Tag Archives: expert advice

Serum or Cream?

What are the differences between facial serums and creams and do you really need both?

Serums may seem like they are the latest buzz in skin products but for those who are serious about their skincare, serums have been their secret weapon for years! Indeed when I launched my product range in 2010 the focus was all on corrective serums.

So, what is a serum and how is it different from a cream?

Hydrating cream with Hyaluronic acid

A serum is a highly concentrated active skincare product that will address a certain concern such as dullness, redness or lines. Sometimes a serum can address several skin issues at once, as many issues have a common cause. For example, dullness, fine lines and inflammation can all be caused by dehydration so a single serum addresses all these symptoms by binding water in the skin. See Hyaluronic+ Moisture Boost.

Most serums are water-based to allow deepest possible penetration into the layers of the epidermis but some are oil-based and intended to work on the surface layers. See Lipid Repair Concentrate.

Serums work deeper and are more active than creams but they do not replace them. Think of serums working at the foundation layers of your epidermis, strengthening skin cell processes and function, while creams can be considered the roof of the structure, protecting everything underneath and adding softness, suppleness and comfort. For this reason, even though serums do more corrective work, creams must come first in your programme if you can only budget for one or the other. There is no point having a good floor and no roof!

In a normal skin not requiring any particular correction, I recommend adding a serum from mid to late twenties to keep skin vital and strong. A product such as Essential Nutrient Serum gives skin many of the water soluble minerals vitamins and anti-oxidants that it needs to stay healthy. From mid-thirties I recommend switching this out for an anti-ageing serum such as Hydra Collagen Serum to slow down the visible signs of ageing such as fine lines, dullness, loss of firmness and discolouration.

Hydra Collagen Serum airless pump 30ml size Skin Essentials by Mariga shop online wexford

Hydra Collagen Serum €68

If you have any issues to correct such as redness, sensitised skin, flaking, texture issues etc. you will need to have a corrective serum professionally recommended just for you to rebalance your skin before going on to a maintenance product.

Do you have any questions comments or feedback about serums or other skin products? Just call in to our Wexford Town clinic, call us on 053 9145981 or email info@skinessentialsbymariga.com and we will be happy to help you get great skin.

Don’t forget you can shop our natural skincare products online too, we ship to Irish and UK addresses!

Mariga x

The Skincare Rules is 1 year old!

I can’t believe that my first e-book, The Skincare Rules, is a year old!

In that time it has made the Top 20 in beauty and skincare on Amazon.com and been listed in Amazon’s Hot 100 New Reads.

I have been really delighted that the book has brought me in contact with many new skincare fans around the world and helped me to learn even more about what you, the consumer, really want to know about skin and what you want from your skincare.

Buy it now for Kindle €2.99 – the best investment you will ever make in your skin.

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.

Distilling 25 years of skin consultation experience into the 10 golden rules of great skin, this book has all of the basic advice you need for making sure that your skin is the best it can possible be.

Along with the rules, and their rationale, learn the basics of taking care of your skin at home in a simple yet effective way. Sections on correct methods cleansing and exfoliating are particularly important and these are the areas most people get wrong!

Buy it here right now for just €2.99 and do let me know what you think!

Mariga :)

The Skincare Rules by Mariga Sheedy, Wexford, top 20 in Kindle health and beauty pic

 

Parabens in skincare – an updated summary of safe preservatives.

Concerned about parabens? You are worrying about the wrong preservative.

We all see so many’paraben-free’ products on the market that it would seem logical to assume that there is something dangerous, toxic or just plain wrong with parabens. Have you ever chosen ‘paraben-free’? Do you know why? Was it just vague feeling that you read something icky about parabens? Perhaps you remember the scare in the mid 2000’s that erroneously linked parabens to breast cancer tumour tissue? That story stuck in so many people’s heads and it was really unlucky for the skincare industry and skincare consumers that it did. No matter that the author of the study publicly disassociated themselves from the media hysteria or that they emphasised over and over that there was no conclusive link between parabens and cancer in the study. No matter that parabens had been safely used in food and cosmetics for decades. No matter that parabens were so widely used that there was no viable alternative available on the market to keep products mould-free. Some reporter on a slow news day quoted the study out of context and a scare was born. No need to let the truth get in the way of a good story! The upshot was that consumers started demanding ‘paraben-free’ and the industry scrambled to provide it. With the poor misunderstood paraben having been the mainstay of preservatives for so long, there was no tried and tested replacement readily available, so a few alternatives were quickly incorporated into skincare formulas, one of the main ones being:

METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE (MI)
DEF: Also called MI or MCI it is a preservative used for it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Here’s the problem with rushing to change an ingredient and putting sales over safety – MI was already known to be a skin sensitiser in some people, so it wasn’t used as it just wasn’t a viable, safe, skin-friendly alternative to the paraben. But now it got called into play to satisfy a stroppy media and confused customers. How much better would it have been for skincare companies to simply educate consumers and maintain the integrity of their products/reputation, instead of pandering to a shouting section of society?

What happened next? Well, fast forward a decade or so and we now have real problems with international dermatological groups reporting MI causing sensitivities and allergies in as many of 10% of people. In July this year MI was banned in Europe from all leave-on cosmetic preparations. It has even been called an ‘epidemic of contact allergic dermatitis’. Read more details, along with what to do if you suspect you are suffering from an MI-induced allergy here:
http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/methylisothiazolinone-allergy/

Is MI present in Skin Essentials by Mariga products?
No, we stick to tried and trusted preservatives with decades of proven safety in any of our products that need them, including the humble paraben! (see link below).

Lesson: always get your information from a trusted, educated source. Do not take skincare advice from tabloid journalists!
Link to a recent safety study on parabens:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_041.pdf

Skincare stages in decades

We just get one skin to last a lifetime so taking care of it from your teens and adapting to changes as you age will keep your skin healthy and fit as long as you are! I wrote a previous post about how age is not a skin type to explain why you can’t purchase skincare according to classifications such as ‘mature’ skin and have since had lots of questions as to what you CAN use at any given age on ‘average’ skin.

There are no hard and fast rules, as skin can do anything at any age, but if you have no particular issues, here are some general guidelines for caring for your skin through every decade:

Teens:
This is the time to establish a good cleansing routine. Use a gentle cleanser every night and a mineral-based sunscreen daily. This will protect your skin from age-related damage showing up in years to come.
If acne-prone use a cleanser containing salicylic acid daily and see a specialist esthetician for acne clearing products and advice. Never try to treat acne yourself.
Key Skin Essentials Products: Salicylic Cleanser, SPF30.
Treatments: none unless acne is present

20’s
This is the time when your skin is at is most naturally beautiful. Protect it with daily SPF30 and cleanse well at night. Begin use of a hydrating/nourishing serum to keep your skin at it’s best. Prevention is always better than cure.
Key Skin Essentials Products: Daily Nutrient Serum, SPF30
Treatments: a customised facial every 3 months will keep skin at it’s best.

30’s
This is when lifestyle choices can start to catchup with you in fine lines and loss of tone. Begin an anti-ageing regime early to slow down further signs of ageing. Use a serum containing hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated and include a retinol/vitamin A product at night. As always use a sunblock daily.
Key Skin Essentials Products: Hyaluronic Serum, Lipid Repair Concentrate
Treatments: a customised monthly facial will keep trouble at bay!

40’s
It is in your 40’s that sun damage from your childhood and teens starts to show in patches of hyperpigmentation and uneven texture. Supplement your homecare routine with clinical enzyme or acid peels to smooth and even skin tone and texture. Add a serum with Epidermal Growth Factor to your routine to boost cellular renewal.
Key Skin Essentials Products: Overnight Repair Cream, Collagen Serum.
Treatments: begin corrective treatments such as peels of any colour issues, serious anti-ageing such as micro needling introduced at this stage will benefit most in the long term.

50’s
In women, declining estrogen levels can play havoc with your skin once you reach peri-menopause/menopause. This will show as fine lines deepening, lip lines appearing and dryness. At the very first signs, add a phytoestrogen boosting product such as one containing soybean, wild yam or flax. Use facial oils such as rosehip seed oil to boost radiance.
Key Skin Essentials products: Youth Boost, Hyaluronic Serum.
Treatments: deep hydrating facias can be included with anti-ageing protocols.
60’s and beyond:
You now have the skin that you have earned! Hopefully you have been looking after your skin and have minimal damage to contend with. Anti-ageing serums and retinol products will keep your skin soft and bright and slow down wrinkle formation. If you need to address established signs of ageing consider a course of chemical peels.
Key Skin Essentials products: Overnight Repair Cream, Nourishing Oil.
Treatments: monthly stimulating and renewing facials to maintain radiance.

Cleansing: good cleansing is a must at any age! Use an oil cleanser to gently dissolve daily grime and makeup and keep pores clear.

Home exfoliation can be safely done once or twice per month on all skin types with an enzyme exfoliator.

Remember, these are general guidelines for normal skins with no issues, for personalised recommendations or to correct any conditions we recommend our skin analysis service.

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