No Skincare Belongs On The Internet

When you’re unwell, would you buy antibiotics from the internet? If you had trouble breathing, would you hop on google to look for an asthma inhaler? Or if you daughter’s temperature rose, would you go online to find out how to bring the temperature down and buy whatever is recommended?

 

No you wouldn’t. Why not? Because it’s dangerous. Because you have no idea what is wrong in the first place, let alone risk purchasing the wrong thing and making the situation worse, possibly, dangerously worse. You would definitely seek the help of a doctor who knows what they’re doing and is trained to give you the right response and direct you to a safe and desirable outcome.

 

If I asked this question 20 years ago, this would have been a silly and unrelated analogy but today it is NOT! Effective, results driven skincare cannot be purchased willy nilly. Effective skincare that actually does something; clears acne, clears pigmentation, defies ageing, needs to be recommended based on YOUR specific needs. All skins, all conditions are different and require a different recommendation to address what is needed. Plus there are so many more factors to take into consideration; age, diet, gut health, lifestyle habits which make finding the right skincare even more complicated.

No product in isolation will address a skin challenge. It requires careful analysis and combination. Even with a great range, the right cleanser with the wrong serum, can be counterproductive, resulting in you taking two steps forward (with the right range) and then one step backward (with the wrong combo).

 

The untrained person won’t know this. Can’t know this. 

The right skincare range would not risk this happening and so the right skincare ranges, are not available on the internet for sale (like dresses, coffee, kitchen gadgets are) for consumers to self-prescribe. And if it is, then you would have no idea how to make the right choices, know which products are right for you at the time (skin changes all the time) so this is what will more than likely happen if you purchase skincare from the internet:


(1) You risk a skin reaction that may not be reversed and if it can be, will take considerable time and considerable discomfort
(2) You’ll waste your money. Just because it says it contains Vitamin C, doesn’t mean it will work. The amount of Vitamin C in the product may be miniscule, too miniscule to make a difference. Or the molecule will be so large that it cannot go anywhere but sit on the surface of your skin, treating the dead skin cells there that will fall off any minute!

(3) Pay peanuts, get monkeys. A skincare product that costs $20 is too expensive if it doesn’t do anything. Any skincare range that is cheap spends its money on packaging, advertising, marketing (which costs millions of dollars). Effective skincare ranges that contain the right ingredients with the right formulations spend their money on research, clinical studies and the best ingredients, formulated in the most effective way (which also costs millions of dollars). Which one do you think you should go for?

My advice? Only invest in effective skincare ranges (cosmeceuticals) recommended by professionals who have spent hundreds of hours studying the skin, it’s functions and best skin outcomes. You can only find these professionals in skin clinics and beauty salons that focus on skin.  

 

These people are not on the internet because they know it’s all about individual needs, personal skin conditions, skin concerns, lifestyle habits and so much more. Good skincare routines can be made up of 5 products plus and requires a tailored made ‘prescription’ and that cannot be achieved with the push of a button.

At Blush we have a wealth of knowledge and we all work together coming up with the best solutions for our clients. We know what has worked in the past for many others. If you are struggling with your skin or you just want to age gracefully and need some help, get in touch on tracey@blushbeauty.co.nz.

Ouch I’ve hurt my shoulder

Ok, so I have hurt my shoulder – well what the hell does that have to do with your skin, I hear you ask?

Not much to be fair- however I am being treated by an acupuncturist (Emily Taylor from Heal Holistic in Lincoln) and we got chatting.

Whilst getting changed and ready to lie on the bed for my treatment I noticed among all her certificates, one for Cosmetic Acupuncture. I was intrigued, so I asked her what was involved. Thinking it would simply be targeting different points in the face, I was interested to find out that the starting point was actually treating the body as a whole and creating an overall healthier system. Only then can she start to treat the face itself.

Well, we started chatting about the body in general and found we had both come to the same conclusion when dealing with our clients and their concerns. Diet and lifestyle were just as, if not more important than the actual treatments we each provide.

We also discussed that there are some people come to us who are incredibly self aware, they know their body inside and out, what works for them and more importantly what doesn’t. Then at the other end of the spectrum there are others who have no idea, and for them the journey is a long hard road as there just seems to be more to change in their life than not, putting it in the too hard basket.

I suppose at this junction comes the realisation that your body is telling you that  something is just not working. Meaning you need to begin to make a change. Ultimately that change is up to you.

So for myself and my wonderful team at Blush Beauty & Skin, when working with the skin we delve into many lifestyle questions. Now these can be quite confronting and one of the most important questions is “How often do you have a bowel motion”?

There is often a link between a sluggish bowel and a skin condition. When you think about it logically, if you are a little backed up there are a few unnecessary toxins floating around the body.

Then we get to stress, this is a biggie. Stress can be the trigger for some nasty skin issues – often the biggest problem being that the stress isn’t going anywhere and will quite happily move in to your life and take over your couch like an unwanted visitor outstaying their welcome! Things like marriage breakdowns, selling a house, moving countries or losing a loved one can have a catastrophic affect on your skin. For some this can spark a bout of horrendous adult acne, eczema or dermatitis. Often when stress is involved there is also a red inflamed aspect to the skin.

In today’s fast paced world we all want a quick fix. However what we need to realise is that often the things that we are trying to treat didn’t turn up overnight, so it’s a little unreasonable to think it can be rectified in a 24 hour window. Put in the work making a change where it’s needed, take the advice given and put it into practice. When seeking help from a professional listen to them as they know what they’re talking about.

Chances are if you take the advice given, tweak a few things in your diet and lifestyle, the treatments that you are receiving will have a much better outcome.

Oh, and Emily is great, my shoulder is well on the mend and I highly recommend her!

"HOW I LEARNED MY SKIN IS A TEMPLE"

At the tender age of 18 my skin was a raging red angry spotty mess. Was it my age? I was technically still in my teens so the general consensus was that teenage hormones were interfering with my complexion. At this stage of my life I was a working beauty therapist, smothering my skin with liquid foundation daily only exasperating the redness and inflammation of  my acne.  My boss took it upon herself to help me, and we started a round of facials. Now this was 1991 so the super duper active ingredients that we have today in our cosmeceutical ranges had not yet hit the shores of NZ. This was when facials were “relaxing”, so basically we cleaned and steamed the “shit” out of my skin and just ran the repeat button.

I was doing all the right things with my skincare. My make up was questionable and contributing to the problem, but there was no way I felt comfortable to bare my skin to anyone. Ever!

How was my diet ? I was flatting and having the time of my life! My wine consumption was off the scale. Did I drink water? No, I preferred Iced Chocolates, Milo and Ribena. Why would I drink water? Was I healthy? I was a member of Les Mills and did attend sometimes…

I vividly remember sitting on our couch hungover as all hell, make up free and embarrassed that visitors had casually dropped by unannounced. A random visitor (a male friend of my flatmate’s) looked at me with disgust as I demolished a cookie time cookie and a downed a glass of Ribena and said to me – All that sugar cannot be helping your skin!

This has stayed with me for over 27 years, and why didn’t I even consider his comment back then?

I just wish I knew then what I know now.

Stay tuned for my next chapter, where I continue my story on how my diet was sabotaging my skin!

Stay happy. The acne survivor – Tracey

Help Me – My Skin Is Throwing A Tantrum!

A friend (let’s call her Jane) recently asked me what she could do to help her skin, what treatment could give it a bit of life? Her skin was just feeling blah, so I suggested the Blush Advanced Facial as it contains an efficient form of exfoliation in the form of a peel and our LED Light Therapy (as well as all the other bits and bobs).

Here is a little of Jane’s back story. She went off the pill last year and her skin just started to go downhill. Nothing too major, just a few spots here and there, but she didn’t want to go back on the pill, nor did she want to worry about breakouts. This is a familiar scenario that we deal with at least once a week. Contraception pills such as Ginette and a few others have the ability to keep skin clear by managing hormonal fluctuations. When you come off the pill it takes 6 months to 1 year for your body to right itself and for hormones to go back to your new normal. However, if you were predisposed to breakouts before, there is a good chance you will be again.

Often, pills like Ginette are prescribed when we are in our teens, and we come off in our 30’s or maybe earlier to start a family. This can often mean that hormones have settled, but unfortunately this is not the case for everyone.

To manage Jane’s skin coming off the pill earlier last year we introduced a serum to help combat the hormonal influences causing the break outs, which after a few weeks worked well. But then she just hit a glitch and her skin was feeling downright yuck.

I am happy to say the facial did the trick, which led to the question how often should one have facials and what can she do at home in between facials?

I said – I’ll write a blog!

Her big splurge is using O Cosmedics, and in my opinion, it is always better to invest in great skincare that you will use twice daily than it is to spend money on a facial. However in saying that there are times when your skin just needs a good clean out.

Myself and my team always offer the best honest advice we possibly can.

I always ask two things when looking at correcting a skin concern.

What are your constraints-?

Time or Money?

For Jane she cannot stretch to a facial once a month, so she wanted to know how often is she should be having a facial.

  • It’s always better to have a facial than no facial

  • Once or twice a year is a great option to give the skin a boost, but I would suggest something with a bit of grunt containing a peel and an LED Light

  • Having a facial at the change of seasons is a really great way to keep your skin looking good as it is often when our skin is having to deal with a change in temperatures.

  • 4-6 weekly is a great option if you are wanting to see a visible change or correct a concern

  • When dealing with acne we often get you in a few times a week to go under the LED light and add in a peel once a week and then onto twice a week, but once your skin clears we suggest once a month for an LED light treatment to maintain your clear skin

  • To gain great skin health and make a change an LED light treatment once a month can do wonders.

So if you are in the camp that can only manage one or two facial’s a year here is my advice.

Find a great skin focused salon (some one like us!) and book a consultation. Get your skincare right from the get go. The products may have a higher price tag than you are used to but they contain large percentages of active ingredients than products you find elsewhere. Also remember your therapist is prescribing the skincare for your face, not someone else- she is sitting there looking at your skin and listening to your concerns and will come up with a plan just for you.

Use your skincare twice a day, up your game by using a serum (these correct concerns and are the gamechanger) and wear an SPF30 daily.

Once or twice a week use a scrub or peel at home. Do this at night so that you can apply your serum and hydrator afterwards and the next morning your skin will have a new lease of life.

We have many options for you to do skin treatments at home.

Here are my absolute faves

Using the O Cosmedics 3in1 Peel, leaving it on for 15 minutes – then applying their Exfoliating cleanser dry on top and doing a 1 minute scrub all over the face. Leave for a minute then repeat this time using water. Wash off. This is the equivalent to a gentle salon peel and together these two products make up a kick ass team

To make this duo even better finish off with the Aspect Gold hydrating mask and sleep in it.

For a skin that is prone to blackheads and/ or breakouts apply the O Cosmedics Corrective Peel and Cleanser. Shake the bottle and apply to a dry face with dry hands avoiding the eyes. Leave on 3-5 minutes. Add water and lather cleanser up and then rinse off.

This will help to dissolve any blockages in the pores, but is not suggested for a dry skin. Once a week is more than enough for this cleanser.

Home rolling with a skin needling device

You can use a home skin needling device up to 3x per week at home. Use at night after cleansing and this will, increase skin circulation, improve skin texture, help with skin blockages (Don’t roll over an infected spot though) and can help with fine lines and wrinkles.

It can be used with a serum to target different concerns such as pigmentation and ageing.

Any serum you apply after needling will tingle as you have irritated your skin.

I hope you have learnt something from this blog that you will be able to use to help your own skin.

If you are after more advice email us on tracey@blushbeauty.co.nz and we can help you out with a little more advice.

Wishing you happy clear skin.

Tracey Keefe


Busy Is Not Always Better...

So when you are working hard, eating well and exercising on a regular basis you should feel good right?

Well yes that is true, however you also need to listen to your body, otherwise it may just slow down and put out.

A few years ago, I stepped out of the salon due to a bit of a mini breakdown, and it was only due to having a fantastic team of therapists that I was able to do that. Believe me when I say it took a while before I was back to my best self. It is because of this and being a post-natal depression survivor that I feel quite in tune with my body. Do I ignore the signs – hell yes all the time. What happens? I fall flat on my face, there is the odd tantrum and a few tears!

As I am writing this I feel sad that I cancelled my gym class this morning, but my body is doing a happy dance. I did do something though, I grabbed my laptop and yoga mat and did a 10 minute yoga routine with Adrienne. (If you google yoga with Adrienne she has a free YouTube channel which is fantastic.)

My body was ecstatic, and the yoga felt so good that I added in a few more stretches at the end.

You see I have gone from working hands on from time to time when a therapist was sick - to working full time as a therapist plus doing all the business bits on top of that. The load is starting to get a little heavy but there is an end in sight. I actually adore the hands-on part, but when you have staff to mentor and manage, marketing to do as well as all the boring bits, you can become a bit below average at everything.

My body has been trying to tell me it is suffering from exhaustion for a week now, so I will resume my gym classes on in a couple of days and stay away from Danishes and the licorice logs (My current vices).

How does this relate to my skin- My skin is crappy. It is quite frankly dull, a little spotty and a bit shit really. Thanks to my product selection and my dedication to the cause it’s looking a lot better.

So, the message for today- look after yourself. Even if it’s sitting quietly having a cup of tea practice some quiet time. Give yourself a little love. If you have been eating rubbish, don’t be hard on yourself, instead simply try to be better -  day by day hour by hour.

 

It Started With A Danish...

Keeping within the theme of crappy skin, I will fast forward to the present - July 2018. I am no longer a teenager but scarily middle aged (45- EEK)

So, generally I try to keep my eating as clean as possible, my skin, mood and whole body reacts negatively to junk in my diet. Although my indulgences may seem small to some, I just want to highlight what it did to my skin.

So let's start with that danish. My daughter works at a local bakery with incredible food! I'm generally gluten free as my skin reacts badly to gluten. (Large painful volcanic masses appear randomly) So there's not much that I can partake in, which is OK and will usually will keep me away from their delicious treats. Well, a couple of Monday's ago she came home with three leftover danishes. My thought process said - DON'T DO IT! I promptly gave one to my son and his workmate and then I just had to have the last one. I had been super healthy up to this point and thought, ahhh go on - treat yourself. The speed with which that danish was consumed was ugly, it was so incredibly amazing that I spent the next hour wondering if my son was in fact going to eat his. Sadly he did! (Broke my heart).

No immediate effects to the skin. So the week continued and on the Tuesday after work I noticed there was a king sized bar of chocolate opened on the bench - I had to have some!  It was delicious and I ate most of the bar, much to my husbands dismay (It was his chocolate, and he didn't even realise he was going to share it). Wednesday I got off to a healthy start, but I knew that I had bookclub that night. Wednesday was finished off with a whole lot of cheese, red wine and a piece of the most unbelievable chocolate cheesecake. (Still dreaming about it)

Friday and Saturday I made pancakes for breakfast and on Sunday I just went for it. Watching Netflix with the fire on, under a blanket -  well what else is more heavenly on a gloomy rainy Sunday am I right? I topped my week off in a big way with potato chips (Yes the whole bag) and dozens of lollies followed by a big feed of Fish and Chips with the whole family. (Funnily enough I felt sick).

The next day I can safely say I felt unwell and hungover. Headachy, in need of healthy food and gallons of water. It was time to take hold of myself and be gently directed back to eating nutritious food. (Food is your petrol after all).

So a week later my skin is having a screaming tantrum. I have three large new spots plus redness spreading from my nose right down to my mouth and chin. What  does a beauty therapist do to take care of this (Especially when she knew this was coming?) she does a salicylic peel while she cleans the bathroom, and then after the shower coats her face in a hydrating mask. (Please spots - leave my face!)

The aim of today's blog is not only to reiterate that we are what we eat, but also to be real. Even if we are super healthy, there are moments of gluttony and greed when it comes to food. It's just really good to get to know your body to be self aware of what works for you and what doesn't.

What I failed to mention - which is not beauty therapy related at all - is that my energy levels were super low last week because of the sugar and junk injection. By Friday I was exhausted. Had I changed anything? Nope - only my food.

So why do I know for sure that these delicious delights have created skin issues for me? I have a list of congesting and heating foods from one of my suppliers. Each food on the list doesn't necessarily contribute to breakouts for me, but having tried and tested each food I know which ones do. So I will list what I know has made my skin unhappy and what it does to my skin.

  1. Sugar - sugar can be inflammatory to your system and your skin. This caused the redness on my nose, upper lip and chin, and takes a few days to dissipate. (So here we have the danish,chocolate, red wine, maple syrup, pancakes, chocolate cheesecake and lollies - gosh what a list)
  2. Milk Solids - For me when I consume too many food items which contain milk solids I get tiny hard bumps along my cheekbones. (So here once again there are a few contenders, chocolate, chocolate cheesecake and cheese, plus to top it all off the custard on my danish)
  3. Gluten - For me this sends my skin in a spin! Creates and grows large painful pimples. (Here we have the danish and fish batter)
  4. Greasy foods - These are just unhealthy for the skin and can encourage new skin blockages. (Fish and chips plus a whole bag of potato chips - what a winning combo to make my skin a bit off colour).

Anyway, that is how last weeks danish sent me and my skin into a spin. Resulting in a few more minutes of make up application for the next week or two. However the peel and mask treatment whilst partaking in my housework duties have certainly helped.

Signing off now - Tracey Keefe (Your Skin Sympathiser)

What the heck is a chemical peel?

 What the heck is a chemical peel?

If you don't already have a twice daily skincare routine, don't despair, it's never too late. Cleansing your face/upper chest morning and night and following with a hydrator only takes about 5 minutes out of your day. Add in a sunblock on a daily basis after your hydrator and you have an anti-ageing plan in place. To gain results should you already be a master of these basics, add in a serum or two and gently exfoliate once or twice a week. If you need help for a more serious skin concern, or you feel that your youth is slipping away far too rapidly, we are here to help and have many products and treatments available. Here are a few tips that you may or may not have read before, that can help keep your skin happy and healthy.