Tag Archives: sensitive skin care

Skin care advice well heeded is a good feeling

Recently I met a new client….all the way from New York City…. She was visiting her boyfriend in San Francisco and just ‘had’ to come in for a facial…. Evidently I had provided facial services for her boyfriend a few months back and she had noticed the difference in his skin during a Skype call. He admitted that he’d had a facial, and that he was trying to follow the advice I’d given him on how to care for his skin at home….cool water cleansing, sunscreen, and a healthier diet! He started eating more fruit and vegetables!!!! Anyone who knows me, is aware of my penchant to be very insistent on consuming 5 fresh fruit and 5 fresh vegetable servings every day. It definitely WILL have a positive impact on your skin… He was discovering this simple skin care trick himself…

She is vegan, so was thrilled that he was eating more fruit and vegetables. She had also worked for the Humane Society of the US and thus is totally into cruelty free vegan products only. All Sensitive Skin Clinic products are vegan except for the No Dry Skin + Enzyme Gel (it is vegetarian because of the milk solids required in the formula).

It was wonderful to hear that my advice was being heeded. No matter how dictatorial I may sound, I really care about getting your skin strong, healthy, and balanced, and I generally get the results I’m looking for when my advice is well heeded 🙂

Why do I blog? Is it really a boring load of geek?

I was asked this question, quite seriously, by someone who appreciates how I’ve helped their skin, but not the serious nature of my approach….after all there are only 2 or 3 people who read my blog, maybe 1 more from my re-posting on the Blue Turtle Spa facebook page, and possibly 1 additional person from re-posting on my linked in account….

Well my serious answer is, that I believe the truth is important, and that it will prevail in the end. Our societal desire for ravishingly seductive soundbites just creates confusion, and costs everyone a lot of unnecessary money. Taking care of your skin is like taking care of your health – it’s a serious matter….and once you screw it up, it’s almost impossible to reverse the damage.

Marketing hype is bad for your skin and bad for your health. Pharmaceutical companies and cosmetic companies are both excellent at it. For example, ‘Big Pharma’ run TV ads to market new drugs to consumers…drugs that all have serious side effects and alter the natural functioning of the body. Yikes! They suggest that we should be considering the fact that we are less healthy than we think, so their drug will help rectify the situation…and yet it’s only the list of possible side effects that tell us the truth…their drug WILL alter the natural functioning of your body! Yikes x2!! And so too with cosmetics…the ingredients tell the truth, the rest is just marketing seduction.

Some say that me telling them the truth about their skin and it’s care is depressing…BUT, if you simply and naturally get your skin healthy and strong, it will function perfectly well, according to your genetic code, and you will look and feel better about it. What’s depressing about that???

Yes, I may sound dictatorial in my approach, but I know that it will work better in the long run than any super-hyped seductive marketing BS product from any major cosmetic manufacturer on the planet. They misuse real information to create unreal impressions…just what exactly does ‘natural’ ‘organic’ ‘non-chemical’ mean? Well, it certainly doesn’t mean what you think it means, and you certainly shouldn’t go and buy into it….

And so I blog…even if it is considered a boring load of geek, you have to make decisions regarding your life and your skin care. I just want to provide you with the opportunity of reading something that is simple and truthful. The rest is up to you.

My hope is that more and more people learn to treat their skin sensitively – no matter what type of skin you think you have – because both you and your skin will be happier in the end…

How to fall in love with your sensitive skin, and make it your Valentine

As in any relationship, love is a 2 way street. If you give more love and understanding, you’ll get more in return. So too with your sensitive skin.

What you need to DO in order to make your sensitive skin love you:

1.  Use cool water. Sensitive and red skin = irritated and unbalanced skin. Red skin = heat. So go ‘blue’ – that means cooling and soothing.
2.  Cleanse once per day preferably at night, using cool water. Not in your hot steamy shower. Just splash the face with cool water in the morning. Do not cleanse twice per day unless you are a teenage type 4 acne sufferer.
3.  Use non detergent cleansers with ingredients like plant based yucca, glycerin, or hydrophilic oil based cleansers (high quality emulsified olive and coconut oil for example).
4.  Use soothing, anti-redness, anti-irritant ingredients like sea whip, lichocalcone from the licorice plant, green tea, aloe vera.
5.  Utilize skin barrier rebuilding lipids like squalane from olives, coconut and soy based lipids, phospholipids, ceramides, shea butter (a West African tree nut extract)
6.  Mineral sunscreens that only utilize the inorganic (non carbon based) active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They are not likely to break down and irritate the skin like the organic (carbon based) active sunscreen ingredients of avobenzone (parsol 1789), octinoxate, octicrylene, PABA. etc. The latest technology of micronized zinc that is coated goes clear on skin. Alternatively titanium dioxide + iron oxides that include a slight tint results in no white sheen.
7.  Rinse off your shampoo and conditioner well. Shampoo + conditioner residue is usually bad for the skin. Try a baby shampoo with shea butter in it. Not the commercial baby shampoos – they’re just detergents in a baby formula. I like the Shea Touch baby shampoo.
8.  Eat a healthy diet – lots of organic fruit and vegetables. Mother natures provides masses of soothing/anti inflammatory antioxidants in all her fruit + vegetables. They’re not there just to make the planet look and smell pretty! Aloe vera juice is very soothing for the digestive system. Junk food/fast food should be zero – it is not healthy and not part of a balanced diet and NOT good for the skin – especially not sensitive skin.

The NO=NO’s are critically important for your relationship with your sensitive skin…no hot water, no steam, no saunas, no squeaky-clean detergent cleansers – you may love them but your skin hates them.

Your skin stays with you for the rest of your life, you cannot buy a new one, so treat it properly. Treat it sensitively.

Sensitive Skin Clinic is intelligent skin care that you and your skin deserve. Sensitive Skin Clinic products that will suit sensitive skin are:
Extreme + Sensitive Cleanser 4oz $21.
Relief + Serum 1.7oz to relieve red skin $58 or Hydrate + Serum 1.7oz $49.
Light + Calm Lotion 1.7oz $49 or Rich + Calm Cream 1.7oz $50
Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 with 20% clear zinc (by TiZO) 3.5oz $41

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.

Hair products can make acne worse

Very often I have clients come in for a facial and they complain about increased numbers of pimples in the hairline and especially behind the ears and on the neck. When all these areas combine, or it’s just in the hairline around the face, it’s inevitably the shampoo and conditioner they are using….

The ingredients in shampoos (and definitely in conditioners) are designed to coat the hair. They ‘stick’ to hair. They do not rinse out. This is how the shampoo marketers can promise you shiny, silky, soft hair. The ones that offer thicker, full bodied hair are worse. The shampoos and conditioners that claim to make your hair curly are the worst.

The ingredients may work well on the hair, but they are really bad for the skin. These shampoo and conditioner ingredients will ‘stick’ to the skin and help clog pores, so enabling the potential for more pimples. The conditioners in particular have ‘clinging’ ingredients that can easily clog pores. Conditioners should never be used around the hairline – only on mid to long hair length areas. All-in-one shampoo and conditioners are REALLY BAD for clogging pores and enabling pimples at the hairline, behind the ears and the neck.

Detergents used in almost all commercial shampoos will also strip your skin of it’s natural lipid barrier, and these are the same detergents used in almost all commercial skin cleansers. These detergents make dry hair dryer and oily hair oilier, the same way that they make dry skin dryer and oily skin oilier by overstimulating the sebaceous glands (the more you strip your natural lipid barrier off your skin the more the sebaceous glands will produce sebum (aka oil) to replace the lipid barrier – you will never win this battle so don’t even try to! See the video ‘how the skin works‘ and check out the blog entry on the best way to deal with oily skin).

The best shampoo I’ve found that is gentle to the hair and gentle to the skin, and will not clog pores and cause blackheads and potentially pimples, is a shea butter based baby shampoo. My personal favourite is SheaTouch Baby Shampoo and Body Wash. It does not foam. It does not smell like a fake fruit orchard. There are no plants growing around you when you shampoo. There are no birds tweeting. In fact none of the seductive marketing BS you see in ads for almost all commercial cleansers. The facts are that the ingredients in commercial shampoos are BAD for your skin. The SheaTouch baby shampoo is GOOD for the hair and the skin. Yes, it’s great for sensitive skin too!

As with your skin, you should wash your hair in cool water. Yes, the hair and skin are part of one body system – the Integumentary system – so both require cool water, not hot or warm water! YES, use the SheaTouch baby wash as your body wash – because shower gels and soaps are SO BAD for the body skin.

For dry flaky scalp, try using Scalpicin and the SheaTouch baby shampoo. Those harsh dandruff shampoos are so bad for the skin, and the environment, and they’ve all been tested on animals…..uuuugh!

Oil Cleansing Method…How to use Deep + Gentle Cleanser

Using a high quality oil based cleanser is the best thing for all skin types, and is the only type of cleanser that really does help to lift blackheads and yet does not strip your skin of it’s natural and vital lipid barrier….remember that ‘squeaky-clean’ is so totally bad, unnatural and unhealthy for all skin….

NOTE: Cleanse at night. Do NOT cleanse in the shower. You need to use cool water to cleanse.

OCM in 6 easy steps.

1. Do not wet face. Do not wet hands.

2. Apply about the size of US 25c coin to dry skin each P.M.

3. Move over skin in gentle circular motions for 1 to 2 minutes.

Concentrate on areas where you have blackheads and more ‘oil’ production.

It does not foam or have any of the tricks associated with all commercial detergent cleansers out there.

4. After 1 – 2 minutes add a little cool water to fingers and add it to the oil cleanser on your skin. Repeat 4x. The cleanser turns ‘milky’ with the addition of water.

At this point you will have the distinct tactile feeling of the skin of your fingers on the skin of your face – meaning there is no cleanser product separating them.

5. Remove all residue of the cleanser by splashing the face with cool water.

Your skin will feel soft, moist, and clean. There will be no unnatural ‘squeaky-clean’ feeling nor a sense of dryness on the vast majority of skin types.

6. Pat the skin dry with a clean soft towel and marvel at the great feeling.

It is important not to over cleanse the skin – only once a day (in the PM) is all your skin needs – unless you are a teenage type 4 acne sufferer who needs to cleanse twice per day – but the vast majority of people will just unbalance their skin by cleansing more than once per day.

To remove makeup like foundation, use more cleanser – you will have to try different amounts based on the type and quantity of makeup you apply to your face.

To remove eye makeup, apply cleanser to some cotton and wipe over eye area. Repeat if needed depending on the type and quantity of eye make up you applied. Do not rub harshly – just use a bit more cleanser. Be gentle with your skin – it does not deserve harsh treatment – after all you put the makeup on the skin – it’s not your skin’s fault – so be gentle with it!

Watch the OCM video at SkinCareTV.

Read the related blog entries on the easiest way to stop oily skin, and how to deal with oily skin in the morning.