S27: Living with Melasma

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Melasma can truly affect the day to day life of an individual suffering from this condition.  This is such an agonizing and stubborn  condition because it is difficult to treat.  What is Melasma?  Most of you might be familiar with the term “mask of pregnancy” (colasma) these are  large brown patches of discoloration around the central portion of the  face that appear after giving birth due to the estrogen/progesterone imbalance  or hormonal  activity.  These hormonal shifts  are responsible for making the melanocytes (melanin producing cells) increase in activity which in turn coats the skin with a dark discoloration.  Melasma can appear also in the malar and mandibular area. In other words,  hyperpigmentation as a result from pregnancy, hormonal changes, using oral contraceptives, genetics and most especially from unprotected sun exposure.  Certain medical conditions can cause melasma such as thyroid problems, Addisons Disease and other disorders.  Please do not feel alone and isolated because of this condition- many people  suffer from Melasma and I am one of them. There are many treatments available and through  trial and error  each of us will find  our own solution to melasma. It is through your  very own persistence in researching this condition  and the  consistency of your skincare that you will either eliminate or fade your melasma. There are many ways to treat this condition but patience my friend is required on your part.  Melasma can happen with any skin tone but occurs mostly in women with darker skin tones.  Although, Type III skin type: ( fair) can also suffer from melasma. By the way, you can also experience melasma on different parts of your skin such as neck, arms and legs but this is not often.

Darker skin tones means that those affected are on the Fitzpatrick scale and they are types:

IV,  Mediterranean Caucasian Skin, medium skin type-

V,   Mideastern skin

VI,   Black skin

What you don’t want to do:

Never leave the house without a sunscreen, hat and glasses (cataracts)!  Protect yourself from the sun. Your skin is very sensitive and will aggravate your melasma. The longer wave lengths of the light are UVA rays and they find their way deeper in our skin. UVA rays are responsible for premature aging.  Although both UVA AND UVB both penetrate the atmosphere so it is vital that you protect your skin and eyes (cataracts).  The reason we tan is due to  UVA rays and overtime this causes damage to our skin. .  UVB RAYS give you that painful sunburn and redness.

Okay, let’s talk skincare action for this condition: first things first:

Be gentle with your skin.  Sometimes in an attempt to get rid of the hyperpigmentation we resort to treatments that actually make the condition worse.

Medications that are affected by the sun should be avoided.

You must always use sunscreen, hat and glasses when you leave your house!

Possible Treatments:

Cosmetic Lasers/Please research and make absolutely sure that you have exhausted all other possibilities.

1.  Fractional resurfacing laser. There is absolutely no guarantee that this will work and  it may even make it worse for darker skin tone individuals. This treatment uses many small laser beams and sends this energy under the skin to break up the pigment color but you need several sessions to get any results and it’s very expensive.

2.  Dermatologist: Make sure that you indeed have melasma. Visit your dermatologist!  Hyperpigmentation can be a result of other medical conditions.

Do not use bleaching creme it will leave your skin white in the  hyperpigmentation areas.

Use a sunscreen SPF 30 or higher that protects you from the UVA rays and UVB Rays

Chemical Peels may be suggested

Steroid creams

Topical cremes

Microdermabrasion

Hydroquinone, Tretinoin (Retin-A) and fluocinolone acetonide are generally combined in combination. Retin-A is a form of vitamin A which helps in the cell turnover. In other words, speeds the rate in which you shed your dead skin cells away. These ingredients can be quite dangerous so please do your homework and research these ingredients.

HRT-Hormonal replacement may cause Melasma.  The estrogen is believed  to cause Melasma.  After menopause you may actually begin to see the hyperpigmentation fade.

Galvanic or ultrasound facials

A combination of all the above or new treatments not listed may be used in your care..  Melasma is a stubborn condition and protection from the sun is vital. Some of your hyperpigmentation can fade with time and other areas are permanent.  Even if a certain area has faded, it can return with hormonal shifts such as pregnancy.  There are two types of discoloration:  Epidermal and Dermal  ( under the skin). You can also have both epidermal and dermal.

Natural Alternatives

Topical C’s seem to lighten epidermal melasma so therefore will help in some areas of your hyperpigmentation.  Studies have been proving that  Vitamin C helps in lightening the dark patches in the skin.  Vitamin C is also  rebuilds the collagen in your skin.  Remember that Vitamin C can be quite irritating and drying to the skin.  Always baby steps. Skin Patch Test everything that goes on your face. Be careful because for some vitamin C has been claimed to actually have  darken.

