Mask Wearing Complications

Mask Wearing Complications

Mask Wearing Complications

There is a thought that we have more microbes on our body skin than we have human cells. The human skin provides the largest surface area for microbial growth and is host to millions of microbial organisms. The skin microbiome is dominated by members of 4 phyla: firmicutes, actinobacteria, bacteroidetes and proteobacteria.

There is a thought we should start perceiving the skin as an ecosystem composed of physical and living biological components occupying diverse habitats. When the skin’s microbiome is out of kilter, disruptions may occur resulting in an aged appearance, infections, skin disorders, reactive skin, redness and acne.

When it comes to the microbiome of the skin and mask-wearing there are 3 main factors disrupting the balance. These are friction, changes to the microbiome and an alkaline environment. These 3 factors are also seen in another common skin condition, nappy rash.

Friction from mask-wearing results in loss of the barrier function – which we discussed in last month’s article. Each day our skin endures the rubbing of our masks from talking and general moving throughout the day which results in the gradual sloughing of the outer layers of the skin. This is accelerated by the moisture on the skin from our breath. As the barrier of the skin is eroded, a greater amount of water is lost through the skin and it dries out and creates sensitivity, redness or an aged appearance. Remember to change your mask daily sometimes a few times a day if necessary. Also, review the quality of your mask. Friction may also be reduced by using a topical like Rhonda Allison’s Drop of Essence in your daily skincare routine. This emollient is plant-based which is also a good food source for a healthy microbiome.

Our skin is naturally slightly acidic on the pH scale, around 4.5-5.5. At this level, the skins barrier system functions optimally and the immune system is operating at an optimal level for healthy skin. The condensate of the breath has consistently been measured around a pH 8 – alkaline. When the skin is exposed to long periods of an alkaline environment with mask-wearing, it’s natural buffering, becomes overwhelmed and the skin starts to become unhealthy, and the microbiome and skin barrier is less effective. Ensure your skincare products at home are all pH balanced and suitable for your skin condition. These should be reviewed each season and perhaps more often in these challenging times we are living in, as stress also creates imbalances in the skin.

When we keep our skin cells healthy, we rely on external microbiotic life forms to work in harmony with and support our own healthy cells. These healthy cells form the human microbiome. The human microbiome is kept at the same slightly acidic level as the skin. As the skin becomes more alkaline the prevalence of overgrowths of various harmful kinds of bacteria and bacteria on the skin increases. Skincare products for home use and a healthy lifestyle both contribute to assisting a healthy skin microbiome which will in-turn assist with less irritation from mask-wearing.

Some of the benefits of a healthy and balanced skin microbiome are:

  • Enhancing the skin’s ability to become and stay properly hydrated
  • Visibly improving signs of pigmentation, aging, dryness and reducing a dry, taught sensation
  • Strengthening the skin’s surface against environmental threats and enhancing the skin’s natural defence
  • Diminishing factors that trigger reactive skin
  • Restoring a healthy pH balance to the skin’s surface

Looking after the microbiome of our skin is an extremely important consideration when it comes to caring for the health of our skin. As a result of preventative measures for Covid-19, our mask-wearing has benefits but it also comes with side effects for our normally healthy skin. Come into, or call the Clinic and ask us how we may be able to assist you with your skin concerns, we are happy to help.

The Lymphatic System and the Skin

The Lymphatic System and the Skin

The Lymphatic System and the Skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body where all of the components are connected like a jigsaw puzzle. When one piece of the biological jigsaw puzzle is compromised, the ripple effect impacts organs, vital systems and the functioning of the body as a whole. When discussing the skin, we need to consider and understand the lymphatic system and its relevance to its overall appearance and health.

The lymphatic system is one of the most intricate networks of tissue and organs. It plays an imperative role in the nourishment and regeneration of cells, keeps the immune system healthy, filters metabolic waste and is imperative to the detoxification process for the whole body.

A perfectly functioning lymphatic system will dispel toxins that can be harmful to both the health of the skin and the immune system. With a sluggish lymphatic system, impurities may be trapped in cells, leading to a loss of elasticity, premature aging and acne. The lymphatic system collects excess fluid (lymph) that drains from tissues and cells and returns it to the bloodstream. It is an important part of the immune system, producing and releasing lymphocytes – the white blood cells – that monitor and destroy foreign bodies such as viruses, fungi and bacteria.

The lymph collects extra fluid drained from the tissues and cells. It is often recognized as the clear yellowish fluid that accompanies blood, for example when a pustule is extracted. The lymphatic system is not part of the vascular system and therefore does not have the benefit of the pumping action of the heart to keep it circulating and moves only in an upward direction away from gravity.

Already having a battle with gravity, the lymphatic system has other factors creating negative side effects such as environmental toxins, a poor diet high in processed foods, inadequate sleep, stress, dehydration and a lack of exercise.

Some of the signs of a compromised lymphatic system may include:
skin hardening and thickening,
swelling in fingers,
bloating and excess weight,
enlarged lymph nodes,
cold hands and feet,
increased flu,
colds and sinus infections,
chronic fatigue,
dry or itchy skin,
digestive issues.

Fortunately, there are simple things that can be done at home and also in the clinic, in order to stimulate the lymphatic system to help reduce signs of rosacea, acne, puffiness and dry aged skin.

One of the easiest things to do at home is to increase exercise. The contraction of the muscles during exercise pumps lymph movement from the inside out. Alternating hot and cold water in the shower both dilates and contracts the natural pump action to force the toxins out of the body. Dry body brushing for several minutes each day prior to showering stimulates both the lymphatic system and the natural oil production.

Deep breathing deep within the diaphragm acts as a pumping action transporting the toxins into the bloodstream and then to the liver for detoxification. Drinking water each day, at least 1-2 litres, will help cleanse and hydrate the body. Caffeine and alcohol should be decreased in quantity as they can lead to dehydration. In-Clinic treatments may include the relaxing Lymphatic Body Booster which can be utilized while having a facial treatment such as PEMF, Radio Frequency, or manual lymphatic massage.

One of the goals of Clinical treatments is to provide strengthening of both the blood and the lymphatic flow in order to reduce the underlying inflammation which can be seen as redness, acne and aged skin.

The lymphatic system is a delicate and imperative system within the body and if not tended to promptly the vessels may end up physically damaged, functionally inactive and too inflamed to flush excess fluid and toxins out of the body. Lockdown has been a challenge on so many levels, give the body the TLC it deserves when you are wanting it to stand in good stead and help you look and feel fabulous.

Vital Exfoliation Techniques

Vital Exfoliation Techniques

Clear, refined, fresh, even-toned, glowing skin is the ultimate desire for all of us who love our skin. To assist with achieving these results, exfoliation is a fundamental technique. Exfoliation comes in many forms and will ultimately help to reduce surface debris, dryness and a lacklustre appearance. It will also effectively prep the skin to receive key ingredients from serums, and treatment creams and will stimulate cell turnover and renewal.

Exfoliation can be in the form of either mechanical or chemical. Often when these techniques are combined the results are exponential. Chemical exfoliation will take the form of either a progressive, mid-depth or deep peel in the clinic.

While at home it may be with the daily application of an AHA/BHA (glycolic, mandelic, lactic, salicylic acid) serum, or Vitamin A serum, after cleansing and toning. Some of the better mechanical exfoliation treatments available in the clinic room are Microdermabrasion, JetPeel, Ultrasonic Deep Clean, Dermaplaning and Micro-hydrabrasion. Home techniques include the use of gauze with toning lotion after cleansing or a scrub.

Today we will look at a few of the in Clinic mechanical exfoliation techniques.

Focused on restoration and hydration, the JetPeel facial assists with making your skin red carpet ready. This gentle but effective treatment is a needle-free, pain-free, non-invasive aesthetic procedure incorporating the benefits of lymphatic drainage, exfoliation, intense hydration and oxygen infusion, all without downtime. This detoxifying exfoliation ritual dramatically improves the texture and appearance of the skin using a moisturising, oxygenated jet stream to resurface and then hydrate. It also uses pressurised oxygen to penetrate the skin with microdroplets of a cocktail of serums including hyaluronic acid, peptides and antioxidants. JetPeel is suitable for all skin types including mature, dry, rosacea, sensitive/reactive, and clogged skins.

The Ultrasonic Deep Cleaning treatment offers no downtime, is pain-free and is an effective procedure where ultrasound technology creating vibrations up to 28k hertz will gently remove keratinised skin cells and debris. The result when used in conjunction with a chemical exfoliant is nothing short of a dramatically smooth and radiant complexion. The Ultrasonic vibration can also create temporary open channels in the outer layers of the skin to infuse serums to boost the hydration and regeneration of the skin.

Microdermabrasion works on the outermost layers of the skin and is a skin-freshening technique that helps to repair skin on the face and body, which has taken a beating from the sun and the effects of ageing. Microdermabrasion polishes and buffs the skin to achieve a healthy glow and helps alleviate dull, dry and coarse-textured skin. It stimulates the production of collagen and elastin and may be used in conjunction with chemical exfoliation. It is also an excellent treatment to remove the rough skin of keratosis pilaris found on the upper arms and shoulders.

Dermaplaning is most beneficial for those with an uneven texture, hyperkeratotic build-up, vellus hair (also known as peach fuzz) and to remove surface skin cells so topical serums may penetrate more efficiently. Dermaplaning is a light shaving of the epidermis using a specific scalpel and should be performed by a well-trained aesthetician.

Similar to microdermabrasion, Micro-hydrabrasion is a clinical vacuuming system that exfoliates surface dryness with aluminium oxide crystals. In addition, streams of filtered water and aloe vera are used to achieve deep cleansing, helping to loosen impacted plugs in the skin and wash away soluble debris, whilst leaving your skin hydrated.

Depending on your skin condition and what you are wanting to achieve, any of these mechanical exfoliation treatments may be undertaken every week as a corrective strategy or every month as maintenance. They may be combined with relaxing facial treatments, clinical peels and/or LED light therapy. Clinical exfoliation treatments are like a workout for your skin by accelerating cell renewal, refining the texture, stimulating the tone and simply keeping your skin looking healthy and radiant all year round.

9 Crimes Against The Complexion

9 Crimes Against The Complexion

What are the 9 crimes we commit against our complexion

While we are in lock-down, the best skincare treatments are not possible in the Clinic, so looking after yourself with the right skincare products and routines can still ensure a glowing complexion. There are however a few bad habits that are easy to fall into that will be crimes against your complexion.
  1. Product Choice: many skincare products, no matter their price point, can take a few weeks to a month to reveal their true potential. As humans, we want a result even before we have opened the jar. It should happen through osmosis, right? Prioritise a daily routine with the correct products and the skin will respond in kind, producing a healthy complexion. It’s the things we do daily that enhance results. If you are switching products too often this can stress the skin creating adverse results. It is also important when using various brands to know how they are interacting with each other, so irritations are not the outcome.
  2. Cleansing: this should be the first step in your morning and evening skincare routine. Keep in mind, you clean your teeth twice a day, clean and treat your skin with the same respect. Under washing is just as bad as over washing the face. Use lukewarm water with a pH-balanced cleanser so the skin is not stripped of its natural protective barrier, setting up irritations, dryness, and flaking.
  3. Exfoliation: dull, lifeless skin can be revived with exfoliation. I usually suggest when using your toning lotion after removing the cleanser, to apply this with a gauze square. Too little toner will scratch the skin while too much is a waste of product and money. This regular form of cleansing and exfoliation is one of the best skincare routines you can do morning and night to ensure the last traces of cleanser, makeup and dry skin are removed and your serums that follow will be used to their maximum potential.
  4. Sleep: the lack of sleep means the skin does not have the full ability to heal and repair itself. It will mean the cellular turnover slows down, the flow of blood to the skin is disrupted and the result is a sallow complexion. Over time sleep deprivation elevates stress levels which can increase skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
  5. Alcohol: excessive alcohol consumption, whether it be each day or week, impacts the skin by showing signs of dehydration, making it appear sallow and increasing the appearance of fine lines and pores size. Alcohol can also have a negative effect on sleep which in turn will affect the skin.
  6. Poor Diet: a good rule of thumb is to eat the colours of the rainbow when it comes to vegetable choices and to have a balanced diet with a choice from each of the 5 food groups. Remember each of us has different health requirements and often a consultation with a naturopath or dietician can be of assistance. Some of the key vitamins for the skin are D, C, E, and K. Essential fatty acids are good fats and are imperative for healthy skin.
  7. Exercise: as well as improving our sense of well-being, flexibility and cardiovascular system, exercise increases the blood flow to the skin which will keep it healthy and glowing.
  8. SPF: even on dull, cloudy days harmful UVA and UVB rays can damage the skin all year round. Using an SPF of at least 30 each day before entering outdoors and then reapplying every couple of hours will help to protect the skin and prevent premature aging.
  9. Makeup Brushes: these tools along with sponges if not washed every week at least gather dirt and bacteria. Using them daily just keeps spreading a build-up of colour, along with the dirt and bacteria all over the face creating poor makeup application and potential breakouts.
Crimes against the Complexion can be rectified simply with a little extra effort. Prevention is always less expensive than curing and your skin can maintain a healthy appearance.
The Eyes Have It.

The Eyes Have It.

Our beauty within is revealed through our eyes. This does not mean they have to show our age. It is so frustrating when no matter how much sleep you get, someone will always let you know how tired you are looking. There are many options to improve the fine lines, wrinkles and hanging skin around the eye area which might include surgery, skincare, radiofrequency, Tixel, chemical neuromodulators, plasma treatments, or a combination of the above.

Compared to our facial skin, the skin around our eye area is as much as 10 times thinner. The eye area does not have as many moisture and oil glands as the rest of our skin, and this is one reason aging shows very quickly in this area. This is another reason why the eye area needs a helping hand and more support than other skin areas of the face.

A new medical-grade treatment available is called the Tixel. It uses heat, or thermo-mechanical ablation, to resurface, rejuvenate and tighten the skin of the face, eyes, neck and body. It is safe to use right up to the upper and lower lash lines, making it a unique and result-driven treatment. The Tixel treatment can be used on its own, but may also be used in conjunction with surgery and other in-clinic procedures in order to improve the texture of the skin. The Tixel will deliver similar results to those of a fractional CO2 laser, but without the risks, pain and downtime. A most fascinating alternative way to use Tixel is to infuse ingredients including anti-wrinkle injection and hyaluronic acid. This will assist in reducing the crepey texture and help with deep hydration of the skin in the orbital area. It is normally suggested to have 2-3 treatments that are spaced 4 weeks apart.

An alternative treatment for skin tightening and wrinkles is using the Accor Plasma Cosmetic Corrector. This is a gentle and low pain procedure, where the conductor tip creates a tiny plasma flash from the tip of the needle. The tip does not touch the skin but leaves the skin with very small, superficial brown carbon spots that look like a henna tattoo. These small dots contract the skin in their direct surroundings and will shrink and tighten the skin. This is a non-surgical treatment providing a result where the skin has shrunk and wrinkles and small bags have been reduced. Again normally 2-3 treatments are scheduled about 2-3 months apart.

The use of neuromodulators such as anti-wrinkle injections, along with fillers using hyaluronic acid is an amazing treatment when performed by qualified injectors. The easiest treatment for the furrows between the brows and the crows’ feet at the sides of our eyes is injecting a neuromodulator. These injections temporarily disrupt the muscle contraction in the eye area and therefore reduce the appearance of the wrinkle. The neuromodulator can also be used to give the eye a browlift, allowing a more youthful and awake appearance. This usually lasts 3 months and if the result is to be maintained the injection is then repeated. The hollows under the eyes can be injected with a very fine filler. The filler can also reduce the appearance of darkness which may be caused by the loss of volume as we age. This injection may last from 9-12 months depending on how active we are and our overall health and age.

Radio Frequency and PEMF treatments are the most relaxing and effective when it comes to a gentle firming and hydrating result. These treatments stimulate the circulation so efficiently, we have seen in our clinic the reduction of puffiness, darkness and fine lines. The warmth of the RF wand is so relaxing we often see clients going to sleep during their treatment. These treatments are necessary to be performed every 5-7 days over a 6-8 time frame. In order to maintain the result, it is recommended to have 1 every month. Radio Frequency is one of the best treatments to be used in conjunction with surgery, Tixel and Plasma.

The delicate periorbital area needs some extra love and attention, compared to the rest of the face. When combining a healthy internal lifestyle and a proactive external clinic treatment regime, the eyes will reflect our own kind of beauty, being the best version of ourselves.