I've Tried Everything But I Can't Clear Up My Acne

You’ve gone to Dermatologists, tried various over the counter products that promise you clean skin, and have may even gone for facials but you still break out. Over 28 years I have heard this time and again. I have also heard “there are so many products, I don’t know what to choose” or “I used (fill in the blank) and my skin cleared up at first but then it got worse.


The reason why these products work at first but then stop is really quite simple. Most of these products are designed to dry out the skin. Harsh products strip your skin of oil and leave your skin feeling taut, dehydrated and flaky. This can cause a reaction known as reactive seborrhea, where the oil glands work overtime to compensate for the loss of natural oils but the upper layers of the skin have shrunk due to the dehydration.  This restricts oil flow through the pores leading to blockages and breakouts

Of course this is not the cause of your acne but a continuation of the problem, adding to your frustration.

There is no quick fix, so first and foremost, be prepared to make the commitment. Your skin is your largest organ, and as a Holistic Esthetician, I believe in a multi pronged approach to healthy skin . (This does not constitute a medical prescription or treatment.  Please consult your physician before taking any of the suggested herbs/ vitamins)

  1. First we look at your diet. Most Holistic and Functional Medical Doctors believe most illness and imbalances begin in our gut. Therefore it is best to start with an elimination diet to see if you have any food allergies or food sensitives. Dairy and Gluten seem to be the most common culprits but for others it can be sugar, soy, or even all grains. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a wheat or gluten sensitivity, intolerance, allergy, or Celiac Disease, the high amounts if glyphosphate used in wheat could also be a trigger. If you’ve eliminated all the above and still have issues, you could have an undiagnosed food sensitivity, allergy, or intolerance and may want to see a doctor for food sensitivity testing.

  2. Take a probiotic. Taking a good propbiotic (at least 30 billion CFU promotes a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system ,

  3. There are many herbs that can be helpful in gently assisting detoxification. However, I suggest you consult with either a Holistic Esthetician, Herbalist, or Functional Doctor before taking herbs as some have contraindications.

  4. Eliminate processed foods.

  5. Change to a healthy diet, which includes fresh fruit, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.   Cut back on sugar, alcohol, fatty foods, process foods and caffeine.


Now that we have discussed what to do internally, let’s look at external skin care. Let’s first look at what not to use.

  1. Retinol, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are all acne preparations which can be drying, irritate the skin, and eventually lead to inflammation..

  2. Products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, artifical color, synthetic fragrance, Isopropyl myristate, sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth-4 and D & CD red dye.can clog the pores and irritate the skin which will have the same effect as the above.

  3. Ingredients like parabens are hormone distrupters.

  4. Certain essential oils should never be used on the skin even if diluted beacause they can cause irritation and in some cases, many of the citrus oils will cause burns if expose to the sun:. cinnamon, clove, (should never be used); lemon, grapefruit ,lime( unless it is distilled), and Bergamo( okay in a cleanser but not a leave on product)

How to treat the skin externally. I suggest you meet with an Esthetician to have your skin evaluated and to choose the best products for you. Even acne skin can differ from person to person. If your skin is inflamed, dehydrated, flaky you may need different products from someone who has an oily, acneic condition.

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  1. Use a cleanser that will not leave your skin feeling taunt. Look for ingredients such a activated charcoal, herbs such as burdock root, clays, essential oils of lavender, tea tree, manuka, German chamomile, distilled lime, cedarwood. You must cleanse your skin berfore going to bed to remove the days dirt and grime.

  2. If you use a toner make sure it is free of alcohol. Witch hazel is also too strong and will dry out your skin. A good choice orange blossom or lavender flower water or something formulated to tone the skin without drying it out.

  3. It is important to moisturizer, even if you have oily skin. Choosing the appropriat moisturizer is of utmost importance. You want to a) keep the skin hydrated and b) treat the acne. Moisturize twice a day.

  4. While exfoliation is an important part of your regime you should never over exfoliate. Once or twice a week is enough. If you use a scrub it should be a finely ground product that has the consistency of cornmeal. Another option is to use an enzyme based exrfoliant. Always gently massage, never rub hard or use a brush like applicator. Follow with moisturizer

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Is It Really Bad to Sleep in Makeup?

With the holidays almost here many of us will be going to parties, gatherings, and other events.  We come home tired and just want to go to sleep, so we skip out on washing our face and removing the days makeup.  You probably know it is not a great idea but you think ah just this once. 

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And if it was just that one time it probably isn't that bad BUT it does have a cumulative effect.  Also, you have probably had a few alcoholic beverages and that is dehydrating which is very damaging to the skin, as I have discussed in many of my posts. Therefore, coupled with the dehydration, you have now skipped on moisturizer to add the much needed moisture. 


So just what happens to the skin as we sleep? Our skin goes through a renewing process so that we can wake up to rejuvenated, radiant skin after a good nights sleep. Each night you wear makeup to bed will clog your pores and may causes breakout which may attract bacteria.  In addition, it can also age the skin by causing free radical damage from not removing the the days pollution, dirt and grime.  Free radical damage causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin which results in fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.  Your skin will also begin to appear dull.


And it isn't just about Foundation. So if you are thinking well, I don't wear Foundation, I just wear some eyeliner and mascara, that can be problematic for your eyes.  You are leaving yourself prone to an eye infection or at the very least irritation and inflammation.

We all want to look our best everyday but especially when we are going to parties and other events.  The best way to achieve that is to take good care of your skin.  Use the right cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliate once a week and DO NOT SLEEP IN YOUR MAKEUP....you will look radiant.   Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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Renew Botanicals Organic and Vegan Skin Care Now Available

Born out of my love of aromatherapy and all things plant related, my passion for providing my clients with the best holistic skin care, and my deep respect for the planet, in 2009, I created my customized organic and vegan skin care line, ReNew Botanicals. Using my 25 years experience as a Master Esthetician, I formulated a unique blend of predominately organic, all-natural, vegan ingredients that allowed me to truly provide my clients with the absolute best in holistic skin care.  These products, loved by my clients are now available to purchase here

Because everyone of us has our own unique skin type just as we each are unique, the standard cookie cutter skin care products do not always work for us. That is why I formulated a wide variety of cleansers, toners and moisturizers to address your individual needs.  If you are not sure of your skin type or what products would be the best for you please contact me and I can help you decide.

A perfect example are these two moisturizers.  The first Soothe Moisturizer  is for an sensitive skin that is dry, which is how most product lines formulate their sensitive skin care products.

However, what if you have oily sensitive skin,  or acne that feels irritated.? You still want to soothe and calm your skin but you don't want a heavily moisurizing product.  That is when the Herbal Soothing Moisturizer comes into play.  This moisturizer has many calming and soothing herbs but is very lightweight and penetrates the skin fast.

You can have healthy radiant skin by using the right skin care products for your skin.  Today can be the beginning of your journey to healthy radiant skin.  

10 Skin Care Mistakes Keeping you From Healthy Skin

Day after day people book appointments with me for facials.  Some have skin care problems such as acne, rosacea or pigmentation issues.  Others come to maintain healthy skin and slow down the aging process. But many come because they are having issues that can be quickly remedied by following these 10 easy steps.

1.Use the right products for your skin type.  Following the advice from a DIY blogger may not work for you, since your skin may be very different from theirs. One size does not fit all.  Get your skin properly analyzed by a professional.   

2.  Cleanse your skin properly.  First make sure you are using the right cleanser for your skin type.  If you wear makeup, you must cleanse twice.  Once to remove the makeup, second to clean the skin.  After cleansing, your skin should not feel tight or taunt.  If so your cleanser is too drying.

3.  Moisturizer.  This is very important for everyone, even those with oily skin.  Not applying moisturizer especially to wet skin will cause the water to evaporate leaving your skin dehydrated.  Your skin will overcompensate for the loss of hydration which can lead to break outs, and the most common condition; dry cheeks and oily t-zone.

Renew Botanicals Organic and Vegan Moisturizer

4. Over Exfoliating .  This has become one of the biggest problems in the last few years because so many companies are putting exfoliants into their cleansers such as jojoba beads or alpha hydroxy acids.  Even products that say "gently daily exfoliant" should not be used every day. That is not to say exfoliation isn't important because it is, but once or twice a week is enough.  Once or twice a week you are removing the dead skin but more than that you are actually removing the protective barrier which can cause inflammation, moisture loss and sensitivity.

5.  Sunscreen.  Wearing sunscreen everyday should be part of you daily regime.  Besides protecting your from skin cancer, nothing will age you more than too much sun damage.  It is important to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 25-30 (more is not necessary).  If you are going to be out in the sun all day, reapply.  Avoid sunscreens with chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.  Stick with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as your only active ingredient, although I prefer just zinc oxide.

6. Drink Water.  Keeping hydrated is important for your inner health and outer beauty.  Your skin is your largest organ and if your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky which may have the same results and lack of moisturizing (see #3).

7. Picking at Your Pimples.   When you pick, pull, squeeze your pimples you are causing damage.  This can lead to scars, which are far worse than the pimple.  It can also lead to irritation and inflammation and most of all infection.

8. Eat Healthy.  As mentioned above, your skin is your largest organ so what goes in your body will reflect on your skin.  Eat lots of fresh veggies, fruits, lean meats, healthy fats and complex carbs.  Cut back on dairy, sugar bad fats. Choose organic and grass fed dairy and meats, whenever you can.

9.  Clean Your Makeup Brushes.  Obviously dirty brushes will introduce bacteria into your makeup and on your skin.

10.  Throw away expired products and makeup.  Most products and makeup have a shelf life.  Using products that have expired can introduce bacteria into your skin.

In addition to following these tips, treat yourself to a facial at least 4 times a year, if you can do it more often all the better.  Make sure you are using the right products for your skin and check ingredients.  Remember glowing skin is healthy skin.

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