As l write, the weather outside the IB office window has transformed from wet soaked and windy to beams of crisp Wintertime sunshine in just a mere matter of moments. With this time of year renowned for its changeable nature, it’s no wonder that our poor complexions often take the brunt of these seasonal disruptions.
As your clients arrive for their facial appointments over the coming Winter months, you’ll no doubt hear a large quota highlight the fact that they’ve noticed a difference to both the look and texture of their skin. Skin sensitivity is often heightened at this time of year with common complaints including increased dryness, tightness, irritation and redness and those who suffer from conditions such as eczema and rosacea ﬁnd they become more vulnerable.
“The skin becomes easily aggravated through the Winter, particulariy for our Celtic skins,” says Virginie Claire of Virginie Claire Products Ltd. “Generally, typical Irish Z Celtic skin is predisposed to sensitivities as the skin tends to be fair, ﬁne and delicate containing less oil than mainland. Eastern or Mediterranean Europeans. That said, [those with darker skin tones] that move to Ireland can gradually develop more sensitivities over time as they spend their months without the daylight hours or sunshine that they would have seen growing up.“
Under the skin
When it comes to treating sensitive skin, it understandably requires an equally sensitive approach. Therefore it’s crucial to understand what exactly is happening to complexions to cause such changes in order to prescribe the correct treatment and aftercare.
An individuals lifestyle and their environment both play their part in contributing to sensitisation including diet, medication, changes in temperature, stress and pollution. “There are many factors that can exacerbate sensitive skin,” notes Lydia Sarfati, CEO and Founder of Repéchage. “Sensitive skin readily reacts to a variety of factors such as the sun, smoking, speciﬁc chemicals, dyes, perfumes, airborne debris and/or certain skin care ingredients.”
Yet although cited as a common skin category, why do therapists traditionally see an inﬂux of clients more prone to sensitivity throughout the Winter season?
Experiencing the effects of sensitive skin can often be a distressing, so its important you provide clients with the essential information regarding all facets of appropriate care — from professional treatments and products to retail items, in order to soothe any worries they may have.
Yet with a host of salon and at-home options currently available, what should you take into account betore deciding on the correct protocol or skin care range for sensitive skin? Product ingredients and their formulas should always play an important role in your decision.
“Our skin has a natural layer of protection called the hydrolipidic ﬁlm, or acid mantle, if the products being used are not pH balanced or are too harsh for the skin type this protective layer will degenerate leaving the skin more exposed and vulnerable to damage,” notes Marie- Louise Coster, owner of All About Mi Beauty & Training Centre. “Ingredients that are particularly good for sensitive skin include Lavender, Chamomile, by incorporating one or more of the many products that have been speciﬁcally designed to alleviate and relieve the signs of sensitivity.
Even though our skin always ieels refreshed, revitalised and fabulous after just a single visit to our skin therapist, recommend your clients undertake a full course of treatments to keep their condition under control and also to ensure manageability in-between appointments.
Finally, have a selection of sensitive skin items available for retail post-treatment and encourage clients to utilise these within their daily regimes. “The best advice I could give those with sensitivity is to ensure that they do have a good skin care routine but keep it simple,” advises Marie-Louise. ” By that I rnean ensure that they cleanse, tone and moisturise every day both morning and night. Ensure that vitamin E and Aloe because of their, soothing, healing and protective properties.
“Clients should avoid using any products that oontain fragrances, dyes, detergent or soaps,” warns Lydia. “As these will do more damage and lead to further inﬂammation, redness and irritation. ”
In the salon, gentle, relaxing and soothing professional facials are the order of the day when it comes to tackling sensitivity. You can easily adapt your existing skin care protocols to cater to the condition the toner has no alcohol in it, as this can be drying and leave the skin feeling uncomfortable, and use a cream cleanser that you can tissue oﬁ gently as this will be more soothing and softening. I would also speciﬁcally ensure that the moisturiser has a sun protection factor in it — which of course can be lower during the Winter.”