Clients want more nowadays. They are also more realistic about what it takes to create great skin, they are more sensitive to the miracle cream hype than ever before and are searching for results driven skincare now. This is why the the inevitable scientific progression within our industry is occurring – treating the skin as a whole organ with supplementation to complement the products we already use.
As skin therapists, what are the most typical skin conditions we see on a daily basis in Ireland? Premature ageing? Rosacea?
Sensitised Skin? Acne? Eczema? Pigmentation?
The list is endless.
The skin disorders we repeatedly see are due to a simple undesirable recipe. Firstly add in light: UVA and UVB exposure, mixed together with our second ingredient – daily free radical exposure and voila we are presented with skin deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
In my experience there are three essential supplements that will have the most direct impact on the skin: Vitamin A, Vitamin C and the Omega family.
Vitamin A is renowned within the beauty industry mainly for its anti-ageing properties. It has been clinically proven, when used in certain formats, to plump up the epidermis. However, the key distinguishing feature of this vitamin is its unique ability to repair the keratinocyte cell DNA or the ‘cells of all cells’ allowing us to treat all forms of skin conditions that are crying out for SOS urgent attention such as eczema, psoriasis, acneic skin, rosacea, excessively dry skin etc.
Because we can get to the DNA of a cell, we will be there from the moment of a cells conception before it migrates up to the surface of the skin where topical application may step in to give a helping hand. With supplementation we can address the root of the problem.
Pigmentation is another prevalent condition we witness mainly on hands, face and décolletage. We need to intercept it
in the dermis (the deepest layer). Vitamin C is utilised frequently in skincare, with most major companies promoting it for its lightening and brightening antioxidant effect on the skin and pigmentation. However, we as humans do not make, nor store Vitamin C for long periods of time, so it is very difficult to maintain a high level of Vitamin C through our diet alone.
Vitamin C is respected in skin anti-ageing terms, as we cannot synthesise collagen production without Vitamin C. This benefit is often overshadowed by its effect on the capillary network within the skin. Show me a Caucasian skin type that does not suffer with a redness complaint! So everyone with telangiectasia (broken veins), couperose skin, rosacea and sensitisation will adore Vitamin C! Pigmented skin conditions will also appreciate Vitamin C as it can access the enzyme activity that is responsible for stimulating the melanin production within the skin, thus inhibiting the chain reaction before it escalates.
Smokers deplete approximately 25mg of Vitamin C with every cigarette. So although we cannot change all aspects of our lifestyle we can ensure that we put back into the system the antioxidant effect that we take out.
Omegas are essential for hydrating the skin from within. We know as therapists regardless of how much hydrating serum we can apply – it is useless unless the cell membrane itself can withhold the moisture we are giving it. Those of us deficient in Omega 3 in our diets will be the first to notice the dryness and tightness associated with a depletion of essential fatty acids in their skin. So rather than retailing an endless amount of boosters and serums; take a step back and consider the skin from all angles.
If we look at the growing evidence that supplementation works and can help transform the skin in conjunction with an excellent skincare range; then we must ensure that we are fully treating our client’s skin. We must deal with the problem in two stages, internally and externally. Not all nutritional supplement products are the same. Look into the studies out there at the moment and also study salon ranges of vitamin supplements / collagen boosters to make an informed decision on which product you should stock and recommend to your client.