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BLACKHEADS: What they are and how to fight them! Bonnie on the blog!

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from clients is “How can I get rid of these blackheads???” Sometimes, no matter how diligent our skin care routine, those pesky blackheads just won’t go away. But why are they there in the first place?

Blackheads most commonly form in areas of the skin that are oiliest. For the majority of people, this is in the “T-Zone” (forehead, nose and chin), though they can also form on the cheeks, chest, and back. The sebaceous glands secrete sebum, which is a semi-hard, waxy substance. As it flows out of the follicle and onto the skin, that’s what we see as “oil”. When you have oily skin, your pores dilate due to increased sebum production to allow the oil to flow out onto the skin. An increased pore size coupled with lots of sticky sebum is prime real estate for those skin cells we shed every day (especially if you’re not exfoliating), and they will collect in the pore opening and cause a blockage.

Contrary to what you may think, the black part of a blackhead is not dirt or grime! The sebum actually darkens due to something called oxidation. Think about when you slice a banana or an apple— when exposed to the air, over time the fruit will turn brown. This is oxidation. Sometimes pores will be clogged without a blackened area, and these are called sebaceous filaments.

So now you know a little more about the science behind black heads.  But what can you actually do about them?

1. You may be tempted to squeeze and pick at your skin, but you know even as you’re doing it you’re thinking “I really shouldn’t be doing this!” Attempting this yourself can lead to scarring, the development of dilated blood vessels, and infection. If you MUST, I always recommend using two cotton swabs to my clients. Place the swabs on opposite sides of the clogged pore, press down gentle and wiggle (the swabs, not your booty!).

2. We talked about exfoliation last week and, trust me, that is the #1 thing you can do to treat and prevent blackheads and clogged pores! To kick things off right, come on in for a Therapeutic Facial  and we can extract your existing blackheads to get you started with a clean slate. Your home exfoliation regimen will work even better then!

3. Use a leave-on product with 2% Salicylic Acid as part of your regular skin care routine to exfoliate the impaction plugs and clear the congested pores. Dermalogica’s Overnight Clearing Gel is perfect as part of your nighttime routine and contains salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and green tea. Clearing Mattifier is perfect during the day to help control oily shine while also clearing out those pores with salicylic acid, vitamin A, and Vitamin E.

4. Since I know you’re going to ask, no I’m not a big fan of pore strips. While they may pull out the clogs, the ingredients can be very irritating to sensitive skin and the pulling off motion may pull off more skin than you want!

Even after your blackheads clear up, you’ll want to keep up your routine to prevent them from recurring and clean pores will appear much smaller because they’re not dilated with excess sebum and skin cells.

Thanks for stopping by to learn all about blackheads, and join me next week to learn about Nutrition for your Skin!




September 17, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Ingrid - Hi bonnie,
love your blog idea!


Bull City citizens, the cat’s out of the bag: it’s going to be muggy, warm, and rainy for days on end! Just one glance at Google weather and I had one thought: What in the world are we all going to do with our hair?! I knew I had one heck of a #WeekendBeautyTip search on my hands!

It doesn’t matter your hair type—straight, curly, dense, dry, oily, thick, thin, fine—one thing is for certain: muggy days get our hair all out of whack! When I searched for a good hairstyle to deal with this week’s weather situation, I kept finding cute all-down or half-up looks and I felt oh-so-discouraged…..until I found THIS!

This perfect little pony is the best solution to rainy or muggy days when you don’t want your hair sticking to your face, but you don’t want to feel horribly out of style. Textured and layered is in these days, and this pony tail style delivers both! All you need is some bobby pins and an elastic; oh, and two minutes to watch this video tutorial.

With this new and quick hairstyle, we’ll never be scared of a bad-weather day again!

Cheers to the perfect pony!

Merry Weekend everybody!



THE FIVE MINUTE FACE EVENT by Mirabella! Be there!

Do people describe you as prep-tastic? Do you love pearls? Are your favorite colors pastels? Are you not really into those things, but looking to change your makeup game? Do you just want to get your makeup done for free and learn how to do it super-fast? Then this is for you, my friend.

On September 27th from 10:00am—3:00pm we are having an amazing event! Mirabella, our makeup line, has been an industry standard in Hollywood and beyond, and one of their experts is coming to do a makeup event at Posh!

It’s called the “Five Minute Face” Event because  Hollywood makeup artist Lauryl Andrae will be coming to teach us how to do our makeup in FIVE MINUTES. That’s right! With the launch of their new gluten-free CC Cream (which has received sensational reviews!), the art of doing your makeup takes no more than five strokes on the minute hand of your clock!

On top of the “five minute face” technique, we will be featuring our “Pearls and Pastels” line by Mirabella! It’s a preppy-meets-pretty look that features a pearlesque finish on classic, airy pastel color. It’s a limited line that won’t be around forever, and we will be selling the rest of our stock at this event, so don’t miss it!

What you’ll find in the “Pearls and Pastels” line is this:

1. Refreshment Eye Pigment which blends from icy to mint. Use it dry for a soft mint, or add water to create a bold, gorgeous blast of color.

2. Minted Color Luxe which provides some preppy sparkle with a yummy chocolate-mint scent. It’s a non-sticky lip gloss that gives just the right amount of glisten.

3. Cheeky Blush is a blush that boosts skins’ radiance in one minute! This blush was so well received in the Pearls and Pastels line, Mirabella will soon be adding it to their permanent collection!


Want to know what it actually looks like? Glad you asked!

Lauryl Andrae will be doing makeup with the CC Cream and featuring the Pearls and Pastel eye, cheek, and lip color. So if you want a look that is “preppy meets pretty,” sign up for your 15-minute appointment with Lauryl herself!!


There will only be 10 appointments available, as Lauryl values education, skin matching, and getting to know each client instead of hurrying you out the door! Each appointment will last 15-20 minutes. So to sign up, email poshdurham@gmail.com and use “Five Minute Face Appointment” in the subject line! 



Everything you need to know about EXFOLIATION!

It’s Skincare Wednesday and Bonnie’s on the blog telling us all the need-to-know info about EXFOLIATION. What is it, exactly? And what types are best for your skin? From Bonnie’s mouth to your ear!————————————————–

I recently attended a continuing education course on exfoliation and am so excited to share what I’ve learned with you! Exfoliation is critical to keeping your skin looking and feeling its best, and it’s one of the most overlooked steps in a client’s skin routine that I see in my treatment room.

First of all, what do we mean when we talk about exfoliation? Exfoliation removes the dead skin cells from the surface of skin revealing the smoother skin underneath. It will make your skin appear brighter, fine lines look less deep, and help prevent blackheads and breakouts.


Exfoliation can be accomplished in two ways: physical/mechanical and chemical.

1. Physical/Mechanical Exfoliants include things such as facial scrubs, cleansers with beads/seeds in them, ultrasonic-type cleansing brushes, “Buff Puffs,” and good ol’ fashioned washcloths. These treatments work by physically removing the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. An advanced treatment such as microdermabrasion is also considered mechanical exfoliation.

2. Chemical Exfoliants, such as alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, and enzymes, work by dissolving the dead cells or the “glue” holding the dead cells on the surface of your skin to remove them. Unlike mechanical exfoliants, these ingredients can actually penetrate into the pores to help remove clogs, thereby helping with breakouts, large pores, and clogged pores.

Personally and professionally, I am a much bigger fan of chemical exfoliants and use them exclusively in the treatment room as well as prescribing them for my clients to use at home. Why? Because I feel that they give you “more bang for your buck.” Not only are you removing dulling skin cells and promoting increased cellular turnover, but you can also clean out those clogged pores and prevent breakouts. I also feel that, when used respectfully, they are kinder to your skin and are less likely to cause dilated capillaries and microscopic tears in your skin while better protecting your skin’s barrier function.


The benefits of exfoliating are many! As we age, the rate at which our skin cells regenerate and turn over (a process called desquamation) slows down, almost doubling in length by the time we’re in our 60s. If you’re not routinely removing these dead cells, they will build up, which leads to dull looking skin, dry patches, a “roughened” appearance, and clogged pores. Regular exfoliation prevents this build-up to keep your skin smoother looking (bye-bye fine lines!), softer and brighter, while also preventing the skin cells from falling into your pores and causing clogged pores, blackheads, and pimples. Not only that, but getting all that dead stuff off your face will actually help your moisturizer work better! How? Because the dead stuff acts almost like a barrier keeping the moisturizer from sinking in and treating your skin. To quote one of my favorite skin care magazines, “The skin you want is underneath the skin you have.”


So how do you know which exfoliant is best for your skin type and issues? I always recommend scheduling a facial to my clients who are new to this step because we can give them a professional grade exfoliation in the treatment room and see what your skin really needs. If you’re short on time, you can always schedule a free 15 minute consultation, which gives us a chance to analyze your skin and help you choose the best treatment for you.

Here are my four favorite Dermalogica exfoliants for your home care routine:

1. Daily Microfoliant: Ok, seriously, this is one of my favorite products ever! This product is great even for sensitive skin (use 2-3 times a week, not daily), oily skin, clogged pores, breakouts, acne, basically everyone except for mature or dry skin types. A blend of oat bran and rice bran exfoliate, while the enzyme papain helps dissolve dead skin cells for easy removal, and salicylic acid cleans out your pores. Licorice, phytic acid, and grapefruit help brighten your skin too! Watch this video to see how it works:


2. Daily Resurfacer: Genius design with amazing results!  Individually wrapped “finger puppet” type applicators are full of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, enzymes, and botanicals to gently exfoliate, while the addition of sodium hyaluronate helps hydrate. Great for mature skin!

3. Gentle Cream Exfoliant: A masque and exfoliant in one! Contains a blend of four different exfoliating ingredients (alpha hydroxy acid, beta hydroxy acid, fruit enzymes, and diatomaceous earth) for an effective non-abrasive exfoliation. This helps to clear your follicles of clogging debris to allow in the moisturizing apricot kernel oil, which maintains your skin’s protective barrier. The addition of sulfur helps to kill the bacteria that cause acne.

4. Skin Renewal Booster: This is a terrific product if you’re new to professional skin care. Use at night to remove surface skin cells while improving hydration. Contains an exfoliating complex of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, retinol, and soothing plant extracts. You can also add this to the Gentle Cream Exfoliant to really ramp up the exfoliation, or add to the Skin Hydrating Masque to hydrate as you exfoliate.

Now then, unlike chocolate (or wine!), there is such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to exfoliating. So follow your esthetician’s recommendations for which product to use and how frequently to use it to avoid compromising your skin’s barrier function and becoming sensitized. If your skin is already compromised or sensitized, please do not jump in to an exfoliation routine without seeing one of our estheticians. We need to address those issues and heal your skin before adding this step to your home care.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Join me next week when I’ll be writing about how to get rid of those pesky clogged pores and blackheads!








September 10, 2014 - 7:47 pm

Angie Cornelius - Expert advice and great ideas – thanks so much, Bonnie!

How To Transition your Hair and Makeup from Summer to Fall!

Labor Day has officially passed us by, and that can only mean one thing: Fall is on its way! I sat at the back-bar of Posh last week, getting some work done, when Kris (one of our stylists) approached me. We chatted during her break about summer ending, and we re-lived some fun memories.

When we realized how quickly the Autumn season was approaching, Kris beamed with excitement. She talked about all the different ways the fall season inspired beauty changes and by the end of our conversation, I knew I had a #WeekendBeautyTip on my hands!

So, per our own Kris!, here is your Weekend Beauty Tip on how to transition your look from summer to Fall!


All of us experience serious environmental damage by the end of summer. Beach days bring in harsh sun light, afternoons at the pool deposit algae and chlorine that alter color and dry out your locks, and vacations come with all different types of hard hotel water. Here are tips for how you should transition to Autumn based on your hair color.

1. ALL HAIR COLORS: Get a conditioning treatment! The summer heat is tough on any hair-type, and every head of hair deserves some nourishment before you start any changes on your hair color or texture.

2. BLONDES: Being a summer blonde is a beautiful thing!  However, a lot of the time, blondes experience the most damage, dryness, and color-change by the end of the summer. Kris says that “lightening your hair to that gorgeous-summer-blonde shade creates porous hair strands. So now that the summer is at an end, you need to fill in those holes and close your cuticle to create a silky, rich look for fall. An easy way to do this is to add some jewel-toned pieces to your hair—like some rich, bold caramel. Or you could do an all-over glaze which adds shine and closes the cuticle, as well as tones it down just a touch to match fall colors.” Also, we both agreed that a great product to fill those porous strands is Miracle Filler by Pureology, designed specifically for blondes.

3.  BRUNETTES: Kris says that “most brunettes have lightened a shade or two by the end of summer.” Her suggestion is to “glaze the ends down to deepen your hair to a rich-tone like chocolate or chesnut. A glaze also closes the cuticle, leaving each strand smooth instead of frayed.” A great at-home product to add some much-needed protein back in the hair is Redken’s Cat Reconstructor or Extreme Strength-Builder Mask.

4. REDHEADS/AUBURNS: “The trouble redheads experience isn’t as much lightening as it is an overall dullness by the end of summer. The richness of the red can be restored by a glaze, or a some rich, accented low-lights that compliment their tone.” An incredible product for red hair tones is Pureology’s Reviving Red line, which has an illuminating oil for richness and vibrancy!

Kris also adds that one of her best practices is to change the color formula (just a pinch!) on each of her clients to match their hair to the season, while maintaining their overall desired look. For summer, she adds a touch of lightness to create an airy look, and when fall rolls around, she mixes in a touch of warmth for richness and depth.


“I always change my makeup routine to match the season I’m in. Everyone’s skin is different, so I’d recommend taking some time with one of our Mirabella experts to choose a few shades of lipstick and blush that match your skin. You don’t want to be walking around in a bright pink pastel in the middle of October. Earthy, warm tones are always flattering and one of our makeup educators can pick the perfect one for you!” Kris suggests.

And there you have it! A few easy suggestions on how to transition your hair and makeup from summer to fall. Enjoy your weekend everyone, and get excited for the onset of fall!

Merry Weekend,

Ashley and Kris:)




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