In the winter, I see many more cases of dry skin. Outside, the air is cold and dry. Indoors, the air is heated, making it dry as well. The dryness in the air pulls moisture from anywhere it can, even if that means your skin. This results in a condition called Trans-epidermal water loss. Basically, it means dehydration, or a loss of moisture (water) in the skin. When your skin doesn't retain adequate moisture, the surface is unprotected and becomes easily irritated, itchy, more prone to acne, dermatitis and exacerbation of rosacea. The natural enzymes in the skin, whose job is to self-exfoliate, don't function well without moisture. When the skin cells don't exfoliate well by themselves, it causes dead skin buildup (which blocks your pores and causes irritation), flakiness and dullness.
Many of my clients are surprised when I advise them to use a facial oil on their skin, especially for trans-epidermal water loss in winter. The common wisdom is such that oil is the problem for all that ails you when it comes to skin. Common concerns include -
- Why should I use an oil? Isn't moisturizer enough?
- Will it clog my pores causing acne?
- Will it look greasy?
- Which kind should I use?
Facial oil vs. facial moisturizer
All moisturizers are a blend of water and oil. The ratio of water to oil determines the richness of the cream - more oil means richer cream, more water means a lighter cream or lotion. Oils applied over damp skin are able to trap water within the skin, allowing skin to remain hydrated more intensely and often for longer periods of time. They are a great carrier for vitamins and herbal nutrients that feed the skin, support collagen growth, soothe redness, and fight acne. Oils vary in weight and texture; some feel lighter than others.
Facial oils and acne
Did you know that acne can often be helped by oil? It seems counter-intuitive to many of my facial clients, but oil is of great benefit to help those with acne. Skin with an inadequately protected barrier is more prone to acne. Oily skinned women can have clear skin; dry skinned women can have raging acne. There are some oils that are particularly helpful to acne, such as tea tree oil (as effective as benzoyl peroxide), neem oil (anti-inflammatory) and tomato seed oil (lycopene in tomato seed is a nutrient that helps control acne). There are some oils that may cause clogging because of the size of their molecules, a prime example being coconut oil. Coconut oil is a lovely antibacterial oil, but not always helpful for those with acne because the larger molecules tend to block pores. Jojoba, which is technically not an oil at all (its a fatty ester), is recognized by your skin as sebum, and is readily accepted, blending well into your skin.
How to Use an Oil
An oil is not a replacement for a condition-specific moisturizer and should be used as part of a skin care regimen that is designed to address your specific skin care concerns. Using only oil can result in an exacerbation of skin problems because the condition you're trying to address is usually multi-dimensional. Treating only with oil is usually an incomplete solution. To prevent or counteract dryness/dehydration, consider adding a drop or 2 of an oil that is the weight and texture you like into your moisturizer. Mix the oil thoroughly into the moisturizer dollop (don't just add it to the moisturizer jar), then apply to skin, massaging in well.
Which oil is right for you? Contact or visit me so we can discuss your needs and preferences. Call 917-596-9535 or email me at email@example.com
calm: massage & skincare for women
There's a strange phenomenon that I can't explain. Many clients won't wear their sunscreen or moisturizer when coming to see me for a facial. When I ask why, they say "because I'm coming to see you", knowing that I'll certainly apply sunscreen or moisturizer after a treatment. No big deal you say? Here's the problem...
Burning rays - You're unprotected from burning rays of the sun on your trip over to see me. Why risk wrinkles and sun spots that you're paying me good money to get rid of? Even a few minutes can cause a burn, especially if you're out during 10am to 3pm.
Inconclusive Skin Assessment
One of the first things I do is assess your skin. This is the only way to do a proper facial, because your skin's needs may change from time to time. Cookie cutter facials are not in your best interest. Here are the things that I check;
Hydration - I'm looking for your skin's current health, of which hydration level is a crucial element. Proper hydration protects collagen and elastin, gives skin a plump, healthy look that minimizes wrinkles, and promotes clearer, glowing skin by allowing skin to self-exfoliate using natural enzymes found within the skin. proper hydration keeps the natural enzymes in the skin moist, therefore live and able to do their job.
Dehydration causes - Dehydration is defined as a lack of water in your skin. Since I work holistically, I'll want to know why this is an issue for you, because correcting it is important for skin your skin to look its best. Some things I'll be asking you about are tanning or sun/windburn; if your health has changed or if you're taking a new medication; peri-menopausal symptoms; diet changes, too much partying or travel.
Correct Product & Correct Application - If your dehydration is not a result of a change in lifestyle or health, then it may be from inadequate moisturizing. Either the product is not right, the change of season has changed your needs, or your application technique needs to be altered.
So for your own protection, and the best possible facial and skin care advise, always wear your sunscreen. I'm here to help, so if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at Calm, 917-596-9535 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Stress affects many systems of the body, but today let's look at how stress specifically affects your skin.
Oiliness - When a person is stressed, cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, increases. This causes skin to produce more oil.
Dehydration - Stress also causes dehydration, or lack of water in he skin. When your heart rate and breathing rate are increased, you lose more fluid. Being dehydrated further raises cortisol levels.
This starts a chain reaction, where skin's barrier function (a protective function) is compromised, leading to more dehydration, increased cortisol and so on.
Acne - Dehydration also prevents the enzymes in the skin from doing their job of naturally exfoliating skin. The condition that results is called excess keratinization. The combination of excessively oily skin and excess keratinization causes acne.
Wrinkles and sagging - Extra cortisol depletes B and C vitamin stores. Vitamin C is required for collagen formation and B vitamins support cellular oxygenation and circulation. These are prime factors in wrinkles and sagging of the skin.
Eczema - Stress makes it more difficult for skin to protect itself and heal because it reduces the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss and an inability to repair damage after injury.
Rosacea - Stress increases blood flow, which over the long term, leads to rosacea, because the capillaries are inflamed and can be further exacerbated by oiliness or dehydration or both.
Hyper-Pigmentation - Stress causes hormonal imbalances which is a leading cause of some types of hyper pigmentation, such as melasma. Additionally, stress depletes vitamins and antioxidants in skin, causing a reduction in natural UV protection (yes, you should have some natural protection, but that's another story!). Improper protection from the UV rays can cause hyper pigmentation as well. In both these types of hyper pigmentation, you will generally not see the results immediately, but the problem becomes worse as skin thins with use of popular exfoliants and from aging.
The skin is the body's largest organ and is the first line of defense from all sorts of environmental toxins—from UV radiation to pollutants. Keeping skin healthy is critical to maintaining overall health.
This is one of the reasons why Calm Facials include lots of massage and are generally an hour long. Identifying stress and addressing it is part of my job. Since I can't see you all the time, stress management is your job as well - not just for your skin, but for your overall health and well-being.
Questions about your skin and how Calm Facials can help? Contact me anytime at 917-596-9535 or email@example.com
After a long, cold winter, your skin may feel rough and appear dull and patchy. This leads to dehydration, which is a culprit in acne, excessive oiliness, fine lines, redness or uneven skin tone. Calm Skincare in Brooklyn provides Crystal and Diamond Micordermabasion so you can overcome these conditions, leaving you with an amazing glow. Here's why...
Dehydration is a common winter skin condition because the air indoors and out is quite dry, which pulls moisture out of your skin and into the air. For many of us, this process is made even easier because we are afraid of using proper levels of moisturizer on our skins.
Dehydration is skin's inability to hold water or moisture. When this happens, you end up with;
So the simple thought would be to add more moisturizer, but at this point, it will only sit on the skin's surface and cause more problems.
We need to remove dead skin cells, however, you may notice that your regular exfoliator is not quite getting the job done, especially if you’re not consistent about professional cleanings and a properly designed home care routine.
So how do we put our freshest face forward this Spring?
Microdermabrasion is a terrific facial treatment for Spring because it successfully deals with these issues. Microdermabrasion comes in two forms;
Just one session of microdermabrasion will remove the dead skin cells, leaving your skin hydrated, smooth and refreshed. (Note: A series of microdermabrasion treatments will provide visible results for more stubborn concerns such as acne scars and hyper pigmentation).
Microdermabrasion can be used a stand-alone treatment in about 30 minutes, or added to your regular facial. It is also great for other parts of your skin, such as back, elbows, knees, anywhere skin has accumulated and home exfoliation methods are not helping.
Book your microdermabrasion today and get ready to look your best for Spring!
calm: massage & skincare for women
917. 596. 9535
Those of you with acne will spot a new pimple in the mirror. Your mind goes into acne panic mode, and the thought process goes something like this; "There's this hideously huge zit on my chin (everyone always thinks theirs is huge), and I want it gone - NOW". Generally, its not even a thought, more like instinct. You then perform "acne bathroom surgery", a combination of squeezing and picking which leaves the skin looking worse than the pimple that was there before.
I know right away when you squeeze and pick, whether its recent or years old. Everyone who sees it also knows you recently performed acne bathroom surgery, too. Its bright red, has been irritated beyond the original edges of the pimple, is dried out by an assault of acne drying chemicals, and may be even plastered with concealer that doesn't match, since your skin is now so red, leaving you with this weird patch of flesh tone matted stuff over red skin.
You see, acne bathroom surgery and the subsequent cover up didn't really help. More to consider...
You've also potentially created an acne scar or crater-type hole, post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (red or brown spot that doesn't leave for months, if ever) and more bacteria leaking to other areas. You may have also not gotten to the root of the pimple and now sealed in the gunk with poor technique and drying chemicals to cause an infection and more pimples in the surrounding areas.
"But" you protest to me, "YOU squeeze my pimples, how is that different?"
So here's my process in most of the acne facials I provide, and how its different than bathroom surgery;
1. Examine the skin to see if the pimple can and should be extracted. Not all acne can or should be extracted. For example, if you're skin is dehydrated from improper home care, or you tend to hyper-pigment easily and haven't had professional esthetic care in some time, it is best to not extract until the skin health has been improved.
2. Clean the surface skin with a non-drying cleanser. This not only begins to soften the acne lesions, but remove some of the surface impurities and provides a hygienic surface to begin the procedure.
3. Exfoliate - This can be either physical exfoliation (ie., grains in a creamy or gel substance) or enzymatic (a substance that dissolves surface dead skin cells). Certain types of acne should not use physical exfoliation or scrubs, and some may require both. In either case, they are generally performed during the next step...
4. Steam - this helps to soften the impacted pimple and surrounding skin, relax the clogged pore to let out the blockage, and stimulate circulation to activate the skin's natural self-cleaning process. You are steamed for 5 - 15 minutes depending on other condition factors.
5. Disincrustation - in esthetics this means to soften what's in the pore by creating an alkaline surface on the skin temporarily. This can be done with products designed for this purpose, or with special machines.
6. Extract - Then, and only then, do I proceed with gloved hands and organic cotton stored in air-tight containers, to lightly stretch the skin, press down around the bottom of the blockage, then lift out the blockage. Multiple rounds of fresh cottons are needed if there are lots of extractions to do, to prevent spreading around the materials that can infect other pores.
7. Sanitize - the skin is dabbed with clean soft cloths and sprayed with colloidal silver, a substance that tames surface germs. For extracted areas that are at greater risk of infection, I also use a machine that produces a small amount of ozone or LED Light Treatments to kill germs on the surface of the skin.
8. Heal and Treat - Based on your skin condition and type, I choose a post-extraction masque and a treatment masque to apply. These masques contains ingredients that balance the skin, since I just disrupted the pH balance by creating an alkaline state, and calm the skin, while imparting nutrients to improve the health of the skin. In most cases, I will use one of the masques as a massage medium, and perform a lymphatic massage to help the skin clean and heal itself from the inside out. The second masque is left on for several minutes while I massage your neck, shoulders and décolleté to make sure that circulation throughout the region is optimal to continue the healing.
9. Hydrate and Protect - the most common mistake women make is trying to dry out a pimple by not using moisturizer. I always apply a moisturizer and an appropriate sunscreen. Sunscreen is used to minimize the occurrence of the red scars or hyper-pigmentation.
So as you can see, there are many steps to properly extracting a pimple. Anything short of that is, well, bathroom surgery!
The most effective start to healing acne is regular professional skin care. Let's get you on a proper program that includes professional treatment, and a customized home care plan (nutrition, stress reduction and a custom-designed regimen for your skin type and issues).
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calm: massage & skincare for women
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Health and beauty through massage and organic skincare