Do you have rough, bumpy (usually red) skin on the back of your arms? This is called Keratosis Pilaris or chicken skin. It is very common and harmless but annoying. They are caused by dead skin blocking the hair follicles.
Updated: October 2017
I used to recommend the Clarisonic. I still think there are a lot of benefits to using a facial brush but now that I have found Konjac Sponges, I don’t find the facial brush as necessary. Exfoliating your skin is extremely important and I have often written and spoken about it. I have also said that you should not over-exfoliate because that can be damaging to the skin.
I now want to provide you with even more information on exfoliating and the Clarisonic.
1. This brush should definitely not be used every morning and night. That is way too much especially if you are using other exfoliating items in your routine like a scrub or glycolic acid.
2. Too much exfoliation can cause dryness because it allows moisture to leave the cells more easily. Leaving you more dehydrated. This brush (or any brush) should be considered when you think about your exfoliation schedule.
3. When you exfoliate your skin, we call that a form of trauma. That is a good thing…occasionally. Exfoliation causes trauma which then puts your skin in repair mode and stimulates cellular regeneration. If you over-exfoliate, you can trigger premature aging. The opposite of what everyone wants!
4. Aggressive exfoliation can cause inflammation (even if you don’t see it). Chronic and prolonged inflammation is a major cause of aging and also bad for acne.
5. The Clarisonic (or any facial brush, harsh wash cloths, facial scrubs) is considered a physical exfoliant and if your skin is extremely reactive to stimulation, it’s important to be more gentle so that you don’t cause post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation. Those who are prone to discoloration and skin of color should be extra cautious!
6. Sometimes the Clarisonic is just too much stimulation for your skin and it will cause breakouts. If this is you, don’t wait for your skin to get used to it. Stop using it! Everyone is different and it may not work for you. I am one of those people.
I will give just a general exfoliation schedule but this could be different for your skin type. Contact me for a consultation and we can discuss your specific needs
Glycolic Acid is my favorite form of chemical exfoliation to use at home. Skin Scripts Glycolic Cleanser is great. You feel a tingle but it’s effective! Use this about 2-3x a week. Pm only.
For your physical exfoliation, choose either a scrub (Skin Script Retinol Scrub is amazing!) or the Konjac Sponge (inexpensive replacement for a facial brush). The Retinol Scrub should be used about 2-3 times a week and the Konjoac Sponge can be used every other night. Pm only.
The chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid) will dissolve the dead skin and the physical exfoliant (sponge, brush or scrub) will lift off the dead skin. Different but both are necessary!
Updated: July 2017
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 (Glycolic Cleanser and Retinol Scrub) 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)
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.
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. (Grapeseed oil is the closest!)
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.
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One of the biggest skin issues I think I hear about today is large pores. People want to know how to make them smaller, less visible, etc. Well, I have some bad news for you…it is not possible. Your pores are your pores. That is why it is so important to use the right products for your skin, and to properly exfoliate your skin. These will help keep your pores clean. The bacteria, dead skin and oil is what enlarges them.
So if this is a concern of yours, I would avoid getting your nose pierced. It is a large pore that will never go away. It is actually larger than your regular pores too. Makeup will get stuck in it…I’ve seen it! Is this something you want when you’re 40?