Each of us at some point in our lifetime has had to deal with the trauma of acne and breakouts. They happen in the most conspicuous area, our face, and occur at the most convenient times, like just before a date or special photograph opportunity!
Most men experience acne at an earlier age, early to late teens, whereas most women begin to experience acne in their late teens to early twenties. There are infinite rumors about what causes breakouts, how to prevent them, and how to treat them, not to mention the unlimited amount of over the counter, department store and prescription treatment products. Ughhhhh! Where to begin?
Here are some myths and facts about acne and break outs:
Oily skin is caused by eating junk food, chocolate and bad hygiene…. MYTH!
Oily skin can be the result of several factors such as environment, stress, hormones, and especially the products you do or do not use on your skin.
Squeezing pimples or popping zits helps to clear out your clogged pore and promote healing… MYTH!
Squeezing your skin to force out any calcification (pimple) or pus (zit/pustule) can actually cause the material inside your pore to spread and cause more break outs!
Placing a clean, warm, moist towel on your face prior to cleansing can help open your pores and promote deep cleansing and exfoliation… FACT!
Using a warm moist towel can not only be relaxing but can open your pores allowing you to remove more dead skin cells and clear out dirt and oil particles clogging your pores.
After cleansing your skin, don’t apply any moisturizer. You’re skin is already oily enough… MYTH!
This is one of the biggest misconceptions in complexion healing. Cleansing our skin can remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil; however not using a moisturizer afterward can leave your skin dry and tight. Your body reacts by releasing more oil from your sebaceous glands. The result is more oily skin than you started out with, more clogged pores and more break outs! A good moisturizer for oily or acneic skin rehydrates the skin without excess oil.
Using products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can help exfoliate dead skin cells and kill bacteria in clogged pores… FACT!
Benzoyl Peroxide can have a drying effect though so be sure to use your moisturizer.
Sitting in the sun can kill the bacteria in your skin and promote a clearer complexion… MYTH!
Exposure to the sun and its UVA and UVB rays can actually cause your recently healed skin cells to damage and cause sun spots and acne scarring.
Now that you’re informed, put your good knowledge to use. Remember anytime you start a new skin care regimen or new product line always follow manufacturer directions and give the products a few weeks before you judge the results!
Start treating your acne now. Click here to discover a large assortment of acne treatments from SkinStore.
Vitamin A is a powerful little thing. It’s necessary for healthy eye function; our retina simply can not do without vitamin A. When vitamin A is converted into retinoic acid it functions like a growth factor for our cells. Vitamin A is also commonly known as retinol in dermatological use. Vitamin A is converted into a few different byproducts, and is commonly produced as retinyl acetate or palmitate.
Vitamin A is naturally found in many foods. Liver, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin, eggs, milk, and many other foods are rich sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A, once absorbed by our body, is converted into the appropriate form and utilized by our bodily functions. Vitamin A plays a role in eye health, immune system health, gene transcription, antioxidant activity, and of course, skin health.
Vitamin A is very beneficial to the skin, so a diet rich in vitamin A abundant sources provides for healthy skin that’s firm, clear, radiant and resilient. Vitamin A, when applied topically (in retinol form) is very beneficial to the skin as well. Retinol is often used in the treatment of acne as it dramatically reduces the size and secretion of the sebaceous glands. It also helps to reduce inflammation and induces collagen production. As retinol induces collagen production it helps to firm and tone the skin, so aged skin will become more resistant to drooping and sagging. Retinol is an outstanding treatment for acne, enlarged or clogged pores, as well as prematurely aged skin. As retinol induces exfoliation and cell renewal it also assists in lightening hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration.
Here are some outstanding products that contain retinol and address acne and aging concerns:
Below are some great products to add to your routine that are beneficial in treating acne. They will remove dead skin cells and debris, kill acne causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. (Remember, less is more with treatment products!) These are customer (and staff) favorites. Don’t believe us? Read the customer reviews. They speak for themselves!
Jan Marni Bioglycolic Bioclear – Choose the cream for normal to dry skin and the lotion for normal to oily. Contains glycolic, salicylic and azelaic acids to resurface the skin, clear out pores, calm inflammation and even skin tone. Salicylic acid also has anti-bacterial properties.
