Makeup Tips for Mature Skin

Makeup can be a great way to further hide the signs of aging. However ….poor preparation, using the wrong products, colours, or application techniques can leave our skin looking older.

Prep your skin

1) Exfoliate once or twice weekly.

Dry flaky skin is not a good base for any makeup, especially foundation. If you’ve ever noticed your makeup starting to flake a few hours after you’ve applied it, chances are a buildup of dead skin is to blame. Add a gentle facial exfoliant into your weekly skin care routine. A great exfoliate, which is not too harsh -yet gets the job done is Enhancements Microdermabrasion Paste

2) Balance with a Toner

For many, the word “toner” brings to mind stinging astringents from the 1980’s. The original was an alcohol-based product that was used to dry up oily skin and remove any leftover dirt following cleansing. HOWEVER ‘some’ of today’s high quality formulas have completely evolved.

Toner

Toner balances your skin’s pH, which helps it build a healthy protective barrier. So apply an alcohol-free toner on your face after cleansing to keep your skin radiant. For more info on modern day Toners see here

3) Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

Nothing plumps up the skin, making it look more youthful than a splash of hydration.

The secret to hydrated skin is to use a hyaluronic acid serum before applying moisturiser. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a renowned anti-aging and hydrating ingredients. This is due to its ability to attract moisture into your skin, to soften, soothe, and smooth your skin. This will help makeup glide on better.

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See here for all the amazing benefits of HA.

4) Don’t skimp on moisturiser

A good moisturiser will help lock the moisture in. This will further help balance aging skin’s natural dryness.

0497DD44-A74C-40B7-9ED1-684B076F637E.pngChoose a day cream that will absorb without a greasy feel (heavier creams are best left for nighttime).

5) Follow with a Primer

A good Primer is a game-changer if you want a smooth, long-lasting finish. It prevents makeup from creasing and comes in a variety of formulas — from illuminating to pore minimising — so you can find the right one for your needs and occasion. Using one with a radiant illuminating finish can give you a brighter look.

Specific primers for your ‘eyes’ can help eye shadow stay in place. As we age our eyelids become heavier as the skin above them becomes less elastic and starts to droop. This increases the risk of having eye shadow smudge and slide off. Eye primer will help prevent eye shadow from settling into fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help mask imperfections like veins and age spots, which become more obvious as eyelid skin thins.

Pass on the Powder

Powder can easily become trapped in wrinkles and creases. Fine lines then become more noticeable -as the makeup settles and cakes in. Skin can also then look flaky and dry.

Avoid heavy matt foundation and instead go lighter sheer formulas OR a tinted moisturiser that will give your skin a more hydrated (less crepey) look.

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Tip: You can turn any foundation into a sheer coverage foundation by applying it with a damp sponge. This technique thins out the product, and allows you to build more coverage only in areas that need it.

Also remember less is more when it comes to foundation.

For a good foundation option try MAC Face and Body Which is a lightweight fluid foundation with a unique blend of emollients that delivers low-to-medium buildable coverage and a natural satin finish. The moisturizing, long-wearing formula glides on well, is non-drying, for all skin types, including sensitive and dermatologist tested. Another great option for a light day coverage;- which is breathable, won’t clog pores and has SPF 25 is Dermacosmetics Radiant Defense Perfecting Liquid.

There is an exception when it comes to powder …

If you occasionally get shiny in your T-zone, you can dust a bit of translucent setting powder around the center of your face. If you’re not oily, a liquid setting spray will do just fine. It will help set your foundation and will make you look less dry and more dewy.

Try a warm toned foundation

Whether you have a warm, cool, or neutral skin tone, a foundation with a warmer golden undertone has many benefits. It will give you a youthful healthy glow and (because yellow neutralizes redness) it will help balance out redness from broken capillaries.

No need to go too yellow — for example, if you usually wear the neutral shade N25, you could try a different undertone in the same color, such as warm W25. You’ll be surprised at what a difference a small change makes.

Conceal the under eyes

Concealing under the eyes helps to illuminate and makes your eyes look bigger and more awake. Choose a concealer that is one shade lighter than your foundation— this brightens a particularly shadowy area of our face.

As skin is much drier around the eyes (especially in our 40s and beyond), it’s best to choose a concealer with a more liquidy consistency, rather than a heavier or even waterproof formula (these tend to settle and dehydrate the skin.)

