Category Archives: Acne

Hair products can make acne worse

Very often I have clients come in for a facial and they complain about increased numbers of pimples in the hairline and especially behind the ears and on the neck. When all these areas combine, or it’s just in the hairline around the face, it’s inevitably the shampoo and conditioner they are using….

The ingredients in shampoos (and definitely in conditioners) are designed to coat the hair. They ‘stick’ to hair. They do not rinse out. This is how the shampoo marketers can promise you shiny, silky, soft hair. The ones that offer thicker, full bodied hair are worse. The shampoos and conditioners that claim to make your hair curly are the worst.

The ingredients may work well on the hair, but they are really bad for the skin. These shampoo and conditioner ingredients will ‘stick’ to the skin and help clog pores, so enabling the potential for more pimples. The conditioners in particular have ‘clinging’ ingredients that can easily clog pores. Conditioners should never be used around the hairline – only on mid to long hair length areas. All-in-one shampoo and conditioners are REALLY BAD for clogging pores and enabling pimples at the hairline, behind the ears and the neck.

Detergents used in almost all commercial shampoos will also strip your skin of it’s natural lipid barrier, and these are the same detergents used in almost all commercial skin cleansers. These detergents make dry hair dryer and oily hair oilier, the same way that they make dry skin dryer and oily skin oilier by overstimulating the sebaceous glands (the more you strip your natural lipid barrier off your skin the more the sebaceous glands will produce sebum (aka oil) to replace the lipid barrier – you will never win this battle so don’t even try to! See the video ‘how the skin works‘ and check out the blog entry on the best way to deal with oily skin).

The best shampoo I’ve found that is gentle to the hair and gentle to the skin, and will not clog pores and cause blackheads and potentially pimples, is a shea butter based baby shampoo. My personal favourite is SheaTouch Baby Shampoo and Body Wash. It does not foam. It does not smell like a fake fruit orchard. There are no plants growing around you when you shampoo. There are no birds tweeting. In fact none of the seductive marketing BS you see in ads for almost all commercial cleansers. The facts are that the ingredients in commercial shampoos are BAD for your skin. The SheaTouch baby shampoo is GOOD for the hair and the skin. Yes, it’s great for sensitive skin too!

As with your skin, you should wash your hair in cool water. Yes, the hair and skin are part of one body system – the Integumentary system – so both require cool water, not hot or warm water! YES, use the SheaTouch baby wash as your body wash – because shower gels and soaps are SO BAD for the body skin.

For dry flaky scalp, try using Scalpicin and the SheaTouch baby shampoo. Those harsh dandruff shampoos are so bad for the skin, and the environment, and they’ve all been tested on animals…..uuuugh!

The Holiday Season can Worsen Skin Conditions! Part 3

Happy Holidays! We are supposed to smile and cheer and be happy, but very often it is a season that makes our skin unhappy. Why is this? Here is another major reason – following on from Part 1 and 2:

3. Climate. For most of the USA, the winter holiday season brings in cold weather, and in turn we increase the heating in our homes and offices. All around us, dry, artificially heated air is dehydrating our skin. Anyone with any level of sensitive skin will feel this more acutely. The skin feels dry, it may crack and flake, it may get irritated or red, it may even hurt. The dry air in planes will also impact your skin.

Solution: You will need to hydrate the skin with a hyaluronic serum like Sensitive Skin Clinic’s Hydrate + Serum that also has built in soothing ingredients like biosaccharide-2. Use a less aggressive AHA exfoliator maybe even a light exfoliation each night with the very effective Sensitive Skin Clinic Gentle + Exfoliate Gel. Increase the naturally hydrating aquaporin activity and functionality in every cell by using piptadenia colubrina peel extract (from a tree in the Brazilian rain forest) and found in Cell Youth Actif and Total Age Corrector. Do not use detergent cleansers – only truly gentle and sensitive skin cleansers that contain no detergent ingredients. Glycerin and Yucca extract are great for extremely sensitive skin. Other skin types can try an oil based cleanser like Sensitive Skin Clinic’s Deep + Gentle cleanser. Oil cleansers are great for removing makeup and also any level of dirt and debris, but it does not strip your essential natural lipid barrier off the skin. This is critical for any level of sensitive skin. Only use cool water on your face – no hot or warm water. Any level of warmth will make redness and irritation worse. Always soothe, cool and calm red and irritated skin. For a power boost to the skin before any big holiday event, use a soothing mask like Sensitive Skin Clinic’s Soothe + Hydrate Mask incorporating the super soothing ingredients of Sea Whip (from a marine plant), Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5) and Comfrey extract. Use a richer moisturizer that has shea butter extract in it. Shea butter comes from a tree nut, and though it does not naturally have a fabulous aroma, be sure to avoid the shea butter moisturizers and creams that have added fragrance because fragrance will worsen dry, irritated and red skin. For strong skin reactions, soothing aloe vera will help, and to help skin repair, aloe vera with glyco proteins from yeast will do an amazingly good job – as in aloCell Gel by Dr Gimmelsberger.

Being gentle to the skin will help it become naturally strong and balanced. Being aggressive will just weaken it further. A happier skin will look fresh and healthy, and younger. A happier skin is a happier you. Happy holidays!

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.

What you eat affects Climate Change AND your skin condition

What we do and what we eat affects climate change. What we do and what we eat affects our skin. If you suffer from any level of sensitive skin, acne, rosacea, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis etc, you should be VERY concerned about what you eat AND what climate change means for your skin condition…. Each individual’s carbon footprint on this planet is HUGE. We can’t blame others for climate change. It’s all about what WE do INDIVIDUALLY. As an added benefit, your eating habits can also reduce the amount of animal cruelty on this planet.

In this Yahoo News article, studies are showing that eating animal products is contributing more to climate change than driving your car! Nope – that does not mean that all is forgiven and you can drive your car guilt-free again!

There is also a definite link between Acne and diet – I see it all the time in my treatment rooms – and you can read the blog article here. There is research showing the link between the two. Eating red meat and consuming dairy is bad for acne sufferers. Consuming dairy products is bad for EVERYONE with any kind of sensitive skin condition that produces red, itchy, inflamed, uncomfortable skin with red bumps, pustules and pimples. Read a well researched book (The Clear Skin Diet) about the diet you need to help clear up your skin condition.

And what can you do about climate change? Well, there is a lot…and it’s simple.. Start by taking the 50% climate change challenge.

If you have any type of sensitive skin condition (including acne and rosacea), you can help your skin in a severe climate changed world by:

  1. Only ever use cool water for cleansing. NO hot or warm water on red, irritated or inflamed skin conditions – EVER!
  2. Cleanse only once per day – in the evening. Too much cleansing is bad for everyone’s skin. Just splash the face with cool water in the morning. Use only gentle cleansers with no detergents in them (so that excludes Cetaphil, Neutrogena, and most other commercial cleansers available in super markets, drug stores and department stores).
  3. Apply a light hydration serum like Sensitive Skin Clinic’s Hydrate + Serum to help keep your skin hydrated morning and night.
  4. Apply a multi level antioxidant defense complex on the skin every morning and make sure you consume lots of antioxidants by eating 5 fruit and 5 vegetable servings every day.
  5. Always wear a mineral sunscreen like the silky smooth Sensitive Skin Clinic Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 with 20% clear zinc. Wear sunscreen every day, all year round. Skin cancers may become even more common in a climate changed world.

Eating less (or zero) animal products plus using only plant based skin care products that are not tested on animals, will further increase your positive impact on the planet. For more information about animal testing of skin care products, watch this SkinCareTV video at YouTube (there are NO graphic images in the video).

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.

Adult acne is very different from teenage acne, so the solutions should differ too.

Acne is a pretty complex medical condition, (it is not right to refer to a few pimples on your face as acne)….and adult (or mid-life) acne is a very different condition than teenage acne… especially for women.

The big difference in the prevalence of acne today versus a few decades ago is the level and type of stress that women are under these days… Topical acne skin care solutions will help, but a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, will be the best solution.

Here is a really good article on adult acne written by Dr Christiane Northrup. It is comprehensive and well worth the read – if you are interested in knowing more about your skin condition. Be warned though, it is longer than any article the average ADD person can handle!

Of course, being a doctor she goes through all the medical types of solutions, but later on in the article she also talks about lifestyle, food/diet, and holistic approaches….(it is so gratifying to see medical people step outside their pharmaceutical dominated world)….

My tried-and-true approach to adult acne is described in this article, and if you want to learn more about acne (teenage and adult) then watch this SkinCareTV video.

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.

Acne products increase your chance of allergic reactions

Most people who know me, know that I am absolutely opposed to the marketing hyped acne skin care solutions prevalent today…you get bombarded with the marketing spin and hype on TV and magazines, even doctors offices and medical magazines….hey, some of the worst acne products are marketed under a Doctor’s name….that’s because we are all programmed to believe that marketing hype from a doctor is akin to being the truth….but NOT SO!!!!

Check out this really interesting WebMD article about these high profile acne skin care solutions….see if your well known brand is amongst those that the FDA registers as being potential agents for allergic skin reactions….

If you want to know my approach to Acne, which delivers great results (though in a more natural, wholesome, non-medical/aggressive manner) then check out my recommended products and home care regimen in this blog article.

To learn more about acne, see the 2 part Acne: New Strategies video at the SkinCareTV channel.