Many Therapists find it confusing when starting to build on their ingredient knowledge and ask for a break down of the most often used vitamins in cosmeceutical products. This is a simplified version of a very complex science and does not replace the need for Therapists to learn and understand the organ they work with on a daily basis – the skin!
Educate yourself constantly and start with the skin cells. Understanding this first will not only make it easier for you to explain the need for skin care products containing these ingredients to your client; it will also increase your retail sales ten fold. Every client will walk out of the spa with home care products and your appointment schedule should be full with return treatments.
Now this doesn’t mean these vitamins are only for these conditions, but these are the skins that need to have these ingredients as a priority.
Vitamin C assists with the collagen production by improving fibroblast production. It improves hyperpigmentation as it acts as a tyrosinase inhibitor. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant; therefore assists with cell damage caused by free radicals.
Client Tip: “A great ingredient to improve the signs of ageing with a better quality collagen production while also improving the appearance of skin discolouration.”
Remember, this is a simplified version of ingredient science that all Therapists must know to be successful in treating client’s skin conditions.
As we age, we produce less energy for cell regeneration and DNA repair. Our supply of Antioxidants also declines and oxidation of our cell membranes allow us to lose more moisture, leaving our skin feeling dehydrated and possibly irritated.
We require a higher intake of Omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil on a daily basis and antioxidant supplementation both orally and topically to reduce oxidation. As we age our skin dehydrates faster due to the reduction of sodium pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (Sodium PCA), a NMF – Natural Moisturising Factor, found in the skin. From the age of approximately 50, this NMF will halve in production.
Do you have sun/age spots? We see these pigmented lesions as we age due to the Melanocytes – cells that produce our skins Melanin/Pigment, clumping together. Some great ingredients to assist with the lightening of the skin and to minimise future pigmentation are; Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), which I have mentioned in previous posts and n-acetyl glucosamine. When these ingredients are used together they will assist with the production of Hyaluronic Acid, another NMF (Natural Moisturising Factor) to assist the with skins moisturising ability.
Some other important nutrients required for skin health are:
Co enzyme Q10 = Increased production of collagen by fibroblast
Vitamin E = cell membrane antioxidant
Vitamin A = cellular repair, optimised cell turnover, antioxidant
Vitamin C = Increased production of collagen by fibroblast
With the fast approach of our warmer months (southern hemisphere) and the last rays of summer in the northern hemisphere, it is worthwhile mentioning an effective way of treating skin pigmentation. Without harping on about wearing a sunscreen,which we all know is an absolute must to prevent this condition, I wanted to share a fantastic ingredient we now find in most good skin care ranges.
Niacinamide is a physiologically active derivative of Vitamin B3 and works at decreasing melanosome (pigment) transfer within our skin and is effective with all skin colours. Not only does it decrease skin pigmentation, it also boosts the skins immune system which can be suppressed when exposed to ultra violet radiation and helps with the repair of the skins barrier function (see previous post, Do you have sensitive skin? Then Your Barriers are down… Sept 5th 2012), by increasing synthesis of skin lipids.
This wonderful cosmetic ingredient has been noted in various double blind studies and the percentages have ranged from 4% – 10% with results well worth taking notice of. I prescribe products containing Niacinamide to 100% of my clients and ask they use it in the morning. If their skin is hyper sensitive, I suggest they use it morning and night until we see an improvement. I include it in all my protocols to treat skin conditions such as; Rosacea, Acne, Eczema, Photo Aged and also post cancer treatments when the skin has hyper sensitivity due to barrier function impairment from medications. When the skin has been affected with post inflammatory hyper pigmentation, this is my priority ingredient. I then reassess my protocol as the skin begins to repair and present less inflamed.
I would love to know what your thoughts are of this ingredient, are you currently using a product containing #Niacinamide? Have you noticed changes with your skin?
If you think your skin has any of these conditions, I cannot recommend a product with this ingredient in it fast enough. Try it and let me know what your results are.
I thought todays topic applicable as this was our topic of discussion in class today.
It never ceases to amaze me when I hear students and clients claiming to really dislike their oily skin, I always ask why is this ? Their response is varied and not usually justified. The oil we secrete has a definitive purpose, and the purpose is not to annoy us, contrary to what most people believe. Our skin secretes sebum to provide a protective barrier against microbial invasion and environmental elements to name a few. When we constantly remove this barrier as we do with harsh cosmetics, or extreme environmental factors, our skin is unable to provide this protection. People with oily skin are tempted to use cosmetics containing harsh detergent like ingredients and become addicted to the ‘squeaky clean’ feeling. This feeling is due to the removal of the skin barrier by harsh detergent based cleansers which do not separate between sebum/oil and intercellular lipids and thus damages the barrier function leading to a skin that is sensitive and reactive. Have you ever used a product that has left your skin feeling red,tight and irritated? It is highly likely you have used a product that has removed the skins protective barrier. It has previously been reported that it may take up to 36 hours for the skin to replace the barrier function and restore the skins delicate pH. If you use a harsh product like this long term you are putting your skin at risk of long term barrier function impairment, a skin that is highly sensitive, reactive and at risk of further damage. I also find these skin conditions are prone to conditions like Rosacea, especially if it is in your family. Be kind to your skin and embrace your oil by using cosmetics that maintain the surface oil and protective barrier.
Ingredients that assist with the repair of the skins barrier should be considered for a more healthier functioning skin and less sensitive skin: