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  1. lets talk dehydration

    Delving into dehydrated skin
    Dehydrated skin lacks moisture. It may be confused with dry skin, which lacks oil. So, how do you know if your skin is dehydrated? The main clues are:

    • Itchiness
    • Dullness
    • Under-eye circles & sunken eyes
    • Uneven skin tone
    • More noticeable fine lines

    The water-retaining issue
    Many of my clients tell me that they drink tons of water, yet their skin is still dehydrated. The problem here is that for some reason the skin is not efficiently retaining water. The skin’s top layers act as a barrier that is then coated with a hydrolipidic film that, as the name suggests, is a mixture of oils and water; this prevents excess moisture from evaporating from the skin.

    The limits of the hydrolipidic film
    Exposure to a dry environment such as a heated home during the winter months, or an environment where there is not enough humidity in the air, can be too much for this thin coating and cause it to be compromised, leading to moisture evaporating from the skin.

    The destruction of the skin’s barrier
    The popularity of skin resurfacing ingredients in many cosmetic products, harsh soaps, solvents, acids, and retinols all compromise the integrity of the skin’s barrier. Without this barrier the skin loses its ability to retain water, as well as becoming exposed to pollutants and pathogenic bacteria.

    How to solve the problem

    1. Make sure you are drinking enough water.
    2. Turn the heating off during the night and open a window a little.
    3. Avoid any foaming cleansers and skincare products with exfoliants or skin resurfacing effects.
    4. Apply moisturiser morning and evening, and top up during the day if needed!

    Top Tip: How to choose a moisturiser for dehydrated skin
    Moisturisers are meant to do what the name implies, to moisturise, and to help the skin with moisture binding. The most effective moisturisers are the ones that need to be worked into the skin a little, this will allow for the water-binding ingredients to blend with the skin, reinforcing its hydrolipidic film.

    Shop the Soveral moisturisers

  2. nsey-benajah-P-0xj_CW86Y-unsplash
    Alexandra’s April focus: Redefining ‘normal’

    The meaning of the word normal has been redefined in many areas recently, namely gender, but what does it mean for skin?

    Irrespective of gender or biological sex, there has never been a clear definition of normal skin and that is most probably because it does not exist. What is “normal” for one person may not be “normal” for another. Having touched thousands of people’s skins I know how one person’s skin may be naturally soft and delicate whilst another may be naturally firm and resilient, I consider both normal. 

    “Normal” skin to me is essentially healthy skin, and we can certainly define healthy skin in a way that applies to everyone. Healthy skin has its metabolic functions in good order; this means that it can look after itself with minimal care. All its layers and components are doing what they have been designed to do, and its barrier consists of a strong microbiome, ready to defend against invading pathogens and keep the skin supple and balanced.

    Here are some signs that your skin is healthy: 

    • Does not feel dry/tight/flaky without moisturiser or oil.
    • May be naturally oily but not prone to acne.
    • Does not generally react to good quality natural skincare products.
    • Is not too sensitive to temperature changes.
    • Does not feel itchy.
    • Can be massaged without breaking out.

    With the increasing trend towards removing skin layers and accelerating cell division, all in the name of ‘perfection’, healthy skin is on the decline. For long term healthy skin that will defend us against pathogens, free-radicals, and stress, the very best thing we can do is to stop attacking it. Instead learn how to support and nourish it. The skin is a living organ – it knows what to do to protect us.

    So, what does healthy skin need in terms of skincare?

    Healthy skin does not need a lot of care per se; maintenance is the name of the game to ensuring its prolonged health.

    For those wishing to go a step further:

    Healthy skin is the perfect foundation from which to slow the effects of ageing. This can be achieved with a dedicated daily massage, drainage, and skincare regime that includes ‘feeding’ the skin in a way that supports all its metabolic functions, just like professional athletes invest in training and nutritional plans to increase performance.

    I designed my range with this in mind, every step is there to support and encourage the skin to regenerate in a healthy way, making it more resilient, and ensuring there is nothing for it to worry about – other than just regenerate and be happy!

    With every boxed Soveral product we offer an information leaflet with instructions on how to do a daily face massage and a full skincare maintenance routine designed to also improve its performance.

    Top Tip: Get your pH right

    Check the pH of your skin to ensure it is well balanced by doing the following simple steps:

    Cleanse the skin efficiently, then wait 10 minutes.

    Spray Floral Rain and allow to dry naturally.

    How does it feel? If the skin feels tight or tingly, it is likely that it is out of balance.

    If you are looking to understand your skin better, or to create a bespoke regime for your healthiest skin, book in for a consultation or a treatment and we will talk you through the perfect steps for your skin.

    Brushes 4

  3. Omage oils web image

    We cover this briefly in our March Soveral Monthly (scroll down to sign up) but here we delve into Alexandra’s knowledge of all things omega…

    Omega in Greek refers to end or tail. In oil chemistry it refers the end of the molecular structure of an oil. The number is determined by counting how far along in this structure there is a double bond. For example, in omega-3 the double bond is repeated after three carbons in the chain. It is this that gives each oil its unique profile.

    The higher the number, such as Omega-9, the heavier the oil is as it has longer carbon chains. These fatty acids are excellent lubricants to help the skin stay pliable and are part of the skin’s barrier. The skin naturally makes lots of these high omegas as they make up roughly 30% of the skin’s fatty acids.

    Over-production of Omega 9 gives way to oily skin and sometimes acne breakouts. When the skin is lacking the lower Omegas, which it cannot produce (it gets it from diet) it compensates by overproducing Omega-9, often resulting in blocked pores. Therefore, using oils with Omega 6 and 3 is a way to help the skin to find balance.

    Under-production of Omega 9 gives way to dry skin that is often flaky. This happens with ageing and becomes more pronounced with the menopause. This together with the decline in collagen is a great contributor to accelerated ageing. In this case, using oils rich in Omega 9 is of great benefit for the skin.

    The lower the number, such as Omega 6 and 3 the lighter and more easily absorbed the oil is. This is great because the skin cannot readily make these omegas, we are dependent on getting them from our diet, or topically, and our skin needs them for its healthy functions. When massaged on the skin, these small omegas, especially Omega 3 can penetrate deep into the skin, offering it its regulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

    It sounds wonderful… but there’s a hitch. These short chain fatty acids can easily oxidise, and once they do, it means rancid oil, which feeds the bad bacteria – not a good thing for acne prone skin or skin that becomes easily inflamed, such as eczema or psoriasis. To avoid this from happening, we run a natural and organic antioxidant from rosemary through our oils to preserve their wonderful properties.

    Each product is perfectly balanced, offering the skin a readily bioavailable source of fatty acids to deeply nourish it as well as offering it protection by helping it reinforce its natural barrier. Sunflower seed oil is the base of many of my formulations, but this is not just any sunflower oil, it is an organic oil that is very high in omega 6 in linoleic acid, which often the skin is deprived of.

    Find out which oils your skin likes and you will know which omegas your skin needs.
    Avocado – High in omega 9
    Apricot Kernel – Blend of Omega 9 and 6
    Sunflower – High in Omega 6 and 3

    Each are available as organic base oils for you to blend at home – shop our vegetable oils

    Omegas in our products:
    For high omegas: Angel Balm.
    For feeding the skin a balanced Omega ratio: Midnight and Forever Young oils.
    For the low omegas: Spotless Gel, Bespoke Oils.

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