Author Archives: mariga

Free samples of cosmeceutical skincare – what’s the point?

After my last post on cosmeceutical vs cosmetic skincare I had some follow-up questions from you about whether it is best to ask for a free sample of cosmeceutical skincare products before purchase since they are far more active than cosmetic skincare. The rationale behind these questions is that you would like to know the effect on the skin before committing, in case they are “too strong”. (And thank you to the questioners, I love to hear your thoughts and am happy to follow up and clarify anything you need more in-depth information on). Please don’t be concerned about the products being too strong, too active or in any way scary! In skincare terms the word ‘active’ means it has a measurable impact on the health and appearance of the skin structure, not that it is ‘strong’ in any negative sense :)

In any event, samples are of absolutely no use when it comes to corrective skincare (and neither are they free).

Personally, and like many professionals in the skincare business, I have no time for samples. The fact is that in skincare they are useless. In cosmeceutical brands such as my Skin Essentials by Mariga range, what we are doing with the products is correcting a dysfunction in the cellular level of the skin. This can take from 30 to 120 days in some cases to see a visible result on the surface, as the repair begins in the lower levels of the skin, so a sample that you can try for a couple of days is completely useless as a gauge of the efficacy of the product.

This whole issue is one of the reasons that I always recommend buying your skincare from a skincare clinic as opposed to a retail outlet. You will have had your skin professionally analysed and examined so that the product recommendations your therapist makes will be exactly what your skin requires. Sampling to clients feels a bit amateur and more like trial and error or guesswork to those of us who take our skincare very seriously.

Graphic from Skin Essentials by Mariga skincare clinic in Wexford showing how free skincare samples are a rip off

The only effect that making samples available has is to push the price of the product up dramatically, certainly it’s no longer a ‘free’ sample and you have paid for the availability of a promotional item that is useless to you, but good for creating brand awareness for the cosmetic company. Imagine a situation where a company is making, say, 50 sample sachets for every product. They have to be paid for by the company, where do you think the cost is added back? On the full size product of course. These are some of the reasons that we don’t make samples of our product range, and the main reason that we can keep our prices lower than other cosmeceuticals of the same quality.

Sometimes people ask to try a sample in advance in case they are allergic to a product, and this is of course a valid concern that people have. In fact, allergies are very rare and some take days or weeks of exposure to an allergen to manifest. If you are attending a skincare professional they will have a full record of any previous allergies and can patch test your skin prior to purchase. In cases of true allergy you can always return your product for a full refund.

 No samples at the beauty counter?
I have also read several opinions recently that the sales assistants are keeping the samples for themselves, and that this is why they are less available than before. This made me smile as it brought me right back 25 years to when I was working for various cosmetic houses in department stores, and if we genuinely didn’t have the relevant sample available customers would often accuse us of hiding them for ourselves!
I can tell you categorically that we didn’t keep the samples. We didn’t have to because we got free full size products for our own use. We did have to watch out for the ‘professional samplers’ who would never have bought a product in a million years, and this is why samples were kept in a drawer behind the counter. It gave the opportunity to say ‘I don’t have any’ when someone came looking for the 100th time! Ah good times 😀

Do you love to sample? Remember the next time you ask for a ‘free sample’ that you have already paid for it when you bought a product. As you have paid for the ones given out to those who never buy. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Cosmetic vs Cosmeceutical – what’s the difference?

Cosmeceutical skincare – what is it?

There seems to be a buzz happening around the world of cosmeceutical skincare right now. I don’t know why this is or who started it, some marketing company somewhere looking for a new angle for a product I assume, but I have been asked about this ‘new’ type of skincare a good lot lately. The fact is that cosmeceutical skincare is far from new. There have been some great products on the market for years – including Skin Essentials by Mariga!. So, what is it, do you need it and are you already using it?anti-ageing partner
The difference between a cosmetic skincare product and a cosmeceutical skincare product is simply that ‘cosmetic’ refers to an ingredient that can affect only the surface app
earance of the skin and a ‘cosmeceutical’ ingredient can affect skin function at a cellular level.
It becomes obvious from this that the cosmeceutical product is where the smart money goes.
You may already be using a cosmeceutical product without knowing that it has a fancy scientific name! Check the claims on the advertising. Does it say ‘skin appears smoother’ or ‘skin becomes smoother’, ‘lines seem reduced’ or lines are reduced’? This is the basic difference between the two, one presents a temporary surface change, the other effects an actual change.
If you are unsure about any product, ask your skincare professional if the ingredients are cosmetic or cosmeceutical. But also note – it is not just the presence of great ingredients like epidermal growth factors, peptides, anti-oxidants, vitamin A that makes a products a cosmeceutical, but also the percentage in the overall formula. So while you can’t have a cosmeceutical product without cutting-edge, proven ingredients, you can still have them and not have a cosmeceutical product. We call this ‘label value’ in the business, just including enough of a buzz ingredient to use the name, but not enough to make any difference. This is done for one of the reasons:

  1. The company is trying to save money, many, though not all, of these leading ingredients are expensive.
  2. The company wants to mass-market their products and doesn’t want any problems. This is why you should always buy your skincare from a skin therapist. They will have the education, understanding and insurance to recommend stronger actives which can actually make a difference on skin when used correctly. Sometimes this can cause a period of adjustment on the client’s skin or need to be introduced slowly to lessen disruption. Your other products will have to be taken into account too. None of this personalisation is possible with mass-market, off-the-shelf skincare so they are kept dilute to avoid any problems, also meaning they often avoid results too!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Skin Essentials by Mariga products are cosmeceuticals, so you can be sure that the money you are spending is for the ingredients that are in your product which will improve your skin, not some faux-scientific advertising campaign to make you think it can. In our webshop you will see some of our products classified with a (U) and some with a (C). The U is for universal and can be used by anyone and with any other product. The C stands for corrective and we recommend guidance on the usage of these ones. Just drop us a line or call us on 053 9145981 if you are unsure about which of our corrective products you need if you haven’t already had recommendations made by our therapists. In Wexford? Just call in to our Selskar Street clinic or book online here.

Not sure what category your skincare falls into? Book a personal or distance skin care analysis with us to have your skin and your products professionally analysed. We will get you on track for great skin – for life!

What’s your type? Tips for each skin type.

Skin types listed on a face diagram by Skin Essentials by Mariga

What’s your type?

Do you find it difficult to choose a skincare product off the shelf ? There are so many, all claiming to be THE ONE that it’s no wonder the consumer is confused. After all, how are you supposed to know which new amazing-sounding high tech ingredient or ”new” plant extract is going to clear up that flaky patch on your chin or stop your make-up from sliding off your face an hour after you applied it? In an effort to categorise the products into something you might relate to yourself, most mass market companies divide their offerings into ”skin type”. You will see these as the words dry, dehydrated, combination, oily, normal, mature, sensitive, blemish-prone, delicate, fragile etc. etc.

Clear? I thought not!

In reality there are only three basic skin types that everyone will fall into to some degree: Lipid Dry, Oily and Permanent Diffuse Redness (ref: Florence Barrett-Hill, Advanced Skin Analysis).
The rest are just marketing terms and have nothing to do with the skin type that you are born with. ”But I have dry cheeks and an oily T-zone, isn’t that combination skin?” I hear you say. Well, yes and no. You may well be suffering from an imbalance in your skin that is causing these symptoms, but this is a correctable or treatable condition, not your basic skin type. Often, these skin conditions are caused by ongoing use of the incorrect products for your basic skin type.

How do you know which one you are? If you have mainly oily, mainly dry or predominately red skin with little to no secondary concerns then it’s easy, just treat at home for your skin type and get an appropriate facial every couple of months (see the links below for characteristics and tips on each skin type). But many people won’t be an extreme version of any type so to get an accurate analysis you must be diagnosed by a skincare professional. This will involve examining your skin under strong light and magnification, taking a detailed history of your skin and using a diagnostic device such as a skin scanner. A comprehensive skin analysis will take at least 90 minutes. You will come away with a full understanding of your skin, what has been wrong in the past, how to treat it and which products to use going forward. Your basic majority skin type will be explained, any current skin conditions addressed and questions answered. This detailed consultation is the only way to truly understand your skin and means that your salon treatment and homecare regime will be completely personalised for a real, long-term solution.

Once this information is in place you can really begin to get a handle on your own individual skin needs and address them daily. In this way your skin will get better and better over time, transient conditions such as dehydration, flaking, shine will become a thing of the past and your skin will be balanced and well-behaved. Generally speaking your basic daily homecare is geared toward caring for your skin TYPE while corrective serums to use at home and/or clinical treatments correct skin CONDITIONS.

Remember, all skin types will require anti-ageing at some point, this does not affect your basic skin type!

See more on SKIN ANALYSIS here

Read Mariga’s focus on DRY SKIN here

Read about OILY SKIN here

More on REDNESS PRONE skin here.

