Eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition which is characterized by dryness, flaking, blistering, crusting, swelling, and cracking of the skin. Eczema is typically caused by factors such as skin over-sensitivity, allergies, stress, and genetic factors. Those with asthma are more likely to develop eczema. Typically eczema is treated with a topical corticosteroid cream. Eczema skin types that are prone to infections will often be treated by a mild course of antibiotics. Antihistamines (topical and oral) may often be prescribed for the treatment of eczema as well. Antihistamines reduce swelling thus reducing the irritation and itchiness associated with eczema-prone skin. Eczema can be frustrating and embarrassing, and the doctor route can get costly and is quite unpleasant (why take antibiotics and slather on smelly prescription cream when most eczema outbreaks can be treated by appropriate over the counter products) Here are some great product choices that will help to treat, calm, and prevent eczema outbreaks:
If you prefer a bar cleanser we suggest PCA SKIN Dry Skin Relief Bar, which is a mild cleansing bar that contains a bit of salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and reduce inflammation, in addition to moisturizing honey and vitamin E to hydrate the skin.
La Roche Posay is a small French province that’s well known for its therapeutic spring water. Until recently, healing spring water treatments have been available through thermal baths, but now we are able to attain thermal spring water in the States through the well-known company La Roche Posay. La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water contains healing properties which help to restore the skin’s barrier while providing antioxidant benefits and removing traces of hard water (which contain heavy minerals that are irritating to the skin). And the best thing about this water is that it can be used throughout the day when your skin craves moisture or feels dry and irritated. The fine mist will not disturb your make up but will make your skin look fresh and hydrated.
Skin prone to eczema can often feel taut and dry no matter how much moisturizer is slathered on. We recommend therapeutic moisturizers with skin-building properties that not only hydrate the skin but also strengthen the skin’s barrier. Using a serum under a cream can be beneficial to drawing moisture deeper into the skin. The Topix Citrix CRS 15% Serum with Growth Factor is a great serum to use under your cream as it contains Growth Factor TGF- beta-1 which can play a significant role in stimulating collagen growth and strong tissue structure. It also contains a bit of vitamin C to provide antioxidant protection. After applying a serum layer a cream for additional hydration. ATOPALM MLE Cream is a great choice as it helps to restore the skin’s barrier function while soothing and hydrating. If your skin is extremely dry, try using a balm like the Osmotics Cream Extreme Barrier Repair, it looks like butter in the jar, but emulsifies into a fine balm once you warm it up in the palm of your hand. This product will last and last, and a tiny bit goes a long way to restore your skin’s compromised barrier.
Get rid of dead, flaky skin by exfoliating regularly with a non-irritating enzyme mask. Enzymes eat dead skin cells without compromising your skin’s barrier. The Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant is a great choice as it contains enzymes as well as skin brighteners and gently resurfaces the skin without irritating.
If you experience eczema break-outs on your body, we recommend using La Roche Posay body products to address your concerns. The La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet is an outstanding non-drying foaming body wash that cleanses without irritation and neutralizes drying effects of hard water. The La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm is a rich hydrator that soothes the skin while providing dry-skin relief and hydration to last all day.
I hope these suggestions help! While eczema can not be cured you can often easily control it with soothing over-the-counter skin care products. And as always, if your skin condition worsens or becomes intolerant to over-the-counter products, consult your doctor for other treatment alternatives.
Dry skin has lower levels of sebum causing the skin to become prone to sensitivity and environmental harm. Giving the skin proper nutrients that are naturally lacking for this skin type is important so the skin can produce its own defensive oils. Here are a few products that will put your skin on the path to rejuvenation and euphoria…for a price that fits your budget.
Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover with Cornflower Extract – Ingredients so soothing, the product pH is the same as tears; this is a very mild and non-irritating product even for the most sensitive skin types. It easily removes make-up without stinging the eyes and leaves a clean & refreshing feel.
Susan Ciminelli Cleansing Milk – Contains beneficial aromatherapy properties to soothe your face and your spirit. Lavender and calendula embrace your skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple. Men also love it as a pre-shave skin soother. It’s a multi-tasking product with a variety of benefits.
La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser – Fragrance-free, preservative free, surfactant free. This is a rinse free product that tissues off easily. Ethylhexyl Palmitate prevents stripping of the skin. This also works great as a make-up remover and is gentle enough to remove eye make-up.
Dr. Brandt Anti Irritant Comforting Cleanser – Contains pumpkin seed extract to give relief for sensitive skin, allantoin to calm and soothe irritation, and soybean germ extract to restore skins smoothness and softness. This is a must have for sensitive skin types. Bring on the comfort!!
Elizabeth Arden Hydra Splash Alcohol Free Toner – This gentle toner finishing the cleansing process and is an essential preparation for dry skin. It removes any trace of left over make-up or surface debris and refines pores, leaving skin soft and supple.
Kerstin Florian Rose Tonic – Rose has been known to bring beauty and freshness to the botanical world. This natural floral based tonic soothes, hydrates and promotes cell renewal to give your skin a treatment that is fit for a queen. Perfect for those with extremely dry and/or sensitive skin!
Pevonia Face Oil – This treatment is a blend of hazel nut oil together with ylang-ylang and jasmine oil to replenish moisture and revitalized your complexion. Revitalizing dull, dry skin all while relaxing body and mind with its soothing aromatherapy scents.
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel – This product is rich in vitamin B5 that helps to repair damaged tissue repair. Hyaluronic acid combined with moisture enhancing gel binds with the skins natural moisture replenishing your skin with essential nutrients.
Avene Cold Crème – This product is an intensely rich and hydrating crème that seals in the skins natural moisture and restores the skins natural barrier. It uses the purest ingredients to replenish and repair the skin. Your search for hydration ends here!
BABOR Baborganic Ultra Moisturizing Cream – This extremely hydrating moisturizer balances the skins lipid barrier and eliminates dry patches on the epidermis. Also contains beneficial vitamin E for antioxidant protection and edelweiss extract to calm any irritation.
Stiefel Impruv Natural Repair Cream – Contains coconut oil, palm oil and shea butter to repair and restore the unique needs of a dry skin type. It preserves skin’s protective layer with 6 key lipids that mimic the skin’s natural moisturizers. Wow, we’re talking about actual skin barrier repair here! Free of allergens and irritants, this product is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. Say goodbye to skin irritation and hello to healthy, glowing skin.
Z. Bigatti Re-Storation Goodnight Facial Cream – It contains “24 hour Moisturizing Technology” which improves the skins barrier function. Loaded with natural plant extracts (including white tea, milk thistle, willow bark, and soy) to give powerful protection, antioxidant repair, and skin toning. This product also contains Vitamin A palmitate, B3, and provitamin B5 for intense long-term repair. Time to get that dewy glowing look like all the Hollywood stars.
Avene Soothing Moisture Mask – This is an intensive soothing mask that provides proper hydration to overstressed skin. This mask will help to improve dull, dry skin and will calm irritated, tight and sunburned skin. Containing a whopping 70% of Avene Thermal Spring Water, it will make your skin appear supple and radiant in just minutes!
Yonka Masque No 1 – This mask instantly increases the moisture in the skin up to 96% in just 8 hours. Hydrates the surface leaving the skin soft and firm and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It also leaves the skins complexion radiant and glowing due to all the fine essential oils hydrating the upper layers of the epidermis.
Looking for a new way to exfoliate? Have we got a product for you! SkinCeuticals has recently launched Retexturing Activator, which uses a chemical exfoliant that is unlike any other. The revolutionary product surpasses the results of a 20% glycolic daily use treatment!
We all love our tried and true alpha hydroxy acid for exfoliation, but sometimes it can become irritating to our skin and can cause sensitivity to the sun. Alpha hydroxy acid works by dissolving the glue like substance between dead skin cells thereby allowing the dead cells to slough off. The SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator works differently. This patent pending product stimulates the protease enzyme in your skin that aides in your natural exfoliation and hydration.
The protease enzyme basically herds the skin cells to the surface of your skin, where they can turn into a corneocyte. Corneocytes are a component of the stratum corneum layer of the skin and contain proteins and some other water soluble substances that help your skin’s barrier to function properly, keeping you well hydrated and protecting you from any cellular damage. Once these protease enzyme have done their job, the corneocytes are ready to fall off (natural exfoliation). Proteases help keep this process moving so that you can produce new skin cells faster and keep your skin’s barrier in proper shape. This even helps to prevent acne from forming since the dead skin cells aren’t able to collect and bind together to clog your pores.
If your protease enzymes are stimulated, then your cell renewal rate will be increased because you are naturally shedding skin cells faster. Your body will produce new healthy cells to fill their place. What does this mean for you? Healthier, younger looking, more hydrated, even toned skin! Without the irritation!
So now you may be asking “what exactly is the active ingredient that makes this product so fantastic?” There are a couple of amazing ingredients; the one we are most excited about is the Hydroxyethyl Urea/ Aminosulfonic Acid Compound. SkinCeuticals uses this ingredient in a 25% concentration. The SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator also contains Kombucha and Hyaluronic Acid.
We all have many skincare concerns, but how do you know if you have a specific one that we call hyperpigmentation? Hyperpigmentation is irregular pigmentation of the skin that ranges from light freckling, to excessively dark patches of pigment. Usually hyperpigmentation occurs from unwarranted sun exposure, certain medications, or can be caused by certain skin conditions such as Vitiligo. If you want to know more about hyperpigmentation and how to recognize it, please read my blog: How To Treat Hyperpigmentation.
You know that you have hyperpigmentation, and want to address it, but don’t want to go the hydroquinone route. You’re leery of using hydroquinone because you’ve heard of side effects such as acquired skin sensitivity, irritation, or thinning of the skin. Or perhaps you’re a person of color, and are hesitant of using hydroquinone as it is known to cause hypopigmentation and excessive bleaching of the skin. If this describes you, read on…
While hydroquinone is one of the most effective and potent skin lighteners available on the market, it’s not the best choice for everyone, and although a 2% concentration is available over the counter, hydroquinone is most effective when used at a 4% concentration, and 4% is available only through your dermatologist. But now, there’s a product that the hydroquinone-apprehensive can use to achieve hydroquinone-like results. Leave it to SkinCeuticals, a leading pioneer in the beauty industry, to create an effective lightening agent to cure your pigmentation woes. Introducing SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator… a patent-pending lightening agent that utilizes a sophisticated blend of ingredients to safely and effectively lighten your skin as well as a 4% hydroquinone prescription.
In a double-blind clinical study SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator was evaluated against 4% hydroquinone on a variety of characteristics. There was no statistical difference identified in the pigment lightening aptitude of the two agents. Both hydroquinone and SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator attained similar results in reducing excess pigment in the skin, promoting an even skin tone, and an overall even appearance to the skin’s surface. SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator is able to achieve such remarkable results through an advanced blend of safe, effective lightening agents. The star ingredient of the product is kojic acid at a 2% concentration, which reduces production of excess melanin and works as a tyrosinase inhibitor (tyrosinase is a hyperactive enzyme found in melanin which produces pigment). You’ll also find 2% embilica concentrate in this remarkable blend, which prevents excess melanin from reaching the skin’s surface, while it provides antioxidant protection and naturally brightens the skin. In addition, a concentration of 10% alpha hydroxyl acids (as glycolic and aminosulfonic) work to resurface the skin and break up surface melanin clusters, as well as to push active product deeper into the skin.
SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator is a highly advanced and cosmetically elegant formulation with an effective approach to skin lightening. Pigment Regulator is a safe and effective alternative to irritating topicals and can be used daily, year-round, long term, without unhealthy side effects, there is no need to take breaks away from this product like you would with hydroquinone. Moreover, Pigment Regulator will not discolor the skin or cause hypopigmentation like many other lightening agents. We recommend using Pigment Regular as part of a comprehensive lightening regimen. Here is a step-by-step regimen which incorporates Pigment Regulator as well as other products which promote pigment correction and overall skin health:
If you have questions about the SkinCeuticals product line or the Pigment Regulator feel free to contact us. You can also consult with one of our licensed, trained estheticians to assist you in building an appropriate regimen for your individual skin type and concerns. Otherwise, visit us at SkinStore to get your Pigment Regulator!
For individuals with dry skin, changes in the weather or other environmental factors can often lead to the frustrating process of finding a new way to best hydrate your skin. Without immediate and proper attention, you know that your skin can quickly become parched and flaky, or even hypersensitive or painfully tight.
The manifestation of dry skin can vary from person to person. Severity can range from dry patches to chronically dry skin on the face and body. The pervasiveness of your dry skin may also be year round or just when weather or environmental factors change. Regardless, those who experience dry skin seek moisture and relief.
Since cleansing is one of the most important aspects of our daily skin care rituals, I will often start there when providing a consultation to our clients. When speaking to those who have truly dry skin (skin still feels dry even after 12 hours), I often ask if they have ever tried an oil based cleanser such as Babor Hy-Ol & Phytoactive Base Cleansing System. Most individuals that I have spoken with had not considered taking such an aggressive approach to dry skin, but I have to tell you, personally I have tried oil based cleansers, such as the one just mentioned, and I find that they are highly effective especially during the winter season, in high elevation areas, windy climates or dry cool regions. One of the active ingredients that I appreciate in the Babor Combination Skin Cleanser is the witch hazel which is an astringent that has antioxidant qualities and has been used to treat eczema and psoriasis. I will generally suggest that this type of cleanser be used in the evening and a hydro-based lighter cleanser like the Pevonia Dry Skin Cleanser or the Decleor Cleansing Milk in the morning, but that is really a personal preference based on the user and what their specific needs are. Babor also makes a sensitive skin formulation of the Hy-Ol and Phytoactive solutions.
Moisturizers are another critical element of caring for your dry skin. Facial moisturizers come in all levels of hydration and consistency. It can be confusing to try to find the right one. There are night creams, day creams and multipurpose creams in every type of delivery system from tubes to pumps to jars.
If you use or need a treatment, use your treatment product first, then the hydrator and apply the moisturizer last. For treatment, the SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF or the C E Ferulic is a must have for every woman concerned with preventative measures, cell turnover, elasticity and even hyperpigmentation. Depending on what you need, I would advise reading about the products on SkinStore.com to determine which is best suited to address your skin care concerns.
For an evening moisturizing treatment Kinerase and SkinCeuticals have some wonderful options. SkinCeuticals has the Renew Overnight Dry with a 10% hydroxy acid to exfoliate the skin. Kinerase has a couple that I have used and can suggest the Ultimate Night Moisturizer and the Pro Therapy Ultra Rich Night Repair. The Pro Therapy line in general is really great. The Night Repair has the Kinetin and Zeatin formulation that help with moisture retention and to improve the signs of aging. It also has the Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3 to help with the appearance of wrinkles and the antioxidant benefit of Ergothioneine (More info here). Again, if you use treatments such as Retinols, serums, or gels, apply them under your moisturizer.
More suggestions for dry skin will be in later articles. These are just a few suggestions for those with excessively dry skin; it is not an all inclusive list of what can be used or even all inclusive listing of a complete skin care regimen. For example, toners and treatments are important to a health skin care regimen, but some may or may not choose to include them in their regimen as a personal choice. With that said, no one can or should avoid a great cleanser and moisturizer.
For more information about dry skin, you can contact SkinStore.com for a consultation or visit us at www.skinstore.com.