February 25, 2017

DO YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN? DISCOVER PRODUCTS AND TREATMENTS THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR SKIN

PRODUCTS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Does your skin redden easily? Do you have visible capillaries or do you get rashes? Have you ever reacted to natural foods, medications or skincare products? In this article, I will talk about the two major types of sensitive skin, what causes it and the best way to manage and improve the skin condition. There are essentially three different sensitive skin conditions: couperose, sensitive and damaged skin.

COUPEROSE - “BROKEN CAPILLARIES”

Couperose is a skin condition where you can see visible capillaries on the surface, often present on the cheeks, chin, neck and decolletage. People with couperose tend to flush easily but do develop rashes or irritations such as stinging, burning or itching. Couperose is caused by sun damage. Years of exposure to UV has lead to the capillary damage which makes them more pronounced on the surface. Exertional, heat, alcohol, spicy food and other stimulants can aggravate this condition.

TIPS FOR MANAGING COUPEROSE

Because couperose is caused by UV damage, the first thing you need to start using is a sunscreen with a minimum SPF30+. Choose skin care that helps to improve circulation and strengthen capillaries. Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and vitamin C are excellent choices, both being antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help reduce redness. Vitamin C helps boost collagen which will help strengthen capillaries. Professional treatments that are very effective to reduce the appearance of couperose include laser and IPL. Avoid excessive sun exposure, hot showers, exposing your skin to extremes of hot and cold, and stimulants such as spicy food and alcohol whenever you need to keep your skin extra calm.

SENSITIVE, DELICATE SKIN

A very small population of people are born with sensitive skin. This usually has a genetic root so other members of a family may also experience sensitive skin. These people need to be very gentle with their skin, and careful with the products they use. They may suffer from other autoimmune diseases and disorders and often develop allergies to certain foods and/or chemicals.

TIPS FOR MANAGING SENSITIVE, DELICATE SKIN

The best way to manage a sensitive, delicate skin is by using skincare formulated especially for a sensitive skin, free of common allergens, artificial colors and fragrances. Sensitive skin responds very well to calming, soothing and hydrating ingredients such as allantoin, chamomile, panthenol (provitamin vitamin B5), hyaluronic acid, cornflower, cranberry extract, oats, honey, licorice and soy phospholipids to protect the delicate skin. People with sensitive skin should avoid strong active ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid; highly fragranced products, products high in alcohol and using too many products all at once. Interestingly, naturally formulated products are not necessarily safe as people with allergies often will react to natural ingredients. Choose products that have been tested and formulated especially for sensitive skin. Read my article: 4 Products You Should NEVER Use On Your Face

SENSITIZED, DAMAGED SKIN

A sensitized skin, on the other hand, is the result of environmental, lifestyle and diet related factors. Sensitized skin can become red, hot, swollen, flaking, itching, burning or stinging. Often rashes can appear, or the skin can develop inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Sensitized skin conditions are often the result of a variety of factors including incorrect skincare, harsh products, repeated intensive skin treatments, over treating the skin, excessive heat or cold, infections, allergens, immune system disorders and certain medications.

TIPS FOR MANAGING AND HEALING A DAMAGED SKIN

Sensitized skin needs a time out. Its immunity has been compromised and the barrier has been broken down, allowing substances to pass through that would otherwise be kept out. Impaired barrier causes excessive moisture loss from the skin, irritation, inflammation and rashes. Sensitized skin needs gentle, anti-inflammatory products and a healing recovery professional treatment to help the skin recover. A desensitizing program that promotes healing and repair will work best. Besides gentle, calming and soothing products, a sensitized skin needs ingredients to improve the barrier and to strengthen skin immunity. Choose products developed to repair the barrier and heal the skin. Look for ingredients such as essential fatty acids (omegas 3,6,7,9) phospholipids, cholesterol, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, amino acids, polysaccharides, mucopolysaccharides, phytosterols, squalene, jojoba oil, sea buckthorn oil and flaxseed oil. Ingredients that stimulate epidermal growth factors are an excellent and potent way to repair damaged skin fast. People with damaged, sensitized skin need to avoid skin care that is highly active such as retinol serum and any products that contain AHAs such a glycolic, mandelic, lactic and salicylic acids. Avoid treatments that generate inflammation in the skin such as microdermabrasion, AHA or BHA peels, enzyme peels, micro dermal needling, laser or IPL. Opt for healing and strengthening facial treatments and soon you will be rewarded with a healthy strong skin once again. Read my article: Are You Considering Skin Peels? Having a sensitive, damaged or red skin does not stop you from using products or having treatments. In fact, professional treatments and the right products can greatly help manage and improve these skin conditions. Talk to you beauty therapist about the best skincare and treatment options for your skin.
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February 20, 2017

