Beauty Advice | Client Tested and Approved Cleansers

By Liliana Aranda, LE, COE, Spatrepreneur of FACES Mobile Spa

It’s that time of year—spring cleaning for your skin and makeup has begun! If you haven’t thought about your Spring Skin routine, there is no better time than today. A few notable products for cleansing have popped onto my radar and they are top performers, priced right and easy to purchase via your favorite Esthetician, in most retail outlets or online.

Le Mieux Phyto Cleanser Line. With two formulas, you can’t go wrong for solving dry, combination or oily skin types. Claim to fame: cleanses and hydrates at the same time.

1. Phyto-Marine Cleansing Lotion: “A unique marine-vegetal formulation purifies as it gently cleanses” but it does double duty to soothe and moisturize skin as well. This cleanser, though creamy and rich, benefits dry and combination-oily skin as well since it is an expert at removing environmental impurities and makeup, even mascara. Phyto-Marine Cleansing lotion soothes and nourishes the epidermal cell layers with a protective barrier than is slowly absorbed—much appreciated by skin that tends to feel tight and dry after washing.

6 oz

2. Phyto-Nutrient Cleansing Gel: A spa guest favorite for Oily skin, this “opulent blend of unique, phytonutrient micro bubbles completely removes all surface impurities and makeup,” while preserving the skin’s moisture balance intact. No tightness, dryness or pinching after washing with the cleanser— all skin types will feel clean and refreshed while enjoying the light effervescence and creaminess once moistened. Voted Best Cleanser of 2013 by Spa Professional.

6 oz

Available from Licensed Skin Care professionals and Spas

TecNiche Savvy Solutions for Sensitive Skin. With a complete line of care for Oncology, Sensitive and Anti-aging concerns, there is a product that will soothe and resolve these common issues. Claim to fame: gently soothes redness and inflammation, ideal for sensitive skin types.

Plantae Foaming Wash: “is not like any other anti-aging, sensitive cleanser available on the market,” utilizing eight soothing botanical ingredients proven to reduce redness, inflammation and environmental stress that takes toll on the skin. Peptide from Moringa Seeds purifies and refuels nutrient-depleted skin with its “extremely high, naturally-occurring antioxidant content.” Canadian Willowherb has a viable, non-steroidal activity, which reduces redness and inflammation, ideal for skin that suffers from chronic irritation. Anti-aging benefits come from the Betula Alba Bark extract, which is responsible for collagen production (to strengthen cells) and encourages supple skin. Very few products can deliver anti-aging and sensitive skin promises, but TecNiche has been able to corner this niche market with a variety of products.


Available from Licensed Skin Care professionals

Purity Made Simple by Philosophy. Universally loved by oily, dry, combination and sensitive skin types. Claim to fame: a one-step facial cleanser for all skin types.

Purity Made Simple: an award-winning cleanser, loved for its triple duty that “gently cleanses, tones and melts away all face and eye makeup” without needing a separate makeup remover. Fans of this product say it works with their electric facial brush and requires no moisturizer afterwards. Those with hypersensitive skin will find TecNiche to be less reactive than Purity, but this cleanser has won over fans worldwide for its Meadowfoam seed oil—a natural oil that lightly hydrates the skin to leave it comfortable, not pulled or tight. My favorite trick: use Purity to clean my makeup brushes, sponges and cosmetic cases.

purity made simple
Available in department stores, Philosophy stores and online

Alba Natural Hawaiian Facial Cleanser. An inexpensive, but effective cleanser for most skin types. Claim to fame: a pore purging pineapple enzyme-based cleanser.

Alba Natural Hawaiian Facial Cleanser says, “Awaken your a-glow-ha” with a refreshed and radiant complexion cleanser that most skin types will enjoy. Exfoliating pineapple and skin-brightening papaya enzymes (Bromelain) dissolve pore-clogging impurities, makeup and dead skin that causes dullness. Soothing Aloe, hibiscus flower and passion flower provide much needed refreshment to soothe and balance oily and combination skin types. Mature skin types like the gentle exfoliating quality that doesn’t involve harsh scrub particles or more aggressive ingredients. Fans of this line claim it “is as you would expect, like pineapples with a bit of a citrus clean following it.” With earth-conscious packaging, “it is light years beyond other brands in attempting to be truly green. Best of all no Sulfates, Parabens, or phthalates” for those with sensitivities and a conscience.

Pore Purifying Pineapple Enzyme

Alba Botanica

Available in most drugstores, health food stores, and online.

BEAUTY ADVICE | What’s My Skin Type and Condition

By Liliana Aranda, L.E., C.O.E.
Owner/Esthetician, Certified in Oncology Esthetics

What is my SKIN TYPE? Do you know if your skin type is dry or simply dehydrated? Are you sensitive too? What about oily or hyper-pigmented? There’s a lot of confusion about skin type and skin condition. Let’s clarify them here.
Your skin type is determined by genetic factors—you are born with your skin type. Skin condition is the state your skin is in—it can be long-term or temporary, it can be treated and it doesn’t necessarily mean you are stuck with it. It’s not too difficult to identify your basic skin type. Here is one way to narrow it down if you aren’t sure or have never been assessed by a professional esthetician or dermatologist. First, wash your face with water only. Allow to air dry for 20-45 minutes. Notice the look, feel, texture and quality of your skin as you examine closely in a mirror.

OILY: Does your face shine back with oil evenly distributed all over your face after washing, even if you don’t put anything on it?

  • Oily Skin characteristics include the overproduction of sebaceous glands (oil glands), excessive shine-back on the skin, a slick feeling of oil, increase or prone to acne or breakouts.

DRY: Does your face feel tight, look and feel textured or flakey after washing your face? Does your skin feel thirsty and parched from within?

  •  Dry Skin characteristics include an underproduction of oil, a tightness from within, flaky appearance, texture and itchiness. This skin type is also prone to wrinkles.

COMBINATION: Does your face feel dry in some places such as the forehead or cheeks, and yet shiny in other places like the nose or chin after washing your face?

  • Combination Skin characteristics include an oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and dry, flaky patches on cheeks. Some pinkness or irritation may be present in the drier areas.

SENSITIVE: Does your face show pink or redness after washing your face or after using hot or cold water? After using perfumed lotions, topical products or basic rubbing of your face, does your skin flush pink or feel irritated? Can you say your skin feels “angry” more often than not?

  • Sensitive Skin characteristics include an increased reaction to common ingredients or fragrances, red and uncomfortable skin, hyper-reactive to products and ingredients.

NORMAL / BALANCED: Does your skin feel hydrated, with no shine or texture or redness after washing your face? Does your skin hold moisture and not show texture or flakiness? Perhaps your skin doesn’t have a reaction to hot or cold water, doesn’t flush pink or feel angry?

  • Normal skin characteristics include even pigmentation, balanced hydration, blemish-free, smooth texture and no adverse reactions to lotions or other topically applied products.

What’s my Skin Condition? Skin Condition is the state your skin is in, which is not your type but the way it acts under normal circumstances. Again, this isn’t a condition you are stuck with because as we age, our skin ages and changes too. And, what we do to our skin as we grow affects how it will behave, as we get older.
Sensitive/Sensitized is the only skin type that is also recognized as a skin condition. The skin’s barrier is compromised, usually caused by overuse of in-office procedures or products that are inappropriate for the skin type. Poor diet, overexposure, general health all affect sensitive skin and/or can aggravate this condition.

  • How it looks: red, inflamed, parched, irritated, chapped, and cracked
  • How it feels: tight, painful, hot, cracked, and angry.

Acneic Skin is a condition—simply known as acne—which is chronic inflammation and overproduction of sebum, resulting in blemishes we know as pimples. Enlarged pores that are often clogged with a waxy material or congested with makeup, dirt and oil are common.

  • How it looks: red bumps all over face or confined to certain areas; small bumps to larger, cyst-like protrusions.
  • How it feels: bumpy surface, textured, sometimes dry flakes surrounding bumps, painful, prickly and uneven.

Hyper-pigmented Skin condition is a result of either sun exposure that has turned into sun damage, or from trauma, picking and scratching pimples, resulting in Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), which resembles dark spots. Excess pigment is produced to protect the skin cells, as a response from damage or trauma to the skin. Environmental exposure and internal factors can worsen the condition.

  • How it looks: big freckles with no pattern, various sized brown or reddish-brown spots,    individuals or small groups. PIH-related spots can, when exfoliated properly, peel away and fade in color, leaving behind a spot, which can be lightened.
  • How it feels: flat, textured spots, flakey as they develop, flat as they turn into spots.

Rosacea is a common skin condition in which the person experiences persistent flushing of the face, acne-like lesions on the nose and cheeks, and inflamed and irritated complexion. Environmental factors such as excessive exposure to the elements, intrinsic factors like alcohol and spicy foods will also aggravate this condition.

  • How it looks: like persistent windburn, flushing, redness and acne with inflammation.
  • How it feels: constant heat or swelling to the touch, itching, textured and irritated from within.

Dehydrated skin condition lacks water, and can be associated with Oily, Dry, Sensitive and Combination skin types. When the water-oil is balance is off, skin loses the natural bonds that protect cells, and it results in a thirsty skin that drinks up moisturizer yet still feels parched.

  • How it looks: flaky, sallow, textured, uneven, dull and possibly wrinkled.
  • How it feels: tight, thirsty, flaky, crepe-like texture, never quite satisfied after moisturizing.

Aging Skin, which is a condition that affects us all, is characterized by premature or cumulative natural aging of the skin and body. Skin cells lose collagen and elastin as we grow older, but the signs of aging can also be accelerated by sun damage, diet, overall health, stress and toxins in the environment.

  • How it looks: fine and deep lines appear wrinkled, uneven pigment, dull, dry and rough texture.
  • How it feels: lines offer texture, rough, uneven feel, lax and loose, and skin doesn’t bounce back when tugged.

Once a skin care patient understands these two categories, it’s much easier to identify a resolution plan and see results more quickly. Seeing a skin care professional such as an Esthetician in your area will guide you to reaching your goal of healthier, happier skin and a more balanced complexion.

Next month, we will look at treatment options for all skin conditions.