|When Nat King Cole sang about those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, he neglected to mention the down-side of all that lazing round in the sun! Fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation are just the beginning. And, while the soda and pretzels and beer that make up the next line, have probably been replaced by a chilled chardonnay and smoked salmon, they also take their toll.
Unless they’ve been particularly vigilant, clients will be returning from their summer breaks with the effects of too much sun, salt water, pool chemicals and partying, all too evident. And while they’ve probably all been using a daily moisturiser as a matter of course, it may not have been doing the job as well as it should; it could be time to try a change of product or a series of special treatments.
Not all moisturisers are created equal and while some products will give an instant feeling of hydration, it’s those that contain longer acting ceramides, lipids and EFAs which dramatically improve skin moisture, dryness and softness, says Ineke Jamin at True Solutions International. “Many moisturisers put instant hydration in but they are lost immediately to the environment and the effects are over by morning coffee.”
Today’s technology has seen enormous advances in both hydration and protection of the skin, she says. “The MD Formulations Moisture Defense range and superceutical brands, like Priori, that hydrate on many levels and defend the skin with a cocktail of antioxidants, and have clinical evidence to support their claims, are the key to seriously looking after clients’ moisturising needs.”
And when parched complexions scream for a deep dose of hydration the professional advice of a therapist is vital. “Even regulars will benefit from a professional after-holiday consultation,” says Jamin. “Skin needs will vary and treatments are best customised – that’s why clients seek the advice of professionals rather than shopping in a department store or the supermarket.”
Take the opportunity and remind clients that skin care is like going to the gym; by taking home products recommended by their therapist they’re continuing the good work begun in the clinic. “One day won’t give them the results a weekly regime will.”
At Beauty Care, Olivia Jeffrey also stresses the need for skin analysis – and not just at this time of year. Whatever the environment, the skin is constantly exposed to stresses from the elements and the dehydrating effects of air conditioning or heating. Changes in the body also impact and if clients are not having a regular skin analysis, therapists should at least recommend a seasonal one, she says. “For skin that needs hydrating, Guinot’s Hydradermie facial treatment is fantastic. It really hydrates the skin, plumping it up, actually infusing it with water. Guinot also have a new serum that’s a real water booster for the skin over the summer months and can be used under the client’s regular moisturiser.”
It’s widely accepted that premature skin aging is directly linked to exposure to the sun. Indeed, UV radiation from sunlight has been said to account for 90% of the signs of skin aging, much of it the result of exposure occurring before the age of 20, says Melanie Comins at MLC Skincare. “Even small amounts of UVA and UVB exposure cause skin damage that leads to visible signs of photo-ageing, including wrinkles, lowered immunity against infection, skin disorders and skin cancers.”
Collagen breakdown, free radical damage or oxidative stress, pigmentation problems and changes in skin texture, all result from exposure to the damaging rays of the sun. “UV radiation can also damage blood vessels in areas of the skin exposed to the sun, making them thinner and predisposing them to bruising and slow healing,” says Comins. Dry windy conditions, such as those at the beach, exacerbate this.
Vitamin C benefits
Treating clients with vitamin C through products like emerginC’s Vitamin C Serum, increases hydration and evens out skin tone. Long regarded as an important weapon in the fight against the common cold, vitamin C can also help prevent sun damage, even after exposure. “Vitamin C topicals are recognised as playing a vital role in helping reduce signs of skin damage caused by UV exposure.”
And, says Comins, don’t forget the body. “Just as the skin on the face and neck can benefit enormously from a daily dose of vitamin C, so can the rest of the body. emerginC’s topical body lotion is a super product to recommend to clients using self-tanners or having regular spray tans.”
The delicate area around the eyes also requires extra hydration, protection and nourishment at this time of year, and emerginC caters for this with what Comins calls ‘three of the best for summer’ – a range that includes the Revital-eyes Eye Mask; “a wonderful way to wow your clients in a facial treatment.” It’s also a valuable addition to the range of take-home products therapists can be promoting. “Perfect before – and after – a big night out!”
Anti-oxidant facials go a long way to restoring the harm caused by the sun, says World Beaute’s Sharon Moriarty. “Vine Secret is a fantastic range packed full of the wonderful properties and rich antioxidants from the grape. It smells delicious and the optimal peel-off rubberised mask acts as an occlusion pushing all the antioxidants into the skin.”
In an ideal world clients would be enjoying full body exfoliation and a hydrating body wrap every week, says Moriarty. “But for most this is a luxury, so I encourage my clients to use an exfoliating body mitt and a good body moisturiser at home. Fleur De Mer has just released a Rich Hydrating Body Moisturiser with coconut and vanilla extracts. Clients love it and the best part is, it’s made using certified jojoba oil and contains no parabens, propylene glycol or mineral oil.”
Use of additives:
The use of such additives has become a contentious issue in many quarters with therapists reporting a growing interest in natural and organic products. The industry that began with ingredients from the fields and the home garden is now exploring newer and better ways to use these sustainable resources. South Island based Oasis Beauty specialises in the manufacture of products using the best natural, certified organic and ethical ingredients. Their professional range includes Avocado All Over Body Lotion, containing NZ avocado oil, certified organic shea butter and non-GMO natural Vitamin E to help protect against premature aging. Suggest clients take some home – it’s an essential to soothe and soften rough or irritated skin after exposure to the elements, now and throughout the year.