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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Building a Foundation for Healthy Skin

    Have you ever ruined a diet with a night on the town? Maybe it wasn’t just a little indulgence, but a full blown episode with dinner, dessert and cocktails. If this sounds familiar then you understand what ‘undoing your hard work’ really means. Although food is more tempting than cosmetics (unless you’re a product junkie!), choosing the wrong cosmetics can undo all your skin care efforts – and that can be a pricey routine. Color cosmetics are formulated to cover up imperfections and enhance the appearance with just about all the colors of the rainbow. Unfortunately, many of these formulations have synthetic fragrance, colorants and ingredients that can be comedogenic or even irritating. The important thing is to maintain a healthy barrier so these ingredients don’t penetrate skin and produce adverse effects.

    Luckily, you can also provide an extra barrier of hydration that includes mineral colorants, which can prep your skin for additional cosmetics like blush, eye shadow, lipstick, etc. This is where makeup and skin care meet – a formulation that serves as a foundation for makeup but that falls in line with your skin health treatment products. Typically, these are known as foundations, tinted moisturizers, BB creams, and whatever new terms may crop up. The point is that choosing the right base for makeup should be as important as the other products in your skin care routine.

    Many foundations are formulated with the single goal of hiding your imperfections. Unfortunately, they do not treat skin concerns like oiliness or dehydration, and they often leave skin parched, with a cakey look after a few hours. Some minerals may even absorb water from your skin, leaving you drier than if you didn’t use the product. Because you spend your hard-earned money on your skin care products, you should also expect a foundation or base to put up a good fight and enhance, not just hide, your appearance. The key for long-lasting makeup and a smooth appearance is hydration. Ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Polysaccharides, Urea and even Lactic Acid are humectants that impart their hydrating effects onto skin upon application, and often for some time after.

    Maintaining skin hydration not only prevents microcracks from forming on skin, which can lead to product penetration and irritation, but it also keeps the formula from drying up on the skin – as some foundations end up enhancing fine lines and wrinkles instead of concealing them. The extra bit of moisture also helps makeup slide on more smoothly and evenly. But hydrated does not mean oily – so avoid excessively oily formulations that can clog pores and slide right off on a warm summer day. Finally, you want to protect skin from future damage. This not only means looking for broad-spectrum sun protection against UVA and UVB rays, but also for ingredients like extracts of Hydrolyzed Pearl, Walnut, and Olive, which can protect skin against free radical formation and glycation. So considering that even cosmetic products can impart skin health effects, a night on the town should leave you guilt-free – even if you go for that slice of chocolate pie!

  • The Tricks and Treats of Halloween Skin Care Survival

    Girl with Halloween face art on white background

    BOO! Happy Halloween!

    Oh yes, it’s that time of year already. Candy, costumes and copious amounts of makeup… sign me up!

    While there is no shortage of websites and You Tube videos demonstrating makeup application techniques to transform you into your favorite vampire, pop star, pirate or super hero, where are the sites with information on removing all of that makeup, while still keeping your skin intact? Right here, that’s where!

    Halloween makeup is generally heavier and thicker than normal every day makeup and is designed to adhere to the face to give a masking-type effect, while depositing color onto the skin. They are high in artificial colors, fragrances, waxes, fats, chemicals and oils, and they are designed to withstand sweat (for stage and screen) and form an occlusive coating on the skin, which may result in comedones, congestion and full-on breakouts.

    Let’s Start With the “Tricks”

    Before you even consider applying that green glitter or black face paint, make sure you have a good protective base. One word: silicones.

    A silicone-based moisturizer will not only provide you with a smooth makeup application, it will impart a protective shield between your skin and your chosen disguise. This can help prevent irritation on the skin from artificial colors or fragrances. Silicones are also a great aid in reinforcing the skin’s lipid barrier layer, particularly if combined with Evening Primrose Oil, which is high in Gamma Linoleic Acid to further enforce the barrier lipids.

    Once the party is over, do not – and I repeat – do not, fall into bed with your fright mask intact. Makeup should always be cleansed off of the skin to avoid breakouts. Un-cleansed skin is dirty skin, as it naturally produces oils, sweat and around 40 million dead skin cells a day; mix that with atmospheric pollutants and the waxes and oils from the make-up and you have a soupy, dirty mixture than can cause a multitude of skin problems and can worsen conditions such as oiliness and sensitivity.

    A hydrophilic (water loving) oil-based cleanser is the key to removing that heavy makeup easily and without sensitizing the skin. Oil attracts oil; therefore this type of cleanser will dissolve all the dirt and grime. Oil-based cleansers are also excellent at dissolving waterproof products and substances you may have used to achieve your chosen look, such as eyelash glue or other adhesives (I’ve never tried it on fake blood, but I’m pretty sure it will do the trick!). Double cleansing the skin is imperative, so a second cleanse can be performed with a skin-specific cleanser.

    Another good “trick” is a leave on exfoliant with a Salicylic Acid base. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) have a larger molecular structure then their alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) cousins. BHAs are lipid soluble (meaning they are attracted to oil), versus water soluble or water loving (like glycolic acid); BHAs are also keratolytic, meaning that when used on the surface of the skin, they will effectively penetrate clogged pores and other lipid debris, exfoliating within the pore, making them an ideal formula choice after application of oil and color rich cosmetics.

    Now for the “Treats”

    Okay, if you can look in the mirror and recognize yourself again, it’s time to ensure your skin has plenty of moisture to get over its night of horrors. Start the hydration boost with a concentrated serum. A good bet is Hyaluronic Acid, which is able to hold a thousand times its own weight in water, intensely moisturizing your skin. Then seal and protect with an amino acid rich moisturizer to further hydrate the skin—and voila! You’ve reached your ghoul (sorry goal). It’s like it never happened – what happens on Halloween, stays on Halloween.

    Before you go… One final tip: try to give the Trick or Treaters at least some of the “good” candy; don’t eat it all yourself, you’ll only regret it in the morning!