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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

5 ways to get Spring Skin

Spring is upon us, the weather is warming up and we are coming out of our Winter hibernation. Now is the time to get your Spring Skin ready!
Here are my top 5 tips on how to get Spring Skin. 

1. The inside workings of our body play a major role in what condition our skin is in. Now is a good time to do a little health check and make sure that you are attending to anything that is out of the ordinary. The skin is the largest organ and essentially it is a excretory system. Here are some pointers that will help you get started:
  • address any fungal, yeast or bacterial infections, such as thrush.
  • if you have recently been on antibiotics, taking a course of acidophilus will help to strengthen our immunity and maintain our acid levels in the body. 
  • start your exercise regime. Sign up with a personal trainer, or resume your pre winter routine. Exercise is fantastic for the skin. This is a way to really help toxins to be eliminated from the body. Make sure you rehydrate after exercising and take it easy when you first start up again!
  • any medical concerns: now is the time to see your doctor and put your mind at ease. 
  • see a naturopath, chinese doctor or herbalist to make sure your body is in harmony and functioning at is optimum
  • drink plenty of water - add a little lemon juice to your water to help alkaline the body. This is great at the start of your day
  • have an alcohol free month
  • enjoy a daily cup of green tea, preferably Matcha Tea - 100% unoxidized. 
  • make sure you have frequent bowel movements, if not this needs to be addressed with you health care practitioner to find out way and how to get this happening. An easy way is to reduce stodgy foods like fast foods and eat more leafy green vege's, fresh juices and fibre. 
  • assess your sugar intake. Are you having too much. This is especially important for clients who suffer from acne. 
2.Visit your Skin Care Professional for a skin consultation and skin treatment and put together a skin care plan that suits your budget for the months of Spring and Summer. You want your skin to look its best, so take the guess work out of it and seek the advise from someone you feel comfortable with and trust. We want results, there is no time to find out what you are using is doing nothing for your skin. This point is well worth your investment.

3. Some home care tips that you can start on now for your skin care are:
  • make sure you are cleansing morning and night
  • if you cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight - change! This is not a desirable outcome of a cleanser. Overstripping your skin with harsh ingredients will not benefit you at all over time. 
  • exfoliate at least once a week. Choose between a facial scrub with granules, or an enzyme mask such as the Polish from Osmosis. The enzymes exfoliators are especially fabulous for clients with rosacea/sensitive skins and for those that do not like the scrub exfoliators. By exfoliating the skin you encourage your skin to renew quicker, you allow your products to absorb more efficiently, your make up will sit beautifully on the skin and open pores will appear smaller. 
  • do a weekly mask IF you are not using medical grade skin care serums such as Osmosis and Cosmedix. These serums are designed to penetrate deep within in the skin, so doing a weekly mask is not as vital as you receive daily serum nourishment. Do a mask under all circumstances though if your skin feels tight or is flaking from post treatment side effects. Cosmedix have a good one called Rescue that will help to alleviate any peeling or sensitivity. 
  • moisturise morning and night, even if you have oily skin, you still need water hydration. This is very common that I see clients who have acne, but their skin is dehydrated because the client thinks all moisturisers will clog their skin. You will need to ask your skin care professional for a suitable light weight, water dominant moisturiser to prevent dehydration. I find that this also helps with acne conditions better than no moisturiser at all
  • wear a non chemical sunscreen daily, prevention is better than cure
4. Ditch products that are not working for your skin
  • sometimes we do more harm than good by using up what we have even though our skin has become a lot worse since using them. If your products aren't working - seek advise and get on a routine now to get your skin where you want it to be
5. My all time favourite skin treatment - Microdermabrasion. If you want this glowing skin NOW and cannot wait any longer and want quick results. Book in for a microdermabrasion treatment, following by some LED light therapy. Once you try you will be hooked!

Feel free to ask me any questions you have here

Happy Skin Days,

Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix

Monday, July 30, 2012

Best Anti Ageing Products When Pregnant

I LOVE vitamin A both in the forms of Retinol and Retinaldehyde. The effects this vitamin has on the skin is far superior in my eyes than any other ingredient I have ever come across. In the right dosage, along with other skin rejuvenators (such as copper, vitamin c, niacinamide etc) the results are clearly visible and long term.
What more could you ask for?
There are of course some facts one should know when using Vitamin A, for eg. Retinol can cause photo-sensitivity meaning your skin will burn a lot quicker than normal (when not using Vitamin A). Also, Vitamin A cannot be used when you are pregnant and breastfeeding. Please be aware that there are different types of Vitamin A. To ensure that you are getting the result as mentioned above you will need to be using a Vitamin A product from a medical skin care range such as Cosmedix or Osmosis. Vitamin A products that are available in department stores and supermarkets will not contain the percentage required to see an obvious change in the skin. This change is due to the normalizing action on the cells that vitamin A has. It stimulates collagen and elastin production very well. 

