Archives for category: salicylic

cream-3521957_1920

The most popular active ingredients used in today’s skin care products.

There are so many ingredients used in skin care it’s hard to keep track and up to date.  This is a comprehensive introduction of a 14 part series of the most frequently used active ingredients.  In each of the following parts there will be a detailed explanation of the ingredients below; what they are, where they come from and what their benefits are.

The Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A (Retinols):  Vitamin A is an extremely effective ingredient for anti-aging, helping diminish fine lines and wrinkles, significantly improving uneven skin tone, smoothing and refining the skin’s surface, and increasing the appearance of firmness.  There are widely known derivatives of Vitamin A, like Retinol, and occur is popular products, like Retin A and Accutane.
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid):  Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant.  It is often used to treat sun damage, promote collagen formation, and slow collagen degradation.  It is, also, helpful in repairing acne scars and decreasing inflammation.
  • Vitamin E (Tocopherol):  Vitamin E is a major antioxidant nutrient.  It slows cellular aging and aides nourishment to cells.  It blocks free radicals, reduces wrinkles and helps skin to remain looking youthful.

The Acids:

  • AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid): AHAs are water-soluble, the most common types are Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid.  Their ability to exfoliate the skin helps repair dryness, aging and sun-damage.  They allow newer, softer and healthier- looking skin to emerge.
  • BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid): BHAs are lipid or oil-soluble,  the most common type is Salicylic Acid.  They get down into pores to cut through oil that clog them.  They, also, have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are great for the treatment of acne.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid: Alpha Lipoic Acid or ALA is a water and fat soluble antioxidant, often referred to as ‘the universal antioxidant’.  It is an anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling, puffiness, redness and blotchiness.  It, also, shrinks pore size and decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Glycolic Acid:  Glycolic Acid is an AHA, derived from plants like sugar cane and pineapple.  It is an exfoliant that removes dead cells, revealing a brighter complexion.  It can treat scarring, discoloration, and fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Hyaluronic Acid:  Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in your body.  It keeps collagen synthesis up, as well as retaining skin moisture, contributing to the skin looking younger and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration.
  • Lactic Acid:  Lactic Acid is an AHA, it is derived from fermented dairy.  In low concentrations it is a nourishing agent, increasing oil and fat productions.  In high concentrations it is exfoliant, improving skin’s texture, stimulating cell turnover and brightening the appearance of the face.
  • Salicylic Acid:  Salicylic Acid is a BHA, derived from willow bark (the same place we get aspirin).  It not only unclogs pores and helps clear acne but also prevents the formation of new acne and blackheads.

 

  • DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol):  DMAE is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  It causes muscles to contract and tighten under the skin, therefore helping maintain muscle tone preventing sagging of the face.  It increases firmness, lifts and reduces fine lines and smoothers the surface of the skin.
  • Enzymes:  Enzymes are chemicals that speed up the rate of chemical reactions, making them very effective as exfoliants and anti-inflammatories.  Some of the most common enzymes used in skin care include pineapple, papaya, kiwi, fig, mango and banana extracts.
  • Peptides:  Peptides are portions of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.  All peptides have a skin-restorative ability.  Some peptide use have resulted in the soothing of skin and reduction of expression lines.
  • Stem Cell:  Stem cells are the building blocks of skin.  They are able to replace damaged cells, helping to fight the look of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and renew elasticity in the skin.

Next Up: Part 1: All About Vitamin A

Advertisements

Knowing the benefits of certain skin care products will benefit estheticians and their clients. With so many corrective skin care ingredients on the market today, it may be difficult to keep track of which products will give your client the desired effect they are looking for. Staying on top of the latest trends and most effective treatment options will increase your credibility as a skin care professional and help you to increase clientele by offering the truly effective skin care solutions they desire.

Salicylic Acid has roots going back to Hippocrates in ancient Greece. Originally derived from the bark of a willow tree, salicylic acid offers many benefits for corrective skin care. Primarily it is used to aid the natural exfoliation process skin undergoes and reduce blemishes and acne prone skin types by clearing the pores of excess build up.

Salicylic acid is usually produced synthetically now from aspirin. Because it comes from aspirin, it carries many of the anti-inflammatory benefits as well. In terms of skin care, this means a reduction in redness and swelling of acne. This helps to reduce acne, prevent new acne from developing and decreases the likelihood of scarring. It is also oil-soluble which means it can penetrate the oil in your skin and remove grime and build up from the pores more easily than other water based skin care ingredients.

Another great benefit of using salicylic acid for acne treatment is its anti bacterial qualities. It is the bacteria residing in the pores causes inflammation and “white heads” to develop. By removing the bacteria, it will help to clear up this type of acne and decrease the chance of it returning.

