Oily Skin, Adult Acne & Hydration

"My oily skin has been really tight and dry lately. I'm using a thick moisturizer at night, but I just can't seem to get relief. I also think I'm breaking out more than usual because of the moisturizer, but I don't know what else to do. ...Am I using the wrong products?"
Simply put -- the key to this issue is hydration. Most moisturizers lubricate the skin more than they actually bind water to the skin's surface -- this is great for skin that doesn't produce enough oil, but it's actually terrible for skin that produces too much oil. 

Oily skin doesn't need more oil! What it actually needs is water.

The Workout Breakout Connection

It seems as though every blog and website on the planet is talking about New Year's exercise resolutions right now... While keeping up with healthy habits is very crucial, it's also important to not neglect your skin! It's still early in the year and we're all reevaluating our habits and/or making resolutions, but I also wanted to make sure to catch you at this time to help with preventing the acne breakouts that can result from new workout schedules.

Adult acne flareups that occur when working out can actually come from several factors, such as: not using the right skincare products for your skin type or skin concerns, wiping sweat away with the wrong materials, or not knowing when to fit in your skincare routine between workout sessions!  To help clear things up :), here are a few things to keep in mind:

Winter Skin: Why Sunscreen Is Essential

Think you don't need sunscreen in the winter?

Consider these facts:
  • On an overcast day that is bright rather than dreary, the sun will be reflected through the clouds in just as damaging a way as on a perfectly sunny day.
  • On a clear sunny day with snow on the ground, the sun will reflect off of the snow and damage your skin.
  • Experts are finding out that there are different types of light rays coming towards our skin from all types of indoor lighting, which can contribute to skin aging in small ways. Fortunately, broad-spectrum sunscreens can filter these harmful rays - it's always better to be safe than sorry.
  • Sun damage is cumulative - most of us already have substantial sun damage from childhood and adolescence. Sun exposure on a clear day can contribute to that damage over time, especially when it's 5 minutes here or 10 minutes there either walking to a store or to our cars. Don't let cold temps, hats, and scarves make you think that you don't need sun protection!

Skincare Q&A: Eye Creams

As an online esthetician, I spend a great deal of my time 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 getting a head start on anti-aging products, including what role eye cream plays in your skincare routine.

"I'm 28 years old, and I don't have any wrinkles yet, but when should I start using anti-aging eye cream?"

I'll tell you a secret about eye cream... If you don't already have fine lines or dryness around your eye area, eye creams are a complete gimmick when it comes to preventative skincare.

Adult Acne in the Presence of Dehydration: Part 2

In Part One, I discussed how dehydrated skin can contribute to adult acne breakouts and blackheads. Blackheads, also known as “open comedones,” are made of a mixture of oil and dead skin-cells.  

Within the area known as the "t-zone” they're not only normal, but blackheads are actually beneficial! The oil of your skin is slightly acidic, which kills a lot of bacteria that hit your skin from the air - more oil in the t-zone means protection for your eyes, nose and mouth from bacterial invasion. The mix of dead skin cells makes this all stay in place, as oil and dead skin cells that are not mixed together also come out to the surface.  

Over time, this mix exchanges itself as cell turnover and constant release of oil get pushed out of your pores every day onto the surface of your skin joining other substances your skin makes to provide your skin’s entire protective barrier known as the “Acid Mantle”.

But what if this mix has difficulty coming out? What if blackheads keep building up more and more inside the pore? What if the separate oils and dead skin cells also can’t come out?

Adult Acne in the Presence of Dehydration: Part 1

As an online Esthetician and a virtual skincare coach through my Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation program, I don’t often get a chance to feel the skin of a client. But that doesn’t mean I can’t see what’s going on! Even without the use of a magnifying lamp - you’d be surprised what can be seen in a good web or phone cam photo. 

Since I have over 17 years’ experience giving facials I know very well what dehydrated skin is like, what it feels like, what it looks like, and what causes it to occur. 

In cases of Adult Acne and Sensitivity, which are my specialized focus, dehydrated skin appears in the vast majority of my clients. If it seems like a contradiction - acne in the presence of dehydration - remember that there is a difference between having “dry” skin that doesn’t produce enough oil and having dehydrated skin where there is plenty of oil but too much water loss

If you have large (or large-ish) pores and acne, you don’t lack oil by any means. The last thing you need is more oil. On the other hand if you remove too much oil from the surface of your skin, you can have a bear of a problem. In fact, most of the time when acne and/or oiliness occurs with dehydration, the culprit is usually harsh cleanser since it can strip away a great deal of your skin's protective barrier, which then creates more water loss while causing the skin to produce more oil to rebalance its acidity level.  

The condition of your skin can get even worse with damage accumulated through simple living creating more problems for the age 30+ acne sufferer, whose been plagued with acne products treating skin like it’s 16 and anti-aging products treating skin like it’s genetically dry and clogging it up! I’m not here to talk about how to tell if your skin is actually dry or just dehydrated. Nor am I here to talk about how to deal with a dehydration problem.  

What I am here to talk about is the role that dehydration can play in the formation of adult acne.