About Face Time

Graceful negotiation for the signs of aging

Favorite Products

Oh – skin care products! This has been both a pleasure and a thorn in my side for years. The truth is – if given the right environment and nourishment, the skin has the incredible ability to heal itself.

First, start from within. If you are not feeding your organs (skin being your largest) the good nutrients that it needs – don’t be alarmed when your skin will not play nice in the sand box. Start with plenty of hydration, feed it a mix of leafy green vegetables and some anti-oxidant packed fruits and in most cases – the two of you will get along just fine with very little extra effort. If you consistently do not provide this good environment – expect to pay more and experience a little more frustration in regards to skin appearance and results.

Aging – I have no magic button. If I could stop the signs of aging, I would not be writing this blog. I’d be independently wealthy and living in Europe! With this said, suffice it to say that once we have a healthy, well nourished environment for your skin, I can very economically guide you to great looking skin through an artful negotiation with the aging process. It is true – I can not make you look better than you ever did (work with me genetics, work with me!) – but I can erase signs of aging and help you look the best you that you possibly can.

I think most clients are shocked to learn that I spend very little on my skin care products. I also spend very little time completing my skin care routine. Please don’t ask my own personal health care providers about my compliance. If you give me 8 steps, I’ll guarantee you I’ll do 1 or 2, some of the time. So what do I use – and/or what are my favorites? Here they are:


My every day cleanser is Grape Seed Oil. Yes, the kind you can (and should) cook with. No, not all grape seed oils are created equally, so before you rush out to Kroger – be sure you have a quality product that is fresh pressed – and hasn’t spent 90% of it’s life on a cargo ship where the light and heat on the ship destroyed any goodness it once had. I buy mine at Epicurean Olive Oil at The Avenue in Murfreesboro, TN. (Visit their website by clicking on the photo below or by clicking here.)

grape seed oil

I use grape seed oil twice a day. In the morning, it’s more of a moisturizer than a cleanser, but the process is the same as the evening. When I return home, I drop 5-7 drops on a cotton round and use it much like you remember the Oxy pad’s of your teen years. If I have worn a little extra make-up, it may take more than one cotton round. I cleanse until there is no evidence of anything removed. In the evening, one application will do. This is acceptable for all skin types and conditions – yes, even oily skin. Be sure to massage the oil into your skin with a gentle touch. This will help “heat up” the oil to your skin’s temperature and the oil will be better absorbed.


Proper exfoliation is probably the most under utilized skin care step. Exfoliation should be done twice a week. Personally, I exfoliate on Wednesday and Sunday (no science there, it’s church days, and I can remember!). Exfoliation is necessary in order to remove any dead skin cells that are lying on the top layer of your skin. This will make room for your new skin cells (but they won’t bother growing if they are not encouraged). Because these skin cells are essentially dead, they will be ‘grey’ in color and not your usual healthy pink skin cells. If you feel that you don’t have that usual ‘glow’ about you and your skin tone is looking a bit dull, then it’s likely you’re in need of a good skin exfoliating treatment. I have tried for almost 14 years to find a better exfoliant than the one picture below. Sold exclusively by Physiodermie, Bio-gommage (which, gommage is french for the word “eraser”) or the English translation – “soft face bio-peel”. In most retail settings, you can expect to pay $80-$90 for this product. Amazon sellers will normally sell for $60-$65 for a six month supply (used twice a week).

