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. 

First, we need to understand, what is pigmentation?  

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!

Facial pigmentation being treated at positive skin radstock near bath
An example of facial pigmentation being treated at Positive Skin

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.

Protect yourself from the sun

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!

Use a Vitamin C serum

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 inhibitors stop the production of Tyrosine

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

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.

lynton illumifacial skin rejuvenation with ipl
IPL is used to treat pigmentation at Positive Skin

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.

Skin Needling

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.

These are my top tips for removing and reducing pigmentation

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.

https://positiveskin.book.app/

In the final part of our guest posts from Sophie Wedlock Smith owner of SWnutrition and we are discussing how nutrition can influence certain skin concerns such as Eczema/dermatitis and Rosacea.

Nutrition and Eczema - Dermatitis

It’s estimated that up to 15 million people in the UK could be living with eczema. It is defined as a superficial inflammation of the skin, characterised by vesicles, redness, oedema, oozing, crusting, scaling and usually itching.

There are a number of different types of eczema depending on their causes and where they appear on the body. For example contact dermatitis (skin irritated by chemicals etc.) atopic dermatitis (itching with a personal or family history of allergic disorders), nummular dermatitis (discoid lesions on buttocks and trunk), chronic dermatitis of hands and feet and seborrheic dermatitis (scalp and face).

Standard treatment

Steroid ointment to relieve inflammation and if necessary antihistamines and antibiotics to control itching and infection.

Possible factors

Naturopathic and Nutrition support

This approach will be personalized for each individual person, however a summary of the key healing tools are as follows:

Should you wish to find out more on how Sophie can help with your nutritional goals, you can contact here.

Nutrition and Rosacea

A chronic inflammatory acne-like syndrome with varying degrees of papules, pustules and hyperplasia of the sebaceous lands predominately on the face and commonly around the nose. The onset is usually around 30 and 50 years of age.

Rosacea occurs three times as often in females than males and is more common with people with a fair complexion.

Rosacea on cheek

Orthodox treatment

Broad-spectrum oral antibiotics and firm massage using a bland lubricant.

Possible contributing factors

Diet and lifestyle suggestions

Things to avoid

Healing Approach

Due to the complex pathophysiology of skin conditions, it’s important to approach it with holistic, in-depth and comprehensive support.
If you would like an individual, personalised plan to support your recovery then reach out to Sophie-Wedlock-Smith a BANT qualified Nutritional Therapist at SWnutrition.

Welcome to the second part of our guest posts on nutrition and the effect on the skin from Sophie Wedlock Smith owner of SWnutrition. Here we are discussing how nutrition can help with keeping a youthful appearance and live longer!

This is a practical guide to help you look, feel and live younger. The quickest and most effective way to take years off your looks is simply by changing what you eat and drink. This may sound unbelievable but it is true.

Living an anti-ageing lifestyle involves consistency and a rainbow variety of fruit and vegetables.

Focusing on a large variety of plant foods and feeding your gut with pre-biotic foods and probiotics foods is essential in strengthening your digestive track and speeding up your metabolism. It all starts in the gut and this is the foundation and the building block for your health.

Prebiotic foods include:

These support the feeding of the good bacteria and include the following: Leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, cocoa, flaxseeds, wheat bran, seaweed, artichoke, dandelion greens, chicory root.

Probiotic foods include:

These foods contain live bacteria and will naturally boost your good gut bacteria levels. These foods are Saukeraut, kefir, yoghurt, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles, traditional buttermilk, natto.

There are many healthy probiotic foods you can eat that will help heal your gut and increase your metabolism while making you feel fuller for longer, keep cravings at bay, improve concentration and increase energy levels.

Eating a diet that is predominantly made up of nutrient-dense plant-based protein has been shown to increase life expectancy while lowering the incidence of many of today’s common disease states such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and obesity-related illnesses.

Good Anti-ageing tips:

Including at least 30 grams of fibre in the diet daily from plant sources will help alkalize and detox your body. If your body is not eliminating correctly, the resulting toxic build-up can speed up the ageing process and hamper any weight management. Eating 30 different fruit and vegetables weekly.

Anti-Ageing - SW Nutrition

Foods that help skin elasticity and youthfulness are:

Foods that reduce skin elasticity and contribute towards ageing are:

Welcome to the first part of our guest posts on nutrition and the effect on the skin from Sophie Wedlock Smith owner of SWnutrition. Here we are discussing acne and the effects nutrition may have.

Acne is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by papules (small red bumps that may be tender to touch), open comedones (blackheads), closed comedones (whiteheads), pustules (pus-filled lesions), nodules and cysts (pus-filled lesions deep in the skin)

It is estimated 9.4% of the global population have acne, making it the eighth-most prevalent disease worldwide.

What causes Acne?

Acne occurs when hair follicles plugged with oil and dead skin cells. The follicles are connected to sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum to lubricate your hair and skin. When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, they build up within the hair follicle and form a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive. Inflammation then results if the clogged pore becomes infected with bacteria.

Before and after of acne on face

The bacteria responsible for acne breakouts are called propionibacterium (P.acnes). They grow deep inside the hair follicle, where they feed on the sebum (their energy source). Most people with acne have an overgrowth of p.acnes bacteria in their skin.

The inflammation is caused not by the bacteria but by an immune response to the increased numbers of p.acnes as they multiply within the hair follicle. When your immune system is too active it sends out bacteria and this causes inflammation. The pus (whitehead) is simply a mix of dead skin cells and dead white blood cells. The progression of acne is often multifactorial and involves interplay between hormones, bacteria and inflammation.

Hormones and acne

Hormones play a major role in the development of acne. Androgens, the “male hormones” are present in women, the most well-known androgens being testosterone and its breakdown product dihydrotestosterone (DHT). We have androgen receptors at the base of the sebaceous gland and high levels of testosterone and DHT are capable of binding to these receptors, triggering the sebaceous gland to produce more sebum which in turn feeds the bacteria, subsequently leading to inflammation. High levels of estrogen can also contribute to the progression of acne.

Hormone balancing foods:

Clean protein; quinoa, lentils, eggs, oily fish.

Healthy fats; avocado, coconut oil, raw organic grass-fed butter, ghee, nuts and seeds.

Antioxidants rich foods; Kale, collards greens, chard, broccoli, red pepper, berries.

Glycemic load and acne

Insulin stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. A diet of high sugar and carbohydrates leads to excessive levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This then leads to higher levels of insulin, which contributes to acne.

High Glycemic foods to avoid are: White potatoes, white bread, white pasta, pizza, dates, watermelon, rice cakes, white rice, fizzy sugary drinks, baked potato, ripened banana, raisins and honey.

Stress and acne

Cortisol, the stress hormone can contribute to acne flare-ups, as it is known to stimulate the production of sebum. It can also increase blood glucose levels, which can further exacerbate acne.

Dairy and acne

The content of hormones in cows milk can contribute to the development of acne. Milk also contains a growth factor (IGF-1) that can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, leading to the progression of acne lesions.

Opt for milk alternatives such as: Oat milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, quinoa milk.

Nutrition facts for acne

The link between nutrition and acne has been controversial, but recent research shows that diet can play a significant role in acne development.

Based on current evidence, dietary intervention has shown great promise in acne treatment.

When looking into the various options before beginning your new treatment, it can be easy to think that the consultation is just an extra step in the process that you don't need. This is a common misconception that can potentially have a negative impact on your skin rather than an improvement.

You may feel like you are saving yourself some time and money - but that's not true. In fact, you’re more likely to waste time and money by not booking a consultation beforehand. A consultation is a very important part of any treatment, and here are some reasons why!

1. Check suitability

A consultant will be able to advise you on whether your planned treatment is the best choice for your needs and point you towards some better alternatives if it isn't. Whilst doing this you can properly discuss your needs and you may discover there are treatments you have yet to discover which are more suitable.

2. Medical history

Getting an idea of your medical history will be a key goal for your consultant to ensure the treatment that you receive is the healthiest option for your skin. Also, something in your medical history that may seem insignificant to you may actually be a key contributor to some ongoing skin conditions. It also defines your suitability, you may not be able some treatments because of certain medical conditions.

3. Patch testing

Patch tests are important to establish the best products to use on your skin. They are often used to detect any negative reactions your skin may have such as intolerances and allergies. Having a consultation will ensure that the product or procedure your specialist is going to use is safe and healthy for your skin.

4. Getting to know your specialist

If you are planning on having some long-term treatment done for you skin care needs, then you will end up spending a lot of time with your specialist. In this case, it would be important to work out if you gel with your specialist as this is also an important part of the overall experience. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a room not knowing what to say to someone because you have no common interests!

5. Getting your money’s worth

Getting the consultation will ensure that all of the above issues are fully addressed and the very best possible treatment, product, plan and specialists have been selected for you. You can rest assured that your money is being spent on top quality treatment in the capable hands of your skin care professional.

If you would like to learn more about booking a consultation and our various types of treatments, please contact the skin centre today to discuss. There are a wide range of treatments on offer such as hair removal, blemish removal and a variety of treatments. You can learn more about what we offer on the Treatment List page.

"I don’t think I have a good cleansing routine!"

I often hear this statement. Or, "I’m not very good with my cleansing routine."

But what is a good cleansing routine?

A good cleansing routine for one person is not necessarily good for another.

A good cleansing routine has many different factors for each individual person. If you read different glossy magazines each one will tell you something different you should be doing to have the perfect skin.

I am not going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. This is down to your personal needs, time and finance. What works for me are simple guidelines to a basic routine, if you would like more information please contact me and I can answer your questions.

Cleansing Your Face

How do you wash your face?

I personally think the longer it takes to do your skin care routine the less likely you will do this on a long term basis. If my skin care takes longer than 5 minutes, I guarantee I will not keep up with it. So a nice face wash with a face cloth, wash on, wash off is perfect for me.

Do you wash your face morning and evening?

Cleanse your skin first thing to freshen up, and wash off the make-up or dirt and grime from the day's pollution is a sensible routine to follow.

I prefer a good face wash, I like to use water to wash off my face wash. My face wash of choice is Alumier MD Purifying Gel Cleanser, no need to use a toner after, and it feels nice and fresh.

After the face wash, a moisturiser that suits your Skin Type is always good to help with your skin's PH balance.

If you have any concerns with your skin i.e. ageing, pigmentation or acne, it is always good to use a serum under your moisturiser to help combat the problem.

I suffer from redness around my mouth and nose (due to poor choices in makeup years ago) and now I use Calm-R to help tone down the redness.

Serums can help with specific problems you may be concerned with. This is because they contain highly active ingredients, concentrated for the specific issue it has been designed and tested for.

It's also fine to build up serums if you have more than one concern.

Evening Routine

Always cleanse your skin at night before you go to bed, or if you're too tired then when you get home from work.

Cleansing in the evening ensures that you wash all the makeup off from the day. And if you have been outside, washing off all the dirt and pollution. After cleansing in the evening, a retinol serum for anti-ageing is best applied then. As retinol is an ingredient that works best out of sunlight.

WARNING Please do not use face wipes. Wipes will only move the daily pollution or make-up around your skin and not take it off. Most wipes also contain tiny beads of plastic that are bad for the environment and killing sea life.

Cleansing Your Body

There is a huge debate over how often should you have a shower.

If you google this, there are many arguments for whether you should shower once a week, twice a week, or daily. But they do all say, make sure you strip wash daily.

Now I'm not going to get into this debate, my blog is my opinion and I prefer to shower every morning, it helps to wake me up and get me prepared for the day. Though washing hair is not a daily thing, as my hair is way too soft for that!

Cleanse your skin with a good shower gel. Soaps are alkaline, so you can strip away the oil from your skin. This causes it to feel tight and can dry out over time. Soaps also harbour a lot of bacteria on them. I have recently found a daily body scrub that you can use in the shower, that helps with ingrowing hairs. Its base is coconut oil, which leaves silky smooth skin, which means for quickness it's not necessary to put body lotion on after.

However, I like to moisturise my skin after every shower or bath as water can sometimes make the skin feel tight. This can happen after a really hot shower or bath, the hot water can strip the natural oils from your skin causing dryness and can flare up eczema too. For normal skin an emollient is good and for dry skin, body oil is good to restore some oils into the skin

And what about your feet?

Another comment I hear a lot is, "I don’t like my feet, they’re ugly!"

My response is always, "What do you do with them?"

Most people don’t like their feet and therefore do not touch them. Now, they are not going to get better by ignoring them.

You moisturise your body and face regularly, why not your feet?

Your feet are the most used part of your body, why not treat them to a bit of TLC.

Have a regular pedicure. But also take 30 seconds to pop a bit of body lotion on them daily and I assure you you will see a difference within a week.

As you can tell, I try not to take too long on a good cleansing routine. I am a mother of two small children and run an aesthetic clinic. I want the best routine in the fastest time.

If you would like help to define your perfect routine or would like to know what products are best for your Skin Type - or do you want to know your Skin Type?

Book for a free consultation and I can help with these questions.

Cleansing Routine for the Face

Skin tags can make you feel self conscious and slightly uncomfortable in your own skin. I have had a few and all I have wanted to do is pull them off! Annoying little things. But what are these things and why do we have them and most importantly, how do we remove them?

What is a skin tag?

It is a piece of fibrous tissue, which is loose collagen and blood vessels. Its actual name is fibroepithelial polyp. You know it’s a skin tag by the “mushroom” shape. A thin piece of skin attached and a big bulby head. They are mainly found on the neck, underarms, and groin or under breast area. Any area the skin rubs together. Commonly found in men or women that are older or overweight and pregnant ladies.

Skin tags are harmless and do not normally cause any pain or discomfort. With that in mind, the NHS do call that cosmetic and so anyone wanting them removed would have to pay privately.

Skin Tag Removal

Home Remedies

There are a few home remedies that can be tried and have been known to be effective.

An old wives remedy was to tie a piece of string around it and eventually the blood flow would stop and it would fall off. I remember my mum helping my Nan with this method. Though I do remember my Nan at one point having lots of string around her neck. I think it takes a  while for them to fall off!

Another home remedy is to put lemon juice on the skin tag, this will help to dry it out. I have never known this way, so I can't comment on how effective this method is.

Another way is to go to your local pharmacy and purchase a freezing spray kit, which costs roughly £20. You can then spray the skin tag and it will after two weeks will fall off. (Quoted from Boots online shop).

Salon Method

The method I use and found very effective is electrolysis. I remove the skin tags with an electrolysis probe. The probe will have a current running through it. This will cauterise the blood flow and leaves a tiny little crust in the skin tags place, this will naturally fall off after a week and should leave barely any scar if nothing at all.

A15 minute treatment can cost £45. This time can be used for up to 10 skin tags, depending on the size of them and how long they have been there.

Watch a Skin Tag Removal Video Here

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.

Hot Water

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.

Sun Protection

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

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.

Moisturise

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.

Humidifier

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 Water

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.

Picture of women with great skin
Taking care of your skin in winter

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! 

Internally

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! 

Externally

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

example of a women with good skin

woman with good skin

So you finally pluck up the courage to ring a local salon and book a bikini wax. But when you do the lady on the other end asks you ‘which one?’ You panic and say normal one but really have no clue what different types there are! I have had many clients ask how many different types of bikini waxing for one area is there?! Well, let me help you.

Standard Bikini

First is your standard bikini wax. Where your normal underwear is kept on and the therapist will wax whatever hair is outside of the knicker line on the front and inside the thigh. This is for the more natural shape bikini.

High Leg Bikini

The next one is a high leg bikini wax. Which you will be expected to hold the sides of your underwear up to your hip to wax whatever is outside of the knickers then. This is great for going on holiday and wearing high leg swimsuits. This one is also known as the ‘French’ wax. The top is also taken off, for more of a tidy up.

Brazilian

Brazilian wax is the most popular wax. This will leave a ‘landing strip’ on the front about two inches wide and two inches high. From front to underneath (labia) will leave 2 inches of hair. And then wax around the back (bum)

Hollywood

And the last type of waxing available is the Hollywood. This is where no hair is left on the bikini area and all hair removed on the labia. All the hair around the backside is waxed off too.

The Wax?

Now the next question I get asked is, what are the different waxes you’re using? Well for the bikini area I use two different types of wax for the standard and high leg I use a warm wax. Which is applied with a spatula and removed with a strip of paper or it can be a cotton wax strip, as the wax can remove hair and dead skin this can be applied to any area of the body. However, for more sensitive areas the preferred wax is the hot wax as this is applied with a spatula and then hardens up and removed on its own. Oil is applied to the area before the wax is applied therefore the wax cannot remove the skin, so areas with thin skin are not damaged or bruised in any way.

I hope this helps to understand the intimate waxing and the diagram should help with what to expect your bikini area to look like after your
requested wax. If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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