News

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Who Takes Care of You?

    We’re in the industry of giving. In our roles we give of ourselves to our clients, both physically and emotionally. We know how it feels after a long day in the treatment center.  And yet, just when we thought we were done, another client walks through our doors. What do we do? We dig a little bit deeper and we give just that little bit more!

    In taking care of our clients, we all too often forget just how important it is that we take care of ourselves.

    I recently visited Malaysia, where I had the opportunity to spend some time with business owners, sharing with them ways to ‘take good care of you’. During our time together, we reminded ourselves how important it is to take excellent care of our essential ‘tools of our trade’. Here is a photo of our group proudly displaying a very important tool that we use everyday – our magic hands! It is so important that in our industry, we fuel our bodies with healthy foods and look after ourselves physically, especially when it comes to our posture, to ensure a long and successful career.

    But, just like our bodies, it is essential that we also take care of our minds. As skin and body therapists we help people to feel good about their skin. We know of the many benefits to a skin treatment, being of course the tangible benefits such as the soft, luminous skin we can see and feel post treatment. But the holistic benefits of ‘taking time out’ can never be underestimated. The wonderful benefit of a skin treatment is also the rest and relaxation that it provides our minds during our time out.

    So, who takes care of you? When was the last time you were a ‘client’?

    Next time you’re feeling tired and worn out, don’t forget to nurture your mind as well as your skin. Book yourself in for a skin treatment!

  • Mindfulness at Its Finest – May Week 2014

    Inspiration that lingers is something that doesn’t come by often and easily. It tends to be a moment that stirs right then and there – be it from a song, a picture or a person in front of you. But it’s that long-term effect that we strive to achieve for our educators during our Annual International Education Conference held May 5 – May 9 at the IDI & Dermalogica headquarters in Los Angeles. It’s also a week of tribal bonding with our educators from nearly 40 countries and re-kindling the inner fire that drives us to do what we do best – provide the best education in the skin industry.

    This year we drew upon the connection of “Mindful Learning and Learning to Be Mindful” as the overall focus, where we shared touching stories, celebrated achievements, sparked kinships and reaffirmed our purpose in the business of touch.

    Throughout the 5-day conference we heard from the likes of Dr. Diana Howard on new product and ingredient innovations, renewed our mission to help women through FITE, shared achievements and goals from our global educators as well as our leaders, such as Annet King, Heather Hickman and Emma Hobson to name a few. And this year we had the pleasure of receiving a mindfulness expert, Joey Soto, who opened the week with meditation exercises and challenged us all to embrace the moment and be present. Our other special guests included oncology skin care experts from Greet the Day, Johnette du Rand and Karey Hazewinkel York, who took us through a touching and emotional presentation on working with clients who are cancer patients and survivors.

    As an added touch, our guests were provided with unique, oversized seating to sit comfortably (and take of their shoes if they like!) during the presentations in our auditorium, healthy and colorful food selection as well as exceptional entertainment for two evenings. For the Tuesday night we had the privilege of receiving Lee England Jr., soul violinist and rising star, at our headquarters performing original music and beautiful renditions of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and “Unthinkable” by Alicia Keys. On Thursday, we transported our guests to the reinvigorated district of Downtown Los Angeles where we convened at the Crocker Club for a farewell celebration in true “Great Gatsby” fashion and live entertainment.

    But it didn’t come full circle until the final day, when our chief visionary Jane Wurwand took the stage. Inspired by Ariana Huffington’s latest book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, Jane showed us a new definition of success that isn’t solely based on money and power; that more characteristics such as mindfulness, passion, health and giving back to name a few can lead to true success that satisfies us from within.

    To view more photos from the week event, visit Dermalogica’s May Week Facebook page.

  • Sound Skin Advice For Your Clients on Refinery29

    Our very own skin guru and director of Global Education, Annet King, has been working feverishly to provide articles on skin health for the prestigious Refinery29, the largest independent fashion and style website in the United States. So why is she lending her skin expertise to the public at large? As it turns out, many of their readers had questions about skin care, and who else should they seek out but a renowned IDI skin expert! So now we’d like to turn over these articles jam-packed with helpful skin advice to you, the professional skin therapist. There are some great tips here to give to your clients on everything skin care. Happy reading!

    3 Reasons To Stop Fussing With Your Face & See A Professional

    Winter Woes: How To Get Your Complexion In Check

    Skin Flaking Off? How To Care For Your Visage In The Winter

    Is Your Diet Making You Break Out?

    Busted! The Most Common Skin Product Myths, Debunked

    The Must-Know Secret To An Even Complexion

    How To Get The Best Skin Of Your Life

    The Basics To Getting Perfect Skin

    4 Skin Care Lies You Need To Stop Believing

    Is A Man’s Skin Really Different From A Woman’s?

    What Really Happens To Your Skin When You Get Sunburnt

    Do You Suffer From This Embarrassing Skin Woe?

  • Stay Sun Smart and Save a Life

    With the change in seasons we should be saying goodbye to the winter and hello to the summer.  As the sun has finally made an appearance, so has more bronzed skin, occasional peeling and maybe pink bodies? It’s not just British tradition to shrug off our clothes the minute we feel a few rays, but after years of warnings about skin cancer, shouldn’t we have learned our lesson?

    At the beginning of this year our team’s focus has been to share our knowledge about solar damage and protection. We have been very busy taking IDI congresses on the road, travelling and educating markets in Europe, Africa & Middle East on such a valuable subject.

    As professional skin therapists, we still face the challenge of educating people that daylight protection is a must for any skin, any race and should be used daily. Even though consumers may feel good from the sun’s rays, do they look good? And are they aware of the huge risk of skin cancer? In the UK, the number of reported cases of skin cancer has more than quadrupled since the 1970s and over 2,600 people die from skin cancer each year — but this increase is on a global scale. The highest rates of malignant melanoma are reported in Australia and New Zealand.

    Not only do we have to deal with such shocking facts, we are also faced with the constant bombardment of TV celebrities showing off their tanned skin and the general perception that tanned skin is more desirable, teens, especially girls, are purposefully avoiding sun protection and some are even seeking the sun. This has become such a problem that some countries have adopted a law banning underage people from visiting tanning salons. That’s why our job as a professional skin therapist is more important than ever. Not only are we experts on treating the skin but we must also become experts in educating consumers on using daily protection.

    Here are some expert tips from our IDI team that you can share with your clients:

    “A great tool to download is the mole map from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). You can give this to your clients as a hand out for prevention against skin cancer.” – Geraldine Schefermann, IDI UK International Regional Education Manager

    “Don’t forget to apply your SPF daily for protection, even on a cloudy day. Apply your sunscreen to all skin (face, ears, hands, neck, etc.). You can even apply as lip balm to your lips. Look for a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, as this will protect against UVA and UVB rays. The label must say broad-spectrum or UVA/UVB protection. If it does not say either, you may wish to look for another product.” – Victoria Convy, IDI UK International Corporate Trainer

    “It is advised to wear long sleeves, trousers, tightly woven fabrics, wide brim hat and large sunglasses that absorb UV. You can purchase clothes that have a UPF rating (ultraviolet protection factor) that blocks out both UVA and UVB (SPF is just UVB). Some fabrics do a better job than others; polyester is excellent, whereas cotton and rayon score low. UPF50 indicates a fabric or garment will allow only 1/50th (approximately 2%) radiation to pass through.” – Sharon Maxwell, IDI UK International Education Manager for Europe, Africa & Middle East

    “Don’t forget that whilst driving you can also catch the sun. A great idea is to keep an SPF product in the glove box of your car. You can then apply as needed, especially to the backs of your hands whilst driving” – Maria Thorburn, IDI UK International Senior Instructor

    “When you are near water, snow, or at the beach, watch out as reflection can increase the intensity of UV.  Make sure you are re-applying SPF every 2 hours and immediately after swimming.” – Arabella Lane, IDI UK International Training Specialist

    For more information on sun protection and skin cancer visit:

    www.aad.org     

    www.skincancer.org   

    www.cancerresearchuk.org

     

  • Experts Reaffirm Warning for Hydroquinone

    The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel recently completed another review of the safety of Hydroquinone as used in skin care and nail products. Once again they renewed their conclusion that, “hydroquinone is safe at concentrations of ≤ 1% for cosmetic formulations designed for discontinuous, brief use followed by rinsing from the skin and hair. Hydroquinone should not be used in other leave-on cosmetic products.” This has been the same story since 1994! What is it going to take to get the FDA to ban Hydroquinone whitening products (usually formulated at 2%) that sell at retail to consumers?

    Read the latest review for more details on the safety of Hydroquinone in cosmetics.

