CAN COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS HELP YOUR SKIN LOOK YOUNGER

When it comes to anti-aging there is a word that takes stage every time, “collagen”.

So why is collagen so closely related to aging skin?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It is a polypeptide containing different types of amino acids and forms part of all connective tissues in the body such as: skin, cartilage and bone. It makes the skin look smooth and supple and maintains its elasticity. As we get older the production of collagen decreases causing volume loss in the skin contributing to the formation of lines and wrinkles and thinning of the skin. By the time a woman reaches menopause, she would have lost approximately 30% of the collagen. However, not only age affects collagen production, other unhealthy lifestyle and environmental habits such as: UV light, smoking, stress, pollution and poor nutrition contribute to the declining of collagen levels too.

Because it is such an important factor in the aging process, collagen supplementation has gained high popularity in the beauty market promising to improve the overall condition of the skin and to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

To what extent is this true? Let’s get a little deeper.

Firstly, it is important to understand that the body does not absorb the collagen directly. It must break it down into smaller particles which then, it must convert them into biodegradable amino acids that can be used as a natural source to reinforce the body’s own collagen production. These amino acids can also be found in healthy foods. One crucial vitamin in the production of collagen is vitamin C, which is a co-factor of collagen. The body uses vitamin C to produce collagen. Therefore, foods like fruits and vegetables containing high amounts of vitamin C are essential to maintain healthy collagen synthesis. Sugar, on the other hand, is detrimental for the skin because it triggers a process called “glycation” in which glucose molecules adhere to proteins such as collagen in your body forming new molecules called AGEs. These AGEs molecules degrade collagen and elastin, causing them to get rigid and lose elasticity.

Opinions among experts are diverse as if collagen supplements indeed help to make the skin look younger. There are no many studies that confirm their benefits and most studies are provided by the manufactures. However, there is some evidence that suggests that taking a collagen supplement can aim your body to produce more collagen by providing essential amino acids.  Some people report seeing an improvement in the appearance of lines and wrinkles, skin elasticity and hydration.  Results don’t occur overnight though, it can take some time of regular use to see a noticeable difference and it is necessary to continue with the supplementation to maintain the results. Some experts debate the benefits of these supplements arguing that because collagen is a protein which needs to be broken down during digestive processes, there is very little evidence that there will be enough quantities readily available to reach the skin making a remarkable difference.

But for the little evidence that is out there, I believe that is worth at least a try if it doesn’t hurt you. Many people for lack of time or lifestyle habits don’t follow a diet with appropiate nutrition to provide the body with what it needs to increase the production of this protein considered an essential in the search of rejuvenation, so supplementation has its place in these cases. I am a person that has a very healthy lifestyle and yet I have noticed a difference in my skin when I have taken certain collagen supplements. Not all of them though. Because collagen is a protein, it can be hard to digest for some people, myself included. So it is a matter of trying different ones to see which one agrees with you the most. Prices in supplements also vary extensively among the different brands and manufactures. Some products can be very costly. As far as we understand that these supplements are not replacing the benefits of a healthy diet; seemingly, they can add health benefits not only for the skin, but for also for hair and joints and other connective tissues.  They can be used to boost the supply of essential amino acids to prompt your body to produce more collagen.

Nevertheless, that can also be achieved with a healthy diet rich in protein and nutrients which continues to be the most reliable source to give the body what it needs to maintain adequate collagen production.

Look for foods like:

Healthy fats, nuts, bone broth, fish, chicken, eggs, protein-rich grains, red and orange vegetables, dark greens, citrus and berries and avocados.

Practice good lifestyle habits like:

Adequate sleep, exercise, good hydration and relaxation and avoid stress, smoking and alcohol, simple sugars and carbohydrates.

The great news is that we have control of how we age.

Like Janey Lee Grace said:

“Getting older is inevitable but ageing is optional!”

 

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

Other interesting readings:

Aging is a work of Art Series by Dora Salazar

50’s & Beyond

The 40’s

The 30’s

Collagen Supplements For Better Skin? By Holistic guru Dr. Weil

https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/supplements-remedies/collagen-supplements-for-better-skin/

The Truth on What Collagen Really Does for Your Skin, Hair, and Bone Health

BY ALEXA ERICKSON / Reader’s Digest

https://www.rd.com/health/beauty/collagen-pills/

24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18416885

Products that I have tried

Neocell Marine Collagen with hyaluronic acid & vita-mineral youth Boost

Bulletproof Collagen protein

Liquid Biocell Skin by Modere

Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate

 

 

 

 

 

SERUM VS. CREAM

Is your bathroom cabinet full of serums or are you more of a cream fanatic?

I am sure that if you are like most people the answer will probably be “both.”

When it comes to skin care, decisions can be hard. Temptation is as strong as a cup of coffee on a Monday morning. You face magazines giving you the latest beauty buzz, social media bloggers tapping on their must haves and celebrities raving about their favorite skin care products. From exotic facial oil serums to lavishing creams, they all sound incredible and promise quick solutions to every skin problem.

To choose correctly it is important to step back and take a closer look at the pros and con of each product and see which one fits your individual needs best.

If you are looking to correct a skin issue or for intense nourishment, serums also known as “boosters”, will give you an in-depth form of treatment to achieve accurate results. They have a light consistency and are well known for being concentrated formulations aimed to target specific skin concerns such as: anti-aging, acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, flaccid skin, dehydration, dull skin etc.

For example, one of the most popular types of serum in the market is vitamin C because of its many skin benefits. It can help brighten up the skin, support collagen production improving elasticity and lightening up hyperpigmentation helping to even out skin tone.

The main purpose of serums is to deliver active ingredients deep into the skin. They have great absorption power and generally contain a higher concentration of active ingredients providing fast results, which is why they are a fantastic addition to any anti-aging or corrective skincare routine.

The best way to select the right serum is to first identify the skin concerns and then select a serum with specific ingredients to target those concerns. They often can be layered since they don’t feel greasy on the skin and penetrate rapidly.

The combination of active ingredients in serums normally does not allow the inclusion of an SPF.  Therefore, it is important to add a sunscreen to your day time skin care regimen.

Although, there is not a norm as to when is the right age to start using serums, early 30’s is a good age to begin a preventative skin program since the skin begins to experience some changes at that age. Mature skin likewise, can benefit from the use of serums to help restore and maintain better skin functioning and to combat the common signs of aging skin.

What is applied first, the serum or the cream?

Because of their light texture and ability of absorption, serums are applied first. Moisturizing creams second and if used separately from the cream, sunscreen should be applied last.

TIP:

—If you are using several serums, begin layering them with the one that has the lightest texture. Always “from thin to thick”. This is a good way to remember the order of use.

What are facial creams?

Facial creams include a broad range of textures and purposes for the skin, from plain hydration to sun protection and everything in between. Active ingredients can also be contained within the formulation, but they are generally present in lower concentrations when compared to serums. Creams have a heavier consistency which implies the addition of more fillers, emulsifiers and occluding (sealing) ingredients, making the formulation less aggressive.

Gel-creams and lotions are frequently thought as creams, these have a lighter texture and are more suitable for combination and oily skin types while heavier creams are more appropriate for dry skin.

There are also day and night creams. Day time creams typically contain antioxidants to counteract the effects of free radical damage, accentuated with the exposure to environmental elements during day hours and many of them already have SPF protection included within the formula. Night time creams on the other hand, are rich in regenerative ingredients like retinoids, growth factors or stem cells among others, to support the skin’s ability to repair itself. One common characteristic of creams is to occlude hydration within the skin to prevent trans epidermal water loss.

Should I use both, serum and cream?

Both products are good depending on the skin type.

Oily skin does not need as much moisturization as dry skin, since the skin produces sufficient sebum. Thus, a serum can be more than enough, of course not forgetting the addition of sun protection during day time.

Someone with dry skin though, might find that the serum alone does not provide enough moisture and will need the additional lipids that moisturizing creams provide.

Be aware to find a moisturizer that is compatible with your skin type. Avoid using heavy creams if you have acne prone skin. And if you have dry skin, stay away from products containing drying alcohols or other drying ingredients that can aggravate dehydration.

When selected correctly, both serum and cream, can complement each other very well. The serum, delivering active ingredients deep into the skin and the cream, sealing those ingredients in and maintaining normal moisturization levels.

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

 

THE GOOD AND THE BAD ABOUT RETINOIDS

Many people live in a continuous love-hate relationship with retinoids.

They like its effects on the skin, especially long-term benefits but dislike the side effects that often come with its usage: irritation, redness, inflammation, peeling etc., especially at the beginning when the skin is acclimating to it.

However, it is an ingredient that has substantial scientific research to sustain claims of improving the overall physiology of the skin with a history that dates from the 1950’s initially acclaimed for the phenomenal effect that it had on acne patients. Later, in the 1980’s it was revealed as the new gold standard for anti-aging for its capacity to work at a cellular level to improve skin functions and self-repairing abilities, improving lines and wrinkles and refining the skin texture for a more youthful appearance.

It is very important to first understand the different categories available in the market:

Retinoids are vitamin A compounds and derivatives of natural and synthetic origen and within them there are two main categories.

Prescription strength (retinoic acid, tretinoin, available in cream and gel formulations) and OTC formulas containing (retinol and various types of retinol derivatives often described as: Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Linoleate, Retinyl Palmitate and Retinyl Proprionate; regularly found in many cosmetic products). The two categories are often alleged to be similar, but the main difference is that retinol is eventually converted into retinoic acid. The skin uses vitamin A as retinoic acid, so the prescription strength formulas are readily available to be used by the skin. On the other hand, Retinol is considered gentler on the skin but it takes longer time to reach the results of the prescription counterpart, since the skin has to convert it into retinoic acid, although it is still very effective if patience is not an issue to you.

Without further due, let’s take a closer look to some of the almost magical attributes of retinoids?

  • Encourages skin cell regeneration. This is a strong characteristic because it maintains skin normal functioning, thus preserving a more youthful performance.
  • Improves and supports normal skin tone helping to lighten hyperpigmentation from sun damage, post inflammatory and hormonal induced like melasma.
  • Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin
  • Minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • With newer cells exposed and increased collagen and elastin production as well as hydration levels, the skin looks smoother and the appearance of pores is also improved.
  • Reduces and prevents the formation of blackheads, whiteheads (millias) and overall pore congestion.
  • Balances sebum production (skin natural humectant).

 

But just like everything else in life..

Things are not all white or all black. Retinoids also have their dark side and must be used with care to achieve  full benefits without causing any harm to the skin.

Here are some recommendations and important factors to consider to get the best use and results from retinoids:

  • It is not an ingredient that should be used if you are trying to become pregnant, if you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding, in high doses it has been associated with birth defects.
  • A slow approach is better; this allows the skin to acclimate to it and minimize side effects, such as those mentioned earlier.
  • A small amount is enough to do the trick. A safer way to start is by using it every third night for a week or two, than every other night for a week and eventually every night or according to your physician recommendations. The ingredient is so effective that even when you use it a few times a week, you will still see results.
  • Apply it when the skin is fully dry to minimize risk of irritation
  • Keep it in a dark place to avoid the product from oxidizing and losing effect.
  • Do not mix with any exfoliating acids or other types of exfoliation. With that, I mean from products and also waxing, threading, sugaring, skin treatments like chemical peels or microdermabrasion etc. And if you still want to take a chance to do it, please go to a professional and let them know that you are using Retin-A. The skin will literally peel off and can leave a scar or result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you are having a treatment done it is regularly recommended to suspend the use of Retin-A at least 4 to 7 days prior to the procedure depending on the treatment to avoid negative side effects.
  • Retinoic acid has also proven to improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially when they are in the initial state ( reddish color).

SOME HELPFUL TIPS:

The standard recommendation of use for Retin-A is during your night time skincare routine. If you have dry skin, a good tip is to wait 20 minutes after the Retin-A application and apply a simple hydrating moisturizer, this will prevent excessive dryness.

Since the skin can become more sensitive and drier, I suggest that you include in your skincare routine other products containing ingredients to fortify your lipid barrier and increase hydration. Some great options are: hyaluronic acid, panthenol, ceramides, lipids, niacinamide. Anti-inflammatory ingredients are also great to minimize redness and irritation, like: aloe, allantoin and bisabolol.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP:

Because your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun when using retinoids, using a good formulated SUNSCREEN daily is crucial to prevent sun damage and to protect your new skin.

MY EXPERIENCE:

I like retinoids, the history is there. We know they work. I have been using them on and off for a long time and I find that it is an ingredient that if used with care you can get fantastic benefits from it.

In my case, I don’t mind being patient and for the sake of my skin, being so sensitive, I prefer to use retinol. I have tried Retin-A many times, but it has been too harsh for me, even the time- released formulations. My skin has its moments, and I normally must suspend its use when my skin begins to act up. I personally cannot tolerate it more than two to three times a week, but that is the perfect dosage for my skin. I see the difference and my skin does not become an angry mess. Your skin will be the judge as to how often is your magic formula.

If retinoids are in your list of favorite ingredients, I suggest you start using it at a lower strength and grow into a higher percentage considering your skin reactions, that will guide you to reach an adequate dosage and optimum result. Take into consideration though, that you must be persistent to achieve those results, using it sparingly just a few times a month is not enough to make a big difference.

Also, don’t feel discourage if you are not a retinoid person. There are many people that have tried it over and over and it simply is too aggressive for them to tolerate. There are other options now in skincare far less invasive and with no side effects, like peptides or stem cells that work through cellular communication to encourage the skin to respond to specific functions like: collagen stimulation, improving lines and wrinkles, cell repair, skin firming etc. without inducing negative reactions or making the skin sensitive to the sun. That’s why I included them in Zkin Fix Age Reversal Serum. I find them to be very effective and safe with no risks or side effects involved.

I believe that it is not about using everything or every trend that comes out there. As a matter of fact, I think that well chosen ingredients do much more than too many ingredients which at the end, there is a big chance that are fillers and irritants that won’t do much to improve the skin.

Let your skin decide. After all, your skin care is a journey of discovery. Experiment with care and enjoy all the steps.


