Monthly Archives: May 2014

Which exfoliator to use on your acne skin?

Question from a client: 

What is the difference between the Age Limit Advanced Refinishing Serum and the Clear Skin Ultra Gel? You have recommended the Age limit serum for me, however, my acne is still really bad.  So I’m curious if the Clear Skin Ultra would be a better exfoliator for me.

My Answer:

From your skin care chart, the last time you were in at Blue Turtle Spa, I made note of 3 potential issues…

  1. ingrown hairs caused by tweezing in chin area
  2. clogged pores in hairline due to shampoo and conditioner ingredients.
  3. the other note I made was about potential folliculitis (a medical condition). 

Because you are a dry skin type (Accutane has dramatically reduced your sebaceous fluid (aka oil) production), this means that the typical cause of pimples (too much oil and therefore a stimulant for bacterial growth) is not really relevant…. You do not have a typical acne skin condition.

My main concern is the level of dryness on the skin – hence the recommendation of age limit. However, it may work better to use a milder exfoliator 7 x per week rather than a stronger one less frequently. I would like to suggest you use the Gentle + Exfoliate Gel every night after cleansing. Believe it or not…but the milder exfoliator may control your acne pimples more than the stronger one.

For more information on exfoliation watch this SkinCareTV video.

Remember to always use the Clear-it on blemishes day and night before moisturizer.

For #1. When tweezing hairs, always tweeze in the direction of the hair – never in the opposite direction. If the hair breaks off without being properly tweezed out, it can cause an ingrown hair, and a subsequent pimple. Using the Gentle + Exfoliate Gel will reduce the potential for dry skin to help worsen the potential for ingrowns, and the Clear-it will help clear it up quickly.

For #2. In terms of the clogged pores and pimples in the hairline, you may want to try a totally different shampoo experience…try the Shea Touch Baby Shampoo… it does not foam nor have any tricks associated with most adult shampoos – it is just a really good lipid rich wash that will leave the hair soft and clean (not squeaky clean like most shampoos do). It may take a little getting used to, but it is amazing how it can help clear up clogged hairline pores that result from regular shampoo ingredients. Most modern shampoo ingredients are designed to coat the hair – they ‘stick’ to it and don’t rinse out so giving you the hair results you are expecting – HOWEVER, those same ingredients ‘stick’ to the skin around the hairline and neck, and don’t rinse out, so helping to clog pores in those areas and increase the potential for hairline breakouts and pimples.

For #3. For folliculitis, see your doctor – they will probably prescribe antibiotics…. If you want to try an alternative approach, use Gentle + Exfoliate Gel at night after gentle cleansing, apply Clear-it on pimples, and use aloCell Gel AM and PM to help strengthen and repair the skin. aloCell Gel is used before moisturizer and sunscreen. Always use a mineral sunscreen to protect against post inflammatory hyperpigmentation which often can result in the areas where you have folliculitis.

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.

Titanium DiOxide in your sunscreen – is it good or bad?

On September 2, 2011, the California government added Titanium Dioxide (airborne, unbound particles of respirable size) to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (formerly known as Proposition 65) list. Most of the information below has been provided by Dr Ben Johnson’s Osmosis Skincare lab with additional input from me….

Using a Titanium DiOxide based sunscreen is totally safe. If you are manufacturing your own sunscreen at home or creating your own mineral makeup, then you as the manufacturer may not be safe. Manufacturers using Titanium DiOxide must protect their workers by utilising safe manufacturing techniques.

PRESSED POWDERS: The Titanium Dioxide, as a raw material, for use in cosmetics is a free flowing ingredient. The manufacturing process requires manufacturers to infuse and incorporate oils, add different cosmetic liquids and powder binders to the formulation and the final step is to press it into a cake. As a result the Titanium Dioxide is no longer free flowing or an unbound particle of respirable size.

LOOSE POWDERS:   The Titanium Dioxide as a raw material in cosmetics is a free flowing ingredient. The manufacturing process requires manufacturers to infuse and incorporate oils & different cosmetic liquids. As a result the Titanium Dioxide is no longer free flowing or an unbound particle of respirable size.

The benefits of Titanium Dioxide include: UV protection, flawless coverage, natural and healthy beauty care for your skin. It is FDA approved as an ingredient for sunscreen and antiaging sun protection. 

Only 2 natural minerals are recognised by the FDA as sunscreens – Zinc Oxide and Titanium DiOxide. Choose ONLY mineral sunscreens if you want the best form of antiaging sunscreening protection for your skin.

Tanning beds and UV lamps provide short and long term results

Tanning beds and UV lamps provide consistent Ultra Violet Ray exposure and makes it seem as if you have your own ‘personal’ piece of the sun in your own home! Yes they deliver the same rays as the sun – just a whole lot closer to you! They set the skin into ‘protective’ mode the same way as any outdoor activity like lying next to a pool or playing beach volleyball, or tennis, or golf, or cycling, or running etc etc etc will do. Protective Mode is not synonymous with Safe Mode. There’s a lot more we have to do to strengthen the Protective Mode. Life on this planet comes with zero guarantees….

Yes, I will give a list of best Protective Measures at the end of this article….

Here’s how your skin works, relative to the effects of the sun…a stimulus of UVA and/or UVB will get the melanocytes in your skin producing more pigment so as to cover the DNA hosting nucleus and thus reduce the damage that the UV ray will do to each skin cell’s DNA, and the ‘darker’ protective pigment is therefore referred to as a tan. Yes we are talking about real damage to the DNA in your skin cells. Yes we are talking about reducing, NOT eliminating, UV damage to the DNA in your skin cells. On this planet, any UV exposure means there is a potential for DNA damage. On this planet, any ‘tan’ means you have already experienced UV damage to the DNA of some cells. A ‘tan’ is not healthy – it merely proves that we have already exposed our DNA to damage.

Most of the time, light DNA damage can be repaired by your body through the action of DNA repair enzymes. HOWEVER, the more frequent and intense the DNA damage, the more likely your body will not repair all the UV induced damage, and so your potential for developing skin cancers increases. That’s why tanning beds and UV lamps are exceptional potential dangers to your health.

Science has proven that both Ultra Violet (UV) and Infra Red (IR) rays from the sun and man-made devices like tanning beds, will increase the speed at which the skin ages, and thus the speed at which you start to look older with wrinkles and blotchy sun spots. See also the SkinCareTV video on brown spots.

Because you have no idea just how vulnerable your DNA is to UV damage, it means you have no idea if you will get skin cancer at a young or old age. It used to be the case that cancers generally affect older people more than younger people…generally because DNA repair enzymes are more efficient in young people than old people (it’s just Mother Nature’s way of doing things). However, with skin cancer being the #1 cancer in the USA, there is a growing number of young people getting severe forms of skin cancer…including life threatening melanoma!

In this CNN article about the recent FDA warning and re-categorization of sun tanning UV equipment, here are some interesting excerpts:
1. people who have been exposed to UV rays from indoor tanning have a 59% increase of developing melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
2. Those who use tanning beds on a regular basis, especially teens, have 10 times the risk of developing all three types of skin cancer, including melanoma, which is deadly
3. ‘My youngest melanoma patient was 18. She was using tanning beds since she was 13. She has a huge scar on her back and is constantly being monitored.’

Having 2 large scars on my face due to melanoma surgery, I am very aware of the ‘unattractive’ nature of skin cancer. Why am I the only 1 in my family dealing with skin cancer when we all lived out in the African sun as youngsters and adults? It is impossible to determine your precise potential for skin cancer, but it is possible to increase your percentage of risk for skin cancer by increasing your exposure to UV rays (from the sun and/or tanning beds/UV lamps).

So, what can you do to mitigate some of the dangers of being a happy, healthy, outdoor, sports person on this wonderful planet of ours?

1. Wear a mineral sunscreen like one of these, every single day (rain or shine).
2. Apply a multi-level antioxidant before your sunscreen, every day. Antioxidants help defend your skin against the Infra Red (IR) spectrum from the sun, while sunscreens help protect against the Ultra Violet (UV) spectrum from the sun. Both spectrums age your skin.
3. Use plant enzymes from the Mediterranean Arabidopsis plant to stimulate your DNA repair enzymes to correct a large amount of the every-day damage that occurs in skin cells exposed to UV and IR. These plant enzymes are found in the Cell Youth Actif product. Apply AM and/or PM before moisturizer.
4. Use the esterized version of Vitamin C (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) to stimulate collagen and elastin development in the skin – and help repair the damage caused by UV and IR. This Vitamin C also acts as a long lasting antioxidant to fight the aging effects of free radicals. There is a high level of this Vitamin C in the C + Renew Serum. Apply before moisturizer. Apply after Cell Youth Actif.
5. Eat a healthy diet of 5 fruit and 5 vegetable servings every day. Junk food and processed food can never be classified as part of a healthy diet!
6. Wear a wide brimmed hat, long sleeved shirts with collars, long pants and sneakers rather than tank tops, shorts and sandals….make a different fashion statement!

If you are concerned about the media-hyped scare of Vitamin D deficiency, please read this blog article.

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.

Stem Cell therapy for skin care – brilliant marketing seduction and lies

Stem cell therapy BS and media hype abounds….so ‘let the buyer beware’ before you shell out your hard earned cash on the basis of the over-hyped promises by skin care marketers…. Our own enzymes that stimulate our adult stem cells in our skin can be stimulated by certain plant ingredients in topical skin care products….but no plant stem cells will penetrate your skin and take over from your human stem cells…. Sorry – it makes for a great fairy tale, but lacks all the science and physiology needed to make it a reality..

Here are my previous posts on this topic…

The second part of an article at the beauty bullshit blog deals with the hype and BS around stem cells…

“The idea behind stem cell therapy is that the living cells can help repair damage to your organs basically by replacing them with ones that don’t suck. The “stem cells” in this (Juice Beauty) CC cream are very dead, so they aren’t going to be able to do that. Before you go out and start rubbing apple roots on your face, living stem cells aren’t going do anything for you either. We don’t do medical research using apple stem cells because we aren’t apples. A living apple cell is not going to incorporate itself into your skin. AND, even if you DID have human embryonic stem cells sitting in your freezer for some reason, rubbing it on your face would not only be disgusting, it wouldn’t give the cells the appropriate cues to do anything meaningful. Triple failure. 

With poorly-researched newspaper articles referring to stem cells as a “fountain of youth”, it is unsurprising that skin care companies would jump on this idea for anti-aging products. However, again, this claim does not hold any water.”

And then there are the ‘Ellen DeGeneres’ ads…look younger without a face lift….just like Ellen…yeah right! Since when does anyone believe the PR and marketing hype that celebrities generate? Especially when they are paid a huge amount of money by the manufacturer. Check out this very ‘official’ sounding site ‘Skin Care Advisors‘ with ‘experts’ ‘discussing’ the product that has enabled Ellen to look so young (because she will never admit to paying for medical treatments that have enabled her to look younger and better (like all celebrities)…. So when we look into this ‘miracle’ product, here are the hyped ingredients (my comments in CAPS)

Matrixyl 3000 – 45% decrease in wrinkle depth
Argireline – 25% reduction in crow’s feet
Dermaxil – 36% reduction in volume of wrinkles
Chromabright – 190% increase in evened skin tone

Edelweiss Stem Cell – 15% decrease in fine lines
Apple Stem Cell – 80% increase in cell rejuvenation
Sea Fennel Stem Cell – Brightens and promotes skin renewal

Hyaluronic Acid – moisturizes the skin at a cellular level THIS IS NOT AN ANTIOXIDANT!

And at the end of the page, here is the disclaimer… IT’S PAID ADVERTORIAL – IT’S ALL BS!!!

This website is a market place. The owner has a material financial connection to the provider of the goods and services referred to on the site. The owner receives payment for each qualified sale or payment for each potential customer referral. Information regarding the products and services on this website may be provided by a third party advertising such product and service on the site and therefore the correctness of such representations are unknown to the site owner who does not undertake due diligence to confirm such third party representations regarding third party advertising claims.

The best sequence of applying skin care products in your home care regimen

Question from client:

What skin care products go on dry skin and which ones go on moist skin. What is the best sequence of applying products to the skin. Does moisturizer go on before or after sunscreen? Is it better to do the regimen AM and PM?


The only products that are applied to dry (non moist) skin are the cleanser and the exfoliator (Alpha Hydroxy Acid or Enzymes). All else can be applied to slightly moist skin (or skin that already has some ‘leave-on’ product on it).. 

After the exfoliation process, application is always sequenced by the level of viscosity….

  1. Hydration gels or very fluid (watery) products
  2. Serums that are light, fairly fluid, (not watery), almost like a very light lotion. Water based serums (where water is one of the top ingredients on the list) go on before oil based serums.
  3. Light lotion based moisturizers
  4. Rich cream based moisturizers
  5. Mineral sunscreen (every AM)
Sunscreen ALWAYS goes on AFTER moisturizer, NEVER before….

You should take care of your skin AM and PM, but…. there are different products used at each time.

The typical AM home skin care routine would be:
1. Splash the face with cool water
2. Apply hydration gel
3. Apply blemish treatment gel only on pimples
5. Apply moisturizer where needed (not in your oily spots)

The typical PM home skin care routine would be (anytime between getting home and going to bed):
1. Cleanse with a truly gentle cleanser and only use cool water.
2. Exfoliate with appropriate enzyme or AHA (3x per week – but some can do 5x to 7x per week depending on strength and pH of exfoliator, as well as the strength and level of sun damage to the skin).
3. Apply hydration gel like Hydrate + Serum or aloCell Gel.
4. Apply blemish treatment gel only on pimples
5, Apply anti aging serums like C + Renew or Cell Youth Actif.
6 Apply moisturizer (light lotion or rich cream depending on your skin type)

Two other important ingredients to your skin care home regimen…
1. Eat 5 fruit and 5 vegetable servings every day, no processed food, no junk food, no dairy.
2. Get some great beauty sleep…

Your skin stays with you for the rest of your life, you cannot buy a new one, so treat it properly. Treat is sensitively.