Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Cleansing Cloths—Yay or nay?

These are not the cloths Im talking about specifically in this post.
There are several companies that make daily facial cleansing cloths. These are meant to take the place of a liquid cleanser or even bar soap. My question is why? Do these cloths benefit the skin more than using a regular cleanser?

Below I have a review of some of these cleansing cloths I used and wrote about a few years ago. I apologize in advance for not having the exact company names who made them, but as with all products, ingredients are important and something you can (and should) look at before purchasing. Hopefully the information here will help you decide what to buy.

With any an all products I use on my face, first and foremost I test them with pH papers and I highly recommend you do that with any cleansing cloths you decide to try. If they are not acidic (meaning they test to be alkaline)—don’t use them. If they are pH balanced, like the type I experimented with below, they still may not be right for your skin. I leave this older piece as is because you can still glean important information when it comes to deciding what to use or not use on your skin.

On one company’s box of facial cloths I looked at suggests the cloth will “take the place of your normal cleansing routine, including bar soap, make-up remover, face wash, cleansing milk and toner.” Although forgoing both cleansing and toning by using this product would never fly with me, I wanted to try these facial cloths to see if they could be used as a substitute for cleansing with a milk cleanser or wash.

Initially I liked this product. Before using one of the cloths, I tested it with my pH papers, and it turned out to be acidic, which was a positive. Then, as instructed, I wet the cloth, rubbed it to make it lather, then used it to cleanse my face. One side of the cloth is smooth while the other side has a slight texture, enabling it to exfoliate. I liked this feature because it was not abrasive, yet I could tell I was getting some exfoliation benefits. I removed the residue by splash-rinsing instead of just using the cloth as instructed. Splash-rinsing ensures getting all the product off; using only the cloth may still leave a residue. I used my spray toner and moisturized.

While I was looking up the ingredients, I noticed my skin was beginning to feel taut and dry. I used my usual toner and moisturizer so I knew it was the cloth that was causing this result. The first two out of three ingredients are foaming agents, then a little further down on the list is a bad alcohol—benzyl alcohol, which is derived from pure alcohol. Just these ingredients alone could be what was causing my skin to feel dried out. Witch hazel is also listed and can be a drying ingredient.

By the time I had investigated all the ingredients, my skin felt dried out enough for me not to recommend these cloths for regular use. However, I think they can make a great addition to your workout bag or even something to take along with you camping. Because they come as dry cloths, you can stick them in your cosmetic bag (or even a sealed plastic bag) and take them with you rather than lug around your bottle of cleanser. I wouldn’t use facial cloths as your daily cleanser, but for unusual circumstances when you may not have access to a regular cleanser, I think they will come in handy.

As I mentioned, there are many companies making cleansing cloths—too many for me to try and talk about specifically here. You may find one (or more) that don’t cause the drying of your skin. Even so, I don’t recommend using these cloths daily or even that frequently, but instead recommend using regular milky cleansers to clean your skin. However as substitutes occasionally and in “emergency” situations I think these cloths are actually handy.

For more information, see:

Monday, August 3, 2020

Yonka’s Juvenil vs. essential oils for problem skin: What’s the difference?

Just so I have this right: The ampoule of brown liquid you gave me is the same one that is in the first blog article you sent—yes? 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 you mentioned was for Juvenil [listed below], the same brown liquid I gave you today in my office. What I was talking about when I saw you was about the ability to use Juvenil in larger areas than you would ever want to apply an essential oil. Juvenil is very aqueous (liquid-y) and a little goes a long way. In short, yes you can use Juvenil all over the face. With that said, it would be a waste to use it in places where there is no breakout since this product helps to diminish bacterial infections (red, infected breakout).

For clarification: you can use Juvenil on any breakout—widespread or not. With lavender oil you don’t want to use it “liberally”—just on the individual spots. Lavender or any essential oil is too strong and intense to apply on a big surface area of skin; you just want to use it locally vs. generally. Juvenil, on the other hand, can be used liberally, although it too can be used as a spot treatment only. I hope you and your son find some help with 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 essential oils), 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, then do!

Another client who just had her first facial with me was asking about Juvenil. She has a slight case of rosacea along with some problems with occasional breakouts.

I was wondering about the calendula product you used on me during the facial and also the geranium oil I read about in the booklet you gave me. Could I use these on not only my breakout but on the rosacea places too?

The calendula product I used is called Juvenil. Its great for taking the redness out of infected blemishes. Although I dont have any anecdotal experience using Juvenil on rosacea, Im certain it wouldnt hurt that skin. Calendula is very soothing and calming, so it might help with the redness in your rosacea skin. Try it and see!

If you want a sample of Juvenil to try on your rosacea places, I’m happy to give you one. Yonka doesnt actually make “samples” of their concentrates, but for facials I get Juvenil in little glass ampoules. I can give you one and put a little rubber dropper top on it for ease of application. Then you can try it and see what you think.

Geranium (or lavender) essential oil is also great for bacterial infectionssame as Juvenil. Essential oils can be found in any health food store. You’d use essential oils on the spots only versus Juvenil that can used a little more widespread on your skin if you have a lot of breakout.
Although you are essentially using Juvenil or an essential oil for the same thing—infected blemishes—they really are to be used in two different ways. Well, that’s not exactly true! Here is the short version of what I’m trying to get across here:
    • Use directly on any infected spots
    • Can be used on entire face if you have a lot of breakout widespread
    • Can sooth irritated skin, so its OK to use on a large area
  • ESSENTIAL OILS (geranium or lavender are best)
    • Use a small amount directly on spots—only!
    • Do not use in a large area or spread on your entire face—please!

For more information, see:

Sunday, August 2, 2020

How much sun does your hat keep off your face?

Since different hats provide varying degrees of sun protection, I’m providing the following examples in order to show you how the sun can get to you even if you are wearing a hat. If you are not wearing a hat, you are getting full sun on your entire face. I leave it up to you to know how much sun you are being shielded from with your choice of hat, but in the meantime, here are some examples of protection.

When wearing a baseball cap or visor only your forehead, nose, and part of your cheeks are shaded. Here, not even Josh Groban’s cheeks are being protected. Baseball caps basically give you very little sun shieldingexcept for the forehead. However, a baseball cap is better than no hat at all.

It is only while wearing a wide-brimmed hat that you are fully protecting your face from the damaging rays of the sun. And even this isn’t actually 100% true. Unless you never look up, having your gaze at the ground and depending on where the sun is in the sky, even a wide-brimmed hat can’t keep all sun off your face.

Whether driving with the top down on your convertible or with the sunroof open, you are getting a lot of direct sun exposure. In fact, depending on what you are wearing, you can get odd-looking tan lines from driving around unprotected. Bald-headed men are particularly susceptible to the harmful rays of the sun.

This hat seems like it would be a good face protectorand it is up to a point. As you can see it doesn’t create a shadow on the bottom 1/3 of the face. And this lady has her head a bit tilted down. When you’re out and about, walking or whatever you’re doing with a hat like this on, you will be getting sun on more of your face than you may be of.

This hat is a bit silly, but it would definitely give you more sun shielding than many of the options above. I think this is more of a sitting-by-the-pool-sipping-something-yummy hat, but what do I know!

Just about the only protection you can truly get from full-on sun exposure (other than not going outside) is to wear a ski mask. Perhaps cutedefinitely hotbut obviously not desirable unless you’re skiing, then it’s a great way to keep sun off your face.

My point is: know what your hat is doing or not doing for you and how much sun exposure you’re actually getting. It’s not about not going outside or even not getting any sun on your skin, the advice I provide is hopefully helpful so when you do decide to be outside you’ll be armed not only with information but with good sun protection. Long-term you will be happy you protected your skin, no matter how much or how little.

For more information, see:

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hemorrhoid cream for puffy eyes: Does it really work? One experience—MINE!

I’m sure many of you have heard about a “miracle” treatment for puffiness around the eyes: Preparation H®, the hemorrhoid cream. I’ve read about it and heard about it for years, and I’m frequently asked if it works, so I had to find out for myself what the truth is.

I went to the store and looked at all the different ointments and creams meant to shrink the pain and itching of hemorrhoids. There are a few brands available, Preparation H being the most well-known. Like many medications, there are generic brands that have virtually identical ingredients for less money. In order to do a “controlled” study, I purchased the Preparation H brand, but any of them would have worked the same I’m sure.

The ingredients listed in the cream as “active” are:
  • glycerin (12%)
  • petrolatum (18%)
  • phenylephrine HCI (0.25%)
  • shark liver oil (3.0%)
Glycerin is one of the main components of most creams due to its water-binding abilities. It is a humectant and therefore attracts moisture (water) to itself. How this is going to help with puffiness I can’t imagine. Petrolatum, which is just Vaseline or petroleum jelly, is another ingredient that helps to make the cream smooth and spreadable. How this particular ingredient helps with puffiness is also a mystery to me. If you were to put Vaseline around your eyes, it would probably cause puffiness due to its ability to retain moisture. I also wonder what the active component is in this very inert (inactive) substance. Petrolatum is also going to clog your pores.

I could not find phenylephrine HCI, but found phenylephrine HCL in my ingredient lists book. Also known as hydrochloride, it is used in some nasal decongestants to contract blood vessels or in medications to take the red out of the eyes. This would be consistent with a cream meant to shrink tissue, in this case, hemorrhoids. Shark liver oil is loaded with vitamin A and is used to lubricate many creams and lotions. Out of all these “active” ingredients, the only one that seems to be acting on reducing inflammation is phenylephrine HCI. The inactive ingredients listed on the package are mostly fillers, lanolins, and preservatives; they are nothing special, and certainly nothing harmful.

Like many of you, I wake up in the morning with moderate puffiness under my eyes. Throughout the day, the puffiness naturally diminishes, if only due to gravity and the fluids draining from the eye area. I used the hemorrhoid cream under only one eye so I could see if there was a difference between my two undereyes. This, by the way, is an important way to find out if something is working. If you use it on both sides, how can you tell, unless it is dramatic, how well something is working?

After using Preparation H (under one eye) for two full weeks, I can honestly and unequivocally say that this product didn’t do a thing for my undereye puffiness. I just didn’t see any appreciable difference. I would even ask those people I saw in that time frame, and they couldn’t see a measurable difference between my two eyes. 

I went back to the store and purchased the ointment and the gel, thinking maybe I had used the wrong form of Preparation H. Neither of these made any difference either, further cementing my belief that Preparation H should be used as it was originally intended and not for puffy eyes.

Using a hemorrhoid cream on your face may not leave you free from side effects. Redness, sensitivity, along with acne are possible reactions. Some of the hemorrhoid creams contain hydrocortisone, a steroid, and in rare cases it can be absorbed through the skin and get into your bloodstream, which overtime can cause stress on your adrenal glands. To all of that I say: Why use it?!

Perhaps Preparation H does work wonders in a situation like on a model in a runway show or for a makeup artist working on a famous person (like Kim Kardashian’s makeup person who swears by using this cream—click here for an article about just that). But my experience using it didn’t prove to be as beneficial. Try it for yourself. See if using a hemorrhoid cream around your eye area helps to reduce puffiness you may experience. Personally I’ll stick to eye treatment creams meant to help puffiness—around the eyes.

For more information, see: