Face Mapping

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Face mapping, which is fast taking centre stage at most clinics nowadays, combines Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine with cutting edge dermatologists’ prescriptions to explain how certain parts of your face are connected to other areas of your body. Put simply, think of your face as a map and blemishes as X’s on that landscape. Spots in different zones correspond to different problems. So, with this “map” as your guide, you can address the underlying causes of blemishes and not only make the unsightly zits vanish but also treat the underlying health problem in time

Here is how to decode breakouts in the basic areas.

1 & 2: Digestive System — Eat less processed or junk food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, step up water intake and opt for cooling things like cucumbers.

3: Liver — Cut out the alcohol, greasy food and dairy. This is the zone where food allergies also show up first, so take a look at your ingredients. Besides all this, do 30 minutes of light exercise every day and get adequate sleep so your liver can rest.

4 & 5: Kidneys — Anything around the eyes (including dark circles) point to dehydration. Drink up!

6: Heart — Check your blood pressure (mine was slightly high) and Vitamin B levels. Decrease the intake of spicy or pungent food, cut down on meat and get more fresh air. Besides this, look into ways to lower cholesterol, like replacing “bad fats” with “good fats” such as Omegas 3 and 6 found in nuts, avocados, fish and flax seed. Also, since this area is chock-full of dilated pores, check that your makeup is not past its expiry date or is skin-clogging.

7 & 8: Kidneys — Again, drink up! And cut down on aerated drinks, coffee and alcohol as these will cause further dehydration.

Zone 9 & 10: Respiratory system — Do you smoke? Have allergies? This is your problem area for both. If neither of these is the issue, don’t let your body overheat, eat more cooling foods, cut down on sugar and get more fresh air. Also keep the body more alkaline by avoiding foods that make the body acidic (meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar) and adding more alkalizing foods like green veggies and wheatgrass juice. Another thing that most of forget – dirty cell phones and pillow cases are two of the top acne culprits and this area is what they affect the most!

Zone 11 & 12: Hormones — This is the signature zone for stress and hormonal changes. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and keeping skin scrupulously clean. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).

Zone 13: Stomach — Step up the fibre intake, reduce the toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help with digestion.

14: Illness — Zits here can be a sign that your body is fighting bacteria to avoid illness. Give it a break, take a yoga class, take a nap, take time to breathe deeply, drink plenty of water and know that everything always works out!

So the next time you break out or notice dark under-eye circles, look to your face map: your skin is probably trying to communicate on behalf of the internal organs. However, do remember that, as with all medical issues, it is always best to see your doctor or dermotologist for a proper prognosis. This is just a general guide to head you off in the right investigative direction – just becuase you break out between the brows doesn’t always mean you have a bad liver!

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Spa Facials vs Medical Facials

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They may help instill a sense of relaxation but treating yourself to regular facials is also essential to maintaining a regular pattern of exfoliation and healthy skin. When the skin is properly and frequently exfoliated, the normal rate of cell turnover ensues, which translates to softer skin that is more even in tone, less prone to breakouts and shows fewer signs of aging.

Spa Facials vs Medical Facials. What’s the Difference?
Facials are offered almost everywhere, from salons and luxury spas to dermatologists’ and plastic surgeons’ offices. So, what are the differences between them—and how do you know which you’ll best benefit from?

The Spa Facial

If you choose to have a facial done at a spa, expect more of a relaxing and pampering experience. Skin problems can be tackled, but the ingredients are more comforting and soothing. And while they can be effective, they may not be as strong or medically-based as what you can get at a doctor’s office.

Steam is Used
A steam-emitting machine is positioned close to the skin to “open up” pores and soften oil that has hardened within them. “Steam prepares the skin for extractions,” says celebrity aesthetician Joanna Vargas. “But some skin types are too sensitive for it. And if not done properly, it can cause extreme redness and even burn the skin.”

More Pampering
For those who want added indulgence, spa facials can be complemented by other stress-relieving treatments—think a neck, hand or foot massage and even aromatherapy—and further enhanced by a luxurious ambience.

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The Medical Facial

Medical facials are not considered luxurious or pampering, but more like a hard-core workout for the skin; they give extra attention to serious skin problems and focus on deep exfoliation. “Medical facials are great for those with specific skin concerns who need a clinical approach to get the results they want,” says Boca Raton, FL, medical aesthetician Cheryl Staurowsky.

Use Different Ingredients and Modalities
Stronger concentrations and prescription-strength ingredients, like retinoids and hydroquinone can be used, as well as light and laser treatments, more aggressive peels and microdermabrasion.

Steam is Not Always Used
“Some clinicians like using alphahydroxy acids to soften the sebum and 
cellular buildup, as opposed to steam, making extractions easier and less traumatizing to the skin,” says Staurowsky.

Done Under the Supervision of a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist
“Licensed aestheticians are well-trained in their craft and extremely knowledgeable about skin care. They should always be on hand to treat any problems, should they arise,” says Studio City, CA, dermatologist Gene Rubinstein, MD.

Keratosis Pilaris & Treating it

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Keratosis pilaris (ker-uh-TOE-sis pih-LAIR-is) is a common skin condition that causes rough patches and small, acne-like bumps, usually on the arms, thighs, cheeks and buttocks. Keratosis pilaris bumps are usually white, sometimes red, and generally don’t hurt or itch. Keratosis pilaris can be frustrating because it’s difficult to treat. However, keratosis pilaris isn’t often serious.

Because keratosis pilaris affects 50% of the entire world’s population, this reaction isn’t surprising. KP is somewhat more common in children and adolescents; 50 to 80% of children have KP. Adults needn’t feel neglected. Keratosis pilaris affects 4 out of every 10 adults, too. Women are slightly more prone to developing keratosis pilaris. Most people with KP are unaware that not only is there a designated medical term for the condition, but that treatment exists.

Keratosis pilaris is hereditary, inherited as an autosomal dominant gene. This is similar to the brown versus blue eye color phenomenon. All it takes is a single gene from either parent to find oneself with less than perfectly smooth skin. But not everyone can point a finger at who’s to blame since only 30 to 50% of KP patients have a positive family history.

In general, keratosis pilaris is aesthetically displeasing, but medically harmless. It’s always possible that it might become more noticeable at puberty. It’s caused because excess skin cells build up around individual hair follicles. Sometimes, a hair is unable to reach the surface and becomes trapped beneath the debris. During puberty, this is an ideal set-up for triggering follicular acne. But more often than not, KP improves with age.

Keratosis pilaris creates havoc with the skin’s surface as a raised, rough, bumpy texture and uneven nutmeg-grater appearance forms. It is often quite noticeable. Inflammation within each hair follicle can cause embarrassing pinpoint red or brown polka dots to form beneath each miniature mound of keratin. Seasonal fluctuations can be seen with improvement more likely during the summer.

Controlling Your Outer Self
Since keratosis pilaris is genetically predetermined, it may not be curable but should be controllable. There is no reason to passively take a “wait and see” approach. After all, there’s no guarantee that you’ll outgrow it. And while most with KP may not realize there really is something they can do about it, KP can really traumatize some sufferers.

Treatment is all about smoothing away the bumps. Therapy can eliminate the bumps, improve the texture, eliminate acne-causing plugs, and improve the overall appearance. Chemical exfoliation needn’t be fraught with irritation, redness or discomfort.

Glycolic Acid
An array of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are utilized in a esthetician quest to smooth out keratosis pilaris. Glycolic and lactic acids work as chemical exfoliating agents.

Urea
Urea is one of those special little known ingredients used by esthetician to dramatically soften the crustiest of skin concerns. It is an awesome additive in improving the appearance of KP.

Vitamin A Treatments
Clients may turn to prescription vitamin A creams to help restore a smooth texture in recalcitrant cases, or as a way to help treat keratosis pilaris complicated by acne. Potent over-the-counter retinols (up to 1%) are another option. Overeager use won’t help hasten silky skin. Instead it can leave the skin parched, peeling and painful. A tiny dab every other night is more than adequate for beginners.

Immunomodulators
Since keratosis pilaris is often thought of as a manifestation of eczema, it stands to reason that new prescription medications may play a role in treating keratosis pilaris.

Scrubs, Rubs and Peels
It’s true that scrubbing at dry, bumpy skin can make it a tad smoother. But it doesn’t entirely smooth KP away. Nor does it eradicate the little pink polka dots. But incorporating a scrub, a series of microdermabrasions or even getting a chemical peel can certainly jumpstart your way to smoothness, especially as we get nearer to sleeveless weather. Just remember that since keratosis pilaris is a chronic condition, committing oneself to never-ending weekly sessions of more medically useful microdermabrasion or chemical peels rapidly adds up financially.

Treatment for keratosis pilaris is ongoing – if discontinued, skin begins reforming around hair follicles. Maintenance is the best way to maintain silky smooth skin. Letting your keratosis pilaris show is unnecessary and so easy to control. Get ready for sleeveless fashion.