Spring Cleaning-Time for a Facial!

The sun is finally shining and we can all stop hibernating in our snuggies.  Or is that just me? I know you all have SOME comfy pajamas you’ve been grasping onto and now are ready to let free for tank tops and flip flops.  77 degrees here in Chicago on Tuesday.  I think thats a beach day.  But way way to ruin the nice day when you look in your rear view mirror or your bathroom mirror as your putting your suit on and you see a ruddy face that is infested with black heads that you have been avoiding like no other.  At this point, if you haven’t taken proper care of your skin over the winter with the correct products there are no quick fix products from the drugstore.  I know I know, I wish I could be a magician but I don’t have a license for that;) If you are looking in the mirror and you skin is looking somewhat like any of these pictures, there is only one answer.  A spring cleaning facial.

Chances are you are having some of the same issues as these celebs.  Whether it be acne and congestion or struggling with dryness and fine lines and wrinkles.

For your facial, book some sort of peel along with it. Possibly a salicylic or glycolic peel.  The reason is over the winter you have accumulated so many dead skin cells, combined with sebum and excess makeup everyday that does not fully come off, leaving you with an unflattering complexion.  The peel will ” eat” away at your dead skin cells revealing a more glowy youthful you.  It will also help firm and tighten the skin by boosting collagen and elastin production if you feel fine lines are an issue.  Your esthetician will decide what peel is best for you.

Leave me comments if you read this and got a facial with a peel and love how your skin feels after! I would love to hear feedback!



Let me be your Beauty BFF-Refine and Re-texturize Dull Skin!

Sorry for the delay in posting skin fans, I gave my self a chemical peel (with downtime) and my face fell off!! So I have been looking for it for a WHOLE two weeks! Totally kidding that would never happen. My life is much more mundane; I have just been caught up with work. But Im back! 😉

So you wake up in the morning and drag your self to the mirror to wash your face to wake up and re-fresh yourself. You go through your normal routine of cleansing your face and slapping some sort of moisturizer which you have no clue on earth what it ACTUALLY
does for skin; all that you can really remember is that the lady at the department store told you it worked ” miracles”. You take a good look in the mirror and see what is staring back at you and you are frowning not smiling. Your skin looks dull, almost grey like, even more so if you are a smoker. And what is even more bothersome is that when you take your hand to your face; it is not smooth like the inside of your forearm, like it should feel; it is rough and uneven feeling. When you look further and are getting closer to the mirror( trust me, its very common to hop onto the bathroom counter to get even closer to the mirror-its not weird, its a girl thing) you see large pores and your skin seems to be different colors in different portions of your face. Houston, we have a girl problem.


Now we certainly do not want to get to the point where we are associating our skin with this nameless celebrity. But there are ways you can re-texturize your skin and avoid copious amounts of ridicule. Just joking, unless your friends have no shame;)

To re-texturize the skin we need to rid the skin of dead skin cells that are just kind of hanging out on your face. They can make the skin feel rough, and look ruddy. In GENERAL, you have three basic options, something light, like a gommage/scrub, a microdermabrasion treatment, or a chemical peel.

Your first option would be the easiest, an at home option, a gommage, and my reccommendation would be Aveda’s Tourmaline Charged Skin Refiner, seen here, available to order online, at AVEDA.com


The Tourmaline Refiner is actually Aveda’s alternative to microdermabrasion. They believe in manual manipulation with use of product as compared to a machine doing the work. It is a natural alternative that leaves no irritation or redness. I would reccommend using it after you cleanse your face 3-4 times a week( the morning is best- your makeup will look MUCH better). After you pat your skin dry from cleansing, apply the gommage, it will be wet at first, and then let it set, about 8 minutes, until it is pasty/ chalk like on the skin and somewhat hard. Your next step is to use your two fore fingers to buff off all of the product( best done over a sink). As you are doing this you are re-texturizing and sloughing off all of your dead skin cells. Rinse your face well, and continue your normal skin care steps. You wil be quite happy with the results.

Your second option in re-texurizing your skin is microdermabrasion. Although a very popular service from Hollywood to your spa right down the street, many still do not exactly know what it is.
Microdermabrasion is the application of tiny rough grains to your skin to buff away the very top layer of your epidermis-the strateum corneum. When there is a break-up in the strateum corneum it is the bodies natural response to consider it a mild injury and your body comes to “rescue” and it replaces the area with new healthy cells. There is often swelling and redness. Actually there is ALMOST ALWAYS swelling and redness, no matter how resiliant your skin is. This is my blog so I am allowed to have a opinion. YES, microderm will make your skin feel smoother, and re-texturize it to a certain extent, however you have to think of things long term. You have your face for a life-time, not just until you are 45. You are INFLAMMING the skin every time you get a microderm session. I know women who have a regular appointment booked for every other Friday. There is research that proves that over-inflammation of the skin leads to the process that breaks down collagen and elastin( that means fine lines and wrinkles for you!!!). Other things lead to this process too, such as picking at the skin, constant scratching or rubbing. Bottom line is I think microdermabrasion was a fad that is lasting a little too long, is way too overrated, and in the long run it is not good for the integrity of your skin.


Your third, and in my opinion coolest option is to get a chemical peel. You probably hear the words
“chemical peel” and are frightened. That should be the exact option of how you feel. Chemicals peels are the BEST thing for re-texturizing, and if you can handle a shot at the doctor you can handle a peel. For any and all peels it is very simple. You are prepped with a solution. Then the peel is applied. You may feel tingling you may not. Your esthetician may continue to apply more product until you feel something, or just leave the one layer for a specific time. On average, you have product on your skin ( you are in control of fanning yourself-this can make you feel more in control) for about 4-6 minutes and it is just like a rush. Almost like a roller coaster ride. Your esthetican may add a layer, and you may say, “WHOA, I FEEL HEAT” but you fan yourself really fast for 30 seconds and your back to a tolerable feeling. I won’t go into all of the differences between types of peels, such as, lactic, salyclylic, glycolic, jessner, tca, triplex, and alphabeta to name a few. Different skincare lines have different advanced peels for different skin types. The bottom line is the TYPE of peel you decide to get is a decision that you need to make with your esthetician after a THOROUGH consultation. Once you find the right one, repeat maintenance of chemicals peels every 4-5 weeks is going to get you the best skin in town. You will not only be re-texturized, but your skin will be tighter, firmer, and you will have that “glow” everyone is after. Go for the peel, you won’t be dissapointed. Below is a face chart that shows what areas estheticians often look at when we are assessing areas that needs change before a chemical peel, kind of like how a plastic surgeon draws on you before a surgery! Bring out the markers! That would make for a fun facial;)


I hope that the next time you are at the mall or booking your next appointment at the spa you will take into consideration what I have said. Gommage, microdermabrasion, or chemical peel, if you keep up with the game your friends will not make fun of you( hopefully) and you will not look like the nameless celebrity above( hopefully). Kidding. Just exfoliate in some form girls –no one likes a rag doll;)

Email me with any questions at jpiper220@gmail.com


Help Me! My Skin is Red and Oily and Makeup Makes it look worse!

Dedicated to an old friend-

We all of had days of occasional redness on our cheeks, possibly windburn, outside for too long
in the cold. But there is difference between that feeling and a daily redness either normally on (our cheeks) or forehead, and even more common-the chin. This may be rosacea, ( I am not a dermatologist, I am not diagnosing you, but chances are it isnt). Fun Fact: About 40% of the American population believes themselves to have rosacea. WRONG. The correct answer is 1-3%.

One possible condition that could be causing the redness is something totally normal that happens to very many people and it is called erythma. In lamens terms it is your body exerting energy in the form of redness. It does not mean you are excited or nervous about anything. It is just energy that is all.

But this may not be the case either. The most common reason for redness is irritation of the skin. Where does that come from?? The products you put on your face day and night without knowing they are stuffed with fragrance and alcohol to irritate your pores and make you RED.

Second problem, your not only red, but your oily. The fact of the matter is these two go hand in hand. The products that you are using that are making you irritated and red are also drying out your skin and in turn causing your sebaceous glands to produce more oil on a constant basis. It’s a two sided coin. And you need to make a wish and throw deep into a fountain. I promise there is a happy ending;)

If your skin is red and oily a perfect regimen for you comes from a great line called GLOtheraputics that you can order online at their website. GLOtheraputics.com

It is a pharmaceutical grade line that is RESULT-ORIENTED. IF U WANT CHANGE-TRY THIS

The following is an AM and PM routine that if you stick to solidly, and perform every single morning and every single night, within 4 to 8 weeks your skin is going to look reallly different from before. In 3 months you wont be able to stop staring in the mirror. Even within the first 2 days you will notice a change, again this is a result-oriented line that calms the skin and controls oil with ease. All you have to do is join the party!!

STEP 1: Clear Anti Blemish Cleanser
STEP 2: Purifying Tonic
STEP 3: Renew Serum
STEP 4: Oil Free Moisturizer
STEP 5: Oil Free SPF 40

STEP 1:Conditioning Milk Cleanser
STEP 2: Purifying Tonic(Above)
STEP 3:Tretinol 0.5%( like a serum)
STEP 4: B5 Hydration(it is used in place of a moisturizer)

Essential EXTRA: Pumpkin Enzyme Scrub
Instructions: Every Mon, Wed, Fri-After Cleansing in the Morning, Scrub your face and rinse, then move on to your purifying toner and so forth.

VERY IMPORTANT: you must wear the SPF 40 because at night you are using Tretinol to exfoliate. Tretinol contains Retinol and if you do not wear SPF, even in the winter, you may cause dark spots on your skin(hyperpigmentation).

The first time you do your morning routine you may feel a little dewey or “oily”. This is how you are supposed to feel. Over the course of the first week your skin will start to adjust and your skin will adapt and you won’t feel that way forever. In the mean time as a quick fix, add more loose powder after you put on your liquid foundation or tinted moisurizer. Layer it, layer by layer with your brush, “packing” it onto the skin, almost “pounding your brush into your face”. The dewey look will be gone and you will look flawless.

Hope this helps:)



Next Day Damage Control for New Years

hungover 1

The day after New Years Eve. Thank heaven we have off of work! You can barely crawl from couch to kitchen.  Or barely dial on your cell for take out.  We all know the feeling.  Unfortunatley the “havock” you “wrecked” last night also did a doosey on your skin.  And you’ve had enough chocolate, whiskey, and salt to last a lifetime.  Here are a few things that can get your body back in shape for tomorrow.   Yes, you do work tomorrow.

1)If your voice is gone/raspy-drink a glass of warm water with lemon, honey, and cayenne pepper, all equal parts.

2)GO TO THE DRUGSTORE AND GET A LIPBALM. Your lips are probably very chapped and dehydrated.  You dont want to look like Napolean Dynamite at work tomorrow.

3)After cleansing your face tonight, instead of putting moisturizer on, put on a hydrating mask-and sleep with it on.  Your skin will thank you in the morning.  You will look much more refreshed.  It doesnt hurt to bring the mask all the way up under your eyes as well.

Frustrated Woman at Computer With Stack of Paper

IF your still struggling tomorrow at work


drink cucumber water all day at work

you will get double the amount of h20 and start to feel better faster, your body just needs to let its natural ph come back to balance and rid your dehydration.


HAPPY 2013



 beauty-dirty esti


The topic of estheticians within in spas is one that greatly interests me in general because there are SO many estheticians and SO many spas.  And what it comes down to is that they are not all run the same.  My main area of concern as to how they are run that bothers me is cleanliness.  Because I am an esthetician there are things that I immediately notice when I walk into a spa that I notice and I will immediate it dub it “dirty”, and would never have a service.  It seems logical to not have a service to in a dirty place, but many people don’t realize the spa they frequent is dirty, or their esthetician is not being sanitary during procedures.

