Acid Mantle? What is an Acid Mantle?


acid mantle

 

Have you ever heard of an Acid Mantle?

Yes! You have one… and caring for it is critical for maintaining healthy, beautiful skin.

The Acid Mantle is a very thin layer, a barrier that lies on the surface of the skin. This acidic barrier is a mixture of sweat, sebum, oils and salt which is excreted naturally by our skin. The acid mantle naturally protects the skin by killing bacteria before it can get inside the skin. It also helps the skin hydrate and maintain it’s moisture.

The acidity of the acid mantle is measured by its pH. pH is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. Healthy skin usually has a pH between 4 and 5.5. Skin pH can vary in different parts of the body.

It is very important not to strip the skin with harsh alkaline soaps / cleansers. Doing this will allow for bacteria to enter the skin ~ disturbing the acid mantle leads to skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and acne.

Your dermatologist, Esthetician or even your local pharmacy can recommend skin care products that are pH balanced. At-home PH testing kits are also available.

Balance=Healthy, beautiful skin!

 

 

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How to Treat Blackheads


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Blackheads, or open comedones look like black bumps or plugs and are caused by excess skin oil that accumulates in the sebaceous glands’ ducts. Sebum (secretion of the sebaceous glands) and keratin (specific substance found in the dead outer skin tissue) are collected in pores and oxidized (that’s why they look blackish in color). However, when you extract the blackhead it can appear to be yellow or brown.

It’s much easier to prevent blackheads than to treat them. Here are some tips:
  • Keep your skin clean and breathing. Wash your face regularly with a gentle exfoliating  scrub that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid does wonders in preventing and getting rid of blackheads, acne and pimples.
  • Don’t be overzealous with your make-up, especially if you can see the first signs of skin’s problem!
  • Use products specifically for oily skin. Remember, excess oil is the cause of blackheads! Improper products will clog pores and only contribute to blackheads.
  • Wash your face with a good organic acne cleanser twice a day.
  • Make a habit of applying an oil-absorbing clay facial mask once a week. It is very effective as it penetrates into pores, absorbs excess skin oil and unclogs pores.
  • Launder your pillowcase at least once every week.
Do you already suffer from blackheads?  Try the following……
  1. Do not squeeze!!
  2. Wash your face with a good acne cleanser and scrub it properly.
  3. Make a warm water compress to the area affected with blackheads for 15-20 minutes to open the pores. You can also fill a container with hot water and lean over it for the same time (15 minutes). The steam will open your pores.
  4. Dry your face with a clean fresh towel. Now when your skin is dry and pores open, the blackheads are closer to the surface of your skin. This is the best time to apply an oil absorbing facial mask.
  5. Take some green clay and add rose water. Mix the substance until smooth and apply onto your nose. The mask provides a stunning effect in removing blackheads as well as unclogging the pores. Leave the mask until it is firm to the touch, and then wash it off with warm water. You can also try a honey mask- just warm some honey, apply it on your nose for ten minutes or so and then wash it off.
  6. Once your skin is clean and breathing,  and your pores are open, use a specially formulated blackhead cleanser on your face to get rid of extra blackheads.
  7. Wash your face with cold water to close the pores. Apply a quality oil-free non-comedogenic moisturizer.

Come by the spa and check out our organic products and treatments to help you address all your complexion concerns.  We offer complimentary consultations to determine the best treatments for you!

 

