Being in the woods this spring and summer can be an exciting adventure. Whether you’re camping, playing outside with your kids, or going for a hike it’s important to know the hazards of poisonous plants. By poisonous plants we mean the ones that cause an allergic reaction, which can be a bothersome plant for a lot of people. In fact 85% of the population will have a reaction to these pesky plants.
Some facts about poison ivy are: you can get a rash also known as contact dermatitis by touching the oil on the plant, or by coming in contact with something that the plant has touched like clothes, toys, camping or sporting equipment. In fact you can still get oil contact on most surfaces from many years back. Scientists have actually found plant matter from these poisonous plants on surfaces dated from a hundred years back. In most cases once you have the rash you can not spread it to another person, only the oil from the plant can spread.
You can also get poison ivy by burning the wood for a bonfire, inhaling the smoke can leave some people in the hospital. No one is immune to getting poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Some people are less susceptible to getting it, but no one is in the clear. Your body can have a reaction every time it is exposed. If you are exposed to any of these poisonous plants you will want to rinse your body with cold water within an hour after being exposed. When showering do not use hot water, this will open your pores and let the oil penetrate into your skin. You can use an antibacterial soap to clean your skin. Stiefel Impruv Moisturizing Antibacterial Cleanseris an antibacterial soap that will effectively cleanse the skin.
Treatments consist of a cold compress (a bag of frozen veggies should do the trick), apply rubbing alcohol to dry out the sap, calamine lotion or tea tree oil will ease the itch, and jewelweed is thought to help the rash. For severe cases your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream.
How long should you be expected to be in pain? Experts say it could be 3 weeks before the rash completely disappears. What causes the rash? Oil called urushoil causes an allergic reaction; this is the oil that is in the leaves, vines, and roots of the plant. One good thing about poison ivy and oak is that your little furry friend can not be exposed. Although if the oil from the plant is on their fur you can be exposed, take caution by giving your pet a cool bath.
If you can’t find anything nice to say about poison ivy remember that wild birds like to eat the seeds and animals like goats love to eat these “poisonous” plants. Native Americans have found medical uses for it such as curing warts, ringworm, and rattlesnake bites, and it also prevents the earth from eroding near the ocean. Who knew?
Because of its versatility to grow almost anywhere and all times of the year, it is important to know what the plants look like. They can change colors during seasons, the leaves can change depending on the climate, and you can get a rash off the dead branch in the winter time.
Here is a website devoted to poison ivy that contains pictures of different types of the plant. If you are educated on what the plant looks like you may reduce your risk of being exposed to this year round itchy annoyance.
Please consult your doctor if the reaction has caused a difficulty in breathing, you have inhaled the smoke of burning poison ivy, or develop a fever or the rash looks infected.
Summer is coming! It’s an exciting time of year filled with swimming, vacations, parks and mosquitoes. Unfortunately, that last one is just as big a part of the sunny season as the fun stuff. Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance that ruin your outdoor experience. They can pose an actual threat to our health. These little pests are capable of spreading disease to your family and pets such as West Nile Virus, heartworms and in other parts of the world, malaria.
They seek out their prey by using dozens of odor receptors on their antennae and mouth. A typical appealing scent combination is carbon dioxide, which is what we exhale, and the lactic acid in our sweat. Since we can’t stop breathing or sweating when we’re hot, we have to take a different approach. I like to refer to it as olfactory warfare, meaning: the use of aromas that that inherently repulse mosquitoes in order to reclaim our yards and walk freely outdoors. It’s natural and effective.
Mark your territory. Burning citronella candles is the most popular way to do this as they are easy to find at any store that carries outdoor/yard products. Citronella is an essential oil obtained from different species of lemon grass and has been proven to repel mosquitoes. It’s not the only essential oil that mosquitoes loathe, though. You can also use candles made from real cinnamon, lemon eucalyptus and castor oils. For more stationary boundaries, grow citronella grass, marigolds, geraniums, sage, basil and rosemary in the yard to keep them away from you and your pets. Place the plants in, near and around all the areas you like to be outside, especially by doors and outside sitting areas. Throw some of the sage and rosemary in the coals of your barbecue while grilling to fend off attackers. It is also vital that you eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. They lay eggs in stagnant water, so dump out any water that might collect in buckets, toys, or other areas around your yard after every rain. Keep pool water circulated, chlorinated and covered when not in use. Don’t give them any reason to infiltrate.
