News

  • 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

     

  • The ABCDEFGs of Mole Detection

    Skin cancer is on the rise. In fact, more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancers are diagnosed annually in more than 2 million people. That’s roughly 1 in 5 people that will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. But skin cancer is just the beginning; it could lead or develop into other types of cancer. Checking for skin cancer or suspicious markings should be as easy as your ABC’s, which is the exact guide skin care experts have developed for looking for visible changes on the skin.

    With the advancement of technology there is a variety of tools available, such as the UMSkinCheck app available via iTunes. This app sends automatic reminders and offers step-by-step instructions for a skin self-exam. It also provides pictures of various types of skin cancers for comparison with any questionable markings on the skin you may encounter. But for those who aren’t as technologically savvy, the classic method of checking will still help.

    Follow the ABCDE’s of mole detection to check for potential risks and red flags:

    – Asymmetrical: an irregularly shaped mole.
    – Borders: the borders/edges of the mole are uneven.
    – Color: the mole is multi-colored.
    – Diameter: the mole is larger in diameter than 6mm (about the width of the top of a pencil).
    – Evolving: the mole has changed over time.
    – Firm: the mole is harder than surrounding tissue and doesn’t flatten if you press it.
    – Growing: the mole is getting gradually larger.

    For some there are just a few weeks left of summer; however, the prevention of skin cancer should be year round because ultraviolet (UV) rays are always present. Follow these tips for prevention and protection from UV rays:

    – Apply a teaspoon to the face and a shotglass amount to the body of a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF daily (yes, everyday). Apply 30 minutes before going outside.
    – Ensure protection by wearing minimum SPF15, however SPF30 is preferable.
    – Reapply every two hours.
    – Seek shade, do not burn.
    – Exfoliate! It not only smooths and freshens skin, it helps to remove possible precancerous cells before they become dangerous.
    – Face-kinis are all the rage in Qingdao, China. This light cloth looks much like a ski mask but allows one to enjoy the water and sand without the effects of the sun, much like wearing a long-sleeved shirt.
    – Increase intake of antioxidants, fruits and vegetables. A variety of foods have been found to help minimize the attack of free-radical damage and even help protect us from the inside out. Drink moderate amounts of green tea or coffee, and consuming berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, cherries), colored peppers, red ripe tomatoes, turmeric root, and cocoa have all been found to be some of nature’s antioxidants.

    There are advances in genetic testing that can be done for those with a family history to identify potential threats and incorporate a possible vaccination. One such case is the catalytic DNA molecule (DNAzyme) that looks promising in vivo efficacy in the treatment of some types of cancer. PD1, while still in the early stages of clinical trials, is making waves as a potential for anticancer immunotherapy. Increased levels of the protein Panx1 is being further studied as a potential in treating melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer). And two studies suggest that two peptide agents used either together or individually with a low-dose of a standard chemotherapy drug might offer more effective cancer therapy than current standard single-drug treatments.

    You can still enjoy your time in the sun, just remember your sun smarts and use your ABCDEFG’s when examining your skin!

    References:

    1. Rogers, HW, Weinstock, MA, Harris, AR, et al. Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States, 2006. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):283-287

    2. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 11, 602 (August 2012) | doi:10.1038/nrd3807

    3. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 11, 601 (August 2012) | doi:10.1038/nrd3806

    4. http://www.breakthroughdigest.com/medical-news/combination-peptide-therapies-might-offer-more-effective-less-toxic-cancer-treatment/

  • The Summer Skin Switcheroo

    Heather HickmanOH YEAH BABY! Summer’s here, not that we have actually noticed here in supposedly sunny California, I guess “June Gloom” is just a way of life for the beach dwelling Angelino. But my gripes aside, now’s the time to start thinking about varying your clients Skin Care routines and cranking up your treatment offerings to address those seasonal skin shifts.

    Hey, Heather! I hear you cry “isn’t changing my clients’ skin care routine just a cunning ploy to make them buy more product?”… No ma’am, it is not! Read on and try not to weep…

    When sunlight comes into contact with skin, a cascade of damage results – like the stripping of barrier lipids causing dehydration and inflammation, the production of reactive oxygen molecules that affect healthy cell growth and the stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes. Need I continue?

    Congestion and breakouts can also result on oilier skins, mainly from the use of daily SPF and increased humidity and temperature levels. We (hopefully?) use more sunscreen in the summer months and these are designed to adhere to the skin and sit on the surface. Not cleansing the skin thoroughly enough will result in breakouts. Chlorine, salt water, heat, humidity and travel also lead to dehydration, which are a big part of the summer lifestyle. Get the picture? Well alrighty then. Now that we are in agreement that a change is in order, let the games begin!

    Keeping it Clean
    Switch your clients to an oil based cleanser. I know, it sounds a bit scary, but oil dissolves oil… yes, really! An oil based cleanser will eliminate excess sunscreen, dirt and grime, leaving a cleaner, clearer skin. And a gentle reminder to double down on the double cleanse won’t hurt either, twice in the morning, twice in the evening.

    The Key to Hydration Is…?
    EXFOLIATION! Corny, I agree, but true none the less.

    You want to up the ante while ensuring that you are choosing the right exfoliant for your clients’ skin type: gentle rice bran for sensitive skin, hydroxy acids and Vitamin A for aging skin and clay-based exfoliants with enzymes and Salicylic Acid for oily skin.

    Portable Spritz
    Cruising around with the roof down and sitting in an air conditioned environment: cool though it may be, it can suck every drop of moisture out of the skin.

    A great tip for your clients is to always carry a mini spritz toner in their purse to mist and hydrate skin throughout the day. Using a toner under moisturizer also helps layer moisture, even out absorption and stretches the moisturizer further when the skin is damp. Look for hydrating ingredients like Aloe Vera, Balm Mint and Lavender.

    At our company stores, we love putting travel size spritz toners on ice by the front door during the summer, so our clients can sample the product and hydrate and cool down at the same time.

    Defying Gravity
    Your goal is to fortify and strengthen the skin throughout the summer months. Packing the skin with age-fighting antioxidants, peptides and botanicals to protect against free radical damage and enzymatic breakdown of proteins will help prevent ultraviolet (UV), age-related damage. Look for cocktails of Vitamins E, C, D, E, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide, tripeptides, oligopeptides and Retinol in serums and concentrates to go under moisturizers or in eye creams.

    Breakouts Be Gone
    For those clients who tend to break out, be sure to recommend an oil-free SPF. Treat any summer breakouts with a topical solution containing 5% Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid. This will kill bacteria, expedite healing and no doubt make your client summer far more pleasurable.

    Seasonal Treatments
    If we are changing up our clients home care routine, we should follow suit by offering seasonal specific treatments too. One of our favorites is an SOS (save our skin) summer quick fix:

    Of course, you are going to use your oil based cleanser – that goes without saying. We then use a gel-based after sun product and galvanize it into the skin with positive polarity galvanic current, or we penetrate the product with microcurrent. Follow this with a calming and hydrating oatmeal masque, an application of a Hyaluronic Acid-based serum and an oil free sunscreen, and you have the perfect summer skin pick me up… you’re welcome!

    Enjoy your summer!

  • How to Repair the Skin From Sun Damage

    Bettina ZammertSome people are surprised to find someone in Germany writing about the effects of the sun’s rays – after all, Germany is not necessarily a country that is automatically associated with super sunny summers. Yet we do have a surprising number of days on which the thermometer rises to 30°C (86°F) and higher, and we find ourselves longing for a refreshing rain shower. And people who want to be sure of seeing the sun in summer will often travel south to do so, but not many of them will use regular sun protection to protect themselves against the daily damage that is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays.

    Without a doubt, the easiest signs of sun damage to treat are visible changes in the skin, such as dry, dull skin cells that result in irregular appearance, and blocked follicles caused by a UV-induced increase in cell division. Results are achieved with a good exfoliation that is matched to the condition of the skin. And we’re not only talking about mechanical exfoliation with granules. In particular, products containing hydroxy acids, such as Lactic Acid, create even results and provide much-needed moisture. And speaking of moisture: the skin is rarely as thirsty as it is after a long summer! Hydrating gel masks, moisturizing sprays and active concentrates are absolutely essential at this time.

    Hyperpigmentation is a different matter altogether, one in which you will always need the services of a professional skin therapist. Treatment of this condition, when the result of UV exposure, is more challenging because the skin experiences damage to the collagen and elastic fibers in the dermis. Fortunately, we now have the means to influence our skin with ingredients such as peptides, which are a group of active substances that are particularly effective. Some peptides can stimulate collagen production, and others are able to reduce excess pigmentation to a more normal level. Combined with other ingredients that target aging, such as antioxidants, we have some strong helpers in the fight against skin aging.

    While technology provides us with the means to keep our skin healthy, safe and youthful, the absolute first step for healthy skin with no visible effects of photoaging is as always to wear suitable sun protection. And with such a large selection, we know for sure that we have the right sun protection for every skin type!

  • What Effect Does a Summer Swim Have on Your Skin?

    Swimming pool

    As the temperatures rise in the northern hemisphere, off we head, swimsuit (and hopefully sunscreen) in hand, to the closest beach, pool or lake we can find. No harm in a quick dip right? Well, not exactly!

    An Ocean Swim

    Rich in trace elements and minerals, and with a composition not dissimilar to human blood plasma, seawater, arguably, has many unique healing properties for the skin. Many skin health benefits are specifically attributed to the Dead Sea, such as treatment for eczema, psoriasis and other extreme, dry skin conditions. Yet it is important to note that these benefits do not come from “salt” or sodium chloride, but from the high magnesium levels found in this body of water.

    Nonetheless, it’s not all good news. Salts in high quantities can be the skin-drying scourge of the summer flesh baring masses. Diluted salt is almost impossible to remove from the skin with lye based soap or non-foaming wash, so even after showering, traces of salt deposits may remain on the skin, absorbing essential moisture. Couple this with excessive sun exposure and you have a dehydrated skin with an impaired barrier function – never a great combination!

    A Day at the Pool

    Chlorine is a toxic chemical; it has been used in water systems to combat disease for over 100 years. It is a necessary component of swimming pools and hot tubs, due to its disinfectant qualities. Chlorine’s harsh composition strips the skin of its natural lipids, therefore exacerbating moisture loss in the skin that leads to dehydration. Showering immediately after exposure can help to reduce the moisture loss by ensuring the skin does not suffer prolonged contact.

    Another potential risk of chlorine exposure is skin irritation. While technically waterproof, our skin has the capacity to absorb chemicals from water sources. This means that low level exposure to chlorine, as found in swimming pools, can cause skin irritation in the form of contact dermatitis. Wetting the skin with non-chlorinated water prior to exposure can lessen the amount that can be absorbed and lower the risk of irritation.

    Now, let’s not even mention what chlorine does to your summer highlights! I’m on a one women crusade to bring swim caps back in vogue…who’s with me?

    And on that note, chlorine and salt deposits are not the only culprits of swimming related dehydration. Water itself (ironically) removes moisture from the skin, and need we talk ocean pollution?

    Proactive Post-Dip Tips

    Summer swim trips can still be fun; just share these post-dip skin steps with your clients to help them maintain a healthy, hydrated summer skin:

    • Shower as soon as possible after swimming – and don’t forget to reapply that sunscreen if staying outdoors.

    • Cleanse the skin with a foaming skin wash. Look for natural foaming agents such as Quillaja Saponaria and skin conditioners including Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Lavender and Sandalwood.

    • Exfoliate. Recommend exfoliating products that have additional cleaning qualities to further aid in the removal of chemicals and salts. For the face, choose Rice Bran and Papain to gently slough away dry skin cells. For the body, choose mild abrasives such as Olive and Date Seed.

    • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Lock in hydration; repair the barrier function and calm irritation with Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin E and Madecassoside.

    And why not introduce a post-bathing body wrap or chlorine combating skin treatment to your summer menu, your clients’ skin will thank you for it.

    Final tip about swimming this summer – don’t swallow the water! The effects of that could be a whole other blog!