There are many treatment options available at home or through an esthetician. Most commonly used as a topical treatment in skin care, salicylic acid is applied to the face with a clean pad and left on to provide a gentle peel for the face. Peels should be left to the supervision of an esthetician or skin care professional to prevent any damage or harmful results but a daily salicylic treatment (which involves applying salicylic treatment to the face) can be beneficial, especially if your skin is naturally very oily.

As with any ingredient, your skin may react with a slight stinging sensation if it is applied to broken and/or affected areas. This is not harmful but the product should be immediately removed if there is any further reaction such as burning, redness, rash, etc. This could be a sign of an allergic reaction and you should seek medical advice immediately if this happens for treatment options.

Salicylic acid treatments are not recommended for everyone. Most over the counter products contain a 1-2% solution that is typically safe for most consumers and skin types. If you have any of the following conditions, consult with a dermatologist before using salicylic based products:
Blood Vessel Disease
Diabetes Mellitus
Acute skin inflammation or infection
You have recently used Accutane

It should also be noted that salicylic acid is not recommended during pregnancy. Although there has been no evidence of birth defects from use, it is still not recommended.

Learning about skin care products and their active ingredients is an important practice for any skin care professional or consumer. The skin absorbs what is applied to it into the body so having a working knowledge of any potential side effects or damaging effects is essential for better skin care and knowing what to do in case of any negative reactions.

Learn more about salicylic acid at www.bellaninainstitute.com.

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!

Have you ever sat down to study your complexion in the mirror and been less than satisfied with what your looking at? Your complexion is natural color, texture and appearance of your skin. Skin can look radiant, smooth and healthy or it can appear sallow, discolored and sickly depending on your state of health and how well you take care of your body and especially your skin.

The history of how a “good complexion” has been measured dates back to as early as ancient Greece and some of the most affluent philosophers of that age. The complexion was thought to be the result of four fluids that permeated the body. Later this was transformed into theories about balance in the body and temperaments. Health of an individual was determined by complexion but since complexions can vary between different individuals there was no one best complexion to have.

Your individual complexion is the result of biology. Skin color is determined by melanin in the cells and causes variation in tone. The overall health and appearance of your skin is determined by a variety of factors including your heredity and external factors like exposure to sun, chemicals or even the food you eat. Your skin is sensitive to the environment (both inside your body and outside) and taking proper care of your skin is an important step in maintaining a healthy complexion.

Improving your complexion doesn’t have to be a stressful task. Incorporating a simple skin care regimen into your morning or nightly routine can take years of stress and premature aging off your face. Start slow and build a routine that is custom tailored to your skins needs.

Tricks of the Trade:

1) Moisturize Daily – nothing is better for your skin than staying hydrated. Moisturize in the morning after cleansing the skin and at night before going to bed.

2) Exfoliate – Removing the dead skin cells that build up naturally over time can make a big difference in your skins natural ability to look fresh and smooth. Use a gentle exfoliant on your face and body to prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles from developing.

3) Correct now – Don’t wait for problems to become too significant to treat at home. If you notice dry patches, oily regions or uneven coloring use some preventative treatments designed specifically for your skin issue. Leaving a problem to “heal itself” can be more costly and time consuming to fix in the long run.

4) Protect Yourself – use a sun block even in the winter to protect your skin from sun damage.

5) Eat Right! Your body needs nutrients to stay healthy and your skin will reflect a balanced and healthy diet filled with vitamins, protein and minerals. Some natural ingredients (such as Vitamin C) will improve the overall look of your skin and they are frequently used in many skin care products.

Let’s face facts: As we age, our skin goes from baby smooth to drip and droop. If you are like most women, trying to prevent your “true” age from showing may be a continuous battle that you may or may not feel like you are losing. Every day new lines and wrinkles show up where they never were before and although this can be disheartening, we encourage all women to take a stand against aging!

Here is another fact to chew over: You do NOT need to be twenty to have fabulous skin. Beautiful skin is the reflection of proper skin care, a good diet and a conscious effort to look your best at any age. If you have fabulous skin when you’re twenty, that’s the result of genetics but having fabulous skin at fifty? That’s something to brag about!
Wrinkles begin to show as early as your mid-twenties. These begin as fine lines around the eyes, lips, chin and nose. These initial signs of aging should be the first red alarm that your skin care routine needs to be updated. A daily moisturizer is a simple way to combat these early signs but can be ineffective during the greater battle. Remember you are not just fighting time – genetics, the environment and natural biology will all play a role.

Start with a basic understanding of what to expect by studying your family. A mother being a “preview” of what you can expect to look like in twenty years is a phrase that holds some truth. Genetics play a HUGE role in how we develop and that doesn’t stop during the advanced aging process. If your mother (or father) has deep wrinkles, pronounced sagging skin or develops uneven skin texture and color, these are all problems you may need to eventually face but should certainly act upon to prevent. Yes, prevent. Skin care is not just about dealing with the problems as they arise; it’s about stopping them before they start!
Design a system that will target your specific skin types and needs. We recommend a six step system that will cleanse, exfoliate, tone, correct, moisturize and protect.
Begin with a basic cleanser: depending on your particular skin type and whether you are seeking botanical, natural organic or Cosmeceuticals (anti-aging) this may vary. A good cleanse will remove excess debris and oils from the skin, preparing it for step two.
Exfoliation: The build up of dead skin cells and debris is a prime source of wrinkles and fine lines in the face. A gentle exfoliant will remove this build up without causing damage to your skin.
Toner: After cleansing and exfoliation, you may wonder why you should bother adding in a toner. Water contains harsh minerals that will build up on your skin, even when you are rinsing off the cleanser and toner. A quick rub of toner will remove these impurities and leave your skin primed for more aggressive care.
Correct: Should your skin have any special issues such as uneven skin tone, discolorations, redness, loss of elastic, dark eye circles – now is the step to apply targeted products. Your skin is clean and ready to receive these treatments without applying it to unnecessary dead skin cells.
Moisturize: Hydration will play a key factor in keeping your skin looking beautiful. Your skin relies on water and natural oils to stay smooth and feel beautiful. By removing these oils to remove the grime and debris, we are actually depriving our skin of its most basic essentials. Now it is time to replenish the skin with carefully designed moisturizers that will penetrate the outer layers of skin and reach the deepest layer. Healthy new skin cells will develop and give you that smooth skin you want and deserve!
Protect: If you’re outside, protect your skin by covering up with a SPF 30 moisturizer. This will prevent sun damage and keep your skin safe. Remember that any exposure is really too much so even in the winter when the sun may not be so obvious, add this to your daily routine!
Occasional Masques: Applying a masque one a week or every other week is a great way to penetrate the skin even further. These will often exfoliate and hydrate the skin simultaneously and leave your face and body feeling smooth and glowing.

Take control of your skin today and take steps towards keeping your skin healthy, beautiful and youthful for an entire lifetime!

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!

Open up the page of any magazine and you will be face to face with the smoothest and most flawless skin ever. Models, actresses and celebrities alike seem to be immune to the common skin irritations that plague the rest of us. How do they do? Is it the hundreds on dollars they spend a year with stylists and dermatologists that keep them looking so young and beautiful? Maybe a little but in reality it is hundreds of hours air brushing out the flaws. Anyone can look perfect with the right technology.

So what are we to do when faced with this dousing of cold water that absolute perfection is not only unattainable, it’s unavoidable on the covers of magazines everywhere? How are average women (and men if you can believe it) ever supposed to feel good against such impossible standards? Is it completely hopeless?

Definitely not! While you may never achieve that silky smooth complexion all models seem to enjoy, you can have beautiful, toned skin that radiates your good health and happiness. Beautiful skin is clear, even and smooth. Even as we begin to age it is possible to beat the hands of time and keep your skin looking fabulous.

What is the reality?

The reality is that it is years of abuse to the face that is leading more and more women down the path of despair. Looking back over your younger years do you remember fabulous tans, lots of make up and never applying a drop or moisturizer? It is that sort of behavior that leads to premature wrinkles, clogged pores, uneven skin tones and sagging skin. Facial skin is perhaps the most delicate because it is much thinner than the skin on your back, hands, legs or chest. Because of this it is important to take care of your body, even when your young and can’t see the damage so easily and use proper preventative skin care products.

Your solution…?

If nothing else, try a Cosmeceuticals grade skin moisturizer to help smooth fine lines, clear skin and assist in fading uneven color. Cosmeceuticals are a great way to get a more effective result because they are one step below pharmaceutical level products (that require a doctor’s prescription to obtain). These products are specially designed with aging or mature skin as the target for treatment.

Eye crèmes are designed for the ultra sensitive issue surrounding the eye. Fine lines will begin to develop in this region in your early twenties as the result of squinting, sun damage or sleeping on your side/stomach. These crèmes will help to restore lost collagen and smooth the skin without causing irritation.

Perfection Crème is formulated for the face and hands and will not only hydrate the skin but help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while evening the skin tone. This is a wonderful choice for baby boomers looking for a simple moisturizer to add to their daily routine.

There are other simple tricks to looking your best like eating healthy, exercise and keeping a happy and stress free life. Believe it or not the health of your skin can be affected by everything you encounter! But just because you may have celebrated (or scorned) your last birthday because you turned 50, it doesn’t mean you have to act or look like your 50.

Here’s to looking your best at any age!