It’s All About Eyes

It’s All About Eyes

microcurrent eyeThe eyes are not only the window to the soul, but a great indicator of your health, age and emotions.  When you first meet someone the initial connection is often made by looking into their eyes.  Is this a happy person, a friendly person, someone you want to know?

Unfortunately, with today’s hectic life styles your eyes tend to suffer.  If you work with computers or get less that the desired eight hours sleep; if you have a glass of wine, eat salty foods or foods your body has trouble metabolizing; or if you are under stress or exposed to harsh weather conditions your eyes may look and feel worn out.  Whether it’s dark circles, puffiness, sagging skin or crow’s feet your eyes say a lot about your current health.

At Elizabeth Renee Esthetic’s Skincare Spa we realize that eyes are often overlooked in your skincare routine, even though the contour area around your eyes is the most delicate area of the face.  We think this is so important we have devoted a whole month to caring for the eye area.  During The “EYES” of March we offer eye treatments, quick eye makeup updates, even an eye facial, plus useful recommendations about what eye care formulations will be most beneficial for your unique skin type.

You should think about devoting this month to taking care of the skin around your eyes.  At Elizabeth Renee Esthetics we’ve developed a new facial with just this in mind.  Our new Firm & Lift Eye Facial is a soothing treatment that uses advanced micro-firming technology to promote beautiful looking eyes.  It’s more than your typical eye treatment.  The Firm & Lift Eye Facial starts with a gentle enzyme masque brushed over the eye bone and swept across the tops of the cheeks.  The carefully selected enzymes gently dissolve surface dead cells that accentuate wrinkles.  This masque also tightens and sooths the skin.  Following the masque our especially trained estheticians perform a feather light manual lymphatic drainage massage.  This type of massage encourages lymphatic vessels (which hold fluid, toxins and pigment in the area around the eyes) to drain away lymph, helping to reduce puffiness and dark circles. The third phase of the treatment is devoted to a new microcurrent technology.  Microcurrent treatments are often referred to as “non-surgical face lifts”.  Elizabeth Renee Esthetics uses the newest technology, focusing specifically on tightening the delicate muscles around the eyes.  The result is fresh, radiant skin that feels comfortable and looks great.

Here are some at-home treatments for fresher looking eyes:

Dark Circles: Cover your eyes for 15 minutes with cotton pads soaked in cool cucumber juice. Note: Cut slices of Cucumbers; place them in a small bowl and cover them with cold distilled water from the fridge. After removing the cotton pads, massage in Eyelift Brightening Cream, lightly around the eyes, using gentle pumping motions on the bone, going away from the eyes.

Puffy Eyes: Moisten two chamomile tea bags with cold water or stick them in the refrigerator to cool them.   Place them over the eyes for five to ten minutes. You may also use cotton pads soaked in Chamazulene Toner. Follow with Anti-Puff Gel that you’ve left in the fridge. Apply sparingly on the eye bone.  Take the “cold” glass bottle of Anti-Puff Gel and roll it over the puffy areas. This treatment works best when done in the morning.

Dry Eyes: Apply a warm washcloth over your eyes for up to ten minutes followed by the gentle massage mentioned above. Do this several times per day. This helps open clogged oil glands in the eyelids that help with lubrication.

Tired Eyes: Rub your palms quickly together until they feel warm. Cup them over your closed eyes. Feel the heat emanating from your palms, but don’t touch your eyelids. Sit quietly in this position for a minute. Repeat several times. This helps to soothe eyes and revitalize the surrounding area.

If you visit Elizabeth Renee Esthetics during the month of March take advantage of the tips and tricks our skincare guru’s will happily share with you.  Our “EYES” of March Promotion also offers quick eye makeup techniques that are sure to brighten your eyes.  Ask about special discounts on eye creams and eye makeup.  We intend to make the month of March an eye opening experience.

Holiday Stressed Skin

Holidays can be fun but let’s face it, for a lot of us it can be a very stressful time and the result of this is often reflected in our skin. If you find yourself running around trying to get ready for holiday parties, stressed out about finding that perfect gift, dealing with sometimes difficult family dynamics, over indulging in rich foods, sugary foods or alcoholic beverages, your skin may be showing distinct signs of stress. 

You’re not alone.  This time of year many clients come running into Elizabeth Renee Esthetics skincare spa for an “emergency facial” to find out what the heck is going on with their skin.  The most common concerns include a sudden tightness, dullness, dryness, blotchiness, eczema patches, puffy eyes, blemishes and flaking.  Our estheticians are specially trained to recognize the signs of stressed skin and provide treatments and products that offer quick results.


Cold weather causes us to push up the thermostat.  Most heating systems create desert dry air that sucks that valuable moisture out of your skin. Skin cells are dependent on moisture to stay alive, healthy and metabolically active.  The lack of moisture causes cells to die prematurely, leaving skin feeling tight, dry and flaky. It also leads to the breakdown of your skin’s protective hydrolipidic barrier.  Lacking this barrier means your skin becomes vulnerable to irritants, bacteria and free radical skin agers.  Water always goes from greater concentration (in this case your skin) to lesser concentration (the arid air around you).  So, naturally moisture is drawn out of the skin. 

Your first step in improving winter dry skin is to improve the barrier function of your skin.  That moisturizer that was perfect over the summer is just not going to cut it right now.  Upgrade to a moisturizer that has more emolliency.  My favorite moisturizer for very dry skin is Intensive Lipid Repair.  This rich moisturizing cream contains ursolic acid, an ingredient that helps dry skin repair itself by stimulating your skin’s ability to produce more protective skin lipids from within.  If you’re in love with your current moisturizer you might want to try adding a few drops of FijiGirl Facial Oil to increase its moisture holding emolliency.  Sensitive or eczema prone skin should take a look at Environmental Protection which is a silicone based product that can provide a soothing and extra protective layer over your moisturizer.  Silicone is good for this skin type because while it traps in moisture it lets the heat out of the skin.  Heat trapped in your skin can be a problematic if you are sensitive or have rosacea because, when skin heats up it gets redder and more reactive.  

You should also look at the other products in your regime.  Is that gel or foaming cleanser too drying this time of year?  Steer clear of anything that foams up on the skin or contains detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate that dissolves the skin’s protective barrier. Always follow cleansing with a mild alcohol free toner to remove drying chlorine particles and fluoride found in the tap water you used to was your face. If you use a cleansing milk you might want to try a little richer formula for winter.                                                                  

For many skin types this is the time of year to tame your exfoliation routine.   Replace that scratchy scrub for a silky cream exfoliant, based on gently exfoliating enzymes that glide on like a mask and subtly dissolve away dead dry cells – sans the irritating particles: a definite no no for sensitive skin. 

This time of year it is even more important to get your eight glasses of water in daily.  Moisturizers don’t put moisture in your skin, but hold in moisture brought in through circulation, and that moisture comes from drinking water.   It’s also a good idea to set up a humidifier near where you sleep at night and for heaven’s sake wear a scarf or other protective clothing when you’re outside facing the elements.


It’s party time!  Okay, so we all over indulge a little this time of year.  First of all there are all those tempting sweets that require super human powers to resist.  Keep in mind that sugar adds dramatically to free radical damage which accelerates wrinkles, and aging.  Sugar also invites bacteria that can contribute to breakouts.  Plus, be aware that eating salty foods, especially at night, increases under eye puffiness.  Alcohol is a triple whammy for your skin. It’s full of collagen linking sugar (causing wrinkles). It’s loaded with free radicals and is extremely dehydrating when you over indulge. Plus it’s a vasodilator which makes sensitive skin get redder and reactive.

