Many consumers understandably choose to use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as their preference for sunscreen filters.
Titanium dioxide or zinc oxide have been used for many years in combination with chemical sunscreens to enhance protection level in the longer UVA range (370 nm). Unlike chemical sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide work by reflecting and diffusing UVR. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are hard to disperse and also leave the skin looking white on the skin, which is very undesirable. As a consequence of this the minerals were ground into a finer particle size and micronized.
Micronized Zinc Oxide and Titanium dioxide are the types used when the sunscreen does not leave the skin white and it is almost transparent. Micronized zinc and titanium undergo a chemical surface treatment to stop them clumping. What is not well known however is that the process of micronization leads to changes in the sun protective properties of titanium dioxide. The smallest particle shifts its protection from the longer UVA towards the UBV range.
Exfoliating our skin can become an addiction. Your skin feels so much smoother and softer after you exfoliate, because of this many people think that if a little is good then a lot of exfoliation must be better. Over exfoliation however can cause some serious damage to your skin and can predispose you to premature aging and also to developing an overly sensitive and reactive skin.
The signs that you are giving your skin too much exfoliation:
- areas of patchiness and dryness
- redness and itchiness
- increased sensitivity
- inflammatory acne
- burning sensation
Acne skins are one of the skins that definitely need exfoliation more often. It does however need to be gentle. The worst thing you can do for an acne skin is dry it out and dehydrate it. Dehydration will make lesions hang around for longer and delay healing.
Enzymes don’t harm the skin and will not eat living cells. Chemical Peels on the other hand can damage your skin barrier. Peels over 8% will actually disrupt your skin barrier making it more sensitive and heal less effectively. The exception to this is Salicylic Acid Peels which are safe.
Peels also create inflammation in the skin which we want to avoid. Inflammation in an acneic skin makes it worse and in older skin creates a condition called “Inflamm-ageing”. It is aging of the skin due to inflammation and the effects it has on collagen and elastin. Facial cleansing brushes can damage the skin as well due to manual exfoliation which can harm living cells.
We recommend using our Papaya Radiance Peel and Sulfur Mask for exfoliating. These both contain enzymes which will not harm your skin.
Breaking out isn't something you should always experience but in some instances you will. Often with breakouts acne sufferers don't realise that lesions under the skin are pre existing. All acne starts with what is called a "micro-comedone" and they are invisible to the naked eye.
We are often asked why Skin Detox causes purging. I want you to think of it like constipation, as gross as it may sound. There is only one way for it to come out, it won't just disappear. We consider Skin Detox a laxative for the skin. The breakout doesn't usually last more than 4 weeks.
Vitamin A and Botanical Vitamin A alternatives cause an increase in exfoliation in the skin. Now if you have dead skin cells at the top of the pore and you suddenly increase exfoliation what happens is a breakout.
Some skins take time to adapt to the introduction of Vitamin A. The reaction you have is called a Retinoid reaction which may appear as:
- pink skin and slight flaking
- mild breakouts
- small red pimples that are itchy (worst case scenario)
Comedogenic products take time to cause breakouts. This is not purging, if you are using something comedogenic then the breakouts will continue. It can take 6 months after discontinuing a comedogenic product for the breakouts to clear.
Have you ever looked longingly into the fruit bowl and wondered what banana may do for the skin? Hey it's good enough to be ingested, why not slather it over my face?
Now we don't want to be the fun police, and it is not our intention to kill your creativity. We just love skin so much that we want you to look after yours and make educated decisions.
REMEMBER just because it's on the internet does not mean it is true. The internet and its counterparts are unregulated sources of information. Anyone can be an expert...and unfortunately there are many D.I.Y skincare recipes that are actually causing more harm than good.
Firstly D.I.Y is a one size approach. The person who came up with the concoction does not know your skin type and most likely does not have an understanding of how the skin works.
Secondly, food and cosmetic ingredients have different grades. Cosmetic grade ingredients are higher quality and have to meet a purity standard.
Thirdly, you need some form of preservative. Many D.I.Y masks contain raw eggs and raw honey which can lead to harmful bacteria.
It has been known anecdotally for a long time that the B Vitamins cause acne eruptions. Until recently the understanding of why this occurs has eluded many. Recent research however has revealed that the acne bacteria, Vitamin B12 and skin microbiome have a intertwined relationship.
Research has identified that there is a difference between gene expression of skin bacteria in acne patients, compared to healthy individuals with clear skin. They found that the B12 synthesis pathway of Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes) in acne patients was low compared to healthy individuals, which led them to study the relationship between B12 and acne. Many bacteria need B12 for metabolic activity and they have the ability to synthesise their own.
What the research found is that when B12 is supplemented that the bacteria stopped producing their own supplies and instead begin producing porphyrins molecules. Porphyrins can generate inflammation and acne is triggered by inflammation initially.
Vitamin B12 actually altered the normal metabolic pathway and activity of the skin bacteria. B12 supplementation can make clear skin become prone to acne skin, which has been evidenced by the increase in breakouts post vitamin B12 supplementation.
