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Monthly Archives: March 2013

pH Balance: Understanding the Science of Your Skin

pH Balance: Understanding the Science of Your Skin

pH Balance: Understanding the Science of Your Skin

pH balance in skin is an essential part of what keeps us looking healthy and youthful, as well as makes our skin smooth and supple. But what exactly is pH balance and how does it apply to our face wash?

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What is pH?

pH is an abbreviation for “potential of hydrogen,” and is a measuring system for comparing the strength of acids and bases. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with water being the most neutral element at 7. Anything below that point is an acid; anything above is a base or alkaline. The further pH shifts from 7, the stronger the solution. pH is based on a logarithmic scale, so just moving one unit up or down can force a tenfold difference in concentration. It is important, especially in the human body, to regulate pH levels, and our bodies do it naturally through a system called acid-base homeostasis. But there are products that can affect the overall pH of our skin

Skin and pH Balance

Skin is the largest organ of the body. It regulates body temperature, protects of from environmental elements and fights off germs. But skin’s power relies on something we can’t even see. The acid mantle is a thin, viscous fluid that protects our skin. It consists of two fluids: sweat and sebum. Sweat glands produce a salty, watery solution that mixes with sebum, an oily secretion produced by sebaceous glands near hair follicles. The acid mantle maintains a pH between 4.0 and 5.5, a range that allows it to help skin stay healthy. The acid mantle helps our skin in a number of ways. It acts as an antioxidant, protecting underlying skin from damage. It helps repel water so skin layers are not damaged, and it inhibits bacterial growth. It also maintains the hardness of protein. Outer skin is made of a protein called Keratin that needs to have an acidic balance to stay strong, so the acid mantle helps stave off alkaline that could break up the protein and cause problems like acne and skin allergies.

Since the acid mantle plays such a key role in how our skin functions, it is necessary to protect it. Any disruption to the acid mantle will interfere with the protective shield of skin cells that surrounds the epidermis. Cells can be dislodged from each other, causing dryness, irritation, roughness and flaking. When cells break apart, skin is left defenseless. Also, as cells pull away, the remaining breaks leave skin exposed to bacteria. Usually bacteria have trouble penetrating the skin when pH is normal, because the acid mantle creates an unfavorable environment. If pH rises, the natural prevention of infection is compromised, making it easier for bacteria to penetrate under the skin, causing numerous skin problems.

It seems simple enough: Protect the acid mantle and regulate pH level to maintain healthy skin. However, it’s a lot more difficult than that, especially when you consider the fact that almost everything we face in our day to day life can interfere with the acid mantle. Sunlight, diet, excessive sweating and even applying skincare products can disrupt the harmony of skin ph.

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Protecting Skin pH

When it comes to skin treatment, the biggest mistake people make is washing skin with harsh soaps that are high in alkaline. As they strip off the acid mantle, these soaps debilitate natural defenses and extract fats that actually help protect skin. Bacteria is free to attack and can cause infection. It’s better to use a cleanser that contains more acidic or neutral elements, such as alpha hydroxyl or beta hydroxy. These will keep skin cells tightly locked together, maintaining skin’s healthy glow.

Prolonged skin conditions like acne are usually caused by skin that has a high, alkaline pH or an imbalanced acid mantle. Bacteria can continuously infiltrate the skin, creating a consecutive string of pimples. Luckily, many acne treatments focus on restoring skin’s acidity, so skin can return to normal and fight off breakouts. When selecting an acne treatment, be sure to read the ingredients and check labels to make sure it contains high acidic elements.

Sun damage can also remove the acid mantle, resulting in rashes, breakouts, infection and dry skin. The best way to protect yourself when you step outside is to apply a generous amount of sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin. And be sure to reapply it throughout the day, especially if you plan on being outside a lot. Also, applying a daily moisturizer can greatly improve pH balance, as well as rehydrate skin.

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For people dealing with the effects of aging, it can be difficult to reverse the damage done to the acid mantle. Aging skin is vulnerable because sebum production declines, so the ability of the acid mantle to protect skin decreases, leaving skin dry with noticeable wrinkles. The key to battling this is effective skin cell replacement, and using an exfoliating acid on a regular basis can help speed up cell turnover. By protecting the acid mantle and increasing the flow of new skin cells can keep skin looking youthful for longer.

 
Most cleansers, including bars and detergent soaps, are too alkaline for the skin, stripping away natural oils and causing it to become dry and irritated. Skin that is too alkaline can also be more susceptible to acne because a certain level of acidity is needed to inhibit bacterial growth on the skin. You may have noticed that many cleansers and shampoos are now avoiding the use of Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which has the approximate alkaline pH level of 10 and can be very drying and irritating to the skin. Choosing mild cleansers and toners that are slightly acidic (close to 5) will assist in properly maintaining the acid mantle and benefit all skin types.dermalogica-cleansers

 

 
As we age, the amount of oil or sebum produced naturally from our skin decreases and influences the acid mantle and its ability to protect the skin. Using moisturizers will help build this barrier. Oils that work well with the skin’s natural oil secretions include Jojoba, Coconut, Argan, and Olive Oils.

 
Topical antioxidants (Vitamin A, C, E, & Green Tea) are important in maintaining the acid mantle in two ways. They fortify the cells so that they can function optimally, and they protect the cells from environmental stresses and oxidation. Vitamin C in the form of L-Ascorbic Acid is acidic by nature and formulations will have a low pH, so while not being considered a pH balancing antioxidant, can be used safely and beneficially on the skin as long as it’s not used at the same time as other acidic products. The daily use of sunscreen defends the acid mantle by shielding the skin cells from sun damage and increasing the skin’s ability to protect itself.

Skin pH is a crucial part of skincare, and it’s important to understand how it is affected by skin products and everyday rituals. Maintaining balance is the best way to protect skin and keep it healthy. However, there are a number of skin problems that might require more help than an acid-based cleanser or sunscreen can provide. We have a skincare specialist that offer different professional procedures that treat both extreme and mild skin conditions. If you want to learn more about how skin pH affects you, contact us today. We can set you up with a personal consultation and get you on your way to clear, bright, healthy skin

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Amazing Benefits of Bananas For The Skin

Amazing Benefits of Bananas For The Skin

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Bananas give you a healthy skin.

banana Bananas are exceptionally healthy food that provides numerous health benefits. Probably bananas are the most widely consumed fruit in the world

Bananas contain many essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals. In addition, they are a good source of energy, and fiber. Benefits of bananas range from providing healthy skin and hair to prevention of cancer.

Millions of people in developing countries eat banana as a staple food. They also use it as a natural remedy for many illnesses. Bananas have many nutrients that are essential for your skin. They contain significant amounts of vitamin C which plays vital role in maintaining the integrity of your skin.

Collagen; a type of protein found in our skin. It is essential for strength and elasticity of the skin. Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen by the body.

In addition, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from damage caused by oxygen free radicals. Long term destruction caused cause by the free radicals is a major cause of premature aging process of the skin. An important benefit from eating banana is younger looking skin. It can also prevent hair loss.

Good hydration is needed for your skin in order to look nice. Banana has about 75 per cent water by weight in it. Eating bananas help hydrate your skin and prevent it from drying and peeling.

Bananas are good source of vitamin B6 which is also known as pyridoxine. This B group vitamin is essential for a good healthy skin. Large amounts of manganese are found in banana. Manganese is an antioxidant which protects the skin from damage by free radicals.

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Good source of potassium.
Potassium is essential for many important functions of the body. We need potassium to maintain our blood pressure in a healthy range. Inadequate intake of potassium with our diet can cause high blood pressure.

In addition, potassium is needed for the heart to contract properly. The pumping action helps convey the blood throughout the body. Furthermore, we need potassium for muscle contraction, and conduction of signals along nerve fibers.

Bananas have good amount of potassium. Many people do not know about the benefits provided by potassium in bananas.

Bananas are loaded with nutrients.

Banana is a versatile fruit that contain many nutrients including vitamins and minerals.

The following nutrition information is for an average size banana that would be approximately 100g in weight.

  • calories – 100
  • protein – 1.25g
  • carbohydrates – 25g
  • fiber – 3g
  • potassium – 400mg
  • zinc – 15mg
  • vitamin C – 10mg
  • vitamin B6 – 400micg
  • manganese – 300micg

In addition, they contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus which are needed for healthy bones and joints.

 banana-benefit

Health benefits from eating bananas are numerous. Instead of drinking a coffee, eat a banana. It will boost your energy and give you good amounts of nutrients…..Use bananas for healthy skin!

 

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New Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum

New Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum

Product Launch: New Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum

Everyone wants a smoother, firmer, brighter eye area; but those with sensitivity are typically left with few treatment options. Aggressive treatments and product ingredients can trigger stinging, redness, and irritation. This can further damage eye area tissue, and make the signs of aging worse. New UltraSmoothing Eye Serum is a 2-in-1, potent yet lightweight serum that delivers age-fighting actives to address fine lines around the eyes while soothing delicate skin.

Today I attend IDI postgraduate class on MicroZone treatment addressing Skin Soothing to diminish redness and inflammation, this treatment delivers cooling, soothing, repairing relief to sensitized and irritated skin.

Eye Relief, refresh and bring relief to itchy, tired, puffy eyes. Calms, soothes and reduces puffiness ideal for itchy, dry, tired and irritated eyes. I administered a treatment and also received one using the new Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum…..Tough on lines, Easy on the eyes!

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Dermalogica Expert Status

Dermalogica Expert Status

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Today I was awarded Dermalogica Expert Status certification; it’s recognition as one of the highest trained skin care professionals in the country.

I have completed on-going postgraduate education attending a minimum of 85 hours of training at the International Dermal Institute, training with the world’s professional skin care brand, Dermalogica. To achieve this Expert Status, I have completed a succession of specialist product, treatments and business workshops which are offered only to the most skilled and knowledgeable therapist in order for Dermalogica to award and recognize you as the best in the industry.

I have excelled to complete all three tires of education to reach this status: Dermalogica Certified, Dermalogica Specialist and Dermalogica Expert. I took the practical examination today in front of an instructor Sarah in order to pass.

I’m so excited to be one of a select group of skin specialist who has achieved Expert Status through extensive training and examination. I feel so pleased to have been recognized for my abilities as a therapist. It is great to provide and share my passion for skin care with my clients and customers through advice and treatments, helping them achieve great skin health.

My appreciation to the instructors, educators and office manager at IDI, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

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Grape Seed Extract….. Brain – Skin Connection

Grape Seed Extract….. Brain – Skin Connection
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Grape Seed Extract… Brain – Skin Connection

Grape seed extract is used for its powerful antioxidant quality. In fact, it’s known to be 20-50 times more powerful than vitamin C, E and beta-carotene—making it an incredibly effective anti-aging ingredient.

 

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Used throughout Europe to prevent and treat a variety of health conditions, grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant that can be used to benefit the body in many ways. Grape seed has antioxidant, anti-allergenic, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties and it can be instrumental in helping the body fight viruses, allergens, and carcinogens.

Because of its antioxidant properties, grape seed extract is considered an anti-aging wonder. Antioxidants are the most important nutrients for the skin. The bioflavonoids in grape seed extract help strengthen and protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Its antioxidant properties are considered to be stronger than those of vitamin C and Vitamin E. It helps to repair connective tissue while promoting skin enzyme activity.

Benefit of grape seep extract

Wrinkles and sagging skin, a common age old concern, particularly in women, is caused by harmful free radical activity. Aging is caused by years of physical wear and tear on the body and it can be hastened by poor lifestyle choices, such as a poor diet, smoking and the use of drugs and alcohol. Changing to a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet and supplementation, can ward off and even reverse aging. Grape seed extract contains one of the richest sources of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s), which makes it one of the most powerful antioxidants available. The use of Grape Seed Extract, together with implementing a healthy lifestyle, can make it possible to reverse much of the damage that has caused lines and wrinkles in the skin.

New research shows your skin condition may tell you the condition of your brain.

Skin just like the brain, changes dramatically as we age.  People age at different rates, according to inherited genes, environmental factors, diet and exercise and other habits, especially hormones.  Skin mirrors the first signs of aging, due to hormonal decline in the body accompanying aging.

Skin becomes thin, dry and pale in color, and it begins to form multiple fine wrinkles.  As the skin goes, so does the brain, because the brain is also being affected by the decline in hormones.  Using more natural ways to balance hormones, such as a healthy diet and exercise, along with supplements like Grape Seed Extract and Fish Oil, may be the safest route for most people to improve the quality of their brain and skin.

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Skin ages prematurely by the sun show deep wrinkling and develop many kinds of pigment changes.  This “photo damage” triggers inflammation in the body.  Chronic inflammation is also seen in premature brain aging such as in Alzheimer’s disease.  Not surprising, considering the brain – skin link, what is good for the brain is also great for the skin.  Scientific studies have confirmed Grape Seed Extract along with Fish Oil is beneficial for the brain and the skin.  It appears to help limit the damage of radiation from the sun, give skin a younger appearance and reduce the risk of skin cancer.  Grape seed extract is one of the few antioxidants that can help to protect nerve and brain tissue by penetrating the blood brain barrier.

We offer an array of treatments….learn more at www.lornabaxter.org

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In the fight against “Free Radicals” let’s get you in Skin Health

In the fight against “Free Radicals” let’s get you in Skin Health

In the fight against “Free Radicals” let’s get you in Skin Health

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As a Skin Care Therapist and Specialist I continue to educate my client in understanding their skin and how to keep it in skin health.  When a client understand and know his/her skin type and conditions they are better able to choose the right products to address their concerns.

Let’s look at the negative impact on our skin and body; it’s called “Free Radical”.  Environmental pollutants, sun, toxins, cigarette smoke are free radical generators and, are hazard to your skin health.  Our food and water also harbor free radicals in the form of pesticides and other toxins. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol also triggers substantial free radical production.

Protecting your skin has never been more confusing because finding the right skin care solution means first understanding the problem; I’m bringing you a short course in antioxidant education.

What Are Free Radicals?

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Model of the coenzyme B12 dependent enzyme, This enzyme utilizes free radicals.

Free radicals are everywhere, in the air, our bodies, and the materials around us. They cause the deterioration of plastics, the fading of paint, the degradation of works of art, aging related illnesses, and can contribute to heart attacks, stroke and cancers.

Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. In their quest to find another electron, they are very reactive and cause damage to surrounding molecules.

“Free radicals” is a term often used to describe damaged cells that can be problematic. They are “free” because they are missing a critical molecule, which sends them on a rampage to pair with another molecule.

Typically, stable molecules contain pairs of electrons. When a chemical reaction breaks the bonds that hold paired electrons together, free radicals are produced. Free radicals contain an odd number of electrons, which makes them unstable, short-lived, and highly reactive. As they combine with other atoms that contain unpaired electrons, new radicals are created, and a chain reaction begins. This process is essential for the decomposition of many different substances at high temperatures.

However, in the human body, oxidized free radicals are believed to cause tissue damage at the cellular level — harming our DNA, mitochondria, and cell membrane. An article titled “Antioxidants and Free Radicals” from the Sports MedWeb explains that antioxidants are molecules that defend the body from cellular damage by ending the free radical chain reaction before vital molecules are harmed. Sometimes referred to as “free radical scavengers,” the most commonly recognized antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Antioxidants minimize damage to your cells from free radicals.

Antioxidants

 

What exactly do they do? Antioxidants work to stop this damaging, disease-causing chain reaction that free radicals have started. Each type of antioxidant works either to prevent the chain reaction or stop it after it’s started.

 

People need to get more antioxidants in their diet to offset all these assaults, when you follow a healthy diet and eat multiple servings of fruits and vegetables, you’re compensating for the effects of environmental toxins. Your body simply doesn’t produce enough antioxidants to do all that.

 

Types of Antioxidants

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The body needs a mix of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene, to neutralize this free radical assault.

“For example, the role of vitamin C is to stop the chain reaction before it starts; it captures the free radical and neutralizes it. Vitamin E is a chain-breaking antioxidant. Wherever it is sitting in a membrane, it breaks the chain reaction.”

But while we get a regular dose of antioxidants from vitamins, fruits and vegetable, the current thinking is that we need extra antioxidant on a daily basis.  We can’t get enough of them to the skin by simply eating foods and even vitamins, so it is helpful to deliver antioxidants to the skin by applying them topically.

While high levels of antioxidants are thought to correlate with skin improvement, it’s choosing the product to benefit your skin needs and conditions.  Making sure it’s a product with guaranteed results, it’s equally important to make sure it’s a product that works for your skin and is something you want to incorporate into your daily regimen.  Unless it works and you actually like it, you won’t use it!

 

 

 

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