THE SKIN PROBLEMS:
What it is
Dyschromia is defined as “spots” on more or less expansive areas of the skin, variable in number and extent, lighter or darker than normal skin colour, due to too little or too much localised melanin.
Hypochromia (achromia in its most severe form) is when the spots are light and hyperchromia is when the spots are darker.
At the base of skin pigmentation are melanocytes: under normal conditions, these are cells that, when stimulated by the sun, protect the nucleus of the other cells by producing melanosomes, small pigmented granules that give skin a tan effect. Under abnormal conditions, some melanocytes begin working regardless of sun exposure, creating localised dyschromia.
The dark spots tend to thicken, darken, and become larger over time. While they may have appeared less frequently in the past, now they often form for no apparent reason or specific trigger, especially following pregnancy or hormonal disorders. Over 50% of women between 35 and 55 complain of the more or less accentuated appearance of these spots, especially on the most exposed areas - the face, neck, and neckline.
It is an abnormal, uneven pigmenting effect from the sun, be it spontaneous in predisposed subjects (chloasma), or caused by irritating chemical factors (i.e. pigmentary dermatosis from scented essences), or as a result of recurring sunburns (solar lentigo), or especially severe inflammatory reactions (postinflammatory pigmentation).
Hypochromatic spots can also have autoimmune causes, as is the case with vitiligo.
Sun exposure is the number 1 cause of hyperpigmentation
Sunlight is mainly what stimulates melanin production. Melanin acts as the skin’s natural shield, protecting it from harmful UV rays, which is why people tan in the sun. Excessive sun exposure can damage this natural physiological process, leading to hyperpigmentation. This is why it usually appears on parts of the body that are frequently exposed, like the face, hands, and arms. Once dark spots have formed, sun exposure can exacerbate them, making them even darker.
Hormonal influences are the main cause of a certain type of hyperpigmentation known as melasma or chloasma. It is particularly common among women, as it is thought to appear when female hormones like oestrogens and progesterone stimulate excessive melanin production when skin is exposed to the sun.
Hyperpigmentation is also a symptom of other illnesses, such as some autoimmune and gastrointestinal diseases, some metabolic disorders, and a lack of vitamins. It is also a side effect of some hormone treatments, chemotherapy, antibiotics, anti-malaria drugs, anti-epileptic drugs, and other medications. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when a wound or trauma to the skin heals and leaves a flat, discoloured area as a consequence. This is a common problem for people suffering from acne and can be caused by cosmetic treatments such as dermabrasion, laser, and chemical peeling. It appears when the skin is darker or lighter after a wound has healed.
The different types of “spots”
Ephelides are small brownish spots, more or less rounded, and flat compared to the surface of the skin. Their formation is associated to an increased concentration of melanin in some points of the skin, due to an irregular production of pigment from the effect of the ultraviolet rays in solar radiation. The tendency to get ephelides is inherited from parents and they usually begin to appear starting at a young age. They are frequent mainly in individuals with fair skin and blonde or red hair (phototypes 1 and 2). Ephelides appear especially in areas exposed to light (face, upper part of the torso, upper limbs, and neckline). Ephelides are lighter in colour and vary seasonally, becoming more accentuated in the summer with sun exposure, and tend to lessen during the winter (they are, therefore, not permanent). Applying lightening creams and light peelings can improve the appearance of ephelides.
Freckles are a hyperchromic type of skin dyschromia, due to an increase in the number of melanocytes in the basal layer of the skin; the excess melanin produced is concentrated in some cells. Freckles appear as flat or slightly raised irregularly shaped spots that vary in colour from light to dark brown. They can appear in various parts of the body, regardless of sun exposure: they are evident on the face, shoulders, upper limbs, and back of the hands, but can also appear in areas not exposed to the light and in the mucous membranes. As hyperpigmentation is due to accumulated melanin, intense and prolonged sun exposure can accentuate freckles and cause more to appear. They do not disappear during the winter (they are permanent); furthermore, freckles change colour from summer to winter but much less intensely. A dermatologist can remove freckles using a laser.
A daily regimen to fight dark spots
1. Exfoliating cleansing: removes the most superficial cells, helps eliminate melanin build-up, makes skin more even, smooth, and glowing. Recommended products: brightening scrub
2. Protective day treatment: rebalances melanin production, preventing spots from forming and existing ones from worsening. Recommended products: Face and neck cream SPF8 - Perfect treatment SPF30
3. Intensive treatment: a concentrated serum to apply to the entire face for an evening effect or to apply targeting localised spots. Can be used both morning and night. Recommended products: Serum
4. Using corrective makeup with a camouflaging effect can also be very helpful in minimising the embarrassment of having spots: use corrector to “visually” erase the dyschromia and foundation to even out the complexion. Recommended products: Whitening make up - Whitening result
Limiting sun exposure, wearing protective clothing, and using a high SPF wide spectrum sunscreen can help reduce the risk of developing hyperpigmentation, and prevent dark spots from worsening.
What is sensitive, intolerant skin?
Sensitive skin is the result of decreased skin barrier function.
The skin covers the surface of the body and acts as a protective barrier between the body and outside environment, absorbing and shielding radiation, regulating the loss of fluids, contributing to temperature regulation, and carrying out an important immunologic function. When the stratum corneum is altered, its barrier function is compromised.
The “barrier” damage triggers a vicious cycle, with a further loss of water and cellular lipids, and subsequent peeling, exposing the skin to attacks from external agents (chemical substances, bacteria, allergens, etc.). The main result is greater susceptibility, which causes the skin to respond abnormally to irritating external stimuli. Accelerated cutaneous nervous response: the nerve endings in the skin produce neuromediators that induce inflammation and react more quickly and extremely to stimuli, amplifying prickling sensations and tension.
This is what happens to sensitive and irritable (or hyper-reactive or intolerant) skin.
Hyper-reactivity manifests through rashes and/or prickling, burning, itching. This is not allergy-related, but simply the skin’s constitution and how it manifests is quite subjective.
Regardless of skin type, sensitive skin has very fragile defences that overreact to external stimuli, generally due to altered skin barrier function, which makes it more exposed to potentially irritating agents. Sensitive skin is extremely susceptible, reactive, and intolerant to various triggering factors. Skin sensitivity especially involves the face and manifests with burning, itching or prickling, irritation, a “tight” feeling, at times accompanied by dryness and redness that may become permanent and unbearable. There are few visible clinical symptoms. Redness is not always a factor and different skin types can be affected.
When these sensations are very intense, then the skin is hypersensitive.
When skin overreacts to the slightest aggression, then the skin is intolerant - that is, it can no longer tolerate anything. It prickles and is tight, with redness, peeling, and itching. In this case, it is best to choose products formulated with few ingredients.
Sometimes this sensitivity becomes acute and the skin finds no relief from the usual moisturising cosmetics.
It becomes allergic
An allergy is due to an immunologic reaction (to an allergen).The causes
At the cutaneous level, the symptoms are immediately evident: red plaques with eczema blisters and swelling associated with itching, which can be intense at times. Some intolerances to hygiene or treatment products are actually real allergies that are responsible for eczema or hives. In these cases, see your doctor immediately, who will prescribe the necessary allergy tests to identify the substance that triggers the skin reaction.
Contrary to common belief, sensitive skin is NOT a problem related to allergies. Nevertheless, people who suffer from sensitive skin can, at times, complain of an actual allergy to cosmetics or detergents. In this case, however, the itching symptom dominates. Sensitive skin can be defined as constitution type: this means that certain individuals have skin that is genetically more reactive to external stimuli, perhaps due to a hormonal, emotional, or stress-related response to internal stimuli.
There are various triggering factors and they can be:
- physical (UV rays, heat, cold, wind),
- chemical (cosmetics, soap, water, and pollution),
- psychological (stress, anxiety),
- hormonal (menstrual cycle, hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause).The most common skin manifestations that cause people with sensitive skin the most problems are the direct consequence of inflammatory processes.
In any inflammatory reaction, there is increased free radical production, which worsens in people with sensitive skin. The subsequent oxidative stress leads to various imbalances including erythema, redness, and dermatosis
A daily regimen for sensitive skin:
1. Cleansing: to remove makeup and impurities with ultra-gentle products that protect the lipid barrier, minimising the risk of allergies. Recommended products: Sensitive micellar gel
2. Protective day treatment: to hydrate, nourish, and reinforce the function of the skin’s protective barrier against external attacks, with a detoxifying, anti-age effect. Recommended products: Light cell defence cream - Rich cell defence cream
3. Intense treatment: to promote skin repair mechanisms, working in synergy with treatments. Recommended products: Rescue serum
A specific, careful cosmetic routine can protect and relieve skin sensitivity.
IMPURE AND OILY SKIN
What it is
Oily skin is characterised by excessive sebum production, which gives it a shiny and slightly greasy appearance. The main blemishes caused by excess sebum are blackheads and whiteheads. An excessive level of testosterone in the blood is often the main cause of oily skin, both in men and women. It is often found in adolescence, given that excessive sebum production is almost always caused by hormonal imbalances, which are typical at this age.
Evenly oily skin can be found equally on the face, neck, neckline, back, shoulders, scalp. Combination skin alternates “oily” areas, prevalently in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), and normal areas. “Impure” skin is oily or combination skin subject to microbial or mycotic alterations. In all three manifestations, the cause is excessive sebum secretion, or seborrhoea.
It is usually thought to be typical of youth, the main cause of the much-hated juvenile acne. In truth, this phenomenon also affects adults and is mainly caused by stress, environmental pollution, intolerances to food, more or less isolated hormonal “storms”, and unidentified contaminations.
Essentially, 4 main factors play a physiopathological role:
- increased sebum secretion;
- abnormal follicular keratinisation;
- increased cutaneous microflora proliferation;
- inflammatory reactions.
Dermatology classifies 2 distinct types of oily skin
Oily skin with dry or asphyxiated seborrhoea
Asphyxiated skin, usually a feature of adolescent skin, is due to the combination of changes in secretion levels and in structure: in fact, symptoms are a ceroid type sebaceous hypersecretion that invades the follicle and hyperkeratosis of the stratum corneum. Skin appears waxy due to excessive sebum production that accumulates in the follicle and is difficult to remove, along with thickening (hyperkeratosis) of the stratum corneum.
This type of skin often has black heads and whiteheads. In addition, the build-up of sebum in the follicles prevents normal cutaneous lubrication and makes this type of skin particularly prone to acne. Oily asphyxiated skin requires emollient, sebum-normalising products, as well as cleansing, purifying treatments.
Oily skin with oily seborrhoea
Oily skin is visibly shiny, oily, greasy to the touch, thick, always has dilated pores and blackheads. Follicles are dilated and assume a typical orange-peel appearance, especially in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). When there is abundant sebum, it is defined seborrheic. The increase in sebum secretion and the change in its quality have endogenous, endocrine, digestive, and nervous causes at the root. This type of skin problem is often accompanied by profuse sweating and it is precisely the combination of these 2 types of hypersecretions that causes skin to look greasy and sweaty and causes pores and follicles to dilate. Glands are hypertrophic, more active than normal, and produce sebum with an unusual composition.
Increased sebaceous secretion (seborrhoea) is caused by various factors:
Endocrine causes: typical in adolescence, precisely due to the hormonal imbalance caused by the activity of the sex glands as well as of the pituitary and thyroid glands. The result is excessive sebum production, such that some researchers think that there is a change in the function of the sebaceous gland that transforms secretion into synthesising steroidal substances like squalene and cholesterol. This change would cause the increase in sebum flow and the production of low-cholesterol sebum;
Digestive causes: sebaceous glands tend to expel excess fat in the blood due also to hepatobiliary disorders.
Nervous causes: The nervous system affects sebaceous gland activity: some particular conditions like nervousness, anxiety, excessive sensitivity transmit impulses through the lymphatic system and alter the function of the skin glands, especially those located on the forehead and scalp.
A daily regimen for impure, greasy skin
1. Cleansing: gentle, non-aggressive products that help easily remove impurities and makeup. Recommended products: Pure cleanser - Pure toner
2. Periodic deep cleansing: to complete the cleansing regimen, using a purifying, micro-exfoliating mask that absorbs impurities, with a normalising and gently astringent effect. Recommended products: Purifying mask
3. Protective day treatment: to hydrate, while promoting a regenerating, anti-age effect. Recommended products: Bio-matifying system - Bio-balancing cream - Pure perfect color
4. Targeted treatment: to purify, help lessen pore visibility, and dry out impurities. Recommended products: Recette
5. Using a mattifying foundation can be helpful in minimising the embarrassment of having shiny skin. Recommended products: Perfect matt make up
A careful daily beauty regimen, starting with thorough, constant cleansing, can minimise and control excessive greasiness, helping prevent and reduce the blemishes caused by potential inflammations.
What it is
COUPEROSE is a skin condition characterised by a fragile capillary network, resulting in reddening, which can be widespread or contained in the cheeks between the cheekbones and the sides of the nose.
From an ancient Latin term, “couperose” goes back to “cupri rosa”: a skin lesion mainly affecting the face, with reddish patches due to dilated blood capillaries; this intense, generalised redness is caused precisely by the abnormal dilation of small blood vessels, which create a reticulum that is made more or less evident by the pooling blood. It can affect any type of skin at any age, but is especially common in thin, fragile skin and is often also found in male skin.
From a diagnostic standpoint, couperose is recognised as a skin lesion that presents with widespread microtelangiectasis due to excessively porous, fragile capillaries that not only lose elasticity but undergo such severe dilation as to paint the face with decidedly unsightly red splotches and veins.
Couperose or rosacea?
Couperose is not to be underestimated for the simple fact that it can hide a more serious dermatological manifestation known as rosacea (or acne rosacea), a chronic disorder that affects the skin - especially the cheeks, forehead, and nose - causing papules, pimples, and telangiectasis (dilation of small blood vessels with vascular lesions), following inflammation of the hair follicles.
Couperose can, at times, be considered the final stage of the evolution of an inflammation, which, from a transitory condition, fossilises into a chronic stable phenomenon: in fact, while the redness at first may only manifest occasionally and disappear, over time this condition tends to manifest more and more frequently. In so doing, the capillaries lose elasticity and dilate permanently, becoming visible until they form that typical vascular reticulum that has now become the symbol and trademark of couperose.
There are many varying causes
- Consuming too much alcohol, along with intestinal and hepatic disorders, can exacerbate changes in microcirculation due to toxic substances being repeatedly liberated.
- Emotional factors can further highlight couperose.
- Sometimes a lack of vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin PP, can cause redness in facial capillaries.
- Hormonal disorders are another possible trigger.
- Climate changes, solar radiation, cold, humidity, and wind contribute to altering the subepidermal microcirculation: this is precisely why couperose may manifest especially in people forced to withstand considerable temperature variations.
- A genetic predisposition, dietary excesses, and spices can facilitate the onset of couperose.
A daily regimen for couperose skin:
1. Cleansing: to help remove makeup and impurities with gentle, non-aggressive products that make it easy to remove even heavier makeup. Recommended products: Dermo sensitive milk - Dermo toning lotion - Eudermique cleansing emulsion
2. Protective day treatment: to protect, repair, and give relief, while promoting an anti-age effect. Recommended products: No redness cream SPF30 - Fluid dermo active - Instant direct action - Emergency cream
3. Protective night treatment: to restore nourishment to the skin, helping prevent and revert couperose blemishes. Recommended products: Night resources visual regression - Dermo active cream
4. Intensive treatment: to reinforce treatment efficacy, helping reduce couperose-related redness. Recommended products: Microlymphe - Serum
5. Using corrective makeup with a camouflaging effect can also be very helpful in minimising the embarrassment of redness: use correctors to “visually” erase the redness and foundation to even out the complexion. Recommended products: Optimal make up - Optimal result soft natural beige - Optimal result light green
A good rule is to adopt general preventive measures: a healthy, regular lifestyle, appropriate diet low in alcohol and coffee can be especially helpful in preventing the onset of microtelangiectasis. Irritating, aggressive cosmetics are also advised against, as they damage skin, causing sensitisation; in addition, skin should always be protected from UV rays and excessive cold and heat.
What it is
Dehydrated skin is a phenomenon that occurs when the most superficial layer of the skin has a reduced water and sebum content such that it falls below normal physiological parameters.
Hydro-lipidic deficiency is reflected in the skin’s health; it loses its glow and becomes grey, thin, fragile and rough to the touch until, in some cases, it appears scaly. Thinning skin and loss of the hydrolipidic film (essential for its hydration) is an inevitable consequence of ageing. Dehydrated skin is more prone to premature ageing. In addition to the aesthetic consequences, in becoming dehydrated, dry skin is no longer able to act as a barrier against bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances that can penetrate into the body.
The skin has a set of natural systems that protect it and keep it healthy.
Hydration is fundamental in keeping skin beautiful and elastic. Among the factors that ensure proper hydration, the most important is the hydrolipidic film, the natural film that is found all over the body.
This “veil” is made up by lipids produced by the sebaceous glands (mainly triglycerides) and epidermal lipids, mainly sphingolipids, fatty acids, cholesterol emulsified with sweat and transepidermal water. They ensure the stratum corneum maintains its elasticity and superficial hydration. Furthermore, thanks to its special slightly acidic chemical composition, it is able to keep the cutaneous pH constant, neutralising alkaline substances and preventing pathogenic microorganisms from colonising.
Water is an indispensable element for skin wellness; it spreads regularly and continuously from the derma to the surface of the skin, helping preserve hydration and preventing cutaneous ageing.
Various factors can cause a lack of hydration: chronological ageing, environment, pollution, smoking, excessively aggressive soaps and washing too frequently, repeated improper sun exposure. These are all factors that alter the skin and the hydrating mechanism daily. This damages the natural renewal of the cells producing NMF that, day after day, will become increasingly lower and poorer in quality.
N.M.F. The Natural Moisturizing Factor is found in the skin’s hydrolipidic film that protects the skin, preventing dehydration. This mixture is able to keep the skin at the proper moisture level, preventing keratin cells from being excessively dehydrated. It is a mostly water-soluble mixture and, as such, is easily removed by solvents, soaps, water, and sweat.Modern cosmetics consider it especially important to restore the skin’s ideal hydration, which is why there are active principles that are able to simulate the N.M.F., thereby ensuring deep, long-lasting hydration. The N.M.F. rebuilds itself by using hydrating, restoring cosmetics.
A daily regimen for dehydrated skin:
1. Cleansing: to help remove makeup and impurities with gentle products that do not dry out the skin but moisturise it from the very first step. Recommended products: Hydra milk and tonic - Hydra water
2. Day and night treatment for combination and oily skin: for daily skin hydration with an exfoliating action that stimulates cellular renewal, reducing follicular hyperkeratosis and helping extract sebum trapped inside the glandular ducts. Recommended products: Hydra light
3. Day and night treatment for normal skin prone to dryness: to hydrate and protect the skin, helping to fight skin ageing. Recommended products: Hydra comfort
4. Day and night treatment for dry skin: for deep skin hydration, with a soothing, protective effect, helping restore the skin barrier and preventing further wrinkles from forming. Recommended products: Hydra rich
5. Targeted treatment: to hydrate the part of the face most prone to the formation of expression lines: around the eyes. Recommended products: Hydra eye
6. Intensive treatment: to intensify the hydrating effect of treatments and help fight dehydration by minimising the signs of dryness caused by a lack of water. Recommended products: Hydra serum
Proper hydration makes the skin more easily permeable and, as such, able to more quickly and completely absorb the functional substances given to it.
VERY DRY AND ALIPIDIC SKIN
What it is
Dry and very dry skin is a condition that exposes the epidermis to the premature onset of wrinkles and expression lines. It is caused by a lack of water (dehydration) or altered and reduced sebum production (alipidic skin); both situations can manifest at the same time.
We can identify three different types of dry skin:
dehydrated dry skin: the deficit involves the water component, important for barrier function. Dehydrated skin, whose tissues are lacking water, is thin, withered, prone to chapping. The most suitable products are gentle rather than aggressive to prevent the sensation of “tight” skin and are rich in hydrating elements;
alipidic dry skin: due to insufficient sebaceous secretion, it appears delicate, lacklustre, and has redness. It is also hypersensitive to external agents. Products for alipidic skin must restore the lipidic mantle with sebum restorative treatments;
alipidic dehydrated dry skin: reduced sebum secretion is associated to the low amount of water in the stratum corneum. Suitable products must be highly nourishing, hydrating, and emollient.
In dry skin, the hydrolipidic content of the stratum corneum is significantly lower than normal physiological levels. Unlike oily skin, dry skin is much more prone to premature ageing; it is no coincidence that people with dry skin often complain of expression wrinkles on their face.
There are several predisposing factors:
- climatic conditions (excessive exposure to UV rays, cold, air conditioning, excessive heating, and wind),
- cosmetic treatments that are harsh or not suited to your skin type,
- genetic predisposition,
- old age,
- taking some medications for long periods of time,
Targeted treatments to meet the needs of very dry and alipidic skin:
1. 24-hour treatment: to protect the skin completely, fighting extreme environmental situations; Recommended products: Vison
2. Night treatment: in harsh climatic conditions in synergy with your usual daytime product, it helps ensure a balanced supply of the lipo-restoring principles that the skin requires; Recommended products: Tortue
3. “First aid” mask-poultice: for a repairing effect on damage that has already been done. Recommended products: Hydra placentaire
Using products that are highly rich in lipo-restorative actives daily or occasionally under particular conditions of high skin stress - caused by internal or external factors - helps the skin stay “young” and elastic, while also soothing the unpleasant sensations correlated to excessively dry skin.
What it is
The phenomenon of skin ageing is unavoidable and subjective. Progressive cutaneous degeneration originates deep down, at the derma level, where there is a gradual alteration of the matrix supporting the connective tissue, while on the surface, there are initial aesthetic problems like dryness, dehydration, the onset of expression lines, which finally become sagging skin, subsequently altering the facial structure.
Over time, the skin changes its structure and its capacity to renew itself and faces profound changes that manifest by slowly and progressively altering the external appearance.
Starting at 30, the first stage of skin ageing begins, in which the skin starts to lose the capacity to retain water, the first expression lines form, which stem from those continuous, involuntary movements the face makes when contracting and releasing its muscles. As time passes, cellular regeneration begins to slow and this visually translates into lacklustre skin, raised skin, and the onset of wrinkles. The hydrolipidic film thins, while there is a decrease in elastin and collagen production, which leads to a loss of skin compactness. Starting at 50, hormonal factors step in, negatively affecting cutaneous renewal and hydration, there is an accelerated loss of collagen and elastic fibres, and the surface of the skin appears saggy, withered, and listless.
In addition to internal, chronological, genetic, and hormonal factors, there are also external factors, such as photoageing.
Factors like hormonal variations, stress, sun exposure, changes in temperature, and pollution affect ageing by causing physiological alterations that lead to the loss of hydration, the onset of wrinkles, and the loss of elasticity and compactness.
To prevent the onset of the first wrinkles and to keep skin young and elastic for as long as possible, it is important to start an anti-wrinkle treatment around the age of 25-30 that hydrates and smooths the skin, ironing out the first expression lines and slowing the formation of deeper wrinkles.
Anti-wrinkle treatments give:
- younger skin proper hydration to contribute to preventing initial wrinkles,
- not so young skin comfort and the necessary nourishment, helping to fight the signs of time.
A daily anti-age regimen:
1. Cleansing: to help remove makeup and impurities, making the skin more receptive to subsequent treatments. Recommended products: Specifical cleanser factor - Specifical toned factor
2. Exfoliating cleansing: to remove the more superficial cells, making the skin brighter. Recommended products: Rice cleanse & scrub
3. Day treatment: to hydrate and reduce the signs of time, helping the skin rediscover its natural elasticity. Recommended products: Specifical day factor
4. Night treatment: to reintegrate lipid deficiencies, helping keep the skin soft and elastic. Recommended products: Specially ultrariched factor
5. Targeted treatment: to work on the specific areas more prone to lines: around the eyes and lips. Recommended products: Special eyes and lips
6. Intensive treatment: to help reinforce the anti-ageing effect, as it has a higher concentration of functional ingredients. Recommended products: Ultra active serum
You must never neglect your beauty routine in order to prevent premature ageing. From a young age, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoiding bad habits that cause alterations in the skin’s appearance, marking it with wrinkles of varying depth.