Feb 27, 2012

Overall Jessner Peel Review and Instructions

Having researched face peels for many months now, and first starting with the Lactic Acid 40% (see side bar under Lactic Acid for more information) I have decided to move forward and try the stronger and more intense Jessner's Peel. I purchased the peel from http://www.skinobsession.com/ There shipping and customer service are first class and my package arrived within 3 days of me placing my order online.
The instructions are very detailed with a emphasis on doing a test patch first. I decided to do the patch test on three small areas on my neck as I felt that if I were to have an adverse reaction this would be less noticeable in these areas.
A Jessner peel is classed as a light-medium peel depending on how many layers you apply. For full benefit you do need to see a 'frosting' of the skin. This peel is sometimes used prior to using the TCA peel enabling the TCA peel to penetrate more efficiently giving a deeper peel with much more 'down time'.
On applying the Jessner's to my test areas it immediately stung and the sensation lasts until you remove the product unlike Lactic Acid which slowly decreases.
Neutralizing the product takes 2 minutes of continuous dilution with water or for a faster method you can neutralize with a baking soda formula. (see below):
Put 1 cup of warm water into a clean, shallow bowl. Add 2 tsp. of baking soda and swirl or stir the solution until the baking soda has completely dissolved.
Dip a clean cotton pad into the baking soda solution and squeeze out most of the excess liquid. Don't squeeze it completely dry and remember you are not trying to 'wipe' away the peel, just neutralize the reaction between the acid and your skin by soaking it with the baking soda solution.
Wipe the saturated cotton pad across your skin every where you applied the peel. Discard the cotton pad when it begins to dried out but do not dip the used pad back into the solution.....wet 'fresh' cotton pads and use them to neutralize the peel on every part of your face.
Be aware that when neutralizing with baking soda the 'stinging' sensation will intensify before it subsides...this is normal. The reason I mention this is that when this happens your first thought will be that something has gone terribly wrong! but this is not the case.

Test Patches:
Immediately after neutralizing the areas I had applied the Jessner's appeared pink.
Day Two: Skin appeared a little tight.
Day Three: Skin turned brown.
Day Four: Brown patches started to crust over.
Day Five, Six and Seven: Patches started to peel revealing pink fresh skin underneath.
I have decided to go ahead and do the Jessner's Peel all over my face and will update with results.
1st Application:
I first cleaned my face with Glyconic Facial Cleanser and applied the Jessner Peel with a cotton pad. Immediately on application it was apparent that this stuff 'stings', but I want to emphasize that in no shape or form is this unbearable. I had read by some that it was so uncomfortable that they had to have a fan blowing on there face but I can assure you that this was not the case for me .The best way to describe the discomfort is to compare it to a 'hot prickly' sensation. The first thing that came to mind was that something was wrong (even though I had researched thoroughly and was fully aware as to how it would feel) but my natural instinct was to worry a little.
I had my timer set for 5 minutes ready to neutralize with cold water but 3 minutes in I decided to do a 2nd layer to my cheeks and chin area. This did not increase the burning sensation just elongated it. I did have some frosting on four areas were the sunspots are on my cheeks.
When my five minutes were up I chose to remove the solution with tepid water (you can use a baking soda solution if you wish). It is necessary to neutralize with water for a total of two minutes remembering to keep your eyes tightly closed so as the solution does get into them. Do not 'rub' the water into your skin as this could cause additional irritation which you do not want.
When I had completely rinsed my skin I took a clean washcloth and patted my face dry (again no dragging).  Immediately my face appeared red and inflamed around my mouth and on my sunspots (where the most damage was) and I started to wonder how long this would last.......surprisingly the red inflammation only lasted a few hours then completely subsided.
I applied a liberal amount of Neosporin Cream all over my face and this immediately soothed and reduced any burning feeling that remained and I continued to do this four times throughout the day. 
I was very tempted to apply a moisturizer but I knew that the whole purpose of a chemical peel was to allow the skin to dry out therefore permitting the skin to peel.
Day Two:
I awoke with tight skin and rushed to the mirror in the hope that I would be the 'one' that had immediate results and I would look wonderfully young and flawless......that was not the case. I looked 'okay' as long as I did not make any facial expressions. However the moment I remotely moved my face or smiled I looked at least fifteen years older and I was convinced I had done something terribly wrong!
Day Three:
The sun spot areas turned dark brown (again I thought oh my goodness I have made them worse). My skin continued to look dry and 'crinkly' and of course I continued to worry! I introduced Rosehip Seed Oil as this is nourishing to the skin without feeling oily and it also has Vitamin A and C which helps with sun damage and would speed up the peeling process.
Day Four:
I continued with the Rosehip Seed Oil twice per day. Skin started to peel....not in sheets but just like the aftermath of a bad sunburn BUT beneath the peeling was soft pink skin. I decided to use my Clarisonic so as to speed up the peeling and this worked very well for me and did not cause me any irritation.
Day Five:
The more damaged areas (sunspots) finally started to peel and I was amazed as to how reduced they were espexially considering this was the first time I had done a Jessner Peel. Nothing has ever worked on my skin like this and I have tried many, many things (including the controversial Hydroquinone).
Day Six:
Skin was back to normal with definite improvement.

