Dermatologist for Acne?

I don’t always post from other blogs but lately I have been hearing so many people talk about their experiences with a Dermatologist for acne. This post was written so well I didn’t think it was necessary to write my own.

WHY I REGRET GOING TO DERMATOLOGISTS FOR ACNE

It seemed so obvious at the time. My whole family is oily and acne prone. My siblings were both on Accutane. Dermatologists are seen as the first stop for acne problems. It was covered by insurance. After the Proactiv failure, it seemed like the next logical step.

What actually happened was a series of disappointing appointments. In each five to ten minute session, after hours in the waiting room, I was asked what skin care I was using (Blackhead Eliminating Scrub, nothing else), given a few expensive prescriptions, and sent to the pharmacist. When I told them I was getting cystic acne, they didn’t believe me because it was never present at the time of the appointments. I was never asked about my diet. I was never asked about my usual sun exposure, just vaguely told that the medications could make me more sun sensitive. I never had a proper skin analysis. I was never told what my skin type was (combination dry, not oily). I wasn’t asked how often I washed my pillowcase (not enough). I wasn’t asked whether I picked (I do).

At this point, I don’t even remember all of the different expensive medications they gave me over the years. I remember Benzoyl Peroxide, Differen, Tazorac, Retin-A, Cetaphil, and some sort of liquid blotter in a bottle. I know there were more. My skin only got worse when using any of them. I saw no decrease in acne and a sharp increase in redness, peeling, and shininess. I was mocked incessantly about how shiny my face was by the other students in elementary school. They were right- my giant forehead (fivehead) reflected like a mirror and was even more prominent than usual, something I was very self conscious about. .

The shine was a combination of raw skin and product buildup. The top layer of my forehead skin had peeled off early on and never seemed to grow back. I kept using the products, constantly hearing, “It has to get worse before it gets better.” Except it never got better. It got worse and worse and worse. My horrible tendency to pick at the flaking skin did not help at all, and I now have plenty of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This wasn’t at all helped by the 30 minutes of sun exposure at prime sun hours during recess every school day and full days on weekends. I was told to “avoid excess sun exposure,” which in my 11 year old brain meant “don’t lay out in the sun” which I didn’t do anyway. They did not make it clear to me that any sun exposure on my glow in the dark complexion was both counterproductive to my acne and would make every inflammation problem I was having far worse. Eventually I stopped using all of the prescriptions and just let them sit in a drawer untouched.

Don’t get me wrong- there are plenty of cases where dermatologists have helped dramatically. There are many that I’m sure do thorough consultations, many who truly help acne and rosacea cases. Accutane was very effective treating the deep cystic acne of my siblings. I have personally told many clients to see a dermatologist for suspicious spots, at least two of which have been diagnosed as skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma). Dermatologists help with diseases and cancer. They are indispensable.

However, as a nurse practitioner puts it, “Their product toolboxes are too small.” Beautification of skin is the entirety of what an Esthetician does. Appointments are generally an hour or more. A good Esthetician will ask in depth questions about a client’s routines, lifestyle, history and issues. Skin care routines will be recommended, adjusted, perfected. Treatments are done not only to beautify the skin but to calm the mind and body. The stress cycle will be explained and discussed. Exfoliation, extractions, and hydrating masks can be done to speed up the improvement of a new skin care routine.

Lauri Shea, LE

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Dry Hands from Washing Dishes?

As an Esthetician, my hands are in constant contact with ingredients like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid and more. These can be very drying to the hands but after about a year of trying to fight it, I finally figured out how to treat them daily to stop the flaking. Grape Seed Oil. I recommend it for the face (at night) and I use it all over my body so why shouldn’t I use it to deeply hydrate my hands? I love it and my hands have never been softer.

So imagine my surprise when I did dishes the other night (it took about 20 minutes) and my hands got extremely dry (immediately after) and then started flaking that night. How can 20 minutes of doing dishes cause that much dryness to my hands? I appreciate that the dish soap was strong enough to clean but doing this everyday cannot be good for the skin. People out there who are doing dishes everyday, multiple times a day, can be doing some damage and causing their hands to age quicker. And don’t forget, your hands give away your age!

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What can you do?

1. Keep a hand moisturizer (creme is even better) next to your sink and apply every single time.

2. At night, apply grape seed oil to your hands and then hand moisturizer/creme.

3. For deeper hydration: Apply a generous amount of grape seed oil and hand creme, put on gloves (socks, whatever you have) and let them sit for about 20 minutes.

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Breakdown of a Facial

Interested in getting a facial? Not sure what a facial from me entails? Below is what happens during a regular facial, not a specialty one. I’m breaking it down for you so you can get excited and come in!

1. Let’s talk. I always ask about your skin. What are your concerns and what would you like me to work on. What I see and what you see is not always the same and I want make sure that when you leave, I have addressed YOUR concerns.

2. Cleanse. I use a mild cleanser (steamer is now on) to remove dirt, oil and makeup. This is also when I can access your skin. By look and feel.

3. 2nd Cleanse. I use a stronger cleanser during this step to get the process of lifting dead skin and softening pores started. Sometimes I add a scrub to this step. It depends on what the skin needs.

4. Enzyme. I have a variety to choose from and I make my decision on which one to use based on what you need, want, lifestyle and weather. A stronger enzyme that contains some acids will not necessarily be used during the summer months. They are all effective and help exfoliate the skin. Steamer is turned off after this step.

Blueberry Enzyme
Blueberry Enzyme

5. Ultrasonic Spatula. I apply a gel or toner-type solution to the skin to help loosen the dead skin and using the spatula that is activated by ultrasonic sound waves (28,000 vibrations per second), it lifts the dry skin cells off the skin. At the same time, water is being pushed into the skin which allows the new cells to be hydrated. All you feel is a gentle vibration.

6. Hydrating Serum and Moisturizer. Each step prior has been about softening the skin and exfoliating. Once the steamer is turned off, the skin dries up and the pores goes back to normal. They aren’t changing size, they are just tightening, which makes extractions more difficult and painful. The serum keeps the skin hydrated and the moisturizer locks it in. This is a little secret that makes a tremendous difference! I don’t force extractions either. If they are ready, I will get them.

7. Mask. Since I apply two masks, this one is usually anti-bacterial and calming. Your skin can sometimes get a little red from extractions. This mask will calm it down.

8. 2nd Mask. Hydration. Everyone needs it. I have many different masks to choose from but they are all hydrating. Some brighten, whiten or even help with blemishes. I pick one that best suits your skin. During this mask you will get a light neck and shoulder massage.

9. It’s the end. Boo. :( Serum, Moisturizer and SPF. If it’s an evening facial, I will ask if you would like me to apply Grape Seed Oil to your skin instead of moisturizer since that is what I recommend for nighttime.

This facial is about you. We can talk as little or as much as you want. First-timers often take advantage and ask me a lot of questions. Some just want peace and quiet. It is your time.

When you leave my treatment room, you will have a glow. There are no signs of being tortured, even if you have acne! :)

 

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Breakouts in the Same Spot? Find Out Why

Does it seem like you always get a blemish in the same spot? There is a reason for this…

The pore may be damaged so it keeps getting re-infected. This is especially common for those who pick. (hint, hint) Picking blemishes loosens the lining of the cell and that causes the clogged oil to go deeper into the skin and that creates an inflammatory reaction.

If you use a drying spot treatment (toothpaste and most over-the-counter spot treatments) this will only dry out the surface infection of the skin. The bacteria is still lurking underneath and will eventually come to the surface again.

Glycolic Acid is a great prevention. For a blemish you have now and to properly get rid of it and kill the bacteria, try this

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This doesn’t happen very often but today and today only, 10% off the entire online store! Everything on the Pure Skin website is on sale. Stock up for back to school, end of summer or because you have been wanting to try these products.

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I LOVE all the products but these are the top 10 best selling items…

Konjac Sponge- Charcoal

Skin Script Sheer Protection, SPF 15

Grapeseed Oil

Beta Acid

Vita-C Serum

TGF-B Serum

Skin Script Light Aloe Moisturizer

Skin Script Cucumber Toner

Skin Script Green Tea Cleanser

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Love Your Skin and Hashtag It!

I’m sure you have all seen the phenomenon of #100happydays. It’s a pretty powerful and inspiring thing to do and it can really change your life. Forcing yourself to see the good in what you have, makes you realize that none of the stuff matters. It’s easy to be negative and think your life is falling apart.

After thinking about this for some time now, I have decided that I want to do this for skin. I listen to my clients tear themselves apart on a daily basis. What they see in the mirror is not what the world sees. We all have something we want to change and we all have our battles, but finding the good in things is important so we don’t lose perspective. Breakouts suck! I’m not taking that away from you, I’m just asking you to not focus on it.

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So, for 30 days, I want you to find something positive about your skin. Take a picture of yourself or of something relevant and make a short (or long) positive comment. If you love your right cheek on a Tuesday because it looks extra healthy, post that! It doesn’t matter how small you might think it is, it will do wonders for your soul and mind. Positive thinking is very strong and I believe this will help people.

Spread the word and invite others to do this with us. It will be fun. There is no specific start date but do it sooner rather than later. We can always find a reason for “tomorrow.”

How to do it…

1. Go on Instagram

2. Post a picture of your skin (or something positive) and make a happy comment on what you love about your skin that day.

3. Always include hashtag: #30dayshappyskin

4. Share with all of your friends and family

5. You can also add #psblounge or tag me @pureskinandbodylounge

 

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Share the Love

I love what I do and I want to share what I have learned over the years with everyone but I need your help! Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram…whatever you use for social media. Let your friends and family learn about skin too. I speak the truth and let you know what is really going on and how to keep your skin young and healthy.

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Thank you in advance! YOU allow me to do what I love!!

SKIN CARE BLOG

An Esthetician’s Point of View

You Asked. I Answered.

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Q. “The little white bumps on the scalp and forehead. You can’t pop, you can’t scratch them, they are hard little things.”

A. Without having more information and without seeing them, I will assume they are milia. This is the most common answer to this question. The good news is…they are very common and not harmful to the skin. The bad news…hard to get rid of naturally. They are formed on top of the skin and are often caused by products that are too heavy for the skin or when the product can’t penetrate (like the eye area where you have no pores). They happen when dead skin gets trapped under the skin’s surface. The best way to try to get rid of these is to exfoliate and hydrate. I recently got one and I was very diligent with those two steps and it was gone pretty quickly. They don’t always go away though and if they bother you then going to a Dermatologist is the next step. They can use lancets to extract them. Easy and pretty painless. (in some states, lancets can be used by Estheticians. California is not one of those states)

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Q. “After I get a cold sore (below my lip, between my lip and chin), I still have a lot of redness where it was over a month later. What can I do to get rid of the redness?”

A. This is actually a tough question with not necessarily an answer. Avoid picking the cold sore is priority #1! Just like a pimple, picking at it can prolong it and cause skin irritation long after it is gone. The best solution if picking isn’t your issue, is to hydrate the area. Medications (oral or topical) will dry out the skin because that is part of the healing process. It is drying out the bacteria to kill it. Therefore adding hydration to the skin is important to counteracting the side effects. So my advice is to keep it as hydrated as possible while you have it and obviously after it is gone. Grapeseed Oil is my favorite. Natural and non-irritating.

grape-seed-oil-6ozQ. “Is retinol the most powerful ingredient for wrinkle prevention? If not, what is?”

A. Retinol isn’t necessarily for prevention. It can be used that way but most use it to soften fine lines and wrinkles. (prescription retinol, like Retin-A is much stronger and can definitely be used for prevention…with side effects though!) Exfoliation, acids (like Glycolic), vitamin-C and SPF are your best bets. Along with regular facials, of course. Getting rid of dead skin is key. Using a scrub (or my favorite, the Konjac Sponge) helps get rid of the dead skin in a physical way. A Glycolic Acid (which is proven to be the best chemical exfoliant for wrinkles) is a great addition to your routine. Vitamin-C will brighten your skin and also help with protection from the sun (hyper-pigmentation!). And, we all know that SPF is the #1 way to prevent aging. Probably not the answer you wanted if you were looking for a miracle but I have always said that there is no miracle when it comes to skin care. (grape seed oil is the closest!)

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Q. “I’m getting age spots on my hands!”

A. Hands are often neglected and exposed to the sun A LOT! We wash them all throughout the day and usually don’t think to apply SPF to them. I recommend that every time you apply it to your face, rub it on your hands as well. Of course, that only lasts until you wash your hands again so keep some with you at all times. There are travel size bottle that are small enough to keep in your purse (not in your car, too hot!) Another way to help is to exfoliate and hydrate your hands properly. If you use a Glycolic Acid on your face, use it on your hands too. Along with serums and grape seed oil. All these things will probably not get rid of age spots (very, very difficult to do on anything below the face) but they will help prevent.

My favorite!
My favorite!

Q. “What is a good razor to use when shaving? I feel like sometimes my skin is irritated and sometimes it’s not.”

A. It’s not about the razor, it’s about your skin and what you use. The drier your skin is, the more irritated it will get. I always tell people to use hair conditioner (nothing expensive. I use Pantene) to shave. It hydrates as you shave and will leave your skin super soft. I’m also convinced that it gives you a closer shave. Exfoliating your skin prior to shaving is a good idea as well. When you get out of the shower, apply grape seed oil to lock in that moisture. These steps should really help with the irritation. This is great for men who shave their chest too!

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