Understanding Adult Acne

A magnifier on hand magnifying the woman facial to finding acne on her face area. She have feeling stress because acne.Think acne is just for teens? Think again!

Whether you had acne when you were younger or not, you can develop it in your 30s, 40s and even 50s. If you never experienced acne until adulthood, dermatologists call this “adult-onset acne.” Many women experiencing hormonal changes associated with menopause will notice acne breakouts but men can develop adult acne as well. So why does it happen?

Changing Hormone Levels
Aside from menopause, there are other times women will experience fluctuations in their hormone levels that can result in acne. The most common of these are around their periods, during pregnancy and after discontinuing birth control pills.

Stress
Research has proven there is a connection between stress and acne. When we are experiencing stress, our bodies produce a type of hormone called androgen. This hormones stimulates oil gland production in the hair and the skin which can trigger acne breakouts.

Genetics 
If you have a close relative with acne you are more likely to have it yourself.

Hair/Skin Products
Never underestimate the power of the products you are putting on your skin! If you know you are prone to acne, you need to read labels carefully to avoid flair-ups. You should find at least one of these terms on the products you choose – non-comedogenic, non-acenegenic, oil free or “won’t clog pores.”

Medical Condition
For some people with an un-diagnosed medical condition, acne can result. Be sure to see a doctor to figure out the cause of your acne.

Medication Side Effect
Acne is one undesirable side effect associated with many different medications. If you notice new or redeveloping acne when you start a medication, talk to your doctor. You may be able to find one that doesn’t impact your skin as much. Never stop talking the medication unless your doctor advises it.

What Smoking Does to Your Skin

Quitting smokingNeed more motivation to quit smoking cigarettes? How about this…it’s ruining your gorgeous face. Well, not ONLY your face but also damaging all areas of your largest organ – your skin.

There are more than 7000 chemicals in that cigarette you are inhaling, of course these are going to harm your skin (not to mention, all other systems in your body).

Premature Signs of Aging

Smokers tend to have an older appearance than their actual age for a variety of reasons. For one, smoking causes the skin to lose it’s elasticity. When this happens, skin doesn’t snap back like it used to and fine lines and wrinkles result. The natural youth of healthy skin is replaced by a grayish or orange color which also makes you look much older. A study actually found that the average smoker who smokes more than 30 a day will look around 84 years of age at 70.

Slow Healing 

Wounds no longer heal quickly when you are a smoker. That’s due in part to the fact that your skin regenerates blood vessels around the wound at a slower rate. There is not as much oxygen reaching your skin and as a result, you will heal at a slower rate than your healthy. non-smoking peers.

Skin Cancer Risk

As a smoker, you are much more likely to get a variety of cancers, which of course includes skin cancer as well. The chance of you getting squamous cell carcinoma is twice as high if you are a smoker.

Risk of Psoriasis 
Since smoking is known to weaken the immune system, your risk of developing psoriasis and discoid lupus erythematosus is much higher. Both of these conditions are marked by severe skin alterations that can often leave scars.

It’s never a bad time to quit! If you need support there are plenty of nicotine replacement medications available to help you break the craving. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist today about your options.

5 Causes of Dry Skin

pretty woman with a cracked skin on a face

Nothing can take the comfort out of your day faster than dry skin! Applying makeup is tricky when your skin is scaly or flaky and dry skin on your body can leave you feeling itchy all day. Great moisturizing products can bring you much needed comfort, but have you ever wondered why your skin is so dry in the first place? Take a look at these causes and see if making changes where you can (in addition to using moisturizing products) will help you.

Here are 5 common causes of dry skin. 

Weather

Well, unfortunately we don’t have much control over the weather. You may notice that your skin becomes the driest in the winter. Cold weather and low humidity tend to draw the moisture right out of your skin. If you live in the desert however, you may notice that the hot, dry summer is the harshest.

Heat

No matter the season, if you have central heating, a wood-burning stove, space heater or a fireplace, the humidity is leaving the air and your skin is likely to be dry as a result.

Harsh Soap

Believe it or not, most of the popular soaps and detergents out there strip the moisture right out of your skin. Antibacterial soaps are especially known to dry your skin and even the shampoo you are using could be leaving the skin on your scalp dry.

Sun Exposure

Not only does sun exposure lead to wrinkles, cancer risk and loose sagging skin, it can also leave your skin feeling extra dry. Always apply a moisturizer to your skin after a day in the sun and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Hot Showers 

After a long day most of us turn to the comfort of a hot shower to unwind, or perhaps to wake us up first thing in the morning. While the hot water of a bath or shower might feel great in the moment, the damage it’s causing your skin isn’t worth it. Hot water is one of the main causes of dry skin.

