Tag Archives: skin clinic wexford

Nivea aftershave balm as a makeup primer? Hell no!

Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm as primer?

by Mariga Sheedy, Skin Essentials Ltd.

Photo of Nivea post shave balm as recommended by various internet bloggers/vloggers who are not skincare experts.

Pic: nivea.ie

pic: nivea.ie

In the last couple of weeks or so there has been a bit of a ‘thing’ doing the rounds on the internet and even in some print media.

That thing is Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm. As a primer. For under makeup.

As so many of you have asked for my thoughts on this I thought that a blog post was the best way to address it as I was beginning to get RSI writing it out so many times 🙂

I have no idea why this has taken off as a thing.

There are plenty of good makeup primers available on the market, we don’t need to repurpose some other product. Now, I’m all for multi functionality in my products but usually I need a reason!

Looking at the ingredients of the balm (in full below), it is just a basic water/glycerin base into which has been added a few non-interesting extracts and some perfume.

What’s the point of this?

It is the inclusion of glycerin and tapioca starch that probably gives the ‘tackiness’ that is being talked about. You could just add a drop of glycerin to your regular moisturiser occasionally to get the same effect but if your skincare was right for your skin, and you were using it consistently, you would not need a primer at all. Even a proper one.

What’s bad?

Fragrance is a no-no, as all our Skin Essentials by Mariga tribe know very well. It will irritate, prematurely age and probably redden your skin. Take a look at any youtube bloggers recommending this product. See any redness in the skin? Mmm Hmm.

Also, methylisothiazolinone is a shocking inclusion in this product. It is a known irritant and affects up to 10% of users adversely. The dermatological world is calling this an allergen of epidemic proportions.

I wrote an article about this maybe two years ago when it first came to my attention, and you can be sure that international skincare companies weren’t behind the curve in learning about it either, so to see this still being used in skincare in 2016 is unforgivable.


  1. Don’t use this, either as a makeup primer or as an aftershave balm.
  2. Take skincare advice only from professionals. The internet is not a skincare professional. Always consider the source.
  3. See what ingredients you SHOULD include in your skincare here

Full Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Chamomilla Recuitita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tapioca Starch, Triceteareth-4 Phosphate, Maltodextrin, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Piroctone Olamine, Fragrance

For more information, advice and product reviews, scroll through our latest blogs.

Skin essentials by mariga, skincare, wexford, read client reviews

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.”

Bacteria and your skin – all you need to know

Bacteria, makeup brushes and your skin!



In today’s post, skin expert Mariga from Skin Essentials gives you the basics on how bacteria affects the skin and simple tips to reduce your exposure to external bacteria and other irritants that can have adverse effects on your skin.

A close up of the stratum corner seen through our skin scanner - what does yours look like??

A close up of the stratum corner seen through our skin scanner – what does yours look like??

Bacteria is definitely something we have to consider when thinking about our overall skincare habits.
There are both good and bad bacteria in terms of your skin.
Good bacteria live on the skin and help keep it in balance. Keeping skin healthy and functioning well supports the work of this skin-friendly bacteria.

In today’s post I want to talk about external bacteria, the type you don’t want on your skin!

Generally, the slightly acidic nature of the human skin surface will repel most common bacteria that you will come into contact with on a daily basis, in the air or by touch. If the acid mantle fails to stop a bacterium entering the skin structure there are further defences in the immune system to protect you.
As long as these are healthy and functioning well, there is no ned to worry about normal daily contact with irritants.
To keep these defence systems operating well, simply follow the basic rules for healthy skin:

-eat clean, plenty of fruit and veg, and drink plenty of water
-don’t use harsh exfoliants
-avoid perfumed skincare and cosmetic products
-moderate sun exposure and always use and SPF30
-use quality products especially recommended for your skin

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

Sometimes, even in a healthy skin, bacteria can still cause problems such as breakouts or irritation because there are just too many invaders for the skin’s defences to cope with all at once, so some get through. To avoid this watch for sources of bacteria build up and take preventative action such as:

-clean phones with alcohol wipe weekly
-change pillowcases twice a week, more often if you have acne
-wash makeup brushes 1-2 times per month, weekly if you are using liquid products with them
-try not to touch your face unnecessarily
-use microfibre cloths to remove makeup/cleanse your face , they don’t harbour bacteria when dried flat between uses
-wash hands frequently and thoroughly with hot water and perfume-free soap
-wash scarves regularly

I hope that those simple tips help to keep your skin strong and healthy. Remember, if you have any skincare questions just drop in to our clinic in Selskar Street, Wexford Town, call us on 053 9145981 or get in touch through our Facebook page. We are always happy to help.

Why I went to Brussels – Skin Essentials’ Mariga on salon standards, safety and seafood!

Why I went to Brussels – Skin Essentials’ Mariga on salon standards, safety and seafood!

As lots of you are probably aware, I spent last week in Brussels as Irish delegate to the European Beauty Salon Services Standards Group.

