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).

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.


  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.


  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.


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



Dry cold-weather skin; causes and remedies

dry forehead shutterstock_77409244As we all now know from all this snow we have been having, when cold weather bumps up against a warm front, a storm ensues.  This is a pretty great analogy when thinking about what happens to our skin in a moderately extreme winter climate.  When the less-moist temperatures drop outside and the dry heat goes up inside, a storm of conflicting conditions arise resulting in unbalanced, dry and irritated skin.

The skin is part of our immune system and as such it “reads” our environment adjusting itself to protect the body.  When external temperatures drop to the point when our natural “shiver factor” sets in and goosebumps occur on the skin from the activated erector pili muscle, an internal alarm is sounded to protect the bodies core.  The skin then willingly gives up its supply of naturally protective water, nutrients and oils to send to the home front recognizing that our fashionably slim, reduced-fat bodies need help.  (visualize Eskimos)

Then we walk inside – wearing our layers and wraps and coverings – into a blast furnace with all moisture and oxygen sucked out of the air.  Our poor skin doesn’t stand a chance.  If you add to the mix that perhaps hormone shifts have caused a natural loss of skin oils or you are super-exfoliating the skin with retinoid or acid preparations or skin scrubbing, dermatitis is sure to set in.

dry skin canstockphoto2335282“Dermatitis” is a name for any irritated skin condition.  Whether it is caused from exposure to sensitizing allergens or just winter weather, the skin reaction is the same.  The skin as part of the immune system reacts against the sensitizer and releases histamines (causing redness, itchiness, rashes) and in advanced cases, lymphatic white blood cells crash the skin site creating pimple-like bumps.

allergic dermatitus pustles 2 canstockphoto5440241

Like most things in life there are two strategies for dealing with this problem; #1 prevention and #2 remedies.

Prevention tips:  With dramatic weather shifts, what works to care for the skin at one part of the year, fails in another.  So to prevent any immune system reaction resulting in dermatitis, you must coat the skin with extra layers of breathable product on a daily basis; products with extra *skin-friendly oils and heavy dozes of vitamins plus hydration serums and soothing herbal blends. This extra coating is simulating what your skin would normally produce on its own if we took away the triggers that cause it to diminish (temperature shifts, hormones).    Lessen the aggressive scrubbing and replace with gentle enzyme exfoliation only.  If you are spending lots of time outdoors with winter sports, consider applying a layer of non-comedogenic oil or unpetroleum jelly to your face to protect your skin and blood vessels.

Remedies:  Once your skin is in a reactive state with irritated dry redness, what works in a normal skin renewal routine may not work.  Skin renewal products such as what I might give someone, or what you might buy over the counter, are aimed at getting the skin to turn over cells faster and slough itself, exactly NOT what you want to do with irritation present.  So if your skin is in this state, stop all retinoid or acid products, stop all scrubs and exfoliants and do the opposite; de-stimulate.   Apply cold compresses, splash skin with colloidal oatmeal infused water, apply salves with *skin-friendly oils & herbs, coat the skin with vitamin E and if the reaction will not stop then try a thin layer of  cortisone jelly (not the creme form which can clog the skin).  Once the skin has balanced then consider adjusting your basic skin routine to prevent further reactions.

These tips form a great guideline but if you want some specific direction or some products customized just for you, please consider a consultation with me.  Click here for more information.  If you are having an acute reaction and are not working with a physician, consider this skin treatment I can provide.   Please share this article with anyone you think might find it helpful – thank you!

12/12/13   “Hi Jane,

You were so nice to take the time to notice and ask about the 2 rashy spots on my hand at my facial the other day.  You suggested your hand and body lotion and whipped up a bottle with a few extra ingredients for me before I left.  It has been 3 days that I have been applying the lotion to the breakout of rashes on my hand, back, arms and legs.  I had tried cortizone and prescribed steroid creams and Eucerin lotion for the last 6 weeks without luck — still itchy (keeping me up at night), red and not resolving.  Well, I am seeing results with your hand and body lotion!  The bumpiness has relaxed, not itchy last night = SLEEP, redness diminishing and I think I may just be on the road to recovery, thank goodness!

Two Lessons Learned:  Always consult with Jane with skin issues immediately as she always has a solution.  And never be shy to tactfully use your expertise to help others.  If you had not inquired of my rash on my hand I would still be itching!

Thanks so much for what I refer to as ‘your magic’!  And please feel free to share this story with others as I am sure I am not the only one that gets these lovely rashy breakouts – especially in this weather!