News

  • What Effect Does a Summer Swim Have on Your Skin?

    Heather HickmanAs the temperatures rise in the northern hemisphere, off we head, swimsuit (& hopefully sunscreen) in hand, to the closest beach, pool or lake we can find. No harm in a quick dip right? Well, not exactly!

    An Ocean Swim
    Rich in trace elements and minerals, and with a composition not dissimilar to human blood plasma, seawater, arguably, has many unique healing properties for the skin. Many skin health benefits are specifically attributed to the Dead Sea, such as treatment for eczema, psoriasis and other extreme, dry skin conditions. Yet it is important to note that these benefits do not come from “salt” or sodium chloride, but from the high magnesium levels found in this body of water.

    Nonetheless, it’s not all good news. Salts in high quantities can be the skin-drying scourge of the summer flesh baring masses. Diluted salt is almost impossible to remove from the skin with lye based soap or non-foaming wash, so even after showering, traces of salt deposits may remain on the skin, absorbing essential moisture. Couple this with excessive sun exposure and you have a dehydrated skin with an impaired barrier function – never a great combination!

    A Day at the Pool
    Chlorine is a toxic chemical; it has been used in water systems to combat disease for over 100 years. It is a necessary component of swimming pools and hot tubs, due to its disinfectant qualities. Chlorine’s harsh composition strips the skin of its natural lipids, therefore exacerbating moisture loss in the skin that leads to dehydration. Showering immediately after exposure can help to reduce the moisture loss by ensuring the skin does not suffer prolonged contact.

    Another potential risk of chlorine exposure is skin irritation. While technically water proof, our skin has the capacity to absorb chemicals from water sources. This means that low level exposure to chlorine, as found in swimming pools, can cause skin irritation in the form of contact dermatitis. Wetting the skin with non-chlorinated water prior to exposure can lessen the amount that can be absorbed and lower the risk of irritation.

    Now, let’s not even mention what chlorine does to your summer highlights! I’m on a one women crusade to bring swim caps back in vogue…who’s with me?

    And on that note, chlorine & salt deposits are not the only culprits of swimming related dehydration. Water itself (ironically) removes moisture from the skin, and need we talk ocean pollution?

    Proactive Post-Dip Tips
    Summer swim trips can still be fun; just share these post-dip skin steps with your clients to help them maintain a healthy, hydrated summer skin:

    • Shower as soon as possible after swimming – and don’t forget to reapply that sunscreen if staying outdoors.
    • Cleanse the skin with a foaming skin wash. Look for natural foaming agents such as Quillaja Saponaria and skin conditioners including Panthenal (Pro-vitamin B5), Lavender and Sandalwood.
    • Exfoliate. Recommend exfoliating products that have additional cleaning qualities to further aid in the removal of chemicals and salts. For the face, choose Rice Bran and Papain to gently slough away dry skin cells. For the body, choose mild abrasives such as Olive and Date Seed.
    • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Lock in hydration; repair the barrier function and calm irritation with Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin E and Madecassoside.

    And why not introduce a post-bathing body wrap or chlorine combating skin treatment to your summer menu, your clients’ skin will thank you for it.

    Final tip about swimming this summer- don’t swallow the water! The effects of that could be a whole other blog!

  • the cellulite debate

    Dr Claudia AguirreCan you get rid of it? Does everyone have it?

    Dr. Claudia C. Aguirre, Scientific Communications Manager for The International Dermal Institute (the Research and Development arm behind the Dermalogica products you love!), spoke to media outlets across the U.K. and shared one important fact: 90% of post-adolescent women have cellulite.

    Another valuable point raised by Dr. Aguirre: “You can have cellulite and be perfectly fit, perfectly healthy and live a long healthy life.”

    And, let us remember the most important facts of all: cellulite does not affect your health and there is absolutely no cream on the market that can un-dimple skin.

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    View the links below to read more.

    Fashion & beauty: Cellulite ‘part of being a woman’ – Candis | Cellulite removal
    Most women have cellulite, expert claims
    Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Blog – Harley Medical Group » Blog Archive » Cosmetic surgery only option to rid body of cellulite
    Aviva – Cellulite ‘is just cosmetic’
    Fashion & beauty: Cellulite ‘part of being a woman’ – Candis – Cosmetic Makeover
    Doctor suggests majority of women have cellulite
    The curse of cellulite The home of health and wellbeing
    Cosmetic surgery news: Cellulite ‘is a cosmetic issue’

  • Does Oily Skin Need Moisturizer During Summer?

