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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Proactiv—Solution? Part III: Good & not so good

When I started on Proactiv, my skin looked great. It dried everything out. Then I guess as my body adjusted to the new program, I was mega-oily all the time and developed little red bumps. It seemed while I was on the Proactiv products, I had many red bumps all the time. I finally went off Proactiv, and it took my skin about three weeks to get back to normal.

My skin is doing better although I have really been working on eating better. When I choose to be bad and have a treat, there are usually consequences, but they are under my control—I choose when.

That email was written by my client, Tori. She started using Proactiv four months ago. Within a few weeks, she said it was like a miracle. Most of the old spots had cleared up, and there weren’t many new blemishes coming up; her skin truly had cleared up.

After two months on the program she started noticing an overall oiliness to her skin that hadn’t been there before. Her forehead was especially oily and in fact little whiteheads were starting to form there. I told her it was probably the benzoyl peroxide—that it both helped to temporarily clear her skin and was also creating an oil slick on her face. She was essentially drying out her skin, and in rebuttal, her oil glands were pumping more oil than necessary to compensate for the dryness on the surface.

I think Tori’s story exemplifies the need to monitor your skin when you are using new products. This is especially true if they are products meant to clear problem skin. If your skin is clearing up, great, but is it also showing signs of dryness? Remember, over time the dryness can have detrimental effects negating anything positive you may have achieved.

I thought Proactiv was pretty good when I first used it. Thankfully I never had full-blown acne. It did make my skin look very ragged out, not subtle and balanced-looking. It seemed to enlarge my pores as well.

Two of my friends use it and seem to like it. Using the abrasive cleanser every day cannot be good for skin. Proactiv did not make my skin dry, just flat and not very good-looking.

The flat look is probably due to moisture loss in the surface skin cells. They lose their plumpness and aren’t able to reflect light, which does make the skin look dull or flat.

This client, like so many people trying to clear up their problem skin, has run into the main problem with using benzoyl peroxide. It dries out the skin and creates its own set of problems. It is great that her friends use Proactiv and like it, but for her skin this product just doesn’t deliver the results she is looking for.

There are so many product lines available to choose from. Not all products will fit the needs of all people. Proactiv may be what you have been looking for, but be careful and watch the hydration level of your skin. Don’t trade one problem for another; trading in blemishes for dehydration. I believe that you can have all good results with none of the bad if you follow my recommendations for healthy skin. Mine is not the quick-fix remedy, but perhaps the long-term solution—the real proactive solution.

For more information, see:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sunscreen Q & As

Just for clarification, when I say sunscreen, I am referring to either a sunscreen or sunblock. I don’t differentiate between the two because neither a sunscreen nor a sunblock is keeping all the damaging rays off your face. So for simplification, I lump all sun protection products under the heading of sunscreen.

How long should I wait to go outside before my sunscreen is effective?

Generally, dermatologists recommend applying sun products to the skin at least 20 minutes before going outside. Without giving the cream or lotion enough time to soak in and penetrate the skin, the effects of the actual sun protection may not be as good. If you have forgotten to apply sunscreen once you are outside, go ahead and apply it—better to have it on than not. For optimum benefits, try to remember to apply it before you go outside.

My day cream doesn’t have a lot of SPF. Is it OK to use sunscreen on top?

I’m not a fan of layering your creams. If you have true-dry skin, it may be OK because your skin is lacking in natural oils and may need the extra layer. But if your skin is oily, problem, or even combination, putting two layers of cream on may be excessive and cause further problems (primarily blackheads and a shiny look to your skin).

Since sunscreens are creams or lotions and have emollient ingredients that help them spread over your skin, I would recommend simply using your sunscreen as your day moisturizer. This way you will get the full benefits of the sunscreen (SPF), and it should be moisturizing enough—especially if you have an oilier skin type.

I’ve started doing some work with a dermatologist at a VA Clinic and in just the short time I’ve been there, I’ve seen so many precancerous and cancerous lesions. The doctor I work for tells his patients to put sunscreen on twice a day, every day, even for just walking to and from the car because damaging sun rays penetrate the car windows. I never wear any kind of sunscreen during the week (since I’m at work all day), and I would like to start. After seeing all the skin cancer, I realize putting a sunscreen on every day is worth lessening my chances of getting skin cancer.

Here is more confirmation that you need to wear sunscreen—every day—no matter what activities you are engaged in. If you work inside an office and truly don’t leave the building except to get there in the morning and leave after the work day is finished, a light-textured SPF 15 is probably all that you need. For outside activities, you want to wear something that is applicable for that kind of exposure. A waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen would be most appropriate.

Even though you’re wearing a waterproof or water-resistant sun product, you still need to reapply after you have been in the sun for over an hour. When you initially apply the cream, don’t forget to put some on your ears, behind your ears, and in that ridge between your earlobe and cheek. If you have short hair or are wearing it up under your hat, don’t forget the back of your neck, which is a common place to get sun exposure and sunburn.

I want to emphasize this point: whether you are wearing a sunscreen or a sunblock, whether they block UVA, UVB, or both, and even when you reapply frequently, you are still receiving sun exposure. There is no way to block out all of the sun’s damaging rays unless you are inside a building, away from a window. Wear sunscreen and get your moles checked at the dermatologist. Take care of your skin—and your future.

For more information, see:

    Saturday, May 20, 2017

    Comments regarding Yonka’s Juvenil vs. essential oils

    Just so I have this right: The ampule of brown liquid you gave me is the same one that is in the first blog article you sentyes? It says you can put it all over your face, and I got a different impression from you today, so I guess I’ll need some clarification.

    Yes, the blog post was for Juvenil, the same brown liquid I gave you today. What I was saying was you can use the Juvenil in larger areas than you would would ever want to use the lavender essential oil. The Juvenil is very liquid-y and a little goes a long way, but yes you can use it all over the face. With that said, it would be a waste to use it in places where there is no breakout since that is what it helps to diminish (breakoutred infected places). Hope that clarifiesif not, I’ll give it another go!

    Again, you can use Juvenil on any breakoutwidespread or not. With lavender you don’t want to use it “liberally"just on individual spots. Lavender or any essential oil is too intense, too scent-y, and too much for the skin using any other way than just locally. Juvenil, on the other hand, can and should be used liberally, although it, too, can be used as a spot treatment. I hope you guys find some help with the Juvenil!

    Here is a short followup from my client:

    Okay, my son got a nice dose of Juvenil on the bad spots this morning. He didn’t complain too much about it, so we’ll see how it goes! 

    You can’t go wrong with either of these products (Juvenil or an essential oil), but in some cases one is preferable than the other. If you have widespread breakout I’d recommend Juveniloften and liberally. If you just get a blemish now and then, you might be better off with an essential oil, like lavender of geranium. Personally, I like to have my arsenal of skin care weapons chocked full, so if you can have both on hand for any problems that appear on your skin.