Combat free radical damage by upping your antioxidant intake. Try sneaking in extra antioxidants by eating more colorful fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants are in the pigment so dark green veggies like spinach or brightly colored berries contain lots of pigment and therefore lots of anti-aging antioxidants. Try upping your Vitamin C supplement.  Vitamin C promotes new collagen production.  Start applying a high potency antioxidant serum to your skin during the day. Sunrise Solution contains 18 of the most potent, state-of-the-art antioxidants including superfruits like Coffee Berries, Acai Berries, Gogi Fruit and Pomegranates.  These are amongst the most powerful sources of natural antioxidants available today, especially against collagen glycation due to sugar and alcohol intake.  Also keep in mind that balancing each alcoholic beverage you drink with a glass of water helps limit the amount of dehydration your skin will have to endure this holiday season.


You might be exhausted.  Not getting enough sleep can be the result of parties or holiday worries.  Did you know that healthy skin depends on plenty of sleep?  Most skin repair occurs during REM sleep. This is why we recommend most repair serums at night.  When you miss this important stage of sleep you leave your skin vulnerable.

Try to monitor your sleep.  Taking a cat nap during the day helps reduce stress hormones that eventually breaks down skin’s immune system.  I can’t stress enough the importance of sleep, but when it’s just not happening try these repair tactics:

Give yourself a little massage.  Spend a little extra time when cleansing your skin just doing little circles around your eyes and face with your cleanser twice a day.  This gentle stimulation jump starts circulation to bring in fresh blood containing oxygen, water and important nutrients in to feed your skin. 

Try an eye gel in the morning that you’ve left in the fridge overnight.  The coolness tightens lymph vessels under your eyes to relieve puffiness and dark circles.  Some of the newer peptides like Hesperidin (found in our Anti-Puff Gel) helps decrease blood from leaking through delicate capillary walls under your eyes.  This decreases redness as well as puffiness.

Try using a repair serum at night so that the sleep you do get is productive at healing and strengthening your skin.  My personal favorite night time serum is REVITALIZING Cell Therapy.  Even though I’m prone to eczema I find this serum offers instant relief from dryness and sensitivity.  Plus it has super repair factors that come from 5 internationally patented anti-aging ingredients. Over time your skin looks younger with improved texture and tone.


When under emotional stress your body exhibits a “fight or flight response.”  What this means for the skin is that blood is drained away from the face to protect your internal organs.  Stressed skin often lacks proper circulation and appears dull and sluggish. The increased stress hormone (Cortisol)  acts similarly to  testosterone which increases the likelihood of breakouts in some people and skin reactions in others and is a major contributor of premature aging of the skin.  

The most important way to fight stress it to learn to be good to yourself.  Find time to squeeze in that facial.  One of the most soothing, hydrating and relaxing facials we offer is the Cold Fusion Facial.  This super hydrating, anti-ager is just what the doctor ordered.  Based on a Cold Fusion Masque which contains a hefty dose of Epidermal Growth Factors for super effective skin repair.  While you’re here our expert estheticians will carefully examine your skin and make educated skin care recommendations based on your individual skin type.  The Cold Fusion Facial includes a peel.  Maybe the peel you need right now is our Smart Peel.  The Smart Peel exfoliates with sting-free enzymes, leaving skin fresh and relaxed, hydrated and calm.  Can you think of a better stress reducer? Studies show that taking time out to relax stimulates a stronger immune system so you are better able to handle the tough stuff. Don’t skip exercise just because it’s winter.  Regularly (moderate) exercise causes your body to produce anti-stress hormones. Try yoga. Take a walk. Plan some healthy New Years Resolutions.


If your skin has become super sensitive because of all this stress and harsh weather conditions you may have recently developed eczema symptoms.  For this you may need a medical prescription but in the mean time you need to look at your skin care program to make sure you have eliminated all possible triggers.  Your esthetician can help you with this.  Your esthetician can improve your regime, keeping in mind that eczema is made worse in winter because of the loss of the protective barrier.  Once you have cut down to the bare minimum gradually reintroduce products to find out what is the most tolerable for your skin.  I’ve had to do this myself and after several weeks I was able to build up to a minimal program of milky cleanser, alcohol free toner and simple moisturizer.  However, my skin remained dry until I introduced Revitalize Cell Therapy which has helped my skin feel more comfortable and heal.  I also found that using a Luminous Foundation worked wonders. I’ve eliminated anything that is drying (including all powder based makeup, especially powder shadows and powder blush.)  I really love our Luminous Foundation because it not only feels more comfortable but gives off a younger, smooth moist look.  


Stress increases breakouts at the most inopportune times.  If you have clogged pores they might not act up until the introduction of stress. 

Try an LED Light Treatment.  This facial uses light to stimulate skin repair.  If you have problem skin, this treatment is perfect for killing aggravating bacteria that causes breakouts and encourages healing.  In the winter, the over use of harsh acne products can be counter productive by increasing inflammation.  Try treating your skin a little more gently.  Take a look at these gentle blemish busting tips:

  • Come in for High Frequency.  This treatment flushes blemishes with bacteria killing oxygen.  Acne bacteria is anaerobic – zap it with oxygen and it’s dead on contact. The best part is… if you are an Elizabeth Renee client give us a call and we’ll do it for free!  It takes only a few minutes.
  • When you feel that sore red blemish coming on, try applying a thick layer of over-the-counter cortisone cream on that spot as soon as you start to feel it. Then ice it for five minutes. Do this twice a day and sometimes you can actually miss getting the blemish.
  • Try Clear Skin Solution. This is a great spot treatment.  If you don’t like the experience of over drying and irritating your skin you can skip the  caustic alternatives such as benzoic peroxide.
  • Cover up with our Blemish Treatment Concealer. This concealer helps dry up and clear blemishes without the oily base that you’ll find in most other concealers.
  • Update your exfoliation. Stress can go either way.  Your skin can become reactive with red, sore blemishes.  This means you need to skip that scratchy scrub for a pore clearing and disinfecting exfoliating serum like Getting Even which contains bacteria fighting Salicylic Acid.  But… if stress causes your skin to get dull and clogged you need to accompany your Getting Even with a skin smoothing scrub.  For dull, thick skin with problem blackheads or non-inflamed comedones try Clarifying Crystals (made with volcanic mud for a deep skin smoothing experience.)


As we’ve already discussed, lack of sleep, poor food choices and alcohol can cause under eye puffiness.  Here are some bonus tips for this problem:

** When using the Anti-Puff Gel keep the bottle in the fridge so you can apply it cold, but you can also take the cold glass bottle and roll it directly over the puffy areas to tighten the tissue and take down puffiness faster.

** Sleep with your head elevated and sleep on your back.  This helps to drain lymph fluid away from your face. Leaving the eye area smoother in the morning.

** Wear a lighter eye creme. We’ve updated our eye cream formulas to be lighter because research shows that heavy emollients in eye creams actually hold water in the delicate tissues under the eyes, making them puffy.  Check out EyeLift Brightening Creme for one of today’s most state-of-the-art formulations.

** Alcohol allows lymph to accumulate in the blood vessels under your eyes while you sleep. Drinking later in the evening causes a more acute problem.  What can I say?

** If you have dry under eyes, try a primer under your makeup to make this skin looks smoother.  

** Keep away from white concealer and keep highlighting products not too close to the eyes because these accentuates circles and puffiness.


Finally, when heading into the new year be good to yourself.  Create some New Years resolutions like booking a “good for you” facial on a regular basis.  You’ll not only feel pampered and more relaxed but your skin will thank you for it by looking younger, smoother. Keeping that glow will make you feel so much less stressed!

EyeLift Brightening Creme


Ever since I posted my blog about “Choosing the Right Eye Cream for Your Skin Type,” my clients have been asking me when I was going to release my newest, light weight anti-aging formula.  Well, the time is now!

EyeLift Brightening Creme is the right choice for your skin type if you have maturing skin with multiple concerns which may include dark circle, lines, wrinkles, sensitivity & hydration.  It is especially effective when you want to focus on prevention using newer, high-powered anti-aging ingredients.

This is a light weight cream that has been designed to get deeper through those tiny pores in the skin around the eyes.  There, targeted ingredients can do their best job at keeping your skin strong and younger looking.

If you are particularly dry, you may want to opt for a slightly richer eye cream.  All of our eye creams are fairly light because we have chosen not to use eye products that contain overly heavy, oil laden ingredients that add to the problem of weighing down the delicate skin around the eyes. These greasy eye creams can potentially increases the loss of skin tone in this area.

That being said, Intervention Eye Cream is the perfect choice for Alipidic (oil depleted) skin. It has a wonderful combination of peptides for anti-aging protection and it’s great at soothing and smoothing very dry skin.

I’m currently using the new EyeLift Brightening Creme and I love the light, silky fresh feeling it has. This time of year I can even use it during the day, under eye concealer or foundation without it creasing or smearing my makeup.  This might be a different story in the summer where I’m sure I’ll switch to Anti-Puff Gel which has always worked for me in warmer weather.

It’s also important to mention that the EyeLift Brightening Creme has been great for hydrating the skin around my eyes   I haven’t had any dryness or crinkly skin problems this winter, even though the air in my house has been particularly dry.

Want to find out more about eye creams?  Read: The Best Eye Cream for Your Skin Type.  The more information you have, the better able you will be at choosing the perfect formulation for your unique skin type.

The Best Eye Cream for Your Skin Type

Beautiful EyesWomen typically start to develop under eye lines by the age of thirty. If you’re not using an eye cream by then you’re missing out on a really important step in your anti-aging regime. Because the skin around the eyes is thinner and drier and because of expressions we make with our eyes this is an area that tends to age quicker. Today’s eye creams can be specifically designed to reduce dark circles, soften lines, reduce puffiness, moisturize and keep your skin looking younger, longer. Among all the formulas out there make sure you are selecting the proper formula for your unique skin type.

The outdated concept that an eye cream must be much heavier than your regular moisturizer is totally false. Yes, the thin, delicate skin around your eyes is more prone to dryness but heavy, oil laden creams only serve to weigh down the skin which adds to an increase in lines, bags and a loss of tone. A heavy formula can also block the tiny pores under the eyes causing little yellowish bumps called milia. For best results look for one of the newer, lighter formulas available and use it consistently.

Younger skins (from 25 to 35) should be looking for an especially light moisturizing formula that will not clog the pores. When you are younger you don’t need many of the active ingredients out there. They may actually be too stimulating for your already metabolically active skin. Instead, you should focus on prevention. When you decide you’re at that age where you need to start using an eye cream look for one that strengthens your skin’s ability to protect itself from environmental aging (especially from the sun). An effective antioxidant and vitamin based formula is ideal. Some companies offer sunscreens in their eye cream which seems reasonable except for the fact that you want the eye cream to penetrate while your sunscreen should be essentially a surface product. Even though sunscreens are the most important anti-aging product of all, we think you should keep these two products separate.One of my favorite ingredients for younger, oily or sensitive skin is Nayad (a yeast extract). It’s a great preventative measure to protect the integrity of younger adult skins. Nayad is a compound believed to be an immune system stimulant. It has been demonstrated to trigger Langerhans cells which help immune activity in your skin. Increased Langerhans cells minimize sun damage and help repair weakened collagen fibers, helping your skin to stay soft, smooth and line free. Bio-Defense Eye Treatment is a great choice when looking a lighter eye cream.

As time marches on one should introduce a Retinol product to your regime: one of today’s premier anti-aging, anti-wrinkle ingredients (and at the same time reduces your chances of breaking out). Instead of incorporating this into your eye cream consider retinol in the form of a time released serum that can be used over the entire face and neck. Apply it sparingly under your eye cream. Not all skins can tolerate Retinol but if you have thicker, leathery, sun damaged skin you will find an immediate visible softening of lines and over time a nice smoothing of wrinkles.

As the skin ages (35-45) you’ll want to include peptides in your eye cream formula. Peptides have wonderful anti-aging properties and are great at moisturizing and conditioning the skin without causing puffiness or irritation. Older, more traditional formulas use less sophisticated hydrating ingredients than we would consider ideal today. Collagen, is an older ingredient that is a nice hydrator for your face, but when applied to the eye area it increases water retention to the point of causing puffiness. Peptides are a much better choice. Neuropeptides are perfect for supersensitive skin. Similar to retinol, neuropeptides stimulate collagen and elastin production, but are much gentler. Applying neuropeptide preparations directly to the skin stimulates clinical benefits almost immediately upon application. Visible improvements effect skin’s resilience, tone, and texture. At Elizabeth Renee Esthetics our best selling eye cream with peptides is our Intervention Eye Therapy.

Which peptides are best for your eye cream? Try these for great results:

Hesperidin- is wonderful for the eye area because it strengthens capillary walls. This reduces the visible leakage of blood under the skin which often is the cause of dark circles.
Dipeptide-2- is also a favorites because it helps reduce fluid retention under the eyes by stimulating lymph drainage, reducing puffiness. Plus it contains natural moisturizing factors which are great hydrators for the skin.
Matrixyl 3000 (a pentapeptide) has been the most extensively tested peptide of all and has been shown to strengthen the delicate skin around the eyes by boosting collagen production and repairing DNA damage.

For many of us waking up to puffy eyes is a bit depressing. Puffy eyes are the result of stagnate lymph fluid settling in tissue under the eyes. This occurs from lack of sleep, sleeping on your stomach, drinking alcohol, eating salty foods or having food allergies. Puffy eyes from lymph accumulation usually dissipates during the day. You can aid in this process by using a gel containing peptides designated for lymphatic drainage.

Tip: An anti-puffiness gel is best kept in the fridge overnight. In the morning you can gently tap it onto the puffy areas and follow with gently touching the back end of a cold spoon to the area. One you’ve also left in the fridge (not in the freezer) to help penetrate the gel and tighten and drain the swollen tissue in that area. I love Elizabeth Renee Esthetic’s Anti-Puff Gel.

As you hit menopause your need for an eye cream will change. Skin’s metabolism slows down, your skin becomes drier and you may be ready for some heavy hitters. I still recommend to staying away from those really heavy eye creams. As the facia under the skin separates from the bone, fatty tissue pulls away from the skin, creating bags that aren’t fluid. You don’t want to add to this condition by using creams with overly heavy oils. Try a silicone based primer instead (a breathable barrier) that will add protection and give skin a smoother look. Our best selling Eye cream is Intervension Eye Therapy, but also look for EyeLift Brightening Cream coming this spring.)

There are some great new formulas out there that are particularly effective for maturing skin. Along with peptides you may need firming, lifting, lightening ingredients and ingredients that pay special attention to boosting the energy of skin cells.

Here are my suggestions:

Vitamin K – has been parlayed into use as a cosmetic ingredient to help diminish vascular conditions that emerge as skin imperfections such as dark circles under the eyes and redness from rosacea or broken capillaries.

Co-Q10 (Ubiquinone) – is a vitamin like nutrient that resides in the mitochondrial cell membrane. CoEnzyme Q10 is known as a “cellular energy source”. It makes your skin metabolism more active, so it behaves more like younger skin.

Shiitake Mushroom Extract – Is one of the most studied medicinal mushroom extracts in the orient. It derives it’s name from one of its hosts, the Shii Tree, and is a tradition that stretches back approximately 1000 years in China. It is known for it’s immune boosting and anti-bacterial properties. It also helps brighten the skin and has a very calming effect.

At Elizabeth Renee Esthetic we offer an Rx Eye Treatment which incorporates lymphatic drainage massage with delivery of the latest ingredients.  This is a perfect treatment for when you want to look your absolute best.  Many clients opt to have this an an add-on to their regular monthly facials. If you are having a more advanced issues  you might choose a series of weekly eye treatments which are especially good for lines, dark circles and puffiness.  Their effectiveness is based on the underlying cause of these conditions.  Sometime you might  have to resort to medical help.

I hope this post helps you make a decision on which eye creams are the best for your skin type. Look for future posts on the ideal way to apply these products and watch for our new EyeLift Brightening cream to be introduced this spring.