Turmeric Mask:  Check out episode S23: How To Lighten and Brighten Your Skin. I can actually see a lightening in my chin area and slightly on my upper lip so there may be something to this but not quite there yet. I use it three times a week right now – I make one batch and leave it in the refrigerator and apply it on my face for the next two days at night. Remember each of us needs to find what works for us. What may work for you may not do so for me.  Do your research and be willing to try those treatments that have worked for others..

Aloe Vera Gel:  contains mucilaginous poly saccharides which may help in fading the hyperpigmentation. There is also a removal of dead skin cells which is also very important.

Exfoliate: Do so regularly but be careful of those microdermabrasion kits at home because you can do serious damage.  I use my clarisonic but this does not help with melasma but prepares my skin for the serums such as  a light vitamin C.

MSM supplements: This is an organic form of  sulfur (found in plants)  that may help the melasma from inside out. Just make sure that it is organic and that the only ingredient is Methylsulfonylmethane.   Consume MSM in capsules or powder. Some people claim better skin, hair and nails.  Always Check with your doctor.  Always start small amounts of MSM-everything in moderation.  

Pycnogenol :  Some melasma sufferers are claiming that pycnogenol helps. This is a bark extract but like always research all information first and run it by your doctor. l

Become a make up camouflage artist! It’s very important to learn how to cover your melasma. Take a makeup artistry lesson on how to camouflage by your local skincare therapist (esthetician) or  visit a make up artist. Learn from online tips as well.  Research and help cover the melasma while you search for answers..

Stress Levels:  Be very careful!  Your adrenal glands can be the cause of your melasma as well-possibly. Worth checking out through a doctors visit.  Get a complete blood work   Our adrenal glands send out cortisol as a result may cause  an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone.  Take time throughout your day just for you to relax a moment or two.  I know easier said than done but try.  Stress can create hormonal imbalances so learn to manage your stress.

Boost Internal health:. Consume a clean diet and keep up with your fitness regiment.  Include meditation, yoga or do anything that gives you peace and relaxation.

Okay there you have it just a little information  on what is a very large and emotional topic.   You are beautiful inside and this radiates outside ALWAYS.  There are no scars or medical challenge that can hide your internal beauty.  Remember that and live your life to the fullest.  Be well and Happy.

This information is presented to ignite you into doing your own research . Your medical professional is your partner in health and it is very important to inform he/she of any changes you are considering within your prescribed health regiment. 

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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S26: Our Teenagers Are At Risk Of…

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A recent study indicated that our teenagers are not protecting themselves from our sun’s harmful UV rays. In fact, there has been a decline on sunscreen usage.  Our teens are placing themselves in harms way and it is up to us to remedy this situation immediately.

1.  Schools must be more proactive in educating our teens in sunscreen (health class)  being part of their skincare routine.

2.  Dermatologist and Skincare therapists are quite often exposed to teens with acne problems and this makes it a great opportunity to place a sunscreen in their hands.  Take this time with your teenage client to educate on how to apply sunscreen. Educate them on the possible risks that are involved in NOT using sunscreen.

3.  Education on sun protection starts with the parents. It is easier to get a young person into the habit of placing their own sunscreen each morning than it is an older child.  Just as your child brushes his/her teeth and brush their hair so should the sunscreen become part of the morning regiment.  Sunscreen should be second nature all year long.

Here is the you tube link: http://youtu.be/o9BqrSAHbTc    How The Sun Sees You by Thomas Leveritt

Thank you for joining me today.  The secret to great skin is consistency.

Be Well and Happy.

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S25: Before You Go To Beauty School You Should Know…..

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Interested in becoming a Skincare Therapist? An Esthetician?

1.  You should love people because you will be around them all day long.

2. What are the opportunities in your community?

3.  Have an idea of the area in skincare that interests you such as makeup artistry, brow, acne or mature skin specialist.  You can work for a large cosmetic company or become part of the dermatologist office in medical Aesthetics. Do you have a gift in writing?  Consider a career as a beauty writer for large cosmetic companies or magazines. Waxing centers have sprung up all throughout our country and many skincare professionals start out in this type of setting.

4.  Write a list of all the schools near your home.  Call and set an appointment.  Suggestion:  Do not commit to anything until you have visited other schools and have taken time to re-think this decision.

