Category Archives: Acne

Life Savers: The Best Products To Use After A Peel – for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

If you’ve ever had a chemical peel (maybe you’re recovering from one now) you know that the days after the treatment can be interesting… From trying to apply makeup over dry, flaky skin to explaining to co-workers or significant others that no, you don’t have dried milk on your chin, and yes, this is supposed to be happening.

 

how to het through a chemical peel at theproductpro.wordpress.com

“No, I didn’t just have a chemical peel, did YOU?”

Besides trying to look as normal as possible, it’s very important to use gentle products that won’t irritate the skin -or worse for social scenarios- cause additional dryness. 

I thought I’d share my favorite moisturizer and recovery products to use post-procedure, but as always: be sure to follow the instructions given to you by your skin care professional or doctor, and always use plenty of SPF!


The Best Post-Peel Products for Oily or Acne-Prone Skin Types

LaRoche Posay Thermal Spring Water This versatile product is much more than a can of spray water. Rich in restoring elements like selenium, The water from the thermal springs in LaRoche Posay France has been used historically to treat burn victims, wounds, and critical skin disorders.. It’s neutral pH and delicate mister makes it a gentle refresher, toner, and a great way to set mineral make up, even on a daily basis.

Skinmedica TNS Recovery Complex This potent mixture of Human Growth Factors layers under moisturizers and makeup to accelerate the healing process. A light gel formula, it absorbs quickly for a clean finish. This product is also great to use daily for anti-aging, whether you are post procedure or not!

Skinmedica UltraSheer Moisturizer This oil-free, sheer moisturizer won’t cause breakouts, nor will it leave you feeling ‘eh’ in the moisturizing-department, as some lightweight moisturizers will. This potent formula absorbs quickly and boosts the skin’s ability to protect itself with multiple forms of Vitamin C and oil-soluble E (antioxidants).

No Break Out Zone: Ultra Sheer and Hydrate are perfect moisture for anyone who wants a matte, clean finish

No Break Out Zone: Ultra Sheer and Hydrate are perfect moisture for anyone who wants a matte, clean finish

Obagi Hydrate This go-to for clean-finish, medium-weight matte moisturizer is perf’ for all of you acne-prone beauties. In my many experiences over the years with Hydrate, I feel confident claiming that it will NOT break you out. I repeat: It will not make you break out.

It’s a great medium-weight, middle-of-the-road consistency moisturizer for oilier types that still need hydration. The unique time release formula actually releases moisture to the dermis -yep, way down there- consistently over the course of 8 hours! Read my old-school post on it here. 


May the Force be With You! And be sure to watch for my next editions of Life Savers: The best post-peel products for All Skin Types, Dry and Mature, and “Trouble Spots”. And until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

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Acne: 6 ways to Troubleshoot when you’re breaking out

Trouble-shooting causes of acne and breakouts is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a fun challenge, like trying to solve a mystery. I’ll always start by asking LOTS of questions, and keep it up until we get an ah-ha moment.

Below is a list of some of the things I ask patients about. If you’re having trouble with acne, try troubleshooting your routines and products.


1) Liquid Makeup
It’s a mean cycle: you break out, so you need to cover up. But liquids and creamy formulas can contribute to congestion, causing another breakout. Remember that oil is sticky, and in an acne scenario, dead skin cells and debris are already getting glued down with oil. Frequently, more coating on the surface can cause more congestion and breakouts.

Contrary to popular belief, there are mineral powder foundations that deliver high coverage. My faves for great coverage without contributing to acne:

Tip: Try a liquid foundation brush with these powders to lay down more opacity/ coverage where you need it. 


2) Over-Extraction

Not every blackhead or follicular deposit is going to cause issues. And that little tiny blemish won’t actually ruin your day. If you tend to break out, Hands Off!

See an esthetician for a pro extraction and ask for a conservative session. Hard truth to swallow: If you break out after a facial, (or home extraction) it might be because of over-stimulation… NOT because the skin is “purging” – an idea you’ll hear suggested from time to time. Bring post-facial-breakout feedback to your skin care pro and they can adjust appropriately for your next treatment.IMG_9357

Tip: The use of Tretinoin, retinol, or another treatment product recommended by your doctor or esthetician can act as a pre-treatment and make extractions easier on you… and your facialist.


3) Benzoyl Peroxide and Spot Treating:

Benzoyl Peroxide is a great acne treatment. However, it works as a preventative by killing off pimples in the early stage. (Zits can take up to 90 days to form). Sometimes we feel like it helps as a spot treatment because it can be drying to an acne lesion, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not applying it all over. My favorite BPO is in the Obagi Clenziderm System because it’s a solubilized BPO, not a micro-crystal (like other BPO). It’s 1/10,000th the size of a standard BPO crystal – this means it penetrates most effectively into the follicle. Give it a try!


4) Bar Soap:

I’ve never met a bar of soap that I liked. Picture a bar of soap: waxy and skin-coating, dry-looking, or simply sitting in a little pool of water getting mushy: whatever it is, we just don’t get along- and neither should you.

Two things about bar soap:

1) Just to physically get it into bar-form, the pH here has to be higher than other formulations like creams, gels, or liquids. This means that they can be more drying. Lets not freak out your skin any more than we need to.

2) Bacteria likes to live on bars of soap. Doctors don’t seem too concerned with this from a disease-proliferating perspective (washing your hands with bar soap seems to be fine), but if we’re trouble-shooting, we’re trouble-shooting. I say, use a liquid, non-soap cleanser instead.


5) Use of Topical Vitamin C:

Topical Vitamin C’s are great as a brightening product and anti-aging measure, but you should avoid this one when troubleshooting breakouts. In my experience, vitamin C’s are not always acne-friendly and are not often recommended for those who break out easily.

That being said, Vitamin C’s are great to lighten acne marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH) from old breakouts.  If you currently have active acne, get your breakouts under control first, and then consider choosing a formula meant for all or oily skin types. I prefer Phloretin CF for oily types. 


6) Makeup Sponges

If you’re breaking out, ditch the sponges – they harbor bacteria. If you are currently in the sponge club, really, try brushes! You can get much better coverage and get much more mileage out of your makeup. Just be sure to clean them regularly.

My favorite brush cleaners are:

IMG_9322Tip:  If you HAVE to use a sponge, grab a bag of disposable wedges, snip them in half (so you get double the use) and throw them out EACH TIME you use them.


If you’ve exhausted these possibilities and you’re still having trouble, see your dermatologist. They will troubleshoot further and might look at additional factors like hormones.  They might also prescribe a topical or oral medication as well.

Until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

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Yay! A New Clarisonic 

  
Ok- I’m so excited! This Mia 3 ‘Sonic Romance’ (available at Nordstrom) is super cute! My mom gave it to me! It’s totally trumping my old and boring white Clarisonic Pro – I can’t wait to use this bad boy! 

A Clarisonic is a great tool to increase the efficacy of your topicals by prepping the skin effectively. It cleanses 6 x better than manual cleansing. This means your expensive and amazing products can penetrate much more effectively. 

Clarisonics are fun and unique because you can customize/choose the ‘strength’ of the brush for more or less exfoliation. Most models also feature timers so you don’t overdo it. My mom and I both love how clean we feel after using these awesome tools – we’ve both been Clarisonic-users since about 2008… And neither one of us is willing to go without them anymore!

If you do try a cleansing device, I would recommend this one. It’s patented sonic technology is much more effective and gentle than a spinning brush, which can (in theory) stress out the capillaries, maybe upset elastin fibers and irritate the skin.

If you try one, enjoy! And until next time, Stay Fabulous my Friends! 

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E’s 3 Current Faves: a Sunscreen for Everyone

Here’s a blog post I wrote for work, Erickson Cosmetic Dermatology. Enjoy! =)

chicagoderm

Hi, Elizabeth for Erickson Cosmetic Dermatology here!
I think many of us thought it would never happen, but Spring is upon us… and the sun is out Chicago! Well, it’s THINKING about it. =)
Though it’s important to be aware of daily sunlight exposure all year-round, the thought of daylight in Chicago after this winter is suddenly inspiring! So, I thought I would take a moment to share some of my favorite daily-use facial sunscreen products.

My favorite for a smooth, powdery finish (AND there’s bonus Vitamin C!!!):
Obagi Medical Products Gentle Rejuvenation Fortified Sunscreen. 

This awesome makeup primer-consistency Sunscreen is fortified with Vit C. This is like winning the  multitasking skin care lotto! This awesome makeup primer-consistency Sunscreen is fortified with Vit C. This is like winning the multitasking skin care lotto!

This is sunscreen is unique because it features the ever-important antioxidant Vitamin C in its broad spectrum, matte finish sunscreen formulation.I love this one for it’s fresh, almost citrusy (yet subtle) scent. This line rocks, by the…

View original post 267 more words

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Before and After: My Obagi Transformation

I think the Spring season gets a lot of credit for renewal and transformation, but Fall is really when I (and clients/patients alike) really get in the mood for change. The summer can be a time when we drop off of our strict regimens and become a bit lax… with schedules, eating, bedtime, skin care, and who-knows-what else.

In my opinion, there seems to be something about the changing colors, the crispy air, and the earlier nightfall that seems to make us all think: ‘OK, these summer freckles are bothering me. Time for a change’, or ‘Hey!! I’m suddenly interested in regimented self-care again’. I myself jumped back onto full time Obagi use a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I would share my slightly embarrassing before and after pictures from my first time using the Obagi Nu Derm system. (about 7 or 8 years ago)

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 11.48.57 AM

Yup. You are right to be impressed.

I had some issues, as you can see. It’s especially tough to have skin trouble when you are a professional aesthetician. After all, how are you supposed to recommend treatments and products for your practice’s patients when your own skin is terrible??

Notice the acne, the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (red spots left-over from acne), melasma (patchy-brown above my lip and on my forehead), freckles, and uneven tone.

I used the Nu Derm system with tretinoin .1% (hardcore!!) religiously for 18 weeks, followed by a maintenance regimen. What a life-changing transformation this was for me! I am so thankful for this line, and have many, many happy clients who would agree.

So if you are in the mood for change yourself, join me in fall transformation! Start using that night-time product instead of falling asleep on the couch at night, jump into that Zumba class, or finally organize your closet by color; whatever blows your hair back! :)

Check out Obagi Medical’s website here to learn more about nu derm, and until next time: Stay Fabulous My Friends!

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ZITS: 5 Break-Glass-In-Case-Of-Emergency Tricks

As I sit here with a blemish so large that I may end up naming him (Thor? Steve? Brutus?), about to get my Kenalog Injection, it occurred to me that I may want to share a few of my emergency acne treatment ideas.

Yes, it’s true. Even the skincare-obsessed (and skincare professional) will get the occasional blemish. If you are like me, you might have a fabulous dermatologist in your back pocket.  A quick and almost-painless injection of a steroid and will have you like new in 24-48 hours. What I have is called Kenalog- it’s a glucocorticoid corticosteroid meant for intralesional, (meaning: in-the-zit-itself), injection.

This is one of the best ‘break glass in case of emergency’ treatments before weddings/prom/reunions. There’s risk of a scar when you have these injections, so talk it out with your doc. Sometimes the blemish itself threatens a scar, like when it’s big enough to have its own name. So depending on your situation, despite the risk you may still opt for the shot.

Don’t have a derm? No time for an appointment?

Here are 5 of my top at-home emergency blemish treatments:

Acne Arsenal: Here are a handful of my fave blemish-fighters

Acne Arsenal: Here are a handful of my fave blemish-fighters

Over-the-counter hydrocortisone: 

(I prefer the cream version, but it’s also available in an ointment form) you can apply hydrocortisone 1% a couple times a day for up to 7 days to help reduce inflammation and redness.

Ice, Ice, Baby (better yet, cool packs):

Reduce inflammation by holding a cool pack on for 15 minutes at a time, or as long as is comfortable. It’s good to do while you’re checking email or watching a movie.

Don't forget your 20% off coupon! Super Cutie Cool Packs at Bed, Bath, & Beyond

Don’t forget your 20% off coupon! Super Cutie Cool Packs at Bed, Bath, & Beyond

Tretinoin (aka Retin-a):

If you have some of this (generally for use all over the facial skin at night) I have found that if you use a dab during the day, it can help to flatten things out a bit faster. Tretinoin is typically for anti-aging and /or acne treatment and prevention- it’s a power house prescription. If you don’t happen to have any laying around, Salicylic Acid is always a good one to dry and flatten things out. I love Obagi’s Clenziderm MD Pore Therapy.

Anti-histamines:

Try taking Benedryl or Claritin, if its appropriate for you (i.e, your md says you’re good to go) … It’s all about reducing the inflammation!

Um, yuck. Murder those anaerobic bacteria jerks with BPO

Um, yuck. Murder those anaerobic bacteria jerks with BPO

BPO:

Benzoyl Peroxide products are awesome for prevention and treatment of the pustule-type of lesions… the yucky ones with the ‘head’ on them. This is because BPO works by bringing oxygen in to murder the anaerobic (O2-hating) bacteria in the follicles. A crazy awesome Rx version is called Acanya, otherwise my fave and most-recommended BPO is Obagi’s Therapeutic Lotion.

Of course, always follow the recommendations of your own skin care professional or physician- and may the force be with you!

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Product Review: Obagi Medical’s Hydrate Facial Moisturizer

1.7 Ounces of Glorious Hydration: Obagis HYDRATE

1.7 Ounces of Glorious Hydration

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

“Hydromanil technology” delivers moisture in a 2 Part Action.

Part 1: There are Hydromanil matrix molecules that stay on the surface of the skin to reduce LOSS of moisture.

Part 2: A water-bearing 3D matrix captures and hold on to water within the skin, continuously releasing moisturizing compounds, increasing moisture for at least 8 hours after you put it on.

Appropriate for who?:

It’s designed for every skin type, and I would agree with that after using it.

It’s got a medium consistency that would please a dryer skin-type, but it dries mostly matte and does not feel heavy or look greasy, which oilier types would love. It is mild enough that I would recommend it to people who are post- chemical peel or using retinoids (or other treatment products) that could compromise the skin too!

Here's what it looks like right out of the bottle. Pretty, no?

Here’s what it looks like right out of the bottle. Pretty, no?

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part): It didn’t make me break out (Just look at me wrong and I’ll break out!) but I really feel that it improved my dry skin.  I’m also not seeing an increase in pore congestion or any indicators of build-up. There is no scent, so I didn’t have to decide if I liked the smell or not. (no fragrance also usually means non-sensitizing and non-irritating, which is a score!)

Just OK: I suppose the packaging could be splashier? That’s getting picky though.

Needs work: Nothing!

Star Rating: 4 STARS!! ★★★★

★1 Star: Might pass this one up

★★2 Stars: Okay for the money

★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it

★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

Misc Notes/Other Need-to-Know’s:

It’s Non-comedogenic and allergy-tested. Obagi says that there is a 51% improvement in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) after 8 hours, and a 92% improvement in moisture content of the skin within 2 hours.

I would definitely buy that, since their clinical studies were performed using a Tewameter ® (funny name!) and a Corneometer… this wasn’t an interview of 3 of your best friends who thought they liked it (‘3 out of 4 women agree’)!

They used a Tewameter... yup, it's a real thing. :)

They used a Tewameter… yup, it’s a real thing. :)


The consistency is medium... not too heavy, not too light. The Goldilocks of Moisturizer??

The consistency is medium… not too heavy, not too light. The Goldilocks of Moisturizer??

Good work Obagi… I will be recommending this one for sure. 

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