Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation

I frequently have a new client come in who is concerned about what they call "acne scarring" and when I look closely at their skin, I can see no scar tissue but rather Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) which is often a result of acne - but is not a scar, by definition. I think it is really important to identify what the actual skin condition is that you are trying to treat as each may require a different approach in treatment.

Estheticians usually see two kinds of PIH. Lesions appearing red to light brown are generally epidermal hypermelanosis where a darker grey to brown often indicates a deeper condition known as dermal melanosis.

So here is the simple prescription for your home ritual: Peel, Heal, Prevent, and Protect.

Peeling and exfoliation plays a major role in both clinical treatment and home care, this step is critical in removing dead, stained surface cells quickly.

Apply a topical antioxidant. I strongly recommend L- Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) - not only is it incredibly healing, but is a powerful, multi-tasking anti-inflammitory that will, over time, significantly brighten the skin's appearance.

Slow down or "inhibit" Tyrosinase, the enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of the amino acid tyrosine and is involved in the formation of melanin. There are several natural ingredients to look for in brightening products that act as Tyrosinase Inhibitors such as Licorice Extract, Arbutin (Bearberry Extract), and Lemon Peel to name a few. Check your labels for these ingredients if you are looking for natural/non-toxic solutions.

Finally, although it should go without saying at this point, it would be a failure not to mention...SPF. You can't even think about treating ANY type of pigmentation without the diligent use of sun protection. I hate to say "it's just common sense" because well, apparently, it's not.

Oh, and by the way, a hat wouldn't be a bad idea either, nudge, nudge.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The one product I just can't live without.

People ask me all the time what I use on my skin. The honest answer is: a lot of different things. I don't do the same thing every day. Not only do I find it boring, so does my skin. You don't go to the gym, only doing bicep curls, and expect to have washboard abs. Changing it up is good. It's really more a rotation of products all containing the different elements that make up, what I call the "repertoire of anti-age" which is really my skin's circuit training program for aging gracefully.

That being said, there is one thing that I simply can not live without. It really is my secret weapon for glowing, absolutely beautiful skin. Lotion P50 - the piece de resistance by cherished French company Biologique Rechereche. There is no doubt about it. Not only is this one of the most esteemed of all skin care lines around, this particular product has a cult following by the most in-the-know beauty devotees from here to Dubai, quite literally. There is simply no other single product out there like it. I have used it every day for years. I can't imagine the world without it. It is beyond love. It's an obsession.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

As the season changes, so do your skin care needs.

At this time of year, as we move into Autumn, so many people are complaining about having really dry and dehydrated skin. The summer months have often time taken their toll and now, we are kicking on the heater and the next set of problems arise.

Generally two things are happening:
1. Not enough exfoliation so a build up of surface cells become what people will identify as "dry skin" but really, it dead skin!
2. Although a moisturizer is being used, the skin is not holding enough moisture on a cellular level and becomes dehydrated.

What to do? There are a few very easy steps to take that will result in beautiful, glowing skin - in every season.

First, remove the dead skin. On a professional treatment level, exfoliation is pretty standard and there is a long list of ways to do that. At home, that means exfoliation using a retail product designed to remove the dead stuff with something like a gentle scrub or an enzyme. When looking for an enzyme exfoliator check the ingredient list for things like pumpkin, papaya, or pineapple. Enzymes are wonderful naturally effective "peels" that work by digesting away the dead, keratinised protein that remains on the surface.

Next, add hydration. The professional treatment for this would be the Intraceuticals Infusions - the most uniquely hydrating treatment the beauty industry has seen thus far. Not only does this amazing treatment create extreme hydratation, it also plumps and lifts the skin like no other treatment out there...and did I mention the GLOW! For your at home, look for a moisturizer with Hyuluronic Acid (HA). If your skin is seriously dehydrated, layer a hydrating serum containing HA under your moisturizer - that locks in maximum hydration.

Remember, when the seasons change, your skin's needs change, also. Make some small adjustments as needed to maintain your most beautiful and healthy skin.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Laundry Day

It's a quiet Sunday and after some recovery from the last two nights of Halloween festivities. It's time to do some laundry for the studio - linens. As many of you already know, I use only the most earth-friendly products, whenever possible. That means on all non-critical surfaces and when it comes to the linens, I use Seventh Generation laundry detergent. I really like the Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender scent. It smells really clean and natural. I also add 1 to 3 scoops of oxygen powder , depending on how soiled the load is, instead of bleach, set the dial to "soak" and leave it for a minimum of 30 minutes so the whole wash has a chance to get really, really clean - and it does! Super fresh and ultra white.

Only the very best choices make you feel great. I truly believe that it is the care we take, the careful choices with even the smallest of details, that sometimes make the biggest impact in life. That is definitely why I wash the 100% organic cotton linens for Citizen Skin (and also my personal laundry) in products that I feel are not only good for me but good for all of us. Maybe that's also why when I am doing the laundry, I feel it's a love letter to my clients and mother Earth.