Redness-prone skin – tips, products & treatments

Skin types listed on a face diagram by Skin Essentials by Mariga

Focus on redness-prone skin (NOT Rosacea).

In this last installment dealing with skin types (see original post on skin types vs conditions here), I will be focusing on skin that is prone to redness/flushing/blushing. This skin type is called permanent diffuse redness type (ref: Florence Barrett Hill, Advanced Skin Analysis) and is probably what you know as ‘sensitive’ skin but it does not necessarily react to products.
The main characteristic of this skin type is that there will be permanent patches of redness or blotchiness. This is caused by over sensitive blood vessels responding to stimuli more than is normal. Over time, these little capillaries stop shrinking back to the normal size and they can be seen through the skin all the time. This is the redness that you see, sometimes accompanied by what looks like little broken capillaries. Often in this skin type, the skin itself is thin and this contributes to the problem.

There are many triggers that can cause the skin to flush but the most common are alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, extremes of temperature.

When choosing skincare always go for products that are completely fragrance, sulphate and artificial colour-free. Any potential irritants can set up a reaction deep in your skin that will show over time as increased redness, even if they feel just fine on application, so it is very important to be as gentle as possible in dealing with this skin type and always err on the side of caution.  I don’t advise the use of granular type or AHA exfoliators with this skin type. If you feel that you must exfoliate then the best option is a gentle enzyme exfoliator. Avoid also clay based masks or any type that dry on the face and thick, rich moisturisers. The long-term aim here is control, not cure, so treating the skin with absolute gentleness on a daily basis will reduce the occurrence and progression of diffuse redness. This is a skin type that has very personalised characteristics such as triggers, genetics and medication history so a skin analysis is highly recommended for personalised results, whether a personal consultation with one of our skin diagnostic experts or our distance analysis.

Anti-redness concentrate 30ml bottle from Skin Essentials by mariga rosacea redness flushing

Professional treatments should be very carefully chosen and my top recommendation is LED light therapy to strengthen skin without stimulating it.

Some good ingredients to check for in your products are liquorice, niacinamide, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, green tea, hyaluronic acid, aloe. Daily mineral sunscreen of SPF30 is a must.
The best ingredient to look out for is EGF – epidermal growth factor – this will do exactly what it says on the tin and help to thicken the epidermis, so that the structure is strengthed and the capillaries will be less visible.

Good basic products from Skin Essentials by Mariga to help control redness-prone skin:

Anti-Redness Concentrate – anti-inflammatories and EGF for progressive results on redness.

Lipid Repair Concentrate – strengthens barrier defences to control outside sensitisers.

Skin Comfort Cream – deeply yet gently moisturises, calms and soothes reactive skin.

I hope you have gained some insights into dealing with your skin type. If we can help you please getting touch with our Wexford based clinic on 053 9145981 or info@skinessentialsbymariga.com

 

 

Focus on oily skin – characteristics, tips & treatments

Skin types listed on a face diagram by Skin Essentials by Mariga

Focus on oily skin

In the next in this series of posts focusing on skin types, (see the original post on skin type vs skin condition here), today I will be looking at the particular characteristics of oily skin, how to recognise it and how to treat it.
Oily skin is characterised by open pores, shine and sometimes congestion. It is a result of over active sebaceous glands. While it is often seen in teenage skin it is certainly not limited to younger people. I see a lot of oily skin that presents as red or sensitive, this is a temporary condition that is usually caused by overuse of harsh products aimed at ‘drying up’ oily skin (not possible). The main problem that women with oily skin complain of is that their makeup won’t stay on.

Professional treatments will vary from gentle cleansing and balancing for those who have over treated their skin in the past, through to peels and microneedling for those with thickened skin and/or enlarged pores. A personal comprehensive skin analysis will determine which treatment, if any, is best for you. (Or our distance analysis if you cannot get to us in Wexford).

At home, gentle cleansing is a must. Most people with oily skin tend to rub and scrub too hard and this can lead to MORE oil production and/or other skin damage. For those with oily but clear skin I recommend an oil cleanser (yes!), for those with blemishes maybe a cleanser with salicylic acid.

Don’t be afraid of moisturiser, many oily skin types shy away from moisturiser as they think it will add to oily shine but skipping this step means that water evaporates too quickly through the skin leaving you still oily but also dehydrated :( A light serum gives the skin nutrition in the morning under SPF30 and can be repeated at night under a light cream. Oily skin will show the signs of ageing slower than others so don’t forget to up your serum game after your mid-thirties to Collagen Serum to keep lines at bay, even if you think you don’t need it yet.

Basic products for oily skin to balance oil production and keep skin healthy:

Salicylic Cleanser to keep pores clear and control shine (not to be used to remove makeup).

Essential Nutrient Serum is a lightweight serum to feed skin cells and reduce sensitivities.

Hydrating Cream – lightweight but rich in hyaluronic acid to protect the water content of your skin structure.

For older skin that still has excess oil production I recommend my Overnight Repair Cream which will keep oil production regulated as well as giving outstanding anti-ageing.
For those with blemishes, you will need a personalised recommendation for spot control. Contact us on 053 9145981 to discuss your needs.

 

Dry skin type – characteristics, tips & recommendations

Skin types listed on a face diagram by Skin Essentials by Mariga

Focus on dry skin.

In a recent blog post on skin types vs skin conditions I referred to the three basic skin types. Now I’m going to look at the first in greater depth – lipid dry skin. Do you have it, how it behaves and how to treat it.

Lipid dry skin has an intrinsic tendency to low natural oil production. It will look dull, thin, flaky and tired. It may have a tendency to redness, especially across the cheeks, with some whiteheads and visible capillaries. It will age quickly.
Lipid dry skin will react quickly to outside factors such as wind, central heating, air conditioning and cold which can make it feel itchy or sting. It will be slow to heal and may scar easily.
You can already see how this skin type may easily be mistaken for ‘sensitive’.

The lack of natural oils in the skin impairs it’s defence and protection allowing it to become inflamed by outside aggressors, therefore the treatment protocol is to restore the oil balance to strengthen this barrier.

Professional treatments for dry skin will consist of gentle facials using products that are high in essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and nutrients.

At home, products must be very gentle and contain no fragrance (even naturally derived such as essential oils), artificial colouring or abrasive particles. Harsh cleansing is the most common mistake, make sure your cleanser is completely free from sodium laureth sulphate and keep exfoliation to a minimum. Oil based cleansers are best. Avoid the sun as much as possible and keep heating or air conditioning as low as possible. Drink plenty of water and try to eat a diet high in essential fatty acids. (Nuts, seeds, avocado, oily fish). Your pharmacist or heath food shop will be able to advise you on your diet and recommend a supplement if necessary.
Products from Skin Essentials for your skin type:

Skin Comfort Cleanser to thoroughly cleanse without stripping or drying.

Lipid Repair Concentrate to mimic the natural lipid mix of a healthy skin, repairing damaged skin barrier.

Skin Comfort Cream to deeply moisturise, calm irritated skin and sooth redness.

Super dry or medically compromised skin will love our Skin Comfort Kit.

It is possible to have skin that presents with all the above symptoms but is not intrinsically dry. This is artifically dry skin and is usually caused by incorrect skincare, medication or artificial climate and a few lifestyle adjustments combined with using the correct products can get you back on track. To obtain a correct diagnosis just book a personal comprehensive skin analysis or fill out the distance clients consultation form here.

IMG_1367

I hope this sheds some light on why your skin may be feeling tight and dry. If you have any questions please get in touch, I’m always happy to answer. Call our Wexford clinic on 053 9145981 or contact info@skinessentialsbymariga.com

Step by step anti-ageing routines for all ages

Anti-ageing routines for every age: what to use and when.

anti-ageing partner

 

As SPF is the best tool in your anti-ageing arsenal, it is never too early to start thinking about anti-ageing! Keeping a broad-spectrum SPF30 with UVA+UVB filters as the last step in your daytime skincare routine is your best defence against premature ageing and those that do this from a young age will reap the benefits for decades. Use a good anti-oxidant cleanser, a daily moisturiser with SPF30 and a lightweight but nourishing night cream.

Note: all these recommendations pre-suppose a normal or average skin with no issues other than to keep a healthy skin and slow the visible ageing process. Anyone from dry to balanced to oily will benefit from these anti-ageing routines. If you have other issues to address such as sensitised or reactive skin, rosacea, acne, red veins, medically-compromised etc. we can tailor a corrective programme just for you and phase in a customised anti-ageing programme when your skin is stronger. All products mentioned should be used around the eyes as well as the rest of the face.

Your basic skincare routine if you are under 25 should look like this – remember this is also the basis for every other age skincare routine to build on:

Morning:
Rinse with water and a microfibre cloth
Apply SPF30 Day Cream

Evening:
Cleanser with Skin Comfort Cleansing Oil
Apply Hydrating Cream

In your mid 20’s:
Start adding in a nutrient-rich serum day and night to counter the natural slow down of skin processes and the negative effects of pollution, hectic lifestyles and less-than-perfect food and drink choices. This will be the biggest step in dramatically slowing down the formation of lines and wrinkles in the future. Prevention is always better than cure!

Morning:
Rinse with water and a microfibre cloth
Apply Essential Nutrient Serum
Apply SPF30 Day Cream

Evening:
Cleanser with Skin Comfort Cleansing Oil
Apply Lipid Repair Concentrate 3 times a week, more often if skin is dry
Apply Hydrating Cream
In your early – mid 30’s:
Swap out your basic water-based serum for a more targeted collagen-supporting one. In your 30’s is when collagen production really begins to slow down and manifests later on the skin as lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores and thinning skin. Again, beginning a collagen boosting routine before you think you need it will pay off, as the changes are already happening deep in your skin that will show up in your late 30’s if you don’t target them early. It is a good time to switch to a richer, but still not greasy, night cream unless you have very oily skin.

Morning:
Rinse with water and a microfibre cloth
Apply Hydra Collagen Serum
Apply SPF30 Day Cream

Evening:
Cleanser with Skin Comfort Cleansing Oil
Apply Lipid Repair Concentrate
Apply Hydrating Cream if skin is oily, Skin Comfort Cream instead if skin is normal/dry

IMG_0063
In your late 30’s to early 40’s:
It’s time to add in a vitamin A product to normalise cellular turnover, reduce any lines and further slow the formation of new ones, keep pores clear and minimise pigmentation spots. Vitamin A will keep the surface texture of your skin smooth, fight lines and wrinkles and slow the progress of pigmentation spots.

Morning:
Rinse with water and a microfibre cloth
Apply Hydra Collagen Serum
Apply SPF30 Day Cream

Evening:
Cleanser with Skin Comfort Cleansing Oil
Apply Age Slowly Serum
Apply Lipid Repair Concentrate 3 times a week, more often if skin is dry
Apply Hydrating Cream if skin is oily, Skin Comfort Cream instead if skin is normal/dry
In your mid-late 40’s (women only)
This is time to add in a product to help balance the unwanted effects on the skin caused by declining oestrogen such as lip lines, crepey skin texture and dullness. Our Youth Boost add-in product is simply mixed with your regular cream to take care of these issues seen in peri-menopause and beyond.

Morning:
Rinse with water and a microfibre cloth
Apply Hydra Collagen Serum
Apply SPF30 Day Cream

Evening:
Cleanser with Skin Comfort Cleansing Oil
Apply Age Slowly Serum
Apply Lipid Repair Concentrate 3 times a week, more often if skin is dry
Apply Skin Comfort Cream with added Youth Boost
In your 50’s and beyond:
There should be no need to change your skincare routine any further, the anti-ageing products you are already using will continue to supply all the nutritional benefits your skin needs. As oestrogen and collagen-forming ingredients further decline naturally in the body, your Hydra Collagen Serum and Youth Boost will keep working hard to balance these effects.

Using these products will keep your skin healthy and younger for a lot longer than using non-targeted, non-active, mass-market skincare products. But of course off you have started somewhere in the middle of these age groups, and already had some visible signs of ageing then you will benefit from adding in clinical revision treatments such as bio-therapeutic needling to reverse age damage already visible. Clinical treatments tailored for your skin will also benefit all ages and stages of skin care to even further delay the visible signs of ageing.

Remember, all these recommendations pre-suppose a normal or average skin with no issues other than to keep a healthy skin and slow the visible ageing process. Anyone from dry to balanced to oily will benefit from these anti-ageing routines. If you have other issues to address such as sensitised or reactive skin, rosacea, acne, red veins, medically-compromised etc. we can tailor a corrective programme just for you and phase in a customised anti-ageing programme when your skin is stronger.

All products mentioned can be purchased from our online shop or from our Wexford Town skin care clinic.

Need help with your routine? Call us on 053 9145981 or email info@skinessentialsbymariga.com

Have you read Mariga’s e-book yet? ‘The Skincare Rules’ is packed full of simple, easy to implement tips that will help to get you great skin – for life! Buy it here for €2.99

The Skincare Rules by Skin Essentials founder Mariga Sheedy. Everything you need to know to get great skin, for life.

The Skincare Rules by Skin Essentials founder Mariga Sheedy. Everything you need to know to get great skin, for life.