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Monday, July 18, 2011

How do I get rid of my dark circles under my eyes?

This is a common question asked by my clients.  
Dark circles can be caused by a number of factors, including:
  • your hereditary/genetic makeup
  • diet
  • lifestyle
  • lack of sleep
  • dehydration
  • allergies 
  • age
Basically I go through this list with all my clients and it's a process of elimination to see what the cause actually is.
  • your hereditary/genetic makeup - some genetic profiles will have a natural tendency to have darker circles under the eye area than others. If you have always had the dark circles since you can remember or you can see in your childhood photos, then there is a high chance that it is hereditary.
  • diet - your diet greatly affects the colour under your eyes. A diet high in sugars, carbs, limited fiber and iron and fresh fruit/vege's will find that their bowels can be quite sluggish. If the bowel is not functioning at its optimum, there is stagnation in that area and that will impact the colour  under your eyes. Colonic irrigation, a gentle detox (eliminating processed foods) for 1-2 months will greatly improve the texture and tone under the eye. But remember, once you start back on the processed food diet, they will most likely return. The key is to create the perfect balance, right for you.
  • lifestyle - a lifestyle high in stress, lots of coffee, recreational and non-recreational drugs and alcohol will impact the skin as a whole. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and it will respond to whatever you put in it. Take care of yourself and your body will reward you.
  • lack of sleep - Minimum 6 hours of sleep a night, preferably 7 if you can. This is the perfect amount of sleep that you need so your body can function at its peak, heal, regenerate and recover from the day just gone through the night.
  • dehydration - Coffee and other high caffeine drinks and alcohol will dehydrate the body immensely. The term that water "hydrates the body" is something that I will go into on my next blog as this is a phrase that needs clarifying, as most of my clients think this is the best way to hydrate the body. Its not the best - I will tell you also in my upcoming blogs. So, when you have your coffee, within the hour, consume 1 glass of water to help compensate the effects of dehydration on your body. Take a fish oil, krill oil or a omega 3 capsule daily to really hydrate your body. 
  • allergies - inflammation is present when we have an allergy. When an allergen enters the body we produce antibodies to fight off the allergen attack. The result of this attack is the release of histamines. It is the histamines that cause dilated blood vessels, runny nose, itching, rash, puffy and watery eyes. This all affects the appearance of the tone of the skin under the eye. Food allergies to soy, wheat, dairy, gluten etc can also have an affect. Be sure to read your food labels to prevent any unnecessary inflammation.
  • age - unfortunately as we get older the skin under our eye area becomes thinner as the collagen/elastin break down. Also the reproduction of new collagen/elastin is slower than year before. When the skin gets thinner under the eye area, the capillaries and veins laying in the dermis become a lot more visible. Here I recommend the use of a vitamin A product such as the Cosmedix Define or the Osmosis Correct. They contain a retinol and the latter a retinaldehyde, which are the types of Vitamin A that you need to be using if you desire plump and firm and thicker skin! It is my old saying to my clients that I will share with you ..... Every skin over the age of 25 must use some sort of Vitamin A and Sunscreen if they want their skin to be as healthy as it can possibly be. 
Happy Skin Days Everyone

Sarah Wilkinson

Friday, July 8, 2011

My favourite Cleanser for Oily Skins

This has to be one of the most effective cleansers on the market for oily and problematic skins. I find that a lot of my clients who come in to the salon are using everything OIL FREE, so their skins are quite often extremely dehydrated, tight, flaky and irritated and with breakouts. This causes much frustration to my clients because they feel they are doing everything right. If you have skin that is breaking out, then oil free products are the way to go right? Wrong.
Time after time after time, I see countless clients with extensive dehydration damage to their skins from the over use of harsh chemical based products that strip the skin.
The thing is, our skins barrier (the acid mantle) is there to protect us. To protect our skin from the environment, wind, sun, and bacteria and foreign molecules from entering our skin. When you remove the acid mantle regularly, problems will arise.
The key is to find the balance between oil and water in the skin and nurture that. Provide the skin with nutrients and minerals that it needs to heal, recover, eliminate bacteria and become strong again.
Usually if you can't pronounce the ingredient name, or it looks like something that was made up in the lab, then there is s good chance it has been. Your skin does not like being abused with these harsh ingredients and it will let you know about it.
Purity Clean from Cosmedix is not for people who get the occasional spots, but for the people who have a combination to oily skin and their skin presents more than 5 spots at any one time. Purity Clean contains Lactic Acid (derived from yoghurt) and is only suitable for those oily in skin type. I have a dry skin, and I love the product for around 1-2 weeks, then I get pink, dry and irritated. It is not designed for me, I instead use the Benefit Clean (also a fabulous cleanser).
The Purity Clean is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. You will love the Peppermint smell and the feel is yummy and cool on the skin. (makes me wish I had oily skin so I could use it all the time!)
Now you will need to use a sunscreen during the day when using this product as there are some ingredients that may increase your skin's sensitivity.
Some key ingredients are:
  • Shea Butter - hydration and calming
  • Lactic Acid - pore cleansing, skin smoothing, spot healing
  • Peppermint Oil - anti-bactierial, cooling
  • Spinach Leaf Extract - minerals and nutrients
  • Cleanse the face (1-2 times a week depending on your skin)
  • Apply a pea size amount to the entire face
  • Massage in with wet fingers 
  • Leave on like a mask for 15 minutes
  • Splash off mask with warm water
  • Presto - smooth, rejuvenated skin
Happy Skin Days,

Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix