B&B! Q&A: Candice Gardner of The International Dermal Institute

Candice Gardner picCandice Gardner is the Education Curriculum Manager of the International Dermal Institute. The IDI has 38 training centres worldwide, and have educated over 75,000 Professional Skin Therapists in its 25 year history. The Dermalogica brand was developed in tandem with IDI, and by the Institute’s founder, Jane Wurwand — and as always, is at the forefront of developing new ways to attend to our skin. I took some facetime with Gardner, specifically in relation to the brand’s Overnight Repair Serum, which is very, very popular in B&B HQ.

What’s so great about serums?
Serums are maximum impact products. Due to the increased level of actives used in serums — ingredients that improve the skin’s function —  change can often be seen within the first few uses, allowing you to target skin issues quickly. The formulations are designed to penetrate deeper into the skin, and so have a different texture to traditional moisturisers.

And what’s so great about using a serum at night?
The skin naturally regenerates at night, as it does not have to focus on the task of daily defence from the sun and the environment. With many serums focused towards boosting skin regeneration and repair, using your product at night may facilitate a better result.

Another key reason for using a serum at night is that, because your skin is not defending, your skin’s barrier is reduced. This means it is easier to deliver high concentrations of ingredients into the skin. But beware! This also means skin can become dehydrated through the night, so restoring lost lipids and providing protection is a key reason not to neglect your night time regimen.

I very much like the notion of working on my skin’s condition in my sleep! How soon can we see results with Overnight Repair Serum?
I love this product, because for me, the result is immediate. As soon as I wake in the morning I can feel the difference. The Argan Oil and plant oil blends are brilliant at replenishing the barrier. I have such dehydrated skin, I really notice the smooth softness that follows a night with this serum.

In general, you can expect to Overnight Repair Serumsee improvements in 2-4 weeks.

Overnight Repair Serum uses essential oils — how did we ever discover that they are great for our skin?
The use of essential oils dates back to the beginning of time. But the priests and apothecaries who used herbs, plants and oils relied largely on knowledge passed down and experience rather than substantiated science.

Modern aromatherapy is attributed to Rene-Maurice Gattefossé who switched from studying aromatics to medicinal use after he burned his hand in the laboratory and plunged it into a beaker of neat Lavender, to discover it not only soothed the burn but also healed the skin rapidly.

The Austrian biochemist, Madam Marguerite Maury, is probably the best known in the cosmetic field for her work in the early 20th century studying the benefits of essential oils on the condition of the skin.

I noticed that one can mix this with a lotion. Could you explain why this useful?
Some consumers are used to wearing cream or lotion style products that provide additional hydration to the skin. Some individuals might find that this relieves the characteristic tight feeling associated with dehydrated skin more quickly. So applying your serum and then layering up with your moisturiser is a personal preference rather than essential.

Others just love the smell, and the softening effect of the serum so much, that they add a few drops into their daytime moisturiser to boost skin improvements.

I personally am finding that my skin is reacting badly to the cold weather. Help!
Harsh weather and cold winds can leave skin chapped, irritated and vulnerable. Additional protective support for your skin’s barrier will help skin cope. Try barrier repairing products or opt for a richer moisturiser than you currently use.

I am a great fan of layering up. Add an additional layer of protection to your daily regimen by adding a serum or booster under your moisturiser or supplement your moisturiser with weather shielding layer. Top ingredients to look out for include skin smoothing silicones, emollient and comforting Shea Butter or protective non-occlusive microcrystalline waxes that act as a shield.

It might also be helpful to switch to more gentle formulas designed for when your skin feels more sensitive, reduce exfoliation (abrading or peeling vulnerable skin is a recipe for disaster), and look for products that use colloidal oatmeal which will heal and calm irritated skin.


Overnight Repair Serum: €64.85/£56/$60


Ha! Was googlin’ prices and found myself. {If only it was that easy!}{Maybe it is!} Anyway, here’s my review!

B&B! Q&A: Marissa Carter, of the Beauty of the Same Name

Welcome to the inaugural B&B! QnA. I keep wanting to write in the editorial ‘we’ voice, because that’s my background, but seriously, this is only ‘me’ here, Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter - 1 Hour Tan web picso: Marissa Carter, of Carter Beauty, kindly A’d the following Qs, talking about her new product, Cocoa Brown self tan, and gives us — you! — some tips about starting your own beauty business.

How you did you get into the beauty game?
Beauty was always my thing. I was ‘the friend’ that held you down with my knee while I plucked your eyebrows; the one sneaking into the bathroom in school to put makeup on, and the go-to-person if you needed advice on beauty products.

After school, I went to DIT Aungier Street to study Management & Marketing. Like most of my friends I took a year out to travel, but I never did go, in the end: I got offered a job in a beauty college. As part of my salary remuneration I could study Beauty Therapy and that was it really! I was like a duck to water and have never looked back.

Can you talk about how you came to make the decision to start your own salon, and where it all began?
Carter Beauty had humble beginnings operating out of a little room in the back of a house that I was renting, and has grown organically into the success it is today. I was very happy in my job in the beauty college, working as the Course Co-Ordinator and also teaching Beauty Therapy, but I am a very driven person, and one day I woke up and decided I wanted to run my own business. There was no convincing me otherwise.

I had very little money and no one to give me any, so it was on a wing and a prayer that I opened Carter Beauty! Luckily, it worked out but it took me a few years to be able to take the same salary that I had been earning in my job. That’s the risk you take when you go out on your own though, I suppose.

What advice would you have for anyone looking to start up their own salon?
Three things:
First of all, you need to be the best at what you do. If you stand in the middle of road, you get knocked down. I made sure that whatever beauty services I was offering were the best, and I took every class and course I could to further my skills and education. I still do. And I make sure my staff are as passionate about being the best as I am.

Second bit of advice is to ask yourself honestly why you want to be your own boss, because you’ll never work harder than you do as your own boss. Never. The buck stops with you and you’ll never again take a holiday where you can switch off 100%, so you must be prepared to make that commitment.

Lastly: hire people who are better than you in areas of the business where you might be weak. If you always want to be the smartest person in the room you’ll never reach your full potential because you’ll have no one to learn from!

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter €8.00You’ve recently launched your own brand of tan. Can you lay out the nuts and bolts of that process?
Creating a beauty product from scratch has always been a dream of mine. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in March this year, and while on maternity leave I had bought some new box-sets and books, and thought I would finally have the time to indulge and not do any work.

I don’t know why I thought that my drive would turn off and that I’d change once I had a baby. Yes, my priorities have shifted and being a mummy is my most important job but I’m still me! I soon found myself working with a product formulator, graphic designer and distributor all at once to bring Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter – 1 HOUR TAN to life.

There are so many different aspects involved in building a brand, but at the end of the day it comes back to business basics: work with people you trust and like and fill in any gaps in your skill set with talented people. I was introduced to Gordon and Fran in Sundrelle, a pharmacy distributor and we hit it off instantly. They are the exclusive distributor for Cocoa Brown and have rolled out the product into 150 pharmacies across the country.

What makes Cocoa Brown different from other tans?
When you apply fake tan, you usually have to leave it on overnight, or wait for about eight hours for it to sink into the skin and develop; Cocoa Brown contains accelerating ingredients which carry the tan into the skin and speed up the development time. You can actually wash the product off after as little as one hour, and the tan will continue to develop into a rich cocoa brown colour. If you want a deeper, darker tan you can leave the product on the skin for up to three hours.

The tan has a fresh scent which is ‘Tahitian Gardenia’, a light floral that’s not too sweet. The ‘biscuit smell’ you sometimes get in fake tans occurs when DHA (the active tanning agent in tan) comes into contact with air on the surface layers of the skin. The accelerating ingredients in Cocoa Brown carries the product into the skin so no DHA is left to linger on the surface getting smelly!

And! The tan comes in a 150ml mousse can and retails at an incredible €8.00. Carter Beauty is renowned for giving customers excellent value for money so it makes sense that my new brand Cocoa Brown, does too.

At the moment if you want to get a professional Spray Tan with Cocoa Brown you can get it for €20 in Carter Beauty. In the near future, select salons nationwide will also offer the service.

I am interested in issues around self esteem and beauty processes. I suppose there is an argument that women seek this stuff out because they feel bad about their appearance — I myself had to learn that my bare face is beautiful too! In your opinion, what’s the good argument for tending to one’s appearance?
Last year, for Lent, I gave up wearing makeup for the 40 days. It was an eye-opening experience for me and forced me to become comfortable bare-faced. I had acne as a teenager, and I think that I used makeup as a mask — and the association of feeling more confident with makeup stayed with me long after my skin cleared up.

I like to take care of my skin so that I feel radiant without makeup but I also enjoy getting dolled up. I enjoy the ritual of applying makeup and tan, of painting my nails and doing anything that beautifies me. I think even if I woke up looking like Jessica Alba and didn’t need a stitch of makeup, I would still apply it now and then, because beauty is an experience to me, so much more than the end result.


Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter – 1 HOUR TAN 150ml Mousse (€8.00) is available in pharmacies nationwide. 

Follow the brand on Twitter @CocoaBrownTan and Facebook facebook.com/cocoabrowntan