Are you a fan of retinoids?

I would love to know how you feel about it and your personal experience.


Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

 

 

 

THE RISKS OF USING LEMON JUICE ON YOUR FACE

 

 “Natural” does not always mean “gentle.”

Lately, I have seen a lot of information recommending to apply lemon juice on your face. It is important to know the risks and if you apply it how to do it correctly to avoid negative side effects, including burns or hyperpigmentation.
The fame of lemon as a skin brightener comes from lemon juice containing vitamin C (ascorbic acid), well known for making the skin look more radiant.
However, lemon juice also contains citric acid and malic acid. With a low pH ranging between  2 to 3, it is way more acidic than your skin normal pH which about 5.5. creating an exfoliating action.
Acids need to be treated with care because they can cause a lot of damage to the skin if you don’t handle them properly. Although a few drops in a mask can be helpful for its astringent and clarifying properties, I am not an advocate of using pure lemon juice directly on the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. It can cause rashes and irritation and the skin becomes more vulnerable and sensitive to the sun.
Also, it’s not a good idea to apply lemon juice on your face in the morning, you will run a huge risk of getting hyperpigmentation when your face gets exposed to daily sun light. Another important thing to know is that citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid; therefore, it needs to be neutralized. So, if you use lemon juice make sure to rinse it off with water thoroughly to bring the pH back to normal and stop the exfoliating effect. I have seen cases where people had been drinking beer or tequila shots with lemon by the pool or the beach and the lemon touching the hands or the mouth when left on the skin and in contact with the sun caused terrible burns.
If you decide to use it, treat it as an acid and always use a well formulated sunscreen with an spf 30 or higher to protect the skin.
However; keep in mind, that daily use can cause too much exfoliation and eventually incur in hypersensitivity and irritation creating post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
If your concern is dark spots or dull skin, there are many effective skin brighteners, — yes, including vitamin C,—  but blended into skincare formulations like serums or moisturizers for example, that are safer to use and better tolerated than  pure lemon juice. These are known as tyrosinase inhibitors, tyrosinase being an enzyme that is fundamental in the production of melanin. So, by controlling the production of this enzyme the melanin or pigment of the skin becomes lighter.

Some of the best tyrosinase inhibitors are :

  • Kojic Acid
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Arbutin
  • Licorice Extract
  • Mulberry Extract
  • N-Acetyl Glucosamine

Always keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different and what worked for someone else might not be the best for you. Another thing to consider is that not all natural ingredients are gentle, it is important to do some research before applying something new on your skin, and if in doubt, do a patch test first on the side of your neck and wait 24 to 48 hours to determine if it is suitable for your skin.

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Med. Aesthetician

 

Disclaimer:

The article above represents my personal opinion and it is intended for educational purpose only.

 

 

EXFOLIATING ACIDS, WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

Although the acid revolution in skin care made a strong appearance in the early 90’s, the use of certain acids date from ancient times. We all have heard of Cleopatra taking baths in sour milk and other cultures using wine to rejuvenate their skin. The reason why we are still talking about them today? They work. Sour milk is rich in lactic acid and wine contains tartaric acid.

Exfoliating acids break down dead skin cells and remove them from the skin surface improving the appearance of skin wrinkling and promoting a brighter, softer, smoother complexion.

There are many acid exfoliants and combinations. However; for this article, I would like to mention some very popular ones that are broadly used in home use skincare products and share guidance on their natural characteristics and how they can benefit different skin concerns.

Let me start by saying, “more is not always better”, especially when if it relates to acids. For an acid to exfoliate, it must have a lower pH then 5.5 which is the normal acidity level of the skin. The lower the pH, the more it will exfoliate, which also comes with the high risk of more irritation, inflammation and even desquamation, commonly known as “peeling” of the skin.

Many times, this is the action that is aimed for, like in the case of chemical peels. But stronger procedures like chemical peels are not performed daily. So, a safe way to use acid exfoliants regularly is to do it in moderation and to listen to your skin carefully. It will tell you if you are causing over-exfoliation which will bring along many not so pleasant side effects such as: dryness, itchiness, redness, sensitized skin, inflammation and even breakouts.

On the other hand, if the pH of the product is not lower than your skin’s pH, it will not exfoliate good enough or give you the full benefits of a well formulated product.

Acid exfoliants are largely found in cleansers, toners, pads, gels, serums, home peels, masks and moisturizers. Careful attention should be paid to the product’s instructions, since there are many formulations that should be rinsed off or removed after a few minutes while others give you directions to leave them on the skin.

Here is a short guide on popular acids and how they help specific skin concerns:

GLYCOLIC ACID: An AHA alpha hydroxy acid, from sugar cane. It works very well to soften lines and wrinkles and to improve the look of sun damaged skin. It brightens the skin and increases radiance and stimulates collagen.

TIP: Glycolic acid contains a very small molecular structure, this leads to a quick penetration and absorption of the acid which must be handled correctly to prevent irritation.

SALICYLIC ACID: A BHA beta hydroxy acid containing very therapeutic characteristics for acne prone skin because it is attracted to oil and offers an anti-inflammatory effect. It penetrates the hair follicle helping to clear the accumulated dead skin cells within the follicular wall improving clogged pores and preventing the formation of new acneic lesions. It is likewise used in conjunction with other acid compounds to improve hyperpigmentation and aging skin.

LACTIC ACID: An alpha hydroxy acid from sour milk. Fantastic for dry, aged, hyperpigmented skin but also suitable for most skin types because it is composed of a larger molecular structure than glycolic acid; which means that it penetrates slower making it more tolerable, even for more sensitive complexions. It increases hydration and has brightening capabilities, leaving the skin luminous, supple and soft.

AZELAIC ACID: It is a saturated dicarboxylic acid holding antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, keratolytic, comedolytic, and anti-oxidant activity. Very effective in treating diverse skin conditions such as: acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation.

MANDELIC ACID: Extracted from bitter almonds, this AHA alpha hydroxy acid contains a larger molecular structure than glycolic and lactic acid, making it less irritating to the skin. It offers great results when treating conditions such as: hyperpigmentation, photo-damaged skin and acne. This is one of my favorite acids in my professional treatments to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, especially PIH (Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) residual pigment left after a skin injury that caused an inflammatory response like a burn, a pimple etc.

CITRIC, MALIC AND TARTARIC ACID: Belong to the alpha hydroxy acid family, extracted from citrus fruits, apples, berries and grapes. They contain wonderful anti-oxidant qualities, increase radiance, support collagen production, suppleness and elasticity. Regularly found in acid cocktails helping boost the action of other acids such as glycolic, salicylic and/or azelaic etc.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP I CAN GIVE YOU WHEN USING ACID EXFOLIANTS ON THE SKIN IS:

TO PROTECT your skin with a good SUNSCREEN.


When you use acid exfoliants regularly, you are accelerating cell turn over, constantly removing dead skin cells and exposing newer cells to the skin surface. The new cells are more vulnerable to sun burn and sun damage, so if you don’t use appropriate protection, you will be doing more bad than good and promoting accelerated aging of the skin and even taking the risk of getting hyperpigmentation.

Also, if you notice that your skin becomes dry or irritated, it is important to suspend the acids for a few days to allow the skin to replenish its essential components and restore balance.

How often should you exfoliate with acids?

It is your skin that will tell you that answer. In general, there are certain skin conditions that improve with more regular acid use, such as: acne for instance. However, it is the level of sensitivity of your skin that will guide you into how often you should use acids to exfoliate. Like I previously mentioned above, over exfoliation incites very negative effects. Each skin is unique, and it is only when you find balance that your skin will be the healthiest.

Until next time,

Thank you very much for being here.

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

 

Disclaimmer:

This article represents my personal opinion and is intended for eductional purposes only.

HOW TO IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF ENLARGED PORES

The pores that we see on the surface are actually the openings of hair follicles—

They are minute structures that the skin utilizes to release sweat and sebum (oil) produced by the sweat and sebaceous glands. In areas where there are more sebaceous glands and the production of sebum is more abundant, like the forehead and the nose, they tend to look larger.
That’s why oilier skin shows the pores more than dry skin because the pore size is closely related to the sebum production which is determined by hormonal activity. Another important cause of enlarged pores is the loss of skin density or volume. As the skin ages, the loss of collagen contributes to poor elasticity and loose skin makes the pores look more prominent.

There is not a whole lot we can do to change per say the size of the pore, but there are some things we can do to change and improve the appearance of the pores making them look more refined.

✔Exfoliating treatments such as:

microdermabrasion, chemical peels & laser; as well as home care acids like : glycolic, mandelic, salicylic, lactic etc., help remove dead skin cells making the skin and the pores look smoother. For your skincare routine, select the best exfoliating acid according to your skin type, be careful not to over use it because you can cause instead dryness and irritation.

✔Collagen stimulating ingredients and treatments like:

Retinoids, stem cells, peptides, lasers, LED therapy, microneedling etc. support collagen synthesis. Newer cells look more plump and healthy, therefore giving the complexion a more refined appearance.

✔Active ingredients like:

Hyaluronic Acid a great hydrating ingredient and niacinamide which helps balance sebum production work wonderfully with other treatments to help improve the look of enlarged pores.

The key is to find what suits your skin best! remember that everyone’s skin is different and what is good for someone else might not be good for your skin.

 

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

 

COMMON HABITS THAT COULD BE CAUSING YOUR BREAKOUTS

 

If your breakouts have been giving you a hard time and not responding to a good anti-acne skincare routine and a clean diet, may be it’s time to take a look at certain common habits that could be the culprit.

Bacteria is one of the most influential factors in the formation and spreading of acne lesions.

The over production of sebum and accumulation of dead skin cells create the perfect environment for  bacterial growth. Simple everyday activities and habits that you do without thinking can easily lead to transferring bacteria and end up exacerbating and worsening the acne condition.

Here is a close look at some of those habits:

  • LETTING OTHER PEOPLE USE YOUR MAKEUP
  • DIRTY MAKEUP BRUSHES

Friendship is a wonderful thing, but when you share your make up you are transferring bacteria from face to face and if you are prone to breakouts, those micro-organisms that live on everyone’s skin can become a problem to your skin. Also makeup brushes accumulate bacteria with every use, it is crucial to wash them at least once a week if not more often to prevent bacterial overgrowth.

  • USING THE SAME TOWEL THAT YOU USE FOR YOUR BODY ON YOUR FACE

It is a great idea to use a separate fresh towel exclusively for your face regularly, that way you prevent to bring back bacteria into your skin.

  • TOUCHING YOUR FACE OFTEN

It is impossible to have clean hands all the time, so the hands are carriers of bacteria that can easily end up on your face when you touch it often.

  • NOT CHANGING THE PILLOWCASE REGULARLY

We tend to change the sheets often, but maybe buying a few extra sets of pillow cases can be a great investment so you can use a fresh one even more frequently. I know, this might not sound very pleasant, but we all drool to some extent while we sleep and saliva carries bacteria so you want to avoid those micro-organisms from reaching your skin.

  • RESIDUE OF FRAGRANCE AND HAIR PRODUCTS

Ok I agree, hair products are an essential… a great hairstyle requires some good hair styling goodies, but many of them contain waxes, formaldehyde, plastic derivatives and other chemicals that can end up on your skin and clog the pores. Also, during your sleep since you rest your hair on the pillow and then turn around during the night, your face will be laying right over the residue of the product. The same happens with fragrance. It contains multiple ingredients, many could be sensitizing to the skin, as you touch any part of your body with fragrance residue and then touch your face, it can cause irritation and turn into breakouts or an allergic reaction.

  • OVER SATURATING THE SKIN WITH PRODUCTS THAT ARE TOO RICH FOR YOUR SKIN

Dry skin needs lipids (oils), oily skin on the other hand, already produces enough sebum (oil).  If you add more oil to a skin that is already producing it in excess, chances are that you can get pore congestion and/or breakouts.

  • RESTING YOUR CELL PHONE ON YOUR FACE

Who can survive now days without a cell phone… not that many people. We are spending a lot of time on our phones and without even noticing, it ends up resting on the face. Think of all the places where you take your phone to.  Public places and bathrooms for example.. sound familiar…. With that in mind, the phone is the last thing you want to bring close to your face, especially if you suffer from acne. A Bluetooth, cleaning it regularly and  keeping it away from your face as you talk are fantastic habits to practice if you want to improve your acne.

  • SUNGLASSES

If you have noticed that your breakouts are localized mainly on the upper cheeks and lower part of the forehead, think of sunglasses… especially the over sized ones.. They are lovely and very fashionable but oil and sweat carry bacteria which transfers to them as you wear them. If you don’t clean them regularly they will re-introduce the bacteria into your skin when you wear them back again, triggering new breakouts.

__

I don’t want to sound like you need to live in a bubble to prevent acne but it is important to be conscious of how easily bacteria can spread and to avoid common habits that could be holding you back from getting clear skin. That these habits are the cause of your breakouts? Only you can find out by avoiding them and seeing how your skin responds. But one thing is certain.. avoiding the build up of bacteria on your skin, is always a good thing when you are prone to acne.

 

Thank you so much for being here.

 

Until next time,

 

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FACIAL MASSAGE ROLLERS

 

Today, “beauty has become a term with a limitless meaning..

There is always space for new things, new products and yes.. new tools. It seems like people are ready to go beyond skincare and do whatever it takes in search of the fountain of youth. We all strive for a healthy, glowing and younger looking skin and if something as simple as a facial roller can make your skin look better why not try it.. right?

Ironically enough, facial massage rollers are far from being an innovation, the history of facial rollers dates from centuries ago, but with the Asian influence in skincare in the recent years, this tradition has resurface full force becoming into a very popular skin trend.

THE FACTS:

Massage helps to increase blood circulation
Activates lymphatic drainage reducing inflammation and eliminating toxins
Stimulates facial muscles
Oxygenates tissues
Increases skin tone and elasticity
Reduces puffiness and redness
BONUS: Increasing blood flow encourages production of collagen and gives the skin a healthy and natural glow.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Massage gently, the lymph is found at a very superficial level in the skin, so if you press too hard you will you be going into the muscle tissues and miss the benefits of a good lymphatic drainage.
Do it in upward and outward movements to create a lifting effect, never pushing downwards
A few minutes a day is more than enough for the face.

Massaging right before and after the application of a skincare product will benefit the absorption of the product.

CONTROVERSY:
Can facial massage affect the distribution of fat (adipose tissue) on your face?

Many people claim to see a slimming effect when they use a facial massage roller regularly. More likely, that effect is due to a drainage of the lymph which helps to eliminate fluids and inflammation. The effect is temporary.

The adipose tissue is located in the hypodermis the skin layer found deeper to the dermis (the second layer of the skin). You would have to massage with a lot of pressure to access the hypodermis and massage regularly and for a much longer period of time to experience changes in the adipocytes (fat cells). When someone uses massage for body contouring of the treatment of cellulite, it mainly happens from increase in oxygen causing a raise in body temperature which activates the metabolism to promote fat burning, but again, it requires a much longer time than just 45 -60 seconds, the time recommended for the use of most facial massage rollers. Nevertheless, as I mentioned before applying very light pressure is key when using this method to achieve the best benefits.

MY EXPERIENCE:

I have been using the Nurse Jamie UPLIFT massaging roller for a few weeks.

I like it, so far what I have seen is a subtle lifting effect right after a do the movements with the tool. I find it specially good in the morning if I wake up with puffiness under my eyes. From the increase in oxygen, I do notice a nice glow in my skin. Now, the effect is temporary, it lasts only a few hours.

I find this tool to be particularly good for those times when you need a quick pick me up. It does the trick. Another thing that I like about it is that is easy to carry around and it needs no batteries or charging.

The price point is on the high end. It costs $69

It is a well-made tool that rotates smoothly, contains 24 massaging stones with tourmaline quartz and has an hexagon shape which helps to prevent pinching or pulling the skin.

THIS IS WHAT THE COMPANY SAYS ABOUT THE PRODUCT:

http://nursejamie.com/instant-uplift-facial-fiming-beauty-tool

“The Nurse Jamie UpLift™ Massaging Beauty Roller is an innovative beauty tool for the face and body with a unique hexagon shape that holds 24 massaging stones to temporarily energize, enhance, revive and uplift your skin. The UpLift™ is a Celebrity favorite for it’s ease of use, portability and instant results! The Uplift Beauty Tool utilizes a unique rhythmic rolling action, replicating the techniques used in my signature facials at our exclusive spas to help improve the appearance of skin tone for a more renewed, youthful-looking you!”

  • 24 Massaging Stones
  • Helps Improve Skin Tone
  • Suitable for Most Skin Types
  • Portable, Easy-To-Use
  • No Batteries Required

THE BOTTOM LINE:

As a professional I know the incredible benefits of massage. These tools will never replace the amazing results that some skillful hands can provide; however, they are great tools for at home treatments and for a quick lifting effect that although not permanent.. hey, who wouldn’t like that!

Thank you so much for being here,

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Med. Aesthetician/ Cosmetologist/ Massage Therapist/ Med. Electrologist C.M.E.

 

Disclaimmer:

The information above represents my personal opinion and it is shared for informational purposes only.

This post was not sponsored.

 

GETTING A SKIN GLOW IN 20 MINUTES OR LESS- My Top 3 Picks

 

Glow has become one of the most popular words in skincare and for a reason; it is a reflection of healthy, younger-looking skin! Radiant skin is as hot as the search for the fountain of youth. But what if I told you that  glowing skin is already a reachable reality and that it can be achieved in 20 minutes or less.

Masks are a great choice when you want instant results, they are considered flash treatments because they deliver results in just a few minutes. Just  a few minutes? Sign me up baby!

After putting many masks to the test, these 3 were my top picks to unlock a more youthful, luminous  skin in 20 minutes or less and although they are all great, each one has its own pros and cons, like I always say: “a product is only good if it suits your skin’s needs.”

The order in which they are described below has nothing to do with my preferences.

GLAM GLOW YOUTHMUD TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT $69

https://www.glamglow.com/product/16435/36600/bogo/youthmud-tinglexfoliate-treatment

 

This facial mask does the trick in a few minutes. It is a 10 minute treatment created to be used behind the scenes in Hollywood, best known as “the facial in a jar”. It combines powerful ingredients like kaolin and montmorillonite clay. Some of the properties of these ingredients are that they bind to bacteria and toxins, so they help to decongest and clarify the skin. Since the formula is a bit active, plenty of anti-inflammatories were added to calm and soothe the skin including: green tea leaf, chamomile, comfrey and calendula. It does contain synthetic and natural fragrances which could cause irritation to some skin types. This product performs cleansing and exfoliating benefits at the same time to achieve a refined, glowing look.  But there are a few things I want to share with you before you use it.

They call it the “youth mud tinglexfoliate treatment ” for a reason ..Oh boy! it does tingle quite a bit at first, it feels almost like a peel, but don’t panic.. it becomes better as the mask dries.

This is a very active mask so if you have sensitive skin it could be too stimulating for your skin.

Add a little of water and massage gently before removing the mask

They say to use it twice a week but I feel it is a bit strong, more like a once a week treatment since too much exfoliation can cause dryness. .

It leaves your skin looking radiant and smooth.

PIXI BEAUTY GLOW O2 MASK $24

Glow O2 Oxygen Mask

This is a lovely mask, very affordable and it works. It has a gel consistency when you first apply it that immediately turns into a white foam,  tingles a little at first but not bad at all, and it goes away within a few seconds as the mask start to dry. After only 15 to 20 minutes your skin looks brighter and refreshed. The packaging is very suitable for traveling, so I find this one to be great to take along with you on trips to fight the jet lag look and for quick pick me up any time. However, as lovely as it is, there are some cons to take into consideration. It has a mix of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and some irritants. The foam action is due to the coco-glucoside ingredient which is a mild surfactant  extracted from coconut and sugar, surfactants can be skin sensitizers and tend to over dry the skin, it also contains lemon peel and bergamot , strong oils that can become irritants on sensitive skin. On the good side, it contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, allantoin ( great anti-inflammatory), licorice (good skin brightner), panthenol , niacinamide, lactic acid and peptides a great blend of antioxidants, anti-aging, anti-inflammatories and hydrators.  It would be suitable for most skin types, although I recommend to do a patch test on the side of your neck first before you apply it on your face if you have sensitive skin to make sure it doesn’t cause any irritation on your skin.

Overall it is a very good product and gives your skin a beautiful glow!

NATURA BISSE DIAMOND WHITE GLOWING MASK  $95

https://www.naturabisse.com/en/psproduct/151-diamond-white-glowing-mask

Sometimes, indulging into a little luxury is worth it! At a higher price point the Diamond White Glowing Mask by Natura Bisse is such a skin treat. It feels creamy and sumptuous, containing betaine, obtained from sugar beets along with pomegranate to brighten the skin and provide a more even tone, it also has aloe and panthenol to help maintain optimal hydration and Bisabolol known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties to reduce skin irritation and redness. The packaging also makes it ideal for traveling. The cons.. it contains synthetic and natural fragrances which can be sensitizing for some skin types.  In general it is a great mask suitable for all skin types, it provides skin luminosity and hydration at the same time; it leaves your face feeling silky smooth and minimizes the appearance of open pores.

Always remember that you are beautiful and that the most powerful GLOW is the one that irradiates from your heart!

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Paramedical Esthetician/ Cosmetologist/ Medical Electrologist C.M.E/ Massage Therapist/

 

Disclaimer:

The above review represents my personal opinion and experience on the use of the products this is an objective review where no sponsoring is involved. It is meant to be for informational purposes only. Since every skin is different each person is responsible for determining if the product is suitable for their skin.

My skin type is :

Mature skin  (I am 47 year old)

Hypersensitive ( My skin gets irritated easily )

Combination Skin ( Prone to breakouts if a product does not suit my skin)

 

ARE HOT SHOWERS BAD FOR YOUR SKIN?

 

Okay I agree hot showers are relaxing and they feel soothing and calming, release muscle tension and clear up your mind, specially after a hectic day or if it is cold outside, but does taking a hot shower comes with a price for the skin?
The epidermis, outer layer of the skin is mostly composed of skin cells known as keratinocytes which defend the skin against the environmental hazards and also help the skin to retain moisture. To do this the skin produces an oil like substance called sebum. Both the skin cells and sebum get affected when you take a hot shower. The sebum softens with the high water temperature which strips away the skin’s natural lipids that maintain the skin moisturized. To make things even worse the use of harsh soaps dissolve the remaining lipids and the skin is left itchy and dry. Even more so if you use bar soaps which tend to be more alkaline.
To avoid skin dryness when showering:
*Shower with warm water, enough to be comfortable to enjoy your shower but not too hot to leave your skin vulnerable to sensitivities and dryness.
*Select a shower gel that is PH balanced and is free of sulfates or harsh surfactants (foaming agents)they over dry the skin.
*After stepping out of the shower, pat dry leaving the skin a little moist and apply a body cream or oil within 3 minutes, some of my favorites for the body are sweet almond oil, coconut, or grape seed oil. The oil or cream will help to occlude or seal the water into the skin and replace some of the lipids that the skin lost during showering, protecting the skin from dehydration and making it feel soft and comfortably hydrated.

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician/ Cosmetologist/ Med. Electrologist/ Massage Therapist