About janebalshaw creative

I am a multi-media artist and modern alchemist practicing through personal aesthetics and the visual arts.

The benefits of chilling your face

Ice face 3

When the temperatures are up outside, the skin on your face struggles to regulate its temperature. Perspiration is released to cool it down but in the meantime blood vessels dilate, the tissue gets slack & puffy then irritation & breakouts ensue. Chilling the skin during these times not only halts the cycle of irritation but helps firm the skin and sculpt the face.

For years I have been a proponent using cold in a facial keeping a refrigerator full of herbal gel concoctions at my finger tips and ice to roll on the skin. The hot/cold strengthens blood vessels and seems to tighten up the underlying connective fibers in the skin for a more firmed facial complexion.  This thought process is catching on.

Read about ice rolling here and here

Cool down at home. Take home an ice roller to keep your skin in check at home.  Ice Roller $30.00HD Ice roller home front

Masques; the at-home summer facial

at home facialThere is nothing like a facial in my hands – so you tell me – but in the absence of my curative expertise you can refresh your skin at home by giving yourself facial. Beyond simple cleaning and moisturizing, applied facial masques can add additional benefits into your home skincare routine.

Masque benefits fall into two categories; “add in” and “take away”. Add-in masques contain specific skin nutrients and hydrate tissue to boost and enhance the skin’s functions. Take-away masques are designed to remove or pull out cellular waste to detoxify and smooth the skin. In my Euchlora skincare line the Lemon Honey Butter and the Maple Jolt are both add-in masques. The Terraflora Masque and the Pumpkin Enzyme Masque are both “take away” masques.

In the summer when our skin out-puts so much oil and perspiration flushes toxins to the surface of the skin, a take-away masque is of great benefit. Euchlora’s Terraflora smoothing and detoxifying Masque absorbs all the summer debris, soothes over-heated or broken out skin and kills bad bacteria that may form during the hot months. [this is the go-to masque for acne!] Following this with proper moisturizing leaves the skin gorgeously smooth and radiant.

Here is a facial you can give yourself at home that incorporates all the steps that happen in my professional facials:

  1. Cleanse the skin with your creamy cleanser of choice to remove make-up (MeadowMilk or Emolulite). Follow with a foaming cleanser for deep cleansing (Purify Frothing or Bio-tanical).
  2. Apply a medium thick layer of Terraflora Masque avoiding the eye area and let it dry. Once dry splash it off with tepid or cool water.
  3. On your damp face apply a thin layer of Lemon Honey Butter with vitamin C to moisturize and strengthen sun-exposed skin. Leave in place for 5 to 10 minutes. Splash off with warm water. Towel dry skin.
  4. Spritz face with Rehance mist.
  5. Apply one pumps worth of Glow (or GlowCustard for very dry skins) and roll on EyesTea around eyes.
  6. Finish with a layer of SummerSilk chemical-free sunblock.

 

Product knowledge; NEW CrowdControl 10+ Complete

DSC06451CrowdControl 10+ complete Concentrate is a non-irritating thin serum that smooths onto the skin penetrating the skin follicles to break-down hyper-trophic skin-cells & black-head build up, kill acne bacteria and halt the manufacture of stress hormones that stimulate cysts.  A dry gel finish of active ingredients protects the skin to reduce inflammation & redness, heal damaged tissue and prevent hyper-pigmentation scarring.  An all-in-one product, this is a synergistic blend that balances and heals the acne & keratosis prone skin over time in a holistic manner* eliminating the need for harsh peeling products.

In a base of water, vegetable glycerin and grain alcohol, salicylic, glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids are dissolved.  These extracts derived from fruit and herbs work to break down keratin, the protein of skin cells, to allow the build up of skin cells to slough off the surface of skin and from within follicles to clear clogs and prevent them from occurring again.  In addition, these acids in the grain alcohol are naturally anti-bacterial so help keep pimples at bay.

Essential oil of Helichrysum in included in the blend.  This precious extract from the African and Australian plants aids in preventing and healing bruising in addition to being naturally anti-bacterial.  Essential oil of french lavender is also added well-known to stimulate the healing process.  Applying unadulterated pure lavender essential oil directly to burns, for example, takes away all the sting and redness so thusly aids injured acneic tissue to be soothed and regenerate.  Lavender is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.

The sophisticated peptide Argireline (Acetyl hexapeptide-3), normally used as an anti-wrinkle ingredient, is included in Crowd Control because of its ability to inhibit the release of adrenalin and noradrenaline in the neuronal skin cells. One of the triggers for closed comedone cystic acne is the over-flooding of these hormones associated with stress; eliminate the adrenalin and the swelling/infection cycle is stopped.

Niacinamide, Vitamin B-3, is included to provide it’s well documented ability to lighten scarred tissue and to provide and anti-inflammatory effect which reduces redness.  The sophisticated ingredient Alpha Arbutin (4-Hydroxyphenyl-α-D-glucopyranoside) is also included to reduce inflammation and to suppress the over activity of melanin formation which results in hyper-pigmentation scarring.

* Holistic methods work with the natural body functions, retraining them to function normally when they are disfunctioning and strengthening them to do what they do normally allowing the body to heal itself.

Why custom skincare products for summer?…

custom blending JPEG…because in the heat your skin needs less weight on it and customizing allows combining several benefits into one product.  Similar to BB or CC cremes but with more thoughtful science behind it, I can blend you a skincare treatment solution to improve your skin during the heat of summer when you don’t want to wear a lot.   Many people do not realize I offer this service…so I am telling now.

Valerie in California has me tint her Tranquility Lotion for sheer moisturizing, sunblocking color.

Denise and Pam in New Hampshire have a lighter summer-version of the custom-blended aromatherapy body lotion I make for them.

Donna in New Hampshire has me add a slurry of chemical-free oxide-sunblock into her Fruit Cocktail skin renewal lotion for daily SPF.

Lori in California has me blend her a rosy blushing face powder for evening out skin tones, lifting her color and providing SPF protection.

I have blended my own mineral face powder to look “moist” on 60+ skin when I really need to feel dry in the humidity.  The powder absorbs my perspiration and provides me with SPF 30 for my walks to and from work. [older skin should look moist to be most youthful]

Linda of New Hampshire has me create lipstick-like, tinted, total-SPF sticks to match her skin color and cover over some hyper-pigmentation spots she is bleaching away.

Think about if I can blend something special just for you.  Contact me for a custom blending appointment.  603-491-7305   jbalshaw@comcast.net

Freeze it first and other fickle-weather skincare tips

HD Ice roller home frontIf the weather here at my New England studio were in a race, it would win.  35° to 93° all within a couple of days wins notice but is tough on the skin and can ruin your product! Here are a few tricks to preserve your skin and the product you use on it during the temperature shifts of spring.

  1. Freeze your cosmetic pencils before sharpening. The warm temperature in your bathroom during a heat wave + warm humidity from showers will melt them slightly; they glide on easier but will be mushy in the sharpener. Freezing first assures a sharp point.
  2. Stabilize the temperature of your skincare product during weather swings. I suggest keeping them in a dark cabinet away from direct sunlight. The heating and cooling can destroy some of the active ingredients, can cause natural/organic oils to go rancid and can make the product separate into an unusable mess. Refrigerate any products you are not using until you do so.
  3. Never store cosmetics or skincare in a car for the above reasons.
  4. Ice your face if you over heat. Sudden heat swings can trigger rosacea. I wasn’t troubled by Rosacea until I moved to New England; working in the garden on those hot humid days makes my face bright red that in turn stimulates the formation of those tell-tale pustules. Applying cold compresses immediately can cause the vessel distention and pustules to retreat avoiding a full break-out.  The above Ice Roller is a wonderful warm weather aid sold in my studio….freeze the detachable roller and click into the holder when ready to use.
  5. Change your skincare products according to the heat and humidity of any given day. Avoid moist or sticky products that can trap heat on the skin on those hot humid days triggering the symptoms listed above.  Conversely, load up on those sticky products when the cool wind is blowing so your skin does not dehydrate and get flaky.

Need help choosing product that is right for your skin?  Come in to see me…

Jane Balshaw 603-491-7305   jbalshaw@comcast.net

Euchlora’s cure for cracking winter hands; Artist’s Hand Creme

Artists hand creme dual

Everyone that has been in for facials the last 2 weeks are suffering from cracked skin on the fingers; like me, you probably know it well.  Ouch.  That little fissure from the corner of the nail sideways onto the finger is caused from dry skin left unchecked.  Dryness tightens the tissue and when you add pressure to the finger tip it splits.

If you would only use my Artist’s hand Creme you will never have these or the cracks along the sides of the fingers either!  This is a creme-salve meaning it hydrates the skin as well as protects it.  It also heals due to the Calendula it contains.  Apply it every night before bed; a jar sits on my night stand; use more as needed.  Even husbands use it.  Read more about it here…

There is some in the Canterbury self-serve stairwell, here in the Portsmouth studio and I can ship it directly to you for just a couple bucks cost.  (Orders over $100 ship free).

Product knowledge; Stop it! salve

DSC06019Stop it! is a creamy salve that stops skin irritation, prevents scarring and halts the formation of skin plaques associated with psoriasis & eczema.  This simple formula includes the natural anti-oxidant, anti-stress and moisture benefits from refined organic shea butter and shea oil.  Additionally included is cyclo-dimethicone, a non-toxic silicone that is used in the medical field as a barrier for the skin post surgery allowing it to heal from the inside out disallowing oxidation of the tissue which causes scabbing and scarring.  A dab of blue german chamomile balances the formula to add anti-inflamatory treatment.

I have custom-blended this salve for many of my psoriasis clients for some time now.  They have found that it cures their plaques all together and with continued use prevents them from reforming.  I am prone to rashes and find that this completely stops them.  An additional benefit I found recently it to use this as a preventative coating when I know I will be exposed to elements that can cause my rashes—when around paint fumes and when out-of-doors in brutal weather.  Andrea has found this works for her as well in this manner and has prevented her normal winter skin irritations.

This is a product that we all should have in our medicine cabinets for when ever we might have a skin emergency; a little goes a long way.

Weather alert; put on your layers (of skincare)!

DSC06182Just like we don vests, scarves and silk undergarments when the weather temps drop and the wind chill sets in, we need to add additional layers to the skin on our face for IT’S protection!  Cold temperatures coagulate our skin’s oil before it can get to the surface and wind plus dry interior environments causes the water in our skin to evaporate.  The loss of these which comprise the skin’s Hydro-Lipid Film that is part of our immune system, leaves the skin vulnerable to irritation, wind burns, rosacea break-outs and an uneven complexion.  SO, put on some extra layers to avoid this.

Here is how (see my personal routine at the end):

  1. Avoid foaming cleansers that might strip too much oil away.  Instead use creamy or oil cleansers this time of year face AND neck.
  2. When skin is still wet from cleaning apply a thin layer of a watery serum that’s purpose is to hydrate the skin over the whole face/neck.  Let soak in.
  3. Apply a thick lotion or cream over this to the entire face/neck.
  4. In many cases the skin may need even more so spot apply a few drops of a good skin oil to the cheeks and forehead.  Rosehip, sweet almond, argan…

My routine:

Your skin may need a different routine so if you need help please contact me!

Home remedies for stressed out Holiday skin

Holiday-shopping-1Holiday-ShoppingIs your fa, la, la, la, la dragging? Are you relying on all those holiday cookies and jolts of caffeine to keep you going, topped off with celebratory alcoholic beverages?  Most of us have way tooooooo much to do this season and right about now—in this most rushed week of the year—our skin starts revolting.

All those “cures” for exhaustion and stress actually create more stress on the body & skin by triggering the immune system.  Adrenaline is released into the skin causing hormonal cysts and the body redirects water & minerals from the surface of the skin to the inside offering more protection for its core inner organs leaving the surface of the skin depleted.  The effect creates the appearance of lack-lustre, blotchy and dry skin that is  itchy and prone to those big, red cyst-type break-outs that never seem to come to a head.

AT HOME QUICK FIXES:

  1. Avoid soapy cleansers; instead remove make-up with oils like sweet almond or argan or rosehip by massaging in and removing with a warm, wet washcloth.  Better yet, use Euchlora Emolulite Cleanser with added benefits.  The oil conditions the skin so it can withstand the stress.
  2. Take a steamy shower or bath with pure lavender essential oil to decompress your stressy spirits and to provide an anti-inflamatory, anti-septic measure for your skin.
  3. Use clay masques to detoxify the skin.  Euchlora’s Terraflora Masque is really spectacular.
  4. Apply cold wet water compresses to the skin to drench it and calm it.  Again add a couple drops of pure lavender essential oil to the water.  Or let me blend something beautiful just for your individual countenance.
  5. Drench those break-out bumps with anti-histamine eye drops.  It will reduce the swelling and in many cases make it disappear.
  6. Moisturize morning and night to keep the skin strengthened.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES:

  1. Drink LOTS of water to flush the stress hormones from the body and help replenish water loss in the skin.  I know, I know, I know….
  2. I love the little tablets called Calms Forte available at Health Food Stores and some grocery stores in that section.  They calm the nervous system which in turn curbs the release of the hormones that deplete the skin and the body.
  3. Take something off your list so that your nervous system can relax a little.

BE HAPPY, BE WELL…I am thinking about you and your skin!  Jane

Don’t rub it in and other winter moisturizing tips

spongesThose of us of a certain age (we know who we are) grew up with many skincare myths.  They still plague us (at least our memories are still good) and keep us from having the optimum results in skincare.  Let me debunk the 3 most common myths so you can increase the effectiveness of your moisturizers, save some wear & tear on your skin and have a more radiant complexion.

MYTH #1 – “Rub in your moisturizer until you can see it any more.”  Your poor face!  All that rubbing breaks down the under lying connective tissue accelerating the aging process and most of the product goes into your hands instead of your face.

  • Instead: “smooth” the product onto your face with gentle upwards sweeping motions. Apply eye products along the brow bone in the same direction as your eyebrow hair is growing continuing in a circle down around the top of the orbital bone underneath the eye.  Your skin will look wet or oiled-up but give it up to 10 minutes or so then it will naturally absorb into the skin filling it up.

MYTH #2 – “When your face feels dry apply a thick creme or oil (Coconut oil is trendy right now).”  This just greases up the skin and does not address the loss of moisture/water. Healthy skin is flushed with plenty of water from within balanced with a light protective coating of oil that holds that water in place.

  • Instead: when very dry, first drench the skin with a water-maintaining product such as Glow then apply heavier oil-rich products over that. Alternatively, thin aqueous products that contain some oil such as FruitCocktail can address both water & oil at the same time.  Envision a dry sponge; just oil laid on top will leave it still looking dimpled and feeling crusty but if it is wet first it will smooth out.

MYTH #3 -“You do not need a night creme because when left alone your skin will make its own oil at night”.  There is truth to this because naturally healthy functioning oil glands do self-moisturize.  HOWEVER, if you your face is over age 40, have sun damage, are out-of-doors a lot, live in a cold climate with dry heat inside, have had chemotherapy or radiation treatments, have had gastric by-pass, lap-band or colectomy surgeries, are on a low-fat or non-fat diet you need to use moisturizers at night to maintain the water content in the skin because it cannot maintain itself with these conditions.

Remember, letting your skin dry out only for a while will let skin cells collapse allowing age to set in.

If you need help with a moisturizing routine, please contact me for your own skin consultation.