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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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • Get Soy Smart!

    In recent years, Soy has been marketed for it’s nutritional benefits, but did you know that topical application of Soy can also contribute to healthy skin? Here’s 5 questions and answers to get you Soy-smart.

     

    1. What are some of the benefits of using Soy in skincare products?

    Soy and its derivatives have shown to reduce free radical damage (ROS) and reduce inflammation. It also hydrates the skin by stimulating the production of Hyaluronic Acid and stimulates production of collagen and increases skin thickness, which may be beneficial for postmenopausal women who develop a thinner dermis and decreased collagen. Soy isoflavonoids act as anti-glycation agents (AGEs) to fight collagen cross-linking and inhibits collagen degrading enzymes (matrix-metalloproteinase enzymes also referred to as MMPs). Soy ingredients can also produce a brightening effect for hyperpigmentation.

    2. Are there different types of Soy that are used in skincare products? 

    Yes, Soy has different derivatives that are used in various skincare products.  Soybeans are a rich source of flavonoids called isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens or plant compounds that have a weak estrogenic effect. The most commonly used Soy isoflavonoids is Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Oil or Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lecithin that are rich in amino acids that help to smooth, aid in wound healing, and stimulate elastin and collagen synthesis.

    3. What type of skin treatment is Soy a good ingredient for?

    Soy is primarily used in aging skin treatments that are geared towards stimulating elastin and collagen synthesis, reducing fine lines, wrinkles and UV induced photo-damage. Soy isoflavones have also been used in treatment for hyperpigmentation disorders as they prevent melanin from adhering to skin cells, therefore helping with blotchiness and discoloration.

    However, Soy, which is a phytoestrogen, is NOT recommended for melasma treatment since melasma is somewhat estrogen mediated.

    4. Is there any danger in applying Soy-based products topically on the skin? For example on a client with Soy allergies, hormonal imbalances, etc.

    Most concerns or negative effects associated with soy are consumption based, however, Soy may act as a food allergen (similar to milk, eggs or peanuts). If the client has a Soy allergy, then it’s recommended to avoid products that contain Soy. There has been some consumer concerns between Soy and breast cancer. Studies are still on-going to determine whether these isoflavones spur tumor growth. Ensure client’s check with their physician before proceeding to use or prescribe any Soy-based products.

    5. What other key ingredients work with Soy?

    Soy itself has been suggested to have a variety of effects when used in in skin care products. For maximum results, look for products that have an additional complex of age-fighting ingredients that work synergistically with Soy, such as peptides, White Tea and Licorice.

  • Are You Prepared to Use Advanced Modalities?

    Today skin therapists have greater access to various forms of advanced modalities than ever before. We are now working in an industry that includes modern day modalities like LED, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), dermaplaning and skin needling to enhance our treatments. But, before you start boosting your services with these options, follow three simple steps to make sure the device is fit not only for you, but for your business and your clients.

    1. Get the Facts: It is imperative before purchasing or using a device that you do your research and make sure it is within your scope of practice. Different states and different countries all have varying regulations. Check with local agencies such as the Board of Cosmetology or Skin Therapy, the Medical Board and Insurance Liability companies to verify what is available for use in your area. Some modalities can only be performed in a medical environment or under the guidance of a physician and could fall outside of your current license guidelines.

    2. Get Certified: Along with your local agency regulations, the modality selected will also dictate whether you need additional or licensing. Always ensure that you are properly trained and have the necessary qualifications before offering advanced types of treatment to clients. Check to see if the manufacturer offers additional training and certification or has specific requirements. Ensure you are following their protocols and heed to any warnings or contraindications.

    3. Get Insured: Having the necessary documentation, consent forms and insurance before offering advanced procedures to your clients can help prevent potential damage to you, your business and your reputation. Verify that your insurance not only covers you personally, but the modality used is also included in the coverage. Investing in insurance that provides general, product and professional liability is a smart step to protect your career.

    Offering today’s cutting edge technology can come with great results and great risk. Do your homework and research all aspects of training, certification and licensing.  Even if you choose not to incorporate a device, stay current and educated especially on pre and post care treatments. Your advanced knowledge of the skin coupled with proper hands-on techniques will still be your foundation to maintaining overall skin health.

