Testing the Products (Acne, Skin Care, Make Up) that You Already Own
There was a cartoon in the paper with one of our most beloved single working girls that went something like this: (we will call her Debbie)
Debbie walks into a store and goes up to the cosmetic counter and says, "I would like to buy a moisturizer please." The lady behind the counter looks down at Debbie and says, "You are using the rest of our product line aren't you?"
Debbie (slightly nervous now) says, "Well no, I just wanted a moisturizer!"
The lady behind the counter says, (somewhat forcefully) "But you must have skin clarifiers, skin oxygenators, exfoliants, rejuvenators, yada yada yada..."
By this time poor Debbie is shaking in her shoes and walks out with two bags of products for her face. The next time you see her she is standing in front of the bathroom mirror and has placed a long line of bottles and jars on the counter. Her boyfriend looks at the bottles and says, "Debbie, how could you spend $800.00 on your face?"
Debbie looks at her boyfriend and says, "It is the one part of my body I can't cover with clothes!"
The bottom line is that if you took all of the skin care products, acne products and makeup that you already own you could probably fill at least three to four very large shopping bags!
FACTOID: TWO of those bags would contain make up if you were female!
Whether you are male or female, you have already spent a fortune trying to get rid of lines, wrinkles, discoloration, acne, scaring, bumpy or uneven, and rough or unattractive skin. The bottles and jars create clutter on your counter top, yet you haven't seen any results-if anything, your skin has gotten worse!
I have always found it interesting that skin care, acne, and cosmetic companies make millions, billions and trillions of dollars because they have the right Buzz Word, Packaging, Perfume, and Price. That is how we, as consumers, are conditioned to shop! If the packaging suits our personality, if the product smells right to us and is in, almost in, or sometimes way out of our budget, then we will spend anything and sacrifice much to acquire that new Buzz Word product. Unfortunately what we do not achieve are results.
FACTOID: Americans throw away 10 million plastic containers an hour. (Did you ever think about how many millions and trillions of containers are hidden in our bathroom cabinets?)
There are a few simple rules of thumb that you can follow to help you decide what to do with the products you already have and decide if you should keep them, recycle them, or donate them to the Martians.
Make a list of the products you have.
Make a list of the ingredients in each product.
1. Are you getting positive results?
2. Does your skin look and feel good to you?
3. What products do you need to acquire or change to achieve the goals and results you desire?
It is definitely time to look good! Grab a lovely coffee, espresso or hot tea and let's get started!
How do I know if a product is really oil-free when the label claims it is water based or oil-free? And how do I know how much of each ingredient is in the product? Read the ingredients.
Ingredients are listed in the proportion (from largest to smallest) that they appear on the label. Example: the first ingredient is Purified Water, the second is Isopropyl Myristate, and the third is Almond Oil. This ingredient listing indicates that Purified Water is the most prevalent ingredient, followed by Isopropyl Myristate, etc. Also, because of the kind of ingredients included, this product will make your skin will be very oily and, chances are, covered with small zits. (You paid for water, chemicals and zits).
Compare what is in your product with the list of Comedogenic Ingredients in the article:
Become an Acne Detective
If your products include ingredients such as a chemically made lanolin or one of the comedogenic oils, then it is not oil free!
HANDY DANDY HOME OIL TEST
This is a MUST for ferreting out "secret oils". Apply a pea-sized amount of the product in question to a small square of brown paper bag or small square of notebook paper. Allow the sample of the product to sit undisturbed for up to 24 hours on your counter. If an oil ring forms at any point during the 24-hour period, then you will know that the product is not oil-free.
Why is it so important that I use oil-free ingredients in my Acne products?
An Acne Lesion needs three components to form and torment you: Sebum, Keratinocytes, and Bacteria.
Individuals with Acne suffer from oily skin to begin with, however, many have become convinced that they need to moisturize their faces because they have used drying agents sold to them at the cosmetic counters and been told to moisturize.
Example #1 Tonics, Toners, and Astringents sold to you because they supposedly:
- Close your pores
- Return the pH of your skin to normal
- Remove excess oil from the skin
- Neutralize the residue of your cleanser
Horse feathers! Pores have no muscles so they do not open or close. There should not be any excess oil on the surface of the skin because that is why you used a cleanser in the first place. If your cleanser is formulated properly it automatically returns your pH to its normal level and biodegrades as it rinses off, leaving no residue.
EXAMPLE #2 Moisturizers sold to you because they supposedly:
- Hydrate or Moisturize the surface of the skin
- Infuse Moisture in your skin
- Protect your skin against yada, yada, yada
Horse feathers! A moisturizer hydrates the skin. The opposite of hydration is dehydration or the absence of moisture. Only an emulsion (a combination of water and oil) that has been hydrolyzed (had its molecular size changed) may penetrate the surface layers of the skin and infuse it with moisture.
Creams and Lotions are sealants because their molecular weight is larger than the surface of the skin and cannot penetrate. Creams and Lotions seal the skin exactly the way it is and add extra OIL to your skin. If you choose products formulated with oil in them you will become even more oily and shiny looking than you are now. Natural or Synthetic Oil will frequently add to or exacerbate Acne.
By adding additional oil to your skin you add more fuel to the fire because the oil binds with keratinocytes (dead skin cells) and bacteria to form your lesions. People often think that using a huge amount of product will be effective because if a little works, then a lot will work even better. Unfortunately, oil doesn't penetrate the surface of the skin. Instead, it just sits there, so as the day progresses you become more and more oily on the surface and remain dry underneath.
KERATINOCYTES (dead skin cells)
Humans go through a process called mitosis every 28 days. This means that we make a whole new skin from the inside out. (It gives you a chance to start over each month.) The cells rise from the bottom (dermis) until they are exposed on the surface and fall or slough off. We interfere with this process because of the large amounts of "oily" moisturizers, sun blocks, shaving creams and makeup we use, which commonly include comedogenic ingredients. External factors like pollution, medication, and sun damage also influence this process. Unfortunately, because of these factors, the cells don't complete their process and fall off.
What complicates this whole cycle is that when you have Acne, the skin on your face acts like the skin on your hands and feet and makes thousands of extra cells, resulting in thousand of extra keratinocytes (dead skin cells). These extra cells love to bind with Oil (which acts like glue) and Bacteria to make our special friend the ZIT.
Formula: Oil + Dead Skin Cells + Bacteria = Zits
CORNIBACTERIUM ACNES (Bacteria)
Cornibacterium Acnes are nasty little anaerobic bacteria that live in the skin without the presence of oxygen. We have anaerobic bacteria everywhere on our bodies and many of them perform positive, vital functions. However, in the case of Acne, the anaerobic bacteria are deadly. If you have inherited the Autosomal or Dominant Characteristic Gene that causes Acne, these microscopic horrors are the cause of your problems and your worst nightmare. Which is why Acne is truly a Four Letter Word.
Formula: Oil + Dead Skin Cells + Bacteria = Zits
I suggest that in the future you become a Wise Consumer. Read ingredient listings. Test your products for oil.
Read the articles: Become an Acne Detective & Acne is a Four Letter Word because most of us make our own zits, we don't need to buy them!
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Barbara Strickland 1998-2016. This information is published and may not be reprinted.