Wednesday, July 31, 2013

You're nominated!

Was the notification I received this afternoon at lunch! So exciting to be nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Beauty4Free2U! Thank you for the honor, thank you for thinking of me as a candidate! If you haven't already gone- check out her blog here, where this pretty lady offers a way to get very neat beauty samples. Go, you have to now!

What is it?
This is an award for up and coming bloggers, to recognize and help spread the word for their hard work. So other 'favorites' can be advertised and network with one another. I'm a fan, I love this concept so I'm taking a break from the normal theme to do this. Plus, why not?

How does it work?
So for the Award, here are the rules:
Step 1: Answer the 11 questions that I have asked
Step 2: Choose 11 more Bloggers (under 200 followers)
Step 3: Ask the new Bloggers (11) a set of 11 new questions
Step 4: Contact the 11 Bloggers and let them know they have been tagged.

Questions to me-
1. Why did you start blogging?
I saw a plethora of blogs doing reviews but little attention on answering why products are suited for them. Because some don't have the knowledge, they make swift judgments that cost them money and time. Who likes being consciences of their skin? So I figure I would teach people about the skin and better yet, to understand THEIR skin so that they can make their own educated choices.
2. What 3 beauty items would you bring to an island you have to live on for 6 weeks?
Uhoh, hard question. I'd have to say of course  1. sunscreen...hey I write a skincare blog, it's a given.  Specifically, Dermalogica's Sheer Tint Moisturizer SPF 15 (I hear 30 is coming soon). 3-in-1 product, awesome! 2. pH water and 3. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar (LOVE these colors and lasts forever, I'm a lip color gal).
3. What is your favorite Mascara?
It changes, I have students who work at ULTA and they always tell me what's big sellers.
4. What do you do first thing in the morning?
Feed my eight month old daughter!
5. What is the one make-up item you can not live without?
Lip color! I think having bold lips can transform a look.
6. Which foundation can you recommend?
Not much of a foundation wearer....
7. What is the one thing you would like to do before you die?
I think I'd like to travel more!
8. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
Sometimes I think it's going into teaching! But I love it!
9. Is there anything in your life you would go back and change...if so what and why?
No, I am where I am today because of it. Maybe I would have stayed in school as long as possible!
10.What is that one thing that you think about that always put a smile on your face?
Spend time with my daughter, Piper.
11. What are your future goals?
Continue teaching, I'd love to travel and teach workshops to professionals and maybe even beauty seminars for consumers. Who knows! All I know is that I want to help people.

My nominees!

Isabella Ruggeri

Miles Sims

Jamila Robertson

Hazel Barker

Neeti Shukla

Chelsea Henderson

Dina Sotoodehfar

Balsam Wadair

Cheyenne Gibbs

Paola Arredondo


Your questions-
1. What inspires you to blog?
2. How long have you been blogging?
3. What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?
4. What's your favorite beauty product at the moment?
5. What do you do for a living?
6. What are five adjectives you would use to describe yourself?
7. Guilty Pleasure?
8. What's the last book you read?
9. Who is your beauty mentor?
10. Do you have a skin care regimen? If so, what does it consist of?
11.  What's your next blog topic?
That was fun! Thanks for the opportunity and please spread the word!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Your Face Is the Thumbprint to Your Health

I get the best topics from my students, not only because they challenge me to no end but because they are thirsty to know. I was given permission to share a little of one of my lovely ladies' projects over Chinese Face Mapping. It's the art of diagnosing internal problems by taking into consideration the location of blemishes, lines, spots , and wrinkles in particular zones of the face. This practice is a part of a wider spectrum of alternative medicines & therapies called Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as TCM. Facial Reading has been traced back to the 6th century and is based on the belief that our face is a thumbprint of our internal health.  It's very similar to Reflexology where the organs can be accessed through areas of the foot.  While we as skin therapists can't diagnose someone, this can give us the ability to educate our clients and help them take preventative measures.

So how is it done? Well the belief is that all of the organs are interdependent on one another and of course skin being the largest one. So each are grouped into certain categories that represent a circle of influence. The five categories are represented by five elements: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood.
The organs are represented in the graph. And you'll also notice that the green arrows corresponding to the other elements symbolize a connection. An example would be that the liver affects the heart (indicated by the green arrow) and if there is something wrong with the heart it can be reflected by the nose (shown by the smaller colored arrows).  Again, all the organs have connections. When one is challenged, it's affects others, and is represented through others also.

I want to give a specific shoutout to my very brilliant student, Amy Ford for the following information! I got permission to use it and since it's right on the money, I thought I'd share what each markings in each zone of the face could mean.

The forehead is linked with the fire element.
The upper part of the forehead is associated with the bladder, the middle with stomach digestion, and the lower with the small intestine. Sensitivity on the middle of the forehead, for example, could relate to poor diet and sluggish digestion, which may be a result of eating too late at night. If there is irritated, red skin on the top of the forehead, it could relate to poor urination or a bladder infection. Spots and lines on the forehead point to congestion from too much oily food or dairy. After a heavy meal that is stressful on your digestion (meat, dairy, bread, pasta, grains, and poor food combining or overeating) or a stressful day, lines on the forehead can appear more pronounced

Your nose corresponds to the earth element, indicating a connection to the stomach, spleen and pancreas network. Symptoms of internal discord typically show up as a pimple on the tip or side of your nose. Broken capillaries or redness across the bridge of the nose could reveal alcohol abuse, or it may simply mean excessive worry and stress, which taxes your earth element network.
Redness, puffiness and breakouts around the nostrils and lower cheek indicate too many dairy products, which produce mucus and congestion in the lungs. You may be on the verge of a bronchial infection if this area suddenly becomes red and dry.

The chin area is related to the water element, which is internally associated to your kidney and bladder organ network, including the hormonal system and glands. Blemishes, discoloration and dark patches of skin around the chin and mouth could indicate problems within the kidneys or bladder. Recurrent acne breakouts around your chin may signify a hormonal imbalance. You may notice that the breakouts occur on opposite sides of the chin each month in unison with the particular ovary that happens to be ovulating. The problem is most often due to the body producing excess estrogen or testosterone and tends to be coupled with irregular menstruation in women and prostate symptoms in men.

The middle of the chin, however, relates to the elimination process of the bowel. If you have a breakout or irritation there, this would suggest a current imbalance, whereas those people with a permanent dimple may have a hereditary weakness in this area. If the chin is red and swollen, it may mean that there is a structural weakness in the organs, candida or stuck energy in the abdomen. 

In Chinese philosophy, the under-eye area relates to the kidney/liver area, which is the half moon-shaped area under the eye. Dark circles may indicate your elimination is weak. The darkness can reflect excess toxins and the need for a system cleanse, or simply that the body would benefit from more water to aid its functions. If the area is puffy and blue, you are working too hard, depleting your adrenals, eating too much rich food and causing an imbalance in the fluid balance of the body. However, if the area is dark brown and has a congested look, your liver is showing signs of "liver energy stagnation". This could mean that your liver is stressed, possibly through pent-up frustration or anger, or rich food and alcohol. If this indication is combined with one-sided headaches, jaw tension and two vertical lines between the eyebrows, you could find that fat and hormone metabolism is affected. If the two vertical lines from the end of the eyebrows are combined with two smaller hook-shaped lines, this means that the gall bladder is also showing stress.

Look at your ears, and if they are redder than the skin on your face, you are overworking your adrenal glands. 

The cheek zone relates to the lungs. If you notice changes on the hollowing of your cheeks, it could be a sign that you're not breathing properly. The cheeks can be red and irritated and may feel spongy to the touch if you tend to have sinus congestion, asthma, or live in a polluted area. Any of these symptoms may also mean there could be increased sensitivity to certain active skincare products, so patch testing and the minimalist approach are advisable.

If there are broken capillaries, this could be from stress of the lungs associated with smoking. Dehydration over the cheeks may be the result of a recent cold or reaction to cold, sinus and flu medication. If you have persistent breakouts across your lower cheeks, it may be because this area relates to the gums and back teeth. The breakouts in this area that can’t be explained otherwise may be caused by dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, gingivitis or perhaps irritated wisdom teeth. A trip to the dentist could be the solution.

People who are prone to respiratory allergies or asthma have a tendency to have a reddish, scaly eczema, a slight rash or slight bluish-green hue along the right cheek. This indicates too much heat or inflammation in the respiratory system, or a lack of oxygen from bronchial constriction.

The mouth shows the energy of the stomach and intestines, and the lower part of the face relates to the lower abdomen.

The lips correspond to your intestines; swollen or red lips indicate inflammation and congestion in the digestive system, usually from overeating or poor food choices. 

Cracked, peeling and dry lips mean your system is dehydrated. You will notice dry lips also accompany constipation. This can be caused by eating a lot of dry food, such as bread, chips, crackers or salty foods. Dry lips also indicate that you are very low in healthy probiotics in your gut and that the ratio of good and bad bacteria in your system is out of balance. Cracking lips are also a sign of gastric stress, so this should be considered if you’ve been worried about something recently.

The top of your upper lip reveals how your stomach is functioning, and the bottom of the upper lip shows the condition of your small intestine. If the lower lip protrudes, this shows a sluggish colon. A yellow color around the mouth and lack of tone in the mouth indicate that the digestive energy is weak and a change of diet and enzymes are needed. On the other hand, a green color indicates that the liver is the prime cause of the problem.

This "treatment" is not as popular in Western medicine and so it's harder to find a specialist who performs treatments like Face Mapping. So with so few in practice, the legitimacy of the treatments haven't been scientifically proven. However, their is one specific study that correlates with Face Mapping in particular. Several prestigious Western medical journals, including American Journal of Cardiology, have reported a high correlation between a diagonal earlobe crease and coronary artery disease in people under age 70. So what's to say that if one study is correct that there isn't any connection with the rest!

So how else are estheticians using this information?
 Skincare professionals have utilized this practice and has even specified it to help clients understand the reason for their breakouts. This can also help your skin care professional customize your treatment and you with choosing the products you use! I've included a picture and graph for you to do your own reading. So if breakouts keep reoccurring in specific places, check it out. Again, this isn't a for sure diagnosis but could help point out what might be happening with your body.

Want to know more? Read on here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

You Put WHAT On Your Face?!

I love researching and learning about new things in the beauty and skin industry and sharing what I learned with my class. I have a lot of students who bring articles to me and we have open discussions on what they have heard or read about. Recently, an article was left on my desk that literally made me squirm. It's title? "Too Slimy? Live, crawling snails used in Japanese facials" on the TODAY website.

So, I can't summarize this article any more than what the title describes! Although, this was recently presented to the public it's actually something that's been happening for a while now. (Actually, TODAY may be running out of beauty material because they have reported something similar in 2011.) Slime from snails are actually being utilized in skincare and cosmetics in other continents but are making it's way to the U.S. What's the deal with the slugs right? It's being reported that these snail's trails contain glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants. All of these have been used to keep these creatures healthy and their skin intact while they make their way over rocks and under heavy flower pots and such. Glycolic helps with the cell reproduction and stimulating a healing response. Hyaluronic acid actually holds 1000 times it's weight in moisture and can help keep the skin hydrated and plump. Finally, antioxidants help fight free radicals and can combat aging. Wonderful ingredients present! However, these ingredients might be more pleasant in another medium and can be found elsewhere. But the experience itself would be interesting.

