est.

Why do you need a professional skin therapist?  For the same reason doctor and dentist check-ups are necessary: for better health!  

Skin is a living part of your body (your largest organ, in fact), that defends against environmental assaults and extreme temperatures. It helps eliminate toxins from the body.  It heals from cuts, abrasions and scratches like a champ.  It’s continually renewing and protecting.Simply put, skin keeps the bad stuff out and the good stuff in.

Your skin needs personal attention from a professional – and that professional is a expert skin therapist.   

Your best-looking skin starts with healthy skin, and healthy skin starts with a expert skin therapist.  So come inside and start living your healthiest skin!

Welcome to the b-est., the skin therapy side of Ego Mechanix Salon. 

Type or Condition

To a skin therapist knowing the difference between a Skin Type and a Skin Condition is so basic. More often than not, this information gets lost in the therapist subconscious and we automatically evaluate or Face Map a client using this knowledge of type/condition without really explaining to the client what it is.  Sometimes the client’s walk away feeling that they are one and the same.

So lets talk about what is a Skin Type.  When your sitting at a Skin Bar or being Face Mapped a question that will come up is “what time of day does your skin get oily”.  This is one way to determine what Type your skin is based on your oil production during the day. Skin Types are: Oily, Dry, Combo, Sensitive, and the Fitzpatrick scale.

So if you wash your face in the morning and before you walk out the door to work your already feeling oily, surprise! You’re and Oily Skin Type.  Maybe you don’t experience excess oil until around lunch time, and maybe its just on your nose, chin and forehead, then you might be Combination Skin Type.  No oil at all? Then you are a Dry Skin Type.  This all sounds basic right? (We will cover Sensitive skin, and the Fitzpatrick scale in later blogs so stay tuned).

Now a Skin Condition is, in general, treatable disorders of the skin that are usually, not always, connected to your skin type or environmental damage.  So oily Skin Type my have an Acne Skin Condition, or a Dry Skin Type could have a Dehydrated Skin Condition.  That also means that aging skin is a Condition and not a Type because aging is heavily determined on sun and other environmental exposure.

This simple info will help you navigate through and discover not only the right products for your Skin Type, but also the right treatment for your skin.  An Oily Skin Type will not benefit from a full facial massage as much as a Dry Skin Type.  Massage is deeply stimulating to the skin, which can lead to oil production in the skin. Great if your skin is dry and in need of that kind of stimulus, but for an Oily Skin Type no so much.  A pressure point Touch therapy would be better, or no massage at all.

So if you’re still trying to figure out you Skin Type from your Skin Condition, come in and get Face Mapped by a licensed skin therapist and play around at the Skin Bar that’s what we are here for; to be your professional skincare coach and to make sure your are doing things that are right for your Skin Type, and get on a mission to fix that Skin Condition.

 

Wash Your Face!

Geordie MacDiarmid is a licensed skin therapist, and owner of Ego Mechanix, and Est. with over 20 years experience in the skin care industry

Oooooooooo it's getting dark out....

During the winter months when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, skin can seem to be dryer or feel tighter, even more sensitized.  It is a good idea to adjust your skincare to compensate for that loss of moisture. But, with the correct product choice,  it's a pretty simple to transition your routine to give it the extra protection it needs.

For me it is usually as easy as changing my moisturizer from an oil free formula, to more of a combination skin type product.  It really could be as easy as layering in a product that helps protect your barrier function that the cold weather can strip away.

One product that I love and recommend quite often in times of cold weather is: Overnight Repair Serum.

It’s in the Age Smart line up of products so it contains a powerful designer peptide to help with fine lines and it does a great job firming up the skin.  BUT the magic comes from how amazing this product performs on the 3D’s (dull, dry, dehydrated).

Rose Hip Seed Oil works to help increase skins luminosity and with a little help from its friend Argon oil they are a dynamic duo that reinforce the barrier lipid layer.

Used at night, just 4 to 6 drops pressed into the skin before your moisturizer, it can also be mixed with your night cream as well.

Another great alternative to layer in is Barrier Repair (are you detecting a theme yet? Repair repair repair).  This is a great product to layer in especially if your skin is feeling sensitized by the change in climate.

Its in the ultra calming line up, so it has super ingredients to help sooth the skin, but it also has an uncanny way of melting right into the skin giving it that armor it needs to defend itself yet still feels light and breathable.  It’s really great if you’re hitting the slopes; just layer it under your SPF for added protection from the cold wind that can also strip the skin of moisture.

There are so many easy options to help your skin stay protected and healthy in the winter months, these are just a few of my favorites. It’s a great time check in with your skin therapist to see what is the best option for you.

