Ceramides – Understanding these Wonder Molecules

A healthy, hydrated skin with internal moisture control doesn’t need moisturisers, but for those who suffer from dry or oily skin, it is vitally important to address the rate at which water escapes from our skin, otherwise known as Trans-Epidermal Water Loss or TEWL.

Water loss is normal, but can be excessive in people with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and ichthyosis. Losing the ability to control moisture levels in the skin is often an underpinning cause for a myriad of other skin conditions, including acne and rosacea, as well as contributing to the signs of skin ageing by leaving the skin dull and lifeless. That’s why skin hydration and water control management are vital to maintaining a healthy skin environment, and should play an integral role in every skin treatment protocol.

Essentially, most skin troubles have more moisture control as a common denominator.

Rosacure 3 Product Set: Take back control of your Rosacea this Winter

The Science

Moisture

Did you know that keeping house plants ensures your skin has a fresh supply of oxygen and can help improve your skin?

The skin is made up of two key layers, the Dermis and the Epidermis. The top layer of the skin is the Epidermis, and the top layer of the Epidermis is the Stratum Corneum. Despite being incredibly thin, the Stratum Corneum acts as the skin’s main barrier, stopping chemicals we come into contact with from getting inside the body, and controlling the rate at which moisture is able to leak out.

Skin lipid structure is critical in the moisture retaining functionality of the skin. The Stratum Corneum contains three types of lipids that have different chemical compositions and functions throughout the body; cholesterol, free fatty acids, and key nine ceramides, numbered 1 to 9, which account for 40-50% of the lipids in this outermost layer.

Ceramides are important to maintaining a healthy skin environment because they assist in controlling both cellular and skin water loss. This helps to prevent dehydration, impaired cellular function and hastened cell death. Skin that can’t increase skin lipid structure usually reacts in one of two ways; in some the skin will become dry and will crack, whereas in others, oil and skin cell production increase in an attempt to slow the rate at which moisture is leaving the skin. This results in thickened, oily skin that can lead to acne, or an exacerbation of acne symptoms – yes, believe it or not, oily skin is often a consequence of a lack of skin moisture.

Aknicare Ultimate Acne Solution (LINK): Medically licensed to target all causes and symptoms of acne

Controlling TEWL is therefore vital to any skin routine that want to encourage a healthy environment; if the skin can control the rate of moisture loss, it won’t end up drying out, or over-compensating with oil and skin production. In short, it’s important to address your skin issues at the root.

The Solution

Hydratime and Nutritime

Now only £5 with any SkinMed Product Set!

The good news is that recent studies have shown that lipids can be replaced with topical preparations. Interestingly, all three lipids (ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids) have to be replaced at a certain ratio to restore the barrier function of the skin; if the incorrect balance of lipids is applied, it actually takes longer for the skin to heal.

This is what we have created in our creams.

Hydratime® and Nutritime® contain a balanced blend of all 9 key Ceramindes, improving skin barrier functions to slow TEWL and restore a healthy environment. Unlike most moisturisers, we don’t simply smear a water-blocking layer on the surface, ignoring deficient water levels deeper in the skin. Instead we improve skin structures from within, controlling moisture in all layers of the skin, so that you can achieve the best possible results from your treatments this winter.

Hydratime® and Nutritime® Plus Face Creams are currently available for just £5 with any SkinMed® product set. Visit our website (LINK) and use Promo Codes HYDRA or NUTRI to get yours

‘Why does skin get worse in winter?’​ – how to answer what will soon be your most frequently asked question!

For some, the Autumnal months are considered some of the most beautiful and scenic of the year, the landscape littered with beautiful orange and red leaves and the chance to wear your favourite snuggly jumpers that have been left in the cupboard all summer. Some even may already be reaching for the central heating thermostat or gathering a heap of logs for the fire – in short, summer’s definitely on its way out.

But the cold weather can affect more than just your outfit…

Some of your clients may be thinking “Why does my skin get worse during winter?” as the drop in temperature will already be starting to take effect. While everyone’s skin is different, there are some common causes that are usually at the root of people’s winter skin troubles, particularly those who suffer from acne.

With central heating switching on, sebaceous glands will respond and oil production will increase. The cooler temperatures mean you’ll be wrapping up against the cold weather to keep warm, but houses nowadays are much more energy efficient than they used to be and are often being hermetically sealed to keep the heat in, but this also means that the air indoors becomes stale much more quickly.

The result is that there is less oxygen available when you spend time indoors, but also less oxygen getting to your skin through thicker clothes when you go outside, providing a perfect breeding ground for acne bacteria to colonise your skin. Combining increased oil production with acne bacteria breeding more easily and you have a recipe for exacerbated acne symptoms and acne becoming even harder to treat.

There are millions of sufferers of acne in the UK alone, and with the impending change in temperature exacerbating acne symptoms across the country, many will be redoubling their search for a solution to resolve their skin issues.

Jumper

The solution:

So how do we get the best from our skin this winter without freezing?

Just like using an SPF in summer, in winter we still need to look after our skin – you’ll probably know first hand the damaging effects it can have on your skin. For many, winter is the worse time of year; the constant change from hot and cold temperatures and exposure to dry indoor provided by central heating and double glazing can enhance skin sensitivity, leading to increased oil production and resulting in acne breakouts.

To combat this, we recommend our all-encompassing SA OSK protocol, utilising EnerPeel® SA.

EnerPeel SA

EnerPeel® SA is a medically licensed remodelling agent for active acne. It contains 30% Salicylic Acid, suspended in a patented EnerPeel® carrier solution, which allows us to incorporate the active ingredients from our renowned Tebiskin® OSK within the carrier, protecting them from the blockage-busting Salicylic Acid.

This means we’re able to send a high-strength, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory dose of OSK ingredients to work deep within the skin.

Clinical studies were based at 5 university hospitals on patients whose resistant acne was defined as ‘unresolved’ even after using prescription medication for 12 months. Patients were prescribed 4 EnerPeel® SA treatments, 2 weeks apart, in conjunction with our anti-acne topical protocol.

This achieved an 80% resolution rate for their acne.

For chronic acne, or acne resistant to other treatments, we recommend TripleLock® to reduce the visible endpoints of acne, spots, oil, inflammation and infection. It restores the environment of the skin, opening up blocked hair follicle ducts by reducing skin thickness to normal levels. Finally, TripleLock® rebuilds the lipids lost from the skin caused by sensitivity to hormones, as well as changes in the environment.

Acne TripleLock

Step 1: Cleanse

Tebiskin® OSK-Clean utilises Pyruvic Acid instead of Glycolic Acid, as Pyruvic Acid will penetrate and break down oil, but also has the unique property of slowing down oil production, and also contains the potent and safe antibacterials Triethyl Citrate and Hexamidine, making it the ideal skin preparation to increase absorption of the TripleLock® active creams.

Tebiskin® Sooth-Clean is a delicate cleanser with anti-inflammatory properties and specific soothing and softening actions, recommended for cleansing sensitive and irritated skins. Tebiskin® Sooth-Clean utilises a natural molecule MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) to provide a soothing and anti-reddening action. Tebiskin® Sooth-Clean is ideal to cleanse delicate and intolerant skin, including skin affected by rosacea. It is also for cleansing irritated skin following specific medical procedures such as laser treatments or chemical peels.

Step 2: Treat

Tebiskin® OSK-Lotion is for the medical treatment of acne and seborrhea, especially inflammatory acne. It is an alcoholic lotion that restricts surface sebum levels, slowing down oil production and targeting acne bacteria effectively and more quickly than antibiotics. It also exhibits a comedolytic effect (opens the comedones) to reduce skin thickening, and contains the highest level of active ingredients in a trademarked delivery system to ensure rapid absorption into the pilosebaceous duct.

Tebiskin® OSK targets the visible symptoms of acne and reduces excessive oil production rates by over 50% on average and up to 68% in published clinical studies – the spot, the inflammation, the infection and the excess oil production. The key active ingredients are highly and rapidly active in reducing infected inflamed spots, and have a significant antibacterial effect, while slowing sebum production rates by 40%. It also exhibits a comedolytic effect to reduce skin thickening, hydrates and reduces scarring risk.

Tebiskin® Reticap contains a high concentration of pure micro encapsulated retinol. The active ingredients reduce excess skin thickening by slowing down excessive skin cell production and normalising keratin deposition; two key contributing factors causing the closure of the hair follicle duct creating comedones, leading to colonisation by p.acnes under the blockage resulting in inflamed spots.

Tebiskin® Cera-Boost provides the whole range of 9 ceramides which, in combination with Ethyl Linoleate in Tebiskin® OSK, counteracts the hormonally induced loss of lipids and oils that cause increased Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), triggering the skin thickening process that blocks hair follicle ducts, and works in combination with Tebiskin® Reticap to normalise skin behaviour. The Stratum Corneum contains three types of lipids, which are ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acids. There are nine different types of ceramides in the Stratum Corneum, and they account for 40% to 50% of the lipids in this outermost layer. Replenishing these is critical in controlling skin water loss.

Step 3: Protect

Tebiskin® UV-OSK SPF 30 has a high protection factor and an optimum UVA and UVB protection ratio – even in the winter, wearing an SPF is vitally important to protect your skin – and is used for sun protection while continuing control of acne symptoms. UV-OSK incorporates slightly lower levels of the same key active ingredients, minus Salicylic Acid, found in Tebiskin® OSK Lotion and Tebiskin® OSK Cream, and is to be used for daily spot free maintenance.

In conclusion…

There you have it; not only how to answer what is sure to become one of your frequently asked questions, but also what to do about it.

Don’t delay, phone us today…

To learn more about our acne protocol, or any of our other bespoke treatments, simply give us a call on 0333 247 2474, or email clinical1@skinmed.co.uk to speak to a member of our dedicated clinical team.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Let yourself glow!- Why shine-free skin isn’t healthy or natural…

Cosmetics companies everywhere seem to be obsessed with giving you a matt, shine-free finish to your skin, making those of us with skin that tends to be a little on the shiny side – i.e. those of use with natural human skin – scrambling for products that will help us reach these near-impossible standards, especially if you have naturally oily skin. If your skin has a shine to it, either all the time or towards the end of the day, you are not alone, and should not be pressured into feeling bad about your skin.

In fact, letting your skin have a natural shine is perfectly healthy, as everybody’s skin needs a level of surface oil, or sebum, in order to function properly. This week on #SkinTheKnow, we’re going to be talking about why exactly your skin needs sebum, what a healthy complexion should look like, and how to manage oily skin in a way that is healthy and safe.

Aknicare® Gentle Cleansing Gel – Reduces excess skin oil by over 50%, delivering clear, glowing skin.

What is sebum?

Sebum is the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands and then flows onto the surface of the skin. These glands are attached to every hair follicle all over the skin and scalp because, whether cosmetics companies want you to know it or not, your skin really needs the oil that it produces.

While being completely shiny all over your body and scalp probably won’t ever be a desirable look, sebum performs many functions that your skin cannot live properly without. One of these functions is to lubricate your skin and keep it soft and supple – skin without any oil would be completely dry and brittle, and wouldn’t be able to stretch and flex as your body moves. Ouch!

Oil

The original ‘Essential Oil’

One of the most important functions of sebum, however, is that it creates a protective barrier known as the acid mantle, which is an invisible layer on your skin comprised of a mixture of oil and sweat (we know that doesn’t sound too pleasant, but trust us, you don’t want to get rid of it!). The acid mantle has a slightly acidic pH and protects your skin against a portion of the microorganisms that could cause infection, as well as chemical irritants, pollution particles and other ecotoxicants. It acts as your skin’s primary barrier function; its first line of defence to protect and maintain the skin’s integrity – the second part of your skin’s barrier function is lipid bilayers of the epidermis, which hold your skin cells together and prevent moisture from evaporating too quickly.

Hydratime® & Nutritime®: Ceramide boosting face creams, supplement the skin’s lipids and provide anti-oxidant action for ultimate hydration.

Stripping away the acid mantle, either by excessive cleansing for example or by using an astringent toner containing a lot of alcohol, is stripping away this natural protective layer, leaving your raw skin exposed to the elements.

Acne

Remember, your skin is your largest organ and needs to be protected

This exacerbates existing conditions, such as acne, rosacea or dry skin:

– Acne is made worse as your skin is now more prone to inflammation, or you may even make any underlying inflammation worse, making acne break-outs more likely.

– Rosacea sufferers, or those with particularly sensitive skin, will now be more susceptible to reacting to irritants and external triggers

– Dry skin will become even more dehydrated as, without the acid mantle, moisture in the skin will find it more easy to escape.

Rosacea TripleLock®: Targeting all causes and symptoms of rosacea, providing long-term relief for 75% of sufferers.

How much is too much?

We would ask ‘how much is normal?’, but in our experience, there is no such thing as ‘normal’skin; every individual’s skin is as unique as their fingerprint, and there is no such thing as ‘one-size-fits-all’.

Having said that, those prone to having particularly oily skin will notice a shine first thing in the morning, which will typically cover the majority of the face, if not all of it. Combination oily skin will show this shone mostly in the T-Zone, which is where the concentration and level of activity of the sebaceous glands are higher.

T-Zone

In case you didn’t know, the T-Zone is comprised of the nose and forehead, where you’re most likely to suffer from pimples and blackheads due to excess oil

‘Normal’ skin – if we must call it that – will probably not notice any shine in the morning, but will develop a shiny T-Zone by the end of the day; it may not be very obvious, but can show up more clearly when photographed, or under strong lighting.

Dry skin won’t show any kind of shine, as it produces very little oil, and is usually most common in those over the age of 60, as the skin’s natural oil production gradually declines with age. If you are under 60 and find yourself in this group, it’s more likely the result of dehydration, and not to do with having skin that is genetically drier.

SkinVital®: Our anti-ageing super serum contains 33% more antioxidant Vitamin C than the leading competitor, targeting all 7 keys signs of ageing

What can you do about excess oil?

Oil production is regulated by testosterone, a hormone present in both men and women, which activates the oil-producing sebaceous glands. Testosterone is controlled by the highly complex endocrine system, and the amount of oil you produce is determined by your genetics, so it’s very difficult to control how dry or oily your skin ends up being.

You do, however, have some level of control.

You need to remember that your body is all about balance; if you try stripping away any excess sebum, your body will automatically work to produce more, and usually will try to over-compensate and produce more oil than you had in the first place.

Balance

Everything is about balance, and just like training your body, you have to learn to retrain your skin.

If you suffer from acne as a result of having excessively oily skin, invest in a decent acne treatment that will target both the causes and the symptoms of acne – FYI, we’ve written an article about how to best choose the right products for your skin, but long story short, make sure you pick a brand that specifically states that they treat acne. If it doesn’t actually say the word ‘acne’, chances are it won’t work all that successfully.

With the right treatment, you can tackle your acne troubles without the backlash from your skin, keeping your skin healthy for long-term relief.

Acne TripleLock® – Targeting not only the symptoms, but the underlying causes, of acne to deliver successful results in as little as 8 weeks.

Don’t dull your shine!

Forget what beauty and cosmetics companies are telling you; shine is nothing to be ashamed of. Without a counter-top full of mattifying make-up and a professional photoshop artist, there is no one who has natural, healthy, shine-free skin. It just doesn’t exist.

Now, as we well know, excess oil and shine can be problematic, but that doesn’t mean you should try to eradicate it altogether. Remember, oil is healthy, protective, and keeps your skin pliable and wrinkle-free. You may not want oily skin now but trust us, you’ll be glad of it in future when your skin doesn’t dry out!

So keep that natural, healthy glow, and embrace the shine!

Smile

Let yourself glow!

SkinMed® provide clinically proven skin solutions, which, unlike cosmetic brands, are medically licensed in the treatment of many skin conditions and suitable for almost all skin types, with thousands of successful users across the UK and Europe.

The products were created through decades of experience, in collaboration with top dermatologists from all around Europe. Professor Tony Chu, President of the Acne and Rosacea Association UK (ARA UK), endorses and prescribes the products for his patients – you can be certain you’re in the right hands.

If you would like to find out where your local SkinMed® accredited clinic near you, all you need to do is get in touch. We have hundreds of clinics country-wide and our dedicated team will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

We are also offering free skin consultations at many of our clinics for all our loyal customers. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please let us know and we can find the nearest clinic to you offering a consultation free of charge.

Contact Us:

Phone: 0333 247 2474 – Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Live Chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

The Secret to Glowing Holiday Skin!

Once upon a time, you’d have to go away on a long exotic holiday to get that gorgeous, healthy-looking glow that everyone is after today. But now, with the like of Instagram and SnapChat, everyone needs that glow before they go away, so they can be photo ready for snaps by the pool, on the beach, by the bar…you know, anything to make the folks back home green with envy!

This week on #SkinTheKnow, we’re giving you the inside scoop on how to get perfect summer skin before your next big trip, so that you can be ready for anything.

Introducing the EnerPeel® MA

Mandelic Acid is a slow-absorbing, gently exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid. It is originally isolated from almonds, but perfected in a lab, meaning that people with nut allergies can still benefit from treating themselves to an MA. In almonds, mandelic acid protects the nut from viruses, bacteria and fungi, a feature that can also be a great help to our skin too, keeping you free from pre-holiday ‘break-outs’. Its ability to control the hyperdilation of surface blood vessels also makes it ideal for those suffering from rosacea, and as we all know, UV can be a serious trigger for rosacea flare-ups, making EnerPeel® the perfect choice for rosacea sufferers or those prone to reddening.

Almonds

Remember, it’s the fact that it’s perfected in a lab that gives it amazing results – just rubbing almonds on your face will not do your skin any good!

Acne TripleLock® – All-encompassing acne solution, offering 85% success rates even amongst difficult to treat patients

Rosacea TripleLock® – Targeting all causes and symptoms of rosacea in just 8 weeks.

A lot of people are wary, or warn against, getting a chemical peel in summer due to fear of the effect of the sun on the freshly peeled skin, but EnerPeel® is not your average peel! Its rejuvenating effects are almost instant, delivering fresher, smoother skin with almost no downtime, meaning that with a high SPF sunscreen – which by the way, you should already be wearing every day, see our previous article for more details – you’ll be good to go and enjoy the summer sun. It’s even been called the Lunchtime Peel; that’s how little time it takes!

The beauty of EnerPeel® is that is also increases your skin’s absorbability, meaning that the SPF sunscreen you use will soak deeper into the skin for more even tanning, and the smoother texture of your skin means that your makeup will adhere so much better – and you won’t even need to wear as much because your skin will already look fab! That’s one less thing to worry about while you’re away!

Sunwards® SPF 30 Face Cream – Ultimate sun protection from but UVa and UVb rays, without irritation from chemical sun filters.

Rosacure Intensive SPF 30 – Rosacea targeting ingredients, combined with Factor 30 sun protection

Now we all know that holidays tend to be times when we let ourselves go a little and leave the diet at the airport to pick up again when you get home. And why shouldn’t you? Holidays are a time to treat yourself, live a little, and maybe have one too many cocktails at the hotel bar. The drawback is the hit that this can take on your immune system, which can often show on your face, potentially ruining your otherwise gorgeous holiday snaps. EnerPeel® MA will prevent these little holiday ‘break-outs’, keeping your skin clear and smooth, while you still get to push the boat out.

Cocktails

Disclaimer: Other side-effects caused by drinking too many cocktails cannot be prevented by having an EnerPeel before you go!

So, to sum up…

It gives you fresh, younger-looking skin, that will better absorb your sunscreen and tan more evenly.

It’s perfect for helping to control rosacea in time for your next summer holiday, and, with the right aftercare, can provide outstanding results to manage your rosacea symptoms long-term.

It prevents holiday break-outs from eating – and drinking! – too much and can be combined with an acne protocol to control acne by fighting all causes and symptoms.

The treatment lasts around ten minutes or less – a perfect little luxury to indulge in on your lunch break before your next sunny getaway.

Your skin will be cleansed, refreshed, brighter, incredibly smooth and soft to the touch, making it the ideal treatment prior to a garden party, holiday or a summers evening ‘get together’.

EnerPeel MA

Your ticket to gorgeous, glowing, summer skin

In short, it’s the perfect all-around chemical peel for summer, to give your skin that extra holiday glow, and that’s only after one treatment! A course of up to four treatments will also offer you the outstanding anti-ageing benefits of using MA, increasing collagen and elastin deposition, smoothing fine lines and tightening skin.

The EnerPeel® range is available from SkinMed® accredited clinics all across the country; to find your nearest clinic or for any further information, simply give us a call on 0333 247 2474, and a member of our dedicated clinical team will be able to point you in the right direction.

Why are Men Different?

Clinical studies have suggested that rosacea may occur up to three times more frequently in women than in men, its effect on men shouldn’t be overlooked, especially in matters of the nose.

A study of more than 2,000 patients, both men and women experienced rosacea symptoms on their chin, cheeks and forehead. However, men were more than twice as likely to experience an enlarged nose in a condition known as rhinophyma, also classified as sub-type 3 of rosacea. Symptoms of this sub-type include excess tissue, thickening of the skin and irregular surface nodules. In contrast, women were more likely than men to experience symptoms on their chin and cheeks.

A red, inflamed nose can be unsightly, and men who suffer from this condition may also have another issue to face: the assumption that they are heavy drinkers.  Although drinking alcohol may aggravate rosacea symptoms in some, even those who abstain from drinking may develop the disorder. Fortunately today, rhinophyma can be corrected with procedures such as laser surgery.

Unlike women, who can cover up their signs and symptoms with makeup, many men do not consider cosmetics to be an option and have to face the world with their rosacea symptoms on display. In addition, men face a unique skincare challenge that women don’t have to consider: shaving. Dulled razor blades can aggravate sensitive skin, so it is recommended that men with rosacea switch to an electric razor. Men should also test a new shaving cream or aftershave on a small patch of skin to avoid any that cause irritation, and use a rosacea cream such as Rosacure intensive because of its rehydrating properties and its ability to reduce permanent red areas, flushing and blushing and thread veins, making it an ideal product to use after shaving.

In a survey of over 1,000 rosacea patients they found that 60 percent of all sufferers and 88 percent of those who were reporting severe symptoms said that having rosacea had negatively affected their interactions with others in the workplace. Male and female patients alike have reported feeling embarrassment, depression, anxiety and isolation as a result of their condition. Fortunately, more than 64 percent of all respondents reported that effective treatment of their rosacea had improved their interactions with others in the workplace.

While men and women may differ in their signs and symptoms of rosacea, more research is needed to further understand the differences between the sexes, they do have one thing in common, needing a proper skin-care regimen such as Rosacure which is proven to prevent and reduce permanent red areas, flushing and blushing and also thread veins.