Category Archives: Acne

Facial Serums Make A Difference

Serums, Cleansers Critical To Healthy Skin

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In the past, I’ve talked about skin cleansers and toners. Cleansers are probably the most important product to use on your skin. If they are too acidic or too alkaline, they tear down the skin, making it irritated and more sensitive. Scrubs can cause the same type of skin damage.

The more you irritate the skin, the more it becomes inflamed, the faster you age and the more you are prone to skin  cancer.

Your skin is a complex organ that serves as a protective barrier. It’s aging not only affects how old you look, but the thinning of the skin exposes you to infections and environmental chemicals and UV radiation.  So you need to know your cleanser. (You can bring it in and I can check it out for you. Know too, that Pevonia’s cleansers are the proper PH.)

Step #2 is skin toner. Toners balance the skin and they also remove tap residue. Depending on your water supply, this residue can cause breakout and problems on the skin.

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On to the third step in your home care routine which is a serum, (also called intensifiers, concentrates, elixirs, and boosters). Clients ask me if they really need a serum. The answer is YES.  The appropriate serum can make a dramatic difference on your face. It can make your skin look and feel younger, help tighten pores, calm redness, hydrate, diminish wrinkles, help acne, lighten, and more.  The best thing about specialized serums, is that they have powerful, concentrated, active ingredients that absorb quickly to deliver these ingredients.  The gel-like product is usually water based so it doesn’t clog your pores.

When you want to target specific skin concerns, serums are the way to go. Not only do they offer targeted results, but they strengthen your cells and give them nourishment and help repair. The one serum I like best, especially in the sun, is Vitamin C Concentrate by Pevonia. It helps prevent and repair sun damage.

These concentrates need to go on immediately after cleansing and toning. The skin needs to be very moist for the serum to be massaged gently (up and out movements) into the skin of the face, neck, and upper chest. If you don’t have toner, then leave your face moist with water (distilled water if possible). A creamy lotion or cream moisturizer over the top is usually recommended to keep serum from evaporating before it delivers its targeted ingredient.

Whatever your skin care concerns are, you can see faster results using the appropriate serum. Not all serums are created equal since manufacturing practices vary from brand to brand. Pevonia has my serums of choice because they are safe and effective.

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

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The Most Common Skin Care Concerns

Skin Influenced By Age, Ethnicity, Environment, Heredity 

Conditions that irritate, clog, or inflame your skin can cause serious problems. Many skin problems, such as acne, also affect your appearance. Here are the key facts about some of the most common skin problems:

Acne: This is the most common skin condition that affects human beings. While it mostly affects teenagers who are undergoing hormonal changes, many adults suffer with acne as well. Acne ranges in severity, requiring topical treatment in some individuals and systemic treatment in others. Acne can cause scarring as well. If you have mild or moderate acne, you may be able to treat it with cleansers, soaps, or astringents that are widely available over the counter. You can also use alpha-hydroxy acids (such as salicyclic acid) or benzoyl peroxide. If you have a more severe case of acne, you may require systemic treatment, which includes the administration of oral antibiotics, oral vitamin A compounds, or hormonal therapies. Your personal skin care treatment depends upon the cause of your acne, which can include bacteria, genetics, hormones, clogged pores or a combination of those factors.

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Age spots or freckles: Age spots or liver spots (lentigines) and freckles (ephelides) are commonly caused from sun exposure. Age spots can occur in all skin types, typically arising later in life; freckles usually occur in people with fair skin. There are several ways to treat each, including hydroquinone and tretinoin. However, hydroquinone is not suitable treatment for persons with darker skin. If you have darker skin, you should plan to use a treatment that contains Kojic acid or vitamin C.

No matter who you are or what your ethnicity, your skin will require different care as you age. You will likely experience increased dryness, changes in facial contour, changes in hair growth, and decreased sweating. These are the impacts of the aging process. However, several treatments have proven effective. These include alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin A.

Dark skin: If you are African American, Native American, Asian, Hispanic or Southern European, you may want to avoid certain treatments. Those with sensitive skin should be especially cautious. If you use products with alpha-hydroxy acids, hydroquinones or tretinoin, you may risk hyperpigmentation (chemical reactions that can cause the creation of extra pigment, which may result in darker spots). If you have darker skin, you should plan to use a treatment that contains Kojic acid or vitamin C.

Eczema: This itchy, irritating skin condition comes in many forms and can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergies, environmental factors, or family history. The raised, inflamed skin can appear anywhere on your body, including your face, legs, arms or neck. It can be treated with coal tar, steroid creams, or topical immunomodulators (TIMs), a class of anti-inflammatory drugs that are non-steroidal. For worse cases of eczema, you may require oral antibiotics, antihistamines or oral corticosteroids. As with other skin conditions, be sure to receive a proper diagnosis from a dermatologist for proper treatment guidelines.

Hives: Red and sometimes itchy bumps on your skin. An allergic reaction to a drug or food usually causes them. People who have other allergies are more likely to get hives than other people. Other causes include infections and stress. Hives are very common. They usually go away on their own, but if you have a serious case, you might need medical help.

Melasma: There are a number of treatments for this discoloration condition, also known as chloasma, which causes brown or tan patches on the face and neck. The condition is aggravated by sun exposure, but does not cause redness or swelling. If you think you have melasma, but you have not visited a dermatologist, it is important to receive an official diagnosis before beginning any treatment. This condition is most common among women who are on birth control pills, pregnant, or taking hormone replacement therapy. However, men also get melasma. This condition is commonly treated with hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, L-ascorbic acids (vitamin C), or mandelic acid. To ensure effective treatment, you should use a sunscreen at all times.

Moles: Growths on the skin. They happen when cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in a cluster with tissue surrounding them. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles. A person may develop new moles from time to time, usually until about age 40. About one out of every 10 people has at least one unusual (or atypical) mole that looks different from an ordinary mole. They may be more likely than ordinary moles to develop into melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Because of this, you should have a health care professional check your moles if they look unusual, grow larger, change in color or outline, or in any other way.

Rashes (basic dermatitis): Dry and itchy skin; Rashes on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the hands and feet. Your doctor will help you develop a good skin care routine, learn to avoid things that lead to flares, and treat symptoms when they occur.

Rosacea: This skin disease causes an array of symptoms, including redness and puffiness on several areas of the face, including cheeks and nose; in later stages, rosacea may cause small, visible blood vessels on the face, bumps or pimples on the face. Before seeking treatment, you should be officially diagnosed with this chronic condition, for which there is no cure, but there are available treatments. Rosacea can be treated with topical metronidazole, retinoids, azelaic acid, salicylic acid, mandelic acid or vitamin C. Oral antibiotics may be effective in more severe cases. It is important to realize that rosacea is a condition that can worsen if treatment is ignored or delayed. You should consult with your dermatologist to determine what treatment will work best for you.

Skin Cancer: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common.

Wrinkles: Your skin changes as you age. You might notice wrinkles, age spots, and dryness. Sunlight is a major cause of skin aging. Cigarette smoking also contributes to wrinkles. The wrinkling increases with the number of cigarettes and years a person has smoked. Many products claim to revitalize aging skin or reduce wrinkles, but the Food and Drug Administration has approved only a few for sun-damaged or aging skin. Various treatments soothe dry skin and reduce the appearance of age spots.

Skin Care News via https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Skin_Care_Concerns

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Chicago Spa Emphasizes Benefits Of Facials

Facials Help Maintain, Regenerate Skin Health

Facials provide an opportunity to work with a professional skin care specialist who will analyze your skin, hear your concerns and show you how to properly care for your skin based on your personal needs and skin condition. A facial can help promote the overall health of your skin, which includes:

  • Stimulating blood flow
  • Softening skin
  • Removing dead skin
  • Encouraging new skin growth
  • Restoring skin complexion
  • Treating acne
  • Relieving stress
  • Hydrating chronic dry skin
  • Cleansing and detoxification

Choosing the type of facial that you need is the first step. Some facial treatments offer a deep cleanse of the skin, while others provide moisture to skin cells. Some facials can specifically treat acne.

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The Key Benefits Of Facials

Cleansing: Facials will deep cleanse your skin. Removing toxins from pollution and our diet is essential for healthy skin. Facials can reduce an overabundance of sebum, which is a natural substance that moisturizes and lubricates our skin. Overproduction of sebum can cause skin problems, including blackheads and acne. Cleansing facials open the pores of the skin, remove dead skin and toxins from the face, and clean the surface of the skin through exfoliation that tightens and firms the skin. Steam treatments raise the temperature of the skin and soften the hardened oil in the pore, making it easier for extraction and deep pore cleansing.

Exfoliation: Exfoliation stimulates regeneration of skin cells, while removing dead, dry skin. Exfoliation also can break down stubborn marks on the skin. Exfoliation also allows the active ingredients in skin care products to absorb deeper within the skin for maximum benefit.

Increased Circulation: A facial massage helps increase microcirculation to bring new nutrients to skin cells. This gives your skin a healthy glow and pumps skin cells full of with vital nutrients and water, which reduces the appearance of wrinkled and dry skin. Nutrition, circulation and hydration are essential for youthful, healthy skin. A facial can help smooth fine lines, while promoting collagen production, which is essential to anti-aging and healthy skin.

Along with all of the skin benefits stated above, facials are incredibly relaxing and stress reducing and should be performed every 4-6 weeks. Facial treatments can help slow the aging process of our skin, while contributing to our overall health. Facials are not the silver-bullet solution, however. While highly beneficial, facials can’t overcome a the negative impacts of poor diet and a lack of exercise. Healthy skin is just part of your overall health.

Geneva skin care and facials

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

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Skin Mapping Helps Unmask Skin Conditions

What Acne Outbreaks Are Telling You

By Lauren Salapatek, Modern Magazine

Did you know that acne could be linked to health issues? According to traditional Chinese medicine, internal imbalances in our body can show up on our face. These issues can show up in the form of acne, dark circles or rashes.

Although western medical practitioners find little truth to face mapping, many Eastern medicine practitioners believe otherwise. “There are no medical studies to link facial mapping with specific breakout areas, but there may be factors you are overlooking,” says dermatologist Dr. Brian Russell.

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According to Chinese medicine,  the location of acne on your face can indicate the underlying cause. Here, MODERN has compiled our own face mapping guide which can help you diagnose your acne problems. If you’re an esthetician, you might find this very interesting.

UPPER FOREHEAD (Zone 1): You could be experiencing poor digestive health and/or your body may be having trouble digesting food, which can lead to a build-up of toxins.
Associated with the: Bladder and Digestive System.
The Fix: Load up on antioxidant rich foods like berries, nuts and green tea.

LOWER FOREHEAD (Zone 2): Breakouts in this area of your face can be triggered by irregular sleep, stress, bad blood circulation or depression.
Associated with the: Bladder and Digestive System
The Fix: Adults require 7-8 hours of sleep per day. However, the National Sleep Foundation says there is no “magic number” of hours. The number of hours needed varies across populations and the individual. Get more beauty sleep.

BETWEEN EYEBROWS (Zone 3): Pimples in this area can be a directly linked to consuming too much alcohol or a diet that’s high in fat. This area can also indicate a food allergy.
Associated with the: Liver.
The Fix: Cut down on the partying. Eat more fruit and leafy greens.

UNDER EYES (Zone 4): Dark circles in these areas is a sign of dehydration.
Associated with the: Kidneys.
The Fix: Drink more water for your skin.

NOSE (Zone 5): This area can tell you if you are experiencing too many fluctuations in blood pressure and stress.
Associated with the: Heart.
The Fix: Manage your blood pressure with a monitor.

RIGHT AND LEFT CHEEKS (Zone 6): Do you have lung allergies or smoke cigarettes? Those who smoke tend to have acne breakouts on the cheeks. Also, you may see broken capillaries in this area. Acne in the lower parts of your cheeks may suggest dental issues like Gingivitis.
Associated with the: Lungs/Respiratory System.
The Fix: Quit smoking.

SIDES OF CHIN (Zone 7): Hormonal changes and stress can leave this spot imbalanced. Breakouts occur on either side of your chin right around the time of your menstrual cycle. Interesting Fact (from laurenconrad.com) Breakouts in this area happen on one side or another depending on which ovary is ovulating that month.
Associated with the: Reproductive organ or kidneys.

BOTTOM OF CHIN (Zone 8): This is a sign of digestive issues.
Associated with the:
Stomach.
The Fix:
Try adding more fiber to your diet or detoxing.

EARS (Zone 9): You could be experiencing dehydration which could be caused from too much salt and caffeine. If you drink too much soda, coffee or alcohol, this area can get affected.
Associated with the: Kidneys.
The Fix: Drink more water — limit your salt intake.

For more information about face mapping and other skin conditions, please contact us at Skin Care Plus. We are skin care experts who use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area.

Skin Care News via http://www.modernsalon.com/features/spa-skin-care/Face-Mapping-What-are-Your-Acne-Breakouts-Telling-You-275314201.html

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What Your Skin Needs

Skin Conditions Often Connected To Other Health Issues

Our skin is the body’s largest organ, our first line of defense against the outside world.It’s also a reflection of our overall health.

“Inflammation in other areas of the body can often be seen first on the skin,” says Jeffrey Bland, PhD, author of The Disease Delusion: Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer, and Happier Life.

Skin expresses inflammation that originates elsewhere, he notes, particularly in the microbiome and gut, where 70 percent of the immune system resides.

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“That same inflammation can also lead to diabetes, cardiac disease, arthritis, dementia, and other conditions,” he says. “These things are all interconnected.”

As much as they annoy us, the bumps, lumps, and rashes we experience can offer important clues — warning signals meant to alert us to deeper, more significant problems in one or more of our bodies’ major systems. We generally wish these symptoms would just disappear, because even if acne, psoriasis, warts, and skin tags serve some practical purpose in getting our attention, they also make us cringe.

In fact, medical experts acknowledge that the psychological pain associated with skin conditions can be worse than the physical discomfort. “We don’t want anyone looking at us,” says Andrea Nakayama, CNC, a functional nutritionist in Portland, Ore. On some level, she notes, we fear that when others observe the condition, it is “painful for them, too.”

As tempting as it may be to simply suppress the symptoms, the best way to resolve chronic skin problems for good is to work with a skilled health practitioner — one who can help you address underlying issues that may be doing -damage not just to your epidermis, but to your overall well-being.

Here’s a look at six common skin complaints and the systemic issues that may be triggering them, plus strategies for healing them from the inside out.

Eczema

An itchy, uncomfortable, scaly, and sometimes blistering rash, often found on the face, hands, feet, behind ears, and in crooks of knees and elbows.

What might be causing it: Food sensitivities, microbial imbalances, or other gut-level irritations triggering an immune response.

Some 30 million Americans suffer from eczema, whose name comes from the Greek ekzein, meaning “to boil over.” In some cases, eczema can be triggered by an external irritant, such as an environmental toxin. But like psoriasis, eczema can also be driven by several other factors, including gut and immune issues, which may in turn be caused by food sensitivities or other lifestyle-related triggers.

In the case of food-based triggers, avoiding any offending foods for six to eight weeks — enough time for the skin to completely turn over and rejuvenate itself — can often eliminate eczema symptoms without medication.

Elizabeth Boham, MD, MS, RD, has observed this in her own life, as well as in her practice at the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Mass. When her son was a baby, he developed both terrible eczema and some asthma-like restrictions in his airway when he switched from breast milk to cow’s milk. Boham eliminated dairy from his diet. After six weeks, he was not only breathing easy, but his eczema was gone as well.

What’s the connection between food intolerances and skin? The lining of the small intestine has limited permeability, allowing nutrients to pass into the bloodstream while toxins and improperly digested food remain behind.

Over time, eating foods that we don’t tolerate increases the permeability and can cause toxins to “leak” into the bloodstream, a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. Then the body’s immune system goes on a rampage, not only attacking the toxins but our own cells. The result is a cascade of inflammation expressed in a variety of disorders, including eczema.

Dry Skin

Rough, flaky, or cracked skin that may itch, peel, or cause discomfort.

What might be causing it: Nutrient deficiencies, -hormonal imbalances, or circulatory disorders.

We tend to think of dry skin as a hydration problem, but slathering on moisturizing creams and increasing water intake isn’t always an effective solution.

Persistent dryness (called xerosis) can be triggered by low thyroid function, circulatory problems, and a variety of other environmental exposures and medical conditions, says Stone.

Diet is also a contributing factor, which is why good practitioners take careful histories, conduct physical exams, and when necessary, use labs to confirm suspected causes rather than simply treating dry-skin symptoms.

One cause of dry skin might be a deficit of healthy fats. Another might be a lack of B vitamins — which help the body process those healthy fats — perhaps due to genetic factors or to long-term use of antacids, which interfere with the body’s assimilation of vitamins and minerals.

For many such cases, Stone prescribes an increase in healthy dietary fats, along with more B vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E.

He also encourages patients to use plant-based emollients like coconut oil, which are easily absorbed and can help diminish surface dryness and inflammation. He advises they steer clear of conventional, chemically laden and fragranced topical products, noting that even healthy skin can react badly to their additives. (For more on the importance of clean, plant-based body-care products, see “Beauty Beware“.)

Psoriasis

Itchy spots, reddish plaques, and thick flaky lesions, sometimes accompanied by pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints.

What might be causing it: An irritated gut, an overactive immune system, or metabolic syndrome.

Some 7.5 million Americans suffer from psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Dealing with pain inside and out, psoriasis patients often bounce from one dermatologist to another in search of a cure. They accumulate drawers of topical creams and steroids, but often find limited relief because the treatments don’t address the underlying cause of their misery.

Psoriasis has been most commonly linked to an autoimmune response — but that response can be triggered by all sorts of things, including gut dysfunction, dysbiosis, and stress. Some newer research indicates that psoriasis may also be linked with metabolic syndrome.

“It’s not a simple mechanism that causes psoriasis,” says Valori Treloar, MD, an integrative dermatologist based in Wellesley, Mass., and coauthor of The Clear Skin Diet. Psoriasis can be tricky to diagnose, too, because other conditions, like eczema and candida overgrowth, can produce similar-looking rashy and scaly patches.

For psoriasis sufferers who have the excess belly fat associated with metabolic syndrome, Treloar urges a suite of lifestyle changes. She advises them to stop smoking, cut back on alcohol, and stick to a nutrient-dense, low-glycemic diet with plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables.

The first step functional nutritionist Nakayama takes in treating psoriasis is irritant elimination. She calls this “clearing the muddy waters.” Clients typically start by removing three of the most inflammatory foods: gluten, dairy, and sugar. This often relieves irritation in the gut and allows it to resume normal function.

Nakayama and likeminded practitioners also support intestinal healing with aloe vera juice and L-glutamine, then restore gut flora with probiotic supplements and bacteria-rich foods like sauerkraut and coconut kefir. They encourage whole-food diets rich in essential fats, and often supplement with fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and D; omega-3 fatty acids from flax, hemp, and fish; and anti-inflammatory evening primrose oil.

Nakayama notes that sometimes individualized care requires more investigation and fine-tuning. “We’ll use many different approaches to sooth and heal that inflamed gut,” she says. “And by healing that inner skin, we often see results on the outer skin.”

Acne

The most common skin disorder, characterized by pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts.

What might be causing it: An excess of inflammatory foods, a deficiency of highly nutritious ones, a messed-up gut, or hormonal imbalance.

Acne typically plagues teenagers, whose surges of testosterone and other androgens increase oil production in the skin. But Treloar says that the number of adults with acne has increased so much that some healthcare practitioners have started to view it as a chronic disease.

As with most chronic diseases, adult acne often appears linked to diet. It has been tied to hormonal disruptions, gut-level inflammation, and microbiome imbalances, and is an especially common symptom of food intolerances.

A number of epidemiological studies show an association between acne and milk consumption, for example. Although the mechanisms by which food sensitivities trigger acne are not widely agreed upon, many practitioners reference significant clinical evidence as proof of a connection.

“I have my patients do a trial of six to eight weeks of no dairy other than butter, which is mostly just fat,” Treloar says. In many cases, she says, “that alone is enough to clear their skin. They come back and their acne is essentially gone.”

Treloar also encourages her patients with acne to increase their consumption of vegetables and cut way back on grains and fruit. This low-glycemic diet helps minimize rapid fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin, quells inflammation, and provides the building blocks required for healthier skin.

She recommends supplementing with fish-oil capsules and 30 mg of zinc daily. In some cases, she recommends topical creams and cleansers that contain vitamin B3.

In addition, Treloar works with patients on getting enough sleep and managing stress, both of which help reduce inflammation. She also recommends simple forms of meditation that help downshift anxiety (and thus inflammation).

Premature Aging

Wrinkles, sagging, dark spots, and loss of luminescence.

What it might mean: Lifestyle-related damage is outpacing your skin’s repair capacity.

The proteins and fats that give skin its youthful appearance (namely collagen and elastin) are highly sensitive to diet and lifestyle factors. Too many oxidizing free radicals (produced by a poor diet, stress, and smoking) can damage skin’s tissues, making skin look old before its time.

