Although the acid revolution in skin care made a strong appearance in the early 90’s, the use of certain acids date from ancient times. We all have heard of Cleopatra taking baths in sour milk and other cultures using wine to rejuvenate their skin.

The reason why we are still talking about them today? They work.

Sour milk is rich in lactic acid and wine contains tartaric acid.

Exfoliating acids break down dead skin cells and remove them from the skin surface improving the appearance of skin wrinkling and promoting a brighter, softer, smoother complexion.

There are many acid exfoliants and combinations. However; for this article, I would like to mention some very popular ones that are broadly used in home use skincare products and share guidance on their natural characteristics and how they can benefit different skin concerns.

Let me start by saying, “more is not always better”, especially when if it relates to acids. For an acid to exfoliate, it must have a lower pH then 5.5 which is the normal acidity level of the skin.

The lower the pH, the more it will exfoliate, which also comes with the high risk of more irritation, inflammation and even desquamation, commonly known as “peeling” of the skin.

Many times, this is the action that is aimed for, like in the case of chemical peels. But stronger procedures like chemical peels are not performed daily. So, a safe way to use acid exfoliants regularly is to do it in moderation and to listen to your skin carefully. It will tell you if you are causing over-exfoliation which will bring along many not so pleasant side effects such as: dryness, itchiness, redness, sensitized skin, inflammation and even breakouts.

On the other hand, if the pH of the product is not lower than your skin’s pH, it will not exfoliate good enough or give you the full benefits of a well formulated product.

Acid exfoliants are largely found in cleansers, toners, pads, gels, serums, home peels, masks and moisturizers. Careful attention should be paid to the product’s instructions, since there are many formulations that should be rinsed off or removed after a few minutes while others give you directions to leave them on the skin.

Here is a short guide on popular acids and how they help specific skin concerns:

GLYCOLIC ACID: An AHA alpha hydroxy acid, from sugar cane. It works very well to soften lines and wrinkles and to improve the look of sun damaged skin. It brightens the skin and increases radiance and stimulates collagen.

TIP: Glycolic acid contains a very small molecular structure, this leads to a quick penetration and absorption of the acid which must be handled correctly to prevent irritation.

SALICYLIC ACID: A BHA beta hydroxy acid containing very therapeutic characteristics for acne prone skin because it is attracted to oil and offers an anti-inflammatory effect. It penetrates the hair follicle helping to clear the accumulated dead skin cells within the follicular wall improving clogged pores and preventing the formation of new acneic lesions. It is likewise used in conjunction with other acid compounds to improve hyperpigmentation and aging skin.

LACTIC ACID: An alpha hydroxy acid from sour milk. Fantastic for dry, aged, hyperpigmented skin but also suitable for most skin types because it is composed of a larger molecular structure than glycolic acid; which means that it penetrates slower making it more tolerable, even for more sensitive complexions. It increases hydration and has brightening capabilities, leaving the skin luminous, supple and soft.

AZELAIC ACID: It is a saturated dicarboxylic acid holding antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, keratolytic, comedolytic, and anti-oxidant activity. Very effective in treating diverse skin conditions such as: acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation.

MANDELIC ACID: Extracted from bitter almonds, this AHA alpha hydroxy acid contains a larger molecular structure than glycolic and lactic acid, making it less irritating to the skin. It offers great results when treating conditions such as: hyperpigmentation, photo-damaged skin and acne. This is one of my favorite acids in my professional treatments to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, especially PIH (Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) residual pigment left after a skin injury that caused an inflammatory response like a burn, a pimple etc.

CITRIC, MALIC AND TARTARIC ACID: Belong to the alpha hydroxy acid family, extracted from citrus fruits, apples, berries and grapes. They contain wonderful anti-oxidant qualities, increase radiance, support collagen production, suppleness and elasticity. Regularly found in acid cocktails helping boost the action of other acids such as glycolic, salicylic and/or azelaic etc.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP I CAN GIVE YOU WHEN USING ACID EXFOLIANTS ON THE SKIN IS:

TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN WITH A GOOD SUNSCREEN.


When you use acid exfoliants regularly, you are accelerating cell turn over, constantly removing dead skin cells and exposing newer cells to the skin surface. The new cells are more vulnerable to sun burn and sun damage, so if you don’t use appropriate protection, you will be doing more bad than good and promoting accelerated aging of the skin and even taking the risk of getting hyperpigmentation.

Also, if you notice that your skin becomes dry or irritated, it is important to suspend the acids for a few days to allow the skin to replenish its essential components and restore balance.

How often should I exfoliate with acids?

It is your skin that will tell you that answer. In general, there are certain skin conditions that improve with more regular acid use, such as: acne for instance. However, it is the level of sensitivity of your skin that will guide you into how often you should use acids to exfoliate. Like I previously mentioned above, over exfoliation incites very negative effects. Each skin is unique, and it is only when you find balance that your skin will be the healthiest.

Until next time,

Thank you very much for being here.

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare 

 

Disclaimmer:

This article represents my personal opinion and is intended for eductional purposes only.

 

 

A woman taking a hot shower which causes skin dryness

Okay, I agree hot showers are relaxing and they feel soothing and calming, release muscle tension and clear up your mind, specially after a hectic day or if it is cold outside, but does taking a hot shower comes with a price for the skin?

The epidermis, outer layer of the skin is mostly composed of skin cells known as keratinocytes which defend the skin against the environmental hazards and also help the skin to retain moisture.

To do this the skin produces an oil like substance called sebum. Both the skin cells and sebum get affected when you take a hot shower. The sebum softens with the high water temperature which strips away the skin’s natural lipids that maintain the skin moisturized.

To make things even worse the use of harsh soaps dissolve the remaining lipids and the skin is left itchy and dry. Even more so if you use bar soaps which tend to be more alkaline.

To avoid skin dryness when showering:

  • Shower with warm water, enough to be comfortable to enjoy your shower but not too hot to leave your skin vulnerable to sensitivities and dryness.
  • Select a shower gel that is PH balanced and is free of sulfates or harsh surfactants (foaming agents)they over dry the skin.
  • After stepping out of the shower, pat dry leaving the skin a little moist and apply a body cream or oil within 3 minutes, some of my favorites for the body are sweet almond oil, coconut, or grape seed oil.

The oil or cream will help to occlude or seal the water into the skin and replace some of the lipids that the skin lost during showering, protecting the skin from dehydration and making it feel soft and comfortably hydrated.

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

 

The Sun Protection Factor helps to measure the performance of the sunscreen

In terms of protecting your skin from ultraviolet radiation that harms the skin causing:  sunburn, breaking down collagen and elastin, damaging healthy cells and even being able to cause skin cancer.

Assuming that the skin would burn after aprox. 20 minutes under direct sun, SPF numbers give you an  estimate time of protection  before you get sunburned.

For example, an SPF of 15 would allow you to stay under the sun 15 times longer than without sunscreen which is aprox.  5 hours of protection. It is approximate because different factors can influence the  protection accuracy, for instance: the skin type ( relates to how light or dark the skin is), location or season affecting the intensity of the sunrays, the amount of product applied and of course the quality and efficacy of the ingredients used in the sunscreen. It is very important that the formula offers a broad -spectrum protection to defend the skin from UVB and UVA rays. Some of the best known ingredients to look for are:  octylmethoxycinnamate, oxybenzone, avobenzone, MexorylTM  and titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.

So, as I mentioned previously, the number mainly relates to the time of protection not the protection level itself. There is actually not a great difference in protection from the different SPF numbers for example:

SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays

SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays

SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays

Most dermatologists recommend to use an SPF of 30 or higher because although there is not a huge difference in the percentage of protection, that little difference will play to your benefit especially if your skin is more sun sensitive, have other skin issues or want to be preventive to defend your skin from the sun’s damaging rays and avoid premature aging.

It is key to note that no sunscreen can block up to 100% of UV rays; therefore, it is essential to apply it in the correct amount and to reapply regularly every 2 hours.

Another crucial fact to remember is that UVB rays are the ones that can cause sunburn, so we are normally more attentive to those because we can see the reddening of the skin. However, UVA rays are invisible to the naked eye and produce detrimental damage to the cells accelerating the aging process of the skin causing wrinkles and elasticity loss called photo-aging.

So, next time when you go shopping for a good sunscreen, consider one that suites all your needs. That way you will be safe guarding your skin from harmful sun damage.

Is the sunscreen for daily use under makeup, more like for an office setting or would it be worn to protect you from long hours of sun exposure, such as a vacation, outside work or outdoor activities?

For daily inside use, a lighter texture sunscreen would be more comfortable; especially, if makeup is going to be worn over it. Today, you can find great formulas with color that serve double purpose as makeup and sunscreen you can even find some with an SPF of 30 such as Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue or  even higher such as Shiseido Urban Environment tinted UV protector  SPF43, this one is even water-resistant… how awesome is that!!   For longer hours of sun expose though, select a higher SPF such a 50 or 50+ , a water-resistant is a smart choice for sports and outdoor activities… and always remember to reapply the product every 2 hours.

The Sun can be fun if you face it safely!!!

Until Next time…

Thanks for being here,

Dora Salazar

Paramedical Aesthetician

References

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen

 

When was the last time you treated yourself to a skintreatment ? 

Regular facial treatments can have amazing benefits for the skin.

They can prevent and correct many skin issues and maintain your skin looking healthy and younger looking. My philosophy in skin care is based on 4 very important blocks that transform and maintain the skin.. fighting the signs of aging and helping improve other concerns, supporting the skin to function at its fullest potential.

▫CLEANSING & EXFOLIATION ..Exfoliating dead skin cells allows better absorption and efficacy of your skin care and forces the skin to replace those dead cells with new cells which perform better and look healthier

▫STIMULATION ..If there is a word that describes keeping your skin looking young is this one. As we age the skin becomes sluggish and it’s normal renewal processes slow down considerably, so stimulating in different ways for example : massage, utilizing technology etc.. makes the skin work more effectively.

▫NOURISHMENT .. Good skincare with selected ingredients can transform the skin and supply essential nutrients topically which are utilized directly providing great results.

▫PROTECTION.. None of the above will make sense if you don’t protect your skin with a good SPF. The sun damages skin cells and speeds the signs of aging like uneven pigmentation , distended capillaries and lines and wrinkles needless to say the high risk of skin cancer.

?ALWAYS CONSIDER that everyone’s skin is unique and the skin changes so its needs change as well.

Thank you for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

Spice up your skin.. your life.. and your overall health !!

Instead of using large amounts of salt and sodium which will make you retain fluid and cause other health issues…enhance your overall wellness and your taste buds with flavory Spices that are loaded with phyto-nutrients, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

Within the huge variety available that are yummy and beneficial here are 6 that can give your #health a positive twist:

?Curry powder fights inflammation and provides cellular protection

?Ginger helps to calm an upset stomach and lessen workout-induced soreness

?Nutmeg contains fabulous antibacterial benefits

?Cinnamon controls sugar cravings and reduces risk factors for diabetes and heart disease

?Oregano aims in bone-building and just one teaspoon contains a comparable amount of antioxidants as three cups of spinach. It also serves a defensive guard against bacteria.

?Cayenne Pepper can help you loose those extra pounds by raising up the body’s metabolism and burning more calories

Enjoy!!!

Thank you for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Paramedical Aesthetician

Healthy skin begins with good cleansing habits..

Cleansing your skin sounds simple and it should be, but using the wrong cleanser can start many skin problems such as: sensitivity, excessive dryness, irritation, redness and even breakouts.

The skin protective layer is meant to guard the skin from external aggresors but certain chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate found in many cleansers can strip the skin of natural essential lipids leaving the skin vulnerable to irritation and dryness.

Here are some tips for a regular cleansing routine:

?Select a mild cleanser, avoid harsh surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate

?Cleanse your skin 2 times a day

If suffering from acne, avoid over cleansing since it will actually cause the skin to produce more oil to counteract the dryness caused by the Cleanser. Dryness and irritation can exacerbate breakouts.

?If using an exfoliating cleanser containing acids such as glycolic or salicylic make sure you hydrate the skin properly that way you supply the skin with fundamental components.

?Some devices such as clarasonic or foreo contain ultrasonic technology to help provide a deeper cleansing, they are great; but remember, more is not always better. Your skin will tell you how often to use them.

If using them everyday starts to give you skin problems, reduce the frequency of use.

?And my favorite tip : ALWAYS GO TO BED WITH A CLEAN FACE .

 

 

Thank you for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Paramedical Aesthetician/ Consultant/Educational Trainer

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

Featured in TV shows and popular magazines as one the favorite treatments celebrities are using now days to treat just about everything… from a hangover to lines and wrinkles, no wonder  this form of therapy has exploded in popularity.

But, does it work? What makes it effective?

Believers assure that it can do wonders from boosting your energy to increasing libido and how about regaining a fabulous skin glow!!

Can it sound any better?

The “a la carte” menu is pretty extensive, there are drips to boost the immune system, fight jet lag, increase energy and sexual performance, hangover recovery, weight loss,  de-stressing , detoxifying,  rejuvenation and many more.

Based on the fact that only approximately 50 percent of the nutrients we ingest regularly are actually absorbed by the tissues, IV therapy delivers the nutrients directly into the bloodstream. Therefore, by avoiding the digestive process, the integrity of the vitamins and nutrients are kept more active providing instant results.  Infusions are created by adding vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to a solution containing salt just like the blood which facilitates the absorption taking aprox. 30 to 45 min to absorb.

Price varies ranging from $95 to $250 depending on the drip. Many Company’s offer a membership program with great discounts for regular clients, some of them even offer mobile in home services.

SO, WHAT’S IN THE SKIN REJUVENATING DRIPS?

Most of the magical concoctions promising to help the skin contain as the main ingredients:

Vitamin C, Biotin, CoQ10 and the amino acid Glutathione.

Vitamin C is essential in the production of collagen, a crucial building block in the prevention and protection of the skin’s fundamental structures affected by the aging process. Humans lack the ability to produce vitamin C, thus regular consumption is necessary to maintain healthy skin cells and it is quite beneficial to help improve dull, fatigued and saggy skin.

Glutathione on the other hand is known as one of the most powerful antioxidants which not only helps to fight free radicals but also reduces the over activity  of the enzyme tyrosinase, directly involved in the production of melanin (skin color) causing a brightening effect.

Because of the almost instant “pick me up” effect, these cocktails have become favorite of many models and actresses to restore and regain a bright,  luminous complexion.

PROS

It is a quick relatively non-invasive procedure with no down time and most people experience fast results.

Prices vary but the treatments are reasonably affordable.

A variety of different treatments are available to address individual needs.

CONS

Although the “Myers” cocktail (popular infusion created by Dr. John Myers ) has been used for over 30 years, there are not definite scientific studies concluding on the long-term effects of the therapy.

Continuous treatments might be necessary to achieve and maintain results.

There are risks of allergic reactions or infection if no adequate ingredients and/or sanitation procedures are followed.

MY POINT OF VIEW

To me good nutrition is always the base of our health… “We are what we eat” a HEALTHY DIET and LIFESTYLE along with an effective SKIN CARE REGIMEN can certainly help you feel great and look amazing.

However, who doesn’t stray sometimes to indulge into a no so healthy diet or gets overloaded by stress which weakens the immune system or needs a little extra energy boost after a long flight…

So what do think about this popular trend? Would you do it?

Thank you for being here!!

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Paramedical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

We all have heard the expression “No pain, no gain”

especially when it refers to beauty and quite honestly, I am sure that most women will agree to some extent if not completely with that..

Waxing, permanent makeup, laser treatments, reductive massage… just to mention a few, are clear examples of it. Yet we do it with pleasure because we love the results !

Well the new kid on the block is called “micro-needling” it has become a very popular skin treatment despite the “needle” term in the name..although the technology is also known as “Collagen Induction Therapy” I personally prefer to call it that way because it simply defines what it does for the skin.

But, is it worth the little discomfort?

How does micro-needling work?

Either in the from of a roller, an electric pen or a stamp these cosmetic devices contain tiny needles that cause minute wounds in the skin. Since it is at such small scale, it is basically impossible to see them except for some blood drops that may emerge at the time of treatment.

Despite the microscopic nature of the wound, it is sufficient enough to activate the body’s own natural healing mechanism, promoting the production of new collagen and elastin. Hence the name “Collagen Induction Therapy”.

The beauty of this modality is that there is no removal or damaging of the existing collagen, so the new one fortifies and adds naturally to the existing structure.

