Types of Clay for Skincare!

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay consists of aged volcanic ash also known as Montmorillonite. It contains high concentration of minerals including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.

  • Detoxifying
  • Controls Excess Sebum
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antibacterial

Fuller’s Earth Clay

It is very strong, and for best results combine with a small amount of bentonite or Kaolin clay. It is also known as Bleaching Clay, Whitening Clay, and Multani mitti or mud from Multan.

  • Lightens Skin (helps hyperpigmentation)
  • Controls Sebum (best for oily skin)
  • Improves Circulation

Kaolin Clay

Comes in white, yellow, red, and pink colors each with slightly different characteristics, also known as China Clay. The a fine very light and most versatile and easily applied clay.

  • Gentle (white is the most gentle, then yellow, then pink)
  • Cleanses
  • Exfoliating (white, yellow, pink)
  • Detoxifying (pink, especially red)
  • Softens (pink, especially white all good for dry skin)
  • Controls Sebum (yellow, pink, especially red)
  • Improves Circulation (yellow)
  • Good for Sensitive Skin (especially white and yellow; pink for oily)

French Green Clay

A green clay (should never be any other color), also called Illite Clay or Sea Clay. The color comes from decomposed plant material and iron oxide.

  • Tingling (not recommended for sensitive skin)
  • Improves Circulation
  • Toning
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Controls Excess Sebum

Rhassoul Clay

Comes from ancient deposits unearthed from the fertile Atlas Mountains in Morocco; also called Ghassoul Clay, Red Clay, and Red Moroccan Clay. Has an elastic texture so not drying. Great for skin and hair. It has a high negative charge and it can help draw out blackheads and other impurities from skin. This also makes it beneficial as a make-up remover or all-purpose face wash.

  • Detoxifying
  • Softening
  • Controls Sebum
  • Exfoliating

Ethnicity and Skin Care: A Guide – Asian Skin Care Edition!

This blog article is a generalization!  Every person’s skin is different!

First – Asian skin tends to have a thinner Stratum Corneum & a thicker, more Compact Dermis(the Dermis is similar to The African Skin Type)

Skin Layers

layers of the skin

Layers of skin, chemical peel

Epidermis (Epidermal layers)
Stratum corneum (top layer of skin)
Stratum lucidum
Stratum granulosum
Stratum spinosum
Stratum mucosum
Stratum germinativum
Dermis ( Dermal layers)
Papillary dermis
Immediate reticular dermis
upper reticular dermis
mid dermis
lower reticular dermis
Hypodermis/Subcutaneous Tissue
Adipose Tissue ( fatty tissue)

Epidermis
The epidermis is completely cellular, meaning it is in a constant cycle of producing new cells while older dead skin cells are pushed to the surface to exfoliate or slough off. The epidermis is made up of keratinocytes, lymphocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells and Merkel cells. Approximately 80% -90% of the cells in the epidermis are keratinocytes, with all others interspersed among them.

A thinner Stratum Corneum means that the skins tends to be more prone to irritation making it sensitive to fragrance, environmental factors, chemicals, and abrasive exfoliation (which can disrupt the skin’s PH).  A thinner Stratum Corneum also means that the skin tends to scar more easily than other ethnic skin types.  Asian skin has an increased amount of melanin (the pigment in skin), and the cells that make melanin tend to be more sensitive to any type of inflammation or injury.  The melanin also means that the skin tends to tan more easily than burn, however thae sun exposure can cause sun damage (pigmentation).

Other issues that Asian skin tends to face is inflammatory acne and pigmentation (hyper or hypo).

Because Asian skin becomes more inflamed with deeper acne pustules and papules, patients are often left with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which refers to increased pigmentation or dark spots at the sites of inflammation.  Drinking green tea, an anti-inflammatory, can help with inflammation.  Regular sun protection is to prevent the signs of aging skin, including preserving skin tone and helping minimize pigmentation problems.  Another common skin condition in Asians that can impact the appearance of the skin is melasma. Melasma is characterized by brown patches commonly on the cheeks, upper lip, nose and forehead. While the exact cause of melasma is unknown, it is thought to result from a combination of genetic and hormonal factors, as well as UV exposure. Melasma is more common in women and in Hispanics and Asians.  Treatments for melasma include bleaching agents (can b irritating to skin start off using every other day once a day and work your way up to twice everyday) , hydroquinone, liquorice, topical retinoids and chemical peels. In addition, certain laser and light therapies have been shown to be safe and effective.  Such as, fractionated lasers and intense-pulsed light (IPL) therapies, but  that these procedures need to be administered carefully by dermatologists. *In some cases, laser and light procedures can worsen melasma if they destroy pigment cells – which leave white spots in the treated areas (talk to your Dermatologist!)

Cultural Practices to use with caution:

Cupping and moxibustion are two ancient healing techniques that complement acupuncture therapy by the use of heat to stimulate circulation. However, people who regularly practice cupping and moxibustion can get bruising or scarring that sometimes require dermatologic care to minimize PIH. Similarly, the practice of coin rubbing – which involves using oils on the skin and repetitive rubbing of coins firmly over the area to promote healing – can create deep abrasions and bruising that may need medical attention.  The application of black henna tattoos (could contain high concentrations of a chemical known as para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, used to create longer-lasting black henna tattoos).  PPD is an allergen that could cause allergic contact dermatitis, with symptoms ranging from mild eczema to blistering and scarring.

Dermis
The dermis is a layer of connective tissue, composed mainly of collagen fibers as well as about 5% elastin. The Dermis is subdivided into the superficial papillary dermis and the reticular dermis. The papillary dermis is a thin layer of connective tissue fibers, the reticular dermis is thicker and contains collagen and elastin fibers.

Collagen constitutes 75% of dry skin weight, giving the skin volume. Fibroblast cells lie among collagen fibers and are known to synthesize (produce) collagen. Fully mature collagen fibers have a low turnover rate. Elastin fibers maintain tension in the skin and provide elasticity ( snap back after being stretched). Metabolic turnover for elastin fibers are very slow and only make up about 2% – 4% of dermal volume. Damage or alterations to the elastin fibers network cause skin to become loose, saggy and wrinkled. Fibroblasts are responsible for producing collagen, elastic fibers, and the ground substance of the dermis. Fibroblasts also control the turnover of connective tissue, unfortunately with age they become smaller and less active.

The more compact, thicker dermis means that the skin tends to wrinkle less than other ethnicities due to more collagen.  However, facial fat (adipose tissue) distends more rapidly causing premature skin sagging.  When used early on, treatments like lasers, fillers and creams can help combat sagging skin.

Source: Vitagen.com.sg

The skin also tends to have more sebaceous glands and making the skin oilier (produce more sebum).

A great article on Asian Skin Care by the American Academy of Dermatology, click here.

Salmon Roe Enzyme: The New It Skin Care Ingredient!

Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream

Restorsea Rejuvenating Day Cream

 

Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Blue Plasma

 

A natural enzyme released during the baby salmon hatching process it is a treatment designed to deliver the benefits of a chemical peel without the redness or irritation that can be sometimes caused by a peel. The enzyme not to be confused with an acid, known as a hatching enzyme, breakdowns the salmon roe shell to release the salmon larvae without harming it. It was found that it has similar exfoliating properties as an acid treatment but is gentler to the skin (as with most enzymes).  You will not see an immediate difference like with a professional chemical peel, but with repeated use you will see an accumulated difference to your skin.  Enzymes are better tolerated by sensitive skin than acids, make sure to ask your Dermatologist or Esthetician if your skin can tolerate the enzyme.  Patch testing the product maybe recommended.  This enzyme treatment works (like most enzyme treatments) to attack only dead skin cells, helping to lift surface debris, unclogging and purifying the skin of build-up.

Benefits:

  • Hydrating and makes the skin more supple
  • Resurfaces and helps cell turnover
  • Plumping out lines & wrinkles.

*Not recommended for anyone with a seaweed, shellfish, or seafood allergy!

 

Adventures in Threading!

Eyebrow threading

Eyebrow threading (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I set off the on an adventure yesterday to New York City to get Certified in Threading.
What is threading?  Threading is a form of epilation hair removal.  Epilation is the removal of the entire hair above and below the skin.   Threading is called “Khite” in Arabic and “Fatlah” in Egypt.  It originated in parts of India, the Middle and Far East, and is now gaining popularity in Western countries.
Threading is a hair removal technique that uses 100% cotton thread. The cotton thread is twisted and rolled along the surface of the skin entwining the hairs in the thread, which are then lifted quickly from the follicle. It is more precise than waxing and allows for better lines.
As opposed to waxing, the top layers of skin are exfoliated in the process making threading gentler on the skin. Threading is highly recommended and an excellent option for those who use Retin-A, Accutane, or similar products or have sensitive skin.
It sounds easy to do, but believe me it takes time, practice, and nimble fingers.  There are three threading techniques:
Figure 8 or Hand to Hand (bottom Picture)
Jaw Clench (see in the above picture)
Around the Neck or Around the Should (similar to the jaw clench, but the string is tied around the neck instead of held in your teeth)

I left my certification with new knowledge of an ancient hair removal technique and sore fingers. I can’t wait to practice!

When to have a Microdermabrasion or Chemical Peel before a Special Occasion!

I cringe when someone says of I’m going to (insert your special occasion) in a week, a couple of days, or tomorrow and they want a chemical peel or microdermabrasion. Even worse is if this going be their first time getting this service. Don’t get me wrong, I love what microdermabrasion and a chemical peel do for the skin! However, both treatments need to be done several times over the course of months to give you the results you are looking for. With microdermabrasion and chemical peelings you need at least 6 treatments typically and then follow up with a treatment once a month for maintenance. Allow one to two weeks between treatments to allow your skin to recover. A chemical peel, depending on its strength, can cause irritation, redness, tightness, dryness or a sunburn feeling. While microdermabrasion doesn’t usually cause the side effects like a peel can, for a few hours to a day you can have a few red streaky lines where the machine is applied to the skin. Microdermabrasion isn’t good for acneic skin I would recommend a chemical peel instead.

I recommend not to have any treatment done to your face up to six weeks prior to your special occasion with the exception of a facial that is designed to be soothing and a makeup application. Even then if you tend to have sensitive skin or tend to be allergic to skin care products I would not even have a facial before the special occasion.

You don’t want to have any kind of adverse reaction right before your special occasion!

Don’t deviate from your normal skincare regime by adding products that you have never used before more than four weeks prior.

La Bella Figura Barbary Fig Renewal Serum: A Review!

This serum is a luxury at $125.00, I could definitely do without the price. That being said this serum not only smells divine it works wonders on dry, dehydrated, or sensitive skin. Your skin absorbs the product and makes it glow, just as promised. I would not recommend this product for oily, combination, or acneic skin. It contains antioxidants, omega fatty acids, vitamins A, E, and beta carotene all of which are beneficial to the skin. The La Bella Figura product line is all organic , which is always a plus in my book.

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