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Can you believe it’s already time for the holiday madness to begin? To make shopping easier, we've put together our top 8 gift picks for 2016. What we're really proud of is the fact that these items are not just great gifts; they're great products, period. Because, to us, a sign of a great gift is that you secretly wish someone could get one for you, too.

We love answering customer questions, and we’ve answered a lot of them over the past five years. So we thought we’d sprinkle a few of your most frequently asked ones — and our answers, of course — here and there into our blog. One of your most popular questions: How do I layer skincare products?

Sunscreen: we all know we should wear it. We also know that slathering thick goop on our skin and facing the world with ghostly pallor is not terribly enticing. Sigh. So is it really necessary? (Yes. And don’t worry: we carry a fantastic collection of featherweight mineral sunscreens that will blend invisibly into your skin.)
To understand what we need to know about sunscreen and clear up a few frequently asked questions, we spoke to Elizabeth K. Hale, M.D., a leading expert in the field of dermatology with a particular passion for sun protection. She's a devoted runner, and she's the Vice President of The Skin Cancer Foundation.

We were delighted to host Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, one of the most well-respected dermatologists in the country, at our San Francisco studio for a conversation about all aspects of skincare. In this text interview, she shares her take on the process of changing skincare products: whether or not you should switch up your anti-aging treatments, and whether or not your skin needs to "get used to" new products.

For many of us, fall is the time of year when we decide that we need to get it together in general. Everyone’s back from vacation, back to work, back to school, and it’s go time. It also tends to be go time for skincare regimens. Because as heavenly as it feels to bask in the summer sun, it’s not particularly kind to your skin — and that tends to start showing come September. So we asked star facialist Julia March for her top fall skincare tips.

 

Facials are a little mysterious to a lot of us. Do we need them? Why? How often? To get some answers, we went to Julia March, natural skin care genius. We’re not the only ones who love her: according to Allure and New York Magazine, she’s one of the best facialists around, and as a result, it’s insanely tough to get an appointment with her.

Why is it that so many men can get away with simply washing their face with soap (if they wash it at all) while women often have multiple-step skincare regimens to keep their complexions looking young and vibrant? Well, as interesting as it would be to do so, we won’t delve into the cultural expectations that drive these differences in behavior. But we can tell you that men’s skin differs from women’s skin in a few ways that help them weather the aging process more easily. 

We've posted a number of tips from Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, the New York-based dermatologist with a BA, MD, and PhD from Harvard. Why? Well, she's brilliant, and she has a unique scientific and clinical background that makes her a master at identifying and evaluating the effect of active molecules on aging skin. Recently, she pointed out to us that improper cleansing methods and products can cause unnecessary harm to skin: she often sees her patients over wash, over scrub, and over dry their faces in that single skincare step. Read on so that you don't make the same mistakes.

Facial oils have been all the rage for awhile now, so we thought it was high time we addressed them with a simple introduction that answers three key questions: Why is oil good all of a sudden, who should use oils, and how do you choose the best one for your skin?

"What is your skin type?" Ah, the question that appears to be so simple yet consistently flummoxes so many of us. There’s a confusing jumble of options to choose from: Sensitive, Delicate, Dry, Aging, Sun-Damaged, Very Oily, Oily, Combination, Mature, Acne—and then there’s Normal. Which begs the question: does that mean the rest of us are abnormal? (The answer, emphatically, is “no.”) We sought to simplify the process a bit and put this guide together with aesthetician Julia March's help.

Is your skin a double agent? If so, you’re not alone—most of us have combination skin, with certain areas of our complexion serenely balanced while other areas struggle mightily with either too much oil or not enough. And, just to keep things interesting, combination skin (or any skin type, really) can shift from oilier to drier, only to shift back again just when you think you’ve figured out what’s going on. What to do about all of this drama? For a sympathetic point of view, we went to Lori Anderson, one of San Francisco’s best facialists and a member of the combination-skinned club herself.

We’ve been approached by a number of men (somewhat bashfully, in most cases) who want to take better care of their skin but don’t know where to start. So we asked Dr. Peter Kopelson, a charming and highly-regarded Beverly Hills dermatologist with a loyal male and female following, to help us demystify men’s skincare and outline the basics. Read on to learn how men can take good care of their skin without cluttering their sink with a 10-step regimen.

We’re huge fans of Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, the New York-based dermatologist with a BA, MD, and PhD from Harvard. We’ve already interviewed Dr. A about her top anti-aging secrets, where she mentions why she developed her 37 Extreme Actives anti-aging cream. Read on for the inside scoop on recommendations she gives to the patients who include it in their skincare regimen.

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