Archive for February, 2011

The Best Makeup and Cleansers for Dry Acne Prone Skin

Finding good makeup and cleansers for dry acne prone skin seems to be nearly impossible at times. Products that treat acne tend to be drying, while those for dry skin can easily make you break out further. And yet there are plenty of us who suffer from both dry skin and acne at the same time. Whether it is due to using too much acne cream or just the sun, wind, weather or age wreaking havoc on our skin, we still need a solution. I’ve found a few that have been working well for me this winter, along with some tips to help prevent the dry skin and acne at the same time.

Cleansers that help prevent dryness

Boscia Makeup Break Up Cool Cleansing Oil

Often during the winter we are inside air conditioned or heated rooms, and then we go out into the cold and hope that our skin can cope with the environment. Our lips get chapped, skin becomes raw, and many people get red and itchy. The dryness itself can cause flakiness that blocks our already acne prone pores, causing more breakouts.

To help prevent dryness in the first place, it’s important to use gentle cleansers and moisturizers every day. Stay away from all the strong acne face washes in the winter if you are prone to any dryness.

My favorite cleansers are two that I alternate, depending on how my skin is feeling. To thoroughly remove makeup and calm my skin, I use Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil. Although it’s an oil, it washes off totally without any oily residue. In fact, I use it all year long. When my skin is a little oily I will sometimes follow it with another face wash or Boscia’s herbal tonic to make sure everything is cleaned off.

Non-foaming cleanser for dry acne prone skin

The other cleanser I love is Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. It is gentle and non-foaming, but gets rid of all makeup and dirt, including eye makeup. What I love about this cleanser is that it actually delivers on the promise of cleaning your skin, but it doesn’t leave the film that most non-foaming face washes do. The only downside, for some, is the fragrance. Since it is for sensitive skin, the soy cleanser doesn’t have a perfume smell. It has a scent that is a little reminiscent of cucumbers. It took a little getting used to at first, but now I actually like it.

Moisturizers that help prevent and treat dryness

The experts always tell people with acne to still use moisturizers. If your skin is oily, you really don’t need much moisturizer at all. If anything, I always stayed away from them. However, when your skin is dry it is a tremendous challenge to find a moisturizer that provides enough hydration without producing more pimples.

Clinique Moisturizer for Dry Acne Prone SkinMy current favorite is a basic drugstore brand called Cerave. It was recommended by my dermatologist and is effective and cheap at the same time, so you can’t go wrong. When I need a little more moisture, I top it off with some of my favorite Clinique Moisture Surge gel, which always feel calm and soothing on my skin.

Foundation makeup for dry skin with acne

My rule of thumb with dry skin and acne is to stay away from any makeup that promises to ‘hydrate’ your skin. Those products have always made me break out. Instead, get your moisture from your moisturizer and use makeup to even out and conceal. That’s not to say that you should use a foundation for acne prone skin. Those tend to be drying. I always aim to find something neutral that won’t stick to any dry flakes.

Clean Slate Natural Face PrimerBefore any foundation, however, always use a primer. This helps keep the makeup go on smoothly and last longer, which is especially important if your skin and a little dry and flaky. My favorite primer for acne prone skin is Tarte’s Clean Slate Natural Face Primer. I’ve written a review of Clean Slate in the past since it is the only primer I have ever used which didn’t make me break out.

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Powder Foundation for Dry Acne Prone SkinFor foundation, there are two that I’ve been using this winter that I love. For a mineral powder foundation, I have fallen in love with the new Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation. It is the only one I have found which doesn’t bunch up in my crease lines or look powdery on my skin. I don’t think I would recommend it for oily skin, but it has been a godsend this winter. I actually use the sponge that it comes with, but some people prefer to use a mineral makeup brush.

I have a new liquid foundation that I have started using recently when I want fuller coverage and a more polished look. It is the new one from Lancome – Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra. When you put it on, this foundation leaves a very smooth finish along with excellent coverage. I haven’t even been using concealer with it since the coverage is so good. The only downside with this foundation is the fragrance. Like all Lancome products, it has a distinctive smell that ultra sensitive people may not like. Luckily, I havent’ had a problem. Great Liquid Foundation for Dry Acne Prone Skin

Last tips for treatment and prevention of dry skin and acne

Getting rid of the dry skin and acne is the biggest challenge. This is where patience is crucial. Many people will tell you to exfoliate to get rid of the flakiness. For my own sensitive acne prone skin, I’ve found that even gentle scrubbing will only make matters worse. It may get rid of some of the dry flakes at first, but the exfoliation itself irritates my pores, which then causes me to break out more. Treat the breakouts and what happens? More dry skin and acne. Just stick with a regimen of gentle cleansing, moisturizer, and protection through primer and foundation. Your skin will eventually balance out. Of course, then the season changes and we have to adjust again!

Have a favorite product or treatment process for your dry skin and acne? Please comment and let us know!

Scar Basics: How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

Acne Scars Before and AfterOne of the most common acne questions asked, other than how to conceal, is how to get rid of acne scars. To find the best way to fade or permanently remove these distressing marks, it is important to understand that there are different types of acne scars and they require different treatment.

