Author

Emjay

Our Master Beauty Consultant, Emjay, encompasses the true meaning of the word ‘expert’. She’s been a licensed esthetician for over a decade, having traveled countrywide to train over 500 of our nation’s top esthetic professionals. Highly reputed in the skin care industry, Emjay brings her passion for excellence to every client encounter, truly encompassing the combination of inner and outer beauty. Emjay has spent most of her esthetics career as trainer and educator for skincare and cosmetic lines alike, including 4 years as Education Executive for Anastasia Beverly Hills.

What is the big difference?

Do you go to the dentist and then not brush your teeth twice a day?

Do you go to the gym once a week for only a month and expect to look like Giselle?

Do you sign up for 3 voice lessons and expect to sound like Adele?

No.No.and No.

Although we love the immediate gratification fantasy surrounding the above, we all know achieving these changes takes time, patience, and HOMEWORK.

Same goes for Skincare.  You must do your homework. What you do every day at home is as almost, if not more important, than treatments you have done in-office every few weeks.  The key is to be consistent.  Of course you DO ALSO need the correct products.

I speak with hundreds of patients who buy their skincare from a department store. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, let’s make sure you are a well-informed consumer!

Always remember over-the-counter skincare products may only contain 5% active ingredient.  The USFDA had strict regulations on these products.  These products may not be bad for you and may initially appear to be more cost effective. But, because of the small amount of ingredients that will actually make changes in your skin, you will need to purchase 10x’s the amount to accomplish what a high concentrated RX Strength Cosmeceutical product can in a fraction of the time and cost.  RX strength products are is highly concentrated and because it is ONLY sold to Doctor’s offices, is allowed up to 95% active ingredient.

YOU WILL GET A BETTER RESULT in a SHORTER AMOUNT OF TIME.

Talk about Immediate gratification, huh?

WHERE do my products come from?

Don’t feel product shamed if you aren’t using RX strength products, but be aware that there are 3 main Skin Care and Beauty companies that manufacture and distribute 95% of what you see in local drugstores like CVS and Walgreens, as well as high-end luxury department stores like Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus.  In essence, they have cornered every demographic on the market with one product or another. These Companies are Loreal’, Shiseido and Estee Lauder.

 

Loreal Companies include: Lancôme, YSL, Giorgio Armani, Biotherm, Cacharel, Diesel, Viktor & Rolf, Ralph Lauren, Kiehl’s, The Body Shop, Shu Uemura, Stella McCartney, Clarisonic

 

Shisiedo Includes: Aupres,  Ayura, Bare Escentuals, Za, Shiseido Professional Hair, ISO Hair, Joico, NARS Cosmetics, Qiora, Revital, Senscience, Shiseido, Serge Lutens, UNO, UV White, Zotos International

Estee Lauder includes:  AERIN, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Darphin, Estée Lauder, GLAMGLOW, GoodSkin Labs, La Mer, Lab Series, M∙A∙C,Origins, Osiao, Prescriptives, Smashbox

WHY should I care?

Whether you decide to Department Store Skincare is best for you or uprade to RX strength products, be sure to always AVOID all the following ingredients as they are pretty toxic to both you and the environment.  Remember up to 60% of what you place on your skin care can possibly be absorbed into your body.

About 70-80% of all Skin and Body Care products contain at least one of the following:

 

BHA (BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE) AND BHT (BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUEN) -Found in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other types of cosmetics, BHA and BHT are classified as possible carcinogens. Long-term exposure to these ingredients has been linked to liver, thyroid, and kidney problems.

COAL TAR DYES- On ingredients lists, these will show up as “P-phenylenediamine” or “CI” followed by a number. P-phenylenediamine is a coal tar dye found in hair dyes, while CI (or Color Index) numbers are used to identify coal tar dyes in a variety of pigmented cosmetics like lipstick. Derived from petroleum and composed of many different chemicals, coal tar dyes are recognized as a human carcinogen and have been linked to brain damage.

DEA (DIETHANOLAMINE)-This ingredient helps make cosmetic products creamy or sudsy and can be found in products like facial cleansers, shampoos, soaps and moisturizers. In the short term, DEA can cause moderate skin and eye irritation, while sustained exposure has been linked to liver, skin, and thyroid cancers.

DBP (DIBUTYL PHTHALATE)-Dibutyl phthalate is a plasticizer commonly used to prevent nail polish from becoming brittle. Consistent use of DBP has been linked to hormonal disruptions and developmental defects in fetuses, as well as liver and kidney failure.

FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES-Look for ingredients like DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. These preservatives are used to increase the shelf life of a variety of cosmetics and they work by continuously releasing small amounts of formaldehyde – a known human carcinogen.

PARABENS-An estimated 75-90% of cosmetics contain parabens, making them the most widely used preservative in makeup and skincare products. The ingredient has been linked to hormonal disruptions, breast cancer, increased skin aging, and DNA damage.

PEG COMPOUNDS-Common in cream-based cosmetics, PEG compounds are used as thickeners, solvents and moisture-carriers. Depending on how they are manufactured, these ingredients can get contaminated with carcinogenic substances like ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. Even when not contaminated, PEG compounds have been shown to cause skin irritation.

PETROLATUM-Petrolatum is a petroleum jelly that is used in hair products to add shine and in lip balms, lip sticks, and moisturizers as a moisture barrier. The ingredient is often contaminated with PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), a known carcinogen, and can cause skin irritation and allergies in smaller doses.

SILOXANES-Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone”, which are found most commonly in hair products and deodorants. Many of these ingredients have been found to impair fertility and cause hormonal disruptions.

SLS (SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE)-This foaming agent can be found in cosmetics like cleansers, bubble bath, and shampoo. Many commercial varieties are contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane – known carcinogens.

TRICLOSAN-This ingredient is found in antibacterial cosmetics like deodorants, cleansers, and hand sanitizers. The ingredient is said to cause skin and eye irritations in the short run, and conditions like antibiotic resistance and hormonal disruptions with sustained use.

Sure, okay. There’s been a long time consideration when it came to Ultherapy. With constant advancements in medical cosmetics and technology, staying at the top of the game isn’t as easy as it sounds. Well recognized, competing companies, always try to tell you why their machines are bigger, better and unlike anything we’ve ever seen. In walks Ulthera, “See the beauty of sound,” they say. Advanced ultrasound wave technology so good, that literally, might as well have blown our socks off. As we researched its results, I have to be honest; I rolled my eyes more than a few times. I am a natural-born skeptic and results seemed too good to be true, on so many levels. The pictures I saw must have been ‘retouched’ and the testimonials most definitely were skewed. How could so many differently aged individuals ALL get some type of result?? I am 100% sure this is why I, personally, was chosen to be the model for this Ultherapy treatment. I didn’t have extreme expectations and went into the treatment with an open mind, hoping to be proven wrong. (And boy was I!)

So, there I was, ready to go. The RN went over the entire Do’s and Dont’s, what it would feel like, and after effects.

There were a few options when it came to preparation. I could take some Advil at home before arriving (I took 4, as previously directed. I’m a trooper, but I’m still delicate), or they offered an in-house cocktail of RX strength pain relievers and muscle/nerve relaxers. My preparation for the treatment was really easy. Once on the table in the room with the nurses, the Ultherapy began. I have a high tolerance for pain, so at first, I wasn’t affected by the strange sensation of the ultrasound waves. They traveled, what felt like, through my skin and all the way down to the muscle. There were some areas on my face that felt, shall we say, ‘spicy,’ around the jaw-line, cheek bones and temples. I probably should have followed their suggestion for a stronger pain-killer or at the very least, the Xanax. I am skeptical AND stubborn.

Now that there was no going back, I asked again about what to expect after the treatment. They had mentioned minimal discomfort but that NO ONE would be able to visibly see that I’d had anything done. Would I need to hide under a huge hat? NO. Would I need to cancel my dinner plans? NOPE. Do I need to use a series of only their products to see results? NO! Sure, okay, amazing, but almost unbelievable.

Once the treatment was over, I felt an immediate warming of my face. There was an obvious sensation under my skin. Something was happening! At this point, I needed reassurance that my no pain, no gain theory wasn’t all for nothing. My face and neck felt super sensitive, but not to the touch. Deep under the skins surface, I knew something magical was occurring. I could feel the deep ‘bruising,’ that I had read about. However, there was, in fact, absolutely no sign of Ultherapy on my skin. I was able to apply my make-up immediately after and go right back to work.

For the first month after the treatment, I could see my face changing. I had immediate tissue contraction; these jowls (inherited from my father), were slowly disappearing. I’d looked like I’d recently had Botox in my forehead and around my eyes, when in-fact it had been months.

I had slight tingling, numbness and an over-all firming/tightening particularly in my neck and cheek area. There were times when I had thought maybe it’s stopped working, and just then a zinger or two would remind me that I have a ways to go.