How to cure melasma from the inside

brunette woman smiling at the camera

We’ve spoken lots about melasma – the most common skin pigment disorder – in all its various forms. Hyperpigmentation, chloasma (pregnancy-related) – you name it, we’ve covered it (and then some). And while there are countless effective treatments (many offered by us here at Lovoir), their efficiency relies heavily on targeting the underlying condition, too – especially if you want to get rid of melasma forever. So just what are the root causes of melasma and how can you cure them? Allow us to explain!

What is melasma? A quick recap

A condition that causes brown patches to appear on the skin as a result of hyperpigmentation (an overproduction of melanocytes – the cells that produce skin pigmentation), it is typically seen around the nose, forehead, chin, cheeks and around the mouth.

So, how can it be cured from the inside?

pregnant woman cradling her bump in black and white

  1. Re-balancing hormones

One of the most common causes of melasma is a hormone imbalance, helping to explain why it affects more women than men. The melanocytes are triggered by abnormal hormone levels, which often occurs before, during or after pregnancy. There’s not much that can be done in the way of rebalancing hormones around the throes of pregnancy (although lots of ways to mitigate the effects of chloasma which you can read about here), but you may want to talk to your GP about trying different types of contraception if you suffer from the condition outside of it.

Pregnancy and contraception are not the only things that can cause a hormone imbalance, however. Poor liver health, thyroid problems and stress can also be contributing factors, and they can be cured internally by other methods, too.

A selection of rainbow-coloured fruit and veg
Image: Patrick Feller/Flickr
  1. Enhancing diet

A healthy diet is one of the best ways to improve liver health, thyroid problems and stress. Just a few examples of liver-friendly foods/drinks include:

  • Water and green tea
  • Cabbage, avocados, tomatoes
  • Leafy greens, such as spinach
  • Garlic
  • Lemons
  • Walnuts
  • Reduced sugar, alcohol and processed foods

Thyroid problems can be mitigated with the help of:

  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Seaweed
  • Dairy produce

Stress can be combatted by:

  • Berries
  • Chamomile tea
  • Oysters

Other diet-related things to consider include:

  • Kojic acid. There’s a good reason we proudly offer DP Dermaceuticals Britelite as part of our melasma treatment products as it’s full of kojic acid, which helps to ‘mute’ pigmentation. But there’s no excuse for not including it in your diet, too! Kojic acid is created when certain foods ferment, so can be found in rice wine, sake and soy sauce. Time to start experimenting with Japanese recipes, we think!
  • Vitamin C. Vitamins for melasma treatment, in general, are a must. This one, in particular, helps to ‘lighten, brighten and tighten’ the skin. Citrus fruits and other brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are great sources of this.
  • Hydroquinone. While this powerful skin lightener – working by blocking the enzyme that converts dopamine to melanin – is a common ingredient in treating the condition and can bring about highly effective results, you should only use this in topical cream form as a last resort and when advised by a dermatologist as it can cause permanent skin discolouration if too high a concentration is used. However, it can also be found naturally in foods such as wheat products, berries, pears, coffee and tea.
  • DIM (Diindolylmethane). Found in vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, this helps your body regulate hormone levels.
  • Indole 3 Carbinol. Also found in vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, this also helps your body break down estrogen.
  • All of the above can, of course, be taken in supplement form, too. Another hormone balancing supplement to look out for is zinc picolinate.

Read more about the importance of diet on skin here

mental health in scrabble tiles

Featured image: Wokandapix/Pixabay

  1. Improving mental health

Ensuring you look after your mind is equally as important as physical health in combatting melasma – especially because of its link to stress. As a result, try to do the following:

  • Keep calm. Yes, easier said than done – especially in relation to current events – but minimising stress can have a huge impact on your hormones. This is because hormones respond to stress by secreting cortisol, which is great when you’re in fight or flight mode but less so if it happens too often as this can lead to an imbalance of other hormones. Try meditation, deep breathing exercises or snuggling into the sofa with a Netflix boxset on the go – whatever works for you!
  • Sleep. Anything less than eight hours’ sleep a night can also be a stressor, so do everything you can to switch off earlier – be it phones, lights or even domestic chores. It can always wait until tomorrow.

 

Regular facials for acne: Everything you need to know

woman looking at camera with white cream on face

It’s no secret that we’re pretty hardcore about the importance of regular facials at Lovoir Beauty. You can read all about it in one of our latest blogs here. However, it would be remiss of us to just prescribe this for all skin conditions without delving properly into them, as it’s very rarely a one-size-fits all kind of thing. And with acne being one of the most common concerns, we thought this would be a good place to start!

You’ve got … mild to moderate

By this, we mean a spattering of blackheads, whiteheads, localised areas of redness or a couple of pimples (anything less than 30 spots or lesions is usually a good indicator). And if you do fall under this camp, you’re probably the best candidate. But what’s the best facial for acne prone skin? Fortunately, you’ve got a range to choose from.

Classic

An umbrella term for what is essentially a deep-cleaning yet relaxing treatment, you’ll benefit greatly from this all-rounder which incorporates a thorough cleanse, gentle enzyme peel, fragrant herbal steam and massage – the very things our Janesce Spa  treatment offers, actually! The combination of cleaning, light exfoliation, steaming and massage work together to remove dead skin cells – all while leaving skin looking and feeling both hydrated and with a more even tone. Blackheads and whiteheads are also usually extracted following the herbal steam, which serves to open them up.

