Skin Tip: Foods that May Cause Acne!

Happy Friday everyone!

If breakouts don’t seem to be clearing up, food allergies may be the culprit. Common food allergies include eggs, milk, peanuts and wheat. Eating a diet high in processed carbohydrates, salt and sugar is also thought to cause acne. Keeping a food journal may be useful to determine whether certain foods trigger or exacerbate acne.

Have a great weekend! 

Stephanie 

Disclaimer:  The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.  

Blackheads 101!

Hi readers!  Hope your week is going well. 🙂

Nothing crinkles the nose faster than the sight of blackheads taking up residence on your face.  It’s expected during our teenage years when our body is going through changes but sometimes you find that they continue to form on your face well past your puberty stage. So, what are blackheads and more importantly, what can you do to manage them? Let’s take a look.

Blackheads/Whiteheads Defined 

Blackheads and whiteheads fall into a category known as comedones.  A comedone is caused when the follicle (pore) becomes congested with dead skin cells, sebum (oil), and other debris.

Open comedones, or blackheads, are open at the surface and exposed to air. This causes the sebum and debris to oxidize resulting in their dark color.  Closed comedones, or whiteheads, form when the pore is completely blocked and no air enters the plugged follicle.

Blackheads

Causes of Blackheads/Whiteheads 

  • Excessive oil production
  • Build up of dead skin cells
  • Improper cleansing
  • Using products that are not compatible to your skin type

How to Treat Blackheads/Whiteheads 

Thorough Cleansing 

Make sure that when you’re cleansing your face, you also focus on the hairline where blackheads and whiteheads can form.  Also, make sure that your not aggressively stripping your skin with a harsh cleanser as this can cause your skin to produce more oil to compensate for moisture loss.

Regular Exfoliation

Make sure to exfoliate your skin regularly, about 2-3 times per week, to help remove the accumulation of dead skin cells. *Note: Don’t overly scrub skin as this will result in further irritation and you can really damage skin.  Also, if you have inflamed acne, avoid using scrubs and opt for a BHA or enzymes to help with congestion.

Reducing Oil Production

Using a clay based mask about 2-3 times per week,  can help draw out impurities and absorb excess oil. Ingredients such as niacinamide, zinc gluconate, and salicylic acid can help regulate oil production.

Keeping Tabs on Makeup and Skincare Items 

Sometimes certain types of makeup can contribute to the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. Isopropyl Myristate can be a comedogenic ingredient for some.  Using the right skincare products for your skin type also helps.  Whereas mature skin would require a thicker moisturizer, skin that is oily should choose something more light-weight such as a gel or lotion.

Seek a Professional 

Scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist or esthetician is another option if you’re looking for a deep cleaning of your pores. They can utilize different techniques and tools to help facilitate the removal of blackheads as well as guide you to products that would work best for you.

Was this information helpful to you? Let me know in the comments below!

Stephanie 

 

Chemical Peels 101!

Chemical peels

When you hear the word chemical peel, usually what springs to mind are horrifying images of red blotchy, blistered, maybe even bloody, skin.  However, not all peels are created equal.  Enzyme peels can offer a more gentle form of exfoliation while a TCA peel can penetrate into the deeper layers of skin.

Here’s an overview on what you need to know about chemical peels.

Chemical Peels Defined

A chemical peel  is an accelerated form of exfoliation that involves an injury of a specific skin-depth.  It involves a process of removing excess accumulations of dead skin cells from the skin through acids, retinoids or enzymes.

Types of Chemical Peels 

  • Very superficial/superficial- performed by estheticians and used for fine wrinkles, sun damage, acne and some cases of rosacea
  • Medium Depth- performed by doctors or estheticians under medical supervision and used for more obvious wrinkles, sun damage and precancerous lesions like actinic keratosis
  • Deep- performed only be a pysician, this peel is used for severe wrinking and sun damage and healing can take several weeks

Benefits of Chemical Peels

  • Improves texture of the skin- looks and feels smoother
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Can potentially stimulate collagen and elastin production
  • Can improve skin conditions such as acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, sun damaged and dry skin
  • Increased moisture retention

 Contraindications for a Chemical Peel 

Although a chemical peel is a great treatment, not everyone is a candidate for them.  Being honest with your esthetician or medical professional will significantly reduce adverse reactions. The following list details some reasons that can contraindicate a chemical peel treatment:

  • Recent cosmetic surgeries, waxing, laser resurfacing, other chemical peels or dermabrasion
  • Recent fillers or Botox
  • Use of Retina-A, retinol, Accutane (Isotretinoin), or other medications that exfoliate or thin the skin
  • Allergies to the ingredients/aspirins
  • Pregnancy
  • Herpes simplex
  • Infectious diseases
  • Open sores or lesions
  • Sunburned or irritated skin
  • Medications that make the skin sensitive to the sun

Post Chemical Peel Care

Once your procedure is completed, follow your esthetician’s or medical professional’s advice on how to care for your skin.  Key points to remember are:

  • Avoid direct sunlight for 48 hours and wear SPF as your skin will be extra sensitive to the sun.   Physical sunscreen is best for sensitive skin.
  • Stay cool and avoid hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, hair dryers or any activity that can generate heat for about 2 days as heat can cause hyperpigmentation.
  • Whether you peel or not doesn’t determine if the peel “worked”.
  • Do not pick or pull on loosening or peeling skin.  You can lightly exfoliate with a dry towel if flaking occurs.
  • Do not wax for 72 hours after a treatment or immediately before.
  • Use gentle products for a few days after the treatment and avoid anything with active ingredients such as retinol.

Before you opt to receive a chemical peel, consult with your esthetician or medical professional to discuss your goals and concerns see what options are right for you.  Also, be mindful of the fact that it may take more than one treatment to see results so make sure that you are financially prepared.

I hope this post was helpful and if you have any other questions, let me know!

Have you ever received a chemical peel?  What was your experience like? 

Stephanie

Skin Tip: Pumpkin Seeds for Acne!

With pumpkin-themed items surrounding us everywhere, here’s some food for thought.  Pumpkin seeds contain zinc which may help relieve acne as zinc helps control the sebaceous (oil) glands and aids in healing the skin.  Something to think about next time you choose a snack, no?

Have a great weekend everyone and I’ll see you back next week,

Stephanie 

Disclaimer:  The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.  

 

The Acid Chronicles: Glycolic Acid!

Glycolic

Hello readers and happy Thursday!

Last week I posted on lactic acid and today I am continuing this short series with glycolic acid so read on to find out more on this AHA.

Who: Glycolic acid

What skin conditions can it help: Aging, fine lines, texture concerns, acne and hyperpigmentation

Where it comes from: Sugar cane or made synthetically

Why it’s important: It breaks down the bonds between cells that allow for easier exfoliation of the skin and is great for treating fine lines, smoothing skin texture and acne. It has the smallest molecular structure which makes it permeate faster and deeper but can cause more irritation and inflammation. *Not recommended for thin skin.

How it’s used: Glycolic acid can be found in skincare products (i.e. cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums) and also in professional treatments like chemical peels.  It also acts as a strong degreasing agent meaning it’s great for removing oil.  *Like any other exfoliating agent, limit use to a few times per week, wear sunscreen and use caution when using ingredients containing retinol as this can irritate skin.

See you tomorrow,

Stephanie