It has been feeling like spring lately, we feel it in the air, our surroundings, the people… there is a ‘shift’ .
Work and lifestyle adapts along with better weather and we see this through the change of clothing that is breezier, more summery and colourful. The food we choose to eat is shifted to lighter and healthier choices…
People are more aware of what to eat, I saw many familiar faces at Dr. Libby ‘Food Frustrations’ and it’s great to see the progress towards healthier life choices.
Certain foods can have a detrimental effect on the body and in time this can show on the skin.
Your skin is a ‘tell all’ of what’s happening underneath…
But there has also been a movement in the beauty industry, already for some time. Not just in certain skin products but the approach towards skin and skin care. It’s called Corneotherapy.
More brands and clinics market their treatments non-striping, preserving the acid mantle, restore and repair the stratum corneum, the outer layer of the skin.
I’ve seen it, in brochures, on conventional products, through social media…all claiming to maintain the acid mantle on the skin.
Then let me ask you, how can you preserve and keep the integrity of the acid mantle if you have treatments that include acid peels, still have microdermabrasion in summer (It’s incredible that this still happens - and on a monthly basis!) or use a product that contains mineral occlusive oils, perfumes and fragrances, emulsifiers, etc. These are products and treatments that compromise the skin barrier on a regular if not daily basis. A recognisable condition I see often is a disrupted skin barrier. A skin that is left stripped dry, due to over exfoliation, especially with young people because of use of harsh cleansers, rough exfoliants and harmful chemicals or even medication taken for acne. Sometimes these can can help, but often they are recommended too quickly and unnecessary prescribed.
Addressing the cause rather then the symptoms might take longer, but how long did it take for the acne and dry skin to manifest itself? Corneotherapy makes it possible to achieve healthy functioning skin by correcting and restoring the skin barrier. The use of Corneotherapy products with skin identical ingredients and free from emulsifiers, perfumes, fragrances, mineral oils etc. makes it True Corneotherapy.
A skin methodology backed up by science, not a trend!
The choices we make is influenced by information that is available anywhere. It’s not easy and we do get overwhelmed with what is out there. So how can we filter fads from facts? What product is good for me? Where shall I go and how do I start?
The easiest way is to look at the label. Most of us do this in the supermarket, looking at the ingredients on the food, how much fat? What kind of fat? What is the sugar content?
We are sourcing the good fats and incorporate them in our diet because we know it’s good for us and they can help you absorb certain nutrients, we actually need them and they are important for a healthy diet.
So, let’s begin to look at the label of our skin care. What is in it? Where does it come from? What do the ingredients mean?
Starting a healthy skin approach will get you closer to get your skin in good condition and will have a positive snowball effect.
Ask the why’s when you want to purchase skin treatments and skincare. I can assure you, I get a lot of them. Not shy of answering and explaining reasons behind the ‘inside out’ approach towards skin, it quickly becomes clear why we should take care of the skin barrier first.
It’s never to late to start your healthy approach towards skin.
WHAT ARE ULTRA VIOLET RAYS AND WHAT DO THEY EXACTLY DO?
Gone are the days of ‘just slapping on sunscreen’ We need to be smarter with our sun protection, and through understanding what UVR is and how sun damage happens, we can.
Ultra Violet Rays consist out of UVA, UVB an UVC. We do not worry about UVC, they can’t penetrate through the ozone layer and reach the earth.
UVA and UVB are the ones reaching the earth and damaging our skin. UVA rays are longer and UVB rays shorter. We can recognize the different rays when we look at A-rays AGE and B-rays BURN, easy to remember, right?
Recent studies have confirmed UVA rays are the cause of skin ageing because they reach the dermis in the skin, causing havoc. The dermis (the deeper layer in our skin) holds collagen and elastin and these proteins are meant to give our skin strength and structure but will suffer when the UVA rays reach these proteins and cause damage. Pre-cancerous growths (actinic keratosis), cancerous growths, pigmentation and premature skin ageing can result from this. Did you know that UVA penetrates as well through the glass windows? Unless you have protective filters in the windows make sure you are well protected against UVA!
The UVB rays are shorter and cause burns by creating redness (erythema) and skin cancers.
When you have the ‘red head’ gene running through your veins, you’ll know that this are the ones to look out for in summer!
Both UVA and UVB rays affect our skin, so we need to look at a broad spectrum sunscreen. Sunscreen is primarily designed to protect our skin against UVB rays. UVA is more difficult to block out because they reach deeper in the skin and they cause FREE RADICALS. Free radicals are harmful molecules contributing to oxidative stress and cell damage.
So how will we protect our skin without creating excessive free radicals?
Clever product formulation and skin science
We need to look at correct product choices that will boost and protect your skin from the Ultra Violet Rays. It’s not just purchasing an SPF 50 anymore, by now we should know that this gives us only less then 2% more protection then SPF 30 from UVB rays.
Barrier protection and optimal function is a good start!
Our skin itself is pretty clever in giving us some protection through some savy chain reaction called the melanogenesis process. Starting with the melanocytes cells living at the lower layer of the epidermis (the basal layer) just above the dermal epidermal junction. These cells have long dendrites and work in conjunction with the keratinocyte.
How is this relevant? When we are exposed to sunlight UVR, this carries energy. The energy in the skin will be absorbed and neutralised by melanin to limit free radical damage within the skin. When pigment is being produced within our epidermis, that pigment granule is being taken by the melanosome towards the keratinocyte (predominant cell in our epidermis) to form a little “umbrella” over it’s nucleus to protect the cell barrier. it’s then that we can see darkening, pigmentation in the skin. The keratinocyte will keep moving (differentiating) upwards and taking with it the pigment to the surface to perform it’s final act and desquamate.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants are the ‘rescue’ to free radicals in the skin, they ‘neutralize’ them. Through food, topical products and serums we can add this to our daily regime.
Antioxidants also give complementary protection against formation of pigmentation such as Vitamin C, Azelaic Acid, Glucosamine, Liquorice extracts.
SMARTER and BETTER WAYS TO PROTECT OURSELVES:
So when we look at protecting ourselves against harmful UVR we need to take into consideration:
Correct PRODUCT CHOICE; Looking for an appropriate broad spectrum sunscreen that is suitable for YOUR skin. Whether that is through a CHEMICAL sunscreen; they allow the UV rays to hit the skin but transform these into non-damaging wave lengths of light and heat or a PHYSICAL sunscreen; they prevent the UV rays from hitting the skin at all through reflecting the rays away.
COVER UP; with appropriate wear. Hat and sunglasses especially near water. Water works as a mirror and throws the light back of the water.
Include ANTIOXIDANTS in your skincare regime. You know now what they do and how IMPORTANT THEY ARE protecting us through neutralizing the harmful free radicals.
Get in the good habit of REAPPLYING several times a day. Remember that false sense of security you get from an SPF 50 applied in the morning? Higher SPF requires more chemicals and that can lead towards more allergic reactions, sensitivities, compromised skin barriers and reduced immunity. It will extend your time in the sun well beyond and you are far more likely to absorb those UVA Rays.
LIMIT your time in the sun, especially in the midst of the day when the sun is very strong. Let’s face it Blenheim is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand. Our beautiful climate will give us plenty of Vitamin D, no doubt about that.
Last but not least, KNOW THE SKIN YOU ARE IN. Know your Fitzpatrick type. Understand that the Fitzpatrick scale classifies the skin in 6 types according to your skin tone. It estimates the UVR response to the skin. Meaning have you got a predisposition towards skin cancer? Are you carrying the MC1R gene (red gene) and how strong is it present? Your freckles and moles? Being aware and checking up on your history is very important.
Facial treatments, cosmetics, skin care all topics we are interested in. We want the best, the safest AND to see results. It is easy to get lost in the beauty and cosmetics market, it’s flooded with products, promises, hype and gadgets.
What can we do to stay on top of this all?
I strongly believe for a therapist, education and training is the best way to stay updated and informed to choose safe products and practice with integrity.
So I want to go a step further, reach out, keep you informed and help you.
Ingredients on labels, what do they mean? Treatments such as micro blading, feathering, strokes,.. what is it? Sunscreen and SPF, the controversies. How do I use certain products? How much to use?
I would like to share my journey with you so you can have the opportunity of making your own informed choices.
After all, the skin is our largest organ, so why wouldn’t you want the best for it!
If you have any skin concerns, feel free to reach out and we can chat about your specific needs.