The Great Product Dilemma!

The Great Product Dilemma!

When I first became an esthetician I struggled majorly with sales. I would give a facial and have clients straight up ask me what they should use for their particular skin strengths and struggles. At the time, I didn’t want to seem pushy, so I would send them to others to buy products that I liked and recommended. Not only was this a silly business move, it was a pretty silly professional move. Clients came to me to (as a professional) to make their skin better. Part of that was a regular facial routine, but an EVEN BIGGER part of it was a regular at-home care routine. Now that I’ve been “doing skin” for almost a decade, I relish the opportunity to help match clients with products that will help them get the results they are looking for. After all, who else takes at least an hour to touch and look at your skin with the sole purpose of helping to improve your skin? Even your dermatologist doesn’t put that kind of time in with you! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: I would say that the number one thing that makes me giggle is when a client tells me about all their skin woes, how committed they are to see a change, but that “they need to use up their old stuff first” (you know…before buying the stuff that will ACTUALLY improve their condition).   Here’s the thing: if you LIKE what you use and it’s working, then “it ain’t broke”. Keep using it! But if you are using something that isn’t working for your skin, then...
How would I benefit from using a facial toner?

How would I benefit from using a facial toner?

My staff and I at The Portland Girl are experts in the art of skincare. We can melt your tensions, extract your blackheads and leave your skin feeling smooth like a baby’s bottom. But being experts in skincare means that we also spend a good deal of time, thought and effort deciding what products we think would be best for your particular skin.   Because what you use at home EVERY day…is even more important than getting regular facials. It’s extremely frustrating to try to help clients improve their skin when they only come in once a month for a facial and then don’t take care of their skin the other 29 days of the month. It’s like someone going to personal training once a month and then ignoring their eating and working out for the rest of the month, but then expecting to see miraculous results. It’s silly!   Which brings me back to toner…   I’ve worked in skincare for over 8 years and I must say that selling toner has been the biggest uphill battle. Moisture cream and serum fly off the shelf, but toner…well, not so much! That is, until I learned to explain it in terms that my clients understood.   Yes- toner can help to reset the PH balance of your skin (which is slightly acidic at 5.5) post cleansing, but what does that REALLY mean for you?   PH Wha?? Well let’s start with a basic explanation of PH levels. PH actually means “potential hydrogen” and it describes the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance that ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14...
Bikini Ingrown Hair Guide

Bikini Ingrown Hair Guide

All of us at The Portland Girl spend a ton of time removing bikini hair (I know, crazy job, right?!) We get a variety of hair and skin types into the studio for sugaring hair removal services and what we have found is that some people struggle with ingrown hairs and some people don’t. We would like to say that there is an easy answer to why this divide exists, but there isn’t one. There are many factors that impact your likelihood for ingrown hairs such as: Lifestyle. (do you sweat a lot? bike a lot?…this can increase your chances of getting ingrown hairs) Hair texture. Do you have super fine hair? Sometimes super fine hair has a more difficult time working its way out of the follicle and into sight, thus getting trapped and unhappy beneath the skins surface. Hair follicle structure. Are your follicles super slanted to the point that your hair grows in at a very lateral angle (instead of straight up and out)? This can make it easy get trapped hairs that weren’t able to peek up! Result? Ingrown hairs! Waxing. Have you been getting waxed instead of sugared? Waxing pulls hair out AGAINST the direction of hair growth while sugaring pulls out WITH the direction of hair growth. Anytime you are pulling hairs out against the natural grain, you are likely going to experience more hair breakage. Breakage can lead to tiny hairs (that snapped off) getting covered up by our dead skin and thus getting unhappy and inflamed. So as you can see. There are MANY factors that can impact the likelihood of having...
Adult Acne Sucks: These vitamins and supplements will help

Adult Acne Sucks: These vitamins and supplements will help

I see a lot of facial clients who come to me to help them clear up their adult acne. They all exclaim that “They had great skin growing up! What did they do to deserve bad skin now?” While I can’t speak to their potential karmic debts, I can speak to the fact that adult acne happens sometimes and it’s actually not as uncommon as you might think! What causes adult acne? Adult acne can often be attributed to hormonal changes (going off birth control, heading into menopause, having a baby, etc). There are a LOT of things from 30+ that affect our hormones and when this happens, our skin often the first organ to complain. And thus the breakouts begin. Why do hormones affect our skin and cause acne? Some people assume that high estrogen causes acne, but in truth, it allows DHT to increase. DHT is an androgenic hormone that causes acne and oily skin in women especially. Having excessively high estrogen reduces progesterone which is in charge of keeping DHT “in check”. When it’s not in check, it can go a little crazy (my words, not science). Are there other reasons for adult acne? There sure are! Did you ever used to break out when you were young and the sales clerk at Walgreens would point out that you just needed to drink more water and quit eating candy? No? Well they used to give me unsolicited advice about my acne all the time (p.s. NO ONE WANTS YOUR UNSOLICITED ADVICE ABOUT THEIR ACNE!) While I didn’t want their advice, it wasn’t exactly bad advice. Over-indulging...
Sunscreen – Helpful or Hurtful?

Sunscreen – Helpful or Hurtful?

Hello beauties! We are well into summer and it’s time to talk about protecting your skin from the sun! Why? Because UVA rays cause premature aging and wrinkling of the skin! These little buggers can even pass through windows as you drive in your car. So a traffic jam goes from simply being annoying, to aging you! UVB rays on the other hand, cause burning or the superficial layers of skin and play a key role in the development of cancer. Sun damage may cause hyperpigmentation, age spots, leathery or sagging skin and DNA damage which may lead to mutations on a cellular level (causing cancer). You can EVEN get burned on a cloudy day (this goes out to you Portlanders). All said and done, wearing sunscreen is a must! But if you’re like me, you may have avoided wearing sunscreen because you heard it actually plays a role in causing cancer. The key here is the TYPE of sunscreen. Let’s review to get the facts straight. First of all there are two types of sunscreens. Physical and Chemical. Physical sunscreens use mineral UV filters, while chemical sunscreens use synthetic UV filters. There are also hybrid sunscreens which contain both. UV filters are the active ingredient in sunscreens that protect you from the sun. In physical sunscreens, it is Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens protect you from the sun by sitting on the top of the skin and deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays. When you have a physical sunscreen, think thick, opaque and sometimes streaky. Physical sunscreen rubs off more easily and must be reapplied frequently....
Is using oil on my skin a good idea?

Is using oil on my skin a good idea?

Is using oil on my skin a good idea? A question that many of our clients at The Portland Girl ask us is whether “using oil on my skin a good idea?” People either think that oil is the BEST moisturizer (not always the case), or that oil is BAD for their skin and will cause them to breakout (also not always the case!) The 411 on Oil Everyone is different, we all have different skin types; normal, dry, oily, or combination. And within that breakdown, there are some that are more sensitive, some that are more environmentally stressed and some that are hormonally imbalanced. Thus, there are certain oils that are likely to be better matched depending on your skin type. We will get into this more in a minute, for now, let’s talk for a moment about “sebum” since this is the oil that our very own skin produces. Sebum is a wax like substance excreted through our sebaceous glands. Sebum helps to protect and hydrate the face as well as lubricate hair follicles. When we have an overproduction of sebum, acne or congestion (i.e. whiteheads and blackheads) are likely to make themselves friendly on our faces 😉 The increased production of sebum is followed by a blockage that causes a comedo or whitehead. 3 myths about oil:  Oils on the face cause breakouts. Not all oils are bad. Oils can be comedogenic (meaning known to cause blackheads/whiteheads), like peanut oil for example. There are also non comedogenic oils like hemp seed which has a comedogenic rating of zero. Most skincare lines only use oils that are...