Tag Archives: pores

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 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!

Silicones: Do They Clog Your Pores?

siliconesSilicones.  They’re either loved or hated. They’ve been demonized and they’ve been praised. Most notably, they’ve been accused of being comedogenic; meaning that they will clog your pores leading to acne breakouts. But is this true?  Today we will separate fact from fiction and learn the truth about silicones and their role in the beauty and skin care industry.

Fact Versus Fiction:

Silicones are class of chemicals known as ‘polymers’. Two basic elements make up silicones: silicon and oxygen, chemically written as SiO.  Silicon is 14th on the periodic table and is the 2nd most abundant element on earth.

Silicones DO NOT clog pores or enter the bloodstream via cosmetics, nor do they bioaccumulate in humans and animals.  The molecule is too large to enter the pore just as in the case of petroleum jelly and is too large to pass through the cell membrane (necessary for bioaccumulation to occur).  However, silicones can INCREASE the penetration of other ingredients in a formula and if these other ingredients are pore cloggers and irritants, then those are the culprits for breakouts, NOT the silicone(s).  On the flip side, if a formula contains non-comedogenic ingredients that are extremely beneficial to the skin, silicones will help to penetrate them and this is excellent news. Time and time again, silicones in studies have been shown to actually INCREASE the healing of acne lesions and DECREASE the occurence of acne scarring.  Silicones also lessen the time it takes for wounds to heal.

Silicones are non-irritating, non-sensitizing and they are extremely resistant to oxidation (they won’t go rancid). They are hostile towards microbial and bacterial growth which makes them an excellent wound-healing agent. Silicones are non-allergenic as well-they do not react with the body’s immune system. They are now being used as a replacement for latex (a very allergenic substance) in a wide variety of applications and are also used in treating Atopic Dermatitis and Eczema.

Another rumour circulating via internet pseudo science is that silicones ‘act as a plastic wrap’ and do not allow the skin to breathe. Absolutely false.  Silicones do NOT suffocate the skin trapping bacteria and sweat, as most people have been led to believe via internet scare-mongering and fear tactics. Silicones actually allow for oxygen, nitrogen and water vapors to pass freely, also known as a ‘vapor permeable’ barrier.  What silicones DO do is to prevent TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss): a leading cause of dry and dehydrated skin.  The skin barrier is protected when silicones are applied topically.  Protecting the stratum corneum is critical to skin health.

Silicones do NOT trap sebum (facial oil).  They actually help to absorb excess oil and produce a mattifying effect to the skin.  Silicones can blur the look of fine lines and enlarged pores. This is highly desirable amongst cosmetics users who have oily skin, large pores and are frustrated by oily breakthrough and their makeup not lasting throughout the day.

Silicones ARE biodegradable.  They are not clogging up our environment, such as in the case of plastics.  Silicones will break down into water, silicic acid and carbon dioxide.  Low molecular weight silicones such as Cyclopentasiloxane will break down faster than higher weight silicones such as Dimethicone.  Nonetheless, ALL silicones biodegrade and studies have proven that no adverse effects were discovered to soil micororganisims or plant life that was treated with soil containing high levels of silicones.

As you can clearly see, silicones in the use of cosmetics have gotten a bad rap, and for no good reason and without a shred of scientific proof. Those individuals demonizing silicones are simply uninformed and they continue to perpetuate false rumours which only confuses consumers.

The bottom line is this:

  • Silicones are non-comedogenic & non-acnegenic.  They DO NOT clog pores  OR cause acne breakouts.
  • Silicones are non-irritating & non-sensitizing.
  • Silicones are non-allergenic. They DO NOT cause allergic reactions.
  • Silicones ARE breathable.
  • Silicones are biodegradable.

References:
1. http://www.educatedtherapists.com/dimethicone-in-skin-care-separating-fact-from-fiction/ 

2. http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/ingredients/12-Silicone-Myths-Exploded-269445911.html