March 24, 2013

Alcohols in skin care

I came across this advice on Pinterest.

I am not sure if its as relevant today, I have not seen skin care with the 'bad' alcohol in it for some time. But then, I only ever use professional quality skin care, never any cheap stuff.

In the past, skin care particularly toners had alcohols to assist remove excess cleanser as it was quite popular to use 'cold creams' which were thick, greasy creams, to remove make up. But that was many years ago.

When I was a teenager, I used a toner from a pharmacy that had alcohol in it to treat my acne. Not only did it dry the skin out, but my skin got oilier and as a consequence the acne got worse. So perhaps there are still some acne products around formulated with alcohols. But generally good skin care products no longer contain the drying type alcohols.

There are certain alcohols used in formulations that are actually beneficial to the skin. Here is a very interesting article on the type of alcohols to avoid, especially if they are towards the top of the ingredient list. And a list of beneficial alcohols used in skin care. 

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March 18, 2013

What is the difference between COSMETICS and COSMECEUTICALS?

the difference between COSMETICS and COSMECEUTICALS


Whenever you hear people talking about cosmetics, they generally refer to makeup. The FDA defines cosmetics as makeup and as products designed "for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions". So soaps, shampoo, deodorant, fragrances, makeup, etc are classed as cosmetics.

Antiperspirants that stop you from sweating, toothpaste that whitens teeth, or anti-bacterial soaps, as well as SPF 30 or 50+ sunscreens, are classed (by definition) as drugs.

Dr. Albert Klingman

I used to think it was Dr. Albert Klingman who first used the term cosmeceutical, however researching it, I found it was actually Raymond Reed, founder of the U.S. Society of cosmetic chemists, who created the concept of "cosmeceutical" in 1961.  The American dermatologist Albert Kligman popularized term “cosmeceutical” in the late 1970s. In 1980, he went on to research Vitamin A and its effects on acne, sun damage and premature aging. This is when Retinol and its use in skin care was first used, which has revolutionized how we treat skin today.


Dr. Alber Klingman defined Cosmeceuticals as skin care products combining cosmetics and pharmaceuticals ingredients. They are more active than basic skin care products which cleanse and cover up imperfections, but not as active as prescription drugs. Cosmeceuticals are regarded as skin care products with active ingredients claiming to have stronger benefits to basic cosmetics but not as strong as prescription drugs. Many cosmeceutical lines are known for delivering visible results without using prescription drugs.


In the ever evolving beauty market, the variations of the cosmeceuticals concept have exploded. Some similar terms I have seen for cosmeceuticals include: nutraceuticals (ingested orally), aquaceuticals (using marine products), floraceuticals (using botanicals), neoceauticals, dermaceuticals, cosmedicals, active cosmetics, nutricosmetics, etc
Regardless of that they call themselves, they all are essentially the same. Skin care products with active ingredients claiming to have stronger benefits to basic cosmetics but not as strong as prescription drugs.

Cosmeceutical products can now be purchased just about everywhere. 

I have seen some impressive formulas in pharmacies, not surprisingly, since cosmeceuticals ARE a marriage of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. These days, cosmeceuticals are not restricted to professional products only. Many department stores, supermarket and pharmacy products contain ingredients that fall under the classification of cosmeceuticals such as retinol, B3, vitamin C, hydroxyl acids, peptides, growth factors, etc. High percentages of active ingredients are no longer the only differentiating factor, nor is the delivery system. Encapsulation technology has been around for decades and used by many big brands. Some pharmaceutical products do have high percentages of active ingredients and department store products have been using active ingredients and advanced delivery systems for a long time.

So what makes a professional, salon only cosmeceutical different to a department store or a pharmacy skin care product? 

the difference between COSMETICS and COSMECEUTICALS

From my experience what makes the difference is the quality of the raw ingredients, the quality of the end product and a professional strength formula that delivers results. Generally, professional only products do have higher percentages of actives in them, but the thing that really sets them apart is the elegant and clever formulations. The higher percentage of actives, the different variety of actives and the way ingredients are combined to deliver a synergistic effect. Professional only products rarely advertise to the mass market, they rely on RESULTS and word-of-mouth, not on marketing. So they HAVE TO PERFORM and deliver DRAMATIC results FAST.

Professional-only products usually have an extensive range that can be tailored to individual skin types, conditions or concerns. They are professional-only for a very good reason. It takes a thoroughly trained, minimum Certificate IV, Diploma or Degree qualified skin therapist to understand the skin in detail, the complex biological mechanisms and how these are affected by the environment and lifestyle. Only a qualified and trained therapist can confidently develop an effective treatment plan using professional-only products that will deliver results.


Some terms used to differentiate cosmetics from cosmeceuticals include: smooths, boosts radiance, clarifies, evens skin tone, improves skin texture, moisturizes, hydrates, protects, conceals, highlights, softens, conditions, lubricates, cleanses, tones, refreshes, clarifies, deodorizes, absorb excess skin oil, removes impurities.


Strengthens skin, strengthens/improves barrier,  reduce redness, reduce appearance of rosacea, anti-irritant, minimise blotchiness, unclogs pores, removes congestion, controls breakouts,  purifying, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, increases skin's elasticity, firming & lifting, prevents signs of ageing, anti-aging, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, regenerates damaged skin, stimulates skin repair, heal, penetrates into the skin to act, fades or reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

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Have a beautiful day!
Jana x

March 17, 2013

Dry vs Dehydrated skin and skin care tips for a dry skin.

Jana ElstonJust came back from walking the dog and its pretty windy out there today! It's lovely and refreshing but can play real havoc with your skin.

Wind can literally suck the moisture out of you skin. And if its a sunny day as well, it's easy to get wind burned. Imagine a fan forced oven crisping up the roast. It's a bit like that, the sun heats up and 'toasts' the skin and the wind dries the skin resulting in a skin that feels parched, tight, stinging & sore, and on the surface looks all crackly.

During windy days its important to protect the skin from over drying as if its left untreated can lead to severe dehydration which leads to premature wrinkling, and even skin sensitivities. Dehydration means loss of moisture (water) and it can occur in oily skin or dry skin.

dry skin
A dried out skin if untreated will slow down the cellular turnover, building up a thicker dead cell layer attempting to protect itself from excessive moisture loss. This can make the skin look dull and sallow and if left untreated can lead to other problems such as blackheads and milia.

If your skin has been dried out by the wind, a moisturizing and hydrating mask can provide instant relief. Prepare you skin first with a gentle milky cleanser designed for sensitive dehydrated skin. Using a gently hydrating toner is an absolute must. The toner saturates the skin with moisture and often contains soothing plant extracts full if vitamins and anti oxidants.

Apply a mask designed for dehydrated or sensitive skin. Leave on 10 minutes ( some you can leave on overnight) . This will restore the skins hydration and promote a healthy and strong barrier.

Apply a hydrating moisturizer. During windy days look for moisturizers with Hyaluronic acid which is a powerful skin hydrator. If your skin is also lipid dry (not enough oil) look for a more thicker cream that will create a barrier on the surface to help prevent moisture loss in a drying environment.

omega 3 6 9 serum essential fatty acids
When the skin is lacking lipids just saturating the skin with moisture is not enough. A lipid (oil) dry skin need to restore essential fatty acids. Choose serums and creams rich in omega 3, 6, 9 essential fatty acids. Your skin is unable to manufacture omegas so if essential acids are depleted it will weaken the skin barrier making it 'porous' allowing it to dry out and can lead to flaky and sensitive skin. Add a drop of the precious lipid elixir to your moisturizer, mix through before applying to the skin. I also suggest include fish oil supplements in your diet to help repair the barrier from the inside out. It will make your skin glow!

Of course, during sunny and windy days it is especially important to use a sun screen and opt for sunscreens that have added antioxidants to protect the skin.

So when the wind pick up, your skin does not have to look like a crocodile skin. Adjust your skin care to keep it moisturized, hydrated and protected and if you need advice, have a professional beauty therapist look at you skin. Even better book yourself in for a lovely, relaxing hydrating facial for a real boost that will make your skin glow!

Do you have any comments you would like to add to this article? Feel free to post your comments below.

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online skin consultationJana x P.S. Do you need beauty skin care advice? You can book a one-one-one online beauty skin care consultation with me.  Click on the link to find out more.