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Overnight Skin Care


After a day of coming in contact with harsh environmental conditions, our skin has been exposed to a lot of harmful elements. Over time this can result in damage to the skin and cause pre-mature aging. Because of the harm, it is important to take care of your skin. The benefits of a night skin care routine include improving skin tone and color, reducing skin blemishes, and hydrating and rejuvenating the skin. Establishing a night skin care routine will allow the skin to breathe, heal, and restore to a healthy young glow
At night, skin experiences several changes:
  • Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) increases, causing the skin’s protective hydrolipid barrier to weaken, allowing for greater penetration of active ingredients.
  • The skin’s own natural antioxidant levels increase.
  • Skin repairs from the day’s damage from exposure to environmental aggressors, such as UV rays, smog, nicotine, etc. and rejuvenates itself.
  • Stress hormones decrease during sleep, so the skin is better able to repair itself.
  • Oil production is two times lower at night than during the day.
The time that the body spends sleeping is one of regeneration. It is the time that your body can undo a lot of the harm that you encounter during the day, and it is this time that a night cream can attempt to manage the harm done to your skin. While a day cream is suited towards protection, guarding you from the various effects of your environment, including harsh light from the sun and pollutants you may encounter, a night cream should be oriented towards healing what you encountered in the time available.
What are the benefits of a dedicated nighttime skin care plan?
Night creams and serums are especially designed to improve your skin while you sleep. Packed with vitamins and active moisturizing ingredients, night creams or serums are especially beneficial for those past the age of 30 when skin begins to show the first signs of aging. That’s the time when fine lines appear, the skin becomes drier and less elastic, and skin begins to look dull and patchy.
In your 30s, opt for an anti-aging eye cream. In your 40s, night is a good time to apply your anti-wrinkle cream.  It’s important to avoid applying eye cream too close to the lash line as the product will actually end up in your eyes, picked up by your eyelashes. Every time you blink the hairs will lift microscopic amounts of product and it can eventually deposit into your eyes.  Anything that enters the eyes can be an obvious irritant and cause unnecessary puffiness
Use products with performance ingredients – During the day your skin requires environmental-protecting ingredients but at night when your skin is regenerating, look for repair, exfoliating and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
-Repair ingredients like glycolic acidretinolPeptides,and Red Marine Algae to encourage collagen activity.
Exfoliation to stimulate new, healthy skin cell growth while removing surface dry skin cells. Skin rejuvenation is all about “out with the old, in with the new.”
-Soothing ingredients like White Tea Extract and Azulene to provide anti-inflammatory relief.
Get your beauty sleep – There is no doubt that getting enough sleep every night can offer many skin benefits. Sleep can reduce dark circles because a lack of sleep compromises your body’s circulatory system and you get stagnant blood in the vessels under the eyes because it hasn’t properly drained. Lack of sleep also causes the skin to look pale and tired because the circulation has been impaired. In addition, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep because sleep deprivation also causes stress, which can aggravate all skin conditions, including acne, eczema and psoriasis. Bottom line: when you’re tired, you look it!
Last but not least,
 Change your pillowcases frequently – Why? Bacteria and oil may get reintroduced into the skin when you sleep so it’s always suggested for acne-prone skin to have a fresh, clean pillowcase to sleep on.
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10 Tips for Flawless Skin


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Product Review: Clarisonic Classic Cleansing System


Have you heard of the Clarisonic yet?  You need to.

The Clarisonic Skin System is a water-proof, hand-held device with a vibrating brush head. You apply a cleanser then move the brush on your face in a circular patter. A built-in timer tells you when to move from one face section to the next.

What is it: Sonic skin cleansing. Sonic technology first changed the way we clean our teeth–now it’s changing how we cleanse our skin! This cleansing method is so gentle and effective, it is used and recommended by leading spas and dermatologists.

Who is it for: All skin types.

Why is it different: This sonic micro-massage gently cleans pores–loosening dirt, makeup and oil as it reduces the appearance of pores and wrinkles. It’s proven to remove six times more dirt, sebum, and makeup than traditional, superficial cleansing, allowing your serums and moisturizers to absorb better. Skin is left soft, pampered, radiant, and younger looking–without harsh abrasion or chemicals. It’s so gentle, you can use it twice daily. You can also use it on your face, decollete, and body, if desired.

How do I use it: Use for one minute once a day, every day. It’s waterproof, so you can even use it in the shower or tub. Pair it with any non-abrasive cleanser.

Think you’ve removed all your makeup with your cleanser? There is probably makeup, dirt, and other impurities left behind after you cleanse that you can’t even see. The sonic frequency moves Clarisonic’s soft, gentle brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second, thoroughly clearing pores and skin surface  The Clarisonic  goes beyond cleansing by using sonic technology to gently yet deeply cleanse pores of environmental toxins, makeup and bacteria-without abrasion or harsh chemicals.  The Clarisonic development team, led by the primary inventor of the cutting-edge Sonicare® toothbrush, is committed to creating new ways to shed years off your skin. The easy-to-use daily devices use advanced sonic technology for results that are nothing short of impressive. With regular daily use the Clarisonic reduces dry skin patches, oily areas and blemishes and immediately leaves skin feeling and looking smoother.

My thoughts:  I LOVE my Clarisonic.   I’ve become addicted to my sonic toothbrush for the deep clean it gives my teeth and the Clarisonic is no different on my face.   I use it each night to cleanse my face and remove makeup.  Nothing I’ve ever used compares to the amazing clean along with the ease of use.  It literally takes just one minute to deep clean your face each night.  One minute!  Best minute you’ll ever spend.

In my professional opinion:  I recommend the Clarisonic to everyone!  Who couldn’t  benefit from a cleaner face?  The sonic action deep cleans pores while the brush cleans the surface and assists in exfoliation.  Both keys to a clear, smooth complexion.  I recommend using the device just once per day and I recommend it for the removal of makeup as it truly does a superior job.

In addition to the Classic model, the is the Plus model which is for the body as well, and the Mia, a smaller size version perfect for travel.  Any model is recommended.  The Plus model is great for pre-tan body exfoliating.

Clarisonic is proud to support breast cancer research. With every Pink Clarisonic purchase, a donation is made to help fund the fight against breast cancer.  Think Pink…..October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and October starts tomorrow!  What a great way to help yourself and others at the same time!

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Facials at Home


Here are a collection of recipes to make and use at home:

For All Skin Types

Brighten: Cut a slice of ripe papaya and remove the seeds and pulp (save the pulp for a snack later—it’s great for digestion). Rub the inside of the papaya peel on your cleansed face, focusing on lines around the mouth and eyes, crow’s feet, thinning temples, neck and hands. Let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse with tepid water. This mask can be done twice a week. The enzymes in papaya exfoliate, repair sun damage, diminish age spots and smooth skin. Your skin will look brighter, with a more polished finish.

 

Exfoliate: Combine 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp olive oil. Separately, prepare a packet of plain oatmeal, using less water than called for so it forms a thick paste. Next, add the honey and olive oil mixture to the cooked oatmeal. Apply as a scrub, gently rubbing it in small circles over your skin, avoiding the eye area. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. This mask can be done twice weekly. The oatmeal in this scrub exfoliates, while the honey and olive oil moisturize.

 

Cleanse: Oils can make an excellent cleanser.  For this facial, combine 1 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt with 2 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp lemon oil (not to be confused with lemon juice; lemon oil is an essential oil that can be found at health food stores). The mixture should be a little bit runny but not easily poured out. Massage it over skin, then immediately wipe it off with a washcloth soaked in tepid water. This can be done daily. You want to use good-quality oil and you’ll be surprised at how clean your skin will feel.  You don’t need a harsher product, even for skin with acne. Just be careful around the eye area as this recipe tends to be very sticky.

For Oil- and Blemish-Prone Skin

Lift & Tighten: Combine 2 Tbsp plain yogurt with 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (the juice of one lemon) and apply to your cleansed face and neck. Let it dry for 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll feel the mask tighten on your face and neck, which creates a lifting and firming effect. Leave it on longer (up to one hour) for even more face-lifting effects. Once done, rinse with tepid water followed by a cool rinse. This mask can be done two to three times a week or whenever you need a face lift. This instant face-lifting mask helps fade age-spots, acne scars and even helps keep blemishes and acne in check. It also gets rid of uneven-looking skin tone.

Tone: This toning eye treatment helps to de-puff, relax, refresh and energize your skin. It’s much more cooling than the traditional cucumber slices.  After cleansing your skin, brew a cup of chamomile or green tea and allow it to cool. Then soak two clean, round makeup sponges in the tea and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place one on each of your eyes for 15 minutes. Do this daily. You should use an alcohol-free toner on your skin to cleanse and tighten pores.  Alcohol is very detrimental, and tea works just as well.

 

 

For Dry Skin

Soothe: Combine 2 Tbsp honey with 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apply to your clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water followed by a cool rinse. This can be done three times a week. This mask heals, moisturizes and balances the pH of the skin. Honey is a humectant and natural antibiotic that heals and moisturizes. Apple cider vinegar helps balance the pH of skin and soothes damaged skin.

 

Moisturize: Try oatmeal and fennel to help moisturize dry skin. Grind 1 Tbsp oatmeal in a blender and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp fennel seeds to 1/2 cup boiling water to make a tea. Allow the seeds to steep for 10 minutes; strain the seeds and discard. Let it cool down to room temperature and then combine 1 Tbsp of the fennel tea with 1 Tbsp ground oatmeal and 1 Tbsp honey. Apply the mixture to your clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water followed by a cool rinse. This mask can be done twice weekly.

 

Brighten: Combine 2 Tbsp sour cream with 2 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apply to your cleansed face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water followed by a cool (not cold) rinse. This mask can be done twice a week. This mask heals, exfoliates, brightens and moisturizes skin. It refines pores, fades acne marks and prevents blemishes from coming up.

 

 

 

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Microdermabrasion


 

 

Microdermabrasion treatments make use of a minimally abrasive instrument to gently sand the skin, removing the thicker, uneven outer layer. This type of skin rejuvenation is used to treat light scarring, discoloration and sun damage and there’s even microdermabrasion for stretch marks.

There are two kinds of microdermabrasion treatments. One approach involves a hand-held device that streams tiny crystals across your skin. An attached vacuum simultaneously suctions those exfoliating crystals back into the machine, along with the dead or loosened skin. The newer approach uses a diamond-tip wand that is gently moved across your skin to exfoliate.

Each treatment will last about a half hour. You may feel a mild scratching as the procedure removes the superficial skin cells. Additionally, you’ll notice a vibrating sensation similar to a massage. There is also a vacuum mechanism to lift off the dead skin.

Microdermabrasion can:

Eliminate age spots and black heads.

Eliminate hyperpigmentation (patches of darkened skin).

Exfoliate your skin, resulting in a refreshed appearance.

Lessen the appearance of stretch marks.

Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Reduce or eliminate enlarged pores.

Treat acne and the scars left by acne

 

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SOAP is a 4 Letter Word


The reason that bar soaps are particularly harsh on the skin is because they strip away the healthy, natural oils that the skin produces in order protect it. Many bar soaps strip this necessary oil, damaging the skin. As you know, bacteria thrive in low pH, so soaps with higher pH actually cleanse the skin better. This is for a number of reasons that have to do with the chemical formation of your skin. When skin is cleansed in high pH cleanser, very little, if any, dirt or make up is left behind. This ultimately will make your skin cleaner, smoother, and softer. That is why bar soaps should not be used on the face. Instead use a good cleanser formulated for your skin type.  Facial cleansers are mild and are capable of maintaining the proper pH for your skin.


 
Harmful Effects of Soap on Facial Skin

Alters Normal Skin pH
The normal pH of the skin is between 5.0-5.6. This pH range means that skin’s normal pH is between the acidic and neutral range. Soaps are usually more alkaline in nature owing to their cleansing properties. This alkaline nature is not good for facial skin and tends to make it dull and dry. Facial skin is naturally hydrated with oils that the skin secrets for itself. Using harsh soaps for washing face removes the protective oils from the skin leaving it extremely dry. Excessive dryness triggers the oil glands of the skin to secrete more oils thereby, making it oily. Women with oily skin may find soaps helpful in providing that dry look, but are unaware of the fact that this dryness will further trigger oil secretion by the glands of the facial skin.

Produces Wrinkles
Using soap for cleansing face reduces acidic nature of the skin and its moisture content. The near to acidic pH of the skin is essential to kill bacteria and prevent them from thriving on it, which is lost due to soap. Dryness and dehydration causes development of fine lines which gradually turn into wrinkles. Wrinkles make your facial skin look mature and once this happens, you can do nothing to get back your lively skin.

Reduces the Natural Moisturizing Factor
The natural moisturizing factor is responsible for keeping the skin nourished and moisturized all the time. Skin proteins are a part of the upper layers of the skin. The surface active agents used in soap production bind to these proteins and hydrate them excessively. This results in swelling of proteins which facilitates penetration of soap ingredients deeper into the skin. Strong chemicals coming in contact with deeper layers of the skin cause irritation and itching. After the water evaporates, the proteins are left drier than before, which reduces the natural moisturizing factor of the skin.

Causes Allergic Reactions
Soaps are made up of strong chemicals and not everybody’s facial skin is resistant enough to bear the ill-effects it brings along with it. People with sensitive skin often develop allergic reactions towards some or the other chemical ingredient present in the soap and face undesired consequences. Facial skin is extremely delicate and cannot handle strong chemicals therefore, must be kept away from soap.

May Leave Soap Residue
Using soap for cleansing face can be harmful if one does not wash the face properly after its application. Improper rinsing can leave a layer of soap residue on the skin which can increase its dryness and cause redness along with itchy feeling.

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