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Usha's Journal

Welcome to Usha's Journal!  Check here to learn about specials and helpful tips I offer.  I will also post thoughts on the skin care industry and our community!


January 7th 2013

Masque or Masks


There are many different types of masks:  Masks are typically used once a week or on a monthly basis. They are sometimes wet, dry or solidified.  The benefits include tightening pores, lightening and brightening, healing, hydrating dry skin and that’s to name a few.  Masks are a great at home treatment to use in between your professional services. Now days with the use of AHA and Vitamin C, one can achieve amazing glowing skin with the use of a mask.

With so many choices on the market it gets a little confusing to know what is best for your skin. It is always best to seek advice from a professional, who not only knows your skin and the results you are trying to achieve, but also the ingredient and the percentages in the product. The label is a good indication of its benefits. Masks used after a good cleanse and exfoliation help to calm and soothe the skin.

Clay Masks:  Typically absorb oils and clean pores.

Vitamin C:    Lighten and brighten skin.

AHA:              Mini Peel effect / Anti wrinkle benefit.

Hydrating:    Soften and smooth skin.


January 6th 2013


Out with the old and in with the new.

Exfoliation removes the outer layer to reveal the newer skin beneath. This shedding of the outer layer slows down with age, instead of shedding every 28-30 days it takes 45-60 days. Shedding the dead skin cells unclogs pores, keeps skin clean, and helps reduce acne breakouts. Exfoliation should always be done after cleansing the skin and it also helps products penetrate further. The analogy I like to use is lotion over panty hose.

There are two ways to exfoliate:  Mechanical and Chemical:

Mechanical exfoliation is physically removing the dead skin cells with the use of sponges, sugar, apricot kernels, brushes or micro beads. Furthermore Microdermabrasions and Diamondbrasion are also form of mechanical exfoliation.

Chemical exfoliation are scrubs that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) or Enzymes that help loosen the dead skin cells: Glycolic, Salicylic, Lactic, Malic, Papaya and Pineapple are some of the main ones used. These can be used at home on a weekly basis in lower concentration or one can get a professional treatment at a higher concentration.

Caution to the sensitive and dry skin types, any exfoliation method can be too harsh if over used. When you receive such treatment you are more vulnerable to free radicals and sun exposure, so it is very important to wear a sun block and to use an antioxidant.


January 5th 2013

Eye Creams

“The Eyes are the window to your soul”

The skin around the eye area is ten times thinner than the face.  During the aging process the skin loses elasticity and becomes even thinner due to the breakdown of collagen. Other aggravating factors such as sun exposure, smoking and environmental exposure aid the breakdown of the delicate skin around the eye area.

Eye Creams made for the eye area are Ophthalmologist tested, whereas products for the face are Dermatologist tested. There are numerous reasons for concerns around the eye area:

Wrinkles: The lines around the eye area are caused by fifteen thousand facial movements we make in a day. Poor nutrition and dehydration.

Puffiness: fluid retention in this area is a sign the body is holding on to too much fluid. Or is mucus congested i.e. fatty and swollen with a yellow tinge. It can also be hereditary.

Darkness:  Beside hereditary lack of a good night’s sleep, allergies can be a cause for dark circles.

These are my recommendations to protect the delicate eye area: Drink plenty of water, stay out the sun, ninety percent of premature aging is sun related, wear sunglasses to prevent wrinkles and get plenty of rest. Also make sure your eye makeup remover is gentle and formulated for the eye area, avoid using your cleansers on your eyes, and use a professionally recommended skin care product for your eyes.


January 4th 2013


Moisturizers protect and prevent skin from becoming too dry or oily; making skin softer and more pliable.
Normal skin: Non greasy water based moistuzers with light oils is perfect for normal skin.
Oliy Skin: water-based moisturizers that are specifically noncomedogenic are preferable, even if the skin is oily; it still needs moisturizing from harsh drying effects f...rom cleaning.
Sensitive Skin: soothing, calming and fragrance free is a more suitable choice if one is sensitive. Sensitive skin needs to be a little cautious when using irritants such as Acids.
Aging Skin: Mild Alpha Hydroxy with antioxidants have great benefits when added to a moisturizer for aging skin. Choosing a moisturizer with added benefits to firm or tighten the skin over time will have cumulative effects creating a more youthful and smoother appearance.


January 3, 2013

Toners (aka Astringents)

Toners have had their fair share of misconceptions. The main purpose is to
Restore the pH of skin. Initially before we had so many choices, one would
Use Rose water for a dry skin and Witch Hazel for an oilier skin.
Now there are many more choices and toners have different effects on what
Results are trying to be achieved.
Mild toners contain no alco...hols and are suitable for normal to dry skins.
Stronger toners are alcohol based more suitable for oily skins, as they remove oil
from the skin creating a tighter pore.
Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids are the miracle drug of the 90’s, which lower the skin’s pH level.
The use of these acids has lessened the use of toners as it contradicts the purpose of a toner.