June 12, 2017

Ancient Chinese Secrets to Help Heighten & Maintain your Body’s Energy Levels

yin yang massage

Have you ever wondered about the changing energy levels in your body and the underlying systems that keep you going from day to day, and year to year?

Ancient Chinese mastered the knowledge of the energy levels in the body. Over the years, this age-old wisdom has helped countless individuals in achieving a wholesome and fulfilling lifestyle.

Yin & Yang

Chinese traditions and medicinal practices endorse the belief that Qi, a name for energy, travels within the body through several meridians that are basically channels. So, if the energy is not allowed to flow freely and on its own accord, there will be a disruption in the balance of energy within the body. According to Chinese researchers, the body hosts fourteen meridians that are all connected to a key body part.

The Yin meridians are found in the front or anterior section of your body, while the Yang meridians are placed in the back or posterior of your body. The energy flow in the Yin meridians is upwards while it is downwards in the Yang meridians.

Yin signifies softness, earthy, dark, wet, inviting, and connected with the night, moon and seasons like winter and autumn. Yang, on the other hand, means dryness, strength, agility, light, masculinity, the sun, daytime, and spring and summer seasons.

The idea is that Yin and Yang are traits that prevail throughout the body. However, neither of these two succeeds in completely dominating the individual’s energy levels. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that in order to maintain a wholesome, healthy and active body, one needs a harmonious balance between the Yin and Yang energies.

Aromatherapy

Young Living Essential Oils
Aromatherapy can help achieve a balance between the Yin Yang because the essential oils bring about changes in these energies with their rate of evaporation. However, in order to achieve that you must pick out the right essential oils with high notes and evaporation rates.

Ancient Chinese medicine dictates the use of warm and energizing essential oils to drive away depression, fatigue, exhaustion, and nervousness, for instance, Basil can reduce Yang to balance out Yin. Similarly, deep middle note oils, such as Geranium and Lavender, are highly effective at creating the perfect Yin-Yang balance while Vetivert essential oil will help you cool down, soothe away anxieties, and eliminate Yin deficiency. It also helps with meditation.

Roman Chamomile essential oil is a great pick to increase the free-flowing surge of Qi, while German Chamomile works wonders at regulating and improving the digestive system along with encouraging the flow of Qi and eliminating muscular spasms. If you seek an essential oil to alleviate the damp symptoms of catarrhal conditions, traditional Chinese medicines suggest Cardamom that is considered the most powerful energy tonic offered by nature.

Massage

Massage is undoubtedly the best way to offer your mind and body the pampering care of aromatic essential oils. Truly, there’s nothing so irresistibly relaxing and luxuriously dreamy than being massaged with the delicious fragrances of aromatherapy oils invigorating your mind, and heightening your senses.

Massage not only regulates the body’s energy levels, but more importantly, it relieves depression, stress, and anxieties that plague the mind.

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May 17, 2017

Gain Greater Results With A Holistic Approach

meditation for healthy mind body skin
meditation for healthy mind body skin

Have you ever wondered why some of your skin or beauty results may be taking longer that you would like? Is it possible that you may be sabotaging your beauty with your diet and lifestyle habits?

There is only so much that can be done with the latest machines and skincare technology. Many people seek the quick fix. We can correct many skin condition and deliver excellent results, but is it possible to gain even better and long-term results if you approach your beauty concerns holistically?

Let's take the case of acne. We can address, take care of, and even to some extent, control acne breakouts. But what we are dealing with is often the symptoms of a greater problem. So, all we can do is alleviate the symptoms, but in some cases to address the cause, you may need to look further than corrective skin or beauty treatments.

Many people look for the magic cure for acne (or ageing, or pigmentation etc). There are excellent treatments that will clear skin conditions effectively, but all we are doing is stamping out the fire. If you keep lighting the flame and causing a new fire, your skin conditions will reignite - pardon the pun. You need to turn off the ignition. You need to address the cause of your skin problems. And the cause is often internal or environmental (lifestyle). It may be the hormones during puberty, it may be the stress on your body, lifestyle factors, or undiagnosed food intolerances in adulthood. In the case of ageing and pigmentation, it is definitely linked to lifestyle factors. You can have "good" genes and still age faster if you sunbake and smoke all day long. You can have "bad" genes and have a great skin if you look after yourself. It's no longer just about the genes. It's about the environment and how it impacts on your genes.

A holistic approach includes taking care of your skin, your mind and your body. Taking care of your body with good nutrition, regular recreation, relaxation, and exercise will foster a healthier mind, body and skin. Skincare and professional treatments will correct your skin problems and deliver awesome results, but to maintain those results, you need to address the cause of your skin problems. Look at your diet and lifestyle and be honest about your health and wellbeing. Are you doing your best to look after yourself, your health, beauty, and wellbeing?