The whole reason we want to be very sanitary within the treatment room and during the treatment is to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.  As technicians we are touching person to person contact guest after guest.  Lets say you get your eyebrows waxed, they tweeze a little, then trim.  I am positive at some point those tweezers picked up some bacteria and skin from around your eyebrow area, what if you found out that those utensils were not cleaned from the previous eyebrow wax right before you? Gross right?  I have not experienced a bacterial infection myself, but have heard of technicians as well as guests catching bacterial infections after treatments.  This is why it is important to KNOW your SPA and your ESTHETICIAN.  Some things that you look out for at your next treatment for facial or wax in the treatment or wax to tell if the room is clean/ they are taking sanitary precautions are the following

  • If there is a spatula sitting in the wax pot, and they re-dip when they wax you( big no no) the heat from the pot is NOT hot enough to kill bacteria
  • For bikini, brazilian, they do not have a piece of paper covering the blankets on the bed, it can become a messy service, and the coverings need to be protected
  • They use a wax strip they used on your bikini/brazilian area-and use it on your face-spreading bacteria
  • You should see a BARBICIDE JAR-filled with either a clear or blue solution all tweezers and scissors should be kept here to be sanitized in between clients If there is no BARBICIDE JAR your esthetician is spreading bacteria all day long
  • *Not really a sanitary issue, but they should completely clear all excess wax from your body that is left over, and I always give a pad with oil when I leave the room so if you feel” sticky” at all you can remove it yourself if I have missed a small spot-common courtesy
  • You should be lying between two SHEETS, not a sheet with a blanket, spas do not have time to wash those blankets fast enough in between clients, and so you are sitting in someone elses sweat.
  • When your esthetician turns on the light for your consultation look to see if there are signs of “mask” like green or blue colors on the side of the handle.  This means that she is messy and does not clean at night, also look directly up at the glass, look for fingerprints, probably hasn’t been cleaned in weeks
  • If your esthetician is doing extractions, it should feel like a pinch, but she should ABSOLUTELY be wearing gloves, one if not two pairs.  During extractions you as a client bleed and any if that spreads on a estheticians fingers to anywhere on the treatment room you are in trouble if she is not wearing gloves and doing this on the regular. A good esthetician will know how to properly take off the gloves and dispose off them so the blood touches nothing but the bottom of the garbage
  • If you get a foot massage  you should hear the sink( your esthetician washing her hands before she touches your face again), as well as after your hand massage.   Hands are actually dirtier than feet because we touch so many things with them. If you are not hearing the sink running a great deal, you should be alarmed-that means she is also not cleaning other things like bowls and brushes
  • If your hot towels smell AT ALL like mold, they ARE OLD and your esthetician is lazy, and her hot towels were made days before and have been sitting in her hot towel cabbie for a few days and she just pressed the ON button. Say something, It is not right by any means.
  • Side Note-Never Use The Plastic Slippers they give you –those never get sanitized, if they are cloth and in a package that is fine, but otherwise just go barefoot, sounds odd, but less risk of getting athletes foot!
  • when you are alone in the room look for marks on the floor- these are waxing marks and this means that your esthetician does not take THE 5 MINS at the end of the day to clean her room.  Also look to see if her professional products are dusty, look out-of-order.  This also reflects her cleanliness
  • In the bathroom look to see if there are random things on the floor-people(esp employees pick up after your self) and if there is stacked toilet paper
  • If the locker room is clean that is a good thing, again don’t use the plastic slippers, but if by chance the robe that the hostess gives you is dirty or doesn’t fit, politely ask for a new one. Your paying for your service you deserve the right treatment.







Come Visit Me at Arete Salon and Spa in Palatine, IL for a CLEAN SPA atmosphere, great customer service, and result oriented service.

CALL  ARETE @ 847-907-4123


and feel fabulous


Give him what he wants for Christmas, naughty or nice, he deserves it;)

What to get the boyfriend or husband for christmas?? Here are two of my favorite skincare/shaving kits that will make any man smile Christmas morning!

  • Jack Black ‘King of the Road’ Set $65-Nordstrom
  • -Set includes: Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser, Face Buff Energizing Scrub, Beard Lube Conditioning Shave, Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20, Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser for Hair & Body and Cool Moisture Body Lotion
  • GREAT FIND_6944507
  •  The Art of Shaving “The 4 Elements of The Perfect Shave-Sandalwood Kit”
  • Each set contains a pre-shave oil , shaving cream , pure badger shaving brush and after-shave balm with a sandalwood scent.

art of shaving


Skin Spotting-Celebs!

Skin Spotting!

Who’s Skin Do we LOVE today and 3 healthy tips you can try to achieve their look

1)Camilla Belle


camilla belle 2

2)Anne Hathaway

Anne-Hathaway-4  anne-hathaway-pictures-31

3)Ashley Greene



3 Healthy Tips To Get Celebrity Skin

1)Eat more Kiwis-This tangy-sweet treat packs more vitamin C per ounce than practically any other fruit. Vitamin C helps maintain the collagen in our skin, keeping it tight

2)Crunch on more Sunflower Seeds-These seeds are filled with vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant that decelerates the aging of skin cells, keeping us looking younger longer. Vitamin E is also known for its ability to diminish the appearance of scars. Bye Bye acne scars!

3)Choose Turkey over ham for that sandwhich-It has a high concentration of zinc. This mineral maintains collagen and elastin fibers that preserve skin’s elasticity and firmness, keeping you looking firm and tight:)

2 days until Christmas Eve-Look For soon to come posts on how to recover from over indulging at that Christmas Feast and the effects it has on your skin and more importantly, HOW TO PREP FOR NEW YEARS


Holiday Exfoliation-The It Factor

sneak peak holiday glam

It’s friday night and its holiday party time.  What to do? How to prep? How to make your skin look its best? If your party is later on around 10 or 10:30 I would suggest getting a quick mini facial( I’ll explain exactly what to ask for) but If you need to be somewhere earlier, I’ll give you a few tips on some products you can pick up at the drugstore tonight on the way home to help make you shine and stand out in a crowd tonight.  The theme of your routine tonight is: holiday exfoliation.  Once you exfoliate and wipe away your dead skin cells, your inner beauty is revealed; all that dry dull skin is gone and you are left with a glowing complexion, making you the center of attention tonight;)

If you have time to book a quick facial which I recommend as the first option-please don’t think you will be red for tonight’s event (that is a horrible myth created by women who have had bad estheticians who gave horrible rough facials). An expert esthetician will be able to do more exfoliation because he/she has stronger professional products in their treatment room than you can find at the drugstore, as a result, you’re going to look a bit more polished and smooth than using a scrub at home.  So if you can find a spa that has evening hours on your way home from work, just ask to book a mini-facial( you don’t need the entire hour for today) but add a chemical peel.  You can add either a lactic or a glycolic 30% or less. Both of these peels will “eat away” at your dead skin cells and leave you feeling super refreshed and regenerated.  If done properly, with hydrating and nourishing masks put on after the peels, you should be just a little pink when you leave the spa, and by the time you get home almost back to your normal skin tone.  If you feel like it is still unnaturally pink, apply a layer of hydrocortisone first before you start to do your makeup for the night.  Then when you put your foundation on, do one layer, and if you still see pink, add one more.  At this point you should look appropriate, and you can continue with blush/eyes/lips and go as glam as you want

fashion dream

On the other hand if you are in a rush and all you have time to do is stop at the drugstore to prep for tonight’s festivities, there are a few things that can still make you look like a superstar;)  I am going to list off a few products with their pictures and then explain how and in what order to use them and why they will make good.

  • L’oreal Revitalift Creme Cleanser$5.79

loreal creme cleanser

    • Roc Daily Resurfacing Discs For Skin$9.29
      resurfacing discs
  • Yes To Tomatoes-Tomatoes Daily Clear Skin Pore Scrub$8.99

yes to tomatoes

  • Dr. Varon’s Vitamin C Concentrated $19.49

vitamin c 19.49

  • Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Anti Wrinkle Creme $9.19


These cocktail of products are my version of instant holiday exfoliation.  If you would like to look like you stepped out of a magazine tonight, purchase on your way home tonight.  The creme cleanser will start as a nice base to hydrate if you have dull skin as the weather has been drying most of us out lately.  Your next step is to us the pads.  You take one and swipe across your entire face, getting every crevice, around your nose especially and into your eyebrows removing any excess makeup that was not removed with the cleanser.  You can repeat this step with another pad if there was a lot of makeup on the pad. This pad is chemical and manual exfoliant, so it is doing double duty.  Your skin should start to feel clean at this point.  Next you are going to use the tomato scrub to exfoliate anything that may have been lagging behind.  Move the scrub around sprirally for about two to three minutes then rinse thoroughly with warm water.  While you are scrubbing, have a hand size towel that has been soaked in water, rolled up, and put in the microwave for 3 minutes waiting for you.  Take it out, watch out! It will be very hot grab it from the tip of towel and air it out a little and wipe your entire face and neck down with it.  Now you should be feeling really clean and glowing.  The last step is to apply the vitamin C serum for nourishment and to put antioxidants back into your skin so you keep the glow, and then following is the alpha hydroxy moisturizer to lock in moisturizer before you apply any makeup.  It has glycolic acid in it so while its hydrating its continuing to break down dead cells so they don’t build up, and you don’t look dull:)

Wait about ten minutes for everything to set and go ahead and apply your makeup and then its time to get glam! Have fun at your holiday party;)


Connect the dots-Girls just wanna have Fun!…errr Clear skin;)

The holiday season has begun.  The lights are up, you’ve been invited to a tacky sweater party, you may or may have not tried HOLLY NOG( I would advise against it if you plan on doing on doing anything the next day), and if you’re a girl reading this blog you just want to have fun!  It’s the season for giving and parties and you get to see many people who you don’t see on a regular basis.  But it is not always fun to see these people when we are embarrassed about our acne, we may even avoid these holiday gatherings because of it.  Beauty comes in every color, and no one should have to feel like that they will be judged on the condition of their skin.  But people are vein ( I’m writing a skin care blog, let’s be honest here) so after I finish explaining the last three contributing factors of acne in today’s post, I am going to give a real solution for acne, based on a few different skin types.  These are all products that I am very familiar with, have used in a treatment room, or use myself. Does your skin speak clear?  If you start to use them within the next few days, by Christmas for sure you should see some clearing.  I give about a three to four-month window for total clearing of acne, based on the grade.  Lets start with the last contributing factors, and then we can get to the fun healing stuff:)

The second contributing factor to acne’s progression in your skin is an abnormal desquamation process(in real people terms that would mean that your cells shed too slow).   This can happen for many reasons, actually, and many are natural reasons from your bodies response to other changes going on.  The first is a natural change in the strateum corneum(outer most protective layer) that is constantly being replaced as the underlying living cells move toward the surface and begin to die and shed.   Overproduction of sebum can be a factor that contributes to abnormal shedding.  This is because sebum can cause cells to become “sticky” and it becomes difficult for them to move and shed naturally.

The sebum works like glue to adhere to these cells to the surface and cause follicles to become clogged ( retention hyper keratosis), hyper meaning speeded up, and the keratinocytes are being produced at an abnormally fast rate.  As cells produce far faster than a normal follice, more and more dead cells are dumped into a developing impaction.

Other factors that affect abnormal desquamation include dehydration and aggressive skin care treatment( getting too many peels or microdermabrasions in a small window of time).

The third contributing factor to acne progression is the proliferation of p. bacterium.  It is a naturally occurring bacteria is specifically on the skin.  When excess sebum causes cells to cluster, preventing the proper shedding process, conditions for p. bacteria are perfect to grow, feed, and for inflammation to occur.  In this state, conditions are right for pustules (true pimple) to form and leukocytes (white blood cells) are sent to the area to help fight off the infection.  If left untreated, rupturing the follicle wall can occur and lead to scarring of the surrounding tissue

And finally, the fourth contributing factor, (not triggers, we will get to those in a different post, there are many of those that we dont even realize) is the inflammation tissue reaction, an immune response of our bodies.  inflammation occurs early in the onset of a blemish and persists even through the healing process.  The key to understanding this is that it is constant and invisible.  You do not need have visible signs of redness in order to be under an inflammatory response.  This can be call subclinical inflammation, it goes on all the time, because of chronic stress.  Because of the constant state of inflammation there is a premature degradation of the essential components of the skin and its structure as it forms and causes aging; oh great thanks work;).  As far as acne, the constant invisible inflammation in some cases, becomes visible due to the large amount of p. bacterium and the acne lesions.  Inflammation can occur deep within the follicle and can change the structure of the dermis (NO NO!) if the lesion ruptures.   The worst thing you can do to aggravate you inflammation, is picking or squeezing the blemish(leave any touching of such for your esthetician).  The inflammation is your bodies immune response to fix the lesion and is defending itself, so just let it be, and stay away from those clarisonics!(way too much action for your skin).  Inflammation can be what is most noticeable to us( the redness of a pimple) and most bothersome but there is a solution.


