Is Natural Skincare better?

photo: kickstarter.com

This is something I'm asked about quite often, and in order to answer this we first have to look at what "Natural Skincare" really is. By definition natural skincare should contain only ingredients of wholly botanical origins, with no synthetic additions. Organic skincare to take it further, is skincare comprised of plant derived ingredients farmed without use of pesticides or synthetic chemicals.

There are however very little regulations as to what you can call natural and get away with. To be honest, most natural products I've come across are far from natural, and most do contain some man made chemicals although they claim not to. So don't be fooled by the labeling and marketing. Also, and most importantly, does natural skincare ensure higher efficacy, safety and better results? No, not really.

There are many naturally derived ingredients that are great, and there are also many synthetically formulated ingredients that are amazing, so why limit yourself to using only one or the other? The fact is, most skin irritants are of natural origin, and sensitive skin types, atopic skin types, and inflamed skin types should steer clear of natural skincare due to the fact that these often contain irritating extracts that may cause a reaction. Most cosmetic skin allergies are also a cause of natural skincare products, so safety wise - natural is not always the way to go.

Side-note: First and only skin allergy I've ever had was to a natural makeup remover containing Calendula extract, and a number of other extracts. It's impossible to say exactly which one was the cause of my bumpy, irritated and inflamed face.

Also, does pesticides penetrate skin? No. I advocate organic food consumption because I think it makes sense not to eat foods treated with poison, and if you want to buy skincare based on how ingredients are grown, go ahead, but know that the pesticides used to grow a plant are completely washed away during the processing of the plant into small plant derived molecules used in skincare.

Another thing to remember is that this natural and organic skincare trend, is just that, a trend that someone is milking because consumers are scared they are doing themselves a disservice buying something non-natural, think about it. It is also a trend I believe will step aside to newer trends on the rise. Check out my predictions for 2016.

I think there are great skincare products that go under the banner of "natural skincare" Weleda and Dr. Hauschka are two such brands, I also like dermalogica which is no natural brand per se, but frequently uses botanical ingredients in their formulation. SkinCeuticals is the most effective skincare line I've used so far, and this is a fully cosmeceutical brand, that is backed by science and uses some botanically derived molecules, but it is far from natural in the true sense of the word.

How do you feel about the natural skincare craze? Are you on board, or off board?

SkinCeuticals Peel course

A couple of weeks ago we had a demo of the SkinCeuticals Glycolic acid peel at the clinic, this treatment will be offered by the in house skin therapist. The peel is a light to medium strength peel (we used 30% glycolic acid), and our lovely clinic manager Helena sat as the demo participant. Helena has beautiful skin, but a few melasma spots on her forehead, cheeks, and upper lip that she's wanted to treat for a while. This peel, followed by a complete skincare regiment for pigmented skin from SkinCeuticals will definitely improve the appearance of these spots. Melasma as you may or may not know is a largely hormonally dependent skin-condition that is very tricky to treat (note to self, I need to do a separate post on that later). I wrote a little about it in my pregnancy skincare post.

Emmi from SkinCeuticals started off with cleansing the skin with SkinCeuticals gentle cleanser and the Clarisonic cleansing brush, and placed protective gauze pads on Helena's eyes.

The peel was placed on her skin for a couple of minutes, and you can see a faint flush on her face in the picture below. The peel it self does not hurt, but might sting a little.

Helena's face was then covered with gauze pads soaked in neutralizing fluid making her look a little like a mummy. As these were placed on the skin there was a sizzling sound and you could see air bubbles forming underneath the pads.

To end the treatment Helena got a pampering Vitamin C mask that gives moisture and a beautiful glow to the skin. The skin was then treated with Phytocorrective gel to calm redness and CE Ferulic serum to protect the skin, together with Mineral Radiance SPF 50.

This peel is also called the "red carpet treatment", as the glow you get from this is a lovely addition before an event where you need to sparkle a little brighter.

Beautiful Helena sent me this picture an hour after her treatment, and already her skin was looking much better. We have made packages for skin concerns that we sell at the clinic, and Helena has followed her peel with the pigment targeting regiment. Two weeks have now passed and she is already exhibiting a much evener skin tone.

Contact Dr.K clinics if you're interested in trying this out after the summer!

Love,

Rolah

 

 

New date for Girls Night!

We've set the new date of the Girls Night event to be the 8th of June! As I've mentioned earlier I will be having a talk on what really works reg. skincare products from a scientific perspective, and give tips and recommendations for attendees. There will be a talk on style and fashion advise, as well as stress management and a course + demo of a beautiful everyday makeup look. I am also doing a demo of a treatment. There will be bubbles and nibbles, goodie bags and surprises, I'll get back to what type of surprises later, but here's a hint: TREATMENTS.