Sugar can do an especially nasty number on your skin, according to Nakayama, because it not only drives inflammation and free-radical activity, it also bombards the body’s cells with glycation, a process in which glucose latches onto your skin’s collagen and elastin supply.

This process leads to what are known as “advanced glycation end products” (with the appropriate acronym AGEs), which cause the proteins in skin to become discolored and weak.

“Glycation happens both inside and outside the body,” Nakayama says. “This is another way that a poor diet can inflame the entire immune system, with the repercussions in the skin as the most obvious sign.”

A certain amount of glycation is the unavoidable byproduct of eating and being alive, Nakayama notes, but a high-glycemic, low-nutrition diet amplifies the damage, causing skin to lose its radiance and suppleness far earlier than it otherwise would.

Skin Care and Health News via https://experiencelife.com/article/what-your-skin-is-trying-to-tell-you/?articleID=47&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=1050558&utm_campaign=&et_cid=1050558&et_rid=31841918

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

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Chicago Skin Care Expert Offers Winter Tips

Natural Alternatives For Healthier Skin

As winter approaches, many of us live in climates that require lifestyle modifications. Shorter days and lower temperatures doesn’t have to mean bad news for your skin. We’re offering some food for thought on skin care that will help make this winter more interesting, while making your skin glow. If you have suggestions about your favorite natural alternatives to skin care and overall health, please pass them along and we will share them with our readers (and give you credit of course).

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Emu oil is one of those magical oils for the skin and your entire body. It’s a great moisturizer that won’t clog your pores. It’s also a skin rejuvenator.

Carrot juice really does add pigment to the skin, which means that it adds to your complexion.

Seaweed is an effective facial treatment. It helps detox and open the pores, while nourishing the skin.

Turmeric is a popular spice and a healthy addition to any diet. It boosts circulation and helps people of all ages fight acne.

Milk and honey baths are part of Cleopatra’s legend. Milk is a mild exfoliator and an effective cleanser. Of course, milk also has vitamin A  and vitamin D, which is absorbed by the skin. The mixture also makes your hair shine.

As you know, we always recommend natural alternatives to healthy skin care. Many skin care products can harm you and it’s advisable to have a personal skin analysis to make sure that you are using the best products and practices for your skin condition.

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

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Acne The Most Common Skin Condition

Acne Prevention and Treatment Tips

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, but many women with the condition do the wrong things to prevent it and treat it. Dermatologists know that letting acne run its course is rarely the best advice:

  • Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears;
  • Treating acne often boosts a person’s self-esteem;
  • Many effective treatments are available;
  • More women are getting acne; A growing number of women have acne in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.

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Touching Your Blemishes

Touching your pimples is one of the worst things to do with acne. Serious consequences that result from touching acne include the worsening of inflammation, spread of infection and a longer healing process. When you squeeze a pimple, the risk of scarring is multiplied. The only dermal manipulation recommended for skin blemishes and acne are deep cleansing techniques carried out by a facial skin esthetician or a dermatologist. Deep pore-cleansing facials are not designed for severe acne, but remove blackheads and impurities. They are for people with oily skin or mild acne. Only a licensed physician can address severe acne with cysts, the “buttons” of inflammation under acne blemishes.

Sleeping With Makeup

It’s OK to wear makeup when you have acne, but not removing your makeup before bedtime is a sin. Makeup left overnight hinders skin renewal and clogs your pores, which can cause inflammation.

Cleansing Your Skin Excessively

Cleansing the skin excessively is a mistake because it only aggravates the skin, without addressing the problem. The main cause of acne is an overproduction of sebum by sebaceous glands at the root of hair follicles. Skin that is irritated by too many cleansing products will start producing more sebum, not less, creating an environment conducive to acne. It is actually more effective and less harmful to use a single cleansing product, once or twice per day at most. Also use an acne cream or spot-drying treatment once daily.

Topical Treatments vs. Comprehensive Care

When suffering from acne, it is common to focus on affected areas by cleansing or using various daily treatments, while ignoring other factors and possible causes. Acne triggers include excess sebum, stress, high levels of progesterone, tobacco use and high blood sugar—as well as many others. A comprehensive treatment is recommended, regardless of age.

Harmful Skin Care Products

Certain ingredients in your moisturizer, toner and sunscreen can irritate your skin and cause break outs. Mineral oil, petrolatum, lanolin, perfume and artificial colors are the usual offenders, but even alcohol can overly dry your skin and cause your skin to produce more sebum. Read the labels of your skin and body care products and makeup to avoid non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores), oil-free, fragrance-free and alcohol-free.

Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Sometimes, it’s not the makeup behind your acne, it’s your bacteria-laden makeup brushes and sponges. To keep your skin clear, wash your applicators at least once a week with a gentle cleanser designed for that purpose.

Apply Your Spot Treatment Properly

It’s not enough that you know what spot treatment is best for acne. Knowing when to use it, how often to apply and how long to wear it is absolutely crucial. Benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient commonly found in acne treatments, has a 1–3-hour working time, and any cream that comes in contact with it before it has completed its work will likely inhibit the active ingredient from working properly. Wait at least an hour before applying moisturizer and/or sunscreen for best results.

Too Much Sun

Frequent sun tanning can trigger breakouts on those with acne-prone skin. Sun, heat and humidity can cause oil glands to become overactive, which can lead to acne breakouts. Also, apply sunscreen. Choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic product.

Change Your Pillowcase

If you’re not changing your pillowcase, you’re basically lying on accumulated dust and dead skin cells. Your bath towel could be harboring as much acne-causing bacteria.

Too Much Medication

Applying too much medication, or applying too often will cause excessive drying, redness, peeling, and irritation. Using your medications exactly as directed is the best way to clear acne, without harming your skin.

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Also posted in Anti-aging, Nutrition, Skin Care Tagged , , , , , |

Long-term Research Links Dairy and High-Sugar Foods to Acne

Editor’s Note: This is a great article abut the link between diet and acne–especially dairy and sugar. Diet is part of the equation. Natural skin care products and personal treatments are also the best ways to prevent and manage all skin care conditions.

Acne Linked To Dietary Factors

Review of 50 years of clinical studies indicates there may be a link between diet and acne after all. It’s been a subject of debate for decades, but it seems diet really does have an impact on a person’s complexion.

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A landmark overview of research carried out over the past 50 years has found that eating foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) and drinking milk not only aggravated acne, but in some cases triggered it, too. Millions of teenagers – and increasingly adults – are affected by the often painful skin condition which causes the skin to develop unsightly spots on the face, neck, chest and back. Could cutting out milk be the cure for those suffering with acne?

Acne is caused by a combination of the skin producing too much sebum and a build-up of dead skin cells which clog the pores and leads to a localized infection or spot. It is thought that excess sebum production is caused by hormonal fluctuations, which explains why around 80% of teenagers experience bouts of acne throughout adolescence. While there is no danger from the spots themselves, severe acne can scar as well as lead to anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.

Since the late 19th century, research has linked diet to acne, with chocolate, sugar and fat singled out as the main culprits. But studies carried out from the 1960s onwards have disassociated diet from the development of the condition.

Jennifer Burris, researcher and doctoral candidate within New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health in Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, says, “This change [in attitude] occurred largely because of the two important studies that are repeatedly cited in the literature and popular culture as evidence to refute the association between diet and acne.

“More recently, dermatologists and registered dietitians have revisited the diet-acne relationship and become increasingly interested in the role of medical nutritional therapy in acne treatment.”

Eating high GI foods – foods that are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly – is thought to have a direct effect on the severity of acne because of the hormonal fluctuations that are triggered. High GI foods cause a spike in hormone levels including insulin which is thought to instigate sebum production. A 2007 Australian study showed that young males who were put on a strict low GI diet noticed a significant improvement in the severity of their acne.

Milk is thought to affect acne because of the hormones it contains. A 2007 study by Harvard School of Public Health found that there was a clear link between those who drank milk regularly and suffered with acne. Interestingly, those who drank skimmed milk suffered with the worst breakouts, with a 44% increase in the likelihood of developing blemishes. It is thought that processing the milk increases the levels of hormones in the drink.

Low GI foods

  • Only carbohydrates have a GI rating.
  • Because low GI foods take longer for the body to break down they help you feel fuller for longer too.
  • High GI foods include sugary fizzy drinks, cakes, pastries, chocolate, white bread and potatoes.
  • Low GI foods include fruit and vegetables, wholegrain options such as brown pasta, basmati rice, couscous and pulses.
  • Not overcooking your pasta and vegetables helps lower the GI.

The authors of the latest overview – published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – say that dermatologists and dietitians should work together to design and conduct quality research to help the millions of acne sufferers.

