Category Archives: Skin Care & Treating Acne

Hydrate Versus Moisturize: What’s The Difference?

When we hear the words ‘hydrate’ and ‘moisturize’ most people tend to think that the two terms are interchangeable.  This would be incorrect.

A hydrating product is something that helps to increase the moisture/water content of the skin. Hydrating products tend to be in a water-based formula such as PRIIA’s Hydrating Skin Spritz or a gel-type of product such as Face Reality’s Hydrabalance.

A moisturizer is a product that helps hold moisture/water already in the skin and prevents this moisture from leaving the skin which is called TEWL (transepidermal water loss). Moisturizing products tend to be in a more emollient formula such as Face Reality’s Clearderma moisturizing creme or DermaTruth’s gel/creme antioxidant moisturizer.

Which skin type for which product?

Well, I think both are great for all skin types!  Use a hydrating product product FIRST and then seal in that moisture with an actual moisturizer!  Just make sure they are acne-safe if you’re an acne-prone individual. (the products mentioned in this post are all acne-safe)

 

 

Swimming and Acne: What’s the Connection?

I just love a nice dip in the pool. It clears my mind and I feel so refreshed when I’m swimming. Unfortunately, my skin doesn’t like the pool.  I breakout.  Maybe you do too. Here’s why there’s a direct correlation between swimming and acne breakouts.

Pools have to be disinfected in order to not be a public health hazard.  Unfortunately, those disinfectants are made up of chlorine and iodides.  Both of these materials are known irritants for acne-prone skin.  The same is true for salt water pools- the sodium chloride is an acne-aggravator.

Does this mean you should avoid swimming at all costs if you have acne? No.

This may sound strange but apply a very thin layer of Vaseline to your face (and body if you have body acne) before going into the pool.  The thin coating of Vaseline will act as an occlusive barrier to the pool’s chemical disinfectants. Despite what you may have read on the Internet, Vaseline will NOT clog your skin- it is non-comedogenic.  The molecule is simply too large to penetrate the pores.

Don’t want to use Vaseline on your face? Consider using PRIIA’s Acne-Safe Lip Treatment Balm. It will do the same thing as Vaseline: it will create an an occlusive barrier protecting your skin from those acne aggravating chemicals PLUS it has some pretty great skin soothing ingredients in it as well. 

After swimming, don’t forget to shower immediately! Use our acne-safe makeup remover first to breakdown the Vaseline or balm and then use a skin type appropriate cleanser to thoroughly cleanse the face and body.

Acne Cosmetica: Breakouts From Makeup

If you’re an acne-prone individual, you need to be careful with the cosmetic products you’re using as many contain hidden pore clogging ingredients.  When you breakout from makeup, this is a condition known as ACNE COSMETICA.

The most frustrating part about Acne Cosmetica is that you may be using products that say: “won’t clog your pores”, “hypoallergenic” or “oil-free” yet they are actually what’s causing your breakouts or making your existing acne worse.

Another frustration many acne sufferers experience is that the products they’re using may have been orginally safe for acne but now the formula has changed and it’s comedogenic.  There is no way to know if a formula has changed unless you check the ingredient decks with every purchase. Let’s be honest- most consumers don’t check ingredient labels with the FIRST purchase nevermind with subsequent purchases. Plus, the large cosmetics manufacturers CONSTANTLY change their formulas.  At the end of the day, the acne-prone consumer is left feeling confused, frustrated and defeated when breakouts occur and yet they haven’t changed anything within their routine.

What should you do?  BE YOUR OWN ACNE ADVOCATE.

But how do you become your own advocate to avoid Acne Cosmetica?  Use PRIIA’s PORE CLOGGERS LIST to check your products’ ingredient decks.  In all honesty, this is an arduous task and this list is by no means the “be all end all” of pore clogging ingredients but it’s a good start. Your best bet?  Switch out your cosmetics to our line, PRIIA minerale-derm.  Our formulas are not only 100% acne-safe but they’re also beneficial to acne-prone skin.  They are non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic which means they won’t clog your pores OR contribute to acne breakouts. Our products have helped thousands of acne sufferers.  Give us try today.  It’s a step in the right direction on the path to having clear skin!

#prettyinpriia

Acne Mechanica: Breakouts From Working Out?

Do you play sports?  Do you exercise?  Are you wearing sports and exercise clothing and equipment?  Have you noticed that you’re experiencing breakouts happening where your sports bra or helmet touches?  If you answered “yes”, you are experiencing something called ACNE MECHANICA.

When you’re working out or playing sports, pores that are clogged are being subjected to pressure and friction from your clothing and/or workout gear. The debris and bacteria trapped inside the pores will then erupt into a papule or pustule. Sweating during your activities and not washing it off afterwards also aggravates the follicles which can lead to breakouts.

So, what are you supposed to do?  Stop working out? Stop playing your favorite sports activities? NO. You need to prevent the pores from being clogged in the first place. First things first: Immediately shower off after your activity using a non-comedogenic cleanser for the face and body such as the Ultra Gentle Cleanser.  Then, apply an exfoliant such as Mandelic Serum or Salicylic Serum to keep the dead skin cells from building up. Lastly, use a Benzoyl Peroxide acne medication to kill the bacteria inside the pores so pimples don’t have the opportunity to form. Acne Mechanica is preventable.

PS! Don’t forget to put on some loose fitting clothing after showering- nothing too tight on your body AND becareful- wear white clothing when using Benzoyl Peroxide as it will bleach fabric.

When you know how to properly cleanse pre and post workout/sports, you won’t need to choose between having clear skin or being physically active.  You can have the best of both worlds!

Supplements: Good Choices for Acne-Prone Skin

The following supplements have been found to be useful in aiding your recovery from acne; especially inflamed and cystic acne.

Zinc Monomethionine

This form of zinc is the most bio-available form that acts directly as an anti-inflammatory. Many people with acne have low levels of zinc in their body. Supplementing with zinc has been shown to reduce the severity of cysts and inflamed lesions.  OptiZinc is the brand we recommend.

Important Information about Zinc: These supplements can upset your stomach. To prevent nausea, always take OptiZinc with food. Zinc is an essential trace element for humans and there is evidence that it is similar to antibiotics in improving the condition of inflamed acne. The effective dosage is not clear. However, most studies indicate 50-100mg (The OptiZinc tablet has 30MG). We advise you to not take any more than 100mg because excessive zinc may lead to deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals. One of the reasons that we like OptiZinc is that it contains copper and copper is one of the minerals that can be depleted by taking zinc supplements. We are also recommending that you discontinue taking the zinc once you are completely clear. We are not recommending this as a preventative.

Omega 3 Fish Oils

Fish oil is a great anti-inflammatory and helps to alter sebum production; HOWEVER, only if it’s molecularly distilled or pharmaceutical grade. Unfortunately, many fish oil supplements are oxidized which actually creates more inflammation.

Instructions for taking fish oil capsules for your acne: Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that many of us who suffer from chronic inflammatory acne may benefit from taking relatively higher doses (1000-1700mg) of purified omega- 3 oils present mostly in wild ocean fish such as salmon, mackerel, cod and herring. Omega-3 oils are anti-inflammatory and the body utilizes them in many ways. Of particular relevance to acne sufferers, they may help regulate hormones and in addition help to shorten the intensity of your breakout.
*Please note: Although there is no known toxicity associated with using fish oils over long term, you should check with your physician particularly if you have a chronic underlying illness or are pregnant. The fish oil capsules we recommend are OmegaVia and are of therapeutic quality and are enteric coated to help assimilate the omega-3‘s in the most efficient way possible. In addition they are formulated not to have a fishy after taste and are guaranteed burp free. Consider taking 1 capsule/2 capsules with the lightest meal of the day.

Probiotics

These are good bacteria that colonize the digestive tract and the skin. They can help people who have been on long-term antibiotics (both oral and topical). These good bacteria compete with the pathogenic bacteria and can help improve the incidence of breakouts.  A good over-the-counter brand is Align Probiotics.

*The above article is intended for information purposes only and should not be construed as or substituted for medical advice.  Always check with your physician before taking any supplements. 

*information source: Face Reality

Wash Your Face Pre and Post Workout!

Getting in daily exercise is important for overall health and well-being.  An important skin care tip to remember is to wash your face both pre and post workout.

If you’re someone who works out in the morning, you definitely want to wash your face BEFORE exercising.  I know you’re probably thinking, “What’s the point? I’m going to have to wash my face again as soon as I’m done.”  Yes, you are correct about washing your face after you exercise but allow me to explain why you should also cleanse your skin BEFORE you work out…

If you’ve used any type of ‘active’ products on your skin the night before such as retinoids (Vitamin A), alpha hydroxy/ beta hydroxy acids (lactic, glycolic, salicylic, mandelic serums), prescription skin care or acne medications such as benzoyl peroxide, then they need to be rinsed off of your skin prior to working out.  Why?  When you sweat, it will mix with these products which can cause redness, irritation and dryness which leads to inflammation.  Sweat can also mix with sebum (facial oil) which leads to clogged pores. It takes just a minute or two to wash up before working out.  Do it.

After your workout, you need to wash your face to cleanse away sweat and bacteria to prevent your pores from getting clogged.  Do this within 15 minutes or so of completing your workout. Leaving sweat on your face after exercising can cause irritation and dehydration because sweat contains salt. If you’re short on time, you can use a baby wipe to quickly remove sweat and then rinse your face with some tepid water. But, make sure you do a proper face cleanse as soon possible.  Baby wipes are only to be used in a pinch and make sure they are acne-safe and fragrance free!  The one I recommend is Kirkland brand which is available at Costco.

Last but certainly not least, after washing your face remember to use your toner and moisturizer as well as SPF (if during the day).

Coming soon to PRIIA is Face Reality Skin Care!  You’ll be able to pack acne-safe skin care products in your gym bag to keep your skin clear and healthy!

Acne Safe Foods

In our last post, we discussed the top foods that aggravate acne and those are: iodides and foods containing high amounts of androgens, such as peanut butter.  In today’s article, we will discuss which foods are acne safe and better choices for overall health.

It’s understandable that you may feel a bit frustrated after looking over the list of foods that should be eliminated or reduced if you have acne.  Don’t despair!  There are some really wonderful substitutes for you to begin enjoying right now.

Instead of using iodized salt, use Sea Salt, Uniodized salt or Celtic Salt.  My favorite salt brand is Redmond’s Real Sea Salt.  Substitute cow’s milk with unsweetened almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk or rice milk.  *Be aware that some Almond Milk brands contain Carrageenan ( a seaweed derivitive used as a thicknener) which is a NO NO.  Always read the ingredient labels carefully! My favorite safe choice is Silk’s Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew milk.

If you enjoy fish, opt for fresh water varieties such as bass, trout and catfish.  If you like cheese, try a nut cheese instead.  For protein shakes, avoid whey and instead opt for pea protein, egg white powder and hemp.  Still check the ingredient labels though because sometimes manufacturers will add iodides and biotin.  A safe choice for protein shakes is: Vega Sport Performance and also Perfect Fit.

Stay away from the peanut butter and choose acne-safe nut butters such as Almond, Cashew, etc. My favorite non-gritty creamy smooth Almond butter is called ‘Barney Butter’.  It’s delicious!

For cooking & salad oils, swap out the peanut, canola and corn oil for extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter (Kerry Gold brand), coconut oil and avocado oil.  The best olive oil is California Olive Ranch brand.  It’s 100% real extra virgin olive oil.  Most olive oils on the market are actually cut with canola oil, soybean oil and rapeseed oil- all of which are high in Omega 6’s and are very inflammatory!

It’s a really good idea to look at your diet and cut way down on wheat and processed foods in general. These types of foods cause a lot of inflammation in the body and negatively affect good gut bacteria. Instead, enjoy more fresh veggies and some fruits.  Fruits are high in natural sugars, so you’ll want to consume fruit in moderation so you don’t raise your blood sugar levels too high.

In general, a low-glycemic diet with fresh organic vegetables, organic/grass fed meats & butter (or other safe protein choices if you’re Vegan) along with reducing (or eliminating acne trigger foods) is always a safe bet for better skin health and overall well-being.

*the information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your physician before starting any new diet/food plan.

The Top Foods That Aggravate Acne

Many individuals with acne don’t even think to consider that the foods they eat may be contributing to their breakouts.  In actuality, what you consume plays a huge role in how your skin behaves- good or bad.

The biggest nutritional culprits for triggering acne breakouts are iodides (and foods that contain them) and foods that are high in androgens.  Iodides irritate the follicle lining prompting inflammation resulting in breakouts to occur. Androgens stimulate the hormone testoterone which signals the sebaceous (oil) glands to start working overtime.  More inflammation + more oil = more acne.

If you are acne-prone, you should consider reducing the following in your diet:

IODIDES
-Iodized salt
-Milk (including organic and especially nonfat)
-Cheese
-Whey or Soy protein shakes and bars
-Soy (tofu, soy milk, tempeh, edamame, soy sauce)
-Seafood, Shellfish (shrimp, scallops, cod, lobster, etc.)
-Spirulina, Chlorella, Blue-Green Algae (found commonly in Green Drinks)
-Kelp, Miso Soup, Seaweed, Carrageenan, Seaweed Supplements
-Vitamins with iodides, kelp, potassium iodide, Vitamins B12 & B7 (biotin)

ANDROGENS
-Peanuts, Peanut Butter (peanuts are also very inflammatory besides being high in androgens)
-Peanut Oil, Corn Oil, Canola Oil
-Shellfish
-Organ Meats including pate

 

 

In looking at these lists you may be wondering, “Well what CAN I eat???”  First, take a deep breath.  You don’t have to cut out these foods entirely.  However, if you have acne you should consider significantly reducing the intake of these foods in your diet.

In my next blog post, I will share which foods you can use as substitutes for those high in iodides and angrogens.  Until then, try to begin reducing some of the acne triggers foods listed above.

 

Oily Skin Part II: What Can You Do About It?

oily skinIn last week’s article, you learned what facial oil is and I discussed what the causes of oily skin are.  Today we’ll find out if there’s anything we can do about oily skin and what are the best ways to manage it.

First and foremost, you can’t stop your skin from producing oil. Short of taking a prescription drug like Accutane, you can’t just shut off your sebaceous glands.  However, you can get your oil production under control.  Here’s a few simple tips:

  1. Get hydrated!  Yes, drinking water is important to overall health but it’s not enough to keep your skin hydrated. You MUST use a hydrating product that’s going to draw moisture to the skin. Look for ones that contain Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid).  This ingredient is like a tall glass of water for your skin.  My favorite is HydraBalance by Face Reality Acne Clinic. Just like the name says, it HYDRATES and it BALANCES.  I just LOVE this stuff!
  2. Start using the correct products for your skin type.  Steer clear of products that are too harsh and that can strip away the lipid barrier of the epidermis (top layer of skin).  Likewise, don’t OVERUSE your skin care products.  Washing your face twenty times per day isn’t going to get rid of the oil; it just compounds the problem.  Oh and when you do wash your face, use TEPID water only.  Water that’s too hot will leach moisture right out of your skin!
  3. If it all possible, get a home humidifier installed to run during the cold months of the year. Dry indoor heating is horrible!  It dehydrates the skin.  If a home humidifier is too expensive, consider getting a small unit that you can run at night while you’re sleeping.  A good brand is Honeywell.  Just be sure to change the filter often enough to prevent mold & bacteria growth!
  4. Don’t even think about using oil as a moisturizer.  I hate to break this to you but oils DO NOT moisturize the skin.  They only create a barrier that helps to prevent TEWL (transepidermal water loss).  Hydrate your skin first with a water-based moisturizer and then you can use an emollient-type of product on top to seal in that moisture.  My favorite is Clearderma by Face Reality Acne Clinic.  I put their HydraBalance on first and then I put on a light layer of Clearderma. Voila!  Instantly plumped and hydrated skin. Me likey.
  5. I can’t believe I even have to say this but…STOP TANNING!  It’s bad for you and your skin. Enough said.
  6. Lastly, consider using an acne-safe oil-control product such as PRIIA’s HydraPrime oil-control powder BEFORE and AFTER foundation application.  It’s specially formulated to absorb excess facial without over-drying the skin and it’s translucent so it won’t interfere with other makeup colors.  Customers have reported that it helps keep the shine away for 6, 7 and even 8+ hours.  *Before applying any makeup products, make sure you’ve let your moisturizer/SPF absorb into the skin.  This means you’ll need to wait about 10-15 minutes.  I’m sure you can think of something to do such as brushing your teeth, putting on your undies or checking your FaceBook and Instagram feeds…

Hey Kelley, what about those oil-blotting papers?  Should I be using these?oily skin blotting papers

Oh I have a love/hate relationship with oil-blotting papers. Why?  Because they’re expensive!  Plus, I’ve seen a few that contain ingredients (besides just paper) that can be a problem for acne-prone skin.  Not to mention I’ve seen gals literally pressing these things into their faces.  You don’t want to do this!  Why? Because your face collects dust, debris and environmental pollution throughout the day.  Pressing a piece of paper into your skin may collect some oil but at the same time you’re forcing all of that gunk into your pores and asking for an acne breakout. Ick.  Instead do this:

  • Save yourself some $$$ and grab a few toilet protector sheets the next time you visit the ladies room.  Don’t be embarrassed!  They’re there for you to use.  There are no rules as to how you use them, right? Cut them up into small squares and carry them in your purse.  Voila!  Oil absorbing sheets for free!
  • When you want to absorb some excess shine, GENTLY lay one of the sheets onto your oily spots and let the paper do the job of absorbing the oil.  DO NOT PRESS it into your skin. When done, throw it out.
  • Lastly, mist a few pumps of PRIIA’s Hydrating Spritz on our Deluxe Powder Buffer Brush and lightly sweep across your face to refresh your makeup and give some extra hydration to your skin.  *Optionally, you can dust on a little extra HydraPrime to help absorb oil throughout the rest of the day.

I hope you enjoyed these tips!  Please feel free to share this post with anyone you know who’s dealing with oily skin! 

Oily Skin: What Are The Causes?

oily skin confusedOily skin.  It’s a love/hate relationship.  For those of us who have oily skin, we love it because we show less aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Yay!  But we hate it for the inevitable shine breakthrough, enlarged pores and more often than not, acne breakouts. Boo.

What is facial oil?

The technical term is: sebum.  Sebum is a material comprised of fatty materials secreted by the skindiagramsebaceous glands.  Sebum’s function is to protect the outermost layer of skin known as the epidermis against dehydration and bacterial invasion.

What actually causes oily skin?

  1. It’s a genetic thing.  If oily skin runs in the family, you’re more likely to also have it.  Thanks Mom and Dad.
  2. As the seasons change, so does our skin.  In the heat and humidity, oily skin can go into overdrive.  Likewise, in the cold months oily skin can become dehydrated from indoor heating which also ramps up oil production.
  3. Using products that are too harsh for your skin (i.e. alcohol-based toners).  If you strip away your skin’s natural lipid barrier, guess what?  It’s going to work overtime (by producing more oil) to replenish itself.
  4. Just like using incorrect products, over using the correct products is just as bad.  No matter how much you try to wash, rub and scrub the oil away, it will come back and sometimes with a vengeance.  Put away those wash cloths, facial scrubbers and any other “power tools” you’re using to banish the oil.  As with anything in life, the key is finding balance.
  5. Medications can cause havoc for those with oily skin; especially hormonal medications such as birth control and hormone replacement therapy drugs.  Basically ANY medication can cause dehydration in the skin which will cause oil glands to kick into gear.
  6. Ultraviolet exposure (a.k.a. sun tanning, tanning beds).  Tsk Tsk.  Please tell me you’re not doing this!  Besides the obvious increased risk of developing skin cancer, sun exposure through sun burns and tanning (natural or artificial) sends a signal to the body that there’s a need for damage control.  Can you guess what happens next?  Yep.  Oil glands to the rescue!
  7. Too hot!  As in you’re showering, bathing and washing your skin with water that’s too hot.  Hot water literally strips away moisture from the skin causing TEWL (transepidermal water loss) which leads to dehydration.  Dehydration = oil glands working some serious overtime to compensate for the water loss, even though water and ‘oil’ are two different things.
  8. Hormones & Stress.  Ugh.  When hormones fluctuate and stress is high, oily skin can go nuts.  Literally.  A rise in androgen hormone levels (i.e. puberty, pregnancy, peri/pre menopause, as well diet) will cause oil glands to secrete an over-abundance of sebum.

In my next article I’ll discuss how you can bring balance to oily skin in just a few easy steps.  Stay tuned!