 

As Always… wash your face!

 

Geordie MacDiarmid is a licensed skin therapist, and owner of Ego Mechanix, and Est. with over 20 years experience in the skin care industry

3 skin care must-haves

Having been in the beauty industry longer than I care to mention, one phrase has always hit me weird: the skincare “regimen”.  Not being hypocritical because I still use the term, but it sounds so hard-core.  When I think of a regimen, I think of using 6 or 7 products morning and night, with maybe a couple extra items used a couple times a week.  And that is all well and good, as long as you’re using the right products for you and your committed to that line up to see the results you are paying for.

 

But truth be told, I have found that good “core” system of products can completely change your skin.  The core products I am talking about are: Cleanser, Moisturizer, Sunscreen.  Getting these three products dialed in for your skin can completely change your complexion.

 

1.     A cleanser that is right for your skin.  I have been, and still am, on a mini crusade to instill people to wash their face.  I have written blogs about the subject of washing your face, so I wont get into it here.  Getting the right cleanser is so important to the core system because it really sets the stage for the rest of your products.  Clients with dry skin, I find, usually get this one wrong.  Cream cleansers seem so old fashion, but for a dry skin they are so wonderful.  Bubbles don’t always equal clean when it comes to cleansers of the face.  In fact I happen to know a great cleanser that doesn’t foam yet is a miracle worker on oily skin.  So check your cleanser, is it really the best match for you, if not time to upgrade.

 

2.     A great moisturizer.  This is a product that you will generally be using a liberal amount of, so it has to be right, not fancy, but right for your skin.  Are you still using mom’s moisturizer because it worked for her all those years so it must be good for you? Or have you really zeroed in on one that is right for you.  Finding the right one is as simple as asking yourself one question.  What time of day you get oily? 1-3 hours into the day, oil free moisture is probably right for you.  You find shine starts to appear later in the day and mainly in the T-zone, a moisturizer for combo skin is the way to go.  What oil?  Well no surprise one that is rich in protective and nourishing lipids is your best choice.

 

3.     A GOOD sunscreen.  Surprised I said this?  Sun damage is a whole other blog in and of itself.  Protect your skin.  There are so many sunscreens on the market, in just about as many flavors as moisturizers.  I use one that I just mix into my moisturizer in the morning, but you can find all-in-ones that are premixed and suited to your skin.  One word here on the premixed screen/moisturizer (which are great, and can be time savers) you will need to get a moisturizer without a sunscreen to use in the evening.

 

Simple right?  I have seen skin improve by leaps and bounds, just by getting this “core” dialed in.  If you’re still confused then, as always, I recommend seeking out a good licensed professional skin therapist to be your skin coach. 

 

Wash your face.

 

Geordie MacDiarmid is a licensed skin therapist, and owner of Ego Mechanix, and Est. with over 20 years experience in the skin care industry

I can't stress this enough...

When stress occurs it sends signals to the brain, which in turn sets off a chain of events in the body that eventually leads to the release of cortisol, as well as the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine. Together this posse of stimulants disperses in the body creating a state of hyper-alertness.

 

This sounds bad but in the short term this response helps to put us in a fight or flight mode as well as help with fighting infections, or disease. BUT long term or chronic stress can affect functions in the body such as digestive, excretory, and lowers immunity in the body.  This can also trigger or worsen some skin conditions.

 

There have been some recent studies that show the skin has it’s own stress response system as well.  This response is how the skin try’s to maintain balance between the disturbances going on inside the body, and what’s going on from the environment around us.

 

Outside of making our skin hypersensitive, some of the effects of stress on the skin are:  

 

Inflammation: Chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation, trigging release of inflammatory substances like histamine, which makes skin itchy.

 

Sebum Production: Cortisol can boost oil production in skin; this can lead to breakouts, especially when coupled with increased inflammation.

 

Barrier Function: Stress dehydrates skin, contributing to an impaired barrier function.

 

Immunity: Stress can reduce our skin's antimicrobial protection.

 

And while the stress continues it’s very difficult to control the skin conditions that may occur.  That’s why when, lets say, you get a bad cold or flu and your skin starts to break out.  But also just going through mental stress, as scientist now are finding, can cause the same effects on the body, and therefore the skin.  That deadline at work, or big test can cause some of the skin conditions listed above.

 

So what can you do during this time?  One of the easiest things is start practicing deep breathing.  I mean deeeeep from the diaphragm breathing.  This has been shown to reduce cortisol, anxiety, and increase melatonin, putting you in a more relaxed state. But one of the best things you can do is massage. The study of the power of touch has shown to lower cortisol levels, stimulate immune system, help with depression and anxiety, as well as relieve pain and soreness.

 

So if you are going through a stressful period, then now would be a great time to set up an appointment with your skin therapist.  This would help not only with the relaxing power of massage, but also help your skin get through any skin conditions that might occur during that time.

 

Of course if you’re sick, wait 2 weeks after the symptoms are clear and then set up an appointment to get your skin back on track quickly.

 

There is nothing more powerful than the power of touch, and I am lucky enough to work in one of the last industries that rely on it in my practice. At the very least, when you feel stressed, there is nothing more stress relieving than a hug.

 

 

Wash your face.

 

Geordie MacDiarmid is a licensed skin therapist, and owner of Ego Mechanix, and Est. with over 20 years experience in the skin care industry

make it a habit

To give you an insight on what happens in the mind of a skin therapist when a client comes in and wants to start taking care of their skin, or just add to their system at home is, how sophisticated is this client when it comes to skin care.

 

I am sure that the people that I go to for training are cringing at this, because the first thought that should go through my head is, ‘What time of day does this person get oily?’, which would set in motion on what kind of skin I am working with.  But let me explain.

 

For the most part, for better or worse, we are habit-forming creatures.  It takes a few weeks to form a habit of doing something, and a bit longer to break it.  In fact there have been studies that say it takes 4-6 weeks to break a habit.  So if I have a client in front of me that wants to start the new year off right and wants to start a whole new system and conquer their skin challenges once and for all but can’t seem to wash their face at night, what good would it be for me to sell them a 5 part system?  On the same hand if someone comes in and does have a 5-part system, but is constantly changing brands or products what good does it do for me to sell them the latest product on the market for their skin condition?

 

In sales training they always ask ‘What does it matter to you?’  Let them buy what they want.  Then we get a myriad of ways to sell them everything they need.   So what does it matter to me as a skin therapist?  Integrity.  I am in this career because I want to coach people in better skin health because; like it or not your skin defines you.  When you look good, you feel good, and that makes me feel good.

 

So what does this have to do with skin health?  Well it’s not about how many products are on your shelf, it’s about weather or not you use those products, AND you use them correctly.  So my job as a skin therapist is to get you in the habit of skin health.

 

I always say start by getting a great cleanser and moisturizer.  Products that are right for your skin and are versatile, a moisturizer that can be used both day and night.  That’s it.  Start forming a habit of washing your face and moisturizing.  You’re probably laughing at this right now because its sounds silly and simple, but think about it for a second. How many times did you skip your skin care at night because you were too tired, or forgot?  Why?  because its not a habit.

 

If you’re more sophisticated with your skin care, then commit to a system and make it a habit until that product is used up.  How are you supposed to know if the product is working for you if you are not using it over a period of time as directed by your skin therapist?

 

Then as your skin health habits form, you can add/adjust products to your system, and that’s when the magic happens.

 

So add to your New Year’s resolutions making skin care a habit!

 

Wash your face.

 

Geordie MacDiarmid is a licensed skin therapist, and owner of Ego Mechanix, and Est. with over 20 years experience in the skin care industry

Get Connected

“Your skin defines you”….a great quote I started to type out in a blog about the importance of coming to a skin therapist, and what a truly amazing skin therapist can do for your skin.  But I ended up just typing out what was said by one of my heroes in a talk she gave about a year ago on the importance of touch in today’s society.

Beyond the conversation of skin, this talk is about connection, it’s about why you do what you do, it’s about what defines us in this new technological age.

I know its cheating in a way to just post a video on my blog.  But I urge you, especially going into this next season, to sit down and give it a listen. Then start from the why….

Desquamation is the life for me!!!

 

Desquamation, I love saying that word.   Nine times out of ten the person I say it too has no clue on what it is, yet they are doing it to some degree as we are talking, right in front of each other!  It sounds horrible, but in fact it’s necessary to the function of your skin.  Give up?  Normal desquamation is the term used for when the body naturally sheds skin cells. 

Though the rate of cell turnover slows down with age, the average human will shed about 14,175,000 to 18,900,000 cells per hour or 340,200,000 to 453,600,000 cells per day.  Sooooo yeah..that dust on top of your bookcase, probably mostly human cells.

So in honor of the professional Bio Active peel that is coming out in November, I wanted to do a blog on exfoliation, or the artificial form of desquamation.

As I mentioned age is factor in the over all process, younger skin tends to be more efficient at desquamation. As we age, the glue like cement holds the cells together becomes a bit denser, these cells tend to hang out longer, making it tougher for them to naturally slough off, so there is a bit of a buildup.  This slow-down causes the skin to appear dull, thicker and less toned.

Exfoliation isn’t limited to an aging skin. When properly administered, it can help all types of skin concerns.  For people with acne, it will help clear out congestion. Dehydrated skin, with the removal of old cells, will stimulate new moisture rich cells.  People suffering from pigmentation will benefit as well because proper exfoliation will help shed pigmented cells more quickly, revealing the less pigmented cells underneath.

These are just a few influences affecting the natural desquamation process, so you can see why exfoliation is so important to the skin. Removing build-up of dead, damaged cells stimulates the regeneration of new cells, improving the skin’s appearance, feel and texture.

There are many ways to exfoliate the skin and essentially it can be broken into two categories. The first is mechanical.

Mechanical exfoliation uses either a tool like a brush or a tactile gritty type ingredient like Corn Cob Meal, Rice Bran, or Oatmeal that, depending on the amount of friction and nature of abrasive used, loosens and reduces the outer layer of skin. Be careful, too much abrasion can result in skin irritation.  And for the love of the children stay away from crushed seeds, and broken shells as an ingredient, these types of scrubs will only damage the skin more that doing any good.

The second form of exfoliation is chemical. 

Chemical exfoliation can be broken down into a few sub categories.  The first is hydroxy acids; AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid). Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are water soluble acids that primarily affect the skin by normalizing cell turnover in the epidermis. This stimulates the formation of normal healthy skin, which includes a sloughing of the Stratum Corneum (top layer of the skin), a decreased formation of dry scales on the skin’s surface and stimulation of the cell cycle. On the flip side, Salicylic Acid, a beta hydroxy acid, differs from AHAs due to its love affair with lipids, this allows it to penetrate oilier substances in the hair follicle and exfoliate the pores. As an added benefit Salicylic Acid also has an anti inflammatory effect on the skin, which is a double whammy for those who suffer from inflamed acneic skin.

The next form is known as retinol.  Retinol (also known as Vitamin A) is used in exfoliation formulas because the skin has the ability to convert Retinol to Retinoic Acid, a potent skin exfoliation and anti-aging agent. When used on a daily basis, retinol has been shown to improve the visible signs of aging.

Lastly we have the group of Enzyme exfoliates. Commonly seen as Papain or Bromelain, these ingredients stimulate exfoliation by digesting dead cells. These enzymes decompose proteins into smaller fragments, causing a softening effect to the skin and a sloughing of cells.  So in some essence if we think of the skin as bricks and mortar, holding the skin together; Enzymes go after the bricks (dead cells) while hydroxyl acids go after the mortar, or glue that holds it together.

So which is right for you? To be continued…

Wash your face!

Geordie MacDiarmid is a licensed skin therapist, and owner of Ego Mechanix, and Est. with over 20 years experience in the skin care industry

Mulitasking your Masquing

Its Friday night, it’s been a long week of the usual run around, work, lack of sleep because you’re trying to catch up on your favorite show…just one more episode before bed won’t hurt right? Mix into that whirlwind of a cocktail a little dehydration, and viola! A face ready for date night… Or maybe not, as you look into the mirror and wonder why it’s not standard for bathrooms to have more up-lighting.  Time to put your masque on.

It’s a wonder to me that one of the least popular items on the shelf is masques.  They are usually looked at as more of a fringe or a luxury item sitting next to their team mates on the shelf.  So what is the purpose of using a masque at home, other than taking up time? Well let’s start with what the heck is a masque.

Masques are used to enhance the daily skin care regimen with powerful, problem-solving solutions that add dramatic boosts to the skin. They are generally separated into 3 categories: clay, gel, and cream.  Each has a unique task based on their makeup.

Clay masques are used for deep-cleansing, help to minimize oily skin breakouts, and purify and lift surface impurities.  They are usually composed of some sort of earth clay like Bentonite or Kaolin.  Because of the drying and aggressive action of these formulas they are not recommended for dryer skin types, and because oily skin can have inflamed acne or aggravated skin, I like to recommend clay masks that either have a soothing or cooling effect as an added benefit.

Gel masques are mainly used for dehydration. Think lack of water, not lack of oil.  So you can be dry and dehydrated,  just as you can also be oily and dehydrated.  These masques tend to have some sort of Hyaluronic Acid in them, an ingredient that is huge for putting hydration back in the skin. Sometimes just hydrating the skin can add years back to your complexion.  This is a masque that everyone should have on hand, because I find there is a lot of thirsty skin out there.

Lastly there are cream masks.  These could be divided into their own sub categories.  Anti aging, moisturizing, calming, exfoliating, or an all of the above version.  These are targeted masques that can help win the fight against free radical damage, or impaired barrier functions, causing skin to become sensitized.  We actually have a masque that has been dubbed the “date night masque” by customers and skin therapists.  Though the Multivitamin Power Recovery masque is not for everyone it covers all bases with its anti aging, boosting of moisture and hydration levels, as well has some ingredients that sooth and calm stress out skin.

So what’s the right masque for you? Well I would love everyone to come and see me to get face mapped, but that is a perfect world that I live in my head (there are other things in that head space but, another day another blog). What I generally find is that most clients need at least two masques.  Not a sales pitch here folks, think about it. If you’re only oily in your t-zone, why would you put an oil absorbing product all over your face?  There is no law out there that says you only can use one masque at a time.  So put a thin layer of clay masque on your t-zone and a gel mask on your cheeks, lips, under eye, and neck.  Maybe a soothing mask just for inflamed cheeks and nose, then a anti aging masques for the rest of your face and neck.

Check with your skin therapist, but in general masques should be used 1-3 times a week (and of course that special occasion that pops up on the calendar) to maintain and give your skin the loving boost it needs.

Don’t have time to masque you say? Bah, masques take all of 10 minutes to work, so put your masque on and fold the laundry, or wash the dishes, or….I don’t know… saute some carrots.  So there’s really no excuse to bring a little multitasking to your masquing..  hmm I should trade mark that phrase.

Come by and see me, and we will have a little masquerade ourselves to see which is the best masques for your skins needs.

Wash your face!

Geordie MacDiarmid is a licensed skin therapist, and owner of Ego Mechanix, and Est. with over 20 years experience in the skin care industry

Clean up your act.....twice

From as far back as I can remember from being in the skin health industry getting a client to wash their face has been ingrained into my head.  In skincare, up until the mid 80’s, washing your face meant piling on the cold cream, then wiping it off with tissues, only then to have to use a “toner” which pretty much consisted of straight alcohol with a bit of fragrance to strip the rest of the creamy cleanser residue off. Remember that lovely burning you got from sea breeze; it meant you were clean and sterilized right?

As I write this I am remembering back in the 80’s working at the cosmetic counter.  We had just got our first foaming cleanser and I was excited to sell it to everyone that came my way. One of my best clients happened to visit me that day, and when doing an awful job of trying to sell this state of the art cleanser with promised bubbling magic, she proudly said “oh honey, no one who is serious about keeping their skin young will buy that, besides water has not touched my face in over 40 years!” Whoa! Suddenly I had a flashback of watching the scene in Wizard of Oz when Dorothy tossed the bucket of water on the witch and she melted on site, she must have been a cold cream user too.

But luckily for us skincare has come a long way in the last few decades.  There is a virtual plethora of ways to wash your face these days.  From soap free cleansers that bubble and foam,  creamy cleansers that if by magic wash away with water not alcohol, to soothing gel cleansers that wipe away with ease, for those who are sensitized and want to avoid water on some days.

One cleanser that I am constantly soap boxing about (pun intended), is the oil cleanser. Cleansers that are formulated with plant-based oils can melt the layers of oil-based debris on the skin; the oil molecules bond to each other, unlike water molecules in the usual cleanser. These oils then emulsify with the addition of water to encapsulate and remove the trapped debris, leaving skin feeling clean and soft.  So everyone benefits from this oily to dry skin types.

But the secret to getting skin clean is the industry standard of the double cleanse. Double cleanse is the technique-based regimen performed by skin care professionals – and it is our secret to healthy, ultra clean skin. Therefore, the double cleanse, beginning with an oil-based first step, followed by a cleanser that is suitable to your skin, is what’s needed to truly keep skin clean.

Lastly if there was only one thing I could ask all my clients to do for their skin it would be: wash your face at night.  Think about it.  All that pollution, oil, debris, makeup, sweat, sunscreen, and a myriad of things just sitting on your skin when you get home at night, just having a free radical house party on your skin. It takes all of a few minutes with the right cleansers to wash it off, and your skin will thank you in the long run.

Unsure if are using the right product to wash your face?  Then swing by your trusted Expert Skin Therapist and have them recommend, and show you how to utilize the proper cleanser that is right for you.

Wash Your Face!

Geordie MacDiarmid is a licensed skin therapist, and owner of Ego Mechanix, and Est. with over 20 years experience in the skin care industry.