This is an initiative that I have been involved in for the last 3 years. The aim of the group is to standardise beauty salon services across Europe to elevate the industry to the benefit of therapists and clients alike.

This process is coming near to an end now and the week of meetings in Brussels was to finalise the wording of the draft standard and try to accommodate the differing concerns of industry professionals across Europe in one harmonising document. I think we made a lot of progress!

On a professional level, I really enjoyed sitting down with so many people who had a common aim of raising standards for all, and the exchange of information and ideas.

IMG_1453 IMG_1498IMG_1471IMG_1497

But it wasn’t all work, Brussels had some lovely restaurants and craft beer to offer too! The local speciality is mussels and each restaurant has its own variation – delicious 🙂


Mussels in Brussels :)IMG_1456


What will your local salon’s adoption of this standard mean for you, the client?

-Guarantee of standardised treatment quality wherever the standard is adopted.
-Reassurance that the therapist is educated to a high degree and insured to carry out the processes required .
-Confidence in the hygiene and safety practices of the salon.
-Guarantee that only the highest quality, traceable ingredients and products will be used.
-Ability to differentiate between salons that have and have not been awarded European Standard compliance status and therefore recognise those who are excelling in all the above areas.

What does it mean for the salon owner/therapist?
-Recognition and differentiation of those who go over and above basic requirements in education, continuous professional development, safety and hygiene practices, treatment delivery practices and customer care to delivery a service that is the best in the business.
Official title and aims of the standard:

Standard Title & Scope
prEN 16708 Beauty Salon Services – Requirements and recommendations for the provision of service

This European Standard provides requirements and recommendations for the provision of professional beauty salon services.
These services relate to the delivery of beauty treatments regardless of where the service is delivered.

This European Standard provides requirements and recommendations for the delivery of safe beauty treatments performed by a suitably qualified beauty therapist. Recommendations are provided for client management to ensure client safety regarding any beauty treatments. The delivery of beauty salon services is limited to the boundaries of the qualification of the individual beauty therapists obtained through a recognized education provider.

Medical procedures including aesthetic surgical procedures and cosmetic injectable procedures including sclerotherapy are excluded from the scope.

Hairdressing, barbering and body art tattooing services are also excluded from this European Standard.

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:

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

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.

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!

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.

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.


Top home free skincare tips from Mariga

So, we know that good quality skincare products and treatments don’t come cheap but it is also nice to know that there are things that you can do on a daily basis that are low-cost or free, to help boost the effectiveness of your Skin Essentials routine.

In the first part of her free skincare tips series, skin expert Mariga talks about some of the changes that you can begin making right now for optimum skin health and beauty.

If you enjoyed this video, please share with your friends and let us know if there is any subject you would like to know more about in our next video!

To get the next in the series of free tips videos delivered straight to your inbox, head over to our Facebook page and sign up to our newsletter there using the tab at the top of the page.


Flaky, patchy, prematurely aged skin? You are over-processing!

Prematurely aged skin: are you over-processing?

Nine times out of ten when I am consulting with a new client the first thing I have to help them address is over-processed skin. It seems that regardless of skin type everyone is overwhelming their skin with too much deep cleansing, exfoliation and stimulating or irritating skincare products.
I addressed over-exfoliation in a previous post but I see so much over-processing that I think it is worth looking at in more detail.
There seems to be a culture of more is more prevailing when it comes to your skincare regime but this is hurting, not helping. Constant stripping of the skin’s natural defence layer (the acid mantle) will weaken the health of the skin over time, resulting in premature ageing.

What does this look like on the skin?
-Fine lines, particularly around the eyes and top of cheeks.
-Uneven colour or persistent redness.
-Microcongestion in the pores, a bumpy feeling under the skin, particularly on the nose and chin.
-Flaky patches that come back soon after exfoliation.
-Blemish marks that take a long time to fade.
-‘Shine’ to the skin even though it can feel tight and dry.


Have your skin and your current products professionally assessed. (See the Skin Essentials by Mariga Skin Analysis prodcedure here). You can’t guess this, using the wrong products for you will just make matters worse. Even if a friend is getting great results from a product does not mean it will work for you. Everyone’s skin is different.

Never use products that are fragranced, whether with artificial perfume or essentials oils. Neither is native to the skin and will cause inflammation, leading to premature ageing.

Always treat your skin gently, it is a living organ that is busy carrying out millions of biochemical processes each day to keep you healthy. Don’t scrub it!

A great duo to begin repair on over processed, prematurely ageing skin is our Hyaluronic+ Moisture Boost Serum (applied daily under your SPF day cream) and our Nourishing Oil at night after cleansing. Theses will help repair and restore over processed skin so that you can then move on to stronger anti-ageing treatments when your skin is healthy enough to process them.

Let us know how we can help you achieve the skin you want. Call us on 053 914981or visit us at our clinic in Selskar Street, Wexford Town.