Monthly Archives: April 2013

Stress (and the cortisol hormone) worsens sensitive skin conditions

Stress plays a huge role in exacerbating any inflammatory disorder – whether it be rosacea, acne or everyday skin sensitivity and redness.

Cortisol is the hormone that makes sensitive skin go crazy…so reel in the stress hormone cortisol…relax, de-stress your life, sleep better (yeah NOT so easy I know), but maybe some herbal supplements can help. Check out this video from Dr Meschinno

While you start reducing the effects of cortisol on your body, treat your skin sensitively with Sensitive Skin Clinic Products, and always use cool water, soothing ingredients, and gentle procedures when dealing with sensitive skin conditions.

There is some help in reducing cortisol expression in the skin – Stress Recovery Complex – it can help reduce cortisol expression in the skin by 50% – 60%…this is totally worthwhile for people who have bad break-outs when under stress…

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.

You’re exfoliating but still your skin seems dry. Why?

Question from a consumer:
I just went and had a facial and the beautician said my skin was good but not exfoliated enough as there was a layer of dull dry skin.  She did an hydroxy??? Peel.  I was wondering why this would be the case when I have been using the Age Limit every night after cleansing and the 32% glycolic every 3rd night.
Do you have any suggestions as what I might be doing wrong?

No, you are doing nothing wrong – but it is interesting that she felt your skin was not exfoliated enough….this could mean 1 of 2 things:
1.    You have strong epidermal growth and hyper keratin activity
2.    You have experienced excessive trans epidermal water loss (dehydration)

With #1 – you may need to use the stronger exfoliator more often. Did your skin feel dry/scaly before you had your facial? Did it feel less dry/scaly after the facial and subsequent days since the facial? If the skin improved after the peel treatment, you will probably need to increase the use of the stronger (32%) glycolic and salicylic exfoliator – maybe do 4 nights per week (MonTue/ThuFri)…
With #2 – have you been dehydrated recently? Maybe been ill with flu/taking medication like anti histamines for the flu or allergies? Such medications will dehydrate the skin, and in hot climates it exacerbates the dehydrated condition through water loss into the air around you (basic and excessive sweating).
Another outside chance with #2 – you are exfoliating too much and thus enabling way more water to be lost from the skin into the air around you. Reducing the use of the strong exfoliator will help reduce this, and using a water-binding hydration gel like aloCell Gel or the Hydrate + Serum before applying moisturizer will help keep the skin hydrated.
Without seeing your skin it is difficult for me to determine which of these scenarios it might be. If the skin was better after her exfoliation, then maybe it is the case of #1 above. If her exfoliation made no real difference to the skin, then it would be a case of either the #2 scenarios.

See also the entry on whether to use a stronger exfoliator or not, and all other articles related to exfoliation.

By the by, exfoliation NEVER refers to scrubs. Scrubbing is only suitable for pots and pans and other non organic surfaces….NOT the skin…

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.

Is your skin REALLY oily?

Everyone thinks they have an oily T zone – well aren’t we all supposed to have an oily T zone? Based on all that you read about from beauty ‘experts’ in beauty magazines, plus all the marketing hype from skin care company marketing machines, plus the medical profession, yes we all have oily T zones….BUT DO WE REALLY?

Here’s the thing…the more unbalanced your skin, the more problems you have, and the more likely you are to see and feel an oily T zone. This means you will be constantly buying products that promise to control your oily T zone. ‘They’ all want you to cleanse your face 2 x per day with detergent cleansers, with hot or warm water, and use astringent toners to further strip your skin of all it’s natural lipid barrier…and all of this just unbalances the skin and creates oily T zones…

Voila! an oily T Zone is a money making  zone for most skin care manufacturers…

The ‘oil’ from your sebaceous glands in your pores is the natural lipid barrier of your skin. It is critical to the way the skin functions. The net of it all is that the more you strip your natural lipid barrier (oil) off your skin, the more oil it will make….and it will do this despite the lame aspirations of the skin care companies and the marketing hype machines, the advertising revenue focused beauty editors, and all the medical professionals with their own branded (but pretty generic) skin care lines. Find out more about how the skin really works by watching this video.

For most people, the equation is pretty simple:
Using hot water will create more oil.
Using detergent cleansers will create more oil.
Using astringent toners will create more oil.

Change this equation and most people will discover how non-oily their skin is….

As one of my clients recently discovered:
“I’m shocked at how dry my skin is now that I’ve stopped using all my beloved detergents and whatnot. Had no idea what was going on under all that oil!”

The solution is simple:
Cool water only.
Truly gentle cleansers.
No toners.
Moisturize only where you skin needs it – not all over the face

Most people find it really hard to break away from the vicious cycle the skin care marketers set up for them..for fear of breakouts and dripping with oil. Skin care marketers work the way that politicians do…they promise you the world, deliver very little, but blind you with fear to prevent you from noticing that they never delivered on their promises.

Break free from your dependence on an oily T zone. You will be amazed at just how non oily you really are….

BB Creams and/or BS Creams

It’s the marketing hyped ‘miracle’ cosmetic that everyone ‘just-has-to-have’!!! BB Creams may be more accurately described as BS Creams.

