As you may know at Vitale we are trying out the new La Mav range of products and one that I have been getting feedback from the staff about is the Pore Refining Toner. La Mav describe this product as being good for skin that is prone to imbalance and congestion. As I haven’t personally tried this I pored (no pun intended) the ingredients to see why it was working so well and came up with a few ingredients of particular interest:
The base of this toner is aloe vera, glycerine and rose hydrosol which are all hydrating ingredients that don’t increase the likelihood of congestion. This is another product that goes on my list of “products I must try” as in summer or if I have been consuming rubbish food, congestion can be an issue for me.
I would love to hear any comments you may have about this product so please write us a review.
I have been having a few problems with congestion on my chin…again! I think it is due to the warm weather and not having a bathroom – our house is mid-renovation and so I have nowhere to put my skincare. As such my skin is suffering a little! So I pulled out my emergency bottle of Devita AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and have applied it 3 nights out of the last 6. I can already feel the difference – my chin feels less rough. I have put down a little about fruit acids below – how they work and what to look for in a good AHA product.
Fruit acids have long been shown to promote rapid change in rough skin by encouraging the rate of cellular turnover which can bring the appearance of smoother, younger looking skin, reduced pore size, and to give a healthy glow. The other benefits of fruit acids include helping to minimize break-outs particularly if they are related to congestion or makeup use, and milia bumps, reduce the appearance of fine lines, deeper wrinkles and darkened areas on the face. With past use I have noticed a reduction in pore size on my chin and nose. I have no wrinkles on my chin so cannot comment about their size reduction!
Using a therapeutic fruit acid blend will help manage the damaged upper layers of skin. They work by destroying the ‘glue’, which holds dead skin to the surface. As this dead skin is lifted, the other ingredients carry the individual flakes away and a water rinse neutralizes the skin. The result is a much-smoother skin surface and a more youthful appearance. A secondary benefit is fruit acid’s ability to draw moisturizers into the newly-exfoliated skin surface. It is always recommended to follow fruit acid use with a good quality moisturizer. New skin will absorb more of any product applied, both good and bad so it is best to use a natural or organic moisturizer.
Sources of Hydroxy Acids
How often can Fruit Acids be used?
It is ideal to use Fruit Acids no more than 2-3 times a week and preferably at night. Night-time use is due to a potential increase in sun sensitivity. Your skin can be more easily sunburnt when you use fruit acids as they are revealing newer, younger skin so ensure that you use an SPF30 sunscreen during the day.
The concentration (or %) of acid needs to be above 8% to be effective. Anything below 8% will not have significant skin benefits. Devita AHA is a potent blend of all natural fruit and sugar acids (12%). The high concentration means that this product will gently help retexturize the skin.
Please note with any concentrated product it is possible to over-use and over-stress the skin. A less is more approach is recommended and more is not better in this case. Use any AHA product as directed.
Read more about Devita AHAs
I love it when I come across a product that is just fantastic and by fantastic I mean that it provides a solution or exceeds expectations in some way. That is just what happened when I came across Live Live Bee Yummy Skin Food. A raw food product rich in unpasturised honey and honey cappings, Bee Yummy is a real solution for those with acne prone, oily or congested skin. The healing properties of the raw ingredients are extensive…too many to write about (can’t be getting RSI!) so of course, I have done a video blog instead (can you get RSI of the mouth?).
Just before we launch into the video blog, I want to mention the growing raw food trend. Emerging from the US, raw food is really coming into the fore in Australia of late and while I think that many Australians would do well to eat more raw and “live” foods, like many trends it has so many positive aspects and some downsides. I am going blog my opinion (because thats all it is!) about raw foods very soon however, I have to say, back to the product, Bee Yummy has all the best of the raw food/skin care trend and none of the downsides.Twitter It!
Have you heard of lymphatic drainage massage? This technique is probably the most we hear about the lymphatic system in general. Unlike the urinary system or digestive system, the lymph system tends to be viewed as the necessary but often ignored wall-flower in the process of detoxification.
In fact, the lymphatic system is a complex drainage network involving fluids, vessels and organs. Its
primary role is to remove cellular waste, proteins, foreign bodies, excess fluid, toxins and other microorganisms and return them to the bloodstream. Via the lymph nodes, this system helps to filter out toxins purify our bodies of waste.
There are approximately 6-10 litres of lymph in the body at any one time, which is pumped around via muscular contraction and movement. Lymph flows in one direction only – usually upwards towards the heart. When the body is under stress (infection, stress, lack of physical activity, dehydration, toxic overload) tissue swelling can result and protein accumulation in the lymph nodes occurs. The result is a build up of toxins, which can end up affecting the normal function of the cells. Long tem this can lead to underactive metabolic function of cells.
