Category Archives: Weird Science

Do you live on planet earth? Then you need Vogue’s #1 SPF (ahem…DNA-Repairing SPF)

Vogue recently rated the Best Dermatologist-approved sunscreens of this year, and I was excited to see that my new fave mineral spf came out on top:

ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica® Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50+, $50

“I always prefer lightweight physical blockers to chemical sunscreens, plus this one contains DNA Repairsomes that help to reverse harmful effects caused by UV rays while also protecting skin from future damage.”
Dendy Engelman, M.D., New York

Why it’s fabulous:

1) Technology: DNA Repairsomes! These are enzymes that actually work to repair damaged DNA. Wow wow wow!!

2) It’s a lightweight, mineral SPF fluid- not goopy, and doesn’t smell like coconuts.

3) The bottle is really a pretty generous size, I would consider it a great value for the technology feature.

ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica® Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50+: hard to say, easy to use!What will it do for you?

What will it do for me?

1) DNA is damaged by well, generally bring alive and living on planet earth. Aging, pollution, chemicals, and of course sunlight (not just from that one time on vacay, even just on a daily basis).

This causes age spots, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, crepe-like changes to the skin, and of course: skin cancer.

The DNA Repairing enzymes in ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion are activated by daylight. So, instead of establishing lots more damage while driving to work or walking the kiddos to school every day, you’re potentially reversing damage while protecting your skin with mineral spf.

That’s right: treat and prevent skin damage at the same time.

Features

  • Anti-Aging: Prevents brown spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage.
  • Skin Cancer and AK prevention/treatment: Used as an adjunct therapy to treat Actinic Keratosis, this product is perfect for everyone, but especially if you’ve ever had an AK or previous bout with a skin cancer.
  • It’s Gentle: Mineral, titanium dioxide SPF (non- chemical) makes it great for All Skin Types, even sensitive and acne-prone
  • Fluid formulation: easy-to-use and apply
  • Cosmetically Elegant: Very subtle, fresh scent, won’t affect makeup, doesn’t feel greasy
  • Matte finish -but not powdery or dry- won’t run into your eyes while you’re working out

How To Get It:

Dermatologists and physicians all over are now recommending and carrying this at their offices. Chances are, your Derm, physician’s office, or local med spa carries it.

Check it out here on the ISDIN site to find a location near you.

If you’re local to the Chicago area, you can call our office (with no charge for shipping) DuPage Medical Group – DMG Aesthetics, The Office of Dr. Danahey: 630-545-7840 

We’d love to hear from you.

And in the meantime, stay fabulous my friends!

 

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Hydration Hacks: 3 ways to get more ‘Bang for your Buck’ from your Hydrating Serum

Everyone swears by hydrating serums, but when you jumped on the bandwagon, did feel just a smidge underwhelmed?  

Do you have a Hydrating Serum that’s just “eh”? Or, do you want to get more from your already-awesome hydrating serum (because, who doesn’t?!)? Read on for my Hydration Hacks and be sure to check out my tips for choosing the right Hydration serum Product below. 


The Product Pro’s 3 Top Hydration Hacks for getting the most out of your HA Serum:

1. Be Quick After Cleansing

Apply hydrating serums to damp skin. Think about it: if Hyaluronic Acid (HA) binds water to the skin to keep things hydrated, starting out with more water in the skin will get you ahead of the game.

It’s said that your skin will hold up to 8 TIMES more water when you apply product while water is still present in the skin. This means: don’t let the skin get “bone dry” after cleansing. Get your products on right away.

TheProductPro.wordpress.com

Don’t let this be your skin before putting your hydrating product on!


2. Missed the window? 

MIST to get the Most (out of your product).

If you absolutely must blow-dry your hair first, -or- if your skin feels super tight/ dry right after cleansing (regardless of how quickly you get to applying your products), try misting with a thermal spring water or hydration mist before (and after) your hydrating serum application.

This will turbo-boost your serum’s super power of hydration. You can even mist during the day to refresh makeup.

My all-time favorite mists:

La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water

Glo Minerals Moist Hydration Mist

Avène Thermal Spring Water

Product Pro Approved: Rich in beneficial minerals like selenium and pH-perfect: I think these are the some of BEST mists out there

No mist within reach? Lightly dampen fingertips with water before/during application. This helps to increase the skin’s capacity (and the serum’s) to hold that valuable water/hydration in.


3. Don’t stop there.

^Speaking of holding water in, be sure to apply HA serums just before a moisturizer. You’ll realize the full benefits of HA only when you layer something creamy on top.

This means using it as the last step right before your day cream or night cream. Think of your HA like a Moisturizer-Super-Charger, pulling the moisture from your day or night cream into your skin and holding it in for you – helping you get hydrated and stay that way.

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Think of HA Serum and Moisturizer like^


But which product should you pick?

…A few notes on what to look for in your hydrating serum:

First off, make sure your serum features hyaluronic acid (HA). This water-loving ingredient binds water in the skin and helps you hold onto it, smoothing, and hydrating the skin without heaviness, greasiness or ‘goop’. It’s said that HA holds 1000 times it’s weight in water, which is what we would want in a humectant, moisturizer-super-charger.

You can find the most common derivative of it HA on an ingredient deck as “sodium hyaluronate“… this is a form that can get into the skin (has a lower molecular weight) which is good – because if we’re going to bother to use something, it better be able to get in, right?


My all-time fave hydrating Serum has 5 different forms of HA and even stimulates your skin to make its own HA: Read about SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator here.

Check out some before-and-after photos that I took using my favorite HA Serum here.


Try these proven tricks and get more ‘bang for your buck’ out of your hydrating serum – and in the meantime, stay fabulous, my friends!

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Real Before-and-After Photos – E Experiments: SkinMedica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

It’s no secret around the office that I am totally obsessed with SkinMedica’s blend of five different forms of HA.

Why The obsession, you ask?
1. While other hyaluronic acid serums will deliver a superficial plumping effect by binding water in the skin, they are short lived. Typical HA’s only have a lifespan of 2 to 4 hours. SkinMedica’s R+D geniuses took care to stabilize these HA’s, which means all-day and long-term hydration for you.

2. Key Words: “Rejuvenating Hydrator”: yes, applying this magical photoshop-in-a-bottle will create a visible, instant gratification perfection-increase. But aside from the right-now smoothing/plumping effect, this powerhouse serum features a brand new antioxidant, peptides, and polysaccharides which will actually stimulate your skin to produce its own HA after continued use.

3. These photos: the below photos are the result of simply tapping HA5 on top of existing makeup, in the office.

Elapsed time: 40 minutes for one set, 4 hours for the other (whoops, we had a pretty crazy clinic day). Anyway, I’ll think you’ll agree that these results are remarkable!

*no retouching was performed and no filters were used in any way.


Here’s what happens almost instantly when we restore the hydration with HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator: 

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator Serum product review before and after photos by Elizabeth Weiler theproductpro.wordpress.com

Elapsed time: 4 hours

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator Serum product review before and after photos by Elizabeth Weiler theproductpro.wordpress.com

Elapsed time: 4 hours

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator Serum product review before and after photos by Elizabeth Weiler theproductpro.wordpress.com

^ Check out the upper lip here^! – Yes, slather this on ALL OVER your face and neck, AM and PM. Elapsed time: 40 minutes.

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator Serum product review before and after photos by Elizabeth Weiler theproductpro.wordpress.com

Elapsed time: 40 minutes

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator Serum product review before and after photos by Elizabeth Weiler theproductpro.wordpress.com

^Am I crazy, or is that under-eye crease, like, actually gone?! We’re officially bathing in this at the office. Elapsed time: 40 minutes.

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator Serum product review before and after photos by Elizabeth Weiler theproductpro.wordpress.com

Elapsed time: 40 minutes

Here’s the background on HA: Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is our skin’s natural moisture. We started out making tons of it, but as damage accumulates with age and our cellular turnover process slows down, we make less and less of it. In fact, it’s said that between the ages of 40-50, your skin has lost 50% of the HA it had at age 20!

Known as a “Fountain Of Youth” molecule, HA is super important in the skin to bind water, holding moisture in. HA is also naturally present in our joints for lubrication, and found in many injectable fillers, too. Thanks to the awesome new antioxidants and 5 different kinds of HA in HA5, short-lived temporary gratification from basic/other Hydrating serums is becoming obsolete. …WELCOME TO THIS!


If you add my fave HA5 to your regimen, you’ll get awesome instant gratification with the added benefit of long-term improvement… and I think you’ll be obsessed with it, too!

Click here for more on the long-and-short of the results from HA5 and the technology that sets this product-hero apart from other HA serums.

And until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

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A Fun Find Tech Toy or Just Way Too Much Connectivity? A Connected Mirror Analyzes Your Skin Condition

Ladies, start your charge cards – just when you thought you had smart-everything: from your phone, tv, thermostat, home speakers, smoke detectors, fridge, well, everything… now there’s a smart makeup mirror.

Read the full article below from USA Today, but here’s how I see it – in a nutshell:

Pro’s:

  • This smart mirror features settings that allow you to simulate the lighting scenarios you’ll be in (office, evening, daytime, etc) for specific make up application needs. Love that!
  • Skin analysis (fine lines, discoloration etc) keeps you aware so you can treat your skin proactively – and stat on top of your game.
  • From my perspective, it seems like the storage of old photos and developments might help you recognize if a questionable spot is new or changing. Who knows, if you see something that wasn’t there before (for example), it might trigger you to call your dermatologist for expert analysis.

Cons:

  • Is this good for the psyche? Plain old magnifying mirrors are notorious for causing the most beautiful women to freak out and run into their doctors’ offices for Botox, laser, you-name-it, to treat tiny ‘imperfections’ they see on the mag-setting at home. While Botox and laser of course have their benefits, it’s the freak-out state that could be caused by constant reminders and updates on your new age spot could cause insecurity like, on a daily basis. This would be a definite CON.
  • Omg, why do we need YouTube DIY’s playing in our mirror?? Granted, there are a lot of jems and pearls of knowledge out there on good old YouTube. But it’s also very diluted and there is a whole lot of junk. The last thing I would want is for this to be playing at me in my bathroom while I’m getting ready. I can’t imagine my smart, well informed patients and clients doing the same, either.

Read all about it here:

From USA Today: A CES Innovation Award winner and available to test-drive at SXSW, HiMirror is the world’s first “smart mirror” that provides personalized beauty and health feedback by analyzing your face. Simply wave your hand in front of the mirror or use voice control, and thanks to the camera and cloud-based image processing algorithm, you’ll receive real-time skincare analysis – including comments on wrinkles and fine lines, complexion, dark circles, spots and pores.Based on your skin condition, HiMirror displays custom DIY YouTube tutorials on the mirror itself. Advice is also based on how your skin looks over time, with stored photos of you in its internal memory.

Along with the basic HiMirror model ($189), HiMirror Plus ($259) also adds LED makeup lighting that can simulate varying environmental settings – such as sunny outdoors, brightly-lit office, restaurant, and supermarket, to name a few – to help you properly apply makeup for the occasion. The Plus model also adds more local storage (for more photos or more users) and a faster Wi-Fi connection.

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Is it a perfect new edition to the slew of tech products already on your home wifi network, or just way too much media? I’ll be interested to see what else we can ‘stay connected with’ as more new products make their way to the market.

And until next time, stay fabulous, my friends!

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My Before and After: My First Kybella Treatment


I’m so excited to share my photo from my first round of Kybella. This revolutionary treatment destroys fat under the chin via small injections of the Kybella product. It actually destroys the fat over the course of several weeks, leaving you with a streamlined jaw and neckline for a pretty profile. Best part is, it’s permanent!

HOW KYBELLA® WORKS

The active ingredient in KYBELLA® is synthetic deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When injected into the fat beneath the chin, KYBELLA® destroys fat cells, resulting in a noticeable reduction in fullness under the chin. Once destroyed, these cells can no longer store or accumulate fat, so further treatment is not expected once you reach your desired aesthetic goal.

Really, I wanted to do it for prevention of the dreaded turkey neck down the road, but I absolutely love what it did for my jawline now!

Despite how fabulous some turkeys can be, the truth is: NOBODY wants a turkey neck…

Most of our patients end up doing 2-4 treatments, but it depends on your goals and how much fat you have. You’ll need to space them out 4 or more weeks apart.

Dr. Daniel Danahey, board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon here in the Chicago area, did mine. You can check out the Kybella website here to find a doctor near you who offers it.

Prepare yourself for a good amount of swelling for a few days afterward which can happen, along with the possibility of a few little bruises (I had no bruising), but otherwise, it tends to be a really easy treatment!

Until next time: stay fabulous, my friends!

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Anti-Aging: A new reason why you need more than just UV protection

Fact: UV isn’t the only cause of skin aging from the sun… You need protection from IR, too.

That’s right: Just when you thought you had it the whole anti-aging thing down, science is showing we have more than UV radiation to worry about: infrared radiation (IR or IRA)

What is infrared?

IR makes up more than half of the solar spectrum. IR penetrates deeper into the skin than UV rays. -This is a scary thought, because  well, deeper in the skin means more damage to the skin. img_3319

“Infrared radiation lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared waves have wavelengths longer than (the) visible … the primary source of infrared radiation is heat or thermal radiation… The higher the temperature, the more the atoms and molecules move and the more infrared radiation they produce.”

…According to California Institute of Technology’s CoolCosmos.com Read the whole article here 

IR manifests itself as heat on the skin, so when you’re outside and you’re feeling the heat, IR is doing it’s evil work on your subcutaneous layers.

So, what does this mean for your skin??

Basically, THIS: (see pic)

theproductpro.wordpress.com

IR Radiation: basically baking your skin

 

IR causes free-radical production deep in the skin, essentially cooking the skin, causing free radicals to form, creating damage, hyperpigmentation, and of course: wrinkles. See my post on Free Radicals here.

What can you do?

It takes anti-oxidants to neutralize damage, along with broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect. A couple of my fave go-to “superscreens” combine the two for you:

SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair line features cosmetically-elegant superscreens in both tinted and not-tinted versions. I love this one.


Another newer and fabulous superscreen is Obagi’s Sun Shield TINT SPF 50, providing a matte finish and two shades to choose from: Cool and Light.

obagi-sun-shield-spf50-tint-2bottles

These easy-to use IR-defense products are making it easy to protect from UV and IR on a daily basis.

Check them out, give them a try this summer, and until next time: stay fabulous, my friends!

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The Skincare Ingredient You Didn’t Know You Were Missing

Neocutis has long been known as a skin care leader for their innovations in growth factor technology. (Read more about that here) 

The newest NEOCUTIS skin care line, MICRO•ESSENTIALS, is now available – and after weeks of experimentation, I can confidently say: I’m nuts about it. This brand new class of anti-aging brings a new addition ingredient to skin care – So what IS the newest thing, you ask?

The short answer: A brand new blend of peptides.

The short answer, explained: Inspired by matrikine technology, MPC™ (Micro Protein Complex) uses a new blend of peptides to help defend against and correct the visible signs of skin aging.

What will these fancy peptides actually do for me, you ask?

  • They stimulate Collagen 1, 3, and 7 (7 is the kind way deep down there, helping with “foundational” support of the skin. Think firm!)
  •  They stimulate your own production of Hylauronic Acid (HA). HA might sound familiar, it’s a popular ingredient in moisturizers, hydrating serums, and fillers like Juvederm and Restylane. It’ll keep your skin plump and hydrated.
  • They stimulate elastin synthesis. This is exciting, there’s not many products/ingredients out there that’ll do this.

The NEOCUTIS MICRO•ESSENTIALS line includes five products to help you kick butt in the anti-aging department:

MICRO•DAY™ Rejuvenating Cream:

  • Broad-spectrum Sunscreen with SPF 30
  • An all-in-one for the girl on the go, this moisturizing product also delivers anti-oxidant protection
  • Tinted and creamy, yet sheer and satiny consistency is lovely to apply and great for most all skin types

MICRO•NIGHT™ Rejuvenating Cream 

  • Finally… A great anti-aging product that isn’t too heavy, but still restores moisture. It’s about time we had a new product in this category.
  • Smooths skin and improves firmness while you sleep.

MICRO•EYES™ Rejuvenating Cream 

  • If you like Lumiere, you’ll LOVE this
  • alleviates the signs of fatigue
  • Light consistency, noticeable results
  • helps make the delicate skin around the eyes resistant to the signs of aging.
  • Safe to use on upper lids too! Woot!

MICRO•SERUM Intensive Treatment 

  • The Cadillac of the line, this glorious serum is the highest concentration of our new found peptide friends.
  • Absolutely lovely upon application, not sticky or goopy… Just elegant and enjoyable as it smoothed over skin.
  • goes beyond fine lines and wrinkles to address additional signs of aging, including elasticity, tone and texture.

The mack-daddy of MPC, Micro Serum

MICRO•FIRM: Check out my post about this 5-star product here. I am head-over-heels for this awesome serum-meets-cream rejuvenating and firming intensive treatment!!

If you’re interested in adding this new cutting-edge peptide to your regimen, find it at a doctors office near you! And in the meantime, stay fabulous, my friends!

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Anti-Aging: We’ve been missing something

As a skin care professional, I’ll admit that the first (and sometimes only) anti-aging recommendations I default to are the usual suspects: Retinoids, sunscreen, growth factors, antioxidants, and a smorgasbord of treatments to prevent and treat wrinkles.

But with so much focus (from me, from like, everyone) on anti-aging of the skin, what about the hair?? Perhaps it’s that hair anti-aging hasn’t been a focus from a technology standpoint until recently. But technology IS catching up in this category, as I recently learned in a lecture featuring speaker Brian Hendricks, VP of Global Education for DS Laboratories. By the way, “DS” stands for Divine Skin. This organization is certainly speaking my language.

“The future expectation of hair care will not be to simply clean, condition, and style the hair.  Rather, products will be designed to protect, stimulate, and manipulate actual hair growth to achieve the best hair of your life.  DS Laboratories has already set this standard with stunning results.” says Hendricks.


Here’s what I learned:

As we age, the hair follicles shrink, harden, and weaken -Oh GREAT. We have the best hair of our lives at our follicular peak around the age of 19. Stop and think about it: have you seen a elderly woman with flowing, long locks lately? Well, I haven’t. And while weekly roller sets might also be a convenience when you’re 90, it’s true that the potential for mermaid hair at that age is little to none.

Hair Anti Aging at TheProductPro.wordpress.com

This chick is DEFINITELY not 90. And she’s DEFINITELY using Revita.

So, is there potential for keeping the hair at its peak, restoring, or even maintaining where it is presently? There is, with recent developments in technology. And, with the help of stimulants, anti-inflammatories, and nutrient delivery, says Hendricks. The unique line of products from DS Laboratories, including Revita Shampoo and Revita COR Conditioner give the follicles a fighting chance.

Hair Anti Aging at TheProductPro.wordpress.com

Revita to the Rescue!


Here are some of the benefits:
Stimulants: No, we’re not talking Rogaine here. Multiple stimulants including caffeine in DS Laboratories’ Revita line can stimulate the follicles into action for length and volume!

Anti-inflammatories: Anti-inflammatories rescue the follicles from arguably the Number 1 cause of aging: Inflammation.

•Antioxidants: Antioxidants like Spin Traps, one of the most potent (and expensive!) antioxidant molecules available on the market neutralize free radical damage, a serious offender in the aging process for hair AND skin.
Nutrient Delivery: One word: Biospheres. Just like skincare, once we’ve identified beneficial ingredients, the challenge lies in how to get them where they need to go. Biospheres magnetically attach the active ingredients to the skin on the scalp so they keep working. Rest assured these powerful products are not just rinsing down the drain – they’re even working while swimming or working out!

Beauty AND Brains: Aside from all the great science, these products make your hair look and feel glorious starting from the first time you use them. I speak from experience.


Says Jessica Taylor, Regional Brand Manager for DS Laboratories, “We are all on the pursuit of perfection, and a fusion of hair and skin care is what will get us there. (With products) filled with antioxidants, amino acids & anti-aging components, science can be sexy too.”

And who doesn’t love that??

Until Next time, Stay Fabulous My Friends!

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These Villains are the Cause of Skin Damage, Part 3

If we want to look at our anti-aging practices from an informed and discerning perspective, it’s good to know what’s going on in there that causes wrinkles (and other not-so-fun manifestations of skin aging). So far, we know about three main things that happen in the skin when damage is caused. Click HERE for the 1st Villain I wrote about, Click HERE for the 2nd in the series. Read on for the 3rd biochemical phenomenon in my series:


Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs)

AGE is a a conveniently-coincidental acronym for Advanced Glycation End-products, which are the evil little products of a reaction between glucose (sugar) and proteins… Specifically collagen and elastin in this case (glycation).
Yes, it tastes good, but excess sugar in your diet screws up more than just your waistline.
How does it cause aging? 
Glucose is good, of course, in the way of providing energy. But when there’s extra glucose, it rumbles with our collagen and elastin. This process produces AGEs, which make these fibers crispy and easily breakable. This reaction contributes to inflammation, slowed/inhibited growth of cells, and wrinkles (oh my!).
To simplify, think of it as turning your normal, elastic rubber band-like fibers into an old, dried out and crumbly rubber band. When AGE’s wreak havoc, your rubber bands are in an accelerated aging state, causing that loss of elasticity, sagging, and wrinkles.
You know all those old, crumbly rubber bands in the back of your desk drawer? That's your elastin after AGE's.

You know all those old, crumbly rubber bands in the back of your desk drawer? That’s your elastin after AGE’s. Yikes!

In an article for Prevention, dermatologist Dr Frederic Brandt (well-known for his research in AGE’s) breaks it down further: “Besides damaging collagen, a high-sugar diet also affects what type of collagen you have—another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling… The most abundant collagens in the skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the most stable and longest lasting. Glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile.
The article goes on to describe that “AGEs deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage—still the main cause of skin aging.”

yikes! What Now?
1) It’s time to build some new Collagen. If you’re not already, start using a Retinol or Retinoid.
My favorites for sensitive or dry types:
My favorites for resistant or oily skin types:
Rx Tretinoin .05 or Tretinoin .1 creams

2) Diet:
Cut down on simple sugars in your diet. From a dietary perspective, refined sugar seems to impact glycation about 10 times more than glucose.
Yup, just another reason… Sorry.
Judgmental cat seems judgmental, but he really just cares about your complexion.

Judgmental cat seems judgmental, but he really just has your best interests in mind.


3) Use topical antioxidants.
These guys are ONCE AGAIN a great way to cut down on all the domino effects of damage. . Click HERE to read more about them. 

4) Try a Targeted Treatment Cream: One of my fave go-to’s is Skinceuticals AGE Interrupter. Give it a Go if you’re in the market for a rich, cosmetically-elegant treatment cream.

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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