Peter Thomas Roth Sulfur Cooling Masque – This clay mask contains 10% pharmaceutical grade sulfur for it’s anti-bacterial effects and zinc oxide for wound healing. Eucalyptus provides helps calm inflammation and is also antiseptic. Use once to twice a week to boost your acne regimen.
Belli Acne Clearing Facial Wash – It’s difficult to find an acne treatment when you are expecting. This wash uses lactic acid, so it is safe for use during pregnancy, but it’s a great cleanser for everyone.
Bonus product – ANSR Beam – This is a great LED device that has a blue light for killing acne bacteria. The red light accelerates healing and cell renewal. It’s also great for hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.
It’s best to use a combination of products to address all causes of acne. For example one might use the Jan Marini Bioglycolic Lotion daily for exfoliation and calming inflammation, SkinCeuticals Retinol a couple nights a week for cell renewal and Philosophy On a Clear Day Oil-Free Acne Spot Treatment on the other nights or as needed to control bacteria. It is best to start one new product at a time to minimize irritation. As stated above, “Less is more” because using treatments too frequently or too many at the same time can cause drying and irritation.
Moisturizer and Sunscreen is also a must. Proper hydration promotes healthy cell turnover and you will need sun protection as these products make your skin more vulnerable to UV rays.
Unfortunately, your acne can’t go away over night (no matter how hard you wish for it). It is common for you to see new breakouts at first. For more information on that, please see our blog on skin purging. Be patient and you’ll start to see clearer, healthier skin.
American Idol contestants brave bright lights and harsh criticism on a weekly basis. The pressure of the spotlight beating down is enough to make anyone weak in the knees. With millions of viewers tuning in nightly, sweaty palms should be the least of their worries.
American Idol Make-Up Artist, Mezhgan has made it her top priority to give contestants a competitive edge. She begins every makeup application with a dollop of OC Eight Professional Mattifying Gel.
American Idol Make-Up Artist, Mezhgan, says she is “amazed by how great the contestant’s skin looks on film after using OC Eight.” She says, “OC Eight works like nothing I’ve ever tried before.“
OC Eight Professional Mattifying Gel acts as makeup primer absorbing oil continuously for up to eight hours. This unique product contains ACRYSORB® micro-particles that trap up to 6x their own volume in oil. As a result, skin remains matte and fresh all day, for that just applied look. Your complexion is more even toned, makeup stays in place and your natural glow is not masked.
If contestants can withstand Simon’s wrath without a makeup meltdown, our ordinary lives should be no sweat! With a flawless matte complexion, the only thing shining are their standout performances.
Oily skin is usually characterized by large, clogged pores, and areas with excessive oil production. This skin type follows along with sensitive skin as being frustrating and difficult to find the right products for. I mean, who likes cleansing their face only to feel as if they are wearing a mask applied from grease only about an hour later?! Surely not I, and I’m sure none of you either. Oily skin types can also lead to other concerns such as blemishes and acne if not attended to, so it is very important to take the necessary steps to finding the proper products.
First of all, there are two types of characteristics of oily skin to understand. One is clogged skin, where the produced sebum is hardened and dead skin cells stay within the follicular orifice. This results in the feeling of easily mistaken dry skin. The next is oily skin which appears wet or shiny. It is possible to experience both of these characteristics and important that you use products that will not only treat but aid in prevention as well. The regimen you should be committed to should include the following steps:
You should cleanse your skin both morning and evening. If you experience any over drying in the skin, you may be using a cleanser that’s not right for you. Switch to something more mild. You would want to use a cleanser specific to oily skin. Suggestions would include finding a gel cleanser with hydrating and exfoliating properties.
A toner would be necessary to help keep the skin pH levels balanced, help clear out the pores, and improve skin texture.
Your moisturizers need to be lightweight, hydrating and mattifying. You can look for oil-free moisturizers but don’t forget that your skin still needs moisture so that it does not over produce oils. Over production of oils will result in adding to already existing concerns.
You can also incorporate masks into your regimen. You’d want to look for masks that are either exfoliating or purifying. Most can be used a couple times a week and will enhance the results of the products you are already using in your daily regimen.
Lastly, there are also certain treatment products or serums specific to aid in control of oil production, smoothing of skin texture, and prevention of future blemishes.
For any questions or for help finding the right products, you can look on our site under oily skin in the word friendly search box, refer to a previous blog titled “Finding the Right Products- For Oily/ Acne Prone Skin”, or simply call us to go over products with our licensed aestheticians. We are always happy to help and we all know that feeling of relief once you find your perfect regimen. So don’t be shy, start asking questions and do your research to pave your way to healthy, flawless skin. Feeling like a million bucks is priceless!
La Roche Posay Effaclar AI is a one stop acne treatment shop. It is a revolutionary acne product combining two of the most effective acne treatment ingredients on the market, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells while micro encapsulated benzoyl peroxide kills acne causing bacteria. This one two punch is clinically proven to reduce acne lesions by 60% in just a few weeks. Apply a thin layer to targeted areas once to twice daily for great results.
New to the scene, Zeno Hot Spot is an effective acne treatment device that utilizes thermal energy to kill acne causing bacteria. With the flip of a switch, the device warms up to a comfortable 118 degrees. It delivers just the right amount of heat every time because it has a unique personalization component that adjusts to the user’s skin temperature. This wonder gadget delivers results and fast! Blemishes are reduced significantly within just an hour and by a dramatic ninety percent within 24 hours.
Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask is loaded with rich natural ingredients that purify and detoxify the skin. Aloe, Kaolin, Tea Tree Oil, Marine Algae, and Lavender are a few of the key ingredients. The mask can be used as an allover treatment mask or as a spot treatment left on overnight. This formula purges pores of toxins, kills and prevents acne causing bacteria from spreading, while nourishes and hydrating the skin. Used once a week, Astara Blue Flame Purification mask is an excellent preventative maintenance treatment.
SkinCeuticals Acne Care System combats all acne woes in one super powered kit. The kit includes a clarifying cleanser that contains Salicylic, Glycolic, and Mandelic acids that unclogs pores and exfoliates dead skin cells leaving the skin clean, smooth and clear. Next is the blemish control gel, a lightweight acne treatment gel made to attack troublesome whiteheads, and blackheads with 1% Salicylic acid. The kit also includes Retinol 0.5 which aides to minimize pore size, and reveals a more even and uniform complexion. Retinol also stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin. Lastly, the clarifying clay mask, which combines Kaolin and Bentonite clay rids pores of impurities deep within the skin.
When there’s no time, or water, or fortitude to wash your face, try a handy cleansing cloth instead. The skyn ICELAND Glacial Cleansing Cloths are great no-rinse, no-water-needed foaming cloths that are infused with Icelandic glacial waters and beneficial minerals to sweep away dirt, oil and makeup. These are super convenient and are great on the go, throw a pack in the gym bag, diaper bag, hand bag, evening clutch, etc. These are a great way to ensure clean, clear, healthy skin even in the most inconvenient of times!
The oily/acne prone type individual usually instinctively wants to remove as much oil and shine from their face ASAP. Keep in mind that it is key that you do not strip your skin of its essential oils or you will put your skin in “protection mode”, the result is that your skin will naturally be stimulated to produce more sebum. Here are some helpful product comparisons for your skin type – you get to decide which one works for your budget.
Boscia Purifying Cleanser – This cleanser deeply cleanses with amino acid and refines pore size with Hydrangea Leaf extract. Its also contains Jojoba Leaf and Green Tea for potent antioxidants and Willow herb to calm and soothe the skin.
Yonka Gel Nettoyant – This is a lightly foaming gel cleanser which thoroughly removes all traces of make-up and surface debris. Also consists of powerful essential oils to brighten and refresh the skins complexion.
Stiefel PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash – Contains 10% Benzoyl Peroxide to inhibit bacteria production and Lactic Acid (AHA) to exfoliate the skin and also works as a peeling agent to increase cell turnover. Lactic Acid hydrates the skin with gentle exfoliation. When using a products with these ingredients be sure to wear SPF.
Euoko A-10 Matte Foam – Salicylic Acid (BHA) to gently exfoliate the epidermis and prevent clogged pores. This product also contains Hyaluronic acid to ensure the skin is not left dehydrated. Soybean derivatives help to balance oil production. This is a multi-functional product that offers a variety of results.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Toner Astringent Lotion – This is an astringent lotion that will eliminate bacteria and impurities. This will also prevent clogged pores with LHA™ a form of micro-exfoliation. It safely and effectively removes bacteria to improve the overall skin tone and texture.