Decongesting

Not too dissimilar from the classic, except this type focuses primarily on unblocking pores. Blackheads and whiteheads will be cleared and your skin will be left smoother overall, but deeper lesions, such as cysts, shouldn’t be extracted in this way. Our Environ Deep Cleansing option is a fantastic example, offering a purifying and decongesting treatment which both removes impurities and injects moisturising vitamin and antioxidant-serums into the skin for a long-lasting glow.

Microdermabrasion

A non-invasive treatment which uses a handheld device to gently exfoliate the top layer of skin, your skin will appear brighter, smoother and with a more even tone after just a few sessions, as well as helping to remove blackheads and whiteheads.

Read more and book here

Acne scars are a popular reason for collagen induction therapy

You’ve got … moderate to severe

If you’re pretty much unable to count the number of spots or lesions on your face and they’re deeper than the average pimple, you may want to avoid most facials and choose another type of treatment instead. This is because this type stops becoming an aesthetic concern in place of a dermatological one. That being said, the following – offered by us here at Lovoir – is both safe and effective for those with more serious spots:

LED light therapy

Using wavelengths of different coloured light to penetrate deep into the skin – promoting its natural healing and rejuvenating responses – our trained therapists will treat you with a blue infrared facial to help kill off bacteria. Safe for any age or skin type, it can bring about effective change for a host of concerns – no matter how sensitive. In fact, it’s even safe for active acne, with benefits being noticeable after just one session.

Read more and book here

You’ve got … acne scars

Along with Microdermabrasion and LED light therapy, you can also choose the following:

Enzyme

Using natural, fruit-based substances to break down the protein of dead skin cells which make up the top layer, choose our O Cosmedics Enzyme  treatment for the perfect amount of exfoliation for brighter, healthier skin.

So, should I get a facial if I have acne? Absolutely!

But what else do I need to know?

  • No matter what type of acne you have – or what treatment you choose – you can’t expect a quick fix. Instead, it should be a regular commitment and done in conjunction with an overall skincare routine at home. Luckily for you, we also offer a skin analysis to help advise you on all this – and more! Book now.
  • Vigorous exfoliation should be avoided if taking acne medication, such as Accutane or topical retinoids.
  • Always choose a licensed therapist as they will know how to analyse your skin, advise the best course of action for you and perform your treatment safely and effectively.

Book with us today!

Featured image: Pxfuel

Pigmentation when pregnant: What do I need to know?

pregnant woman cradling her bump in black and white

What with all the other bodily changes you’re going through when growing a new life, skin discolouration is probably the last thing you want to add to the list. Yet for many pregnant women, chloasma (pregnancy-related melasma), is a real issue.

What is chloasma?

Commonly referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’, chloasma is the term given to darker patches of pigmentation which can form on different areas of your face – commonly forehead, nose, cheeks and neck. Dark underarms during pregnancy? Linea nigra – the dark line which runs down your belly? Yup – also forms of pigmentation, along with skin darkening along the inner thighs and around the neck, too. It is thought to affect up to 75% of expectant mums – usually during the first trimester – and for some, it can even be one of the first signs you’re pregnant! The darker you are, the more likely you are to get it.

Why does it happen during pregnancy?

Melasma occurs when the body makes extra melanin – the pigment responsible for skin, hair and eye colour and protecting against UV light. Increased pigmentation when pregnant usually comes about as a result of increased levels of hormones, but family history can play a part, too.

Read more about melasma here and here

What can I do?

For most women, pigmentation will fade completely within about a year of your baby’s birth. However, there are things you can do to help minimise its appearance in the meantime – both during and after pregnancy.

  • Be sun savvy. As ever, this should be top of your list, as being in the sun may darken the patches and make them more noticeable. Just think of this as your weekly reminder to use a sunblock with a minimum SPF of 30, wear a hat outdoors and stick to the shade as much as possible – pregnant or not! In fact, because UV rays can penetrate glass, you may even want to get used to applying SPF daily – whether you’re planning to leave the house or not. Read more about the importance of this here and here.
  • Folic acid. You should always take this while trying to conceive and in the first three months of pregnancy to help prevent spinal defects in the baby, but it’s definitely advisable to continue taking it throughout the nine months – especially as some experts believe that skin discolouration is linked to a deficiency in this vitamin. You can also make sure you’re getting optimum levels of it by ensuring it’s part of your diet. Foods that contain folic acid include leafy greens, oranges and whole grains.
  • Makeup. “Tinted moisturiser, foundation and concealer can all help to even out skin tone”, according to a BabyCentre article.
  • Switch contraceptives. Hormones can exacerbate or prolong the problem, so if you find the patches are becoming darker after a year or so, you may want to speak to your doctor about other alternatives.
  • Avoid irritants. Things like waxing and exfoliating, for example, can cause skin inflammation, which may worsen melasma.

woman smiling into mirror while exfoliating her skin

Image: Mahmoud99725/Flickr

  • Vitamin A. Retinol and retinaldehyde – various forms of vitamin A – are great at helping to speed up cell turnover production, which is vital in treating melasma. However, creams containing this may cause side effects so are best left until after pregnancy. There are plenty of vitamin A-rich foods that you can include in your diet, though, such as milk, eggs and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables! Liver is very rich in vitamin A – so much so that it’s not actually advised during pregnancy. Read more about the effect of diet on skin here.
  • Face peels. Our pregnancy-safe, O Cosmedics Enzyme facial helps to brighten and hydrate the skin, using only pure enzymes. We also have several other peels in the same range that can be used to help treat melasma, but always have a chat with us first about when would be best to have this (either during or after pregnancy.). Read more and book now!
  • Microdermabrasion. While this ultimate in exfoliation treatment is sure to help reduce pigmentation, thanks to its role in shedding dead skin and encouraging the turnover of healthy cells, it’s best left until after you’ve had the baby as it can be a bit abrasive on sensitive skin. Read more and book here.

Never underplay the importance of your happiness – both during pregnancy and after. You know what they say – happy mama, happy baby!

Book your treatment today!

Featured image: Tatiana Vdb/Flickr

 

How to deal with problematic skin

woman lying on salon chair with a magnifying glass focused on her face

It doesn’t matter how old you are, how good your DNA is or how well you look after yourself. Chances are, you’ve had to deal with problematic skin conditions at one time or another. Fortunately for you, we’re here to do what we do best – offer solutions to six of the most common concerns.

  1. You’ve got … Rosacea

The reddening of skin – usually on the nose, chin, cheeks and forehead – is a widespread condition, found mostly in women with fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes, as well as those who blush easily. It also runs in families, so if a member of your own has it, you may well be hit with it yourself at some point, too. Over time, the redness can become more intense and you may find blood vessels becoming visible, eyes becoming watery or bloodshot and solid red bumps and pus-filled pimples popping up. Other symptoms include burning or stinging, dryness, plaques (raised red patches), thickening of the skin and swelling.

Read more about rosacea here

You need … a face peel

A gentle way to exfoliate the top layer of dead skin – helping to speed up cell regeneration – an O Cosmedics facial is the perfect treatment for rosacea. Scientifically proven to exfoliate and help regenerate new skin cells, it’s made up of a balanced combination of natural fruit acids and enzymes. What’s more, their range has something for every skin type and for every condition, and it does so while remaining paraben, preservative and SLS-free, so no unnecessary irritants to encourage a flare up.

Book your face peel today!

  1. You’ve got … Eczema

Otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, this condition is marked by thick, red, itchy and bumpy skin. In darker-skinned people, it can also affect pigmentation, making the impacted area lighter or darker. It’s more common in young children but can hit people of any age. It is also commonly found in families with a history of other allergies or asthma and is most likely to affect the face and scalp, although other areas at risk include the backs of legs and feet. The exact cause of eczema is unknown but it’s thought to be related to an overactive response by the body’s immune system. Eczema may flare up in response to certain environmental factors, such as temperature, household detergents or contact with animals. Stress may also cause the condition to worsen.

technician operating led light therapy equipment

Image: Ninafotoart/Shutterstock

You need … LED therapy

Originally developed in the 1990s to fast-track the healing of wounds and scars in the U.S Navy (yes – really – read more here!), the light rays in LED therapy are thought to penetrate the skin by up to 10mm – significantly more than any cream or serum. Once inside, it provides the fuel needed for skin cells to regenerate – helping to shed off any unhealthy skin and create a smooth, glowing texture, thanks to the subsequent production of collagen and elastin.

Book today!

  1. You’ve got … acne

We’ve all been there and it’s not fun. Yet while for most people, a relatively mild form of acne passes once the teenage years are over, for others, it can be more problematic. When pores become significantly clogged over a long period of time with the oily secretions from the skin’s sebaceous glands (known as common acne), they can become inflamed and turn into cysts (hard and painful swellings beneath the skin’s surface). This severest form of acne is called cystic acne. As well as being extremely painful, it often leads to scarring afterwards, too (more on that soon!). Women are more likely to battle with acne in later life than men and contrary to popular belief, it’s got very little to do with diet, hygiene and lifestyle choices. In fact, genetics and hormones have the biggest part to play.

You need … Cryotherapy

There’s nothing like a chilled facial to ease the pain of and minimise acne. Helping to tighten pores and increase blood flow, you can expect a reduction in red, puffy and inflamed acne-hit skin. And here at Lovoir, we combine our Cryotherapy facial with the powerful actives and vitamins boasted by the Environ skincare range – a gentle formula which helps remove the build-up of dead skin cells, boost hydration and stimulate the production of collagen.

Book now!

  1. You’ve got … acne scarring

As discussed above, the more severe the acne is, the greater the chance it’s going to leave its mark on your skin permanently.

dermapen 4 in use on female

You need … microneedling

Using the world-renowned Dermapen to achieve best results, microneedling breaks up the uneven fibres making up scars while encouraging the growth of new tissue. It achieves this by making tiny wounds in the skin with fine needles, which helps stimulate the production of new collagen. The result? A smooth, healthy appearance.

Book today!

  1. You’ve got … hyperpigmentation

This common condition causes a darkening of the skin in patches and is caused by damage to and subsequent overproduction of melanocytes – the cells that produce melanin. Hyperpigmentation is the umbrella term for a number of related concerns, including age spots, sunspots and melasma. Causes of hyperpigmentation include exposure to UV rays, skin inflammation, hormonal changes, medical conditions and good ol’ genetics.

Read more about hyperpigmentation here

You need … microdermabrasion

A non-invasive skin resurfacing treatment, microdermabrasion is the ultimate in exfoliation. Removing the top layer of dead and damaged skin while stimulating circulation, the delivery of nutrients and cell turnover, it’s the perfect treatment for hyperpigmentation as it helps reset your complexion from the inside out. Quick, gentle and relatively painless, it’s safe and suitable for almost all skin types.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your treatment today!

