I recently wrote a guest blog on the Anshi Heals website, a company that uses transdermal rubs to treat different aliments. In this article I discussed how we are able to achieve a deeper absorption in the skin through sloughing off the upper layers of the skin first. You can learn more about this on Anshi's blog, click here to see the full article.
I have been using Anshi in my baths and on my kids. I love the peppermint flavor when my son had his fever, I rubbed it onto his spine and it helped him! Check them out at https://www.anshiheals.com
Stress, lack of sleep and dehydration can most definitely take a toll our our skin. And the eye area is no exception. In fact, the factors I listed above usually have the biggest impact around our eyes and under eye area. The lack of sleep and dehydration shows up as increased visibility of fine lines and dark circles.
The skin near our eyes is thin and lacks fatty tissue and muscle making it vulnerable to aging symptoms faster than the rest of the skin. There are steps we can take to help this area look refreshed and beautiful and also things to avoid.
What should I use under my eyes, can I use my regular products?
It is highly recommended to use a product that is designed for the eye area. Some products, especially moisturizers, are too heavy for the eye area and can cause clogging. Other products for exfoliation could also cause irritation to the eye area and for the most part should be avoided.
How much eye cream should I use?
Overusing product under your eye is a huge no no! I have seen this delicate area have clogging, breakouts such a black heads and milia (white heads), which need to be extracted with a needle. So its best to use a pea size amount for both eyes as a general rule of thumb.
How do I apply it?
If you are using a cream based product you can dab it onto your ring finger and gently dot it along the ocular bone (under the eyes you will feel the bone that circles the eyes). Do not apply directly under the lashes (clogged pore alert!) and let the heat pull up the product it needs. It is much less than people think. I like to dot it between my eyes and around my lips if I have extra. They have eye treatments in rollers too and you would use the same process on the ocular bone (it feels great too). Do not yank or pull this area, this could lead to more lines and will defeat the purpose!
Is there only one type of eye product? What is best for my skin type?
Eye treatment is usually based on your concerns. For example, anti-aging/fine lines, puffiness, dark circles etc. If you are drier and have fine lines a cream is the typical recommendation, there are also gel based eye treatments and serum types. This is just a general recommendation, check with your product brand to find out what best suits you.
Any other tricks?
Use cold items to help de-puff the baggy under eye area. There are many tools out there, like the Gua sha I mentioned in a previous blog. Remember to keep the pressure super light and have product on the area so there is no pulling or stretching. You can put your eye cream in the fridge as well, this feels great on tired eyes. We have all seen people chop cucumber on place on the eye area, this is great too! The coolness will help de-puff and the cucumber has a high water content along with Vitamin C which can help bring down swelling as well.
When all else fails there is always under eye concealer, right!?
When I started Simply Jess I had a promise to deliver results with clean and safe ingredients. I wanted everything in my line to be free of harmful chemicals making it safe for even my little ones to use. I think it is important to remember that chemicals are not necessarily a bad thing. For example, water is a chemical and of course harmless. What we are talking about when we say 'we don't want to use chemicals on our skin', are the harmful chemicals. Chemicals that have been known to have a negative effect in our bodies or the environment. Below are just a handful of ingredients you will never find in Simply Jess products and a brief explanation why. It is good to know this list so you can check your skin care labels with whatever brands you are using.
Products I will never use in Simply Jess:
Parabens- Used as a preservative in skin care. Have been found to disrupt hormones in the body.
Synthetic Fragrance- This is simple, it is used to make the product smell great! Fake chemical fragrance can be a terrible allergen and also a hormone disruptor. Simply Jess products have an aroma but it is from naturally derived sources and is always used as a tool to help the skin- not for the smell.
Synthetic Color- Brands use synthetic color to make the product look visually appealing. The result can be irritation on the skin and I find this totally unnecessary.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate- This ingredient is used in as a foaming agent, think shampoo, cleanser etc. It can cause great sensitivity in the skin.
Formaldehyde-Used as a preservative. It is a known carcinogen and has even been banned in Japan and Sweden for use in cosmetics.
Triclosan-This is a microbial agent found in many deodorants and acne products. This is a known endocrine disruptor and there have been links to the over use of this ingredient causing antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
I believe many people don't realize the compounding factor when you add up all the personal care, cleaning products and items in our food that are potentially harmful and what the ramifications can be. As we educate ourselves on the items we should avoid and begin to remove them the better we can feel about this toxic load and how it can really cause problems in our lives. At first i was overwhelmed by this but now I feel empowered to make the right choices for myself and my family. Keep reading your labels!
Several months ago I discovered the Gua sha tool and then started seeing it all over the internet. At first I was a little intimidated by it but I have to say that now, I am in love with it. My fellow esthetician and friend Lili Mineni recently gave me a holistic treatment where she used this jade Gua sha for the face and I was instantly hooked. I have been seeing these tools everywhere, along with the jade rollers. I first tried the roller, which I love too, but the Gua sha delivers more results in my opinion.
What the heck is it?
Gua sha is a tool used in eastern medicine to perform what is called scraping or spooning. There are all different sizes and ailments it can treat on the body. It helps move stagnant blood and generate movement in the lymph system which is helpful for immune system. It is also anti inflammatory. Different practitioners such as physical therapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists can utilize these tools for the body and estheticians are able to incorporate this tool in the treatment room too.
What I love about using it on the face is that anyone can do this at home. I have been using mine for a few months now and I can most definitely see a nice difference in my skin.
How to use it?
After you cleanse your skin apply a serum or oil. Typically you want to keep the strokes in an upward motion toward the ears. I will be doing a video on a simple technique you can easily do at home (there are also a bunch of Youtube tutorials). I am loving the ritual of doing this at night, it also feels amazing! Some of the benefits of facial Gua sha are firming, lifting, working on fine surface lines and its also great for de-puffing the eye area. One important area not to miss is the neck where Gua sha can promote circulation of blood and to release tension.
Where to purchase?
Gua sha is widely available nowadays, from Amazon to Sephora. Finding one you like the best and seeing how it works with your face shape and finding a color you prefer is all you need to choose. The two most popular types are green jade or rose quartz and is mostly a personal preference. These materials keep cool naturally making it feel amazing on the skin!
My final verdict?
I am hooked. I see how ultra popular these tools are becoming and feel like this is such an interesting trend. I also see the surge in demand from the skin care industry for natural products, natural procedures and just getting back to basics. And I am all about it! Have you tried Gua sha or rollers?
I first learned about Arnica when my son was just a little guy. For us, using an Arnica gel worked wonders for healing and preventing bruising. I found it helped with pain relief as it is anti-inflammatory. Ever since then its been the first tool I grab in the medicine cabinet when someone falls or has an accident (and this person is usually me).
It has been used for its healing qualities since the 1500's and is highly popular in Europe where it is natively grown. Today Arnica is used for a wide variety of aliments, such as wound healing, bug bites and sprains.
Using Arnica in facial skin care is a wonderful tool for many skin types and products because:
I use Arnica in the UNDO serum and REPAIR toner which adds to the healing and calming benefits to the skin. Arnica complements the other ingredients that are formulated together making this a wonderful choice for any sensitive skin, sun or winter chapped skin and anyone looking to bring inflammation down. I love Arnica! Have you ever used Arnica topically? How has it helped?
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.
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.