Euoko A-20 Matte Water – This is not only your astringent toner but also a treatment. Bonus! It has Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids for gentle exfoliation and meadowsweet, cornflower and distilled witch hazel to reduce pore size. This will also stimulate new cell production with the deep penetration of plant acids.
All Over Treatments
Glytone Acne Gel – This product contains 10% benzoyl peroxide to remove excess surface oil and control p. acne bacteria. This gel is suitable for the most oily and acne prone skin types. Be sure to use a SPF product whenever using products containing Benzoyl Peroxide.
Exuviance Night Renewal Hydragel – This is an oil-free silky gel that will repair and provide the skin with essential hydration and nutrients. It contains a proprietary blend of beneficial botanical ingredients called Phytotal to neutralize excess sebum, retexture the skins surface, and improve pore size.
Neutrogena on the Spot Acne Treatment – Contains 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide to dry out current pustules and prevents any new (unwelcome) pustules from forming. It also controls inflammation. A special blend of ingredients improve the penetration of the Benzoyl Peroxide to target the source of acne.
Pevonia Spot Treatment – This treatment contains a combination of potent ingredients, glycolic and salicylic acid, betaglucan and aloe. These anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory ingredients provide excellent results. It contains potent ingredients, all while controlling irritation with a soothing dose of aloe vera.
SensiClear Blemish Free Acne Treatment Lotion – Contains a patented ingredient Retextra, one of a kind formula that destroys and inhibit bacteria while resurfacing the skin, all without drying the skin. It’s like Proactiv’s bigger, smarter brother. This powerful product helps to quickly zap away blemishes. When using this product don’t forget your sun protection. I have found that oil-free, water based products work best for oily/acne prone skin types.
Kinerase Clear Skin Moisture Light – Reduces sebum production with natural based plant-derived ingredients, while visibly calming the skin. Skin is hydrated, clear and refreshed without creating excess oil. Additionally formulated with anti-aging Kinetin, oil-controlling avocutine, softening dexpanthenol and hydrating fitoderm. Great choice to treat adult acne, keeps skin perfectly matte all day, so you can leave your oil-blotting sheets at home!
PCA SKIN pHaze 18 Clearskin – This product is a unique oil-free formula that hydrates, reduces inflammation and promotes healing of damaged tissue. This is ideal for those who are looking to calm and confort their skin. (Great for after using harsh acne products!) It truly is gentle, yet highly effective.
Jan Marini Age Intervention Transitions – This product dramatically improves the skins appearance thanks to the new generation formula. Proven results are improved texture, smaller appearance of pores and even skin tone. Antioxidant properties give this product a one up on most.
Glytone Acne Facial Masque – This afforable, yet powerful mask contains 6.4% Sulfer which helps banish excess oil. It deep cleans clogged pores and even prevents future blemishes from showing up. You can use this mask 1-3 times per week depending how oily your skin is.
Cellex-C Betaplex Clear Complexion Masque – This is a creamy mask with kaolin clay that dries on the skin to remove and loosen dry flaky skin. It also exfoliates with 3% alpha and beta hydroxy acids while herbal antiseptic properties calm irritated skin.
A majority of the time, oily skin can be a passing phase. So with patience and a proper skin care regimen your oily skin will no longer have to feel like a burden, it will be something you’re proud of.
Our customers have a wide range of skincare concerns, but one of the most predominant concerns is large pore size. While pores are essential to keeping our skin moist and healthy, enlarged pores can create a bothersome and unattractive appearance to the skin. Large pores are usually a characteristic of thick, oily skin types, but can surface with age on other skin types as well. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to permanently shrink or eliminate large pores, but luckily there is a number of ways to reduce the appearance of large pore size.
When your pores are clogged, the debris expands the pore, causing acne, blackheads and whiteheads and create the appearance of an enlarged pore. To reduce the size of large pores, you’ll need to keep your skin clear and exfoliated. We recommend exfoliating on a regular basis to eliminate dead skin build up. Exfoliants are available in a physical form (scrubs with grains, beads or sand) and chemical form (alpha hydroxy acids). While scrubs are great for the top layer of the skin, we recommend using a chemical exfoliant as it penetrates deep into the pore to rid of residue, dirt and bacteria. Pre-soaked exfoliating pads are an easy and convenient way of exfoliating the skin. I recommend Philosophy Multi Use Peel Pads, which contain lactic acid for rapid exfoliation. If you insist on using an exfoliant with beads I recommend that you try the ZO Skin Health Offects Exfoliating Polish which contains round magnesium crystals to rapidly exfoliate the skin, while depositing scrumptious antioxidants into the skin.
In addition to exfoliating with alpha hydroxy acids, we recommend using a beta hydroxy acid in a topical treatment to keep your pores clean and clear. Salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid, has very small molecules so it penetrates deep into the skin, and works as an anti-inflammatory (salicylic and aspirin both come from the willow family), so it’s not only great for keeping your pores clear, it’s also outstanding for reducing swelling (goodbye, cystic acne)! I swear by (and recommend to everybody) the SkinCeuticals Blemish Control Gel, it’s never drying or irritating, and when used as a spot treatment on the nose, forehead and other problem-prone areas (jaw bone and chin areas for hormonal break-outs) it clears everything right up… the results are achieved almost overnight!
If your skin is clear but your pores are enlarged due to aging, you may not be interested in putting acne medication on your face, instead opt for a retinol based cream. Retinol not only shrinks large pores but it’s also great for anti-aging as it induces collagen production, thus firming and toning the skin. As an added plus, it’s also great for hyperpigmentation caused by excess sun exposure. SkinMedica Rejuvenative Moisturizer is a great choice as it contains Retinyl Palmitate (retinol), and vitamins C and E.
Once a week use a mask to further reduce the appearance of large pores. Kaolin clay is a great ingredient for pulling impurities from deep within your pores. We love the June Jacobs Pore Purifying Mud Masque because it has botanicals and antioxidants and a luxurious clay base. Your skin is baby-soft and pores are nearly invisible when the mask is washed off, plus this mask is great for all skin types, including very sensitive.
To reduce the appearance of large pores quickly, we recommend using a facial primer. Primers use a silicone base to fill in large pores or lines without clogging, or irritation the skin. Plus, primers make your foundation go on much smoother. I like the bareMinerals bareVitamins Prime Time, as it balances the skin, controlling oil where needed, and smoothing dryness or flakiness where necessary, it also has a built in SPF and additional antioxidants to protect the skin, an all-in-one for $21? Count me in!
With regular exfoliation and diligent care- your skin can look more like porcelain than crater-laden moon, so scrub it up, mask and prime for a healthy, poreless, beautiful complexion.
Zapping zits with bacteria fighting light rays may seem like science fiction, but it’s now a reality. The age of technology is upon us and it’s time to reap the rewards with clear, smooth skin! But, just how does this glowing miracle device work?
In recent years, scientists have discovered that blue and red infrared light therapy significantly outweighs the benefits of traditional topical acne treatment creams (i.e. benzoyl peroxide or retin-A). When both blue and red infrared lights are used in conjunction with one another, results are astonishing! The blue light eradicates blemish causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, also known as P. acne bacteria. While the red light stimulates skin rejuvenation, shrinks pore size, and reduces sebum production. The red light is vital because it stimulates circulation, blood flow, and the release of nitric oxide which heals the skin, thereby reducing the risk of acne scarring. It’s a win, win combination that dramatically reduces redness and inflammation for a flawless complexion.
At first, one may suffer sticker shock from these pricey space age gadgets, but when you calculate the cost of years and years of ineffective acne products it’s a no brainer! But, beware there are a wide variety of infrared light therapy devices on the market that range in price and quality. It’s crucial to remember when purchasing a skincare tool, that it is a long term investment, not a disposable cream that sits on the bathroom counter for a few months. Baby Quasar sells a high quality power pack, which includes both the red and blue light therapy devices and has a five year manufacturer’s warranty. Like mom always said, you get what you pay for!
In general, light therapy treatments are recommended two to three times a week until desired results are achieved. Each session should last approximately 30 minutes. First, target areas of concern with the blue light for ten minutes and then follow up with the red device on all sections of the face. For optimal results, allow 48 hours in between treatments to allow the skin to rejuvenate. In order to retain your beloved clear complexion, maintenance treatments are recommended once or twice a month depending on your skin condition.
How easy is that?! Just after a few treatments your skin will be noticeably clearer and smoother. It’s time to say buh-bye to those messy treatment creams that always leave you disappointed. Now, get ready to zap those zits and see the results you’ve always wanted!