By Sally Gough
I'm sure many of us can agree that we do not allow enough time to ourselves?
Lately I have found myself chasing my tail continuously, and not allowing any time for myself,and the negative effects of this start to creep in.So I have to regularly check in with me!
Having time to yourself is so important, even if it’s just being able to have a Hot Bubble Bath with a glass of wine, or a small walk it is so important we have that time to relax and reflect on what’s important in life!
Every night before bed I get all my skincare products out in the bathroom and give myself a Mini Facial. I absolutely love The Prior Skincare Range and Medik8 Skincare, so I have some products from each range, and keep adding more to my collection,I invest in the best skincare for my skin,Like I invest in the best quality food to eat!
I would never be without these products now, they have totally changed my skin for the better. plus the little facial routine I do every night helps me to relax and prepare myself for sleep.
Since working at Elaine’s Beauty Spot I soon began to see how passionate all the therapists were about their skin and how important it is to take care of it! I then began my journey studying the skin and also soon became passionate about skincare a little knowledge can make such a difference!
A Healthy Diet Is Everything
Having a healthy Diet is one of the core elements of Self Care. Our bodies need sufficient nutrients and hydration to exist! Starting your day off with a healthy breakfast will provide your body with the fuel it requires to manage your energy levels throughout the day. I personally find it more difficult to maintain a healthy diet during the colder months, our bodies tend to crave more heartier foods. So I like to make some gorgeous homemade soup, any Vegetables that need using up this is a great way of using them too! Soup is healthy and also great for those colder days when you just need something warm to eat you know when you tuck into a steaming bowl of homemade soup your body is almost craving it's goodness.
With food being less nutritious than it used to be,alot more effort is required to keep your body at its optimum level so supplements to your diet is really something that everyone should look into.
Try to do something you enjoy every day. Think about what things you enjoy the most...... For me it’s walking my dogs,Baking and helping out my brother on his farm! I try to go for a walk every day. By just doing this every day it can help your mood, and make you feel that bit better.
Did you know, when you exercise your body releases chemicals, these are called dopamine, and endorphins,this is what makes you feel happy! Exercise also helps your brain get rid of chemicals that make you feel anxious and stressed. So not only is your brain releasing feel-good chemicals it is also helping to get rid of those nasty chemicals we don’t want. So just a short walk in the evening may just help you sleep better tonight!!
The importance of a Routine
So why is a routine important for self care? Personally I love a routine, it helps me to stay organised and productive. If for any reason my routine gets changed or stopped I find that really hard to deal with. When I don’t have any structure to my day it can cause me to feel stressed, anxious and I just can’t focus. So I have a routine that I try my best to stick to everyday as this helps me have a focused brain and feel active for the day ahead! Sometimes it just takes a slight tweek to this routine to make my day go better. This subject on it's own can have a book written about it.But I enjoy listening to Clubhouse Talk Forums about the 'Morning Routine's of Winners'.This give me idea's on improvements I can make.
This is a game changer
It’s Important we all get enough sleep in our lives. Your daily routine influences your quality of rest. It’s important you can maintain a consistent time for waking up and going to bed, this is because your sleep schedule affects your performance, energy level and emotional well-being.Putting as much energy into a sleep routine as well as a waking one is important self care. Night is the time you can recharge & repair.
Avoiding stimulates like wine/ caffeine and screen time can also help you not only nod off but allow you to sleep deeper.
I know that some of these things sound obvious, but they work.
Sometimes being reminded of some core & effective techniques can make such a difference.
Care For Yourself and You Can Deal With Anything.
Crow’s Feet, Bags and Dark circles around the eyes bother so many people.
The prevention and treatments are varied, so I am excited to share with you the many tips and tricks that I have picked up over the years. Hopefully this will leave you empowered and provide you with the necessary information to keep your eyes looking gorgeous and healthy.
The skin around your eyes is sooo delicate. In fact it is 40% thinner than the rest of your skin hence why without proper care it’s going to be one of the first areas to show the signs of aging.
One analogy would be to say that if your skin was paper, the skin around your eyes would be like delicate tissue paper. Another comparison I like to make is to think of it like a plastic bag; now start rubbing that bag and see what happens? It starts to go slack right!? Now this is exactly the same with the skin around your eyes, so if you take only one thing from this blog please STOP RUBBING YOUR EYES.
So as we have seen rubbing makes the skin slack, which then allows the fatty tissue under the eyes to slip. Add to this the associated fluid build up = puffy bags! With the skin around the eyes being so thin, any slight increase to the thinning in this area will result in the dark muscles & veins that are under the eyes starting to show through.
So some of the darkness is from thinning, but it can also be from pigmentation, which may be hereditary or sometimes post inflammatory. Now this is important to understand as dealing with different aging factors will affect which type of treatment and product you will need. Some of your eye issues will be hereditary but that only equates to approximately 20% of your aging, with the remaining 80% being down to everything else! So let’s look deeper into that 80% and see what some of the factors are and the solutions available;
UV Radiation: This one is a biggy. It Destroys Collagen & elastin, thickens up the top dead layer and thins the skin. Protect with SPF, hats and Sunglasses. To counteract some of the damage already caused please check out the treatments detailed further down this blog.
Smoking: Creates Free radicals that will damage collagen & elastin. Smoking also deoxygenates the area and the constant squinting adds to your lines. Obviously quitting would be the best for obvious reasons, but with nicotine being an addictive substance it is not as straightforward as that. So if you smoke it’s important to use antioxidents in your skin care.
Repetitive Movement: Some aging is just down to living as you have to move your face. If you find yourself constantly squinting there may be a problem with your vision that requires an eye test and prescription glasses. Alternatively you may be squinting due to difficulty with the light in which case sunglasses would help.
Sleep, Stress & Fatigue: We can all recognise that these have an effect on how the area around our eyes looks, as this is the first area to show the signs. We have all woken up looking pale with the area under the eyes appearing darker than ever! A good restorative night’s sleep allows your body to repair, relax and renew. If you are in a constant stress state, which shockingly 60% of us constantly live in, this will not only effect your ability in getting a decent night’s sleep but you also put your body & skin into a stress / inflammatory state. This state will produce stress hormones that have a knock on effect throughout the body that can result in the skin being more reactive and inflamed. If it’s possible for you to work on relaxation, from taking time outs to meditating, then it will allow the body to undertake some valuable repair time.
How you Sleep; If you are squashing your face into a pillow every night it may be time to look at other options. Some new neck supporting pillows are great to stop that squishing and a Silk pillow will also reduce the friction and heat on the skin, which is a valuable addition to your beauty regimen. If you do opt for the silk option please go for Vegan Silk. Usually the process of normal silk production involves the boiling alive of the silk worms in their cocoon, whereas with Vegan silk they wait for the silk worms to hatch first before harvesting the cocoon. This means the process takes a little longer but if you are like me you will be able to sleep better without the guilt ;-)
If you suffer with puffiness then you need to look at elevating your sleeping position. There are many ways to do this; using extra pillows or lifting up the whole upper back for instance. You can try using folded blankets but if finances allow there are beds that can elevate.
Dehydration; They say the eyes show your kidney health. This is because when you & the skin dehydrate it thins showing the dark muscles and veins underneath. We all know that it’s great to make sure we up our internal hydration levels and a topical cream will aid hydration where it needs it. More modern eye creams are either time released or reactive, delivering to your cells as they need hydration. Also eye creams will help in ensuring your protective lipid barrier is in place to keep that water locked in.
Allergies; Allergies, such as Hay fever, creates Inflammation resulting in rubbing dryness and sometimes inflammatory pigmentation. This is everything you want to prevent, so where possible avoid or protect your eyes from the irritant, take anti histamines and please don’t rub! See further down this blog for some anti inflammatory solutions.
Salt: Too much in your diet can lead to a build up of fluid and puffiness. This may resonate with you, and I bet it’s something we can all work on.
Medication: This can cause all sorts of side effects, and is something you may have to speak to your doctor about. You may have to do your best to counteract the medication effects the best you can, as there is no quick fix here.
Alcohol; This Dehydrates you, plus it contains a lot of sugar which causes Glycation, which is when glucose molecules attach themselves to Collagen and Elastin fibres making them brittle and brake.
Anaemia; Low Iron and / or B12 can result in poor oxygenation. You may need to look into topping these levels up with supplementation and avoid caffeine as this will destroy Iron from your diet.
Face Creams: Yes that’s right! If you remember from right at the beginning, the skin around the eye is 40% thinner. This means that it often can’t cope with the higher strength formulas designed for your face, so Invest in a good eye cream.
There are some amazing non surgical options that will improve the appearance and the health of the area.
Chemical peels; Amazing in salon treatment with virtually no downtime (depending on the strength). Not only will this improve fine lines and wrinkles but generally it will improve the health of the skin.
A Peel will resurface the area removing some damage caused from the sun, as sun damage thickens the top layer of skin. This resurfacing brightens the skin and can break down & remove some pigmentation. It will also stimulate collagen and Elastin together with plumping up of the lower layers of skin.
Micro Needling: This causes controlled micro damage which in turn stimulates an amazing amount of Collagen production. Ultimately this will thicken your skin with Collagen, which makes it more resilient. What is also great with skin needling is you can introduce special products back into the deeper layers of the skin for enhanced results. We use a special cocktail of ingredients for the area such as Vitamins, Minerals and Peptides to stimulate/reduce pigmentation. It can naturally relax the muscle without using Botox, and can be performed under the eyes and across the brow bone.
Photo therapy: Our Light Fusion can be added to other treatments such as Peels and Microneeding. This none intrusive light treatment, stimulates collagen, reduces inflammation and reduces pigmentation.
Laser: This can be used to create controlled pin point damage around the eye area to stimulate rejuvenation; however it can be limited due to not being able to get close to the eye area.
Plasma Treatment: Something I am looking into is this relatively new treatment, which unlike other treatments can be used on the eye lid. The process involves the creation of tiny burns in a grid like pattern in which the slack loose skin tightens around the burn. Some down time is expected, but I have seen some really impressive results.
Some handy little boosting treatments you can do at home.
Jade roller: Perfect to keep in a fridge or freezer. I love this item as you can use it as a facial massage tool. What I find amazing is if I have stress tension around my eyes, or I wake up a little puffy it soothes and treats the area instantly. Gently roll it across the brow bone and under the eye out towards the temple (lymph gland), to aid in draining away built up fluid and to sooth. This is also great for those suffering with hay fever.
Green Tea Bags: These are not only great to drink but can also be used on the eyes. Simply drink the tea and then place the tea bags in the fridge. Once chilled it’s great to put these bags on the eyes for 20 minutes. They are great as they contain antioxidants, caffeine and are anti inflammatory!
Eye Creams: Choosing the eye cream best for you will depend on what you want it to treat.
In my opinion a great place to start is with the Priori LCA Eye Cream, available for £52 in our salon.
This amazing multi eye cream does such a lot but is also gentle enough for anyone who hasn’t used any active eye cream before!
This light textured “balm-gel” features Priori’s adaptive technology allowing for instant but long-lasting results by enabling your skin to draw exactly what it needs for the delicate area around your eyes. A multi-layer formula that boosts hydration reduces dark circles and minimises the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It’s one busy balm.
If you apply to the skin cold from the fridge, it will give a rapid tightening and vaso-constriction of the area, reducing puffiness and great for seasonal allergies
If you are looking for a step up then look no further than the Priori Q Sod, available for £72 at our salon.
This dreamy adaptive eye cream features a multifunctional formula that protects your most sensitive skin areas while delivering powerful rejuvenating benefits. Fine lines and wrinkles don’t stand a chance against our exclusive antioxidant compound combined with Vitamin A for a smoother, more radiant appearance. Our adaptive technology delivers just what your eyes need…get ready for compliments.
These products are concentrated cocktails for the eye area and you only need per application an amount the size of a grain of rice split between the two eyes. Tip: - use the ring finger to apply as this finger won’t apply too much pressure. Also pat and not drag during the application. If you have any excess product then wipe it across your lip to help fight lip lines!
You may of have seen pictures of Doctors and Nurses with terrible marks, irritation and bruising from continually having to wear masks. With Boris’s announcement that we all should wear face coverings in public, that may mean an hour or two while you are out at the shops, or all day every day due to work commitments. This has not been rolled out as such in Wales at the time of this article, but it’s safe to presume that the advice will be along similar lines
Wearing a mask is going to create a moist hot environment for your skin. This can lead to all sorts of skin problems, so in this article I would like to offer some tips and solutions for your skin masking up.
So the first thing to consider is the hot environment for the skin when wearing a mask, and of course this is a problem which will only increase during the summer months. The heat generated from wearing the mask together your breath will be essentially steaming your skin. This increase in temperature will stimulate oil and sweat on the skin, which can lead to rashes, inflammation and Acne Break Outs.
To help offset this you may want to try these methods:-
*) Wash your face before and after wearing the mask
It goes without saying that a good, regular cleansing regime will remove the excess oil and sweat from your skin, so you don’t ‘steam it back in’!
I would recommend our surface radiance cleanse(link below) as this contains Salicylic Acid which helps to keep pores unblocked, while the gentle acids help to balance out your PH.
*) Avoid wearing makeup.
That is avoid make up just around the mask area. You can make up your eyes as they will be doing all the talking! You want to keep the area around the mouth clear of make up as you don’t want to be steaming the makeup into the skin.
*) Lightly moisturise during the day.
You want your skin to be in its best shape and this includes your lipid barrier/Ph & microbiome.
If you already suffer with dry skin I would recommend Priori Barrier Repair(link below) as this will repair your lipid barrier and deeply hydrate the skin.
If you are more prone to spots I would recommend Medik8 Balance Moisturiser (link below) as this will hydrate the skin, while helping to balance your microbiome with prebiotics and probiotics.
You see our skin is covered with bacteria, some good and some bad. It takes very little to tip the balance in favour of the bad bacteria which may very well lead to problems.
It is important not to forget that the skin is an amazing organ. If Corona Virus lands on healthy skin it can only live for a maximum of 10 minutes, as our skins protective acid mantle/microbiome destroys the virus. So it’s important to look after it, and in response it will look after you!
*) Use a skincare Silicon Barrier to protect against rubbing.
Now a mask should be firm but not tight on the skin, however, irritation caused by rubbing can still be an issue.
I would recommend here using a product that has a silicon barrier such as Mii Skin Smoothing Primer (link below). Designed to sit under make up this primer is perfect to apply over the skin to help prevent mask rubbing, and it has skin loving peptides in too!
I wear this most days and it’s great under make up and doesn’t clog my skin.
When it comes to the mask itself, we have been encouraged to make our own face coverings so as to leave enough surgical masks for the NHS. Here are some tips:-
* Use a breathable fabric such as cotton and try and slip in a filter for added protection.
* Be careful what fabric soaps and softeners you use as these could be the reason for a sensitive skin rash forming.
Now I’m not suggesting that these masks will protect you from the Corona Virus; many Scientists agree on that. Some compare it to trying to keep a mosquito out of the garden by using a chain mail fence.
The wearing of the mask is more of a courtesy to prevent the spreading your own infection to others. That is why surgical masks are used by surgeons to prevent germs from their mouth and nose entering the patient's body.
*) If you have to wear a reusable mask it’s advisable to wash it daily at 60* and use a rotation system of fresh clean masks. If you are able to lunch somewhere in the sun, leave your mask to dry out between shifts, as the sun will help to destroy the bacteria on it and dry it out.
Now here are a few post methods to try if you are starting to suffer:-
*) For general soreness and irritated dry skin , I would recommend Medik8 Ultimate Recovery(link below), as this soothing restorative cream will help reduce inflammation, and will improve your barrier function without clogging the skin.
*) If you are starting to get blackheads and pustules then I would recommend Medik8 Blemish SOS (link below), as this has high levels of Salicylic acid to unblock pores and niacinamide to regulate sebum production.
*) Now if you are getting red patches of skin that don’t improve you may have a skin fungal issue.
Malassezia Yeast lives on the skin of about 90% of us with no problem, but for some malassezia can cause real problems. The moist warm environment of the mask is the perfect environment for it as it feeds off the lipids within our skins oil.
If you are an acne sufferer and you have tried everything, and normal treatments are not improving your skin, it could be Malassezia yeast feeding off your oil and not p-acne bacteria. One thing we can do as a salon is to take a look at your skin through our observe skin system which will show your skin in a black light.
This will allow us to see;-
Coral-orange-red colour as bacterial acne
Blue-white-yellow as yeast.
We don’t know why this yeast starts to affect some people but some factors have also been indicated;
Birth Control Pills
Stress / Fatigue
The destruction of gut bacteria seams to contribute to Malassezia so taking Probiotics will help. I recommend Advanced Nutrition Youth Biome.
I would suggest seeing your pharmacist to obtain an anti fungal cream. Depending upon the severity you may need to visit your GP for an oral fungal medication.
If you discover your acne is from Malassezia you will have to ensure that your skincare isn’t feeding it and making it worse. Please contact me for more information of this.
Well I hope that has helped to empower and please feel free to share with others.
Keep Safe. Keep Strong. Keep Fabulous!