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Choosing a Cleanser for Your Skin Type

The first step in creating a skin care program is choosing a cleanser that will allow the skin to balance its own moisture levels.    A common mistake is to overdry the skin with bar soaps, which are very harsh on skin.  Another common mistake we often see are  clients with slightly congested skin  who  self-diagnose  acne, then treat the  skin with an over-the-counter acne cleanser, which also overdries the skin.  Both of these situations result in a chronic dryness in the skin, which triggers the body to generate more oil, thus creating more acne.    A different situation occurs when clients with sensitive skin choose an over-the-counter product for sensitive skin which may not irritate the skin, but in many cases is not able to effectively cleanse the skin.     It’s critical to choose a cleanser that will not clog and create acne, but one that will be able to cleanse the skirt of perspiration and debris from natural detoxification processes.   The pH of skin lies between 5.5 and 6.2, so even water, with a pH of 7, is much drier than our skin.    While creamy cleansers are not right for oil skin types, and gel-based cleansers are overdrying for almost all skin types, how do we begin to choose the right cleanser?

Congested Skin – Often combination skin types produce a congested skin — not quite acneic, but with slight bumping and occasional breakout.  This skin condition is best treated with a cleanser that is slightly more astringent — we recommend one containing alpha hydroxy acids, primarily lactic acid, which is very hydrating to the skin.

Oily Skin – When the pores are large in the center of the face and around the sides, we define the skin as “oily,” but it does not necessary mean that you are making oil, just that you are capable of it.  Oily skin must be moisturized, just like dry skin, to protect the barrier function (the skin’s ability to retain its moisture).     In both situations, the skin benefits from products containing alpha hydroxy acids, gently formulated so the skin is not overdried.  Sometimes , in cases of extreme oil, a combination of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide may be used — but check with a dermatologist or esthetician, to avoid over-drying the skin.

Mature Skin – mature skin generally benefits most from a creamy cleanser which leaves the skin more hydrated.    Depending on the client’s exfoliation requirements, we may alternate with an alpha-hydroxy-based cleanser for brightening and refining.

Sensitive Skin –  Sensitive skin loves milk-type cleansers with calming ingredients such as rose or chamomile, with a minimum of friction (no particles) and gentle, lactic-based alpha-hydroxy acids for exfoliation.

Find Your Ideal Foundation Combo

We recently worked up this chart for our Foundation Workshop as a guide to help you find which cosmetics are ideal for you based on skin type and desired coverage.  Our chart reflects products that we have here at Abundance, and below we have included a loose translation to help you use these guidelines with any cosmetics in your makeup bag.  Of course, there are many other types of foundation available today – creams, gels, mousse, you name it – so there is a lot of room to play.

A word on oily skin… when we refer to oily skin in this chart, we do not mean “I get a little shiny by the end of the day” – we mean seriously oily skin.  Typically we recommend mineral foundation for oily skin types, however you can still use Skin Tints if you use it in place of your standard morning moisturizer for light, non-greasy hydration (follow with powder or mineral foundation as usual…).

A note on concealing the under-eyes… We now offer both TRUE’s creamy under-eye concealer which is a trio (illuminator, salmon & yellow) as well as PRIORI’s CoffeeBerry Perfecting Concealer (in powder form).  Both are great to have in your makeup kit, but if you want to start out with just one, then I would pair creamy concealer with Skin Tints or powder concealer with mineral foundation.  If you wear both, then I would choose creamy concealer for more problematic under-eye circles, or the powder concealer for general brightening around the eyes.  PRIORI’s CoffeeBerry (powder) concealer is great on the eyelids too!  It evens out color nicely so that you look awake and wide-eyed.

Skin Tints = tinted moisturizer, or a very hydrating sheer liquid foundation formula

Mineral Foundation = mineral foundation (!)

Finishing Touch powder = a fine setting powder (non-mineral) that minimizes pores and reduces shine

Mineral Mist = a fine mist used to liquify and set mineral foundation, and hydrates with hyaluronic acid (do not attempt with water which is drying to the skin)

Maximize Results from your Peel Series

Chemical peels are one of the best values in skin care, and the fastest way to achieve a brighter, smoother complexion.  During each of 6-8 weeks, the skin sheds 3-5 layers of dead skin cells, releasing trapped oil and debris.  At the end of the series, the skin is softer, more hydrated and products are absorbed more quickly into the skin.  To maximize your results, incorporate any or all of these tips:
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Hyaluronic acid ~ why you want it and how to get it.

At Abundance, we’ve been singing the praises of hyaluronic acid for years, so we were pleased to see it get some public recognition in the article “Skin care’s new favorite ingredient: hyaluronic acid” by Alene Dawson for the Los Angeles Times. 
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Antioxidants and Skincare

Hello! Happy Pumpkin season!

This month I’ve featured our pumpkin facial, not only because it’s seasonal, but because it’s another way to add antioxidants to the skin. In addition to nourishing the skin, the acid made from pumpkin breaks down the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together in the outer layer (epidermis), gently revealing the new, fresh layer.
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