My Moisturizer Isn't Working Anymore...Help!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 11, 2013 1:52:00 PM


Tame Your Winter Skin Woes

Are you pursuing a more balanced lifestyle in 2013? Don't forget to include one of the body’s most important balancing acts—taming your skin. Achieving the perfect pH balance will ease dry winter skin, enhance the effectiveness of anti-aging products, and, according to a recent report, keep wrinkles at bay.

Your body operates at a neutral pH balance of 7. But skin is a little different—its protective barrier, beautiful-beauty-blond-289225-449636-editedcomposed of dead skin cells, fatty acids, and lipids, works in a more acidic environment, at a pH of 5.5. When the balance is too neutral (at, say, a 6 or 7) that barrier breaks down, allowing allergens, pollutants, and bacteria to enter the skin, while letting precious moisture escape. But when skin is at an ideal pH, it’s optimized to retain moisture and protect against environmental threats that can age you prematurely. In fact, a recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that, over eight years, women with more alkaline skin experienced a greater number of fine lines and crow’s feet than those with a more acidic balance.

How can you tell if your skin’s pH is out of whack? There’s no surefire test, but if you’ve got flaky, scaly, or even itchy skin, there might be something amiss. “When your skin is out of balance, it can’t perform normal functions like healthy self-exfoliation,” says Dr. Sherry Ingraham, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Houston, TX. “Instead of shedding dead skin cells, it goes into protective mode and holds onto them—and that’s the dry skin process.”

If that isn’t reason enough to get your skin in shape, Ingraham says your skin’s pH also affects anti-aging products. “You want to apply your moisturizers to a surface of the right pH so they can actually work,” she says. “Those powerful ingredients won’t have the opportunity to really penetrate the outer layer and can become irritating due to a broken down skin barrier.” Here are Ingraham’s tips to keep your skin’s pH balance in check:

1. Don’t wash your face with soap. Real soap—think your husband’s favorite green bar—is an alkaline substance that strips the skin of oils, even the good ones. Washing with soap raises our skin’s pH “by at least one point, and can take hours to get back down to 5.5,” Ingraham says. Swap out your basic bar for a non-soap cleanser, a syndet bar (sometimes called a “beauty bar”), or any cleanser without surfactants.

2. Turn down the temperature. That tightness you feel after a nice long scrub? That’s skin’s response to its protective layer being stripped away. Use lukewarm water and focus on getting a good rinse instead.

3. Put away the washcloth. “Washcloths are too abrasive for your face, especially the gentle skin on your cheeks,” Ingraham says. Your hands or a gentle cleansing brush work just fine.

4. Use products with active ingredients. Ingraham suggests looking for clinically proven products that contain vitamins and bioactive antioxidants to promote cell turnover. “Pomegranate, tea, vitamin A—these things simply savage free radicals,” she says. And while such products can often be pricey, we’ve rounded up five plant-powered products that won’t break the bank.


For even more winter skincare tips for women check out our blog post, 'Baby It's Cold Outside'.


Article Source:  Prevention Magazine


Topics: skin care for women, winter skin care

Essential Skin Care for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 14, 2010 11:24:00 AM

Toners: Essential Step or Fancy Water

Diverse expert opinions about the importance of using skin toners have confused many clients. One of the questions that I hear very often is about the importance of using a toner... Does it actually do anything for the skin or it is expensive fancy water?

Toners are a liquid form of concentrated ingredients that help refresh the skin and prepare it for proper moisture absorption. In the past, a lot of skincare manufacturers miss-formulated the toners by loading them with a high amount of witch hazel, SD alcohol, ethanol, and other harsh ingredients. By doing this, they falsely claimed that the toner could prevent breakouts and balance oily skin; however, skincare researchers have been extremely helpful in reversing this misconception and taking skin toning to the next level.

As a skincare therapist, I highly recommend using a toner for all skin types after cleansing.  I consider toning a very essential step and never look at it as simply attractive aromatic water. Using the right product based on your skin type will help to restore the skin’s natural PH balance that it can lose from exposure to free radicals. It will also add water-binding ingredients that will help maintain adequate hydration level in the skin cells which guarantees proper moisture absorption.  Calming toners will help in reducing inflammation and redness due to skin sensitivity by creating a protective layer against environmental damage. Toners rich in anti-oxidants work extremely well to prevent the signs of aging.

Whether you have perfect skin or yours is super oily or acne-prone in nature, it is important when choosing your toner to make sure it is irritant-free.

Ingredients to Avoid:

Fragrance                         Acetonewoman using toner

SD Alcohol*                      Alcohol*

Ethanol                            Alcohol Denat*

Ethyl Alcohol*                   Methanol

Isopropyl Alcohol*

* If you see the word (Alcohol) in the list of ingredients, make certain that it is Cetyl Alcohol or Stearyl Alcohol. These are the only forms of non-irritant alcohol that are approved in the skincare industry.

   A well-formulated toner can be a person’s best friend throughout the day. It can be an easy way to maintain the freshness of your makeup and can also be an ideal hydration tool while exercising, during air travel, or in extreme weather. Just make sure to select the type most appropriate for your skin and remember to READ THE LABEL!

Submitted by Saima Shaheen, Master Esthetician 


Topics: Women's Wellness, skin care for women, winter skin care

Baby it's Cold Outside...Winter Skin Care for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 12, 2010 8:44:00 AM

Winter-Proof Your Skin!   

        woman's face
Seasonal and environmental changes can affect the health and appearance of our skin. In winter these changes are almost always extreme and the largest organ of the body, the skin, has to work super hard to protect all the internal organs and maintain the body's temperature. 

When your skin is constantly exposed to cold temperature, harsh wind, and recirculated air (heat) that absorbs every drop of moisture in your surrounding environment, free radicals are produced. That is when skin damage starts and the skin starts to show signs of stress. It might get dry, itchy, flaky, and red. People who suffer from pre-existing skin conditions such as Rosacea, Psoriasis, or even sensitive skin, will notice a worsening of their symptoms if they don't take extra care in the wintertime.

We can help the skin by following these steps :

1- Don't stop using sunscreen: Just because it is winter, that doesn't mean harmful (UVA-UVB) rays are going to hibernate. Sunscreen is still an essential step to protect the skin from future damage. As a matter of fact, the harmful effect of the sun might be double trouble in winter. If you are a winter sports lover or if there is snow, the sun's rays reflect back onto our skin from the snow that covers the ground. Sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 is recommended.

2- Avoid peelers and use healers: Peel-off masks, exfoliating creams, and alcohol-based toners are examples of products you need to avoid in wintertime. Your skin is already suffering, so you don't need to strip the natural oil layers that are giving your skin the last resort of natural protection. If you are scrubaholic, focus on your heels, elbows, and knees. Leave your face alone.

This must not be confused with balanced exfoliating products that your dermatologist or your skin care specialist recommends for your specific skin type and needs. Instead of over-exfoliating, focus on adding what we call "skin healers". These products contain active ingredients that assist in enlarging the cell's capacity to hold more water, which locks in moisture on the skin surface. It will also contain ingredients that soothe the skin by creating a protective layer to prevent it from dehydration. This allows the epidermis (skin surface) to retain moisture.
Hyaluronic acid, Shea butter, oatmeal, vitamin C, and chamomile extract are examples of these active ingredients. Hydrating boosters, anti-oxidant-rich moisturizers, and calming toners are product examples.

3- Be detailed: For unknown reasons, a lot of people tend to neglect their necks, lips, and ears when they apply moisturizers or perform their daily cleansing regimen. These are key body parts that will show signs of aging despite how well you take of the rest of your face.

4-Add moisture to the surrounding air: Furnaces and fireplaces will suck the water from the air. The drier the air you're exposed to, the drier your skin will be. Using a humidifier or adding several house plants will balance out humidity levels in the surrounding environment and help you look and feel better. 

 5- Keep in mind: Healthy skin is part of a healthy body. Exercise, drink your water and get your skin checked by a specialist regularly.
Submitted by Saima Shaheen, Master Esthetician 

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Topics: health tips, skin care for women, winter skin care

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