Researchers also observed that another pathway, the porphyrins biosynthesis, is linked to the B12 biosynthesis pathway. They hypothesize that when there is an elevated B12 level, it leads to an overproduction of porphyrins by P.acnes. Previous studies have shown that porphyrins can induce inflammation and acne.
So what can you do?
Avoid supplements that have high doses of vitamin B12 in them. Be aware of foods high in vitamin B12. Milk, Cheese, Liver, Kidney, Pate, Clams, Crab, Oysters and Mussels all contain high levels of vitamin B12. For those of you in Australia the beloved Vegemite is another source of B vitamins. You may want to limit some of these food choices if your skin is currently experiencing breakouts and flare ups.
Cocoa is prized for its natural nutritional benefits. It is high in magnesium which has benefits. However, if you are acne prone it is best to get your magnesium from other sources.
Whether or not chocolate causes acne has been a huge debate. It is known without a doubt dairy and sugar can aggravate acne skins.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology in 2014 found cocoa consumption is detrimental to those who are acne prone.
A double blinded placebo study examined the effect of cocoa consumption on acne lesion exacerbation. Fourteen men between the ages of 18 and 35 were assigned to swallow capsules filled with either unsweetened 100% cocoa, hydrolysed gelatin powder or a combination of the two.
The number of pimples and blackheads/ whiteheads we’re assessed and photographed at the beginning, day 4 and day 7. They were given only one tablet containing cocoa to see the effect on the skin.
What they found was that a ONE time consumption of cocoa actually increased the amount of pimples by 2.5 times by day 4. The number of blackheads and whiteheads increased by almost 2.5 times. By day 7 the blackheads and whiteheads were almost 3 times.
If you think you don't need a neck cream till your 30's you may need to think again.
We have a generation of people who are going to look older than their parents possibly with neck lines.
Why is this??? It's because of electronic devices. Children as young as 2 are using them.
Their head is in a position that creases the skin constantly. It's actually a phenomenon that is occurring and there has been scientific literature in reference to it.
There are many that use oils in place of a moisturiser. Is this really the best thing for your skin?
The most common oils used are Rosehip and Coconut Oil. Those that replace their moisturiser with oils have a skin barrier that is majorly impaired which ages them rapidly. Many wonder how this is the case when the oils have so many benefits.
It comes down to the fact that our skin requires the following three things in balance to maintain our skin barrier.
1. Fatty Acids
Vegetable oils only contain one of these.....Fatty Acids. They do not contain Cholesterol or Ceramides. By just using oil you stop the skin barrier from repairing and your skin will develop a low grade of inflammation which is basically cooking your collagen and elastin making you age faster. By the time those pesky wrinkles have begun to emerge the ageing process has already started and simply adding oil will in fact make it worse.
There are many oils that contain over 25% oleic acid. These oils disrupt the skin barrier by causing moisture loss which results in flaking, an overproduction of skin cells. This may not be seen to the naked eye.
The moisture loss causes a temporary swelling of the surface which makes you feel like you are hydrated. Continued use will degrade the skin barrier. If you were to be measured with a technical device accurately measuring hydration, it would show the skin is losing moisture and the feeling is only superficial.
In an acne skin these oils will result in breakouts. If there are too many skin cells it will clog the follicle. Acne skin cells are different to a normal skin. Their skin comes off in sheets rather than grains of sand which blocks the follicles.
Common oils that contain over 25% oleic acid are Olive Oil, Macadamia Oil, Almond Oil, Apricot Oil, Avocado Oil, Marula Oil and Argan Oil.
There are 3 key ingredients that need to be in a cream to effectively repair the skin barrier. Ceramides, Cholesterol and Fatty Acids. Not only does it need all of these but they also need to be in the right proportions, being a 1:1:3 ratio.
So why does the skin of an eczema sufferer have so much trouble repairing itself?
Well it all comes down to genetics. Eczema sufferers have a mutation in the gene called Filaggrin. Filaggrin provides moisture and is an essential component of restoring the skin barrier. Eczema sufferers only have one copy of this gene, instead of two.
Dr Su (Royal Children’s Hospital – Melbourne) was involved with ground breaking research on eczema. Dr Su discovered that a defective skin barrier was the primary cause of eczema. Eczema sufferers have tiny cracks in the skin barrier that predisposes some people to eczema, allowing irritants to penetrate and set off an inflammatory cascade.
People prone to eczema have a much thinner skin barrier than people with normal skin and this can be seen under a microscope, even if they do not have obvious eczema lesions. This is why daily application of a moisturiser containing the 3 key ingredients is vital, because genetically eczema sufferers don’t have a normal skin.
Our Calm Protect Revive or Rescue Balm is the perfect cream for treating eczema.
Katie Tilson is a fully qualified Aesthetician passionate about skin health and dedicated to ongoing training and education to ensure you receive superior skin treatments.