Message of Hope: Systems of Skincare based on your skin type, if you have acne

Type of Skin #1: If you are really oily, have many pimples(that have pus/ or no pus)  on your cheeks, chin, forehead, and your nose is clogged with blackheads/ You also have scarring(hyperpigmentation) on the sides of your cheeks  and chin, possible pitting as well

Regimen: Morning

  • Cleanse with GLOtheraputics Purifying Gel Cleanser( $26)
  • Swipe your face with GLOtheraputics Clear Complexion Pads($36)
  • Tone with GLOtheraputics Purifying Tonic($26)
  • Apply GLOtheraputics B5 hydration($57)
  • Apply GLOtheraputics Oil free moisturizer($41)
  • Apply Makeup

Regimen: Evening

  • Cleanse with  GLOtheraputics Purifying Gel Cleanser( $26)
  • Tone with GLOtheraputics Purifying Tonic($26)
  • Apply GLOtheraputics Tretinol 0.5%($60)
  • Apply GLOtheraputics Oil free moisturizer($41)

Tretinol 0.5% Has my vote! Instant Improvement


Type of Skin #2: You are dry/yet oily in some areas of your face, have random blemishes, whether it be on your cheeks, chin or forehead, your nose has blackheads.  You may have some rough  patches as well.

Regimen: Morning

  • Cleanse with Aveda Botanical Kinetics Gel Cleanser($21)
  • Swipe your face with Aveda Outer Peace Acne Relief Pads($33)
  • Tone  with Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist($20)
  • Apply Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion($33)

Regimen: Evening

  • Cleanse with Aveda Botanical Kinetics Creme Cleanser($21)
  • Tone with Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist($20)
  • Apply Aveda Outer Peace Acne Relief Lotion($40)
  • Apply Aveda Outer Peace Acne Spot Relief on any blemishes(29.50)

Best combination of salicylic acid and anti-inflammitory ingredients help acne a great deal! Gets my vote as well!

op lotion

These are the two most common types of skin types that I have dealt with that have acne.  Do not mistake the second regimen as better because it is less expensive.  If you have higher grade acne, and are more oily, opt for the first regimen, and you will see results. I know all of these products in and out and how they work, so when you decide to purchase them online or in store, if you have any questions, as always feel free to email me at jpiper220@gmail.com, and I can help with any of your issues.

To end in holiday spiri, Comment below what was the most epic fail of a gift, skincare/bodycare related or not of a gift that you have ever given or received? Lets have some laughs, it is the holiday season after all;)


Connect the dots-Session 2

Now that we have learned the “what” of acne, we can begin to discover the “why” of acne. There are four main contributing factors that lead toward a face of blemishes. Excessive sebum production, abnormal desquamation process, the proliferation of the p. bacterium, and the inflammatory tissue reaction( an immune response). Once we learn why these are the contributing factors, we can then learn triggers of acne, as well as different grades. Today I will explain about excess sebum production.

The first contributing factor is EXCESS SEBUM PRODUCTION. Within the skin, our body has the option to produce a hair follicle or it will most likely produce a sebaceous follicle. Attached to both types of follicles are sebaceous GLANDS that produce a substance called sebum(skin oil). Depending on person and environment, these glands can produce a lot of oil.

If it becomes a hair follicle that grows into a thick hair, the sebum and debris can flow easily to the surface of the skin along the hair much like a candle “wick”.

It is believed that within the sebaceous follicle, where there is less hair and acne is present acne may worsen. The reason for this is because without the substantial hair to serve as the “wick” the sebum and dead skin cells build up faster and acne becomes worse, and faster.

A blemish can take between 2 to 3 weeks to reach the surface of the skin, even though it seems like they appear overnight.

When you look at sebum from a chemical standpoint it is a complex mixture of fats(lipids). It is composed of at least eight different lipid components including polar lipids, neutral lipids, and wax esters( a combination of fatty acids and alcohol). Bacteria then breakdown these sebum triglycerides into diglycerides, monoglycerides, and fatty acids. This is one of the main processes that needs to be controlled.

Sebum does have a role within our skin, It provides barrier protection and assists in skin hydration, but over-production of sebum leads to acne.

Hormones can also play a huge role in the over production of sebum. Normal production of sebum begins at puberty. Between the ages of 8 and 12 during the period when sex hormones are stimulated, sebaceous follicles of face, chest, upper back, shoulders, and upper arms are stimulated; the sebaceous glands are enlarged and produce more sebum.

The male hormone testosterone (found in both males and females) stimulates development of the sebaceous follicle and glands. It is actually not the testosterone, but the dihydrotestosterone( a component) that affects the stimulation. At puberty a special enzyme present in the skin changes the testosterone into dihydrotestosterone and flows through the blood and reaches the skin. It is basically “supercharged” and begins to stimulate the sebaceous glands and follicles to start producing oil. This is why many teenagers are plagued with acne. It is not their fault, just their body’s natural path.

However, adult acne plagues many of us as well, either hitting us in our twenties, or in late 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s. These erratic fluctuations normally only effect women. The reason for this is because during menstruation/or lack of, estrogen drops, and there is an increase again in the levels of the sebum producing hormone testosterone. This is also what accounts for “menstrual flare-ups”.

” 60 Million Americans experience active acne” -Statistics on Acne Prevalence 2012

Next post we will discuss more of the contributing factors for acne. Seems like a lot of people are experiencing the same issue. After we dive more into these contributing factors to the “why” of acne, I will explain in-depth solutions for treatment if you are struggling yourself, or want to help a family member. It is actually very simply once you get some things in order.

