• Ease Winter Woes: Exfoliate

    To get the most out of your moisturizer, exfoliate. Once dead skin cells are cleared away, the moisturizer is better able to penetrate dry skin. Your body naturally gets rid of dead skin cells in a process called desquamation. These cells have an internal clock that tells them when they can travel up to the skin’s surface to be sloughed off. However, a build-up of dead cells on the surface can result in dull, ashy or lackluster skin. Choosing the proper exfoliating agent is key to achieving polished results without irritation. There are many ways to exfoliate your skin, from brushes and scrubs to enzymes and acids.

    Some exfoliants can be particularly irritating in winter, so test them on a small patch of skin first or opt for gentler techniques. Of course, very dry or irritated skin should be allowed to heal before any form of exfoliation is performed to minimize sensitization. If scrubs are too harsh for dry, winter skin, opt for chemical methods that gently dissolve the bonds holding skin cells together. Hydroxy acids are a popular option and include Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Salicylic Acid. Lactic Acid has additional beneficial properties, such as increased moisturization and greater barrier protection. Salicylic Acid is a great addition for acneic skin with the added bonus of being anti-inflammatory. Enzymes from Papaya, Pineapple and Rice Bran are also great methods to promote skin renewal. The Phytic Acid found in Rice Bran can also help control pigmentation to yield a brighter skin tone. A good exfoliation can ease winter woes when done properly and combined with a good moisturizing regimen. Let your skin sparkle and shine this winter!

  • Are Paraben-Free Products Really Better?

    Paraben-free products are esteemed as better for you and the world- but are they really? My experience with some of the alternative preservatives out there is that they are much more irritating and sensitizing to the skin. Moreover, they do not have as good a track record of fighting of potentially harmful bacteria. A product without preservatives is just scary if you think of the damage a virus or bacteria can do to your skin health. Nevertheless, the use of parabens is still controversial. This week, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), an independent European safety committee, has released its opinion on the use of parabens as preservatives in cosmetics products. The SCCS concluded that the use of parabens in cosmetic products is safe as long as they are within the recommended concentration levels. Fortunately, these recommended levels are already reflective of the current use in the industry. However, not all parabens are created equal. And data regarding the safety concerns for human use is still lacking. So the SCCS also concluded that there isn’t enough data to recommend a safety level for some of the more seldom-used parabens, such as Isopropyl-, Isobutyl-, and Phenylparaben.

    Another issue at hand is the interpretation of scientific data and extending it to everyday use human use. Slathering a pure paraben (or any other ingredient for that matter) topically on mice is simply not the same as a person sparingly using a product containing the same ingredient in a complex formulation at a much lower concentration. So the SCCS also concluded that there is a “lack of scientifically sound data on the pivotal link between dermal absorption in rats and humans,” meaning that some of the laboratory studies on animals cannot be interpreted for human use. Similarly, even though lab studies showed that rats could metabolize these compounds, “no clear demonstration is given” of metabolism into the metabolite PHBA in human skin. Overall, the views of this committee conclude that the use of parabens in cosmetic products at the maximum authorized concentrations can be considered safe.

    Read the report here

  • Winter Skin Events – Coach Your Clients Towards Healthy Skin

    Some clients have very dry, flaky skin during winter and need your expert advice. To better educate them about how to treat their skin at home, offer a Winter Skin Educational Event! Include a Skin Bar to introduce them to key products that help during colder times; teach them how to use the products step-by-step. While seated at the Skin Bar make sure you offer some great Winter Skin Tips, such as:

    • Avoid using soap, foaming cleansers and fragranced bath products on the face andbody. A creamy cleanser and low foam shower products should be used instead.
    • Spritz the skin with a calming toner when in dry, indoor environments.
    • Add a humidifier to your room.
    • Add a few pumps of massage oil to your body cream for extra nourishment.

  • Skin in need of some TLC?

    Have you ever put an uncovered frosted cake in the fridge? The next time you want to take a soft, delectable bite, you may find the frosting is hard and crumbly. The same can happen to your skin in the winter months if you don’t care for it properly. Much like the fridge, winter is cold and dry. The lack of humidity can make skin rough, dull and flaky. Fine cracks are more pronounced, lips get chapped, and itching can keep you up at night. Moreover, scratching can produce red, thickened, sensitive areas. Small cracks occur when the Stratum Corneum dries out and shrinks, which can then allow penetration of irritating substances and germs – leading to sensitivity. All of these are symptoms of dry skin.

    Luckily, they can be reversed with proper care. When the Stratum Corneum loses its ability to provide a shield against the elements and prevent water loss, it is imperative to replenish the lipids and avoid triggers that lead to dehydration. A hot shower sounds great in the middle of winter, but it can actually dry out your skin. Washing your hands often can prevent colds, but it can leave your hands red and chapped. This winter, avoid “winter skin” by getting your skin care regimen in gear. Depending on your skin type, moisturize with humectants (Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid) and emollients (Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil). Warm water, gentle cleansers, heavier moisturizers and staying hydrated can give your skin the extra TLC needed to alleviate dry skin and prevent sensitivity.

  • Winterize Your Clients’ Skin and Boost Your Retail and Service Sales!

    Protect your clients during the colder months by adjusting their homecare regimen to combat skin dryness and irritation caused by the cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Suggest a more hydrating and emollient moisturizer, nourishing body cream and a treatment serum to address dryness and replenish the protective barrier layer of the skin.

    Run a Winter Skin Promotion and offer a Winter Skin Soother Treatment on your menu. To increase bookings offer a complimentary Nourishing Hand Treatment that features a paraffin dip. Clients love free add-ons, and you can apply it while the masque is on!

    Woman outside during winter snowfall

    Learn all about sensitive skin in the newest addition to Skin Series: Sensitive Skin and Inflammation with Dr. Claudia Aguirre.