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Hey there, lovely!

Welcome. I am Ashley Tramm, and I am so glad you are here! My goal is to educate and empower you to feel your very best by sharing the latest tools up my sleeve. I think we will have a little fun along the way, too! Thanks for being here.


Ashley Tramm
5 Reasons You Just Have to Exfoliate

5 Reasons You Just Have to Exfoliate

So you wash your face. You maybe add a toner and finish up with a moisturizer. But do you sufficiently exfoliate all those dead skin cells away? And if no, why not? What is stopping you?

I think most of our answers would be three-fold.

  1. I don't have enough time.
  2. I have no clue what to use.
  3. I don't want to dry out my face.

I am here to clarify and educate on the importance of proper exfoliation, and how this simple step can allow your skin to glow in the way it is meant to.

Here are Five Reasons You Must Exfoliate:

  1. The rest of your skin care routine's products will absorb better into your skin. This is just fact. Think about all of the surface cells "napping" on top of your skin. You then add your serum, moisturizer and perhaps an facial oil. Those products will also take a rest right with those dead surface cells, instead of soaking into the skin where they will get to work. Slough off dead skin, and your product will work as it should. I love this Nourishing mild exfoliator for everyday. It is gentle enough to use on the regular, but still gets after those dead skin cells leaving behind fresh skin.
  2. Your makeup will go on soooo much more smoothly. When I worked the counter at Bobbi Brown, I can't tell you how many women came in to do a lesson. We didn't have the capability to wash their face to really get it prepped. When skin is not properly prepped and exfoliated, the foundation and powder tends to just sit on top of the skin, rather then melting in and blending up. Your makeup has a very important job, but it can't perform the way it should when you have that top-layer of flaky dead skin.
  3. Your pore size decreases. So when you have layers and layers of dead skin cells built up, your pore actually expand. When you rid those suckers of all that yuck, they can actually shrink. I love this Charcoal Mask because not only it is cleaner and safer, it has actually transformed my 20,000 pores. Yep, that's how many we have! About 10,000 more than Minnesota has lakes.
  4. It can fade dark spots. I can relate on this one, because I have some sun damage and pregnancy-related dark spots. I have discovered the holy grail of my routine. This peel has transformed my skin's tone and texture, and those dark spots are fading away. This peel has a combination of AHA and BHA acids that work away at those dead skin cells. Glycolic, lactic, and malic acids go to work, while hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids soothe and nourish revealing a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion. I am going to call that a win. Guess what? This peel is pregnancy and lactation safe. 
  5. It can reduce fine lines. Who doesn't love this one? Once I hit 30, I feel like my skin said, "Oh you are definitely not in your 20s anymore, let's make sure you look it." This is again why I love the peel. It helps reveal a glow, and reduces the appearance of those pesky lines. 

Unveiling the Truth About Drugstore Exfoliators and Why You Should Run From Them

Let's look at the ingredients of the ever popular St. Ives Apricot Scrub
Water, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Meal, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Cetyl Acetate, Carbomer, Polysorbate 60, Ceteareth-20, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol, PPG-2 Methyl Ether, Phenethyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide ”

  • Water most likely makes up half of this product.
  • Walnut shell powder can actually be really harsh, and can potentially create tiny tears in the top layer of the skin. Bacteria can then enter deeper into the layers of the skin. Also, the abrasiveness of this ingredient can cause inflammation as you scrub, and if any acne sufferers continue to use an abrasive scrub, their skin will not 
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE is very comedogenic, which means it will clog your pores.
  • Propylene Glycol leaves a film on your skin and is toxic in high doses. This is on the Never List.  It's added to skin care as a humectant, which means it can attract water, but attracts water from the lower layers of skin and moves it to the surface, which creates an appearance of plumpness, but over time, this ingredient can be very drying. The best humectant is hyaluronic acid, and is found is many of Beautycounter's products. Look for products with hyaluronic acid.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath. Also on the Never List.
  • Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Meal is an elaborate way of saying corn starch. It's added as an abrasive, but it can be harsh on the skin and it can cause irritation. It is also comedogenic and it is alkaline in pH, which can throw the skin off. 
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a synthetic surfactant and paraben which strips oils from your skin and in high concentrations is a skin irritant. Again on the Never List.
  • Cetearyl and Cetyl Alcohol are fatty-alcohols used as thickeners and are also comedogenic.
  • Triethanolamine is a surfactant and an emulsifying agent that can cause allergies and other disruptions.
  • Glyceryl Stearate is a waxy surfactant and emulsifying agent and comedogenic in high doses.
  • PEG-100 Stearate PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. 
  • Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract is the first good ingredient and it is tenth on the list. It's a skin conditioner, and it can be a great addition, but not in combination with these other yucky ingredients.
  • Cetyl Acetate is an ester of cetyl alcohol and acetic acid and is both comedogenic and irritating.
  • Carbomer is a thickener and can be irritating.
  • Polysorbate 60 is an emulsifier that is mildly irritating.
  • Ceteareth-20 is an emollient, emulsifier that is very comedogenic and an irritant.  It is considered unsafe for damaged or irritated skin, which is the exact kind of skin that this product is marketed to.
  • Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol is used as an emollient and is comedogenic.
  • PPG-2 Methyl Ether is for the added fragrance and is also used as a solvent. 
  • Phenethyl Alcohol is for fragrance and can cause irritation.
  • Glycerin is a moisturizing agent and it certainly can be beneficial, it almost the last ingredient, so when combined with all of the other harsh stripping ingredients, its efficacy is diminished. 
  • Methylisothiazolinone is a biocide preservative to keep products shelf stable that in high doses is very toxic and can cause nerve damage. Chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers, and causes of contact skin allergies. It is on the Never List.
  • Fragrance is a catch-all term that could mean practically anything from organic essential oils to synthetic fragrance. An engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed. 
  • Titanium Dioxide is usually used as a sunscreen. In cleansers, it is used as a colorant.

Exfoliate with a peel which dissolves dead skin and oil instead of scraping them away. Acids, including plant-derived salicylic, lactic and glycolic, can cleanse the pores instead of just buffing and scraping.

 Kaolin can be an effective way to exfoliate, too. It pulls impurities and dead skin cells out of the pores, and is very gentle and effective, especially on oily skin. The Charcoal Mask is great for this. 

Don't just take my word for it, try it! I really think you will start to see a difference in your skin and the way your makeup goes on. There are gentle and safe ways to get your skin the healthiest it can be. 

P.S.  Now through July 5, if you spend $150 on product, you will receive a full-sized Countermatch Adaptive Body Lotion for FREE.

And if you join Band of Beauty, you'll get free shipping, a 15% product credit for your next order, and the full-size Countermatch Adaptive Face Moisturizer, a value of $49. Cue salsa dancing lady emoji. 

Want to learn more? Take the skin evaluation or schedule a virtual one-on-one skin consultation with me. I pinky-promise it will be fun!

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