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Winter Skin – Looking after your skin during the winter months!

It’s no secret winter weather can hit our skin hard. If you’re experiencing dryness, dehydration, flaky skin, uneven texture or unexplained redness, you’re not alone. It is extremely common during the colder months for your skin to freak out a little. Luckily, we have some advice on how to treat it.

These symptoms can appear for many reasons, the most common being Transepidermal Water Loss (or TEWL for short). TEWL occurs when the water stored deeper down in our skin layers, makes its way up to the top layer (epidermis) and evaporates out. Basically, our skin loses moisture. TEWL typically occurs when our epidermis isn’t being properly looked after. Our skin has a protective barrier (the acid mantle) that protects us against the elements, it is made up of water & fatty acids (oil). Our barrier function mediates between the good & bad to maintain healthy skin – it’s an extremely important function, determining what to keep in & what to keep out of our skin. For instance, it keeps toxins & pollutants out, water & nutrients in. Given the important role the skin’s barrier has in ensuring overall wellness of your skin, it is crucial to care for it. A lot of people mistakenly think they have “sensitive skin” when in fact, they have sensitised skin due to TEWL occurring. As the barrier function is impaired, it means their skin is sensitised to most things.

Harsh cleansers, too much exfoliating, not applying moisturiser or the wrong type of moisturiser can damage your skins barrier function, allowing TEWL to occur. When water evaporates fast from the skin, the body can’t replace it in time leading to the skin drying out. When this happens, things like dehydration, redness, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, itchiness, breakouts & uneven patchy skin starts to occur. If you have these symptoms, your barrier is impaired & needs to be nourished back in balance. To achieve this internal & external care needs to be considered.

Here are some tips to re-balance your skin’s barrier (acid mantle):

  • Invest in a good cleanser. Cleansers that are not right for you, can strip your skin after only one wash, further impairing your barrier & allowing water to evaporate. This can cause redness, stinging & stripping of your natural oils.
  • Drinking water isn’t enough. Your skin is the last organ in the body to get the benefits of drinking water. Start to introduce Essential Fatty Acids to your diet through supplementation. They help bring water levels up in the skin as well as liquidise your oils evenly across the top layer of the skin, helping to rebalance a striped barrier.
  • Stop using face wipes to remove makeup & products. They might be quick and easy, but they are not doing your skin any favors. Try Micellar water like the Ultraceuticals B2 Micellar Water instead. It is formulated to keep your skin hydrated whilst effectively clearing makeup.
  • Be gentle with your skin. It does not need to be scrubbed every-day. Over-exfoliating creates gaps on the surface of your skin that will cause water to escape. Exfoliate using a peel or fine rounded beaded exfoliant, only once a week to remove dead skin cell build up. This will ensure your skin stays smooth & your products will penetrate the skin better.
  • The cold weather causes poor circulation – having regular salon treatments such as the Enzyme Therapy will help stimulate your circulation – encouraging waste removal & fresh blood to the cells.
  • If you don’t already, start to have regular facial treatments. We advise every two weeks to bring your skin back to a healthy state, then once a month to maintain these results.
  • Choose foods with high water content, drink herbal teas & increase omega 3’s to help increase your daily intake. Reduce caffeine & alcohol intake as it dehydrates your skin further.
  • Always use sunscreen to protect your skin, the sun is still present in winter & we all know how harsh it can be.
  • Add a hydrating mask or a strengthening mask to your skincare routine once a week, this will help encourage hydration & nourishment where it needs to be. DMK Hydrating mask is essential during winter. Always apply a mask after you exfoliate to nourish & restore the skin.
  • Add a skin oil to your skincare routine. They nourish & protect your skin barrier. I will explain this further down below.
  • Hot water temperatures can also encourage water loss, as the pores open allowing more moisture to evaporate. Try having warm water showers instead of hot showers.
  • Invest in a proper moisturiser. Chemist/supermarket brought moisturisers sit on top of the skin & do not penetrate through, as they do not have active ingredients in them. They create a film cross the top layer & do not move. This is not going to resolve your dry skin. Let me explain further.

Moisturising is an extremely important step in your home-care routine, even more so in winter. You need a moisturiser that is going to move deep down into the lower layers of the skin, where the ingredients & nourishment can be utilised. Using a proper moisturiser can decrease TEWL by 98%. It seals the ingredients in, preventing water from evaporating out so quickly. DMK moisturisers are amazing at this- they’re formulated to be sprayed into the skin using Herb & Mineral mist, so they don’t just sit on top of the skin but penetrate deep down into the skin layers.

On average we lose up to two cups of water from our skin every-day. This is where skin oils come into play, they put balance back into your skins protective layer. Your protective barrier is made up of fatty acids (oil) and water, so it makes sense why you need to replace it. However, you can’t use just any old oil, it needs to be a fractionated oil. If your oil can be solid, it will sit solidly on the skin, which will prevent it from helping. Products such as DMK Seba-e oil or Herbal Pigment Oil are effective at maintaining the barrier of your skin by preventing TEWL. DMK oils are an exact replacer of our skins protective barrier. How amazing! Your skin will take on these ingredients as if they were formulated organically. Seba-e & Herbal Pigment Oil also include Essential Fatty Acid properties, which allows you to nourish topically with EFA’s as well as internally with supplements.

If you have some of the symptoms we have listed relating to dry skin, don’t worry! We can help you get started with treating them. A great way to see change quickly is by taking Essential Fatty Acids. They make such a big difference in your skins hydration levels. If you noticed from the tips provided above, you are missing things from your routine – start these changes today. Making a few adjustments to your lifestyle will prevent your skin’s barrier from stripping & improve its overall health. We hope these tips help you get through the colder months & put in place some much needed change. Always feel free to contact us with any questions or queries regarding your skin concerns, we are here to help! For further information on EFA’s check out our blog post here to read up on the amazing benefits.

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Why we wish Roaccutane wasn’t an Acne Solution!

For those of you who have never come across this medication before, let me explain what it is & what it does. It is a Dermatologist prescribed Acne medication that is derived from synthetic Vitamin-A, as an anti-inflammatory drug that attacks your oil glands to shut them down.

You may have never come across this particular drug before but as therapists we are very familiar with it. It is something that we must be aware of for every treatment that we perform, as we can cause damage to your skin if unaware. For instance, waxing is not allowed when on Roaccutane because it causes your skin to thin, it would be easy for us to take skin off during a treatment. The common skin side effects for Roaccutane are dermatitis, very dry skin, blood noses, dry lips, fragile skin, red rashes, scaly skin, sun sensitive, thin skin & more. The even scarier common side effects are the ones that happen internally such as depression, anxiety, slow healing, cysts & more.

This acne drug is extremely aggressive as it is drying out your oil production to reduce pimples forming. Keep in mind it is drying out your entire body not just the skin on your face. When taking it you should have regular doctor’s appointments as well as blood tests to ensure the chemicals aren’t harming your internal organs. Most people who are on Roaccutane do not know that it is in fact an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug, in other words, poison to the body. We have found through experience, that client’s who do go on the drug, seem to have other issues arise. For instance, skin takes longer to heal, bruising easily, early signs of ageing, permeant thinned skin, burning easily when in the sun, PCO (polycystic ovaries) & stomach issues. Another problem with going on Roaccutane to treat your skin is that it’s a requirement that you take the contraceptive pill, even if you aren’t sexually active yet to avoid the possibility of you falling pregnant. As Roaccutane can cause serious birth defects & harm to a growing foetus.

Saying all of this, Roaccutane is effective at clearing up your pimples…but at what cost? It’s like a band-aid effect, it will clear it up, but it is not going to treat the core source of the problem. You’re guaranteed to be on more than one course of the drug & you will have other issues arise after you finish the course. Your skin will be left dry, thin, oil glands out of sorts & red vascular or pitted scarring.

As skin therapists we find it extremely frustrating to understand why Dermatologists recommended something that is so harmful & aggressive. Treating acne is hard & it does take time, it’s like going to the gym. You are not going to get results by going once a week & eating unhealthy food. You need to dedicate time and invest your money if you want to see results. Changing diet, reducing stress levels, looking after gut health, increasing exercise, using home care recommended & having in salon treatments is the combination you need, to properly change & resolve any skin condition. We believe in holistic long-term solutions over quick fixes. As we have seen time & time again the skin issue keeps returning if the client is using a quick fix. We understand Acne is an awful thing to go through, so we would never judge someone for taking the Roaccutane route. We do strongly advise you to explore your options, visit a skin clinic & choose long-term skin health over temporary relief.

Figuring out why your acne has come up is how we start to treat it. There is not one answer for everyone; we eliminate as many possibilities as we can through recommending change. It could be as simple as changing some diet choices, for your skin to start to heal. Skin needs to be treated carefully & properly for it to heal. Treating it aggressively through Roaccutane or another medication, isn’t allowing it to heal properly. Our skin produces oil for a reason, it keeps our skin protected, hydrated & youthful. Shutting that skin function down will lead to other dysfunctions arising. The skin needs a combination of tools to stay healthy, the same way it needs a combination of tools when being treated. Research all your options before jumping into any kind of acne medication. Treating skin is something we love to do here at Let’s Face It, we are always here to help guide you through these decisions & happy to help with any skin issues you may have.