Category Archives: Skincare

You May Want To Start Washing Your Face Twice

It is well known that you should wash your face regularly. You get rid of bacteria and oils that build up on your face, it’s obviously cleaner, and you keep your pores from getting clogged among other things. You avoid acne, get rid of cakey makeup, and you can even brighten your complexion. According to some research, letting all of these things build up on your skin without regular washing could actually accelerate the aging process.

Don’t use a harsh scrub. Yes, exfoliating your skin is a good thing. However, even better many have found is double cleansing. In other words, wash your face twice. It’s not because you’re OCD. In Asia, it’s actually the norm, particularly in skin conscious countries like Korea and Japan. It has also been taught at the prestigious Dermalogica Academy.

This doesn’t mean just washing twice with bar soap. Of course, the idea is to get all harmful junk off your skin in part. However, for true skin experts, they recommend an oil based cleanser first, and then you can use a traditional cleanser to finish the job. If you are using a makeup remover and then cleansing your face with a traditional cleanser, you are actually already doing this.

According to experts, there are a few basic steps:

  1. Massage the Oil Cleanser Onto Dry Skin in a Gentle Upward Motion: You don’t want to go down, because you want to don’t want to encourage gravity to take your skin down. There are many different brands you can try, and many would encourage Korean brands. After all, they’ve been doing this for years. So realistically, they have more experience making the right stuff.
  2. Add Little Bits of Water to Emulsify the Oil and Rinse It Off: Don’t scrub with a washcloth. You can use muslin clothes that often come with cleansing balms. It’s your face. Make sure that you are gentle with your skin.
  3. Use a Cream or Foam Cleanser: There are various cleansers. Try to stick to one that isn’t too stripping and is more gentle. You can also use milky or creamy cleansers to soften and moisturize your skin at the same time. The goal is to get soft and dewy skin as opposed to dry and squeaky clean skin
  4. Let Your Skin Dry And Apply Skincare Products: You should let your skin air dry if possible. Then you can apply your skincare products, which will be more effective when your skin doesn’t have all the dirt and skin cell buildup.

Is Fashion Increasing Your Risk of Skin Cancer?

In the past century, everything has changed. We have looked at sunbathing a different way. Swimsuits have gotten skimpier and skimpier, even in their most modest form, and at the same time, skin cancer has come more common. If you’re wondering if they’re connected, you’re not the only one.

A new article has been published by researchers from New York University’s Langone Medical Center that looks at skin cancer from social and cultural perspectives. Different trends are coming into play including being tan, different clothing styles, social norms, and travel patterns that lead to higher incidence of melanoma.

They’re not saying that swimsuits are the direct cause of the rise of skin cancer, specifically the deadliest form, melanoma. Luckily, doctors are getting better at seeing its earliest stages, and maybe that explains part of the rise as well. We see it more readily.

The researchers looked at store clothing catalogs, and they used the rule of nines, which is a standardized system that is used to measure the percentage of the body’s surface that could be affected by the sun to look at sun exposure. They then looked at those against melanoma rates throughout the 20th century.

They found a clear correlation, finding that the tanner we get, and the more our clothes have changed, the more melanoma rates have gone up.

How To Fight Invisible Acne

You know what it’s like to suddenly have that ugly red pimple pop up, and like it or not, it didn’t come out of nowhere. The reality is that when you battle one pimple, it has been hiding, growing, developing, and you don’t see it until it’s too late, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be at the mercy of your acne.

According to Beverly Hills dermatologist Lisa Chipps, it could actually be the same pimple popping up over and over, because you are never able to fully address it. Unfortunately, that unseen, invisible pimple can develop under your skin without you knowing it (or maybe you start to feel the pain without being able to see or address that) for up to 10 weeks.

Chipps explains, Unseen acne is the bacteria that is living in the comedones (debris filled pores). When you have buildup in those pores from oil and dead skin cells – that bacteria likes to grow in there. That forms the comedone that is the precursor to a pimple. Chipps suggests using topical retinol creams, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide, all common acne treatments, to clean out your pores. Some naturalists who don’t like chemicals would suggest something like tea tree oil. Chipps offers hope saying, A lot of times, when you clean out the pores, they turn over rapidly enough that you won’t get the pimple.

Keep in mind that, especially for those who have more sensitive skin, it can be painful, even damaging and aging your skin. The ideal would of course be to get rid of it without all the redness, swelling, dryness, and other side effects popular acne treatments are famous for, but it’s an imperfect process.

Foods That Can Trigger Acne

Acne is complicated. As a teenager, I was told that I needed to stay way from the fatty foods, because it made my skin more red, swollen, and acne prone. Granted, when I changed my diet at the recommendation of a doctor on a vacation, it helped, and it continues to make a difference for me, but it depends on the person. Truth be told, there is no single cause of acne. It varies, and yes, there are treatments that we have used quite successfully, but we use these only to fight current breakouts, and in some cases, they come with some seriously undesirable side effects. There are more and more people who are beginning to think that you have to work from the inside out, and maybe they’re right. This said, there are a few foods that have become known for contributing to acne breakouts:

  • Dairy

    Bad news. Dairy, despite all the commercials in the 90’s talking about how it was so necessary (and yes, there are plenty of non-dairy sources of calcium, like oranges), can contribute to your acne breakouts. Granted, it may affect someone and not someone else, but the research has shown that it’s more than just chance. The American Academy of Dermatology blames the hormone levels in dairy products according to Dr Frank Lipman who says, Dairy causes spikes in certain pimple-producing hormones. I encourage patients to have almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or hemp milk instead of cow’s milk.

  • Sugar

    I know, it goes back and forth. This is the root of why some recommend not eating as much chocolate (along with the dairy and extra caffeine). Lipman tells us, Sugar can absolutely cause breakouts, because it’s pro-inflammatory. Considering acne is in large part inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet may not be such a bad thing.

  • Coffee (Caffeine)

    Okay, so coffee also has some great antioxidants, which can wake up your skin and be healthy. If you use coffee grounds in a face mask, it could actually be great for your skin. Caffeine can wake you up, but it can also get your system running faster while also increasing the speed of your hormones. The stress hormone cortisol starts pumping at a higher rate, and according to Yap Tan, it can act like androgen, stimulating sebaceous glands and inflammation at the same time. If you switch to decaf, it won’t do much for you. Caffeine isn’t the only trigger in coffee.

  • Bread

    If you tend to experience more acne flare-ups, you may want to experiment with switching away from baguettes, bread, croissants, and other bread based foods. Lipman claims that Wheat causes inflammation, and to get rid of acne, you want to reduce inflammation in your body. Granted, some would argue that wheat (maybe gluten) is only really inflammatory if you have Celiac disease, but then again, bread tends to also have things like dairy, sugar, and sometimes soy.

  • Peanuts

    Peanuts have androgen, which can actually trigger your acne and increase sebum production. Yap Tan tells us, Peanuts will generally make people more oily. I’ve had clients with white pustules around the nose, and it turned out they were eating more peanut butter than usual. According to experts, almonds and other nuts may provide a safer alternative.

The Benefits Of Almond Oil

Almonds, almonds, almonds, or at least almond milk. Now, it’s all about almond oil. While almond milk has been the alternative to milk that doesn’t use soy or rice, almond oil has found its way into soaps, lotions, facial scrubs, and hair treatments. Almond oil is the big it thing for beauty and other products. The truth is that almond oil products have been around since before we really remember. It just hasn’t been as publicized or trendy until now.

Dr Soheil Simzar, a Santa Monica dermatologist at Ava MD has seen many benefits, and she says, Almond oil, coconut oil, and essential oils are hot topics because they are known to be multi-tasking beauty products and great for most skin types. Almond oil is hydrating and won’t clog pores. It works great as makeup remover, and the monounsaturated fats in the oil keep cell membranes healthy, reducing the appearance of aging.

Experts believe that literally anybody could benefit from almond oil, even if you have sensitive skin. Almond oil provides a rich source of magnesium, which is common in hair products, and it can help you to repair split ends and make your hair shinier.

Almond oil is natural, not synthetic. Synthetic ingredients may cause irritation to the skin and make matters worse. It’s always better to use Mother Nature’s ingredients.

Simzar recommends a small dime-sized amount of organic almond oil directly to your skin before you go to bed at night after washing your skin. It will feel a bit greasy at first, but your pores open up at night, and therefore, they can better take in things like almond oil without clogging the pores. It can really soak in for long term benefits.You can also try a tablespoon for your dry split ends, leave it overnight, and rinse in the morning.

Easy Ways To Prevent Osteoporosis

Nobody wants to actually deal with osteoporosis, or at least I don’t think you do. You want to live comfortably as you age, and ideally, this includes not having bones that are breaking down. Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, the odds are simply not in your favor. 80% of osteoporosis affects women (approximately 8 million women), and according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 1/2 of all women will lose bone mass starting after their 50th birthday. 5 to 20% will suffer osteoporosis as we know it today. It is less common in African Americans and more common in Latinas, Caucasians, and Asians, and yes, it can be associated with being a side effect of menopause. The good news is that while some of it is genetic, there are some things that you can do to prevent it and ideally lessen the severity at the very least:

  • Exercise A Little, Walk: When you exercise, specifically with weight bearing exercises like walking, it has a natural effect of strengthening your bones and the muscles around them to protect you. No equipment is required for walking, and you can do it any time. But of course, if you prefer, there are plenty of other options that are available for weight bearing exercises. Take advantage of the ease of it.
  • Eat Some Ice Cream: I know, I bet you thought you would never hear that one. Ice cream is full of sugar yes, but it’s also full of milk and the associated calcium. For those with osteoporosis, it has often been associated with lower levels of calcium in the body, meaning the more you can get naturally (it absorbs better coming from food), the better. Foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, fortified orange juice, and dark leafy greens are also great sources of calcium.
  • Lay Off The Drinks: Okay, so you like to drink. Lay off a little as alcohol can cause your bones to deteriorate, breaking them down. An occasional drink is not necessarily a bad thing, but too much can increase your risk of bone loss. The American Heart Association recommends just 1 drink (or less) of alcohol per day for women. If you smoke, you may also want to skip out on that to prevent bone loss.
  • Early Screening Is Essential: Early screening and diagnosis allows you to also get early intervention. If you are over 65 (or maybe even 50 for women), you should undergo screenings for your bone mineral density. There are risk factors such as smoking, excessive drinking, some medications, low body weight, fractures, etc. Early detection can make a huge difference in the progression of the disease.

Most Common Myths About Adult Acne

The American Academy of Dermatology has reported that acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, which affects up to 50 million people. In fact, acne will affect about 85% of all people at some point. Acne typically appears on the face, chest, back, and other areas showing pimples, deeper lumps, blackheads, and whiteheads. Outside of the obvious struggles associated with acne, what do you really know about it? There are plenty of myths that float around that we may not necessarily understand are myths.

  • Adult Acne is Not Normal

    Actually, adult acne is normal. It doesn’t just magically disappear once you hit age 18 unfortunately. Dr. Christine Cabell, dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon at Geisinger Health System in Wilkes-Barre, PA says, From the dermatologist point of view and from what studies have shown, adult acne is quite common. In fact, anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of adults at some time can have acne.

    The basic underlying factors remain the same for both teens and adults. You see the same inflammation, the same blocked pores with sebum. Adults can have a little more trouble with breakouts than teens because their skin is drier, so they’re dealing with dryness, wrinkles and acne together.

    If you have the occasional breakout though, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a serious problem with acne. If you’ve tried the over-the-counter products without results, you may want to try going to a dermatologist instead.

  • Poor Diets Can Cause Acne

    Dr Jwala Karnik, chief medical officer at Suneva Medical Inc in Santa Barbara, CA says, It is a common misconception that chocolate, pizza, and greasy foods cause acne. While the foods you consume may play a small role in the overall health of your skin, there is no direct, definitively-proven correlation between eating these so-called acne foods and having a breakout.

    Experts say that if you find that a certain food leads to breakouts, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to take that out of your diet to fight acne breakouts. However, it’s not the same for everyone, and sometimes, it’s more about trial and error to know how your skin responds.

  • Stress Causes Breakouts

    You may be experiencing more stress when you have breakouts, but that’s not going to be the only factor. Stress may be a factor in acne occurrences, so while there may be truth to this myth, it’s difficult to quantify or prove that there is a causative relationship between stress and acne. Karnik.

  • Tanning Fights Acne

    This is one of the most potentially harmful myths. Too much sun can cause burns and lead to skin damage and eventually skin cancer. The harsh UV rays may even further irritate skin and cause more breakouts rather than less. I understand there are people who think it would kill bacteria, but it just doesn’t work that way. Karnik says, Tan skin may hide the redness of acne, it does not help clear it up.

  • Acne Is Just A Cosmetic Problem

    On the contrary, acne is far from just being a cosmetic problem. Yes, there are physical risks associated with it, but multiple studies have shown that acne has negative effects on self-confidence and self-esteem and can be linked to depression. If left untreated, acne can lead to permanent scarring, which can also lead to further emotional distress.