Category Archives: Treatments and Serums

Nerium Oleander poison – do you believe the Nerium AD hype?

A question from a client about the Nerium AD products:  “Been a while since I’ve bugged you for your professional opinion.  My mom’s sister in law gave her a magazine a while back that is all about a product called Nerium AD.  Mom passed it on to me to peruse because I love skincare and learning about new products.  The before and after pics on this product are pretty amazing!  I’d love to know if you’ve ever heard of it and what you think about the ingredients and before and afters?”

Answer: The marketing hype from Nerium is epic….the truth may be something else completely!

Firstly, all parts of the ‘Nerium AD fabled oleander plant’ are toxic to all animals on this planet – yes that includes you… It is toxic for your heart, nervous system, and skin….to name a few organs. See the real information at Medline and Wikipedia. Even the American Cancer Society has sobering facts about oleander extracts.

There are NO peer reviewed scientific studies to support the marketing hype from Nerium. Only a secret/proprietary study was done by the Nerium marketing corporation….suspicious already?

Are there any ingredients in their products that can change your skin? Yes. In the night cream (see ingredients) they have proprietary proteins (marketing-hype-speak) that are too big to enter the skin, but will definitely bind water to themselves and make your skin feel highly hydrated…and a hydrated skin shows fewer wrinkles and looks more youthful. (However… Hydrate + Serum plus Cell Youth Actif will do a much better job for your skin)… In the day cream (see ingredients) they have some great peptides and the wonderful esterized vitamin C found in C + Renew Serum. These are actually good ingredients! Add to that some artful photo editing and fancy photo lighting, plus slightly different positioning of the face that can make skin stretch/tighten slightly, and you have the ultimate marketing-hyped-before-and-after-shots….

Sure, the ingredients I mention above will indeed improve your skin (especially if you are someone who does zero skin care now), but does the oleander do anything at all?

Seeing as oleander is toxic to the skin, I should imagine they have miniscule traces of it in the formula….otherwise everybody will be returning the product because they’ve broken out in hives….

Having trace amounts of poisonous plants in products is not new – homeopathic medicine does this….they dilute the poison to the extent that only it’s ‘energy’ survives in the end product – none of the poison itself… I see Nerium has large quantities of soothing aloe vera in the formulas – that’s to ensure there is some ant-irritant solution for the potentially highly irritating oleander extract miniscule trace elements….

Is this element of toxicity ‘shocking’? How dare this company produce and sell a highly toxic product? Well, seeing as our society is in love with a highly neuro toxic substance called Botulinum Toxin Type A (aka Botox ™) then why would we not expect some money hungry people to come up with another toxin for us to try out – in the name of vanity?

You have to think through the marketing hype and look at the facts…It is a myth that you can have brains and beauty 🙂

Now, do you not suppose they tested their toxicity experiments on animals????? Hmmmm!!! UUUUGH!!

Stop ‘Clarisonic-brushing’ and scrubbing your skin – unless you are serious about wanting to damage it!

It’s not just me who hates those damned marketing hyped sonic brushes… Dermatologist Dr Glogau agrees with me…


Check out the San Francisco Chronicle article about self-inflicted-pink-faced-sensitive-skin-people with a cascade of tiny whiteheads and a checkerboard of light and dark patches…. Does this sound familiar to you?????

As the article states Self-inflicted sensitive skin is on the rise, so much so that beauty counters and drug stores are awash in products that either specifically target sensitive skin or promise to be gentle and non-irritating…In the (Hi-Tech San Francisco) Bay Area, doctors and skin care professionals trace the correlative link between complaints of sensitive skin and the hyper-exfoliation fad back to 2004, when sonic face brushes hit the market. Since then, sales of soothing face products like masks, oils and gels have proliferated.’ Check out the Soothe + Hydrate Mask – it is sensationally soothing for all sensitive skin types.


I constantly see clients who have damaged their skin with harsh detergent cleansers, anti-acne products, Retin-A/Differin (etc) strong anti-aging products, chemical peels, Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliators that are too strong for their skin, those ‘barbaric and neanderthal’ scrubbing cleansers, and all the latest and non-scientific marketing-hyped fads. SEEING AS THIS IS THE ONLY SKIN YOU WILL EVER HAVE, WHY DO YOU WANT TO TREAT IT SO BADLY AND DAMAGE IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?

So many of my clients suffer with sensitive skin, and this is one of the reasons I created the Sensitive Skin Clinic line of products, but overall, I have always contended that ALL skin should be treated sensitively. I created a list of the best and worst things to do for your skin. I helped people determine which of the 3 levels of sensitivity they are part of. More importantly, I have helped them strengthen their skin, getting it more balanced and a lot less sensitive.

Simply put, one of the best methods to rebuild the strength of your sensitive skin is to only use a truly sensitive cleanser (with cool water), keep the skin hydrated and then apply a lipid rich moisturizer.
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.

Will acne skin care products help prevent acne – even if you don’t have any acne right now?

Question from a client:

Will acne skin care products help prevent acne – even if you don’t have any acne right now?

Answer:
NO! 
It’s like take cholesterol medication incase you get high cholesterol….or taking pain killers incase you get a headache….or putting your leg in a cast incase you break it….or taking antibiotics incase you have a breakout….

No drugs nor skin care products can be classified as an insurance policy….and it is not a precautionary measure because there is no way to prevent something from happening….well not on this planet anyway….

I dislike most acne products on the market because they are aggressive and usually bad for the skin. Using them as a precautionary measure will just unbalance the skin and create other problems like redness, dryness, flakiness, sensitivity…. For example, use Clear-it ONLY on the pimple and rub it in. Never smear Clear-it all over the face hoping the antibacterial nature of the sulfur will prevent future potential pimples.

I believe that most acne should be treated gently – not aggressively (there are a few exceptions to my general rule)…. Following the following rules will work for most acne conditions….

Always just use a truly gentle cleanser, utilising cool water, and only once per day (unless you are a type 4 teenage acne sufferer).  Cleanse at night, not in the morning. Never cleanse in the shower. Cleanse with cool water before of after showering. Keep your face out of the hot shower water. Hot water is bad for your skin all over your body – and your hair….sorry…but this is true!

Use the appropriate exfoliator for your skin type – at least 3 nights per week, but maybe 5 or 7 x per week if your skin needs it or can accommodate it.

Help your skin repair by retaining hydration levels with Hydrate + Serum or aloCell Gel.

Apply moisturizer only where needed, not where you naturally produce your own moisturizer (aka ‘oil’).

Always use a mineral sunscreen every day (rain or shine) to reduce the potential of dark spots after the acne pimple has gone away…

Eat a HEALTHY diet of 5 fruit and 5 vegetable servings every day. Eliminate Dairy and processed Foof from your diet. NEVER EAT JUNK/FAST FOOD!


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.

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.

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.