New collagen not only increases skin density ( thickness), looks and feels younger but also has better overall functionally, giving the skin a very positive turn.

Another benefit that occurs parallel to the collagen growth is better absorption of active ingredients such as: vitamins, minerals, aminoacids, growth factors etc. via the micro-channels created by the needling action. For example, combining this technology with Platelet Rich Plasma extracted from your own blood also known as PRP has become very popular. When applied synergistically with the procedure, these topical substances penetrate at deeper levels in the skin and become more therapeutic which is a great opportunity to customize each individual treatment with specific ingredients to improve different skin concerns including: lines and wrinkles, acne scarring, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, rejuvenation and so on..

This type of treatment is normally recommended in a series, the time in between treatments is set based on the professional’s criteria. For the most part, it is indicated every 3 to 4 weeks to allow the skin to heal properly before it is treated again. However, too far apart will just make the skin lose its stimulating momentum, so spacing the treatments at the correct time is crucial to achieve the best results.

The downtime is minimum, some mild redness and inflammation that normally subsides within 24 to 48 hrs. It is very important to use mild skincare and sun protection and stay away from harsh ingredients.

Extreme hygiene and sanitation is imperative for this type of skin treatments, disposable tips and/or rollers should be used each time.

The price for this treatment varies depending on the location, the professional, the active ingredients being used in the treatment as well as the procedure itself. It normally ranges from $175 up to $850 aprox. when PRP ( your own plasma) is used as the active topical. (one session)

Okay…

After all the technical info, I must tell you that I have personally seen great results with this modality. It is relatively non-invasive and the benefits I believe are greater than the little discomfort. Yes, there is a little bit of discomfort, I wouldn’t call it pain. But, let’s take into consideration though that pain tolerance is a very subjective matter. I personally don’t like to use anesthetics but you can use one to make it more pleasant.

So, what do you think?

Are you ready to trade a little prick for beauty?

Thank you for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

Acne is a chronic condition that can be caused by many different factors such as: hormones, genetics, age, medications etc.

However; there are two habits that are very common and can aggravate the condition and even start developing acne.

Bacteria spreads very easily when exposed to the right environment..  skin that is prone to acne normally secretes more sebum (oil) and along with dead skin cells it makes the perfect setting for bacteria to set in and colonize quickly…

Considering this scenario, the following habits are a NO NO if you want to stop the rapid growth of bacteria.

1- TOUCHING YOUR FACE WITH DIRTY HANDS CONSTANTLY

Unless your hands are washed and clean, touching your face with dirty hands can transfer bacteria and create breakouts. I know sometimes it is hard to remember but if you remain conscious of not doing it, eventually you will stop altogether and it will help you prevent skin problems.

2- RESTING YOUR CELL PHONE ON YOUR FACE WHILE YOU SPEAK

Cell phones have become indispensable in our everyday life. It is even hard to count how many times we use it during the day… but resting your cell phone on your face regularly after you have touched it with your hands or rested it on dirty places is a big ACNE CULPRIT now days. I have seen cases where only the side where the person uses the phone presents acne lesions while the other facial areas a totally acne free. Clean and sanitize your phone regularly and be aware of where you place it. Try as much as you can, not to rest it directly on your skin when you talk to avoid transferring bacteria.

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beauty tips

Hi my friends, I want to share six NOT TO DO tips to help you preserve your beauty!!

1- CLEANSING YOUR FACE WITH HOT WATER Water that is too hot will in time damage the capillaries
2 -SLEEPING ON YOUR FACE Sleeping for hours on your face regularly, eventually can create lines & creases.
3- PICKING AT YOUR PIMPLES Pimples contain bacteria that can easily spread to cause further infection, increasing inflammation & leading to scarring.
4- IGNORING TO APPLY SPF ON THE BACK OF YOUR HANDS You can show a young face but your hands are harsh age tellers. Protect them daily with sunscreen to prevent sun spots & creipy skin.
5 -FORGETTING YOUR NECK &DECOLLETTE Your neck & decollette are an extension of your face. Include them in your skin care routine to prevent lines & saggy skin
6- OVER EXFOLIATING YOUR SKIN Over exfoliating your skin removes essential skin components, leaving it more sensitive, dry & more

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