HeartBleed bug does NOT affect nor

The security issue created by the HeartBleed bug in 'secure' software used by online websites does not affect the Blue Turtle Spa online shop nor the Sensitive Skin Clinic online shop. The secure server software we use does not utilise the one that is at the root of the HeartBleed scare (BBC article).

You and your orders are secure at these 2 sites. See the Sensitive Skin Clinic secure shopping information page.

Thank you for your support!

Anti aging facials and skin care or plastic surgery and medical treatments?

In this article about why French women don't get facelifts, it is interesting to see how the French (and many Europeans) view aging versus Americans.

According to the article, French women 'embrace' aging whereas Americans fixate on youthfulness

The article expresses the importance of having a facial and using good masks. My belief mirrors that of the article, in that facials don't have to be frequent if you are taking good care of your skin every night using the correct products for your skin. By that I always mean - using gentle products and treating your skin sensitively

Masks are a wonderful way to turbo-charge your skin care routine, and generally you can do it anytime - there is no fixed timeline. It is always good to use a mask before a big event - or even just to feel amazing before dinner with friends or a special work event.

A great antiaging mask is Tu'el Lift up and firming mask. The pea peptide, glucosamine and bamboo silica combination does help stimulate collagen and elastin development as well as gives an immediate firming result. This mask has ginseng in it that can be too stimulating for sensitive skin.

For sensitive skin and all other skin types, the Soothe + Hydrate Mask is amazing to hydrate and soften the skin, reduce wrinkles and add a very healthy and hydrated glow without any level of sensitivity (actually it is amazing for sensitive/irritated/red skin to bring about a stronger healthier skin). This is enabled by panthenol (Vit B5), comfrey extract (allantoin) and Sea Whip (extract from a marine plant).

Under any mask, you can layer any number of serums - like C + Renew Serum that uses an incredibly high quantity (17.5%) of esterized Vit C to help stimulate collagen and elsatin formation. Do this as frequently as possible and you will start seeing an amazing change to your skin in terms of tightness and elasticity.

It is an interesting note that 'eating' and 'multitasking' are mutually exclusive tasks (i.e. they should not be carried out simultaneously). Proper diet and de-stressing are seen by the French as being critical in slowing the aging process. 

Proper diet (5 x fruit and 5 x vegetable servings every day) is definitely a major part of an antiaging regimen, as is using ONLY a mineral based sunscreen EVERY DAY!

I am not one of the argan oil advocates - simple oil is not essential for the skin. Esterized oils are better. Oils can be great for cleansing the skin - especially olive oil.

Antioxidants + Mineral Sunscreen = the best anti aging skin care

The short answer to the anti aging skin question is:

1. Use a multi-level antioxidant like Antioxidant Defense Complex on your skin every day!

2. Use a mineral sunscreen on your skin every day!

3. Eat properly - have 5 x fruit and 5 x vegetable servings every day of your life!

The long answer:

Living on this planet is no picnic! It ages us. The sun and oxygen are the 2 major catalysts for aging by allowing rampant free radical damage to every cell in our body - and especially our skin...but then we don't have any other planet to live on yet, so we must just cope with the aging effects of living on planet Earth.

The major spectrums of light that enable aging are Infra Red and Ultra Violet. Both of these come from the sun and affect us every single day of our lives - from the time it's light in the morning until it is dark at night....they come through clouds, fog, and windows, so no need to fool yourself about never being affected by them...

Our body makes powerful antioxidants to help defend against these free radicals. They work really well when we are young, and then not so well as we age.... Mother Nature provides us with antioxidants in every fresh fruit and vegetable grown on this further help us combat the free radicals that affect every cell in our body. Eating 5 x fruit and 5 x vegetable servings EVERY DAY will help us maintain a strong fight against these free radicals. Processed food, junk food, fast food will do the opposite!

As the outermost organ of the body, the skin often gets the short-end of the stick when it comes to it's share of the antioxidants in our body...that's why skin aging often happens faster than any other organ aging. Science has shown that applying antioxidants on the skin from age 30 and up is a good strategy.....but now they are saying that applying antioxidants to the skin from a young age (teens and twenties) will help slow down the aging of the skin.

There is no such thing as a 'super-antioxidant' and that is all you need apply to the skin. That's just marketing hype and spin... If it were the case, mother nature would just make 1 fruit and 1 vegetable and that's all we'd eat - because the rest would be superfluous right? Yes, it's wrong! We must consume a variety of antioxidants for our body to function properly and to slow down the aging process - it's just the way that life IS on this planet!

So now that we have established that marketers spin and marketing hype is to be ignored, we need to address skin aging with powerful multitudes of organic antioxidants and combine them with a powerful inorganic sunscreen (the minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide).

Certain antioxidants like Vitamin A and C are also critical for the development of skin cells like collagen and elastin, so are important anti-aging ingredients in their own right. Yes, C + Renew will deliver great antioxidant power to the skin, but it is also being used as a primary stimulator of collagen and elastin fibres to make the skin act and look younger. It's the esterized version of Vitamin C (Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) that provides the anti-aging effects.

Try the Antioxidant Defense Complex 1.12oz with free shipping. It is an essential part of an anti-aging regimen because it helps fight the sun's Infra Red damage to the skin while your Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35 or SPF 40 work at protecting your skin from the damaging Ultra Violet rays from the sun. 18 different antioxidants in 1 powerful product. Good for all skin types or used in place of a moisturizer by some oilier to combination skin types. Astaxanthin from micro algea create the orange tone. This provides a slight 'self-tanning' glow to the skin that looks good on most skin tones. Watch the SkinCareTV video on why antioxidants are important.

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

How to stop oily skin...the easiest way

Here's the easy step by step approach to stop oily skin from making you unhappy:

1. Wash your face only 1x per day - AT NIGHT!
2. Use ONLY cool water with a gentle cleanser - DO NOT WASH FACE IN SHOWER!
3. Use a TRULY gentle cleanser - NO DETERGENT CLEANSER! That means no cleanser for oily or acne skin, no Cetaphil or other drug store brands that claim to be gentle...that's just marketing lies...because the ingredients tell the truth - looks for ...lauroyl sarcosinate, laureth sulfate, lauryl sulfate and other kinds of sulfate, betaines.... yes they are all in these so-called gentle cleansers....
4. Moisturize only where needed...that means do not apply moisturizer all over the face - just where you need if you are oily on the nose or chin etc - do not apply moisturizer there....SIMPLE!
5. DO NOT use alcohol wipes or alcohol toners. Actually do not use anything that claims it will eliminate your oil...they will just make things worse...within 2 hours!

Want to know why this simple approach works? Check out the video on How the skin works, as well as the one that shows that only certain cleansers matter.

Here are a few comments from my clients who have stopped their oily and problematic skin from making them unhappy:
Logan R Yelp review 'He completely blew my mind when he explained that I was washing my face too much.'
Becky T Yelp review 'Ive had oily skin my whole life and its always been a losing battle - until I had a facial with Andrew.  We discussed and changed my cleansing routine and now Im oil free!! Thank you so much!'
Olga V Yelp review 'the main ingredient in my facial care now is cold water. Apparently all these years my face wanted cold water! Go figure.'
Michelle E by email 'It was weird not washing my face with cleanser this morning but I have actually noticed that my skin does not appear to be as oily and shiny throughout the day as it used to be.  Amazing!'

So, go ahead and try it! Yes all the stuff you've been told to do for oily skin is BS!

Safety of skin care packaging, expiration dates, can seriously impact Sensitive Skin

Skin care product packaging is supposed to provide consumers with important user information, protect the ingredients, and be easy to use. This is really important for all skin care product users....BUT ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE WITH SENSITIVE SKIN.

The short answer:
1. use products that are in opaque airless pumps
2. use up all the product within 1 year after first application
3. if the product changes colour or smells differently from when you first got it, throw it out!

The long answer:
Protecting the ingredients is critical. All natural/organic (aka plant-based) ingredients will oxidize when exposed to air, bacteria can be introduced to the product by human contact, heat and sunlight will help break down any natural or organic ingredient. If you are leaving the product on your skin, you want to be sure they are as 'fresh' as possible, the action ingredients are not diminished, and there is little chance for irritation (bad product ingredients are definitely going to irritate the skin). The best ways to protect product ingredients is by way of an opaque container with an airless pump. That means that light won't affect the ingredients, and no air gets into the container after you have taken some product out. This is critical for products that you leave on the skin (like moisturizers and serums). Although ideal for all products, it is not as critical for wash-off products like cleansers and exfoliators.

Airless pump containers are more expensive for manufacturers to use - so are less likely to be available for the cheaper drug store products....but for sensitive skin people, these airless pump containers are essential.

The worst type of containers are wide-mouthed jars and see-through glass or plastic containers. The ingredients in such containers will be affected by light and air. Sure the company can counter these impacts by adding more 'preservative' ingredients to protect the others from the light and air...but do you really want more ingredients in your product? Especially when such preservatives generally have a greater potential to be irritants on the skin....maybe that's why you find your skin 'reacts' to so many different products?

The crazy thing is that so many natural/organic products are packaged in open mouthed jars! Why? It seems absolutely insane as far as I'm concerned...

Would you not be prepared to put up with a little inconvenience of not 'seeing' how much product is left, in order to have safer products to apply to your skin? You can always get a 'sense' of how much is left because the container will feel quite 'light-weight'.

Bad product smells differently from when you first got it, and may also have changed colour. Vitamin C and Vitamin A will definitely change colour when they oxidize... DO NOT USE PRODUCT THAT HAS CHANGED COLOUR OR SMELL!

The user information provides the directions for using the product, any warnings, company contact information, and list of ingredients. Ideally all this information should be on the container, because most people throw out the cardboard box. Many companies don't provide a full ingredient list on their website so when you dispose of the box and information sheet you have no source of reference should something go wrong. How do you know if you are using it correctly? It's better to buy products that have all ingredients and directions printed directly on the product container.

The ingredients also tell you what kinds of preservatives are being used in the product. The more preservatives the more potential for the product to irritate the skin. There should be NO PARABENS, very few or zero essential oils, zero alcohol (denatured/isopropyl/ethanol/yellow corn alcohol etc). For more information on preservatives see the video at the SkinCareTV channel.

The packaging may also provide information on expiration date - though this is not a requirement by the FDA. The general rule of thumb is that the product is good for 1 year after YOU open the container and start using it. This is the European standard for presenting expiration information and is usually a small graphic of a jar with the lid half off and the number 12 to denote 12 months. This is a critical element for you to remember when using products in wide-mouthed jars and regular tubes and bottles. For airless pumps, this 'use-by-date' is longer than a year, but no organization has tested it and is prepared to commit to a definite period of time. Some manufacturers will provide an expiration date that is usually 2 years from the date of manufacture. 

Because there is no regulatory standard, and manufacturers may apply different standards to different products, it is easier for you to just buy as many of your products in airless pumps as possible, and to use them up within a year of first using it.

In an article by Michelle Calvarese (Phd) in the January 2014 edition of Skin Inc magazine P 48 - 52, the main criteria manufacturers use for product packaging are:
1. Functionality (does the container dispense the product adequately - thick creams will clog in a pump container/ can the ingredients 'leach' dangerous or irritating chemicals from the plastic container into the product itself - this is essential for acidic and essential oil type ingredients)
2. Ingredient protection (will light or air degrade the ingredients and make them ineffective or potential skin irritants)
3. Client experience (easy to use, non breakable container, easy to dispense the correct amount to be used per application).

For sensitive skin, the main criteria is #2 - Ingredient protection. Functionality will be critical based on the viscosity of the product (very fluid product may leak, thick product may clog and be hard to get all the product you may waste a fair amount because you cannot get it out of the container). The Sensitive Skin Clinic products are based on the smart packaging decisions.

Expensive skin care products, are they worth it?

I came across an article in New Beauty Magazine Spring-Summer 2013. They claim they are the beauty judged by an objective panel of experts utilizing standardized beauty measurements????...yeah right... The article was about whether the worlds most expensive beauty products were worth it or not....and they don't even discuss whether they are worth it or not... they just regurgitate some marketing is really pathetic! Yes I know I am fighting an uphill battle...unfortunately fact will never replace fiction in the beauty industry!

How about Orogold 24K Gold Nano Night Recovery at $3000?  Neither the marketing hype from the company, nor the judgement from the so-called expert judge from New Beauty even attempts to explain the hype of how gold in a skin cream can make you look younger! Nor do they state how much gold is actually in the product.  Does it just make you 'glow' so much that you blind people and thus prevent them from seeing your wrinkles? There is no credible evidence that gold can do anything in the skin (even if it is possible for a mineral to penetrate the skin). I believe that anyone with this kind of money to spend on a topical product will have enough money to spend on Botox/Fillers/Laser Resurfacing/Surgery to make themselves appear younger...but they are so obsessed with looking younger that they will also add a $3000 cream to the mix..... Orogold knows their market very well and are making a fortune in profits from this product.....

I could go on and on with all the products the New Beauty 'Expert' Magazine has showcased, but the same applies to each...hype and seduction to the right people will get them to part with lots of money....

Sure, some ingredients are more expensive to create and use in skin care. The stem cell and DNA repairing ingredients in Cell Youth Actif are more expensive to source and stabilize, and cannot be made in large batches and kept for long periods of time. That will add cost to the production process.... However, Cell Youth Actif is effective and is less than $100!!!! The esterized Vitamin C (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) in C + Renew Serum is more complex to create than a standard water soluble Vitamin C, but the effectiveness in collagen and elastin development of the high percentage (17.5%) esterized Vitamin C certainly offsets the price of under $60. In the Antioxidant Defense Complex, there are 18 different antioxidants....that's a lot - yet it is highly effective at under $50. 

Does this mean that the cheapest products are just as good as the expensive ones? NO. The quantity and quality of active ingredients will make a difference to the effectiveness of the product. Large consumer goods companies that make the drugstore type products will formulate with lower quantities and usually have access to cheap manufacturers in China and other parts of the world. Then the age old economic formula of cheap ingredients, low consumer price, and high volume sales means they appear to be the popular choice..... As general purpose moisturizers, they are fine. For skin specific and effective products, they fail. And all their cleansers are cheap detergents...and bad for everybody!

So do you need to spend a lot of money to get effective skin care? The answer is NO! You just have to dig deeper into the marketing hype and seduction and see if there is even a remote element of truth or substance to their claims before you fall into their trap. Once you know how the skin works, you will be more skeptical of most of what the skin care industry tries to sell you. Even so-called medical experts will give you the same hyped up/non-factual marketing information about skin make you feel even more comfortable parting with your money.....

This is why my style of skin care is not very exciting and glitzy....the facts of skin care are not sexy....but if you know how to make your skin strong and balanced, it will work really well, and when combined with a good diet of 5 x fruit and 5 x vegetable servings every day, your skin will look younger and healthier.... And always wear a mineral sunscreen every day!

Winter skin care and best exfoliating tips

Dry, cold, winter weather increases the surface level dryness of the skin. The temptation to increase exfoliation becomes just want to get rid of all that dryness!!!!

For most people, this is a time to reduce the intensity of your exfoliating regimen....not increase it. Many have tried increasing exfoliation intensity only to find out that their skin becomes way more sensitive, red and irritated....

Why does this happen?
Dry, cold Winter air will weaken the barrier function of your skin. The outer-most layer becomes exceptionally dry and scaly. Your lipid production (aka oil) is not sufficient to cover this extra dry outer layer (unless you are a very oily skin type). Heated homes and offices will increase water loss from your skin into the dry atmosphere around you. Your skin dehydrates. Your skin flakes. Your skin looks dull. Your skin becomes easily irritated and feels uncomfortable and sensitive.

What should you do?
1. Never succumb to the temptation to use a scrub - uuuuuugh - the worst thing for everyones' skin - even when it is strong...
2. Reduce the intensity of the exfoliant you are reducing the pH and/or the quantity of Alpha (glycolic) and/or Beta (salicylic) Hydroxy Acid content in the exfoliating serum.

So, start using the 3.5pH Age Limit in place of the 3.2pH Power Peel, and if you are using Age Limit now, replace it with the 3.9pH Clear Skin Ultra Gel. You can also reduce the % of AHA in the product as well as raising the pH level by using the Gentle + Exfoliate Gel. Keep the frequency of use the same with the milder exfoliation gel. People using very strong (high % (>10%) and low pH (<3.5pH)) exfoliators should reduce frequency by 1 or 2 days per week.

For some people the best winter solution is to use a gentle enzyme exfoliator - and I have an amazing enzyme exfoliation gel in the will eat up that dry skin and not leave your skin sensitive nor irritated.... Stay tuned, it will be available within the next few months.

The right level of exfoliation is critical at all times, but especially in Winter. It is never OK to merely add thick greasy moisturizers to your skin to compensate for Winter dry skin. Do the right thing, use the right products, and you will say goodbye to uncomfortable, unpleasant, irritated Winter skin!

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

Winter skin care and best moisturizing tips

The dramatic, freezing weather across the country is impacting your skin! Dry, cold Winter air will weaken the barrier function of your skin. The outer-most layer becomes exceptionally dry and scaly. Your lipid production (aka oil) is not sufficient to cover this extra dry outer layer (unless you are a very oily skin type). Heated homes and offices will increase water loss from your skin into the dry atmosphere around you. Your skin dehydrates. Your skin flakes. Your skin looks dull. Your skin becomes easily irritated and feels uncomfortable and sensitive. Even the dry, unseasonably warm California weather is weakening the barrier function of your skin.

The solution is to help the skin by:
1. Maintaining a high moisture balance through 2x daily application of a hyaluronic hydrator like Hydrate + Serum.
2. Increasing the lipid barrier function of the skin by applying Rich + Calm Cream at night. For dry skin types, apply it AM + PM. It must be applied after the Hydrate + Serum. For day time, use the Light + Calm Lotion if you have combination skin. NOTE: Use 2 layers of the lotion (1 after the other) in the areas where the skin is dry and does not produce much of its own lipids (aka oil).
3. Soothing irritated, uncomfortable and sensitive skin areas by applying the Soothe + Hydrate Mask, leave on 10 minutes, rinse off with cool water. You can apply it AM or PM or both.

All 4 Winter Skin Saving products listed above are 25% off at BLUE TURTLE SPA SHOP. Enter 25off as the promotional coupon code in your shopping cart and click 'apply' before you enter all your credit card info at the SSL Secure online shop. Offer valid through Friday 31st January 2014.

PLEASE NOTE: This discount ONLY applies to the 4 Sensitive Skin Clinic (also denoted as SSC) products listed above, and does NOT apply to any other products at the Blue Turtle Spa shop.

Antibacterial soap, Multivitamins, Colds and Flu, Dairy Issues - do you believe it?

We all grew up with certain beliefs - mostly imposed by mom or dad or others in our community....these are known as 'common beliefs'.

So, how well substantiated are common beliefs? Answer....not very well...

Check out this article about the common beliefs regarding multivitamins, how you get colds and flu, dairy issues etc. I recently wrote about the multivitamin myth regards to skin care in this blog entry. As we move beyond 35 years of age, it is often beneficial to the skin to apply vitamins as antioxidants (like C + Renew or Triple C + E Complex) but they are not replacements for the antioxidants in the fruit and vegetables you should be consuming...

The one item in the 'common beliefs' list I can attest to is that dairy consumed while you have flu or a cold will definitely increase the thickness of mucus you produce....but it is not responsible for mucus production...that comes naturally with the cold and flu reaction your body creates. Try not having any dairy (aka ZERO) while you have a cold or flu and you will find your mucus is thinner - and not as congestive as usual....

However, for skin care, if you have problem skin like acne, rosacea, dermatitis, sensitive skin, dairy is totally going to worsen the condition. As adults, we do NOT need dairy - despite the claims from the multi-billion $ dairy industry that you will 'die-unless-you-drink-milk'.... marketing hype is a way of life in our society but it should be ignored most of the time! For more information on dairy and acne, check out the Clear Skin Diet by Logan and Treloar.

A 'common' or 'logical'approach to skin care and health is to just eat a healthy diet (5 fruit and 5 vegetables servings every day, no processed or junk food), exercise, and be gentle with your skin...treat it sensitively and understand the BEST things and WORST things to do for your skin.... Basically, I would like EVERYONE to believe that they have sensitive skin, because that way you won't be tempted to damage it or unbalance it with all those marketing hyped natural/antiaging/magical products...

And please STOP using antibacterial soaps - they are BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT and they WILL MESS UP YOUR SKIN... Bacteria are essential for life on this stop being a bacteria-phobe...learning more about bacteria and their positive effect upon our lives is a very interesting focus of attention for medical research. There is a new documentary called Resistance being made about this topic...check out the trailer here...

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

Would you prefer drunken elephant droppings on your face or Sensitive Skin Clinic products?

Question from a client:
I was playing around on the Internet, looking up and reading about new and various skincare products, and came across a new line that I would be REALLY interested in your opinion on.  The website is: This is the same person/company who once had the Wonderbar out.  That was the product that (messed up my skin and) made me start searching the Internet and find you.  Apparently the Wonderbar is no longer and this is the new product line up to replace it.  I know you are super busy so IF you ever have a spare minute and could check it out I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Answer from me:
They screwed up people's skin with their previous product (Wunderbar) so they just dropped it,  changed names and marketing and magically a new source of revenue for them These are real marketing people….names, words, pictures, seduction…they have it all… They know how to part people from their money....

All their products claim to be 'ideal for even the most sensitive skin'.... YIKES! They know nothing about sensitive skin.....

Unfortunately, nothing of substance here when I looked into the products.....

A soap is a soap is a soap….and I don't like it on anyone's skin. Don't use a soap - use a truly gentle cleanser.

Their glycolic does not state % quantity of each AHA nor the pH of the formula….just lots of marketing hype. So how effective can it really be?

The Vitamin C serum does not state % quantity. They have created a water soluble Vit C - not very effective for regeneration of collagen and elastin - It's better to use a fat soluble form (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) as in C + Renew Serum and Triple C + E as it has a better chance of penetrating the lipid barrier of the skin.

The sunscreen has a fabulous 20% zinc oxide as the active sunscreen ingredient - but the rest of the formula is too moisturizing and emollient - hardly suitable for anyone with combination skin, and definitely not good for anyone with oily skin...

Wow...they are expensive for what they offer!!!!!!!

As for the marketing hype/fear tactics of what's not in their products - wow, what a list of many irrelevant ingredients for these types of products....but looks impressive and they know that most people are not chemists so naturally would not know what any of these ingredients do, or are for...  I was expecting to see things like 'no HIV', 'no arsenic', 'no rat poison', 'no ecoli bacteria'….all of which will be as useful as the other info they provide….

The website and products are pretty and fun and they have a nice message of supporting elephants…..

My, what genius marketing brains they have….pity they know very little about skin and skin care…probably find they are not estheticians nor dermatologists - just happy money making marketing people…

How did you feel reading about them and their products? Seduced? Interested?

Maybe I should learn from their marketing hype - but attach it to really good products that are clearly better for the skin... After all, as per a previous blog entry, Sensitive Skin Clinic is considered unsexy and boring....

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