    For information on the latest modalities and devices, watch these webisodes:        Using Machines to Power up Your Treatments Part 1 and Part 2

  • A Tale of Two Cities: From Dubai to Moscow

    I had quite the journey flying over 8,000 miles from Los Angeles to United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Russia for the opportunity to represent IDI. When I first saw my itinerary I saw two very different worlds, apart from my own, but then I remembered the common interest I share with my hosts – the passion for skin therapy.

    My first stop was in Dubai, UAE, a city known for its luxury and amazing modern architecture. I had to find out why it’s been dubbed as the “City of Gold” and I discovered why walking around the gold souk or outdoor marketplace – I had never seen so much gold in such a small area! I even had the opportunity to go on a desert safari and ride a camel for the first time during my visit.

    But the true purpose for my visit was to present to 140 skin therapists and business owners who want to take their clients’ skin to a new level of skin health. I lectured on the latest cosmetic treatments that could be incorporated with their current product line, Dermalogica, and introduced a new chemical peel system to their market. It was great to see their eagerness build as they planned for new treatments to expand their menu and offer to clients. It was also a treat to meet students from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and other parts of UAE to join in the day’s festivities.

    Then I hopped on a plane to my next destination – Russia. I landed in Moscow, bundled up and ready for the chilly, snowy weather; compared to the desert, camels and sunny beaches I just left behind!

    The two day event in Moscow began with discussing the wide-ranging topic of pigmentation, followed by a chemical peel demonstration to address signs of hyperpigmentation commonly seen on clients. Ranging between skin therapists, business owners and physicians, our guests mingled with each other as if they never wanted the evening to end.  As the event drew to a close there was a particular buzz of excitement, that feeling of connection as a tribe.

    We had a smaller more, intimate group of 11 educators from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan on the second day in Moscow. Through a translator, I was able to educate them on the particulars of chemical peels and guided them all through a hands on practical. Their glowing skin and radiant smiles were enough to tell me they were enjoying the day.

    Thankfully I had a free day for some sightseeing. Braving the cold, I set out on foot to see famous buildings I had only seen in pictures until now. I enjoyed sights such as the eclectic art market of Arabat Street and the Alexander Garden right outside the Kremlin. Walking to the end of the Red Square, I was able to enjoy the colorful architecture of St Basil’s Cathedral. As my tour came to an end, I had an unforgettable evening watching the Russian Ballet perform.

    Although my travels took me to two extremes, my purpose was the same: to give our students the tools to grow their business and reach others through the healing power of touch.

     

     

     

     

  • Crazy for Cranberries

    With the holiday season upon us I seem to have cranberries on the brain, so it should come as no surprise that one of my all-time favorite ingredients happens to be Cranberry Seed Oil. Why am I so enamored with the oil from this super fruit? When the fruit is cold pressed the resulting oil is rich in tocopherols, tocotrienols (Vitamin E) and phytosterols (plant sterols). Vitamin E is really a family of eight different isomers consisting of 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. The Vitamin E constituents found in Cranberry Seed Oils contain significant levels of alpha and gamma tocopherols and alpha and gamma tocotrienols. All of these isomers of Vitamin E provide excellent antioxidant protection and help to reinforce the barrier lipid properties of the skin.

    In addition, Cranberry Seed Oil contains high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids; including those that are essential to your health, such as the Omega-3 fatty acid also called alpha-linolenic acid. The 1:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 essential fatty acids gives Cranberry Seed Oil its excellent antioxidant activity and skin nurturing benefits, but also explains why this oil absorbs very nicely into the skin and helps it hold onto moisture by contributing to the skin’s structure and barrier formation. This moisturizing power of Cranberry Seed Oil makes it perfect for aging, rough, dry, and scaly skin.

    We all know that free radical damage and inflammation are two potent drivers of skin aging, so being able to address these two issues with a topical antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent goes a long way in preventing premature aging of the skin and repairing some of the existing damage. The high antioxidant potential of Cranberry Seed Oil makes it an excellent addition to any nighttime treatment product where it can help scavenge free radicals while promoting skin repair – as well as in daytime sun protection products to provide antioxidant benefits along with sunscreens for photoprotection of the skin.

    It’s no wonder cranberries are considered a super fruit! Not only do they provide topical benefits for the skin but they taste delicious, and provide similar benefits when consumed in our diet.