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  • Beauty Sleep – Myth or Truth?

    This topic has always been one of some debate, from a personal perspective it was just one of the many ploys that my mother used to coax me to go to bed when I was a wee one! Today we know more about what actually happens to us when we sleep and the consequences of not getting enough quality shut eye. From credible research that links sleep deprivation to obesity to the abundance of apps that measure how many times we roll over, sleep is a hot topic and big business… Here’s what we know about sleep and the skin, and what happens when you don’t get enough!

    It’s Day Job

    In the daytime, the skin is very active fighting off potential invaders like bacteria and viruses while also neutralizing unstable molecules that cause havoc on cells. These are generated by UV, chemical exposure, smoke, stress, unhealthy diets and pollution. Just another reason why sunscreen is a must and preferably one with built in antioxidant technology. It’s not only you that has to work during the day: your skin has a long list of job responsibilities, too.

    The Night Shift

    At night the skin switches to clean up and repair mode while you rest, new skin cells replace damaged cells and rejuvenation takes place. In fact, cell regeneration increases by double at night and production of collagen also escalates. To help enhance this process, use or prescribe specialized overnight products, specifically those with microencapsulated Retinol and designer peptides that work on repairing skin. As the skin is clean and not in defense mode, it’s more readily able to absorb these helpful ingredients. Most people do best with about 7 hours sleep. Well rested skin looks exactly that — well rested, good tone, plump, fresh, hydrated and bright.

    Burning the Candle

    On the flip side, lack of sleep can be detrimental to both the skin and body. The body uses sleep time for internal housekeeping – processing nutrients, detoxifying, renewing and recharging. If your body is chronically starved for sleep, the effects will eventually become visibly and physically noticeable. Signs like slow healing breakouts or telltale dark circles and puffiness under the eyes are going to give you away, you’ll feel tired and look tired.

    Long Term? Think Zombie Skin!

    Something every party girl needs to know is that when you build up ‘sleep debt’ over time, this has long-term consequences. The aging process will be accelerated and the immune system will be impaired, which means you’ll be more susceptible to skin infections, cold sores maybe even skin cancer. For the body as a whole there are chronic effects like serious health issues, metabolic problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and depression.

    Top Tips For Some Quality Shut Eye

    Ready to change those sleeping habits? Here’s some helpful tips to get you on your way to rest and relaxation:

    •  No caffeinated beverages, tea or coffee after 4 pm (also no sugar at least 2 hours before bed).

    •  Working out after work or doing yoga also really helps not just for the body but for switching off the brain from work.

    •  No phones or bright LED lights next to the bed, or in the room for that matter. Try to black out your room as much as possible or try a sleep masque.

    •  Taking a bath with a blend of relaxing essential oils — the heat from the water soothes muscles, the aromas through you breathing them in will help you to unwind. The best essential oils for sleep are Lavender, Chamomile, Sandalwood, Ylang ylang and Rose.

  • 4 Tips to Maximize the Benefits of Retinoids

    The press is full of the virtues of using retinoids. And rightly so. The scientific data definitely validates them as probably the defining ingredient option of the decade for aging skin concerns. If your clients are using retinoid-based products prescribed by their dermatologist, or recommended by you as a professional skin therapist, it is worth sharing these important tips with them to yield the best results that retinoids can deliver.

    1. Use your retinoid product at night

    Unfortunately Vitamin A ingredients, such as Retinol, are not photo-stable. This means they degrade, or break down, in the presence of ultraviolet light. Not only can this reduce the benefit they will have on your skin, but can increase the free radical load, making skin more sensitive and reactive. So it’s essential to apply after dark and allow the retinoid to work its magic while you sleep.

    2. Introduce the retinoid gradually

    As we age retinoid receptors decline in the skin. But this can be remedied by using the dilutions recommended and building your skin’s tolerance. By applying gradually, you can build up the receptors and you will feel less ‘bite’ or sensitivity as you progress. Applying too much retinoid too quickly risks a dermatitis response that will leave skin very irritated. Use an accompanying buffer cream or your moisturizer to provide a dilution medium.

    3. Moisturize well

    It is not uncommon for skin to experience tightness, dryness or become flaky with retinoid use. The increased rate of skin renewal and desquamation initially causes the Stratum Corneum to thin, although this condition will improve over several weeks. The implications of this are increased dehydration and sensitivity that can make you quite uncomfortable in your own skin. Using a slightly heavier weight moisturizer will compensate for this water loss and ease discomfort, seek your professional skin therapist for a proper prescription.

    4. Always use SPF daily

    While there is a degree of debate on the specific mechanisms of increased photosensitivity with retinoid use, the skin will definitely be more vulnerable to ultraviolet exposure. Don’t worry about the debate, be safe and apply a minimum SPF30 daily and preferably an SPF50. Stop your retinoid at least two weeks before venturing on a sunshine holiday or you will burn faster and be at greater risk of hyperpigmentation issues.

    Taking sensible precautions will ensure you get the best out of your product and maintain your skin health, all while achieving fantastic results.

     

    Related blog posts:

    Is Microencapsulated Retinol Better Than Ordinary Retinol?

    Dr. Diana on the Benefits of Retinol

  • Is Microencapsulated Retinol Better Than Ordinary Retinol?

    While there is no question that Retinol is indeed one of the most effective age fighting ingredients available in skin care today, there is often confusion surrounding the different forms available in cosmetic products. Unfortunately, as effective as pure Retinol is in fighting the signs of aging, the reality is that it is not a very stable molecule. It breaks down in the presence of oxygen and light so great care must be exercised when formulating with Retinol to ensure that the active Retinol is still present 6 months later. Cosmetic manufacturers will often use metal or glaminate tubes with a narrow needle nose delivery orifice to minimize exposure to light and air.

    With the numerous clinical studies supporting the benefits of Retinol in skin care products, we have sought ways to optimize using this unstable molecule. Microencapsulation is a process whereby Retinol is subjected to a laboratory process that encapsulates the active molecule within a microscopic capsule or sphere that not only protects the unstable Retinol molecule, it facilitates controlled release delivery and enhanced penetration through the lipid bilayer of the skin. This is the result of the microcapsule structure being constructed of multiple layers of lipid membranes surrounding a solid Retinol containing core that allows for an easier transfer of the Retinol molecule. At the same time the very nature of the capsule enables a lipid film to form over the skin’s surface to impede trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).

    Formulating with microencapsulated Retinol is also advantageous over the free form of Retinol in that it protects the Retinol from oxidation or spoilage and extends the shelf life of the product. The microcapsules break when they are applied to the skin so that the Retinol is at its most active when delivered. And due to the lipid nature of the microencapsulation it facilitates a controlled release delivery with better penetration through the barrier lipids of the skin.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Zurich Welcomes New Training Center

    March was the perfect month to visit Zurich, Switzerland, as spring in Europe is magical. I love the cold, crisp air, the sun shimmering in the brilliant blue sky, it made the perfect backdrop for this beautiful and picturesque city to speak about.

    The first thing on my agenda was a media event, held at one of Dermalogica’s Corporate Skin Bars in the iconic Globus department store. This was the perfect environment to showcase the signature skin analysis and retailing concepts that guarantee success, as well as introduce to the media a new skin brightening product system. This was a really fun, engaging and entertaining event and everyone left enriched by the experience and ready to tackle those pesky spots!

    The best part of this visit was the privilege to be invited to officially ‘open’ the brand new Dermalogica offices and training center. The learning environment they have created for their customers is absolutely spectacular.

    A welcome breakfast was hosted by the team and food provided by one of Zurich’s top chefs, Pascal Schmutz. We got ‘down to business’ with the seminar focusing on ‘How to Sell to The Most Powerful Consumers on Earth,’ and the launch of the ‘Face Map Our Nation’ campaign, along with the new product system.  Having launched this campaign in Australia last year, it was a great opportunity to share our initiatives and success stories, and to inspire a little ‘friendly competition’ with the challenge to Face Map more people in Switzerland than Australia, proportionally to the size of the population of course! With the energy and enthusiasm displayed by the attendees I don’t this think will be too difficult a task at all.

    It was an honour and a delight to work with the inspired and energetic Swiss team, and a privilege to have the opportunity to meet with and speak to their very dedicated, passionate customers.

    The only real challenge of this visit, showing restraint by trying not to over indulge in the most delicious chocolate in the world!

  • Get Bikini Wax Ready

    With the summer months just around the corner, many people are looking forward to spending time at the beach or the pool, and for some – they are mentally preparing for their bikini wax. Whether your client is veteran of hair removal or is new to this grooming habit, here are some quick tips to ensure your client has a safe and successful treatment.

    Meet and Greet

    When booking the waxing service, be sure to ask the client when they are expecting to unveil their skin to the sun. Ideally, the client should wait to wax at least 48 hours before or after any UV exposure. A proper consultation is imperative and it will help you assess any contraindications, such as infected skin, systemic diseases, diabetes and oral medications like Isotretinoin. Don’t forget to communicate the extent of hair removal with the client. Going bare or barely there can determine not only the length of the appointment but the type of wax you may want to use (hard wax versus strip wax). Soft or cream wax is perfect for larger areas and hard wax is excellent for those intimate areas since it is used at a low temperature. This wax literally shrink wraps the hair and is less irritating to the skin. It’s also a perfect time to discuss common reactions expected with a waxing service such as bumps or minor irritation. For females close to their monthly cycle, it’s recommended to wax no less than two-three days before or after to help lessen chances of sensitivity.

    Pre-game Checklist

    Once the appointment has been booked, the client should begin preparing for the treatment. I’m not talking meditation, but a few grooming items can make the service go smoothly. Suggest the client gently exfoliate the area two to three days prior to the service to help lift the hair and remove any dead skin cell build up. Shaving should be discontinued 10-14 days prior to allow for the proper hair growth, about ¼” to ½” is ideal. They should also keep hydrated both internally with water and externally with a fragrance-free body moisturizer. The more hydrated the skin, the better the waxing experience. Dehydrated and dry skin can often result in lifting. Advise the client to avoid alcohol and caffeine before the service as both can serve as a stimulant and pre-sensitize the skin.

    After-care Advice 

    The waxing service does not end once the hair has been removed. An at-home care checklist is always helpful for the client to review and understand. For 48 hours after the bikini wax, recommend that they avoid sun tanning and tanning beds, saunas, or swimming as well as intense exercise, sweating and tight clothing. Do suggest light exfoliation a few times a week in between their services to help prevent ingrown hairs. Once the client is waxed and ready for fun in the sun, remind them to apply sunscreen along that exposed bikini line to avoid a UV burn.

  • Jane Wurwand Gives Big Advice for Small Business on INC.

    Jane Wurwand has made her mark in our industry. After all, she’s built IDI and Dermalogica into global brands, created a loyal base of skin therapists and consumers, and started the non-profit FITE to help empower women across the globe. So it’s fair to say she’s also built some street cred on the way and caught the eye of the business community at large; and our chief visionary spares no advice when it comes to running a successful business venture.

    Now you can watch her doing just that through The Playbook video series, provided by INC.com, where she offers advice for budding entrepreneurs and established business owners alike. Take a peek and see how these tips can help you start, run and grow your business — beginning with “How To Make Brainstorm Meetings Uber-Productive” featured below.

    Want more? Check out the other videos by Jane on INC.com:

    When Students Can Be Your Next Big Market Opportunity

    The Power of Word Choice to Build Your Brand

    Why Packaging is More Important Than You Think

    The Hidden Issue that Holds Women Business Owners Back

    No One Should Tell You How to Leave Your Business

    The Incomparable Benefits of Self-Financing

    How to Make Smart Decisions When You Don’t Have All of the Information

    How to Start a Multimillion Dollar Company without a Bank Account

  • Say Buh-Bye to Bacne

    Spring has sprung, which means your clients might be ready to pack up their winter woolies and reveal more skin! But for some the very notion might make them anxious if they suffer from back or chest acne. “Bacne” as it’s now referred to, is more common than you think when you consider that nearly 85% of all people have acne at some point in their lives, most often on the face, chest, and back. Teen boys and men sometimes get the full brunt of this issue due to testosterone levels triggering increased sebum production, which leads to blockages and more breakouts. Only to be then further exacerbated by sweaty, occlusive gym clothes and let be real, questionable hygiene. But you can’t ignore the ladies, many acne prone and active females have their fair share of bacne issues too.

    Here are #3 simple rules to share with your clients.

    #1 No blocking. We have the most amount of sebaceous glands in the face, neck, shoulders, back and upper arms, so if these follicles are blocked due to oil, dead cells, waxy hair or occlusive body products, even SPF, breakouts sometimes even cystic type acne will result. Bear in mind that people are also less selective about what products they use on their body versus their face.

    Buh-bye Bacne Tip: Advise clients to treat their chest and back like their face, screen their shower and body products for comedogenic culprits like artificial fragrance, color, pure lanolins, petroleum derivatives and the “myristates”.  Have them ditch the dewberry shower gel and prescribe a soap- and fragrance-free anti-bacterial cleanser with ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree and Citrus extracts.

