Archives for category: freckles

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  1. Cleanse your skin, especially at night. This removes makeup and environmental particles that cause premature aging.  Dirt particles caused from pollution are 20 times smaller than the diameter of the skin’s pores.
  2. Use a toner to remove excess residue that is left behind.
  3. Use a quality moisturizer to create a barrier between your skin and pollutants. Ones with lanolin, niacinamide or beeswax help from skin penetration.
  4. Wear long sleeved shirts while exposed to pollution for long periods of time.
  5. Avoid driving during rush hour, more cars equal more pollution exposure.
  6. Wear a filtered mask where pollution is extreme.
  7. Use antioxidant topical treatments, or ones high in Vitamins C and E. Regardless of the source of the free radicals, antioxidants will neutralize them.
  8. Eat antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, tomatoes and leafy greens. These combat free radical damage.
  9. Use scrubs and peels only occasionally. They can wear away the skin’s protective barrier and allow free radicals to penetrate the skin.
  10. A good quality mineral makeup will help shield your skin and act as a mask to help trap some dangerous particles from entering your skin.
  11. Use a sunscreen with at least a 25 SPF.
  12. Make sure the sunscreen is broad spectrum, coving both UVA and UVB rays.
  13. Use sunscreen every morning, even in the winter and even when it isn’t sunny.
  14. Wear a hat and sunglasses when out in the sun.
  15. Drink a lot of water! Keep skin cells hydrated and increases cell production.
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What’s Up with Freckles Anyway?

Have you ever stared into the mirror and wondered why your face and arms are covered with freckles? Depending on your skin type and sun exposure, the number of freckles may increase every year. If you are frustrated with the freckles and looking for ways to reduce their appearance, there may be options available for you to try!

First, the biology!

A freckle is a cluster of concentrated melanin and they are most visible on people with fair skin. Although a freckle can appear on anyone, they are genetic and are an inherited trait. The formation of freckles is triggered by exposure to sunlight. Freckles are also referred to as “ephelis”.

Social & Psychological
Some people consider freckles to be cute but others view them as an embarassment. The fact is that no one likes looking different from their friends and freckles can really make you stand out in a crowd. Freckles, although naturally occuring, can make children and teens feel different from their friends and perhaps even unattractive.

Where do freckles form?

Many people develop freckles in the areas most commonly exposed to the sun. The face including the nose and cheeks are usually the first to form patches of freckles. Other areas of the body such as the hands, back and arms may begin to develop freckles as exposure to sun and age increase. Freckles rarely form in fold areas of the body such as the armpits.

Are they dangerous?

It is easy to become concerned that spots on the skin may be a signal of another underlying condition. Freckles are not a skin disorder that requires treatment. They are a result of a lower concentration of photoprotective melanin in the skin and increased susceptibility to the damaging effects of UV radiation.

NOTE: It is important to consult with a dermatologist to determine if any new brown spots that form on your skin are dangerous or not. Skin conditions (such as skin cancer) may reveal themselves as new or irregular spots on the skin and should not be ignored. Consult with a doctor if you have any concerns.

Types and Appearance

Ephelides (simple freckles) are typically flat, round and light tan or brown. They appear most commonly on fair skinned people although they can appear on other skin types. Although the color and appearance of freckles tend to be uniform from person to person, colors may vary from reddish to yellow or even black. Most freckles are no larger than the head of an average nail.

Sunburn freckles are the result of increased exposure to the sun and burning of the skin. These will be much larger than their every day counterparts in that they are larger and have irregular borders. They appear most commonly on the back and arms (areas of the body more prone to overexposure).

How to Minimize the Appearance

Some freckles may gradually decrease in appearance over time. This is especially true during the colder months when exposure to the sun is minimized. Many people have freckles that just stay the same in appearance all year round. Minimizing the appearance of these can be a time consuming and frustrating process.

A skin lightener can be effective choice for helping to counter act the effects of hyperpigmentation in the skin. Skin lighteners decrease the appearance of brown spots of the skin to more closely match the surrounding coloration. Although these will not make freckles (or moles) disappear, they may greatly decrease their appearance.

Note: Some products may contain ingredients that can cause harm with extended use. Consult with an esthetician or dermatologist for recommendations if you are unsure or need additional information.

Prevention

Learning to prevent freckles from ever occurring is the best defense. Start by taking small steps:
Wear sunscreen (at least SPF30) daily – even in the winter!
Minimize exposure to the sun and tanning (especially burning)
Protect the skin by covering it up and wearing a brimmed hat

By taking these simple steps you may begin to see your freckles fade naturally over time. Remember that proper skin care takes dedication and determination but is achievable over time.

Here at Bellanina we receive messages every day from women (and men!) looking for ways to look and feel better about themselves. The most common complaint we receive is just looking “tired” and “worn”. It seems that this New Year is the perfect opportunity to invite people to try something new and different, shake up their routine and not accept aging gracefully. After all, your age is just a number and at Bellanina we think people only improve with age.

Start by taking command. Look into the mirror after a shower and before you apply any make up or lotions. Really look at your skin and ask yourself, “What do I want to change?” Are you looking for smoother skin? Do you hate the sight of lines around your eyes or mouth? Or do you just want to feel and looked refreshed?

It is important to take this step because in order to truly take control, you must take action with this first step.

By being honest with yourself and your goals, it will be easier to target the best way to achieve them. Most people can’t afford or do not want to pursue drastic and invasive medical procedures (such as plastic surgery) and at Bellanina, we don’t think you should have to do this at all. With proper skin care and the right products, smoother and younger looking skin is not just a dream. It is a reality we can all have for our own.

Here is a simple checklist of areas to consider:

1) Eyes: Are there fine lines beginning to form around the corners or lids? This could be from squinting or rubbing this area. The tissue around the eyes is especially fragile and can be easily damaged or show premature signs of aging.

2) Mouth: As we get older the expressions we hold our faces in most often will eventually develop into lines around the face. “Laugh” or “frown” lines are especially common once people reach their mid thirties. This can be caused by a reduced elasticity in the skin and lowered collagen production.

3) Neck: As the skin begins to lose elasticity it can begin to “droop” in certain areas, especially the neck and chin.

4) Hands: The most overused and abused area of the body. Your hands are exposed to chemicals, weather, water, bacteria and all sorts of germs that can affect how their appearance. Lines, dryness and flaking are all common culprits of “old” looking hands.

5) Thighs and Stomach: At any age a common skin problem is cellulite. Small “dimpling” of the skin that can lead to a cottage cheese appearance. This can be minimized with corrective skin care products.

6) Uneven Skin Tone/Pigmentation: Brown spots, freckles or even patches of skin that don’t match your overall coloring can be minimized. If you have been living with these common issues but unsure of how to deal with them, take charge this year!

7) Facial/Body Acne: Blemishes can be an irritating and ongoing struggle. Don’t let this problem go on for another day!

We invite everyone to contact us and let us help you achieve your goals this year. Our highly trained staff welcomes questions and will help you design a daily routine that will reduce fine lines, smooth skin and replenish lost moisture. By taking the time to incorporate this into your morning routine you will begin to see the results faster than you can imagine.

So contact us today and let us help you achieve your New Year’s resolution! E-mail us your questions at operations@bellanina.com to receive expert advice on how to achieve your skin care goals in 2011!

Walking through an average cosmetic or health care aisle can be a wild adventure as well as an educational experience. The shelves are lined with mysterious concoctions, all claiming to be the miracle cure for your skin. These special brews come complete with fancy containers, shiny labels and seven syllable words to boggle your mind. Venture closer to these magic elixirs and notice the fine print:

Normal skin
Dry Skin
Oily Skin
Sensitive Skin
Combination

You feel your fingers moving up to your cheek as you wonder; what skin type am I? What if I have sensitive skin and just don’t know it? Does one dry patch mean I need dry skin care? Will products meant for oily skin completely ruin my face?

The list of questions can go on and on with no end in sight until you realize that you can come to this mysterious world armed with knowledge and ready to go to battle. Choose wisely and you will benefit greatly from your decision. Choose poorly and you will need to return and choose again.

Normal Skin

First of all remove “normal” and insert “average”. People with other skin types are not “abnormal” and should not feel as such. Millions of people have each skin type listed and there are products specially targeted for each type.

A product labeled “normal skin” is intended for use on healthy, hydrated, even toned skin with small pores and no history of irritation from skin care products. The skin retains good elasticity, good complexion and there are no blemishes.

Most “normal skin” targeted products can be used on all skin types but may not produced treatment effects for certain skin issues.

Oily Skin

Perhaps one of the more dreaded skin types to have because of the negative connotations associated with it and potential self consciousness it can create. The result of overactive sebaceous (oil-producing) glands, this skin type can appear quite shiny, feel slightly greasy to the touch and is prone to acne and enlarged pores.

Products targeted for this skin type typically contain ingredients meant to cleanse the pores, exfoliate the skin and remove the excess oil and grime build up. These products would not be very beneficial for people with dry skin.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can be the result of genetics, the environment, exposure to chemicals and a variety of other causes. Dry skin is trademarked by tiny pores, flaky or ashy texture, fine lines and wrinkles and/or cracked skin.

Products for dry skin focus on re-hydrating the skin cells and stimulating healthy skin cells to develop. Many products will contain fat-soluble ingredients that penetrate the skin’s outer layer to reach the interior layers to replenish moisture from within. Exfoliants are used to shed away dead skin cells build up and reduce flaky texture.

Combination

As the name suggests, this skin type is a combination of the three above. Meaning it is possible (and frequent) to have normal skin with an oily “t-zone” which is the bridge of the nose and forehead. Perhaps dry lips with normal skin or dry forehead but the rest of your face is normal.

This skin type generally uses spot specific treatments to correct problem areas and “normal skin” care products for the rest of the face. This could include blemish control for oily areas if needed, masques for application on the t-zone, special creams for the eyes or lips, etc. Consult with an esthetician or dermatologist if you need more help creating an effective skin care routine.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is very typically dry and very reactive to heat, cold and any substances used on it. That can include all skin products, hair products and chemicals. Irritation may include rash, hives, itching, redness and swelling.

These skin care products are specially designed to omit using chemicals known to irritate sensitive skin but cannot be guaranteed. People with especially reactive skin should always consult with a doctor before beginning any new skin care treatment. Discontinue use of products at the first sign of negative reaction and take precaution by always wearing sun block to protect the sensitive tissue.

Final Thoughts

Have you figured out where you’re at yet and what to buy? Don’t be ashamed if you don’t have “normal skin” because the truth of the matter is, most people don’t. Focus on what problem areas you would like to focus on and choose a skin care routine that will be easy to maintain long term. The most important issue in skin care is persistence and maintenance. You must follow your individual plan every day and stick with it for your entire life. That is not meant to sound like a prison sentence, merely a reminder that skin care is not something you can do occasionally and expect to see real results.

How many times in life do we go into a store looking for skin care solutions and end up leaving dazed and confused by which product works best? Walk down the beauty aisle at your local pharmacy and you will literally be bombarded with hundreds of products all promising you fast and effective results. With all this information being thrown your way, it is easy to get a little lost and certainly not be sure which product is really the one you need.

Before you run away and hide under the covers, try to re-evaluate your needs and shop smarter. Do your homework before choosing any new skin care products, research the key ingredients and learn about the efficacy (effectiveness) of the key ingredients from an independent source rather than from manufacturer claims. By utilizing the web to your advantage you can research product reviews from actual consumers and get the real “dirt” on popular name brand items before making an investment of your time, money and skin care health.

Once you have taken the steps towards better skin care knowledge its time to buckle down and make a choice. Skin care products can range from generic brands costing only a few dollars for massive quantities to high end merchandise costing hundreds of dollars for only an ounce. While the generic brand tub of lotion may seem like a great deal at first glance take a moment to consider the alternatives. If you are looking for potent skin care, you’re not going to find the results you want in the massive gallon of lotion on discount for $1.99 next to the candy bars. Step away from the sale and move on in your search.

The best plan of attack when it comes time to update your skin care routine is search for products available in small sample sized containers. This can come in the form of travel sized options (usually 2 ounces or less) or small foils packets (sometimes just referred to as foils). Many companies offer sample sets of products that are designed to be used together – these cost significantly less than their full sized counterparts and give you the opportunity to try a product without being commitment to an entire bottle. In these somewhat difficult financial times nothing hurts worse than buying something that turns out to be a dud.

When to invest…

Once you have tested a product and feel it is a good match for your needs, make the investment (even if it means spending a little more) and buy a 4 to 8 ounce container. Several skin care products are specially formulated to provide drastic results over time (sometimes upwards of six months) so don’t give up on a product that doesn’t transform your entire face overnight. Whether you are performing preventative skin care (always a good strategy) or trying to reverse damage (like fine line and wrinkles), the skin needs time to adapt and change. By trying to rush the process you could actually risk hurting your skin instead of helping it.

Depending on the recommended usage and quantity needed, 4 to 8 ounces is a relatively safe choice for your initial purchase and should last long enough for you to begin seeing results before needing to reorder. Buying in bulk may not be the wisest decision because skin care products, once opened, do have a shelf life. Depending on the product this can range from 3 months to a year (on average). Check with the manufacturer for details if you need more information on a particular product.

Time to Review!

So what do you need to remember next time you hit the drug store to find a new skin care cream to take care of those pesky crow’s feet?

Start Small and Do Your Research!

Skin care isn’t rocket science but it is an art to be mastered. Mistakes will happen but you can avoid wasting serious time and money by shopping smarter!

The development of uneven skin tones during middle age leads many consumers to seek out skin lighteners or brighteners as a solution. Commonly seen as a sign of aging, the formation of brown age spots has been associated with poor health in addition to being considered unsightly. Clear and even skin tones are seen as the epitome of youth and health so trying to recapture that look is considered to be a reasonable approach to this problem.

Uneven skin coloration is not a problem that is strictly associated with old age however and many people combat hyperpigmentation throughout their entire lives. By learning more about your skin and proper skin care treatments, you can make informed decisions as a consumer. Beginning with the most basic information: your skin color is determined by the amount of melanin present in your skin. There are two main determinants of your skin coloring and they are constitutive and facultative.

Constitutive skin color is determined by genetics and heredity. Facultative skin color is the result of sunlight, the environment and hormones – factors beyond genetics that impact the appearance of our skin color and can change over time. By developing a clear understanding of why your skin’s appearance is changing, you can develop a plan to reverse the damage and prevent further occurrences.

Hyperpigmentation is a factor of facultative skin color issues – this could be exposure to UV radiation, prescription drug use, pregnancy, etc. Outside influences that alter our skin’s appearance and cause discolored “spots” to form. Age or liver spots (lentigines) are flat discolorations on the skin and they are usually harmless. These are different from freckles (ephilides) which are typically flat and appear as a result of sun exposure – these will typically fade during the winter (although this is not always the case for extremely pale skinned people).

Treatment options for hyperpigmentation have sparked a variety of debates or the past few decades. The most effective treatments are skin lighteners containing the active ingredient hydroquinone (in concentrations up to 2%). There are concerns however about possible safety risks because as much as one third of the population may be allergic to hydroquinone. There is also studies that suggest it is an extreme sensitizer and cause more skin conditions (including hyperpigmentation) to develop after use. Although the FDA has considered banning the use of hydroquinone because of these possible complications, they have not done so yet and it is available in many over the counter products.

Because of these issues there are some steps you can take when using a product containing hydroquinone including always wearing sun block when going outside. Your skin will be especially sensitive to environmental influences and proper precautions should always be taken. Follow all instructions with any product and contact your physician immediately if you notice any type of adverse reaction.

Alternative skin lighteners are available that do not contain hydroquinone. This is a great choice for mature or sensitive skin because there is a lower risk of negative reactions to treatment. These skin lighteners may take longer to show results but can have longer term results than their more potent counter parts containing hydroquinone. Just a thought for those who may be seeking long term solutions and don’t mind waiting a little longer.

Many people consider hyperpigmentation to be an unattractive development on their skin and will take many extreme measures to reverse this problem. Keep in mind that most skin discolorations are generally harmless and treatments should be used as directed and not overused. Research any skin lightener or brightener carefully before use and test it on a small area of your skin before applying to a larger area such as your face. Remember that skin irritations are a common side effect when using any new skin care product and it is better to err on the side of caution by testing new products first.

Final thought: although there are many skin lighteners available on the market today the best option is prevention, not intervention. Try to always use sun block when going outside and cover your skin appropriately. It is much simpler (and more cost effective) to stop the problem before it starts. If you have lighter skin naturally, freckles and spots may continue to be a problem even after treatment because of the skins natural reaction against the environment to protect itself. Keep your skin healthy and happy by taking care of it and if possible, don’t sweat the small spots.

🙂