A classic example of chronic lymphatic congestion is the formation of cellulite, which is related in part to lymphatic congestion and poor blood flow to the affected areas. You can confirm the poor blood-flow yourself by feeling any areas of your body that have cellulite – they feel cooler than other areas of your skin due to the lack of warm blood supply to the area.
The body tries to protect itself from free toxins floating around in the body…after all they can damage our primary organs. As a result toxins are stored in many different ways in the body – mucus in the respiratory system, deposits in fat cells, as cholesterol or around the joints. Stimulating the flow of toxins out of the body by promoting lymphatic flow can help reduce your body’s overall toxic load.
There are a number of easy and effective ways to promote lymphatic flow including:
Jodie from Bodecare promotes dry body brushing as it stimulates the dense network of nerves that run just under the skin layer, which in-turn increase blood circulation and the function of the lymphatic system.
Another method suggested by Jodie is alternate cold and hot showers. This method for alternate showers comes from the Bodecare website:
Did you know that a prolonged hot shower without alternation with cool water (the type of shower most people take) is fatiguing and causes circulatory congestion? On the other hand, the properly performed Alternate Hot and Cold Shower exercises the circulatory system, nerves, endocrine glands and skin.
For best results of an Alternate Hot/Cold Shower you can use the following steps as a guide:
For related articles see below:Twitter It!
Yesterday I received this e-mail from a mother concerned about her daughter’s skin breakouts: My 12 year old daughter suffers from pimples splashed all over her forehead and just a few blackheads on her nose. Is there a reason that it’s her forehead mainly and what is best to treat her skin? Thanks.
Following on from my previous blog about facial diagnosis I thought it a timely question and so have put my reply below:
Skin breaks out because everyday toxins aren’t being eliminated properly by the
other detoxification pathways of the body. The reason breakouts usually occur on the forehead is related to digestive congestion or poor detoxification. Often this comes back to a diet high in sugars and processed foods or fats. If the breakouts are more cyst like in appearance it can related to high dairy intake. There is also her age to take into consideration. Hormonal changes will be making themselves known I am sure and this may also be affecting her skin. Usually it is the liver that can’t cope with the combination of toxins from the diet and an increase in hormones that have to be broken down and so the skin is affected.
While this all sounds quite full on, if she increases her water intake and cuts down on any processed foods and sugars she may find that it will settle down.
Encourage her to wash her face daily to remove oil. Black Soap is ideal for teenagers as apart from being a great cleanser, it is also mildly antibacterial and very gentle on skin. If she does need a moisturiser a light gel such as the Mukti Aloe Gel is all she will need. It contains no oil and so won’t contribute to congestion.
If you think she needs to take stronger steps to clear her skin, and you will know best what she eats etc, then Karen Fischer’s The Healthy Skin Diet outlines an excellent and relatively easy to follow program that doesn’t restrict foods a growing teenager should have.
Dear readers, please let me know if you have any further questions or comments as I would love to hear them. And if you have used products that help your skin with breakouts, we would LOVE to hear about them.Twitter It!
Recently lots of really interesting things have been popping up and I just have to let you all know. So this blog has exciting news for acne sufferers! My friend Fran Kerr hosts an acne specific site called highonhealth.org and I regularly recommend those suffereing from acne or breakouts check out her site – it holds a wealth of information about how to manage acne using diet, lifestyle, nutritional, topical and even emotional treatments. The great news is that Fran has just opened up a new acne coaching program and I think this is the best acne program I have seen (and that is saying something!). So I have put the details below.
This is the FIRST time anything like this has been offered on the net and I’m positive it’s going to change the way we treat acne in the future.
I’ve been itching to work closely with a select few acne suffers for quite some time now. So, I’m really looking forward to working personally with YOU to help you get clear skin for life!
Inside this program, you’re going to learn how to finally get beautifully clear skin and why everything you’ve tried before hasn’t been working.
And as a little extra bonus, I’m going to make sure you’re feeling happier, healthier, more self confident, and enjoying life that little bit more
What’s inside this course?
This is what you’ll get access to on the inside:
Now, there’s just one very important bit of detail that you need to know about…
I’m keeping the doors open for ONLY 2 weeks!
That means, if you are serious about getting clear skin too, you
MUST get on board with everyone else before I close doors again.
Once the doors are shut you will NOT be able to join again for a number of months. And I’m not even sure when I will be opening doors again.
So, if you really want to clear up your skin, make sure you join me today. It may just be one of your most exciting journeys yet!
PS: Please note, that because I want everyone to start at the same time, I’ll be closing doors in 2 weeks time from the time of sending this message. So make sure you join me before then, otherwise you’ll have to miss out!Twitter It!
ED note: In this article by Tarj Mavi, she questions the use of AHAs for younger skin (ie. women & men in their 20s). This is interesting as in previous blogs I have said that I am a fan of AHAs and think they are great
for congested skin (still waiting to see if they work for me on pigmentation). The other thing to note is that AHAs should not be used continuously which is the mistake I think many companies make when promoting AHA products designed for daily use. For more informaition about this have a look at my previous blog on this topic. For my 2 cents, I am still a fan of AHAs when used appropriately. In any case I thought I would give you the opportunity to read what Tarj has to say which is a very different view point and of course I would love to read about your experiences using AHAs so please comment!
It is not surprising that women of all ages are becoming increasingly aware of societies perception of growing old and we are PETRIFIED almost so that it’s bordering on insanity. Everyone is so worried that once the first signs of wrinkles or age spots appear we rush out and buy the strongest anti ageing treatment we can find hoping results will appear within the next couple of days, not giving a second thoughts to the possible side effects. As we repeatedly hear and read about Hollywood elite’s obsession with ageing and dieting we look for more permanent and sometimes damaging ways to erase ageing altogether. Even Scarlett Johansson at 25 who has been nominated the world’s sexiest women numerous times, has become so paranoid about her weight and complexion that she’s already been using anti ageing products since she hit 20.
In response to this ageing mania – The today show aired a segment this morning suggesting that young women who use anti ageing products could potentially be accelerating the ageing process rather than preventing/slowing it. The show discussed how the production of skin cells decreases with age. Products containing retinoids or alpha hydoxy acid compounds (glycolic and malic acids) purposely destroy skin cells to break down a layer of skin to help increase the speed of cell renewal and even out uneven skin tone in older women. However, if you’re constantly breaking down the natural, water-retaining protective layers of the skin; younger skin doesn’t have the strength to withstand the additional environmental factors and can react harmfully.
Younger skin is more sensitive than older skin. It is more susceptible to react badly to stronger ingredients like AHA’s, sometimes resulting in irritation, increased dryness and hence becoming more prone to sun damage. So if someone starts using products containing retinoids or AHA’s before their 25, you can ironically cause many of the problems that you’re trying to avert.
After the show a La Mav customer called me extremely concerned that at 26 she was damaging her skin. But you do NOT have to be concerned – safety was my number 1 concern when I started creating La Mav. I wanted to create a product that was not only age defying but that had the hydrating
capabilities to be used on all skin types and on all ages so that no matter the condition of the skin La Mav will work for you. For me anti ageing is about nourishing the skin to repair and maintain skin’s condition through constant hydration and rejuvenation. While none of La Mav products contain retinoids or alpha hydoxy acid compounds they are instead formulated with real, natural & potent active ingredients that increase firmness and elasticity of your skin with soothing & hydrating properties. Regardless of whether you’re 22, 26, 46 or 56 you can use La Mav with the assurance that your skin is getting the nutrients it needs to restore skin’s natural glow.
So when is the best time to start using an anti wrinkle cream?? It really depends on the individual and their skin type & condition – as many different factors play a role in the skin’s composition and overall elasticity. Some people should start using it as soon as they reach their 20’s, while others can wait until their 30’s.Twitter It!
I have always been curious about AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). While there was lots of good research around about their benefits there was also some about their potential side effects. So it has been an ingredient I have treated with caution and before I researched the ingredient, some suspicion. I think I am a bit of a cynic – I have to know about an ingredient before I am ready to embrace it. I also don’t like to leave stones unturned so when I realised the potential benefits of AHAs, I decided to give them a try. Who better to try it out on than myself? So this is part one of a blog about “My AHA Experiment”. The next installment will come at the end of 6 months.
AHAs (I use this term to cover BHAs or beta hydroxy acids as well) have a two fold effect. The first thing they do is reduce congestion – woopee, I need some of that! You can see the effects of this action relatively quickly (i.e. 10 days to 3 weeks). The second is to reduce sun damage and improve skin texture. According to clinical skin trials, this takes up to 6 months. I have been using the Devita AHA product for about 5 weeks now and I review the product as well as talk about the benefits and potential issues with the use of AHAs. So installment one of “My AHA Experiment” is below. I will get back to you with an update…in about 5 months time!
“My AHA Experiment”
Click here to view Devita AHAs
Topical Slow Aging Ingredients
Blackheads, whiteheads and blocked pores are usually caused by a combination of factors. Excess skin oil, sebum and toxins that are expelled through the skin are often an underlying issue. In addition dead skin cells, pollution, occlusive make up and dirt also play a role by filling up pores already opened by sebum and oil production.
