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Essential oils are great for adding a natural fragrance to cosmetics, however, essential oils can react to our environment in ways that harm our skin. Specifically, citrus oils reacting with sunlight, and some are photosensitive. Photosensitization is the process in which ultraviolet light radiation combines with a particular substance and causes chemical or biological changes. Some essential oils contain furocoumarins, a special class of chemicals that can change the photosensitization of the skin. This can cross-links with the skin cell DNA, in turn making the skin especially susceptible to UV radiation. This can all so damage the cell membrane, organelles, and proteins. If exposed to sunlight after a topical application of photosensitive oil, the skin may become temporarily darkly pigmented, red, or irritated. Symptoms of this can be severe sunburn, darkening of the skin, swelling, and blistering. Often times you will see this occur in areas where perfume is usually applied such as the neck, decollete, wrists and inside of the elbows.
Which oils are photosensitive?
Bitter orange oil
Fig leaf absolute
How to avoid photosensitization
Avoid the sun for 12-18 hours after you applied a photosensitive
essential oil. the easiest way to avoid photosensitization is to not apply a furanocoumarin-containing
essential oil to the skin at all. Covering up any skin to which phototoxic
essential oils have been applied can help prevent a phototoxic reaction however
thin fabrics may not provide adequate protection. Phototoxic essential oils can
still be used topically on the skin even with exposure to UV light as long as
they are safely diluted. Using photosensitive oils at nighttime helps reduce
the risk associated with these oils.
Many people write off all citrus oils as being photosensitive but there are several that are safe to use, including steam distilled version. Although furanocoumarins are present in cold-pressed versions, the molecules are not volatile and remain behind during steam distillation/
have been pairing Perk treatments with my HydraFacial. Perk is a super cool
treatment because you can add it to your facial and then take home the product
that was used on your skin that day. This new express service will visibly
plump, hydrate, and brighten your lip area in 15 minutes with little to no
irritation or downtime.
During this treatment, the same machine as the HydraFacial is used. The product is attached to the wand to exfoliate dull and damaged skin cells from your eye and lip areas while infusing nutrients into the skin. After your treatment, you will take home your Perk pen. The vial contains enough serum for a month and is travel-friendly. It is perfect to refresh your eyes and lips on the go.
The replenishing eye serum will wake up and brighten the delicate skin underneath your eye. The serum contains a blend of green tea extract arnica flow extract, citric acid, and earth minerals. Green tea and arnica extract hydrates, refreshes, and soothes your skin; citric acid brightens and evens out skin tone; and the mineral peptides encourage collagen production to give you a more youthful appearance. The Perk Lip Treatment gently exfoliates, plumps, and hydrates your lips. Peony, peppermint, and aloe leaf extract are key ingredients. Peppermint extract naturally plumps your lips while peony and aloe leaf extract moisturizes your skin.
What is amazing about the Perk™
treatments give you visibility noticeable results in 15 minutes or
less. Best of all, by using the Perk pen as an at-home
treatment, you’ll be able to prolong the benefits of your treatment.
Trying to find a routine that is perfect for your skin can be tricky, especially because everyone has slightly different skin concerns. Many of you know I love Sorella Apothecary and can’t get enough of their products. I devised a list of products that are perfect for your skin type. Most products listed are found in my spa and were chosen for cleansing and prepping, treating and correcting, moisturizing and protecting, and exfoliating and nourishing that may be implemented into your skin routine.
This is perfect for those who have concerns
about preventative aging, aging skin, and/or sporadic breakouts.
To cleanse your face, I suggest using the Apricot Mango Cleansing Milk followed by a Watermelon Mint Hydrating mist in both the morning and evenings.
After cleansing, I suggest using the Main Squeeze Hydrating Serum as well as the Lemon Lightening Serum to treat and correct the skin in both the morning and evenings.
To moisturize and protect use the Blueberry Milk Moisturizer in the morning and night and The Balm at night only.
Exfoliating and Nourishing the skin is very important. The Papaya & Pumpkin Mask, Cherry Pepper Peel, and Blackberry Lime Fruitfoliant are my personal favorites.
Additional products that are good for dry skin are the All Night Elixir and the Facial in a Bottle.
Normal or Combination Skin
This is perfect for those who are
concerned about preventative aging, aging skin, sporadic breakouts, and/or just
To start off your mornings and in the
evenings, I suggest using the Orange You
Jelly Cleanser and the Watermelon
Mint Hydrating Mist, twice a day of course.
Treating and correcting can be done
with the Main Squeeze Hydrating Serum and
the Pomegranate Acai Serum on both
the morning and night.
Blueberry Milk Moisturizers are great for moisturizing and protecting and should be
applied twice a day. I also suggest using the Tropical Topical Matte SPF 30 in the morning.
Exfoliate and nourish with the Cherry
Pepper Peel or the Papaya & Pumpkin
In addition to these products I also suggest using The Balm, All Night Elixir, and the Blackberry Lime Fruitfoliant.
Oily or Combination Skin
These products are specifically chosen
for those who have sensitive skin, frequent or severe breakouts, and/or are
concerned about preventative aging or aging skin.
I love using the Orange You Jelly Cleanser for cleaning and prepping my face twice a day. This can be paired nicely with the Spiced Wine Toner and the Watermelon Mint Hydrating Mist at morning and night, or the Lychee Willow Bark Deep Clean twice a week.
The Main Squeeze Hydrating Serum is great to treat and correct skin concerns twice a day, especially when paired with the Pomegranate Acai Antioxidant Serum or the Facial in a Bottle.
Daily Greens Moisturizer will moisturize and protect your skin if used twice a day. The Tropical Topical Matte SPF 30 is a great addition to your morning routine as well.
My top three products for exfoliating and nourishing would have to be the Cherry Pepper Peel, Mint Poppy Seed Polish, and the Papaya & Pumpkin Mask.
The additional product I recommend would have to be the Facial in a Bottle, Lemon Lightening Serum, and The Balm.
When shopping for new skin care products, you may notice there is a long list of acids and ingredients you cannot pronounce and may not recognize. It is important to know what each kind of acid can do to your face and what skin type of skin it is best for.
Glycolic acid is very common in skin care. It exfoliates the skin, reduces fine lines, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and helps with uneven skin tone. This acid is for all skin types and is great for those who have wrinkles and fine lines.
Salicylic is another common acid. This will exfoliate the skin, clear your pores, treat breakouts, and build your elastin and collagen. It is recommended for those who have combination, oily, or acne-prone skin.
Hyaluronic acid will hydrate and plump the skin by drawing in moisture from surrounding environments. This is for all skin types, especially best for dry or acne prone skin that needs an oil-free option.
L-ascorbic acid is also known as pure vitamin C. This is an anti-inflammatory that prevents UV damage, stimulates collagen, and brightens your skin tone. This acid is perfect for all skin types.
Ferulic acid will enhance vitamin A, promote healthy skin, prevent sun damage, fight free radicals, and protect collagen. Like L-ascorbic acid, this is perfect for all skin types.
Citric Acid speeds up cell renewal and balances the pH of your skin. This is best for those with hyperpigmented skin, have dark spots. This will agitate sensitive skin.
Lactic acid exfoliates the skin, speeds up cell turnover, and is naturally occurring. This is great for all skin types, particularly those with acne scarring.
Now that you know a little bit more about the acids that could be found in your face washes, cleansers, and toners, you can choose a product better suited for your skin.
LED light therapy is a painless skin care treatment that has so many benefits, specifically stimulating collagen and treating mild to moderate acne. LED uses an array of bright light-emitting diodes that send low-level light energy into the deepest layers of your skin.
Red light stimulates cellular activity to produce collagen and give your skin a plump look. This helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, stretch marks, and reduce the redness that could be the result of aggressive IPL or laser treatments. These results won’t be as dramatic as plastic surgery, IPL, or last, however, it’s gentler, natural, and less expensive.
Blue light works by killing Propionibacterium acnes, which
is the bacteria that lives below the surface of the skin and is responsible for
Both red and blue light LEDs are effective when used repeatedly. It is important to get this treatment every month or two and can be a part of larger treatments such as a HydraFacial.
Some other interesting points about LED therapy is that it
can help treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in winter months. Also, your eyes
can’t be hurt by LED light, so they do not have to be covered.
These treatments are a good choice for those who want to boost collagen or treat mild to moderate acne. This works best in conjunction with a regular skin care routine that you can develop with me.
What is gut health and how can it affect your skin?
A lot of the time we treat skin concerns from the outside, but your gut health could be the true key to having flawless skin. When your gut is unhealthy, it can have a huge impact on your skin, this connection is known as the gut-skin axis. There is scientific evidence that suggests a close bidirectional connection between your gut and your skin. This is linked to three common skin disorders: acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
The Gut-Skin Axis Many skin conditions are caused by gut issues and vice versa. A study found that a higher number of patients with rosacea also tested positive for a gut condition called small intestine bacterial overgrowth. When treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth, 70% of the patients was an improvement in their rosacea, demonstrating a strong association between the two: treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth alone improved the skin. Inflammatory bowel disease is also associated with a greater risk of inflaming the skin in conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, or rosacea. This relationship is likely due to the fact that both inflammatory bowel disease and skin conditions like psoriasis have similar inflammatory pathways that may begin in the gut. Research has also found that there is a strong association between gut health and acne with several studies linking an imbalance in gut bacteria with a high prevalence of acne. Therefore, healing the gut is one of the best ways to treat chronic inflammatory skin issues.
Diet and Gut Health
The imbalance of the gut microbiome is known as dysbiosis and can cause the immune system to suffer while also increasing skin inflammation. Gut bacteria regulate many functions in the body including fat metabolism, intracellular signaling, and cell growth. When bad bacteria outweigh the good, it can disrupt these pathways and cause inflammation. Diet is the major culprit in a poor microbiome, processed foods, sugar, alcohol artificial sweeteners, and low fiber can all negatively impact the gut. Stress, poor sleep, and environmental toxins also play a role in disturbing the gut-skin axis.
Improving the Gut
For improving skin health, focus on a fiber-rich diet. Research shows that a wide variety of plant-based foods, like whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds can improve the diversity of your gut bacteria. For additional support, probiotics can be used to help balance the gut-skin connection, 80% of participants showed clinical improvement after using probiotics as they help boost the immune system and reduce oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. In addition to probiotics, prebiotics is also key for a healthy gut. Prebiotics are foods for the probiotics in your guy; for healthy skin, both are key. Prebiotic foods are rich in fibers your gut bacteria ferments. Bananas, onion, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, apple skins, and beans are all great prebiotics.
To treat chronic inflammatory skin issues, healing the gut is one of the best ways to do that. Follow these simple guidelines and you should see an improvement in your skin, however, this is subjective to each person depending on the severity of their skin concern.
Dark spots are very common. Older adults, people with fair
skin, and those who have spent a lot of time in the sun are most prone to dark
spots. They appear most often on sun exposed areas, such as the face, hands,
shoulders, and arms. Age spots are harmless and don’t need treatment however in
some cases, prescription creams and procedures can make them less noticeable.
People with darker skin, a spot that is a few shades darker than the skin
usually fades within 6 to 12 months.
There are several causes for dark spots. Sun Damage is the most common after exposing skin to the sun or tanning beds. Hormones can play a factor as well. Melasma is a skin condition that causes small patches of skin to have discoloration. This is common in women during pregnancy. Medications can also lead to increased skin pigmentation and dark spots. The most common medications that cause this are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tetracyclines, and psychotropic drugs. Dark spots can also develop after inflammation of this skin. Inflammation of the skin can be caused by eczema, psoriasis, injury to the skin, or acne. Diabetes can cause areas of the skin to become dark. Conditions associated with diabetes include acanthosis nigricans which causes darkened, velvety skin, and shine spots which people may confuse with age spots.
Drying out your skin to get rid of your pimples
will do nothing but scar. There is a balance that must be met. When trying to
dry out your acne, you need to moisturize after to prevent scabbing and
Your skin will clear up if you stop stressing
Though stress can cause the body to produce more
hormones that stimulate oil production, there are plenty of other causes of
breakouts including genetics and hormone fluctuations.
Your diet doesn’t affect your acne
Foods that are high in glycemic loads, a measure
of the amount of carbohydrate a food contains and how it impacts blood sugar,
are associated with more pimple problems, especially when it comes to moderate
or severe acne. Foods that are low on the glycemic index may help reduce
inflammation. Try eating a diet that’s full of whole grains, fruits, veggies,
healthy fats, and lean protein, ad avoid highly processed and fast foods.
Tanning dries up pimples
The only good tanning is going to do for your is
increase your risk of skin cancer. Tanning and overexposure to harmful UV
radiation is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. If you are taking
medication for your skin, keep in mind some acne drugs can cause your skin to
be even more sensitive to the sun.
There is a right way to pop a pimple
Popping pimples can leave scars and spread
bacteria. Popping pimples can make them more inflamed, linger on your face
longer, or cause more to pop up in the surrounding area.
You only need one acne medication in your skin
There isn’t going to be a one solves all
medication. For example, you may want to pair a prescription topical cream with
an over the count benzoyl peroxide product. It may take one or two months to
find a formula that addresses your skin’s need.
Washing your face more often prevents acne
Just because you have acne does not meet your
face isn’t clean when you are washing it and washing it more might not be
helpful. Washing your face excessively can cause the skin to become more
sensitive and more susceptible depending on how strong your facial wash is.
Once in the morning and once before you go to bed may be enough but if your
skin is super sensitive or you are using a strong face wash, use your best
Sunscreen clogs pores
There are actually two types of sunscreen;
chemical and psychical. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV light and psychical
sunscreens reflect UV rays. Some chemical sunscreens may irritate the skin,
causing breakouts, physical sunscreens may actually help kill acne causing
bacteria. Look for zinc oxide on the sunscreen label. No more SPF excuses!
Stronger products are better
The stronger the product the more irrated your
skin may become. Be mindful when choosing over the counter products. Depending
on your skin type, sensitive products may be a better fit for you.
Treat your body acne as you would your face acne
Topical products aren’t absorbed as well by your
body as they are by your face. This is because the follicles on your body are
futher apart from each other than they are on your face. Even the best bacteria
blasting products may not do the trick so talk to your dermatologist and watch
generally a good thing because it removes dead skin cells. Dead skin can make skin look dry and prevents any treatments you use
from being fully absorbed. However, if you exfoliate too often, are too
abrasive, or combine multiple exfoliators, the natural oils and healthy
bacteria that keep your skin balanced can be stripped which can cause
irritation. More intensive exfoliation
once a week (blackberry lime, or mint poppy) Preferably in the evenings so the
skin has time to regenerate without being exposed to the elements and you can
apply a nice barrier to the skin.
rethink how your skin needs to be exfoliated this is where I recommend having a
monthly HydraFacial. Every four weeks
you can check in with your esthetician and get idea of what you need, as your
skin changes on a seasonal basis it can also change on a monthly basis. Upgrade
your facial service with a Marine Mermaid, locks in moisture and increases
absorption of active ingredients.
This time of year is really dry and cold, cold air equals dry air. (winter)
Dry air sucks the moisture out of the skin and
compromises the condition of the skin. Dry skin is a weak skin and more vulnerable
to irritation an aging. Also, this time of year we have heater on in our homes
and indoor heating can have a similar drying effect on the skin as well. To keep your skin barrier strong and
functioning properly I recommend some moisturizers with ingredients that help
retain moisture I personally use one by Sorella Apothecary, The Balm, that is
recommended as a night cream and has a little bit of beeswax in it. Beeswax
provides a protective barrier to help keep the skin nourished while still
allowing for it to breath. Black Current Extract is high in vitamin C and rich
in fatty acids which reduces inflammation and helps bind moisture to the skin.
It has anti-aging benefits as well with Argireline (wrinkle reducer) and
palmitoyl tripeptide-37 (potent peptide that’s proven to decrease wrinkles by
45% in 28 days). Hyaluronic acid serums
are great for the new year, Sorella’s Main Squeeze Hydrating Serum layers great
under any moisturizer. It contains Snow Mushroom Extract which is 3-4x more
hydrating than hyaluronic acid. Also contains niacinamide that reduces
inflammation and restores the skin’s natural barrier. Cogan grass provides long
time moisturizing benefits without clogging pores.
it might be a clue that you have a skin condition that has not been yet
For example, the
tendency to flush or flash along with persistent redness on your cheeks, forehead
and chin are commonly signs of rosacea. Eczema also causes irritation and dry
flaky skin, both conditions are best treated by an aesthetician or under a
dermatologist’s care. Sensitive and
sensitized are two different things. I find a lot of people don’t make this
connection. Sensitive skin is genetic and sensitized is often from outside
factors like the with weather, harsh ingredients and or over exfoliation.
Don’t forget to
use a toner.
Drink water. We
tend to consume a lot of sodium heavy foods this time of year.
applied every evening before bed to lock in moisture and heal and repair
sensitive lip area
In addition, I
always recommend cleaning your make up brushes and discarding old make up that
may have bacteria buildup on it.
With the holiday season upon us, I thought this would be a good reminder of the high sugar food and drink that are available for us to consume. Here are some tips to choose the right foods that will benefit your skin. Whether you don’t have skin care concerns, or you see a dermatologist regularly, it is important to know how the things we eat, and drink affect our skin. A healthy diet which includes antioxidant-rich foods along with proper hydration will provide you with clearer, heathier looking skin. Also treat yourself to a hydrating facial.
Antioxidants in foods, including vitamins A, C and E, and certain minerals, such as selenium boost immune function by quenching free radicals, highly-reactive compounds that are formed as byproducts of normal processes in the body or enter the body from the environment.
Vitamin C – The sun can be tough on your skin. Vitamin C can help protect you. It also helps undo sun damage to collagen and elastin, which firm up your skin. Get vitamin C from cranberries, red bell peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, greens, brussels sprouts and Blueberries!
Vitamin E – Another antioxidant that may help save your skin from sun damage and inflammation is vitamin E. Get it from vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, leafy greens and carrots.
Selenium – This mineral may help protect your skin from cells that gather free radicals. You can get it from Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shrimp, lamb, and fish like snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, and salmon. Cooked beef, light turkey, oysters, sardines, crab, and whole-wheat pasta also have selenium.
Water, Water, Water!
Drinking water is one of the healthiest habits you can have for your skin and your entire body. It keeps your skin moist and that makes fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. It also helps your cells get rid of toxins. Dehydrated skin cannot properly rid itself of toxins and so it becomes irritated, inflamed, and congested. This can cause itching, blackheads, redness, acne, and general blotchiness. We’ve all heard that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day, but you may not need exactly that many as the water in fruits, veggies, juice, and milk counts toward your total, and will help with your hang over!
Or better yet why not get your antioxidants and hydrate at the same time?
Green tea may be the closest thing to a magic potion that you can find for your skin, maybe make a cup of tea on your way to a holiday event. It helps stop inflammation and helps slow DNA damage and can even help prevent the sun from burning your skin. You can find green tea in lots of cosmetics, but why not go straight to the source: Drink it! Go for the veggie plate at your next holiday party.