THE MOST IMPORTANT SKIN BEAUTY TIP EVER

YOUR SKIN HAS A MEMORY, TREAT IT WITH RESPECT


“Your skin has a memory.
In ten, twenty, thirty years from now, 
your skin will show the results of
how it was treated today.
So treat it kindly and with respect.”

I believe in long-term skin health. I also know, that our skin cells are constantly learning and gathering information for future generations. Science shows that how you treat your body, will be remembered by your cells and important information will be stored in your cells' DNA.  This is only natural so that your body and your skin can respond faster to environmental changes and adapt. It's all about self-preservation.

When I advise people to be gentle with their skin, it is not only about how they care for their skin every day. For example, don't use harsh products that make your skin red and uncomfortable. It is also about the treatments they chose to do to get the results faster. We are so impatient these days, we want results yesterday. All the neglect and damage we have done in our earlier years, we simply want the effects of that gone immediately. Sadly, this is not how the skin works.

You can't lose weight overnight. You can't get fit overnight. You can't remove pigmentation overnight. You can't get rid of wrinkles, blackheads, open pores, acne overnight. It's just biology. Your skin needs time to correct itself. It needs time to purge and to rejuvenate.

When you chose to do high-intensity clinical skin treatments to accelerate the results, they often come with side effects and these need to be managed well, for long-term skin health. Your skin will show you when your skin cells are under stress. It will become red, inflamed, hot, swollen, angry looking, itchy, burning and stinging. And when it's really suffering, it will break out, develop a rash or the skin cells will die off and peel off.

When you undergo high-intensity treatments that cause skin inflammation, it is absolutely critical you manage this well. You need to get that inflammation down as soon as possible. The longer your skin stays red, sore and uncomfortable, the more tissue inflammation causes free radicals causing long-term damage and accelerating aging. You may see good results now, but long-term your skin will suffer.  Because your cells will remember. Listen to your therapist when they recommend you use specific product post care. It's an investment into a healthy skin. Be sure to use anti-inflammatory and skin repairing skincare post clinical treatments. For your long-term skin health.

Best results are achieved with patience, carefully managing your skin over time, allowing your skin to recover. This means, don't do peels or microdermabrasion every week, do them every second week. Don't do laser skin rejuvenation again until your skin has completely recovered. Don't keep on having strong peels, skincare with AHAs and retinoids ad infinitum. Once your skin has improved, move onto other actives, such as antioxidants, cell communicating actives, vitamin C and peptides to continue treatment and maintain results.

The tools we use to deliver great results in our clinics are very exciting, but it's very important that pre and post care is managed very well.

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February 15, 2017

ARE YOU A WOMAN IN YOUR 30s OR 40s SUFFERING WITH ADULT ACNE?



It is not unusual for us to see clients in their 30s, 40s or even in their 50s suffer from breakouts and acne. In fact, we are seeing more and more women in their adult years come to see us upset about their breakouts. Confused, they tell us they can't understand why they are getting acne, after all, they are no longer teenagers.

So what is causing this increase we are seeing in adult women suffering from acne? If you search for answers online, you will learn that acne is caused by excess oil in the skin which is trapped in the hair follicles and causes infection. This may be true for younger people, however, this kind of lesions look very different to the type of acne we see in adult women.

