Tag Archives: sensitive skin products

How to reduce pore size – REALLY

I received a request for information from the howtobearedhead.com blog site recently, concerning how to minimize pore size – especially for sensitive skin… They stated the deadline was the 27th, but they published their article on the 26th! Oh well, they probably would not have been interested in my scientific approach to the subject any way. I maintain that good skin care cannot be reduced to 5 second soundbites…:-)

The Request: We’re looking for a skin expert to comment on how to 1) naturally minimize pores and/or 2) the best products to minimize pores. We’re looking for the information to be curtailed to those with sensitive skin.

Response:
Firstly, we all have the pore size we’re genetically born with. We can’t selectively change pore size by using any medical of cosmetic products.

Secondly, pore size can ‘appear’ larger because sebum and dry skin stuck in the pore makes it appear disgorged and larger. For this, proper cleansing and exfoliation will help reduce clogged pores and make them appear ‘normal’ for that individual.

Thirdly, a loss of elasticity in the skin as we age will ensure that gravity will make pores appear larger.

Solutions for #1 are makeup related. Conceal the skin and your pore size with masses of makeup. I am not a fan of masking the skin – rather treat it properly and gently with good skin care and be proud of the skin you are in. That’s the most natural approach!

Solutions for #2 will be very different from the norm when considered for sensitive skin:
Gentle cleansing with an oil based cleanser. Dirt and debris (including makeup) naturally attaches to oil – it’s just a scientific fact. A good, light, oil cleanser will include small amounts of emulsifiers so that it can be removed from the skin with cool water (the oil turns milky when water is added). Oil cleansers do not strip your natural moisturizer (lipid barrier) off the skin. Squeaky clean is unnatural and bad for the skin.
Use cool water only. Hot or warm water is terribly bad for sensitive skin. Hot and warm water relaxes the skin and makes the pores appear larger.
Cleanse only once per day – most importantly the evening. Cleansing 2x per day is bad for all skin, but especially bad for sensitive skin. Never use detergent cleansers, even so-called ‘natural’ ones.
Do not overstimulate the sebaceous glands and thus create more opportunity for sebum to clog in pores. Over cleansing the skin and using hot or warm water will naturally over stimulate the sebaceous glands.
Gently exfoliate the skin at night using a very mild enzyme or alpha hydroxy acid that is no lower than a 4pH. Most sensitive skins can tolerate these. The alpha hydroxy acid should be no more than 3% in concentration. Because it is a slightly lower pH than the skin, some sensation should be expected. It is not to be feared. The exfoliant should be splashed off the skin after 3 – 5 minutes to neutralize the effect on the skin. Scrubs and brushes should never be used as exfoliators – especially not for sensitive skin. Exfoliation reduces the build up of dry/dead cells in the pores. Exfoliation should be carried out 3 nights a week for sensitive skin, but may be done 5 to 7 nights a week for best effect of maintaining ‘normal’ pore size.
Apply a soothing, simple, hydration gel to the skin after exfoliating. Hydration gels bind water to the skin and help reduce appearance of wrinkles and pore size.
Apply a light or rich lipid based moisturizer over the hydration gel – depending on what your skin needs. Squalane from olives is good. Shea butter is good. Coconut oil is good. The medium chain fatty acids of coconut oil (capric/caprylic triglycerides) are found in most moisturizers.
Other important aspects of treating sensitive skin can be found at Sensitive Skin Clinic.

Solutions for #3 require strengthening the skin collagen and elastin:
Light peptides in a gentle silicone base. This will create a non-irritant formula for sensitive skin. Peptides will strengthen collagen and elastin and reduce the visible effects of aging and gravity.
An esterized Vitamin C will enable the best form of Vitamin C (tetrahexydecyl ascorbate) to penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen growth, provided it is in a non irritant oil base and utilizes anti irritant ingredients like sea whip. It can be applied to the skin under a soothing and hydrating mask, left on for 15 minutes and splashed off with cool water. The results on reducing the appearance of wrinkles and pore size is amazing. This can be done 3 to 5 times per week.

Artificial means of temporarily reducing pore size usually entails astringents (like lemon juice or witch hazel) or light inflammatory agents like retinols that induce slight edema (swelling) so visually reducing wrinkles and pore size. This approach is highly contraindicated for people with any level of sensitive skin.

All medical solutions approved by the FDA are tested on animals and I find that to be abhorrent. I prefer skin care products that use vegan or vegetarian compliant ingredients.

Skin care advice well heeded is a good feeling

Recently I met a new client….all the way from New York City…. She was visiting her boyfriend in San Francisco and just ‘had’ to come in for a facial…. Evidently I had provided facial services for her boyfriend a few months back and she had noticed the difference in his skin during a Skype call. He admitted that he’d had a facial, and that he was trying to follow the advice I’d given him on how to care for his skin at home….cool water cleansing, sunscreen, and a healthier diet! He started eating more fruit and vegetables!!!! Anyone who knows me, is aware of my penchant to be very insistent on consuming 5 fresh fruit and 5 fresh vegetable servings every day. It definitely WILL have a positive impact on your skin… He was discovering this simple skin care trick himself…

She is vegan, so was thrilled that he was eating more fruit and vegetables. She had also worked for the Humane Society of the US and thus is totally into cruelty free vegan products only. All Sensitive Skin Clinic products are vegan except for the No Dry Skin + Enzyme Gel (it is vegetarian because of the milk solids required in the formula).

It was wonderful to hear that my advice was being heeded. No matter how dictatorial I may sound, I really care about getting your skin strong, healthy, and balanced, and I generally get the results I’m looking for when my advice is well heeded 🙂

Oil Cleansing Method…How to use Deep + Gentle Cleanser

Using a high quality oil based cleanser is the best thing for all skin types, and is the only type of cleanser that really does help to lift blackheads and yet does not strip your skin of it’s natural and vital lipid barrier….remember that ‘squeaky-clean’ is so totally bad, unnatural and unhealthy for all skin….

NOTE: Cleanse at night. Do NOT cleanse in the shower. You need to use cool water to cleanse.

OCM in 6 easy steps.

1. Do not wet face. Do not wet hands.

2. Apply about the size of US 25c coin to dry skin each P.M.

3. Move over skin in gentle circular motions for 1 to 2 minutes.

Concentrate on areas where you have blackheads and more ‘oil’ production.

It does not foam or have any of the tricks associated with all commercial detergent cleansers out there.

4. After 1 – 2 minutes add a little cool water to fingers and add it to the oil cleanser on your skin. Repeat 4x. The cleanser turns ‘milky’ with the addition of water.

At this point you will have the distinct tactile feeling of the skin of your fingers on the skin of your face – meaning there is no cleanser product separating them.

5. Remove all residue of the cleanser by splashing the face with cool water.

Your skin will feel soft, moist, and clean. There will be no unnatural ‘squeaky-clean’ feeling nor a sense of dryness on the vast majority of skin types.

6. Pat the skin dry with a clean soft towel and marvel at the great feeling.

It is important not to over cleanse the skin – only once a day (in the PM) is all your skin needs – unless you are a teenage type 4 acne sufferer who needs to cleanse twice per day – but the vast majority of people will just unbalance their skin by cleansing more than once per day.

To remove makeup like foundation, use more cleanser – you will have to try different amounts based on the type and quantity of makeup you apply to your face.

To remove eye makeup, apply cleanser to some cotton and wipe over eye area. Repeat if needed depending on the type and quantity of eye make up you applied. Do not rub harshly – just use a bit more cleanser. Be gentle with your skin – it does not deserve harsh treatment – after all you put the makeup on the skin – it’s not your skin’s fault – so be gentle with it!

Watch the OCM video at SkinCareTV.

Read the related blog entries on the easiest way to stop oily skin, and how to deal with oily skin in the morning.

Anti agingly feeding your skin organically – not sensationally addictively marketingly!

How exactly does one do this? Strictly speaking it is impossible to feed the skin – one feeds one’s body and all organs benefit therefrom (the skin is an organ), but lack of accuracy would never get in the way of marketing hype now would it? The mountains of marketing hype from skin care companies is overwhelming, but when you add in the food industry, the overall intensity of marketing hype becomes nauseating. Everything has to be sensationally addictive, or addictively sensational (the most biggest best ever!)…. I’m sure anti-agingly and addictively are not legal adverbs  but that in itself underscores the inaccuracy of marketing speak…and so too, in marketing speak, there is more than one way to decipher exactly what I mean when I title the article ‘feeding your skin organically’ when one determines what ‘organically’ means relative to the inaccurate description of ‘feeding the skin’…. 🙂

The simple truth is that whatever you put IN your body will impact your skin! So why not make that impact a positive one rather than a negative one?

The essential approach to good skin care is:

1. Start with a nutritious daily diet.

2. Always treat your skin sensitively – no harsh or aggressive skin care products.

3. Find ways to reduce your stress levels….and count your blessings not your short comings….

So what about this nutrition thing????? It’s hard to get good nutrition facts because of marketing hype, and if we didn’t study nutrition at school, how are we to know? The answer – just be basic and eat like the animal we are! Why the heck did Mother Nature put fruit and vegetables on this planet? To make it look and smell pretty? They are there for us to eat…in their organic raw natural form.

We are organic beings and every fruit and vegetable on this planet is organic. Organic means that you and the plants are carbon based. Carbon is the basis of life on this planet. I always state that eating 5 fruit and 5 vegetable servings every day is essential for healthy and balanced skin – and such skin will naturally look and act in a more youthful way.

I recently discovered this blog, Authority Nutrition, that deletes the marketing hype and exposes just the scientific facts about food and fads. They claim to have 6 million readers, so the 2 people who read my blog may well know about them already 🙂

In their recent blog entry on the 20 nutrition facts that should be common sense, I would start at #20 – Blaming new health problems on old foods doesn’t make sense… Eating naturally is what we are supposed to do – processed/refined/modified food is not….even if the marketers call it ‘organic’ processed refined modified food (#19). Then #17 – Health claims on packaging should never be trusted, and my favourite, #3 – The mainstream media should never be trusted for nutrition information…. Of note is #9, Feeding your gut bugs, as this has been a topic of some of my blogs recently that discuss how mistreating our skin bacteria can lead to, and enhance, sensitive skin

I also recommend that you check out this video of comedian Tom Naughton delivering a funny (sic!) presentation on how science and marketing skew the facts to prove their point and make us spend money….and in the end it all comes back down to the 20 common sense nutrition facts mentioned above 🙂

Once you have happy, healthy, balanced skin, we can look at ways that new anti-aging skin care products may help you look even better 🙂 And by the by, eating fruit and vegetables is the most cruelty free form of skin care!

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.