Monthly Archives: April 2017

All About Oily Skin

If your skin is oily, you may be bothered by the shine, greasy texture, and breakouts. But don’t blame the foods you’re eating. “There is no data to show that you will produce more oil if you consume things that are more oil-based,” says Rebecca Kazin, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University and medical director of the Johns Hopkins Cosmetic Center in Baltimore. “The fact is that people who have oily skin were probably born that way. There is not much they did to get it and there is not much they can do to prevent it.”

Oily Skin Care Dos

The good news is there are several ways to manage oily skin, experts say:

  • Wash with salicylic acid. “Cleansers that contain salicylic acid penetrate into the pores and help remove fats that clog the pores and lead to blackheads,” says Leslie Baumann, MD, director of the University of Miami’s Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute.
  • Use a retinoid at night. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, retinoid products decrease oil production in the skin. “This helps reduce blackheads and may lower sebum production,” says Dr. Baumann.
  • Use oil-free foundations. To avoid creating more of a shine and potentially clogging pores, make sure your foundation is oil-free. Use a powder blush instead of a cream formula for the same reasons.
  • Use blotting paper. Washing your face during the day can be difficult, especially for women who wear makeup. Instead, dermatologists recommend blotting paper. “You can absorb the extra oil without washing your face, and they are not irritating to the skin,” says Dr. Kazin. Paper towels can be substituted in a pinch, but blotting paper is better because it contains a small amount of powder, which evens out skin color.

Oily Skin Care Don’ts

Knowing what not to do can be just as important as knowing how to properly care for your oily skin. Experts weigh in on what to avoid:

  • Don’t use creamy or milk cleansers. “These types of cleansers deposit unnecessary lipids — oils — on the skin, which can make you feel even oilier,” says Baumann. Better to stick with salicylic acid or glycolic cleansers, or gentle liquid cleansers such as Cetaphil.
  • Don’t moisturize. Even better than searching for the perfect oil-free moisturizer is ditching this step altogether. Instead, use a gel or serum with anti-aging ingredients. Baumann recommends Skinceutical CE Ferulic or Replenix CF serum.
  • Don’t rely on SPF powders. Most sunscreens are formulated in oil preparations that feel and look greasy, so for people with oily skin, SPF (skin protection factor) powders are tempting. But Baumann warns: “They do not have enough SPF, even if it says so on the label. To get the SPF stated on the label, you’d need to use 15 times the amount of powder you would normally use.”
  • Don’t overwash. Oily skin isn’t a hygiene problem, so extra cleansing isn’t the answer. “If you wash too much, you can strip your face of the essential oils that serve as a barrier to a lot of irritants,” Kazin says. “This can cause your face to become red and raw. It’s better to wash twice a day and use blotting paper when you feel shiny throughout the day.”

Knowing how to care for oily skin is important. Follow these tips to keep your skin in the best health possible: Healthy skin equals beautiful skin

Anti Wrinkle Creams

Every wrinkle cream promises visible, transformative results,but the truth is, most tubes and tubs of wrinkle reducer creams being sold over the counter don’t make a dramatic difference.

That’s not to say that there’s no help for wrinkles. There is. The challenge is wading through all the products that have a minimal effect on any skin wrinkle and finding the ones that have big anti-wrinkle benefits.

How Do Wrinkle Creams Work?

The average over-the-counter wrinkle cream works by moisturizing the skin, which reduces the appearance of fine lines by improving skin texture and helping to reflect light, says Richard Eisen, MD, dermatologist and founder of South Shore Skin Center in Plymouth, Mass.

Wrinkle creams also tend to include alpha hydroxy acids, which help slough away dead skin cells and exfoliate, Dr. Eisen says. As a result, your skin will look smoother.

Some anti-wrinkle creams contain antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q10, kinetin, or green tea. Antioxidants can destroy free radicals, the unstable molecules are created by sun damage and can cause skin wrinkles. However, antioxidants work better at preventing future wrinkles than as a wrinkle reducer, Eisen says. So, if you’re going to use a wrinkle cream with antioxidants, wear it under sunscreen to help prevent further sun damage.

Retinol: The Wrinkle Cream Wonder Ingredient?

Wrinkle creams that offer real benefits include retinol, which you can find in products sold over the counter, and prescription retinoids such as tretinoin (Retin-A and Renova) and tazarotene (Tazorac and Avage). They’re all derivatives of vitamin A, used to stimulate the production of collagen and reverse thinning of the skin, which helps smooth wrinkles. Retinoids even improve the pigment of your skin by lightening brown spots.

The biggest reason to use a retinoid: They really do work. Retinoids have been studied and shown to be effective in reducing the wrinkles you already have, Eisen says. They also can help prevent new wrinkles. It takes about 10 to 12 months of treatment to see the full results.

Retinol, which is sold over-the-counter, can give you some benefits, but it’s not as effective as prescription retinoids because it’s a less potent form of vitamin A.

The Downsides of Wrinkle Creams

While skin wrinkle creams do offer benefits, there are some negatives to consider:

  • Limited results. They may help your skin look better, but over-the-counter wrinkle creams aren’t going to give you dramatic results.
  • The cost. Prescription tretinoin can cost $55 for under an ounce, which may or may not be covered by insurance. However, this is far less than some cosmetic-counter creams that don’t deliver on their promises, and it works. Also, because you apply just a pea-sized amount, a small tube lasts quite a while. Drugstore over-the-counter wrinkle creams can cost $15 for less than an ounce and a half, but may give you limited benefits.
  • Pregnancy caution. Because there may be a risk of birth defects, doctors don’t recommend using retinoids during pregnancy.
  • Irritation. Retinoids can cause redness and irritation. If you tend to have irritated or dry skin before starting treatment, retinoids may cause more problems. To get around that, Eisen often recommends that his patients either start with a retinol and move on to prescription tretinoin as their skin gets more accustomed to retinoids, or use tretinoin only every third or fourth night until their skin learns to tolerate it.

Retinoids aside, by far, the most important anti-wrinkle product you can use is sunscreen. Choose one with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 that protects against both types of ultraviolet rays, and you may not have to rely on wrinkle creams quite so much as you get older