5.  This is a great career but also an exhausting one.  Whether you want to start your own spa, skin studio or work for another company,  I wish you great success.  You can lead a fabulous career but do your homework and prepare for what is a fabulous field.  Learning never ends in the beauty industry most especially skincare. Best of everything to you.

 

 

 

 

S24: Should You Use A Clarisonic?

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The Clarisonic removes the dirt- hidden and embedded in your pores- from your face and this is done by the motorized brush moving the bristles rapidly actually wiggling the debris out of the pores.  The process of removing  the dead cells without stripping your skin’s natural PH is a must. . The replacement brushes run around $30.00 and the unit itself is expensive.  Use it gently because most people are under the impression that you need to scrub your skin to get it clean. False!  You will disturb/irritate the outer layer of your skin called the stratum corneum which serves as a protective layer. A definite added plus is the lymphatic massage this provides most especially in those “puffy” face mornings.  During a facial spa treatment this type of massage helps with increasing circulation so the same principle applies to using your clarisonic.  The Clarisonic Mia($149.00) is the unit that I use and yes I love it!  My observation as been that in the reduction of my pores in  size and just overall glowing/clean look.  Please don’t use the Clarisonic if you are using retinols.  Consult with your dermatologist before adding or eliminating a prescribed treatment.  If you are experiencing skin challenges such as acne or rosacea then you may want to re-consider using the clarisonic.  Sensitive skin and those with broken capillaries may find the clarisonic to harsh to use.  Please remember that your skin gives you clues each day on what it needs.  The secret to great skincare is consistent attention-keep it simple skincare.   http://demandware.edgesuite.net/sits_pod22/dw/image/v2/AANG_PRD/on/demandware.static/Sites-Clarisonic-US-Site/Sites-clarisonic-master-catalog/default/v1408885264617/Mia_Lavender_Front_1000x1000.png?sw=443&sh=443&sm=fit

 

Thank you for joining me today. Have a nice day!

 

S23: How To Lighten and Brighten Your Skin.

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Turmeric Mask

1 cup of rice Flour

1 teaspoon of organic turmeric powder

1 cup of yogurt

1 teaspoon of Manuka honey

Combine all ingredients.  Your end result should be a thick consistency. Always skin patch test and partner with your physician or dermatologist before changing any skin care routine.  This mask works over time but will give you an immediate glow upon rinsing it off.  Please listen to our program for the full details on how to create your very own turmeric mask.  Thank you for joining me today. Please feel free to share this information via social media.  Thanks! Bye for now!

S22: How To Avoid Pre-mature Aging.

Show Notes:  Sadly, skincare/beauty products are not put through any “safety” test so you don’t know when something isn’t so great for you.  There is no “product recall” in place to protect us from harmful ingredients found in our beauty care. How do we protect our health when using our beauty products?  By educating ourselves on what ingredients have proven or are even suspected to cause harm.  In Europe there has been a ban of over 1000 ingredients known to cause harm in cosmetics and we have only had a few.  Mostly those pertaining to skin lighting agents (hydroquinone)  and hair straightening treatments have been banned.  The rest is up to us to research and avoid within our own skincare regiment.  Harmful ingredients will not only age your skin but create an unbalance to your overall well-being. Read your labels.  Generally if you can’t pronounce the name of an ingredient  then it most likely does not belong in or on your body.

1.  Use a sunscreen with zinc Oxide or titanium Dioxide. SPF 15 or 30 depending on outdoor Activity. Reapply often. Prevent sun damage! sunspots on your hands are a result of the unprotected sun exposure so don’t forget the rest of your body. Even if you work indoors and sit by a window  the sun can find you and create damage.  Wear a hat that covers your face and don’t forget to protect your eyes (sunglasses). We have UVB and UVA light rays   and just for your 411-UVA sun rays can go through windows and land on your skin which is cancer producing.   So wear your sunscreen all seasons-365 days a year- come rain or shine.

2.  People who smoke age rapidly so if that alone can make you stop great! Your overall well being is in jeopardy but you already know that. I know that it is hard to quit smoking so let me share some tips that have helped others.   The number one jump start  in quitting smoking  is really wanting to quit.  Nicotine is addicting so trying to quit all by your lonesome may be difficult so seek help.  Visit you primary physician and let he or she know that you are ready to quit smoking. The physician can make certain nicotine replacement recommendations that have been proven successful . Recruit the help of family and friends because it’s those in your social circle that will prevent you from lighting “just one more” in your weak moments.  Consider behavioral therapy along with your physician recommendations to ensure your success.

