Archives for category: SPF

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.

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Celebrities are notorious for being accused of using cosmetic surgery to maintain their good looks into maturity. A little “nip & tuck” procedure to reduce lines, redefine the chin or lift the brow can knock several years off your appearance. For decades, plastic surgery has been the solution to many middle aged (and sometimes younger) women and men’s solution to the battle against aging.
But before you go under the knife, consider the alternatives and evaluate your options carefully. Unnecessary surgery is not only time consuming and expensive, it also places your body under extreme stress and physical discomfort during the healing process. Added to that…without a change in how you care for your skin and body, you will still suffer the effects of aging down the line. More surgery means more scarring and more time spent trying to recover. The face and body is meant to age and it is a natural process. By using surgery to turn back the hands of time the face you see staring back at you in the mirror will not be your younger self, merely a shadow of who you used to be.

Learning about alternatives to surgery and testing a few non invasive procedures out is a great way to see significant results without the excessive costs and risks. Understanding what is happening to your face and body, why your appearance is changing, is a valuable tool in learning new ways to combat these problems without needing to resort to surgical intervention.

What causes fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin?

There is a myriad of reasons why our skin begins to lose that tight and toned look. A major reason is the slowed production of collagen and loss of elasticity that allowed your skin to stay firm in your younger years. This will lead to sagging, hallowed cheeks and loose skin around the eyes, neck and ears.
Wrinkles are another common complaint that can be the result of natural aging as well. We all know that skin sheds and new skin cells are being formed constantly and migrate to the surface but what you may not know is that as we age this process slows also and sometimes the dead skin cells don’t shed away as easily. As skin cells accumulate on the surface this causes lines and wrinkles to form (dry and unhealthy appearing skin are also results).

So what can you do?

Lack of proper skin care can be the source of many early signs of aging. Developing a healthy skin care routine and targeting any problem areas before they become severe can dramatically slow the signs of aging. This includes cleansing the skin, using a daily moisturizer that is designed for maturing skin (boost collagen production, stimulates skin, etc.) and protecting yourself from excessive sun exposure.
It sounds too simple and easy to be effective, right? The truth of the matter is that by treating your skin right and keeping a daily routine, your skin can stay smooth well into older age. It’s all about taking control of the process of aging and not allowing problems to build up with no preventative action.

But I Really Want Something Dramatic, Not More Creams!

Maintaining a regular routine will be important no matter which route you decide on but if you are looking for something more dramatic that doesn’t involve surgery, there are options! Have you considered a facelift massage series? Not quite a facial, not just a massage but an innovative combination that stimulates the skin and more importantly the muscles beneath the skin.

A facelift massage typically requires a series of 6 (ideally 12) treatments that is designed to stimulate the collagen production and renew the former elasticity of the skin, while smoothing the fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth and neck. It is a relaxing treatment that takes typically an hour to complete.
The Bellanina Facelift Massage is a wonderful example of this revolutionary technique. Inspired by treatments used during the stars in Hollywood’s glamour days, the Bellanina Facelift Massage will rejuvenate the skin while soothing the mind and senses. Bellanina practitioners are available around the United States and can work with clients to target individual concerns and needs.

Where can I learn more?

Check out alternative options to surgery online and do your research carefully. Fully understand the benefits and potential risks before making your decision. Try an alternative treatment before resorting to consulting a plastic surgeon- you may be surprised how a change in behavior can result in significant changes to your appearance and outlook on skin care.

The “Sunless” Tan

Its summer time and that means shorts, tank tops and flip slop sandals but anyone who lives in colder climates knows that winter weather and gray skies leads to pale and pasty appearing legs and arms. Although it is tempting to run outside and lie in the sun for a few hours to correct this, we have all heard about the dangers of SUV rays and the potential for skin cancer down the road. This leads to the catch-22: wanting a tan but not wanting to risk getting a tan.

Backing up a moment, let’s take a look at what a tan is exactly and how it affects the skin in the short and long term. The skin itself has two main layers called the epidermis and the dermis – tanning (sunless or traditional) involves the epidermis. Tanning is actually the skin’s natural defense system against overexposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Your skin is actually trying to protect your body from the potential damage when you begin to sport that bronze glow.

Frequent exposure to the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps have some definite down sides that have been extensively researched. The link between skin cancer and tanning alone should be enough to dissuade this activity but since the effects are not seen right away it is easy for some people to dismiss the real danger they are exposing themselves to on a daily basis. This is not to say that exposure to the sun is bad, on the contrary it is actually very important to maintaining a healthy body, but how much is the question.

A more immediate (and visible) effect of the damage the sun can cause is the sun burn. Redness, itching and sensitivity are all problems that come from overexposure with no protection. If that is the short term damage that can happen in one day, can you imagine what frequent tanning is doing to your skin’s health over several years even without burning?

Other potential damage to your skin includes dryness, premature wrinkling, decreased defenses against free radicals….the list goes on and on. So the only real question is….is it really worth it?

Options!

So now what? You understand tanning is not good for you but you still want to have a nice tan anyway. Don’t think you will be the exception to the damaging effects, instead think smarter and find alternatives! The sunless self tanner has become a revolution in the consumer market because it provides all the benefits of a tan without the damaging repercussions.

Sunless self tanners have a bad reputation for producing unnatural or uneven tones in the skin. This is entirely possible if you do not take the time and care to read all instructions and apply your sunless tanner correctly. Here are a few simple steps to help ensure a wonderful and even sunless tan this season and all year round:

1) Prepare your skin!
Shave, cleanse and exfoliate! You want your tanner to go into fresh and healthy skin – not clinging to dead skins.

2) Do Not Use Other Products!
Don’t risk weird product interactions by moisturizing before or after applying your tanner – remember that the goal is a smooth and even texture, not a blotchy pattern.

3) Use Gloves!
Tanner is meant to penetrate the skin and the more applied to one area, the darker that area will be. Using gloves will prevent your hands from looking like you just played in the sand and forgot to wash up/

4) Make a System!
Even color is essential to avoid the “fake” look most tanners are criticized for. Begin with one leg and go from top to bottom in sections. Follow the same plan for legs, chest, stomach, back, etc. Do not apply to random areas and risk forgetting where you have already completed.

5) Ask a Friend!
Okay, maybe you don’t want anyone to know your faking it but big blotchy patches on your back will be a dead give away anyway. Ask a buddy to help you with any areas of the body you cannot reach or see easily to prevent missing an area.

6) Time is Important
Applying a tanner can be time consuming and rushing through the process will lead to mistakes and terrible results. Give yourself time to apply the tanner thoroughly AND time to allow it to dry.

Give your skin that fresh summer glow without the damage! Try a sunless self tanner this year and have all the benefits without the worry.

With all the bath and beauty products available today it can be tough to know what is “essential” for your bathroom cabinet and what products can be avoided. The truth of the matter is that proper skin care is a commitment to oneself to take care of your body and go the extra mile in making your skin look beautiful. Remember that old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? This is especially true when it comes to maintaining healthy skin and preventing future problems.

A great body scrub will do several things to help the skin all over your body look its best at all times. Exfoliation is one of the best characteristics of any body scrub because this will remove the layers of dead skins cells that have accumulated over time. Not only will dead skin make your skin appear lackluster, it will also lead to the formation of wrinkles as they accumulate over time. A simple scrub will help to remove these problematic cells in one simple step.

Now you may be wondering if a body cleanser is the same as a body scrub. They are often sold next to each other in the store and can be deceptively similar to the average consumer. The truth is that a cleanser can add many undesirable things to skin while a scrub will work to remove debris, skin cells and grime. Cleansing the skin is important but using products will excess oils without scrubbing the skin first can lead to more problems in the long run. Clogged pores will lead to acne, cell accumulation can leave the skin feeling dry and over time your skin will look and feel unattractive.

It is important to remember that body scrubs and facial scrubs are not the same and should not be used interchangably. A facial scrub will have a finer texture and is intended for the more delicate facial tissue. A body scrub is meant to exfoliate thicker layers of skin that require a more aggressive treatment. The use of both a facial and body scrub is essential to any skin care routine however because this will leave your entire body feeling refreshed and revived!

Body scrubs can be used in the shower or may be used during a spa treatment. Body scrubs are available with a variety of ingredients that can be used to promote healthy circulation, combat cellulite, extra exfoliation (depending on texture), cleansing the pores and the removal of debris and dead skin cells. If you have any pre-existing skin conditions or concerns, check with an esthetician or dermatologist. With any skin product, if you develop any sort of negative reaction such as redness, itchiness or swelling discontinue use immediately.

Simple tips to Benefit:

1) Use a body scrub once a week – over exfoliation can have negative effects on the skin.

2) Choose a scrub with a grainy texture to ensure proper exfoliation. Scrubs can vary from sand like particles to larger crystals for more aggressive exfoliation.

3) Enjoy the experience by choosing a scrub with a fragrance that appeals to you. Selecting skin care products that you find soothing will encourage long term use.

Want to learn more? Check us out online at www.bellanina.com.

Developing and maintaining a facial skin care routine is a wonderful way to take steps towards a life of beautiful and healthy skin. Did you know that over time the accumulation of dead skin, grime and impurities as well as exposure to sun and other natural elements can take a drastic toll on your skins health? While your skin is designed to protect your body, it needs to be protected as well. By incorporating a few simple steps into your morning or nightly routine, you can banish away the detrimental effects of the environment and the natural aging process simply and effectively.

Remember that your skin, especially your face, is constantly exposed to elements you may not even be aware are around you. Even something as simple as the wind on your face or rubbing your fingers over your skin will leave tiny particles of dirt and grime behind. Your skin has pores that can become filled with these particles and slowly become clogged with oils that will lead to acne, white heads, black heads and other skin problems. The accumulation of dead skin cells that have not been removed will build up over time and begin forming wrinkles and prevent healthy new cells from reaching the surface. By ignoring your skin, you are setting the stage for a lifelong battle with the look and feel of your face and body.

A simple skin care routine is simple to establish and can be custom tailored to your particular needs. Understanding your skin type is the first step followed by identifying any specific problem areas. There are five common types of skin:

1) Normal
2) Oily
3) Dry
4) Combination (a mixture of two or more of the previous three)
5) Sensitive (may not respond well to more aggressive treatments)

Common problems associated with a lack of good skin care include the previously mentioned issues such as acne (caused by build of grime and clogged pores), premature or deep wrinkles from sun exposure or the accumulation of dead skin or discoloration or hyper pigmentation (moles, freckles, uneven color and tone). More serious problems can develop if healthy skin cannot properly grow and mature including certain types of cancer.

After you have identified what type of skin you have and any specific issues you may want to correct, it is time to develop your routine. Most daily skin care treatments can be done daily or every other day (cleanse, tone, moisturize). More intensive treatments such as masques or exfoliation may only be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Corrective treatments can range in duration and frequency and individual product directions should be followed carefully.

Step One: Cleanser (Daily)
The first and most basic step should be to truly clean your face (and not with just soap and water). A basic cleanser (they are available for all skin types) will remove excess oils and dirt from the pores by penetrating the skin more deeply. Most cleansers are rubbed in a circular motion around the skin and then rinsed off with warm water.

Step Two: Exfoliate (Daily or Every Other Day)
Remember when we said that by removing dead skin you can allow new skin cells to develop? This is where this step comes in handy. Exfoliants range from gentle in texture (small and grainy like sand) to more intensive treatments with larger particles that are closer to salt crystals. If you are unsure of what type is best for your skin, consult with an esthetician or dermatologist for more advice.

Step Three: Tone (Daily or Every Other Day)
After cleansing the skin and exfoliating it is important to make sure that all the excess grime has been removed. After exfoliating the pores, toner can reach further and remove any residual impurities that may remain. It will also help to restore the natural ph balance of the skin.

Step Four: Correct (As Directed)
Blemish repair, hyper pigmentation treatment, anti wrinkle or deep exfoliation would fall into this step as needed. These treatments are very specific to your skin and will help to combat any existing conditions.

Step Five: Moisturize (Daily)
Moisture, moisture, moisture! This cannot be repeated enough when it comes to proper skin care. Even if your skin is naturally oily in nature it will still need a light (oil free) moisturizer to maintain a hydrated and healthy appearance. Dry skin will use more intensive moisturizers while sensitive skin may require special products without harsh chemical additives. Pay attention to any reactions such as redness, dryness or rash, when using any product and discontinue immediately if any problems arise.

Step Six: Protect (As Needed)
If you are going out during the day (even in the winter) it is important to prevent damage before it starts by using a strong sun block. We recommend the use of at least an SPF 30 or higher and reapplying often throughout the day or after any activities such as swimming. Advanced protection is available for the face, lips and body in several strengths and types.

Take control of your skin today and start a daily routine that will help to improve the texture, smoothness and tone of your skin from day one. Problematic skin doesn’t need to be a losing battle if you are ready to take matters into your own hands and commit to a simple plan to keep your skin looking its best. Most daily routines can be completed within ten minutes and will significantly improve your skin’s health and appearance quickly and effectively.

Want to learn more? Visit us online at http://www.bellanina.com

 

 

 
 
 
 

SUNSummer is here and so are lazy days on the beach, outdoor trips and swimming. All of these are fun activities but taking the proper steps to protect your skin and still enjoy the sunshine is important to prevent serious damage. The effects of the sun on your skin can have immediate and long term effects on your overall health. You’re never too young to begin a skin care regimen to prevent potential damage.
 
What Kind of Damage Can Happen?
 
Short term and long term effects of damage to the skin from increased sun exposure can be seen early on. Damage does not merely occur from prolonged time in the sun, frequent short trips can cause just as much damage over time. Outwards signs of damage include wrinkles, freckling, discoloring of the skin and development of moles. Long term exposure can lead to more significant health problems such as the development of skin cancer (which can be fatal) and impairing the immune system and ability to fight disease. The amount of sun absorbed by the skin can lower the body’s natural ability to fight many of the problems associated with sun exposure because it negatively impacts a skin cells normal functioning.  
           
Keep Your Skin Safe:
 
The use of sunscreen is an efficient and simple way to prevent damage from occurring before it begins. According to Belle Tuckerman, our founder, it is best to use a full spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, this will need to be reapplied frequently throughout the day or after certain activities such as swimming to main full effectiveness. Search for a sunscreen that offers protection against UVA and UVB rays to ensure the best protection.
 
A broad spectrum SPF Sunscreen can be used in place of a full spectrum but remember to apply more frequently to maintain protection levels all day long. Always follow all product directions regarding use and application.
 
We offer a great selection of products for summer sun protection and increased skin care including Advanced Protection SPF 30, Sheer Moisturizer SPF 30 and Aloe + E Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Please check out  www.bellanina.com for complete details and product information.