To apply, dab concealer underneath the lower lid and then blend out in an inverted triangle shape. This gives the illusion of an elongated under eye.

Fill in sparse brows

Unfortunately as we age our brows thin out. This can be made worse if you over-plucked your brows in the 80’s / 90s like I did. When gravity starts to take a toll, there is no greater instant fix than subtly filling in your brows. It’s one of the easiest ways to lift features and frame the face, helping make us look younger. Another option is to have your brows feather tattooed (ie natural looking brush strokes rather than solid block tattoo).

You can create the effect of an “eye lift” by slightly arching the brows and extending the tail.

If using a brow pencil, make sure the color is a close match to your own brows. Follow the natural shape of the brow and blend the color lightly so the brows don’t appear harsh and drawn on.

For a super natural look and easy application try Benefit Gimme Brow.

Choose eyeshadow wisely to make your eyes appear larger

When it comes to eyeshadow for mature eyes, it’s better to stay away from dark charcoal  (which can accentuate wrinkles and make your eyes look smaller) and also cool greys (which will make your eyes look tired). Look for neutral warm satin shades such as brown, beige, bronze, rose gold, cream, and peach.

Avoid dark eye liner on the bottom of your eyes, as it makes the eyes look smaller and can draw attention to dark circles. Stick to the upper lids to make your lashes appear fuller — you can make the line slightly thicker toward the outer corners, where eyes have a tendency to droop as we age.

Avoid sparkle and also ‘overdoing’ the shimmer. This can age you more by drawing attention to areas that are more creased than they use to be. SO avoid extending shimmer too laterally, as this can enhance the appearance of crow’s feet. Instead, when adding a touch of shimmer, try applying it to the corner of the eye—just enough to add a little pop when the light hits it.

A satin finish helps brighten and is more flattering than matte which can settle into fine lines more easily.

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Bring youthful colour to your face with BLUSH

In our youth, our cheeks tended to have a permanent rosy glow. Unfortunately as we age, our cheeks lose that flush due to decreased blood circulation to the skin.

Even if you like to keep your makeup routine to a minimal, skipping blush can wash you out and make you look tired. A gentle sweep will add a warm, healthy glow and can make a huge difference.

Stay away from cool frosty tones or a too-dark colour. Instead go for a warmer peachy pink shade with a satin finish – which flatters aging skin.

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Apply blush to the height of the apples of your cheeks (ie not too low). Blend it lightly back and up to define and lift your features.

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Highlighting the top of the cheekbones creates an instant lifting effect— making volume loss and sagging less noticeable. Look for a highlighter with a sheen — anything too glittery will look unnatural.

You can also put a little highlighter on your brow bone to open up the eyes and draw attention to your upper face. Some makeup artists also apply highlighter to the the bridge of the nose, forehead, and cupid’s bow. However, the cheek bones and brow bone will give the biggest wow factor.

Lips

First prep….

Daily lip conditioning is a must before even thinking about adding a splash of lip colour. As we age our lips loose volume, pigment and moisture. Adding colour to dehydrated lined lips will only emphasise lip wrinkles. To help your lips retain their natural moisture (for a smoother and healthier appearance) you should be prepping daily with a product such as Lip Renewing Serum. Ingredients to look for include:-

  • Shea Butter –  is full of fatty acids which hydrate and nourish lips, while also soothing irritation. Not only does Shea butter moisturize, it is also has healing properties and creates a physical barrier on top of the skin to prevent water loss.
  • Vitamin E
  • Peptides

Ingredients to avoid in lip conditioners / lip balms / chapsticks:-

  • Petrolatum (AKA Petroleum Jelly) –  because petrolatum is derived from petroleum (oil), it needs to be refined, and some refining methods use toxic compounds.  Petrolatum is considered potentially carcinogenic.
  • Parabens – are known to interfere with hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Artificial Fragrances, flavourings & colours (esp red 33 & yellow 5). Fragrances and flavors are the “hidden chemicals” of lip balm ingredients. Unfortunately  the FDA federal law allows manufacturers to include nearly any ingredient in their products under the name “fragrance” without actually listing the product used.
  • Lip enhancing and plumping balms- these are usually drying and can contain mildly irritating agents, which can cause an inflammatory reaction and aggravate dryness.

Then for a splash of colour…

Avoid matte lipstick or long-wearing formulas, as they will contribute to dryness and settle into fine lip lines. Stick to sheer lipstick or lip gloss which will make your lips look (and feel) more hydrated and youthful.

If you have fine lips, avoid dark colours OR very bright shades as these can make your lips appear thinner.

Your natural lip line can begin to fade as you age, which makes lipstick prone to bleeding.  Lip liners can help your colour stay in place and also make fine lips look fuller. Avoid dark colours (so 90’s) which look harsh and can draw attention to fine lines above the lips.

Finish with a Spritz

Mature skin tends to be on the dryer side. So if you haven’t already, switch from translucent powder to a setting spray. Powder is really only suitable for mature skin that’s still a touch oily.

A few spritzes over your makeup will help balance dry skin and keep your makeup from caking or flaking off.

Oh and lastly ….Never go to bed without taking off your makeup

😊 Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse) – Skincare / Dermatology

Is It Possible To Have Glowing Skin after 50?

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Changes in our SKIN after 50 predominantly occur due to

  • The multiple effects of hormonal fluctuations
  • A shrinking skeleton
  • Decreased collagen production
  • Accumulated sun damage over the years
  • Repetitive facial expressions over the years (causing lines and wrinkles to become etched in).

Some of the typical skin changes that occur during this period of estrogen decline:-

  • Dryer (and sometimes itchy) skin
  • Thinning skin
  • Decreased elasticity
  • Sensitivity
  • An increase in rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions
  • Increased  pigmentation (äge spots”)
  • Lines and wrinkles & volume loss.

Fortunately, there’s lots we can do for healthy skin after 50 

Cleanse GENTLY

Cleansing is an important skin care step at every age. However, as we get older our skin becomes more delicate and drier. So we need to use a cleanser that is right for our skin. Choose either creamy formulas or cleansing masks -rather than harsh foam or gel cleansers (which can strip moisture away and compromise our delicate lipid barrier).

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Oestrogen stimulates the production of oils in our skin and also our skins ability to hold moisture. So when oestrogen production diminishes  – dry and sometimes itchy skin becomes a common problem.

Although ‘Dry’ and ‘dehydrated’ seem like two words which describe the same thing;- there is a big difference when it comes to our skin! To put it simply, dehydrated skin lacks water and dry skin lacks oil / lipids.

In relation to skin care, hydration means increasing the amount of water in our skin cells, which results in a healthy, smooth and plump complexion. When our skin doesn’t have enough moisture, it gets scaly, rough and dull.

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Moisture and hydration skincare products do different things. A moisturiser tends not to hydrate the skin. Instead it forms a barrier to prevent moisture from escaping. A hydration product on the other hand – actually brings water to the skin. So, it is important that we give our skin the right combination of hydration and moisture.

If you are not using a serum now YOU SHOULD. Most contain effective anti-aging ingredients not typically found in other products such as cleansers, toners, moisturizers,or facial oils.

You Still Need SPF

The maintenance of Melanocytes (cells that manufacture the pigment Melanin) is under the control of estrogens. During menopause, the number of melanocytes in the skin is therefor reduced (due to a decrease in estrogen). Less melanocytes, means we produce less of the protective melanin. Our skin therefore becomes more prone to sun damage.

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Although a lot of the damage was caused by the amount of sun we got in our 20s, 30s, and 40’s, it’s still vital to protect our skin from further damage. So include a broad-spectrum SPF as part of your daily skincare regime.

Sunscreen for anti-aging

Hit the Brown Spots

Pigmentation äge spots” on the face, hands, and chest can look more obvious around menopause. Help prevent them by using sunscreen every day. Already got spots? See here

Clean up your DIET and consider your GUT

Eating foods rich with antioxidants can help your skin from the inside out. See more here regarding skin boosting super foods to increase in your diet and here for foods to avoid. Also consider:- Omega-3’s

Consider your Mental Health 

Our mind and skin are very much connected. This is now being referred to as Psychodermatogy.

Constant stress increases the production of our stress hormone ‘cortisol’. This then triggers inflammation and can also throw off other hormones in our body.  Increased inflammation is not good news for inflammatory skin disorders.

Stress can also disrupt the balance between the good and bad bacteria in our gut. As we know, our gut health can also cause havoc with our skin. See Gut Article

Take time during your day to reduce stress levels. Try yoga, meditation, pilates, going for a walk, reading OR any other stress-reduction techniques – to help reduce cortisol levels.

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Get Moving

Exercise helps keep our skin healthy and vibrant. The multiple benefits of exercise include:-

  1. Increased circulation, including blood flow. This
    results in oxygen and nutrients being delivered to
    our skin.
  2. An increase in blood flow, also helps waste products 
    to be carried away from our skin.
  3. Endorphins (our feel good hormones) are produced. This subsequently helps reduce stress levels and cortisol. This can result in an improvement of acne, eczema and other skin conditions.

Upgrade your Skincare regime

  • Upgrade your Skincare Regime / Products – to suit your changing skin conditions. Visit the Solution Tool for further advice regarding which skincare products will best suit your individual skin concerns.

Bulk Up on Beauty Sleep

Getting enough sleep helps your skin look younger. Lack of sleep can cause hormonal imbalances (and also decrease our metabolisms). It can also increase  flare-ups of inflammatory skin conditions and adult acne. getting adequate sleep helps prevent dark circles under our eyes, and it also gives the rest of our body a chance to recharge.  Aim for 7-9 hours per night.

Sleep and your skinAnd a Retinol serum at night

Retinol (Vitamin A) is clinically proven to make a huge impact on how skin ages. Dermatologists have been prescribing it for decades as the gold standard for promoting skin cell turnover and collagen production. It helps to correct lines, wrinkles, and scarring and can also help with breakouts.

Retinol benefits

Minimize Wrinkled Skin

Wrinkles are formed from a combination of too much sun over the years, hormonal change, repeated facial expressions, a loss of collagen, and thinning skin. Wrinkles are more obvious when our skin is dry. SO use a hydrating serum and a moisterising cream every day.

  • Some people choose to get muscle relaxant injections – these work to prevent the formation of static wrinkles by stopping the signal between the nerve and muscle. The decreased movement in the muscle places less stress on the skin helping to give a fresh and youthful appearance. Anti-wrinkle injections are made from a purified protein that temporarily causes facial muscles to relax, instantly softening lines and wrinkles and reducing the severity of visible wrinkles. Please contact Victoria for more information on Laser Clinics Australia bookings. Or visit the  LCA website
  • Hyaluronic dermal filler injections – once again, this is a personal choice made by some people. A dermal filler helps re-volumise and hydrate the face. Made from hyaluronic gel – a natural sugar already present in the human body. Hyaluronic can help restore fullness and volume in numerous facial areas. Visit here for more details.

Always use an Eye Cream.

The skin around the eye is thinner and more fragile. It requires a different efficacy and mix of ingredients than the skin on the rest of your face does.

Tip – Try keeping your eye cream in the fridge, as the cold cream will help constrict blood vessels to reduce puffy under eye bags in the mornings.

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Make sure your using skin products that suite YOUR skin type

It’s very important to choose cleansers, moisturizers, and a skin care routine formulated for your skin type. If you don’t know yours, find out at What’s Your Skin Type.

Skin Boosting Supplements

  • Certain supplements can do wonders for our skin especially if its a supplement your lacking in. For example Zinc, probiotics (see gut health), and Omega 3’s (which help with inflammation and dryness). See here for more

 

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse)

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse)

 

About / Contact

Victoria has been nursing for 20 years. She has a double degree in Nursing and Health Science, as well as a Post Graduate in Midwifery. In addition, she has also undertaken comprehensive and extensive training in dermatology and the cosmetic field. Having an eye for detail, Victoria now works exclusively in skincare aesthetics as a Cosmetic Nurse.

Working in the Cosmetic/ Dermatology field, Victoria has seen a lot of fads come and go. This Blog aims to help you eliminate the confusion of an over abundance of Skin advice and products on the market today.  The objective  is to help you filter through the gimmicky products and advice, to get to the good material. All products shown are clinical grade, cruelty free, and have undertaken rigorous testing.

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Blog topics will help educate and shed light on various skin (& related health) concerns. It is important to take a wholistic approach when it comes to skin health. Blog topics will cover both conventional and functional medicine. This includes various treatment options, clinical grade products, natural products, hormones, gut health, cosmetic injectables, natural remedies and more.

Please read on to find out more

For in clinic skin treatments / injectables with Victoria at Laser Clinics Australia please visit here OR contact:-

Warriewood (Tuesdays) Ph: 02 83192078

Brookvale (Thursdays) Ph: 80148911

For dermatological clinically proven skincare products visit here

😊 Victoria Isherwood

Contact

 

 

Typical Skin Changes In Our 40’s + what we can do to help….

Life happens and somehow the years fly by. Then before we know it we are in our fourth decade.

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The changes….

Around our late 30’s / early 40s women typically go through a transitional period (which can last several years) caused by hormonal fluctuations. This period is often referred to as ‘perimenopause’.

Due to the shifts in hormone production (mainly progesterone and estrogen), perimenopause can bring about many changes. Unlike full-fledged (or early menopause), you DO continue to ovulate and you ARE still producing estrogen. In fact, your hormones will often test in the “normal” range.

Some of the typical changes that occur during this period of estrogen and progesterone fluctuations (and then decline) include:-

  • Skin Changes – eg …dryer, thinning, adult acne, rosacea, pigmentation, increased sensitivity, less elastic, itchy, lines and wrinkles & volume loss.
  • Hot Flushes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poorer concentration & also memory
  • Anxiety 
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Increased PMS symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular periods – often short cycles + heavier bleeding.
  • Weight changes
  • Decrease in breast volume
  • Change in sex drive
  • Etc

Specific SKIN Changes

Changes in our skin predominantly occur due to:-

  • the multiple effects of hormonal fluctuations
  • a shrinking skeleton
  • decreased collagen production
  • accumulated sun damage over the years
  • Repetitive facial expressions over the years (causing lines and wrinkles to become etched in). See more info here.

Adult Acne:

Beginning in our 30’s, our levels of androgens increase. Testosterone stimulates sebaceous glands to secrete thicker sebum. This can cause clogged pores and an increase the likeliness of adult Acne.

……see ‘Adult Acne’ Article for more information 

Facial Hair:

Due to the unstable progesterone / estrogen levels + increased testosterone, some women may develop the odd sprout (or two or three) of facial hair, particularly in the chin area.

Sagging Skin and Wrinkles:

When progesterone levels drop (causing estrogen to become unstable), fat deposits tend to become redistributed. Fat pads in our face (which provide support and structure) diminish. Instead our adipose cells can become more concentrated around the abdomen, thighs and buttocks. Leading Dermatologist Dr Kathy Fields describes this as “fat redistribution from our face to our Fanny” 😳. The result of this loss of volume in our face, can be the formation of wrinkles and skin that appears less taut.

Continuous muscle contraction over the years, is another major contributor of facial wrinkles. Continuous muscle movement causes ‘dynamic wrinkles’ which only appear when the muscle is used, however, over time, if untreated, these wrinkles can become ‘static wrinkles’ which means they become permanently etched in our skin.

Thiner less elastic Skin:

Collagen is the supportive protein structure of our skin. It helps give skin it’s youthful plumpness. Skin stays more supple when there is enough progesterone …..which helps stimulate the production of collagen.

Sun Damage:

The maintenance of Melanocytes (cells that manufacture the pigment Melanin) is under the control of estrogens. As we move closer to menopause, the number of melanocytes in the skin is reduced. With less melanocytes, we produce less of the protective melanin and skin appears lighter. Our skin is therefore more prone to sun damage.

Pigmentation:

As estrogen helps regulate the production of melanin (pigment), melanin synthesis can increase (when estrogen decreases). This can then lead to brown “age spots”. These can appear on the face, hands, neck, arms and chest of many women. This is particularly evident in areas of our skin that have been exposed to the sun over the years. See here for more info on pigmentation and melasma.

Dry and sometimes itchy skin

Estrogen stimulates the production of oils in our skin and also our skins ability to hold moisture. So when estrogen production diminishes  – dry and sometimes itchy skin becomes common.

However it’s not all bad news, there it’s lots we can do which helps dramatically. If you haven’t yet whipped your anti-aging routine into shape, now’s the time—because it only gets harder from here.

What can help?

