• Taking Care With Sensitized Skin

    Bettina ZammertMore and more, people are suffering skin reactions and unpleasant feelings with itching, burning and redness – a particularly bad problem at the colder time of year! It is also a well-known fact that stress can not only cause physical problems such as tension, headache and stomach ache, it can even cause redness, itching and other skin reactions.

    Unfortunately, there are many factors that will unbalance the skin:

    • Inflammation, caused by the immune system or stress
    • Restrictions of the skin barrier
    • Genetic factors and hormones
    • Environmental factors such as air pollution, chemicals and foods.

    To ensure that skin care products cause no unpleasant surprises, a thorough skin analysis by a professional skin therapist is essential for effective care at home. Here are a few tips to help choose the right products:

    • Only use products that do not contain artificial dyes, colors or fragrances.
    • Support your skin’s lipid barrier and use a moisturizer with slightly higher lipid content, especially in the colder months.
    • Don’t forget to use physical sun protection. Suitable products contain Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide.

    Not only are the products themselves important, but so too is the “how” when it comes to caring for sensitive skin. “Less is more” is a good rule of thumb. “Less” refers to the amount of product being used – do not overload your skin with active ingredients and over-process it. Also, avoid mechanical irritations such as rough sponges, brushes and manual exfoliation, and ask your professional skin therapist which products, if any, you should use for acute outbreaks of neurodermatitis or eczema.

  • Aging – It’s Not Just in Your Skin!

    Annet KingAging. Of course it’s something that happens to all of us, every day, and it can’t be stopped. The good news is, we have a bit more control over it than we may think! I’m not talking Botox injections or invasive plastic surgeries, but rather lifestyle habits that you can practice every day to keep you young, fit, and healthy. Try these lifestyle changes out, and see for yourself how much healthier you’ll start to feel and look!

    Diet plays an important role in how a person ages. Fried and fatty foods, sugar (Advanced Glycation End-products, or AGEs), and fast foods speed up the aging process. Advise clients to eat a balanced diet that is packed with antioxidants and minerals including raw fruits; vegetables; whole grains; seeds; nuts; fish – especially purple; red berries (flavonoids); red, yellow and orange veggies, (carotenoids, lycopene); iron and mineral rich green, leafy veggies and cancer fighting broccoli. Protein from fish and soy is preferable. Processed, artificial or toxic foods accelerate aging due to the harmful chemicals that need to be disposed of. It is also important to get adequate intake of pure, clean water. The average person should drink 6 to 8 glasses per day.

    One of the most important lifestyle habits to fight aging is regular exercise. Regular exercise promotes healthy oxygen levels in the body. Brisk walking is very beneficial for the brain and cardiovascular system. Other types of exercise are also beneficial, especially strength training (bone loss), yoga (joint mobility) and cycling.

    The body uses sleep time to do its internal housekeeping – process nutrients, detoxify, renew and recharge in general. If your body is chronically starved for sleep, the effects will eventually become both visibly and physically noticeable. Most people do best with about 7 hours sleep.

    Protect your skin all the time from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, not just while you’re in the sun. Don’t think of it as sunscreen, think of it as daylight defense! Protection from UV rays and the use of age-fighting ingredients is the secret to wrinkle free, younger-looking, healthy skin.

    Avoid tanning and DO NOT Burn!
    One blistering sunburn doubles your risk of melanoma. It is best to stay out of the midday sun (from mid-morning to late afternoon) whenever you can. Wear long sleeves and long pants of tightly woven fabrics, a hat with a wide brim, and sunglasses that absorb UV rays.

    Laughter boosts the immune system and beats stress. Adopting a humorous view of life’s difficulties can take the edge off of every day stressful situations. Laughter prevents stress build up and stops the release of damaging stress hormones into the body, and it also triggers the release of endorphins – your body’s natural painkillers – producing a general sense of well-being!

    How do your lifestyle choices keep you healthy, young and vibrant?

  • Treating Sensitized Eyes

    Sharon MaxwellThey say that the eyes are the window to the soul. Why does the eye reveal so much? The eye is directly connected to the brain via the optic nerve, and it will tell the condition of the nervous system and the brain. When the nervous system or brain have been injured, the eye changes, loses clarity and alertness, and it even loses its ability to see.

    The skin around the eyes tells a story of how we have lived our life. Too much sun, smoking and stress will leave telltale signs such as sagging, bagging and wrinkles. The skin around the eyes is ten times thinner than on the face, and it is therefore more delicate and susceptible to damage. Avoid tugging the delicate tissue, be gentle, and wear something as simple as sunscreen and sunglasses to protect the area. There are fewer sebaceous glands around the eyes than the rest of the face, so to combat dehydration, it is important to use an ultra-rich cream of replenishing phytonutrients, antioxidant vitamins and soothing botanicals to help diminish those fine dry lines.

    Eyes really carry the strain of everyday living, beginning their work as soon as we are awake, and only relaxing when we are asleep. The orbicularis oculi muscle surrounding the eye is responsible for narrowing the eye to frown and squint and closing the eye to wink. It is a very overworked muscle and the one that is underlying ‘crow’s feet, the lines that appear on the outside corner of the eye.

    Eye Relaxation Technique
    Try massaging the eye area with a simple movement that leaves the eyes feeling lighter and brighter. This brings such a welcome relief to tired, sensitive eyes! Working both eyes, grasp the eyebrow between your thumb and middle finger, moving in the direction of the inner eye to the outer eye area. Then work under the eye, outside to inside with small circular movements using your middle finger. Apply pressure to finish on the sinus point under inside brow line (bladder 2 pressure point). Your clients’ tired, sensitized eyes will soon brighten!

  • Beauty Supplements: Hype or Hope?

    Dr Claudia AguirreThe fountain of youth is a mythical spring said to be discovered by 16th century Spanish Explorer Ponce de Leon in Florida. Legend says that bathing in its waters gives one eternal youth. It remains a legend – but every day there are claims and studies aimed at quenching the desire for eternal youth and longevity. Wednesday, a very exciting study was published about a breakthrough that delayed the signs of aging (like wrinkles) in mice by flushing out the retired or ‘senescent’ cells in their genome1. Far from fiction, scientific studies can bring hope for delayed aging. But today we are inundated with claims that swallowing a pill will prevent aging overnight. The latest craze in the search for the fountain of youth seems to be in a surge of ‘beauty supplements’ that will prevent wrinkles and loss of tone and elasticity.

    Now I’m all about beauty – or health – from within, but there are people capitalizing on a lack of consumer information. An example: you can purchase a bottle of 60 caplets for about $50-$60 from some companies, which may contain antioxidants from goji berries, resveratrol, açai, and even marine extracts like algae. That’s about $1 per pill. There are a few arguments I have against buying hope in jar.

    First, there are not enough well-designed independent studies that prove these ‘beauty’ supplements really work. Take açai: Although touted as a superfood, both for products that are consumed and that are put on the skin, there is little to no scientific evidence that the anti-aging claims are substantiated, according to the National Institutes of Health. Second, the concept of beauty from within is not a foreign one, and it begins with a healthy diet. A person snacking away on junk food all day and taking her or his ‘beauty pill’ at night will undoubtedly be disappointed the following morning. Whole, unprocessed food provides ample nourishment with vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy body – and this is reflected on the skin. Of course for those lacking, a vitamin supplement may indeed help. Choosing a healthy diet is surely the way to go when looking to enhance the appearance of the skin from within.

    Finally, I’m a firm believer in the placebo effect, so results with supplements will vary! Bottom line: replenish your skin’s lipids topically, fight stressed out skin with topical antioxidants and peptides, and always protect from the environment. Save that dollar and invest it in a healthy diet, which has been proven over the ages to contribute to health and wellness!

    1. D.J. Baker, et al. Clearance of p16Ink4a-positive senescent cells delays ageing-associated disorders. Nature, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nature10600