Find information on this page about your skin, skin-types, recommended skin care products and advice to look after your skin. Skin can be divided into various types according to its texture. it is essential to know what skin type you actually have and using the correct products on your face can really make a difference to those problem areas you may have.
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.
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. Start your Double Cleanse with Precleanse, followed by Dermal Clay Cleanser. Spritz with Multi-Active Toner, and apply your Dermalogica prescribed oil-free moisturiser, Active Moist, Oil Control Lotion. Exfoliate twice a week, and use Daily Microfoliant every day, to help the skin rid itself of congestion-causing debris. Overnight Clearing Gel helps regulate sebum production, remove follicle-clogging debris and kill acne bacteria. For an existing breakout, Benzoyl Peroxide provides unsurpassed clearing while a calming mask reduces irritation.
Lather Clearing Skin Wash in wet hands and massage over face and throat, avoiding eye area. Rinse with warm water. Apply Clearing Mattifier to areas prone to oiliness, such as the T-zone. Apply Oil Control Lotion to areas where Clearing Mattifier was not applied. At night after cleansing, apply Overnight Clearing Gel to areas of congestion. Spot treat breakouts during the day with Concealing Spot Treatment. Two to three times a week, apply Sebum Clearing Masque after cleansing. Use over entire face and throat or exclusively in the T-zone. Avoid eye area.
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 Special Cleansing Gel or The Clean 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 Solar Defense product with a minimum SPF15 daily.
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.
Most products and treatments for acne are designed for teenage skin, making them too harsh and irritating for adult acne sufferers. The aggressive acne treatments created for teenage skin (which is more resilient) can cause adverse reactions on older skin, including flaking, peeling, excessive dryness and even additional breakouts.
Even skin in its 20s and 30s can be drier and more sensitized than teenage skin, can take longer to recover and can suffer extensive hyper-pigmentation from past breakouts.
The MediBac clearing system works to treat, clear and prevent adult acne while addressing the needs of adult skin. The MediBac clearing system controls acne without compromising skin’s integrity, which means skin is clearer and healthier.
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.
Dry skin generally refers to skin that is lacking oil, whereas dehydrated skin is characterised by the lack of moisture in the Stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis. Both dry and dehydrated skin is often irritated, inflamed and itchy, and it is generally worse in areas with relatively few sebaceous (oil) glands such as the arms, legs and torso, as well as the cheeks and eye area.
There is also a widespread misconception that dehydrated skin is the opposite of oily skin. “Dehydrated” refers to lack of moisture (not a lack of oil), while “oily” refers to levels of sebum or oil on skin. While adequate sebum does help maintain water levels on skin, oily skin can be dehydrated. Dehydrated skin may lack water only in the outermost layers of the epidermis while maintaining normal levels in the deeper layers.
Other symptoms of dry skin can include a feeling of tightness or tautness, especially after showering, bathing or swimming, skin that feels and looks rough rather than smooth, slight to severe flaking or scaling, fine lines, cracks that can sometimes bleed, and severe redness.
Intrinsic Ageing, also known as healthy Ageing, is the normal process of physical change over time that is more about genetics than lifestyle. (Lifestyle-induced Ageing is known as premature Ageing)
The loss of existing sebum (oil) is commonly caused by excessive bathing or showering, or the use of harsh soaps that dissolve the protective layer of sebum.
Cold winds and low temperatures can dry out your skin, depriving it of balanced levels of sebum (oil) that keep skin lubricated. Without these oils, skin becomes dry, and is more prone to premature Ageing because of the lack of protective oils.
Surviving on a litany of diet sodas and fat-free fad food items means you miss out on vital, skin-friendly essential fatty acids (EFA) and fat-soluble vitamins. (And don’t forget that fat-free foods often substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners that can cause skin sensitivity.)
Smoking can also have a drying effect on skin, as smoking inhibits the body’s ability to provide oxygen and nutrients to skin. Smoking drains skin (and the body) of vitamins A and C and restricts blood vessels. And, an excess intake of alcoholic beverages and certain medications (such as nasal decongestants) can also contribute to dry skin.
The sun can also contribute to dry skin. Prolonged exposure to the sun causes water to evaporate from the skin, which is why skin that has been recently tanned or burned often requires more moisturisation than areas that were not exposed.
There are many steps you can take to help with dry, dehydrated skin. Professional skin treatments coupled with the right lifestyle choices and a great at-home regimen.
Sunscreens formulated with antioxidant vitamins provide enhanced daylight protection against damaging UV light and free radicals. Dermalogica’s Solar Defense System delivers this antioxidant technology through UV Smart Booster Technology, a micro-capsule containing antioxidant vitamins that bursts upon contact with UV light, spilling the antioxidants onto skin, providing protection when it’s needed most.
Make sunscreen as much a part of your skin care regimen as cleansing and moisturising. Apply at least a walnut-sized amount of sunscreen to skin and neck before going out into the daylight, and after swimming or exercising, to impede the damage caused by UV light.
Also important is proper home skin care products and techniques. Do not use hot water when cleansing, don’t use excessive or abrasive movements (instead, go for gentle, upward circles), and stay away from products that contain artificial fragrances or colours.
Keep your surrounding temperature as moderate as possible, and never place any heat directly at your skin. The use of a humidifier will also help add moisture to surrounding air. And when in colder temperatures, use a protective salve or extra rich moisturiser containing Zinc Oxide which helps soothe skin, provides anti-itch relief, moisturises and promotes skin repair.
Some products that may be suggested to keep your skin at its healthiest between professional treatments could include:
Similar to the seasons, skin goes through its own fluctuations. Combine nature’s weather cycle with air conditioning and forced air heating devices, and you have skin that’s constantly under assault.
Cold winds and low temperatures can dry out skin, depriving it of balanced levels of oils, contributing to dryness, sensitivity, and premature ageing.
Prolonged exposure to the sun causes water to evaporate from skin, which is why skin that has recently been burned or tanned requires more moisturisation than unexposed areas. Forced air heating also dries out skin: warm, dry air acts like a sponge, soaking up moisture from everything it touches.
To help skin stay healthy with the seasons, speak with your professional skin therapist about modifying your skin care regimen accordingly. Chances are just a few product updates (for example, going from a moisturiser to a more emollient cream) can keep skin healthy year-round.
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 ageing and scarring to name a few.
Unlike physical exfoliants that remove debris through gentle abrasion, hydroxy acid-based exfoliants smooth the skin by dissolving the intercellular “glue” that attaches the cells to the surface. Hydroxy acids are the most common form of at-home exfoliant because they are extremely effective and, when used properly, very safe.
Of course, there are several different hydroxy acids. Glycolic Acid was the first to be used in a cosmetic application, and is still widely-used despite its high incidence of skin irritation. Lactic and Salicylic Acids, which are as effective as Glycolic Acid, are now the choice of leading skin care professionals because they deliver the same level of results with considerably less irritation. Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant and Skin Renewal Booster are two great at-home exfoliants that use this combination of Lactic and Salicylic Acids.
Hydroxy acids may be combined with enzymes derived from Papaya (Propain) and Pineapple (Bromelain) to help digest dead skin cells, resulting in even smoother skin. The Phytic Acid in Rice Bran, the third key ingredient in Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, also effectively dissolves dead surface cells.
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. Here are some examples:
Far from natural! Now, we wouldn’t suggest for a minute that there’s anything wrong with growing old gracefully. The natural ageing process is defined in our very genetics, resulting in the complex hormonal and physical transformations that take place throughout life. Premature ageing refers to the unnatural acceleration of the natural ageing process, primarily due to damage from sun exposure and an unhealthy lifestyle. While the natural ageing process cannot be slowed, most people who exhibit signs of ageing are actually suffering from premature ageing. Sound far-fetched? Consider this: not only are over 99% of wrinkles caused by sun exposure, but premature ageing 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.
Responsible for a litany of skin issues, and more importantly skin cancer, the sun really is our skin’s worst enemy. Scientific studies have shown that repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen, impairs skin’s ability to repair itself and attacks our elastin.
The damage is seen through deep wrinkles, age spots (hyper-pigmentation), spider veins, a rough, blotchy complexion and a “leathery” look.
Cold winds and low temperatures can dry out skin, depriving it of balanced levels of sebum (oil) that keep skin lubricated. Without these oils, skin becomes dry, and is more prone to premature ageing because of the lack of protective oils.
Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop wrinkled, leathery skin, as well as a yellowish hue in their complexions. And even if you aren’t a smoker, being around a smoker can still cause damage to your skin.
Skin is the first place to be affected by lack of sleep – the immediate effects of exhaustion are represented through dark circles under the eyes and sagging skin.
Stress is inevitable – just like ageing! But it also contributes to premature ageing. Often when we’re stressed, we furrow our brow, place our hands on our face and pull it in every which way direction, frown (where do you think the term “frown lines” comes from?) and twist our faces around, performing repetitive movements that impart permanent damage. Stress also results in heightened adrenal activity, which over time can lead to impaired health.
Lack of exercise can contribute to prematurely ageing skin, as exercise keeps muscles tone and stimulates blood flow.
A poor diet leads to a lack of nutrition for the cells and possible exposure to chemicals and preservatives. Fried and burnt food can also cause oxidation (free radicals from vitamins help counteract oxidation), leading to weaker cell structure.
If the sun is your skin’s worst enemy, then sun protection is your first line of defence. Dermalogica new sunscreen technology won’t clog pores, won’t cause irritation (redness and burning) and won’t feel chalky or greasy, it’s much easier to comfortably make sunscreens a part of your daily skin care regimen.
Dermalogica’s Solar Defense System delivers this antioxidant technology through UV Smart Booster Technology, a microcapsule containing antioxidant vitamins that bursts upon contact with UV light, releasing the antioxidants onto skin, providing protection when it’s needed most.
Make sunscreen as much a part of your skin care regimen as cleansing and moisturising. Apply at least a walnut-sized amount of sunscreen to skin and neck before going out into the daylight, and after swimming or exercising, to impede the damage caused by UV light.
When skin is healthy, premature ageing is minimized. Professional skin treatments coupled with the right lifestyle choices and home care regimen are great ways to treat the signs of premature ageing.
Sunscreens formulated with antioxidant vitamins provide enhanced daylight protection against damaging UV light and free radicals. Make sunscreen as much a part of your skin care regimen as cleansing and moisturising. Apply at least a walnut-sized amount of sunscreen to skin and neck before going out into the daylight, and after swimming or exercising, to impede the damage caused by UV light.
As well as a good home care regimen, technique is also important. Do not use hot water when cleansing, don’t use excessive or abrasive movements (instead, go for gentle, upward circles), and stay away from products that contain artificial fragrances or colours. Keep your surrounding temperature as moderate as possible, and never place any heat directly at your skin. The use of a humidifier will also help add moisture to surrounding air.
Use vitamin-enriched products, specifically those containing stabilized Vitamins A, C and E, which can deliver the vital nutrients that the skin needs to help firm and improve elasticity.
Use Dermalogica MultiVitamin Power Concentrate and MultiVitamin Power Firm for the eyes and lips on a daily basis, along with MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque 1 to 2 times weekly. And don’t forget your hands, which are one of the first areas to show signs of premature ageing and sun damage – Dermalogica MultiVitamin Hand and Nail Treatment was developed specifically to counter this.
In recent years, scientists have come to understand the actual biochemical triggers that manifest skin aging, such as wrinkles, altered pigmentation, and loss of skin tone. These triggers are known as:
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are dangerous oxygen molecules generated by UV rays and pollution. ROS attack and react with stable skin cell molecules, causing cross-linking of collagen and elastin (the cause of wrinkles) while lessening skin’s ability to repair itself.
Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes activated by UV exposure or inflammation. MMPs contribute to the breakdown of collagen while inhibiting new collagen formation.
The same glucose (sugar) that provides energy for our cells can also react with proteins, including the skin’s collagen. This reaction results in the formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs), which can contribute to loss of elasticity, wrinkles, inflammation, inhibited skin cell growth and accelerated ageing.
Because we understand these triggers, skin care professionals are better equipped to effectively treat, and control, the signs of skin ageing.
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 sensitised 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 ageing.
Maintaining the skin’s barrier function is vital, so remember to always apply your Dermalogica moisturiser after cleansing, and whenever your skin feels tight or dry apply, Dermalogica Barrier Repair which was developed with this specific goal in mind. Skin Hydrating Booster is the ideal addition to your skin care regimen to optimize the water level of your skin. Also, always avoid over-exfoliating your skin – remember, more exfoliation is not better! If you notice redness or tightness that lasts more than a few hours, you should discontinue the use of your exfoliant for a few days.
Sun protection is also critical because sensitized skin is even more vulnerable to UV damage. Dermalogica Super Sensitive Face Block SPF25 is a chemical-free sun shield that was developed specifically for sensitized skin. Lastly, avoiding trigger factors such as hot drinks, spicy foods. msg, alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes can help your skin recover and rebuild its normal resistance.
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. Cleansing with Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser, an extremely gentle gel/cream and tissue-off formula, will remove all irritants from the skin’s surface. Follow with Soothing Protection Spray to mist on anti-ozonate protection that’ll help shield the skin from further assault. Barrier Repair provides the last step, creating an invisible silicone barrier against the outside world. Your Environmental Control regimen doesn’t replace your existing skin care routine – think of it as an emergency response.
Whether genetic or environmental, you may not be able to completely banish redness, but you can take steps to help control it.
Wear a sunscreen daily: look for one containing calming ingredients like Green Tea and Licorice to help soothe and control flare-ups. Choose moisturisers containing green natural mineral tint (not an artificial colour!) to help cancel out visible redness.
Be mindful of what goes in your body. Smoking is somewhat like suffocating the skin from the inside: it inhibits the body’s ability to provide oxygen and nutrients to skin while restricting blood vessels. Excessive intake of alcoholic beverages and certain medications (such as nasal decongestants) can also contribute to dry skin, leaving skin more susceptible to sensitivity.
Don’t over shower or over-scrub: The loss of existing oil is commonly caused by excessive bathing or showering, or the use of harsh soaps that dissolve the protective layer of oil.
Never ever shave without a protective medium. Using dull razors can also weaken the skin’s barrier function, leaving it exposed to environmental assaults.
Take note of what triggers the “red” reaction in your skin: certain foods such as artificial sweeteners or spices can bring on the flush look. Also be aware of your hormones, stress levels, physical exertion, and adrenal shifts.
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 is an increase in the production of melanin, a natural skin and hair colourant 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.
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’s 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.
When it comes to hyper-pigmentation (when pigment-producing cells are damaged and produce too much colour), 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.
Of course, your at-home regimen is also vitally important. After cleansing in the morning, use Pure Light, which contains optical illuminators, and will help protect your skin from further sun damage while actually helping to combat melanin production on the cellular level. At night after cleansing, use Daily Microfoliant, a Rice-based powder that smoothes and brightens the skin. Then apply Pure Night, which penetrates deep into the skin and delivers a potent dose of eleven botanical brighteners to regulate melanin production.
How much you can reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation depends largely on what is causing the problem in the first place, as well as how deeply into the skin the pigmentation extends.
Generally speaking, most people see results within 8-10 weeks of beginning a treatment program. Keep in mind, however, that all sun exposure must be avoided during this time – even one unprotected day in the sun can completely reverse all positive treatment results.
Melasma is hormone-related hyper-pigmentation caused by increased hormone stimulation. It is most commonly experienced by women who are pregnant (which is why it’s also known as the “mask of pregnancy”) or taking contraceptives, but can also be caused by cosmetics or medications.
The most common pattern of melasma is centrofacial: on the chin, upper lip, cheeks, nose, and forehead. But it can also show up to a lesser extent on the cheeks, nose, and jaw line.
Studies suggest up to 75% of women may develop melasma during pregnancy and about 33% of women on oral contraceptives show symptoms as well. However, once hormonal fluctuations subside, such as the end of pregnancy or the discontinuing of oral contraceptives, the hyper-pigmentation often disappears.
It’s important you speak with a skin care professional, especially if you’re pregnant, before beginning treatment for hyper-pigmentation.