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Sparkle is officially an Expert!

September 20th, 2013 | Posted by mrslaurarobinson in Skin Care - (2 Comments)

ExpertExamToday I officially became a Dermalogica Expert! What does that mean, you ask?  It means I have dedicated myself to continuing education at the International Dermal Institute. I am amongst the highest-trained and recognized Dermalogica skin therapists in the world! There are three tiers of education: Dermalogica Certified, Dermalogica Specialist and Dermalogica Expert.

After completing all of the advanced training courses I was eligible to take a practical exam and performed a Dermalogica skin treatment on a client while an educator observed. Beth Bialko, an educator I have looked up to since day one, was the one who graded me (pictured), and I was literally tearing up with all of the compliments she gave me during the critique. I take my profession very seriously, and was overcome with emotions. I am proud to be the 4th Expert in the state of Wisconsin.

 

Sensitive Skin 101

June 26th, 2013 | Posted by mrslaurarobinson in Products | Skin Care - (0 Comments)

Yesterday I attended another incredible Dermalogica class at the International Dermal Institute in Chicago called “UltraCalming: Serious Relief for Sensitive Skin.”

Does your skin ever feel tight after cleansing? Are you prone to blushing, stinging or itching? Does your skin ever get red and blotchy? Do you have severely dry skin? Broken capillaries around your nose and cheeks? These are just some of the characteristics of a sensitive or sensitized skin.Sensitiveskinwoman

Sensitive skin is a term used by people that consider themselves to be less tolerant of products and environmental conditions than the general population. In fact millions of people around the world claim they have “sensitive” skin, and this number is on the rise. Studies show that 50% of people describe themselves as “sensitive” these days. There has also been a huge influx of products out there marketed specifically to “sensitive skin”. Sadly most of these products are not helping the condition, and could actually be contributing to the problem.

The term has become so widely used, but the truth is very few people are actually born with sensitive skin. Those people with a true “sensitive” skin are genetically predisposed and tend to have lighter hair, and eyes, allergy prone, and burn very easily in the sun. “Sensitized” skin is a different story, this is very common and I see it regularly in the treatment room. A sensitized skin is a hyper-reactive skin which is caused by external factors such as lifestyle, climate, pollution, chemicals, medications, dehydration, over processed skin (medical treatments, or too much exfoliation), poor ingredients, inflammatory diseases, and stress. The most common triggers are severe weather (sun, dry heat, severe cold) and reactions to products (experiencing burning and stinging). In fact 36% of people living in China have sensitized skin due to the high levels of pollution. Stress is also very high up on the list, and can be a vicious cycle. The more stress the more reactive the skin becomes which in turn creates more stress.

Inflammation is present in a sensitive and sensitized skin. Inflammation is a response of body tissues to injury or irritation which is characterized by pain, swelling, heat and redness. There are 2 types if inflammation and either one or both could be happening to a person with sensitive or sensitized skin. First, there is Immunogenic Inflammation where the cells are activated to destroy allergens and bacteria and have been triggered by an artificial fragrance or foreign substance such as pollen. It results in pain, swelling, redness and heat; this immune response happens to rescue the skin. Secondly, there is  Neurogenic Inflammation which is triggered by the nervous system. When a chemical activates nerve sensors in the skin there is a release of substances that trigger an inflammatory response. Stress can signal the body to release certain agents that induce inflammation. Painful conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, hypersensitivity, rosacea and wound healing are associated with Neurogenic Inflammation.

If you’ve been to Sparkle for a treatment you may have heard me explain the importance of a healthy lipid barrier which is our skin’s natural protective outer layer . A healthy barrier is naturally acidic and contains the right ratio of essential fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol. Very often sensitive skin is caused by a crack in this lipid barrier. Some common barrier disruptors are strong acids (alpha hydroxy acids), strong alkali (use of soap or cleanser that is not pH balanced to the skin), aniotic surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate (which Dermalogica would never use in their products), chemical sunscreens, and emulsifiers in products. Once the barrier has become compromised bacteria, irritants, and allergens have a way in, and hydration has a way out, also known as Trans-Epidermal Water Loss or TEWL. The main objective is to restore the lipid barrier, which requires soothing, healing and restorative ingredient formulations, and taking a break from exfoliation. UC_Group6754_p1190d_s

Dermalogica has created a soothing blend of ingredients called the UltraCalming Complex which is used in it’s most potent form in the treatment room, but it’s also found throughout the UltraCalming line of products. The 4 key ingredients in the Complex are: Red Hogweed Root Extract which is unique to Dermalogica, it helps control neurogenic inflammation-induced redness and sensitivity. Oat Kernal (Avena Sativa) Extracts which is a topical anti-histamine, helps to reduce itching, redness and irritation. Also Ginger extract and Bisabolol which work together to reduce redness and irritation. Bisabolol is derived from Camomile which is very calming and soothing.

They have also created a blend of concentrated oils called the UltraCalming Blend which reinforces and heals the lipid barrier. The blend contains Sunflower Seed Extract which are ceramides and also helps to diminish dehydration. Avocado Sterols which are plant derived forms of cholesterol and maintain the lipid barrier. Also Evening Primrose, an essential fatty acid, which helps keep the lipids intact, promotes healing and prevents future reactions. This soothing blend helps bring that barrier back to it’s healthy acidic state.

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So, where do we go from here? The treatment will be the same for both a sensitive and a sensitized skin because they share the same symptoms. For some clients they may only be sensitized for a period of time, and for the rare truly sensitive clients they will need to be on a very specific regimen. That’s the wonderful thing about Dermalogica, we have our UltraCalming segmented line dedicated to address sensitivity.  Some individuals will require the entire line up of products to get the results they desire, while others may just need a few key products to get their skin back on track. It’s going to be different for each person. That’s where my role as your skin therapist comes into play. I will help you select the products that are best suited for your skin.

The treatment for sensitive skin applies the “Less Rule” which means: less heat (towels, steam, water), less friction (rubbing, stimulation, massage, exfoliation, extractions), less product, and a focus on de-stressing the client. I just experienced this amazing treatment yesterday while at the International Dermal Institute in Chicago and fell asleep during the pressure point massage. I have never fallen asleep during a treatment before, so that should say a lot about how deeply relaxing and therapeutic it was. Every facial is customized to your individual needs at Sparkle, so if you’re experiencing sensitivity of any kind book a facial today and see what a difference it can make. Your skin will thank you!

XO Sparkle

As a skin therapist I believe knowledge is power, and I put continuing education at the top of my list. I strive to get down to the International Dermal Institute in Chicago to take classes as often as I can.

Last week I had the pleasure of having Sarah, a Dermalogica educator, come to Sparkle for a private training session on any subject I wished to learn about. What a treat! It was so much fun to show her around and have her in my treatment room for a change.

I recently invested in a new electrical modality called an Ultrasound machine (also called ultrasonic) and wanted to learn how to use it with Dermalogica products. When you think of ultrasound you usually think of diagnostic ultrasound, the type used on pregnant women. In skin care we are using therapeutic ultrasound, which uses a completely different frequency. It uses vibrating sound waves, which provides enhanced cleansing, exfoliation, disincrustation (preparing skin for extractions) and product penetration, allowing for the delivery of active ingredients.

Ultrasound is beneficial for all skin types. It increases collagen and elastin, increases hydration, helps to manage rosacea, acne and aging skin, controls hyperpigmentation, and helps repair cells. There are some contraindications for ultrasound so clients with the following cannot receive this technology: cancer, epilepsy, pacemaker, hemophilia, any contagious diseases, skin irritations, using Retin-A, Tetracycline, Isotretinoin, or any drugs that cause photo sensitivity.

It was so wonderful to have Sarah in to go through everything with me step by step. She also taught me some new deep cleansing movements, and we reviewed my extraction techniques as well. It’s always exciting to learn new skills and brush up on old ones. I have a renewed confidence and absolutely love my profession. I feel like I’ll never know enough about this industry!

xo Sparkle


My mission at Sparkle is to help you achieve your healthiest skin ever. So when I decided to bring makeup into my business I had high expectations and scrutinized over every single ingredient to find a line that not only looked and felt great on, but it had to be good for the skin. After several months of research I have come to find a line I am proud to share with you. Jane Iredale “the skin care makeup” is the #1 brand recommended by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and skin care professionals.

What makes it so great? Where do I begin…It is mineral based with very concentrated pigment (which means there are no fillers such as talc) offering great coverage using a small amount of product. It’s oil-free, and non-comedogenic, so it’s great for all skin types including acneic condidtions. It also offers natural broad spectrum sun protection. These mineral sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) also act as anti-inflammatories, so they calm sensitive skin. It contains no synthetic fragrances, alcohol, chemical dyes (usually labeled FD&C) orchemical preservatives which are all known sensitizers. In fact the minerals are inert, which means they cannot harbor bacteria.

I have added a “Makeup Consultation/Application” service to my Online Booking calendar. Please take advantage of this as it is a complimentary service for a limited time only. Coming soon you’ll notice some additional services on the menu. I will be offering special occasion makeup applications (bridal, prom, etc.) and makeup lessons.

As Jane says “The most beautiful cosmetic you can wear is a healthy skin.” I invite you to come in and play…see it, touch it, and try it on. You won’t believe your eyes!

Hope to see you soon!

xo Sparkle

 

 

How To Clean Makeup Brushes

April 29th, 2012 | Posted by mrslaurarobinson in Makeup - (0 Comments)

How often do you clean your makeup brushes? Be honest. The best scenario would be to clean them once a week, but let’s face it, that’s probably not going to happen. So let’s shoot for cleaning them once a month (or better yet every 2-3 weeks).

Dirty brushes contaminate your skin and the products you’re dipping them into, so you’re just transferring bacteria back and forth. If you’ve had problems with acne and rarely clean your brushes this could be a big contributing factor. You’ll also notice a much smoother makeup application with clean brushes.  Cleaning your brushes will extend their life. If you’ve spent a pretty penny on good quality brushes it should be in your best interest to take good care of them.

First, run the brush under warm water, it’s better not to soak them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equal parts shampoo & conditioner

 

Then mix equal parts of shampoo and conditioner in the palm of your hand and swirl the brush hairs around in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work the mixture through until it’s fully dispersed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are cleaning several brushes you could mix equal parts of shampoo and conditioner in a cup with warm water and dip them in one at a time, massaging each brush with the mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gently squeeze out excess water, and maintain the brush shape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lay brushes flat to dry. DO NOT place brush hairs on a towel.  It’s best to hang them over a countertop so they will not pick up bacteria. Never dry them in an upright position as this loosens the glue that holds them together. I prefer to wash my brushes in the evening, lay them down, hanging over the bathroom counter, and in the morning they are dry and ready for use.

 

 

 

 

There are also spray brush cleaners available, they are useful when brushes need to be sanitized quickly because they dry almost immediately (great for a makeup artist that is working on several people). These brush cleaners to do not provide optimal cleaning results; you should still clean your brushes with the method explained above at least once a month. Also be aware of artificial fragrances added to these products, which can cause irritation to the skin.

Do your skin and brushes a favor and wash them tonight! Write it down on your calendar, or set a reminder in your phone and make it a monthly habit. Once you start doing it regularly you won’t want dirty brushes to touch your face ever again.

XO Sparkle