturizer any time you are exposed to a dry environment. It keeps the dry air in your house from robbing your skin of moisture as well as protecting against the cold, dry air outside. This great serum includes omega rich fatty acids from Evening Primrose and Barrage Seed Oils which are super skin soothers for sensitive or environmentally stressed skin.

Special Treatment:

One of the best ways to retexturize, repair, condition and rehydrate your skin is with an incredibly fun and effective treatment masque we call Good Nite Sleeping Masque. This rich, overnight hybrid masque/night cream conditions skin to create a wonderfully smooth, soft skin by morning. This new masque is formulated with detoxifying Swiss Garden Sprouts that enhance cellular resistance and promote the elimination of environmental toxins. Omega rich Sea Buckthorn and Black Raspberry keep skin looking fresh, healthy and supple while providing antioxidant protection.

Time to head to the spa:

My favorite dry skin treatment for winter is our Cell Youth Anti-Aging Facial. Based on stem cell stimulators that nudge your skin cells to go into repair mode, plus super hydrators to increase your skin’s ability to retain moisture inside skin cells. This gentle, skin rejuvenating treatment is a must this time of year to wake up sluggish skin cells and coax them to start acting more like younger skin.

How to Hydrate Within Your Skin

How to Hydrate Within Your Skin

Hydration is an indisputable part of all skin care treatments and home care products.  Hydration provides benefits to all skin types regardless of their skin type.  Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera, Panthenol, Glycerin, Sodium PCA and many different sugars heave long been known as effective hydrators that provide precious moisture to the skin.   Because hydrators are well known as being effective moisturizers they are readily accepted by consumers as a way to get water into the skin without adding emollients or occlusive oils which may or may not be indicated.  But, the way we think about skin hydration is changing.  We have discovered that long term cellular hydration means more than just introducing moisture to the skin.  You need to be able to get that moisture inside skin cells where they can provide positive changes to the skin.

It has been discovered that there are little water channels found in the membrane walls of skin cells.  These are responsible for allowing moisture to pass through to the cell’s interior. They are called aquaporins. These membrane-channeled proteins regulate and facilitate water molecules to be transported through the cell membranes.  Because of this discovery, we now  understand how the cell’s internal plumbing system transports not only water, but also glycerol, urea, natural moisturizing factors etcetera, through the epidermis.

Like other skin proteins, the number of these water channels decline with age.  You may be hydrating your skin, but it’s possible that little water is actually being delivered inside the cells. This leaves skin looking flat, dull and lackluster.

The good news is aquaporins can be activated and rebuilt.   Molecules from a Brazilian tree called Piptadenia Columbrina increase the presence of aquaporins up to 11 times within hours of application, repairing the damaged stratum corneum and re-densifying the dermis.  With continued use the presences of other humectants further hydrate the skin.

A great source of this performance ingredient is found in Elizabeth Renee’s Revitalize Cell Therapy serum, which includes Piptadenia Columbrina as part of its A-list of revolutionary anti-aging ingredients, and works best when applied daily.  For a concentrated boost of Piptadenia Columbrina you should try a Cell Youth Facial which uses micro-current to aid in further penetration of this hydration stimulating ingredient deep into the skin.



What’s So Important about Skin Hydration?

What’s So Important about Skin Hydration?


Water is the basic substance in our skin and throughout our body that transports vitamins and nutrients to skin cells.  This keeps them plump, healthy, alive, resilient and younger looking.  In order for your skin to protect itself from UV radiation, micro organisms and toxic agents, it must be kept adequately hydrated. Hydrated skin will remain flexible and allow your protective barrier to remain intact. If skin is broken, environmental factors can damage our bodies and cause exacerbated water loss, feeding a cyclical pattern of more damage due to further dehydration.

The primary way one can make sure that their skin is well hydrated is to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water or fluids without caffeine daily.  Caffeine should be avoided as it acts as a natural diuretic which takes fluid away from skin.  Skin hydration is very important no matter what a person’s age or skin type. This is true even if you have oily skin.  Oily skin may have a layer of sebum on the surface, yet could be dehydrated underneath.  This lack of moisture in the skin means it’s protective barrier has been compromised.  The result is skin that is less able to defend itself against irritation, inflammation and an onslaught of bacteria.  So, drink up.

