The Importance of Proper Cleansing

Beautiful Skin requires commitment,not a miracle...

Let’s be honest. Sometimes cleansing at night is a real chore. You’re tired after a long day, your partner’s already cozied up in bed {because he shampooed his entire head in the shower ~ yes, that’s a thing}, & there’s a distinct possibility that if you close your eyes to remove the mascara, you might just fall asleep right there in front of the sink {like you already did trying to get your kids to sleep}. I understand, I do. I feel it. The struggle is so real, but, my friends, the difference it will make to your skin is so worth it!

We all want that fresh, dewy skin that doesn’t require foundation or concealer to be presentable. Wouldn’t you love to face the world in nothing but SPF moisturizer & a lick of mascara? The only way to achieve that is by committing to a solid, effective skin care routine, & the foundation of any solid, effective skin care routine is proper cleansing, for your skin type, morning & night.

Yes. Morning & night. Single cleanse in the morning, double cleanse at night.

I hear you asking {as many clients have done} why do I need to cleanse in the morning? The miracle that is the human body, with the help of circadian rhythms, uses the time that we are in deep, restful sleep to regenerate & repair itself. This produces a lot of cellular waste & biological debris, which, in part, is excreted through the skin. So, there it is resting on the surface of our skin waiting, if we don’t cleanse, to be locked under a layer of make up. The make up that we are using to cover up the dull, lackluster skin that is the result of said overnight activities… How’s that for a vicious cycle? A quick cleanse {some brightening Vitamin C, hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, topped off with moisturizer and SPF} instantly provides visible radiance & improves the overall health of your skin.

Obviously, in the evening we want to remove any make up we have worn through the day, but did you know that our dutiful skin, as our first line of defense, has spent the day deflecting & absorbing bacteria, allergens & all manner of pollutants? So even if you are not wearing make up, a double cleanse is a definite must for a solid, effective skin care routine.

As a first cleanse, my go-to is an oil based cleanser. It sounds crazy, I know. Most people, particularly those with oily skins, actively try to avoid putting oil on their skins. Let me tell you though, there are benefits to all skin types when an oil based cleanser is used.

Oil is the most effective & gentle means of breaking down oil. So, my oily skinned friends, oil based cleansers will melt down any make up {which are almost always oil based themselves}, remove that oily build up on the surface of your skin that has been collecting through the day &, he’s the kicker, if you suffer congestion, blackheads or clogged pores the oil based cleanser will help to soften & breakdown the impactions, either for ease of extraction, or as a more gentle means of eradicating them over a longer period of time.

For those with dry skins, oil based cleansers are a beautiful way to begin the softening and nourishing process {as well as being a gentle way to remove make up}. Oil is an essential part of a healthy skin. Skin NEEDS oil to protect itself & hold in moisture, & being a dry skin myself, there’s something very comforting & soothing about my oily first cleanse each night. {& dry skins are not immune to congestion, blackheads or clogged pores, either!}

Your second cleanse is to actually cleanse your skin. With your make up gone, your precious skin now needs to be cleansed more specifically. This is where your skin type appropriate cleanser comes in ~ usually the same cleanser you use in the mornings. Dry skins will like a creamy cleanser, or a foaming cleanser that is still rich and not stripping of oils. Oily skins will prefer a gel or foaming cleanser.

The best way to tell a cleanser that will work for your skin is how your skin feels after you’ve cleansed. If you feel like you MUST put your moisturizer on directly after cleansing, then it’s taking too much oil from your skin. Your skin should feel comfortable & like it doesn’t need moisturizer {even though you will apply your serums & cream}. A skin that is hungry for moisturizer does not receive the full treatment benefits of the moisturizer. The cream is merely correcting what the cleanser has done to your skin. You just won’t see any improvements with this continual back & forth pattern.

Similarly, an oily skin will require a cleanser that is able to effectively remove excess oil. A creamy cleanser will only weigh the skin down & cause lotions and creams to not penetrate correctly ~ which renders them useless. Not to mention the fact that it could lead to more breakouts by trapping oil in the pore.

Another point worth mentioning is that Toners should not be used as a part of your cleansing routine. Toners have a specific function ~ they correct the pH of your skin so that it will accept the active ingredients in your treatment serums & moisturizer most readily. These days, because many cleansers are pH balanced, they are also a means of delivering extra hydration to the skin aiding your skin’s ability to utilize those active ingredients. Seeing make up or ‘dirt’ on the cotton pad you tone with is a sign that your cleansing was not adequate. {Tsk, Tsk,Tsk.}

In the next post, I’ll talk about exfoliation, another preparatory phase of our solid, effective skin care routine!

 

 

The Mysterious Acid Mantle…

Our Acid Mantle is a delicately balanced mixture of sweat, oil, and our Natural Moisturisation Factor {NMF; which is basically hyaluronic acid}. Sometimes called the Hydrolipic Film, it sits on the surface of our skin and is produced by the skin itself. Each component provides a crucial action in protecting our skin.

The primary function of the Acid Mantle is protection. It protects our skin from outside aggressors like bacteria and toxins from entering the skin and inhibits active ingredients from penetrating too deeply. Our Acid Mantle also protects our skin from dehydration, by locking in and preventing evaporation of much needed moisture. The Acid Mantle preserves the integrity and homeostasis of our skin’s ecosystem.

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The Acid Mantle has a slightly acidic pH {Big surprise there, right?}. Most skins sit between 5.4 and 6.2 on the pH scale, but can be more alkaline {as per a more sensitive skin} or more acidic {as in the case of an oilier skin} .

Professional skin care, recommended by a licensed Skin Care Professional, is created to leave the skin pH balanced. pH balanced skin is able to maintain the Acid Mantle and protect and nurture itself accordingly. Certain products {eg peels} work on a lower pH to affect a better result. However, subsequent products in your treatment will bring the pH back to it’s correct level to reinstate the precious Acid Mantle.

Some products in our daily routines, if not suited to our skin types, can throw the pH out of balance. This is a problem, especially if we use them regularly and for an extended period of time. If we have a dry skin type and use a foaming cleanser {Or soaps, yes, even Dove with 1/4 moisturizer, which are notorious for depleting the Acid Mantle} designed for an oily skin the result is that too much oil {which is already in short supply} is removed. This causes the delicate ratio/pH of the Acid Mantle to be out of balance. So our skin is now  unable to protect itself effectively. Active ingredients and aggressors are able to penetrate the skin more deeply, which can lead to sensitivities and reactions. Flakiness, inflammation, redness, itchiness, tightness are all possible signs of a depleted Acid Mantle and, more than likely, a sensitized skin.

All too often clients who perceive their skin to be sensitive actually have a sensitized skinThe skincare they are using has compromised their Acid Mantle. {This isn’t to say that true sensitive skins don’t exist though. They do, and should be treated accordingly.}

And don’t forget an over-abundance of oil can be a sign of a weakened Acid Mantle also. Your skin is very clever. I know clients with Oily Skins love that squeaky clean feeling, but if you are taking away too much oil, your super smart skin, knowing that it needs oil to protect itself and hold in moisture, will overcompensate and produce excess oil a few hours later. {Ever get an oily shine around midday or mid afternoon?} This excess oil can lead to impaired barrier function, which means aggressors and bacteria can penetrate the skin. This can result in breakouts, flakiness and  sensitized skin, too.

Sensitized skins can be remedied quite quickly by starting on a regime that is appropriate for your skin type. Starting a regime that is suited to a sensitive skin can ease the transition in some cases. More than likely your next collection of products will not be for a sensitive skin! Your skin will be stronger and able to protect itself!

I hope this helps to solve some skin mysteries! Of course, the best situation if you are having skin issues is to contact a SkinCare Specialist and schedule for a consultation or Skin Analysis. Call me if you need some help!

What’s So Important About Your Skin?

Did you know your skin is the largest organ in {or should that be on?} your body? Did you know that it’s not just there to hold all the other ‘stuff’ in?

Your skin has 7 very important functions that no other body part can do. Your skin is pretty busy stuff…

  1. Your skin protects the rest of you. It’s your armor. It’s your body’s frontline against damaging UV rays, against dehydration, against microorganisms and bacteria and against physical injury. Without your skin you’d potentially be a walking war zone.
  2. Sensation. The good and the bad ~ your skin feels it. Heat and cold, pressure and pain. Whatever you touch or feel your skin tells your brain about to further protect you or to release your happy hormones.
  3. Your skin flexes and stretches {and springs back, if required} to allow for movement and for growth. It can heal itself in the case of injury so that it can continue to move and grow with you.
  4. Sweat… kind of icky, but for a good cause. Sweating is so important to the health of your body. Your skin excretes sweat through sudiferous glands to rid your body of toxins and cellular waste. This adds to your body’s health and reduces water retention and toxic build up.
  5.  In conjunction with the sun, your skin produces Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your bones and teeth absorb calcium so they’re strong and supportive, reduces depression, boosts your immune system and has even been seen to improve healthy weightloss results.
  6. Your skin is your immune system’s first line of defense against germs, disease and illness. Specialized cells in your skin seek and destroy potential threats to your health.
  7. Your skin regulates the temperature of your body either through sweating {Hey! It’s pretty handy stuff!} to cool you or by triggering the muscle attached to your hair follicle (goose bumps) to puff up your hair and create heat and insulation {which worked much better for our hairier ancestors…} Your skin also controls circulation of blood to certain areas of the body {close to organs first} to provide warmth.

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So, your skin is a very valuable asset. One that should be nurtured and protected. And even though it actually has it’s very own protective function {called the Acid Mantle}, some of the things we do to our skin can break down those defenses depleting it’s health, vitality and capabilities.

In the next post, I’ll explain how the Acid Mantle works and how to avoid disrupting it.

Professionally Recommended versus Over-The-Counter Skincare Products

Part of what I would like to accomplish through the BLOOM Blog is to educate you on the importance of skincare and to breakdown the different types of products and their specific uses and benefits. Before I do that though, I think its important to clarify the difference between Professionally Recommended{PR} Skincare and Over-The-Counter{OTC} products.

First, let’s be clear on the definition of the two. Professionally Recommended products are those that are offered by a licensed Skincare Professional. A licensed SkinCare Professional has studied the skin, been trained in how to assess the skin and the effects certain ingredients and applications will have on the skin. They are educated on the characteristics of the different skin types and on the many and varied skin conditions which may be present. SkinCare Professionals assess your skin by touching and looking at you skin and by asking in-depth questions about your skin’s history before recommending any product or treatment. They have trained, studied and passed exams which allow them to practice skin assessments, skincare treatments and to recommend skincare products. They KNOW skin and they’re passionate about it.

An OTC is a product that is widely available to anyone. You can purchase it at a drugstore, the grocery store, a department store or even through your next door neighbor.

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Perhaps the biggest factor affecting the quality and efficacy of skincare is the law. By law, OTCs are not permitted to contain the same percentages of active ingredients as PRs. Of course, the reasoning behind this is to ensure public safety. If it’s a product that can be purchased without professional guidance, the powers that be need to be confident that these products can cause no harm. So, while a product says that it contains retinol it may not be at the same percentage as is in PR products, or there may be other ingredients in the product that buffer or soften the retinol’s effects. Also, the pH level of the product can affect the retinol’s ability to penetrate the skin.

On the flip side, PR’s are permitted the higher percentages of active ingredients, and the pH levels that allow for deeper penetration. What does this mean to your skin? You will see better results at a faster rate. It also means that you need to apply less product, which in many cases means that your products last you a longer period of time.

Another factor worth considering is that OTCs are produced in mass quantities. Millions of units are distributed throughout the US and around the world. In an effort to reduce the cost of manufacture, these companies add ingredients that extend the quantity of the product, but add no real value. These ingredients are often called ‘fillers’. In effect, fillers further dilute the performance of the product, leading you to require more product in order to see results. So while you feel like you are spending less, you may actually be purchasing your skincare much more often.

PRs are produced in much smaller batches and are distributed to a smaller number of outlets, usually {and preferably} only available to licensed professionals. This means that they can concentrate on ingredients that carry benefit to the skin and maximize the potency of the product. They also are more conscious of the quality of the ingredients they incorporate, being ever more careful to avoid those ingredients considered to be harmful. {We’ll discuss this in more detail in a future post.}

Of course, the added advantage of having your skincare recommended by a licensed Skincare Professional is that your skin has been assessed and you have been offered a skincare program that is appropriate for YOUR skin type and targeted for YOUR skin’s conditions and needs. In addition, you then have a point of contact, in the form of an actual, real, live person, who is well educated, in the event that a product stops working for you {your skin does evolve, and as conditions are corrected, your skin’s needs may change}, you have an allergic or adverse reaction {which can and does happen} or you are in need of advice regarding professional skincare treatments.

 

What can you expect from BLOOM’s skincare?

Being that BLOOM’s focus is on the health, balance and well being of you and your skin you can rest assured that any skincare products or treatments offered by BLOOM will be genuinely safe and highly effective.

The Skincare Industry, in the past few years has experienced somewhat of a ‘Deep Cleanse’ in terms of ingredients. Companies are now more conscious of the ingredients they are allowing into their products. I personally feel it my responsibility to provide high quality, results-driven skincare and treatments that take into the utmost consideration the health and safety of their, and my, clients.

I am currently researching a new product line to add to the BLOOM selection. As soon as I know more information I will share it right here on the BLOOM Blog!