A question from a customer struck home for me this month. It was about red skin, not rosacea rather a red or pink tone to the skin. This is more common in pale skins like myself and I have always tended to a slightly pink nose and red cheeks. Ironically now that my skin tone has evened out, I use blush!
This question from Nadia: I am a 39 year old redhead with freckly skin (from the sun!) and fairly red skin on my chin and cheeks, other than that, my skin is in good condition, with no wrinkles and I am regularly told I look late 20’s. I have had the redness for many years (I have had two try at expensive laser treatment twice, (its not rosacea ), though it hasn’t worked and I was very disappointed.
My skin doesn’t appear to be sensitive at all. I wear a lot of foundation to cover the redness (I don’t have any freckles on my face). I would love to get away from wearing foundation all the time, though it is quite a sensitive topic for me, as it stops me doing many outdoor activities, sports etc, as I am always touching up my make up, as I am so self conscious about my skin.
My response to Nadia was: Thank you for your e-mail. Based on what you have written below I have a couple of suggestions. Firstly it is great that your skin looks so good – it shows you have looked after it.
With regard to redness…the cause may be internal. I have attached a link to an article I wrote recently about Facial Diagnosis which looks at the internal causes of skin issues including red skin. The thing that makes my redness worse is when I drink too much coffee, alcohol or eat sugary, processed foods. These foods are pro-inflammatory and so can cause redness in the skin. For me, minimising these foods helps a great deal.
Topically I find that vitamin C products help reduce redness. They increase the antioxidant network in the skin and improve skin immunity all which seem to dampen down redness. Personally, as one with red cheeks, I have used Devita C Accelerate to great effect with redness. I have also used antioxidants internally (vitamins A, C, E and zinc along with grapeseed) and this markedly decreased the redness in my cheeks. The grapeseed works by strengthening the capillary network reducing reactivity and “blushing”.
In addition, while it may not be obvious, sun exposure can contribute to redness over time so wearing sunscreen on your face is important. Where the damage is permanent and long lasting Devita Sun Damage Repair Gel may help as it promotes repair of damaged skin and helps lighten spots. To cover redness, I recommend and use Mineral Makeup (my savior on many occasions). Minerelle, the brand we stock is a professional range and the cover is excellent. I only need to apply once a day for great long-lasting cover.
Ed note: I did go onto to discuss feelings of self-consciousness with Nadia because on a personal note, I do understand the feeling of being self-conscious about my skin. It took me a long time to feel ok about going without makeup and even now sometimes I look in the mirror and think that my skin looks terrible. However, I finally realised that the more I focused on it, the more of an issue it became and I was making myself miserable. These days I am far more accepting of how I look and it is quite frankly, a relief.
I would love to read your comments, how you feel about your skin and what helps you feel better.Twitter It!
This Summer has been great for me from the perspective of minimal sun exposure…we have had so much rain that it has only been in the last month that the sun has really had a chance to make an impact. I do sun myself in the early morning and late afternoon – I need the vitamin D and the emotional “shine” that comes from sunshine. But really, I am mostly freckle and sun-damage free. Good news for me however, I have had so many people ask me about skin brightening and preventing pigmentation – what works, is there anything natural, how long it takes and what to do to prevent dark spots and sun damage next Summer?
I have written an article about the individual ingredients that assist with skin brightening before. You can read that here: My Skin Lightening Experiment
In this blog I am going to review 3 skin-brightening products and discuss how they are best used. I will just note that I use the terms “lightening” or “brightening” with reference to pigmentation only as opposed to lightening the natural skin tone.
Prevention/Sun Damage: La Mav Brightening Complex – this product is more effective for evening out skin tone rather than lightening specific pigmentation areas. It is effective for helping to prevent sun damage and inhibiting melanin formation. Use this to prevent damage or for evening skin tone.
Melasma/Sun Spots/Small Area Sun Damage: Devita Skin Brightening Serum – this product is specifically designed to help fight the appearance of Hyperpigmentation that is primarily caused by hormones, birth control pill use, chemical peels, waxes etc. SBS works using the natural skin lighteners Kojic acid and Arbutin which work synergistically to help break-up hyperpigmentation, along with Emblica fruit extract, a proven skin lightener, all which help give the look of a balanced skin tone. SBS is applied to small areas or for spot application. One bottle will last up to 6 months.
Chemical Peel Discolouration/Large Facial Area Sun Damage: Devita Complex KBA – this is from the Devita professional Rx range. It has been formulated to lighten the appearance of skin, which has been discoloured from chemical peels, age spots, sun-spots and freckles. A cream rather than a serum, it spreads over the entire face rather than being used for spot or area application.
Remember any skin lightening treatment takes up to 8-10 weeks to see significant effects.
This question from a customer is interesting because it details a number of skin issues at once and the question is then, what to do first? Can everything be managed at once? I have a method for improving pretty much any skin condition or issue that I am asked about and I have outlined it below. It starts at the foundation of good skin health and progresses from there. This questions illustrates the process:
Q: Firstly, thank you for all the excellent information you provide via your blog, newsletter and mini skin care course. It really is very good especially since there is so much (misleading) information out there. My email is regarding the following:
I have been using Akin products for some time now but I think it is time for change. I am 36 and I have noticed that my skin condition has changed significantly in the last 5 years. I think I need to change to skin care specifically for slowing the ageing process.
I have very dry skin (I often reapply moisturizer in the afternoon), my skin is losing elasticity, wrinkles are certainly visible, I have some sun damage and hormone spots from pregnancies. I am fair and my skin is delicate.
Can you help me with advice on:
A: Reading your e-mail I suggest we work with the skin issues you have outlined in the following way (in order of priority):
1. repair dehydration and correct nutrient status – at the very outset, this will help your skin to plump out and look younger. It is also the basis for healthy skin.
2. correct sun damage – this will take about 3 months but will really make a difference to your skin. Sun damage is a visible sign of skin ageing. It is at this stage that any other skin issues are addressed e.g. pigmentation, rosacea, irritation
3. support slow ageing – some of what we do above will be slow ageing but once your skin is hydrated and sun protected, we can look at longer term slow aging. The reason I put anti-aging 3rd is that by addressing the other issues (if they are present) you will achieve healthier, younger looking skin anyway. Then we can start with specific anti-aging skin care.
For dry skin, choose a lotion cleanser instead of a gel cleanser. The AUM Brightening Cream Cleanser is ideal as it also contains enzymes to help clear congestion and reduce sun damage but is gentle on dry skin at the same time. Use an oil serum at night to help improve the moisture holding capacity of the skin cells. You can apply the serum instead of a night cream. Any serum you use should sink into the skin completely within 5 minutes. Remedica Regenerate Visage will nourish the skin deeply and more than that, help improve the skin cell health due to the high antioxidant and essential fatty acid levels. Then address sun damage. I suggest a moisturiser with a natural sunscreen agent such as Devita Solar Protect (SPF 30). If it feels too light, use half a pump of Regenerate Visage and then apply the Solar Protect over the top.
With existing sun damage you have a couple of options. You can cover it up (and I am going to suggest a make up below) and/or you can fade back the pigmentation using a natural skin brightening serum. I used the Devita Skin Brightening Serum with great effect myself this year. Pigmentation I thought would never fade has and I have skin quite similar to yours – fair & dry.
It will take about 3 weeks for you to really see a difference in your skin hydration and at about 3 months, the pigmentation should start to fade back significantly. After 4-6 months we can look at some more specific slow aging products such as vitamin C serums etc but until then, they won’t be as effective as they could be.
I would love to hear if you have a similar story and what you have done to manage either dry or pigmented skin.
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