Pigmentation is something most people have to deal with on a daily basis. But how do we get it? And is it easy to get rid of?
There are so many different factors when it comes to pigmentation and it is in fact the hardest condition to deal with, as once it is there it will never completely go and it will always have to be carefully looked after or else it will come back very easily.
This is where the melanocytes go into hyperdrive and keep producing too much melanin (pigment) and the keratinocytes (skin cells) cannot pick them up, so they pool at the bottom of the skin making the pigmentation spots you know and love!
There are two ways the pigmentation production gets sped up; age/sun damage and then hormonal pigmentation, usually due to pregnancy or using contraceptives.
Once this production has sped up, it is hard to slow it down and it always has to be kept at bay.
Prevention is better than cure. Always wear SPF. This will help to protect your skin from many things, fast ageing, burning, skin cancer and of course the dreaded age spots. SPF doesn’t stop you from tanning. You will tan, just slowly and gradually. Going pink or lobster-looking is your skin's warning sign that it's not good. Remember red is bad!
Vitamin C helps with free radical damage and is an antioxidant. And what does this actually mean? Free radicals are unstable atoms that destroy cells (they are trying to stabilise themselves by pinching atoms from our skin cells, then damaging our cells in the meantime). Vitamin C helps to rebuild damaged cells. This Vitamin is lightening and brightening. So will help reduce pigmentation and brighten your skin.
Tyrosinase is the enzyme that helps the amino acid Tyrosine, which helps form Melanin. Tyrosinase inhibitors basically turn off the pigment-making tap. Ingredients that are Tyrosinase inhibitors include Kojic Acid, Licorice root and Azelaic Acid.
IPL - Intense Pulsed Light treatment is best for age spots. As the light is attracted to the pigmentation, it draws the pigmentation up to the surface. This gives the skin time to heal and removes the pigmentation. Depending on the severity of the pigmentation, depends on how many treatments are needed.
On average it is around three but can sometimes need 6 treatments. This treatment is only good for ageing and sun damage pigmentation, as this pigmentation is skin deep. Hormonal pigmentation cannot be treated with this method.
This treatment works with all pigmentation. This in-clinic treatment is also known as collagen induction therapy. Needling works with tiny needles going into the skin to cause mini traumas, which helps the skin start the wound healing. This wound healing helps the skin rebuild to the way it was supposed to be. Which helps to get rid of unwanted pigmentation. Up to 6 treatments are needed to help complete the skin rejuvenation.
The main idea to take from this is no matter what you do, whether you are using products or treatments, you must always wear SPF.
Once you are in the process of treating the pigmentation, it usually goes darker before disappearing. This means that the pigmentation is travelling up and out of the skin. Which is a good sign!
Though one thing you must remember sun will always affect pigmentation. Even if you have successfully treated the pigmentation, you must always wear sunscreen to prevent any from coming back and as always, if you have a budget, always choose home care over treatments. Using products daily is much better for your skin than a treatment once a month.
Would you like some help with your pigmentation?
Book an Advanced Skin Analysis Consultation here to discuss your specific requirements.
A new treatment this summer is Dermaplaning, many people have questioned me, what is Dermaplaning? Is it good for your skin? What will it look like after?
Dermaplaning is also known as blading, skin resurfacing or skin leveling. Dermaplaning removes the outer most layers of the dead skin cells, immediately leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. It is a non-traumatic facial and most are suitable to have this treatment. This is another form of exfoliation. With this exfoliation of the dead skin cells, the vellus hair is removed, causing the skin to be perfectly silky smooth. This is turn allows make-up to sit flawlessly on the skin, as it will not clog the hairs. Dermaplaning is using a surgical sterile blade to remove to excess dead skin and downy hair.
Dermaplaning is very popular with celebrities in this high definition era. It makes the skin look more defined and sharp, perfect for all those Instagram photos.
Dermaplaning is a manual method of exfoliation, this means most people can have this treatment. It helps with rough, dry skin and can help with superficial pigmentation and scarring.
Treatment results are a more refined, smooth, glowing appearance.
The hair that is removed from your skin is called vellus hair, it is soft and downy. This can grow back slightly blunt, but will always be vellus hair. If the hair is terminal (darker and/or thicker) it will come back as terminal. Dermaplaning cannot change the hair to something it wasn’t in the first place.
A thorough consultation is done at the start of the treatment, to ensure the treatment is suitable and what will be needed for each individual client. As with any facial, I start with a cleanse and tone of the skin, the Dermaplaning is then performed and an Alumier MD mask is applied to the face. Depending on what was discussed during the consultation, the face mask that is applied will be what is needed for the skin i.e Deep Moisture Mask, Enzyme Therapy Mask or Refining Clay Mask. After the mask is washed off, Recovery Balm and SPF 40 is applied to the skin.
You will be given aftercare to ensure that you take good care of your skin. Your skin will feel bare or someone described to me one ‘naked’! So always make sure you follow the aftercare and a big must is wearing SPF all day every day, especially in the summer months.
This is entirely up to you. Clients love to have Dermaplaning for special one-off treatment or some like to have it as a regular, every 4 - 6 weeks treatment. It is recommended that anyone having it done for a wedding has a trial facial five weeks before the big day, to ensure their skin is suitable and not too sensitive for the deep exfoliation.
I hope this has answered your questions on Dermaplaning and has helped you decide whether it is suitable for you. If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
This treatment is available at Kay Cooper Skin Centre, and you can book here online.
A month ago I introduced a new treatment to the skin centre and when I mentioned chemical peel, the look on some faces were slightly horrified and a little scared. A common question was asked, “will I look like Samantha from Sex & the city after?!” This question has come up quite a few times, I thought I had better address it.
Now I would like to point out that Samantha had gone to a plastic surgeon to have her Botox then he offered her the peel (I had to rewatch it for research purposes) with plastic surgeons they can go deeper into the skin and prescribe hydrocortisone for healing the skin after. Therefore their peels can be a very deep peel. The Alumier peel I use is a light to medium level. Which is not aggressive, yet still effective for skin conditions
So after realising that you won't look like something off of The Walking Dead let me explain to you:
A chemical peel is a technique that is used to improve the texture of the skin. It helps with acne, ageing, pigmentation, and redness. The peel intends to remove the outer most layers so that it speeds up desquamation, the natural skin exfoliation process.
Please don’t think a chemical peel is a harsh skin stripping treatment. The chemicals that are used are natural acids you find, for example, lactic acid, which is naturally found in milk and salicylic acid is found in plants, another is soy amino acids, which is extracted from yeast.
With the explanation of the chemicals used, you can see they are not the harsh skin peeling chemicals you naturally think of.
These ingredients are progressive, not aggressive, ensuring they are targeting specific skin conditions. Salicylic is great for mopping up excess oil.
There are so many skin conditions that a peel can help with; ageing, hyperpigmentation, acne, redness. These are the main conditions that I hear clients say they are unhappy about. The peel itself helps to remove the outer layers of the skin quickly, so the newer, healthier, the less blemished skin can appear.
A single peel will help with the appearance of your skin initially (around 10 days after) though if you have a skin condition a course of peels with home care will be the best course of action for the best possible outcome. If you were trying to lose weight and only ate healthy once a month you wouldn’t lose a lot.
Each person's skin can look different each time. My first peel was absolutely amazing, my skin was glowing. Then my next peel, I had a few flaky bits to start with, but then it settled after 5 days and as I mentioned before my skin looked amazing at day 10. As there can be such a difference after each peel, I would always make sure that you have not got a special occasion a week or so after the peel, as the reaction can be different each time.
After having a peel, which is a really deep exfoliation, you must take good care of your skin. After each peel you will be given an after peel pack, to be used for 5-7 days after. Which contains a cleanser, moisturiser and an SPF 40. This is to make sure when you go outside your skin is protected at all times. Not wearing SPF will cause sun damage/hyperpigmentation.
To get the very best results from the peels, it's recommended that you use the home care products continually in between peels. The best analogy I’ve heard recently is; if you have your kitchen professionally cleaned once a month, you wouldn’t expect it to stay clean in between. The more effort you put into looking after your skin the better it will look.
The winter season is tough on the skin, dry air and harsh winds can sap the moisture from the skin. This can cause cracking, chapping and irritation.
Changing temperature means a change of routine, no matter which part of the world you live in. If you want your skin to be its best. You have to adjust your routines to help it to keep healthy as possible throughout the winter months. Here are a few guidelines for the long winters months, to help you keep your skin in good condition.
Don’t take long, hot showers. Hot showers may sound attractive in the cold winter and they can help warm you up. But they can also strip skin of its natural moisturising lipids, leaving your skin dry. Instead, take a short warm shower. Pat your skin almost dry and apply a good moisturiser while the skin is still damp. A moisturiser with shea butter or almond butter as they help to protect the skins own natural oils. You will need a super-emollient lotion for hands and heels. Or anywhere else you experience especially dry, cracked skin.
Continue to protect your skin from sun damage. While seasons change, one thing that remains constant: the sun. No matter what season it is, it's still shining. And you need sunscreen to protect your skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. Even though it's not blazing hot. Your skin is still vulnerable to damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Since you’re usually wrapped up outside in the wintertime, you don’t need a lot. But try to wear a moisturiser with an SPF 15 on your face and all exposed skin throughout the wintertime. If your planning on taking a skiing holiday, do wear a high SPF. The sunlight reflecting on the snow can leave you with severe sunburn from a day on the slopes.
Exfoliate twice a week. This will remove the dead skin cells and allow the skin to absorb extra moisture. The oil which we complain about in the summer is no longer being produced. Because of the cooler winter temperatures. Therefore skin loses the water, which should be retained in the lower dermis of the skin. This can lead to premature ageing of the skin and fine lines, whilst your skin can appear puffy and grey.
Moisture frequently. Use a cleanser with oils and emollients. The more oil a moisturiser contains, the more moisture the skin will retain. If you work outdoors, make sure your face moisturiser is thick barrier cream. That will help protect from the wind as well as the sun. If you work indoors with central heating add an extra serum to your usual skin routine. A hyaluronic serum will help with combatting dehydration and keeps in natural moisture.
Use a humidifier. With heat on and the windows closed, the air inside your home can become very dry. This can cause your skin to feel dry and itchy. So it's important to use a humidifier in communal areas. As the dryness in the atmosphere can also cause dry throats, as well as dry, cracked skin.
Drink plenty of water. This is a year-round tip but often avoided in the winter months. Its recommended that you drink 8 glasses, 2 litres of water a day. Drinking water gives you energy and benefits health. This helps you not overeat and most importantly helps your skin not become dehydrated.
I hope this helps you in protecting your skin from the terrors of the winter. If you have any questions or queries on how you can take care of your skin, please feel free to contact me.
Not a lot of people know that I have been searching for a skincare range for a little while now.
I have been trying to find a range that was good for everyone. But I always try the products out on myself first before I am confident to recommend them to others. However this can be a downfall for me. A few years ago when the mineral make-up became fashionable I tried some. This one particular make-up range had been bulked out with talc. This made skin reacted badly with it and caused a hypersensitivity around my mouth and nose. So 7 years on and I have a redness that is permanent and I am self conscious about it. Over the years I have tried many skincare ranges. And having a few friends in the industry, who have offered their recommendations. Unfortunately with the hypersensitivity. Most skincare ranges would make my skin flare up and make the area sore. I had found skincare that didn’t irritate, but then I had to use a foundation powder, which dried out my skin.
I have had recently a lot of clients come to me for treatments and have skin problems. This can be dry skin or oily skin, these can cause problems for the treatments I provide. Oily skin can conduct the electrical current in electrolysis, so we need a lower setting. Oily skin tends not to hold pigment well. So microblading can be difficult, some cases its not recommended at all. Dry skin can also be a problem, with waxing, cracked open skin. Electrolysis can be difficult with dead skin blocking hair follicles. Some cases the dead skin can even cause ingrowing hairs.
Now with all these skin issues that have risen. While I’m doing treatments or consultations many people ask me what I recommend. And up until recently I have struggled with this question as I had not even found one for myself. So how could I recommend anything to anyone that I was not happy with?
Recently a facebook friend had started with a business with a cosmeceutical range. She was posting how great this range was. Now I was not expecting miracles. Lets face it my skin has been like this for 7 years, so I know the damage is permanent. But my ears perked up to a cosmeceutical range. This is a grade below prescription based skin care. The ingredients in cosmeceutical is active and penetrates the skin deeper. This can help with problem skin.
Looking through the range I found a tinted moisturiser that had full coverage! This was going to be good. No more powder foundation, and crinkled skin around my mouth and eyes half way through the day. And it was even better than I imagined, it covered the redness perfectly. The coverage lasted from 7am to 8pm with no extra application. Two months on from the start of using it and I have had no soreness or irritation. Don’t get me wrong the redness is still there. Like I mentioned 7 years on, that isn’t going anywhere. But now I found something that can help my insecurities and give me a confidence again.
Now you ask ‘what has your skin issues got to do with me?’ Let me tell you, this range will help you with any skin issue you may have. If you have dry, oily or maturing skin this range can help. It is a very simple, no added extra skin care range. Cleanse, serum (if needed) moisturise. And even a face mask once a week for an intense treatment.
The next thing you will most likely be thinking is ‘how much will this cost?’ . The price can be an issue, with some ranges can charge around £100 for a little pot of moisturiser. And that makes me cringe, especially when they only last a month! The price of the tinted moisturiser I use is less than £20! £18.50 to be exact and I have not reached the halfway mark yet and its been around two months of using it. The most expensive part of the range are the moisturisers. These help with anti-aging, dryness and pigmentation marks. They all cost around £24 each and the serums that help with eyes and lips, skin tightening and oily skin are £19.50 each. None of these costs will break the bank.
Ok, so this is all quite interesting, but what about the company? This company is French and we all know the french skincare are the best, and this one is no exception. This company is the laboratory that actually makes the skincare! I buy this skincare directly from the labs in France. This is why it is sold a lot cheaper than you’re other brands of cosmeceutical ranges.
Acti-Labs is also a very conscious about the environment. They have won an award from the government for ‘low carbon footprint’. Everything is recycled and recycle able items are used where possible. They will not test on animals and uses ingredients not tested on animals. Although they are not a vegan company, natural ingredients are chosen over synthetic.
There you have it, my raving report on why acti-labs are a great company and have an amazing skin care range. I’ve not mentioned the dietary products and make-up and hair products also make. As this would be a huge blog! I am personally trying out the dietary products, but will not review that for a couple more months. But if you would like to ask me any questions or book for an Acti-Labs facial contact me.
When taking care of your skin there are two factors you must consider when thinking about the problems you have with your skin and at some point in our life we will have some kind of problem. It may be dryness, spots or ageing skin. The two factors we need to consider is how are we caring for our skin internally and externally!
So we have all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’ well this is kind of true. If you eat loads of chocolate you’re not going to turn into a chocolate bar. But it will affect your body and most importantly your skin.
Firstly if you want to eat that chocolate bar, make sure you drink plenty of water, at least 2 litres a day. This will help flush out all the toxins and create a healthy glow.
Then make sure you eat fatty fish that contain omega 3, this has moisturising properties. However, if like me you’re not a fish lover then try some walnuts, they contain omega 3 too (phew!)
Avocado has vitamins E and C, but so do sunflowers seeds, these vitamins are good for producing collagen and essential for healthy skin.
Sweet potato, carrots, and spinach all contain beta-carotene, which will convert into Vitamin A and is natural sun protection, this prevents sunburn, dry skin and with that help delay aging.
If these are not reasons enough to eat your fruit and veg I don’t know what is!
Taking care of your skin is very important, you only have one. Now I’m not saying you have to follow these exact guidelines, but this will always be my advice and personal opinions, after 17 years of being in the beauty industry and training in 5 different skincare ranges, here is the gist of it:
Cleanse, tone and moisturise, every morning, this will wake you up and refresh you.
Cleanse, tone, moisturise, every night or when you get home from work. Take the days make-up off or if you’re not wearing any make-up, take the days pollution off your face.
Don’t use wet wipes or face wipes, they just move the dirt/ make-up around your face and don’t take it off. Also, they are bad for the environment, they contain tiny particles of plastic that are destroying the environment.
Exfoliate twice a week, no more, it can take too many layers off your skin. But do exfoliate to help get rid of dead skin cells.
Always wear a sun factor SPF 30, this will help protect your skin from sun damage and premature ageing!!
If you have any questions, please contact Kay Cooper for help