• Eyedeas for Eyes!

    Bettina ZammertNo other part of the face is as expressive or reveals our moods and feelings as much as the eye area. The area is an eye-catcher in the truest sense of the word – but unfortunately it’s also the part of the face that shows the first signs of skin aging. The first fine lines start to appear when we are in our early to mid-20s, and it’s followed by changes in pigmentation and a reduction in the skin’s firmness. And regardless of our age, a glance in the mirror can often reveal puffiness and shadows around the eyes – which is guaranteed to spoil the mood!

    Our clients also have their concerns regarding the youthfulness and radiance of their eye area. Needless to say, an individual consultation also includes the recommendation of suitable eye care products. Which is most suitable is determined by the condition of the skin and your clients’ preferences. You must also find out whether your clients are already using an eye care product, and whether it contains a protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays.

    You must also ask clients about their lifestyles and daily habits. Do they wear sunglasses with adequately large frames to protect the tissue around the eyes from harmful UV rays? Are the frames efficient enough to prevent squinting, which can lead to expression lines?

    You can achieve amazing results around the eye area if you use a chemical exfoliant during the skin treatment. But be careful – do not use mechanical exfoliants with granules, as they could enter your clients’ eyes and cause a severe mechanical irritation on the sensitive area. It is better to use a gentle acid exfoliant, applied in a semi-circle around the outer corner of the eye. Take great care not to get too close to the lash line, and only work on the areas under the eye and by the outer corner of the eye – the inner corner of the eye is a no-go area! Finish this with a gentle drainage massage using a concentrate of active substances followed by a cooling gel mask for a real WOW effect when your client looks in the mirror.

    Incidentally: A chemical exfoliation, light massage and mask can also leave the lip area looking much fresher and fuller. Please take care to avoid the oral fissure – and make sure your client doesn’t inadvertently “sample” the products.

    Wishing you every success, and with best wishes from Germany!

  • Unwanted Spots? Some Extra Help is Needed!

    Bettina ZammertSummer is over, and for most of us our holidays are now only a happy memory. However, some “souvenirs” stay with us a little longer than we want. I’m talking about brown discoloration of the skin, called hyperpigmentation. It develops very quickly, but it is very difficult to get rid of again. And what is really tough is that it not only makes the skin tone look irregular (as if that weren’t already bad enough), but it also makes us look older. So clients with hyperpigmentation can often suffer great distress, and the results don’t usually come about quickly enough.

    It’s very important that you don’t promise more than you can expect to deliver so you don’t disappoint your clients. Be realistic, and tell your clients that, depending on their age, it can take up to four weeks before the pigmentation marks start to lighten.

    And speaking of realistic expectations, have an in-depth consultation with your clients to establish the cause(s) of their hyperpigmentation. The sun is often the actual reason for changes in pigmentation, but not always. The unwanted marks can also be due to a hormonal imbalance or inflammation, or even stress. Another possibility is a phototoxic reaction to something like perfume, for example. Some medications and even plant active ingredients can increase photo-sensitivity.

    So you can see there are lots of possible causes of hyperpigmentation, and when it comes to treating the issue, sun protection with a minimum SPF of 30 is vital, as is the regular use of pigment-reducing products in your clients’ daily routines.

    In a professional skin treatment, exfoliation with Lactic Acid has proven extremely effective, because Lactic Acid blocks the enzyme Tyrosinase, which plays a key role in melanin synthesis. Furthermore, the removal of discolored cells makes the skin tone visibly more even after the treatment.

    So effective treatment of hyperpigmentation depends on both your clients’ daily skin care routines at home and the causes that led to the discoloration. If, for instance, it is due to a hormonal imbalance, then treatment will take longer and possibly only have the desired effect if the hormone imbalance is treated by a medical practitioner at the same time. Either way, be sure your clients layer on the SPF daily and take the necessary precautions otherwise to prevent the hyperpigmentation from growing worse!

  • Treatments and Techniques for Aging Skin

    Bettina ZammertHardly any other issue in skin care is as important as aging. This is little wonder, because the “baby boomer” generation is not willing to simply accept skin aging. Expert knowledge is essential for anyone wishing to advise these discerning customers.

    In the past, it was always assumed that lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, and hyperpigmentation were part of the normal aging process and could not be influenced, or if so, then only slightly. However, new research has shown that over 90% of the changes that we see in our skin are due to exposure to daylight (photoaging), which is something we can protect ourselves against. No more than 10% is due to genetic factors.

    So it is quite clear that the best product to use against skin aging is good daylight protection, every day. It should be included in all home care regimens, and active ingredients such as antioxidants and peptides are “super weapons” in the fight against skin aging.

    Intensive exfoliation is particularly important in professional treatments for aging skin, since it increases the cell renewal rate and improves the absorption of the active ingredients. Many customers experience an increase in hyperpigmentation as they age. Treating this discoloration requires active ingredients that reduce melanin synthesis in the skin to a normal level. Systematic, consistent home is required, in combination with a professional treatment series, to bring about the desired success.

    When treating aging/changing skin, it is extremely important to remain reasonable with regard to expectations. Under no circumstances should you promise your customers any miracles, because you will quickly look unprofessional. Instead, work with your customer to draw up a precise treatment plan and the matching home treatment routine. This will show your customers that you are competent, and the expected treatment success will be achieved even more quickly!

  • Lip and Hand Treatments for Winter!

    Bettina ZammertIt could be so nice: relaxing walks through romantic snow-covered landscapes, and cozy evenings at home in front of a crackling fire. If only it weren’t for your tight, itchy skin – you’ve even had to stop wearing your favorite winter sweater with the lovely big roll neck because all of a sudden it has started to scratch!
    Constantly changing between the freezing cold and dry heating air is a real trial for the skin. As the thermometer drops, the skin slows down its oil production – and sadly this also applies to skin that was not producing enough lipids before. Often, extremely dry skin also has a restricted skin barrier, which in turn increases the skin’s sensitivity.

    In this case your customer will need your help – and you might have to change his recommended products to ones with higher lipid content. And during the professional treatment, don’t forget the areas of the body that are particularly sensitive and permanently exposed to the weather. A helpful hint: offer a special lip and/or hand treatment in winter. Start by exfoliating (use a very gentle product on the lips), then apply a moisturizing serum and a mask on top. If you like, you can perform a few massage or lymphatic drainage movements while the mask is working. At the end of the treatment, be sure to remember the finishing moisturizer, and recommend the appropriate special products for treating winter-dry skin to the customer.

    And then it won’t be long before your clients (and their skin) are enjoying the crisp, cold winter weather again!

  • 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.

  • Preventative Measures to Take for Aging Skin

    Bettina ZammertThere are many myths and legends surrounding magical potions and elixirs which, combined with mysterious rituals, promise eternal beauty and youth. The cosmetics industry also often benefits from these fairytales; even though we ought to know better, many of us still seek the ultimate rejuvenating product and are only too willing to believe even the strangest promises.
    So let’s start with the bad news. The fact that skin ages is a part of life; it’s something we simply cannot deny. The good news? There are things we can do about it, because over 90% of skin aging is caused by the environment! Lifestyle plays a major role in determining how our skin ages; fortunately, we can choose it for ourselves. Factors such as stress and smoking increase the number of so-called free radicals that attack our cell structures. This in turn leads to lines and wrinkles and accelerates the loss of elasticity in the skin.
    Prevention is the best anti-aging care there is, achieved on the inside with a balanced diet and on the outside by the appropriate skin care. Studies have shown that sufficient quantities of Calcium, Zinc, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Phosphor and Iron can help the skin stay young for longer. Whereas meat, animal fats and sugar tend to accelerate skin aging.
    The best way to protect our skin on the outside is by applying suitable sun protection of at least SPF 15 – daily! Physical sunscreens are particularly suitable, because they help to optically cover up tiny lines and wrinkles.
    An antioxidant vitamin cocktail containing Vitamins A, C and E helps the skin to protect itself against free radicals. These vitamins are supported by antioxidants such as White Tea and Soy. And those who really want to do their skin a favor will complete this cocktail of care with peptides, the benefits of which include boosting collagen synthesis.
    What also helps in the fight against skin aging (and also happens to be very, very pleasant): treat yourself to your own relaxation rituals – and allow yourself the time to perform them regularly.

  • How to Repair the Skin From Sun Damage

    Bettina ZammertSome people are surprised to find someone in Germany writing about the effects of the sun’s rays – after all, Germany is not necessarily a country that is automatically associated with super sunny summers. Yet we do have a surprising number of days on which the thermometer rises to 30°C (86°F) and higher, and we find ourselves longing for a refreshing rain shower. And people who want to be sure of seeing the sun in summer will often travel south to do so, but not many of them will use regular sun protection to protect themselves against the daily damage that is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays.

    Without a doubt, the easiest signs of sun damage to treat are visible changes in the skin, such as dry, dull skin cells that result in irregular appearance, and blocked follicles caused by a UV-induced increase in cell division. Results are achieved with a good exfoliation that is matched to the condition of the skin. And we’re not only talking about mechanical exfoliation with granules. In particular, products containing hydroxy acids, such as Lactic Acid, create even results and provide much-needed moisture. And speaking of moisture: the skin is rarely as thirsty as it is after a long summer! Hydrating gel masks, moisturizing sprays and active concentrates are absolutely essential at this time.

    Hyperpigmentation is a different matter altogether, one in which you will always need the services of a professional skin therapist. Treatment of this condition, when the result of UV exposure, is more challenging because the skin experiences damage to the collagen and elastic fibers in the dermis. Fortunately, we now have the means to influence our skin with ingredients such as peptides, which are a group of active substances that are particularly effective. Some peptides can stimulate collagen production, and others are able to reduce excess pigmentation to a more normal level. Combined with other ingredients that target aging, such as antioxidants, we have some strong helpers in the fight against skin aging.

    While technology provides us with the means to keep our skin healthy, safe and youthful, the absolute first step for healthy skin with no visible effects of photoaging is as always to wear suitable sun protection. And with such a large selection, we know for sure that we have the right sun protection for every skin type!