Tag Archives: exfoliation

Lactic Acid Peel Demo

Acid peels – not as scary as they sound. When you have an acid peel with us, you will always have a progressive, not aggressive, peel. Many people think that acid peels are serious treatments requiring days of hiding out while you skin sheds, like the famous scene from Sex And The City where Samantha has the sever, raw looking skin after a peel.

Those types of peel do indeed exist, but they are chemical peels performed by a doctor only. Peels of that depth, using ingredients such as phenol or TCA, are for major resurfacing on people who have scarring or want a non-surgical alternative to a facelift for deep wrinkling. In fact, some require anaesthesia and have weeks of downtime!

When dealing with the epidermis (upper skin layers) as in a salon or skin clinic setting, we are taking about acids such as lactic, salicylic, mandolin or glycolic, most of which are naturally derived and work WITH the skin, not against it. These type of peels are best employed in a series of three or more to gradually get your skin where you want it to be in a gentle manner, rather than aggressively. See the video below for a demo and lots of details about the different acids and what they are used for.

 

 

More press coverage for Skin Essentials by Mariga – Irish examiner interview.

Irish Examiner interview with Mariga from Skin Essentials

Irish Examiner interview with Skin Essentials’ Mariga

We are delighted with the latest press coverage for Skin Essentials by Mariga. It was a real pleasure to chat with such a well-informed and savvy beauty journalist. Rachel Marie White of the Irish Examiner really knows her skincare and we talked non-stop about all things skin.

We have had great feedback and a lot of new enquiries since the full-page piece featuring Mariga’s top skincare advice was published last Saturday.

If you missed it, here is the link to the online version:

Full text here:

Mariga Sheedy is the founder of Wexford skin clinic Skin Essentials by Mariga, and has developed a range of professional and at-home skincare under the same name.

Over 25 years of beauty experience, including positions in national and EU industry bodies, have made her a dream skincare guru. In a business fond of quick fixes and brand-funded studies, she takes a long-term, cause-first approach to each client’s care.

Her assessments and treatments are based on independent research by dermatology superstars like Dr Albert Kligman and Dr Peter T Pugliese. Skin Essentials by Mariga products are entirely comprised of high-quality ingredients with well-established benefits. I’m a fan of Sheedy’s writing and v-logs on what really works, and was quite keen to ask her what doesn’t.

Easy on the exfoliants

“Over-processing is one of the most common problems I treat, and over-exfoliation in particular. It really began when microdermabrasion became fashionable about ten years ago. If you have a strong chemical peel or a microdermabrasion session you get a beautiful polished result initially. The impulse to keep chasing that is understandable but very unhealthy for skin in the long term, so we try to reeducate clients. Constantly stripping of the skin’s natural defence layer (the acid mantle) will weaken the health of the skin over time, resulting in premature ageing. Exfoliants should be used with caution. If you have a Vitamin A product in your home care, for example, it provides a minute amount of cell renewal each day. This is really all the exfoliation normal skin needs. A fruit enzyme very gently exfoliates skin with low or no tolerance for Vitamin A. I recommend a pumpkin enzyme that is very well tolerated, like my Enzyme Exfoliator, €38.”

Fragrance isn’t skincare

“Your skin doesn’t recognise fragrance, so perfumed products will always trigger an inflammatory defensive response. Anything that’s not native to skin will trigger that response. Obviously we can’t source skincare ingredients from human sources to put into our skin cells, so we look for bio-identical substances in the marine and plant worlds. Fragrance will never be bio-identical.”

You don’t need a separate eye cream.

“The skin around your eyes is just slightly thinner, it has the same cells with all the same requirements as those on the rest of your face. Treat them the same and don’t forget to apply SPF. I’ve never used an eye cream or recommended one to my clients. There is nothing that a topical product, no matter the quality, can do for puffy eyes or dark circles. Those issues are either hereditary or medical issues. I find it so unscrupulous that marketing should target people who feel vulnerable about them.”

You shouldn’t need a makeup primer.

“I prefer to treat the cause of a skincare problem rather than concealing the symptom. If skin is balanced, you will not need a primer and makeup should retain its lovely finish. Our Hydra-Collagen Serum, €64, which is rich in bio-fermented sea kelp, creates a nice makeup base, but that’s just a happy coincidence. Also, if you have dry skin issues, repeated exposure to silicones [the prevalent ingredients in most primers] can make them worse. Makeup will start to patch.”

Mariga Sheedy
If you use sunbeds, we won’t treat you.

“There would be no point, we’d be wasting our time and your money. Similarly, if you aren’t protecting your skin with a broad-spectrum SPF product daily, there is little point in spending money on antioxidant serum.”

There is no cure-all antioxidant.

“Like water and sun protection, antioxidants are vital for keeping skin healthy. They repair damage that has been done and fight damage that is being done. We have to use a cocktail of them because each kind works differently and there is also a range of different free radicals we seek to target. Vitamin C, for example, is very important for healthy cell renewal, especially the body doesn’t make or store it, but — just as one can’t live on oranges alone — it needs some backup. Vitamin A is a little superhero of an ingredient, in terms of providing building blocks for skin cells. Vitamin E, green tea extract and superoxide dismutase are all very important. I try to keep my products’ ingredient edit quite tight (no silicones used as cheap filler), and to choose extracts with multiple benefits. The skin is a living, breathing organ carrying out processes and needs many different types of fuel to do it.”

‘Combination’ and ‘sensitive’ skin are marketing terms.

“Leaving medical issues aside, there are only three skin types you can be born with. Dry types have fewer oil glands than average, while oily types have more. Irish skin also tends to be predisposed to diffused redness. If your skin is suddenly different in one area, it is an issue that needs correction rather than a distinct ‘type’. Skin is supposed to be sensitive, but what’s typically called sensitive skin is actually sensitised skin. This flares up as a result of environment or because of something you’ve eaten, used or done, so it’s worth taking stock of your diet and skincare when this happens.”

Dry skin needs both water and oil.

“Dry is my own skin type and the predominant type I treat. It is important for people with dry skin to seek professional advice on whether they lack oil, water or both. The two work in harmony to create healthy skin. If they are out of whack, your skin will find it difficult to retain moisture or protect against environmental irritants. I’m a big fan of oil cleansers, as long as they’re free from essential oils, for the daily care of this skin type. I use my Skin Comfort Cleanser, €25. I like dry-skin moisturisers that are rich in natural oils and contain very few silicones. Silicones aren’t harmful but they have large molecules that decrease the bio-availability of great anti-ageing ingredients like peptides. These actives won’t be able to penetrate a thick, silicone-rich cream to get to your skin. If you use a natural oil-based moisturiser, like my Hydrating Cream with Hyaluronic Acid, €37, they’re far more effective.”

Exfoliation: are you overdoing it? Mariga’s skin saving tips

Exfoliation:

This is a topic that causes confusion all the time and you will read conflicting advice in every magazine article you pick up so today I want to simplify the subject of exfoliation: what is it, do you need to do it and what should you use?
enzyme-exfol
Exfoliation is the shedding or peeling of dead skin cells from the upper layer of your skin. It occurs naturally in healthy skin but like all body processes it slows down as we age and if our skin cells aren’t getting enough of the proper nutrition to function well. So, as we age it becomes necessary to help the process along with skincare products. The idea is to gently encourage the natural shedding process in order that the skin surface appears as smooth as possible. This new, smoother surface reflects light better than dry, dying skin cells so you see an immediate radiant effect. This can be quite addictive and I think may be the reason for what I see as a national obsession: over-exfoliation!

It is not unusual for someone to tell me that they exfoliate twice weekly or even (horror of horrors) daily when they first come for a consultation. There are even products, and lots of them, available to buy for ‘daily exfoliation’. Let’s look at this scientifically for a moment; cell turnover in a healthy skin occurs on average as follows:

Age: 20’s  14-25 days
Age: 30’s  30 days
Age: 40’s  40 days
And so on, slowing down by a few days for every decade.

So, assuming that you exfoliate on the first day of the month and you are in your 30’s, then there is a fresh layer of skin on the surface that won’t turn over completely for around 30 days. What possible benefit can there be in exfoliating again the next day or even the next week? None at all, you are just hurting that fresh skin which will in all likelihood shorten its lifespan and therefore the length of time it reflects light well.
It is plenty to exfoliate healthy skin once per month, more often of you are in the early stages of correcting a skin condition.

What should you use?
In  my opinion the only safe home exfoliator is an enzyme based product. This is because they work by triggering the cells own process of breaking down in the right conditions and therefore won’t break down the ‘cement’ between cells that are still healthy, in the indiscriminate way that a glycolic acid or similar will.
Never use grainy scrubs, they will scratch the skin. For acid peels, microdermabrasion or other peels I would recommend only ever having them performed by a skincare professional who is trained in the procedure. In any case, over the counter versions of these peels are never comparable to what is available in a salon, if they were we would be seeing far more disasters all the time!

If you attend a good facialist she will perform any necessary exfoliation whether you need a superficial or deep treatment during your salon visits and provide the relevant homecare to keep your skin in top condition until your next visit.
Microdermabrasion is a very popular form of deep exfoliation that is available from most salons. I would caution on the overuse of these machines. While they are great if used correctly, unless you are dealing with a particular issue such as scarring or otherwise damaged skin then two or three times a year is enough to boost your homecare regime.

Finally, (sorry this became a very long post), a quick word on Vitamin A, also known as retinol. Any product containing any derivative of Vit A or retinol will already be progressively and slowly exfoliating your skin so it won’t be necessary to use another exfoliator at home. Also, discontinue use of any of these products for 3 days before and after any waxing of the area and before any salon facial treatment.

For safe home exfoliation try Skin Essentials by Mariga Enzyme Exfoliator, available from my online shop here