Tag: collagen

Skincare is a Form of Self-Care

“Self-care” has been a hot buzzword for a few years now, and for good reason. Taking the time to treat yourself prevents burning out in the high-stress society we live in today. Whether you’re a self-care pro or are just starting out, what better time to focus on becoming the best version of yourself than at the beginning of a new year (especially after the chaos of the past year)? Sure, there are the standard devices—go for a walk, take a bubble bath, make a cup of tea—but if you want to dive a little deeper, it may be time to see an esthetician. 

I pride myself as an advanced esthetician here in this Newport Beach Bubble. With over 15 years of experience and training in both five-star luxury company’s, building my practices and with continuous trainings I know skin care, and I know exactly how to make you feel your best inside and out.

As estheticians, we are trained in a wide variety of practices related to skin care, including facials, chemical peels, body wraps, and even hair removal. Some are experts in the cucumbers-over-the-eyes spa facial that most people think of when they hear the word “esthetician,” but others, like myself, specialize in fields such as anti-aging and use medically advanced equipment in their work, like micro-current or radio frequency, a “muscle toning and lifting machine.”

While looking younger on the outside is appealing to many, the true beauty in seeing an esthetician is how it can make you feel, both physically and emotionally. One of the major emotional benefits comes from what we call “touch therapy,” which is a great stress reducer in times like this. It’s what makes you feel so relaxed after getting a massage or a pedicure. A reduction in stress levels not only increases feelings of relaxation and happiness in general, but it can also diminish inner anxiety you may be feeling, loosen any tenseness you’re holding in your muscles, and help you feel more prepared to conquer the day ahead of you. 

Let me point out that the root word of esthetician is “aesthetic,” which suggests ideas of beauty. I have loved the efficacy of medical procedures with plastic surgeons, but I really feel like people get a deeper, more balancing impact from typical spa facials with a lot of pressure points, massage techniques, and therapeutic touch. I believe that if you have the right fusion of having that touch therapy, it’s very emotional. A lot of people will come to me and ask, ‘When can I come again?’ And it’s not necessarily because they need to come see me again two weeks later for a treatment but because they want that therapeutic touch. Seeing an esthetician can also eliminate that panicky feeling of standing in the aisle at the drug store or beauty retailer trying to figure out which of the hundreds of products on the shelf will work best for you. A good esthetician can recommend products that are potent with active ingredients as opposed to the overwhelming number of over-the-counter products that may only have small amounts of active ingredients and, therefore, don’t have much efficacy. 

In a world where the average person’s daily schedule involves waking up, going to school/work, running errands, running your home, and going to bed just to get up and do it all over again the next day, it’s difficult to be your best self. Seeing an esthetician can help you take a step back and reevaluate your priorities in the coming year. You’re slowing your breath down and getting into your body and out of your head…. People get so caught up in their head about what’s next or what’s on their to-do list, and it’s a reminder of how good you can feel if you just take the time to slow down.

If fear of seeing an esthetician is holding you back from looking and feeling your best in this new year, I have seen it all and there is no need to be fearful when you’re in the treatment room. We often have clients who are wary of getting a facial treatment because of previous break outs or experiences they’ve seen on social media or TV. Let’s look back on the scene in Sex and the City when Samantha gets a chemical peel that turns her face bright red. They say, ‘Peels are going to make me look horrible.’ That’s absolutely not true. There’s all kinds of different peels. My team and I also stress that our office we practice services that are within our scope of practice. We will not perform services that we have no training on. Additionally, that to COVID we can assure you that we are sanitized and HEPA-filtered, lowering the risk of spreading illness.

As we continue through this new year, it’s time to focus on being our best physically, emotionally, and mentally. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already broken your resolution or if you didn’t set any to begin with; it’s never too late for a fresh start, and that can begin with calling up a local esthetician for a consult.

5 Ways to Reduce Cellulite Naturally

Cellulite is known to be one of the top beauty problems among not only adult but younger women as well.

We’ve created a list of the best natural ways to reduce it and make it less visible. Combine or choose those that best suit your needs.

1. Keep Active

As we lead mostly a sedentary life, those who aren’t moving most of the day, have no chance of escaping a cellulite problem. To fix this, include long-distance walks, fitness, and physical activities into your daily routine.

2. Wear comfortable natural fabric

Restrictive and tight clothing or underwear can reduce your blood circulation. As a result, you’ve a high chance of cellulite appearing. Instead, get into the habit of choosing relaxed, fitted clothing and natural fabric materials.

3. Eat a healthy food

Staying hydrated, eating a well balanced, plant-based diet won’t get rid of the cellulite problem, but will reduce the risk of getting even more by keeping your weight at a healthy level.

4. Drink more green tea

Green tea is known to have antioxidant properties that promote fat burning in our body. To get this amazing effect, try choosing a cup of green tea over a cup of coffee.

5. Get a massage

Actually, this point is the most enjoyable because you can combine the useful with the pleasant. While promoting deep relaxation and muscle tension reduction, it increases circulation and helps to break. You can also do Lymphatic Drainage to remove the toxins in your body.

Pro-Oxidant? What is it?

Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants in skincare and is essential in any skincare routine. It is especially good when used in combination with sunscreens. Vitamin C can boost the sunscreen’s UV protection levels by neutralizing any free radicals caused by UV damage.

Vitamin C is need to produce collagen and is integral in helping proline and lysine to convert into hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. It will help in transporting the fresh collagen molecule out of the fibroblast cell and into the extracellular matrix.

Vitamin C can act as an antioxidant as we mentioned earlier, but the blocking of free radicals may prevent the transfer of the melanin cells to the surface that cause hyperpigmentation.

Which types of vitamin C products will help your skin

Any good product (serum or cream) should give the vitamin C an environment that preserves its structure. Otherwise, an oxidized vitamin C will work against your skin! How? Oxidized ascorbic acid is a pro-oxidant.  Just as ascorbic acid can donate electrons to your skin, oxidized ascorbic acid will be hungry for its missing electrons.

Some people use ascorbic acid  as an acid, more precisely, as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)  because an acid will work as an exfoliant to brighten. In this case, you need a concentrated and acidic ascorbic acid solution. And this exfoliant should not be neutralized. So if you are looking for an exfoliant, make sure there is no base (alkali) like (potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, because you would be cheated and instead of using a AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) you are using a salt solution! For this, you can use the Vitamin C serum from Sorella Apothecary. This is not the type of product that you should use if you have sensitive skin or if you are using retinoids, because retinoids promote skin renewal by themselves. And remember: exfoliation removes the skin barrier and makes it easier for the skin to be damaged by oxidants or by UV. If you exfoliate, don’t forget your sunscreen!

How Vitamin C works

Every human needs Vitamin C. Our body needs it and we can’t make it ourselves, that’s why it is a vitamin!  We need to ingest it as food. Why does the skin, in particular, need vitamin C? Because ascorbic acid is essential for the “finishing touches” on collagen. If collagen does not get those biochemical finishing touches, it can’t work.  Many organs in the body need vitamin C, this is why we make sure we get it in our food in oranges or any food that contains it.

Why use vitamin C topically? As we age, our skin may not get enough vitamin C even if we ingest it. I like to have some vitamin C in my skin care. However, please note that vitamins are required in very small amounts, and this is true for the role that ascorbic acid plays in collagen synthesis.

Vitamin C has another function, as antioxidant, so it does not hurt to use higher concentrations because, especially in a polluted city, we need more antioxidants on our skin.

Commonly Used Forms of Vitamin C

L-Ascorbic Acid

Structure: Pure vitamin C in the form in which your body receives it.

Function: Exfoliation + stimulation of Collagen, suppresses mutated hyperpigmented cells.

Solubility: Ascorbic acid is water-soluble, so is usually delivered in water-based serums.

Stability: Highly unstable and subjective to oxidative change + potency loss.

Ascorbyl Glucoside

Structure: Ascorbic acid with a glucose molecule attached onto the C2-OH group. This blocks a reactive part of the molecule and allows ascorbyl glucoside to be very stable.

Mechanism: The enzyme alpha-glucosidase breaks ascorbyl glucoside into glucose and ascorbic acid, where it can then work as ascorbic acid does.

Solubility: Water-soluble, usually delivered in water-based serums or creams. 

Penetration into skin: Able to penetrate skin.

Evidence level: Low-Medium.

Collagen: It has been found in vitro to stimulate synthesis, but to a lesser extent than ascorbic acid.

Warning! Oxidized (brownish) vitamin C will not work as an antioxidant BUT as a PRO-oxidant! Don’t put oxidized ascorbic acid on your skin.

Vitamin C as a Pro-Oxidant

Because ascorbic acid is such a great antioxidant, it can reduce free metal ions which it can find around the skin. Here, iron is reduced from its +3-oxidation state to its +2-oxidation state. Iron in its +2-oxidation state can react with hydrogen peroxide which is present in skin cells, producing highly reactive hydroxyl free radicals.

This is exactly the reactive molecules which we were trying to protect the skin from when we applied vitamin C as an antioxidant. In this way, unstabilized vitamin C can act as a prooxidant – it can cause the free radical damage which it initially sought to protect the skin from. Hence the importance of only using “stabilized” forms of Vitamin c.

Irritation Factor of C

Whether your ascorbic acid serum irritates your skin or not is very often down to its pH level. Your skin sits at a happy, slightly-acidic pH of 4.5-5.5. Applying anything on your skin which is significantly more acidic (much lower in pH), or significantly more alkaline (much higher in pH), will usually cause irritation and may impair the skin’s natural barrier and functions. 

Ascorbic acid is best delivered in a formula which is a pH of less than 3.5. This acidic pH, which is quite a bit lower than the skin’s natural pH, can often irritate more sensitive skins. This is trial and error and will affect different skins in different ways. 

While an ascorbic acid formula of less than pH 3.5 is the most powerful way to get vitamin C into the skin, for those who are struggling with irritation or the annoyance of stability issues, we turn to the next best thing; vitamin C derivatives in stabilized forms.

What to look for in a vitamin C skin care product?

Rather than talking about brands I would like to comment on which ingredients to look for.

For vitamin C as a vitamin, look for a serum or cream that contains a stable form of the vitamin, like Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THD Ascorbate). This way you don’t have to worry about stability. This vitamin C derivative is stable as has vitamin C (it will form ascorbic acid once it is in your skin). It will also work as antioxidant and you don’t have to worry about it working against you as a pro-oxidant. A cream or serum with ascorbic acid will start oxidizing as soon as it is mixed, unless you find a good chemist to make it.

Both highly stable and oil-soluble, THD Ascorbate rapidly absorbs into the skin for visible anti-aging benefits, including visual improvement in loss of firmness, the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and dark spots and dullness.

What Skincare Products Have THD?

Both of these Sorella Products have THD as the second ingredient in a 20% blend of vitamin A, C (BV-OSC) and E. Fight daily pollution and complexion-dulling irritants with a dose of antioxidants and vitamins that’s ideal for all skin types. This hydrating serum rejuvenates dry and tired skin while minimizing visible effects of stress and fatigue.

Shop yours today!

References:

Fitzpatrick, R. E., & Rostan, E. F. (2002). Double-blind, half-face study comparing topical vitamin C and vehicle for rejuvenation of photodamage. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]28(3), 231–236. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1524-4725.2002.01129.x

Telang P. S. (2013). Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian dermatology online journal4(2), 143–146. https://doi.org/10.4103/2229-5178.110593