Welcome to my first blog!
I thought I would start with something close to my heart… Sensitive Skin.
Sensitive skin is very complex with many causes and symptoms that can vary from person to person. Symptoms of sensitive skin can include redness, itching, pain, heat/burning, swelling, flaking, roughness and small pustules. It is not always easy to determine the cause of sensitive skin but some careful investigating to help understand your skin type, lifestyle, health and current skincare can help give the answers and lead the way to a calmer, happier skin.
There are many factors that can cause sensitivity in the skin but first we must understand the difference between sensitive and sensitised skin.
True Sensitive skin on the other hand is usually something we are born with/a hereditary skin issue. Usually the client will suffer systemic diseases and disorders such as asthma, eczema, hayfever, allergies, and food intolerances. In these cases, we aim to minimise inflammation and maintain an ongoing sensitive skincare regime.
If your skin is sensitised, it is temporary, and the aim is to determine what has caused this sensitisation. There are many factors that can cause temporary sensitisation in our skin. Some of these include but are not limited to extreme weather (particularly dry, winter air), air conditioning/heating, medication, over-exfoliation, impaired skin barrier, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, sun exposure/sun damage, chemical irritants- soaps, hair dyes, skincare products, fragrances, preservatives, sunscreens (usually chemical-based ones) and smoking.
These factors can all have an impact on the skin’s intercellular matrix by depleting the skin’s lipid content as well as its content of Natural Moisturising Factors. Some of the lipids and NMFs in the skin include ceramides, hyaluronic acid, cholesterol, fatty acids, triglycerides, amino acids, linoleic acid, glycerine, mucopolysaccharide (and many more). These ingredients all help keep our skin intact preventing irritation, keeps bacteria out and aids our skin’s immune system so keep an eye out for them in your skincare.
Sensitised skin usually happens from an external trigger and is something that can usually be controlled or eliminated. Once the trigger is removed/reduced the skin will often return to a healthier state, with a little TLC of course. Once the cause is determined and eliminated (where possible) and a sensitive skincare regime is followed the skin may return to ‘normal’. Once this is achieved you can generally return to a normal skincare regime for your skin type.
What can you do at home?
We suggest a minimal skincare regime of cleansing, hyaluronic serum, eye cream, moisturiser and SPF daily with a mild exfoliant no more than once weekly.
And, don’t forget your makeup! If you must wear makeup make sure it is mineral based and remove it each night before bed with a mild cleanser (don’t forget to double cleanse!). Removing makeup before bed prevents a build-up of dirt and bacteria. Follow with hyaluronic serum, eye cream and a moisturiser. A night time regime is so important for all skin types. For sensitive skins, this is the time our skin heals and repairs itself; while we sleep!
Depending on how sensitive your skin is we also recommend using a 0.50mm CIT roller 1-2 times a month. We recommend this at night time as it can cause some redness in the skin. Collagen Induction Therapy triggers the healing response in your skin; remember, our skin heals itself while we sleep.
Avoid harsh soaps, exfoliants and chemicals that can cause skin irritation and redness.
Use sun protection-hat, sunglasses, clothing, sunscreen etc
Avoid foods and drinks that can trigger a reaction. These can include spicy foods, alcohol and any foods you may be intolerant to such as dairy, soy, gluten.
Reduce stress levels
Avoid strenuous and stressful exercise that cause facial flushing. Opt for gentle exercise such as walking, tai chi, swimming, light weights, yoga etc
Avoid long, hot showers and baths, sauna, spa etc
A lot of people underestimate the impact of stress. Not only does it affect our mind and body but also our skin. Stress has a major impact on our skin! Stress, like many other things impact our hormones and leads to sensitivity and break outs. Stress hormones trigger inflammation which increases skin reactivity, dryness and even pigmentation. Insomnia can also have a negative reaction on our skin as sleep deprivation impacts our immune system, and again, our skin repairs itself when we sleep.
Healthy tummy = Healthy skin
We also recommend assessing your diet. Do you have food intolerances you ignore? Do you take probiotics/prebiotics? How much water do you consume daily? Are you eating enough healthy fats to give your skin the essential fatty acids it needs to function properly?
We recommend eating a wide variety of whole plant foods, healthy fats from whole foods such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados and good sources of omega-3 oils. Enjoy lots of fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water (aim for 2 litres, carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go!) and consider taking probiotics/prebiotics as there is a link between gut health and inflammation in the skin. And, of course, limit your intake of processed foods.
How can we help?
No matter the reason for your sensitive or sensitised skin as a skin therapist my first priority is calming the heat and inflammation in your skin and repairing the skin’s natural barrier while helping you determine the cause(s).
Here at Maya Beauty and Dermal Therapy we have many in-clinic treatments and home care options that can help you achieve happier skin. I have sensitive skin myself and strive to help others like me enjoy their best skin.
We have carefully designed the Maya Calming Facial to help calm, hydrate and restore the skin and provide deep relaxation to help reduce stress. If you are highly stressed, we recommend adding a body massage for complete relaxation.
We use equipment such as Cryo Cooling, LED Light Therapy and Oxygen Rejuvenation Spray, teamed with massage and Doctor’s formula skincare from SkinO2 with key ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid.
Let’s take a closer look…
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in our skin. It is a natural moisturiser with incredible water-binding capabilities (it can hold 1000 times its own weight in water!). It’s ability to retain water gives immediate suppleness and smoothness to rough skin and improves skin appearance. And, remember it is one of our skin’s natural moisturising factors and helps keep our skin barrier intact.
LED Light Therapy provides natural pain relief, reduces swelling and inflammation and aids faster healing. We use both red and blue light depending on individual skin needs.
The proven effects of red light therapy include increased immune system activity, cellular regeneration and circulation, clearing of inflammation and increased lymphatic activity, pain relief, regulation of collagen production and skin rejuvenation, while blue light kills bacteria so great for anyone with inflamed acne.
Massagecan help to promote blood flow, reduce swelling, and assist in eliminating toxins. However, traditional facial massage techniques create friction that will heat the skin and cause further inflammation, therefore we use a combination of the following:
Cryo cooling– cools the skin and reduces inflammation, swelling and pain. Our Cryo Cooling treatment combines Cryo Cooling technology with SkinO2 HA Derma Fill Gel Mask with ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Hyaluronic acid, Centella Asiatica extract and Allantion to calm inflammation, soothe, protect and promote skin healing, collagen synthesis, improve skin elasticity and revitalize the skin’s barrier. Cryo Cooling allows us to cool the skin through massage while being soothing and calming on the skin and for the client.
Pressure point therapy– works with the pressure points along the body’s meridians. Pressure Point Therapy helps to promote blood flow, alleviate pain and reduce stress.
Lymphatic drainage- People with conditions such as rosacea, chronic acne and eczema are prone to constant lymph node swelling which causes redness, heat and itching in the skin.
Lymphatic drainage massage can help remove the build-up of irritation under the skin, and relieve the itchiness, redness, heat and swelling while being deeply relaxing and reducing stress.
I hope you have enjoyed my first blog and have found it helpful. We hope to see you in clinic soon!