I want to emphasize that throughout the whole process the temptation to 'pick' at the peeling skin was intense. I caught myself doing this on a few occasion's and had to stop myself as apparently it can cause scarring.

Maximum Results
Jessner Peels give full results when the complete course is done which is a total of six peels. You can do one peel every 2-3 weeks depending on how your recovery is. I intend to do my second peel 2 weeks after my first as my recovery was very fast.
I will definitely do the full course of peels as I am very impressed with the improvement I have had after only one Jessner Peel.

Remember the burning and stinging feeling is 'normal'.

Make sure you use a timer....you should not 'guess' how long you are leaving it on.

Remember to neutralize for a total of 2 minutes if using water.

The process is faster if you use a baking soda neutralizer but be aware that the baking soda solution increases the 'stinging' sensation....but do not think something is 'wrong', this is normal.

Apply Neosporin Cream immediately after you have neutralized and continue to do so for as often and as long as you feel necessary.

Try as hard as possible not to pick at your skin.

You can introduce your Retin A again on the 3rd day as this speeds up the peeling process.

Remember to use a physical sunscreen if you go outside as your skin will become super sensitive to the sun.

Do not be disappointed if you do not get the results you had hoped for after the first peel as this is to be expected.....continue doing the six peels for full effect.

2nd Application: (14 days after first peel)

I failed to mention in the above review the importance of applying petroleum jelly so as to reduce the possibility of irritation. I apply to the brow area (so as to stop the solution dripping into the eyes) around the nostrils (this area is extremely sensitive) and finally to the outer and inner corners of the eyes (close to the tear ducts).

Also those with a history of cold sores should take preventative medication prior to any chemical peel and should start a course of medication such as Zovirax (this is a topical cream applied to the lips) starting two days prior to the chemical peel and continue for a total of 7-10 days as a precautionary measure. Should you have an 'active' cold sore prior to the peel I would suggest that you wait until it has healed before apply the chemical peel.

I waited a total of 14 days after my first peel before doing my 2nd Jessner Peel and followed the exact steps in regards to application (refer to above) however this time I decided to apply 3 layers.
I applied the second layer 2 minutes after the first.....the prickly stinging sensation was as it was the first time I used the peel (uncomfortable but not 'unbearable') then three minutes after the 2nd layer application I applied a 3rd layer. This was when I experienced some 'frosting'. The majority of the frosting was around the mouth, chin and upper lip area with some to the outer cheekbones.
I left the 3rd layer on for a further two minutes. I could of left this on for longer but due to the fact that I was frosting much more than I had the first time I used the Jessner Peel I was fearful to do so. Once again, my immediate reaction was "Oh my gosh I have really done some damage this time" and was envisioning all sorts of horrific scars I would have on my face after the recovering period.....but, as always my fears were unfounded.
After my seven minutes were up (remember to have a stop watch with you) I neutralized for two minutes with tepid water remembering not to rub the skin, pat dried my face with a clean wash clothe and applied a liberal amount of Neosporin to the whole area the Jessner Peel had been applied. I was expecting my face to be more inflamed this time due to the fact that I had applied additional layers but this was not the case and there was no additional discomfort.
Day Two:
Unlike the first time I had used the Jessner Peel I did not have any 'tight' feeling to the skin which actually surprised me as I was expecting the effects to be more severe this time round. I continued to apply liberal amounts of Neosporin throughout the day to stave of any possibility of infection.
Day Three:
Today I woke with tight skin and rushed to the mirror to see just how horrific I looked and as expected my skin around my mouth, chin and upper cheek bones (everywhere the frosting had taken place) where very 'wrinkly'. Again I chose to continue to use the Neosporin throughout the day.
Day Four:
Today the area around my mouth had turned dark brown and dry with deep 'wrinkles' much more so than I had experienced the first time round and I must admit that I had doubts as to if applying the 3rd layer had been a bad idea. I decided to discontinue using the Neosporin and introduced the Rosehip Seed Oil and I applied this 4-5 times during the day.
Day Five:
Today I reached the epitome of looking bad.....I can honestly say that I was extremely concerned as to how horrible the wrinkles around my mouth appeared. They were far deeper and much more apparent than they had ever been in the past and I truly felt that I had made a major mistake in starting this course of peels.
Day Six:
Today I started to get some peeling and even though I was relieved that this part of the process had begun I was still pretty concerned in regards as to how things were looking. On day six of my first Jessner Peel I was on the 'homeward' straight but this was not the case this time. The peeling this time was much deeper around the mouth and chin but pretty mild on the rest of the face. As before I introduced the use of my Clarisonic but 'only' to the areas that had the milder peeling such as the cheeks and forehead and I continued to moisturize with Rosehip Seed Oil.
Day Seven:
Today I finally started to see the 'light at the end of the tunnel'. The deep crevices that I was convinced would never disappear started to peel heavily and I could see fresh beautiful skin starting to appear!
Day Eight:
Skin continued to peel around the mouth and chin and I introduced the Clarisonic to these areas so as to speed up the peeling process.
Without doubt I will continue to complete the course of the Jessner Peels (six total) as I see improvement with every application. However I did have a longer recovery period after the 2nd peel but I feel this was most probably due to me using three layers rather than the two I did originally but this will not deter me from continuing to complete the course.
Use Zovirax two days prior to starting the chemical peel if you have prior history for cold sores.
Apply Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline) around the outer corner of the eyes, the brow area and the nostrils.

Remember that the burning and prickly/stinging feeling is 'normal'.
Make sure to use a timer....you should not 'guess' how long you are leaving the chemical on your skin.
Remember to neutralize for a total of 2 minutes if using water.
The process is faster if you use a baking soda neutralizer but be aware that the baking soda solution increases the 'stinging' sensation....but do not think something is 'wrong', this is normal.
Apply Neosporin Cream immediately after you have neutralized and continue to do so for as often and as long as you feel necessary.
Try as hard as possible not to pick at your skin.
You can introduce your Retin A again on the 3rd day as this speeds up the peeling process.
Remember to use a physical sunscreen if you go outside as your skin will become super sensitive to the sun.
Do not be disappointed if you do not get the results you had hoped for after the first or second peel as optimum results will be apparent after the full course is completed (six in total).
3rd Application: (14 days after 2nd peel)
4th Application: (14 days after 3rd peel)
5th Application (14 days after 4th peel)
I have 'clumped' the above peels altogether due to the fact the application and results were the same as the first and second peel.
6th Application (14 days after 5th peel)
This is when I really started to notice a 'big' difference in my overall skin appearance. I actually applied four layers this time but only to the areas that were not frosting and neutralized as before.
Day Two:
As with previous peels my skin was tight. I applied Neosporin throughout the day (I cannot emphasize enough just how much this helps)
Day Three:
As always with day three I looked old and withered!
Day Four:
Area around my mouth and chin are were first to show the signs of going dark brown and and started to 'crack' (I want to emphasize that in no way was this uncomfortable...just annoying)!
Day Five:
As in my previous peels today I reached the epitome of looking bad.....but due to my past experiences I was no longer concerned even though I looked hideous. Today I introduced my Rosehip Oil.
Day Six:
Every-time I made any facial expression or spoke I could feel my skin peeling but could see how beautiful and pink the new skin underneath looked.
Day Seven/Eight
Skin continued to peel and I helped it along with hot showers and holding a hot damp face cloth to my face....this helped immensley. I then started to apply Argan Oil before I went to bed.
Day Nine/Ten
Beautiful soft plump skin!!
Overall Conclusion:
Jessner Peel is something I will use on a long term basis as the results truly are fantastic. So if there is any of you out there who are in the least bit concerned as to giving this a try I say 'do not be'. Follow the instructions and do not become worried (like I was) during the first few days as this is a really good peel and I highly reccommend it.
If you have any questions at all please either leave a comment or cntact me personally via email.
Here's to beautiful new skin!

Feb 17, 2012

Bi-Estro Body Cream with Estriol & Estradiol

  • Paraben Free
  • Natural
  • Organic Living
  • Menopause and Perimenopause Solutions
  • 1st First Choice
  • Women's Wellness

BiEstro-Care is a combination of two estrogens for peri-menopause and menopause solutions in an 80/20 ratio. Each full press of the pump provides approximately 1 mg of natural Estriol USP and 0.25 mg of natural Estradiol USP. Formulated to contain 24 mg of estriol and 6 mg of estradiol per ounce.
Suggested Use
Apply once or twice a day or as recommended by your health care practitioner. Dispense one pump of cream into the palm of your hand and rub onto the skin of your chest, abdomen, inner arms or thighs, rotating area each time.

  • Estrogen should be used with Natural Progesterone (Link)
  • Most women become deficient in Progesterone long before Estrogen levels drop to the point of causing symptoms. To prevent hormone imbalance, Progesterone creme should always be used when using Estriol creme. Progesterone and Estrogen work together to prevent bone loss. Estrogen slows down bone loss (osteoclasts), but progesterone triggers the replacing of the old bone with new bone (osteoblasts).  
  • Why can't I use Progesterone and Estriol together in just one cream?
  • Progesterone and Estrogen are dosed differently. You use Progesterone on a cyclical basis. If you are premenopausal, you would use progesterone for 2 or 3 weeks out of the month, depending on age. If you are postmenopausal or have had a hysterectomy, you use Progesterone 3 weeks out of the month. Estriol can be used every day or just a few times a week, depending on the amount needed to control symptoms. You can also increase or decrease the dosage as needed of estrogen in response to your symptoms, anywhere from 1-4 mg per day. If the creams are combined in a formula, there is no way to control your dosage. It is also good to take a week off from using estriol as you do progesterone.
When does Estrogen Decline?
Estrogen is not the first hormone to decline before menopause: progesterone is. Estrogen production does not slow down until just before menopause, about a year before your last period. By the time you know you have hit menopause (one year after your last period), your estrogen levels have declined by 40 – 60%.

What are the symptoms of low estrogen in menopause and pre or peri menopause?
During the approach of menopause, your hormones begin shifting and eventually you have much lower quantities of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone after menopause. Low estrogen symptoms are: hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, brain fog, headaches, dry eyes, dry skin, vaginal dryness, loss of collagen, and insomnia.
Several studies have found estrogen levels increased in the years just before menopause, along with lower progesterone levels. This could explain why so many women find relief with progesterone cream in peri menopause.

Physical Conditions

• Artherosclerosis
• Headaches / Migraines
• Vaginal Infection
• Fatigue
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Joint Pain

• Vaginal Dryness
• Dry Skin
• Loss of Libido
• Thinning tissues
• Rapid heartbeat
• Bloating
• Low back pain
Mental Conditions

• Depression
• Panic Attacks
• Low Self Esteem
• Mood swings
• Memory Lapses

Less common symptoms of low estrogen levels include:

• Joint Pain
• Thinning tissues
• Rapid heartbeat
• Bloating
• Thinning hair
• Weight gain
• Arthritis
• Difficulty concentrating
• Panic Attacks

Fluctuations of Estrogen during Menopause Stages

Average Estrogen and Menopause

Estrogen level


Premenopause: This is the period from a woman´s first period to her last. Monthly cycles cause hormonal fluctuations and a range of unpleasant symptoms.

Perimenopause: The stage before menopause and the time when most women first experience menopausal symptoms. Perimenopause is, in effect, the reproductive years coming to an end and resulting changes in estrogen levels trigger unpleasant symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes and night sweats. Perimenopause usually lasts between 2 to 8 years prior to menopause but it´s possible for women to experience symptoms as early as their mid-30s.

Menopause: It is when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. During this time, fluctuating hormone levels can pose real problems for women, forcing many to seek appropriate relief from troublesome symptoms.

Postmenopause: It is the stage after menopause and during this time a lack of hormones such as estrogen triggers a new range of health risks such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Estrogen and Menopause Symptoms

During the menopause stages, the estrogen levels produced by the body will vary. This is the main reason why there are many symptoms that women will experience.

Pre-menopause and Perimenopause: During a woman´s regular monthly period and entering into perimenopause she will encounter a range of common symptoms such as:

• Hot flashes
• Mood swings
• Vaginal dryness and itching
• Disturbed sleep

Menopause: Throughout menopause, estrogen levels can become extremely unbalanced, resulting in excess or insufficient estrogen. This can result in additional symptoms such as:
• Fatigue
• Hair Loss or Thinning
• Sleep Disorders
• Loss of libido
• Difficulty Concentrating
• Disturbing Memory Lapses
• Dizziness
• Weight Gain
• Incontinence
• Bloating
• Changes in Body Odor
• Bouts of Rapid Heart Beat
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Irritability
• Headaches
• Aching Joints and Muscle Problems
• Increased Tension in Muscles
• Itchy, Crawly Skin
• Tingling Extremities
Postmenopause: For postmenopausal women there are new concerns due to continued low levels of estrogen and other hormones. Health risks during this time are more serious and can be more long-term. These include but are not limited to:

• Allergies
• Strokes
• Heart Disease
• Lupus
• Breast / Uterine Cancer
• Gallbladder Disease
• Osteoporosis
• Thyroid Dysfunction
• Arthritis

Feb 8, 2012

Coconut Oil

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
I have read many reviews in regards to the topical usage of this product and decided, due to the high ratings to give this a try. I must say that I had high hopes for this product especially in regards to being able to use it as a moisturizer on the body after showering. Unfortunately I found this to be far to greasy and no matter how long I left it in the hope that it would eventually absorb into my skin I found it always left an 'oily' residue.On the occasions that I hastily dressed too soon after application I found that it would transfer onto my clothing of which I could not remove even after laundering! I therefore decided to try alternate uses for the EVCO and I have come up with the following:
Makeup Remover
This is a great makeup remover and works speedily without any need to 'pull' or 'tug' on the skin. However I do find it neccessary to then remove the EVCO with a non alcohol Witch Hazel (I use Thayers) and I must say that this does leave the skin wonderfully smooth and soft.
This works great for all of us who suffer with excessively dry skin on the feet. I place a liberal amount onto both feet and apply socks so as it absorbs throughout the night (and sometimes in the day) and after 5 days of using this I noticed a considerable difference.
Yes I know I said this was far to greasy for the body but I have found, after trial and error that a little of the EVCO goes a long way. Applying a small amount really does keep the skin supple and soft....the important key here is that 'less is more'.
EVCO is often talked about as a good source for dry hair supposedly leaving it soft and manageable. But beware EVCO on the hair can leave you with extremely oily and limp hair even when using only a tiny small amount. Thankfully I only tried this on the ends of my hair and even though I only used a pea size amount my hair, even though soft and shiny stayed limp and unmanageable for a period of seven days. Therefore my advice would be to only use EVCO on the hair in dire situations such as over processed hair etc and even then use with caution.
EVCO can also be used internally and below is some information in regards to the benefits. 

The current medical research indicates that at least thirty percent (30%) of our diet should be made up of fats. Each fat is not equal, however, affecting the body in a different way. Coconut oil is generally favorable, and has been shown to create a more favorable hdl/ldl ratio in the body. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, which have been described as having a negative effect on the cholesterol but coconut oil is different from other saturated fats in many ways.

Good Source of Medium Chain Triglycerides

Coconut oil is the highest vegan source (62%) of medium chain triglycerides. At least half of these medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are made up of lauric acid which is the single most important fatty acid in building and maintaining a healthy immune system. The amount of lauric acid in coconut oil is similar to the percentage in breast milk. No other vegetable oil has lauric acid and only milk and butter come close to the percentage, measuring in at 3%!

What About Cholesterol?

Virgin coconut oil has been show to raise cholesteral level in some individuals, however it is the beneficial and protective levels that are raised contributing to a healthier ratio of hdl/ldl cholesterol.
Studies have also shown that the current popular oil, canola oil, actually was one of the worst oils to use, producing high levels of trans-fatty acids when used in cooking.
Virgin coconut oil actually helps to prevent hardening of the arteries.
Personally I would only use EVCO topically as I feel that the high percentage of Saturated Fat content (12.5g which is 63% of our Daily Values per 1 tablespoon serving) is far to high.

Feb 5, 2012

MUFE/Mac Foundation Color Comparison Chart

Considering I am an avid Makeup Forever HD Foundation fan along with Temptu S/B Pro line I thought the following Color Comparison Chart would be helpful for those who wish to give MUFE HD Foundation a try but are currently using MAC.

    MUFE HD              MAC
      115              NW15/20
      117              NC15/20
      118              NW/C20
      120              NC25/30
      123              NC30
      127              NC30/35
      128              NC35
      135              NW30
      140              NC35/40
      153              NC40
      155              NC35/40
      170              NC40
      173              NC45
      175              NW45
      177              NC45/50
      178              NC50
      185              NW55

 MUFE Face & Body        MAC

        20      NC/W15, NC/W18, NC/W20
        32      NC 20, NC 25, NC30
        2       NW20, NC/W25, C3
        1       NW20
        34      NC30, NC35, C4, NC40
        36      NW10, NW15
        38      NC/W15, N3
        6       NC40
        18      NC45
        12      NW45
        24      C6, NC42
        26      NC43