Blog

Sep 6th

Say hello to my little friend

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Sunny losing a layer
Sunny losing a layer

Meet Sunny… Sunny is the lizard that lives outside the shop and shows up every day for a little visit on our ledge. I happened to notice the other day that Sunny was losing a layer of skin. I was amused by this because it’s late summer and I thought reptiles only lost their skin in the Spring. We did a little research and found out that a healthy lizard will actually shed his skin four times a year. What a coincidence! That’s exactly the amount of facials I recommend for my clients each year to help maintain healthy skin. It’s so important for each of us (especially as we start to age) that we help assist our own skin in this process of rejuvenation. By exfoliating the skin we remove dry, dull, sun or environmentally damaged skin. Sloughing off this outer dead layer of skin cells that pile up each season is vital to the health and appearance of our skin. It will help decongest clogged pores, allow our moisturizers to penetrate more deeply, and help liven up our complexion. My favorite facial this time of year is a microdermabrasion treatment or a mild enzyme peel, depending on your skin type. Both of these do a great job rejuvenating the skin by either manually exfoliating or dissolving dead skin cells. Call us or stop in to speak with an expert on which method would be most appropriate for your skin type. Until then, we’ll be chasing Sunny around to give him a good scrub down.

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Jul 30th

You are right to question your sunscreen…

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Here is a recent conversation I had with a client about healthy vs harmful sunscreens.

Hi, Caci.
It’s Tasha. Can I pick your brain about something? Sunscreens.

What I think I heard you say was that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide were the two sunscreens to look for. I understand that together they provide for broad spectrum SPF. Didn’t you say that the body doesn’t absorb them and that’s why they are better sunscreens?
I did purchase the Cetaphil facial cleanser and the daily facial moisturizer today. However, I now notice that the sunscreen in the facial moisturizer is avobenzone and octocrylene. I read briefly–this sunscreen (octocrylene) can be absorbed. I’m wondering your take on these sunscreens, as you are obviously more educated on the subject.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer these questions.
Sincerely,
Tasha

Hi Tasha,

Yes, those are the 2 ingredients to look for when it comes to sunscreen. When looking at a product containing sunscreen you should pay close attention to the back label where you’ll find something called “active ingredients”. If you see some other ingredients listed under “active ingredients” they are considered “safe” until 5.0%, over that is considered “less safe”. It’s important to note that the reason we should be concerned about ingredients is because our bodies absorb what we put on them. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide cannot be absorbed and create a physical block from the sun. Cetaphil is a great “easy” moisturizer and is going to be the safest bet at the drugstore because of it’s low irritating ingredients, but it is not an “organic or naturally based product”. (On that note neither is Aveeno, they just market themselves that way which is misleading to consumers.) Overall, Cetaphil is good for the whole family, inexpensive, and an easy to find moisturizer. A website you can see the rating for yourself and that I often refer to when I’m studying different product lines is www.ewg.org. The environmental working group uses a scale of 1-10 to rate the safety of different products on the market. It’s a really great tool if you care about the toxins we are putting in or around us and our families bodies on a daily basis. Check this website out and enter in some of your beauty care products. Here at Toccare, we run all of the product we carry through the database and only carry the ones with the safest ratings. If you’d like some recommendations on products I found to be safe, all natural and organic let me know.
One tip is to use an organic moisturizer that doesn’t contain sunscreen as a barrier in between your skin and your sunscreen. That way, you’ll absorb the safest product first. Fyi, a lot of “Make-up’s” contain enough sunscreen to protect you on a daily basis.

See you soon!

Caci

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May 12th

Are you trying too hard?

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The other day while shopping in Target I came across a new product from Pantene that claimed to be an “over night miracle”. Being the curly headed natural frizz ball mess that I am, I stopped to ponder and wondered if I should give it a try. Then I remember that over the years I’ve probably spent a large (not small) fortune on trying to do just that. To think, inside this small $6 tub could be the answer to all of my hair troubles…

I decided to take a step back and analyze what it was that was going through my head at that moment: Would it really work? What is the ingredient that was going to “change” my troubles? How could it only cost $6? Was I looking for an easy fix? Would it wind up being thrown away with all the other half used cosmetics in my bathroom cabinet? Why can a company simply make a claim and I fall for it?

The beauty industry has gotten out of control over the past couple of years by allowing companies to make claims about their products that are simply untrue and I think that consumers are really confused  (or fooled) by what they are paying for. The fact is that I would love to think that Pantene had solved my unhappiness with my hair, that it could be fixed in one night, and that it would only cost me $6. But realistically it’s not going to happen. Marketing is playing on the insecurities of consumers by making claims that their product can miraculously cure their needs.

Sometimes I’ll have ladies tell me about a multitude of different products that they are incorporating into their at home routine and I am surprised at the lengths at which they are willing to go through in order to achieve healthy looking skin. (I’m also surprised they have time to do anything else!) Healthy skin includes a healthily diet, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and a few (about three) products that perfectly match your skin type. One of these products should be a cleanser, another a moisturizer, and then one product to address your biggest concern. The three products I use religiously are; Amala’s Soothing Cleanser (rich, creamy and smells like desert fig), Suti’s Rejuvenating Oil (great price point and literally make my face happy) and the Amala’s Hydrating Eye Cream (targets my biggest concern). I chose these three for their pure ingredients, aroma, texture, and most importantly because I love these products and they make me feel good when I use them.

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Apr 5th

To mask, or not to mask

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mudwoman-1In every facial, I take the time to discuss and explain the benefits of masking. This step in your at home routine is extremely important because it can help minimize and target unwanted areas of problematic skin. The most important part of masking is to understand the right option for your skin type.

If you are having issues with hyper pigmentation, uneven skin texture or dull lifeless skin and would like to increase the cell turnover rate (to make you look younger) you should look for an exfoliating mask. Exfoliation is important for all age ranges because it helps to tackle the build up of dead cells that linger on our skin and cause a multitude of unwanted consequences.  My method of choice is using a scrub in the shower because it is easy and less messy. The scrub from Acure is a great option because it contains Sea Kelp that exfoliates and Aragan Stem Cells that stimulate new cell growth. Plus, it can double as your cleanser for that day and it’s only $16, a great price point.

A lot of people are looking for a way to deeply cleanse the skin and get rid of congested pores. A clay mask can purge the skin of unwanted impurities which is especially beneficial if you have congestion around the nose, cheeks and chin, it can also help if you have problems controlling oil throughout the day. My favorite clay mask is Glacial Facial from www.alaskaglacialmud.com . Not only is their mission fantastic by donating a portion of their profit to the very river the mud is sourced from, the mask is loaded with over 60 trace elements that have proven benefits to promote healthy cell generation.  It comes in three different scents and feels like soft butter. It is $34.

Masks can also be very beneficial for increasing moisture in dry dehydrated skin which can cause the skin to feel taut (tight in esthetic terms) and cause fine lines to appear more prominent. I see a lot of dry skin around early Spring due to a cold winter with no humidity or when the trees start to bloom and allergies kick in. It’s best to use a hydrating mask at night after you have exfoliated and before you go to bed. If you have a good one, you can even sleep in it! Amala is known for their high quality and organic ingredients and my favorite mask from their line is the Hydrating Yogurt Mask. It contains Jasmine, Macadamia Nut and Rosehip seed that nourishes, strengthens and helps promote cell renewal while protecting against environmental damage. Great for the summer months! It is $64.

An easy at home option that nourishes and heals the skin on the cheap is to mix one egg yoke with one tablespoon of plain yogurt. You can leave the mask on for up to 10 minutes and remove with a warm cloth. It is also really great for clarifying the skin, but I wouldn’t recommend sleeping in this one. If you need any further information or have any questions, you know where to find us.

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Mar 3rd

Relax Into A Happy Face

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Throughout my many years in practice, I’ve been faced a multitude of times with the same question. “what is the key to beautiful skin?” It seems that everyone is looking for the same thing. I wish i had some ingenious highly scientific answer to give to you all, but I don’t.

It’s really quite simple actually. The one thing that has remained constant among the best looking faces is that they all belong to happy people. That’s right, people who wear a smile often are the most likely to look the part. The explanation is easy. We wear our emotions on our face, adding meaning to the way we communicate.

When we are angry our brows furrow and our lips pucker meaning “hey buddy, act right and i mean it.” Now this is not a bad thing all the time because inevitably (sometimes) it’s o.k. to just get mad. But, if we make a habit of it, our mothers were right about it freezing that way. Our muscles have memory and over time it becomes easier to return to what they know best. So here’s another reason to stop worrying – it is responsible for the two vertical lines in between the brows, which are very difficult to get rid of!

My best suggestion is to integrate a night time ritual into your life and show yourself some love while you get ready for bed. My routine goes like this. I start off with my favorite night time cleanser by Eve Lom, then I tone, use an eye cream and then follow by applying my moisturizer with a massage. I pay close attention to where I tend to wrinkle the most (in-between the brow). Then I brush my teeth and head to bed, but before I do I always meditate or pray. I give thanks for all the wonderful people and bounty I am so lucky to have in my life and then I pray for all of you to be blessed as well.

This is the way I show myself love everyday and in turn, it helps me smile a little more often.

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Mar 3rd

My #1 Facial Cleanser

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If we’ve ever talked skin care then you already know my deep affection for one of the markets’ top rated cleansers.

Eve Lom, an esthetician out of London, has created the most amazing cleansing balm that is beneficial for all skin types. She believes that good cleansing and exfoliation is the trick to a healthy glow and that simplicity is key.  I have to admit what a huge sucker i am for a multi-functional product and this one takes the cake. It removes makeup, cleanses the skin, tones, and exfoliates all while delivering a heavenly experience.

Eucalyptus and clove oil deliver a soothing aroma while you massage the balm onto a dry face. After giving yourself a good rub down (even getting in the eye area), you take a piece of muslin (included) and run it through hot water. then lay the muslin over your face to let the steam activate the eucalyptus oil. Ahh, yes it feels divine! Repeat a couple more times while removing the cleanser in a circular motion. Lastly, run the muslin back through cold water and apply to the face once more to firm the skin and close the pores.You’ll wake up in the morning with a radiant glow and soft texture.

My face can’t wait to get home after a long day or a night out and partake in her nightly spa moment.

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Mar 3rd

The Low Down on Skin

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Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? That’s right, not all of our organs are located on the inside. Not only is it the largest and responsible for holding all of our insides together, it also serves as our number one means of protection. It protects us from everything: viruses and bacteria, blocks out sun exposure, keeps our body temperature regulated, expels unwanted toxins (ie. sweat and oil) and most importantly, keeps us hydrated (it’s like we’re wearing a giant sponge).

That’s why it’s very important that we take amazing care of this outer layer.

The part that I get to deal with, and what most ladies are concerned about is called the stratum corneum. It’s the outer-outer layer that is actually made up of dead skin cells and is what we try so hard to make appear younger. You might be most familiar with it when you experience peeling after a sunburn; it’s the part that actually comes off leaving that tender flesh underneath exposed.

Now, there are a lot of fads and misconceptions out there that it’s actually a good thing to get rid of this layer by harsh exfoliants. I find this so hard to believe because it serves such an important purpose! TO PROTECT!

The number one thing we can do for this super protective, spongy layer is keep it hydrated by drinking tons of filtered water because the less dehydrated we become, the less likely our skin dries out and compromises the integrity of this layer.

We can also hydrate our skin from the outside by using high quality moisturizers.  I have actually heard of “certain skin types” thinking they can skip this step…no, you shouldn’t Ms. Oily. If we use products that do their job correctly, they can actually support the hydration of our skin from the outside in, for extra bonus points.  Make sure your are paying close attention to your nightly rub down and hydrate away!

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