Friday, October 24, 2014

10 Skin Myths

I’ve made it a personal task to ask everyone I know what they think they know about skin, and skincare that there are a lot of misconceptions out there being told by god knows who.
These are the ten that were mentioned the most, hopefully this list will be able to clear up some confusion.

1)   “Skin Breaths.” It most certainly does not. Each pore doesn’t have its own individual muscle that allows it to take a whiff of our standard pollution. Its nourishment comes from the oxygen you take in through your lungs that’s delivered to it by blood. So when you take off that heavy foundation and sigh “Ahh! Now my skin can breathe,” it’s not really true.
2)   “Soap is a good enough cleanser for my face.” Washing your face with soap does feel like a good cleanse, but actually it cleans a bit too much. Soap is very harsh and stripping, this makes the skin vulnerable to anything, and everything until it attempts to restore its pH balance which does take it a while. Soap is best kept away from your face.
3)   “My skin is dry.” There’s a huge difference between your skin being actually dry, and dehydrated. Think of it this way. Dry Skin = Lack of oil. Dehydrated Skin = Lack of water. You can’t be both oily, and dry, you can be oily and dehydrated. Your skin either produces too much oil, just enough, or not at all. Treating actually dry skin requires you to use a lot of moisturizer, treating dehydrated skin would require you to exfoliate (or scrub) your face to get the dead skin off and giving skin the ability to retain water again.
4)   “Sitting in the sun will treat my acne.” No. Sitting in the sun will hide the appearance of acne, but will also lead to hyper pigmentation, skin damage, and excessive drying that will signal the skin to produce more oil therefore screwing you over and making more acne for you to “treat” in the sun.
5)   “I don’t like using ‘chemicals’ on my face.” I think by chemicals you mean preservatives? Which are not bad at all for your face, in fact they prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other little creatures that are willing to crawl right into your fabulous pores and well, you know how that goes.
6)   “Scrubbing my skin will clear my acne.” Hmm. Scrubbing is very harsh and will force your skin to make more oil = more acne. If you do have an acne problem scrubbing is the last thing you would ever want to do, try a more mild form of cleansing to prevent causing more damage and irritation to your skin.
7)   “I know my cleanser is working because my skin feels tingly when I wash it.” Your face feels tingly because it’s irritated and probably inflamed. These “tingly” cleansers breakdown the collagen in your face, so you will age faster and slow down your skin’s ability to heal. No more tingly cleansing, please.
8)   “I’m too young to care about aging.” You’re never too young to care about aging. Aging is easier prevented than treated. Preventing a wrinkle is SO much easier (and cheaper) than erasing them. Don’t shy away from the wrinkle care and jump on that wagon before you need Botox.
9)   “I don’t need moisturizer, I have oily skin.” I don’t know what it is about moisturizer and oily skin that have people imaging the moisturizer as the oil monster jumping around on your skin. If you find the right moisturizer for you, you won’t need to worry about looking sticky. Just look for products that says “Oil Free” on the bottle, they exist.
10)  Last and certainly not least, my personal favorite. “I don’t need to use sunscreen.” Please refer to my last post “The Importance of Sunscreen.”

Which one of these ten did you believe in?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Discovering Your Skin Type

Sometimes the toughest thing to do is to distinguish between what your skin likes from its dislikes. It’s also a bit puzzling when you attempt to ask people for guidance on how to handle your skin and they turn around and ask you what your skin type is. “My skin type? It’s my skin.” Well, there’s definitely more to it than that.

This guide will help you find your skin type. Knowing your skin type will open a small window of hope and give you the power to control your skin.

Oily Skin:

Oily skin is shiny skin, it has large pores therefore is more prone to blackheads and breakouts. The good news about oily skin is that it ages slower, the oils on your face keep wrinkles from forming the way they would on someone with dry skin. So sure you're stuck with blackheads forever, but you won't have to cry over blackheads AND wrinkles. The key to handling your skin type is to slow down the oil production, and prevent your pores from clogging. That’s also known as washing your face properly, and using moisturizer afterwards so your skin doesn’t feel compelled to compensate its loss of oils by making more oils.

Combination Skin:

Combination skin? What is that? It literally means that you could either have a combination of heaven and hell, or hell and hell, but never heaven and heaven on your face. While some places have a tendency to get oily (usually the T Zone, or the Nose-Forehead area) other places might be normal (Heaven), and/or dry (Hell). Having this kind of skin gets very tricky. You'll pretty much get fed up trying to satisfy all your skin's preferences before you realize that one product can't fix all your problems and that you'll have to go the extra mile. The key is finding the perfect balance of oil control without drying the already dry parts of your face, and keeping the dry parts moist without over moisturizing the oily parts of your face. Sounds complicated? Use products that are not extreme Yin or Yang in the skincare line, find the mild option to both.

Normal Skin:

You have no rights. Your face has no reason to suffer. You have no excess oil production, and no dry, tight painful skin that's sensitive to everything it touches. BUT, that doesn’t mean you get to neglect your skin. Caring for your particular skin type is as easy as, well, easy. There’s nothing you can’t use on your face, everything works for you and leaves no destruction in its wake. Do beware though, skin has a tendency to change type as you age, so do your best to maintain whatever control you have over it.

Dry Skin:

Dry skin feels tight, especially after cleansing. You have a tendency to develop fine lines, wrinkles, flaking and red patches. On the bright side, no acne to deal with. And if you do have acne it’s because your skin is irritated, not a sign to use products for acne prone skin, that will do nothing but make your "acne" worse, and your skin even more dry than it already is. Dry skin requires extremely careful care, you need extra moisturizing everything, from a moisturizing cleanser to moisturizing make up. If you can maintain your skin’s moisture nothing will ever bother you, doing that alone will slowly take the sensitivity, and "acne" if you have it (which you don't, like I said, irritation) away. The key of course is dedication and persistence. Just because you have one good face day doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t bring a little surprise that you’ll be cursing the cows over.

Don’t let your skin condition control you, do what it takes to control it. Hoping this was to your benefit.

Good Luck!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Importance of Sun Screen

It’s come to my attention that almost everyone I know has a personal vendetta against wearing sunscreen. No matter how many times I attempt to convince them that it’s actually really important to have and use religiously, they brush me off. 

Sunscreen, also known as SPF, or sun protection factor is one of THE most important parts of a skincare routine. Reflecting on my latest SPF conversation, I got, “But who uses that shit anyway?” Umm, YOU should. “But I want to tan!” You can still tan with SPF on! It was a battle. And I still failed to convince the person to use sunscreen, and therefore decided to take it to the internet.
Did you know that the sun is one of the main factors of aging? All those wrinkles you don’t want to have are mostly caused by sun exposure. And of course we can’t forget about good old skin cancer. The acne scars that won’t go away? The sun makes them worse! 
The sun is your enemy! RAWR! No really, it is.
SPF is your liberator, and comes it in all sorts of different numbers, from 15 to 100. But what do the numbers signify? Let’s say it takes your skin around 20 minutes to get burned, then wearing SPF 15 should be able to increase that time (multiplied by 15) to five hours (just an estimate, not a set number). There are also percentages to how much SPF (15-100) filter out the UVB rays. If SPF 15 can do 93%, then 30 can do 97%, and 50 can do 98% and so on.
“So I can wear SPF 15 and be fine the whole time I’m out, right?” No. The downfall of this is that SPF doesn’t hold up more than two hours before you would need to reapply it. Sweat and heat will probably melt it off your face in less than two hours.
“So what should I do?” I believe that anything higher than SPF 50 is full of shit because you can never get to 100% filtration, and it’s also the last number on the scale that won’t make you whiter than Casper the ghost himself, so using that on your face and neck at least every morning before you go out will efficiently protect you.
As an ending note, the following list debunks the bullshit everyone believes about sunscreen.
1.   Wearing sunscreen won’t cause vitamin D deficiency.
2.   It’s cloudy, I don’t need to wear sunscreen - Yes you do!
3.  It’s too late to do anything about sunscreen now - well, better late than never.

Good Luck!