Gently, gently

Me and my hubby in Norway. Extreme temperatures means, extreme skin care!

Me and my hubby in Norway. Extreme temperatures means, extreme skin care!

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to the other side of the world and the ‘other’ hemisphere where seasons are the total opposite to my native country.

Even though the northern hemisphere is now in their summer months, the temperatures are quite mild in comparison to where I live.

Due to the extreme weather I went prepared and armed myself with some barrier protecting products and went gently, gently on my skin. I was quite surprised with the amount of skins that looked like they had poor barrier function and it proves that no matter where you live, we must treat the skin the same care and protect the delicate surface lipids at all times.

I am used to high humidity and my skin is usually quite oily, therefore I generally wear a lighter based moisturiser. Knowing that where I was going did not have humidity, I made sure that I packed a heavier based cream and I’m so glad I did.

When exposed to dry, cooler winds, the skin relies on its natural barrier to maintain moisture levels, otherwise the skin feels tight, irritated and becomes inflamed. Long term damage will cause more severe conditions, blood vessels rupture, and the skin is constantly red, it becomes inflamed and if you apply a water based product, it may even sting. This is a perfect example of barrier dysfunction.

Remember gently, gently with your skin. Nurture it and allow it to function as the important organ that it is.

Now I’m back, it’s time for a detox, but more on that later.

How is your skin when you go on holidays? Do you feel it changes?

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Driving along Welsh roads, a beautiful, mystical country.

 

Corneotherapy – skin recovery therapy

Stratum Corneum – protecting our internal environment

When looking at skin care products to protect skin while also allowing the skins natural processes to play their part in functioning as our largest organ, doesn’t it make sense to look at the skins natural functions and mimic them as closely as possible in skin care products.

Previous posts have discussed a few important Vitamins that play a role in healthy skin function and as our diet is lacking in these crucial nutrients, it makes sense to provide them topically, but what about the in-between bits? The cream that acts as a vehicle for these active vitamins?

If you look at what the skins major role is, it is one of ‘protection’ from outside influences that can potentially cause harm to our inner environment. When considering skin care products therefore; we need to mimic the natural protective function of the skin, while delivering actives to ‘feed’ the living cells.

The outer most layer of our skin, the Stratum Corneum, acts as a protective shield however, many products and environmental factors leave this barrier inadequately defending our internal body structures by having a detrimental effect on the membrane that covers is a part of the Stratum Corneum.

Ingredients containing the correct chemical composition need to be similar to that of the skins membrane and their structure needs to be identical without modifying the natural membrane structure of the skin.

It is now known that products containing certain ’emulsifiers’ which are used to combine the oil and water in skin care products may prove to be an inadequate consideration as they change the structure of this crucial membrane.

So, what is the alternative? Well, unfortunately Mother Nature has provided us with only a few natural emulsifiers such as Lecithin and egg yolk and these are unable to perform when  manufacturing at a commercial level. Ingredients like; Posphatidylcholine will stabilise the oil and water in products and also mimic the skins natural membrane, providing the protection of skin cells and allowing our skin to function correctly.

Many skin conditions can be corrected just by repairing the barrier function of the skin and it is now recognised as a priority when Dermal Clinicians are looking at treating certain barrier impairment conditions. The term ‘Corneotherapy‘ is now used when we treat many dermatological cornification disorders and you will now start to see the focus shift to this in many skin care clinics.

A German skin care company, Dermaviduals, known for its innovative products, specialises in products that provide the skin with DMS – Derma Membrane Structure science using ingredients that are skin identical.

Obviously, all Skin Care professionals will now need to incorporate Corneotherapy into their clients home care prescriptives and clinic treatment regime.

I love this industry and the innovative companies and professionals that strive to achieve a healthier, happier and more gorgeous skin for our clients.

Have you tried Corneotherapy? I would love to hear your thoughts…………….

A happy, healthy skin!

Vitamin B3 and treating skin pigmentation

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.

Rosacea Mite

This is an article just released from the National University of Ireland. We have known about the Demodex mite for some time however, successful treatment has been controversial and varied. I still believe that if we maintain our skins barrier function and not scrub and wash the skin with harsh detergent based products, the skin will provide its own solution for dealing with the mite. It may also come back to the sugar loading in our westernised diets that also assist with correct environment for these little mites to thrive in. Food for thought I say, what are your thoughts?

Tiny mites on your face may cause rosaceavitals.nbcnews.comScientists may have finally found what sparks the inflamed and reddened skin in people suffering from rosacea: tiny mites that crawl across most of our faces, unseen and unfelt. The new finding may eventually lead to more effective treatments, researchers say. As it turns out, t …