MultiMasking

I've been putting off microneedling and my skin is starting to look meh, so I decided I needed a night of multi masking.

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1. Milk Makeup Urban Defense Mask to cleanse and take off the makeup I off the makeup I had been playing with.

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2. Mixed Sunday Riley Good Genes lactic acid treatment with Apivita Green Clay Mask for some deep cleaning and exfoliation.  

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3. Removed that with Tatcha's Rice Enzyme cleanser for even more exfoliation

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4. Ended my masking with the Skyn Iceland Firming Face Gel and Firming Eye Gels, obsessed with these, but forgot I ran out of the ones for forehead

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5. As the last in my nighttime treatment I used some of the last bit of my Cle de Peau La Crème, I'm gonna miss it... :(

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I C, I C

The night of my micro-needling treatment, I starting the PerriconeMD Thio:Plex Intensive 2 Step Brightening System. This 2 Step treatment is designed to brighten skin, reduce hyper pigmentation, and lift and tighten the skin using potent active ingredients. Step 1 uses the "Thio Antioxidant" (Glutathione) a detoxifying and repairing agent.Step 2 uses high levels of a fat soluble Vitamin C, which does ya know, everything, brighten, lighten, and tighten.

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Usage of this isn't exactly clear in the instructions, it says at night to do Step 1, wait till it's absorbed, then apply Step 2, wait 20 minutes, rinse off, then reapply to targeted areas.  After speaking with reps from the brand I was told to do this 10 nights on, 10 nights off.  The website says to use it for an 8 week period.  My review is based on the 10 nights I used it.

Perricone's consumer studies reported nearly 100% of users saying their skin was brighter, smoother, tighter, more youthful, and that it improved the dullness of their skin.  Here's what I saw...

Holy shit yes!  After a few nights of use my skin was GLOWING.  I passed on the '20 minutes and rinse" and just left it on, following with my night cream and tretinoin.  Mind you, I did just do micro-needling, an AHA peel, and was using tretinoin every night, yet my face didn't peel like it normally does.  My down time was reduced and my skin was back to its glowing ways and then some.  In just the 10 nights I noticed my concern areas (dark spots around my eyes) looking brighter, less dark. Pores were tight, skin was smooth and bright.  When I stopped my 10 nights my skin did start to look a little less bright, so I plan on starting back up and using it every night for the 8 recommended weeks to see what kind of results I get.  If you are sensitive to smell, be warned, Step 1 does smell like absolute sadness (think a fish market on a hot day), and while it does linger, the results more than make up for the smell.

If you're looking for an intensive brightening boost to your routine, consider trying Thio:Plex $145, you won't be disappointed!

Micro-needling

9/25 Session Update

Since I love to switch out what products I use, here's what I used on my most recent micro needling session.  

1. I prepped my skin by scrubbing with the Dr Lancer Polish, this is hands down the BEST granular scrub you'll ever you.
2. Numb 520 to numb before needling. One other super exciting thing I found was a double use for my silicone mask, I use it to keep sheet masks in place, but it also holds down the plastic wrap over my numbing cream, which ALWAYS falls off. 
3. You can get a micro needling pen similar to mine off Amazon, or you can go through the hassle of ordering off Alibaba.com (though it takes a bit of back and forth)
4. Amore Pacific's new Vintage Single Extract Essence & Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Firming Serum to prep and give glide to the pen.  Also my skin has been dry as shit, so that Resveratrol Lift Serum is packed with Hyaluronic Acid to plump skin.
5. My skin has been pretty good lately, so I don't want to do an intense treatment after this session.  I'm using the Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence as a first step its mild Glycolic exfoliating benefits.
6. I'm jumping back on the Perricone Thio:Plex, this did wonders after my last micro needling session, so I think its time for round 2.  Its also gone down to $89!  I pray its not being discontinued cause this is my JAM
7. Topping my treatment with SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream to calm my skin
8. Can't forget my current 2 eye products, the Biossance Squalene + Peptide Eye Gel and Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Eye Cream, both have been treating my eyes good and not giving me an adverse reaction (my eyes have been all kinds of sensitive lately...)
9. Ending with some retinol.  I haven't been using retinoids much this summer due to so much time spent in the sun, so I'm keeping it easy and using my go to A313 to intensify my entire treatment.  Always a favorite!