“Beauty is Power; a smile is its sword”-Charles Reade



Connect the Dots-Your Guide to Acne Session 1

“The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well”-Hippocrates

Acne is something that almost every person has dealt with at some point in their life.  It is can be a very hard thing to deal with emotionally and can be painful as well.  Even as a medical esthetican, I am struggling with acne this week( it was my own fault).  You can see a picture below.  The reason I am broken out is because I had a little too much “fun” playing with superficial and high-grade peels.  I did too many within a 3 week span, and in return I threw off-balance of my sebaceous glands.(Disclaimer, I would never do this to a guest, please don’t be scared to come get a peel or facial from me, I was just “peel happy”)  So I feel like the best way to show you that I can heal your acne is to post a picture of my acne over the next couple days and posts, and give you new information on the topic of acne to help you understand why we have it, how it works and how we can fix it.  You will see through my methods that it is possible to fix acne, and that is preventable/curable.  My picture of what my skin looks like today (Thanksgiving) is below. I am peeling on my chin, have a scab on my cheek and near my eyebrows.  Also on both sides of my chin I have blackheads that I extracted that are healing.   I have to say this is the worst my skin has looked in over 4 years.  I have the type of skin people stop me on the street and ask “what do you do?”.  It is normally that perfect and glow-ey.  It is embarrassing for me to post these pictures, but I feel it is educational and an opportunity for you to see that acne is not something to be afraid of, it is just something you must have knowledge to correct.

Healthy internal function and balance is the key to clear skin.  To understand why we get acne and how it works you must first understand skin on its own.  Your skin’s surface is the “go-between” of the external and internal environments of our bodies, which in turn shows the health of our organs and mind/body function.  Our skin, in fact is the largest organ we have and serves as a protective covering to the outside world.  It is also a sensing organ, an oil producer, and is highly important when is comes to the process of elimination of toxins.  Our skin also controls the temperature of our body( think of running 10+ miles, your skin is what cools you down to some extent).  When you are warm and you perspire a process of very fast evaporative cooling happens.  When this process is continually happening on a regular basis ( evaporation and perspiration) your skin helps contribute to a balance of internal homeostasis.

I don’t think that most people realize how much detoxification the body does on its own.  When you perspire toxins that our body wants to get rid of are released through sweat, and you “detox”.  It has been said that people diagnosed with hypo-hydrosis( inability to sweat) are more prone to acne because they are not able to detox like most people.  Your skin is the place for absorption as well as release of toxins.  It is similar to the liver and lungs in that it has the ability to change toxins from lipid-soluble(oil based compound) into water based soluble forms which can then in turned be removed by your kidneys.  Your body uses your skin as a tool essentially.  It uses it to get rid of by-products of the metabolism most of which are toxic.  Your skin performs this process of elimination of the bodies toxic waste by sweating.  On the down side, if your body holds more toxins than the liver(detoxs chemicals, foreign substances, excess hormones) or kidneys(detoxs urea and ammonia) can efficiently get rid of, skin issues can take over( acne, anti-aging, dull skin).  Hope is here however, and there are certain ways that you can encourage the practice of elimination within your body.  You rid toxins by sweating,  so PROPER use of a sauna, and by proper I mean a short time and not on an everyday basis would be a good idea.  Also a good idea would be use of supplements and specific diets that promote quick exits for toxins that are stored in the body.

Here is the oh so fabulous picture of my face today, and below is a cross-section of the layers of the skin.

This cross-section of the skin is a good representation of where the sweat leaves your body when you perspire/detox through the epidermis( top layer of skin).  All the layers of the skin come together to make many different processes happen.  The skin is responsible for the functions of sensation( who would have guessed?), heat regulation, absorption, protection, excretion, and secretion.

Now that we understand how the skin functions on its own and the functions that it does on a daily basis, we can start to begin to understand acne.  Acne is a very involved topic and can be complicated based on specific case, and should always be taken care of by your esthetician.  Don’t try to fix acne on your own, almost 99 percent of the time you will fail.  You need an expert to look at what kind of acne you are dealing with, your habits, and what the best method of treatment is over whatever time period you are working with.

Acne(Acne Vulgaris) is an inflammatory skin disease that occurs around the hair follicle(skin organ that produces hair) and sebaceous gland (microscopic glands in the skin that secrete waxy/oily substance called sebum) forming comodones, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.  The most common place for acne is the face but we also have sebaceous glands in our neck, shoulders, back,upper arms, upper legs and chest as well, and acne may appear there too.  The disease is not restricted to any age group, and often adult acne can be emotionally draining because sometimes as a teen we are not as aware as to what is going on.  Acne can cause disfigurement , it is not life threatening , but often times leads to both severe and permanent scarring.  ‘The percent of adults who claim to have acne in general among total adults is 13% , higher among women at 18%, versus 10% for men.  Not surprisingly, among teens acne incidence is quite high, at 56%”-National Omnibus Survey 2005. 

There are 4 main contributing factors to acne progression.

1)inflammation tissue reaction( immune response)

2)Excessive sebum production

3)proliferation of  p. bacterium

4)abnormal desquamation process(sloughing off of dead skin cells)

Acne has no defining cause, however there are 4 main contributing factors that contribute to the skin’s imbalance.  Although acne cannot necessarily be “cured”, I know personally from experience you can treat and manage acne to a point where it is not noticeable to people around you.  This is my goal for any of my guests when we are treating acne.  It is almost like a vision from the first day I meet you and your under the light on the treatment table, and I “see” your face clear, and devise a plan as to how we will get there.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, it just takes a little work on both your and my part.

Not only through facial, peel treatments, microdermabrasion(depending on severity) and product regimen, nutritional guidelines and a balanced lifestyle can help contribute to a clearer face.  I like to call it the “dual-approach” which will address not only the actual acne on your face, the soreness you have, and clearing of the blemishes through different techniques, but calming your mind and body through massage to reduce your stress levels so you will tend to not release more of the stress hormone that can contribute to producing sebum(acne).  The whole big picture is about healing, treatment, and prevention, as a revolving cycle, and that’s what I try to teach my guests when we are working with acne.

Next post we will go more into depth of the specific contributing factors of acne (the inflammation tissue reaction, excessive sebum production, proliferation of p. bacterium, and abnormal desquamation process).  You will then further understand why these make for a not so “happy” face, and we will be further to ” connecting the dots”.