  1. You’ve got … dry skin

Ever notice your skin feeling itchy, rough and flakey? Chances are you’re one of the many living with dryness, which is hardly surprising seeing as a multitude of different factors can help contribute to this, including temperature, water, chemicals, certain fabrics, existing skin conditions, age, hormones and genetics. Common areas of facial dry skin are around the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

Read more about dryness here

woman undergoing electroporation

Image: Elenavolf/Shutterstock

You need … electroporation

Also known as an infusion facial, this treatment is pure and utter bliss for getting to the root of dry skin and giving it a healthy dose of moisture. An advanced, results-driven therapy, it allows optimal product absorption into the deepest layers of the skin by using electrical pulses to safely split open skin cells. The most genius part of the whole thing is that it only holds the pores open long enough to allow the product to penetrate the skin fully, meaning the goodness your skin so desperately craves is effectively locked in. Compared to other traditional methods, which only transfer 10% of substance into your skin, electroporation achieves a hit rate of 90%. Non-invasive, long-lasting and with zero side effects, you don’t get much better than that!

Book your infusion facial today!

So, there you have it. Six problematic skin treatments – all offered by yours truly. You’re welcome!

 

Featured image: Gundula Vogel/Pixabay

 

What is the best melasma treatment?

a woman's face split in two - half with melasma half without

By this stage, you all probably know what pigmentation is and the various ways it manifests itself (and if you don’t, have a read through of this!). That’s all well and good, but what you probably really want to know about are the best things that work … right? Lovoir to the rescue!

rubbing cream on face

Melasma treatment creams

If you’re looking for an over-the-counter cream to treat pigmentation, you should become very well acquainted with kojic and mandelic acid, two ingredients which are both safe and effective in treating melasma. As ever, we’re proud to stock a range of products containing these wonderous components for both in-salon and at-home use here at Lovoir. Look for those containing niacinamide specifically for the treatment of melasma (we proudly sell a serum here called B3 Plus that offers this protection), which you can find in our range of O Cosmedics serums.). DP Dermacuticals Britelite – which contains kojic acid – is another great product for melasma as it helps to “mute” pigmentation.

Retinol and retinaldehyde – various forms of Vitamin A – are also great alternatives, working to speed up the cell turnover production, but may carry side effects so always discuss with a professional beforehand. Read more about the benefits here. Ensuring you include Vitamin A in your diet can also help you cure melasma from the inside, too!

While hydroquinone (HQ) is the most common ingredient in treating the condition, this should really only be used as a last resort – and only when recommended by dermatologists. It can be highly effective as it works by blocking tyrosinase – the enzyme that converts dopamine to melanin (what gives skin its colour) – however it can carry a number of potential side effects, especially if you use a treatment cream with too high a concentration of HQ as this can cause a permanent skin discolouration, which is the very opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. That’s why it’s imperative to discuss this with a professional beforehand.

woman washing her face

Image: CandyBox Images/Shutterstock

Cleaning routine

Environmental pollution can make the condition worse by corroding the protective layer of the skin, making it more susceptible to damage. Simple things like cleaning the face every night before bed can work wonders in helping prevent it, as can following up with a good moisturiser to help seal in the lipid barrier of the skin.

Sunscreen

Being diligent with your sunscreen application – as well as avoiding the sun wherever possible – is another sure-fire way to help it clear by itself, over time. Like with much else, however, not all sunscreens are created equally.

As a general rule, non-chemical sunscreens are preferable for the treatment of melasma as chemical ones not only offer a lower level of protection but, in some cases, can even trigger allergic reactions that could make it worse. Take extra care by following up with SPF-enhanced makeup, too. Read more about the importance of SPF in both our blogs here and here.

Other sun-safety tips that can also help keep it at bay include wearing hats, sunglasses and protective clothing and staying in the shade during the hottest parts of the day.

a woman having a face peel treatment
Image: Serghei Starus/123rf

Face peels

There is a range of different face peels available to treat a whole host of conditions – including melasma – working by removing the outer layer of the skin that contains the unwanted pigment. They should always be undertaken by an experienced professional (like us!) to prevent any unwanted side effects, such as scarring. Read more about the benefits and what we offer here.

Book now

woman having microdermabrasion

Image: Johanna van Lieshout Veenstra/Pixabay

Microdermabrasion

The ultimate in exfoliation, this popular technique is a non-chemical, non-invasive, non-surgical skin resurfacing treatment using a diamond head machine and is yet another treatment we’re proud to offer here at Lovoir. Results are best seen when used in conjunction with regular sunscreen application. Read more here.

Book now

dermapen 4

Microneedling

Is there anything the Dermapen can’t do? Helping to regenerate the skin via a series of tiny pinpricks, it’s another great tool. Read more here.

Book a treatment today

blister pack of the pill

Image: Gabriela Sanda/Pixabay

Avoid known triggers

Things like birth control pills and hormone therapy can exacerbate the occurrence of melasma, so wherever possible, try and find non-hormonal alternatives.

Did you know we can create tailor-made skincare regimes and treatment plans from our skin consultations?

Book one today with one of our qualified therapists!

Featured image:  Carla Nichiata/Shutterstock

Handy tips for: Dull skin. Part 2

young woman with glowing skin smiling at the camera

Welcome back to our second instalment of your bible to glowing skin (if you missed part 1, you can check it out here.). So, without further ado, let’s continue your journey to luminous skin!

rubbing cream on face

  1. Hydrate

Both internally and externally, in the form of drinking more water (ideally six to eight glasses a day) and moisturising the skin, using active skincare prescribed in-salon with quality ingredients and as close to natural ingredients as possible, as research has shown that dehydration decreases the volume of blood flow to the skin. We stock the following products – all packed with natural goodness:

An added benefit to using a moisturising product is that you can also improve the blood flow to your skin while applying it, making sure you stimulate the cells by rubbing in circular motions and/or in gentle, upward strokes. The result? Youthful, elasticized skin.

