• Oil or Water – an Old Dilemma!

    annet croppedOne of the biggest areas that consumers, beauty editors and even some skin therapists can get muddled over is the misconception surrounding dry and dehydrated skin. More often than not, clients complain that their skin is dry, when really it’s dehydrated. This often results in the wrong product and/or treatment recommendation.

    When you consider that a dry skin (lacking oil/alipoid) can also be dehydrated (lacking in water), and oily skin, which has an abundance of oil, can also be dehydrated, eyes can roll back and heads start to spin! Feel dizzy yet? The fact is that there are some significant differences between the two and because of that, there’s a prime opportunity to educate clients and adjust their regimen.

    Oil and WaterSo how do we decipher the difference?

    Generally, we all suffer from dehydration; the body, after all, is about 75% water and a perfect target for moisture zapping environments. If unaddressed, dehydration can also lead to increased skin sensitivity and inflammation. In the case of oily skin, it can lead to an actual increase in more sebum production. Yep, that alcohol in the drugstore acne product dried your skin out and then made your breakouts worse. But dehydration is a skin condition and can affect any skin type. It’s caused by multiple factors that you should verbally cross check while conducting your consultation or when retailing. For example:

    • Environment: Low humidity, warm and cold weather, air conditioning, sun exposure and flight travel.

    • Products: Stripping cleansers and toners, over exfoliation and makeup.

    • Diet & Lifestyle: Medications, high sodium foods, lack of water consumption, caffeine, soda intake and of course alcohol.

    Dehydrated skin is thirsty skin and needs to be rehydrated while vital moisture is locked in. Start by recommending the following: Gel or cream cleanser; Gentle, daily exfoliant; Hydrating spritz toner; Gel-based masques and concentrated serums with Hyaluronic Acid to layer beneath a medium weight moisturizer.

    True dry skin is a genetic skin type and is not confined to face and hands but experienced over the entire body. The sebaceous glands are smaller and under-active, and the follicle opening is tight and fine. Lines will be more evident, and in winter months the extremities will be itchy and flaky.

    Ask your clients who complain of dry skin whether they experience this even in their hair and scalp. This skin requires oil-rich emollient products to nourish and stimulate. You can recommend: Creamy cleansers; Antioxidant packed toners; Full body exfoliation; Replenishing vitamin-based serums; Eye products and heavy weight moisturizers.

    Whatever the skin dilemma, we welcome it with open arms, hands, eyes and ears! This is our unique role as professional skin therapists—who else can truly guide clients and consumers to their healthiest skin?

  • On the air with Dr. Howard!

    Dr. Diana Howard, Vice President of Technical Development and Global Education, talks skin on the set of Canada’s Studio Four! In her second visit to this popular show, Dr. Howard shares her love of science, how it led her to find a home in the skin care industry, and her new favorite ingredient for treating the signs of skin aging.

  • “the trouble with bright girls”…and smart women

    Jane WurwandWhen I get together with my students, skin therapists, people in the Dermalogica tribe, our team for FITE, or just friends and family, the conversation pretty quickly gets around to the political conditions under which women live around the world.

    In some places, like Los Angeles, the conditions are pretty good. Opportunities abound. Justice and equality are defended.

    And still, some women still seem to choose to underachieve. The reasons may be subtle and mysterious.

    Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of books including “SUCCEED: How We Can Reach Our Goals“, offers a really interesting take on why girls may not push themselves as relentlessly as boys. (Some do—but many do not.)

    Halvorson isn’t saying that girls and women are lazy, but she is saying that we avoid challenges, play it safe, and set goals which are easy for us to reach. Wait a minute, that DOES sound lazy.

    Halvorson’s research compares the behaviors of girls and boys with high IQs – kids who are getting straight A’s in school. In her essay, “The Trouble with Bright Girls,” Halvorson says the higher a girl’s IQ, the more likely she is to throw in the towel when the going gets tough.

    Girls and women seem more willing to go with the idea that they are just naturally, innately good at some things, but not good at others. And that our aptitudes – our capabilities to achieve – cannot be changed.

    kids in a huddleIn this study, boys generally met challenge and flat-out failure with more confidence. Halvorson suggests that this is because boys, especially little boys, are by their hormonal nature, wigglier, louder, more impulsive, more physical, clumsier, rowdier and more easily distracted than their female counterparts.

    So, boys become accustomed to being scolded, reprimanded, restrained, corrected, and told to sit still, concentrate, and try harder!

    Girls, on the other hand, often are more poised, contained, and mature, both physically and socially. Girls fight less than boys. Girls typically “make less trouble” and disrupt the classroom less than boys do. As a result, little girls probably get yelled at less frequently than little boys.

    Does our feminine self-control early in life – some would call this passivity – work against us?

    Boys and men may handle critique better because of these differences. Boys typically don’t personalize or internalize what people say the way girls do. They may be better-prepared to roll with the punches, shake it off, and push on. And this may be a window into why men achieve more, and more easily, than women who are otherwise their peers in every way.

    This is why I am obsessed with the idea of resiliency, especially for women entrepreneurs. A major part of the entrepreneurial challenge is indeed stepping outside of the comfort-zone. Learning to bounce back with even MORE energy and sense of adventure after we’ve been knocked down.

    So should we encourage our daughters – and our sisters, mothers – to speak up, act up, rock the boat, rock the house, make waves, make mistakes, even make enemies, rather than being so nice?

    I say, if not now, when?

  • The Low Down on D

    Now that we’ve made our way into Spring, we can expect more and more talk of sunshine- and maybe even the “sunshine vitamin” – Vitamin D.

    It seems almost every month science comes up with a new reason to love Vitamin D. Recently, news reports stated that this sunshine vitamin can keep people of the dark! A new study showed that Vitamin D intake can reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women aged 40-75. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness that strikes 8 and half million Americans.

    Although your body can produce levels of Vitamin D with sun exposure, researchers found that Vitamin D levels among patients in the study were most affected by the amount of vitamin D they consumed, not by the amount of outdoor exposure they had. This is good news for your health and your skin!
    You don’t need to ditch the sunscreen- which is proven to reduce photoaging. Instead, opt for a healthy diet to boost your D-levels and maintain overall health.

    Some tips for healthy skin from Spring to Summer:
    • Use broad spectrum sun protection- new technology like UV smart booster technology allows for enhanced photoprotection
    • Enjoy breakfast- dairy and whole grains can add a daily D-dose to your diet
    • Green, leafy veggies are a good source of Vitamin D
    • Coldwater fish, like tuna and salmon, are not only great sources of Omega-3’s, they are also rich in Vitamin D

    To read more on Vitamin D visit our Learning Library

  • on the research front

    Dr. Howard has had a hand – literally – in The International Dermal Institute’s research and development of Dermalogica products for over 18 years. Now, as Vice President of Technical Development and Global Education, Diana takes her expertise to professional skin therapists and media outlets worldwide, speaking on the latest scientific developments in skin care.

    This month, professional skin therapists and trade press from around the world learned the latest about sensitization and inflammation from Dr. Diana Howard on behalf of The International Dermal Institute. IDI is on the forefront of research that explores the difference between neurogenic inflammation and immunogenic inflammation in skin.

    In the Middle East, Asia and Europe, Dr. Howard presented fascinating information on how stress through neurogenic inflammation can cause sensitivity. She also presented this information to eager skin therapists and trade press in Paris, Diegem, Belgium and Utrecht, Netherlands.

    Dr. Howard wrapped up her whirlwind world tour in Madrid, Spain with a lecture that revealed the “Fact, Fiction and Fantasy” of what’s real and what’s hype in the world of cosmetic ingredients.

    IDI is at the forefront of skin and ingredient research, and Dr. Diana Howard is dedicated to bringing her knowledge to the masses! Stay tuned for more skin and science updates from IDI, Dermalogica and Dr. Diana Howard!

  • Dirty Skin?

    Annet KingTop on everyone’s skin needs list is our desire for clear, smooth, wrinkle and blemish free, healthy skin! That goes for clients, consumers and the tribe, yes even “us” Skin Therapists that are very much in the know! In fact our personal pursuits might have been what brought us to the skin industry in the first place! But the road to the healthiest, most luminous skin possible starts with a super clean, uncongested, debris free skin.

    But the fact is we are all pretty dirty. Why? It’s down to a few causes; for example ingredients found in makeup and sunscreen that we use daily and are designed to protect, adhere, last 24 hrs and need to be swim, tear, kiss and sweat proof! Add to that environmental pollution in the form of dust, chemicals and volcanic eruptions and you can see why clients complain of congestion and have an unhealthy addiction to their sonic face brush. To complicate matters, the skin itself is a major contributor; churning out about 1 million skin cells every 40 minutes, while depositing waxy, sebum onto the surface via the hair follicle and lest we forget the 100 ml of sweat we secrete per day – all the makings for some very dirty skin.