Everyone is after it. That “it factor” glow for the skin. When you see it you know it, and its everyone’s dream is to have it. It is very easy to achieve this glowy-ness and dewey-ness when you know are keyed in on a few things about how skin, different foods, vitamins, and facials work together to achieve a luminous complexion. Over time your skin accumulates dead skin cells and they build up, which can make skin look dull and essentially clogged ( another factor that could contribute to the dullness factor is smoking, try the patch, your body and your skin will thank your self right now and 30 years from now;) and these dead skin cells need to be sloughed off in some way to reveal the true “you” underneath. One way to slough these dead skin cells off is through alpha hydroxy acids. Examples of these would be a peel that you would have your esthetician perform on you. A lactic acid peel comes from milk, a glycolic acid peel comes from sugarcane, and a malic acid peel comes from apples. These are all examples of superficial peels that you do not normally “peel” from. They are just a chemical exfoliation method to remove and dissolve dead skin cells to reveal a more illuminated you. In general they are used to turn over the cells so that the skin is softer and smoother on the surface. This method is different from a mechanical exfoliation of using a scrub( be careful with these, it can be very hard to tell what is really in them) because mechanical exfoliation is often overdone and harsher on the skin, causing dryness, and in turn can cause breakouts.
Also, food and water play a huge part in what our skin looks like to the outside world; our skin is the largest functioning organ our body has, and has a lot going on inside, and we must take care of it so that we get that “it” glow all the time. We must regularly hydrate our bodies so that we maintain a certain level of water in our bodies, in all honesty it affects oil production and cell function. Although a statement that has been thrown out the window many times, “you are what you eat” still holds some truth today. Skin disorders, fatigue, and even depression( which if isn’t taken care of, can affect those prone to acne) can be caused by a poorly balanced diet. Macro-nutrients( proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) are the building blocks necessary for bodily functions of the skin.On a 2000 calorie a day diet, an average person should intake about 105 g protein (20%), 281 g carbs (54 %) and 60 g fat (26%).
Protein is needed to make muscles, tissue, blood, and enzymes, and keratin that is present in skin, nails, and hair( does that mean more grilled chicken equals shinier hair? hmm?) But most importantly protein is used to make collagen, and collagen makes your skin firm, and binds water, which means you are going to be looking good if you are eating your daily doses of protein. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy( controversial) are all good but should be limited to that 20% of your diet because they can be high in fat. Nuts, grains. and beans are also wonderful to stimulate the collagen synthesis process. Who knew eating a piece of salmon was the going to get you the GLOW factor, well probably Dr. Oz, but we will pretend I just told you;)
Carbohydrates break down the basic chemical sugar that supply energy to the body. Nutrients are broken down to combine with protein to produce different body chemicals. One specific to our topic of the skin and face is a carbohydrate-lipid-complex that is a water binder. It is present in the fibers of the dermis, the lowest layer of the skin. What does that mean for you? Well every time you put a healthy carb, (not a DONUT) into your body you are promoting moisture retention for your skin, and if you have any type of dryness and are look for a pick me up to bring you to that “it factor”, you need moisture, so it is the perfect solution. Bring on the Quinoa! There are 3 sources of Carbs. 1) Simple Carbs( sweets, syrups, honey, fruit, candy, and many veggies). 2) There are starches, which include processed grains, cereal, breads, and other flour products, potatoes, legumes/beans, and pasta. 3) The third category is high fiber foods including unprocessed grains, wheat bran, certain beans, most veggies. Also all gluten-free flours and grains would fall into this category. As far as carbs are concerned this third category is the one you want to choose from the most if you want your skin to glow, as these foods will induce the most moisture retention for your face. Foods like candy, sweet rolls, and even some fruits that are high in sugar do not trigger this response within the dermis (bye-bye dark chocolate 😦 JOKING, studies have actually shown that chocolate is good for your skin, the cacao bean has many antioxidants so go for it!
Fats, or lipids, are a different story. They are used as nutrients but not as readily as carbohydrates. You want to have a little bit of fat in your diet no matter what, it is important to the function of your body. Fats are used to produce the materials in the sebaceous gland( glands connected to the hair follicle that produce oil and protect the surface of the skin). This is important because how active your sebaceous glands are(how much oil they are producing) determines whether or not you have acne. Acne is clearly a deciding factor in whether or not your skin is glowing, often, skin with acne can have a grey cast, but is most often red. Fats also assist in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K. Most of the vitamins would be in serums that you may use, so if it weren’t for fat in your diet, you would not be getting the benefit or “glow” that you should be from these serums. Monounsaturated fats from olive oil and canola oil have more fluid molecules than oils that are considered saturated fats and these oils are not only good for cooking but are important for cell integrity. Your brain is filled with question marks. Mine is too. Just kidding. Cell integrity is the overall health and structure of the skin cell. Basically if the cell is healthy, which it should be if you are getting the correct amount of fats (+carbs+protein) you should be glowing. The topic of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids comes up when discussing skin health and luminosity. Both are fatty acids that are polyunsaturated that are necessary for skin repair ( great if you are a smoker). Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation of the skin and can be found in any cold water fish, including salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, trout, cod. You can also take a fish oil supplement( do your research on a quality brand), eat walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or algae chips as an alternative. Any of these are great for reducing inflammation and when your skin is calm, it looks better, the redness is gone, and
“you”  shine through. Linoleic acid is an Omega 6 fatty acid that is used to make important hormones for the skin and assist in keeping the lipid barrier of the skin strong. Omega 6 is found in sunflower oil, corn, soybeans, borage oil. and flaxseeds. Again, if your lipid barrier is strong, you are holding in water and oil, the balance is good and your skin looks dewey and glowy. On some level fat may not be so good in large doses for the human body, but if have the right intake of fat everyday, it can do wonders for your skin, this is why its important to not undereat( common problem).
Lets not forget about the world of Vitamins!! Vitamins have been around since the beginning of time existing naturally within plants. It is only obvious that they are here to help us, and they certainly do when it comes to achieving a glowing face. Vitamin C, is found in citrus fruits, vegetables, tomatoes, and potatoes, and is responsible for healing and collagen maintenance( yay firming). Sulphur is found in fish, eggs, nuts, cabbage, and meat and aids in collagen and body tissue formation and gives strength to keratin. Vitamin A promotes overall cell health and repair of skin health. It can even help prevent against certain types of cancers including skin cancer. Retin-A or retinoic acid as we know it today( high concentration of vitamin A) improves elasticity and thickness of skin. You can find vitamin a in carrots, yams, fish, eggs, and pumpkins( my dream is if Starbuck’s pumpkin spiced lattes would count!) Also vitamin D promotes rapid healing, which is great for any one with acne looking to achieve at least a little bit of a glow. Vitamin E helps skin fight free radicals so that the cell membranes arent damaged and can function normally. It also heals damaged tissue. as well as structural damage. You can find vitamin E in avocados and wheat germ. Vitamin K allows for coagulation(clotting) within your skin so it helps to lessen the appearance of abnormal capillaries by strengthening the capillary wall(stops the bleeding). Vitamin K can be found in beans, dark leafy vegetables, spinach, and broccoli. Another great vitamin is Riboflavin, it helps with dry skin, you know the cracks around your mouth you get around winter time and can be found in salmon or tuna. Trace minerals are also important to skin function and luminosity. Zinc aids in collagen formation, and would healing. Copper helps with formation of elastin as well as collagen, and selenium is needed for tissue elasticity. You should look for all of these vitamins in serums and moisturizers that you are purchasing for your face, but you should also eat as many of the foods listed as possible because your skin is an organ, and what is happening on the inside, shows on the outside.
The last step, finally I promise 😉 is taking care of your skin with a regimen of cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and exfoliant based on your skin type every day if you wish to achieve luminous skin.  If you perform these steps the PH of your skin will stay constant and you will be less likely to break out and your pore size will be smaller. If you have questions on what is best for you comment or please email me at jpiper220@gmail.com
Look for my next couple posts on the topic of acne, which is an involved subject but I am going to make it a little bit easier to understand for everyone!


