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How to Layer Your Skin Care Products

layeringblogimageWhen it comes to layering your skincare products, there’s a right way and a wrong way. In fact, the order in which you apply your products is just as important as what’s inside them. You know the first step to use a cleanser, then a toner…but what comes next?  Don’t fret. Learn to layer products like a pro, with our guide to skin care layering below.

Morning regimen order

1. As a general rule, apply your lightest product first. Serums, which can range in texture from liquid to gels are applied first because they deliver the highest concentrated of active ingredients most efficiently. Pick two or three serums that each treat one of your concerns. For wrinkles, we recommend formulations with added peptides, like PCA Skin ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum. For oily skin types, look for serums that contain salicylic acid, like Cosmedix Clarity Skin-Clarifying Serum.

2. Use targeted treatments for problem areas nextlike Murad Rapid Relied Acne Spot Treatment on that persistent blemish, or cover your crow’s feet with your favorite eye cream. We recommend one with an SPF like SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50.

3. Then, apply full-face treatments, like an antioxidant treatment or acne treatment for the entire face.

4. Moisturize to seal in your other products. Facial oils, like Eminence Facial Recovery Oil can be applied after to any dry spots you find after moisturizing. If you’re using two or more serums under your moisturizer, skip any facial oils to avoid becoming too greasy. Remember, facial oils can penetrate moisturizers but not vice versa, so always apply your moisturizer before a facial oil. If you choose a moisturizer with an SPF, opt for one with UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection with a minimum SPF of 30. We recommend a lightweight, oil-free moisturizing SPF, like Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46.

5. SPF. You’ve heard it a million times, but we’ll say it a million-and-one. Never leave home without an SPF on your face. We’ll leave it at that.

Night regimen order

1. Retinols need to be applied directly to clean skin to be most effective. However, if you have sensitive skin, applying a serum or moisturizer before hand will help the retinol to penetrate with less irritation.

2. After your first layer has absorbed, apply any targeted treatments, like a rich eye cream (we recommend Neocutis Lumiere Firm Riche), or if you have any other spot specific treatments, like Murad Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum for dark spots and discoloration, now is the time to apply.

3. Finish with a moisturizer.  Apply a heavier night cream, like Obagi Hydrate Luxe, for drier skin types. If you have oily skin, opt for a lotion, instead of a cream as they are less hydrating. Many are specifically for problem or acne-prone skin. We like Jan Marini Bioglycolic Bioclear Face Lotion.

Morning or evening, remember to wait for a few minutes between for each layer to allow for the product to absorb.  This way each product is able to penetrate and deliver its specific benefits without interfering with the function of the next product layer.


How to Get the Most from Your Beauty Product Samples

samplewasteWhen using samples that come in a foil packet, instead of tearing across the top, use a safety pin to pierce a hole in it. Only squeeze a little bit out at a time. When you’re through applying, store the packet in a Ziploc plastic bag and voila! Keep your sample fresh and you can use it ’til the last drop!

Be sure to check out our latest sample offerings for trial and travel.



5 Skincare Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

skin-care-mistakesSkin Care regimens can quickly get complicated and confusing when using multiple products. Be sure you are not making one of the 5 common mistakes below!

1.) Forgetting about Your Neck

Most people think of the face when you mention anti-aging products, but neglecting your neck is a sure-fire way to show your age before you’re ready. The fragile skin on your neck and décolletage has different needs from the skin of your face, and if not protected and nourished appropriately can lose hydration and look flabby. Try Revision Nectifirm Advanced to cater to the neck’s specific needs with 8 active ingredients working together to strengthen the dermal-epidermal junction.

2.) Not Eating Correctly

In addition to topical creams and serums, the optimum anti-aging skincare regimen includes Continue Reading →


8 Tips for Better Looking Skin

1b622915bd2503f5_woman-drinking-water1. Sweat everyday. Unfortunately, sweating has gotten a bad reputation. Sweating does not cause acne. In fact, sweating is actually your body’s way of helping to keep your skin clean. Breaking a sweat once a day will make your skin glow, as exercise improves your circulation and oxygen levels and will result in a gorgeous complexion.

2. Disinfect your cellphone.  According to recent studies, that smartphone you can’t keep your hands off of can have 18 times more harmful bacteria, including Staph, E.Coli and Salmonella, than a public toilet handle. All those germs land right on your cheek and jawline every time you chat away, causing pimples and irritation. To keep your phone (and face) bacteria-free, Continue Reading →


To Squeeze or Not to Squeeze?

Pop-A-PimpleAn unexpected whopper just showed up on your face. Like a mosquito bite or scab, you want to touch it. You want to pick at it. You really, really want to pop it. But should you? While most skin care professionals would prefer you left it alone, the truth is that YES, you can – but only if your blemish is white. Here’s how: On clean skin, use two Q-tips to gently press on either side of the blemish. Dab what comes out with a tissue (if you see blood or feel pain, stop!), then use an antibiotic spot treatment. We recommend Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix, Dr. Dennis Gross Correct and Perfect Spot Treatment, and Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Emergency Spot Fix. After that, hands off!

The SkinMedix Team


Cleaning Your Clarisonic


Cleaning your Clarisonic may seem redundant, but caring for your beloved facial brush can actually help it last longer. Plus, a dirty brush can spread around unwanted bacteria, fungus, and mold. Keep your pores and your Clarisonic clean following the steps below!

1. Remove the brush head. You can also push in the white clips on the back to separate the inner bristles from the outer bristle ring for a more thorough cleaning.

2. Add a couple drops of antibacterial soap to an old toothbrush and scrub the bristles and crevices of the brush head first. Then repeat with the device handle and rinse with warm water. Don’t worry about getting the power buttons wet – the entire device is waterproof!

3. Let the brush head air-dry overnight, before reattaching it to the handle.

4. Store your Clarisonic properly. The Aria and Pro models go upright in their drying/charging stands. Mias should lie face down with the cap on to protect the brush head bristles.

Is it time to replace that brush head? Shop Clarisonic Replacement Brush Heads here.

The SkinMedix Team


Your Skin…Just Much Better


Call it the anti-aging essentials. Follow these wrinkle-fighting regimens and learn what to apply and when, for better looking skin.

1. Four nights a week – Build collagen

Vitamin A derivativies are still the “gold standard” for keeping your collagen stimulated. But since they can be irritating at first, it’s best to alternate your retinoid or retinol product with a gentler peptide creamWe recommend Pro+Therapy MD C8 Peptide Deep Wrinkle Treatment or Jan Marini Age Intervention Peptide Extreme. Some peptides, like those used in PCA Skin ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum, also help plump up your skin.

2. Three nights a week – Turn over those cells

To prevent wrinkles, as well as dull skin tone and uneven texture, use an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) cream, like PRIORI Advanced AHA Skin Renewal Cream, every other night. As you do with retinoids, apply after cleansing.

3. Every morning – Fight free radicals

After your cleanser and moisturizer but before that all-important SPF come antioxidants. Their mission: protecting your skin’s DNS from rogue molecules brought on by sun and smog that line and dull your skin. We recommend NeoStrata Antioxidant Defense Serum or DermaQuest Daily Antioxidant Serum–or for an easy all-in-one, try Topix Replenix Antioxidant Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 50+.

…Between Treatments – Work in a night cream

As they fight lines, collagen builders and cell-turnover agaents can irritate and dry out your skin. If necessary take a night off and apply an anti-inflammatory cream with coffeeberry, like Revaleskin Intense Recovery Treatment.

The SkinMedix Team


Know Your Skin Type

Is your skin normal, dry, oily — or a combination of all of the above? The answer isn’t always as simple as looking in a mirror. Many of us experience changes in our skin based on the climate we’re in, our hormone levels, and how old we are. And since the current state of your skin will influence the products you choose to cleanse, moisturize, and protect your skin, it’s important to get your skin type right.

Skin is generally classified into one of four categories: normal, oily, dry, and combination. To help us understand the differences, sought out the knowledge of Susan Van Dyke, MD, a dermatologist with Van Dyke Laser and Skin Care in Paradise Valley, AZ. “Your skin type can change as you age, and other factors like genetics and even illness can play a part. It’s multi-factorial,” Dr. Van Dyke says.

Normal skin, which has a good balance of moisture, small pores and an even tone, is the goal of most skin care regimens. Most people have normal skin, Van Dyke says, but to maintain its good condition, it’s important to minimize its exposure to the sun. A facial sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is ideal for preventing wrinkles and other sun damage. (Try NIA24 Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30.)

“Put it by your toothpaste and use it,” Van Dyke says. “It doesn’t matter if it is snowing or raining — get in that habit so you always have it on. Incidental sun exposure is what gets you.”

Quieting Oily Skin

Oily skin is identified by an excess of oil (the technical term is sebum) on the face. Some people with oily skin begin to feel greasy only a few hours after washing. “A very oily person would feel the need to wash their face between noon and 5 p.m., because oil has built up during the day,” Van Dyke says. Oily skin can be an inherited trait, but it can also be caused by puberty, which causes oil glands to go into overdrive. You may also notice more oil on your “T-zone” because of all the oil glands in the forehead, nose, and chin.

People with oily skin generally don’t need a regular moisturizer, but sunscreen is still necessary to reduce exposure to UV rays. Choose an oil-free sunscreen, suggests Van Dyke says, one that’s specifically formulated for the face and are less likely to create blackheads and clog pores. “There are plenty of oil-free sunscreens available,” Van Dyke says. “Read labels and try samples of different ones. There’s no excuse not to use sunscreen anymore.” (We like Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30Murad Oil-Free Sunblock SPF 30, and DDF Weightless Defense Oil-Free Hydrator UV Moisturizer SPF 45.)

Soothing Dry Skin

Dry skin, on the other hand, suffers from a lack of natural moisture — there’s little oil to act as a surface barrier and lock in moisture. People with dry skin feel a tightness about their face, and their skin is often irritated. Flaking is another symptom, but it’s not always a sure sign of dry skin. “You can have flaky skin and not be dry,” Van Dyke says. Sometimes, severely dry skin can become itchy and painful, leading to a condition called eczema.

Treatment of certain medical conditions can sometimes lead to dry skin. For example, breast cancer treatment may stop hormone production which could in turn affect the quality of your skin. “This will throw people into a menopausal situation at an early age,” Van Dyke says. “Suddenly, there’s no oil production.” Naturally-occurring menopause can have the same effect; most women begin to experience drier skin as they hit their late forties. To care for dry skin, use a gentle, soap-free cleanser, and moisturize adequately. (We recommend Neocutis Neo Cleanse Gentle Skin Cleanser, and follow up with NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion.) A second application of moisturizer may be needed during the day, Van Dyke adds.

Balancing Combination Skin

Combination skin is a blend of both oily and dry skin. People with combination skin usually find that their oily skin is concentrated in the T-zone, while their cheeks remain dry. Combination skin can be influenced by genetics and, again, by puberty, when oil glands increase their production of sebum. Sometimes a variety of products are needed to treat combination skin. “You may have to treat different parts of the face slightly differently,” Van Dyke says. For example, a mild cleanser and moisturizer may be needed on the cheeks, while an anti-acne product with benzoyl peroxide might be necessary on the T-zone. (Try Glytone Mild Gel Wash together with DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel 5%.)

If you’re still not sure about your skin type or the best way to nourish it, consult a dermatologist who can recommend a skin care regimen ideal for your skin type. Then visit for the best prices on the world’s leading cosmeceuticals!

What is your skin type?


Lip Care: Tips on How to Care for Your Pout

By Guest Blogger, Ada Polla,  Founder & CEO of Alchimie Forever

Lip Care by Ada PollaOne of the questions I get most often about caring for one’s face is if it is ok to use an eye contour cream on the lip contour. Indeed, both contours give away our age: the former (eye) through the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, droopy eyelids, and dark circles; the latter (lip) through the appearance of those “smoker’s lines,” bleeding lipstick, loss of volume and sometimes even loss of color. We focus a lot on the eye contour, so I thought it might be interesting to focus on the lips and lip contour for once.

First, a review of vocabulary:

  • The vermillion border is where the lips (upper and lower) meet the surrounding skin of the mouth
  • The vermillion border of the upper lip is often referred to as Cupid’s bow (given its shape)

Second, an anatomy lesson:

  • The skin of the lips is much thinner than any other skin on our body, containing many fewer layers
  • Because it is so thin, the underlying blood vessels are highly visible, which is what gies lips their pinkish or reddish color (this effect is less pronounced on darker skin types)
  • The skin of the lips contains fewer melanocytes (cells that produce pigment) than the rest of our skin (again, this is less true of darker skin types, that contain more melanocytes overall as compared to lighter skin types)
  • There are no hair follicles on the skin of the lips (gross!)
  • There are no sweat glands on the skin of the lips (re-gross!)
  • There are no sebaceaous glands on the skin of the lips (ok, stopping with the gross now)
  • As we all know, the skin of the lips is very rich in nerve endings however…

Because of all of these differences (fewer layers, no protection via sweat or oils), the skin of the lips dries out faster. The skin of the lip contour, however, is not that different from the rest of our facial skin. To answer the question that prompted this exploration, however, it is quite different from the skin of the eye contour (which is much thinner). While using an eye contour cream in the lip contour certainly will do no harm, it is not that different from using your anti-aging facial moisturizer on your lip contour.

In terms of protecting and enhancing lips and the lip contour area, here are a few of my father’s (dermatologist Dr. Polla) favorite tips:

Lip Contour

  1. Avoid smoker’s lines by not smoking
  2. Don’t drink with a straw: did you ever notice the shape your moth takes when you drink with a straw? Very comparable to the shape you make when you smoke… (the same thing could be said, although to a lesser extent, about to-go cups with lids)
  3. If need be, don’t hesitate to turn to electrolysis or laser hair removal (rather than plucking any pesky hairs in the lip contour area)
  4. When need be, given the potential appearance of the vertical lines in this area, do go to your dermatologist to explore the option of filling in these lines


  1. Exfoliate your lips with your facial scrub, as you do the rest of your face
  2. Protect your lips with an SPF during the day, as you do the rest of your face
  3. Don’t lick your lips repeatedly, as this will dry them out
  4. Don’t believe the myth that is you use lip balm regularly, your lips will end up drier than if you didn’t
  5. When need be, given the usual loss of volume with age, do go to your dermatologist to explore the option of adding volume back with fillers
  6. Do not go overborad with fillers and end up with “duck lips”

And, as my Mom always said and continues to believe, when all else fails (bad hair day, bad heart day, overall bad day), wear bright red lipstick.
My current favorite: Cruella by NARS.Lip Care by Ada Polla, Alchimie Forever

Ada, CEO Alchimie ForeverAlchimie ForeverAbout Ada Polla
Founder and CEO of Alchimie Forever, skin care expert, Swiss entrepreneur, resident of Georgetown, fan of New Orleans, supporter of women-owned businesses, contemporary art collector, writer, speaker, lover of champagne.

Visit for more skin care tips from Ada and to get the latest news on Alchimie Forever! For that A-list celebrity skin you’ve always wanted, discover Alchimie Forever products available at today!

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