Sensitive (9)

Aestheticians frequently encounter clients with sensitive skin conditions. While a professional’s scope of practice does not allow them to treat eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis, they can provide treatments that supplement the care the client receives from their medical provider. By gaining an in-depth knowledge of each condition, its causes, and standard treatment options, professionals can combine empathy and understanding with superior skin health services to deliver first-rate therapies to this select group of clients.


Eczema, or dermatitis, is the name for a group of non-contagious skin conditions that present with symptoms of inflammation, pruritis (itchiness), and erythema (redness). Over 30 million Americans suffer from one or more forms of eczema which primarily appears on the hands, feet, face, and torso.

The most common form seen in the spa, atopic dermatitis, affects over 18 million Americans. It can present in infancy, teenage years, or adulthood. Individuals with a family history of atopic dermatitis, asthma, or hay fever have a higher risk of developing atopic dermatitis.

Symptoms include itchiness, redness, rash, dry or scaly skin, and open, crusty, or weepy lesions. If an infection develops from scratching, small pustules may form. Lichenification (skin thickening) can occur from excessive scratching and rubbing.

Contact dermatitis has two sub-classifications dependent on exposure to an irritant or allergen. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs with exposure to pollen, dust mites, or other allergens. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs with exposure to irritants like household cleaners. Symptoms include itchiness, redness, rash, swelling, bumps, and blisters. The best treatment for contact and irritant dermatitis is to avoid the offending agent.


The exact cause of eczema is unknown. However, genes and certain triggers are factors. Individuals with eczema have an immune system that over-reacts to outside stimuli producing inflammation. In turn, inflammation triggers the erythema, discomfort, and pruritis.

Researchers have discovered that some individuals suffering from eczema have a mutation of the FLG gene responsible for creating the protein filaggrin. Filaggrin is found in the granules in epidermal skin cells of the stratum granulosum. The epidermis acts as a barrier, inhibiting penetration of toxins, allergens, and bacteria. Filaggrin plays an essential role in the skin’s barrier function. Filaggrin attracts and binds structural proteins, forming tight bundles, flattening, and strengthening the cells to create a strong barrier. The breakdown of the filaggrin proteins leads to the production of molecules, including pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), that are part of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor which helps to maintain skin hydration. Filaggrin also assists with the maintenance of the slightly acidic pH of the skin (approximately 5.5) which is another essential aspect of barrier function.

Without adequate amounts of filaggrin, a weakened skin barrier can allow moisture to escape through transepidermal water loss. Additionally, bacteria, viruses, toxins, and allergens can penetrate with ease. The weakened barrier causes dry and infection-prone skin.


Latest Advances
Research using probiotics to alter the skin’s microbiome is promising. A study discovered that parabens, commonly used as preservatives in skin care products, inhibit the growth of roseomonas mucosa (a gram-negative bacteria), suggesting that parabens might hinder the skin’s defenses against eczema.1


Prevention of Flareups
The best way to prevent flareups is to recognize and avoid the triggers.


The type and severity of eczema often determine the treatment. The medical provider determines the appropriate regimen based on the client’s condition. Knowledge of both clinical care and homecare remedies can help the aesthetician identify the best aesthetic regimens to complement the client’s current medical treatment.


A regular bathing and moisturizing routine using a gentle, soap-free cleanser and an emollient cream with humectant and occlusive ingredients is recommended to seal in the desperately needed hydration. Pat the skin dry with a towel (no rubbing) and apply moisturizer while the skin is slightly damp. Well-moisturized skin decreases dryness and keeps out allergens.

A 10-minute lukewarm bleach bath (using unconcentrated bleach) sounds harsh but can be calming and can prevent infection. The amount of chlorine is similar to the amount found in a swimming pool: approximately half a cup of bleach for a standard 40-gallon bathtub. The client should only utilize this therapy with their health care provider’s permission and must be sure to thoroughly rinse the skin with fresh warm water to remove all bleach residue.

Wet wrap therapies are beneficial for rehydration. They also help topical medication to penetrate more efficiently. To use this option, clients should apply moisturizer and any topical medications, followed by wrapping dampened gauze or cotton to the affected skin. Then, the client should follow the damp wrap layer with a dry cloth over the top of the dampened wrap and complete the process with nighttime clothing to keep the wraps in place. They should leave this on for several hours, staying moist, or overnight.