“This research is necessary to fully understand the underlying mechanisms linking diet and acne,” adds Burris.

“The medical community should not dismiss the possibility of diet therapy as an adjunct treatment for acne. At this time, the best approach is to address each acne patient individually, carefully considering the possibility of dietary counseling.”

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Heal Your Skin

Heal Your Skin Naturally

Check out this link to a very interesting video about self healing. Scientific proof that we can heal ourselves by activating our own body’s self-repair healing mechanisms. In this short video, Dr. Lissa Rankin talks about her new book, Mind Over Medicine, Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.

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In this video Lissa teaches you to activate your body’s relaxation response with a simple exercise scientifically proven to support healing and prevent disease. Learn how to activate your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms and heal yourself and your skin.

Find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

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Acne Bacteria Linked To Pimples

Chicago Skin Care Expert Treats Acne

The bacteria that cause acne live on everyone’s skin, yet one in five people is lucky enough to develop only an occasional pimple over a lifetime. A UCLA study conducted with researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute has discovered that acne bacteria contain bad strains associated with pimples and good strains that may protect the skin.
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The findings, published in the Feb. 28 edition of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, could lead to a myriad of new therapies to prevent and treat the disfiguring skin disorder.

“We learned that not all acne bacteria trigger pimples — one strain may help keep skin healthy,” said principal investigator Huiying Li, an assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “We hope to apply our findings to develop new strategies that stop blemishes before they start, and enable dermatologists to customize treatment to each patient’s unique cocktail of skin bacteria.”

The scientists looked at a tiny microbe with a big name: Propionibacterium acnesbacteria that thrive in the oily depths of our pores. When the bacteria aggravate the immune system, they cause the swollen, red bumps associated with acne.
Using over-the-counter pore-cleansing strips, LA BioMed and UCLA researchers lifted P. acnes bacteria from the noses of 49 pimply and 52 clear-skinned volunteers. After extracting the microbial DNA from the strips, Li’s laboratory tracked a genetic marker to identify the bacterial strains in each volunteer’s pores and recorded whether the person suffered from acne.
Next, Li’s lab cultured the bacteria from the strips to isolate more than 1,000 strains. Washington University scientists sequenced the genomes of 66 of the P. acnes strains, enabling UCLA co-first author Shuta Tomida to zero in on genes unique to each strain.

“We were interested to learn that the bacterial strains looked very different when taken from diseased skin, compared to healthy skin,” said co-author Dr. Noah Craft, a dermatologist and director of the Center for Immunotherapeutics Research at LA BioMed at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center. “Two unique strains of P. acnes appeared in one out of five volunteers with acne but rarely occurred in clear-skinned people.”

“We were extremely excited to uncover a third strain of P. acnes that’s common in healthy skin yet rarely found when acne is present,” said Li, who is also a member of UCLA’s Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging. “We suspect that this strain contains a natural defense mechanism that enables it to recognize attackers and destroy them before they infect the bacterial cell.”
Offering new hope to acne sufferers, the researchers believe that increasing the body’s friendly strain of P. acnes through the use of a simple skin cream or lotion may help calm spotty complexions.
“This P. acnes strain may protect the skin, much like yogurt’s live bacteria help defend the gut from harmful bugs,” Li said. “Our next step will be to investigate whether a probiotic cream can block bad bacteria from invading the skin and prevent pimples before they start.”
Additional studies will focus on exploring new drugs that kill bad strains of P. acnes while preserving the good ones; the use of viruses to kill acne-related bacteria; and a simple skin test to predict whether a person will develop aggressive acne in the future.
“Our research underscores the importance of strain-level analysis of the world of human microbes to define the role of bacteria in health and disease,” said co-author George Weinstock, associate director of the Genome Institute and professor of genetics at Washington University in St. Louis. “This type of analysis has a much higher resolution than prior studies that relied on bacterial cultures or only made distinctions between bacterial species.”
Acne affects 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives, yet scientists know little about what causes the disorder and have made limited progress in developing new strategies for treating it. Dermatologists’ arsenal of anti-acne tools — benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and Accutane (isotretinoin) — hasn’t expanded in decades. Most severe cases of acne don’t respond to antibiotics, and Accutane can produce serious side effects.
The research was supported by a grant (UH2AR057503) from the National Institutes of Health’s Human Microbiome Project through the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

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