Early Acne Scars
The scars that form soon after a pimple or cyst heal can be referred to as early acne scars. These are not scars in the true sense, but an inflammation that remains for a time after a pimple is gone. It is red and may have a slight swelling in the place where you had the pimple.

Because of the swelling, some people think that part of the pimple is still there in the form of a cyst, but this is not the case. There is no need to go on treating the area with anti acne creams, and creams could actually over dry the skin at this point and slow down healing. Early acne scars are just inflammation which will pass naturally. Depending on your skin and the severity of the acne, the redness can take 1 week to 1 year to fade.

How to Treat Early Acne Scars:
While time and patience is your best ally, using topical retinoids such as Retin-A can speed up the skin’s healing process. These types of creams, as well as others that you dermatologist may recommend, can be a useful treatment for early acne scars. Antioxidant creams may also help the healing process.

More Serious Post Acne Scars
Most acne marks should have faded completely by the end of 12 months. If acne scars remain after one year, then these are true scars. The more serious acne scars take the form of pitted scars, boxcar scars, and ice pick scars. There usually require surgical treatment to smooth the skin and fade additional pigmentation. Medical treatments typically take the form of skin resurfacing, which is recommended to get rid of acne scars for many people.

How to Get Rid of Serious Acne Scars:
Skin resurfacing treatments for acne scars can take several forms.

1. Collagen injections

These injections smooth the skin by plumping up the area right under the scar. This treatment is often used for boxcar type scars, the round or oval scars that have clear edges and are usually less than 0.5 mm deep. Collagen treatment is also used to smooth out wrinkles in older people.

2. Laser resurfacing

Here the scar tissue is burned away with a carefully targeted laser so that healthy skin can form in its place.

3. Dermabrasion

This treatment removes the scar tissue with a fast spinning wire brush.

4. Chemabrasion

This treatment uses a chemical peel to remove the top layers of skin and is most useful for superficial scars.

All of the last three options will cause the skin to look red for a while until the new, healthy skin forms in place of the scar. Ask your dermatologist about the effects of each treatment.

There are a few acne scars that cannot be treated with skin resurfacing. Most of these are what are called ice pick acne scars. These are narrow, sharp scars, usually less than 2 mm wide, that can go quite deep into the skin. They make the skin look like it has been punctured with a small ice pick. These scars are often too deep for skin resurfacing or dermabrasion to be effective, so there is no easy treatment. The scar must be left to perhaps heal in time, or in some cases it can be hidden. However, an ice pick acne scar that never heals is unusual.

Most acne scars heal by themselves and if they do not, surgical procedures are usually effective. Some patience is required, but in the end it is almost always possible to get rid of acne scars.

The following are a few of the top-rated scar removal products from SkinStore.com. Note that these work best on early acne scars. Also, the sooner you use them after the blemish has completely healed the better. However, if the blemish isn’t healed yet some of these could be irritating – such as ones containing any type of acid.

1.
Kelocote Advanced Formula Scar Gel

Kelocote Advanced Formula Scar Gel
2.
ScarFade Scar Gel

ScarFade Scar Gel
3.
Scar Fx

Scar Fx

Try a product like one of the above first. If that doesn’t work after a few months of following the directions, head to your dermatologist for a consultation on other treatments.

Amazing Cosmetics Concealer Review

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer Medium Beige
The Amazing Cosmetics Concealer is a thick, full-coverage concealer that comes in a 0.5 oz. tube. It is meant to be used to conceal anything from acne to dark circles.

My hypersensitive skin did not have a good reaction to this concealer, but it worked very well under my eyes. The coverage is truly full-coverage and a little goes a very long way. It also comes in a pretty extensive range of colors, especially for fair skin like my own. The problems most people have with this concealer are its price and its ingredients. Since it is not oil-free, this concealer can potentially cause break outs for people with very sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Great range of shades
  • Full coverage
  • A little goes a long way

Cons:

  • Ingredients might not agree with those who are sensitive to mineral oils
  • Pricey (However, the travel size tube is much less expensive.)
  • Difficult to blend (You definitely need to use a concealer brush or small sponge to blend effectively.)

This concealer is best for:

  • People who need maximum coverage for under eye circles or skin imperfections such as acne, pigmentation, or scarring.

Tips for using the Amazing Cosmetics Concealer:

  • Apply to a well-moisturized and primed base
  • Only use a tiny amount!
  • Use a concealer brush with synthetic fibers or a small makeup sponge to dab the concealer onto your skin and blend it out.
  • Set with a translucent powder for long-wearing coverage.

Where to buy:

I highly recommend SkinStore.com for this particular concealer since they have the complete Amazing Cosmetics line, so you can explore all the colors and options, including their concealer brush (an absolute must for applying any concealer!).  They have a great setting powder too.

Amazing Cosmetics A Little Amazing Fair


Amazing Cosmetics A Little Amazing Fair

SkinStore.com also does a 10% deal for friends and family (which is basically anyone who enters an email address), and free shipping over $49.