    #2 No stripping. Steer your clients away from mentholated and alcohol astringents, the cooling sensation on the skin does not mean the skin is clean. In most cases, these astringents have an SD Alcohol base that strips the skin of lipids and causes the skin to actually produce MORE oil to only worsen the condition. Abrasive scrubs are also a no-no as they’ll open up lesions and spread bacteria.

    Buh-bye Bacne Tip: Introduce an oil and bacteria controlling toner. Look for alcohol-free that allow for spritzing on the back or portable purifying skin wipes with ingredients like Balm Mint, Witch Hazel and Salicylic Acid. Treat breakouts with topical treatments that reduce sebum production, dissolve skin cells and zap bacteria with the hottest technology like Lactobacillus Ferment, Colloidal Silver, Zinc Sulfate, Magnolia Bark and Niacinamide.

    #3 Keep it clean. Conduct a CSI level investigation into your client’s sheet preference, washday frequency, detergent products and clothing. Sweat, dead cells and oil are all yummy bacteria food. Synthetic fibers will further trap sweat and dead cells.

    Buh-bye Bacne Tip: Advise clients to change pillowcases at least every other day and sheets twice a week. They should also wear organic cotton clothing next to the skin and especially avoid moisture wicking gym gear. Same goes for the bed linen, avoid synthetics like polyester that trap sweat and bacteria. Also ditch the fabric conditioners as these coat the fibers and this in turn coats the skin.

    Last but not least book them for a weekly 30 minute back clearing or chest treatment and you’ll eradicate their bacne or chacne (chest acne) in a snap, and ready for that cute Easter dress or at least the first pool party!

  • Jump Into Spring Clean Skin

    March came in like a lion and is going out like a lamb. Slowly sweaters are moving toward the back of our closets, which means more skin will be getting exposed. Aside from shedding away cold weather gear, now is the time to get your clients ready for Spring by deep cleansing their skin.

    Let’s take a look at the top 3 electrical devices that can be used to deep cleanse the skin.

    Electrical Brushes: Various rotating brushes can be used with cleansers or exfoliants to provide that “power cleanse” during a treatment. If clients have a similar device at home, suggest products they can use with the device. Combining a creamy cleanser and an exfoliating scrub once a week could be that extra boost your clients are looking for.

    Ultrasonic: Using vibrational sound waves can get stubborn particles and build up to move, revealing cleaner healthier skin. Really want to customize their treatment? Alternatively penetrate specific ingredients like peptides for aging, brightening ingredients for pigmentation or soothing extracts for irritated skin to make the treatment target specific.

    Direct High Frequency: After extractions use Direct High Frequency to intensify drying and healing of inflamed acne lesions. The germicidal effect not only eliminates excess oil but also provides that deep cleanse within the follicles. Pesky breakouts that will not go away? Combine Direct High Frequency with a leave-on spot treatment containing Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid or Colloidal Silver, alongside Vitamin C and watch that spot disappear without a trace!

    Of course as the seasons change, your clients’ skin care needs will change. Make sure that you thoroughly analyze the skin and recommend any changes they should incorporate into their routine. Of course with the weather warming up its evermore important that clients are remembering to apply their sunscreen. It might not be summer yet but warmer temperatures mean more time outside.

  • Look Good, Feel Better

    The International Dermal Institute (IDI) & Dermalogica UK have formed an exciting partnership with Look Good Feel Better (LGFB), a cancer support charity, who provide practical support for women struggling with the side effects of cancer treatment. LGFB held their first UK workshop in 1994 and has to date provided support to more than 114,500 patients. The workshops and master classes take place across the UK where volunteers share their tips and techniques in skin care and makeup application. Their aim is to improve the self-image and appearance of patients through free group and self-help workshops that provide practical support while helping to create confidence and a sense of well-being. LGFB is the only charity that focuses on the problems associated with the visible side effects of cancer treatment and addresses how hard loss of hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and other skin related issues can be to cope with.

    Due to the high demand of the services LGFB provides within hospitals, they have devised master classes that take place outside of the hospital environment and are designed to reach those in more isolated parts of the country. IDI is pleased to be able to provide suitable learning spaces, equipment and enthusiastic staff on hand to assist.

    On 18th February, we hosted our first LGFB master class at our head office in Surrey! Working with staff members from the charity and a trained volunteer, we helped provide the eight women in attendance a skincare and make-up application lesson, which educated them on effective product choices and utilization. Our very own Lesley Corridan, Education Training Manager, first guided the group through tips on cleansing and toning for sensitive skin, followed by some great advice on hydration and the all-important SPF. With lots of great questions and plenty of fun, the group then threw open their makeup bags with reckless abandon and revealed their favorite must have items. The volunteers lent a hand as the women were guided through a simple makeup routine, applying brows where there may not be any and even how to apply fake lashes.

