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q&a by dermalogica


ask the expert


Sally Penford offers her tips for the perfect Winter skin regime


Q: As the colder weather draws near I notice thatmany ofmy clients becomemuch more sensitive and prone to redness. Should they be changing their skin care regime during theWinter months?


A:AsWinter approaches and we look forward to crispWinter walks and cosy nights by the fire, our skinmay indeed take a down turn. I for one have a skin that does not take well to the harsher climates and have to switch to a different skin care regime in order to come out the other side looking a little less than an over dried prune!


Whilemany of us experience itching, dryness and redness, the key change occurring at this time of year is a reduced barrier function in our skin.This leaves skin vulnerable to extreme sensitivity and redness that if not checked, can result in permanently dilated capillaries and inflammation.


So here aremy top tips to the perfectWinter skin regime:


Cleansing the skin properly is the first step in strategic care.Alkaline soaps and hot water set sensitisation intomotion. Switch to an extremely gentle, Sulphate- free, non-stripping gel or creamcleanser which will fortify the protective barrier function without leaving a residue. If clients find that even watermakes their skin irritated, recommend a cleanser thatmay also be removed with tissue or a soft cloth.


Ingredients to look for in this type of cleanser, which also is appropriate for newly resurfaced skin, include Raspberry, a rich source of phytochemicals including Ellagic Acid that acts as an antioxidant, soothing Cucumber and Panthenol (provitamin B5) that helps to regenerate tissues.


A spritz of calming spray is a recommended next step. Recommend a soothing, hydrating mist to immediately


relieve irritation - this sort of product may be used by the client throughout the day at times of irritation. The newest and most effective formulas now contain cocktails of not only anti-inflammatory agents such asAvena Sativa, but ingredients to fight neurogenic inflammation, such as Red Hogweed. Oat extract is rich in oat avenanthramides which are the active fractions of Oat that have been widely studied and proven to have natural anti- irritant and anti-redness properties. Ginger and Bisabolol (derived from Chamomile) when combined, work synergistically to reduce inflammation-induced itching, redness and irritation. Combine this with Red Hogweed, which targets neurogenic inflammation by limiting the production of pro-inflammatory agents (such as prostaglandins), and you have a complete system to target inflammation.


Masques are especially helpful to the sensitised client, since the prolonged contact of a calming relief masque product with the skin delivers lasting effects. Typically, an appropriate masque of this type may be applied to spot-areas, or to the entire face, either for flare-ups as emergency relief, or for regular therapeutic use. Key ingredients to select include pharmaceutical grade Colloidal Oatmeal, Red Hogweed andMushroom (Cordyceps Sinesis) extracts that reduce short and long term inflammation and redness.Mugwort (ArtemesiaVulgaris) and algae extracts soothe irritation, and provide a light film to reduce redness from UV exposure and chemical irritants.


Serumconcentrates speed the healing process at times of severe inflammation (even post- cosmetic medical procedures), and ease the discomfort of long-term sensitisation.A concentrated booster can be the needed ‘brakes’ on runaway inflammation. Look for serums containing the latest newcomerAcetyl Tetrapeptide-15 a peptide that reduces


discomfort and pain by lowering pro- inflammatorymediators in the skin that are associated with neurogenic inflammation.Also recommended Portulaca Oleraca Extract Lipids, Sunflower Seed, Evening Primrose and Avocado Oils to reinforce the barrier lipid layer that keeps environmental chemicals from penetrating the skin.


Appropriatemoisturiser and UV protection are also essential to managing sensitisation, since dehydration, excess heat and free radical damage often are syndrome triggers. Sensitised individuals who are fond of exfoliating may use an ultra-gentle exfoliant, only on the condition that the lipid barrier is not damaged. In this case, recommend an ultrafine product which delicately polishes fragile skin with microparticles of Rice Bran and Rice enzymes.Also note that even conventional washcloths and towels can irritate sensitised skin; recommend a high-tech microfibre sponge cloth for cleanser and masque removal.


In terms ofmoisturisers, often a rich, medium-to-heavy weight product works best, to form a substantial layer of lipid barrier protections and humectant hydration around tenderised areas like cheeks, nostrils, cuticles, or any other hot spots.A UV daylight defence product should be a physical block rather than a chemical sunscreen.Monitor this usage carefully, as sun-protection is often a trigger for inflammation among sensitised clients.


If in doubt, always complete a thorough skin analysis and fresh consultation at the start of theWinter season in order to provide sound advice on which products will help to not only survive the ravages of Winter, but emerge with a hydrated and calm skin.


Sally Penford is UK and Ireland EducationManager for The International Dermal Institute. For more


information, telephone 08000 564 544 or visit www.dermalinstitute.co.uk


GUILD NEWS 83


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