The Skincare Guide

The following is a collection of common questions regarding your skin and care. Use the quicklinks below to learn all about how to make your skin glow and be healthy just the way it was meant to be!

Why should I look after my skin?

The skin must be regularly cleaned. Unless enough care is taken it will become cracked or inflamed. Unclean skin favors the development of pathogenic organisms. The dead cells that continually slough off of the epidermis mix with the secretions of the sweat and sebaceous glands and the dust found on the skin to form a filthy layer on its surface. If not washed away, the dirt and dead skin slurry begins to decompose emitting a foul smell. Functions of the skin are disturbed when it is dirty and it becomes more easily damaged. The release of antibacterial compounds decreases.

Dirty skin is more prone to develop infections. In saying all of that cleaning your skin with just soap and water is not good for your skin. Your skins pH level is acidic and soap is alkaline, therefore soap will strip your skin of it’s natural acid mantal which protects itself from the environment. As skin ages, it becomes thinner and more easily damaged. Intensifying this effect is the decreasing ability of skin to heal itself. Skin sagging is caused by the fall in elasticity. Skin also receives less blood flow and lower gland activity.

So yes it is very important to look after your skin!

When should I start to look after my skin?

It is never too early or too late to look after your skin. However, the sooner the better. Thinking that just because genetically you have good skin is not enough the environment we live in can have long term affects on your skins health!

Do males need to look after their skin?

The structure of the skin is the same in us all, male or female. Male tend to have more hair on their faces and can produce more oil. So just because you are male does not mean you don’t have to look after your skin.

What is acne?

Acne is a genetically-inherited disease, which is the result of several factors occurring in the skin. Aside from excess oil secreted by the sebaceous glands, there is a proliferation of cells that clog the pores, trapping oil in the follicle. Bacteria inhabit the follicle and digest the oils, generating waste products which then cause the irritation to the skin. Oilier skin conditions tend to experience more acne breakouts because they provide more food for the bacteria. Teenagers’ hormonal changes increase oil production, in turn increasing acne breakouts.

What can I do at home to help my breakouts?

Excellent skin care and hygiene are vitally important to remove the excess oils and bacteria that are associated with acne. Dermalogica products are non-comedogenic and completely water-soluble, making them ideal for breakout-prone skin. Always follow a strict regimen of thorough cleansing with anti-bac skin wash and lukewarm (never hot) water, followed with a hydrating conditioner such as Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner, and an oil-free moisturizer. Exfoliate twice a week, and use Daily Microfoliant® every day, to help the skin rid itself of congestion -causing debris. Dermalogica Medicated Clearing Gel helps regulate sebum (oil) production, remove follicle-clogging debris and kill acne bacteria. For an existing breakout, Benzoyl Peroxide provides unsurpassed clearing while a calming mask reduces irritation.

In addition, lifestyle changes can often improve your skin. Try to reduce stress, drink plenty of water and limit your intake of caffeine and cigarettes, which may stimulate the adrenal glands and promote oil production. And always remember never to pick or squeeze pimples, as you’ll be left with an even bigger blemish and a scar to remember it by!

Prescription acne medication?

If, after a month of following your recommended regimen your complexion does not clear, it may be time to involve a dermatologist. Depending on what you were prescribed, you’ll have to make some adjustments to your at-home regimen, to help your skin adjust to the new medication. For example, you may opt for a more gentle cleanser, such as Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel or The Bar. Users of Retin-A, Adapalene and Accutane should not use any exfoliating products, or undergo waxing on the treated areas. All users of prescription exfoliating products, as well as of antibiotics, should avoid sun exposure as much as possible, and apply a Dermalogica Solar Defense product with a minimum SPF15 daily.

Why acne in the thirties and forties?

Stress and hormonal changes are the primary cause of the re-emergence of acne well after puberty.
Recent studies indicate that 40 to 50 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 40 are diagnosed
with persistent, low-grade acne. Along with several lifestyle changes, including reducing stress
and improving diet, there are several products on the market designed to address these problems.
Dermalogica Oil Control System is a collection of three medicated, skin purifying formulations
– a cleansing Anti-Bac Skin Wash, Skin Purifying Wipes, and Oil Control Lotion – all designed
to control oil and prevent breakouts

Difference between acne vulgaris & rosacea?

Acne vulgaris a more common form of acne and is caused by clogging and inflammation of the skin’s hair follicles. Rosacea, on the other hand, is not actually a form of acne at all, even though it looks that way in its early stages. Rosacea is an inherited vascular disorder in which the blood vessels of the face become swollen after repeated exposure to certain triggers such as extreme temperatures, alcohol, spicy food, etc. While it starts as a simple blushing, it advances into bumps on the face that look like an acne breakout.Like common acne, Rosacea is treatable… but not by the same regimen! Skin prone to Rosacea must be treated gently to avoid triggering redness and inflammation, and may also require a dermatologist’s prescription for special medication to control the symptoms.

