Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It takes a long time to become young - reverse the signs of ageing

“It takes a long time to become young”-Pablo Picasso

It is a sad but true fact that we reach our peak age at 25 and from then, all we can hope for is to slow down the aging process.

How you tackle this niggling problem will show not only on your facial skin but also in how your body reacts later on. In the Middle Ages the average life expectancy was 20 years. In 2020 it will be 90 years and predictions for 2050 indicates 120 years! Who would want to life that long unless you are also “young”?

The meaning of anti-aging has changed significantly over the last few years and now the focus is on raising our life expectancy and quality of life by caring not only for the outside, but the inside as well.

There is no more need for your skin and body to look haggard and run down. Everyone ages differently due to genetic factors, hormonal imbalances and lifestyles. Aged (mature) skin is determined by our age, but more importantly, by the declining processes of our body. It is now possible to ascertain one’s biological age, which is different from one’s chronological age, by using a battery of reliable, coded tests. A 30 year old woman can look 50 years old due to the effects of sun exposure, smoking, alcohol, pollution, stress, lack of sleep and an inadequate diet. However, the opposite can also be true by establishing a good beauty routine and looking after body, mind and inner harmony.

The normal changes associated with facial aging are the result of both intrinsic (age related fat and bone loss known as atrophy, hormonal imbalances, illnesses etc) and extrinsic factors (like sunlight, pollution, and smoking). As we age, the outer layers of the skin comes slightly thinner because of the reduced rate of regeneration in the lower levels of the skin.

Melanin production (the substance that our cells secrete to give us a “tan”) decreases, thus increasing the risk of sun damage and therefore, skin cancer. Collagen, (the softness factor of our skin) becomes “stable” and in general the skin is less pliable. Elastin fibers degenerate and the skin looses its elasticity and suppleness. The fatty deposits under the skin shrink causing the skin to bruise more easily since blood vessels are not as well protected as before. The skin also tends to retain less water, resulting in dry, flaky skin. These changes all add to the deep wrinkles around the mouth, sagging skin, softening of the oval of the face and a general tired look.

According to Dr Claude Dalle, in his article ANTI-AGEING: PREVENTION AND OPTIMISATION we need to consider the following to slow down Father Time:

We need to optimise our hormones as the levels drop over time and it can already start in our early 20’s. We all have catabolic hormones that degenerate our bodies. Anabolic hormones regenerate skin, muscles and bones. Between the ages of 25 and 70, the different rates at which our bodies produce catabolic hormones and anabolic hormones get more out of balance with the end result of growing old.

The more we stress, the more cortisone our bodies produce and the more negative the effect is on our bodies. In order for us to extend our life span, we have to reduce our stress levels.

We need to pay special attention to our diet. Be careful of steroids and other growth hormones that may be added to livestock feeds. The effects of these on our bodies are not yet fully known. Rather be safe than sorry! Use fresh produce where possible and do not destroy all the goodness by over cooking. Beware using too much seasoning.

Include essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants in your diet or as supplements as these compounds will enhance your anti aging regime. There are numerous food supplements on the market which can sort this for you by simply taking a couple of tables at breakfast time. Your salon can also assist you with specialist products according to your needs.

Dr Catherine de Goursac a physician specialising in aesthetic treatments gives excellent advice:

The rules pertaining to anti-ageing:

• You need to exercise 30 minutes per day or three hours per week because it increases longevity.
• Limit your intake of dairy products
• Limit your intake of fatty and sugary foods.
• Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
• Cut out smoking and alcohol.
• Maintain your goal weight, or stay within 5% of it.
• Visit your doctor regularly as it is important to pick up organ problems and cancers as early as possible.
• Optimise anti-oxidants.
• Keep hormones balanced.
• Drink a liter and a half of water per day.
• Keep a youthful outlook because if you think young, you stay young……?

The idea of a Fountain of Youth that will keep us young forever is as old as history itself and unfortunately has not been discovered yet. The complete prevention or reversal of ageing will not happen in our lifetime but the desire to reverse the signs of ageing still make people use strange and wonderful remedies and potions.

Perhaps a better option would be to follow a good daily beauty routine, stress less, laugh more and enjoy the outdoors with a SPF 30!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What is in a Good Cleanser?

Choosing your cleanser with care is very important, as this will lay the foundation of how well your skin will respond to the rest of you beauty routine. A too oily/greasy cleanser can leave you skin with clogged pores and leave a film of product behind that will stay on the skin, which will then prevent the skin from absorbing the rest of the products. A cleanser that dries out the skin too much will result in the skin feeling dry, tight and uncomfortable. It may also cause flaking skin that may be difficult to correct without using a multitude of products.

If you do a little homework before you buy a cleanser, you may find it is actually very easy to get it right. First, establish what your skin type is. Please read our article “Facial Skin Types ” to help with this. Your current skin conditions will also play a role in which cleanser will work best for you. There are three types of cleansers available that will fit into one of these categories:

Water soluble cleansers described as Cleansing Milk, Creamy Milk, Mousse Cleanser, Lotion Cleanser or Liquid Cleanser. 
This is a cleanser that you can remove with a couple of splashes of water. It should wash you make-up off leaving the skin comfortable and fresh looking and should not contain any irritants, i.e. abrasives and harsh chemicals. These cleansers are the best option if you have a normal to combination skin and if you prefer water on your skin, but do not wish to use a soapy cleanser.

Salon products that I can recommend:
Vitaderm :Mild Gel Cleanser
TheraVine: Gentle Cleansing Cream

Wipe- Off Cleansers described as Cold Cream, Cleansing Cream or Cleansing Milk.
These have a thicker consistency than the milk and can be removed by wiping it off. This is a very good choice for dry and dehydrated skins but be sure to use either damp cotton wool or a very soft washcloth to remove it.

Salon products that I can recommend:
Vitaderm: Gentle Cream Cleanser, Nourishing Cream Cleanser
Anesi: Radiance Cleansing Milk Vitality or Makeup Remover Emulsion

This comes in a variety of forms and strengths. It can be a bar of soap, a mousse, a gel or a liquid soap that either foams or not. This can be very useful for acne and oily skins however, please be very careful when you use these types of cleansers as they often contain sodium lauryl sulphate which can be very harsh on your skin.

Salon products that I can recommend:
Vitaderm: Purifying Gel Cleanser
TheraVine: Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Make-up Remover: 
This is a product formulated specifically for the eye area and can either be a liquid or a thicker, milky lotion. If you use water proof mascara make sure that the one you choose can cope with this very difficult-to-remove make-up product. Be very, very gentle when cleansing the eye area as it is very easy to stretch the skin. If you cannot be gentle please rather use a water-soluble cleanser that can wash it away!

Salon products that I can recommend:
Vitaderm: Gentle Eye Make-up Remover

Please note that a cleanser should do exactly that and no more! Do not use a cleanser on a daily basis that contains grainy particles, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids or any anti-bacterial ingredients. There are absolutely nothing wrong with these ingredients and in the proper product they will do wonders for your skin. However, using it on a daily basis will be a waste of a good ingredient as you will just wash it off and they will not do your skin any good that way! Using a granular cleanser daily will strip away far too mush natural oils and will over-exfoliate your skin.

Please read our articles “The importance of cleansing your skin” and “Toners, etc.” to further help you to correctly cleanse your skin.

If you need any further information on how to choose your home care products, please contact us at 082 398 9817 for an appointment or if you want to know more about the products that we stock in the salon, please visit our website @ http://www.agbeautysalon.co.za/

Toners, clarifiers, fresheners, refiners, tonics and astringents

Toners, clarifiers, fresheners, refiners, tonics and astringents. All the same thing? All these names refer to the product that you use after you have cleansed your skin. A good toner should help remove the last traces of make-up, in the case of inflamed skin should help reduce inflammation, soothe any irritations, increase the efficiency of the moisturisers, restore the pH balance of the skin and can also leave moisturising ingredients on the skin as this product is not washed off after application. It should not contain any irritants like SD Alcohols, acetone and volatile plant extracts, witch hazel, ammonia, camphor etc.

Many clients are very sceptical about the use of toners, but I would rather skip the morning cleanser and only tone if I am in a hurry. I use bottles and bottles of the stuff in comparison to my cleanser usage and once you have found the correct one for your skin, you will probably never go without it again.

As with the cleansers you should use toners that are skin-type specific and preferable one that compliments your cleanser. In other words, if you use a cleanser from a range of products for dry skin types, the toner that is in this range will 9 out of 10 times be the one that is right for you. However, do not hesitate to use a sensitive range toner with a dry skin or a combination range toner with a normal skin. I found that if you use a cleanser for your skin type and a toner for your skin condition, you will be happy with the result.

Salon products that I can recommend:

Normal Skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner

TheraVine: Balancing Toner

Dry skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner
TheraVine: HydraVine Toner

Oily /Acne Skin:
Vitaderm: Antiseptic Toner, Regulating Toner
Theravine: Balancing Toner

Combination skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner
TheraVine: Balancing Toner or HydraVine Toner

Sensitive/ allergic skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner

TheraVine: Balancing Toner or HydraVine Toner

Mature skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner
TheraVine: Balancing Toner or HydraVine Toner

Please read our articles “The importance of cleansing your skin” and “What is in a good cleanser?” to further help you to correctly cleanse your skin.

If you need any further information on how to choose your home care products, please contact us at 011 958 5152 for an appointment or if you want to know more about the products that we stock in the salon, please visit our website @ http://www.agbeautysalon.co.za/

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beauty Rules: Does and Don'ts for Skin Care

THE TEN THOU SHALT/ SHALT NOTS OF BEAUTY-according to me, that is!

In no particular order of importance, except numbers 1 and 2

THOU SHALT NOT tan, EVER!!! The sun is your enemy, NOT your friend. 
There is no such thing as a safe tan, sun beds included. It has been proven over and over and over....that the sun and sun beds give cancer. Sun beds and similar equipment are nothing but cancer machines and should be avoided at all costs. The sun is the number ONE reason for premature ageing and pigmentation.

THOU SHALT use a sun block SPF15 every day of your life. 
Come summer, winter, rain or snow you must wear it 365 days a year. Surfaces like water, snow, sand, glass, cement, even grass and all shiny ones reflect the sun’s rays causing even more damage. Altitude enhance the sun rays so be very careful if you are outside in the mountains.

 THOU SHALT NOT covet your neighbour’s skin. 
Your genes play a major role in how your skin looks and feels. Proper skin routines and STAYING OUT OF THE SUN will make your skin look healthy and beautiful in its own way. 

 THOU SHALT NOT look at the pictures in the magazines of beautiful anorexic looking YOUNG models and believe that all women should look like that. 
The photos are taken in perfect lighting, they use perfect make-up application, spend three hours getting their hair done and their teeth bleached, then the picture goes through digital enhancement and air brushing until it creates the perfect image.

 THOU SHALT NOT buy products over the internet from unreliable sources, during your friend’s “beauty party” at home or through TV shopping channels. 
These people are not trained to give you the best advice. Most of the time they will sell you anything as long as you buy something because they get commission on each and every sale they do, irrespective if the product contains caviar or baking soda.

  THOU SHALT remove ALL make-up every night before going to sleep.
 The body heal and repair itself only during sleep and the skin will absorb and make the most use of any treatment creams applied at night.

  THOU SHALT not squeeze, pick and hassle your skin until it is red, swollen and has irritated spots all over. It creates scarring and pigmented areas that can take months to heal, if at all.

 THOU SHALT not slather your body in cream until you look like a marshmallow. 
More is Not better. Use the creams sparingly and apply a little more if the first application is not enough to feel comfortable. You will only waste a lot of money and products if you overdo the application.

 THOU SHALT NOT exfoliate more than once a week, no matter what the lady in the shop tells you. 
Our outer skin layers can take up to 45 days to replace itself and if you rub and scrub the poor things off every day, you WILL get red, irritated and sensitised skin. THOU SHALT love yourself, ever minute of every day. We are all special and we all have endearing qualities, so let no one tell you differently.
Please be gentle to body, mind and spirit-Namaste 

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