Back to Basics, Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

What does non-comedogenic really mean?

You might have heard the term non-comedogenic before but are not really sure what it means and why it is important. It is most commonly used concerning acne and acne fighting products. It is a very popular term used for foundations, serums, moisturizers and many other products. Given that, you will want to know what it means and what the benefits are.

What does non-comedogenic mean?

The word comedone refers to pimples (closed) and blackheads (open). If a product is labeled non-comedogenic it means the ingredients in the product shouldn’t block pores and create acne. These products are typically for combination, oily, and acne prone skin. However, carrying the label non-comedogenic doesn’t ensure the product won’t be a cause of acne. These products are typically oil and emollient free.

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Are the labels correct?

The next question is are the labels 100% correct? The answer is no, they have their limitations. The FDA doesn’t have a list of ingredients that need to be excluded in order to carry the label non-comedogenic. There also aren’t any standard tests to determine whether or not a product really is non-comedogenic. The most important piece is that skin is highly individual and what causes acne with one person may not have the same affect on someone else. This makes standardization very difficult.

Guidelines, not rules

Even though the labels aren’t a guarantee when it comes to preventing acne, they are usefully when choosing products. This is especially true for individuals with acne prone or oily skin. Look for products that carry this label and you will have better luck with controlling your acne, even though it may still take a little trial and error.

If you have acne prone skin I have a few tips to help with breakouts. Try not to touch your face as acne thrives on bacteria and your hands are covered with it. Wipe down things that go near your face often such as your cell phone or work phone with antibacterial wipes.  Cleanse at least once a day, twice if you can and use a oil free moisturizer.

If you have any suggestions or comments please leave them. I love hearing from you!

Back to Basics, Skin Care

Back to Basics: What should you look for in a facial mask?

You may have found the perfect combination of cleanser, moisturizer, and serums. However, you may still be lacking a touch of moisture or want softer skin. You are thinking you already apply quite a few products during your morning/evening routine so what else can you do? Facials at spas can be very pricey, especially when done on a regular basis.

At home facial masks may be the answer to your problem. Their possible benefits cover a wide range of needs, all you have to do is identify what you want. Masks blanket the skin, helping the active ingredients be absorbed more deeply. Depending on the mask, it can draw out impurities, eliminate dead cells, moisturize and tighten or tone skin.

Masks are typically worn for 10-15 minutes, depending on the mask. However, some deep moisturizing masks are worn overnight to allow maximum penetration. When applying a mask you should do so on clean skin before you put any moisturizer on. It is also recommended to gently steam your skin over a cup of hot water or pat with a warm washcloth to open the pores up and loosen impurities.

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Best mask by skin type:

1. Dry and/or sensitive skin: A hydrating mask is the only one you should use. Anything else will be too harsh. Chose a cream formula over a clay or exfoliating mask. The purpose is to rejuvenate and protect your skin. One great DIY mask for dry skin is greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey. The enzymes in the yogurt help remove dry, flaky skin while maintaining your skin’s natural oil balance.

2. Acne prone skin: Avoid using any mask that strips too much moisture. One powerful recommendation is to use oil to fight oil. As the case with oil facial cleansers, masks with oil are beneficial to acne prone skin as the oil bonds with oil to remove the excess. Start with a clay or gel mask, you can even add a little oil to the formula for double the effect.

3. Oily skin: Clay and exfoliating masks are the way to go. The minerals from the clay will leave your face feeling soft and supple, however, they tend to dry your skin out a bit too much. To counteract that use a hydrating mask afterward to add the necessary moisture back into your skin.

4. Combination skin: Use a clay mask on the t zone and a hydrating mask, such as the DIY enzyme mask on the rest of your face. Another twist on the yogurt mask is to mash up pineapple or papaya as the enzymes found in these fruits are great for removing dead skin cells. Your skin may change with the seasons so adjust accordingly.

If you have a favorite DIY mask or mask in general please share or leave a comment with questions or suggestions.

Back to Basics, Skin Care

Back to the Basics: The right cleanser for your skin

The first step to healthy skin is choosing the right cleanser for your skin type. Cleansers are the cornerstone of a good skincare regimen as it removes the makeup, impurities, oil buildup, and dead skin cells accumulated throughout the day. It also refreshes the skin and prepares it for any products you will use after the cleanser.

There are so many out there and it can be confusing which one to choose. We will start with determining whether you have dry/normal skin or combination/oily skin. Keep in mind your skin type can change over time. I will go over each skin type and what you should be looking for in a product to maximize the benefits.

Dry Skin:

If you have dry skin your skin will have small pores and/or a matte (dull) finish with no extra shine or oil. Dry skin can become rough and could flake or crack. If you have dry skin you want a gentle, creamier cleanser that won’t over strip the moisture from your skin and will help restore the needed moisture to soften the skin.

Normal Skin:

If you have normal skin it will have a healthy look with a smooth texture. You skin has a natural balance of oil and moisture. It is also not prone to blemishes or clogged pores. If you have normal skin you want a cleanser that maintains the balance.

Combination Skin:

If you have combination skin it will have a healthy look, as well as oiliness in T-zone areas. The “T-zone” goes horizontally across your forehead and vertically down the center of your face over the nose. There can also be signs of dryness across the cheeks and by the hairline. You want a cleanser that won’t over strip the moisture but that will help control the oil prone areas. This skin type can be tricky because if you use a cleanser that is too harsh the skin will over-compensate and produce even more oil to try to gain balance and the dry areas will become even drier. Look for one that specifically states combination skin.

Oily Skin:

If you have oily skin your skin will have a shiny appearance as the oil glands tend to over-produce. Even after cleansing a sticky or greasy feeling can linger for hours. You will also see larger pores and the skin is more prone to breakouts. You want to look for a cleanser that helps control surface oil so your skin feels smooth after cleansing. If you skin feels tight afterwards chances are the cleanser is too harsh and is removing too much of the skin’s natural oil and moisture. You may also want a cleanser with deep cleansing properties to clean pore openings of the buildup.

The next step is proper application. You will want a good lather and to move your fingers in a circular motion outward toward the hairline. Don’t forget to cleanse around the hairline and neck areas. You should wash your face twice a day, once in the morning to remove the toxins from the night and once at night to remove all the impurities and buildup that occurred throughout the day.

If you found this was beneficial please spread the word and share this post. If you have questions or helpful tips about skin types and cleansers please share below!