How does pregnancy affect the skin?

Pregnancy can be a rather overwhelming time as your body undergoes massive changes. Knowing in advance how these changes are going to affect you will help in dealing with them. For example, dry, itchy skin will need the skin smoothing benefits of an enriched moisturizer and a soap free cleanser. It is also vitally important to be extra thorough with sun protection because hormonal changes make the skin more susceptible to permanent pigmentation damage.

Treat pregnancy breakouts with a recommended product like the blemish clearing Special Clearing Booster. A moisturizing facial masque will help return much needed hydration to the skin without adding any oil.

Your vitamin supplements are also very important during this time, not only for the baby’s nutrition but also for the maintenance of your skin. Be sure to discuss your supplements with your health care professional.

Vitamin E and Zinc have been shown to help reduce stretch marks, while Vitamin C aids
in collagen production, leaving skin supple and resilient.

Oral contraceptives & my skin?

Oral contraceptives have a very similar effect as pregnancy on the body’s hormones, leading to many of the same skin problems. Although symptoms and their severity differ depend on each person, women taking oral contraception are much more sensitive to sunlight and can develop a permanently uneven skin tone if they do not adequately protect themselves. During this time you should use a minimum SPF15 sun block formulated in a moisturizing base, like the Sheer Moisture SPF 15.

Oral contraceptives can also lead to increased breakouts and oil productions which can easily be addressed with an antibacterial skin wash and oil free moisturizer. At the same time many women experience more dehydration of the skin, which should be addressed with a hydrating facial masque and consistent use of the appropriate moisturizer.

What is exfoliation?

While worldwide awareness of exfoliation has exploded in the last decade, it’s a concept that is thousands of years old. Even Cleopatra’s exfoliation secrets are well documented!

Generally speaking, exfoliation refers to any technique that removes cells from the skin surface, not only immediately “refreshing” the skin’s appearance but also stimulating cell renewal. The benefits are dramatic, and, when used with professional guidance, exfoliation can be used to treat a wide variety of skin problems – including acne, hyper-pigmentation, premature aging and scarring to name a few.

Of course, there is huge variety in these techniques – scrubs, peels, masques, dermabrasion, and lasers! Fortunately, your skin care therapist can help you identify what will help you best achieve your goals.

Who needs exfoliation?

Well, everyone exfoliates naturally. In fact, as you’re reading this, thousands of tiny skin cells are falling off your body – about a million every minute! An exfoliation regimen simply helps your body along in the process, which becomes especially vital as we age. Teenagers completely regenerate their external layer of skin, on average every 14 days. By the time you’re 40, however, that rate has increased to 30-40 days. The result is dull, ashy or mottled-looking skin. An exfoliation regimen can reduce the time that dulling skin cells sit at the surface of our skin for a healthier, more vibrant complexion. Depending on your age and skin condition, your therapist might prescribe a combination of exfoliation therapies.

Why isn’t stronger better?

Many people get a little exfoliation-crazy under the mistaken notion that if a little is good, a lot has to be great! (Ironically, this is why people often mistakenly opt for the more irritating Glycolic Acid – they assume that more irritation equals better results.) While every skin condition is different, and reacts to exfoliation differently, you should tame down your exfoliation regimen if your skin feels chapped, irritated or is unusually red for a prolonged period of time. At this point, you’re not removing dead debris – you’re scrubbing away the protective barrier of the epidermis, which can result in permanent sensitization, premature aging and a host of other concerns.

What can I do about my broken capillaries?

You need to make sure that you wash with only luke warm water and if you are really concerned you may have skin rejuvenation with ELOS

The sun and my skin… are they really enemies?

It’s no exaggeration to say that the sun is potentially your skin’s worst enemy. In fact, skin cancer, largely caused by unprotected exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays, is the most prevalent form of cancer in the world, affecting one in five people. And it’s on the rise – recent studies suggest that depletion of the earth’s ozone layer makes shielding the skin more important than ever.

Not a sun bather, you say? Well, unless you only go out at night, your skin is still bombarded on a daily basis. Driving to work. Walking the dog. Even sitting under indoor lighting. The bottom line – if the sun is in the sky, sun protection should be on your skin!

What’s the best preventative approach?

If you’re directly exposed to sunlight, ensuring proper coverage is vital. Recent studies show that it’s better to apply an SPF15 more frequently (every 30 minutes) than it is to use a higher SPF less frequently. It’s also important to keep in mind that a higher SPF doesn’t necessarily mean better coverage. You see, a product’s SPF is calculated based on how much sunscreen it contains. An SPF15 blocks over 90% of the sun’s damaging rays. An SPF45 contains as much as three times the number of sunscreen agents, yet only blocks a few percent more rays.

Also, wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you anticipate long-term exposure is a great way to prevent damage not only to the face, but the neck and ears as well. And we say bring those big, eighties glasses right back into fashion – larger sunglasses shield the delicate eye area, helping to reduce damage and slow the formation of crow’s feet! Find a form that meets your needs.

Not only have sunscreen formulas improved dramatically over the past years, but there’s been an explosion in applicator types.

Dermalogica has an extensive range of sun care products even for a sensitive skin.

What is pigmentation?

The pigmentation of one’s skin is the result of millions of years of evolution, which explains the wide range of skin tones we see in everyday life. People with origins close to the equator, where the sun is the most intense, had to develop protection against dangerous UV rays. The result? An increase in the production of melanin, a natural skin and hair colorant that absorbs UV radiation and protects the body from damage. In fact, the epidermis of a dark-skinned person absorbs up to 25% more UV radiation than that of a light-skinned counterpart.

How do I prevent unbalanced pigmentation?

Pigmentation disorders are caused by a myriad of factors, which include sun damage, hormonal imbalance, and skin trauma or disease. Of all these causes, sun damage is both the most common, and the most easily prevented! Simply applying a sunscreen with a minimum SPF15 every day, and avoiding peak sun times around midday, will do a lot to prevent the sun damage that can make your skin’s pigment act up. Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF30 provides optimum daily sun protection.

Hormonal imbalance, a cause of pigmentation mostly affecting women, can occur during any time that the body’s natural hormone balance is disturbed. These triggers can include hormonal changes, such as those that happen during the menstrual cycle, menopause, prolonged stress, pregnancy or even when taking birth control pills. Unlike pigmentation related to trauma or sun damage, hormonally-induced hyper-pigmentation generally disappears when balance is restored to the body, and it can be treated during the interim period with topical skin brighteners.

The pigmentation related to skin trauma (cuts, wounds, scrapes and the like) is difficult to prevent in the case of accidental damage to the skin. Picking at acne lesions is also, of course, a big no-no, and will only exacerbate the pigmentation associated with the wound healing.

What are my treatment options?

When it comes to hyperpigmentation (when pigment-producing cells are damaged and produce too much color), there are two possible treatment approaches — botanical and chemical. Chemical lighteners, predominantly those containing Hydroquinone, are the only approach officially recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration as effective skin lighteners. However, Hydroquinone has been linked with many negative side effects and can cause severe skin allergies and worsening of the pigmentation condition. (This is why Hydroquinone is now actually banned in much of Asia and Africa.)

Botanical skin brighteners are a much safer approach for brightening the skin, and are as effective when used consistently in a professional brightening regimen. Brightening agents to look for include Licorice, Bearberry, Rice, Kiwi and Mulberry, coupled with Lactic Acid and Vitamin C. Your skin care therapist will be able to prescribe the regimen best for you, but it will most likely begin with a professional series of Skin Brightening treatments. These highly-active treatments include a professional-only exfoliation to smooth away the unevenly pigmented skin cells, followed by the application of a powerful botanical serum.

What is sensitive skin, and do I have it?

No other skin condition is more misunderstood than sensitive skin. In fact, almost 90% of the population report having sensitive skin at one time or another! To understand whether you have sensitive skin, you first have to understand what causes it.

Sensitive skin is a genetically-inherited condition that predominantly affects very fair-skinned individuals, usually of Northern European ancestry. Someone with truly sensitive skin is highly prone to blushing, has a very fine complexion and may experience bad hay fever, allergies or asthma.

What most people suffer from is in fact sensitized skin. Rather than a result of genetics, sensitized skin is a reflection of your environment, lifestyle and physiology. Pollution, stress, hormonal imbalance, cosmetic allergies, alcohol, a poor diet and over-exfoliation can all trigger the sensitized skin condition.

The good news is that sensitized skin can be treated. The bad news is that, left untreated, the skin’s response can actually result in permanent cellular damage, which can lead to premature aging.

How can I avoid trigger factors?

A few lifestyle modifications can usually solve most people’s skin sensitization.

What can I do for my skin when it’s sensitized?

We all know the discomfort of an attack of sensitization – the skin feels tight, red and swollen, and it seems like everything you do just makes it worse! The first step is to avoid all trigger factors. Then, you need to follow a special regimen to help your skin recover. You should ask your skin care therapist what will be best for your skin.

How is rosacea different from sensitized skin?

Rosacea is a skin condition as misunderstood as sensitive skin, and as frequently mis-diagnosed. In its early stages, Rosacea exhibits the same symptoms as skin sensitization – redness, blushing and tightness – as well as the same trigger factors. However, the similarity ends there. A disorder of the facial blood vessels, Rosacea is a progressive inflammatory disorder that, when untreated, develops additional complications that include burst capillaries, facial swelling and spots on the face that look like acne breakouts, causing people to confuse Rosacea with acne.

One in twenty people – mostly women – are affected by this misunderstood disease. See your professional skin care therapist and receive a FaceMapping to determine if you are experiencing Rosacea or a sensitized skin condition.

Fortunately, Rosacea is manageable. Avoiding trigger factors is critical, as a Rosacea attack begins the same way skin sensitization does. For milder Rosacea, we recommend our sensitized skin care regimen of Environmental Control products. There are also an increasing number of prescription medications recommended by your dermatologist that can halt the progression of this disorder.

What is premature aging and how do I avoid it?

Far from natural! Now, we wouldn’t suggest for a minute that there’s anything wrong with growing old gracefully. The natural aging process is defined in our very genetics, resulting in the complex hormonal and physical transformations that take place throughout life. Premature aging refers to the unnatural acceleration of the natural aging process, primarily due to damage from sun exposure and an unhealthy lifestyle. While the natural aging process cannot be slowed, most people who exhibit signs of aging are actually suffering from premature aging. Sound far-fetched? Consider this: not only are over 99% of wrinkles caused by sun exposure, but premature aging can add up to twenty years to your appearance!

Taking care of your skin early on can help your skin stay healthy well into your golden years. It’s an investment that only takes minutes a day!

Avoiding unprotected sun exposure is the most important measure you can take to protect your skin. General lifestyle factors are also important – a diet too rich in highly-processed foods and alcohol, and lacking in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole foods, can have a significant impact on the health of the skin.

How can I control premature aging?

Let’s face it – we’ve all done things in our pasts that our skin would rather forget! And, while the damage may be done, there are a number of ways in which you can treat the signs of premature aging. It all starts with regular visits to your skin care therapist, who can work out a prescriptive regimen based on a detailed skin analysis using Face MappingSM. More than likely, you will begin with an intensive series of Multi- Vitamin Power Exfoliation treatments, a hydroxy acid and Retinol approach that is designed to dramatically smooth away debris and increase new cell renewal. Then, regularly-scheduled MultiVitamin Power Treatments will keep your skin on track.

Your at-home regimen will also play a crucial role. Using vitamin-enriched products, specifically those containing stabilized Vitamins A, C and E, can deliver the vital nutrients that the skin needs to help firm and improve elasticity. Dermalogica MultiVitamin Power Concentrate and MultiVitamin Power Firm for the eye and lip area applied on a daily basis, along with our MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque 1 to 2 times weekly, will very effectively deliver these critical vitamins to your skin. And don’t forget your hands, which are one of the first areas to show signs of premature aging and sun damage – MultiVitamin Hand and Nail Treatment was developed specifically to counter this.

Topical vitamins, do they work?

As far as your body is concerned, your skin is the last in line when it comes to getting its share of nutrients. Over time, fewer of your ingested vitamins ever make it to the skin because they are diverted to the internal organs, leaving the skin starved. Applying potent vitamin complexes topically can make up for this lack of nourishment, helping to address the signs of premature aging on the cellular level and neutralize dangerous free radical activity.

Technically speaking, getting those vitamins where they need to go is a huge challenge. Extremely reactive, vitamin complexes are generally very unstable, which means you should never use a product that comes in a dropper bottle or jar, where it would become contaminated after the first use.

What vitamins are most effective?

Vitamin A (Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate)
Essential for normal skin development, Vitamin A regulates skin growth and cell division. Not only does it help improve moisture content, it actually promotes cell renewal and can help reverse a the signs of premature aging. A powerful antioxidant, it also scavenges free radicals.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate)
Also an antioxidant, Vitamin C is a key component in collagen production, and also strengthens capillary walls, for a more firm skin tone. It has also been shown to help regulate hyperpigmentation and boost the skin’s immune system.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate)
Powerfully antioxidant, Vitamin E also helps to protect the skin’s moisture barrier, smooth the skin, reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Pro-Vitamin B5 (Panthenol)
A powerful vitamin that encourages cell regeneration, which stimulates the healing process.