    With almost everyone having been touched by cancer in one form or another, we are thrilled to be able to partner with LGFB and put our skin care skills to another incredibly beneficial use and look forward to an exciting future together.

    “Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) is delighted to be working with Dermalogica and to launch our new relationship we held one of our confidence-boosting Master classes at the stunning Leatherhead offices. As the LGFB and Dermalogica volunteer team found out, our sessions are informative, involving and great fun and everyone leaves looking and feeling uplifted, with renewed confidence and a definite spring in their step. We have firm plans for a long and successful partnership with Dermalogica and thank everyone involved for their commitment and support” - Sarahjane Robertson, Executive Director

  • Can’t Touch This: More Proof on the Healing Power of Touch

    As touch givers we are attuned to the countless benefits of touch, for some of us it may have even served as the very catalyst to us choosing this profession. We can also appreciate the deep impact that touch can have, like releasing a physical knot that was also mental or vice versa, resulting in emotional release for a client as they let go of the grief, sadness, anger or pain that they may of harbored for so long.

    In recent years, the science at last has started to catch up and a wave of evidence based studies has started to surface about the physical and physiological effects of touch and massage. Thanks to organizations like the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, we know that touch boosts growth in preterm newborns, calms the “stress beast” cortisol while increasing other feel good, pain relieving, love potion hormones like endorphins and oxytocin. It helps regulate key neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine helping us to not only sleep better, crave less but also feel more enthusiastic and joyful. From helping with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anorexia, cancer symptoms and dementia, the touch benefit list just keeps getting longer.

    Some new areas that have recently come to light delve deeper into the specifics of how we touch…

    Vagus Baby!

    The skin, as we know, is a sensory organ and is laden with nerve receptors. These receptors receive messages about pressure, temperature, pain and are incredibly sensitive. When a receptor is stimulated, it sends a signal along the nerve cells directly to the brain. The brain then co-ordinates the response, like the contraction of a muscle or a gland releasing a hormone into the bloodstream.  Interestingly, the deeper “pressure” receptors in the skin called the Pacinian corpuscles’ send a signal directly to an important nerve bundle deep in the brain called the Vagus nerve. The Vagus links directly to the heart and it’s this nerve that then slows the heart down and decreases blood pressure.

    Touch tip: Use deeper pressure, slow massage strokes to quickly and deeply bring about stress relief, key for hypertensive, high blood pressure and generally stressed out clients.

    Different Strokes for Different Folks

    As pro’s we know that the method of massage we use can energize someone feeling sluggish or calm down an angry, anxious client. But why is that? Researchers found that a seated massage lasting 15 minutes increases the production of epinephrine by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. This helps people become more alert, more attentive, and therefore more productive.  A slower, longer, deeper and more rhythmic technique has quite the opposite effect, engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing epinephrine levels, allowing a sense of deep relaxation, and facilitating deep sleep.

    Touch tip: Offer Energizing 15-minute chair massage, hand and arm or foot reflexology sessions in the mornings or at lunchtimes to capture new clients. Great for jet lagged travelers, tired moms, young partiers and office workers alike! Take these services offsite to companies who offer well-being programs for their employees.

    Monkey Business

    A new discovery about the function of certain sensory nerve cells, known as C tactile (CT) afferents, that are only found in the hairy skin of humans and mammals, has recently emerged. These nerve cells fire more slowly and only become stimulated with gentle rhythmic stroking movements like caressing. When they are activated by this type of touch, they flood the body with feelings of pleasure and also evoke our sense of self and embodiment. Their behavior suggests that the desire of having one’s skin stroked represents an innate, natural act that’s linked to the importance of social interaction; much like our hairy primate friends that enjoy the act of social grooming and nit nibbling.

    Neuroscientists are hopeful that knowing more about these cells might help us to understand pain perception, body image distortions and certain neurodevelopmental disorders.  As a Skin Therapist, I’m happy to know that at last we have some real proof about what we have believed to be true for so long. So the next time your client tells you your hands are amazing, magical or even miracle workers, tell them that’s right because indeed they are!

    References:

    http://www.academia.edu/3570732/Massage_increases_oxytocin_and_reduces_ACTH_in_humans

    http://www6.miami.edu/touch-research/Massage.html

    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/34/8/2879.full