    Sharon MaxwellThe answer is YES, absolutely! Everyone needs to protect their skin from moisture loss, as you can have oily skin but still lack water. The summer sun can both dehydrate and damage the skin, causing premature ageing, so a moisturizer with sunscreen is important to use for protection. When you smile or pout your lips, do you notice fine lines suddenly appear? These are dehydration lines, meaning that your skin needs hydration. This can easily be fixed by using a hydrating spritz or moisturizer appropriate for your skin condition.

    If you are one of those people who had acne when younger or who currently suffers an oily or shiny skin, you may hate the word “oil,” or even moisturizer! Fortunately we have come a long way in the development of moisturizers, which can be more than barrier products, they can be treatment products that benefit your skin. Moisturizers can matte skin with ingredients like Niacinamide, Yeast Extract, Horse Chestnut, Licorice, Pro-Vitamin B5, Caffeine and oil-absorbing microspheres that reduce oil and shine. In my opinion, the best is the lightweight, oil-free, tinted moisturizers with sun protection, Olive fruit and Walnut Seed, which act as antioxidants, protecting the skin from the environment. Nowadays there are so many moisturizers to choose from – the key is using the correct one for your skin condition!

  • Why do I Need Sunscreen Year Round?

    Exposure to daylight and ultraviolet (UV) rays on a daily basis means we really need to ensure we’re protecting our skin year round. The myth that you’re not exposed or susceptible to skin damage from UV radiation in the colder, winter months has defiantly been busted!

    With our current knowledge of the potential damaging effects of UV rays, it should be unthinkable to leave the skin exposed to the elements. Wearing a sunscreen whenever exposed to daylight is just a small way that we can boost our body’s defense against the ravages of UV radiation. Studies from Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Herston, Australia, have reported that individuals who wear sunscreen daily, even in winter, had 24% fewer Actinic Keratoses (the most common precancerous skin lesion) than people who applied it once in a while.

    Broad spectrum sunscreens protect us from UVA rays, the aging rays of the sun, and therefore they can honestly claim to “aid in the prevention of premature aging,” or words to that effect. Since we have an enormous trend from the global consumer to look younger for longer, our sun protection products should easily be our number 1 best sellers.

    As manufacturers respond to recent research, you’ll notice that the latest products being released in the sun protection category are also formulated with powerful antioxidants. These are used to counteract the negative photo aging effects of free radicals (from daylight) on the skin. There are a plethora of antioxidants, including vitamins and plant botanicals. Manufacturers now wishing to include antioxidants in their sunscreen products are faced with a new challenge: how to keep the antioxidants inactive on the skin until they come into contact with UV exposure and thus neutralize the free radicals. Recent research has come up with a very intelligent answer to this problem in the form of microencapsulation that holds a potent mix of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which are only released when the capsule comes into contact with UV exposure. So you can apply your sunscreen, knowing the antioxidants will release whenever it’s time to go outdoors.

    Here’s a quick guide to effective, year round, sun protection products:

    • Choose formulas that are multi-functional, such as those that can be incorporated in your moisturizer or even double as a daily moisturizer. Look for products that protect the skin from dehydration by providing a boost of moisture, and use formulas that have anti-inflammatory properties to help calm and soothe the skin and strengthen the capillaries to prevent leaking, which is negative of UV exposure.

    • There are some fantastic moisturizing sunscreens that also include ingredients such as peptides, which address the condition of the skin and the signs of aging.

    • Ultraviolet rays can cause hyperpigmentation (year round), so wearing sun protection can dramatically reduce the incidence of skin discoloration. Ideally the product will be fragrance free, as this prevents photo aging from chemical exposure.

    • Many people avoid wearing sunscreen, especially in winter, as they believe it can cause breakouts. The answer to this is simple: look for non-comedogenic products, which won’t contain skin-clogging ingredients.

    • Avoid sunscreens that contain artificial colors, which can not only be irritating, but also comedogenic.

    • Remember to choose sun protection products that also contain a good dose of antioxidants to fight those very nasty free radicals that want to wreck and age our skin.

    Some key, non-sunscreen related ingredients for sun protection to look out for are:

    • Antioxidants: Green Tea, White Tea, Grape Seed, Licorice, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Tocopherol.

    • Anti-inflammatory ingredients: Green Tea, Lavender, Yeast Extract and Licorice, which all soothe inflamed skin.

    We have come a long way in the arena of sun protection, but we are by no means where we need to be. Too many people still go out unprotected daily, and as a result, suffer the perils of UV exposure. Having said that, it’s heartening to know that one of the fastest growing sectors of our industry is that of sun protection. This increased demand will, in turn, have a positive effect by fueling greater and speedier advancements in ingredient technology and ultimately help prevent damage to people’s skin.

  • Hydration is Key!

    Annet KingHydration: it’s something we all need. Whether you live in a warm climate or a cold one, you have dry skin or acneic, or you’re an athlete or an artist, your skin and body need water. Lack of hydration is often an underlying cause for many skin conditions, such as that stubborn oily skin that is somehow also dry. And drinking water alone is not enough for the skin. Skin is the last organ to receive nutrients that are consumed internally, and water is no exception, so it’s important to infuse the skin with hydrating ingredients on a daily basis to ensure adequate moisture levels at all times. For those celebrating the summer months, take these words of advice to keep that vital hydration in your skin:

    Keep Your Skin Hydrated
    Adjust your skincare regimen to provide more hydration to your skin in the summer months. Look for light moisturizers, serums or boosters, spritz toners and gel masques. Layer your products to build moisture instead of using one heavy or rich cream. You can spritz toner whenever you feel like it: at your desk, in the car, at the gym, on a plane. Products should feel light and absorb easily; they should never feel greasy or occlusive on your skin.

    Keep Your Whole Body Hydrated!
    Higher temperatures and more time outdoors lead to internal dehydration, resulting in headaches and dizzy spells! We need to consume at least eight 8-ounce glasses of plain, filtered water every day to maintain the critical moisture balance of the body and skin and to assist in detoxification. For every caffeinated drink you consume, you need to drink triple the amount of 8 ounce glasses of pure water. Consumption of more than eight alcoholic beverages per week will also contribute to skin dryness and body dehydration.

    Be sure to educate your clients about the importance of staying hydrated and using proper at-home care during the summer months. They, and their skin, will thank you.

  • New FDA Rules Regarding Sunscreen

    Dr Claudia AguirreTwenty years ago, the concept of sun protection was to prevent sunburn from UVB rays. There was no international sun protection factor (SPF) test, sun products had virtually no protection against UVA -there were only two sunscreens classed as UVA filters- and there was no concept of photo stability applied to sun care products. The goal was to get a golden tan and enhance it as much as possible (ahem baby oil users!) instead of protecting from future damage.

    Today is a vastly different environment when it comes to sun protection. We know a lot more today about UVA rays than we ever did, and sun protection products are much more sophisticated. A recent New York Times article put it best: “After 33 year of consideration, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took steps on Tuesday to sort out the confusing world of suncreens…” To give you some perspective, it was still the Cold War, Polansky fled to France, Annie Hall won best picture and disco was queen of the nightclubs. Many of us were not even born… so yes the FDA took their time, but they finally released their final ruling on sunscreens in the United States. The statement covered some ground on testing and labeling of sunscreens.

    I’ve summarized the key points below:

    • Look for “broad-spectrum” in products that pass the FDA’s tests for UVB and UVA
    • If the product is both SPF15 minimum and “broad-spectrum” and is used regularly along with other sun-protection measures (clothing, shade), then these products can not only help prevent sunburn, but also reduce the risk of cancer and reduce signs of early skin aging.
    • No more “sunblock,” “sweatproof” or “waterproof” claims. Instead FDA will allow “water resistant (40minutes)” or “extra water resistant (80minutes)” as relevant.
    • Remember to apply at least every two hours, especially if swimming or sweating.

    Of course change doesn’t occur suddenly so these are points to look forward to in the next couple of years. It’s important to remember that sun screen is not fool-proof. Be sun aware, especially when outside for long periods of time, either in summer or hitting the slopes in winter. And remember, in order to get the actual SPF designated on the package you must apply a full teaspoon of product to your face and a shot glass amount to your body. Regulations have finally caught up with the science backing sunscreens as effective methods to prevent early skin aging. So enjoy the summer- but be sun aware!