Beyond drinking water, you need to wear a hydrating moisturizer every day.  Many skin types get oilier during the summer.  This doesn’t mean you can skip your moisturizer, it just means it might be time to change your moisturizing formula. Try a lighter formula that focuses on humectants.  These are ingredients that don’t add oil.  Instead they have a special talent for grabbing onto moisture and holding it in the skin. Some of the best humectants include glycerin, glycolic acid, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, aloe, honey and seaweed, but the superstar of all humectants is hyaluronic acid.


The reason Hyaluronic Acid is the superstar is because of it’s amazing ability to hold onto about 1,000 times it’s weight in water.  Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the skin’s dermal layer and gives skin a plump, fresh look.  It supports all those important skin firming collagen and elastin fibers you keep hearing about. It also supplies a medium for water to feed cells as well as support other master cells that are responsible for the manufacture of collagen and elastin.

In skin care products Hyaluronic Acid is made up of very large molecules that have difficulty penetrating the skin.  Studies have shown however, that applied serums containing hyaluronic acid can draw moisture transdermally from the lower layers of the dermis.


Humectants are key ingredients in cleansers, lotions and serums that hydrate the skin by attracting water like a magnet, locking in moisture. Chemically speaking, humectants form hydrogen bonds with water molecules. Humectants are extremely important in keeping skin soft and supple.

Humectants also draw water up from the dermis (the second layer of skin) into the epidermis (the outer layer) and, if humidity is above 70 percent, they can even draw in moisture from the air.  Humectants increase the amount of water that the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis) can hold. This helps repair dry, cracked skin by providing maximum hydration and reducing skin irritation.

Some humectants also encourage exfoliation, by dissolving the glue that holds surface skin cells together. Then they act as a barrier by preventing outside chemicals from making contact with the dermis.


When the weather is dry, particularly in winter or in arid climates, humectants can actually pull moisture away from the skin. Using a moisturizer that contains occlusive ingredients can counteract this loss of moisture.  Occlusives are generally richer in texture and more oily by nature. Occlusives help the stratum corneum retain moisture by creating a barrier layer of lipids.   Emollients help to soften the skin as well as providing this same type of barrier. Lipids are a natural barrier that helps protect your skin against dehydration.  There are ingredients like dimethicone and Shea Butter which mimic the natural lipids your skin should be producing.

Some new ingredients will actually stimulate your skin’s ability to produce more lipids. One such ingredient is a derivative of rosemary extract called ursolic acid, which is also a great antioxidant.


Your cleanser, toner, exfoliant and masque can all contribute to hydration or dehydration depending on your choices.  Choose your cleanser to match your skin type.  How much emollients vs. humectants do you really need?  Alcohol free toners that contain Sodium PCA or Seaweed extracts are great hydrators, without adding occlusive ingredients.  Moisturizers often contain a mix of emollients and humectants.

If you’re looking for the most effective humectant providing products you’ll find them as serum based. A respectable hydrating serum contains the right dosage of hyaluronic acid.  Products that claim 100% hyaluronic acid are just not being accurate.  Since hyaluronic acid is a solid, 100% hyaluronic acid would also be a solid which is very difficult to get into the skin.  You’ll probably find hyaluronic acid listed as sodium hyaluronate.  Sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid and it has a much lower molecular size. This gives it the ability to penetrate skin when applied topically, which is why it works in creams and other potions.


One of the best reasons for splurging for a facial is because this gives you an opportunity to have an expert work with your skin for an hour or more.  This way she can make superior recommendations on which products to choose and how to get the best results for your skin.

You just can’t revive or rehydrate dead cells.  Having a spa strengthened peel is the best way to exfoliate away those dead or very dehydrated cells on the skin’s surface.  This will reveal those younger, fresher, well hydrated cells underneath.  For most skin types, peels are the most productive step of the facial.  Then your skin is ready for steam, super humectants and valuable repair factors that create that extraordinary complexion we all crave.


Happy Winter

Happy Winter

And so this is winter…  It officially started on December 21st.  For me winter means the onset of an annoyingly itchy back followed by flaky skin on my legs (which hints at the necessity to wear stockings). This is just the beginning of winter weather complexion issues.  Tight, dry, flaky facial skin that increases the propensity for lines; a paler complexion which lacks life and radiance; or increased sensitivity that means red, chapped skin that can no longer tolerate your summer skin care routine (assuming you just marched along without thinking  you needed to change products and start using a richer cleanser and a more emollient moisturizer.  The key here is to act now, before these issues get out of control.


Winter air is often arid and accompanied by harsh winds that rob your skin of it’s protective oil, leaving you with an impaired lipid barrier.  Go for a moisturizer that’s extra-rich to protect your skin. Try using your night cream under your sun screen/moisturizer.  Look for a new, high tech ingredient derived from rosemary oil, called Ursolic Acid.  this amazing ingredient boosts your skin’s natural production to produce more barrier lipids found in-between surface skin cells creating a cushion that calms, softens and protects your skin.  Along with that, you need the perfect antidote for alipidic skin (skin that is not producing needed oil).  Skin  that is stripped of its own is oil should be using a facial oil.  Extra gentle facial oils contain ingredients like Evening Primrose Oil or Borage Seed Oil which not only lock in moisture but help calm sensitivities.

Try Intensive Lipid Repair night cream ($55.50 at Elizabeth Renee Esthetics) or Environmental Protection for Sensitive Skin ($42.50 at Elizabeth Renee). If your skin is not too sensitive add a little anti-aging retinol to your oil with FijiGirl Facial Oil ($24.50).


Dryness and dehydration aren’t the same thing. Dry skin lacks oil while dehydrated skin lacks water. Indoor heating draws humidity out of the air.  This lack of humidity can zap water from your skin leaving it flaky, tight and rough textured.  For dehydrated skin, make sure you are exfoliating properly.  Lactic Acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that also boosts the moisture content of your skin.  Also, instead of adding extra oil to your skin try adding ingredients that attract and retain water, such as phospholipids and hyaluronic acid.

Try Hydraessence hydrating serum ($42.50 at Elizabeth Renee) and Moisture Infusion night cream ($48.50 at Elizabeth Renee).


Flakey legs in winter need extra exfoliation as well as moisture.  Legs encased in winter leggins become extremely dry and flakey. Before you apply your favorite body lotion (which should be daily) add a few drops of a glycolic acid serum to that lotion.  The glycolic acid will dissolve those dead, dry cells on your legs.  These cells must be removed because they’re past the point of rehydration.  Glycolic Serum is also exceptionally effective for Keratosis Polaris, which is those goose bump looking things you get on your upper arms.  Apply glycolic Serum neat, every day to the effective areas.

My favorite body lotion is our classic, Avocado Body Lotion (still only $18.50 at Elizabeth Renee) to which I add a couple pumps Glycolic Serum 15% ($48.50).


In winter many of us suffer from dry, chapped hands.  The best ingredient for winter dry hands is Shea Butter.  Emollient and protective, try leaving your Shea butter based hand cream on your night table to apply every night before bed.  Wearing cotton gloves over a your hand cream really improves its efficacy.

My favorite is the super rich and emollient formula is our Hand Revitalizing Treatment ($25.50 at Elizabeth Renee)


As soon as the dry, cold air appears clients are frantically searching for the best lip treatment to get them through another cold New England winter.  If your lips are at the point of peeling you must exfoliate first.  A gentle but effective way to do this is not by using your scrub (which may be too irritating for this gentle membrane).  Try using gentle enzymes to dissolve dead, peeling skin.  Follow with an effective lip protector that does not contain petrolatum. Petrolatum is okay as a short term fix but can perpetuates dryness over the long run.  Instead choose vitamins (like vitamin E) for lip repair, and take advantage of the new lip peptide therapy (think ogliopeptides) to encourage real repair.

Try Elizabeth Renee’s Lip Exfoliator ($22.50) and follow it with our client’s top choice to fight chapped lips, our Lip Treatment ($19.50).  I make sure to carry our Lip Treatment with me all the time, all winter long (and so does my grand daughter Ava).

While you’re considering the best products to treat your winter dry skin you should also be thinking about which facial to choose the next time you visit Elizabeth Renee Esthetics Skincare Spa.  One of the most effective, with state-of-the-art cell therapy, to get dry maturing skin to act like a younger version of itself is our Cell Youth Facial.  Click the link to find out more about this and other Elizabeth Renee Facials.

Toner Tips

Toner Tips

Applying Toner“Why Should I Use A Toner?”
10 compelling reasons to add a
toner to your cleansing regime.

With today’s skincare regimes getting more complicated you may be looking for ways to consolidate your homecare ritual. It’s no surprise that you find yourself questioning whether or not using a toner is still a necessary step.

“After all, it kind of looks like water.”

“Isn’t a toner going to dry out my skin?”

First of all, a good toner should be alcohol free. If it feels really cool and tingly when you apply it that’s probably the feeling of alcohol or menthol evaporating the moisture out of your skin. Which will leave your skin feeling tight and dehydrated. All Elizabeth Renee Toners are alcohol free. Next, you need to carefully choose a formula that’s right for your particular skin type. Take a look at

Elizabeth Renee’s Toner Page

where you’ll find a collection of formulas that each have unique properties to address the needs of your personal skin type. That being said… skipping the toner step could be a big mistake. Applying toner is one of the three most basic but important steps that include:

  1. Using a non-drying, detergent free, cleanser
  2. An alcohol free, botanically based, hydrating toner
  3. Rehydrating with a moisturizer or treatment product

Why are toners included in the big three?

Here are ten reasons why using a toner is so important:

  1. It completes the cleansing process by removing left over cleanser, oil, makeup and impurities still on the skin’s surface after you wash.
  2. It provides important water binding ingredients to hydrate your skin.
  3. It balances the pH of your skin, which protects against unwanted microbes that can lead to blemishing.
  4. It aids in the exfoliating process by removing dead surface cells, thus minimizing pores and keeping them clear.
  5. Using a toner helps reduce irritation and calms redness.
  6. A toner helps brighten uneven pigmentation and gives a radiant clarity to the skin.
  7. It provides botanically based nutrients to improve the health of your skin.
  8. It removes impurities like chlorine; sodium and bacteria found in the tap water you use to wash your face. These can dry out your skin, irritate it or contribute to clogged pores.
  9. Toners remove barriers on the surface of the skin, which prevents penetration of those expensive anti-aging serums you paid big bucks for.
  10. Toners create a moisture layer that increases the efficiency of your moisturizer, keeping your skin soft, fresh and well hydrated.

Is Your Skin Dull, Dry & Tired?

Is Your Skin Dull, Dry & Tired?

Not all skin types age in the same way.  While some skin types become sensitive, red and reactive as they age others seem to just loose their pep.  The skin looses it’s vital glow because of diminished micro-circulation.  As this skin type ages it looses pigment and starts to look a bit ashen, while at the same time developing blotchy brown spots of hyper-pigmented areas. These may have originally come from the sun but have been exacerbated by hormone changes.  This skin type may become lax as it loses tone over time.  It also tends to get dull, dehydrated, dry or parched.  Without proper moisture and lipids the complexion can loose it’s fresh, moist, translucent qualities.

While this may sound a bit depressing, there are little tricks you can do to breath life back into your skin.  To make vital improvements direct your focus on circulation.  To do this choose botanicals like rosemary, ginseng, pine and chestnut extracts which enhance circulation. When used regularly they help revive skin’s healthy glow.  Your cleanser should be a light milky, water based lotion that won’t asphiate your skin. Take a moment to gently massage your cleanser in circular motions all over your face, then do some gentle tapping before rinsing it off.  This will activate tiny capillaries to bring in oxygen and important nutrients needed to feed the skin.

When formulated correctly, rosemary extracts (rich in ursolic acid) stimulate the skin to produce more of it’s own natural protective lipids.  This is particularly effective in correcting parched, dry skin and creates a nice, comfortable, radiant glow.

Your skin will greatly benefit from a little extra exfoliation.  Try a mild AHA exfoliating serum in the morning and a skin repairing retinol based serum at night.  These are tried and true formulas that exfoliate away old, dead, dull surface cells and at the same time jumpstart cell metabolism to produce newer, heather cells.  Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for your skin type that has been tested and found to stimulate collagen production, brighten pigmentation and protect your skin from environmental damage.  Vitamin C is important to help keep skin firm and improve your overall skin tone.

When visiting the spa you should look for treatments that also focus on extra exfoliation, brightening Vitamin C treatments, nutrient rich nourishing treatments and a stimulating massage.  You are probably one of the best candidates for regular facial treatments.  When you leave that spa your skin should look fresh, feel moist and revived and have a nice new radiant glow.

For a complete list of products recommended for this unique skin type click on Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ Skin Type #1.  Not all skin types are the same.  To discover your personal skin  type, how to treat it and get a complete listing of the best products for your skin click on What’s Your Skin Type? by Elizabeth Renee Esthetics skin care or make an appointment with Elizabeth for a Comprehensive Skin Evaluation (listed under Wellness or Integrative when you book online).