Archives for category: Skin Damage

There are many dramatic ways to make an impact on your appearance. If you’re looking for a way to get smoother skin and a healthy glow, consider making an appointment at your local day spa for a chemical peel. Peels are considered to be a faster, cheaper and much less invasive than other more dramatic steps (such as plastic surgery).

What is a peel?

A peel utilizes a chemical solution that is specifically designed to remove dead skin. Essentially it “peels” away a layer of dead skin cells to reveal the smoother and less wrinkled skin below. Although going to a dermatologist is not required to receive this treatment, it should only be performed by a professional who has received training in this procedure and is licensed (such as a dermatologist, esthetician or plastic surgeon).

What Kinds of Peels Are There?

There are several types of chemical peels available and which would be most appropriate for you depends largely on what your desired results are. There is no “one size fits all” and understanding your options will help you in your decision.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids – This is the mildest form of peel designed to target fine lines and wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) are naturally occurring carboxylic acids. These can also be combined with certain cleansers to be used on a daily basis to improve skin texture.
Note: This is a mild peel but may still cause stinging, redness, irritation, dryness or take multiple treatments to achieve desired results.

Beta Hydroxy Acids – This type of peel is sometimes used over stronger AHA peels because it can penetrate the skin deeper. This primarily uses a salicylic acid that will control excess oil, acne and remove dead skin cells.

Retinoic Acid Peel – This is derived from retinoids (which is denatured vitamin A). This type of peel is much deeper than Beta peels and would be used to remove scars as well as wrinkles and pigmentation issues. Note: The peel is left on the face and the peeling process usually occurs on the third day.

Trichloroacetic acid peels – this is as an intermediate to deep peeling agent in concentrations ranging from 20-50%. It is preferred for people with darker skin tones over Phenol peels. It will be used to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, remove superficial blemishes and correct skin pigment problems.
Note: This may require several treatments to obtain desired results. You will need to use sun block for several months following this treatment (required). It can take several days to heal depending on the depth of treatment – consult with your technician for further information.

Phenol Peels – This is the strongest type and is a deep skin peel. The phenol is actually a carrier for another component in the peel, croton oil, which is the active ingredient. The effects of this peel are extremely long lasting (up to 20 years) and a single treatment can usually be sufficient to obtain the desired results.

Considerations

Chemical peels may require several treatments to receive maximum benefits but are considerably less expensive than plastic surgery and do not require long recovery times. They can be performed on an outpatient basis with your dermatologist or at your local day spa. Consult with your technician or doctor about the benefits and risks of any treatment you are considering.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for dramatic results but do not want to pursue surgical options, a chemical peel may be a good step for you. Research peels available in your area and ask questions. Smoother, younger looking skin is possible and can be achieved with proper skin care. Remember to ask questions and study your options carefully.

Just because you’re taking a break from reality doesn’t mean your skin won’t suffer the consequences. Whether you are heading to a tropical paradise or snowy ski resort, exposing your skin to the harmful elements can only lead to trouble. Be sure when you’re packing for your trip this holiday to include your Bellanina Basic Travel Kit.

Travel sized skin care products are small enough to carry easily in your purse or luggage and offer all the benefits of your home skin care regimen out on the road. Sun, cold wind, dirt and debris are all major causes of premature aging and skin conditions such as acne. It may seem like only a small break to you but every day matters in skin care and every day you leave your skin exposed is another step you’re going to need to take to repair the damage later on.

Bellanina Cleanser: A cleanser is the basic foundation of any skin care. Remember that soap can leave residue behind and therefore is not effective for truly cleaning your face and removing the build up of debris on your skin. Most soap actually has a drying effect on the skin and lead to dryness or flaking. A good cleanser should be non-abrasive and gentle remove residue without causing damage to the skin. Some cleansers contain a mild exfoliant (tiny beads or a grainy texture) that will remove dead skin cells at the same time.

Bellanina Toner: After cleansing use a clean cotton pad to apply a thin layer of toner over your face. Water has minerals that can be left behind and toner is the final clean up to ensure your skin is as clean as possible.

Botanical Moisturizer: Although removing excess oil and debris from your skin is essential to keeping it healthy, your skin thrives when it is well hydrated. After removing the natural oils it is important to rehydrate the skin with a light way, non greasy moisturizer. Using a moisturizer without excess grease and oils will prevent the skin from becoming clogged and leading to break outs. Bellanina moisturizer is great for all skin types.

Bellanina Body Lotion: Skin varies in different areas of the body and has different needs. Bellanina body lotion is a wonderful solution for dry hands, neck, chest, back and legs. Applying a thin layer after your shower or bath will rehydrate your skin and leave it feeling smooth all day long. The convenient travel size makes this easy to carry around during the day should you need a second application.

Bellanina Eye & Throat Crème: The skin around your eyes and neck is especially delicate and prone to wrinkles. Apply this lightweight moisturizer with your pinky to avoid pulling at the skin and causing damage. Massage in thoroughly and it will help to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. **Bonus Tip: Excessive squinting or grimacing can lead to wrinkles and premature aging in the face – try to remember to avoid doing this habitually to keep your skin looking smoother and younger.**

Bellanina Advanced Protection SPF30: Whether you are lying on a beach or hitting the slopes you need to cover up! The sun is detrimental to the skin and although you may be in a cold environment the sun can still cause burning. Apply at least an SPF30 every two hours (or following a swimming or showering) to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Remember that a beautiful tan today is leathery wrinkles ten years down the road.

Organic Lip Balm SPF15: Keep your lips smooth with this great organic lip balm. Dry lips can occur at any time during the year and this spf15 lip balm is a great way to protect your skin and give your lips the hydration they need to stay smooth and beautiful

The Bellanina Basics Travel kit comes in its own bag and can be easily added to your luggage or carry on bag. Don’t leave for your trip without these great essentials. It also makes a great holiday gift for friends, co-workers and family!

Have you ever even heard of milia? Probably not, although it is a very common skin condition that effects everyone from infants to the elderly. Basically it is tiny white bumps on the skin. Just like any other skin condition there are several different types and treatments available to help you banish the bumps from sight!

Milia are asymptomatic and usually occur around the eyes in children and adults. Up to half of infants in the United States develop milia at some point. In appearance they are small skin lesions (bumps) that range from pearly white to pale yellow in appearance.

Primary milia are most typically seen in infants but may occur in adults. This type typically forms around the nose and eye region. Secondary milia are seen in different blistering disorders or following dermabrasion. Milia are tiny epideremoid cysts that may be may be derived from the pilosebaceous follicle.

Causes

Primary milia may be the result of sebaceous glands that are not fully developed (thus explaining its massive occurrence during infancy). Secondary milia form following blistering or trauma and disruption to the sweat glands. This type can also develop following skin treatments such as dermabrasion or radiotherapy.

Treatment

The most important thing to remember about milia is that they are completely harmless. As a parent it may be tempting to seek treatment for your child’s skin but left alone it will treat itself over time. Basically it is tiny pockets of dead skin cells on the surface and through the natural exfoliation process and building of new skin cells, skin will heal itself and the tiny bumps will disappear.

It is important to remember that milia is not like acne and should not be “pinched” or “popped”. This could lead to significant scarring when done, especially at home. If you are very concerned over the bumps on your skin or wish to seek treatment, consult with your dermatologist.

Prevention

The best way to treat milia is to prevent it from ever developing. This is not true in the case of infant milia – an infants skin is very delicate and should not be exposed to excess cleansers or treatments. Consult with your child’s physician before taking any action.

For teens and adults a gentle exfoliation can help in the prevention of milia but will not clear up the condition once it has developed. A gentle exfoliant will help soften the skin and ease the natural exfoliation process and prevent the build up of more dead skin cells. Remember that your skin is sensitive and should not be exposed to harsh chemicals or rough scrubbing as this will only cause more damage and trauma. (Over exfoliation may actually increase the occurrence of milia on the skin so use good judgment when developing a skin care routine).

Want to learn more about proper skin care? Find us online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and believe us when we say there is no more critical judge of your face than your set of eyes. Lines, wrinkles and puffiness can all contribute to signs of aging but perhaps the most frustrating problem to face is dark under eye circles. Sometimes referred to as “bags” because they can be accompanied by puffiness, this is something that affects men and women equally. Luckily there are steps you can take to banish the darkness and greet the day with eyes that look as great as you feel.

Before you can treat a problem you have to know the source. Late nights are often blamed for this occurrence but if that were the case a good night’s sleep should provide a simple cure. Anyone who has developed dark eyes knows that sometimes no matter how great your sleep was those bags still taunt you in the morning.

So what could be causing those dark shadows to develop?

Common sources of under eye circles include:

• Allergies
• Heredity
• Pigmentation Irregularities
• Nasal Congestion (there is a reason you don’t look so great when your sick)
• Thinning Skin (result of intrinsic or natural aging)
• Loss of Collagen and Elasticity (result of intrinsic or natural aging)
• Sun Exposure (result of extrinsic aging or aging influenced by the environment)
• Lifestyle Factors like smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeine

Self Treatment versus Professional Care

Seeing a specialist such as a dermatologist can be an expensive choice when dealing with a problem like under eye circles. If you are worried there might be other factors contributing to your dark eyes consult with a physician but there are several at home treatments that you can try as well.

• Cold Compress – try placing a cold or cool compress against your eyes. This can reduce dilation and puffiness temporarily.
• Pillows – an extra pillow under your head at night can prevent fluid from pooling in the lower lids.
• Get More Rest – while it is true that a lack of sleep is not a direct cause of your dark eyes, less sleep can make your eyes appear more hallow and impact the overall look and feel of your skin. Catch some extra “z’s” to keep your skin looking fresh.
• Protect Your Skin – the environment and especially the sun can wreak havoc on your skin in the long run. Overexposure can lead to a myriad of health problems to cover up when possible (sunglasses are an inexpensive way to protect the fragile skin around your eyes) and use sun block, even in the Winter.
• Make Up – Although not all make up will cover those dark circles, try an oil free concealer to help minimize the appearance. This should be paired with a cold compress to reduce puffiness at the same time.
• Serums – There are several great serums available that utilize natural ingredients to minimize the appearance of dark circles. Try using one twice daily to see incredible results!

Don’t let dark circles ruin your day! Fight back against this premature sign of aging by taking control. Home remedies may take time to show full results (allow up to 12 weeks) but are worth the investment on the road to healthier, happier skin care.

Have you ever woken up in the morning, looked in the mirror and wondered what happened to your face during the night? It’s not just the lines on your face from a wrinkled pillowcase you notice but wrinkles on your cheeks and around your eyes and a puffiness that leaves you looking worse for wear despite a restful night.

Look at the culprit before you blame your age. Even youthful skin can fall victim to this common habit: poor sleep positions. Think about it in practical terms: if you are asleep an average of seven to eight hours a night (we can hope, right?), your skin is reacting to whatever position you assume during the night. Cramming your cheek into the pillow may feel most comfortable but stay like that for eight hours straight and it’s no wonder you wake up in the morning with wrinkles starting to form but on just one side.

Think there is no proof to back that up? Think again.

Side Sleepers

When we sleep on our side many things happen. Most important is a restriction of blood. Your skin thrives on blood and oxygen being distributed evenly thoughout the cells. Remember that your skin needs blood and oxygen to go through its normal process of developing new skin cells and exfoliating the old cells. Sleep is a great time for this process to occur because your skin is not being affected by external influences such as environment or being touched, scratched or wrinkled through normal everyday movements. When we sleep our skin and muscles relax, allowing them to rejuvenate the next day. When you nod off on your side you are placing pressure on one area of the skin and preventing this process from occurring.

Stomach Floppers

Some people can only sleep on their stomachs. There is absolutely no other way they can get comfortable and this is truly one of the worst ways to spend the night. Not only from a cardiovascular standpoint as sleeping on the stomach causes stress on the heart and chest but because it also restricts normal respiration. This impacts all areas of the body (not just the skin) and can have detrimental effects on your body and organs. If you want to think about what it is doing to your face it can cause puffiness, redness and because of the restricted blood flow, result in wrinkles and fine lines forming as early as your twenties. You will wake up looking like you just pulled a week worth of all night study sessions.

Back Drifters

This is truly the best position to sleep because it removes stress from the face and doesn’t place any undo stress on the skin. While a slightly tilted position isn’t the worst thing ever, the flatter you stay the better off you will look in the morning and in the long run. This will allow your skin to receive optimal oxygen and blood flow while releasing the normal tension the will create “blocked energy” on the face and release repetitive facial holding patterns many of us have during the day (such as furrowing the brows or frowning). It is these common behaviors that lead to prematurely aging skin and a disturbing image waiting for you in the mirror in the morning.

Simple Tricks

Many of us have one sleep position that is the most comfortable and no amount of research will change the fact that when we want to go to bed at night, it’s one way or no way. There are ways you can help “retrain” yourself to sleep on your back and start on the road to better skin.

Use pillows to hold your body in place. The body turns several times during the night so even if you end up falling asleep on your back you may very well wake up on your stomach. Try strategically placing a few pillows on your sides, around your legs or even your neck (beware any suffocation hazard if you are a heavy sleeper or take any medications that induce drowsiness) to prevent moving during the night.

If you absolutely cannot sleep on your back and need to sleep on your side, try switching to the softest fabric available for your pillow and sheets. Course fabrics will be more prone to damaging the skin and holding it in place. Smooth fabrics will free movement provide less stress on the skin.

Give your skin a running start by maintaining good hydration during the night. Dry skin is a common root of wrinkles so properly moisturizing before turning in for the night is a good way to prevent future damage. Try a light weight, oil-free moisturizer such as the Calendula Oil-Free Moisturizer to prevent the build up of uneccesary oils in the pores.

Remember that “beauty sleep” can be just that. Sleep is your body repairing and restoring itself for the day to come. Your skin needs to relax just as much as your tired feet or back so don’t overlook how you sleeping. Try to maximize your sleep so you wake up feeling and looking as refreshed as you want to be.

As an esthetician or skin care professional, you may have heard some controversy over the matter of performing extractions during a routine facial service. What may seem like a relatively simple procedure can actually raise great controversy in the world of esthetics. Some estheticians regard extractions as a matter of providing a complete service while others see this as inflicting trauma to the skin. Learning more about both sides of the issue can help you as a professional in making an informed decision and explaining the issue to your clients.

What is an extraction?

As a basic review, an extraction is removing impurity (plug of dead skin or oil) from a pore or pimple. It is the removal of both blackheads and whiteheads from the skin. Extractions occur after the skin has been thoroughly cleansed, exfoliated and sometimes steamed to soften the area prior to extraction.

Why Do It?

Extractions are considered a “must” by many estheticians when performing a routine facial because they want to leave their clients skin looking and feeling it’s best. When done correctly, a simple extraction should be quick and relatively painless. As a trained esthetician it is important to know if your client has sensitive skin which would make them more prone to the damage that can be caused by extractions.

Why Not?

Extractions should only be performed by a trained esthetician and should not be done in excess. Extractions can cause broken capillaries or sin irritations that can lead to more (not less) breakouts. Extractions can also cause discomfort for your client when done incorrectly so you should seek their permission before performing any type of extraction during their facial. Remember your client has the right to know any product or procedure being performed on their skin and make an informed choice.

Who Decides?

As an esthetician it may be entirely up to you or it may be a procedure within your salon to do or not do extractions. It is important to check the guidelines of your employer and know their policies before performing any procedure. Remember to explain extractions and their benefits and possible complications to your client. Trust is an important part of any relationship and your client needs to know you are being open and honest with them. The last thing you want as a professional is a reputation for inflicting unnecessary and unwanted procedures or damage to your client’s skin.

For more great information about home skin care products and acne treatments, check us out online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com!

Microdermabrasion may sound like a scary procedure to undergo but in actuality it may be a wonderful alternative for those seeking a facial rejuvenation without going under the knife. More commonly referred to as microderm, this procedure is a non invasive way to remove the uppermost layer of dead skin cells from the face, neck, back, shoulders or anywhere else on the body. Techniques may vary but most practitioners will utilize a mechanical mechanism (such as crystals or bristle tips) and a small vacuum to clean up the removed skin cells.
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Exfoliation is a natural process undergone by the skin and although it occurs throughout our entire life span, the rate slows down considerably once we reach our thirties. Dead skin cells need to be shed by the body in order for new, healthy cells to reach the surface. As this process slows sometimes dead skin cells will cling to the surface and prevent those new skin cells from taking their place. Over time this will begin to form fine lines and wrinkles as dead cells accumulate on the surface. Microdermabrasion removes this outermost layer of the epidermis to get rid of this build up, allowing new cells to surface and improving circulation at the same time.

There are many benefits to microdermabrasion that can make it an ideal alternative to more drastic cosmetic procedures. By removing dead skin cells your skin will appear smoother, more even in tone and feel healthier. Microdermabrasion can help minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars. After undergoing treatment, skin care products will be able to penetrate the surface much better and be more effective to help maintain healthy, glowing skin.

Although it is best to get your initial treatment done by a trained professional, you can keep the fresh feeling going with an at home skin care treatment plan. Consult with your esthetician for their recommendations for your skin type if you are unsure or have any other skin conditions you would like to address. The use of proper skin care products and a regular routine at home will help your skin feel smoother, more even in tone and looking younger for years to come. Try a microdermabrasion cream at home following your initial treatment to prevent future build up. Remember to follow all instructions carefully and discontinue use of any product you have a negative reaction to such as rash, swelling, itching or redness.

Microdermabrasion is one way to keep your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Your friends will be amazed at how fabulous you look after only one treatment and there is no need to go through a painful recovery period following your appointment. Look into your alternatives for skin care treatments and research local spa’s and estheticians in your area. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to beat the hands of time!

Winter is coming and that means cold temperatures, wind and oh yes, chapped lips. Dry skin may be the most frequent skin condition to flair up in the general population during these colder months because of the sudden drop in humidity and overexposure to those dry winter winds. Although this can be an annoying and unattractive problem, it is generally easy to treat and clears up quickly.

So what are “chapped” lips anyway? Chapped skin is tissue that lacks proper moisture and literally dries out. The dry skin develops fine lines, tiny cracks and can become red or irritated when left untreated. People who have chronic dry lips due to allergies or perhaps frequently lick their lips can develop chapped lips all year round.

Without treatment chapped lips can become uncomfortable or even painful. As the dry tissue begins to develop tiny cracks it can lead to irritation and even infection over time. Remember that any cut that is exposed to bacteria is at risk for infection and the mouth and face is a notorious “hot spot” for germs and bacteria.

Treating the problem is a simple process but does require frequent application throughout the entire day. A simple lip balm is the best remedy for chapped skin because it contains wax or lanolin that will seal in moisture and provide a protective barrier for the skin to heal. This is almost in place of applying a band aid over a paper cut. Sealing in moisture will allow the skin to begin the process of re-hydrating. Since chapped lips can be a chronic problem in winter, it is smart to apply a lip balm before going outside even if you do not have chapped lips. The thick coating will lock out the drier air and keep your lips feeling their best.

Tips to prevent chapping:

During the winter apply lip balm daily to prevent chapping from occurring.
Once chapped lips have formed, apply lip balm frequently throughout the day (especially after eating or any activity where the lip balm might have been diminished or removed)
Avoid “flavored” lips balms if you are prone to licking your lips or when applying lip balm to children. This will not only remove the balm entirely but increase the dryness at the same time.
Cover up your lips when going outside – even if it is only for a few minutes. A simple scarf or ski mask will protect your lips, cheeks and nose from the dry air.

Want more great tips on beating the winter dry skin battle? Check us out online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com!

When we are young our skin is taught, elastic and naturally firm. Youthful skin carries a natural glow and smooth texture that many women mourn the loss of as they age. Beautiful and healthy looking skin is not a gift for just the young, but the young at heart. It is for people who know that age is just a number and not a reflection of who you “should” be.

The key to beautiful skin in your mature years is by understanding what problems to look for and using products designed for your skin. As we age, our skin loses some its natural elasticity, decreases collagen production and the regeneration of new skin cells begins decrease. This can lead to fine lines and wrinkles developing around the eyes, cheeks and mouth as well as sagging tissue in the cheeks and neck. All these problems develop slowly over time and can sometimes have subtle effects at first but over time their accumulative damage can be significant.

Although a good skin care routine should be maintained from your early twenties, it is not impossible to repair the damage that has already occurred to your skin. This damage may be the natural results of aging or could be from environmental causes (such as sun damage). Whatever the source of the problem, identifying the solution is now key towards regaining that youthful glow.

Reducing Lines and Wrinkles
If fine lines and wrinkles are the cumulative buildup of dead skin cells that are no longer being removed by the body, it makes sense to start by reviving that process. A daily exfoliating cleanser will do wonders towards giving your skin a fresh and clean look. A great exfoliation will have a rough texture, ranging from grainy to more bead-like, depending on its strength. If you have more sensitive skin, you will want to use a mild exfoliant to avoid irritation.
After removing the dead skin cells it is time to re-hydrate your skin and reduce lines around the eyes and mouth. A Cosmeceuticals grade moisturizer is designed to ultra moisturize your skin and provide your skin with the necessary amount of oils needed to stay smooth and soft.

Sagging Tissue
The loss of collagen and elasticity is a battle because you are not only fighting Mother Nature, but simple gravity as well. After years of staying tight on its own, your skin may require a little “boost” to stay firm and toned. Try a product that is specially designed to target this problem and boost collagen production. Although the effects may not be entirely reversible, they can be certainly minimized.

Stay as beautiful as you want for as long as you want by taking control of your skin care routine! Skin care is not just a science, it is an art that requires patience and understanding to master. Study your skin care products carefully and examine your needs. Consult with an esthetician for more great tips and advice about what products are available to keep you looking your most fabulous every day!

Okay, it seems you can’t walk down the street without being hit in the face with a new product that is all natural and organic! Like most trends, this move towards a more “natural” lifestyle has crept up slowly in popularity over the years and now is a dominating force in the Market. From your fruits to your shoes, all natural materials are now the “it” thing to have, to eat and to wear.

Aloe + E Broad Spectrum SPF 30

What you put on your skin is as important as what you put in your body. You wouldn’t drink a gallon of dangerous chemicals would you? So it stands to reason you wouldn’t want to spread hazardous ingredients all over your skin either. Remember your skin is porous and meant to absorb ingredients and nutrients applied directly to it. That means that every time you apply a moisturizer, any chemicals it contains are going right into your body.

Skin care is perhaps one of the most important and overlooked areas of home health care. Your skin is your first and strongest defense against disease and foreign invaders that could cause serious damage to your body. By taking care of your skin you are giving yourself the best chance to stay healthy and look your best for years to come.

So now you may be thinking: Where do Natural Skin Products Come In?

Excellent question! Natural and Organic skin care products utilize ingredients that do not contain hazardous preservatives or chemicals to enhance results. Unlike their Cosmeceuticals cousins, natural skin care products consist of ingredients like fruit, vegetable, mineral and vitamin extracts. They utilize the remedies provided by these ingredients to improve skin tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, cleanse and refresh.

For example: Aloe is a popular treatment for many skin conditions such as rashes or burns and is most effective in its natural, unprocessed state.

When selecting a new product to try on your skin, glance over the ingredients and try to pick out key phrases such as parabens, paraffin, sodium laurel, acrylamide or propylene glycol. These are some of the most common ingredients used in Cosmeceuticals and some of the most important to avoid. The real danger comes from exposing your skin to free radicals which can lead to early aging, tissue damage and in some cases diseases such as cancer.

Tips to Remember:

Natural or Organic products have a shorter shelf life once they have been opened so buy smaller quantities. The average natural product will be good for 1 to 2 months after initial use.

Most skin care conditions have a natural solution! Ask your esthetician or dermatologist for a natural or organic alternative for any particular condition you may wish to treat!

Know your allergies! Organic ingredients can lead to allergic reactions! Study all ingredient labels carefully and do not use if you are the least bit concerned about possible aversive side effects.

As with all skin care products, discontinue use if you develop a rash, itching or swelling after application and seek medical attention.

A Natural Way to Better Skin

Protect your skin and your body by trying natural skin care products today! See the benefits to the look of your skin while knowing you are doing something to protect your health at the same time!