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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Teen Acne

The teenage years are hard enough but then you add the complications of breakouts and it just seems unfair. Hormones are to blame. Around the age of 13, although I have seen earlier, the skin starts to change…fast and it usually begins in the t-zone. It can almost feel like it happens overnight!

Boys generally experience more acne during the teen years than girls do because of the testosterone that can over-stimulate the sebaceous glands. Girls usually have fewer breakouts during these years but are more likely to deal with breakouts later because of the monthly cycle. Sometimes women are still dealing with breakouts past their 40’s. I don’t think we ever really get a break!

Here are some tips to help manage breakouts. But please remember that it can take time for you to see improvement. Usually there is a difference in how it looks and feels after a few days because once you are using products that are good for the skin, the skin then reacts in a healthy way. But big improvements will take longer. The more consistent you are, the better the results. At the same time, we are still fighting hormones though.

  1. Use a gentle cleanser. Teenage skin is more sensitive and so it’s important to use products that are non-drying. I realize that this is the opposite of what is advertised but trust me. Most of the acne cleansers you can find at Target or anything over the counter, including ProActiv uses harsh detergents that strip the skin, irritate it and causes further inflammation. I actually recommend two different cleansers because you want a second cleanser to use a few times a week at night that contains salicylic acid. Too much of that can dry the skin. Salicylic acid reduces acne-causing bacteria and oil, exfoliates and helps to lessen post-breakout redness. It does all of that without irritating the skin.
  2. Alcohol Free Toner– This is an important step that people either skip or use but don’t know why. Toner helps to remove any residual cleanser left on the skin but also is the first step to hydrating the skin. There are different toners to use and depending on the severity of the breakouts or even how motivated someone is to clear the skin, I might recommend 2 different toners. Just like the cleansers, you would use one toner for everyday and another a few nights a week to hit those breakouts hard. Again, the second toner can’t be used all the time because it will dry out the skin.
  3. Wear a sunscreen everyday, even when the sun is not out. This is a hard one for teens, I have found. They don’t care about aging yet. I know I didn’t. My goal was to be as tan as possible every summer. Let me tell you, I regret it. I wish I had listened to my mom when she told me to wear sunscreen. The one I do recommend for the face contains zinc oxide. It calms the skin, protects it and can help fade the post-breakout marks. Now since teens rarely care about sun damage, let’s focus on the two benefits that sunscreen can offer those suffering from acne or just breakouts.
    1. Look for a sunscreen with zinc oxide. It can be anti-inflammatory when it’s on the skin, which makes it perfect for calming red and inflamed blemishes. And did you know that zinc oxide is the main ingredient that’s used in diaper rash creams?
    2. The other reason to use sunscreen is that it can help with the fading of discoloration after the blemishes are gone. Now stay with me while I explain this. Acne scars are caused from the inflammation of the dermis layer of the skin. The inflammation then triggers the pigment cells, which is why you see red and purple discoloration. When the skin is exposed to UV light (365 days a year), that keeps the pigment cells awake and thus preventing the blemish scar from fading as easily. If you wear a sunscreen with zinc oxide that is lightweight and non-pore clogging, it can protect those damaged cells and allow them to heal properly so the skin can become even-toned faster.

So wearing sunscreen becomes more than just worrying about sun damage. It can save your skin from those acne scars and blemishes.

  1. Moisturizer– I recommend using a lightweight one with soothing benefits. This will protect your skin and also keep it hydrated, which is so important with oily skin. It’s all about balance.
  2. Weekly Mask– I think masks are fun. When I was a teenager I used to rummage through my sisters cabinet, she had all the fun stuff because she was older, and so I would play with her masks. Unfortunately we have very different skin but I didn’t understand that then so I just had fun using them! A great mask for acne prone skin is one that will unclog pores, rebalance the skin and soothe irritation, inflammation and redness. Not all masks are created equal so make sure you don’t use one that just dries out the skin. I posted one that I love for acne and breakouts.
  3. See an Esthetician– What I can do in the treatment room is much different than what you can do at home. I have stronger products and I know how to use them gently so the skin is not damaged. Extractions are another reason to see an Esthetician. Everything I do in a facial leading up to extractions is to make it easier to do them. It’s easier than you think to damage those pores. This may not be the favorite part of a facial but it’s necessary to achieve healthy skin. And I’ve actually been told that I am pretty gentle. Seeing an Esthetician is also a good reminder to stay on track with home care. You can’t lie to an Esthetician. We know whether you have been taking care of your skin or not.
  4. Some parents might opt to take their teen to a Dermatologist. This will likely mean that a prescription will be given. I’m not against that route because I think some have it so bad, it’s the best way to clear the skin and usually the fastest. I would still recommend seeing an Esthetician because then the teen will learn how to properly care for the skin too. A quick fix is never the answer and they may pay for that later. Most of the prescription products are really drying to the skin and so using good products become even more important. Damage that is done at 15 won’t show up until later and then it’s too late.

For the most part, my teen clients are using the same products but the frequency of the stronger products might be different. When you see me or even do a consultation (if you don’t live in the area), I am available for questions or concerns. My goal is for you to have healthy skin. The most important thing to remember is that it takes time. Teenagers are impatient and they want results now. Be patient and it will be worth it.

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Let’s Compare Skin Lightening Pads

I love Skin Script Rx Skin Care. I use it everyday on myself, I use it in my treatment room and I retail it to my clients. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t something that could be better out there so I like to do research. Below I have compared two skin lightening pads and (spoiler alert!), Skin Script came out on top.

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Philosophy Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel

Retail $69 for 12 individually pads (12 treatments)

Claims:

  • triple-acid formula dissolves dull skin, buffers the appearance of fine lines and enhances skin clarity
  • skin-brightening technology visibly reduces the appearance of dark spots and discoloration

Pros:

  • niacinamide (4th ingredient) can improve skin’s elasticity, dramatically enhance its barrier function, help erase discolorations, and revive skin’s healthy tone and texture.

Cons:

  • the 2nd ingredient is sd alcohol (closer to the top means it is a main ingredient) and that is known to be drying and a skin irritant
  • 1st lightening ingredient is listed as the 5th ingredient and the others are after
  • other irritating skin ingredients
  • the price

Glycolic-Retinol-Pads

 

Skin Script Rx Glycolic and Retinol Pads

Retail $23.00 for 50 pads

Claims:

  • these pads break up surface oil to refine pores and reveal fresh, healthy skin.
  • Kojic and arbutin lighten sun spots and scars left from blemishes.

Pros

  • the price
  • packaging (pads are soaked in solution so they can be cut up for spot treatments)
  • 2% glycolic
  • 4% arbutin- limits melanin production, reduces visible pigmentation through lightening actions
  • 3% kojic acid- inhibits tyrosinase and also lightens existing pigmentation naturally, comparable to Hydroquinone without the negative side effects

Cons:

  • if you have super sensitive skin, these won’t be for you; although most of these type of products won’t be healthy for you

 

Just looking at the facts, I would definitely go with Skin Script Lightening Pads. The price is significantly less and the ingredients are significantly better!

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Foundation and SPF

We all want our morning routine to be quick and easy but sometimes taking shortcuts isn’t the best for our skin. So many foundations have sunscreen in them today and it seems that it would be one less step to do. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The number on the bottle (ex: SPF 15) is not quite accurate. You would have to apply about 7x the amount of foundation to actually get that number. And hopefully, no one is wearing that much makeup! Below are some tips to protecting your skin and looking your best.

  1. Skin Care Products before Makeup. Always. Sunscreen is considered skin care.
  2. SPF in your foundation is not necessary and will not provide the protection you need.
  3. If you wear Tinted Moisturizer, you should still wear a regular moisturizer. I know this can be confusing. Why should you wear both? It goes to skin tip #1…skin care products before makeup. Tinted Moisturizer is makeup. Apply your regular moisturizer first so the color doesn’t seep into dry patches and/or blemishes. It will give you a more even finish.
  4. Sunscreen should never be skipped. Rain or shine your skin is still exposed to UV rays.
My favorite!

 

Shop Now:

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Read This if You Use a Clarisonic!

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.

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My recommendation-

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!

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Should You Use a Spray Sunscreen?

Now that summer is here I think it’s important to talk about sunscreens. Here are some tips to help you prevent sunburns and premature aging…

  1. SPF 30 is all you need. Anything higher is not necessarily more protection (maybe 2% more) but it is more chemicals. In fact, the best way to protect your skin while in the sun is to make sure you apply the sunscreen generously and often.
  2. I recommend reapplying sunscreen at least every 2 hours. If you are in the water or sweating, apply sooner.
  3. Don’t be stingy with the sunscreen. Applying more will only ensure that you don’t miss a spot.
  4. Spray Sunscreens- I think it’s best to start with a cream sunscreen first. That way you have a good base and then you can reapply with a spray. Again, spray generously so you don’t miss a spot. Please don’t spray your face. A separate face sunscreen is better to use since those are made specifically for the face. Recommended Product: Sheer Protection SPF 30
  5. Kids- There really isn’t a difference between kids and adult sunscreens. Keep them protected since they are too young to know better or even care. Until they are old enough to understand the importance, they won’t do it so it’s 100% up to you!
  6. Kids & Spray Sunscreens- I don’t recommend these for kids. It is not safe for them to inhale the chemicals on a continuous basis. As adults, we know to not breathe while spraying but kids won’t. If it is all you have, something is better than nothing but it’s best not to make it a habit.
  7. Lips- Your lips can burn as well and anyone who has had this happen knows that it hurts! Make sure your chapstick or lip balm has SPF in it. Recommended Product: Lip Balm SPF 15

Follow these simple and easy tips and you should avoid a sunburn!

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Let’s Prevent Summer Sun Spots!

If you’re prone to hyperpigmentation (age spots, sun spots, brown spots, etc), then you probably notice that they become more visible during the summer. It’s definitely a challenge to prevent and/or fade these spots, there are ways to help keep your skin more evenly toned.

  1. EXFOLIATE– It’s always important to exfoliate your skin but even more so when dealing with skin discoloration. Using ingredients like glycolic acid and retinol will help break apart these pigmented cells and lessen their appearance. Of course, you don’t want to exfoliate too much because in the summer the melanin is already so active, you don’t want to do anything to trigger more melanin. Recommended Products: Glycolic Cleanser, Glycolic/Retinol Pads, Retinol Scrub, Beta-Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum (safe for pregnant/lactating women)
  2. SUNSCREEN– Wear sunscreen everyday, apply generously and often. The #1 cause of premature aging is UV light and exposing it to the sun will bring out those unwanted spots. Your sunscreen should be SPF 30 (a higher number does not necessarily give you more protection but it does have more chemicals) and it’s important to apply enough to cover the skin. The biggest problem with SPF is not the number but the amount used and how often applied. If you’re in the sun, I recommend applying at least every 2 hours (more if you go in the water). Recommend Product: Sheer Protection SPF 30 (my favorite sunscreen ever!)
  3. WEAR A HAT– Covering your face and not exposing it directly to the sun is the best idea but you have to be careful because if wear one that is tight on the forehead, it can cause increased discoloration (especially if you’re prone to getting it there) due to the heat.
  4. BEWARE of the HEAT and SUN-The newest research has show that it isn’t just the UV light but the actual heat that can do damage to our skin.The heat stimulates the melanin. Even if you do everything to protect your skin, you may still get the discoloration so this means that limiting your exposure to the sun and the heat can be equally important.
  5. VITAMIN C– Using a natural skin lightener like vitamin C (specifically magnesium ascorbic phosphate, a form of vitamin C) helps to suppress melanin cells to fade and prevent discoloration.Vitamin C can also help boost your SPF! Recommended Products: Vita-C Serum (Best-selling serum!)
  6. MONTHLY FACIALS– Be Proactive, Not Reactive. I have said this for years and it’s still true. There are many things that I can do in the treatment room to help your skin during the summer months, like fill it with lots of antioxidants. It’s easy to get sidetracked and not come in for facials and just wait for the fall, but since preventing is easier than correcting, don’t skin the summer! Recommended Facials: Summer Glow Facial or Customized Facial

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If you have any questions or would like personal help with your skin, please email me at devyn@psblounge.com or Book an Appointment Online.

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