Before you decide to switch regimens to address breakouts for the 100th time, read this!
So you just started a regimen a week or two ago that your esthetician raved about and now you are breaking out more than ever? Believe it or not, this is not the time to change routines.
It is crucial to understand how your skin functions and how certain ingredients influence its behavior so you know what to expect when starting a new regimen.
Normally, your skin regenerates itself every 28-50 days depending on age and skin health. You shed skin cells daily, but the amount is so minute that you rarely see it happening. This is called natural exfoliation. Acne regimens rely on products that will enhance this process (along with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients).
When starting a new acne regimen, your skin goes through an accelerated exfoliation and renewal process. This allows for breakouts to show up much more quickly than they would have otherwise. The products are not creating new breakouts, but rather unveiling them at a sooner date. You would have seen the same blemishes surface weeks down the road, but since your skin function has been sped up you are seeing 5-6 weeks worth of breakouts in one or two weeks. This amazing and horrifying process is commonly referred to as “purging”.
This can definitely be alarming, but it is very important to adhere to the regimen suggested to you so you can get through this period, and you will get through it. The average time frame is 7-10 days, but it is not uncommon for it to stretch to 2-4 weeks. It all depends on the severity of acne you were experiencing and how quickly you can advance your regimen. Sensitive skin has to advance more slowly so the “purging” period may be a bit longer than tolerant skin which can increase the frequency of product usage more quickly. This breakout period can be minimized by using products with anti-bacterial properties such as benzoyl peroxide or topical antibiotics from your derm. We suggest sticking to a regimen for 6- 8 weeks and sometimes longer before deciding to switch, unless you are have a reaction (not skin purging). Keep in mind that not all acne will clear in 8 weeks, but you will definitely get a sense of the products and if you will be able to achieve better results over time.
The bottom line is to stick it out and you will see clearer, more refined healthy skin.
The key players in this acclimation process are:
Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (glycolic, lactic, salicylic, malic, mandelic acids) – Hydroxy acids have the ability to break down corneodemosomes on the surface of the skin. These are what hold the dead skin cells together. Think of the mortar on a brick wall. Once the corneodesmosomes are dissolved, the dead skin cells are ready to fall off. Using a hydroxy acid will speed up the rate that the cells are shed which means your skin has to make new skin cells to fill their place. When these new cells die, they are pushed to the surface for their turn to be shed. Any debris or microcomedones (pimples) rise to the surface too, which is why it seems like the product is making you break out. When using these ingredients for acne, daily is usually best.
Retinol – Retinol works from the inside out, which is opposite of a hydroxy acid. This ingredient stimulates cell renewal first, which then forces your skin to shed the dead skin cells from the top layer. This is a very potent ingredient and flaking and peeling is a common reaction because it has the ability to speed up the production of new skin cells so fast that you can visibly see the shedding of the old skin cells, which is usually invisible. This is generally not a desirable outcome, so moderation is the key with retinol. Use maybe 2-3 times a week.
Ask a professional before starting a regimen with either of these active ingredients.
BOO! Happy All Hallows Eve! While your bunnies, ghosts, princesses and pirates are out trick-or-treating, treat yourself to a masque of your own, here are our favorite skin treats… no tricks involved:
Oily and acne-prone skin types benefit from a weekly purifying masque. Purifying masques help to minimize the appearance of large pores while drawing out impurities and excess sebum. A purifying masque is typically clay based and contains anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. We recommend Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask.
Everyone should exfoliate! An exfoliating masque will remove dead skin cells from your skin. Exfoliating masques provide brightening, purifying and tightening benefits. After exfoliating, treatment products will penetrate deeper into the skin. We suggest June Jacobs Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Mask.
Our skin is our largest organ and often sends us signals that something is occurring elsewhere in the body. Are you seeing the signs? Do you occasionally get a pimple in the same spot every month? It may not be a coincidence.
If a large pimple is looming on your forehead or brow area, you may have an ingrown hair or may just be unlucky. If you are experiencing congestion, blackheads and white heads you may want to switch styling products or adopt a new hair style. Hair can act as a vessel to transfer products that build up on the scalp down onto the forehead causing irritation and congestion in the skin. Be sure to give your hair a deep cleanse about once a week to prevent product build up and transference to the skin. Try the Frederic Fekkai Apple Cider Shampoo which purifies the hair without stripping the hair.
Are you experiencing a breakout across the face from ear to ear? This could be a precursor for rosacea, especially if you are noticing a flushing in the skin that never goes away. Rosacea and acne can go hand in hand since the skin is inflamed and irritants can be trapped within the swollen pores. Rosacea can be triggered by sulfites which can be found in mostly red wine and spicy foods. Rosacea can also be prompted by temperature changes and emotional changes that would cause vascular changes within the skin.
Finally, if you notice a breakout along the chin every month, it could be associated with a hormonal imbalance such as a menstrual cycle or high stress situations. If you know that isn’t the issue, you may also want to try excluding dairy from your diet. Some researchers speculate that Dairy may be associated with irritation within the skin and chances are once it is removed from your diet, the breakout will clear.
Spices are not just for cooking, many skincare companies utilize spices, or the oils obtained from them, in the formulation of their products. Here are just a few with notable skincare benefits.
• Fennel – Fennel’s ability to decrease irritation and redness make it a great ingredient for sensitive skin. It also has the capability to tone and tighten making it a useful tool for mature skin and a great addition to an eye cream. The Peter Thomas Roth Instant FirmX Eye contains fennel. With its ability to stimulate lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness, Fennel is a useful firming agent.
• Cloves – These little evergreen tree buds have been used all over the world for centuries. Clove oil is an effective antimicrobial agent and is often added to cleansing products such as Eve Lom Cleanser. Additionally, cloves are rich in Vitamins A and C, two very effective antioxidants.
• Cinnamon – Individuals with oily or acne-prone skin will benefit from this yummy ingredient due to its antibacterial and naturally astringent properties. Juara Sweet Black Tea and Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer is a great product that makes use of its benefits. This refreshing gel-cream combines the anti-aging benefits of fermented sweet black tea with the shine-reducing and pore-purifying properties of ginger and cinnamon for a luminous matte finish. Completely oil-free, it immediately reduces shine while at the same time helping delay and reverse signs of aging.
• Pepper – Pepper is a popular ingredient in body products due to its ability to boost circulation. Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper Sugar Scrub also have analgesic properties and can be used to soothe muscle aches. Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel is another great muscle soother.
• Turmeric – This is a popular ingredient because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant and can help with the lightening of hyperpigmentation. For a more in-depth look on Turmeric, see our previous blog. [“Hot Ingredient – Turmeric”]
Helpful tips to clear skin: Remember to never pick at pimples and avoid touching your face throughout the day. If you notice you’re always breaking out on your cheeks your pillowcase or makeup brushes may be the culprit. Make sure you wash your pillowcase and makeup brushes regularly.
You can find all of the acne fighting products mentioned above on SkinStore.com!
Temperatures are beginning to rise and the need for a lighter oil-free moisturizer is here! Using the same moisturizers in the summer that you do in the winter may result in having a shiny, heavy-feeling complexion.
Here’s a list of our top rated oil-free moisturizers:
This common spice is getting out of the cupboard and into your skin care products. For centuries turmeric was and is still currently being used for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is now being put into skin care products, namely eye care and anti-aging products. It can treat fine lines and dark circles, and is a powerful antioxidant. You may also see turmeric in sunscreens for its antioxidant properties.
It is also successful in treating blackheads and has skin lightening benefits which will even out skin tone, making it effective for post acne scarring. Because turmeric is anti-inflammatory it is beneficial for most skin types, especially oily and acneic skin. Turmeric is also very healing so it will help repair extreme skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. If this product is mixed with a carrier oil such as jojoba it can eliminate spots caused by eczema. Turmeric has many beneficial uses; you can make turmeric into a paste like texture and it will effectively treat cuts, scrapes and diaper rashes. You can also take turmeric in a pill or powder form for added health benefits.
Here are a few products containing turmeric that SkinStore.com offers:
Alchimie Forever Nd YAG Antioxidant Skin Repair Gel – Normal to oily skin types will love this product because of its gel like texture. Enriched with antioxidants this moisturizer will protect your skin against all those nasty environmental aggressors. Guys, this will also work great for you to use after shaving to cool the skin and prevent irritation.
Jurlique Purifying Foaming Cleanser – This cleanser will give oily skin types a refreshing and clarifying cleanse without over drying the skin. It also contains antioxidants to protect the skin and prevent irritation.
It is always fun finding new products to try, so go and have some fun!
Click here to explore more products with Turmeric.
Lets be honest, one of the greatest perks of my job is the abundance of products I get to try. I’m like a kid in a candy shop when something new comes our way. Not only do I want to try any new products because I’m obsessed, but also so I can better educate our customers about the products we carry.
Now, this type of situation comes with its goods and its bads. The good? A seemingly endless supply of products at my disposal, doing at-home facials when I feel up for it, having a variety of gifts readily available and getting to try something new whenever I’m bored.
The bad? Products go bad before you get a chance to use them and the biggest downer of all… a random breakout caused by a product. When I jump back and forth from different products or use too many at once, my skin will tell me it’s had enough and punishes me. I guess I can’t say it’s “random” because it’s obvious why it happened… the greedy got to me… too many products at once. Sigh….So what to do now? Here’s a guide to all you over-users and abusers that love products as much as I do…
Step One: Purge and Purify
Action: You need to remove all the impurities. Therefore things are most likely going to get worse before they can get any better.
I’ve used this product off and on for over 10 years and absolutely love how it transforms my skin.
Jan Marini made this amazing cream to address many different skin care concerns like adult acne, scarring, discoloration, enlarged pores, texture and wrinkling due to cumulative sun exposure. Bioclear’s combination of three ingredients glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid effectively break apart clogging follicular debris in your pores. Bioclear delivers outstanding results for sun damaged and aging skin by reducing pore size and evening skin tone and texture. This product can be a bit aggressive and should be used with caution if you are not an avid user of glycolic acid products. It may cause redness and some peeling both of which are temporary. Using sunscreen is a MUST with this product.
On top of our daily stresses, women have crazy hormones which contribute to breakouts. Instead of just crossing your fingers and hoping for a quick fix, do something beneficial for your face!
Quickly hide your imperfections and zap the pesky bacteria that causes your skin to become irritated. There are a couple of great products that not only cover up, but will treat the area as well. Within some of these products you may find Green Tea leaf Extract which has anti-inflammatory benefits or Willow Bark Extract for anti-microbial benefits. Another ingredient you may see is Bisbolol which is used to help soothe your skin. Two great products to take a look at are the Acne Treatment Concealer by Murad and the Zap & Hide Blemish Concealer by Jane Iredale. The best part is that both of these are so easy to toss into your purse for on-the-go use! Go grab one and arm yourself against blemishes.