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I've always thought face tattoos aren't the best investment, but microneedling or mesotherapy, has been my obsession for the past year.  By request from everyone I know, here's the what, why, and how to's on my current favorite anti-aging treatment.

Let me preface this post by saying, I am not a licensed esthetician, dermatologist, or even a nurse.  I'm just an beauty industry veteran with a passion for staying young and willing to do whatever it takes.  All the information provided is based on my research and educated opinion, so take caution with this procedure

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What is microneedling?  It's the process of puncturing the skin with a tattoo gun-like device at 0.1mm-2.5mm.  This is beneficial in 2 ways. 1. These punctures act like an irrigation system on the skin, creating pore-like holes that active skincare ingredients can penetrate deeper through, allowing them to treat the deeper layers of the skin where that they can't normally reach.  2.  These punctures are small injuries (that don't scar) so your body goes into repair mode, boosting collagen and plumping the skin, similar to how a laser works, just a different aggressor.  People see reduced acne scars, smoother texture, fine lines and wrinkles plumped out, and promote hair growth (I'm always sure to hit my eyebrows and hairline)

Microneedling vs Dermaroller - Microneedling goes straight down into the skin creating holes parallel to your pores, the creates less visible damage and is easy to heal. Dermarollers go in at an angle and can damage the skin.  Dermarollers are also difficult to sanitize, Microneedling uses 1 time use disposable needles.

How to use.

  1. I like to make sure there's no dead skin that can get in the way of the needles, so a gentle scrub or clay mask work great to make the skin smooth. I also use retinol products every day leading up to and at least 5 days after the procedure, this makes sure skin is its smoothest.
  2. This isn't the most pleasant feeling, it's like a tattoo all over your face. For anything over 0.5mm, I recommend numbing with lidocaine prior to treatment.  I use the LMK 4% lidocaine which can be purchased OTC at your local pharmacy.  Price ranges $30-$65 for a tube.  (I also just purchased Numb 520 from Amazon, it's way cheaper and 5% lidocaine and it works great) Applying a medium layer all over the face and cover with plastic wrap for 20-30min. You want the face VERY numb, especially the forehead, with the bone just beneath it, that part hurts the worst.
  3. After you've rinsed that off (please remember you can't feel your face, the product is probably off, it just feels weird) I clean the skin off with alcohol, you don't want any bacteria on the skin prior that could get into the holes.
  4. I like to put a treatment on the skin, depending on your concern, 1 to get the first boost into the openings 2 to give a slip to the gun to make the pen glide easier.  I usually use a hyaluronic acid serum and/or Vitamin C serum
  5. Now you're ready for the fun part.  Choose a needle , either 9, 12, or 36 prong.  Only do the 36 needle if you're ready to have a very red face for a few days.  Your pen should have a range from .25mm-2.0mm or 2.5mm.  You can go as high as 2.5mm on the face (forehead, cheeks, temples, chin, jaw, neck) .25-.5mm on the eyes and nose (be careful, men who have thicker skin can usually handle .5mm, women may .25mm especially on the nose) and .25mm on the lips.  I do not recommend needling the eye lids.  The deeper you go, the better the results you will have, but also the longer the down time.  If you start bleeding, you're doing it right.  My forehead will typically bleed at 2.0-2.5mm, if you find you're not bleeding, especially on the cheeks, try holding the skin taut.  You can do the 2.0-2.5 every 8 weeks, 1.0mm every 4 weeks, and .25-.5mm every 2 weeks.  I like to do the intense treatment every 8 weeks, and do the .25-.5mm at the 4 week mark before a mask, aha peel, and retinol.  Gliding the pen over the skin can be a little difficult at high lengths, so a stamping method may be needed, especially on the forehead, you don't want to feel the skin pull.
  6. Your face will be red and may be a bit bloody, take toner on a cotton pad and clean up the skin.  Follow with your active treatment - Vitamin C for brightening, Hyaluronic Acid to plump and hydrate, and/or Peptides for firming.  You may also chose to do a sheet mask and/or mild AHA peel, which will go super deep, so be ready for your skin to start peeling after a few days.
  7. Always follow your treatment with retinol, it just works.  Your skin will be red and irritated for 2-5 days but after that you get this "holy shit" glow that makes all that pain worth it

I've seen med spas charge from $500-$1000 per session for microneedling, doing it at home is way more cost effective, but please use caution! I don't want anyone stabbing their eyeball with a 2.5mm needle or getting an infection from reusing needles.

Where to buy

There are a lot of microneedling pens on the market, I have one similar to this one, but there are plenty out there.  Just be sure to get one that has a rechargeable battery, no body wants to deal with a cord.  Be sure to also get needles from the same manufacturer to make sure they fit your gun.  Please, never reuse needles, that's gross.

Prep Serums
I like something with a nice slip so the pen can easily glide.  Lately I've been using my essence, Dr Ci Labo VC100 Essence, it has amino acids, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, and a nice slip that lasts, making it easy to glide the pen over your skin.

After Treatments

- Brightening
If your main concern is brightening, stick with a Vitamin C serum over after your treatment, as of lately, my favorite has been the Skin Medica Vitamin C + E Complex $58, I didn't love the silicone texture at first, but the results make it worth it.  For added brightening, use the Dr. Jart Brightening Solutions Mask $9 right after needling, before your serums, that mask kicks ass.

- Hyaluronic Acid
If your main concern is hydration and plumping out fine lines, go with a Hyaluronic Acid treatment.  I'm loving the Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift $95 and Dr Perricone Hyalo Plasma $135.  Boost up with a hydrating sheet mask directly after your treatment, I love the SK-II Facial Treatment Sheet Masks $17, $95, or $135, they kinda do everything and just make you look perfect.

- Peptides

One of my absolute favorite serums is the Skin Medica TNS Essential Serum $150-281 depending on where you buy it.  It's dual pumps contain "Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media" on one side (allegedly baby foreskin stem cells) and a bunch of antioxidants and peptides on the other.  If you can afford this Serum, it's definitely one of the ultimate anti-aging products, I ❤️❤️❤️ it.

- AHA Peels

Korres Wild Rose Petal Peel is an amazing 2 step peel that exfoliates and brightens with AHAs and Vitamin C.  I've used this one the most after my microneedling treatments and as a weekly treatment, its one of my all time favorites.

- Retinol

Minimum 5 days prior to and 5 days after microneedling, you should be using a retinol.  If you have sensitive skin, yes you will peel a ton and have dry irritated skin, but isn't it worth it for the results after?  If you have a Rx tretinoid, use that, if not, these are a few of the retinols I use.

Skin Medica has 3 strengths in their Retinol Complex - .25 for sensitive skin, .5 for more tolerant skin, 1.0 for those of us who use everything on the face and have no problems.  This is one of my favorite you can buy without a prescription.

A313 $33 is still probably my favorite, even more so than prescription.  I love the thick texture of this French Vitamin A cream, and usually apply it as the last step in my PM routine, it always gives great results, especially for the low price point.

After my treatment tomorrow night I will be trying out the Dr Perricone Thio-Plex Intensive 2 Step Brightening System $145 which is an all over mask and overnight spot treatment to brighten the skin.  I've been meaning to try it and what better time than the new year! For my eyes I'm gonna to use the new Murad Eye Lift Firming Treatment, I got some samples as Sephora 100 point perks and I've loved the results!

