Protecting the skin from the sun should be a major concern for clients of all ages. As Skin care professionals, we need to educate you on what you can do to prevent damage before it is too late.
1. Preventing sun damage is much easier than restoring wrinkles. It is always easier to prevent than it is to reverse. Sun damage can cause wrinkles, discolored skin, and more serious health consequences AND in some cases, once the damage is done, there is no going back.
2. Avoid deep exfoliating procedures and chemical peels during the summer. These treatments make the skin more photosensitive by removing layers of the epidermis (the top layer of your skin) that can act as a protective shell. The same is true for skin care products formulated with retinol, alpha hydroxyl acids, and other lightening agents. Products containing these ingredients are best used in the evening.
3. Protect your skin with broad-spectrum sunscreen. The SPF number on the bottle indicates how much safe, sun-exposure time can be extended. Determine the time it takes for their unprotected skin to start turning red on a sunny day. Safe, sun-exposure time depends on genetic disposition, location, and the time of day (the sun is most active between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.). For example, if your skin starts to change color after 10 minutes, by applying sunscreen with SPF 30, your safe, sun-exposure time will be extended 30 times. After 300 minutes, you will need to reapply sunscreen.
4. Location determines the strength of the ultraviolet rays that penetrate the skin. If you are in the water or the snow, your safe, sun-exposure time diminishes significantly, as ultraviolet rays are reflected off the surface of snow or water.
5. The sun is most active at the equator. When traveling north, more protection is needed. Along with sunscreen, wear protective hats and clothing to avoid serious sun damage.
6. Be very careful when at higher elevations. The earth’s atmosphere helps filter ultraviolet rays, so if clients are at higher elevations, like the mountains, they are less protected.
7. Zinc oxide is a great active ingredient for sunscreens. It provides broad-spectrum protection by physically reflecting ultraviolet rays. It has been safely used for generations and is preferred over nanoparticles, which are not as effective.
8. Food can affect how skin responds to the sun. Processed foods with trans fats can contribute to wrinkles, skin discolorations, and other more serious conditions. Colorful, organic fruits and vegetables filled with antioxidants, like tomatoes, will support the skin during sun exposure.
9. Photosensitivity is a side effect of some medications like Accutane, Benadryl, and tetracycline. If clients have to take medical drugs, have them check the list of side effects to determine if they need to take extra precautions in the sun.
10. Elevated estrogen levels and other hormonal changes often result in heightened photosensitivity. This photosensitivity can lead to hyperpigmentation. For example, melasma, the mask of pregnancy, presents as skin discoloration. Women who are taking birth control pills or who are on hormone replacement drugs may also experience similar side effects, unless they take extra measures to protect themselves from the sun.
Thanks to Elina Fedotova for inspiration for this blog.
Skin care comes down to practicing good habits. Here are five tips that can help guard against skin cancer, chapped skin, dryness, and more.
You need to protect your skin because of the vital role it has protecting your body. Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, and can quickly become second nature, just like brushing your teeth.
These five skin protection tips can keep your skin looking and feeling great, by guarding against a slew of skin woes, from chapped skin to prematurely aging toskin cancer.
1. Limit Sun Exposure
You’ve heard the message a zillion times, and there’s good reason for that unrelenting repetition. Ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun cause many types of skin damage:
Using skin care products that offer ultraviolet protection is one of the best ways to help keep your skin looking fresh and youthful:
Use sunscreen every day and reapply regularly whenever you're outdoors for extended periods.
Cover skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats.
Stay indoors when the sun is at its most intense, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
2. Stay Hydrated
Keeping your skin moist is essential to skin protection. Skin that is properly hydrated retains pliability and prevents chapped skin or scaly, flaky skin:
Drink lots of water. This is key to hydrating your skin.
Use the right moisturizing cream or lotion for your skin type and apply it right after drying off from your bath or shower. Avoid products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, as this ingredient removes natural oils needed by your skin.