Treatment of of Blackheads
So, how to get rid of blackheads and congested skin? Well squeezing them out is not the answer. This technique will just lead to further skin irritation and possibly damage and scarring to the surrounding tissue. Rather than removing blackheads by squeezing, the best way to get rid of them is by attacking the source of the problem.
1. A good cleansing routine: Cleansing the skin of daily dirt, grime and pollution is essential. A good cleansing routine is a very effective way to remove blackheads, as it will help wash away excess oil and dead skin particles. Use a gentle cleanser as harsh and overly-drying cleansers will only make the problem worse by causing an increase in sebum production. If your skin feels squeaky clean, dry and tight after washing, you are doing more harm than good and need to use a more gentle cleanser. Avoid products with Sodium laurel sulphate as this ingredient tends to disrupt the acid mantle again causing increased sebum production.
2. Regular gentle exfoliation: one way to minimise congestion and clogged pores is to ensure the top layer skin remains clear by regularly removing the dead skin cells. There are a number of very effective products you can use to remove dead skin cells.
Regular use of facial exfoliants or scrubs will help clear dead skin cells that block pores. Removing the top layer of dead cells will also allow your moisturiser or serum work more effectively as it comes into contact with live skin cells rather than dead ones.
There are a couple of things to look for in a good exfoliant. The most obvious, although it is surprising how many people ignore this, is that a body scrub is too harsh to be used as a facial scrub. Look for a very fine, soft exfoliant as your facial skin is soft and delicate. A harsh scrub may actually scour the surface of your skin much like a scrubbing brush and this can actually damage skin cells. If your skin is excessively red or inflamed after use they are far too strong. Gentle exfoliants will slough off cells without a harsh scrubbing effect and are suitable to be used 2-3 times a week.
3. Fruit Enzyme Peels: enzyme peels are another way of clearing dead skin cells. They work as a result of their ability to break the bonds between dead skin cells that form at the surface of the skin. Skin normally has a dead layer of cells at its surface (the corneocyte layer), and fruit enzymes can speed up the normal process of skin cell regeneration and sloughing. This results in increased flexibility of the skin as well as decreased formation of large dry skin flakes at the surface of the skin.
Pumpkin, pineapple and pawpaw provide natural, gentle enzyme proteases that loosen the glue between dead skin cells, slough away impurities, dead skin cells and unplug the pores while delivering nutrition to the skin. This leaves the skin cleansed and silky smooth and reduces the likelihood of blackheads. Fruit enzyme ‘peels’ only need to be used once or twice a week for good effect.
4. Light Moisturisers: moisturisers that use waxes, butters and petrochemical oils will be more likely to contribute to congestion in skin that is prone to blackheads. Please note that waxes and butters are perfectly suitable and definitely beneficial for those with dry or dehydrated skin but for those with congested skin, choose lotions rather than rich creams. If you have combination skin and suffer from congestion as well as dry skin, use oil based serums or hyaluronic acid to increase moisture content in the skin without contributing to further blockage.
5. Salicylic acid and glycolic acid in high concentrations are common recommendations for skin congestion and while they might be effective in the short term they can cause significant problems and can be counter-productive to softening and dissolving blackheads as they can dehydrate dry, normal and combination skin. In addition, those with a history of use of high concentration glycolic acid can suffer redness and irritation at a later date when exposed to even mildly acidic ingredients such as ascorbic acid. However, lower concentration AHAs and salicylic acid, such as found in retail brands is also effective. It may take a little longer to see the results but it doesn’t have the same potential for adverse results.
6. Make Up: Mineral make up is an ideal alternative for those with congested skin. Rather than sinking into or filling pores, the particles of pigment sit on the surface of the skin allowing the skin to breathe properly. This helps minimise congestion and eventually, allows the pores to shrink.
7. Dietary & Lifestyle tips: Plenty of water will help flush toxins out of your system and regular and regular exercise will keep your lymphatic system flowing. Together both these factors will help reduce the level of toxins being eliminated via the skin.
Research conducted at RMIT University, Melbourne, has shown that a low glycemic index (GI), moderate protein diet improved symptoms of acne including the number of facial lesions. The diet consisted of 25% of energy from protein and 45% of energy from low GI carbohydrates such as fruit and vegetables, grains and pulses. While this research was conducted on patients with acne, there are strong correlations between high GI diets and skin congestion as well. Generally a high GI diet is associated with a greater degree of systemic body toxicity and inflammation and those prone to skin conditions are likely to eliminate toxins through the skin more readily.
A diet high in vegetables, fruit, good fats, lean protein, nuts & seeds is ideal for the skin as it contains lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support skin health.
Following the steps above will not only help you minimise congestion but will also encourage clear, vibrant skin in general. And I am now back on track and accordingly my skin is looking so much better.
Author: Ananda Mahony NDTwitter It!
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