During teenage years, some people develop an oily skin due to the hormonal spike they experience during puberty. The excess oil and a build up of dead cells cause blockages in the pores, which go on to become infected and you end up with lesions with a pustular head. The surrounding skin will often also have clogging, congestion, and blackheads, which are the precursors to pimples. Read more about teenage oily skin and the best tips for treating juvenile acne, and watch this video about tips for teens with acne.

Adult acne is very different. It is not necessarily located in the oily areas of the face (t-zone). Most of the adult acne occurs on the cheeks, jawline, temples, neck, shoulders and back. Yes, it can sometimes present within the t-zone, but these lesions are very different to the clogged pores which end up infected. In adult acne, the lesions are located deeper in the skin, presenting as large, swollen, painful, red, angry looking lumps under the skin. Often referred to cysts, these can appear overnight and last for weeks or even months.

Unfortunately, there is not one single cause that can be attributed to causing adult acne. We know that it is an internal problem, but the causes vary. For example, some women notice they have a breakout due to stress, others notice it is related to their diet. We are suspicious of the toxins and chemicals in our food and water. Is it possible the hormones and antibiotics fed to cows, pigs, sheep and chickens to produce cost effective meat products are affecting our bodies and our skin? Is it possible that the highly processed foods we eat made from genetically modified wheat, corn and high in sugar are causing acne? Is it possible that even when we do not feel we are stressed, our bodies are flooded with stress hormones due to our high paced lifestyle, lack of adequate sleep, long hours at work and lack of exercise? Is it possible that these stress hormones cause breakouts?

We need to start asking these type of questions of ourselves and be more observant of our bodies and how we are responding to our diet and lifestyle. We as aestheticians can see the clues about your diet and lifestyle by simply looking at your skin. Acne that appears in different areas of the face also gives us some clues to the possible causes. For example, if you tend to have adult acne on the chin, this is usually hormonal, either related to that time of the month or stress hormones. Acne on the jawline and neck has often been linked to high stress (hormones) and acne on the cheeks, shoulders, and back are related to the gut and food intolerances (eg wheat, dairy, sugar, animal protein and acidic foods).

Helping someone manage their skin while they are suffering from adult acne includes specialized skin care that is formulated to reduce inflammation and promote healing and recovery. Skincare alone, however, will only help put out the existing fire. The cause will need to be addressed and so we recommend people seek the advice of an endocrinologist, a naturopath or a clinical immunologist to determine the cause of the problem.

Skin care ingredients to look for that have proven to help adult acne include retinol (vitamin A), salicylic acid, centella asiatica, glycerrhetinic acid, allantoin, tea tree essential oil and green tea. Be gentle with your skin, treat it as sensitive. Avoid harsh or stimulating skin care and treatments such as harsh scrubs, skincare formulated for oily skin, microdermabrasion, micro needling, and strong AHAs. Adult acne responds best to soothing skincare, anti-inflammatory treatments, LED light therapy, Salicylic acid peels, and manual lymphatic drainage.

Adult acne can be a frustrating and confusing condition to deal with because it is so different from person to person. The way it looks behaves and the causes are different. We need to apply a process of elimination to determine the cause then find the right treatments and products to treat individual skin. The great news is that science has come a long way in the past 10-20 years and there are very effective treatment options that can help and help fast. Ask your professional beauty therapist who has extensive experience treating adult acne to have a close look at your skin and have a discussion about the possible causes and treatment options.

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February 7, 2017

HOW TO GET RID OF BROWN SPOTS ON FACE

how to getrid of brown spots on face


While we are young, our skin has a beautifully even skin tone. It looks even in color and has a radiant appearance. As we get older, however, we notice the skin is no longer as clear and even toned, the pigments in our skin are deposited less evenly causing freckles, brown spots, stains and brown marks. These color irregularities are called pigmentation. Where the skin is blotchy with too much pigment, this is called hyper-pigmentation (excessive pigment), cholasma or melasma.

WHAT CAUSES BROWN SPOTS?

Hyper-pigmentation is caused mainly by UV exposure, hormones, friction, heat, and inflammation. Excess sun exposure, certain hormones (e.g. during pregnancy), too much rubbing (e.g. underarms) heat and inflammation, for example after an acne breakout, are known to cause the skin to trigger more melanin. This is a defense response by the skin.

