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


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;)