Product knowledge; MeadowMilk Gentle Cleanser

DSC05788MeadowMilk Gentle Cleanse is a soothing honey-scented face cleansing lotion that glides on silky smooth to dissolve all make-up and dirt while balancing the immune-system flora present on the surface of the skin leaving it moist and conditioned.  It incorporates the natural enzymatic action in meadow-harvested honey to break down dead skin cells while essential nutrients in Meadowfoam seed oil offer anti-aging cleansing.  Cold processed, this is truly like active nutrition for your skin and most skin types will benefit from it used as part of a routine.  (NOTE: many of you will prefer this to the Bio-Tanical Cleanser as it goes on similar to the previous Conditioning Biotic Cleanser).

The main active ingredient in this cleanser is local honey from the North Family Farm in Canterbury, New Hampshire.  Harvested from bees that forage the non-polluted meadows of the 1792 North Family Shaker farmland, this is a gorgeously scented, luscious honey teaming with healthy flora and active enzymes.  Enzymes work to break down proteins and debris thus it is as good for the surface of the skin as well as our gut.  Introducing the essences of plant material contained within also helps keep our immune system boosted (the skin is the largest part of our immune system!)

The second main ingredient is Meadowfoam Seed oil.  This highly stable anti-oxident oil is cold pressed from the seeds of Limnanthes Alba plant noted for its superior nutritional quality and its ability heal the skin.  Oil is the best solvent for grease so while conditioning the skin, the Meadowfoam seed oil also breaks down & emulsifies sebum, perspiration and make-up to wash away with a warm cloth.  Like the C.B.C. many of you will enjoy spreading it on, leaving it in place like a masque then just adding water later to whiten it up to remove.

 

Is your skin breaking out this summer?

pimple collageI should have done this post about a month ago when the emails started rolling in; “HELP!  I am breaking out!”  But summer is not over yet and probably not the tendency for break outs.  So here are the Why’s and Wherefore’s about them.

When the weather temperature rises humidity builds up in the skin – that “dewy” look.  If this humidity becomes trapped on the skin it makes a perfect breeding ground for acne bacteria.  The bacteria are always there but do not grow when it is exposed to oxygen.  But with the use of heavy water-proof sunscreens or if you are still using your winter time products designed to keep the humidity in the skin, oxygen gets blocked and the warm, moist environment accelerates the growth of this bacteria causing break-outs.*

To fix the problem the skin needs to dry out.  The pimples will subside, shrink and the damaged skin will flake off plus new pimples will not form.

  1. Use a foaming cleanser during the height of humidity and heat.  I have traditionally dry skin but frequently use the Purifying Frothing Cleanser to deep clean and dry out the moist areas.  I have a proclivity to break outs especially in the summer and the zeolite it contains help draw the impurities to deeper clean.
  2. Use medicinal clay masques to absorb oil and dry out the skin.  I love, love, love my Terraflora smoothing and detoxifying Masque in the summer.  The natural salicylic acid in the Blue Flag Root exfoliates, the ionic drawing properties in the clay and the healing herbal blend of essential oils detoxifies and leaves my skin silky smooth.
  3. Consider sleeping with a drawing paste on active blemishes.  My Mineral Blemish Poultice is great for this and it is a staple in my families medicine cabinet.
  4. Ditch the oil-free silicone style make-ups and favor instead mineral powders or light mineral tints.
  5. Put away your winter moisturizers (save them in the refrigerator until you need it again) and try some other products that are lighter.
  6. Get a glycolic peel treatment.

Remember that at the end of the summer the skin is as thick as it will be all year so consider a deep cleansing facial to refresh sometime in September.

warmly, Jane

*exercising with make-up or heavy skincare can produce the same results.

It’s time to change your skincare routine

summer outdoorsIt’s time to change your skincare routine.  When the weather warms and the moisture levels in the air change, your skin can do with less or perhaps different skincare products. If you spend your time indoors in an air-conditioned controlled environment then there is no need to change.

IN WARM HUMID WEATHER:  The skin self-hydrates with perspiration and the humidity in the air is attracted to the products on your skin so you need less.  Too much product trapping the moisture & salts from perspiration can cause irritation or break-outs.

  • Use less super-hydrating products.
  • Use less layers of products.
  • Lighten up the texture of your products.

My personal day time routine has changed from RefiningPLUS Concentrate under Glow under GlowCustard with moisturizing make-up foundation to now using RefiningPlus Concentrate under FruitCocktail with SummerSilk then my custom-blended mineral powder foundation.  At night I am used TLBC alone on humid days and adding a thin layer of GlowCustard over that on other days.

IN HOT DRY WEATHER:  The heat accelerates moisture evaporation so there is a greater need to add hydration.  While some oil is needed to help maintain the moisture in the skin, products that are too heavy can contribute to holding the heat in the skin causing damage.

  • Add more super-hydrating products.
  • Mist the skin with moisture binding nutrients regularly.
  • Use products that let the heat of the skin escape (avoid oil-free silicone type products).

A wonderful day time routine for hot, dry weather would include the use of both Glow and Rehance Mist followed by a medium weight moisturizer of choice.  At night the routine could be repeated.  

Many of my clients are having me custom-blend tinted moisturizers right now to help simplify their summer skincare routine.  Please contact me if you are also interested in your own version of this BB Creme type product.

Jane 603-491-7305  jbalshaw@comcast.net

Natural bug repellents that cause sunburning

sun sensitivity plant oils For those of us in New England who love the outdoors, the biting insects that show up at this time of year can be annoying! And if we have concerns about using chemical bug repellents on our bodies, using plant fragrance oils give us natural protection and peace of mind. But beware; many of the common oils used in natural bug repellents can increase your risk of sunburn and allergic reaction!

natural-vs-chemical-ingredientsPlant fragrance oils (called essential oils) are the volatile essences of various plant materials. Extracted from the plant in a concentrated form, these oils contain the assorted organic components of the plant.  As a visual, think of the viles in a chemistry lab; like these, essential oils are intensely active and flammable combinations of chemicals.

The chemical constituent coumarin occurs in many common plants and is responsible for lending a particular sweet smell.  However, when coumarin is applied directly to the skin it absorbs UV light then releases it into the dermis creating photosensitivity (reactivity to UV light).  Wearing any of the following plant oils that contain coumarin while in the sun greatly increases your risk of sun burning, sun spotting or developing an allergic rash.

WHILE IN THE SUN, AVOID WEARING BUG REPELLENTS (or body lotions & perfumes) THAT CONTAIN:

  • lavender
  • common orange
  • mandarin orange
  • bergamot
  • lemon
  • cassia “cinnamon”
  • Calendula
  • angelica

And if you happen to be experimenting with rare and unusual essential oils or bathing in herbs ( 🙂 ), parsley, tarragon and celery also contain coumarins!

It is further interesting to note that coumarins have been synthesized in the laboratory for use in making perfumes adding that particular sweet smell.  This could explain why many/most synthetic fragrances create photosensitivity!  The ramifications are endless; fragranced soaps, shampoos, sunscreens, body lotions… this is one of the reason why I am an advocate for avoiding synthetic fragrance.

The most effective essential oil I have found to repel bugs is Eucalyptus Citriodoro.  The Nation Center for Disease Control has classified this as a suitable replacement for DEET.  You may have noticed the postings at some of the trail heads in New Hampshire mentioning this.  Stacia uses this on her horses to repeal flies.

You might enjoy my Outdoor Freedom, a skin conditioning & soothing lotion that provides natural, chemical-free sunblocking while additionally repelling bugs. Sweat resistant and non-greasy with a silky dry finish. Along with zinc oxide, plant extract Eucalyptus Citriodoro creates an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin while providing an uplifting citrus/eucalyptus scent. SPF around 30-40; apply liberally for best protection. Sitting in the yard side by side with David, black flies are all over him while not a one is touching me when wearing this. The smell reminds me of summer!

I also sell the oil alone by the 1/2 oz.

603-491-7305   jbalshaw@comcast.net

Are your skincare products anti-aging enough?

canstockphoto8795735We have plenty to worry about.  Are our mammograms frequent enough, are we flossing enough, have we reduced our sugar in-take enough, did we get enough exercise… the last thing we need to add to the list is the worry if our skincare products are anti-aging enough.

Relax.  Here are some logical guidelines to help you resolve your concerns.

To make informed purchases you need to understand several points; how your skin changes, what you can realistically expect and what products can accomplish your expectations.

DI skin chartUNDERSTAND HOW SKIN CHANGES.  Think of our skin as an ever-changing ebbing and flowing micro-organism.  It is, in fact, that.  It takes in information from the world around it and from within the body acting as a filter, showing as a barometer for you to read.  Every injury, every sunburn, every illness, every food or drug transgression gets recorded there deep in the layers eventually showing in the surface as a mark, a sag or a bag.  Those negative events change the way the skin renews itself resulting in mutant cell formation.  It happens to everyone more or less.  Its called life.

UNDERSTAND HOW TO AFFECT THOSE SKIN CHANGES.  Short of finding the fountain of youth, modern science has given us some tools that allows us to target the mutant skin cell formation at its root.  High tech anti-aging ingredients, micro-exfoliants, stimulants, suppressants all work to retrain the skin as long as a delivery system is in place to get them to find and regenerate cells deep where they are formed.  It all about getting the tools to where they can help.  Scientifically speaking, it is matching chirally correct ingredient keys to cells that have the correct key-holes to receive them.  If an ingredient is in the wrong form it won’t do didily squat. (Did you know, for example, there are a dozen or so forms of vitamin C; some harm, some help?)

UNDERSTAND YOUR EXPECTATIONS.  How much change do you want in your skin?  Do you simply want to maintain what you have to keep it from aging too quickly or do you want to dramatically change or soften the effects of the past?

 LEVELS OF CARE:

1.  Maintain skin as it is with a few simple anti-aging products.

2.  Push the skin into change with an anti-aging product routine and at-home processes.

3.  Add to the anti-aging home routine with facial treatments that create visible change.

UNDERSTAND YOUR SOURCE.

  • Self-service store products (drugs stores, grocery stores) are formulated with inexpensive ingredients, use very low-level doses of active ingredients and are aimed at creating a feel-good result.  They sound nice, they smell nice, they look pretty and you feel good using them because they appeal to all your senses.  If you have not been using anything, then your skin will feel better because it is moisturized.  But by virtue of the many synthetic ingredients they contain, the skin cannot accept what they are offering therefore cannot thwart off aging as described above.  Allergic reaction is a high possibility with these types of products.
  • Natural food store products focus on important things like being organic or non-toxic but like all self-service stores do not contain enough active ingredients to make change.  In addition, many “natural” ingredients can be congesting to the skin.
  • Department store products are a step above, use more actives but not in a vehicle that allows them to react with your skin.  Synthetic fragrance, for example, sets up an immune response in the skin so it that it rejects the product.  Because the counter clerks are sales people with quotas to meet who are not certified in skincare, the manufacturers raise the price of each product by 20% to factor in the many returns that aren’t matched well to the client’s skin.
  • On-line store products run the gambit.  If you are not a trained master esthetician, how will you know how to choose?  Additionally, some of the known active product lines that are sold through this market place have altered their formulas rendering them less-active so their will be less liability in this forum.  Think outlet stores; those name brand clothes are cheap knock-offs of the originals.
  • Mega beauty store products are usually the products that did not sell well in a professional setting or are made specifically for the store.  Not a lot of activity here but instead a lot of perfume.
  • Destination spa products.  You are more likely to find active product lines in a destination spa because only licensed skincare professionals can provide the services there. However, if the spa is in a vacation setting it is likely that the products will be less active so the establishment will not have the liability if someone who visits only once uses the product incorrectly.
  • Medical spas are where you will find the most active products.  The licensed skincare professionals there – estheticians – can often have paramedical training and the doctors practicing there can prescribe products not available anywhere else.  You will not find many holistic products in this setting, however, as there is a high emphasis on changing the skin through artificial means.
  • Solo estheticians, like myself, are more apt to have the most highly active products that are on the market.  Because of their licensing, they have access to these products that are not available anywhere else.  Active products need to be administered and followed up on to assure of their proper use and will create visible change within a couple of weeks.  Look for a practice that specializes in what you want to accomplish in your skin.

I am a master-level paramedical esthetician with over 30 years of experience.  I choose to work outside of a medical setting in solo practice so I can employ holistic processes to my work.  The products that I sell are hand formulated by me to act as a continuation of my skin rejuvenation services, to be used in your home and monitored by me.  Please contact me if you would like more information on how you can maximize your anti-aging skincare routine.  Jane   jbalshaw@comcast.net  603-491-7305

This post was for you Margie.  You ask the best questions.  🙂

 

 

 

 

Preventing garden-dirty hands

DSC05422

I know many of you like me here in the east are having a grand time now FINALLY getting to dig in the dirt.  Even with gloves on though, you know that the dirt can get ground into your cuticles, get stuck under your fingernails and compress into cracks on your fingers.  Here is my secret for preventing that…

Before you put on your gloves, massage in a generous amount of hand salve into your cuticles, hands and also force some under your finger nails.  When you come in to clean up this will just wipe away.

I developed my Artist’s Hand Creme just for this purpose.  In addition to healing organic Calendula it also contains natural oils & waxes plus pure silicone that acts like a protective barrier.  Dirt cannot penetrate it.  It goes on heavy, then soaks in to leave a silky finish.  Stop by the studio or have me ship you some…Artists hand creme dual

Fixing saggy, puffy allergy eyes

Saggy crepey eyes treatmentAllergies got the best of you?  Too much wine last night?  When the body looses moisture and/or the sinuses fill up, the thin delicate tissue around the eyes is the first place to show it.  The swelling stretches the tissue leaving it saggy, the dehydration leaves it crepey looking and the histamines from allergic reaction leave it irritated.  Here is a 10-15 minute eye treatment you can give yourself at home to relieve those symptoms.

  1. Drench inside and all around the skin of the eyes with anti-histamine eye drops.
  2. While skin is wet perform a little lymphatic drainage massage to release any accumulation in the sinuses.  See the how-to following…
  3. Wash face and eyes with a clear foaming face wash (not oils) or rinse eye area well with water.
  4. Consider rinsing the sinuses.  Most people I talk to are uncomfortable with neti pots.  I have used this spray bottle for years and love it.  Target or Walgreen…
  5. Drench all around the eyes with Euchlora’s EyesTea.  Let soak in and repeat 1 or 2 more times.  This contains herbs that act like natural anti-histamines, peptides that smooth fine lines and purge toxic accumulations that cause dark circles.  It also contains soothing hydrators and pomegranate extract that helps tighten the skin.
  6. Finally, pad a dab of squalane or argan or sweet almond oil around the eyes just on the bones not on the lid or too close to the lashes below (the skin pulls what it needs to the lash line).  A dab = 1/2 drop total for both eyes.  Too much oil will get into the eye and cause more puffiness.

lymphatic drainage

  • Using a gentle pumping motion with tips of your fingers, work around each eye where X s are shown, just in between the eyeball and the bone, to relieve sinus pressure. Continue this motion for one minute per eye.  NOTE:  I use both hands and do both eyes at once.
  • To continue relieving sinuses, add firm strokes downward as shown by the arrows  to force fluid away from eyes to drain out of the body.

For more tips on alleviating allergies, watch this TV interview with our own Dr. Angela and read the helpful tips on diet.  

Curing dry cuticles

th-1Chalky-white dryness, splitting fissures, bleeding hang-nails and skin built-up over your nails like the pile of snow at the back of your driveway?   For softened, soothed and healed skin around the finger nails, both oil and water need to be reintroduced.  Here is what you need to do…

  1. Soak fingers in warm water for 5 minutes.  Lounging in the bath tub or taking a shower does the trick.
  2. Immediately push back cuticles with an *orange stick or *cuticle tool (note that they may still look ragged.)
  3. Immediately, while still warm and slightly damp, generously apply a fatty oil to the cuticles, nails and finger tips.  Rub in.  Suggested oils: olive, sesame, kukuki nut etc.  Oils or butters that are waxy or oils that are too thin do not work as well.
  4. Apply a good hand lotion over this.  A “good” hand lotion is one that lists oil in the top 5 ingredients.  The stearate-only lotions just sit on top of the skin.
  5. If your skin in particularly in bad shape then apply a healing salve on top of this as well.
  6. If you can stand it, put your hands inside of plastic bags for 10 minutes or so to heat up and penetrate the products.

To maintain this, do steps 3 and 4 every night.  If you can stand it, sleep with cotton gloves over all.  NOTE: sometimes very ragged cuticles need to be trimmed in which case I recommend a professional manicure.  Trimming at home tends to produce uneven and over-trimmed cuticles which can lead to infection.cuticlesorangest gelish-harmony-cuticle-pusher-and-remover-2-in-1-tool-gelish-01904-400x400

 

 

Product knowledge; FruitCocktail moisture fluid

Fruit Cocktail_AutoFruitCocktail moisture fluid is an anti-aging moisturizer that goes on thin yet finishes with a satiny, protected feeling.  It incorporates plant stem-cell technology and active extracts from fruit to provide new ways of protecting the skin from aging while helping it to renew itself more perfectly.  This non-comedogenic formula is an answer for acne sufferers as a solo moisturizer over treatment products and it also great for any skin type used alone or layered with other moisturizing treatments.

The starring ingredients in this formula are apple, orange and lingnon berry stem cells.   Plant stem cells, like human stem cells, have the ability to regenerate other cells when co-mingled.  Laboratory in-vitro (test tube) tests have shown this to be true with these ingredients.  The stem cells have been extracted with special technology preserving the active benefits of the fruit; the rare swiss apple Uttwiler Spatlauber noted for its longevity, Lignon Berry which is a “superfruit” rich in vitamins C, vitamin E, and polyphenols with protective and repairing properties and orange noted for it’s ability to protect against ultraviolet and infrared radiation.   These ingredients are valuable, however, the way it is combined to be most accessible to the skin is what makes this formula more active.

To enhance the activity of the formula is the addition of rhubarb root extract.  It contains the rhaponticin molecule the activates PPARy, a receptor that stimulates the growth of skin cells and also stimulates the production of skin lipids to protect against moisture loss.  These actives are suspended in coconut endosperm, the embriotic fluid from coconut rich in RNA, growth factors, minerals and vitamins to revitalize the skin and maintain its fluids.  Sodium hyaluronate, the key moisture binding component of skin cells, helps “fix” the moisture into the skin.

To protect against losing this increased moisture, Blackberry seed oil. It is fresh harvested, cold-pressed and naturally filtered through diatomaceous earth. It is a natural source of tocopherols, tocotriencols and lutien and is packed with the vital phytosterol beta-sitosterol.  Blackberry Seed Oil contains about 90% unsaturated fatty acids, 20% of which are omega-3’s.  Karite Fruit oil, the remaining oil from the refinement of shea butter, adds silky protection against moisture loss as well.

Extracts from the olive are used to emulsify and add silkiness to the product.  More importantly, this helps to penetrate the primary ingredients of the formula into skin causing them to remain active.  This moisture fluid is very different then the normal stearate-laden waxy moisturizers that just lay on the skin; it actually becomes part of the skin’s natural protective layer.

 

Product knowledge; Bio-Tanical and EmolUlite cleansers

DSC04872Bio-Tanical Conditioning Cleanser is a cleansing lotion that softens, calms and improves the skin’s ability to renew itself all the while deep cleaning away dirt, excess skin oil and/or make-up.  This highly unique formula massages in creamy then, when splashed with water, foams to allow all to be rinsed away.  The skin feels smooth, protected, not-tight yet super squeaky clean.  Recommended for all skin types.

Healing rosehip oil extracted from the wild rose Rubinginosa is the starring active ingredient in this formula.  Highly prized for its ancient tradition of healing, its natural vitamin C content soothes the skin and promotes skin cell renewal.  Co-starring is organic Amaranth grain protein (gluten-free) as a natural foaming peptide that is nutritious for the skin.  Peptides are mini-proteins that occur naturally in the body as a by-product of cellular breakdown and act as redirectors telling the skin to renew itself.  Introducing additional peptides signals increased renewal.

The formula is also bumped up with plant extracts to help sooth and heal.  Olive leaf, Epilobium, and Plantago Laceolata extracts act as natural antibiotics, anti-oxidants and moisturizers.  Horse Chestnut, Birch bark and Ginkgo Biloba support the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, that supportive, anti-sag lower layer.  All ingredients together help maintain and encourage healthy, firm and lively skin.

DSC04882EmolUlite Lipid Cleanse is a non-comedogenic “oil” cleanser that deeply cleanses and softens the skin while maintaining and restoring the skin’s natural protective barrier.    Styled in the fashion of old world cleansers, this natural shake-n-pour formula is unusual in that it is self-emulsifying allowing all the benefits of conditioning, protective lipids yet leaves the skin feeling clean.  It is recommended for normal to dry skins, as a make-up removal first cleanse and also for impacted acne skins as it helps to soften and dissolve blackheads.

This very simple natural product features squalane, a non-oil lipid that is extracted from olives.  Squalane occurs naturally in our own skin’s sebum and is key in helping to form the protective lipid barrier in our skin that wards off potential infection and environmental damage.  Another helpful lipid that is included is blueberry seed oil.  The high bush berry, vaccinium corymbosum from the state of Washington, is fresh harvested, cold-pressed and naturally filtered through diatomaceous earth. Full of nutritious Omega-3 fatty acids, skin healing chlorophyll and vitamins A & E, it soothes and nourishes the skin while helping with the cleaning process.  Think; oil dissolves oil in the same way that one would clean the oxidized dirt in a cast iron pan with some vegetable oil.

To emulsify the oils to help remove the excess and heavier oils, organic vegetable glycerin is included.  As a natural sugar it forms a lotion consistency when mixed with oil.  Also included is sulfosuccinate, a very gentle foaming emulsifier derived from naturally occurring succinic acid.  This grassy, blueberry smelling product is as delicious to smell as it is to use.