Recent conversations with fellow professionals and clients have prompted me to post this message to further inform and educate you about sources for professional skincare and beauty products. Professional skincare companies manufacture and distribute their products for sale through authorized sellers, better known as licensed estheticians. The esthetician travels to the company for in-depth product training. She learns all about the product line, its features and benefits, the ingredients, how to use it, and any contraindications. She can then provide a superior service and product offering to her clients that will serve the client's interests and enhance her client's well being. Do you KNOW and TRUST the source of your professional skincare products?
What is Product Diversion?
When professional skincare or beauty products are sold by unauthorized retailers and "e tailers" the practice becomes known as product diversion. It is also referred to as the "gray market" or "parallel distribution". Not quite as scary as the "black market", but it too can prove to be harmful to your health. The practice of product diversion disrupts the established distribution between the manufacturer and their authorized, licensed sellers. "Gray market" products are not usually obtained outside of authorized sellers. They are obtained illegally through fraud. Discount stores, discount pharmacies, warehouse clubs and on-line retailers (e tailers) are more than happy to sell these "diverted goods". It's great for their bottom line. These unauthorized sellers are able to profit off the labor of the manufacturer and the authorized sellers that originally developed and supported the market for these products. It's like taking candy from a baby. The product name and reputation is established and sound. Now the "gray marketers" can sit back and profit off the original success without any real effort on their part.
The safety and efficacy of the products comes into question. Diverted products could have been tampered with, counterfeited or stolen. What about products that are old and long past their expiry date? How much have they degraded? How were they warehoused? Is it real or is it a copy? Where was it manufactured? How did the unauthorized seller obtain the products? You are not receiving value for your hard earned money when you purchase professional skincare products from an unauthorized seller. Purchasing your products from an outside source may harm your health and might put you at risk for an infection. At Facial Zen, I purchase directly from the manufacturer on a regular basis to ensure a product of the highest quality. I do not tamper with the products in my possession. I store the products safely and correctly to ensure their quality. I educate you on their use and I offer a product return service on goods purchased at Facial Zen.
Caring for your skin at home requires a plan. Don't you agree? It's fun shopping for skin care products and experimenting with them in the comfort of your home. It's even pleasurable to give yourself an at-home facial, but is it enough? The following is an explanation of the steps and benefits of receiving routine facials.
Scheduling an appointment for a professional skin care treatment or facial is essential to the overall health of your skin and its benefits stretch beyond the limits of glowing skin. Let's take a quick peek into the wonderful world of professional facials when executed by a true skin care expert. A trained and licensed esthetician.
1. Skin Analysis
This highly important step reveals your skin type, skin conditions and the best treatment to pursue during your facial and your home care routine. You won't be second guessing what to do anymore! You will have a professional recommendation, routine and access to professional products to take home and use on your face that will help maintain your facial results.
2. Cleansing * Exfoliation * Extractions (=CEE, sounds like some sort of a certification, doesn't it?)
We start with the removal of surface dirt, followed by cellular dirt and finally the impurities from your skin. This includes the removal of excess oils and blockages within your skin. Your skin texture noticeably improves.
3. Specific Skin Treatment
Here the focus is deeper. This is an additional step to a classic facial. Concerns addressed can be the reduction of pigmentation and scarring, cellular nutrition and hydration, maintenance and repair of the skin's lipid barrier for example.
4. Facial Massage
Aaahh! A facial massage is as wonderful as it sounds. In the hands of a professional your muscles and your body begins to relax. Stress and tension is relieved. Your skin's health and radiance awakens through cellular renewal. The increased blood flow and lymph feeds you skin, removes cellular wastes, promotes the production of collagen, relaxes fine line and wrinkles.
5. Masque and Protection
A wonderful way to wrap-up your facial. Think of the masque as a specialty blanket for your skin! The moisturizer and sunscreen offers protection to your skin for the rest of your day. Now you are back to reality with a spring in your step and you are putting your best face forward for the world to see.
A facial is not only essential for your skin. A facial is a much needed stress buster, feel better, health booster routine too!
* Bear in mind that sunscreens do expire. If there isn't any expiry date. Toss it after two years. Remember - all sunscreens are classified as a drug.
* There is not any single sunscreen on the market today that is waterproof or sweat proof. Shop wisely and reapply.
* Reapply your sunscreen to exposed skin at least every two hours. And more frequently if you are engaged in any extreme activity.
* Darker skin beauties and gents need protection too. It's true, you become darker. Yet your skin is not exempt from the hazards of UV rays. Wear sunscreen.
* The best protection is wearing SPF clothing as it is 100 per cent effective.
* Choose a sunscreen that offers UVA and UVB protection.
Summer is here! Time for picnics, camp outs, pool parties and lazy day at the beach or pool. It's super important to be knowledgeable about your approach to summer fun sun exposure. Here are some Sensible and Savvy Sun Tips to keep you protected while you are out having fun.
What do you know about the sun's intensity?
The sun's intensity is directly proportional to the angle it is striking your body. When you are standing upright your face, scalp, ears, shoulders and the back of your neck are most exposed. Ah-hah! So wear a hat that affords optimal protection especially if you are outside for a long period of time. Make sure that it adequately shades your face, scalp, ears and the back of your neck. Should you by chance be a bathing beauty lying flat to soak up the most rays for your best tan ever. Be aware that you are receiving the MOST exposure to the highest intensity of the sun's rays especially if it is high noon. Not the best strategy for a tan especially when your skin is being burned. That results in injury and long-term DNA damage with payback down the road.
What's the UV index?
Be aware that this neat little tool helps define the level of UV exposure expected and how it can help you avoid a sunburn. Any UV index designation greater than six should prompt you to moderate your time in the sun to the less peak times. Check the UV index wherever you are to play it safe.
And remember the Shadow Rule, which is "short shadow - seek shade." For more insightful information about the sun all year long check out this resource:
Remember. Your overall health will also impact your ability to handle the sun. Certain medications, especially birth control pills enhance the damaging effects of the sun. The best advice is to keep your exposure to a minimum.
Take Charge! You can fight back to protect your skin and enjoy the outdoors. It's easier than you think. It takes planning and vigilance is key. Be sure to choose products that protect and heal the skin. Research shows that using sunscreens that contain DNA repair enzymes (photolyase & endonuclease) help minimize permanent damage to strands of DNA & assist skin cells to function optimally.
Here is a snippet from the research about using sunscreen with DNA enzymes:
"our findings indicate that sunscreens plus DNA repair enzymes may be superior to traditional sunscreens alone in reducing field cancerization and UVR-associated molecular signatures (CPDs) in AK patients, potentially preventing malignant transformation into invasive squamous cell carcinoma in a more efficient manner."
courtesy of https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26355618
Be Sun Smart by utilizing these six tips.
1. Wear a large brimmed hat, polarized sunglasses, & sun protective clothing
2. Use your sunscreen & reapply every two hours. Reapply sooner if you've sweated a lot.
3. Avoid the sun when it is at its highest point in the sky, usually from 11 in the morning until three in the afternoon.
4. Skip the tanning beds. Too much overexposure in a very brief period of time.
5. Schedule yearly skin exams
6. Use a UV laundry detergent to boost protection
Be pro active and protect yourself from the sun by being mindful of these tips.
1. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure.
2. Limit your time in the sun & be mindful of the UV index.
3. A helpful link from the EPA can be found here.
4. Keep sunscreen, sunglasses & hats accessible at all times.
5. Consider purchasing SPF protective clothing as an additional measure of protection.
6. Check Your Skin regularly & note any changes.
7. Take a picture as a source of reference.
8. Should something "pop up" that is of concern, see your doctor for immediate treatment. That will ensure a more successful outcome.
This is the Red Flag. AK's are pre-cancerous and your body's way of getting your attention. Do not ignore as this lesion can progress into something much worse. The appearance of an AK is a patch of red, dry, scaly skin that does not go away and will enlarge over time. On darker skins it presents with a darker pigment. Treatment is straightforward and nothing to fear.
Basal Cell Carcinoma=BCC
The most common type and easily remedied skin cancer when caught early. Mine eventually presented within a pink mole that started to itch. Basically it's cellular proliferation that runs amok. I had a biopsy and then surgery. I remember the cancer cells looking like a perfect pearl after it's removal. Yes, there is a scar.
Squamous Cell Cancer
Is the second most common type of skin cancer. Unfortunately, the man in the photo ignored his symptoms. Don't let this happen to you. This cancer tends to take root in the middle and outer layers of the skin & usually presents as a red, scaly patch that heals and magically reappears! Take that to be a very bad sign and have it checked out asap.
This is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Early detection is essential. Melanoma spreads rapidly via the melanosomes which is within our cells and gives us our skin color. Take note of any new dark spot &/or changing mole.
Did you know that there are melanomas that can occur in cells that do not make melanin? That's right, melanoma with an alter ego and it is challenging to diagnose. This type of melanoma is known as "amelanotic melanoma".
My own "Grand Prize" a BCC (basal cell carcinoma) scar!
The saga continues on skin cancer in this series about skin cancer statistics.
1. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
2. For the last 30 years more cases of skin cancer have been diagnosed than all other cancers combined.
3. 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are due to sun exposure.
4. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer.
Does this sound like you are returning to school to re-learn the alphabet? This special alphabet is a tool designed to help the general public be aware of how to identify questionable moles on their own body and how to conduct a skin check in the privacy of their home. Remember: this is your first line of defense against skin cancer.
Necessary Steps for a Skin Check
*Use a full-length & hand-held mirror in a well lighted room
• Start at your head and move down to your feet.
• Check your face, neck, eyes, ears and scalp.
• Check the front and back of your body.
• Raise your arms and look at your left and right side.
• Check your upper arms, forearms (on all sides), palms and fingernails.
• Check the front, back and all sides of your legs. Remember to examine your bottom & genitalia.
• Sit down to look at your feet, toenails, soles and in-between your toes.
What to Look For?
• A mole that looks different from the others.
• A reddish or darker flaky patch, which may be raised.
• A mole that has changed in size, shape, color, or feel; mine became itchy!
• A sore that does not heal.
• A new firm bump that is flesh-colored.
You know your ABC's.
Now it's time to learn your ABCDE's!
This is an easy way to identify characteristics of unusual moles that may be melanoma or other skin cancers.
• A = asymmetrical shape. Moles that are irregular in shape, such as having two very different-looking halves.
• B = border. Moles that have irregular, scalloped or notched borders.
• C = color. Watch for changes in color, growths with many colors or an uneven distribution of color.
• D = diameter. Watch for new growth in a mole that’s larger than ¼ inch (about 6 mm, or approximately the size of an eraser).
• E = evolving. Be aware of changes over time. A mole that gets bigger, changes shape or color, or develops new signs or symptoms such as itchiness or bleeding, for example.
Click here for more information from the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Welcome to the month of May! All the beauty and outdoor activities it brings. It is very important to keep sun protection on the top of your list as May is recognized as Melanoma Awareness Month.
This is not a pretty picture, but it is followed by honest, straight-forward facts to help you be more aware.
Melanoma is the most serious and fastest-growing type of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. More than a million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Melanoma is caused by UV radiation from the sun, tanning booths, and sun lamps. You get the idea. Adults get it most often, but children, teenagers and older adults are at risk too.
Men are diagnosed most often on their trunk, head and neck. Women get melanoma most often on their arms and legs.
Those at Greater Risk for melanoma include having fair skin, light-colored eyes, freckling &/or the skin burns easily.
You also increase the odds if you have had one or more severe blistering sunburns in your life. Bear in mind: you can receive lots of UV exposure due to lifestyle, by living closer to the equator or at a higher elevation, in addition to a body of water.
Founder and owner of Facial Zen.