The Epicuren Insider

In an effort to keep you informed and up to date regarding the most frequently asked questions regarding the Epicuren Discovery® skin care line our skin care experts have answered your inquiries.


Frequently Asked Questions

Under the guidance of an Epicuren® certified therapist, you should be able to add our products to your daily routine.

As a general rule, pregnant or lactating women should avoid Vitamin A and its derivatives (i.e. Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate), highly stimulating chemical peels (certain professional acids/treatments), and stimulating or pure essential oils. Please keep in mind that we always recommend pregnant women consult with their physician prior to using any products.

Epicuren products are manufactured to the highest standards, using the purest, most natural ingredients available. Due to the natural nature of our formulas, slight variations in color and viscosity are to be expected. These variations are dependant on numerous factors, including the season and location in which the harvesting of the raw materials took place, and the time of year in which the product itself was manufactured. In addition, because Epicuren tries to avoid synthetic colors whenever possible, the colors of our products do tend to slightly shift over time. This transition is sometimes noted more readily by customers, as many of our products are packaged in clear bottles and/or tubes.

We suggest storing your products at room temperature, away from direct sunlight in order to uphold the integrity of the ingredients.

Many misconceptions exist in skin care when dealing with chemicals and organic. Epicuren® uses the finest raw materials in all of our products. While the majority of our formulas are made from pure, natural ingredients and enhanced with organics, Epicuren's main priority is that our products remain safe and effective. Occasionally it is necessary to use a synthetic ingredient to ensure this high standard of quality. Rest assured that Epicuren thoroughly researches all questionable ingredients and will re-formulate a product if we feel it poses even the slightest potential risk to our consumers.

Yes, the only type of plastic that contains BPA is polycarbonate. All of Epicuren bottles are made with PET and tubes are LDPE and PP (cap). Our plastic pumps are almost always a mixture of LDPE, HDPE & PP. These plastics are recyclable and often made from recycled materials.

Our Metadermabolic Enzymes improve the overall health of your skin. You can expect to see an improvement in color, tone, texture, and the appearance of fine lines. Your individual results will vary depending on your skin care goals and adherence to a daily regime. Initially when utilizing the Epicuren Discovery® enzymes, the skin will go through a transition period and may purge impurities, leaving your skin feeling tight and dry. This effect is an indication that the enzymes are working. We recommend slowly introducing the Metadermabolic Enzyme trio to avoid much of the dryness and possible purging. It is important to moisturize more frequently during this transition. In a couple of weeks the skin will balance out, leaving a healthy glow.

Our Metadermabolic Enzyme is made up of elastin and collagen protein combined in a waterborne base of Niacin, Biotin, and Riboflavin. Unlike a fruit enzyme, our protein enzyme is familiar to the skin so it is readily accepted as nourishment. (Much like a protein pack for hair or protein based nail treatments.) While fruit enzymes usually exfoliate the skin, the Metadermabolic Enzyme does not exfoliate and instead stimulates the skin, demanding it to perform in a more youthful manner.

The Skin Conditioner, Enzyme Concentrate, and Gel Plus were designed to work synergistically. However, using all 3 products may be too much activity for certain individuals. In that case you may need to slowly acclimate your skin to the enzymes or eliminate 1 or 2 of the steps.

While the enzymes make your skin look fantastic, daily use of the Enzyme Trio (Skin Conditioner, Enzyme Concentrate, and Gel Plus) may be too much activity for certain individuals. We recommend slowly introducing these products to the skin over a period of time.

We do not recommend using the Metadermabolic Enzyme Trio on active acne. Your skin care therapist can suggest other options within the Epicuren® product line until your acne is under control.

The Metadermabolic Enzyme encourages the skin to self rejuvenate, resulting in a more youthful and vibrant appearing complexion. This exclusive complex can be found in the following Epicuren® products:

  • Skin Conditioner Enzyme Toner
  • Enzyme Concentrate Vitamin Protein Complex
  • Gel Plus Enzyme Protein Gel
  • Gellé Cleanser
  • Glycolic Lotion Face Peel 5% and 10%
  • Protein Mist Enzyme Toner
  • Eye Cream
  • Evening Emulsion Enzyme Moisturizer
  • Skin Rejuvenation Therapy
  • Ultra Rose Treat Enzyme Moisturizer
  • Facial Emulsion Enzyme Moisturizer
  • After Bath Moisturizers
  • Aromatherapy Protein Mist

Absolutely. Although your skin may not redden or burn as easily as fairer skin types, you are still being exposed to UVA and UVB rays, which can cause aging effects and cellular defects, such as cancer.

To determine how long you are protected by your sunscreen, you multiply the SPF number by the average amount of time it typically takes you to show signs of burning, if not protected. For example, if you are using an SPF 20 sunscreen and it takes you 10 minutes to show signs of burning (20 x 10), then you would have a little over 3 hours of protection - Please keep in mind that, in the presence of sweat and/or water, you need to reapply more often. Also, although you may not see visible burning, UVA rays are still causing damage to the skin so we recommend reapplying more frequently.

To ensure maximum coverage, please refer to individual sun protection product application instructions.

UVA stands for Ultraviolet A rays. UVA rays are longer waves and comprise about 98.7% of the rays that reach the earths surface. They are known as aging rays because they are able to penetrate the dermis (the deepest layer of the skin) and can increase the effects of aging (i.e. wrinkles, leathery skin). UVA rays can penetrate glass, light clothing, and windshields, so it is important to always use sun protection.

UVB stands for Ultraviolet B rays. UVB rays are shorter rays and are known as the burning rays because they are responsible for melanin production (pigmentation). These rays are also responsible for producing a sun tan, which, believe it or not, is a sign of sun damage.

The shelf-life of unopened products is approximately 2 years, unless otherwise stated. As with all skin care products, the best results are usually achieved if used within 6 months after opening.

Basic Skin Histology

Primary Skin Functions

Protection – Fat cells found in the hypodermis guard the muscles, bones, ligaments, and vital organs from injuries and trauma. Melanin is produced to protect the skin and body from UV radiation, and the stratum corneum provides a barrier from harmful pathogens.

Heat Regulation –The combination of constricted blood vessels, sweat, and fat cells control the body temperature regardless of the outside climate.

Absorption – Some water, fat, and oil based substances are able to penetrate the epidermis topically.

Excretion – Salts and small amounts of waste are excreted through sweat.

Secretion – Sebaceous glands secrete sebum which contains lipids and free fatty acids. Sebum plays an imperative role in maintaining the health and moisture of the skin.

Sensation – There are a variety of nerve endings in the dermis that allow us to feel pressure, heat, cold, touch, and injury.

Water Resistance – The skin provides a water resistant barrier to prevent the loss of essential nutrients.

Dermis

The dermis is the layer just beneath the epidermis. Within the dermis are two layers – the papillary layer and the reticular layer. 10 – 40 times thicker than the epidermis, the dermis is primarily made up of collagen (strengthening fibers), elastin (elasticity fibers), and fibroblasts (cells that produce connective fibers such as collagen and elastin which make up the extracellular matrix). Also located in the dermis are the oil and sweat glands, hair follicles, blood vessels, and nerves.

 

Epidermis

The epidermis is the outer, non-vascular layer of the skin that covers the dermis. It provides waterproofing and serves as a barrier against inhospitable environments. Cells are formed through cell division (mitosis) and travel through the epidermis as they fill with keratin and eventually die, a process called Keratinization.


Layers of the Epidermis

  • Stratum Germinativum (Basal Layer) – Keratinocyte stem cells continually undergo cell division (mitosis) creating daughter cells; these daughter cells travel through the layers of the epidermis, the cells that remain will continue to replenish the basal layer. Melanocytes are produced to aid in preventing UV radiation and guard against indirect DNA damage responsible for skin cancer.
  • Stratum Spinosum (Spiny Layer) – Cells form desmosomes to bind adjacent cells together. Keratinization (cellular death) begins in this layer.
  • Stratum Granulosum (Granular Layer) – Keratin proteins are formed; lipids are produced to form a hydrophobic barrier to prevent moisture loss.
  • Stratum Lucidum (Clear Layer) – A thick layer of dead cells located only in areas that need more protection (soles of feet and palms).
  • Stratum Corneum – This layer resembles a brick wall, with stacked flat, dead protein or keratin filled cells (corneocytes). Each of the cells are surrounded by hydrophobic lamellar lipids comprised mainly of cholesterol and free fatty acids. Together, this forms the NMF (Natural Moisture Factor) which helps prevent inflammation and loss of hydration. The Stratum Corneum is the first line of defense against UV rays, filtering out 80% of UVB exposure.

Fitzpatrick Scale

This Fitzpatrick skin type scale will help you determine possible sensitivity to chemical exfoliation. You may ask the following questions to help classify which Fitzpatrick skin type you are working with.

  • What is your ethnic background?
  • Without the use of sun protection, do you burn easily, or tan?
  • How many sun burns have you had?
  • Were the burns severe (i.e. blisters, chills, very sore)?
Fitzpatrick Skin Type  Skin Tone  Hair and Eye Color  Ethnicity Back Ground  Typical Response to UV  Common Reaction to Chemical Peels 
White - Very Fair 
Hair: Red or Blonde Eyes: Blue 
Northern European 
  • High risk of skin cancer
  • Always burns
  • Freckles
  • Never tans
  • High risk for Telangiectasia 
Least Sensitive 
II 
White - Fair 
Hair: Red or Blonde Eyes: Blue or Green 
English, Irish, Scottish 
  • High risk of skin cancer
  • Usually burns
  • Very difficult to tan
  • High risk for Telangiectasia 
Very Low Sensitivity 
III 
White - Olive 
Hair: Blonde or Brown Eyes: Green, Hazel, or Blue 
Mediterranean, Asian 
  • Moderate risk of skin cancer
  • Mild burns
  • Gradually tans
  • Moderate risk of Telangiectasia
  • High risk for all pigmentation conditions 
Low Sensitivity 
IV 
Brown 
Hair: Brown or Dark Brown Eyes: Brown 
Mediterranean, Latin, Native American 
  • Rarely burns
  • Tans with ease
  • High risk for heat, chemical, and post inflammatory pigmentation conditions
  • Moderate risk for all pigmentation conditions
  • Moderate risk of Telangiectasia 
Sensitive 
Dark Brown 
Hair: Dark Brown or Black Eyes: Brown or Black 
Indian, Latin, Asian, African 
  • Very rarely burns
  • Tans very easily
  • Very high risk for heat, chemical, and post inflammatory pigmentation
  • Lower risk of solar pigmentation conditions 
Moderate Sensitive 
VI 
Black 
Hair: Black Eyes: Brown or Black 
African 
  • Least sensitive to UV radiation
  • Always tans
  • Very high risk for heat, chemical, and post inflammatory pigmentation
  • Very low risk for solar pigmentation conditions 
Very Sensitive 
Remember, it is normal for skin conditions to constantly fluctuate; there are many factors that affect skin conditions, such as: genetics, weather, emotions, hormones, and stress. We recommend always performing a thorough skin analysis to determine skin condition at the time of service.
Skin Type
Characteristics
Dry
  • Skin does not produce enough oil
  • May feel & look parched
  • May have dry patches and flakiness
  • Usually feels tight & uncomfortable after washing
  • May be prone to sensitivity
Normal
  • Skin is well balanced
  • Smooth texture
  • Small pore size
  • No signs of pigmentation, fine lines, or breakouts
Combination
  • T-zone is oily or shiny by mid-day
  • Dry areas on the cheeks
  • Intermittent blackheads
  • Fine lines in drier areas
Oily
  • Skin appears shiny by mid-day
  • Large pore size
  • Thicker texture
  • May have blackheads and be prone to occasional breakouts
Sensitive
  • Skin tends to be red, blotchy, or uncomfortable
  • Thin texture
  • Hyper-reactive to external and internal factors
  • More prone to premature aging
  • Genetically inherited, long-term sensitivity
Skin Conditions Characteristics
Dehydrated
  • Dehydrated skin is lacking water; the skin may be any skin type
  • Skin is rough and possibly itchy
  • Surface lines may be visible
Problematic • Blemish-Prone
  • Clogged pores, white heads, and pimples are present
  • Larger pore size
  • The skin may appear oily, but may also be dehydrated
  • Chronic or cyclical breakouts occur
Congested
  • Rough texture to the touch
  • Thicker skin
  • Areas of black heads, white heads, and/or milia are present
Sensitized • Redness
  • Persistent flushing
  • Skin often feels irritated
  • Environmental or topical triggers may increase symptoms • Dehydrated areas are present
  • Possible visible redness and/or capillaries
Impaired Barrier
  • Increased sensitivity to ingredients & external irritants
  • Skin does not retain moisture, feels dry, uncomfortable, and is easily irritated
  • Skin feels tight and uncomfortable after cleansing
Aging
  • Visible lines & wrinkles
  • Dull, lack luster skin tone
  • Chronic low-grade inflammation and/or sensitivity
  • Complexion is uneven and may have areas of pigmentation imbalance
Sun Damage
  • Skin shows visible spots
  • Dark (hyperpigmentation) and/or light (hypopigmentation) patches
  • Loss of moisture, dry, flaky areas
  • The skin may have a thick, rough texture
  • Decrease in collagen and wrinkles may be present