Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is It Expired?

How can you tell if your products are expired? If there is no obvious expiration date then there is one way you can tell if it's time to toss it. 

See that little icon in the photo! This tells you that the product is stable for 18 months after opening.

This product is good for 12 months after opening. 

Finally, this one is stable for 6 months after opening.

If you don't find this icon directly on the product, it should be on the packaging. If you no longer have the packaging and you can't remember when you bought the item in question, then it's probably time to toss it!

Most products contain some type of ingredient that inhibits fungal and bacteria growth, but this only lasts while the product is sealed. Once the product is exposed the air then small microbes can get I the product and bacteria and fungus can take hold. If the product is in a jar (like the last photo above) and you put your fingers directly in the product, then you introduct even more bacteria (notice the 6 month time limit on that product vs. 12-18 months on the others). 

Beside fungus and bacteria, when products are exposed to the air some ingredients can change and therefore alter the activity of the products ingredients. A simple example of this is the evaporation of water that may be in the product. While you may think a product would get weaker when it's "old" (and some do) they can actually become stronger because if water evaporation and cause excess irritation.

So, check for obvious expiration dates or look for the icon I've shown in the photos above. If the expiration date and/or this icon are on the packaging that you will grow away, use a sharpie and write the date directly on your product. If you can't find a date or this icon my general rule is 6 months unless it's an eye product and in that case, 3 months. If you can't remember when you purchased something it's probably best to toss it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Skin Care Travel Tips

I'm always telling people to remember to wash their face at night and reminding them that sticking to a good skin care routine can make all the difference.  Well, when you travel that can be a challenge. Some folks like to pack all their full size products, or even travel size products, in their checked luggage so they will have everything they need when they get to their destination.  That's perfect!  It's exactly what I do!  But what do you do if you get delayed, or you miss a connection and unexpectedly have to stay overnight someplace without your luggage? What do you do if you have an overnight flight and plan to sleep on the plane?

I am going to share with you what I carry on the plane with me for overnight night flights, or in case of delays. Everything should fit into that quart size bag that the TSA requires.

My first tip doesn't go in a bag but it's a good one - drink lots of water! Alcohol and dry cabin air will make you dehydrated.

Another tip is to try to bring items that you can use before and after sleeping instead of trying to bring separate day and night products. This is just for the long plane flight, not your entire trip, so don't worry about missing say, your retinol, for one night. 

Your quart size zip lock baggie should have:

1.  Travel pack of face wipes.

Don't neglect washing your face - you don't sleep with your make up on at home so don't do it on the plane. You'll need to freshen up when you wake up as well so a travel pack of face wipes.

Good for your hands because you don't want to touch your face with dirty hands.

2. Eye cream

Keep the delicate skin around the eyes hydrated. If you can't find a sample size of you eye cream, no worries, most eye creams are in containers that are less than 3 ounces so carry on is not a problem. 

Also, in a pinch - or if you don't want to bring a separate moisturizer or you can't find a sample size of one you like - you can use your eye cream on your entire face. 

3. SPF  

This is one thing you don't want to skip - especially if you're going to try to sleep during daylight hours. UV rays do come the windows of the plane AND your so much closer to the sun at the higher altitude that you definitely want to protect your skin from the UV rays.

4. Antioxidant serum sample. 

If you can get one, definitely bring it on board! My personal favorite, SkinCeuticals, has these great little sample vials that I save and refill from the full size just for travel. Not only are they great for the carry on purpose of this article, but the vial holds enough serum for about two weeks so, unless you're on an extended vacation,  you'll have plenty for your entire trip.

5. Lip balm. You're most likely going to be dehydrated when you wake up and you may find that your lips are dry. Lip balm will make it all better :) and if you can find one with SPF you get bonus points!

6. Wisps. No, this isn't skin care related, but in lieu of toothbrush, toothpaste and running water, this are a great way to freshen up when you wake up on a plane. They don't take up much space so why not toss a few in!

7. Hair tie, hair pins - you know what to do with those.

Monday, July 1, 2013


When the husbands away, the aesthetician will play...with a new facial mask so she doesn't scare her husband!

This is my latest "I gotta try that" take home product. I purchased it at the spa where I regularly go for facials and mani/pedis. For this of you that can't see the pic, it's called GLAMGLOW. It's a "tingling & exfoliating mud mask" that is supposed to give you "super sexy super radiant skin". 

I tend to have an a more oily than normal skin type so I like a good clay or mud mask to absorb some of the impurities. GLAMGLOW contains French sea clay and purified clay for absorption as well as some volcanic rock particles that act as additional exfoliant if you choose to rub a bit upon removal of the mask.  It also has soothing ingredients like cucumber and chamomile.

The instructions say you can do it twice a week, although, if I had more sensitive skin I may opt for once a week or every other week - and avoid the rubbing and scrubbing upon removal. You put it on clean skin, wait about 10 minutes for it to dry, than rinse.  You can feel the volcanic rock particles when you're rinsing and if you choose, you can gently exfoliate by using gentle circular motions or you can choose to simply rinse it off.

All in all, I like it.  It's a nice option if you like a mud/clay mask and need a little additional exfoliation.  It's a little pricey at around the $65 mark, but 25% of the companies profits and said to be donated to breast cancer research, so that's admirable.  You can get less expensive mud/clay masks that probably do a decent job, too.  If you have one that you like and would like me to give you my option, feel free to contact me via e-mail (you find my email on my website) or via my Facebook page.

If you have personally used GLAMGLOW and want to share your thoughts and opinions, feel free to leave gently worded comments here on the blog, Facebook or Twitter.  

Thanks for reading!  Until next time....

Peace, Love & SPF

CooslSculpting Follow-Up

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that on February 28th I had a CoolSculpting treatment done and I've been posting a bit on my progress along the way.  You can read all about it here at TheAestheticApothecary.com.

Last week I had my second and final follow up after the treatment.  After a somewhat disappointing first follow up (also on my blog) I am happy to say that today we were actually able to see some results in the photos!  They did tell me in the consultation and prior to the treatment, as well as at my first follow up, that results can take up to 6 months to see and the fat cells are eliminated via the lymph system.  It took 4 months for me to see results, but I am seeing them.  I'm hoping that over the next few months I'll see move of an improvement.  I am going to get copies of today's photos so I can post them here as before and after shots soon. 

Would I recommend this treatment? Yes, for someone who has a few stubborn areas that they can't seem to address with diet and exercise. You also have to have reasonable with your expectations and above all else, be patient because you are not going to see instant results.

I just want to remind you that I was NOT paid to do this post.  I paid full price for the treatment, just the same as any other patients.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Customer Service - It's Still Important

The doctor and I are on a little trip to Boston and I am pleasantly surprised at how friendly everyone is here! The customer service while we were shopping, the taxi driver and at our hotel has just been fantastic!  I decided to do a little blog today about customer service because it seems to me that in a world where you can get almost anything from anywhere, good customer service can go a long way. It could be the difference between getting a sale and not.

One example that comes to mind is when I emailed a certain on-line company about getting a shade of blush that I had ordered before but when I logged on to buy it again, found that it was discontinued. I emailed to get suggestions for another shade that was close to the one that I wanted. You see, they have so many color choices, and it can be difficult to to see the true color of a product from an on-line photo, that I thought a quick email could help. Who better than to help me get a close second than someone who works for the company - or owns the company and creates the colors. Am I right?

Well, I received a rather snarky email in return telling me to check the website for the colors that were available. That's it, no help, no suggestions, no "thanks for being a customer"... nothing.

So, what's s girl to do when she's found a perfect shade of blush and it's not available anymore AND she gets a snarky email from the owner of the company that she used to order it from? I'll tell you what she does - she takes the little bit that is left in the container and gets it custom blended - that's right - custom blended! Ta-da! Hello favorite color blush - goodbye snarky company. Not only can I get the blush that was discontinued, I could get anything that I used to order custom blended!

Since I'm not one to trash a company, I'm not going to tell who the snarky cosmetic company is. After all, I'm sure they have tons of loyal customers that just love their products and the loss of my business will pretty much go unnoticed. I will however, tell you about the fabulous custom blending company that recreated the blush as well as several lipstick shades from other companies that have been discontinued.

Three Custom Color Specialist, you are my new heroes! Not only were they able to recreate my blush, they duplicated my most favorite shade of red lipstick - and ladies, we all know how hard it is to find the perfect shade of red - and they did it with a high level of professionalism and customer service.  All you have to do is send them a sample of the color you want them to duplicate, your address and payment. In a few weeks your long lost favorites will arrive on your doorstep and all will be right with the world - or at least your makeup case :) 

Thanks Three Custom Color Specialist! 

You can check out all the things Three Custom Color Specials can do for you by visiting their web-site at   www.threecustom.com