 

SPF30 Sunscreen is Best for Reducing Melanoma Risk

Suntan cream tube isolated on white background

Suntan cream tube isolated on white background

Protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays is something we know we must do but how do we do we know what type of product to buy? How do we know that it will actually decrease our chances of developing skin cancer?

According to a new study, sunscreen containing at least SPF30 is most beneficial for reducing the risk of the deadliest type of skin cancer – melanoma.

The findings of this new study were presented on Sunday at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting.

Melanoma claims more than 10,000 people each year. It’s the deadliest form of skin cancer and of all cancers, skin cancer is the most common. With so many impacted, scientists and medical professionals have been continuing to search for ways to not only cure but also help protect against melanoma.

Dermatologists have long been advocating the use of sunscreen but since many of these lotions are considered cosmetics, they aren’t tested on animals. As a result  it’s been difficult to find just how effective they are in reducing cancer risk.

This new study, however, was permitted to be conducted on mice in order to directly test the ability of sunscreen to not only prevent burns but also reduce melanoma risk. As a result, researchers found that they were able to protect these mice in the study from getting melanoma. Without the use of sunscreen, the chance of developing melanoma was up to 80%.

In order to make sure you are protecting yourself to the fullest, you should apply sunscreen as part of your daily beauty routine each day. Damage can begin within a matter of minutes so even if you aren’t spending the whole day outdoors, your skin can still be impacted as you go about your day.

Do You Have The Skin Condition That 1 in 4 Do?

Skin care word cloud, health conceptWhile you don’t hear about this skin issue very often, 1 in 4 people have skin tags.

What are they and why do they happen?

Well, basically skin tags are medically known as acrochordons and are small growths that are fleshy in nature and are most often to be seen around the neck, underarms or groin. Some are really tiny (smaller than a pencil eraser) while others are larger (they can be up to the size of a golf ball).

Medical professionals aren’t completely sure why they appear on some people and not others but they are fairly certain there is a genetic component to it. They are also seen more commonly in patients with diabetes and often appear in areas where skin rubs, suggesting perhaps friction has something to do with them as well.

While they may be annoying to those who have them, the good news is that they aren’t anything to worry about. If they are in an uncomfortable area or are large in size, they can be a bit of a nuisance.

So what can you do if you have a skin tag that bothers you?

Having it looked at by a dermatologist is a good start. Having them removed is a very easy process that typically is done by burning them or snipping them with medical scissors. You should never mess with one on your own, however. That can lead  to some serious issues.

 

Probiotics Have Skin Benefits Too!

 

Portrait of Woman enjoying eating her yogurt and blueberries isolated on white background

If you’re already a fan of probiotics, here’s another reason to love them – they’re great for your skin!

Most of us would shutter if we said bacteria is the answer to great skin, but guess what? That’s what probiotics are – the good kind of bacteria. Many people love probiotic yogurt since it is tasty, has high levels of protein and also calcium. The benefits, however, are the very best part!

The bacteria (or live active cultures) found in yogurt  helps to fight inflammation in the gut and restores healthy bacteria that can be lost in many ways. This is why when we take antibiotics, for example, we often have stomach problems. That’s because good bacteria is being killed off along with the bad.

So what does this have to do with skin?

Your skin and the state of your gut and digestive system are more closely related than you might think. In fact, when your gut is unhealthy there is more bad bacteria than good, this in turn causes inflammation and even fungus and yeast.

Studies have shown that using probiotics internally (pills/yogurt etc.) or externally (directly on the skin) both have great skin health benefits. Just as inflammation is soothed in the gut it can also soothe the skin. It’s especially beneficial for those experiencing acne, redness or dry patches.

So how much is the right amount of probiotic?

You should look to purchase probiotic capsules that deliver 20 to 50 billion live organisms per dose. Take them as directed – normally this amounts to once or twice daily with meals.

If you would like to apply them topically, try applying Greek yogurt on your face twice weekly as a mask. Sure it may look funny but it will smell great and make your skin look even better!

The Healthy Fat That’s Great For Your Skin

Omega 3The basis for healthy skin comes down to you nutritional habits.

This comes as no surprise, but here’s one more reason to eat those healthy fats – a natural, healthy glow.

There are many reasons healthy fats (omega-3s in particular) are good for your skin. Starting at the very building blocks, dietary fat is part of the two layers that surrounds each skin cell. This is what gives skin that young, plump and healthy appearance.

In addition to building the skin from a cellular level, omega 3 also has anti-inflammatory properties. Another popular fatty acid is omega 6 but it actually has the opposite affect by causing inflammation. Both are healthy in the correct amounts and are recommended to be consumed in a ratio of 1:2. (omega 3 to omega 6) but it’s said a typical western diet is roughly 1:10.

The following are healthy fats you can add to our diet to help improve your skin’s health:

Fish
Eating a diet rich in fish actually helps maintain your skin’s moisture since it is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Three of the best types of fish for this are mackerel, salmon and sardines. Fatty acids can also be found in chia seeds and walnuts as well and are good sources for those who do not eat fish,

Avocado
Avocados are constantly recommended for their healthy fat properties. In addition, your skin loves avocado because it is full of vitamin E.

Tomatoes
Collagen production is stimulated by vitamin C, something that tomatoes are rich in. Lycopene, which is also in the tomato is an antioxidant that’s great for the skin as well.

Study Finds Tanning Limits Vitamin D Production

Sun tanned female bodyIn a recent study, researchers found something that may seem a bit counter intuitive.

While the sun helps the human body to produce vitamin D, too much sun exposure can actually do just the opposite.

Researchers in Brazil have discovered that having tan skin actually works against your skin by blocking vitamin D synthesis. That’s because the darker pigment actually gets in the way.

Vitamin D has an ever-growing list of benefits from regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous to regulating healthy immune function. Those with lower levels of vitamin D are said to be at a higher risk of bone issues including conditions marked by soft or fragile bones.

The Brazilian study included the examination of roughly 1,000 men and women from Recife, ranging in age between 13 and 82.

Through the use of the Fitzpatrick skin phototype scale (measures skin color), different skin types were observed responding to UV light. The higher to skin number, the darker the skin color and typically, the less likely the skin is to burn (more likely to tan).

When the participant’s blood level were tested for vitamin D, the majority of those with high sun exposure had serum vitamin D levels that were lower than normal.

Of the participants, 72% were vitamin D deficient.

 

 

Two Natural Oils With Major Skin Benefits

Broken raw ripe coconut isolated on white background

Anytime we can utilize one of nature’s wonders to enhance our skin, we happily accept the opportunity. Recently, we have heard more and more about two natural oils that help make skin radiant – almond oil and coconut oil!

Here’s what you need to know about these nourishing natural oils”

Almond Oil for Healthy Skin
Almond oil (derived from cold pressed dried almonds) contains several natural vitamins including E, A and D. Additionally, this oil is also rich in both oleic and linoleic acids.

Benefits
There are many skin benefits, including moisturizing, anti-inflammation, dark circle removal, wrinkle reduction and even sun protection.

How It’s Used
Almond oil is used in a variety of ways for skincare purposes. Some of the most common include as a facial moisturizer, eye cream, stretch mark, base oil and even as a makeup remover!

Coconut Oil for Healthy Skin
Did you know that coconut oil has natural antibacterial and antifungal qualities? It’s also great as a skin moisturizer and is often used on hair since it can penetrate it better than many other natural oils (plus, it smells great too!).

Benefits
Coconut oil is wonderfully moisturizing for your skin!

How It’s Used
Often coconut oil is added to skin care products but it may also be used in it’s natural state. If your hands are dry and cracked, you can simply apply some coconut oil to help repair and replenish moisture. Another interesting use for coconut is as a cheekbone highlighter! By applying a small amount of coconut oil on top of your makeup you will notice a beautiful “glowy” appearance, Other uses include applying it when shaving legs, as a deep hair conditioner, body scrub and even for makeup removal.

5 Summer Skin Care Tips

Tan woman applying sun protection lotion

Summer is almost here and chances are you have been anticipating it’s return all winter. With sunny days right around the corner it’s time to get your skin care routine ready for the changing season.

Here are 5 tips for keeping your skin healthy and gorgeous this summer:

  1. Protect Your Lips
    Even the most diligent sunscreen wearer often forgets this one! Be sure you are protecting your lips from too much sun exposure. That skin burns too! Choose a lip balm with SPF. Another motivator for protecting your pout is that the more sun exposure you get around your lips, the more likely you are to develop deep lines and wrinkles.
  2. Reapply Sunscreen Often
    Studies have shown that time and again people neglect to reapply sunscreen. It’s not a one-and-done application! Typically you will want to reapply at least every two hours to make sure you are getting full protection.
  3. Up Your Water Intake
    Not only is staying hydrated very important for your internal organs, but for your skin as well! If you are already feeling thirsty you are in the beginning stages of dehydration. Be sure to up your water intake when the temperature rises. The goal is at least 8 glasses/per day but if you are sweating, you will need more to replenish.
  4. Soothe Skin
    While the goal is to never get a sunburn in the first place, accidents and overexposure happen. If your skin looks pink, apply a cooling and soothing after-sun balm to reduce swelling. Often these contain aloe which cools and refreshes the skin.
  5. Exfoliate Regularly
    Not only does regular exfoliation feel great, but it will make you skin look radiant as well. Be sure to apply a moisturizer after exfoliating, followed by your daily sunscreen.