Why Do You Need Balanced Skin?

We frequently talk about balance in our lives. We balance our diets, balance the checkbook and try to balance our time. With all this talk about balance there is one more thing we need to balance and it is CRUCIAL. Our skin needs to be balanced too.  Why do you need balanced skin you ask? I am here to tell you.

If our skin is not balanced, it can trick us into thinking it is one thing when it is not. Although we can discuss balancing the pH of our skin, but that is not the type of balance I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about Basic balance, which I believe to be our water-oil balance.

Healthy skin has a perfect oil and water balance, which allows skin cells to do their job naturally and effectively.

If someone asks, you which skin type you have, what would your answer be? For most people it would probably be “I’m not really sure, it might be oily or dry”. Water-Oil balance is the basis of skin type, and once your Esthetician has determined what your true skin type is, he or she can create a skin care regimen that will work FOR you and not AGAINST you.

 

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All skin requires moisture from both water and oil in order to function properly and do everything from looking and feeling great to keeping us looking younger longer. Depleted or imbalanced hydration – lacking either oil or water – is the first thing that causes our skin to become dull looking as well as increasing aging and fine lines.

So when our skin doesn’t get enough moisture either due to environmental factors, intrinsic factors or simply the wrong skin care regimen our skin becomes weak and sensitive. If we don’t have proper moisture in our skin, the skin creates more oil to combat the dryness and dehydration. When our skin is out of balance it cannot defend itself from these factors and therefore can’t heal and protect itself from damage. This can lead to common skin concerns such as rough texture, redness, dry patches, flaky skin, and even acne. When these things happen, we panic and may resort to stripping cleansers, over-exfoliation, neglect, the wrong products, or a myriad of other things we think are helping, but in fact are causing more problems. With all that said, here is what you need need to know about water vs. oil in your skin.

There is an important relationship between water and skin. When your skin doesn’t have enough water it is dehydrated. Since our bodies are composed 70% of water it only makes sense that we need it for our skin also. After all, skin is the largest organ of our body. Our skin cannot produce moisture on its own and relies on moisture from the water we drink and moisturizers we apply. Environmental factors can also increase the dehydration of our skin. Things like heaters in the winter, smoking, travel, and dry air can also dehydrate our skin.

When our skin is dehydrated it does the best it can to compensate……it creates oil. So our skin is now dry AND oily. So we feel oily and do what we think is right which usually strips the oil and makes our skin even more dehydrated.

 

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Now some people do just naturally have dry skin. Dry skin makes the least amount of its own oil. Normal skin produces a normal amount of oil and oily skin produces the most amount of oil. Age, smoking and weather conditions can cause our skin to produce less oil, and using harsh cleansers can also remove our skins natural oil. So when our skin lacks oil, that is when it gets sensitive, red, blotchy and have acne. So your skin creates more oil to combat the dryness and the dry/oily/dehydrated cycle just keep repeating!

So how can you stay balanced?

With a Skin care regimen that is correct for your individual skin!!!

Finding products with the correct ingredients for your skin type, you may need to make changes during different seasons, and use the right amount of products. Too little can keep you dry and too many can be an overload.

Sugar and Skin, a mobile spa in Suffolk Virginia (Hampton Roads), offers a Consultation and Analysis so their Licensed Estheticians can examine your skin closely and create a regimen that will be right for your skin. At a price of $35.00 if you seek treatment in their North Suffolk studio, and $55.00 if they treat you in your home, (YES, they make house calls…..so awesome!!), this is one expenditure you will thank yourself for making! During the C&A your skin is cleansed, analyzed using a magnifying lamp and Woods lamp, and a corrective mask is applied to get your skin on its way to recovery. Then it is moisturized with a product suited for your correct skin type. Make your appointment today!!

The Correct Way To Use Your Skincare Products

One of the questions I get asked on a regular basis by my clients is:  How do I use my products?

For most people the answers to these questions are the same, although there may be some variability based on individual needs. For a definitive answer based on your skin, I would advise you to make an appointment for a Consultation and Analysis, (C&A). During a C&A I cleanse the skin, and then take a detailed look under both a bright magnifying lamp and a black (Woods) lamp. After that is done I discuss in detail with each client what I see and what is the best course of action to address and correct their skin care concerns. We also discuss the products a client is currently using and how they can tweak their home skincare regimen to best suit the needs of their skin. I also always apply a corrective mask that targets clients concerns, and follow with a moisturizer suited to each person’s individual needs.

An appointment for a Consultation and Analysis can be made by clicking on the Facials button and following the link. It is quite affordable at a price of $35.00, and will be very beneficial to getting your skin on the right track.

 So as far as how to use products there are a couple of suggestions I give to clients so they can get the best results from their skin care AND get the most use of their products. Let’s be honest, some products can be costly and I want you to get the most bang for your buck and not waste a drop. Additionally it is important to know how to get your product from the container onto your skin correctly. (Yes, there is a right and wrong way to do this.) In a previous blog, I have provided a picture that shows how much product to use and I love the fact that it is very clear and easy to understand.

With face cleansing, I tell clients to use their fingers and not a cloth or rag. Unless you are using a clean washcloth EVERY time you cleanse you may be doing more harm than good. When a cloth is damp it can start to grow mold and bacteria and I don’t want you putting that on your skin. So wash your hands, and then use your hands to wash your face. To dry use a paper towel or if you have a clean towel, pat (don’t wipe) your face dry. (See, I told you there was a right and wrong way to do things.)