Soft Face Bio-Peeling

This double action enzyme exfoliator is suitable for all skin types and gently sweeps away dead cells favoring the cellular renewal process while oxygenating the skin. Gentle enough to be used on extremely sensitive skin and also on the eye contour area (bonus!). This product should be applied to dry, yet clean skin with dry hands. Because of it’s plant and root extract properties – this product takes very little per application to do it’s stuff. Apply evenly over the face and neck – the product will look white like a lotion. Allow it to dry. Once dry, it will be clear (usually 5-10 minutes). Gently and in circular motion, exfoliate off your skin. Do not use water. I challenge new users to exfoliate only one side of their face the very first time, and over a white hand towel. First, take a look. You will not believe how much “stuff” comes out of your skin and is now laying on the towel. Next, with clean hands, feel the difference between the exfoliated skin and the non-exfoliated side. Since the product oxygenates the skin – it will lighten it as well. Triple benefit! Trust me, I have tried using others, but this product still remains on my list of products to take when dropped on a deserted island. 
Recently, I was asked about toner. Do I need it, is it necessary, etc? Once again, it’s only necessary if you truly need it. Typically I find that many clients use it because it is sold as part of a skin care set of products. In almost all cases, clients are using one of the strongest form of toner.  These strong toners contain a high proportion of alcohol (20–60%), antiseptic ingredients, water, and a humectant ingredient. I would not recommend these toners for everyone, and for no one for a long time (ie forever). I do recommend them for oily skin – as they tend to dry up sebaceous activity. Removal of oil from the skin does not cause overproduction of oil as there are no structure in the skin that provides a mechanism that will send a negative feedback to the oil glands that the skin has become dry and it needs to compensate for that condition. To compensate for that dryness, it would be recommended to use a water based, non comedogenic facial moisturizer (ie grapeseed oil). For my own personal use and perhaps a good majority of clients, if you just have to use a toner, Physiodermie wins again in this category.  Physiodermie’s stabilizing lotion (aka toner) calms the skin and rebalances the skin’s pH, while removing all traces of impurities. It is absolutely essential to prepare the skin before applying skin care products.  If the skin’s pH is off, no product will effectively be absorbed (think about using a $80 facial cream and it just sitting on the surface of your skin!)
stabilizing lotion
This toner looks and feels like water. Here are a couple of tips and uses that I adore:
  • As soon as you get a bottle, invest in a $1 spritzer bottle. Pour a couple of ounces of stabilizing lotion into it. If you can handle spritzing the toner directly on your skin, go for it. If you can not, spritz it onto your cotton round. In many cases, clients use cotton rounds that are made to absorb (cost savings if you spritz!) and most of your money goes right into the pad and not on your face.
  • Place 2 cotton rounds in a snack size ziploc bag. Squirt a few pumps of stabilizing lotion onto the pads (just this time, use enough). Zip the bag closed and place in the freezer. When you feel like the bags under your eyes are weighing your entire face down,  pull them out and place over your eyes – puffiness and dark circles be gone!
 Do you need sunscreen? Yes. Every day? Yes. Even if you stay inside? Yes. Now that this is settled, once again, not all sunscreens are created equal. My favorite of all time sunscreen is Revision’s Intellishade® SPF 45. Not only is it an spf 45, but it’s a three in one (eek!) product that includes an anti-aging tinted moisturizer as well. It conceals, corrects and protects. Love that! Sunscreen, moisturizer and make-up base/foundation all in one product. YES, PLEASE.  When it was first introduced, we saw the original Radiant version, but many clients experienced some oil production and Revision quickly responded with their NEW Matte formula. (This is the one I use). The recently launched Matte formula gives skin a sheer Matte finish and is formulated with the latest pore-minimizing technology.  Both formulas include a powerful wrinkle-reducing peptide and provide broad spectrum UVA & UVB coverage.   I buy mine locally from MDC Aesthetics. You can visit their website, by clicking here. To read more about this item specifically, click here.
Nerium. Yes, I do endorse this product. Nerium AD started out with a night cream that wowed us with its ability to tighten the turkey gobbler that sneaks in and hangs out under the jowl – and also to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, lighten some dark spots, and smooth the texture of aging skin. It is amazing! Next these smarty-pants added a fantastic day cream (antioxidants all the way around!) and NOW – they have launched Nerium FIRM. Firm what? Oh – upper arms, thighs, stomach, love handles. And – bless their hearts, they have formulated their body contouring cream with a natural blend of ingredients such as: white willow bark extract, green tea leaf extract, forskohlii root extract for starters (yes, some of the very same ingredients used in bio-gommage and  eeek – some of the very ingredients in my own DIY recipes – along with their patented NAE-8 extract. This product packs a punch! As those who know me well know – will products ever do the work of a laser? No. But, can you afford head to toe laser every day? Absolutely not. The best recipe is laser in the treatment room and good product to assist us at home. It does not have to break the bank!
neriumWhere can you get this product? I purchase mine from the lovely, Dale Smith-Thomas. You may contact her directly at (615) 579-5910. Or click here  to visit Dale’s Nerium site, or to her personal website here. I can also arrange for any Nerium product to be delivered to About Face and ready for your pick up at your next scheduled appointment.  In addition to securing an amazing Nerium team, Dale is a motivational speaker,  Pageant Boot Camp creator/director and in her shining role – mother to Nick who challenges every fiber of her protective being by competing in race car “drifting” races. He also has a “little” project filming for syndicated Television release. A reality show (of sorts) about drifting, about racing, and about all things Nick! I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Dale Smith Thomas
I have known Dale for several years. She always finds words of encouragement while never allowing me to settle for second-best. I already held Dale in the highest regard, then – she filmed a Christmas special last year for St. Jude that aired with one of my favorite childhood cancer warriors (Leah Bee Smallwood – Neuroblastoma) and the most handsome super sibling of Clinton Milliken (12.17/04 – 1/19/12, Medulloblastoma) – Max Milliken.  Finally, any #girlboss who greets me with  Good Morning Gorgeous (#goodmorninggorgeous) – is staying in my circle!

There you have it. This completes my personal skin care system. Are their other products available? Of course. Would I use them? Some, yes – if I had a problem that needed correction. But, I would use them like I would an antibiotic – only as needed and always for a short-term.

Practice being beautiful – from the inside out!

– Lori
Visit our estore – where we’ll list our favorite products and those we use in DIY recipes, here

2 responses to “Favorite Products

  1. Pam says:

    I learned this skin regimen from Lori years ago. Except for Nerium, this is my routine as well. If I ‘slack off’, my skin shows me the error of my ways. A huge benefit is that it preps your skin to be more receptive to Lori’s fabulous laser treatments. It’s a win-win all around. I may grow older, but I plan to do it gracefully and slower.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] to breath, it will create sebum (excess oil) that will clog pores. In almost every skin type, Grape Seed Oil is the only cleanser you will need. In addition to cleansing, here is what grape seed oil can do […]


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