The Clear Skin Project Blog

Need a boost? Grab a pear!

If you have acne-prone skin, pears might be able to help! Due to the14444732_573519342834631_7790150492279288920_oir high level of vital vitamins and essential minerals, these fruits have been known to boost immunity, enabling skin to fight against acne infections from inside. Pears:

  • Are full of fiber, a crucial nutrient for your skin. “Fiber slows the release of sugar into your blood, a good thing because repeated sugar spikes can damage collagen, a protein that keeps your complexion plump and smooth,” Alan C. Logan, ND, says.
  • Contain vitamin C, which fights free radicals. So crunching on a Bosc or Bartlett a day may help keep the wrinkles away.
    • The presence of vitamin C, vitamin K, and copper in pears fights against free radicals that damage our body cells and cause premature aging of the skin.
  • Help fight against acne, pimple and all other types of skin infections from inside out.

#TipTuesday: For Healthy Skin, MOISTURIZE!

For Healthy Skin Month, we’ll be sharing tips every Tuesday.

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First up: Moisturizing your skin is most important to both protect skin as well as keep it glowing!

“The purpose of our skin is to act as a barrier – to keep us in and everything else out. A normal and well-functioning skin is a largely impermeable barrier designed to keep us healthy, ” says Dr Hilary Baldwin of the Acne Treatment & Research Center.

To “moisturize” does not only mean providing moisture. It also means preventing evaporation of moisture from the skin. Good moisturizers contain both emollients that seal the skin to prevent evaporation, and humectants that hold on to water. Old-time moisturizers like petrolatum just covered the skin and sat there.   Newer generation designer moisturizers have been specifically developed to become part of the stratum corneum, repair the defects in skin barrier function, manage inflammation and restore and maintain the skin microbiome diversity.

Bottom line: Moisturize at least twice per day for healthy, glowing skin!

Skin Healthy Halloween Tips

A woman sitting in front of a mirror and putting on clown makeup.

Putting on scary face makeup can be great fun for Halloween – just remember to take care of your skin during the spooky holiday.

To avoid the frustration of a skin breakout, Dr. Hilary Baldwin of the Acne Treatment & Research Center offers the following tips on what to use or avoid during this Halloween season:

If you decide to use face makeup make sure you check it out before buying it, especially if your skin is more sensitive or you already have acne. “There is no harm wearing foundation when you have acne as long as the product has been tested for acnegenicity and comedogencity – two ingredients that tend to cause acne or blackheads,” she says. Remember that ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ does not necessarily mean safe. It certainly does not mean that it won’t make your face skin worse. Additionally, ‘oil-free’ products are not necessarily okay as there are plenty of non-oils that can also cause pores to clog.”

Candy is what Halloween is all about, but junk food may affect your skin: There is no real evidence to support the long-held belief that chocolate can make you break out. So, go ahead and treat yourself to a candy bar. But, too much candy could have a negative effect on your skin. That is because foods that are high on the glycemic index – including sugary candies like jelly beans – can have a negative effect on your skin. Enjoy in moderation – or pass altogether.

Stay hydrated: Sugary candies, alcohol, excess food and less sleep time are all potential byproducts of Halloween party season. All of these things can dehydrate your skin. Also, weather is getting cooler and your skin needs to adjust. So drink lots of water and consider applying a creamy, heavy moisturizer to your skin on or around Halloween night.

A little bit of prevention really can help your skin this Halloween season. Keeping the ghouls and goblins of problem skin away is a treat that many will appreciate.

 

An Apple A Day…

14560015_578254725694426_2370402970203827774_oAn apple a day… keeps the doctor at bay. We’ve found that apples not only taste good; they also help promote collagen growth in the skin. Apples:

  • Boost your intake of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Vitamin C helps you make collagen, a protein found abundantly in your skin. Collagen is a crucial structural component of skin and helps maintain your skin’s waterproof barrier.
  • Provide a source of copper, an essential mineral that contributes to healthy skin.
    • Copper helps you make melanin, the brown-black pigment that colors your skin. Melanin in your skin protects you from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, so being able to produce melanin provides natural sun protection.
  • Contain pectin, which is also important in maintaining and promoting collagen growth in skin.
    • Like most fruits and vegetables, the peel of the apple contains the highest amount of pectin; in fact, some research has found the amount of pectin in the peel of an apple may be equal to or even more than the amount in the actual fruit of the apple itself.How about them apples?!

New OTC Acne Medication: Differin Gel 0.1% 

imagetempalte_3If you’re looking for a safe and effective over the counter treatment (OTC) that might help your acne, there’s a new option on the market! The FDA recently approved Differin Gel 0.1% (generic name adapalene) as the first new active ingredient for OTC acne treatments to be added to store aisles since the 1980s. Based on data from 5 clinical trials across a 20-year timespan in those with mild to moderate acne, the FDA found Differin Gel 0.1% to be safe, efficient, and easy for consumers to use in patients age 12 years and older.

Differin is the first in a class of drugs known as retinoids to be made available OTC for acne treatment. Topical retinoids work by unclogging the pores and, more importantly, preventing the formation of new clogs and new pimples in the future (more about topical retinoids). They also help reduce inflammation. Because of their success, dermatologists often recommend retinoids as a first-line treatment for all severities of acne either alone or in combination with other topical or oral medications.
“One of the best things about Differin is that it’s the first retinoid which is going over the counter, so now acne sufferers have a new potentially effective treatment to try,” says Dr. Hilary Baldwin, Medical Director of the Acne Treatment and Research Center. “However, patients should not self-diagnose,” Dr. Baldwin warns, “they should see a doctor first, but luckily their medicine might now be in the aisle as opposed to behind the pharmacy counter.” Because Differin may be more effective in combination with other medications, come talk to Dr. Baldwin or see your dermatologist to find the best combination for your acne type! Differin will be on shelves late January 2017.

Is Whey Protein Causing Your Acne?

There are several studies that indicate that whey protein make acne worse and actually may cause acne.

Dr. Hilary Baldwin, Medical Director at the Acne Treatment and Research Center notes that “In my practice, I have seen whey protein prevent patients’ acne from getting better while on conventional acne therapy. Once we have discontinued whey protein, their acne gets better.”

Best solution? Switch to soy protein or egg protein and see if your acne gets better. The video below provides more insight as well!

 

Clean Gear Equals Clean Skin

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There are so many little differences we can make on a daily basis to keep our skin clean. Cell phones are some of the dirtiest items around due to the frequency in which we use them. Did you know that dirty cell phones touching your face can contribute to acne? It’s so important to clean your phone daily.

Additionally, dirty exercise equipment functions the same way when touching any part of your skin. Make sure to wipe down exercise equipment before and after you work out.

Clean your gear! #clearskin

Compassion for Acne Patients

Change in skin from August 2013 - December 2013

“If hating my skin could clear acne, I’d have glowing skin by now so please love yourself through it if you can.” I found myself reiterating this message over and over again to my little cousins with acne in hopes that their path to self-compassion towards their skin would be shorter than mine. But when my own acne took a turn for the worse in grad school, I found myself struggling to live out my own advice.

After writing a paper about the power of self-compassion for women with eating disorders, I realized that I could use self-compassion as an antidote for the shame that I felt for having acne. The three components of self-compassion as defined by Kristin Neff (2003) include: 1.) self-kindness (understanding towards oneself when experience suffering like acne) 2.) mindfulness (nonjudgmental awareness of emotions like frustration that you might experience with acne) and 3.) common humanity (viewing your own life as part of a larger whole and recognizing that many people suffer from acne). I started to find things that I loved about my physical appearance and made sure to take extra care of myself through doctor’s appointments, diet, lifestyle changes, and skin care routines (self-kindness). I had patience with myself as I navigated painful emotions like feeling vulnerable when people saw me without makeup (mindfulness). I also joined an acne support group where I found many others who could relate to my situation and we were able to mutually help one another (common humanity).

The self-compassion didn’t make my acne go away faster, but it made the experience much less painful and less isolating than it had ever been before. Finally after 16 years of on-again off-again acne, I learned the value of self-compassion. After all, my skin was doing exactly what skin should do in the presence of inflammation, too much bacteria, clogged pores, and too much oil (see Acne Basics) — acne was a logical biological response that needed my kindness and care more than my disgust. I even had some fun trying different face masks! (Check out other blog posts or follow us on social media for great face mask ideas)

In her book Self-Compassion: the proven power of being kind to yourself (2011), Dr. Kristin Neff (a self-compassion researcher) shared a study about the importance of self-compassion in acne patients. Acne participants were instructed to write compassionate phrases on cue cards to read to themselves throughout the course of a few weeks and to write themselves a compassionate letter. The intervention significantly lessened people’s feelings of depression and shame due to acne and the degree to which their acne bothered them physically (e.g., reduced sensations of burning and stinging).

If you experience shame or self-judgment due to acne, I recommend joining a support group like The Clear Skin Project’s Speak Skin forum, checking out Kristin Neff’s self-compassion resources on her website, or making a date with a dermatologist to discuss your concerns. Eventually, my acne lessened again and I walked away from the experience with a better more compassionate relationship to myself. I hope you find peace with your acne and that you feel worthy of love for the beautiful human being that you are!

Research Study for Acne Patients in Morristown, NJ

Are you a teenager or an adult with moderate to severe facial acne? If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial to help our Acne Treatment and Research Center find effective acne treatments, call 908-522-6156 or visit http://bit.ly/2aNnohQ.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

novan study

Vitamin C Face Mask

Vitamin C Face MaskGive your skin a boost of anti-inflammatory and collagen stimulating Vitamin C this spring with a new face mask idea!

Directions:

1) Grind the peels of two oranges and some water to make a paste.

2) Wash your hands.sinopsis film

3) Apply to face and wait 20-25 minutes before rinsing off with water.

4) Enjoy the glow!