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.

 

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.

Sensitive Skin Explained

With winter fast approaching, sensitive skin is even more at risk of being irritated by harsh conditions.
True sensitive skin is triggered by sun exposure, fragrances, soaps, products, the weather, chemicals, inflammatory foods, and alcoholic beverages. It takes time to find the culprit and dermatologists specialize in patch testing and may test for over 100 different substances.

Rosacea is usually a constant once it appears. It is characterized by red flushing; small, visible capillaries; watery eyes; and small inflamed bumps; but it can be controlled. Take the necessary steps to treat rosacea before it becomes severe and avoid the triggers that exacerbate it.
Sensitized skin is much easier to determine and care for. Skin becomes sensitized from being exposed to harsh, too abrasive products, such as alcohol in lotions, rough face scrubs, AHAs in cleansers and toners.

They key is to treat senitized skin gently:

Modify cleansing and skin care routines during the colder months, in dry climates, and in hard water areas. Non-foaming, sulfate-free cleansers, milder exfoliants, and fragrance-free moisturizers suited to skin type will help restore the glow to compromised skin.

Do not scrub the skin. Cleanse with only the fingertips and blot dry; never rub the face with a towel. Because so many things, including even gentle active ingredients and professional treatments, can cause superficial flaking and peeling, the temptation to speed up the process by scouring off dead skin cells can be irresistible.

Grainy scrubs, baking soda paste, sonic cleansing brushes, spa gloves, buffing pads, loofahs, washcloths, and even towel-drying can spell trouble for sensitized skin. Side effects include redness; burning; prolonged scaling; increased sun-sensitivity; a thick build-up of keratin; and an uneven, blotchy skin tone.

Attempting to scrub off flaking and thickened dead skin will backfire. The body quickly produces a thicker buildup to protect itself, just like calluses form after repeated friction from ill-fitting shoes and pedicure paddles. Once this behavior is discontinued, sensitized skin can improve dramatically.

Water intake hydrates the skin from within, improves elasticity, plumps fine lines and wrinkles, and helps achieve a healthy glow. When the skin is well-hydrated, it is easier to address dry skin, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema. Caffeine, alcohol, and smoking dehydrate the skin, so it is best to cut back drastically or stop completely.

Running a cool mist humidifier at night will hydrate the skin and help counteract the drying effects of cold weather, dry climate, heaters, and air conditioners. Clean as directed to prevent fungus and bacteria growth.

Choose fragrance-free products when possible. Perfumes, mixtures of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents can be irritating to sensitized skin and very reactive in sunlight.

Do not overheat homes and avoid heat sources like hot stoves, ovens, hairdryers, fireplaces, space heaters, hot showers, and direct sun.

 

Summer Travel Kits & Maxi Duo

  • Minis & Maxi : Travel Kits & Maxi Duos
  • Gernetic Travel Kits
  • Ilike Travel Kits
  • Sothys Travel Kits
  • Sothys Maxi Duos

Gernetic Travel Kits

Perfect size to take on a trip, will last up to three weeks and takes up minimum space.
A great way to try out new products or a lovely, thoughtful gift.
Four options to choose from:

#1  Glyco 50ml + Fibro 50ml + Synchro 30ml
#2  Glyco 50ml+Fibro 50ml+Synchro 30ml+MyoMyoso30ml
#4  Glyco50ml+Fibro50ml+Synchro30ml+Vasco30ml
#6  Glyco50ml+Fibro50ml+Synchro30ml+Immuno30ml


Ilike Organics Travel Kits

Each pouch contains a milk cleanser 30ml + an exfoliant 17.25ml + a mask 17.5ml + a moisturizer 12.5ml.

1. Hyaluronic Time Erase Complex– anti aging.
2. Balancing – oily/acneic.
3. Vitalizing – normal/combination.
4. Time Reverse – aging, dry
5. Brightening – Hyperpigmentation
6. Calming – sensitive
7. Grape Stem Cell – anti aging, protective.
8. Eyes and Lips

Sothys Maxi Duo Cleanser + Toner Duo in double the regular size.Only the size is bigger, the price is the same as for regular size products.  Exceptional value for all budgets.

1. Clarity Cleanser 400ml + Clarity Toner 400ml 
for Sensitive Skin and Broken Capillaries.
2. Comfort Cleanser 400ml+Comfort Toner 400ml 
for Dry Skin.
3. Purity Cleanser 400ml + Purity Toner 400ml 
for Oily Skin


Sothys Travel Kits

Four products in each kit : Cleanser 40ml + Toner 40ml + Moisturizer 15ml + Serum 15ml.Great for one week trip or a thoughtful gift.
1. Vitality Kit – Normal/Combination Skin
2. Comfort Kit – Dry Skin
3. Anti-Age 2 Kit – First Fine Lines
4. Anti-Age 3 Kit – Mature Skin 

Getting Your Skin Ready for Spring

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Winter is on its last legs, we hope, so we turn our attention on the current state of the skin. Our faces had to put up with harsh winds, snow, rain, cold outdoors and overheated and dry indoors. Our winter skin care regime should have included nourishing creams and masks. Even in the best case scenario, assuming the skin is in good shape, weather change brings change in the skin care routine.

Take a look at the skin after cleaning it well. Notice any imperfections, any flakiness, any rough spots. Now is the time to apply a good exfoliation.

By exfoliating we remove accumulated dead cells, build-up of makeup and pollution. Winter dryness causes dehydration and flakiness. By exfoliating we prepare the skin for a fresh start.

There are many choices for exfoliants : classic scrubs with small beads are the most basic (keep well away from crushed almonds or other”natural”bits that can be scratching the skin like so many needles). A good mechanical scrub is GerPeel by GERnetic.

Better exfoliants will contain plant enzymes, or lactic acid and do not need scrubbing, as the enzymes break down the protein in the dead cells and all you need to do is wash them off. A good example is Yogurt Power Peel by Ilike Organic Skin Care.

Chemical peels, such as glycolic acid peels, are done by an aesthetician and will give splendid results, especially if you sign up for a series of 4-6 treatments.

If you don’t want to commit to that, you can use a trio of glycolic acid home care products that effect an exfoliation over time. There is absolutely no down time and the results are excellent. A good example is the Glycolic Acid Trio by Peter Thomas Roth.

The same company has an interesting exfoliation called Laser-Free Retexturizing, which combines enzymes with microscopic jojoba beads and glycolic acid for deep exfoliation, plus an extract from a South American plant called dragon’s blood, to repair skin damage, plus sweet almond, apricot and mango oils to moisturize. This product packs a real 1-2-3 punch.

Regardless of the method you choose to exfoliate, once this step is done you can turn to a deep moisturizing mask used as a treatment for a week. It will deeply hydrate the skin and assist in eliminating fine lines due to winter dehydration.

Now you’re ready to start your spring skin care routine. The same way you review your spring wardrobe, you must review your skin care array of products. Check your milk cleanser and toner. Are they still smelling clean and fresh? Then keep on using them, by all means. Just make sure storing them near a heater over winter hasn’t turned them into a bacteria hotel.

Moisturizers, for both dry and oily skins, are a daily must in the morning. Try to use a moisturizer with sunscreen and if not, use a sunscreen AND a moisturizer.

Do change your night cream to a lighter, nourishing one. It’s time to add an eye cream to the routine and prevent new lines.

Do keep on using a moisturizing mask once a week, preceded by a light exfoliation.

Following this routine will result in peaches’n cream skin, ready to welcome spring and summer in our gardens and patios.

Microdermabrasion – What, How, When, Why?

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In recent weeks I noticed a flurry of articles on microdermabrasion, some informative, others not so much.

To clear some of the confusion around this procedure we’ll look at the mechanics of it first.

Simply put, microdermabrasion as delivered in a spa or medical office, is similar to sandblasting a wall. In our case, the wall is the skin and the particles used to clear the surface are tiny microspheres. These are delivered in a continuous stream pushed by air onto the skin. The effect of it is to dislodge and remove dead skin cells from the skin surface.

You will feel a sensation like the snap of a rubber band, not too bad. The visible result, depending on the state of your skin at the onset, is relatively not too impressive. However, if you are a smoker or have oily, thick skin, then the result is more striking. Usually one session is not enough to make a substantial difference. You must remember, this procedure removes only a superficial layer, so deeper wrinkles and sun damage will still be visible, even after a series of treatments, albeit lighter and reduced in intensity.

It is not enough to have this treatment if the home care is not up to par. Once the skin is clear of superficial dead cells, it is the time to use intensive anti-aging and moisturizing products, because their effect is going to be that much more visible on cleared skin.

The same results can be obtained with glycolic acid treatments. These are only done by a trained professional, just like the microdermabrasion we just mentioned above. Instead of a mechanical exfoliation, the glycolic acid treatment is a chemical exfoliation that uses sugar cane extract (glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane – it is a natural product) that can break down the substance which holds together the dead cells on the skin surface. Imagine a brick wall and the glycolic acid eating away the mortar. Once the mortar is gone, the bricks fall off. The same process happens with the skin, but the skin cells are not visible to the naked eye.

What we can see are the results, which, in my experience, are superior to those of microdermabrasion. However, both these procedures can only be done by a trained professional. This is where the home microdermabrasion comes in.

There are any number of kits available, some more effective than others. The great advantage is that one can do this procedure at home, in one’s time and in privacy. Again, do not expect miraculous results after the first treatment, but if you keep it up, the results follow soon enough.

It is best to engage in this series of treatments at the change of seasons, fall and spring being the ideal time.

There is one home care microdermabrasion that I like, made by Sothys Skin Care. It is called [C] Renewal System and it involves two products which complement each other, so the results are much superior that using just the microdermabrasion alone.

First item is the Microdermabrasion Mask -At-home microdermabrasion treatment that combines mechanical and chemical exfoliation. By using both mechanical AND chemical exfoliation the results are better.

Second item is the C Continuous Renewal Care night cream designed to restore skin health with the H2CR™ Complex and pentapeptides for anti-aging skin care.

In the same category of home care microdermabrasion, but in a class of its own, is the C Renewal Double Peeling System, a high technology double-serum to renew lifeless, dull and ageing skins.

Regardless of the system you decide to use, please remember that once the skin is smoothed, it needs nutrition and moisture both. After exfoliation a good moisturizer and a nourishing night cream are the necessary ingredients for achieving the perfect complexion.

by Nadia Danay

Fall & Winter Skin Care

dreamstime_xs_5785685If you have sensitive or fussy skin, you know how hard it is to keep your skin happy, especially in the colder months. Once you get the hang of what your skin wants, the weather changes and you are back to square one, right ?

Best solution is to change your products every 3 months or so, adjusting for weather change. Right now it’s time to stop using light summer moisturizers and focus on a good exfoliation to remove the summer dry, flaky tan.

Start using a nourishing night cream and maybe a serum under the moisturizing day cream. Time to add an eye cream to the regime, to nourish those pesky little lines and make them go away!

Here are some suggestions for products we like :

 by Nadia Danay

Going on Holiday? Don’t forget…..

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Are you a scatter-brain? Here are the 12 most popular items that people forget to pack:

First aid kit
No-one plans to get ill on holiday but whether you like it or not, it can happen. Essentials include plasters, diarrhoea tablets, antihistamines, pain killers and travel sickness pills.

Camera
It goes without saying; pack your camera and you can capture the fun memories which you can then look back on and smile about for years to come.

Sun cream
It is imperative that you protect your skin from damaging UV rays and getting sunburnt will only make your holiday a miserable one. Pack plenty of sun cream in various factors.

Passport
You’ll be surprised at the amount of people that leave home without their passport. Trust us- you won’t get very far. Even if you aren’t flying, it’s still a useful form of ID when going away.

Adequate clothes
It can’t harm to pack a light jacket in case it rains. Take some shoes as well as flip flops and pack some smart evening clothes lest there is a strict dress code.

Emergency money
If you lose your purse or get mugged, some backup cash will be a lifesaver. A credit card is ideal or alternatively, pack a few notes and hide it in a separate envelope in your suitcase.

Health Insurance

 If you are travelling outside Canada, travel insurance is vital.

Plug adapter
There’s no point in packing your iPod docking station and curling iron if you can’t use them because the plug socket is incompatible. Find out which adapter is suitable, or get a universal worldwide one.

Extra glasses/prescription sunglasses
If you need to wear contact lenses or glasses, pack an extra pair. Prescription sunglasses are ideal.

Phone charger
Taking your mobile? The battery will eventually die if you don’t pack your charger.

Antibacterial gel
There may be times when you can’t wash your hands with hot water and soap, so antibacterial gel is necessary to avoid getting sick.

Accommodation/transfer documents
Nothing could be worse than arriving at your hotel and not having any documents to prove you booked and paid for the accommodation. Print out all receipts and booking confirmations.

Avoid overlooking these essentials by not leaving the packing to the last minute. Easier said than done we know but get organised in advance and you’ll save yourself the hassle (and money) later. A checklist can be handy to help you remember everything.

This article was provided by Sunglasses UK, the leading experts in high quality, designer sunglasses at affordable prices. Visit sunglassesuk.com today for your holiday essential.

Sun Protection & You

                              

Sunlight is good for you. I know, there are many reasons why we must have sun protection, but, like many other things in life, moderation is the key.

We need sunshine for our bones, for the vitamin D and for light therapy. Lack of sunshine leads to seasonal affective disease (or SADD)

20 minutes of sunlight (without sunscreen)is all we need for the above reasons.

However, with longer exposure without protection, both UVA and UVB will do both temporary and long term damage. UVA ages the skin and UVB burns.

Pay attention to the label on sunscreen and look for Total Protection, which covers both UVA and UVB. If there’s only SPF, your sunscreen protects only against UVB.

Once you have established that, look for the protection factor which will be a combination of the protection from UVA and UVB.

European SPF numbers are lower than the US, so a European product with SPF8 is the equivalent of SPF12 in the US.

The amount applied makes a difference to the length of time you can stay in the sun. Most people use too little. Rule of thumb is 2 fingers per zone (head, each arm, chest, stomach, upper leg, lower leg – each is one zone)

You must apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and re-apply 30 minutes after, also after swimming.

Because our ozone layer is thinning, we need sunscreen even on cloudy days.

If you need one more reason to use sunscreen, you must know that 90% of squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma is due to sunlight exposure, while the deadly melanoma is 65% caused by UVB damage.

Yes, sunshine is great and we need it, but there is no reason why we should go without sunscreen.

by Nadia Danay

 

January Deep Freeze

This is for all our friends on the East coast of Canada and US.

Skin Care Survival tips for extreme cold :

    • Use a milk cleanser and toner at night.
    • Put the exfoliants on the shelf till warmer weather.
    • Use a nourishing cream both at night and in the morning before braving the outdoors.
    • Save the foundation for after the cold snap. It will only smear on the scarf. Use mineral powder instead. It is lighter and gives sun protection as well.
    • Have fun in the snow, make some snow angels and remember…..
    • Spring is coming soon!!