Perfect Your Selfie: Banish the Blemish!

There are three things that can really ruin a great makeup application for a special occasion:

1) A sudden breakout
2) Flakiness from dry air
3) Oily shine that pops through your makeup and lights up your face like a disco ball.  

With the holidays and new year parties approaching, be sure to follow these tips to blow each of these makeup busters to smithereens! Perfect your self(ie) for some great pictures. ;)

Banish the Blemish

The quickest and easiest way to clear a sudden breakout is actually the best way to soothe inflammation. This method called Ice Therapy, and it's imperative that you start this procedure as soon as you feel or see a new zit.

The video below demonstrates just how easy this process is to reduce inflammation in a breakout!

AcneWhispererTV: Ice Therapy

A sudden breakout before a big event. A recurring undergrounder right around your period that never seems to go away. An ongoing acne condition that plagues you every day of your life...
One simple thing -- a deceptively simple thing -- is integral in clearing up your breakout problems no matter the severity -- ice.

Why ice?  

In all cases of breakouts, inflammation plays a great role in acne formation. Even bacteria can't bother a pore without the pore becoming inflamed first. If we first attempt to calm the pore down by cooling it off, we can prevent bacteria from becoming involved while also reducing pain and swelling at the same time. 

The video below shows you how it all works.  Enjoy! :)

No, Seriously, I Really Am 49 Years Old! My Skincare Regimen and My Thanks

The AcneWhisperer at 49 years old.
Today is my 49th birthday! :)

I don’t feel any different than I did 10 years ago, so I can’t believe that I’m near 50 (holy…!). However, I am different -- and I have my clients to thank for that. 

I’m not just saying that because everyone is thanking their clients today and tomorrow because of Thanksgiving. I really would be **nowhere** without a clientele that has seen 12.5 years of developments, failures, transitions, and a very tough move to a new location this past summer.

Please permit me to share something with you.

I didn’t have an easy childhood and I’m not secretive about that because it was due to undiagnosed ADD; I am very vocal about that. I believe ADD is the most misunderstood, under- and over-diagnosed cognitive disorder in Psychiatry today, and the more I learn about it, the more I want to shout from the rooftops any way I can help people who also struggle.

Approaching Anti-Aging For the Acne-Prone: Part 2

Last week, I talked about the issue of Adult Acne not being addressed enough by the myriad of anti-aging and anti-acne skincare products that are currently available on the market. 

We are seeing a little about it being mentioned here and there, but the ads for just about every product line that's supposed to address adults and not just teens still feature pictures of women in their 20s. But what about those of us 30-, 40- and 50-somethings? I believe women in these age groups are largely being ignored.


The amazing thing is, the very ingredients that address the skin damage that results in premature aging can also address acne issues for the adult in her 30s, 40s and 50s!  

Approaching Anti-Aging For The Acne-Prone: Part 1

Why do I specialize so specifically in Adult Acne, as opposed to just "plain" acne, or even teen acne? What's so unique about adults in their late-20s** to 50s that I feel like they deserve such special attention? After all, acne blemishes form the same way inside a pore no matter a person's age. The only difference between one person and another is what triggers or aggravates the acne, whether it's pore-clogging products, a sudden excess of oil production, genetically "sticky" dead skin cells, or certain skin sensitivities.

** Most of the time acne in one's early-to-mid-20s is simply a continuation of teen acne.

Anti-Aging for the Acne-Prone

The Problem

In the world of skincare there are products and treatments for acne, and products and treatments for anti-aging concerns. It's a considerable problem when these two skincare concerns are too rarely considered together, despite Adult Acne being a significant issue for many women up until their 50s. In many cases, acne products treat skin as if it's 16-years old, while anti-aging products treat skin as if it's a dried up old prune! 

This is the reason why adults actually have acne problems that teens don't have. The vast majority of anti-aging products on the market today contain pore-clogging ingredients -- both drugstore and department store brands alike. The cycle of Adult Acne often begins with pore-clogging ingredients in anti-aging products. 