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May 9, 2017

Easy Ways to Make Your Hair Grow Faster

Here are some tips that can help your hair grow longer and healthier

We all dream of a healthy, long, and voluminous mane cascading down our waist that can be styled in numerous ways to change our look. But you see, like all the other parts of the body, hair also require utmost attention, nourishment, and care or else they lose their healthy sheen and shine.

Here are some tips that can help your hair grow longer and healthier:

Regular Trimming Sessions

If you want to give Rapunzel some serious competition with your long, lustrous locks, you need to get regular trims to clip out the dead hair and encourage the growth of healthy hair. You see, a nice trim will help you get rid of those awful split ends that cause excessive breakage, reduce the shine, shrink your hair volume, and stump the hair growth altogether.

Essential Oils

Just like your body, your hair and scalp also require essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. There is an abundant variety of natural oils that can help you nourish your hair with moisture and hydration. Oils such as fennel, olive, coconut, lavender, almond, and jojoba nourish the hair from deep within, promote growth and strength, and keep the hair healthy and shiny by locking moisture deep within each strand.


A Healthy Scalp

Imagine your scalp as the soil, and your hair as the leaves sprouting out of the roots embedded deep in the soil. If you don’t take good care of your scalp, your hair will never grow out to be long, healthy, and lustrous. You must cleanse, moisturize, nourish, and hydrate your scalp, along with taking effective measures to prevent and eliminate dandruff, acne, eczema, and all other scalp ailments that cause breakage and hair loss.


Wholesome Diet

Ladies, beauty is always skin deep, and if you’re devouring the wrong diet that lacks essential nutrients and comprises mostly of processed foods, you can bid farewell to your dreams of flaunting healthy, long hair, despite the number of hair-growing gummy bears you eat every day.
You need to brim yourself with heaps of calcium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibers by devouring superfoods like nuts, fish, milk, whole grains, lentils, strawberries, and beans.

Stay No to Heat!

If you want a long and lustrous mane, you not only need to cover up your hair against the harmful UV rays of the sun, but also quite excessive use of styling tools like curling irons, blow dryers, and straighteners.

Invest in a good hair SPF formulas to protect your hair. If you have a habit of heat styling your hair every single day, you need to quit this habit because it’s horribly damaging for the hair. Instead, get a haircut that suits your natural hair type and doesn’t require much styling other than a good combing, followed by a natural air-dry.

Eat your Vitamins

Hair requires a mighty dose of vitamin C, B, E, and biotin to encourage growth, strength, volume. and shine. These essential vitamins will also improve your skin health and firmness. However, instead of fancy supplements, try to eat natural food and fruits rich in these nutrients.

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May 1, 2017

Becoming Aware is the First Step Towards a Healthier and Happier You

Resolve to be kind to yourself and schedule a little time out this week to relax and re-connect with yourself. To become conscious of your health and wellbeing.

90% of our waking hours, we do the same thing, day in day out. We wake up, shower, dress, eat on the run, work, come home in the evening to cook and clean, fall asleep on the lounge watching TV before finally getting off to bed.

Time just flies, and the days, weeks and years just become a blur. We live our lives on auto-pilot. We buy and eat the same takeaway because we have always done so. We sit on the couch all night because we have always done so. We rush through our morning routine, after sleeping in, because we have always done so.

We gradually build habits and routines that are not healthy for us long-term. But we don't seem to notice as we adapt to a fast-paced lifestyle, neglecting our spiritual self, our mental health, our nutrition and our wellbeing. People no longer know how to identify stress because they have become so used to it. They think it's normal.

Our bodies, however, are fighting an ongoing battle on the inside. The body is under stress when we overeat, eat processed food, food high in sugar, and when we don't drink enough water. Our body becomes stressed when we don't give it enough time out to relax and recuperate, to exercise or when we don't get enough sleep.

Becoming aware is the first step towards a healthier and happier youThis week, as you go through your day by day activities, stop and think. Become conscious of your habits. Is what you are about to do good for your health and wellbeing longterm? Think how you can replace habits that lead to poor health and wellbeing with habits that will support you and make you feel and look amazing.

Start small, and build it up. Instead of drinking coffee, replace it with green tea. Instead of ordering takeaway that is full of fat, sugar, and salt, have a nutritious salad sandwich instead.
Instead of sitting on the couch watching TV all night, take your yoga mat out and do some stretches as you watch TV. Better still, take a warm bath, and go to bed early with a great book.

Walk your dogs, toss a ball and have a play. Go for a swim or do a Zumba class. Plan to do something relaxing, fun and recreational at least every second day.

Try and become conscious of your daily habits this week. Becoming aware is the first step towards a healthier and happier you.

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April 17, 2017

How to Tell If Your Skin Is Dehydrated and What You Can Do to Prevent It



As beauty therapists, one of the first skin conditions we learn about is skin dehydration. I guess we learn about dehydrated skin first because it is so common and can lead to and be associated with other skin conditions such as premature aging, wrinkles, skin irritations and sensitivities, red skin, dull and sluggish skin, excessively oily skin and even clogging, congestion and potentially acne.

So how can you tell that your skin is dehydrated?  The first thing people notice when their skin is dehydrated is how tight it feels. The skin feels uncomfortable and you will feel like you need to put a moisturizer on. On the surface, the skin appears dull, has almost a gray look to it. It can look shriveled, like fine tissue paper crinkled up. When you touch a dehydrated skin, it can feel rough and may be flaking off in places.

Beauty therapists use diagnostic tools to help them confirm that the skin is dehydrated. Using the magnifying lamp, they inspect the skin, touch and feel the texture and gently lift the skin with a finger to look for fine lines. They may even use a Woods Lamp or other similar tools that emit a black light to identify dehydration. Under the black light, dehydration looks dark purple to black, and we can easily spot where it is located.

Once we have confirmed the skin is dehydrated, it is relatively easy to correct but first, we need to identify what is causing the dehydration. Dehydration is caused by exposure to a harsh environment, harsh products, and not drinking enough water.

If your skin is exposed to a harsh environment, for example, air conditioning, heating or low humidity weather conditions, then protecting your skin with a good moisturizer is important. The key ingredients in a good hydrating moisturizer are hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin and sodium PCA.

If your products are drying out your skin, these will need to be replaced with the correct products for your skin type. Soap, foamy gel cleansers and cleansers with a high concentration of AHAs or salicylic acid will dehydrate the skin. Products designed for oily skin can be very stripping.  If your skin is feeling tight and dry after cleansing, it’s time to look at your cleanser to determine if it is the right one for you. Look for gentle milky cleansers that will protect and hydrate as they cleanse your skin.

If you are not drinking enough water, this will show up on your skin. Your skin is last in line when it comes to water and nutrition so even small changes in lifestyle can cause your skin to reflect the stress on the body. If you find it hard to remember to drink water, here are a couple of tips.

How to Get Hydrated Other Than Drinking Water

How Drinking Water Keeps Your Skin Looking Brighter, Smoother and Youthful

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How to Get Hydrated Other Than Drinking Water



There is no way around it, you have to drink up - water that is. Your skin cells need to be juicy and plump so that your skin looks nice and dewy and plump. If the poor cells are dehydrated, they shrivel up like prunes and guess what that looks like on the surface?

If you can't bear to drink 2L of water eat fruits and veggies high in water content such as watermelon, celery, tomatoes, lettuce, kiwi and capsicum. Most fruits and salads are high in water content, so make sure you enjoy a cup or two at every meal.

Snack on yogurt, freshly squeezed veggie juices and drink fruit and herbal teas. All these add water to your diet and essential micro nutrients so that you are not only hydrating but nourishing your skin cells as well.

Soups are also an excellent way to nourish and rehydrate. Starting your meals with a soup can also make you feel fuller so you don't tend to overeat.

Keeping up your fluids does not have to be boring and strictly water only. Add some fruits, salads, soups, and herbal teas to your everyday meals and you will enjoy a more youthful skin in no time.

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April 11, 2017

Get The Glow Back With These Easy Steps



Have you been a little neglectful of your health and wellbeing? Hectic lifestyle, poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and lack of relaxation can not only take its toll on your body, but will cause the skin to look dull, stressed, blotchy, congested and prematurely aged. The effects of fatigue, stress and poor nutrition is visible on our skin within days. Here are some easy steps to get the glow back this long weekend.

LEMON WATER

1. Dring hot lemon water before breakfast every morning. Juice 1/2 a lemon, add to hot water and sip. The lemon juice is effective at neutralizing acid in the body which is responsible for inflammation. It will help to detox the liver as well as your skin.

NUTRITIOUS SALADS AND SOUPS

2. As well as drinking fresh water, make yourself some nutritious salads and soups this weekend. Commit to drinking 1 cup of green tea every day. The high water content and nutritional value of these meals will help you get your glow back from the inside out.

