Reishi Mushroom Extract. A picture tutorial.

A little extract photo op. This was really interesting! Even after an hour the ‘shrooms were still hard and kept their form perfectly! Such an AMAZING creation these little guys. =

Reishi Mushroom in it's natural state.

Reishi Mushroom in it’s natural state.

Another angle

Another angle

still boiling...

still boiling…

Boiling the 'shroom on high for about 50 minutes.

Boiling the ‘shroom on high for about 50 minutes.

Just because I love this...

Just because I love this…

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Absolutley BEAUTIFUL color. And the smell was so earthy and pure. It smelled like a tree but with a twist of 'shroom.

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL color. And the smell was so earthy and pure. It smelled like a tree but with a twist of ‘shroom.

The final product...well almost.

The final product…well almost.

 

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The Skin’s BFF

The Hyrdo-Lipid Barrier: the key to healthy skin!

When this Barrier is depleted, it opens the skin up to all types of issues; they can range from dryness to some types of dermatitis, and even increased sensitivity and redness due to the over-exposed raw skin.

In this posting we will cover the very basics of this wonderful little part of our skin we were so blessed with.  First up, we will talk about the overall function of the Barrier; second we will go over some of the  most common reasons skincare therapists see it compromised; and lastly, we will discuss the ways that it can be replaced (they are much easier than you are probably thinking).

Topic One: FUNCTION

                The overall function of the Barrier is to protect and fight off the invasion of harmful bacteria that may come in contact with the skin. It does by keeping a nice pH level of around 5 at all times. Most bacteria find it hard to survive in such an acidic environment.  If this Barrier is compromised, it can increase the chance of irritation over time, creation of blemishes (due to the skin’s permeability being increased), dryness and the overall health of the skin being decreased. Now, please be aware that this is the very condensed explanation of the functions of this very important Barrier. But I don’t want to lose you within the first paragraph of this very important post!

Topic Two: CAUSE

                Commonly seen is the cleanser factor. Quite a few people believe that foaming means clean and therefore better. IT is NOT always better. Yes, it does produce a clean feeling; but it runs the risk of much harm over time. There is a place for foaming cleansers in some people’s skincare regiment. It is ideal for a person with excessively oily skin, or a person who tends to wear heavy makeup. The reason for this is the foaming agent that is producing the foam is going to do its job. Meaning, it will take something off; whether that is makeup, excessive oil or the natural oils that make up the Barrier. Obviously, the foaming agent knows no difference between the normal amount of oil and the excessive. Another culprit can be acne skincare products. They can sometimes feature salicylic acid. Now, don’t get me wrong, this particular naturally occurring acid is AMAZING when used in the appropriate place in a skincare regiment. Unfortunately, a lot of times, what happens is a person will use it to control a bout of acne. Which is a wonderful time to use it, but what happens is they keep using it even after the acne has cleared up. This creates a vicious cycle that leaves the skin compromised and can result in other types of issues, and for the sake of time, not covered in this post. The final reason I will cover in this post has to do with the pH scale again. It is very common for people to use bar soap on the facial skin (now, I will admit, I LOVE my lavender soap. but I only use it on my body). The problem with bar soap is the pH is alkaline. When used on the delicate facial skin, it tends to be to harsh and can result in irritation.

Lastly…

I will cover the ways a compromised Barrier can be replenished. This can be as simple as replacing the culprit…whatever that may be, with a more appropriately suited product for the particular skin type. This is where professional skincare therapists comes in to play. The ability to recognize and treat depleted Barriers is a tricky practice due to the many facets that come into place. The types of skin are as vast as the type of people there are in the world. Every person has individual needs and a professional can assess and recommend the appropriate regiment from the very beginning. They are also experts at assessing the skin as time goes on and changing anything that may be needing to be added or taken away from the regiment. Depending on the ongoing needs of the client.

In conclusion, I will leave you with this one thought: the skin is a complicated organ (that’s right its an organ!). Give it the attention it needs and it will give you many years of protection and beauty. It only needs the basics. Once you find them, stick with them, change only when necessary and for the sake of all us skincare therapists spread the word about the importance of the Hydro-Lipid Barrier.

Peace, BB.

For You Annie.

Here is the exfoliation recipe I promised.

1/2 tablespoon baking soda

1/2 cup mashed fruit (can be blueberries, strawberries; any berry will work)

1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil

2 drops Lavender Essential Oil (the recipe can still be done if this is not available)

Mix all ingredients into small bowl and apply on fresh, clean skin. GENTLY rub in circular motion over the entire face. Taking care to be gentle around any blemish that is inflamed or irritated. As a precaution do not actually rub over the inflamed blemish. You can, however, apply a drop of Lavender Essential Oil on it using a Q-tip. This will aid in the healing of the blemish.

After about 45 to 60 seconds, rinse with COOL water and PAT dry.

Follow with Serum (Aloe Vera) and Moisturizer.

Do this every 3-4 days. If any irritation occurs discontinue use and contact me to design a new exfoliating treatment.

Foaming Cleansers: Friend or Foe?

Foaming Cleansers: Friend or Foe?

I would be willing to bet most professionals have some type of nemesis that they see on a regular basis; the inferior imported nail that the Carpenter hits once and it bends to no end or the glue stick that dries up for the kindergarten teacher five minute after she opens it. For my profession, it is foaming cleansers.    

I only can speak for myself when I say that these cleansers are responsible for such a high amount of damage that I see done to the skin that if I had my way I would create  legislation so they could only be used by prescription! Ha would that be the day! And even then, I know they would be used wrong!

Foaming cleansers should only be used by women (and men) when there is a barrier (or layer may be a better descriptive word) between the skin and the foam that is created when the product is mixed with water. This decreases the chance of the hydro-lipid film being compromised. What is the hydro-lipid film you ask? Well, my wonderful readers, this amazing layer is what God gave us to provide protection “against the invasion and action of bacteria”. This film is a key player in the maintenance of healthy skin! Without going to technical I will simply say that it is a guardian for the body’s first line of defense: the skin. If compromised, it literally opens the skin and by default the body, to all types of issues. 

The main reason I have see clients with a depleted hydro-lipid film is the nemesis I mentioned above: the foaming cleanser. It holds no place in many peoples skincare regiment. Don’t get me wrong, it can have a role in skincare. In fact, I OCCASIONALLY use it myself BUT only after a day/night of wearing a full face of make-up; meaning foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer etc. This cleanser is appropriate in this situation because THERE IS A LAYER BETWEEN THE CLEANSER AND THE SKIN. If a woman’s normal makeup routine consists of just a little eye makeup and blush/bronzer she does not need a foaming cleanser. There is an EXCEPTION this rule…oily skin. This skin type can use the cleanser. There is a LAYER between the skin and the foam. Instead of the hydro-lipid film being removed, the foaming agent will remove the excess oil.

This brings me to my final point for this post: the foaming cleansers purpose. The cleanser does have purpose…my ranting is only because it is SO overused it makes me cringe just thinking about it. The two reasons for a foaming cleanser is as follows:

  • The client has a true oily skin (more about this skin type in later posts)
  • The client wears a full face of make-up.

I feel that these are the only two reasons to have a foaming cleanser included in a skin care regiment.

To wrap up this post, I’ll list the main symptoms of foaming cleanser over use. If your facial skin feels rough and bumpy; has patches of flaking and/or dry skin; never seems to be moisturized regardless of how much lotion you slather on it; or your skin tends to feel really “squeaky clean” after you wash your face, you may be using the wrong cleanser. But don’t panic, there is hope but first things first STOP STRIPPING YOUR SKIN. Put the foam down! I think the big companies have given this false idea to most of society that foam equals clean…and it does but lets keep it in the washing machine and the dishwasher.

PLEASE message me with any questions, comments or concerns.

What the pro’s know that you don’t: part 2

In order for the cyst to heal, the Circulatory system must carry away the infection that is causing it which will be assisted by the Lymph system. The role of these systems are to clean out the area of infection. If the blemish is left to its own accord the body can and will heal the blemish by its natural abilities. The way to speed the healing of these little pests are:

  1. DRINK A LOT OF WATER.
  2. Do a “dairy hiatus” for 30 days (this is the answer for a lot of women).
  3. Research and decide on the best stress-management techniques for your lifestyle.
  4. Take an absolute interest in the skincare items that you have in your regiment (I will post the essential items in the very near future); making sure to take note of the skin’s condition and the way it feels after completing the final step.
  5. For an emergency situation (such as a first date with someone you actually can see a future with), there are always us professionals. There are magical little machines that we Aestheticians can “zap” the cyst with. This will kill the bacteria below the skin’s surface and speed the healing process.
  6. And this final option is an ongoing treatment for…pretty much everything in life (please apply to option 3). Lavender Essential Oil is a WONDERFUL calming oil for cysts. It helps to dry them out and heal them internally (among 1000’s of other everyday uses). But for this particular situation, you would take ONE drop of oil on a Q-tip and apply it directly on the cyst (in the essential oil world this type of application is called “neat”).

Cysts are a very frustrating situation. If you can develop the will-power to leave them alone, as well as and this is the first step, have the patients to find out the root of them, they can be put at bay. I promise.

Proper extractions: what the pros know that you don’t.

When you go to your favorite aesthetician do you leave the spa with the question how does she do it?! How does she extract the blemish that you have been trying to “self-manage” at home with out any luck what-so-ever? “”Why didn’t she extract that awful red bump on my chin? Or even touch it for that matter”? Well my lovely readers let me educate you. To begin, I want to explain something very important; the difference between an extractable blemish and the type that IS NOT. In order to properly distinguish between the two types we need just a small skin physiology lesson (don’t worry it will be short). The skin has two layers. The epidermis is the top layer of the skin.When a blemish is extractable, it will be present in the hair follicle(s) (known by most of the world as a pore). The follicle becomes infected, for one reason or another, the skin around the pore begins to show the early signs of a blemish, and before you know it, the irritated follicle is a full-blown pimple. Now, the second layer of the skin is called the Dermis. This layer is comprised of two very important skincare systems: the lymph and circulatory (among many other wondrous body systems). The Dermis is responsible for housing the type of blemishes (which are actually deemed cysts in the industry) that are never, ever going to make their way to the surface of the skin to be properly extracted. The reason being: no channel is present for the infection to make its way to the epidermis. The walls of the pore begins in the Dermis and continues through to the opening of the skin. It is “sealed off” from the epidermis. The red, inflamed and often itchy bump is an internal issue; ranging from hormonal imbalance to dietary issues. Because these tender bumps are often so uncomfortable, we tend to want to “squeeze the life out of them”. Thinking ” that way it will just heal”. Sadly this is the exact opposite of what should be done. In the next post I will explain what type of care can help these cysts heal as well as keep them at bay all together.