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.

Updated 8-31-17  I originally posted this 3 years ago and I still hear the same things from clients. Learning HOW to take care of your skin and using the right products for YOUR skin is what is best. No matter what.

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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Product Review- Eye Cream

Updated: August 2017

I don’t always recommend an eye cream to my clients because I make sure they use the right serums for their skin and I know those will get to the eye area and do their job. It doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing to use one, just isn’t always necessary, in my opinion. I stopped using one about 4 years ago.

For those that do want one then I always recommend the Le Mieux Eye Wrinkle Corrector. It’s great for daytime use and can help hydrate and firm the eye area.

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A unique bio-cellular complex with hydrating ingredients and fortified with a resurfacing complex, vital amino acids and proteins necessary for the optimum production of collagen and elastin. Powerful dermal fibroblast activators result in accelerated skin renewal, reinforced essential elasticity, diminished appearance of fine lines, lessened intensity of dark circles and reduction of eye puffiness. When applied daily, long-term benefits to the delicate dermal matrix become apparent as the damage from the sun, stress, fatigue and the natural aging process visibly lessen.

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Beware of DIY Treatments

I have blogged about DIY masks and scrubs and warned about the damage they can do to the skin. Now, my amazing skin care line, Skin Script, has written something about it too. I love that they support Estheticians as much as they do! There really is a difference in what you can do at home vs what we can do in the treatment room. Although I do recommend home masks and scrubs from time to time, they in now way replace a good facial or a professional product.

Here is what Skin Script had to say…

The DIY (do-it-yourself) craze has taken the internet by storm, thanks to popular blogs and websites such as Pinterest. With many at homemade concoctions for everything from nail polish remover to peel-away face masks, we decided to compare these at home treatments to professional treatments:

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1) Quality Ingredients: DIY home recipes call for easily accessible ingredients that can be found around your home or at a grocery store. For example, fruit acids (such those found in lemons) can actually burn your skin if used incorrectly. Table sugar, salt and even oatmeal can scratch the skin due to sharp edges, causing skin irritation and redness. Professional ingredients are pH balanced and modified so your skin cells will accept the ingredients. Skin Script products are “chirally correct” meaning they are accepted by the skin without irritation and will penetrate further than a DIY avocado/mayonnaise mask would.

2) Tools: Extractions with straight pins, “steaming” your face with a pot of boiling water, or using kitty litter as an at-home microdermabrasion treatment (yikes!) can cause serious harm to your skin. Your Esthetician is trained to use tools (such as extractors, steamers and modalities) in a safe, sanitary and effective way.

3) Experience: Attempting to correct skin issues such as acne, pigmentation, rosacea or wrinkles with at home “kitchen ingredients” is not as effective as the combination of an appropriate homecare regimen and regular treatments with a licensed Esthetician. Your Esthetician is trained to properly recommend treatments and homecare to help you achieve your skin care goals.

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Beta Acid- Get Rid of Acne!

The American Academy of Dermatology currently recognizes Salicylic Acid (Beta Acid) as one of the most effective agents available for acne skin by significantly reducing build up of dead skin cells through a gentle exfoliation process. Beta Acid used in conjunction with Le Mieux patent pending ingredient is a potent tool to achieve dramatic clearing of acne lesions and prevent changes within the follicle associated with the acne process.

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Are you having trouble with breakouts? Most topical treatments only work on the surface, temporarily getting rid of the problem. You need something that will get under the skin and kill the bacteria and infection so it goes away for good! And, it’s oil soluble, meaning it can dissolve into oil-clogged pores to remove buildup. I love this product because it is effective and easy to use. Great for cystic acne too!

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Cleansing Towelettes- What I Really Think!

Updated: July 2017

I get asked about these all the time and I know these are quite popular especially for those of you that have late nights. They are easier and at least you aren’t going to bed with makeup and your whole day on your face, right? Wrong. Kind of. 🙂

For the most part, I would prefer you not to use these. There are so many varieties and most are not good for your skin. I simply cannot try every towelette and read all the ingredients to determine which are acceptable and which are not. However, I will give you a couple to use and some to absolutely stay away from completely.

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A lot of these contain alcohol so they are super drying to the skin. Then you have the ones that have a lot of fragrance and that can irritate the skin and since you are not washing after, the ones that can be hydrating may leave a film on your skin.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, I would run from these towelettes. I haven’t seen any that are good for your skin types yet. In fact, the only skin type that can really tolerate these, generally speaking, are those with dry skin. As always, there are exceptions to the rules but do you want to find out if you are that exception? You only have 1 face! The more you irritate it, even if you don’t see it now, can cause damage down the road and make you age faster. Now I know you don’t want that!!

That being said, here are my recommendations, as promised, for the good and the bad towelettes…

Good– Neutrogena has 2-  Night Calming and Hydrating Towelettes; most brands that are for dry skin will probably be ok because they will have way less alcohol and fragrance in them. This is still not a recommendation to use.

Bad– Olay Facial Cloths for Combination/Oily; as I said above, most brands for oily and acne-prone skin will not be good for the skin. Avoid!

Cleansing your face properly is the best way to keep your skin clean, postpone aging and stay hydrated. If you find yourself using these, try to keep it to “every once in a while, only when you need to” situations. Your skin will thank you! (and you’ll thank me when all you friends are jealous of how great you look! 😉 )

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Your Personal Skin Care Prescription

Are you frustrated with your skin? Do you want to try something but afraid to spend the money and not get the results? Once consultation is purchased, you will be emailed a form to fill out so that I can learn more about you and your skin and properly give you the best products for your skin. This is easiest way to get skin care products that are for YOU. And it doesn’t end after I mail you the products. I will help you with questions after you receive the products.

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What You Will Get:
– FULL regimen of samples that is customized for your skin
– Prescription sheet that tells you exactly when and how to use the products.
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The Truth About Anti-Aging Products

Updated: July 2017

We all want to fight the signs of aging and so we go to the malls, our Estheticians and Dermatologists, hoping they will have the answer, maybe even the cure for our wrinkles. From fighting free radicals to stimulating skin’s natural collagen production, anti-aging products make enticing promises.

Do they work? That’s what we want to know, right? Below I have listed 4 commonly listed ingredients and some evidence on whether they actually play an effect on your skin.

Peptides

As we age our skin gets thinner, loses fat and starts to sag and develop fine lines and wrinkles. We produce less collagen and elastin to keep our skin firm and plump. Oh my gosh!

Peptides are small proteins that help stimulate new cells to grow and to help skin cells to heal.

Scientists are still not sure how beneficial these actually are because of the size of the molecule. They are rather large and that makes it more difficult to deeply penetrate the skin. They can, however, do some good in a moisturizer and serum. This way they can hydrate the skin and make lines less noticeable. Whether they reduce wrinkles, the jury is still out.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)

Examples are glycolic, lactic and citric acids which are natural ingredients that come from fruits and milk sugars. They are great for exfoliation because they get rid of dead skin cells, allowing new cells to grow.

Each acid does something different for the skin. Lactic Acid (comes from sour milk) removes the dead skin cells so this will have a brightening effect. Glycolic Acid (comes from sugar cane) helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles which can make skin look smoother and tighter.

Retinols

A natural form of Vitamin A, this boosts the thickness and elasticity of the skin therefore reducing the signs of wrinkles.

There is an abundant amount of evidence to support that retinol works! Finding it in the right products is the tricky part because you need to have enough to get results. Most over-the-counter products cannot put enough retinol in them to give you the benefits you need. This Retinol Serum is amazing and when used correctly, can do great things for the skin.

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Antioxidants

Help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.

There are many antioxidants that are effective, however, the formulation is the most critical. Vitamins C and E are the most commonly used and time-tested.

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Cetaphil. Is it Actually Good For Your Skin?

Cetaphil is definitely one of the most common cleansers that I find my new clients using. It is a deceitful product and most think that it is a “pretty good” cleanser and gentle for the skin. At one point, years ago, I used this cleanser too. Now that I know better, I would never recommend it to anyone and I always get annoyed when I hear that a Dermatologist has told my client it is good for the skin. Below is an excerpt from a blog post that I found about Cetaphil. She explains it better than I can.

Why Not Use Cetaphil?

I cannot even begin to tell you how many people I have spoken to who have been recommended to use this cleanser, for their so named ‘sensitive’ skin concerns. I would love to share my professional knowledge regarding the Cetaphil cleanser formulation, with specific regard as to what it is actually doing for your skin – and the topic regarding ‘sensitive’ skin is one best left for another day!

There are a multitude of reasons why skin breaks down, creating inflammation – otherwise known a ‘sensitivity’. For a cleanser that is advertised worldwide by Galderma as “developed by dermatologists especially for sensitive skin, [this] soap substitute preserves your skin’s natural protective oils”. I’m quite adamant that they have missed their mark… totally!

Why not use Cetaphil cleanser Spa & Beauty Therapy Articles In an interesting formulation addition, Cetaphil is loaded with the emulsifier sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), one of the most overused synthetic skin cosmetic ingredients that actually strips your skins natural lipid barrier as it ‘cleanses’ your skin. This surfactant is very unpopular with every serious skin therapist as its effect renders your skin more susceptible to external irritants, increases internal inflammation as your skin immune cells become overagitated, heightening redness & possible breakout as it negatively impacts your natural pH. Otherwise known as your ‘acid mantle’, our natural pH balance is our first line of defense that protects our skin in numerous ways, including against invading microbes. I do think it is pretty odd that Galderma call their cleanser ‘pH balanced’ – as, yes, the actual entire formulation inside the bottle may be – but as soon as there is contact with skin it completely interferes with our pH. In reality there no balance there at all!

Why not use Cetaphil cleanser Spa & Beauty Therapy Articles

Some skins will hide the presentation of inflammatory symptoms better than others, although it is important to note that it IS happening, whether you can immediately see and feel it, or not. This is what alarms me about so many products like this, and why I feel compelled to share!

SLS is used because it is cheap and easy to synthetically manufacture. You can find SLS in body washes, shampoos, toothpastes, cleansers and in cleaning products. These are all high contact products, which is a scary thought. I have certainly easily and affordably chosen to limit or eliminate my daily exposure to this ingredient!

Written by Pia Kynoch

Click here to shop for cleansers that are good for the skin.

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