• SPF and Aging


    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

  • 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: 


  • 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!

  • Why do I Need Sunscreen Year Round?

    Exposure to daylight and ultraviolet (UV) rays on a daily basis means we really need to ensure we’re protecting our skin year round. The myth that you’re not exposed or susceptible to skin damage from UV radiation in the colder, winter months has defiantly been busted!

    With our current knowledge of the potential damaging effects of UV rays, it should be unthinkable to leave the skin exposed to the elements. Wearing a sunscreen whenever exposed to daylight is just a small way that we can boost our body’s defense against the ravages of UV radiation. Studies from Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Herston, Australia, have reported that individuals who wear sunscreen daily, even in winter, had 24% fewer Actinic Keratoses (the most common precancerous skin lesion) than people who applied it once in a while.

    Broad spectrum sunscreens protect us from UVA rays, the aging rays of the sun, and therefore they can honestly claim to “aid in the prevention of premature aging,” or words to that effect. Since we have an enormous trend from the global consumer to look younger for longer, our sun protection products should easily be our number 1 best sellers.

    As manufacturers respond to recent research, you’ll notice that the latest products being released in the sun protection category are also formulated with powerful antioxidants. These are used to counteract the negative photo aging effects of free radicals (from daylight) on the skin. There are a plethora of antioxidants, including vitamins and plant botanicals. Manufacturers now wishing to include antioxidants in their sunscreen products are faced with a new challenge: how to keep the antioxidants inactive on the skin until they come into contact with UV exposure and thus neutralize the free radicals. Recent research has come up with a very intelligent answer to this problem in the form of microencapsulation that holds a potent mix of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which are only released when the capsule comes into contact with UV exposure. So you can apply your sunscreen, knowing the antioxidants will release whenever it’s time to go outdoors.

    Here’s a quick guide to effective, year round, sun protection products:

    • Choose formulas that are multi-functional, such as those that can be incorporated in your moisturizer or even double as a daily moisturizer. Look for products that protect the skin from dehydration by providing a boost of moisture, and use formulas that have anti-inflammatory properties to help calm and soothe the skin and strengthen the capillaries to prevent leaking, which is negative of UV exposure.

    • There are some fantastic moisturizing sunscreens that also include ingredients such as peptides, which address the condition of the skin and the signs of aging.

    • Ultraviolet rays can cause hyperpigmentation (year round), so wearing sun protection can dramatically reduce the incidence of skin discoloration. Ideally the product will be fragrance free, as this prevents photo aging from chemical exposure.

    • Many people avoid wearing sunscreen, especially in winter, as they believe it can cause breakouts. The answer to this is simple: look for non-comedogenic products, which won’t contain skin-clogging ingredients.

    • Avoid sunscreens that contain artificial colors, which can not only be irritating, but also comedogenic.

    • Remember to choose sun protection products that also contain a good dose of antioxidants to fight those very nasty free radicals that want to wreck and age our skin.

    Some key, non-sunscreen related ingredients for sun protection to look out for are:

    • Antioxidants: Green Tea, White Tea, Grape Seed, Licorice, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Tocopherol.

    • Anti-inflammatory ingredients: Green Tea, Lavender, Yeast Extract and Licorice, which all soothe inflamed skin.

    We have come a long way in the arena of sun protection, but we are by no means where we need to be. Too many people still go out unprotected daily, and as a result, suffer the perils of UV exposure. Having said that, it’s heartening to know that one of the fastest growing sectors of our industry is that of sun protection. This increased demand will, in turn, have a positive effect by fueling greater and speedier advancements in ingredient technology and ultimately help prevent damage to people’s skin.

  • 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

    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.