Toner should be used after washing for a couple of reasons. First of all it removes any cleanser that may have been left behind (which can lead to blemishes if left there), and also because it cleans and leftover oils away so your products (especially the targeted ones) can get into your skin and do what they are meant to do.

Targeted products should always be the first products to go onto your skin once it is cleansed and toned. Targeted products are the performance products such as anti-wrinkle treatments, Vitamin C serums, eye Serums and treatments for hyperpigmentation (dark spots). If they are in a pump just use a pea sized amount and if they are in a jar please please use a Q-tip or other disposable item such as a Popsicle stick broken in half (I buy mine at Michaels) or a spatula to remove the product from the container. Fingers should never be used, as they can introduce bacteria and dirt into your products.

Once the targeted products are on, you can finish up your regimen to make your skin ready for the day or for sleeping. These would be things such as eye creams, moisturizers, and SPF. Eye creams should always be applied with your middle or ring finger and gently patted under, on the sides and on the upper eyelids (so you don’t pull the delicate skin around the eyes). Also, please read the instructions on your eye cream to ensure it is safe for use on your upper lid. If you are unsure send me a text or private message via Facebook and I can help.

Moisturizer and SPF should be dotted around the face and rubbed in until it has been absorbed. You usually only need a pea sized amount for your entire face and neck. Yes, please pull your moisturizer done to your neck. And if you are wearing a v neck or scoop neck shirt apply a little to your décolleté also so you don’t have a youthful face and old looking neck and décolleté area.

Please remember these are general guidelines and may be different for each person based on their skin and skincare needs. If you are unsure about your products or need further guidance please schedule an appointment for a C&A so we can get you on the right track to correcting any concerns and having beautiful skin!

I Am Not Color Blind, Are You?

Here in the United States there are some people who believe we live in a “post racist” society.  Apparently even some of my fiends on social media believe this to be true.  It always amazes me when I see comments such as “I am not racist, but…”  or “I believe this….but”, etc. That “but” says a lot about how you really feel inside, whether you know it or not.  While explicit racism is not as common as it once was, (although in the past 8 months it has become more common), implicit racism is very common.

So then “what is implicit racism?”  Let me explain. Explicit racism is overt, obvious……using the N word, talking openly about people who are not white, or Christian, or middle class as being “less than” or not as good as the person who is doing the speaking. Shouting Nazi slogans walking down a street in Virginia. Openly being a member of the KKK. These people are open about their dislike for non whites, or homosexuals, or Jews or Muslims. It is easy to see and hear their racist beliefs and we can choose to avoid them, if we don’t want to be exposed to that bullshit.

Implicit racism is not obvious, and are usualy thoughts or stereotypes or biases we believe and act on, whether we are aware of it or not.  Such as crossing the street if we see a black man walking on our side of the street, clutching our purse a little tighter, thinking poor people are “lazy”, or just don’t try “hard enough” to get themselves out of poverty. Thinking or speaking as if the world would be better if we all “just took Jesus Christ into or hearts”. Or that children would be better off in a heterosexual home.

I see another form of bias these days. Some people want to be seen as nonbiased, or NOT racist, so they say things like “I don’t see color when I look at people.”  Or “I am colorblind.” Let me tell you why I think this is a ridiculous statement.

Now before you get your undies in a bunch, and get mad at me for “callng people oyt”, let me say that I DO understand what they mean, but I think by saying they don’t “see color” they are actually devaluing diversity and differences.  There are cultural differences (in my humble opinion) between races.  They may be small, but they are there.  I think these differences should be celebrated, not done away with.  Cultural diversity (in fact ALL diversity) makes the tapestry of humanity more colorful and vibrant, it doesn’t detract from that.  Why would we want everyone to be the same??? What an incredibly boring world that would be!!

So I am going to say I DO see color when I see people.  I see all the beautiful shades of skin tone, and hair color and hair texture.  I see eye color, and body size, and fully-abled or less-abled bodies.  I see gender, whether male, or female or other.  I see age, and sometimes I can see wealth or poverty.  I see all of those things when I look at people.  That doesn’t make me a racist.  It makes me observant.

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In my opinion, the problem is not in seeing our differences, but in assigning stereotypes and biases to the people we see based on what we see.  To assume when we see a black person that the color of their skin somehow tells us something about their character is the problem.  To see an Asian person and assume they are good at math is the problem. To see a brown person and assume they are not hard working is the problem.   To place stereotypes and bias on a person merely by looking at them IS THE PROBLEM!! This does not just apply to the color or “hue” of someone’s skin, but also their gender, their physical bodies, their mental abilities, their sexuality, age, religion, etc!

Think about it, we can’t even assume that a person with darker pigmented skin is “african”.  They may be of Caribbean, or African, or Middle Eastern, or indigenous heritage.  They may be biracial, or multiracial.  We can assume very little about someone based on external appearances.  Assumptions and assigning stereotypes is the enemy, NOT seeing their “color”.

I think if we do want to truly become a post racist society we really need to think about this, and start valuing all humans for their differences, not try to make all humans the same. Do you “see color” when you look at people?

Go ahead and “see” a person’s color, and celebrate it!  Move past bias and stereotypes and get to know the person,  no matter what they look like on the outside. Find something of value in them, and remove the stereotype! THEN maybe we can become the post racist society I dream of!

I Am Not Color Blind, Are You?

#lovenothate