Tag Archives: tips

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 such as 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 homecare 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.

 

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

Needle-Free Lip Lift – Before And After Photos

Before and after photos of Mariga Sheedy taken before and after hydroporation treatments. at Skin Essentials, Wexford. Liar lines visibly improved, giving a fresher overall appearance.

Mariga before and after hydroporation treatment

Exclusive to Skin Essentials by Mariga in Wexford, needle-free hyaluronic acid wrinkle reduction.

Something I know everyone loves to see are real-life before and after photos of treatments and programmes you are interested in having done yourself. Of course, everyone wants to see them, but very few want anyone else to see theirs! So, apart from a few kind souls (who’s identity we keep very private in any case!) who allow us to post close-ups of treated areas, we can’t really show you any of the amazing results we get for our clients from corrective homecare or from our transformative treatments such as LED, microneedling and hydroporation.

So, we have to be our own guinea pigs/models/before and after clients :) And THAT’S why you are being treated to yet another before and after photo of me, sorry! In this image I want to illustrate the fabulous effects of hydroporation treatment. It is a method of introducing hyaluronic acid into the deep layers of the epidermis to reduce lines and wrinkles in soft tissues of the face. It is particularly effective on upper lip and mouth-to-chin lines but can also be used on lines between the brows and nose-to-lip lines.

I have taken screen grabs of two videos I made just over a year apart to illustrate the difference this treatment makes. I love that it is subtle, you wouldn’t look at me and think I had filler or anything. Yet, when you compare the images side by side the difference is quite astonishing. The obvious downturned lines at the corners of my lips are gone. I think the overall effect makes me look less tired and much fresher. Continue reading

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
 

Supercharge your skin: for free!

The power of water

One of the most basic requirements for skin health and youthfulness is water. All the cells and systems of the skin are dependent on the presence of water to function. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is the first step towards having the smooth, radiant skin we all desire.

Many people tell me that they forget or they don’t like water or even that they are afraid of having to be near a bathroom all day if they drank the required amount (don’t worry, this isn’t the case), but there is no other way around it. Skin needs water and the only way to obtain it is by drinking it. Without your commitment to this step the effectiveness of your skincare regime will be reduced.
It is perfectly fine to put a few drops of lemon or lime juice in to flavour it if you find that more palatable, it doesn’t have to be plain water. Also, any other ‘good’ fluids that you drink during the day will count towards your total so include juices, soup, soft fruits and some herbal teas* in your diet. The ‘bad’ fluids are those containing caffeine or alcohol as these are diuretics and will reduce the total amount of available fluid to your body systems.
It is best to sip constantly throughout the day to maintain hydration levels. Remember if you feel thirsty this is your body’s way of telling you that you are already becoming dehydrated.
Drink up and enjoy the benefits to your skin.