Dodge attacks by becoming as unappetizing as possible. Eating large amounts of garlic does the trick for some because it produces a natural skin secretion in humans that is not appealing to mosquitoes. (This is the only one that might work for vampires, too.) Sweet and floral fragrances attract mosquitoes, so opt for spicy or citrus scents if you can’t be without your perfume. Another common preventative measure is taking vitamin B-1 (Thiamine Hydrochloride 100 mg once a day). This practice doesn’t have any clinical evidence to support it, but some people swear by it, so it might be worth a try if your doc is on board with the idea. And don’t forget your armor. Dress in light colors because mosquitoes are drawn to darker clothing, which absorbs heat. Light clothing reflects it. Wearing long sleeves and pants isn’t a bad idea either. It’s much more difficult for them to pierce through a layer of cloth and skin. If possible, avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn, which is when the enemy is most active.
Looking for a secret weapon? We’ve got you covered. Mix this solution at home and apply to skin (avoiding the eye area) Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating a lot.
Mix 10-25 drops (total) of essential oils, it’s fine to mix and match essential oils with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol to dilute the essential oils. Note: Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin. They are very potent and can cause irritation if not mixed with a carrier oil or alcohol.
For a larger batch mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol
The essential oils that work well against mosquitoes are:
lemon eucalyptus oil
Safe carrier oils and alcohol include:
(Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities)
If you end up getting wounded in action, treat the area by making a paste with baking soda and water or using a hydrocortisone cream can help ease the irritation. Vick’s Vaporub is also great to soothe irritation because of its cooling effect. Also, try not to scratch the bite. Humans are allergic to the mosquito’s saliva and scratching just moves it around your skin. I’m sure you’ve noticed that a tiny circular bite turns in to a swollen amoeba shape, after pawing at it a bit.
You have been given the tools to carry out this mission successfully. I am confident that you will return unharmed. Stand your ground and don’t give up, the mosquitoes sure won’t.
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.
Dandruff is the most common scalp condition that we hear about today. What people don’t realize it that the little white flakes you are brushing off of your shoulder may not be dandruff at all, but dry skin. Confused? Let’s take a look at the differences.
True dandruff is also known as seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea. This is a condition that is itchy, inflamed and frequently produces scales of flaky skin. Seborrhea can be found in any oily environment where malassezia furfur, a type of yeast, is known to thrive . Hormones and some chronic or autoimmune conditions are known to play a role too, but one specific cause has not been identified. Symptoms can be very mild (flaking, some itching) or quite severe (very inflamed and resulting in hair loss). Craddle cap on a baby is a good example of mild to moderate seborrhea. This condition can also affect the skin on other areas of the body. To address this condition, treatments include the active ingredients pyrithione zinc, anti-fungals, salicylic acid, sulfur and tar. Since it is difficult to pin point the cause of the symptoms it may be necessary to experiment with the active ingredients to find out which treatments have the most favorable outcome for you.
Some treatments may be labeled for “oily dandruff” since consumers frequently attribute dandruff to dry skin. If you can identify with the symptoms above, here are some products that may be able to help.
Dry scalp is just how it sounds. It is skin lacking oil, water or both. Flaking, an itchy, tight feeling and sensitivity can be key indicators. Inflammation is not as common, but if left untreated, can occur. Exfoliation is be beneficial to remove flakes and to allow the scalp to accept hydrating treatment products. This condition is much easier to address than seborrheic dermatitis. Some products will be listed for use for “dry dandruff” due of the common misconception of the consumer. Below are some great products to get your scalp back in shape.
Recently we have had requests for products to treat a common skin condition known as Seborrheic dermatitis. This inflammatory skin condition can be categorized as dry, flaky, or white to yellow scales that can be all over the body. The most common area affected by this condition is the scalp. There may also be dry and flaky patches on your eyebrows, behind your ears, and even on your legs and groin area. In infants, Seborrheic dermatitis is called cradle cap. For babies it is most common in the newborn months and will usually clear up on its own in 12 months or so. To treat this condition on babies you can use almond or olive oil to condition the area. You would then want to use a mild shampoo such as Mustela Foam Shampoo For Newbornsand leave on for about two minutes. Seborrheic Dermatitis is thought to be caused by an over production of oil and irritation from a yeast known as malessizia. Other factors that can attribute to this condition are stress, oily skin, and use of lotions that contain certain alcohols. Something to be aware of is that this condition is not contagious and is often very embarrassing for the millions of people who suffer from Seborrheic dermatitis.
For mild conditions on the scalp area you will want to look for products that contain salicylic acid. The salicylic acid will help to exfoliate your skin and prevent excess oil production. Anytime you use a dandruff shampoo you will want to rub the shampoo in your hair thoroughly and leave it in your hair for at least 5 minutes before you rinse it out. Dandruff will cause scaling on the scalp, however if you have Seborrheic dermatitis you will notice redness and excessive oiliness as well as scaling. You can use a shampoo like DS Laboratories Dandrene as long as you do not have any open sores or severe inflamed skin. This shampoo works effectively because it contains salicylic acid, amino acids to strengthen the scalp, and ketaconazole that is used as an antifungal ingredient. For a solution you can use every day until the scaling goes away we like to suggest NeoCeuticals Treatment Scalp Solution. This solution contains a blend of alpha hydroxy and polyhydroxy acids to gently exfoliate the scalp.
If you have Seborrheic Dermatitis on your body and scalp you can use Stiefel ZNP Bar to address the areas of concern. This solution will help to relive itchy and flaking skin because it contains pyrithione zinc. Pyrithione zinc is used as an antifungal and antibacterial agent to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. If you are looking for a liquid body wash for your skin that contains salicylic acid, we suggest Peter Thomas Roth Blemish Buffing Beads Body Wash.You can use this body wash daily to help with breakouts and to control oil. This body wash also contains antioxidants to improve the overall health of your skin.
With the right products this skin condition can tolerable. If you have severe Seborrheic dermatitis you may want to consult your dermatologist and they may be able to prescribe a steroid lotion that you can use in conjunction with your products.
Visit SkinStore to find more products for Seborrheic Dermatitis.
If it’s burning, it’s working! A fat-free diet will make my acne go away! I only need sunscreen in the summer! My skin is oily, I don’t need a moisturizer!
Right?! ALL WRONG!
Here are some principal skincare faux pas to avoid:
If it burns, it works.
When I was in middle school experiencing typical teen break-outs I would use rubbing alcohol as my toner to dry up the pimples. Little did I know, the rubbing alcohol was irritating my skin and exacerbating my acne. When I was in college I used a high concentration glycolic acid peel to treat my hormonal acne, and since the recommended treatment time was ten minutes, I left the glycolic on for thirty minutes to achieve beautiful skin. Yeah, right! My skin was red, raw and peeling for many months. Less is more when it comes to active ingredients. Always follow directions when using skincare products.
Many women make a mistake of staying away from fats in their diet. While hamburgers may add extra inches to your waist line, certain fats are beneficial to your health and skin. Fish like salmon and mackerel contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed and nuts also contain omega-2 fatty acids. Avocados and olive oil are also beneficial to the skin. Beneficial fats also have anti-inflammatory ingredients which help to alleviate inflammation associated with acne, so certain fats are actually good for your skin!
Everyone needs to use sunscreen on a daily basis. The sun’s harmful rays penetrate through the clouds and through the windshield, and even on overcast days there are sun rays (why do you think it’s light out in the day? The sun is out). Even fluorescent lights emit radiation which is harmful and damaging to the skin- so wear an SPF of 15 daily to protect your skin from aging and sun damage.
Chances are, if your skin is oily, you like to use products that strip your skin of oil. You love a matte finish and hate anything that feels greasy on the skin. But when you use products that take away all of the protective oils from the skin, your skin will go into overdrive to produce more oil, so it’s a never ending fight! To keep your skin balanced and hydrated without feeling greasy, you’ll need to use an oil-free moisturizer. We love DDF Ultra Light Oil Free Moisturizing Dew.
