Ask My Esthetician

The Post
Daily Dose

You guys sent in your questions for my skincare guru, esthetician Jennifer Adell, and she’s answered! Thanks for all the great Q’s, enjoy!

What are the best drugstore skincare products? Drugstore retinol?
would be my drug store recommendation for skincare. If you’re struggling with something specific, (acne for example) Differin would be good. Best drug store retinol: It depends on the skin type, but I would say Olay Regenerist, The Ordinary (drugstore price), and The Inkey List.

I have a tight budget, but want great skin! What are the key products I should use? Please share affordable but effective products or brands.
Affordable brands I would recommend are the ones listed above, Tula, and Colleen Rothschild. A good cleanser, Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and definitely SPF!

Best treatments or products for dark spots/sun spots? Any price range, I just need them gone!
Revision Vitamin C Correcting Complex 30%
is amazing as is CE Ferulic. Revision Retinol Complete and PCA Brightening Retinol are great. Hydraquinones if you have stubborn pigment (get that from derm/PA etc) and use for three months to jumpstart. Then continue with aha pads (love Dennis Gross Alpha Beta), and then lightening serums like Lytera, Discoloration Defense, or Pigment Gel (PCA). A budget-friendly option would be The Ordinary Azelaic Acid.

How long does face sunscreen last (months wise)? Can I use the SPF I purchased last summer?
A bottle of sunscreen in summer months should not last very long if you reapplying. One ounce (shot glass size) is needed for entire body and face but you want to reapply if out and about every few hours. My opinion is ditch old and replenish every year. Things like heat can break down the efficacy, so better to be safe (but you can check expiration date if kept in cooler darker areas).

In what order should I be using my products? Please share AM & PM routine simple schedule! I never know the correct order to apply products! Thickest to thinnest? Thinnest to thickest?
Think thinnest to thickest. AM: cleanser, toner, Vitamin C, serums, eye cream, moisturizer, SPF.
PM: cleanser, toner, exfoliate (alternate nights with retinol when starting out), serums, retinol, eye cream, moisturizer.

How can I treat or get rid of my melasma?
Melasma is tricky. You want to make sure to be using good quality Vitamin C and retinol. Also brightening agents like AHA , azelaic acid, and hydroquinone can help. Most importantly stay protected with physical sun protection. I love Revision Truphysical. Cosmelan peels and prescription products can really help too. Find a professional you trust.

What do you think about shaving your face with those little razors? Won’t my hair grow back darker and thicker?
Your hair does not grow back thicker or darker after dermaplaning. You get gentle exfoliation when done properly, removal of peach fuzz, and your makeup goes on smoother.

Thoughts on collagen supplements? Is liquid collagen worth the price?
Love collagen! Yes, I believe it is worth the price as I have seen many benefits personally.

Top 3 products I should be using that are pregnancy & nursing safe? I want a simple regime that works.
Vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid if your skin is dry, Active serum (IS clinical) if wrinkles are top concern, and SPF. 15-Minute Beauty is a great website to double check pregnancy-safe products.

Your #1 favorite skincare brand?
Such a difficult question because I have top products from several brands. I love love love Revision, SkinCeuticals, and Environ for medical grade products.

Does LED light therapy actually work? If so, what does it do for the skin?
Yes, LED works great but only when done consistently. Many people don’t achieve the results that are possible because they start strong for a week or two and then fall off. Red light can really boost collagen and elastin, help with pore size and boost skins ability to heal itself. Blue light can do wonders for acne and inflammation by killing off the acne bacteria. This red light mask is amazing!

What is one product or tool you think doesn’t work or isn’t worth the hype?
I wouldn’t invest in at home laser hair removal devices or microdermabrasion kits. Laser would never have the strength necessary enough to make an impact and microdermabrasion because people tend to have a very heavy hand which can be dangerous. As with any tool- if you are guided on how to use properly you can see results but so often people take it too far, so understanding how to use your tools is key!