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.

 

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.

 

Did your skin get splotchy this summer?

splotchy skin compositeIn addition to the wonderful memories and sea shells we collected this summer, almost all of us (including me) have additionally collected some hyper-pigmentation in our skin. Beyond a “sun tan” that many crave, this uneven darkening or splotchy-spottiness stimulated by longer exposure to the sun each day, is a condition I see frequently in my practice and is the one condition that elicits the most complaints. Happily, by following the proper skin care regimen and using the right products, you can regain clarity in your skin.

For example, Elizabeth S. first came to me to see me a couple of years ago while visiting her sister in Canterbury. During our consultation, she told me that the brown spots on her face were bothering her and asked if anything could be done to alleviate them. I explained to her that the spots were a result of too much time in the sun and put together a plan for her that I felt would mitigate the damage. I’ll let Elizabeth take it from here:

“I live in Montana, so I’m outside a lot,” Elizabeth recalls. “I use sunscreen, but I still get a fair amount of exposure. I had developed dark spots above my eyes and on my cheeks, and when I first saw Jane a couple of years ago, she told me it was sun damage and recommended a skincare routine to follow that would help to repair the damage. I began using the Refining PLUS Concentrate and I’ve had great success—my spots have almost completely disappeared! Euchlora products are wonderful and they really work!”

Another client, Christine M., began to be troubled by the appearance of dark spots on her face after the birth of her first child. Although the patches were similar to Elizabeth’s in appearance, in this case they were melasma, a hormone-induced condition. Fortunately, for Christine as for Elizabeth, there was a remedy. Christine explains it best:

“I began having a problem with melasma right after giving birth to my oldest daughter. It started on my forehead, then moved to my temples, my cheeks, and finally to my upper lip. I spoke to Jane about the problem and she said it was likely hormonal. She recommended I start treating the condition with Euchlora’s Refining PLUS Concentrate. I began using the product and noticed a difference within a few weeks. The spots continued to fade over time, to the point where they are virtually imperceptible. And they haven’t returned!”

As the experiences of these two clients’ illustrate, hyper-pigmentation can be a troublesome condition, but handled properly, it’s not one that you must live with indefinitely.  Please contact me for your own consultation.  Jane

Beaching treatment PAM

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