Monthly Archives: September 2011

Skin care advice from people who have absolutely no knowledge of ongoing daily skin care…

The array is dizzying. Dozens of face-washing “enhancers” are being touted in the fall fashion mags as vital for the nightly cleaning ritual: pre-wash makeup removers, post-wash scrubbing pads, exfoliating gels, toners to restore pH balance and on and on. Read the (badly presented/poorly researched) article from people who should not be giving skin care advice…

AAAAARGH…. I wish the people writing these articles would learn about skin care, and I wish dermatologists would either study cosmetic chemistry and cosmetic ingredients or else stick to drugs and disease. NO BAR OF SOAP FOR THE SKIN….EVER! And then they talk about ‘normal’ skin…a term they cannot begin to describe…because there is no such thing as a general term ‘normal’ skin. How the hell do you know if your definition of ‘normal’ is vaguely similar to anyone else’s? And when they like ‘foaming’ cleansers are they saying foam = gentle????? Hell, learn about the various forms of detergent (including foaming ones) before making broad non-sensical statements. DO NOT CLEANSE TWICE PER DAY unless you have oily skin….(check out why). DO NOT APPLY MOISTURIZER all over the face every day unless you have dry skin…. (check out why). The good part of this article is that they say toners are a waste of time and money….YES! Yet there are many ‘medical’ skin care lines sold through dermatology offices that still suggest that you buy and use a toner…..oh my!

And as for the comment that the ‘internet trend’ of using bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the skin is too harsh…well there is a better word than harsh….it is STUPID!

Oh man I really hate these articles written by people who have absolutely no idea about the chemistry of the skin and the chemistry of skin care products…..and the reader always loses out because these people claim to be ‘smart’ and ‘knowledgeable’ when they actually know very little of which they write.

FTC cracks down on smart phone ‘acne’ solutions

Got a smart phone….but you are not too smart? You need the Fed’s to protect you from yourself? Read the article to find out why the Federal Trade Commission is aiming to clear the complexion of the mobile application world. That is, the FTC is looking to eradicate the smartphone application realm of misleading apps professing to treat or cure acne. And the effort is already paying off…(the marketing misrepresentation is reducing, but unfortunately the intelligence of humans is not increasing

Find out the facts about acne and how to treat it…see the videos acne part 1
and acne part 2

Acne treatment claims ‘unsupported’

A British study suggests that companies touting the effectiveness of their acne treatment products can’t always back their claims with hard evidence. According to an ABC News report, the University of Nottingham study found that common acne-fighting products lack proper research in documenting their effectiveness. The study notes that most guidelines for acne care are based on expert opinions, but that even those opinions many have conflicts of interest. Read the article.

Too often the industry uses ‘standard’ ingredients for acne…but they fail to differentiate between teen acne and adult acne. Salicylic Acid is usually more suitable for teen acne, where as Glycolic Acid is more suitable for adult acne. Both types of acne require intensive repair treatments like aloCell Gel in order to reduce the potential for acne pitting and scaring. See the video on New Acne Strategies Part 1 and Part 2.

Typical acne cleansers are strong detergents – and these make the skin squeaky clean….what the acne product suppliers and dermatologists ‘assume’ is good for any acne skin…but they are TOTALLY BAD because they strip the natural moisturizer (aka oil) off the skin in the short term, and ALWAYS results in the skin producing a lot more oil to compensate…and within 2 hours you get the proverbial ‘grease slick’ ….uuuuugh….And then the ‘typical’ acne treatments also have you apply moisturizers….oh my..they just worsen the situation. See the videos Moisturizers: Yes or No? and Cleansers: Do the differ and do they matter?

Persistent Melasma Treatment (Mother’s Mask/ Pregnancy Pigmentation/Birth Control Pill Pigmentation)

Melasma can be both recurrent and persistent, so it is imperative that clinicians treat it sooner rather than later, according to a dermatologist specializing in treating the condition. Read the article.

I like this article, because it references someone who does not just regurgitate the ‘standard’ industry line that shows she probably understand cosmetic chemistry….and I like the fact that she states that mineral (inorganic) sunscreens are absolutely essential….my pet peeve is the magazine editors/industry spokes people/dermatologists who just say wear SPF 15 or more and never mention what are the best ingredients in a sunscreen (usually because they do not study cosmetic chemistry so actually don’t know what the most effective sunscreen ingredients are)…..

NOTE: The article misquotes the melanin (pigment) forming enzyme as tyrosine…in fact the enzyme is tyrosinase and it is instrumental in converting tyrosine into melanin…

Coffee – is it good or bad for the skin?

There is always marketing hype about how good or bad coffee is for your skin….with some claiming exceptionally high antioxidant qualities are a reason to consume large quantities of coffee. Well, like all plants, the phyto chemicals in coffee are complex, with some good and some bad effects.

The 2 major components of coffee beans are Chlorogenic Acids and Caffeine. Chlorogenic Acid has high antioxidant activity when tested, but in the body the antioxidants in these acids are extensively metabolized so are much lower in concentration when absorbed in the body. Once again the media hyped theory that coffee is good for your antioxidant intake is not really true…

Caffeine is a well known stimulant and can increase blood pressure especially in people suffering from hypertension. High blood pressure will have a negative effect upon people with redness in their skin (whether it be rosacea, dermatitis, sensitivities, acne or allergies).

Applying coffee based ingredients topically has little evidence by way of published studies  that prove the antioxidants are absorbed into the skin (though there are some secret/private studies that claim coffee extracts are the fountain of youth for your skin), but being that they are extracted from green coffee fruit (aka the bean) in an liquid fat (oil) form, means they can be formulated to be lipid soluble and thus potentially absorb through the natural lipid barrier of the skin. Whether they are effective when in the skin or whether they just break down and do nothing is unknown.

Green and White tea have very high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities in published studies, but CoffeeBerry claims to be even greater than these…in unpublished studies.

There are also products containing coffeeberry extracts – these extracts are NOT from coffee plants and has nothing to do with coffee. Coffeeberry is called Rhamnus californica whereas coffee is called Coffea. To complicate matters the name CoffeeBerry was trademarked and refers to extracts from the fruit (aka beans) of coffee.

Just out of interest, 2 other natural elements of coffee are Cafestol and Kakweol, both of which are bad for you if you have cholesterol problems because they increase LDL and serum totals. Brewing coffee does reduce it slightly, but using filter paper will reduce it even more. Espresso’s, Scandinavian boiled coffee, Turkish and Greek coffee, as well as French Press coffee will not reduce these elements in the final solution of coffee that you drink.

The references used are “An Evidence Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals” by Jane Higdon, Ph.D, as well as and other online websites.

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.