Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Get It Before It’s Gone: Sephora’s Sun Safety Kit April 29, 2011


Sephora has once again started selling a sun safety kit for only $25.  You get 11 different sample size products from sunblocks to make-up with spf in them (and even a self tanner).  Plus you get a free tote.  Not only is this is a great price for so many different products, 100% of the net profits from the kits will benefit The Skin Cancer Foundation.  So what’s not to love about that?  Happy shopping!


When Should You Begin Using Anti-Aging Treatments/Products? September 29, 2010

I just learned that our bodies stop producing elastin around the age of 25.  That’s a pretty scary thought for some.  Elastin gives our skin its snap so if our bodies stop producing it so early are we all doomed to have saggy skin already in our 30s?  Should you be looking for the latest and greatest anti-aging products as you head out of puberty?

Some people would like you to think so.  It turns out that Dr. Perricone is introducing a new line of skincare products aimed at women ages 25 to 30 years old and yes, these are anti-aging products.  The product line is called Super by Perricone, and this is the description on the Sephora website (the products are available via Sephora and there is a freestanding store in Berkeley, CA) describes the products as such:

Super foods are the world’s (and our skin’s) new super heroes. Inspired by a passion to feed hungry skin, Dr. Nicholas Perricone—founder of the highly effective skincare brand Perricone MD—created SUPER, a nourishing collection of formulas for your face and body. Infused with phytonutrients derived from the some of the most powerful superfoods and formulated with advanced patented sciences, SUPER allows your skin to indulge in nature’s most nutritional bounty.

Dr. Perricone’s inspiration for SUPER was born from his passion for empowering others to take control of their health by bringing awareness to superfoods.

Achieving beautiful skin is as much about what you put in your body as what you put on it. With this concept in mind, Dr. Perricone began to explore the effects that antioxidant-rich superfoods have on the skin. His obsession with foods like watercress, known for its detoxifying effects, and chia, celebrated for its high levels of DHA and EPA, inspired him to design a collection of face and body products that combines these superfoods with his patented sciences. The result is SUPER.

According to the article Preserving the Dewiness of Youth in The New York Times :

Kat Fay, a senior analyst at Mintel who writes an annual skin-care report, thinks Super is part of a trend of getting women involved earlier in the fight against aging. “They are trying to hit them up with the prophylactic angle,” she said. “You look dewy and sweet now, but what about 10 years from now? Your life is over!”

At the St. Regis recently, Dr. Perricone defended his grab for a younger demographic. “Vanity is a great motivator,” he said between sips of jasmine green tea with cinnamon (a “superfood” he adores). While it’s one thing to say “eat this way and reduce your cancer risk,” he said, it’s far more stirring to say, “you’ll look younger and more glamorous within three days.”


Of course it will be interesting to see if this skincare line becomes a hit with its target audience.  For The New York Times article five women were invited to try the line.  Their responses were interesting:

Five women invited to The Times to sample Super liked it, but cost was a concern. Only one, Rebecca Wiegand, a dating blogger from Brooklyn, said she’d actually buy it. “I was thinking about the SATs in the ninth grade,” Ms. Wiegand said. “So it only makes sense I am thinking about wrinkles at 27.”Another, Andrea Lavinthal, an author of the book “Your So-Called Life,” for women on the edge of 30, does believe she must act now if she wants her face and décolletage to look good in a decade. “Thirty is not baby-faced,” said Ms. Lavinthal, a beauty editor at “I feel like I’m on a landslide to 40. If I want to look like Julia Roberts in ‘Eat Pray Love,’ either I need to get a lighting crew or skin-care products.”

I looked at the Sephora online reviews of Super to see what people had to say about this new skincare line.  Though the responses were positive, very positive overall, it turns out that most of the reviewers were not of the target age the products are being marketed at.  Instead most of the reviewers were in the 35-44 age bracket not 25 to 30.  So is the Super by Perricone marketing strategy off target?  That remains to be seen.

I’ve read some of Dr.Perricone’s books and found their premise interesting (inflammation leads to acne and aging.  Eat an anti-inflammation diet and control your acne and slow down the aging process) but have never committed to his program.  I tried two of his skincare products and was deeply unimpressed (and let me not forget to mention how outrageously expensive his products are).  I’ll be interested to see if Super by Perricone is a success.  Certainly many people love Dr. Perricone and his products.  If this new line does well I am sure we will be many more like it, but allow me to remain quite skeptical at the moment that these products are anything special at all.  There is a lot of pseudo science behind the premise and promise of the products and not a lot of fact.

Though I think many women are concerned about aging even when they are still in their 20s not that many people do much about it.  From my experience people become much more motivated to use anti-aging products and to pursue anti-aging treatments once they see that first wrinkle.  In the meantime let me once again remind my readers – if you want to stay looking young use your sunscreen!  No matter what time of the year, as long as it is light out slather on that sunscreen.  I can assure you that sunscreen is one great anti-aging product that everyone should always be using since the sun breaks down collagen and elastin fibers in our skin which leads to wrinkles and sagging, causes broken capillaries and hyperpigmentation, and can also make our skin appear leathery and uneven in texture (and lets not forget cause skin cancer as well). 

And does Super by Perricone have an SPF product or offer sun protection in any of its products?  No, not as far as I can tell.


Make a Donation Just by Watching a Video May 24, 2010


I’ve already mentioned in my blog how you can buy a Sun Safety Kit through Sephora that helps benefit The Skin Cancer Foundation, but it turns out there are numerous other ways you can donate to The Skin Cancer Foundation and some of those ways won’t cost you a dime.

Watch this video on YouTube with actress Jane Krakowski and Jergens will donate $1 for every view (with up to $20,000 in donations total).  All it takes in a minute and a half of your time to make a difference.

Or simply sign-up to receive information from the La Roche-Posay Save Our Skin campaign and the company will make a donation to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

And check out this page on The Skin Cancer Foundation website in order to see what other ways you can help out this very worthy.

Isn’t shopping always more fun when you know you are doing some good?


May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month May 4, 2010

So I’ve already written a lot in this blog about proper and consistent sun protection from head to toe, staying away from tanning bed (or cancer beds), and scary increase in skin cancer rates in this country.  But since May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month I thought it important to raise all those issues yet again.


My Previous Posts about Sun Protection and Skin Cancer




Resources for Information on Skin Cancer






There are lots and lots of great sunscreens on the market.  But if you are not sure what to buy consider purchasing Sephora’s Sun Safety Kit.  For only $25 you can try 11 different products, and all the proceeds go to The Skin Cancer Foundation.


And lastly, go see a dermatologist for a skin exam!  One appointment could save your life.



Sephora Sun Safety Kit April 29, 2010

Sephora and The Skin Cancer Foundation have teamed up once again to sell a Sun Safety Kit for only $25.  That small amount of money gets you 11 trial size sun protection products in a cute pink bag.  In the kit you’ll find sunscreens, moisturizers with sunscreens,a lip balm with sunscreen, a self-tanner with sunscreen, and make-up with sunscreens.  And the best part, if getting all those products for $25 wasn’t enough for you, 100% of the net profits from the sale of the kits goes to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Enjoy shopping!


How To Be A Skincare Recessionista January 18, 2010

I love a bargain.  Long before almost everyone in this country tried to find ways to save a few bucks on everything I was shopping sales and clearances – in stores and online.  The sight of a sign that reads “half off”, “clearance”, or “sale” immediately attracts my attention.  I clip coupons, and I look for deals.

Anyone who wants to take good care of their skin has faced the dilemma more than once of seeing a product they have wanted to try but then not bought because of the price.  Truthfully, I can’t say that I cut corners when it comes to the products I use on my skin, but I have found both a number of products and a few ways to save on skincare while still being able to try new products and watch my bank account balance.

Low Cost Skincare Products that Work

  • Save money on your cleanser.  Try Cetaphil cleanser.  If you have children at home use this on them too.  There is no need to buy a separate cleanser marketed for children – Cetaphil will do a great job.
  • I use Trader Joe’s Moisturizing Cream – Extra Dry Formula on my body (not my face) after showering.  It is a wonderful, unscented moisturizer that costs about $5 for 16 fluid ounces.  Highly recommended!
  • You already know that you have to use sunscreen each and everyday, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to find a good one.  Try Neutrogena Ultra Sheer or Neutrogena Age Shield.
  • Make your own body scrub so that you can exfoliate your legs, arms, and stomach.  Take household sugar and mix with olive oil.  Add fragrance if you want.  It’s that easy.  You can also use coffee grinds as a body scrub.  I know it might sound a bit weird, but it works.  One warning – the coffee grinds scrub can be messy in the shower.
  • Try using Aquaphor Healing Ointment as your lip balm.  It is very moisturizing, and since you can buy it in a small tube it is easily portable.
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics are incredibly cheap; most cost just a $1!  The brand has a very wide range of products and color options.  You can order online through their website, and Target now sells a few e.l.f. products as well.  I bought the e.l.f. beauty encyclopedia eye at Target for $5.  It includes 14 eyeshadows.  If you love to experiment with your make-up but don’t want to break the bank to do it you should definitely check out this make-up.  By the way, sign-up for their email updates and coupons.  I get at least one email coupon a day from them.
  • I don’t use skincare or make-up products that have been tested on animals.  That also means that I only use make-up brushes with synthetic bristles.  I found Eco Tools brushes, which are cheap and widely available, to be great.

Deals, Deals, Deals – In stores and Online

Most stores and websites offer free membership programs that are a shame to pass up.  Once you sign up you’ll get coupons both online and in the mail, free products or samples, and discount offers.  Here is a sampling of some of the deals that are out there.

  • and Sephora stores.  It is free to sign-up to be part of their “beauty insider” program.  Once you accumulate 100 points you get free products.  Even if you don’t spend a dime but are just a member of the program you will get a birthday gift.  Last year I received three mini lip glosses that I love.  Sephora constantly has sales and deals that are definitely worth checking out.  Sephora also has their own line of make-up that is lower priced than the premium brands sold in the stores and online.  I use the Sephora brand waterproof eyeliner and really like it.  Sephora always has special kits and packages of premium cosmetics that could save you money.
  • and Ulta stores.  Ulta has the same sort of deal as Sephora – their own Ulta card that is free to sign-up for, their own line of in-house, lower priced make-up, and special deals and kits of premium cosmetics.  I get a coupon in the mail at least once a month from Ulta.  I also find lots of interesting products on clearance in Ulta stores.  Last week I almost bought a Smashbox make-up kit with about four products for all of $6.50 until I talked myself out of it.  And remember to save your receipt.  If you take a brief online survey after making a purchase at Ulta you are entered into a drawing to win a $500 gift card.
  • And speaking of Smashbox their website offers deals that are not found in stores.  For instance their “let’s do lunch” special where on Tuesday and Thursday between 9 am and 2 pm you’ll get a free gift with purchase.
  • I’ve already mentioned New Beauty magazine in this blog but be sure to sign-up for their daily product giveaways online.
  • Both Allure and Lucky magazines are constantly giving away free products.  It is always worth it to see what they are giving away.  You never know – you may be the winner!
  • I’ve signed up for email updates and newsletters and now receive all sorts of discount offers via email.  I’ve tried a few new products because of these deals.  For instance, I received an email from saying that if you bought any Perricone MD product you would receive a free full size of that brand’s firming neck cream.  I had always wanted to try a Perricone MD product, but I never could afford it.  So I bought the cheapest Perricone MD product at, an eye serum for $20, and received a full size neck firming cream as well for free.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that I thought either product was anything special, but hey I satisfied my curiosity.  Recently I also bought some Peter Thomas Roth products at 75% off through once I received an email notification about the sale.
  • Sign-up for in your city.  You’ll get daily emails about deals in your area.  The Chicago groupon always seems to have deals on spas and salons.  Plus if you recommend that friends check out you’ll get a $10 credit the first time one of your friends buys a coupon.  I have a $40 groupon credit currently because of that deal.
  • If you like the make-up brands DuWop, Too Faced, and Stila check out the website which sells those brands and a few others at discounted prices.  The cosmetics are the real thing; they are just discontinued products or overstocks.

One last word – if you are on Facebook become a fan of any the above mentioned sites in order to see deals.

And have fun shopping!  There are always deals out there!


%d bloggers like this: