Here’s how to tell the difference.
Sensitized skin is often mistaken for sensitive skin. The distinction can make all the difference in how you care for your skin.
Sensitive skin is a condition that is part of your DNA, while sensitized skin happens as the result of daily habits and environmental factors.
About Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is a genetic condition that presents itself as persistent redness, flushing and sensitivity. The appearance of redness is due to a thin epidermis (the uppermost layer of skin) and blood vessels that are close to the surface of the skin. Sensitive skin conditions are generally the result of an impaired skin barrier that allows irritants to penetrate the skin. The most common sensitive skin condition is rosacea which most often affects women aged 30-50. Other sensitive skin conditions include psoriasis, the presentation of thick, red and scaly patches on the skin accompanied by itchiness, irritation, redness and hypersensitivity; eczema, or dermatitis, showing up as a dry and itchy rash.
Treating Sensitive Skin Combating sensitive skin conditions requires the right products with a balance of active and soothing ingredients to improve the skin’s barrier function. PCA SKIN® recommends:
About Sensitized Skin
Sensitized skin is the result of your environment. Many people experience a higher level of sensitivity to topical ingredients due to pollution in the air, poor diet, alcohol consumption or improper or overuse of certain topical products. Harsh products like alcohol-based toners can dehydrate and irritate skin resulting in a sunburn-like sensation: redness and skin that is sensitive to the touch.
Treating Sensitized Skin
In order to improve sensitized skin, the trigger has to be determined and eliminated. For those sensitized from other products being used on the skin, we recommend minimizing usage either by using less product each night or by using the product fewer times per week until the skin can build up a tolerance. Incorporating hydrating ingredients can also help the skin become less sensitized. PCA SKIN recommends:
Farmhouse Fresh gives you a whimsical, nostalgic feeling through aromatic blends of yumminess. We are excited to announce the arrival of Farmhouse Fresh Organic Facial and we are giving you the opportunity to take the spa home with you. Farmhouse Fresh is made with 90% - 99.6% natural and naturally-derived ingredients. They are Paraben & Sulfate FREE, and many of the products are also Vegan and Gluten Free.
Smoking is one of the most controllable causes of disease and death today. It is also a major contributor to many skin conditions and complications, such as skin discoloration, breakdown of collagen and elastin, deep wrinkling, skin aging, poor wound healing and abnormal skin growths.
Our skin relies on oxygen in order to function properly. Air is pulled into our lungs, travels down to the smallest air sacs in the lungs, and is then carried throughout the body via the tiny and intricate network of capillaries. Without sufficient oxygen, the body and the skin suffer.
Nicotine in cigarette smoke causes vasoconstriction or blood vessel contraction, which limits the actual size of the vessel. Carbon monoxide in cigarettes bonds with oxygen, greatly reducing the amount available to the body. This combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide not only limits the size of the vessel, but also the amount of oxygen flowing through them.
some not so fun facts
Regular chemical peels will improve not only the production of collagen, but will also improve the tone and texture of the skin. Daily use of collagen-building topical products is also a vital component to reversing the signs of aging due to smoking. Integrating ingredients like vitamin C during the morning and retinoids at night, along with advancedpeptides and epidermal growth factor, will prolong the benefits gained from monthly chemical peels.
The effects of cigarettes reach nearly every organ of the body, including the skin. The sooner a smoker puts down the cigarettes, the sooner the body will begin healing from the damage of the nicotine and various chemicals contained within. The skin, however, typically requires more attention. With monthly chemical peels and a comprehensive collagen-building daily care regimen, the skin can begin the recovery process.
The pH of your skin care products is just as important as the ingredients in them. The pH will determine how your skin is affected by the product overall. The pH measures the level of acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The range starts from 0 to 14, where 0 is completely acidic while the highest level of 14 is alkaline. 7, is the midpoint and considered neutral. Water is typically at a level 7 neutral.
The human skin by nature is slightly acidic, with an average pH or 5.5 meaning that anything higher has an alkaline effect on the skin and anything lower has an acidic effect. Skin is slightly acidic because it helps mitigate bacteria and fungal growth. The acid mantle is the name of this acidic layer of the skin made of oil that acts as a barrier. Sometimes there are imbalances in the pH of the skin which can be due to a variety of factors, including pollution, dietary problems, hormones or improperly balanced skin care products. The end result that the skin becomes venerable and irritations or inflammations can occur, such as acne.
The best way to assure that your skin products are not adversely affecting the skin is to actually measure the pH of the product by using a little pH strip (these are available online or in health food stores). When covered in the product the strip will change color to indicate the pH. If your regular skin care products are close to 5.5 then the product is a perfect match for maintaining the same pH of your skin and will not impeed the natural protective functions of the skin.
If your regular skin care products are significantly higher or lower than the pH of the skin then there is cause for concern. A highly acidic skin care product makes the skin more prone to acne and other irritations. Neutrogena and other so-called acne-fighting solutions are highly acidic which seriously raises to the validity of their products claims. On the flip side, if skin care products are too alkaline, the skin is left dry and without its protective oils.
Knowing or testing the pH of skin care products is truly one of the best ways to determine how the product is treating your skin overall. Many skin problems can be cured by adjusting to products with a balanced pH level.
How It Works...Topical retinoids work by unplugging clogged pores, allowing other topical medicines such as antibiotics to enter the hair shaft and fight underlying infection. You often use a topical antibiotic along with a topical retinoid, an oral antibiotic, and benzoyl peroxide.
Topical retinoids come in cream, gel, and liquid forms. You apply the medicine to your skin once a day, usually at night, about 20 to 30 minutes after washing your face.
Topical retinoids also work to reduce outbreaks by preventing dead cells from clogging pores.
Why It Is Used...You typically use topical retinoids for moderate to severe acne that has not responded to other treatments.
How Well It Works...Topical retinoids work very well to clear pores and to reduce the frequency and severity of acne outbreaks. The use of a retinoid along with topical antibiotic or benzoyl peroxide may work better than either medicine alone.
Side Effects...Side effects of topical retinoids include
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About...At first, topical retinoids may make acne worse. You may notice redness and peeling of your skin when you first use topical retinoids.
Topical retinoids, especially tazarotene, are not recommended during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before using topical retinoids if you are pregnant or think you could become pregnant. Also, if you are breast-feeding, talk with your doctor before using topical retinoids.
Tretinoin works best if you start with a lower strength and change to a higher strength as needed. Doing this may reduce redness and peeling of your skin. If your skin becomes very red and peels, try using topical retinoids every other night or every third night instead of every night.
It’s not the chocolate or the greasy fries – it’s the salt on those fries. Yes, it is salty foods and food high in iodides that are the culprits in making acne worse. Below is a list of foods typically high in iodides. We tell people not to go crazy around eliminating these foods, just be aware of eating too much of them. For example, we had a client who was almost clear. She came into our clinic all broken out and we couldn’t imagine what was going on – I asked her if she was eating a lot of seafood or seaweed. She said, “why yes, I’m sprinkling kelp on my food every day.” As you can see by the chart, kelp has the most iodide of any food. We got her off the kelp and her skin cleared again.
So, as you can see, it would be a good idea to get uniodized salt to use at home, cut down on going for sushi, and cut WAY down on milk and cheese.
Also, almost all vitamins contain iodides in the form of iodides, iodine, potassium iodide, or kelp. Women’s Ultra Mega from GNC and Dermavites (on the internet) are two safe choices.
Iodide Contents in Food (parts per million of iodide)Salt
Iodized Salt (1/4 tsp) – 100
Seasoned Salt – 40
Sun Evaporated Salt – 30
Uniodized Salt – 19
Beef/Liver – 325
Turkey – 132
Kelp – 1020
Cod (3 oz) – 87
Squid – 39
Crab – 33
Asparagus – 169
Broccoli – 90
Cheddar Cheese Spread – 27
Milk – 11
Butter – 26
Mozzarella Cheese – 13
Tortilla Chips w/ salt – 80
Potato Chips w/ salt – 40
Foods That Can Contribute to Acne February 19, 2011 | Posted by facereality
Is Milk Bad for Acne?Finally medical researchers have affirmed that diary products do worsen acne. How does milk affect acne and what are the precautions to be taken?
As early as 1949, Robinson had published a study in the South Medical Journal that stated that the majority of the1925 acne patients in his study that kept a food diary reported that milk was the commonest food that was associated with their acne flare ups.
His study was relegated to the background when two studies by Fulton et al (1969) and Anderson (1971) failed to find any association between acne and chocolates, milk, roasted peanuts and cola. Both these studies were later discredited because of the small number of subjects, a shorter duration of follow up and inadequate choice of controls chosen for comparison.
More recently, Adebamowo and his colleagues from the Harvard University found positive relationship between milk consumption and acne eruptions in a survey conducted among 47,335 nurses. Their study was interesting as it revealed a stronger association with skim milk than whole milk, indicating that the fat content of milk may not be the reason for acne flare ups. Similar observations were made among high school teenagers in other studies as well.
How Does Milk Affect Acne?
The reason for the negative effects of milk products on acne is thought to be due to the presence of hormones and biologically active substances in the diary products. Most of the consumable milk is produced from pregnant cows; the main reason for high levels of hormones in milk. Hormonal levels are also high in just delivered cows and cows treated with bovine growth hormones.
Allergy to milk protein resulting in an inflammatory reaction and blockage of the hair follicle and sebaceous glands has also been cited as a contributing factor for worsening of acne following consumption of milk.
Iodine fortified food is given to the cows to fight infection and iodine solutions are liberally used to cleanse the udders and milking equipments in the diary farms. This may result in higher than normal levels of iodine content in the milk and other milk products. For acne sufferers this is bad news, as iodine, iodides and other halides have been shown to worsen acne eruptions in a number of studies.
It is now clear that milk contains a number of substances which act as acne triggers.
Hormones in Milk Responsible for Acne Flare Ups
Milk, especially those from pregnant cows and just-delivered cows, contains high levels of hormones like progesterone and precursors of di-hydro-testosterone. Increased levels of these hormones increase the sebaceous gland activity and the oily sebum output, resulting in aggravation of acne in teens.
Other hormones present in milk are also implicated as culprits in worsening of acne. The most frequently involved hormone is the IGF-1(insulin-like growth factor). This is present in organic milk and milk from cows treated with bovine growth hormone. IGF-1 levels are increased in the body in response to increased secretion of insulin. IGF-1 has a stimulatory effect on the sebum production in the sebaceous glands, one of the main events in the development of acne.
The effect of IGF-1 in response to increased insulin levels in the blood is also thought to be the cause of high incidence of acne following consumption of refined carbohydrates, the so-called high glycemic index foods. The same mechanism is responsible for the increased prevalence of acne among women suffering from the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
It will be interesting if a few studies are undertaken to see whether milk derived from home grown cows fed on natural feeds and grass has any adverse effects on the natural course of acne.
As the food-acne relationship is no more a myth, acne affected teenagers would do well to avoid excessive intake of diary products and other food items that affect acne.
Denise Dias Skincare