A Mask A Day...

My favorite part of my skincare routine is masking. It's fun, gives instant results, and makes a very forgiving selfie. When I heard L'Oreal was making 3 new clay based masks, I said oh hell yeah, sign me up! I mean, at $13 each, buying all 3 is still cheaper than any of my other masks. I tested them all out for you and have been pleasantly surprised.

As soon as I saw they were out, I checked out the ingredients online and was so happy to see they didn't have titanium dioxide. TD is the most widely used mineral sunscreen, and is also used to make skincare products have a white colour. When used in masks it doesn't do a damn thing except act as a cheap filler. As much as I love my inexpensive Korean brands, so many of them use it, probably why I haven't found a Korean clay mask I love.

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Purify & Mattify Treatment Mask - Designed to unclog pores and keep this shine free, this green mask contain 3 clays to draw out impurities and eucalyptus to soothe skin.  Out of the 3 masks this was my least favorite.  Did I notice a big different? No. Will I try it again? Definitely, but it will have to go back to the end of my mask queue.

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Detox & Brightening Mask - After reading the ingredients on all the masks, this mask contains the highest concentrate of the 3 clays.  Charcoal gives this mask it's jet black colour and pulls out dirt and impurities leaving skin super smooth.  This is my favorite of the 3 masks, my face looked super bright and felt hella fresh, my pores were noticeably clearer.  I think I only left it on for 10min, next time I'll leave it on for 15-20.  Great to use before a night out or to recover from a long night out.

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Exfoliate & Refining Treatment Mask - Again we have the 3 clays, Kaolin, Moroccan Lava Clay, and Montmorillonite plus Red Algae to refine.  This mask has more of a grit to it than the other masks, provided by Apricot Seed Powder.  After its dried on the skin 10-15min, splash the face with water and massage to get extra exfoliation.  A great alternative to traditional scrubs, who doesn't love a multi-tasker??

For drugstore masks, even compared to high end masks, these are definitely great products, a total win for L'Oreal.  I'm hoping that they do well and L'Oreal continues to grow their masking category, I'll be the first in line to grab the next ones.  Which is your favorite?

Mission Multi-Mask

I would say that I was having a pre-travel mask night but I do masks 3-5 times a week, so I was just having a special 2 Part mask night.  Multi-Masking is my favorite because I just feel like I accomplished soooo much.  I started my night with the TaTa Harper Moisture Mask as I knew my skin would be drying out from flying, but my pores have been so clogged from heat and sweat, so I used the The Face Shop Blackhead Out Nose Strip to rip out some black heads.

After I rinsed the mask off I noticed how tired my eyes looked and that the pores on the sides of my nose were super clogged too.  I grabbed the Skinfood Egg White Pack Peel Off which includes strips for nose and in the same box, strips for forehead and chin, but since I have facial hair, the chin triangle won't stick in my chin, so I cut it in half and used it on the congested sides of my nose (shown in the pic) which ended up working out really good!  The Skin Food Carrot Collagen Eye Sheet is another favorite of mine since it's so inexpensive and works great, I buy them 10 at a time (they are NEVER in stock because everyone buys them up!).

While I let those masks do their job, I laid back on my Heavenly Acupressure Mat.  If you don't have one, and you have back pain, you need to get one immediately.  My friend Nina recommended it to me and I lay on it at least 15minutes every night before bed and it knocks me right out!  If you've never had any type of acupuncture or have a low tolerance to pain, just lay with your shirt on the first few times, after that you'll be so hooked you'll crave it, I've fallen asleep on it a few times.  I especially love the head piece, it's like someone giving you a scalp massage.

Woke up looking fresh faced and poreless, ready to pack my suitcase in the 30 minutes I allocated to getting ready for TX after hitting snooze 8 times... I'm clearly not a morning person...