Within the article I read about a mention of a "Nightingale feces facial"! Okay, you got my attention. So I set to google and got educated. Thus the Geisha Facial was introduced to me. Apparently, this too is linked to Japan where the geisha's were having trouble with breakouts after wearing that thick, white foundation. Somehow, it was found out that the droppings of a type of Nightingale were the cure! What was the appeal? Well, the excrement is said to be packed with tons of fruit enzymes ( because of the diet of the bird) and allowed the benefits of dissolving dead skin cells, helping unclog pores, and softening and smoothing the skin.  It also said that urea is found in the droppings which, if left on the skin, can moisturize the skin. Who would want to keep it on though? This treatment has been made popular here in the US in New York. You can check out the Shizuka Spa website to get one! No worries, this debris has been sterilized by UV before being ground up into a powder. And hey, Posh Spice raves about it but these enzymes can be found in other venues.

I thought these were TOO interesting to pass up writing about, so has anyone ever heard of these before or had one of these treatments done? Or would you be interested?

Here's a link to some other odd spa/salon treatments.

Are there any other strange skin treatments you've heard of? Love to hear any you might have, email at soskinsmart@gmail.com ! I know my class would enjoy as would I.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Microderm MANIA!

I read an article from a beauty box subscription newsletter where Selma Hayek was being
interviewed. I can't say that she is my beauty icon but she had mentioned Microdermabrasion which is a service offered at my place of business. You can find it here. So as I was reading, I was
kind of in shock that she was making a dig at chemical peels and poor little microdermabrasion...she doesn't advocate for things that "thin" your skin. Honestly, I got a little miffed and decided to search to see if that's what people think of when they hear about these services. My first stop was this article that FIRST described this up and coming model who had treated herself to microdermabrasions and glycolic chemical peels that she thought would help her complexion but in return only made her skin condition worse. Alright, getting more upset when I went on to read their explanation that it is a service that is only recommended periodically...okay we're getting somewhere. So turns out that this lovely lady just didn't get the education on the service and how often she should receive this treatment, not her fault she just didn't know. So I returned to Ms. Hayek's article...why did she think this? Obviously, she has money and could go to professionals that would give her the best treatments and understanding. Oh wait....she's coming out with a skin care line...that's offered over-the-counter.
I'm not going to go into it because I'm sure we all understand the competitive market. However, it's misleading to make general statements without giving facts. Oh celebrities...they think they know everything.

So I'm here to dispel the rumors because, when used correctly microderm can be beneficial.
Microdermabrasion is technically a process used to physically exfoliate the outer layer of skin. This can be done with sodium.... Crystals suspended in creams or through a professional machine which uses the distributes crystals across the skin while a vacuum sucks up the crystals and dead skin cells simultaneously. I'll be speaking on behalf of the professional treatment. There are many forms of microderm, the machine is a crystal microderm while another variation is the diamond-tip microderm which has pieces of diamondlike elements imbeded into the metal head. It is applied on the surface of the skin and utilizes a vacuum as well to remove exfoliated skin cells. Should you suffer from hyperpigmentation, uneven skin texture, scars, lines wrinkles, or comedones- you could benefit from this treatment.

So technically what's happening is the exfoliation is sloughing off the dead cells of the strateum corneum which acts as a protective barrier but can accumulate too many cells and cause clogging of pores. The strateum corneum doesn't consist of just one single layer of cells but multiple should the cells hold tight to the surface and aren't removed. The term "abrasion" means "cut" so the micro cuts on the skin trigger the brain to stimulate a healing response and in return kick starts cell turnover.

A new army of cells are created in the basal layer (the lowest level closest to the epidermis) and pushes the older cells closer to the surface on average every 28 days. As we age this process takes longer. So the frequency of microderms when we are younger can be closer together but as we start to gain some wisdom, you would want to schedule them a little further out to ensure your skin doesn't receive any damage. You also want to make sure your skin is completely healed before getting another one. So where it seems like your skin is getting "thinner" it is, but only for short time and not as dramatic as you may think.

I can't personally tell every single person how long to wait because each skin is different but it's recommended to receive this treatment one to two times a month. One if you already have dry, sensitive skin and two if you are considered more of an oily skin type. Either way, this treatment stimulates cell turnover and also encourages blood flow to the skin which as we know has it's own benefits. It's suggested to have multiple performed in a series, not saying you have to come every week but drastic results don't come from just one treatment.

After the treatment you will want to keep your skin hydrated and SPF is even MORE important now that part of your barrier has been removed.

Should you receive a treatment from someone not experienced, too much skin can be exfoliated if the suction is too high or pressure to firm. You could also experience "striping" were some places were exfoliated to deep and some not enough, causing the looks of lines in the skin. This would only last a while but in the meantime it would look like scabs on your face. You would want to keep the skin moisturized and wear sunscreen religiously to prevent hyperpigmentation. Your skin will heal but it will take some time. So be sure to talk to your skin care professionals and make sure you're protecting yourself by going to spas/offices that perform a full consultation beforehand. If they aren't willing to educate you then they aren't worth your investment in time and money.

There are tons of before and after microdermabrasion pictures on the internet should you be interested in seeing more result. Anyone ever received a microdermabrasion before? Care to share?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Get Your Lymph Working!

Have you been feeling sluggish lately?
Feel exhausted a lot?
Your skin breaking out or looks dull?

Surprisingly, a massage might be your miracle cure! Who would turn that away though right? Medical studies that have been conducted are saying that massage is not only good for us physiologically but also physically. There was even a study by the Touch Research Institute on infants that said that if you regularly massage your baby not only do they have a pleasant disposition but that it also helps strengthen their immunity system. So I was curious...

First off, when thinking about massage in general, there are many benefits to receiving a massage. Whether it be Shiatsu, European, Deep Tissue, or Swedish! Of course your disposition is going to be better after relaxing for an hour but there are more:

  • Stimulates blood and lymph
  • Improves metabolism
  • Tone muscle
  • Detoxifies and softens impactions of the skin
  • Exfoliates
  • Reduces edema and congestion
  • Improves product absorption
All amazing!

I was introduced to a particular massage that has been utilized both in day spas and also in the medical industry known as, Manual Lymph Drainage. This has been a technique used both before and after surgeries to help with swelling and to help remove waste from the body quicker, thus leading to a quicker healing time. While massage in general can help improve lymph drainage, this is a more concentrated technique. Think, that's why you are encouraged to drink water after a facial or massage, because toxins are stimulated and need a medium in which they can be removed from the body or you're going to feel lethargic or sick afterwards.

You may be wondering what exactly is lymph? Well, lymph is a vital part of our Immune System ( it's also referred to as Lymphatic System) that acts a medium to transport waste from our cells to the lymph nodes in our bodies. After lymph is filtered through the lymph nodes, the waste is then removed through perspiration and what we eliminate. Lymph is easily congested and so back up can occur. If you suffer from acne, this could be why you might have some of your breakouts.

This is a video that demonstrates a full body lymph drainage massage. I'm not saying this is the crème de la crème of videos but it's a good illustration.

Look for a massage therapist or esthetician who is certified or knowledgable about Manual Lymph Drainage (M.L.D.) to receive the amazing benefits in your treatments. It is a practice that needs to be done correctly and if not will not be beneficial so make sure to do your research. Now remember, full body MLD treatments can only be performed by a massage therapist and for a MLD skin treatment you'll have to go to a licensed skin therapist. Or if you're lucky, a professional that has both licenses! Also if you have a physical challenge, there are some physical therapy offices who offer these services as well.

So now you can go tell your significant other that you need massage for your wellbeing AND health :)


Tell Me What You Eat and I'll Tell You What You Are

I mentioned Dr. Claudia the last post and so of course I had to dedicate a post to her and my love for IDI...but now I want to share what exactly I learned from her! This past Monday I went to listen to the Dr.'s lecture on Nutrition. Since this is a blog on skin and it's maintenance, I was ready to hear all of the beauty aspects that comes with eating right. I left with a new found respect and passion for wellness and not just aesthetic benefits. I never really understood the importance of incorporating certain micro- and macro- nutrients in my diet until now.

I have multiple friends and family members that suffer from a variety of illnesses. Of course their lifestyles are different- some are vegetarians, some are busy single mothers, manly men, gym rats, etc. They all have their own mantra or diet that "fits" their lifestyles and when you google 'diet' alone, you have so many to choose from. You are constantly asking, which one will fit me? Do I need to cut out carbs? Eat only veggies? What about drinking my meals?Let me explain what we need to survive and you can make your only decisions!


Macronutrients, these are going to be the building blocks of your diet.

Proteins are created by chains of amino acids. There are 20 known amino acids that we need to live, 11 of those are made by our own bodies and the other nine we have to supplement through diet to get. Proteins are essential for every activity carried out by your body. Our body cannot carry out the functions needed to sustain life. As you can read by the little bubbles coming from the little missy on the left, they are pretty important. Not only do they create a majority of our body, they also protect our body.

Carbohydrates give our bodies the energy to perform the functions we need to survive. It's the oil to our car.Carbs broken down are turned into sugars, glucose to be exact.Glucose is the main fuel our body uses.

Obviously, there are good and bad fats in certain foods.The bad may add a little too much cushion, however, good fats are utilized to protect the organs and our cells. They also store and help absorb vitamins. Also fats are used to lubricate/moisturize our skin and hair.

Now on a smaller scale...micronutrients

Vitamins are translated as vita- meaning "essential" or "vital" and -amin standing for "amino acid" . So those amino acids are needed. A deficiency in these nutrients can actually manifest in sickness and disorders. I'm not going to go into the importance of each because there are many vitamins.That may have to be a series of posts! So I'm going to only emphasize the "beauty bonuses" of a few particular ones. After all, this is a skin blog!

Vitamin A is not only beneficial for eyesight but both types of vitamin A can improve the skin. A common form of this vitamin is a retinoid. As, you might know this ingredient could be used as an exfoliant and also to increase cell turnover. In turn- diminishing the appearance of lines and encouraging the production of collagen and elastin. Carotenoids are the other form that actually encourages a healthy "glow" in the skin.This is because it affects the color of the skin and gives it a golden hue. An actual study states that participants that consumed more of the veggies that contained carotenoids were deemed "more attractive". Read more here.

There are many types of Vitamin B and all of them can be consider anti-stress vitamins. Less stress means good things for our complexion! This is why people under stress experience breakouts.

Vitamin C is another ingredients in skincare that is proven to be beneficial. not only is vitamin C and antioxidant but it also stimulates the production of collagen within our skin. Vitamin C has also been studied and proven to help fight photo damage. That's why, along with sunscreen, vitamin C is encouraged to be in skincare for daily use.

 Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that is used more for moisturizing and conditioning the skin. It is actually been stated that vitamin C and vitamin E work better together than separate. Together they act like superheroes, vitamin E and C fighting off free radicals. And when vitamin E gets damaged, vitamin C actually begins to repair it's partner.

Whether you have these nutrients as a part of your meal or you supplement them, they are important for our well-being. Just think, if these things can have such a great impact on our outward appearance think of how are internal health would be affected.I may have to go more in depth of these at another time! but of course you know I'm a nerd and want to do more research. But that doesn't go to say that I won't start making changes now! What about you?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

That Little Problem Called Pigmentation

You may be a victim already and don't even know it....or maybe it's something that has made you conscientious for a while. I'm referring to, of course, the pigmentation problem.
To be more direct, it might be areas of your skin that are darker than the rest. AKA "sunspots", "age spots", and sometimes "freckles". In the biz it's called hyperpigmentation. If you are a nerd like me...the prefix "hyper-" meaning excess and "-pigmentation" for color. Hyperpigmentation is an overproduction of melanin created by the skin cells. And another disorder related to pigmentation is hypopigmentation or "lack of color". These patches that are lighter than the rest of your skin or that contain no melanin. Hyperpigmentation can be treated where as hypopigmentation has no cure and can only be changed with permanent cosmetics. So being forward focused, let's talk about what we can do to prevent and treat!

Why ME?!

Well, hyperpigmentation can occur for many different reasons- horomones, trauma, chemical reactions. These factors cannot cause pigmentation without one thing...UV rays. It's kind of like the factors are the ingredients for a cupcake, but we all know that the ingredients combined aren't a cupcake until they are baked in the oven. UV is our oven people! 
Let's break it down a bit-
Horomones can cause our skin to be more sensitive and to be more vulnerable to the sun. That's why a condition called "Melasma" occurs with pregnant women. Also, when we are stressed, a horomone is secreted that also can cause us damage. So when we've had a hard week...no wonder we feel like we got drug through the wringer! Medications can alter our horomones as well, so that's why women who are on birth control experience very similar results.
Trauma to the skin is a factor that most people know about. Think about it, when you had that pesky breakout and you picked at it or even tried to it "pop it". After a couple weeks, when that breakout was gone you still saw a residual "shadow"- that's hyperpigmentation. That angry little thing was inflamed and inflammation is an indicator of damage. Where damage is present there is a compromised barrier that allows things to penetrate deeper, especially UV.
Chemical Reactions car range from just spraying perfume on your décolleté to recently receiving a chemical peel. Perfume dries out the skin because of the alcohols and weaken the skin. Think about when we age, what skin is one of the first to show our age? Our hands and our chest because of all the sun exposure. And chemical peels or resurfacing treatments exfoliate the skin and re
move cells. Two things can happen, because skin cells are removed then this can allow UV to damage cells and their DNA. Also, should you have had the peel recently, the heat can reactivate the acid to penetrate too deep which can cause trauma to the cells. Double edged sword right there.

UV stimulates the brain to secrete a melanin-stimulating horomone that tells a melanocyte (a cell that creates melanin, the pigment) to create more melanin to be sent to the skin cells that are in the "line of fire". The melanin is then sent to the 36 cells that are designated to that 1 melanocyte. Once the skin cells receive the pigment it surrounds the nucleus to act as a bodyguard and protect it from damage. So, this is actually one of the body's defense mechanisms against excessive sun exposure. That's what happens when you tan also. However, because of factors outside of our control, some cells receive too much of that melanin and that's when hyperpigmentation begins to haunt us!

Hypopigmentation can be caused by these factors as well if they are killed or destroy the DNA of the cell. Vitiligo is a disorder where the melanocytes (cells that create melanin) are damaged . Some hypopigmentation can be genetics ( an example would be albinoism) Wanna know more? Check this out!

What do I do to help?!

If you've never gotten to experience a Wood's Lamp or Skin Scanner, do it! Talk to your local esthetician or skin care professional. This is a device that can actually show you conditions your skin is experiencing. It can also show you hyperpigmentation that hasn't reached the surface yet. If you see a faint brown or light purple spot...by the age of 50, if you don't take any measures to speed up cell turnover, that hyperpigmentation caused by the sun will make it's way to the surface of your face.
 The goal to treat the pigmentation is to encourage cell turnover so that more cells are reproduced and pushes the cells that contain that extra melanin to the surface so that they can be exfoliated off or treated with vitamin C or other lightening/brightening ingredients (kojic berry, licorice for example). Treatments that would encourage cell turnover- microdermabrasion, chemical peels, exfoliating treatments/products, any services that stimulate blood circulation are ideal. But make sure before you jump into a treatment bed that you understand what you are getting yourself into! Not all are suited for these types of treatments. Again, talk with your skin therapist on the right path for you.

Only you can prevent pigmentation...

Obviously the common denominator behind pigmentation are UV rays given off by the sun so preventative measures includes building up your barrier and protecting with sunscreen! To read more about sunscreens and the new regulations check out my sunscreen post. So if you are being conscientious of these factors and taking the steps to protect yourself from UV, then problem no more!