  1. Know your ingredients

Choose a product with hyaluronic acid as this can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, meaning it will help draw moisture into your skin and – more importantly – lock it in. Vitamin A is another great ingredient as it helps to speed up cell turnover, boost collagen production and unblock pores, so look for products that include retinol but always consult your beauty therapist for quality products as not all are created equal! Your doctor can prescribe the highest potency Vitamin A products, however it can carry side effects and may not be suitable, necessary or recommended for everyone. Vitamin E should also be high on the list thanks to its richness in antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from pollution and other environmental aggressors.

two girls with face masks on bed

Image: Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock

  1. Go natural

As ever, there are a whole host of natural ingredients you should look for – both within various skincare products and as part of a healthy diet:

  • Honey. A natural humectant (meaning it helps to draw water to the skin), honey boasts loads of antibacterial properties.
  • Avocado. Full of Vitamin E, when applied to the face (as well as eating as part of a healthy balanced diet) this can also help to banish dull skin.
  • Blackcurrants. Here’s something you probably don’t know: Blackcurrants – and, in fact, most berries – are packed with four times more Vitamin C than oranges (yes, really!).
  • Natural yoghurt. Bursting with natural moisturising goodness.
  • Witch hazel. Helps restore the skin’s protective layer.

Read more about the importance of diet on skin here

Image: Pixabay

  1. Sleep more

The best time for cells to repair and regenerate is at night – they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! Sleep deprivation is also responsible for lowering circulation – just another good reason to count more sheep than Netflix episodes. You should be aiming for seven to nine hours minimum. If you can go to bed with a face oil, even better!

  1. Chillax

Stress is a big no-no for your skin. Ever wondered why – in times of panic – people turn white as a ghost? Quite simply, the adrenaline released during these times diverts your blood away from the minor vessels in the skin to provide swift assistance to the major organs in the body. The result? A pale, blood-deprived complexion. Another word on staying cool – keep your showers as cold as you can handle as hot water can strip away moisture and protective oils from the skin.

led light therapy machine

Image: Ninafotoart/Shutterstock

  1. LED light therapy

Just one session bathing your skin in infra-red light – proudly offered by us – will both hydrate and heal, whilst boosting collagen.

Read more and book here

woman undergoing electroporation

Image: elenavolf/Shutterstock

  1. Electroporation

You can read more about the awesome infusion facial in our in-depth blog here, but – in short – it’s packed full of hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and retinaldehyde. Need we say any more?

Book here

  1. Minimise makeup

The great news is that if you follow all these tips, you really won’t need to wear much makeup at all, so let the natural goodness shine through (and save yourself a lot of money in the process!). The makeup you do decide to use should have light-reflecting pigments to help enhance the natural glow you’ve worked so hard to create. We hope this goes without saying, but remember to take your make up off every night, too! We now stock Quoi Mineral Makeup, so if you must wear it – go mineral!

Book a skin-glowing treatment today!

Featured image: RomarioIen/Shutterstock

Handy tips for: Dull skin. Part 1

Glowing has come a long way since its popular status of yesteryear in lava lamps, disco sticks and those awesome stars you used to stick on your ceiling as a kid. Nowadays, all anyone really wants in the way of a glow is in their face – and with good reason.

Sure, you can drop hundreds of dollars on various cosmetics promising to give you a Kim Kardashian filter, but if you really want a naturally dewy look, you need to get the source of the issue: Dull skin.

The thing about dull skin is that – unlike many other skin conditions – it can hit anyone, due to the numerous everyday factors which bring it on, such as sleep, stress, age and bacteria. Here, we discuss what can be done about it, in the last of our (sob) Handy Tips series. Luckily for you, however, there’s so much information we want to pass on we’re going out with a bang in yet another two-parter!

Dull skin remedies

  1. Clean

One of the most important things you can do for a healthy glow is embarking on a regular cleansing routine. Wash your face morning and night to keep dirt, oil and bacteria away from your skin. Aim for a double cleanse – the first will remove dirt, debris and makeup while the second will purify your complexion. And while we’re on the subject, make sure anything that comes near your face is always kept clean, too – such as your phone, pillowcases and hands.

a woman having a face peel treatment
Image: Serghei Starus/123rf
  1. Exfoliate

This process – when done gently – removes the outer layer of dead, dirty and dull skin, and all the impurities which everyday life locks inside it, in turn providing a better canvas for light to reflect off of, so is an absolute must in your quest for the glow and should be done at least once a week. An added bonus? It also helps products to better penetrate the skin, too, so you can achieve a doubly luminous glow! We offer a range of face peels at Lovoir Beauty for a whole host of different skin concerns, helping to create a strong and healthy structure – check them out here.

Book a face peel today

  1. Say yes to SPF

Daily – whether you deem it hot enough or not. It is, quite simply, the easiest route to healthy, flawless, glowing skin, and it’s so much easier to prevent any damage than try to fix it afterwards.

  1. Exercise

Yup, it’s true – exercising your body helps deliver essential nutrients to your skin, such as iron and Vitamin C (vital for things such as collagen production and blocking a pigment-producing enzyme which, in turn, helps to brighten the skin.). While this alone can contribute to dull skin, it also has an effect on blood flow which, in turn, can negatively affect the lymphatic system, too (the body’s drainage system composed of tissues and organs, primarily tasked with transporting toxins and impurities away from the skin.). As if that wasn’t enough, sweating is also nature’s way of eliminating toxins from the skin, too! So, go on, drop a few more squats, spend an extra few minutes on the treadmill or go for a run to get your blood pumping and skin glowing.

  1. Stop smoking

It’s hardly breaking news that smoking is bad for you. However, when we talk about the effects it can have on the skin specifically, you may be surprised at just how detrimental it can be. As well as damaging organs, tobacco also worsens circulation and depletes the body of Vitamin C – the effects of which we’ve just discussed above. The chemicals in cigarettes are also responsible for breaking collagen down, leaving the skin yellow, wrinkled and sagging. If you are a smoker, you can help to reduce the damage by taking a Vitamin C supplement every evening, and we offer an amazing New-Zealand based one from Koru Nutrition.

As a side note, while we’re on the subject of unhealthy lifestyle choices, you should also give sunbathing and tanning salons a miss, too.

A selection of rainbow-coloured fruit and veg
Image: Patrick Feller/Flickr
  1. Improve your diet

Again, no longer news – especially if you’ve been following our Handy Tips series – however, it would be remiss of us not to point out the importance of increasing the presence of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet, such as leafy green vegetables, brightly coloured fruits and any and all sources of protein, such as nuts and macadamias – full of high quality oils and fatty acids that help the skin to both repair and rejuvenate. On the flip side, keep away from salty, processed foods, as these can contribute to the swelling of tissue through fluid retention, which negatively impacts the reflection of light. Not getting enough from your diet? Think about taking some supplements, too.

Read more about the importance of diet on skin here

Heard enough? Book one of our treatments to banish dull skin forever!

Featured image:  Ale Hidalgo/Pixabay

Handy tips for: Hypersensitivity

The only thing probably worse than hypersensitive skin is not knowing what to do about it! Fortunately for you, Lovoir Beauty is, once again, here to save the day!

Why is my skin so sensitive?

First things first, it’s important to note that sensitive skin – in of itself – is not actually a condition. It’s usually a symptom of something else, and you probably won’t even realise you have it until something triggers it off.

Hypersensitivity occurs when the fatty outer layer of the skin – the lipid barrier – is damaged somehow, resulting in it being weaker or thinner than it should be. This then compromises its ability to keep the good stuff (water) in and the bad stuff (UV rays, extreme temperatures and chemicals) out. Thus, irritants are freer to penetrate the skin, causing all kinds of problems.

Most of the time, it’s connected to an allergy of some kind, in which the skin reacts to a stimulus by the activation of the immune system when it senses a threat.

The good news is that the conditions that cause sensitive skin are rarely serious. The bad news? It’s just so goddam uncomfortable!

What causes hypersensitivity?

Sensitive skin reacts to certain things, such as:

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Pollution
  • Sun
  • Hard water
  • Cosmetics
  • Certain foods and spices
  • Certain fabrics
  • Alcohol
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Aging
  • Hormones
  • Genetics

There are eight main skin conditions that carry hypersensitivity as a symptom, too:

the words dry written in cream on a hand

Photo: ADragan/Shutterstock

  1. Dry skin

When skin loses too much water or oil it can cause itchiness, peeling, roughness and bleeding. Together, this makes a cocktail of the perfect ingredients for hypersensitivity.

Read our Handy tips for dryness here

  1. Eczema

Also known as atopic dermatitis, this condition affects your skin’s ability to protect you from irritants, meaning you’re extra sensitive to products that others wouldn’t be. Symptoms include dryness, itchiness, small bumps and raw, cracked skin.

  1. Dermatitis

There are two types:

  • Irritant Contact: A red itchy rash that develops when the protective layer of your skin is damaged by something it touches.
  • Allergic Contact: Less common but more pervasive, this occurs when you have an allergic reaction to a specific substance, such as soap, fragrances and jewellery.

magnifying glass highlighting rosacea on a woman's face

Photo: Erica-Smit/Shutterstock

  1. Rosacea

A common skin disease that affects the face, Rosacea – which is characterised by red patches and small bumps – can cause extreme sensitivity.

Read our handy tips for facial redness here

  1. Urticaria

There are two types of Urticaria – also known as hives:

  • Contact: This is the result of direct contact with an irritating substance, such as plants, fragrances and various cosmetics, and symptoms include itching, burning, tingling, redness and swelling.
  • Allergic contact: Hives that are caused by exposure to heat, cold and chemicals.
  1. Photodermatoses

An abnormal reaction to sunlight, where the UV rays trigger the immune system to cause rashes, blisters or scaly patches of skin.

  1. Cutaneous mastocytosis

A condition in which too many mast cells (part of the immune system) accumulate in the skin, releasing chemicals that cause chemicals on sensing a threat. It is triggered by irritating substances and usually characterised by flat, red spots.

  1. Aquagenic pruritus

A very rare condition in which the touch of water causes immediate itchiness.

woman having a facial

Sensitive skin treatment

It’s not all doom and gloom if you have sensitive skin; there are lots of things you can do to minimise the discomfort!

Have a gentle cleansing routine

Equally important to the ingredients contained in your face wash is the frequency in which you do it! Don’t overdo it – too much cleaning can just make your sensitive skin even worse as it can further break down an already-compromised lipid barrier.

Keep hydrated

Applying a moisturising cream or ointment two to three times a day will help, but make sure it’s gentle and fragrance-free to prevent further irritation. Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, coconut oil and Shea butter are just some examples of sensitive-friendly ingredients you should look out for. As ever, drinking water is vital to the health of your skin, too.

Avoid irritants

When it comes to cosmetics, make smart choices:

  • Face powder has fewer preservatives, thus minimal risk
  • Choose a silicone-based foundation
  • Avoid waterproof makeup as you’ll need a special, harsher remover
  • Stick to black eyeliner and mascara as they have been proven to be less allergenic than other colours
  • Replace all cosmetics – along with brushes and sponges – frequently

As well as going fragrance-free in your cosmetics, watch out for other known irritants, too, such as laundry detergents and hand soap. A gentle, hypoallergenic, pH-balanced choice should be favoured. Sulphates, dyes, preservatives, alcohols and emulsifiers are not your friend. The simpler the better – always. Also, don’t be fooled by a label that says ‘unscented’ – this doesn’t always mean it’s fragrance-free!

Patch test

If you suffer from sensitive skin, this piece of advice is going to be invaluable to you (we promise!): No matter what the product, always test on a small, inconspicuous area of skin at least one day before you plan to apply fully. When you do decide to introduce a new product into your repertoire, build it up gradually so your skin can develop a tolerance and mix with a moisturiser to help create a barrier.

Minimise exfoliation

This is one of the worst things you can do to sensitive skin, so limit to no more than twice a week and do it gently.

Be weather aware

Wear gloves when it’s cold and slap on the sunscreen (minimum SPF 30) when it’s hot. Never overheat your homes, either, as this can worsen already dry skin.

Choose comfortable clothing

Smooth, soft, natural fabrics – such as cotton and silk – are best for sensitive skin. Make sure it’s as loose-fitting and breathable as possible.

Be shower sensible

Try to limit to five minutes with warm – not hot – water. Gently pat yourself dry afterwards instead of rubbing.

Natural remedies

A cool oatmeal bath can soothe sore, blistered skin. You can even make your own by grinding oatmeal into a fine powder. Aloe Vera – a natural gel – is another great remedy to help soothe burning skin, as is green tea and chamomile.

Over the counter remedies

There are a range of OTC treatments you can try, such as a steroid, like hydrocortisone, numbing creams and antihistamines – both oral and topical – as well as pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce inflammation.

Salon treatments

This is where we come in!

Our range of three Janesce facials – Petite, Spa and Relaxation – gives a hydrating botanical boost through a cleanse, exfoliation and peel to address every unique skin need. Read more about them here to decide which is best for you.

You may also want to sign up for our popular LED light therapy facial – a highly recommended treatment for hypersensitive skin. Read more about it here

Book your treatment here

Featured image: Good Free Photos

Handy tips for: Stretch Marks

magnifying glass against stretch marks

Ah, stretch marks. No matter how you look at them (love-filled scars acting as a testimony to your mothering body or a painful reminder of times you’d rather forget), they’re not always easy to live with – whether they appear on your stomach, chest, hips, thigh or bum. Luckily, we have all the tips you’ll need to banish them forever (or at least minimise them significantly!).

What causes stretch marks?

The result of skin stretching or shrinking rapidly (thereby pressurising and breaking the internal collagen and elastin which then allows underlying blood vessels to appear), stretch marks are most commonly associated with pregnancy, with a whopping 50-90% of women reportedly getting them at some point in the nine months. You may, however, have a genetic predisposition to them (thanks mum!), or find them as a by-product of weight-related conditions, such as puberty-related growth spurts, dropping a significant number of dress sizes in a short space of time or sudden muscle gain.

What makes stretch marks so difficult to treat is the fact that they originate from the deep dermal layer of the skin.

So, what can you do?

How to get rid of stretch marks

  1. Go natural

There are lots of tried and tested home remedies that can help minimise the appearance of stretch marks.

  • Aloe Vera. Helps treat the skin fast and effectively.
  • Coconut oil. Increases blood flow to the skin and produces collagen fibres – helping your skin to retain its elasticity.
  • Tea. Both black or chamomile, this is a highly effective and quick at-home method, thanks to the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packed in the former, and the anti-inflammatory properties of the latter – all helping to minimise cell damage and control skin pigmentation.
  • White sugar. Not good to eat, but oh-so-good to rub into your skin, thanks to its status as a natural exfoliant – helping eliminate dead cells and promote the formation of new ones.
  • Lemon juice. The natural acid helps lighten stretch marks efficiently and speeds up the healing process – along with a whole host of other skin conditions. It’s best to dilute with water before applying to prevent any irritation.
  • Tea tree oil. Hailing from our very own tea tree here in New Zealand, this wondrous oil has been used in skin treatment by Australian aboriginals for decades – with no signs of slowing down any time soon!
  • Olive oil. Rich in healthy fats and Vitamin E – both responsible for speeding up the skin’s healing process.
  • Egg whites. Sounds strange (and it is a bit), but containing lots of amino acids, which can repair skin, the part of the egg that everyone loves to eat is also pretty well received when applied topically, too! (Seems like Mrs Doubtfire had the right idea, after all!)
  • Potato juice. Another odd one, but potatoes can naturally brighten the skin, thanks to the starch which helps to regenerate skin cells – ultimately helping to fade stretch marks.
  • Onions. Bound to make you laugh – not cry – thanks to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties of the flavonoids and quercetins contained.
  • Gelatine – to eat, not apply topically, as it can help your body to produce collagen. Most people lack this in their daily diet, so taking it as a supplement is always a good idea.
  • Castor oil. Helps lock in moisture whilst also offering antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
A selection of rainbow-coloured fruit and veg
Image by Patrick Feller/Flickr
  1. Diet

As ever, what we eat has a huge impact on our skin. Choose foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, zinc, protein and omega-3s. Green tea is another great choice, too, thanks to the antioxidants packed in it. We also advise taking a collagen supplement, too, and we are proud to stock the amazing offering from Koru Nutrition!

Read more about the effect of diet on our skin here

  1. Vitamin A

The wonder vitamin that’s appearing in more and more of our blogs – and for good reason! The retinol found in Vitamin A (often turned into a variety of skin creams) produces collagen which – as discussed above – is great for stretch marks but may not be safe to use in pregnancy or while breastfeeding, so always speak to your doctor first.

slice of cucumber

Image: Andrew Martin/Pixabay

  1. Hydrate

Moisturising the skin helps tighten it, both reducing the appearance of stretch marks and helping to prevent the formation of new ones. Use straight after bathing or showing to help lock in the product. Keeping your body hydrated internally is another must, too, in helping your skin stay soft and supple, so make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day. If you’re not a huge fan of the stuff, try chomping on cucumber and watermelon for an added boost.

  1. Exercise

Even low-intensity activities, such as walking, swimming and yoga, helps to regulate and increase circulation in the body through the release of antioxidants – increasing the skin’s capacity to stretch. Exercise also boosts muscle tone, helping ward off the appearance of stretch marks.

  1. Lifestyle

Poor lifestyle choices could have a massive impact, too:

  • Sun. Contrary to popular belief, getting a tan will not help disguise stretch marks – if anything, it can make them worse, thanks to the UV rays which will damage both collagen and elastin! Avoid direct sun wherever possible and always use a sunscreen with SPF 30 minimum, as well as wearing protective clothing.
  • Smoking. Reduces blood flow to the skin, as well as depriving the body of the essential nutrients it needs to keep skin healthy and damaging both collagen and elastin through the free radicals it releases.

dermapen 4

  1. Treatments

There is a range of in-salon stretch marks treatments that can do wonders:

  • LED light therapy. Red light therapy, in particular, uses infrared light to penetrate the skin, thus stimulating the production of collagen and elastin whilst also improving blood flow. An added bonus? It’s both chemical and pain-free – yay!
  • Microneedling. The Dermapen is a great tool against stretch marks, thanks to its ability to get the skin to secrete new collagen fibres and stimulate blood flow in response to the tiny pinpricks it makes.
  1. Act fast

The sooner you treat them, the better the results, so don’t delay – book today!

BOOK NOW!

 

Featured image: Suriya Yapin/Shutterstock

Handy tips for: Anti-aging – Part 2

a woman holding a ripped picture of an older version of herself over her face

Welcome back to the second instalment of anti-aging tips! (If you missed last week’s article, you can check it out here.). Want more of the best anti-aging secrets? Of course, you do! We hope you’re well-rested and ready to learn more tricks of the trade, which leads us on to our first point:

a woman sleeping

Image: Pixabay

  1. Improve your sleep

  • ‘Beauty sleep’ is a real thing! Aim for eight hours a night to allow your skin time to fully repair and detoxify, with the help of the growth hormone – which only functions at night. Not to mention the fact that the more tired you are, the more likely you are to reach for junk food.
  • Go posh. You should also think about treating yourself to a silk pillowcase (also known as an ‘anti-aging pillow’ – yes, really) as this can fend off fine lines, help you to retain moisture and make you feel like a princess in the process!
  • Humidifier. Using one of these while you sleep at night can also help your skin, too!
  • Cherry nice! Yup, drinking a glass of cherry juice can help boost your sleep as it contains melatonin.
  1. Exercise

When we exercise a compound called IL 15 is released into the body, which helps prevent the death of cells. One study in Canada found that those who cycled twice a week for two months reported looking decades younger – awesome!

  1. Wash after workout

Don’t neglect this important step after exercising, as sweat and other dirt will settle into your pores, making them look larger.

  1. Keep it cool

The shower, that is. Hot water can dry out the skin, whilst cold water can help circulate blood flow, flush out waste, reduce swelling and prevent tissue breakdown.

  1. Don’t neglect your neck and chest

An often-overlooked beauty tip but oh so important; if the muscles in your neck and/or chest are tight, they will pull down your facial muscles, constricting the flow of nutrients and oxygen and resulting in a sagging, less-relaxed look. Make sure you include these areas in your daily skincare regime, whilst regular massages and yoga can be a real help, too.

a selection of foods rich in vitamin a

Image: Evan lorne/Shutterstock

  1. Vitamin A

You can’t go wrong introducing some of this wonder vitamin into your skincare regime. Sold as topical retinoids – one of the most popular anti-aging products – they can provide a serious line of defence against wrinkles, dark spots and uneven skin tone – as well as soaking up both biological and environmental stressors that can cause aging. However, some people may find themselves sensitive to it so it’s always best to visit a doctor or dermatologist beforehand.

Read more about Vitamin A here

  1. Stop smoking

The chemicals in cigarettes starve the skin of oxygen and nutrition (but you know this already, don’t you?).

  1. Keep calm

Studies have found that stress hormones can directly increase inflammation (which can break down collagen) and prevent the body from its vital repair functions.

  1. At-home treatment products

There are a range of proven remedies that you can do easily from the comfort of your own home, such as indulging in overnight masks and choosing night creams which contain active enhancement products.

led light therapy machine

Image: Ninafotoart/Shutterstock

  1. In-salon treatments

  • Facials. As well as feeling just so goddam amazing, the circular motions made during an anti-aging facial helps retain elasticity – so important for young looking skin. Check out our range of advanced facials here.
  • Exfoliation – another great habit to get into as, by encouraging the shedding of dead skin cells, helps to speed up the growth of new ones, resulting in younger looking, smooth and glowing skin. A word of caution, however; over-exfoliating can be damaging to the skin and actually make it look older, if not done properly. Luckily, we offer a range of professional treatments here. Read about Microdermabrasion and book here.
  • Microneedling. An effective way of boosting your skin’s collagen production, helping to fill in fine lines. Read about Microneedling and book here.
  • LED light therapy. Perfect for antiaging cell repair and regeneration – and proudly offered by us! Choose from a 4-session or 8-session course or add it on to any other of our facial services. Read about LED light therapy and book here.

Check out our full range of anti-aging treatments and book today!

Featured image: Transurfer/Shutterstock