Ingredients such as Vitamin A are not advisable to use whilst pregnant and breast feeding. The 2 medical skin care ranges that I use personally and in my treatments, Osmosis and Cosmedix, have some alternatives for you to use whilst pregnant. Which is a relief for clients who have been on a consistently thorough skin care regime and do not want the hard work they have put in go to waste once they fall pregnant.

See below for my favourite skin rejuvenating, anti-ageing products that you can use safely whilst pregnant.

Osmosis Catalyst Plus Serum - We have taken a more stable, time released form of Vitamin C, doubled it in strength and added soothing aloe. You now have a lighter version of Catalyst in the convenience of a pump that can be used on the most sensitive of skin. It repairs DNA damage and assists in the production of proteins and antioxidants within the cell by utilizing the same patented Zinc Finger Technology™ of Catalyst. This combination of amino acids, copper and zinc improves wound healing, lightens hyperpigmentation, reduces visible capillaries and stimulates collagen and elastin production just as effectively as Catalyst but is gentler to the skin. Read more here

Osmosis Catalyst Serum - Osmosis Catalyst uses Zinc Finger Technology™ (ZFT) to repair DNA damage and assist in the production of proteins and antioxidants within the cell. SRGF-7™ is a patented combination of amino acids and key co-factors that will improve wound healing, lighten pigmentation, reduce visible capillaries, and stimulate collagen/elastin production through a revolutionary process. If you are already using other Vit A Serums from the range, you will find that this is quite a powerful and effective Vitamin C serum to add to your routine.Copper is also a fabulous ingredient for skin rejuvenation. Read more here

Osmosis Replenish Serum - Replenish is our all-natural, chirally correct, liposomal antioxidant serum with the most proven and potent antioxidants available. In addition to getting a significant percentage of the antioxidants to the dermis which protects at a deeper level, Replenish also contains 5 collagen/elastin stimulators. Read more here

Osmosis Anti-Ageing Powder Blend -
The Anti-Aging Powder Blend encourages scar tissue remodeling, enhances growth factor and skin nutrition delivery, reduces bacteria and increases antioxidant protection.
  • Fights sources of aging
  • Infuses skin with antioxidants
Powder blends allow you to customize every protocol by adding more of the key active ingredients needed for a specific skin condition. They can be mixed with your serums or made into a mask as desired. Read more here

Osmosis Vitamin C Powder Blend -
Feeding your skin Vitamin C not only protects your skin from environmental damage and prevents the formation of free radicals, but it also provides it with the components necessary for collagen production. This blend serves as a powerful antioxidant that increases skin repair. Combine Vitamin C with Skin Nutrition and create a deeper level of repair that allows for damaged DNA to renew itself leading to pigment normalization, healing of capillaries and an improvement of many skin conditions.
  • Infuses skin with antioxidants
  • Lightens pigment
  • Encourages collagen stimulation
Powder blends allow you to customize every protocol by adding more of the key active ingredients needed for a specific skin condition. They can be mixed with your serums or made into a mask as desired. Read more here

Osmosis Skin Nutrition Powder Blend -
Increase the level of nutrition in your skin with this blend of powerful amino acids that provide the building blocks to create proteins such as collagen. Heal the skin and support it's structural network in the dermis while helping to form the Natural Moisturizing Factors in the stratum corneum Combine Skin Nutrition with Vitamin C and create a deeper level of repair that allows for damaged DNA to renew itself leading to pigment normalization, healing of capillaries and an improvement of many skin conditions.
  • Provides the skin with building blocks needed to function optimally
  • Infuses the skin with antioxidants
Powder blends allow you to customize every protocol by adding more of the key active ingredients needed for a specific skin condition. They can be mixed with your serums or made into a mask as desired. Read more here

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions at all, happy to assist! Email me here

Happy Skin Days!

Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are Sunscreens Safe?

Shelter Physical Sunscreen
From my research on the risks of sunscreens and are sunscreens safe, I had to dig deep to find the information contained in this blog. There is not a lot of information readily available on the uncertainties on the safety of using chemical sunscreens. As more and more studies are performed more information will come to light, but in the mean time I hope the information below will allow you to make your own decision whether or not you choose to use physical block or chemical sunscreens
About 10 years ago I would only wear a chemical sunscreen if I was going to the beach, and on a daily basis I would wear a physical block sunscreen. Now, I am not a big fan of the beach, I prefer a lake! Strange but true .....and I will only go for a swim in the early or later parts of the day.
So I wear physical sunscreens only,  and I choose not to sit or lay in the sun on the beautiful sunny days that we get here in Australia. I have become more sun conscious; I find myself a tree with lots of shade and wear loose clothing to cover my shoulders etc. I do however enjoy the early and later part of the day sun ensuring my vitamin D levels are maintained.

So what is the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens and what are the ingredients in sunscreens?
Chemical Sunscreens:
Are chemical UV filters that Absorb UVA and UVB rays from the Sun. Are waterproof.
Eg. Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, octyl-methoxycinnamate, benzophenone, octyldimethyl-
p-aminobenzoic acid (also called organic chemicals)
Cannot dissipate the energy created as efficiently as melanin and therefore the penetration of sunscreen ingredients into the lower layers of the skin increases the amount of free radicals present. 
Some sunscreen chemicals produce potentially harmful substances if they are illuminated while in contact with living cells.The amount of sunscreen that penetrates through the stratum corneum may be large enough to cause damage. In one study of sunscreens, the authors write:1.
"The question whether UV filters acts on or in the skin has so far not been fully answered. Despite the fact that an answer would be a key to improve formulations of sun protection products, many publications carefully avoid addressing this question."

Physical Sunscreens:
Either block or reflect the UVA/UVB rays from the Sun. Inert fillers which helps protect against UV rays via light scattering and physically blocking the light pathway into the dermal layers. Not always waterproof.
Eg, Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide (also called inorganic particles)

The FDA has approved the use of many of the chemical ingredients in sunscreens without any testing done on the safety to the human body. 1.

Sunscreen Chemicals are highly lipophilic and therefore can be expected to bioaccumulate in the environment. In 1991 and 1993, six different UV screens were identified in fish of the Meerfelder Maar lake (Eifel, Germany) at total concentrations of 2 mg/kg lipid in perch (summer 1991) and 0.5 mg/kg lipid in roach (1993). Both fish species were contaminated with sunscreens, polychlorinated biphenyls and DDT at comparable levels. From these results it appeared that UV screens are relevant environmental contaminants. 3.

Humans can be exposed to UV screens by dermal absorption or through the food chain. The UV screen benzophenone-3 (Bp-3) and its metabolite 2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone have been detected in human urine from 4 hr after application of commercially available sunscreen products to the skin. 3.

UVA: penetrates deeply into the skin and can lead to cancer and premature skin ageing (400-320nm). Gives a quick tan that lasts for days by oxidizing melanin that was already present and triggers the release of the melanin (pigment) from melanocytes (pigment cells)
UVB: is involved in tanning and burning of your skin.(320-290nm). Yields a tan that takes roughly two days to develop because it stimulates the body to produce more melanin.
UVC: is completely absorbed by the earth's atmosphere. (290-100nm)

Medical organizations such as the American Cancer Society recommend the use of sunscreen because it prevents the squamous cell carcinoma and the basal cell carcinoma. However, the use of sunscreens is controversial for various reasons. Many sunscreens do not block UVA radiation, which does not cause sunburn but can increase the rate of melanoma, another kind of skin cancer and photodermatitis, so people using sunscreens may be exposed to high UVA levels without realizing it.The use of broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreens can address this concern. 1

Depending on the individuals skin the melanin (brown pigment) will increase with exposure to UVA/UVB this is what gives us our tan. The purpose of melanin is to absorb UV radiation and dissipate the energy as harmless heat, blocking the UV from damaging skin tissue.

Octyl methoxycinnamate is a key ingredient in chemical sunscreens and is noted as being highly irritating to the skin. I wanted to delve into this ingredient more.

"Topical octyl-methoxycinnamate is absorbed by the body, as indicated in a study conducted by the Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen and published in the July 2004 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. When used topically for two weeks, octyl-methoxycinnamate was detectable in urine."2.

"Octyl-methoxycinnamate increased proliferation of breast cancer cells
during a study conducted by the University of Zurich in Switzerland and published in the March 2001 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives." 2.
"The Zurich study also found evidence of estrogenic (hormonal) activity associated with octyl-methoxycinnamate, along with increases in uterine weight in rats. The Bispebjerg Hospital study noted minor differences in testosterone levels associated with octyl-methoxycinnamate use." 2.

So the jury is still out and I imagine we will not know the full truth of the effects of chemical sunscreens for many years to come. If you are a swimmer, then there really is no other option as most physical block sunscreens will come off when in water. There is however guidelines given by the FDA that babies under the age of 6 months are not to be exposed to chemical sunscreens as their bodies are not developed enough to be able to rid their little bodies of these harmful chemicals. When I go swimming, instead of using a chemical sunscreen I use the Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup (just a sheer coat of the loose powder) as this has 20spf and they have done studies that show the spf rating lasts up to 1 hour and 20 minutes when in the water. So I choose to wear a little of this make up, then when I come out of the water I apply the Osmosis Shelter which is a 100% physical block. 

Happy Skin Days, 

Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix