Benefits of High Frequency

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High frequency facials offer a safe and gentle alternative to dramatic plastic surgery procedures, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, Collagen and Botox injections and other invasive skin rejuvenation procedures. When using high frequency for anti-aging purposes, results can vary by individual and skin type, are gradual, and do not occur overnight! Although high frequency has been shown to produce an immediate and temporary lifting effect, continued daily application can provide more cumulative long-term, lasting results. Interestingly, many acne sufferers have found improvements in their complexions after only a few days of use.

1) Improvement In Acne
Sometimes the body can become immune to certain acne medications if used over an extended period of time. When combined with an effective acne treatment lotion, regular application of high frequency keeps the acne away long after other expensive medications and treatments can fail. High frequency gently cleanses the skin of acne-causing bacteria and unwanted toxins while making the skin more receptive to acne lotions, creams and other skin treatment products. The results can be extremely dramatic – even after only a few treatments!

2) Reduction in Enlarged Pores & Blackheads
With regular use, high frequency facials can be very effective at reducing the size of enlarged pores, softening skin, controlling excess sebum production and eliminating the occurrence of blackheads. The gentle spray of oxygen molecules produced by the high frequency current diminish enlarged pores by penetrating deep down into the root of the affected area and cleaning out unwanted debris and toxins allowing the pore to quickly regain its natural size once again.

3) Softening of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, and Sagging Skin
The oscillating action of high frequency can increase blood circulation, which in turn nourishes the skin’s surface and renews underlying cells. It also produces an enriched form of oxygen, which can provide the skin with a firm, youthful, vibrant glow. It can diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, tighten double chins and jowls and improve overall skin texture and tone by promoting increased collagen production.

4) Reduction in Puffiness
The pulsating “oxygenation” action produced by high frequency current aids in lymphatic drainage and disperses excess fluid while increasing blood circulation. The result is a reduction in the appearance of congested, tired, puffy eyes. High frequency also helps the skin more efficiently absorb skin care products thereby extending their effectiveness.

5) Fading of Dark Eye Circles
New scientific research has shown the cause of severe dark eye circles to be broken capillaries that have leaked hemoglobin, creating a red-blue pigment deposit under the eyes. High frequency creates a circulation rush in the area and helps your current under eye product penetrate deeper into the skin tissue. The application of high frequency can be very effective at fading dark under eye circles resulting in a fresher, brighter, more youthful looking appearance.

6) Improvement in The Appearance of Cellulite
With regular use, high frequency treatment can be very effective at reducing reducing the appearance of cellulite when used in conjunction with a quality cellulite product. For years, the skin care industry has relied on this same high frequency, oxygen molecule producing technology to aid in lymphatic drainage, gently exfoliate the skin, increase blood circulation, assist in the production of collagen and elastin and promote healthy cell metabolism. The result: smoother, firmer, more refined skin.

7) Healthier Hair Growth
Through its rapid oscillation, high frequency current improves the process of nourishment, gently exfoliates the skin, promotes local blood circulation, stimulates local glandular activity, supplies heat to the area which is soothing to the nervous system and significantly improves the scalp’s receptiveness to and the overall effectiveness of post-treatment hair growth formulas. For many years, hairdressers have used high frequency current technology to revitalize scalp conditions which can aid in promoting healthier hair growth.

Are High Frequency Facial Treatments Safe?

High frequency facials are considered a safe and gentle therapeutic approach to skin rejuvenation however the following contraindications should be noted:

Avoid using AHA or Glycolic Acid products with high frequency as they may over-dry the skin.
Avoid treating areas of broken capillaries, spider veins and rosacea as high frequency may exacerbate these conditions.
Do not use if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker or history of heart disease.
Avoid wearing metal jewelry during high frequency treatment to avoid risk of shock.
Never operate high frequency unit with a broken bulb.
Do not use outdoors, near water or around combustible substances.

Treating Acne

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A daily system of antibacterial and exfoliating products is needed to treat acne. True control means no physical sign of the disease shows in its active stage. Since acne is a treatable condition with no cure, most adult acne sufferers will be tied to a basic acne-fighting regimen for life, along with several necessary lifestyle changes. It’s “skin care suicide” to abruptly abandon home treatment once acne completely clears. Retention hyperkeratosis (the process of dead skin cells building up and sticking together in the pore) is an ongoing, chronic condition that runs in families. If the acne-prone person doesn’t adhere to a daily system to interfere with retention hyperkeratosis, and make permanent lifestyle changes (less stress, enough sleep, reduced iodides in the diet, avoiding pore-clogging products, etc.), the visible signs of acne will begin to reappear almost immediately.

Clinical Acne Treatments

Professional skin peels and clinical facials provide these corrective and preventative benefits:

They exfoliate dead skin cells.
They gradually help fade dark spots left by residual acne and razor bumps.
They help fade dark patches and even out the skin tone.
They lighten “beard shadowing” caused by razor bumps, ingrown hair and shaving powders.
They help exfoliate dead skin build-up that buries ingrown hairs.
They help soften and reduce the thickness of scar tissue.
They help dissolve and control excess oil.
They reduce flakiness and tightness.
They make extraction of pimples and blackheads easier.
They help smooth rough-textured skin.
They help evacuate clogged pores.
They help deliver active ingredients deeper for enhanced results.
They help reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles.
Antibiotics

To individuals reluctant to abandon their “old school” tetracycline, minocycline and erythromycin, consider this: “If tetracycline can arrest venereal disease within ten days, why are you still breaking out after all these years?” Or: “If erythromycin can cure an ear infection just a few days, why do you still have active acne?”

The medical definition of acne reads something like this: Acne is a genetic disease evolving from retention hyperkeratosis of the follicular epithelium. So, if we are dealing with a disorder of the follicle (pore), why flood the body with antibiotics in the hopes that some of it ends up in the pores? Then, consider the side effects, which include severe sun sensitivity (leading to severe skin discoloration), dehydration, thinning hair, birth defects, yeast infections and digestive disorders to name a few. Topical antibiotics like clindamycin, erythromycin and tetracycline can control bacteria in open surface lesions only, but they don’t penetrate deep enough into the pores to kill bacteria where acne starts, and they can’t interfere with the process that actually causes acne.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide (BPO), used for decades, is possibly the most effective acne medication available. Available over-the-counter, by prescription and from clinical estheticians, BPO penetrates deep into the pore, releases oxygen and kills p. acnes, a bacteria that lives without oxygen below the skin’s surface. It also causes a desirable “peeling effect” deep in the follicle, similar to retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids, which loosen and soften acne impactions. With regular use, BPO kills bacteria and exfoliates dead cell build-up deep in the follicles. This action below the skin line halts p. acnes overgrowth and prevents new impactions from forming.

The good news is many BPO formulations are unsurpassed in their ability to control all grades of acne. Unlike Accutane®, oral antibiotics and retinoids, BPO is safe for pregnant women. The bad news is BPO products are not all “created equal”. First, we must examine the base with which the BPO is formulated. Is the BPO mixed with oil, fatty acids, glycerin, sulfur and/or water? Your BPO might be 10%, but its oily or fatty-acid base may seal off the skin, preventing adequate penetration of the BPO itself. Some BPO products are glutted with pore-clogging ingredients. The shelf life of over-the-counter BPO may not be monitored closely and older BPO products can lose their potency.

Any BPO product that can be tolerated overnight the first week or two is not going to be strong enough to control acne in the long run. The skin rapidly gets used BPO, and it stops working. That being said, any BPO product that’s strong enough to clear acne, and keep it that way, is definitely too strong to be tolerated overnight for the first 2-3 weeks of treatment.

Side effects from incorrect use or overuse can include redness and peeling, which is why some people abandon their treatment. BPO should be introduced gradually to allow the skin to become accommodated to it and to keep side effects to a minimum. BPO should not be worn in sunlight or if one expects to perspire for any reason. BPO also migrates through sunscreens, moisturizers, lips balms, eye creams and petroleum jelly and can end up in areas where it wasn’t applied. This may cause causing dryness, irritation, peeling and temporary darkening in those areas. For the same reason, BPO cleansers should not be rinsed over the eyes or onto the neck.

Retinoids

Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds related to vitamin A, used to treat acne and sun-damage. Topicals include tretinoin (Retin-A®, Avita® and Renova®), adapalene (Differin®), tazarotene (Tazorac®), retinol and retinyl propionate, most of which are available in gel, serum and cream formulations.

Retinoid gels and serums are helpful in the treatment of non-inflamed blackheads, closed comedones (whiteheads), clogged pores and rough texture, if one isn’t sun-sensitive or exposed to long periods of direct sun. The emollient cream versions are often loaded with pore-clogging ingredients and can be acne aggravators. They’re more suitable for photo-damaged skin that isn’t acne prone. The problem with retinoids is this: While they facilitate a desirable peeling effect deep in the follicle and help loosen and dislodge comedones, they don’t kill p. acnes bacteria. Side effects can include thinning of the skin, redness, prolonged peeling, irritation and sun sensitivity that can lead to severe darkening. Retinoid gels and serums, alternated with or layered under benzoyl peroxide at night, can be excellent “skin texturizers” that can help clear acne, refine the pores and rejuvenate and brighten the skin. When using retinoids, it’s very important to apply them only at night, to avoid direct sun and to protect the skin with a non-comedogenic physical sunblock during the day.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are often used to treat acne and include glycolic acid (from sugar cane), mandelic acid (from bitter almonds) and lactic acid (from sour dairy and other foods). They penetrate the follicle and, when introduced gradually and used as directed, can have fewer adverse side effects than retinoids, i.e. excessive flaking, redness, dark blotches, irritation and sun sensitivity. They help reduce dead cell build-up in the pore, fade dark spots and soften scar tissue, have a lower price tag, and are widely available without a prescription. Home care products are available in gels, serums, lotions and creams in strengths ranging from 5% to 20%. Oil-free glycolic, mandelic and lactic acid gels and serums can be formulated with salicylic acid, azelaic acid and skin brighteners, and are highly effective for treating acne and post-inflammatory blemishes and should be introduced gradually.

AHA Skin Peels

At higher concentration, glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid and AHA blends make highly effective skin peels. Peels are safe and beneficial for all skin tones and for a wide variety skin types, when performed correctly and chosen carefully according to skin sensitivity and condition, home care used, peel percentage and pH and other factors.

Mandelic Acid

Mandelic acid is one of the newer AHA ingredients used to treat mild to moderate acne. An aromatic alpha hydroxy acid derived from bitter almonds, it’s available in skin peels, acne topicals, skin brighteners, cleansers and toners. Because of its well-established antibacterial, pore-purging, anti-aging and skin brightening action, mandelic acid is ideal for adult acne, folliculitis and laser resurfacing patients. Mandelic acid is less irritating than glycolic acid when formulations contain little or no alcohol.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid, also called beta hydroxy acid (BHA), is an oil-soluble anti-bacterial ingredient that is plant-derived and indirectly related to aspirin. It causes epidermal cells to shed more readily, opens clogged pores, helps dissolve sebum, neutralizes bacteria and is most often used in acne products and dandruff shampoos. When formulated with glycolic and lactic acid, it penetrates better to increase cell turnover and prevent pores from clogging up again. Gel formulations can be worn under benzoyl peroxide at night. Salicylic acid products rarely clear acne completely when used alone and can be irritating. Beta hydroxy skin peels, though quite uncomfortable when applied, help remove blackheads and whiteheads, diminish fine lines, improve active acne and brighten the skin tone.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid, derived from wheat, rye and barley, is marketed as a stand-alone acne treatment (Azelex®) because it helps reduce inflammation and bacterial growth in the follicles. Finacea® is less potent than Azelex® and prescribed for mild to moderate rosacea to help kill bacteria, calm inflammation and diminish redness. However, azelaic acid works best as a skin lightener and acne-inhibitor when formulated with alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, mandelic acid and/or kojic acid, producing a more potent synergistic effect on the skin.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is a stable, versatile ingredient that possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and pigment-reducing properties, and often found in skin brightening formulations. Used for mild acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation, niacinamide has also been shown to help regulate sebum, improve barrier function, increase immunity, reduce sensitivity and improve the visible signs of aging without irritation. Niacinamide is safe and effective as part of a longterm maintenance program for hyperpigmentation and adult acne. It works best when used in combination with other acne and skin brightening products.

Skin Brighteners

Brightening ingredients help inhibit the over-activity of tyrosinase, the key enzyme involved in melanin synthesis and skin coloration. Tyrosinase activity is accelerated in melanin-producing cells by the stimulation of free radicals caused by sun exposure, DNA photo-damage and other skin stresses. This incites increased levels of melanogenesis, a complex chain reaction that leads to the formation of skin discoloration.

Melanin-suppressing ingredients include the controversial FDA-approved hydroquinone (HQ), kojic acid , kojic dipalmitate, alpha arbutin, azelaic acid, vitamin K, mulberry extract, bearberry (beta arbutin), licorice extract, niacinamide (vitamin B3), l-ascorbate (stable, absorbable vitamin C), emblica extract, Tego® Cosmo C250, Gigawhite™, mandelic acid and citrus juice extracts. Mandelic acid, niacinamide and azelaic acid possess both depigmenting and acne-fighting properties.

Gel and serum brightening “cocktails” formulated with retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids are able to penetrate better and carry ingredients deep to the target tissues. This makes them effective against acne while they interfere with the mechanism that leads to the over-production of melanin in the skin. Patch-tested and used exactly as directed and in the appropriate formulation, there is a low incidence of irritation and allergic reaction.

Prescription “bleach” creams compounded by pharmacists, including Kligman’s original formula and modified versions (including Tri-Luma®), are combinations of HQ, tretinoin and steroids. While effective for discoloration, they are indicated for short-term use only, and not appropriate to treat acne. Other prescribed combinations include HQ and glycolic acid (Lustra® and Glyquin®) and HQ and retinol (Alustra®), in addition to a variety of old school HQ-only formulations which perform poorly and can be comedogenic.

Sulfur

Sulfur has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory and drying agent. As an acne medication, sulfur is formulated with resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide or sodium sulfacetamide, and helps to dry out active acne, reduce oiliness and prevent new breakouts. Sulfur clay masks dramatically improve skin texture by exfoliating dead skin cells, and make the skin more bio-available to active acne products applied after the mask is removed. Sulfur is safe and effective to treat acne, oily skin and fungal infections, unless one is allergic to it or suffers from extremely dry skin or eczema. It works best when used in conjunction with other acne methods.

Rasul Clay

Also known as rhassoul clay and ghassoul clay, this mineral-rich clay is found in the mountains of Morocco. Lerosett® Mask by Gunilla of Sweden is a well-known brand. Free of chemicals and preservatives, rasul clay absorbs oil and follicular debris and helps dry out active acne, though it doesn’t penetrate the follicle or kill bacteria. Like sulfur, rasul clay works best when used in combination with other acne methods.

Resorcinol

Resorcinol, an antiseptic chemical exfoliator derived from resins, is usually formulated with sulfur, and dries out active acne and helps reduce oily build-up on the skin. Jessner’s solution, a chemical peel made with a combination of salicylic acid (BHA), lactic acid and resorcinol, has been used for decades to address acne, superficial scars, sun-damage and rough texture.

Combination Topicals

Several acne products are combinations of two or more active ingredients, including benzoyl peroxide-sulfur, sulfur-resorcinol, sodium sulfacetamide-sulfur (Sulfacet-R®), benzoyl peroxide-antibiotics (Benzamycin®, Duac® and BenzaClin®), clindamycin-tretinoin (Ziana®), and benzoyl peroxide-adapalene (Epiduo® Gel).

Dapsone

Dapsone gel (Aczone®) is approved for the topical treatment of acne. Dapsone is a sulfone drug used mainly as an oral medication for leprosy and less commonly as a treatment for acne. The FDA warned Allergan that their claims overstated the clinical efficacy and that they misleadingly suggested the drug was safer than has been demonstrated by substantial evidence and clinical experience. Until recently, they failed to disclose the fact that using dapsone gel followed by benzoyl peroxide can result in temporary yellow or orange skin discoloration and facial hair.

Sodium Sulfacetamide

Sodium sulfacetamide lotion belongs to a class of drugs called sulfa antibiotics, sold as Klaron® (sodium sulfacetamide) Sulfacet-R®, Novacet® (sodium sulfacetamide with sulfur) and other generic brands. For sensitive skin, seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea, it’s well-tolerated and less irritating than other topicals. It’s often prescribed in combination with other acne methods because the skin builds up a tolerance over time and it loses its effectiveness. Versions containing sulfur are mild exfoliants and some people are bothered by the strong smell. There is increased risk for systemic side effects if used on “open” acne, broken skin or on large areas of the body, and it should not be used if pregnant or nursing.

Isotretinoin

Accutane® (isotretinoin) is a powerful systemic retinoid, related to vitamin A, often used as a “last resort” to treat severe cystic acne. It works by shutting down the sebaceous activity in the entire body. Side effects can include severe birth defects, depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts, fatigue, problems regulating blood sugar, kidney malfunction, pancreatitis, liver abnormalities, fragile skin, dryness and peeling, redness of the face, skin infection, delayed wound healing, blurred vision, decreased tolerance to contact lenses, cataracts, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), decreased night vision, chapped lips, gum inflammation and bleeding, severe sun-sensitivity, rashes, hair loss, aching joints, bone changes, osteoporosis, chest pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and chronic inflammatory bowel disease with rectal bleeding. Monthly blood tests for liver and kidney function and glucose levels are required

Because isotretinoin can cause severe birth defects, including mental retardation and physical malformations, a woman must not become pregnant while taking it. Women of child-bearing age must undergo monthly pregnancy testing and use two forms of foolproof birth control. All patients (male and female) are required to sign a detailed consent form outlining the many severe side effects. Since 2005, all patients who use this drug, all doctors who prescribe it, and all pharmacies who fill prescriptions must join the national FDA-mandated “iPLEDGE” Accutane Registry.

Unfortunately, many patients with lesser grades of acne are being prescribed isotretinoin very casually. Not only is it potentially dangerous, it simply doesn’t work for all types of acne. Tens of thousands of disillusioned post-Accutane® failure cases were promised permanent results and put at risk when it was clearly not even indicated for their grade of acne. Often, the acne would clear up after one or more cycles, only to have the condition return within months of stopping the drug.

Also, isotretinoin interferes with the skin enzyme collagenase, so there is increased risk of severe scarring if procedures like dermabrasion, deep chemical peels, laser resurfacing and other facial surgery are performed. Roche and other manufacturers have withdrawn this drug from the market because of lawsuits and huge financial losses. At this time, only a couple of generic versions are still available.

Spironolactone

Spironolactone is a synthetic hormone and anti-androgen diuretic drug is used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention. Because it decreases testosterone production, it is also utilized to treat hirsutism, PCOS and hormonal acne in women. The birth control pill Yaz® also contains this drug.

This is not a popular treatment for those who are NOT diagnosed with an androgenic hormonal imbalance. Side effects include dehydration, nausea, fatigue, irregular periods, sun-sensitivity, headache and a link to cancer. Since it interrupts the masculinization of male fetuses, foolproof birth control is mandatory. When severe acne is accompanied by insulin resistance, obesity and hirsutism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has been diagnosed, spironolactone is sometimes prescribed in combination with oral contraceptives and metformin, a drug used to treat adult-onset diabetes. Hormones and spironolactone are also prescribed for male-to-female gender reassignment patients as part of their transition therapy. However, acne and hirsutism can be genetic and cultural, i.e. run in certain families, and most cases are not always linked to PCOS.

Some tests have shown that topical spironolactone may be effective at 5% under an occlusive covering to address androgens (DHT) deep in the follicle (on the back). Some acne formulations are using trace amounts in their formulas (along with active OTC acne ingredients), but since it’s only effective at much higher percentages, the label would have to identify spironolactone as an active ingredient. The birth control pill Yaz®, which contains spironolactone, and the more potent oral spironolactone never received rave reviews for acne. While they may have worked for some, their side effects often outweigh the benefits.

Exfoliation

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Exfoliation is the removal of the oldest dead skin cells that cling to the skin’s outermost surface, or epidermis. Exfoliation is an important part of both facials and body treatments. When done correctly, exfoliation leaves the skin feeling smoother and fresher looking. Exfoliation also makes it easier for expensive facial products like serums to pentrate.

There are two forms of exfoliation:
1) Mechanical Exfoliation. The dead skin cells are physically rubbed off with an abrasive. Examples of mechanical exfoliation include a salt glow, a body scrub that might use sugar or coffee grounds, or skin brushing. On the face, scrubs should use small, round, gentle abrasives like jojoba beads. Stay away from something harsh like apricot scrubs, which can cause micro-tears in your skin. A more aggressive and effective approach to mechanical exfoliation is microdermabrasion, which comes in two types – crystal and crystal-free, or diamond-tip.

2) Chemical Exfoliation. Enzymes, alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) or betahydroxy acids (BHAS) loosen the glue-like substance that holds the cells together, allowing them to slough away. Facial peels are a form of chemical exfoliation. Chemical peels can either be very gentle or very aggressive, depending on how the strong the peel is. Body treatments might use mild chemical exfoliants like pineapple enzymes.

The skin is constantly generating new skin cells at the lower layer (the dermis) and sending them to the surface (the epidermis). As the cells rise to the surface they gradually die and become filled with keratin. These keratinized skin cells are essential because they give our skin its protective quality. But they are constantly sloughing off to make way for younger cells.

As we age the process of cell turnover slows down. Cells start to pile up unevenly on the skin’s surface, giving it a dry, rough, dull appearance. Exfoliation is beneficial because it removes those cells that are clinging on, revealing the fresher, younger skin cells below.

It is possible, however, to overexfoliate, especially on the delicate skin of the face. Overexfoliating will dry and irritate the skin.

What You Should Know About Facial Exfoliation:
Be extra careful with the delicate skin of your face.
It’s easy to overexfoliate. Talk to a good esthetician about the product and frequency that is best for your skin. Your should be especially cautious if you have sensitive or aging skin.

Be careful not to overdo microdermabrasion. It can make thin, aging skin even thinner if you get too many treatments too quickly.
Don’t overexfoliate, especially in summer or in very sunny climates. You’re making it easier for your skin to be damaged by the sun.
Never use body scrubs on the face. They’re too rough.
Be very careful with peels. Don’t get one peel and then go somewhere else to ask for another. You can remove too much of your protective layer and end up exposing the living dermis. Again, be careful about going out in the sun afterwards, or doing it in summer.
Never wax if you’ve had a peel recently. It might expose raw, living skin, which will have to scab over to heal.

What You Should Know About Body Exfoliation:
You can use a body scrub once or twice a week with no problem.
Body brushing every morning is a gentle way to exfoliate and wake up!

Skin Brushing

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Directions for Daily Dry Skin Brushing Always brush towards your heart. Make long sweeps up toward the heart. Avoid improper brushing techniques of back and forth or scrubbing and circular motions. Begin with your feet, then up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest. Direct the brush counterclockwise for the stomach area. Don’t make the mistake of brushing too hard as your skin should be stimulated and invigorated, but not irritated or red. Brush skin when dry. Preferably in the morning before shower. Use natural vegetable-derived bristle brush. Brush in direction of heart. Follow with warm shower. Never brush broken skin. Do not brush before bed as it may interrupt sleep.
Health Benefits of Dry Skin: Brushing stimulates all organs of detoxification, removes cellulite, cleanses the lymphatic system, removes dead skin layers, strengthens immune system, stimulates hormone & oil-producing glands, tones muscles, stimulates circulation, improves nervous system, helps digestion, helps to tighten skin, removes excess fluid from body known as an effective lymphatic drainage technique, eliminates clogged skin pores, helps with even distribution of fat deposits, keeps skin soft, smooth & younger looking.

Skin analysis

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One of the most important steps in your practice is to take the time to perform a thorough skin analysis with a client (whether old or new). A brief look at their face does not provide enough information to sanction a more insightful, comprehensive profile to establish a more accurate pathway for long-term skin correction. Old paradigms no longer work. Statements such as normal-dry, combination, and sensitive are understatements when establishing the leading causes of these conditions and their effects on cells and systems. Furthermore, treatment and product choice is based on this analysis service. Your goal is to bring your client’s skin health into a more balanced state.

Examples: Repair of the acid mantle supports the skin’s first line of defense. It helps correct the natural moisturizing factors within bilayers. Rejuvenation of the spinosum layers may help with a more even dispersion of pigment. Attention to rebuilding the dermal structures improves overall skin density and texture.
Begin with a thorough health evaluation that includes age, skin type, nutrition, lifestyle, medications, genetic history and predispositions (as in, intrinsic characteristics such as eczema and allergic contact dermatitis and potential conditions), as well as extrinsic characteristics due to the client’s daily activities and lifestyle.
Secondly, ascertain the levels of damage. This becomes more apparent through careful examination of information obtained from the visual, the written, and your diagnostic tools.

Level 1: Oxidative Stress and Lipid Peroxidation that initiates its damage within the cells environs and membrane

Level 2: Mitochondria DNA damage. Destruction has cascaded to the membrane of the mitochondria.

Level 3: Mitochondria aging along with cellular senescence is a final result that affects the entire cell.

Lastly, invest in diagnostic tools such as a skin scanner and another electronic aid. Newer electronic devices can measure key indicators of the true health of the skin.

Lipid Levels: Skin lipids contribute to the first three lines of the skin barrier defense when determining the nutritional needs of the skin.
Epidermal Hydration: Measures the free water available in the dermal reservoir that is an indicator of the enzymatic action necessary for maintaining the barrier function.

Melanin Density: Reveals the melanin density down to the dermal junction. It is an indicator of the rate that melanogenesis occurs and potential hidden risk factors.

Erythema: This measures the level of vascularity and density of the microcirculation system within the dermis. Vascular matting (telangiectasia) is an indicator that there are issues with the breakdown of dermal structures such as at the dermal/epidermal junction as well as in the collagenmatrix.

The time invested in this service shows that you are a serious skin care professional who understands the science of the skin, the association between skin structure, function, and the leading causes of a skin condition. Moreover, you understand the cascade effect of structural breakdown within the skin such as what occurs in a poor acid mantle, the bilayers within stratumcorneum, damaged melanocytes, the flattening of the rete pegs at the epidermal/dermal junction and in the collagenmatrix. And one very important consideration is that you decrease your liability by avoiding potential mistakes.

Endocrine System & Your Skin

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I’m not an expert by any means, and I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I do feel like I have a good grasp of the basics and I can share with you what I’ve learnt and what’s really helped me to clear my hormonal acne….so you too can hopefully do the same

Your Endocrine System

The Endocrine System is a collection of glands that are throughout your body. A gland is a group of cells that produces and secrets chemicals. Your glands select and remove materials from the blood, processes them, and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body.

These glands secrete hormones. Hormones are chemicals that travel around your body, transferring instructions and information from your glands to cells in other parts of your body. They are often referred to as your body’s ‘messengers’ that deliver messages to different parts of your body to coordinate certain bodily functions.

Many different types of hormones travel through your bloodstream but each type of hormone is designed to affect only certain cells. These cells will have receptors on them that are specific for a certain hormone. This way, your body can make sure that the correct cells get the correct messages.

You can see an example of this in the diagram I made below:

Hormones influence almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies.

Hormones regulate and influence:

Weight Regulation
Your Immune Function
Body Fat Composition
Energy Levels
Anti-aging
Regulating Mood
Sexual Function
Reproductive Processes
Growth rate
Tissue Function
Metabolism
Generally, your endocrine system is in charge of body processes that develop slowly (e.g. cell growth). Faster body processes like breathing is controlled by your nervous system. Even though your endocrine system and nervous system are separate systems, they often work together to make sure your body functions properly.

Hormones are grouped into three classes based on their structure:

Steroids – these hormones are lipids made from cholesterol, such as sex hormones. They are secreted from the sex organs, adrenal glands and placenta.
Peptides – are short chains of amino acids that are secreted by the pituitary gland, parathyroid gland, heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys. Most hormones are peptides.
Amines – these are made from an amino acid secreted from the thyroid gland and adrenal glands.
All hormones are important, but the ones I want to focus on in this series that has the most impact on hormonal acne are the Steroid hormones (in particular sex hormones).

The Endocrine Glands

The major glands that make up the human endocrine system include the:

hypothalamus
pituitary gland
thyroid gland
parathyroid glands
adrenal glands
pineal gland
reproductive glands (which include the ovaries and testes)
Although the endocrine glands are the main producers of hormones, other non-endocrine organs produce and release hormones too, such as the brain, skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, thymus and liver.

The Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus is a group of specialized cells in the lower central part of the brain and is the main link between the endocrine system and the nervous system. It helps to regulate your appetite, body temperature and metabolism. Nerve cells in the Hypothalamus control the Pituitary Gland by secreting ‘releasing’ hormones that are designed to tell the pituitary gland whether to make more of a certain hormone or make less of it. It basically controls the amount of hormones the pituitary gland produces.

The Pituitary Gland

Although it’s controlled by the hypothalamus, the pituitary glad is often called the ‘master gland’ because it makes hormones that control several other endocrine glands such as the Thyroid, Adrenals, and Reproduction Glands. It’s located just beneath the hypothalamus at the base of the brain and is about the size of a pea.

The production and secretion of hormones by the pituitary gland can be influenced by things such as your emotions, feelings, environment and changes in the season. This is because the hypothalamus will send information from the brain about things such as feelings, light exposure pattens, environment, temperature etc to the pituitary gland.

Some of the main hormones produced and secreted by the Pituitary Gland:

Growth hormone – stimulates growth of bone and tissue.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones (A lack of thyroid hormones either because of a defect in the pituitary or the thyroid itself is called hypothyroidism.)
Adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) – stimulates the adrenal gland to produce several related steroid hormones
Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – hormones that control sexual function and production of the sex steroids, estrogen and progesterone in females or testosterone in males
Prolactin – hormone that stimulates milk production in females
Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones (called thyroxine and triiodothyronine) which regulates your metabolism by controlling the rate at which you burn fuels from foods to produce energy. They are also important for brain and nervous system developments and the growth of your bones. They also help maintain normal blood pressure, muscle tone, heart rate, reproductive functions, and digestion.

Parathyroid Glands

The Parathyroid glands are 2 pairs of tiny glands embedded in the surface of the thyroid gland (one pair each side). They work together to release parathyroid hormone which regulates the level of calcium there is in the blood and bone metabolism.

Adrenal Glands

These are two triangular glands located on the top of each of your kidneys. The adrenal glands have two parts; an inner and an outer part. These 2 parts produce different sets of hormones, and each has a different function.

1) Outer Part (Adrenal Cortex) – produces steroid hormones called corticosteroids that regulate salt and water balance in the body, the body’s response to stress (fight or flight response), metabolism, the immune system, and sexual development and function.

Mineralocorticoids – they maintain electrolyte balance. These are hormones such as Aldosterone.
Glucocorticoids – they produce a long-term, slow response to stress by raising blood glucose levels through the breakdown of fats and proteins; they also suppress the immune response and inhibit the inflammatory response. These are hormones such as Cortisol.
Sex Hormones – such as Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen. These are all produced by the adrenal glands in both males and female (smaller amounts of progesterone and estrogen in males and smaller amounts of testosterone in females).
2) Inner Part (Adrenal Medulla) – produces amine hormones called catecholamines, these are; epinephrine (also called adrenaline) and norepinephrine which help the body to deal with stress.

Pineal Gland

The pineal gland is in the middle of the brain and secretes melatonin that helps to regulate your sleep cycle.

Reproductive Glands

These glands are the testes in males and the ovaries in females, and are the main sources for sex hormones. The testes produce androgens and control the development of male characteristics and the ovaries produce estrogens and progesterone that control the development of female characteristics.

The Pancreas

One part of the pancreas (the exocrine pancreas) secretes digestive enzymes while the other part of the pancreas (the endocrine pancreas) secretes 2 hormones that regulate your blood sugar levels; Insulin which is released to help bring down blood sugar levels (by telling cells to take up glucose (sugar), and Glucagon which releases glucose back into the blood when blood sugar levels get too low.

Hormones

Here are some of the main hormones that I’m going to talk about in this series and how they influence your overall health and in particular your acne.

Progesterone – opposes estrogen, allows for gestation of a child, protects against cancer, progesterone is used to make testosterone and estrogen.

Testosterone – dominant male hormone (but also present in females), opposes estrogen, protects against cancer, associated with will power and physical strength.

Estrogen – regulates healthy metabolism, opposes progesterone and testosterone, increases cell growth rates, initiates weight gain.

DHEA – protects against cancer, improves memory, improves immune system, lowers body fat, increases muscle mass, protects the brain.

DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) – Testosterone can be converted into another androgen called DHT. This is a potent form of testosterone that is responsible for male secondary sexual characteristics like deepening of voice, facial and body hair, oily skin, sex drive and function. This form of testosterone is the most closely related to hormonal acne that’s the cause of ’excess androgens’.

Cortisol – mood hormone, helps us adapt to stress, stimulates appetite, improves digestion, stimulates brain, muscles, circulatory system and lungs, fights leukemia and lumphomas.

Insulin – is a hormone produces by the pancreas that regulates your blood sugar levels. It helps to do this by causing cells in the liver, fat tissue and muscles to take up glucose (sugar) when your blood sugar levels are too high (such as after you’ve eaten).

Vitamin D – is a hormone, not a vitamin, activates 10% of our healing genes, increases bone density, improves immunity, fights cancer, improves mood.

How Are Hormones Made?

All of these Steroid hormones mentioned above are made from Cholesterol. All hormones have pregnenolone and progesterone as basic precursors. The diagram below shows how hormones are all made from (good) cholesterol. Some of the hormones in this pathway can be converted into others, and some can convert back, while others cannot.

Why is this important for acne sufferers?

Learning about your hormones and your body is really helpful for people with hormonal acne because you will have a better understand of what your body needs and how to clear your acne. You don’t have to know too much of the ‘science’ behind it all, but a basic understanding is enough to often come up with a solution that’s right for you and your body. If you feel overwhelmed and confused by your hormonal acne, learning about it and ‘demystifying’ it will help you to feel more confident and positive about how you can get healthy again and clear your skin for good.

Apple Cider Vinegar & it’s Benefits

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Apple cider vinegar is my new obsession. I recently began taking apple cider vinegar shots a few times a day for a quick and effective energy burst. However, I’ve since discovered so many other useful ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar (ACV) into my daily routine.

It’s effective for pretty much anything—your skin, your hair, your house, and even your pets can benefit from its qualities. Raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized, apple cider vinegar is so much more than a salad dressing!

1. Apple cider vinegar can detoxify your home.

It’s made from apple juice and is fermented to hard apple cider. It’s then fermented a second time to become apple cider vinegar. By using ACV in lieu of other products, we instantly decrease the consumption of unnatural chemicals in our homes and daily lives.

2. It can make your hair shine.

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a rinse for your hair after shampooing, and will boost your hair’s body and shine. I recommend recycling an old shampoo bottle, then filling it with 1/2 a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water. Pour the solution through your hair after shampooing several times a week for dramatic results.

3. Natural apple cider vinegar regulates the pH of your skin.

Dilute ACV with two parts water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball to replace your current toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. A dab of apple cider vinegar can also be left on the skin overnight to fade age spots or acne scars.

It’s also a recommended agent for warts. For warts, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, then fasten the cotton ball over the wart with a Band-Aid overnight. The skin may swell some as it reacts with the solution. However, the wart will fall off. Once it falls off, the treatment should be continued for a few more days, to make sure the wart doesn’t return.

4. It can remove stains from teeth.

Rub teeth directly with apple cider vinegar, and rinse with water.

5. It can soothe sunburnt skin.

Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath, and soak for 10 minutes to eliminate discomfort from sunburn.

6. Apple cider vinegar can be used as a natural aftershave.

Fill a bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and shake before applying to the face.

7. It’s an all-natural massage treatment.

Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your hands and feet will give massage-like benefits and relief to tired hands and feet.

8. Apple cider vinegar can aid in weight loss.

For daily weight management, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 16 ounces of water. This concoction can be sipped throughout the day. Data shows some limited, yet significant, weight loss benefits from sustained daily intake of acetic acid (which is a main ingredient in apple cider vinegar).

In a 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, it was found that subjects that consumed acetic acid for 12 weeks experienced significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides. Triglycerides contribute to the bad cholesterol that we want to avoid.

9. Apple cider vinegar will balance your entire inner body system.

The body constantly strives to achieve a state of equilibrium. Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Research shows that higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy and higher incidences of infection. Hence, my desire to sip some a few times a day for a natural boost of energy.

10. It can help you detox.

As part of balancing the body’s pH, apple cider vinegar creates an overall detoxification of the body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver.

11. ACV is great for your lymphatic system.

This miracle vinegar helps to break up mucous throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes. Believe it or not, research suggests that apple cider vinegar can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucous and sinus congestion. When reducing the effects of allergies, it can also help stave off sinus infections and their related symptoms, such as sore throats and headaches.

12. It can help your body get rid of candida.

This vinegar is rich in natural enzymes that can help rid your body of candida—yeasts that are attributed to thrush in humans. Candida also is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.

13. ACV can help you reduce heartburn.

Though it might seem like an oxymoron to treat stomach acid with an acid-containing vinegar, there is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar works by correcting low acid, hence reducing heartburn. Natural remedy experts say you should begin to feel relief very shortly after taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar followed by a glass of water. Note that apple cider vinegar will not give relief if you have an ulcer.

14. The use of apple cider vinegar is effective in repelling fleas on your pets.

One part vinegar and one part water can be sprayed on your pets fur and rubbed in generously to the skin. Saturate the entire coat, and continue every day for a few days to a week. Any flea infestation will surely be gone.

15. It’s an all-natural room freshener.

Apple cider vinegar will clean your toilets and leave your bathroom smelling like apples! Just pour apple cider vinegar into the toilet, and allow it to sit overnight. It can also be used in dishwashers as a substitute for dish detergent. Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water, and you can use this solution to clean microwaves, kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses and mirrors, too.

As you can see, apple cider vinegar is a miracle product that cab be used in a multitude of ways. I highly recommend its use!