Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that has gotten a lot of attention when it comes to skincare. But what is it, what benefits does it provide, and how should you be using it in your skincare routine (or should you be using it at all)? We’ll cover the basics to help you decide.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring group of sugar molecules (polysaccharides) that are already present in your body. It works to provide moisture to your skin, as well as cushioning and moisturizing your joints and other connective tissues. As you age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in your body declines. This can lead to skin that looks dry, or increase the appearance of wrinkles on the skin’s surface. Other lifestyle and environmental factors, like smoking or living in areas with high air pollution, can accelerate the loss of this ingredient in your body.
To prevent the damage that comes from declining hyaluronic acid, you can supplement your body’s natural stores. Many people do that with topical serums and creams (although it’s possible to do it by taking oral supplements as well, but most people prefer the convenience of applying it to skin).
When you use a hyaluronic acid, the sugar molecules bind to water to increase the amount of water present in your skin cells. In fact, the molecules can absorb about 1,000 times their weight in water, making them a super-moisturizer for your skin. Without moisture, your skin will appear dry and flaky, and it can be more vulnerable to damage from the environment, like sun and pollution. With more moisture content, skin is healthier and has a stronger barrier to resist damage. It also looks more plump, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
There are three main types of hyaluronic acid that you will find in most skincare and beauty products:
Depending on your needs, you can look for hyaluronic acid serums, moisturizers, and even cleansers. Check the full ingredient list before you buy to make sure there are no allergens in the product that would irritate your skin. If you can find serums or creams that also have vitamin C, the two can work in tandem to improve moisturizing effectiveness.
If you have sensitive or dry skin, you should avoid any HA products with:
If you’re curious about HA and its benefits, talk to one of our skincare specialists at Skintherapy. We can help you sort through all the different hyaluronic acid options to find the one that’s perfect for you.
You have probably seen it a lot in advertising—the promise that a specific product can “shrink” your large pores. It’s something that many brands and skincare companies advertise products that will shrink or minimize the look of pores. The problem with this claim is that it’s actually not possible to shrink pores. It’s a persistent myth that you can somehow change the size of your pores, and it’s important to understand why this isn’t the reality.
Pores are small openings in your skin that provide essential oils to moisturize skin and keep it from drying out. The ones connected to large sebaceous glands (which secrete sebum oils) naturally appear bigger. These pores are often more visible on the forehead, nose, and cheeks. Pores also secrete sweat when your body gets hot, which is a natural method for keeping your skin cool. Without them you would overheat and eventually die.
The size of your pores is largely based on genetics. Just like your height and the color of your skin, hair, and eyes, your pores are part of your DNA. There is no way to make large pores get smaller, and no facial care products can alter your DNA, which is a good thing.
A quick online search reveals millions of results in a search for “how to shrink pores,” but these are all based on myths that are shared and persist in beauty circles. Common (but misguided) recommendations on shrinking pores include:
Neither of these quick-fix recommendations actually alter the size of your pores. They may temporarily change the appearance of pores, but within a few minutes or hours your pores will revert back to the way they looked before.
While you cannot shrink pores on your face, you can use products that will provide better care for your skin and improve your overall skin health. When pores are clogged with dirt, oil, and bacteria they get swollen and may appear larger than normal. Sun damage can also make pores appear larger by removing collagen, elastin and moisture that keeps skin plump and healthy.
Simple solutions for keeping your pores clean and healthy include:
If you have questions about skincare and how to improve the health of your pores, talk to a skincare specialist at Skintherapy today to discuss your concerns. Book a consultation online to get started.
Two common ingredients that are widely used in acne-fighting products are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Perhaps you noticed these two products in different creams, face washes, and serums and wondered what the difference is between the two, and whether one is more effective than the other. We’ll go over some of the key differences and when each ingredient is most appropriate for your skincare routine.
Salicylic acid actually does not treat acne itself. Instead, it targets the cause of acne by dissolving the skin cells that sit on the surface of the face, neck, and chest. Those dead skin cells are one of the primary culprits for clogged pores, which are at the root of many breakouts. When they mix with oils on your skin and dirt or bacteria, you’ll see breakouts. Salicylic acid also works to remove some of the excess oils on your skin surface, smoothing out skin texture and improving skin appearance.
Salicylic acid works best for blackheads and whiteheads, which are caused by clogged pores but don’t have associated inflammation or bacteria.
Salicylic acid can cause some skin dryness because it removes excess oils, which can leave skin feeling tingly or itchy. If you notice hives, peeling skin, or a stinging or tingling feeling after using it, stop and talk to a skincare professional to figure out if there are other options. If you are allergic to aspirin, do not use salicylic acid.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial face wash that kills the bacteria that causes acne (Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes). When you use it as a topical agent, it can eliminate skin conditions that are more conducive to acne development. You apply it topically (to your skin) and it can work quickly to kill bacteria and clear up your skin. It works both preventively to keep skin from developing acne, and as a spot treatment to fight breakouts.
Since benzoyl peroxide has antibacterial properties, it works best for pimples and pustules that result from bacteria in your pores, which causes inflammation and a breakout.
One of the most common side effects of benzoyl peroxide is dry skin. It usually causes more dryness than salicylic acid, so it might not work for people with very sensitive skin, or those with another skincare condition like eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis. Talk to a skincare professional about any skin conditions you have before using benzoyl peroxide.
The other common concern people have is stains or bleaching. The active ingredient in benzoyl peroxide can stain or bleach clothing, towels, and hair. Wash your hands after use and avoid getting the product on fabrics.
Before you use benzoyl peroxide with retinoids, such as retinol or tretinoin, or with abrasive cleansers, talk to a skincare professional because the active ingredients can cause a skin reaction if used incorrectly.
To find out more about what skincare products would work best for your breakouts, it’s important to talk to a qualified skincare professional. They can identify the type of acne you have, and help you select which product will work best. In some situations they may also recommend a combination of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Schedule your online consultation today with Skintherapy Skincare & Acne Clinic.
There is a lot of information out there about treating acne on your face and neck, but that’s not the only place that you can have acne. Since acne is your body’s inflammatory reaction to clogged pores, you can get it anywhere on your body where there are pores (which is basically everywhere).
The most common places to find acne besides your face are:
While body acne might not always be as visible as the stuff on your face, it can still be embarrassing and even painful. Here are four ways to effectively eliminate it when it comes up.
Any effective treatment regimen first begins with an analysis of the problem. It’s not always as straightforward as just needing to shower more or cleanse your skin better. Body acne can be the result of:
Body acne occurs when pores get clogged with dirt, oils, and bacteria, and your daily routine might be making that worse. Evaluating your daily routine to try and control the things you can (lifestyle factors) can help clear up body acne.
The most common lifestyle factors that lead to body acne are workout routines and products you use for hair and skin.
If you get sweaty during your workout and wait a long time to shower, bacteria has a chance to build up on the skin. Wearing synthetic fabrics can also keep bacteria and sweat right next to the skin. Switch to cotton workout clothes, and make sure to shower right after your workout.
Another lifestyle factor is the products you use. Your hair and body care products could be clogging your pores with heavy oils. Try switching up your routine to avoid these products and see if your body acne clears up.
Most people use soap or body wash to cleanse skin. While this works for general cleansing, basic soap products are not designed to fight body acne. Instead, you need a face and body scrub that is specifically designed to fight acne with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. An exfoliating product can also help remove dead skin cells and other things that clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Sometimes you can do everything right and still have body acne. When that happens, it’s best to talk to a skincare specialist who can help you identify the type of body acne you are experiencing and find high-quality products that effectively clear up your skin. Schedule an online consultation with a Skintherapy specialist today to get advice on how to clear up your body acne today.
Find the best skincare products and learn more about how to fight body acne by scheduling an appointment with a skincare consultant at Skintherapy today.
When you first see the signs of a pimple popping up on your face or neck you probably immediately reach for the nearest acne-fighting tools that you can get your hands on. For millions of people that means something you found on the shelf of a drugstore, a local big-box store, or online.
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that your skincare routine is actually going to work to get rid of your acne. Instead, you are paying money for products and going through the motions while still seeing that frustrating acne on your face, neck, or body. If that sounds like you, it might be time to enlist the help of a professional in treating your acne. Here are three reasons you shouldn’t be fighting this on your own.
The skincare products you find on the shelf of a local big-box store or online are usually formulated for a mass market. That means they are not specific to your needs. Everyone has different skin, which means treating acne requires a specialized regimen that has:
When you are just winging it buying things from the drugstore or online, you may not be helping your acne at all. You may even be doing things that could make acne worse. Working with a skincare professional ensures that you get exactly the right products based on your skin and your acne-fighting needs.
Anyone who has spent a few minutes online or standing in a skincare aisle knows that there are a lot of products. Thousands to choose from, in fact. Each one has marketing claims about being the best thing for to fight acne and clear up skin, but without advanced knowledge of skincare ingredients it’s hard to know which products you can trust.
When you work with a professional to get a skincare and acne treatment regimen, you get knowledge and expertise of all the ingredients and tools available to design a routine that will work.
The products you can buy at the store—and some that you can buy online—don’t always have the highest quality ingredients. Some companies cut corners or use fillers and cheap ingredients to make their products more affordable. A skincare professional can help you sort through the products that won’t work to recommend the ones with the highest quality ingredients to be most effective.
Schedule a consultation with a Skintherapy skincare professional today to discuss your acne concerns and find products for your needs.
Every season can present unique challenges for your skin. Just like the weather changes, so do your skincare needs. Let’s talk about some of the most common myths about skincare and acne treatment in the summer.
Fact: Acne is not affected by the amount of sun that your skin gets, so getting a tan will not clear up your acne. If your skin looks darker it might change the appearance of your acne, but it doesn’t address any of the underlying causes or issues. In fact, getting a tan—and a sunburn if you’re not careful—can damage your skin and increase the risk of melanoma (skin cancer).
The best way to clear up acne is not by going out in the sun, it’s with effective acne treatment products and a consistent skincare routine. And anytime you go out in the sun you should be using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to protect against sunburn and sun damage.
No matter how light or dark your skin is, it can still get damaged from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. You should always wear sunscreen whenever you go out in the sun. However, if you are going to put sunscreen on your face it’s important to make sure it’s good for your skin and won’t cause breakouts.
Fact: This myth likely comes from the idea that opening up your pores (in a steam room or with a hot towel) can help pores release dirt and bacteria, but it’s not based in fact. Sweat could actually make your acne worse if it traps bacteria and dirt inside your pores and you don’t clean it out properly.
After being outside when it’s hot, and getting dirty and sweaty, it’s a good idea to cleanse your face so dirt and oils don’t get trapped in your pores.
Fact: Drinking water is a great thing to do, and it’s important to get at least eight glasses of water per day for your body to stay hydrated. Drinking more water is also good for your skin health, but just drinking water might not be enough to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. Dry skin can have an excess buildup of dead skin cells that clog pores and make breakouts worse.
Find a high-quality moisturizer to use in the mornings and at night to keep your skin from getting too thirsty. If you live in an area with higher humidity, talk to a skincare specialist about which products can help your skin to stay healthy without making your skin oily.
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