Tag Archives: Benzoyl Peroxide

Skin Care Ingredients Pregnant Women Should Avoid

So you’re pregnant. Your husband and your friends keep telling you you’ve never looked better in your life, but you sure don’t feel it today. Your ankles are swollen, you have a headache, and all you see when you look down is your stomach. You know exactly what you need! A little pampering. Nothing like a nice spa session to make you feel like the goddess you are. But wait! Before you apply that mask, there are a few things you should know about the ingredients in the products you may be about to apply.

Pregnant woman in front of the mirror

Retin-A, Retinol, Retinyl Palmate
The FDA categorizes ingredients according to letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, and X. Usually, only A and B categorized products are considered safe for pregnancy. Retin-A, retinol. and retinyl palmate all lie in the C category which means it can present a risk to the fetus. Although vitamin A is an important vitamin for fetal development, Albert Sassoon, MD, an ob-gyn says, “getting too much can cause serious birth defects and liver toxicity.” While Retin-A is usually associated with prescription skin care, women should be aware that vitamin A derivatives are also present in many over the counter formulas as well.

Benzoyl Peroxide
Even though pregnancy may call for the occasional zit zapping, benzoyl peroxide also falls into category C, indicating possible fetal risk.

Woman applying oil to pregnant belly

Essential Oils
Essential oils are not subject to assessment by the FDA and are usually marketed as safe for use in beauty products. However, according to Dr. Sassoon, “Often they have 50 times the concentration used in a cup of tea and can be harmful even in a non-pregnancy state.” The most commonly used oils warranting cause for alarm are rosemary and tea tree oil.

According to Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, and dermatologist, “Tea tree oil is very potent and toxic when ingested. Its adverse effects include dermatitis, drug reactions, a blistering disease called linear IgA and estrogenic effects.” which may be to blame for premature contractions. Rosemary oil, meanwhile, is known to, “raise blood pressure and cause uterine contractions at high doses,” adds the doctor.

Woman buying product

Salicylic Acid
This category C acne fighter may be hard to avoid. But, as Dandy Engelman, MD, and dermatologist says,”When you’re pregnant, you have to seek out the purer products–the ones that feature just one of the acids that are approved. Lactic, mandelic, and glycol acids are all considered safe for pregnant women looking for some exfoliating action.

Hydroquinone
Although this may be tempting to use when pregnancy causes melanoma or dark spots, it falls into the C category.

Tazorac and Accutane
Both these vitamin A-derived product are prescription only and fall into category X: known to cause defects in birth.

What safe products do you use to soothe skin while you’re pregnant? Let us know what the modern pregnant lady is using to keep herself and her baby safe.

The Skincare Products You Need To Manage Summer Breakouts

It’s summer and you’ve just had your first official breakout of the season. You calculate that with treatment, most of the pimples will go away in four to seven days, with at least another week for the scars to disappear. You figure that by that time, you most definitely will have broken out again, and that by the time it takes for the first set of scars to heal, you should probably have a whole new round to contend with, and by the time those goes away, summer will probably be over.

Acne can be a drag no matter what season it is, but the sweat and friction of summer sure doesn’t make it any easier to contend with. If you are determined to spend at least part of the season breakout free, here are some of the best skincare products for managing summer breakouts.

Woman checking skin

Accutane
Accutane is the only treatment for acne that results in long-term remission of acne symptoms. It was originally discovered in 1979 when patients treated with the drug reacted by showing significant to permanent clearing of acne symptoms. It was originally given only to people with severe acne, but has become more recently prescribed for less severe cases. It is controversial because it is known to cause lifelong side effects to the user.

How It Works
While how Accutane works on a cellular level is still much of a mystery, there are four known ways that it affects the development of acne:

  • It reduces the size of the skin’s oil glands by 35-58% and reduces the amount of oil produced by these glands by about 80%.
  • It decreases the amount of acne bacteria that lie in the oil of the skin.
  • It hinders the production of skin cells inside the pore, which prevents pores from becoming clogged.
  • It is an anti-inflammatory.

2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is second only to Accutane as an effective treatment for acne. It is the only medication capable of penetrating the skin and delivering oxygen. Because acne related bacteria cannot live with oxygen present, benzoyl peroxide can kill 99.9% of the bacteria almost immediately. Generous application is recommended.

Woman smiling

Oil Free Acne Wash
An oil free acne wash can be used as a regular cleanser for acne prone skin. Its active ingredient is salicylic acid which helps to get rid of existing acne, while preventing future breakouts from happening.. Acne washes are usually noncomedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores and many contain soothing ingredients to prevent over-drying and irritation.

Spot Acne Treatment
Spot acne treatment is the traditional acne treatment is used dry pimples without drying your whole face. It penetrates pores to kill acne bacteria and help to prevent new ones from forming. The active ingredient is spot treatment is benzoyl peroxide, which can irritate skin in large amounts. Look for treatments containing about 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide for minimal dryness and redness. Spot treatment is usually oil free and noncomedogenic.

Spot Eliminating Gel
This on the spot treatment can be used to clear breakouts and prevent emerging ones. Gels are a newer technology and alternative to cream treatment. They are generally preferred because of their clear color and, many claim, superior formula. The active ingredient is salicylic acid, and the gels often claim faster action than their lotion counterparts, which contain benzoyl peroxide. These gels are noncomedogenic as well.

If you’re suffering summer acne, we hope this has been helpful. Let us know how what you’re doing to manage your summer breakouts this year,

What Makes A Product Noncomedogenic?

Noncomedogenic. N-O-N-C-O-M-E-D-O-G-E-N-I-C. Noncomedogenic. It sounds like the word that stumped the runner up in the fourth grade spelling bee. If you’ve been hearing this word used a lot lately in the cosmetic industry and thinking it sounds impressive, its meant to. But is it, really? Let’s break it down.

Woman squeezing pimple

A comedo is the mildest form of acne, otherwise known as a pimple, whitehead, or blackhead. So technically you could say, “Wow, that’s a rather large comedo on your face.” as a more polite way of saying, “Wow, that’s a really big zit you have.” Non, of course means without, hence, noncomedogenic, when applied to a skin cleanser essentially means the product does not clog pores and will break down excess oils on your skin without stripping necessary moisture.

What Does “Noncomedogenic” Mean?
Although the term “noncomedogenic” sounds scientific, the truth is that the effectiveness of noncomedogenic products has not been proven in clinical trials, nor has it been tested by the FDA. This is not, however, to say that such products are without merit; in fact, there is some evidence that non comedic products can reduce acne. There is, after all, proof that blocked pores can produce acne, and therefore, a product preventing occlusion of pores, may help prevent it. However, some forms of acne may be a result of other causes, such as a high presence of bacteria on the skin, and, in these cases, noncomedogenic goods would not have much effect.

In other instances, products are labelled noncomedogenic, but, in fact can cause skin rashes an irritation.

Woman cleaning face

Chemistry of Noncomedogenic Products
Noncomedogenic cleanser usually contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or salicylic acid. Some have ingredients to treat acne, and others are simply formulated to not aggravate pimples and clog pores.

Benzoyl peroxyde kills bacteria which causes acne and does not produce oil on the skin. Salicylic acid does not kill bacteria, but does unclog pores without creating additional oil. It also dissolves oil in the hair follicles. Sulfur washes away dead skin cells and excess oil and is also believed to be able to break down blackheads and whiteheads.

Pros and Cons Of Noncomedogenic Cleansers
Noncomedogenic. How bad could it be, right? Anything purported not to clog pores, couldn’t be too bad, right? Well, you be the judge.

Benzoyl Peroxide
If you’ve ever used benzoyl peroxide to treat acne, you probably found it to be effective. However, you will need to use it for a few weeks before you see results, and, if you discontinue use, the acne will return. Also, while you can combat the drying effects of benzoyl peroxide on skin with moisturizer, other side effects are not so easy to deal with. Itching, rashes, burning, and swelling have all been associated with the use of benzoyl peroxide and are best handled professionally.

Woman checking skin

Salicylic Acid
Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid requires continuous use to see results, as pores will clog up again when the skin is no longer receiving treatment. Although it can cause irritation and stinging, it is usually mild enough to work without causing serious side effects.

Sulfur
Sulfur has very few side effects, if any, and, although some may find the smell disagreeable, the odor is usually not detectable when mixed with other ingredients.

What do you think of noncomedogenic products? Does the term reassure you? Let us know!

Battling Adult Acne

  Women examining acne on her face.

Most of us talk about how we would like to turn back the clock.  Sure, we would all like to look a bit  younger, but there are definitely some things about youth that we are happy to see the back of that denim jacket with the heavy metal patches on it that you wore until it rotted, the self-administered buzz cut, the experiments with green hair dye, and acne.  Yes, if there is anything to be glad about when it comes to aging, it would have to be the end of acne.  But, what if you find yourself having graduated to  adulthood when……THEY’RE BACK! Just when you thought you zapped, squeezed and hid your last pimple, white or black head, they’re back and badder than ever.

Why?

Hormones
Teens are not the only ones whose hormones are aflutter.  According to dermatologist Julia Tzu, MD of Wall Street Dermatology says,”Fluctuation in hormones, such as before one’s menstrual cycle, is the main cause.” Hormonal acne is identifiable by a painful outbreak around the chin neck and back and may occur before your menstrual cycle. High-stress levels can also contribute to hormonal imbalance.  When the stress hormone, cortisol, is released by the body, it is often accompanied by testosterone, a male hormone which leads to the production of more oil, ultimately resulting in more outbreaks.

Using the Wrong Products
If you are prone to breakouts, you should be using products that will not clog your pores. DR. Neal Schultz, of Beauty RX Skincare, suggest looking  for  the words “oil-free”, “non-comedogenic” or “water -based” on the label.

Overcleansing
 Dr.  Rebecca Kazin, MD of the John Hopkins Department of Dermatology says cleansing more than twice a day is too much and can just dry out skin “which can cause it to produce more oil to overcompensate.  Grainy and gritty cleansers  that rub your skin can similarly promote acne.    Try switching to a gentle detoxifying gel cleanser and two is the magic number.

Food
Many of us have heard that there is a direct relationship between chocolate, greasy food and acne, but. before you put down that Hershey’s bar, there is no statistic proof of any of this.  However, you would be well advised to avoid iodine, found in shellfish and greens like kelp and spinach.  Sugary food can also be a culprit.  By raising your insulin level, sugary foods can boost oil- triggering hormones, like testosterone.

Treatment Ingredients

Salicylic Acid
Also known as beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid exfoliates gently to unclog pores.  It is go-to in anti-acne products and can be found in most OTC cleansers and spot treatments and is mild enough to use on your whole face.

Benzoyl Peroxide
This stuff kills acne bacteria whole exfoliating the pores but stick to spot treatment for this one.  It has been known to make skin irritated and should not be used all over the face.

Glycolic Acid
If you are facing the acne meets wrinkles stages, this may be just the thing. It removes dead skin cells on the surface and stimulates the collagen and  hyaluronic acid, improving skin’s texture on the whole.

Retinol
Another godsend for the acne meets wrinkles crowd.  It is one of the most effective treatments for acne and also has collagen building properties, but , be aware, can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin so try testing it on  a small spot on your skin before you commit to it.

Exfoliate
Probably the best thing you can do to fight acne is exfoliated and the best way to so it is with glycol acid.  A glycol cleanser is helpful, but exfoliating pads and serums that really soak your skin are more effective.

Keep Spot Treatment on Hand
As soon as you feel that zit waiting to burst our, zap it with some benzoyl peroxide to start killing bacteria immediately.  Try to look for a gentle formula with soothing ingredients  for adult skin.

In closing, while these treatments are all effective, keep in mind that hormones are some pretty powerful players.  If topical treatment isn’t enough, talk to your doctor.  He may have the best advice on the best course of action.

Best Ingredients to Deep Clean 2015 Away

Even the best of us can slip up and commit some serious skin sins and now is the time to get rid of those 2015 facial care mistakes, mishaps or neglect. If you haven’t already, begin a skin care routine that consists of a cleanser, toner (if necessary), sunscreen and moisturizer because this will go a long way in keeping your skin healthy. However, if you’ve got a little deep cleaning to do, the following skin care ingredients work wonders at really drawing out and ridding your skin of impurities, toxins, dead skin cells and other debris.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid
You may be familiar with salicylic acid because it is frequently used as a treatment for acne, but you can still benefit from this deep cleaning ingredient if you have a clear complexion. Salicylic acid exfoliates your skin by gently removing excess skin. When you topically apply salicylic acid, your uppermost layer of skin swells, then softens and finally peels and removes dead skin cells. Alpha-hydroxy acids work in a similar way, but salicylic (or beta-hydroxy acid) is able to penetrate your pores thus unclogging them.

Charcoal.

Charcoal
Charcoal may be one of the last things you would associate with skin care, but activated charcoal is becoming more and more popular as a deep cleansing ingredient. Activated charcoal has the ability to draw bacteria, poisons, dirt, chemicals and other micro-particles from the pores to the surface of the skin. Charcoal masks have been used for a long time to deep clean the skin because it is so effective at drawing out impurities. Activated charcoal can absorb thousands of times its mass in impurities and harmful substances. When you need a super deep clean, try an activated charcoal mask or use an activated charcoal cleanser a few times each week.

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is part of a group of acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids which are made from cane sugar. When it comes to deep cleaning pores, glycolic acid has the smallest molecules among alpha-hydroxy acids so it is easy to deeply penetrate the skin and treat blackheads, acne, oiliness, dull skin and fine lines. Glycolic acid reacts with the surface layer of your skin and breaks down the skin by dissolving sebum and other substances that work to hold the skin together. This acid is used frequently to treat acne, minimize pore size, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and increase cell turnover to reveal younger skin. Glycolic acid is suitable for long-term use and the longer you use it, the better the results will be.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is another skin care ingredient used in the treatment of acne because it is such an effective cleansing agent. Your pores become clogged in part due to excess oil production that becomes trapped which prevents dead skin cells from exfoliating and sloughing away from the skin and pores in a normal manner. Benzoyl peroxide is able to significantly decrease oil production, allowing your pores to unclog and clear.

These ingredients truly are remarkable when you need a deep clean, but it is important to keep in mind that some concentrations of these ingredients may irritate your skin initially. For instance, your skin will need time to acclimate to glycolic acid, but once it does the deep cleaning results will be impressive. Deep cleaning ingredients are useful can really take your regular cleansing routine to the next level and provide you with clearer, healthier skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid

You can spot conceal the occasional small blemish, but what happens when your face is effected by full-blown acne? Many have struggled with acne at some point in their lives and the common misconception is that acne is something you will grow out of. Acne can affect anyone at any age for a large variety of reasons. Some face hormonal acne while others may have painful cystic acne. If you are taking the fight against acne into your own hands, you probably already know the two major over-the-counter medications used in acne treatment:  benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. However, what you may not know is which medication is the correct one for your face. Vine Vera Skincare did some digging to discover how each of these acne medications work and how to tell which one is right for your skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide chemical formula

Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial and a keratolytic, meaning that it dissolves keratin. Acne can be caused by a bacteria, P. acnes bacteria, which can not survive in environments that are oxygen rich. When benzoyl peroxide makes contact with your skin, it transforms into oxygen and benzoic acid. The oxygen attacks and destroys bacteria causing acne while benzoic acid makes skin dry and peel. As the skin becomes dry and peels, the skin is exfoliated and the plugs of dead skin cells are removed from your pores. Benzoyl peroxide can be incredibly powerful, which may irritate sensitive skin and cause redness, dryness or skin flaking.

Benzoyl peroxide is sold in a variety of concentrations, the highest being 10%. However, studies have shown that the 2.5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide is just as effective as a 10% benzoyl peroxide treatment and the 2.5% concentration will be less harsh on the skin than a higher level of benzoyl peroxide. Generally, benzoyl peroxide is most beneficial for people struggling with whiteheads. Benzoyl peroxide should be avoided by those with extremely sensitive or already dry skin.

Salicylic acid chemical formula.

Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) produced from the bark of willow trees. Unlike benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid does not kill any bacteria. On the skin, salicylic acid corrects any abnormal shedding of skin cells and penetrates deeply to unclog pores and exfoliate the skin. Salicylic acid is also an anti-inflammatory, meaning that it can be good for reducing redness. Salicylic acid helps remove debris from pores and often provides less irritation than benzoyl peroxide.

Concentrations ranging from .5% to 2% are the most commonly used in salicylic acid acne products. Often, salicylic acids is most effective for those who have issues with blackheads and spots of inflammation. Salicylic acid is generally used by those with mild to moderate acne, oily or red skin and tends to cause much less irritation or dryness than benzoyl peroxide

Both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are both effective acne treatments, though each works in its own unique way. These acne fighters are available in a large assortment of skincare products from spot care creams or gels to cleansers and moisturizers. It is important to remember that both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid must be used continually, even after acne has cleared up. Discontinuing the use of these products will result in the return of acne. If you are still on the fence about whether benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid is best for you, or if you suffer from severe acne, it’s a good idea to head to your doctor or dermatologist to find out which medication will be most beneficial to your problem.