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Acne is a complex skin condition that can be caused by multiple factors including hormones, bacteria, diet, lifestyle, genetics and gut health. It occurs when there is an overproduction of oil in the skin along with dead skin cells resulting in clogged pores. The trapped sebum is the perfect meal for the p.acnes bacteria and as their population grows, skin becomes inflamed and spots, pimples and cysts form. Acne is most commonly localised to the face, however it can also occur on the back and chest.
Acne Mechanica is a skin condition that happens when the skin is exposed to excess pressure, friction and heat on the skin breaking down the skin barrier and causing inflammation. This irritation can create rough skin and acne-like bumps can begin to appear on the skin. Acne Mechanica can happen anywhere on the body but we are seeing it commonly on the face due to an increase in wearing face masks.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a group of chemical exfoliants which include lactic, glycolic, malic, and citric acid. They are water-soluble and only work at the surface level of the skin. AHAs exfoliate by breaking down the substance that holds dead skin together, allowing the dead skin cells to shed off easily. The benefits of using AHAs include improving hydration, skin texture and skin tone. Like all exfoliators, they can result in increased sun sensitivity so daily sunscreen is a necessity when incorporating them into your routine. AHAs work best when included in leave-on formulations such as serums and creams.
Alpha-lipoic acid is made by your body and is present in every single cell! It is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage, preventing the cells from being harmed or even dying. Studies have also shown that alpha-lipoic acid can improve skin texture and reduce inflammation levels.
Made from apples, this vinegar contains antibacterial malic acid which is an alpha-hydroxy-acids. These properties mean that it can be used as a gentle exfoliator and spot treatment. For best results, use an apple cider vinegar containing the mother- a group of probiotics that can be beneficial to the microbiome.
AFT is the next generation and advanced form of IPL, designed to target pigmentation irregularities, vascularity, and broken capillaries. AFT technology delivers different, gentle wavelengths that simultaneously target the skin on multiple levels during each pulse released. With this technology, we are able to eliminate hotspots making the treatment more comfortable and efficient. These light pulses are converted into heat and absorbed by the chromophore, the area of the skin responsible for its colour, to permanently target the pigment while leaving the surrounding skin unaffected.
Algin (aka alginic acid) is derived from algae and is used as a natural thickener in skincare and hair care products to improve product feel and glide.
Astringent products cause the contraction of cells. In skincare, this is helpful in reducing oil production and cleansing the skin. Astringents include witch hazel, citric acid and alcohols. Astringents are not suitable for dry or sensitive skin and should be used sparingly so as to not over strip the skin.
Azelaic acid is an alpha hydroxy acids and is found in wheat grains. Azelaic acid is very successful treating adult acne and Rosacea acne. It is suitable for sensitive skin and those prone to redness and broken capillaries. We may also reach for this acid also when we look to brighten or target pigmentation.
Bentonite clay is a volcanic clay that is used in skincare products. When combined with water, it acts like a sponge on the skin, absorbing excess oils and impurities including heavy metals. It is a common ingredient in purifying masks and cleansers.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial ingredient used to treat acne. It works by killing p.acnes bacteria, unclogging pores and resurfacing. Although effective, it can also be a skin irritant and has been shown to cause dermatitis, redness and increase sun sensitivity. It also affects the skin’s barrier function which can lead to a disrupted skin microbiome and skin sensitivity.
(BHAs) also known as salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant. It breaks down bonds allowing skin cells to shed easily. It’s lipophilic which means it’s
attracted to oil. BHAs penetrate deep into the pore and can dissolve sebum and congestion making it a great treatment for spot prone, congested and acne skins. On top of this, it also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Betaine is an ingredient which naturally occurs in our body. It helps to maintain a healthy water balance in the cell as well as increase hydration levels. Betaine has also been shown to have protective properties against allergens and pollutants as well as increasing hydration levels. In skincare products, it provides increased hydration, a silky product feel, and skin protection.
You will have heard of antioxidants but may not know how they benefit your skin. They help to protect it from the free radicals we come across daily such as car pollution, bacteria and smoke which can all affect the skin’s cells. So, an antioxidant = your best buddy. BHT – or Butylated Hydroxytoluene - is a potent, synthetic antioxidant and preservative used in both food and cosmetic products to keep them fresher for longer and defend the skin from everyday obstacles. Despite it being a chemical cousin of BHA which is recognized as safe and there being mixed opinions on whether it is actually detrimental to the skin, what has been proven is that it can be a carcinogen in animal studies. So, in the name of following our heart over our head, we are well and truly a BHT-free zone.
Bisabolol is a compound sourced from the german chamomile plant which has for centuries been known for its calming and healing properties. Bisabool assists skin healing, reduces flakiness and brings down inflammation in the skin. It is also used to treat irritated skin.
Blackcurrant seed oil is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids known for their anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids are also essential for maintaining hydration in the skin and promoting a healthy skin barrier function.
Blackheads occur when there is a build-up of sebum and dead cells in an enlarged pore. The sebum reacts with the oxygen in the air, known as oxidising, giving the breakout it’s dark appearance. Contrary to popular belief, a blackhead’s colour is not determined by dirt or debris.
The specific blue light wavelength 415nm has been clinically proven to target and inactivate acne causing bacteria in the skin. This makes it a great non invasive treatment for targeting existing acne and breakouts as well as preventing future breakouts from forming. We utilize this blue light in our LED treatments.
The word botanical is used to describe ingredients in skincare products that are derived from plants. There is no regulated definition of botanical in skincare so it can be used as a very general term.
Botox is the brand name for botulinum toxin. This toxin is produced by the clostridium botulinum bacterium and is used as an aesthetic treatment. When injected into muscles, it blocks the nerve transmission thus paralysing the muscle. In skincare, this has the effect of preventing wrinkles from forming or deepening resulting in a smoother skin appearance. The effects of this injection last up to 6 months.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial ingredient used to treat acne. It works by killing p.acnes bacteria, unclogging pores and resurfacing. Although effective, it can also be a skin irritant and has been shown to cause dermatitis, redness and increase sun sensitivity. It also affects the skin’s barrier function which can lead to a disrupted skin microbiome and skin sensitivity
Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that supply blood in the face. When the walls of capillaries break, it causes a visible red capillary on the surface of the skin. The most common causes of broken capillaries are prolonged sun exposure, blowing your nose in cold and flu season or conditions such as rosacea and acne.
Known primarily as a stimulant, caffeine has been shown to increase blood flow to the skin for a smoother, more hydrated appearance. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body from environmental stressors that can lead to cell damage and death. However, the scientific proof is not there just yet so whilst it’s not going to cause the skin any harm there is currently no concrete proof of its merits.
The calendula plant, also known as the marigold, has been used for over 900 years for its medicinal purposes. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and early research has shown that it can assist in speeding up the healing of wounds, burns and bruising.
Castor oil is sourced from the castor plant. It has been used since egyptian times to treat a number of conditions ranging from constipation through to topical skin complaints. It is rich in ricinoleic acid which is known to have an antimicrobial effect and is therefore recommended as a topical treatment for bacterial, fungal and viral skin infections. However, there are limited clinical studies confirming its efficacy.
Chemical peels are a topical solution applied to the skin to soften the dead skin layer and exfoliate the skin. This, in turn, stimulates cell turnover for smoother skin texture, reduced pigmentation and fewer breakouts. Chemical peels can come in a large range of strengths from gentle resurfacing peels through the medical grade TCA peels that work at a deeper layer for a more intense treatment
What better type of sunscreen to use than one with a thin texture and that’s therefore quick and easy to apply? That’s the advantage of using a sun cream which contains chemical sunscreens, organic carbon-based compounds which create a chemical reaction. They cleverly change UV rays into heat, then release the heat from the skin meaning that after 20 minutes (when applied properly), the skin is fully protected until the next application. However, over-heated skin can increase brown spots and discolouration and because heat can also disagree with rosacea, chemical sunscreens have been known to cause redness too. The cocktail of ingredients it takes to ensure maximum sun care protection, which includes chemical sunscreens, can also result in stinging and irritation and because it gets used up quicker in direct UV light, you need to reapply it more often. There are two types of chemical sunscreens which are a cause for concern when it comes to coral reefs too – oxybenzone and octinoxate. So, we’ve made up our own clever cocktail - a healthy, protected planet combined with healthy, protected skin, with chemical sunscreens not included. Cheers to that.
Chlorophyll is the pigment in plants responsible for its green colour. In skincare, potential benefits include reducing the signs of photoaging, treating acne, and accelerating healing. However, the studies that have been conducted are quite small so more research is needed to confirm what it can do for the skin.
Citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid sourced from citrus fruits (naturally). We reach for it to improve pigmented skins as it regulates pigment production and brightens. It is also brilliant when used to boost your skins glow factor.
Clean beauty is a term that is loosely used to describe personal care products that are free from ingredients considered ‘dirty’. As the term is not regulated, there are no guidelines as to what products can and can not be defined as clean beauty.
Cleansing is the process of thoroughly washing your face. In the evening, cleansing is responsible for removing excess oil, impurities, pollutants, make-up and other debris from the skin. In the morning, cleansing removes sweat and toxins that the skin eliminates through the skin. Cleansing is an essential step to looking after your skin’s health as, without it, anything else we apply will not reach the skin.
ClearLift laser (Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser) is a non-ablative treatment that creates a controlled dermal response of wound healing, which results in the growth of new collagen as well as tightening of the tissue. Laser light is transformed into acoustic sound waves and it works by creating thousands of microscopic perforations and heating beneath the top layer in the dermis whilst the skin around each of these perforations remains intact. This allows the skin to heal from the edge of these micro-injuries very rapidly, encouraging the production of collagen and breaking down excess pigmentation.
The non-ablative Er:Glass 1540 nm laser deeply penetrates the skin, causing thermal damage to the sebaceous glands, destroying P. acnes bacteria and reducing sebum production while leaving the surface layer of the skin (epidermis) intact while contact cooling protects the skin, reducing discomfort. It treats various types of acne while also achieving a gentle rejuvenating effect, diminishing the appearance of acne scars by stimulating collagen renewal. One of the most comfortable laser treatments available - the laser tip feels cold so when the laser is fired it feels nice and warm. The aim is to destroy acne bacteria, reduce inflammation and control oil production.
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a chemical derived from coconut oil which is used as a surfactant in products to create a foaming texture. It is a more gentle alternative to other sulphate based surfactants.
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that the body naturally produces for energy production. However, over the span of a lifetime and exposure to environmental stressors, this production slows affecting the health and appearance of the skin. Topical coenzyme Q10 has been shown to increase cell energy, therefore preventing cell damage and having antioxidant effects.
Collagen is a structural protein found in the skin and connective tissues. It acts as a scaffolding, giving the skin structure and volume. As we age, our bodies’ natural collagen production decreases which can lead to skin laxity. Sun exposure, environmental stressors and lifestyle choices such as smoking can accelerate collagen loss. Collagen production can be stimulated with targeted treatments and products.
Colloidal oatmeal is produced by grinding whole oats into a fine powder. Oats contain avenanthramides which have been proven to provide potent anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant benefits. Colloidal is a popular at-home remedy for skin ailments such as eczema, sunburn, and irritation.
Skin becomes compromised when it is no longer able to protect and maintain itself. This can be down to a number of factors such as internal imbalances, allergies or a damaged skin barrier. These impair the skin’s natural protective ability and means that it is vulnerable to issues such as oversensitivity, breakouts, redness and dryness.
Congestion occurs when sebum and dead skin cells become trapped underneath the skin’s surface. Congestion presents itself in a bumpy, rough texture or pimples. Congestion has many causes including dehydration, overproduction of oil, poor cleansing routine, or regularly touching the face.
Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes in contact with a substance such as an allergen or irritating ingredients. It presents itself through dryness, redness and blisters or cracked skin. Once the known cause is avoided or removed, contact dermatitis usually clears up by itself, however, non invasive treatments such as LED can assist in the healing on the skin.
Copper peptides are an ingredient used in skincare to promote the growth of collagen and elastin. They have been shown to support the natural production of hyaluronic acid which aids skin hydration as well as assisting the skin’s healing process. Additionally, it has been shown to reduce inflammation and act as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from free radical damage.
Cortisol, also known as the ‘stress hormone’, is responsible for many processes in the body. It holds a vital role in assisting the body’s fight or flight instinct. When there is too much cortisol in your body, it is unable to retain water which can lead to dehydrated skin. Cortisol also tells your skin to produce more oil which is why when we are stressed, breakouts are more common.
Corundum crystals are used in microdermabrasion to provide physical exfoliation. These crystals are similar in structure to sapphires and have a reputation as one of the hardest materials known to man. They are extremely non toxic and non reactive which makes them the perfect crystal to use during skin treatments.
Cruelty Free is an international organisation that is working towards ending animal experiments. Their label, the leaping bunny, certifies that a product has not been tested on animals. The EU has banned the sale of all animal-tested cosmetics so if you are buying your products in EU nations, you can rest assured that they have not been tested on animals.
Cystic acne and cystic spots appear as hard, painful bumps underneath the skin’s surface. They are often filled with inflammatory discharge and cannot be extracted. Cystic acne is considered to be the most severe form of acne.