Tag Archives: esthetician tips


Night-time Is The Right Time To Renew Your Skin – 9 Ways To Get True Beauty Sleep

I attended a fascinating talk recently,  with Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington, introducing Ms. Huffington’s new book,  “The Sleep Revolution”.  We all know sleep is vital to our general well-being, health, mood and of course beauty sleep is a real thing.  With this being said,  we live in a culture where lack of sleep is still very much the norm, celebrated and even denotes bragging rights.  “You can sleep when your dead” and “You snooze you lose” are cliches for a reason. Ms. Huffington is promoting sleeping on the job, with a “nap room” at The Huffington Post. She says sleep is vital to our success and achieving our goals and I love this quote from FaceBook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, “Sometimes we need to sleep-in to lean-in!” Studies indicate that sleeping well is paramount to living well. Lack of sleep is also being associated with an increase in many diseases. It’s clear that the body needs sleep to function optimally.

One tip I want to share that Ms. Huffington said she does is take a bath every night before she goes to bed. This is so good if you are stressed and can make you sleep so much better. I work for a company that makes a special Oligomer bath, which contains trace minerals and I highly recommend it- it relaxes your body on a cellular level.  Hydrotherapy (soaking in waters) is proven to relax you. You can add Lavender oil too! I also like to sip a bit of Rooibos tea w/ Lavender. It’s a special blend by Zhenas gypsy tea. I avoid caffeine after 10:00 am.  Make your bedroom a zen oasis and limit electronic equipment and do not bring your work into bed…there’s more tips but I will share on a separate post.

I have some tips to optimize your beauty sleep, from Dr. Kaleroy Papantoniou, a board certified NYC dermatologist.

The quality and length of sleep you receive every night can have a profound impact on your skin’s overall health.  When we sleep, not only do our bodies recharge, our skin does as well.

“ During sleep we heal, restore and eliminate toxins from the skin. If sleep is compromised, so is the body’s ability to carry out these essential skin functions. During the first three hours of sleep your body will start producing the human growth hormone from the pituitary gland. As we age, this hormone is necessary for the maintenance of youthful and radiant skin.  Without this hormone release, skin is not repaired from daily damage and thus induces the aging process.”

The middle two hours of sleep is when melatonin is increased. Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake patterns) but also acts as an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damaging free radicals.

The final three hours, or during the active REM sleep stage, levels of cortisol (aka the stress hormone) decrease. Dr. Papantoniou explains that, “The skin’s temperature also drops to its lowest point allowing muscles to relax and become immobile, giving skin its deepest recovery of the night.”

Dr. Papantoniou Provides 9 Ways To Get True Beauty Sleep

  1. Supplement Your Sleep

As we age, our bodies naturally produce less melatonin, which affect our skin’s ability to repair itself at night. If falling asleep is becoming more difficult, you may benefit from taking a melatonin supplement or using a topical product with melatonin to help combat decreased hormone levels. Melatonin works best if taken at night about 30 minutes before going to bed. This is when it serves its purpose, and helps to increase the depth and duration of restorative sleep. Restorative sleep, in turn helps accelerate and optimize the skin’s repair cycle, says Dr. Papantoniou.

  1. Cleanse Twice

Have you ever washed your makeup off before bed, yet mysteriously woken up with liner smudged under your eyes? Turns out that’s normal, especially if you used long-lasting makeup, which really does live up to its claim. Here’s why: 12 to 24-hour foundations, mascaras, eyeliners, and eye shadows are all made with polymers that don’t easily dissolve with soap and water, or water-based makeup remover.

Dr. Papantoniou says, “To really remove all traces of your makeup, take a cue from Korean skin care and wash your face twice using a method called “double cleansing.” First, use an oil-based cleanser to remove your makeup (the oil breaks down the waxes and polymers way more effectively than soap and water). You can purchase an oil based make-up remover for this or even use coconut oil on a Q-tip to gently remove more stubborn makeup. Then, use a gentle non-soap cleanser to rid your skin of any leftover residue.

  1. Moisturize

While you sleep, your skin naturally repairs and restores itself, and cleaning it before bed maximizes this effect. Dr. Papanatoniou points out that, “During the day, your skin fights off all sorts of assaults, from UV rays to pollution; at night, there’s less damage control to do, so the beauty products that you apply may be more effective. Applying night creams to clean skin in the evening is the best time to soften your face; not to mention, it can feel soothing and relaxing as you prep for sleep.”

  1. Put on a Sleep Mask

Overnight masks are a great way to treat your skin and give it extra attention,” says Dr. Papantoniou. The skin undergoes more cellular repair during sleep and can be more receptive to products at this time.” She recommends using an overnight mask a few times a week in lieu of going through your usual nighttime regimen. Simply cleanse, slather on a layer of the mask, and go to sleep.

  1. Keep Your Hair Off Your Face

Pull your hair back into a loose ponytail or wrap it in a scarf before going to bed. This will prevent the hair’s natural oils from rubbing off on your skin. This is especially important if your hair is unwashed or you are prone toward acne break outs.

  1. Get The Right Pillowcases

It’s worth it to invest in some soft pillowcases, because friction from harsher cotton fibers can accelerate the development of permanent creases. Dr. Papantoniou suggests trying a smooth silk or satin pillowcase, which prevents trauma to the skin and reduces the probability of your skin forming lines and wrinkles while you sleep. Also remember to change and wash your pillowcases at least once a week.

  1. Rejuvenate With a Retinoid

Choose an anti-age cream or serum that packs real power. These vitamin-a derivatives are key to youthful-looking skin. “But because exposure to sunlight can deactivate their potency, it’s best to apply retinoids at night,” says Dr. Papantoniou. Start by using an OTC retinol-containing cream or serum every other night until skin becomes more tolerant to the side effects, which are often dryness and sensitivity.

  1. Apply Eye Cream

If you are having problems with eye bags and puffiness after you wake up, applying eye cream before sleeping will solve this. Gently apply the cream around your eyes especially under it to replenish the skin surrounding your eyes. Make sure you stay hydrated during the day; this can help prevent water retention and will combat your sodium intake during the day.

  1. Mind Your Sleeping Position

Train yourself not to sleep face down. This habit can cause premature wrinkles and creases. It’s better to position yourself properly while sleeping. This will also prevent your face from rubbing against pillowcases and sheets. If you are lucky and can sleep on you back, that is the best way to prevent wrinkles and creases from sleep habits.

About Dr. Papantoniou

Dr. Kally Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology. Dr. Papantoniou is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. She applies expert techniques and the newest technologies to treat her patients. Dr. Papantoniou focuses on providing her patients with the highest level of care, with special interests in natural and healthy alternatives to treatments and disease prevention. Connect with Dr. Papantoniou  via twitter @DrPderm or her website www.DrPapantoniou.com


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Do You Know Your Sheet….Masks?


Can we all just take a moment to give thanks for facial sheet masks? My motto is “Sheet Masks Do it Better”…. I’ve used them as a professional Esthetician for many years. Here are some of my secrets for getting the most benefit from using them.

  • Exfoliate first! Before applying a sheet mask, do an enzyme peel, light chemical peel like lactic, or a gentle exfoliating physical scrub. This will make the ingredients in your sheet mask penetrate better.
  • Warm them or chill them! You can put the entire pouch in the fridge to cool them- great for constricting capillaries and tightening the skin.  You can also warm entire pouch in a bowl of hot water. A warm sheet mask will “open” the pores a bit – softening the skin and allowing deeper penetration of the active ingredients.
  • Massage the sheet mask while it’s on your skin. You can do a facial massage starting from the midline of your face, down to your neck and chest. As you massage the ingredients, they will penetrate deeper and your skin will absorb more of the beneficial ingredients. Your skin will also have the added benefit of stimulation from the massage.
  • There will probably be a large amount of the “serum” in the package left over- don’t let it go to waste! You can squeeze this out and use this to treat your neck and chest. You could also refrigerate the leftover serum and  you apply it the next day to give your skin a boost.
  • Look for ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, botanicals, plant stem cells, peptides. Read your labels and make sure you’re getting lots of quality, active ingredients.
  • Make sure you leave the sheet mask on at least 20 minutes. It takes a while for all of the ingredients to soak in to your skin, and if you remove it too soon the benefits will be minimized

Holy Sheet! I must say, I’m so glad sheet masks are becoming so popular. There are many different brands and lots of good ones available in retail and professional. I love the masks by France Laure, since they contain stem cells, but they are only available to professionals. Sheet masks are the best way to keep your skin hydrated between facial treatments by your Esthetician, or after a long flight, before a big event, or whenever your skin needs healing and hydration.


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A Basic Daily Skincare Regimen for Minimalists

Often times, I’m asked what are the daily basics one must do to take care of their skin. Here are some of my daily skincare tips. Please note there are no neck creams, masks, eye depuffing serums or any other extras that of course will take your skincare routine to an even higher level.  This is pretty bare bones but I have included serums, since I consider them to be like a multi-vitamin you need to apply to your skin daily!

Sometimes I hear from women who say they just cleanse with water in the morning because their skin doesnt feel “dirty” when they wake up. Cleansing is a vital step for your skin to be its healthiest, smoothest and most glowing. While we sleep our bodies are cleansing, cellular respiration is happening, we are sweating and the serums and creams that you wear at night that are filled with antioxidants that will oxidize and if you are using an oil based serum or cream it will be rancid by morning so you want to cleanse it all off! Cellular turnover is happening as we sleep so we want to remove all the dead skin cells and cellular debris. In the morning it might be best to use a lighter cleanser with a little Alpha Hydroxy Acid and at night a deep cleanser to get off makeup and grime from the day.
If you are dry, you want to use a toner that contains Hylauronic acid – this ingredients binds up to 1000 times it’s weight in moisture to the skin. Toner will further cleanse and prepare your skin for the serums and moisturizers you apply next. It will remove any traces of cleanser and also is better for your skin than tap water which contains minerals and purifying ingredients which may be harsh for your skin especially if you are sensitive.
Serums are very important and are meant to be worn under your moisturizers. They are liquid so they penetrate more deeply than creams and lotions. For daytime I recommend an antioxidant serum with Vitamin C, Plant stem cells, Peptides, etc. and for evening I like to use a serum that contains a little retinol and/or glycolic acid on a rotating basis to exfoliate and stimulate cellular turnover.
Daytime: hydrating with an SPF of 30. Even if you aren’t outside since windows from our cars, home and workplace do not screen out UVA which is damaging to the skin.
Evening: Use a heavier moisturizer than normal especially during the winter since our skin tends to get more dehydrated while we sleep. If you live in a cold environment and use a lot of indoor heating or blast the heater in the car make sure you are hydrating your skin well at night.
Eye Cream 
It’s best not to neglect the eye area. It’s the thinnest skin on the body with no oil glands. A good quality eye cream should be worn day and night. Make sure your eye cream contains no fragrance as fragrance is the #1 irritant in skincare ingredients.
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