March 20, 2014

CONGESTION: a cluster of small, deep, skin coloured, painless, stubborn lumps / bumps on the skin

Congestion can be a stubborn problem to clear, it can linger and be a real nuisance.

In oil related congestion, the sebum is thick and waxy and has settled deep down in the hair follicle. Usually found around the chin and cheeks, it feels like a cluster of small, deep lumps under the skin. Congestion is usually skin colored, is not painful and does not itch. Once it appears, it usually just sits there and does not clear on its own. The waxy sebum can be a result of poor nutrition, certain food intolerance, a sluggish metabolism, hormones,  not drinking enough water, etc. and  if left untreated, can potentially lead to ruptured follicles, papules and painful lesions or acne. 
To clear it, the waxy sebum has to be broken down, liquefied, and allowed to flow freely to the surface. 

If congestion occurs around the jawline and cheeks, and occasionally on the neck, then it is either caused by over nourishing products or it's an internal problem, where the body is eliminating toxins via the skin. Check the products you are using, that they are not too rich. Makeup can sometimes be the problem, and poor quality skin care full of petrochemicals which literally suffocate the skin. If it is not the skin care, it's internal. The skin is sluggish, the body may be sluggish. You may not be drinking sufficient water, or suffer from constipation or sluggish irregular bowel movements, food intolerance or lack of exercise. If it is a persistent problem, I would refer my client to see a naturopath for a consultation and a detox. 

So what can you do? 

Professional treatment options: after cleansing, use an exfoliant with salicylic acid or enzymes. Salicylic acid is the only hydroxyl that has the ability to penetrate into the follicle, get deep down, break down the waxy sebum, and exfoliate the follicle from inside out. Exfoliants containing enzymes digest and break down the waxy sebum and hard keratin plugging up the follicle. Both are keratolytic, meaning they are drawn to and break down keratin therefore are very efficient exfoliants. Used with steam, the heat of the steam will aid in warming and liquefying the sebum. Enzymes are also activated and more efficient with steam. 


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Desincrustation with the galvanic machine is an excellent add on option to treat congestion. The galvanic current draws the specialised ampoule (serum) deep into the follicle, and through saponification, breaks down the waxy sebum. 

Lymphatic drainage is also very useful to stimulate skins own detoxification processes and particularly effective for congestion located on the jaw line and cheeks. 

Masks and treatment creams containing yeast extract are excellent at breaking down stubborn congestion, and deep painful lumps under the skin.

I would advise against trying to extract the congestion as it is so deep, it's not very successful and causes to much pain and trauma on the skin that may lead to scarring. The products are so efficient at clearing it up, there really is no need. 

If you do all of the above, you should see results within days. Good luck! 

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Jana x

March 10, 2014

SKIN CARE DELIVERY SYSTEMS

A delivery system is ingredients in the formula that assist in the delivery of other ingredients in to the skin. 

Some examples are liposomes, nano technology, micro capsules - encapsulation, micro sponge technology, emulsions, carrier oils,  etc. think of a tiny balloon you can fill with active ingredients that gets the ingredients past the lipid barrier. 

Because the skin is so very efficient at keeping things out with the lipid barrier, advanced skin care products encapsulate ingredients to get them down a little bit further. 

Besides delivery systems and vehicles, cell communicating ingredients actually do a great deal of work in the skin too, and are particularly needed to effect the skin at the dermal level. How they work is, they send chemical messages to cells, which pass the message along to the target cells, and tell them to behave a certain way. For example activate hyaluronic acid production etc. 

The technology today is getting even more complex with ingredients affecting gene expression in the skin. The products I work with use ingredients to switch on and off certain genes, to create the desired effect in the skin. Not long ago a company in UK identified genes responsible for greying hair (loss of pigment) and developed and ingredient they apply with shampoos and conditioners that "switch " the genes back on that generate melanin production in hair. So as you use their shampoo and conditioner you no longer grow grey hair. 

That is where the science is heading in skin care. A delivery system (ingredients that deliver the active ingredients where you want them) will also be an important part of these advanced formulas. Here is an excellent read on delivery systems: 

http://www.dermazone.com/blog/2010/10/delivery-systems-for-skin-care-products/    

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March 7, 2014

Could protein trigger Acne?

I remembered a case I dealt with, where the client suffered from severe cystic acne. I referred her to a naturopath and after a thorough consultation they concluded that she had build up an intollerance to animal protein. 

Apparently,  my client and her family had red meat based meals every single night, roasts, steaks and the like. The naturopath suggested her body was so overwhelmed with so much animal protein it was trying to eliminate the toxins via her skin, hence the acne. 

They did the experiment and she eliminated animal protein from her diet and the results were immediate and astonishing. Her skin cleared up within weeks. Whenever she tried a sausage or steak her acne returned. It was mainly from red meat, bird or fish flesh wasn't so bad. She had to get right off red and white meat to keep her skin clear.

This made me think of my ex who had severe acne on his back for many years since he was a teenager. On the advice of a naturopath ( after many failed attempts of doctors and dermatologists) we gradually eliminated food groups from his diet, then slowly re-introduced foods until his acne flared up again. His problem we discovered were eggs. Interestingly, another animal protein. He could not eat anything with eggs in it without getting serious acne on his back, neck and jaw line.
So think about what foods trigger your acne. Animal protein is a big culprit, wheat, citrus fruit, dairy and sugar are worth looking into.

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