News

  • Get Sun Smart

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    Like many people, childhood holidays were always spent on the beach, where young tender skin was exposed to the elements sun up to sun down. Mum’s beach bag contained the ‘Sun Oil’ and her first-aid bag the calamine lotion. If only we had known then what we know now about the dangers of the sun.

    Believe it or not, there are many people that are still uninformed about the importance of sun protection. Here are some common questions (or excuses) that we often hear from clients with ways to explain or debunk myths about sun safety.

    Q: The sun will dry up my spots.
    A: FALSE
    As you unwind on the beach and relax, stress hormones will begin to level out and eventually dwindle. As acne is exacerbated by stress, it makes sense that as we relax, acne may improve. You may be in and out of salt water and chlorine, which can also dry up spots. Overall it may seem that acne breakouts have cleared…wrong! The heat and often clogging sunscreens will cause oil to speed up production and skin to be in overdrive, leaving you with the same issues. There are plenty of SPF options for oily or acneic skins that will not clog but rather keep skin hydrated, while prevent more serious UV damage. Seek relaxation but avoid the sun!

    Q: I only need sunscreen when it’s sunny.
    A: FALSE
    UVA rays are the longest rays in the spectrum and penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin all year round, including winter months. UVA rays cause damage at a cellular level, making them responsible for most skin cancers and the main cause of visible aging in the form of wrinkles, sagging and sun spots. Other signs of damage are small blood vessels and spider veins on the face, neck and chest. UVA also goes through glass including most car windows and is present on cloudy days as well as sunny days. Protecting daily with a Broad Spectrum (filters both UVA and UVB) sunscreen should be included in everyone’s skin care regime.

    Q: How much sunscreen do you need for a face and neck application?
    A: FULL TEASPOON
    A full teaspoon for face and neck is a good rough guide—though it’s better to be more generous than to skimp. More importantly, to ensure an SPF is doing its job it needs to be applied 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, so don’t wait until you are on the beach before applying. Remember you need to re-apply regularly, especially if swimming, sweating or if removing with a towel, think about when eating drinking and wiping your mouth.

    Q: The SPF in my makeup protects my skin.
    A: FALSE
    The problem with relying on the SPF in your makeup is that you’re just not getting enough of it. You should wear at least an SPF of 15, but an SPF of 30 is ideal and topped up every 2 hours. The easiest solution is to use a moisturiser or primer (or both!) that also contain sunscreen. It’s fine to have sunscreen in your makeup, but consider it an added bonus, not your main safeguard.

    Q: Two layers of SPF15 make an SPF30. 
    A: FALSE 
    Adding another layer on top of an existing layer of sunscreen does not double the sun protection factor. Two layers of an SPF 15 sunscreen remains an SPF 15 and does not become an SPF 30. Re-apply every 2 hours if outside in summer months or on holiday in the sun.

  • Lip Locked: 5 Moisture Tips for the Perfect Pout

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    Lips enable us to kiss the people we love, put the ‘P’ into pooch and make funny fish faces when we are bored. But do we ever stop to think about the difference between our lips and the rest of our skin? And do our lips deserve special treatment?

    Although the lips have a dermis and epidermis like the rest of the body, the uppermost layer called the Stratum Corneum is much thinner than anywhere else on your body. Your lips also don’t have any sebaceous glands, which assist in keeping the skin soft and protected. Their only source of moisture is your saliva, and that’s why they can easily become dry and chapped. Another difference between your lips and the rest of your skin is that your lips don’t have any melanin, the pigment that darkens when you’re exposed to the sun. Melanin is your body’s natural way of protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays, and because your lips don’t have any, they’re at a higher risk of getting sunburned.

    So it’s pretty clear that our poor old lips need some assistance in order to stay hydrated, plumped and free from cracks. Enter lip balms!

    A basic lip balm is usually formulated using a barrier ingredient like petrolatum or beeswax with the addition of perhaps a humectant and something that smells and tastes nice. Sounds fine, but a humectant’s job is to attract water—so if there is no water in the product, guess where the water is drawn from. Yes, you! And fragrance may make you imagine you are biting into a fat juicy strawberry but actually can cause dryness and irritation of itself.

    So what can you do to keep those lips luscious?

    1. If you lick your lips, STOP! Although it can be a difficult habit to break, licking your lips can contribute significantly to dry, cracked skin. The saliva evaporates quickly, taking with it any moisture that was already on your lips and leaving them even drier, especially in winter air.

    2. If winter weather has left your home cool and dry, consider using a humidifier to increase the level of moisture in the air around you. This can be especially helpful if you run it overnight in your bedroom while you sleep.

    3. Exfoliate lips gently with a rice bran exfoliant and follow with a hydrating masque to combat roughness and cracking.

    4. Apply a protective treatment balm before leaving the house with shea butter to enhance the barrier, oats and lavender to soothe irritation and an anti-ozonate complex to guard against environmental aggressors.

    5. Before closing your eyes at night slather on a renewing lip complex to provide ultimate conditioning while minimizing fine dry lines around the lip line. Sophisticated peptides are a must here as they will condition the skin while stimulating collagen formation.

    Get started now with these simple pick-me-up lip tips for the perfect, kissable pout.

  • Look Good, Feel Better

    The International Dermal Institute (IDI) & Dermalogica UK have formed an exciting partnership with Look Good Feel Better (LGFB), a cancer support charity, who provide practical support for women struggling with the side effects of cancer treatment. LGFB held their first UK workshop in 1994 and has to date provided support to more than 114,500 patients. The workshops and master classes take place across the UK where volunteers share their tips and techniques in skin care and makeup application. Their aim is to improve the self-image and appearance of patients through free group and self-help workshops that provide practical support while helping to create confidence and a sense of well-being. LGFB is the only charity that focuses on the problems associated with the visible side effects of cancer treatment and addresses how hard loss of hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and other skin related issues can be to cope with.

    Due to the high demand of the services LGFB provides within hospitals, they have devised master classes that take place outside of the hospital environment and are designed to reach those in more isolated parts of the country. IDI is pleased to be able to provide suitable learning spaces, equipment and enthusiastic staff on hand to assist.

    On 18th February, we hosted our first LGFB master class at our head office in Surrey! Working with staff members from the charity and a trained volunteer, we helped provide the eight women in attendance a skincare and make-up application lesson, which educated them on effective product choices and utilization. Our very own Lesley Corridan, Education Training Manager, first guided the group through tips on cleansing and toning for sensitive skin, followed by some great advice on hydration and the all-important SPF. With lots of great questions and plenty of fun, the group then threw open their makeup bags with reckless abandon and revealed their favorite must have items. The volunteers lent a hand as the women were guided through a simple makeup routine, applying brows where there may not be any and even how to apply fake lashes.

    With almost everyone having been touched by cancer in one form or another, we are thrilled to be able to partner with LGFB and put our skin care skills to another incredibly beneficial use and look forward to an exciting future together.

    “Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) is delighted to be working with Dermalogica and to launch our new relationship we held one of our confidence-boosting Master classes at the stunning Leatherhead offices. As the LGFB and Dermalogica volunteer team found out, our sessions are informative, involving and great fun and everyone leaves looking and feeling uplifted, with renewed confidence and a definite spring in their step. We have firm plans for a long and successful partnership with Dermalogica and thank everyone involved for their commitment and support” – Sarahjane Robertson, Executive Director

  • The Perfect Winter Skin Care Regimen

    As the colder days draw near and we look forward to crisp winter walks and cozy nights by the fire, our skin may indeed take a down turn. I for one have a skin that does not take well to the harsher climates and I have to switch to a different skin care regimen in order to come out the other side looking a little less than an over dried prune! While many of us experience itching, dryness and redness, the key change occurring at this time of year is a reduced barrier function in our skin. This leaves skin vulnerable to extreme sensitivity and redness that, if not checked, can result in permanently dilated capillaries and inflammation.

    So here are my top tips to share with clients, or to adopt in the treatment room, for the perfect winter skin regimen:

    • Cleansing the skin properly is the first step in strategic care. Alkaline soaps and hot water set sensitization into motion. Switch to an extremely gentle, sulfate-free, non-stripping gel or cream cleanser which will fortify the protective barrier function without leaving a residue. If you find that even water makes skin sensitive, use a cleanser that may be removed with tissue or a soft cloth. Ingredients to look for in this type of cleanser include Raspberry, soothing Cucumber, a rich source of phytochemicals (including Ellagic Acid that acts as an antioxidant) and Panthenol (Provitamin B5), which helps to regenerate tissues.

    • A spritz of calming spray is a perfect, day-long salve. The newest and most effective formulas now contain cocktails of not only anti-inflammatory agents such as Avena Sativa, but ingredients to fight neurogenic inflammation, such as Red Hogweed. Ginger and Bisabolol (derived from Chamomile), when combined, work synergistically to reduce inflammation-induced itch, redness and irritation. Combine this with Red Hogweed, which targets neurogenic inflammation by limiting the production of pro-inflammatory agents such as prostaglandins, and you have a complete system to target inflammation.

    • Chapped and sensitive skins that are fond of exfoliating may use an ultra-gentle exfoliant, only on the condition that the lipid barrier is not damaged. In this case, recommend an ultrafine product which delicately polishes fragile skin with microparticles of rice bran and rice enzymes. Also note that even conventional washcloths and towels can irritate sensitized skin; recommend a high-tech, microfiber sponge cloth for cleanser and masque removal.

    • Masques are especially helpful for winter skin since the prolonged effects of a calming and hydrating weekly treatment may deliver lasting results. Use after gentle exfoliation to either the whole face or on spot areas that require instant soothing. Key ingredients to look for include pharmaceutical grade Colloidal Oatmeal, Red Hogweed and Mushroom (Cordyceps Sinesis) extract that reduce short and long term inflammation and redness. Mugwort (Artemesia Vulgaris) and algae extracts also soothe irritation and provide a light film to reduce redness from ultraviolet (UV) exposure and chemical irritants.

    • A concentrated booster can be the needed “brakes” on runaway inflammation and barrier dysfunction. Look for serums containing the latest newcomer Acetyl Tetrapeptide-15, a peptide that reduces discomfort and pain by lowering pro-inflammatory mediators in the skin that are associated with neurogenic inflammation. Also recommended: Portulaca Oleraca Extract Lipids, Sunflower Seed, Evening Primrose and Avocado Oils to reinforce the barrier lipid layer that keeps environmental chemicals from penetrating the skin.

    • Moisturizers and UV protection are also essential during winter to protect against dehydration and free radical damage. It may be necessary to switch to a richer formula as weather cools and central heating takes its toll. A medium-to-heavy weight product works best, to form a substantial layer of lipid barrier protection and humectant hydration around tenderized areas like cheeks, nostrils, or any other hot spots. Use a physical sunscreen rather than a chemical sunscreen if sensitivity is an issue.

    It is always wise to complete a thorough skin analysis and fresh consultation at the start of the winter season in order to provide sound advice on which products will help your customer not only survive the ravages of winter, but emerge with a hydrated and calm skin!

  • Skinsight 2012

    On Sunday 17th June 2012 The International Dermal Institute (IDI) in London hosted an educational congress, entitled SKINSIGHT 2012! The event featured Dr. Diana Howard, Vice President of Research and Development for IDI and Dermalogica, and me, Sally Penford, Education Manager for both The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica in the UK.

    Held at IDI’s beautiful countryside headquarters in Surrey, SKINSIGHT comprised a full day of presentations from skin experts, a BBQ lunch and a chance to network with other industry professionals.

    Keynote speaker Dr. Diana Howard blew the audience away with her knowledge of ingredient technology with a special emphasis on ingredient myths versus facts. I spoke about consumer trends, including the science behind female spending, the influence your company culture has upon success and the importance of human touch.

    Rotating workshops then covered skin topics such as eczema, medical aesthetics and the effect that hormones have upon your skin. Almost 100 skin therapists and business owners attend the unique event, all taking full advantage of the education resources available and the beautiful grounds surrounding the facility – and the sun shone down for our incredible BBQ lunch!

    The event concluded with the presentation of certificates and goody bags and a much anticipated prize draw to win a specially engraved iPad.

    Here’s what some of the attendees had to say:

    “Don’t want to miss anything you have to teach me!”
    -Andrea Bull

    “Fantastic, as always”
    -Ian Liston

    “I would have been mad not to want to listen to Dr. Diana Howard”
    -Penny McLauchlan

    “Feel very confident to face client’s questions”
    -Sirisha Reddy Vasametti

    “Informative and inspiring… absolutely fab – as always”
    -Kylee Tyrell

    “Very organised and all the staff were very helpful”
    -Lisa Read

    The next complimentary event will be a Guest Speaker seminar on the evening of 15th October, at which Rachael Fairweather and Meghan Mari of Jing Advanced Massage will discuss the topic of Myofascial Release. We hope to see you there!

  • Spring Skin Events

    I love events! Attending them, hosting them, planning them – there’s such excitement in the gathering of like-minded people with so much to share. And even better if the event offers additional benefits like learning a new skill and supporting a good cause!

    So what are you waiting for? Capitalize on the energizing spirit of spring and the most effective marketing tool you have available, and organize a Spring Skin event for your skin center. Not dissimilar to holding a party in your own home, there are a few key rules that will help your event to be a storming success.

    Rule One: Make sure your event is one that people want to attend! It needs to be fun, engaging and teach them something new. Spring is the perfect time to talk cleansing and exfoliation – slough off the old and bring in the new!

    Rule Two: Hold an event that is applicable to a specific audience and invite a small group of 20, specially selected guests rather than try and be all things to all people. Build on client loyalty by inviting customers from your existing database, and then encourage the growth of new business by offering that they bring a guest. So if it’s a Spring Skin teen event, for example, make sure the food is fun, dress is a little more casual and there is a ton of interaction.

    Rule Three: Make sure there is great conversation by preparing your staff with conversation starters and methods to introduce guests to each other. You know the sort of thing, “Have you ever had a skin treatment before?” “What cleanser do you currently use?” “What experience do you have with exfoliation?”

    Rule Four: Wow guests with your expertise by giving free services such as skin analysis, hand treatments and mini skin services, and make sure you couple them all with a plethora of educational tips, from the importance of double cleansing to how to choose the right exfoliant.

    Rule Five: Offer a special promo that night to show your guests appreciation. Perhaps bundle a few services and produce a whole new Spring Skin special at a one-off price. Or offer a free mini skin treatment with every purchase of X amount of product.

    Rule Six: Tie your event to a philanthropic cause that will show your guests that you are giving back.

    Rule Seven: Send everyone home with a gift, a hug and an invite to come back soon.

    Eventing is the single most fantastic marketing tool that you have to retain existing business, grow new business, increase sales and increase services. Do it in house, take it out to community groups or partner with other businesses to create a local buzz. Just do it – you will not regret it I promise!

  • Roses are Red… and Great for Your Skin!

    I have a favorite cream colored, climbing rose in my garden that, last summer so generous in its bounty, gave me three rounds of fresh scented blooms and many evenings of pleasure seated beneath it engrossed in a good book. The fragrance of Rose evokes images of warm summer days in English country gardens, but this beautiful flower holds more great benefits than just its fragrance.

    The 17th-century English physician Culpeper wrote that red roses strengthen the heart. He may have been referring to a physical action, but anyone who has inhaled fresh roses or their essential oil knows the aroma strengthens the heart spiritually and emotionally as well. Used in medicines, for perfume and in culinary creations, the rose holds many talents but not least in its long standing respected use in skin care products.

    Both the flower and the hip provide an excellent source of Vitamin C, Beta Carotene and Lycopene, all of which are important antioxidants to fight aging and regenerate healthy skin cells. Rich in essential fatty acids, this lightweight oil also helps to restore an impaired skin barrier caused by aging, stress, incorrect product use and dry environments. Historically reported to be used for skin healing, eczema and scarring, Rose Hip contains natural Retinoic Acid constituents that will again stimulate repair and regeneration. Best applied overnight in a pre-blended serum, a dry and itchy skin will be left feeling soft and luminous by morning. The benefits of the humble rose date back many hundreds of years. Long may it continue to soothe our senses and repair and rejuvenate our skins, giving us such joy in our gardens.

  • A New Year’s Resolution for the Healthiest of Skin!

    With the holiday and New Year celebrations taking their toll on our skin, now is the time to talk damage recovery with your clients. Those late night parties, traveling and even stress can reveal themselves on the skin well after the holidays have gone bye-bye. Make sure your clients reign in the new year with these healthy skin resolutions.

    1. When your clients look in the mirror and their skin is shouting “I’m tired!” give it a great pick-me-up by using a skin brightening microfoliation containing Rice Bran Powder, which will create a fantastic luminosity to the skin. Follow with a 10 minute “super skin feed” using a multivitamin face masque. Once the masque is removed, apply a skin firming booster. The organic silicones in this type of product act like an invisible “support tight” over the skin and the mesh-like base also creates a super canvas for a great make-up application.

    2. Since alcohol is so dehydrating to the body and makes the skin more sensitized, make sure your clients carry a calming mist in their bag. This will not only add much needed hydration to the skin’s surface but it will also calm and reduce the redness. It can be easily spritzed over make-up.

    3. When nights out become mornings after and skin looks dry and dull, treat it to an overnight, oil-based serum to replenish lost lipids and moisture and rebuild collagen. Apply in the evening and let the essential oils work with the body’s own circadian rhythms to leave skin silky soft and luminous.

    4. How to handle the tell-tale dark circles around the eyes? In Chinese medicine, shadows under eyes are indicative of stress on the kidneys and liver (which makes sense after lots of parties and late nights). You can’t instantly get rid of dark circles, but helping the body detox, rest and revitalize through good nutrition and exercise will all help greatly. For a temporary quick fix, use products that contain anti-inflammatories and optical light diffusers, which are often combined in a light concealer make-up base and act as a multitude of ‘microscopic mirrors’ that deflect the light and decrease shadow lines.

    Here’s to a New Year’s resolution for the healthiest of skin!

  • What is Keratosis Pilaris and How Can I Treat It?

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    Keratosis Pilaris is a common issue in which dead skin cells block hair follicles, thereby trapping the hair and causing red bumps. The bumps can sometimes become inflamed and appear red in color. Often seen on the arms and legs, this condition can be coupled with dryness.

    So how does one treat this condition? Exfoliate and Hydrate.

    Use a textured buffing cloth with an exfoliating body scrub in the shower every other day. Then, at least two times a week, sweep a natural bristle, dry body brush gently over your skin. After, stand in a warm bath and exfoliate your skin using a combination of mineral salts and ready-blended aromatherapy oil.

    Once you have massaged this over your whole body (excluding the face) lie down and enjoy a warm soak while the mineral salts continue to nourish the skin and the oils leave you silky soft. As soon as you get out of the shower or bath, apply a hydroxy acid-based body moisturizer to damp skin, which will both trap precious hydration and continue to gently slough dead cells.

    This routine will gradually help to unplug the follicles, allowing the hair to grow naturally. Improvements can be seen within about one week!

  • What Exactly is a Sunburn?

     

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    How many of you have ever experienced a sunburn? I’m guessing that almost all of us have, with an embarrassing blush! Yes, we know it’s wrong and we kick ourselves when we are wincing with pain as we try to dress. But maybe if we truly understood what is happening to our skins as we nonchalantly lay in the sun for that extra 10 minutes, we wouldn’t be so lax.

    What is a Sunburn?

    A sunburn is the skin’s response to extreme ultraviolet (UV) exposure and indicates severe damage. In as little as 10 minutes of intense UV exposure, the skin sets into motion a system of defense against this enemy. The first indication of damage is redness. This is the body’s inflammatory response in situations requiring repair and is a result of dilating blood vessels. The skin will then start to lose moisture and hydration, which will be apparent with a feeling of tightness. Slowly, skin cells will start to thicken and melanin pigment will be produced (tanning) in an attempt to stop the UV rays from penetrating through to the deeper layers and damaging the DNA of the cells. When the skin is exposed to high levels of sunlight this may result in hypo or hyperpigmentation which appears as irregular light or dark patches. The body is excellent at coping with minimal amounts of damage, but if exposure is greater than the body’s ability to repair and mop up, more serious consequences may result. If DNA is damaged and its repair mechanisms are inhibited, skin cancer may occur.

    Why Does the Skin Peel?

    Peeling after a sunburn is your body’s way of getting rid of the damaged cells that are at risk of “losing control” and becoming cancerous. Due to this danger, all damaged cells are instructed to self destruct by repair mechanisms within these cells. This mass destruction of cells results in whole layers of damaged skin peeling off, to be replaced by other cells underneath those layers.

    I Have a Sunburn, What Should I Do Now?

    First of all, you should take care of the cause of your problem: get out of the sun immediately. Drink plenty of water as you may be dehydrated. If skin is severely blistered, seek help from a medical practitioner. Otherwise it is important to take down the inflammation and try to reduce damage to the deeper layers of your skin.

    Take a cool bath (no products added) and then blot skin dry. Avoid greasy creams, which prevent the skin from cooling and may make the situation worse. Rather, apply generously a soothing after-sun gel to red areas and then stay out of the sun and the heat. Look for ingredients such as Clove, Licorice, Lavender, Cucumber and Yucca to reduce irritation, pain and redness. Also look out for an incredible ingredient called Japanese Alder to accelerate the repair of UV induced DNA damage. Couple this with ingredients such as Algae and Hyaluronic Acid to rehydrate the skin and you should be well on your way to a calmer skin.

    And no, it is not then ok to go out into the sun the next day for another blast! Remember, your skin is still trying to heal and so must be kept out of direct sunlight for a good few days. Keep in mind, the skin is a great record keeper and even with a great after-sun product, irreparable damage may have occurred in the form of premature aging or skin cancer that may only reveal itself later. Think twice next time you decide “just another ten minutes;” your immune system is listening!