Cleansing your face requires temperature control

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t wash your face with either hot or cold water. Rather, you should find the Goldilocks of water temperatures – just right. That would be somewhere around lukewarm to warm on the thermometer. And here’s why.

Bringing your skin into contact with water that is too hot or too cold may cause aggravation or outbreaks. Your pores aren’t designed to withstand extreme temperatures. Have you ever noticed how skin doesn’t cope very well in arctic elements or overly dry heat? Steaming hot water can actually scald the skin and strip natural oils while ice-cold water doesn’t offer any added benefits and may simply feel uncomfortable.

Of course, what is too hot or too cold will depend on each individual’s heat sensitivity and thus, the ideal face-washing temperature is your own happy medium. Warm water is a more effective cleanser than cold water so veer towards that end of spectrum but stop well before it is steaming hot. If you like the feeling of cool water on the skin, do a final rinse with cool but not cold water over your face. Some people believe cool water seals the pores, although it’s not scientifically proven.

Adhere to these temperature rules in the shower too – especially if you wash your face during yours. An overly hot shower can sap the moisture from your skin, leaving your body feeling dried out and lacklustre, no matter how nourishing your body wash or how thoroughly you massage in a post-shower body lotion. Some people extol the virtues of a cold shower for circulation, cellulite-reduction and muscle recovery (note the popularity of ice baths in health spas). However, the reality is that your everyday shower isn’t going to be an icy one – after all, this isn’t a pain threshold test. (If you do want to test the waters – excuse the pun – try ending your shower with just 30 seconds of cool water to stimulate blood flow, much like the cool post-cleanse face rinse).

Generally though, opt for a lukewarm shower and remember to leave the skin a little damp before lathering on body and face moisturiser. That way, the product will seal in the water like a vacuum pack, boosting your skin’s moisture content. Because glowing skin is the aim, isn’t it?

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January 13, 2015

Getting a great bikini wax

The waxing of unwanted hair, especially down there, is often a subject that’s avoided. However, it’s a fact of life, and something that we at Charisma are prepared to help you deal with. Weather you decide to shave, wax, or use another treatments such as IPL or alkaline, the methods of best practice will vary. For those who choose waxing, here are a few tips to help things go smoothly, and less painfully for your next session.

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  • Exfoliate the night before. It will help remove any dead skin cells and build-up from your skin, things that after the waxing could cause ingrown hairs. This preventative measure is the most important because it will keep you much more comfortable in the long run.
  • Keep in mind that the wax adheres better to longer hair, so don’t try trimming or shaving anything the night before! This actually ensures you’ll get a better, less painful wax overall.
  • The application of a soothing product such as aloe vera gel can eliminate any sort of discomfort after the waxing is completed.
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October 8, 2014

AHAs 101

For centuries, AHAs have been used to promote a more youthful, fresh looking complexion by people in many civilisations. Scribes and authors throughout history have documented the benefits of AHA’s. In ancient Egypt, Cleopatra used Alpha Hydroxy Acids when she bathed in milk baths to soften her much admired skin! The women of the French Court of Louis XVI also used Alpha Hydroxy Acids when they rubbed wine on their skin to produce a softer, glowing complexion.

An AHA (also know as an alpha hydroxy acid) is a naturally occurring non-toxic acid that is derived from different fruits or foods. For example,
Lactic Acid (Sour Milk)
Glycolic Acid (Sugar Cane)
Malic Acid (Apples)
Citric Acid (Oranges/Lemons)

Natural Chemical Exfoliators

AHA’s work by loosening and dissolving the glue-like substance that binds skin cells together. The higher the percentage of AHA in a solution, the deeper through the skin’s levels the AHA’s will penetrate and the quicker the loosening of the skin cells will occur. This loosening process helps the skin cells to exfoliate the unwanted buildup of dead skin cells. Unlike mechanical exfoliation (scrubs), the skin is not damaged by abrasives or by the physical manipulation of the scrubbing process. Sensitive skin in particular cannot deal well with harsh scrubs and exfoliators. By ‘ungluing’ the skin at a much deeper level than cosmetic scrubs, they produce a deeper exfoliation process.

The AHA exfoliation process exposes fresher, newer skin cells giving the appearance of a fresher, more youthful looking skin. In addition, removing the top layer of the skin (epidermis) greatly improves the texture and coloration of the skin, unclogs pores.

True Moisturisers

AHAs are “true moisturisers”. Studies have documented that glycolic and lactic acid helps produce natural collagen and elastin in the skin’s cells. This leads to the promotion of a proper moisture balance after the exfoliation process has occurred by improving the skin’s natural ability to bind moisture and to produce its own natural moisturising factors within the skin.

The fact that AHAs work both superficially (on the surface) and on a cellular level (in the deeper layers, where the skin is growing) is what makes these little molecules so amazingly effective in the anti ageing process!

Talk to your highly trained skincare expert today to find out which AHA will work best for you!

 

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August 11, 2014

The Almighty Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants in skin care. Needed for the synthesis of collagen. An anti-inflammatory and powerful healer for acne skins, to even preventing pigmentation. The almighty Vitamin C is like our skins little “life line”.

Vitamin C comes under many names, with the most common being “ascorbic acid”. However all forms of Vitamin C are used for the purpose of delivering ascorbic acid into the cells. Vitamin C has a very short active period and oxidizes easily; it must be replenished daily both topically and nutritionally.

The key things to look for when purchasing a product:

  • Choose a serum over a cream (for better delivery)
  • Vitamin C should be stored in a dark, air tight container (pump bottles are great)
  • Clear in colour (yellow in colour can mean the product has oxidized)

Most vitamin C products on the market range from 5% (considered fairly weak) to 20%. The pH of a vitamin C product will also determine its effectiveness. Vitamin C has to be formulated around a pH of 3 for it to be able to pass through your skin barrier and be used by your skin.

Don’t forget to top up your vitamin C from foods such as these which contain the most: Capsicum, Papaya, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and Pineapple.

Please note, some people may find vitamin C slightly irritating, especially the form Ascorbic acid. Other forms listed below may be more suited for reactive/compromised skin:

  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
  • Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate)
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May 15, 2014

The beauty of marketing…

More and more consumers understand that various marketing strategies are purely business. Meaning, no real benefit to us….

And the beauty industry is no different. You only have to turn on the TV to see this, a big skincare company advertising the latest “miracle” ingredient. So choosing a product/ingredient that’s going to give you the results you want can sometimes be very difficult.

So my advice is… When looking for new products, ask questions. Just because a product contains an ingredient doesn’t always mean it’s going to work. As a lot of you may know!

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So how much of that ingredient does that product contain, what form of the ingredient is it (not all vitamin A is created equal) the cost can also sometimes be confusing. A really expensive product doesn’t always mean it’s the best, however good quality ingredients will cost you a little more.

So if a product is really cheap then I’m sorry to say but it can’t really be that good…

And last but not least. Don’t follow trends. The latest product advertised might be great for some people, but might not be what you need. The epidermis is a complex organ and different skins need different products and ingredients in the order to function healthily.

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April 30, 2014

Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6)

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are needed for every cellular function in the body. However they are often the last thing we think of adding to our skin care routine.

Essential Fatty Acids are a source of polyunsaturated fats, which can only be obtained through diet. However due to the poor quality of many of our foods, we need to supplement.

These Fatty Acids are vital to help cells retain water and flush out toxins, so a diet rich in them can help to minimize the appearance of aging, acne and even cellulite. As you age, your body’s natural ability to retain moisture within cells diminishes, resulting in skin that appears thin, wrinkled and “saggy”. All traits, which we can help minimize through our diet and lifestyle. Additionally, EFAs can help reduce the occurrence of cellulite, which happens when waste, water, and fat molecules become trapped below the skin’s surface.

Helping the cell transference process (which helps to flush the fats and oils that tend to clog pores) as well as provide a healthy balance of moisture, they can help reduce and prevent breakouts, as well as minimize any associated scarring. Consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids can be most beneficial in reducing the inflammation from rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.

What to look for in a supplement?

Unfortunately not all supplements are created equal. EFA’s are depleted by heat and oxygen. So the quality does largely depend on how the oils have been extracted and the source of omega.

Carbon dioxide is the best form of extraction, using no heat or friction and ensuring all bioactive properties are intact. However it is one of expensive processes. Although Fish oil is of one of the most common forms of omega 3, it is also the most farmed. Meaning the fish them selves contain very little, or sometimes even no omega. (fish need to eat micro algae to be able to produce omega. Something they don’t get when farmed)

An extra little thing to know when shopping for a good EFA supplement, is that they are absorbed better when taken in combination with a multivitamin. So with an endless list of benefits, these little beauties are most certainly on our list of must have beauty products.

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April 23, 2014

Welcome

Welcome to the Charisma blog page. We have created this little space to keep you in the loop on all things skin and beauty. With so many “MIRACLE” creams on the market today it’s hard to know what works and well… what doesn’t!

So what should I look for when buying a cleanser? And do I really need that course of microdermabrasion?!

Well we are here to help make it all easier. So please stick around and of course if you have a question or if you’re just confused on what your skin needs we would love to hear from you.

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March 1, 2014