News

  • TLC for Sensitive Eyes

    Eyes Spring2The delicate eye area is taking quite a hammering at the moment not only from environmental challenges, which play havoc on our eyes. A common cause of redness and itchiness around the eyes is hay fever (allergic rhinitis), occurring mostly in spring and summer. Or it may be atopic dermatitis caused by the inhalation of allergens, such as pollen, dust or animal fur, which trigger inflammation.

    We’re also in the era of the ‘super lash’, just about every other person is wearing eye lash extensions or false lashes, or using eye growth serums—all of which can be quite irritating and sensitizing to the eyes.

    Here are some easy things that can be done to care for red, itchy eyes.

    1. Ensure makeup is removed thoroughly using a very gentle, fragrance and S.D. alcohol free eye makeup remover. It will need to be water soluble to ensure that all traces of the product and makeup is leaving no residue (perfect for the contact lens wearer). Choose one with the added benefit of built-in lash conditioners (Silk Amino Acids) that prevent lashes from becoming dry and brittle, as well as keeping the skin around the eye area soft, hydrated and smooth.

    2. To help alleviate dry eyes, place a few drops of artificial tear drop solution; or for red eyes, try some vasoconstrictive eye drops.

    3. When the eyes feel, red, puffy and irritated, place a cold compress or cooling eye packs over them for 5 to 10 minutes. A cooling, hydrating eye masque (kept cool in the fridge) can also be used around the eye area, underneath the compress.

    4. To alleviate the dry, itchy skin, apply a reparative and intensely nourishing protective eye cream (fragrance free) each evening. Key ingredients will include Vitamin A, C, E and Pro-Vitamin B5, as well as soothing botanicals such as Green Tea, Cucumber Arnica and Butcherbroom

    5. If the eye area is very dry and in need of a ‘super protector’, apply an anhydrous moisturizer that melts into the skin, repairs the natural barrier lipid layer and reduces irritation and dryness.

    6. Wear hypo allergenic makeup that has been screened of all known irritants.

    7. Lastly, we should all know the ultimate skin sin by now—never, ever go to bed with your makeup on!

    Ensure everything placed near or in the eyes is super clean. Makeup brushes need to be washed in an antibacterial cleanser monthly, contact lenses need to be changed regularly and always kept thoroughly clean.

    It’s also important to check eye makeup and eye care products; have they been shared with anyone who may have an eye infection? Could your products be rancid, or well past their use by date harboring fungi or bacteria? It’s not common knowledge among makeup users that mascara is only supposed to be used for two months before discarding, perhaps this is the cause of the eye sensitivity.

    As red, itchy eyes can also be a result of an eye infection, it’s important to seek medical advice from a doctor if symptoms do persist.

  • Product Solutions: 3 Ways to Deep Clean the Skin

    deep-clean-blog

    Pore refining! Blemish free! Blackhead busting! All you have to do these days is flick through the latest copy of your favorite magazine or switch on the TV to see images of people with happy faces and flawless skin, usually accompanied with claims for products or ingredients that promise to deliver that clear skin we all strive for.

    In fact, breakouts and blackhead concerns follow very closely on the tail of our top contender, aging skin! And it’s no wonder because every one of us will experience unwanted blemishes at some point in our lives. I can bet that many of us even have a fail proof home remedy, like the humble toothpaste for example, which some believe can banish a spot overnight!

    Whatever the chosen method, for us as professional skin therapists there are varied options that enable us to graduate into different levels of ‘deep cleansing’, which we can recommend to our clients depending on their skin needs.

    Deep clean with Cleansers: Remove surface debris

    To fully reap the rewards of a consistent skincare routine we need to ensure that we start out with the most important step of all, a thorough cleanse. The ‘often underestimated’ cleanse can either make or break the remaining steps of any skin care routine or professional treatment. Many of our clients are under the impression that a cleansing wipe is all it takes to wipe away the grime that collects on the skin throughout the day, but unfortunately this is not enough to remove hard wearing makeup, SPF and dirt. To ensure a deep and effective cleanse we advise to do a ‘double cleanse’. 

    Using an oil based cleanser for the first cleanse is a bit like using a magnet to attract excess oils and debris from the skin. It is brilliant for lifting that initial film of impurities and preventing potential breakouts that can occur through poor cleansing habits. However, there is the small minority of clients who won’t be swayed to use any kind of oil on their skin especially if oiliness is their key concern. In this instance it is best to opt for a clay based cleanser containing a hint of Menthol, which will absorb excess oil and act as an astringent, leaving the skin matte and refined—an oil-phobe’s dream!

    To enhance the cleansing step there are additional tools we can use such as a soft bristle brush which will further assist with removing oils and debris, turning an ordinary cleanse into power cleanse.

    Deep clean with Exfoliants: Renew and refine 

    As we already know, our skin naturally renews and sheds itself every 28 days or so. However, for various reasons this process can sometimes become a bit sluggish and needs some intervention… enter exfoliation. We know that exfoliation smooths and brightens the surface of the skin by removing dead and dulling skin cells but it also helps to clear out excess oil in the follicles, the combination of these two elements are the usual suspects in the formation of the dreaded ‘spot’. There are different types of exfoliants we can choose from such as a scrub, which make use of ingredients like Corn Cob Meal to gently polish the skin. Other types are hydroxy acids and enzymes, which include ingredients such as the lipid loving Salicylic Acid that actively clears out any impactions and provides anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce obvious redness and irritation. Whatever your client’s skin concern, this is that key step that can bring about dramatic and instant change to the skin, especially when it comes to keeping unsightly breakouts at bay.

    Deep clean with Masques: Detox and purify 

    The possibilities are endless when it comes to treating the skin with a masque. Yet this is often the step of a home care routine that is neglected, so we need to ensure that we are communicating the benefits of masquing to our clients. Introducing a masque into the routine is the best way of getting highly active ingredients into the skin in a matter of minutes, and the good news is that we can use more than one in order to address a number of skin concerns often found in different areas of the face at the same time. A great option for purifying and detoxifying is a current trending ingredient, Activated Charcoal, which is great for pulling impurities out the skin leaving a smooth and more lively looking complexion.

    When we hear the term ‘deep cleanse’ we tend to think only of oily or congested skin as the perfect candidate, when in actual fact all skins can benefit from a good clear out. With Spring around the corner many people will be planning on de-cluttering their homes and living spaces, so what better time than now to do the same with our clients’ skin. Bring it back to basics to achieve a fresh and luminous looking skin this Spring.

  • Making Scents of Essential Oils

    Lavender field

    If you visited the dentist recently, there could be a chance that you were offered inhalation of lavender to reduce anxiety pre-procedure. This is because dental practices and hospitals are now including the use of essential oils in the hallways, rooms and reception areas to relax patients and visitors.

    I am a true fan of using essential oils in the treatment room and for use at home, as I often notice changes in the skin as well as the client’s demeanor. How can this be? In Chinese medicine, when a plant herb or flower is turned into an essential oil, it is said to have its “soul freed”. And now more than ever, we can rely on science to help explain how they can change your mood, your energy and your day.

    Channel through the body

    The most effective way for the body to absorb the therapeutic components of an essential oil is through a combination of inhalation and topical application.

    With inhalation, oil molecules are dissolved in nasal mucous, produced by the outer tissues of the nose that are packed with millions of sensory receptors. Nerve impulses travel through to the cranial cavity followed by the olfactory bulb and eventually into the limbic system, also known as the “emotional brain”. This area is directly connected to parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance. Essential oils also enter the lungs and alveoli during inhalation, where they get picked up by the circulatory system and delivered throughout the body.

    When applied topically, usually through the form of a carrier oil base, essential oils are attracted to lipid portion of the sebaceous gland to the surrounding tissues and into the blood stream. This is the fastest route, whereby remaining oil components are absorbed via the follicle. Most essential oils, unless they are water-soluble, enter via the sebaceous follicle when applied topically.

    Calming arrival

    We know the traditional uses of essential oils for massage or as an addition to a product for the aroma, but there are so many other aspects and uses we can all embrace.

    Too many times the client arrives at their appointment late or rushed, where you feel the need to calm them down before the start their service. If this occurs, you can start their visit with some inhalation therapy by applying a small amount of oil above the upper lip or rubbed into the scalp. You can also try a steam towel followed by an oil to their feet, this pulls the energy away from the head and gives them permission to switch off.

    A good blend of oils to center this client would be Lavender, Cypress and Eucalyptus.

    Treatment room scents

    Before you begin, make sure the client likes an essential oil or blend before applying them during the treatment as they are difficult to remove once applied. It is said that we are drawn to the oils that benefit us the most. Sometimes memories linked with aromas can be powerful and also positive or negative depending upon the emotion that is conjured up. Essential oils also stimulate the immune system and are strong antioxidants, creating an unfriendly environment for free radicals, so there’s no denying their skin benefits. You can further customize the treatment by utilizing a blend of oils and adding to steam towels, rinse water, linens or compresses.

    Try an essential oil or blend containing Ylang Ylang for breakout-prone skin, Neroli for aging skin and Cypress for sensitive or sensitized skin.

    Aromatherapy at home

    Don’t forget about the many uses of essential oils in our personal space. Oils such as Peppermint and Lemon can provide an uplifting mood booster and set the tone for the client’s home environment. They can also be used as simple home remedies, especially during the cold season. Recommend adding Cypress, Tea Tree, Peppermint or Eucalyptus to steam inhalation—these are great for decongesting the respiratory tract and are anti-viral. Have clients experiencing trouble sleeping? Rose Oil or Jasmine can be beneficial when applied to facial pressure points. And nothing beats a muscle soak at the end of a stressful day with Cedarwood, Orange and Sandalwood added into warm bath water.

    Our sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than our other senses, so why not capitalize on the many uses of essential oils in your business or home life. Start making scents work for you!