How Should I Apply Facial Products?

This is a question that comes up with many of my new clients that have had a facial and picked up some skin care products. What order should you apply the products and when?

The simplest rule to follow: Apply the lightest, thinnest product first and work up to the heaviest. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for morning and evening.


1. Wash with a creamy, non-sudsy, non-detergent cleanser.  If you have dry or sun damaged skin, try a cleanser with an alpha hydroxy acid.

2. Spray your face with a non-alcohol-based antioxidant toner.

3. Apply a light serum containing either vitamin C or another antioxidant, like ferulic acid or green tea.

4. Lightly pat on an eye cream.  There are ones on the market that also have a little SPF in them.  Keep in mind that under your eyes the skin is the thinnest and more fragile than any other area of the body.

5. Apply a moisturizer—tinted, if you like—with a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher.  Always apply sunscreen last.



1. Wash with a creamy, non-sudsy, non-detergent cleanser.

2. Apply moisturizer/night cream if your skin is sensitive or very dry, or you suffer from rosacea.

3. If you use a prescription retinoid, apply that next, dabbing a pea-size amount on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.

4. If you use hydroquinone or another lightner to treat hyperpigmentation, either mix it with the retinoid or apply it afterward.

5. If you are very dry or sun damaged, and are not using retinols or a lightner, apply a heavier serum before your moisturizer or night cream.

Keep in mind: A retinoid, Vitamin C, and hydroquinone makes your skin sun-sensitive, so if you use one to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, be vigilant about sunscreen.

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More Sunscreen Options???

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 2 million new cases diagnosed each year—many of which could have been prevented by proper protection from the sun.

Young woman in sunglasses putting sun cream on shoulder

The two main types of harmful rays are:

UV-B – is primarily responsible for causing sunburn

UV-A – penetrate the skin more deeply, and are also known to play a major role in skin wrinkling and skin cancer.

Ideally, we should protect the skin against both types of UV radiation. Here are a list of chemicals that are either approved by the FDA or awaiting approval that can protect against both types of rays.

Approved in the United States

  • Chemical filters (UV-A protection): avobenzone, dioxybenzone, meradimate, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone.
  • Chemical filters (UV-B protection): aminobenzoic acid, cinoxate, ensulizole, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, padimate O, trolomine salicylate.
  • Physical filters (broad spectrum): titanium dioxide, zinc oxide.

The FDA has not expanded their list of approved active sunscreen ingredients since 1999 because sunscreen is considered a medication and must meet standards for safety and therapeutic effect.  Therefore, there is a long list of sunscreen ingredients that are awaiting approval.

Awaiting FDA Approval

  • Amiloxate: Applied for approval in 2002. UV-B filter. Currently used in Asia and Europe.
  • Bemotrizinol (Tinosorb S): Applied for approval in 2005. The most effective broad-spectrum chemical filter on the market internationally.  Currently used in Australia and Europe.
  • Bisoctrizole (Tinosorb M): Applied for approval in 2005. Broad-spectrum hybrid filter that can both absorb and reflect UV, with minimal skin penetration. Currently used in Australia and Europe.
  • Drometrizole triziloxane (Mexoryl XL): Applied for approval in 2009. Broad-spectrum chemical filter.
  • Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX): Applied for approval in 2007. Broad-spectrum chemical filter. Used internationally since 1991.
  • Enzacamene: Applied for approval in 2002. UV-B filter. Currently used in Canada and Europe as a sunscreen at 4% concentration, and in lip balm, lipstick, and moisturizer.
  • Iscotrizinol: Applied for approval in 2005. UV-B filter with a small amount of UV-A protection. Currently used in Asia and Europe.
  • Octyl triazone: Applied for approval in 2002. UV-B filter with extremely high protection and good water resistance. Currently used in Aisa and Europe

Where Are We Now?

Currently, there is a public push for the FDA to review at least some of its background applications for new sunscreen ingredients. This is known as the Sunscreen Innovation Bill (S.2141 and H.R. 4250). If passed, this bill will make two primary changes to the approval process:

1. It would institute an eight-month deadline for the FDA to approve or deny an application.

2. It would no longer require the FDA to issue a new regulation for the use of a newly approved sunscreen ingredient.

These changes would certainly go a long way toward encouraging innovation in this important area of skin care and protection. In the meantime, when it comes to new sunscreen ingredients, the wait continues.


Source: ASCP Skin Deep July/Aug 2014 The Sunscreen Waiting Game
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Preventing Shaving Bumps In Male Clients

Shaving Bumps are a foreign body inflammatory reaction involving papules (solid elevation of skin with no fluid that can vary in color) and pustules (small bumps in the skin that are filled with fluid or pus) on the beard area (the lower face and neck) of men.  Rasieren


Shaving bumps are caused when the sharply pointed hair from a recent shave briefly surfaces from the skin and re-enters a short distance away and when methods of very close shaving result in hair cut below the surface.  This happens when the skin  is pulled taunt while shaving, shaving against the grain, plucking hair with tweezers, and using double- or triple-bladed razors.

If you have a bad case of shaving bumps, its best if you can to grow the beard for 30 days.   When you are ready to shave again follow these tips:

  • Place a warm towel over the face for a few minutes before shaving in order to open the pores, or take a warm shower before shaving. This softens the skin and the hair. Use a moisturizing shaving lather or try a pre shave guard product that  has antibacterial properties and allow it to sit on the skin for 2-3 minutes before shaving. This will soften the beard and, once the hair is cut, will result in a more rounded tip to the hair, which is less likely to re-enter the skin.
  • If using a razor, select a single-edged, foil guarded or safety razor. Double- or triple-bladed razors shave too closely and should not be used.
  • Make sure the razor is thoroughly rinsed free of shaving lather each time it is used.
  • Shave in the direction of the follicle, not against it.
  • Do not stretch the skin.
  • Do not puncture or tweeze affected areas.
  • Electric razors can be used but use properly. The recommended technique with a three-head rotary electric razor is to keep the heads slightly off the surface of the skin and to shave in a slow, circular motion. Do not press the electric razor close to the skin or pull the skin taut, because this results in too close of a shave.
  • Only use clean towels to avoid the spread of bacteria or fungi.

Following these tips will help minimize or get rid of shave bumps.  Consider getting a facial and having an esthetician evaluate and make recommendations for your skin type.


Adapted from July 2014 Skin Inc. Preventing Pseudofolliculitis
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