Sunday, May 09th

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Beauty Mythbusters: Skincare


When it comes to beauty, great product and a steady hand can accomplish just about anything. Hair, eyes, lips, nails, cheekbones – just about any feature can be manipulated to optimal effect, except the most coveted one.

Clear skin is the ultimate beauty bounty, and not even the best foundation can create the illusion if the fundamentals aren't already there. Tired of spending too much time and money on skincare, with nothing much to show except a growing balance of Sephora Insider Rewards, we decided to retain an expert to clear things up.

Carole Burns is a medical aesthetician, and skincare guru to many a model, star and socialite (sorry, we promised not to name names). As the owner of Skin Laser Rejuvenation in New York City, her work also transforms the lives and elevates the self-esteem of many regular gals just like the rest of us.

When we spoke with her over a cup of herbal tea in her office, she dropped some serious knowledge and significantly increased our Beauty IQ. We can attest that her advice, detailed below, is priceless.

Myth: When you get a pimple, you should apply a warm compress directly to the blemish to speed up its life cycle so that it shrinks faster.

Reality: "You wouldn't put heat on a swollen ankle, would you?" Inflammation is inflammation, whether it's in the form of a blemish or a sprained ankle. Applying cold directly to the area will help the swelling to go down. Applying heat could spread bacteria making the pimple worse (and may cause others to pop up).

Myth: Only the very fair-skinned need to use sunscreen daily.

Reality: All skin tones need equal protection from UVA rays. Every Honey should use at least SPF 30 daily on her face and neck. UVA and UVB rays are persistent and can permeate skin – rain or shine. So slather on that sun block (at least 30 minutes before going outside, to make sure you're properly protected)!

We swear by Elta MD's SPF 30+. It melts into the skin without leaving us "grey" like some other brands.

Myth: You should use a facial scrub once a week, to reveal softer skin and slough dead cells off of the face.

Reality: Step away from the scrub, Ladies. "Abrasive exfoliation distends the size of pores, increases broken blood vessels and discoloration, and breaks down the dermis." Instead, choose cleansers and moisturizers that contain alpha hydroxy to evenly exfoliate and allow sufficient penetration.

Myth: If I'm "melanin-rich", non-surgical cosmetic procedures (like laser treatments) will cause discoloration or scarring.

Reality: Though once ago this was true, there have been considerable advances in multicultural laser technology. The Lumenis Light Sheer Diode laser, for example, can be used on even the darkest skin to remove hair without burning or discoloring skin.

IPL 640 lasers can be used on all skin tones to remove hyper-pigmentation and stimulate collagen production.

Complexion-refining microdermabrasions and chemical peels may also be used on all skin tones.

However, you should book a pre-treatment consultation before you undergo any procedure.

Myth: A facial is a facial is a facial. I can simply go to my local day spa to receive skin treatments.

Reality: Skin is the largest organ, but it's also the most delicate. Skin treatments should be administered in clinical environments. A pristine treatment room is necessary to repairing skin most effectively, and though your local spa may look clean, it's likely not as disinfected as rigorously as it should be.

Skin Laser Rejuvenation center sets the clinical standard: every client receives their own sponges, chair drapes, hair protectors, and more. Burns and her team take extra care to sanitize the environment and, with only two medical aestheticians on staff, visitors are guaranteed to receive personalized, consistent treatments. Providing anything less only increases the margin for error (and infection).

Day spas are great for nails and massages, but you should leave your skin to the experts.


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