Basically they are made with so many different types of silicones that they can never, ever, be termed ‘Natural’ and definitely not ‘Organic’ (though silicones can be called organic from a science point of view, they are definitely not organic from a marketing point of view). By the way, a ‘natural’ alternative to silicone is wax – something I really dislike in skin care products…

Have a look at the ingredients in BB creams (though few of them ever publish ingredients online) and pass over the huge quantity of marketing hype (aka Bull Sht), and you will discover 7 or 8 types of silicones (the ingredient ends in -cone or -silane or -siloxane as a few examples). Usually the first number of ingredients (which means they are the largest quantity in the formula) are silicones.

Silicones provide the ‘sheer’ nature of the BB creams. And because they are a slightly emollient substance (makes the skin feel silky and smooth) they are called moisturizers (and maybe there will be other real moisturizers like glycerin and panthenol thrown in as a side measure). Most of these silicones are water resistant, so they are easily termed ‘protectorants’ by the marketing BS people.

Silicones can be used to make wrinkles appear less deep/pronounced/obvious by way of diffusing light (day light/sunlight/artificial light) that typically will reflect the shadow depth of a wrinkle to the human eye. Diffuse the light and ‘voila’ you get the magical illusion of no wrinkles/shallower wrinkles etc..

As for the ‘one-size-fits-all’ nature of BB creams, well no 2 people’s skins are the same, so how can 1 product with 5 functions be suitable for so many people??? It’s not possible – unless you’re one of the BS marketing people.

If the inorganic minerals Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide are used as the active sunscreen ingredients, and are combined greater than 10% in the formula, then you can classify it as a good sunscreen. It appears that some of the BB creams still use organic sunscreen ingredients (octinoxate, octisalate, oxybenzones etc) which are not good sunscreens (see the video Suncreens: the facts).

If the BB cream is indeed a moisturizer, well not everyone needs moisturizer all over the face – only where you don’t naturally produce your own moisturizer (that natural stuff produced in your sebaceous glands that is critical to the way your skin functions)….. see the video Moisturizers – yes or no? If you only need moisturizing in some parts of the face, but you need sunscreen all over the face, how can you achieve that when the BS marketing people have bundled it all together in 1 BB Cream container? Makes you realize how they don’t really care about your skin after all….

If the BB cream claims to hydrate the skin – well it is doing so by way of the silicones playing the role of an occlusive layer that holds water in the skin. Water held in the skin will naturally make it appear more plump and hydrated. That’s what petrolatum/petroleum jelly/Vaseline/Aquafor do…. The reason why medical professionals recommend the use of petrolatum on wounds is because the more moisture you retain in the skin the more likely the skin is to heal…water is ESSENTIAL in every cell in your body in order for it to repair and replicate. So in this case maybe silicones are playing a similar role to petrolatum….both are synthetic/highly processed substances.

As for all the other ‘anti aging’ ingredients in BB creams, well they probably won’t penetrate the skin unless they are encapsulated in liposomes, or in a lipid soluble carrier  environment….and silicones are neither of those…so the anti aging part of the story is just more BS from the marketing people.

As a foundation, it seems to fit the category well. Most foundations these days are silicone based anyway, and many of them have sunscreening ingredients as well as emollient moisturizing ingredients. My preference is for you to get your skin strong and healthy – so much so that it looks great without being plastered in foundation…..but I totally understand that foundations are a great way to cover up/over the sins of your youth (sun damage) or genetically inherited skin issues. Most men like to see a women’s skin naked…meaning no foundation

Improve your skin, don’t hide it… If you have sensitive/red/irritated skin, try nurturing it back to health with Sensitive Skin Clinic products rather than disguising it under foundation every day…you want your skin to look it’s best when all that makeup has to come off…

But if you prefer marketing hype to the scientific facts, then BB creams are just perfect…..

PS: Silicones are becoming a BIG environmental hazard (they bio-accumulate) – affecting the rivers, lakes, underground water supplies (and all organisms in the water) that so many billions of people rely on. The building and manufacturing industries are massive users (and thus polluters by default), but when you add all the silicones used in shampoos and conditioners as well as makeup and cosmetics, all that silicone being washed down the drain each night by hundreds of millions of people….you start realizing the magnitude of the problem….but who thinks about the well being of the planet when their hair and face are their number 1 concern?

Concerned about silicones? You may be interested in this article from Best Health Magazine.

Myths about you and your wrinkles

Yes, there are many myths about all aspects of skin care, and when you mix in an enormous dose of marketing hype, you will never get to understand the scientific facts of skin physiology and chemistry, and how the chemistry of your skin care products may, or may, not help you maintain a healthy, youthful skin.

Read this sweet article from health news digest about sunscreen, drinking water, your mother’s wrinkles, and botox etc…

Essentially, wear a mineral sunscreen everyday….because the sun is the #1 cause of wrinkling.

If you have sensitive skin, don’t go for the aggressive, marketing hyped, products and treatments, check out the Anti Aging solutions at Sensitive Skin Clinic.