What Your Skin Is Trying to Tell You this Winter…

Why does you acne get worse in Winter?

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. Most of us  are reaching for the central heating thermostat or gathering a heap of logs for the fire – in short, summer’s definitely been and gone.

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

Some of you are probably thinking “Why does my skin get worse during winter?” as the drop in temperature starts 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, your 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, and houses nowadays are much more energy efficient than they used to be and are often hermetically sealed to keep the heat in. This 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.

Winter Clothing

Wrapping up in winter clothing deprives your skin of oxygen, creating an environment for acne to thriveThe solution:

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

For those with acne, winter can be the worse time of year; to combat this, we recommend our all-encompassing acne protocol.

Months of research and decades of skin experience has led to the creation of a revolutionary acne treatment targeting all underlying causes of acne; we call it TripleLock®.

Acne TripleLock

our all-encompassing acne solution can be found here

 

Step 1: Cleanse

Aknicare® Cleanser exfoliates and reduces bacterial levels, deeply cleaning the skin, removing debris and surface oil. If you have younger or more delicate skin, consider the Aknicare® Gentle Cleansing Gel, which calms angry skin while gently cleansing and toning with non-irritating ingredients

Step 2: Treat

Aknicare® Lotion is the main active acne-reducing solution, dramatically reducing oil production and skin thickening, controlling bacteria and inflammation to ensure spots just don’t happen.

Aknicare® Cream helps to change the skin from within to cure acne and stop spots. It has immense hydrating properties and provides an alternate moisture barrier, to reduce oil production, skin thickening and stopping new spots appearing. Aknicare® Cream also contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agents.

Synchrovit® Face is rapid acting Retinol A containing cream which helps normalise cell production and reduces the risk of blockages. Synchrovit® A/E should be used after Aknicare® Lotion and before Aknicare® Cream.

Step 3: Protect

Hydratime® and Nutritime® provide the whole range of 9 ceramides which 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. Replenishing these is critical in controlling skin water loss.

In conclusion…

There you have it; not only understanding how winter can affect you acne but, more importantly, what to do about it!

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

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

The Big Fish Fight – Choosing a New Exfoliator Without Microbeads

As you all no doubt know, the UK has recently banned the production and sale of certain products that contain microbeads, or microplastics, in an attempt to slow down the rate at which our oceans and waterways – not to mention their inhabitants – are filling with plastic pollution. It’s a fantastic step for the UK, following on from the 5p charge on plastic bags which, since it’s introduction in 2015, has seen an 80% drop in the number of plastic bags used, but the microbead ban has hit the exfoliator industry hard. Lots of brands were already ahead of the curve, but many common products that would once frequent the shelves of retailers like Boots and Superdrug will be discontinued and withdrawn from stores, leaving many in need of a new go-to exfoliator.

Well never fear!

This week on #SkinTheKnow, we’re going to talk you through the process of finding a new, reliable exfoliator that is kind to your skin and to the environment – without breaking the bank.

Washing

Remember, it’s not just dirt you’ve bee washing down the drain…

Microbeads – why all the fuss?

Microbeads are the tiny pieces of plastic added the rinse-off products such as face washes, toothpaste and shower gels, intended to give the products an exfoliating quality to scrub away dead skin and dirt. This is all well and good, and the synthetic nature of the beads means that they are perfectly round and therefore not likely to damage or cause excessive abrasion to the skin (when used correctly, that is; see our previous article to find out how often you should exfoliate).

The problem lies when these products are then rinsed off your skin and down the drain.

Many of these microbeads do not get caught in the filtration system of our sewage works, and therefore a small percentage of them make it into our waterways and oceans. This percentage, however small, has been building up over the years, especially when you consider that approximately 680 tonnes of microbeads were used in cosmetic products every year in the UK alone.

These tiny fragments of plastics do not biodegrade, and on their journey to the ocean collect tiny particles of plant life, or phytoplankton, and are mistaken by fish as a food source. The tiny plants are digested by the fish, but the plastic is left behind, which can lead to the blockage of digestive tracts, leading to starvation, and in some case, poisoning the fish from the toxic chemicals in the plastics. This not only affects the fish that eat the plastics but also the other animals further up the food chain that eat the fish – that includes us!

Dead fish

In a recent study published in The Independent, it was discovered that 100% of British mussels contained traces of plastic… yum!

Natural and Biodegradable Exfoliators

There are many companies, as well as articles online, that are preaching the benefits of natural exfoliators as an environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic microbeads. A lot of these exfoliators are things like ground up apricot stones, or walnut shells, which are perfectly harmless to wash down the drain and won’t cause any fish to have tummy troubles. These alternatives are also often praised because of the vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in the scrubbing ingredient.

The problem with these though is what they can do to your skin.

While microbeads are synthetic and formed into perfect little spheres, the fragments of shell or fruit pit are all irregular shapes, often jagged and with sharp edges, which can cause unnecessary abrasion to your skin, leaving tiny wounds and scratches on the surface. These can leave your skin open to infection and can result in reddened skin, inflammation and possible spots.

There are also face scrubs that use biodegradable plastics in the production of their microbeads, but these too have been covered by the UK ban, as it is believed that the plastic does not degrade quickly enough, and still cause damage to the environment.

Apricots

As we’ve said before, the general rule is to put the food in your mouth, not on your face!

Amazing alternative to Exfoliators:

So which do you choose?

Do you prioritise what’s best for your skin, or do you do your bit to save our little corner of the world and all its fishy friends?

We at SkinMed® say both!

Our exfoliator available online, Aknicare® Cleanser, does not contain a ‘scrubbing’ agent at all, instead, ours utilises a chemical agent, to gently clear away excess skin and oils, without doing any damage – to you or to the ocean. On top of that, it’s also specifically designed for those suffering from acne – as if it couldn’t get any better!

And if you don’t suffer from acne? SkinMed® also have a wide range of chemical exfoliators available to purchase from out many SkinMed® accredited clinics, that offer fantastic results for a variety of skin types and conditions. To find your nearest clinic, simply give us a call on 0333 247 2474 to speak to a member of our clinical team.

In these changing times in which our impact on the world around us is becoming more and more apparent, chemical exfoliators are definitely the way forward, offering you the results you want, without impacting the environment. Aknicare® Cleanser can be purchased individually or as a part of out Aknicare® and Acne TripleLock® product sets.

To learn more about Aknicare® Cleanser, click here

Acne TripleLock® is a clinically proven skin solution, and unlike cosmetic brands, is medically licensed in the treatment of acne, 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.

To learn more about the Acne TripleLock® range, click here

SkinMed® has a variety of product ranges to treat many skin conditions, suitable for almost all skin types.

Need help deciding what to buy? Take advantage of our trained skin specialists, they know skin inside and out as well as our extensive product ranges – that makes them the best people to ask when it comes to seeking advice.

There’s no such thing as a silly question, we’ve heard it all! Contact us using the details below:

Contact us!

Call: 0333 247 2474 Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Online chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

How Gluten can Affect your Acne – and (more importantly) Why?

This week we’re taking on another requested myth sent on by one of our lovely readers, namely ‘does wheat cause, or effect, your acne?’

During my research into this particular skin myth, it became quite clear that I was by no means the only person looking into this subject, and came across hundreds of articles giving their own opinions about whether or not wheat and gluten can affect your skin. Unsurprisingly, I came across a somewhat mixed set of conclusions. That’s why I thought it more important than ever to get to the bottom of this mystery and find out the truth – after all, I’ve already advised you to stay away from dairy, milk chocolate, and excessive sugar! Add bread and gluten to that list unnecessarily, and I’d never be able to forgive myself.

Bread

Give us this day our daily bread… or don’t

Why all the confusion?

From what I’ve been able to unearth, the link between gluten and acne isn’t quite as straightforward as it has been with other foodie-myths we’ve looked at previously (like our Dairy Article for example), instead the reaction to gluten that appears on your skin is more likely to be a reflection of a reaction happening in your gut.

Gluten intolerance, or Coeliac Disease, is a common affliction, affecting around 1 out of 100 people, with many more people being diagnosed with what’s known as gluten sensitivity; similar to Coeliac Disease, but with symptoms that are less immediate that can develop over time. In either case, gluten causes inflammatory responses within the gut – that’s probably the politest way to put it – as well as other symptoms as well, such as headaches, joint and muscle pain and, in some rare cases, neurological issues. As you’ll no doubt be aware, it is these internal inflammatory reactions that make themselves known on your skin, exacerbating acne symptoms and causing so-called ‘break-outs’.  It’s well known that inflammatory reactions that take place in the gut are often reflected by inflammation in the skin, meaning that if you have a sensitivity to a particular food, cutting it out of your diet will not only improve your stomach but most likely your skin as well.

When you consider that 1 in 5 adults suffer from acne, and 90% of people will have experienced acne at some point in their lives, you’ll realise that it’s no wonder that so many people are experiencing a correlation between consuming wheat and gluten products and seeing a negative impact on their skin.

(FYI, these inflammatory responses can also exacerbate the symptoms of other skin conditions, such as rosacea, which also tends to flare up when the sufferers are exposed to triggers that cause these types of inflammatory responses within the body. These include certain foods, alcohol, UV light and many more. With gluten sensitivity being so common, rosacea sufferers may also benefit from being aware of how much gluten they are consuming, as well as monitoring their skin to see if there is an apparent cause and effect reaction.)

Pasta

Thankfully most supermarkets now stock gluten-free alternatives to things like pasta

How can I tell if gluten will affect me?

First of all, I want to emphasise that the link between gluten and acne should only affect you A. if you already have acne, and B. if you are already sensitive to gluten. Gluten sensitivity can occur at any time in your life, as can acne, but consuming wheat and gluten will not cause you to contract acne. Acne is a medical condition which occurs as a result of your skin reacting to hormonal activity within your body and is not caused by any of the food you eat.

If you have Coeliac Disease or think that you might have it – i.e. you suffer from immediate and severe reactions whenever you ingest foods that include gluten – you most likely won’t be consuming anything with gluten in it anyway. However, because gluten sensitivity can manifest itself in so many ways, and often not immediately or severely enough to cause people to seek medical advice, there are those who will fall into both camps, of having acne while already being sensitive to gluten, with this sensitivity only becoming apparent through their skin.

The problem lies in the fact that gluten-rich foods are so often staples in our diets – it is often literally our daily bread – coming in the form of the more obvious foods like bread, pasta, baked goods like cake or pastry, cereals and beer, but also in places you wouldn’t expect, like your toothpaste, shampoo and makeup. It’s therefore often difficult to figure out if gluten is having an effect on your skin, or if your exacerbated symptoms are the result of another trigger entirely because there isn’t time to gauge the reaction between the consumption of gluten and the break-out of acne because gluten is such a constant in your diet and lifestyle.

Toothpaste

Did you know it’s also a commonly believed myth that toothpaste gets rid of spots? Consider that another myth busted!

Should you give up Gluten completely?

As I said before, I would hate to be the reason for anyone to give up on good, tasty food for no reason. Cutting out wheat and gluten could work wonders for your skin, or it could cause a lot of unnecessary hassle for you trying to change your whole diet, without it making any real difference.

One way to find out if you are gluten sensitive would be to go and speak to your doctor to be tested for gluten antibodies. That would give you a good idea of whether gluten could be a cause for your exacerbated acne troubles, however, as I’ve discovered, gluten sensitivity can present its symptoms in various ways, and skin trouble may not be one of them.

Which brings us to method number two; temporarily cutting out gluten from your diet to see what effect it has on your skin. It’s essentially the same method we recommended with dairy, usually known as the elimination technique, where you cut out your chosen food type from your diet and observe any effect over 3 to 4 weeks. If after that time you notice a positive difference to your skin, you can then start to think about removing gluten from your diet on a more permanent basis – thankfully nowadays most supermarkets offer gluten-free alternatives to things like bread, pasta and cereals, making this kind of transition much easier than it would have been in the past, meaning you don’t have to give up on the foods you love, and still get to keep your skin clear. After your time spent gluten-free, to make doubly sure of your results, you could experiment by indulging in a gluten-rich meal and seeing the effect it has on your skin – you often only need one relapse to give you the resolve to stick to your new diet. 

If, however, after your gluten-free month you don’t notice any discernible difference, you can be fairly certain that gluten is not the culprit for your skin troubles, and go back to your usual diet. The elimination technique doesn’t only have to apply to gluten though, and if your skin is still suffering, you can always try experimenting by eliminating different food groups and keeping track of the effect on your skin.

Calendar

After one month of no gluten, you either have clearer skin, or you can go back to enjoying bread – It’s win-win!

One thing you can’t go wrong with though is the right skin solution.

Acne TripleLock® is a clinically proven skin solution, and unlike cosmetic brands, is medically licensed in the treatment of acne, 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.

To learn more about the Acne TripleLock® range, click here.

SkinMed® has a variety of product ranges to treat many skin conditions, suitable for almost all skin types.

Need help deciding what to buy? Take advantage of our trained skin specialists, they know skin inside and out as well as our extensive product ranges – that makes them the best people to ask when it comes to seeking advice.

There’s no such thing as a silly question, we’ve heard it all! Contact us using the details below:

Contact us!

Call: 0333 247 2474 Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Online chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

Could you have a cheese addiction? Find out why it’s so hard to give up dairy…

After our article last week, sent in by one of our lovely readers, about whether or not drinking milk can give you acne, we realised that our research had only really scratched the surface, and so we’ve decided to dig a little deeper into this particular food myth. Sadly, the cheese-lover that I am, all of our research pointed to the conclusion that, while dairy does not cause acne in and of itself, it is a major culprit for affecting your skin and exacerbating your acne if you already have the condition.

As such, we recommended two courses of action to help you cut back on your dairy intake, in order to better your chances of achieving clearer skin. As a rational adult, I thought it would be easy to cut down on dairy, in order to be responsible and do what’s best for my skin and my health… how wrong I was – and for me, cheese is my biggest weakness!

So why is it so difficult to give up on cheese in particular? I mean, it smells like somebody’s unwashed socks for a start! Is it possible that it could actually be addictive? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

Cows

With enough milk, he should be able to grow into those ears!

As I said last week, to get to the root of this mystery, we have to go back to what milk is actually for; growing strong babies, and strengthening the bond between mother and child. Because of this, milk contains a chemical called casomorphin, a psychologically addictive substance that binds to the opioid receptors in your brain that make you happy when you drink it – perfect for baby cows to keep them coming back to mum, to make them grow up big and strong. But the problem is that no other animal drinks the milk of another species, so we humans are unique in that we are inadvertently consuming this chemical intended for babies well into adulthood, essentially causing a minor addiction to dairy that is surprisingly hard to break, sometimes even resulting in withdrawal symptoms.

When you consider that it takes around 1kg of milk to make 100g of cheese, you realise that the casomorphin content is so much more concentrated compared with other forms of dairy… hence the struggle.

What about lactose-free dairy products?

It’s a commonly believed skin myth – that’s right, we’re doing a myth within a myth! – that lactose-free milk is somehow better for acne-prone skin. In fact, the only thing that lactose-free milk is better for is people who are lactose-intolerant. Aside from the fact that lactose-free milk has that additional ingredient of lactase, to help those who are incapable of processing lactose, it is otherwise exactly the same as regular milk and therefore will still have the same effect on your skin.

This is also true of goats’ and sheep’s milk, which are also commonly believed to be better for your skin, when in fact, they still contain all the same growth hormones that will exacerbate your acne. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any wiggle room on this one.

Hedgehog

Did you know hedgehogs are lactose intolerant?

Getting over your cheese addiction:

Last week, we said that cutting out dairy completely is one of the best things you can do for your skin, but it may not do much for your mood. It may be that you have to wean yourself off milk gradually; try lasting two weeks or so without dairy, then have a cheat day, and just wait and see the effect it can have on your skin – doing that a few times is sure to give you the motivation to kick your milk addiction!

There are also some alternatives to milk that you might want to consider:

– Unsweetened, organic almond or coconut milk (lovely on granola, in porridge, or blended into smoothies and milkshakes)

– 100% coconut cream (a great addition to desserts, salads and soups)

– Organic, full-fat coconut milk (delicious in curries, stir-fries and risottos)

Any dairy that you can’t bear to part with should be as raw, organic, and unprocessed as possible; that means, full-fat dairy from grass-fed cows, and looking out for hidden dairy in other foods as well, like pre-made soups, curries or mashed potatoes. The more processed the dairy – like skimmed or powdered milk or low-fat versions of cheese and cream – the worse it is for you.

Say cheese

Smile! You can still enjoy the foods you love, without them affecting your skin!

As we’ve said time and again, however, while diet and lifestyle can have a huge impact on your skin, it’s only half the battle to get you the results you want. For the other half, you’re going to need an acne solution that is medically licensed to treat all causes and symptoms of acne, to give your skin the best chance of success.

Acne TripleLock® is a clinically proven skin solution, and unlike cosmetic brands, is medically licensed in the treatment of acne, 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.

To learn more about the Acne TripleLock® range, click here.

SkinMed® has a variety of product ranges to treat many skin conditions, suitable for almost all skin types.

Need help deciding what to buy? Take advantage of our trained skin specialists, they know skin inside and out as well as our extensive product ranges – that makes them the best people to ask when it comes to seeking advice.

There’s no such thing as a silly question, we’ve heard it all! Contact us using the details below:

Contact us!

Call: 0333 247 2474 Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Online chat: www.theskinmedshop.com