Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tips for ALL Skin Types

Most of us all know the basics of skin care: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. But a lot of us don't know why we should exfoliate, use a masque and a serum. Here are some answers to why everyone should incorporate these 3 into your skin care regimen.

Why Exfoliate?

Exfoliation is the key to vibrant skin. Regular exfoliation helps remove the hard keratin layer build-up and brings luminosity and clarity to the skin. For younger skin, exfoliation unplugs pores and keeps the skin clear and smooth. For mature skin, exfoliation is essential to help minimize fine lines, remove dry flakes, and revive sluggish skin.

Why use Masques?

Using a face masque once or twice a week will dramatically increase the elasticity and health of your skin. For instance Eminence Organics Masques contain high amounts of concentrated vitamins and nutrient-rich ingredients. When used consistently, once or twice per week, masque applications allow active ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin giving additional hydration and firming benefits. Treatment masques can be used to control acne, rosacea, dryness or oiliness.

Why use Serums?

Serums are secret beauty elixirs to infuse skin with pure vitamins and herbs. Serums are applied as the last step before moisturizing after your skin has been cleansed and toned. The light liposome base of the serum ensures deep penetration into the skin to impart a healthy glow from within. The active ingredients plump and smooth skin to give it a luxuriously youthful look.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sensitive Skin?? What does it mean...Really?

Ask the Expert: What Does it Mean to Have Sensitive Skin?

By: Celeste Hilling

sensitive skin

I have been told that I have sensitive skin. What does that mean? What type of products should I use?

Most people who say they have sensitive skin actually havechemically reactive skin. That means their skin has a negative reaction to the artificial fragrances, dyes, and preservatives (such as parabens) used in most products. People with chemically reactive skin should steer clear of those ingredients as well as alcohol and benzyl peroxide, which can be drying.

Better options are products with a high concentration of active ingredients because effective formulators tend to avoid an abundance of emulsifiers and fillers that neutralize the active level of ingredients. The key active ingredients for healthy skin include antioxidants, proteins, minerals, and essential elements that not only nourish and treat the skin but also protect it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

8 Foods that Boost Collagen

Orange Vegetables:

Restore & Regenerate

Vegetables that are orange in color, like carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in Vitamin A, which restores and regenerates damaged collagen.

White Tea:
Supports Structure

According to research conducted by Kingston University & Neal's Yard Remedies, white tea may protect the structural proteins of the skin, specifically collagen. It's believed to prevent enzyme activity that breaks down collagen, contributing to lines and wrinkles.

Ward off Damage

Blackberries and rasperries scavenge free radicals while simultaneously increasing collagen levels.

Water-Rich Vegetables
Key for Collagen Production

Vegetables like cucumber and celery have a high sulfur content, which is important in collagen production. Collagen can't be produced if sulfur isn't present.

Dark Green Vegetables
Rev up Collagen Production

Rich in vitamin C, dark green vegatables like spinach and kale can rev up collagen production. In topical products, vitamin C has antioxidizing properties that stabilize the messenger enzymes that break collagen dow. It also protects against free radicals to prevent weak collagen.

Creates Stronger Cells

Fish like Tuna and Salmon are loaded with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Skin cells are surrounded by fatty membrane that protects them. When the cells are healthy, they are able to support structure of the skin.

Blocks aging

Whether sourced from soy milk, cheese, or tofu, soy contains genistein (plant hormones that serve as antioxidants) which prompts collagen production and helps block enzyme, like MMPs (Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are underappreciated players in the skin physiology. MMP are a special subclass of the so-called proteolytic enzymes or proteases, the enzymes whose function is to break down other proteins into recyclable fragments) that can age the skin.

Red Vegetables
Natural Form of SPF

Tomatoes, peppers, and beets contain the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene also acts as a natural sun block, protecting the skin from damage while increasing collagen levels.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Salicylic Acid vs. Benzoyl Peroxide

The two main active ingredients in most acne fighting products out there today are Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid. What's the difference between these two agents? Is one better than the other for getting rid of acne?

Benzoyl Peroxide

What is Benzoyl Peroxide? Benzoyl Peroxide kills the bacterium that causes acne. It works as a peeling agent, thus increasing the skin's turnover and clearing pores. The bacterial count found on the skin is lessened as well since this agent also works to reduce P. Acnes (the bacteria that causes skin breakouts). Benzoyl Peroxide also "dries up" existing skin blemishes. You can find this agent in over-the-counter products in strengths ranging from 2.5% to 10%. Research indicates that products with concentrations over 2.5% aren't much more effective and they're usually much harsher on the skin. Benzoyl Peroxide was one of the first acne treatments to become widely available.

Are there any side effects? When using Benzoyl Peroxide you may experience some initial dryness and irritation. Normally the skin will develop a tolerance to the product after a week or two of use. A small number of people will be much more sensitive to this agent and can suffer some burning, itching, peeling and even swelling after application. It should also be said that Benzoyl Peroxide is a bleaching agent and can cause color loss when it comes in contact with fabric and even hair. Be mindful of this fact when applying Benzoyl Peroxide before going to bed, near the neck and chest, near your hairline and eyebrows, and even when washing the agent off of your face since bleaching can occur.

If the skin starts to feel too dry you should cut back on your use of Benzoyl Peroxide. Excessive drying of the skin can make acne worse. Also, when first starting out with Benzoyl Peroxide, you should begin by using the product on alternating days so that your skin has time to adjust.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxyl acid (BHA) that is derived from the bark of the willow tree. It is a key ingredient in many skin-care products found on the market today. The medicinal properties of this agent have been known since ancient times as a means of fever relief and also as an anti-inflammatory drug. Today, it is used to treat acne, psoriasis, dandruff, calluses, corns, keratosis pilaris, and warts. It works as a peeling agent to treat and prevent acne by causing your skin's cells to shed more easily, preventing the pores from clogging up and allowing room for new skin cell growth. The Salicylic Acid penetrates the oil-filled pores and then exfoliates any dead skin cells that have built up inside. This helps to reduce irritation and inflammation, while also breaking down whiteheads and blackheads. Salicylic acid is available in different concentrations in the various skin-care products available to the general public. The approved range of Salicylic Acid for acne treatment is between 0.5% and 2%.

Are there any side effects? The most common side effect is dryness, though this is normally very mild. If the skin appears scaly however, you should apply a light oil-free moisturizer following the application of the product containing Salicylic Acid. The skin can also become irritated for some who use products with this agent. If you experience some mild irritation after using Salicylic Acid you should use the product less frequently. If the irritation is severe or continues even with infrequent application you should stop using the product completely.

Some products don't work well with Salicylic Acid, leaving the skin excessively dry or irritated. These products should be avoided and include harsh soaps/cleansers, alcohol-containing preparations, other acne treatments containing peeling agents (resorcinol, sulfur, tretinoin, or Benzoyl peroxide), drying cosmetics or soaps, medicated cosmetics, and other topical skin medications.

The Verdict

Both Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid work effectively as a way to treat and control mild to moderate acne cases. They both work as peeling agents and have similar effects on the skin. The main different between the two agents is that Benzoyl Peroxide works as an antiseptic, though those same antiseptic properties makes the peroxide more aggressive and harsher on the skin. Different skin types will react differently to both acne fighting agents so it is really a person choice here. I personally as an Aesthetician recommend Salicylic Acid over Benzoyl Peroxide.