DETOX FACIAL

3. Give yourself a detox facial this weekend. Start with a double cleanse to remove makeup and impurities, next exfoliate to remove dead cell build up and finish with a brightening mask. This alone can brighten and improve the look and feel of your skin instantly.

VITAMIN C SERUM

4. Add a good quality vitamin C serum into your skincare routine. Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for your skin and has many skincare benefits. It helps to brighten a dull skin, improve skin immune system, fade pigmentation, boost collagen production for a firmer skin and protect the skin from free radical damage.

BOOST CIRCULATION

5. Get outdoors and get some fresh air. Playing sports, walking or gardening will help your body improve circulation and lymphatic system. Boosting blood circulation will deliver essential nutrients to your skin to make it glow and improved lymphatic circulation will help your body detox.

COMMIT TO HEALTH

Make a plan and a commitment this long weekend to look after yourself. Take some time out to relax and unwind. With these simple everyday lifestyle changes, you will feel refreshed, recharged resulting in a healthy glowing skin.

Enjoy your long weekend!

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April 1, 2017

6 Mighty & Powerful Superfoods For Radiant and Healthy Skin


Healthy skin and a radiant youthfulness are not only achievable simply by cosmetic procedures, and diligent home care. Ultimately, we must turn towards mother nature because nutrient-packed superfoods can nourish our beauty from inside out, and give us that gorgeously healthy skin and radiant complexion that we so crave.

Here, take a look at some of the healthiest superfoods for a radiantly glowing and healthy skin:

Ginger to Support Skin Healing & Repair

Carrot and ginger soup with yoghurt
Carrot and ginger soup with yoghurt

For centuries, ginger has remained popular for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This incredibly delicious spice is enriched with healing and medicinal benefits, along with being extremely beneficial for the skin. If you want to restore a weak, damaged skin and give it a nice soothing effect, add some ginger to your stir fry.

Avocados to Boost Collagen Production

Avocado for skin health
Anti-ageing avocados
Avocados are the best natural skin moisturizer packed with Vitamins C, E, and K, along with whopping quantities of magnesium, folic acid, protein, and potassium. All these healthy nutrients preserve your youthfulness and eliminate the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles by nourishing your skin from the inside out. An avocado salad is just what you need to shield your skin against the havoc wreaked by pollution, sunlight, and smoke.

Chia seeds to Reinforce the Skin Barrier

Power Salad with Lemon Chia Seed Dressing
Power Salad with Lemon Chia Seed Dressing
This deliciously crunchy superfood is brimming with omega-3 fatty acids that act as essential building blocks for the growth and functioning of healthy skin cells. They also aid in the production of new collagen, which is vital to provide the skin a healthy and strong foundation, devoid of fine lines and wrinkles. So, what are you waiting for? Go fix yourself a crunchy chia seed smoothie!


Almonds to Reduce Inflammation

Porridge with Apples, Almonds & Cinnamon
Porridge with Apples, Almonds & Cinnamon
These incredibly tasty nuts are one of the best sources of Vitamin E. Almonds not only nourish the deep layers of your skin but also provide protection from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Almonds are also packed with countless antioxidants and anti-aging properties. Almond is highly effective in reducing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, along with treating several other skin ailments, like eczema, swelling, acne, psoriasis, and inflammation. Add almonds to salads and stir-frys.

Blueberries for Powerful Antioxidants

Blueberry Chia Seed Pudding
Blueberry Chia Seed Pudding
This delicious superfood truly steals the crown when it comes to skin-healthy foods. They are packed with heaps of antioxidants, such as quercetin and anthocyanins, along with heaps of Vitamin C that give you a radiantly glowing and even skin tone. All you need is half a cup of blueberries to prevent the emergence of premature signs of aging. You can always enjoy blueberries and yogurt for a healthy breakfast, use them as a fruity topping for your cereal, or whip them up in a delicious berry smoothie with raspberries and strawberries that are equally beneficial for a healthy skin.

Tomatoes and Red Capsicum to Support Skin Nutrition

Roasted Garlic, Red Capsicum and Tomato Pasta
Roasted Garlic, Red Capsicum and Tomato Pasta
Tomatoes are hands down the best superfood to enrich you with a powerful dose of lycopene, a strong anti-aging antioxidant that also aids in the prevention of heart diseases and cardiovascular dysfunction. Tomatoes and capsicum help support a healthy circulatory system, which nourishes the skin. And the best part is that lycopene is most effective when it is cooked, so whip up your favorite tomato sauces and soups, and devour them to your heart’s content.