The term “sensitive skin” can be closely linked with many different skin conditions. From rosacea to severe acne, any skin condition can cause sensitivity. In addition, sensitive skin does not discriminate against skin type, you can have combination, normal, dry, or oily skin and it can still be sensitive. Sensitive skin can also appear suddenly, resulting from a few major factors. It can be due to a cosmetic reaction to a product, climate change, stress, or even the foods we eat. It can be characterized by redness, tightness, itching, or irritation. It is important to know the proper tips and products to help protect and improve sensitive skin conditions.
First, for extremely sensitive skin, some have benefited from only cleansing their face once a day, generally in the evening. Rinse or use a lotion to cleanse in the morning. This will ensure you aren’t stripping the natural oils in your skin and possibly creating more dryness and irritation. You want to use a soap free mild cleanser. A popular favorite would be the Topix Citrix Antioxidant Cleanser. This is a mild, yet effective cleanser that contains powerful antioxidants your skin requires. One might also consider exfoliating only once or twice per week, with a gentle exfoliator. If your skin is very sensitive you will only want to exfoliate once per week. A great one to try is the PCA SKIN pHaza 4 Gentle Exfoliant. This has a light creamy texture with smooth jojoba beads to gently exfoliate your skin. Jojoba beads are spherical in shape, so they will not scratch or irritate your skin. You may also want to try a mask a few times a week to soothe and hydrate your sensitive skin. You can alternate the days you mask with the days you are exfoliating. After you exfoliate you will want to apply the mask the next day to nourish and protect your skin. We suggest the Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Masque. This is a great skin booster containing hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5, to hydrate and improve your skin’s tissue repair function.
You also want to wear an SPF of at least 15 to condition and protect your sensitive skin. Yes, you will need to wear sunscreen even on those cloudy and dreary days. By wearing sunscreen it allows your skin time to heal and your immune system the chance to repair existing damage. For those of who think that tanning clears up your skin that is just a myth. Tanning and sun exposure can often lead to Actinic Keratosis. This is a horrifying skin condition that people with sensitive skin, and who have severe sun damage, could be more susceptible to getting. Wearing your sunscreen will also help protect your delicate skin from the possible effects of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, so please don’t forget the sunscreen!
If you haven’t already, give Colorscience brush-on sunscreen a try. They are suitable for all skin types, even on the most sensitive of skin types. The Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush in All Clear has an SPF of 30, and is completely translucent. It is also water resistant, with a non greasy feel. Lotion based or chemical sunscreens can often irritate and clog your pores if you have sensitive skin. If your skin is on the oily side you will probably prefer a light oil free sunscreen and moisturizer. A good one to try is DDF Ultra Lite Oil Free Moisturizing Dew with SPF15. This works well for all skin types, absorbs quickly, and is fragrance free. It contains aloe and grape seed to soothe and protect the skin.
You also want to make sure you are drinking plenty of water, and taking vitamin supplements such as flax seed oil to hydrate and condition your skin. Also, make sure you are getting plenty of rest! This may be the hardest tip to follow but your skin really does need time to repair itself. It will be the best gift you can give your skin this holiday season!
For more great products formulated for sensitive skin, click here!
Don’t scratch it! Grab ATOPALM MLE Cream instead. This wonder potion works fantastic on dry skin, itchiness, redness, bites, scratches, etcetera. This is a must have for every medicine cabinet. It is a multi-functional product that the whole family can benefit from.
The ATOPALM MLE Face Cream is also super soothing to dry irritated skin facial skin. Perfect for sensitive skin types including those with Rosacea and Eczema. Plus, ATOPALM MLE Face Cream contains antioxidants and Vitamins B and E to help protect your skin from free radical damage.
Many people who have rosacea don’t know that they have it. To understand what rosacea is and how it affects our skin we need to be able to recognize it first. Many people show early signs of rosacea with flushing or blushing. Fair skin tones are prone to show these signs more than dark complexions, so if you’re medium or dark skinned, early-onset rosacea can be hard to recognize. Rosacea-prone skin can look sunburned, especially around the nose and cheek areas. This redness can also be accompanied by a sunburned feeling, tightness and burning of the affected area. Rosacea skin also tends to be bumpy with seed-like bumps that are often persistent and can ooze, like a hormonal pimple and can be quite painful as well. Broken capillaries and blood vessels can also be persistent on rosacea skin. Rosacea symptoms can be segmented into four categories: erythematotelangiectatic, papulopustular, phymatous and ocular. It is recommended that all of the above mentioned rosacea types receive attention from a dermatologist; it is significant that phymatous and ocular patients seek dermatological treatment.
Rosacea is an inflammatory condition; both internal and external inflammation factors can cause great distress to Rosacea-prone skin, thus triggering a flare-up. In addition to using quality topical products, treat your rosacea from the inside out: don’t stress out! Stress is the number one cause of a rosacea flare-up. Avoid spicy food, excess dairy and alcohol consumption. Anything that’s too stimulating for the body will be stimulating for the skin, so abstain from super-duty exercise, high heat (sauna, spa or hot bath), or excessively cold climates.
Treat your skin with extra care, don’t wash your skin in extremely hot or cold water, and do not use abrasive products such as scrubs with particles (especially ones with nut shells or sand particles). Do use gentle cleansers, foaming can be ok- but a mild gel version is recommended if your skin is oily to combination, B. Kamins Vegetable Skin Cleanser is a great choice, or a cream cleanser if your skin is normal to dry, Pevonia RS2 Gentle Cleanser is an outstanding option.
Stay away from acidic chemical exfoliants and fruit acids. While fruit acids may be great for most skin types, rosacea isn’t one of those skin types that tolerate fruit acids. Instead- use a gentle milk acid called lactic acid. Lactic acid can be found in a product-specific formulation, or as one of the ingredients in a moisturizer, cleanser, toner or masque. Estheticians recommend exfoliating on a regular basis with a lactic formulation to rid skin of residue, dead skin cells, clear your pores and provide anti-aging benefits. B. Kamins Lactic 8 is a great choice; it contains 8% lactic acid in addition to salicylic acid- which is an anti-inflammatory. In fact, salicylic acid is great for all acne-prone skin types and clogged pores.
After cleansing and exfoliating the skin- it is recommended that your skin receives a layer of barrier protection and soothing ingredients before a moisturizer is applied. Serum products rich in humectants, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory ingredients are typically desired in treating redness, oxidative stress and inflammation. Applying Pevonia RS2 Concentrate to a slightly damp, clean face can be helpful. It is rich in phyto-estrogens, flavonoids, antioxidants and polysaccharides and provides an immediate feeling of relief and coolness.
For rosacea skin in need of rapid healing and a boost of radiance, iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance Plus is a great product. It contains Vitamin C, Olive Leaf Extract, Vitamin E and Vitamin A for excellent antioxidant, brightening and healing properties. It also has Zinc Sulfate to enhance wound healing and decrease inflammation; these are beneficial factors when treating your rosacea topically.
After layering a treatment serum on the skin, apply a moisturizer, this provides hydration and prevents topical dehydration. Even if your skin is oily or combination, it is still very important to moisturize (moisturizers impart hydration into your skin- not oil, so contrary to popular belief- moisturizers will not make you break out)! Oily and combination skin should use a light, gentle hydrator such as ATOPALM MLE Face Cream. ATOPALM MLE Face Cream contains a barrier-repair lipid formula which helps to restore the barrier of compromised skin, such as skin that has been affected by rosacea, or other conditions such as dermatitis or eczema. Normal to dry skin types require quite a bit more moisture therefore, using a dense, lipid-rich formula as a daily hydrator is preferred. Osmotics Anti Radical Age Defense Barrier Longevity Complex is an outstanding choice for barrier-repair and antioxidant protection benefits.
Of course, don’t forget your sunscreen on a daily basis! The sun is a no-go when you are rosacea-prone, so make sure to thoroughly protect your skin year-round to prevent a flare-up. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide a physical sunscreen barrier on the top of your skin- without any chemical absorption. Oily and combination skin types prefer a powder version such as the iS Clinical SPF 20 Powder Sunscreen and normal to dry skin types prefer a light cream formulation, such as the Avene Very High Protection Cream SPF 50.
Remember, with proper care, your rosacea-prone skin, can be healthy and luminous!
For information about the products featured in this article: