The Battle with Oily Skin

Tips on Dealing with Oily Skin

  1. Go easy with the blotting paper. It can push dirt and oil deeper into the pores
  2. Use products specifically for oily skin.
  3. Use a cleanser with salicylic acid
  4. Use a lighter foundation
  5. Switch to a lighter face cream

The fight against oily skin usually intensifies during these hot and humid months of summer. But in our quest for that beautiful matte finish, we can actually aggravate the skin and give the oil more ammo for its’ battle. The natural inclination to scrub, wipe and cleanse the oil away can cause the skin to dry out, triggering the body to release even more oil. 

The top causes of oily skin:


Our bodies are at the mercy of hormones-they control pretty much every process in our systems, including oil production in the skin. So as expected, during times like puberty or pregnancy, when hormones are racing through veins, we’re more prone to oily skin.


The weather definitely has an effect on our skin. While those with dry skin have probably been loving the humidity we've been having, all of my oily skin peeps are probably counting the days until cooler, drier weather.


Stress causes an inflammatory response in the body, including an increased production of oil. That’s why during stressful times in our lives, and often when we want to look our best, lo and behold-we have the inevitable breakout.

Over-cleansing the skin

Getting too aggressive and trying to scrub the oil away will irritate and dry out the skin-causing an increase of oil production. Also, be careful to use the correct products for your skin type. For example, if you have combination skin, but use products for oily skin it’ll dry out the dry areas further and cause more oil to be produced.


When in doubt, just blame your genes, right?! But, unfortunately try as we may, there are just certain attributes we can’t get around. And yes, our sebaceous glands (glands that produce oil) are one of them.

Are you getting enough Water?

If you struggle with getting enough water, here are some tips to get you going.

  • Add sliced cucumbers and strawberries for a pop of flavor.

  • Keep a container of water at your desk or in your car.

  • Fill your ice cube tray with freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice and add them to your water.

  • Drink a glass full right after you wake up in the morning.

  • Drink herbal tea for extra flavor and nutrients.

  • Set alerts on your phone throughout the day to remind you.

  • Place post it notes around your house or at your desk as a reminder

  • Eat more foods with a high water content cucumbers, melons, celery

  • Track your water intake on paper or get an app for your phone, such as “Waterlogged’

  • If you do drink juice, fill your glass halfway with water first

I don’t want to be a nag, but I've noticed that many of my clients don’t drink water. Excuse me?You want nice skin, but don’t drink water? Really?? We've all heard the facts and figures, but somehow it still is not a priority for many of us. So I’m taking it upon myself to drill it into your head...Drink more water!! And here’s why...

Our bodies are made of 60% water and it’s involved in most of our bodily functions. When you think of the uses of water in general, what comes to mind? It flushes, transports, moisturizes ­the list can go on and on. It does all this inside our bodies too; flushing out toxins, transporting nutrients, keeping our joints lubricated and skin supple.

Next time you urinate, take notice of the color and smell. If you’re well hydrated it will be clear and free of odor. Does it flow nicely or trickle? It’s important to take note of these things because it’s linked to the health of your kidneys. The kidneys are a vital organ because they remove waste and toxins from the body, produce red blood cells and also hormones which regulate blood pressure. Being chronically dehydrated may put you at a greater risk for developing kidney stones. Ouch! Go ahead, take a water break right now!

Staying hydrated is also crucial for digestion and normal bowel function. It helps food move through the intestines and prevents constipation. The body also needs water to maintain body temperature and to keep our muscles from fatiguing.

So how much water is enough? That depends on many different factors, but a good rule of thumb is dividing your body weight in half and drinking that much in ounces every day. Of course, other fluids you intake during the day counts towards that number as well. I’m stressing the importance of water here because you don’t get the extra calories and sugar as in sodas and juice. It’s true there’s water in coffee, however, caffeine being a diuretic, it actually causes an increase in fluid loss.


Scars are usually forever, but you do have options when it comes to minimizing their appearance. Scars occur when damage is done to the dermis, which lies beneath the top layer of skin, the epidermis. Damage done only to the epidermis will usually heal without a scar.

Available treatments for scar minimization include:

  • surgical revision
  • laser treatments
  • injections,
  • dermabrasion
  • chemical peels
  • topical creams.

Scar prevention and minimization starts with proper wound treatment. Or in the case of acne, treating it as soon as it starts and of course not picking and popping. Let’s start with some tips for treating wounds to help minimize scarring.

Wound Care Tips to Minimize Scarring:

  • Allow it to “breathe” as much as possible. Make sure that bandage is not too tight so that it will allow air to flow in between.
  • Don’t soak or get wet for extended periods because it will break down the scab and impair the formation of new skin underneath.
  • After a day or two, apply a thin layer of a light gel moisturizer or serum containing skin healing ingredients.
  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible because it makes scarring worse.
  • Don’t pick or scratch the scab. If it’s itchy, apply a thin layer of a lightweight moisturizer.
  • Don’t use hydrogen peroxide to clean wound as it can destroy new skin cells.

Once the wound has healed, there are several ingredients you can find at home that will help to reduce scarring. These include:

  • Olive Oil: Rich in antioxidants and a natural moisturizer, massage onto area once a day
  • Coconut Oil: Contains lauric, caprylic, and capric acid which helps scars to fade as well as minimizes scar formation
  • Baking Soda: To be used as microdermabrasion to encourage the growth of new skin cells. Mix 1 teaspoon with 2 teaspoons of purified water and rub over area for 1 minute and rinse
  • Lemon Juice: Mix the juice of 1 lemon with 1 cup of water and apply to scarred area for 3-4 minutes, rinse and apply moisturizer if using on face.
  • Rosehip Oil: Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, it helps heal the skin and reduce scarring. Massage the oil onto the affected area once or twice a day.

Over the counter topical creams are also available, but buyer beware. A study done in 2009 by the University of Pennsylvania and published in the American Academy of Dermatology, found that “there’s little evidence that they work any better than inexpensive petroleum jelly”. Dr. Joseph Sobanko, a dermatological surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania Health System says, “The only thing really shown to help the healing process and minimize scarring, is keeping a wound moist and covered’.

Dr. Audrey Kunin, board certified dermatologist and “Dr. Oz” expert suggests using vitamin A creams or rejuvenating creams packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. Specific to acne, injectable fillers may be used to reduce the visibility of saucer shaped depressions or “pock marks”. The effects can last anywhere between 3 to 12 months.

Fortunately, you have many different options when dealing with scars. There is no one size fits all remedy, so be patient and willing to try different options. Remember, prevention and proper care is best whether treating a wound or dealing with acne.

Dealing with Acne During Pregnancy

The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and although we may think the days of having to deal with acne are long gone, it can once again rear its ugly head. The culprit-increased hormone levels can also cause hyper-pigmentation.

Before you try to zap those zits, it’s important to know what is safe to use and what isn’t. Some medications have been linked to complications during pregnancy and birth defects. It’s always best to consult your doctor before starting any kind of acne treatment.

In doing research for this posts, there were certain medications that all sources agreed were NOT safe. So let’s cover those first...

Medications to Avoid

Retinoids which includes:

  • Differin (Adapalene)
  • Retin-A, Renova (Tretinoin)
  • Retinoic Acid
  • Retinol
  • Retinyl Linoleate
  • Retinyl Palmitate
  • Tazorac, Avage (Tazarotene)


  • Accutane (Isotretinoin)
  • Tetracycline
  • Doxycycline
  • Minocycline

Hormonal Therapy

  • Estrogen
  • Flutamide
  • Spironolactone

I found differing opinions on Salicylic Acid or Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), which I would translate as avoid if possible. In its oral form, studies have shown it causes birth defects and various complications during pregnancy. However, dermatologist Sandra Marchese Johnson stated in an article posted on, “small amounts applied to the skin-such as a salicylic acid-containing toner used once or twice a day-are considered safe”. Remember, the longer it sits on your skin the more opportunity it has to seep into the bloodstream.

Benzoyl Peroxide is another ingredient I found conflicting opinions on. At it says that there’s been little research on the safety of its use during pregnancy, but problems have not been reported. At, it says products containing benzoyl peroxide appear to be safe. Dr. Brandith Irwin at recommends avoiding this medication during pregnancy. The bottom line, appears to be safe, however there are really no studies to back this general consensus.

You’ll want to be careful of any product you put on your skin, not just acne medications. Products like sunscreen and even skin care products in general can have many harmful chemicals in them. Be sure to read my post, “Top 10 Toxic Ingredients in Your Beauty Products” and “Sunscreen What You Need to Know”.

Medications for Rosacea

Metronidazole is prescribed for rosacea and studies done on animals did not show fetal damage, however it does cross the placental barrier. According to the FDA, it should not be used in the first trimester. See above for any acne medications (which may be prescribed for acne) that you stay away from.

Now let’s look at which treatments are considered safe to use during pregnancy…

Safe to Use

  • Erythromycin (Erygel)
  • Clindamycin (Cleocin T, Clindagel)
  • Azelaic Acid (Azelex, Finacea)

Safe for Hyperpigmentation

  • Kojic Acid
  • Mandelic Acid

Generally you want to avoid over cleansing because this can overstimulate the skin’s oil glands, use a gentle non-abrasive cleanser and don’t pick or pop your pimples. Of course, you can always come and see me for a facial and I’ll help to get your skin back on track.

How to Determine the Quality of a Makeup Brush

Whether you choose natural or synthetic brushes, it is all about the bristles. To determine the quality of a makeup brush, you need to look at the bristles.

Makeup brushes contain three parts: the bristles; the handle; and the ferrule, which is the metal piece that attaches the bristles to the handle. The bristles will be made from either natural animal hair or synthetic fibers.

Natural bristles

Sable, squirrel, goat, pony and badger are animals from which the natural bristles of makeup brushes derive. Sable is the most expensive of natural hairs and usually considered the softest. Squirrel hair is a close second. Goat and pony hair come next. Both offer a soft bristle but without the luxurious feel of sable or squirrel. Since badger hair is coarsest, bristles made from it are less pliable than those of other natural hair. Badger bristles work best when brushing brow liner.

Top-quality natural bristle brushes will have first-cut or virgin hairs. This hair is sheared from only the fine-tipped points of fur. Second-cut hairs will be blunter than and not as soft as first-cut hairs. 

Synthetic bristles

Man-made or synthetic fiber bristles are manufactured from nylon or taklon.

These fibers are often treated, which softens the bristles. Taklon bristles are also hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for anyone who suffers from skin sensitivity or allergies.

The basic benefit of natural bristles is that this type of makeup brush holds onto powders more efficiently, providing a flawless finish. Synthetic bristles work better with creams and in general are much easier to clean and maintain. The synthetic bristles absorb less pigment from the makeup, ensuring that the bristles do not discolor as quickly as natural bristles do. In addition, synthetic bristles are preferred by animal lovers who wish to own only vegan makeup tools.

Brush maintenance

Whether you choose natural or synthetic makeup brushes, it is essential to clean them properly. The basic rule is any brush that is used daily should be cleaned weekly. Brushes used with creams or liquids will need to be cleaned more frequently than those used with powdered cosmetics.

Baby shampoo in warm water works fine for natural or synthetic bristles. Always rinse the soap thoroughly from the brush, but do not submerge it into the water. When drying the brush, never stand it upright. Keep it angled so that the water does not seep into the ferrule. Always keep your makeup brushes in their own case to maintain their best quality.

What is Bitcoin?

Learn about bitcoin.  

Watch this short video to get a grasp of how this awesome technology works. 

Bitcoin for Beginners:

What is Bitcoin?

  1. Bitcoin is a payment network, and a currency used on that network.
  2. Bitcoin is controlled by no central party/Bank.
  3. The number of bitcoins that will ever be created is 21 million. This means the value of bitcoin will increase with time because no one can create more bitcoins, ever.