Archive | skin science

A Dab, A Dot, or a Dollop?

Believe it when your mother tells you, “Less is more!” Sometimes.If I open my bathroom vanity mirror right now, I can pull at least four products from its shelves with non-specific instructions on how much product to apply. 


Apply liberally…Apply a moderate amount…Apply a substantial amount…Apply a small amount…


Helpful. Most directions leave me none the wiser, shaking my head at the bathroom sink and wondering, to echo the late comedian John Pinette: “How small is small?” We already have to deal with non-standardized sizing in restaurants, at clothing stores, and even with babies’ diapers! I draw the line at beauty products. Small, liberal, moderate, and substantial are highly subjective metrics.

Exhibit A: 

What is this non-discriminant style of measuring? Are faces such different sizes that we can’t standardize beauty products’ sizing? We’re running out of our products too quickly from applying too much. We’re not seeing the benefits of applying too little! We need answers; we need a formula to follow. How much is enough? A dab? A dot? Or a dollop? Your ultimate guide is below. 

  1. Cleanser: Your cleanser serving size (if it’s a good cleanser like Elta MD Foaming Facial Cleanser) should be no more than a hazelnut. Any more, and it’s just wasteful. Any less, and you might get the deep clean you need. 
  2. Moisturizer: Think of two raisins in your palm; that’s all you need for a full application — and to keep your skin from looking like a raisin. When you moisturize, don’t just slap it on, spend a few moments massaging your moisturizer in so it penetrates surface levels of the skin. 
  3. Eye Cream: One pine nut size per eye is plenty. Or, TicTacs, if that’s a more helpful visualization. Applying eye cream with upward, gentle massaging motions will get the most out of a little. 
  4. Night Cream: A mid-size blueberry is enough to ensure night-long moisturization. Try Revision Firming Night Treatmentfor extra-wrinkle protection while you sleep. 
  5. Retinol & Serums: A pea. That’s all. I’ve seen (and have been guilty of in the past) women emptying a dropper-full on their faces. A little goes a long way if applied thoroughly. 
  6. Sunscreen: Here’s where the fun begins. One grape-sized serving per body part is sufficient when applying sunscreen. Out of all your products, you’ll want to apply, as your directions likely say, liberally. 

Go forth and apply with confidence!




5 Skincare Mistakes You’re Making

Mistakes. They happen to the best of us!

Acne, problem and portrait of woman with pimple in studio for cosmetic, mistake or disaster on blue.

I hate the be the bearer of bad news, but chances are we’re all making a mistake or two with our skincare. Far be it from me to add yet another step into your well-situated regimen or to contradict the routine you’ve finally nailed down, but for these five mistakes, I’m willing to rock the boat. You’re not eating correctly…You can slather on the most expensive creams and serums that money can buy, but if you’re not eating right, you’re just throwing money out the window. Your skincare products work best in conjunction with a skin-healthy diet. Work with a dermatologist and dietician, or consider a supplement that targets skin health like Murad Pure Skin Dietary Supplement. You’re forgetting your neck…Have you ever seen a woman with a flawless face set atop a flabby or crepey neck? I don’t know about you, but it’s not really the look I’m going for. The neck is one of the least regarded areas. Give it some love; it needs it. Extend your routine down with a targeted product like Revision Nectifirm. You’re skimping on sunscreen…Don’t get caught up in what Harvard Health Publishing (the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School), calls “sun-dread”1. There are benefits to moderate sun exposure. We do need Vitamin D, after all, and hiding away in a cave to let our skin turn ghostly pale can leave us deficient and cause as many, albeit different, problems as intense sun exposure. The department chair of Dermatology, Dr. Robert S. Stern proposes a middle ground whereby we can be free to frolic outside without the dreaded sun-dread. Wear an SPF of at least 15 when you’re outside for extended periods and a hat and shirt when the sun is at its strongest. Be mindful to apply every two hours. You’re ignoring your hands…“If you want to know someone’s age, don’t look at their hands, look at their face,” says board-certified dermatologist Diane S. Berson, MD, FAAD, an associate professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine-New York Presbyterian Hospital.2 Always in contact with the elements, household chemicals, and extreme temperatures, they show the earliest signs of aging. To repair moderate to severe signs of damage try Elta MD So Silky Hand Creme or Epionce Restorative Hand Cream.


You’re skipping the roller…If you aren’t using a micro needle roller you aren’t maximizing your skincare dollar or the effects of your favorite products. Skin Roller therapy is performed with a small wheel that gently rolls over the face and painlessly penetrates the skin’s upper surface twice a week. The treatment is simple but incredibly effective: research has shown an increase in the absorption of active ingredients up to 1000% and according to a study, “Histological examination of the skin treated with 4 micro-needling sessions 1 month apart shows up to 400% increase in collagen and elastin”3 which improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars. Try theMicro Needle Roller 0.5mm from SkinMedix for the ultimate boost to your skin care regimen.

1Benefits of moderate sun exposure. Harvard Health. (2017, January 20). 

Do You Exfoliate? Best Exfoliators For YOUR Skin Type

There’s a fine line between smooth and rubbed raw. Millions get it wrong every day. Never fear, we’ve got your guidelines here. 

Close up portrait of a merry young woman performing an exfoliation procedure with a facial sponge


We have exfoliating gloves, cleansers, and scrubs…but are they all created equal? Experts say, No. Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, a natural build-up that occurs as our skin tries to make way for new cells. But according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, if you’re not sure about how to best exfoliate your skin, you could end up doing more harm than good. I developed my exfoliating habit in my late twenties, but I wish I’d known the right way to exfoliate my skin sooner. On and off attempts at exfoliating with everything from course sugar granules to lightly granulated glycolic acid acne cleansers left my skin drier, redder, and more sensitive than it already was. I would regularly wake up in the morning with mild burns, particularly around my t-zone and my eyes. Exfoliating can be a great defense against acne, as clearing away dead skin helps to keep pores clean. In my case, I irritated my skin so badly, my breakouts grew even worse. I rubbed my skin raw. For several years after that, I gave up on exfoliating altogether, opting for softer cloths to wash my face with non-abrasive cleansers. This helped to keep my skin from getting irritated but also left my skin feeling irregularly textured instead of smooth. The natural build-up of dead skin became frustrating especially when applying makeup. I like the hydrated dewy look, but my makeup looked crusty. Now, I opt for a gentle exfoliating cleanser with a soft exfoliating glove, but it took some trial and error, as well as a good chat with a skin specialist to find the right combo for me.Here are some tips we’ve put together at SkinMedix for you to choose the best exfoliator for your skin type. 


Normal SkinGlycolic acid is one of the most effective exfoliators and is great for normal skin types. It can also be slightly irritating, so moisturize after to prevent inflammation. Look for moisturizers for sensitive skin with ceramides or green tea. Start off with a cleanser likeNeostrata Foaming Glycolic Wash and follow up with a soothing moisturizer, likeSkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream.Oily or Combination SkinA scrub with microbeads or sugar once a week and a salicylic acid-infused cleanser every day sounds like sloughing overload, but scrubs, like SkinCeuticals Micro Exfoliating Scrub sweeps away dead cells so the salicylic acid can penetrate and clean clogged pores. For your “everyday cleanser”, we recommend Obagi CLENZIderm MD Daily Care Foaming Cleanser. Or, for occasional use, you can get the benefits of both in a single product with antioxidant-richiS Clinical Tri-Active Exfoliating Masque.Dry, Sensitive, or Very Fair SkinTry products that contain lactic acid, like Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanserand PCA Skin Body Therapy. Lactic acid is a relatively large molecule that can’t penetrate the skin as deeply as the other alpha hydroxy acids, which means it’s not as abrasive. Unfortunately, anything else may make your skin drier, redder, and more sensitive.If you aren’t sure which skin type you have or have any questions about exfoliating, make an appointment with your dermatologist. Never been? Find a board-certified dermatologist near you through the WebMD Care Portal.


What Skin Cancer Looks Like

Pretty? No. But this is what skin cancer looks like, and these pictures could help you spot it. The earlier you can catch skin cancer, the easier it is to cure.  Compare your moles to these images, and see a doctor if you find anything suspicious.

normalNormal Mole

A small brown spot that’s symmetrical and all one shade an that hasn’t changes over the years is probably nothing to worry about.

dysplasticnervusDysplastic Nevus

A.k.a. an “atypical mole.” This tends to be dark with irregular borders. It could become cancerous so your derm will remove it or keep a close eye on it.

actinic_keratosisActinic Keratosis

This potentially cancerous spot usually occurs on sun-exposed areas (scalp, lips, hands) and tends to look like a raised, rough, or scaly patch.

basal_cellBasal Cell Carcinoma

The most common type of skin cancer, BCC forms deep in the skin  and looks like a raised pink growth or sore that won’t heal.

squamous_cellSquamous Cell Carcinoma

Look for a reddish patch or wartlike bump that may crust or bleed. Get it checked out pronto—left untreated, it may spread.


The most deadly of skin cancers, melanomas may look geometrical in form and be smooth or raised. These cancers may also have irregular borders. They can be black, brown, gray, white or even red.

Plus, watch for the ABCDEUs. Use this guide to help determine if a mole could be dangerous. See a dermatologist if your spot has any of these characteristics.

A = Asymmetry – One half is s noticeably different shape than the other.

B = Border – The edges are uneven—maybe even scalloped or notched.

C = Color – The mole has multiple shades of brown, black, or red.

D = Diameter – Melanomas are usually big, about the size of a penicel eraser.

E = Evolving – This is any mole that has changed in color, size, or shape—whether that’s over the last month or the past decade.

U = Ugly Ducking – If any of your moles does not look like the other, get them checked.

Did you know just one serious sunburn can increase your skin cancer risk by as much as 50 percent? Monitor your skin for suspicious spots and moles and visit a dermatologist if you notice any changes in your skin. In the mean time, shop our full list of sun protection products here!

The SkinMedix Team


Berry Good Skin

Berry Good Skin - SkinMedix.comStrawberries and green tea may one day be key ingredients to help treat or prevent skin cancer.

Green tea is especially known for its high levels of antioxidants including vitamins such as vitamin C and polyphenols such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that scientists at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have used to  create an injectable therapy. When administered into the cells of mice that had skin cancer, 40% of tumors vanished and another 30% shrank.

In another study, a group of Spanish and Italian researchers have discovered that strawberry extract added to skin cell cultures acts as a protector against ultraviolet radiation as well reducing damage to DNA. Then, the researchers exposed those skin cell cultures to ultraviolet light that is equivalent to 90 minutes of mid-day sun in the summertime. The study found that adding the strawberry extract, especially at the highest dose, to the skin cell cultures seemed to help decrease DNA damage and help to preserve the cells’ survival, compared to cells treated with  a placebo.

It’s important to note that the findings in these studies are only in skin cell cultures and mice, and not in actual humans. More research is needed to tell if strawberries  and green tea will actually be viable as a skin protectant (and in what form).

But in the meantime, here’s a full list of sun protection products available on!

The SkinMedix Team


Can Positive Thinking Lead to Better Skin?

An interesting concept, isn’t it? I recently came across an interesting forum discussing an article in Elle Magazine asking this very question.

The feature focused on a rare idea in the product-based beauty industry – that emotional well-being can have an equally, if not more, transformative effect on the skin.

In the article, Lucy Walker writes about a sensation that many of us know all too well – that of your skin giving away your emotions via acne breakouts and urticaria flares. Rather than seeking help from a dermatologist, Lucy consulted “skin psychologist” Dr. Ted Grossbart, a pioneering practitioner using hypnosis and meditation to treat the skin from within. I’ve often read about the effects of stress on the skin, but Grosshart believes grief, a lack of self-confidence, anger, and fear can all play their part too. By creating a timeline of her life, Lucy was able to see fluctuations in her skin and pin point the events that triggered her rebellious skin.

Part of Grosshart’s approach is in self-regulating the behavior that triggers breakouts, so you can better control your stress levels and your skin in the future.

What do you think? Can you pair your skin fluctuations with periods of heightened emotion in your life? Or do you think it’s more about general health?

Talk soon! XO



Keratosis Pilaris: Coping with “Chicken Skin”

Keratosis Pilaris: How to Cope with "Chicken Skin" - SkinMedix.comKeratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that usually affects the thighs, upper arms, and buttocks. Since keratosis pilaris also can affect the face, it’s sometimes mistaken for acne.

Keratosis pilaris results from excess production of keratin, a cream-colored protein. When keratin builds up in hair follicles, it forms hard plugs, resulting in a proliferation of hard white or red bumps the size of a grain of sand. Although these bumps resemble acne, they don’t contain pus but can occasionally become inflamed and itchy. In some cases, keratosis pilaris also appears as dry, rough patches.

The main types of keratosis pilaris include:

  • Keratosis pilaris rubra, which causes red, inflamed bumps.
  • Keratosis pilaris alba, which causes rough, bumpy skin with no irritation.
  • Keratoris pilaris rubra faceii, which causes a red rash on the cheeks.

Also known as “chicken skin” because of its goose-bump-like appearance, keratosis pilaris affects as many as 80 percent of teenagers and about 40 percent of adults. It is more common in women and may be more severe during dry weather. Although it’s not known why excess keratin production occurs, it may be related to heredity. You’re more likely to develop keratosis pilaris if you have a family history of skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis.

Although keratosis pilaris can be persistent, annoying, and difficult to treat, it usually doesn’t cause pain, itching, or other complications, so it’s considered a benign condition. If you’re concerned about its effect on your appearance, self-care measures can make it less noticeable. If these measures don’t work, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend medical treatments.

Self-Care Strategies for Keratosis Pilaris

Most doctors recommend an initial regimen of intensive moisturizing, which involves application after bathing and reapplication several times a day. Products that may help loosen keratin plugs and soften rough, dry skin include Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash and Glytone Body Lotion, available separately or together in the Glytone Retexturize Keratosis Pilaris Kit. We also recommend Glycolix Elite KP Kit. Others include medicated creams containing ingredients such as:

Other recommended self-care measures include using humidifiers during dry, winter months. Experts differ on washing techniques. Some recommend soaking in hot baths and vigorous scrubbing of affected areas with a coarse washcloth or stiff brush. But others caution that such measures may irritate skin and worsen the condition.

Although keratosis pilaris can be annoying and persistent, you may be able to wait it out because it often subsides after age 30. If it’s a cosmetic concern, however, self-care measures and medical treatments can minimize the appearance of “chicken skin” and boost your self-confidence when you venture outside the coop!


Managing Symptoms of Eczema & Psoriasis

Eczema & PsoriasisEczema and psoriasis are some of the most challenging skin conditions encountered by skin care professionals. Often, there will simply be a little red rash on the skin and you may be left scratching your own head trying to figure out how it came to be. Up to 20% of the world’s children suffer from eczema I and II, and up to 3% of adults suffer from either eczema or psoriasis III Given that the world population just reached the 7 billion mark, that’s a lot of people!

The truth is, it isn’t known exactly what causes eczema or psoriasis. The good news is, more and more is being learned about these inflammatory skin diseases and strategies are being developed to effectively manage their symptoms. It is important to note that neither condition is contagious, nor are they infections; and they aren’t transmitted by physical contact or exposure. The origins of eczema and psoriasis are genetic. However, the triggers that cause their distressing and visible symptoms may include stress and environmental factors. Eczema and psoriasis create impaired barrier functions and increased inflammation, so “your goal will be to protect and repair,” explains Dr. Claudia C. Aguirre of Skin Inc. Magazine. “Remember to always check first with your physician for contraindications to medications and therapies, because some ingredients may counteract each other. For example, salicylic acid may seem a likely choice for exfoliating psoriatic skin, but could in fact, inactivate a common topical treatment for psoriasis,” she warns.

Gentle cleansing and exfoliation is crucial to allow the penetration of rich, emollient moisturizers used on dry, sensitive skin. Use anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as red hogweed, ginger, oats and chamomile, coupled with barrier-repairing oils, including evening primrose, borage, argan and sea buckthorn. Try PCA Skin Dry Skin Relief Bar pHaze 10ideal for cleansing dry or more sensitive skin. We recommend PCA Skin ReBalance pHaze 17, for its ability to help soothe reddened or irritated skin. Or try iS Clinical Body Complexto help soothe even the most compromised skin conditions with natural acids, Retinol, Vitamin B5 and other soothing antioxidants. Avoid harsh exfoliants and detergents, and look for ingredients, such as lactic acid. Finishing a treatment with a physical sunscreen, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide will ensure that harmful UV rays do not cause further damage. Try Cellex-C Sun Care SPF 30 Plus — silky-smooth and PABA-free, it provides light moisture in combination with photo-aging protection.

Light therapy is another management option for those suffering from psoriasis and eczema. Light therapy is known for its ability to promote blood flow and decrease inflammation. These benefits help to diminish and lighten the redness often associated with eczema and psoriasis. Try Bio Red Light LED Therapy — a non-invasive, at-home light therapy device. It encourages natural cell renewal without requiring down time for healing, making it perfect for those with a busy lifestyle.

There is no cure for eczema or psoriasis, but there are ways to manage symptoms. Although eczema and psoriasis are clinically distinct from one another, they do share some common features that may can addressed in the treatment room and at home. For more information on the treatment and management of eczema or psoriasis, visit or ask your physician.

Bio Light LED Therapy Red

PCA Skin Dry Skin Relief Bar pHaze 10

PCA Skin ReBalance pHaze 17

Cellex-C Sun Care SPF 30+

Study Shows Exposure to Energy Efficient Lightbulbs Can Cause Skin Damage

Study Shows Exposure to Energy Efficient Lightbulbs Can Cause Skin Damage

Researchers from Stony Brook University have reported that compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs emit UVC and UVA radiation found to be damaging to human skin tissue in close proximity. CFL bulbs were designed to offer a more energy-efficient alternative to incandescent light bulbs.

Recently, CFL exposure was found to exacerbate existing skin conditions; however, the effects of CFL exposure on healthy skin tissue had not been thoroughly investigated. The team measured the amount of UV emissions and the integrity of each bulb’s phosphor coatings. Significant levels of UVC and UVA were found to be released from cracks in the phosphor coatings. Cells exposed to CFLs displayed a decrease in turn over rate, migration, collagen contraction and an increase in free radical damage. They found that the cells responded to UV radiation emitted from the CFL bulbs in a similar manner to UV radiation from the sun. Tests were repeated with incandescent light bulbs of the same intensity. The incandescent light bulbs, however, did no damage to healthy skin cells.

The researchers recommend being careful when using CFL bulbs, to avoid exposing skin at a close range and to place them behind a glass cover.

Find more on the results of this study, you can download the published article appearing in the July issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology  in “The Effects of UV Emission from CFL Exposure on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes in Vitro“.

Want to know more on what’s going on and how it’s a affecting your skin? Subscribe to our blog and get the latest in SkinMedix News sent to you! Then visit for the world’s leading anti-aging and aging-preventive cosmeceuticals today!

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