• Climate Control: Adapting the Skin to Global Seasons

    Maria ThorburnMost people love the idea of hopping on a plane and jetting off to explore a faraway land. There’s nothing quite like travel to invigorate the senses with new sights and smells, to taste exotic foods and experience a different culture…but often with another country, comes another climate and in turn a very different skin than the one you’re familiar with.

    I am very fortunate to have a job that sees me travel much of the year, and when I’m not travelling for work I’m travelling for my own enjoyment. So I know only too well that when I climb on board an airplane I can expect my skin to go from smooth and dewy to dull and dehydrated, and that’s before we’ve even hit the runway!

    With the year drawing to a close and the holidays on the horizon, many of our clients will have plans to go away for some well-deserved R&R. Whether it’s a trip to a warmer climate in search of some sun, sea and sand, or perhaps to a winter wonderland with snow-capped mountains and log fires—your client’s skin health will most likely be challenged by the change in climate.

    As skin therapists we need to be mindful of these subtle changes so that we can make the necessary adjustments to their skin care routine.

    Handling the Heat

    hawaii coupleIf there is one piece of advice you can give your client it would be to never go without SPF! The allure of the sun on their shoulders and toes in the sand might be too much to resist; but remember that the sun is a primary cause of aging and pigmentation, and in this instance prevention is better than cure. Be sure that they protect their skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF30, or SPF50 for even greater protection. And if you suspect they will succumb to splashing about in the pool or sea be sure to advise them of the importance of reapplying the SPF regularly and liberally to avoid sunburn and severe damage to their skin.

    Some of your clients may also find that their skin becomes shiny and produces more oil than usual or perhaps they become more prone to breakouts, this can happen in a hot and humid environment where the sebaceous glands are stimulated to produce excess sebum. In this case you need to arm them with a mattifying serum with ingredients like Sarcosine and Niacinamide to suppress excess oil production, teamed with a good spot treatment containing Colloidal Silver and Tea Tree, which together, provide anti-bacterial properties to soothe away inflammation and speed up the healing process.

    These key products will help your clients get through a summer holiday looking more sleek and less ‘slick’.

    A Cooler Climate

    frosty lashesFor those seeking out some snow for the holidays, or perhaps live in a cooler climate, will find that the cold weather can be most unkind to the skin and zap every last bit of moisture from it. And when it’s cold there’s only one thing to do…crank up the heating! This alone brings a whole host of additional skin concerns for us to battle against.

    Cold weather can potentially do more damage to the skin than heat. It can deplete essential lipids from the skin’s barrier, which in turn leads to water loss and dehydration leaving the skin parched and flaky. Recommend that your client use a thick emollient moisturizer and barrier cream that contain ingredients like Evening Primrose Oil or Shea Butter to help replenish and protect.

    Another structure of the skin that takes a beating are the delicate capillaries that constantly expand and contract due to a combination of hot and cold temperatures as we move from outdoors to indoors—this is what causes those trademark red cheeks and nose. This ongoing action in the skin can lead to capillary damage, but by using a hydrating soothing serum that contains Red Raspberry and Honey, we can reduce inflammation and strengthen capillaries making them more resilient in extreme weather conditions.

    Adapting To the Seasons

    So whether it’s travel or the inevitable change in seasons, it will more than likely leave its mark on the skin. Our key objective is to ensure that our clients’ skin is equipped to make a smooth transition and adapt to the change. By listening to our client’s skin needs and observing visual changes through skin analysis, we can adjust their regimen to better manage the way in which their skin responds to environmental changes and the elements. Whatever the weather, we can rest assured that our clients will have healthy and happy skin throughout the year!

  • Quenching the Thirst for Education in Sweden

    Last month, my colleague Arabella Lane and I had the opportunity to visit Stockholm in Sweden to conduct an International Dermal Institute (IDI) event on Rosacea and Inflammation to the students of St. Eriks College.

