Summer months are coming, and for many that means more time out in the sun—and more skin-baring activities outdoors. Learning how to properly care for skin can help you feel confident while you’re out and about. Here are some common myths about summer skincare that we can debunk today.
Fact: Summer might require a few small changes in skincare, but when you use high-quality products specific to your skin’s needs, you probably don’t need to change much. Depending on where you live, summer might bring more humidity. If that’s the case you might want to adjust your moisturizer to a lighter, oil-free formula to minimize oily skin and prevent buildup of dirt and oils that could increase the chance of an acne breakout. A skincare consultant can help you find the right one.
Fact: Sun protection doesn’t necessarily last all day, so depending on how long you are out in the sun, and what activities you are doing, you may need to reapply. Using a moisturizer or other face cream with SPF is a good start in the morning. But it can wear off within a few hours, so on a normal day you should reapply every two to three hours. If you’re sweating, swimming, or playing in the water, you definitely need to reapply sunscreen more often.
When you do reapply, make sure you are using a sunscreen product that is designed for face application. Look for non-comedogenic products that won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts.
Fact: Ultraviolet rays from the sun can penetrate clouds, so during summer months (and all year-round) you should still apply sunscreen whenever you are outside. Just like on sunny days, apply it every two to three hours, or more often if you’re sweating or swimming.
Fact: When you first start using retinol it could cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight (called photosensitivity), but over time your skin will adapt to retinol use. If you just started using retinol or retinoids, apply sunscreen before you go out or wear a hat to protect your face from UV rays. Retinols can also degrade when exposed to UV rays, so apply your products at night (not in the morning before you go outside) for maximum benefit.
Fact: Even in the summer it’s important to keep natural oil levels balanced. If you skip moisturizer, it could cause your skin to over-produce oils to avoid getting dry. Other acne treatment products with harsh ingredients can also cause skin to dry out. That can lead to irritation, redness, dry skin, and worsening acne breakouts. Talk to a skincare consultant about how to find the right moisturizer for balanced oil levels without a heavy, greasy feeling.
Those pimples can be frustrating, especially when they pop up out of nowhere or get irritated and red. Unfortunately, most of us can’t avoid the occasional flare-up. When that happens, acne spot treatments might be the right answer.
Acne spot treatments are either over-the-counter or prescription creams that you use directly on a blemish to clear it up. They usually contain a concentrated dose of some of the most common acne-fighting ingredients, such as:
The goal of an acne spot treatment is to apply a high dose of acne-fighting ingredients to a breakout. It’s not intended for use on your whole face, and usually not something you would use over long periods of time.
Apply a small dab of acne spot treatment directly to the pimple and leave it on for several hours. Many people use these treatments overnight to give skin time to absorb the acne-fighting ingredients and avoid obvious spot treatments on your skin during the day. You can wash your face when you wake up, or after a few hours, to remove any of the excess product that remains.
Common mistakes people make when using acne spot treatments include:
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.
Just like there are several different types of acne—blackheads, whiteheads, hormonal/cystic acne, comedones, papules, pustules—there are also different types of treatment. The right treatment for your acne can vary depending on what is causing your breakouts, your skin type, and many other factors.
One of the most common treatments for acne is called a “spot treatment.” We’ll discuss how these treatments work, and when it’s best to use them.
Acne spot treatments are different from your nightly skincare routine of cleansing skin, applying toner and other serums. These treatments are specifically designed to target a new blemish when it appears and try to speed up the process to eliminate pimples. Some of these treatments work overnight, while others blend into your skin so you can use them during the day.
Most spot treatments work by delivering a powerful dose of acne-fighting ingredients to the spot where you are breaking out. Some also have added benefits of reducing redness or swelling around the area so the blemish won’t be as obvious.
While they can be useful for occasional surface-level papules and pustules (the ones with a white part that pops up above your skin), they are not effective in treating all acne. Acne spot treatments don’t work as well for:
It’s also important to note that acne spot treatments are not necessarily a miracle cure that will make your blemishes go away immediately. Acne appears as inflammation, redness, and eventually pus coming up to the skin’s surface because your skin is trying to eliminate bacteria or other stuff inside your pores. Depending on where it is in the process, spot treatments may still take time to work.
Another common issue that people encounter with spot treatments is simply not knowing what to use and when to use it. There are dozens of over-the-counter medications to choose from that contain one or more ingredients to fight acne:
The key to finding a good acne spot treatment is understanding exactly what is causing your acne and which ingredients can most effectively fight it. Using the wrong one will either not work at all, or it could irritate skin and make blemishes worse. A skincare professional can help you understand your acne and figure out which products will work to clear up skin faster.
Skintherapy offers a variety of products for acne spot treatment. Some of our top products include:
Experiencing a severe acne breakout can be embarrassing, but for some people a blemish doesn’t just go away when the pimple clears up. Acne scars can last for several weeks, months, or even years after your acne is gone. So how can you get rid of acne scars or prevent them from happening? Here are some helpful tips and effective acne scar treatment options.
Most acne scars are the result of inflammation that causes pores to swell and break through the walls of the follicle. The scarring could be short-term if it’s minor damage to the follicle that can heal. However, when the walls of the pores become significantly injured the infection can leak into nearby cells and cause further damage. Other things that can lead to acne scarring include:
When your body tries to heal the damaged tissues it produces a protein called collagen. If there isn’t enough collagen to fill in the area that was damaged it can leave an indentation. If your body produces too much collagen, it can raise the area of the skin and leave a permanent bump.
As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and while Benjamin Franklin was not specifically talking about acne when he said that in the early 1700s to his fellow Philadelphians, it still applies in this case. Preventing damaging acne in the first place can help you avoid the need for more treatment later. It’s not always possible to prevent it entirely. But when you start to see frequent or severe acne it’s best to consult a professional to get the products that can help you address it. Over-the-counter products are not designed to help with severe and scarring acne, but a consultant at Skintherapy can discuss your individual needs.
The good news is that if you have scarring you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on facial treatments. At-home treatment with the right ingredients can help your skin heal naturally over time, the most common of which are:
However, it’s critical to get the right treatment in the right concentration to address your specific scarring. That’s where a consultation with a skincare professional comes in.
If at-home treatments aren’t enough to help with your acne, there are other options:
All these treatments should be done by a professional in a safe setting (they’re not DIY projects). Talk to Skintherapy to learn more about these and whether they are the best choice to treat your acne scarring.
When it comes to skin no two people are alike, so why is it that most skincare products and regimens are designed for basically anyone and everyone? While there are some underlying products and ingredients that are beneficial to help most people keep their skin clean and clear, having a more personalized skincare regimen can help you avoid skin problems like dryness, acne, and sensitivity. A more personalized approach is even more important if you have bad breakouts or suffer from embarrassing and difficult acne.
There are a lot of different skin types out there, and for many people the old approach of just using any cleanser, toner, and moisturizer just won't cut it to keep your skin clean and help you fight breakouts. Skincare experts understand that it's important to find the right combination of products that uniquely addresses your needs. If you are currently shopping at a local drugstore or supermarket to get your skincare products and you are not seeing the results you want, stop guessing at what you should be doing and instead get a personalized skincare consultation. An expert can help determine the right products, the right concentration levels, and the right combination to get the skin you want.
There are a lot of different beauty and skincare products you can select, and shopping for them might raise a lot of questions for you. Do you need a serum? When should you be using face masks? Are all moisturizers the same, or are there some that you should use in the morning versus the night?
With so many different skincare products available, it can be difficult to know exactly what to use, in what combinations, and at what time of the day for maximum impact. There are also certain ingredients are aren't designed to be used together—for example, you should avoid using retinols with acids like AHAs or BHAs. A personalized skincare regimen that is designed for you will always provide the right products in the right concentrations and combinations for the best results.
As the number of facial products available continues to increase, so do the number of products with poor or unsafe ingredients. Additionally, some over-the-counter skincare products that are generally safe might not contain high enough concentrations of active ingredients to make a difference. Products that use medical-grade ingredients that are proven to fight acne are going to give you better and faster results without worrying about harmful ingredients like parabens, or suffering with skin irritations.
Teens and adults can all benefit from a personalized approach to skincare, especially if you suffer from acne and frequent breakouts. Find out more about the benefits and schedule a consultation with Skintherapy to get your own personalized regimen today.
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