Many over-the-counter products – including gentle cleansers, mild steroids, moisturizers, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, and coal-tar-based products, amongst many others – are available to help prevent and control eczema flareups. Clients must be sure to read the labels and follow directions.

Clients should apply all topical over-the-counter and prescription medications as directed by the healthcare provider. Topical steroids reduce cutaneous inflammation. They also tighten and constrict the capillaries, which decreases erythema. They are not intended for long-term use; sensitive areas, including eyelids and genitals, should always be avoided. Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) can be used for extended periods to control symptoms and reduce flareups because they do not contain steroids. TCIs inhibit the stimulation of the inflammatory cascade, keeping eczema in check. Prescription-grade topical skin barrier medications made from lipids and ceramides help prevent transepidermal water loss and protect against irritants penetrating the skin’s barrier. Topical phosphodiesterase 4 (PER) inhibitors block the PDE4 enzyme, reducing inflammation both on and below the skin’s surface and can be used for extended periods.


Clinical Care
Biologics are injectable drugs engineered from proteins derived from living cells or tissues. Biologics target the immune system to slow down its reaction, enabling the reduction of inflammation, redness, itchiness, and rashes.

Phototherapy, or light therapy, incorporates ultraviolet light to slow inflammation and mitosis. A hand-held device or a walk-in light source somewhat similar to a tanning booth may be used. Treatments take place in a doctor’s office several times a week and therapy can last weeks or months.

Immunosuppressant medications suppress the immune system, which reduces inflammation. They can be taken orally or by injection. Methotrexate, cyclosporine, and mycophenolate are three current medications used off label to treat eczema.


Rosacea is a chronic, but treatable, vascular skin condition that is estimated to affect 415 million people worldwide. It usually presents as redness in the central portion of the face when the patient is in their 30s. Left untreated, the condition worsens, resulting in more persistent redness and vascularity. Inflammatory pimples often develop and, in severe cases, the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. Up to 50% of patients have watery, bloodshot eyes that feel dry and irritated. Rosacea is most prevalent in people of northern or eastern European descent; however, all ethnicities can develop this condition.


Recognizing Rosacea
Primary presentations on the central face include flushing, persistent redness, dilated capillaries, and papules and pustules. Secondary features include irritated eyes, burning or stinging, itchiness, dry skin, plaques, thickened skin, and edema.


Medical science is still looking for the cause of this condition. Knowledge of rosacea’s signs and symptoms enables the control of the condition with medical therapy and lifestyle changes while a search for the cure continues.

Facial redness presents because the client has an increased number of capillaries (which increases blood flow) that are closer to the surface of the skin. Eyelids may become red and swollen and styes are common. Crusts may accumulate around the eyelids or eyelashes and clients may notice visible blood vessels around the lid margins. Severe cases of ocular rosacea can result in corneal damage and loss of vision without medical intervention.

Clients must see a dermatologist or other qualified physician for diagnosis and appropriate treatment before their disorder becomes increasingly severe and affects their quality of life.


Recent Discoveries
Groundbreaking studies funded by the National Rosacea Society focusing on the immune system discovered cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) affect clients with rosacea differently than healthy individuals. CAMPs speed up physical repair but worsen rosacea symptoms. Researchers Dr. Yoshikazu Uchida and Dr. Peter Elias examined elements along the CAMP production pathway and found a lipid substance known as SP1 that is responsible for increased CAMP synthesis. They also discovered another lipid metabolite, C1P, that stimulates the production of other protective peptides which, in turn, decreases the number of CAMPs. New medications that can intersect the production of these protective peptides may lead to new rosacea therapies.2

Dr. Anna DiNardo and her research team discovered that mast cells play a role in the stimulation of certain types of cathelicidins, an enzyme involved in the immune system response that is over-produced in people with rosacea. Dr. DiNardo’s team determined that mast cells in mice exposed to PACAP – a neuropeptide, produced enzymes that triggered cathelicidin production. This chain reaction did not occur in mice bred to lack mast cells. Additional research is needed to discover if a mast cell stabilizer known as cromolyn sodium will decrease rosacea symptoms.3


Oral and topical medications treat the various signs and symptoms associated with the disorder. Rosacea-specific therapies are available in various formulations for each client.


