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

Handy tips for: Anti-aging – Part 1

anti aging spelt out in scrabble tiles

It’s got to be the cosmetic industry’s most lucrative problem: How to freeze the physical signs of getting older. (Yup, wrinkles, crow’s feet and liver spots – we’re looking at you!). So, we’ll do what we do best and unlock the secrets to a younger, more youthful looking you! (Get excited – there is so much information we’ve decided to split it into two parts!)

sunscreen and a sun hat

Image: MonikaP/Pixabay

  1. Sun protection

We may as well get what is fast becoming our mantra out of the way. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen – all day, every day. This is because UV rays are responsible for breaking down collagen and causing abnormalities in elastin, resulting in thinner skin, wrinkles and uneven, pigmented patches (melasma – read more here.). You know the rules by now (and if you don’t, we suggest you check out our blog archive here!) – use at least 30 SPF, reapply every two hours and wear even when you don’t think it’s that hot (it’s New Zealand – it’s always hot.). Wear hats and protective clothing, too.

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

So much to say on the best natural anti-aging foods so bear with us:

  • Eat sunscreen. In a sense. Yup, certain foods have been proven to increase lycopene – the skin’s very own SPF. An antioxidant found in red and orange fruit and veg, such as tomatoes, it can boost your sun protection by 33%! Green tea is another great example, as is – wait for it – dark chocolate, thanks to its being packed with flavonoids that can help prevent sunburn – double win!
  • Reduce white foods. Sugar, flour and salt can all help accelerate the process of glycation – where excess glucose binds to the skin’s collagen and elastin. The result? A fast-track to aged skin.
  • Honey. Get your sweet fix elsewhere by drizzling honey on certain foods as this attracts water naturally, keeping your skin flake-free and full of moisture.
  • Increase protein. Amino acids, contained in protein, are the building blocks to your entire body, and must be eaten as they are not provided by the body. Fish, meat and eggs are all good – and tasty – sources.
  • Omega 3s. The good fats found in fish, fish oil, chia seeds, flaxseed and walnuts perform vital functions for the health of the cell membrane, such as nutrient uptake, waste removal and water retention. You can never go wrong with taking some daily supplements or applying facial oils topically each night before bed, either.
  • Vitamin C. An important component for collagen. Aim for one citrus fruit a day.
  • Go nuts. Another brilliant source of Omega 3s, nuts also help improve the elasticity of the skin and boost collagen.
  • Pepper. No matter your colour of choice, bell peppers are full of antioxidants, which not only help to reduce wrinkles but also offer sun protection, too!
  • Turmeric. Make this your spice of choice as it helps combat inflammation.
  • Edamame. This favourite appetiser is also a vital tool in the fight against aging, thanks to collagen-preserving properties.
  • Drink. Another age-old piece of advice that is the answer to almost everything; the older our skin gets, the harder it becomes to retain water, resulting in flat skin and fine lines. If you don’t want your face to look like the Sahara Desert, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. In less than a week you’ll notice an improved tone, texture and even refined contours to a brighter, tighter face. Don’t love the taste of water? Eat your share of water-based foods instead, such as cucumber, grapes and watermelon. Cranberry juice is another great option for the skin – drunk in moderation, of course. A word, also about alcohol; whilst the occasional glass of red wine will not harm you, excess drinking will not be a friend to your face.
  • Supplements. If you’re not getting what you need from diet alone, you should look into taking anti-aging supplements and vitamins to give you an added boost.

Read more about the importance of diet on skin here.

  1. Moisturise

Continuing on from the point above, your skin will also benefit massively from a daily routine of moisture-retaining skincare, such as anti-aging serum or moisturiser. Joan Collins reportedly keeps a tub next to each basin at home and applies every time she’s in the bathroom, and we don’t know about you but we wouldn’t mind looking like her at that age!

  1. Remove make up

However exhausted you are at the end of the day, just think how tired your skin will look if you neglect to remove the make up that’s been sitting on it all day. By clogging pores, it will cause the breakdown of collagen over time – it’s just not worth it!

rubbing cream on face

  1. Use gentle products

Using harsh chemicals on your face is counter-intuitive and will both dry and damage the skin.

  1. Don’t pick

Picking at spots can result in pock marks, scars and even wrinkles.

We’re going to have to stop here – we wouldn’t want to keep you here longer than necessary (thus aging you, in the process)  – and although next week we’ll focus more on the treatments we offer, be an early bird and start seeing what’s on offer now!

Book one of our anti-aging treatments today!

Featured image: PracticalCures.com/Flickr

Handy tips for: Melasma

a woman with melasma facing forward

Ever noticed dark areas of skin on your face? Then you’ve probably been hit by melasma – a common skin condition in adults (Melas: Greek work for black.). It’s not an infection, it’s not contagious and it’s not cancerous. So, what exactly is it and what can be done to get rid of it? Lovoir tells all!

vector image showing how melasma affects the skin

Image: Kylie Aquino/Flickr

What causes melasma?

Also known as hyperpigmentation, the chronic skin condition is most common in women – particularly during pregnancy or other hormone-related changes, such as taking birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, thyroid problems or long periods of stress, although men can be affected too. It also rears its head most frequently in dark skin, as well as in people who work around heat for large lengths of time, such as chefs. Certain medications may also carry it as a potential side effect.

The exact cause is not known, but it is widely believed to be the result of melanocytes in the skin (pigment-producing cells) producing too much pigment (melanin). Unsurprisingly, therefore, too much exposure to UV light from the sun or sunbeds can either trigger the chronic skin condition or make it worse.

Whilst it carries no other symptoms, most people with it are upset by its appearance. Finding ways to deal with it, therefore, is invaluable, which is where we step in!

Book a treatment today!

Types of melasma

  • Epidermal. Well-defined border, dark brown in colour, responds well to treatment.
  • Dermal. Ill-defined border, light brown or blueish in colour, responds poorly to treatment.
  • Mixed. The most common type, this presents as a combination of dark, light and blueish patches and responds partially well to treatment.

Top tips

  • If your melasma has occurred during pregnancy (known as chloasma), don’t do anything! This is because a. It may well go away after delivery and b. Melasma creams, such as hydroquinone and retinoid, should be avoided during this time as they could harm the foetus.
  • Try to avoid known triggers, such as birth control pills – non-hormonal solutions may be a better idea. Get used to cold showers too, as hot water can also activate the production of melanin.
  • Avoid the sun as much as is physically possible and use sunscreen daily (SPF 30 minimum), reapplying every two hours. Some sunscreens even contain melasma-fighting ingredients, such as hydroquinone, so it’s definitely worth doing your research before buying! (Spoiler alert: We sell a range right here!) When you do find yourself in the sun for prolonged periods of time, always wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Skin irritants can make it worse, so always choose gentle products that don’t sting or burn.
  • Invest in a cosmetic camouflage makeup.
  • The longer you suffer with it, the harder it is to budge, as – believe it or not – cells have a good memory! Therefore, book yourself in for a treatment as soon as possible!

woman having a facial

Best melasma treatments

  • Skin lightening creams. Hydroquinone prevents pigment cells in the skin from producing melanin and, as such, is commonly used to treat the condition. Retinoid creams – commonly used to treat acne – as well as certain steroids, can also cause positive results in treating it. However, these topical creams may cause irritation so should only be used for a few weeks at a time. They are also best prescribed by a doctor, to minimise the risks of unwanted side effects.
  • Skincare. We offer professional strength skincare to effectively prevent and reverse the over production of melanin.
  • Chemical peels. By removing the outer layer of the skin that contains the unwanted pigment, chemical peels can greatly improve a variety of skin concerns. However, they should only be conducted by an experienced practitioner (like us!), otherwise they can make the situation worse or cause scarring. What peels are best for melasma? Different types and strength are available, depending on your skin type, and we’d be delighted to talk through your options with you.
  • Microdermabrasion. Another exfoliation technique that uses a diamond head machine to rid your skin of dead, undesirable matter. Read more here.
  • Microneedling, a highly effective treatment utilising your skin’s natural healing response to make significant changes in the skin’s tone, colour and texture. Read more here.

Book one of our treatments now!

Featured image: Kylie Aquino/Flickr

 

Handy tips for: Facial redness

magnifying glass highlighting rosacea on a woman's face

Everyone knows what the colour red signifies: Anger, heat and embarrassment, and if you battle with rosacea, these are probably things you’re all too familiar with. Yet it’s also the colour for ‘stop’, which is what this article is going to help you do if redness on the face is something you suffer with.

What is rosacea?

A skin condition characterised by red, irritated skin that flares up with certain triggers and can be caused by either genetic or environmental factors. Perhaps the worst thing about this chronic skin condition is in its unpredictability, which is why eliminating as many potential triggers as possible is so important.

cartoon strip of three different types of rosacea

Image: Scio21/Shutterstock

There are four different types of rosacea:

  1. Vascular

The most common type, it is characterised by persistent facial redness and visible blood vessels on the face, neck and/or chest. Typical flare ups are hot and itchy.

  1. Inflammatory

Often associated with burning and stinging, this type is characterised by raised, pus-filled bumps which can cool down as quickly as they flare up.

  1. Phymatous

The only type to thicken the skin and enlarge the sebaceous glands, resulting in redness around the nose. More common in men than women.

  1. Ocular

Located around the eyes, it comes with redness and itchiness, with more serious cases causing swelling and blurred vision.

a woman smiling and exfoliating her skin in the mirror

Image: mahmoud99725/Flickr

How to get rid of redness

  1. Choose skin products wisely

Rosacea often flares up from certain ingredients in skin care products, such as cleansers, moisturisers and makeup. Learning which are going to agree with you and which may cause redness is usually a process of trial and error, and dermatologists often recommend testing a new product on a small patch of skin for a few weeks before introducing it fully into your skincare regime. Similarly, you’ll also want to avoid ingredients that dry skin, such as alcohol, menthol, eucalyptus oil and fragrances. Mineral-based makeup is a good choice as it doesn’t contain additives or preservatives, whilst a silicone-based foundation can also help protect your skin. A yellow or green tinted base or mineral powder can work wonders too, for a short-term fix. The simpler you keep it, the safer it will be for your skin.

  1. Cleanse and moisturise

Having said that, it is vital to both cleanse and moisturise regularly – twice a day – as this can help. Again, read the ingredients carefully before purchasing. Cleaning make up brushes and sponges is a must for everyone, but especially vital if your skin is prone to redness (although you might want to avoid brushes altogether as this can further irritate the skin.). Moisturising is super important as it can reinforce the skin barrier, preventing infection-related sensitivity and environmental stressors.

  1. Use sunscreen daily

Yes, we know we might sound like a broken record, but we really can’t emphasise enough the importance of applying sunscreen every day. Whilst sunlight on the skin can be a trigger for many people with rosacea (the biggest one, according to a National Rosacea Society survey!), sunscreen can also contain ingredients that may also activate the condition, so make sure you’re smart about which one you use. We sell a range here at Lovoir Beauty that we’d be delighted to talk through with you.

  1. Choose warm water over hot

Hot water not only dries out the skin but can also be a trigger for rosacea. You may also want to avoid excessive showering or bathing in general, too.

  1. Be gentle

Rubbing or scrubbing your skin will just further inflame the condition, due to the friction involved. Using your fingertips when washing your skin or applying products is the safest option, followed by a soft cotton towel afterwards to pat your skin dry.

  1. Natural remedies

  • Cucumber has been documented as a natural home remedy for facial redness for hundreds of years – dating back as far as 1649 in the writings of botanist, Nicholas Culpeper. Using it straight from the fridge will give an extra cooling boost, too.
  • Ice packs can also help provide quick and cool relief when a flare up occurs.
  • Oatmeal masks are another natural remedy that not only absorb oil but also have a moisturising effect on the skin.
  • Manuka honey is much loved around the world for a multitude of health benefits – including anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial effects and a moisturising boost. What’s more, the special honey is primarily produced right here in New Zealand!
  • Peppermint, camomile and green tea all contain skin cell rejuvenating properties and can be used topically as well as ingested.
  • Smoking should be avoided as it inhibits the body’s ability to provide nutrients and oxygen to the skin, leaving it more susceptible to sensitivity.
  1. Diet

Avoid anything inflammatory, such as alcohol, spicy foods, tomatoes, caffeine and dairy foods, whilst fish oil supplements and cooling foods, such as apple, celery, cucumber and melon, can be helpful – along with probiotics. Read more about the importance of diet on the skin here. 

  1. And relax!

Take a deep breath and smile – it can help reduce redness, especially when triggered by a nervous reaction.

Check out our range of advanced facials for rosacea and book now!

Featured image: Erica Smit/Shutterstock

Handy tips for: Pigmentation

a woman holding a magnifying glass up to her face revealing pigmentation

Next in our ‘Handy tips’ series, we take a look at … (drum roll please) – pigmentation.

What is pigmentation?

Pigmentation – otherwise known as hyperpigmentation – is the broad name given to patches or spots that become darker than the rest of the surrounding skin. It happens when the skin produces more melanin – the pigment responsible for giving it its colour. It’s a common condition that affects every skin type.

Associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University, Adam Friedman, explains it perfectly, according to an article in Allure: Pigmentation is the result of melanocytes being stimulated to produce a surplus of pigment, “causing them to dump their pigment into lower levels of the skin, like tattoo pigment, where it doesn’t belong.”

Skin pigmentation disorders

Skin discolouration can manifest itself in a myriad of ways. They include:

  • Age spots
  • Sunspots
  • Melasma (usually occurring on the face, on women and in darker skin). “[It] typically appears as symmetric blotchy hyperpigmented patches … usually the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin and upper lip”, New-York based dermatologist, Sejal Shah, is reported to have said. Melasma is also common in pregnancy, known as Chloasma.
  • Post-injury and/inflammatory hyperpigmentation (most common in darker skin)

people sunbathing on beach

Image: Robin Jay

What causes pigmentation?

  • Sun exposure. The more exposed we are to the sun, the more melanin our skin produces to protect us from UV radiation. The result, of course, is sunspots.
  • Skin inflammation, such as acne, eczema, lupus and injury. Inflammation is the body’s way of fighting unwanted intruders, but it can also turn on itself and ravage the skin. Severe trauma may be harder to treat as it can disrupt the bottom layer of the epidermis, causing leakage into – and subsequent trapping – in the dermis (second layer of the skin).
  • Hormone changes – common in pregnancy and as a side effect of birth control.
  • According to DermNetNZ, side effects may be the cause of 10-20% of all cases!
  • Medical conditions, such as the hormone-disrupting Addison’s disease and Hemochromatosis.
  • Genetics – thanks mum.

How to get rid of pigmentation

To both prevent the condition or stop it getting worse, there are a number of things you should do:

rubbing cream on face

Lifestyle changes

  • Limit exposure to sun. Always wear a hat in the sun and use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 – reapplying every two hours (yes even in winter in New Zealand!). We’re delighted to sell a range of protective sunscreens here at Lovoir Beauty!
  • Choose protective makeup. New York City-based dermatologist, Shari Marchbein, recommends choosing products containing iron oxide to help block visible light. And guess what? We also sell a translucent powder with SPF 30, so no excuses!
  • Don’t pick! Yes, we know it can be tempting to play with spots on skin, but the more you do so, the higher the chance of developing skin discolouration.
  • Natural remedies. Some studies have suggested a range of natural cures, such as:
  • Aloe Vera. Aloesin – a compound present in this remarkable plant – may lighten dark spots by preventing the production of melanin in the skin.
  • Research points to the anti-inflammatory and skin-whitening effects of glabridin – an extract found in Liquorice.
  • Green tea. Is there anything it can’t do? Researchers have long studied the hot drink of the moment for its potential anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Vitamin C. Highly effective at brightening skin, this wonder vitamin also increases skin cell turnover, hinders the production of melanin and defends against UV-related damage.

dermapen 4 in use on female

Treatments

  • Topical treatments. There are lots of over-the-counter things you can try – each containing ingredients that help lighten the skin, such as corticosteroids, retinoids and Vitamin C. It may not be a bad idea to regularly use an anti-inflammatory cream, either.
  • Procedures: Lovoir Beauty to the rescue once again!
  • Exfoliants can help shed dark patches in the upper layer of skin. Check out our range of exfoliating treatments, such as Dermaplaning, Microdermabrasion and O Cosmedics Peels. Psst … A Dermapen special is on at the moment – don’t miss out!
  • Available at Lovoir Beauty from October!

Check out our wide range of treatments for pigmentation and book now!

 

Featured image: lado/Shutterstock