So book a seat and come meet us if you can, I'm very excited and think us women will have a lovely time together! Please check the event-page for tickets.

Big love,

Rolah

Beauty Benefits of Probiotics

My favorite probiotic food - Kimchi.

At the IMCAS conference this year, probiotics and it's effects on skin was a whole lecture on its own. I knew it was good for our immune system, but never knew HOW important, and the extent of its effects on skin was all news to me. When I came home form Paris I went straight to the health food store and got myself a large box of a fluid probiotic formula that has a tap! I've been drinking it regularly for a while now, and I think it has helped my skin and body keep healthy throughout a couple of stressful renovation weeks at our flat. It does however taste like crap in lack of a better word, so think I'll be buying something else next time. Any recommendations for me?

There's a lot of research on probiotics on pubmed, and it took me a while to rummage through the most relevant articles. I found that probiotics has a HUGE number of great effects on skin-health and overall beauty. I've made a little summary chart below.

It seems probiotcs will not only keep your gut and body healthy by lowering systemic inflammation, but through still unknown processes it will also protect skin against UV induced ageing, reduce wrinkles in old mice, and make them more fertile, while also giving skin a youthful glow and could be a treatment option for skin diseases such as Rosacea.

I'll follow this post with a post on the best food sources of probiotics, as well as the trend of probiotic-skincare.  Again, I welcome all tips on probiotic supplements!

Today I'm trying out the impactHub Stockholm in search of colleagues, contacts, and startup events and courses. So far so good! Tonight I have patients at the clinic, and then it's Weekend! On Saturday we're doing a city tour of the old town, think that will be great.

Hope you're having a great Friday, only a few more hours to go!

Big love,

Rolah

 

Beauty devices - what to buy and what to avoid.

Pic: Mothermag.com.

In the beginning of March I was interviewed in klikkmote on my take on all the beauty devices circulating in the industry at the moment. Are they really a necessary addition to your ever increasing skin care regiment? Do they work? The full interview in Norwegian can be read here.

Electrical cleansing brush

These actually do work, and I really love and recommend my Mia Clarisonic brush. There's a review of that here. I have also tried the Clinique equivalent which I really liked as well. Part of the Clinique brush is harder, and angled so that you can use this specifically around the nose and areas where large pores are more prominent. The good sonic cleansing brushes clean the skin up to 6 times better than you're able to with your bare hands. Great for people wearing makeup daily, sunscreen, or live in a polluted environment. For more on how to cleanse skin correctly look here. Be careful not to over-use these brushes though, once a day is enough, and always go with the softest brush head possible, unless you have very oily and thick skin.

Epilation devices

These are fine, not a must buy, but they work as well. Might give the odd ingrown hair though, but are quick to use and keeps hair away longer than shaving does. I do however prefer waxing, or even better permanent laser hair removal treatments. Will start the latter as soon as we offer the treatment in the clinic.

Electrical eye massager

Absolutely not necessary, but might be good for increasing circulation and thus dark circles and puffy eye-bags, just be careful that it's not too aggressive. The skin around the eyes is very thin and should be handled with care.

Facial Steamer

This is an OK tool to invest in, especially if you like doing your home spa nights. Steam open pores so that they are easier to empty, increase circulation, and let facial masks work deeper post steaming. It is however important not to steam for too long, or under too hot temperatures as this may make skin sensitive and even damaged. People with sensitive skin or inflammatory skin conditions should not steam their face. Always close pores after steaming using a mask, and some sort of astringent product.

Product LED-light activators

These are interesting, but I have not tried them myself yet. The LED light technology used in these have anti-inflammatory and even anti-ageing abilities, and micro vibrations may help product absorb better. The jury is still out on this one, and so it is not a necessary buy at the moment.

So there you have it! If you feel like getting a beauty device, I recommend getting a facial brush, and the clarisonic is a great and trusted option, but save the rest of your money for good and effective skin care products, which are a far more important investment than all types of beauty devices.

Hope you're all having a great Sunday! We will be traveling back to the city today after an amazing weekend in the country :)

Lots of love,

Rolah

 

A little green tea post

For my 30th birthday last month I was surprised with a party in the clinic, and a weekend getaway to Häringe Slott, which is an old castle turned hotel and restaurant 20min outside Stockholm. If you follow me on Instagram, it would be hard to miss my numerous posts of my birthday week. Unfortunately I didn't get to take great photos with my camera during this time, partly due to being surprised, and partly due to being slightly tipsy and giddy for the majority of the week.


While at the castle we were urged to get the house green tea by Hadde's sister, who loves it. So we took her advice and bought a batch. As you know I'm a sucker for the green grassy liquid which I swear helps me keep both body and skin in great shape. There's a few posts on tea and diet on the blog if you're interested to read a bit more about it, but the short version is: Tea, and especially green tea contains antioxidants that keep skin moist, protects collagen and ECM (extracellular matrix) proteins from UV induced damage, and may also up-regulate collagen formation, keeping your face young and fit. So I drink it as often as I can, and thankfully I love it.

This particular green tea is a Sencha tea, which is a Japanese form of green tea. The Sencha tea leaves have been steamed to prevent oxidation as part of the production process, and so will have a light and grassy flavor, and contains loads of good, green-tea antioxidants.

Although green, this tea has been flavored with vanilla, papaya, rose, cornflowers, and sunflowers. It has a very light floral and almost sweet flavor, without containing sugar, and goes perfectly with a dessert or afternoon tea-treat. 

As always i brew my tea with my thermometer not to damage the antioxidant profile of the tea, read more on how I brew my tea here.

This has become a favorite tea of mine as it gives that extra indulgent sweet flavor, and I love curling up to my favorite show with a cup of this in my hands.

What is your favorite tea drink at the moment?

Hope you're all having a great week! Not long til its TGIF again :)

Love,

Rolah

Beauty sleep, is it real?

Hello everyone, I'm back with a little post on something very dear to my heart, namely sleep. I'm a big sleeper, and I've always been good at prioritizing my sleep, because unlike some of my friends, I just don't work properly without a good 7-8h a night. I've tried pulling all nighters in medical school, and I've had to do a lot of night shifts in my hospital and GP carrier, but then I would always need at least 3 days after to feel human again. 

I think we've all noticed our faces and skin becoming a little out of sorts when we go without adequate sleep, and we've heard our grandmothers go on about beauty-sleep, but does it really exist? The short answer to this is yes, and here's why:

Regeneration

While you sleep cell-regeneration is at its maximum, and cells are working their hardest to reverse the environmental free radical damage that took place during the day.

cortisol

Sleep also reduces Cortisol, your stress hormone, related to everything from acne, psoriasis flare ups, to thinning ageing skin. Lowering stress is a great way to help your face and body look and feel its best. I mentioned this a little bit in my post on the beauty benefits of meditation.

melatonin

Melatonin, also know as the sleep-hormone acts as an antioxidant, and boosts cell reperative function and can help guard against signs of ageing such as pigment spots, wrinkles, and skin-cancer.

growth hormones

Adequate sleep also help certain growth hormones work better to up-regulate collagen formation in skin. This will help your face keep tight and perky for longer.

rem

It's also important to remember that when and how you sleep matters a lot in all of this. Cell turnover and function is the best during your deep REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep phase. To maintain enough REM hours, get to bed early around 9-10pm, and consider taking a melatonin supplement if you have trouble falling asleep, or have a very busy schedule.

So there you have it, getting your beauty sleep really does make a difference in the long-term! If you work shifts, like I used to, try to compensate by staying hydrated, and using good antioxidant and moisture-rich products during the night. A little spritz of a facial mist, and a good facial oil is a great option as these can be reapplied when needed. I like Jane Iredale Smell the Roses Hydration Spray, followed by Clinique Smart Treatment oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview in KK.no: Why you should never sleep with makeup on.

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed on this topic in KK.no. Most of us know that sleeping with a full face of makeup can be bad for your skin, but how bad and why might not be so clear. The fact is, sleeping with makeup might be one of the worst things for your skin, and may result in acne breakouts, rashes, and early ageing. 

While you sleep your skin is at it's most regenerative, hence is sleep an important aspect of a healthy skincare regiment, note to self, need to do a separate post on that.. When you go to bed with a full face of sunscreen, foundation, dead skin cells, sweat, grime and pollution your pores get clogged and even inflamed causing pimples. Inhibiting proper cell function will also lead to dry skin, lack of luster and accelerated ageing in the long term.

Sleeping with mascara is not a good idea either as this may lead to blepharitis, an infection of the hair-follicle of the eyelid, so take it all off! I like making a ritual out of it, cleanser, maybe a mask, and then night time treatments. If I'm feeling very lazy a cleansing wipe will have to do, but I try to use the cleansing oils and balms which are just as quick and easy.

What are your favorite ways to cleanse your skin? Any favorite products?

As to my plans tonight I was supposed to be at the girls-night event, but unfortunately it has been rescheduled due to illness of the hosts. The new date is set to June first. I am therefore enjoying my last day in Norway with my dad before I head on back to Stockholm and ROKderm work tomorrow, I'll be back at the clinic in 2 weeks time. 

Hope you're having an awesome weekend! Big love,

Rolah

Top 5 tips to help skin recover after Easter

So I don't know about you, but I feel like it's been one huge sugar-fest since Christmas, and this Easter/ birthday weekend really hit an all-time high for me. As you may or may not know, I'm a big believer in eating for your skin, which I do on a regular basis, but I also believe in balance, and not denying myself anything, especially when it's related to celebration or cultural experience. When it comes to foods to avoid and include more of in regards to your skin, there are a number of articles here on ROKderm. A quick "diet" search in the archive should give you a few options to scroll through if you're interested, but the take home message is as follows: Avoid sugars, simple carbs (that become sugars), highly processed foods, dairy, alcohol, and large quantities of meat.

I, like many of you I think, have had a large share of chocolate Easter eggs, alcohol and other delicious and dangerous foods this passed weekend. Some of you might be experiencing some extra breakouts because of it, and maybe a somewhat dry and lifeless complexion. Because I know what you're dealing with, I have decided to put together my 5 best rescue techniques post-partying. These can be applied to any holiday, season, or celebration where large amounts of less skin conscious foods have been ingested. Enjoy!

1. Drink your tea.

I've mentioned this several times before, but drinking green tea, and other teas for that matter is one of the best and easiest ways to combat the effects of sugar and junk on your skin. Superstar and multitasker- green tea has been proven to significantly interfere with the glycation process while stimulating collagen synthesis—so if you're using a product containing green tea (or drinking it regularly), you're already protecting your skin, and may help it recover from the shenanigans of Easter. Green tea drinkers tend to have moister skin, and more elastic skin, giving off a healthy glow. Get drinking, and read my post on how to brew it for most effects, here.

2. Use a Retinol night product

I love Retinol. It is a superstar anti-ager. This miracle ingredient binds receptors within Fibroblasts (collagen producing skin cells) stimulating collagen formation. In the same way that drinking green tea can help combat damage to collagen, this will do the same, but in topical form and faster. Everyone over 25 and not pregnant, should be using this regularly.  

3. get your aox (antioxidants)

Antioxidants found in vegetables, fruits, berries and spices are great little soldiers that ward of free radical damage to skin cells, DNA and protein structures within the skin, such as collagen. Now that the last chocolate egg has been devoured, make sure to get a lot of greens and colored foods in your diet again (not artificially colored mind you). I love kale, spinach, tomatoes, purple salad leaves, ginger, turmeric and blueberries for an instant AOX boost. Try making a juice or smoothie once a day, that way you've at least got one healthy dose AOX in your system.

4. work out

Working out can help decrease accumulation of AGE's in tissues, and has a number of healthy benefits for skin. It increases circulation for one which delivers nutrients and oxygen to cells and help them function better, while also making you sweat, all which gives you a nice glow that lasts. Try some cardio now after the holidays, I like the cross-trainer or a spinning class. Read more on what exercise can do for your skin here.

5. detox your face (and body)

When I say detox, I mean, treat your skin better. Give it what it wants, what it needs. Following these steps will be part of that, but you could also try to include a more rigorous skincare routine as well. I like detoxifying clay masks for breakouts and lack of luster, The SkinCeuticals clarifying clay mask and the Caudalie Instant Detox masks are both great. Exfoliating treatments help slough of dead and dry skin, while your moisture option should be nurturing. A nice face oil might hug the right spot right about now, and the Aveda almond oil is an old favorite of mine, but I'm also really into the new Clinique Smart Treatment oil which is full of antioxidants. I used this on the plane to Seoul, and I've never had better post-airplane skin, it was actually moist and glowy! When it comes to detoxifying your system, I like sauna sessions post workout, lots of lemon water, and a good healthy diet consisting of above mentioned food groups.

I just landed in Stavanger and I have a day of paper work and preparations for the girls night event at BeWell this Saturday, before 2 full patient days Thursday and Friday. I'm looking forward to the busyness of it all! I am also looking forward to some quality time with my dad, and some late Easter celebration - although I'll be sure to stay away from the chocolate eggs.

Best of luck recovering! :)

Love,

Rolah

 

 

Seoul pictureshow

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great Easter Weekend! Me and my fiance have been celebrating his birthday for a full 4 days since we came back from Seoul it seems, and it's been amazing! If you follow me on snapchat (username ROKderm) you've already seen all the shenanigans we've been up to.

Following is a little picture series of our recent trip to Seoul, as I mentioned in my previous post, all meetings went really well, but I still have a few things to research and numbers to crunch before I decide to end my quest for a manufacturer. In the end it was a great research trip, and we also got to fully experience the fantastic city Seoul is.

Now it's back to reality after a long trip, and super fun birthday weekend. I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm leaving for clinic work on Wednesday, and on Saturday I´ll be presenting and lecturing at the girls night event, if you haven't booked tickets yet, there are a few slots still available.

Big love,

Rolah