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February 25, 2017

DO YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN? DISCOVER PRODUCTS AND TREATMENTS THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR SKIN

PRODUCTS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Does your skin redden easily? Do you have visible capillaries or do you get rashes? Have you ever reacted to natural foods, medications or skincare products? In this article, I will talk about the two major types of sensitive skin, what causes it and the best way to manage and improve the skin condition. There are essentially three different sensitive skin conditions: couperose, sensitive and damaged skin.

COUPEROSE - “BROKEN CAPILLARIES”

Couperose is a skin condition where you can see visible capillaries on the surface, often present on the cheeks, chin, neck and decolletage. People with couperose tend to flush easily but do develop rashes or irritations such as stinging, burning or itching. Couperose is caused by sun damage. Years of exposure to UV has lead to the capillary damage which makes them more pronounced on the surface. Exertional, heat, alcohol, spicy food and other stimulants can aggravate this condition.

TIPS FOR MANAGING COUPEROSE

Because couperose is caused by UV damage, the first thing you need to start using is a sunscreen with a minimum SPF30+. Choose skin care that helps to improve circulation and strengthen capillaries. Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and vitamin C are excellent choices, both being antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help reduce redness. Vitamin C helps boost collagen which will help strengthen capillaries. Professional treatments that are very effective to reduce the appearance of couperose include laser and IPL. Avoid excessive sun exposure, hot showers, exposing your skin to extremes of hot and cold, and stimulants such as spicy food and alcohol whenever you need to keep your skin extra calm.

SENSITIVE, DELICATE SKIN

A very small population of people are born with sensitive skin. This usually has a genetic root so other members of a family may also experience sensitive skin. These people need to be very gentle with their skin, and careful with the products they use. They may suffer from other autoimmune diseases and disorders and often develop allergies to certain foods and/or chemicals.

TIPS FOR MANAGING SENSITIVE, DELICATE SKIN

The best way to manage a sensitive, delicate skin is by using skincare formulated especially for a sensitive skin, free of common allergens, artificial colors and fragrances. Sensitive skin responds very well to calming, soothing and hydrating ingredients such as allantoin, chamomile, panthenol (provitamin vitamin B5), hyaluronic acid, cornflower, cranberry extract, oats, honey, licorice and soy phospholipids to protect the delicate skin. People with sensitive skin should avoid strong active ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid; highly fragranced products, products high in alcohol and using too many products all at once. Interestingly, naturally formulated products are not necessarily safe as people with allergies often will react to natural ingredients. Choose products that have been tested and formulated especially for sensitive skin. Read my article: 4 Products You Should NEVER Use On Your Face

SENSITIZED, DAMAGED SKIN

A sensitized skin, on the other hand, is the result of environmental, lifestyle and diet related factors. Sensitized skin can become red, hot, swollen, flaking, itching, burning or stinging. Often rashes can appear, or the skin can develop inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Sensitized skin conditions are often the result of a variety of factors including incorrect skincare, harsh products, repeated intensive skin treatments, over treating the skin, excessive heat or cold, infections, allergens, immune system disorders and certain medications.

TIPS FOR MANAGING AND HEALING A DAMAGED SKIN

Sensitized skin needs a time out. Its immunity has been compromised and the barrier has been broken down, allowing substances to pass through that would otherwise be kept out. Impaired barrier causes excessive moisture loss from the skin, irritation, inflammation and rashes. Sensitized skin needs gentle, anti-inflammatory products and a healing recovery professional treatment to help the skin recover. A desensitizing program that promotes healing and repair will work best. Besides gentle, calming and soothing products, a sensitized skin needs ingredients to improve the barrier and to strengthen skin immunity. Choose products developed to repair the barrier and heal the skin. Look for ingredients such as essential fatty acids (omegas 3,6,7,9) phospholipids, cholesterol, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, amino acids, polysaccharides, mucopolysaccharides, phytosterols, squalene, jojoba oil, sea buckthorn oil and flaxseed oil. Ingredients that stimulate epidermal growth factors are an excellent and potent way to repair damaged skin fast. People with damaged, sensitized skin need to avoid skin care that is highly active such as retinol serum and any products that contain AHAs such a glycolic, mandelic, lactic and salicylic acids. Avoid treatments that generate inflammation in the skin such as microdermabrasion, AHA or BHA peels, enzyme peels, micro dermal needling, laser or IPL. Opt for healing and strengthening facial treatments and soon you will be rewarded with a healthy strong skin once again. Read my article: Are You Considering Skin Peels? Having a sensitive, damaged or red skin does not stop you from using products or having treatments. In fact, professional treatments and the right products can greatly help manage and improve these skin conditions. Talk to you beauty therapist about the best skincare and treatment options for your skin.
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February 20, 2017

THE MOST IMPORTANT SKIN BEAUTY TIP EVER

YOUR SKIN HAS A MEMORY, TREAT IT WITH RESPECT


“Your skin has a memory.
In ten, twenty, thirty years from now, 
your skin will show the results of
how it was treated today.
So treat it kindly and with respect.”

I believe in long-term skin health. I also know, that our skin cells are constantly learning and gathering information for future generations. Science shows that how you treat your body, will be remembered by your cells and important information will be stored in your cells' DNA.  This is only natural so that your body and your skin can respond faster to environmental changes and adapt. It's all about self-preservation.

When I advise people to be gentle with their skin, it is not only about how they care for their skin every day. For example, don't use harsh products that make your skin red and uncomfortable. It is also about the treatments they chose to do to get the results faster. We are so impatient these days, we want results yesterday. All the neglect and damage we have done in our earlier years, we simply want the effects of that gone immediately. Sadly, this is not how the skin works.

You can't lose weight overnight. You can't get fit overnight. You can't remove pigmentation overnight. You can't get rid of wrinkles, blackheads, open pores, acne overnight. It's just biology. Your skin needs time to correct itself. It needs time to purge and to rejuvenate.

When you chose to do high-intensity clinical skin treatments to accelerate the results, they often come with side effects and these need to be managed well, for long-term skin health. Your skin will show you when your skin cells are under stress. It will become red, inflamed, hot, swollen, angry looking, itchy, burning and stinging. And when it's really suffering, it will break out, develop a rash or the skin cells will die off and peel off.

When you undergo high-intensity treatments that cause skin inflammation, it is absolutely critical you manage this well. You need to get that inflammation down as soon as possible. The longer your skin stays red, sore and uncomfortable, the more tissue inflammation causes free radicals causing long-term damage and accelerating aging. You may see good results now, but long-term your skin will suffer.  Because your cells will remember. Listen to your therapist when they recommend you use specific product post care. It's an investment into a healthy skin. Be sure to use anti-inflammatory and skin repairing skincare post clinical treatments. For your long-term skin health.

Best results are achieved with patience, carefully managing your skin over time, allowing your skin to recover. This means, don't do peels or microdermabrasion every week, do them every second week. Don't do laser skin rejuvenation again until your skin has completely recovered. Don't keep on having strong peels, skincare with AHAs and retinoids ad infinitum. Once your skin has improved, move onto other actives, such as antioxidants, cell communicating actives, vitamin C and peptides to continue treatment and maintain results.

The tools we use to deliver great results in our clinics are very exciting, but it's very important that pre and post care is managed very well.

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February 15, 2017

ARE YOU A WOMAN IN YOUR 30s OR 40s SUFFERING WITH ADULT ACNE?



It is not unusual for us to see clients in their 30s, 40s or even in their 50s suffer from breakouts and acne. In fact, we are seeing more and more women in their adult years come to see us upset about their breakouts. Confused, they tell us they can't understand why they are getting acne, after all, they are no longer teenagers.

So what is causing this increase we are seeing in adult women suffering from acne? If you search for answers online, you will learn that acne is caused by excess oil in the skin which is trapped in the hair follicles and causes infection. This may be true for younger people, however, this kind of lesions look very different to the type of acne we see in adult women.

During teenage years, some people develop an oily skin due to the hormonal spike they experience during puberty. The excess oil and a build up of dead cells cause blockages in the pores, which go on to become infected and you end up with lesions with a pustular head. The surrounding skin will often also have clogging, congestion, and blackheads, which are the precursors to pimples. Read more about teenage oily skin and the best tips for treating juvenile acne, and watch this video about tips for teens with acne.

Adult acne is very different. It is not necessarily located in the oily areas of the face (t-zone). Most of the adult acne occurs on the cheeks, jawline, temples, neck, shoulders and back. Yes, it can sometimes present within the t-zone, but these lesions are very different to the clogged pores which end up infected. In adult acne, the lesions are located deeper in the skin, presenting as large, swollen, painful, red, angry looking lumps under the skin. Often referred to cysts, these can appear overnight and last for weeks or even months.

Unfortunately, there is not one single cause that can be attributed to causing adult acne. We know that it is an internal problem, but the causes vary. For example, some women notice they have a breakout due to stress, others notice it is related to their diet. We are suspicious of the toxins and chemicals in our food and water. Is it possible the hormones and antibiotics fed to cows, pigs, sheep and chickens to produce cost effective meat products are affecting our bodies and our skin? Is it possible that the highly processed foods we eat made from genetically modified wheat, corn and high in sugar are causing acne? Is it possible that even when we do not feel we are stressed, our bodies are flooded with stress hormones due to our high paced lifestyle, lack of adequate sleep, long hours at work and lack of exercise? Is it possible that these stress hormones cause breakouts?

We need to start asking these type of questions of ourselves and be more observant of our bodies and how we are responding to our diet and lifestyle. We as aestheticians can see the clues about your diet and lifestyle by simply looking at your skin. Acne that appears in different areas of the face also gives us some clues to the possible causes. For example, if you tend to have adult acne on the chin, this is usually hormonal, either related to that time of the month or stress hormones. Acne on the jawline and neck has often been linked to high stress (hormones) and acne on the cheeks, shoulders, and back are related to the gut and food intolerances (eg wheat, dairy, sugar, animal protein and acidic foods).

Helping someone manage their skin while they are suffering from adult acne includes specialized skin care that is formulated to reduce inflammation and promote healing and recovery. Skincare alone, however, will only help put out the existing fire. The cause will need to be addressed and so we recommend people seek the advice of an endocrinologist, a naturopath or a clinical immunologist to determine the cause of the problem.

Skin care ingredients to look for that have proven to help adult acne include retinol (vitamin A), salicylic acid, centella asiatica, glycerrhetinic acid, allantoin, tea tree essential oil and green tea. Be gentle with your skin, treat it as sensitive. Avoid harsh or stimulating skin care and treatments such as harsh scrubs, skincare formulated for oily skin, microdermabrasion, micro needling, and strong AHAs. Adult acne responds best to soothing skincare, anti-inflammatory treatments, LED light therapy, Salicylic acid peels, and manual lymphatic drainage.

Adult acne can be a frustrating and confusing condition to deal with because it is so different from person to person. The way it looks behaves and the causes are different. We need to apply a process of elimination to determine the cause then find the right treatments and products to treat individual skin. The great news is that science has come a long way in the past 10-20 years and there are very effective treatment options that can help and help fast. Ask your professional beauty therapist who has extensive experience treating adult acne to have a close look at your skin and have a discussion about the possible causes and treatment options.

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Jana x

February 7, 2017

HOW TO GET RID OF BROWN SPOTS ON FACE

how to getrid of brown spots on face


While we are young, our skin has a beautifully even skin tone. It looks even in color and has a radiant appearance. As we get older, however, we notice the skin is no longer as clear and even toned, the pigments in our skin are deposited less evenly causing freckles, brown spots, stains and brown marks. These color irregularities are called pigmentation. Where the skin is blotchy with too much pigment, this is called hyper-pigmentation (excessive pigment), cholasma or melasma.

WHAT CAUSES BROWN SPOTS?

Hyper-pigmentation is caused mainly by UV exposure, hormones, friction, heat, and inflammation. Excess sun exposure, certain hormones (e.g. during pregnancy), too much rubbing (e.g. underarms) heat and inflammation, for example after an acne breakout, are known to cause the skin to trigger more melanin. This is a defense response by the skin.

When exposed to these triggers, the skin will thicken and darken to protect itself from further damage. The pigment melanin, which gives our skin the brown color, protects the skin by absorbing UV radiation and preventing burning damage to the skin. This is why people with lighter skin and less melanin burn faster than people with darker skin types and more melanin in their skin.

Friction such as excessive rubbing will also trigger the skin to produce and hold onto more dead cells, causing thickening of the skin. In this way, the skin is trying to protect the live skin cells deeper in the skin from damage. The thickening and pigmentation, however, cause the skin to appear patchy, dull and aged.

HOW TO PREVENT HYPER-PIGMENTATION

WEAR A BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN MINIMUM SPF 30+

Whatever the cause, where possible, first eliminate the cause of brown spots in your skin, where possible. Every single minute you are outdoors during daylight without any sun protection, you are exposing your skin to UV, which triggers melanin production. So the first preventative step you can take is to build in a quality sunscreen of at least SPF 30+ into your daily routine. Select make up with minimum SPF 15 + for added protection. Whenever outdoors, wear a hat, sunglasses with UV protection, stay in the shade whenever possible, and try to avoid direct sun exposure during the middle of the day, when the UV rating is at it’s strongest.

USE A TYROSINASE INHIBITOR ON YOUR SKIN EVERY DAY

Tyrosinase is the enzyme produced by our skin which triggers melanin production in response to skin damage, or hormones. Using skincare that includes ingredients to inhibit/block melanin production will help reduce brown spots and even out your skin tone. Ingredients to look out for are:

  1. Stabilized Vitamin C - the most powerful, well documented and proven ingredient that will deliver excellent results.
  2. Licorice extract - a gentle option for more sensitive skin, will help even out pigmentation over time. 
  3. Niacinamide - vitamin B3 has anti-inflammatory and brightening properties, excellent support to Vitamin C

EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN WITH AHAs


Alpha Hydroxyl Acids will remove dead cell build up and surface pigmentation giving your skin an instant brightening result. Professional strength peels are an excellent way to start and fast track your results. At home, choose and use skincare in the form of cleansers, serums and night creams that contain AHAs such as lactic acid or glycolic acid to speed up cellular turnover and remove the melanin build up.

Be sure, however, to use these products under the guidance of a well experienced and qualified aesthetician, because using the wrong products or overdoing it can, in fact, trigger more melanin production. Remember, too much exfoliation, will trigger inflammation which will cause the skin to go into the defensive mode by making more melanin and thickening the surface layers. Less is more, and in the case of treating pigmentation disorders, patience with really pay off. Aim to treat uneven pigmentation carefully, slowly over time, which will deliver more lasting results.

WHAT TO AVOID 


  1. Avoid unnecessary and excessive UV exposure when possible.
  2. Avoid excessively rubbing your skin. This includes harsh scrubs and microdermabrasion. Some people are not suited to microdermabrasion because the friction can trigger post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. Choose gentle enzymes and AHAs instead.
  3. Avoid excessive heat whenever possible. Keep your skin cool and out of direct exposure to heat. 
  4. Avoid internal inflammation by eating foods high in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Eat foods rich in omegas 3,6,9, Vitamins A, C and E. Plants and herbs such a green tea and berries are powerful antioxidants. 
  5. If you suffer from acne that causes brown spots after a breakout, avoid picking at your skin, microdermabrasion, or being harsh in any way. Be gentle and select skincare for it’s anti-inflammatory, calming and soothing properties. 
  6. Some people should completely avoid laser and IPL (heat) because of their skin types. Certain skin types will trigger more melanin if they are exposed to high heat. People with an Asian and Mediterranean background are especially prone to this and do not qualify for this treatment. Alway ensure you have a thorough consultation and a patch test before committing to these treatments. If a laser or IPL technician is willing to do these procedures on your skin without a consultation or a patch test, run. Choose another professional. IPL and laser triggered post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is very difficult and nearly impossible to treat. So don’t take shortcuts and invest in good skin care and a responsible professional. 
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January 29, 2017

What is the best way to minimize acne marks and scarring?

tips for getting rid of acne scarring


If you have suffered from breakouts, you will find most of the time there is a red patch left behind after the spot has cleared. Especially if you have picked.

Sometimes these red patches can turn purple, and brown. In some cases, especially if you have been picking at your skin and trying to squeeze the pimples, you will find the skin as it heals is not as smooth as it used to be. The collagen in the skin has been damaged, leaving a dent or a depression in the skin. Others find that squeezing causes too much collagen to be produced in the area of the injury, leaving behind a raised scar.

Tips for healing the skin after a breakout:


1. Use skin care with healing and anti-inflammatory ingredients to heal the red/purple marks and prevent them from turning brown. Look for B3 (niacinamide), vit C, vit A, vit E, centella asciatica, rosehip oil, sea buckthorn oil, hazel tree extract, mint polyphenols, bilberry, lemon extract, ruscus extract.

2. Boost cellular regeneration with gentle AHAs with a professional peel or at home with skincare products that contain lactic acid or salicylic acid. The key here is not to cause trauma and inflammation while helping to clear the skin, so easy does it. Less is more. You can find gentle AHAs in cleansers, serums and night creams.
reduce scarring with microdermabrasion

3. Reduce the scarring and uneven skin texture with microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion has been used for decades to help smooth skin and reduce the appearance of post-acne scarring. A course of 6-10 weekly treatments will be needed to see results.

tips for getting rid of acne scarring


If the scarring is very pronounced and deep, micro needling helps to break down raised, hard scars and plump out depressed scars from the inside out by stimulation a healthy production of collagen network under the skin.

micro needling dermal rolling for treating acne scars


These professional treatments should be well supported at home with quality skincare to boost healing and repair. Look for EGF (epidermal growth factors), an active ingredient to reinforce healing and repair. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for tissue regeneration and minerals such as zinc, copper and magnesium will also boost results.

For more great tips on treating a skin with scarring, read my blog: How to help clear open pores that have scarred: these tips are also helpful for pitted and atrophic scars

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