Tag Archives: Mariga

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

Three things you must avoid in your skincare

I think everyone that knows me and the Skin Essentials by Mariga philosophy of building great skin by nurturing the epidermis and it’s processes, is aware that we have three absolutes that you must avoid in your skincare:

Perfume, sulphates and essential oils.

The perfume and sulphates are easy enough to understand (perfume irritates skin, sulphates strip moisture) but often people are surprised that I include essential oils in that list – after all aren’t they natural?? (Yes – to plants!)

Find out exactly why the Skin Essentials way says no to essential oils in the video below:

Mariga x

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

Skincare Rules by Mariga, skin essentials, skincare, wexford

Click here to buy the paperback version

Cover of The Skincare Rules- how to have great skin for life by Wexford skin clinic owner and author Mariga Sheedy

Click to buy the Kindle ebook for €2.99

The acne – food connection, what to avoid

f girl drinking milk with the word no - dairy free diet for acne as recommended by skin essentials, wexford

Foods that can contribute to acne flare ups.

When you are susceptible to acne breakouts you need to be mindful of your diet. Of course, this is true for every skin issue as a healthy digestion will always help build a healthy skin but acne-prone individuals need to watch out for more particular foods/ingredients. Many of the foods on the following list may cause no problems to you if eaten in isolation or small quantities, it is when several are combined that the load gets too great and irritation in the pores that is caused leads to breakouts.

There are different reasons why foods may contribute to skin irritation, the most common are dairy which affects skin oils, iodides which cause irritation deep in the pores and hormone-like foods which mimic the effects of testosterone/androgens/oestrogens on the skin.

If you suffer from acne it is useful to isolate the following foods for a while then reintroduce them one at a time to identify any culprits in your personal diet/skin connection.

Common foods that are known to exacerbate acne in many people are:

All dairy products
Kelp (watch out for this in multivitamins etc)
Iodised salt/sea salt (check processed foods and crisps)
Turkey
Asparagus
Broccoli
Onions
Peanuts
Peanut Oil
Corn
Corn Oil
Soy products
Organ Meats

This is by no means a complete list, just the most common triggers. You may find that there are other foods that do not agree with your skin but this list is a good place to start looking for culprits.

Cleaning up your diet and finding your personal triggers is one aspect of controlling your acne breakouts. Getting on proper, personalised homecare, being mindful of lifestyle triggers such as makeup and sun exposure, and having the correct clinical treatments such as LED & peels will all combine to keep your skin clear and healthy.

For a personalised acne consultation book our Skin Analysis with Jane, our top acne expert or call us on 053 9145981 to discuss your needs. Of course, you can call in to our Wexford Town skin clinic any Tuesday-Saturday to see how we can help you.

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Trending – Anti-Pollution Skincare. Do you need it?

I’m reading about anti-pollution skincare everywhere at the moment, it seems to be having a moment in the media. Is it a good thing – yes. Do you need it – definitely. Is it new? Not at all!

When we talk about anti-pollution skincare we really mean skincare that has a lot of added anti-oxidants for skin health and damage repair. This of you who have been reading my blog or following me on social media for a while will be on familiar turf here. Anti-oxidants are not new but definitely we need more of them than before and at a younger age.

With the levels of environmental pollution that we are exposed to daily from vehicle emissions and the like, it is no longer enough to have skincare that just takes care of your skin’s daily nourishment and repair needs, it needs to protect you from the environment too!

Visible signs of ageing that can be reversed at Skin Essentials by Mariga including lines, age spots, sun spots, wrinkles, dullness, scarring, red veins

You CAN reverse the signs of ageing, even better, prevent them!

We all know that you need daily protection from the harmful effects of UV rays from sunlight (and other light sources) but the air around us is also putting an extra burden on our skin cells that will lead to premature ageing of the skin if to addressed.

Anti-oxidants such as super oxide dismutase, lycopene, green tea extract, vitamins A & C and many, many more are involved in repairing the skin at a cellular level to protect against
mitochondrial DNA damage in the skin cells which ultimately will cause them to malfunction. This can manifest in many ways including a compromised barrier which will lead to inflammation, irritation and prematurely aged skin, malfunction of pigment cells which leads to discolouration or texture issues such as milia or sebaceous hyperplasia, also know as the different benign little lumps and bumps we get on our skin as we age.

Anti-oxidants protect against all these and more. The more polluted environment you live in (urban is generally worst) the more anti-oxidants you need in your skincare routine to repair the damage caused use by daily living, and the younger you need to start.(We all have in-built anti-oxidant systems in our body but like everything else they slow as we age or as they are under pressure from other influences).

Luckily, Skin Essentials by Mariga has your back :)

All of our products are loaded with multiple anti-oxidants to address the different types of free radical damage that is going on in our bodies all the time. You don’t ned a separate anti-oxidant product if you are already on a Skin Essentials homecare regime because they are all included in each of our serums and creams but if you live in a city or particularly polluted environment you might want to specifically check out the following as they are extra-packed with anti-oxidant goodies:

Lipid Repair Concentrate – balances lipids in the skin for comfort, barrier strength and suppleness. high in oil-soluble anti-oxidants including Beta Carotene, Lycopene and Astaxanthin.

Hydra Collagen Serum – supplies all the essential nutrients necessary for collagen building and is high in water-soluble anti-oxidants such as EGDG Green Tea Extract, Glutathione and Vitamin C.

Skin Comfort Cream – a rich yet non-greasy moisturiser to nourish and condition normal to dry skin with added anti-oxidants Alpha Lipoid Acid, Lutein and Tocopherol.

Advice on dealing with congested, bumpy skin

Mariga’s Top Tips for reducing congestion in your pores and skin

Congestion, bumpy skin texture, blackheads and whiteheads are a very common skin complaints.

I split them into two categories – surface congestion and deeper issues.

diagram of pore congestion types including acne, blackhead, whitehead, pustule

  • Surface congestion is when your skin feels rough with tiny bumps that you can feel more so than see.

This usually happens when your skin needs a little extra TLC such as after outdoor exposure like a sun or ski holiday, after illness has depleted your reserves of water in the skin, or during Winter when surface dehydration is common.

The simple fix for this problem is to do an Enzyme Exfoliation to boost your skin’s processes and smooth surface texture.

You can do this at home using a product such as our Enzyme Exfoliator or have a treatment with one of our skin therapists. This type of congestion is generally temporary and will be well on the road to gone after your first home or clinical treatment.

To prevent this kind of surface issue from occurring this winter have a look at my tips here.

  • Pore congestion is deeper and ranges from an occasional blocked pore such as a single blackhead through to multiple involvement of pores with open and closed comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) with a bumpy, uneven texture over much of the face.

Often this texture is made worse looking by attempting to cover it with makeup.

Congested, bumpy skin can be ongoing if not treated properly with appropriate home-care and clinical treatments.

As there may be many or multiple causes unique to every person, a skin analysis is advised in this case to personalise advice and recommendations for you, but there are a few things you can do/use that will be common to most people with this skin issue.

  1. DO NOT try to extract blackheads, whiteheads or milia at home. It is easy to cause scarring, pigmentation and infection when you try to DIY it.
  2. Always cleanse gently, over stripping the skin with foaming cleansers, hot water, scrubs or too-frequent exfoliation will all cause dehydration and inflammation, a recipe to congestion and dry, bumpy skin.
  3. Drink plenty of water and get lots of good fats in your diet. Salmon, avocado and nuts all help. A healthy digestive system plays a huge part in healthy skin
  4. Have professional treatments to get you going. Acid peels, enzyme peels and/or extractions will be necessary to deeply clean and reboot the skin to prepare it to absorb and use active ingredients daily for prevention.
  5. Then move on to daily prevention.

Ingredients to look for in your products:

Salicylic Acid is the first ingredient to look for.

It is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) which is oil soluble, as opposed to AHA’s such as glucolic or lactic acids which are water-soluble.

Being oil-soluble, salicylic acid can make it’s way into pore and effect deep pore cleansing. From the Skin Essentials by Mariga range, choose Salicylic Cleanser which also contains zinc to reduce inflammation which can contribute to congestion too (pore swells when skin is inflamed, trapping debris), as well as skin-healing vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin A is a must for skin health regardless of your skin type or issues. It has extra benefits for congested skin as it speeds up cellular renewal, helping to minimise formation of blockages inside the pore.

From the Skin Essentials range choose from:

Blemish Control Cream for skin that has congestion AND acne.
Age Slowly Serum for skin that has mild congestion with a tendency to comedones.
Overnight Repair Cream for skin that is over 50 and still getting occasional breakouts or comedones.

Keep skin healthy and strong with the correct skincare recommended just for you

Keep skin healthy and strong with the correct skincare recommended just for you

Note: salicylic acid and vitamin A can be contra-indicated for use during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

For best advice on this or any medical issue always check with your doctor.

Have a skincare question? Call us on 053 9145981 or just drop into our skin clinic in Selskar, Wexford for advice.

To book a treatment online, simply click the button below:

Skincare treatments, skin essentials by Mariga, Wexford

Five common skincare mistakes to avoid

There are some skincare mistakes that we all have made at some point in time!

Often this is out of a misguided sense of ‘more is better’ or because of persistent beauty myths that abound on the internet. (Don’t even get me started on the coconut oil fixes everything craze). Maybe you are trying something that is working for a friend and can’t understand why you are not getting the same results? Or you had a facial and don’t understand why it didn’t fix your skin? Below is my list of common skincare mistakes to avoid. Have you made these skin mistakes?

  1. Over Cleansing – gentle cleansing every night is enough. Over stripping will cause water/oil imbalance and lead to inflammation
  2. Over exfoliation – your skin is not a floor, don’t scrub it.
  3. Not giving a new product/treatment time to work – skin takes time to get into a state of disrepair, it will take time to rebalance it too. There is no magic wand!
  4. SPF is not just for summer – light, not just heat, damages you skin leading to premature ageing at the least. Use it 365!
  5. Guessing your skin type – no no no! Have your skin professionally analysed to make sure you are getting it right from the start and avoid adding to skin damage by using an inappropriate product for you.

Not sure whether you are making skin mistakes? Drop in to our skin clinic in Selskar, Wexford or call us on 053 9145981 to talk to one of our expert skin therapists who will be happy to advise you and get to started on the path to great skin.

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!

Own The Skincare Rules now on Kindle 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.

Clinical vs Home Microneedling

It won’t come as a surprise to know that microneedling is my favourite anti-ageing treatment as I talk about it so much here on the blog and across all my social media channels!

The reason that I recommend it so highly is because it is natural, it works on all skin types and it can be used at any age and stage of ageing to prevent, and reduce, lines, wrinkles, loosening skin and all general visible signs of ageing.

Image from Skin Essentials by Mariga, Wexford showing 40 year old skin post microneedling

Read all about our exclusive Bio-therapeutic needling programmes

I always advise my needling clients to use a home roller along with their clinical treatments. The two are very different and are used for separate but complimentary outcomes.

Clinical needling is deeper (up to 1mm) and has some downtime of redness associated with it, usually 1-2 days. It is used to deeply stimulate skin structures, notably fibroblasts, to increase their output and act like younger cells. We focus on the correct depths to increase collagen production which in turn and over time tightens, brightens and firms the skin.

Home needling is a much shallower treatment, .25-.3mm maximum. This depth affects only the top layer of the epidermis and allows for deeper penetration of your products for maximum absorption and results from your recommended homecare routine. It also acts like a ‘reminder’ to the fibroblasts of the clinical treatments and furthers collagen production started in the treatment room. Twice a week at home is great and it takes just 5 minutes. Ideally, use our Hyaluronic+ Moisture Boost Serum with your home roller for a hydration boost. And remember, always buy your rollers from a reputable source! (We sell them here). Cheap online versions of anything are generally cheap for a reason. Never compromise with your skin, it has to last you a lifetime.

Read all about our exclusive Bio-Therapeutic Needling programmes for younger skin here

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!

Own The Skincare Rules now on Kindle for €2.99