  • Gym Membership, Skin Membership

    Congratulations – you’ve almost made it through the first month of the new year! While many have enrolled in new gym classes and started the latest juice trends, some are left feeling more razed than fresh at this new and exciting time of year. New Year’s resolutions are all about shifting into your best self, but many fail to realize that most resolutions won’t be kept up past mid-January!

    While some of the top resolutions are about losing weight or getting organized, some are about achieving better skin. But staying committed to your fitness or health goals will also benefit your skin, so you can actually combine resolutions!

    Read on to find out what exercise can do for your skin and your body:

    1. Improve Your Mood and Your Skin: It’s a fact – regular exercise can boost certain fatigue-fighting brain chemicals such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals can help pep up your mood, and they can also boost your attitude about your skin! You may find that once you start exercising, you’re no longer too tired to remove your makeup before you go to bed, or you’re not so concise about the pimple or wrinkles that decided to show up when you weren’t looking. Overall, healthy skin is a great confidence builder!

    2. Get Natural Pain Relief: Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever, which can make you less vulnerable to tiny tears in muscles and tendons. This pain reliever might come in handy during extractions if you experience breakouts. Also, when you’re working hard and breaking a good sweat, that very sweat helps the body to naturally detox, resulting in clearer, glowing skin.

    3. Flaunt Your Inner Diva: Working out is the way to a better body image. Regardless of how much you work out, or what you do, it will make you feel positive about wearing that bikini. The same can be said for your skin – having a great home care regimen with professional skin treatments could be a reason to finally try that red lipstick you’ve been eyeing!

    4. Shrink Unwanted Fat: Stress can cause weight gain and lead to inflammation, which can contribute to the signs of aging, breakouts and other skin issues. More studies are linking stress to adverse effects on the skin, so try yoga or a skin care night at home with a hydrating masque to de-stress.

    5. Sleep Away the Signs of Aging: A study found in Sleep Journal observed that aerobic activity is an effective approach to improving sleep quality, mood and quality of life in older adults with chronic insomnia [1]. This quality of sleep can also affect your skin. Scientists believe that skin repairs itself at night, as cell renewal is enhanced in the evening [2]. Some products can even go as far as working with our bodies’ biological activity circadian (24-hour) rhythms to also nourish and condition the skin at the same time as you sleep!

    So while maintaining fitness goals is ideal for bodily health, it is equally important to recommend a skin care regimen that achieves results. E.J. Masicampo, an assistant psychology professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. who studies goal planning, states, “Goals can be extremely effective, depending on how people set and approach them…They can inspire you and help you keep the bigger picture in mind.”

    What’s the big picture here? Skin and the internal body go hand in hand!

    References:
    1. Sleep Medicine Vol. 11, Issue 9, Pages 934-940
    2. Prevention July 2006; Beauty Sleep by Janet Kinosian

  • You Are What you Eat

    Basket fruit and veggies

    This age-old adage may have been dismissed over the generations as somewhat of an old wives’ tale, but in fact it is deeply rooted in a real biological connection between our bodies and the food we eat. With technological advances, we are better able to understand how micro- and macro-nutrients really affect our health on a cellular level. This notion has even spurred the formation of a Center of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics (CENG) at the University of California, Davis. Nutritional genomics takes advantage of our knowledge of the human genome to better understand the diet-health relationship. In essence, nutritional genomics is the study of how foods affect our genes and how our genes affect our response to nutrients in our diet – an offshoot of the emerging epigenetics field (which is the study of how our overall environment can change our genes).

    So then, if we really are what we eat…what should we be eating for healthy skin? Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) work together to ensure a properly functioning epidermal barrier against environmental assaults. The skin’s typical ailments range from dehydration, dryness, photodamage, inflammation and aging. Many scientific studies support the role nutrition plays in these key areas.

    Dryness
    A lack of either lipid content or water content means rough, flaky and vulnerable skin. A diet rich in essential fatty acids can help skin retain its organized brick-and-mortar model. Dietary fats are processed by the liver for delivery to skin and other tissues. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for skin function and can even modulate the skin’s inflammatory response. Chronically dry skin, as in Eczema, will benefit from a diet rich in EFAs from oils and whole foods. In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect skin from photodamage and photoaging, while Omega-6 can alleviate symptoms associated with skin sensitivity and inflammatory skin disorders.

    Stock your grocery basket with:
    • Wild-caught salmon
    • Flaxseeds
    • Walnuts
    • Evening Primrose Oil
    • Borage Oil

    Photodamage
    As we know, the sun is a powerful star. UV rays penetrate through clouds, windows and our own skin layers. UV rays deplete antioxidant levels in the skin, including ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). A diet rich in these antioxidant vitamins can be part of a well-rounded approach to limiting photodamage. An added bonus to vitamin C? It is also a necessary component of building collagen in the skin, which decreases with age and even more so with sun damage. Like many nutrients, some are even better when combined. Supplementing the diet with Vitamin C and E combined can increase the photoprotective effect of our skin better than with either of these alone.

    Stock your grocery basket with:
    • Bell peppers
    • Broccoli
    • Strawberries
    • Wheat germ
    • Avocados

    Our skin is a unique organ in that we can actually rub nutrients on top of it! So even though the upper epidermal layers of the skin do not contain blood vessels that supply the cells with nutrients, we can ‘feed’ the skin from the outside, with topical antioxidants and vitamins. Combining topical nutrients with a more conscious effort to eat whole, healthy foods will keep our skin shining for all the years to come!

  • Taking Care of You

    Laura WestDo you ever suffer from neck and shoulder pain and headaches? How do your wrists and hands feel at the end of the day? Professional skin and body treatments can be physically demanding. Stress in our neck, shoulders, wrists, lower back, and legs are all part of the occupational hazards that we can experience as professional skin therapists if we do not take care of ourselves. Practicing self-care, with correct body mechanics and keeping ourselves hydrated inside and out, are key to maintaining a healthy body and longevity.

    Taking care of you is about incorporating a combination of several elements:

    • Reduce the risk factors with ergonomics.
    • Develop proper body mechanics.
    • Balance your self-breath.
    • Maintain a healthy diet.
    • Exercise.

    The term ergonomics means the “study of people and their work environment,” including work space, equipment, tools and the demands both physically and mentally. The goal is to achieve comfort, health and productivity. To achieve an ergonomically efficient workspace, ergonomists look at people and draw on disciplines from anatomy, physiology, physics, and engineering.

    In the treatment room, this would mean looking at our equipment – specifically our treatment bed, stools, and trolley.

    Treatment Bed: Ideally you need to be able to have the client’s head at the height of your abdomen to perform skin treatments. For waxing and body treatments, you need to be able to work and move around the bed in a relaxed lunging manner – without causing stress on your back.

    Therapist Stool: If sitting is your preference then an adjustable stool is ideal, as it allows you to work at a height that gives you support while your feet are still on the ground.

    Trolley:
    You want your trolley to be sturdy, and on wheels, so it can be moved closer to you, especially if you are performing a full leg wax (you don’t want to drip wax on the floor!).

    An ergonomic treatment room is the foundation of good body mechanics. Body mechanics means using proper body positioning and movement to prevent and correct posture problems, reduce stress and enhance physical capabilities, which helps ensure that all of our clients, from early morning to end of the day, are receiving the same energy from us.

    The way we position our bodies and hands are important not only for the energy we are giving the client but also for the health of ourselves. We connect with our clients through our touch and energy. If your body mechanics are incorrect you will lose the connection with the client and suffer from body stress.

    When standing to give a skin treatment, your body should be relaxed with knees slightly bent. Bend from your hips and move your body as one.

    If sitting is your preference, ensure your back is supported, you are sitting up straight, and both of your feet are firmly planted on the ground.

    Tips to Reenergize Yourself Throughout the Day:

    Shoulder Roll Exercise: You can perform this exercise while in your treatment room to alleviate tension and help keep good posture. Simply lift and roll the shoulders up and back slowly. Repeat three times.

    Spinal Roll: This will help to bring some oxygen back up to the brain. Starting with your head, tilt down and slowly roll down one vertebra at a time with your hands hanging down by your feet. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale out. Slowly roll back up, one vertebrae at a time, inhale and raise your arms up over your head, then on the exhale, bring your arms back down. Repeat three times.

    If you’re really feeling adventurous, do a head stand – that will get the blood flow back to your brain!

    As we always say at The International Dermal Institute, you can’t give what you don’t have. The connection we create with our clients and the energy with which we balance them must start from us. Keep yourself in balance by practicing good body mechanics and using functional equipment. We live our life to take care of others; it’s take time to take care of you!