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.

  • Spring Skin: The Seasonal Change that Can Come with an Itch!

    Being a native South African, I can honestly say that I’ve currently come through one of the longest, most severe Canadian winters of my entire life. Having survived through -27 C, months of endless grey skies and snow storms, I am nearly at the point of jumping out of my skin at the mere thought of Spring and its promise of blue skies and brightly colored blossoms!

    However, the thought of Spring can leave some less fortunate individuals with a dreaded promise of an ensuing runny nose; red, puffy eyes and itchy, sensitive skin.

    In Spring, the skin is exposed to invisible airborne allergens, such as pollen, which in some individuals can lead to release of histamine, a neurotransmitter that dilates blood vessels and leads to inflammation. Higher levels of histamine can lead to the skin being more reactive and can even trigger eczema and allergies. The most readily effected areas for this to occur on the face are on the cheek and the skin surrounding the eye.

    Due to climate change, experts are predicting a worse-than-average spring allergy season and expect the situation to escalate as time goes on. The reason being that concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have risen, which increases the release of allergen levels such as pollen and types of fungal growth, such as mold, and the spores they release.

    As professional skin therapists we need to be armed with a few handy tips that we can provide to our clients as part of a prevention plan:

    Reduce Stress Levels
    Stress has been found to actually make your response to allergens worse. Offer a 15 min back massage as an add-on to an anti-inflammatory skin treatment and market it as a “Spring Skin Program.”

    Change Up Your Routine
    If you tend to be someone who experiences some of the symptoms of “Spring Skin” then you may need to consider temporarily switching to a 4 week skin care program that can actively target skin inflammation, puffiness and irritation while repairing the barrier function of the skin. Once your skin is healed and all your symptoms are gone, it’s more than likely that you’ll be able to revert back to your normal home care program.

    Ingredients to look for in your “Spring Skin Care” program should include Avena Sativa, which is proven to have natural anti-irritant and anti-redness properties, and Red Hogweed Root Extract, another amazing ingredient that targets inflammation by limiting the production of pro-inflammatory agents (such as prostaglandins), as well as promoting the production of natural anti-inflammatory agents in the skin. The delicate eye area is often the first to show signs of irritation, so try using a light weight, gel-based eye cream that contains Harpoon Weed and Norwegian Kelp combined with Golden Chamomile. These three ingredients work very well together by limiting the inflammatory mediators, thereby significantly reducing eye puffiness and inflammation by 43%.

    Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
    Many may not be aware that there is naturally occurring histamine in alcohol, which is made during the fermentation process. Wine, beer and champagne contain the highest concentration of histamine which could exacerbate your symptoms.

    Eat Right
    “Avoiding certain foods and adding more of others — can affect your likelihood of developing seasonal allergies, as well as the severity of your symptoms”, says Leonard Bielory, M.D., American College of Asthma and Immunology.

    German researchers from the University of Bonn published an article in 2007 in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” (AJCN) that identified high-histamine foods. Fish high in histamine include mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna. According to the Michigan Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Specialists (MASAS), fermented, aged and processed meats and cheeses are also high in histamine. It would be advisable for you to refer your client to an allergist and or nutritionist to really get some expert advice in regards to what food to avoid and include in their diet.

    Resources

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/10/best-worst-foodallergies_n_3017544.html#slide=2300996

    http://www.livescience.com/28320-climate-change-allergies.html

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/106451-foods-trigger-histamine-response/#ixzz2QZCqcovx

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/106451-foods-trigger-histamine-response/#ixzz2QZF4d3OX