Vitamin C Skincare | The Daily Glow

Why Vitamin C might be ruining your skin

Vitamin C is everywhere these days, in moisturisers, serums, sunscreen, face washes – you name it, Vitamin C has claimed it.  And it is a great ingredient in skincare.  It promotes collagen formation, has fantastic brightening properties and sounds all nice and natural and un-chemically.  Tick, tick, tick, right?  But is there ever really a one-fits-all in anything (especially when it comes to skincare)?  Unfortunately not.

Vitamin C truly is a great anti-ageing and brightening ingredient, and it plays a part in my own skincare routine.  However, you do have to proceed with caution, particularly if you tend to suffer from blackheads, breakouts or oily skin…because Vitamin C can promote an increase in oil production!  So if you suffer from any of the above you DO NOT need it in every skincare item you own, dear God, you do not.

Unfortunately, oily skin tends to be associated with acne, and consequently acne scarring, and yes, vitamin C can be one (of a number) of ingredients that can help fade these scars and give you the clear, even-toned skin you’ve always dreamed of.  But somewhere along the line bloggers, skincare brands and even facialists have lost the run of themselves (Image, I’m looking at you).

The Daily Glow | Vitamin C and Skincare

A combination and tailored approach to skincare is vital – scarring, age spots and dull skin can benefit from the brightening effects of Vitamin C, but maybe start with one product that isn’t blanketly recommended to the world and it’s mother, and look at introducing other ingredients to work with it, or combat the oil production separately, if that’s an issue for you.  Vitamin A can be used to reduce oil production and improve skin texture overall, and there are varying formulations and doses available, and there are a number of brightening and blending ingredients that won’t cause the same oil outbreak.

My personal regime includes a prescription strength vitamin A, an exfoliant cream that contains vitamin C and a brightening serum with other brightening agents in it.  Each person may require something slightly different, and tailor the frequency of application according to how their skin behaves – and lifestyle can play a big part.  Exercise can help sweat out impurities, while extensive time in an air conditioned room will dry out even my skin and my skincare routine has to be adjusted accordingly.

A good facialist or skincare specialist that doesn’t just promote one single brand can be worth their weight in gold when it comes to pointing you in the right direction.  There are products on the market that can help with pigmentation, even out skin tone and have a brightening effect – whether one or all of them will suit you is another question.  The below products and treatments can be of use, but their application usually needs to be tailored to each person, and some just simply won’t suit you:

Vitamin C and Skincare | The Daily Glow

  • Glycolic acid: Nip+Fab daily cleansing pads, Neostrata foaming glycolic wash
  • Vitamin C: Kiehl’s powerful strength line reducing concentrate, Obagi Professional C serum 10-20%
  • Hydroquinone: Obagi Clarifying Serum (prescription strength)
  • Retinol: La Roche-Posay redermic R serum, Obagi Retinol 1.0%
  • Chemical peel: There are both light and deep variations of this – light peels can target superficial pigmentation, exfoliate the skin and improve skin texture and congested pores.  Deeper peels require preparation of the skin for a minimum of 6 weeks, can be associated with downtime but help improve more resistant pigmentation, skin texture and fine lines and wrinkles.  Both  may contain a variety of different acids, and some formulations are better than others when it comes to your specific skin complaint (e.g. salicylic acid is excellent in the treatment of acne)
  • Laser: There are many different lasers these days (and even some things called lasers, that are not lasers) and some are better suited to different skin types or treatment goals than others.  ALWAYS make sure you go to an expert if you go down this route, as this is one if the higher risk treatments when it comes to causing pigmentation!

The Daily Glow | Vitamin C and Skincare

This is a very simple list, but hopefully goes some way to explaining what ingredients you should be looking for in your skincare – and that Vitamin C is not the be all and end all it is currently marketed to be!

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

Botox and teeth grinding…what’s the deal?

Botox…a polarising word to say the least, and the funny part is most people aren’t actually 100% clear on what Botox is or what it can be used for.  There’s a stigma associated with it, despite it being widely used for therapeutic purposes, and it has taken the blame for all sorts of odd looking famous faces.  One of the uses that has become more popular recently is for teeth grinding and clenching and overall jaw slimming.  So what is going on?

“Botox” is the name of a product produced by Allergan, and is the most well-known version of botulinum toxin, a prescription drug that can be used to reduce muscle contraction or movement when injected into the area to be treated.  Originally called Oculinum (doesn’t sound as scary as Botox, does it?), it was used to treat strabismus (cross-eyes) by reducing the contraction of overly active eye muscles that were unbalanced and pulling the eye off to one side.  Patients used to joke that they were back for the “forehead smoother” as this tended to be a side effect of the treatment.  An enterprising ophthalmologist named Jean Carruthers was the first person to treat a patient for “frown lines”, and along with her dermatologist husband, they have been pioneers on the cosmetic use of Botox and co-author thousands of medical papers on the topic.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

Botox is used for many cosmetic and therapeutic concerns, including frown lines, “gummy” smiles, crow’s feet and migraines.  Some uses are FDA approved, and other are classed as “off-label” (not specifically FDA approved for that particular use, but may be used by relatively widely by clinicians).  Licensed use varies from country to country, and gets updated as evidence grows.

Botox works to relax muscles by reducing contraction (and YES, you can paralyse them if you give too much, dosage is very important), and this is why is can help teeth grinding and clenching, and the pain associated with this when injected in the masseter muscle (largest and strongest of the jaw closing muscles).  It can also reduce the width of the lower face if this muscle has grown bigger from so much use (just like any muscles do with exercise!), by stopping the patient from essentially taking that muscle to the gym every night (and day, if they clench during the day too).  Similar to how you don’t maintain a six pack if you’re not doing the sit ups, you won’t maintain a large masseter muscle if you’re not over-exercising it.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

Teeth grinding or clenching (clinically known as bruxism) can present with a number of signs, such as an excessively large or swollen muscle (not very common), worn, fractured or chipped teeth, ridging along the sides of the tongue or inside the cheeks and jaw, facial, neck and tooth pain.  Stress, injury, pregnancy, lack of sleep, excessive use of stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, and nutritional deficiencies can all be contributing factors, but unfortunately the cause is not always clear – which means the treatment can be tricky.  Often a stressful period can spark an episode of grinding, or worsen an existing habit to the point the person starts experiencing pain or other problems.  A night guard is still the standard fix – which is great if that works, as it’s simple, straightforward and cost effective.  The trouble is when this doesn’t work: the patient can’t wear it, takes it out while asleep, or still experiences pain.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

My patients typically present with either pain or worn (or fractured) teeth due to excessive activation of the masseter muscle and heavy forces on their teeth.  I have even seen a patient fracture a titanium dental implant due to excessive biting forces.  Some people don’t have any symptoms, and are totally unaware of clenching; while others have been taking prescription painkillers for months or even years due to pain.   A night guard can be great as preventing damage to your teeth, but rarely will it stop you clenching, and I have found some patients complain of the pain related to it increasing.

Botox injections for teeth grinding and jaw slimming are still classed as “off-label” by the FDA, but have been used since the early 1990’s with relative success.  Personally, I was wearing a night guard for 17 years, and still suffered from jaw pain, especially when stressed.  After a particularly stressful few months, botox injections were a game changer for me – I felt like my sleep improved and the pain vanished completely.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

Botox or botulinum toxin A is a prescription drug for a reason, it should be administered by a trained healthcare professional and may not be suitable or predictable in certain cases – however, I have had wonderful results personally, and with many, many patients to date.  If you think you may be clenching or grinding, you should discuss it with your dentist, and consider the solutions available to you.   If you’re suffering from jaw pain, or have trouble wearing a night guard feel free to email me at jennifer@thedailyglow.com to arrange an assessment.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

My favourite masks for glowing skin | The Daily Glow

The 5 best face masks for glowing skin

My obsession with skin care runs to the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to face masks, but not every mask is made equal – and some can do more harm than good. There are enough masks available to confuse the most seasoned skin care addict, and some target skin function in longer term, while others are ideal prep hours before a big event. I’ve put together a list of my top 5, to deal with the most common skin complaints.

 

  1. Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque: just like Ronseal, this one does exactly what it says on the tin.  Post-exams, post-festival or during wedding season, this one will bring a bit of life back to your poor, ashen face (but please make yourself a cocktail of dioralyte, berroca and vitamin C too).  Those of you with easily clogged pores should be careful with over doing it (although I find I can apply it once a week, after exfoliation, without any issues) and if you have dry skin a hydrating booster or spritz of a hydrating mist can really maximise its power.  A pricey enough one at fifty yo-yos, this has been a staple of mine for about 8 years now and generally lasts a good 10 months each time.
  2. Cien clay mask:  yes, from Lidl, and for a total cost of 69 cent  for two sachets – which I find gives a good six treatments if I use it only on my T-zone (and you’d have to be seriously oily to need it all over, unless god love you, you’re a teenager).  This mask contains zinc and white clay – perfect for minimising the effect of an acute breakout or keeping blackheads at bay for those prone to them. (Note for non-oily skins – I am currently testing out the other ones Lidl has available)My favourite masks for glowing skin | The Daily Glow
  3. Patchology posh peel pedicure:  Okay, so this one is actually for your feet, but it makes the cut because it can fully be used in place of a pedicure!  I discovered this recently while in Italy, and I think it may have blown me away more than any face mask to date.  Genuinely.  As an almost daily runner, getting my feet summer ready is not usually something I attempt myself – I leave it to the experts as it involves a lot of heavy lifting.  However, this year I was up to my eyes in studying and thesis-ing, and my exam was in Italy so I never made it to the nail salon (is it even called a “nail salon” in Ireland? I feel not everyone would get the Red lotus reference though) before my flight.  Post-exam shopping involved getting lost in Sephora for a couple of hours, and this was the best reward.  I haven’t ordered from niche-beauty.com before, but it was the first site I found that had this mask and sold to Ireland…and have already clocked up a fair bit of time browsing as I write this.  I would highly recommend using this mask at least a week before you’re planning on parading your feet in public, as there is a bit of a gross, flaky period (apologies again to Aideen, and all of Positano and Sorrento).  But it is worth the manky few days (maybe don’t wear your favourite socks) – you will be left with baby soft feet, I promise.My favourite masks for glowing skin | The Daily Glow
  4. Garnier moisture bomb sheet mask:  just like the Cien one, this sheet mask is a heavy weight champion for under a fiver.  It’s ideal the night before a big event, especially a photo shoot or a wedding, when you need make up to sit onto skin easily, and stay in place all day.  This mask deeply hydrates your skin, and can help prevent any dry, uneven patches of foundation – especially if your coverage is a little heavier than usual.  One worked of warning for oily/easily clogged skins though: once a week max!
  5. Radial snake oxygenating & cleansing mask:  This mask is for immediate use before an event/night out etc and really seems suitable for all skin types.  Charcoal helps unclog and minimise the appearance of pores, without any need to steam/squeeze/pull off a pore strip.  The bubbles (which can be quite alarming, please note that when they say bubbles…they mean bubbles!) have what seems to be a similar effect as an oxygen facial – everything looks plumped and glowy for about 24 hours.  I didn’t find this had any long term effect on the skin,  but the instantaneous result was like an extreme version of Beauty Flash Balm, and lasted all day – so definitely great for a short term boost.My favourite masks for glowing skin | The Daily Glow

As a self-confessed mask addict, I would love to hear what your go-to mask is – or if you’ve tried any of the above? Always on the lookout for a new one to try!