At-home facials for winter dry skin

tigycevkxcfkv8mdpnr3hmujFor those of us who live in cold winter climates, the life gets nearly sucked out of our skin on a daily basis. Below freezing temps & wind coupled with over-heated homes & offices halt the production of our naturally protective sebum [skin oil] and evaporates the water from our bodies. The result is skin that looks like the Bonneville Salt Flats, is irritable and prone to red rashes.

Simple measures at home, though, can erase this effect.  Keeping a good moisturizer on morning and night help maintain the skin but once it has lost it’s natural protective barrier then it needs treatment.  There is a mistake made by scrubbing away the visible dead skin cells; this only irritates the skin further.  The reintroduction of water to the surface cells then sealed in with sebum-like oil is what is needed.  The dry, dead skin cells will naturally release once the foundation of the skin is conditioned.

Following are a few facials that you can give yourself at home using my therapeutic products but you can also use substitutions if you are not able to acquire them from me.

DSC04882Quick Fix Shower Steam

  1. Apply a thick layer of Emolulite Cleanser to the face & neck while showering.  The glycerine in it absorbs the water from the air to plump the skin, the squalene oil in it clings to water too & conditions the skin naturally [because our skin’s own sebum contains squalene] and the blackberry seed oil feeds the skin with antioxidant protection.
  2. Remove cleanser with a warm wet washcloth.  Skin will feel soothed and plumped!  Apply moisturizer of choice.
  3. Substitutions: a mixture of honey and oil (be careful of thick, fatted oils that will clog the skin causing breakouts).  This will produce a similar effect yet not as pleasing nor as scientifically beneficial.

Relaxation Tub Facial

  1. Draw a bath for yourself, step in and, if possible, pull the curtain or close the door around you to allow steam to build up in the air.
  2. Wash face/neck with Purify Frothing Cleanser.
  3. Apply a medium-thick layer of Pumpkin Creme Masque.  Leave in place as your skin can tolerate, up to 8 minutes.  This will gently remove dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow to encourage healthy skin renewal while keeping the skin moist.  Remove product with a wash cloth and set aside.  Splash face with tub water to remove entirely.
  4. Apply a medium-thin layer of Lemon Honey Butter masque.  Leave in place for up to 15 minutes then splash off.  Towel dry face/neck when leaving tub.  Skin will be incredibly full and moist and rosy!  Apply moisturizer of choice.
  5. Substitutions: On clean skin apply a mixture of honey and oil (be careful of thick, fatted oils that will clog the skin causing breakouts) then remove by scrubbing a bit with a warm wet washcloth. This will produce a similar effect yet not as pleasing nor as scientifically beneficial.

Walk-around in-a-hurry facial

maple masque dual image

  1. On clean skin apply a medium-thick layer of Maple Jolt Masque.   Leave in place for up to 15 minutes.  This masque is great used in the tub or shower but when in a hurry it is enhanced by body movement and even exercise! Benefits include stimulating blood flow to detox skin & encourage new cell growth and increase hydration in skin.
  2. Splash off with warm water and immediately, while skin is still slightly damp, apply 2 pumps of Glow and 5 drops of Top Dressing Oil.  Once dry apply moisturizer over this as needed.  Skin will be glowing and plumped.  Any redness will dissipate within one hour.

Enjoy!

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

 

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.

 

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!

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.

 

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