A Changing Of Seasons... For Your Makeup?

Ah, seasonal changes... Going from summer to fall brings us pumpkin-spiced goodies, mugs of warm tea, time to spend with loved ones, and... swapping out your makeup? It seems that changing out your skincare or makeup products by season is a universal thought -- often backed by bloggers, fashion magazines, and perhaps even your own family!

In my most humble opinion -- no matter what season you're in, the type of foundation you use (whether it's a cream, liquid, a tinted moisturizer, or a BB cream) really depends on your preferred coverage. Our skin certainly changes with different weather conditions, but should makeup even be involved? If you're concerned about hydration, sun protection, and pore minimization it would seem that any changes in your skin from one season to the next should be taken care of with quality skincare products.  

I've never really been a fan of using makeup as skincare considering that makeup products are designed to sit on top of the skin and not penetrate, where as skincare products are supposed to penetrate. Another way to look at makeup-as-skincare is that if foundation (that is not supposed to penetrate the skin) has skin-enhancing ingredients, how much effect is it actually going to have?

It’s Not The Brush; It’s The Blush!

If you have ever experienced breakouts along your cheekbones that just won’t go away no matter what you do or use, you may have concluded that the pimples must be connected to your blush. After asking around, or perusing Pinterest, there's no doubt that you've come across the advice to wash your makeup brushesIt only seems to make sense that your dirty makeup brushes would cause breakouts, right? 

Actually -- no. As I always tell my clients, "It's the blush, and not the brush!" :)

A few facts:

What's The Connection Between Allergies And Acne?

If you have filled out my Eval by Email® Skincare Consultation Form, you may have noticed a section dedicated to listing your allergies -- anything related to food products, environmental allergens, or even medication. When it comes to tackling your skincare worries, it's better to be on the detailed side about everything you use topically or ingest. My new clients are often very surprised when I tell them about there possibly being a connection between acne breakouts and  allergies.

A few clients have even submit Yelp reviews mentioning the difference in their skin after assessing their allergies and skincare product usage.

Melissa P. from Wisconsin:
I have been struggling with acne for a long time before I met Daniela. The damage was done (scars, red marks, self-confidence) and I figured there was no hope. I randomly found Daniela from a friend's FB post. I contacted Daniela and did her online survey. I noted the allergies I had along with the products I used.
Within 2 days, Daniela had assessed my problems over the internet to a T. Turns out I was allergic to everything in the facial products I had been using!!!! I tried Daniela's products she recommended over the last few months and doing everything she said.   
Here's where the story gets really good.....
My skin is gorgeous!!!! 50% (MAYBE MORE) of the red marks and scars are gone! My confidance has been restored. My friends and family compliment my skin vs. look at me with a pained look. 

Consider the following:

Allergen => Sensitivity => Inflammation => Immune Response

Are "All-Natural" Skincare Products Worth The Hype?

There is a very pervasive perception out there in Skincareland that "natural" is better because any products with chemical ingredients surely must be dangerous.  Read a long sounding name on a label and all sorts of red flags go up.

The thinking goes like... If it goes into a car, it can't go on the face. If it has a bunch of long names you can't pronounce, put it back on the shelf. It's usually the ingredients that are derived from petroleum that cause the most trepidation. But petroleum does come from the ground. ...Is that not natural? Silicone also comes from the ground.  As does heroin...

There is a question in the minds of many as to what happens after something has penetrated the skin: Do these ingredients go anywhere else in the body? Do harmful chemicals enter the blood stream? 

While there are many medications that are used topically, there really aren't the determents to health in skincare products that many claim.  As a colleague of mine said exasperatedly, "The skincare industry is not out to get everybody!!

In my opinion, there is more to worry about with pesticide or fungal laden kitchen ingredients in DIY home remedies than there is about whether or not you can pronounce everything on an ingredient list.

Diet & Acne: Is There a Connection?

"Does it really matter what I eat, and are there foods that can cause (or can cure) acne?"

I get asked this question all the time! The truth is that some foods will aggravate an already existing acne problem, but no foods will actually cause the issue from scratch. 

It's true that some foods are scientifically proven to be acne triggers, but other foods leave an impression of cause and effect when it's really timing that's at play. 

Is it specifically chocolate that's causing breakouts or is it the onset of a menstrual cycle that's causing an increase in the eating of chocolate??


Is it that the food contains a component that has been scientifically proven to provoke acne (rather than the entire food itself)??

Approaching Anti-Aging Without The Quackery!

Many of you know that my specialty is Adult Acne but, most notably, I focus much of my practice on providing anti-aging products suitable for acne-prone skin. Although my expertise is chiefly in acne formation and treatment, I do know something about the aging process as well. 

A while back, on the rare occasion that I was idly watching The Dr. Oz Show, an audience member asked Dr. Oz about sagging skin and what can be done about it.

Is There A Connection Between Water Consumption And Clear Skin?

I often hear from clients who've been having trouble with dehydration amidst breakouts, "I know, I know, I don't drink enough water."

(I even hear this from other Estheticians who advise their acne and dry skin clients alike to drink more water to help with dehydration!)

The truth is that skin dehydration actually has very little to do with your water intake - your organs get all of the water first, then your skin gets the little bit left over, but that's usually enough.

Let's put it this way: by the time your skin is dry from not drinking enough, you're so thirsty that you're dying. Dehydration on the skin is about water loss to the air, and not lack of water from inside. There are many remedies to this, one of which involves a process of determining what skincare products should or should not be used. You can find more information about starting this process at the link:

However, skin clearance can have connection with water intake just because more water is simply healthier.  

Simply put: a healthier inside = a healthier outside!

I was thinking all about the issue of water intake and skincare this morning, as I was preparing my daily morning tea. I thought it would be cool to describe what my daily drinking ritual is in case that it could help you with your daily water intake!

I have an automatic drip coffee maker in my kitchen.

The Wonder Product That Will Simplify Your Skincare Routine

One of my proudest achievements, my hand-crafted Papaya Pumice Clay-Scrub Kit gives you the best of salon care products at home. Made with 2 fruit enzymes, 3 types of clay, soothing allantoin, and crushed pumice, this kit is a wonderful multi-purpose addition to your skincare routine.

As the various clays work their magic, going even further are the fruit enzymes that loosen and dissolve dead skin cells, which enhances the drawing action of the clay ingredients. 

This Clay-Scrub kit is great for giving yourself a once-a-week facial at home for smooth, clear, decongested skin. For an occasional pick-me-up when your skin is looking dull or feeling a little rough, the powder makes for a perfect scrub (thanks to the action of the crushed pumice) when mixed with your regular cleanser


Check this out!

How Teenage Acne Turns Into Adult Acne...

One of the major changes in the bodies of teenagers (especially during puberty) is the development and dilation of hair follicles (pores with accompanying hairs) within the skin. 

Testosterone, the male hormone coursing through adolescent veins, triggers new and more abundant hair growth within teens, as well as increases in the skin's natural oil production. In the meanwhile, enzymes produced in this process tell pores to get bigger in order to accommodate the new hair and the greater oil flow.  

Beauty Questions Answered by Daniela, Adult Acne Expert

Your skin's health is just as important as the quality of the products you wear on top of it, but it's very easy to neglect, damage, and not spend the necessary time on managing your skin. 

If you're seeking out the right answers to your questions about how to achieve that glowing, beautifully clear skin, I'm the esthetician for the job! 

Here are some questions from readers who have inquired about skincare with questions that are more common than you might think...

Is Your Skin Under Pressure?

From unstable hormonal/environmental issues to poor product choices to a genetic predisposition to overproduction of oil and sticky dead skin cells, there are many reasons for Adult Acne breakouts. It can be pretty difficult to know what can be causing a sudden or an ongoing breakout just by looking at first glance. But don't feel hopeless! 

There's actually one thing you can ask yourself before you try to analyze your skincare regimen, stress levels, family history, or your diet when you first experience a breakout

Ask yourself if there has been anything pressing or rubbing against the area. A breakout can very well happen as a result of friction or pressure.

A no-brainer, right?! 

How to Tell if Your Breakout is from Stress or Diet

"My skin is freaking out! How do I know whether my breakouts are from stress, diet, or 
a combination of both?"

In my experience, when someone says, "My skin is freaking out!" it usually means that they're experiencing breakouts and dryness at the same time. 

Testosterone is the hormone responsible for oil production in the skin. Oil glands are bigger in the T-zone area of the face, while in certain places (like the sides of the chin) the pores are smaller due to natural facial contours.

In the case of stress, an adrenaline rush can produce an overwhelming amount of testosterone, which in turn produces an oil rush to those T-zone pores. If your skincare routine is either pore-clogging or dehydrating, the oil can't come through onto the surface of your skin. This back-up of natural oil is what results in a nasty, irritated breakout. With non-clogging, hydrating skincare products, the skin is more pliable so less oil is held back. If you break out primarily around your mouth, chin, and forehead, stress is likely going to be the primary problem.

So what about diet? 

Easy Fixes For Hairline Breakouts

Acne can pop up anywhere -- on your face, your back, your chest, and, very commonly... your hairline. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy fixes for hairline breakouts as they might be occurring due to your environment or personal habits.

If you break out along the periphery of your face, read this checklist to find out what the problem may be: 

Makeup Breakout Prevention Cheat Sheet

There is so much information out there for people who suffer from Adult Acne and general skin sensitivities and while you can have the best skincare product routine to clear up your breakouts, your makeup products can be causing more frustration than necessary! The underlying cause of most of my clients' breakout troubles actually comes from pore clogging ingredients in their makeup rather than from any junk foods in their diet or not washing their faces "enough."

Use this post as a handy reference the next time you go out shopping for makeup! :)

What to look for:

What Are Those Tiny White Bumps?

Those little white bumps you get right below your eyes, on top of your cheekbones, or even on other parts of your face? Those pesky bumps are called Milia (pronounced mill-ee-ah). Singular - plural, same word.  They're like tiny pearls underneath the skin that won’t come out no matter how much you squeeze, unless you literally scratch the darn thing off your face.

Whatever others might have told you, it’s not “calcium deposits” or acne breakouts. It doesn’t require two rounds of Retin-A or massive chemical peels (although there are those with a genetic propensity that do have luck with AHAs and some have even been helped with careful and monitored use of Retin-A). However I've seen way too many people with prescriptions renewed a thousand times before they've asked their doctor why it doesn't seem to be working.  

So what are these milia?

Forget The Ads On TV! Here's How To Really Wash Your Face...

You might think that washing your face is a no-brainer, but you’d actually be surprised!
I’ve seen many clients over the years who I could tell were breaking out and/or had dry skin largely because they didn’t cleanse their faces properly. 

Many people will avoid the periphery of their faces, like the hairline and jawline, because they don’t want to get their hair wet. Other times, they skip washing altogether in favor of splashing their faces with plain water, especially in the morning.  On the other end of the spectrum are those who use an apricot scrub instead of cleanser, along with the people who use two-in-one cleanser-scrubs, but rub at their faces so vigorously that they may as well just use sandpaper.

Here are some basic instructions for the best cleansed face you can have. It’ll go a long way to clearing up your skin, making it glow and even making it a little less dry (which is a big part of my method for clearing adult acne).

The Journey To Clear Skin: Facials Or Products?

Getting facials without having a good skin care regimen at home 
is like jogging to Krispy Kreme. 

Especially if you're trying to solve a problem like Adult Acne.

The bottom line is that you need to have top notch products for home use.  Your skin won't get clear without them.

If you’re on a budget, skincare products for home use is where you should really put your money. Facials are great! They're necessary for optimal skin health and functioning, but without effective products and a skincare routine at home, you just won’t be able to get the clear results that you want.  So, if you have to choose between products and facials, you really should focus on products.

So what does a facial do in the first place? A facial from a licensed esthetician basically does three things: 

Healthy Skin From Head To Toe: Part 3

Spring is finally here! And it took long enough... The warmer weather means shedding those clunky winter layers and letting your skin breathe! In this Healthy Skin series, I'll be talking about what you'll need in the coming months to protect your skin from head to toe. (This means a lot of sunscreen!)

You know about what ingredients and claims to look out for when buying SPF sunscreen and you now know how to apply it effectively (and when to reapply!), but what about the rest of your body?

Healthy Skin From Head To Toe: Part 2

Spring is finally here! And it took long enough... The warmer weather means shedding those clunky winter layers and letting your skin breathe! In this Healthy Skin series, I'll be talking about what you'll need in the coming months to protect your skin from head to toe. (This means a lot of sunscreen!)

I already touched base on what kinds of ingredients and claims to look out for in your SPF to make sure that you're getting the most protection out of your product, so now how do you actually apply it?

My clients often ask me, "How much sunscreen do you need for the face?" The answer is pretty simple.

Healthy Skin From Head To Toe: Part 1

Spring is finally here! And it took long enough... The warmer weather means shedding those clunky winter layers and letting your skin breathe! In this Healthy Skin series, I'll be talking about what you'll need in the coming months to protect your skin from head to toe. (This means a lot of sunscreen!)

First of all, you know that your body skin is not the same as the skin on your face. If you suffer from breakouts or have even slightly oily skin, most sunscreens just feel gross. The creams are either goopy or greasy and even the ones that say "oil-free" often don't feel so great.

The most important thing you need to know about sunscreen for the face is that for a long time manufacturers have thought consumers want to have moisturizer and sunscreen in one (since the sun has a slightly drying effect on certain skin types). This has caused way too many SPF moisturizers to be formulated as though everyone has super dry skin. Watch out for labels that talk too much about the cream having moisturizing qualities. What the skin really needs is water, not lubrication. 

The second thing to remember is sometimes the claim of "oil-free" can actually be a red flag.

Many base ingredients that are meant to replace oil are waxy substances that clog pores very badly.  Make sure your SPF brand is known for catering to sensitive skin and that the label says "non-comedogenic." Although "non-comedogenic" is an unregulated term, it's more likely that products from national brands will be formulated well enough to be able to back up that claim. If you like natural or organic brands, check in with a knowledgable Esthetician to make sure the ingredients are suitable for your skin type.

People email me all the time with ingredient lists, and what surprises them when I respond is that some ofthe most pore-clogging ingredients are natural, raw materials like cocoa butter and coconut oil. Both are known to be very pore-clogging. Shea Butter is another comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredient.

What Ingredients Really Matter In Your Skincare Products?

"I’ve read that it’s better to use 'all natural' products to treat acne because there are no chemicals.  Is it better to use all natural products or is it all hype?"

As an Esthetician who deals exclusively with acne and sensitivity, I'm asked this question a lot. You might think the answer is quite simple, but it really isn't. The problem is that acne cannot always be effectively addressed by ingredients that are typical of "all natural" skin care lines. In fact there are some "all natural" ingredients that can be horribly aggravating to acne. 

Getting Rid Of Ingrown Hair Irritation

I've covered the topics of body exfoliation, what to know before you get waxed, and how to treat and prevent body acne breakouts, but ingrown hairs can be persistent and frustrating to deal with if you don't know how to properly reduce them! Many of the same products and regimens used for breakouts on other areas of the body also apply in the case of ingrown hairs around the bikini line.  However, the blemishes that occur there are not always the same type for everyone.

Skincare Q&A: Ingrown Hair Madness

As an online esthetician, I spend many hours answering questions about adult acneingrown hair problems, rosacea, or general skin sensitivities. So! I thought that I would feature a skincare Q&A on my blog to address some of these issues.

There are some questions that are sent to me via email or through ChickRx, a site where anyone can ask questions that relate to various lifestyle topics and experts (like myself) can offer valuable advice or suggestions. If you have any questions that you would like to ask (or have featured on the blog), please don't hesitate to speak out in the comments below! If you would rather have a question be answered privately, I am always available by email.

This week's Skincare Q&A features concerns about how to treat and prevent ingrown hairs and dark spots along the bikini line right in time for the warmer weather.

What Causes Ingrown Hairs?

So you have the new swimsuit and are contemplating wearing it on that up-coming vacation... But, one thing you can't forget or ignore is the bikini line! 

Some people are more prone to ingrown hairs on the bikini line than others. What kind of ingrowns you get definitely makes a difference when it comes to how to get rid of them.

How do you get ingrown hairs?

Ingrown hairs are basically caused by three things: 

8 Facts About Wax

While I'm an Adult Acne and Rosacea Skincare Specialist, I also perform waxing services at my location in Chicago. Brazilian and bikini waxes are very popular at my facial and waxing studio, but over the years, I have actually realized that many women don't really know much about the waxing and hair growth process, even those who have been waxing for years! 

With winter coming to an end and many people looking forward to their sunny Spring Break vacations this month, you might want to take these waxing facts into consideration before your next appointment. And if you're new to waxing, these pointers will help you have a much more manageable appointment. 

Make sure to follow these tips for an easier (and less painful!) waxing experience.

        Your waxing cycle (and that other cycle)...

AcneWhispererTV: All About Body Exfoliation

With the winter season slipping away, you might find yourself with dry, rough skin, a case of Keratosis Pilaris, or even body acne! As spring gets closer and you shed the layers of thermal long-johns, socks, and the rest of your winter gear, you'll find yourself needing to shed all the dead skin-cells that have built up all winter long. 

In this AcneWhispererTV video, I'm going to explain just how you can properly exfoliate your body to get rid of that build-up and how to prevent KP or ingrown hairs!

Specific products mentioned:

All products mentioned in the video can be found in my webstore.

A Remedy For Rough Skin

As with dry skin or with adult acne and dehydration issues, learning how to deal with the rough skin and calluses on your body can really be a pain of trial and error during the winter months.

These rough conditions are actually designed to protect your skin from friction, pressure, and rubbing. It makes sense that the roughness would happen at the places that hold you up and help you keep your balance. The joints especially show signs of hard work -- your elbows, knuckles, knees, ankles, heels and the balls of your feet. However, despite the benefit, this roughness and dryness often feels like your skin has gone haywire and usually doesn't feel very comfortable.

AcneWhisperer TV: How to Better Apply Mineral Makeup

Ever find that the way that's shown at the store or on TV of how to apply mineral makeup leaves your skin feeling and looking cake-y? 

Let me let you in on a secret:

It's not at all necessary to apply mineral makeup like that! Watch the video below to see how I apply mineral makeup for a totally flawless and completely natural look. :)

Follow the Acne Whisperer on Bloglovin' and Share Blogging

Here at The Acne Whisperer blog, I love to reiterate that I'm available as your very own, personal online esthetician. This blog is where I can share information and insights about skincare concerns for adults with acne -- including info about non-comedogenic products, how stress and hormones relate to this skin condition and what can be done to treat this often embarrassing problem.  

With my online skincare consultation service, called the Eval by Email Online Skincare Consultation, I have found great success with guiding people all over the United States to better skin. If you're in your late-20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s and still suffer from Adult Acne, Rosacea, or general skin Sensitivities, you've found the right place! This blog, along with my website is where you can find out more about products that are suited to your skin type. 

I also want to let my readers know that in addition to giving advice on personalized skincare plans, I'm absolutely available for guest-posts for your own blogs. If you would like a question to be featured in one of my up-coming Skincare Q&A's, if you'd like me to answer a question for your own blog, or if you'd like to be included in my Blog Roll, please do not hesitate to reach out!

I can be contacted by email or through the various social media outlets listed on the right ---->

Another great way to follow me is at: The Acne Whisperer on Bloglovin.

Thank you so much for all of your support! I'm looking forward to a great year in blogging and meeting new people from around the country. :)