Medical Therapies
Redness, papules, and pustules are treated with oral and topical therapy for immediate improvement, followed by long-term use of an anti-inflammatory for maintenance. Telangiectasias and rhinophyma are best addressed by lasers, intense pulsed light sources, or other medical and surgical devices. Ocular rosacea is treated with anti-inflammatory medications and recommendations from an ophthalmologist or optometrist.


Aesthetic Therapies
The aesthetician must treat the skin very gently. Irritation and heat exacerbate the condition. Avoid the use of harsh chemical peels, scrubs, hot steam, microdermabrasion, or anything abrasive. Consider replacing the European massage with something lighter, like manual lymphatic drainage or pressure point, to minimize flushing due to stimulating circulation.

It is best to avoid aromatherapy or the use of any fragrances on sensitive skin. Consider using a cool spray in place of steam (found in multi-function machines) or adding a Lucas Championaire to the equipment arsenal. Mild chemical peels stimulate cellular renewal replacing damaged skin cells with healthy new ones. Incorporate calming, hydrating, and anti-redness ingredients into masks and serums.


Skin Care Routine
Gentle skin care products used daily will calm the skin. Clients should wash with a mild cleanser, rinse with lukewarm water, and blot dry. Suggest non-irritating skin care products as needed and a broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Look for products with ingredients that address: inflammation, such as argan oil, niacinamide, linoleic acid, azelaic acid, ginger extract, bisabolol, green tea, lavender, jasmine, rose, tea tree, and thyme; barrier function, like niacinamide and linoleic acid; and redness, such as sulfur, caffeine, asparagopsis armata, and ascophyllum nodosum. Also, look for antioxidant-rich ingredients like argan oil, soothing and calming ingredients like aloe, hydrating ingredients like honey, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin, and healing ingredients like argan oil, lavender, jasmine, rose, tea tree, and thyme. A physical sunscreen that includes zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is a good idea, as well.

Avoid products with ingredients that sting, burn, or cause additional redness including: fragrances, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, drying alcohols, witch hazel, or foaming cleansers, which can be drying. Green-tinted makeup foundations can be used to counter redness, followed by a foundation with natural yellow tones. Avoid pink or orange hues.


Lifestyle and Environmental Factors
To supplement medical therapies, rosacea clients can improve their skin health by identifying and avoiding lifestyle and environmental factors that trigger flareups. Identifying these factors is an individual process because what causes a flareup in one person may not affect another. 


More than 125 million individuals worldwide have psoriasis. Science is still searching for a cure, so patients must work to manage their symptoms. Psoriasis has several forms, with the most common being plaque psoriasis, which presents as a patchy, red rash with silvery, white scales. This form appears most often on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that must be diagnosed by a physician.

Plaque psoriasis symptoms include flaking, inflammation, and thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin.


An overactive immune system, the body’s defense against germs, causes psoriasis. It is a chronic skin condition. The body’s immune system mistakes healthy skin cells for damaged ones, then attacks them as if it were fighting an infection. The body responds to the attack by making new skin cells every few days instead of the usual 28 days. The newly formed cells build up on the skin’s surface and form a rash.


Psoriasis may be treated by using creams, steroids, biologics, laser, and phototherapy, amongst many other options.

Treatment options depend upon the level of the condition. A client is considered to have mild psoriasis, if it covers less than 3% of the body, moderate, when coverage ranges from 3% to 10%, and severe, if over 10%.

The client’s physician will determine the best treatment plan for each individual case. At-home treatments include:

  • topical steroid creams to reduce inflammation and itching and slow the cell turnover rate
  • moisturizers to hydrate and reduce itching
  • salicylic acid to exfoliate, lifting scaly skin cells
  • retinoids to reduce inflammation and normalize
  • the cell turnover cycle
  • calcipotriene or vitamin D (studies have shown that psoriasis patients are deficient in vitamin D)
  • coal tar to slow the rapid cell turnover rate, calm inflammation, and reduce itching and scaling
  • biologics (drugs made from living cells) like Humira and Enbrel to target the immune system
  • prescription medications to target various
  • psoriasis symptoms
  • anthralin (a medication) to slow the cell turnover cycle
  • occlusion methods (wrapping an area treated with cream) to improve product penetration


There are a number of natural remedies that may be helpful, as well. Exposure to sunlight may be useful, as UVB rays from the sun work like UVB phototherapy. Aloe is calming and tea tree oil is antibacterial – it will fight any infection from scratching. Oatmeal baths calm irritated skin and epsom salt baths remove dead skin. Studies show that turmeric in foods or taken as a supplement may cut down flareups.


Medical Therapies
Light therapy (UVB phototherapy): UVB penetrates the skin to slow the growth of skin cells in an affected area. Skin is exposed to a UVB light source for a set length of time on a regular schedule. Phototherapy can be administered in a medical office or at home. PUVA is a form of phototherapy that combines a medicine called psoralen with UVA light. Excimer laser is FDA-approved for treating chronic, localized psoriasis plaques by emitting a high-intensity beam of UVB light. Biologics can be taken at home orally or by injection or IV in a medical facility.

Aesthetic Therapies: Blue LED light therapy addresses the bacterial components associated with psoriasis, while red addresses the inflammation. Massage can relax the client; stress is a trigger for flareups. Superficial chemical peels can exfoliate surface plaque buildup as long as they are mild; salicylic acid is FDA-approved to treat psoriasis.

Climatotherapy: Dipping into the Dead Sea has been said to improve psoriasis. A combination of the salty water and abundant sunshine is believed to be healing. Recent studies report improvements in psoriatic skin after taking the Dead Sea plunge. Many clients report having no symptoms for months afterward.


Prevention or Management of Flareups
Researchers know that approximately 10% of the population carries the gene for predisposition but only 2% to 3% develop the disease, which leads them to believe that environment and lifestyle choices play a factor.


Just as with eczema, a regular bathing and moisturizing routine using a gentle, soap-free cleanser and an emollient cream with humectant and occlusive ingredients to seal in hydration is ideal. Clients should pat the skin dry with a towel (no rubbing) and apply moisturizer while the skin is slightly damp. They should use a physical broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for UVA and UVB protection.


Armed with the knowledge of sensitive skin presentations, their causes, treatments, and suggested homecare, skin care professionals can deliver exemplary services and product recommendations to a select group of clients that need empathy, understanding, and a gentle touch. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing an impact made on someone’s life.


1 Research funded by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and published May 3, 2018, in the journal JCI Insight.
2 “A novel therapeutic approach via modulation of sphingolipid signaling in rosacea.” National Rosacea Society.
3 “Mast cells play a direct role in the activation of certain types of cathelicidins.” National Rosacea Society.
4 National Eczema Association.
5 National Roscaea Society.
6 National Psoriasis Foundation.


Brenda Linday 2014Brenda Linday, L.E., L.E.I., C.A.C., is a licensed aesthetician, licensed aesthetic instructor, and certified aesthetic consultant with over 15 years’ experience in the medical aesthetic industry. Linday serves as a consultant for medical and aesthetic companies desiring to build strong sales and education teams. She develops clinical and sales education content and trains sales and educational teams, clinicians, physicians, and distributors around the world. Linday is also a featured author in many industry publications. Her passion is sharing her wealth of knowledge with other like-minded professionals who believe that education is key to building lasting relationships with clients, making each professional more successful by increasing client satisfaction. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @LindayConsult

Monday, 25 February 2019 01:10

Eczema in the Spa: Causes, Identification, and Treatment

Written by Michele Corley

Eczema is a general term used to describe inflammatory skin conditions exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics (depending on the severity and type of eczema): dryness associated with redness and itching, raised patches, cracks,  swelling, small blisters, oozing of a pale yellow or transparent fluid, red or brownish grey patches, raised skin with greasy looking patches, crusty flakes, burning, rash, and scaling.

There are several different types of eczema, such as atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis.

The most common types of eczema aestheticians will encounter are atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. We will discuss those in more detail.

Atopic dermatitis can range in appearance – from dry, itchy, red, raised patches to irritated, crusty, oozing, cracked, scaling, and discolored patches of skin – depending on the level of distress the skin has reached.

Contact dermatitis may often have the same symptoms as atopic dermatitis, but is the direct result of the skin coming into contact with an irritant. Once the irritant is identified and removed and the skin barrier is repaired, the skin will recover, so long as the irritant is not reintroduced.

Seborrheic dermatitis can vary in appearance, as well, depending on the level of distress the skin has reached. It can exhibit mildly, as redness with itching and burning, or can appear more severe, with swollen, raised, greasy-looking patches, often accompanied with white or yellowish crusty flakes. Seborrheic dermatitis generally appears where there are a lot of oil-producing sebaceous glands.

Researchers do not know the exact causes of eczema, but concur multiple internal and external factors are likely involved.

People with eczema are likely to have a heightened or over-active immune response. This heightened immune response, when combined with a trigger inside or outside the body, can set off an inflammation cascade, resulting in chronic inflammation. It is this chronic inflammatory response that causes the painful symptoms associated with eczema.

Research shows that some people with eczema have a mutation of the gene responsible for creating the protein filaggrin. This protein helps our bodies maintain a healthy protective barrier in the epidermis. Without enough filaggrin to maintain the skin’s outer barrier, moisture escapes and the skin becomes prone to invasion by bacteria and viruses. A filaggrin deficiency is one of the reasons people with eczema tend to have very dry skin and, therefore, infection-prone skin.

An initial client consult that includes a thorough intake form and interview, in addition to the physical examination of the skin, will serve as the basis for diagnosing the presence and type of eczema. The most important thing we can do as aestheticians in treating eczema is to have clients eliminate as many triggers as possible and recommend products that will repair the skin barrier. A client’s compliance and consistent homecare are critical to strengthening their natural barrier and reducing eczema flareups.

A note of caution: be clear with the client at what point the condition is manageable through aesthetic practices and at what point temporary medicinal solutions should be sought in order to return the skin to an aesthetically manageable level.

Environmental or “choice” irritants should be eliminated as best as possible. Have clients abide as follows:

  • avoid products containing: artificial fragrance (natural or synthetic), artificial colorants, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, alcohol, alpha hydroxy acids (with a pH below 4.5), or beta hydroxy acids (with a pH below 4.5)
  • avoid any treatments or products that would further compromise the skin’s barrier, such as microdermabrasion, aggressive peels, scrubs, or dermaplaning
  • use household surface cleaners and disinfectants with nitrile gloves to protect the skin.
  • use laundry detergent that is fragrance- and colorant-free, avoiding chlorine bleach and dryer sheets
  • avoid extreme heat and cold, allergens, chronic stress, foods that cause inflammation (processed), unprotected sun exposure, smoking, and over consumption of alcohol

Clients who suffer from eczema need to be educated that this is a condition they will likely be dealing with for life and need to treat it as such by focusing on keeping the skin healthy (inside and out) and the barrier intact.

The following protocol for treating eczema focuses on calming, comforting, nourishing, feeding, repairing, and fortifying the skin barrier. Focus on products that utilize nutritious plant oils, vitamins, mineral rich clays, gentle botanicals, and protective zinc oxide to meet standards for calming, nourishing, repairing, and ultimately protecting the skin.

Cleanse to remove makeup. Apply a calming cleansing oil to the client’s skin. Perform a cleansing massage adding water as needed. Gently remove the cleanser (using the press and pickup method) with a luke warm microfiber towel or damp 100 percent cotton four by fours.

Cleanse the skin again. Apply a calming cleansing oil or gentle cleansing cream to the client’s face, neck, and décolleté. Perform a gentle hydrating cleansing and relaxing massage for 10 to 15 minutes, adding product as necessary to maintain slip. Once more, gently remove the cleanser (using the press and pickup method) with a luke warm microfiber towel or damp 100 percent cotton four by fours.

Gently exfoliate the client’s skin. If their skin is in an extremely irritated state, skip this step. Apply a gentle enzyme mask with a fan brush to their face, neck, and décolleté, covering the client’s eyes with soothing eye pads and allowing the enzyme to sit 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the client’s skin condition. Gently remove the enzyme (using the press and pickup method) with a luke warm microfiber towel or damp 100 percent cotton four by fours.

Apply a blend of calming, nutrient-rich oil to the client’s face, neck, and décolleté and gently massage the skin for approximately 10 minutes.

Perform a pressure point massage to encourage lymphatic drainage for approximately 10 minutes. Remove excess oil with a damp 100 percent cotton four by four.

Apply a calming cream mask to the client’s face, neck, and décolleté with a fan brush. Allow the mask to sit for 10 to 12 minutes. Gently remove the mask (using the press and pickup method) with a luke warm microfiber towel or damp 100 percent cotton four by fours.

Apply the appropriate calming eye care, lip care, serum, moisture cream, and sunscreen.

Educate clients on the following protocol to supplement their treatments at home:

  • calm and comfort the skin by cleansing twice daily with a calming oil cleanser, moving to a calming cream cleanser, if desired, once the compromised barrier has been repaired
  • nourish by applying a calming eye cream twice daily
  • repair the skin twice daily by applying a calming, nutritious oil serum, moving to a calming emulsion, if desired, once the compromised barrier has been repaired
  • fortify the skin by applying a calming moisture cream twice daily
  • protect the skin with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide broad-spectrum sunscreen daily

2019 Michele CorleyMichele Corley is the founder of Michele Corley Clinical Skin Care, a nationally-distributed, premium, professional-use-only skin care line based in Napa, California. Corley’s mission is simple: to provide efficacious products that deliver superior results and to back it up with exceptional customer service. Every Michele Corley Clinical Skin Care product is crafted with care and consideration to the health and well-being of the skin. Corley believes her clients’ success is as important as her own and values everyone she has the pleasure to work with.  She loves to say, “if my clients are successful, so am I.”

Monday, 29 October 2018 06:07

Crystal Clear: 5 Gems for Sensitive Skin

Written by

Millions of men and women have skin sensitivities that prevent them from wearing jewelry made from certain materials. While the type of metal the jewelry is made from is what typically results in unpleasant reactions for people with allergies, choosing pieces made with certain gemstones could actually help the skin, in some cases.


Gems and crystals have been prized for millennia – not only for their beauty, but also for their cleansing and healing properties. They are used to promote inner peace, soothe anxiety, protect against negative energy, and so much more. Today, they are even being used to cleanse and protect the skin. In fact, gem-infused creams and oils have become extremely popular among people who are looking to experience the incredible benefits of crystals.


The types of stones that are used in these beauty products are also typically good for use in jewelry for people with sensitive skin. While everyone is different, wearing pieces that are made from a hypoallergenic metal – like gold or sterling silver – and the stones listed below prevents reactions in most people with sensitive skin. Of course, this is not a substitute for medical advice, and if sensitive skin prevents various clients from wearing the jewelry they love, they should consult with a medical professional.




Rose quartz is a light pink stone that is safe for even the most sensitive skin. In addition to its use in jewelry, this gemstone is even used to make rollers to massage the skin. When used on the face, the roller increases lymphatic fluid flow and reduces the appearance of puffiness and tiredness. It also has antiaging properties.


As a healing crystal, rose quartz is the stone of universal love. It is thought to open the heart to all types of love, including self-love, platonic love, unconditional love, and friendship. It also protects against environmental pollution and negativity and strengthens the heart and circulatory system. It is especially effective when worn on jewelry close to the heart, such as a long necklace or brooch.




Amethyst is regarded as one of the most calming and relaxing gemstones and it is safe to wear against the skin. Its purple color has been prized for centuries and ancient peoples knew it as a “gem of fire.” In various points in history, its value rivaled that of diamonds. Today, it is the birthstone for February and is commonly used in all types of jewelry.


Powerful and protective, those who practice gemstone therapy say amethyst protects the wearer from all types of harm. It also relieves stress and dispels anxiety, anger, and fear. It activates spiritual awareness while calming and stimulating the mind and boosting motivation.


Amethyst brings inner peace and strength to the wearer. Since it promotes calmness, it can even improve skin quality by reducing the occurrence of stress-related anxiety.




One of the most valuable and hardest stones in the world, diamonds have been worn as a sign of wealth for thousands of years. These hypoallergenic stones symbolize love, in the form of engagement rings and anniversary jewelry, and show off style as statement pieces. They are the birthstone for April and the 60th anniversary gemstone. Diamonds are a timeless luxury, appropriate for every situation.


Diamonds are a symbol of purity and, while just about everyone is familiar with the classic, clear, white stone, they can also be blue, pink, yellow, and even black. These gems bring clarity and love into partnerships and serve as a sign of commitment. They enhance the metaphysical powers of other crystals, so, if they are worn in jewelry with other stones, such as amethyst, the powers of the other gems become more powerful. Diamonds are said to clear mental and emotional pain and help bring about new beginnings. They also stimulate imagination and creativity and help bring clarity of mind.




The pearl is one of the most unique gemstones in the world, as it is the only one to form inside another living being. They occur as the result of irritation to the soft tissue inside of an oyster, and they have been prized for both their beauty and their healing properties since the dawn of time. They are widely used, especially in Asian cultures, where they are worn to promote good overall health and restore balance.


Whether naturally occurring or cultured, pearls have numerous healing properties in reiki. They help restore the body’s natural balance and promote inner wisdom. Pearls also promote sound sleep and are beneficial in the treatment of lung and heart disease. They are also effective in the treatment of skin conditions like acne and rosacea.




Most often seen in red, garnet is a gemstone that also comes in a rainbow of colors, including: green, pink, orange, brown, black, and yellow. The birthstone for January and the second anniversary gemstone, garnets are commonly seen as a symbol of love and passion. Crushed garnets are safe for sensitive skin and, when crushed, can even be used as exfoliants in skin care products.
When worn, those practicing reiki say garnet re-energizes and cleanses the chakras. It balances energy and brings passion, or serenity, as appropriate. The stone is said to inspire devotion and love, alleviate emotional disharmony, and sharpen one’s perception of others and one’s self. Garnet is said to provide a boost to the entire system and revitalize the body, bringing confidence and emotional peace.


There are many gemstone beads that are safe for people with sensitive skin. The ones listed above, however, also have many metaphysical properties that are beneficial to the wearer. When recommending gemstone jewelry, help clients to avoid nickel and, instead, recommend hypoallergenic metals that are safe for people with sensitive skin.


Burg2Roxy Burg is the marketing manager for Beads of Cambay. She is passionate about finding ways to channel her creativity. As a mother of children with sensitive skin, she is an advocate for products that make life a little easier and more enjoyable – especially as it relates to her expertise in gemstones and jewelry. When she is not busy writing, she loves working on projects ranging from jewelry making to crafting. Burg gets her inspiration from nature and seeing the beauty in everyday life.

Friday, 28 July 2017 02:18

Protocol for Sensitized Skin

Written by Natalya Rachkova, L.M.E.

Sensitized skin usually occurs due to the stratum corneum being compromised. Improper function of or damage to the stratum corneum results in moisture loss, irritation, and hypersensitivity.

Recent research brings exciting news for clients struggling with sensitive skin conditions. New medications have been approved by the FDA, studies have uncovered patterns in the development of specific conditions, and research teams have uncovered correlations between sensitive skin conditions and other health disorders.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 06:45

Sensitized Skin: Where to Start and What to Do

Written by Kat Khadija Leverette, L.E.

Whether the struggle is with persistent redness and rashes; sensitivity to the sun; full-blown allergic reactions; or tightness, flaking, and itching; working with sensitive skin can be quite challenging because of all the potential variables.

Sensitive skin is really a lay term, not a medical condition, and has come to be associated with people who have allergic reactions or experience irritation from a variety of allergens, random substances, or triggers.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 10:42

An Introduction to Sensitized Skin

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American Academy of Dermatology reports that 50 percent of the United States population experience some form of sensitized skin.

Almost a quarter of facial skin care users are interested solely in products with natural, organic ingredients that are designed specifically for sensitive skin.

Monday, 21 November 2016 17:08

10 Things About...Sensitized Skin

Written by Patricia Faley

Skin sensitivity is on the rise. In fact, it is estimated that up to half of the world's population perceive their skin to be sensitive. It is important, however, to note that there is a marked difference between skin that is genetically sensitive and skin that has been affected by internal or external factors that can accelerate nerve responses and increase permeability of the stratum corneum, resulting in the skin becoming sensitized.

Sensitive skin is a common condition that affects a majority of people and commonly has predisposed factors such as ethnicity. Factors such as an impaired skin barrier, a weakened immune system, inflammation, and digestive health can contribute to the skin’s sensitivity. When treating sensitive skin, both internal and external factors should be considered.

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