I get this question many times. What is a toner, do I really need one and what the heck for? I have been an avid toner user for years and my method has changed quite a bit. When I was beginning to take care of my skin as a teenager the toners out there were geared for acne and oily skin types. They were were meant to strip the skin of oil. After we found out that is not a great way to treat the skin many people just stopped using them all together. The newer generation of toners have been created for the opposite purpose, to re-balance and hydrate. So let's start with the basics.
Why use a toner?
One of the main reasons we "tone" is to re-balance the skin after cleansing. It helps to restore some of the natural balance or the pH in the skin that a cleanser can sometimes remove. Many of the toners on the market have a water base with different cleansing and hydrating properties helping to replenish and prep your skin for the next step-treat! When the skin is nice and hydrated the treatment product next will penetrate deeper into the skin, getting the most benefit for that product.
What types of toners are there and what should I use for my skin type?
The toners on the market now range for all skin types, from oily skin types having more of an astringent toning effect to the drier skin types can focus on hydrating and protection. There are natural ingredients to help keep oily skin under control and helping kill bacteria without over dying the skin. Avoiding a product with alcohol is important, this can strip the skin and make the skin produce even more sebum (oil) in the skin and cause breakouts. Dry and sensitive skin should use gentle botanicals and hydrating ingredients to help restore moisture and calm the skin. Using a toner with antioxidants help protect the skin from the elements as well.
How do I use it?
Most toners can simply be applied to a cotton pad and swiped all over the face, neck and décolleté. Some toners such as my REPAIR toner, can be sprayed directly onto the skin. For people who prefer to use cotton you can spray it on to a cotton pad and then apply. Hydrating toners like this can be used not only following the cleansing process but throughout the day. When you are outside to protect from free radical damage, when you are stuck on an airplane and need a boost of hydration or if you want to spray over your makeup to set it.
I hope this helps answer some questions about what and why we use a toner in the first place. There are so many benefits to using one and every single skin type can benefit from daily use. I'd love to hear from you, do you use a toner and why?
One of my favorite holidays is coming up and I am offering 20% off my UNDO serum and REPAIR toner for Valentines day! Whether this is a 'Galentines' present or even a 'treat yo-self' present, these two products make the perfect gift.
This is a great gift idea for the men in your life too, my husband loves applying UNDO serum every day. It is soothing and healing making it great for razor burn. It is easy to achieve that dewy skin with UNDO serum and REPAIR toner! Just apply code LOVE at checkout to receive the discount. Offer ends February 14th!
Since I get so many repeat questions about my line and skin care in general, I thought I would share some of the most frequently asked questions here. If you still have a question after this post, please ask! Here we go:
Q- In what order do I put my products on?
A- I get this one the most. I like to say a general rule of thumb is to apply the lightest to heaviest in terms of product feel. For example, this would be a pretty typical regimen:
2. Exfoliator *this is a step you can do a few times a week
3. Mask *also not a daily product
3. Treatment products/serums
5. Sun Protection *if daytime
For Simply Jess products you would cleanse and then use REPAIR toner and follow up with UNDO serum.
Q- Why do I need a toner and what does it do?
A- This is a product many people leave out and wonder why they even need to bother with one. First of all there are different types of toners. Toners can bring the pH of the skin back to balance after the cleansing step. Toners help deliver the treatment products deeper into the skin because of the moisture they provide. Some toners are more antiseptic, helping to regulate sebum production in the skin, (great for oily skin type but I would avoid alcohol based toners).
The REPAIR toner in the Simply Jess line has a few additional benefits. It is loaded with antioxidants so it helps protect your skin from sun exposure. It also has ingredients that help with calming redness and inflammation. And it is super for overall hydration. The great thing about the spray bottle is you can apply throughout the day and even on top of makeup!
Q- How often should I use a treatment serum?
A- I get this specifically about my UNDO serum. Morning and night for the best results is recomended. Some people have another serum they like to use so you can alter them (one serum in the morning and one at night), to target different results or you can even layer them.
Q- I have sensitive skin, can I use your product line?
A- YES! So far every product I have created is amazing for sensitive skin. I use ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Arnica and coconut water which have tremendous positive effects on redness and irritated skin.
Q- How often should I receive a facial treatment/facial?
A- In a perfect world 4-6 weeks is ideal. The reality is I don't know many people who stick to that! I am a huge believer in getting in for a treatment with a great esthetician, having a deep cleanse and also who doesn't love a facial massage!? My advice is to get them when you can and do what works for you. In between treatments you can exfoliate, mask and use really great skin care to help your skin looking its best.
Thanks for reading and please let me know if there is something I can answer for you!
The Aloe Vera plant is rich in history, going back to the ancient Egyptians. Around 1500 BC the plant was first documented being used for such aliments as burns, parasites and even infections. Today this plant is as popular as ever, used to soothe bug bites, sunburns and incorporated into many skin care products. Many sensitive skin types really benefit from its natural and healing properties.
Other benefits include:
Skin Moisturizer-helps bind moisture to the skin
Skin Protection- is able to penetrate deeper into skin and deliver benefits to sensitive skin types such as eczema
Antioxidant- loaded with vitamins and minerals
Acne Fighter-helps with inflammation and even scarring
I recommend keeping an Aloe Vera Plant in your home if you have the space, its great to have on hand. You can open the leaves of the plant and extract the gel quite easily! If you burn yourself cooking or have a sunburn this is a great treatment that works right away. I know people who have had such irritated acne breakouts accompanied by extreme dehydration that see great benefits to applying straight aloe to their skin. It is also anti-aging due to its content of vitamins A, C and E.
I use Aloe Vera in my UNDO serum for all of the benefits mentioned above and its one of the reasons the serum is so great for sensitive skin types. It comes in a high concentration, like using pure Aloe juice squeezed from a fresh Aloe Vera plant. Learn more about UNDO serum and the other powerfully healing ingredients here.
I have always had a bit of a phobia about sweating. I always felt like I was some one who would sweat a lot whether working out or even just a hot day. When I worked in cosmetics at Macys and Nordstroms, the girls in the department turned me on to an antiperspirant that they all used. I fell in love with it because it worked so well! I kept one in my purse so I could re apply throughout the day.
What I didn't know then was the aluminum in it blocked the sweat glands and so when it wore off I would sweat like crazy and would have to reapply. It was literally blocking the natural process of detoxification our body uses and needs. I didn't know that it could be harmful to apply over 18% aluminum to my under arms on my lymph nodes and honestly, even if I did know, my 20 year old self would not have cared. I didn't even mind that it was almost 20 bucks and this was years ago.
As I began to learn about how what we apply topically onto our skins matter, I learned about the alternatives to antiperspirant. Around this time my friend who had been diagnosed with cancer told me one of the first instructions from her oncologist was to switch off the aluminum based antiperspirants and go natural. I thought that was pretty telling!
So I made the switch and it wasn't pretty. After years of wearing such a highly potent formula of aluminum, it took me a good two weeks to adjust. My side effects during this switch included:
The end result? I sweat WAY less than I ever did. My body completely regulated after my old antiperspirant was out of my system, I am covered in the stink department even after a hard workout and I never have to re-apply (although some people I have talked to, do). I quit cold turkey and even though I didn't think it would work it finally did. I think clean eating and healthy regular detoxing (like exercise) makes this work even better! The switch has certainly been worth it for me. If I have advice for people making the switch I would say give it time, don't give up when it doesn't seem to be working right away.
Read about BALANCE, natural deodorant here and what others are saying about it.
My next highlighted ingredient in my Super Star Ingredient series is Organic White Tea!
Organic White tea is less processed than green tea and is an even more of a potent antioxidant. White tea is made using the new leaves and the uppermost buds, while the Green tea is used from the mature leaves. This is important because it helps keep the phytochemical in the plant intact.
It helps to brighten skin while protecting it from the environment. It’s a super star ingredient! Some of the other benefits include:
Because of the benefits I have learned about White tea in topical skin care applications, I have even started to drink White tea vs. Green. The health benefits are amazing when you ingest the tea internally and I like the taste much better than Green tea!
We use certified Organic White Tea in UNDO serum because of all of these wonderful anti aging benefits. It is also helpful for sensitive skin types. You can learn more about the ingredients in UNDO serum here!
After the holidays it is normal to experience some after effects with your skin. Too much sugar? Too little sleep? Traveling to a dry climate or flying? This can show up in your skin with breakouts, dark circles under your eyes or lackluster skin. With the new year here some people decide to get back on track with their habits and there are definitely ways you can help your skin get back in shape too.
1. Get back to your regular sleep schedule.
I remember hearing Deepok Chopra say sleep is the number one action you can take for heath, over food, over exercise, even over meditation. Was your regular sleep schedule pretty crappy even before the holidays? Time to take a look at that. Skin repairs it self at night (along with every other part of our body!), so this would be a great New Years goal to get more sleep.
2. Sugar Detox!
Well if I am being totally honest, the amount of cookies I have had this year may have surpassed many recent years. And I am not a big sweets person but my daily cookie intake has not been good for my skin. While it has been super hydrated and maintains a glow, I have had a few breakouts over this holiday and I know that sugar is the culprit. This can also happen with the stress the holidays bring, so a new plan of taking it easy and getting back on track with stress and sugar is going to do wonders for the skin.
3. Clean your Make up Brushes
This should be done on a regular basis but its a great time to grab all your make up brushes and give them a good washing. I know this is something that seems like a bit of a pain to do but contaminated brushes can lead to breakouts so take the time to do this!
I am wishing every one of you the most wonderful year ahead, Happy 2019!
It has been over a month since I have launched the new Simply Jess line and UNDO serum! We celebrated with a party at my dear friends house and had my family and friends over to celebrate. It was so exciting to show off my new packaging and the new products we have introduced. It was so much fun and I felt so supported. More pictures below!
I have been getting great feedback about the results and how much my clients are loving the plumping effect of UNDO facial serum. They report they are seeing a more even glow in their complexion. The same results I have been seeing on myself!
Another addition to my line is the HYDRATE Kit which includes a full size UNDO serum, travel size REPAIR toner and MINT lip balm. It is such a great gift as it comes in a cute pouch and you receive the lip balm FREE when you buy the kit. The travel size REPAIR toner is also new and can be purchased separately if you want to try a smaller version first or want a purse sized toner.
Thank you to all of you who have tried out the line and if you have any requests for future products I would love to hear the feedback!
This totally natural ingredient is one that I have been using for years. I credit my glowing skin to this ingredient, even though my skin is ultra dry, it's is hard to tell. Hyaluronic Acid is a substance found naturally in our bodies but with the environment and aging process it becomes depleted. Which is why we see such great results when used topically. In fact, Hylauronic Acid can bind up to 1,000 times its own weight in water! Almost every skin type I encounter is dehydrated (different than dry) and can benefit from this super star ingredient.
Reasons Hyaluronic Acid is a SUPER star ingredient:
My UNDO serum which contains Hyaluronic Acid among other highly active ingredients, delivers these results. I like to use this after toner and before my moisture or SPF step. My skin has been so hydrated I haven't been wearing face makeup which is a big deal for me. Please leave a comment if you have any questions about this ingredient or usage. Its one of my all time favorite skin care ingredients!
Today is national bathtub party day, which is a great reminder to take a bath with all the extra fluff! Adding bath oils, lighting candles and taking some time for yourself is what this day is all about. It is the perfect day for it here in SoCal, as it is rainy, cold and we even had a double rainbow this A.M.!
For me there is nothing more relaxing than a bath and I take them at least four times a week. I use it to have a bit of quiet and also take time for my skincare routine. I exfoliate and mask with each bath which helps me to remember to get that done. Here is my routine:
I also light candles and listen to my favorite podcast to make it even more special. For me this is the ultimate self care and I feel so rejuvenated after a long day when I do this. So you don't need a special national bathtub party day to treat yourself to some self care. When I take the time to do this I am never sorry.
As an esthetician and skin care educator who has worked in almost every facet of this amazing industry, my journey began not only with a quest to heal and correct skin but to connect with people. I have spent my 15 year career as an esthetician in the treatment room in every type of spa, as well as a trainer for multiple luxury brands, where I have had the privilege of traveling all over the world.