Take warm (not hot) showers or baths, and limit them to between 5 and 10 minutes. It seems counterintuitive, but exposure to water actually dries out your skin. If dry skin persists, consider cutting back on the number of baths you take.
3. Take Health Precautions
Cold sores are caused by a viral infection of the skin bordering the lips, while bacteria can contribute to acne and other skin conditions. Practicing skin protection means paying close attention to what touches your skin, to lower your chances of exposure to germs:
Don't share any personal items, such as lip balms or toothbrushes.
Don't share drinks with other people.
Avoid touching your face with your fingers or with objects like telephone receivers that have been used by others.
4. Use Gentle Skin Care
Washing your face is important to remove dirt, oils, germs, and dead cells. However, scrubbing your face causes irritation that can lead to chapped skin that, in turn, can leave skin vulnerable. For best results, you should:
5. Know Your Skin
Pay attention to odd freckles, moles, and growths on your skin, and consult your doctor if you notice any changes. For example, a change in a mole can indicate potential skin cancer. Be sure to treat any cuts that may occur to prevent infection. Other skin conditions that merit a dermatologist visit include frequent acne, inflamed or irritated dry skin, and skin rashes and irritations that don’t go away, as these could be signs of one of the many types of dermatitis, or skin inflammation.
With proper skin care to pamper skin from the outside and with a good diet to nourish from within, skin protection comes down to a few simple steps. But should you ever notice any problems, get medical attention to resolve them quickly and avoid putting your skin at risk.
acne. While there are many factors that can contribute to breakouts, whether in adolescence or as an adult, there are many ways to treat acne at all ages.
There are numerous possible causes for adult acne and the cause varies from person to person. The fluctuation of hormones can trigger outbreaks very easily. In women, monthly breakouts can be attributed to menstruation, but can become worse as the hormones change during menopause. Pregnancy affects women's hormones in many ways, so acne can be a major issue during this time.
Stress is also a major contributor to adult acne. During heavy times of stress, the body produces more androgens, which stimulate oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which, in turn, can cause acne. Constant and consistent stress can lead to problematic skin. Family history can also cause adult acne or acne in general.
Skin and hair products can contribute to breakouts more so than people think. Looking carefully at labels can help prevent this type of acne. The obvious terms skin care professionals need to educate clients to look for are "non-comedogenic," "non-acnegenic," "oil-free," and "won't clog pores."
Certain medications can also have side effects that can cause acne. If so, clients should discuss alternatives with their physician. If a client thinks a medication is causing a breakout, he or she should consult a doctor before discontinuing the medication.
Another major cause of adult acne is digestive acne. What people ingest can often affect whether or not a breakout will occur. Diets high in trans, or "bad", fats and highly processed foods do not fuel the body in a healthy way. An imbalanced diet can cause an imbalance within the body. This disparity can cause many different issues, but with the skin being the body's largest organ, it is often where the body reacts, thus signaling something deeper.
While there are many ways to treat adult acne, finding the treatment that best suits the client will be done on a case-by-case basis. When dealing with hormones, skin care professionals need consider what may be going on in the client's body and how they can control it. Whether it be a monthly occurrence or pregnancy, they will need to analyze what will work best for the client's specific situation. Having the client consult their doctor is the best way to determine how to control the acne if hormones are the cause.
Balancing stress is a major factor. People grow and change as adults, but finding the perfect flow is the challenge in itself. A balanced life means a balanced mind, which translates to a healthy body and skin to match.
Digestive acne can be tricky to pinpoint, but wheat, soy, gluten, and dairy can be common triggers for adult acne. Having a healthy diet will ensure clear skin, as well as a healthy body. Taking note of a breakout and what may have been consumed around that time can be an indication to food sensitivity.
Professionals have many treatments in their arsenal to help with adult acne such as customized deep pore facials, chemical peels, charcoal masks, and blue light therapy. Having clients visit their dermatologist to discuss advanced technology to treat more severe breakouts allows clients to explore different options. It is not ideal for anyone to wake up with a pimple staring at them in the mirror, but gaining knowledge and finding the right treatment will get their skin back on track and glowing like they deserve!
Thanks to Dermascope for the insperation for this post
With so many treatment options available, it can be quite confusing.
Micro-needling and chemical peels are two different treatment used for different purposes. It's like comparing apples to bread. Not everyone needs micro needling, and not everyone is a suitable candidate for chemical peels.
Micro needling (or dermal rolling) was initially used as a clinical treatment for improving and reducing post-acne scarring. It works by breaking down existing scarred tissues with fine needles which stimulate skin healing and rejuvenating process. Over the past few years, it has become a popular modality for reducing the appearance of aging, lines, wrinkles and tightening the skin. The process is called Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). Micro needling stimulates collagen synthesis, firming skin, minimizing lines, wrinkles, and scarring. Micro needling works at a dermal (deeper) level.
Chemical peels, on the other hand, are superficial resurfacing treatments and work by chemically exfoliating the skin. Chemical peels improve the appearance of the skin by enhanced exfoliation. Chemical peels work more on the surface at the epidermal level, to minimise and improve signs of clogging, congestion, acne, open pores, brown spots, pigmentation and fine lines.
So when would you choose micro needling vs chemical peels? If you have post acne scarring or are showing signs of premature ageing with sagging of the skin and deeper wrinkles, then I would choose micro needling. If you are showing signs of fine lines, pigmentation, uneven tone, or clogging, congestion, open pores or blackheads, then chemical peels would be more suited to you.
Can these treatments be used together? Not in the same sitting, but certainly if we wish to improve the skin appearance at the surface level, we would recommend a course of peels. Following that, if the skin needs further rejuvenation treatments, tightening and reducing the appearance of deeper wrinkles, than a course of micro needling will certainly be beneficial.
Peel and micro needling are excellent treatments we use to improve skin where it needs it. But just because a person with damaged skin gains excellent results does not mean a young, healthy skin needs it as a preventative. It's like taking antibiotics when you are not sick.
Instead, healthy skin should focus on "preventative" treatments such as facial treatments infusing vitamins, minerals, peptides, anti-oxidants, cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and an excellent home skin care routine. Wearing sunscreen every day is perhaps one of the best "preventative" things you can do for a healthy and beautiful skin. And if you have acne, stop picking and squeezing, these are sure ways to scar your skin and then you have a major problem to treat.
Thanks to Jana Elston for the insperation behind this post.
Are you aware that, living in New Zealand, it is postulated that you cannot make vitamin D from sunlight for six months out of the year? From March through until October, research shows that many people in southern latitudes are deficient in Vitamin D, because there is insufficient sunlight during the winter months to stimulate the production of vitamin D in skin. Although it is termed a vitamin, Vitamin D is actually an essential hormone that helps regulate many processes within the body, along with its synergystic twin, Vitamin A.
A deficiency of Vitamin D has been linked to a lowering of the immune system. But what actually is the immune system? The immune system is a collection of different systems designed to protect the body. We are born with our innate immune system, the cells and mechanisms that defend us from infection in a non-specific manner. There are the physical barriers to prevent infection, such as the skin, tears, eyes, respiratory system and the stomach and digestive system; along with the different types of white cells or leukocytes in our blood which fight infection. We also have an acquired immunity which is made up of antibodies produced when the body first comes into contact with a toxin or infection. The next time it meets that infection it has the antibodies to prevent the disease becoming established. We build up most of our acquired immunity in our childhood – which is why we don’t get chicken pox time and time again. As skin therapists, we are particularly interested in the immune system of the skin and so need to look for ingredients that support and strengthen the cells involved in the immune process, such as the Langerhans cells. This is especially important when Vitamin D levels naturally decrease over the winter months as we need to support and maximise the benefits of Vitamin D within our clients’ skin.
How do we do this?
Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables will ensure we have plenty of the key immune boosting vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, E and the minerals zinc and selenium to help support the Vitamin D in the system. I encourage clients to boost the effect of a healthy diet by adding a topical application of vitamins and antioxidants. This will help ensure the skin’s immune system stays strong and resilient throughout winter.
Look for a skin care range that supplies these essential nutrients to the skin, preferably in a dosed, step up system, in order to minimise reactions and achieve optimal results in a weather compromised skin. Vitamin A in particular is needed to support the Langerhans cells and encourage the healthiest skin defense possible. Vitamin C is also important for collagen production and capillary health. Moving from warm indoor environments to the chilly outdoors causes the skin’s capillaries to dilate and contract. The capillary walls eventually lose elasticity and trigger increased redness and sensitivity. This is especially true for clients whose immune systems are already compromised and who present with rosacea, excema or dermatitis type symptoms. Normally, the outer layers of skin form a natural, protective barrier. Studies have shown that those with rosacea, excema and dermatitis have a disrupted barrier that can become even more disrupted when exposed to external aggressors, leading to redness, itching, and increased sensitivity. Look for adaptogens in your products to calm and support.
Winter may also be the time to add some extra comfort products to your skincare routine, but make sure that these also deliver nutrients to help the skin.
some suggestions and the steps you need to take will depend on your skin. Some may need to do a complete revision of their skin care plan, other may just need to tweak it by adding or swap some skin care product for more winter friendly formulations.
Here are some tips:
1 . Switch to a milky or creamy cleanser - if you have oily or combination skin it may love a gel cleanser during warm and humid days, but during the cold and dry season a gentle hydrating and moisturising cleanser may all you skin need to make it feel more comfortable. One way to tell is if your skin is feeling tight or sensitized after cleansing it's time to switch it up. Incorrect cleansing will prevent effective penetration of serums or treatments creams, so make sure your skin is well hydrated.
2. If you are already using a milky cleanser and a good moisturising cream, sometimes all the skin needs is to give it a boost with a hydrating serum. Serums are more powerful than moisturisers and penetrate deeper, so if your skin is deeply dehydrated you may need to get the big guns out. Serums are very useful to help the skin cope with seasonal changes to help the skin adjust. If you are sick, on medication, not sleeping well, smoking, drinking more than 2 cups of tea / coffee a day you may need a serum to help your skin get back into shape.
3. In winter a dry skin suffers even more because dry skins are low in essential fatty acids. This means they tend to lose moisture from their skin through evaporation even faster. We call this impaired barrier. Your skin is literally more porous and not only does it lose moisture faster, irritants can penetrate into the skin and cause sensitivities. To keep your barrier intact and strong, the spaces between the skin cells need to have a good balance of ceramides, cholesterol and essential fatty acids (or omegas 3,6,9). If your skin is very dry and flaking, look for moisturisers rich in omegas 3,6,9.
4. Exfoliate your skin at least once a week. During winter, the skin cellular turnover slows right down to allow the skin to build up a thicker dead cell layer to protect the skin from harsh weather. The trouble is, thicker skin and dead cell build up not only looks sallow, dull and crepey from the surface, making pores look larger, wrinkles deeper and pigmentation darker, but it acts as a barrier to serums and moisturisers. Winter season is the perfect opportunity to undergo a course of peels combined with hydrating facials. Choose AHA or enzyme peels over harsh scrubs which can aggravate already sensitized capillaries.
5. During winter I like to invest in a thirst quenching creamy or gel mask to give the skin and instant glow. I love using masks as they are the one thing you can do that will give you INSTANT results. This is why beauty therapists ALWAYS finish a facial with a mask - for the instant results. A new generation of masks are designed to leave on overnight called sleeping masks. They give life back to the skin overnight and when you wake up in the morning your skin looks like you had a facial. These masks are particularly hydrating and nourishing so terrific to use during winter. 6. I have been seeing so many people with chapped lips. Make sure you exfoliate, moisturise and mask you lips too and for soft kissable lips switch from a matt lipstick to a juicy hydrating formula, lip gloss or a plumping lip balm.