3.  Keep your stress in check.  Incorporate restful music, sports exercise most especially when you are eliminating bad habits such as smoking and drinking.  Meditate, visualize, breath and take naps!  By the way, when you exercise please don’t tense your jaw because the cords that run along your neck stand out and pulls down the face making you look older and tired.

4.  Eat more fruits, vegetables and drink more water.  Please don’t drink your water through a straw because it creates lines. Consider adding light juicing if you don’t consume lots of veggies.  Eliminate if possible, excess salt, caffeine and most especially sugar  The sugar in our diet is bad because it breaks down the collagen and elastin in the skin causing you to age quicker.

5. Allow your skin to repair itself at night by getting a good night sleep.  Utilize silk or satin pillow case so you don’t wake up with lines on your face. If your budget allow, invest in 1000 thread count sheets and pillow cases this helps prevent wrinkles/sleep lines. Change your pillow cases daily because they collect bacteria and absorbs the oils from our skincare products on our face at night.

6.  Pamper your skin by providing it with excellent and consistent skincare.  Cleanse, Moisturize and use sunscreen.those  We want to boost cell turnover and chase away those DNA-havoc creating free radicals.

Daily and consistent steps will ensure healthy and beautiful skin.

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S21: Let’s Talk Eyebrows.

Show Notes:  The eyebrows are the canopy for your beautiful eyes! The Eyebrows job is to protect our eyes and keep our vision clear by keeping the moisture from sweat away from our eyes.  Consider the arch of your eyebrow the traffic cop that directs sweat/moisture down the sides of your face instead of your eyes.  The salty composition of sweat can irritate your eye so your eyebrow is a must.  In the 1960’s some  women shaved or plucked their eyebrow off  just to pencil them in.  Some women as a result of having to pencil in their eyebrows would create a harsh brow giving the appearance of being angry.  Yes, mean eyebrows can have anyone running the other way quicker before you can even say hello. Well- groomed eyebrows can absolutely change the appearance of your face! The eyebrows are our most expressive feature of our face we need to groom them regularly.  The tools you need at home:  Eyebrow gel,  a little scissor, an eyebrow shadow/palette and eyebrow brush.  You should visit an eyebrow specialist at one of the -now famous-“brow bars” within your department stores or Ulta  and have them groomed from time to time.  In between once you have learned you can groom yourself. It is a little expensive at the least $25.00 to tweeze or wax your brow. Gentlemen, have your brows tweezed not waxed.  Wax gives a softer and feminine appeal.  Men generally want a strong look and you can achieve that type of eyebrow by tweezing. Your eyebrows hold lots of power so take care of them too! Thanks for sharing this time with me.  Enjoy your day!

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S20: The World Of The Esthetician.

Show Notes:  Contact your local Department of state licensing and request an Esthetician packet. This packet will include the study hours required before taking the state exam for licensing.  Find your niche -specialize in an area that you really enjoy.  Here are some ideas: skincare therapist,  makeup artistry, medical aesthetics, cosmetic laser technician, beauty writer, spa/cosmetic sales representative, and oncology esthetics.  In New York you are required to complete a 600 hour program.  Please visit as many schools as possible before making a decision. Best of luck to you!

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S19: Harp Therapy To Reduce Stress?

There is no doubt that stress has an impact on our skin health.  Just think about the last time that you were stressed out.  Maybe you experienced a break out in pimples or itchy skin.  If you are struggling with a certain skin condition such as rosacea you may have discovered how stress exasperates it.  Stress will worsen any medical challenge that you may be undergoing.   Life challenges are part of our human experience and stress is in the mix of it all.  One of the most powerful tools that we have to ease stress is through music.  Most especially what is being termed as “harp therapy”.  Harp therapist practice in hospitals, hospices,  and other medical settings.  As a Healing harpist practitioner, I  included “harp therapy” into my oncology Esthetics. I discovered that there is -clearly- a mind/ body connection when harp therapy is administered.    Music of any kind that  is calming to you is a great tool in stress reduction.  There is a great deal of brain activity going on with music therapy.  Another stress reducer is actually learning how to play a musical instrument.  Another benefit is that it increases HgH which is the human growth hormone produced by the pituitary glands which declines with age.  HgH helps keep our skin healthy and slows down the aging process.  Incorporating music has a positive effecs on all levels most especially our skin health.

Stress reduction sources:  Calm Radio -Harp, Hoffman Academy (piano Lessons), Harp Therapy International (Harp Therapy program).

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