Managing Acne While Traveling

What could be more glamorous than lying on the shores of the aqua marine Mediterranean in the swank South of France?

Oh, who am I kidding?  As a poor student scrounging for food, cheap hostels, and cheap airfare—all of this done in a foreign language, no less—study abroad was a little less Coco Chanel and a little more la vie boheme. I have to admit, I was nervous about how my skin would handle the trip; I have been prone to acne for years, and in my early twenties, my susceptibility is worse than ever.

Manage Acne While Traveling from Columbus

Any person who struggles with acne knows that stress and lack of routine (not to mention air travel, warm weather, and sunscreen) can agitate the situation.  It’s a cocktail for disaster—and not quite the cocktail I envisioned myself drinking on the beach for spring break.

To survive the trip, I constructed (and test-drove) the following plan to combat skin stress while traveling:

  1. Stick to the skincare regime: I stuck to my regime quite vigilantly, avoiding breakouts by using my Clarisonic Brush (which has an impressive battery-life—just remember to charge before you leave!) morning and night. For cleansing, I used Obagi Clenziderm Daily Care Foaming Cleanser followed by Obagi Clenziderm Pore Therapy, and finally Skin Medica TNS Ultimate Daily moisturizer.
  2. Trust the science behind the products: Because I had educated myself on the science of skincare before the trip, I knew how to plan ahead for the different environments I would be in. For days that I was immersed in the dry, stale air of airports and airplanes, I put Skin Medica Hydrating Complex under my moisturizer. For days outside, I always wore La Roche-Posay sunscreen SPF 50 on top of my moisturizer.  I even managed to bring my tiny bottle of Latisse and a few lash brushes to keep up with my eyelash maintenance.
  3. Plan on a chemical peel or two when you return: If any of the above was to fail me, I’d at least be able to whip my skin back into shape as soon as I returned. It didn’t come to that, but I kept my appointment anyway for a quick, welcome-home rejuvenation.

Following these three steps, I was amazed when my skin stayed clear and bright through two weeks of running around Europe.

I also realized another very important piece of the puzzle: when traveling, don’t forget to relax, wherever you are.  Walk the beach, hit the slopes, tour the cobblestoned streets—whatever makes you happy is sure to give you a beautiful glow.  In addition, stay hydrated and take advantage of local delicacies—maybe not the croissants so much, but fresh seafood and the area’s local produce.  With fresh air, sleep, relaxation, and of course, some great products from Timeless Skin Solutions, travel doesn’t have to be a disaster for your skin.

FDA Approves Sunscreen Labeling Changes

Just yesterday, the FDA made some serious changes to its guidelines for sunscreen labeling. As you may know, this has been a concern of mine for years, and it is finally being addressed. When choosing a sunscreen, you need to consider protection from the rays that will burn your skin (UVB, and the number associated with the sunscreen) as well as protection from aging and potential cancer causing rays (UVA).

Many people don’t know that those ultraviolet A rays are the ones that cause wrinkles. They are so strong that they can penetrate glass and can travel even deeper into the skin than the UVB rays. When this happens, the UVA rays injure the cells in the basal layer of the epidermis (where most skin cancers occur) and damage the skin’s DNA. It is these changes or mutations that can lead to skin cancer.

What to look for: The label on the sunscreen you purchase should say “broad spectrum”. This means that, starting next year, it will provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.  SPF greater than 50 will only be labeled 50+ as there is so little difference between sunscreens above the 50 (UVB) rating (in terms of protection from burning in the sun).  The FDA did leave open the possibility that a company could claim higher than 50, if they could prove a significant difference deserving the higher value.

From my experience, I prefer longer acting UVA sun protection as found in La Roche Posay Anthelios line.  If you’re in a pinch and can’t find this brand, I also recommend Neutrogena.

Here is a list of some other changes the FDA has put into action:

  • The terms “waterproof” and “sweatproof” on sunscreen is now banned. The FDA says these are “exaggerations of performance.” Companies can use the term, “water resistant,” only if test results back up the claim, and they will have to say how many minutes the sunscreen can last in the water.
  • The phrase “sun block” will be banned because products don’t completely block the sun, they deflect it.
  • Only products with a SPF of 15 or higher can claim to lower the risk of cancer.

I am glad to finally see this new change being made to sunscreen labels. This will support our personal and effort to prevent skin cancer and premature aging.

Review: La Roche-Posay Sunscreen

Oh la la, Bonjour mes belles! I’m home from my jet-setting adventures through France and its surrounding countries and can say that the international trend report is in: pale is beautiful.

Take one step into the Louvre museum in Paris and you’ll see immediately that painters for centuries, the likes of Botticelli and DaVinci, have celebrated the luminosity of healthy, glowing, and unblemished skin. It’s a rather…er…timeless look, if you will.

What else is in vogue in France? Innovation in science to create products for optimal skin care. This means remedial formulas created with natural, medical-grade ingredients which penetrate the pores and layers of our skin more effectively. These deeper layers are  precisely where we may be harboring the foundations for acne, wrinkles, graying and dull skin, and other annoying skin detriments, so reaching them is crucial to changing to the texture or general condition of our skin. Vive la science!

There are pharmacies on every corner in France, indicated by iconic glowing neon-green crosses, where pharmacists assist the French in obtaining prescriptions, medications, and beauty products. The French know that health and beauty go together like baguettes and brie. When it comes to protection from sun damage, each and every pharmacist in France, from the beaches of St. Tropez to the Eiffel Tower, will prescribe the exact same tried and true line: La Roche-Posay.

Clinically speaking, this French favorite boasts a striking main ingredient, their unique selenium-rich Thermal Spring Water, which comes from the heart of a small village in central France called La Roche Posay. Loaded with minerals, this sunscreen is a tireless protective force against the beating rays of the summer sun, with anti-aging, soothing properties for anti-inflammatory cellular preservation.

My favorite thing about this product is that it is hypoallergenic and great for sensitive skin. As an acne-prone individual in my early twenties, I can personally attest that this is the first sun block product which has not led to facial breakouts. Stop by Timeless Skin Solutions and we’ll help you choose the La Roche-Posay sunscreen that’s right for you.

The only other French beauty tip I can prescribe you is a nightly glass of red wine from la Loire valley, sipped slowly, for anti-oxidants (doctor’s orders!) and you, too, can be beautiful just like zee French.

How To Protect Your Skin During Winter

Winter-Proof Your Skin

Cold weather and heat will dry and damage the outer barrier of your skin. The way we can prevent this is to “winter-proof” it by sealing in the moisture that those layers need to stay healthy.  Here are some things you can do to keep your skin hydrated and protected.

Here’s how to get the most out of your skincare regimen.

  • Layer products like you layer clothes in the winter
  • Use a a daily exfoliant to slough off any dead skin cells on the surface
  • Use a moisturizer to trap moisture
  • When outside, be sure to use a product with silicone and/or shea butter

Here are some product suggestions

  • Kinerase – Uses kinetin and zeitin to seal in moisture, has glycerin
  • Anthelios with mexoryl - Has sunscreen and dimethicone, glycerin, stearic acid
  • Derma Rx Rejuvenator – For red skin, uses glycosaminoglycans and glycerin for moisturizing
  • Kinerase Lip Treatment - Jojoba and grape seed oil, hyaluronic acid, kinetin, oligopeptide