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  • 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.

  • 3 Skin Care Habits Your Clients Should Keep Up With

    Tara - tempJanuary 1st brings many New Year’s resolutions to get healthy and take better care of ourselves. This usually brings the promise of going to the gym, eating better, and getting more sleep. However, another great way to take care of yourself is to focus on skin health! Most clients understand the importance of daily cleansing and moisturizing, but is that really enough? Think about the benefits of including weekly exfoliation, an at home masque and daily application of SPF. Not only will your clients see an immediate improvement in their skin, but your retail sales will also get a nice boost.

    So, why should a client exfoliate at home? Our skin goes through a natural exfoliation process called desquamation to help eliminate the buildup of dead skin cells. As we age, this process begins to slow down from every 28 days to 90+ days, resulting in dull skin. Thus, at home exfoliation is key to maintaining a youthful appearance. Clients will notice brighter skin tone, less breakouts, softened lines and smoother texture. Depending on the type of exfoliant (Scrub, Enzyme or Hydroxy Acids), recommended use may be 2-3 times per week. In some cases even a gentle daily microfoliation can be prescribed. Exfoliation should be performed after cleansing and will prepare the skin for the next important step in skin health, a masque!

    DERM_At_Home_Female_32637What does a masque really do? They are treatment products formulated to deliver concentrated ingredients directly to the skin. Think of it like this, a mini at home skin treatment in a bottle. A perfect way to give the skin a pick-me-up in between professional skin treatments. Depending on your client’s skin condition recommend a masque with multivitamins to nourish and replenish, Hyaluronic Acid and Tomato Seed Oil to hydrate and repair, or Activated Charcoal to detoxify the skin. If your client is time-compressed, help them choose a masque that does double duty with enzymes that act as an exfoliant too!

    Last, but certainly not least, everyone should apply SPF daily. We all know how important it is to apply your sunscreen during a hot summer day, but it is equally important to apply it on a cold rainy day. Temperature does not affect the UV index and clouds do not block all UV rays, in fact some cloud types increase the UV exposure. Remind your clients, if you can see the sun, it can see you. The sun’s potent UV rays can penetrate through windows too, so daily application of SPF will prevent cumulative photo-damage. Recommending a moisturizer with SPF is an easy way to ensure daily application.

    Don’t forget to help your client’s choose the best products for their skin by offering complimentary skin analysis with a detailed product prescription!

  • SPF and Aging

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    A good SPF product is a skin care essential, but clients often struggle with finding the right formula. Here is how to help clients choose the perfect SPF products for their skin at every age.

    20’s: Since oil production is still high, skin may be breakout prone. Clients need a daily SPF formula that does not clog pores or contribute to comedones; and fragrance, color, Isopropyl Myristate, Lanolin and Mineral Oil should all be avoided. Suggest a lightweight SPF that helps combat and treat breakout prone skin and soak up excess oil, and add an eye treatment with SPF to your clients’ regimens to prevent future ultraviolet (UV) damage like crow’s feet.

    30’s: Recommend a tinted moisturizer! Multi benefit, 3-in-1 products with a wash of color, hydration and built-in broad spectrum SPF are ideal. Another option is to customize your clients’ moisturizers by mixing in a SPF booster. Look for the latest Oleosome technology that also acts as an emulsifier and allows for a higher concentration of sunscreen ingredients without the irritation.

    40’s: Signs of aging and hyperpigmentation are more evident in your 40s, so SPF30 or higher will best address firmness, elasticity and age-related triggers like reactive oxygen species (ROS). Clients can layer an age-fighting skin primer with peptides, Pearl Powder and SPF30 to help combat harmful rays while smoothing lines.

    50’s and up: Skin is significantly drier and more sensitive in your 50s, so a chemical SPF might not be an option. Suggest an ultra-sensitive SPF30 that has physical sunscreen ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, as well as built-in calming complexes to soothe skin. If your clients’ skin is very dry, recommend an appropriate moisturizer under which they can layer SPF.

    This article was originally published on ModernSalon.com

  • 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

     

  • BB Creams: Hip or Hype?

