New salon review – Minnelli Body & Skin care in Graanendal

Liza Schoeman is the beautiful, talented therapist who opened her own salon recently in the Graanendal Shopping Centre – Minnelli Body and Skin care.

Facebook: @Minnelli.beautysalon

I know Liza from when she was a student of mine when I lectured at Isa Carstens Academy in Stellenbosch around 2005. We also saw each other quite regularly over the years to follow while I did product house training for the Skin Renewal therapists in Johannesburg and Cape Town. She has always struck me as a sincere, caring and thorough therapist and person.

When I saw that she opened her own salon 10 minutes drive away from my house, I was very excited to go to her as I knew I was going to be in good hands!

And I wasnt disappointed. Liza has years of experience in the world of aesthetic skin care working as a therapist for the well know Skin Renewal. She was also featured as one of the skin care therapists on the KykNet programme Mooi Maak. She is a professional, polished, friendly and very thorough therapist.

Her salon is part of a hair salon in the Graanendal shopping centre, but once you are in her room it is quiet and peaceful. Her room is beautifully decorated and she made sure I was 100% comfortable throughout the treatment.

I will definitely be going to Liza regularly and I can highly recommend her!

Love

Helene x x x

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The simple truth about HYPER-PIGMENTATION.

One of the most common skin care concerns for especially women are hyperpigmentation – or some refer to it as brown marks/patches on their skin (facial area).

What are the most common causes?

  1. Age (and sun exposure) – Due to years of sun damage you see sun spots/age spots/liver spots appear on sun exposed areas as you get older.
  2. Hormones (and sun exposure) – Many women develop a type of hyperpigmentation called chloasma during pregnancy but this can actually appear any time during a woman’s life.  It generally only appears during the late 20’s and can progressively get worse.
  3. Inflammation (and sun exposure) – Some people hyperpigment as part of the healing process (inflammation) after an injury.  You often see this in acne sufferers.
  4. Other – for example certain types of medication/diseases and chemicals (like certain perfumes) can cause hyperpigmentation.

You will see that all these factors go hand in hand with SUN EXPOSURE.  So sun exposure is the COMMON DENOMINATOR.

What can you do about it?

Let’s BE REAL about this before I get into who you can see and what you can potentially do…

Hyperpigmentation in MANY cases is something that you will struggle with to a certain extent for the rest of your life.  You might be able to lighten it when doing treatments/using products, but the chances of it disappearing completely and staying away is very RARE.

So you need to learn to manage it.  What I mean by this is that you learn to:

  1. Properly protect your skin from the SUN (An effective UVB/UVA + anti-oxidant sunscreen and things like a hat when outside).
  2. You might decide to regularly go for a skin treatment that treats hyperpigmentation
  3. Use a product for hyperpigmentation together with your other skin care products
  4. Get good quality make-up if you feel you would like to camouflage it a bit during the day.

Hyperpigmentation is a condition that is understood by the medical and skin care community to an extent, and there are many products and treatments that claim to be effective.

But I once had a chat with a renowned dermatologist (from Johannesburg) who did his thesis on hyperpigmentatoin – and he told me that he believed it is something that is not yet understood 100% and there is nothing yet on the market that can claim that it will work 100%!

So my suggestion:

USE SUNBLOCK EVERY DAY!

Chat to your dermatologist/skin care specialist about your treatment and product options – BUT BE REALISTIC IN YOUR EXPECTATIONS.

AND FINALLY… Love yourself and your skin… I can promise you that you are more aware and self-conscious about it than anyone else!  Take good care of your skin and do what you can, but don’t obsess about it… Because it IS a difficult one…and best made peace with to a certain extent…and managed well.

Love Helene xxx

PS.  I am not going to talk about product options in this blog… Will have to cover it in another blog – so much to say but I want to keep my blogs short(ish) 😉

 

Skincare must haves for a busy mom

You can spend 100’s of Rands on make up and still be frustrated with the end result if your canvass (your skin) isn’t in a good condition. Some lucky individuals are blessed with a genetically beautiful flawless skin, but most of us need to put in some work – and a couple of good quality products.

Below are my steps to the essential skin care – focussing on ANTI-AGEING.

Your products can look a little different if you are working towards targeting a more specific skin care concern like adult acne or hyperpigmentation for example. Check out my blogs about acne and pigmentation.

I am also just looking at the ESSENTIALS today – there are quite a bit more that you can do at home like exfoliators and masks – but more about that in another blog 😉

So here are my top skincare must haves for a busy mom!

Essential Morning routine:

Step 1: CLEANSE PROPERLY

Gentle Foaming Cleanser from Theravine

Make sure you cleanse your skin every morning and every evening with a MILD cleanser suitable to your PREFERENCE (gel/foam/cream/oil/liquid water based cleanser etc) and SKIN TYPE (oily/dry/combination). I currently use the Gentle Foaming Cleanser from Theravine (Available at salons or get in touch with me) retails for R298.  I also quite like the Loreal cleanser: Pure Clay detox face wash. R88

What do I look for in a cleanser? Not expensive (it really doesn’t have to be); gentle yet effective and I prefer a foamy gel in comparison to a cream.

Step 2: USE AN ANTIOXIDANT as your serum for the day.  Antioxidants have antiageing benefits as well as being super important to fight harmful free radicals during the day.  I am currently using the brilliant Phloretin CF from Skinceuticals. Thanks to my friend who was generous to give this as my 40th birthday present!

Step 3: USE A GOOD MOISTURISER on your face and neck.  I currently enjoy the Nourishing and Firming Day cream from Theravine for the DAY and the amazing moisturizer from Lamelle, Dermaheal Cellular Repair Cream.

Optional extra: Use an eye cream – check out my blog about eye creams here.

Step 4: USE A GOOD QUALITY sunblock every single day – check out my blog about sunscreen here and here.  My personal favourite is Heliocare. – either the SPF50 Gel or the SPF Tinted (this replaces my foundation on most days now because it is so quick and easy!)  Check out my blog on make-up tips for a busy mom HERE.

 

Essential Evening routine:

Step 1: CLEANSE PROPERLY

I start by cleansing off my eye make up. I love this water based cleanser from Garnier – retails for R80. Bioderma also has one, but is more expensive – retails for R230. Then I cleanse as in the morning routine.

Optional extra: Tone if necessary (not essential), sometimes necessary if you wear a lot of make up to ensure your skin is squaky.clean! You want it to be clean for your evening serum/cream to penetrate.

Step 2: USE AN ANTI-AGEING SERUM

So this might look different than your morning serum.  At night it is a good idea to introduce anti-ageing ingredients like Vitamin A (MY FIRM FAVOURITE – it is one of the most well researched and proven anti-ageing ingredients!) or anti-ageing PEPTIDES or GROWTH FACTORS or even exfoliating ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acids.  I currently use Retacnyl (on doctor prescription) but only one evening per week (Retinol is very active and the skin will initially peel upon starting usage).  On other nights I enjoy the Collagen M/P Serum from Matriskin for its amazing anti-ageing benefits due to anti-ageing peptides.

Option extra: Use an eye cream – check out my blog about eye creams here.

Step 3: USE A GOOD MOISTURISER – Same as morning routing.

Please feel free to email me your questions about your skin care routine!

Love Helene xxx

Urban escape at Luna Wellness

Luna wellness is an unexpected oasis in the middle of the suburb Kenridge. When I walked through the doors leading to the wellness clinic I was immediately transported to a world of warmth, relaxation and above all expert skincare. Stephanie (owner and therapist) has 12 years medical skincare experience and I felt it the moment she started my treatment.

There’s just something about the touch of a therapist who has years of experience and expertise in her field. So needless to say, I felt like I was in good hands!

Stephanie performed the US brand ISClinical’s award-winning treatment – the Fire and Ice Peel – on me. She started with a thorough cleanse with warm steam ensuring my skin was a clean canvas to do the peel on. The “Fire” step Intensive Resurfacing Mask – a 18% Glycolic acid in a creamy base – was applied to my skin like a mask and left to work for 5 minutes. This was only slightly stingy – I actually found it very comfortable yet active (which is what I wanted!) at the same time. She did warn me that when she was going to neutralise it with water it would sting – and it did. Nothing that was impossible to handle but it was quite burny on the skin. The cinnamon in the peel also gave it a distinct smell and a warm feeling on the skin.

Next up was the Pro-heal serum jam-packed with anti-oxidants – great for anti-ageing and healing. She then applied the “Ice” part Rejuvenating Mask of the treatment which was a gel like cooling and hydrating mask. This felt fantastic after the warm “Fire” of the peel. This was massaged into my skin – soooo relaxing! After she removed the mask she finished off with the Hydra-cool serum to leave my skin fresh and moisturised. The final touches included a moisturiser and all important sunblock.

My skin felt rejuvenated and fresh, it looked even toned and glowing – making me one super happy mommy! A couple of hours afterwards my skin felt tight – which I liked – that “pulling” feeling which actually makes me feel as if I had a mini face lift! My skin felt super smooth and looked really healthy and glowy for a couple of days after.

I am very impressed with this treatment and can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a more active treatment to treat ageing, pigmentation and a dull lifeless skin.

I will definitely be going back to Luna Wellness – for me it is super important to know that I am in expert hands as well as in a relaxing environment and you are guaranteed to get both at this lovely home based salon!

Read here about ISClinical.

Follow this link to find out more about LUNA Wellness.

You can get in touch with Stephanie at Luna Wellness on 072 436 2125

 

Blissful escape at Mona Lisa Skin & Body Bar

From the moment you step into Mona Lisa Skin & Body Bar in Camps Bay, you step into a mini world of pampering, indulgence and beauty.  Lisa-Marie’s clinic is situated in a private residential property in Camp’s Bay which makes this experience all the more private and relaxing.  A real escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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I had the privilege of receiving a !QMS facial which is one of my favourite product houses.  After a !QMS facial you can be guaranteed of a post-facial glow and your skin feeling great for days afterwards!  Have a look at my post on the !QMS Oxygen facial here.  Today Lisa Marie did the SK Alpha facial on me – her description of it sounded perfect for my dull post-winter skin:

This treatment is designed for dull, asphyxiated and tired skin conditions that will intensively stimulate, oxygenate and brighten the skin complexion while also firming and lifting the skin.
The treatment starts with a facial cleanse and gentle exfoliation with some steam.  The specialised mask involves the application of an anti-ageing collagen serum and a self heating mask and foil – to really warm up your skin and encourage penetration of all the good stuff 🙂
The plasticizing mask is the second mask which instantly cools and soothes the skin, leaving the skin looking glowing and smooth.  While the masks are doing their thing, Lisa-Marie spoilt me with some much-needed TLC – a divine hot stone foot massage, décolleté massage and file & paint on my toes using a gorgeous Morgan Taylor nail polish.
2015-09-18 12.01.00It’s now about a week after the facial my skin feels smooth and looks hydrated.  I love going to Lisa-Marie – she is passionate about what she does and is super thorough.  While you are with her – she is 100% focused on you and your needs and also offers a listening ear if that’s what you need 😉
I can highly recommend Mona Lisa Skin & Body Bar – I’ve already made my next appointment 🙂
Have a look at her website here
Lisa-Marie Marais
Health & Skincare Therapist
C: 083 676 1671
E: info@monalisabeauty.co.za
A: 189 Kloof Road, Clifton, Cape Town, 8001
Yours in wellness, Helene xxx

Check out these AMAZING promotions…

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The tranquil outside area

The tranquil outside area

Skincare ingredients that matter

With the overload of skincare products on the market, choosing the right skincare product can become extremely overwhelming and confusing.  I have come to the conclusion that in reality it shouldn’t be confusing – you just need to know WHICH SKINCARE INGREDIENTS actually MATTER and can have a positive impact on your skin.  Once you know WHICH INGREDIENTS YOUR SKIN NEEDS, you can choose skincare products accordingly! (And stop wasting your money on nothing more than “HOPE IN A JAR”…)

So which ingredients matter…?  I’ll try to keep this short and to the point 🙂

  1. ANTI-OXIDANTS:  e.g Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C); Tocopherol (Vitamin E); Co-enzyme Q10; Glutathione.  Why your skin needs anti-oxidants?  To neutralise all the harmful free radicals roaming around in your skin wanting to cause damage and skin ageing.antioxidants-donating-electrons1-300x288
  2. VITAMIN A:  e.g Retinoic Acid; Retinol.  Why your skin needs Vitamin A?  This wonder vitamin is one of the most well researched anti-ageing skincare ingredients.  Originally tested on adult acne in the 60’s, they soon realised the incredible effects it had on signs of ageing e.g. superficial lines and age spots.
  3. GROWTH FACTORS:  e.g. EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor).  Why your skin needs growth factors?  These awesome little “messenger molecules” help with cellular growth and differentiation. They jump in and help to repair the skin when damaged.  As we get older and our levels of naturally occurring growth factors decline, our skin becomes less able to repair itself.  Now we can apply growth factors topically and assist the skin in repairing itself from skin damage (ageing due to mostly sun damage).

Other ingredients that also deserve a mention are:  (I will keep the info for another blog post!)

  1. PEPTIDES
  2. FRUIT ACIDS
  3. ENZYMES

So my advise when purchasing skincare products would be to look at the ingredients and ask the right questions!

Yours in beautiful and healthy skin, Helene x x x

PS.  I like this picture showing the important skincare ingredients – have a look at the blog post here.

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Breathing new life into your skin with a pure Oxygen facial @ Ageless Faces

Madonna and Brad Pitt are amongst the celebrity fans of the oxygen facial and apparently it was also popular on the set of “Sex in the city”.  Years ago when I was working as a skin care therapist at celebrity beautician Linda Meredith in Knightsbridge, I used to do loads of oxygen facials.  At the time I was probably more interested in the pounds I was earning or the celebrity walking into the salon, to care much about why everyone seemed to be raving about these oxygen facials…I remember that everyone including all her celeb clients like Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Rosamund Pike to name a few, used to come and come back for their oxygen facials.  This tells me a lot about answering the question whether oxygen facials really work – the results really do speak for themselves.

What is an oxygen facial?

Oxygen can be combined with any facial.  I had the privilege to be treated to a !QMS collagen facial incorporating pure oxygen:

Breathe new life into your skin with this advanced treatment developed to stimulate skin cell regeneration at a deep level. Our customized 95% pure concentrate of oxygen channels ingredients more effectively to leave skin radiant and healthy.

QMS

This is what you can expect at an Oxygen Facial – !QMS: My !QMS facial starts with a cleanse followed by the signature !QMS exfoliation incorporating the Dermabrasive gel (for my sensitivity) and the Gentle Cream Exfoliant. The products are gently massaged and left on the skin for a couple of minutes. The enzymes and fruit acids have a gentle exfoliating and warming effect and the skin can appear stimulated and pink afterwards.  The alginate mask is applied and left to set. This is a super soothing, cooling mask and has the ability to “stick” to all the dead skin cells loosened by the exfoliator.  You can literally see an imprint of every pore and line on your skin on the mask once removed, the skin already feels smoother and looks brighter. Next up, the therapist does a very relaxing facial massage with the 24 hr cream where after the Relax o firm mask is applied in a thick layer and layered with plaster of paris soaked in hot water. Although this might seem a bit strange, it has an amazing warm occlusive effect forcing product penetration, as well as having a slight lifting effect.

Right at the end of the treatment, the !QMS H2O serum is applied to my face and neck before the oxygen machine is switched on and oxygen “sprayed” onto the skin for a couple of minutes.  The machine emits 90 – 95% pure oxygen under hyperbaric pressure. It wasn’t cold or uncomfortable, it had a rather soothing and refreshing sensation on the skin. The device looks similar to a make up artist airbrush and can also be combined with active ingredients to enhance their absorption. Oxygen is also naturally antibacterial and has a cooling, calming effect.

The oxygen machine.
The oxygen machine.

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Do oxygen facials work? 

In Fox News Magazine, Dr. Marina Peredo, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, notes that the treatment may be ideal for those looking for a less painful way to fight aging.

“Oxygen is a necessity if you want to have healthy, youthful looking skin,” says Peredo. “This facial is great because it helps protect and reverse damage from environmental pollutants that can harm our skin. It also helps the overall texture of your skin, which feels smoother after this facial. The oxygen facial reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles by releasing moisturizers onto the skin, which absorb quickly with the help of oxygen. It’s an ultimate hydrator that infuses vitamins and nutrients into the skin.”

For me the proof that it works is in what I see in the mirror afterwards.  My skin really did have a healthy glow and I’ve had a couple of compliments in the days after the treatment….so the results really speak for themselves.  I have also had issues with breakouts and eczema recently, and the facial didn’t aggravate it at all – on the contrary – my skin felt soothed and hydrated and the breakouts seemed to dissipate in the days after the facial – Yay!SAM_0871 I enjoyed my !QMS oxygen facial at the stunning medical aesthetic clinic AGELESS FACES – Address: 8 Cavendish street | Claremont | Cape Town – Phone:  (021) 683 4424 – Email: info@agelessfaces.co.za Click here for more information on their products and treatments. SAM_0869  SAM_0874