    In Sweden, the level of education is very high. Students have the option to either attend a private college or state college to complete their beauty/aesthetic diploma. Unfortunately, due to the economy, the numbers of jobs in the aesthetic field have started to decline, making the industry very competitive. As a result, students now value their education more than ever. In fact they are always looking to expand their knowledge in specialized areas like the skin.

    During this visit I was delighted to see many familiar faces of those who attended an IDI event last year. In fact this time I had the opportunity to spend some time chatting with the students during break. It was great to hear their laughter, feel their enthusiasm and also share personal stories about their love for the industry. Whilst we were chatting I found out that in Sweden they are required to complete an assignment on a specialized subject of choice. They can choose the subject; it can be skin specific, body or treatment related. This was music to my ears as many of them have chosen Rosacea as a result of our IDI visits that we have conducted. Even though they attended the same class last year, they expressed to me that they never stop learning and that their love and passion for IDI education never stops.

    We look forward to visiting with our friends in Stockholm again in the future!

    Vicky Convey is a valuable member of the IDI team and works to educate skin therapists abroad.

  • Traveling Skin

    Sometimes we fly for work and sometimes for pleasure. Whatever the reason, there’s no escaping the fact that the price of flying is not only on the purse strings but also on your skin and body. When in a plane, you can be sat (in a long metal tube) for hours and hours, literally having the moisture sucked out of your body. You know the symptoms: your eyes start to get itchy, red and puffy, and your skin feels dry and irritated.

    What Can You Do to Save Your Skin?
    Pre and post flight, give your skin some extra attention. If possible, visit a skin therapist for a thorough cleanse, an exfoliation treatment, a hydrating serum and a moisture rich masque. In addition to that, treat your skin at home with a hydrating booster each morning followed by a spritz of toner, sealed in with a moisturizer. At night, use a light microfoliation skin polish, followed by a vitamin concentrate, a vitamin eye cream, a super charged moisturizer and, very importantly, a lip complex, as the lips take a real bashing on a long flight. During the week prior to the flight remember to exfoliate, use a multivitamin masque for the face and neck, and apply a hydrating eye masque.

    If possible, during your flight follow these steps to keep skin hydrated and nourished, which you can repeat post flight:

    • Apply a hydrating spritz toner (alcohol and fragrance free), and/or a hydrating booster (key ingredient to look for is Hyaluronic Acid, it can hold 1,000 times its own weight in moisture).
    • Apply a lipid-based multivitamin complex. This concentrated dose of Vitamin A, C, and E will defend the skin against environmental stress.
    • If you are dry or have an impaired barrier function, spread a layer of therapeutic balm, which is designed to protect the skin from climate changes.
    • Layer on a silicone-based (anhydrous/water free) moisturizing gel, which will form a silky, protective barrier over the skin surface (including the eye area), helping to prevent moisture loss.
    • Apply a long lasting therapeutic balm or reparative lip treatment every few hours, especially after eating or drinking.
    • Look after your hands and your nails with a hydrating vitamin therapy hand cream. For the nails you can use some of the vitamin complex capsule you used for your face to protect the nails from splitting.

    What Else Can I do to Help My Skin?
    Before flying, be sure to drink lots of water or herbal tea (caffeine free) to hydrate, and only eat a light meal with easily digestible foods, fruit and vegetables.

    On a short flight you can get away with wearing make-up but on a long haul, your skin needs to be make-up free. The average moisture hydration level on a plane is only 10%, so it’s vital to keep your skin’s moisture levels as high as possible. Throughout your flight, freshen your skin and supplement the moisture with a fine mist of toner.

    If the skin looks tired after a flight, apply a moisturizer that contains optical illuminators. This will provide luminosity to the skin by reflecting, light thus diminishing the appearance of fine lines.

    While you’re away don’t give your skin care routine a holiday by omitting it, remember it won’t be long before you have to hop back on the plane and fly home and no one enjoys looking like a dried prune!