When exposed to these triggers, the skin will thicken and darken to protect itself from further damage. The pigment melanin, which gives our skin the brown color, protects the skin by absorbing UV radiation and preventing burning damage to the skin. This is why people with lighter skin and less melanin burn faster than people with darker skin types and more melanin in their skin.

Friction such as excessive rubbing will also trigger the skin to produce and hold onto more dead cells, causing thickening of the skin. In this way, the skin is trying to protect the live skin cells deeper in the skin from damage. The thickening and pigmentation, however, cause the skin to appear patchy, dull and aged.

HOW TO PREVENT HYPER-PIGMENTATION

WEAR A BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN MINIMUM SPF 30+

Whatever the cause, where possible, first eliminate the cause of brown spots in your skin, where possible. Every single minute you are outdoors during daylight without any sun protection, you are exposing your skin to UV, which triggers melanin production. So the first preventative step you can take is to build in a quality sunscreen of at least SPF 30+ into your daily routine. Select make up with minimum SPF 15 + for added protection. Whenever outdoors, wear a hat, sunglasses with UV protection, stay in the shade whenever possible, and try to avoid direct sun exposure during the middle of the day, when the UV rating is at it’s strongest.

USE A TYROSINASE INHIBITOR ON YOUR SKIN EVERY DAY

Tyrosinase is the enzyme produced by our skin which triggers melanin production in response to skin damage, or hormones. Using skincare that includes ingredients to inhibit/block melanin production will help reduce brown spots and even out your skin tone. Ingredients to look out for are:

  1. Stabilized Vitamin C - the most powerful, well documented and proven ingredient that will deliver excellent results.
  2. Licorice extract - a gentle option for more sensitive skin, will help even out pigmentation over time. 
  3. Niacinamide - vitamin B3 has anti-inflammatory and brightening properties, excellent support to Vitamin C

EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN WITH AHAs


Alpha Hydroxyl Acids will remove dead cell build up and surface pigmentation giving your skin an instant brightening result. Professional strength peels are an excellent way to start and fast track your results. At home, choose and use skincare in the form of cleansers, serums and night creams that contain AHAs such as lactic acid or glycolic acid to speed up cellular turnover and remove the melanin build up.

Be sure, however, to use these products under the guidance of a well experienced and qualified aesthetician, because using the wrong products or overdoing it can, in fact, trigger more melanin production. Remember, too much exfoliation, will trigger inflammation which will cause the skin to go into the defensive mode by making more melanin and thickening the surface layers. Less is more, and in the case of treating pigmentation disorders, patience with really pay off. Aim to treat uneven pigmentation carefully, slowly over time, which will deliver more lasting results.

WHAT TO AVOID 


  1. Avoid unnecessary and excessive UV exposure when possible.
  2. Avoid excessively rubbing your skin. This includes harsh scrubs and microdermabrasion. Some people are not suited to microdermabrasion because the friction can trigger post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. Choose gentle enzymes and AHAs instead.
  3. Avoid excessive heat whenever possible. Keep your skin cool and out of direct exposure to heat. 
  4. Avoid internal inflammation by eating foods high in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Eat foods rich in omegas 3,6,9, Vitamins A, C and E. Plants and herbs such a green tea and berries are powerful antioxidants. 
  5. If you suffer from acne that causes brown spots after a breakout, avoid picking at your skin, microdermabrasion, or being harsh in any way. Be gentle and select skincare for it’s anti-inflammatory, calming and soothing properties. 
  6. Some people should completely avoid laser and IPL (heat) because of their skin types. Certain skin types will trigger more melanin if they are exposed to high heat. People with an Asian and Mediterranean background are especially prone to this and do not qualify for this treatment. Alway ensure you have a thorough consultation and a patch test before committing to these treatments. If a laser or IPL technician is willing to do these procedures on your skin without a consultation or a patch test, run. Choose another professional. IPL and laser triggered post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is very difficult and nearly impossible to treat. So don’t take shortcuts and invest in good skin care and a responsible professional. 
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