Tag Archives: cleanser

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!

Cold Weather Tips for Clean Skin

If cleanliness is close to godliness, does that imply that dirtiness may be close to sexiness? Lately, that seems to be the case.The Japanese have practically made an art form out of looking disheveled in their new makeup trend aimed at stimulating the facial signs of a rough night. And lo, heroin chic has always had its appeal. But, before you start looking at the You Tube tutorials of recreating the effects of a hangover, remember the holidays are coming and a squeaky clean face is definitely in order.

Certain cleansing practices can dry skin and, in the cold, you have the extra challenges of dry air and low humidity. However, by with the right tips for clean skin, you can cleanse your skin without the chapping , itching, and redness associated with dry, winter skin.

Woman exfoliating face
Exfoliate
To keep skin as hydrated a possible, beauty expert Julyne Derrick suggests moisturizing freshly exfoliated skin to ensure you are penetrating the deepest layers of your skin and not just the peeling outer layer. When you do exfoliate, do so often, and try to use products with natural ingredients like olive oil and sugar.

Avoid Water
Think like the Wicked Witch of the West and stay away from the H2O, even cool water. According to Prevention Magazine, water upsets the balance of skin causing dryness. Those at the magazine suggest keeping contact with water to a minimum, washing hands and face as quickly as possible and choosing lukewarm water to avoid stripping too many oils.

Use a Simple Soap
If you are looking to retain moisture, you probably want to skip fragrance based soaps and go for cleansing bars with a petroleum base.

Keep Lips Moist
You never know who you will meet under the mistletoe! Keep lips exfoliated with a mixture of olive oil and sugar and use lip balms with avocado oil, shea butter, coconut butter and olive oil.

Woman using face product
Use the Right Cleanser
If your current cleanser contains glycolic or salicylic acid, it may be extremely drying to your skin. Try switching it up with a more hydrating product with moisturizing ingredients. It is also a good general rule of thumb to moisturize within 30 seconds of cleansing to avoid dehydration. Hydrating toners are also a good idea.

Moisturize Immediately
Moisturizers work best on damp skin, so you’re best advised to slather it on directly after washing to seal in hydration. Keep a bottle of it within arms reach of your shower stall.

Choose The Right Moisturizer
Make sure your moisturizer is oil- based and has natural ingredients. Beware of petroleum and water based solutions that can actually dry skin out. Look for hydrating ingredients like chamomile, lavender, and jojoba

Remember, you can still be a dirty girl (or boy) with a clean face. We’d love to hear from all the dirty people out there. Let us know how you clean up for the holidays!

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.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Green Tea

You probably know by now that you can drink green tea for the best internal health, whether it’s for weight loss, an increased immune system or a lower risk of cancer. But the benefits aren’t only internal. Your skin can benefit tremendously from green tea’s healing properties with external application.

Many skin products are made with the benefits of green tea, from creams to body treatments. You may be asking yourself why this ingredient is so popular among the skin care industry. The truth is that there are multiple benefits from this potent ingredient that you may not necessarily be aware of. vine vera

CAFFEINE. Although it has been decried in the past as being bad for you, it’s actually one of the best things for your skin, particularly for your eyes. Caffeine increases circulation in the eye area to help reduce puffiness and dark circles. Meanwhile, on the rest of your face it helps the blood flow, which means that your skin can maintain that healthy glow.

ANTIOXIDANTS. The antioxidants in green tea have a powerful effect on the inside of your body, so it’s only natural that it has the same effect on your skin. The polyphenols in green tea fight free radicals that can cause skin damage and make your skin appear sagging and lifeless. Studies are still being conducted by various research institutions, but green tea has been shown in the past to improve skin elasticity and reduce certain signs of aging. These are also combined to help inhibit the growth of proteins that can lead to cancerous cell growths.

ECGC. Epigallocatechin gallate, commonly known as ECGC, is known for its properties in reducing disease and inflammation. This can be helpful with treating a variety of skin conditions beyond just simple anti-aging, such as rosacea, psoriasis and possibly different types of skin cancer. This chemical can also help rejuvenate skin growth and help prevent acne. vine vera

VITAMINS. The healthy vitamins C, E and K all make their presence known in green tea. Vitamin C is incredibly helpful in aiding the body in producing collagen, which restores plumpness to sagging skin and is an important building block for that youthful glow. Vitamin E interacts with cells to help destroy free radicals and prevent cancer. The less commonly known vitamin, Vitamin K, helps boost the clotting factor in the skin and helps reduce redness. Put them all together, and you have a potent mix.

The best part about green tea is that it is readily accessible and easy to incorporate into your skincare routine. It’s not only simple to do but can be downright refreshing, particularly on a warm summer day. Here are some of the best ways to include this potent ingredient into your skincare routine:

-Your doctor says to always wear sunscreen, but you can combine green tea with a zinc oxide-based sunblock formula in order to give you the maximum sun protection. Put green tea into a spray bottle and let it cool in the refrigerator. Spray onto your skin and let dry before applying your sunscreen.

-You can use that same spray as a refreshing toner. After cleansing, spritz on your face before you apply your favorite moisturizer.

-Reduce the puffiness of your eyes with the green tea teabags. Run two under warm water to release the tea’s healing properties.  Apply to eyes and allow to rest on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. vine vera

-Pair with your favorite facial cleanser for antioxidant properties. Run the teabag under the warm water and open the bag. Combine with your favorite cream cleanser and apply to your face, leaving on for five minutes and then rinsing.

-Use it for a steam facial. Make green tea in a bowl, put a towel over your face and put your face over the bowl. This method will open your pores and allow the toxins to escape. Leave on for five minutes, then wash face with cleanser.

-Look for Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, green tea’s technical name, on the ingredient label of your favorite skin care products. The cosmetics industry has caught onto the massive benefits of green tea and is including it in skin care products especially those focused on eyes.

Are you ready to incorporate some green tea into your skin care routine? How are you planning to do it?