• Good Night, Great Skin

    You may not realize this, but your body undergoes many changes while you’re deep into slumber. Although our minds may no longer be racing, our bodies continuously grow, change and renew during this ‘rest’ period. Our skin, being a dynamic organ, also behaves differently at night than it does during the day. Think about your typical day. Your skin is exposed to much stress- both internally from your emotions and lifestyle habits, and externally from the environment and the elements. Nighttime is the prime time for your skin to catch up and repair any damage brought about by these stressors. It is at this time, while you float along into dreamland, that the skin repairs itself. It is also warmer, loses more water and has a slightly more acidic pH. So taking care of your skin at night is just as important as protecting it during the day. But how can we accomplish this?

    Add More Beauty to Your Beauty Sleep
    Much like the skin, certain ingredients also behave differently at night. Some, like Retinol, are degraded with UV radiation, making it excellent for nighttime application. Sophisticated ingredient technology has allowed us to utilize the skin’s diurnal – that is day to night – cycles to maximize ingredient efficacy. At this time, you want to look for super concentrated doses of nourishing, reparative and conditioning agents. Serums pack a punch of highly concentrated ingredients and are a great way to effect change in a skin that is ready for nightly repair. At night, we are free from the protective films of make-up and sunscreen, so applying serums is a great way to ensure that the active ingredients penetrate effectively to address skin issues. Some essential oils are also a great way to nourish the skin at night. Argan Oil is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and essential fatty acids, which can all reinforce the barrier lipid layer. In fact, it has been used for centuries as a skin and hair hydrator. Another great lipid enhancer is Sunflower Seed Oil, for its ceramide content. Rosehip Seed Oil has natural retinoids that help reduce the appearance of aging skin. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is also more stable when used at night due to photo-degradation. Some oils, like Rosemary and Cinnamon Leaf Oils can even provide antimicrobial properties, making a blend of all these different essential oils both protective and reparative.

    Using antioxidants and serums at night will give you more bang for your buck. Of course, you may also want to try sleeping on your back, drinking water before bedtime and starting your skin care routine after a shower, when your skin is still moist and clean. And of course…sleep more!

  • Serums: Should You Believe The Hype?

    Heather HickmanGee-whiz, hasn’t skin care come a long way? Remember the days of “pamper” treatments? Remember when your “facials” consisted of steaming & creaming & lasted at least 1 ½ hours? Remember that pink uniform with the puffy sleeves (please tell me I wasn’t the only one that had one)? Oh, happy days.

    But those days are gone, long gone, because quite simply, your client’s aren’t buying it, your clients are skin savvy, your clients are time crunched & your clients want results! So the real question du jour, my friends, is… are you utilizing the products & procedures to provide them?

    Cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating & protecting the skin are just the fundamentals; knowing the power houses in your skin care arsenal is pivotal in ensuring client expectations are met, and nothing is more potent than a serum.

    Serums are super-concentrated, powerful yet lightweight fusions with either water or oil bases. They are often referred to as concentrates and contain a higher dosage of biologically active substances than their moisturizer (cream) counterparts. This means quicker, more effective penetration of actives to get, you guessed it, skin care results!

    Most professional serums are water based, and as such, their beneficial results can be accelerated by utilizing them with electrical modalities. Depending on the viscosity of your serums, they may be used in this manner alone or with the aid of a hydrating gel masque. At the International Dermal Institute, our two favorite methods of professional serum application are Iontophorisis with Galvanic Current, or Microcurrent for rapid product penetration. Combining your highly active ingredients with these modalities is an excellent way to get sure fire results on the skin, especially in a time compressed targeted treatment.

    In regards to client home care, there are serum formulas available to address a myriad of skin care concerns. As anti-aging skin products are the fastest growing sector of the skin care market, let’s start there, with one word: cocktails! Oh no sorry, not those type of cocktails, I’m talking ingredient cocktails. An effective product can’t ride on one ingredient, it’s all about synergies. You need ingredients to boost Collagen & Hyaluronic Acid, scavenge free radicals, repair the barrier function and increase skin luminosity. New advancements in ingredient technology now permit certain active peptides to be formulated into an oil base, allowing for the added benefit of essential oils.

    So, should you believe the hype? If you stay smart, know your actives, read the labels and consider the ingredient mix, then yes, believe away!