  • A healthier diet – a healthy outside starts on the inside.
  • Skip long hot showers which drys our Skin out.
  • Supplements – such as Zinc (can do wonders for Skin), probiotics (as gut health is linked to Skin health), Omega 3’s which help with inflammation and dryness, Vitex, Sage, black cohosh etc. Speak to a naturopath.
  • Sun protection +++
  • read previous Gut Article!!
  • See previous Adult Acne Article!!
  • Retinol (Vitamin A) based night serums – is anti-aging as it helps with collagen building and the rate at which skin cells generate. Amp up your results even further by using a dermal-roller prior.
  • Going to bed earlier – as lack of sleep can add to hormonal imbalance, inflammatory skin conditions and adult acne.  Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
  • Manage stress – as cortisol can trigger skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and acne. Stress also robs us of progesterone.
  • Exercise – helps with circulation (blood flow to your skin) and also stress management. See previous article.
  • Quit smoking as it has been linked to early menopause.
  • Some people choose to get mustcle relaxant injections – these work to prevent the formation of static wrinkles by stopping the signal between the nerve and muscle. The decreased movement in the muscle places less stress on the skin helping to give a fresh and youthful appearance. Anti-wrinkle injections are made from a purified protein that temporarily causes facial muscles to relax, instantly softening lines and wrinkles and reducing the severity of visible wrinkles. Please contact Victoria for more information on Laser Clinics Australia bookings. Or visit the  LCA website
  • Hyaluronic dermal filler injections – once again, this is a personal choice made by some people. A dermal filler helps re-volumise and hydrate the face. Made from hyaluronic gel – a natural sugar already present in the human body. Hyaluronic can help restore fullness and volume in numerous facial areas. Visit here for more details.
  • See the Beauty Booster Treatment
  • Upgrade your Skincare Regime / Products – to suit your changing skin conditions. Visit the Solution Tool for further advice regarding which skincare products will best suit your individual skin concerns. 
  • Skin Treatments….eg Skin Needling
  • See ‘5 Of The Worst Things You Can do For Your Skin’
  • Progesterone Cream helps a lot of women with Perimenopausal symptoms in general. I highly recommend Ona’s Natural Progesterone Cream
  • To receive a discount on Ona’s natural progesterone cream use code : Vskin10
  • Vitex – has been traditionally used in Western herbal medicine for menstrual cycle irregularities and to help relieve symptoms associated with PMS. It can also provide symptomatic relief of hormone-induced acne. Visit your local health food shop or nutritionist for more information.

 

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse / Dermatology) ☺️

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The Importance of a Strong Skin Barrier

The below is a great extract from ‘Mind Body Green’ written by Amy Chang (2018). It really highlights the importance of a strong skin barrier. For years I personally suffered from hormonal adult acne. Having dry skin meant that the products I was using to treat breakouts were making my dry skin worse …and the products to (supposedly) nourish my dry skin were increasing my breakouts. I was suffering from product overload and a severely compromised skin barrier.

The breakthrough for me came after I switched skincare products. I was then able to fortify my skins natural moisture barrier. This meant my skin became more resilient,  less prone to irritation, and had fewer breakouts.

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Extract below from Mind Body Green 2018

Note: The author Amy Chang is a Los Angeles-based influencer and founder of BOND EN AVANT, a beauty and wellness blog dedicated to sharing her journey exploring nontoxic skin care and makeup etc

The Skin Care Routine That Helped Clear My Adult Acne

If you get a pimple or two, is your first reaction to reach for something drying? It was always mine. But somehow, every time I approached treating my adult acne this way, all it did was make things worse. Much worse. I couldn’t understand why these prescriptions and products marketed as “acne treatments” weren’t working and were actually exacerbating the situation. I figured maybe I hadn’t found the right one. So, one after the other, I tried them all, desperately hoping one would work. Finally, after almost a decade of riding the acne roller coaster, I discovered how to clear up my adult acne. The first and most important step was realizing my acne was not a result of excess oil but rather dry skin, inflammation, and a disrupted skin barrier.

The Importance of a Strong Skin Barrier

‘The Acne Answer: A Step-by-Step Guide to Clear, Healthy Skin’, written by organic skin care founder and chemist Marie Veronique, was actually instrumental in bringing this understanding to light. In her book, Marie breaks down the importance of strengthening the skin’s barrier and rebalancing its microbiome, which many acne sufferers have severely—and unknowingly—disrupted due to prescription topicals, preservatives (i.e., parabens, phthalates) that can have microbiome and endocrine-disrupting capabilities, and overcleansing or overexfoliating the skin.
“With the skin microbiome,” she explained to me in our interview, “if you use a topical antibiotic for instance, clindamycin, it will kill all of the bacteria on your skin, disrupting the balance. It may work for a while, but once you stop, the bacteria can come back with a vengeance and can be very difficult to treat. We have been taught that when you start getting a breakout, you must use oil-free products, that you want to cleanse to get rid of the bacteria, but all you’re doing is drying out the skin, stripping it of the oils that are actually going to help keep your skin microbiome in balance and creating dry skin, which may invite more pathogenic bacteria to overcolonize. What started out as a little problem can quickly become a large problem.”

What finally worked to heal my cystic acne

Upon learning this from Marie, I decided to make an effort to avoid harmful synthetic preservatives and began employing a skin care routine aimed at strengthening my skin’s barrier and rebalancing its microbiome. Within weeks, my skin drastically improved.

Key tips to take away:-

Focus on reducing inflammation.

Even (adult) breakouts are commonly ‘inflammation’ in need of soothing, not something to overstrip and dry out. Re think your skincare products as you may be doing more harm than good!

Gentle Cleansing

Cleansing needs to be about removing impurities, without the use of harsh surfactants -which strip our skins natural (and beneficial) moisture. Two great options are R+F Soothe Gentle Cream Wash or Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask (with Koalin Clay). Click here to find out more or purchase.

Gentle physical exfoliation 

Exfoliation is absolutely essential in every skincare regime because it sloughs off a whole layer of dry, dead skin cells (causing dullness). This allows other products to then work more effectively. HOWEVER there’s a catch;- Most of the granulated exfoliants on the market are very harsh. In fact it is not uncommon for them to have apricot seeds (pits) as an ingredient.  The small sharp edges can easily create micro-tears in the delicate lipid barrier, allowing distress. This is not something we want to experience.

One of my favourite products is the R+F Micro-Dermabrasion Paste. This dermatologically developed product features Vitamins C & E + ‘sugar granules’ that melt away leaving the skin silky-smooth.

Ideally, an exfoliant should only be used 1-2 times per week instead of cleanser. To purchase click here.

For information on certain problematic skin issues please visit:-

Common Skin Conditions

Rosacea

Perimenopause & your skin

Adult Acne

Melasma & Pigmentation

😌 Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse – Skincare)

 

 

 

What Causes Wrinkles? …& what can we do to help

There are many factors that contribute to the lines and wrinkles that we developed over the years. Some contributors are out of are control, while others are from our own lifestyle circumstances and choices.

As we age our skin gets thinner, less elastic and drier. It also becomes less able to protect itself from damage.

When we are young, our skin springs back. HOWEVER -as we get older our skin looses collagen and it’s flexibility. Springing back becomes harder, resulting in permanent  (at rest) lines and wrinkles.

Types of Wrinkles

FINE SUPERFICAL LINES

These finer lines increase when our skin is dehydrated, sun damaged, or if your a smoker. They can also occur due to our sleep position.

DEEP WRINKLES

Every time our facial muscles move (when we speak or make facial expressions such as frowning) our skin moves too. This is called ‘dynamic movement’ – producing dynamic wrinkles. Overtime, dynamic wrinkles will turn into ‘static lines’. This means they are permanently etched in our skin.

In addition, the loss of volume (mainly fat cells) under our skin means there is less ‘support’. This is a natural part of aging and leads to increased wrinkling and sagging.

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A number of avoidable lifestyle and environmental factors also contribute to the development of lines and wrinkles.

Smoking
Tobacco contains loads of toxins including;- carbon monoxide, nicotine, formaldehyde, mercury, lead and tar. These chemicals damage collagen and elastin within the skin. They also cause blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Skin is then less able to rejuvenate and repair itself. In addition to this, constantly squinting to avoid getting cigaret smoke in the eyes, and puckering the lips = lines around the eyes and mouth. See 5 of the worst things you can do for your skin.

The sun
Sun exposure is a major cause of wrinkles, especially for fair-skinned people.

Our sleep position
Sleep creases result from the way the head is positioned on the pillow and may become more visible after our skin starts losing its elasticity. Lying predominantly ‘face-down’ is typically the culprit. So trying to change sleep position can improve these sleep creases, or at least prevent them from becoming worse.

Dehydrated skin
As we age, it becomes harder for our skin to maintain its moisture levels. It also becomes increasingly common for our skins ‘lipid barrier’ to become impaired. This then leads to moisture loss / dehydration. The Skin also becomes more susceptible to bacteria and pollutants penetrating the impaired barrier.  Several factors can lead to dehydrated skin such as:-

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What can help slow down the aging process

1) Protect your skin from the sun
– slip slop slap and include SPF in your day Cream

2) Don’t smoke
3) Choose skincare formulas rich in active anti-aging  ingredients eg retinol

3) Avoid dry dehydrated skin
Avoid long hot showers which draws moisture out of your skin. Avoid harsh cleansers. Change your skincare products to suit your aging skin, see multi-med therapy and  Active Hydration Serum

4) Smarten up your diet
Increase your fatty acid intake. Omega 3’s and Omega 6 help boost the skins barrier -which keeps moisture in and irritants out. Good sources include salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, Sea buckthorn. Take Supplements if your diet is not up to scratch (Omega 3’s & Zinc is a good start). See Anti-Aging Superfoods.

5) Skin Treatments
– See Rolling back the years & LED
– Muscle relaxants (aka anti-wrinkle injections).

Anti-wrinkle injections work to prevent the formation of static wrinkles by stopping the signal between the nerve and muscle (temporarily causing the muscle to relax). The decreased movement in the muscle places less stress on the skin helping you maintain a fresh and youthful appearance. This treatment is most effective when used as a preventative measure. Anti-wrinkle injections are made from a purified protein.
Deep wrinkles can be treated with dermal fillers which replace the volume that has been lost under the skin.

Other
See 7 proven ways to nourish sun-damaged Skin.            See 5 of the WORST things you can do for your SKIN

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse)

Retinol

Can we have an impact on how our skin ages?

 The answer is: YES

Retinol (Vitamin A) is clinically proven to make a huge impact on how skin ages. Dermatologists have been prescribing it for decades as the gold standard for promoting skin cell turnover and collagen production. It can help with:-

Retinol benefits

SO …..when it comes to delivering long-term benefits and creating a more youthful appearance, it certainly gets an A+.

However, there’s a hitch: Prescription Vitamin A causes irritation and can be very drying, which makes daily use very difficult.

DC54FDED-82A5-4FF1-8207-C07918FAF408So how can you reap the benefits of Vitamin A without the irritation or the need for a Doctors script??

One way is to use products that contain a very low percentage of Retinol – this would be less irritating to the skin, but also less potent and effective (compared to prescription Vitamin A). The innovative way is to use Rodan + Fields Intensive Renewing Serum, which is the closest thing you will find to prescription strength WITHOUT drying your skin out.

This is because Intensive Renewing Serum contains a proprietary blend of powerful peptides and Retinal-MD (which is 20 times the strength of regular retinol). This will allow for visibly improved skin WITHOUT the side effects. The time-release technology keeps this anti-ageing serum working all night long to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and pores for firmer, younger-looking skin. SO …..you can revitalise the appearance of your skin while you sleep. It is designed to be tough on the signs of aging and not on your skin.

What about oral Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a super important antioxidant / fat-soluble vitamin. It is crucial for maintaining overall health and keeping our SKIN healthy and clear. See here for the multiple skin benefits of oral vitamin A (including the best dietary sources).

Q&A:

Why should topical Retinol only be applied at NIGHT time?

Its important to keep your skin away from direct sunlight when using retinol. This is because retinol makes skin super-sensitive to UV rays and more likely to burn. In addition, the sunlight makes the product less effective. SO ALWAYS apply retinol serums in the evening before bed and remember to use sunscreen every morning.

Why does R&F Intensive renewing Serum (Retinol) come in small capsules?

The patented capsules eliminate the product’s exposure to oxygen. Oxygen decreases the efficacy of retinol dramatically – hence the creation of these little blue capsules! This intensive serum is as close as you can get to prescription Vitamin A without a visit to a doctor.

Pregnant woman and Vitamin A?

If pregnant please speak to your Doctor or Midwife before considering topical or oral Vitamin A. This is because high levels of vitamin A early in a pregnancy increases the risk for birth defects.

 

Click here to purchase or to find out which other products may suit your Skin type. Please message Victoria to find out how to get an instant discount and free shipping.

Want to amp up your Retinol Serum even further? Visit here

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse)

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse)