What is Maskne?

Woman wearing a Covid mask

Maskne, or mask acne, involves acne breakouts from wearing a face mask. Symptoms may include chafing and irritation, along with pimple-like bumps if you have rosacea or dermatitis.
You already have oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells on your skin. But when you wear a mask, these substances can build up more and block your pores.
Wearing a mask also traps humidity and creates a favourable environment for bacteria, resulting in breakouts.

There are several ways to treat maskne symptoms:

1. Wash your face regularly . Morning, night and after sweating or wearing a mask.

2. Use a gentle cleanser.

3. Use a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer.

4. Apply moisturizer before using a mask.

6. Take a break from makeup.

7. Wash fabric mask after each use.

8. Toss disposable mask after each use.

Although maskne can be frustrating, it’s important to keep wearing face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular face-washing, moisturizing, and wearing the right type of mask may help prevent skin problems. We are here for you and will be happy to answer any skin care questions you may have.
You can also register for a FREE virtual consutation HERE.
Wishing you the best of health,

Nadia Danay

Why Wash your Face in the Morning

There are 3 reasons for washing your face in the morning:

  1. Remove all traces of night products to ensure any traces of them are off of your skin so your protective daytime products (like those that contain antioxidants  such as vitamin C and sunscreen) are uninhibited and can work their absolute best.
  2. When you sleep at night, your skin secretes toxins and sebum (oil), which could prevent daytime products from working as effectively as possible. Washing your face in the morning gives your skin a clean slate so protective products work as effectively as possible and last longer on the skin.
  3. Even if you have dry skin there is a chance that traces of oils from the night time products are still on the skin and will prevent absorption and effectiveness of day time products.

Using a gentle, gel face wash will not strip the skin and cause drying by altering the ph.

Make sure you follow with a suitable moisturizer right away and prevent moisture loss.

We suggest several Morning Wash products:

Morning Cleanser by Sothys

Micellar Cleansing Water by Sothys

Water Drench Hydrating Toner by Peter Thomas Roth

There you have it. In order for your skin to be as healthy as possible, you want to have a clean slate in the morning, so your sunscreen can be the star of the show. Remember, sunscreen is the anti-aging product you can have on your skin.

Vitamin C – Your Best Ally against Sun Damage

After months of being told to stay put, we want to go out and enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine. Our bodies are happy to receive Vitamin D from the sun, good for the bones, hair and general well being.

There is a problem, though. That is the risk we run of sun damage to our skin, in the form of sun spots, sunburn, dryness and ultimately premature skin aging. We can avoid most of these by using sunscreen and reducing extended exposure to the sun.

In the fight against skin sun damage, aside from sunscreen, Vitamin C serum is our best ally. Its effects on the deep skin layers is to increase the skin’s natural anti-oxidant properties, thus protecting it from sun damage.

The exceptional properties of Vitamin C are: skin brightening, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines, regenerate, revitalize, tone and anti-oxidant properties, lightening properties on pigmentary spots. 

We recommend France Laure C+ Detox Serum, formulated with:

  1. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate – stable form of Vitamin C. lightening, brightening, stimulates collagen and elastin production, reduces melanin production, antioxidant, repairs skin after sun exposure

2. Marine DNA – counteracts free radicals, minimizes skin pores, refines skin texture

3. Essential oils of orange, mandarin & lemon – rich in vitamin C

4. Vitaminized complex ( A, C, E) – activates cellular regeneration, repairs, anti-oxidant

Try this Vitamin C Serum today and you’ll just love this “glow in a bottle” for the noticeable improvement in your skin appearance.

 

Can I use Retinol in the Summer?

Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A, is very beneficial for the skin.  It can help reduce the appearance of bumps and large pores, help fade discoloration, and even help smooth lines and wrinkles.

The skin undergoes a micro-peeling which is not visible to the naked eye, but is very effective in increasing cellular turnover. As a result of this action, the new, fresh skin is extra sensitive to the effects of the sun.

Using Retinol consistently ensures you reap the benefits of its action on the skin.

You can use Retinol during the summer PROVIDED you are very diligent with the application of sunscreen.

If you cannot consistently protect your skin with sunscreen, it is best to discontinue use of Retinol and resume it in the fall.

Retinol products we recommend: Retinol Dermobooster by Sothys

Sunscreen we recommend: SPF 30 Face & Body by Sothys

Over-Exfoliation Facts

Exfoliation is one-third of the basic skincare regimen. Clearing out dead skin is a key to a clear complexion and uniform skin tone. But over-exfoliation can be a big problem. 

How much should somebody exfoliate? Because going overboard comes with some pretty severe, painful consequences: “Over exfoliation may lead to redness, irritation, sensitivity, and flaking,” warns board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ryan Turner, of Turner Dermatology in NYC. 

There is no one answer-fits-all.

But maybe we can nudge you in the right direction….

There are two types of exfoliators: chemical and mechanical.

Chemical peels gently dissolve dead skin cells while also accelerating cellular turnover in the skin.

Mechanical peels buff away dead skin cells, only to encourage the healthier, brighter ones to surface. This keeps skin smooth and also plays a part in preventing pore clogging. Exfoliating scrubs are also a terrific way to remove dead skin cells prior to a shave, to prevent razor drag and ingrown hairs. 

Excessive exfoliation will result in redness lasting for days, combined with sensitivity and a burning sensation.

If you made this mistake you should discontinue using the offending product. Use a calming, soothing moisturizer and a good nourishing night cream.

In order to avoid such mishaps, try the exfoliator on the inside of your wrist. If it feels fine go ahead and use it on your face, but do not overdo it or you’ll end up with sensitized, red skin.

Both chemical and mechanical peels come with instructions and tell you how many times per week it is safe to use them. Frequency of use varies with skin type.

Avoid peels while using products containing Retinol.

Chemical Peels we recommend: France Laure Enzymatic Fruit Exfoliant

Glysalac Dermobooster by Sothys

Mechanical peels we recommend: Desquacream by Sothys

Microgel Peeling by Sothys

Ger-Peel by Gernetic

If your skin is irritated consider replacing the product if you think its formula is to blame—but not if your excessive use is the actual culprit.

Try again once the skin has healed, but this time test the product first .

Products that help heal over-exfoliated skin:

Synchro Cream by Gernetic

CALM High Tolerance Serum by France Laure

Soothing SOS Serum by Sothys

Caring for Your Skin During Covid

Our skin needs special care while we cope with Covid-19 restrictions.
One of the first consequences of mask wearing is dehydration. Both dry and oily skin suffer from it and sensitive skin becomes even more sensitive when dehydrated.
We advise setting aside scrubs and aggressive exfoliators, instead turn to gentle cleansers and toners.
To treat dehydration we suggest using serums and deep moisturizers, as well as moisturizing cream masks.
You can choose from SERUMS such as:
Cells Life Serum by Gernetic with hyaluronic acid, known for plumping up wrinkles in a very short time.
Sothys Hydrating Serum powerful and effective in providing a moisture boost, this lightweight serum sinks right into the skin upon application and immediately we can see the appearance of fine lines dissipate.
Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum by Peter Thomas Roth Intense 75% Hyaluronic Acid Complex helps keep skin hydrated and can attract and retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water from moisture in the atmosphere.
MOISTURIZING CREAMS can be applied on top of the serum for better results.
Here are some moisturizers you can use on a daily basis:
Synchro2000 by Gernetic is more than a moisture cream; it protects and regenerates, suitable for all skins.
Hydra 3Ha Youth Cream by Sothys is suitable for normal/combination skin. There is a Comfort version suitable for dry skin.
Water Drench Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Hyaluronic Cloud Moisturizer by Peter Thomas Roth – Non-greasy, cream-to-water invisible broad spectrum SPF 45 sunscreen has a 30% complex of Hyaluronic Acid, a potent hydrator that draws in water.
Last, but not least, CREM MASKS can be used as a 5 day cure if needed or applied once a week for deep moisturizing effects. We suggest:
Hydrager by Gernetic is a soft mask, designed to nourish, hydrate and maintain epidermis hydration.
Hydra-Smoothing Mask by Sothys creamy mask instantly envelops the skin with comfort and softness immediately upon application. Suits all dehydrated skin.
Water Drench Hyaluronic Micro-Bubbling Cloud Mask by Peter Thomas Roth drenches your skin with a continuous burst of pure hydration and oxygen from the atmosphere.
Skin is left softer, smoother, healthier and more youthful-looking.

In trying times such as these, we must give our skin the extra care it needs
to increase its resilience and softness.

What Are Peptides?

You’ve likely heard the buzz around peptides as an anti-aging must-have and hero ingredient to smooth, repair and hydrate skin, but have you ever wondered what a peptide is and what it does for the skin, exactly? More important, is having it as one of the key ingredients in your skin care products worth the hefty price tag? The short answer, according to two prominent dermatologists, is yes.
Elastin and collagen are fibers in our skin. These fibers are made up of proteins, the building blocks of our skin and add to tissue firmness and elasticity.
Simply put: peptides are amino-acids that make up proteins, which make up collagen and elastin fibres, which give the skin its suppleness and strength.
Without these proteins, we will see wrinkles, brittle nails and dry hair that’s prone to breakage.
“We need peptides at all times. If we are deficient in them, our body cannot function,” says Dr. Robinson. “Peptides have a myriad of uses in the body, from being the building blocks for enzymes, hormones and an energy source.”
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR THE NEXT INSTALMENT ON PEPTIDES.

The Many Wonders of Vitamin C

We all know about the general health benefits of vitamin C, but it’s not only great in our diet, but also in our skin care products. No wonder, since science tells us this wonder vitamin contains powerful anti-oxidants able to regenerate the skin.

Vitamin C promotes increased production of collagen, improving our skin’s quality and texture.  In addition, vitamin C inhibits production of an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is responsible for “converting tyrosine into melanin, thus preventing hyperpigmentation.

Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City notes that Vitamin C not only helps repair free radical damage, but it brightens the skin and helps fade dark spots, [too],” On top of that, it can improve skin firmness “which may help prevent fine lines,” she notes.

The best part is, that unlike some other buzzworthy skin care ingredients, it doesn’t come with a long list of precautions. “Vitamin C is generally safe, gentle and effective when used in skin care,” notes Dr. Jaliman.

Some Must-Try Vitamin C Products on our website:

Potent-C Power Serum by Peter Thomas Roth

Potent-C Power Eye Cream by Peter Thomas Roth

Potent-C Targeted Spot Brightener by Peter Thomas Roth

Protecting Skin in Winter

Today I talked to one of our clients who lives on the East coast and she spoke of a nasty winter storm blowing in her neighbourhood. This conversation prompted a new blog on how to care for our skin in winter.

  1. Even in winter, when the sun seems to be hiding behind a cloud blanket, there are still enough UVA and UVB around to prompt the use of sunscreen.
  2. In cold temperatures we lose water via the skin, which becomes very dehydrated. You need a heavier moisturizer than the summer one, as well as a good body lotion. When skin dries it may flake, become itchy and even crack. The protective barrier is broken, then bacteria can easily create at least irritation, at worst infections.
  3. Try to drink two to four ounces of water every couple of hours throughout the day.
  4.  Your diet is critical. Make sure you have an adequate amount of essential fatty acids, as they are vital in helping maintain the moisture barrier.  Be sure to add good sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs) – salmon,  avocado, and almonds are great sources.
  5.  Dry, cold skin is the playground of free radicals. Make sure you continue to use antioxidants during the winter, as well as during the summer. Using products with vitamin C and vitamin E and taking these as oral supplements will enhance resistance to free radical damage.
  6. Avoid prolonged exposure to hot water, which, combined with aggressive soaps, can really tear up the skin barrier. Keep it short and set the water temperature only as hot as you need it to be.
  7.  Check the humidity of your home and workplace. If it falls below 60 percent, your skin will tend to lose more moisture. A humidifier, even a portable one, would be of great help in that case.
  8. Review your skin care routine and adjust it to include a gentle milk cleanser and toner, a heavier moisturizer than the summer one, and a nourishing night cream.

 

Alcohol & Your Skin

A very recent study has come out with the proposition that even one glass of wine is damaging and, according to this study, an all-round Prohibition era should be instituted forthwith. It is the belief of this writer that extremes of any stripe are dangerous, be they in health, politics or art.

This is why we argue that moderate consumption of alcohol can be beneficial to one’s health and enjoying a glass of wine or beer after a hard day at work is a common way to relax. However, consuming too much alcohol not only makes you feel bad, it can affect your appearance too.

Excessive alcohol can age the skin. The three biggest negative impacts are:

Dehydration

The human body is almost 50% composed of water.  Since the skin is the largest organ in the body, without adequate water it cannot perform its normal barrier protective function or appear healthy and vibrant.  Healthy looking skin needs a good balance of moisture, so drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin hydrated. Think of water as an internal moisturizer, which you should apply continuously throughout the day. Alcohol can dehydrate your body, pulling moisture out of the skin, along with the vital nutrients your skin needs to keep it healthy. When skin becomes too dry, it is more likely to wrinkle, and can make you appear older than you actually are.

Blood Vessel Dilation

When you drink alcohol the blood vessels just beneath the surface of your skin dilate, causing redness or flushing and worsening the appearance of spider veins. For those who abuse alcohol, this effect can become permanent, giving a very uneven, unhealthy-looking complexion.

Pre-Existing Skin Conditions

There are several dermatologic conditions that can be aggravated by the consumption of alcohol including rosacea and psoriasis. Drinking alcohol can cause symptom flare-ups making these chronic diseases more difficult to treat. Minimizing your consumption of alcohol should be part of your regime for managing any pre-existing skin condition.

Reducing Alcohol Intake Improves Appearance

Overall, reducing the consumption of alcohol will result in better skin.

If you have consumed an excess amount of alcohol, you can attempt to counteract the ill-effects on your skin. Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body both during and post alcohol consumption, which will in turn rehydrate your skin. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse your skin, and nourish it with a good quality moisturizer as well as daily sun screen.

Sunscreen Facts

Now summer is truly here, a few notes on sunscreen are just what the dermatologist ordered.

  1. You need to apply sunscreen every day – TRUE
  2. You need sunscreen even if it’s cloudy – TRUE
  3. You need to re-apply every 2 hours – ONLY IF YOU ARE OUTDOORS ( If you’re in the office all day no need to re-apply after the morning application)
  4. Sunscreen can be layered for better protection: moisturizer with SPF30 + foundation with SPF will work better that each one separately.
  5. Apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes before going outside giving it time to absorb.
  6. Do invest in a chic sunhat, it looks great and adds protection.

Are Cleansers and Lotions Really Necessary?

“I don’t use make-up, so just a splash with water should be enough”. As any esthetician can tell you, this is a common comment. Yet, it couldn’t be more wrong.

We live in a relatively polluted world, the air is full of dust particles that are happy to land on our exposed face. Mixed with the dead cells the skin sheds daily, this becomes a build up similar to a dry sponge. Water alone cannot dislodge the buildup and any cream applied will be absorbed by the “dry sponge” before it gets anywhere to do some good to the skin.

Gentle cleansers followed by a lotion will remove the daily buildup and leave the skin ready to receive the nourishing night cream.

Saving money on cleansers and lotions is a false savings, because if the skin is not properly cleansed, no expensive night cream is going to do much good, in fact it would be a case of penny wise and pound foolish.

Do’s and Dont’s about Blackheads

Our skin produces sebum (oil) for protection against the elements. Too much sebum results in oily skin, while too little results dry skin.

When sebum comes in contact with air and pollution it oxidizes and the top becomes dark hence the blackhead. The dark, visible part is like a lid on a pot, while the pore below is full of sebum that cannot come out because the top is now hard. Oily and combination skin will have more blackheads, while dry skin has almost none.

Here are some suggestions on how to deal with pesky blackheads:

Don’t try to squeeze them out. You may bruise the skin and the blackhead will still be there, mocking you.

Don’t resort to removal strips. The ingredients on these may irritate the skin and they only remove the top layer, leaving the pore full of sebum.

Don’t use harsh cleansers containing alcohol and avoid rough, grainy exfoliants that may irritate or scratch the skin.

Do cleanse at night with a gentle milk cleanser AND toner or a special face wash. You may use a good facial brush on the areas with blackheads.

Do use a moisturizer suitable for your skin type. Dehydrated oily skin will produce even more oil to compensate for lack of water.

Do visit your esthetician once a month for a thorough cleansing facial.

Do use a face mask once a week.

 

What About Peptides?

Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of skin.

Collagen is a protein comprised of long segments of amino acids arranged like a chain. When collagen breaks down, short segments of amino acids are formed. These are the tiny proteins and active molecules known as peptides.

Without peptides, skin doesn’t remain intact and the results is loss of firmness, appearance of wrinkles, texture changes, and skin that doesn’t bounce back as it once did.

What’s so fascinating about peptides is that abundant research has clearly shown they can help revitalize those building blocks and, in turn, help revitalize skin.

For people searching for the best ingredients skin-care manufacturers have to offer, peptides are at the top of the list. The skin contains natural peptides, which contribute to the structural strength of the skin and keep it plump and firm.

Pentapeptides (Matryxil), Oligopeptides and Copper Peptides work by stimulating the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, two natural components of skin that people lose as they age. Neuropeptides (Argireline) act by affecting neurotransmitters in the skin. When this happens, nerve cells in the skin cease communicating and relax. The overall effect is that skin becomes smoother and wrinkles disappear.

Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Serum, for example, contains a cocktail of all the above peptides which penetrate the skin to address common skin-care concerns, including wrinkles, from the inside out.

Drugstore vs.Professional Skin Care Products

Cosmetic products are being created on a daily basis. Some are only sold through aestheticians and doctor’s offices, while others are readily available via television shopping channels, infomercials, online retailers, or department stores and drugstores. Consumers often end up feeling confused about who to trust, where to shop, and whether to spend their hard-earned money at the spa or the drugstore.

Drugstore products are designed to target some of the most general needs of the skin. The products must be suitable for all ages and different skin types and concerns. The formulating concept behind a typical drugstore skin care product is “one size fits all.”

On the other hand, the majority of products formulated for skin care professionals are made for a narrower range of consumers. Usually, these skin care products are skin type- and condition-specific, result-driven, and designed to yield quick results. These formulations are designed for consumers who are seeking solutions via treatments and products offered by professionals. When creating products for the professional market, formulators mainly focus on targeted issues the product is designed to help resolve. They will choose very specific actives that are often clinically-tested for activity; the percentage used in clinical studies is often referenced as the percentage used in the product. This approach ensures product activity and visible results in the shortest time possible. Consumers purchasing products from professionals also benefit from extended education they receive on the product benefit and usage as proper usage is very important in order to obtain results.