About janebalshaw creative

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

Canterbury self-serve Barn Store opening

IMG_2403What does one esthetician do when so many of her good clients who need their skincare products are are so far away from her studio?

Mail order works, but for me personally, I like the experience of tactile shopping, exploring new products and having face to face time with the person I trust.  So I came up with a kitschy idea of carving out a space in my barn where I spend week-ends (located near my good client/friends) so they could still have me and have access to their product when I was not there.

Voila; the self-serve key-code access barn store!   Thanks for your interest everyone!FullSizeRenderFullSizeRenderFullSizeRenderFullSizeRender

 

 

Summertime skin irritations; causes and cures

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Once the warm, humid weather hits, the emails start rolling in; “Jane, I have a rash on my face. What should I do about it?!” Here is the physiology of warm weather skin irritations and what to do about them.

Skin irritation occurs when the tissue is abraded, is touched with an allergen or, most commonly, when the natural pH of the skin is disturbed.  The skin is by nature slightly acidic measuring between 4.5 to 5.5 on the pH scale and it is this acidity that helps to kill or neutralize irritants.  However, with prolonged exposures or severe changes in pH, the deeper immune system functions are engaged releasing histamines that cause heat and swelling, white blood cells that create redness all resulting in bumps & rashes that damage the surface skin cells resulting in peeling, flaking and sloughing. Then when the skin is in this state of newly exposed cells after the flaking/peeling, it becomes hyper-sensitive which can cause the irritation to become chronic and repeat itself.  And thus the summertime skin irritation that does not want to go away.

Itchy-Eyelids-3Heat-Rash-2bumps2Common warm weather irritations:

  1. The crease above the eyelids and the eyelids themselves – inflamed, itchy and stingy
  2. The forehead – red, stingy rashes and bumps
  3. The center of the face – little pustules and red bumps

Common causes:

Perspiration can be a higher pH than the skin due to the sodium chloride (pH 6.7 – 7.3) it contains. Once the moisture dissipates from the sweat then the salt remains alone on the skin causing irritation which can create a rash. Additionally, perspiration can activate products used on face and in the hair to weep downward to areas not intended for them which causes irritation. Common irritating products:

  • hair styling products – the pH is not compatible with the skin, the gelling agents are clogging and the solvents they contain are an irritant. Additionally, the artificial fragrances are extreme irritants.
  • exfoliating treatment serums/cremes – these types of products are a low pH to activate the renewal sloughing process in the skin of the face but NOT the eye area.
  • Chemical sunscreens – most skins are irritated by the chemicals in sunscreens and when absorbed into the eye area, cause great irritation.
  • mineral make-up when it contains bismuth oxychloride – the common ingredient in MOST mineral make-up is a metal that can cause great irritation and stinging especially when activated by perspiration.

Prevention:

  • Rinse skin within two hours of heavy perspiring to avoid sodium irritation.
  • Avoid wearing exfoliating products when you know you will be in the heat and potentially perspiring.
  • Avoid chemical sunscreens and instead use only natural sunscreens formulated with zinc and titanium oxides like Euchlora’s SummerSilk (also check this ingredient list to make sure your product will not clog the skin).
  • Avoid wearing mineral make-ups with bismuth oxychloride in general and especially when you will be sweating.  Try Euchlora’s custom blended (B.O.-free) mineral Powders and Sheer Moisture Tints.

Cures:

  1. EYES – On clean skin, douse the entire eye area inside and out with anti-histamine eye drops.  Once soaked in, rub the area with an ice-cube for up to 15 seconds.  Using a QTip, apply a thin coat of calamine lotion to the affected area and let dry.  Splash this off with cold water then apply Euchlora’s EyesTea followed by a very, very thin dab of Stop it * avoiding application close to the lashes.  Following this treatment, avoid wearing eye make-up with lustre or sparkle, remove eye make-up only with oil or creamy cleanser (if not wearing make-up simply rinse eye area with water) and twice a day apply EyesTea followed by a very, very thin coat of Stop it.  Repeat initial treatment once a week until irritation is gone. *If irritation is pronounced hydrocortisone ointment may be needed initially.
  2. FOREHEAD – Clean skin with a pH balanced, fragrance-free foaming cleanser such as Euchlora’s Purify Frothing Cleanser.  Apply a generous coat of Calamine lotion or for greater amplified results, apply Euchlora’s Terraflora Masque.  Let these dry completely, then splash off with cold water.  Apply a coat of Stop it then at a second time each day, wash as above and reapply ointment.  Repeat daily until rash resolves.  NOTE:  This method also works for heat rash on any part of the body.
  3. CENTER OF FACE – Pustules and bumps in this area of the face can be an indication of the disorder Rosacea that is activated by heat and humidity.  These rashy bumps can also simply be caused by heat and perspiration as above.  For either, wash face with a pH balanced, fragrance-free foaming cleanser such as Euchlora’s Purify Frothing Cleanser.  Apply a clay masque such as Euchlora’s Terraflora Masque and let dry.  Rinse off with cold water and apply 2 pumps of Euchlora’s TLBC vitamin C Concentrate serum to entire face.  Repeat once a day until bumps have subsided.  Maintain results using TLBC regularly and avoiding heavy moisturizers during heat and humidity favoring light zinc oxide moisturizers like Euchlora’s Tranquility Lotion.

Please feel free to contact me in the studio with any further questions.  If you are in California check in with Jane-Ann Lowes at BlushLA.

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

 

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