Irritated Skin

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Some moisturizing tips…

Written by: Sonia Conerly

When applying your moisturizer, it is important to use a quality product, and therefore, a little will definitely go a long way.   You want to be gentle and not rub too vigorously, (especially, if your skin is more on the sensitive side, or you have Rosacea).

You can apply a dab of moisturizer down the t-zone, along the cheekbones, the jawline, and don’t forget about your neck.  Then work it into the skin using your fingertips, in soft, outward circles, until the product has absorbed into the skin.

The eyes need special care as well and when applying your eye cream, it is best to use your ring finger to gently dab the product under the eyes until it is gone.

Happy moisturizing!!!

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Smoking and its effects on skin

Cigarette Smoke contains more than 4000 toxins, many of which are absorbed directly into the blood stream and are taken by the blood right into the structure of your skin. This will reduce how the skin will regenerate itself.  Smoking causes the blood vessels at the top of the skin to constrict, this in turn reduces the oxygen level in the blood that causes the blood to thick and reduce the levels of collagen in the skin.

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Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: What you need to know

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation is the noticeable discoloration of the skin that develops after an inflammatory wound. This condition most frequently effects skin tones that fall between 3 and 6 on the Fitzpatrick scale. Acne is the most commonly associated skin condition with PIH, as acne scars can cause the characteristic skin discoloration. However, skin injuries cause by viral exanthems, allergic reactions such as those from contact dermatitis or insect bites.

 So, how does this happen? Why would the skin over produce melanin? As every esthetician should know, the more melanin a person had, the darker their skin will be. When the cells that contain melanin are damaged or over stimulated, the cells responds by over producing melanin. When melanin is produced in the upper layers of the skin (epidermis), a brownish color develops. When melanin is produced in the lower dermis layers of the skin, a blue-ish color develops.
 How do you treat it? PIH can be treated with a number of skin brightening products that contain the key ingredient Hydroquinone. However, to maintain a youthful glow, we recommend our Brighten Me by Elaine Sterling Skincare. This product is non-Hydroquinone, but uses powerful botanicals to help prevent hyperpigmentation and enhance the overall tone of the skin. There are also a variety of clinical treatments to help treat PIH. PIH will normally heal on its own, but these treatments can help speed up the healing process. Glycolic peels are renowned for their ability to treat PIH and it greatly heals collagen and can help repair damaged melanin producing cells. Microdermsare also a less intense option that help improve new skin turnover rates. 
 Here is a list of other helpful active ingredients with an important note about sunscreen: Many of these ingredients can increase the sensitivity of the skin and should always be used in conjunction with a powerful sunscreen. 
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What makes a good cleanser

Getting a good cleanser that is the right choice for your skin can work wonders. Half of the time, when we conduct a skin analysis under the woods lamp the primary suggestion is to get a good cleanser, starting there can provide a great foundation for correcting problem skin. So what is a good cleanser? Is there a difference between a $100 department store cleanser and the $5 grocery store cleanser? To answer the first question, we have to think about what is right for a client’s specific skin. Do they have oily, dry, or combination skin? Do they have acne or comedones? If so, is this caused by bacteria, inflammation, or clogged pores? These are some of the questions that we ask when determining what kind of cleanser we would recommend. 
To finish answering what makes a good cleanser, we shift our focus to the next question. The first type of cleanser to avoid is bar soap. Bar soap strips your face, and it has trouble compensating for the pH imbalance after cleansing. Many of the cheaper cleansers also have ingredients that strip your face, and irritating fragrances, coloring, and miscellaneous fillers. Beyond the cheaper cleansers, figuring out what works for you is more determined by brand identity. If natural or organic is important to you, seek out a brand that honors those values. Speaking as an ESI rep, in our skincare line, we promote effective skincare products by the use of powerful and revolutionary active ingredients, with no added fragrances or irritants. 
So which cleanser is right for you. Using our own skincare line, here is a list of our cleansers and the skin types with which they work the best.
 Clarifying skin wash- oily, acneic skin Use this cleanser if you suffer from an oily complexion. Until I realized that I had combination skin, I used this cleanser. It worked great on my t-zone, but dried out my cheeks. I switched cleansers with a great outcome, but still use it when I have a sweaty workout and a lot of excess oil. 
 Daily gentle- combination, normal, aging This is a great all purpose cleanser. This is what I use for my combination skin and it gets all of the oils out without drying out my skin. However, for individuals with excessively dry skin, I would recommend a different cleanser. 
Mild cream cleanser- dehydrated, sensitive skin This is a great choice for individuals with dry and sensitive skin. It removes debris without unnecessarily stripping the skin.
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Over Exfoliation and why you need to stop

Don’t let your skin get red like this monkey!
Over exfoliation is a common skin problem, and is at the other end of the spectrum of the other issues that we discussed this month. Many people are under the impression that if some amount of something is good for you, than more of that something would be even better for you. This is certainly not the case with exfoliation. Over exfoliation can actually cause your skin problems that you may not have even had in the first place.

Here are some signs of over exfoliation: 
Overly sensitive skin 
Dry flaky patches of skin 
How much is too much? The answer to that question is a factor of your age, skin type, and complexion. I personally have very sensitive skin. Once a week exfoliation seems to be the perfect amount. Any more than that and I am a flaky tingly mess! I break out with strange irritation bumps, my cheeks et red from the slightest acidity in products, and my nose gets very flaky and dry. However, individuals with thicker skin may see better results with 2 exfoliations a week. Much of the topics we discuss in skincare deal with an appropriate balance, and this issue is no different. 
Bottom line: See an esthetician for their recommendations on exfoliation amounts/ week and to see if your skin is suited for a particular exfoliation or active ingredient. I personally do well with a mild enzyme exfoliation as it does not dry or irritate my sensitive skin on my cheeks! To read more, visit this website.
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