7. Your hands can really suffer in winter because they are exposed to frequent washing with soap and exposed to the environment. Time to invest in a softening and moisturising hand cream. Make sure you massage it well into the cuticles and if going outdoors pop your hand cream on just before you put your gloves on. The warmth of the gloves with help to infuse the cream into the skin and protect your hands.
A big thanks to Jana Elston for this post.
There’s no doubt about it, the number of compromised, problematic skins we are seeing is on the increase. Our clients’ lifestyle, diet, work/home environments and stress levels are damaging many skins, making skin disorders more common than ever before.
The secret is that tackling problem skins begins from the inside. The skin is created, supported and nourished from within so if it is showing signs of dysfunction, you need to look to the internal cause not just treat the symptoms topically.
Cystic acne is an example of a condition created entirely from within and therefore only able to be healed from the inside. Absolutely nothing can be done topically to treat this distressing condition.
These photos demonstrate the dramatic results you can achieve with cystic acne if you address the cause not just the symptoms.
So what sort of internal factors can be contributing to your skin's problem? Firstly, nutritional deficiencies play a major part and unfortunately, if your dry skin or acne is the result of a lack of certain vitamins or minerals, you will not be able to address this without first correcting the deficit. No amount of topical application of skin care products alone will be able to heal the problem.
A good example of that is acne. Studies have shown that acne sufferers are much more likely than non-acne sufferers to be deficient in the following vitamins and minerals:
So it is easy to see why we are doomed to failure if we do not address these nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately it is becoming more and more likely you will be suffering from a lack of one or more of the important skin nutrients.
Some key skin nutrients, like beta-carotene and vitamin C, can easily be obtained through the diet by increasing your client’s intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Other nutrients like zinc, B complex and EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) are best supplemented to ensure there is an adequate intake for healing skin.
There are also many things in our modern diets that can contribute to the problems our clients’ experience. Being aware of these problem foods can go a long way to helping correct the issues. Some of these problem foods are obvious like alcohol. You just need observe what happens to someone with fine, fair, sensitive skin who drinks alcohol to know that it is one of the most inflammatory things they can do and it definitely makes skin redder.
There are lots of other ‘hidden’ foods that could be ‘stoking the fire’ and contributing to the problems you may be experiencing. Heating and congesting foods and drinks become an issue for those of our clients who are genetically sensitive to them.
On the positive side, more and more of our commonly eaten foods are managing to find their way onto the growing list of foods that contain phyto-chemicals that heal and rebalance the skin.
It is also important to take a holistic view of the skin. What other influencing factors could be contributing to the problem?
Examples of irritants are chlorinated pools, hot spa pools, air conditioning, certain chemicals, soaps and shampoos to name just a few. Rosacea is an example of a condition that is greatly affected by external factors and these need to be considered in the treatment of this disorder.
In the Beauty Industry it has become common for us to look at the skin as an isolated part of the body rather than considering the big picture. The best way it was ever explained to me, is the skin is the best refection of your internal health.
This is so true of skin conditions as they are seldom due to only one factor. For example, the development of dermatitis can be a combination of a skin weakened by nutritional deficiencies being exposed to irritating chemicals and fuelled by inflammatory foods.
We also need to consider all the factors that could be undermining the health of the skin. The work/home environment, exercise, sleep, stress, diet, product application, overheating, and the list goes on.
Thanks to Janine Tait, for the inspiration for this post.
Day after day I get the same questions – “How exactly does IPL work?”, “What is IPL?”, “Will I ever have to shave or wax again?”, “How many times will I have to come back?”, “Is it really permanent?”, “Will it help prevent or work on my ingrown hair?”, “I have dark skin; can I get IPL hair removal?”, and “Does it hurt?”.
There are so many facets of IPL hair removal to understand, that it will be difficult to fit them all into one article. The intent of this is to give you a start on things to think about; a brief look into what is the truth behind IPL. Like I say to my nervous clients, “Relax, the anticipation is far worse than the actual treatment…” Are you ready?
First question – "How does it work?" Regardless of laser or IPL, we are using light energy to destroy a hair bulb by a process called photothermolysis. Let's break that down from its latin form. Photo meaning light, therm meaning heat and lysis meaning to destroy. Simply put, we are using light and heat to destroy the follicle. The goal is to use the right amount of light energy to heat and destroy a hair follicle. The light energy is absorbed and transformed into heat energy by an object referred to as a chromophore. A chromophore is a light absorbing target.
In the case of hair reduction, our chromophore is the pigment in the hair follicle. Did you ever walk barefoot onto your driveway or the beach on a sunny day and just about burn the heck out of your feet? That's because the pigment in the asphalt or the sand had absorbed all of that light energy. Energy is a constant – it changes forms, but never really goes away. So all of that light energy from the sun had been absorbed and changed into heat energy. Using light energy from laser or IPL works in a similar manner; the pigment in our hair absorbs that light energy, heats up quickly, and burns to the point of destruction of the hair bulb. The tricky part is to only destroy the hair bulb and not damage the surrounding tissues.
On to question number two… what is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. The concept is simple, we are using a lamp (like a flash on a camera), delivering an unbelievably intense pulse of light energy to affect a change in a target… still photothermolysis, still targeting chromophores – just using a whole spectrum of light wavelengths to do it.
IPLs typically have a larger spot size – the size of the area being affected by the individual pulse, and the light that they produce is highly divergent. The light from an IPL treatment is a whole host of wavelengths and contains both visible and invisible light. On that note… if you or someone you know has had laser hair removal and they saw a bright flash of light, they most likely had an IPL treatment, not laser. The reason the IPL isn't safe or effective for darker skin is because of all of the different wavelengths of light. Remember we said that typically the longer the wavelength the deeper the penetration. Since IPLs have a variety of wavelengths, the shorter wavelengths may not penetrate to where they are needed, the bulb of the hair; they get snagged in the upper layers of the skin in red and brown pigments. The energy from those short wavelengths can get picked up by the pigment in the skin of darker individuals. That pigment in the skin will do the same as the hair follicle. It will grab that energy, heat up, and cause damage. Except instead of damage at the bulb where we want it, we'll cause damage in the skin, where we don't want it. The result can be as minimal as a slight burn or blister, which will heal in a short time, to an extreme of hyper- or hypopigmentation, or even a scar for a lifetime.
Since we typically only destroy or damage the hair bulb in the anogen phase, multiple treatments are necessary. Remember, it's not permanent hair removal, it is permanent hair reduction. The bulbs that we destroy will not produce hair. However, new hairs may grow, fine or vellus hair probably won't be affected and hormonal changes may cause growth of new hair that will need attention according to the client's desire. Shaving and tweezing will be greatly reduced and the dark, thick hair that the client has may be gone for good. However, some fuzz or a "lone wolf" hair might still be around long after several treatments. Follow up or touch up treatments may be necessary some time down the road.
By now you may be saying to yourself "I had no idea there was so much theory and science behind something as simple as hair removal." Waxing or electrolysis seem to be easier to understand… none of this science and physics stuff.
Education is the key. The more knowledge you have and the better prepared you are at understanding the in's and out's involved in a IPL treatment,you will be better equipped in what hair removal option is the best for you. Until next time, happy hair removal.
For more infomation about IPL, check out our IPL page for all our FAQ's
Your skin cells take in nutrients from the blood stream and the surface cells from the serums and treatment creams you have applied before sleep, then excrete toxins.
Some of these toxins are collected by the lymphatic system (that's why drinking water before bed and on rising is so important) then processed through the liver, kidneys, and lungs (which is partly why you have the morning breath).
Toxins are excreted to the surface of the skin overnight via the sweat ducts. One of these waste by-products is urea, the same substance in urine. So literally your skin excretes waste on your face overnight, so that's WHY you need to use a cleanser in the morning! Just splashing water will not do it.
Leaving sweat, urea, skins oil on the skin may cause breakouts, congestion and free radical damage which accelerates aging. You don't want to be walking around with toxins, waste products and urea on your face all day, do you?
So after you brush you teeth use a lovely refreshing cleanser and start the day fresh and clean! Your skin will thank you for it!
Cleansing your skin the morning not only feels great and washes away all the debris collected on the skin from the night before, after you have finished your morning routine - Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise and Sunscreen, this also helps your foundation to sit on your skin leaving a much smoother application for the day ahead!
Thanks to Jana Elston for this post.
What is the difference between department store/supermarket products & the products carefully selected for our clinics?
Cosmetics: smooths, boosts radiance, clarifies, evens skin tone, improves skin texture, moisturises, hydrates, protects, conceals, highlights, softens, conditions, lubricates, cleanses, tones, refreshes, clarifies, deodorises, absorb excess skin oil, removes impurities
Cosmeceuticals: strengthens skin, strengthens/improves barrier, reduce redness, reduce appearance of rosacea, anti-irritant, minimise blotchiness, unclogs pores, removes congestion, controls breakouts, purifying, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, increases skins elasticity, firming & lifting, prevents signs of ageing, anti-ageing, reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, regenerates damaged skin, stimulates skin repair, heal, penetrates into the skin to act, fades or reduces the appearance of hyper-pigmentation.
What makes the difference is the quality of the raw ingredients & the quality of the end product. Professional only products rarely advertise to the mass market, they rely on RESULTS & word-of-mouth, not on marketing. So they HAVE TO PERFORM & deliver DRAMATIC results FAST.
Professional-only products usually have an extensive range that can be tailored to individual skin types, conditions or concerns. They are professional-only for a very good reason. It takes a thoroughly trained, qualified skin therapist to understand the skin in detail, the complex biological mechanisms & how these are affected by the environment & lifestyle. Only a qualified & trained therapist can confidently develop an effective treatment plan using professional-only products that will deliver results.
Cosmeceutical products can now be purchased just about everywhere. I have seen some impressive formulas in pharmacies, not surprisingly, since cosmeceuticals ARE a marriage of cosmetics & pharmaceuticals. These days, cosmeceuticals are not restricted to professional products only. Many department store, supermarket & pharmacy products contain ingredients that fall under the classification of cosmeceuticals such as retinol, B3, vitamin C, hydroxyl acids, peptides, growth factors, etc. High percentages are no longer a differentiating factor, nor is the delivery system. Encapsulation technology has been around for decades. Some pharmaceutical products do have high percentages of active ingredients & department store products have been using active ingredients & advanced delivery systems for some time.
Whenever you hear people talking about cosmetics, they generally refer to make up. The FDA defines cosmetics as make-up & as products designed "for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions". So soaps, shampoo, deodorant, fragrances, make up, etc are classed as cosmetics.
However antiperspirants that stop you from sweating, toothpaste that whitens teeth, or anti-bacterial soaps as well as SPF 30 or 50+ sunscreens are classed (by definition) as cosmeceuticals.
Dr Albert Klingman who first used the term cosmeceutical, however researching it, Raymond Reed, founder of the U.S. Society of cosmetic chemists, who created the concept of "cosmeceutical" in 1961. The American dermatologist Albert Kligman popularised term “cosmeceutical” in the late 1970s. In the 1980, he went on to research Vitamin A & its effects on acne, sun damage and premature ageing. This is when Retinol & its use in skin care was born, which has revolutionised how we treat skin today.
Dr Alber Klingman defined Cosmeceuticals as skin care products combining cosmetics and pharmaceuticals ingredients. They are more active than basic skin care products that cleanse & cover up imperfections, but not as active as prescription skin medications. Cosmeceuticals are regarded as skin care products with active ingredients claiming to have medical benefits.
Thanks to Jana Elston for inspiration for this post!