Jessner Peel Update.  Today is thursday and my skin is almost completely peeled from my jessner peel that I completed last saturday.  I have taken very good care of my skin, by only cleansing, using a moisturizer with no acid and a heavy spf in the morning.  It was obnoxiously hard not to pick at what was peeling, but I knew that I would hyperpigment if I peeled away at what didnt already want to peel.  I was a “safe” peeler.  I feel like back to myself but what I really feel the difference in is how the smaller fine lines and wrinkles have disipated and my skin is firmer and tighter.  Although jessner’s are typically used for melasma and low grade roscaea, they can be used for anti-aging to an extent.  All in all I am satisified with the results and will most likely repeat in 4-6 weeks( skin junkie).  If you have any questions about peels and if they are right for your skin type feel free to email me and I will be happy to reply:)

On to another subject. Hyperpigmentation, Retin-A, and Sunscreen.  Winter is coming and all of you will soon be completely barried in blankets.  This also means that you will no longer be on boats. motorcycles, out in the back yard, in the pool, you know all the fun things in life.  But this is also the perfect opportunity to start working on all things that bother you about your face, you know, the age spots.  Those dark things that creep up the sides, and for a while you can get your hair to cover them. If your lucky you have bangs and they cover your forhead, but other wise hyperpigmentation is an issue for almost any women on this earth.  This time of year however, is the BEST time of year to work on minimizing your hyperpigmention through a few different steps.  This time of year is optimal to working on breaking down hyperpigmentation because you are not in the sun, so the sun does have the access to create more hyperpigmentation, so therefore we are minimizing and not creating any new.  The goal is by spring to have less, and to then be in the habit of knowing how to protect yourself for the coming spring and summer months ( hats, hats, hats, love them!)

The way in which we start to minimize hyperpigmentation is through a simple regimine.  For your PM routine you may cleanse with whatever you like depending on your skin tone.  Then you would use a Retin-A (or a Tretinol product-EVEN BETTER) ( Vitamin A, C, and E, allows the Vitamin A to work while C and E do the healing).  After letting the product set for about ten minutes you can apply moisturizer.  The way vitamin A works is that it slowly breaks down the melasmasomes so that they are not as visible.  Over time ( you must give the treatment protocol at least 30 days before you see results) you will eventually start to see the spots fade.  Retin A and Tretinol are also VERY very good for anti-aging and acne, so you may see your skin texture and tone improve over all as well.

The number one thing that people who use Retin-A and Tretinol Serums forget to do during this time of year is wear an SPF.  Even though you are not blinded by the sun, UVA and UVB rays are still present.  Please, please, please wear your spf 30 or higher while using these strong products, or your hyperpigmentation may actually get worse from sun exposure.  You would just apply SPF in the morning after moisturizer.  If at any point your skin starts to get flaky or too dry, start using the Vitamin A product every other day instead of everyday, it will be a little less harsh.


PS-have attached pictures of what my skin looks like now that my Jessner is finally done peeling


This past saturday I gave myself a pass of 30 percent glycolic and one pass of a modified 14% jessner.  The skin on my face is feeling very tight and I am just WAITING for it to start peeling.  You never want to start to peel your own skin after a peel, you want to wait for it to peel on its own, and once it starts peeling, you never want to pick, just lightly brush off with a washcloth from what is falling off when you cleanse your face.  I can feel that I am going to start to peel around my mouth area tomorrow, and will probably be all the way peeled by friday! Lets hope because I have a date planned! The key to taking care of a higher grade peel depends on the peel and you should always be given directions by your esthetician, but for this specific peel I only washed my face with cream cleanser and wore spf until today, two days after the peel, and tomorrow when I start to peel, I can start to do a different regimen of using cream cleanser, using a moisturizer( nothing with an acid, or vitamin a, then following with spf 30 or higher).  I will continue this until my skin is done flaking and back to normal( and much brighter and has more luminosity.  The “it glow” we call it here at work.  Hopefully this can teach you a little bit about taking care of your self after a peel if you had had one and didnt know how, otherwise if you are interested in a peel or dont know if its right for you for your skin conditions, click on my homepage, click on contact info and email me and I will be able to help answer your specfic questions about any type of superficial or high grade peel, or just a peel if you dont know what those two terms mean;)


PS I have attached two pictures. One from Day one( basically just a little dry, and today, (the one with red lipstick), you can see the tightness forming around my mouth.