    Now consider this interesting fact, in an IDI study we found out that the average woman spends just 20 seconds washing her face! Men are even quicker and both generally cleanse once a day and only one time if and when they do clean their face. Healthy skin starts with a clean skin so literally teaching our clients LIVE with product, mirror, water etc to actually apply, stroke and double cleanse their skin needs to be top on our agenda.

    Introducing them to an oil-based pre-cleanser is also a smart move. Why oil? Oil removes oil, dissolves waxes and fats on contact and is also therefore ideal for oily skin. We too must pay due diligence to our own cleansing technique in the treatment room, a double cleanse ideally with steam is crucial to truly clean skin but sadly is often a step we merely skim over. Maybe it’s time to revisit; it is spring after all and a perfect time to come clean!

  • Expecting Eczema When Expecting

    My last post circled around seasonal allergies and the link to atopic dermatitis, or eczema. Although eczema is found in both men and women, it is more prevalent in women. An interesting statistic came about through my research: Eczema is the most common skin condition during pregnancy, accounting for 33%-50% of all cases. On top of that, 60%-80% of these women experience eczema for the first time during pregnancy. To those already suffering from this condition, pregnancy typically worsens symptoms. Now that is something most women don’t expect when expecting! Could pregnancy cause eczema?

    It seems to be a trigger, at the very least. Among the myriad of changes the body experiences during pregnancy, one of these affects our immune system, switching our cellular responses towards that which makes for a healthy, normal pregnancy. However, this switch is also associated with atopy- which may explain why eczema can worsen during pregnancy. The good news is that there is no evidence that developing eczema is harmful for the mother or child, although the research is ongoing.
    More important is how to care for a client with eczema. If a woman with Atopic Dermatitis is planning pregnancy, the more knowledge she has the better before conception. Prescription medications should always be consulted with the patient’s primary care physician.

    Some helpful tips before and during pregnancy are:

    *Avoid irritants and allergens.
    *Use emollients for moisturization. Those including Oat extracts are exceptional at soothing irritation.
    *Avoid hot showers and soap.
    *Some topical steroids are still relatively safe during pregnancy, although consultation with a doctor is always advised.
    *Barrier repairing ingredients high in gamma linoleic acids, sterols and ceramides are a must for a healthy lipid barrier.

  • It’s time to shine! Your survival depends on it.

    In my role as director of global education for IDI, I have the honor and privilege of being able to travel around the world teaching, sharing and meeting the IDI tribe. Whether I’m with undergraduate students, experienced skin therapists or business owners, there’s one common question that I’m frequently asked – “How can I be more successful?”

    In our profession, confidence in who you are, what you do and what you know is critical. Confidence is built from a full commitment to a rock solid education. You want to be certain that no skin anomaly will ever escape you, you can answer skin and product questions accurately and your techniques go beyond client expectations every time. That confidence has to shine through in how you communicate and present yourself to the world.

    Confidence and ongoing education is just one facet to guaranteeing greater success. But regretfully, in my 21 years in the industry I have witnessed too many stellar skin therapists struggling to build a clientele and pay the bills. Why? It comes down to this: we can only do so much to educate and motivate you in the classroom. You have to work to implement what you have learned and market your newly acquired knowledge and skills to existing and potential clients. Nothing sells a new treatment or a product like a motivated skin therapist that’s biting at the bit to finally get a result on those stubborn comedones.

    Marketing and selling yourself is without a doubt the number one stumbling block for many service providers. Everyone with skin needs to be your client and you have to proactively market yourself and your services all the time – at family gatherings, social events, networking opportunities, etc. Marketing yourself in-person also has to translate online to your website, Yelp, and Facebook where clients can share their own testimonials about what you did for their pre-wedding breakout.

    The need for intelligent self-promotion has never been more essential. The marketplace is now brutally competitive, and in order for you to thrive, you must go beyond your own technical expertise and begin selling. Today’s clients have access to professional products, tools, and an array of medispa services which deliver visible changes overnight. But the point of difference is YOU, the unique, authentic, professional, knowledgeable YOU. Now get out there and tell the world just how great YOU are!