    Annet KingIf you are anything like me, then the much-hyped marketing term “BB Cream” makes you want to roll your eyes just a bit, which of course you’d never do in front of a client! For those of us who have been at this party for a while, we’ve weathered all kinds of promotional puff over the years – from stretch mark creams that supposedly erase wrinkles, to gadgets that zap hairs and pimples to the latest crop of glued on everything from lashes to nail art to tooth gems! But we can’t ignore the popularity of the BB Cream, which according to a report by The NPD Group, has amounted to over $9 million dollars in sales in U.S. department stores in the past year. And with a new BB cream being introduced every second in the professional, prestige and mass channels, the trend isn’t dying down any time soon.

    So what’s the history? The BB stands for Blemish Balm, Blemish Base, Beauty Balm or Beblesh Balm. The concept originated from Christine Schrammek, a Polish-born, early pioneer of skin care training and products in Germany who developed the cream for patients to use after receiving her peel. It was designed to provide light coverage and to protect and soothe the skin. So how does a German cream become an overnight sensation with Korean celebrities? It may have begun with the popularity of the peel among Asian women who wanted to quite literally peel away their hyperpigmentation and lighten their skin. The original Blemish Balm was then retailed for the client to use at home. Korean celebrities were quick to share their enthusiasm, and product endorsement ensued, igniting a craze in Korea marketed as “the secret of Korean actresses.” They now comprise 13% of the Korean cosmetic market. Faster than a Kardshian marriage, the trend spread from Korea to Japan, China, South East Asia and has since made its way to Europe and the U.S.

    So what makes them so special? In a nutshell, they help to save time, as they are truly just a multi-purpose cream much like a tinted moisturizer with SPF. They are essentially a cream that provides skin benefits or treatment, coverage and UV protection. They come in a variety of different formulations and levels of quality, so make sure you check that ingredient list before recommending one packed with artificial colors and Mineral Oil to an acne-prone client. Some claim to have skin brightening properties, while some say they’ll fight acne or wrinkles. Others can be used like a primer under foundation, or they can replace foundation. Some recently introduced creams claim to function as a primer, foundation, moisturizer, SPF, and pore-minimizer all in one!

    As with any trend, it’s important to thoroughly investigate and research a product or treatment before jumping onto the beauty band wagon. Ensure you educate your clients on the facts, and as this truly is just a marketing term, the next time you are recommending that Sheer Tint SPF20 hydrating moisturizer, feel free to say it’s just like a BB Cream!

  • Sunscreen and Expiration Dates Explained

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    One of the most critical products that I would advocate a client use before any other type of skin care product would be a sunscreen. We know that Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is responsible for a number of skin concerns ranging from various forms of hyperpigmentation to more serious precancerous and cancerous lesions. We also know that approximately 80-99% of extrinsic aging comes from exposure to UVR! For this reason, The International Dermal Institute recommends using sunscreen every day, not just during the summer months.

    The FDA requires that all sunscreens retain their original strength for at least 2-3 years, and in order to make these claims the sunscreen formula has to undergo a series of real time or accelerated stability tests to prove that the ingredient is still active up until the time of expiration. It’s important to point out at this point that if you’re using sunscreen every day and in the correct amount, a tube should not last that long. Most clients don’t realize that their sunscreen has a limited time in which it can be used effectively, so it may be a good idea to point out the expiration date to the client when they purchase their next sunscreen product from you. Most expiration dates can be found stamped on the crimp of the product packaging tube or printed on the bottom of the product carton.

    If sunscreens have expired there is a good chance they are still good for a few months; however once you reach the expiration date there is no guarantee that the level of activity is still present. You may also want to point out a few of these basic but important tips to your clients next time they inquire about purchasing their sunscreen from you:

    • The best place to store your SPF product is in a cool place out of direct sunlight and heat.

    • Buy smaller sizes of your SPF product vs. larger “30% extra for free” products, which will inevitably expire before you get a chance to use them all and you’ll end up having to throw them out.

    • Don’t use any SPF formulation that contains fragrance or perfume as this may cause hyperpigmentation and, in some cases, a photosensitized reaction on the skin.

    • If your client has a more sensitive skin, she or he would be better off using a physical SPF (containing Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide), as these formulations tend to have a larger molecular size that does not penetrate and potentially cause irritation.

    • Try to look for a formulation that can potentially deliver additional skin health benefits, such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C to the skin, as these types of sunscreens help to minimize the amount of free radical damage to the skin, thereby offering a more advanced level of protection.

    • Many clients are hesitant to use sunscreen because they feel the formulations are too thick, heavy or pore clogging. Professional products, however, use new technology that delivers more sophisticated SPFs, which have the ability to benefit different skin types and conditions. This allows you to prescribe a sunscreen that’s perfectly customized to your clients’ needs.

  • Skin Q & A with Dr. Diana Howard!

    Dr. Diana HowardCatch up with Dr. Diana Howard as she answers these common skin care questions!

    Q. How important is cleansing?

    A. Cleansing is the basis to healthy skin and is necessary to remove oils, grime, pollutants, etc. from the skin that can cause sensitivity or congestion, leading to breakouts. It also helps pave the way so that beneficial actives can penetrate the skin. The secret is to use a cleanser formulated for your specific skin condition and to moisturize immediately after. We always recommend at The International Dermal Institute that one use a non-soap cleanser; soap is alkaline and it strips the natural barrier lipid layer from the skin, which can lead to dehydration and sensitization.

    Q. What is the most common mistake people make with their skin?

    A. We self-prescribe when we should be relying on a skin care professional to properly analyze our skin. Most people don’t realize that they can have multiple skin conditions on their face. For example, you may have congestion and excess oiliness in the T-zone, dehydrated cheeks and hyperpigmentation on the forehead. Each of these areas is a different skin condition. Without proper analysis, you may not realize that you in fact have dehydrated skin that is oily.

    People also don’t realize that skin adapts to micro-climates and environments. You need to be aware that the environment indoors can impact your skin as much as a change in seasons or weather outdoors. Likewise, people don’t realize that stress can lead to skin sensitivity; this is an area we have studied extensively at The International Dermal Institute. A professional skin care therapist can help you to understand the relationship of all of these factors and the role they play in your skin condition.

    Q. What steps must you be sure to include if you’re short on time?

    A. Cleanse and moisturize. As we said earlier, clean skin is the basis of healthy skin. Within one minute of patting the skin dry after cleansing, apply a moisturizer that hydrates and seals in hydration. Ideally, use a moisturizer with a built in SPF to protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage for daytime.

    Q. What is your best tip for face and body during winter, when many experience dry and sensitized skin?

    A. Keep skin hydrated! You have one minute after bathing or cleansing to trap moisture into the skin. Spray a hydrating mist over the skin and immediately lock in with a very emollient moisturizer. Follow with sunscreen. Don’t forget to use a physical sunblock around the eye area (chemical sunscreens can be irritating to the eyes). Once or twice a week, exfoliate to remove excess dry cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin.

    Q. What’s the difference, the benefits and the negatives of synthetic ingredients vs. natural ingredients?

    A. So many people think that using natural ingredients in skin care products means they must be healthier for you, when the truth be told, there is no proof of that. As a matter of fact, speaking as a cosmetic chemist and a plant biochemist (this is my Ph.D.), I can tell you that plant extracts, as wonderful as they may be, can cause a higher degree of skin reactions than synthetic ingredients when used in cosmetics. Just consider the number of people with hay fever and other plant allergies. The biggest advantage of using a naturally made cosmetic vs. one that has many synthetic ingredients is the marketing hype you can associate with the product and the public’s perception that natural must be better for you. There is simply no proof of this assumption.

    Personally, some of my favorite ingredients for high performance efficacy are ynthetically made. For example, peptides and retinoids are all synthetically made and are by far more effective than any natural or plant-derived active.

    Q. Will scientists ever find a cure for rosacea?

    A. There are many factors that contribute to rosacea and scientists are learning more and more yearly. Like anything else, the more we understand, the greater the potential for developing a treatment for this condition. As a sufferer with mild rosacea, I certainly hope they find a “cure.”

    Q. Mineral Oils and Parabens are widely discussed and criticized today. What is your opinion?

    A. Mineral Oil is an inexpensive solvent that readily removes make-up from the skin and provides an emollient feel when used as part of a cream emulsion. Unfortunately, it can cause milia in many people, especially when used around the eye area. I always think of Mineral Oil as an oil that just sits on the skin and doesn’t really provide any benefit. There are so many other wonderful oils that I would prefer to use.

    As far as the Paraben mess goes, I am very disappointed that the public perception has been misled by certain groups determined to blame Parabens for breast cancer and endocrine disruption; the truth be known even the author of the original research said her work was misconstrued. I have no reservations about using Parabens on myself – that’s how strongly I believe people have over reacted to this.

    Q. What can we expect to see in the future in the skin care industry?

    A. As scientists make further advances in research understanding how the skin responds to the environment and physiological changes (such as aging, vascular conditions, sebum production, etc. ), we will develop and discover new ingredients that can be used to treat these various skin conditions – no doubt in conjunction with advanced laser technology .

    Q. How particular are you about your own skin?

    A. I follow the basic principles of “cleanse, hydrate and treat the condition.” Because I travel quite a bit lecturing around the world, I am forever subjecting my skin to dehydrated environments (like airplanes) and fluctuations in climate and humidity. All of these factors can trigger my rosacea and can create what I call transient skin conditions. Fortunately, I have access to just the right products to treat a rosacea flare-up or dehydrated skin, Also, being over fifty,I am always cognizant of treating the signs of aging. I have my favorite Retinol and peptide products for my skin and eye area. I do recognize that the most important product in my skin care regimen is my sunscreen formulated for super sensitive skin. I use it daily, even in the winter.

    Q. What’s your favorite ingredient?

    A. Without a doubt my favorite ingredient for skin care is Retinol. Not everyone can use this active agent, but it is absolutely the most effective for reversing the signs of aging. When combined with designer peptides, you can optimize the treatment of aging skin.

    Q. What is your greatest beauty tip?

    A. Wear sunscreen, minimum SPF 30, every single day of the year!!!!!!

  • Saving Skin… One Conversation at a Time!

    Annet KingAs Skin Therapists, we not only physically treat the skin but we also spend a large percentage of our time coaching clients about skin health, from what products to use and how to use them, to lifestyle and habits. During the summer months, we need to up our game and have more conversations to ensure every client is acting sun smart and adequately protecting her or his skin, in turn sharing that information with friends and family.

    Here are some top tips to share with your clients when it comes to sun protection:

    Think Daylight – Not Just Sun: The skin needs protection all year round! Burning is just one negative side effect of ultraviolet (UV) exposure. The skin is an excellent record keeper, and every moment we are exposed to daylight adds up like money in the bank, namely skin damage in the form of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, premature aging, a repressed immune system and the potential for skin cancer.

    Sunscreen Could Save Your Life! More than 20 Americans die each day from skin cancer (primarily melanoma). Even more staggering is the fact that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer, and 90% of these cancers will be the result of exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Check the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website for the latest statistics http://www.skincancer.org/

    Full Coverage: Teach clients to apply about one teaspoon to the face and a full ounce (think shot glass) to the body for optimum coverage. Reapply every two hours.

    Light of Day: UV radiation can go through clothing, windshields, windows and even clouds, meaning skin is exposed even when you think you’re safe. Wear sunscreen as part of a “daylight defense” regimen to help prevent skin cancer, premature aging and photodamage.

    Bounce Back: Water, sand, concrete and snow are highly reflective surfaces, bouncing back as much as 90% of the sun’s rays, equaling UV damage for your skin.

    Burn Out: Avoid tanning, and do not burn! Five sunburns will double your risk of melanoma.

    Scrub Up: Exfoliation helps remove possible precancerous cells before they become dangerous. But keep in mind that an exfoliated skin must be protected with sunscreen (recommended by the FDA) as it is more vulnerable to assault.

    Start Young: Keep newborns out of the sun. Once your newborn hits 6 months, you can use chemical-free sunscreens containing Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

    Watch List: Coupled with a yearly skin exam by a doctor, self-examination of skin once a month is the best way to detect early warning signs of carcinomas and malignant melanoma. Look for a new growth or any skin change.